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Lori (thornton37814) Reads with Sherlock, Mr B, and Barney in 2018 - thread 4

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Apr 24, 9:13pm Top

I caught them all napping on me one day when it was a little colder.

Next few threads will recap my reading in 2018 to date.

Edited: Apr 24, 9:15pm Top

Books Read thru April 24, #1-10:

1. Where I Was From by Joan Didion - completed 1 Jan 2018
2. Pusserina the Wondercat by Kenneth B. Melvin; illustrated by Linda Albrecht - completed 1 Jan 2018
3. Raised Bed Gardening: How to Use Simple Raised Beds to Grow a Beautiful Vegetable Garden by Dane Alexander - completed 1 Jan 2018
4. The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg - completed 2 Jan 2018
5. Strawberry Yellow by Naomi Hirahara - completed 4 Jan 2018
6. Funeral Music by Morag Joss - completed 5 Jan 2018
7. Booked for Trouble by Eva Gates - completed 7 Jan 2018
8. The Toad Who Loved Tea by Faiz Kermani - completed 8 Jan 2018
9. Buried in the Country by Carola Dunn - completed 8 Jan 2018
10. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith - completed 12 Jan 2018

Edited: Apr 24, 9:16pm Top

Books Read thru April 24, #11-20:

11. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens - completed 13 Jan 2018
12. Friends in High Places by Donna Leon - completed 15 Jan 2018
13. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale - completed 15 Jan 2018
14. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - completed 17 Jan 2018
15. Mary and Her Little Lamb by Will Moses - completed 17 Jan 2018
16. My Teacher by James Ransome - completed 17 Jan 2018
17. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper; illustrated by George & Doris Hauman - completed 17 Jan 2018
18. My Baby Blue Jays by John Berendt - completed 17 Jan 2018
19. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books by Lucille Colandro - completed 17 Jan 2018
20. The Balfour Declaration: Sixty-Seven Words, 100 Years of Conflict by Elliot Jager - completed 19 Jan 2018

Edited: Apr 24, 9:17pm Top

Books Read thru April 24, #21-30:

21. The Litttle Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien - completed 20 Jan 2018
22. Laughter and Early Sorrow: and Other Stories by Brett Busang - completed 20 Jan 2018
23. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall - completed 21 Jan 2018
24. Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody - completed 25 Jan 2018
25. Hiding the Past by Nathan Dylan Goodwin - completted 27 Jan 2018
26. The Potter's Field by Andrea Camilleri - completed 29 Jan 2018
27. Life of Pi by Yann Martel - completed 1 Feb 2018
28. 'Over the Hills and Far Away': The Life of Beatrix Potter by Matthew Dennison - completed 1 Feb 2018
29. Planting Corn Belt Culture: The Impress of the Upland Southerner and Yankee in the Old Northwest by Richard Lyle Power - completed 1 Feb 2018
30. A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters - completed 3 Feb 2018

Edited: Apr 24, 9:18pm Top

Books Read thru April 24, #31-40:

31. Creole Holiday by Phyllis A. Whitney - completed 3 Feb 2018
32. Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver; illustrated by Tomie DePaolo - completed 4 Feb 2018
33. Three Little Kittens by Jerry Pinkney - completed 4 Feb 2018
34. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter - completed 4 Feb 2018
35. Oh No, Gotta Go! by Susan Middleton Elya; illustrated by C. Brian Karas - completed 4 Feb 2018
36. The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck by Laura Murray; illustrated by Mike Lowery - completed 4 Feb 2018
37. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Jan Brett - completed 4 Feb 2018
38. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats - completed 4 Feb 2018
39. The Puppy Who Went to School by Gail Herman; illustrated by Betina Ogden - completed 4 Feb 2018
40. Rhymes Round the World by Kay Chorao - completed 4 Feb 2018

Edited: Apr 24, 9:19pm Top

Books Read thru April 24, #41-50:

41. Keri Tarr, Cat Detective by Wendy Lement; illustrated by Jeffrey Scott Burrows - completed 4 Feb 2018
42. Involuntary Witness by Gianrico Carofiglio - completed 6 Feb 2018
43. From Jerusalem to Timbuktu: A World Tour of the Spread of Christianity by Brian C. Stiller - completed 7 Feb 2018
44. Sugar and Iced by Jenn McKinlay - completed 10 Feb 2018
45. The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore - completed 11 Feb 2018
46. Folly by Stella Cameron - completed 12 Feb 2018
47. Better Off Read by Nora Page - completed 15 Feb 2018
48. The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor - completed 16 Feb 2018
49. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - completed 18 Feb 2018
50. A Necessary End by Peter Robinson - completed 19 Feb 2018

Edited: Apr 24, 9:20pm Top

Books Read thru April 24, #51-60:

51. Old Bear and His Cub by Olivier Dunrea - completed 21 Feb 2018
52. Destination: Antarctica by Robert Swan - completed 21 Feb 2018
53. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - completed 21 Feb 2018
54. Ladybug Girl and Bingo by David Soman and Jacky Davis - completed 21 Feb 2018
55. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell; illustrated by David Catrow - completed 21 Feb 2018
56. A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard; illustrated by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen - completed 21 Feb 2018
57. The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola - completed 21 Feb 2018
58. Plenty of Love to Go Around by Emma Chichester Clark - completed 21 Feb 2018
59. Just One More by Jennifer Hansen Rolli - completed 21 Feb 2018
60. Taking Care of Mama by Mitra Modarressi - completed 21 Feb 2018

Apr 24, 9:14pm Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Apr 24, 9:24pm Top

Books Read thru April 24, #61-70:

61. Good Morning, Digger by Anne Rockwell; illustrated by Melanie Hope Greenberg - completed 21 Feb 2018
62. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans - completed 21 Feb 2018
63. Luke Goes to Bat by Rachel Isadora - completed 21 Feb 2018
64. Murder, She Knit by Peggy Ehrhart - completed 22 Feb 2018
65. Grand Canyon by Jason Chin - completed 22 Feb 2018
66. Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith - completed 25 Feb 2018
67. In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany - completed 27 Feb 2018
68. Slight Mourning by Catherine Aird - completed 27 Feb 2018
69. Walking on Edge: A Pilgrimage to Santiago by Reino Gevers - completed 1 Mar 2018
70. Foreign Bodies edited by Martin Edwards - completed 1 Mar 2018

Edited: Apr 24, 9:32pm Top

Books Read thru April 24, #71-80:

71. Death by the Sea by Kathleen Bridge - completed 3 Mar 2018
72. Children of the Street by Kwei Quartey - completed 7 Mar 2018
73. The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves - completed 7 Mar 2018
74. Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon - completed 14 Mar 2018
75. The Birds of the Innocent Wood by Deirdre Madden - completed 15 Mar 2018
76. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley - completed 15 Mar 2018
77. Murder at an Irish Wedding by Carlene O'Connor - completed 18 Mar 2018
78. In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War by Tobias Wolff - completed 20 Mar 2018
79. The Mistletoe Murder: and Other Stories by P. D. James - completed 21 Mar 2018
80. The Lady Vanishes by Ethel Lina White - completed 24 Mar 2018

Edited: Apr 24, 9:41pm Top

Books Read thru April 24, #81-90:

81. Our Hearts Were Young and Gay by Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough - completed 26 Mar 2018
82. Macbeth by Jo Nesbo - completed 27 Mar 2018
83. The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis; illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon - completed 28 Mar 2018
84. Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper - completed 28 Mar 2018
85. Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie - completed 31 Mar 2018
86. A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt - completed 31 Mar 2018
87. The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma's Table by Rick Bragg - completed 31 Mar 2018
88. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney - completed 1 Apr 2018
89. Bats in the Belfry by E. C. R. Lorac - completed 1 Apr 2018
90. Ice Cream Kitty by Nerina DiBenedetto; illustrated by Martha Houghton - completed 2 Apr 2018

Edited: Apr 24, 9:59pm Top

Books Read thru April 24, #101-110:

101. Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Ehlert - completed 12 Apr 2018
102. Timothy Turtle by Alice Vaught Davis; illustrated by Guy Brown Wiser - completed 12 Apr 2018
103. Timothy Turtle by Al Graham; illustrated by Tony Palazzo - completed 12 Apr 2018
104. Walking Out: Poems by Betty Adcock - completed 12 Apr 2018
105. Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming - completed 12 Apr 2018
106. The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates - completed 14 Apr 2018
107. Society in Early North Carolina: A Documentary History by Alan D. Watson - completed 14 Apr 2018
108. The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson - completed 19 Apr 2018
109. Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland edited by Ellen Datlow - completed 19 Apr 2018
110. The Sayers Swindle by Victoria Abbott - completed 21 Apr 2018

Edited: Apr 24, 10:01pm Top

Books Read thru April 24, #111:

111. Thus Was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell - completed 24 Apr 2018

Abandoned Reads to Date:

1. Hidden Pasts by Clio Gray - abandoned 28 Jan 2018
2. Flat Broke with Two Goats: A Memoir of Appalachia by Jennifer McGaha - abandoned 12 Apr 2018

Next one is yours!

Apr 24, 9:21pm Top

>8 figsfromthistle: Thanks. Almost didn't spot you there in the midst of my reserveds!

Apr 24, 10:02pm Top

Reading this year remains hugely impressive, Lori - back to form certainly.

Happy new thread. xx

Apr 24, 10:21pm Top

>16 PaulCranswick: It's ahead of form. I think it will be slow next week. I'm speaking at a conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I'll probably spend the evenings with friends instead of reading. I'll take things along on my iPad, but aside from what I manage on the plane, I'm not sure how successful I'll be in carving out reading times.

Apr 24, 10:40pm Top

You are just a reading machine, Lori! Happy New Thread!

Apr 24, 10:58pm Top

>18 ronincats: Thanks for the well-wishes.

Apr 25, 9:29am Top

Happy new thread!

Apr 25, 9:34am Top

Hi Lori! Happy new thread. Yay for 3 warm kitties on a cold day. Excellent topper.

And, from your last thread - Congrats on your TIOLI sweep.

Apr 25, 10:26am Top

Happy New Thread! and Woot!!! on the Sweep.

Apr 25, 10:50am Top

Happy new thread, Lori! Wow, you are churning through the books. My hero!

Apr 25, 1:50pm Top

>20 drneutron: Thanks

>21 karenmarie: The cats are great lap warmers! Thanks!

>22 streamsong: Thanks. Of course, it may be the last time too.

>23 Berly: I'll be slowing down next week while attending a conference. I doubt I'll manage to read much of anything.

Apr 25, 1:54pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori! Quite the total so far!

Apr 25, 2:56pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori, you have a nice pile of cats on your lap in your topper :-)

Apr 25, 3:29pm Top

>25 harrygbutler: My goal for the year was 150, so I'll easily do that. I'm not sure I can hit 250 for the year, but if I do, it will be my highest total ever.

>26 FAMeulstee: Yes. They are quite nice boys!

Apr 25, 10:33pm Top

Happy new thread! You are reading up a storm. I am having a slow year, but I'm mostly OK with that. RL gets busy sometimes.

Apr 26, 8:05am Top

>28 nittnut: RL gets in our way all the time.

Apr 26, 8:09am Top

Happy New Thread, Lori! I just love your kitties and their togetherness. They are adorable!!

Apr 26, 1:50pm Top

I downloaded both free audiobooks today in AudioSync's teen program. Looking forward to listening to both titles later. I began a Michael Chabon novel in audio format on my commute this morning, and I'm reading Blackout by Ragnar Jonasson, a NetGalley selection.

Apr 26, 3:59pm Top

Hi Lori, happy new thread my dear.

Apr 26, 4:13pm Top

>32 johnsimpson: Thanks, John.

Apr 26, 7:06pm Top

112. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

Date Completed: 25 Apr 2018

Category: San Diego

TIOLI Challenge:

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: I'm certain I would have loved this book as a younger reader. I really don't remember reading it although some of the plot elements seemed vaguely familiar to me. I'm certain not all of those would have been mentioned in reviews I read here, so I must have read it way back in the day. It's a delightful story about two girls who become best friends, share dreams, and help one another through difficult situations for young girls. I listened to the audio book which was wonderfully done with the exception of the annoying music at the beginning and end.

Apr 27, 7:08am Top

>34 thornton37814: woo! So glad you enjoyed it. The entire series is lovely, so you have nine more books to look forward to reading.

Apr 28, 12:34am Top

Happy new thread, Lori. Is the conference for a while week?

Apr 29, 9:32pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori! Your three kitties look cozy in that photo.

Edited: Apr 29, 11:11pm Top

So, all the news here in California this week has been the arrest of a suspected cold case serial killer through DNA evidence posted on a website.

Investigators arrested DeAngelo on Tuesday after matching crime-scene DNA with genetic material stored in an online database by a distant relative.

Officials did not need a court order to access GEDmatch 's large database of genetic blueprints, lead investigator Paul Holes told the Mercury News in San Jose, California.

The co-founder of the genealogy website used by authorities to help identify DeAngelo said on Friday that he had no idea its database was tapped by law enforcement.

The free genealogy website, which pools DNA profiles that people upload and share publicly to find relatives, said it has always informed users its database can be used for other purposes.

ETA I did buy the Ancestry DNA kit during their recent sale, btw. Completely different from the database used here.

Apr 30, 8:04am Top

>35 fuzzi: I'll probably ease my way through them.

>36 Familyhistorian: This is conference week. I just checked in for my flight and noticed I scored TSA pre-check.

>37 tymfos: They often get cozy.

>38 ronincats: Roni, GEDmatch is a wonderful tool, and we usually recommend Ancestry users use it to have a chromosome browser available. However, those of us speaking on the topic always remind people to obtain consent when posting someone else's DNA. In fact, GEDmatch's terms of use states you should. I recommend that you read "The Bull in the DNA China Shop" at the Legal Genealogist blog (4-29-2018 post). She refers to a post by another blogger that asks a lot of questions. I will continue to use GEDmatch. I received verbal permission on the earliest other uploads of family members and written permission of later ones. I always "anonymize" the user so I recognize who it is, but it would not be automatically known to someone else.

Apr 30, 8:13am Top

We experienced at earthquake last night in the middle of evening service at church. It's been awhile since I felt (and heard) one like that! Even though it earned only a 3.1 magnitude, it was 14 miles deep and centered about 4 miles away from where I was sitting. Our pastor said, "Whoa! That felt like an earthquake." Then he added, "Thank you, God, for reminding us You are in control." Then he said, "Since we are all still here, we might as well continue." He went right on preaching. Of course, those of us in the office, began pulling up the USGS earthquake info and refreshing until it showed up. Initially they rated it 2.8 and said it was centered at a slightly different spot but they updated the location pretty quickly and then increased the magnitude. When it said was rated 2.8, I kept thinking, "it was stronger than that."

Apr 30, 9:21am Top

Hi Lori!

I tend to think of earthquakes as being only in California and you remind me that they're not. 3.1 is noticeable, and sounds like your pastor just took it in stride.

>38 ronincats: I just bought the Ancestry DNA kit for $59. It ended up costing $68 with shipping and taxes, but still.

>39 thornton37814: I just looked up GEDMatch on my (not Google) browser and found a fascinating article by a man named Bob Atchison who uploaded his Ancestry DNA info to GEDMatch and got some fascinating results. Ancestry uploaded to GEDMatch

Apr 30, 10:59am Top

Belated congrats on the TIOLI challenge sweep!

Happy new thread...you are my reading hero!

Apr 30, 3:23pm Top

>41 karenmarie: There are several Eurogenes calculators. I would need to check, but I think it is either 13 or 15 that is considered most accurate for European ancestry. Sometimes you can apply a Free Shipping code, but it is usually not valid during their sales. The DNA Day sales are over, but many of the companies are beginning the mother's day sales now. FamilyTreeDNA usually offers mtDNA discounts for it, and I know the autosomal (Family Finder) is on sale for $59.

>42 witchyrichy: Thanks! I'm slowing down. Just too busy with last minute details for leaving town. I also was trying to rest a lot to get rid of a cold. Maybe I'll read a bit on the plane. I am in the midst of a read. I forgot to turn my audio book on when I got in the car with the cats. Then I didn't think about it when I dropped them and headed toward work. I thought about it when I was only a few blocks away. Hopefully I'll remember on the way home.

May 1, 6:22pm Top

Hi Lori, your reading list is amazing. Enjoy your trip.

May 2, 4:17pm Top

Belated happy new thread, Lori. We have small earthquakes here, too. Mostly I notice them due to a very loud bang.

May 5, 12:03pm Top

A number of years ago there was a somewhat stronger earquake centered in Virginia that was felt in the Mid-Atlantic region. (As I recall, that's the one that damaged the Washington Monument and caused it to be closed for a while for repairs.) I was on vacation visiting relatives in New Jersey, and we most definitely felt it there, but not enough for any damage in the area. It is a really strange feeling! When I went back to work, they told me that the bookshelves swayed at the library when the earthquake happened, but only a couple of books on the display shelves were dislodged.

Safe travels to you!

May 5, 9:38pm Top

>44 Oregonreader: Thanks. I fly home in the morning. It's been good.

>45 Ameise1: I'm sure if I checked often enough, I'd see the European quakes.

>46 tymfos: I remember that Virginia quake. As I recall, we even felt it in East Tennessee.

May 6, 9:10am Top

Safe journey home, Lori. xx

May 8, 10:50am Top

>46 tymfos: we felt that quake in eastern NC. It was as if a helicopter was landing on the roof (I work in a building next to the hospital's emergency room, they have landings all the time), but there was no helicopter noise. First time I've felt one.

May 8, 12:54pm Top

>48 PaulCranswick: Thanks. I made it safely. I need to work on a couple of reviews. Then I'll probably read two or three Caldecott books this afternoon. I can't catalog them without reading them.

>49 fuzzi: I think that Virginia quake was felt a bit more widely.

Edited: May 8, 9:50pm Top

113. Blackout by Ragnar Jonasson

Date Completed: 1 May 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #11: Read a book you acquired on or after January 25, 2018

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: A man found beaten in his apartment provides a policeman and a reporter with an opportunity to investigate. The book, however, focuses more on personal issues than on the investigation. I never really got a feel for the book. I finished it aboard a plane about a week ago, and the details no longer stand out. I never really warmed to either the policeman or the journalist. The book is unremarkable and not memorable. I received an advance electronic copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

May 8, 1:45pm Top

114. The Final Solution by Michael Chabon

Date Completed: 6 May 2018

Category: Bahamas

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #6: Read a book with an egg or a bird on the cover

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Young, mute Linus Steinman escaped the German holocaust with his treasured parrot. The parrot stumps local persons because he recites numbers. Are they a code, a Swiss bank account or something else entirely? A man is murdered; the parrot goes missing. A retired detective nearing his 90th birthday assists with the investigation even though he'd rather be tending his bees. There's an interesting bond formed between the young boy and the old man. I listened to this novella and found it to be short but somewhat satisfying. A full length novel would allow for more police involvement in the investigation and for more character development, although the reader got a sense of all the characters.

May 8, 1:58pm Top

115. Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Date Completed: 8 May 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #10: Read a book with characteristics of a vacation spot in the title

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Beautifully illustrated and winner of the 2018 Caldecott medal, this nearly wordless book depicts a young girl and young wolf pup lost in the snow. The girl helps the pup find its home. The wolves help the young girl find hers. The only words are animal sounds.

May 8, 2:11pm Top

116. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Gordon C. James

Date Completed: 8 May 2018

Category: Charleston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #17: SCHOOLHOUSEROCK! Rolling Challenge

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This book reminds me I'm getting old. The language is definitely 21st century and is certain to please young African American boys heading off for a haircut. The illustrations are boldly drawn.

May 8, 2:25pm Top

117. A Different Pond by Bao Phi ; illustrated by Thi Bui

Date Completed: 8 May 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: A Vietnamese immigrant father and his son go fishing before sun-up. Unlike most Americans who fish for sport, this family fishes because it provides food for the table. The father works multiple jobs, and even the mother works to meet the high cost of living in the United States. It could provide interesting discussion moments for children as they savor the beautiful illustrations.

Edited: May 8, 9:14pm Top

>50 thornton37814: I was living near Lynchburg, VA, and was in a meeting with other teachers and the principal. She was trying to convince us there was construction happening on the roof but we didn't buy it. I remember waking up in the middle of the night a couple of times for aftershocks. Fortunately, we didn't have any damage.

>53 thornton37814: This was on my top 5 list for Caldecott winners when my students and I read some potentials, but it wasn't a class favorite. The wordless format really bothered some kids, which I found really interesting (interesting that it bothered them). I loved it though!

May 8, 9:19pm Top

>53 thornton37814: argh, you dun it again...

May 8, 9:46pm Top

>56 jennyifer24: The student worker who processed it read it and said it brought tears to her eyes! She loved it!

>57 fuzzi: Well, it's a quite easy read, and I loved it!

May 8, 10:02pm Top

118. Murder at the Mansion by Sheila Connolly

Date Completed: 8 May 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #19: Read a book about "old" books/writings

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: This promising start to a new "Victorian Village" series by Sheila Connolly features Kate who returns to Asheboro after the hotel for which she works sells to new ownership who release Kate and her boss from their positions with nice severance packages. Kate's mission to see how the town can make a turnaround may be impossible, but the key lies in an old mansion now owned by the town. Its previous owner Henry Barton left a generous trust fund to maintain the property. Kate's nemesis, a councilwoman, was murdered. Kate finds herself assisting in the investigation as she examines some important letters she becomes certain the woman found. I loved the mystery but guessed the murderer's identity fairly early. A lot of questions remain unanswered for the readers, indicating the author intends to reveal more solutions to those questions in future installments. While genealogical research was done, the author included few details. Hopefully more will unfold as the series progresses. The series shows promise and should provide mystery-loving genealogists with a few hours pleasure as each book is published. I received an advance electronic copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

May 9, 6:29am Top

>55 thornton37814: Love the quiet colours of the cover!

>53 thornton37814: Nice! Interesting, dialog without words? And why does it bother kids? Makes me remember a trip to Hungary I once made. I was a bit anxious because I didn't know a word of the language. First night there I got lost, but found my way back to the camping just using the one word 'camping' and lots of pointing by helpful people. Such a relief to find you can manage without knowing any language!

May 9, 6:48am Top

>58 thornton37814: our public library has it, though it is checked out. Guess who has a "hold"...? :D

May 9, 4:11pm Top

>60 EllaTim: I think the cover was my favorite illustration on the book on message 55.

>61 fuzzi: You'll love it when you get a chance to read it.

May 10, 10:38am Top

Hi, Lori! My, you've been getting a lot of reading done. The children's books in >53 thornton37814:, >54 thornton37814: and >55 thornton37814: look very good. I may have to buy one or more of them for my great-niece and -nephew whom I'll be seeing in a few weeks for one of my niece's wedding.

May 10, 6:31pm Top

>59 thornton37814: I'm hoping to join you in reading Murder at the Mansion for TIOLI. I've put in a request via Net Galley.

May 10, 8:12pm Top

>63 Storeetllr: Well, they are all "winners" (or at least honors). I'd already read the "Big Cat, Little Cat" because I ordered that one for myself.

>64 lindapanzo: I hope you are approved. I think you'll enjoy it!

May 10, 8:32pm Top

>64 lindapanzo: I've never gotten anything from St Martin's. If I don't get it from them, I'll reserve it from the library, though it's not due out til June.

May 10, 8:57pm Top

>66 lindapanzo: Good luck!

May 10, 10:24pm Top

Hi, Lori. Looks like you're having fun cataloguing the Caldecott winners!

May 11, 12:38am Top

Looks like the conference didn't slow down your reading any, Lori. I hope you had a good time.

May 11, 7:43am Top

>68 ronincats: I always enjoy that part of my job! No picture book unread!

>69 Familyhistorian: It really did slow it. I didn't read anything from the time I finished a book on the flight to the conference until I got on the plane to head toward home.

May 11, 9:11am Top

>55 thornton37814: This one looks lovely, Lori. I'll have to check it out.

You are a reading machine; and I can see how reading kids' books is a real hardship. :)

May 14, 4:10pm Top

>71 BLBera: You can't go wrong with the kiddie lit!

May 15, 5:46pm Top

>67 thornton37814: Yay!! For the first time, I received a Net Galley from St. Martin's Press so I'll join you on Murder at the Mansion.

May 15, 9:02pm Top

>73 lindapanzo: Wonderful! I'm glad you were approved.

May 17, 6:33pm Top

119. The Secret, Book, and Scone Society by Ellery Adams

Date Completed: 17 May 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Although categorized in the mystery genre, this book holds appeal for readers who treasure books about women and their relationships. The four members of the "Secret, Book, and Scone Society" all bear scars from past circumstances, and many continue to hold onto secrets. One runs a bookstore, specializing in bibliotherapy. Another owns her own bakery. Another operates as a beautician. The other works in a spa. When the sheriff arrests one of them, the others set out to prove a false arrest. The Western North Carolina community houses a new real estate development that does not appear to be on the up-and-up. I enjoyed the setting, the bookstore, and the bakery much more than the overall mystery. I will probably read the next installment just to learn some of the outcomes not settled in this installment.

May 18, 8:05pm Top

120.A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Date Completed: 18 May 2018

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #3: Read (or listen) to a book from YA Sync 2017 or 2018

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Jamie Watson, descendant of Dr. John Watson, attends a boarding school in Connecticut where Charlotte Holmes, descendant of the great detective Sherlock Holmes, attends. They soon find themselves suspects in a murder of a fellow student. Trust no one. A Moriarty's involvement in their problem is almost certain. I suspect the book moves a little slower than the average teenager's attention, but readers familiar with the Sherlock Holmes stories will recognize similarities and differences between the characters in this novel and the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books as well as parallels to the stories themselves, most of which are pointed out. It was okay, but not outstanding. I prefer Doyle's stories. I listened to the audio provided by AudioFile Sync for this summer's teen listeners.

May 19, 2:13am Top

>75 thornton37814: The cover on that one looks delicious, Lori.

May 19, 1:03pm Top

>77 Familyhistorian: It sounds delicious as you read it, but they seem to get away from their jobs more as the mystery moves to the climax.

May 19, 2:12pm Top

121. The Museum of Literary Souls by John Connolly

Date Completed: 19 May 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #19: Read a book about "old" books/writings

Other Challenges: Irish Author Challenge

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Mr. Berger witnesses an incident reminiscent of Anna Karenina in which a woman threw herself in front of a train, and the train rolled past. When he went to examine it, he found no indication the woman was killed by the train, but she could not be found. He called local authorities who made a search with similar results. Now the local authorities and townspeople view him as more than a little strange. Several months later he witnesses the event again, but this time he intercepts the woman before she can endanger herself. She disappears into nearby trees, but he follows her, discovering the Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository. He meets the librarian/caretaker who watches over an amazing collection of books and the characters, discovering books can be altered if their inks touch. Berger creates some serious errors when given the keys while the librarian deals with family issues, but ultimately he becomes the new librarian/caretaker. When I selected and downloaded this Kindle single, I did not realize it was the short story I previously read in an Otto Penzler anthology of bibliomysteries under a different title ("The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository.") I enjoyed it then, and I enjoyed the re-read.

Edited: May 20, 12:48pm Top

122. Every Seven Years by Denise Mina

Date Completed: 19 May 2018

Category: Cornwall

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: British Author Challenge

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Upon her mother's death, minor actress Else returns to her childhood home on a Scottish isle where she comes face to face with her past. The book involved reminds Else of the torture she endured at the hands of bullies. The writing style did not work for me and made it difficult for me to care what happened to Else or anybody else.

May 20, 3:27pm Top

>70 thornton37814: Hi, Lori! That looks familiar to me, too, but just in case I haven't read it before, I picked up the Connolly collection it's in from the library and will start it soon.

May 20, 8:18pm Top

>81 Storeetllr: Hope you enjoy it. I knew I was running short on time so when I found the Kindle shorts to fill a couple challenges, it was a relief!

May 21, 7:18pm Top

123. How to Read Poetry Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

Date Completed: 21 May 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #11: Read a book you acquired on or after January 25, 2018

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Thomas Foster teaches readers how to approach poetry to make it meaningful to them. He discusses the poem's sentence structure, encouraging readers to pause of punctuation as one would do in reading other literature. He discusses arrangement into stanzas, rhyme schemes, meter, repetition, and more. He eventually moves into symbolism and other topics which often scare students. He created a readable introduction to poetry, with limited technical jargon. While armchair poetry enthusiasts may be the most appreciative audience, non-majors taking literature classes with a fair amount of poetry will benefit. I received an uncorrected proof through LibraryThing Early Reviewers with the expectation of an unbiased review.

May 22, 12:58pm Top

I read Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor and enjoyed it - if enjoy is the right word. I did get a lot out of it and have been meaning to read his How to Read Novels Like a Professor, but maybe I'll check this one on poetry out too.

May 22, 7:50pm Top

>84 Storeetllr: He seems to have a "knack" for readable introductions of this sort.

May 23, 11:37am Top

124. Snow in August by Pete Hamill

Date Completed: 23 May 2018

Category: San Diego

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: American Author Challenge

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Set in late 1940s Brooklyn, Michael Devlin, a Catholic altar boy, pursues an unlikely friendship with Rabbi Hirsch, performing duties such as turning on lights on the Sabbath and teaching the Jewish leader English and baseball. In return Michael learns Yiddish. The neighborhood is full of bullies who terrorize Jews. Michael realizes these were the same Jews his dad died trying to free from Hitler's regime. It's an interesting story depicting consequences of prejudice. This poignant read will stay with me awhile. The cursing seemed to fit the characters, even if I do not enjoy it.

Edited: May 23, 1:41pm Top

125. Appalachian Ghosts by Nancy Roberts ; photographs by Bruce Roberts

Date Completed: 23 May 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #2: Read a book That Has A Title Word That Starts with the Letter G

Other Challenges: ScaredyKIT

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This collection features ghost stories, mostly drawn from actual accounts, set in Appalachia. Several of the stories occur in West Virginia, but others take place in Kentucky and Tennessee. Photographs accompany most tales, adding to the haunted feeling.

May 23, 1:03pm Top

126. The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo ; illustrated by Ruth Heller

Date Completed: 23 May 2018

Category: Bahamas

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #17: SCHOOLHOUSEROCK! Rolling Challenge

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - K

Rating: 3 stars

Review: In this Cinderella retelling, Pear Blossom's mother dies. Her father remarries a woman who prefers her own daughter to Pear Blossom and uses Pear Blossom as a servant, expecting her to complete unreasonable tasks. Pear Blossom is helped by nature, but still the stepmother treats her horribly. One day she loses her sandal in a stream, but not before the magistrate spots her. A marriage is arranged. The story deviates from the traditional story in several places and probably works best in the Korean cultural setting.

May 23, 1:24pm Top

127. Two Queens of Heaven: Aphrodite, Demeter by Doris Gates ; illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

Date Completed: 23 May 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #9: Read a book with a character from Greek or Roman mythology in the title or author's name

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - Q

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Renowned children's author Doris Gates presents Greek myths about Aphrodite and Demeter along with a few other tales in this collection suitable for children. The illustrations are sketched, demonstrating what can be done with pencil (or pen). Gates' stories should captivate early readers.

May 24, 8:00am Top

Hi Lori!

You are certainly reading a variety of genres!

>83 thornton37814: Do you have a particular poet you plan to test your new skills on since reading this book?

May 24, 9:17am Top

>90 karenmarie: The next book of poetry I plan to read was written by a librarian friend. I don't know that I plan to dissect the poetry, and I've never experienced difficulty in reading most of it. I like some styles more than others, but I think those preferences won't change because of the book.

May 24, 9:52am Top

128. The Story of Georgia's Boundaries: A Meeting of History and Geography by William J. Morton

Date Completed: 23 May 2018

Category: Charleston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #2: Read a book That Has A Title Word That Starts with the Letter G

Other Challenges: Nonfiction Challenge--Maps, Geography, Geopolitics

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Boundary disputes exist between many states, and some of them are long-standing. Georgia's boundaries with North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee are all included in this volume. The boundaries with the Mississippi Territory before Alabama was formed and with parts of the current United States owned by countries such as France and Spain in the colonial period are treated as well. Since the book was written, Georgia tried to reassert a claim to a strip about one mile wide which would give them access to the Tennessee River. So far the land remains part of Tennessee. While it was an interesting read, it lacks the depth of treatment some volumes of this nature provide.The volume appeals more to the layman than the historian or geographer.

May 24, 12:27pm Top

>89 thornton37814: I've read a couple other books by Doris Gates, and both worked as adult reads. I might give that one a try.

May 24, 12:41pm Top

>93 fuzzi: I was looking for a "Q" book that wasn't too long. After browsing the children's/YA area a bit, I settled on that one!

May 25, 1:14am Top

>79 thornton37814: It's good that you enjoyed the re-read, Lori. I have been fooled more than once when they changed the name of a book. It can be annoying to end up with two of the same book with different titles.

May 25, 7:48am Top

>95 Familyhistorian: I guess I was unaware the book of short stories was published as "shorts" beforehand, or I might have figured it out. It was short, and it fit the IAC.

May 25, 5:57pm Top

>75 thornton37814: I was browsing Audible before a recent road trip and The Secret, Scone and Book Society showed up. I enjoyed it. The narrator was good and watching the women learn to trust each other as they tell their stories kept my interest beyond the mystery. Like you, I'm going to try to next installment when it comes out.

May 25, 9:40pm Top

>87 thornton37814: I'd probably enjoy Appalachian Ghosts.

Wishing you a good weekend, Lori!

May 26, 7:39am Top

>97 witchyrichy: Maybe I should try the audio on the next installment.

>98 tymfos: I was just trying to find something "close to home" for the ScaredyKit so it seemed to fit.

May 26, 8:52am Top

129. An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly

Date Completed: 26 May 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #14: Read a book where one word gives a Scrabble score of more than 2.5 points per letter

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Maura discovers the pub used to hold musician jam sessions. When she connects with Niall, one of the musicians who used to play there, other musicians show up so she decides to give it a try. One is discovered dead in the back room when Maura shows up the following morning. Since she is certain she locked up, she isn't really sure how he got in until she discovers the former owner gave all the regular musicians keys back in the old days. This installment is short on mystery and goes on too long once the guilty party is captured. I'll probably skip the remainder of the series unless I see others with better reviews. Life is too short to read disappointing books, even if the setting is desirable.

May 26, 6:42pm Top

Oh, too bad it was a disappointment, since it is an interesting premise.

Happy weekend, Lori! Hope you are doing something fun (besides reading, of course).

May 27, 2:52pm Top

>101 Storeetllr: I think each installment has gotten progressively worse. I don't know what I'm doing yet. At the moment, I'm "chilling" with my cats. Almost anything to do around here involves tourist traffic which is a nightmare. The joys of living next to the most visited National Park! The NC side is usually a little quieter so I might try something over there tomorrow.

May 27, 4:59pm Top

Hi Lori my dear, all the pots and planters have been done just about with just a few plants to be potted up tomorrow and hopefully some colour will appear in a week or so and when that happens I will take some photographs and post them on my thread.

I hope you are having a really good weekend my dear and send love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

May 27, 5:08pm Top

>103 johnsimpson: Thanks. I'm spending today mostly with the cats. I think I may drive over to the American Museum of the House Cat next week. I spotted it last summer when Carrie and I drove by on our way somewhere else. I think it's time for a visit. I'm thinking I'll go toward the end of the week--maybe Thursday or Friday.

May 27, 7:07pm Top

130. Dressed for Death by Donna Leon

Date Completed: 27 May 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #11: Read a book you acquired on or after January 25, 2018

Other Challenges: Two Guidos

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Commissario Brunetti investigates the murder of an apparent transvestite found in a nearby jurisdiction. Prostitutes congregated in the area where the victim's body turned up. As he investigates, he uncovers a rental scheme involving influential persons. As with many of Leon's novels involving corruption, much of the police work involves building a case that will hold up. Although lacking the finesse of some of her later novels, the novel still appeals to persons seeking solid police procedurals in a country other than the United States or United Kingdom.

May 29, 9:29am Top

131. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Date Completed: 29 May 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #1: Read a book with the bespectacled author’s picture somewhere on or in that book

Other Challenges: MysteryCAT - Involving Transportation

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: Because of her boss' hospitalization, Laura "Lo" Blacklock, a travel magazine writer, receives the opportunity to travel on a small privately-owned cruise ship's maiden voyage. Robbed in her own apartment a couple of days before departure, she still suffers from the traumatic experience. She borrowed mascara from the woman next door in cabin 10 when she cannot find her own. When she sees a woman pushed overboard from that cabin later that evening, the crew and security guards tell her the person booked for that cabin cancelled and no one stayed there. Lo knows she consumed alcohol and suffered the trauma of victimization, but she also knows she is not delusional as others imply. Tensions mount. Lo becomes a victim once again. Will she make it off the ship alive? This book received much acclaim, but it failed to live up to its hype. Unnecessary verbiage, particularly the repeated use of the "f" word by the central character, failed to propel the narrative, weakening the story where the author needed to do more to give characters dimension. The abrupt conclusion left readers with more questions than answers.

May 29, 5:52pm Top

132. Once in a Blue Moon Lodge by Lorna Landvik

Date Completed: 29 May 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #10: Read a book with characteristics of a vacation spot in the title

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Unaware this book was a sequel to Patty Jane's House of Curl which I had not read, I dove into this book, expecting it to be more about a place than a multi-generational story. Nora, Patty Jane's daughter is the central character, but we hear the voices of her grandmother, mother, and her own triplets. The book was a little "all over the place," lacking a true focus and vision to tie it all together. The expected the lodge to fulfill the role, but the author never gave the lodge character to enable this. The Scandi influence and humor, while appreciated by some, is probably lost on the majority of readers. Serializing the contents over several books and developing the stories more fully would have been a better option. The last section just seemed to zoom through the entire course of the triplets' lives without delving too deep into any character. Disappointing!

Edited: May 31, 8:01pm Top

133. Humming Words: A Collection of Poetry by Nancy Warwick

Date Completed: 29 May 2018

Category: Cornwall

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #6: Read a book with an egg or a bird on the cover

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: When Nancy posted about the availability of her poetry book, I jumped at the chance to purchase a copy. Nancy, a librarian who loves the Lord, provides us with a varied collection of poetry, reflecting on topics such as her daily walk with the Lord, her passion for those hurting, and her love of country (Canada). Some of the poems are arranged in what I would call "word puzzles." Some fit the concrete poetry genre. Others are more traditional. My favorites include "Africa's Broken Heart," "My Garden," "Peace Prayer," and "Starlight Awe."

May 30, 7:47pm Top

>108 thornton37814: is Nancy here on LT?

May 31, 4:58pm Top

>109 fuzzi: She's a librarian friend. She posted to a listserv.

May 31, 5:25pm Top

Wish me luck! I'm trying to finish a second title for MysteryCAT this evening. It's an audiobook, and I have over two hours to go, I think. (I haven't checked size of last section.) I'm distracted by other things when I'm home and generally do better with audiobooks while driving.

May 31, 8:07pm Top

134. Murder on the Leviathan by Boris Akunin

Date Completed: 31 May 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: MysteryCAT

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Before the Leviathan leaves France on its maiden voyage, a wealthy man and his ten servants die at the hands of a murderer who leaves behind his ticket for passage on the steamship. Police commissioner Gauche boards the vessel, identifying ten suspects whom he manages to get assigned to the same salon. Will he or the stuttering Russian detective Erast Fandorin be the one to solve the mystery? Additional murders occur aboard.

I listened to the audiobook and the stutter nearly drove me crazy at points. I wish I had chosen the ebook or print book instead. The mystery pays homage to Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express with the venue being an 1878 steamship rather than a passenger train. I won't spoil the plot by revealing too much, but Akunin carefully crafts the mystery, keeping readers second guessing themselves almost to the end with lots of twists and turns.

May 31, 8:57pm Top

Hi, Lori. I hear you about staying away from the tourist spots on a holiday weekend! We also stayed home with the kitties.

May 31, 10:10pm Top

>113 ronincats: It's almost impossible to avoid holiday traffic if you get out here. I want to do something next week, if I have time. I have a couple things to "wrap up" before I can allow myself fun though.

Jun 1, 10:25am Top

Wishing you a great weekend!

Jun 1, 11:25am Top

>115 figsfromthistle: Thanks! I've been enjoying a lazy morning, but I need to hit the grocery store before it gets too crowded after folks get off work. I'll probably make the run in the next couple of hours.

Edited: Jun 4, 1:16pm Top

135. Blood on the Tracks edited by Martin Edwards

Date Completed: 2 Jun 2018

Category: San Diego

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #10: Read a book where the author's name has the same vowel in first and last name

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: An uneven, but mostly enjoyable collection of short stories compiled by Martin Edwards.

"The Man with the Watches" by Arthur Conan Doyle - A mysterious death on a train is solved when a letter from abroad arrives.

"The Mystery of Felwyn Tunnel" by L. T. Meade & Robert Eustace - The death of a signalman casts suspicion upon a railway worker. Before investigators arrive on the scene, they find another corpse in almost the same location. Science solves the mystery.

"How He Cut His Stick" by Matthias McDonnell Bodkin - A thief gets off a train traveling at full speed. Dora Myrl figures out how.

"The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway" by Baroness Orczy - A look back at an unsolved murder about a woman poisoned on a train.

"The Affair of the Corridor Express" by Victor L. Whitechurch - The son of a wealthy Londoner is kidnapped on a train while in the care of a school official, disappearing before the destination is reached.

"The Case of Oscar Brodski" by R. Austin Freeman - Forensic evidence helps solve the crime.

"The Eighth Lamp" by Roy Vickers - More suspense than mystery. A signalman sees a circle line train running after hours. Still enjoyable, even if the mystery element is not strong.

"The Knight's Cross Signal Problem" by Ernest Bramah - A signalman performed his duties but an oncoming train sees a "go ahead" resulting in a crash. A blind detective figures out what happened.

"The Unsolved Puzzle of the Man with No Face" by Dorothy L. Sayers - A corpse with a mutilated face appears on a beach with no clues to the victim's identity left. While riding a train, the detective overhears Lord Peter Wimsey's theory, leading to the victim's identification.

"The Railway Carriage" by F. Tennyson Jesse - Solange Fontaine boards a train headed for London in Merchester. The occupants of her third class car speak of the execution of a young man that morning. The train crashes. With the next car aflame, a young man appears urging them to get out, but then he disappears.

"Mystery of the Slip-Coach" by Sapper - A bookmaker's corpse lies in a railway coach with egg splattered upon the door. A bullet killed him. One passenger's luggage contains a firearm, but the bullet doesn't match.

"The Level Crossing" by Freeman Wills Crofts - After a stock deal, a man is found dead at a railway crossing.

"The Adventure of the First-Class Carriage" by Ronald Knox - A Sherlock Holmes mystery written by someone other than Doyle.

"Murder on the 7.16" by Michael Innes - "Not a real murder" on "not a real train." Different!

"The Coulman Handicap" by Michael Gilbert - A woman under surveillance gives her tail the slip in a case involving precious jewels.

This review is based on an advanced electronic copy received from the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an unbiased review.

Jun 4, 8:28am Top

Hi Lori!

>112 thornton37814: I think the stuttering would have driven me crazy, too.

Jun 4, 8:41am Top

>100 thornton37814: I read a few of the Sheila Connolly Ireland books and then lost interest. I have sort of decided to stick with cozy mysteries with books at the center.

Hope you had a tourist-free weekend but the cat museum does sound fun!

Jun 4, 9:40am Top

>118 karenmarie: I really would recommend someone reading it instead of listening for that very reason.

>119 witchyrichy: Connolly's Irish books are disappointing. I love the setting, but that's the best part of them. I did not make it to the cat museum. All the rain made me a little afraid to go to the NC side on I-40. The area around exit 7 is known for its landslides. While the one that happened was on the other side of Asheville in the Black Mountain area, I just thought it might be better to stay home.

Edited: Jun 5, 9:06pm Top

136. Bad to the Bones by Rett MacPherson

Date Completed: 4 Jun 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #13: Read a book from a series of more than 5 published books which is not the first in timeline or written order

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - R

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: After a long absence from the world of mysteries, Torie O'Shea returns. Rather than picking up where she left off, Torie and the remaining characters aged. Her father-in-law Colin, formerly sheriff, is now a private investigator. Torie's grown-up daughters moved out. One is gallivanting all over Europe with young men of questionable desirability. Son Matt, a high school junior, along with another friend occupy their time by podcasting. Torie, working on a project involving a Catholic cemetery in a nearby community, discovers exposed bones in the cemetery when her attention and that of the boys focuses on a coyote seen in the same area two days in a row. She calls Mort, the new sheriff. Both a recent set of bones and an older mass grave of bones, apparently belonging to Union soldiers, bring in crime scene investigation team as well as an archaeological team. Torie, of course, becomes involved in the investigation, using her historical and genealogical sleuthing skills to find clues police overlooked. Colin, tired of investigating straying husbands and the like, assists Torie. The new sheriff while warning Torie off, really lacks the "force" Colin used to stop her meddling; however, Torie's ownership of two museums and role as county historian provided her sufficient reason to be conducting the investigations she undertook. I enjoyed this installment and hope MacPherson will continue writing Torie O'Shea mysteries. Some plot elements such as the True Crime Club and information about her children provide clues to the direction the series may develop in future installments.

Jun 4, 9:58am Top

>117 thornton37814: Thanks for the helpful review, Lori! I expect I'll read that volume eventually, but I won't rush to get it.

Jun 5, 10:48am Top

137. The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley

Date Completed: 5 Jun 2018

Category: Bahamas

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #14: Read a book where the author's surname matches an ancestral surname

Other Challenges: American Author Challenge

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Charles Blakey, now unemployed because he stole money from a bank while working there, receives an unusual request from Anniston Bennet. Bennet wishes to rent his basement for a couple of months, paying Blakey an extraordinary amount of money for the privilege. Since Blakey owes money to friends, cannot find another job because of being blackballed by the bank's manager, and may lose the ancestral home because he cannot pay the mortgage, he reluctantly accepts the offer along with some strange conditions. Bennet sent boxes ahead with instructions for constructing his domicile for his stay. The assembled product looks very much like a prison cell. Bennet expects Blakey to be his jailer for the duration of his stay. Blakey probes into Bennet's life and Bennet reveals his intimate knowledge of Blakey's own life. Strange book. While this is definitely "not my genre" and appears to be more male-oriented, particularly when it comes to the types of vulgarity included from time to time, it was not as bad as expected. I did not identify with any of the characters. I doubt I will read anything else by the author, but at least I read one book from cover to cover.

Edited: Jun 5, 5:08pm Top

Hi, Lori! Before you give up on Mosley, try Devil in a Blue Dress, the first book in the Easy Rawlins mystery series. Not sure if you are an aficionado of mysteries, but it is really much more than that. It's set in Los Angeles in the late 40s after the end of WWII.

As Wikipedia says much more eloquently than I: "The novel is an important contribution to African-American and ethnic detective fiction in that it focuses on a black protagonist who falls into the role of detective, but by the series end, has made the profession and the identity that often comes along with it both his own. Easy's use of African-American English and the emergence of "the Voice," an inner voice that advises Easy during particularly stressful or dangerous situations, are noteworthy. Literary scholars of ethnic detective fiction have explored the qualities in conjunction with genre study approaches and gender identity approaches."

The characters are wonderfully well-drawn, and I think you'd find Easy very easy to like. The descriptions of L.A. and the black experience are equally well-drawn and powerful, and the series just keeps getting better as it goes along.

Jun 5, 5:20pm Top

>125 thornton37814: I don't think I'll be trying this month. I've got too many other things to read. I'm still afraid Mosley is too "macho" for my tastes. I really didn't like the vulgarity in the book and based on the blurbs of the Easy Rawlins series, I get the impression I won't like them.

Jun 5, 8:02pm Top

138. Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin

Date Completed: 5 Jun 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #10: Read a book where the author's name has the same vowel in first and last name

Other Challenges: June Group Read - Ursula K. Le Guin

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Well-known author Ursula K. Le Guin conducted a writer's workshop she turned into this book. Each chapter bears a theme with literary examples, mostly from works in the public domain, and exercises for aspiring writers to complete. She occasionally recommends other sources, such as Strunk and White, to fill a gap in the reader's writing process knowledge. Although individuals may wish to complete the exercises on their own, a writing group probably provides the greatest benefit by providing feedback from others. Le Guin includes helpful appendices on using the book in a peer group and on verb tenses. She also supplies a brief glossary. Some exercises could benefit from more detailed instructions as some did not seem clear to me as I read them. This review pertains to the 1998 edition of the book rather than the 2015 revision and update.

Jun 6, 1:30pm Top

139. Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com: How to Find Your Family History on the #1 Genealogy Website by Nancy Hendrickson

Date Completed: 6 Jun 2018

Category: Charleston

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Author Nancy Hendrickson describes using the Ancestry.com site. The book, aimed at new researchers more than experienced ones, contains good comment, but often comes up a bit short. For example, although she cautions new users about accepting information from trees if it appears wrong, she really fails to tell them they should never add the tree as a source but instead should verify the information and add it manually after it is verified. While she is correct that uploading information from a GEDcom file is quicker, she fails to mention reasons for not doing so--and many exist. In the chapters on using AncestryDNA, she fails to mention some of the tips leading genetic genealogists suggest. For example, she tells readers to email those who do not have a tree without telling them how they may be able to find an unattached tree by checking the match's profile or how the connection may be determined by looking at "shared matches." In fact, she never mentions "shared matches." She also failed to mention and caution users about some of the weaker databases such as some of the public records collections lacking dates and some of the collections drawn from older user-submitted sources which contain errors. Of course, the author could not anticipate the problems tree sync users currently experience due to some data migration issues. She could not anticipate the problems with the Rootsweb portions of the site which resulted in long outages for some resources and continuing outages for others. Most supplemental resources suggested appear to be mostly sources from the book's publisher rather than using the "best sources" for acquiring additional subject information. Recommended only for true beginners, but with the caution to supplement with additional resources and webinars to gain a better picture of the power of Ancestry and to understand the genealogical proof standard which did not appear to be a consideration of the author. I received an electronic copy for review purposes from the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Jun 7, 1:37pm Top

Well done for trying one of Walter Mosley's novels, Lori; you've read one more of his books than I have.

Jun 7, 7:15pm Top

>128 kidzdoc: I'm surprised you haven't tried any, Darryl.

Edited: Jun 22, 11:13am Top

140. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Date Completed: 7 Jun 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #16: Read a book which would have been a shared read in this year

Other Challenges: MysteryCAT - True Crime, AlphaKIT - G

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: What a story! A conspiracy to kill members of the Osage Nation, particularly members of the family of Mollie Burkhart, took place in Osage County, Oklahoma, mostly during the 1920s. The tribe's mineral rights provided a motive for white men to want the Osage out of their way. The lack of action led many to believe local law enforcement were involved in the cover-up. We read of the efforts of former Texas Ranger Tom White who worked for the young J. Edgar Hoover and the newly established Bureau of Investigation. Even the early days of their investigation seemed to show they also had someone who was working as a double agent. Grann does a great job maintaining the reader's interest. The narrative bogs down only in a couple of places--and not for long. It's a piece of history worth studying. Grann includes many photographs which help readers picture the people and the action. Highly recommended.

Jun 7, 10:11pm Top

Quick update: My life will be busy for the next week to ten days. I've got several errands to run tomorrow and then I need to pack which will cut into reading time. Saturday I'm speaking at a genealogy event about an hour away. I'll be gone pretty much all day. Sunday afternoon I head to a conference about 3 to 3.5 hours away. I doubt I'll have much time for reading while there. I do plan to listen to an audio book on the road. Hopefully I'll at least have one more book down. I also plan to stay current with my devotion book and Bible reading. I took snapshots of the pages I need to read from the devotion book and will use my Bible app to complete that reading. I have several books on my iPad so I'll have books to read. I just don't think I'll have time to do so.

Jun 9, 12:38am Top

Hopefully your travels are fun and informative, Lori.

Jun 9, 6:15pm Top

Great to see a new Torie O'Shea book!

Killers of the Flower Moon is definitely on my radar. Glad to see that you enjoyed it.

Best wishes for your travels!

Jun 9, 6:24pm Top

>132 MickyFine: Thanks.

>133 tymfos: I was really excited to find a new Torie O'Shea book. The author's Facebook page is where I learned of it. Hope you enjoy Killers of the Flower Moon.

Edited: Jun 9, 10:16pm Top

>128 kidzdoc: I don't think you read much genre fiction of any kind, do you, Darryl? But Mosley is so good, and as Mary says @ >124 Storeetllr:, his books are so much more than just "detective" stories. I second the recommendation for Devil in a Blue Dress, and wouldn't recommend The Man in My Basement. But another excellent choice is The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. It isn't detective fiction at all, and if you're only going to read one to see what you think of the author, that's the one I'd choose.

Jun 12, 9:00am Top

Hi Lori!

>127 thornton37814: Very interesting and informative review - thank you! I'm gearing up to re-start my genealogical researches and have been using Ancestry.com at the library since I'm too cheap to pay to re-up my personal account.

Have a good time at your conference and safe travels coming home.

Jun 13, 1:50pm Top

Just stopping in to catch up and say hello. Safe travels.

Jun 15, 9:42pm Top

>135 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks for stopping by.

>136 karenmarie: The library edition lacks a few things home users get, but it's still good. Don't forget to check out FamilySearch.org too. It's free. They continue to index and to digitize the Granite Mountain. Just because it doesn't pop up on a name search doesn't mean it isn't there. Be sure to search the catalog by putting in the state followed by a comma and the county and then clicking the appropriate one. It will bring you to the categories of records, and you can check to see which ones are digitized and freely available or which ones may only be available at a Family History Affiliate or Family History Center.

>137 SuziQoregon: I made it back from the conference. The cats are happy to see me. I managed to twist my knee early in the week and had to use caution (which included golf carts, elevators, handicapped ramps, etc.). I probably should have driven somewhere to get a knee brace, but I kept thinking how hot it would be.

Edited: Jun 16, 8:26am Top

Abandoned Read #3

The Gathering by Anne Enright

Date Abandoned: 10 June 2018

Category: Harlan, Kentucky

Comments: I listened to two hours of this dreadful story. I hated the character who was the story's narrator who seemed to hate just about everyone in her family except for Liam who just died. I did not connect with the story. I think I got bogged down because the entire story was told through her eyes with no conversation. The audiobook's narrator just droned on and on in the same voice. It simply did not work for me. I don't know if the book itself would have worked better, but I honestly have no desire to try it.

If I make it to Knoxville next week, I'll try to make it to a branch that offers one or two of the Enright books that sound more promising, but if not I guess I'll miss out on a completion for the Irish Author Challenge this month. At least I made an attempt.

Edited: Jun 22, 11:24am Top

141. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

Date Completed: 16 June 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #10: Read a book where the author's name has the same vowel in first and last name

Other Challenges: ScaredyKIT - Adapted to Film, AlphaKIT - R

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: This work by Poe is often described as the first mystery. With such a distinction, it is an important work to revisit from time to time, even if its plot is not as fully developed as later efforts, because of its influence on masters of the mystery genre such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I remember reading this one back in high school and also in university. At the time, I was disappointed in it. As I read it this time, knowing the outcome, I think I appreciated it more because I found myself seeking the earlier hints which would lead to the crime's resolution. While I believe many questions remain unanswered regarding the sailor's role, I know I'm bringing my 21st century mindset to that question by envisioning lawsuits and other charges relating to harboring an orangutan in one's apartment. The use of deductive reasoning is the important contribution of this classic work which is probably appreciated most when it is re-read and studied for that reason.

Jun 16, 8:10pm Top

>130 thornton37814: Hi, Lori. Killers of the Flower Moon was already on my radar but your review may have bumped it up a peg or two. It really sounds like something I'd find interesting.

Jun 18, 10:24pm Top

>141 rosalita: I think a lot of people will enjoy it.

Edited: Jun 22, 11:25am Top

142. Station to Station: Searching for Stories on the Great Western Line by James Attlee

Date Completed: 18 June 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #10: Read a book where the author's name has the same vowel in first and last name

Other Challenges: British Author Theme - Travel Writing, AlphaKIT - G

Rating: 3 stars

Review: I expected to enjoy this book more than I did. It was short-listed for the Dolman Prize when it came out. It involved train travel in England along the Great Western Line. It promised to include not only travel notes but also historical notes and information on people. It did all of those things. I suspect my greatest problem was not being familiar enough with England and that particular rail line to really feel a connection to the book. Some of the paragraphs were over a page in length. While they may have focused on one thought, readers really need a few more breaks. It's an interesting premise, and I suspect those who ride the line regularly will enjoy it more than I did.

Jun 21, 11:33am Top

I'm with Mary on Walter Mosley, Lori; try Devil in a Blue Dress. I've read a ton of his books, but not The Man in the Basement, because it didn't look very appealing to me. Kudos to you, though, for at least giving him a try.

My favorite non-Easy Rawlins ones are probably Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, and The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.

Jun 21, 10:54pm Top

>144 jnwelch: Maybe later, but if he uses as much profanity in that one as he did in the one I read, I don't want to read it.

Edited: Jun 22, 11:30am Top

143. Probable Claws by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

Date Completed: 21 Jun 2018

Category: Cornwall

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #7: Read a book where the author's last name is also a noun (not a proper noun)

Other Challenges: RandomCAT - Unusual Narrator, AlphaKIT - R

Rating: 3 stars

Review: "Harry" and Deputy Cynthia Cooper watch a motorcyclist gun down architect Gary Gardner. With little to go on besides the fact the motorcyclist wore a black jacket, the police are grateful for any clues--even those provided by Harry's pets. Gary kept building codes for each year, but the 1984 file seems to be missing, and when a skull halts construction at a building site, it dates back to that period. Eventually another murder occurs. The cats, of course, assist in capturing the guilty party.

A late eighteenth century story line is also present. It depicts slavery, including ill-treatment by some, escape for some, and freedom for others. Much of this story line shows the attitudes of the plantation owners and their families toward the Constitutional Convention and what it might do to class distinctions.

Two non-related story lines in different time periods does not work for me. I think I would have enjoyed either story on its own, but I simply saw no need for the eighteenth century story, which took up less space (about one-third of the book). The main story would "just get going good" when the older story interrupted its flow.

I received this through LibraryThing Early Reviewers program with the expectation of an honest review. I have not kept current with this series, and I suspect the alternating story lines are why I made them low priority. While I will probably go back and try to read earlier missed installments, mainly because I love the cats, I will not rush to do so.

Edited: Jun 22, 11:36am Top

144. Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World's Best New Gardens by Christopher Woods

Date Completed: 22 June 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #17: Read a book whose title is a compound word

Other Challenges: Nonfiction Challenge - The Great Outdoors, AlphaKIT - G

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Readers of this volume encounter a wonderful armchair tour of some of the world's more recent but wonderful gardens. Each entry includes a little about the garden and its creator in narrative form as well as photos. Some gardens received more extensive treatment than others. On the list:

North America: Sunnylands Center and Gardens, Rancho Mirage, California; The Garden of Flowing Fragrance, Huntington Botanical Garden, San Marino, California; The Park, Las Vegas, Nevada; Chihuly Gardens and Glass, Seattle, Washington; Mordecai Children's Garden, Denver Botanical Garden, Denver, Colorado; Federal Twist, Stockton, New Jersey; Junto Farm, Hudson Valley, New York; Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, Florida; Vallarta Botanical Garden, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Central America and the Caribbean: Los Elementos, Dominical, Costa Rica; Golden Rock Inn, Nevis, West Indies.

South America: Jardin de Salvias, Mar del Plata, Argentina; Juan Grimm Gardens, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina; Parque Explorador Quilapilun, Colina, Chile.

Europe: Iuri Chagas Gardens, The Algarve, Portugal; Quinta da Granja, Miranda do Corvo, Portugal; Jardins de la Rambla de Sants, Barcelona, Spain; Parc Clichy-Batignolles/Martin Luther King, Paris, France; Camel Quarry House, Cornwall, United Kingdom; Crossrail Station Roof Garden, London, United Kingdom; Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, United Kingdom; Orpheus, at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom; The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland, United Kingdom; Carrie Preston's Gardens, The Netherlands; The Tree Museum, Rapperswil, Switzerland; Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany; Peter Korn's Garden, Eskilsby, Sweden.

Africa and the Arabian Peninsula: A Garden of Shape and Light, Marrakech, Morocco; The Aloe Farm, Hartbeespoort, South Africa; The Miracle Garden, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Al Barari, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Oman Botanic Garden, Al Khoud, Oman.

India and Southeast Asia: The Garden of Five Senses, Said-ul-Azaib, Delhi, India; 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Gardens by the Bay and Parkroyal Hotel, Singapore; Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden, Luang Prabang, Laos; Made Wijaya's Gardens, Bali, Indonesia.

Asia: Xi'an Expo Park, Xi'an, China; Chenshan Botanical Garden, Shanghai, China; Ichigaya Forest, Tokyo, Japan; Tokachi Millennium Forest, Hokkaido, Japan.

Australia and New Zealand: Geelong Botanic Gardens, Geelong, Victoria, Australia; The Australian Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, Victoria, Australia; One Central Park, Sydney, Australia; Barangaroo Headland Park, Sydney, Australia; Rose Bay, Sydney, Australia; Gibbs Farm, Makarau, North Island, New Zealand; Paripuma, Blenheim, South Island, New Zealand; Fishermans Bay Garden, Long Bay, South Island, New Zealand.

I visited Chihuly Gardens when I visited Seattle a couple of summers ago. I realistically might make it to no more than a handful of the remaining ones in my lifetime. I really loved both gardens on South Island in New Zealand as they sported gorgeous ocean views. One of the South American gardens did also. While I thought a few of the gardens were not that pretty, the majority were captivating. Woods' choices omitted far too many countries. For example, why was no garden from Canada included? Italy? Russia? I'm not up on the latest and greatest in world gardens, but I'm sure each of these countries had something to offer.

I enjoyed my armchair tour and look forward to possible future visits to a few of these. I received an advance review electronic copy of the book from NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Edited: Aug 1, 7:00pm Top

145. Nocturne by Deborah Crombie

Date Completed: 22 June 2018

Category: San Diego

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Crombie provides a short story between books for her readers. Family friend Erika ended up with a piano from a nearby bombed home after World War II. The home's occupants were not home, but were never found after the war. The piano bears an unmistakable signature which Kit, Duncan's son, recognizes belonging to an artist he researched for a school report. When they get out a volume about area artists, they find a portrait of him with a woman Erika remembers from the market back in the day. The woman was an accomplished pianist. Since neither individual was seen after the war, Kit theorizes they ran off together. He searches the Internet for evidence, resolving the mystery. While I enjoyed this short story, I will admit the evidence is rather shallow. I would prefer a little more "proof" so further evidence doesn't overturn the conclusion.

Jun 22, 8:01pm Top

146. The Curio Dealer's Wife by I. J. Parker

Date Completed: 22 June 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #14: Read a book where the author's surname matches an ancestral surname

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: In 11th century Japan, Sugawara Akitada sees a homeless woman he recognizes as the wife of the curio shop owner. He inquires about her change in circumstances and discovers she claims the man who returned from the business trip to China is not her husband. When she challenged him, he took her to court and divorced her, leaving her without home or her children. Akitada, who works for the ministry of justice, earned a reputation as a sleuth, but the woman does not know this. He inquires about the lutes which used to be in the shop. He asks her to be near the store the next day and convinces a musical instrument expert and the chief of police to accompany him to the shop. I won't give away the rest, but this is an enjoyable short story!

Jun 23, 10:47am Top

When I was in college in the early 1980s, my favorite singer was Sandi Patti (as she then spelled her name). I first heard her in concert at Central Church (I think--since that was where most of the Memphis concerts were) about 1982 or maybe 1983 after the release of her "Lift Up the Lord" album. I heard at least one more time in Memphis, maybe two. By the time I was in grad school, I'd moved on to other artists as favorites although I still listened to her. I saw her in concert several times when I lived in Cincinnati. She's no longer what I would consider a personal favorite although she's one I don't mind hearing. Today I get to be in Sandi Patty's choir at the concert here in East Tennessee. While I'm not as excited as I would have been 35 years ago, I caught a glimpse of that excitement in the last day or two and am looking forward to it. I'll be offline most of the day because warm-ups and rehearsals begin shortly. I'll probably be back online in the evening. I have about 40 pages left in a book, and I hope to finish that today. I'm taking the iPad to read in downtime!

Jun 23, 9:08pm Top

147. The King's Justice by E. M. Powell

Date Completed: 23 June 2018

Category: Bahamas

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: When the manorial Lord comes to seek permission of the king's justices to execute a man charged with murdering the town's blacksmith, the justice's clerk Aelred Barling along with Hugo Stanton, a messenger in the king's service, to make inquiries and serve justice. Stanton does not believe the accused committed the crime, but he's not the one there to give the verdict. Another man is murdered the night the accused escapes from the "gaol." The body count and attempted murder count climbs as the story progresses and the search for the missing man continues.

This was a nicely plotted mystery that held my interest. The guilty party was not immediately obvious although one might suspect the person among several others. The writing is not as strong or tight as it could be. I will probably seek future installments of this medieval mystery series. This review is based on an advance e-galley received from the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review in exchange.

Jun 24, 4:38pm Top

Lori, I share your thoughts on The Gathering. I finished the darn thing and was glad it was a short book. Mine was the print version and just as deadly dull. I do need to get a copy of Killers of the Flower Moon, however. I've heard nothing but good things about it. One of these days…

I hope your weekend went well. We had cooler temperatures here and even a few welcome rain showers earlier today. Back to hot and humid next week. I'm sure you can relate.

Jun 24, 11:06pm Top

>127 thornton37814: Sounds like someone needed to do a much better job with that book. Your comments are good ones.

Jun 25, 8:30am Top

>152 Donna828: Glad to know the print is not any better.

>153 RBeffa: Sometimes I wonder how publishers choose authors for certain books--and this is one of those falling in that category.

Jun 25, 8:38am Top

I returned a huge stack of books to the library when I returned to work this morning, renewing only two of them. The student workers at the desk were shocked I'd read that many books. I told them that didn't count the advance review copy books, Kindle books, and Overdrive books read during the month I'd been gone. They really were shocked then. I didn't tell them I went almost an entire week without reading books because of attendance at a conference where I had little free time.

Jun 25, 2:27pm Top

>145 thornton37814: Ah, profanity. I suspect he's not for you then, Lori. I think it's pretty common in Mosley's books.

Jun 26, 8:01am Top

>156 jnwelch: I'll skip it then.

Jun 26, 9:33am Top

>156 jnwelch: Sounds right, unless someone thinks otherwise. I'm not profanity-sensitive, so it's possible that some of his would be okay for you.

Jun 27, 1:30pm Top

>158 jnwelch: I just want him to wash out his mouth with soap. (The Southern way of dealing with children who utter too many bad words.)

Jun 27, 1:37pm Top

148. Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor

Date Completed: 27 June 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #14: Read a book where the author's surname matches an ancestral surname

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: James Marwood, a Whitehall clerk, watches the deadly fire of 1666 ravish St. Paul's. Catherine Lovett ("Cat") bites his hand, stealing his cloak. Not all the bodies found in the aftermath died due to the fire. A couple bear the marks of a murder. It's a time of political turmoil. Cat soon flees the city after attempting to gouge out the eye of a cousin. The main characters, while fairly well-developed, failed to make me care whether they came out alive or not -- in fact, I probably wished ill on some of the ones who did. The reader probably knew a bit too much about what was going on whereas a little suspense would have improved the book. While I'm not sorry I read it, I was surprised by the direction the book took. The mystery element was not as strong as the theme of politics during the time of Cromwell. I would prefer more mystery and less politics.

Jun 29, 9:47pm Top

For the last couple of days, local friends of mine have been posting their photos of a tomato pie recipe that is apparently making its way around the area.

The one on the left is the one baked by my friend Cathy and the one on the right was baked by our worship pastor.


It's the same recipe, but you can tell subtle differences. I'd use more pepper on the top as Cathy did. It looks like John used less mozzarella and more cheddar. I can't wait to try it, but I will go to the farmer's market for some good homegrown tomatoes. I also need to get a Pillsbury pie crust because I don't feel like making one from scratch.

Jun 30, 1:18pm Top

>127 thornton37814: I have an earlier version of Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com: How to Find Your Family History on the no. 1 Genealogy Website by the same author. It must have been hard to read through the whole thing. I can't imagine doing that although maybe I should.

I have been enjoying the Genealogy with a Canadian Twist webinars that you posted about on my thread. Webinars seem to be a great trend in genealogy these days which is good but conferences like the one I just attended in Ontario have the advantage of being on site so you can network, spend money in the marketplace and plot genealogy related travel around the area.

I did very well by all accounts as the conference was at the University of Guelph which has a fantastic library, I won two prizes at the conference and I went north from there to do further research and ended up with copies of family photos including one of my grandmother with her sister and brother when they were all children.

Jun 30, 7:14pm Top

>162 Familyhistorian: I wanted to know if the book was a worthwhile recommendation for newbie genealogists. I think they would better be served by some of the webinars at Legacy. I'm glad you are enjoying the Canadian webinars. When I saw info about them, I thought of you! Congrats on winning the prizes and research success.

Jun 30, 7:17pm Top

AHEM!!! Where is the link to the recipe?? I need to have this!

Jun 30, 7:31pm Top

I made an excursion today to The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap. The real place is called Tales of the Lonesome Pine. It's a little under two hours drive.

Here is the bookstore:

This one finally took a break from his bathing routine to pose:

He's the cat that was on the main floor. Most of the cats were upstairs. There was a part Maine Coon cat, some kittens in the Classics room, and another kitten on a throw in the closet of the Classics room. Another bookstore visitor was petting the kittens at the same time I was petting and taking their photos.


One of the kittens hopped down and began rubbing up against me, weaving in and out of my legs. I picked him up. He just purred and purred and purred. I think he wanted to adopt me. I think three is my limit, but I was tempted to take my boys a baby brother.

I did make a small haul. The Garfield thing is a cross-stitch pattern. I've been to Bellingrath Gardens near Mobile, Alabama (in Theodore) a couple of times. The cookbook had photos of the house and gardens as well as the recipes. I couldn't resist the classic Carr novel for $3. The cat note cards benefit homeless cats.

Edited: Jun 30, 7:34pm Top

>164 ronincats: I posted it on my thread in the other group after it was requested. I'll make the same disclaimer here. I hope it's large enough to read.

Jun 30, 8:08pm Top

Looks pretty similar to this, which I googled after reading your post: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/tomato-pie-recipe-1914134
I am definitely going to give this a try with our harvest of tomatoes.

Jun 30, 8:40pm Top

>165 thornton37814: Oh, that little fluffer on the white throw... When a kitten loves you so and begs to adopt you, it's so hard to resist. They KNOW it, too.

Jun 30, 9:21pm Top

>167 ronincats: Hope you enjoy it.

>168 laytonwoman3rd: It really is hard to resist! I would have taken them all. LOL

Jul 1, 11:17am Top

>165 thornton37814: well, bummer. I was hoping to stop there on our upcoming trip, but it's WAAAY out of the way. Maybe the next time we use the western route home (Cumberland Gap) we can detour there.

Jul 1, 7:10pm Top

>170 fuzzi: Maybe so. It's worth the visit.

Jul 1, 7:19pm Top

I made the tomato pie this evening. Yum! I got a little more pepper than intended on one side. I ate from that peppery piece, but it wasn't too strong.


Jul 1, 7:28pm Top

I am making my way around again. It's been a while.

I loved Wolf in the Snow. I haven't bought it yet, but I read it at the kids book fair while I was volunteering.

The tomato pie looks good, although I am always suspicious of mayonnaise. I've had a tomato tart like this one http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/tomato-tart/ though, and it was amazing.

Jul 1, 7:40pm Top

>173 nittnut: I enjoyed it. I used a local mayonnaise.

Jul 1, 9:21pm Top

I made the tomato pie tonight too! Along with fresh green beans from the garden (the tomatoes, of course, were from our garden as well). I forgot to pepper it, but it still came out pretty tasty!

Edited: Jul 12, 4:54pm Top

149. Weekend at Thrackley by Alan Melville

Date Completed: 1 July 2018

Category: Charleston

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - A

Rating: 3 stars

Edwin Carson invites several persons to spend the weekend at his country house in Surrey. Captain Jim Henderson is among those invited. He does not know why he is on the guest list but decides to go for the adventure and food if nothing else. Adventure they get. Jim discovers a microphone hidden in the chimney in his room and in his friend's room as well. The rest of the novel concerns stolen jewels and even includes murder. The question is not so much whodunit as "will the victims escape the country house." I imagine the puzzle was quite good in its day, but it is unlikely to resound with modern readers as much. I received an electronic galley from the publisher (Poisoned Pen Press) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Jul 2, 1:15am Top

>165 thornton37814: A bookstore with cats sounds like a wonderful place, Lori. The cats and the bright blue sky look wonderful!

Jul 2, 3:56pm Top

Tomato pie?

Jul 2, 4:16pm Top

>177 Familyhistorian: It was quite wonderful.

>178 lindapanzo: I posted the recipe on the other thread. I'll post it here too:

Jul 2, 4:44pm Top

Hi Lori--That looks like one yummy pie! And I want to visit that bookstore--it looks so cute! Halfway through the year and you are more than halfway to 250--I think it is going to happen! I love that you shocked the librarians with your prodigious reading. ; )

Jul 2, 4:52pm Top

>179 thornton37814: Thanks. It looks like pizza. I've never heard of tomato pie.

Jul 2, 6:02pm Top

>180 Berly: The pie was yummy. Yes. I will probably make it to 250.

>181 lindapanzo: It's a Southern thing, I suspect.

Jul 2, 6:35pm Top

150. The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

Date Completed: 2 July 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #18: Read a book with a wordy beginning

Other Challenges: RandomCAT - Getting to Know You

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Three women--Marianne, Benita, and Ania--find themselves in a Bavarian castle, an ancestral home for Marianne's family, during the Great War. All the women lose spouses in a rebellion against Hitler. The story is from an angle most fiction does not take, but helps readers understand life for the Germans during that time. My biggest criticism is that, even though the author provided clear dates, it was sometimes difficult to wrap your mind around all the chronology differences since they did not follow a pattern. I found myself confused about what time period I was currently reading frequently. The story line does pull forward to more recent times toward the end, but the majority of the book occurs between 1944 and 1950.

Edited: Jul 12, 4:58pm Top

151. Life's Extras by Archibald Rutledge; sketches by B. Hay Gilbert

Date Completed: 3 July 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - A

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This book came across my desk as I was withdrawing a duplicate copy. It was short enough that I decided to "give it a read." Rutledge, a South Carolina poet and educator, takes life moments to show God's greatness and the beauty of His creation. The life sketches are illustrated with drawings done by B. Hay Gilbert which compliment the text. I enjoyed the drawings more than the narrative.

Jul 4, 8:07pm Top

152. No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie

Date Completed: 4 July 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #13: Read a book by an author you follow online

Other Challenges: MysteryCAT - Police Procedurals

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Rebecca Meredith, a policewoman training for an Olympic rowing position, becomes a murder victim. Duncan, about a week from his scheduled leave to take care of Charlotte, his and Gemma's new foster daughter, is assigned the case. The murderer's knowledge of rowing is important. When Duncan discovers Rebecca accused a senior police officer of rape, officially filing it as an anonymous person but with a DNA sample taken, suspicion turns to that person, but he is warned off, suggesting the ex-spouse as the more likely suspect. Duncan discovers Gemma was likely saved from being a victim because her mom was sitting for Toby one occasion. Gemma gets Melody, now assigned to a branch dealing with unsolved crimes against women, to seek other officers who may have been victims over a period of time. They clear the ex-spouse. Meanwhile Duncan and Doug continue to work on the case. Will all the pieces ever fit? Crombie's mysteries are carefully plotted, keeping the reader engaged. This installment shows she did a lot of research in the rowing field and used it to provide one of the best mysteries I've read in awhile. I listened to the audio version by Recorded Books. The narrator was excellent!

Edited: Aug 1, 7:06pm Top

153. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Date Completed: 5 July 2018

Category: Cornwall

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #4: Read a book where the author's first and last names have the same number of letters

Other Challenges: American Author Challenge, AlphaKIT - A

Rating: 2 stars

Review: I'm not the target audience for this book. I'm not that big a fan of "chick lit." This book is that with the twist of the chicks being four Chinese women who immigrated to America, getting together to play Mah Jongg. Then it involves their daughters also. It alternates between the women with four sections. Each mother-daughter gets one chapter in each section, and the story is told through the voice of one or the other. I suspect others will enjoy this far more than I did. Even the Chinese immigrant angle did not redeem the story for me.

Jul 5, 9:25pm Top

>186 thornton37814: I'm about two-thirds of the way through The Joy Luck Club and it's just OK for me. Unless it picks up, I'm thinking about 3 stars, which would be disappointing for me.

Jul 5, 9:34pm Top

>187 lindapanzo: I honestly didn't like it well enough to give it 3 stars. I considered 2.5, but I didn't really even like it that well.

Jul 6, 10:12am Top

Hi, Lori! I hope you had a good holiday.

>176 thornton37814: That one sounds appealing to me, so I'll watch for it.

Tomato pie is something around here ("Trenton tomato pie" and "Chambersburg-style tomato pie"), but it is really pretty much a variety of pizza rather than a variety of pie.

Jul 6, 10:34am Top

>189 harrygbutler: I think it was a good one for its time, Harry. Hope you'll enjoy it.

Jul 6, 8:00pm Top

Tonight I'm beginning the process of setting up a new laptop. My old one is showing signs its days are winding down, so I'm trying to make sure I'm ahead of the game before I attend Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh later this month. I would hate for it to die on me then. Tonight I'm focusing on programs. Tomorrow I'll focus on files. I'll keep working on programs until I have the ones I use installed. Dropbox is set up; so is OneDrive which I haven't used previously. Once my files are on the computer, I'll remove the backup software from the old computer and transfer the remaining subscription to the new one. I probably need to set up my printer next. Then I need to figure out which Office 365 package I'm currently on and switch to the one allowing multiple computers if I'm not on it. I plan to keep using the old computer as long as it lives, but probably mainly for when I want to multitask.

Jul 7, 9:47am Top

Ugh. Computer doings do me in. My husband would love that tomato pie; I must try it for him.

Your BB caught me with Snow in August. Though my library doesn't have it, I've put it on my list for future ILLs.

It's been a few years since I've read The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, but I remember thinking what a fun place it would be to visit. How neat that you got to visit!

Jul 7, 3:04pm Top

>183 thornton37814: Congratulations on reaching 2 x 75, Lori!

Jul 7, 4:53pm Top

>192 countrylife: I'm making progress. I did some indexing for FamilySearch while transferring stuff from the old computer to the USB drive, and I read while transferring stuff from the USB drive to the new computer. I'm still in the process of transferring, but I'm making excellent headway now. Hope you enjoy Snow in August. I'm sure I'll go back sometime, perhaps with a friend.

>193 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita. I think a triple is doable. I'm not sure about a quad!

Edited: Jul 12, 5:04pm Top

154. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

Date Completed: 7 July 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #15: Read a Book where a name in the title or author matches a close family relative

Other Challenges: British Author Challenge - Angry Young Men, AlphaKIT - A

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Jim Dixon landed a job teaching history at a red brick university in England after World War II. He does not enjoy his job and spends most of the time in the pub drinking. Part of the novel is set at Professor Welch's home where Dixon and other guests suffer through madrigals and where Jim meets Christine, his host son's girlfriend. The novel is a satire about higher education, but I failed to connect with it. Amis' writing skill kept me speed reading it even though I found the novel boring. I really do not think I would have enjoyed it at the time as it was written. My values are too conservative to sympathize with the characters.

Jul 9, 1:25pm Top

>186 thornton37814: I finished The Joy Luck Club late on Friday and was very disappointed with it. Gave it 2.5 stars, my worst book of the year.

>195 thornton37814: I've been aiming to read Lucky Jim at some point but will likely hold off on that one.

Jul 9, 6:06pm Top

>196 lindapanzo: I don't think it (The Joy Luck Club) was my my worst, but it wasn't a favorite. As far as Lucky Jim is concerned, I think the "Angry Young Men" are not for me.

Jul 10, 11:15pm Top

155. Death and Judgment by Donna Leon

Date Completed: 10 July 2018

Category: San Diego

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #3: Read a book you find on the top shelf

Other Challenges: MysteryCAT - Police Procedural, Two Guidos

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: A prominent Venetian lawyer is murdered on a train. The case is assigned to Commissario Brunetti. Soon a well-known person in Padua dies of a bullet-wound in his own car. Although the Padua police officially call it a suicide after altering official records, one detective there knows better, confiding in Brunetti. The brother-in-law of the Venetian lawyer who served as his accountant ends up dead too. Meanwhile the phone records of the Venetian and Paduan men points to a connection with bars where foreign prostitutes work. I'm a bit uncomfortable reading about prostitutes and sex crimes of the nature featured in this novel, but it does show the corruption in Italian law enforcement and government. We get to meet Guido's daughter more in this novel. She attends school with the lawyer's daughter and begins her own investigation and with unfortunate consequences. I listened to the audiobook read by David Colacci who did an excellent job.

Jul 11, 9:12am Top

I spent some time yesterday researching at McClung Genealogical Collection in Knoxville. Before heading home, I decided to detour by McKays and came away with 3 books.

The "junior genealogists" book is an old one published by Ancestry I didn't know existed.

I used to love the Cooking from Quilt Country show. I checked the book out of the Cincinnati library when I lived there. Needless to say, I'm excited to finally own my own copy.

The other is a mystery set in Florence, Italy. It is apparently an older mystery reprinted in recent years by Soho.

Edited: Jul 11, 11:48pm Top

Hi, Lori!

>185 thornton37814: I recently read No Mark Upon Her, too. I also did the audio, and thought the narrator was excellent. I'm currently listening to the next in the series, which is good but a different narrator.

Jul 12, 1:23pm Top

>200 tymfos: I hope the narrator does a good job. I will wait a couple of months before moving to the next one. I've got several other series I can enjoy in between.

Jul 12, 1:49pm Top

156. The South by Colm Toibin

Date Completed: 12 July 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #9: Rolling Challenge: Red White And Blue

Other Challenges: Irish Author Challenge, AlphaKIT - S

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: After a devastating fire, Katherine Proctor leaves behind her son and husband in a politically tumultuous Ireland, arriving in Barcelona. She becomes an artist and meets Miguel, a Spanish Civil War veteran. She also meets Michael Graves, an Irishman living in Spain. She loves Miguel and builds a life with him, eventually bearing his daughter. After tragedy strikes, she eventually returns to Ireland to face the past. I really did not like Katherine. She acted too irresponsible for me. In spite of my dislike of the main character, I appreciated Toibin's writing. He paints his own pictures with his style.

Jul 13, 2:10pm Top

Abandoned Read #4

The Cat Who Killed Lilian Jackson Braun by Robert Kaplow

Date Abandoned: 13 July 2018

Category: Harlan, Kentucky

Rating: .5 stars

Review: This satire of the "Cat Who" books will not charm fans of the series. It lacks the coziness of the original series, instead filled with promiscuity and vile language. Very little action on the alleged mystery concerning her death ever occurred with the exception of a bit of research into the phrase "lavender ink" which was the included in her last phone call to author James Kafka. I kept thinking they'd eventually get around to the mystery element, but about 65% of the way into the book (which is short--only 4 sections in audio format), I got so fed up with the sex and filthy language, I just abandoned it. Koko and YumYum would have done a far superior job resolving Braun's death. I wish I'd read the reviews here at LibraryThing before downloading it because I thought the title sounded cute when I stumbled across it on Overdrive. Not recommended.

Note: I normally do not rate abandoned books, but this one just screamed for one to show how bad it is!

Jul 13, 4:02pm Top

>203 thornton37814: It's good to know how bad that one is. Thanks for taking one for the team. I'll avoid it.

Jul 13, 5:37pm Top

>204 lindapanzo: I really should have read the reviews first. I just assumed with a cover in the style and tradition of the "Cat Who" books this would be similar. It was just about as opposite from the series as possible.

Jul 13, 11:02pm Top

157. I Will Find You by Daniela Sacerdoti

Date Completed: 13 July 2018

Category: Bahamas

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #6: Read a book with a word in the title that is also contained in a song title on Billboards Top 100 week of June 23, 2018

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - S

Rating: 3 stars

Review: In a throwback to the old romantic suspense novels popular in the 1970s, Sacerdoti writes a book in which Cora finds a mysterious key among her mother's possessions. She puzzles out the clues and discovers she inherited a cottage on Seal Island in the Hebrides. From the moment she approaches the island, she feels she knows the place and some of its people although she's never been there before. She meets an old friend who is photographing a documentary on the island. She meets the other documentary photographer and finds herself attracted to him. There's also an older story line accompanying much of the narrative which ties into the main modern day story. It explains how Cora's mother came to be in possession of the cottage. I did not like the way the main story ended. At the end of the novel were several chapters which had little to do with the two stories and which I felt weakened it. I won this through a GoodReads Giveaway with the hope, but not requirement, of a review.

Jul 14, 12:03am Top

>198 thornton37814: Still waiting for my copy of Death and Judgement to come in at the library. Have a great weekend.

Jul 14, 1:29pm Top

A month of work and travel have left me hopelessly behind on LT threads so I'm just stopping by to say hello and wish you a lovely weekend!

Jul 14, 2:30pm Top

>207 Berly: Hope it arrives soon!

>208 witchyrichy: I understand what you mean. I'm sure I'll begin running behind in about a week when I head to genealogy institute.

Jul 14, 2:45pm Top

158. Rain: Four Walks in English Weather by Melissa Harrison

Date Completed: 14 July 2018

Category: Cork

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #9: Rolling Challenge: Red White And Blue

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Delightful book of essays about rain in England. The author takes walks in Wicken Fen in January, Shropshire in April, the Darent Valley in August, and Dartmoor in October. She uses historic works and observations about rain as well of some of her own over the years in crafting the essays. She includes two glossaries--one of common terms used by residents and one of a more official meteorological nature. I stumbled across this when someone read it for a challenge in June, and it lived up to the expectation I had.

Jul 15, 11:20pm Top

159. On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books by Karen Swallow Prior

Date Completed: 15 July 2018

Category: Charleston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #16: Read a book with a warm colored (red, orange, yellow, peach or pink) cover

Other Challenges: Non-Fiction Challenge - The Arts

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Liberty University professor Karen Swallow Prior discusses twelve literary works in light of Christian virtues portrayed in each. She utilizes other literature, theological and Biblical studies works, philosophy, and classics to reach her conclusions. The work is divided into sections for the cardinal virtues, theological virtues, and heavenly virtues.

Contents include:
Prudence: The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding
Temperance: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Justice: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Courage: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Faith: Silence by Shusaku Endo
Hope: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Love: The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
Chastity: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Diligence: Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Patience: Persuasion by Jane Austen
Humility: "Revelation" and "Everything that Rises Must Converge" by Flannery O'Connor

These essays would create great discussions in classes covering those works, particularly in Christian liberal arts universities. They could also serve as models for writing essays on literary works. This review is based on an advance review copy received from the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an unbiased review.

Jul 17, 4:55pm Top

>210 thornton37814: Ooh, you put a reading bee in my bonnet. The "Rain" book sounds like a real treat to read. Thanks for the heads up!

Karen O.

Jul 17, 5:30pm Top

>212 klobrien2: I enjoyed it. Best of all, it's a short read!

Edited: Jul 17, 6:36pm Top

160. The Adoptee's Guide to DNA Testing: How to Use Genetic Genealogy to Discover Your Long-Lost Family by Tamar Weinberg

Date Completed: 17 July 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - A

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Weinberg's useful guide intended to assist adoptees in their quest to identify birth families is beneficial to anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of genetic genealogy. She explains the types of tests offered, the testing companies offering each, and a bit about the differences in the results. She then offers information on how to reach out to matches, how to make use of GEDmatch's tools, and using other third party tools. She closes with several case studies designed to inspire those seeking their families. Appendices include frequently asked questions and worksheets which could be adapted to Excel spreadsheets to help keep track of genetic genealogy research. The book contains an index. Any book on genetic genealogy will likely be out-of-date on at least one or two points by the time it is printed. Her frequently asked questions poses a question about the safety of testing results. It is clear the section was written before the announcement concerning the Golden State Killer's discovery through using genetic genealogy databases. Several more arrests were made using the databases after this. I suspect the next edition will include a "caution" statement although it won't discourage the use of the databases for most individuals. I wish she had covered more third party tools, although I'm certain the editors were trying to keep the book a manageable size. The illustrations help the reader visualize the information presented. This book belongs in most libraries and private genealogy collections along with Blaine Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne's Practical Genetic Genealogy and Blaine Bettinger's The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy. I will be ordering my own copy and recommending it in my DNA lectures and workshops. This review is based on an electronic advance copy received through NetGalley with the expectation an honest review would be written.

Jul 17, 6:41pm Top

Hi, Lori. That Rain: Four Walks sure sounds good. Nice mini-review. I'm adding it to the WL.

Jul 17, 6:52pm Top

>215 jnwelch: I think a lot of folks will enjoy it, Joe! I certainly did.

Edited: Jul 17, 9:11pm Top

Looks like your picks for the AAC and BAC were the same as mine, Lori. I am still slogging my way through The Joy Luck Club. I think that it was a very different novel when it first came out which made it popular. The disjointedness of the narrative caused by jumping between various characters reminds me somewhat of Do Not Say We Have Nothing as though that is the signature of Chinese/North American authors. As for Lucky Jim, I am not sure that it is conservative values that caused the disconnect, I am finding the hero aggravating. I just want to reach out and shake him and tell him to find something useful to do.

Jul 17, 9:52pm Top

>217 Familyhistorian: I saw someone else comment on their thread about Lucky Jim. That person disliked it as much as I did, but her stated reasons differed. I think they even differ somewhat from yours. I'm not crazy about Tan's Joy Luck Club, and the jumping around is part of it. I've been criticized for calling it "chick lit" by some who consider that term derogatory. I explained that to me anything that dealt with women and their relationships with one another fits that category. They still disagree, and I disagree with them. I don't care how "literary" it is, if it fits my definition, it's getting that tag, at least on my page.

Jul 18, 5:31am Top

Hej Lori, just flying by, waving

>218 thornton37814: I use that tag 'chick lit' also fairly wide but the librarian at the Woman's Library here doesn't like the term at all. She would call it 'romance' or 'about relationships of women' or anything but refuses to use that tag.

Jul 18, 11:02am Top

>219 paulstalder: I categorize romantic relationships as "romance" so I know "chick lit" (in my tags) is about women's relationships with one another.

Jul 18, 11:47am Top

161. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer

Date Completed: 18 July 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - A & S

Rating: 5 stars

Review: This ambitious volume identifies four regional cultures which migrated from the British Isles to America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Fischer examines each culture in depth, particularly noting thing which set each culture apart from others. It's a classic work covering regional differences and how those differences play out in interacting with one another even down to the late twentieth century. For genealogists, it provides excellent background material for the study of ancestors from each of these groups. As I read the book, I participated in a discussion with other genealogists from across the United States. I identified most with the Puritans, Cavaliers, and Quakers, and least with the Backcountry Scots-Irish. Since I live in an area where many residents embrace their Scots-Irish ancestor, this surprised me. However, as I looked at the majority of my ancestry, it really falls into the first three groups. While some of my Cavalier ancestors were some of the indentured servants they brought along, I still identified more with that culture than with the Backcountry culture. My genetic composition includes all four groups. Excellent book. Highly recommended.

Jul 18, 7:38pm Top

Hi, Lori. Finally checking in, after a ridiculously long absence. Glad to see plenty of reading going on. Sorry, your Amy Tan read was a bust, but at least you gave it a shot. She does not sound like your kind of author. Fortunately, for you, there are plenty that are.

I hope your summer is going well.

Jul 18, 9:52pm Top

>222 msf59: It's fine, Mark. We have about 3 1/2 weeks until we have to be back at work. I wish I were retired. I could find plenty to keep me busy. I will be gone 2 of the remaining weeks. I probably won't get much reading done next week, but the other week is a "beach" week. I plan to do a bit of sight-seeing, but I mostly want to relax and pet my cats who get to make the trip with me. I think I'll get quite a bit of reading done then.

Jul 18, 10:15pm Top

"I wish I were retired. I could find plenty to keep me busy." I am with you there, Lori. I have two years to go. Starting to dream a little...

Enjoy your next month or so.

Jul 18, 10:22pm Top

>199 thornton37814: I love Magdalen Nabb's Marshal Guarnaccia books and slowly am making my way through the series. I have noticed that the murders themselves get grimmer, and the resolutions twistier, as the series progresses. There's enough about Florence and Italian postwar politics to offset the grimness for me, although I wouldn't label the series cozy. Guarnaccia is a refreshingly ego-free detective in a happy marriage. I hope you enjoy the book.

>100 thornton37814: I tanked on this series after the first one. The main character was too conservative for my tastes, and I also felt like she was a mouthpiece for some things the author wanted to say. Also, I totally was on Team Officer Murphy, and apparently that's not how the ubiquitous love triangle is going to end.

Jul 19, 10:52am Top

>224 msf59: It's a few more years for me.

>225 libraryperilous: I'd never heard of Magdalen Nabb, but it looked interesting. I enjoy police procedurals, so I'm hoping it's a winner. Regarding the County Cork series, I kept expecting the series to improve, but after the third one, I'm not continuing it. The series is just flat.

Jul 19, 11:06am Top

162. Blue Water Hues by Vicki Delany

Date Completed: 19 July 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #14: Read a book won from the Member Giveaway or Early Reviewer in 2018

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: The paramedics on the Caribbean Victoria and Albert Islands receive a call to a fire at a beach resort. They treat a couple of persons for smoke inhalation before assisting in the recovery of a body. The investigation rules the fire arson. Soon the victim's boyfriend is found dead of a gunshot wound which is too quickly ruled as self-inflicted because of a printed suicide note. Police Sergeant Alan Westbrook knows the investigation was likely closed too quickly, probably due to influence from political officeholders with interests in the resort. Darlene, the hotel manager where paramedic Ashley Grant resides, wants to see justice for the person who killed her relative and enlists Ashley's assistance. With the help of a hotel employee, it finally reaches a solution. This is part of the Rapid Reads collection. As such, the plot is less developed than in some. In some ways this story really needed to be a little longer because it felt some points were rushed or glossed over, needing further development. Still it will provide an enjoyable mystery jaunt for those with limited time for reading. This review is based on an advance reading copy provided through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program in exchange for an honest review.

Jul 20, 1:42am Top

>221 thornton37814: Good review of Albion's Seed, Lori. It looks like a good one to add to my repertoire.

Jul 20, 2:17am Top

All caught up here, Lori. You did some good reading. I looked up several authors but unfortunately, my l7brary has got any copy of them. But wait, you remind me to go back reading more of Deborah Crombie.
Happy Friday.

Jul 20, 6:22pm Top

I'm running around trying to get caught up. Lots of great reading going on here. A belated congratulations on passing 75x2!

I've been upgraded to Indexing reviewer status on FamilySearch, and I was a little surprised, but gratified. I do enjoy it, it's kind of addicitive.

Jul 20, 7:59pm Top

>228 Familyhistorian: It's really a classic now. It's a chunkster. Don't be intimidated by the size, but take your time with you. If you get to an academic library with access to JSTOR (or still holding the print volumes), the William and Mary Quarterly had an entire issue dedicated to it after it came out with experts in each area giving a reaction.

>229 Ameise1: Yes. Crombie is an excellent read!

>230 nittnut: I'm sure. I used to index for them all the time, but I had gone a long while without doing it. It's starting my count over. I have indexed over 1000 records in July so that's a good thing. I've just done it a little here and a little there. I've mostly done easier stuff so I can be kind of "mindless" while doing it. I've done a few other batches when I want something a little more challenging. In what I did last night or this morning, I got a lot of partial attempts by others. I couldn't believe how bad it was. The instructions for the Veterans WWI master file needs to be updated. There are lots of situations where it is unclear what one should do. I've aliased it when it is just a first or last name that is a variant spelling, but when the person later completely changed his name, I've generally created two records, one with each name. Seems like there is one other issue I keep running into with those, but I can't remember what it is. I had one this morning where the birth date was wrong for the individual. Of course, I indexed it as it was. However, it made it look like he'd enlisted in the army at age 4 months and was discharged at 9 months. (It was for Spanish-American War even though it says it is WWI. There are also Civil War things in the batch.) I looked him up later at Ancestry and found out he'd been born in 1858 instead of 1898. The birth date was off a few days, but in the same month, and the death date was off by one day according to his Texas death record. It was interesting anyway.

Jul 21, 12:36pm Top

Some excellent reading here...adding Albion's Seed to my list.

I have begun to dream of retirement myself. Since I work for myself with a couple major clients, I'm not sure what it looks like and it doesn't have to happen at a certain age. And, suddenly, despite loving my work, I'm thinking sooner rather than later.

Jul 21, 8:54pm Top

>232 witchyrichy: I could find plenty to keep me busy in retirement. Hope you enjoy Albion's Seed.

Jul 22, 11:27am Top

Hi Lori!

Just catching up. Looks like you had a bunch of awful books before getting some good'uns. Nice to hear that you're being proactive on your computers - getting a new one set up before an old one dies.

Jul 22, 3:37pm Top

Hi Lori my dear, hope you are having a really nice weekend and wish you a good week ahead. Sending love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

Jul 22, 3:59pm Top

>234 karenmarie: The old one is still working, but it's really getting very sluggish. It's possible I can take it somewhere to see if they can figure out what is slowing it down. It may give me a little more life on it, and I can use a second computer when multitasking. It would almost be like a second monitor.

>235 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. Carrie and I arrive in Pittsburgh. We are both taking courses at a genealogy institute.

Jul 23, 12:57pm Top

Pittsburgh is the place to be this week, I guess. :-) We'll be heading to Cranberry Twp. a little north of Pittsburgh later in the week so that I can attend a pulp convention and, with luck, pick up some more magazines and books. Also on our schedule is a visit to the National Aviary and doing some sightseeing with my parents, who will be joining us.

Jul 23, 9:03pm Top

>237 harrygbutler: Cranberry Township is not that far from where we are in the North Hills area, Harry.

Jul 23, 9:30pm Top

163. Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes by Karen Rose Smith

Date Completed: 23 Jul 2018

Category: Amish Country - This one qualifies because it is set near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, not because it specifically uses Amish in the plot.

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #16: Read a book with a warm colored (red, orange, yellow, peach or pink) cover

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Daisy and her aunt Iris co-own a tea shop with delightful teas and pastries in Willow Creek, somewhere in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area. It's a good start to a series. When the owner of a men's clothing store who has been dating Iris while divorcing his wife turns up dead on the shop's patio, suspicion turns to Iris. Daisy is determined to see her aunt's name cleared. She does that with the help of Jonas, a retired policeman who owns a nearby shop, and to whom Daisy is attracted. In another story line, Jonas helps Daisy's adopted daughter Jazzi find her birth mother. The main characters are developed pretty well and enjoyable. I figured out the guilty party fairly early, but that's not all that unusual. It did not hold my attention quite as much as some mysteries, and I'm not sure if it was because of how busy my life was or because of a flaw in the writing. I do plan to continue with the next installment, although not immediately.

Jul 24, 5:53pm Top

>231 thornton37814: My library had it but it went missing, Lori. I ordered my own copy so I can take it at my own pace. Have a great time at the conference.

Jul 24, 9:21pm Top

>240 Familyhistorian: You won't regret owning your own copy.

Jul 25, 8:50pm Top

>238 thornton37814: I think our time will be pretty full, but I'll send you a PM in case a brief meet-up seems doable.

Jul 25, 10:08pm Top

>242 harrygbutler: That's too bad, but hopefully we can meet sometime. We stopped at a nice little independent store near the campus this evening.

Jul 26, 5:00pm Top

>243 thornton37814: Agreed. I'm attending a pulp magazine collectors' convention, so that will probably take up all my book-buying time this trip. :-)

Jul 27, 10:04pm Top

>244 harrygbutler: Enjoy your purchases!

Jul 27, 10:13pm Top

Carrie (cbl_tn) and I checked into a hotel in Beckley, West Virginia tonight. We went to eat before bringing our luggage upstairs to the fifth floor room (of a five-story hotel). We had just gotten into the room--in fact, my computer bag was still on my shoulder--when the fire alarm went off. At first I thought someone had just pulled it, but a hotel employee told us there was smoke in the stairwell at our end of the building. We went to the far end of the hall and exited, leaving our big suitcases, but pretty much taking everything else since we hadn't set them down. Two fire trucks, an ambulance, and police vehicle arrived. The firemen removed a trash can from the third floor of that stairwell where the fire began. It was put out pretty quickly. Some boys started the fire. The police sent several officers to the hotel. They were talking to the kids. We know they were being evicted, and possibly charged with arson. Eventful evening.

Edited: Aug 9, 5:27pm Top

164. And Be a Villain by Rex Stout

Date Completed: 27 July 2018

Category: Cornwall

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #15: Read a Book where a name in the title or author matches a close family relative

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - A & S

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: A radio show guest is murdered live on the air, poisoned after drinking some of the sponsor's beverage. Was the guest the intended victim or did the bottle end up in the wrong person's hand? What was the motive? While there were a few places the plot bogged down, it rarely did so while Nero Wolfe was in the detecting mode. We listened to this on audiobook downloaded from Overdrive and were amused every time it told us to change the cassette or to flip the cassette or hit reverse. Could these directions not be edited out? Still, it provided a laugh every thirty minutes or so, and the rating is unaffected by this oddity.

Jul 28, 8:08am Top

Happy to hear that they managed to control the fire at the hotel and that no one was hurt.

I hope the rest of your trip is a lot more pleasant.

Jul 28, 8:22am Top

>246 thornton37814: Now, that's not the kind of excitement anyone needs while on a trip. I'm glad it was easily resolved.

Jul 28, 12:49pm Top

>246 thornton37814: Scary situation, but well-handled it seems. Glad that was no worse.

>247 thornton37814: That's funny about the cassette instructions on the download. Imagine how confused a 20-something would be by that!

Jul 28, 1:53pm Top

>248 calm: I'm back home now with my fur boys, so the rest of the trip was pleasant.

>249 harrygbutler: No, it's not the excitement one wishes for. Apparently the boys had soaked rags with gasoline and ignited them in the trash can. We learned this morning it was on the second floor instead of the the third.

>250 laytonwoman3rd: The hotel staff last night was young. Both clerks seemed to be under twenty-five, but they really did a good job handling it. I saw them making certain everyone was out of the building and making sure all of us were okay once we were outside. We did make a comment at one point about how young people would have no clue what to do about flipping or reversing the cassette, so your thoughts ran similarly to ours.

Edited: Aug 9, 5:28pm Top

165. A Faraway Island by Annika Thor

Date Completed: 28 July 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #8: Read a book that appears on the same LT list as a book you've read this year

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - A

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Two Jewish sisters are evacuated from Austria to Sweden by the Swedish Aid Society. The story mostly follows the older sister Stephie who lives with "Aunt Marta" and "Uncle Evert" on a small island. Evert is a fisherman by trade, and the couple doesn't have much money. Nellie lives in the same village with another couple, although the plan had been for the two girls to live together. Nellie ends up adapting to the new situation and making friends more easily than Stephie who is bullied by classmates. Stephie dreams of going to "grammar school" upon completion of the sixth grade (which she'd already completed in Austria) and of eventually becoming a doctor like her father. The girls also work to try to get their parents out of Austria into Sweden after their parents' attempts to get into America fail. A friend and I listened to the first thirty-seven chapters on the audio book on a trip. I had to complete the short remainder with the e-book version available to me. I really enjoyed the narrator of the English translation. I also enjoyed the author's comments at the conclusion of the book and hope to be able to read or listen to the remainder of the books in the series.

Jul 28, 11:18pm Top

247> Lori, Last year I went on a Nero Wolfe binge. I enjoyed them all and found Archie's running commentary very funny. Your review reminded me of them.

I'm glad your adventure at the hotel ended well. I assume those two boys were there with parents. It makes me wonder where were they to not notice as the boys gathered gasoline and rags!!

Jul 30, 1:43am Top

That was quite the hotel adventure, Lori. Good that it turned out well. Were you at a week long session?

Jul 30, 10:10pm Top

>253 Oregonreader: Carrie picked that one to go in my TIOLI challenge. Since we were riding together, I got to listen in for a matched read. One often wonders where the parents are in situations such as this.

>254 Familyhistorian: The hotel adventure was actually on the return trip from GRIP. We stayed in dorms at the institute, but I don't think Carrie or I will ever opt for the dorms over the nearby hotels at GRIP again. IGHR has a convention center with hotel-style rooms so those are much nicer.

Jul 31, 12:32pm Top

Albion's Seed has been on my wishlist for almost ten years, so I enjoyed reading your thoughts about it. I read A Faraway Island a few years ago; glad to see you liked it, too.

Edited: Aug 1, 1:37pm Top

>256 countrylife: You should enjoy Albion's Seed when you get around to reading it.

Aug 1, 3:12pm Top

Just popping in to say that someone's age isn't that relevant to whether or not they do a job well. Also, if the hotel staff had panicked, that would be human nature, not age.

Also, loling hard at the idea young people don't understand cassette tapes.

Aug 1, 4:58pm Top

>258 libraryperilous: True. I got a survey from the hotel (or from the chain). I told them the staff handled the fire remarkably well. You have to admit hearing cassette instructions on a digital download is a bit strange!

Aug 3, 9:02pm Top

>252 thornton37814: I've had this one on my TBR list (unowned) for a while...

Aug 4, 8:31pm Top

>261 thornton37814: I hope you enjoy it when you get to it. I look forward to the next installment.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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