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Lori's (thornton37814) Year-Long Vacation from Meaningful Categories - Thread 3

2018 Category Challenge

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Jul 1, 7:43pm Top

Time for a new thread. I'm generally just rotating through my vacation spots. I reserve the right to place a book read in one of these locations or set/partially set in one in the corresponding category.

1. Charleston - This historic South Carolina city holds the honor of "top vacation destination" in my book! When I moved to the Great Smoky Mountains area, it became my "go-to" place to get away for a few days. I love its history, beautiful plantations and gardens, and the food!

2. Quebec City - A destination in French-speaking Canada. Louise Penny's installment set here reminded me of my life-long desire to visit the Chateau Frontenac. During my childhood years, my family owned a book featuring photos from all over the world. The Chateau Frontenac enchanted me even then and made me want to visit!

3. Boston - Another city filled with history! I enjoy walking through many parts of the city and catching the T to visit others.

4. Yellowstone National Park - Who doesn't want to visit the thermal features and wildlife in Yellowstone?

5. Cornwall - I wanted to pick a United Kingdom destination away from London. I chose Cornwall because its geographic coastline features enthrall me when I read!

6. Santa Rosa Beach, Florida - My trip to Grayton Beach State Park in this Gulf of Mexico town provided memorable relaxation! Great dunes there too.

7. San Diego - Perfect temperature all year long with a great zoo to visit. I always enjoy visiting the "cats," but you won't find me near the reptiles.

8. Amish Country - The exact location is intentionally vague. I enjoy visiting both the Pennsylvania and Ohio Amish Country areas. I love visiting the stores and restaurants as well as just driving through the countryside. Perhaps I feel a connection because my Amish ancestors lived in these places. Both my mom and myself always felt a connection to Charm, Ohio. When I acquired my ancestors' deeds, I discovered the very view we admired belonged to them!

9. Bahamas - Although tourism dominates many areas, the country still offers escape at affordable pricing.

10. Cork - I wanted to pick a destination in the country with no snakes. Thank you, St. Patrick, for driving them out! I didn't want to select Dublin, so I picked a city near the coast with some interesting things to do, such as kissing the Blarney Stone.

Abandoned reads go in Harlan, Kentucky. I drove through there once and never wanted to visit again!

Edited: Oct 25, 8:26pm Top

Category 1: Charleston

1. Pusserina the Wondercat by Kenneth B. Melvin; illustrated by Linda Albrecht - completed 1 Jan 2018
2. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale - completed 15 Jan 2018
3. Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody - completed 25 Jan 2018
4. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter - completed 4 Feb 2018
5. The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore - completed 11 Feb 2018
6. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell; illustrated by David Catrow - completed 21 Feb 2018
7. Grand Canyon by Jason Chin - completed 22 Feb 2018
8. The Birds of the Innocent Wood by Deirdre Madden - completed 15 Mar 2018
9. A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt - completed 31 Mar 2018
10. The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser - completed 7 Apr 2018
11. The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates - completed 14 Apr 2018
12. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Gordon C. James - completed 8 May 2018
13. The Story of Georgia's Boundaries: A Meeting of History and Geography by William J. Morton - completed 23 May 2018
14. Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com: How to Find Your Family History on the #1 Genealogy Website by Nancy Hendrickson - completed 6 Jun 2018
15. Weekend at Thrackley by Alan Melville - completed 1 Jul 2018
16. On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books by Karen Swallow Prior - completed 15 July 2018
17. The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths - completed 4 Aug 2018
18. Young Entry by Molly Keane - completed 17 Aug 2018
19. The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart - completed 1 Sep 2018
20. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy - completed 15 Sep 2018
21. The 39 Steps by John Buchan - completed 3 Oct 2018
22. Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves edited by Glory Edim - completed 25 Oct 2018

Edited: Oct 28, 9:26pm Top

Category 2: Quebec City

1. Raised Bed Gardening: How to Use Simple Raised Beds to Grow a Beautiful Vegetable Garden by Dane Alexander - completed 1 Jan 2018
2. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - completed 17 Jan 2018
3. Hiding the Past by Nathan Dylan Goodwin - completed 27 Jan 2018
4. Oh No, Gotta Go! by Susan Middleton Elya; illustrated by C. Brian Karas - completed 4 Feb 2018
5. Folly by Stella Cameron - completed 12 Feb 2018
6. 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
7. Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith - completed 25 Feb 2018
8. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley - completed 15 Mar 2018
9. The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma's Table by Rick Bragg - completed 31 Mar 2018
10. Umbrella by Taro Yashima - completed 10 Apr 2018
11. Society in Early North Carolina: A Documentary History edited by Alan D. Watson - completed 14 Apr 2018
12. The Secret, Book, and Scone Society by Ellery Adams - completed 17 May 2018
13. Dressed for Death by Donna Leon - completed 27 May 2018
14. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann - completed 7 Jun 2018
15. The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck - completed 2 July 2018
16. The Adoptee's Guide to DNA Testing: How to Use Genetic Genealogy to Discover Your Long-Lost Family by Tamar Weinberg - completed 17 July 2018
17. The Murder of My Aunt by Richard Hull - completed 5 Aug 2018
18. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden - completed 20 Aug 2018
19. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett - completed 1 Sep 2018
20. Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke - completed 17 Sep 2018
21. Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories by Audrey Niffenegger - completed 5 Oct 2018
22. Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson - completed 26 Oct 2018

Edited: Oct 30, 9:11pm Top

Category 3: Boston

1. The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg - completed 2 Jan 2018
2. Mary and Her Litttle Lamb by Will Moses - completed 17 Jan 2018
3. The Potter's Field by Andrea Camilleri - completed 29 Jan 2018
4. The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck by Laura Murray; illustrated by Mike Lowery - completed 4 Feb 2018
5. Keri Tarr, Cat Detective by Wendy Lement; illustrated by Jeffrey Scott Burrows - completed 4 Feb 2018
6. Better Off Read by Nora Page - completed 15 Feb 2018
7. The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola - completted 21 Feb 2018
8. In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany - completed 27 Feb 2018
9. In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War by Tobias Wolff - completed 20 Mar 2018
10. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney - completed 1 Apr 2018
11. The Night of Four Hundred Rabbits by Elizabeth Peters - completed 10 Apr 2018
12. The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson - completed 19 Apr 2018
13. Murder at the Mansion by Sheila Connolly - completed 8 May 2018
14. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro - completed 18 May 2018
15. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - completed 29 May 2018
16. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe - completed 16 Jun 2018
17. Life's Extras by Archibald Rutledge; sketches by B. Hay Gilbert - completed 3 July 2018
18. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer - completed 18 July 2018
19. Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves - completed 7 Aug 2018
20. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle - completed 23 Aug 2018
21. How Does My Fruit Grow? by Gerda Muller - completed 6 Sep 2018
22. Thomas Kinkade's Cape Light: A Christmas Secret by Katherine Spencer - completed 21 Sep 2018
23. Snowflake in the Tea by Elena May - completed 7 Oct 2018
24. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - completed 17 Oct 2018
25. The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton - completed 30 Oct 2018

Edited: Oct 11, 8:57pm Top

Category 4: Yellowstone National Park

1. Strawberry Yellow by Naomi Hirahara - completed 4 Jan 2018
2. My Teacher by James Ransome - completed 17 Jan 2018
3. Life of Pi by Yann Martel - completed 1 Feb 2018
4. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Jan Brett - completed 4 Feb 2018
5. The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor - completed 16 Feb 2018
6. Plenty of Love to Go Around by Emma Chichester Clark - completed 21 Feb 2018
7. Slight Mourning by Catherine Aird - completed 27 Feb 2018
8. The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P. D. James - completed 21 Mar 2018
9. Bats in the Belfry by E. C. R. Lorac - completed 1 Apr 2018
10. Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful: Poems by Alice Walker - completed 11 Apr 2018
11. 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
12. The Museum of Literary Souls by John Connolly - completed 19 May 2018
13. Once in a Blue Moon Lodge by Lorna Landvik - completed 29 May 2018
14. Station to Station: Searching for Stories on the Great Western Line by James Attlee - completed 18 Jun 2018
15. No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie - completed 4 July 2018
16. Blue Water Hues by Vicki Delany - completed 19 July 2018
17. The Alpine Xanadu by Mary Daheim - completed 8 Aug 2018
18. Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert - completed 23 Aug 2018
19. The Lost Bird by Margaret Coel - completed 7 Sep 2018
20. A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss - completed 22 Sep 2018
21. Hushed in Death by Stephen Kelly - completed 11 Oct 2018

Edited: Oct 18, 1:37pm Top

Category 5: Cornwall

1. Funeral Music by Morag Joss - completed 5 Jan 2018
2. Buried in the Country by Carola Dunn - completed 8 Jan 2018
3. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper; illustrated by George & Doris Hauman - completed 17 Jan 2018
4. 'Over the Hills and Far Away': The Life of Beatrix Potter by Matthew Dennison - completed 1 Feb 2018
5. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats - completed 4 Feb 2018
6. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - completed 18 Feb 2018
7. Just One More by Jennifer Hansen Rolli - completed 21 Feb 2018
8. Walking on Edge: A Pilgrimage to Santiago by Reino Gevers - completed 1 Mar 2018
9. The Lady Vanishes by Ethel Lina White - completed 24 Mar 2018
10. Ice Cream Kitty by Nerina DiBenedetto; illustrated by Martha Houghton - completed 2 Apr 2018
11. Revolutionary Petunias & Other Poems by Alice Walker - completed 11 Apr 2018
12. The Sayers Swindle by Victoria Abbott - completed 21 Apr 2018
13. Every Seven Years by Denise Mina - completed 20 May 2018
14. Humming Words: A Collection of Poetry by Nancy Warwick - completed 29 May 2018
15. Probable Claws by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown - completed 21 Jun 2018
16. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan - completed 5 July 2018
17. And Be a Villain by Rex Stout - completed 27 July 2018
18. The Blackhouse by Peter May - completed 9 Aug 2018
19. The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa - completed 25 Aug 2018
20. Acqua Alta by Donna Leon - completed 8 Sep 2018
21. The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein - completed 22 Sep 2018
22. In Harm's Way by Viveca Sten; translated by Marlaine Delargy - completed 13 Oct 2018
23. The Cornish Village School: Second Chances by Kitty Wilson - completed 18 Oct 2018

Edited: Oct 21, 1:41pm Top

Category 6: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

1. Booked for Trouble by Eva Gates - completed 7 Jan 2018
2. My Baby Blue Jays by John Berendt - completed 17 Jan 2018
3. Planting Corn Belt Culture: The Impress of the Upland Southerner and Yankee in the Old Northwest by Richard Lyle Power - completed 1 Feb 2018
4. The Puppy Who Went to School by Gail Herman; illustrated by Betina Ogden - completed 4 Feb 2018
5. A Necessary End by Peter Robinson - completed 19 Feb 2018
6. Taking Care of Mama by Mitra Modarressi - completed 21 Feb 2018
7. Foreign Bodies edited by Martin Edwards - completed 1 Mar 2018
8. Our Hearts Were Young and Gay by Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough - completed 26 Mar 2018
9. Collected Poems in English and French by Samuel Beckett - completed 2 Apr 2018
10. Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Ehlert - completed 12 Apr 2018
11. Thus Was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell - completed 24 Apr 2018
12. How to Read Poetry Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster - completed 21 May 2018
13. Murder on the Leviathan by Boris Akunin - completed 31 May 2018
14. Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World's Best New Gardens by Christopher Woods - completed 22 June 2018
15. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis - completed 7 Jul 2018
16. A Faraway Island by Annika Thor - completed 28 Jul 2018
17. Murder on Sisters' Row by Victoria Thompson - completed 10 Aug 2018
18. Murder at Hawthorn Cottage by Betty Rowlands - completed 29 Aug 2018
19. Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker - completed 9 Sep 2018
20. My Life in a Cat House: True Tales of Love, Laughter, and Living with Five Felines by Gwen Cooper - completed 24 Sep 2018
21. A Season of Grace by Lorraine Snelling - completed 21 Oct 2018

Edited: Oct 23, 4:50pm Top

Category 7: San Diego

1. Where I Was From by Joan Didion - completed 1 Jan 2018
2. The Toad Who Loved Tea by Faiz Kermani - completed 8 Jan 2018
3. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books by Lucille Colandro; illustrated by Jared Lee - completed 17 Jan 2018
4. A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters - completed 3 Feb 2018
5. Rhymes Round the World by Kay Chorao - completed 4 Feb 2018
6. Old Bear and His Cub by Olivier Dunrea - completed 21 Feb 2018
7. Good Morning, Digger by Anne Rockwell; illustrated by Melanie Hope Greenberg - completed 21 Feb 2018
8. Death by the Sea by Kathleen Bridge - completed 3 Mar 2018
9. Macbeth by Jo Nesbo - completed 27 Mar 2018
10. The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide: How to Find Your Ancestors in Archived Newspapers by James M. Beidler - completed 3 Apr 2018
11. Timothy Turtle by Alice Vaught Davis; illustrated by Guy Brown Wiser - completed 12 Apr 2018
12. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace - completed 25 Apr 2018
13. Snow in August by Pete Hamill - completed 23 May 2018
14. Blood on the Tracks edited by Martin Edwards - completed 2 Jun 2018
15. Nocturne by Deborah Crombie - completed 22 June 2018
16. Death and Judgment by Donna Leon - completed 10 July 2018
17. The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen - completed 2 Aug 2018
18. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley - completed 11 Aug 2018
19. Goodnight, Anne by Kallie George; illustrated by Geneviève Godbout - completed 29 Aug 2018
20. A Christmas Revelation by Anne Perry - completed 10 Sep 2018
21. The Body on the Beach by Simon Brett - completed 24 Sep 2018
22. The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye - completed 23 Oct 2018

Edited: Oct 23, 8:18pm Top

Category 8: Amish Country

1. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith - completed 12 Jan 2018
2. The Balfour Declaration: Sixty-Seven Words, 100 Years of Conflict by Elliot Jager - completed 19 Jan 2018
3. Creole Holiday by Phyllis A. Whitney - completed 3 Feb 2018
4. Involuntary Witness by Gianrico Carofiglio - completed 6 Feb 2018
5. Destination: Antarctica by Robert Swan - completed 21 Feb 2018
6. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans - completed 21 Feb 2018
7. Children of the Street by Kwei Quartey - completed 7 Mar 2018
8. The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis; illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon - completed 28 Mar 2018
9. Endgame: a Play in One Act; Followed by: Act Without Words: A Mime for One Player by Samuel Beckett - completed 4 Apr 2018
10. Timothy Turtle by Al Graham; illustrated by Tony Palazzo - completed 12 Apr 2018
11. Blackout by Ragnar Jonasson - completed 1 May 2018
12. Appalachian Ghosts by Nancy Roberts ; photographs by Bruce Roberts - completed 23 May 2018
13. Bad to the Bones by Rett MacPherson - completed 4 Jun 2018
14. The Curio Dealer's Wife by I. J. Parker - completed 22 June 2018
15. The South by Colm Toibin - completed 12 July 2018
16. Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes by Karen Rose Smith - completed 23 Jul 2018
17. The Library Book (editor is not clearly stated by appears to be Rebecca Gray, author of the foreward) - completed 2 Aug 2018
18. Harmless as Doves by P. L. Gaus - completed 14 Aug 2018
19. Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina - completed 30 Aug 2018
20. Abby Finds Her Calling by Naomi King - completed 3 Sep 2018
21. One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters - completed 13 Sep 2018
22. Good Tidings and Great Joy by Sarah Palin - completed 27 Sep 2018
23. A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson - completed 23 Oct 2018

Edited: Oct 25, 8:28am Top

Category 9: Bahamas

1. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens - completed 13 Jan 2018
2. Laughter and Early Sorrow: and Other Stories by Brett Busang - completed 20 Jan 2018
3. Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver; illustrated by Tomie DePaolo - completed 4 Feb 2018
4. From Jerusalem to Timbuktu: A World Tour of the Spread of Christianity by Brian C. Stiller
5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - completed 21 Feb 2018
6. Luke Goes to Bat by Rachel Isadora - completed 21 Feb 2018
7. The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves - completed 7 Mar 2018
8. Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper - completed 28 Mar 2018
9. First Love and Other Shorts by Samuel Beckett - completed 6 Apr 2018
10. Walking Out: Poems by Betty Adcock - completed 12 Apr 2018
11. The Final Solution by Michael Chabon - completed 6 May 2018
12. The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo ; illustrated by Ruth Heller - completed 23 May 2018
13. The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley - completed 5 Jun 2018
14. The King's Justice by E. M. Powell - completed 23 Jun 2018
15. I Will Find You by Daniela Sacerdoti - completed 13 July 2018
16. How to Catch a Bear Who Loves to Read by Andrew Katz and Juliana Leveille-Trudel; illustrated by Joseph Sherman - completed 3 Aug 2018
17. The Dark Monk by Oliver Potzsch - completed 16 Aug 2018
18. The Best Donut Recipes in History: Secret Step-by-Step Formulas for Delicious Donuts Your Family Will Love by Jennifer Olson - completed 30 Aug 2018
19. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle - completed 14 Sep 2018
20. Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri - completed 2 Oct 2018
21. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King - completed 25 Oct 2018

Edited: Oct 25, 5:41pm Top

Category 10: Cork, Ireland

1. Friends in High Places by Donna Leon - completed 15 Jan 2018
2. The Litttle Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien - completed 20 Jan 2018
3. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall - completed 21 Jan 2018
4. Three Little Kittens by Jerry Pinkney - completed 4 Feb 2018
5. Sugar and Iced by Jenn McKinlay - completed 10 Feb 2018
6. Ladybug Girl and Bingo by David Soman and Jacky Davis - completed 21 Feb 2018
7. Murder, She Knit by Peggy Ehrhart - completed 22 Feb 2018
8. Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon - completed 14 Mar 2018
9. Murder at an Irish Wedding by Carlene O'Connor - completed 18 Mar 2018
10. Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie - completed 31 Mar 2018
11. Fire in the Thatch by E. C. R. Lorac - completed 6 Apr 2018
12. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming - completed 12 Apr 2018
13. Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell - completed 8 May 2018
14. Two Queens of Heaven: Aphrodite, Demeter by Doris Gates ; illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman - completed 23 May 2018
15. An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly - completed 26 May 2018
16. Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin - completed 5 Jun 2018
17. Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor - completed 27 Jun 2018
18. Rain: Four Walks in English Weather by Melissa Harrison - completed 14 July 2018
19. A Boy and a House by Maja Kastelic - completed 3 Aug 2018
20. Westward the Tide by Louis L'Amour - completed 16 Aug 2018
21. Dutch Oven Cookbook: Easy Recipes about the Art of Slow Cooking by Philip Smith - completed 30 Aug 2018
22. Past Tense by Catherine Aird - completed 14 Sep 2018
23. Poems by W. B. Yeats - completed 2 Oct 2018
24. Dr. Jo: How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America's Children by Monica Kulling; illustrated by Julianna Swaney - completed 25 Oct 2018

Edited: Oct 6, 6:54pm Top

Abandoned Reads: Harlan, Kentucky

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
3. The Gathering by Anne Enright - abandoned 10 Jun 2018
4. The Cat Who Killed Lilian Jackson Braun by Robert Kaplow - abandoned 13 July 2018
5. Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout - abandoned 6 Oct 2018

Jul 1, 7:45pm Top

Next message is yours!

Jul 1, 8:34pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori!

Jul 1, 8:42pm Top

What a shiny, new thread! Happy reading!

Jul 1, 8:54pm Top

Happy new thread, and great pictures! I especially love the cool blues in the San Diego picture.

Jul 1, 9:17pm Top

>14 lkernagh: Thanks.

>15 RidgewayGirl: So many books, so little time! I hope I choose wisely.

>16 rabbitprincess: Thanks. I love San Diego. I wish we had its weather right now!

Edited: Jul 12, 5:00pm Top

149. Weekend at Thrackley by Alan Melville

Date Completed: 1 July 2018

Category: Charleston

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, 5:54am Top

Happy New Thread! And a chance to look over what you've read so far.

Jul 2, 4:14pm Top

>19 dudes22: That's one good thing about new threads! It puts everything at the top back into view.

Jul 2, 6:36pm Top

150. The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

Date Completed: 2 July 2018

Category: Quebec City

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, 5:00pm Top

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

Date Completed: 3 July 2018

Category: Boston

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, 8:08pm Top

152. No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie

Date Completed: 4 July 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

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!

Jul 5, 3:19pm Top

Happy new thread!

>23 thornton37814: Glad to see Crombie is still getting such great reviews. This is a good reminder to get back to the series.

Edited: Jul 5, 8:11pm Top

>24 VivienneR: I really enjoyed that installment!

Edited: Jul 12, 5:03pm Top

153. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Date Completed: 5 July 2018

Category: Cornwall

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, 8:47pm Top

Okay - I'm totally frustrated. I keep getting a 504 Network Gateway error message when I try to update my Cornwall list at the top (message 6). I've reported it to Bug Collectors, but I've tried about 2 dozen times and keep getting the message. So frustrating!

Jul 5, 10:53pm Top

>26 thornton37814: I loved this years ago when I first read it, though who knows, I might not like it at all now. I've had that happen more than once!

Jul 6, 7:42am Top

>28 clue: That's true. As I stated, I'm probably just not the best fit for the book.

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.

Edited: Jul 12, 5:05pm Top

154. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

Date Completed: 7 July 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

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 10, 5:32pm Top

>23 thornton37814: - I do love that series quite a bit. Happy to see that you're enjoying it too.

Jul 10, 10:59pm Top

>32 LittleTaiko: It's one of my favorites.

Jul 10, 11:15pm Top

155. Death and Judgment by Donna Leon

Date Completed: 10 July 2018

Category: San Diego

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, 9:13am 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.

Jul 11, 12:38pm Top

Hi Lori and belated good wishes on your new(ish) thread. Those gorgeous pictures have me wanting to hit the road again! I am a fan of Deborah Crombie as well but I am way behind you having only read six so far. You'll have to let us know what delicious dish you cook from the Quilt Country Cookbook.

Jul 11, 4:23pm Top

>36 DeltaQueen50: I already make many dishes similar to those in the cookbook. My mom used to make new potatoes where you'd slice them, adding butter and herbs. One of the recipes in the book does that same thing but adds a little touch of lemon, so I might try that variation. Of course, for one person, I'll need to adjust the cookbook's recipe to a more manageable size for one.

Jul 11, 11:06pm Top

Lemon and potatoes sounds like a tasty combination, expecially in the summer.

Jul 12, 1:22pm Top

>38 DeltaQueen50: Doesn't it? I love lemon so much. I always make sure I have some for iced tea in summer. Then when the tea is gone, I let the ice slowly melt and enjoy the lemon-flavored ice.

Jul 12, 1:50pm Top

156. The South by Colm Toibin

Date Completed: 12 July 2018

Category: Amish Country

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, 11:02pm Top

157. I Will Find You by Daniela Sacerdoti

Date Completed: 13 July 2018

Category: Bahamas

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, 2:45pm Top

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

Date Completed: 14 July 2018

Category: Cork

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 14, 3:22pm Top

>43 thornton37814: that looks interesting. Maybe one to read while tucked up in the dry.

Jul 14, 3:30pm Top

>44 Helenliz: Either that or you'll want to don the proper gear and enjoy the rain English style.

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

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.

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

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 18, 11:47am Top

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

Date Completed: 18 July 2018

Category: Boston

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 19, 11:06am Top

162. Blue Water Hues by Vicki Delany

Date Completed: 19 July 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

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 21, 8:18pm Top

>34 thornton37814:
That's a series I mean to attack via audiobook, so very happy to hear the reader is good. ;)

Jul 21, 8:55pm Top

>50 -Eva-: Colacci is good. I don't know if he reads them all or not, but he's a safe bet!

Jul 21, 9:08pm Top

>51 thornton37814:
Looks like he reads most, but not all...

Jul 21, 9:13pm Top

>52 -Eva-: Well, at least you will have many enjoyable books!

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.

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 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.

Jul 27, 10:15pm Top

>55 thornton37814: Yikes! An eventful evening indeed.

*waves* to Carrie :)

Jul 27, 10:16pm Top

>56 rabbitprincess: A little too eventful. The firemen assured us we would be safe staying tonight. If they had not removed the perps, we were considering checking out. It's really a nice hotel though.

Edited: Aug 9, 5:34pm Top

164. And Be a Villain by Rex Stout

Date Completed: 27 July 2018

Category: Cornwall

Challenges: AlphaKIT - S & A

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, 10:24am Top

>55 thornton37814: What a nightmarish event!

Jul 28, 1:49pm Top

>59 MissWatson: It was a little odd. Apparently the boys soaked some rags in gasoline and put them in the trash can to ignite the fire from what we were told this morning by a guest who was a fireman somewhere else who had offered to assist the local firemen. He said it was on the second floor rather than the third. I'm thankful the hotel's fire detectors worked and that we got out when we did even if we had no smoke or water damage up where we were. Better safe than sorry. Now it's just a trip we won't forget!

Edited: Aug 9, 5:34pm Top

165. A Faraway Island by Annika Thor

Date Completed: 28 July 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

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 29, 1:54pm Top

That was a very scary experience at the hotel, Lori. You can't help but wonder what was going on in those boy's minds!

I've had A Faraway Island on my wishlist for some time so it's great to know that it was a good read.

Jul 30, 10:07pm Top

>62 DeltaQueen50: No clue. It was so crazy. Hope you enjoy A Faraway Island as much as Carrie and I did.

Edited: Aug 2, 5:15pm Top

166. The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen

Date Completed: 2 Aug 2018

Category: San Diego

Challenges: AlphaKIT - D

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: The Gallagher family returned to its home Deeprath Castle after an absence of twenty years following the untimely deaths of Aidan and Kyra's parents. Aidan, the lawful heir, proposes to place the castle in a historic trust, but he wants the library inventoried. His aunt hires Carragh Ryan to perform the job. The mystery goes back even further than that to the 19th century when Jenny Gallagher married Evan Chase, who appended the Gallagher name to his own so the heir would bear the surname. A local legend and ghost, the Darkling Bride, is also connected with the castle and its tower.

There is plenty of mystery, romance, and suspense in this book with a modern setting that reminds readers of the great Gothic mystery/romantic suspense writers of the past such as Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Phyllis Whitney. Those who enjoyed those authors will enjoy this book and vice versa. Those who like books, manuscripts, and the like will also find it interesting. Genealogists will enjoy it because some genealogical methods are employed in the book. I liked the Garda detective in the story although she was not the one who ultimately solved the puzzle. I hope this book revitalizes the genre and that this author continues to contribute well-written volumes to it.

Edited: Aug 2, 7:01pm Top

167. The Library Book (editor is not clearly stated but appears to be Rebecca Gray, author of the foreward)

Date Completed: 2 Aug 2018

Category: Amish Country

Challenges: Non-Fiction Challenge - Short and Sweet in August

Rating: 3 stars

Review: The Library Book was published to support The Reading Agency, whose website describes itself as "a charity whose mission is to inspire more people to read more, encourage them to share their enjoyment of reading and celebrate the difference that reading makes to all our lives." Rebecca Gray, author of the foreward, along with her colleague "John" appear to be the editors for the volume, although no formal attribution statement is made. The book consists primarily of essays written by various authors championing libraries and reading. A couple of selections were excerpted from published works, including a a fictional one in the case of China Mieville's contribution. My favorite contribution was Val McDermid's "Going to the Dogs." It described her experiences with libraries over the years, providing insight into why she chose the mystery genre. I'll let you read the essay to find out why she entitled her essay as she did. My next favorite was "Libraries Rock!" by Ann Cleeves. While her essay was different in nature, I found it to be written with a great deal of thought. In contrast, one or two of the contributions seemed to be written in haste and unedited, even by the author. It's a book those of us who love books and libraries should love, but it really encourages support for both reading and libraries.

Aug 3, 9:25am Top

168. How to Catch a Bear Who Loves to Read by Andrew Katz and Juliana Leveille-Trudel; illustrated by Joseph Sherman

Date Completed: 3 Aug 2018

Category: Bahamas

Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Julia lives next to the forest and befriended many of the animals, but there is one animal she really wants to meet--a bear. She tries to attract them, but efforts fail. One day while she is reading a book about a bear and surrounded by her forest friends, her mom calls her to lunch. When she returns, she finds her book gone with a trail of blueberry-covered footprints leaving the area. What will Julia find? This is a cute book which encourages reading. The illustrations, while not Caldecott-worthy, are colorful enough to keep non-reading children interested as an adult reads aloud. I spotted this in the "Read Now" section at NetGalley and downloaded it in exchange for an honest review.

Aug 3, 10:27am Top

>64 thornton37814: BB! And now I want to know where you apply to inventory castle libraries.

Aug 3, 10:28am Top

169. A Boy and a House by Maja Kastelic

Date Completed: 3 Aug 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This wordless picture book by Slovenian author Maja Kastelic features a boy following a cat into and then through an old house. Along the way, he finds drawings scattered about rooms. The rooms are filled with "vintage" items. He finds a surprise awaiting in the attic. Although the book contains no words, it will certainly produce a lot of discussion for children who will be curious about what is contained in the picture. I believe the pictures were created with watercolors, but they are fairly "drab", probably in an effort to invoke the "old house feel." Just the thought of an unsupervised boy of this age will make many parents and other adults cringe, but others will view it as a product of another culture or as historic. I downloaded this "Read Now" title from NetGalley with the expectation I would write an honest review.

Aug 3, 10:29am Top

>67 casvelyn: I think we all would love to know! I would have been more qualified than the girl who was hired.

Aug 3, 1:21pm Top

>69 thornton37814: I've done two churches and a monastery and got the jobs via word of mouth. The monastery was especially great, as the nuns wanted a custom classification system, and I just love the "philosophy of cataloging" side of things.

Aug 3, 2:19pm Top

>64 thornton37814: - Oh, taking a BB for the Andersen book!

Aug 4, 8:09pm Top

>70 casvelyn: Sounds like some great opportunities there.

>71 lkernagh: I took the BB from someone else, but I don't remember who it was. It was a great read.

Aug 4, 8:46pm Top

170. The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

Date Completed: 4 Aug 2018

Category: Charleston

Challenges: AlphaKIT - Z; MysteryCAT - Historical Mysteries

Rating: 3 stars

Review: When a former magician's assistant is murdered, DI Edgar Stephens, who served in the Magic Men unit during World War II, recognizes it as an imitation of the Zig Zag Girl magic trick. He calls on his wartime friend and magician extraordinaire to assist him. When the murder of a person who served with them takes place, imitating yet another trick, they know someone connected with the unit is behind the murders. I enjoyed a great deal of the book, but the way the story ended and the naivety of Stephens made me lower my rating. There's a difference between providing lots of facts about the main characters and developing the characters. Sometimes the author erred by providing too many useless details without giving readers insights into what makes them tick and their strengths and flaws. The solution is not that difficult if readers pick up on the clues early in a couple of spots in the book. James Langton does a good job with the narration in the audiobook. It's a good book for a long drive.

Aug 5, 5:14pm Top

This is the view from my hotel room for the next few days. I can walk down the steps off this patio right onto the beach.

Edited: Aug 5, 6:06pm Top

Oh my, I'm afraid I'd spend every minute staring out to sea, there is something so mesmerizing about it. Hopefully this trip will be a little less eventful than the last!

Aug 5, 8:37pm Top

>75 clue: I'm hoping so. I mainly want to relax so I plan to spend a lot of time staring out that window (in the comfort of air conditioning). I do plan to go to the beach before it gets too hot or after it begins to cool a bit. I tend to burn to a crisp even with 100 SPF. The cats are enjoying their ocean view room.

Aug 5, 9:28pm Top

171. The Murder of My Aunt by Richard Hull

Date Completed: 5 Aug 2018

Category: Quebec City

Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: In an amusing plot, Edward tries to kill his Aunt Mildred. I didn't really care for Edward who lacked ambition, with the exception of ridding the world of his aunt, or Aunt Mildred, who was too controlling. I really wanted something with more of an investigation. We don't really get any sense of any suspicion that follows through with investigation until the final chapter. The structure is different, but I did not like it. I received this advance review copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Aug 6, 2:48pm Top

Lori, don't take your cats to the beach. They won't enjoy it and it will only result in hard feelings on both sides.

All joking aside, that's a perfect view and I wish you a lovely and relaxing time.

Aug 6, 5:12pm Top

That looks like a beautiful place to be, Lori. I am guessing that you can hear the sound of the waves rolling up on the shore which is one of my favorite things to hear - so relaxing.

Aug 6, 8:10pm Top

>77 thornton37814: I'm sorry that The Murder of My Aunt didn't work out for you -- it's a great title!

Hope the temperature cools down for you to enjoy the beach.

Aug 7, 8:02pm Top

Nice view! Hope you have a good time.

Aug 7, 9:04pm Top

>78 RidgewayGirl: They enjoy looking from the room!

>79 DeltaQueen50: It's my favorite thing too. It cools down enough by evening to sit out and enjoy the crashing wave sounds from the patio. I've been trying to eat early enough to get back and enjoy them a bit longer since it gets dark so much earlier here than at home.

>80 rabbitprincess: I think I just prefer traditional mysteries. This one wasn.t one.

>81 dudes22: It's a great view, and I'm enjoying it quite a lot.

Aug 7, 9:30pm Top

172. Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves

Date Completed: 7 Aug 2018

Category: Boston

Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Gathered at the cemetery for the interment of Magnus Tait, the mourners, including Jimmy Perez, barely have time to move out of the way before a landslide topples tombstones and destroys Minnie Laurenson's former home. Perez discovers a body in the home which was believed to be vacant. Who is the woman? Is it the distant American relative who inherited the home or someone else? The autopsy reveals the woman was already dead when the mudslide occurred. Jimmy calls Willow Reeves in Edinburgh, asking for her assistance on the case. This installment shows Sandy developing better investigative skills. Suspects abound. A second murder near the same location leads investigators to look at those residing nearby more closely. I pinpointed the murderer rather early but it still was an engaging plot. I think there are some rather unrealistic elements to the plot. The wrap-up was perhaps a bit rushed and disappointing, leaving readers with additional questions left unanswered. Still, I'll read the next installment because I love this series.

Edited: Aug 31, 11:10pm Top

173. The Alpine Xanadu by Mary Daheim

Date Completed: 8 Aug 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

Challenges: AlphaKIT - X & D

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: This is not a cozy series I follow. I only read a couple of early installments. I was motivated to listen to this one by the need for an "x" in the AlphaKIT. Emma Lord is publisher of the Alpine, Washington newspaper. She is engaged to Sheriff Milo Dodge. The book really seems to be more about the quirkiness of small-town life than about the mystery concerning the death of a local resident. Oh, the sheriff and Emma do investigate it, but it's more about the community than about the mystery. Emma and Sheriff Milo do elope in the book. It was a little all over the place with several story lines competing for the reader's attention. I suppose that's the way it is in the newspaper business though. I doubt I'll spend time catching up on the series. I didn't really enjoy them that much in the past, and I don't know and love the characters enough to continue it. The narrator was okay, but not outstanding.

Aug 9, 4:46pm Top

174. The Blackhouse by Peter May

Date Completed: 9 Aug 2018

Category: Cornwall

Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Fin McLeod has been on leave since the death of his son. Now his marriage is on the skids. He is called back to his home, the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides, to investigate a crime with the same M.O. as one he'd been investigating in Edinburgh before his leave. He must face the ghosts of his past in the course of the investigation. While the story ended up coming together, I really did not like the amount of time spent on the past story in contrast to the present investigation which received very little attention. I understand why the author to his time with the backstory and it does provide more insight into Fin for future installments, but it took a little too much time to do so.

Edited: Aug 31, 11:10pm Top

175. Murder on Sisters' Row by Victoria Thompson

Date Completed: 10 Aug 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Challenges: MysteryCAT - Historical Mysteries; AlphaKIT - O

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: A man turns up at Sarah Brandt's home needing her services to deliver a baby. Until she gets there, she is not aware she is at a brothel on Sisters Row. Her patient Amy seems earnest in her efforts to get away from the house of ill repute where she is being held against her will. She tells Sarah about Mrs. Jeffrey VanOrner's rescue efforts, pleading with Sarah to plead with the woman to rescue her. Sarah locates the woman, and a rescue is scheduled. After Amy is at the safe house, Mrs. Van Orner is found dead in her carriage following a visit. Soon afterwards, Amy leaves the safe house with her baby. Detective Frank Malloy is impeded in what he can do because of the "protection money" paid by wealthy New Yorkers who frequent the brothels. He does, however, receive the go-ahead from Jeffrey Van Orner to investigate his wife's murder.

Although I really don't enjoy reading about the seedy side of society, Thompson created an interesting puzzle. Although I suspected the murderer's identity, her red herrings left me with enough doubt to keep me engaged. I'm interested in learning a bit more about the Charity Organization Society which inspired this installment. The author included a little about it, but I'd like to find additional information. Similar organizations exist today although they do not attempt to be as controlling of whether another can assist a person and usually they only serve to inform charities about what assistance was received. Many times the persons at such organizations today know whether or not the person is playing the system and truly in need. Although they don't usually comment, many times they will tell the calling charity when they know a person to truly be in need.

Aug 11, 4:54pm Top

176. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley

Date Completed: 11 Aug 2018

Category: San Diego

Challenges: MysteryCAT - Historical Mysteries

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Upon her return home, Flavia de Luce discovers her father is hospitalized with influenza which has turned into pneumonia. Visiting hours have passed for the day, but she's promised she can go the next day during the afternoon visiting hours. To occupy her time, she calls on the vicar's wife Cynthia Richardson who asks her to deliver a note to a woodcarver in a nearby hamlet. She rides Gladys to his home where she discovers his corpse hanging on the back of his bedroom door. Using her observation and chemist skills, she begins to unravel the case. The hospital discouraged visitors that day because her father needed rest so that gives her more time to investigate. Over the next few days, she makes a couple of trips to London to find information concerning the death of an author whose book she discovers at the scene of the crime with a local girl's name in it. Flavia's adventures always entertain, and Jayne Entwistle does an outstanding job narrating this series.

Aug 11, 5:10pm Top

The fur boys and I made it home earlier today. They inspected the house thoroughly to make certain everything was as they left it. I only wish the house had done some self-cleaning while we were gone. I made it through one part of five of one more audiobook today. I hope I'll finish it commuting to work next week. It isn't due for 11 more days so that should give me plenty of time to finish it. Then I'll listen to the Arthur Conan Doyle sci-fi book downloaded from AudioSync while they were doing the teen promotion this summer. That will fit the British author challenge for the month. I need to go to the grocery store, but I'm not sure if that will happen today or tomorrow on the way home from church.

Aug 11, 5:46pm Top

As long as you have sufficient cat food in the house, you can put off that trip to the store!

Aug 11, 8:00pm Top

>89 RidgewayGirl: I have plenty of cat food! I refilled their dry food bowls and provided treats when I got home, then emptied, cleaned, and filled their water bowls. This evening they've enjoyed their can of Fancy Feast--and there is enough of it to last almost 2 more weeks with the present box, and I think I have one more box on hand. Still plenty of cat litter too! They live the good life!

Aug 12, 12:50am Top

>90 thornton37814: Going on vacation to the beach and back home to Fancy Feast! Yes, they live a good life! And they love you for it.

Aug 12, 8:11pm Top

>91 VivienneR: They had Fancy Feast at the beach too!

Aug 13, 12:40am Top

Of course they would. A change in diet is never welcome even when on vacation. Fancy Feast was my cat's favourite too, in the last couple of years of her life, she would only eat the salmon version.

Aug 13, 8:46am Top

>93 VivienneR: My cats will eat any of the fish varieties that are shredded. My nieces have given them some other brands at Christmas as presents, and they won't eat them. They are the same way with treats. They get used to one kind and won't eat others. There are some varieties of dry food they don't eat well. Barney has a sensitive stomach so I have to go grain-free for him and weight-control for the other two. It's tricky to find that particular combination.

Aug 14, 8:06pm Top

177. Harmless as Doves by P. L. Gaus

Date Completed: 14 Aug 2018

Category: Amish Country

Challenges: AlphaKIT - D

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I love this series, especially the audiobooks read by George Newbern. In this installment a young Amish couple plans to elope to spare the girl from an undesirable marriage her father wishes to arrange. Before they can do so, Crist packs a punch that sends the other man to the ground. He assumes the man is dead and goes to his bishop to confess. The police are called. He confesses. In their haste, the sheriff's office fails to read him his Miranda rights. The girl's authoritative father soon takes off to Florida, disregarding everything his bishop tells him. Much of the early action in the book centers on Pastor Cal Troyer. Professor Branden is on sabbatical, researching at Duke University's Library. When Holmes County needs to send deputies to Florida, Branden, a reserve deputy, is sent to join Ricky Neal in the Sarasota area. While I don't know a great deal about the Pinecrest Amish Settlement in Florida, Gaus seems to have done his research because it concurs with what my quick search through sources tells me about it. One story line regarding Branden's wife carries over from the previous installment, so it is suggested readers follow the publication order. This "remorse" theme carries through the story and comes from the book's Bible verse derived title's interpretation. Setting part of the story outside Holmes County added some variety to the series. I look forward to the next installment.

Aug 16, 8:24pm Top

178. The Dark Monk by Oliver Potzsch

Date Completed: 16 Aug 2018

Category: Bahamas

Challenges: MysteryCAT - Historical fiction; AlphaKIT - O & D

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This second in the Hangman's Daughter series opens with the poisoning of the parish priest. The hangman has his work cut out for him in this story featuring a Knights Templar tale, thieves, and more. Once again, the hangman's daughter Magdalena and Simon a doctor endanger themselves in the course of the story. This story lacks the quality the first in the series possessed. It was easily put down. The plot seemed contrived, and there was too much going on. I have at least one more installment downloaded to Kindle, but I may or may not read it. I actually enjoyed the author's comments at the end about his relation to the story more than the story itself.

Aug 16, 8:33pm Top

179. Westward the Tide by Louis L'Amour

Date Completed: 16 Aug 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

Challenges: American Author Challenge, RandomCAT - Let's Go to the Mountains

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Typical western. There are good guys and bad guys. There are Indians. It's a wagon train taking supplies. Lots of shooting. Much of the action in this one occurs in the Big Horn Mountains. All's well that ends well. I'm not a fan of the genre, but at least L'Amour is readable and reads quickly, making it less painful to someone who doesn't like the genre.

Edited: Aug 16, 8:42pm Top

One more comment about the above read. I decided to read the Wikipedia article on L'Amour. When I noticed his middle name was Dearborn, I decided his mother must have been a Dearborn. Further investigation proved that correct. Since Dearborn is an ancestral surname, I wondered how we might be related. I investigated, discovering we are 7th cousins once removed. I wrote a blog post describing how we are connected.

Aug 17, 10:04am Top

Lori, I went over and looked at your blog. I thought I understood "once removed" but maybe not. I thought basically removing was related to generations so that I would be once removed from my mothers 1st cousin. Can you explain this without going to a lot of trouble?

So neat you found this out!

Aug 17, 11:49am Top

>99 clue: If you look (and counting ourselves and the common ancestral couple), it is 9 generations for Louis and 10 for me. There is a difference of one, so that makes us once removed. We only count the generations in between (so the 9-2=7), making us 7th cousins once removed.

Aug 17, 1:38pm Top

180. Young Entry by Molly Keane

Date Completed: 17 Aug 2018

Category: Charleston

Challenges: Irish Author Challenge

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Nineteen-year-old Prudence is the focal point in this quite readable coming-of-age novel set in Ireland. It features an aristocratic set with their horses and hounds on a fox hunt. Prudence gets around the countryside with her good friend Peter while she's feeling a growing attraction to her neighbor Toby. I enjoyed this charming story featuring beautifully-phrased descriptions of the landscape and depicting snippets of everyday life.

Aug 20, 8:22pm Top

181. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Date Completed: 20 Aug 2018

Category: Quebec City

Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This fantasy novel resembles a medieval Russian fairy tale. There's even a wicked stepmother! It is the story of Vasya whose mother Marina, regarded by many to be a witch, died during childbirth. Before she dies, Marina predicts the child inside her will be the one like her. Vasya's father Pyotr remarries. Vasya in indeed a "magic child" who is more comfortable with nature and horses than a traditional female role. Although I'm not a fan of the fantasy genre, this tale is beautifully written. I doubt I'll read others in the series because I only venture into the genre upon occasion, but this story caught my attention when I read a pre-publication blurb. I am not sorry I finally took the time to read it.

Edited: Aug 31, 11:11pm Top

182. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle

Date Completed: 23 Aug 2018

Category: Boston

Challenges: British Author Challenge - Science Fiction; AlphaKIT - D

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Professor Challenger's descriptions of a pre-historic culture with animal life somewhere in the jungles of South America is met with derision by the scientific community. It is decided Professor Summerlee, his chief opponent, along with Lord John Roxton and newspaper reporter Edward Malone will accompany him on an expedition to investigate the claim. The tale is told through the eyes of Malone who sends letters back to his editor by a faithful watchman who stays on the opposite side of their destination plateau. They fell a tree to gain entrance to the plateau, but it falls in the gorge, leaving their only connection to the other world a rope which can deliver supplies or letters but not get them back across. They decide to accomplish their mission and then worry about a means to exit the plateau. They encounter a pterodactyl almost immediately. They encounter many dangers and adventures on this well-preserved plateau, including some "half-men, half-ape" creatures which could be the "missing link." I'll leave the rest of the story and adventures for your enjoyment along with their reception upon their return. I'm not a fan of science fiction, but I decided to give this summer AudioSync offering a try since it was authored by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This tale is very mild in comparison to many of today's science fiction offerings because of the genre's evolution over time. The adventure seemed to appeal to the interest in Darwinian theory at the time of the book's writing. The book was narrated by Glen McCready who seemed to have the perfect voice for Professor Challenger.

Aug 23, 9:15pm Top

183. Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Date Completed: 23 Aug 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Librarian Amy Webber and boyfriend and dancer Richard discover the corpse of an artist in her studio when stopping by to pick up works she donated for the Heritage Festival. While awaiting on experts to arrive, Amy, at the police's invitation, detects some forgeries among the artist's paintings. The woman's husband and daughter go missing. The substitution of some of her deceased uncle's works for those promised draws the attention of a local woman working with the art exhibit and of her son. Several tense moments move the plot along to its conclusion. Art lovers will likely enjoy this cozy mystery. Although this series is labeled "Blue Ridge Library," this installment featured very little about the library. While Amy did some research, it was mostly on databases she accessed while deputized for researching aspects of the art investigation. I found several characters unlikable. Some of the characters I would have liked to know more about were not all that well developed. As with many contemporary cozy mysteries, this one includes romantic relationships in various stages. The conclusion reminded me of an episode of "Charlie's Angels" where the stars are all sitting around at the very end discussing the case.

Aug 25, 7:07pm Top

184. The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Date Completed: 25 Aug 2018

Category: Cornwall

Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: A stray cat makes his home atop Satoru's van. Satoru begins providing food for the cat. When a passing car injures the cat, Satoru tends to it, eventually moving out of his apartment into one which allows pets. He names the cat Nana. Things go well for about five years until Satoru suddenly announces he must fine a new home for Nana. We learn a lot of Satoru's back story and see similarities between his life and the cat's. Satoru never tells his friends why he seeks a new home for his cat but he knows none of these homes is right for Nana. My favorite parts of the story are those narrated by Nana himself. This tear-jerking Japanese story in English translation will charm cat lovers. I received an uncorrected proof through a GoodReads giveaway with the hopes, but not requirement, of a review.

Edited: Aug 29, 2:20pm Top

185. Murder at Hawthorn Cottage by Betty Rowlands

Date Completed: 29 Aug 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Challenges: None

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: Writer Melissa Craig moved to the Cotswolds. Soon her neighbor discovers a corpse near her home. A reporter seeks Melissa's help investigating the person whom he believes to be "Babs Carter" who worked at a local nightclub and disappeared without a trace. A young man interested in Babs suffered an automobile accident leaving him impaired a couple days after her disappearance. Melissa's investigation for her own novel conveniently yields clues for the puzzle at hand. Unfortunately the plot is not very believable. The prostitution and drugs concepts in the novel are not "cozy" at all and seem a bit seedy to include for people who enjoy this genre. While the Cotswold setting is nice, the seediness somewhat negated the sense of place that might have been achieved if the author had stuck to typical cozy plots. I received an electronic galley through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review. This book was originally published as A Little Gentle Sleuthing.

Aug 29, 2:22pm Top

186. Goodnight, Anne by Kallie George; illustrated by Geneviève Godbout

Date Completed: 29 Aug 2018

Category: San Diego

Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This picture book captures the whimsical nature of the original book and of the character Anne Shirley as she says good night to all the people and places we love in Anne of Green Gables. Both the text and illustrations were excellent. I'm not sure young readers unfamiliar with the main story will understand all the references, but lovers of the series will love this one. I received an advance reading copy through NetGalley with an unbiased review expected.

Aug 30, 8:34am Top

187. Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

Date Completed: 30 Aug 2018

Category: Amish Country

Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Merci attends a private school by doing "community service." Her friend is jealous of her assignment since Merci is assigned to help the friend's "crush." At the same time, Merci's grandfather Lolo, to whom she is quite close, is declining rapidly due to Alzheimer's Disease, and Merci doesn't really understand what is going on due to the family's decision to keep her in the dark. It's a coming-of-age tale which may appeal to middle school readers at the moment but probably lacks an enduring quality. Additional editing would shorten and make the story stronger. The author includes some common Spanish words in the story which are not translated for the reader. I suspect many middle school readers, particularly in Southern and Southwestern States with many Mexican and Central American immigrants, will not need a Spanish dictionary nearby, but I anticipate it might create problems for those with little exposure to the Spanish language. The book probably works best for middle schoolers with family members suffering from dementia. I received an advance e-galley in exchange for an honest review through the publisher via NetGalley.

Edited: Aug 31, 11:12pm Top

188. The Best Donut Recipes in History: Secret Step-by-Step Formulas for Delicious Donuts Your Family Will Love by Jennifer Olson

Date Completed: 30 Aug 2018

Category: Bahamas

Challenges: AlphaKIT - D & O

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: Olson offers several donut recipes of varying types. Unfortunately the author fails to document the validity of her title, and I refuse to believe any of the offerings qualify as the best donuts "in history." She even offered the type made with canned buttermilk biscuit dough. While I may eventually try or modify some of these, I've seen better recipes in other cookbooks. For example, I might try my chocolate cake donut recipe with the salted caramel drizzle she uses to accompany hers.I downloaded this book when it was offered free by Amazon.

Edited: Aug 31, 11:14pm Top

189. Dutch Oven Cookbook: Easy Recipes about the Art of Slow Cooking by Philip Smith

Date Completed: 30 Aug 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

Challenges: AlphaKIT - D & O

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: My favorite part of this book was the history of the dutch oven in the opening pages. This was followed by a section on seasoning cast iron cookware in a variety of locations, indoor and outdoor. Finally the author included quite a few recipes for dutch ovens. A lot of the main dishes seemed to be Middle Eastern, but the soups and breads included expanded the sphere of influence to most of the world. I might be willing to try about 25% of the recipes although I doubt I would make that many. My repertoire already includes recipes I enjoy for several of the dishes so I'm unlikely to switch those out for the unknown. This book was offered free from Amazon some time ago, but I'm just now getting around to reading it.

Sep 1, 5:58pm Top

American Museum of the House Cat, Sylva, North Carolina

The best carousels feature cats!

Cat mummy

The best tea pots!

Sep 1, 6:02pm Top

A Purr-fect Piece of Needlework

Enchanted by this Austrian bronze. Would love to hear these boys play!

I'm sure his tail keeps great time!

I'd vote for Morris! How about you?

Sep 1, 6:22pm Top

190. The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart

Date Completed: 1 Sep 2018

Category: Charleston

Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: After the Maharaja dies, his daughter Princess Alexandrina (aka "Mink") and the last remaining loyal servant Pookie are forced to move to a "grace and favor" residence at Hampton Court Palace. The much loathed Major-General Bagshot dies after eating pigeon pies which were baked by Pookie for the festival. It was determined he'd died of arsenic poisoning. Princess Mink sets out to clear her loyal servant. The mystery in this one is quite mild, but the mystery is not what is front and center here as much as the subtle humor interspersed throughout the plot and the "upscale village feel" of the work. Even the names of the characters bring a smile to the readers' face as they read or listen to them. This book is probably not for everyone, but those who enjoy a little English comedic humor will enjoy this clever work. I listened to the audio version read by Hannah Curtis. Her female voices are superior to the male ones.

Sep 1, 6:44pm Top

191. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

Date Completed: 1 Sep 2018

Category: Quebec City

Challenges: MysteryCAT - Noir & Hard-boiled

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Brigid O’Shaughnessy, using an assumed name, seeks out Sam Spade, to tail a man. Sam's partner Miles Archer ends up dead when he takes the first shift. Brigid is not completely on the up-and-up herself, and Spade must determine when she is truthful and when she isn't in addition to figuring out what she's really after. She seeks a valuable black falcon statuette which is prized by others as well. Sam must muddle through the lies and deception to find those responsible for killing Archer. It's not my favorite genre, and I sometimes found it difficult to follow, but it is a classic because of its role in formulating the genre and worth the reader's time investment.

Edited: Sep 2, 9:46am Top

>113 thornton37814: I love the cover! My library has both of the titles in this series so I'll give them a try. I have had her other two books, The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise and The Matchmaker of Périgord on my Kindle for a long time so I need to read them too.

Edited: Sep 2, 6:48pm Top

>115 clue: I enjoyed it for the humor.

Edited: Sep 2, 7:00pm Top

I went to the used bookstore in Knoxville and came away with a haul. I may own a few of these already. I became logged out of my LibraryThing app on my iPhone and couldn't remember what my password was without my trusty "cheat sheet," so I opted to spend the extra 5 cents on one 25 cents on another and $2 on yet another. I know I'll be able to sell the $2 one to someone else if it is a duplicate. I purchased one of the books for someone else, but I may read it first.

ETA: Just checked. I did own the $2 one but not the other two.

Sep 2, 11:07pm Top

Great haul, Lori - and it sounds like they hardly put a dent in your pocketbook!

Sep 3, 8:23am Top

>118 DeltaQueen50: The most expensive book there was an entry in the "Images of America" for a city I know pretty well back in my home state of Mississippi. It was about a half-hour drive from my home town and was the place we did a lot of shopping. I still go there almost every time I visit family. So I thought spending $8 instead of the $20 or so for a new copy was a good deal. The next most expensive book was $3. Most of the cookbooks were from the "bargain shelf." One was 5 cents. They must have really wanted it gone! Everything else was 25 cents to a dollar. I didn't come away with a lot of fiction, but that's because most of what I saw was available at the library. No sense spending money on something I can read for free.

Sep 3, 10:05am Top

I like the look of the Hebrides book, and The Drunkard's Path is an interesting title!

Sep 3, 7:08pm Top

>120 rabbitprincess: A Drunkard's Path is the second in the Someday Quilts mystery series. The first one was on my wish list. Hopefully I can find it to read them in order. The Hebrides book is interesting because it is historical. It recounts James Boswell and Samuel Johnson's tour there in the 18th century.

Sep 3, 7:41pm Top

192. Abby Finds Her Calling by Naomi King

Date Completed: 3 Sep 2018

Category: Amish Country

Challenges: ScaredyKIT - Stephen King & family

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Suzanna "Zanna" Lambright fails to show up for her wedding day to James Graber. When her sister Abby finds her the next day, she realizes her sister is pregnant. Although she initially insinuates James is the father, the truth finally comes out of her. Zanna must face the consequences of her choice. The story is one of forgiveness and restoration, but it goes far beyond the main story and is woven throughout the different pieces of the story. King writes with better skill than many writers of the Amish fiction genre, providing a story likely to resonate with readers and provide encouragement and food for thought for years to come. While its message of forgiveness is faith-based, it is delivered in such a manner which is likely to be non-threatening to unbelievers. I look forward to the next installment in the series.

Sep 3, 8:34pm Top

>121 thornton37814: Now that you've mentioned that it's part of a quilting mystery series, the title makes more sense. At first glance I think I might have been confusing the title with The Drunkard's Walk, which is a slightly different subject :)

Sep 3, 8:37pm Top

Sep 4, 9:02am Top

I have A Drunkard's Path in my TBR also. Actually I have #1 too. So if you want to get to it soon, I could move it up the list to read and then send it to you.

Sep 4, 9:09am Top

>125 dudes22: My local library does have a copy in print, so I'll let you save your postage (or send it to someone without access). I'm going to participate in fewer challenges in 2019 so I can make my TBR pile dwindle a bit more.

Sep 4, 11:15am Top

>126 thornton37814: - ha, ha, ha! Me too! HA, HA , HA!!!!

Sep 4, 6:05pm Top

>126 thornton37814: I said last year I was going to cut back on challenges for this year and this year I'm saying I'm going to cut back on challenges for next year. I actually was thinking about only reading from the TBR pile but in reality I know that won't happen.

Sep 4, 8:51pm Top

>127 dudes22: GMTA! I enjoy the challenges, but they get in the way of dwindling the stash.

>128 clue: No. There are too many shiny, new books that catch our attention for that. I just want to make some progress. I really want to incorporate some of my history/genealogy books into next year's continuing education plan. I get credit per hour I spend reading toward my APG continuing education requirements. While I have several this year, it's not as much as it should be, especially considering my stash. The new ProGen came out this year, and I've only read a couple of chapters. I need to read the whole big thick book as well as several others.

Sep 4, 10:02pm Top

I have not read anything tonight. I'm glued to the Weather Channel. It's coming in very near two cousins and several lifelong/longtime friends. Some of them have Jim Cantore in their hometown. The concern overnight into tomorrow will be tornados it may spawn where more of my family lives. I just hope I can sleep this evening. I know I won't go to bed until the tropical storm or hurricane makes landfall.

Sep 5, 5:53pm Top

>130 thornton37814: Yikes, a tropical storm or hurricane?! Stay safe.

Sep 6, 1:52pm Top

>131 rabbitprincess: It was a tropical storm just under hurricane strength.

Sep 6, 9:28pm Top

193. How Does My Fruit Grow? by Gerda Muller

Date Completed: 6 Sep 2018

Category: Boston

Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This picture book features more text than many do but would be a good book for early readers, although some vocabulary terms may be a little advanced. The illustrations are nicely done. An interactive activity in the front and back of the book encourages readers to match the numbered fruit to its numbered flower. This book would work well with a unit on edible plants. I received an advance electronic copy from the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Sep 7, 7:03pm Top

194. The Lost Bird by Margaret Coel

Date Completed: 7 Sep 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

Challenges: AlphaKIT - B

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Coel's Wind River series is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. In this installment, Father John and Attorney Vicky Holden, after his assistant Father Joseph is gunned down and a famous actress seeking her birth parents hires Vicky, uncover a black market adoption ring which operated years before. The year in question was 1964. The Arapaho remember it as the year all the babies died. As a librarian and genealogist, my favorite part of the book was when Vicky went to the library to research, even if the author did kind of poke fun at the genealogist who wondered when Vicky was going to be finished. However, the entire book and story, including the introduction of Father John's niece who comes to visit from Boston, held my attention. As usual I listened to the audio version read by Stephanie Brush.

Sep 8, 9:49pm Top

195. Acqua Alta by Donna Leon

Date Completed: 8 Sep 2018

Category: Cornwall

Challenges: Two Guidos

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Brunetti recognizes a name when when looking over the crime report. He visits Brett Lynch, who first appeared in Death at La Fenice as an American with expertise in Chinese antiquities who is the homosexual lover of singer Flavia Petrelli, as the beaten victim in what is assumed to be a robbery gone awry. The thugs warn her not to visit a museum director who turns up dead soon afterwards. Venice is suffering flooding during the installment which adds to the atmosphere and provides an interesting twist in some of the action. The mystery is well-done, compelling readers to stick with the story. I missed a bit of the canal travel and family and food normally featured in the series, but the plot made up for it in other way.

Sep 10, 1:09pm Top

196. Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker

Date Completed: 9 Sep 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: I really enjoyed the Alice Walker books I read in April for National Poetry Month, so I was excited to find this new collection of poems by the author. The collection contains the English poems and Spanish translations by Manuel Garcia Verdecia. The collection is perhaps focused a bit too much on the ills of society and philosophically aligned further left than my own leanings. While I agree with the author's points of social injustices, I think the way we would address them differs a great deal. I still enjoy the rhythm of the author's poetry. I even read a few of the poems in both languages, mainly to see if I was still able to read and comprehend in Spanish. As far as I can tell, the translator did a very good job--and I was able to comprehend more than expected. I received an advance electronic galley through the publisher via NetGalley with expectations of an honest review.

Sep 10, 7:11pm Top

197. A Christmas Revelation by Anne Perry

Date Completed: 10 Sep 2018

Category: San Diego

Challenges: None

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: Worm is living at the Portpool Lane clinic funded by Oliver Rathbone with Miss Burroughs and Squeaky. He witnesses two men violently forcing a beautiful woman to go with them, following them to an area when they suddenly vanish. He later returns with Squeaky, discovering the woman has a story of her own and went with her captors somewhat willingly. All of this is set around Christmas. Squeaky shares the Christmas story with Worm who never heard it. Although the book is short, it seemed to drag on. It never captivated my interest. I did enjoy Squeaky's interaction with Worm apart from the main story line, including the recital of the Christmas story. I received an advance electronic uncorrected proof from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 11, 6:39pm Top

I know many of you will be excited to read that Knoxville's independent bookstore is doing well enough to expand: https://insideofknoxville.com/2018/09/union-avenue-books-announces-expansion/

Sep 11, 6:59pm Top

>138 thornton37814: Excellent news! Love hearing about indie bookstores doing well.

Sep 11, 8:13pm Top

>139 rabbitprincess: The fact that it is near Market Square probably does help it. Carpe Librum was out on Kingston Pike, but it was probably too near the big used bookstore McKays and Borders (when it was in business) and Barnes & Noble. The downtown location gives it the advantage of being near where a lot of folks work, the farmer's market, trendy restaurants, etc.--the crowd most likely to use an Indy bookstore.

Sep 13, 8:12pm Top

198. One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters

Date Completed: 13 Sep 2018

Category: Amish Country

Challenges: British Author Challenge - Historical Fiction; AlphaKIT - E

Rating: 3 stars

Review: A girl, disguised as a boy, turns up at the monastery, seeking refuge. The king had a number of persons executed. One additional body is found. Cadfael gains the king's permission to seek the murderer. Meanwhile the king and his men are seeking the girl. This was a re-read for me, and I remembered enough of the story to make me realize I'd read it before, but the intervening time made details seemingly new at times.

Sep 14, 2:24pm Top

199. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

Date Completed: 14 Sep 2018

Category: Bahamas

Challenges: Irish Author Challenge

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Doyle depicts the childhood adventures of Patrick "Paddy" Clarke, a ten-year-old living in the Dublin suburbs. As most boys, he gets into his share of mischief. He hangs out with a group of male friends. We come to know the boys, their parents, their teachers, and even the priest in the course of the novel. The writing style is unconventional, but critics liked it well enough to award it the Booker Prize. No chapters can be found although white space between certain episodes give the readers an opportunity for a break. While I really didn't care for the "brats" or their language at times, it does provide a great snapshot of Irish life in the 1960s.

Sep 14, 7:37pm Top

200. Past Tense by Catherine Aird

Date Completed: 14 Sep 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Josephine Short, a woman with few friends and relatives, dies in a nursing home, leaving some unusual requests. Shortly thereafter an intruder enters her room. The attending physician noticed nothing unusual, attributing her death to heart failure. The woman listed a second cousin living nearby as the next of kin on her nursing home documents. He is in the Amazon at the time of her death, and his wife, who knew nothing about the woman, must deal with the arrangements. The woman's grandson from a faraway island attends the funeral. A young nurse who attended the funeral is found in the river soon afterwards. Then the old woman's grave is disturbed. Inspector Sloan and Constable Crosby try to make sense of mysterious circumstances which must be linked--but how? It's an interesting puzzle. My hunch was correct, but even I doubted my own conclusions from time to time. I listened to the audiobook read by Ric Jerrom. He did a good job differentiating voices.

Sep 15, 4:58pm Top

201. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

Date Completed: 15 Sep 2018

Category: Charleston

Challenges: American Author Challenge

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Tom Wingo, who had a mental breakdown resulting in his coaching job loss, travels to New York after his poet sister's suicide attempt. He spends a lot of time with his sister's therapist, Dr. Lowenstein, describing their dysfunctional family, a horrible sex crime committed against multiple family members, and the family's strangeness. I did not enjoy this book. I have never viewed the movie. Some plot features lack plausibility. I love the South Carolina Low Country, but I did not like the family he described or really any of the characters in either South Carolina or New York.

Sep 17, 7:03pm Top

202. Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Date Completed: 17 Sep 2018

Category: Quebec City

Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This book actually tells of an event which took place early in Hannah Swensen's cookie-baking career. Hannah and her sisters charge their mom with recreating a Christmas Cake Parade like the one an older lady named Essie discusses. They discover a manuscript written by Essie. Hannah purchases the building which will become the Cookie Jar. We finally reached an "attempted murder" near the end of the book, but most of this is simply back-story. While the descriptions of eating the baked goods is quite good, I'm always frustrated by the "extra comments" in the recipes which make them difficult to use in a real kitchen. As a reader, I wish I'd been alerted in some manner this book, written as the 23rd installment of a series, is chronologically first (or wherever it may actually fall since it's been so long since I read the first installments). I received an advance egalley from the publisher through NetGalley with expectations of an honest review.

Sep 19, 4:01pm Top

Found all the pirate treasure!

Sep 19, 5:01pm Top

All of it? Already? Wowza!

Sep 19, 6:03pm Top

>146 thornton37814: Congratulations! I've never had the courage to even try.

Sep 19, 6:46pm Top

>146 thornton37814: Congrats. Lori. I just finished the treasure hunt and did find them all, although one nearly drove me crazy. The Time-Life question threw me cause there is a Time-Life book called The Golden Age of Pirates that I was so sure was the answer and was getting frustrated when it wasn't right. It wasn't until I re-read the question for the 10th time or so that I twigged on to the fact that the answer was a series!

Sep 19, 9:16pm Top

>147 RidgewayGirl: And I didn't even visit the thread for clues! I did Google a couple of things but most of them I puzzled out. A couple had me stumped awhile but I finally figured out what I was missing in the clue and figured them out.

>148 VivienneR: It's fun. You should try!

>149 DeltaQueen50: I tried one or two wrong Time-Life titles, but I was focusing on another part of the clue and probably got it more quickly. One does have to read those clues carefully.

Sep 20, 8:02am Top

>150 thornton37814: I'll give it a few days of puzzling before hitting up the clues thread.

Sep 20, 12:13pm Top

>151 RidgewayGirl: There's still time. I suspect you can be a good detective.

Sep 21, 1:31pm Top

203. Thomas Kinkade's Cape Light: A Christmas Secret by Katherine Spencer

Date Completed: 21 Sep 2018

Category: Boston

Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Martin Nightingale must fulfill some odd wishes in his grandfather's will in order to receive his inheritance and his grandfather's house. His grandfather wants him to spend a large sum of money on personal needs of Cape Light residents with only a small amount going to charity needs. Through the story we learn the story of how Martin's grandfather's toy shop was saved through the generosity of Oliver. In the meantime, Martin finds himself falling for Louisa, the police officer who caught him speeding on his arrival into town. This was a heartwarming story--and a perfect one for Christmas. It reminds us we should bless others with the blessings bestowed upon us. Kindness, even to those who are not kind in return, exemplifies the Christmas spirit. I received an advance electronic uncorrected proof from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 22, 10:37am Top

204. A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss

Date Completed: 22 Sep 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

Challenges: None

Rating: 1 star

Review: Inspector Steine (pronounced Steen) solved the Middle Street Massacre in 1951, still glorying in its resolution 6 years later when Constable Twitten enters the Brighton police force. Theatre Critic A.S. Crystal knows a secret concerning the unsolved 1945 Aldersgate Stick-Up case and goes to the theatre intending to share his secret with the constable when Crystal himself is shot in his seat. Constable Twitten and partner Sgt. Jim Brunswick set out to solve the decades-old case while the Inspector busies himself with the new one. When I requested this one, I expected it to be a police procedural. The book contains some humor, although not necessarily the most enjoyable variety of that. While it was that, it was a bit too "noir" for my personal taste in detective fiction. I prefer books more like Deborah Crombie's Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series. The seedy elements in the book simply failed to work for me, but I'm certain others would enjoy the book more than I did. If you enjoy noir and hard-boiled detective stories, you will probably enjoy this one. If you prefer your books to contain a little less seediness, you will probably want to avoid this one. I received an advance e-book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 22, 2:34pm Top

>150 thornton37814: Strangely, I got three treasure chests purely by accident!

>154 thornton37814: It seems Lynne Truss mysteries can go either way with readers, hit or miss. For me Cat out of hell was a hit, but not for others.

Sep 22, 2:45pm Top

>155 VivienneR: I got one when I was seeking another one. I had never read Lynne Truss before. I didn't enjoy this one. I doubt I'll try others.

Edited: Sep 22, 7:07pm Top

205. The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein

Date Completed: 22 Sep 2018

Category: Cornwall

Challenges: AlphaKIT - B & E

Rating: 4 stars

Review: While the history portions were more topical than chronological, readers came away knowing snowmen were around in medieval times and possibly earlier. The strength of this book is in its images. I found the photos of snowmen in popular culture fascinating. A town in Maine broke its own record in building the largest snowman--well, actually a snow woman. The book features the snowman in books, movies, advertising, postcards, art, war, and more. It's a fascinating book that features snowmen from around the world. I received an advance electronic copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Edited: Sep 23, 11:08am Top

>157 thornton37814: I know it's too early for my library to have this but I looked to see what they might have by the author and found a book by him called The History of the Snowman: from the Ice Age to the Flea Market. That's curious, I'll have to take a look at it. Snowmen would make good winter reading.

Sep 23, 2:35pm Top

>158 clue: Interesting! I just happened to see that one in NetGalley and thought it sounded like great fun. Actually, I guess "advance" is the wrong term in a way since the book came out earlier this month, but it was still available for reviewers to request.

Sep 24, 9:49pm Top

206. My Life in a Cat House: True Tales of Love, Laughter, and Living with Five Felines by Gwen Cooper

Date Completed: 24 Sep 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Gwen Cooper, author of Homer's Odyssey, featuring the now infamous Homer, the Blind Wonder Cat, writes more tales about her cats, including Homer. She talks about her life, her loves, her time spent between New York and Miami. She relates episodes from cats contemporary to Homer and cats who came into her life later. Some are humorous; most will be appreciated by cat lovers. The book bogged down at times with too much of the author's own story or with excess verbiage. Still it's a fun read for cat lovers. I received an advance electronic copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 24, 10:22pm Top

207. The Body on the Beach by Simon Brett

Date Completed: 24 Sep 2018

Category: San Diego

Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Carole, retired from a job with the Home Office, settled in the quiet village of Fethering. A mysterious neighbor Jude moves in next door. While walking her dog, Carole discovers a body on the beach. Before calling the police, she washes her dog and tidies the kitchen. When they arrive at the scene, the body is missing, and they don't put much stock in her story. Her neighbor Jude is the only one who believes her account. A woman comes to Carole's door threatening her with a gun. She escapes out the back when Jude comes calling. Jude talks Carole into going to the local pub, even though Carole is not a pub person. Strange things occur at the yacht club, and ultimately that venue along with scenes with its members in other locations, provides most of the action for the book. The characters are quirky. I am not naturally drawn to them. I think the novel would have been strengthened by making it a police procedural. Carole and Jude are not the most endearing investigative team. I listened to the audio version read by Geoffrey Howard.

Sep 25, 2:54pm Top

Lori, I'm a fan of Brett's Charles Paris series, but I couldn't warm to the Fethering stories. I've only read one or two but found Carole and Jude unlikeable and the plots silly.

Sep 25, 6:16pm Top

>162 VivienneR: I'm not inclined to continue the Fethering series. I'll try to find the Charles Paris series.

Sep 25, 6:23pm Top

>163 thornton37814: Well, that makes three of us. I read a few and decided it wasn't going to get better.

Sep 25, 6:36pm Top

>164 clue: Glad I'm not alone.

Sep 26, 12:39pm Top

I have had The Body on the Beach on my shelves for years and as I haven't been too eager to pick it up and it sounds like I most likely wouldn't enjoy it, I think I am going to add this one to my "culled" pile.

Sep 26, 10:01pm Top

>166 DeltaQueen50: I think it is quite safe to do that. I'm thankful it was a short book. I kept hoping it would improve, but the author never provided the village charm that makes or breaks some of these novels.

Sep 27, 5:54pm Top

208. Good Tidings and Great Joy by Sarah Palin

Date Completed: 27 Sep 2018

Category: Amish Country

Challenges: RandomCAT - Happy Birthday

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin discusses cultural attacks on Christianity, specifically on the holiday Christmas, in the guise of political correctness. She weaves in stories featuring her own family in or around the holiday. I began reading the e-book, but quickly decided it would work better in audio format with Palin reading it herself. I switched. Reaction to the book will largely fall along political party lines and views of Christianity. I doubt anyone would change their perspective. I am glad I did not read it at Christmas because it might take a little joy out of the season.

Oct 2, 4:01pm Top

209. Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri

2 Oct 2018

Category: Bahamas

Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Montalbano's suspicions are aroused when a man is murdered outside an apartment building and an older couple who don't get out much residing in the building later turn up dead. Readers learn of rivalry between a "new mafia" and the established mob leaders. The women involved with Montalbano and Mimi figure into the story in minor ways. Food is always discussed although I found fewer occasions to salivate than in some installments. Although it is a solid installment, it was not a favorite. Grover Gardner did an excellent job narrating, as usual.

Oct 2, 8:50pm Top

210. Poems by W. B. Yeats

Date Completed: 2 Oct 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

Challenges: Irish Author Challenge - Poets & Playwrights

Rating: 3 stars

Review: I enjoyed some poems better than others. I listened to this in an audio format, read by T. P. McKenna. It was my first time to listen to poetry in the audiobook format, and I found it more difficult to follow than poems in print. I think a longer pause between poems would help transition from one to the other a bit better. I tend to listen to audiobooks while driving, and distractions caused by traffic which don't cause one to lose much when listening to a novel create a bigger challenge in audio format. The narrator's voice reminded me of that of a stodgy old English professor.

Oct 3, 9:27pm Top

211. The 39 Steps by John Buchan

Date Completed: 3 Oct 2018

Category: Charleston

Challenges: MysteryCAT - Espionage

Rating: 3 stars

Review: It’s 1914, and World War I is eminent. Richard Hannay (a Scot) sets up house in London, having returned from Rhodesia. He meets a fearful American spy named Franklin P. Scudder who believes a plot is afoot to assassinate the Greek premier when he visits London. Scudder claims to be following a German spy ring. He allows him to stay with him. Soon two deaths, including Scudder’s occur in the building. Hannay worries he will be next for the assassins, but he must investigate himself, since he is the chief suspect. Hannay pores over Scudder’s notes, once he has broken the cipher. They mention “39 steps.” After being introduced to the Foreign Office by a local aspiring politician, his heroic actions prevent England from divulging secrets to the Germans. I listened to an audio version taken from the Golden Age of Radio with an introduction by Orson Wells and performed by a theatrical company. One had to listen quite carefully over the crackles to hear the soft voices of the actors. The recording quality is quite bad, and I recommend that persons wanting to listen to this one do so sitting in their living room as the original radio broadcasts were heard.

Oct 5, 10:44am Top

212. Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories by Audrey Niffenegger

Date Completed: 5 Oct 2018

Category: Quebec City

Challenges: ScaredyKIT - Ghost stories and AlphaKIT - N

Rating: 4 stars

Review: A nicely varied collection of ghost stories. Stories include "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe, "Secret Life, with Cats" by Audrey Niffenegger, "Pomegranate Seed" by Edith Wharton, "The Beckoning Fair One" by Oliver Onions, "The Mezzotint" by M. R. James, "Honeysuckle Cottage" by P. G. Wodehouse, "Click-Clack the Rattlebag" by Neil Gaiman, "They" by Rudyard Kipling, "Playmates" by A. M. Burrage, "The July Ghost" by A. S. Byatt, "Laura" by Saki, "The Open Window" by Saki, "The Specialist's Hat" by Kelly Link, "Tiny Ghosts" by Amy Giacalone, "The Pink House" by Rebecca Curtis, and "August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains" by Ray Bradbury. My least favorite was "The Specialist's Hat" because snakes were overplayed. I also didn't really enjoy "The Pink House." My favorites were "The Black Cat," "Secret Life, with Cats," "The Mezzotint," and "Playmates."

Oct 6, 6:57pm Top

Abandoned Read #5

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

Date Abandoned: 6 Oct 2018

Category: Harlan, Kentucky

Comments: I made it through three of the seven audio parts before calling it quits. It seemed like a collection of stories or vignettes about persons residing in or near Lucy Barton's home town in Illinois. The first story was interesting enough although I really did not like the ending of it. The book went down from there. Adultery and profanity seemed to be the major themes. I couldn't take the "F" word one more time, and I didn't really care about any of the characters or what happened to them.

Oct 7, 9:06pm Top

213. Snowflake in the Tea by Elena May

Date Completed: 7 Oct 2018

Category: Boston

Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This short story, aimed at a teenage audience, tells the story of Michelle, a resident of Bremen, who meets a white cat in the snow while procrastinating responding to an email from a boy she met while studying abroad in Australia. The cat has some odd temperament points, but there's a touch of magical realism in the book. It's kind "You've Got Mail" with a cat in the picture. Teenage girls who enjoy love stories and magical realism will probably enjoy the story. I received an electronic copy through a GoodReads giveaway with hopes, although not a requirement, that I write an honest review.

Oct 11, 9:02pm Top

214. Hushed in Death by Stephen Kelly

Date Completed: 11 Oct 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Inspector Lamb sets out to solve a murder. His daughter is a constable, serving as his driver, and helps the others with the investigation. The present murder seems connected to one the took place aboard a ship. The writing is weak. The sense of time and place lacks development. The character development is strong on most major characters but not quite to the level it needs to be on a few. I received an advance electronic galley from the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Oct 11, 10:49pm Top

>173 thornton37814: I'd made it through My Name is Lucy Barton last year, but it really wasn't for me. I don't recall adultery and profanity being a problem with that one, but like you, I couldn't feel for any of the characters.

Oct 12, 6:46am Top

>176 mathgirl40: I looked back at my comments from My Name is Lucy Barton, which was not very memorable for me other than knowing I'd read it, to find: While I understand its appeal as literature, I felt a real disconnect with the novel itself. I didn't really like the characters. Her husband didn't go visit often because he didn't like hospitals. I'm sorry. Does anyone really like hospitals? You do some things because of love. I felt sorry for the children that we really never got to know in any significant way. But with the husband acting the way he was and apparently having an affair with the "nanny", you can't help but feel sorry for them. I guess we both felt a disconnect with the characters.

Oct 13, 11:04pm Top

215. In Harm's Way by Viveca Sten; translated by Marlaine Delargy

Date Completed: 13 Oct 2018

Category: Cornwall

Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: A 400 page book with 107 chapters! The choppy organization disrupted the flow of the novel, making it difficult to follow. A journalist is found dead Christmas eve. Suspicion falls to her "ex" who retains custody of their child, but other suspects and motives exist. The police immediately notice the lack of a computer in the journalist's hotel room, leading them to suspect murder even before the autopsy reveals it. While I like the setting, I did not get a strong feel for it. The police did not seem very developed. I'm sure it's because it is a later book in the series, and I read no earlier installments. I received an advance electronic copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Oct 14, 7:25pm Top

>178 thornton37814: This was a title I was kind of looking out for but I'm glad I read your review before acquiring it. How disappointing.

Oct 14, 11:33pm Top

>179 VivienneR: You may like it better than I did. It just was too choppy for me. Certainly those who read it in Swedish liked it better than I did, but I don't know how many of those were friends of the author who submitted the reviews I saw online.

Oct 15, 8:56pm Top

Oh dear... a double whammy on the 2 star reads. Here is hoping your next read is better.

Oct 15, 10:04pm Top

>181 lkernagh: You just never know with those ARCs. I really had higher hopes for them both. I think the audiobook will be my next completion, and I know it will be higher! I think the next book I'm reading will come off around a 3, but I'm reserving judgment until I complete it. It could go higher or lower.

Oct 17, 8:55am Top

216. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Date Completed: 16 Oct 2018

Category: Boston

Challenges: AlphaKIT - N & L

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I first read The Scarlet Letter in high school. I read it again about ten years later. After learning an ancestor's wife, although not the one from whom I descend, likely inspired Hawthorne's story, I became interested in the story again and read it about a dozen years ago. This summer AudioSync offered a free download of the version narrated by Donada Peters. I really enjoyed the listening experience. Although the narrator's voice was British, she did a great job narrating the colonial New England Puritan story featuring a woman forced to wear a scarlet A upon her breast. The father the Rev. Arthur Dimsdale suffered more than she because he failed to publicly confess his sin. The woman's husband, living under the assumed name of Roger Chillingsworth, was the clergyman's doctor and tormentor. The classic story reads differently than modern novels, but never fails to provide material for thought. It continues to be studied in schools because of its ability to be discussed. I enjoyed my revisit to Puritan New England through this audio production.

Edited: Oct 17, 5:13pm Top

After learning an ancestor's wife, although not the one from whom I descend, likely inspired Hawthorne's story

Wow! What a great thing to know.

Oct 17, 9:03pm Top

>184 clue: It caught my attention! You find interesting things like that when researching family. When it is too recent, you tend to keep it under wraps. When it's that old (and famous), you broadcast it!

Oct 18, 8:18am Top

Interesting read about "The Bookish Life" at First Things: https://www.firstthings.com/article/2018/11/the-bookish-life

If the link does not direct you to the article, just Google First Things and scroll down to find the article. I had the link in my browser, but it wouldn't allow me to revisit it without going through the process again. Odd!

Oct 18, 9:08am Top

>186 thornton37814: Thanks for sharing! I liked the article, especially this quote: "The act of reading...should if possible never be separable from pleasure."

Oct 18, 10:27am Top

>187 christina_reads: There were several quotable lines in the article!

Oct 18, 1:41pm Top

217. The Cornish Village School: Second Chances by Kitty Wilson

Date Completed: 18 Oct 2018

Category: Cornwall

Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: I had high expectations for this book, but it simply was not the read for me. I envisioned a book more along the lines of a "Miss Read" book, but instead the narrative was "too modern" to engage me. While I think the intended audience is adult, the writing style struck me as being more appropriate to a middle school audience. I did not feel a strong sense of place in Cornwall either, probably because the descriptions are brief and lack the adjectives which draw a reader into the landscape. If school stories with the headaches of modern technology, overpacked schedules, and societal problems is your idea of escape reading, give it a try. If not, go back and re-read the Fairacre and Thrush Green stories of an earlier day and time. I received an advance review copy of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oct 18, 3:20pm Top

>189 thornton37814: That is both a title and a cover that would have drawn me in, Lori, but it doesn't sound like one that I would truly enjoy, so thanks for your review, now I know to pass on this one.

Oct 18, 7:26pm Top

>189 thornton37814: Exactly. I expected a nice cozy village, but it was far too modern for my tastes.

Oct 19, 9:20am Top

I'm getting ready to round up the cats and make my way to Mississippi where I'm conducting a genealogy seminar tomorrow. I will also be spending time with family. I understand some of my brother's children and their spouses (if applicable) are coming to visit me. I suspect I will be pretty busy until they head back on Sunday although I'll probably be online some Sunday evening and Monday.

Oct 19, 10:14am Top

Have a safe trip!

Oct 19, 5:47pm Top

Have a great trip with the boys. And I hope that the seminar will run smoothly for you.

Oct 19, 7:31pm Top

Enjoy the trip with your feline family and the visit with human family! I hope the seminar goes well.

Too bad The Cornish Village School was a dud. Thanks for the review, it's a title that would have pulled me in.

Oct 21, 9:31am Top

>193 MissWatson: Thank you!

>194 RidgewayGirl: The seminar went well. The boys are being good!

>195 VivienneR: It's one that held such promise, but I read those "village" things for escape, and when they don't evoke a less hectic time of life, they fail miserably for me.

Oct 21, 1:46pm Top

218. A Season of Grace by Lorraine Snelling

Date Completed: 21 Oct 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Challenges: AlphaKIT - L

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: Nilda, a recent arrival in Minnesota from Norway, hopes a person from her past does not follow her to Minnesota. In the new country she finds two new chances at love, but the past still haunts her. While I enjoyed the glimpses into settler life, I did not enjoy the overall story which seemed disjointed. I normally enjoy immigrant stories, and I appreciate the faith expressed in the lives of the settlers, but this book simply didn't work for me. The novel does not make me want to try other works by the author.

Oct 22, 10:26pm Top

The fur boys and I head home in the morning. Although I'll get out to stretch a couple of times along the way, I'm ready for us all to be home. I have about 30 minutes remaining in one audiobook. (The mystery itself is already resolved, and I suspect the remainder just ties up a couple more loose threads.) I chose an Inspector Banks mystery to begin after I finish it. I'll be able to finish that one on a drive next weekend although I'll make good progress on it on the ride home tomorrow and the week's commute.

Edited: Oct 23, 5:00pm Top

219. The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye

Date Completed: 23 Oct 2018

Category: San Diego

Challenges: AlphaKIT - L

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: Orphaned when his parents died in a fire, Timothy Wilde watches his own life savings melt away when a devastating fire destroys the area where he worked as a bartender and lived. His brother Val, a New York City fireman, secures both of them posts on the newly formed New York Police Department. Val is a captain, but Timothy is simply a roundsman. He had hoped to ask Mercy Underhill, a minister's daughter, for her hand in marriage. He moves to his ward, finding lodging above Mrs. Boehme's bakery. When a young blood-covered girl turns up at his doorsteps, the corpse of a boy named Liam is found soon afterwards, leading him to Silkie Marsh's establishment which exploits young Irish children. While the job of the police is primarily prevention of crime, Timothy finds himself investigating this one with the support of the city's first police commissioner. Mercy Underhill continues her mother's efforts at charitable work, in spite of her father's protests. He is intolerant of Catholics, and the poor Irish with whom she works are Catholic. The plot is very well-developed with several woven threads that make for a captivating read or listen. Boyer did a good job narrating the audiobook. I look forward to future installments in this series. My biggest regret is waiting so long to listen to it because I was afraid I might not like it.

Edited: Oct 29, 7:41am Top

220. A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

Date Completed: 23 Oct 2018

Category: Amish Country

Challenges: British Author Challenge - Comedic Novels

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Likable characters and a charming setting make this book a great comfort read. However, it shows its share of adult marital problems as well. After a failed marriage, Katie, along with her small son, moves to Budbury, a village along the Dorset coast. She finds comfort in the charming cafe and the people of the village. Will her parents ruin her peace? Will she be able to love again? With the climax coming around Christmas, it's a perfect holiday read. I look forward to reading earlier installments of the series to learn more about Budbury. This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Oct 25, 8:32am Top

221. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Date Completed: 25 Oct 2018

Category: Bahamas

Challenges: American Author Challenge

Rating: 3 stars

Review: The title of the book is slightly misleading. While the second book details his approach to writing fiction, the first half of the book is autobiographical in nature--vignettes from the author's own life. While some of these episodes influenced his career as author, the connection to others is less apparent. Aspiring fiction writers will probably enjoy the book more than I did. Non-fiction authors will find the process different although certain things apply to us all--such as lean writing. In several places, King mentions The Elements of Style. This classic work influenced King's writing, and it continues to shape the prose of aspiring and great authors. At the book's close, King lists books which moved him. He acknowledges the list may not work for all. Better books on writing exist, so I recommend skipping this one unless King is a favorite author.

Oct 25, 10:41am Top

I like On Writing less as a tool for improving my writing than as inspiration and a goad to get writing, already! This book and Annie Lamott's Bird by Bird are the two best at just making me want to write.

Oct 25, 3:44pm Top

>202 RidgewayGirl: Glad it worked for you better than it did for me. I think he took too long getting to the part about writing!

Oct 25, 5:52pm Top

222. Dr. Jo: How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America's Children by Monica Kulling; illustrated by Julianna Swaney

Date Completed: 25 Oct 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

Challenges: AlphaKIT - L

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: Monica Kulling introduces young readers to Dr. Sara Josephine Baker who worked among immigrant children in Hell's Kitchen. She recognized problems and created solutions to these. Dr. Jo's accomplishments make her a woman worth knowing. She saved the lives of many children, both through her medical efforts and through her efforts to educate midwives, babysitters, and parents. The illustrations are cleanly drawn but more reminiscent of books of an earlier era. Perhaps since we are dealing with a historical figure, it is not a major flaw. The author includes a brief biography of books and websites at the end. I would like to read the doctor's autobiography, written in 1939, to learn more of this remarkable woman. I received a copy of this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program with the expectation of an honest review.

Oct 25, 8:32pm Top

223. Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves edited by Glory Edim

Date Completed: 25 Oct 2018

Category: Charleston

Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Editor Glory Edim shares authors' brief reflections on their literary influences, primarily in terms of books or their authors. These stories are broken up by short bibliographies of black-women-authored books fitting specific categories. The author's essays include white and black authors, both male and female. I wish Edim's lists included mysteries written by black authors, but it did not. A closing bibliography includes the titles mentioned throughout the book. Since the book is written primarily for "girls," the focus is somewhat feminist. I have read some of the titles. While not all the remaining ones appeal to me, I would like to read several of the classic novels, books about girlhood/friendship, and a few more poetry volumes. I received an advance uncorrected proof by the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Oct 26, 10:22pm Top

I finished a Peter Robinson mystery on the drive to Raleigh, but my eyes have been too glazed over to review it this evening because of driving constantly in worsening rain. I'm glad I finally arrived. I didn't even eat supper. I just checked into the hotel and went to the room. I began listening to a new book just past Burlington, NC. I thought I was going to have to abandon it because of the snake descriptions, but it settled down as I drove on. (I'd decided to give it until I got to the hotel to decide whether to continue.) I'll stick with it for now.

Oct 26, 10:52pm Top

>206 thornton37814: I'm so glad you made it safely and hope the trip home is easier.

Oct 27, 7:00am Top

>207 clue: Thanks. I hope it will not be raining. The one good thing is that I'll be leaving a bit earlier in the day so even if I do have rain, I won't have as much glare as I did when it got dark before I arrived.

Oct 27, 2:52pm Top

I can't think of a less pleasant experience for you than driving through the dark and rain while listening to snakes. I'm glad you made it!

Oct 27, 5:10pm Top

>209 RidgewayGirl: That about sums it up! I understand the weather is supposed to be better tomorrow.

Oct 28, 9:31pm Top

224. Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson

Date Completed: 26 Oct 2018

Category: Quebec City

Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: A lesbian woman who was in an amateur production of Twelfth Night is murdered. Does the motive lie in the present or in the past? Chief Inspector Banks and his team, which now includes Inspector Susan Gay, must puzzle it out. Everyone seems to be hiding something. Sergeant Hatchley married and received a promotion, moving to a coastal town, but still serving under Banks. The murder takes place just before Christmas. Most seasoned mystery readers will determine the perpetrator early, but the pacing of the investigation keeps readers interested regardless. I listened to the audio version read by James Langton who does a good job as usual.

Edited: Oct 31, 8:33pm Top

225. The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton

Date Completed: 30 Oct 2018

Category: Boston

Challenges: Nonfiction Challenge - First Person Singular

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Thomas Merton, orphaned by his college years, studied at Columbia and decided to take holy orders. He quickly realized that he really wanted something which would require sacrifice. The Franciscan order he chose cost him very little. He wanted something more. He remembered his friend's visit to the silent Trappist Gethsemane monastery in Kentucky and applied for a retreat there. His experience there was profound, but back with the Franciscans in New York, he found himself wanting more. He visited a more urban Trappist monastery, but found his call to Gethsemani. Along the way, we learn a lot about Merton's life and about contemplation. We also learn about God and man's relationship to him. This well-regarded work influences lives of protestants and Catholics seeking a greater intimacy with God. Much of the experience occurs in the build-up to World War II and in the early days of United States involvement in the war. Merton's draft number came up, but he failed a physical at first and was in the process of entering the monastery by his second call.

Nov 2, 6:56pm Top

>199 thornton37814: - So happy to see you enjoyed The Gods of Gotham! Faye is such a wonderful writer.

Nov 2, 8:20pm Top

>213 lkernagh: Lori, that one will certainly be on my list of top reads for the year.

Group: 2018 Category Challenge

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