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DeltaQueen Goes to Sesame Street in 2018 - Part 5

This is a continuation of the topic DeltaQueen Goes to Sesame Street in 2018 - Part 4.

This topic was continued by DeltaQueen Goes to Sesame Street in 2018 - Part 6.

2018 Category Challenge

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Aug 12, 3:20am Top

Welcome to my fifth thread of the 2018 Category Challenge. My name is Judy and I live Delta, a suburb of Vancouver, B.C. I love books and reading and through LibraryThing I have expanded my reading to many different genres. This is my 10th year at the Category Challenge and I am enjoying this years challenge very much. I am enjoying my light-hearted theme of Sesame Street and have no difficulty fitting any book I choose to read into one of my categories.

I went with 18 categories this read and hope to read at least 10 books for 15 of these categories, 5 and 6 books for 2 more. My eighteenth category is for overflow books so these 161 books plus overflows and additions will comprise my 2018 challenge. This thread will find me completing my 2018 BingoDog and continuing to work on the 2018 PopSugar Challenge and try to fit in as many Cats that I can.

As my thread is dedicated to the classic children’s program, Sesame Street, I thought I would continue on with the idea of children’s classics and post pictures from renowned illustrators of some of the best loved children’s books. The illustrator I have chosen for this thread is Racey Helps.

Angus Clifford “Racey” Helps (1913 – 1970) was an English children’s author and illustrator. His magical and whimsical art mostly featured woodland creatures and birds. My grandmother would send his books to my sister and I as gifts. I remember sitting and gazing at the illustrations while my mom read aloud to us. He added great detail to his pictures so there was a lot for my child’s eye to examine.

Aug 12, 3:20am Top

2018 Categories

A. Brought To You By the Number:

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

B. The Mystery Box:

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

C. Big Bird:

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

D Rechov Sumsum & Alam Simsim:

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

E. It’s Not Easy Being Green:

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

F. Elmo:

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

G. The Letters A to J:

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

H. The Letters K to T:

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

I. The Letters U to Z:

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

J. Abby Cadabby:

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

K. The Count:

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

L. In Recognition of Excellence:

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

M. Miss Piggy:

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

N. Kermit the Frog:

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

O. Bert & Ernie’s Science Experiments:

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

P. Bob McGrath:

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

Q. Oscar the Grouch:

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

R. Mr. Hooper’s Store:

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

Edited: Sep 16, 11:39am Top


Total Number of Books Read in 2018:

Total Number of Pages Read in 2018:

Total Number of Books From My Shelf:

Edited: Oct 6, 12:04pm Top

How I Rate Books:

I am not a professional book critic nor do I consider myself to be an expert on literary standards, my reviews are based on my reaction to the book and the opinions expressed are my own personald thoughts and feelings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited: Sep 19, 11:13pm Top

2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge

1. A book made into a movie you've already seen: Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
2. True crime: Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn
3. The next book in a series you started: Love Story, With Murders by Harry Bingham
4. A book involving a heist: High Sierra by W. R. Burnett
5. Nordic noir: Nemesis by Jo Nesbo
6. A novel based on a real person:
7. A book set in a country that fascinates you: The King's Last Song by Geoff Ryman
8. A book with a time of day in the title: The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
9. A book about a villain or antihero: The North Water by Ian McGuire
10. A book about death or grief: Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor
11. A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym:
12. A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist: Ash by Malinda Lo
13. A book that is also a stage play or musical: Black Coffee by C. Osborne, play by A. Christie
14. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you: Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin
15. A book about feminism: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
16. A book about mental health: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
17. A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift: A Robot In the Garden by Deborah Install
18. A book by two authors: Tuesday's Gone by Nicci French
19. A book about or involving a sport: Wobble To Death by Peter Lovesey
20. A book by a local author: Pleased To Meet You by Caroline Adderson
21. A book with your favorite color in the title: Friends At Thrush Green by Miss Read
22. A book with alliteration in the title: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
23. A book about time travel: Time And Again by Jack Finney
24. A book with a weather element in the title: Snow Angels by Stewart O'Nan
25. A book set at sea: Sea Witch by Helen Hollick
26. A book with an animal in the title: The Judas Sheep by Stuart Pawson
27. A book set on a different planet : I Dare by Sharon Lee
28. A book with song lyrics in the title: My Best Friend's Girl by Dorothy Koomson
29. A book about or set on Halloween
30. A book with characters who are twins: Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne
31. A book mentioned in another book: The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells
32. A book from a celebrity book club: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
33. A childhood classic you've never read: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
34. A book that's published in 2018: The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor
35. A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
36. A book set in the decade you were born: A Bullet For Cinderella by John D. MacDonald
37. A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
38. A book with an ugly cover: Cemetery Lake by Paul Cleave
39. A book that involves a bookstore or library
40. Your favorite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenges - 2017 - A Book Set in the Wilderness: The Revenant by Michael Punke

Advanced Reading Challenge

1. A bestseller from the year you graduated high school: Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer (1968)
2. A cyberpunk book: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
3. A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place: Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
4. A book tied to your ancestry: Morning At Jalna by Mazo de la Roche
5. A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title: Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas by Judy Parkinson
6. An allegory: Red Moon by Benjamin Percy
7. A book by an author with the same first or last name as you
8. A microhistory: Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
9. A book about a problem facing society today: Dumplin'
10. A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: Slow Horses by Mick Herron

Edited: Aug 20, 4:54pm Top

Bingo Dog - Completed

1. Famous Person in Title: Doris Day: Reluctant Star by David Bret
2. Published More Than 100 Years Ago: The Scalp Hunters by Mayne Reid
3. Originally in a Different Language: The First Garden by Anne Hebert
4. New To You Author: The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad
5. Relative Name in Title: Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
6. Money In Title: Blood Money by Dashiell Hammett
7. Published in 2018: The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor
8. X in the Title: X Isle by Steve Augarde
9. 500 Plus Pages: Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
10. Set During a Holiday: Born Scared by Kevin Brooks
11. LGBT central character: Ash by Malinda Lo
12. On the 1001 List: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
13. Read A Cat: Black Coffee - January ColorCat
14. Number in Title: The Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn
15. Humorous Book: The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith
16. Unread 2017 Purchase: Love Story, With Murders by Harry Bingham
17. Title Contains Something You Would See in the Sky: Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
18. Related to the Pacific Ocean: Warriors in the Crossfire by Nancy Bo Flood
19. Fits At Least 2 Kits/Cats: The North Water by Ian McGuire
20. Beautiful Cover: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman
21. Autobiography/Memoir: Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
22. Poetry or Play: Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
23. Longtime TBR: The Lost Daughter of Happiness by Geling Yan
24. Story Involves Travel: A Long Walk Home by Judith Tebbut
25. Rank in Title: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Edited: Sep 14, 12:23pm Top

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

Books Read

1. Love Story, With Murders by Harry Bingham - 4.5 ★
2. The City of the Sun by David Levien - 4.0 ★
3. Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers - 4.1 ★
4. Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear - 3.8 ★
5. Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina - 4.2 ★
6. Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill - 4.0 ★
7. Last Rites by John Harvey - 4.0 ★
8. The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin - 4.2 ★
9. Slow Horses by Mick Herron - 4.2 ★

Edited: Sep 14, 12:20pm Top

B. The Mystery Box - Mysteries & Police Procedurals

Books Read

1. Black Coffee by Agatha Christie, Adapted by Charles Osborne - 3.3 ★
2. The Clocks by Agatha Christie - 3.5 ★
3. Wobble to Death by Peter Lovesey - 3.8 ★
4. The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor - 4.2 ★
5. Blood Money by Dashiell Hammett - 3.8 ★
6. Tuesday's Gone by Nicci French - 4.2 ★
7. The Judas Sheep by Stuart Pawson - 3.9 ★
8. Buried by Mark Billingham - 4.1 ★
9. Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie - 3.8 ★
10. Fear Stalks The Village by Ethel Lina White - 3.8 ★

Edited: Sep 23, 1:20pm Top

C. Big Bird - Large Books

Books Read

1. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy - 4.0 ★
2. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset - 4.5 ★
3. Redemption by Jussi Adler-Olsen - 4.3 ★
4. A Crown For Cold Silver by Alex Marshall - 4.2 ★

Edited: Oct 4, 11:05am Top

D. Rechov Sumsum & Alam Simsim - Global Settings

Books Read

1. The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad - 4.0 ★
2. Gold Of Our Fathers by Kwei Quartey - 3.8 ★
3. The War Reporter by Martin Fletcher - 3.4 ★
4. Jasmine Nights by Julia Gregson - 3.8 ★
5. The King's Last Song by Geoff Ryman - 3.4 ★
6. The Samurai's Wife by Laura Joh Rowland - 3.2 ★
7. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro - 4.0 ★
8. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng - 3.7 ★
9. Dark Voyage by Alan Furst - 4.1 ★

Edited: Oct 5, 12:23pm Top

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

Books Read

1. The Scalp Hunters by Mayne Reid (green cover) - 2.7 ★
2. Friends At Thrush Green by Miss Read (title) - 4.0 ★
3. Flowers For the Judge by Margery Allingham (green cover) - 4.0 ★
4. My Best Friend's Girl by Dorothy Koomson (green cover) - 3.8 ★
5. Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood (author's name) - 4.0 ★
6. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda - 4.0 ★
7. A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson - 4.2 ★
8. The Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstler - 3.2 ★
9. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene - 4.5 ★
10. In A Wide Country by Robert Everett-Green - 3.8 ★

Edited: Sep 6, 11:56am Top

F. Elmo - Children's & YA Reads

Books Read

1. The Night Is For Hunting by John Marsden - 4.0 ★
2. A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla - 3.0 ★
3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - 4.2 ★
4. Warriors in the Crossfire by Nancy Bo Flood - 3.5 ★
5. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt - 4.0 ★
6. In the Palace of the Khans by Peter Dickinson - 3.8 ★
7. Endangered by Eliot Schrefer - 5.0 ★
8. Ash by Malinda Lo - 3.8 ★
9. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld - 3.8 ★

Edited: Aug 30, 12:00pm Top

G. The Letters A to J


1. A: Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott - 4.5 ★
2. B: Painted Horses by Malcolm Brooks - 2.5 ★
3. C:
4: D: Silesian Station by David Downing - 4.0 ★
5. E:
6. F: Time And Again by Jack Finney - 3.7 ★
7. G: The Dressmaker by Posie Graeme-Evans - 4.1 ★
8. H: Eventide by Kent Haruf - 5.0 ★
9: I: A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install - 4.5 ★
10: J: The Weight of This World by David Joy - 4.5 ★

Edited: Aug 28, 12:23am Top

H. The Letters K to T

Books Read

1. K:
2. L:
3. M: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty - 4.1 ★
4. N:
5. O: Snow Angels by Stewart O'Nan - 4.1 ★
6. P: Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe - 3.4 ★
7. Q: An Offer From A Gentleman by Julia Quinn - 4.0 ★
8. R: The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly - 3.4 ★
9. S:
10. T: Cutter And Bone by Newton Thornburg - 4.2 ★

Edited: Sep 29, 7:33pm Top

I. The Letters U to Z

Books Read

1. U:
2. V: The In-Between World of Vikram Lall by M. J. Vassanji - 4.2 ★
3. W:
4. X: Miss Chopsticks by Xinran - 3.8 ★
5. Y: The Lost Daughter of Happiness by Geling Yan - 2.5*
6: Z: Caring is Creepy by David Zimmerman - 4.0 ★

Edited: Sep 24, 9:35pm Top

J. Abby Cadabby - Books of Fantasy and Magic

Books Read

1. God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell - 4.0 ★
2. The Queen of the Tearling by Erica Johansen - 4.1 ★
3. The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner - 4.2 ★
4. Half The World by Joe Abercrombie - 4.2 ★
5. The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner - 4.1 ★
6. The Farthest Shore by Ursula Le Guin - 3.8 ★
7. The Invasion of the Tearling - Erika Johansen - 4.0 ★
8. Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn - 4.3 ★
9. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George - 4.0 ★

Edited: Sep 28, 12:51pm Top

K. The Count Dark Fantasy

Books Read

1. The Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell - 3.5 ★
2. Home by Tom Abrahams - 3.4 ★
3. Cold Hand in Mine by Robert Aickman - 3.6 ★
4. Those Who Hunt The Night by Barbara Hambley - 4.0 ★
5. The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone - 3.4 ★
6. Under The Skin by Michael Faber - 5.0 ★
7. Shattered Hourglass by J. L. Bourne - 3.6 ★
8. Demise of the Living by Iain McKinnon - 3.0 ★
9. Fellside by M. R. Carey - 4.1 ★

Edited: Oct 2, 11:03pm Top

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

Books Read

1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen - 4.0 ★
2. The First Garden by Anne Hebert - 2.0 ★
3. The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith - 3.7 ★
4. Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh - 3.8 ★
5. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen - 4.0 ★
6. The Accidental by Ali Smith - 2.0 ★
7. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - 4.5 ★
8. A Kestrel For A Knave by Barry Hines - 4.1 ★
9. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis - 3.7 ★
10. The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West - 4.2 ★
11. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger - 4.0 ★
12. Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin - 4.2 ★
13. Hard Times by Charles Dickens - 3.5 ★
14. Cause For Alarm by Eric Ambler - 3.8 ★
15. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf - 4.2 ★
16. The Day of the Dolphin by Robert Merle - 2.5 ★
17. The Thousand and One Nights by Anonymous - 4.0 ★
18. The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark - 3.7 ★

Edited: Oct 1, 8:01pm Top

M. Miss Piggy - Female Authors

Books Read

1. Falling From Horses by Molly Gloss - 3.8 ★
2. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu - 4.0 ★
3. Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama - 3.8 ★
4. Henrietta Who? by Catherine Aird - 3.8 ★
5. Morning At Jalna by Mazo de la Roche - 3.7 ★
6. Sea Witch by Helen Hollick - 4.0 ★
7. Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer - 3.6 ★
8. Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole - 3.8 ★
9. The Vintner's Daughter by Kristen Harnisch - 4.0 ★
10. A Lantern In Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich - 4.0 ★

Edited: Sep 7, 4:09pm Top

N. Kermit the Frog - Male Authors

Books Read

1. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy - 4.3 ★
2. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz - 4.3 ★
3. The Revenant by Michael Punke 4.0 ★
4. Red Moon by Benjamin Percy - 2.0 ★
5. The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton - 3.9 ★
6. Peace Like A River by Leif Enger - 4.5 ★
7. Abattoir Blues by Peter Robinson - 4.0 ★
8. Jealous Woman by James M. Cain - 3.2 ★

Edited: Aug 25, 12:35pm Top

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

Books Read

1. This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman - 3.2 ★
2. I Dare by Sharon Lee - 4.5 ★
3. A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers - 5.0 ★
4. X-Isle by Steve Augarde - 3.3 ★
5. Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold - 4.2 ★
6. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick - 4.5 ★
7. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch - 4.2 ★
8. The Humans by Matt Haig - 4.2 ★
9. All Systems Red by Martha Wells - 4.5 ★

Edited: Sep 8, 12:21pm Top

P. Bob McGrath - Non-Fiction

Books Read

1. A Long Walk Home by Judith Tebbutt - 4.0 ★
2. Born A Crime by Trevor Noah - 5.0 ★
3. A Few Acres of Snow by Robert Leckie - 3.6 ★
4. Doris Day: Reluctant Star by David Bret - 3.8 ★
5. Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn - 5.0 ★
6. Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas by Judy Parkinson - 4.0 ★
7. Twilight of Empire by Alan Eckert - 4.1 ★

Edited: Sep 19, 11:14pm Top

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

Books Read

1. A Cat Affair by Derek Tangye - 3.7 ★
2. Nemesis by Jo Nesbo - 4.2 ★
3. High Sierra by W. R. Burnett - 4.2 ★
4. Cemetery Lake by Paul Cleave - 4.5 ★
5. A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron - 4.5 ★
6. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - 4.2 ★
7. Monkeewrench by P. J. Tracy - 4.1 ★
8. The U. P. Trail by Zane Grey - 3.4 ★
9. A Bullet For Cinderella by John D. MacDonald - 4.2 ★

Edited: Aug 12, 3:52am Top

R. Mr. Hooper's Store - Overflow

Books Read

1. When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord - 4.0 ★
2. The North Water by Ian McGuire - 4.5 ★
3. The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells - 3.3 ★
4. The World of Thrush Green by Miss Read - 4.0 ★
5. Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor - 4.5 ★
6. Born Scared by Kevin Brooks - 4.0 ★
7. Dog Songs by Mary Oliver - 4.2 ★
8. The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne - 3.3 ★
9. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy - 3.6 ★

Edited: Aug 12, 3:53am Top

The Welcome Mat is out:

Aug 12, 3:55am Top

Happy new thread, Judy. Did you get any rain Saturday? I felt a few sprinkles.

Aug 12, 3:56am Top

Hi Meg, looks like we are both up late! Yes, we only got a few sprinkles as well - but at least it was delightfully cool!

Aug 12, 4:06am Top

126. Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie - 3.8 ★
Category: The Mystery Box
TIOLI #17: Rolling Challenge - 3 Word Title Whose Initials Are An Airport Abbreviation

Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie is another fun detective story featuring Hercule Poirot. He is brought into this case when his formidable secretary, Miss Lemon, actually hands him a letter with three typing mistakes! When he questions her about what is bothering her, she tells him about her sister who is house mother at a student hostel where a series of thefts and acts of vandalism have been occurring.

Of course, these events eventually lead to a series of murders and before the book is through, Hercule Poirot has aided the police not only in revealing the murderer, but also in uncovering a smuggling ring. As is often the case in a Christie novel, there are plenty of suspicious characters and just about everyone has something to hide. Poirot and Inspector Sharpe must sift through the evidence and the testimony to put the pieces together. As always, I had some strong suspicions of my own but again like always, I was totally wrong.

Aug 12, 7:53am Top

Happy new thread! Hope you are getting a break from the heat!

Aug 12, 8:00am Top

Happy new thread, Judy. As always I'm amazed at your Sesame Street theme and how you fit challenges into it. Very creative thinking. I hope you're having a lovely weekend.

Aug 12, 3:49pm Top

Happy New Thread, Judy! You're one read away from completing your Bingo card! Nicely done!

I agree with Beth that I love the creativity you bring to your challenges each year.

Aug 12, 8:23pm Top

>28 DeltaQueen50: Well, at least I'm no longer singing the old camp song that has been running through my mind since the pastor announced this evening's sermon topic in the morning service. Now, I'm singing the old nursery rhyme.

Aug 13, 5:12am Top

Happy new thread, Judy!

Aug 13, 8:45am Top

Happy New Thread, Judy!

Thanks for reminding me about Hickory Dickory Dock. It's been a long time since I re-read that one. I'm going to get it into the queue.

Aug 13, 12:16pm Top

>29 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle, we had a nice break from the heat over the weekend and now it is supposed to get warm this week, but not as hot as before. Are skies here are quite hazy from the number of forest fires in B.C. and instead of rain to help quench the fires, there were lightning strikes which started more fires!

>30 BLBera: Beth, I love putting the various challenges together. I am already working on my 2019 Challenge!

>31 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, I love these smaller challenges like the BingoDog and the PopSugar Challenge, I have trouble decided what to read next and these challenges help to keep me focused.

>32 thornton37814: Sorry, Meg, I know those ear-worms can be bothersome. Hope you are able to shake it off!

>33 MissWatson: Thanks, Birgit. :)

>34 jnwelch: Hi Joe, I thought that I had read Hickory Dickory Dock previously but if so I had totally forgotten it. As always, I enjoyed getting manipulated by Ms. Christie!

Aug 13, 12:25pm Top

127. Shattered Hourglass by J. L. Bourne - 3.6 ★
Category: The Count
August ScaredyKit: Series
TIOLI #16: Title Ends With Double Letters

Shattered Hourglass by J. L. Bourne is the third book in his zombie apocalypse story. I loved both the first two books but found this third entry didn’t hold my attention quite as well. The main difference was that the first two were written in first person as journal entries and this one was in third person and jumped around between a number of groups so not as concentrated on one person’s survival tactics.

The world has fallen to the walking undead but there are a few remnants of mankind left. The story jumps around from a US aircraft carrier, a US nuclear submarine, a remote scientific lab in the Arctic and the nuclear silo in Texas called Hotel 23 that was the setting for most of book number two. Top secret government conspiracies in the form of the shadowy group, calling itself Remote Six play a part in this story as well.

I believe this was meant to be the final book in the trilogy, but there now has been a fourth book added. Hopefully this fourth book will give us a more definitive ending and will concentrate more on the original main character’s survival plans. There was a lot of story to be covered in this book and it actually comes across rather rushed, I enjoy a fast paced story, but the speed in this one was breathtaking, giving one the impression that the author had lost interest in the story and just wanted to finish it. To use one of the author’s favorite words, I am hoping this “anomaly” changes before I read the fourth book.

Aug 13, 1:54pm Top

Hi, Judy! Happy new thread!

Aug 13, 11:06pm Top

Aug 14, 2:44pm Top

Happy new thread, Judy! I've been a fan of Agatha Christie since I was a teenager. I've rarely read any recently because I'm worried that they won't stand the test of time. Though it looks like you enjoyed Hickory Dickory Dock.

Aug 15, 2:08pm Top

Hmm, I wonder if I read Hickory Dickory Dock? For a while there I only read Miss Marple mysteries as I didn't care for Poirot. That all changed when David Suchet played Poirot.

The filtered sunlight reminds me of last year, Judy. I hope it is cooler in your apartment.

Aug 16, 12:02pm Top

We spent most of yesterday in the air conditioned car, running erands that we needed to catch up on. We had lunch at a favorite Irish Pub and although they had traditional dishes like Shepherd's Pie, Bangers and Mash, and Stuffed Yorkies, I settle for a salad. Unfortunately we have a lot of forest fires in B.C. right now and the quality of our air is really suffering. Very hazy and a sight smell of smoke in the air, so along with heat advisories, we have an air quality advisory as well. The temps. are dropping and so far today is very cool.

>39 VivienneR: Vivienne, I stumbled on Agatha Christie when I was quite young as well and surprisingly, for a family of readers, I am the only one who avidly reads her. I read a lot of them back to back but find that I don't always remember which ones I read. I started re-reading her a few years ago and I am enjoying her mysteries all over again. :)

>40 Familyhistorian: Meg, I was the totally the opposite when it came to Agatha Christie. I preferred Hercule Poirot to Miss Marple when I was younger. Today, I can fully appreciate the Miss Marple stories and I love her. As for Poirot, I still love his stories, but it is much clearer to me how unsufferably smug he can be!

Aug 16, 6:12pm Top

Happy new thread Judy!

>40 Familyhistorian:, >41 DeltaQueen50: I'm with Judy - I didn't really like Miss Marple when I first started reading Christie in my teens. It wasn't until after I saw the Joan Hickson TV adaptations that I could understand how she could be so smart and yet so "wooly". Now that I am older, I also appreciate having an older sleuth. I still love the Poirot books (for the most part) - his vanity & smugness never bothered me for some reason ;)

Aug 17, 2:05pm Top

>42 leslie.98: I guess for you and I we had to have some age behind us to give us a better idea of how Miss Marple operates!

Aug 17, 4:04pm Top

128. The Humans by Matt Haig - 4.2 ★
Category: Bert & Ernie's Science Experiments
August SFFFKit: Humor
TIOLI #11: A Tagmash of Humor and Another Genre

The Humans by Matt Haig was my first book by this author but I promise you that it won’t be my last. This book is a skillful fish-out-of-water send up, where an alien comes to earth in order to prevent us, the inferior race, reaching a certain skill level that we are not ready to handle. This alien has come to earth to replace Professor Andrew Martin who has solved the Riemann hypothesis as this extremely difficult hypothesis would place Earth on the brink of huge technological advances. His mission is to remove any evidence that this equation has been solved and to remove any witnesses.

At first the alien’s experiences are humorous as the author gently pokes fun at what we humans are all about but eventually he finds himself enjoying certain aspects of humanity. Starting with music, poetry and peanut butter. It turns out that the original Professor Martin was an arrogant jerk and the alien is actually a better fit. When he forges an unbreakable bond with Professor Martins wife, son and dog, he learns the value of experiencing pain, love and loss.

The author deftly uses humor to keep the book from becoming too sweet and sentimental and this look at humanity through alien eyes made The Humans an engaging reading experience.

Aug 17, 7:57pm Top

>44 DeltaQueen50: I was just walking through the library to a meeting room a few days ago, but of course stopped to look at a new sci fi display and this was on it. I looked it over and started to check it out and then remembered I had 3 library books at home I haven't read yet. When I allow myself to check out a another one, I'll grab this, looks good.

Aug 18, 12:11am Top

>45 clue: I know how that is - I have to just about keep blinders on when I go to the library and have to pass the recommended table! I hope you enjoy The Humans when you get to it. :)

Aug 18, 12:21am Top

129. Redemption by Jussi Adler-Olsen _ 4.3 ★
Category: Big Bird
August ColorCat: Grey
August AlphaKit: O
TIOLI #1: ISBN Has A Sequence of At Least Three Of The Same Numbers

Redemption (Conspiracy of Faith) by Jussi Adler-Olsen is the 3rd book in the Department Q police procedural series set in Denmark and deals with the investigation of cold cases. A mysterious SOS, an actual message in a bottle, comes to light and is placed in Carl Morck’s hands. He would rather be investigating other cases than this fourteen year old mystery, but his two assistants over-ride him and they start to gather evidence in a bizarre case of kidnapping that eventually leads them to an extremely devious serial killer.

Along with this case Morck must also contend with other problems such as his office being torn apart because of asbestos, the replacement of his assistant Rose by her even stranger sister, Yrsa, his estranged wife threatening to come home, his paralyzed ex-partner living in his living room and his quirky assistant Assad.

The author skillfully yet slowly develops his story and puts the reader on tenterhooks as we can see what the murderer is up to while Carl and his group are just barely starting to put the pieces together. The book starts off slowly and dragged a little in the middle but it never failed to hold my interest. The action picks up during the last 200 or so pages as the story mounts to an exciting climax. Overall this was an excellent addition to the series.

Aug 18, 5:29am Top

>47 DeltaQueen50: - I already have this series on my radar as a previous BB from you. Another series I need to start....someday.

Aug 18, 9:27am Top

Happy Saturday, Judy! I have only read one Matt Haig book, but I liked it a lot - The Radleys. He does "quirky" well.

Aug 18, 1:34pm Top

>48 dudes22: It's a great series, Betty, I am sure you will enjoy it.

>49 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie, I am a happy camper as I have already been out to the grocery store and have all my groceries put away. I got a lovely piece of fresh Coho Wild Salmon for the BBQ tonight and now have no plans for the rest of the day except to catch up on LT and get some reading in!

Aug 19, 11:36am Top

I have also been enjoying Department Q, Judy.

Aug 19, 5:45pm Top

Hi Judy!

>44 DeltaQueen50: I think you got me with this one. The library got it so I'll give it a try.

>47 DeltaQueen50: I read the first of the Department Q books and while I thought it was well written, it was so dark I decided not to continue. Now you've got me thinking I should try number two....

Aug 20, 4:19pm Top

I had to be taken into Emergency last night as I was having some difficulty with my heart racing and being short of breath. It seems I have Atrial Fibrillation which can be an early warning sign of stroke. So another sleepless night in the hospital and now having to go on new medication for this. They let me go this morning and I came home and fell into bed for a few hours. They are setting up an appointment in a week or so with one of the specialists at the hospital just to see how the medication is working and to be sure that my symptoms don't return. So all in all, not a fun night.

>51 BLBera: I wish the author could be a little more concise as his books tend to be well over 500 pages, but I too, really like the characters and the stories in this series.

>52 Dejah_Thoris: Dejah, I think you will like The Humans, I note that this author has a number of rather "quirky" sounding books and I am looking forward to reading more of him. The Department Q books are rather dark and the author doesn't shrink away from violence, Dejah, so be warned but I love his characters and the stories are interesting. I definitely liked this last one more than the second book which seemed to move much slower.

Aug 20, 4:26pm Top

Oh, Judy, I'm sorry about your not fun night. I hope you get more rest and take it easy.

Aug 20, 4:47pm Top

>53 DeltaQueen50: How scary! Fingers crossed that the new meds resolve the problem.

Aug 20, 4:49pm Top

>54 katiekrug: & >55 leslie.98: Thanks, Katie and Leslie. I am just thankful that my attack was relatively easy to diagnose and that I have some advance notice that I may be prone to stroke and so can take precautions.

Aug 20, 5:00pm Top

130. Ash by Malinda Lo - 3.8 ★
Category: Elmo
2018 BingoDog: LGBTQ Central Character
2018 PopSugar Challenge: LGBTQ Character
TIOLI #7: Book Title is In All-White or All-Black Letters

With it’s slightly different take on the Cinderella theme, Ash by Malinda Lo uses both lyrical writing and magical storytelling to enhance and give this age old story some depth. I think the lesbian viewpoint will enthrall many readers while many others will be taken slightly aback. My personal view is that it is hard to find someone to love and who loves you back so wherever or whenever this happens, rejoice in it.

There was never any doubt in my mind as to whether Ash would choose the beautiful huntress or the magical fairy prince, but I would rather have been shown how her feelings developed rather than simply be told. This quibble may arise because this is a YA story and so graphic details are not included. I, being a vindictive sort, would also have loved to see the wicked stepmother get her just reward.

Ash is a lovely retelling of a classic fairy tale, the author supplies a dreamlike atmosphere and a gentle romance that sees the heroine chose real life over a beautiful illusion.

Edited: Aug 20, 5:02pm Top

And with the completion of Ash above, I have completed my 2018 BingoDog Challenge!

Aug 20, 6:33pm Top

Sorry to hear about your health troubles, Judy. I hope you get that under control quickly. I was just in downtown Vancouver. It is pretty hazy and smells of smoke. I don't remember smelling it as much as I do today. Congrats on completing your Bingo Dog challenge.

Aug 20, 7:23pm Top

Yikes, Judy! I'm glad to hear that they gave you a diagnosis and that you're getting a follow-up appointment. Take care of yourself!

Aug 20, 9:18pm Top

Sorry to hear you had to spend time at the hospital. Hope these meds work OK for you, And I post over on the Bingo thread, but I'll say here too - Congratulations on finishing your card.

Aug 20, 10:07pm Top

Sending lots of good-health vibes your way, Judy.

Aug 20, 10:19pm Top

I know I am late to the party, Judy, due to vacation, but I want to send out a Happy New Thread rave!

I have not been good at keeping up with crime series fiction, but I should check back into Dept. Q. I read the first 5.

Aug 20, 10:19pm Top

Sorry, to hear about the health issues, my friend. Keep us updated.

Aug 20, 10:40pm Top

Oh Judy, I'm so sorry to learn of your miserable night and health issues! I hope the medications work well for you.

I've requested the second Dept. Q novel -we'll see how it goes.

Congratulations on finishing your BINGO card!

Aug 20, 10:45pm Top

Oh no, what an uncomfortable and scary night you have had, Judy! I'm just catching up with everyone after my trip home to visit my mom, but I'm sorry to hear about this. I hope you are feeling much better now and that the medication is extremely effective!

Aug 20, 10:46pm Top

Sorry to hear of your health scare, Judy! I'm glad you've been alerted to the problem and have meds to deal with it. Take care.

Aug 21, 1:21am Top

That sounds not a little scary. At least you're home, there is nothing quite like your own bed. Hopefully the treatment will keep it under control and you can make the necessary adjustments to minimise your risk of more serious events.

Well done on finishing your Bingo card. >:-)

Aug 21, 6:42am Top

That does sound scary - I hope that the treatment sorts it out quickly and this is as scary as it gets.

Aug 21, 7:22am Top

Sorry to hear about the A-Fib, Judy. I hope it gets controlled. How scary.

Ash sounds good. Onto the list it goes..

Congrats on finishing your bingo.

Aug 21, 8:00am Top

>44 DeltaQueen50: Yes!! Love Matt Haig and The Humans. How to Stop Time was excellent too!

Sorry to hear of your ER visit and medical troubles. Hope your medication is helping!

Congrats on finishing your bingo challenge!!

Aug 21, 8:41am Top

Good luck on the medication. Hope it helps!

Aug 21, 9:35am Top

Congrats on finishing your Bingo, and good luck with the medical appointments!

Aug 21, 9:37am Top

Adding my sympathy and positive thoughts, Judy. I hope the medication helps and you get back to stable health.

Aug 21, 9:57am Top

Oh no! I hope the new medication works and that you get lots of rest. Take care of yourself.

Aug 21, 3:24pm Top

Thank you everyone for your concern and good thoughts. I am feeling fine, my heart seems to have stopped it's erractic behavior. The only thing I have noticed since I've been on the medication is that I get very light headed when I stand up quickly. I was so tired yesterday that I practically slept the day away.

>59 Familyhistorian: Meg, the smoke here is quite thick and you can really smell it, I think my clothes are starting to smell like I've been sitting around a campfire! We need rain desperately and I don't see any in the forecast until next weekend. Apparently the smoke is so thick on Vancouver Island that it seems like twilight all the time.

>60 rabbitprincess: Thanks, RP. I am doing fine, I think the whole episode upset my husband more than me, and now he's watching me like a hawk!

>61 dudes22: Betty, I found I really didn't have to work much at this particular Bingo Card, my books were often a fit with the categories.

63 & >64 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I have way too many series on the go. One of my goals should be to try and finish off a few of them especially as I can't seem to resist starting new ones all the time! I sure hope you are having a wonderful time in Colorado!

>65 Dejah_Thoris: Thanks, Dejah. I have caught up on my sleep and now I just need for all the bruising to heal. I look like someone beat me up. I bruise easily and everytime they stuck a needle in, I came up with a bruise - a couple are real doozies!

>66 ronincats: Hi Roni, I know how overwheming it is, trying to catch up, after being away for awhile. Good luck. It was scary, coming out of the blue the way it did. I was just sitting watching TV when my heart starting racing and I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. At first I thought it had something to do with how smoky it is here, but the constant pressure on my chest and the waves of perspiration made me realize I needed to get to the hospital.

>67 VivienneR: Thanks, Vivienne. I am trying to look at it positively - at least I had this early warning- instead of a stroke.

>68 Helenliz: Ha, I certainly appreciated my own bed yesterday! I mostly ended up sitting up all night in a chair when I was in the hospital as I couldn't get comfortable on the thin mattress of the stretcher-like bed I was on. I am anxious to see the doctor and learn if there is anything else I should be doing.

Aug 21, 3:33pm Top

>69 Jackie_K: Thanks, Jackie.

>70 BLBera: Hi Beth, your list must be as long as mine! I seem to keeping adding more and more books all the time, and even reading like a maniac doesn't seem to make that list look any shorter!

>71 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle, I have The Radleys by Matt Haig on my shelves and now I will add How to Stop Time - see that list just keeps longer and longer! ;)

>72 AHS-Wolfy: Thanks, Dave.

>73 MissWatson: Thanks, Brigit.

>74 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. It really is true that old age is not for the faint hearted!

>75 paruline: Thank you, I am getting to like this idea of having an afternoon nap everyday. :)

Aug 21, 3:46pm Top

131. Cause For Alarm by Eric Ambler - 3.8 ★
Category: In Recognition of Excellence - 1,001 Books List
August Reading Through Time: Between the Wars
TIOLI #3: The Author's Last Name Starts With A Vowel

Cause For Alarm by Eric Ambler is a classic spy thriller that is set in Fascist Italy in 1938. A tale of espionage and counter-espionage, this was an enjoyable read about the political situation that was building up to soon become open warfare. Eric Ambler wrote the book in the late 1930’s and clearly saw the danger in both the Nazi government of Germany and the rise of Fascism in Italy.

Unlike the thrillers of today, I found that the story developed quite slowly. Nick Marlow finds himself out of work and accepts a job with an engineering company to run their Milan office unaware that he will soon be involved in cloak and dagger intrigue. Becoming involved with Russian agents, German spies and suspicious Italian organizations, he soon finds himself on the run across Northern Italy toward the border with Yugoslavia.

I found Cause For Alarm to be a well-written, subtle yet intelligent story. The author’s straight forward narration gives just enough color to the story for the reader to see the desperation and confusion of the amateur caught up in an impossible situation. The author’s leftist leanings are obvious with his sympathetic take on a couple of Russian spies, but of course, this book was written before Germany and Russia signed their Non-Aggression Pact. An interesting look at Europe on the brink of war.

Aug 21, 10:27pm Top

>78 DeltaQueen50: I have liked the Eric Ambler books I have read - I will have to search out this one.

Aug 22, 2:10pm Top

>79 leslie.98: Leslie, this was my first Eric Ambler that I recall although I don't know how I missed him when I was younger. I will certainly try to read a little more of him.

Aug 22, 2:32pm Top

Glad to hear you are feeling better, Judy! It sounds like the wildfire effects are quite severe where you are. Even here in Iowa we have had hazy skies because of all the western wildfires. Scary stuff!

Aug 22, 2:38pm Top

>81 rosalita: Hi Julia, it is really odd living under this smoky haze, it feels like late afternoon all the time and the sun has taken on a very red hue. The worse part is that on the News last night they said that with the weather change, this could be the new normal for Western North America.

Aug 22, 8:24pm Top

Apparently there is a large fire on Highway 7 close to here which is why we are seeing such heavy smoke, Judy. Hopefully they get control of it soon.

Aug 22, 9:40pm Top

I just saw on Mamie's thread that you're thinking of reading All Systems Red, which is a great book. I'm going to reread it and Artificial Condition , since I can't get my hands on Rogue Protocol from the library yet. Do you have any particular TIOLI Challenge you'd want it to go in?

Aug 23, 11:27am Top

>83 Familyhistorian: At least the weather has turned a lot cooler today, Meg, and there is rain in the forecast which will be a big help in the control of these fires.

>84 Dejah_Thoris: Dejah, I was just looking at the various challenges and I think All Systems Red would fit in Challenge #17 - ASR stands for an airport in Turkey which is about 1,244 km east of the last posted destination in Bulgaria. I will add it there and hope you join me. :)

Aug 23, 11:58am Top

132. Demise of the Living by Iain McKinnon - 3.0 ★
Category: The Count
August ColorCat: Grey
August ScaredyKit: Series
TIOLI #13: A Book That Pairs Well With A Drink (Beer)

I don’t have a lot of good things to say about Demise of the Living by Ian McKinnon except this was an easy, non-involving book for me to read right now. I took this book with me to the hospital and it was a good escape read that I could pick up and put down often. A run-of-the-mill zombie thriller with plenty of violence but full of characters that I found myself not really caring about. As it turned out not caring about the characters was a good thing as not very many of them made it through to the end of the book.

As this book is the third and final (as far as I know) volume in his ‘Of The Dead’ Zombie series, I was expecting the story to be peopled with characters from the previous books, but this one was in a totally new setting and with new characters. The only connection to the previous books is that they are all about virus infected people who turn into flesh eating zombies.

Demise of the Living is not really a book that I would recommend to anyone as it was neither terribly good nor terribly bad just an overall mediocre read.

Aug 23, 11:34pm Top

>85 DeltaQueen50: I've joined you!

Aug 24, 8:36am Top

Judy, I'm glad you're recovering well and taking care of yourself. And congratulations on finishing your Bingo card.

Aug 24, 2:22pm Top

>87 Dejah_Thoris: OMG, Dejah, I am loving All Systems Red and I have already downloaded the next book Artificial Condition. What a great series!

>88 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay, I am feeling pretty good, just very tired all the time - perhaps a side effect from the medication. There is a follow-up appointment booked at the hospital for September 13 so I can sit down with the specialist. I wasn't really able to take everything in when I was at the ER so this will give me a chance to get a full explaination and ask any questions that I may have.

Aug 25, 8:54am Top

>87 Dejah_Thoris:, >89 DeltaQueen50: Hee-hee! Isn't the Murderbot series a blast?

Edited: Aug 25, 12:46pm Top

>90 jnwelch: Yes, it is and I am now addicted! I owe you a big "Thank You", Joe, cause you are the one who originally brought this series to my attention. :)

Aug 25, 12:40pm Top

133. All Systems Red by Martha Wells - 4.5 ★
Category: Bert & Ernie's Science Experiments
August ColorCat: Grey
TIOLI #17: Rolling Challenge - Book Has a 3 Word Title That Is An Airport Abbreviation

All Systems Red by Martha Wells is the first story in her Murderbot series. This is a fun science fiction story about a half-robot, half-organic being who is the security guard overseeing the safety of a group of human scientists who are gathering samples and information on an uninhabited planet. The story starts off in high gear and continues right on through it’s 156 pages.

This AI was designed to be a killing machine but it hacked and modified itself to have a modicum of free will. It spends it’s downtime watching entertainment videos that it has downloaded. It also avoids any face-to-face confrontation as human contact makes it very uncomfortable. Even with these modifications, when the group is threatened the Murderbot has no hesitation in jumping to the forefront to protect them.

I loved this story and was sad that it was over so quickly. Luckily, there are more Murderbot stories available and I am sure it won’t be very long before I dive into another. All Systems Red is a great introduction to the Murderbot Diaries, light, entertaining and addictive.

Aug 25, 3:24pm Top

>92 DeltaQueen50: OK, Judy. Rave reviews from both you and Joe got me to add this one to my library wishlist. The two of you have never steered me wrong!

Aug 25, 9:53pm Top

>92 DeltaQueen50: Can't wait to start reading this series! On the waiting list for this first one!

Aug 26, 1:26pm Top

Stopping by to get caught up and glad to learn that your health scare is under control with the medication.

Aug 26, 2:59pm Top

>92 DeltaQueen50: I'm so glad you enjoyed All Systems Red, Judy! I've really got to go back and find Martha Well's other works.

Aug 26, 7:00pm Top

Congrats on finishing your bingo card, Judy. You're also closing in on doubling up on our 75-ers annual goal and it's still only August!

This smoke has been awful, has it not? It rained here today and I was ever so grateful. Hopefully the cooler temps and increased humidity will douse some of these fires so we can all breathe more easily. I fear that late summers will be like this every year moving forward. I'm also just now catching up on the news about your heart. I'm glad you're feeling better -- I can certainly relate to the scariness of heart-related issues. Keep taking good care, my friend.

Aug 26, 9:48pm Top

>93 rosalita: I think you will love these books, Julia. They are perfect for gobbling up between more serious reads. I am looking forward to fitting the next book in soon. :)

>94 Dianekeenoy: Hi Diane, yipee another reader going to try the Martha Wells series. I think you will love this series as well.

>95 lkernagh: Thaks Lori, it was scary at the time as I wasn't sure that I wasn't having another full out heart attack but hopefully the medication will keep it under control and I suspect I will be encourged to keep walking.

>96 Dejah_Thoris: Dejah, I see that Martha Wells has written quite a few books, most sci-fi and fantasy. She has also been nominated for a Nebula award as well. I will have to have a look at her other books as well.

>97 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, we've had some rain and wind yesterday and today and it has made a huge difference in the air quality. Yes, they are warning us that this could very well be an annual situation due to climate change.

Aug 26, 9:56pm Top

134. The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin - 4.2 ★
Category: Brought To You By the Number
TIOLI #7: Title of Book is in All-White or All-Black Letters

The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin is the second Inspector Malcolm Fox book. Fox is a member of the Professional Standards team and in this outing he and his companions have come to the small town of Kirkcaldy to follow up on a case of police corruption. The original complainant has been found guilty but now his fellow officers need to be questioned to determine if they helped cover up his misdeeds. Being a cop who investigates other cops means facing hostility and antagonism wherever the job leads but Malcolm Fox is more than up for the job.

This investigation starts off with interviewing the suspects and other witnesses but before too long their major witness has been murdered and Fox begins to see that the truth lies in the distant past. Fox is a driven man, the truth is important and he will stop at nothing to track down what is happening both now and in the past. To complicate matters further, Fox also has problems in his home-life that he must deal with as he needs to come to a workable solution with his slightly dead-beat sister Jude over the care of their ailing father who is in the early stages of senility.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Impossible Dead and how the author tied his story lines together by anchoring them to the past. Rankin is a genius at crime fiction writing and although the story was a little slow to get going, it developed into a first rate and satisfying tale.

Aug 26, 11:11pm Top

Hi Judy - I just wanted to pop in and say thanks for the BB on Born a Crime (quite a while ago now). I finally listened to my audiobook of it to fill my BingoDOG square for memoirs and thought it was great.

Edited: Aug 27, 10:44am Top

^Yay! We (my wife and I) loved Born a Crime on audio. So good!

Aug 27, 1:11pm Top

>100 leslie.98: I am glad that you enjoyed Born A Crime, Leslie. :)

>101 jnwelch: I thought the audio raised the book to a whole new level!

Aug 28, 12:29am Top

135. Snow Angels by Stewart O'Nan - 4.1 ★
Category: The Letters K to T
August AlphaKit: O
2018 PopSugar Challenge: Weather Element
TIOLI #3: Author's Last Name Starts With a Vowel

In Snow Angels Stewart O’Nan gives the reader an up close and personal look at small town America in 1974. He perfectly captures the dreariness of the early winter season and two separate stories unfold as fourteen year old Arthur Parkinson recalls this strange time when his former babysitter is murdered and his parents marriage fell apart. Arthur’s way of coping is to get stoned and burying himself in his music ignoring his parent’s acrimonious dealings with each other.

The story of Annie Marchand is a tragic one. She left her husband, engaged in a seedy affair with her best friend’s boyfriend and took her eyes off her young daughter at the wrong time. Her estranged husband had already attempted suicide and then turned to religion but when things turn really bad, he blames Annie and can’t seem to move on.

These two stories are delivered in a unique style with Arthur recalling his fourteenth year in a series of flashbacks, while Annie’s story is told in the present tense which gives it a strong impact. Snow Angels is an unsentimental yet compassionate story about flawed people caught up in events beyond their control, and although rather depressing, kept this reader engaged throughout.

Aug 28, 7:18am Top

>103 DeltaQueen50: - Nice review, Judy. This one was my introduction to O'Nan and I am now a huge fan.

Aug 28, 4:44pm Top

So many good books, Judy!

Congrats on your Bingo.

Take care of yourself. I hope your medication helps.

The Ambler, O'Nan and Rankin all sound like ones I would like -- yes my list is infinite!

Aug 28, 4:56pm Top

>104 katiekrug: It's hard for me to put my finger on what makes O'Nan so good, Katie, but he definitely excels in giving his books an authentic setting. This is only my second of his books so I am looking forward to more by him.

>105 BLBera: Beth, I was just over at your thread so I know that Scout would be very happy to see you use the term 'infinite' for your list - when it comes to books and lists "infinity and beyond" is the way to go! ;)

Aug 28, 9:40pm Top

>103 DeltaQueen50: Snow Angels was my introduction to O'Nan and I've been a fan since. I still have my copy. I should reread it.

Aug 29, 7:29am Top

Happy very belated new thread, Judy! I've been so impressed by the O'Nan books I've read but I've not read Snow Angels . I must rectify that, for sure!

Aug 29, 12:33pm Top

It's a rainy day here on the West Coast, and this is a good thing as moisture is badly needed here right now. I was more than a little peeved at Amazon this morning as they suddenly have jacked up the prices on John A. MacDonald's books. I have been picking them up randomly, every now and again for about $1.99 to 3.99 per book, but today they were all set at $13.00!

>107 RidgewayGirl: My first O'Nan was Last Night At The Lobster which totally blew me away! I have picked up The Night Country and A World Away so one of those two will most likely be my next O'Nan.

>108 Carmenere: Lynda, The Snow Angels is well worth picking up! :)

Aug 30, 11:10am Top

>109 DeltaQueen50: I hate it when amazon does that! I find that it seems to happen when they are running low on stock and the price skyrockets!

Edited: Aug 30, 11:42am Top

I have a friend who loves O'Nan and has read all of his books. The only one I have on my shelves now is Wish You Were Here. She says it isn't as good as most of his others and I should read the sequel, Emily Alone next because they are much better together. She suggested I then go to A Prayer for the Dying but it looks much different than his others. It takes place during the Civil War and is apparently rather gothic. She may have recommended it next because it sounds like something I will particularly like.

Aug 30, 11:55am Top

>110 ChelleBearss: I was particularly peeved because I had just picked up a couple of John D Macdonald's books at a low price the other day, if I had known they were going to be jacked up, I would have bought more! Maybe if I patiently wait, the price will drop down again.

>111 clue: I have heard good things about A Prayer for the Dying and it is definitely on my wishlist. One of the ones I already have looks to be historical fiction, A World Away is set during WW I.

Aug 30, 12:07pm Top

136. Silesian Station by David Downing - 4.0 ★
Category: The Letters A to J
August MysteryCat: Historical Mysteries
August AlphaKit: D
TIOLI #13: A Book That Pair Well With A Drink - German White Wine

Silesian Station by David Downing is the second book in his series about international journalist John Russell who is working for an American newspaper in 1939 Berlin. In this volume Russell is juggling his spying duties for 3 different countries in the month leading up to Hitler’s invasion of Poland. As his son, Paul, is a German citizen and he is romantically involved with a German actress, he wants to stay in Germany to be with them. He has changed his citizenship from British to American as war between Britain and Germany is eminent. Part of the price for his American passport is to gather information for them. Germany is threatening his girlfriend to force him to work for them, and, in order to have an escape path for himself and his girlfriend, he also helps the Russians.

If this wasn’t enough, he has also been asked by his former brother-in-law to help track down a missing Jewish girl who, being harassed in her small town, came to Berlin, thinking it would be safer there. She arrived at Silesian Station but hasn’t been since since.

Although there is both a lot of plot and characters to follow, Silesian Station paints a vivid picture of the rising tensions as well as the day to day life in the Third Reich. As Russell travels to cover various stories we are given a clear picture of how the war escalated. I am looking forward to continuing with this series to learn about the complex life of John Russell as well as getting more insights into this world changing war.

Sep 1, 9:39am Top

Glad to see that you are enjoying David Downing's series! I read that series a while back and enjoyed them all

Sep 1, 11:51am Top

>114 ChelleBearss: I am enjoying this series, Chelle. The plots are complex, the characters well developed and it's interesting to have the action based in Germany.

Edited: Sep 14, 12:20pm Top

137. Slow Horses by Mick Herron - 4.2 ★
Category: Brought To You By the Number
2018 Pop Sugar Challenge: Recommended by Another PopSugar Challenger
TIOLI #10: A City is Pictured or Silhouetted on the Cover

Slow Horses by Mick Herron is the exciting first book in what appears to be a very promising new series. Slough House headed by the enigmatic Jackson Lamb, is a dumping ground for intelligence operatives who have screwed up or become unreliable. Sent to this backwater and given the most mundane of tasks, these agents will do anything to redeem themselves.

River Cartwright is one of these so-called ‘slow horses’, bitter about being set up to take the blame for a breakdown in communications on a training exercise, he is ready to jump at the opportunity to get back into the game. When a young man is abducted and his kidnappers threaten to broadcast his beheading live on the Internet, Jackson Lamb, River Cartwright and their associates at Slough House see this as an opportunity to prove themselves. But there are many complications awaiting them, not least of which is that everyone connected with this case appears to have their own agenda.

I listened to the audio version as read by Gerald Doyle who really made this book come alive for me. The action builds steadily and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat while at the same time the author paints a very clear picture of the jaded politics of government and the “cover your ass” attitude that prevails at every level. I was rooting for the Slow Horses to prove themselves and be elevated over their usual donkey work assignments, but whatever they are going to be working on next, I am sure it’s going to make for very interesting reading.

Sep 1, 5:09pm Top

I snagged an e-book of Slow Horses when it was on sale. I think I will have to read it soon, so many 75ers love it.

Sep 2, 8:09am Top

>116 DeltaQueen50: - I'll take a BB for this. I always like the flawed heroes.

Sep 2, 1:36pm Top

>117 BLBera: I think you will enjoy Slow Horses, Beth, and (Bwa haha!) be hooked on another series!

>118 dudes22: You will love this series then, Betty, pretty much every character is flawed! ;)

Sep 2, 1:47pm Top

138. Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole - 3.8 ★
Category: Miss Piggy
September AlphaKit: B
TIOLI #5: A Three Word Title With At Least One Person on the Cover

When poet Elspeth Dunn receives her first fan letter in the spring of 1912 little does she know that this is the beginning of relationship that will change her life. American college student David Graham has written to express his admiration for her craft, but as their correspondence continues admiration becomes friendship and friendship eventually evolves into love. Unfortunately Elspeth is already married to a Skye island fisherman, and World War One is looming on the horizon.

Written in an epistolary style, Letters From Skye follows two timelines, that of the romance between Elspeth and David and then jumping forward to 1940 as Elspeth’s daughter, also separated from her loved one by war, discovers a letter from the past and starts to put the pieces together.

Although a little overly sentimental, Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole is a romance that oozes wistful longing and lyrical charm. This debut novel encourages the reader to believe in a love that can withstand years of separation and misunderstanding and made a lovely escape from the everyday world.

Sep 3, 12:33pm Top

139. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf - 4.2 ★
Category: In Recognition of Excellence
1,001 Monthly Challenge: Extend Your Streak
TIOLI #3: A Book You Must Read

I was quite leery of reading Mrs. Dalloway, my second Virginia Woolf as I wasn’t a fan of my first attempt, Jacob’s Room. Once again the dreaded words “stream of consciousness” arose and I approached the book with trepidation. I chose to listen to the book as read by Juliet Stevenson, and this was an excellence choice as she did a stellar job and made the book come alive.

Mrs. Dalloway is a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a high society woman in post WW I England. Mrs. Dalloway’s main concerns revolve around relationships and connections. On this particular day she is preparing to host a party and as she goes through the day getting ready for the evening, she muses on her past relationships and how her life has turned out. One gets the sense that somewhere along the way, she has lost her inner self to the Mayfair hostess she shows to the outside world.

We don’t spend the whole book locked in Mrs. Dalloways’ head. There is another storyline that runs parallel to that of Clarissa’s. This one involves a war veteran, Septimus Smith and his wife Lucrezia. Septimus is suffering from post traumatic stress and although he and Clarissa do not meet on this day, his actions are to affect her. We also meet and are given an insight into her past with encounters with her past suitor, Peter Walsh and her childhood best friend Sally Seton.

Surprise, surprise! I loved this book. The author was able to place me inside this woman’s head and make me privy to her inner most thoughts. Although some would find her shallow and selfish, I found myself relating to her. I think most everyone thinks about their choices and wonder what life would be like if they had chosen a different path. This is a short book but it is packed with unforgettable images and beautiful language that ultimately tell a story about wasted potential.

Sep 4, 8:41am Top

>121 DeltaQueen50: - You've given me one of those "duh - why didn't I think of that" moments. I didn't like Mrs. Dalloway when I read it because of the stream of consciousness thing. I think it might have been the first book I read that was written like that and I might not have finished it. But I realized from what you wrote that maybe a book like that would work better as an audio book for me. It would probably seem more natural. I'll have to give that some more thought.

Sep 4, 12:03pm Top

>122 dudes22: That's it exactly, Betty. The reader was excellent and the work flowed wonderfully as an audio. I think I will now listen to audios of all the Virginia Woolf's that are on the 1,001 List.

Edited: Sep 6, 11:23pm Top

140. The Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstler - 3.2 ★
Category: It's Isn't Easy Being Green - Ecology
September RandomCat: Happy Birthday
TIOLI #4: Title Includes the Name of a Railway Station

The Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstler is the second book of a dystopian trilogy and picks up right where the first book left off. After the wars had been fought there was a collapse of both government and economy, and the world has reverted back to the past. Travel is by horseback, and farming is the main occupation. But this is not a peaceful world, bandits roam the country and prey on those who are weaker and illness is a constant threat. In the small town of Union Grove in upper New York state, the townspeople and the strange religious cult that call themselves the New Faith Order are uneasily sharing the town. Jasper Copeland, the local doctor’s son, in a fit of grief over his dog’s death, has poisoned Brother Jobe’s prize stallion. Ashamed and miserable, he has run away from home. While on the road he falls into the hands of a young bandit called Billy Bones, who it turns out, is little more than a crazed killer.

While I enjoyed the story of young Jasper and his adventures on the road, I still had some major issues with how the author portrays women. For the most part women are shown to be the docile helpmate that are kept firmly under a man’s thumb or they are the wanton siren, there for men’s comfort and sexual pleasure. These people came from a modern world where women were gaining in equality, ran companies, held professional jobs, yet all that is neither acknowledged or is it explained how are now considered second class citizens.

The author evidently has deep ecological concerns about the direction we are heading and has created a richly imagined world but unfortunately his characters are throw-backs. The men are firmly in control and speak, dress and behave like they come from the 18th century. Whereas the women seem to have value only if they have good, child bearing hips. I have the third book of this trilogy on my shelves and I will most likely give it a try at some point, but I won’t be rushing to pick it up anytime soon.

Sep 4, 9:58pm Top

Hi, Judy. Just checking in. Hooray for Mrs. Dalloway. I will have to reread that one at some point. I really enjoyed that one.

Sep 4, 10:05pm Top

>121 DeltaQueen50: Glad you liked it, Judy. I've never read Virginia Woolf but have thought about that one.

Sep 4, 10:16pm Top

>125 msf59: Hi Mark, I am just off to do some checking in myself. I have been mostly been lurking this last little while. :)

>126 lindapanzo: Linda, I really didn't enjoy my first Virginia Woolf experience, Jacob's Room but the audio of Mrs. Dalloway appealed to me right from the start. I don't know if I would have had the same enjoyment of the book if I had simply read it, the audio version was just so well done!

Sep 5, 2:33pm Top

>124 DeltaQueen50: I've just realized that there are 4 books in James Howard Kunstler's World Made By Hand series. It was originally touted as a trilogy but now I am not sure if he will go on and write more or if the 4 will finish it.

Edited: Sep 6, 11:25pm Top

141. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld - 3.8 ★
Category: Elmo
2018 PopSugar Challenge: A Previous Goodreads Reader's Choice Award Winner - 2009 Sci-Fi
TIOLI #14: Main Characters Are Children

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld is the opening book in his steampunk series of the same name. In this volume the author establishes his characters and sets the scene for this alternative version of World War I. In this book the Austrians and Germans are referred to as the Clankers, as they rely on mechanics for their weapons of war, while the English and their allies are called “Darwinists” as they have mastered the art of DNA manipulation to create organic weapons.

Although the two main characters seemed a little young and the story too simplified for my tastes, this is a YA book that I can certainly see young people loving. Alek is the unacknowledged crown prince of the Austrian Empire but he is on the run while being hunted by his uncle, the current Emperor. His mother was a commoner and as such, her offspring are not considered “royal” enough to ascend the throne. Nevertheless, times are changing and his uncle wants to exterminate this threat. Deryn is a young Darwinist female masquerading as a boy in order to be in the military service and learn to master the art of flying the huge airships that they use. She grew up with a balloonist father and has an affinity for flying. As a midshipman she appears to have the ability to always be in the centre of things. The two meet, and at this point form a friendship that I am sure will develop into more as they mature in the later books.

In Leviathan, the two main characters are introduced and firmly established but they don’t actually meet until about halfway through the book. I fully appreciated how the author uses humor and imagination to draw his readers into this strange world peopled with unusual gadgets, fabulous beasts, and intriguing characters. This opening book of the steampunk adventure would definitely appeal to both the young and the young-at-heart.

Sep 6, 1:54pm Top

>129 DeltaQueen50: My son loved (and probably still loves) this series. It did prove useful as once at a dinner I couldn't remember the kind of marriage in which a commoner marries a member of a royal family but is barred from any titles or privileges. Max piped right up that it's a morganatic marriage - which he learned about in Leviathan.

Sep 6, 2:25pm Top

>130 RidgewayGirl: I love that story!

Sep 6, 7:31pm Top

Hi Judy - I'm so glad you loved Mrs. Dalloway; I think it's one of my island books. Thanks for reviewing The Witch of Hebron; now I don't have to read it. So, that's one LESS series to continue with. I guess Slow Horses will balance that, right?

Sep 7, 11:36am Top

>130 RidgewayGirl: & >131 christina_reads: I agree with Christina, that is a great story, Kay, and it's good to know that kids can absorb knowledge even when reading a light adventure novel.

>132 BLBera: Beth, I've given up worrying about the number of series that I am following, it seems more and more series are hitting the shelves these days and even if a book is not meant to be a series, if it is successful, there's a good chance that a sequel will soon be in the works!

Sep 7, 4:13pm Top

142. Jealous Woman by James M.Cain - 3.2 ★
Category: Kermit the Frog
September MysteryCat: Hard-Boiled/Noir
TIOLI #11: A Character's Full Name is On Page One

Jealous Woman by James M. Cain is another hard-boiled mystery that involves insurance fraud. Even though the character Robert Keyes from Double Indemnity is one of the main characters in this book, it still comes nowhere near recapturing the magic of that story. This book suffered from a convoluted, bulky plot that had far too many holes for the reader to bridge.

In the days before no-fault divorce, Reno, Nevada became the divorce capitol of America. Jane Delavan has come to fulfill her 6 week residency but it turns out her husband has another idea. He wants to go for an annulment and instead of alimony he wants to take out a $100,000.00 life insurance annuity. Ed Horner is the life insurance agent who arrives to settle the deal, but before too long Ed and Jane are involved. Other people who have an interest in this annulment also arrive in Reno, this includes Jane first husband and his current wife, and Robert Keyes who smells a rat.

What follows is an intensely confusing whodunit with too many characters for this short book to sustain. Overall, Jealous Woman is a weak rehash of his masterpiece Double Indemnity and I would recommend that readers skip this book in favour of the brilliant original.

Sep 7, 4:17pm Top

Hi Judy,

I pulled Jealous Woman out to read for this month as well. Thanks for the warning, I'm still going to read it because I've had the book for almost 10 years, but I know now not to be disappointed.

Sep 7, 6:59pm Top

>134 DeltaQueen50: Now that is a pulpy cover! Thanks for the review. Double Indemnity is my favourite James M. Cain, so I won't bother reading the retread of it.

Sep 8, 11:59am Top

So happy to see you loved Mrs. Dalloway! I love that one, and good job in overcoming the stream of consciousness writing style by listening to the audiobook. I love that form of writing style but it is definitely not a favorite with most readers. ;-)

>129 DeltaQueen50: - YAY, you are reading Westerfeld's Leviathan series! I loved all of the books in that series. Love Bovril!

Edited: Sep 8, 12:16pm Top

I find it hard to believe it is Saturday already! The weeks just seem to be flying away. My husband has decided that we can't possibly go another day without a toaster oven so we are going to be shopping for one of those today. It's slightly rainy and cool so I am also going to make a big pot of soup for dinner tonight so I must remember to stop in at the bakery for some nice buns. Other than that I hope to get some quality reading time in as I am really enjoying both the books that I am currently reading, The Garden of the Evening Mists and The Vintner's Daughter should keep me engaged for the next few days.

>135 jonesli: Hi Lisa, I've had Jealous Woman on my shelves for some time as well. I loved Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice is one of my all time favorites, so I was a little let down by this one. I will be watching for what you think of it.

>136 rabbitprincess: I love that cover! If I see a book out there with a pulpy cover I am almost guaranteed to buy it - can't resist. ;)
>137 lkernagh: Hi Lori, audible is definitely the way to do with "stream of consciousness' books for me. I think Juliet Stevenson, the reader, also played a major part in making Mrs. Dalloway come alive. I have the next two Leviathan books on my shelf so I will definitely be continuing on with the series.

Sep 8, 12:28pm Top

143. Twilight of Empire by Allan W. Eckert - 4.1 ★
Category: Bob McGrath
September AlphaKit: E
TIOLI #18: A Celestrial Reference is Made on Page 21

Allan W. Eckert is an expert chronicler of America’s turbulent frontier history. He has written a number of books that detail the western expansion and in Twilight of Empire he focuses on the life of War Chief Black Hawk who strove to hold back the white people from claiming the ancestral home of the Fox and Sac tribes. This homeland was the rich land of the northern Mississippi River that was destined to become known as the state of Illinois.

This is a book that I needed to read with two bookmarks, one to mark my reading place and another to allow me to follow the author’s amplification notes at the back of the book. Each event and detail has been painstakingly researched. Every character in this sweeping epic is drawn from actual history and their every action actually happened. Twilight of Empire is part of this author’s Winning of America series which I had read all but this book quite a few years ago. I was very happy to have found this book at a second hand store so that I could complete my read of this fascinating series.

Black Hawk was an extraordinary man, he had a life-long hatred for the Americans, who once burned his home village. As settlers and soldiers arrive in this contested land, a savage conflict is ignited. This non-fiction historical read makes for a vivid, exciting and interesting reading experience that is made all the more dramatic by the knowledge that all of this actually happened.

Sep 9, 9:25pm Top

144. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng - 3.7 ★
Category: Rechov Sumsum
September ColorCat: Metallic
2018 PopSugar Challenge: Time of Day in Title
TIOLI #16: A Weather Related Word for Rain is in the Title

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng is a beautifully written novel that the author wisely allows to unfold slowly as the main character comes to terms with her painful history and looks forward to her uncertain future. Supreme Court judge Teoh Yun Ling has retired from the bench and returned to the Cameron Highlands. She reflects upon her personal history in a series of flashbacks and we slowly are made aware of the interesting relationship she had with Nakamura Aritomo, the Japanese gardener who came to the Malaysian highlands and built Yugiri, the garden of evening mists.

When she first arrived in the Cameron Highlands it was 1951 and there was a great deal of turmoil and communist guerrilla activity in the area. She stays with friends at a large tea growing estate, but her mission is clear. She survived a Japanese prisoner of war camp and her beloved sister did not. Even hating all things Japanese, she wishes to hire the gardener to design a Japanese garden in her sister’s honor. Instead of agreeing, he in turn offers to teach her how to build the garden herself and for the next couple of years she works as his assistant, becomes his lover, and eventually his canvas.

While the story was intriguing and wonderfully written, I found this book was a little to ponderous, the dialogue too structured, and the characters too reflective for me to totally embrace this story. I had previously read the author’s The Gift of Rain and found it far more accessible. The exotic setting and mystical aspects of the art and culture that the author built The Garden of Evening Mists around helped to make this both dark and atmospheric yet I was always very aware of how carefully the book was constructed.

Edited: Sep 10, 3:42am Top

>140 DeltaQueen50: Interesting title!

Sep 10, 7:19pm Top

Good to hear that you like The Postman Always Rings Twice, Judy. I haven't cracked the covers on that for this month yet but should do it soon. My library holds have been keeping me busy.

Sep 10, 9:38pm Top

>141 MissWatson: The title is very much in line with the way this author writes with beautiful, lush descriptions.

>142 Familyhistorian: Meg, I didn't just like The Postman Always Rings Twice, I loved it. It's such a short book but totally packed with story! I hope you enjoy it.

Sep 11, 12:03am Top

Did you find a toaster oven? I must confess, I have never had one...

Sep 11, 11:43am Top

>140 DeltaQueen50: - Your review had me sucked right in - right up until the last paragraph. Now I'm not so sure. I think I'll still take the BB, but with an asterisk.

Sep 11, 12:04pm Top

>144 ronincats: We did get a toaster oven, Roni. I really saw no need for it, but my husband is a gadget lover and he really wanted one. It toasts nicely which is all I care about and my husband has already made 1/2 doz muffins and used the toaster oven to bake them. It's a combination regular oven/convection oven so I suspect he will be trying more things such as a small roast in the future. I try to encourage him to do more cooking but it's a painful process as he likes me to be there to oversee things and somehow I usually end up with the clean-up!

>145 dudes22: Betty, I will be very interested in your thoughts on The Garden of Evening Mists I seem to be a moody reader and I think I just wasn't in the mood for this book. He does give the reader an excellent portrait of Malaysia in the 1950's and his descriptions of the Cameron Highlands make you immediately want to go there.

Sep 11, 9:06pm Top

Hi Judy - You are absolutely right about series -- the same goes for movie sequels. If a film makes big bucks, you KNOW there will be a sequel.

The Eng sounds interesting. One of the women in my book group loved both his books but I think she preferred The Gift of Rain.

Sep 11, 9:56pm Top

>147 BLBera: I know, and all these sequels make me a little sad cause sometimes I just don't want to know what happens next! I would say that I also preferred The Gift of Rain.

Sep 11, 10:05pm Top

145. The Vintner's Daughter by Kristen Harnisch - 4.0 ★
Category: Miss Piggy
September Reading Through Time: Let's Have A Drink
TIOLI #5: A Three Word Title With At Least One Person on the Cover

The Vintner’s Daughter by Kristen Harnisch is the story of Sara, a young French woman who overcomes adversity to fulfill her dreams. She and her sister are forced to run away from their home in the Loire Valley to America after her sister’s brutal husband beats his pregnant wife and then tries to rape her. Sara had always been interesting in her father’s chosen career as a vintner, and after coming to America she realizes that California, in particular, the Napa Valley would be the ideal place to allow her to work and grow in the wine business.

Almost penniless, Sara arrives in the Napa Valley and starts by working with the Chinese in the vineyards. She is taken under another woman’s wing and eventually gets offered a job at one of the largest wineries in the Valley. This could be perfect except that this winery is owned by the brother of her sister’s husband.

The Vintner’s Daughter is rich in period detail and the two locations of the Loire Valley in France and Napa Valley in California help to enhance the story. There is a lot of detail about the growing of grapes and the making of wine but this does not detract in any way from the story of Sara and how she comes to be a vintner in her own right and find a love that will protect, sustain and partner her. This was a great book to read while sipping on a glass (or two) of wine.

Sep 11, 10:49pm Top

>149 DeltaQueen50: I read this one a few years ago and didn't like it as much as you did, I gave it 3 stars, but like you I did like the portions relating to grapes and wine. As a debut novel, I thought it showed promise for Harnisch. The sequel, The California Wife though turned out to be a disappointment to me, I only rated it 2.5 stars, and in fairness it may be my personal taste that caused the low rating. I thought it was more a romance novel than anything else and that's not a genre I usually enjoy.

Sep 12, 11:44am Top

>150 clue: Oh dear, I have the second book on my shelves. I went into this book thinking it would be a romance first type of book so I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of information she was able to insert into the story. Hopefully, I can keep that mindset for the second book and will try read it at a time when I am in the mood for a romance story.

Edited: Sep 12, 12:19pm Top

146. The Day of the Dolphin by Robert Merle - 2.5 ★
Category: In Recognition of Excellence
September 1,001 Books Group Read
TIOLI #3: A Book You Must Read

The Day of the Dolphin is a 1967 science fiction novel by French novelist Robert Merle. The book is set in Florida in the early 1970’s when the cold war was still on-going. I struggled with this book as it did not engage me, was quite dated, and, from today’s prospective the plot was hard to swallow. Of course, as with many science fiction books written in this era, the author uses the story to highlight his anti-war and anti-government feelings.

The first half of the book is spent in setting up the situation and explaining how the scientists have been researching dolphins and analyzing the sounds they make. They are trying to teach dolphins to speak English and of course, the government is watching closely and considering how these dolphins could be used in warfare. The second half of the book was more of a thriller but as I was never very engaged with the plot, I wasn’t able to get swept up in the danger and excitement.

The idea of dolphins being able to directly communicate with humans is an exciting and interesting idea, but having them learn to speak actual English just didn’t work for me. Overall I think the biggest problem with this book is that it just didn’t stand the test of time.

Sep 12, 10:15pm Top

>152 DeltaQueen50: I think that "did not stand the test of time" applies to a lot of books from the '60s, Judy. Kudos to you for finishing it.

Sep 14, 4:00am Top

>152 DeltaQueen50: It's books like this that make me seriously doubt I will ever actually finish the 1001 list... Life's too short for a poor book.

Sep 14, 12:15pm Top

<153 Meg, it was a group read over at the 1,001 Challenge Group which helped me to stick with it. I am glad to have read it and can now check it off the list and never have to think abut it again!

>154 Helenliz: I've had other books that I didn't like, but I would say this is the one that really made me question how it got on the list. So far I have had more good surprises than bad, so I will soldier on. ;)

Sep 14, 12:27pm Top

147. Fear Stalks the Village by Ethel Lina White - 3.8 ★
Category: Mystery Box
TIOLI #6: Definite Article In The Title, But Not At The Beggining

Originally published in 1932, Fear Stalks the Village by Ethel Lina White opens in a quiet country hamlet that is described as idyllic. The inhabitants are friendly and the harmony that the residents share ensures an active social life of garden and tea parties. But there is something going on just under the surface, someone is sending anonymous letters that threaten to expose people’s darkest secrets. Eventually deaths start to occur, forced suicides as people seek to escape exposure. The poisonous letters keep coming and the local vicar, deeply disturbed by these events, calls on his friend, amateur detective, Ignatius Brown to solve the mystery.

Although rather slow moving, I enjoyed this story. The author, after describing this picture-perfect village then sets an atmosphere of fear and paranoia as everyone wonders who is behind the poisonous letters. More of a character study than an actual mystery, the author scatters red herrings about, having us look suspiciously at first one villager than another. Even though the amateur detective held his cards very close to his chest, I did figure out who was sending the poison letters, but this did not take away from my reading pleasure as I found Fear Stalks the Village to be both interesting and unusual enough to hold my attention.

Sep 14, 5:48pm Top

>156 DeltaQueen50: Yet another BB from you, Judy!

Edited: Sep 14, 7:49pm Top

>156 DeltaQueen50: That one sounds good! Off to check on library availability or to add to the Amazon wish list.

ETA: Only 99 cents at Amazon. Purchased!

Edited: Sep 14, 10:00pm Top

>157 christina_reads: & >158 thornton37814: I hope you both enjoy Fear Stalks the Village, I also have The Lady Vanishes by the same author on my shelves and I am looking forward to that one as the 1938 Alfred Hitchcook film was excellent.

Sep 15, 5:04pm Top

>159 DeltaQueen50: I read The Lady Vanishes last year, I think it was.

Sep 16, 11:55am Top

>160 thornton37814: I have heard that The Lady Vanishes is a more exciting read so I am looking forward to it, Lori.

Edited: Sep 16, 12:32pm Top

148. One Thousand and One Nights: The Complete Collection by Anonymous - 4.0 ★
Category: In Search of Excellence
TIOLI #9: Translated From A Non-European Language

One Thousand and One Nights: The Complete Collection is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales complied during the Islamic Golden Age. The first English language edition was published in 1706, and many of these stories have gone on to become well-loved additions to books of fairy tales. From tales of magic to stories of adventure, every human emotion and action are contained among these stories. There are tales of lust, betrayal, greed and every sin imaginable as well as tales that illustrate forgiveness, morality and, at times, revenge.

I opened the book and read the first story well over a year ago, and have been dipping in and out of the book ever since. Taking my time with the reading kept me from being overloaded and the tales remained fresh. I was surprised at the variety of stories as well as how many stories within stories there were. A word of caution however, these stories, as printed, are not children’s stories, they have adult content and a high level of violence.

The Thousand and One Nights has been translated into many different volumes and has evolved into the classic it is considered to be today. Personally, I found that this was an excellent way to absorb middle eastern culture as well as giving me a panoramic view of human behavior both good and bad.

Sep 17, 10:27pm Top

149. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene - 4.5 ★
Category: It's Not Easy Being Green
1,001 Books List
September RandomCat: Happy Birthday
TIOLI #2: Gone But Not Forgotten

The End of the Affair by Graham Green is an outstanding story of adultery and it’s aftermath and another happy surprise from the 1,001 List for me. I was not expecting a story with such depth of emotion but, perhaps, because I listened to an audio version as read by Colin Firth, I was quite taken and touched with this story.

We come into the story after the affair has ended. Maurice Bendrix, a novelist, had met and taken up with a neighbour’s wife, Sarah. They fell passionately in love, yet Maurice could never quite convince himself that Sarah was true to him. The time is during WW II and when a bomb falls on his house while they are together and Maurice is almost killed, Sarah ends the affair. The next few years sees the end of the war and Maurice sinking into bitterness and hatred of Sarah. When her husband comes to him and talks about his fears that she may currently be involved with someone, Maurice hires a private detective to have her followed. What the detective uncovers and what is revealed in Sarah’s stolen diary produces the drama and emotion that left me breathless and near to tears.

Although slightly dated, the overall story of the agony of two people caught up in an impossible situation is totally compelling. Apparently the author himself went through a long and difficult adulterous affair and, in fact, this book is dedicated to his mistress, Catherine. This fact perhaps explains why the writing brings such a sense of authenticity to the story and why the poignant moments held such a ring of truth. Obviously this author was also conflicted in his religious beliefs as well, which is something that has come up in other books by him that I have read. I can’t praise Colin Firth’s narrative highly enough, his was the perfect voice to bring this story to life, and make The End of the Affair one of my top audio experiences. I would have given this book a 4 star rating but the audio performance raises this to a 4.5.

Sep 18, 4:04am Top

>163 DeltaQueen50: Yay! Colin Firth is divine :D

Sep 18, 4:36am Top

Hi Judy,

I'm just stopping by to say you were so right about Jealous Woman. For such a small book it sure made my head hurt with the plot all over the place. At the end, I thought thank goodness and who cares?

Sep 18, 3:48pm Top

>164 rabbitprincess: He is at that - and boy can he narrate the heck out of a story! :)

> 165 As I love both Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice so much, I was quite disappointed with Jealous Woman but luckily I still have Mildred Pierce and a volume of short stories of his to read.

Sep 18, 6:07pm Top

>163 DeltaQueen50: I'm jealous of your Colin Firth audiobook -- I thought that the book was one of the best of Greene's "serious" books (as opposed to his thrillers which I also love) and would love to hear that narration. Maybe when I reread it someday...

Sep 18, 7:00pm Top

Hi, Judy. Ooh, I want to get my mitts on this audio version of The End of the Affair, plus I have never read it. I have not read Greene like I should. Bad Mark.

Ooh, Mildred Pierce, that is a good one and an excellent film too.

Sep 18, 9:55pm Top

>163 DeltaQueen50: Oh, I like seeing this rave review, Judy! I went a little crazy and picked up several Graham Greene ebooks recently when they were on sale for $1.99 each even though I've never read anything by him. This is one of them, and I'm delighted you liked it so much. Though I'm sad mine is just an ebook and not an audio narrated by dishy Colin Firth!

Sep 19, 2:36pm Top

>163 DeltaQueen50: I'm glad you enjoyed The End of the Affair -- it's one of my favorite books that I was required to read in college. One of the things that stuck with me from class was the double meaning of the word "end"; the title can be read as both "the termination of the affair" and "the purpose of the affair."

Sep 19, 6:41pm Top

Ahoy, mateys! Lt is once again celebrating Pirate Day and I am very proud of myself that I was able to solve all the clues in the treasure hunt and have gotten all 18 answers. I'm wondering whether the quiz was easier this year or if after doing it for a few years I am more in tune with how the questions are set up.

>167 leslie.98: I love it when an audio book takes the original book and raises it up a level, and Colin Firth's reading certainly did that for me. I hope you get a chance to listen to it.

>168 msf59: I haven't read many of Graham Greene's works either, Mark, but so far he's hitting them out of the park for me. I love the film "Mildred Pierce" and I have the book but have been "saving" it for some reason or other!

>169 rosalita: Oh, I will look forward to hearing what you think of his various books, Julia. I have three or four more of his on my shelves and will most likely be reading Our Man in Havana mext.

>170 christina_reads: I certainly wasn't expecting the book to be so nuanced, Christina, there was a lot more to this book that I thought there was going to be.

Sep 19, 7:06pm Top

I'm very surprised that I've already gotten 3. Usually I just end up frustrated. So maybe it is a little easier this year.

Sep 19, 7:11pm Top

If you need any clues, Betty, I will be happy to provide. :)

Sep 19, 11:19pm Top

150. A Bullet For Cinderella by John D. MacDonald - 4.2 ★
Category: Oscar The Grouch
September MysteryCat: Hard-Boiled/Noir
2018 PopSugar Challenge: Set in the Decade You Were Born
TIOLI #8: Name in the Title of the Book is also a Name in the Title of a TV Show

A Bullet for Cinderella by John D. MacDonald was originally published in 1955 and I personally found this to be a hard-boiled crime story that I could not put down. It starts out with the main character arriving in a strange town with the purpose of recovering a buried treasure that his army buddy told him about just before he died in the prison of war camp they were in.

Tal Howard is a disillusioned Korean War veteran he’s hoping to finance a new life with the sixty thousand dollars of embezzled funds that his dying friend, Tim, told him about. Unfortunately his friend wasn’t able to tell him specifically where the money is and another inmate from the camp is also in town searching for the money that he overheard Tal and Tim discussing. This other inmate, Earl Fitzmartin, is a particularly nasty character, tough, amoral and ruthless. The plot twists and turns, secrets are revealed, dead bodies turn up and our main character finally realizes that the stolen money isn’t as important to him as the real treasure he has found in this town is, a young woman called Ruth. Unfortunately by the time Tal sorts out his feelings, Ruth has fallen into the hands of Fitzmartin.

This classic story features some fairly brutal action, interesting characters and a well written plot that holds the readers attention. The story moves quickly but the final few chapters are incredibly fast moving, exciting and suspenseful helping to make A Bullet For Cinderella a page turner.

Sep 20, 1:20am Top

>171 DeltaQueen50: I managed them all, but a few did need some prompting. Also, I still don't understand the answer to #2, having no idea what the answer is about. A clue and working through a list of works on wikipedia provided the answer to that one. Feels like a bit of a cheat though!
Similarly, I can't decide if they were easier, or I know my way round better. I'm going with a bit of both.

Sep 20, 3:50am Top

>171 DeltaQueen50: >175 Helenliz: I found it a little easier this time because I was aware that there are pages on LT I usually don't visit, like the store...

Sep 20, 2:46pm Top

>175 Helenliz: I figured out number 2 pretty quickly. For me the clue was the mention of Clatsop County which I know is in Oregon and includes part of the coast. The children's adventure movie "The Goonies" was set in Astoria, Oregon, so going to that page got me the treasure chest. Luckily my daughter was exactly the right age back in 1985 to be a huge fan of the film so I had seen it and knew it involved pirates.

>176 MissWatson: Yes, I agree that past experience with these treasure hunts helped cause I also have found that they often direct you to pages on LT that you don't visit often if at all. They are a fun way to spend some time and I haveto admit, I love the cute little badges that you can earn. :)

Sep 20, 5:20pm Top

>175 Helenliz: I probably would not have known it except that when I posted a photo of the big rock in the water there during my Oregon/Washington trip my nephew commented about it being "The Goonies." So I remembered that when I went treasure-seeking.

Edited: Sep 20, 8:27pm Top

>171 DeltaQueen50: I see that you say you haven't read many of Greene's books. If you haven't read A Gun for Sale (in the U.S. it is "A Gun for Hire") or Brighton Rock, two of his thrillers, I strongly recommend them!! They combine his wonderful writing style with a mastery of noir crime fiction (before that was a known thing).

Sep 21, 3:03am Top

I second the recommendation of A Gun for Sale in >179 leslie.98: :)

Sep 21, 9:45am Top

>177 DeltaQueen50:, >178 thornton37814: Thanks for that. At least I now know there is a reason for it being the answer. That always feels better, understanding how it fits.

Sep 21, 10:08am Top

Hi Judy: 1001 Tales is one I've dipped into from time to time. They are good stories.

I've heard lots of good things about The End of the Affair; I should try to get to it soon.

Have a lovely weekend.

Sep 22, 12:52pm Top

>178 thornton37814: It's always fun when we can relate to an answer because we've actually been to that location. :)

>179 leslie.98: & >180 rabbitprincess: Thanks Leslie, I have read and loved Brighton Rock but I am definitely making note of A Gun For Sale, in fact, after seeing RP's endorsement I went to Amazon and picked up a copy for my Kindle. Now I just have to get around to reading it!

>181 Helenliz: Nothing worse than being totally at sea over what a question means or why it was used!

>182 BLBera: Hi Beth, my family is getting together this weekend to celebrate both my daughter and my birthday since we won't be able to get together on the actual dates, so I am looking forward to that. I hope you have a great weekend as well.

Sep 23, 2:40am Top

Don't wear yourself out during your party weekend, Judy. I read The Postman Always Rings Twice and see what you mean about the book. There seems to be a lot of good noir/hard boiled books out there and they are wonderfully short. It is rare to find books that short nowadays.

Edited: Sep 23, 6:58am Top

>184 Familyhistorian: I've actually found a couple of short books for challenges next month. One is for MysteryCAT; the other is for the Irish Author Challenge. I may read additional books for MysteryCAT, but I won't push myself since espionage isn't my favorite mystery genre. I don't dislike it as much as some, but some of them get way too political for my tastes. I read fiction for escape, and dealing with politics is not escape.

Sep 23, 11:38am Top

Have a great birthday celebration this weekend, Judy.

My treasure hunt was surprisingly successful. I got three treasure chests purely by accident!

Sep 23, 1:24pm Top

>184 Familyhistorian: No worries, Meg, I am keeping the dinner fairly simple so that I am not on my feet cooking all day. I'm so glad that you enjoyed The Postman Always Rings Twice as it is one of my all-time favorites.

>185 thornton37814: Espionage stories aren't my favorite either, Lori, although I do have a few series that I am following. Actually Slow Horses by Mick Herron is an excellent story and definitely falls under the "espionage" banner.

>186 VivienneR: Thanks, Vivienne and congrats on finding lots of treasure chests! :)

Sep 23, 1:28pm Top

151. A Crown For Cold Silver by Alex Marshall - 4.2 ★
Category: Big Bird
September ColorCat: Metallic
TIOLI #11: A Full Name is on Page One

I have had A Crown For Cold Silver by Alex Marshall on my shelves for some time and was rather intimidated by it’s sheer size. And, indeed, this is not a quick read, but this sprawling fantasy epic grabbed hold of me right from the start with it’s great writing, imaginative plot and superb characters and made this a wonderful immersive reading experience.

There are many characters to follow each with their own distinct viewpoint, but mostly this book is about Zosia, known as Cold Cobalt, the Banshee with a Blade or First Among Villains. She had been the leader of a group of formidable rebels but they had disbanded and were living separate lives until Zosia’s life was overturned, her husband and her village destroyed. After 20 years she sets out on a revenge trail and her rebel group once more gather to fight at her side or do they each have their own agenda?

Old grudges, conflicting religious beliefs, imposters, revenge, betrayals and a rather captivating demon dog ignite this story, and the author sprinkles plenty of humor and wry observations along the way. A Crown for Cold Silver was a gritty, dark story with driven, brutal and violent characters that were also engaging and extremely fun to read about. I am looking forward to continuing on with this trilogy.

Edited: Sep 24, 9:54pm Top

152. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George - 4.0 ★
Category: Abby Cadabby
September RandomCat: Happy Birthday
September SFFFKit: Myths, Legends and Fairy Tales
TIOLI #11: A Full Name is on Page One

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is author Jessica Day George’s take on the fairy story East of the Sun, West of the Moon. The author stays very close to the original story and adds more detail and depth to her version. As this was one of my all time favorite stories when I was a child, I was ready to fall under it’s spell once again.

Jessica Day George has previously used her talents to bring other fairy stories to life so I knew that she would do the original justice. I liked how she developed the story and used Nordic touches that gave this version a strong sense of place. The heroine who has the ability to speak to animals was likeable and her pet wolf, Rollo, who supplied much of the humor and acted as a sounding board for the main character, was an excellent addition.

My only quibble is that I had read East by Edith Pattou fairly recently and at first I found these two stories so similar that it was difficult to immerse myself into this story. But as I read ever deeper into this adaptation, the differences started to take over and obscure the similarities. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is a lyrical retelling that didn’t really break any new ground but was an enjoyable read.

Edited: Sep 24, 10:16pm Top

Hi, Judy. I hope you had a good weekend. I am really enjoying The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend. Keep this one in mind. I now want to read the original novel and rewatch the film.

Sep 24, 9:54pm Top

>190 msf59: Hi Mark. I love it when a book inspires us to dig a little deeper and explore the subject more. Probably my favorite western movie of all time, The Seachers is certainly one of John Wayne's best acting roles and, hey, the book is very good as well! :)

Sep 26, 12:51pm Top

Oh dear, I thought I left a post here yesterday but it seems to have disappeared. I am now wondering if this is a glitch on my part or LT or if I left my message on someone else's thread! If I did accidently put it somewhere else, please accept my apologies and let me know so I can remove it for you.

My message was simply an update on my health - I went to a sleep clinic and was given a device which I wore overnight. It measured my pulse, breathing rate and oxygen levels. I went back the next day and was told that I only have mild sleep apnea and that I had no A-Fib episodes during the night. All good news.

Sep 26, 2:34pm Top

>192 DeltaQueen50: Good news! Congratulations on the results. It's always worrying when something is going wrong without being aware of it.

Sep 26, 4:21pm Top

Great news! And some peace of mind.

Sep 26, 10:11pm Top

>192 DeltaQueen50: - That is good news!

Sep 27, 9:56am Top

>192 DeltaQueen50: That's good news!

Did you ever find your missing message?

Sep 27, 10:56am Top

Hiya, Judy.

I just picked up Slow Horses, and your review is very encouraging. Like you, I was pleasantly surprised that I loved Mrs. Dalloway. It felt good to finally connect with such a respected author.

Sep 28, 12:47pm Top

I haven't been around much the last couple of days as my husband has been admitted to the hospital following a bad reaction to a cortisone shot that he had on Wednesday. He has back and leg problems and he went to the pain clinic for this needle as we were going to be leaving on a trip this weekend. He immediately collapsed and was having double vision and feeling terribly weak. After an hour or so he lost all feeling in his lower parts, his speech was slurred and one side of his face was drooping slightly. An ambulance came and took him to the nearest hospital and there he remains. We can't seem to get much in the way of answers so I don't know if the pain clinic made a mistake with the injection or exactly what happened. This was not his first cortisone shot and he has never had a reaction before. At this point much of his feeling has returned, but he is still so weak that he can't stand on his own and certain bodily functions aren't happening. They have scheduled a MIR so that they can determine if there has been permanent damage to his nerves. So there it is, in a blink of an eye, life changes.

As you can imagine, I am having difficulty concentrating on anything right now. I am reading but I am also not sure how much I am actually taking in. At the same time, reading definitely helps as it forces my mind to think about something else.

>193 VivienneR: >194 dudes22: >195 lkernagh: >196 ChelleBearss: Yes, it is a good thing that my health is good right now as we now have this new situation to deal with. And no, Chelle , that message never has shown up so I hope it just disappeared into space!

>197 jnwelch: Hi Joe, Mamie turned me onto Slow Horses and like all of her other recommendations, this one turned out to be excellent. Hope you enjoy.

Sep 28, 12:57pm Top

153. Fellside by M. R. Carey - 4.1 ★
Category: The Count
TIOLI #1: One Word Title With At Least One Set of Double Letters

Fellside by M. R. Carey is part thriller and part ghost story as it tells the story of Jess Moulson, who, high on heroin, has very little memory of setting the fire that destroyed her apartment, severely burning herself, her boyfriend and causing the death of a 10 year old neighbour, Alex Beech. After being found guilty of Alex’s murder, she is sent to Fellside, a woman’s prison. She connects with the ghost of Alex in Fellside and he insists that she did not kill him but that a “nasty” girl did the deed. In order to relieve her guilt she tries to uncover what actually happened on the night of the fire.

Meanwhile, Fellside is rife with corruption, violence and drugs. The woman who runs the prison is a sociopathic inmate whose right hand man is one of the head guards, she also has a group of hardened women prisoners who act as her enforcers. Jess finds herself trapped and fighting for her life against this group as she works toward her redemption. She also find that things are very different from what she first thought and that the ghost of Alex may not be exactly what she thought he was.

There is a certain amount of acceptance of the supernatural that is required in order to fully buy into this story but for me, I found this tense and unusual thriller a very good read. Fellside has a very grim, realistic atmosphere so the sudden shifts into the supernatural was like jumping into a cold shower. As Jess and Alex navigate through this other world they find themselves wandering in and out of other inmates subconscious dreams. Slowly as Jess is able to put the pieces together, the story lines merge and we find Jess grows from feeling completely worthless into a driven, decisive person whose main goal is to find the answers that both she and Alex need.

Sep 28, 1:01pm Top

>198 DeltaQueen50: oh my that is scary. I hope you both get some answers and that he recovers very soon. Good that reading is helping, you need to look after yourself as well.

Sep 28, 1:17pm Top

>198 DeltaQueen50: Oh, how frightening! Echoing Helenliz, I hope you get answers and recovery soon. Take good care, thinking of you.

Sep 28, 1:36pm Top

>200 Helenliz: What Helen said, Judy. I am keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers. Hoping they figure it out quickly.

Sep 28, 2:01pm Top

I'm so sorry about your husband's bad reaction! I hope you get some answers and soon.

Sep 28, 2:42pm Top


Sep 28, 3:12pm Top

I'm so sorry to hear about the DeltaKing's health scare, Judy! I hope you get some answers soon and they are of the reassuring variety. I know what you mean about reading; during the week before my mom died, when she was comatose, I read even more incessantly than I usually do. I remember none of those books except Rebecca and all I remember about that one is that I read it and I liked it.

Anyway, sending lots of good health vibes off to Vancouver from Iowa!

Sep 28, 4:32pm Top

Hoping all is well with you and your husband, Judy!

Sep 28, 5:52pm Top

Oh Judy, that sounds awful! I hope you'll get answers soon.

Sep 29, 4:37am Top

>198 DeltaQueen50: Sad to hear of the health issues. Hope they manage to discover what's wrong and start on the road to recovery soon.

>199 DeltaQueen50: Glad to see you enjoyed Fellside.

Sep 29, 9:47am Top

All my best wishes that you'll get answers you and for a speedy recovery!

Sep 29, 11:46am Top

Oh Judy. I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I hope it is something simple and that he feels better soon. My thoughts are with you.

Sep 29, 2:06pm Top

So sorry to hear this, Judy. Hope they figure it out soon.

Sep 29, 4:44pm Top

My thoughts are with you and your husband, Judy.

Sep 29, 7:29pm Top

Thank you everyone for all your good wishes and for keeping my thread warm. I am feeling a lot more positive as my husband has steadily improved and seems to be on the road to a full recovery. He started with a walker and has improved so much that now he is just using a cane to walk with, the numbness has gone away, he got the MRI today and we are waiting to hear the results but at this point they have moved him from the ER into a regular hospital room and none of his vital signs are being monitored which we are taking as a positive sign. He was hoping to be released today, but they want to ensure that all bodily functions are working and that the MRI shows nothing significant before he'll be released. So fingers crossed, maybe I'll get him back tomorrow.

>200 Helenliz: Thanks, Helen. We have been told that it's most likely that a local anesthetic or numbing medication was added to the original injection of cortisone and that the injection probably hit an artery causing that mixture to spread throughout the body plus he could have also had an alergic reaction.

>201 Jackie_K: Thanks, Jackie.

>202 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. It was pretty scary there for awhile but I am feeling much better now.

>203 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. I just want him home safe and sound, these health scares really make you appreciate the time you do have together.

>204 ronincats: I needed those hugs, Roni. I have been feeling very lonely without him. Even though we spend a lot of time in different rooms, I know he's usually right there within talking distance.

>205 rosalita: Thanks for those health vibes, Julia. I haven't been sleeping very much so have been filling my hours in with lots of reading.

>206 christina_reads: Thanks, Christina, I think we have turned the corner and hopefully this will soon be behind us.

>207 rabbitprincess: Thanks RP!

>208 AHS-Wolfy: Dave, for some reason even though the two books I have been reading were quite dark, they have worked well as escape reads. I got totally caught up in the story of Fellside.

>209 MissWatson: Thanks Birgit.

>210 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I am lucky that both my daughters are close by and I had them to lean on. My younger daughter is a nurse so she was able to ask the medical question that the rest of us didn't have the knowledge to ask.

>211 dudes22: Thanks, Betty. At our age we realize that health issues can strike at any time, but this was totally unexpected as he has had these shots before. He was hoping for some pain relief as we were supposed to be going on a road trip this weekend and he wanted to be able to go on some nature walks.

>212 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay.

Edited: Sep 29, 7:40pm Top

154. Caring is Creepy by David Zimmerman - 4.0 ★
Category: The Letters U to Z
AlphaKit: Z
TIOLI #5: Three Word Tile That Has At Least One Person on the Cover

Caring is Creepy by David Zimmerman is both dark and more than a little creepy. It’s the end of summer and fifteen year old Lynn Marie and her friend Dani have too much time on their hands and so they play their “internet game” of trolling strangers on various websites, pretending to be older and more sexually aware than they are. Lynn Marie actually engages with a young soldier and they form a relationship that soon finds him coming to her after he goes AWOL. She takes him in and hides him in a storage cupboard, but she also becomes so desperate to keep him with her that she virtually holds him prisoner. Meanwhile her mother, an ER nurse, is in the process of shedding her most recent boyfriend who has made the stupid mistake of stealing from a gang of drug dealers. These two story lines eventually merge to create one explosive finale.

Although this book with it’s high content of violence is not for everyone, for those of us who like to walk on the dark side it definitely delivers. The author sets a menacing atmosphere that simmers along making the reader very aware that trouble is looming on the horizon. Perhaps what is the most disturbing is the fact that this book is based on a real life situation. I thought that Caring is Creepy showed a lot of promise and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Sep 29, 7:52pm Top

>198 DeltaQueen50: and >213 DeltaQueen50: - OMG, how scary! Very glad to see that your husband's condition is improving, but still disturbing to have such a reaction and still trying to figure out the "why". Here is hoping that the tests will be able to pinpoint the cause.

Sep 29, 9:10pm Top

Great news that things are looking up, Judy! It must be frustrating to not really know what caused it, so hopefully you can get some more definitive answers there. But so far, so good. That book in >214 DeltaQueen50: sounds good!

Sep 30, 9:02pm Top

Caring is Creepy sounds fantastic.

Sep 30, 9:21pm Top

Great news so far, Judy! Hopefully he'll be home tomorrow.

Oct 1, 3:02am Top

Glad to hear that things are improving. Hope they continue to do so.

Oct 1, 7:03am Top

Hi Judy,

I'm glad that things are improving with your husband's health.

Oct 1, 12:05pm Top

Very glad to hear your husband is on the mend and hope he makes a full recovery.

Oct 1, 4:24pm Top

I was able to bring my husband home today and I can't tell you how happy we are that this looks to be something we can put behind us. I've cancelled our road trip and we will just stay home and give him time to fully recover. Both of us are very tired and ready just to get cozy and lounge around watching TV or reading.

>215 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori. I doubt if we will ever know exactly why this happened but I strongly suspect that the original injection wasn't done correctly. Doctors don't like to point fingers at other doctors so no medical person was willing to say that.

>216 rosalita: We are just so happy that he's made such a good recovery, Julia. I really enjoyed Caring is Creepy, it certainly kept me distracted from what was going on with my husband.

>217 RidgewayGirl: The writing was far from perfect, Kay, but I loved the plot and it held my attention. I will certainly be looking for more from this author.

>218 ronincats: I've got him, Roni, and for now, I am not letting him out of my sight! :)

>219 Helenliz: Thanks, Helen.

>220 jonesli: Thanks, Lisa, I feel like I can finally relax.

>221 paruline: Thank you.

Oct 1, 8:04pm Top

155. A Lantern In Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich - 4.0 ★
Category: Miss Piggy
October Reading Through Time: Old Macdonald Had A Farm
TIOLI #6: Rolling Challenge Based on the Year the Book Is Set

A Lantern in her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich was a book that I read and loved when much younger and I was looking forward to reading about the life of pioneer Abby Deal once again. Born in Iowa in the mid-1800’s, she and her husband Will moved to Nebraska and homesteaded there. This book paints an accurate picture of the hardships encountered and endurance required in pioneer life. As a woman, Abby was constantly sacrificing her dreams for those of her husband and children, starting out with her husband overriding her concerns about striking out on their own, leaving friends and family behind.

I could certainly see why I loved this book when I first read it as it is truly a heartwarming story of a pioneer family, but as an adult, I would have liked a little more depth and insight into the characters. Abby Deal is first and foremost a woman of strength and tenacity, meeting and overcoming all obstacles that were placed in front of her. I love the name of this book as it paints a vivid picture of how the pioneer women would step outside in the dark with a lantern to guide their menfolk home across the flat prairies.

A Lantern in Her Hand is a simple story that highlights the choices and sacrifices that pioneer women were faced with. Originally published in 1928, the author based Abby on her own mother and A Lantern in Her Hand is obviously a tribute to her.

Oct 1, 8:40pm Top

Hi, Judy. Good review of Fellside. I have been meaning to read that one. I like Carey.

Have you read The Searchers? I have always loved the film but never read the novel. I just started it and it is very good. Much more than a standard western.

Oct 1, 9:58pm Top

Hi Mark, yes, I have read The Searchers and it was very good and the movie follows the book quite closely. I think it is one of those very rare instances where I prefer the film to the book, but that's a close call!

Oct 2, 3:26pm Top

What happened to your husband sounds really scary, Judy. How wonderful that he has recovered so well and is now at home.

It is nice to look out the window and see sunshine. I hope it continues for a few days at least. Enjoy your time relaxing and reading, you deserve a break after the recent scare.

Oct 2, 10:41pm Top

Great news about your husband, Judy! Relax and recuperate.

Oct 2, 10:57pm Top

>226 Familyhistorian: I have to say that we certainly appreciate having our health and being able to get out and about. It was pretty scary for both of us for a couple of days.

>227 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. We are definitely relaxing and enjoying just being together.

Oct 2, 11:09pm Top

156. The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark - 3.7 ★
Category: In Recognition of Excellence
October 1,001 Books Challenge Read: Author's Last Name Starts with the Same Letter as Mine

The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark is a short novel that showcases the author’s acerbic wit as she writes about a group of young women who are living in London in 1945, shortly after the end of the European war. These girls live in a slightly shabby Edwardian mansion called the May of Teck Club that has been converted to a residence for working girls below the age of 30 who have to live away from home in order to “follow an occupation”.

The author captures their conversations, hopes, aspirations and their pursuit of men as they go about their daily lives. While I can’t say that I loved this story or it’s characters, I did find it very interesting as the clever, elegant tone moves the reader back and forth through time and leads us into ever darker territory.

The Girls of Slender Means paints a vivid picture of a specific time in post-war London but the story definitely reminded me of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with it’s female cast totally zoned into their everyday concerns while history unfolds in the background. As these young women go about their daily lives, they are far more involved in their love affairs, gossip and in the sharing of a designer evening gown than in the politics of the day. The ending of the story which seemed like a play on the title word of “slender” was definitely unsettling and memorable. I listened to an audio version of this book as read by Juliet Stevenson who, once again, did a stellar job.

Oct 3, 12:21pm Top

I'm glad to hear things went well for you both. Enjoy your time at home.

Oct 3, 3:28pm Top

Hi Judy - I'm glad your husband is back home and on the mend. I hope this was a fluke. I read Aldritch when I was in high school and have fond memories. I think I'll leave it at that.

I love Muriel Spark and The Girls of Slender Means is one of my favorites.

Oct 4, 11:00am Top

>230 MissWatson: Thanks, Birgit, we are very grateful that everything worked out so well for us.

>231 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. Memento Mori is still my favorite book of Muriel Spark's but honestly, I am in awe of her writing talent. I do sort of wish that I hadn't picked up A Lantern In Her Hand again. I read it while still in grade school and it impressed me so much, but although still good, it wasn't the masterpiece that I remembered.

Edited: Oct 4, 11:17am Top

157. Dark Voyage by Alan Furst - 4.1 ★
Category: Rechov Sumsum
October MysteryCat: Espionage
TIOLI #3: Doing the Math

Alan Furst excels in writing dark, atmospheric books set in and around World War II, and Dark Voyage is an excellent example of his writing. The hero of this book is Dutch sea captain, Eric DeHaan, and he is recruited in 1941 by the Dutch Naval Intelligence. Disguising his ship as a neutral Spanish freighter, a series of missions are completed for the British Navy. Starting in the Mediterranean Sea with assisting a British commando unit in North Africa, then delivering munitions to the island of Crete, the ship is finally sent to the Baltic Ocean to rescue an assorted group of refugees.

Perfectly capturing the atmosphere of the era and the nautical feel of a merchant marine ship, Dark Voyage is an expert blend of meticulous research and exciting story. From the port of Tangier to the days at sea, we are taken on an intense and richly detailed adventure. Although important history is unfolding in the background, this is a very human story of a variety of people caught up in a desperate situation.

Dark Voyage has a slightly different feel from some of the other books by Alan Furst that I have read, probably because there is more action in this book. This is an espionage story with a cast of assorted Europeans pressed into service, putting their lives on the line. This was an intense, exciting read that I fully enjoyed.

Oct 4, 11:59am Top

My Top Reads of 2018's Third Quarter:

* Under the Skin by Michael Faber
* Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick
* Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
* The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
* Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott
* All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Oct 4, 3:05pm Top

Oh, I love seeing Do Androids Dream and All Systems Red on your list! The latter is my surprise of the year so far - I can't get enough of the Murderbot stories.

Oct 4, 10:27pm Top

Glad to learn that hubby is now back home, continuing his recovery.

>229 DeltaQueen50: - looks like we are in agreement on the Sparks book. ;-)

Oct 4, 11:11pm Top

>235 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I am looking forward to my next Murderbot story, I am trying not rush through them but I really want to keep reading them! I have had so many surprises with the books from the 1,001 list. Most good surprises, there's only been a few that I haven't liked.

>235 jnwelch: Thanks, Lori. He is doing well and we are getting back into our walking. Right now he is just up for a short walk around the block but we are hoping to extend that so we can eventually go back to walking around the nearby park.

Oct 4, 11:16pm Top

Today is my birthday and one of my presents was my husband's offer to pay for a shipment of books that I ordered. These are all books from the 1,001 list:

The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan
Cats Eye by Margaret Atwood
Antic Hay by Aldous Huxley
Dead Air by Iain Bans
The Talk of the Town by Ardal O'Hanlon
Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
Dead Babies by Martin Amis
A Dry White Season by Andre Brink
Harriet Hume by Rebecca West
Ben Hur by Lew Wallace

Oct 5, 1:30am Top

>238 DeltaQueen50: happy birthday and that sounds like the best kind of present. >:-D

Oct 5, 2:23am Top

Happy birthday and happy reading!

Oct 5, 6:38am Top

>238 DeltaQueen50: Great birthday present!

Edited: Oct 5, 6:42am Top

^I hope you had a great day yesterday, Judy. Nice book haul!

Oct 5, 7:14am Top

Happy Birthday, Judy! That's a nice gift you got.

Oct 5, 7:48am Top

Happy Birthday, Judy!

Edited: Oct 5, 8:28am Top

Happy Birthday, Judy! Good present to yourself!

Oct 5, 11:08am Top

Happy birthday! Books are always the best gift. :)

Oct 5, 12:20pm Top

Thanks for all the Birthday wishes, we had a lovely, quiet day. My elder daughter came over and brought lunch and later on in the afternoon we went for a short walk. This coming weekend is our Thanksgiving and although both daughters nad their families have plans as we were meant to be away, we will have our grandson for dinner as he had to stay at home for school and work. As I have mentioned before I am trailing behind my brother and trying to catch up with him with the 1,001 list so he told me that for my birthday present he wouldn't read a book from the list for the next two weeks! I think he's still pretty confident that he's staying ahead of me by about 20 or so books.

>239 Helenliz: You are so right, Helen, books make the best of presents!

>240 MissWatson: Thanks, Birgit.

>241 thornton37814: Now I have to do some reading to make room for the new books when they arrive.

>242 msf59: I did have a nice day, thanks, Mark.

>243 dudes22: Thanks, Betty, I also got a couple of gift certificates to my favorite clothing store, so I also get to go and choose some new clothes as well. :)

>244 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

>245 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe.

>246 christina_reads: I am always ready for more books. :)

Oct 5, 12:34pm Top

158. In A Wide Country by Robert Everett-Green - 3.8 ★
Category: It Isn't Easy Being Green
TIOLI #5: Rolling Challenge Based on "Samhain"

In A Wide Country by Canadian author Robert Everett-Green is a book that deals with journeys. Twelve-year old Jasper and his free-spirited mother hit the road and amble across Western Canada and along the way, Jasper learns more about himself, his family and the world at large. The time is 1961, a difficult time to be a single mother, and Corinne isn’t one to either be pinned down or allow anyone to throw insults their way.

I enjoyed this book although I did find myself getting exasperated with Corrine, who, I felt, was more interested in her desires than that of her son. Jasper is always looking for answers and a solid outcome and his mother is simply too footloose to provide anything even approaching a stable life for them. As they drive across the Canadian prairie, staying with various relatives or in roadside motels, Jasper and his mother meet a variety of interesting characters from whom Jasper gathers a certain amount of insight and realizes that eventually he will have to be the one to make some important decisions about his life.

I found the book moved a little slowly and it was obvious as to where the book was heading, but it was well written and full of interesting characters. In 1961 I was only slightly younger than the fictional Jasper, but his life and mine were so different that I couldn’t help but appreciate my stable growing-up-years in the Canadian suburbs. In A Wide Country was a quick read and one that easily held my attention.

Oct 5, 5:53pm Top

Happy birthday, and enjoy Thanksgiving with your grandson :)

Oct 5, 6:14pm Top

Happy Birthday Judy and enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Oct 5, 8:00pm Top

A belated Happy Birthday, Judy!

Oct 5, 8:21pm Top

Happy belated birthday!

Oct 6, 8:47am Top

Happy belated birthday!

I'm so sorry that your husband had that terrible reaction! I hope you get the answers you need!

Have a great Thanksgiving and I hope their is pie in your future!

Oct 6, 9:13am Top

Happy birthday!

>252 RidgewayGirl: That cake is awesome! I don't know if I'd have the heart to cut into it though.

Oct 6, 10:33am Top

Happy birthday, Judy! And happy reading! I looked at your favorites from the third quarter and was struck by 1. we're already three-quarters through the year and 2. many of the books are on my WL.

Oct 6, 11:06am Top

How great that you have a book-reading brother, Judy. Do you two get a chance to discuss the ones you've both read?

Oct 6, 11:43am Top

>249 rabbitprincess: Thanks, RP, we are looking forward to spending some time with him as these days he is very busy with school and working.

>250 jonesli: & >251 ronincats: Thanks, Lisa and Roni.

>252 RidgewayGirl: That is a gorgeous cake, Kay!

>253 ChelleBearss: Thanks for the Birthday wishes. Without being told too much, we are pretty sure that the original injection wasn't done properly, Chelle, and that much of the concoction ended up in parts of the body that it wasn't intended to go to. As for pie, I have promised both an apple and a pumpkin pie so I will be a busy homemaker tomorrow!

>254 Jackie_K: I would be very hesitant to cut into that cake as well, Jackie, it's a piece of art!

>255 BLBera: 2018 does seems to be slipping away quickly, Beth. I can't believe we are in the 4th quarter already!

Edited: Oct 6, 12:41pm Top

New thread is up and ready for visitors, please come on over and get comfortable.

Oct 11, 12:21am Top

I'm still catching up on threads and just read about your husband's scary reaction to a shot. So glad he is recovering. It must have been absolutely horrifying for you both!

And a belated Happy Birthday!

Oct 11, 7:57pm Top

Thanks Vivienne. He's recovering but we just found out today that he had a bladder infection which is probably from the catheter so onto antibiotics he goes.

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