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SqueakyChu 2018 - The sky's the limit! - 4th quarter

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Yesterday, 11:20am Top

I'm out of the babysitting loop so now my reading has been picking up. I've started to try in earnest for monthly sweeplettes in my TIOLI challenges. They are both fun and challenging.

Here's how I'm doing so far...

My Book Counter:

My Page Counter: My count on this is purposely low because I did so poorly in 2017.

This number should be 10,829.

My 2018 Calendar:

GOAL: To have less than 490 books in my "To read" collection at the end of 2018.

A look at my numbers:
02/26/18 = 472 books
06/16/18 = 480 books - Uh...What's happening?!
11/18/18 = 474 books - Uh...maybe a bit better?

Edited: Oct 29, 11:57pm Top


Photo by cristi_navalici, Flickr, CC

1. Visit a very architecturally unique old library in Mt. Holly Springs, Pennsylvania.
2. Donate over 30 books for distribution to visitors of Holly Inn, Mt. Holly Springs, Pennsylvania.

56. Living a Life That Matters - Harold Kushner - TIOLI: Read a book for comfort - 158 pages
57. Graven Images - Arnold Schwartzman - TIOLI: Read a book with a word in the title relating to images - 144 pages
58. The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell - TIOLI: Read a book where the author is originally well-known for something other than writing (university professor) - 408 pages
59. A River in Darkness - Masaji Ishikawa - TIOLI: Read a book where a word in the title starts with the letters SAMHAIN in rolling order (the first A) - 159 pages
60. Black Rain - Masuki Ibuse - TIOLI: Read a book with an odd number of letters in the title (9) - 300 pages
61. The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson - TIOLI: Read a book related to Ghouls, Goblins or Ghosts (ghosts) - 182 pages

Edited: Yesterday, 7:35pm Top


Photo by Carlos Fernandez, Flickr, CC

1. Visited Birdie’s Cafe in Westminster, Maryland, on 11/3/18 in memory of BookCrosser MaryZee who started the OBCZ (official BookCrossing zone) in Birdie’s Cafe when it was still known as The Pour House.

62. The Doctor’s Wife - Sawako Ariyoshi - TIOLI #12: Read a book with stripes on the cover (one snake has stripes) - 174 pages
63. Preacher: Gone to Texas - Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon - TIOLI #15: Read a book which doesn't just contain text (graphic novel) - 198 pages
64. Preacher: Until the End of the World - Garth Ennis - Steve Dillon - TIOLI #15: Read a book which doesn't just contain text (graphic novel) - 235 pages
65. Preacher: Proud Americans - Garth Ennis - Steve Dillon - TIOLI #15: Read a book which doesn't just contain text (graphic novel) - 231 pages
66. Ellie (The Garden Center Cat) - Ann-Marie F. Neal - TIOLI #8: Read a book that completes the phrase, "I am thankful for..." - 41 pages
67. Soccer IQ - Dan Blank - TIOLI #9: Read a book where a word in the title starts with the letters "In Flanders fields" in rolling order (S) - 121 pages
68. Preacher Vol. 4: Ancient history - Garth Ennis - Steve Dillon - TIOLI #15: Read a book which doesn't just contain text (graphic novel) - 222 pages
69. Preacher Vol. 5: Dixie Fried - Garth Ennis - Steve Dillon - TIOLI #15: Read a book which doesn't just contain text (graphic novel) - 224 pages

70. The Olive Farm - Carol Drinkwater - TIOLI #17: Read a book with a word of the title or author matching a London Tube station, rolling challenge - 2/342 pages = 1%
71. Preacher Vol. 6: War in the Sun - Garth Ennis - Steve Dillon - TIOLI #15: Read a book which doesn't just contain text (graphic novel)

71. Paula - Isabel Allende ???

Completed: #8 #9 #12 #15x4
In progress: #15 #17

Edited: Oct 2, 9:17pm Top


Photo bt Stephen Rahn, Flickr, CC

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Edited: Oct 2, 9:38pm Top

56. Living a Life That Matters - Harold Kushner

October 2018 TIOLI Challenge:
Read a book for comfort
I am usually not a fan of inspirational books. However I wanted to read a book that would do two things for me. I wanted to figure out how to deal with the increasingly belligerent landscape of my country and how to draw myself closer to religious inspiration. I didn't have high hopes for either, but I was definitely inspired by the words of Rabbi Kushner in this small book. I finished reading it within two days.

I found myself writing down quotes that had special meaning for me. I liked how the author not only talked about reasonable rules to live by but also how he gave examples both from biblical writings as well as from contemporary films and books. Inspirational for me were things he said about how to deal with the need for success versus the need for a good conscience. Additionally, I found some of the most moving parts of this book toward the end where he discussed friendship and death. I found many things of which he wrote applicable to my own life. I'll try to keep in mind what he said when I deal with matters with which I disagree from day to day.

Rating - 4.5 stars

Oct 3, 12:04am Top

Happy new thread Madeline!

Oct 3, 12:17am Top

>6 humouress: Thanks! Glad I finally got it up. :)

Oct 3, 1:33am Top

Happy new thread, Madeline 😄

Oct 3, 3:22am Top

Happy new thread to DC United's newest superfan!

Edited: Oct 3, 9:41am Top

>8 paulstalder: >9 kidzdoc: Thanks, guys!

DC United's newest superfan!

Really. Only four more days until I get to attend the next game! Can't wait!!

Go, Black-and-Red!!!!!! Rah. Rah Rah! :D

Oct 3, 2:16pm Top

happy new thread!

Oct 3, 3:56pm Top

>11 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

Oct 3, 4:11pm Top

Happy new thread, Madeline!

(Okay, I'll join your cheering next Sunday besides *Go, Feyenoord!!* also *Go, DC United!!*)

Edited: Oct 3, 8:35pm Top

>13 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. The louder we cheer, the better the outcome! :)

Feyenoord?! I’ll root for them! The last time I was interested in soccer was back in 1979 and 1980 when the Dutch player Johan Cruyff played for the Washington Diplomats. Do you remember him? He was a big deal when we got him, but then he didn’t do much for our team. Now, 38 years later, I’m back watching my local Washington, DC, soccer team again. We’re doing better now with former Manchester United player Wayne Rooney! :D

We also have to cheer for Darryl’s team, Atlanta United!!

I’ll have to see if I can get any Feyenoord games on television here. I’ll let you know! :)

ETA: I didn’t see any broadcast information about Feyenoord games. :(

Edited: Oct 4, 8:03am Top

57. Graven Images - Arnold Schwartzman

October 2018 TIOLI Challenge:
Read a book with a word in the title relating to images (image)

This is such an interesting book! I never gave much thought to Jewish gravestones or what was on them other than the Hebrew names of the deceased plus the birth and death dates.

This book is about the Jewish prohibition on graven images (the second commandment) and how gravestone craftsmen somehow didn't quite follow that commandment. The book goes on to describe and show color photographs of these "graven images" from gravestones, both Ashkenazic and Sephardic, in several European countries. Each symbol is explained with a biblical quote and then followed by a more detailed and specific explanation.

The most disturbing picture of the book was of a wall built by non-Jewish students from 15th- and 16th-century gravestones desecrated during World War II. It just served to remind me that gravestone desecration in Jewish cemeteries is not simply a happening of the distant past.

Rating - 5 stars

Oct 4, 8:04am Top

>16 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl.

Oct 4, 9:47am Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Oct 5, 11:30am Top

>18 figsfromthistle: Thank you so much!

Oct 5, 11:30am Top

58. The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell

October 2018 TIOLI Challenge:
Read a book where the author is originally well-known for something other than writing (university professor)

Wow! This was a book that I had a hard time getting into. I was skepitcal of reading it at first because I thought it would read like an allegory (not a genre I like). I saved it for years and then gave it a chance because of a reading challenge in which I participated. I read the first few chapters and found things I didn't like, but the story seemed interesting. It turns out that this was the story of a mission to a distant planet sponsored by members of the Church of Jesus (Jesuits). My skepticism level grew. Then I discovered that, on this mission, were also an avowed atheist and a Sephardic Jew! Hmm?! I wondered how they fit into this story. I began to get bored with the story as it went into excruciating detail about the lives of the characters. And yet...I could not put this book down.

There were two time frames, and I wanted to know what would happen when they would conversge. The further I read, the more I wanted to know what would happen...and what was the real story behind the main character Emilio Sandoz's crippling hand surgery with whch he returned to Earth.

I thought the plot would be simple, and ( had already jotted down with disdain what I thought would happen. I was completely wrong! The further I read, the more complex the plot became with regard to culture, theology, and relationships. The ending was mind-blowing. I want to read the sequel, but now I need a break from the tension created by this novel.

Suffice it to say, I'm glad that i finished this book and was very impressed by the story after all.

Rating 4.5 stars

Edited: Oct 5, 3:44pm Top

>14 SqueakyChu: I went to the Feyenoord home games in the early 1990s, Madeline. Back then the stadium was almost empty (on 50,000 seats about 7,000 fans were attending), so they were in desperate need of my support. After getting back in the winning mood, my support wasn't needed anymore, and I dislike large crowds, so now I follow them on the screen.
Johan Cruyff played for years for our arch-enemy Ajax, and he played one successful season for Feyenoord.

Edited: Oct 6, 11:45pm Top

>24 I was surprised to learn that Johan Cruyff died of lung cancer two years ago. He was 68 years of age. His name always reminds me of those days in which I first learned to enjoy soccer.

Edited: Oct 6, 11:44pm Top

59. A River in Darkness - Masaji Ishikawa

October 2018 TIOLI Challenge:
Read a book where a word in the title starts with the letters SAMHAIN in rolling order (the first A)

It is deeply heartbreaking to read this book. This is the memoirs of a man who was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Korean father. When he was a young teenager, his father was convinced to take his family to North Korea by a group giving false promises of good work for the father and free education for the children. All of the promises were false.

Life in North Korea was terribly difficult for many reasons, but mostly due to the lack of freedom and inability for an average person whose was not a party member to make a living and provide for a family. We in the western world don't often get glimpses of what is truly going on in such countries as North Korea. Reading this book made me empathize with refugees, the poverty-stricken, the unemployed, and those whose countries lack freedom for individual rights and freedom from surveillance. It also makes me increasingly uneasy about what can happen anywhere at any time.

One wishes for a good outcome for a person who suffered as much as the author did, but such an outcome is not ensured. This is a riveting read, but very depressing on a human level. Where is compassion for other human beings?

Rating - 4 stars

Edited: Oct 27, 4:37am Top

Here's a review of a book I just received from Early Reviewers. I'm not including it in TIOLI or in my "75" count as it's a cookbook, meant to be used and not simply read. It's a great book so I thought I'd share what I thought of it with all of you...

Now & Again: - Julia Turshen


This is an amazing cookbook! It's beautiful! As a disclaimer, I must say I haven't yet tried any of the recipes, but they look pretty much to my taste (no pun intended!) as they use the foods and seasonings I most have on hand at home. The composition of the dishes looks like what I would most likely make,. In addition, I LOVE that the book tells how to make leftovers into exciting meals as well. This is a truly useful cookbook beside being fun.

The book is large hardcover (easy to use). The recipes are accompanied by huge, fabulous photographs of tempting dishes. The ingredients list is both in the English system (first - Hurray!) as well as in the metric system. The lists of ingredients are easy to read. The instructions are actually more than understandable. They tell, in a humorous way, how to avoid mistakes previously committed by the author,,

I also love that the author feels she (and others) need to "give back" and includes this concept in her cookbook. I feel that way myself. Check out the pages "Give Back +Do Good" at the back of this book. Just lovely!

Several things especially endeared me to this cookbook: (1) I found a recipe for "string beans amandine" (updated recipe) which I had recently been seeking. Serendipity? I don't know. (2) The author has a propensity for sneaking tastes of Nutella at night,. Ha! I do the same thing, except with Hashahar Chocolate spread from Israel. Who else does this?! (3) The author adores tahini. It has to be an excellent tahini, though. She likes the Soom brand. I like the kind my local supermarket (Moti's in Rockville, Maryland, USA) makes. Anyway, a good tahini is divine. (4) Jewish ethnic recipes are included. This is dear to my heart. (5) Some of the recipes are a little bit off the beaten track. This is a fun way for me to experiment with different foods and different tastes. I will definitely try some!

The only thing that did not appeal to me about this cookbook was how the dishes were arranged by meals. In defense of this system, though. I think that others who use this cookbook might find that this arrangement works well for them.

Rating - 4.5 stars

Oct 14, 3:14pm Top

>24 SqueakyChu: Looks like a good one.

Oct 14, 10:53pm Top

>25 thornton37814: I think so!!

Oct 21, 8:20am Top

>23 SqueakyChu: looks like a great one to read! Instant book bullet for me

Oct 21, 6:04pm Top

>27 figsfromthistle: Great! It's very interesting.

Edited: Oct 27, 4:34am Top

60. Black Rain - Masuki Ibuse

October 2018 TIOLI Challenge:
Read a book with an odd number of letters in the title (9)
Wow! This is such a powerful novel in the same way that All Quiet On the Western Front was for me. Both were books about war told from the side that for me would be the "enemy", but in reality became my own side as that was the point of view from which the story was written. Neither All Quiet on the Western Front nor Black Rain were politicized in any manner other than the mention of the "enemy" in the latter, but rather each novel made a point about war in general.

Black Rain is about the atomic bomb being dropped at Hiroshima, Japan. In this story, Shigematsu and his niece Yasuka work in a factory which manufactures military clothing. His manager sends him out on a fruitless search for coal. Shigematsu and his wife worry that their niece Yasuka, who lives with them, might not be marriageable if she contracts radiation sickness. Of course, at the time that the bomb was dropped, no one living in Japan had any idea what an atomic bomb or radiation sickness was.

The horror of this novel is the inhumanity of it all. For page after page, the reader is left with the ruins, the pain, the illness, and the atomic bomb's devastating aftermath. There is no respite from any of this throughout the entire novel. I felt as if I had to read through this book very slowly just to understand the cost and effects of war on individuals and families, politics aside. It's not a pretty picture and leaves me with little faith in humanity although the story is extremely well done with most of its details having been gleaned from actual interviews and diaries of survivors of the Hiroshima nightmare.

Don't be afraid to pick up this book. It's necessary to understand what can happen in a world unhinged.

Rating - 5 stars

Oct 27, 7:34pm Top

>29 SqueakyChu: Good review, Madeline! We have Black Rain on the shelves. After reading your review, I hope to get to it soon.

Oct 27, 7:55pm Top

>29 SqueakyChu: - Sadly, I think we already know what a world unhinged looks like. I could say more but I won't. :-(

Edited: Oct 27, 8:40pm Top

>30 FAMeulstee: At the start of this book, I wan’t sure how much of this book I could handle, but it was written exceptionally well so that the story was like someone just recounting his own experience. It was free from terror or blame and just told a story. It was really an amazing book.

>31 jessibud2: Every day it becomes more unhinged. Did you hear about the mass murder today in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? When I wrote to you in the past looking for a place to which I could flee, you know I was not kidding.

Oct 27, 8:57pm Top

>32 SqueakyChu: - I am somewhat reluctant to voice in print what I am really feeling about that, after the week that your country has gone through. I fear for your country. If the mental case who runs it didn't have someone to blame for something, every day, his day would not be complete. His words ring so hollow and so insincere, it is almost laughable. He reads the script that someone writes for him, so it will sound like he is being sympathetic, then, before he can draw a breath, he turns and continues to incite violence and crap.

I fear for democracy. If he doesn't win next week, I fear things will get much worse (I mean, as far as violence goes). And if he does win, things will definitely be worse for everyone. I wish I were more of a glass-half-full person, but unfortunately, I am not.

You are always welcome here. I wish that were a real solution....

Edited: Oct 27, 10:45pm Top

>33 jessibud2: You’ve simply voiced what I’m feeling. If I were younger and didn’t have family here, I’d prepare now to leave this country. Seriously. I no longer see or hear very well so I’m also limited in that capacity. Everything is going very wrong here. I don’t have much faith in the future. So much of what’s happening is beyond the control of people who are decent. I’m scared.

Oct 28, 7:31pm Top

>32 SqueakyChu: I am reading Black Rain now

Oct 28, 7:32pm Top

>35 FAMeulstee: Let me know your reaction to it after you're done. I found it quite an amazing read.

Oct 28, 7:42pm Top

>36 SqueakyChu: I am almost halfway, it is devastating what the atomic bomb did. This book is even more powerfull as the graphic novel Barefoot Gen, my first read about Hiroshima.

Edited: Oct 28, 9:42pm Top

>37 FAMeulstee: I like the way the story was written. It had the feel of being there, but it wasn't too terrifying to actually read. I also felt that way about the graphic novel Maus I and 2 (which was about the Holocaust in Germany). Both were done in very different ways (as the latter was a graphic novel), but both were done in ways to get across the feeling of man's inhumanity to man in a way that still allowed them to be read.

I will look for Barefoot Gen. My son will make his fourth pleasure trip to Japan this winter. I hope he has time to visit Hiroshima. I visited the Air and Space Museum outside of Washington. DC. where they have on exhibit the Enola Gay (the bomber from which the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima). I had such mixed feelings about seeing it.

Oct 29, 11:56pm Top

61. The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson

October 2018 TIOLI Challenge:
Read a book related to Ghouls, Goblins or Ghosts (ghosts)

I found this tale of the study of psychic phenomenon in a haunted house more weird than scary, but it was intriguing to read as I tried, but failed, to guess how the story would play out. I saw the end of the book drawing closer and still had no idea what would happen. All of my guesses were wrong in the end.

In this story, John Montague, a doctor of philosophy, hoped to write a book about psychic phenomenon based on scientific study. For this, he enlisted the help of three others who were instructed to stay in the house but remain together for their own safety. Theodora and Eleanor were both unrelated young women and the third person was Luke, a young man who was related to the owner of the Hill House and who would one day inherit it.

At times, I kept thinking I lost the thread of the story, but I think this novel had less of a plot than it had playful attempts striking at its reader's psyche. I guess I prefer a more linear plot in novels, yet I still found this to be a satisfying read (...although I did favor Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle over this story).

Rating - 4 stars

Edited: Oct 30, 6:49pm Top

So I voted today. I felt nervous, sad, and discouraged. I’m sure my worst nightmare (the massacre of Jews at prayer in the United States) has something to do with my feelings. I left the polls in tears. I don’t have confidence in our elections any more, nor can I believe the public support of some of the most outrageous candidates in other states. I’m feeling very pessimistic at this time.

Oct 30, 6:53pm Top

Madeline, I completely understand your feelings. Bannon has been invited to Toronto to debate. His opponent will be David Frum. There are tons of people trying to stop the debate from going ahead in spite of it being sold out. Members of several multi-faith groups are outraged. Frum will tear him to shreds but the thought of Bannon being given a forum in which to spew his hate at all is an affront.

And I will copy what I just posted on Darry's thread about something else I just heard on the news: I also heard that trump and his entourage visited Pittsburgh today, despite the message being loud and clear that he was not welcome. I saw a clip on the news of the rabbi of the synagogue saying that he is honoured to meet any president of the United States. I felt very disappointed to hear that. I felt he had an obligation to his congregation to put his foot down and say no, this is a line that will not be crossed. No means no. This president deserves no respect, no honour. None whatsoever.

Edited: Oct 30, 10:29pm Top

The liar-in-chief is just bullying his way into a place where he is not wanted. He is the reason for this tragedy and so many of the other tragedies which preceded this one. It just hurts even more because it has become very personal for me.

I’m now watching a live stream of an interfaith service here in Maryland on behalf of the eleven victims. This is so devastating. The leader just asked the attendees to write postcards to members of Aitz Chaim synagogue to share their feelings with them. That was such a kind and loving gesture.

Nov 1, 11:06pm Top

My condolences for tonight's loss. DC United put up a heck of a fight and should be proud of their season.

Nov 2, 12:46am Top

>43 Oberon: Oh, thank you, Erik! I was so sad for my team. It was a rip-roaring game. I hate when games end in PKs. It seems so unfair. I didn’t want our season to end. I’m going to miss these games so much. I know I can watch other teams in the playoffs, but it was so great to connect with my own local team.

The problem with playoffs is that everyone eventually goes home sad except for the team which finally wins. Let’s hope this season it’s Darryl’s Atlanta United!

Although I hated losing tonight’s game, I really like the Columbus GK, Zack Steffen, since I know he used to play for the University of Maryland, a college I once attended.

Nov 4, 6:55pm Top

62. The Doctor’s Wife - Sawako Ariyoshi

November 2018 TIOLI Challenge #12:
Read a book with stripes on the cover (one snake has stripes)

What an interesting, moving story! This is an historical novel based on the life work of Naomichi Seishu, a Japanese doctor of the Edo period whose claim to fame was being the first surgeon to operate on another person using anesthesia. Historically there had been a Chinese man who was also reputed to have done so in the 5th century, but no record was left of his accomplishments so this fame in the end fell to Dr. Seishu.

The story speaks of the doctor's medical ambitions, but is told from the point of view of his wife Kae who was chosen to be the doctor's wife by her future mother-in-law Otsugi. At first, Kae admired her mother-in-law, but over the years resentment grew between these two women in a way in which they became competitive to see which of the two could most help Dr. Seishu's career.

This is the second novel I've read by Sawako Ariyoshi. I love her quiet, detailed manner of story-telling and how her works turn out to be a window into Japanese culture. The story of Dr. Seishu's medical practice invites more investigation of the true history of this man while the story of Dr. Seishu's family is the creative imagination of the author. Both were excellent and beautifully done.

Rating - 4.5 stars

Nov 4, 10:09pm Top

>39 SqueakyChu: I am watching The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix right now. No clue where it is going.

Sorry about your team. : ( The Portland Timbers managed to defeat their arch rivals, the Seattle Seahawks 2-1. Yay!!!

Love seeing the creative challenges you do for the TIOLI.

Nov 5, 5:36pm Top

>45 SqueakyChu: Sounds good, Madeline. I have a copy at the shelf. I might try to read it with you this month.

Edited: Nov 5, 7:27pm Top

>47 FAMeulstee: I really did like that book and the author very much. I hope you enjoy her writing as well. The Twilight Years of hers is also very good.

Edited: Nov 16, 8:37am Top

63. Preacher: Gone to Texas - Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon

November 2018 TIOLI Challenge #15:
Read a book which doesn't just contain text (graphic novel)

This was book one of a series I received as a donation to my Little Free Library, I flipped through the pages of this book and wondered who would ever read it as every page was filed with pictures of blood and gore. Then, as I usually do in the case of questionable books, I check what people wrote about it on LibraryThing. Lo! People actually liked it. So what do I do? I go back and start reading it. I tried to wade my way through the gratuitous blood, violence, blasphemy, and profanity to see what the book was really about. Some of it was way over my head. I wasn't following the story line. I was amazed at the art work which was incredibly detailed and well done. I set the book aside to give away.

The next day, I took another peek at it, starting from where i left off on the previous day. Strange! I became absorbed in the story as soon as I figured out who was who and what each person was trying to do to the other people--except for one person, Reaver Cleaver (haha!), who was intentionally devious. I was captured by this story and found some of it quite funny. I guess it was kind of a dark humor, but it grabbed me anyway.

Now, guess what? I found the last third of this book easy enough to understand and now want to finish the whole nine-book series. Go figure!

Rating - 4 stars

Nov 9, 10:23am Top

64. Preacher: Until the End of the World - Garth Ennis - Steve Dillon -

November 2018 TIOLI #15:
Read a book which doesn't just contain text (graphic novel)

I enjoyed book two much more than book one because now I understand the story more fully.

I love the strong characters of Jesse Custer (the preacher), Tulip (Custer's girlfriend), and Cassidy (the Irish vampire). If you think that's a strange cast of characters, wait until you meet the others. In this book, I think the creepiest were Gran'ma (you have to grab this book to see what she looks like!) and Jesus de Sade. They are not only disgusting characters, but they are drawn to look as bad as they are. Wonderful artwork by Steve Dillon, including some individual covers by Glenn Fabry. Check it out.

A truly fun part of this series is the occasional laugh-out-loud one-liners that provide comic relief to an otherwise intensive dark story. Love it!

Moving on to book three of this series...

Rating - 4.5 stars

Edited: Nov 16, 8:37am Top

65. Preacher: Proud Americans - Garth Ennis - Steve Dillon

November 2018 TIOLI Challenge #15:
Read a book which doesn't just contain text (graphic novel)

What a great series so far. This book starts off and ends up with very moving stories. The beginning story was about Jesse's dad's time in the army during the Vietnam war. The ending story was about Jesse's desertion of the Irish army and the start of his new life in America--in New York City, of course. I found that last chapter very sentimental and moving. Maybe that was because it had the Statue of Liberty pictured with her head erect (while she still had reason to keep it so) and the Twin Towers still gracing New York's skyline.

As for the action in this book, there was plenty. In fact, there was so much that I had a hard time keeping the characters straight plus what they each wanted to do with and to each other. I plowed my way through all of that and felt satisfied when the story of the Grail reached its resolution.

Ever onward! I'm now ready for Book Four.

By the way, I adore the friendship between Jesse and Cassidy. In a rough world, it's friendship that truly counts.

Rating - 4 stars

Edited: Nov 15, 9:47am Top

66. Ellie (The Garden Center Cat) - Ann-Marie F. Neal

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November 2018 TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book that completes the phrase, "I am thankful for..."

This is a small book about a cat who was adopted by a couple who loved gardening and opened a garden center. The story was kind of simple (a dog scared a cat), but the colorful drawings were very sweet.

Rating: 3 stars

Nov 14, 11:17am Top

67. Soccer IQ - Dan Blank

November 2018 TIOLI Challenge #9:
Read a book where a word in the title starts with the letters "In Flanders fields" in rolling order (S)

This book is so great! I spotted in it a thrift shop, but I didn't want to take it home because I have so many other unread books in my house. I picked it up and put it back several times, but I ended up buying it because I was just getting into following my local professional soccer team (DC United) and wanted a book which would enhance my knowledge of the tactics used in soccer. Boy, did I ever pick the right book!

This is a very slim volume written by the coach of a women's college soccer team. He wrote this book as a guide for other soccer coaches. Each chapter, usually just a page or two, describes a different situation and how soccer players should, but often do not, respond in the best way. There are chapters for such situations as defending the penalty kick, playing against a killer wind, play from a spot, the world's dumbest foul, and many, many more. Each chapter describes what to do and what not to do in a very humoress way, making the whole volume a delight to read. Some of the chapters describe in just a few words exercises that a coach can use to work on improving soccer technique related to the situation described.

I know that this book was intended for use by soccer coaches, but it has made me a much more observant soccer viewer. Now I'm on the alert to see if players are using the techniques described in this book correctly or not. It's great fun for me to watch this during a game!

Although I hate to do this as it will add to my growing collection of books at home, I feel this book needs to be part of my permanent book collection. It's a skinny book...so that should be okay. :)

Rating - 4.5 stars

Edited: Nov 15, 10:09pm Top

68. Preacher Vol. 4: Ancient history - Garth Ennis - Steve Dillon

November 2018 TIOLI Challenge #15:

This is my least favorite book of the series so far. It included the back stories of the Saint of Killers, Arseface, Jody, and T.C. Enough with the killing for its own sake! Let’s get back to the story of Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy which was the hook for me in the beginning. I did feel sympathy for Arseface, but the other two stories were too gruesome for me.

Rating - 2 stars

Edited: Yesterday, 7:33pm Top

69. Preacher Vol. 5: Dixie Fried - Garth Ennis - Steve Dillon

November 2018 TIOLI Challenge #15:
Read a book which doesn't just contain text (graphic novel)

This is the best book of the series so far. It had all the characters I've grown to like, the hunor I've come to expect, and the gore that's needed for this bizarre story.

I'm uncertain if I can trust Cassidy at this point, but I still admire his friendship with Custer. I'm not clear what he's trying to prove with Tulip, but I'll wait to see how the series plays out. This is great fun to read. I'm really glad all the books came into my possession so unexpectedly. :)

Rating - 5 stars

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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