Laytonwoman3rd's Fourth 2018 Reading Riot Thread
This is a continuation of the topic Laytonwoman3rd's Third for 2018.
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Hi! I'm Linda, a retired paralegal living in Northeastern Pennsylvania with my husband flamingrabbit (a retired broadcast engineer), and our sweet kitty, Molly O'Del, who we rescued from The Barn. Our daughter, lycomayflower, hangs around this group as well.
For toppers this year, I decided to feature photos of places that are important to me. On this thread, it's the coast of Maine with its rocks and pines and inlets and artist colonies...the location of many special vacations for our family.
My goal is always to read more of the books I already own, and to acquire fewer books than I remove from the house. As you will see from subsequent posts where I keep track of that kind of thing, I'm rubbish at it. I just like browsing and buying books. Besides, in June of 2016 I became a board member of the Scranton Public Library, so now I'm duty bound to attend ALL their book sales and bring stuff home, eh? They also have a nifty little independent bookstore/library branch which gets the best donations of used books, like art books, Folio editions, and such.
I've been keeping track of my reading here on LT since 2007. If you want to explore my reading backwards from here, take a look at my profile page, where I have linked to all my earlier threads.
TOTAL BOOKS COMPLETED in 2018:
BOOKS CULLED FROM THE HOUSE in 2018:
and, BOOKS FROM MY SHELVES READ in 2018 (otherwise known as "ROOTS")
In this post I'll keep monthly lists of my completed reads, from October forward. (First three quarters of the year are documented in >3 below.)
I use some shorthand to help me keep track of my reading trends: ROOT identifies a book that I have owned for at least a year at the time I read it. CULL means I put the book in my donation box for the library book sale after finishing it. DNF means I didn't finish the book, for one reason or another, usually explained in the related post. ER means I received the book from LT's Early Reviewer program. GN refers to a graphic novel (don't expect to see a lot of that one!) An *asterisk indicates a library book; LOA means I read a Library of America edition; SF means the book was a Slightly Foxed edition, (NOT science fiction, which I so rarely read); FOLIO, of course, indicates a Folio Society edition. AUDIO and e-Book are self-explanatory, and probably won't appear very often. AAC, BAC and IAC refer to the American, British and Irish Author Challenges. (See more on those below) NF indicates a non-fiction read.
Clicking on titles in this post will take you to the message in which I reviewed or commented on that book.
DNF Huck Out West by Robert Coover ROOT, CULL
96. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers ROOT
95. Paper Moon by Peter David BrownROOT
94. Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones ROOT, CULL
93. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith CULL
92. Open City by Teju Cole ROOT
91. The Long-Shining Waters by Danielle Sosin ROOT
90. *Theodore Boone: The Abduction by John Grisham
89. Long Upon the Land by Margaret Maron ROOT
88. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King AAC, ROOT
My completed reads for the first three quarters of 2018:
(See >2 laytonwoman3rd: above for codes, etc.)
*87. A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House
*86. Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League by Jonathan Odell
85. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
84. The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser ROOT, CULL, NF
83. Hawk Moon by Sam Shepard ROOT, CULL
82. The Woman Who Walked into Doors by Roddy Doyle ROOT, IAC
81. Three Houses by Angela Thirkell ROOT
80. Accent on Murder by Frances and Richard Lockridge
79. Clay's Quilt by Silas House ROOT
78. True Grit by Charles Portis ROOT
77. August Heat by Andrea Camilleri CULL
*76. Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan
75. As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Alan Preston and Neil Gower
*74. Sackett by Louis L'Amour AAC
73. Taking Chances by M. J. Farrell (Molly Keane) ROOT, CULL, IAC
72. Blue Horses by Mary Oliver
*71. Seven For a Secret by Lyndsay Faye
70. Little Brown Bear by Elizabeth Upham
69. Sharyn McCrumb's Appalachia by Sharyn McCrumb
68. Cotton Top by Jean O'Neill
67. The Daybreakers by Louis L'Amour AAC
66. Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo ROOT
Really trying to concentrate on ROOT reads this month. (Also, switching back to most recent on top in my lists, which I abandoned during the first half of the year, for some reason.)
Some Miscellaneous short selections: short fiction reads
*65. The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
64. Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson ROOT
63. Corpus Christmas by Margaret Maron ROOT
62. This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash ROOT
DNF * Where the Past Begins by Amy Tan AAC, NF
DNF * Shelter by Jung Yun
61. Everything in This Country Must by Colum McCann ROOT, IAC
60. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham ROOT
59. The Weather in Africa by Martha Gellhorn ROOT
49. March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell GN
50. Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively ROOT, BAC 2015
51. When the Thrill is Gone by Walter Mosley AAC, ROOT
52. Fox and Raccoon by Lesley-Anne Green ER, CULL
53. The Ballad of Frankie Silver by Sharyn McCrumb
*54. Tangerine by Christine Mangan
55. The Rosewood Casket by Sharyn McCrumb
56. Darktown by Thomas Mullen
*57. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo NF
58. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
*39. Circe by Madeline Miller
40. A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell BAC, ROOT
41. Once Upon a Memory, Vol. 1 ROOT
42. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers ROOT, BAC
43. A Charm of Goldfinches by Matt Sewell
44. Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart ROOT
45. New Boy by Tracy Chevalier CULL
46. Hedge Hog! by Ashlyn AnsteeER, CULL
47. Snow in August by Pete Hamill AAC, ROOT
48. The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
32. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann NF
33. The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley CULL
34. West by Carys Davies
35. The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Andrews Cummin
36. Fear and What Follows by Tim Parrish ROOT
37. The Color Purple by Alice Walker ROOT, AAC
38. Kittyhawk Down by Gary Disher
23. Old School by Tobias Wolff. AAC, ROOT
24. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by Simon Armitage BAC
25. The Romanovs and Mr. Gibbs by Frances Welch ROOT, CULL
26. Last Will and Testament by Elizabeth Ferrars CULL
27. The Dragon Man by Gary Disher
*28. Camino Island by John Grisham
29. Hank and Jim by Scott Eyman
*30. Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley
31. A Dark Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine ROOT, BAC
8. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline ROOT, CULL
*9. Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton
*10. B is For Burglar by Sue Grafton
*11. Blood Flies Upward by E. X. (Elizabeth) Ferrars
12. The Dressmaker by Beryl Bainbridge BAC, CULL
13. 14. and 15. I, Crocodile by Fred Marcellino, The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward and The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman and Fred Marcellino.
16. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey ROOT
17. No Time to Spare by Ursula LeGuin
18. and 19. My Friend Mac by May McNeer, Illustrated by Lynd Ward and The Silver Pony by Lynd Ward
20. Hedgie's Surprise by Jan Brett
21. A Bit on the Side by William Trevor IAC
22. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead AAC
1. Period Piece by Gwen Raverat FOLIO
2. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
3. First Time Ever by Peggy Seeger ER
4. Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart
*5. South Toward Home by Margaret Eby
6. She Walks These Hills by Sharyn McCrumb ROOT
7. Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault, Ill. by Fred Marcellino
This year, I'm going to follow 3 challenges, without committing to participation in any but the American Authors Challenge. I enjoy meeting new authors, and often have picked up a book I'd been meaning to read for ages because the author was one of the Challenge selections at a given time. But I don't like to plan my reading too strictly. It just doesn't work well for me.
AMERICAN AUTHOR CHALLENGE hosted by msf59. This is my heart's darlin', and these are this year's selections:
January- Joan Didion read 3 essays "Goodbye to all That", "In Bed" and "Black Panther"
February- Colson Whitehead Finished The Underground Railroad
March- Tobias Wolff Finished Old School
April- Alice Walker Finished The Color Purple
May-Peter Hamill Finished Snow in August
June- Walter Mosley Finished When the Thrill is Gone
July- Amy Tan DNF Where the Past Begins
August- Louis L'Amour Finished The Daybreakers and Sackett
September- Pat Conroy I started My Losing Season, but put it aside, as it was too much basketball and stuff I've read in Conroy before.
October- Stephen King Finished Mr. Mercedes
November- Narrative Nonfiction
December- F. Scott Fitzgerald
IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE hosted by PaulCranswick
January : EDNA O'BRIEN Gave O'Brien's The Country Girls a try; not taken with it
February : WILLIAM TREVOR Finished A Bit on the Side
March : DEIRDRE MADDEN will skip her, as I read One By One in the Darkness last year, and have nothing else on the shelf.
April : Samuel Beckett Gotta say he tempts me about as much as James Joyce does, or maybe less...I think I will skip him.
May : IRISH CRIME WRITERS Skipped
June :ANNE ENRIGHT Skipped
July : COLM TOIBIN OK...I like this guy...I may get to him. ETA But I didn't.
August :MOLLY KEANE Finished Taking Chances
September : RODDY DOYLE Finished The Woman Who Walked Into Doors
October : POETS & PLAYWRIGHTS
November : EMMA DONOGHUE, JENNIFER JOHNSTON, MAGGIE O'FARRELL
December : JOHN BANVILLE, SEBASTIAN BARRY, COLUM MCCANN Finished Everything in This Country Must
BRITISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE Also hosted by Paul. This challenge will be themed this year, with 10 authors suggested in each month, and that will either make it easier or harder to fill!
JANUARY - DEBUT NOVELS - Having already read 3 of the suggestions, and having none of the others on my shelves, I passed.
FEBRUARY - THE 1970s - Not books about the '70's, but books
published in the '70's. Finished The Dressmaker by Beryl Bainbridge, which I believe fits the category.
MARCH - CLASSIC THRILLERS - http://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6266669
Not much for spy thrillers, which seems to be the preponderance in this category, but psychological thrillers...now that's something else again. Finished Barbara Vine's A Dark Adapted Eye.
APRIL - FOLKLORE, FABLES AND LEGENDS - https://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6264065
Finished Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Simon Armitage
MAY - QUEENS OF CRIME -Finished Ruth Rendell's A Judgement in Stone Also Finished Dorothy L. Sayers' Clouds of Witness
JUNE - TRAVEL WRITING - http://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6266685
Started Patrick Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts and will continue with it in short doses.
JULY - THE ANGRY YOUNG MEN - http://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6266706
Don't need angry young men in my life right now...will skip
AUGUST - BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION - http://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6265570 I'm as unlikely to read any British sci-fi as I am unlikely to read any other kind.
SEPTEMBER - HISTORICAL FICTION - http://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6266539
Possibly I, Claudius? Didn't get to it.
OCTOBER - COMEDIC NOVELS - https://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6266707
NOVEMBER - WORLD WAR ONE - https://www.librarything.com/topic/275745#6258461
DECEMBER - BRITISH SERIES - https://www.librarything.com/topic/276796#6268684
WILDCARD - THE ROMANTICS - https://www.librarything.com/topic/276796#6271176
Not so much a challenge as an intention, but I hope to read some from this list of books by women of color in 2018
Finished So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
as well as some of these essential works by Native Americans.
I'm calling this post .
This is where I will keep a running tally of the books that come into the house in 2018. (I may break LT trying to load all these touchstones at once!)
January Yikes. Lookit, already.
1. Reconstruction: Voices from America's First Great Struggle for Racial Equality (Library of America)
2. Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart
3. The Fleet Street Murders by Charles Finch
4. The Great Leader by Jim Harrison
5. Absalom's Daughters by Suzanne Feldman
6. Fools Crow by James Welch
7. Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam
8. Darktown by Thomas Mullen
9. Under the Bamboozle Bush by Walt Kelly
10. Breath by Tim Winton
11. Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault, illustrated by Fred Marcellino
1. Hank and Jim by Scott Eyman
2. The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman, illustrated by Fred Marcellino
3. The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward
4. Last Will and Testament by Elizabeth Ferrars
5. Frog in the Throat by E. X. Ferrars
6. Something Wicked by E. X. Ferrars
1. The General's Wife by Ishbel Ross
1. Mornings Like This: Found Poems by Annie Dillard
2. Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamond Lehman
3. Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom by Christopher Wren
1. Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment by Rachel Carson
2. The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
3. Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night by Barbara J. Taylor
4. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
5. March, Book One by John Lewis
6. Famous Women by Giovanni Boccaccio
7. A Charm of Goldfinches by Matt Sewell
8. Macbeth by Jo Nesbo
9. Hedge Hog! by Ashlyn Anstee
June (This is getting pretty embarrassing.)
1. Albert Murray Collected Novels &. Poems
2. Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson
3. Joe Turner's Come and Gone by August Wilson
4. Circe by Madeline Miller
5. So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger
6. The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama
7. The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
8. Walking With the Wind by John Lewis
9. Ballad of Frankie Silver by Sharyn McCrumb
10. Blue Horses by Mary Oliver
11. Fear of the Dark by Walter Mosley
12. Cinnamon Kiss by Walter Mosley
13. Down By the River by Edna O'Brien
14. The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett
15. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
16. Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen
1. Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
2. Finders Keepers by Stephen King
3. The Trouble I've Seen by Martha Gellhorn
4. Chesapeake by James Michener
5. The Daybreakers by Louis L'Amour
1. Cotton Top by Jean O'Neill
2. Ghost Riders by Sharyn McCrumb
3. Sharyn McCrumb's Appalachia by Sharyn McCrumb
4. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
5. Little Brown Bear by Elizabeth Upham
1. Hondo by Louis L'AMour
2. On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
3. The Viceroy of Ouidah by Bruce Chatwin
4. All our Names by Dinaw Mengestu
5. The Coal Tattoo by Silas House
6. The Lake of Darkness by Ruth Rendell
7. Just As I Am by E. Lynn Harris
8. And This Too Shall Pass by E. Lynn Harris
9. If This World Were Mine by E. Lynn Harris
10. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
11. War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
12. Southernmost by Silas House
1. A Crown of Feathers by Isaac Bashevis Singer
2. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
3. July's People by Nadine Gordimer
4. The Witch Elm by Tana French
5. Candide by Voltaire
6. Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
7. How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
8. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
9. Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko
10. The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
11. Disturbing the Peace by Richard Yates
12. Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes
13. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
14. Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill
15. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
16. Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
17. Desertion by Abdulrazak Gurnah
18. The Virginian by Owen Wister
19. Cactus Cafe by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
20. A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor
21. Missing Soluch by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
22. Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham
23. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
1. The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson
The ongoing struggle to purge books I'll never read, or never read again...
1. The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O'Brien
2. Night by Edna O'Brien
3. We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg
4. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
5. The Dressmaker by Beryl Bainbridge
6. The Lion in the Living Room by Abigail Tucker (JCK)
7. Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig
8. A is for Alibi Grafton duplicate
9. B is for Burglar Grafton duplicate
10. Last Will and Testament by Elizabeth Ferrar
11. The Romanovs and Mr. Gibbes by Frances Welch
12. The Anatomy of Violence by Adrian Raine (JCK)
13. Eternal Darkness by Robert Ballard (JCK)
14. "C" by Sir Stewart Menzies (JCK)
15. The Mind of Adolf Hitler by Walter Langer
16. and 17. Two more JCK books whose titles I failed to note down
17. The Diary of a Catholic Bishop by Edward Carden
18. This is My God by Herman Wouk (duplicate copy)
19. Incidents in the Life of John H. Race
20. The Oxford Pocket Dictionary
21. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
22. Oscar & Lucinda by Peter Carey
23. First Light by Peter Ackroyd
24. The Terror by Dan Simmons (JCK)
25. Reign of Iron by James L. Nelson (JCK)
26. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin (JCK)
27. The Dancing Dodo by John Gardner (JCK)
28. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson (JCK)
29. Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks (JCK)
30. War As I Knew It by George S. Patton (JCK)
31. Jim Cramer's Real Money (JCK)
32. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
33.-45. LOA volumes of Philip Roth, Philip K. Dick and Saul Bellow
46. The Tangled Web by Michael J. Cain (JCK)
47. New Boy by Tracy Chevalier
48. Old Devils by Kingsley Amis
49. Hedge Hog! by Ashlyn Anstee
50. Fox and Raccoon Leslie-Anne Green
51. The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley
52. Night of January 16th Ayn Rand
53. The Fountainhead Ayn Rand
54. Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
55. The Romantic Manifesto Ayn Rand
56. The World is Flat Thomas L. Friedman
57. Down By the River Edna O'Brien
58. Paradigms Lost by John Simon
59. Tennessee Williams: An Intimate Biography by Dakin Williams
60. Taking Chances by Molly Keane
61. Washington Square by Henry James (duplicate copy)
62. August Heat by Andrea Camilleri
63. The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri
64. Tamarind Mem by Anita Rau Badami
65. The Hero's Walk by Anita Rau Badami
66. Passage to India by E. M. Forster (duplicate copy)
67. Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri
68. The Patience of the Spider by Andrea Camilleri
69. Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill
70. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
71. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
72. The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton by Jane Smiley
73. Thirty-Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill
74. The Bird Artist by Howard Norman (duplicate copy)
75. Voss by Patrick White (duplicate copy)
76. My Bright Abyss by Christian Wiman
77. Gilgamesh by Joan London
78. A Test of Wills by Charles Todd
79. Marcella Cucina
80. Cucina Povera: Tuscan Peasant Cooking
81. Hawk Moon by Sam Shepard
82. The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser
83. Underboss by Peter Maas
84. I Have Lived in the Monster
85. The Sweeter the Juice by Shirley Haizlip
86. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (exchanged one copy for another)
87. Uncivil Seasons by Michael Malone
88. My Losing Season by Pat Conroy
89. Democracy in America abridged edition
90. Murder at 75 Birch Pienciak
91. Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow (duplicate copy)
92. Gunman's Rhapsody by Robert B. Parker (duplicate copy)
93. Ghost Story by Peter Straub
94. In the Bleak Midwinter Julia Spencer-Fleming
95. A Fountain Filled With Blood ""
96. Out of the Deep I Cry ""
97. To Darkness and to Death "
98. All Mortal Flesh "
99. The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler
100. Earthly Possessions by Anne Tyler
101. Will Rogers; Wise and Witty Sayings of a Great American Humorist
102. Brothers by William Goldman
103. The Cuckoo's Egg by Clifford Stoll
104. One Monday We Killed Them All by John D. MacDonald
105 New Orleans Requiem by D. J. Donaldson
106. Plot it Yourself by Rex Stout
107. The One From the Other by Philip Kerr
108. The Word by Irving Wallace
109. Map of Bones by James Rollins
110. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (duplicate)
111. Seeking Palestine ed. by Penny Johnson
112. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
Just to prove the truth of one of the statements I made above, this is my book haul from today's Friends of the Library sale at the Abington Community Library:
I took a rather small sack, thinking that might limit my acquisitions. It didn't work. But I justify a good many of these as being representative of authors who are being considered for the American Authors Challenge in 2019. I have to have them on hand, right?
>8 laytonwoman3rd: Ha! Yes indeed, quite a haul and I notice some good ones. I'd love to see Pearl Buck in the AAC and I think The Good Earth is an amazing story. I have several of her books on hand I want to read one day.The Cactus cafe book looks like a delight. Madame Bovary is one of those classics my friends have told me I should read. Have fun, esp with Dr Siri - I recall that was one of the better (but darker) ones.
and Happy New Thread!
>9 figsfromthistle: Welcome, Figs!
>10 RBeffa: OK...you need to post your Pearl Buck love on the AAC planning thread. I know you know where it is! I have one more Dr. Siri to read before I get to Love Songs From a Shallow Grave, I think. I'm going to peruse the Cactus Cafe right now; the illustrations are really fine.
Love the thread topper, Linda. Where in Maine is that, if I may ask? I love the places in Maine that I’ve been.
The first and last pictures were taken from Ocean Point, in East Boothbay, Maine. The one with the lobster pots and roses is on Monhegan Island, about 12 miles off the coast, accessible only by boat. It's tiny, and has no paved roads--very popular with painters. The picture of boats was taken somewhere on Townsend Gut between Southport and Boothbay Harbor.
>15 laytonwoman3rd: My daughter has a house on Great Diamond Island, which is off Portland. We spend a lot of time there in the summer. You get there by ferry, and walk or use golf carts once there. I love it. We always make a trip to Boothbay for the day. We have lunch at the Boothbay Lobster Wharf, and then browse all of the little shops. Thank you for sharing your pictures.
Happy New Thread, Linda. Love the toppers. I really want to visit Maine, especially Arcadia National Park.
Nice book haul up there too.
Happy new thread, Linda. I love the Maine photos.
Nice book haul, too. And you are doing pretty well with the culling. I like that you keep a running tally of them, while you start counting over with the acquisitions each month. That is a great system.
>16 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!
>17 NanaCC: Robinson's Wharf in Southport was always our go-to for lobster; we also loved the Chowder House in Boothbay Harbor.
>18 msf59: Ahh...Cadillac Mountain...we never got that far north.
>19 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. Maine seems to be making a hit with everybody!
>20 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita. Thanks for dropping by. I have a great fondness for rocks, and Maine's coast is a perfect place to indulge that.
Coastal Maine is beautiful, Linda. I wish we lived closer to any coast. We are in the heartland which makes the nearest coast over 12 hours away by car (probably Galveston). I have fond memories of Maine from our trip to New England about a decade ago.
I think your reasons behind your latest book haul are very sound. You remind me that I must stop by the planning thread for next year's AAC. Thank you for your leadership. That is one challenge I would hate to see fall by the wayside. Perhaps I will be a better contributor next year.
I'm so far behind! Just finished reading about culling your books on your old thread and then got caught up in Roddy Doyle -- I LOVE The Commitments one of my favourite movies! Just the other day I was thinking I have to get our daughter to see it, she'd really love it.
I'm always always culling, but somehow more books seem to come in than go out!
>22 Donna828: Thanks for backing up my rationalizations, Donna! And I hope you'll be able to participate in the AAC next year. There's a lot under consideration right now, so we need plenty of input to narrow our choices.
>23 sibyx: Well, I was doing pretty well with the cull-to-acquire ratio, before this latest haul. I'm afraid I'm back in overrun territory again now! I have not seen The Commitments yet, but so many people have praised it, I must try to fit it in soon.
88. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King King is the AAC author for October. I have read a few of his novels in the past, and he's popular with my husband, but I don't seek him out these days. I was intrigued to learn he had tried his hand at detective fiction with the Bill Hodges trilogy, though, so I had the first two of those on hand. Although I am really fairly well done with spending time inside the head of a psychopath, King kept me engaged with Brady Hartsfield, turning some of the things we think we know about such people sideways (for instance, Brady is a single guy living at home with his Mother, and their relationship is downright icky, but he is fairly self-aware; he isn't driven by either abnormal obsession with or hatred for Mommy). And, mercifully, the Brady sections of the novel do not predominate. Mr. Mercedes was a page turner, and the suspense is palpable---King set me up a couple times for a really nasty thing that didn't happen, but something else nasty happened instead. Knowing that there are two more books in this trilogy gave me some confidence that King wasn't going to bump off Det. (Ret.) Hodges in this one. But the last book is called "End of Watch", which suggests he might be saving that wallop until his faithful readers are REALLY invested in the character. I just don't trust the man, who also likes to sneak damned clown masks in to so much of his fiction. (He understands
89. Long Upon the Land by Margaret Maron Down with a cold and spent Monday on the couch with this comfort read---the last of Maron's Deborah Knott series, which I've been hoarding because I knew there would be no more. It was a good one, since the author planned to end the series and obviously gave a lot of thought about how to do it. There's the requisite mysterious death, and the usual family stuff, but in this one Deborah sets out to learn a bit more about her parents' first meeting and courtship than she has ever known before, prompted by contemplation of an engraved cigarette lighter her mother had kept since WWII. Why did her dying mother tell Deborah that the man who gave her the lighter at a USO dance saved her life? Who was he, and who was his lost love? How DID a widowed bootlegger with 8 young sons persuade the daughter of a prominent lawyer to marry him?
Hey, thanks to you I just picked up The Sparrow, which is $1.99 on Kindle today!
>27 lauralkeet: I have my husband reading it now, Laura. (He's got the cold that laid me low earlier in the week, so it's a reading day for him.)
I have been doing an inventory of a small cabinet where I've kept a lot of mass-market paperbacks for years. Partly to have a list of what's in there, and partly to cull some oldies I'll never read again. Not quite finished, and already I've zero-summed the pile I brought home from the library sale by putting 25 books into the box I will donate back to the library. I win. They win.
We are running par today Linda. I exited 11 to the community box this morning, and have 14 to go out the door next week to charity bookshop.
90. Theodore Boone: The Abduction by John Grisham I think Theo Boone, Kid Lawyer (or as the covers of the paperbacks have it "Half the Man, Twice the Lawyer") is my Flavia de Luce. I didn't take as well to Flavia's personality as others have, but Grisham's 13-year-old legal fanatic is just my cup of tea. In this one, Theo's good friend April has disappeared in the middle of the night, and he was the last one to speak to her. He knows something about her troubled home life that could be important, but he promised April he wouldn't tell anyone...so how can he help find her without betraying her confidence? Lots of irresponsible adult behavior gives Theo a chance to do what the police are unable to manage...track down April's ne'er-do-well Dad and figure out what really happened to her.
>32 laytonwoman3rd: should that ever be necessary
oh come on, who are you kidding?
91. The Long-Shining Waters by Danielle Sosin A stunningly beautiful read. We meet three strong, challenged women whose stories are woven together around the central character of this novel, Lake Superior. Grey Rabbit is an Ojibwe woman living with her family along the shores of Gichigami, the big water, in a time before anyone in her ken had seen a white face. She is plagued with disturbing dreams which she cannot understand, but which make her fearful for the safety of her sons. Nearly 300 years later, Berit tends home and hearth along the same shores, while her husband Gunnar makes a living casting his nets into the Great Lake's unforgiving waves, and working for weeks at a time in a distant lumber camp. She too has dreams...waking dreams in which she stares across the water, or into its depths seeking the faces of her own children...children who have never materialized. And at the beginning of the 21st century, Nora, a widow, suffers the loss of her livelihood when her bar burns to the ground, seemingly taking all her memories with it. As she sets out to document each lost sunken ship painting, bit of driftwood, sign and nautical ornament in a notebook, she drives aimlessly around the lake, looking for the answer to the big question that heads her last page---"What next?". Serving as a sort of grout between the mosaic tiles of these three stories are the lyrical observations of a drowned man who sees the timeless world above him through a watery lens. Common images grace each section---dragonflies, wolves, white butterflies, the northern lights, agates. It's nearly impossible to convey the overall effect of this marvelous piece of writing. There isn't a lot of action, and none of the stories comes to a definitive resolution, but Life carries forward. "Water circles from sea to sky and back. It lifts through tree roots, releases through leaves, and all the animals make their paths. To the water, always changing, always wholly receptive."
I wonder how long it will take for that extra book room to be filled? Good job getting to that state, Linda.
>38 Familyhistorian: If I say I intend to keep on top of it and cull routinely in the future, will you believe me? I do think I have become more inclined to give books away after finishing them lately. I used to just keep everything unless I found it abysmal. Now I seriously try to evaluate whether I or anyone else in my immediate circle is likely to want to read a book when I'm done.
A poetry-loving friend (who may have introduced me to this guy's work) posted on FB last night that Tony Hoagland died yesterday. The internet is quite silent on the subject, but Wikipedia's entry for him has been edited sometime in the last couple hours, to reflect his death. No details, but it was reported that he was under treatment for cancer recently. His bio on Poets.org also notes that he died on October 23, 2018.
ETA: Imagine me scooping the NY Times by several hours. In any case, here is Hoagland's obituary as published there. I'm sure he left us way before he had shared all he had to offer.
I love the poem he read in the video, so funny. Wry indeed. Off to you know where to click.
92. Open City by Teju Cole
Those of you who remember rebeccanyc will know that she was a particularly astute and sophisticated reader, as well as a sharp reviewer. She may be one of the people who brought this novel to my attention shortly after it was published. (There are a couple other likely culprits, but they do not seem to have reviewed this work.) Having finished Open City over a week ago, pondered over it off and on since, and read several LT reviews in lieu of having anyone to discuss it with in person, I find that Rebecca and I had remarkably similar reactions to it. Here is a portion of her review from 2011:
"I have been puzzling over what to say about this widely and enthusiastically reviewed debut novel, partly because I was a little puzzled by it myself, partly because I didn't warm up to it as much as I hoped I would, and partly because I found it unsettling, and still do so a day after I finished reading it.
Very little happens in this novel. The narrator, a 30-ish psychiatrist resident in New York City, the son of a German mother and Nigerian father, wanders around New York City and Brussels, thinks about his childhood in Nigeria, encounters people of all sorts, meditates and converses on a wide variety of topics from literature and cultural theory to history, current events, and the horrors of the past and the present. Through this, the author explores alienation, immigration, war, racial and other oppression and prejudice, and memory and its illusions. Some mysteries are never resolved; one startling revelation at the end seems out-of-place."
I would add that Julius, our narrator, also explores the bonds that exist, or fail to form, between individuals.
The book reads more like non-fiction than novel...there is no plot, as most reviewers have pointed out. There is much to learn on a historical basis, from Julius's peripatetic wanderings through the neighborhoods of New York City. (His Brussels interlude, however, was as useless to me as it seemed to be to Julius, who was ostensibly there to see whether he could find his grandmother, but actually did next to nothing in aid of that. I thought of so many avenues he might have pursued if he really wanted to learn whether the woman was alive or dead.)
Several of the reviews posted here are insightful, and I've linked to a couple of them. Mainly, we all agree that Cole's writing is entrancing, his musings often worth sharing, but his ultimate "point" a bit hard to fathom. Oh...and a second reading is almost inevitable, because I can't seem to put the book out of my mind. I expect the author would call that a success.
93. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith The long-awaited fourth installment of the Cormoran Strike series from J. K. Rowlings' authorial alter-ego may be the last on of these I read. It failed me on a couple levels, despite being a page-turner. I read this sort of thing for escape, R&R, because I want to be with the recurring characters and become invested in their personal stories. Somehow, I've pretty much lost sympathy for Strike and Robin and their persistent toxic relationships. I'm fairly sure we've all wanted Robin to dump Matthew since very early on.
Strike is hired to dig up dirt on a cabinet minister's husband, who is suspected of being behind a blackmail threat to another cabinet minister. He is also consulted by a mentally disturbed young man who insists that, as a boy, he witnessed another child being strangled and buried on the property where his family lived--property owned by...you guessed it...the family of one of those cabinet ministers. Immediately after telling Strike his story, though, Billy drops out of sight. And then one of the major players is found dead, a purported suicide, totally changing the course of Strike's investigation. Robin gets to go undercover, and to show off how much more she knows about horses than Strike does. We meet a good many nasty individuals of all classes. We peek behind the scenes at the House of Commons. Some of this is very good reading; at half the length it would have been a ripping good story.
Uh oh, that doesn't bode well. I should be getting this from my library soon. I hope it's more gripping than Moby Dick LOL.
>43 laytonwoman3rd: It suffers from a similar affliction, Laura---too much extraneous stuff outside The Story. (Note I've added a bit to my review since you posted.)
There is something to be said about reading books for escape, Linda. Sometimes they are just what a girl needs! I plan to start reading the Cormoran Strike series soon, although soon may be early 2018. I think I have the first two books in the TBR pile. I have been making the decision to retain or cull books right after I read them. I have two rather large stacks now to let my son go through. The rest will go to my librarian friend who has started a traveling bookstore on wheels. I'm eager to see it and want her to succeed with an inventive way to use an old RV and further the love of reading.
I liked your comments on The Sparrow. I have read it twice now and may read it again because I keep putting off reading the sequel, Children of God. Next year I am seriously going to tackle those unread books on my shelves.
>43 laytonwoman3rd: Gosh, Linda, I think this may be the first time we haven’t agreed on a book. I quite enjoyed it. I do think that it was too long, so there we can get along. ;-)
I look forward to Laura’s reaction.
>46 Donna828: I really enjoyed the first two Cormoran Strike books, Donna. The third one, not quite so much, and this one, as you can tell, didn't quite give me the escape I was looking for. My daughter and my husband have both read The Sparrow now. He and I had quite good discussions of it; she read it so long ago she didn't remember some of the specifics I wanted to get her opinion about, but we all certainly were impressed with it to one degree or another.
>47 NanaCC: Well, Colleen, we certainly CAN get along! And I don't say I didn't enjoy it at all. The quibbles did rather get in the way of my sinking into it.
Woo, you had a much more negative reaction to Lethal White than I did, Linda. I loved every minute, and didn't want it to end. I guess I just buy into the relationships, and really enjoy time spent with Cormoran and Robin. Oh well, that's proof once again that we don't all come from the same cookie cutter.
>50 jnwelch: Well, it was a pretty fast read, length notwithstanding. And I never considered Pearl-ruling it. Who knows...when the next one comes out, I may have changed my mind and give Corm and Robin another shot. (I won't pre-order the book though!) Surely they're not going to keep making the same mistakes...or ARE they?
Hi, Linda. I posted the NNF thread. I am glad I decided to go with it, because it looks like it will be a lot of fun. Stop by and give a couple of suggestions.
I have Lethal White saved on audio. I hope I can bookhorn it in, by the end of the year.
94. Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
"I do not know what you are supposed to do with memories like these. It feels wrong to want to forget. Perhaps this is why we write these things down, so we can move on."
In this relatively short novel, we are told the story of what happened in a small island village in Papua New Guinea during the Bougainville Civil War in the early 1990's, from the point of view of Matilda, a 14-year-old girl.
When the story begins, most of the younger men, including Matilda's father, were absent, having left to work in the copper mine years before, or to join the rebels (known as "rambos"). Their island is under a blockade, the PNG army (the "redskins") hoping to force the rebels into submission by cutting off all supplies to the island. No fuel for generators so no electricity; no canned food, no medical supplies; no way to get off the island. All white people, including teachers, had left on the last boat allowed out. All, that is, except one strange white man known as "Pop Eye", who remained, with his equally enigmatic black wife, in the big house formerly occupied by a German minister. Eventually, Pop Eye takes over the children's education, mainly by reading to them from "the greatest novel by the greatest English writer of the nineteenth century", Great Expectations; and by asking their parents to visit school and share little life lessons, such as the proper way to kill a pig, how a heart seed grows into a glorious flowering vine, or all about the color blue---"Blue...has magical powers...You watch a reef and tell me if I am lying. Blue crashes onto a reef, and what color does it release? It releases white! Now, how does it do that?" The children learn to call him by his proper name, Mr. Watts, and they respect him while becoming quite engaged with the adventures of Mr. Dickens' orphan, Phillip Pirrip, who came to be called Pip. The war intrudes from time to time--the villagers hear helicopters and watch them flying out to sea where, just before they disappear completely, they turn around and return. It is believed the redskins are taking captured rebels out to sea, and throwing them out of the helicopters. Sometimes the redskins visit the village, looking for rebels. Through the course of the novel the consequences of these visits escalate from inconvenience to destruction to unimaginable horror.
I had trouble seeing where the story was going to lead for a while; I feared it was going to be a “white savior” kind of tale, but it turned out not to be that, except on a superficial level. I had trouble remembering that the narrator was a girl, not a boy, for a good bit of the book. It didn’t really matter most of the time, and I wasn’t sure whether to blame myself or the author for it, but by the time it came to be important in the context of the story, I had programmed my brain to remember. I had no frame of reference for the setting and therefore found it a bit difficult to form a true picture of the villagers and how they fit into the 20th century, so I had to go outside the book to educate myself. As the book was first published in Australia, I assume its primary audience in 2006 was more familiar with the underlying politics and history. The thrust of the novel is the methods people use cope with hardship and tragedy...faith, denial, escape through the imagination...and how one fictional character’s experience gave both Pop Eye and Matilda permission to change their lives. Powerful and worthwhile.
“...you know, Matilda, you cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets the breathe.”
I've had this on my shelf for years Linda. Glad it was a hit for you.
Love the quote, too true.
>55 laytonwoman3rd: This book was making the rounds of certain LTers and I'm wondering: did I send it to you after I read it?
>56 Caroline_McElwee: It was a difficult read, Caroline, which I did not exactly anticipate. I've had it for a long time too. But I'm glad I got around to it.
>57 lauralkeet: That is entirely possible, Laura. I know I heard about it here, long ago. I entered it in my catalog in 2009, but I did not make any note of where it came from at the time.
>58 laytonwoman3rd: oh, nope, wasn't me then. I read it in 2016 and sent it along to someone after that.
>55 laytonwoman3rd: Mr. Pipp has drawn blood, I fear. Prompted by a too literal interpretation of your comment about forming a picture of the villagers (you actually said forming a true picture), I used Google Images to "see" what it looked like. Aerial views of the open-pit mine in the center of a green panorama. Clusters of sweaty, bare-chested, exhausted men holding automatic weapons. A number of images of the book itself.
Glad you liked Mr. Pip. I had it on my shelves for a while and read it two years ago and loved it .
>56 Caroline_McElwee:, >57 lauralkeet:, >60 weird_O:,>62 EBT1002:, >63 figsfromthistle: It's always interesting to me to see which reads prompt the most response...this one definitely fell into the "outside my comfort zone" category, and it worked for me. I wasn't sure its appeal would resonate, though.
95. Paper Moon by Joe David Brown I think my copy of this book has been around since it first came out in paperback with the "Soon to be a major motion picture" cover featuring Ryan and Tatum O'Neill in character as Addie and Moses "Long Boy" Pray. Two more loveable con artists would be hard to find without looking to Newman and Redford. Addie is the daughter of a good-time-girl who can't be sure which of several men might be the child's father; Long Boy is perhaps the most likely, and apparently the only one who cared to show up for her funeral. His reward for that bit of devotion is an unlikely 11-year-old partner for his "business" ventures, one who proves to have a greater talent and instinct for the game than her Daddy.
The novel was originally titled Addie Pray, and the title isn't the only thing the movie changed. In fact, except for the general concept, not much of the book made it onto the screen at all. I loved the movie when I first saw it----still do. Both versions are pure unadulterated entertainment, but the book is rather better. More complex, with some character growth on Addie's part, and some off-the-page soul-searching by Long Boy. There are two big scams, one of which eventually got turned on its head in a most satisfying way, neither of which were even hinted at in the movie. Despite having had it around for something like 45 years, I can't recall whether I read the book before or not; it seems unlikely I would have forgotten how different it was from the movie. But hey----45 years---it's possible.
>65 laytonwoman3rd: A rare case of a film that exceeded its source material (IM never-humble O). Have a lurvely Saturn's day.
Best quote of the day (although it's not of THIS day, but from a January 2018 NYT By the Book piece with Robert Coover:
"If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
He’s basically illiterate, can’t handle more than 140 characters at a time, and is tied up now with “Mein Kampf.”
Happy Sunday, Linda. Good review of Paper Moon. I never realized the film was based on a book. I was a big fan of the film.
The first and nearly final cut has been made for the 2019 American Authors Challenge, so if you're interested, pop over to the discussion thread and help choose the last couple names for next year.
Your review is a lovely revisit with Mr Pip for me. I think I may have read it the first year on LT, what seems like a zillion year ago.
>77 avaland: Thanks, Lois. You may be one of the people who brought it to my attention way back when.
97. The Colossus of New York by Colson Whitehead I read this in anticipation of hearing Whitehead speak tonight as part of the Lackawanna County Library System's American Masters Lecture series in Scranton. The lecture has been postponed due to the impending wretched weather, but the book was a treat. (And I'm still hoping to catch Mr. Whitehead when the event gets rescheduled.)
The Colossus of New York sort of did for me what I thought Teju Cole's Open City was going to do....take me on an insider's tour of the incomparable metropolis and make me feel like I am right there. It's short on specific landmarks, but long on the heart and soul of the city. It's a rapid transit ride, with vignettes of the people and places flashing by through the window; or maybe an extended jazz composition with riff after riff after riff just taking your breath away; or a cocktail party with really interesting people where you just can't decide which conversation to follow. I've only been an occasional visitor to NYC over the years, never a resident nor a hopeful immigrant with an address on a crumpling piece of paper clutched in my pocket, but still I recognize so much of essential Gotham in Whitehead's musings---the magic, the tragic, the grime and the beauty, the hopes and the failures, the excitement and the ennui; it's all part of the music, and not just in New York. This is the kind of book that makes me want to meet the author over drinks or dessert.
>79 laytonwoman3rd: - Nice review! I've got this one on my shelf waiting, waiting, waiting....
Good review of The Colossus of New York. I was not even familiar with this Whitehead title. Sorry, to hear the lecture was postponed. Boo, to the weather!!
>80 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. It's a quick read.
>81 msf59: It's a good one, Mark. I'll hope for better weather on the re-scheduled date. At the moment we have about 8 1/2 inches of snow on our patio, and it's not over yet. It may convert to some sleet or freezing rain overnight, as the temps are supposed to rise.
DNF Huck Out West by Robert Coover I could not engage with this one. After Huck lit out for the territories, he had a bunch of pointless adventures; found out Jim had been sold back into slavery; watched a mass hanging of native Americans where he serendipitously met up with Tom Sawyer again (Tom hasn't changed a bit, except for being less likeable as an adult); worked for Custer (referred to only as "Gen'l Hard Ass") for a while and couldn't stomach his brutality; ran across Ben Rogers who promptly got himself killed; lost another new friend; drove cattle for a while; and contemplated helping a captive girl escape her father, who she said intended to sell her to the Mormons as an "extry wife". And that's all in the first 85 pages or so. Huck's voice doesn't feel quite right, and he's not particularly interesting now that's he's grown up and lost his innocence. In fact, the whole thing was boring me senseless. I quit.
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