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Jess (jayde599) tries again

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Jan 13, 10:02am Top

My name is Jess and this is my 10th year in the 75 group. I tend to disappear as real life interferes. I lurk more on the threads than post because I visit LT on my phone most often.
I am a Special Education teacher in Maine. I have a 7 year old son, and a 3 year old daughter who keep me busy. I did manage to read about 45 books last year, but I think I only posted 25 of them.
Let's hope I can be a bit more active this year!

Edited: Jan 13, 10:13am Top

Series I want to try to get to this year -
According to Fict Fact

1. A Series of Unfortunate Events - (1/13)
2. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache - (5/15)
3. Candy Holliday Mystery - (4/6)
4. Flavia de Luce Mystery (2/11)
5. Civil War Trilogy (1/3)

What I dislike about keeping track of books on Fict Fact is that it adds prequels and books that may not "really" be part of the series. For example - I thought I was all set with His Dark Materials, but I guess there are two prequels. The same for Harry Potter - It counts Harry Potter The Prequel which I think was just an internet book? Just when I think I can check them all off....

Edited: Feb 13, 2:58pm Top

1. Becoming - Michelle Obama
2. The Griffin's Feather -- Cornelia Funke
3. National Parks: A Kid's Guide to America's Parks, Monuments and Landmarks - Erin McHugh
4. Nevermoor - Jessica Townsend
5. The Argument Culture - Deborah Tannen
6. The Rossetti Letter - Christi Phillips
7. The Devlin Diary - Christi Phillips
8. Gotcha! - Fern Michaels
9. The Enchanter Heir - Cinda Williams Chima

Jan 6, 10:14am Top


Jan 6, 10:16am Top

Happy New Year, Jess!

Jan 6, 10:26am Top

Thank you, Stasia!

Jan 6, 12:59pm Top

Happy New Year, Jess.

Jan 6, 2:46pm Top

Happy reading in 2019, Jess!

Jan 6, 2:53pm Top

Thank you, Beth & Anita. I hope to post more this year.

Currently reading: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Jan 7, 12:11am Top

Happy New Year Jess! And happy new thread!

Wishing you and your family the best for 2019.

Jan 7, 1:22pm Top

Thank you, Nina.

Today I am home with the oldest who spent yesterday with a high fever. He seems to be doing okay today, but just wanted to be sure. I hopefully will get some more reading of Becoming in and I promised him some Mario Kart. Back to school tomorrow.

Jan 7, 9:46pm Top

It gets better; my youngest would spend 2 or 3 days sleeping it off when he was about three years old. Nowadays, he'll spend a morning in bed - and then get up and run around playing as though he was 100% fit and I wonder why I didn't send him to school.

Jan 8, 4:15pm Top

Welcome back! I hope your oldest bounces back quickly!

Jan 8, 4:50pm Top

Hi Jim - thanks!

The oldest bounced back quickly and was back to school today. We had a weather delay today so he got to sleep in late, which helped. I also got some more reading in this morning. I am almost done Becoming.

Jan 13, 10:03am Top

I have been having difficulty trying to remember how to update a ticker and get an image to stay in post 1. I think I have it figured out now - granted the picture is about a year old. Oh well -- it was what I had on my work laptop.

Jan 13, 10:06am Top

Book 1. Becoming - Michelle Obama

I received this for Christmas and was looking forward to reading it. I really enjoyed this book and I think Mrs. Obama did a wonderful job of describing what it was like to become the FLOTUS and how it may have affected her girls.

Jan 13, 7:05pm Top

This was one of my favorites of my recent reads as well.

Jan 13, 9:48pm Top

Congrats on your first completion of the year.

Jan 16, 3:09pm Top

Book 2: The Griffin's Feather - Cornelia Funke

This is the sequel to Dragon Rider, which I needed to look up when I read it -- 14 years ago!! How is that possible?
I needed to recap the first book to remember characters and the general plot. The Griffin's Feather pics up about 2 years where Dragon Rider ended. 14 year old Ben is living in Norway with his adopted family, who save Fabulous creatures. They discover a Pegasus and three eggs, but there is a problem. In order to save the Pegasus eggs, they must find a Griffin's feather. Griffin's and dragons go back as enemies, so there is some suspense. The book is written for younger readers -- upper elementary age. It is not as dark as Funke's other material and the main characters meet friends who help them on their journey.
Good book!

Jan 18, 10:44pm Top

Happy 2019
A year full of books
A year full of friends
A year full of all your wishes realised

I look forward to keeping up with you, Jess, this year.

Jan 18, 10:51pm Top

Hi Jess. I look forward to visiting here and seeing what you are reading. I hope 2019 is a good year for you.

Jan 19, 3:49pm Top

>20 PaulCranswick: Thank You Paul. I hope to keep up with posting on LT this year, too!
>21 Whisper1: Thank You, Linda! I have been lurking over on your thread as well.

Jan 19, 3:57pm Top

Book 3: National Parks: A Kid's Guide to America's Parks, Monuments and Landmarks - Erin McHugh

I picked this book up at the library to look at with O. We are a big National Parks family - trying to visit at least one park or monument every year, collecting the Eastern National Passport Stamps. I liked the artwork in the book, although O was not that interested. I liked that the book did not just describe the "Big" parks, but also some of the smaller monuments and National Forests. It does come with an insert to hold the National Park quarters, but Amazon reviews say that the slots are too small. Interesting books, but probably not one that I will purchase for our shelves.

Jan 19, 4:12pm Top

Today is the calm before the storm! We are expected to get 18-24" of snow and possible ice mixture.

Little Miss A and I went to dance class, the library to stock up on new books and movies, and then we braved the grocery store.
We came home and made Banana Chocolate Chip muffins. Homemade chicken pot pie is for supper and now it is time for some tea and a book! Just waiting for the boys to come back from skiing and then we will hunker down.
Bring on the blizzard!!

Jan 19, 6:18pm Top

>24 jayde1599: Your comfort foods for the blizzard sound great. Seems we're just getting rain here.

Edited: Jan 23, 6:23pm Top

Book 4: Nevermoor - Jessica Townsend

This book has been on my wishlist for sometime since being hit by a book bullet here on LT. My library had a brand new copy ready to be borrowed! I really enjoyed the concept and storyline. Morrigan's naivety and Jupiter's aloofness was a little bothersome, but I understood why it was written that way. I hope that I can find the sequel soon too.

Book 5: The Argument Culture - Deborah Tannen

This book has been on my TBR shelf since 2009 and began reading last year. While I love Tannen's linguistic works, this one was a bit of a slog to get through for some reason. I think part of it is that it is outdated, having been published in 1999. She does talk about politics and gender and conversational aggression. The book was published just as email and the internet were becoming popular and she does reference how impersonal talking to someone through a screen can be. This was before social media and our crazy politics now, so it would be interesting to see how she would amend this book to the current age.
One quote that I found that I found meaningful:
"The rising level of public aggression in our society seems directly related to the increasing isolation in our lives, which is helped along by advances in technology. This isolation - and the technology that enhances it - is an ingredient in the argument culture. We seem to be finding ways to temper the hostility that sometimes accompanies them. We have to work harder at finding those ways. That is the challenge we now face.

Jan 23, 6:26pm Top

So we did not get as much snow as predicted - only about 6 - 8 inches. It was COLD on Monday. We did take the kids sledding though and then friends came over and helped us shovel off our pond so that it will be ready for iceskating. We are supposed to get rain tomorrow, which will hopefully freeze on Friday and make a smoother surface.

Jan 27, 6:06pm Top

This weekend has flown by! The little one was sick with a fever Friday into Saturday but has already bounced back to full energy. And I spent the day with the big one going to 2 Birthday parties today (laser tag and trampoline park) so we are pooped! Time to relax!
I have started a historical fiction book I have had on my TBR shelves for some time: The Rossetti Letter by Christi Phillips.

Jan 30, 4:08am Top

>28 jayde1599: Yeah, that happens. 'Mum, I really can't go to school today,' and you know (or at least you're fairly certain)(you think) that it's genuine and then by mid-afternoon they're bouncing around like they've never heard of bed rest.

Fortunately for me, these days I can just send mine off; in fact, they don't want me around and I'm never sure whether the parents of the party boy expect me to stay or not.

Jan 30, 7:09am Top

He is at that weird age (7) where it is confusing whether to stay or not. He doesn’t need my extra supervision but neither of the invitations implied that it was a drop off party and all of the parents stayed. They mostly huddled at the table or in the general vicinity and chatted. At O’s party this summer only one parent asked if they could leave and come back. (Shrug). I can’t wait for drop off parties, but I will probably be a nervous wreck. And I wouldn’t want to be responsible for a group of boys at a crowded trampoline park!

Jan 30, 7:11am Top

Today we have a 2 hour delay. I wish they just cancelled. I could have used a day off to relax. And the delays just throw my students off...
But it gives me a chance to finish The Rosetti Letter.

Jan 31, 6:31pm Top

Book 6: The Rossetti Letter - Christi Phillips

I have had this book on my TBR shelves for some time.
The story contains two intertwined story lines. The first is about Alessandra Rossetti, a Venetian courtesan who writes a letter to the Venetian council warning of a Spanish plot to take over Venice.
In present day, Claire Donovan is trying to finish her Ph.D dissertation on the Spanish Conspiracy. She travels to Venice as an escort of a teenager, whose father funded the trip. She becomes wrapped up in the mystery of Alessandra Rossetti while there.

This story was interesting and engaging. It was a quick read that kept me up at night wanting to find out more about characters.
I found the sequel The Devlin Diary at the library that I hope to start soon.

Jan 31, 9:33pm Top

>32 jayde1599: I think I have the second one in that series in my stash somewhere, but I haven't read that first one. That's why I put it off.

Feb 1, 8:49am Top

>32 jayde1599: Thanks for the BB Jess, have added The Rossetti Letter to my wishlist.

Feb 7, 3:10pm Top

Book 7. The Devlin Diary - Christi Phillips

This is a related book to The Rossetti Letter but set in England. Claire is now a guest lecturer at Trinity College at the request of Andrew Kent. She has found an encrypted diary in the library that has spiked her curiosity and inspired her next research paper. When a colleague is found dead, she and Andrew try to find the connection to his death and that of the diary.
The intertwined storyline is that of Hannah a female practicing physik in 1672 London, who is called to the court of Charles the 2nd to help one of his mistresses. Hannah too, must also solve a mystery.

While this was an interesting read, I did not enjoy it as much as The Rossetti Letter. Hannah's story kind of dragged and there were plot turns that seemed out of place. For example, did they really need the Fleet river plot other than that was how Edward was trapped at the end?

Supposedly, Phillips was supposed to publish a third book in 2011 but that does not appear to have happened. She has seemed to disappear, and the website listed in her books is gone??? Hmmm? I wonder what happened?

Feb 7, 9:03pm Top

Did not finish: The High Mountains of Portugal - Yann Martel

I guess magical realism is not my thing... I got about 100 pages in and I really don’t understand what is going on. This one will be donated to the library.

Feb 7, 10:04pm Top

>36 jayde1599: I read that one a little over 2 years ago. Here's what I said: Three stories--ranging from 1904 when cars were novelties until the late 20th century--are connected to a village in the high mountains of Portugal and to a crucifix in the church there. The connection runs a bit deeper, but readers are unaware of this until the end. It's a strange story, and while I never thought about dropping the book, I'm not certain I enjoyed it. I think it's the way the novel wraps up that leaves me somewhat dissatisfied. Readers deal with death, grief, religion, and even Agatha Christie, in the pages of the book, but I'm not sure the author's intentions in his theme are fully realized. I'm not even certain I know the author's intentions. It's a strange and somewhat disturbing novel.

I guess neither one of us knew what was going on!

Feb 8, 6:40am Top

Lori, I began the book last summer and recently picked it up again. I was a few pages shy of finishing the first story but I couldn’t get past any more of the car talk. I wanted to finish it but I have too many more books on my TBR shelves calling me to try to struggle through something I don’t understand. I am glad I’m not the only one who did not know what was going on!

Feb 8, 7:59am Top

>26 jayde1599: I just put Nevermoor on hold at my local library so I am hoping to get to it soon.

>32 jayde1599: Sounds like a book I would enjoy. Into the BlackHole it goes!

Feb 10, 10:35am Top

Sitting in the walk in with a sore throat and fever today. There have been a lot of bugs going around school. Just this week I had students absent with viral infections, ear infections, strep, and conjunctivitis! I hope it is just a virus and goes away quickly. I brought a Fern Michaels book to keep me busy. It is an easy read but I am not sure if this is the series for me. I usually like something with a bit more substance but my mom has read her books and has recommended them.

Feb 12, 8:44am Top

Book 8: Gotcha! - Fern Michaels

This is book 21 in the Sisterhood series by Michaels. The Sisterhood consists of female vigilantes making right to women who have lost something important. In this book, Julie Wyatt is convinced her daughter-in-law had something to do with Julie's son's death. She contacts Myra Rutledge of the Sisterhood who is joined by fellow member Annie to bring justice to Julie.

This is my first Fern Michaels book. And while I might not be rushing out to buy more books, I may take a peek at the first Sisterhood book Weekend Warriors to see how it all started. The one thing I disliked about the book is the over-the top feel. I get the point of the Sisterhood being wealthy, but some of Julie's storyline seemed kind of pointless. She got a cooking show for Oprah, won the lottery, and was bequeathed a billion dollar pharmaceutical company by a man she only knew for 2 months! For example, I am not sure the point of her interactions with Mace Carlisle other than what I mentioned in the spoiler.
I don't know... it was entertaining, but I am not ready to invest the time into a 26 book series because of it.

Feb 13, 3:03pm Top

Book 9: The Enchanter Heir - Cinda Williams Chima

This is book 4 in the Heir Chronicles
The book takes a different turn and follows Jonah, a survivor from the Thorn Hill Massacre. He is now living in Ohio and is a Shadeslayer, someone who frees shades (other undead Massacre survivors) from undead bodies (think zombies).
The story also follows Emma Lee Greenwood, a savant luthier who was protected from Thorn Hill and has no knowledge of the Magical Guilds or Shadeslayers.

This book is a big set up for the final book of the series The Sorcerer Heir. Other than a description of the massacre int he beginning, there is not much action. There is definitely angst amongst the teenage characters - and a lot of secret keeping. I wish some of the secrets were revealed to help move the plot forward faster. On to book 5 right now.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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