karenmarie's 999 challenge
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Tentative categories, for books finished on or after 1/1/09 (OCD person that I am!) This will change many many times, I'm sure. Each book will have start date, finish date, and rating.
Biographies, Autobiographies, and Memoirs - a favorite category
1. John Adams by David McCullough 05/31/09
2. The Private World of Georgette Heyer by Jane Aiken Hodge
3. Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie
4. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
5. Naked in Baghdad by Anne Garrels
7. Mistress of the Elgin Marbles by Susan Nagel
2. Omnipotence and Other theological Mistakes by Charles Hartshorne
6. Dungeon, Fire, and Sword by John J. Robinson
8. The Elizabethans and America by A. L. Rowse
1. Armies of Pestilence by R.S. Bray
2. Guns, Germs, & Steel by Jared Diamond 04/09/09
3. Flu by Gina Kolata
4. Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeill
6. The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston
8. The Cholera Years by Charles Rosenberg
9. And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts
5. 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories by Stefan Dziemianowicz
7. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
9. Scottish Ghosts by Lily Seafield
Mysteries By Authors I've Never Read Before
Redbud Book Club and Just For Fun
Jane Austen and Her Characters
1. Sense and Sensibility
2. Pride and Prejudice 07/07/09
3. Northanger Abbey
4. Mansfield Park
Just for curiosity's sake I have been tagging my books into one of 4 categories - to be read, not to be read, read, and started. I found quite a few that will work for the 999 challenge!
Hi Karenmarie, it's fun to see familiar faces here! I'll get to work posting my lists soon, but I need a few days to ponder...
Gallow's View is not one of Peter Robinson's best. May I suggest In a Dry Season as a better exemplar? They don't really need to be read in order, and Robinson gets better as he goes.
Have you read The Ghost Map? It fits right in with your last category.
And when I get things listed, would you please visit and comment ruthlessly?
I enjoyed reading your list--lots of "new" books for me--I hope you will comment on them as you read them so I can choose which ones I might like.
I think you will like The Thin Man. I read it many years ago. Last year I pick up The Dain Curse which I plan to use in my mystery category. I'm also going to read some Chandler--I've never read him. I really like S.S. Van Dine--but for some he is an "acquired taste." I also like The 39 Steps--completely different from the movie! But when I lent it to my son he thought it was boring--AH--but he is young! I also liked Allingham's Campion series--hope you enjoy The Crime at Black Dudley.
Guns, Germs, and Steel was one of my favorite books last year. I recently bought Collapse and The Third Chimpansee but I can't fit them into a category for 999. I still hope to read them next year.
I'd like to know how you like Cranford. many years ago I read a couple of books by Gaskell that I really liked. It this one is good I'd like to try and find it to read next year.
I think 999 was a super idea--it's going to be fun! And think of all the books we will learn about.
I'd just like to intrude here to add that I recently read Cranford and it was a wonderful. A slice of life in a small English village, populated mostly by older women, I had that warm, fuzzy feeling after reading it. As a bonus, it's quite short.
You also have another of my favourite reads in that category - The Penelopiad. I've read it twice now and I think Atwood's take on Penelope, the long suffering wife of Odysseus, is brilliant. I hope you enjoy it too and I look forward to hearing what you think.
MusicMom41 - I've got lots of good books to read that didn't fit a category!
I'm really looking forward to 999. 888 has been a challenge because I read a lot of books this year not in my 888 - I still have 19 to go but have already read 80 books this year.
socialpages - I BookMooched The Penelopiad which makes it twice as exciting as normal. My daughter read The Iliad last year in 9th grade Honors English and had to write a poem from Penelope's point of view, so I got interested.
And, to both of you - I would never have considered Cranford except from noise on LT. Interestingly, I have a copy that belonged to my husband's grandmother. It's pretty old - there's no date - but it's published by the Dodge Publishing Company and is hardbound with a beautifully decorated front cover. I LOVE reading old books so will look forward to this one.
The biggest problem will be choosing the first book for the year, I think.
Your copy of Cranford sounds very special. I do hope you enjoy reading it.
If you like history and exploration you should really enjoy it. Be warned--you have to tolerate pirates, also! ;-)
I adore history and exploration AND I tolerate pirates too! I read a book in 2005 called Kingston by Starlight by Christopher John Farley, fictionalized account of the female pirate Anne Bonny that I really enjoyed.
I'm trying to NOT spend money on myself on books right now, but I just got a $50 gift card to Borders tonight as a gift from Band Boosters..... hmmm.... I just may have to log on tomorrow and spend it!
I see that you like history. Have you heard about our Presidents Challenge?
We have a small group of readers that are going to read the Presidential biographies. It's a four year challenge... need to finish by the next election in 2012.
Care to join us?
Well, I've already traded out one category for another - ARCs and ERs is out, and The Easton Press is in. I got the Jane Austen Novels in The Easton Press Editions for Christmas (yay!). Since I've got several other Easton Press books (thanks to my wonderful husband), I made it that rather than a Jane Austen Category.
It's pretty pathetic when you forget you put a book on the challenge and then eliminate another book from another category to fit it in! Brain rot.
#3 Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah. I loved this book. I devoured it in 2 days. It was well written and held my interested from the first sentence.
I love your epidemiology category, might have to wishlist some of those myself, I look forward to your comments. And the Band Played On is excellent. In memoir, I'm so glad to have finally persevered through A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius last year ... the front matter is original and hilarious, and contains good advice about which parts of the book to skip, altho I didn't follow it :)
>19 karenmarie: reading that book cost me a job in 1989 ... in a health care nonprofit, mind you! The good ol' boy interviewing me asked what books I was reading and I mentioned it -- what an important, relevant book to mention, thought little naive me. He looked uncomfortable and promptly wrapped up the interview.
I rather enjoyed A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers - it was very much MTV generation thinking that he'd do good and realizing it was actually work and effort. Plus there was a lot of interesting early SF-tech publishing stuffs thrown in for good measure.
Eggers can get a little wordy, but I found it a pretty fast read. :)
China Road was a very good book. I didn't know much about China so this book of Rob Gifford's travels along route 312, interspersed with history and opinion, was welcome. I especially liked his "ramblings" at the end about what China's future would be. I may or may not write a review... I need to think about it a bit.
I was very disappointed with Justinian's Flea. I had heard that it took a while to "take off", but it didn't even discuss rats, Y. pestis or plague until page 167.
Plague was only discussed as in the much larger context of protoEuropean history all the way through. There were a few quotes about how horrific it was, but I didn't get a sense of how people lived, or how the plague was perceived. For some reason Mr. Rosen decided to call plague "the demon", which struck me as strange. He may have explained his use of such a religious term for such a biological event, but if he did I missed it.
A much better book, and one that spoke just to the plague's effects on society and history, is The Black Death by Robert S. Gottfried. It was about the 14th-16th century plague, not the 7th century plague, but it was so much better written and so much more informative.
I found a book yesterday at the Habitat for Humanity Home Store called Austenland by Shannon Hale. It's only okay - a light read about someone obsessed with the BBC's P&P - but I needed a category for it so changed my The Easton Press to Jane Austen and her Characters.
edited because I changed the category name. twice.
"Epidemiology" is definitely one of the most interesting categories I've seen here. :) It's reminded me to put "Guns, Germs & Steel" on my list, of a book I wanted to read on the 1918 flu epidemic (can't remember if "The Flu" was the one I saw) and that I wanted to read something about the plague. I'll have to look for "The Black Death".
I love that you have a 'ghost stories' category too. Great list. =)
Hi madhatter22 - you might be thinking of The Great Influenza (The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History) by John M. Barry. I read it several years ago and thought it quite good. It went into the paths the epidemic took and the strangeness of its affecting so many healthy young people in their late teens and 20s - people you might normally think more able to withstand it. I remember enjoying it.
Glad you like my list and my epidemiology category.
Another Austen-related book, Darcy's Story. I really liked this one. It brought in quite a bit of dialog from P&P and explored how Darcy might have viewed things and acted. A few modern phrases slipped in, but it was most enjoyable.
I've noticed that there are a lot of P&P sequels and have decided that I'm going to have a category for P&P sequels in 2010. There are so many!
I've found 22 so far - see my PP tag. Some are on your Pride tag already.
Wow! What a collection. No problems filling your category next year.
I loved Blindspot! Beautifully written, lyrical, informative, witty, sly, clever, sexy. I hope they write a sequel. I will be writing a review of it since it's an ARC, but will probably wait until tomorrow or the day after.
I just finished Green Tea and Other Ghost Stories by J. Sheridan LeFanu and was mostly disappointed. They were very atmospheric and I loved the language and pacing, but I guess they weren't ... explit... enough for me. No true ghosts, nothing proven, just hints, and vagueness.
Snap! I learned I'm getting The Tory Widow by Christine Blevins from LT ER, too.
I finished People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks two nights ago.
Here's my review: People of the Book review
For those of you who love archaeology, historical fiction, the panorama of history, I would like to recommend The Source by James A. Michener.
Reading People of the Book reminded me of it because they both use the same plot device - see my review for an explanation.
Oh my stars and garters! I just read the most wonderful mystery, Uncivil Seasons by Michael Malone. How have I missed him over the years?
Uncivil Seasons review
Excellent book. Four stars. I'm very stingy with stars, so this book really rated with me.
Ooh! I just opened Time's Witness, the second book in the series. Uncivil Seasons was written from one of the main character's point of view, this one is written from his former partner and now boss's point of view. How intriguing.
I'm off to check out Uncivil Seasons after that glowing endorsement!
38> How have I missed him over the years?
Even if the question was largely rhetorical: I think he was actually out of print for some time. They just started republishing his work a few years back.
It's still hard to find books by him, although I got a gift certificate and have a used copy of The White Rhino Hotel wending its way to me.
I just finished a very strange book by Stephen King's son Joe Hill, called 20th Century Ghosts. Only there was only one ghost story, per se, and although the stories were all quite strange and disturbing, I was in the mood for ghost stories and so am somewhat disappointed.
I wanted ghost stories. Hmmph.
My favorite was Pop Art, about an inflatable boy named Art, told from the point of view of his flesh-and-blood best friend.
The White Rhino Hotel arrived a day or so ago, and I think it will be next on the hit parade.
Well, a second year of missing my challenge.
No more. I'll just stick with 75 Book Challenge and the Books Off the Shelf challenge.
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