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cyderry's 999 list

999 Challenge

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Edited: Jun 30, 2009, 10:47pm Top

I think my categories will be as follows:

1. New books in an old Series 5/9
2. Classics 4/9
3. Mysteries 4/9
4. Biographies/History 6/9
5. Award Winners- books or Author 4/9
6. Surprise - Books I find and want to read - this I'll fill in as they come along 5/9
7. Harry Potter & related CATEGORY COMPLETED 9/9
8. Favorites Author's books I haven't read yet! 1/9
9. Books I found out about on the Internet/at the library/in a bookstore 6/9
edited to include updated totals

These tickers show how my books were acquired.

Oct 13, 2008, 3:34pm Top

What do you consider related to Harry Potter? Is #8 a single author or a list of authors?

Oct 13, 2008, 7:28pm Top

I like the 'surprise' category - that gives you a lot of room.

Oct 13, 2008, 11:57pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Oct 22, 2008, 9:30am Top

#7 would be books that are Harry Potter - possibly a re-read - and books that are about the phenomenon

#8 could be any books by any of my numerous favorite authors

Oct 26, 2008, 2:09pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Nov 14, 2008, 10:03pm Top

I like your Harry Potter category. I definitely plan to reread all 7, but instead of a "reread" category I may turn it into an HP and check out a couple of books you listed. Thanks!

Nov 15, 2008, 11:49am Top

There are so many books about Harry and the phenomenon and could have filled 2 categories!

Nov 18, 2008, 12:57pm Top

That Towel Origami book looks fun. Have you seen that cruise line commercial with the towel swans in it? Hilarious.

Nov 24, 2008, 10:23am Top

VictoriaPL - I actually went on a cruise where every night when I came back to my cabin, here was a new animal there to greet me. One night there was an orangutan hanging from the ceiling on a hanger. I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants! I guess that's why I want to see this book!

Nov 25, 2008, 5:52pm Top

This sounds like something my hubby would watch YouTube videos about. He's taken to watching videos about efficient ways to fold laundry which is good for him since I leave clean clothes on the guest bed until I decide to wear them rather than putting them away.

Edited: Jun 19, 2009, 9:31pm Top

1. New books in an old Series .............................8/9

1.2 Lethal Legacy READ 3/21/09 BONUS POINT
1.3 Fatally Flaky
1.7 Cream Puff Murder
1.8 Candy Cane Murder
1.9 Winter Study

Edited: Mar 31, 2009, 4:33pm Top

2. Classics.................................... 4/9

2.1 JANE EYRE READ 3/31/09
2.2 The Maltese Falcon
2.5 The Three Musketeers
2.6 Don Quixote
2.8 Black Beauty
2.9 The Innocence of Father Brown

Edited: Mar 27, 2009, 1:44pm Top

3. Mysteries ...................................4/9

3.3 Deja Dead
3.4 Thyme of Death
3.6 Homicide in Hardcover
3.8 Murder is Binding
3.9 Death Qualified

Edited: Mar 29, 2009, 6:54pm Top

5. Award Winners- books or Author ..................4/9 3 BONUS POINTS

5.1 Deal Breaker- Shamus Award
5.2 Butcher's Hill -Agatha Award
5.3 CHARM CITY - Edgar Award READ 3/19/09 BONUS POINT
5.4 JOHN ADAMS- Pulitzer Prize READ 1/11/09 BONUS POINT
5.5 The Husband Trap - RITA Award
5.6 The Time Traveler's Wife British Book Award
5.8 STILL LIFE - Penny - Barry Award First Novel READ 3/1/09 BONUS POINT
5.9 What the Dead Know -Laura Lippman Barry, Anthony, Quill, Macavity Awards

Edited: Mar 21, 2009, 6:14pm Top

6. Surprise - Books I find and want to read - this I'll fill in as they come along....................5/9

6.3 A Clue for the Puzzle Lady
6.6 My Sisters Keeper
6.7 Dead Cat Bounce
6.9 Sunrise

Edited: Mar 26, 2009, 10:27pm Top


7.1 Unlocking Harry Potter READ 2/15/09 BONUS POINT
7.2 Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter (Analysis of Books 1-4) READ 2/7/09 BONUS POINT
7.3 New Clues to Harry Potter Book 5: Hints from the Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter READ 2/8/09 BONUS POINT
7.4 Quidditch through the Ages READ 2/8/09
7.5 Fantastic beasts and where to find them READ 2/12/09
7.6 The Tales of Beedle the Bard READ 2/9/09 BONUS POINT
7.7 The science of Harry Potter : how magic really works READ 2/8/09 BONUS POINT
7.8 The magical worlds of Harry Potter READ 2/14/09
7.9 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this is a re-read read 2/18/08 BONUS POINT

Edited: Mar 27, 2009, 1:47pm Top

8. Favorites Author's books I haven't read yet!.......................1/9

8.1 The Lucky One - Nicholas Sparks
8.2 The Language of Bees Laurie R King
8.3 COMFORT FOOD - Kate Jacobs READ 3/4/09 BONUS POINT
8.4 Mr Cavendish, I Presume - Julia Quinn
8.5 Dragonwell Dead - Laura Childs
8.6 Captive Heart - Bertrice Small
8.7 Shadow Queen- Bertrice Small
8.8 The Silver Needle Murder Laura Childs
8.9 Edge of Desire Stephanie Laurens

Edited: Mar 21, 2009, 6:20pm Top

9. Books I found out about on the Internet/LibraryThing/at the library/in a bookstore............................6/9

9.1 Moving is Murder
9.2 Murder on Astor Place Victoria Thompson
9.3 Grandma Gets Laid Ken Shakin READ 1/16/09
9.4 Guilty Pleasures Laura Lee Guhrke
9.5 Framed in Lace Monica Ferris READ 1/4/09 BONUS POINT
9.6 A Stitch in Time Monica Ferris READ 1/8/09 BONUS POINT
9.7 Mah-jongg: From Shanghai to Miami Beach by Anita Luu READ 1/10/09 BONUS POINT
9.8 The Lost Art of Towel Origami READ 3/16/09 BONUS POINT
9.9 Crocodile on the Sandbank READ 2/8/09

Dec 9, 2008, 1:10pm Top

Is that Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper? That's my favorite book by her.

Dec 9, 2008, 2:32pm Top

Yes, it is.
I think I was at te Barnes & Noble website and that one flipped up and after reading the summary I decided that I wanted to read the book. So onto my 999 challenge it went. That way I know I'll get to it.

Dec 9, 2008, 2:53pm Top

Cool. Let me know what you think of it.

Dec 12, 2008, 1:28am Top

Love visual of your different "bookworms" for each category!

Dec 16, 2008, 9:48am Top

I've decided that since I'm aiming for the 9/09/09 deadline that it's okay for me to start a few weeks early. So I started with A Christmas Carol

Dec 18, 2008, 11:36am Top

Have you read any from Laura Lippman before? I got a free copy of Baltimore Blues but haven't read it yet - I may let you be my guinea pig to say if it's worth it. :)

Dec 18, 2008, 12:45pm Top

I read one of her books a few years ago before I realized it was a series so now I'm going to go back and read the start of the series with Baltimore Blues and Charm City. I grew up in Baltimore so it was interesting to read a book with all the places that I remember. If I have time toward the end of the year, I'll read a few more, but otherwise, I'll just have to add them to my 101010 (are we going to have a 101010? AM I committing all ready to 101010?)

Dec 28, 2008, 4:00pm Top

Well, only a few days left before the official start of the 999 challenge (even though some of us have begun already). I believe that I have finalized my list but of course, if I can't manage to get my hands on a book on my list I may have to switch.

Good luck to everyone on this great challenge!

Jan 3, 2009, 11:57pm Top

FYI I am posting my reviews on the 999 blog as well as to the book itself.

Edited: Jan 21, 2009, 9:49pm Top

Author: Charles Dickens
Read: Dec 20 - 22
Category: CLASSICS
Pages: 128


Author: Monica Ferris
Read: Jan 1 - 3
Category: Cozy Mystery #3
Pages: 243

I really enjoyed this book. It's the start of a series of cozy mysteries and I found it very entertaining.

This is the first in a cozy mystery series that centers around needlecraft. Since I love mysteries and needlework, I was really looking forward to this and I wasn't disappointed. This book was well-written and well-plotted. I was surprised at the victim and was with Betsy the entire way wanting to solve the murder. I loved the way the little clues were left like breadcrumbs to help you figure it out.
My only problem-- it was over too fast!

Author: Monica Ferris
Read: Jan 3 - 4
Category: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 256 ****

This is the second in the Cozy Needlecraft mysteries series and it was just as enjoyable and well-written as the first. The clues were subtly distributed throughout the storyline yet were there to be accumulated and put together so that the reader could solve the mystery along with Betsy.
Can't wait for the next one!

Author: Walter Isaacson
Read: Dec 20 - Jan 5
Category: Biography
Pages: 907

I didn't really like this book mainly because of the style of writing
I have posted my review on the book andd 999 blog.

Edited: Mar 17, 2009, 4:37pm Top

Well, I've made my first change to my list of books. I just got a message saying I got an ER book so I moved it into my "Books I found out about on the Internet/at the library/in a bookstore" category. LT counts as a bookstore, right?

#5 Patriarch: George Washington and the new American Nation
Author: Richard Norton Smith
Read: Dec 20 - Jan 1
Category: Biography
Pages: 448

The beginning (though a very difficult read for the first 50 pages) shows traits of his character as he started his public career as a surveyor and landowner. He decided early on that his way to fight against the tyrannies of the mother country was by making Mount Vernon self-sufficient so he eliminated tobacco from the crops produced and planted wheat and corn so that he could feed his family and slaves without having to buy English products. The book does not go into details of the era of the revolutionary war, but states his steadfast belief that it was necessary to break from the Mother Country. His leanings toward a strong central government were defined within himself during the Revolutionary War due to the difficulties that he encountered trying to maintain the army. The Congress, which had originally appointed him as the Commander of the Army, was reluctant to provided financially for the soldiers with either provisions or salary. His private life was not as he and Martha had wished, but as Martha Washington said, " I little thought, when the war was finished, that any circumstances could possibly have happened which would call the General into public life again"…. And continued " I cannot blame him for having acted according to his duties in obeying the voice of his country." Once elected to the office of President, Washington, while setting up his administration, tried to choose those with the best credentials, not necessarily those that thought the same way he did. He struggled in trying to keep his cabinet (mainly Jefferson and Hamilton) from arguing given that Jefferson was in favor of republic attributes and Hamilton was a Federalist. Washington was constantly trying to keep the peace with England, Spain, and the Indians while maintaining good relations with France during their revolution. His determination to have the young US remain neutral to all the upheaval occurring in Europe, appears to be one of the main reasons why the tiny nation managed to survive. Washington concentrated on establishing peace and prosperity in the new nation, rather than trying to become a political power at the time. During his second term in office (one that he reluctantly took - he really felt that he was too old and wanted to retire) Washington continually ran into political issues that threatened the infant nation. The English ambassador of the time was quoted to say about his leadership abilities "he possess the two great requisites of a statesman, the faculty of concealing his own sentiments and discovering those of other men." Not stressed in normal historical accounts, after his retirement from the presidency, he was actually overseeing the building of the "Federal City" and when worries mounted about a possible war with France, he was charged again to be the Commander in Chief of the army. He made provisions for the recruitment of a standing army and debated with President Adams the order of precedence for his officers (Hamilton, Pinckney, and Knox). The author stresses that though many historians see Washington as mainly a man who let others govern, he was in fact, a leader, who displayed the same strengths in governing that he used as a military commander and as a large landowner -diligence, fortitude, and determination. What truly amazed me about this book, is the man that was revealed- I never thought of George Washington as a particularly eloquent man, but the writings that appeared changed that perspective for me. I also saw other sides of characters that I had read in history but now saw in a different light - in particular, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Washington also came through as especially gifted in the area of diplomacy, as well as thoroughly insightful when taking into consideration, the people's well-being even when it was not appreciated by the general public. Often, he prevented political disasters for the fledgling country by well-timed delays and assumptions of responsibility where others would likely have placed blame. I admired this man before reading this book, now I truly respect his accomplishments. and his character. The author states at the end " the first president remains that rarest of historical figures, of whom it can be said that in conceding his humanity, we only confirm his greatness."


Jan 6, 2009, 10:10pm Top

certainly counts as 'on the Internet'

Edited: Jan 28, 2009, 4:39pm Top

Author: Monica Ferris
Read: Jan 5 - 8
Category: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 256

This is the third in the needlecraft mysteries and was delightful. Just what a cozy mystery should be. Betsy has to deal with the return of her ex-husband, THE PIG, multiple attempts on her life and the revelation of matters related to her deceased sister, all the while solving the mystery.Totally enjoyable!

Edited: Jan 16, 2009, 6:11pm Top

Book No#7 Mah-jongg: From Shanghai to Miami Beach
Author: Anita Luu
Read: Jan 8 - 10
Category: Fun
Pages: 176

What a delightfully informative book related to this ancient game! It was trully enjoyable to read about the history of this Chinese game which was adopted by so many nations that now it is international. This book details the history of the game as well as the designs of the tiles and rules of the game which differ between the US and the international society. If you play the game, it is truly enlighting!

Edited: Jan 16, 2009, 6:10pm Top

#8 John Adams
Book Author: David McCullough
Read: Jan 6 - 11
Category: Biography
Pages: 1123

It is a true shame that John Adams did not get the credit for which he was due because he was squeezed between the presidencies of Washington and Jefferson. This book by David McCullough displays the fortitude and greatness of the man who helped build our nation. The narrative shows the life that started him on his road from his early life until his end. He is shown to be the true patriot, apparently hanging on to life to reach the 4th of July anniversary. It amazes me how the author is able to bring to life not only President Adams' abilities as a diplomat but his attributes as a person, husband, father, grandfather. I personally never really thought much about John Adams since he was so overshadowed by Washington and Jefferson. I now have had to rethink my appraisal and move him up on the greatness scale. His efforts throughout his life to always think more of what was better for the fledgling nation then for himself makes him indeed a great man.

Edited: Jan 12, 2009, 3:34am Top

I agree, cyderry! And don't you think this particular biography was made so much better because of all the letters between John Adams and his wife, Abigail, that McCullough had access to? I don't think you can overestimate the impact her/their love and her wise counsel had on him.

Jan 12, 2009, 11:30am Top

I think much of the credit needs to go to McCullough - I think that man could even make MY life seem interesting! But, I agree with your comments about Adams. It seems a shame that our founding fathers seem to go in and out of fashion - they were all different people and it took each one of them to get the job accomplished. I'm glad he is finally getting his due.

Edited: Jan 25, 2009, 8:46pm Top

Book Author: Janet Evanovich
Read: Jan 8 - 12
Category: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 432

For me, just saying Stephanie Plum's name brings a smile. She is a young woman who wants to seem independent but can't seem to manage her job (a Bond Enforcement Agent) or her love life. The two come together in this book when the daughter of her mentor (Ranger) is kidnapped apparently by Ranger and it sets her on path which is terrorizing and comical at the same. Having both of the men in her life (Joe and Ranger) competing to protect her one minute and seduce her the next, makes me laugh just when I want to cry. Her characters are fully fleshed out, (including Lula) all the details are integral parts of the plots. Stephanie may not be the greatest BEA but she's a hoot!

Edited: Jan 16, 2009, 6:05pm Top

Book Author: Janet Evanovich
Read: Jan 13
Category: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 465

Lean Mean Thirteen is another Stephanie Plum cozy mystery and so again you laugh out loud at the antics of this incompetent bounty hunter.
Much as Stephanie detests her ex- husband, Dickie Orr, she agrees to plant some listening devices on him for Ranger in the office of his new law firm. Problems develop when after attacking him there, he disappears and she is a prime suspect when he is feared murdered. Mayhem evolves including Stephanie’s arch-enemy, Joyce Barnhardt, pointing the finger of blame at her, who insinuates Stephanie is after his money; an awful lot of money at that.
There are so many typical Stephanie/Lula situations that I nearly wet my pants several times but all is resolved, except of course, her love life.

Edited: Jan 16, 2009, 6:04pm Top

Book Author: Jane Austen
Read: Jan 13 - 14
Category: CLASSICS
Pages: 288

Definitely no Pride & Prejudice! too pompous and dragged.

Edited: Jan 16, 2009, 6:04pm Top

Book Author: Cleo Coyle
Read: Jan 10 - 15
Category: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 270

This book is the first in the coffeehouse mystery series. The characters are setup well with their interaction and motivations well-defined. At the same time the murder and subsequent investigation are cleverly interwoven with the coffeehouse daily routine.
The author has also interjected numerous coffee techniques and tidbits of coffee history.
However, I do feel that the character's motivations need to be a little more individualized - less of the standard "I'll force them to work and live together to get them back together" type thing. In future books I hope that the "love triangle" is a little better defined instead of just a vague feeling.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I wouldn't say that it was great. I look forward to seeing improvements in the future and possibly might even try some "good" coffee.

Edited: Jan 17, 2009, 12:44pm Top

Book Author: Ken Shakin
Read: Jan 15 - 16
Category: FICTION
Pages: 216

Barbara is a Grandmother to a snot-nosed obnoxious brat, her daughter is a June Cleaver wannabe, her son-in-law is a pompous ass,and her ex-husband is in the midst of a midlife crisis that's lasted too many years. No wonder she drinks. This book is full of all the typical stereotypes and it has no life to it. The title suggests something fun but doesn't live up to it.

Jan 16, 2009, 3:43pm Top

#35 cyderry

I read John Adams in 2007 and had the same reaction you did. Wasn't it also a great read! I could hardly put the book down.

Edited: Jan 16, 2009, 3:51pm Top

re Northanger Abbey

I think this was Jane Austen's "spoof" of the Gothic novels of her day which is why it is written in that style. I imagine her readers at that time found it very funny!


Darn! I love coffee and I love mysteries! And I love "series" books. But this year I don't have time to read anything mediocre, so I'll have to pass this one up.

Edited: Jan 16, 2009, 6:03pm Top

Me too... I'm going to save these for next year unless I finish all my 999, 100 challeNge, and 75 challeNge early.

Jan 16, 2009, 5:13pm Top

Early? I'm saying "unless I finish." :-)

Back to reading! Just taking a break.

Edited: Jan 22, 2009, 3:35pm Top

Book Author: Linda Fairstein
Read: Jan 16 - 19
Category: Mystery
Pages: 559

Killer Heat is the 10th in the series centering around Alexandra Cooper Asst DA for Special Victims in NYC. This book's main story line revolves around a serial rapist/murder and the efforts taken to apprehend the perpetrator. There is a subplot which is cleverly woven in to misdirect the reader and keep the tension throughout.
The characters have been well-developed over the previous 9 novels and interact as expected. The behavior of the central character is beginning to become a bit predictable and therefore, removes some of the suspense that could normally be generated in this type of plot. But all in all, I enjoyed the book.

Jan 19, 2009, 8:21pm Top

Hi: I read the first coffeeshop mystery, On What Grounds, years ago. Thought it was ok, not great.

I put that series aside for awhile and, a few months ago, read #2 in the series, Through the Grinder. I liked this one a whole lot more and will likely read #3 sometime this year.


Jan 20, 2009, 12:29am Top

Okay, I think I need to cash in my piggy bank and head to the bookstore.

Jan 22, 2009, 1:42pm Top

I am starting to wonder whether my library imposes a limit on how many books I can reserve. I need to find out as I believe that, since joining LT, I am pushing it.

In fact, I've started staggering the reserves--putting them on a delay til next month.

I am hardly even making a dent in the books in my "owned TBR pile" these days.

Jan 22, 2009, 1:44pm Top

My library system limits it to 9 reserves and it's really taxing me. I'm trying to plan a whole year of reading and I can't do that with 9 slots! So my confession is that I've been asking my husband to reserve books for me. Now I have 18 to work with!

Edited: Jan 22, 2009, 2:01pm Top

I am at about 21 reserves right now. Five of them are in and, when I pick those up tonight or tomorrow, that'll give me some breathing room on the reserve list, at least.

I try to read the interlibrary loan ones first and also the currently popular ones. I am unlikely to be able to renew those.

Just realized that I have $5 in Border Bucks this month. I'd better stop and pick something out before I lose those.

Jan 22, 2009, 3:16pm Top

I keep a separate list of TBRs that I know I want to get (especially the ILL ones) and put the reqeusts in when I'm ready for them. Right now 3 of my 4 have just come in ---that will keep me busy for awhile. Our library website allows us to see how long the wait is--if the book is marked "available', I know I can get it w/i the week. Otherwise, it gives the due date and how many are on hold ahead of me so I can judge whether to request now or wait. I'm not sure if there's a limit on requests (altho I'm sure there is). What I'm more worried about is the impact reduced state budgets are going to have on ILL.

Edited: Jan 22, 2009, 3:43pm Top

Book Author: Kate Collins
Read: Jan 19 - 22
Category: Mystery
Pages: 336

Abby Knight gets herself into trouble without even doing anything. Her past comes back to haunt her in this mystery related to a young woman who Abby babysat years before. Her gut tells her things that Marco, her friend Dave, and the police can't realize until it is too late. I thought this mystery was fun wth all the twists related to Libby's quirks but I would definitely suggest that a new reader get the previous books in the series for the background.

Jan 24, 2009, 4:15pm Top

Thanks for your message on my 999 Challenge thread. I haven't read any of your suggestions, and 4 of them are already sitting on my bookshelf. Thanks to your reminder, The Picture of Dorian Gray (at least) is definitely on the list. =)

Edited: Jan 25, 2009, 8:49pm Top

Book Author: Janet Evanovich
Read: Jan 24 - 25
Category: New Books in an Old Series
Pages: 423

Stephanie is up to her usual tricks and yet I still laugh uproariously throughout the story. After convincing Loretta Rizzi to turn herself in to be rebonded, Stephanie is forced to babysit Loretta's son because Loretta is unable to be rebonded.
These are the least of Loretta's troubles for as soon as she manages to be released she is kidnapped and held for ransom. Stephanie struggles to manage the events that continue to unravel around the Rizzo family members and continuing her security work with Ranger and her romance with Joe. She continually lands in one predicament after another but somehow muddles through in the end. For all the Plum series books, this is one of the better story lines.

Edited: Jan 30, 2009, 7:18pm Top

Author: Rita Lakin
Read: Jan 21 - 28
Category: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 297

Gladys Gold known as Gladdy is aged 75 and an avid mystery reader. When her best friend, Francie, dies eating chocolate cake, Gladdy begins to suspect that there is a serial killer on the lose in her Florida retirement community. The story is amusing with all the antics of the elder generation as well as senior romance in bloom. The only shortfall is that all the minor characters have not been fleshed out sufficiently so there are moments of confusion. But overall, a thoroughly pleasant cozy for a snowy cold afternoon.

Jan 28, 2009, 5:11pm Top

Was this the first one in the Lakin series? If so, I read that on the plane home from San Diego last summer. It was good but not great. I liked it well enough to buy the second one but not to read it immediately. Seems like there's a lot of potential with this series, though.

I'll be curious to see whether you like the next one more, if you do go ahead with it.

Jan 28, 2009, 11:53pm Top

It is the first one in the series but I didn't have another on my list for this year. I rated it about 3½* I thought it was very entertaining but mainly, I think, because it reminded my so much of the retirement community that in-las lived at in Florida. If I come across the second one, I may pick it up but not until later this year.

Edited: Feb 28, 2009, 5:31pm Top

#18 The Templar Legacy
Author: Steve Berry
Read: Jan 26 - 30
Category: Surprise - Books I find and want to read
Pages: 544

When I finished this book, at first I was a little stunned. It didn't end the way I expected. Maybe that's why it was such an interesting novel. The author creates a highly imaginative story using certain facts and theories of others and weaves them together to generate a tale that holds your interest and at times takes your breath away.
Highly religious people may be offended by some of the aspects of this story, but I found fascinating in the same way as I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code.
In total, it was an entertaining adventure worthy of James Bond while and at the same time extremely disquieting in its theories.

Here's where I stand at the end of January:
1. A Christmas Carol
2. Patriarch
3. Benjamin Franklin
4. Crewel World
5. Framed in Lace
6. A Stitch in Time
7. On What Grounds
8. Mah-jongg: From Shanghai to Miami Beach
9. John Adams
10. Twelve Sharp
11. Lean Mean Thirteen
12. Northanger Abbey
13. Grandma Gets Laid
14. Killer Heat
15. Shoots to Kill
16. Fearless Fourteen
17. Getting Old is Murder
18. The Templar Legacy
edited to add list

Best of the month was Patriarch:George Washington and the New American Nation

Feb 4, 2009, 12:07pm Top

#19 American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Read: Jan 21 - Feb 3
Category: 4. Biographies/History
Pages: 365

Thomas Jefferson throughout this book appears as paradox, constantly revealed as a mass of contradictions between his written word and his actions. His flaws are specifically enumerated throughout.
He was apparently chosen to draft the Declaration of Independence since he was not an accomplished speaker and frequently used the written word in its place.
Early in his public career, Jefferson advocates the elimination of slavery, however as the years progress his standpoint shifts and he is dramatically quiet about his position on the difference between blacks and whites.
His personal debts influenced him so much that during his Presidency his goal was to eliminate the National Debt. Even while working toward this aim, he continued to overextend his personal expenditures with continuing construction at Monticello.
He was uncomfortable with situations that had any controversy and frequently set social situations to avoid any confrontations.
Jefferson often retreat into silence or propelled others to do his "dirty work" by simply mentioning something did not please him.
His administrative skills were lacking while he was Governor of Virginia leaving the state's fiscal standing in jeopardy. His stance on states' rights and slavery were trumped by the War between the States.
His disgust for a large central government advocated by Hamilton and his belief in the necessity of religious freedom continue to resound even today.
Critics over the years have "cast Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton in the lead roles of a dramatic contest between the forces of democracy and the forces of aristocracy."
How ironic that it was Hamiltonian methods by FDR that brought about Jeffersonian goals of economic equality.
"His life had always been about promise. And his enduring legacy became the most resonant version of the American promise in national mythology. But in his life, if not his legacy, there were some promises he could not keep."
Thomas Jefferson was multitalented - a writer, architect, diplomat. However, his greatest contribution to our nation, in my opinion, is his vision for the future and his determination to provide for western expansion and the continuation of the American Dream which he envisioned for all - "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Feb 5, 2009, 10:50am Top

I updated my last message for January to show where I stood at the end of the month.

Feb 5, 2009, 11:29am Top

Saw your review of Bill Bryson (not finished Short History of Nearly --I have to agree with you BORING. Could not finish it either. Maybe another time....Do try his other stuff tho. This is the only one I've ever had a problem with.

Feb 5, 2009, 11:54am Top

cyderry, Wow! At the rate you're going, you ain't gonna have anything to read come June! ;-) Your comments regarding Thomas Jefferson remind me of the shortcomings of history as we learn it in school--or at least as it was taught to me 40+ years ago! How much better for children to learn the good and the bad about our leaders AND our country's history.

Feb 7, 2009, 10:17pm Top

#20 Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter Analysis of Books 1- 4
Author: Galadriel Waters
Read: Feb 4 - Feb 7
Category: 7 Harry Potter and more
Pages: 412

This book reviews all the clues that are presented by JK Rowling in the first 4 Harry Potter books. It breaks the clues down as to specific for that book and/or related to the entire septology. The book also points out the connections between names and numbers to events and people. However, this book also leans more toward the UK versions of the book rather than the US version.
I liked the sections for each chapter where the action is paraphrased and then it is followed by the explanation of the clues. Then each chapter is summarized for oddities and questions raised.
This approach definitely makes you look at the books from a different point of view. However, I'm not sure that it really helps the appreciation of the story.

Feb 7, 2009, 10:45pm Top

I love the Ultimate Unofficial Guide books. They do make me feel that I don't understand the books as well as others might. I think I may re-read mine for my 999 challenge...

Feb 8, 2009, 3:30pm Top

#21 Crocodile on the Sandbank # 1 of Amelia Peabody Series
Author: Elizabeth Peters
Read: Feb 4 - Feb 8
Category: 9. Books I found on the Internet/at the library/in a bookstore
Pages: 272

First in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters, Crocodile on the Sandbank introduces the reader to Amelia Peabody, a wealthy spinster of Victorian times, determined to see the world. In her first adventure, she meets up with a "ruined" young woman down on her luck at a time when Amelia needs a companion. Together the two set off for Egypt to see the Pyramids and Egyptian artifacts. The two ladies encounter two gentlemen in Cairo who allow them to join their expedition and dig. The book is well written since the plot builds and there is rarely a lull in the action. Full of historical background, the story does not lack for mystery or romance. The characters are vibrant and forceful. The heroine is witty and charming and the gentlemen are just what you expect for the time period. This book was delightful and informative while being very entertaining and I look forward to the next in the series.

Feb 8, 2009, 6:08pm Top

i also loved this book...was the first Barbara Rosenblatt I could get thru. I will definitely look for others in the series, once I finish all the current challenges.

Edited: Feb 8, 2009, 7:22pm Top

#22 Quidditich through the Ages
Author: Kennilworthy Whisp (J K Rowling)
Read: Feb 8
Category: 7 Harry Potter and more
Pages: 55

This is a cute little book which documents the development of the greatest game on broomsticks! We hear stories of the beginning of the game as well as how the equipment has changed over the years. We are given a detailed list of the teams that play the game all over the world and the special moves used in the game. Remember if you want to play Quidditch, be sure to get a Firebolt!

Edited: Feb 9, 2009, 9:17am Top

#23 New Clues to Harry Potter: Book 5
Author: Galadriel Waters
Read: Feb 7 - Feb 9
Category: Harry Potter and more
Pages: 165

This book, very much like its predecessor, reviews all the clues that are presented by JK Rowling in the Harry Potter and the Order of he Phoenix. It breaks the clues down to specific chapter for that book and/or shows how it is related to the entire septology. The book also points out the connections between names and numbers to events and people. Again, this book also leans more toward the UK version rather than the US version.
However, this edition for Book5 does not paraphrase the section of the chapter discussed but only shows the explanation of the clues. This manner makes it much harder to follow unless you have the actual book open with it.
ETA page count

Feb 9, 2009, 10:29am Top

#24 The science of Harry Potter : how magic really works
Author: Roger Highfield
Read: Feb 8 - Feb 9
Category: Harry Potter and more
Pages: 368

This book starts off slowly talking a lot of science and mathematics and you wonder, is this what it's going to be like throughout. But wait. It does get better. The writer eventually discusses the unique animals in Harry's world - Fluffy, hippogriffs, nifflers, - inferring that with the coming of gene manipulation such animals may one day exist. Potions are merely herbs, plants, and such that are used in their natural state while medicines are many times refinements of these same plants. Then there's Skele-Gro - that amazing elixir that will grow bones back. There is a Professor in NY who believes he understands how it works with special cells being activated... well you see what I mean. This book is full of "possible" explanations for the magical world of Harry Potter.

Feb 9, 2009, 12:36pm Top

#25 The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Author: J. K. Rowling
Read: Feb 9
Category: Harry Potter and more
Pages: 128

The Tales of Beedle the Bard was mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The introduction states that this version is a new translation by Hermione Granger from ancient runes.
There are five fairy tales in this book; The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock's Hairy Heart, Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump, and The Tale of the Three Brothers. Following each of the fairy tales are personal notes and analysis by Professor Dumbledore, the late headmaster of Hogwarts School.
These fairy tales are short and enchanting with morals that fit reasonably well into the universe of both Magic and Muggle.
Dumbledore's notes, however, are truly what makes this a unique and special treasure for those that are Potter fans. The witticisms by Dumbledore show his warmth and mischievous humor all the while seeing into the spirit of the wizard Harry Potter fans love and revere. The Tales of Beedle the Bard are a very welcome addition to any Potter collection.

Feb 10, 2009, 7:13am Top

You will be finished with this challenge in no time!

Feb 12, 2009, 3:55pm Top

Author: J. K. Rowling
Read: Feb 12
Category: Harry Potter and more
Pages: 64

This cute little book relates tales and descriptions of all manner of magical creatures. All the creatures are classified as to their danger level to Wizards and Muggles alike, and where they can be found. It is extremely interesting that there are 10 different breeds of dragons as well as beasts such as merpeople, centaurs and unicorns which were given the opportunity to be otherwise classified but preferring their privacy chose to be marked as "beasts".
According to this book, only fairies, leprechauns, and unicorns have r eceived favorable press by Muggles. Last, could it be that Bigfoot is really a Yeti?

Feb 12, 2009, 4:58pm Top

Holy wow! You have a really well organized list - and I am amazed at how much you've read already. Awesome. I think it's also neat how you used the tickers for each of the groupings - well done!

Feb 12, 2009, 5:14pm Top

We can start a "when will Cheli finish her 999 list?" pool. At this pace, I guess it will be July 4.

Feb 12, 2009, 5:22pm Top

Put me down for May 31

Edited: Feb 12, 2009, 6:55pm Top

You don't understand, I haven't started the really tough ones! and I have all those Classics and a bunch of Biographies! I promised myself that I was going to read the presidents in order so I have a few to do that are not on my 999 list before I can keep going on them in my biographies category. I will admit that I am zooming through my Harry Potter category but I do have the re-read of Deathly Hallows which is 800+ pages and that will be slow because I read all these books about what to look for and I'll be looking!
So if there is a pool, my bet is 9/9/09. (I say that because I am reading Black Beauty with TheOnlyMe at the beginning of September and I'm hoping that will be my last book for the 999 challenge)

Feb 12, 2009, 7:02pm Top

I know my sister, and while she may blast through the HPS, and the romances, it's going to take her awhile to do those others. So I'd also bet on 9/9/09. Besides, when the weather gets better, she'll be out on the golf course, and I'm not sure she can do an audio book and putt at the same time LOL

Feb 12, 2009, 7:33pm Top

I keep thinking that same thing. Most of my books have been surprisingly short so far. That and the fact that, once I fill my cozy category, I will probably continue to read cozies will make it tougher to keep up the (somewhat slower) pace I've set.

Feb 12, 2009, 8:43pm Top

I'm still willing to bet that Cheli finishes the challenge before I do. And I have every intention of finishing somewhat earlier than 12/31. Actually, I HAD noticed that she has some heavyweights on the list, which would slow ME down, but that may not be so for her.

Feb 13, 2009, 1:53pm Top

Stop talking about me while I'm not here.(heehe)

Sandy - I am making every effort to finish by 9/9/09, but tutu is right, in that I have a lot of other things on my plate when spring and summer arrive, so I won't be able to keep up this pace (I'd like to, but I doubt it.) I have the Needlearts group urging me on to get my cross stitch projects done (I have six I want to finish this year, plus a photo project for my husband's family.)

Linda - when baseball season starts that will definitely cut into my evening reading time.

See, I'm just hibernating with good books for the winter!

Feb 13, 2009, 2:51pm Top

In April/May, when baseball season is on and so are the NHL playoffs, I am usually lucky if I read two or three books in a month!!

I have a long weekend for Presidents' Day so maybe I can polish off a couple. I have a dozen books out from the library right now and about 8 or 9 are "must-reads" for me.

Feb 13, 2009, 4:52pm Top

I'm hoping to finish my Harry Potter category. having 1 done will make me feel like I'm getting somewhere, even though I haven't even start one.
ANd I need to get ready for Dante's Inferno next week. That'll slow me down!

Feb 13, 2009, 5:02pm Top

Oh my! That sure will. Even so, you're doing so well with this, Cheli.

I figure I will finish the cozy mystery category first but I don't feel like that about it. Once I finish it, I'll be torn about reading too many cozy, non-999 books.

I will feel like I've accomplished something when I get at least one in each category. I still haven't read anything in my long-time TBR category but figure to do so once I get out from under my stack of library books.

Feb 13, 2009, 6:59pm Top


I've enjoyed your HP category--noticed some books on your lists I didn't know about.

I'm looking forward to your comments about Dante--are you going to do just Inferno or the entire trilogy? Which translation are you going to be reading? Dante's Divine Comedy is one of my favorite classics. I hope you enjoy it. And i hope your edition has good notes! :-)

Feb 13, 2009, 7:42pm Top

I'm only doing the Inferno but if I like it I may keep going. I have the John Ciardi translations, and, to be honest, I haven't looked at it yet. I'm trying to finish Harry up before I even think about Dante!

Feb 13, 2009, 7:54pm Top


I'm glad you have the Ciardi. It has been out of print for quite a while until just recently. I think it is one of the most accessible translations--his poetry reads very smoothly (imo). Of the 3 sections, Inferno is the most interesting--probably because Dante gets a chance to "skewer" so many people in it. He enjoyed "getting his own back." ;-)

Have you done your reread of Book Seven of HP yet? That will take a few days--unless you are one of those blessed with the ability to read quickly! (Trying not to be jealous!)

Feb 13, 2009, 8:21pm Top

You are doing fantastic on this challenge. I use to have that problem with baseball starting. My son played and I would spend most of my evenings up at the baseball field. I started to take books with so that while the team warmed up I read a few chapters in the book, as long as no one else bothered me.

Your categories are very interesting. The HP category is great. I think I have many of the books you have listed there. I have most of them to go in my re-read category.

Keep up the great work!!

Feb 13, 2009, 9:07pm Top

OK, I must stop reading other peoples threads, or must win a very large lottery so I can do nothing but buy the books I keep hearing about and reading them! maybe on a nice tropical beach in the winter. . .

I have added The Templar Legacy, becuase I love anything to do with Templars. The Lost Art of Towel Origami, because it sounds so cute and I saw a travel show where Samantha Brown?? was on a cruise and they did a different towel oragami on her bed everyday. And I love Laura Childs, and it has been a long time since I read any of her books, and it looks like she has a lot more out too! I met her at a scrapbooking show a while back, she was very nice.

How do you put pictures in your posts? i like those!


Feb 13, 2009, 10:15pm Top

to post the pictures you need to upload your digital pics to flickr or photobucket and then paste the html in your thread.

The Templar Legacy and all the Laura Childs I was lucky enough to borrow from the library. If I tried to buy all the books that I read, my husband would make me go back to work. As it is, when I want to buy books, I have to go into his office and do a few days work, so that I can afford what I want.

Feb 14, 2009, 2:03pm Top

Author: David Colbert
Read: Feb 12- Feb 14
Category: Harry Potter and more
Pages: 210

As you read the Harry Potter books, questions pop into your head and many are mirrored in this book.
Have witches always used broomsticks? Why do centaurs avoid humans? If Dumbledore is so powerful, shouldn't he fight Voldemort? What is the most important language for wizards? Why are Mirrors Magical? These questions and so many more are addressed in this book and some of the answers are surprising,
This book is a pleasant companion to the Harry Potter books.

Feb 14, 2009, 2:21pm Top

I'm 1/3 of the way through!

Feb 14, 2009, 3:50pm Top

Congratulations! At this rate you will be finished before the end of May.

I'm 1/6 of the way through so I have a shot of finishing before the end of the year. Depending on how the SF Giants fare, of course. If they end up in a penant race (FAT CHANCE!) I'll be slowing down this summer. ;-)

Edited: Feb 16, 2009, 1:56pm Top

Author: John Granger
Read: Feb 9- Feb 15
Category: Harry Potter and more
Pages: 312

This book is setup like a textbook to teach the reader how to interpret the hidden meanings that J K Rowlings inserts cleverly into all the Harry Potter books. 5 keys are used for the explanation.
After being tutored in narrative misdirection, the reader is sent to Alchemy 101 where you learn about the cycles of the series, the imagery, and the themes that carry through all the books. Finishing this course, next you move on the Hermione's favorite - Arithmancy.
Here the reader is educated in the balances that are needed with 4 being magical.
Harmony is needed in the 4 Houses at Hogwarts, 4 Horcruxes have to be found and destroyed by Harry, and 4 magical species (wizard, elf, goblin and centaur all represented in the Fountain of Magical Brethren destroyed in Order of the Phoenix) need to be united.
The reader is also taught that Alchemical works are in three stages - Black, White and Red. The black stage was highlighted in Rowlings' literary works by the death of Sirius Black. The white stage shows the purification of the characters and culminates with the end of Albus (white in Latin) Dumbledore. Are we then to expect danger for Rubeus (red) Hagrid in Book7?
Afterward we learn that Harry and Voldemort are twin opposites.
Harry has his Gryffindor spirit and the Slytherin horcrux scar while Voldemort is the Heir of Slytherin and bodily a Gryffindor because of the blood used at his rebirthing. Harry is the white side being pure of heart while Voldemort is the black side living in his own hell.
We are then reminded of the "hero's journey" in each book how Harry escapes #4 Privet Drive and his task to accomplish is defined.
Prejudice also is addressed when the author reminds the reader of the differences that are brought to the forefront in each book. We are reminded of the different treatments received by PureBloods(those that are poor vs. rich), half Bloods, and Muggle Born wizards as well as the differences in the magical species (wizard vs. elf, goblin and centaurs).
The five keys are then used to created SWAGS (Scientific Wise Ass Guess) for what will happen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
All in all, this was a very enlightening book and of all the books I have read on understanding the phenomenon and the hidden imagery, this was the best.

Now I'm ready for harry Potter and the Deathly hallows!

Feb 16, 2009, 1:16pm Top


Isn't Book #28 Unlocking Harry Potter by John Granger? #27 is Magical Worlds.

Feb 16, 2009, 2:06pm Top

Thanks Carolyn

Feb 18, 2009, 5:28pm Top

#29 HARRY POTTER and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J.K. Rowling
Read: Feb 16- Feb 18
Category: Harry Potter and more
Pages: 969

There have been many reviews of this book already so I won't bore you with yet another. I will instead review my own reaction to the re-read of this book.
After absorbing numerous books which were written by authors to advise the reader how to find the answers that were hidden in the J K Rowling books about Harry Potter and his adventures, this book still held surprises for me.
I will admit that while I was reading this book, numerous times I heard in the back of head "Oh, yeah, that was the arithmancy , with the number 4" or "Hooray, the magical brethren are finally getting together with the wizards."
In addition, I saw themes that I didn't see the first time and wouldn't have seen the second without the guides that I read.
Probably overwhelmed by the climax the first time, there were sections in the book that I had completely forgotten, that answered so many outstanding questions.
In my opinion, J K Rowling should have a Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize and any other prize for literature that she can get. The Series is tremendous and so well-written. They are the books I would want with me if I were alone on a deserted island.

Feb 18, 2009, 6:29pm Top

Congrat's on completing your first whole category!

Feb 25, 2009, 2:47pm Top

Author: Dick Francis
Read: Feb 19 - Feb 25
Category: Surprise - Books I find and want to read
Pages: 511

Max Moreton owns a restaurant in Newmarket England. After a massive food poisoning incident at a racetrack dinner where he was the guest chef and a fatal bombing at a luncheon he was catering at the racetrack the next day, you would think that life couldn't get any worse. Not so in this extremely entertaining and well-written mystery.
Max sets out to clear his reputation of the mysterious food poisoning incident and finds his life turned upside in numerous ways before successfully resolving the issues.
I am definitely going to have to find more of the Dick Francis books. 4 stars!

Feb 25, 2009, 6:45pm Top

This sounds like a good book - is it a very long series? The absolute last thing I need is another new series to read, but I'll be watching for your comments as you read more and keep it in mind for a little later.

Feb 25, 2009, 10:43pm Top

Actually, the reason why I chose it was because it was a standalone novel.
Whether he will turn it into a series I don't know but right now, it's one on its own.

Feb 25, 2009, 11:53pm Top

Even better. Like I said, not right now, but I'm writing this one down so I don't forget it for later.

Feb 28, 2009, 2:07pm Top

#31 THE SUMMER OF 1787: The Men who invented the Constitution
Author: David O Stewart
Read: Feb 22- Feb 28
Category: History
Pages: 330

At the time that our Constitution was written, there were many issues that were regionally at odds and numerous compromises were required before this magnificent document was complete. This book dealt with the historical events that the state delegations eventually agreed to and how the compromises were arrived at.
The most contentious issues were slavery (protection of this institution was a must for the southern states), fair representation (a monumental issue for the small states) and how the executive branch would be structured(no one wanted a monarch).
The personalities that took part in this momentous effort are not always remembered as they actually performed. For instance, James Madison, known as the Father of the Constitution was not selected for many of the significant committees and over 50% of the issues that he supported were not approved by the other delegates. George Mason refused to sign the Constitution. Few remember him as a founding father even though he spurred the revolution with the Fairfax Resolves in 1774, much of his writings for the Virginia Declaration of Rights were used in the Declaration of Independence, his compact with Maryland on behalf of Virginia started the Constitutional momentum, and his demand for amendments to the Constitution resulted in the Bill of Rights.
Gouverneur Morris actually was the delegate who took all the approved articles and amendments, and consolidated them into what we now know as the US Constitution. His concise style clarified issues that had been muddled from thousands of words to hundreds. Yet few know of his contribution.
Unfortunately our founding fathers would never know that the seeds that they sowed with compromise concerning the issue of slavery would eventually contribute to the Civil War.
A very good history lesson is provided in this account of the start of our nation.

Feb 28, 2009, 3:33pm Top

104> If you're interested in reading more about him, a book came out about Morris maybe 5-10 years ago: Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution. It's part of my TBR mountain range.

Edited: Mar 4, 2009, 5:05pm Top

Author: Louise Penny
Read: Feb 23 - Mar 1
Category: Award Winner - Barry Award First Novel
Pages: 330

This murder mystery was beautifully crafted leaving the reader completely baffle until the end. The descriptions of the area were so realistic that you wonder if there really is a village like Three Pines. The characters are well fleshed out and contribute tremendously to the storytelling. I listened to the audio version of this book and it was excellent. The narrator had a voice that resonated mystery while carrying off the accents with real panache. I definitely am going to be looking for another in this series.

Mar 1, 2009, 12:12pm Top

I read Still Life last year, and like you, have her others on my radar. The setting, characters, and plot are all delightful.

Edited: Mar 1, 2009, 5:11pm Top

Cheli, Louise Penny was my big "discovery" of 2008. I absolutely love her books. I'm hoping to start her new one, A Rule Against Murder, in the next few weeks. They're all excellent.

Mar 3, 2009, 2:53pm Top

I'll have to recommend this series to my sister; she loves mysteries. Do you have any favorites?

Mar 3, 2009, 4:32pm Top

bonniebrooks, there were only 3 Louise Penny mysteries before the new one came out.

In order, I think, they are:

1. Still Life
2. A Fatal Grace
3. The Cruellest Month
4. the new one, which just came out--A Rule Against Murder

Mar 3, 2009, 10:31pm Top

Still Life sounds really good--I'm adding it to my TBR. I could even read this one in my 999 category because this is a new author for me.

BTW #107 has the wrong touchstone for the Louise Penny book. The one here should work properly.

Edited: Mar 4, 2009, 5:10pm Top

Author: Kate Jacobs
Read: Mar 2 - Mar 4
Category: Favorites Author's books I haven't read yet!
Pages: 412

The premise of this book is a TV Chef who reaching the age of 50, is confronted by the network owner with a young, beautiful, ambitious newcomer who is to co-host her weekly program. The supporting characters are her grown children (with problems of their own), a reclusive neighbor, and few boyfriends who can't quite figure out whose girlfriend is whose. A comedy of errors ensues. I especially loved the teambuilding experience with everyone not wanting to participate and the camp counselor getting the participants involved in childish games. The characters are well-integrated and the plots twist are entertaining.
The finish was somewhat predictable but enjoyable just the same.

Mar 4, 2009, 5:46pm Top

#113 That one sounds like fun - are all of her books like this?

Edited: Mar 4, 2009, 6:34pm Top

I'm horning in on Cheli's thread...I can't speak to book #3, but her first two are quite different IMHO. The first The Friday Night Knitting Club is much more angst-filled study of several deep and serious women's issues: illness, single parenthood, interracial relationships, family alienation, poverty, etc. The ending is believable if not one everyone will like.

OTOH, Comfort Food to me is more in the Janet Evanovitch vain where I want to take almost every woman in the book, grab them by the shoulders, shake them, slap them 'upside the head, and say 'GET OVER IT' Still in all a fun read, but to me, very different from the 1st.

ok Cheli,you can have your thread back now.

Mar 5, 2009, 7:51am Top

Interesting, I'd like to ask the writer (Kate Jacobs) how come her books came to be so different from each other. That's unusual. Still, might be good if I read the books first.

Mar 5, 2009, 9:01am Top

Here I go, hijacking Cheli's thread again. I actually like authors who write different books. I get very tired very quickly of books that become forumlaic--where I can almost predict what's going to happen, or where the characters (if the same) become stale. I like different characters, settings, plots. To me it shows a writer with some breadth and depth, not just someone who can plug words into an outline.

Mar 5, 2009, 1:31pm Top

Yes, I like it too when the books are different, it just doesn't happen very often.

Mar 7, 2009, 12:45pm Top

Okay, I had to break down, and do it. I've made major changes to the books on my list - not the categories, just the list - because I keep going to the library and finding more books that I want to read! SO I have removed some of the ones that I owned from the 999 challenge and inserted the ones that I checked out from the library. Thank God for tags so that I can keep track of what books are from the library - now if I could just figure out a way to mark their due dates so I know which to read first, I'd be in good shape.

Mar 7, 2009, 2:38pm Top

Good luck with that due date thing, Cheli! I read mostly from the library, so this is an issue I wrestle with constantly. Mostly, I try to put the new books on the bottom of the stack, so those on top have been out the longest. But sometimes someone else in the family shuffles through them, and sometimes I renew something, so it has a new due date. So it is really an imperfect system. Fortunately, our late fines are only a nickel per day, because I end up paying for quite a few late days!

Edited: Mar 7, 2009, 2:58pm Top

119-120: we are constantly juggling due dates here - two of us using three different local libraries, not to mention library downloads (which expire on your computer)..we are fortunate in that two of our libraries have online access to your patron record, soo we check every couple days and can renew online. What's really confusing is that local books have only a two week loan period, while ILL's have 3 weeks. A further problem is that our library does not stamp the due date in the book. We get a receipt (like from the grocery store) with the book and the due date on it. Well....you know how useful that is! NOT!! They tend to get used as bookmarks, and then you can never find the one that the specific book you're looking for. I guess in terms of staff time, it's the most efficient and cost-effective for the library, but it's sure a pain for the customer.

Anyway...there are options:
    There is a program called Library Elf that you can subscribe to (basic reminder service is free) and they email or RSS you a couple days before your books are due.

    If your library has an online catalog, check on their webpage to see if they also provide an email reminder to their patrons.

    If you use Outlook, or another calendar program, you can set yourself a reminder that books are due..this one takes a little more time and discipline, but once you enter your books, then you can scroll thru and keep track.

And finally, there's the good old fashioned spreadsheet - just entering the book date due and any other info you want to track (I enter the number of pages so I can grab that info for my pages ticker when I finish the book).

Mar 7, 2009, 4:26pm Top

I, too, put the new ones on the bottom and also keep the ILL ones separate from the local library books. I also probably check my on-line library account every day.

Our library also sends out an email when books come in and then again a few days before they're due. If all else fails, I can renew on-line, too.

Good luck, Cheli.

Mar 7, 2009, 4:42pm Top

#121, 122 Our library has recently started sending e-mail reminder of due dates 3 days in advance, and we can renew online, too, so that does help. I go online to check my account every couple of days, but I still manage to lose track. I think I did sign up for library elf, but I had trouble getting my account set up that day, so abandoned that effort. (I'm easily distracted sometimes!) I honestly don't mind paying the fines - they are so low, and our library is so wonderful, that it is the best bargain around.

Cheli, I'm looking forward to finding out what you found there that prompted you to change your reading plans!

Mar 7, 2009, 9:29pm Top

I was able to check out A Clue for the Puzzle Lady - I had checked it out in November but hadn't gotten a chance to read it before I had to return it. I was disappointed but figured I'd get to it eventually, then I saw it again today at the library and had to grab it and put it in my Books I want to read category.

Tina convinced me (she really twisted my arm) to join the Early Spring reading Group for The Blind Assassin and since it was an award winner I moved that one into my award winner category.

I found out that Laurie R King has a new Mary Russell mystery coming out called The Language of bees so I had to add that to my favorite Authors category.

I saw this book called Moving is murder and it sounded so interesting that I "moved" it into the Found at the Library category.

Last, I found a book The Ladies of Liberty to put in the History category. It's about first ladies Adams to Adams. I replaced the book on all the First Ladies so that it is more central to the presidents that I am reading.

I had previously changed a few books but this was a mass change.

Mar 7, 2009, 11:07pm Top

Okay, I think I've figured it out (temporarily)!
I receive e-mails to remind me when my books are due but I can never remember whether I have already renewed them one or twice or if they have to go back then until I try to renew them and then it is too late to read them.
So taking Tina's suggestion (thank you my sister) I have set up a task list that I will record my library books and their due dates as well as how many renewal periods are left, then I can sort them by their dates and determine in which order I need to read them. I'm going to try to find a field in LT where I can due the same thing so that I don't have to enter them twice.

Edited: Mar 8, 2009, 4:07pm Top

Author: Dante Alighieri
Read: Feb 25 - Mar 8
Category: Classics
Pages: 354 (three translations)

I read this book/Poem because I had always heard about it but had never read it. So I challenged myself to read this book. I chose the Pinsky translation for my read. The story was very thought provoking, and disturbing as to whether any of it could true. As a born and raised Catholic, I chose the time of the read for the Lenten season since this is not the type of literature that I normally appreciate and I'm not sure that I do appreciate it. I do, however, acknowledge the talent of the writer and his imagination but I was disappointed by the amount of politics involved in the story.

Mar 9, 2009, 4:43pm Top

Cheli, I'm really impressed that you chose to read this on your own! I read it in college, and I think reading it in a classroom context helped me to understand it a lot better. I'm sure I never would have picked up on a lot of aspects of this work if I'd read it independently!

Edited: Mar 10, 2009, 1:39pm Top

I started the read with the group from the 999 challenge but I really got into and finished earlier then was anticipated. I had an audio version plus the book and a cliff note copy to help me through. I had studied a lot of mythology when I was in high school and so I had a good basis to start. My only regret was that I don't speak or read Italian so I had to go with the translated version. My father spoke Italian and I wish that he could have been here to help me through the Italian version. But I know that he was watching anyway. If I have enough time at the end of the year I may read the rest of the Divine Comedy.
ETA typos

Mar 11, 2009, 12:32pm Top

Author: Laura Lippman
Read: Mar 4 - Mar 10
Category: Surprise - Books I find and want to read
Pages: 336

Tess Monaghan, an unemployed ex-reporter, starts investigating the fiancée of a rowing friend as a freelance job to pay the rent. Knowing her hometown of Baltimore, she thinks this is going to be a simple "find out what she's up to" tailing, but it turns into a desperate effort to clear her friend of murder charges. The ensuing investigation gets dangerous and nearly deadly.
The characters are entertaining and the story develops into a real page turner
As a Baltimore native, it was fun to hear of the changes that I remember - Friendship Airport becoming Baltimore Washington International, Hutzlers no longer existing and the building becoming the Department of Human Resources, McCormick plant leaving the city and the smell of cinnamon no longer in air- all this while telling a story that could have been set in any big city but is beautiful set in the Author's hometown. Can't wait for more.

Mar 11, 2009, 1:05pm Top

I've read (and enjoyed) the first three Laura Lippman books--Baltimore Blues, Charm City, and Butchers Hill. Actually, I had sort of forgotten about this series but ought to pick it up again with #4, In Big Trouble.

It's interesting to get a Baltimore native's insight into this series. It's always fun to read a "hometown series."

I sat at her table at a mystery conference awards banquet one year, something I won't forget. (Probably the Agatha Awards)

Edited: Mar 11, 2009, 8:52pm Top

The first three were all in my 999 so I'm onto Charm City. It is really fun to hear the places that I grew up in mentioned in the books. I could see where these could become a real favorite.

On the otherhand, I just dropped out of the Highly Rated Book spring read, the book was The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I had never read anything of hers and I'm not sure I ever will. That book was way to weird for me. I only got as far as page 63 and had to quit. I couldn't keep track of the plot or story or characters, WEIRD! (she shudders as she thinks about it.)
So I had to make another change to my 999 list for Award winners. How that one ever got an award is beyond me.

Mar 11, 2009, 9:00pm Top

Cheli, I think you're the first person I've seen make a less-than-gushing comment about Margaret Atwood. I've never read her, but was planning to later this year. I'd been anxious to find out what I've been missing. I'll probably still give her a try, but now I'm a little apprehensive. Do you think you chose the wrong book? I was planning to read The Handmaid's Tale. Are her books all similiar?

Edited: Mar 11, 2009, 9:20pm Top

I'm hijacking again.....I also am dropping out of the Margaret atwood read. I read Handmaid's Tale several years ago, and didn't like it, but I thought I would give her another try. I can see how the writing is considered very special...Blind Assassin is definitely different and deep. I tried listening to it, and reading it hard copy, but just could not catch on. I don't do or like Sci/Fi or fantasy, and I really had trouble following all the characters, I gave it 100 pages, and then said.'so sorry--life's too short'. So I will second my baby sister's assessment. I am well aware that many are absolutely enthralled with her books, but I am not one of them.

she sighs as she hands the thread back to little sis

Mar 11, 2009, 9:20pm Top

I really don't have any idea about her writing. Tina had suggested that we do the group read, but she is having some difficulty with this book too.

I've read mixed reviews about The Handmaid's Tale so I don't know what to tell you. The reviews that I read for THT didn't seem anything like TBA so you could be safe. I'd hope that since THT is a multi award winning book it is better than TBA. If I were you I would read some the reviews here first.

Mar 11, 2009, 9:22pm Top

Well, I'll take both reactions into consideration. But I think I'll give her a try before writing her off. I don't care for sci fi, so I'm not sure what to expect now. I'll let you know what I think of her. (Just try to keep me quiet about anything!)

Mar 11, 2009, 9:29pm Top

I read The Handmaid's Tale over 20 years ago and liked it well enough, though it is Serious Literature, which I rarely, if ever, read anymore.

After THT, I started reading Atwood's Alias Grace and could not get through tha so I can understand where you're coming from.

I am probably not the best person to talk to about literary fiction, though. I'd rather read mysteries and also non-fiction.

Edited: Mar 11, 2009, 9:43pm Top

Abandoned : The Blind Assassin
Author: Margaret Atwood
pages: 63

I was really looking forward to the experience of this book group read, however, I just couldn't get into this book, so unforunately I put the book aside. I have tried to get through and managed only Sections 1 and II and I really don't like this book. I hope that it is just me and that everyone else will enjoy it.

The style was very disjointed, jumping from one stryline to another and another. With every "chapter" break I lost track of who and where I was and felt my head starting to spin out of control.

**sigh** I really did try to like it. Darn.

Mar 11, 2009, 9:46pm Top

That's too bad, Cheli. Sorry to hear that. Well-regarded doesn't mean everyone will like it, that's for sure.

I hadn't heard about this Highly Rated Book Group. Next time, maybe I will give it a try. I do not plan to read The Blind Assassin, though.

Mar 11, 2009, 9:47pm Top

#136 I also have little patience with most literary fiction, but if I never try an Atwood, I'll never know for sure. But now, I'll need to psych myself up for it! I'll have to be sure to have a Harry Bosch and a Myron Bolitar and maybe a Stephanie Plum on standby, just in case! :-)

Mar 11, 2009, 10:01pm Top

When I'm disappointed, I want something yummy to eat, so I'd probably go for a Diane Mott Davidson or Joanne Fluke.

Mar 11, 2009, 10:07pm Top

I just got a cheapo book club edition in the mail for the new Joanne Fluke book, Cream Puff Murder. Looks yummy. Between that one, the new Laura Childs, and soon, the new Carolyn Hart, I just might finish off my cozy category.

A yummy, fluffy cozy might be just the thing for you right now.

Mar 11, 2009, 10:11pm Top

I'm thinking the same thing. I'm sitting here starring at my book shelf with the books for 999 and there's one that seems to be calling to me. I got it from the library and it cannot be renewed so I have to read it soon, maybe tonight....

she slides out of her chair and glides over to the bookcase...her hand is reaching out............

Mar 11, 2009, 10:14pm Top

Tell me, tell me. Which one, which one?

I am just going to start the Laura Childs but have to go wash my hands. I don't think the library likes when I read their books after eating garlic pretzel nibblers.

Mar 11, 2009, 10:19pm Top

Okay, I'm going to break down and start another book......Shop Til You Drop by Elaine Viets. I've heard she's really good and that the Dead End Job Series is enjoyable. So this is the first one in the series.

Edited: Mar 11, 2009, 10:26pm Top

I liked that series. I've read the first 5. My favorite was the one where she was a bookstore clerk.

Somehow, that one has gone by the wayside for me. I should get current with that dead-end jobs series. I think I've missed the last couple of them. I've never read her other series--the mystery shopper one.

It has that oddball cast of characteris that you end up wanting to hear about each time.

Edited: Mar 12, 2009, 1:34pm Top

cyderry, thanks for your review of The Blind Assassin, and the rest of you for your comments about Margaret Atwood's books!

I've been watching for reactions to the group read. I read The Handmaid's Tale in January, didn't like it -- though I think her writing style is beautiful -- and have been disinclined to try another of her books. Now I'm sure I won't.

I am interested in Joanna Fluke, though... is she as good as Diane Mott Davidson? Have you read any Tamar Myers recipe/mystery books?

Mar 12, 2009, 1:40pm Top

ivyd, Joanne Fluke is one of my favorites. I'd say she is cozier than Diane Mott Davidson.

I've read most of the Diane Mott Davidson books but have gotten tired of them and haven't read the last few. At some point, maybe I will resume. That is one series that has gotten old for me, along with the Jill Churchill Jane Jeffry series.

I think I read a Tamar Myers mystery once and will likely pick one of these up again. I do like her punny titles.

For me, there are so many series that I absolutely love (and want to get and read the next book) that I don't often add new ones or return to old, "tired out" ones.

Mar 12, 2009, 3:12pm Top

re 147> Thanks, linda. I think I want to try Joanne Fluke.

I haven't read Diane Mott Davidson or Tamar Myers for a while, either. Sometimes I do burn out on series (Paticia Cornwell, Cat Who...), but more often I am just on to something else by the time the next one is out. Then, after I've missed a few, I'm not sure where I was in the series, a problem that may be solved now that I'm on LT. I don't know why I've never before made a list of books I've read, but I haven't.

I wasn't particularly impressed with Tamar Myers antique store books, but I did like the recipe ones.

Mar 12, 2009, 4:33pm Top

Every time I find a new series I check out this website
They give you a list of all the books by an author and in what order. That way I never start in the middle of a series always at the beginning. I have found some great writers there too.

Mar 12, 2009, 5:06pm Top

That's good to know, Cheli. I used to use Willetta Heising's Detecting Women and then her Detecting Men books but of course, those got out of date quickly. Lately, just using Amazon or else LT.

I like to start with the first, of course, but sometimes will read the most recent one and then later start at the beginning.

I like Christmas-related mysteries and will often start with that one first, such as for your Elaine Viets' other series (about the mystery shopper).

Mar 12, 2009, 5:22pm Top

Thanks, cyderry. I have been to that website before, but didn't have it bookmarked and haven't used it to sort out my series. I now have the order for Joanne Fluke's books, and will try to get ahold of the first one.

I also usually like to start with the first, but I've also discoved some of them from later books and then backtracked. It's not always a bad thing, since some of them have become better writers as they progress through their series (e.g., the Ian Rankin books I'm now reading), and without knowing that they continue to improve, I might not have continued if I'd read the first book first.

Mar 12, 2009, 5:23pm Top

I am also not as crazy about Jill Churchill. I still like Donna Andrews, but her last one I read wasn't nearly as good as her others. She has a new Christmas themed one out, Six Geese A Slaying. My husband is reading it now.

Edited: Mar 12, 2009, 5:46pm Top

cmbohn, I got so tired of the Jill Churchill suburban series. I really like her Grace & Favor series and which she'd do more of those.

I read that Donna Andrews Christmas one. That was one of the ones I was thinking of in terms of reading a later one and/or a Christmas one. I need to go back and start with the first one in that series.

The only danger there is sometimes they give away too much plot to the earlier books.

Mar 12, 2009, 5:51pm Top

#151 ivyd

re Ian Rankin

That's good to know. I tried the first one a couple of years ago and ended up skimming the last half of it--and never tried another. I couldn't figure out why every mystery reader I know raves about them. I may have to make another attempt.

I'm compulsive about reading series in order--but I wouldn't mind starting with one a little further in if I can start with a good book. Any suggestions for a rather early Rankin book that would be good?

Mar 12, 2009, 6:02pm Top

MusicMom, same with me re. Ian Rankin. I read a Rebus novella back in about 2000 and did not like it. Then, in '07, when I was home for 6 weeks recuperating from surgery, a friend brought over the first few Rebus books and I enjoyed them.

I am a cozy reader and the Rebus books are much darker than I'm used to so I do not typically read more than 2 or so at a time, unlike say, Janet Evanovich, where I read the first 10 all at once, in a row.

Mar 12, 2009, 6:25pm Top

#154 I had the same reaction to Ian Rankin. I think I made it through 2 before getting bogged down in the 3rd book. If you find a good, early book to start with, let me know. I'm willing to give him another chance.

Mar 12, 2009, 6:55pm Top

re 154 musicmom

I think what I said about Ian Rankin was a little misleading. I have been reading his books in order and am only on book #3, which I started last night. Probably because of that, and that both my son-in-law and I had read that they continue to get better as the series progresses, he came to mind as an example of improvement through the series. I definitely think that book #2 was better than the first, and so far, #3 seems to be better than the second. I'll know more in a day or two when I've finished it.

I also agree with lindapanzo, though, that I like the cozies the best. If my son-in-law weren't in the process of reading Rankin right now, it may have been a while before I got around to reading more.

I just ordered the first 2 Joanne Fluke mysteries!

Mar 12, 2009, 8:49pm Top

Be prepared to copy down those recipes!

Mar 16, 2009, 2:59pm Top

#36 The Lost Art of Towel Origami
Author: Alison Jenkins
Read: Mar 16
Category: Surprise - Books found at the library
Pages: 80

This book is filled with the step-by step instructions to make several amusing figures by using Bath towels, face towels, hand towels and washcloths combined with safety pins. Some of the unusual figures that are illustrated are birthday cake, fan, windmill, skyscraper, palm tree, flower, lips, and heart. Ones that would perfect to make for a child's bath time or sleep over would be la ladybug, angel fish, dog, swan, monkey or elephant.
Your overnight guests will be amused by the hilarious creatures that leave to welcome them to their sanctuary for the night.
This art form was first brought to my attention when I went on a cruise and each night a new creature greeted me when I returned to my cabin. It was one of the highlights of the trip because it was such a delightful surprise. Now anyone can do it themselves using this book.

Mar 16, 2009, 10:00pm Top

RE: The Handmaidens Tale
I read a lot of Sci-Fi/fantasy, and I totally agree with everyone on here on this book. I keep reading how everyone else loves this book, so I am happy to read that other people didn't love it too, and i am not alone. Please don't let this book stop you from picking up more sci-fi/fantasy sometime.

RE: Ian Rankin
I just ordered some of his books. I will keep in mind what has been said about his first books, before this I hadn't really seen anything that wasn't positive.


(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 17, 2009, 3:51pm Top

Author: Donald Hickey
Read: Mar 3 - Mar 14
Category: HISTORY
Pages: 457

This book was filled with more information about the War of 1812 than I knew, but, I still believe that could have been related about actual battles. The fight between the Federalists and Republicans about the war was very well portrayed. What seems to be lacking is the involvement of regular people in the conflict and how it influenced them.
One item that was covered in this book that surprised me was the coverage of the Baltimore Riots. We all know that Baltimore was the site of the Battle of Fort McHenry from which our National Anthem was written. Even though I grew up in Baltimore, I was unaware that after war had been declared, there had been riots which were generated when the Federalist Newspaper was published and came out against the war. The details of the riots made me realize why Baltimore was not proud of this part of its history.
The book enumerates the statistical counts of injury and loss of life in various skirmishes. The book doesn't seem to run chronologically but jumps from topic to topic. In spite of this drawback, it is enlightening about this last conflict with Great Britain.

Mar 17, 2009, 4:03pm Top

Author: Lemony Snicket
Read: March 6
Category: Surprise - Books I find and want to read
Pages: 176

I had seen so many mentions of this book that I had to get it from the library immediately.

It is the story of three young orphans who are set up by incompetent adult care when they are orphaned. There is the banker who is too busy with his work to listen to the children, a evil cousin determined to abscond with their inheritance, and a kind hearted judge who doesn't see the problems.
I'm glad I listened to the recommendations and took the time to read this It was very entertaining.

Mar 17, 2009, 5:14pm Top

#39 JAMES MADISON: (The American Presidents Series)
Author: Garry Wills
Read: March 1 - March 8
Category: History
Pages: 164

This book, IMHO, does not do justice to either the man or the era in which he served, glossing over a number of critical issues and continually stressing other aspects.
He was a great legislator but not a very competent executive. He had flaws which he apparently didn't recognize, or if he did was not willing to correct.
He involved this nation in an unnecessary war simply because he would not recognize his own limitations as an executive and was constantly trying to protect his own political party as well as listening to the advice of Jefferson rather than making his own decisions.
If I had to rank his abilities according to the information provided in this book, I would not be impressed with Madison in the slightest. However, I am willing to proceed to another more definitive biography before I make my final evaluation.

Mar 17, 2009, 5:21pm Top

That new C-Span Presidential Ranking shows Madison at #20, about the middle of the pack. Do you think that's accurate?

That American Presidents series serves a purpose but it seems like the more of these books I read, the less satisfied I am with them.

Mar 19, 2009, 10:08pm Top

I can't really say if a 20 ranking is fair since I still have 39 to go. I'm also reading the James Madison: A Biography which is 700+ pages and should have a bit more detail. I think that I am going to keep a ranking on my own as I go along and see how I compare to the historians.

Mar 19, 2009, 10:21pm Top

Author: Laura Lippman
Read: March 10 - March 19
Category: Award Winners
Pages: 377

This the second installment in Tess Monaghan series about an ex-reporter accidentally turned private detective. The series is set in Baltimore and the city life that is described throughout is charming - hence Charm City. Tess in this book is trying to investigate an unusual newspaper story that was printed without the proper editorial authority and could be libelous but before Tess can even get started with her investigation at the newspaper, the person involved turns up dead.
At the same time as she is enmeshed in this ethical dilemma, her uncle leaves a dog in her care after he is severely beaten. There is a subplot throughout the book where along with trying to solve the newspaper printing of the unapproved story, Tess is also trying to figure out why she is being followed , assaulted, and kidnapped.
As the story evolves, Tess finds blackmail, murder, and identify theft. The ending , for me was a surprise. The background of the city is what really brings this story to life, for me. The little details that tell a true life story could really be there behind the fiction.

Mar 20, 2009, 8:39pm Top

#165 That's a good idea - I'll try to come up with my own and compare to yours.

Mar 21, 2009, 6:04pm Top

Author: Linda Fairstein
Read: March 20 - March 21
Category: New Book in an Old Series
Pages: 560

This book, a further installment in the Alexandra Cooper series, centers around the New York City Public Library. A Conservator of rare books who is possibly sexually assaulted disappears after refusing to cooperate with an investigation. Alex's boss urges her to find the victim, Alex does just that but dead in the park.
The hunt that follows, leads Alex with her police comrades, Mike and Mercer, through the halls of the NY Public Library where a treasure hunt appears to be at the center of the murder. The investigation points to a special map of great historical significance. Anyone interested in in cartography and especially in the theft of maps from archives would be enthralled in this mystery.
Ms Fairstein focuses so much of story around the library and library procedures as well as the history of the NY Public Library. It was extremely enlightening for someone who loves to read but is not a librarian.
It was a delight to have this story with the characters we have grown to understand and care about show that even the quiet halls of the Public Library can turn deadly.

Mar 21, 2009, 6:09pm Top


Mar 21, 2009, 6:25pm Top

Cheli, congrats on reaching halfway!!

You know, I've heard of Linda Fairstein but I've never read anything by her. Lethal Legacy sounds great. I love mysteries involving libraries.

What do you think about starting with this newest one and then, if I like it, starting at the beginning of the series? Does she refer to prior books/cases often?

This would fit in well with my Professional Sleuth category.

Mar 21, 2009, 6:42pm Top

I think that since I've read the whole series, I personally would recommend starting at the beginning. However, I know that some of the reviews have said that this was their first and that they felt there was some background they were missing, they managed okay. This is one of my favorite series, so I don't think you can go wrong either way.

Mar 22, 2009, 12:16am Top

Way to go!

Mar 25, 2009, 11:33pm Top

Author: Elaine Viets
Read: March 11 - March 25
Category: Mysteries
Pages: 288

Helen has run away from a past that included a job with a six figure salary and a cheating husband to land in Florida doing a "Dead End Job" as a sales clerk in a ritzy women's boutique. It is an interesting premise and once the story actually starts to develop entertaining. As the story precedes, Helen overhears a murder for hire plot, sees drug sales, and finds blackmail plots all while trying to avoid discovery by her ex-husband and exposure by the police. She has to travel this mine field while trying to solve the murder of her former employer. Entertaining not great. Not sure that I will continue this series.

Mar 26, 2009, 6:44pm Top

This morning, a book on my bookshelf caught my eye and it seemed perfect for you. You like mysteries and you like books about presidents so...

Have you ever read Jane Langton's mystery, Murder at Monticello?

Mar 26, 2009, 8:28pm Top

I checked it out and it sounds interesting so I'm adding Ms. Langston to my authors list. I vowed at the beginning of the year that I was not going to read a book out of order that was in a series. Since this one is the 15th in the series, Ms. Langston has to wait. But I don't want to lose track so I put her on the new authors list so that when I'm ready for another new author I have them lined up and ready to go. Thanks for the suggestion.

Mar 26, 2009, 9:46pm Top

Oh, meant to tell you that I agree about Elaine Viets Dead End Jobs series. I think they're okay and I've read a few but doubt I'll carry on with these.

I would like to read Viets' Christmas secret shopper series entry. I like Christmas mysteries.

Gulp--I had no idea that Jane Langton has so many books out there.

Mar 28, 2009, 6:08pm Top

#43 LADIES OF LIBERTY: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation
AUTHOR: Cokie Roberts
Category: History/Biography
Pages: 512
listened to on audio

Ladies of Liberty shows the history of the United States through the eyes of some the most noted women of the historic age. The book starts at the time of the death of George Washington and sweeps over six presidencies, beginning with John Adams’s election in 1797 and ending with his son’s John Quincy Adam’s election in 1825. Using the personal correspondence of the women depicted, these women’s personal sacrifices are exposed along with their contributions to the success of an expanding nation.
The First ladies are not the only women represented in this book. Even though the primary women are Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, and Louisa Adams, other notable women recognized are Sacagawea, Mother Seton, and Margaret Smith.
I was a little apprehensive when I realized that Cokie Roberts, the author, was actually going to be doing the reading (this book was on audio.). I was extremely pleased by her delivery and the enthusiasm with which she delivered the material. My only problem were with two small pronunciations but since they were quite frequent, it was a little irritating. (Cokie Roberts cannot pronounce New Orleans or Sacagawea properly. Both have a "ya" in her pronunciations.)
Nevertheless, this was an extremely enjoyable experience.

Mar 28, 2009, 6:19pm Top

I like Cokie Roberts, as a news analyst and, at least on the one book of hers I read, as a writer. (We Are Our Mother's Daughters.)

I will have to add this one to my list.

Cokie is from New Orleans, originally, but I don't think I ever remember hearing her pronunciation of New Orleans.

Edited: Mar 31, 2009, 4:34pm Top

AUTHOR: Charlotte Brontë
Category: Classics
Read: Mar 5 - Mar 31
Pages: 592
listened to on audio

Although this book is deemed a classic, I was disappointed. I felt that the story was too over the top in many areas - Jane as the penniless orphan, Jane as the dowdy governess, Jane as the would-be bride, Jane as the surprise heiress. I'd heard so much about Mr. Rochester as a Romantic hero and all I saw was a self-important, self-indulgent man. Maybe back 150 years ago this was a great book, but I don't see it today.

Maybe I'm just not meant to read the classics.

Mar 31, 2009, 5:25pm Top

The best of the month was Still Life (Three Pines Mysteries)

In March, I read 13 books towards my 999 challenge, putting me at 44/81.

New Books in an old Series--READ 5 OUT OF 9
Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein

Inferno by Dante
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mysteries--READ 4 OUT OF 9
Shop Til You Drop by Elaine Viets

History/Biographies--READ 6 OUT OF 9
James Madison by Garry Wills
The War of 1812: a Forgotten Conflict by Donald Hickey
Ladies of Liberty by Cokie Roberts

Award Winners--READ 4 OUT OF 9
Still Life by Louise Penny
Charm City by Laura Lippman

Surprise - Books I find and want to read--READ 5 OUT OF 9
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

Harry Potter --READ 9 OUT OF 9

Favorite Author's books I haven't read yet!--READ 1 OUT OF 9
Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs

Books I found out about on the Internet/at the library/in a bookstore--READ 6 OUT OF 9
The Lost Art of Towel Origami by Ivy Press

For April I have planned:

Deal Breaker - on audio for the car
Don Quixote - on audio for home or office
Moving is Murder
A Clue for the Puzzle Lady
Candy Cane Murder
Captive Heart
The Lucky One audio
Winter Study audio

I think that's pretty ambitious for me since it took me all month to listen to Jane Eyre and I will be working for the month of April as well.

Mar 31, 2009, 5:36pm Top

Wow--you have made great strides, Cheli.

I'll be curious as to what you think of Harlan Coben. I've never read him, though I was familiar with his comments back when I first joined DorothyL and he was a new-ish author. I would like to try a Myron Bolitar sometime.

Mar 31, 2009, 6:33pm Top

I love Harlan Coben - I got one of his stand alones first, then went back and got the Myron Bolitar's (take them in order). I like them, he (Bolitar) is a bit of a smart aleck, and I get tired of them if I take them too close together, but when I relax and don't them them seriously they can be a real hoot. I don't remember the single title being humorous, but it was good - I think it was The Woods - yes, that touchstone comes up. He had another standalone last year Hold Tight that I haven't read yet, but have heard was very good.

Sorry for butting, Cheli, just had to put my two cents in.

Edited: Mar 31, 2009, 6:41pm Top

That's fine , Sandy. I'm used to two cents, tutu does it all the time!

I have a friend here at home that just raved about him and so I checked him out and found that this book won several awards so I thought I would shift him into my award winners category. I'm just hoping that ll my other reading for the month will soften the blow of Don Quixote.

**sorry JFK, Profiles in Courage will have to wait again.**

Mar 31, 2009, 7:59pm Top

You're really moving along! Way to go!

Mar 31, 2009, 11:16pm Top

180-182> Harlan Coben's books aren't the kind I usually read, but I have to say that I read Tell No One and did find it notputdownable. One of my fellow booksellers made it her staff recommendation and it sold like gangbusters this year, even though the book has been out for years. She says it's the bright orange cover that attracted attention. :0)

Edited: May 3, 2009, 11:08am Top

This thread is a getting long, so I've moved to a new one for the 2nd Qtr of 2009.

Please post there. THREAD2

Thank you for visiting my thread and hope to see you on the new one.

Group: 999 Challenge

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