Prop2gether's Reading, Act III
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Here's my first thread:
Here's my second thread:
My LT referrals for my TBR can be found at message 2.
Here's my counters and monthly lists:
A Case of Lone Star
One Step Behind
How to Eat Fried Worms
Woman in White (1001, 999)
Mrs. Budlong’s Christmas Presents
Defining the World (999)
The Baby Blue Rip-Off
War Is . . . (999)
Dear Me (999)
Me, Myself and Ike (ER)
J. M. Barrie and the Lost Boys (999)
Greenwich Killing Time
Madame Bovary (1001, 999)
The Violent Bear It Away (1001, 999)
The Sea Wolf (999)
Nellie Taft (999, Presidents (Wives))
Worstward Ho! (1001)
The Turn of the Screw (1001)
The Raccoon and the Bee Tree (ER)
Bartleby (short story)
Bartleby & Co. (1001)
In the Forest (1001)
City of Light, City of Dark
The Best of Ray Bradbury (graphic)
Creepers (LT Halloween)
Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance (LT)
Fear on Trial (999)
Henry V (graphic)
Goosebumgps: Say Cheese and Die Again
The Princess of Denmark
Somebody Owes Me Money
The Murderer Vine
The Lowenskold Ring
The Man Who Went Up in Smoke
Chocky (999, 1001)
The Wood Wife (LT)
Day of Atonement (999)
Sacred Clowns (999)
The Firework-Maker's Daughter
Once Upon a Time in the North
The Malevolent Comedy
The Big Book of Grimm (LT)
Five Days in London, May 1940 (LT)
The City of Ember (LT)
The Life of Insects (1001)
The Death of Achilles
Glory in Death
The Ruby in the Smoke
Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work (LT)
V for Vendetta
The Graveyard Book (999)
In the Days of the Comet
The Scarecrow and His Servant (LT)
The Carbon Diaries 2015 (LT)
Somewhere Towards the End (LT)
Assassination Vacation (LT)
When I Forgot (LT)
The Summer Sherman Loved Me (LT)
The Shadow of the North
The Life and Times of Michael K (1001)
The Dead Man's Brother
The Begum's Fortune (aka The Begum's Millions)
The Dons and Mr. Dickens
The Wounded and the Slain
Road to Perdition
Twelve O'Clock High!
Princess of the Midnight Ball (LT)
The Tale of An Unknown Island
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (LT)
The Black Dahlia (1001)
Aviators in Early Hollywood
The Dream-Maker's Magic
The Hoydens and Mr. Dickens
Nip the Buds, Shoot the Children (1001)
England Made Me (1001)
Aunt Dimity and the Duke
Aunt Dimity's Good Deed
The League of Frightened Men
I Was a Rat!
Master of the World
Dr. Ox's Experiment
The Giant's House (LT)
The Light of Day
Naked in Death
Chronicler of the Winds
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (1001)
The Efficiency Expert
Gold Dust on His Shirt (ER)
The Gutter and the Grave
No House Limit
Thief of Souls
A Murder, A Mystery, and a Marriage
Murder on the Celtic
Wife of the Gods (ER)
Hana's Suitcase (LT)
The Taking of Pelham 123
The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs
The Short History of Myth
A Dark Traveling
At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances
Lean Mean Thirteen
Rumpole of the Bailey
Murder on the Salsette
The Truth-Teller's Tale
Murder on the Oceanic
Dead Over Heels
The Case of the Revolutionist's Daughter
Three Lives (1001)
The Gudwulf Manuscript
A Fool and His Honey
If on a winter's night a traveler (1001)
Last Scene Alive
Poppy Done to Death
A Sentimental Journey to France and Italy (1001)
Animal's People (1001)
Where Angels Fear to Tread (1001)
The Concrete Blonde
God Save the Child
The Last Coyote
The Kreutzer Sonata (999, 1001)
Andrew Jackson (Presidents)
Rutherford B. Hayes (Presidents)
The Lost World
The Public Image
The Counterfeit Crank
Murder on the Leviathan
The Frozen Deep (LT)
The Night in Lisbon (LT)
Aunt Dimity's Death (LT)
The Colorado Kid
Fer de Lance
The Great Fire of London
The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde
The Dream Master
A Little Yellow Dog
Till We Have Faces (LT Group Read)
In Watermelon Sugar (1001)
The Vagabound Clown
The Turkish Gambit
Visions of Sugar Plums
Romeo's Ex (LT)
Jellicoe Road (999)
City Primeval (1001)
Time Stops for No Mouse (LT)
The Last Six Million Seconds (LT)
About Grace (SABC)
The Safe-Keeper's Secret
The Julius House
Portuguese Irregular Verbs
To the Nines
Ten Big Ones
Fires of Eden
Live Fast, Die Young (999)
Eleven on Top
Cranford (1001, 999)
Secrets in the Fire
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
The Highwayman and Mr. Dickens
Eye of Cat
The Left-Handed Woman (1001)
Sweet and Deadly
This Blinding Absence of Light
Founding Father (Presidents)
The Uncommon Reader (LT)
Shadow in the Twilight
The Hunger Games (LT)
You Learn by Living (LT)
Teddy Kollack: The Man, His Times and His Jerusalem (ER)
Night Has a Thousand Eyes
Two for the Dough
Three to Get Deadly
A Bone to Pick
Murder on the Marmora
The Pigeon (1001)
The Higher Power of Lucky (LT)
Lost Layson (LT)
Lisey's Story (999)
The Magic Goes Away
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse
Four to Score
Cold Comfort Farm (1001)
The Eye in the Door
Before Women Had Wings (SABC)
Beyond the Horizon (ER)
Letters to Alice on first reading Jane Austen (LT)
Where Three Roads Meet
Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog
The Reluctant Fundamentalist (1001)
No Longer at Ease
The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen (LT)
The King's Gold (999)
The Helmut of Horror
The Sun Also Rises (1001)
Lost in a Good Book
From the Earth to the Moon
Bonjour Tristesse (1001)
The Book About Blanche and Marie (1001)
The Child in Time (1001)
The Detective and Mr. Dickens (LT)
Arrow of God (1001)
The Stettheimer Dollhouse (ER)
Saving Juliet (999)
The Golden Compass (999)
The Subtle Knife (999)
The Amber Spyglass (999)
Some Prefer Nettles (1001)
The Blind Owl (1001)
A Red Death
The Cleft (LT)
The Fall of Troy (LT)
Written on the Body (1001)
Whales on Stilts (LT)
My Teacher Flunked the Planet (LT)
The Black Echo
The Black Ice (999)
Franklin Pierce (Presidents)
The Rabbi's Cat (LT)
The Clothes They Stood Up In (LT)
The Diary of a Nobody (1001)
The Brief History of the Dead
Children of the Night
Murder in Perspective
Kipling's Choice (LT)
The Book of Illusions (1001, 999)
Lighthouse at the End of the World
The New York Trilogy (1001)
Murder on the Caronia (999)
The Winter Queen (LT)
The Silver Metal Lover (LT)
James Madison (Presidents)
One for the Money
A Hero of Our Time (1001)
The Leopard (1001)
The Haunted Bookshop (LT)
General Winston's Daughter (999, LT)
My letter to the world (LT)
Arcanum 17/Apertures (1001)
Up at the Villa (LT)
The Rough Riders
Ramona (By Helen Hunt Jackson) (999)
Devil in a Blue Dress (999)
The Passion (1001)
The Eyre Affair (999)
My First Year in the Sierra
City of Glass
Cider With Rosie (1001)
No Country for Old Men (999)
James Buchanan (Presidents)
Heart of Darkness (1001)
Who Killed Roger Ackroyd? (LT)
The Maracot Deep
Parnassus on Wheels (LT)
What I Saw and How I Lied (999)
Five Weeks in a Balloon (999)
The Old Gringo (SABC)
The Dark River
Hard as Nails
Pale Horse, Pale Rider (999)
Mona in the Promised Land (SABC)
Dearest Friend (999 / Presidents Wives)
Ella Minnow Pea (LT)
The War Poems
The Fifth Woman (999)
Tarka the Otter (1001)
Miracle at Speedy Motors (999)
Live and Let Die
The Presidency of George Bush (Presidents)
Not Quite What I Was Planning (999)
W or the Memory of Childhood (1001)
Jacob the Liar (1001)
Troll: A Love Story (LT)
The Maltese Falcon (1001)
The Trick is to Keep Breathing (1001)
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1001)
Zachary Taylor (Presidents)
Rendevous in Black
Get Shorty (1001)
No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row (999)
Duma Key (999)
The Abbess of Crewe
The Gospel According to Judas
Three Tales of Horror (The Dunwich Horror for 999)
Mr. Paradise (SABC)
Woodrow Wilson (Presidents)
Antsy Does Time (999)
Northanger Abbey (1001)
A Room of One's Own
Benjamin Harrison (Presidents)
Suck It Up (999)
The Train Was on Time
One Writer's Beginnings (LT)
The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell
My Mortal Enemy
The Trusting and the Maimed (1001)
Messengers of God (999)
Our Lady of the Assassins (1001)
Johnny Got His Gun
This slot is reserved by me for all those excellent references by LT 75ers to my TBR list!!!!!
And the list continues from 2008 onward!
torontoc: Troll: A Love Story (1/2009)
torontoc: One Writer's Beginnings (1/2009)
alcottacre: My Wars are Laid Away in Books
blackdogbooks: all the rest of Stephen King
Duma Key (1/2009)
Lisey's Story (5/2009)
TadAD: Random Harvest
TheTortoise: Who Moved My Blackberry?
alcottacre: The Climb
ThePam: Now the Drum of War
torontoc: Famous Last Words
TheTortoise: Heavy Weather
porch_reader: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
missylc: Book of Lost Things
aethercowboy: The Mac is Not a Typewriter
Severn: Dancing in a Distant Place
LisaLynne: The Spanish Bow
VioletBramble: Parnassus on Wheels (2/2009)
Cait86: Hitler's Willing Executioners
75 Group: Ella Minnow Pea (2/2009)
fannyprice: The Anglo Files
TadAD: Three Day Road
nancywhite: The Elegance of the Hedgehog
kiwidoc: The Grass Arena
kiwidoc: The Fall of Troy (3/2009)
kiwidoc: Kate's Klassics
mlake: Never Heave Your Bosum in a Front Hook Bra
sten: Who Killed Roger Ackroyd (2/2009)
sten: Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong
ronicats: Speed of Dark
paghababian: The Lost Painting
stephen.andrew.brown: Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance
KarenMarie: What Time Devours
StormRaven: My Teacher Flunked the Planet (3/2009)
nancyewhite: Lullabies for Criminals
TadAd via drneutron: Holmes on the Range
rebeccanyc: The Book of Chameleons
porch_reader: A Thread of Grace
alaskabookworm: The Giant's House (8/2009)
alcottacre: Whales on Stilts (3/2009)
alcottacre: Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen (4/2009)
sten via TadAD: The Winter Queen (3/2009)
torontoc: The Clothes on Their Backs
TheTortoise: Oliva Joules and the Overactive Imagination
drneutron: Ending an Ending
drneutron: The Gun Seller
drneutron: Zombie (3/2009)
alcottacre: The Last Six Million Seconds (6/2009)
TheTortoise via kiwidoc: Oscar's Books
TheTortoise via kiwidoc: The Clothes They Stood Up In (3/2009)
carmenere: Kipling's Choice (3/2009)
fannyprice: The Rabbi's Cat (3/2009)
fannyprice: The Female Malady
haturner: Princess of the Midnight Ball (8/2009)
Kat32: The Good Ghouls Guide to Getting Even
Awilkins: Brighton Rock
Awilkins: Whale Talk
fantasia655: A Girl of the Lumberlost
fantasia655: Detective and Mr. Dickens (4/2009)
kiwidoc via kidzdoc: A Journey Round My Skull
kiwidoc: Up at the Villa (3/2009)
selkiegirl: The Hunger Games (5/2009)
LT Group: Skellig (5/2009)
severn: The Silver Metal Lover (3/2009)
whisper1: My Letter to the world (3/2009)
rachbxl: When I Forgot (9/2009)
rachbxl: Woman at Point Zero
kiwidoc: The Blinding Absence of Light (5/2009)
LisaLynne: Down to a Sunless Sea
lindsacl: The Road Home
whisper1: The Higher Power of Lucky (5/2009)
Kat32: Real Vampires Have Curves
Kat32: High Stakes
gregtmills: The Ayatollah Begs to Differ
Cait86: Mister Pip (5/2009)
sanddancer: The Boy Who Kicked Pigs
rebeccanyc: Freedom From Fear
blackdogbooks: You Learn by Living (5/2009)
enheduanna: Thus Was Adonis Murdered
kidzdoc: The Illusion of Return
kidzdoc: Mishima's Sword
LisaCurio: Time Stops for No Mouse (6/2009)
Pummzie: The Mischief
cjji955: The House on the Strand
alaskabookworm: Till We Have Faces (6/2009)
LT 75: The Book Thief
VioletBramble: The Summer Sherman Loved Me (9/20090
MusicMom: Letter to Alice.... (5/2009)
shewhowearsred: City of Ember (9/2009)
shewhowearsred: Predictably Irrational
mckait: Society of S
mckait: The Tricking of Freya
mckait: Skeletons at the Feast
drneutron: Let the Right One In
drneutron: The Various Haunts of Men
LT 75: Looking for Alaska
gregtmills: Catapult: Harry and I ....
WillowRaven: Romeo's Ex (6/2009)
tokyoadam: The Forever War
seasonsof love: Dying by the Sword
Deedledee: Every Man Dies Alone
TheTortoise: I'll Cry Tomorrow
RebeccaAnn: Frozen in Time
blackdogbooks: The Frozen Deep (7/2009)
RebeccaAnn: The Lies of Locke Lamora
amarie: The Box...
petermc: The Night in Lisbon (7/2009)
TadAD: The Gammage Cup
petermc: Five Days in London (9/2009)
whisper via kiwidoc: The Frozen Thames
whisper: Hana's Suitcase (7/2009)
WillowRaven: The Forest in the Hallway
Trystorp: Pandora's Star
kiwidoc: The Great Crash
kiwidoc: Somewhere Towards the End (9/2009)
drneutron: Here, There be Dragons
browngirl: Annie's Ghosts
kidzdoc: Golpes Bajos
kidzdoc: Burnt Shadows
kidzdoc: The Fat Man and Infinity
kidzdoc: The Invention of Everything Else
kidzdoc: Plants Don't Drink Coffee
CatyM: The Archivist's Story
laytonwoman3d: In the Fall
WillowRaven: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (8/2009)
meanderer: If Pirate I Must Be
FlossieT: The Gone-Away World
TadAD: Cooking with Fernat Branca
tututhefirst: Plato and a Platypus Walk...
tututhefirst: The Scarecrow and His Servant (9/2009)
LT: Mistress of the Art of Death
Bridget770: The Plague of Doves
TadAD: Battle Cry of Freedom
dihiba: The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher
beserene: The Big Book of Grimm (9/2009)
whisper: Speak (9/2009)
whisper: The Adoration of Jenny Fox
aquascum: The Very Bloody History of Britain
sjmcreary: Code Black
dk_phoenix: Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians (9/2009)
avatiakh: The House of Sixty Fathers
avaitakh: My Swordhand is Singing
avatiakh: A Bottle in the Gaza Sea
avatiakh: Swallows and Amazons
avatiakh: The Silver Wolf
SqueakyChu: What the Deaf-Mute Heard
Landshark5: Red Thunder
laytonwoman3rd: The Hero's Walk
loriephillips: Little Bee
cauterize: Assassination Vacation (9/2009)
mamachunk: Our Guys
saraslibrary: While You're Down There
avaitakh: The Carbon Diaries (9/2009)
sgtbigg via petermc: Wolf of the Deep
porch_reader: The Rope Walk
saraslibrary: Frankenstein Moved in on the Fourth Floor
porch_reader: When the Emperor was Divine
RebeccaAnn: Captain Francis Crozier
daddygoth: The Infected
gregtmills: An Utterly Impartial History of Britain
TheTortoise: Lincoln's Melancholy
drneutron: Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
Banoo: Salmonella Men on Planet Porno
sjmcreary via petermc: The State of Jones
whisper1: The Day the Falls Stood Still
booksontrial: The Brain That Changes Itself
boekenwijs: Never Hit a Jellyfish With a Spade
kiwidoc: Skating to Antarctica
laytonwoman3rd: Jenny Wren
beserene: Old Friends and New Fancies
TadAD: The Black Flame
kidzdoc: Blood and Guts: A Short History of Medicine
drneutron: The Book of William
alaskabookworm: The Magicians
alaskabookworm: Emily's Ghost
Loosha: Dancing With Rose
Banoo: Magnetic Fields
booksontrial: Losing My Virginity
suslyn: Gremlins Go Home
laytonwoman3rd: The Bird Artist
Wow, you are averaging 30 to 40 books a month! That's impressive. I suspect you read not only at stop lights, but also while driving too :) .
LOL--no car, no driving! Public transportation means I can pay more attention to a book!
However, I have a friend who's moved into the second bedroom, and she's a chatty lady--so I suspect I've lost some of my evening reading time. Look for lower numbers for this third of the year.
I just read your TBR list- oh my! I put mine on an Amazon wish list! I may take some more ideas from your list!
#6--That's just my TBR list from 75er threads...you should see the stacks at home!
Anyway, here are my belated reviews:
Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson (or maybe not) was found on dk_phoenix’s thread. It’s a relatively cute first-person account of a teen who finds that his apparent “talent” for breaking things is really a trait similar to other “talents” in his family once his grandfather shows up late for a birthday (granddad’s talent is always being late). Alcatraz, who like other members of his family, is named for a prison, is part of a team defending the world against the evil librarians who control most of the world’s operations. It’s smart, it’s sassy, it can be overbearing (well, a teenager is writing about himself, after all), but it was cute and I enjoyed it enough to look for the sequel.
The Dons and Mr. Dickens is the final book so far in the promised series of six by William J. Palmer, wherein Wilkie Collins’ secret journal of his experiences with Charles Dickens, the Metropolitan, and, in this case, the Queen’s “secret” guards are told. In this episode, several dons of the Oxford colleges are murdered, and, together with Charles L. Dodgson and Mycroft Holmes, Collins and Dickens are along for the unraveling of a larger mystery. The series has been interesting in that Palmer attempts to be absolutely authentic in his descriptions and dialogue (which sometimes backfires for the reader). This escapade was a pleasant ending to the series, if nothing else appears. It’s not as racy as early books, and it’s not as entertaining as the “Hoydens” were, but every series has a bump or two.
Fright by Cornell Woolrich is another Hard Case Crime (and, OMG, could HCC get a proofreader on this text, please!). I’m enjoying the series generally, and I specifically have enjoyed Woolrich in the past, having been recommended to him by a friend at work. This story of a man who commits a crime and then spends his life punishing himself while attempting to evade actual incarceration, was interesting, especially as there are obvious parallels to Crime and Punishment and some of Kafka’s works. Recommended, especially for fans of Woolrich.
Heaven Eyes by David Almond is another story of young people in tragic circumstances who are trying to find their way to a better life. Three friends (Erin, January, and Mouse) take off one night from a home on a raft, get stranded in the Middens and rescued by a young girl named Heaven Eyes who lives there with an old man named Grandpa. As with Skellig, there is a lot of allegory in this work, and the ending is left somewhat open. I enjoyed it more than another of Almond’s works, but I have enjoyed Skellig and Clay more in the reading.
Killing Castro by Lawrence Block is another Hard Case Crime by a master of the genre. Block better be a master because in the 204 pages of the novel, he’s telling five characters’ stories interspersed with a history/biography of Castro and his rise to power in Cuba. Published before the Cuban missile crisis, there is some prescience in the actions taken by the characters, but eventually it does boil down to a noir thriller. In lesser hands, there would be too much story left to tell by the closing page.
Spring-Heeled Jack by Philip Pullman is a children’s story told in a semi-graphic novel style. In the introduction, Pullman introduces Jack as a character very like Batman, so his readers will understand how the story unwinds. Three siblings (Rose, Lily, and Ned) are orphaned, and when they decide to run away, they encounter not only the minions (Killjoy and Mrs. Gasket) of the orphanage who need them to fill out the roster, but also Mack the Knife and his gang. It’s fast, it’s furious, it’s just complicated enough for both a young reader or an adult, with entertaining illustrations.
and the next batch includes:
and next in order:
The Wounded and the Slain by David Goodis
Road to Perdition by Max Allan Collins/Richard Piers Rayner
Twelve O'Clock High! by Beirne Lay Jr. and Sy Bartlett
The Raccoon and the Bee Tree by Charles and Elaine Eastman and Susan Turnbull (ER)
Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe (LT)
Cairo by G. Willow Wilson and M. K. Parker
Bartleby by Herman Melville (short story)
Bartleby and Co. by Enrique Vila-Matas (1001)
In the Forest by Edna O'Brien (1001)
I'm interested in your review of Bartleby - it is one of my favourite short stories /novellas / whatever you want to call it. :)
You are starred again!
What a great group of books you read thus far!
Was hiding in plain sight, right? Here's the first of the missing reviews:
The Wounded and the Slain by David Goodis was a slightly different Hard Case Crime novel, featuring a husband and wife who are in the Caribbean for wildly different purposes. Their marriage is failing, but each is trying to find out how to restart living as an individual first without involving the other. It’s a curious blend of crime and self-preservation, which I found intriguing enough to stay the course.
Road to Perdition by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner—OMG! This is a graphic novel, as an illustrated novel, that I greatly enjoyed. The film is a favorite of mine, with dark corners and dark characters, so I wanted to see what the graphic novel which was the source was like. The drawings are stunning—somewhat “comic” in the fight scenes (bam!), but startlingly clear in resolution—sometimes it was looking a black-and-white photograph. The book is different in several respects (character names were changed for the film, as were the beginning and the ending), but message is the same in both, with strong emphasis put on family and honor.
Twelve O’Clock High! by Beirne Lay Jr. and Sy Bartlett reads almost like the script these writers later prepared for the film version (which eliminated a major character’s love story, a relatively minor part of the story). I have strong visual memories of watching Gregory Peck as the leader of the American flight squadron defending WWII England in very perilous times, and this novel brought them all up front. A personal choice while walking through library shelves, I really enjoyed this novel.
The Raccoon and the Bee Tree by Charles and Elaine Eastman and Susan Turnbull was an ER children’s book, based on a 1906 written version of an Indian/Native American tale. This book is illustrated with luscious pictures by Susan Turnbull. The story revolves around one night with a rambunctious raccoon who learns his moral lesson by the end of the story—perfect for young readers. The ER version was not a bound version, but booklets and a cover, which made reading it something of a pain, but the story was cute, had a good lesson, and the artwork was very nice.
Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe has popped up in various threads (probably because it’s about a vampire bunny and it’s October) with high recommendations, but I read it to forward to my nephew. The tale is told by the family dog about the bunny found in a movie theatre showing “Dracula” which raises the suspicious nature of the family cat. A nice introduction to the vampire genre for beginning readers. (And, fortunately, my nephew will not be embarrassed as I was at the bookstore desk asking for “bunny-ku-la.”)
Cairo by G. Willow Wilson and M. K. Perker is a graphic novel set in Egypt featuring a female Israeli soldier trying to get home, a Jordanian-American young man who is studying his heritage, a female American trying to do good, two native Egyptians (one of whom wants to marry the sister of the other), a hookah, a jinn, a thief, the under Nile, and the devil. I found it okay to read, but hugely complicated by the number of characters whose various stories had to be resolved in a relatively few 150 pages (or so). The author and the artist seem to rely heavily on the other’s work “explaining” gaps along the way.
On to Bartleby and others…..
ETA: Correct a name and several typos...
and now, almost up to date. . .
Okay, so I was reading Bartleby and Co. by Enrique Vila-Matas, a short novel from the 1001 Must Read list, and realized that I had to stop and read the story on which this novel was based: Bartleby or Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville if I was going to follow the thematic discussion of the book. Fortunately, it was one of the Piazza stories in my Signet copy of Billy Budd, only 40 pages, and an interesting read. It’s also absolutely necessary to fully understand Vila-Matas’s novel. Bartleby is a scrivener (or legal copyist) who is hired by the story’s narrator. After that point, Bartleby does his job, and basically nothing but his job, and his job is copying. It’s not running errands, proofreading, talking to clients, or even living in his own place. If asked to do any of those things, Bartleby always replies that he would “Prefer not to do so.” Consequently, to get rid of Bartleby from his employ, the narrator is forced to move to new premises. When the new tenant pleads for his help to get rid of Bartleby, the narrator once again attempts to persuade Bartleby to move on. Bartleby ends up, however, living his life out in the Tombs (jail) of New York City. The story really has no plot except to find out what Bartleby prefers not to do, and how others react to that preference.
In Vila-Matas’s novel, he takes the concept of “No” (as in “preferring not to”) and applies it to writers who, for various reasons, either stopped writing, never published, or became recluses, and then, to make the concept even more circular, writes the entire novel as a series of footnotes about these authors. He includes a few artists for variety, but the bulk of the novel is based on theories about why particular writers simply didn’t write. Like Bartleby, they “prefer not to” for a lot of reasons, and the fun is in chasing some of the known, unknown, and, occasionally, probably imaginary authors through the reasoning. Which reminds me, I have to find a short biography of Guy de Maupassant to see if the novel is telling a true story in fictional terms.
In the Forest by Edna O’Brien is another read from the 1001 Must Read list—and I absolutely was in thrall by her writing of this story, based on a true story of a serial killer. Told in very brief chapters by various characters, it was, for me, a great introduction to a new-to-me writer.
I'd be interested in which authors Enrique Vila-Matas picks in Bartleby and Co?
#18--The translater/publisher included a list of authors, but they are ones published by this company, so I am sure it is not complete:
Honore de Balzac
Jorge Luis Borges
Federico Garcia Lorca
I also recall J.D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon, as well as Richard Brautigan (most notably for a reference to his "library" accepting unpublished manuscripts)--and Guy de Maupassant. There's lots of "food for thought" about these writers and why they are discussed.
Well, I was reading Gilead for last month's RL book club, but it was so slow I put it down and now can't find the copy. *sigh* Not to worry, the blanks have been filled in:
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (999)
City of Light, City of Dark by Avi and Brian Floca
The Best of Ray Bradbury: The Graphic Novel
Outlander had been recommended to me last year by a co-worker who said it was a fast read (and she's dyslexic!), so I added it to my 999 Challenge list. It is, indeed, a fast read for all 850 pages. There are excellent and much longer reviews of this story where a young married woman touches a stone in a ring in Scotland and finds herself in a another time. As a time travel story, it was entertaining; as a love story, it is touching; as historical fiction, it's pretty accurate; as great writing--well, it's good, but not great. On the other hand, I do have the sequel sitting, ready to begin.
City of Light, City of Dark is a children's graphic novel, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca. It's a bit convoluted for younger readers (who will definitely miss the solstice connection), but basically a contract was signed long ago by the Kurbs and humans (beings of dark and light), which allows the world to be warm for six months, then cold for six months. Each year the Kurbs hide a key (now in the form of a subway token) and a special human has until noon of the December solstice to find the key and return it to the Kurbs. An evil man wants the token because it generates light, and two children are mixed up in the story. I enjoyed the book, but it certainly is very roundabout for younger readers, and takes a fairly sophisticated view of duty and responsibility to others. Recommended with that "warning."
The Best of Ray Bradbury: The Graphic Novel is a collection of 12 of Bradbury's short stories (mostly Martian), as adapted by others, introduced by Bradbury, and lavishly drawn in full color plates. I've read all the stories, although most of them were long-ago reading, but it was nice to have a visualization to remember the plots and morals (Bradbury loves to tie those lessons in!). I recommend this one, especially to fans of either genre.
Having already read Frankenstein, Dracula, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and something else on Blackdogbook's suggested Halloween list, I'm currently reading Creepers, The Woman in White, and Terri Windling. Should take care of any chills for the holiday!
Oh, and I did read Bunnicula, which I count for Halloween purposes--it's about a vampire bunny.
I have stopped counting how many of your books I am piling on to Planet TBR. Thanks (I think!)
>20: Somehow, I managed to avoid the Outlander bug. I could never understand how easily she forgot her 20th century guy and fell for the one who treated her a bit like dirt. I've just never had the slightest inclination to pick up the sequel.
I'm slightly with you. I read the first 3, and then got bored by the others. Jamie is so far from the perfect guy its unbelievable! I also got fed up of Claire, and then fed up of the repetition of plot.
I have read the first again as "sick bed" reading but have no desire to reread the others.
#22 & 23--I suspect I will tire of the Outlander story before the end of the series. I did find Jamie more entertaining than Frank, as characters, so Claire's emotional shift there didn't much bother me. Frank was so wholly self-absorbed in his work that he was sort of a non-entity by the time Claire time-traveled. Jamie is far from perfect, but he's heads above some of his kith and kin in the first book. In any event, it was an easy read, and I'll go for the next in order, but not until I've caught up with a couple of books I'm reading.
#24: Well, I guess I will be the opposite side of the coin from everyone else. I love the series and am currently reading the last installment An Echo in the Bone.
Well, you never can tell about series--sometimes it only takes that one entry to make it all happen. I'm interested enough in Claire and Jamie right now to have the next two volumes on hold--but hold it will be until I catch up with some other books partially read. Also, since I'm usually something of a completist, well, chances are very good...
Okay the latest batch includes:
Creepers by David Morrell (75er Halloween Read)
Oscar Wilde and A Murder of No Importance (aka Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders by Gyles Brandeth (stephen.andrew.brown)
Say Cheese and Die! by R. L. Stine (a Goosebumps book)
Creepers is part of the initial recommended reading in the Halloween thread in this group. As I had read several of the others on the list, I went for a new-to-me author. I found the book an easy and entertaining read, but more action and angst in a thriller mode than horror, and that's okay. Sometimes you just need to read the equivalent of carnival ride for fun. Can't go into the storyline because others are reading--ssh!!
Oscar Wilde and A Murder of No Importance by Gyles Brandeth was originally found on stephen.andrew.brown's thread, and it sounded interesting, especially in light of the fact that I was reading Peter Ackroyd's The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (a fictional account of his last years in Paris). The murder mystery was okay, and I guessed the plot, the victim(s) (other than the title character), and the murderer(s) long before they were "exposed" by Wilde and his literary companion, Robert Sherard. The same plot device (a secret diary) was used in the four volumes of Palmer's series which involves Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, to better advantage IMO. It was fun to follow Oscar Wilde around London before his infamous trial, but I wish the mystery itself had been better plotted.
Say Cheese and Die! by R. L. Stine is a Goosebumps book. *sigh* I managed to avoid reading all the Goosebumps books my children devoured, but having been asked about possible books for my nephew, well, I read this one. Stine does horror and gross-out stuff for the elementary/early middle school quite handily, and this book appears to very typical. I will recommend for William relatively soon, as a dad-son read, but won't look for others.
I'm currently reading The Princess of Denmark which completes or almost completes the Nicholas Bracewell Elizabethan mysteries; The Woman in White for the Halloween recommendations; Cryptonomicon because I'm half-way through and it's not that difficult to get back into the plot; Madame Bovary because I'm trying to complete another of my 999 Challenge sections; and Fear on Trial for a different section of my 999 Challenge.
Also trying to deal with two cats with serious gum infections and my son called to say he's just been diagnosed with Gilbert's Syndrome, a hereditary liver ailment which is not considered serious unless you turn yellow. *sigh*
So sorry to hear of your trials with the cats and your son. I hope all will be better soon!
I've never heard of Gilbert's Syndrome. I'm heading off to do a google search to learn more.
Thinking of you,
I do hope your son doesn't turn yellow...
Has your nephew come across the Point Horror books? My sister and I used to love them - particularly Christopher Pike. Some are quite thoughtful (although it's been a very long time since I read any...)
I read the Point Horror books as well. I moved onto them from the Goosebumps books and really enjoyed them when I was not reading more grown up stuff.
And turning yellow doesn't sound very pleasant. I believe I turned yellow when I was only a couple of weeks old. Thankfully it wasn't permanent.
However, I just looked it up and if other (more serious) liver conditions have been ruled out, then it doesn't seem that Gilbert's Syndrome is anything to worry about. In fact, there appears to be a benefit in that there was found a decreased incidence of heart disease in people with this condition. Having lost my father to heart disease, I know how awful it is, so would take this as a definite positive toward this news.
Just awed by your reading. Wow. Sorry to clutter your thread with such a feeble comment rather than something specific about a book... but if I don't post I'm going to lose you again!
Thanks to all you for greetings and good thoughts. As noted, things are a bit hectic at the moment, what with the cats needing to be cleaned, fed baby food by syringe, dosed with antibiotic, and then squirted with a mouth rinse (oh, that one's fun!). Sid, the oldest, who only got his tail amputated this summer (for a neural cancer on his tail tip), just sits and watches. I think he's secretly laughing.
Of course, I'm still in therapy trying to avoid surgery for a torn meniscus in my knee and working my way out of the sinus infection which has been recurring since July. Argh!
And my son is off next week to a specialist to find out how he can reduce his stress, fatigue, etc. Lunacat, I noticed the heart info as well and was pleased since my children have heritages of heart disease from both parents. On the other hand, while he doesn't take a lot of medicine (doesn't like to "need" it), I told him to start reading all labels and say "no" to anything with acetominophen (Tylenol). Period. He's a bit stressed out with the diagnosis on top of waiting to hear confirmation of a job offer in Madison (where he'd have to move and relocate from his dad's in St. Louis), so we're having a lot of phone conversations.
Thanks so much for your notes and good wishes. I appreciate every one of them!
...and hope the surgery dodging is successful.
(and a secret woo! for the dog ;)
If you liked the writing in Creepers I would recommend trying another Morrell. He is one of my favorite authors, though I haven't yet added him to the list on the profile - I need to do that. Anyway, last Halloween, I read The Totem which is a werewolf book, and an interesting, new take on them, even thought it was written in the 70s. And he is well known for his thriller/spy writing. You could try The Brotherhood of the Rose, a cool series he wrote. He has a lot to choose from. He also wrote First Blood which is said to be much better reading than viewing, though I can't confirm that one yet.
just checking in to say I hope you are feeling better..the cats are better...the son is better and life is less stressful.
Whew! *wipes her brow*
It's Friday, and things are a bit better all around. I'm not sleeping well because the button is in my doctor's office until my next appointment, BUT the cats are looking and feeling much better (both are eating baby food/canned food (which normally I don't give them)) and trying very hard to avoid the antibiotic dosing. Well, to be fair, one is sort of resigned to it while her sister is actively resisting.
My son is getting himself ready to move to Madison from his dad's in St. Louis in two weeks to start his new job. He's hoping to transfer from his current part-time job to a store in the same chain in Madison, so that he has two part-time jobs to keep himself solvent.
And two of my assignments at work were upgraded to Word 2007 yesterday. The fallout is just beginning.
So I'm reading mysteries--fast and easy. Thanks for all your good wishes!
I'd be eager to read your memoirs if you ever have the time to write. I'm sure your story would be far more interesting than many of the biographies I've read. :)
LOL--it probably would, consider the possibilities: my parents had eight children (and we currently live in three countries), stayed married for over 50 years; lived in five countries (I had 32 addresses before I graduated from high school); there are currently over 30 children (grandchildren to my parents, nieces and nephews to me) plus another generation started! My grandparents/great-grandparents were descendents of the Pilgrims (there's a relationship to the English throne and one president as well), Ellis Island immigrants, and Finnish freedom fighters (also farmers in the mid-Finnish countryside). And that's just the easily accessed stuff! Thanks for the note.
It sounds like you have quite an interesting memoir to write...
Sadly, I know so very little of my roots, other than my family was Welsh and English and settle in a small NE town of Bangor, PA, named after the area in Bangor Wales. The English side of the tree resided in Cornwall.
They moved to this country to mine the slate in the quarries and formerly were miners of coal in Wales.
I got very interested in genealogy for a while and spent a lot of time tracking down the various branches.
When I was little, I had the dreams of being related to kings and queens that a lot of kids had...at least those kids who read fantasy books. :-) However, coming to it as an adult, I was much more fascinated by the Welsh coal miners who came to work the Pennsylvania coal seams, the Scottish minister hanged for heresy in 1680, the Palatines driven out during religious wars, the German refugees who were founders of the Brethren Church, etc.
I still keep at it in a desultory way...not enough time to be aggressive about it. I keep a database of all the collateral relatives, publish some of it to the Web when a particular branch of the family is actively interested and everyone contributing new shoots and branches. One published branch has 37,000+ blood relatives and their spouses so far and another will close in on 11,000 soon.
I have never had to do genealogy for my mother's side of the family - her sister is a Mormon and has done extensive genealogical work on that for me - so consequently, I know that I have ancestor's names on Plymouth Rock.
My dad's side of the family, I know really nothing of, unfortunately. My grandfather immigrated to America from Belgium, so I am only second generation American on that side of the family.
I recently found the copy Mom made for me of the genealogical chart (which is current through me and my sibs) which is the size of a good-sized poster. She did a lot of work on it, but OMG--to get it caught up! As soon as I can get a computer at home, I'll probably start from that point. We have a fair amount of family stuff from her side, including her grandmother's diary as a young girl coming across the plains in a covered wagon. Very fascinating stuff.
Wow! What a treasure you have in the diary. I bet it is fascinating stuff!
How I wish I had a similar document, especially regarding my great grandmother whom I loved dearly.
I'm thrilled to have (at least a copy, the original is still with Mom's stuff) the diary. I loaned to both my children's fifth grade teachers because it starts at their ages and then takes about three years to get from the mid-West to California. It is great fun, some heartache, and some great observations on family members!
Well, between the cat with the four excised teeth, the cat yet to go in, my knee and my sinuses--life is just ducky at the moment.
However, to get my list current, I am at 358 books and counting, and the latest batch includes:
Henry V; Original Text by William Shakespeare, is a graphic version of the full text of the play. I didn't care for this edition, but it had more to do with the artwork than the play (which is fabulous). It's a beautiful book, but I had a hard time getting involved with the characters, mostly because many of them "look" very similar. There is a chart of characters so you can check out who's speaking, but it was annoying to do that, so I muddled through. Now to get out Branaugh's and Olivier's versions and watch. *sigh* Pure bliss.
The Princess of Denmark by Edward Marston is the last of the Elizabethan mysteries featuring Nick Bracewell and the company. Here the inn burns down and the company accompanies it patron to Denmark (where else? Elsinore) for his upcoming wedding. Murder and mayhem follow.
Somebody Owes Me Money by Donald E. Westlake is a Hard Case Crime, and I laughed in this one--the main character reminded me of Magnum, P.I. He's the one owed the money.
The Cutie by Donald E. Westlake, another Hard Case Crime, was a slight disappoint, not wildly original or thoughtful, but a quick read.
The Murderer Vine by Shepard Rifkin was the latest Hard Case Crime and it involves the hiring of a detective to hunt down the murderer of three civil rights workers (sound familiar--Mississippi Burning?). It was timely when published over 35 years ago, it is interesting to read now for the window on the period. The twists are not too hard, but the writing is solid.
The Lowenskold Ring by Selma Lagerlof was a fluke choice for me from the library shelves. A very short novel, written as a ghost story, built on the premise of a cursed ring. The true owner of the ring, the dead general in his grave, wants his stolen ring returned. Spooky rather scary, but a nice read for the season.
The Man Who Went Up in Smoke by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo is the second Martin Beck mystery, a police procedural that eventually solves the question of what happened to a man who literally disappeared.
Chocky by John Wyndham is a short novel on the 1001 Must Read and one of my 999 Challenge books. I like Wyndham's work generally, and this is an interesting "out of the norm" for him. Challenged to write a book for children, Wyndham tells a story about an adopted boy who has a friend named Chocky. S/he (gender is a question) is other-worldly and affects not only the boy, but the family. Matthew's mother and father try to understand what is happening and agree on a "solution" to the problem. Matthew's sister thinks he's a pill. His teachers are exasperated by him. Experts come and go and don't agree. How will this be resolved. A very successful television series was made from this book, and, because I have trouble imagining how they did it and kept the tone and story intact, I will have to find it out.
On to others, including The Wood Wife, which I've nearly finished and The Woman in White for the Halloween read.
I haven't read any of Marston's Nicholas Bracewell mysteries, but I've read all of his Domesday mysteries, except the last which wasn't released in the US. If you've read any of them I would be curious how the two series compare. If you haven't read them, I recommend them. The Wolves of Savernake is the first.
Sgtbigg--I am a huge fan of both series by Marston. I also like his train detective series, and the shipboard mystery series is better than most, but not nearly the fun for me that the Domesday and Bracewell books were to read. I've worked and studied Shakespeare a fair amount, so the travails of an acting troupe in the heart of London, where the lead character is not an actor but the bookholder (stage manager) and who sailed with Drake--it sounded like fun. Turns out it was great fun. The lead characters are similar (one bluff and headstrong, the other smart and able to wheedle the necessary deals), but the arc of the stories is different. I'd recommend the Bracewell series, especially if you like the Domesday one.
Thanks, another series to add to my tbr pile. I checked the library and as usual they have about half the books in the series, starting with number 4. I have never been able to figure out why they order parts of a series, especially starting in the middle and skipping around.
LOL--I hear you about yet another series--I've been introduced to at least five this year through 75er threads and the lists go on....
Incidentally, the Victorian railroad detective series by Marston (Inspector Colbert) is quite fun as well.
So I closed out October with:
The Wood Wife by Terri Windling (75er Halloween Group)
Day of Atonement by Faye Kellerman (999)
Sacred Clowns by Tony Hillerman (999)
The Firework-Maker's Daughter by Philip Pullman
and currently working on Moonheart by de Lint (999), The Woman in White (1001/999), and Greenwich Killing Time in my current book bag. This month I will be focusing more of my reading on my 999 list, first because I got so distracted from it this past summer, and second because my list has books I really want to finish reading!
Have to go to a required, but not mandatory, training class....
I very much enjoy the books written by Charles de Lint. Tad recommended Moonheart awhile ago and I haven't read it yet. I'm anxious to read your review.
I am awaiting the review of Moonheart, too. I have it on my nightstand patiently waiting for me to read it :)
Whose thread did I read about The Wood Wife on? It sounded fantastic - what did you think?
#58: It could have been one of many recently, flissp. Carolyn, Tad, and I read it together and it has been part of the Halloween reads here in the group as well.
Been a while--#$%#$% computer upgrades and training...
To the four books listed above, I need to add as completed:
Greenwich Killing Time by Kinky Friedman
Moonheart by Charles de Lint
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
The Wood Wife was Terri Windling at her best, combining myth, mystery, and good storytelling. The book was part of the Halloween reads recommended by blackdogbooks, and I enjoyed it very much. There are a slew of reviews on the story itself in the Halloween thread, but I will say that being a fan of Tony Hillerman and Roger Zelazny simply added to the pleasure of reading a story set in the Southwest.
Day of Atonement by Faye Kellerman was a "next in series" read for my 999 Challenge, and I had chosen the series because it's been quite a while since I read about Peter and Rita. It was very nice to reacquaint myself with (in this book) the newly married couple and follow them through this detective story. That it manages to also untangle some family issues for the pair was a plus for me.
Sacred Clowns by Tony Hillerman was a "next in series" for my 999 Challenge as well, but chosen because I could not remember if this was one I had read. It's the initial pairing on casework for the officer and detective pair, and, as with everything I've read by Hillerman, a satisfying read.
The Fire-work Maker's Daughter by Philip Pullman is a fun story of a girl who wants to make fireworks, just as her father does, and the trek she sets out on to accomplish that goal. Written for older elementary children, it is a fast and sometimes funny read.
Greenwich Killing Time by Kinky Friedman is the first of the Kinky Friedman mysteries, which I found on library shelves. The conceit of writing about himself as the lead character can be wearying at times, but it was certainly entertaining enough (I did figure the mystery before the end) to read another book in the series.
Moonheart by Charles de Lint is another my 999 Challenge reads and I love this man's work. It's mythic, mystic, accessible, and entertaining. Jamie and her uncle live in an old house, run an antique/book shop, and have somewhat eccentric friends who live or work with them. When Jamie finds a ring and some totemic objects in a box she is emptying, strange things start happening. I really enjoy de Lint's work, finding it imaginative and well written, so I recommend it.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert is one of the classics I should have read, so I added it to my 999 Challenge list (plus it's on the 1001 Must Read list). After several false starts with the foreword bogging me down, I finished the novel. My copy included the transcripts of the statements of the prosecutor and defense attorney in the trial over the "decency" of the book, so I read those as well. The opening third of the novel was very slow for me, but it sets up the lives of the Bovarys, their families, and their neighbors, so that when Emma crosses the line and has affairs, they seem to be a natural offshoot in the story of a terribly bored wife who could not accept her position in life. I saw the film version with Jennifer Jones last year, and it is remarkably close in feeling to the novel. I did enjoy the novel more than I expected to, and I am glad I read it.
The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor is, as O'Connor's stories and novels often are, a mix of satire and heartbreak. This is on the 1001 Must Read list, which is why I listed it in my 999 Challenge as well. It's a bit difficult to find a way to describe the story without telling it, but I do recommend the reading, especially if you like O'Connor's work or enjoy the short works of Faulkner.
Currently, I'm finishing several works on my 999 Challenge (my goal this month is to get cracking on this list): Nellie Taft, a biography of William Howard Taft's wife; The Sea Wolf by Jack London, an adventure yarn; The Woman in White by Collins; and J.M. Barrie and the Lost Boys.
#62--Well, one of my favorite de Lint's was discovered in the past year--Circle of Cats. I like both his and Windling's works very much because they manage to successfully meld myths with modern day characters and make the combination, well, probable.
>60: As you've probably noticed from other threads, I'm a big de Lint fan. Moonheart was one my favorites.
While shelving some books last weekend, I ended up sitting down and re-reading the parts of Widdershins that have some of my favorite de Lint characters, the Crow Girls, in them. I think it's also one of his best books—though, if you're unfamiliar, don't pick it up until you've read earlier Newford books...most especially The Onion Girl.
I've got a copy of Dingo as a gift sitting on my TBR pile. I love looking forward to reading another of his books. :-D
I have Moonheart patiently waiting on my bedside table. One of these days, I will get to it!
Holy cow is right! I'm stunned by the sheer numbers, but also by the fact that because I've been writing about the books for this group, my memory is also getting a work-out. I can tell you the most and least liked, and what attracted me to certain authors or works, which might not have happened last year.
Of course, my pace has dropped off significantly with the addition of a roommate who brought satellite television (although with hundreds of channels, I can't really see what I missed for over 17 years) and the season for handily knitting and crocheting gifts for those who don't get books.
Speaking of my reading, I need to add:
The Sea Wolf by Jack London (999)
Nellie Taft by Carl Sferrazza Anthony (999 and also President spouses)
Worstward Ho! by Samuel Beckett (1001)
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (1001)
Currently reading: The Woman in White, Gone, A Case of Lone Star, and my ER book which showed up.
With the holiday festivities approaching and the busy atmosphere of entertaining, I do not want to forget your birthday. Happy Birthday Sunday, the 29th! I hope your day is delightful!
a belated happy birthday from me as well! May you get many book-presents :D
Hello again! I've been so far underwater since November that I needed one of Verne's submarines to find me! Between extended illnesses, work and work-related activities, the holidays, my children, and all, it's been very, very hectic. Thanks to everyone who sent greetings--every single one is appreciated.
However, I do have books to review for this thread, I will be starting up in the 2010 group, and I plan to join the group reading Moby Dick, so I can actually finish it (well, really, I've only ever read the first paragraph).
Look for entries a bit later this week. Hope everyone had a lovely holiday season and is enjoying the new year so far.
Okay, the November lot. . .
The Sea Wolf by Jack London was another on my 999 Challenge list, and it was a reminder of just how well the man could write adventure stories. There’s a bit of politicking in this book, and today’s woman could wish that the heroine was a bit stronger, but all together now—this is one to read.
Nellie Taft by Carl Sferrazza Anthony was on my 999 Challenge list and is part of the President (Wives) series as well. As a distant relation by marriage several generations back, I have always known Nellie was responsible for two things: getting her husband into the presidency and getting the cherry trees planted in Washington. She was much more, but I wish this biography had been easier to read. There are parts where everything slows for the author’s observations which I neither was interested to read nor wanted to know. However, as an introduction to a time and woman integral to a part of U.S. history, this was worth the time and reading.
Worstward Ho! by Samuel Beckett. That’s it. I understand better why I’ve never cared for other works by Beckett and this one is only 47 pages long. It is hailed as a masterpiece by many and is on the 1001 Must Read. I think most don’t know why.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James is one of those novellas where I’ve seen the movies, read the synopses, and knew the story, but then again—did I? I “read” this book on screen while listening to an audio rendition. That might seem a bit of overplay, but I found it helped me to concentrate on the language and build-up of this very famous ghost story.
Not too much, but November was quite a month for me outside of reading circles.
And in December, I was really trying to finish up a couple of 999 Challenge books I'd started during the year--and I succeeded!
A Case of Lone Star by Kinky Friedman is the next in series of his mysteries. This is total junk food reading, but it is fun.
One Step Behind by Henning Mankell is the next in series of the Kurt Wallender mysteries. I absolutely love the writing, the series, the mysteries, and will be very sorry to reach the end of published works.
Gone by Jonathan Kellerman is the next in series (completing a category for my 999 Challenge) of the Alex Delaware mysteries. This was a typical outing for Alex—nothing more exciting, but nice to hunker down with a character who seems like a friend.
Command Decision by William Wister Haines is another in a series of WWII “based on true story” novels that were published in the 1940s and 1950s. I enjoyed Twelve O’Clock High more, but this was certainly a satisfying story of American flyers in Britain.
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell is a book I read to vet it for my nephew’s reading list. It was a lot more fun than I anticipated and I’ve passed it on with a note to read the recipes at the end of the story.
Silk by Alessandro Baricco is on the 1001 Must Read list—and it blew me away. A very simply told story, somewhat repetitious, of a European silk maker who journeys several times to Japan to buy silkworms. To tell more is to weigh down this story of love and duty and tradition. (I do have to add, however, that I read the original cover version. The cover with the film cast on it somehow “puts me off” picking it up.)
Woman in White by Wilkie Collins is a 1001 Must Read and was on my 999 Challenge list. I enjoy Collins’s works very much, but had put this one off because it is a chunkster. Somewhat overwritten in places, it is worthy of the praise it’s earned over the years. And, while we, who read mysteries by the score, probably guess the outcome two-thirds of the way through, stay the course. Collins and Dickens were writing to audiences for whom this type of writing was new and innovative. Recommended for fans of the genre especially.
Mrs Budlong’s Christmas Presents by Rupert Hughes was a delightful romp through the holidays in 1912, where Mrs Budlong, heart of the “society” in her small town, has managed to make Christmas a burden for her friends and neighbors. Warning in place that some societal comments would not be politically correct today, however, this story about the commercialization of Christmas is still worth the read.
Defining the World by Henry Hitchings was part of my 999 Challenge based on a review by a 75er (that I need to find and acknowledge). It was not as much fun reading about Dr Johnson and his dictionary as I found reading about the OED, but this is a good primer to introduce the dictionary to readers who barely know of Johnson.
The Baby Blue Rip-Off by Max Collins was a mystery pulled from the library shelf, and is totally no-brain needed to read. The mystery isn’t that hard and the book reads like a screenplay, but it was great for me when my mind was not willing to focus on harder stuff.
War Is . . . edited by Marc Aronson and Patty Campbell was a selection from my 999 Challenge for Young Adult reading. It’s a sampling of all sorts of military and war writing. There’s some fiction, some diaries, some recruiting, some anti-war. The choices are interesting and the book is well worth checking out.
Dear Me by Peter Ustinov is his autobiography and it was a delight. His varied family background, his unique nuclear family, his writing, his theatre and film work—all covered to some extent in Ustinov’s style—somewhat impish and great fun at times, crushingly sad at others. I’ve been a fan for many years of his screen work, and was pleased to find this tome.
Me, Myself and Ike by K. L. Denman is a young adult novel told by a young man who is planning to become a form of time capsule. He’s planning the adventure with Ike, and it takes some time to work out the umbrella outline that this is the story of a teen schizophrenic. It was an Early Reviewer book, and, while I enjoyed Ms. Denman’s writing style, I feel the book ends very abruptly. It is not the book I would recommend to someone looking for an exemplar for a teen to read on the disease.
J.M. Barrie and the Lost Boys by Andrew Birkin is Birkin’s book formulation of a mini-series he wrote on Barrie and the Llewellyn-Davis boys who were the models for Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. The writing got very ploddy after awhile, and, while I understand why all the various letters and works were extensively quoted, sometimes they were irritating interruptions in the narrative. It did, however, complete this 999 Challenge category for me.
Of course, there were a few other items as well. . . .
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.