Laura's (lauranav) 2010 reading - the second 100
Join LibraryThing to post.
This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.
I reached 100 books so, this seemed like a good place to start a new thread.
First thread is here.
Book 101. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.
This was a fun read. Flavia is so well read and loves chemistry. I loved how her mother, missing/dead all these years, is still such a presence. What a wacky family, but loyal and loving. And a very patient policeman.
I love new threads, when I get to pretend that I was caught up all along.
I've been meaning to read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie for a long time now; one of these days....
What Mrs McGillicudy Saw is one of my favourite Christies: an excellent mystery.
Congratulations on passing 100!
Thanks for the congrats. I did decide that 100 should be something fun and the Christie was just right.
Well done indeed for reaching/reading 100 already, and I'm glad the 100th was a good read.
And, so many of your books were really good ones! Isn't it a joy to be a reader?
Yes - it is a joy, and it is also great to have a wonderful place where I can share that I read 100 books and people aren't totally shocked or ready to share how they managed to read 3 books last year or something equally disturbing :-)
I love all of you!
Congratulations on getting to 100 books!
#1 I've had the Alan Bradley series on the wishlist for a while - glad you enjoyed that one.
Congratulations on reaching 100 books! I am halfway there. I haven't read the Mrs. McGillicuddy book, but a buried memory of my long departed grandmother came to me.
She blamed Mrs. M. for everything that went wrong in her life in a very humorous way. If the dinner burned...Mrs. McGillicuddy did it. If the laundry hanging on the line got rained on...it was Mrs. McGillicuddy's fault. You get the idea. Thanks for the memory!
Haha, I love it. Mrs. McGillicuddy can handle it, heap it on her.
104. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Picked up at the library used book table. Interesting story. Not sure about the ending (not the bit with Audrey, but the other part). But I was very interested in what Ed did when he received the cards and the people he touched.
So, I specifically did NOT pick up Perdido Street Station so I can read books already on my shelves. But I did pick up 3 more books from the used book table. At the rate I'm going, even if every book I read this month was off my shelves, I'd still be further behind than I was at the beginning of the month :-)
One of my finds, though, was Riddle-Master the complete trilogy in a special collector's edition book. I know Roni had recommended these books by Patricia McKillip, and I'm looking forward to reading them.
Oh, nice haul, Laura!! I hope you enjoy them!
;-) Perdido Street Station IS one of my books on the shelf!! I hope to get back to it in a week or so, once I get used to the school year being over and finish tying up loose ends.
#154: I read The Riddle Master Trilogy too, Laura. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you do as well!
105. The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh
Picked up used at the library because I've heard the author mentioned here. Interesting to be introduced this way - the short stories with Inspector Alleyn were fun so I can see looking for the books. A fun read. It also turned out I was the first person to post a review of this book.
106. Double Deuce by Robert Parker
Spenser and Hawk - I love them. I am rushed and busy this week so instead of picking up something new or deep, I'm working through some fun and short mysteries on my shelves. Spenser mysteries are some of my favorite comfort reads.
107. The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
My first book by Shreve, and maybe my last. It's a story about a couple who meet after a long separation and catch up on marriages and children since the affair they had years ago. I looked at the reviews here on LT and most of the people who bothered to post a review either saw the ending coming or at least liked it. I didn't see it coming and I didn't get the point of it. The moving back in time was a convoluted way to tell a story, too. Not quite as bad as the movie Memento, but not fun. Not recommended.
There was a section of the book where both parties were in Africa, living in the Karen region named after Karen Blix, the real name of Isak Dinesen, so it tied in with Out of Africa that I read earlier. That was kind of cool.
108. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Chrstie
I figured it out in chapter 2, or maybe I remembered it because I probably read this when I was in high school. But it was still a fun read.
109. E. M. Bounds: Man of Prayer by Lyle Dorsett - audiobook
A fairly short book, but it gives a good picture of the life and influence of Bounds, including his 9 books on prayer. I have read the books before and found a lot in them, so it was nice to learn about the man behind them. Some convicting moments learning about his amount of faith demonstrated in his professional and personal life.
I've reached the end of my June reading so I'm writing up my summary.
4 TIOLI challenges
another 5 got listed for TIOLI not meant for me challenge
7 reviewed on LT
12 were books on my shelf!!
1 TIOLI Challenge for first review
1 book on my shelf!
3 TIOLI challenges
3 were books on my shelf!
That means of the 21 books I read in July, 16 of them were books on my shelf. This sounds really good until I remind myself I've been buying more used books from the library than I've been borrowing from the library. But, most of those purchases are really keepers, with only a few risky purchases that will go back to the library for some other person to buy.
This month started well and then I had fun reading a bunch of Spenser and Agatha Christie mysteries which are fast reads. July is more ambitious with longer reads.
I didn't post 2 books read in June
110. Well-Schooled in Murder by Elizabeth George.
I'm enjoying these Inspector Lynley novels. Good British police mystery.
111. The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Audiobook, reread as I've read the paperback edition I have before. A great review of the Sermon on the Mount. The last part wasn't as strong as the first parts, but still convicting.
EM Bounds is great. I've never gotten around to Bonhoeffer -- a gross oversight!
Glad you picked up the Hed books and hope you like them. And I too have enjoyed the George books; hope you're able to fill in the gaps.
Linda - I keep saying I don't want to read so many books, but I keep reading!
Susan - thanks for stopping by. I have filled up July reading plans already, so it may be August before I get to the Hed books, but I'm looking forward to them. I am starting to wonder if the first book in the Lynley series will ever come from the library, but I can just keep going forward for now :-)
Two more to post.
112. Simon's Crossing by Charles William Asher
I received a free review copy to review on my blog. I am also the first person to review it here on LT. It was an interesting telling of the author's imagining of who Simon of Cyrene was. Guardedly recommended.
113. ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer
Interesting book and I find the concept intriguing. But I think the DVD or a live training class would be necessary to really get it. There is a trainer near me so I may follow up on it. Recommended if you are or want to be a runner and are interested in avoiding injury and running with more strength and energy. (See why I'm intrigued?)
#26: Skipping both of those as they do not sound like something I would enjoy - especially the running one - bad hips and knees.
>113 Maybe I should get it for my husband. He's got a yen for marathon training
Time to catch up on what I've read this month. Vacation means good airplane reading time.
114. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
I've been reading this book for months. It was very good, but when I'd get in a mood to "finish something" I'd pick up a shorter book. So this kept getting swept aside. I entered in in TIOLI Challenges and then removed it a few times the past few months. But I buckled down and read it on the plane trip out and then finished it in some early morning sessions before everyone else was up. Very good book, very depressing book when compared to some of what we see in today's society. Ayn Rand definitely had a strong opinion about things and gets her perspective across in the book well.
115. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
This was a library book that I waited for over a couple of months and of course it came in just before vacation. Luckily, I was with some people who are also big readers so we would all just tuck in for a little afternoon rest and reading and no feel like we were excluding anyone.
This was one that Tutu reviewed and it sounded really interesting. I am so glad I went straight to the library webpage to put it on hold. It was a great book. Some of the dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny. I admit I read the chapter on the vasectomy out loud to my family while we were on vacation. The characters are all well written and the story covers different cultures and continents so very well. Highly recommended.
116. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
I finally read a Wilkie Collins. On my iPhone since I couldn't see taking an iPhone and a Kindle on vacation. It was a very good book to read on the iPhone, but I did understand the comments I've seen that the book is a little too long. It was still an interesting read, telling the mystery of the disappearance of The Moonstone diamond from the points of view of the different people involved in the story across the year in question. I am so glad I heard of him here on LT. I will read more books, probably also on the iPhone.
Right now I'm in the middle of The Once and Future King for the group read, and Half of a Yellow Sun for a TIOLI Challenge. I'm enjoying both, yet have this desire to pick up something not on any planned reading list. We'll see what I end up doing.
#29 Well done on finishing Atlas Shrugged! It's a book I've seen mentioned quite a lot but I'm still not entirely sure what it's about or whether I really want to read it.
Cutting for Stone was already on the wishlist but you've prompted me to reserve it from the library. Glad you had a good holiday where you could get some reading time.
And Wilkie Collins is great! I enjoyed The Woman in White even more than The Moonstone. I have some more Collins that I've picked up in the last few months to try but I think those are his two most famous novels. Hopefully you should be able to get hold of electronic copies fairly cheaply.
The thing about Ayn Rand...imo...is that, even if you disagree violently with her philosophy, the stories are interesting. As long as you avoid any speech found in any book (Roark's in The Fountainhead, Galt's in Atlas Shrugged). All-in-all, I'm not a proponent of Objectivism but I still enjoyed her fiction.
Well put. I did skim through Galt's speech to get back to the story.
More purchases at the library today. An early Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash that could be interesting. And a Georgette Heyer Venetia who I have never ever heard of until this year when Susan and others started talking about her. But first, I have to finish reading the 3 library books I have checked out, plus catch up on The Once and Future King and read Grapes of Wrath for book club.
Hi, Laura. My first visit, and with it awe at your having already read 100+. *sigh* I see that we have so many authors in common that I'm moved to put my Anita Shreves on pbs....I've bought a few at library sales but somehow never got to them. It would be a relief to let something else go!
Speaking of pbs, my copy of Venetia is waiting for the owner to print and mail. YAY! I hope you enjoy Snow Crash; I loved it when it came out and hope that it's aged well. Anyhow, Neal Stephenson is a favorite. Just be warned that he loses interest and sort of quits rather than finishing; I believe that he's more or less conquered that fault as he has written a LOT since then. I also hope that you'll read the Ngaio Marsh novels. They are a little uneven in quality, but anything that seems to deal with the theater, for instance, or Troy's painting is wonderful. Now I'm trotting off to see whether I have the short stories.....
LizzieD - welcome. We do seem to have a lot in common. I look forward to the conversations.
I will definitely follow up with more Ngaio Marsh.
#29 Hello Laura. More interesting books... I hadn't heard of Atlas Shrugged until LT - sounds like it's a book that polarises people a lot. Well done for finishing it anyway!
I'm trying to remember if it was The Moonstone or The Woman in White that I read years ago. Maybe it was both... Must re-read one or both eventually and see whether I can remember! At least in future with the help of LT I will know what I've read in the past.
Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and Anthem are some interesting works by Ayn Rand. She tells a good story.
117. Montana 1948 by Larry Watson
Now I know what Richard was going on and on about. Recommended.
118. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Very good story about the 1960's and civil war in Nigeria.
119. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
Strange, weird, and I admit I skimmed a lot to find the story amidst the overwhelming and annoying exaggerated descriptions of every single thing. I picked up The Scar at the library but now I'm debating if I want to slog through it or just return it.
#37: I never could get into PSS. I tried 3 times before finally giving up. I am glad to know that I am not the only one who thought it was a slog.
#37 I really enjoyed PSS but I can understand it might not be for everyone. And weird is a very good description!
I was hoping to read Half of Yellow Sun this month but I have just not been in the mood. Glad you enjoyed it though!
I've read and enjoyed most of your recent reads except for Perdido Street Station. With descriptors such as "strange" and "weird" I can pretty much figure this is a book I should pass on.
Cutting for Stone was my No. 1 book for last year. How great that you vacationed with readers so that you could enjoy a little "down" time with your books.
120. Widow's Walk by Robert B Parker
Spenser and Hawk - it's my candy.
121. The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley
Another fun adventure with Flavia. I love how she just gathers up clues as she goes along, always willing to butt in if necessary to learn something more.
122. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Wow, what a book. The plot sounds simple - guests at a party in an unnamed South American country are held hostage for a period of time and develop relationships with their captors. The telling of the story is so well done, and we all develop relationships with the captors. It's a great story of how the human psyche can adapt and turn even the very unusual into the ordinary daily life and become comfortable.
123. The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer
This was the free audio book at ChristianAudio.com this month. I have read the book a few times, and enjoyed it just as much as an audio. Very deep and convicting, but very comforting.
124. How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway
My June LT ER win and it was a winner. I enjoyed this book and think she's done a great thing describing parents and children, while also covering the cultural issues of being a Japanese wife in America for the last 50 years. Recommended.
#124 is definitely on my wishlist for the next time I see a book sale. I love the premise and the setting. Nice review.
Some more good reading Laura!
I've been meaning to get to the Flavia Luce books for a while now, glad you are enjoying that series.
And Bel Canto was one I meant to read this month but didn't make it.
125. Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
I picked this up after Whisper's review that it was a fantastic read. I agree. I've seen it compared to Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird which I first read last year, and to The Catcher in the Rye - I see both comparisons but this is also a story that stands on it's very own with a very strong character.
126. The Once and Future King by TH White.
I have owned it forever, and thought I had read it but it didn't ring any bells (beyond the familiar story) after Part 1. Years ago I read everything I could find on King Arthur, but for years now I avoid them because the story always ends the same. I thought the group read of this would be a good opportunity to tiptoe back into the story. The first section was a lot of fun. The second section was well done. But I was skimming by the third section (although I do think he did a good job keeping all parties sympathetic in the love triangle). I did get sucked back in with the descriptions of the quest for the Holy Grail.
Back later with a summary of July reading.
Bel Canto has been on my TBR pile for a gazillion years, and I just saw in on the library's audio download -==so.....it will go with me on my MD/CA vacation next month. Can't wait!
>43 souloftherose: and 45 - I think you will enjoy it. Definitely an interesting concept and well done.
The July summary seems kind of boring, but it represents some great reading:
10 TIOLI Challenges
5 were books off my shelf, rest were library books
1 was an LT ER book
Plans for August are shaping up to get many more books on my own shelves read.
#47: Plans for August are shaping up to get many more books on my own shelves read.
That is my plan too, Laura. I hope we are both successful!
127. The Man With a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes
TIOLI National Book Festival author. The first Jury novel, and an enjoyable mystery.
128. Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks
I'll try not to let this be my one and only book to judge Banks by, but I was not impressed. Lots of ideas that eventually went no where. And a bit bleak for my taste.
129. The Warden by Anthony Trollope on the Amazon Kindle reader on the iphone. I did skim a chapter or two, but it felt a lot like reading Elizabeth Goudge.
130. A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
The first of the Lynley mysteries and I'm so glad I went back to catch up, we learn a lot about the characters in this book. The only library book so far in August, and only so I could catch up on this series.
#49: Well, I have read 3 of the 4 there and do not think I will read the Banks book, so I have successfully managed to dodge all those book bullets :)
#130 - Elizabeth George...I noticed she has a new book out and had been thinking that i too would like to go back and catchup before starting on the new one. It's been quite a while since I read them (and I loved every single one of them) and I've tried hard not to let PBS' tacky version muddle my mind, so you've inspired me to put these on my list to get to before I go to the new one.
#49 My husband is a big Iain Banks fan and we have most of his books so I'm also supposed to be reading Consider Phlebas for the TIOLI challenge this month. I read The Player of Games a few years ago which I thought was fascinating and really well written but his writing does seem to be quite bleak and dark. It will be interesting to see how Consider Phlebas compares although I have my mid month 'how am I going to read all my TIOLI books this month' panic!
I also read The Warden yonks ago and thought it was ok. I have friends who are massive fans of the Barsetshire novels and they say that one is by far the weakest, but I've still never managed to get onto the second book!
I'm trying to dodge the two mystery books you've read...
I added The Man with a Load of Mischief to the TIOLI wiki also. My library didn't have a copy, so I was going to read the first Jury novel that they did have, which was The Anodyne Necklace, but then I found a copy at Half-Price Books.
I also like the Elizabeth George Lynley mysteries. Those are ones where it is nice to read them in order.
#50 Stasia - I picked up the Warden after your positive comments about Trollope. I'm not surprised you've already read the mysteries
#51 - I'm trying to figure out how I missed Elizabeth George all these years. I was surprised to see how long ago the first book came out.
#52 - I look forward to seeing what you think of Consider Phlebas.
There were some interesting concepts, just not all developed.
#53 - congratulations on finding a copy at Half-Price Books.
I agree about the Lynley mysteries - definitely good to read them in order for the development of the characters. I am currently in the mood for those kinds of mysteries series.
There is also a place for those series where the characters don't really develop so each one is just a comfortable visit with familiar folks.
Bury Your Dead arrived today and I dipped into it a bit tonight. Wow. Of course, I can't wait to see how it all ends, but I am so enjoying the story along the way. (I foresee temptation issues during the workday tomorrow)
#55: I foresee temptation issues during the workday tomorrow
LOL! I cannot wait for my copy to get here! I have had it on pre-order forever.
I've read your list except for The Warden, which the English major owns, of course. I am a true Iain M. Banks fan, but one section of Consider Phlebas remains about the most disgusting thing I've ever read (the "eaters") along with the killings at the heart of Infinite Jest. I confess that I topped out on M. Grimes long ago, and I preferred E. George's earlier books. They seemed so fresh when they came out; I'm not sure whether even the early ones would stand up for me now. I will certainly buy and read anything she writes though - a thing I cannot say about Grimes. A worthy bunch of good reading!
Oh yeah, forgot this one.
133. The Grapes of Wrath for book club which meets tonight.
This was a good book, I'm glad we read it. What a great way to describe such a terrible time. Highly recommended.
#58: Glad to know that Bury Your Dead is a good one (not that I expected any less from Louise Penny!) I have had it on pre-order for a while now and cannot wait to get my own copy.
#58 Nice review of Bound and Determined, it sounds like an interesting read so I will look out for it.
I am so jealous of everyone who won the new Louise Penny book although glad to know it's another good one!
134. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
TIOLI with weather in the title. Funny and fast moving, sort of scifi in an alternate universe since it's Earth in the now or near future. Lots of computer stuff and really well done considering when he wrote this.
135. Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter
TIOLI spy - the movie The Shooter was based on this. I haven't seen it yet, but I hear the movie was good even though it's different from the book. I reviewed the book since there weren't many reviews on LT for it. I really really liked this book. Not a genre I spend much time in, but this was fun and fast paced and kept me turning the pages. I knew the good guy would win, but it was a lot of fun trying to figure out how he was going to do it.
136. Walking Shadow by Robert Parker
TIOLI with Walk in the title. Another Spenser/Hawk novel, can't go wrong.
#54 I've finished Consider Phlebas now and wasn't particularly impressed by it. I felt that about half of the book could have been left how and the only bits I really enjoyed were the snippets about the Culture. I'm going to reread The Player of Games but I remember it being much better so if you feel like trying another Iain M. Banks then I would recommend that one.
#57 The Eaters were horrifying and the opening sequence where he was drowning in sewage was pretty disgusting. I didn't really feel these passages added anything to the story either.
#134 Snow Crash is somewhere on the long list of books to read at some point. I have Stephenson's Cryptonomicon lost in the depths of my TBR pile which I should probably try and read first!
Hi Laura, I haven't commented on yr. thread before, because I haven't read it before.... but you've been reading lots of great stuff, so I can't resist!
#66 - thanks much for dropping by. I've read lots, and most of it has been good, some of it really great!
Now I'm of to check out your thread to catch up.
137. Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe by Larry Osborne.
A friend and I are using this as the basis for some lessons at a women's retreat in November. He writes well and hits on some truths.
138. Pentecost Alley by Anne Perry
At one time I was reading all the Anne Perry mysteries in order, but then I stopped. I picked this one up from the library for a quarter to see if I still liked them. The story was good, but the editing was a little sloppy. An enjoyable way to see that period in history.
139. Beloved by Toni Morrison.
Another used book from the library. I'm glad I read it. But what a horrible thing slavery was and is. The story is interesting, leaving a lot of things unsaid, but depicting the life of slaves before and after the Civil War and the things they had to learn to live with. She packs a lot into a fairly small book.
#68: I will look for the Osborne book. It looks like one well worth reading. Thanks for the mention, Laura!
I love anything by Toni Morrison, Laura, but I frequently have to reread passages -- or entire books -- to understand them. She is deep!
I reread Beloved recently and discussed it with a book group. I enjoyed it so much more the second time around.
I can see why. I am still thinking about that book. The part I took away is the "easy" part to see and understand - the stories of life as a slave and then trying to keep living after such inhumanity. But there are lots of parts to the book, like the character Beloved, that I'm sure I didn't get at all and a reread and discussion would help.
Not often, but once in a long while, I actually see some purpose to a professor leading a class through a discussion of a book to help pull out what all is in there. This could be one of those.
140. God At Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Veith
Read on the Kindle. A fairly short book (I read it in an afternoon) with some good points pulled from Martin Luther (and the Bible of course) on the meaning of vocation and how that plays out in all our life, not just the 9-5 job we hold. Recommended.
141. A Suitable Vengeance by Elizabeth George
This entry in the Thomas Lynley mysteries takes us back a few years to see a rather tumultuous time in Tommy and Simon's lives. Gives some great back story. Very stressful in places, even though I knew how it must end since I'd read the books that come after it chronologically.
9 TIOLI challenges
1 borrowed from family
1 was a library book but I then bought it from the library used book table
10 (now 11) were books off my shelf
1 on the Kindle (Kindle reader on the iPhone)
2 Reviewed in LT
1 TIOLI challenge
1 Kindle (Kindle reader on the Mac)
1 Reviewed in LT
2 books off my shelf plus 1 purchased this month
#73: Nice summary for August, Laura. Congratulations on moving so many books off your shelf!
Glad you're enjoying the Thomas Lynley books. I'll be interested in seeing how that goes as you get more into the series. Hoping you like the Heyer -- atm I can't remember Venetia, although the title seems familiar.
I can't imagine listening to an audio book, but your July Tozer makes me want to give it a go...
I feel like I haven't finished a book in days, but that's because I have 2 audio books and a great nonfiction book going and we got a yard project done Monday and I visited with family and friends Saturday and Sunday so I haven't had a lot of reading time. All of which is really really good.
142. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
We'll be discussing this in a few weeks in book club. Not my favorite style of writing, but I can see why it's so well known. The edition I read didn't have any small chapter breaks, just the 3 big sections. All the sparknotes type things I've found have shown many chapters. That might have helped differentiate one scene from another, but I was really able to follow it well after I figured out how she was writing.
I found her ability to show the way our thoughts lead from one to another to another is great. Interesting topics from a female perspective as well, what great progress has been made since then! Recommended.
One of the audio books I'm currently listening to is Spiritual Leadership by J Oswald Sanders. IT is the FREE audiobook at Christianaudio.com this month. I have listened to about half of it and it is a good book so if this sounds interesting to you, take advantage of the offer at christianaudio.com
Last month's book was Ministries of Mercy by Tim Keller. The reader is driving me a bit nuts, and some parts of this book probably do better in print. I feel like I've been preached at for 8 hours (only 1.5 hours to go). But the content is really good and convicting. Just try the paperback instead of the audiobook.
The third book I'm reading is Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey. I've read 7 of the 11 chapters. It's great how all 3 books and my daily reading in the book of James have built on each other on certain topics. I am loving Rescuing Ambition and highly recommend it!
I should finish up all 3 in the next few days. Hubby is away tomorrow and Sat and I have no other commitments after I mow the grass.
143. Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews
I finally started the Meg Langslow series and now I know why everyone raves about them. This was a great read!
144. Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey
I really liked this book and put a review on LT. I think he does a good job of showing why we should pursue godly ambition, not letting the truth of selfish ambition leave us feeling all ambition is a bad thing.
145. Ministries of Mercy by Tim Keller
A very good book talking about the biblical base for ministering to others in need, along with some great practical ways to implement ministries like this while avoiding some of the pitfalls. Recommended, but better in print I expect.
#78 I've had the Meg Langslow series on my wishlist for a while. Glad you enjoyed it.
146. Corrag by Susan Fletcher
An ER book, well done telling the story of the MacDonalds and Campbells and the massacre of Glencoe. I passed this on to the aunt who first told me we were descended from the MacDonalds and about the incident at Glencoe.
147. Murder with Puffins by Donna Andrews
#2 and still funny. A wacky family, a little murder, a nice hurricane.
148. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan.
After reading The Grapes of Wrath I wanted to know more about the time of the Dust Bowl and the exodus from the Great Plains. This was a well-written book, telling the stories of real people who lived there, what drew them to that part of the country, how things went so well for a few years with bumper wheat crops and great inflows of money, and then how 8 years of drought brought such pain and suffering. Then he describes the efforts made to undo the damage that men (and the government) had done and how successful (or not) that work has been in the 70 years since.
My one complaint is that he doesn't credit the pictures he uses and then in the chapter where he describes the amazing photos taken of the dust clouds he doesn't refer to the photos he has used in the book.
#80: I already have Corrag in the BlackHole due to someone else's recommendation. I am glad that you enjoyed it too, Laura.
I have already read the other two, so I am good for now.
Yeah - I saw you just read Timothy Egan's follow-up. I'll have to add that one to my wishlist, even if it isn't quite as strong as The Worst Hard Time.
#82: It is definitely worth the read, I just did not think it is as good as The Worst Hard Time. That is just me though.
#77 - To the Lighthouse is very hard to follow. I agree. I love her poetry, her sentences, small details in her way of describing things, persons, moods. But as a story or plot it's so fragmented that you kind of loose interest.
I've started to read a book by Tim Keller. The Reason for God. I have downloaded some of his sermons and I like the way he tries to argue and wrestle with the biblical text. But I'm not so sure about him as a writer. Well, we see....
149. Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders
The audiobook was good. I did borrow a hard copy to reread and capture notes. I can see listening to the audiobook again. A good primer on what it means to be a leader and what makes a leader, from a spiritual perspective. Recommended
150. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. I liked this better than Chelli did. I am a little proud of myself, I remember High School English as a time when teachers kept trying to teach me to recognize sarcasm and irony in novels but I just kept taking them at face value, being very earnest myself. I don't know if it's an improvement or not, but I did detect the irony in Henry Fleming's pleasure that he had learned so much about death and grown so by the end of the second day of battle. An interesting story, not a lot of plot, oodles of character development in a character that really doesn't "develop" as much as he thinks he does. Not recommended for the high school crowd, much better to read as an adult who has learned not to take the world quite so seriously.
I've been saying all year that my goal was to read less, and in Sept I finally managed to read less. Just too many other things going on, people to see, stuff to do.
1 LT ER
3 Books off of my shelf
2 reviewed in LT
1 TIOLI challenge
1 library book
Congratulations on finishing the 75 books challenge twice now, Laura!
I have actually gotten some reading done in October. But when I'm on LT I'm so busy reading other threads that I haven't updated my own.
151. Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood
The book that the movie is based on. It was an interesting concept and a good story. Just not great.
152. The Green Rider by Kristen Britain
I picked this up after humoress did a good review of it and recommended it. I enjoyed it and look forward to the next on ein the series.
153. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
For my church book club. It was an effort to get through the book. It just never grabbed me.
154. For the Sake of Elena by Elizabeth George
I am still enjoying the Inspector Linley series. The pain, anger, cruelty, and death mean I don't care to read then too close together. This one was a good mystery, but also had more development of the main characters.
Men don't come out of this one looking too good. Selfish pigs may be a good description of them. But then, while not the active target, I don't think the women come off too well either. It takes two.
Lots of interesting reading Laura - just catching up. I've added God at Work to my wishlist - I've just finished hosting a meeting this evening of a group which is thinking about this topic (the course we are using is called 'Have you seen a burning bush?').
I'm one of those who love the Barsetshire novels. Read them all and re-read most of them. I wouldn't say The Warden is the weakest, but it is so much shorter than the others, it's more a prelude/introduction than a full novel. If you read on, there are some unforgettable characters to meet (thinking of the awful Mrs Proudie and the oily Mr Slope). And I found Beloved very moving when I read it a few years back, but haven't read anything else by Toni Morrison.
Thank you for dropping in. I am glad to hear the Barsetshire novels just get better.
I was noticing that 153 and 154 both featured a deaf character (although Elena was dead through book 154) and desperate and sad marriages featured in both. I really need a more uplifting read after those two books.
I started on Ringworld by Larry Niven, but so far it hasn't grabbed me.
Sorry to hear that you did not enjoy The Heart is a Lonely Hunter so much, Laura. I like that one a lot. Oh well, different strokes, right?
155. Ringworld by Larry Niven
Bought this used at the library to see what Niven and Ringworld are about. I wasn't blown away, but I like scifi enough to see the interesting concepts he pulled in here and I do enjoy wit and humor in a book. I may look for other books in Ringworld at some point
156. Congo Crisis by Joseph Bayly
One of the children of the couple discussed in this book has joined our church, and she loaned this book to me. It covers the fate of some Christian missionaries and Christian natives in the Congo in 1964 during a rebel uprising bent on punishing all Americans and Belgians. I thought the book was well done and highly recommend it, if you can find it.
157. Faking It by Julie Crusie
A friend recommended this to me. I did laugh out loud several times reading this book. The banter is fun and the family sticks together. Recommended, but be warned there are a few (detailed) sex scenes.
I have started The Help on audio book. I am loving it. But on audio, given my schedule for listening to audio books, it will be weeks before I finish it.
#92 Stasia - I agree about different strokes. I did think parts of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter were well done, and I certainly see the theme well presented through the characters. I'm not sure what was missing that would have made it better for me. I do look forward to the discussion at book club this Sunday.
#95: I hope you let us in on what the discussion is like! I really need to re-read that one because it has been some 20+ years :)
158. Black Light by Stephen Hunter
Second in the series, the same character as Point of Impact which was the basis for the movie The Shooter. Still well done. I am enjoying these.
159. Sexual Detox by Tim Challies
Short and well written book about biblical issues and approaches to dealing with porn addiction
160. The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers
I can't quite figure out how I feel about this one. She has an interesting writing style. I think both she and Chesterton are a bit dated due to their use of language and slang in some ways. The topic is the Trinity and her approach from a creativity and artist perspective were interesting. I did have to read every chapter twice to get it, but I'm ok with doing that with a good and deep book.
My issue is that when it's all over I'm not sure this was a deep book, just obscure maybe. Or maybe I'm just not smart enough to get it, which is the impression I got from this book. I'm not writing off Sayers yet. But this one wasn't a smashing hit either.
161. The Lamorna Wink by Martha Grimes
I enjoyed most of the scenes about the characters, but the actual mystery/story of this one did not impress me. I just didn't believe all of the characters would do all of the things they did. After I finished it last night, more issues with the plot kept coming to mind. I now see why someone earlier mentioned they had stopped reading this series after awhile.
Summary for October
Books off my shelf 4
borrowed from a friend 1
Books off my shelf 1
borrowed from a friend 1
Feels like a light reading month, but really 11 isn't bad.
Found you again - I've heard a lot about Ringworld and the influence it had on later science fiction and fantasy books so it's one I'd like to read at some point.
The Congo Crisis sounds like it's set about the same time as Helen Roseveare's early autobiographies (I think the first one was Give Me This Mountain). She was a missionary working in the Congo as a doctor during the early 1960s. I read them a couple of years ago and thought they were very good although not always easy to read because of what happened to her but she was certainly a very gutsy lady.
#98 Eleven is not bad and you got a good chunk of non-fiction in.
It feels like forever since I was on here. I had the annual beach retreat the first weekend of November and that was a blast. But not a lot of reading got done. I did read a lot of and eventually finish The Maltese Falcon. Interesting book, but the ending was not expected.
Since then we've had a family crisis and that has eaten up all my time not spent working. Earlier this year I tried to read The Trial by Franz Kafka and gave up because it seemed a bit too absurd.
But two weeks ago my husband's brother left his wife and 3 kids and hasn't really provided a good explanation for why. He won't talk to us now, we can't figure out if he's been planning this for months or years or if something suddenly happened to trigger this. The marriage wasn't perfect, but it was a pretty good one compared to most. He had recently been talking about things like renewing their vows, bought new furniture, was loving to his wife and kids. Then bam, she tries to talk about spending more time with the family and he blows up and says he's leaving. It's all just so weird. He told her he wanted to work on his business, he told us he can't stand living with her, he told the school counselor that they are still best friends.
Anyway, we can't figure out if he screwed up the money or made some other major mistake he doesn't want to face, or if he's been unhappy and lying and putting up a really good front the past 10 years or what. We're trying to figure out what to trust and what steps to take and what to hope for or even expect. And tonight while listening to his wife ask again what must she have done that was so wrong that he can't stand to be with her any more, I realized it's like The Trial. We're in a story but we don't know any of the details or what we are supposed to do or say. Maybe I'll go back and finish that book, now that I've been through an experience that is so random and inexplicable.
Laura, so sorry to hear about your family crisis. It must be hugely bewildering for everyone, especially your brother-in-law's wife and children - and for all of you who have had your previous perceptions so drastically unsettled. I hope you do find some value, if not comfort, in Kafka's writing - but I hope your family will eventually find some answers and understanding of what has really happened, and meantime the strength to cope with the randomness.
Thank you. It's interesting how much we crave answers and being able to make sense of the things that happen to us. And to know what is going to happen next.
#102 Laura, so sorry to hear about your family crisis. I think the not knowing/not understanding and the accompanying bewilderedness can almost be the hardest part when things like this happen. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
I'm so sorry about your family's problems. If this behavior is completely uncharacteristic for the husband, I'm wondering if there is a physical illness that might have caused it.
I am sorry too and appreciate your trust in us to listen. I don't post very often on your thread, but I do read it.
Thank you. The support and prayers are much appreciated. I enjoy my time on LT and keeping up with everyone's threads and I've seen the support we all can give when someone needs it.
162. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Interesting, but I prefer the Spenser books for this tough PI genre.
163. Wrestling with an Angel by Greg Lucas
My monthly Cruciform Press subscription brought this little book to the house mid-month. Very timely message about grace and mercy in the midst of suffering.
164. Widdershins by Charles de Lint
Nto one of his best (I hope, it has been years since I read a de Lint). Lots of characters and too many of them tell their story in first person. But I never lost track or got confused. It did work from the point of being a book I could pick up and put down with lots of interruptions and never have any trouble dipping right back in to the story. It just was a little too preachy and the story wasn't that exciting.
Still working on Middlemarch. I enjoy it, but it requires more concentration and dedicated reading time than I have right now.
Total reading: 3 (ha, and I thought 11 was a low number last month :-)
no TIOLI this month
1 bought new for book club
1 borrowed from friend
1 bought new
So, no real books off the shelves.
But my darling husband did build me a new bookcase so I have all my books on shelves now!
Laura- I love crime fiction, so I'm a big fan of The Maltese Falcon and some of Hammett's other work. I'm probably due a re-read at some point. I'm having a great November and I'm nearly done with my 7th book and that's not counting audios or graphics.
Mark - thanks for dropping in. I enjoyed The Maltese Falcon and want to see the movie now, since I could feel the atmosphere in the book. I won't rush out to try more Hammett right away, but I do want to read more by him. Having read so much Robert Parker and loved Spenser for so many years, it was interesting to finally read Hammett and see the influence he's had. No idea why it took me so long to read this.
Oh yeah, I also wanted to say that I love how many audio books you get to listen to. I have a great job that lets me work from home, so no commute. I just don't find much other time when an audiobook works well. I have had The Help on audio for 2 months now and haven't made much progress even though I am really enjoying the book. Maybe with holiday baking coming up I'll get some more audiobook time in.
Laura- I would think Spenser would lean more toward Raymond Chandler. I read about 7 or 8 Spenser books, many years ago but got a bit bored with them. Have you tried Chandler? He's the master!
Yes, I'm very fortunate, that I can listen to audiobooks, on the job! I finished Jon Stewart's Earth today. It was brief but fun. Next up is the Craig Ferguson memoir, which everyone here seems to love.
BTW- I loved The Help and the audio was excellent!
I'm always looking for good audio books -- I'll look at my library for The Help! Ferguson is on my wishlist already.
Thank you for asking. Things are progressing, or standing still, depending on how you look at it.
David, the husband, has not changed his mind but is moving very slowly to take the next steps so nothing is settled or signed yet and no plans for moving forward can be made.
Alison, the wife, is growing stronger emotionally as time passes.
Christmas is going to be rough, but even the boys are starting to get "used to" the fact that dad isn't here any more.
The anger and bitterness and seeing hostility in everything is what is driving me nuts. David has taken every attempt my husband has made to reach out to his brother as an act of hostility and thrown out the comment that others have suggested David get a restraining order against him. I ache for Alison and the kids, but if you start messing with my husband I take it very very personally.
So, it's all still a bit of a mess, but we are coping and growing stronger and closer.
I have actually gotten a little reading done this past week, my form of escape. I'm spending weekdays with Alison and the boys and this isn't really a reading house, so they find me an oddity as I sit through the noisy chaos and read along. I figure I'm setting an example :-)
Laura, you definitely are an example, and having a still point in a chaos of emotions must be satisfying to them on some level even if you were simply twiddling your thumbs.
Thank you :-)
I am developing a new appreciation for the benefit of just being there for someone, even though I can't do a whole lot to help or fix anything.
Wishing peace for you and your family. I'm sure your sister-in-law is glad to have you there for them.
#119 I am developing a new appreciation for the benefit of just being there for someone, even though I can't do a whole lot to help or fix anything.
Laura, I think that is so true.
Hopefully, you'll all gain a better understanding of what is going on with your brother-in-law soon.
Nothing to add Laura other than to say I continue to hold you and yours in my prayers.
Thank you everyone.
I found out that I won the latest Charles Todd book in last month's ER, so I raced to the library website and put the next 2 books on hold (I was reading through them and then put myself on a Charles Todd diet so I wouldn't read them all in 1 month. Now I'm behind :-)
This past week I have read A Long Shadow and A False Mirror. I liked both of them. In some ways, it feels like the character development is moving at a snail's pace, but always building toward something. The actual mysteries sometimes seem way more complex and even contrived than necessary, but they keep me reading to find out what really happened. And I really root for Inspector Rutledge to succeed in bringing justice and understanding to the events, even in the face of his enemies who want him to fail.
I have a few more to work through before I'm caught up to the ER book. And I'm finding that these are quick reads and good books to get lost in once in awhile during this weird time.
#123: I'm finding that these are quick reads and good books to get lost in once in awhile during this weird time.
I am glad you have found some books that are helping you muddle through right now, Laura.
165. A Long Shadow by Charles Todd
Inspector Rutledge investigates an attack on a policeman in a small village, that leads to investigating a missing person's case from 3 years earlier that leads to a body from a murder a few decades ago. Lots of small town issues as it's hard to get away from people you don't like in a small town.
166. A False Mirror by Charles Todd
A love triangle, result of a young man's time in the war, is distracting to the police trying to investigate a brutal attack against one of the men. Rutledge does a lot of talking, driving, and asking questions trying to figure it out, while everyone's patience is wearing thin over situations they created themselves.
167. Time to Hunt by Stephen Hunter.
Third of the Bob Lee Swagger books (first was Point of Impact, basis for the movie The Shooter). In this one we learn more about Bob's friend who died in Vietnam, Donny. I love these books and this was just as exciting as the other 2.
Time for another update.
I finished another Charles Todd. Still trying to catch up in the series so I can read the ER book I just won.
168. The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
I really love the Maisie Dobbs mysteries. It is funny to be ready two post-WWI series so close together, but they are also so different. And I read both for the character development.
169. A Pale Horse by Charles Todd
I like thee books and keep reading them, and I'm not entirely sure why. The mysteries are usually convoluted and seem more complicated than they need to be. But I enjoy seeing Inspector Rutledge interact with other people and Hamish.
I also hit the library today and got quite a nice haul.
So, for $3.75 I got
Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton
Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
Killing Floor by Lee Child
Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child
Without Fail by Lee Child
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin
Oliver Twist by Dickens
Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
Fatal Remedies by Donna Leon
Everyone of them fits in the categories I've picked for 2011 (which probably means I did a good job of being broad in my category picking). But I am supposed to be reading the books I already have! Oh well, I am well stocked for the word wide book famine when it hits.
That is a nice haul from the library, Laura! Congrats.
Stocking up for the WWBF is imperative.
Hi, Laura. I did a double take when I saw you got all those books for $3.75! No way can you feel bad about that. They were obviously begging to go home with you!
Edited to remove one too many exclamation points!
Yeah - I love the fact that our library has a permanent for-sale section, usually donations from others, but also some they are removing from the shelves. In fact, I've had a few library books that I returned to the library and then found on the sale table within a few days.
Paperbacks for a quarter are such a steal, it leads me to bring home more books than I need (although need is a hard word to apply to book buying).
Well done! I love LeGuin.
We charge about the same thing -- although it is a dollar for a hardcover. I'm nominally in charge of it because the library director usually wants me to go through the boxes that come in to see what should immediately go to the recycle shed, what can go on the sale table, and what we might want to keep. I have found some GREAT STUFF that way.
Yep, $1 for hardcover, 50 cent for larger paperbacks. That would be a fun job to have. Lots of stuff to go through, but the possibilities for real cool finds!
Wow, I wish we had library book sales here. I feel thrilled when I find books in charity shops for £2/$3. Goodness knows how many I'd have to buy if they were $1 each!
That kind of remark makes me feel so much better about the # of books I've brought home from the library sale table this year.
That's one of the reasons I hang out on LT, friends around the house don't get it. But to all of you it's perfectly normal behavior :-)
My local library does not have a permanent sale table and it is probably just as well. I would be bankrupt I am sure :)
Stasia - that is one reason I am glad I don't go by the library more often. It is a rare visit that I don't walk out owning at least one more book.
170. A Matter of Justice by Charles Todd
The murder victim in this one was a very bad man who had plenty of enemies, but most of them didn't think he was worth hanging for. So, who did murder him? And why put him in the angel's wings contraption from the Christmas play? Lots of driving (I don't remember the first several books of this series having him drive back and forth so much) and casting about for the right suspect. It all comes out in the end.
171. The Red Door by Charles Todd
I liked the family in this one, and it was an interesting study in how a domineering father and a son who wants to please but really is not suited for the father's plans can lead to so much tragedy for so many people. It's easy to say someone should be stronger and just stand up to the man, but it's harder to do. The rest of the family understood but they didn't really help in their efforts.
The real question is will Ian and Meredith Channing move forward?
172. The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul
We've owned this for years but I haven't read it until now. Tim Challies has done a group read over the past 11 weeks and it has been very timely. War and Peace with a Holy God was a chapter I read during the first weeks after my brother-in-law left his family. Good food for thought there.
Now - I'm all caught up with Charles Todd so I can move on to the ER book I won in Nov.
Plus I have started I'm Perfect, You're Doomed for a TIOLI read.
And I need to get further along in my read of The Count of Monte Cristo for my book club in January (not until the 16th, thank goodness, so time to get caught up).
And I want to get back to Middlemarch because I was enjoying it!
I'm really counting on a quiet week after Christmas :-)
I hope you enjoy The Count of Monte Cristo, Laura. I found it to be a long book that does not really read like a long book, if you know what I mean.
Laura, continuing to keep you and your family in my prayers. As you say, sometimes all you can do to help is just be there for someone.
The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favourites and I reread it earlier this year - hope you enjoy it!
Thank you both.
I have read the Count twice, but it's been at least 10 or 12 years and I discovered the tiny little white print on my old copy that said abridged. I now have a full version and the first few chapters did still read quickly. We gave ourselves two months to read it, but with Christmas in there the time has seemed very short for all of us. I keep putting it off saying I need some dedicated time to get to it, but I'm not sure I'll ever get that.
173. A Lonely Death by Charles Todd
ER from LT, this is 13th in the series. I do enjoy them, although I find the mysteries a bit complex and then convenient at the end. I like the history and the character development. This one was just as good as the others.
174. Fresh Faith by Jim Cymbala
This was a book David had sitting around his house. I ran across it the week I was here after David walked out. I wish he had read it. Great words on what faith is and why we need it and why we should be active to keep from losing it.
The Cymbala book looks like a good one. Thanks for the recommendation, Laura.
Merry Christmas Laura. Hope you manage to have some restorative time after everything you and your family have been through in recent months.
Heather - thank you for the kind wishes. It has been a good season of celebration and recuperation.
Caroline- thank you - it has been Merry! I hope you have also had a Merry one in spite of our f-i-law's issues.
Stasia - thank you, as always! Wish you could have enjoyed the snow we saw fall today while visiting family.
Mark - Happy Holidays to you. I hope you had a great Christmas day as well, and the next few days off to visit with your daughter.
Pat - I am indeed, I hope you are as well. Thank you so much for stopping by. I have Crossing to Safety on my desk now and I'm looking forward to meeting this new-to-me author through the book and vicariously through your course next year.
Merry Christmas, Laura. May it be a season of peace on earth, good will toward men for you and your family.
Thank you Roni - I wish the same for you and your family.
We could use some peace, but we are working on perseverance right now.
175. I finished I'm Perfect, You're Doomed by Kyria Abrahams
This was one I saw on the TIOLI thread. It sounded really funny and somewhat educational as well, to see life from a Jehovah's Witness perspective. It was funny, but also sad to see struggles she had with physical (hypoglycemia) and psychological (OCD) issues that are too often misunderstood or ignored anyway, but then exacerbated by the legalism of the JW religion (and I think all religions have plenty of room for legalism).
She did a good job of showing how shallow her assumptions about non-believers were based on what she had been told and no other direct experience and then her enlightenment when she got some experience that showed her assumptions were wrong. Also some good differentiation between legalism and real faith.
#149: I think I saw someone else in the group review that one recently too, Laura. I will have to hope my local library gets a copy soon. Thanks for the reminder!
Just stopping by to catch up, Laura! I own a Todd but haven't read it ----- and my craving for mysteries is less and less. That's bad since I've stockpiled so many.
Happy New Year to you and your family!
I think we definitely go through phases - and I can't even begin to speculate what causes any of that. But I have picked mysteries back up this past year after several years of avoiding them. I'm glad I'm interested in them again, but I didn't miss them for years.
At one point I was big into fantasy and scifi. But this year I've been very picky about which ones I would even read and didn't like all of them. Just more evidence that we humans are weird.
All of that to say, maybe you should hold on to our stockpile for when the attraction comes back. Although, I have to admit I have scored at the library this past year picking up used books others have obviously decided they didn't want any more.
I wish our library kept a table for sale, but it doesn't. I am letting my cozies go, or would if I hadn't moved a bunch of them to the attic where my annotating system broke down long ago. Alas.
Time to summarize - nothing will get finished before midnight.
December was a better reading month than November, even with all the family visiting and party attending that we did.
all 7 were mysteries - Charles Todd or Jacqueline Winspear
Next year's thread!!
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.