LauraNav Starting 2011

Talk75 Books Challenge for 2011

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LauraNav Starting 2011

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Edited: Dec 15, 2010, 6:19 pm

Gearing up for 2011.
I did start a thread in the 11 in 11 group to capture some categories and organize myself.

I love new beginnings and plans for a new year. And here's where I'll show how the plans and the reality diverge :-)

Here is my intro message.

Dec 15, 2010, 6:22 pm

drive-by hug

Dec 15, 2010, 6:37 pm

Laura, nice to see you again. I hope to get to know you better this year.

Dec 15, 2010, 8:00 pm

Welcome back!

Dec 16, 2010, 2:15 am

Glad to see you back again, Laura!

Dec 16, 2010, 1:52 pm

Got you starred.

Dec 31, 2010, 11:08 am

All ready to follow your reading in 2011!

Jan 1, 2011, 10:52 am

Found you, Happy New Year.

Jan 1, 2011, 4:42 pm

Happy New Year, Laura! I'm looking forward to sharing this year's reading with you.

Jan 1, 2011, 4:44 pm

Found you Laura, Happy New Year!

Edited: Jan 24, 2011, 11:31 am

Thanks for dropping in.

1. Late, Late at Night by Rick Springfleld
Acquired: library book
Why I read it now: just published and available

First book of the year finished. My mom knows I don't watch tv so she called me up a month ago and said "Rick Springfield was on (some show she was watching) and he has an autobiography coming out. I know you'll want to read it." Ah, she remembers all the records, the posters on the wall, he was even a major character in the book I had to write for English class. I immediately put a hold on it at the library and it came in during the holidays.

He didn't have a co-writer, I feel I know exactly how he talks now, mixed up tenses, incomplete sentences, 4-letter words and all. But it works. He is funny and covers all the things his fans want to hear about, while also including all the obscure years when we didn't even know who he was or we thought he had dropped off the face of the earth. He spends a lot of time describing his Depression that he has suffered from since childhood, including the pain and the effort to treat it and learn to live with it. He also had a lot of sex. I was a pretty innocent and naive fan so I had no clue and I'm not entirely sure I ever needed to know about it (all of it). But it is part of his story.

The most surprising part was when he gave his birth date. Somehow, while I was a fan (not a rabid fan, just content to spend money on every record he made) I was sure he was maybe 8 or 9 years older than me. Quite a shock to realize he is actually 20 years older than me (just a little over 10 years younger than my dad). I'm glad I didn't know that (or conveniently ignored it) when I was a teenager. It's must easier to digest now :-)

A good book if you were a Rick Springfield fan any time over the past 25 years. A good book for some budding musician is struggling with making a living in the profession and/or suffering from Depression. Otherwise, probably shouldn't be on your radar unless you need one to fill some Memoir/Biography challenge.

Jan 2, 2011, 3:36 pm

I liked your review, Laura. I remember Rick Springfield because of Jessie's Girl and his stint on General Hospital. Sounds like a more interesting book than I would have thought.

Jan 2, 2011, 9:38 pm

Hi Pat, it was more interesting that it could be. Not earth shaking, of course. But there was more to it than I expected. He's pretty honest about what his life has been like, and the many times he's repeated the same mistakes. But we also root for him and it's good to see he overcomes some things.

Jan 2, 2011, 9:46 pm

Hi Laura, I also meant to tell you that I finished A Guide to the Birds of East Africa the other day and loved it. It was a great book to end the year with.

Jan 2, 2011, 9:49 pm

Hi Laura. I'll be sure to follow your thread in 2011.

Jan 3, 2011, 1:14 am

I think I will skip the Rick Springfield book myself, but I am glad you enjoyed it, Laura!

Jan 3, 2011, 10:40 am

Checking in for 2011! And congrats on finishing book number 1 already...

Edited: Jan 24, 2011, 11:32 am

Taking part in a read-a-thon today and tomorrow!

Read-a-thon started at 3pm ET
I started at 4:15 ET
Read 2 hours
Total pages 91

I finished book 2.
2. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
Acquired: library book
Why I read it now: Pat (phebj) recommended it as a starting place for Stegner, hold at the library came in

I first heard about Wallace Stegner on Pat (phebj)'s thread. The general recommendation was to start with Crossing to Safety so I put an immediate hold on it at the library. I finished up other things for 2010 and then started in on this one for 2011. Very interesting story of 2 couples and their friendship over almost 40 years. I love his writing and the observations he has the two couples make about each other. It's written in first person, which I often don't like, but it works well for this book. I'll look for more Stegner this year.

Jan 3, 2011, 6:12 pm

Laura, I'm so glad you liked Crossing to Safety. I'm hoping to like Big Rock Candy Mountain when I read it for my class. Because I thought Angle of Repose was slow going, I probably wouldn't recommend it but alot of other LTers loved it so it may just be me. Anyway, hope you continue to enjoy reading Stegner.

Jan 3, 2011, 7:07 pm

*sigh* Finished a book already... Happy reading so far, Laura? I've nearly finished my first book, then I have to choose what to read next... Always the hardest part, 24 hours to read, so many books to choose between!

Jan 3, 2011, 7:21 pm

Congratulations, Laura, on having completed two books already! I'm also glad you enjoyed *Crossing* --- and I have to confess that I thought the Springfield singer's name was Bruce......... (I'm only half teasing)

Jan 3, 2011, 7:23 pm

Congratulations on reading two books already this year.

Jan 3, 2011, 10:31 pm

Haha Peggy - that's funny. I ended up marrying a man who was/is a big fan of Bruce Springsteen, so I have had to slowly overcome my (surely it was legitimate) dislike of Bruce :-)

I put in one more hour for the read-a-thon and made it another 74 pages into The Count of Monte Cristo. Book club meets 1/16 so I need to keep plugging away at it. (This is a 3rd or 4th reread for me. The others in the club have already finished it and loved it, so I feel vindicated in recommending it, and competent for a discussion of it even if I don't quite finish.)

Jan 3, 2011, 10:34 pm

This is the second positive review I've read of the Springfield book on LT. I think if I see it at the library I'll give it a try. I like celebrity memoir sometimes as a palate cleanser.

Jan 3, 2011, 11:11 pm

Congrats Laura! Glad to hear TCoMC holds up to re-reading, I kept hold of it in the hopes that someday in the future I'll get even more from it the second time around. Not that I didn't love it the first time around, but in a book that size I'm sure to have missed things too...

Edited: Jan 4, 2011, 2:33 pm

Stealing this as it is a good list of books to look for this year:

List of the 75 Book Challengers' favorite books from 2010:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
84, Charing Cross Road
My Reading Life - definitely want to read this one!
On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery
Packing for Mars - this sounded interesting too
The Devil in the White City
Mountains Beyond Mountains

Bury Your Dead
Harry Potter (series)
Middlemarch - exactly 1/2 way through!
Fingersmith - sounded good
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - sounded good
Wolf Hall
Cutting for Stone
The Lacuna
The Imperfectionists
Doomsday Book
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The Graveyard Book
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Help - in process, hope to finish for Orange January
Matterhorn - really sounds good
The Picture of Dorian Gray (not in 2010, but a few years ago)
Shades of Grey
The Siege
The Uncommon Reader
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Strikethrough indicates I've read it. I have read a lot of books this year I wouldn't have even have heard of without this group on LT!

Jan 5, 2011, 8:55 am

Glad to see Stegner has found another fan! I loved Crossing to Safety when I read it last year.

Jan 9, 2011, 8:09 am

Ambling through -- your reading list is really moving along!

Edited: Jan 24, 2011, 11:33 am

I finally finished another book!!!

3. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Why I read it now: Book club meets this month!

I ended up reading the version on which seems to be unabridged or at least much less abridged than all the copies I found at B&N.
Everyone else in book club read an abridged version so discussion this Sunday should be interesting to see what I read that they didn't. I still love this story, it is an easy and interesting read, even the longer version.

Edited: Jan 24, 2011, 11:34 am

#4. Aunt Dimity Digs In - Nancy Atherton
Acquired: $1 from library sale table
Why I read it now: easy fun read after Dumas

I wanted a quick accomplishment after spending weeks on The Count of Monte Cristo. I had seen this being recommended on a few threats late 2010 and finally realized it was NOT the Agatha Raisin books that I am avoiding.
I picked on up on the sale table at the library so I started with #4. Just 3 pages in I realized I have read one or two from the series before and do enjoy them. Sadly, the library does not have #1 in print (it does have it in audio) or many of the other books in this series. I will just have to get creative.

In this installment, an archeologist comes to Finch and rumors and gossip abounds. It seems he's taken over the school building and won't vacate in time for the Harvest Festival in a few weeks. This has Peggy Kitchen on the war path. Her arch enemy, Sally Pyne, jumps in to oppose her and says the archeologist is going to build a museum right here in Finch! Our heroine, 4 weeks after giving birth to twins, is a bit overwhelmed but she does get involved and realizes she likes the village better because she is involved.
I figured out who-dunnit but it was fun to read and I do enjoy the writing and how she transitions chapters.

Jan 13, 2011, 9:11 pm

Laura, you're giving me encouragement to read The Count of Monte Cristo. The sheer size of it has been holding me back. Let us know what your book group thinks.

Jan 14, 2011, 2:40 am

#29: Congratulations on finishing The Count, Laura!

Jan 14, 2011, 12:15 pm

Pat, I'll let you know how the discussion goes.
So far, I have had 3 people (who don't always finish the book each month) come up to me to specifically say they really enjoyed it and didn't feel it was that long because it read so easily.

Edited: Jan 24, 2011, 11:34 am

Finished another book today. I got my hands on a hard copy of The Help so I am entering it again (I just never did finish that audio book I started back in Oct). But I had to interrupt The Help for another dip into 80's rock star memories.

5. Between a Heart and a Rock Place by Pat Benatar
Acquired: library book
Why I read it now: Orson Scott Card recommended it a few months ago and I wanted to compare it to Rick Springfield

A bit shorter, many fewer 4-letter words, no groupies - quite a bit different in some respects from the Rick Springfield autiobiography. But in other ways, much alike - the time period, the need to be performing and writing music, the desire to stretch the talent, find new sounds, and balance studio time, touring, and family.
She has some good perspectives on the sexist issues and even harassment she ran into in the industry. And it was quite interesting to see what she did as her career continued after I entered college and quit frequenting the mall and radio stores.

Jan 17, 2011, 1:28 pm

Everyone at book club (all 4 of us) really loved The Count of Monte Cristo. After comparing some details we also decided the unabridged version (I assume it is) on gutenberg was worth it, even if only for the funny chapters where Major Cavalcanti and his son Andrea are introduced. As always, an abridged copy leaves a few details out and some facts or characters seem to appear rather abruptly.

Jan 17, 2011, 4:48 pm

#35 Thanks, Laura. That's good to know. I have to check but I think one of my local libraries is doing a group read of The Count of Monte Cristo soon. Hopefully, the timing will work out.

Also, just wanted to let you know I've started Stegner's The Big Rock Candy Mountain and so far I'm loving it so I may have another Stegner to recommend to you soon.

Jan 17, 2011, 6:05 pm

Oooh, looking forward to your comments about The Big Rock Candy Mountain. I'm glad it seems good so far.

Jan 17, 2011, 6:08 pm

Hi Laura

I read the first Aunt Dimity book a few months ago..It was delightful.

Jan 18, 2011, 4:20 am

Looks like a nice start to your year! Missed the contributing to favs bit. My fav reads of 2010 aren't there, but that's no big surprise!!

Happy New Year xoxo

Jan 18, 2011, 9:20 am

Linda - thanks for dropping by. It may have been on your thread that I was seeing all the love for Aunt Dimity that prompted me to pick up #4 from the library sale table.

Susan - you are back! Yeah, your reads are a little out of the mainstream given your location and methods of acquiring books. I love your thread because it mentions authors I don't run into often.

Jan 23, 2011, 9:11 am

I'm rather behind but congratulations for finishing The Count! It is rather a tome...

Jan 24, 2011, 11:40 am

Finished 2 more books.

6. Persuasion by Jane Austen
Acquired: free on Nook
Why I read it now: traveled with no physical book so perfect opportunity to finish it. Started it because not an Austen I've read or seen the movie of.

I enjoyed this story. I remember hearing it mentioned in a few movies (one of which was The Lake House). When I downloaded the free Austen novels back in Dec I picked this one to start with. I love her descriptions of characters and shared Anne's opinions about her sisters and father and the Musgroves. Quite happy with the ending as well. Recommended!

7. Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo
Acquired: loan from sister-in-law
Why I read it now: Was at sister-in-laws

She handed this to me saying she had enjoyed it and I could probably finish it before we left to go home. (I love a relative who understands I like to read during the down times of a visit.) I didn't find it very deep or even very funny and wouldn't have bothered beyond the first chapter or 2 if I had picked it up on my own (which I probably wouldn't have done.)
It's about a road trip the "author" takes with some spiritual guru his flaky sister is seeing. It's hard to find (positive) words to describe the rest, but there are no surprises. Not recommended.

Goal this week - get some time to finish The Help which I am loving. I just need more than 10 minutes at a time with it.

Jan 26, 2011, 9:18 pm

8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Acquired: loan from friend, started as an audio book from library
Why I read it now: Orange January and because my friend got it for Christmas and loaned it to just now

I really liked this book. I enjoyed the first several chapters I heard on the audiobook back in October, before life got in the way and I quit listening to it. The audio book was amazing with 3 actresses doing the different chapters from Aibileen, Minny, and Miss Skeeter.
The stories were so great, and I liked that we saw and understood the white perspective even though it was so obviously wrong in the way blacks were treated and even perceived.
There were parts that were laugh out loud funny and a few that brought tears. My top read of the year so far!

Jan 26, 2011, 11:17 pm

Glad you liked The Help, Laura. I've got it sitting on the shelf behind me waiting to be read.

Jan 27, 2011, 1:03 pm

9. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Acquired: library book
Why I read it now: Pat (phebj) recommended it, as had several others over the past months

What a fun book. Part of the story told in pictures and part in words. And a great story as well. I enjoyed this book. I admit the size of it when I first picked it up at the library was surprising.

Jan 27, 2011, 1:30 pm

Yay! So happy you liked Hugo. I also thought the size was pretty intimidating but then because it's such a fast read, you get a real sense of accomplishment!

Jan 28, 2011, 11:06 am

10. Dirty White Boys by Stephen Hunter
Acquired: bought from library sale table for a quarter on Wednesday
Why I read it now: because I'm giving it to my uncle tomorrow for his collection and this way I don't have to borrow it back

Typical Stephen Hunter. I really enjoy his Bob Lee Swagger sniper novels and this is the pre-story to another character in Black Light.
Just well written! Tough stories, rough language, and violence, but a well told story of some bad guys and the cop trying to stop them.

Jan 28, 2011, 12:17 pm

Dirty White Boys was the first Stephen Hunter I read, from there I went on to discover his Bob Lee Swagger books - which I enjoy and my husband can't get enough of. He is a master at the thriller genre.

Jan 29, 2011, 1:20 am

#43: I really need to read that one!

#45: I am glad to see you enjoyed that one :)

Feb 1, 2011, 7:37 pm

11. Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
Acquired: read it at my aunt's house
Why I read it now: My aunt's husband recommended it

Interesting concepts about what actually makes us fat and what the theories were before the 1970's emphasis on cholesterol and reducing fat. I think a lot of the same evidence is covered in his book Good Calories, Bad Calories but I just started that one so I don't know what else is covers.

12. Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton
Acquired: Linda (whisper1) sent it to me since my library didn't have it
Why I read it now: Because I got it in the mail this week and because I was ill and it was a comfort read.

Loved it, of course. What a wonderful fun story. And I love the way she has with language. Some lines are just so well put! Recommended!

Feb 1, 2011, 7:40 pm

January summary:
Crossing to Safety - Wallace Stegner: Who is That?!?
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas: bookclub - Everyone stay together now
Aunt Dimity Digs In - Nancy Atherton: Oh Yay! Another Series!
Persuasion - Jane Austen: You Haven't Read that Yet?
Breakfast with Buddha - Roland Merullo: You Should Read This!
The Help - Kathryn Stockett: Something Orange
The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick: You Should Read This!
Dirty White Boys - Stephen Hunter: Something new by someone old
Aunt Dimity's Death - Nancy Atherton: Oh Yay! Another Series!

Late, Late at Night - Rick Springfield
Between a Heart and a Rock Place - Pat Benatar: Orson Scott Card recommended
Why We Get Fat - Gary Taubes: You Should Read This!

All but one were library books, loaned by friends, or free online copy. I did buy Aunt Dimity Digs In at the library for a quarter.
I recommend all of them except Breakfast with Buddha.

Feb 1, 2011, 7:44 pm

#51: Nice summary, Laura. Looks like you had a good reading month!

Feb 1, 2011, 10:01 pm

Looks like a good month, Laura. 2011 may just be an excellent reading year!

Feb 5, 2011, 7:17 pm

13. Aunt Dimity and the Duke - Nancy Atherton
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: I enjoyed the last one so much and sort of just moved on to this one.

I like how this book took place before Aunt Dimity's death, and we got to see how two other favorite characters met. A lot of fun.

14. Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: After enjoying The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the next recommended graphic novel was this one. Very different and very interesting way of presenting the story and all of the characters.

Feb 6, 2011, 2:38 am

#54: I loved the way that the characters were drawn in Asterios Polyp. The drawings reflected so much of the character without a word being said.

Feb 10, 2011, 6:18 pm

Stasia - I agree that was a fun thing to watch. The shapes for him and others, the font used for dialogue. A lot of fun

15. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: Finally checked it out
I have wanted to read this for awhile, because I've never read anything by Philip K. Dick, even with all my SF reading. And I had heard it was interesting.
Quite a strange and enjoyable book. The introduction to the edition I read helped prepare by explaining that Philip K. Dick was a master at taking disparate events and things and by the end turning it into a story. And he would toss of as small things that others would spend an entire book on. That is certainly true with Androids. This is also the inspiration for the movie Blade Runner which I now want to watch again.

I found myself thinking about things in this book. Sometimes wondering if I had found a plot hole, other times realizing he could have explored something a whole lot more it was so interesting
I wrote a summary for my reading journal and it sounds so weird, with so many things going on for such a short book. But it all works in the end.

Feb 10, 2011, 7:13 pm

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep has been on my radar recently. I keep seeing references to it. Your review makes me think I need to get it from the library and give it a try.

Feb 11, 2011, 2:52 am

Hi There

Your recent read of Aunt Dimity and the Duke prods me to continue on with the series.

Feb 11, 2011, 11:34 am

Pat - it is an interesting read. A bit on the ridiculous or odd side at times, but it really all does keep coming together toward the end. Some food for thought and a pretty fun read. Now I know why it is talked about so much all these years later.

Linda - I love that series and it was so good to get to start at the beginning. This is my new comfort series.

Feb 12, 2011, 9:13 pm

16. The Screwtape Letters
Acquired: I've owned it for at least 5 years
Why reading it now: We bought tickets to see the play in a month and I thought it would be good to have read it first (always risky, I know).

I love the format - a senior demon sending letters to his nephew who is the role of tempter for a young man just as WWII is starting. It is all one sided, so we just get hints what poor Wormwood has written. But his uncle Screwtape has plenty to say and lots of wisdom to impart to his nephew. Lewis does a good job of pointing out the follies of sin and the ways our perspective about time, God, sin, evil, suffering, etc. is so limited and so wrong in ways.

I think Lewis also does a good job of showing how cramped and limited the perspective of real evil is. He has Screwtape admit that Satan and all of the demons can not figure out what God is up to, and don't believe for a minute in His disinterested love of man.
I found food for thought in every chapter. It would almost make a good devotion book for a month (31 chapters). I started taking notes from the perspective of Screwtape (Our Father being Satan and The Enemy being God) but realized to use it as a devotional I needed to personalize the lessons so I changed the tone and terminology in my notes. Recommended!

Feb 13, 2011, 2:21 am

#60: I have not read that one for a lot of years. I need to re-read it. Thanks for the reminder, Laura.

Feb 13, 2011, 8:56 pm

I'm looking forward to reading The Screwtape Letters Laura. Hope you enjoy the play.

Feb 15, 2011, 10:32 am

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is somewhere in the TBR pile nearest my bed. I've been meaning to read it next for the last few months now...

I've read The Screwtape Letters a couple of times now and always seem to pick up something new. Hope you enjoy the play - I can't really imagine it as a stage production.

Feb 15, 2011, 10:39 am

Stasia - yes, worth a reread. I'm not surprised you've already read it. I couldn't believe it took me this long to read it.

Pat - I did a quick read with plans to do a slow re-read. I'm actually looking forward to how things sound different when stated by an actor (I remember that Hamlet was totally different when I watched it after reading it)

Heather - I agree, no idea how he is going to do this as a stage production, but it has gotten very positive remarks so we'll see. I'll report back in a month :-)

Edited: Mar 1, 2011, 7:13 pm

17. The 47th Samurai - Stephen Hunter
Acquired: $4 at Barnes & Noble
Why reading it now: I seem to read one Stephen Hunter a month and this was next in the series.

I love these books. This was another one in the Bob Lee Swagger series, set in Japan this time, with lots of sword fighting (which is not Bob Swagger's strong suit, but someone had to do it).

18. The Master of WhiteStorm - by Janny Wurts
Acquired: at the library for a quarter last year
Why reading it now: New to me author

I read a fair amount of fantasy and s/f but I had never even heard of Janny Wurts until last year here on LT. I picked this up at the library figuring it would prompt me to read something by her. It was a good book, but not a great book. It felt a bit like several small stories stuck together. And while we discovered more about the main character as we went along, I kind of wondered if the author figured it out at about the same time. The concepts were interesting and her characters were well done. So, I may read something else by her if the opportunity arises.

My uncle (who got me into Stephen Hunter) carried it with him when they left our house this weekend so I'll try to get his opinion soon.

And that wraps up February.

eta: rogue bold fixed! (that slash is important in html)

Mar 1, 2011, 7:16 pm

February wrap-up

Aunt Dimity and the Duke - Nancy Atherton: Oh Yay! Another Series! (library)
Aterios Polyp - David Mazzucchelli: You Need to Read This! (library)
Do androids dream of electric sheep? - Philip K. Dick: Mind Voyages (library)
Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery: Bookclub - Everyone Stay Together Now! (mine!)
The Screwtape Letters - C. S. Lewis: prep for play in March (own)
The 47th Samurai - Stephen Hunter: Next! (own)
Master of White Storm - Janny Wurts: Fantasy February GR; Who is That?!? (own)


Notice the glaring absence of any non-fiction. I have been working my way through The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges but have not made it all the way through that 158 page book yet :-)
I have also read 199 pages of War and Peace which should count as a book all in itself.

Mar 1, 2011, 11:28 pm

I am also a fan of Stephen Hunter. I started buying the Bob Lee Swagger series for my husband, but then I started reading them too. I have The 47th Samurai on my TBR shelves now.

Mar 4, 2011, 8:12 pm

19. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Acquired: loaned to me by a friend
Why reading it now: because my friend put it in my hands last Sunday and said to read it

Stories about atrocities in Africa and other parts of the world always get to me. I'm not doing enough, I'm not doing anything. This story was well told, covering some pretty dark stuff with enough humor and daily life to keep it from being overwhelming.

I hated the movie Memento because of the way it jumped around in time and kept working backwards. This book felt a lot the same way, made even more interesting with 2 narrators. But it worked well in this book. It gave us time to learn the stories of Sarah, an editor in London, and Little Bee, orphaned refugee from Nigeria. Recommended.

Mar 4, 2011, 8:13 pm

#67 - so glad to find another Stephen Hunter fan, and one who is a woman. Not sure if he thinks of us as his target audience, but I do enjoy them.

Mar 5, 2011, 12:34 pm

Have you read Dirty White Boys? It's very loosely connected to the Swagger family, but it's a non-stop thriller. I think it was the first Stephen Hunter I read, then I started actively looking for his books.

Mar 5, 2011, 8:18 pm

I read that one last month. I started with the first few Bob Swagger novels. Then found that one at the library for a quarter! It was the only one my uncle didn't have so I read it and passed it on.

Small piece of trivia - the last name of the bad guys (murder, rape, nasty stuff bad guys) in the Dirty White Boys and Black Light is Pye. Last month I did a re-read of Anne of Green Gables and the last name of the bad family (this is Montgomery bad, so they are tough to teach in school and say mean things about other people :-) is Pye.

Edited: Mar 5, 2011, 8:22 pm

Uh-oh looks like I had another senior moment! You read Dirty White Boys last month - and I commented about it then as well! My face is red.

Mar 5, 2011, 8:26 pm


That's ok, there's lots of threads and lots of books to keep up with.
And us Stephen Hunter fans enjoy sharing the thrill of his books!

Mar 5, 2011, 10:13 pm

20. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Acquired: $2.97 at Books a Million
Why reading it now: Bookclub this month.

I've never read this story, although I've heard of it all my life. Like my late discovery of Anne of Green Gables. This was a lovely book and it showed how laughter, other children for companionship, and fresh air can do wonders for orphans and sickly children. A fun read and I look forward to discussing it with the group in two weeks.

Mar 6, 2011, 8:59 am

21 When You Lose a Loved One by Charles L. Allen
Acquired: loan from a friend
Why reading it now: She picked it up a few months ago after her mother died. It's been 2.5 years since my father died, but I was still interested in what it said, as my friend found it very comforting.

It is actually a combination of a book by Charles L. Allen from 1959 and poems by Helen Steiner Rice from 1974. It is a gentle read that addresses topics like the fear of death, the sadness of no longer having someone you love, the joys of life in heaven, and the care God provides. Seemed appropriate for a Sunday morning.

Mar 6, 2011, 9:17 am

Hi Laura

I'm catching up on your thread this morning. I enjoyed your description of The Screwtape Letters. C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors.

You reading some great books!

Edited: Mar 21, 2011, 7:31 pm

Thanks for dropping by Linda - yes I am - it's been a good reading year so far.

Two more to add to the list:
22. Servanthood as Worship: The Privilege of the Local Church by Nate Palmer
Acquired: Cruciform monthly subscription
Why reading it now: Teaching Sunday School this month and it's on Worship
I am liking the short books coming out of Cruciform Press every month. Easy to read in many ways, but convicting and helpful. I have been in a funk and had a bad attitude about some aspects of my service lately and this book was a good antidote.

23. Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
Acquired: bLT Christmas Gift!!!
Why reading it now: The Guy Gavriel Kay group read here on LT!
This was a Christmas present and I worked hard to save it for the March Guy Gavriel Kay group read. It was as good as I expected it to be. What a pleasant few days of reading!

eta Acquired and Why reading it now notes

Mar 19, 2011, 7:14 pm

Also enjoyed your review of Screwtape - it's been years since I've read that, probably time for a re-read. I hope you enjoy the dramatised version too!

Edited: Mar 21, 2011, 7:30 pm

Me too - one week till the show.

24. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Acquired: library book
Why reading it now: Linda talked about what a wonderful story it was.
A wonderful book. Very good from the children's perspective, and how eagerly they want Sarah to like them and stay to be their new mom. And the adults are adults, being responsible and accepting the world they live in. Glad I finally read it.

eta Acquired and why reading now notes

Mar 21, 2011, 7:29 pm

25. Early Autumn by Robert B. Parker
Acquired: bought with coupon from B&N
Why reading it now: Comfort book, and it's Mystery March
My favorite Spenser book I think. I love who he is and what he does for the young boy/man Paul. Makes me think of my nephew too.

26. The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
Acquired: free audio book from Christian Audio in January and I've owned the paperback for years
Why reading it now: Started in January with the free audio book
I took copious notes and took my time reading it to really think about it. Much of is was quite timely, of course. But I think it always will be. On my list to re-read every year or so.

Mar 21, 2011, 7:45 pm

Fixing my numbers, it was finished after book 15 in Feb but I skipped getting it onto the list.
27. Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery
Acquired: bought the entire set a few years ago
Why reading it now: Book club reading classics
The book club read (and enjoyed) the Count of Monte Cristo for me, so I figured it was fair to follow it with an easy and fun read. Everyone, of course, loved Anne and most are continuing on with the series.

We just finished discussing The Secret Garden, one I had never read. Next up is Pride and Prejudice (which conveniently fits in with the Austenathon this month) and then Jane Eyre.

Mar 21, 2011, 8:48 pm

Hi, Laura! I just have to second your nomination of Early Autumn as the best Spenser book. It's my favorite too! And I guess that The Screwtape Letters is my favorite Lewis - at least, it was my first.

Mar 26, 2011, 7:09 pm

I like Spenser, and find I enjoy Hawk even more. But the story of Early Autumn and what it reveals about Spenser and even Susan in great. I have a nephew who is in a better home situation but still needs some of those life lessons.

Anyway - a bit more reading this week.

28. The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
Acquired: Library book
Why reading it now: I keep seeing it mentioned here on LT and finally decided to give it a try.
What a fun book! Hoping to read book 2 soon.

29. Running the books by Avi Steinberg
Acquired: Library
Why reading it now: My reserve at the library finally came in.
Interesting read as he recounts his 2 years as a prison librarian in Boston. Sad that there isn't much positive to report on those who get out. It's a memoir so he shares his own life some (but not too much). I like the short ventures into deeper philosophy - enough to show he is aware and make us aware, but then leaves us to our own meditation on it. He isn't proposing answers, but he does a good job of exposing the issues and questions.

Mar 26, 2011, 7:13 pm

Hi, Laura. Your thread just popped to the top when I came over here, so naturally I came on over. Running the Books sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

Mar 27, 2011, 2:46 am

As usual you are reading some really interesting books. I am saving Under Heaven to read when I need a good epic story to carry me away, I trust GG Kay to do that. I also want to read Sarah, Plain and Tall. Of course, as a good Canadian, Anne of Green Gables is one of my all time favorites!

Mar 28, 2011, 8:58 pm

30. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
Acquired: $0.25 at the library sale table
Why reading it now: The friend who introduced me to Faking It mentioned she was reading it so I pulled it off the shelf.

Raciest thing I read, but so funny and I like the characters. I laugh out loud and I want it to end well for the good guys.

Mar 28, 2011, 9:08 pm

31. The Organized Heart by Staci Eastin
Acquired: Cruciform Press subscription
Why reading it now: Wanted something short and knew it would be good.

A good book, short and easy to read, but convicting. As the Cruciform Press books tend to be. She explains that disorganization is usually not due to lack of knowledge or skill or our upbringing. All the self-help how to be organized books in the world won't really solve our problem. Instead, it's an issue of the heart and our broken beliefs, it's sin.
She then discusses the 4 main areas of this idolatry, like perfectionism, busyness, possessions, and leisure. She did a good job because while none of them are an obvious problem for me, I was convicted in every single area. This was a good follow-up to The Pursuit of Holiness in fact.

Mar 28, 2011, 9:16 pm

We saw The Screwtape Letters yesterday afternoon. Very well done.
In some ways, it really is just Max Maclean on stage reciting some of the letters. But the secretary Toadpipe adds some visual aid to it. And it really works.

As Max mentioned after the play, the auidobook is 6 hours long and the play is only 90 minutes, so obviously they left out a lot. But they included a lot too. We see the entire arc of the man from unbeliever to nominal to devout. And we see the cool, confident Screwtape lose it as the battle is lost.

It doesn't replace the book (what ever could) but it was a bit like Hamlet. Well, really, I understood The Screwtape Letters, and as a student in high school I really didn't understand most of Hamlet, so maybe it isn't that much like it. But, where I was going with that - watching Hamlet performed with inflections, gestures, facial expressions, the timing of dialogue - I remember watching the play and realizing that was not the same thing I had read. It was wonderful and I appreciate theater because of it.

So, watching Max Maclean give gestures, and tones of voice, and inflections to Screwtape just made it all richer.

Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 9:41 pm

March Wrap-up

1. Little Bee - Chris Cleave: You Should Read This - Myron rec'd (loan)
2. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett: You Haven't Read That Yet?!? bookclub ($3 Books a Million)
3. Under Heaven - Guy Gavriel Kay: Everyone Stay Together Now! Kay GR in March (Christmas gift)
4. Sarah, Plain and Tall - Patricia MacLachlan: You Haven't Read That Yet?!? (library)
5. Early Autumn - Robert B. Parker: Read it to me again! (my favorite Spenser)
6. The Mysterious Howling - Maryrose Wood: Yay, Another Series! (library)
7. Welcome to Temptation - Jennifer Crusie: Next! (library)
8. Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon - Donna Andrews: Next! ($1 at library sale)

1. When You Lose a Loved One - Charles L. Allen: You Should Read This -rec'd by Edie (borrowed)
2. Servanthood as Worship - Nate Palmer: Cruciform subscription (bought)
3. The Pursuit of Holiness - Jerry Bridges: Read it to me again! (own)
4. Running the Books - Avi Steinberg: You Should Read This! rec'd by a few folks on LT (library)
5. The Organized Heart - Staci Eastin: Cruciform subscription

Much better in the non-fiction area this month! Mostly short books, but good books.
Also managed to throw a 40th b'day party for my husband. He gets wine and Starbucks giftcards. I get B&N giftcards. Our friends and family know us well.

etc: Crouching Buzzard, knew I was missing a book.

Apr 5, 2011, 2:36 am

Not trying to catch up with all the posts I have missed, Laura, but rather just checking in.

Looks like March was a good reading month for you!

Apr 5, 2011, 5:35 am

Hey Laura, Thanks for the nice comment about my reads :)

I loved Screwtape but my husband hated it! takes all kinds I guess...

Thanks for the reminder on atherton. must see if my library carries her.

blessings and hapy reading (Isn't Bridges' book just the best? I really appreciated your blogs about it)

Apr 5, 2011, 8:40 am

Stasia - no worries about catching up. Glad you are here and really appreciate you dropping by.
Yes, March was a good reading month.

Susan - as always, glad you stopped to comment. I agree, opinions seem to differ on Screwtape as all other books and it definitely takes all kinds.
Hope your library has the Atherton books. Nice comfort reads.
Yes, Bridges' book is the best. I'm glad at least one other person was reading my blogs as I traveled through it. It helps me think through something that deep and convicting and helpful.

Apr 5, 2011, 11:19 am

Glad to hear you enjoyed the Screwtape play Laura.

Apr 5, 2011, 1:23 pm

Laura, I'm envious that you got to see a production of *Screwtape* but glad that you enjoyed it!

Apr 9, 2011, 4:05 pm

32. Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon - Donna Andrews
Acquired: $1 at the library sale table
Why reading it now: Next in the series, wanted something light and easy to finish March with

Another funny entry in the series.

33. Jesus: The Only Way to God
Acquired: free download in March from
Why reading it now: Usually have an audio book going in the mornings.

Typical John Piper evaluation of why the gospel is important, all if it, and where it comes from the Bible.

34. The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood
Acquired: library loan
Why reading it now: Wanted to see what came next

What a fun series. Now I have to wait for the next one.

35. The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing by Tarquin Hall
Acquired: library loan
Why reading it now: Work another author in my list of series

Another fun entry - I like seeing life in India through these books. Very funny and a good mystery!

Apr 9, 2011, 11:13 pm

I am fixing to start Crouching Buzzard this next week, Laura. I am glad to see you had a good time with it!

Apr 11, 2011, 7:54 am

I did enjoy it.

I read the first 3 fairly close together and then couldn't tell if my slightly lower opinion of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos was fatigue or the book itself. It has been a few months so it felt safe to dip back in, because the series is really very funny. And it worked, I did enjoy Crouching Buzzard.

Apr 11, 2011, 8:16 am

#97: I was the same way about Wrought Iron Flamingos, so I do not think it was just you, Laura.

Apr 22, 2011, 8:46 pm

36. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Loved it! Two years ago I finally read S&S and I saw both the Kiera Knightly and then the Colin Firth P&P movies. Now I have read P&P and enjoyed it immensely! Looking forward to discussing it with book club.

37. Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell
Recommended by Pat (phebj). Her review was spot on and I knew what I was getting into when I read it. Some heart-wrenching spots. It is a beautiful memoir of a friendship. I have a close friend, but nothing quite like Gail and Caroline had. Recommended.

Apr 22, 2011, 11:39 pm

Laura, I'm so glad you liked Let's Take the Long Way Home. Now I want to read some of Caroline Knapp's books.

I have never read Pride and Prejudice. I tried to read Sense and Sensibility for the Austenothon group read but didn't make it very far. Maybe I should try the movie first.

Apr 23, 2011, 8:57 pm

I think I enjoyed the book P&P more because I had seen the two movies. And I understand the concerns people have with the Kiera Knightly version but I did enjoy it as my first introduction to the story.
The Colin Firth version is wonderful!

Now, Hemingway - not sure I'm ready to tackle him yet. But you inspire me.

38. Leaving Maggie Hope by Anthony S. Abbott
The author teaches at a college right up the street. A friend recommended it to me (her recommendations come in the form of the book put in my hand :-) It is a coming of age story of a young boy (10-13 in the book) who is the son of alcoholics, and some messed up family. His mother dies of cancer (can't seem to get away from that this week). And I recognized the perfectionist tendencies of a child of alcoholics, that need for control and routine. I thought it was a well written story. Recommended.

Edited: May 1, 2011, 8:12 am

Time to catch up. Also read in April:
39. Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Acquired: B&N so I could then read #2
Why I read it now: Because my uncle loaned me #2 and said I should read them both
Interesting parody of Dante's Inferno, where a Sci Fi writer finds himself in the Vestibule of Hell with Benito Mussolini as a tour guide who insists he knows how to get out of Hell, by going all the way through it. Guarded.

40. Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: Kept hearing it mentioned here on LT.
I enjoyed it quite a bit. I like the format of letters and seeing her honest reactions to and appreciation of the benefits of school. Recommended

41 Dear Enemy by Jean Webster
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: Sounded like it was just as good so I just kept going.
It was a great story, again in the format of letters. A college friend takes over management of the orphan institution that our friend from Daddy Long Legs grew up in. Recommended too.

42. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: Keep hearing about it here on LT
I loved this book. It was really funny and moving and well told. I like Sophie and everyone else. Glad I read it. Recommended.

43. Escape from Hell
Acquired: Loaned from my uncle
Why I read it now: Came after Inferno and he did loan it to me a month ago.
A little easier to read thatn Inferno. Not sure if it's because they changed over 30 years when they came back to write the sequel or if I was used to the subjects, or if Sylvia Plath made a better foil to the sci fi writer than Benito Mussolini did. Still guardedly recommended.

eta a book I forgot to list

May 1, 2011, 8:10 am

April summary:

The Hidden Gallery - Maryrose Wood: Yay, Another Series! (library)
The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing - Tarquin Hall: Next! (library)
Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen: Austenathon - Everyone Stay Together Now! LT group read and Book Club (iBook)
Leaving Maggie Hope - Anthony Abbot: You Have to Read This; rec'd my Myron (loaned)
Inferno - Larry Niven: You Have to Read This; rec'd by Don (bought)
Daddy Long Legs - Jean Webster: You Have to Read This; rec'd on LT (library)
Dear Enemy - Jean Webster: You Have to Read This; rec'd on LT (library)
Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones: rec'd on LT (library)
Escape from Hell - Larry Niven: You Have to Read This; rec'd by Don (loaned)

Jesus: The Only Way to God; Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved: Christianaudio free download
Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship - Gail Caldwell: memoir; rec'd by Pat (phebj) (library)

May 1, 2011, 10:31 am

Hi Laura. You've been doing alot of reading. I had to chuckle at the description of Inferno. I've heard great things from other LTers about Daddy Long Legs and Howl's Moving Castle too so I hope to get to those sometime soon. Hope you're having a beautiful Spring weekend.

May 1, 2011, 3:17 pm

Nice summary Laura. Glad you enjoyed Howl's Moving Castle. You've reminded me that I've never read the sequel to Daddy Long Legs so I will look out for that one.

May 1, 2011, 7:14 pm

Looks like you've been a busy woman! Good for you!

May 18, 2011, 9:08 pm

May is slow going. I have Jane Eyre on the Kindle, Mansfield Park on the Nook (both actually on my iPhone using those reader programs) and War and Peace on the iBook reader app.

Plus I'm in the middle of The Next Story by Tim Challies and Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith.

But I have finished a few books so far this month.

44. Chance by Robert Parker
Acquired: for a quarter from the library sale table
Why I read it now: for May Murder and Mayhem. And I always love Spenser and Hawk. And I needed a quick victory while I am in the middle of all these other books
Satisfied! I do like Spenser and Hawk.

45. Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman
Acquired: library book
Why I read it now: Because the hold came in at the library and I had to finish it.
Powerful story of a regular woman and how she's struggled and seen God's work in her life. For those who don't know, she is the wife of the Christian singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman. A few years ago one of their sons hit their youngest adopted daughter and she died. This is her story of life up until that moment, and then what life has been like since that moment. She talks about her struggles with and diagnosis of depression, marriage struggles and joys, having babies, adopting more babies. And seeing God in all of it. Well done. Recommended.

The good news is there is nothing on the schedule for Saturday so I should finish Jane Eyre (for book club Sunday night, it is a reread) and finish Fair and Tender Ladies (since it is a loan from a friend for a few months now). At least, that's the plan.

May 19, 2011, 1:46 am

I will have to see if my local library has the Mary Beth Chapman book. I remember when the accident happened.

May 19, 2011, 8:08 pm

Since I very much like the music of Steven Curtis Chapman, I'm adding Choosing To SEE to the TBR pile. I can only imagine the anguish of the son and the entire family.

I found this on youtube.

May 20, 2011, 7:27 am

Nice - I had seen a video of them on Good Morning America or one of those morning shows sometime in the past 6 months, but not the Larry King show.
She had a co-writer help with the book, and I'm never sure just how much those contribute to some of these celebrity books. When I read the chapter of the accident I walked away saying she must have had the co-writer actually write that, it would have been way too hard and painful to do it herself. It was very well written and conveyed how it happened, how all their friends and family descended on the family to help and support and grieve with them. I just don't think I could have ever actually put it all together in a coherent chapter like that.

I really liked how she shows that she's a real person. She doesn't get morbidly introspective about her flaws, she just comes across as someone like me.

May 21, 2011, 3:43 pm

46. Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith
Acquired: loaned by a friend at church
Why I read it now: because my friend loaned it to me a month ago and I needed to get it finished!
I can't decide how I feel about this book. In some ways it was a good book. It's written in letters (a lot like the Daddy Long Legs but that was shorter and easier to get into, or more plot maybe) written by Ivy from the time she's a young girl until she dies as an old grandmother.
I saw one review that said she was selfish and didn't see how others helped her. But I never saw that. She was as self-centered as the next person but not selfish. In her letters she admits she doesn't see the truth of a situation until it's past and even then she sees it clearer if she writes it out in a letter.
I guess it works best if you have time to just keep dipping in to it and watch an entire life go by. I felt rushed maybe so I struggled. But in the past week I persevered and got caught up in more of the story. Or I got past the first 19 years which seemed to take so up so much of the book. I do recommend it.

May 21, 2011, 4:49 pm

47. \"But God..." the Two Words at the Heart of the Gospel by Casey Lute
Acquired: Cruciform Press subscription
Why I Read It Now: Had started it a week ago and knew it would be a quick read but also an encouraging read.
He touches on 9 instances of the phrase "But God..." or "But You..." in the Bible and how they should encourage us and teach us about the character of God. Well done.

May 21, 2011, 8:33 pm

48. Night of Thunder by Stephen Hunter
Acquired: borrowed from Uncle Don
Why I read it now: wanted something fun to read
Not even on my list of things I have in progress or need to read now, but I was looking for something I could curl up on the couch and just enjoy. What a fun ride. I do love the Bob Lee Swagger novels.

May 22, 2011, 1:55 am

#112: I will have to see if my local library has that one. Thanks for the recommendation, Laura!

May 28, 2011, 10:15 pm

Just popping in to wish a fellow May 29ther a great day tomorrow! Happy Birthday!

May 28, 2011, 10:18 pm

Hope you have a wonderful Birthday, Laura!

May 29, 2011, 4:16 am

Happy Birthday, Laura!

May 29, 2011, 11:44 am

Happy Birthday!

May 29, 2011, 1:46 pm

Happy Birthday, Laura! Hope you have a lovely day.

May 29, 2011, 2:04 pm

Have a great birthday, Laura!

May 29, 2011, 8:28 pm

Wow - thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes!!

May 31, 2011, 8:41 pm

49. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Acquired: used book store
Why I read it now: convinced local book club to read it
Everyone loved it and found it so easy to read. I love getting them to realize not all the "classics" are dry.

50. Parnassus on Wheels - Christopher Morley
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: saw some raves here on LT and thought I'd give it a try
What a wonderful book - much fun and I look forward to reading The Haunted Bookshop next

51. The Godwulf Manuscript - Robert B. Parker
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: just realized I had never read the very first Spenser novel.
Enjoyed it quite a bit, as I always do. Will slowly work my way forward now.

52. The Next Story - Tim Challies
Acquired: bought ebook on Amazon, free audio book on Christian audio in May; free hard cover in return for a review on my blog
Why I read it now: I had been looking forward to it being published, and then with 3 versions and one waiting for a review on my blog it seemed time to make it happen.
Very interesting view of how technology changes our lives. As he says, it is descriptive, not prescriptive. But he does give some great information and advice on how to think about technology in our lives.

53. The Last Centurion - John Ringo
Acquired: loaned by Uncle Don
Why I read it now: I have a stack of books that I really need to get back to Uncle Don. And I was ready for something new and interesting.
This was certainly interesting. Very conservative veiwpoint, but if you want a novelized version of how the conservatives see the liberals could bring about the ruin of the world, this is a fun read. The main character is in the army when a plague and a new ice age hit all at once. He details his experiences in the middle east (trying to get out and get home) and then at home. His experiences growing up on a major farm come in handy too. Told in a blog or podcast kind of format, so very informal. But the action keeps coming and I enjoyed it.

54. Midnight Riot - Ben Aaronovitch
Acquired: bought at B&N (library didn't have it)
Why I read it now: Everyone else on LT has read it and raved about it. :-)
What a hoot - I loved this book (I'm raving, yes)
A rookie cop in London accidentally interviews a ghost at a crime scene. It completely changes his career prospects and he gets drawn into all kinds of interesting things as he realizes magic is real. Very funny and very interesting plot. Can't wait for the next in the series.
Oh yeah - this is a great book, but don't pick it up all unawares that it is part of a series. This book is actually pretty complete by itself, not a terrible cliff hanger at the end. But you do want to see more so the next in the series will be very welcome.

55. Reclaiming Adoption - Dan Cruver
Acquired: Cruciform Press subscription service
Why I read it now: Wanted to finish one more book in May and these are always good (and short).
Convicting study of what adoption means for a Christian and how transformational it should be to us.

May 31, 2011, 8:44 pm

May roundup:
1. Chance - Robert B. Parker: Everyone Stay Together Now LT May Murder and Mayhem GR ($0.25 at library)
2. Fair and Tender Ladies - Lee Smith: You Have to Read This; rec'd my Myron (loaned)
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte: Everyone Stay Together Now bookclub
4. Night of Thunder - Stephen Hunter: Next! (borrowed from Don)
5. Parnassus on Wheels - Christopher Morley: You Have to Read This; rec'd on LT (library)
6. The Godwulf Manuscript - Robert B. Parker: Next! (library)
7. The Last Centurion - John Ringo: You Have to Read This; rec'd by Don (loaned)
8. Midnight Riot - Ben Aaronovitch: Oh Yay - a New Series

1. Choosing to See - Mary Beth Chapman: Bio (library)
2. But God... - Casey Lute: Cruciform Press
3. The Next Story - Tim Challies: blog review
4. Reclaiming Adoption - Dan Cruver (Cruciform Press)

Finishing in June - Mansfield Park for the Jane Austen group read.
Very interesting in bookclub comparing Jane Austen (we did S&S last year and P&P last month) to Charlotte Bronte. Bronte did not have nice things to say about Austen so that helped focus some of the discussion :-)

Jun 4, 2011, 5:20 pm

Really sorry I missed your birthday Laura. Hope you had a good day.

Glad you enjoyed Midnight Riot and your comment about ending up with three copies of the Challies book made me smile.

Jun 4, 2011, 11:57 pm

Another good review of Midnight Riot! I really am going to have to get hold of a copy!

I am glad to see that you enjoyed Parnassus on Wheels too, Laura.

Jun 13, 2011, 5:50 pm

56. Mortal Stakes by Robert B. Parker
Acquired Library loan
Why I read it now Revisiting Spenser mysteries. Always good.

57. First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain
Acquired Library loan
Why I read it now library finally had the book in the catalog when I checked.
I still think this series is about twice as long as it needs to be. I do enjoy most of the characters and the way the story is told without all the repeating of the same information or living through all the steps to get to the next major point. And I will get the next book and continue the series. But I'm still not convinced it needs to be this long.

58. The Jesus You Can't Ignore by John MacArthur
Acquired BookSneeze ER book (from last Sept)
Why I read it now finally another book coming on BookSneeze that I want. And it seemed similar to another book I was reading.
Not sure why I put this aside almost a year ago when I started it. The book struck me as good and important even then. But I just kept putting it aside. I'm glad I finally picked it back up and finished it. Some interesting points.

59. I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter
Acquired loan from Uncle Don
Why I read it now A week alone and other books clamoring for attention, so of course I picked this up and finished it in 2 days.
Awesome - as are all the Bob Lee Swagger novels. One more to go, and a new one coming in December!!
All worthy of rereads and I will do that over the years too. Fun stuff!

60. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Acquired free on the nook
Why I read it now part of the Austenathon here on LT
My first time reading it and I skimmed a bit at times. Some of the very things others said they liked I had issues with. So many characters and such obviously bad behavior and poor judgment. And Fanny always right thinking and polite and solicitous. I just wanted her to stand up and tell someone off (a little Jane Eyre I suppose, even the biting remarks of Lizzie Bennet would have been welcome). But the overall story was good and well told and people learned their lessons (of course.) Very glad I am reading through the entire Austen oeuvre this year.

Jun 14, 2011, 12:41 am

#126: I will have to check out the John MacArthur book. Thanks for the recommendation, Laura.

Jun 21, 2011, 7:22 pm

61. Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie
Acquired library sale table for a quarter
Why I read it now Looking for a quick and fun read
A tad too explicit in places, I do love the humor and banter and interactions in Jennifer Crusie's books. This was just as much fun.

62. Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers
Acquired Free ebook
Why I read it now Decided it was time to start this series.
First fiction by Sayers. Fun mystery and I look forward to more.

63. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Acquired bought used online
Why I read it now On my TBR stack
I heard about this from dovegreyreader. I was ready for some humor, as my ongoing read is the memoir by Donald Rumsfeld. This was a pleasure to read. Glad I finally got to it!

Jun 22, 2011, 10:29 am

Hi, Laura! I missed your birthday, but hope that the first month of your new year is going happily. At least, your reading life seems good!
I'm about to get into Cold Comfort Farm too, so I'm glad to have another positive response to urge me on.

Jun 22, 2011, 5:19 pm

Glad you enjoyed Cold Comfort Farm Laura. I read it a few years ago and liked it a lot. I have had the less well know Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons in my TBR pile for absolutely ages.

Jun 23, 2011, 8:34 pm

I will have to see if I can find a copy of Nightingale Wood.

64. Serenity: The Future is Worth Fighting For by Keith DeCandido
Acquired Library book
Why read it now bought the dvd of the Firefly Series and the movie Serenity and found out there were some books and graphic novels.
Very quick read - it's the novelization of the movie Serenity, which came after the series Firefly ended. I thought it was well written, capturing the characters, keeping the slang and speech patterns going, and conveyed the action well.

65. Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch
Acquired B&N with my last coupon
Why I read it now Just the one I picked up off the shelf next.
Not as good as the first book, but still good. My first impression was that I loved this one as much. Still some good lines and interesting developments. But in writing my notes I realized that there were more of the parts that I didn't care for as much than I remembered. I will still read the third one as soon as it comes out. I do enjoy the characters and the stories.

66. Serenity: Those Left Behind - Joss Whedon
Acquired Library book
Why I read it now my reserve came in
Graphic Novel and short so I read it over dinner. Very good, if you've seen the series Firefly. It may be a good graphic novel even if you haven't, but I found parts of it easier to follow because I knew the characters and knew what to expect.

67. Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale - Zack Whedon
Acquired Library book
Why I read it now my reserve came in
Graphic Novel and short so I read it after dinner. Very good. Fascinating way to build the history of the character Shepherd Book and we learned some fascinating things about him.

Aug 17, 2011, 8:41 pm

Wow, I haven't been here in a long time. June was some good reading, but July got busy so the reading is way lower than usual and August isn't slowing down.
Let's get caught up.

68. Serenity: Better Days - Joss Whedon
Acquired: library book
Why I read it now: reserve came in and a friend loaned it to me at the same time. Caught up with all the graphic novels now. Just need to find time to finish re-watching the series.

70. Known and Unknown by Donald Rumsfeld
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: was recommended by Orson Scott Card in his column and my reserve at the library finally came in. Interesting book although I was interested in what was left unsaid. Did finally prompt me to convert to a standing desk which I have enjoyed for the last 5 weeks.

That ends June
1. Mortal Stakes - Robert B. Parker: Next!
2. First Rider's Call - Kristen Britain: Next!
3. I, Sniper - Stephen Hunter: Next!
4. Mansfield Park - Jane Austen: Everyone Stay Together Now GR on LT
5. Agnes and the Hitman - Jennifer Crusie: Something new by someone old
6. Whose Body? - Dorothy Sayers: A New Series - Yay!
7. Serenity - The Future is Worth Fighting For - Keith DeCandido: fun
8. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons: You Have't Read That Yet? rec'd by dovegreyreader
9. Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch: A New Series - Yay!
10. Serenity: Those Left Behind - Joss Whedon: graphic novel - A New Series - Yay!
11. Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale - Zach Whedon: graphic novel - Next!
12. Serenity: Better Days - Joss Whedon: graphic novel - Next!

1. The Jesus You Can't Ignore - John MacArthur: BookSneeze (free ER)
2. Known and Unknown - Donald Rumsfeld: Memoir

Aug 17, 2011, 8:53 pm

71. Surprised by Suffering - RC Sproul
Acquired: owned for a few years
Why I read it now: My sister-in-law was visiting and I still struggle to find the right way to support and encourage her while my brother-in-law is a total jerk and throws away a good marriage and 3 kids for something we can't understand. This was helpful for me.

72. A Lesson in Secrets - Jacqueline Winspear
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: came in at the library. I love the Maisie Dobbs series and this was no different. I love how the characters grow and change and the holistic concepts that Maisie works with.

73. The Three Weissmanns of Westport - Catherine Schine
Acquired: I picked this up at the library sale table about a year ago, at Tutu's recommendation
Why I read it now: Wanted to get something off the TBR stack and wanted something fairly light. This is a retelling of Sense and Sensibility and it definitely fit in with the mood of my sister-in-law's divorce. It was so funny and really a good retelling of S&S and at least one part of the ending I liked even better.

74. This time together: laughter and reflection - Carol Burnett
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: Had it on my list so I picked it up while I was at the library.
Some personal stuff left out (we go through the whole marriage to the divorce with no real reason why they split up) but some fantastic stories of her, growing up, getting into show business, working with and rubbing shoulders with some great people. I enjoyed the whole book for what it was.

75. The Hardest Thing to Do - Penelope Wilcock
Acquired: LT ER!
Why I read it now: because it came in the mail!
I jumped right on this. I loved her trilogy The Hawk and the Dove and was very excited to see a new book had come out. The theme of forgiveness was so well done. I highlighted and underlined and laughed and cried. Just like The Hawk and the Dove. All of them are highly recommended. I left it out for my mom while she was house sitting and she read all 4 of them that week and agreed they are wonderful!

76. The Haunted Bookshop - Christopher Morley
Acquired: free e-book on the iPhone
Why I read it now: another one on the list and fit in this month
I enjoyed this. It is a bit different from Parnassus on Wheels but still an enjoyable read.

77. Licensed to kill: A field manual to mortifying sin - Brian Hedges
Acquired: Cruciform Press subscription
Why I read it now: Looking for something short to read on the plane to Mexico for our mission trip. This was a good read and I got some good notes. Convicting in places, and very helpful and encouraging.

That covers July (only 7 books in the whole month, half what I read in June).
1. A Lesson in Secrets - Jacqueline Winspear: Next!
2. The Three Weismanns of Westport - Cathleen Schine: Who Is That?!? rec'd by Tutu
3. The Hardest Thing to Do - Penelope Wilcock: Next! LT ER
4. The Haunted Bookshop - Christopher Morley

1. Surprised by Suffering - RC Sproul:
2. This time together : laughter and reflection - Carol Burnett
3. Licensed to Kill: A Field Manual for Mortifying Sin - Brian Hedges: Cruciform Press

Aug 17, 2011, 8:57 pm

78. Killing Floor - Lee Child
Acquired: for a quarter at the library sale
Why I read it now: took along as a fun read for the Mexico mission trip. Had trouble putting it down once I started. Now I know why people rave about the Jack Reacher novels!

79. The 7 Hardest Things God Asks a Woman to Do - Reimer and Whittle
Acquired: bought a few years ago
Why I read it now: it's the book we're using for the Bible study at our beach retreat in November.
Well done and I certainly see plenty of material for a great study at the beach.

80. Dead Zero - Stephen Hunter
Acquired: loan from Uncle Don
Why I read it now: No time to read and wanted something I knew would be good and a fast. I love Bob Lee Swagger and I'm so glad another book is coming out later this year.

I have a few others in progress, including Little Women for book club and another Jack Reacher novel. Maybe September will slow down.

Aug 18, 2011, 3:23 am

Aug 18, 2011, 8:22 am

Thank you Stasia!
I did remind myself that even with a slow reading month in July - I have read a lot of good books this year, passed 75, and also did a lot of fun things with all that time in July that I couldn't spend reading.

Aug 18, 2011, 9:26 am

Congrats on the 75+ - and you've reached the goal without compromising on doing the other fun things in life as well as reading!

Aug 18, 2011, 9:48 am

Thanks! - yeah, in the flurry of activities and stuff, sometimes I just want to curl up with a book. But I really enjoy my life right now so I refuse to complain!

Aug 18, 2011, 8:31 pm

Congratulations on passing the 75 book mark!

Aug 19, 2011, 1:44 am

#136: Sounds like your July was a good one all around. I hope August is too!

Aug 19, 2011, 1:18 pm

Hi Laura, I am trying not to note how much you enjoyed your first Jack Reacher, as that is a series I have had my eye one for a long time. Trying not to start too many new series right now when I have so many already on the go. But I am also a hugh Bob Lee Swagger fan, even though I am behind on his books. Maybe I should try and fit a Bob Lee into September.

Congrautations on completing your 75 Challenge, looks like you will be well into the hundreds by years end.

Aug 19, 2011, 2:01 pm

Congratulations on the big 75!!! Enjoy the next 25 or 30 too!

Aug 20, 2011, 3:42 pm

Yeah - Jack Reacher - didn't enjoy it. And didn't enjoy the 2nd book (not in order, but Mom recommended it) that I started and couldn't put down until I had finished this week. Nope, not recommending Jack Reacher. No new series to interest you here. :-)

It's always a good month to read a Bob Lee Swagger book by Stephen Hunter. My pulse races with those books.

LizzieD - thank you!!! I love LT where I can talk about how many books I've read and no one thinks it's weird.

Aug 22, 2011, 7:54 pm


Aug 23, 2011, 8:21 pm

81. 10 Books the Screwed Up the World - Benjamin Wiker
Acquired: Library book
Why I read it now: Took 2 months to finish this thing. Saw it recommended here on LT and put a hold on it at the library. It came in and I started it back in July, but then prep for trip to Mexico, trip to Mexico, catch up after trip to Mexico - time just kept passing. I don't remember the last time I renewed a library book twice.
Good book - I liked his premise that really we should read these books and see what they really say instead of endowing them with some mystery meaning and more authority than they earn.

Nov 8, 2011, 12:57 pm

Just checking in Laura and realised I haven't seen you around for a while - hope everything's ok.

Nov 8, 2011, 1:07 pm


Nov 10, 2011, 9:20 am

Hey - thanks for dropping by. I've been lurking, but not doing much commenting and obviously no updating. It's on the list, but so much going on that choosing between updating LT or actually reading isn't even on the list most days. Ah well, maybe it will calm down some soon. :-)

Nov 10, 2011, 12:55 pm

Glad to hear that things are okay, if busy, with you. Read on!

Nov 21, 2011, 3:01 pm

Wow, I'm behind by 21 books. As of today 104 read this year.
Christianity and Liberalism - Machen

A Duty to the Dead - Charles Todd
Macbeth - William Shakespeare - hard to believe I had never read this.
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
An Impartial Witness - Charles Todd
Without Warning - John Birmingham
Through the Looking Glass- John Ringo
The Vorpal Blade - John Ringo

Grieving, Hope, and Solace - Albert Martin
Chosen in Christ - Richard Phillips - great book on the first chapter of Ephesians

Promised Land - Robert B Parker
After America - John Birmingham
Judas Goat - Robert B Parker
Manxome Foe - John Ringo
Claws that Catch - John Ringo
A Bitter Truth - Charles Todd
Looking for Rachel Wallace - Robert B Parker
The Masqueraders - Georgette Heyer

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment - Tim Challies
Saved by Grace - Richard Phillips - on the second chapter of Ephesians

The Bridge of San Luis Ray - Thornton Wilder

Feeding Your Soul - Jean Fleming

In progress - ER bio of Catherine the Great.

Nov 21, 2011, 3:06 pm

It's been a good reading year, although every single moth has felt like I didn't get around to so many books.

I love the planning and thinking of categories, but none of my 11 categories provided enough motivation to actually read a specific book this year. So I will probably not be as ambitious and just have one thread for 2012 and maybe just list some hopes for the year.

As noticed, I've been rather absent much of this year. We've spent a lot of time visiting family and other activities. Reading time is hard to come by and while I am doing a lot or lurking, I haven't been posting on my own thread much at all. I hope to do a bit better next year. Or to at least post more on other threads.

Nov 21, 2011, 5:04 pm

I've missed seeing you on the threads, Laura, but happy to hear you've been having a great reading year.

Nov 21, 2011, 5:37 pm

Thank you for stopping by. I'm missing being around too. But I can't complain about all the wonderful things that are keeping me away (although I could complain about the workload at work, it just wouldn't do any good :-)

Nov 22, 2011, 3:00 pm

Good to hear you're ok and get a quick update on what you've been reading :-)

I think I've decided not to join the 12-12 challenge this year. I like planning but I seem to do best when I read as my moods take me. And I never updated my 11 in 11 thread.

Nov 27, 2011, 9:51 pm

I thought of all of you while sitting in choir practice tonight. There are 3 spouses who come and sit near the end, waiting to take the singer home. While they sometimes talk, usually they just sit there and they never bring a book. I thought how unimaginable that would be for me (I could at least pull out my phone and read something on there) and realized everyone here would understand why seeing them sitting there with no book in their hands, week after week, is just incomprehensible!

Nov 28, 2011, 2:57 am

I often wonder about things like that. I always feel like I am never alone as long as I have a book with me, I just couldn't conceive of not having one to turn to, and I just love the thought that waiting time becomes reading time.

Nov 28, 2011, 10:32 am

I run the sound for our choir practice on Sunday evenings - the wife's the accompanist, so I pretty much am there anyway. I can't imagine sitting there for an hour or so without a book or the iPad, or most weeks, both.

Nov 29, 2011, 8:38 am

Exactly. I can sort of understand being caught unprepared. But week after week, knowing you will be sitting there (and listening to us rehearse is not that entertaining). I just think it's funny how different people are.

Nov 29, 2011, 10:34 am

#155 Yep. One of the things I like about my kindle is that it is so light and fits in my handbag so easily that I can always carry it around with me and then whip it out at the doctor's, on the train, on the platform waiting for the train. I get some strange looks.

Nov 29, 2011, 6:05 pm

I finished Catherine the Great by Robert Massie (LT ER). Very interesting woman and I enjoyed the biography. My review is here.

I also finished A Place Called Wiregrass by Michael Morris, a Christian novel a friend loaned me. Interesting novel dealing with abusive relationships and the many victims.

Edited: Dec 1, 2011, 10:38 am

I finished another book. Spiritual Depression by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, review is here. Highly recommended to all Christians, a very practical and convicting and encouraging book.

Now - off to space with A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo and my first TIOLI read in a year, Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey

Dec 3, 2011, 4:50 pm

I have read 2 books in the past 2 days, it's been a few months since I managed that. I very much enjoyed doing it. I picked back up the TIOLI Challenges (last one I did was last December) and read Dragonsong and Dragonsinger vol 1 and 2 of the Harper Hall trilogy by Anne McCaffrey. I have 2 more Anne McCaffrey reads planned (vol 3 of course) and maybe even My Antonia which is in the one 11 in 11 category that I haven't read a single book.

Dec 19, 2011, 3:26 pm

December has been a very nice reading month. Books read after Dragonsong and Dragonsinger include:
A Hymn Before Battle - John Ringo
No One Noticed the Cat - Anne McCaffrey
Dragondrums - Anne McCaffrey
The Long Fall - Walter Mosley
Gust Front - John Ringo
My Antonia - Willa Cather
Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher
Known to Evil - Walter Mosley
Soft Target - Stephen Hunter
The Resolution for Women - Priscilla Shirer

5 of those were TIOLI reads. I enjoyed My Antonia. I can see why it is a classic. It will be a recommendation to the book club in 2012.

And then I won vol 4 of the Leonid McGill series by Walter Mosley so while waiting for it to arrive I have been catching up. I have enjoyed vols 1 and 2.

I got Soft Target as a Christmas present from Don, since he knows I'm a huge fan of the series. He wants to borrow it next, of course.

Dec 24, 2011, 5:45 pm

Merry Christmas Laura! Glad to see you've been enjoying the TIOLI challenges once more and the Anne McCaffrey books. I've just picked a copy of Dragonflight up from the library which will be my first McCaffrey and I'm looking forward to it.

Dec 27, 2011, 10:07 am

Thank you! And Merry Christmas (belated) to you.

Someone introduced me to the McCaffrey dragon books a number of years ago and I do enjoy them. I hope you do too.

I started a thread for 2012.

Dec 27, 2011, 6:10 pm

I"ll put a belated Christmas greeting to you, Laura, and a Happy New Year too while I'm at it!!

Jan 1, 2012, 8:47 pm

Closing out December. What a great reading month! Feels like I was making up for lost time the rest of the year:

Dragonsong - Anne McCaffrey: TIOLI; new series
Dragonsinger - Anne McCaffrey: TIOLI; new series #2
A Hymn Before Battle - John Ringo: Posleen War #1; something new by someone old
No One Noticed the Cat - Anne McCaffrey: TIOLI; something new by someone old
Dragondrums - Anne McCaffrey: TIOLI; new series #3
The Long Fall - Walter Mosley: new series #1
Gust Front - John Ringo: new series #2
My Antonia - Willa Cather: TIOLI; Wipe off the dust!
Known to Evil - Walter Mosley: new series #2
Soft Target - Stephen Hunter: Next!
When the Thrill is Gone - Walter Mosley: new series #3
All I Did Was Shoot My Man - Walter Mosley: LT ER; new series #4
The Riddlemaster of Hed - Patricia McKillip
Heir of Sea and Fire - Patricia McKillip
Harpist in the Wind - Patricia McKillip
One Second After - William Forstchen
Princess of Wands - John Ringo: new series
The Second Saladin - Stephen Hunter
Old Man's War - John Scalzi


Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher: TIOLI; Bio
The Resolution for Women - Priscilla Shirer
Why God Won't Go Away - Alister McGrath
Almighty Over All - RC Sproul Jr
Innocent Blood - John Ensor: Cruciform Press
Getting Back In the Race - Joel Beeke: Cruciform Press

Total read: 134 for 2011.

Now, on to 2012.