thornton37814's 12 More Categories for the 12 in 12
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My first 12 in 12 challenge can be found here in thread 1 - http://www.librarything.com/topic/122988 and in thread 2 - http://www.librarything.com/topic/134333.
For the remainder of the year, I'm setting up 12 additional categories. Some of these are repeats of categories that I used either this year or last year (or in last year's bonus ones). I am not setting maximums on the categories, but I will set a minimum of 3 per category to give it a bit more of a challenge status since some of the categories are rather broad.
Here are the categories:
1. Europe Endless Challenge - I'm determined to finish this challenge this year. I will be reading approximately 3 books per month for this one. (I've already read one in May.)
2. Critically Acclaimed - This category is for books that I've added to my TBR list because of a review here on LibraryThing in the 12 in 12 or 75 book groups.
3. Around the World - I read a lot of American (50 states and DC) and British books. I am reading lots of books with European settings as a result of the Europe Endless Challenge. This category will hopefully make me read a few more set in other parts of the world including Canada, Mexico, Central & South America, Islands, Australia, Asia, Africa, Middle East, etc.
4. Hot off the Press - Books with a 2012 copyright date.
5. I Want to Go Home - These are my friend's books that I need to read and return!
6. Operation Mount TBR - I need to whittle down the books that I have on hand that need to be read. Don't we all?
7. Library Books - Most of these will be books that are on my TBR list that I haven't purchased but that are available at my library. However, any library book will qualify.
8. Non-Fiction - History, religion, cookbooks, travel, etc. Anything that isn't fiction qualifies.
9. Random Drawing - I'm going to cut up some slips of paper with the titles of books that are in my TBR pile, my library list, my wish list that are not owned, my friend's books that are here, etc. and draw one or two per month out of hat or box or whatever I use. I'll probably put about 50 titles in the box -- some will be books I'm eager to get to; some will be books that I'm not quite as eager to read. I'll feel that I'm accomplishing something by getting them off whichever list they are on!
10. Next in Series - Some of my series are getting pushed to a back burner, so I'm going to try to make myself get to the next one and eventually catch up with some of them.
11. Holidays - Books with a Holiday setting or theme. I may not get to these until later in the year, but this one gives me a place to fit all those Christmas books, but gives me a chance to read books for other holidays as well.
12. It Floats My Boat - It's a book I'm reading because I want to read it. A great catch-all category for things don't fit one of the others.
Europe Endless Challenge
1. Uneasy Relations by Aaron Elkins - completed 18 May 2012
2. The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn - completed 25 May 2012
3. A Survey of Liechtenstein History by Otto Seger - completed 18 June 2012
4. The Aland Islands by W. R. Mead and S. H. Jaatinen - completed 19 June 2012
5. The Expats by Chris Pavone - completed 22 June 2012
6. Snow Angels by James Thompson - completed 1 July 2012
7. Resistance by Anita Shreve - completed 2 July 2012
8. Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason - completed 4 July 2012
9. Katarina by Kathryn Winter - completed 23 July 2012
10. Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague by Myla Goldberg - completed 26 July 2012
Hot Off the Press
1. Calico Joe by John Grisham - completed 28 Jun 2012
2. Living Jesus: Doing What Jesus Says in the Sermon on the Mount by Randy Harris with Greg Taylor - completed 13 July 2012
3. Beach House Memories by Mary Alice Monroe - completed 21 July 2012
4. The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber - completed 9 Aug 2012
I Want to Go Home
1. Blood of the Prodigal by P. L. Gaus - completed 25 May 2012
2. Trophy Hunt by C. J. Box - completed 31 May 2012
3. Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters - completed 3 June 2012
4. Louisa and the Missing Heiress by Anna Maclean - completed 7 June 2012
5. The Wooden Overcoat by Pamela Branch - completed 20 June 2012
6. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters - completed 23 June 2012
7. Weighed in the Balance by Anne Perry - completed 7 July 2012
8. When Will the Dead Lady Sing? by Patricia Sprinkle - completed 14 July 2012
9. The Black Tower by Betsy Byars - completed 24 July 2012
10. An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor - completed 28 July 2012
11. A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey - completed 5 Aug 2012
12. Death at Dartmoor by Robin Paige - completed 8 Aug 2012
Operation Mount TBR
1. Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton - completed 22 May 2012
2. One Bad Apple by Sheila Connolly - completed 27 May 2012
3. Death, Bones, and Stately Homes by Valerie S. Malmont - completed 7 Jun 2012
4. Open Season by Archer Mayor - completed 16 June 2012
5. Fire and Ice by Dana Stabenow - completed 18 June 2012
6. Cooks Overboard by Joanne Pence - completed 4 July 2012
7. Spiced to Death by Peter King - completed 16 July 2012
8. Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn - completed 16 July 2012
9. Quietly in Their Sleep by Donna Leon - completed 17 July 2012
10. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome - completed 29 July 2012
11. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver - completed 30 July 2012
12. Murder Over Easy by Marshall Cook - completed 4 Aug 2012
1. Murder Makes Waves by Anne George - completed 26 May 2012
2. Classified as Murder by Miranda James - completed 2 June 2012
3. Death Books a Return by Marion Moore Hill - completed 25 June 2012
4. Bitter Tide by Ann Stamos - completed 9 July 2012
5. Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie - completed 10 July 2012
6. Sew Deadly by Elizabeth Lynn Casey - completed 12 July 2012
7. Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank - completed 23 July 2012
1. Twain's Feast: Searching for America's Lost Foods in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens by Andrew Beahrs - completed 3 June 2012
2. How to Sew a Button: and Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew by Erin Bried - completed 1 July 2012
3. Italian Food by Elizabeth David - completed 31 July 2012
I'm glad you're starting a new thread, rather than disappearing into the sunset...
It Floats My Boat
1. Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum - completed 13 June 2012
2. The Bobbsey Twins, or Merry Days Indoor and Out by Laura Lee Hope - completed 1 Aug 2012
3. The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia - completed 6 Aug 2012
4. My Family History by Jane O'Connor - completed 8 Aug 2012
5. Who Do You Think You Are?: Be a Family Tree Detective by Dan Waddell - completed 8 Aug 2012
6. Seven Brave Women by Betsy Hearne - completed 8 Aug 2012
7. Homer, the Library Cat by Reeve Lindbergh - completed 9 Aug 2012
8. B Is For Bookworm: A Library Alphabet by Anita Prieto - completed 9 Aug 2012
9. The Library Gingerbread Man by Dotti Enderle - completed 9 Aug 2012
***looks around wondering where everyone else is***
Love the idea of the random drawing, and my next month TIOLI will help with a couple of your other categories. *smirks as she know which ones*
LOL, Cheli. I had fun putting the books in the random drawing. I basically took a couple of books from every TBR box, I did about one in every 7 authors for my friend's books, about one for every 8 to 10 for the library books, and one in every 20 for the fiction books I don't have and one in every 30 for the non-fiction. They are all in a box ready to be selected. I won't select one until next month (although I'll allow myself to peak once the TIOLI for this month comes up in case I have to order something via ILL or purchase one). Most of the books would probably not come up on my radar to read if I had not put them in the box. I have no idea how many I'll read, but I hope that I'll knock out several of them. I'm looking forward to finding out what your TIOLI challenge for next month will be.
Thanks for dropping by, Betty!
Okay, I've got my first book read for the new categories. This one goes in the Gibraltar slot in my Europe Endless Challenge category.
Uneasy Relations by Aaron Elkins - Gideon Oliver is returning to Gibraltar for a reunion of those who worked on the Gibraltar Woman excavation five years earlier. Journalists have taken remarks intended for pun as truth and have stated that Gideon will be talking about something of greater import to anthropology fraud than Piltdown Man. It's not long before there are a couple of possible attempts on Gideon's life -- or were they just accidents? Two years earlier, one of their colleagues, died in a landslide on the site of their original dig cave. Another member of the group is soon dead. Gideon must convince Gibraltar's chief inspector that a crime has been committed, but it's Gideon's knowledge of forensic anthropology that will solve the case. It took me awhile to become engaged, but once the focus of the book was more on the mystery and less on anthropology with scientific discussions in the mix, I was able to care more about investigation. I have never read earlier installments in the series, and this was the 15th, so it is possible that I might have enjoyed the first part more if I'd had a better knowledge of the main characters. I do think that it works reasonably well as a stand-alone as most of the characters were developed sufficiently in the book. 3 stars.
Congratulations on finishing the original challenge, glad you've decided to stick around for more!
great , Lori, the library has Uneasy relations and I needed one for Gibraltar!
It's not bad, Cheli. I think it just started out with too much scientific talk for me. I'm glad I've found one that people can use to fill that category!
Great new categories, Lori! It will be fun to see how the Random Drawing works out.
Wow, a second challenge! I'm very impressed -- and glad you decided to stick around!
Now you got me started thinking about next year. I'm barely halfway through this year!
I have decided that next year 169 books is just not possible so I'm definitely doing a step plus 13 = 91 books. At least I've got that far - now I have to decide on my theme - I've got four to choose from. SIGH.
I have already picked out next year's theme. But I'm trying to hold myself back and enjoy this year's crop.
I haven't picked out a theme or categories for next year although I have several ideas. I really want to be more creative with my category names and such.
I received a belated birthday gift today of 4 books and found some bargains at the used bookstore (including 5 maps). Two of the maps I picked up for an upcoming trip. At $1 apiece for those, I figured that I might get my money's worth out of them, and I can always return them if need be. The other 3 were 25 cents each and were picked up just because I wanted them.
The gift books were:
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
Dead Hands: A Social History of Wills, Trusts, and Inheritance Laws by Lawrence M. Friedman
Yucatecan Cuisine from Hacienda Teya by Herve Baeza Braga
A Victorian Alphabet of Every Day Recipes: 26 Original Recipes by Mrs. Isabella Beeton
The bargains from the used bookstore were:
Mississippi by Barbara A. Somervill (From Sea to Shining Sea series
The Enduring Shore: A History of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket by Paul Schneider
Literacy in Colonial New England by Kenneth A. Lockridge
Life in a Medieval Castle by Joseph & Frances Gies
Why do I buy more books when I have more than I can read in a year on hand? At least I limited myself to true bargains.
Why do I buy more books when I have more than I can read in a year....
Amazing, isn't it? I probably have more than I could read in 10 years and yet I hit a couple of library sales yesterday and managed to add another 6 to the TBR. Which was really low for me and library sales. I was mostly looking for books for Books for Keeps so I really held myself back. And the big book sales I wait for is about a month away, so I tried to be good.
I think that the "books for keeps" part is what kept me from buying more. I'm using the library a lot more than I did for awhile. When I first moved here, I couldn't find books by any of the authors that I'd grown to love when I lived in a much larger city. I decided that they just didn't purchase anything interesting for me so I started buying literally everything from the favorite authors as well as new to me authors whose book caught my attention. I do know that my library has a new library director since I first arrived, so I'm guessing that there was a shift in what was ordered fiction-wise with the new director. I'm finding quite a few of the ones I want to read there. I think I'm also being more realistic about how many I can reasonably read in my lifetime. Like you, I probably have more than I could read in 10 years. I am trying not to add to it quite as rapidly so maybe I'll eventually see the pile go away! I'm hoping to add quite a few to my used bookstore pile.
>30 thornton37814: - I think you may have misinterpreted my "Books for Keeps" reference. "Books for Keeps" is a group in Ga that provides books to children from Athens so they can keep up their reading over the summer. I'm going to try and put a link here to the thread over in the Bookmooch group (I'm still not that good at this):
Anyway I'm trying this year to look for mostly books for this, but usually end up with a few for myself. But there is one big sale next month where I might be bad - I usually am.
I definitely misinterpreted "Books for Keeps." It's a great program. Last night at church, one of my friends was leaving with her mother and two children. Her son had a Kindle in his hand and was reading a book as he was leaving. I commented on how he was reading on his Kindle. She quickly said, "No, he's reading on my Kindle." She then said that she had trouble getting her own Kindle time because both of her kids were big readers and used hers all the time. I told her she needed to get her son one of his own. I also suggested that she might go to the library to check out some books when her Kindle was occupied. She said that both of her kids actually preferred print books and that they had plenty at home, but it did sound that they might be discussing getting him one. I was just happy to see a middle school aged kid reading after school was out!
I hope he wasn't reading during church - oops! It's always great when young children like to read. I usually give a book with whatever little gift I get my great-nieces and -nephews. I was happy when my 8 year old great-niece told me she had read the book I gave her for her birthday the next time I saw her. My sister showed me her last report card and her teacher's comments indicate that she likes reading and writing. She the oldest of the group, so I hope the others take after her.
BTW - I'm surprised your schools are out already - we still have about a month here in RI.
Hi Lori, working on your second challenge is very cool. I also have most of my next year's categories worked out, but I am jealous that you are getting such variety this year! ;)
>33 dudes22: He appeared to be listening during the concert. I was in the choir and could see out. His mom and grandpa were as well, but he was sitting by grandma. We had a "Night of Classical Praise" last night at church. It was a fun evening, and I suspect that it will be online at http://www.fbcmtn.com/ later in the week. (It streamed live last night as well as airing on local TV and radio.) They start school around the beginning of August here so they are out by mid-May unless there are so many snow days that they have to go longer.
>34 DeltaQueen50: I've also allowed enough flexibility in my categories for this second 12 in 12 that I can pretty much read a wider variety than I could with the more restrictive first 12 categories. I'm thinking ahead to next year too, but I haven't really settled on anything.
By the way, on my way to Dad's, I stopped at the Chattanooga branch of my favorite used bookstore (the one I visited in Knoxville over the weekend) to "stretch." I came out with several bargains as well as 3 books of piano arrangements. They are still in the car so I don't remember the exact titles. I do know that one of the ones I picked up was Life of Pi for $1. One of the others was a history of Alaska. Another dealt with the colonial period to mid-19th century of Connecticut. The other was a book by Philbrick about Nantucket, I think. I decided that I'd stretched enough and needed to get on back down the road since I'd gotten off to a late start because a certain cat was hiding, and I had to chase him out with the vacuum cleaner to get him into his carrier.
I went to the Goodwill Bookstore in Tupelo near my dad's after we went to the farmer's market. I came away with one cookbook and 4 mass-market paperbacks that are in series that I'm reading. I don't think any of them are the next in series, but at least I'll have them when I get to that installment. The prices were too good not to go ahead and buy them.
Love your random drawing idea. I did something similiar where I had my husband choose a number between 1 and 240. Whichever number he selected, would be the book I read off of my TBR list. Sometimes when faced with the tower of books, it helps to have an impartial push.
>37 LittleTaiko: Exactly - especially when there are books that keep getting pushed further and further down the list. They are more likely to come up this way!
This one had been on my wish list for awhile and in Mount TBR for only a few months, but it's going in my "Operation Mount TBR" category:
Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton - I really enjoyed this first installment in the Farmers Market mystery series. The main character is Becca Robins who sells preserves at Bailey's Farmers' Market, somewhere in South Carolina, and in somewhat close proximity to the Smithfield Farmers' Market. One of the newer vendors is found murdered at the market. Becca doesn't want to see her friend and fellow vendor Abner framed for it, but that's what appears to be happening so she sets out to investigate. Becca's been divorced twice, but she is interested in one of her fellow vendors (Ian) who is ten years her junior and in the investigating officer Sam Brion. While Becca definitely got herself in messes in which she should have avoided and Sam's warning to her to quit investigating almost seems useless when he allows her to question people in front of him, it's still an enjoyable read. There's humor interspersed in the narrative at just the right moments. I liked the setting and the characters and plan to continue with the series. 3.5 stars.
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler - I topped it off with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.
One of the things I purchased at the farmers' market today was this giant cabbage.
I made cole slaw at lunch and boiled cabbage at supper, and 3/4 of the cabbage remains!
Do you have a Nook?
If so, you should soon be able to download U.S. Government e-books: http://gcn.com/articles/2012/05/22/gpo-ebooks-nook-reader.aspx
Ok, I can't focus on the books here because that cabbage is absolutely beautiful and I love coleslaw. I have to make it myself because sometimes it's just too sloppy and not too appetizing. Oh, and now I want to make cobbler, peach I think.
I'm leaving your thread now it's 8 in the morning and I'm thinking about food lol!
I couldn't resist the head of cabbage. It was so beautiful. I don't like my coleslaw overly juicy either. Sometimes I feel that I need to take it to a sink and drain it when I get it at a restaurant.
That is an impressive cabbage. I'll have to go to the farmer's market soon!
I have never tackled rhubarb but I think I might try some if I see a decent supply somewhere. That cobbler looks tasty. Thanks for the picture.
Wow, what a nice cabbage!
Why do I buy more books when I have more than I can read in a year on hand?
The classic LTer's lament!
Another entry in my Europe Endless Challenge category - this one for Ukraine:
The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn - This is the story of Daniel Mendelsohn's search for his maternal grandfather's brother, Shmiel Jager. His grandfather had told him stories of the family, but he became interested in learning more. His search led him to many countries and to the ancestral hometown of Bolekhiv, Ukraine on numerous occasions. Gradually through bits and pieces from different individuals who knew Shmiel's family, he is able to piece together the story. I was somewhat disappointed in the story. It's more about the search than it is about the lives of those he was researching. As a genealogist, I would have preferred to read the account of his family as it had been synthesized and pieced together (with footnotes attributing each piece to the proper source and noting discrepancies and how they were resolved). This, however, was not the direction in which the author chose to go. I found that I was constantly trying to remember what he'd learned 100 or 200 pages back that had bearing on what he was learning from his current interviewee. I felt that the book was a lot longer than it needed to be, but much of this may have had to do with my perspective on how the book should have been written. There is a lot of information here, and while I am not as happy about how he chose to present it as some others are, I am happy that he did put his family's story in print. I enjoyed the pieces of commentary on Genesis which were often based on the Jewish commentary that Friedman wrote. 3 stars.
I'm really impressed that you're already on your second challenge, and that strawberry rhubarb cobbler looks amazing! That reminds me that the rhubarb in my backyard is now ready for harvesting.
Paulina, You are fortunate to have rhubarb in your backyard to harvest! When I first priced it, it was about twice as much as I expected it to be. I finally found some at a much better price at Fresh Market.
My first one in the "I Want to Go Home" category is:
Blood of the Prodigal by P. L. Gaus - This is a fascinating glance at Ohio's Amish country with far less romanticism of the culture than one finds in most books that are sometimes labeled Amish fiction. Bishop Miller's grandson has gone missing, but the Bishop knows his son has taken them. He reluctantly enlists the aid of an "English" pastor (Troyer) and a professor (Branden) who has a reputation for solving crimes during his summer breaks. While Branden's wife wants him to call on the sheriff to assist, Branden honors his promise to the Bishop for discretion. It isn't long until the sheriff is involved in cases related to the original matter. I enjoyed this first installment, but I felt that some of the characters were not as developed as they needed to be. We know that Branden has been involved in helping the police solve crimes in the past from conversations in the book, but we are never enlightened as to what these are. Most mystery series start with the first involvement of the amateur sleuth instead of leaving it to the reader's imagination to fill the void. I have Amish ancestry with lines who lived in Holmes and Wayne County in the first half of the 19th century (before moving westward). I was quite familiar with area being portrayed, and like some of the characters in the book, I lament the commercialization that continues to take place in the area. I did enjoy the mystery, and I found the local sheriff, the two deputies with whom we became most acquainted, and the professor and his wife quite likeable. I hope to be able to continue with this series. 3.5 stars.
Rhubarb is pretty much like crepe myrtles or hydrangeas. Get it started and it'll take care of itself. We put in a small plant a few years ago in a part of the yard we don't much visit and it has managed to become substantial. I remember having an enormous rhubarb plant where I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, so I think it can thrive pretty much anywhere.
Of course, you have to be able to dig in your yard first. My soil is so hard that it's hopeless for me. I guess that the "dirt's too rocky by far" (just like the song states).
Up in the library books category is something that I'm now positive was a re-read. I actually have a copy listed in LibraryThing, but I couldn't locate it among my list of boxed TBR books. I'm pretty sure I have it on loan to a friend. I read it so long ago that it isn't reviewed here on LibraryThing, but the plot was familiar enough that I am positive I had read it previously. I also think I enjoyed it more this time, so it wasn't a bad re-read, even if it was somewhat accidental.
Murder Makes Waves by Anne George - Mary Alice and Patricia Ann are sisters living in the Birmingham, Alabama area. They need a break and head with Patricia Ann's daughter Haley and friend Frances to Mary Alice's condo in Destin, Florida. Mary Alice is actually attending a writer's conference. It isn't long until they stumble across the body of a friend on the beach. The discover a second body a bit later. This is a thoroughly Southern mystery. It's as much about the Southern friendships and conversation as it is about the mystery. They don't really put themselves in a lot of dangerous situations and leave most of the investigation to the proper authorities. What nosing about they do is just natural Southern gossip that turns up clues. It was a fun mystery for a change of pace and perfect for a beach read. 3.5 stars.
Abandoned book (which I won't include in any category):
Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe - Abandoned read. I read about 40 to 50 pages of this book. I was never given a reason why I should care for the corpse which at this point was ruled as a suicide although her friends thought she would not have committed suicide. I was not given enough information to make me connect to any of the characters, particularly the main character. Life is too short and my TBR pile is too large to waste on books that start this poorly.
Hi Lori, dropping by rather late to congratulate you on completing your first challenge and starting your second! Also chiming in about the strawberry rhubarb cobbler pic.... I love strawberry rhubarb as a combination - lived on strawberry rhubarb stuffed croissants as a breakfast food during my Uni days and had homemade strawberry rhubarb crumble while visiting my folks this past week.... rhubarb is already ripe for harvesting in my mom's garden which is a bit surprising as it is only May.
Lori, I know that where I live that most things are about 3 weeks ahead of schedule because of the near lack of winter. I'm glad to see someone else who enjoys the strawberry rhubarb combination.
Another entry in my "Operation Mount TBR" category:
One Bad Apple by Sheila Connolly - Meg Corey lost her Boston banking job through a corporate merger and downsizing. She moves to western Massachusetts to renovate an inherited property in Granford so that she and her mother can sell it. She's only been there a few weeks when a body of someone she knew very well ends up in her newly installed septic tank. With herself and the plumber Seth as the chief suspects in a community that does not know her well, she knows that she needs to find the real murderer and clear her name. I loved the characters and setting of this one, and I'm looking forward to future installments. There are recipes in the back, and I intend to try one or two of them. 4 stars.
I plan to go to the library tomorrow to return some books and check out a couple of others. In preparation for the trip, I decided to do my "random drawing" for June (in case it was a library book). I'm glad that I did. It was a library book. The winner is: Twain's Feast by Andrew Beahrs. Let's hope it is on the shelves. If not, I'll be trying to get it a bit later in the month or placing a hold on it.
While I've read a few of the later installments in this series when I first discovered the series, I went back to the beginning of the series and got stalled a few years back. I'm counting this one as "next in series" since it is the next one from the beginning of the series for me:
Endangered Species by Nevada Barr - Anna is on fire watch (a temporary assignment) at the Cumberland Island National Seashore when a plane goes down. It isn't long until foul play is suspected. In the mean time, Anna's sister, a psychiatrist in New York City, is receiving threats. Anna sends her boyfriend FBI agent Frederick Stanton to investigate. I have read several books in which loggerhead turtles have played a part in the story, and I'm always amazed at the work the volunteers do to help the species survive. I enjoyed the national park setting more than the mystery itself in this one. There are a few amusing scenes as well. It wasn't a bad installment, but it wasn't my favorite either. 3.5 stars.
For my "Around the World" category, I've got a book with a Prince Edward Island, Canada setting:
A Body Surrounded by Water by Eric Wright - Charlie Salter is vacationing on Prince Edward Island where several burglaries have taken place. A body is found, and Salter's father-in-law tells Charlie about the purchase of a seal in which he, the deceased, and one other individual had been involved. The deceased had recently been to Toronto to pick up their purchase, but it is not found in his home. Are the burglaries and homicide related? Charlie assists the local Mounties in their investigation. This would a good way to pass two or three hours. The book is relatively short, and the mystery is not very complex. I enjoyed the PEI setting. 3 stars.
Try another Eric Wright book. This one wasn't his best. I think he is generally greatly unappreciated and relatively unknown. Most of his are really well done,
I have read at least one other book by Eric Wright, and I liked it pretty well. This one was too short to really be very complex. I'm glad to hear that you enjoy his other works better though!
Another book is on its way home to its owner in my "I Want to Go Home" category:
Trophy Hunt by C. J. Box - It all starts with the body of a mutilated bull moose that Joe Pickett, game warden, finds when on an outing with his daughters. Soon cattle are found mutilated in a similar fashion. It isn't long until human corpses are found murdered in a similar fashion. Joe is the representative game warden on the governor's task force which includes local law enforcement and the FBI. It's a quite puzzling and disturbing read for most of the book. The ending wasn't quite as tidy as I would have liked, but I suspect that there are often a few ends that aren't completely wrapped up that the investigating officers would love to see resolved but for which those in charge of budgets do not allow them to continue to investigate. 4 stars.
In my library books category:
Classified as Murder by Miranda James - James Delacorte hires librarian Charlie Harris to inventory his rare book collection because he believes members of his family are stealing from him. The work barely begins when Delacorte is found murdered at his own desk. Charlie's son Sean has left his job as an attorney in Texas and assists his dad with the inventory which Chief Deputy Kalesha insists that he complete. She also wants him in the house to make observations on the somewhat nutty family. Diesel the cat plays a big part in the book as well. The characters are endearing, and Athena is a charming town with a very good chief deputy. Time to add book three to my to be read list! 3.5 stars.
I spent most of the day reorganizing the books in my history and genealogy collection. It's a task I've been wanting to do for about 5 1/2 years, but I finally took the plunge. When I first moved here, some of my friends from church put my books on my bookcases. I had not intended for them to do it because I wanted to do that myself, but I was arranging kitchen cabinets at the time. The enormity of the task always overwhelmed me, and of course, the collection has grown in 5 1/2 years time, making it even more intimidating. I definitely have a sense of accomplishment today. I'm sure that I'll sleep well tonight because I got hot, sweaty, and tired.
In other news, I discovered that I live in the 7th worst city in the U.S. for singles, according to Kiplinger's. What's worse is that two of the other top 10 are in close proximity. I did have to laugh when I saw what they considered to be the population of my city. It was about 100,000 more than the actual population. It's based on the census metropolitan areas so it is actually including all of our county plus two adjacent ones. I have to wonder if all those people in those little towns in those other counties know that they are living in Morristown?
I agree with mysterymax. I've read a few Eric Wright books and A Body Surrounded by Water was the weakest of them. I did enjoy the others (the first three in the Charlie Salter series).
Good to know! I read the first one of his in the Lucy Trimble series a couple of years ago, and I didn't care for it. I just discovered that I didn't leave my review on the book itself, but you should be able to find it through conversations or by looking at my old 1010 Challenge thread. I think I just didn't like the main character on that one. I did like Charlie Salter, and I'm glad to know the others in the Salter series are better. I'll add the first in the series to my extensive list of TBR books.
ETA: My public library appears to have all the other 10 books in the series.
I was googling for the original publication date of Mrs. Mike and discovered that one of the co-authors, Benedict Freedman, died earlier this year. If someone reported it on this thread, I missed it. Here's the NY Times obit: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/books/benedict-freedman-dies-at-92-co-author-o...
Bookshelf rearranging is something I do a few times a year as a relaxation exercise. My family rolls their eyes, but leaves me to it. I just finished the latest event yesterday. I think books need to be fondled every so often. And I need to be reminded of those poor books stuck in back corners or on the inside row of books.
Good luck with your project. Are you sneezing yet?
I tend to conduct a bookshelf rearrange on average once a year... usually right after a major book haul. There is something to be said for sitting on the floor surrounded by piles of books with a glass of white wine at hand...... ;-)
I finished my rearrange last weekend. I spread it out over a few weekends so I could fit some gardening in also (just to keep my hubby happy). I found a few that hadn't made it into LT yet, thus increasing my TBR total even more. But I do like checking it out and looking at what I've got to read. Like you say Kay - checking out what's in the back row.
72>> oooh... I never tried it with a glass of wine. I'm getting ready for my semi-annual shelf review ... I think I'll try it with wine this time. Last time I tried a book on Audio, but all the books kept distracting me...wine might work.
Most of my fiction TBRs are boxed. I have a record of what is in each box so that I know from which box to go retrieve the TBR book. These were just my genealogy/history books. I wanted them arranged by broad category (such as general, records, general history, ethnic and religious groups, country, region, and state). I want to be able to go and pull the book when I need it. I do need to get at least one more set of shelves for them because I d have a few piled on top of shelves within the region. It's not a huge amount, but I'd like to give them a bit more wiggle room and room for growth.
On an entirely different note, after just finishing the C. J. Box that had body mutilation in it, someone was telling about something she'd heard on the news this past week that they had discussed in their Sunday school class this morning about some human cannibals in Florida and somewhere else in the U.S. It was just as gruesome as the descriptions in book and made my skin crawl. I'm going to Florida in a week or so and really hope I don't run into them!
I finished my first book in my Random Drawing category:
Twain's Feast: Searching for America's Lost Foods in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens by Andrew Beahrs - Author Andrew Beahrs scoured Twain's books for food references. He then set out to investigate the foods as they came to be part of the American landscape of eating, how they were in Twain's era, and how they are in today's landscape if they still exist or why they are not as important if they are gone or less significant. He includes recipes from 19th century cookbooks as well. The book had an interesting premise, and the author did a good job in parts of the narrative. In other parts, he droned on a bit too long and failed to keep the reader interested. No numbered or asterisked citations were given but there were end notes with page numbers, a few words from the line, and references. This did not follow any acceptable method of citation. I found it totally unacceptable and lowered my rating by 1/2 star to reflect this major flaw. 2.5 stars.
Another entry in "I Want to Go Home":
Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters - Vicky Bliss and several others head to a German castle to try to locate a missing piece of art dating to the Renaissance. There are all the things you would expect in a castle such as suits of armor, secret passages, and ghosts. It wasn't the most captivating mystery. This book could have used a glossary for the German words in the text that were unexplained. I refused to go track down my German dictionary so I hope I was able to figure out what most of them meant by their context. I have a low tolerance for Occultic themes in books, and there was too much of a presence in this one for me.
Wow, I think I've totally missed the boat on your 12 in 12 challenge!! I've fallen way behind on your threads.
A second one. Wow (am I saying that a lot).
I haven't been doing too well with this year's and so haven't given much thought to next year's 13 in 13. I agree with Cheli that 169 is just too much. I'd probably aim for 10 in each category. That 13th category would be something easy to accomplish, most likely. Something like Kindle singles. I'm enjoying those.
Hi Lori, reading about all the bookshelf organizing going on has put me in the mood to do the same. I've placed an embarrassingly large order with Awesome Books that will probably be arriving over the next couple of weeks, so I will probably be needing to do a bookcase overhaul.
Linda - I'm sure you'll eventually get back in the groove of reading. I'll probably slow down a bit this month because of a conference next week and because I have to finish my part of editing for a periodical index by the end of the month. It takes awhile to go through each entry, check the name and subject authority files, and proofread each entry. I'm about to head upstairs to see if I can finish Termination Dust tonight. I haven't read as much through the day as I'd hoped. I've done laundry, worked on the indexing, cooked fresh veggies from the Farmers' Market, gone to the grocery store, caught up on potential DNA match correspondence, etc. The good news is that one of the cousins and I actually made our connection. It was on one of my Amish lines -- same as all my other definite matches.
Another Canadian book in the "Around the World" category - this one set in the Yukon:
Termination Dust by Sue Henry - Although Termination Dust is in the Jessie Arnold series, she's a relatively minor character in this installment until the end. Her boyfriend Alex Jensen is assisting Inspector Charles Delafosse of the Royal Mounted Canadian Police in the Yukon Territory with a crime that is crossing the international border. When a body is found at a camp site along the Yukon River, the chief suspect is American so Delafosse invites Alex to remain to assist in the investigation. It's approved by Alex's superiors. Something doesn't quite ring true about the whole investigation. The evidence seems to point to Jim Hampton, the suspect found at the camp site, but there are enough inconsistencies that they keep investigating. Hampton had found a diary from the 1897 Gold Rush, and Hampton and Jensen are both intrigued by it. While the installment got off to a slow start, it picked up pace and kept me wanting to find "whodunit." There were several red herrings to keep the reader second guessing themselves. The diary is printed at the end of the book. 3.5 stars.
I just recently got both book 1&2 in that series. On the shelf for now..
I read the 1st in the series a long time ago, and at that time, I didn't like it well enough to keep reading the series. Last year I read one of the more recent installments, and I loved it. Since I had a couple of other installments, including this second one, I decided to start with number 2 and move forward. It's amazing that the first book has stuck with me all these years, so it must have been a better book than I remembered it being. Of course, it could have just been my taste in fiction at the time. It's not quite as "cozy" as most of what I had been reading then. The third one is at my public library so I've already added it to the list for a little later.
I went back to add "12 in 12 challenge" tags to the books I read this year. I think I had to replace covers on about half of them. I thought they said they had that fixed. Most of the ones that didn't come through were things where I had selected member covers or grabbed by URL. Frustrating!
I visited friends in Alaska last year and we went to the library where I saw her on a local author shelf. Someone on Bookmoooch just listed a couple of them so I thought I'd grab them.
I hope you enjoy them. You'll probably enjoy the atmosphere, having been to Alaska. I'm glad that I'm not the only person who visits libraries on vacations.
Lori, got my shelves organized yesterday, yeah! So, I know what I have and where they are hopefully, my husband was impressed how neat they looked. I did decide while I was doing the reorganization that I'm going to try to get most of my new books on my Nook or Kindle PC rather than trying to jam more on my shelves.
I had treated myself to the Nook Touch in March, right before they came out with the Nook Glow Touch and I was able to trade in my regular Touch for the GLOW and got it on Saturday. My husband loves it because he can sleep better without the light on - go figure - but now I can read late into the night and not disturb my sweetie!
That was my argument for getting a kindle fire -- that reading in the night thing. Of course, when he wants to sleep, I'm immersed in a paper book and on the nights I read something on the kindle, he's up later than me. Still, it was a good argument.
LOL - I have one of those lighted Kindle covers for my Kindle (e-ink variety). It's the perfect lighting. Of course, it doesn't disturb my cat as much as the computer, the Kindle, or any book.
I'm actually getting most of the books I'm reading that I don't own (or that aren't in the pile from cbl_tn) at the library now--either print or e-book. I try not to purchase books not available at the library until I'm almost ready to read it. I prefer to get it at a used bookstore where I can take it and get trade value for it. That's about the only way I can keep the pile from growing too much. Well, there is another way -- to keep out of bookstores -- but that's no fun. I did, however, go to BooksAMillion in Sevierville today and bought nothing but a FroJoe (I think that's what they called it -- frozen cappucino).
I'm doing well on getting books back to my friend. Another entry in my "I Want to Go Home" category:
I Want to Go Home by Anna Maclean - I'm always hesitant to try series featuring well-known authors such as Jane Austen or their characters involved in detection. In the case of this mystery featuring Louisa May Alcott, it turns out to be a well-founded hesitancy. Maclean's characters were somewhat two-dimensional and they mystery itself was not all that captivating. A friend of Louisa's returns from her honeymoon only to be found dead in the harbor a short time later. When the inquest reveals murder, the husband is the immediate suspect. While the author imitates Alcott's style of writing to some degree, it fails to measure up to Alcott's standard and required a stretch of the imagination to believe they would act in such a manner. I do not plan to continue with the series. 2.5 stars.
Since I have the second book in this series on loan by the friend, this is actually 2 books that get to go home!
Another book off Mount TBR:
Death, Bones, and Stately Homes by Valerie S. Malmont - Tori Miracle and her friend Alice-Ann stumble upon some bones in the springhouse for a home that will be on the historic tour for the first time this year. Alice-Ann convinces Tori, against Tori's better judgment, to keep quiet about the bones until the tour is over since the springhouse will be closed to visitors anyway. I have very mixed feelings about this mystery. The characters are developed enough. There were some I liked better than others. I'm just not convinced that the outcome could have happened nor am I convinced that the deputy acting as chief while the chief was out of the country had the intelligence to resolve the murder. He certainly did not display aptitude at anytime in the investigation itself. He kind of reminded me of Barney Fife. There are frequent references to what happened in earlier installments of the series, so it is probably a series that should be read in order, although I did not do so. My biggest criticism of the book, however, has to do with the series labeling as "A Tori Miracle Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery." There are no horse-drawn buggies; there is no lack of power lines; there are no Yoders, Keims, or Schrocks. There are dolls dressed as Amish sitting on a shelf of a hardware store. If that's as Amish as one can get, it's very misleading. I realize that the Pennsylvania Dutch country is overly commercialized now, but one still sees parts of that culture if one knows where to go. If these mysteries are going to call themselves Pennsylvania Dutch, they need to reflect that culture a bit more. 2.5 stars.
I haven't spent a lot of time reading yesterday or today. I've been going up to the Cumberland Gap the last couple of days to the Cumberland Gap Genealogy Jamboree. One of my good genealogy friends was speaking so I went up mostly to hang out. Since I'm leaving for a conference tomorrow, I've been doing laundry and such this evening. I did read a few chapters last night, but I'm too tired to read tonight. I think the heat got to me this afternoon as we were all visiting in town. I don't think I suffered sunburn though.
We had a free evening so most of us ended up at the beach for a little of it. I came back to the room and read after a bit. I wish I'd had on more appropriate clothes such as a swimsuit so I could have gone out a bit further! It was coming up to my knees as it was when the waves were coming in. I was trying to keep my capris from getting too wet.
There is nothing better than standing in the ocean. Unless it's feeling clammy fabric against your legs on the drive home, and knowing that it's ocean water.
Nice picture!! I've been on the ocean (whale watching off the coast of Massachusetts) but I don't think I've ever stood in an ocean.
In my "It Floats My Boat" category:
Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum - This book opens with what appears to be a case of child abduction. Inspector Sejer is called to investigate. The reader will soon discover, however, that the book is more about what the child saw during the hours she was gone. This book is not quite as tense of an atmosphere as many Scandinavian crime novels, but there are some literary elements in the puzzle, particularly in reflecting on the past of the characters, that will keep readers pondering the book. I enjoyed the mystery, but I did miss the darker atmosphere that I've come to expect in Scandinavian mysteries. 3.5 stars.
Your picture reminded me of a time when we were visiting Hawaii. We were sitting on a patio sipping delicious drinks at sunset and watched a Japanese woman having a totally delightful time dashing into the waves fully clothed. It looked so fun that we all went down, fully clothed, and splashed in the water.
We were going to go back to the beach last night, but one of the meetings ran a bit long and the public beach closes at 8 p.m. so we decided we'd better go elsewhere. We ended up going to an ice cream parlor that was along a park on the Intercoastal Waterway. Tonight's banquet will be at the Norton Museum of Art. It's along the Intercoastal too, so I'm at least glad we made it to the beach one night. It will be too late after we get out to go to the beach.
I have had the honor of serving on the review committee for the very first Association of Christian Librarians Book Award for Excellence in Nonfiction over the past year. Tonight we announced the first recipient of the award which will be given biannually. The winner is Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind by Mark A. Noll.
At the conference today, we worked on processing some books for Haitian libraries. There were several of us who have LibraryThing accounts working on the project, but we failed to get a picture of our flash mob. They only allotted us one hour in the schedule, and most of us had meetings immediately afterwards. We're still trying to get book jackets uploaded. The only scanner the library had was their photocopier which would only scan to PDF. I used Zamzar to convert the PDF files to JPG and then put them into my photo editing software to rotate, crop, etc. They still have several scans to send to us, but we'll hopefully be able to get the rest of the book jackets uploaded and finish tweaking the profiles in the next few days (even though the conference is over). Unfortunately, we had to use Amazon as the source. The only libraries that owned them were not LibraryThing data sources.
Another book comes off Mount TBR -- this one was a Kindle book:
Open Season by Archer Mayor - When members of a jury that served on a murder case about three years previously in Brattlesboro, Vermont are threatened and even killed, Lt. Joe Gunther informally reopens the case. It's not long before he and others are in danger as well. Who is the mysterious person behind the "ski mask"? Was the person brought to trial for the old murder case framed? It's up to Joe to find out before he meets the same fate as others. While I enjoyed this first installment, I really didn't like some aspects of the case, primarily because some parts were out of my comfort/toleration zone. If I read additional installments, I will want to make sure that those elements are not present in future installments. 3 stars.
I'm very happy to be home now! My cat is too. I don't think he suspects that I played with Hemingway's cat's descendants or the cat that was outside the library where our conference was held. I got to the 40% mark on a book I'm reading before I had to turn off my electronic device on the plane. I doubt I'll finish it tonight, but I'm going to give it a try and see how far I can get with the cat curled up on my lap before bedtime. Going back to work tomorrow won't be much fun after West Palm Beach and Key West.
They are like a drug, aren't they?
When I don't feel good, I just start reading and I feel better fast!
In my Operation Mount TBR category is:
Fire and Ice by Dana Stabenow - This series began when the author's favorite editor moved to another publisher. Since her contract did not allow for spin-offs, a new trooper character was invented for this series. Liam Campbell, freshly demoted because he wasn't watching those under him as much as he should have, is sent to a remote Alaskan village. He literally walks off the plane into his first murder investigation. He encounters the former love of his life. Before he's even done with processing that scene, he is called to a shooting. I was not all that pleased with the adultery and romantic scenes. The characters did grow on me over the course of the book. I'll probably eventually get around to the second in the series, but it's not that high of a priority. I prefer the author's Kate Shugak series. 3 stars.
For my Europe Endless challenge:
A Survey of Liechtenstein History by Otto Seger - This short 40 page book gives a brief overview of Liechtenstein's history, primarily focusing on the political history. When other areas are mentioned, they are usually in relation to the political climate. The book had some problems in regards to mixing first (primarily plural) and third persons. It is clearly a book written primarily for Liechtenstein's citizens. It is very basic and lacks citations. I did learn quite a bit about the influences that Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have had upon the Principality of Liechtenstein. 2.5 stars.
Another entry for my Europe Endless challenge category:
The Aland Islands by W. R. Mead and S. H. Jaatinen - Although the modern portion of this book is becoming dated, this is still a good book to read to become acquainted with the Aland Islands which are technically part of Finland but are autonomous. The Islanders speak Swedish for the most part and have ties to both Sweden and Finland. The book gives an overview of the country's geography, geology, climate, plant and animal life, and much more. It also chronicles what has become known as "the Aland question" in political circles. The book is very readable and reminds me of books in "The Land and People" series which was geared towards middle schoolers (and perhaps upper elementary schoolers), although this book was clearly written with an adult audience in mind. 3.5 stars.
My cat Brumley just had his very own book launching ceremony. He stepped on a book on the coffee table and launched it through the air.
Another book for "I Want to Go Home" (borrowed books) category:
The Wooden Overcoat by Pamela Branch - The Asterisk Club is a home for murderers who were acquitted. Newly released Benji Cann finds himself living with the artistic couples next door when there is not room for him at the club. When bodies (including Cann's) begin to turn up, both homes find themselves trying to hide the corpses. The emphasis is on comedy rather than mystery. Unfortunately, I don't think I was in the mood for this sort of book at the time I read it, and it didn't work all that well for me. I did recognize that it would be loved by persons who enjoy farces as well as many mystery lovers. 3 stars.
I have always wanted to have my picture taken with that marker. Glad you had a lovely time in Key West. I once had my heart set on owning a Hemingway cat, having heard they allowed a certain number of litters a year and adopted out the kittens, but I think they have since stopped the practice. Did you have any Key Lime Pie?
Yes - we had Key Lime Pie. I have lots of pictures of the cats! I didn't photograph all 44 that are currently in residence, but I did enjoy photographing a few of them. I spotted one cat in a place where it would have been difficult to photograph him. He was trying to hide!
I'm using this for my "Europe Endless Challenge" for Luxembourg although it could also go in "Hot Off the Press":
The Expats by Chris Pavone - In this story of espionage, we meet a former CIA agent who quit her job to accompany her husband to Luxembourg for his new job working in the banking industry. They meet some other Americans whom she suspects are not who they claim to be. Using her background, she sets out to investigate what is going on and whom they are following. I'm not a fan of spy stories, but this one kept me turning the pages. 3.5 stars.
LC has released its list of "Books that Shaped America." You'll find the list at: http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/books-that-shaped-america/. The press release is at: http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2012/12-123.html.
Another one in "I Want to Go Home":
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody takes Evelyn Barton-Forbes with her to Egypt after she is rescued by Peabody. Being an excellent judge of character, Peabody recognizes a person of breeding when she sees one. They hang around an archaeological dig with some of Evelyn's suitors. Danger finds its way into their lives, and they must be on guard. I felt the mystery was lacking in this novel which more closely resembles a romantic suspense novel than a mystery that has a definite murder which is being investigated. It is an enjoyable read if you don't expect a murder to solve in your mystery, but it did not leave me wanting to read more of the series. 3 stars.
I took advantage of the Big Deal at Amazon on Kindle books to purchase some of the Victoria Houston and Mary Logue titles that were being offered.
This one's been on my library TBR list for awhile, so it fits my "Library Books" category:
Death Books a Return by Marion Moore Hill - Librarian Juanita Wills of Wyndham, Oklahoma has undertaken a project to write the town's history. She stumbles across an unsolved race-related murder from 1959 and is determined to investigate it. Using her history as her reason to investigate, she meets up with a lot of people who won't share what they recall about that night. Of course, she encounters a few attempts on her life along the way. Her boyfriend is the local police chief who is very tight-lipped about his investigations. While I enjoyed some of the book, I found quite a bit to be implausible. I found some of the dialogue a bit flat. I had a hard time keeping up with which characters were black and which were white for over half the book even though I knew that the racial aspect was central. If the author had been more descriptive in introducing her characters in this installment, it might have been easier for the reader to distinguish. 2.5 stars.
We're working on a database cleanup project where script l's didn't come over in the call number field when we migrated to a new database at work. One of the books that had a problem has me wondering about the analogy that must be in the book because of its title. It's called Love and Marriage and Trading Stamps. When I go out into the stacks to check some other problems discovered, I'm going to go take a look at this one just out of curiosity although the problem with the catalog record is cleared up.
In my "Hot off the Press" category:
Calico Joe by John Grisham - Paul Tracey, the son of Mets pitcher Warren Tracey, wants to look up to his father and be loved by him, but his father is a jerk -- at home and on the baseball field. Paul idolizes the Cubs rookie Joe Castle from Calico Rock, Arkansas. Castle has wowed the baseball world with his performances after being called up from the minors. Then something tragic happens that ends the careers of Castle and Tracey. I'm not the world's biggest baseball fan (although I do watch games on TV and sometimes in person), but I loved this book. I don't know enough baseball history to know how much of Grisham's story is fictional and how much is fact-based, but his author's note makes it clear that both are part of the book. This is a wonderful story about forgiveness. 4 stars.
By the way, this morning I discovered that someone had taken out my mailbox last night. I thought I'd heard some wild driving in my usually quiet neighborhood around 11 p.m. They'd also hit the neighbor's county-supplied garbage can which was in parts on the road. I managed to get the mailbox to stand up although it is quite wobbly, but it worked enough that the letter carrier left mail in it. I've got to find someone with post hole diggers (and probably a pick axe for this rocky soil) to help me install a new one.
@129, You just cleared up something for me. Was wondering what people were meaning when they said they devoured the Twilight books and now I know.
I have no idea, but a friend of mine who is a librarian in the Czech Republic (Prague) posted it from Mera's YA Book List's photo. It was just too great of a photo not to share with all the book lovers here!
I've had this one in my stash for a long time thanks to Carrie (cbl_tn). I picked up a copy in December 2009 for $1 at the local used bookstore after she loved the book. I have no idea why I put off reading it so long, but it's going in my "Critically Acclaimed" category because of Carrie's review and the reviews of many other LTers since that time.
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - There are some books you devour; there are some books you savor. This one fits the "savor" category. The narrator is Rev. John Ames. The audience is his son. He is reflecting back on his life as he knows it will soon be coming to an end. He's lived all but two years of his life in the small town of Gilead, Iowa. The ministerial life is all he's ever known. His grandfathers and father were all clergymen. It's not a book of action; it's a book of contemplation. Robinson's prose is quite poetic and very deserving of the Pulitzer prize that it won. 4 stars.
Happy to see another positive review for Gilead. I found it to be a remarkable read!
The first Random Drawing book for July (and perhaps the last, depending on my mood) is:
How to Sew a Button: and Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew by Erin Bried - When I saw this book mentioned in a library publication, I knew that I wanted to take a look at it at some point. It's really a shortened condensed reference book on doing certain household tasks. Most of it was stuff I learned to do at a young age. The directions are a bit simplistic and occasionally have been updated for the 21st century. The author intersperses humor in the midst of the instructions. I wish I could say that I loved the book, but it was kind of ho-hum for me. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't outstanding. At times, I would have preferred to read the accounts given to her by some of the grandmothers she consulted, particularly the one from Mississippi, whose experiences would have been most similar to my own Mississippi grandmothers. I do, however, think this would be a great thing to thrown into a bridal shower gift package for today's generation. I think I'm probably a little too old to appreciate the book fully, but it is the sort of thing that the younger generation would find useful. 2.5 stars.
Another Europe Endless Challenge book - this one is for Finland:
Snow Angels by James Thompson - The body of a Somali immigrant woman has been found in the snow in northern Finland just before Christmas. It appears to be either a sex crime or a racially motivated one. Inspector Kari Vaara must wade through the evidence to determine the motive and the killer's identity. It's not all that easy as the chief suspect is the man who stole his ex-wife from him. The plural of the title led me to believe that I would be reading about a serial murderer who used the snow angel pattern. Such was not the case (although I do say that with relief). I felt that some the characters lacked depth. Although we got to know Inspector Vaara and the chief suspect quite well, I felt that some of the other key players such as Vaara's ex-wife Heli, Vaara's right-hand man Valtteri, and Peter Eklund, a suspect who was the son of a wealthy man, were underdeveloped. The "f" word was overused, and there was a little more sexual description than I'm comfortable reading in this novel. It's not a bad debut novel, but I do hope that his later installments correct some of the problems of this first in the series. 3 stars.
My niece made the mistake of leaving the lid to her garbage can open against her home in the 105 degree temperature. It spontaneously combusted. They had to move it away from the house to keep the house safe from the fire.
WOW. I had no idea a plastic or whatever they make the non-metal garbage cans out of would do that.... mind you, after some of my mistakes heating up leftovers in tupperware in the microwave I shouldn't be so surprised but still..... wow!
She said that the only thing in it were some shells from some peas that they had shelled. Those are what caused it to combust.
For Belgium in my Europe Endless Challenge:
Resistance by Anita Shreve - An American plane is downed near a Belgian Village during World War II. Pilot Ted Brice escapes in the woods with the aid of a small boy. He's taken to the home of Henry and Claire who are members of the resistance. The plan is to hide him there until he can make an escape through France back to England. The danger for those in the village increases when one of the villagers provokes the Germans.This is a Holocaust story and a love story. Having read other books on this period, the ending is a bit predictable. There was a lot that could have been included that was omitted, and the ending seemed a bit rushed. It's a book that a lot of women will enjoy reading. 3.5 stars.
I wonder if there was a little arson involved. A few little pea shells shouldn't burst into flames like that. Good thing they were home to prevent a bigger problem.
You wouldn't think so, but apparently when they called about getting a replacement for the can, they were told that there had been several others that had the problem and they are the ones that said it was spontaneous combustion.
Knocking off Iceland in my Europe Endless Challenge with:
Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason - When a skeleton is found outside Reykjavik, Inspector Erlandur begins his investigation even though the full skeleton cannot be exumed for a few days. The archaeologist and a medical student believe that the bone that is first found is probably at least 70 years old so the detective focuses his efforts on the 1930s and 1940s. We are introduced to a horrifying tale of domestic violence and the account of an American base on Iceland. While the Icelandic names make for difficult reading, the story itself is quite absorbing. In the beginning, I had difficulty sorting out the past story and the present story, but as the story moved on, I managed to navigate both lines. My biggest criticism lies in the cursing in the dialogue. I did not feel it was critical in any place and could have been handled without including the bad language as was done in other parts of the story. I wondered if it was present in the original Icelandic or if it was introduced by the translator into the narrative. Stories involving domestic violence are never easy to read, but this one was well-told and worth reading. 3.5 stars.
I'm been working on my US Challenge and European challenge too. Tanks for some suggestions for those locales I haven't hit yet!
I'm too distracted this evening to read. There has been a terrible tragedy on the Cherokee Reservoir where several have been electrocuted. One ten year old boy is dead; an eleven year old boy is in critical condition at UT hospital. The others are apparently less critical. The families are members of our church. I'm spending a lot of time in prayer for the families.
Cheli - I finished the US one last year, but you'll find my list on my thread. Carrie finished hers as well. Between the two of us you should find some suggestions for both. I have books identified for all the countries, I think, although some are non-fiction.
Another book off Mount TBR:
Cooks Overboard by Joanne Pence - In this cross between a cozy mystery and a spy thriller, Angie Amalfi and her boyfriend, who is a police detective, take a cruise on a freighter. from their home in San Francisco with an intended destination of Acapulco. From the moment they set foot on the ship, things don't seem right when a cook attempts to throw himself overboard. Soon she meets other passengers and crew members who are a bit strange. Then to top things off, her boyfriend is not acting like his normal self. She feels someone has been searching their room, but she cannot imagine what she would have that anyone would want. This one was slow to start, but when the action picked up, it held my attention in spite of a tragedy in my church family that was distracting me. 3.5 stars.
@ 147 -- That's awful! :( I will definitely keep those families in prayer.
In the "I Want to Go Home" category:
Weighed in the Balance by Anne Perry - Oliver Rathbone takes on a slander case which he has little chance of winning. He enlists the aid of William Monk to investigate on his behalf. Monk's evidence shows that the person being accused of the murder is the only one who could not have committed it, and it appears the chief suspect of the murder would be Rathbone's client. It's a novel involving European politics. The pacing on this novel as with most attorney-driven novels was a bit slow for me. It's been awhile since I have read other books in this series, but I'm glad that I had read them. A newcomer to the series starting with this book would have found the main recurring characters undeveloped. It was, however, an intriguing puzzle that kept the reader wondering how the crime was committed and by whom until the final pages. I definitely prefer the author's Thomas & Charlotte Pitt series to the William Monk one. 3 stars.
Just wanted to update you all. The services for the two young boys who died in the tragic electrocution incident on Cherokee Reservoir will be tonight at 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The joint service will be aired on local cable and will be streamed live at http://www.fbcmtn.com/.
A Library Book:
Bitter Tide by Ann Stamos - Maggie arrives at Ellis Island where witnesses see her shoot the man with whom she traveled to America. Joseph is the supervisor and has more sympathy toward the girl than some of his superiors, and when the body is not found, he stalls her transfer to prison as long as possible while he investigates the situation. The reader sees the political machinery of New York and the Irish political groups in New York at work as Joseph investigates. It's a well-written mystery, but it's not a typical one in many ways. It's also not quite the novel I would have expected from a subsidiary of Gale's Cengage Learning to produce in support of a unit dealing with immigration. It certainly shows some of the problems at Ellis Island caused by political machinery. 3.5 stars.
Another library book:
Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie - Poirot is asked to come quickly to France. It is the postscript that really convinces the esteemed investigator to take on the case. He arrives to find the man who sent the note murdered. Although Giraud, the French detective, seems to be up on the latest in scientific investigation, it is Poirot's psychological studies of the persons involved which leads to the conclusion. This is one with all sorts of twists and turns in the plot. It will keep readers guessing up to the very end. 4 stars.
I'm on a roll with those books I checked out of the library Saturday and just finished the last of the 3 I checked out:
Sew Deadly by Elizabeth Lynn Casey - Tori Sinclair has just arrived in Sweet Briar, South Carolina from Chicago to be the town's new librarian. She discovers the former librarian doesn't like her because retirement was forced upon her. She finds friendship in the town's sewing circle and in the third grade teacher who brings his class to the library each week. When a young resident of the town turns up dead outside the library, some people begin to suspect Tori. After all, there had never been a murder in Sweet Briar before she moved there. With the local police chief out of town, the officer from the next town over seems to suspect Tori as well. Tori knows that she must find the real murderer so that she doesn't end up behind bars. I loved this small town. It's a great atmosphere with characters that I want to revisit. It's just a shame that Sweet Briar is fictional. I'd love to stop at the antique store, the library, the bakery, and even drop in on the sewing circle (if only for the refreshments). 4 stars.
I read this book last year and enjoyed it too. Now Tina's looking for it!
I have it somewhere in mount TBR. Maybe I could find somewhere to put it this year. I meant to read it for my "crafts" category last year, but couldn't quite get to it.
I didn't like the characters in Sew Deadly as much as you seem to have, but I agree that the town seems like a lovely place to visit!
Paulina, I wonder if it is because I live in the South and see the characters as so typical of Southerners. I know people who are much like most of those characters.
My Early Reviewer book fits the "Hot Off the Press" category:
Living Jesus: Doing What Jesus Says in the Sermon on the Mount by Randy Harris with Greg Taylor - Professor Randy Harris discusses the implementation of the Sermon on the Mount into the life of a Christian. He uses simplistic illustrations to make his point. There is a lot of repetition of points within the chapters. The discussion itself is "dumbed down" as are many books on Christian life. While I found the book to be too shallow, I do think that it might be something college students might enjoy discussing in a Bible study or Sunday School class. The discussion questions and ideas for implementation at the end of each chapter lend itself well to this type of use. I received this copy through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program with the expectation that a review would be written. 2.5 stars.
Another book for the "I Want to Go Home" category:
When Will the Dead Lady Sing? by Patricia Sprinkle - MacLaren Yarborourgh's old boyfriend shows up in town with his son who is running for governor. Joe Riddley's barn is burned down by Tad who runs away. A homeless person is found dead near the water tower. Who would want to kill her and why? Mac has to puzzle this out while being somewhat laid up with an injury. This installment of the series got off to an extremely slow start. I was quite ready to abandon it, but then it began to pick up, first slowly about halfway through the book and then more rapidly in the last third of the book. I really get annoyed by the people in the town, but then there's a Southernness about it that rings true as well. 2.5 stars.
>159 thornton37814:: That could be the case. I recall that the characters didn't quite seem real to me. Obviously, I need to spend more time in the South getting to know the friendly people there! Actually, I'd love to visit the South one day. I've visited the US many times, but mostly in the northern half.
Another book comes off Mount TBR:
Spiced to Death by Peter King - The Gourmet Detective (who is not a detective in the usual sense of the word) has been called by his friend Don Renshaw to help authenticate a shipment of a spice (Ko-Feng) that has been newly rediscovered, having been lost for 500 years. Of course, since no one living really knows much about it, they have to draw on their vast experiences with other spices and chemical reactions to do so. The shipment disappears as soon as it has been authenticaated. Restauranteurs as well as those into medical and other scientific research all want to get their hands on it. Soon there are deaths connected to the spice. The Gourmet Detective works with the New York Police Department to help solve the crime. This installment was very slow-paced. The narrative bogged down in what should have been my favorite part of it -- descriptions of food. Its solution was somewhat similar to a locked room puzzle in some sense, although there is an additional dimension since the murders took place outside of the locked room. 3 stars.
Yet another one comes off Mount TBR:
Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn - Daisy Dalrymple goes to Wentwater Court to write an article for a magazine on the country estate. Daisy wants to earn her own way, even though she is of a class where most women would not work. It's not long until the body of a man that no one really likes is found in the ice. It appears to be an accident until Daisy notices an irregularity in one of the photographs she took at the scene. Although it should have been assigned to the local constable, the family is able to use its influence to get an inspector from Scotland Yard involved. He notices a tie-in to a case he's already working. He involves Daisy in the investigation. I found that particular element of the book to be the most far-fetched thing. A Scotland Yard DCI is not going to involve a civilian in a matter, even if she is the one who raised the possibility of its being a homicide. While she might be low on his list of suspects, she had the same opportunity as others to have done the deed, even if she had not known the victim prior to her arrival. Still, the case was entertaining, and I like Daisy and the Chief Inspector. I hope Alec is in future installments of this series. 3.5 stars.
This book had been sitting on my shelf for a long time. I thought I had not read it. When I began reading it, the plot seemed familiar. I am positive I had already read this book, probably in hardcover back when it was first released from the library. I still enjoyed it and don't really regret the re-read.
Another one off Mount TBR:
Quietly in Their Sleep by Donna Leon - The Vice-Questore is out of town, and crime is not very rampant in Venice at the moment. A former nun stops in to speak to Brunetti and voices concerns about what she had seen at the nursing home to which she had been transferred. She is suspicious of deaths of some of the residents. Having nothing more pressing to do, Brunetti begins to investigate. At the same time, his daughter is having difficulties in her religion class, and the problem seems to be with the priest. Then something happens to the former nun which elevates the case. This is probably my least favorite installment (that I've read to date) of the series because of the obvious animosity toward religion the author has. The only "normal" religious person encountered is the former nun who has left her order. Every character seems to carry a chip on his or her shoulder against the church. While the types of crimes committed by the clergy members in this installment should not be condoned, the author has gone a bit too far in her animosity against the church. The mystery itself was well-plotted. 3 stars.
I'm excited. Wolf Hall was on the shelf when I made it to the library today. When I got it home, I noticed that there is some water damage to the edges of the pages. I hope that I won't run across any that are stuck together!
Happy to see you managed to get your hands on a copy of Wolf Hall! Looking forward to seeing what you think of it. We are keeping the group thread warm..... ;-)
Great, Lori. I managed to read a little over 100 pages before I headed to church late this afternoon. I will read 50 to 100 more before I go to bed tonight. So far, I'm loving it. I may even get out Cavendish's bios of Wolsey and More to re-read some time. I had to read them for a class called Protestant Reformation when I was in seminary. It was a combined edition called Two Early Tudor Lives.
Oh, I'm glad you're enjoying Wolf Hall. It had me from that vivid opening description.
Most of you know that I love just about anything having to do with cooking. (That's one reason I often include cookbooks and fiction dealing with food in my reading that you see here.) Well, a friend of mine made a comment to me last night that still has me chuckling. His son had been down to the house of a mutual friend of ours. He had eaten with that friend who had made a pasta dish that had chicken and eggplant in it. My friend said that his son wasn't really one to eat any form of pasta other than the occasional macaroni and cheese and that he would never have imagined his son eating eggplant at all. His son wanted his parents to learn to make that dish because it was so good. As he began describing the dish to his parents, he talked about the "pepto" sauce and how good it was. Now, I know that what he meant was pesto, but I just keep imagining making that dish with a bottle of Pepto Bismol. I just can't even imagine wanting to eat anything with a pink sauce of that color. I'm sure it must have been very soothing to the stomach.
The really bad thing is that this guy's son is a teenager. He apparently didn't know the difference in pesto and pepto.
I had chicken with a "pepto" cream sauce the other night. It was yummy! I've seen tomato cream sauces, but they weren't really "pepto".
In my "Critically Acclaimed" category:
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - This is an excellent work of historical fiction depicting Early Tudor England. Mantel covers all the major players--Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Henry's wives and their families, Thomas Cranmer, and, of course, Thomas Cromwell. Mantel makes that period come to life for readers by updating the language used to words with which contemporary readers are more accustomed to reading. The usage of the pronoun "he" was confusing a bit at first, but it didn't take long to catch on to the fact that it usually referred to Cromwell. I'm motivated to go back and grab my copy of Cavendish's biographies of Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas More to read again in the not too distant future. I'm looking forward to reading Bring Up the Bodies as well. This book is very deserving of the Man Booker Prize that it won. 5 stars.
I'm not even going to venture to guess whose review was the first to inspire me to read this one or which reviews since then have prodded me on toward reading it. I'd hoped to read it last month, but it was checked out of the library, and I had to wait my turn!
For the Non-Fiction category:
A Brief Guide on How to Research Your Ancestry by Evette Gardner - This is an overly simplistic guide on researching one's family tree. While some of the advice offered is good, the explanations of how to go about locating those sources do not hold out in every situation. There is no mention of the importance of documenting your sources. The Kindle version that I used does not show any forms that help one extract or organize data. Repositories covered are limited to federal and state libraries and do not discuss the Family History Library, Family History Centers, Allen County Public Library, Clayton Library, etc. that are well-known as excellent repositories, which in some cases, may be more accessible to new researchers and may have as good as or better resources. The heading in the national archives section for the one in Alaska was headed by "Arkansas." The section on DNA testing was too ambiguous to be useful. If you are wanting a beginner's guide, skip this brief guide and pick up Christine Rose and Kay Germain Ingalls' A Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy (currently in its 3rd edition) or George G. Morgan's How to Do Everything Genealogy which is also in its 3rd edition. 1 star.
This was offered free on the Kindle this morning, and I decided to evaluate it. It's just simply too generic, omitting too much.
In the "Hot Off the Press" category:
Beach House Memories by Mary Alice Monroe - In the opening scene, Olivia "Lovie" Rutledge lays dying with her daughter Cara by her side in a cottage on the Isle of Palms. She is looking forward to being reunited with Russell Bennett. The reader is then taken back to 1974. Lovie discovers a second set of tickets for her husband's flights around Europe just before she heads to the beach house on the Isle of Palms for the summer. He claims they are for his secretary, but she knows better. She is anxious to get back to her work with the loggerhead turtles that nest on the Isle of Palms. She discovers a notice at the grocery store about a study of the sea turtles being conducted by a man named Russell Bennett. She discovers he's been hired by developers to find what impact the proposed development would have on them. Lovie joins up just to keep an eye on things. She is able to recruit more volunteers than ever before and learns things from Bennett that will help her protect even more of the nests. She also finds love. The novel deals with issues such as marital infidelity, spousal abuse, and much more. I'm not going to say a lot about my reactions to certain plot elements as it would give away too much of the story. If you are looking for a good beach read, this is one to savor. Although I have the first in this trilogy in my to be read pile, I read this one which had just arrived at the library, not realizing that it was part of a trilogy. It works fine as a stand alone novel. I'm going to have to go back and read the first one now, and I will look forward to the third. 4 stars.
I did a double-take this morning when I went to early vote in our primary elections. There staring up at me from the ballot was "Mark Twain Clemens." He was running for U.S. Senate against the incumbent Bob Corker and several others on the Republican primary ballot.
I have absolutely no idea, but when I went online to try to find out something about him, I discovered that there's a Grover Cleveland Mullins running for the same seat as a Democrat.
I am not sure what my Internet access will be like for the next couple of weeks. I will probably have a lot of catching up to do at some point. I will be taking care of some things related to moving my 90-year-old father in with my brother. Since he's already moved out, his wireless network is gone. When I'm at his old house, I'll be dependent on the municipal wifi which sometimes is so overstretched that you cannot get online. Unless my dad has had Internet installed, my brother only has dial-up so that's not really an option for me. I probably won't be online very much. I will probably have to go to McDonald's or some place that offers wifi once or twice while I'm gone just to take care of a bit of business. I have books and Kindle packed so I'm all set for reading. I may have to catch up on posting reviews when I get back, but I can write them and have them ready to post.
Maybe you could go to a Barnes & Noble - they have free wifi. (hee! hee!)
There is no B&N where my brother lives; however, I'm sitting at the public library right now in the genealogy section using free wifi!
For the library books category:
Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank - This is the story where the past meets the present. The past involves Dorothy and Dubose Heyward, George Gershwin, and the writing of Porgy & Bess. The present involves newly widowed Cate Cooper whose husband left her almost broke. She moves back to Folly Beach to visit the aunt who reared her and finds true love. There are some parallels in the two stories which are presented in alternating chapters. I enjoyed the present story's presentation more than the manner in which the past was showcased. Although I understand why the author chose that format for the past, it simply didn't work for me. 3.5 stars.
For the "I Want to Go Home" category:
The Black Tower by byarsbetsy::Betsy Byars - Herculean Jones is asked to read a book to one of her mother's clients, Mr. Hunt. His home has a black tower that is sinister. She and her friend "Meat" witness strange things in the house. This is a spooky mystery that will keep upper elementary and lower aged middle schoolers on the edges of their seats. 3.5 stars.
For my Europe Endless challenge, I'm already working on my "August" books. This one is for Slovakia:
Katarina by Kathryn Winter - Katarina, a young girl of Jewish descent in Slovakia, finds herself separated from her family during the Holocaust and World War II. Katarina does not practice the Jewish faith and loves Catholicism which had been taught to her by the family's maid. Most people are afraid to take in a Jewish girl. This story will invite many questions about the Holocaust and its atrocities for middle school aged readers. 3.5 stars.
I'm sitting at the public library right now in the genealogy section using free wifi!
Our library finally got free wifi this past year, and it's becoming very popular. Glad you have a place for net access where you are!
Sounds like your last few reads were reasonably solid.
Filling a spot for Czech Republic in my Europe Endless Challenge is:
Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague by Myla Goldberg - Goldberg resided in Prague in 1993 and returned in 2003 for the purpose of writing this book. It takes the reader on a tour of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. In the book, the reader becomes acquainted with the changes that freedom has brought to this city--from toppled statues to escalators. The reader is also exposed to the remnants of the former Communist State through police corruption. My favorite portions of the book were the descriptions of a couple libraries and cemeteries. The work could have been greatly enhanced by the addition of photographs to accompany the narrative. 3 stars.
Soon returning to its owner for a spot in my "I Want to Go Home" category is:
An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor - Barry Laverty takes a position as an assistant to Dr. Fingal O'Reilly in the Irish village of Ballybucklebo. He is shocked by O'Reilly's unorthodox style but comes to understand the doctor's ways. He learns a few lessons about being a doctor and about love as he gets to know the colorful characters who reside in the village. It's a delightful visit to a small village in Northern Ireland. 4 stars.
Coming off Mount TBR is:
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome - This is a look at the misadventures of three men and their dog on a two week voyage on the Thames in the 19th century. I laughed quite a bit and often pictured the men as the three stooges. A fun romp! 4 stars.
Coming off Mount TBR:
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver - Marietta Greer leaves her Kentucky home, renames herself Taylor, takes on a Cherokee child in Oklahoma, and finally stops in Tucson, Arizona. There she meets Lou Ann, a woman with a troubled marriage and a small boy. She goes to work at the tire store whose owner often assists undocumented immigrants. It's a well-written story with well-drawn characters. 4 stars.
Another book that I drew for my random drawing category. I had to order a used copy from Amazon for this one.
Italian Food by Elizabeth David - This classic work provides an in-depth look at Italian cuisine. The text is interesting, and the recipes often discuss substitutes for difficult to obtain items. This is the type of cookbook that would be consulted frequently because of the basic recipes that can be used in a variety of dishes. The most recent update was done in 1987. It would be interesting to see which cookbooks (and other books) would be added to the bibliographies if it were updated today. There are line drawings, but I would have loved photos of some of the dishes. 4 stars.
In the "It Floats My Boat" category is a book I'd been meaning to read and had recently downloaded to my Kindle. When a challenge to read a favorite book of one of your parents came along in another group, I knew immediately which one I wanted to read:
The Bobbsey Twins, or Merry Days Indoor and Out by Laura Lee Hope - This book was a childhood favorite of my mom who enjoyed it back in the 1920s and 1930s. The story details the adventures and misadventures of the Bobbsey Twins -- Bert and Nan (8 years old) and Freddie and Flossie (4 years old). It harkens back to a much simpler time. Children's literature has progressed a great deal since this book was published, but I found myself enjoying it. There are certain words used (such as "queer") that have entirely different connotations for today's readers. There are times when children are left unsupervised to play outside which would never happen in today's books. It's a dated, but still enjoyable book. 3.5 stars.
The Bobbsey Twins were favorites of mine way back when. I wonder what the updated versions are like.
Not only did we play outside unsupervised but we were out from after breakfast till lunch time and usually had to get called several times before coming in to dinner.
However, now as a parent I realize that we only thought we were unsupervised. Now I look back and realize that that was the time when most moms were at home and that while we thought we were out of sight, in actual fact one mom or another could probably scope us out at any given moment.
But glory of glories... summer time meant time just for us. NO organized activities, just making our own entertainment. It is truly a different time now and I honestly feel we had it the best.
It's sad that today's kids don't have the types of experiences we had and spend too much time with video games or watching DVDs or TV all day. The fun we made ourselves was the best.
I'm finally back home where I have decent Internet access. I'm currently reading two books. One is a mystery I downloaded for free on my Kindle some time ago. I'll probably finish it either tonight or tomorrow. I'm reading it pretty quickly although it won't be receiving rave reviews.
The other book is one with which I'm struggling somewhat. It's Kenneth Wishnia's The Fifth Servant. It's well-written, but there are a lot of words from other languages, and not all of them are found in the glossary in the back. (I wish they'd put the translations in footnotes so I would not have to flip back and forth.) I cannot read it very fast. Has anyone here read it? At about page 80, I considered abandoning it since I've already got Czech Republic covered in my Europe Endless Challenge, but I went back and read some of the reviews raving about it, and I really do want to learn more about the Jewish Inquisition. I guess the verdict is still a long way off. I'm just going to read it a little at a time until I get through it unless it starts to really pick up for me. I can read another book at the same time!
Coming off Mount TBR (or at least the Kindle equivalent of it):
Murder Over Easy by Marshall Cook - Monona "Mo" Quinn edits the local paper in a suburb of Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin. She has the reputation of being a real "Nancy Drew." Unfortunately this book was just not believable. I find it difficult to believe that a sheriff in such a large county would be as inept as the one depicted in this novel. The characters weren't very likeable to me, and I found myself not really caring about the novel. Once a true motive for the murder was uncovered, it wasn't difficult to figure out who committed the crime. I can live without reading future installments of this series. ***SPOILER ALERT: There are some coverup elements in this story that are too near the recent scandal involving Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State team for my tastes.*** 1.5 stars.
While I was in Mississippi, I stopped by the Goodwill Bookstore to see what bargains could be found. Unfortunately, there were not a lot of books on the list I'd taken with me available, but I did pick up a few books, mostly cookbooks, at a bargain.
Hail to the Chef by Julie Hyzy
The Copper Beach by Maeve Binchy
A Taste of Country Cooking by Verona Christian Church, Verona, Mississippi - I confess to picking this one up because I knew some of my cousins attended this church. I haven't found any recipes they contributed although I've seen a few by people I do know.
Potlucks & Picnics compiled by Rolling Holidays Chapter No. 230, Central Mississippi (The drawing of the RV on the cover drew me in!)
Taste of the Town by News Channel 5 (Nashville) - It's got recipes from a variety of Nashville establishments (restaurants, hospital, B&Bs, etc.) as well as the anchors.
Yesterday's Leftovers by Barbara & Cheryl - This is a cross stitch leaflet that I got because it had a map of the U.S. to cross-stitch (the lower 48). I couldn't resist for the bargain price.
Taste of the States: A Food History of America by Hilde Gabriel Lee - I loved the way this went state by state and gave historical information on food as well as recipes. It retailed for $45, and I got it for under $6. A bargain!
Another book for the "I Want to Go Home" category:
A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey - A body is found on a beach. Although it is first thought to be a suicide, the inquest finds evidence that it is murder. The body is that of an actress who had been vacationing in the area. The top suspect manages to get away from the police. There are plenty of other suspects as well. Inspector Grant must investigate each lead, including some that are not very promising, but he is finally able to resolve the mystery. The title of the book comes from a legacy that the actress left to her brother in her will. This is a fun and well-plotted mystery. 4 stars.
Another book for "It Floats My Boat." I had trouble deciding whether I wanted to read the non-fiction or the fiction book I'd chosen for Czech Republic. I decided to read both. Since I counted the first one toward the challenge, I'm putting this one in my anything goes category.
The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia - This historical mystery takes place during the Jewish Inquisition of the 17th century in Prague. A girl is found murdered, and the Jewish shop owner is taken into custody in spite of his innocence. The Jews are given 3 days to prove the man's innocence, and one of the days is a Sabbath, which poses a problem. The "sleuth" is a rabbi-in-training. This is a book that I both loved and hated. The book is well-written, but parts of it are not very readable. The reason for this is the abundance of terms in other languages. Only a few are explained in the text itself. There is a glossary in the back which includes some, but there are terms which are not explained at all. It makes for some very slow reading when one is constantly having to flip to the back of the book to locate the meaning of a term, especially if it is not there and one must search elsewhere for its definition. The historical research done by the author is quite evident to the reader. The acknowledgements in the back of the book not only mention persons but also the sources that were consulted in preparation of the book. I found that the mystery somehow got lost in much of the discussion of the Tanakh and Rabbinical literature (Midrash, Mishnah, etc.) I suspect that this novel will appeal more to those of Jewish faith than those who have little familiarity with the rabbinical literature. Fortunately, I was able to follow some of the discussion based on my knowledge of the Old Testament. It was the rabbinic discussions that sometimes lost me. I enjoyed learning more about the Jewish Inquisition in that part of Europe. It was certainly not humane treatment they received. 3 stars.
Good review of The Fifth Servant Lori and thanks for the warning of the abundance of terms in other languages. I tend to struggle with books when I have to keep referring to a glossary and now that I know not all of the terms are listed in the glossary and the lack of understanding I have of the Jewish faith and rabbinical literature, I would probably find this one to be a challenge to read. Pity as it sounds like such a promising premise!
Lori - It bogs down in places because of the terminology and rabbinical interpretations, and then it will go along for a few chapters without bogging down. It's one of those books that is probably definitely aimed at a Jewish audience. I still enjoyed it, but I had to read it a little at a time. I actually started reading it July 31 and finished four other books before I finished it earlier today. I have a friend here in town who goes to my church that I think will really enjoy it. I recommended it to her and told her that I'd return it to the library in the next day or two if she wanted to put a hold on it. She agreed that it sounded like her thing so she was going to log in and put a hold on it.
I have officially made the cat mad at me. I pulled a towel out from under him! I had sorted my laundry in the laundry room. The towels were on the floor. He just popped right up on top of them. I actually washed a different load first while ago so I wouldn't have to disturb him, but I couldn't put it off any longer. It was the final load. I'm sure he'll get over it. He's probably getting back at me right now by going upstairs to get in my favorite reading spot.
Ha! That reminded me of a cat we used to have. He would sit next to the basket as I was taking laundry down from the line. When it was full enough he would climb in and I would continue to put clothes in on top of him. Then I took the clothes in and turned the basket out on my bed. He would tumble out with the clothes and just stay there in my way. He made doing laundry more fun.
Cats and laundry make me laugh. The cats we used to have - this is going back a number years - only made for the laundry basket when laundry still warm from the dry was accessible in it. Cold laundry had no appeal. The older cat - the 22 pound furball that he was - loved to help make the bed by diving under and attacking first the sheets and then the comforter as they were being placed on the bed. Trying to get him to come out from under the covers so you can finish tucking the bed in was a chore in itself! Somehow I don't think it is supposed to take over 10 minutes to make a bed but he did make the chore fun the way he kept on diving around the bed to grab hold of an errant corner. ;-)
I usually have to make up a bed with a cat in it too. It's not an easy task!
Another entry in "I Want to Go Home":
Death at Dartmoor by Robin Paige - Sir Charles and Lady Kate Sheridan are invited to a seance the home of Sir Edgar and Lady Duncan near Dartmoor prison. Sir Charles has business at the prison anyway to fingerprint the prisoners. He's especially interested in a prisoner there who plead guilty to a charge of which Sir Charles is fairly certain he's innocent and which can be proven with the new fingerprinting method. Also a guest at the seance is Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Three prisoners escape, two are captured; Sir Edgar is murdered. The community immediately assumes the escaped prisoner is guilty. Sir Charles, Doyle, and Lady Kate set out to find the truth of the murder. While I enjoyed the book, I would have preferred that the historical figure of Arthur Conan Doyle have been left out. Paige seems to be somewhat critical of the abilities of Holmes through the voices she gave her characters. The novel seemed a bit longer than it needed to be. 3 stars.
I needed to return some books this morning to the library. I have all that I can possibly read this month already lined up between a stash of my own TBRs and some borrowed from a friend, so I came up with a way to be able to check out some books without jeopardizing the reading of the others. It might also help me get through the semi-reading slump that I've experienced this past week. (I suspect the slump is as much due to the fact that my summer vacation will soon be over as anything.) I checked out a whole lot of Juvenile books, mostly picture books or books for younger readers. I also found a book of epitaphs that I added to the stack from the adult section. At least I'll have some fun between the bigger books (if that pile will stick around that long). When I got home, the July ER book (Debbie Macomber's The Inn at Rose Harbor) was in the mailbox. I guess that I'll read it next instead of the Maeve Binchy book I had planned to read next, but at least now I know the next two adult books in my lineup!
Three entries in "It Floats My Boat":
My Family History by Jane O'Connor; illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser - Fancy Nancy's class has been given an assignment to write about an ancestor and report on it in class. Fancy Nancy learns the value of sticking to the facts instead of embellishing her story with things which she might think are more interesting. I guess the moral of the story is the old proverb: Honestry is the best policy. This simple children's book introduces children to the concept of genealogy and ancestors while introducing and explaining a few vocabulary words. The illustrations are pretty typical of the Fancy Nancy series of books. I like their whimsical nature, but some people might think they are a little frilly. If I were using this book with children who want to learn more about their ancestors, I would make sure that part of the discussion focused on sticking to the facts in genealogical research. 4 stars.
Who Do You Think You Are?: Be a Family Tree Detective by Dan Waddell - This book introduces children to some of the first steps to be taken in genealogical research. There are several flaps which children lift to read tips or to pull out activities to be completed as they are reading the book. There is too much information in this book for a child to digest at one sitting. It's a book that will need to be worked out a little at a time. The author used note cards to record family information. I would have preferred to see the child introduced to more conventional forms in a children's version for that information. The note cards are sure to be lost. The author has included some things that probably should have been left for a later age when the child gained a bit more experience. For example, there is information on family coats of arms. They are really not well-explained, but I think the author included it just so the child could make up his own coats of arms in the coloring activity in one of the pockets. The book opened with information about genealogy once being for the rich only and how many bogus genealogies were created. I'm not sure that was the correct place in the book for such information although it was told in a manner in which children can understand the problem. This book is somewhat useful, but it does have problems. I think the strength of the book lies in the encouragement to ask family members for information. I'm not certain that the forms and "memory book" give the child enough space to complete the activities, but it is a place to start. Hopefully children who are interested enough to continue to pursue genealogy will explore additional guides to further their genealogical education. 3 stars.
Seven Brave Women by Betsy Hearne; illustrated by Bethanne Andersen - A young girl tells the story of her female ancestors. They did not fight in wars like the men did, but they all had some achievement of which she could be proud. The stories are told in a manner in which a child would enjoy. The biggest problem that I have is with the timeline for the ancestors. For a young girl reading this book in 1997, it is more likely that a female ancestor living in the Revolutionary War era would have been a 5 or 6 great grandmother rather than a 3 great grandmother. It is more likely that the female ancestor living during the War of 1812 would have been a 4 or 5 great grandmother rather than a 2 great grandmother. The 20th century generations are closer to reality in terms of their relationship to the child. Some of the illustrations were better than others in the story. My favorite illustration is probably the one of the Mennonite ancestor crossing the Atlantic with her children. It is perhaps not a very realistic illustration and glamorized the trip, but it was a beautiful one. This is a book that could be used with children to show that although there are fewer records for female ancestors, they still played important roles in the family. If the child is old enough to understand the problems with the timeline, I would discuss that problem with the child. It might be a useful book for discussing how some published trees sometimes leave out a generation or two. 2 stars.
In my "Hot Off the Press Category":
The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber - Jo Marie Rose leaves her promising career as a Seattle banker and purchases a bed and breakfast in nearby Cedar Cove with insurance monies left by her late military husband. Her first guest is Josh Weaver, a former resident of Cedar Cove, who left town after being kicked out of the house by his step-father weeks before his high school graduation. A former neighbor has called him and told him his step-father is dying. He wants to recover a few things which had belonged to his mother as well as a few personal items he had been unable to take when he left the house. Her second guest is Abby Kincaid, who has been carrying a load of guilt around since being the driver of the car that killed her best friend during her freshmen year of college on a road just outside Cedar Grove where they had grown up. The occasion of her visit is her brother's wedding. Both had been avoiding Cedar Cove for years. Both guests as well as Jo Marie are in need of healing. It's a lovely story with some budding romances. Readers are certain to shed a tear or two before the end of the book. This is the first in a series of novels to be set at this inn. Apparently readers were not happy that she had concluded her Cedar Cove series. In an opening letter to readers, she explained her reasons for concluding it and expressed hope that this new series set in Cedar Cove would make readers happy. In the advance reader's edition, there are a few spelling errors which appear to be words which spell-check did not catch because they are real words. It is hoped that an editor will have caught and corrected those errors before it went to mass publication. There was a space for a knitting pattern and acknowledgements in the back, but these sections were blank in the advance reader's edition. This review is based on an uncorrected proof received through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program with an expectation that a review would be written. 4 stars.
Three more picture books for the "It Floats My Boat" category (although I could have put these in the Library Books category instead):
Homer, the Library Cat by Reeve Lindbergh; illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf - Homer is a cat accustomed to quiet at home where he lives with a quiet lady. One day, he ends up outside and finds noise almost everywhere he goes. He eventually finds his way into a quiet building, the library, where he also finds his owner the quiet lady reading to children. Needless to say, he becomes a library cat. It's a cute rhyming book with illustrations that fit the tone of the book. 4 stars.
B Is For Bookworm: A Library Alphabet by Anita Prieto; illustrated by Renee Graef - This is a nicely done alphabet book that features libraries, but I suspect that it is one that will be enjoyed by more adults than children. The author seemed to be stretching a bit when coming up with words for certain letters. For example, the letter "Y" is yellow. Why? Because the academic regalia color for degrees in library science is lemon yellow. I was happy to see genealogy featured in the letter "q" for quest and again in the "Did You Know?" section at the back of the book with a mention of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Each letter has a short rhyme and then a larger narrative section that explains more. Some of the things are certainly things kids would enjoy; some of them are probably trivial in the scope of things. It's the type of book that might be used in a unit on libraries in elementary school. 3 stars.
The Library Gingerbread Man by Dotti Enderle; illustrated by Colleen M. Madden - This is a cute tale about the gingerbread man escaping from his book in 398.2 in the library. He encounters various characters such as a word wizard, an origami bird, Olympic runner Jesse Owens, and others who try to stop him and make him get back to his spot in the library. Young readers who love the "Catch me, catch me, if you can . . . " story will enjoy this variation. There are a few problems with the book. The biggest one is probably that the author classifies individual biographies in 920. That is the number for collective biography which includes a wide range of persons from different occupations, but individuals are generally now classified under their subject matter. Many public and school libraries still use the letter "B" to signify biography rather than using Dewey to categorize them. While it's possible that an arctic fox would be in a book about the Arctic regions, it seems that the gingerbread man should have encountered the fox in the zoology section near his encounter with the giraffe. Knock knock jokes are usually classified in 398.7 with "Jokes and Jests" rather than in 818 which is a more literary type of humor, such as one would encounter in the writings of Mark Twain. It's still an enjoyable read that children will love, even if it does have a few Dewey issues. 4 stars.
I went to our public library's annual book sale today. It's not a very big one, and it is usually not that good, but I did manage to come away with 7 books for a whopping total of $2.25.
I'll start with my sentimental favorite. I had to get it because it is a book that I had around the house growing up. I am pretty sure we sold it in a yard sale at some point, but when I saw this book, I had to have it!
Yes, it was a combined copy of two classics, Black Beauty and The Call of the Wild. I got it for 25 cents.
The only piece of adult fiction that I got was Michael Jecks' Belladonna at Belstone. It promises to be a medieval mystery. I've never heard of this series, and the copy I picked up has a London imprint. I decided to try it. Has anyone read any of these? It was 50 cents.
The rest of my books were cookbooks.
I picked up The Wine and Food Society's Guide to German Cookery for 50 cents. (The touchstone indicates that it must have also been published with a shortened title.)
Then I picked up four books in the Great Chefs series that PBS did. They all begin "Great Chefs of . . . " and then have a city. The four I grabbed were:
New Orleans II
They were 25 cents each.
Not a bad haul for $2.25.
Sounds like some great meals are going to be forthcoming. Those are all great "foodie" towns so I imagine the chefs outdid themselves!
Judy, I did see some chefs, especially in NOLA, whose names I recognized as I looked through the books. I am a little disappointed that there were not more in the series available. I'll have to keep an eye out for the rest of the series although I suspect that I'll pay much more for additional volumes. I'm sure there had to be multiple volumes for New York City!
I think collecting and hunting for a specific series would be a lot of fun, just think of all the cook books you will be able to paw through while looking for more of this series. I actually remember watching and loving the Great Chefs program when PBS had it on, those cook books will be a great collection to own.
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