VictoriaPL's 2013 Warm-up Thread

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VictoriaPL's 2013 Warm-up Thread

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1VictoriaPL
Edited: Aug 31, 2012, 6:00pm

VictoriaPL's LOST in the 2013 Category Challenge!



This will be my 5th annual reading challenge here on LT. I really enjoy being here with all of you - thanks for making it a fantastic group! Reading JAN - DEC 2013. I'll be hanging out mostly in the 12-12 until then.

3VictoriaPL
Edited: Dec 1, 2013, 8:38am

2. Beginnings & Endings
serial fiction



1. The Garden of Eden and Other Criminal Delights by Faye Kellerman (1.21.2013)
2. Sympathy Between Humans by Jodi Compton (1.24.2013)
3. Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte (3.19.2013)
4. Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe (11.20.2013)
5. Silent Enemy by Thomas W. Young (11.30.2013)

CANDIDATES
Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane

6VictoriaPL
Edited: Nov 22, 2013, 1:20pm

5. Book Club
tandem & group reads



1. The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson w/cammykitty (1.10.2013)
2. Solaris by Stanislaw Lem w/andreablythe (1.13.2013)
3. Swamplandia by Karen Russell 2013 group (1.19.2013)
4. March Violets by Philip Kerr w/ @jonesli (3.8.2013)
5. Kindness Goes Unpunished by Craig Johnson w/ DeltaQueen50, @jonesli (3.10.2013)

8VictoriaPL
Edited: Apr 16, 2013, 6:43pm

7. The Pearl Station
reads inspired by films or TV



1. Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks (2.26.2013)
2. The Martian Child by David Gerrold (3.13.2013)
3. A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle (4.15.2013)

CANDIDATES

Burn Notice: The Fix by Tod Goldberg
For Your Eyes Only by Ian Fleming
Angelique's Descent by Lara Parker
Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart by Stefan Kanfer
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time by Yasutaka Tautsui

10VictoriaPL
Edited: Dec 29, 2013, 12:05pm

9. Forwards, Backwards & Sideways or See You In Another Life, Brother
sci-fi



1. Kiln People by David Brin (4.20.2013)
2. Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress (6.30.2013)
3. Polaris by Jack McDevitt (12.23.2013)

CANDIDATES

The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin
Footfall by Larry Niven
Logan: a trilogy by William F. Nolan
The Meq by Steve Cash
Vermillion Sands by J.G. Ballard

11VictoriaPL
Edited: Nov 24, 2013, 1:07pm

10. Beach Reads
random



1. Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter (1.20.2013)
2. The 37th Hour by Jodi Compton (2.13.2013)
3. The Moonlit Earth by Christopher Rice (2.24.2013)
4. The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler (11.24.2013)

15thornton37814
Aug 23, 2012, 8:19pm

Fun categories!

16avatiakh
Aug 23, 2012, 11:37pm

Love your categories.

17clfisha
Aug 24, 2012, 5:02am

Everyone needs a random category :) Good luck!

18christina_reads
Aug 24, 2012, 1:41pm

Lauren Willig wrote a non-Pink Carnation book?! I don't know how I feel about that...but who am I kidding? I'll definitely read it! :) Let me know if you want to do it in tandem. Is another Pink Carnation book coming out next year as well?

19rabbitprincess
Aug 24, 2012, 9:29pm

One of my university friends would LOVE your theme. She's a big fan of LOST so I think of her every time it's mentioned :)

20VictoriaPL
Aug 25, 2012, 8:29pm

Thanks everyone.

Christina - I had the same reaction! I wouldn't want to read a Willig without you, buddy, I just hadn't mentioned it yet. Put me down, we're on! The Garden Intrigue is the most recent Pink book she mentions on her website and we've already read that. Let's hope it's just a hiatus. Everyone needs a vacation.

21christina_reads
Aug 26, 2012, 7:34pm

Haha, OK, great! Didn't mean to pounce on you so soon...I suppose it's a bit early to be discussing tandem and group reads. Or is it? This is why I love LT. :)

22VictoriaPL
Aug 26, 2012, 8:23pm

It's not too early, it's part of the fun!

23-Eva-
Aug 27, 2012, 5:58pm

Nice theme!! Lost is a good one to use too with all its different angles. But, you reminded me I never finished watching the whole series...

24VictoriaPL
Aug 27, 2012, 6:32pm

Thanks Eva. You should finish. Once I started watching the DVDs I could not stop. I think it's a great piece of storytelling.

25lsh63
Edited: Aug 27, 2012, 7:42pm

Hey Victoria: I like your categories, although I have to admit I started watching Lost in its beginning stages then I got confused and stopped watching it.

Maybe I will go back to it one day after I finish catching up on Breaking Bad and Dexter.

I'll PM you about possible tandem reads soon.

26cbl_tn
Aug 27, 2012, 8:11pm

I used to work on Wednesday nights so I never got into Lost. I haven't seen a single episode. I might be able to borrow the DVDs from one of my co-workers, who was a big fan of the show.

27lkernagh
Aug 27, 2012, 8:46pm

Great categories... and Darn it all - I never remember to have a category for group or tandem reads. *Head smack*.

One of these years I will learn... *waves 'Hi"*

28VictoriaPL
Aug 28, 2012, 1:11pm

Hey Lisa - got your list, I'll look it over and let you know.

Hey Carrie, definitely borrow those DVDs. Especially if you feel a cold coming on - that way you can snuggle down on the couch and go through them all at once and not feel guilty.

*waves* Hi Lori!

29Her_Royal_Orangeness
Aug 28, 2012, 2:27pm

I now want desperately to pull out all the LOST DVDs and have a marathon.......

30VictoriaPL
Aug 28, 2012, 2:40pm

Oh, HRO, can I come over? I'm jealous, I don't own any of them (yet).

31hailelib
Aug 29, 2012, 7:43am

I finally ordered the DVD's for season one from the library and we just started on them. So far we are very interested in the story.

32Her_Royal_Orangeness
Aug 29, 2012, 8:02am

>30 VictoriaPL: - Party at my house on Saturday! :D

33mamzel
Aug 29, 2012, 4:33pm

Woohoo! I'll bring the coconut water.

34Her_Royal_Orangeness
Aug 29, 2012, 4:56pm

I'm planning to test some new wild boar recipes I found on pinterest. ;)

35VictoriaPL
Aug 29, 2012, 5:15pm

Mmmm Boar! I think I have some Apollo bars around here somewhere.

36dudes22
Aug 30, 2012, 1:01pm

I'll be watching what you read even though I'm not a "LOST" fan so some of your references were lost on me! ha, ha, ha, ha,ha

37VictoriaPL
Aug 30, 2012, 1:21pm

Hey Betty. Couldn't resist, huh?

38Her_Royal_Orangeness
Aug 31, 2012, 12:40am

Wouldn't be a party without Apollo Bars.

39VictoriaPL
Sep 1, 2012, 1:13pm

All set, HRO, I found LOST season one for $5 at the local used media store!

40RidgewayGirl
Sep 2, 2012, 8:11am

So what's the inspiration for the Hawai'i category? Are you planning a trip? I forgot to give next year a theme category like that. It's a good way to dive into a topic and differentiate each reading year. I'll have to change that.

41VictoriaPL
Sep 2, 2012, 12:46pm

D and I turn 40 before our 20th wedding anniversary (a couple of years from now) and we're thinking about celebrating all that with a trip to Hawaii. The trip is in a highly conceptual stage right now, but it's never too early to do research, right?

42rabbitprincess
Sep 3, 2012, 6:46pm

I have Unfamiliar Fishes on the shelf too. Sarah Vowell is one of my "buy on spec" authors, and I don't know much about the history of Hawaii, so it should be an interesting read.

43Her_Royal_Orangeness
Sep 4, 2012, 1:02pm

>39 VictoriaPL: - Awesomeness! :)

44DeltaQueen50
Sep 7, 2012, 10:20pm

Oh, I still miss LOST so much. Great idea, Victoria. I will be checking in regularly and especially to your Beach Reads just to see a picture of Sawyer.

45LauraBrook
Sep 13, 2012, 8:18pm

I've never seen LOST either (please don't shoot me!) but I really like your categories, as usual. :)

46Bjace
Oct 6, 2012, 10:51am

I had trouble with TV reception on and off while Lost was being telecast, so I never followed much of anything at that time. I should check out the DVDs. Notice you are reading Crumley's Last good kiss, which I read years ago and don't remember very much. I read a lot of Ford Madox Ford; enjoy whichever of his books you've picked. I can recommend The good soldier and The fifth queen.

47lindapanzo
Oct 6, 2012, 9:30pm

Another person here who has never seen lost. Unless there's sports involved, I don't watch much tv. Four playoff ball games in a row tomorrow sounds heavenly to me. A regular tv series of any kind, not so much.

That Sarah Vowell book on Hawaii looks interesting.

Love your categories.

48hailelib
Oct 6, 2012, 9:54pm

We started Lost recently and are part way thru season two. Somehow one gets caught up in the story so we see an episode most nights. I just hope the library has them all.

49VictoriaPL
Oct 6, 2012, 10:06pm

You must have a lot of willpower to only do one episode a night. When I was first going through the series, I would burn through a disk in an evening. I just wanted to know how everything turned out, I couldn't wait!

50LittleTaiko
Oct 18, 2012, 12:51pm

Can't wait to read you review of the Burn Notice book - love that show!

51VictoriaPL
Oct 18, 2012, 1:04pm

Me too! Hope it "works" in book format.

52thornton37814
Oct 19, 2012, 10:26pm

Thought you might want to see today's press release from C-N: http://www.cn.edu/news?view=437

53VictoriaPL
Oct 19, 2012, 10:29pm

They're really doing it? Finally? Wow.

54thornton37814
Oct 19, 2012, 10:42pm

I thought you'd find that interesting. We've known it would likely be a result of this board meeting for awhile, but we had to wait until it was official to say too much.

55andreablythe
Nov 14, 2012, 3:26pm

Love your cats as always. :)

56VictoriaPL
Nov 14, 2012, 5:50pm

Thanks Andrea - glad you found your way over here.

57cammykitty
Nov 14, 2012, 6:39pm

Looks good! I'm sure you'll like Hillerman if you get around to reading him. I'm thinking of reading Devil in the White City too. Perhaps we could do a tandem read.

58VictoriaPL
Nov 14, 2012, 7:08pm

Hi Katie. I'd love to read Devil with you! I'm completely open as far as timing.

59cammykitty
Nov 15, 2012, 12:12am

Cool! Mid-January or any time in February? I don't think it will be too difficult to get a library copy of Devil.

60VictoriaPL
Edited: Nov 15, 2012, 6:02am

Mid-Jan sounds great. Looking forward to it!

61lindapanzo
Edited: Nov 15, 2012, 1:55pm

I loved Devil in the White City. As a lifelong Chicagoland resident, I love reading about my city.

I hope you both enjoy it.

Victoria, I was looking at your list of possible books for 2013. One that jumps out at me as one I'd been hoping to get to is Monuments Men by Robert Edsel. When you plan to do that one, please let me know and I'll join you on it.

62cammykitty
Nov 16, 2012, 12:22am

I went to school just outside Chicago and wish I had spent more time in the city when I was there. The fact that it's in Chicago is one of the reasons why I want to read it.

Mid January it is then!

63sandragon
Dec 2, 2012, 4:34pm

I've never watched Lost either, but I like your inspiration for comfort reads. I'd like to hang with Vincent as well, especially on a beach.

64cbl_tn
Dec 31, 2012, 9:25am

I spent some time this weekend looking through the book award lists to see how many of my TBRs I'll be able to fit into one of the Award CATs. Interred With Their Bones made the short list for the Thriller Awards in 2008. Are you up for a joint read in August?

65VictoriaPL
Edited: Dec 31, 2012, 10:41am

Hi Carrie! Sure, let's do it! Let me make a note...

66cbl_tn
Dec 31, 2012, 5:45pm

Great! I'll add it to my list for August.

67calm
Jan 2, 2013, 11:38am

Hi Victoria - finally found my way into 2013 - I'll definitely be following and finding out what you read:)

68VictoriaPL
Jan 2, 2013, 1:10pm

Glad you found me! I'll try to be more consistent with my reviews!

69VictoriaPL
Edited: Jan 5, 2013, 8:19pm



1. Black Orchid by Nicholas Meyer and Barry Kaplan ©1977
category: Love is a Fish Biscuit

The Royal Geographic Society has twice sent teams of men down the Amazon to Manaus but none have ever returned. Under the auspices of collecting rare orchids, which British society is simply mad for, the true mission is to bring back rubber tree seeds. Manaus, home of the rubber barons, is the fifth richest city in the world - a wealth primarily maintained through slave labor. These debauched men have no problem eradicating any threat to their fortunes. Enter Harry Kincaid, a mercenary with just enough Paris refinement to get him into Manaus society. Harry is going to break the South American rubber monopoly and destroy these corrupt men, that is, if he doesn't lose himself to a woman first.

This is not my first reading of Black Orchid. I discovered it as a young teen and its more tawdry passages made quite an impression. But after many years all I could remember was orchids, a boat and a feisty love affair. Who knew there were so many romances out there having to do with orchids? But I finally tracked it down again and was really looking forward to a re-read of it.

Black Orchid is an adventure-romance, my favorite kind of guilty-pleasure reading. It's not epic, legendary, literary or particularly novel. It's just fun. Go in with your eyes open and enjoy it for what it is.

70lkernagh
Jan 6, 2013, 4:07pm

Sounds like an interesting story and a great first book of the year for you, Victoria!

71andreablythe
Jan 10, 2013, 5:50pm

Ah, so this is your thread.... (or do you have another one, too?)

Anyway, I totally forgot about reading Solaris this month. LOL. But, yeah, I'm still down. :)

72VictoriaPL
Jan 10, 2013, 7:44pm

Hey Andrea! You are in the right place, I'm just not reading very quickly this month!
Excellent! I will probably start on Solaris tomorrow.

73VictoriaPL
Edited: Jan 13, 2013, 9:38am



2. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson ©2003
category: Book Club read with: cammykitty

I've been struggling to collate my thoughts about Devil. This might a little rambling, so please bear with me. The book features the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, the buildings of which were all white, and the serial killer, Henry H. Holmes, who built his own house-of-horrors just around the block. And while Holmes did attend the fair (with two or three of his victims) the fair and the killings aren't necessarily linked. The book didn't feel like a true 50/50 split to me, maybe a 70/30? Obviously Larson had access to more documentation about the fair than there was about Holmes, who largely operated without notice by authorities, I grant him that. But I think the Holmes section suffers by comparison and might have been better as its own book.

The thread that holds everything together is the city of Chicago. I've never been there and I'll certainly never be able to visit it as it was back in 1893, but Larson gives plenty of visuals so that you can imagine what it was like. The conceptualization and construction of the Fair was fascinating. I was born in Orlando and so when Larson mentioned that Elias Disney was a builder at the Fair, I could not help but think that our DisneyWorld, built by his son, is likewise a descendant of his father's Fair. Also, being a native of swampy Florida, where buildings don't go too high, I was interested in the engineering struggles the men faced to make the land support their endeavours. Even the facts and figures can entertain, the numbers of waterfowl brought in, the barrels of beer consumed, the crowd that showed up on certain days. Also, the cultural ways of the time, particularly relating to women, the competitiveness of the states against each other and even the standard operating procedure of (rich) businessmen was engaging. I was never bored reading of the Fair.

Nor by Holmes either. He certainly was a piece of work. I kept thinking of Ted Bundy (sorry, I am a Florida girl). Holmes was able to charm the socks off people, as the saying goes. That's just so different from who he really was inside and what he did to his own fellow human beings. The effort and intelligence it must have taken on his part to maintain those relationships and that facade must have been quite taxing. His true self, twisted as it was, is evident in what he did. But don't worry, many murder mysteries/thrillers today are much more grisly than what is described in these pages. I never put the book down in disgust. In fact, I wish there were more details about what law enforcement figured out in the aftermath and how they finally put all the pieces together. I know it wasn't the age of CSI that we have now, but even then, I would have found it of interest. As I mentioned, I think there could be a better book written about Holmes.

So, there you have it. In my opinion it's a good read, not a great one. It goes pretty fast and I would recommend it, particularly if you're interested in Chicago history.

And I enjoyed reading it with cammykitty, who gave me all kinds of information about Chicago and links to further details - now I want to visit there!

74lkernagh
Jan 11, 2013, 9:43pm

> 73 - Looking forward to seeing what you think of it, Victoria! I am waffling about whether or not I want to read it.

75VictoriaPL
Jan 13, 2013, 9:33am

Well, it's the 13th and I've only finished 2 books and have 2 more started. I'm thinking my numbers for this Challenge are going to be low. And I'm not even certain I'll be able to keep the numbers of books in each category even (as I am wont to do). But it's too early to really fuss about such things. I'm trying to chill out and just enjoy it.

76-Eva-
Jan 13, 2013, 5:34pm

Numbers are just numbers - enjoying the reading itself is the real goal here. And, of course, being the recipient of numerous bookbullets. :)

77VictoriaPL
Jan 15, 2013, 5:49pm



3. Solaris by Stanislaw Lem ©1961
category: Book Club read with: andreablythe

Thoughts to come....

78psutto
Jan 16, 2013, 10:38am

been a very long time since I read any Lem, will be interested to see if you liked it

79mamzel
Jan 16, 2013, 12:57pm

That cover is much more interesting than the one on the book's page!

80VictoriaPL
Jan 16, 2013, 5:40pm

Hey psutto. Just waiting on Andrea to finish up (no rush, Andrea!) and then I'll post.

mamzel - which one? The Clooney? Not a fan. He was on the cover of the library copy I read but I just didn't want his face on my thread...forever. Y'know? I'm more stringent on cover-accuracy when it's my copy though.

81VictoriaPL
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 3:34pm



4. Bad Twin by Gary Troup ©2006
category: The Swan Bookshelf

NOTE: There might be LOST spoilers in this review, so fair warning...

"Denial was a powerful thing, and it was hard even to imagine the difficulty and pain of acknowledging that one's own twin, one's own genetic double, had murder on his mind."

When I first saw the cover for this book, my first thought was that we were finally going to get the goods on Jacob and The Man in Black. The story is about a pair of twins, just not those twins. Islands are involved, just not The Island. In fact, it's a story that has absolutely not one thing to do with the plot or characters of the LOST tv show. There are few shout-outs to the fans: a mention of Oceanic Airlines, a few Widmores in the cast of characters, but nothing of substance. So if you're halfway through the series and are worried about learning something vital or getting ahead of the timeline by reading this book.... relax. It's completely standalone.

Now that we have that out of the way, why should a LOST fan read it? Why should anyone spend a few hours invested in it? Because it's a pretty entertaining mystery! It has a classic sensibility to it, like The Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep. Not that it has the dialogue or the language of a hardboiled novel, don't get that impression, but it has that same feeling. A struggling P.I., an elusive case, a femme fatale and plenty of bodies.

As a LOST fan it left me disappointed. As a mystery reader, I really enjoyed it.

82VictoriaPL
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 3:35pm



5. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell ©2011
category: Book Club read with: 2013 group

Swamplandia! is a small gator-park owned and operated by the Bigtree family. And the family, as a whole, is struggling. The star attraction and mother to the family, Hilola, recently passed away. The grandfather, Sawtooth, is in a care home with dementia. The Chief struggles to maintain high attendance at the park now that a fancy new competitor, The World of Darkness, has opened up. The kids: Osceola, Ava and Kiwi, search for their own ways to make some logic of their changing world.

The beginning of this book felt so real to me in many ways. I am a native Floridian. Occasionally I had gators in my street and I've been to Gatorland to watch the shows. The "old" Florida vs the "new" developed Florida that Russell dealt with rang so true to me. I felt an affinity for the entire scene-setting... it made me very homesick. But the last two-thirds was a different thing all together. At first I got that "eccentric upbringing" vibe off of it - like I Capture the Castle, The Glass Castle or Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man and thought, okay, that's this is going to be like. But while I enjoyed those others, this book just fell flat for me. Once the family members went out on their own I just didn't want to read it any more, I lost interest. Which is odd, as a reader, you want your characters to go adventuring, to go on a journey. Take The Hobbit for example, you know that once The Company leaves The Shire, the fun is just beginning. I didn't have that feeling with this novel. At all. I went along with Kiwi's tale okay but could barely get through Ossie's & Ava's. I just wanted it done. Such a disappointment.

83VictoriaPL
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 3:35pm



6. Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter ©2001
category: Beach Reads

There's a murderer loose in Grant County. He's fond of drugging his victims with Belladonna and raping them before finishing them off in a public place. Sheriff Jeffrey Tolliver knows from the ritualistic nature of the wounds that this man is escalating. How can a sadistic monster like this hide in such a small town, his town, and in plain sight? How close is he to Jeffrey's ex-wife, Sara, who he's still very much in love with, or to his protegee, Detective Lena Adams? Closer than anyone realizes, it turns out.

It felt a little early to be dipping into my Random category, but I was hankering for more time with Ms Slaughter. In fact, it's all I can do to space out the remaining few books of hers that I haven't read before. I try to savor them, to make them last, but I always end up devouring them within a day. She is like my comfy PJs, my fall-back movie, my favorite chocolate dessert - she is always the cure when I get into a reading slump. Her characterizations are so good. I love how deep she gets under the skin of everybody in the novel. There are no cardboard cutouts here.

The only disappointment was that there was no Will Trent in this one. But that's okay, there's a Trent book coming out later this year, I just have to be patient....

84-Eva-
Jan 20, 2013, 5:55pm

I've been wanting to try a Karin Slaughter (and I did think - erroneously - I had one on Mt. TBR) - any suggestion of where to start? Blindsighted looks like it's at the beginning of a series, but is there another series, or is this a good place?

85VictoriaPL
Edited: Jan 20, 2013, 6:30pm

Hi Eva! Such a good question. I discovered Slaughter when I won an LTER copy of Broken which, according to LT, is Sara Linton #8 and Will Trent #4. And that answers one of your questions - yes, there are two series (but eventually they merge). The first is the 'Grant County' or 'Sara Linton' series and the second is the 'Will Trent' series. I didn't really mind starting in the middle of the 'blended' series and then working in the other books as backstory. In fact, I'm quite a fan of Sara and Will together. But you might be the kind of reader who really prefers to be in chronological order and if you are, then you should probably start with Grant County. I just encourage you to read her!

86lsh63
Jan 20, 2013, 7:23pm

Victoria: I'm glad that you are reading some of the Sara Linton series. I do like Sara and Will, however Sara and Lena have some unfinished business that I would like to see resolved at some point, so I hope that she writes Lena back into her merged series one day.

I don't think I started with book #1 either, it didn't ruin my enjoyment at all.

I can't wait until you finish the Sara Linton series, then you'll see what I mean.... I envy you spacing thes books out, I have no self control lol!

87LittleTaiko
Jan 20, 2013, 9:13pm

>82 VictoriaPL: - So glad to find someone else who didn't enjoy Swamplandia. Kiwi was the only reason I kept reading.

>83 VictoriaPL:-86 - Love the Karin Slaughter books! I would recommend starting with the Grant Series so that the Will Trent series makes more sense - not a must though. They are so addictive - I read five in one weekend last year!

88cammykitty
Jan 20, 2013, 11:09pm

Great review of Devil in the White City! I couldn't have put it better, and yes Holmes made me think of Bundy too. I'm still thinking about it, and still thinking about architecture and construction. I ran across a picture of the Ferris wheel and it towers over everything! No wonder that guy went nuts on it until the woman covered him up. ;)

Blindsighted looks good, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Solaris. I haven't read Lem.

89-Eva-
Jan 21, 2013, 2:11pm

I am very much of the read-in-order type, so I'll go with Blindsighted - thanks all for the input!

90mstrust
Jan 21, 2013, 2:26pm

I can't believe I've just now found your thread, but better late than never. Starred!

91dudes22
Jan 21, 2013, 4:51pm

I've got Triptych in my TBR which is the first in the Will Trent series, I believe. I'll get to it eventually.

92RidgewayGirl
Jan 21, 2013, 5:28pm

Betty, I am not a fan of Karin Slaughter's books, but I thought Triptych was really good.

93VictoriaPL
Jan 21, 2013, 5:46pm

>90 mstrust: Hey mstrust, good to see you here!

94thornton37814
Jan 21, 2013, 7:32pm

Victoria - I have only read one or two of Slaughter's books, but I liked the one(s) I read.

95VictoriaPL
Jan 22, 2013, 5:47pm



7. The Garden of Eden and Other Criminal Delights by Faye Kellerman ©2006
category: Beginnings & Endings

I picked up this collection of short stories at a bag sale, having become acquainted with Kellerman through her Decker/Lazarus series. Which is a shame... because only three of the stories within actually feature Pete Decker. That's not to say that it's not worth a try, I just wanted to warn those of you thinking (as I did) there would be more. One story features a female detective, Andrea Darlng, and some are not really mysteries at all. It's a pretty scatter shot collection. I don't particularly think that the short story is Kellerman's strength but I've read worse short fiction. If you're a Kellerman fan, have at.

96clfisha
Edited: Jan 26, 2013, 5:45am

I thought the two different plot strands for Swamplandia! didn't really work. It was too jarring to mentally adjust for the swap, luckily I enjoyed Ava's story so it just pulled me along.

97VictoriaPL
Jan 27, 2013, 3:12pm



8. Sympathy Between Humans by Jodi Compton ©2005
category: Beginnings & Endings

In the last six months Hennepin County Detective Sarah Pribek's life has gone to hell. Her partner has fled to Europe, her FBI-agent husband is in jail, and she remains the focus of an IA investigation. Still possessing her badge, but not quite trusted, Sarah is assigned to a whole smattering of cases - vice, rape, B&E, fraud, missing persons - and she works wherever she's told to. Trying not to notice being shadowed by other investigators. Trying not to let it unhinge her when her car is searched for blood and prints. Sarah has crossed the line before and even when she knows the heat is on her, she finds herself doing it again. She will always do the best she can for her fellow humans.

This is a sequel to Compton's The 37th Hour, which I did not know because I picked it up blind at a bag sale. And though I wish I had read the other book first, I still really enjoyed this one. I like the edginess brought to detective/crime stories when a detective has something personal at stake. In the beginning, when Sarah was working all kinds of cases, I had no clue where the story was going - but later I realized that mirrored exactly how lost she felt, set adrift in the current of her circumstances. Later, once Sarah got her bearings, the real meat of the novel coalesced and I was a little sad to see it end. I'll definitely be seeking out the first book in the series.

98VictoriaPL
Jan 28, 2013, 10:06am



9. The Seal Wife by Kathryn Harrison ©2003
category: Love is a Fish Biscuit

Thoughts to come....

99thornton37814
Jan 29, 2013, 1:07pm

98> Looking forward to your thoughts, but I was amused by one of the reviews on the main page which described it as one of the most dreadfully boring books the person had ever read. Of course, that was not the opinion of most of the other reviewers.

100blondierocket
Feb 26, 2013, 3:32pm

Love the theme! Lost is awesome!

101VictoriaPL
Edited: Mar 8, 2013, 10:23pm

Well, RL kind of derailed me in February. There was work, of course, and then something akin to bubonic plague (LOL) but I pulled through.
I did read a little bit, I'll do a quick list to get caught up.
I am trying to reclaim LT time, so I hope to get the thread updated and keep it updated!


10. Moloka'i by Alan Brennert ©2003
category: The Island

"He was nervous not just for the usual fatherly reasons but because he found it difficult to look at Francine's ravaged face - and impossible not to, since she kept jabbering away at him. The energetic little jockey he'd once known had been spirited off and replaced, as if by sorcery, with a crippled old woman of thirty-one. The fingers of both hands had been resorbed into fleshy stumps; her flower bouquet had to be tied to her wrist with twine. Her once-lively eyes now seemed drowsy, occluded by pouchy eyelids; her cheeks were rosy with swollen tubercles; her nose and mouth, subsumed by her disease, were the smiling cavities of a jack-o'-lantern. And yet she did, in fact, smile."

So, I picked up Moloka'i because I had seen mention of the Leprosy colony that was once in Hawaii and it sounded interesting. And the book was interesting, both as a work of fiction and also from an educational standpoint. I learned a lot about the disease. It didn't hold me rapt but I did get through it. I don't think I'll be visiting the site when I do make it to Hawaii.


11. The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay ©2009
category: The Swan Bookshelf

Not much to say on this one. I did not enjoy it and I would only recommend it to a LOST completist.


12. The 37th Hour by Jodi Compton ©2005
category: Beach Reads

Read this one because I felt guilty for having read Sympathy Between Humans out-of-order. I thought it would be a better book, because sequels are always inferior, right? But to tell the truth, I liked Sympathy more.


13. In a Far Country by John Taliaferro ©2007
category: The Island

In a Far Country is the tale of the missionaries who brought Reindeer to Alaska to establish herds that would provide a steady source of food, skins, etc to the hungry Eskimos. When several whaling vessels become trapped in the winter ice the US government requisitioned the herds, which had to be driven 1500+ miles to the starving fisherman. The endeavour became known as the Overland Relief Expedition and the story of what took place is full of religious, political, social and economic overtones. I'm sure it was recommended to me because I like polar expeditionary tales and I did find it interesting and educational.


14. Cowboys are my Weakness by Pam Houston ©1993
category: Love is a Fish Biscuit

"A man desires the satisfaction of his desire; a woman desires the condition of desiring."
I didn't expect to run across a maxim in the middle of a fictional short story but there it was. I was hard struck by it and couldn't stop thinking about it for awhile. I picked up this small collection at a sale with RidgewayGirl, who recommended it. I enjoyed How to Talk to a Hunter the best of the bunch but I'm not sure I connected with Houston.


15. The Moonlit Earth by Christopher Rice ©2010
category: Beach Reads

Not much to say here. I'm liking him less and less the more he writes. I liked his early stuff so much better.


16. Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks ©2008
category: The Pearl Station

I was impressed by this one - it felt very authentically Fleming with all the hallmarks - I liked that about it. Not bad at all if you're in the mood for a Bond fix.


17. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult ©2013
category: Hanging with Vincent

Picoult. I can't stay away. I didn't remember the blurb so I was surprised where this one went. WWII, breadmaking and vampires - what a mixture. As usual, I blazed right through it. It's not my favorite Picoult but there are others I like less.


18. March Violets by Philip Kerr ©1989
category: Book Club, read with: @jonesli

It's a good thing both @jonesli and I like Bogart because this book is very much as the man who played Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe had been dropped straight into Hitler's Berlin. The inner monologue, the snappy one-liners. Very hardboiled. It got blacker and bleaker the more the story went on but with my WWII fixation, I think I'm still up for book two.

102RidgewayGirl
Mar 8, 2013, 10:40pm

The first three in the Berlin Noir series are great. They drift downhill (slowly) from there. Glad to see you back!

103lsh63
Mar 9, 2013, 8:00am

Victoria's back! Good to see you here! You've done a better job catching up than I have lol.

You described March Violets perfectly. I plan to continue with the series at some point also.

104DeltaQueen50
Mar 9, 2013, 6:09pm

I have the first three of the Berlin Noir series on my shelves, must get to them soon!

105thornton37814
Mar 9, 2013, 9:17pm

You have been busy reading! In a Far Country sounds quite interesting. Onto the wish list it goes.

106AHS-Wolfy
Mar 10, 2013, 9:20am

Glad to hear that you're well again. Hope it stays that way. I'm another that has the opener for the Philip Kerr series (by way of the omnibus edition of Berlin Noir, on the tbr shelves and it continues to sound like something I should enjoy.

107VictoriaPL
Edited: Mar 12, 2013, 5:58pm


19. Kindness Goes Unpunished by Craig Johnson ©2007
category: Book Club, read with: @jonesli, DeltaQueen50

"My attempts at filling the available beds at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania had not gone unnoticed, and Rissman had asked if I wanted all my people in one wing. I noted that it'd be convenient."

Sheriff Walt Longmire comes to the City of Brotherly Love and, when daughter Cady winds up in the hospital, shows the local beat cops how real justice is dispensed. While in town he also has the opportunity to catch up with the members of the Moretti family (Vic the father, Vic the son and Vic the Holy Terror).

It's hard to say, because I did enjoy The Cold Dish so very much, but Kindness Goes Unpunished might almost rival it for my favorite in the Longmire series. It was fantastic. I laughed out loud several times - so witty. I really enjoyed where we went with the characters this time and I'm curious to see how this book's developments will affect the next in the series. I also liked being in Philadelphia, a nice change of scene and, I thought, a unique way to 'tour' the city.

Enjoyed reading with you Lisa & Judy! Let me know when you want to do Book 4!

108lsh63
Mar 12, 2013, 6:23pm

Nice review of Kindness Goes Unpunished Victoria! It was a fun read, a nice change of pace with the change in locale.

I really want to know if there will be some sort of love triangle involving the Terror and you know who? Good possibilities there....

109VictoriaPL
Mar 12, 2013, 6:30pm

Hey Lisa, Yes, Judy and I were discussing the very same. The Terror is so Alpha. I think she was marking her territory (not so subtle there, Vic). You know that whole saying about what happens in Vegas. Should be interesting to see how it goes when they get back on home soil.

110VictoriaPL
Edited: Mar 14, 2013, 6:01pm


20. The Martian Child: A Novel About a Single Father Adopting a Son by David Gerrold ©2002
category: The Pearl Station

I was trying to remember why I picked up the film version of The Martian Child several years ago. It could have been because of John Cusack. Or because I'm adopted. Probably John Cusack. Most of what I remember is that I cried all through the credits. So, when I came across the book in our library's catalog I decided to give it a try. It's a good thing it's a short book... because I cried. I completely didn't expect it because I'm usually pretty detached when reading, but the story brought up a lot of feelings for me regarding the way my Mom and I came to be family. It's not a sad book, it's very funny in places, although it doesn't paint a very kind picture about the adoption process. It's also quite different from the film. Anyway, if you're interested in adoption stories or just need a little cathartic experience, I'd recommend it.

111cammykitty
Mar 14, 2013, 10:32pm

Ah, I used to have a crush on John Cusack. His home town was my Alma Mater town so it's like we were neighbors, right? ;) Definitely going on the WL. I know Gerrold is an SF writer. I think he did a lot of the early Star Trek scripts. There's got to be a lot of funny geek stuff in the novel, along with all the tear-making moments.

112RidgewayGirl
Mar 15, 2013, 7:10am

I loved John Cusack until I went to see Serendipity.

113VictoriaPL
Mar 15, 2013, 3:29pm

I'm trying to remember if I've seen Serendipity. I know I've seen Identity.

114RidgewayGirl
Mar 15, 2013, 8:36pm

Identity was good. In Serendipity Cusack wears heavy eyeliner.

115clfisha
Mar 16, 2013, 5:35am

I think Gross Point Blank has to one of my favourite films, I have no idea why :) I might miss Serendipity though!

116christina_reads
Mar 17, 2013, 9:39pm

@ 115 -- "Grosse Pointe Blank" is one of my favorites too! I really love a lot of his '80s/early '90s movies ("The Sure Thing," "Better Off Dead," "High Fidelity"...). But yeah, "Serendipity" is not his best work.

117cammykitty
Mar 17, 2013, 9:53pm

High Fidelity - I lived that life in the 80s. ;)

118majkia
Mar 17, 2013, 10:20pm

another Grosse Point Blank fan here. :)

119RidgewayGirl
Mar 18, 2013, 7:26am

Don't forget Say Anything!

120VictoriaPL
Mar 18, 2013, 9:48pm

Oh my goodness, I feel like there's a Cusack film festival in my future! Youtube clips will only get you so far.


21. The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan ©2012
category: Tailies, Others & Hostiles

I don't know what to say about this one. I generally do not like unreliable narrators. Of course, most of these characters were a little shifty and they were all working the angles. Maybe that's what life-or-death situations do to people. I realize then that I probably would not survive for long, just as I never have a shot of ever winning a reality-TV series. A lot of it was left for the reader to assemble from facts-not-in-evidence. I'd rather have it all straight from the author's pen. It was a readable book but I didn't particularly enjoy it, or admire its craft or care to recommend it to others. Just meh.

121VictoriaPL
Mar 21, 2013, 11:08pm


22. Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte ©1996 / translation 2005
category: Beginnings & Endings

"In fact, the next day I found a fine dagger on my pillow, recently purchased on Calle de los Espaderos: damascened handle, steel cross guard, and a long, finely tempered blade, slim and double-edged. It was one of the daggers our grandfathers called a misericordia, for it was used to put caballeros fallen in battle out of their misery. That was the first weapon I ever possessed and I kept it, with great fondness, for twenty years, until one day in Rocroi I had to leave it buried between the fastenings of a Frenchman's corselet. Which is actually not a bad end for a fine dagger like that one."

I felt guilty at not talking myself into the group read of The Count of Monte Cristo this month - I could use another reading of it. So, I decided it was finally time to give Captain Alatriste a try - a swashbuckle that did not nearly require the time commitment needed for Count. It was a good decision - very much a Dumas flavor but not nearly as verbose and, once or twice, using words that Dumas would never get away with. Obviously a more modern tale but still paying the necessary homage to its roots. I was pleased with it over all and I'll probably pull the next in the series down off my shelf before too long.

122AHS-Wolfy
Mar 22, 2013, 8:01am

I enjoyed the scenery more than the plot of the Alatriste book but I do have the second in the series as a possibility for this year's challenge.

123psutto
Mar 22, 2013, 9:27am

whatever you do don't watch the film adaptation of Captain Alatriste! it's just awful

124VictoriaPL
Mar 22, 2013, 10:05am

Wolfy, if you want to read it together let me know. I don't have a timeframe.

Psutto - oh no! Thanks for the warning.

125AHS-Wolfy
Mar 22, 2013, 6:49pm

I'm not even definitely sure that I'll get to it this year so haven't got a time frame for it either (though certainly won't be June). I have about 10 books to fill just 3 more spaces in that category but who knows. Still picking next reads depending on mood at time of selection. If you do pick it up though then feel free to give me a shout and I'll see where I'm at.

126lkernagh
Mar 23, 2013, 12:46am

Great review of Captain Alatriste, Victoria! That one does have the Dumas feel about it - a bit more of the swashbuckling Three Musketeers than the brooding divergence of The Count but still a really good read for me. That 'feel' carries on into book two Purity of Blood but I found book three The Sun Over Breda was more in keeping with Cornwell's Sharpe series, given the military nature of the story.

127VictoriaPL
Mar 23, 2013, 3:42pm

Thanks Lori. I haven't ready any Sharpe yet, but I've seen one of the films.


23. Second Sunrise by David and Aimee Thurlo ©2004
category: Tailies, Others & Hostiles

Thought I'd mix it up with a creature-feature vampire tale. The premise of this one sparked my interest - a Navajo half-vampire law-enforcement officer, hunting down the Nazi who sired him, before he can find a 'lost' nuclear warhead to use for his own nefarious reasons. I'll read just about anything with a Nazi in it, and Nazi vampires are even better, but this one really didn't hold my interest. In fact, I was quite disappointed by how predictable certain aspects of the story were. And I didn't care for the writing style - the dialogue sounded awkward and some scenes had too much info forced into them. I'll pass on the rest of this series.

128VictoriaPL
Mar 24, 2013, 6:59pm


24. Stories: All New Tales Edited by Neil Gaiman & Al Sarrantonio ©2010
category: Hanging with Vincent

While retrieving my other holds at the library, I picked this one up off a shelf, which is very rare for me these days. Of course it was Gaiman's name that drew me in, but then I realized, the gang is all here! Favorites: Gaiman, Joanne Harris, Jodi Picoult, Elizabeth Hand, Joe Hill. Authors I've read before: Diana Wynne Jones, Michael Marshall Smith, Richard Adams, Lawrence Block. And those I've been meaning to get around to: Joyce Carol Oates, Chuck Palahniuk, Tim Powers.

Not a bad collection. I only found myself skimming through two or three of the stories. This collection is very diverse - if there's a theme, (maybe fantastical stories?) it's very broad. I enjoyed the variety, it was refreshing. I hope they do another volume.

129RidgewayGirl
Mar 24, 2013, 7:49pm

Interesting. That's a very diverse selection of authors.

130thornton37814
Mar 24, 2013, 9:30pm

I've wondered about The Lifeboat. I can't remember it I have it on my wish list or not. I keep reading reviews similar to yours that make me wonder if I'd like it or not.

131cammykitty
Mar 25, 2013, 2:16am

Definitely an odd mix of authors in Stories. I'll keep my eyes open for it.

132AHS-Wolfy
Mar 25, 2013, 7:54am

While there were a couple or three tales I really liked from Stories, I thought it a very uneven collection. Here's how I ended my own review:

I'm surprised I didn't enjoy more of the inclusions considering there was hardly any of the authors that I hadn't at least heard of before and was somewhat disappointed by quite a few. I'm sure others will find different stories more to their taste than mine but I will be surprised if many enjoy all of this collection.

133-Eva-
Mar 25, 2013, 11:25pm

That's a shame about Second Sunrise - "Navajo half-vampire law-enforcement officer" sounded like it should be good! I'll keep it on the backburner list.

134VictoriaPL
Mar 26, 2013, 5:36pm

>129 RidgewayGirl: Kay, That's what caught my eye. Like, what are Picoult and Palahniuk doing anywhere near each other? I'm curious to know how they were all selected or what they all have in common.

>130 thornton37814:. Lori, it's hard to say. If you do choose to pick it up, let me know your thoughts.

>131 cammykitty: Katie, let me know what you think.

>132 AHS-Wolfy:. Wolfy, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy Stories more. I did skim over two or three but I was surprised by how my thoughts kept returning to others. I guess I didn't expect much out of it so I wasn't disappointed.

>133 -Eva-: Eva. I know, right? If you do get around to it, let me know.

135VictoriaPL
Apr 8, 2013, 7:06pm



25. Matched by Ally Condie ©2011
category: Dr Linus' Classroom

I was in the mood for some YA but this one didn't do it for me. I fell asleep several times reading it, I'm not even sure what to say for a review. At least I haven't roped myself in to another YA trilogy.

136RidgewayGirl
Apr 8, 2013, 9:20pm

And I just bought a copy of that for Charlotte.

137rabbitprincess
Apr 8, 2013, 10:13pm

Too bad about Matched, but that's a relief to know that's one less series to follow!

138-Eva-
Apr 9, 2013, 2:54pm

I've been looking at that one as well since it's done the rounds, but I too am happy to take another potential series off the list! :)

139VictoriaPL
Edited: Apr 13, 2013, 3:34pm

If you've been reading my threads these last two years, then you know I really enjoy William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor series. My dear friend RidgewayGirl mentioned that he would be in town and got us tickets to have lunch with him. And in a tremendous stroke of good fortune, I was seated right next to him at the table! (Again, my thanks Kay!). We had a lovely, lovely afternoon. Kent seems genuinely warm and was a very down-to-earth speaker. The next Cork book is out in August. Can't wait!



140cammykitty
Apr 13, 2013, 3:30pm

Lucky you! Great photo!

141cbl_tn
Apr 13, 2013, 3:34pm

How exciting! I'm sure you're looking forward to the new book even more now that you've met the author!

142RidgewayGirl
Apr 13, 2013, 3:40pm

He was very nice and willing to chat with us for quite a while. I picked up his new stand-alone novel, Ordinary Grace, and will read it soon. Also, it was so fun to get to see Victoria!

143VictoriaPL
Apr 13, 2013, 3:55pm

Aw, sweet! I always enjoy our outings together, Kay!

144thornton37814
Apr 13, 2013, 7:49pm

Victoria and Kay - I have to admit that I'm a bit jealous. I loved that first Cork O'Connor book I read. I need to read the next one soon!

145lindapanzo
Apr 13, 2013, 7:52pm

Sounds like a wonderful visit. I love meeting favorite authors. Having lunch with, and sitting next to a favorite author, is even better.

146RidgewayGirl
Apr 13, 2013, 7:58pm

We were really lucky. We were the last to arrive and I have no idea why no one had scooped up the prime seats. The other table was full. And he was so friendly and willing to be questioned while trying to eat lunch.

147thornton37814
Apr 13, 2013, 8:06pm

Sounds like he was very down to earth for an author.

148VictoriaPL
Apr 13, 2013, 8:45pm

He certainly was. We tried to be good ambassadors for LT. He said he had heard of it and that some of his friends had done author chats. Maybe we'll have him on here some time!

149lindapanzo
Apr 13, 2013, 8:47pm

The danger always is that an author you sort of like turns out to be a jerk or some other less than desirable person. That's happened to be a few times.

I'm thinking that I met William Kent Krueger many years ago at a book signing, before I'd ever read anything by him.

150dudes22
Apr 14, 2013, 8:54am

How great! I haven't started the series yet as I only have book #5, but it's one of the authors I'm looking for at library sales this summer.

151mstrust
Apr 14, 2013, 1:03pm

What a great time! How lucky were you two to score seats right next to him and for him to be so friendly?

152DeltaQueen50
Apr 14, 2013, 3:41pm

Oh, how exciting, I love his Cork O'Connor series. I am both thrilled for you and Kay and, a tiny bit jealous.

153RidgewayGirl
Apr 14, 2013, 4:15pm

You should be jealous, Judy. I was a little jealous of myself! I've been to author signings and talks, but this was, by far, the best, despite Krueger not being one of my favorites. The only thing close was hanging out with Diana Gabaldon when she was a brand new author and I worked in the book store she was doing a signing at.

154VictoriaPL
Edited: Apr 15, 2013, 9:46pm



26. The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M Edsel ©2009
category: Hurley's Composition Notebook
read with: lindapanzo

"Works by the immortals - Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Vermeer. They were gone - but they had to be somewhere. And then there were the religious relics, altars, Torah scrolls, church bells, stained-glass windows, jewelry, archives, tapestries, historic objects, books. Even the trolley cars of Amsterdam were rumored to have been stolen... Could a million objects have been taken? It seemed impossible but Stout was beginning to think the Nazis had done it. Their appetite for plunder was boundless, and they were, after all, a model of efficiency, economy and brutality."

"In the center of the city, there wasn't even anything to examine. The only thing standing was the cathedral, the Dom, untouched in the middle of a wasteland. It should have been an inspiring sight, an example of Western Allied compassion, but Hancock couldn't see it that way. The scale of the destruction - the brutality of the Allied campaign to break the German will - was painful to contemplate. It was almost as if there was a message in this madness. We could have spared any building, the untouched cathedral seemed to imply. This is the only one we chose."

The Monuments Men tells the story of a handful of men (and women) who spent the WWII years fighting for objects of cultural value. Either to protect existing art or buildings, to document and repair damage done and to locate missing items if possible. They were scattered throughout the Army, placed in different units, so they were often alone in their missions and had little authority and not much support to rely on. Yet they were able to achieve so much, particularly in the recovery of lost items. Items the Nazis had squirreled away in castles and in mines (sometimes rigged with explosives) and returned those items to their country of origin.

I've always wanted to visit Europe, in part, because of the great wealth of art and culture that is there. I'm convinced The Monuments Men are one of the reasons we still have access to such a large number of historic artworks today. As mentioned in the book, WWII was the last war that had Monuments Men. It saddens me to think that in contested areas of the world this same activity could be taking place with no one to protect items of value.

Still, this wasn't a five-star book for me. During the first half I struggled with all of the names, Army divisions and locations. The second half moved much better, I thought. I think an annotated or illustrated version of the book would be lovely - more pictures, more maps. I need some visuals! I think I will look up Edsel's other book Rescuing Da Vinci.

Speaking of visuals - Clooney and Damon are working on a Monuments Men film. I believe it's supposed to be out late this year. Edsel also has several videos on YouTube about The Monuments Men that are nice to watch.

155lindapanzo
Apr 15, 2013, 10:52pm

I'm sorry that you didn't like it more. I loved it and now want to read his follow-up book about the monuments men in Italy, which is due out next month.

156dudes22
Apr 16, 2013, 6:04am

I think I'll put this on a list of potential books for my husband's birthday. LT has been great for that.

157VictoriaPL
Apr 16, 2013, 6:05am

Linda, I will definitely read Edsel's other books about Monument Men. Very interesting topic!

158VictoriaPL
Apr 16, 2013, 7:10pm



27. A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle published in 1891
category: The Pearl Station

I'm not much of an Arthur Conan Doyle reader. And I'm not fond of the Downey/Law movies either. But I am enjoying Cumberbatch in Sherlock. And so I was inspired to read (or listen to) Scandal by THAT notorious episode, the one that even non-Sherlock watchers seem to have heard about. I have to say, I enjoyed Scandal better than I thought I would. Partly, I think, because it had brevity going for it. Also, while I was listening to it, my mind kept wandering over to Dumas and his Three Musketeers who are tasked with retrieving the Queen's diamond pins from the clutches of Cardinal Richelieu. And any connection to Dumas is a plus in my opinion. This gives me hope for Conan Doyle in that I might read another of his shorter works some day.

159rabbitprincess
Apr 16, 2013, 7:38pm

Yay, glad you liked it. I like the Holmes short stories better than the novels, although The Hound of the Baskervilles was very good too.

Also yay Sherlock and Cumberbatch :)

160thornton37814
Apr 23, 2013, 8:07pm

Congrats on making it through Sherlock!

161VictoriaPL
Apr 29, 2013, 7:22pm



28. Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell ©2011
category: The Island

THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK (for now)

162VictoriaPL
Apr 29, 2013, 7:55pm



29. Kiln People by David Brin ©2002
category: Forwards, Backwards & Sideways or See You In Another Life, Brother

I've withstood a thousand injuries that would've finished any of my ancestors --from incineration to smothering to decapitations. I've died more times than I can count. But a modern person never does any of that in organic form! The real body is for exercise not anguish.
My tough old twentieth-century grandpa threw his body - his only life - off a bridge one time at the end of an elastic band. He suffered unbelievable torment in primitive dental offices. He traveled every day on highways without guidebeams, trusting his entire existence to the uncertain skills of total strangers whipping past him in crude vehicles fueled by liquid explosives.


I once saw an interview given by Majel Barrett Roddenberry where she talked about how the original Star Trek series was able to do social commentary in a way few shows could because they could hide under pretense of alien cultures or futuristic societies. I think that's true of a large portion of sci-fi and partly the reason I enjoy the genre.

Kiln People are duplicates, dittos, golems, clay beings who are baked and imprinted for one day of life - to perform a task, a duty, something their maker chooses not to do in person, for a variety of reasons. And though they have all the memories and thought-processes of their maker, they are a distinctly lower class of citizen. They live for a few hours, return to 'inload' and then melt into slurry for recycling. But is there any possibility for the dits to live longer, be more autonomous? And if so, how far would they differ from their original? And is there a chance that a dit and his archetype could ever share thoughts? Is there a limit to how many places one maker could be at the same time, with unlimited golems?

It's a fascinating discussion, clothed in a slick, futuristic candy shell with lots of action and self-awareness for crunch. For me, the last 100 or so pages just went way, way out there. Predictably, I like the setup but not the follow through (like the later half of the Dune series or Ender series). Still, I would recommend it for sci-fi fans because there's a lot to chew on here. I still find myself thinking about it at odd moments.

163VictoriaPL
Apr 29, 2013, 8:18pm



30. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor ©2011
category: Dr Linus' Classroom

31. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor ©2012
category: Dr Linus' Classroom

"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well."

Prague. An ancient city where the past and present clash every day. But today there's a different kind of clash going on - one battle in the eternal war between angels and devils, or chimera. Akiva is determined to hunt down The Resurrectionist who keeps the devils alive, but instead his search leads to Karou, a mere girl who renders him helpless. Karou has no idea of her past, her power or her potential, but she's pulled into the fray when her family is abducted and imprisoned by the seraphs. Akiva and Karou can't agree on their feelings for each other but they will see the war brought to an end.

I want the next book in this series now! I blazed through each of these in an evening. There are some really original things going on here, it's very satisfying YA fiction. I can't wait to see how it ends.

164mathgirl40
Apr 29, 2013, 10:11pm

Nice review of Kiln People. I really liked The Postman when I read it last year, and I've got a couple of other Brins waiting on my shelf. I'll have to put this one on the list too.

165christina_reads
May 1, 2013, 10:56am

Hi, Victoria! My copy of Lauren Willig's The Ashford Affair just came in at the library, and I'm itching to start it! You don't happen to have a copy at hand, do you? I would like to uphold our tradition of reading Willig's books together, but I honestly don't think I can wait for this one (both because I'm excited and because I don't think the library will let me renew it). Let me know! Even if we can't read this one together, though, we'll still have The Passion of the Purple Plumeria later this year! :)

166VictoriaPL
May 1, 2013, 12:34pm

Christina, I should have it by the weekend, can you hold out that long? I'm excited!

167LauraBrook
Aug 6, 2013, 9:45am

Hi Victoria! Hope you're doing well. You've hit me with lots (and lots) of BBs again, as is expected. :) ((((hugs))))

168cmbohn
Aug 6, 2013, 7:21pm

Monuments Men sounds like one I'll have to look for!

169christina_reads
Aug 12, 2013, 10:16pm

Hey, Victoria! I'm starting the new Pink Carnation book tonight, which made me think of you. Hope all is well!

170thornton37814
Aug 12, 2013, 10:32pm

Victoria - The new academic year is about to begin at C-N. Hope you've been enjoying whatever you've been reading.

171lindapanzo
Aug 12, 2013, 10:47pm

I just finished a new book called The Astronaut Wives Club and think it's something you might enjoy.