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NanaCC's 2015 Reading Part 3

This is a continuation of the topic NanaCC's 2015 Reading Part 2.

Club Read 2015

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Edited: Dec 11, 2015, 8:59am Top

I'm Colleen, and I have no formal plans for the year, but will continue to read books that either are about WWI, or take place during the time period of the Great War. I also want to continue reading Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire. **I'm not doing great with the WWI reading this year.

I have shelves and a Kindle full of books on my TBR. And of course, I am constantly adding other books that are highlighted by the folks in this group.


The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys

Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina


Currently Listening:

Pyramid and Four Other Kurt Wallender Mysteries by Henning Mankell, Narrated by Dick Hill

Edited: Dec 29, 2015, 6:21pm Top

Books Read 2015


(2015) 56- The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
(1782) 55- Cecilia, or Memoirs of an Heiress by Fanny Burney
(2015) 54- Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
(1934) 53- The Demon in the House by Angela Thirkell
(1867) 52- The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
(2008) 51- When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
(2006) 50- One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
(1938) 49- Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
(2012) 48- A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
(2010) 47- Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny
(1864) 46- The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope
(2004) 45- Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
(1936) 44- August Folly by Angela Thirkell
(1950) 43- Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym
(1920) 42- In the Mountains by Elizabeth von Arnim
(1961) 41- No Fond Return of Love: A Novel by Barbara Pym
(2011) 40- My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translator)
(2009) 39- The Complaints by Ian Rankin
(2009) 38- The Brutal Telling: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny
(2013) 37- A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
(1994) 36- The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri
(2012) 35- The Yard by Alex Grecian
(1938) 34- Pomfret Towers by Angela Thirkell
(2015) 33- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
(1997) 32- Black and Blue by Ian Rankin
(1995) 31- Let it Bleed by Ian Rankin
(1858) 30- Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope
(2006) 29- The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
(2015) 28- A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
(2013) 27- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
(2013) 26- Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear
(1951) 25- Loving Without Tears by M. J. Farrell
(2008) 24- A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
(1970) 23- Troubles by J. G. Farrell
(1980) 22- A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr
(1937) 21- Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers
(1935) 20- Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
(1934) 19- The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers
(1933) 18- Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers
(1932) 17- Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers
(1931) 16- The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers
(1930) 15- Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers
(1928) 14- The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers
(1927) 13- Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers
(1926) 12- Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers
(1815) 11- Emma by Jane Austen
(1923) 10- Whose Body? (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) by Dorothy L. Sayers
(2003) 9- Nineteen Eighty Three: The Red Riding Quartet, Book Four by David Peace
(2001) 8- Nineteen Eighty: The Red Riding Quartet, Book Three by David Peace
(2000) 7- Nineteen Seventy-Seven: The Red Riding Quartet, Book Two by David Peace
(1999) 6- Nineteen Seventy-Four: The Red Riding Quartet, Book One by David Peace
(1953) 5- Cotillion by Georgette Heyer
(2004) 4- Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets by Jude Morgan
(1941) 3- The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson
(2008) 2- Coventry by Helen Humphreys
(1943) 1- The Two Mrs. Abbotts by D. E. Stevenson


(1843) 17- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Narrated by Jim Dale
(1902) 16- The Four Feathers by A. E. W. Mason, Narrated by John Lee
(2007) 15- Finn: A Novel by Jon Clinch, Narrated by Ed Sala
(2014) 14- Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel by by A. J. Hartley & David Hewson, Narrated by Richard Armitage
(2011) 13- The Merry Misogynist: The Dr. Siri Investigations by Colin Cotterill, Narrated by Clive Chafer
(2015) 12- Bryant & May The Burning Man by Christopher Fowler, Narrated by Tim Goodman
(2011) 11- The End of the Wasp Season: A Novel by Denise Mina, Narrated by Jane McFarlan
(1861) 10- Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope, Narrated by Timothy West
(2014) 9- A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre, Narrated by John Lee
(2011) 8- A Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley, Narrated by Jayne Entwistle
(2015) 7- Lamentation by C. J. Sansom, Narrated by Steven Crossley
(2009) 6- Still Midnight by Denise Mina, Narrated by Jane MacFarlane
(2012) 5- The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith, Narrated by Lisette Lecat
(1951) 4- The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, Narrated by Colin Firth
(2010) 3- The weed that strings the hangman's bag by C. Alan Bradley, Narrated by Jayne Entwistle
(2007) 2- The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny, Narrated by Ralph Cosham
(2010) 1- An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd, Narrated by Rosalyn Landor

2015 Stats
Books Read Total = 73
Print/Kindle = 56; Audio = 17; Women authors = 41; New to me authors = 20; WWI related = 3

Edited: Sep 3, 2015, 10:28am Top

2014 Stats
Books Read Total = 65
Print/Kindle = 42; Audio = 23; Women authors = 33; New to me authors = 30; WWI related = 13

Plays Read = 2

My final thread for 2014 is http://www.librarything.com/topic/179660.

I read a lot of great books in 2014, making it hard to pick favorites. Here are my final picks:

Favorite Fiction
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Favorite Mystery
The Secret Place by Tana French
The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
The Crocodile Bird by Ruth Rendell

Favorite WWI
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
A Long, Long Way by Sebastian Barry
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally

Favorite Surprise Favorite
The Warden by Anthony Trollope
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

Favorite Non-Fiction
Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

Favorite Audio
Macbeth: A Novel by A. J. Hartley, David Hewson, Narrated by Alan Cumming

Most Disappointing
The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley

Edited: Sep 3, 2015, 10:31am Top

Books Acquired 2015 (only includes books I've purchased-clearly I don't need to buy more-ha)

Pomfret Towers by Angela Thirkell
The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri
Black and Blue by Ian Rankin
Let it Bleed by Ian Rankin
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (Kindle)
A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny (Kindle)
Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear (Kindle)
The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina (Audible)
Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope (Audible)
Lamentation by C.J. Sansom (Audible)
A Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley (Audible)
Still Midnight by Denise Mina (Audible)
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley (Audible)
GI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love by Duncan Barrett (Kindle)
The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Gamache) by Louise Penny (Kindle)
How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny (Kindle)
The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny (Kindle)
A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel) by Louise Penny (Kindle)
Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny (Kindle)
The Brutal Telling: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny (Kindle)
August Folly by Angela Thirkell
The Brandons by Angela Thirkell
Summer Half by Angela Thirkell
Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina

Edited: Sep 3, 2015, 2:59pm Top

Ooh...can't wait to hear what you think of Finn. I loved it. I have Hartley's Macbeth on my wishlist thanks to you; is his Hamlet: Prince of Denmark up to that standard?

Sep 3, 2015, 3:03pm Top

Happy new thread! I love revisiting year-to-date and planned reading lists.

Sep 3, 2015, 4:31pm Top

>5 laytonwoman3rd: You were my inspiration for putting Finn up to the top of the audio pile, Linda. As for Hamlet: Prince of Denmark, I am not very far into it, but enjoying it very much.

>6 VivienneR: Thank you, Vivienne. The last thread was getting a bit too long, and I figured September was as good a month as any to start a new one.

Sep 3, 2015, 6:02pm Top

Hi Colleen - I'm another one who enjoys the new threads to relive your year's reading. I'll be watching to see what you think of Finn.

Sep 3, 2015, 8:13pm Top

>8 BLBera:. Thanks for stopping by, Beth. Finn will be next up for audio after Hamlet: Prince of Denmark, which is shaping up to be quite fantastic.

Sep 3, 2015, 8:51pm Top

Ooh you're reading Case Histories! I loved that book.

Sep 4, 2015, 7:43am Top

>10 lauralkeet: I finished Case Histories last night, and really enjoyed it. I'll write something here later today. Did you continue on with the series, Laura?

Edited: Sep 4, 2015, 7:53am Top

Nice new thread.
I'm not quite sure why so many books feel the need to add the subtitle "A novel". But them I'm just being a grouch.
I'm sure I could listen to Richard Armitage read the phone book. *swoon*

Sep 4, 2015, 8:54am Top

Hi Colleen - I've read the series and loved it, but I think Case Histories was my favorite.

Sep 4, 2015, 1:31pm Top

I see you have Rebecca coming up soon. You're in for a treat if you haven't read it before.

Sep 4, 2015, 1:49pm Top

>12 Helenliz: Yes, Richard Armitage has a lovely voice. Alan Cumming had a wonderful voice for Macbeth: A Novel too. I, of course, am a pushover for an accent. Most of my favorite readers have lovely accents.

>13 BLBera: Good to know, Beth. I will keep that in mind.

>14 AlisonY: I'm looking forward to reading Rebecca, Allison. Sadly, I have never read it before.

Sep 4, 2015, 2:01pm Top

Interested to hear how Hamlet: Prince of Denmark is. It might be fun after reading Shakespeare's version this winter and seeing the play last weekend. I hadn't heard of Hartley before. Cariola has a good review of it.

>12 Helenliz: I'm not quite sure why so many books feel the need to add the subtitle "A novel".
I agree absolutely. Do the publishers think this is an enticement? Are the books not displayed in the fiction section? Does the back cover not denote fiction in some fashion? Do the publishers really think we can't tell fact from fiction?

Sep 4, 2015, 2:23pm Top

>12 Helenliz:, >16 SassyLassy: That drives me absolutely CRAZY. The idea of it as an enticement makes me laugh though ... as if someone is in a store and picks up a book, reads the title, starts to put it back and then catches sight of "A novel". Oh! In that case, I'll get it! I thought it was going to be a boring true story.

Sep 4, 2015, 3:09pm Top

Isn't it mainly used to differentiate different books with the same title? So there will be three called "Book X" and then the next is called "Book X: a novel." Is it used with unique titles?

Sep 4, 2015, 3:53pm Top

At least in the case of Macbeth it makes sense, I guess... Just to make it clear that it's not the play.

Sep 4, 2015, 4:45pm Top

>16 SassyLassy: I put this on my audio wishlist after Deborah's (Cariola) review. So far I am really enjoying it. Their take on Macbeth was also very good.

>16 SassyLassy:, >17 ursula:, >18 RidgewayGirl:, & >19 FlorenceArt: For these two books Hamlet and Macbeth, I thought that it was to differentiate them from the plays. And, if you are at all interested, audio is definitely the way to go for them. IMO :)

Sep 4, 2015, 5:12pm Top

58. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, (P:2004; Little, Brown and Company (October 15, 2007); Hachette Book Group; Kindle Edition; 434 pages)

This is the first book in Atkinson's Jackson Brodie series. My previous experience with Atkinson was Life After Life and A God in Ruins, both of which I loved, so I had high expectations. I was not disappointed. Three cold cases are brought to Jackson Brodie, former military, former policeman, and now private investigator. The first case is about a little girl who went missing 30 years ago; the second involves a teenage girl murdered 10 years previously, just as she is set to go off to college; the third is related to a case where a young new mother snaps when her crying baby and demanding husband become too much for her. As Jackson unravels the mysteries, the stories become entwined. The characters are terrific and move the stories along as much as the plots do. I really enjoyed it. 4 stars

Sep 4, 2015, 5:54pm Top

Colleen, I actually read the second Jackson Brodie before the first, not realizing it was a series. If my LT ratings are any indication, When will There Be Good News was my favorite, with Case Histories a close runner-up.

Sep 4, 2015, 6:47pm Top

>22 lauralkeet: I have the third Brodie on my kindle, Laura. I'll need to get the second from the library. I appreciate the input.

Just starting The Small House at Allington, and notice it wasn't one of your favorites in Trollope's Barsetshire series. I'm glad I have it on kindle because of the size, however, when a book is part of "the works of", it is hard to tell how far into it you are. As Chris says, I just have to enjoy the ride and not worry about how long it will be before I reach my destination.

Sep 4, 2015, 9:39pm Top

Colleen, I appreciated Small House more by the time I reached the last book, because some characters return. So don't be put off by my initial reaction,

Edited: Sep 5, 2015, 10:51am Top

>12 Helenliz:, >16 SassyLassy:, >17 ursula:, >18 RidgewayGirl:

I also find it annoying when the publisher adds novel, memoir or whatever. I look at the title on the cover, if the descriptor is written in smaller type I usually decide not to include it as part of the title.

Sep 5, 2015, 1:27pm Top

>24 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. I love Trollope, so I will not be put off. I'm hoping to put a little bit of a dent in it this weekend. So far my reading time the last couple of days has been non existent.

>25 pmarshall: I did the same thing with Case Histories, Penny, although my kindle copy did include "A Novel" in the title. I included it for the two audio books for Macbeth and Hamlet because I couldn't get the touchstones to work without it.

Sep 5, 2015, 3:21pm Top

I'll look forward to reading your review of The Small House at Allington. I found it in a bookstore just yesterday. I know Trollope's works are all available at Project Gutenberg but I love having a paper copy in my hand.

Sep 6, 2015, 9:45am Top

Hi Vivienne. My hubby took Friday off work, and added a day to his three day holiday weekend. Needless to say, it has made this a very slow weekend for reading. I am still only a few pages into The Small House at Allington. It will take me a while to finish this one. :)

Sep 6, 2015, 3:39pm Top

That's fine with me, Colleen. It's low on my reading plan so I won't get to it for quite a while. Enjoy the long weekend.

Sep 11, 2015, 6:14am Top

Just stopping in to see what you've been reading, Colleen. Looks like you are going to surpass your 2014 total books read! Probably you already know, but I've enjoyed those Rankin, Mina, and Sayers also (also read a fair number of Charles Todd books and the first Winespear before I moved on). I think you would like the Australian mysteries by Garry Disher, his "Hal Challis" series, published by Soho Crime here in the states. I had to pick up some of them used, I think. Wikipedia has a list. Hope the summer has gone well for you!

Sep 11, 2015, 8:12am Top

Thank you for stopping by, Lois. And, thank you for the series recommendations. You were the one who lead me to Rankin and, maybe, Todd. I like Todd's Ian Rutledge series, but found something irritating about the second Bess Crawford. I have the third on my Kindle, so I'll give it a go at some point and see if maybe it was just a timing issue. I'll look into Garry Diaher's series. Your recommendations are usually spot on.

The summer has been lovely. Lots of time with grandchildren. I hope you are enjoying your grandbaby. :)

Edited: Sep 11, 2015, 7:01pm Top

Browsing your books read -- see you have clocked quite a lot of Dorothy L. Sayers. I read Clouds of Witness last year and really want to get back to reading more. Seemed like such classic mystery writing. Out of the ones you've read, any that you particularly liked?

Sep 11, 2015, 10:47pm Top

>32 twogerbils: Hi Amy. Dorothy Sayers is a favorite of mine. I think I managed to read all of the Lord Peter Wimsey books this past spring. I started in March, and was enjoying them so much that I just kept going. They were all re-reads for me. I think that reading them all in order is the best way to do it, but if that doesn't fit someone's plan, I would suggest the four Peter/Harriet books, Strong Poison, Have His Carcass, Gaudy Night, and Busman's Honeymoon. Gaudy Night is my favorite, I think.

Sep 14, 2015, 2:33pm Top

I second the Garry Disher recommendation by >30 avaland:. I've been lucky to find them at the library.

>33 NanaCC: I really want to get to all my Sayers' books but the next in the series is on my iPad and somehow ebooks are my last choice. I might end up reading them out of order, which I usually find acceptable anyway.

Sep 14, 2015, 8:36pm Top

>34 VivienneR: I will look for the Gary Disher series at the library. As for Sayers, other than the four Peter/Harriet books, I think they can be read in just about any order. Those four are more enjoyable in order as the romance develops. The Five Red Herrings is pretty clever, but a lot of people don't like her use of accents and train timetables in that one. I found the re-creation of the crime quite hilarious.

Sep 15, 2015, 1:42am Top

Hope you're enjoying The Small House at Allington. I liked it because, well, it's Trollope, but I found Lily Dale to be somewhat annoying.

Sep 15, 2015, 7:38am Top

>36 DieFledermaus: I am loving The Small House at Allington, and, as you said, because it's Trollope. :)

I would love to throttle a few people at this point, although I don't know exactly what this point is. The kindle is wonderful for reading big books, but when I am reading one book in a 'Works of' that includes 50 books, I have no idea how close to the end I am. I am enjoying the ride.

Sep 15, 2015, 2:18pm Top

Hi NanaCC -- just stopping by to catch up and say hello.

Sep 15, 2015, 3:32pm Top

Hi Jane. Thank you for stopping by. How is retirement treating you? Is this the first school year where you didn't have to make plans?

Edited: Sep 15, 2015, 4:12pm Top

So far we've been pretty busy travelling up and down the East coast to see family. At the end of the month, we're off on a Danube cruise. It's such a relief to leave all the politics of academia behind, though I do miss my colleagues and students.

Sep 15, 2015, 4:52pm Top

I've been retired for a little over three years now, and I do miss some of my colleagues, but not the stress of the job. And I love being able to just go visit my kids whenever I want to. A Danube cruise sounds lovely. I hope you will find it relaxing, with lots of time for reading.

Sep 17, 2015, 2:08pm Top

59. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope, (Pub: 1864; Penguin Classics (2012), Kindle, 768 pages)

Trollope's fifth book in The Chronicles of Barsetshire involves a love triangle. The three main characters are the handsome but unlikeable Adolphus Crosbie; Trollope's hero of the story, John Eames; and Lily Dale, love interest of Crosbie and Eames. There is no happy ever after, tied up with a bow, for these three characters. As with other books by Trollope, there are many wonderful characters. I really liked Lily's mother and sister, Mrs. Dale & Bell, and Squire Dale, Mrs Dale's brother-in-law. Lord De Guest was a particular favorite. There are many characters who had been introduced in previous books - the Courcy Castle with its many unhappy occupants, the Grantleys, and Mr. Harding of The Warden. Plantagenet Palliser, of the Palliser series, is introduced in this book, as he flits, unsuccessfully, like a moth around the flame that is the self important Lady Dumbello, we knew her as Griselda Grantley in earlier books. There are subplots involving a romance for Lily's sister Bell, about the careers of Crosbie and Eames, as well as the boarding house and its colorful residents where Johnny Eames resides. Trollope writes great women characters who have minds of their own. Although, I would have liked to slap Lily Dale several times while reading the book. I love when Trollope adds his asides, as here whenever John Eames was about to make a wrong move he would interject, "Oh, Johnny!, or if the misstep was particularly unfortunate, "Oh, Johnny Eames!.

My only criticism might be that because Trollope wrote these books as serials, there is sometimes a little bit of repetition as he "retells" something from an earlier chapter. I highly recommend this series. 4 1/2 stars from me.

Sep 17, 2015, 3:06pm Top

I loved The Small House at Allington as well, especially for Trollope's avoidance of the clichéd "happily ever after." Have you read Sense and Sensibility? I found the stories to be very similar.

Sep 17, 2015, 6:08pm Top

>43 StevenTX: I read Sense and Sensibility last year, and do see some similarities. I think several of Trollope's books have a bit of an Austen "feel". The books prior to this one in the series have all pretty much had their happy ever after ending. I'll be curious to see where Trollope takes his characters in the next book.

Sep 17, 2015, 6:13pm Top

The resemblance was intentional - Trollope was a great admirer of Austen and The Small House At Allington is his "reworking" of Sense And Sensibility within a Victorian framework.

And yes, you're quite right about the direction taken by Trollope's writing at this point, which became a bit darker (reflecting what he saw as unfortunate changes in the direction in which society was headed), and less often provided a "neat" ending for his characters.

Sep 17, 2015, 7:23pm Top

So glad you ended up enjoying Small House!

>45 lyzard: I didn't realize it was S&S fan fiction Liz. Very interesting!

Sep 17, 2015, 7:46pm Top

>45 lyzard: Thank you for the insight, Liz. I'm looking forward to the last book in the series. I'm hoping next month, but definitely before the December holidays.

>46 lauralkeet: I have quite a bit of reading to do before I catch up with you, Laura. I'm guessing that you've read a few of the Pallisers at this point.

Sep 18, 2015, 5:59am Top

Actually Colleen I haven't started them yet! I picked up a couple in a used bookshop way back in February but have yet to dive in. Oopsie!

Sep 18, 2015, 1:14pm Top

>48 lauralkeet:. Do you think you might start them this year, Laura, or is your reading plan full?

Sep 20, 2015, 4:46am Top

>42 NanaCC: - Glad you enjoyed The Small House at Allington! I probably wanted to shake Lily Dale, but I wanted to smack Crosbie. It was fun to read about all his problems later in the book though - I think it was schadenfreude.

Sep 20, 2015, 7:53am Top

Well Colleen, my reading isn't exactly full but I have a couple chunksters teed up for November & December so I've been wary of adding another. Why do you ask? Are you thinking of starting them soon?

Sep 20, 2015, 11:01am Top

>50 DieFledermaus: I definitely agree that Crosbie got his comeuppance. I thought it was a great story. I'm looking forward to The Last Chronicle, but it is a big one. I'm glad I have it on Kindle. Have you read all of the Pallisers as well?

>51 lauralkeet: I was just curious, Laura. I am looking forward to your reviews. :) I know I won't be ready for the Pallisers until next year. I still have the last book in this series to go, and as you call it - a chunkster. I hope your vacation is wonderful. The weather here in northern NJ is gorgeous today.

Sep 20, 2015, 11:25am Top

60. Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny, (P:2010; Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (August 2, 2011), Kindle Edition; 401 pages)

The sixth book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series deftly weaves three storylines, which for me was very enjoyable. Inspector Gamache and his second in command Jean Guy Beauvoir are on leave and recovering from serious wounds sustained in a terrorist raid. At the end of the previous book, Gamache and Beauvoir arrested a friend of theirs from the Village of Three Pines for a murder. Gamache is having doubts about the arrest and subsequent conviction, and asks Beavoir to go to Three Pines to unofficially reopen the case. Gamache is recovering in Quebec and gets pulled into a murder investigation by the local police force. All the while Gamache and Beauvoir are re-living the events of the terror raid in their heads. There was a lot of Quebec history in this one. I found it hard to put down. 4 stars.

I need another quick book, so have decided to continue on with the next in the series A Trick of the Light.

Sep 22, 2015, 2:30pm Top

Great conversation about The Small House at Allington. I won't get to mine for some time as I want to start on the complete series (in order). Because of your excellent reviews, Colleen, I'm looking forward to it a lot.

Sep 22, 2015, 3:23pm Top

>54 VivienneR: You have some great reading ahead of you. :)

Sep 27, 2015, 11:47am Top

61. A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny, (Minotaur Books (August 30, 2011); Kindle Edition; 350 pages)

Clara Morrow's artistic talent has been discovered, and she has been selected to show her paintings at Musée d'Art Contemporain in Montreal. Afterwards, all of her friends and art world acquaintances are invited to Three Pines for a big party. The next morning, a woman is found dead in Clara's garden. Who is she, and why has she been murdered, and why in Clara's garden? I enjoy the characters that Louise Penny creates. The descriptions of the food and wine always make me hungry. I also love the descriptions of Three Pines. An enjoyable quick read. 4 stars

Sep 28, 2015, 2:55pm Top

62. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, (P:1938; William Morrow Paperbacks (2006), 416 pages)

If you haven't read this book before, as I had not, I highly recommend it. Full of atmosphere and suspense, I couldn't put it down.

An unnamed narrator is a young woman of around twenty. She is orphaned and is earning her keep as a companion to an elderly woman in Monte Carlo. Here she meets and falls in love with Maxim de Winter who has fairly recently lost his wife Rebecca who died in a tragic boating accident. They marry and return to his Cornish Estate called Manderley, where mental images of the beautiful and sophisticated Rebecca haunt our awkward young narrator. The spooky Mrs. Danvers doesn't help the situation, as she was very devoted to Rebecca, and hates that the new Mrs. de Winter has been brought to the estate in her place. A wonderful cast of characters fill the book.

I am not sure why I never read this book, as it is right smack in the middle of one of my favorite genres. I'm pretty sure that I have seen the Hitchcock movie on TV at some point in the distant past, but have no real recollection of it.

5 big stars from me.

Sep 28, 2015, 3:04pm Top

>57 NanaCC: Not just 5 stars, 5 big stars! Sounds wonderful. I love suspense - and Hitchcock - but I've never watched the movie either.

The cover of that Trollope book is gorgeous and you have thoroughly talked me into reading more Atkinson. I had big plans on re-reading Life After Life over the summer, and then going on to A God In Ruins. None of that worked out.

I'm too fickle in my reading.

Sep 28, 2015, 3:16pm Top

>58 avidmom: I am partial to pretty book covers myself.

I understand book plans not being kept. I decided not to have any real plans this year, other than finishing the Trollope Barsetshire series. My reading has been all over the place, from books published in 1815 to books published in 2015. I'm really happy with my reading though. I've read 62 books, and there are still three months to go. I know that there are several people in this group who read much more, but that's a lot for me.

Sep 28, 2015, 10:25pm Top

Hi Colleen - Nice comments on both the Penny book and Rebecca. I read Rebecca years ago; it seems as if it might hold up on a reread. Pretty covers are nice, aren't they?

Sep 29, 2015, 6:46am Top

>60 BLBera: Thank you, Beth. As for holding up, I suppose that the highly dramatic style of this gothic romance might be a bit much for some readers of today, but it added to the atmosphere for me. I guess I expect it in this type of book. I thought du Maurier's ability to lead us down the garden path, so to speak, was very well done.

Sep 29, 2015, 10:05am Top

I think I read Rebecca decades ago, and I certainly saw the film and a play based on it -- scary stuff.

Sep 29, 2015, 1:02pm Top

Oh, loved Rebecca too. I definitely need to get to more du Maurier books soon.

Sep 29, 2015, 3:46pm Top

>62 janeajones: &. >63 AlisonY:. Have you read any of her others? This was the first I've read, and I'd definitely do more.

Sep 29, 2015, 6:15pm Top

I read Rebecca as a teenager and didn't read any more du Maurier until NYRB came out with a collection of her stories, Don't Look Now. I really enjoyed them (they were creepy), especially the story on which Hitchcock's The Birds was based; it was quite different.

Sep 29, 2015, 6:21pm Top

>64 NanaCC: no, but I've had my eye on Jamaica Inn for quite a while.

Sep 29, 2015, 7:26pm Top

>56 NanaCC: I have read a couple of Louise Penny's books but didn't care for them. The characters all seemed so dark and quite strange.

>57 NanaCC: Excellent review of Rebecca. It seems to be a long time since I read it, might be time for a re-read.

>66 AlisonY: I tried Jamaica Inn recently and just couldn't get into it.

Sep 29, 2015, 8:20pm Top

>65 rebeccanyc: I think that the movie The Birds has something to do with my dislike of birds flying above my head, Rebecca. I love to look at them through a window or in a cage, but please don't let them near me. :)

>66 AlisonY: I'll have to see what my library has, Allison.

>67 VivienneR: I know that you are not a fan of the Three Pines series, Vivienne. I keep wondering if my enjoyment comes from having listened to the first few. The narrator was very good, and the accent was just enough to add to my enjoyment. There are some quirky characters for sure. But we don't all have to like the same books. You and I share similar tastes on many.

Sep 29, 2015, 10:37pm Top

>68 NanaCC: You are so right, Colleen. A narrator can make or break a book. Maybe I'll try listening to one. Penny has so many fans.

Edited: Oct 2, 2015, 2:39pm Top

Rebecca is a book I read because my mother recommended it to me when I was a teenager. (Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are down to her credit as well. She failed miserably at getting me to read Robinson Crusoe, though!) It's one I think I loved because I read it at exactly the right time in my life. Now I can re-read it, and get right back into the head of that romantic innocent girl I was.

Oct 2, 2015, 2:19pm Top

>69 VivienneR: I'll be curious to see if it makes a difference for you, Vivienne.

>70 laytonwoman3rd: Oh, I remember getting lost in some of these romantic novels when I was a teenager, Linda.

Oct 5, 2015, 10:58am Top

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson, (Little, Brown and Company (2006), Kindle Edition, 418 pages)

Another entertaining book by Kate Atkinson. This is second in the Jackson Brodie mystery crime series. Brodie is in Edinburgh keeping his girlfriend company while she performs in a play at the Fringe. With lots of free time on his hands, he manages to become involved in a series of events involving road rage, corrupt housing developers, and murder. Atkinson's development of her characters is wonderful as always, and the humor throughout the book had me laughing, probably inappropriately, in all the outlandish places. This has stories within stories within stories, much like the Russian nesting dolls (Matryoshka) that are featured throughout.

Maybe not quite as good as the first book, Case Histories, but I still gave it 4 stars. It is Kate Atkinson, and she's very good.

Masterpiece Mystery ran three episodes based upon this series. I recorded them, and can now watch the second. I'm going to read the third book, When Will There Be Good News?, so that I can watch the third episode too.

Oct 8, 2015, 11:46am Top

>72 NanaCC:: that looks interesting. Anything set in Edinburgh....

Oct 8, 2015, 11:54am Top

>73 tiffin: Edinburgh - Rebus and Jackson Brodie...gotta love it. I also like Denise Mina whose books take place in Glasgow.

Oct 8, 2015, 12:02pm Top

I never quite warmed to Rebus. Had the entire collection at one point (two thick omnibus style books), which I cashed in at a friend's secondhand book shop.

Oct 8, 2015, 1:20pm Top

>73 tiffin: Oh...haven't you read the Jackson Brodie books? I'm hoping she will write another one. I watched the TV series, and loved Jason Isaacs as Jackson...but I had the divil of a time catching the dialog. My husband gave up on it entirely.

Oct 8, 2015, 2:22pm Top

>76 laytonwoman3rd: I'm watching the second one now, Linda. I have the third recorded, and as soon as I finish reading it, I'll watch that one too. My husband can't understand accents. We watch Elemetary together, and I finally had to put on the closed captioning so that he could follow Johnnie Lee Miller.

Oct 11, 2015, 3:05pm Top

64. When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson, (Little, Brown and Company (2008), Edition: 0, Kindle Edition, 412 pages)

The story begins in the past where a child, Joanna Mason, escapes as her mother, sister and baby brother are slaughtered. Fast forward thirty years, and the man who was convicted of the crime has just been released from prison. Joanna, a doctor and a mother disappears. Her sixteen year old mother's helper, Reggie, assumes the worst and asks for Jackson Brodie's help. Jackson has his own problems, but gets pulled into the search. Atkinson writes great characters, and Reggie is a terrific character.

I gave it 4 stars. Now I can watch the third installment of Case Histories on Masterpiece Mystery.

Oct 11, 2015, 4:14pm Top

>78 NanaCC:: so is that scary stuff there? Just can't do scary stuff.

Oct 11, 2015, 5:50pm Top

>79 tiffin: I would say more of a mild crime thriller, Tui. But, maybe someone else who has read these could chime in, as I may have a higher tolerance. It is the third book in the series that starts with Case Histories. I can't do scary like a Stephen King novel. My imagination is too vivid for that.

Oct 12, 2015, 6:21pm Top

Well, I am very squeamish and I love the Brodie books, so I don't think they're extremely scary.

Oct 13, 2015, 4:29am Top

>79 tiffin: I agree with NanaCC and BLBera - I don't like scary and nasty, but I'll happily read a Brodie book.

>2 NanaCC: Colleen, what a wonderful list of books. You're reading just the kind of thing I feel like reading at the moment (and thanks for reminding me I need to get back to Three Pines; I haven't visited for a while).

Oct 13, 2015, 6:16am Top

>81 BLBera: Beth, Thank you, for confirming. After having read (and finished) The Red Riding Quartet earlier this year, I'm not sure I can trust my judgement. :). You definitely don't want to read those, Tui. >79 tiffin:

>82 rachbxl: Thank you, Rachel. I've really enjoyed my reading this year. I'm reading The Last Chronicle of Barset right now, and loving it. It is quite long, so it will take me the rest of the month, I'm sure. But, I will probably want to read another Three Pines before year end. There are so many books I want to read, and I just don't have time to get to them all. I already spend more time than I should sitting and reading (is there really anything like too much time reading?).

Oct 13, 2015, 4:37pm Top

Ok, I'll tuck those on the wishlist then. But not the Red Riding Quartet. The curse of the hyperactive imagination with its blurring of the lines between the book I'm reading and real life!

Oct 13, 2015, 5:15pm Top

>84 tiffin: I think you'll like them, Tui. And I am much the same with the scary stuff.

Oct 14, 2015, 1:17pm Top

>78 NanaCC: Don't you think Jason Isaacs was perfect for the part of Jackson Brodie? I wonder if Atkinson had a say in that choice. She must have been very happy with the outcome.

Oct 14, 2015, 3:55pm Top

>86 VivienneR: I agree, Vivienne, he plays a perfect Jackson Brodie.

Oct 15, 2015, 6:31pm Top

65. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel by by A. J. Hartley & David Hewson, Narrated by Richard Armitage , (Audible Studios (2014), Audible Audio Edition)

Last year, I listened to Hartley & Hewson's retelling of Macbeth, narrated by the wonderful Alan Cumming. It was a wonderful listening experience, and I was hoping that their version of Hamlet would be just as good. I have not been disappointed. This was a fabulous re-imagining of Shakespeare's play, fully fleshed out with vivid characters and all of the off stage happenings of the play developed and given life. Gertrude and Ophelia are strong and smart. You can feel sympathy and horror at the actions of Claudius and Polonius. Is Hamlet really mad, or just a great actor. Yorick, the jester, becomes a wonderful character, adding humor and offering sensible advice to Hamlet. Richard Armitage's narration is so well done that you can feel the tension and emotion. In the afterward, the authors reinterate that this is not another version of the play, but a new story using the original as a stepping stone.

If you enjoy audiobooks, I think that you would enjoy this novel. I gave it 4.5 stars.

Oct 15, 2015, 6:31pm Top

I'll have to check these out when I am teaching Shakespeare. My students might enjoy them.

Oct 15, 2015, 6:37pm Top

>89 BLBera: They really are pretty terrific, Beth. They are full novels though at almost 10 hours of listening time each. I heard of them through Deborah (Cariola) who, I believe, also teaches Shakespeare. Her reviews are on the workpage.

Oct 16, 2015, 4:05pm Top

I've had the Macbeth novel on my wishlist, probably since you reviewed it last year. So far, my library doesn't have either of these on audio.

Oct 16, 2015, 4:39pm Top

>91 laytonwoman3rd: That is a shame, Linda. I got mine at audible through my subscription. My library has a terrible selection for audio and Kindle.

Oct 18, 2015, 9:07pm Top

>88 NanaCC: I'll certainly keep this in mind.

Oct 18, 2015, 9:36pm Top

>93 dchaikin: Dan, I would also recommend their Macbeth: A Novel narrated by Alan Cumming. It was excellent.

Oct 19, 2015, 4:38am Top

Thanks! I have to drive to work today because of a train strike, and I was wondering what I could listen to. I'm off to use up an Audible credit on Macbeth. And maybe Hamlet too...

Oct 19, 2015, 7:03am Top

>95 rachbxl: Enjoy, Rachel! I look forward to your thoughts. :)

Oct 19, 2015, 4:35pm Top

>88 NanaCC: I've had that on my IPad for months Colleen, I must make time to listen to it. I was a bit concerned, Hamlet being a favourite. Though in the hands (voice) of Armitage, I suspected I'd be OK. I had the pleasure of seeing him on stage in The Crucible last year, which was outstanding.

Oct 19, 2015, 5:11pm Top

>97 Caroline_McElwee: I will be curious to hear your thoughts, Caroline. I'm sure that seeing Armitage on stage was a lovely experience.

Oct 26, 2015, 5:02pm Top

66. The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope, (P: 1867; within The Works of Anthony Trollope; Kindle Edition; 944 pages)

The sixth book in The Barsetshire Chronicles follows the story of the extremely impoverished, but very proud, Rev. Josiah Crawley, who has been accused of stealing a check for £20. He has been brought before the magistrates, and there is enough evidence against him that he must stand trial before a judge at the assizes in about six months' time. Just about everyone is convinced of his guilt, but because of his peculiar personality and his impoverished circumstances, there is a lot of sympathy, as well. Now, as Laura (lauralkeet) said in her review, "I can't imagine anyone other than Anthony Trollope devoting more than 900 pages to a clergyman who may or may not have stolen £20, and making it so utterly delightful." - and how true that is. There are subplots galore. Almost all of the major characters, and some of the minor characters from the previous five novels in the series make an appearance. In addition to the Crawleys, we find the Grantleys, the Luftons, the Proudies (oh - Mrs. Proudie!), Mr. Harding (one of my favorite characters), Lily Dale, John Eames, Mrs. Thorne (formerly Miss Dunstable), Mr. Toogood is back, and lives up to his name. Many loose ends from the previous books are tied up.

This is my favorite of the series, alongside Barchester Towers. I gave them both five stars. Mr. Trollope writes marvelous characters, some likable and some not so much. He pokes fun at the social mores of the times, and makes church politics entertaining. I recommend this series to anyone who loves a great story. But, start at the beginning. You won't be sorry, and be prepared to enjoy a very long enjoyable ride.

My plan is to read The Palliser Novels next year. I'm really looking forward to them.

Oct 26, 2015, 8:38pm Top

>99 NanaCC: ahhhh ... wasn't it wonderful?! I love how he trotted out all of the favorite characters from previous books. It reminded me of the finale in musical theater when the whole cast ends up on stage singing. Oh -- Mrs Proudie!! indeed. And thanks for the shout out, Colleen!

I would like to start the Pallisers next year too.

Oct 26, 2015, 11:43pm Top

>100 lauralkeet: A musical finale, with the entire cast on stage - what a great way to describe it, Laura. As for the shout out, it was exactly the way I felt about it. If someone had told me that you could write a 900+ page book about the theft of a check for £20, I would have said they were kidding, or that it must be a snooze fest. It was anything but. Mrs. Proudie was one of those great characters that you love to hate. Poor Rev. Crawley made me so mad a few times. I still wanted to shake Lily Dale, although I think her relationship with John Eames ended as it should. And Rev. Harding....awww. I enjoyed the way that Trollope talked to the reader throughout. I am a fan.

Oct 26, 2015, 11:48pm Top

>99 NanaCC:

Nice, Colleen! :)

If you are moving on to the Palliser novels, be aware that the events of the first book, Can You Forgive Her?, take place before those of The Last Chronicle Of Barset, with a few of the same characters.

Edited: Oct 27, 2015, 3:46am Top

>99 NanaCC:

I'm not familiar with Trollope other than just knowing his name but this series sounds like something that I would truly enjoy. Thanks for the great review that has me looking forward to this series even if I have no idea when I'd even get to it since I'm already dipping in and out of Zola's series.

Oct 27, 2015, 10:13am Top

I am inching my way through the Barsetshire books. How delightful to have that one to look forward to at the end (because I WILL read them in order).

Oct 27, 2015, 10:17am Top

>99 NanaCC: I am looking forward to starting the Barsetshire series, after loving the Palliser series. I'm having a (long) interlude between the series with a non-series Trollope, He Knew He Was Right. It's a tome!

Oct 27, 2015, 10:38am Top

>102 lyzard: Thanks, Liz. It will be like visiting old friends. :)

>103 lilisin: Based upon some things you've reviewed, I think you would love the series.

>104 tiffin: How far are you, Tui? I think I always read a series in order. There is generally a buildup of some sort, whether it relates to characters or plot. I know that most of these books could be read as stand alone, but why would you?

>105 rebeccanyc: "It's a tome!"
I think that's true of several of his books. The nice part about reading on the Kindle was that I didn't get tired holding it. The downside was that I never really knew how far I was into it, because the Kindle looks at "The Works of Trollope" as one book, instead of over fifty.

Oct 27, 2015, 11:01am Top

So glad you've enjoyed the Barsetshire series! I've now read the first four of the Pallisers and I love them as well, but I think that the Barsetshire books will be my favorite.

Oct 27, 2015, 3:41pm Top

>107 japaul22: I'm glad you are enjoying the Pallisers, Jennifer. I'm sure I will too.

Oct 28, 2015, 4:45pm Top

Like everyone else, you have sold me on Trollope's Barsetshire series, Colleen. A wonderful review - and I enjoyed all the comments too. I don't know when I'll get to Trollope, but whenever I do, I'll be reminded of you.

Oct 28, 2015, 5:24pm Top

>109 VivienneR: Thank you, Vivienne. I'm glad I've sold you on Baresetshire. I'm having trouble settling into my next book because that last one was so good. :)

Oct 31, 2015, 3:02pm Top

Catching up - nice reviews Colleen!

Oct 31, 2015, 3:22pm Top

Thank you, Allison!

Nov 1, 2015, 4:58pm Top

67. The Demon in the House by Angela Thirkell, (P: 1934; Moyer Bell (1995), Paperback, 176 pages)

This is the third book in Angela Thirkell's homage to Anthony Trollope in her Barsetshire Books. The "demon" in this case is Tony Moreland who appeared in High Rising, the first book of the series. Tony is a 13 year old boy, and is annoying in a way that only a mother can love. His never ending dialog reminded me a bit of the little boy in the movie Goonies - the one who kept talking non-stop without coming up for air. His bratty behavior would wear pretty thin after a while, had not Thirkell inserted her tremendous tongue-in-cheek humor into the story. I enjoy Thirkell's writing, so will forgive her for this one. I did find it interesting that Tony brought up Hitler in one scene of the book, as he was asking the housekeeper, Stoker, what she thought of him. The book was published in 1934.

"I say Stokes," said Tony, "what do you think about Hitler?"
"No call to think about him at all as far as i can see," said Stoker. "He leaves me alone and I leave him alone. See?"
"Yes, but Stokes, how would you like it if you were a German and Hitler came and murdered you?"
"Stands to reason he wouldn't do no such thing," said Stoker, who brought to bear on all public questions a robust common sense that Dr. Johnson might have envied. "It's not likely I'd go being a German at my time of life."
"I know. But Stokes, supposing you were a German, what would you do? I know what I'd do. I'd put an electric shock machine in the telephone, and then when Hitler answered the telephone he'd get electrocuted. Do you know, Stokes, practically everyone in Germany gets murdered?"
"Serves them right," said Stoker, without specifying any reason for this vengeful remark."I always said we'd never get no peace till the Kaiser was dead, and now look at them. ....."
(Page 166)

I gave this one 3 stars.

Nov 1, 2015, 6:53pm Top

I read that one recently too Colleen. Tony was completely insufferable so it was unfortunate to have him be the focus of this book. I've read a couple of the later books and she introduces many other characters, so even though I'm now trying to read them more or less in order, I hope Tony figures less prominently.

Nov 1, 2015, 10:08pm Top

>114 lauralkeet: I'm glad to hear that Tony has a lesser role in other books, Laura. I did have a few laugh out loud moments, but he just got to be more than I wanted in a main character. I think that Thirkell's writing is really quite humorous, and just what I need once in a while as a stress reliever.

Nov 4, 2015, 5:42pm Top

I want to start the Thirkell books, so thanks for the warning. Interesting conversation about Hitler...

Nov 4, 2015, 7:01pm Top

>116 BLBera: I have enjoyed the Thirkell's I've read. This one was amusing to a point. After that it became annoying.

And, yes, the Hitler reference was interesting.

Nov 8, 2015, 4:08pm Top

68. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling), (P: 2015; Mulholland Books (2015), Edition: Kindle, 512 pages)

The third book in the Cormoran Strike crime series pulled me in from the first page and didn't let go. Strike's partner Robin is at the center of this one, and I love her character. We find out more of the backstory of Cormoran and Robin, as they search for a killer who dismembers his victims. It becomes apparent right away that the killer is out for revenge against Strike, and wants to ruin his business. I had trouble putting it down yesterday when I had to go to a 95th birthday celebration for my uncle. And, I must say that I hate Robin's fiance Matthew.

4 stars

Nov 8, 2015, 4:51pm Top

I have them on my shelves but I haven't even started on Galbraith's books yet. You have given me a good push! Nice review!

Nov 8, 2015, 5:42pm Top

Thank you, Vivienne. The worst part about these books is waiting for the next installment.

Nov 8, 2015, 10:21pm Top

I think she is building our dislike for Matthew on purpose, Colleen, so that when he gets hit by a double decker bus we won't feel a single twinge.

Nov 9, 2015, 3:51am Top

I'm glad you liked Career of Evil (I would have been surprised had you been bored by it). But I like Matthew, not a lot and not as much as I like Cormoran and Robin, obviously, but I thought that Robin's story also humanized him - I certainly understand now why he wants her to take a safe, boring job. It's the wrong reaction, but it is a very human one, as is his, well, mistake in college. It's not a good thing, but given the circumstances, it isn't incomprehensible. He's not particularly sensitive to the feelings of others, but that's another very human thing about him.

Nov 9, 2015, 7:28am Top

>121 tiffin: :) That is basically what I told Chris yesterday after she finished it. She was hoping for a different ending.

>122 RidgewayGirl: LOL. I thought he was a jerk, but didn't hate him at first. The thing he did with her phone at the end was what threw my dislike meter way over to the red side.

Nov 9, 2015, 9:01am Top

I'm not a fan of Matthew either. I understand the points made in >122 RidgewayGirl: but I still don't like him. Maybe >121 tiffin: is right.

Nov 9, 2015, 10:20am Top

Colleen, I wonder if Robin had blocked a certain number on his phone we'd be a critical. Sure, he was being paternalistic jerk, but it's not inconceivable when he is worried history will repeat itself.

I mean, she clearly should not be with him, but he's not a cartoon bad guy. He was who she needed at one time, but it's harsh to just discard him now that she's moved on. Of course, now it will be even more difficult, but that really is on Robin. Marrying a guy who's not right because she doesn't have someone waiting in the wings is not ethical behavior. A big part of this is on Robin -- and I love her exceedingly, but she's the one at fault here. Fixing this will be messy.

Nov 9, 2015, 10:30am Top

>124 lauralkeet: I had read somewhere when the series first started that Rowling had mapped out 7 books. (Which would be sad given how well written they are). But it would make sense to have the relationship change somehow before the end.

Nov 9, 2015, 10:33am Top

>125 RidgewayGirl: messy indeed. :)

Nov 16, 2015, 10:06am Top

69. Finn: A Novel by Jon Clinch, Narrated by Ed Sala, (Published February 1st 2007 by Recorded Books)

This could be a story about Huck Finn, as he does have a minor role , but it isn't. It is the story of Huck's father, Pap. Pap is a horrible, drunken, bigoted man who is extremely conflicted by his bigotry. His father, the Judge, is even worse, and reading about him, the reader can see where Pap's persona came from. Maybe we can understand it, but we could never forgive it.

An interview with the author at the end of this audiobook gave insight into his development of the character. As a fan of Mark Twain, he wanted to imagine what Huck's early life might have been. He said that he gave the book to his wife to read before he had it published. Her reaction, which surprised him, was that it was the saddest book she'd ever read. In the interview, he chuckled and said that, because of that, he read it through several times and when he was done said to his wife that she was right. It was the saddest book he'd ever read. Sad it may be, but also very very good. I gave it 4 stars.

Nov 16, 2015, 12:41pm Top

>69 VivienneR: interesting review - I've not heard of this book before. Sounds like just the sort of depressing read I enjoy!

Nov 16, 2015, 1:08pm Top

>128 NanaCC: Coincidentally, this was a Kindle daily deal last week so I snapped it up at $1.99. Linda/laytonwoman3rd has raved about it in the past. Your review confirms the wisdom of my purchase. :)

Nov 16, 2015, 2:13pm Top

>129 AlisonY: Alison, I think you are referring to my book #69, Finn. It is a bit depressing, but maybe more than a bit depraved.

>130 lauralkeet: Laura, I think you'll find it a good pick. I enjoyed all of the little winks to Mark Twain that were strewn throughout the book. Listening to the author's interview, I realized that I had missed several of them.

Nov 16, 2015, 2:41pm Top

>131 NanaCC: yes - sorry! Got my references mixed up.

Nov 16, 2015, 9:04pm Top

Can't do sad when I'm battling SAD. Escapist mysteries, yes!

Nov 17, 2015, 6:37am Top

>127 NanaCC: I listened to an interview with J.K. Rowling yesterday, in which she promised that the next book will pick up exactly where Career of Evil left off. Yay!

And I have Finn on my tbr, but sadly in storage back in the US. I'm looking forward to having my books back - only eight months now.

Nov 17, 2015, 8:23am Top

>133 tiffin: I can understand that, Tui. For me the book was sad more because of the reality of what Finn had become than anything. As for mysteries, have you ever read Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May series? I listened to all of them and they were filled with quirky humor and British history trivia. I read the first book as a prequel because it wasn't available in audio when I started the series. It was the weakest, so I'm glad that I hadn't started with it. It did, however, fill in some gaps in the background of the two detectives.

>134 RidgewayGirl: Another 'Yay' from me, Kay. I just hope she doesn't take too long. :).

I'm sure the eight months will fly by. Are the kids looking forward to seeing their friends in the U. S.?

Nov 17, 2015, 8:38am Top

>135 NanaCC: have you ever read Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May series? ... filled with quirky humor and British history trivia.
Oh no, you've done it again, Colleen. :)

Nov 17, 2015, 9:56am Top

>135 NanaCC: One yes, one no. My daughter is already working on plans to go to university in the UK (she has German citizenship, so whether she can go depends not only on grades, but also on whether the UK stays in the EU or not). My son's best friend is also moving away at the end of the school year, so he's excited about getting back to his old friends.

We're off for a long weekend in Naples soon, and I'm beginning to realize that we won't see everything.

Nov 17, 2015, 10:31am Top

>135 NanaCC:: I have just dashed off and ordered the first two of the series, Colleen! I have to get my own books for under the tree because the family has no idea what to get me, so these two will fill that bill AND I'll have them to look forward to after Christmas. Thank you!

Nov 17, 2015, 12:11pm Top

>138 tiffin: Well, you don't need the extra vote now, I see, but I read the first Bryant and May and will get to more of them when I've caught up on a couple other series...but I predict you'll really like them, Tui.

Nov 17, 2015, 3:45pm Top

>136 lauralkeet: & >138 tiffin: Sorry, Laura. :). If you like audio books, the audio versions are really good. The reader, Tim Goodman, has the one old detective down exactly as I picture him. >139 laytonwoman3rd:. Thanks for the additional push, Linda. I always worry when I recommend something.

>137 RidgewayGirl: when will your daughter start university, Kay? Your kids are having quite the adventure.

Nov 23, 2015, 2:16am Top

Colleen, she's in tenth grade now. And they are lucky, lucky children, jaded by their life of travel and adventure.

Nov 23, 2015, 11:30am Top

>141 RidgewayGirl: It always takes time to appreciate the good times!

Dec 8, 2015, 9:22pm Top

70. The Four Feathers by A. E. W. Mason, Narrated by John Lee, (P: 1902; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

Harry Feversham is a well liked British soldier during Britain's imperial rule in 1882. He is engaged to Ethne Eustace, and makes a big decision to quit the army just as he is about to be sent to Africa. At a ball in their honor, Harry receives a letter containing three white feathers which are a sign of cowardice. Ethne takes a white feather from her fan and adds it to the others, breaking their engagement. Harry leaves in disgrace, but is determined to redeem his honor. He goes undercover to Africa and shows great courage in the attempt to regain what he has lost.

Great narration, as always, by John Lee. I enjoyed the book, which is quite different from the 1939 movie. I gave the book four stars, as much for the narration as for the understated adventure story.

Dec 9, 2015, 10:35pm Top

There are some days where something hits your funny bone.

This morning someone posted a picture which I am unable to copy, but I thought it was clever. It was a picture of a storefront. The name of the store was Richard III Camping Goods. There was a sign in the window that said 'Now is the winter of our discount tents'.

It was my smile for today.

Dec 10, 2015, 1:04am Top

LOL! Clever. :)

Dec 10, 2015, 6:26am Top

Dec 10, 2015, 6:32am Top

>146 ELiz_M: That's it. Thank you! :-)

I thought it was quite clever.

Dec 10, 2015, 8:11am Top

Thanks for that chuckle. I love when literary references crop up like that, and they just expect everyone to "get it".
And thanks for the review of The Four Feathers. I have a copy of that around somewhere, and I've just put a comment on my LT entry for the book so I'll remember that you liked it! Helpful when I'm considering whether to read something to know who has enjoyed it.

Dec 10, 2015, 8:38am Top

>148 laytonwoman3rd:. Thank you to Liz for the actual picture. I am hopeless when it comes to things like copying pictures when I am on my iPad.

As for The Four Feathers, I enjoyed it. If someone is looking for a heart pounding adventure story, this is not it. It is quiet and understated. A good yarn.

Dec 10, 2015, 10:10am Top

I figured it must be an outfitter in England when I saw that shop, Colleen. You kind of wonder if they named their place like that, just so they could post that sale sign.

Dec 10, 2015, 10:25am Top

>150 tiffin:. That is exactly what my youngest daughter said. :)

Dec 10, 2015, 7:32pm Top

71. Cecilia, or Memoirs of an Heiress by Frances Burney, ((P: 1782); Kindle Edition, (P: 2113); Joe Books, 683 pages)

I read this as part of a group read in the Virago Group. Cecilia is a young woman, several months shy of becoming "of age". She has inherited money from her father and recently from her uncle who has put some rather tight strings on the money. In order to keep her inheritance, if she marries, her husband must take her surname. Her uncle has appointed three guardians, a gambler, a miser, and an overly proud man who feels that he is above everyone in social class. Cecilia is supposed to live with one of them until she turns 21 and gains control of her money.

Of course, there are many men vying for Cecilia's favor, but only one is the right one. He, unfortunately, has issues related to taking her surname. The story is filled with humor, and insight into the social structure of the time. At times, it may be overly dramatic and emotional when compared to books of today, but it is much a product of the time.

Jane Austen loved Burney's writing, and even "borrowed" her title Pride and Prejudice directly from this book. I think that even Dickens may have been inspired somewhat by Burney's book. I am looking forward to the discussion in the Virago group, once more people have finished reading it. Liz (lyzard) has been leading the group, and her knowledge of 18th & 19th century literature is valuable in adding to the enjoyment.

Dec 10, 2015, 9:52pm Top

Nice review Colleen. I've really enjoyed our group read.

Dec 11, 2015, 5:30am Top

>153 lauralkeet: Thank you, Laura. I've enjoyed it too. Liz certainly knows her stuff. :)

I thought about joining in on the Pilgramage group read, but this time of year is hard for me. I tend to do more audio books so that I can get things done while I listen.

Dec 11, 2015, 6:39am Top

>154 NanaCC: I understand the holiday time crunch, Colleen. Bear in mind that Pilgrimage is made up of 13 novellas, which Virago published in 4 volumes. In December, we are reading only the first novella, Pointed Roofs, and plan to read one per month in 2016. The first novella is 185 pages (I just started reading last night). So even if you don't get to it in December you could easily catch up next month.

Edited: Dec 11, 2015, 8:13am Top

Oh no! I didn't realize that you volunteered to do the Best of posts for this group and I started one - I was so excited to see what everyone's favorites are.

I can't seem to delete it... I've asked Rebecca to do so, thinking as admin she can, so you can do the official post when ready. :)

Dec 11, 2015, 8:29am Top

>156 alphaorder: Group admins are admins in title only. They have no control over anything except the group's description page and settings (public or private, join to post or not, and who can add pictures).

Dec 11, 2015, 8:31am Top

> 157 Rats!

Well, I will add to my post that this is not the official group thread...

Dec 11, 2015, 8:45am Top

>158 alphaorder: Don't be silly.... Leave your post. It can be the official one this time.

Edited: Dec 11, 2015, 12:59pm Top

>144 NanaCC: When I was on Jeopardy, one of the categories in the first round was titled "The winter of our discount tents." I thought tents were a bizarre subject for a category.

Dec 12, 2015, 7:43pm Top

Dec 13, 2015, 12:02pm Top

>161 baswood: I really did enjoy it, Barry. I gave it four stars, which I forgot to mention above.

Dec 13, 2015, 1:24pm Top

>160 ursula: That is indeed a bizarre category. I can't imagine what the "answers" might have been. Lucky you, to have been on Jeopardy.

Dec 13, 2015, 5:12pm Top

>160 ursula:. Fun to be on Jeopardy, but bizarre category indeed. :)

Dec 20, 2015, 9:39pm Top

>152 NanaCC: I've never heard of Burney, but she looks interesting.

>128 NanaCC: The cover is pretty enticing on that one. :)

Dec 20, 2015, 10:23pm Top

>165 The_Hibernator: A book written in 1782 is so different to our modern novels, Rachel. The writing is so dramatic. And, Burney wound up being the inspiration for Jane Austen and others. The book Cecilia was very good, although reading it with the group's comments added much to the understanding. I would definitely recommend her to anyone interested in books of that time period.

Finn was an intriguing book.

Dec 21, 2015, 12:12pm Top

>166 NanaCC: I'm encouraged to see the positive comments about Cecelia -- I read Evelina earlier this year and enjoyed it, but thought it was a little too drawn out and was worried that the longer work would be torture. Now I'm looking forward to reading it....someday!

Dec 21, 2015, 12:31pm Top

>167 ELiz_M: I haven't read Evelina but I am interested after reading Cecilia. If you do get to it, the thread in the Virago group is very helpful to follow along.

Dec 23, 2015, 12:05pm Top

Merry Christmas Colleen. I hope there are joyous gatherings, fine meals, and time for reading a bit.

Dec 23, 2015, 5:53pm Top

Thank you, Linda. The same to you. The festivities start tonight for us. My daughter from CT (Chris) and her family always come on the 23rd. We go to dinner and then pretend it is Christmas on the morning of the 24th. After we open gifts, we have a nice breakfast and then head to my son's house for a party. This year my daughter in MA is flying down with her family for the party. We spend Christmas Day with my son and his family. We have parties for the next couple of weeks, so I am not sure how much reading I will fit in, bit I am sure going to try. :)

Dec 24, 2015, 2:40pm Top

Merry Christmas Colleen.

Dec 24, 2015, 3:19pm Top

Enjoy the time with your family, Colleen!

Dec 24, 2015, 3:20pm Top

Best wishes for the holiday season, Colleen!

Dec 25, 2015, 2:03am Top

Best wishes. Sounds like you will all have a wonderful family Christmas.

Dec 25, 2015, 7:31am Top

Merry Christmas!

We are having such odd weather here in New Jersey. We had to open windows yesterday.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and that your magical wishes come true.

Dec 25, 2015, 2:13pm Top

>175 NanaCC: Merry Christmas Colleen! The weather is very warm here as well, but then I'm only a couple hours south of you. We had a fire in our wood stove last night but just for the ambience, definitely not for its warmth!

Dec 29, 2015, 6:51pm Top

73. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (William Morrow (2015), 325 pages)

I'm surprised that I haven't heard about this book. About a week ago, my daughter sent a text saying "read this book". So of course I did. It is the type of book where you can't say too much without giving anything away.

It is a murder/thriller/page turner that kept me up late a couple of nights. Each chapter is from a different person's perspective, and I've seen it likened to Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. It is more similar to Hitchcock's movie Strangers on a Train, which is based upon the classic novel by Patricia Highsmith. In Part 1: 'The Rules of Airport Bars', two strangers, Lily and Ted, meet in an airport bar, where Ted drinks a little too much and starts talking about the fact that he thinks his wife is having an affair. Lily's response is "Truthfully, I don't think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing." Plot twist after plot twist follows. Who is lying? Who is fantasizing?

If you like Gone Girl, I'm pretty sure you would like it. I think it is definitely better than Girl on the Train. Great writing? Probably not. But, if you want something to keep you awake, or need a quick book, this might be the one for you. I enjoyed it, and the ending is a great twist.

Dec 30, 2015, 9:39am Top

>177 NanaCC: Oh sure, twist my arm! Heh. Sounds like I'll be adding it to my pile!

Dec 30, 2015, 9:43am Top

>178 lesmel:. :) My job is done! :-)

Dec 31, 2015, 3:57pm Top

>177 NanaCC: Perfect reading for the insomniac! I've added it to my list!

Dec 31, 2015, 4:36pm Top

>180 VivienneR: I could have used it last night, Vivienne. Something pulled me awake at 2:00, and then I just stared at the clock until I finally decided I might as well get up at 4:00. I have company coming tonight at 6:30, so I have a feeling this is going to seem like a very long night. :)

Jan 1, 2016, 12:07pm Top

Happy New Year, everyone! My new thread is here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/209991

I'm looking forward to another great year.

Group: Club Read 2015

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