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sallylou61's 2016 ROOT challenge

2016 ROOT Challenge - (Read Our Own Tomes)

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1sallylou61
Edited: Dec 22, 2016, 9:58pm Top

I will be aiming for 36 ROOTs this year (an average of 3 per month although some months I'll read more and some months less). Moreover, I'm doing my own interpretation of the ROOT challenge and including relatively new books in my collection. Having participated in the ROOT challenge the past two years, I have discovered that I've put off reading new books because I have not had them long enough for the challenge! Thus, I end up with a bigger backlog than before. (Of course, it doesn't help that my husband and I purchase a lot of books. I will try not to buy so many books in 2016!) I think that I will count a new book as a ROOT if I have had it at least 2 months.




Ticker not updating count promptly -- have read 39 (three over goal) as of Dec. 21st.

I enjoy the tickers and will be tracking my progress with different pieces of my challenge without adding them to the overall thread.

(jthena bd dddd)

2sallylou61
Edited: Nov 25, 2016, 4:32pm Top

I have many books I bought or received prior to 2015. I'm aiming to read at least 16 of these books.




Ticker not adding additional books promptly. Have read 20 books as of Nov. 24th.
This is a duplicate count. It should NOT be used in overall count.

(weddingdatemmdd)

1. James Herriot's Cat Stories by James Herriot -- read Jan. 6th

2. Sisters of the Wind by Elizabeth S. Bell -- finished reading Jan. 9th

3. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson -- finished reading Jan. 30th.

4. The Annotated Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, annotated by David M. Shapard -- finished reading Feb. 7th.

5. Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf -- finished reading Feb. 9th. (touchstones not working properly)

6. At the Rim: a Celebration of Women's Collegiate Basketball with introduction by Patsy Neal. -- read Mar. 2nd.

7. The Religious World of Antislavery Women by Anna M. Speicher -- finished Mar. 8th.

8. Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers by Deborah Cadbury -- finished May 29th.

9. East Hope by Katharine Davis -- finished June 21st.

10. The Last Gift of Time: Life beyond Sixty by Carolyn G. Heilbrun

11. Still Missing: Amelia Earhart and the Search for Modern Feminism by Susan Ware -- finished Aug. 16th.

12. Herbert Hoover's Hideaway: the Story of Camp Hoover on the Rapidan River in Shenandoah National Park by Darwin Lambert -- finished Aug. 29th.

13. Flying: by Paula Helfrich and Rebecca Sprecher -- finished Sept. 9th.

14. An American Vision: Three Generations of Wyeth Art -- finished Sept. 10th

15. Pictorial History of Gone with the Wind by Gerald and Harriet Modell Gardner. -- read Sept. 28th.

16. Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft -- finished October 3rd.

17. Art & love : an illustrated anthology of love poetry selected by Kate Farrell -- finished Oct. 5th.

18. The Queen and Di by Ingrid Seward -- finished Oct. 9th.

19. Patsy Cline: Singing Girl from the Shenandoah Valley by Stuart E. Brown and Lorraine F. Myers. -- finished Oct. 11th.

20. Why History Matters by Gerda Lerner -- finished Nov. 24th.

3sallylou61
Edited: Dec 8, 2016, 9:17pm Top

I bought many too many books in 2015. I'm aiming to read at least 16 of these. As of Dec. 8th, I have read 11, but am not planning to read more. I only aimed as 16 for 2016; however, I read more than my goal in the other 2 categories, and slightly over by total goal.




(nepbd dddd)

1. The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett -- finished reading Jan. 15th.
2. When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Mannina -- finished reading Jan. 19th.
3. Room by Emma Donoghue -- finished reading Jan. 21st.
4. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown -- finished Jan. 23rd.
5. Gray Mountain by John Grisham -- finished Mar. 12th.
6. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson -- finished Apr. 20th.
7. Nora Webster by Colm Toibin -- finished Apr. 22nd.
8. Something Must be Done about Prince Edward County by Kristen Green -- finished reading May 5th.
9. Pretty Little Killers by Daleen Berry and Geoffrey C. Fuller -- finished reading May 17th.
10. Working Stiff by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell -- finished reading May 25th.
11. Under the Sea-Wind by Rachel Carson -- finished reading July 28th.

4sallylou61
Edited: Dec 22, 2016, 10:02pm Top

Here I'm recording books acquired in 2016, which I have owned at least 2 months. I'm aiming at 4 of these.




Ticker not updating count promptly -- have read 8 as of Dec. 21st.

This is a DUP ticker not to be counted in total count.

1. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman -- acquired in January, read in May.
2. Stabbing in the Senate by Colleen J. Shogan -- purchased March 19th; read May 21st-22nd.
3. The Turner House by Angela Flournoy -- purchased March 20th, read early July.
4. One of Ours by Willa Cather --- received as gift in late January, read in late August.
5. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates -- bought early September, read mid November.
6. First Women: the Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower. Purchased in March, read in late November.
7. Danger Close : My Epic Journey as a Combat Helicopter Pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan by Amber Smith -- bought in late September, read in December.
8. Fair Game by Valerie Plame Wilson.

(margthenwind bd dddd)

5connie53
Dec 31, 2015, 10:24am Top

Welcome back, Allison!

6avanders
Dec 31, 2015, 11:14am Top

Welcome back & Happy Rooting!

7lkernagh
Dec 31, 2015, 10:56pm Top

Good luck with your ROOT reading!

8connie53
Jan 1, 2016, 3:17am Top

9tess_schoolmarm
Jan 1, 2016, 5:26am Top

10MissWatson
Jan 4, 2016, 5:48am Top

Welcome back and a Happy New Year!

11sallylou61
Jan 6, 2016, 11:19pm Top

My first ROOT of 2016 was a very quick but enjoyable read -- James Herriot's Cat Stories.

12tess_schoolmarm
Jan 7, 2016, 3:39am Top

>11 sallylou61: Interesting bit of trivia: In college James Herriot's granddaughter and I lived on the same dorm floor and attended some of the same music classes. She was so very talented.

13sallylou61
Jan 9, 2016, 12:11am Top

>12 tess_schoolmarm: That's very interesting, Tess. Where did you go to college? I would like to read a biography of James Herriot sometime; I think his son has written one.

14sallylou61
Jan 9, 2016, 12:21am Top

Second ROOT for 2016 and second one I have had since before joining LT in 2007:
Sisters of the Wind: Voices of Early Women Aviators by Elizabeth S. Bell discusses 15 women who were involved in aviation in the 1920s and 1930s and who wrote about their experiences. These women were primarily European although three American women are covered -- including two of the most famous, Amelia Earhart and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Some of the early women in the 1920s were passengers rather than pilots. Several teams of women working together as pilots and technical people are included.

15sallylou61
Jan 16, 2016, 12:06am Top

3rd ROOT -- a relatively new book acquired in November 2015 -- The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. Read for a book club; I may decide in the future not to count these books, and subtract this one and the counts for it, but for now I'm counting it.

16connie53
Edited: Jan 16, 2016, 10:59am Top

>15 sallylou61: Why would you?

17sallylou61
Edited: Jan 16, 2016, 10:36am Top

>16 connie53: I'm thinking that perhaps I should not count books for "required reading" -- i.e. book club reading and reading for adult education classes. Of course, I do not have to participate in these events, but decided to do so. Perhaps ROOTs should only be books bought or received as gifts that are not bought specifically for "required reading."

18connie53
Jan 16, 2016, 11:00am Top

>17 sallylou61: I meant the subtracting your book club books. I would count them! But you can decide whatever you want to do. It's your challenge.

19tess_schoolmarm
Jan 16, 2016, 5:09pm Top

I would also count them....I like to see BIG numbers!

20avanders
Jan 17, 2016, 10:27pm Top

>17 sallylou61: >18 connie53: >19 tess_schoolmarm: I also count my book group books! I mean, s'long as they are actually ROOTs ;)

>15 sallylou61: what did you think of The Magician's Assistant? It's one in my long list of tbrs.... :)

21sallylou61
Jan 18, 2016, 10:14am Top

>20 avanders: It took me a while to enjoy The Magician's Assistant since I don't really care for magic tricks, I didn't particularly care for the main dead characters, and the first part of the story was in Los Angeles. I am not a "big city girl." However, most of the story occurred in Nebraska, and I found that very interesting and most of the characters, in spite of their flaws, more appealing. I was a bit disappointed in the ending; I felt it could be stronger. This was the third book I have read by Ann Patchett; I think that the novels of hers I have read dragged on too long.

22sallylou61
Jan 18, 2016, 10:17am Top

>17 sallylou61:, >18 connie53:, >19 tess_schoolmarm: >20 avanders: I will count book club books and course books if I have had them long enough. For one of my book clubs we select books a year at a time, and I tend to buy them early, as happened with The Magician's Assistant.

23sallylou61
Jan 19, 2016, 11:28pm Top

I have substantially changed my challenge to de-emphasize books I will acquire this year. Now I'm aiming for 20 each of books acquired prior to 2015 and in 2015, and limiting books acquired this year (which I've had for at least 2 months) to 8. This is still a total of 48, an average of 4 per month. I found putting the last 3 months of 2015 with 2016 inefficient to track.

24sallylou61
Jan 19, 2016, 11:31pm Top

4th ROOT read -- a Christmas present to me -- When Books Went to War: the Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning. This is an excellent book. It discusses the paperback books which were sent to the soldiers in World War II, and their impact; the books provided an activity that soldiers could do anywhere. Soldiers, who had read very seldom prior to the war, read them enthusiastically, and some became lifelong readers. Books of all kinds were sent to the soldiers. This is contrasted to the banning of books and book-burning done by the Nazis.

25Caramellunacy
Jan 20, 2016, 5:17am Top

>24 sallylou61: When Books Went to War sounds really interesting, Sally! I love reading books about books, so I'll be adding this to my wishlist.

26sallylou61
Edited: Jan 22, 2016, 12:21am Top

5th ROOT read -- another book bought in 2015 -- Room by Emma Donoghue.
I haven't decided whether or not to try to see the movie sometime. I found the book much more interesting beginning with the escape from the room; prior to that, it was rather monotonous, which was appropriate for the story.

27connie53
Jan 22, 2016, 3:54am Top

>26 sallylou61: I loved Kamer. It's in my top 5 for 2013. And it made me buy all books by Emma Donoghue I could find.

28sallylou61
Jan 23, 2016, 9:18pm Top

I finished my 6th ROOT for the month; I've had a lot of time to read the last two days since we are snowed in here in Central Virginia.
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown was an early lesbian novel, first published in 1972. I bought the book last summer when I went to an event honoring Ms. Brown, a local author. She is an excellent speaker, but I found this book not to my tastes. It contains a lot of graphic sex, and some filthy language although it does give a good portrayal of characters and has some humourous scenes.

29tess_schoolmarm
Jan 24, 2016, 3:24pm Top

>28 sallylou61: A very dear friend of mine lives in Springfield, Va and works in DC. Snowed in and work closed!!

30sallylou61
Jan 25, 2016, 10:12am Top

We managed to get out around noon yesterday (Sunday) after our road was plowed. Our fitness center opened at noon and was open for 4 hours so that we got some exercise. Also, we found a restaurant that was open for dinner so that we could go out to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.

However, the roads are still not in very good shape, and the public schools in both Charlottesville (the city) and Albemarle County (the surrounding county) are closed today.

31connie53
Jan 25, 2016, 10:17am Top

It must be very strange to be closed in like that. I'm glad it's over for you and everybody that lives in that part of the US.

Congrats on your 40th wedding anniversary.

32lkernagh
Jan 26, 2016, 7:53pm Top

Good job on 6 ROOTs read so far this month!

33sallylou61
Jan 27, 2016, 10:05am Top

>32 lkernagh: I'm trying to get ahead in reading my ROOTs, a point I want to concentrate on this year. Next month I will be starting my OLLI adult education courses; I'm taking mainly literature courses which involve reading many new books, especially through March.

34sallylou61
Edited: Jan 30, 2016, 3:40pm Top

7th ROOT read: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. A lengthy description of it is in my Category Challenge thread at:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/204808#5451568

35avanders
Feb 2, 2016, 6:54pm Top

>21 sallylou61: thanks for the response! :)

>22 sallylou61: I lightly suggested picking books well in advance for my book group... they were not into it ;p I can see the benefit, though! I like knowing in advance.... :)

>30 sallylou61: Congrats on your 40-year anniversary!

& congrats on so many ROOTs pulled already!

36sallylou61
Edited: Feb 9, 2016, 11:12pm Top

8th ROOT read and first in February: The Annotated Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, annotated by David M. Shapard. I have had this book several years, and meant to read it during the Jane Austen group read last year. This is my next to favorite Jane Austen novel, after Pride and Prejudice.

37sallylou61
Edited: Feb 11, 2016, 8:49am Top

9th ROOT read and second in February: Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf. I have had this book since before I joined LibraryThing in November 2007.

This is a feminist book about the place of middle class women (the daughters of educated men) in English society in the late 1930s. Virginia Woolf justifies giving one guinea each to a building fund for a women's college, a society promoting the employment of professional women, and a society -- run by males -- to help prevent war and protect culture and intellectual liberty. Ms. Woolf links these three causes.

38sallylou61
Mar 2, 2016, 11:56pm Top

10th ROOT and first for March: At the Rim: a Celebration of Women's Collegiate Basketball with an introduction by Patsy Neal.

I have read and examined the pictures in the coffee table book, At the Rim: a Celebration of Women's Collegiate Basketball with an introduction by Patsy Neal. This book was published in 1991, around the time I started attending the women's basketball games at the University of Virginia. The introduction giving a brief history of college women's basketball was interesting; it is amazing how much has changed in the last quarter of a century.
Although it was fun to see pictures of women who were coaches or played in the game in the 1990-1991 season, the pictures and their captions were somewhat disappointing. Players were identified in some pictures but not in others, and the dates of the photographs were not given. (I had to look on the flap of the book jacket to discover what period the photographs covered.) Some of the photographs were of spectators or nearly empty gyms.
The book ended with photos and very short biographies of 14 former players. Some of these women are quite well-known for their continuing participation in the games; others I'm not at all familiar with.

39sallylou61
Mar 8, 2016, 9:09pm Top

11th ROOT and second ROOT for March: The Religious World of Antislavery Women by Anna M. Speicher which I have had since before I joined LibraryThing in Nov. 2007.
Ms. Speicher examines the religious beliefs of Sarah and Angelina Grimke, Lucretia Mott, Abby Kelley Foster, and Sallie Holley and how these beliefs contributed to their reform activity -- especially antislavery efforts and to a lesser extent women's rights and other 19th century reforms.

40sallylou61
Mar 12, 2016, 3:44pm Top

12th ROOT and third ROOT for March: Gray Mountain by John Grisham -- finished reading Mar. 12, 2016 (bought in February 2015).

In addition to reading this as a ROOT, I read it for the environment square of BingoDOG since it is about strip mining in the Appalachia including its effect on the environment: destroying mountains, causing black lung disease, polluting water, etc. The reason I read it now is because I'm going to a reception next week at the Virginia Book Festival for Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy who will be a key speaker at the festival. The reception, is being hosted by John and Renee Grisham. Although he is a local author, and has written numerous books, the only other one I had read by him is Calico Joe, a baseball book. Mr. Grisham will also be the moderator for the Stevenson program.

41avanders
Mar 12, 2016, 9:11pm Top

Wow! How exciting! Did you enjoy the book? I haven't read any of his recent ones, but I really enjoyed Runaway Jury (much better than the movie) and The Street Lawyer :)

42sallylou61
Edited: Mar 13, 2016, 10:21am Top

>41 avanders: Yes, I enjoyed the book, particularly for the strong female lawyers, who were really actively in helping the poor people. The main male lawyer was very reckless and seemed more interested in making a name for himself and getting huge settlements than in actually obtaining money for the poor whom he was representing.

43avanders
Edited: Mar 18, 2016, 9:51am Top

>42 sallylou61: that is unfortunately sometimes true - lawyers who would prefer to make money than help their clients (assuming a situation in which the 2 are mutually exclusive). :P
Glad you enjoyed the book!

44sallylou61
Apr 20, 2016, 9:36pm Top

I have just finished reading my first ROOT this month and 13th overall -- Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. I read this book at this time in honor of Earth Day (and the RandomCAT challenge in its honor).

45sallylou61
Apr 22, 2016, 11:12pm Top

I have just finished reading my second ROOT for April and 14th overall -- Nora Webster by Colm Toibin.

46Jackie_K
Apr 23, 2016, 5:47am Top

>45 sallylou61: I've only read one book by him, The Testament of Mary which I really liked (I know plenty of people, primarily conservative religious purists, thought it was shocking and terrible and blasphemous, whilst plenty of non/anti-religious people thought it was brilliantly subversive. It just made me think a lot, whilst not being as subversive as it thought it was). I'd like to read more from him, I liked his writing style.

47sallylou61
Edited: Apr 23, 2016, 8:17pm Top

>46 Jackie_K: I was a bit disappointed with Nora Webster in comparison with his book, Brooklyn which I read a couple of years ago for a book club, and really enjoyed. I think that Nora Webster ends rather abruptly and unsatisfactorily, and issues portrayed in it are not actually settled. I also disapprove of Nora's final action. However, I found the book interesting, and am glad I read it.

48sallylou61
May 5, 2016, 3:22pm Top

I have finished reading my 1st ROOT for May and 15th overall our of 48 (so am still behind in my ROOTs reading): Something Must be Done about Prince Edward County by Kristen Green.

This is both a history of the closing of the public schools in Prince Edward County (Virginia) to avoid integration, the effect that this event had (and still has) on the community of Farmville and the entire county, and the author's coming to grips with the knowledge of her family's involvement. Ms. Green, who was born in the 1970s, grew up as a sheltered white girl, and attended the Prince Edward Academy, the all-white private school which was set up to educate the white students. She left Farmville to go to college, and never returned to live there year round. (She rented a house in the summers while researching this book.) Ms. Green discovered that her grandfather had been one of the leaders of the group responsible for closing the schools, and had been instrumental in starting the Academy where her mother and other relatives were on the staff. The family (both her grandmother and mother) had the same black maid who came in once a week, but never really inquired about how the situation impacted her or her family. (She sent her daughter to New England to live with relatives to go to school.) Ms. Green tells the stories of many blacks who were involved in the struggle, and attempts to find out the reasoning of the whites. This book is part memoir/biography as Ms. Green and her multiracial husband decide where to live with their multiracial daughters and the kind of school they should attend. It is a story of the changing racial picture/understanding/relationships.

49tess_schoolmarm
May 6, 2016, 11:51am Top

>48 sallylou61: Sounds like a great read. A BB for me!

50sallylou61
May 8, 2016, 3:51pm Top

Second ROOT for May and 16th (out of 48) overall: Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman tells of her time serving in prison, particularly the Women's Prison in Newbury, Connecticut, where women of various ethnic backgrounds, socio-economic levels, races, etc. became a community helping each other through their sentences. The disparity of sentencing is brought out; Kerman, a blonde, white graduate of Smith College was serving a much shorter time than most of the other prisoners, many of whose crimes were no more serious than hers.

51sallylou61
Edited: May 17, 2016, 7:33pm Top

Third ROOT for May and 17th (out of 48) overall: Pretty Little Killers by Daleen Berry and Geoffrey C. Fuller is a true crime story about two teenage girls who murder one of their best friends. I heard the author speak at the Virginia Festival of the Book last year, and found her talk interesting. One of the reasons I bought the book was because it takes place in West Virginia, and my husband is a West Virginian. The book dragged a bit, but so did the time it took the police to find enough evidence to arrest the two high school girls. The weakest part of the book was that the authors unsuccessfully tried to determine why the crime was committed; why the girls killed their friend. The authors included an appendix giving a list of signs for parents to watch for to prevent future tragedies.

52connie53
May 22, 2016, 12:35pm Top

>51 sallylou61: That sounds like you didn't really like it, Allison.

53sallylou61
May 22, 2016, 4:20pm Top

>52 connie53: That's right, I did not care for the book. I found all three of the main characters -- the two killers and the victim unappealing. The most sympathetic people portrayed were the parents of the victim; they were very loving parents.

54sallylou61
May 22, 2016, 4:24pm Top

4th ROOT for May and 18th out of 48: Stabbing in the Senate by Colleen J. Shogan, which is a first book in a Washington Whodunit series. Ms. Shogan was the mystery author sitting at our table at a detective brunch during the Virginia Festival of the Book this past March; she is also on the Library of Congress staff in the Congressional Research Services. I think that she is planning to write a series of murder mysteries occurring in DC as Margaret Truman did many years ago. I enjoyed this mystery featuring an amateur detective and her buddy who aided in solving the murder of their boss, an influential senator.

This just fits under my definition of a ROOT since I bought it this year, but have owned it for two months.

55sallylou61
Edited: May 25, 2016, 11:09pm Top

5th ROOT for May and 19th (out of 48) overall: Working Stiff by Judy Melinek. I really enjoyed hearing Dr. Melinek speak about her experiences learning to be a medical examiner in New York City at the Virginia Festival for the Book last year (March 2015), and bought her memoir. This is a very interesting book describing doing autopsies, communicating with families of the deceased, being an expert witness in legal trials, etc. Dr. Melinek's fellowship was for 2001 and 2002 so included working on the remains of victims of the 911 Twin Towers tragedy and the crash of American Airlines flight 587 the following month.

56sallylou61
May 29, 2016, 11:49pm Top

6th ROOT for May and 20th (out of 48) overall: Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers by Deborah Cadbury. Although her father was not in the chocolate business, Ms. Cadbury is a member of the Cadbury family which founded and headed the Cadbury company for nearly 150 years. Ms. Cadbury focuses on the Cadburys and their company, but discusses the competition and attempted mergers of the various chocolate companies, particularly in Great Britain and the United States. It was interesting to read about the beginnings of specific candies.

57tess_schoolmarm
May 30, 2016, 6:18am Top

>56 sallylou61: Sounds like a great read!

58sallylou61
May 31, 2016, 1:39pm Top

>57 tess_schoolmarm: Yes, I enjoyed reading Chocolate Wars. However, it was written for a general audience without any footnotes. For nonfiction writing, I like to have footnotes even if I do not read them. Occasionally, I wondered where Ms. Cadbury got her information from.

59sallylou61
Jun 21, 2016, 7:59pm Top

First ROOT for June and 21st (out of 36) overall: East Hope by Katharine Davis.

This month I changed my goal from 48 (average of 4 per month) to 36 (average of 3 per month). I've informed Cheli. I was feeling stressed when my goal was so high; I'm a rather slow reader, and during the academic year tend to take literature courses through OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) which is a national program having branches in many college and university towns. This generally means that I'm doing considerable reading of newer books. Also, this summer/fall I want to read some longer books than many I've read so far.

East Hope is a novel about a middle aged recently widowed woman and a possibly slightly younger man whose marriage was falling apart. Both of these people left urban life (Washington and the Philadelphia then New York area) to spend the summer in Maine, where they ended up staying for the winter. These two became friends. The book ends with the possibility that they might become a couple.

Ms. Davis was one of many authors who participated in the 2009 Virginia Festival of the Book. I purchased this book then, and finally got around to reading it.

60connie53
Jun 26, 2016, 4:02pm Top

Good for you! Chancing your goal when you are feeling to much pressure is the right thing to do. Reading should be fun, not stress.

61tess_schoolmarm
Jun 27, 2016, 2:28am Top

>59 sallylou61: East Hope is on my TBR pile. Glad you revised your goal so you can enjoy!

62sallylou61
Jul 1, 2016, 9:53pm Top

>60 connie53: and >61 tess_schoolmarm: Thanks. I feel so much better about lowering my goal.

63sallylou61
Jul 5, 2016, 12:01am Top

First ROOT for July and 22nd (out of 36 overall): The Turner House by Angela Flournoy, a novel about two generations of a large black family living in Detroit. I heard Ms. Flournoy talk about this debut novel at the Virginia Festival of the Book in March and purchased it then. Thus, I have owned it over two months, my definition of a ROOT for books acquired this year.

64tess_schoolmarm
Jul 5, 2016, 6:08am Top

<63 Sounds like a wonderful read!

65sallylou61
Jul 5, 2016, 1:13pm Top

<63 I did enjoy reading the book. Here is the write-up I did for my thread on the category challenge.

I enjoyed reading The Turner House by Angela Flournoy, a novel about two generations of a large black family living in Detroit spanning the mid1940s through the first decade of the 21st century. Although Francis and Viola Turner had 13 children, the focus is on the parents and 3 of the children; Cha-Cha (Charles) the oldest and the two youngest, Lelah and Troy. Different chapters feature Francis or Viola or one of the children, and the time switches back and forth between the twentieth-first century to the 1940s with occasional glimpses of times between.

Debut novel by an Afro-American author.

Additional info:
The house which the children grew up in is also featured in such a way it almost becomes a character.

The book itself was nominated for numerous awards.

66sallylou61
Edited: Jul 23, 2016, 10:21am Top

2nd ROOT for July and 23rd (out of 36 overall): The Last Gift of Time: Life beyond Sixty by Carolyn G. Heilbrun.

I have had this book since before I joined Librarything in 2007.

I had started reading this book many years ago,and apparently was too young to find it interesting. Now that I'm in my early 70s, I found it hard to put down. Ms. Heilbrun, the feminist scholar who also wrote mysteries under the pseudonym Amanda Cross, wrote this book when she was in her early 70s, approximately 5 years before she committed suicide. Here she states her opinions on various topics as she experienced them in her 60s, which she describes as her happiest time. She was free from her faculty duties at Columbia University, and her children were all grown and people she enjoyed being with. Ms. Heilbrun also talks about how others, especially female literary writers, experienced old age.

67sallylou61
Jul 28, 2016, 8:49pm Top

3rd ROOT for July and 24th out of 36 overall: Under the Sea-Wind by Rachel Carson, which I purchased at the nature center near Chincoteague Island last spring (2015). It is about the life cycles of various water creatures. Science is definitely not my favorite kind of reading.

68connie53
Jul 31, 2016, 3:10am Top

Just popping in and saying 'Hi' to you!

69sallylou61
Aug 3, 2016, 9:49am Top

>68 connie53: Thanks. Hi to you too.

70sallylou61
Edited: Aug 17, 2016, 12:31am Top

First ROOT for August and 25th (out of 36) overall: Still Missing: Amelia Earhart and the Search for Modern Feminism by Susan Ware, which I have had since before I joined LT in November 2007.
As its subtitle suggests, Ms. Ware emphasizes Amelia Earhart's role in feminism during her flying career, 1928-1937; Amelia's actual flights are mentioned but not described in any detail. Ms. Ware places Amelia Earhart's story in the context of the 1920s and 1930s when there were no feminist movements; the vote had been won, and the second wave beginning in the 1960s was still far in the future. This was a time when individual women in various fields were expanding what women could do outside the home --- in flying, the movies, athletics, journalism, art, etc. (Ms. Ware briefly discusses other individual women in the chapter "Popular Heroines/Popular Culture.") In order to obtain the finances for her flying Amelia Earhart went on extensive lecture tours; when telling of her experiences flying, she tried to be a role model for women to explore outside the old boundaries. Amelia's husband, G.P. Putnam, was her full-time manager; although Ms. Ware does not use the word, G.P. was "marketing" Amelia. The unorthodox marriage of Amelia and G.P. is also discussed.

71sallylou61
Aug 27, 2016, 3:27pm Top

2nd ROOT for August and 26th (out of 36 overall): One of Ours by Willa Cather, the Pulitzer Award in Fiction winner in 1923. This has been a controversial book; it is divided into two parts: Claude Wheeler's life on a Nebraska farm and his serving in World War I. Cather was criticized by some for writing about the war when she had not been there; some people feel that she glorified the war, which I do not agree with. Claude, who had had to come home from college to help on the family farm, felt that he did not fit into that style of life. He built a lovely small farmhouse on the family property for the woman he loved and married, but even before marriage felt that she did not love him. She ended up abandoning him. He felt more a greater sense of self-worth while at war where he bonded with some of the men, and the French countryside reminded him of home. He was killed in the war.

I think this is a beautifully written book, especially as a study of character and with lovely descriptions of settings. I did not care so much for the war story; I wondered whether the lower level officers actually had as much time off away from battle as in this story.

72sallylou61
Edited: Aug 30, 2016, 1:22pm Top

Third ROOT for August and 27th (out of 36) overall: Herbert Hoover's Hideaway: the Story of Camp Hoover on the Rapidan River in Shenandoah National Park by Darwin Lambert.
In the pre-air-conditioning times Hoover wanted to get out of Washington at times during the summer; he had a camp built at his own expense to use as the summer White House. He had specific requirements for its placement: within 100 miles of Washington and at an elevation of 2500 feet to be above the mosquito line. He choose a site in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This book is a history of that camp where Hoover went to relax, but often ended up doing a tremendous amount of presidential work. Hoover left the camp to the government hoping that other presidents use it. FDR went there once, but never used it as a summer White House since he had to be carried to the cabin and back. Through 1983 when the book was written, only Jimmy Carter had been there (only once) although his vice president, Walter Mondale, enjoyed going there. The camp was also used by the Boy Scouts for approximately 20 years. When we visited in the early 1990s (and bought the book), it was still being used for some government functions. It is a lovely place.

73avanders
Aug 30, 2016, 2:17pm Top

Hey just dropping by to say hi & way to go on your progress-- only 9 more ROOTs to go!

74sallylou61
Aug 31, 2016, 12:03pm Top

> Thanks, avanders. I'm trying to get at least one month ahead of my goal since I'll have considerable adult education class and book club reading to do this fall -- and those readings will not fall into my ROOTs.

75tess_schoolmarm
Aug 31, 2016, 4:05pm Top

>72 sallylou61: sounds like a great read!

76sallylou61
Sep 1, 2016, 8:46pm Top

>75 tess_schoolmarm: Reading the book made me want to go visit Camp Hoover again. When I purchased the book, the camp was only open to the public one weekend a year -- the one closest to Hoover's birthday in August. Since then it has been open more often, at least during the summer, but I don't know if this is still true with the budgets of some of the national parks being cut.

77avanders
Sep 2, 2016, 4:11pm Top

>74 sallylou61: sounds like a great idea :)

78sallylou61
Edited: Sep 9, 2016, 2:35pm Top

First ROOT for September and 28th (out of 36 overall): Flying, a Novel by Paula Helfrich and Rebecca Sprecher. I am the only one who owns this book, which I purchased in February 2014 after hearing Ms. Sprecher give a talk about the history of Pan Am and her experiences as a flight attendant. I could not find a touchstone.

This is a novel loosely based on their lives as Pan American stewardesses in the 1970s. It is a book about change: their change as individuals growing up in the 1950s and '60s, their flight service in the Vietnam War, and the changes in flying over the years including the end of Pan American World Airways. At first I thought that too much of the story was about staff parties, but soon much more dramatic tales including the flights themselves and the loss of airplanes with the accompanying loss of life became more dominate. The ending ties various pieces of the story together, character-wise.

79tess_schoolmarm
Sep 10, 2016, 6:24am Top

Sounds like a good read! I've put on my wishlist.

80sallylou61
Edited: Sep 10, 2016, 11:07pm Top

Second ROOT for September and 29th (out of 36 overall:
An American Vision: Three Generations of Wyeth Art: N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, James (i.e. Jamie) Wyeth.

Although this book was published in connection with a 1987/88 international traveling exhibition of the Wyeths' works, organized by the Brandywine River Museum, it is much more than an exhibition catalog. It describes the work of each of the three artists, and is illustrated with photographs of many more artworks (primarily paintings) than were in the exhibit.

Ten years ago my husband and I saw an exhibit of Wyeth art in Maine, and this book was on sale. I did not purchase it since already it was 20 years old, and would not be covering the more recent art by Andrew and especially Jamie Wyeth, the latter of whom was around 40 at that time (1987). However, my husband purchased it as a Christmas present for me.

I think it is wonderful to have had an international exhibit honoring the Wyeth family. However, only the male (and the more famous Wyeth artists) are included. N.C.'s daughters (and Andrew's sisters) Carolyn and Henriette are/were also artists; according to the bibligraphy, they had each had at least one exhibit by the time of this international exhibit.

81enemyanniemae
Sep 11, 2016, 1:34am Top

>80 sallylou61: I went to the Wyeth-Hurd Gallery in Santa Fe a few years back and was positively enchanted by what I saw. And all of the females were represented. The lady running the gallery was a wife of one of the kids. Don't remember which one but she told stories about how they all grew up while we looked around. It was a very neat experience.

82sallylou61
Sep 11, 2016, 9:42am Top

>81 enemyanniemae: That sounds like a very interesting gallery, and a wonderful experience. I haven't been to the Brandywine River Museum recently, but would like to go back there sometime. If I do get back, I will look to see if it has anything by the women on display.

Don't know whether I will get to Santa Fe although we would like to go back to the Southwest sometime. There are just to many places to visit.

83sallylou61
Edited: Sep 28, 2016, 11:55pm Top

Third ROOT for September and 30th (out of 36) overall: Pictorial History of Gone with the Wind by Gerald and Harriet Modell Gardner.
This coffee table sized book covered the history of the making of the movie "Gone with the Wind" from the selecting the cast through the premiers in several cities, and a conversion to the wide screen version. The book includes various other things of interest such as a quiz about the movie, and a list of other important movies made in 1939 including "The Wizard of Oz" and "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" and several others. The later careers of the major stars in "Gone with the Wind" are briefly discussed.

An interesting and fun book to explore.

Owned prior to joining LT in November 2007.

84sallylou61
Oct 3, 2016, 10:43pm Top

First ROOT in October and 31st (out of 36) overall:
I read a very early incomplete feminist novel Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman which Mary Wollstonecraft was writing at the time of her death. It emphasizes the place of women in late 18th century England: how they were "owned" by their husbands and did not have any rights of their own. The main character is Maria, a middle class woman. Much of her story is told through a journal she wrote for her daughter. Jemima, a poor woman, is a secondary character. The plight of poor women is described through her story which she tells to Maria and a male character in a private madhouse where Jemima is employed and Maria is a prisoner.

I bought this novel many years before I joined LibraryThing in 2007.

85sallylou61
Oct 5, 2016, 11:55pm Top

2nd ROOT for October and 32nd (out of 36 overall)
Art & Love: An Illustrated Anthology of Love Poetry selected by Kate Farrell.
I bought this in December 2011 for an adult education class which I ended up not taking.
This is a disappointing collection of love poetry. Ms. Farrell gives in a brief introduction how she selected the poems (ones she particularly liked) and then the artwork to accompany them. Some of the choices of artwork are logical; others are not. Although many of the poets are British, the poems and artwork are from various parts of the world. Unfortunately, the only information given about the poets and artists are their nationalities and dates -- nothing about their backgrounds, etc. Also, the translators are not provided for poems which were obviously translated.

86sallylou61
Edited: Oct 10, 2016, 11:25am Top

3rd ROOT for October and 33rd (out of 36) overall:
The Queen and Di by Ingrid Seward. This book starts out comparing the backgrounds (childhoods) and parenting styles of Queen Elizabeth and Diana and then discusses the problems created by Diana and later Fergie, and how the Queen dealt with them. Queen Elizabeth tried to help Di, often in opposition to other members of the royal family (the Queen Mother, Prince Philip, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, etc.). Unfortunately, Ms. Seward often uses quotes without giving their source. Bibliography and index but no footnotes or endnotes.

Have had since before joining LibraryThing in 2007.

87sallylou61
Edited: Oct 12, 2016, 9:22am Top

4th ROOT for October and 34th (out of 36) overall.

We are downsizing since we're about to move into a retirement community on very short notice. I just finished reading a very short book, Patsy Cline: Singing Girl from the Shenandoah Valley by Stuart E. Brown and Lorraine F. Myers. I'm planning to give this book to a friend of mine whose father is mentioned in it. Although short, this book was an unpleasant read since the text is so poorly written. I learned more about Patsy Cline through the movie "Coal Miners Daughter" (which features Patsy in addition to Loretta Lynn) which I saw many years ago and through a couple of musical programs about Patsy Cline than through this book. Primarily a book of pictures.

88connie53
Oct 30, 2016, 2:34pm Top

Almost there!
Good job, Allison!

89tess_schoolmarm
Oct 30, 2016, 2:58pm Top

>87 sallylou61: Speaking of Coal Miner's Daughter, my uncle, Don Ballinger was in that movie, he played guitar for Loretta's band. He introduced her the last time she came to the stage and was the 1st to run to her when she fainted.

90avanders
Nov 3, 2016, 1:37pm Top

Yeah you're so close!! Only 2 more to go!

91sallylou61
Nov 14, 2016, 8:50pm Top

>89 tess_schoolmarm: That's interesting. Although I haven't watched the movie for years, I really enjoyed seeing it shortly after it came out -- and I don't go to many movies.

92sallylou61
Nov 15, 2016, 9:50pm Top

First ROOT in November and 35th (out of 36) overall: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
This barely qualifies as a ROOT since I bought it several months ago for book club reading this month. However, I'm counting books I've had at least two months as ROOTs. Having recently moved unexpectedly has really cut down on my reading the past couple of months.

This is a powerful account of the author's life and fears which he tells his teenage son; it is a story of black life, especially black male life, in America. Part of it is an account of American history from a black viewpoint. The tone of the book changes when the author is discussing different aspects of his life.

93sallylou61
Edited: Nov 25, 2016, 4:38pm Top

2nd ROOT in November and 36 out of 36, thus reaching my goal although I plan to read more ROOTS:
Why History Matters: Life and Thought by Gerda Lerner.

This is a collection of essays Dr. Lerner wrote from 1980 until the book's publication in 1997; it continues her The Majority Finds its Past: Placing Women in History which I read in the early 1980s when I studied Dr. Lerner in a graduate level historiography class. Dr. Lerner divided Why History Matters into 3 sections: History as Memory, History: Theory and Practice, and Re-visioning History. I found the first section particularly fascinating because Dr. Lerner discusses her own experiences in a historical framework. She was an Austrian Jew who managed to escape Austria after the coming of the Nazis and immigrated to the United States. She describes her difficulties including adapting to the U.S. when she knew very little English and her feeling as an Other (an outsider) for many years thereafter. The middle section is a bit dated; one of its chapters is titled "Looking toward the Year 2000." However, that chapter is very apropos today; her description of the kind of leader needed is the very opposite of Trump.

Have had since I joined LT in 2007.

94tess_schoolmarm
Nov 26, 2016, 7:27pm Top

Congrats!

95Jackie_K
Nov 27, 2016, 10:04am Top

>93 sallylou61: congratulations on reaching your goal!

96sallylou61
Nov 27, 2016, 3:12pm Top

>94 tess_schoolmarm:, >95 Jackie_K: Thanks. I hope to surpass my goal by the end of the year.

97MissWatson
Nov 28, 2016, 4:39am Top

Yay, congratulations!

98sallylou61
Nov 30, 2016, 11:16pm Top

Third ROOT for November and 37 out of a goal of 36 overall: First Women: the Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower.
Although this book contains some interesting information, I do not like the arrangement, which is topical: political wife, sisterhood of 1600 {Pennsylvania Avenue}, motherhood, good wife, bad blood, etc. Some of the same points are made in different chapters; moreover, some of the stories do not really fit into the chapter in which they are told. Also, a lot of people are quoted, but the sources of the quotations are not given. The sources and notes at the end of the book give long lists of people interviewed and bibliographic sources for each chapter without saying where any specific piece of information is from.

99avanders
Dec 1, 2016, 5:38pm Top

woo hoo congrats on reaching your ROOT goal!

100sallylou61
Dec 8, 2016, 9:06pm Top

>97 MissWatson:, >99 avanders: Thanks.

First ROOT for December and 38th overall (out of a goal of 36):
Danger Close : My Epic Journey as a Combat Helicopter Pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan by Amber Smith.
Ms. Smith describes in detail her experiences as a female combat pilot. In addition to flying many very difficult missions, she faced discrimination as a woman; she had to prove to many male pilots that she was a capable professional. When a male pilot hit her parked helicopter, she was blamed for the accident by the officials doing the investigation even though other pilots said she was not a fault. Moreover, she was not cleared to fly again as soon as the male pilot who hit her plane.
This is an interesting account although Ms. Smith uses a lot of military jargon. Many but not all of the acronyms are given in the glossary.

Acquired in late September so have had a little over 2 months.

101sallylou61
Dec 22, 2016, 9:55pm Top

Second ROOT for December and 39 overall (out of goal of 36): Fair Game by Valerie Plame Wilson. A detailed description is on my thread in the category challenge; I'm using an I-tablet the rest of this month and do not know how to cut and paste on it.

102tess_schoolmarm
Dec 23, 2016, 10:32pm Top

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