This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
  • LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Laytonwoman goes for the record-- (Thread Three for 2016)

75 Books Challenge for 2016

Join LibraryThing to post.

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Edited: Aug 23, 2016, 4:06pm Top

My mother reading to me at an Aunt's house when I was wee:

For those who do not know me yet, I am Linda, I'm 64, and I retired on December 31st. If you'd like the full story on that, you can go back to my first 2016 thread, post 1. This is my 10th year of keeping track of my reading here on LT; since 2009, I've done it in the 75 Book Challenge Group. Here are links to my previous reading threads:

Here is my first thread for 2015, and
the second and the third. I finished 2015 with this thread.

First thread for 2014.
Chapter Two is here.
And Chapter Three.
The Fourth and final chapter for 2014 is here.

This is my last thread for 2013.

My first thread for 2013 is here.

Here's where I began my 2012 reading record. And I continued with a second thread for 2012. Yet one more thread for 2012 can be found here.

My first 2011 thread is here. and Part Two and Third and final thread for 2011.

My 2010 reading thread can be found Here. and Here and

Links to my 2009 threads at Laytonwoman3rd ups the ante for 2009
and its spin-off here with yet another extension here.

My 50 Book Challenge thread for 2008 is here

This is my 2007 thread

Edited: Nov 7, 2017, 1:24pm Top

EDIT 11-7-17 Tickers removed due to McAfee warning about TickerFactory.com

Edited: Jan 1, 2017, 9:24pm Top


Titles will link to the post where I commented on the book. ROOT means it's been on my shelf for a year or more; CULL means I gave it away or donated it to the library after reading. LOA means it was read from a Library of America edition; ML refers to a Modern Library small format edition (beloved by me); FOLIO means I read it from a Folio Society edition; SF means I read a Slightly Foxed edition. Library books are marked with an *. AUDIO is self-explanatory.

SEPTEMBER Series and Sequels, and whatever else I can manage.

86. Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker S&S
85. Whale Season by N. M. Kelby
*84. A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toewes CAC
*83. The Old Fox Deceiv'd by Martha Grimes S&S
*82. Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo Follows characters from Nobody's Fool after a lapse of several years.

AUGUST Read more of my own books!!

81. James Baldwin in Turkey by Sedat Pakay NF
80. The Knife Man by Wendy Moore NF, ROOT
DNF Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming AUDIO, NF
A Castle Full of Cats by Ruth Sanderson
79. Impossible Dreams by Pati Hill ROOT
78. As Good As Gone by Larry Watson ER
*77. Little Scarlet by Walter Mosley
*DNF I Am No One by Patrick Flanery
*76. Howl's Moving Castle by Diane Wynne Jones BAC
75. God of the Rodeo by Daniel Bergner ROOT. NF
74. The Museum of Dr. Moses by Joyce Carol Oates ROOT, AAC
73. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Alison Hoover Bartlett CULL
*72. Sand Sharks by Margaret Maron

JULY Mostly recreational stuff, I expect.

71. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
70. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler ER
69. Gator Gumbo by Candace Fleming
*68. Six Easy Pieces by Walter Mosley
67. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann ROOT, CULL
66. This House of Sky by Ivan Doig NF, ROOT
65. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahesi Coates NF
*64. Miss Zukas and the Library Murders by Jo Dereske
*63. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
62. This number assigned to a book I actually read in May (see below) and forgot to list at the time.
61. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck ROOT, AAC, CULL
60. Night by Elie Wiesel ROOT
*59. Gone Fishin' by Walter Mosley
58.5. Papa Gatto by Ruth Sanderson
58. Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick
57. Death's Half Acre by Margaret Maron ROOT, CULL

Edited: Jul 21, 2016, 2:00pm Top

Books read during April, May and June:
(Titles will link to the post where I commented on the book; these will be in an earlier thread.)

JUNE (How did it get to be?)

56. Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx ROOT, AAC
55. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams
54. Known to Evil by Walter Mosley ROOT
53. Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobsen ER
52. Wolves & Honey by Susan Brind Morrow NF
*51. A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch
50. Killer in the Straw by Frances & Richard Lockridge
49. The Straight and Narrow Path by Honor Tracy
48. Two short stories by Joseph Conrad ROOT, BAC


62. The Real Mrs. Miniver by Ysenda Maxtone Grahame (Numbering is out of sequence because I forgot to record this one when I finished reading it.) ROOT, SF

47. Powers of Attorney by Louis Auchincloss ROOT
46. New and Collected Poems: 1975-2015 by Jay Parini ER
*45. The Water Room by Christopher Fowler
*44. Mama's Nightingale by Edwidge Danticat
*43. Cheap Shot by Ace Atkins
*42. The Yid by Paul Goldberg
41. Work Song by Ivan Doig AAC, ROOT
40. Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell ROOT


39. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
38. My Rebbe by Adin Steinsaltz NF, ROOT, CULL
36. and 37. Donkey Gospel by Tony Hoagland AAC, ROOT and Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney
35. Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy BAC
33. and 34. Blue Horses by Mary Oliver and In the Salt Marsh by Nancy Willard AAC
32. Limitations by Scott Turow
31. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson GN
30. Surfacing by Margaret Atwood CAC, ROOT

Edited: Jan 1, 2017, 12:12pm Top

My lists of completed reads for January through March:
(Titles will link to the post where I commented on the book; these will be in an earlier thread.)


29. The Shoe Bird by Eudora Welty
28. My Dog SKip by Willie Morris ROOT
27. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
26. The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin ROOT, Mystery March, CULL
25. The Peddler's Grandson by Edward Cohen NF
24. A Southerly Course by Martha Hall Foose NF, ROOT
23. Having Our Say by Sarah and Elizabeth Delany NF, ROOT
22. A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva Mystery March, ROOT, CULL


21. Hiding My Candy by The Lady Chablis NF, CULL
*20. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham
19. Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie BAC, ROOT
18. Mohawk by Richard Russo AAC, ROOT, CULL
*17. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown Audio/print; NF Challenge
16. The Dutchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helen Hanff SF
15. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff SF
14. Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill
13. Sunshine Sketches of a Small Town by Stephen Leacock; e-book, CAC
*12. Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse by Faith Sullivan
11. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande


*10. Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig
9. Primo Levi's Resistance by Sergio Luzzatto ER, CULL, NF
8. Trade Me by Courtney Milan
*7. Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash
6. Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler ROOT, AAC
4 and 5. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Magic by Betty MacDonald
3. The Bird of Night by Susan Hill ; ROOT, BAC
*2. Ru by Kim Thuy CAC
*1. The Greater Journey by David McCullough AUDIO, NF Challenge

Edited: Oct 3, 2016, 8:30pm Top

Reading Challenges:

I'll keep track of my reading challenges here. I declare I don't want to over-plan my reading, but every year this group tempts me into yet another challenge. And then there are the well-meaning folks who aren't even members of LT who are always giving me lists to "help me out"...

I'm participating on some level with the American Authors Challengehosted by Mark msf59; with the British Authors Challenge hosted by Paul PaulCranswick; and with the Canadian Authors Challenge hosted by Ilana Smiler69. I have also committed to the group read of War and Peace beginning in January. EDIT: I must admit to having given up on War and Peace, possibly forever. I think this was my third try at reading it, and I tried two different translations this time. It just was not working for me.

AND, just for shits and giggles, I'll keep my hand in with the Non-Fiction Challenge for 2016.

2016 AAC
I will read nothing but ROOTS for this challenge in 2016; here's what I'm thinking so far:

January- Anne Tyler - finished Noah's Compass
February- Richard Russo - finished Mohawk
March- Jane Smiley - skipped Smiley
April- Poetry Month finished Donkey Gospel by Tony Hoagland, Nancy Willard's In the Salt Marsh and Mary Oliver's Blue Horses
May- Ivan Doig finished Work Song
June- Annie Proulx finished Bird Cloud
July- John Steinbeck finished The Winter of our Discontent
August- Joyce Carol Oates - finished The Museum of Dr. Moses
September-John Irving Didn't get around to Irving.
October- Michael Chabon - The Yiddish Policeman's Union
November- Annie Dillard - Teaching a Stone to Talk I have several more of her non-fiction works and one novel, so this is subject to reconsideration.
December-Don DeLillo - Underworld I expect I will either love it or feel justified in removing its bulk from my shelves, leaving room for 3 or 4 other books.

2016 British Authors Challenge
I will be hit or miss with this one. Unlike the AAC, there are two authors per month, and I will probably read something by about half a dozen of them. I've linked the authors I have unread works by on my shelves, or whom I especially want to get acquainted with, and left the others in plain text:

January - Susan Hill finished The Bird of Night & Barry Unsworth
February :Agatha Christie & William Dalrymple finished Cat Among the Pigeons and read 3 Miss Marple short stories from The Tuesday Night Club series.
March : Ali Smith & Thomas Hardy finished Tess of the D'urbervilles
April : George Eliot & Hanif Kureishi Perhaps The Mill on the Floss
May : Jane Gardam & Robert Goddard Skipped; nothing on hand
June : Lady Antonia Fraser & Joseph Conrad selected short fiction finished "Youth" and "An Outpost of Progress"
July : Bernice Rubens & H.G. Wells Could not find my copy of Rubens The Elected Member If it turns up, I will still read it.
August : Diana Wynne-Jones & Ian McEwan Used this as excuse to take a hard look at McEwan and decided I don't want to read any more of him; Finished Howl's Moving Castle
September : Doris Lessing & Laurie Lee Reading Cider With Rosie
October : Kate Atkinson & William Golding
November :Rebecca West & Len Deighton
December : WEST YORKSHIRE writers Caryl Phillips
Wildcard :Rumer Godden and George Orwell

AND the Canadian Authors Challenge This is the one where I feel I have the most to discover. Again there are 2 authors for each month, and I have indicated those I may seek out or have on hand by giving them their links:

January: Robertson Davies, Kim Thúy finished Ru
February: Helen Humphreys, Stephen Leacock finished Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town
March: Farley Mowat, Anita Rau Badami dipping into The Farfarers by Mowat
April: Margaret Atwood, Michael Crummey finished Surfacing by Atwood
May: Michel Tremblay, Emily St. John Mandel SKIPPING; nothing on hand
June: Timothy Findley, Joseph Boyden SKIPPING; nothing on hand
July: LM Montgomery, Pierre Berton SKIPPING; Picked up Anne of Green Gables for a re-read, but found I didn't really want to.
August: Mordechai Richler, Gabrielle Roy SKIPPING; nothing on hand
September: Miriam Toews, Dany Laferrière Finished A Complicated Kindness
October: Lawrence Hill, Jane Urquhart
November: Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Laurence
December: Alice Munro, Rawi Hage

2016 Non-fiction Challenge:

January: Biography/Memoir/Autobiography
finished The Greater Journey by David McCullough

February: History Finished The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

March: Travel A Southerly Course by Martha Hall Foose Yes, I know it's a cookbook; I'm counting it as travel, since it took me to the Mississippi Delta.

April: Religion & Spirituality (Easter/Passover) Finished My Rebbe by Adin Steinsaltz

May: The Arts

June: Natural History/Environment/Health Finished Wolves & Honey by Susan Brind Morrow

July: Current Affairs Finished Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

August: Science/Technology/Medicine Finished The Knife Man by Wendy Moore

September: Philosophy/History of Ideas maybe The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater Didn't get to it. Bumping it into October.

October: Politics/Economics & Business/Commentary: The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater

November: Essays

December: Quirky/Who Knew?

Edited: Oct 3, 2016, 3:03pm Top

Coming and Going:


I'm doing this thing...and it isn't making me feel better. I was hopeful of moving more books out than in this year, because the floor boards are creaking. As you can see, the numbers ain't co-operating.
# indicates this book was selected and purchased by flamingrabbit. It will show in his catalog and not in mine, but of course it will still be in the house, so it must be counted here.


1. Wind's in the West by Josephine Lawrence
2. The Home Place by Wright Morris
3. Mistress Bradstreet by Charlotte Gordon
4. Hellhound on His Trail by Hampton Sides
5. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
6. Shakespeare, The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
7. Book Lust by Nancy Pearl
8. A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell
9. Memoirs of a Book Snake by David Meyer
10. Sand Sharks by Margaret Maron
11. Robert B. Parker's Blind Spot by Reed Farrel Coleman
12. # Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
13. # Dark Tower Concordance by Robin Furth
14. #When the Mob Ran Vegas by Steve Fischer
15. #Ian Fleming's Commandos by Nicholas Rankin
16. #The Great Pianist from Mozart to the Present by Harold C. Schonberg
17. #It by Stephen King
18. The Complete Novels (Everyman's Library) by FlannO'Brien
19. Fox Tracks by Rita Mae Brown
20. Libra by Don DeLillo
21. White Noise by Don DeLillo
22. Daughter of the Queen of Sheba by Jacki Lyden
23. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
24. Diners Drive-Ins and Dives by Guy Fieri
25. Nickel Mountain by John Gardner


1. In a Free State by V. S. Naipaul
2. The Passages of H. M. by Jay Parini
3. Why Poetry Matters by Jay Parini
4. Miss Zukas and the Island Murders by Jo Dereske
5. Miss Zukas and the Stroke of Death by Jo Dereske
6. Still Here by Lara Vapnyar LT ER
7. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
8. Beloved Everyman's Library Edition by Toni Morrison


1. Pax by Sara Pennypacker
2. Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick
3. Papa Gatto by Ruth Sanderson
4. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
5. Gator Gumbo by Candace Fleming


1. Reading Henry James by Louis Auchincloss
2. Mind You, I've Said Nothing! by Honor Tracy
3. The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham
4. Mystery Mile by Margery Allingham
5. The State of Music & Other Writings by Virgil Thomson
7. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye


1. Bohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers & Swells ed. by Graydon Carter
2. The Letters of Abigail Adams LOA
3. The Exorcism of Page 13 by Caryl Burtner
4. As Good As Gone by Larry Watson LT ER
5. Whose Names Are Unknown by Sanora Babb
6. An Owl on Every Post by Sanora Babb


1. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
2. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
3. American Gospel by Jon Meacham
4. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
5. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
6. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
7. The Life of Rembrandt by Hendrik Van Loon
8. The Interrogation by J. M. G. LeClezio
9. On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry
10. Limitations by Scott Turow
11. Adam Bede by George Eliot
12. The Virgin and the Gipsy by D. H. Lawrence (Folio)
13. Complete Short Stories Vol. 1 by D. H. Lawrence
14. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
15. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
16. The Farmer's Daughter by Jim Harrison
17. The Woman Lit By Fireflies by Jim Harrison
18. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
19. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome (Folio)
20. Beyond the Style Manual, Bundle #1 by Laura E. Koons, Kris James and Stefanie Spangler Buswell
21. The Hiding Place by Robert Shaw


1. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
2. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
3. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
4. The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
5. National Velvet by Enid Bagnold
6. The Peddler's Grandson by Edward Cohen
7. Clear Pictures by Reynolds Price
8. When the Thrill is Gone by Walter Mosley
9. Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
10. The Disappearing Dictionary by David Crystal
11. Marrying Out by Harold Carlton
12. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
13. John Adams: Writings from the New Nation 1784-1826
14. The Shoe Bird by Eudora Welty


1. The Spooky Art by Norman Mailer
2. The Traitors' Gate by Avi
3. I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill
4. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
5. Everything in This Country Must by Colum McCann
6. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff Slightly Foxed edition
7. The Lobster Kings by Alexi Zentner
8. From a Cornish Window by "Q" i.e. Arthur T. Quiller-Couch
9. Lobster Kings by Alexi Zentner
10. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler


1. Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson from LT's ER program
2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens; a lovely Franklin Library edition with some rare 1855 illustrations. From my library's sale shelf ($2.!)
3. John James Audubon; The Making of an American by Richard Rhodes Also from the library's sale shelf.
4. Noonday by Pat Barker
5. A Slant of Light by Jeffrey Lent
6. Murder Out of Turn by Frances and Richard Lockridge

BOOKS CULLED in 2016 :
(Not all of these will be books I read...if I decided I'd never read it, or never re-read it, or if my husband culled it, or if my daughter re-claimed something of hers that's always been here, I'm counting it!)


1.-19. Box of Time-Life "Enchanted World" series books that have been in the attic forever, and no one read them to begin with;
20. The Authenticator by William M. Valtos
21. Horseshoes, Cowsocks & Duckfeet by Baxter Black
22. Old Betty Crocker Cookbook
23. Pillsbury Bake-Off Cookbook
24. Low Cholesterol cooking cookbook
25. Emily Post (from 1970's)
26. Astrology by Louis MacNiece
27. The Dog Care Manual by David Alderton
28.-33. Box of Laura's books that have always lived here, including her Gardners and a few other hardcovers.


1. Tsotsi by Athol Fugard Pearl-ruled
2. Emerson The Basic Writings of America's Sage very old paperback;
Emerson fully treated by LOA
3. Beloved paperback, replaced by Everyman hardcover edition
4. The Sociopath Next Door


1. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
2. Death's Half Acre by Margaret Maron
3. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck (hardcover Viking
edition, duplicated in LOA)
4. Victorian Outsider by Roy McMullen
5. Trouble for Lucia by E. F. Benson
6. Queen Lucia by E. F. Benson
7. Miss Mapp by E. F. Benson
8. Living Out Loud by Anna Quindlen
9. Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. ross
10. Miss Julia Takes Over by Ann B. Ross
11. Miss Julia Throws a Wedding by Ann B. Ross
12. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
13. The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean Pearl-ruled
14. Saturday by Ian McEwan
15. Atonement by Ian McEwan


1. The Portable Mark Twain
2. Uncle Tom's Children by Richard Wright
3. Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather
4. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
5. Collected Stories of William Faulkner
6. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
7. The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad
8. One Writer's Beginnings by Eudora Welty
9. The Unvanquished by William Faulkner
(All of the above June titles are duplicated in my library somewhere, and so I donated these copies to the Indian Valley School Library in Northern California.)
10. Letters Between Six Sisters, The Mitfords


1-6. Miscellaneous useless books that had not even made it into my catalog, but were taking up space and putting stress on the attic floor.


1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
2. My Rebbe by Adin Steinsaltz


1. A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva
2. National Velvet by Enid Bagnold (old Scholastic paperpack replaced)
3. The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin
4. Roughing It by Mark Twain Konemann Travel Classics*
5. A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain Konemann Travel Classics*
6. Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain Konemann Travel Classics*

* These are nifty little editions with great covers, but I found the print akin to a grayed-out option on a web page, i.e., not easy on the eyes. Since I have all of Twain in LOA, as well as some treasured college paperbacks, I decided to part with these three.


1. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff paperback copy
2. Mohawk by Richard Russo (given away)
3. Hiding My Candy by The Lady Chablis


1. The Devil's Workshop By Alex Grecian
2. Primo Levi's Resistance by Sergio Luzzatto
3. The Bird of Night by Susan Hill
4. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Magic by Betty MacDonald
5. War and Peace Pevear & Volokhonsky translation
6. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (inferior duplicate copy)
7. Maconaquah's Story by Kitty Dye
8. Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy (old ratty pb, not in catalog)

Edited: Jul 4, 2016, 1:27pm Top

>1 laytonwoman3rd:. Thread topic explained: At my current pace, I should finish 2016 with my highest reading total ever. I hit 100 in 2014 (by cheating a little with my last two Very Short Reads, I admit). But I hope to better that this year.

Jul 4, 2016, 1:55pm Top

Happy new thread, Linda.

Edited: Jul 4, 2016, 2:15pm Top

Thank you, Paul! I was going to reward the first poster on my new thread with a display of fireworks, but I see you have your own. So have one of these to wear on your lapel:

Jul 4, 2016, 2:35pm Top

Love that topper - mother reading to daughter. So great.

Happy New Thread, and Happy 4th of July, Linda!

Jul 4, 2016, 2:40pm Top

Thank you Linda. xx

Jul 4, 2016, 5:48pm Top

Woooohoooo a new thread. Great photo at the top Linda, and all the fun that follows too.

Jul 5, 2016, 3:17am Top

New Thread! New Thread!!! Along for another ride.

Jul 5, 2016, 6:49am Top

Lovely pictures - you look pretty happy being read to. Happy new thread.

Jul 5, 2016, 6:57am Top

Happy new thread, Linda!

Jul 5, 2016, 11:04am Top

Visitors! Welcome friends. I wish we hadn't eaten up all the 4th of July leftovers, 'cause I'd love to share them with ya'll.

Jul 5, 2016, 10:24pm Top

57. Death's Half Acre by Margaret Maron A Judge Deborah Knott mystery. I'm still loving this series. This time a County Commissioner is found dead with a plastic bag over her head, and a suicide note admitting to vague indiscretions and misuse of her position. But even a preliminary examination by the coroner makes it clear she was murdered. Known as a plant on the Board, who voted as instructed, and as a woman who routinely traded favors for favors, Candace Bradshaw could have been considered trouble for a lot of men. So who killed her? And what's up with Deborah's father, the former bootlegger, who has been asking around about "getting right with the Lord"? This one was lots of fun, with just enough clues to figure out where to look for the next one, but not quite enough to scope out the killer before the reveal.

Jul 5, 2016, 10:34pm Top

Happy New Thread, Linda! Love the motherly topper! I liked Bird Cloud a bit more than you but I agree with some of the weaknesses you pointed out. Hope you have a much better time with This House of Sky.

Jul 6, 2016, 10:46pm Top

I've finally posted my ER review of Shylock is My Name on the book's page, for those of you who have been impatiently waiting!

Jul 7, 2016, 11:31am Top

Love the topper pic of you with your aunt. Very familiar surroundings too - we're close in age.

Jul 9, 2016, 11:21am Top

>21 sibyx: It's actually my mother in the photo, Lucy---the surroundings belonged to my aunt. She had good taste, or what was considered good taste at the moment, at any given time. Happily, I have one or two pieces of her furniture from a plainer, more classic American period....more wood, less chintz.

Edited: Jul 30, 2016, 2:28pm Top

58. Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick My niece spent quite a bit of time with us over the winter while she was completing her degree in early childhood education, and part of her coursework involved reading a lot of books for children. She brought this one home from the library, and was impressed with it, but I never got around to giving it my full attention. So I bought a copy, (just so it would be here when she visits with her adorable little girls, you understand). It is, as advertised, the "true story of the world's most famous bear", i.e. Winnie the Pooh. I hadn't known there was a real bear behind A. A. Milne's creation; of course I did know about the real boy, Christopher Robin, and his stuffed bear companion. This story is quite remarkable, beautifully told and illustrated, and accompanied by photos of the real bear and his owner, the author's great-grandfather. Highly recommended for everybody.

Edited: May 19, 2017, 9:59am Top

59. Gone Fishin' by Walter Mosley This is a prequel to the Easy Rawlins series, in which we meet Easy and his friend Mouse as quite young men. Mouse, about to be married to Etta Mae, recruits Easy to drive him back to his home turf in the bayous to claim what he feels is rightfully his of his Mama's property from his miserable no-good step-daddy. As you can imagine, this doesn't go altogether well. There's death and black magic and hot love, and we learn a lot about why Mouse is who he is. This is a heck of a good story, but I almost wish Mosley hadn't told it to us. Mouse works so well as Easy's mysterious alter-ego---the man with no inhibitions and very few scruples who can do the things Easy will not do. Hawk to his Spenser. Knowing nothing about him would seem to work better than learning his back story and feeling some sympathy. HOWEVER, Mosley may have been up to something he felt necessary before carrying the series forward; I have read Bad Boy Brawly Brown, and I know that Mouse dies, or at least Easy believes him to be dead, so the history may turn out to matter going forward.

Jul 11, 2016, 3:33pm Top

I had a similar reaction to Gone Fishin', Linda. I couldn't resist it, but I kinda wish he'd left the mysterious Mouse alone, too.

I just finished the newest one, Charcoal Joe, and loved it.

Jul 12, 2016, 4:30pm Top

>8 laytonwoman3rd: Well you should hit your highest reading total ever in 2016. Didn't you retire this year? (What, jealous - not me!)

Jul 12, 2016, 5:10pm Top

>26 Familyhistorian: Yes I hope to, and yes I did! I was so busy (with visiting niece and babies a couple times a week) during the first four months of the year, and not driving back and forth to work I wasn't listening to audio books regularly, so I didn't think I'd raise my reading total, but it looks like I've spent more time at it than I realized so far. What I'd really like to do is take a true reading retreat...a week or 10 days away from home with no plans but a daily walk, some good meals, and all the reading and napping I can manage!

Jul 13, 2016, 1:07am Top

>27 laytonwoman3rd: Now that sounds like my idea of retirement - the walking, meals and reading part!

Jul 13, 2016, 1:31am Top

Linda, I absolutely love that topper photo.

And I see that you purchased Pax, sheepishly my favorite read so far this year (well, at least the one that brought me the most joy).

Jul 13, 2016, 9:23am Top

>25 jnwelch: I'm holding myself back, so I don't read ALL the books between Bad Boy Brawly Brown and Charcoal Joe in a binge...'cause then I'd have no more Easy. I'd HATE that.

>28 Familyhistorian: Yup. Wouldn't hurt if some of that walking could be along a rocky shoreline...in Maine, maybe.

>29 EBT1002: I purchased Pax and Finding Winnie together, based on warbling around here. And NOW, I've ordered a copy of Papa Gatto, which Amazon seduced me with by showing me recommendations based on my previous purchases. (They really are evil, and very good at it!)

Jul 13, 2016, 11:30am Top

>30 laytonwoman3rd: I know what you mean. I've had no luck holding back. :-)

Jul 13, 2016, 4:27pm Top

>30 laytonwoman3rd: Beach would be good but I have the next best thing, a river to walk beside. Now if only it wasn't bear season.

Jul 13, 2016, 4:57pm Top

>30 laytonwoman3rd: My next audio will either be Ancillary Justice or White Butterfly, whichever one I get my hands on first. The warbling has been high on Easy Rawlins of late.

That said, we had Finding Winnie from the library for a while. It is a good read, and suitable long enough to keep the older kids attention.

I'll be checking on Papa Gatto.

Jul 13, 2016, 6:11pm Top

Hi, Linda! Just stopping by to see your new-ish thread. Love the thread-topper

Jul 13, 2016, 8:32pm Top

>32 Familyhistorian: Any form of moving water works for me! I'll take a lake in a pinch. Bears...love 'em at a distance, but not when they come prowlin' and tearing into our garbage.

>33 brodiew2: Papa Gatto arrived this afternoon, and it's just gorgeous.

>34 tymfos: Hi, Terri! I keep finding these old pictures of me with books...I hadn't realized there were so many of them.

Edited: Jul 13, 2016, 8:50pm Top

Papa Gatto by Ruth Sanderson...I'm going to call this one 58.5, just because I don't want *ahem* certain people possibly related to me by birth to accuse me of padding my numbers. This is a beautiful book, and a very nice little fairy tale about the difference between inner beauty and the other kind. The illustrations are detailed and sumptuous. When I unwrapped the book this afternoon my husband took a look at it and said "Did you get this for the girls?" Well, no, I didn't. Not really. They're not quite ready for it yet (being 3 and 1 1/2). But I'm certainly going to use them as an excuse to build up a small collection of lovely illustrated story books like this. I'm afraid I've found a new "thing". (Oh, and btw, a little later Who do you think was reading Papa Gatto himself??)

Jul 13, 2016, 9:09pm Top

Oh my! Those are some pretty cool illustrations.

Edited: Jul 13, 2016, 9:20pm Top

60. Night by Elie Wiesel Elie Wiesel's recent death moved me to read this, finally. It's been on my shelf for a long long time. I can add very little to what's already been said about this remarkable memoir. That anyone could live through the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, survive and continue to live with the losses and memories of that time, and then write so beautifully about it is just staggering. At the age of 15, Eliezer Wiesel and his family were "evacuated" from their home village of Sighet in Transylvania into a long unimaginable nightmare. Having escaped the attention of the Nazis until the spring of 1944, the villagers were convinced that the war would be over soon, that the Russians were coming and would defeat Hitler's forces in a few weeks, that they would not be subjected to the fate of the foreign Jews who had been expelled the year before. In fact, when Moishe the Beadle miraculously escaped and returned to warn them, most refused to listen or believe the stories of what had happened to those deportees at the hands of the Gestapo. No, such things were not possible in the middle of the twentieth century! But the reality of ghettos, cattle cars, forced marches, near starvation, "selection" and crematoria awaited them.

"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself.

Jul 14, 2016, 7:23am Top

>38 laytonwoman3rd: That was a great book. I read it just prior to joining LT, so no review. But I rated it 5 stars. And what an amazing man.

Jul 14, 2016, 8:08am Top

>36 laytonwoman3rd: I feel impugned.

Jul 14, 2016, 9:33am Top

Adding Night to my list...

Jul 14, 2016, 12:03pm Top

>39 lauralkeet: Yes. For a man with no "desire to live" he certainly made the most of the long life left to him.

>40 lycomayflower: No names were mentioned. Whatsoever.

>41 scaifea: Oh, you must...

Jul 14, 2016, 12:10pm Top

Jul 14, 2016, 1:56pm Top

>36 laytonwoman3rd: Oh, you'll see I just featured Ruth Sanderson over on my thread, Linda. Those look great. I found out about her via her new version of George MacDonald's The Golden Key, which is beautifully illustrated, too.

Jul 14, 2016, 2:00pm Top

>38 laytonwoman3rd: Great review and such am intense quote. I'll have a look for a copy.

Edited: Jul 14, 2016, 3:24pm Top

>44 jnwelch: Oh, I know, Joe. You are partly responsible for making the name speak to me when I saw it featured on Amazon. I've made a note of the new versions of The Golden Key, for when it becomes generally available.

>45 charl08: The book is short, but intense, Charlotte. Very important reading, I feel.

Jul 15, 2016, 7:46pm Top

Nice review of Night, Linda. Onto my wish list it goes.

Jul 16, 2016, 6:24am Top

>38 laytonwoman3rd: I read Night many years ago Linda, it probably deserves a reread now.

You are steaming away at 50 books. I'm only at about 37, though am slow reading about four non-fiction books at the moment.

Jul 17, 2016, 2:32pm Top

>47 kidzdoc: It's been on my radar for a long time, and I'm not sure what took me so long to get to it. Essential Holocaust reading, from a first person perspective.

>48 Caroline_McElwee: I have one or two longer ones I keep promising myself I'll take up soon...

Edited: Jul 17, 2016, 3:13pm Top

61. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck. I hadn't read this one before, and so selected it for my Steinbeck read this month in the AAC.

Ethan Allen Hawley comes from a wealthy New England family whose fortune dribbled away after the end of the whaling industry. With Ethan's father, the last vestiges were lost to speculative investing and the Great Depression; Ethan himself failed to keep the grocery store he owned afloat, and when we meet him he is employed by the current owner, an old Sicilian man named Marullo who leaves most of the day-to-day operation of the business to Ethan. While Ethan is a good-natured, conscientious employee, a loving husband and father with a tendency to odd endearments and silliness, we sense an underlying dissatisfaction, a "quiet desperation", in his daily routine. He is scrupulously honest--never takes anything home from the store without accounting for it and deducting the price from his wages; turns down a bribe from a competing supplier to "throw a little business our way"; refuses to risk investing his wife's small inheritance for fear of losing her security. And yet. He must do something, as he sees it, so his wife can hold her head up, so his son and daughter will feel pride in being Hawleys, so he himself can be something more than just a "grocery clerk" whose ancestors once owned a substantial portion of the town. When he learns that Mr. Marullo may have immigrated illegally 40 years before, he begins to hatch a multi-faceted plot that involves both theft and betrayal, and that relies heavily on the untouchable integrity he's known for. It's impossible not to like Ethan Hawley, a man who clearly loves his family (even when he's "advising" his daughter to kill her brother), a man who names his suits (Old Blue, Sweet George Brown, Dorian Grey, Burying Black and Dobbin), who gives speeches to the canned goods while sweeping out the store in the morning, who half-quotes and paraphrases and sports endlessly with words...in fact, we root for him to succeed, we do not want him to get caught with dirty hands, we want it all to work out...right, somehow.

Steinbeck is an old favorite of mine, and this novel did not disappoint. I was simply unable to put it down last night until the last page had been turned. I'm thrilled not to have exhausted his output back in my Youth. It's grand to know I have several more works to read for the first time.

Edited: Jul 17, 2016, 5:51pm Top

Happy Sunday, Linda! Great review of Discontent. Thumb! I revisited it, back during the Steinbeckathon and was impressed how well it held up.

I plan on revisiting Of Mice and Men before the end of the month. Steinbeck is my Hero!

Jul 17, 2016, 8:10pm Top

Hm, I haven't read that Steinbeck either. Sounds like a winner.

Jul 17, 2016, 11:46pm Top

Linda--That's the second good plug for Finding Winnie--might just have to look for that one! And I love your reading retreat concept--sounds divine.
>36 laytonwoman3rd: And you are so thoughtful to be building up a collection for your little ones. (You get sneaky points!)
>40 lycomayflower: Impugned. Now that's a cool word. Does the shoe fit? ; )

Jul 18, 2016, 11:01am Top

I have a copy of Discontent but I haven't read it. I guess I might ought to get to it. I have a notion in my head that this book was pretty uniformly panned by literary critics. But that group tended to look down their noses at Mr. Steinbeck. I'm impressed by his willingness to try so many different topics and approaches in his oeuvre.

Jul 18, 2016, 12:44pm Top

Hi, Linda - congrats on the grand-puppy!

Jul 20, 2016, 10:55am Top

>50 laytonwoman3rd: I said I'll stop by, Linda (over on the Steinbeck thread). I've been ignoring the Discontent because I had the impression it wasn't very good. Well, I'll take your word for it, and try to bookhorn it into my reading. I'm trusting your endorsement, even though you don't like Updike or Roth. :-) Okay, you do like Faulkner.

Jul 21, 2016, 1:58pm Top

62. Somehow I've completely failed to record my reading of The Real Mrs. Miniver back in May. It was a wonderful read, written by the granddaughter of Joyce Maxtone Graham, the woman who wrote as Jan Struther and created the Mrs. Miniver, who lifted many a spirit with her portraits of daily life in an upper middle class household. As the film version of Mrs. Miniver was rather far removed from the fiction created by Joyce Maxtone Graham (alias Jan Struther), so Joyce's "real life" was very different from that of her light-hearted, happily married heroine. This book is a fascinating portrait of the woman herself, and I'm sorry I didn't note my thoughts down immediately after reading it. Still, highly recommended.

Edited: Jul 23, 2016, 8:40am Top

63. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi Yes, the warblers are correct. This is one wonderful book. It traces the lives of the descendants of two African women (half sisters who did not know one another) through six generations. One of these women was the wife of a white slave trader, and came from a family that had long been involved in tribal conflicts related to that trade. The other woman, the privileged daughter of an Asante warrior who also trafficked in people defeated in battle, became a slave when her father's compound was successfully raided by a rival tribe. Effia and her descendants remained in Africa; Esi was shipped to America's southern plantations. The progression of the lives of sons and daughters of these two women is laid out in brilliant vignettes with the connections between the multiple characters' stories over generations deliberately broken, often quite abruptly, by the author. It's an important part of the story-telling, given the subject matter, so although it does make the reading experience somewhat "choppy" in the first half of the book, I don't consider it a flaw. It is what happened to connections in reality. Relationships just ended; children were lost, abandoned, stolen and sacrificed. When we reach the 20th century, threads begin to draw together. The loss and tragedy does not diminish, but it changes significantly as people gain slightly more control over their own circumstances. Images of fire and water weave relentlessly through the stories on both sides of the ocean; from one generation to another there are brief moments of love or beauty, but the overarching commonality is hard work, hard treatment and little cause for hope. Nevertheless, the ending is affirmative, as two distant cousins unwittingly meet in the 21st century and discover "home" together. An ambitious, important, inspiring work that deserves a second reading.

Jul 22, 2016, 2:56pm Top

>58 laytonwoman3rd: Another warble! I'm currently #42 at the library, with 22 copies in circulation. That's not a bad ratio, so hopefully it won't be too long.

Jul 22, 2016, 5:17pm Top

>58 laytonwoman3rd: - What a great review, Linda! I'm sure you'll snag a few more readers for that very worthy book.

Edited: Jul 22, 2016, 5:19pm Top

>59 lauralkeet: I think I must have been very lucky to get at the head of the line with Homegoing at our library---I didn't have to wait at all, and they only have five copies in the system.

>60 katiekrug: No doubt about it...it's one of the best of my reading year so far.

Jul 22, 2016, 11:23pm Top

>58 laytonwoman3rd: I am going to have to track this book down - the weight of positive reviews is simply overpowering.

Have a lovely weekend, Linda.

Jul 23, 2016, 8:45am Top

>62 PaulCranswick: It's a very powerful read, Paul. I've tweaked my review a bit, as I was hurrying to finish it yesterday before taking the book back to the library (it was due and not available for renewal)---I wanted to get the gist of it down while I still had the book in case I needed to check anything. I'm not sure why I jumped on this one so fast---usually I let a highly touted book "settle" for a while before I take it up. I'm very glad to have been in the vanguard of its readers. It would have been a shame if I'd let it slide and never got to it at all. 'Cause that does happen.

Edited: Jul 23, 2016, 9:34am Top

And now for something COMPLETELY different...

64. Miss Zukas and the Library Murders by Jo Dereske Well, I had a really good time with this one. Our Miss Zukas (Wilhelmina Zukas, if you please) is a slightly prissy perfectonist...too young still to be the stereotype of an old maid librarian, but treading along that path for sure. Excuse me, for "certain". She corrects her co-workers, even her boss, for usage gaffs such as that one; finds her personal satisfaction in neatness, order and correctness in all things. She habitually chides her oldest friend, Ruth, for using a nickname she dislikes (although she has apparently voluntarily shortened her own first name to "Helma", most likely to avoid the inevitable mispronunciations she would have to deal with if she hadn't). Yet, when a murdered man's body shows up in the library, Miss Zukas proves she is capable of some pretty creative thinking and even a little daring action. This was cozy without being twee, and I anticipate Miss Zukas may be destined to loosen up just a little, under the influence of an old friend and a potential new flame.

Edited: Jul 23, 2016, 11:39am Top

>58 laytonwoman3rd: Outstanding review of Homegoing, Linda. Big Thumb. I hope all the warblers, get more folks on board with this gem. It may be the best novel I have read this year and it will be hard to beat.

Jul 23, 2016, 12:52pm Top

>64 laytonwoman3rd: I'm so glad you enjoyed Miss Zukas. It's one of the better cozy series.

Jul 23, 2016, 2:33pm Top

>65 msf59: Thanks, Mark. It is an amazing achievement.

>66 thornton37814: I had to order the next two in the series right away, Lori. My library system only has one more, and it's No. 9!

Edited: Jul 23, 2016, 7:00pm Top

65. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahesi Coates Read for the Non-Fiction Challenge this month (Current Events). Difficult, disturbing, full of hard truths about living in a black body in the U.S. I don't feel at all qualified to comment on Coates's perceptions as a black man who grew up in Baltimore's inner city in the '70's. Although ostensibly written as a "letter" to his adolescent son, I think it's important reading for every American, probably most especially for those who, as he says repeatedly (quoting James Baldwin) "think they are white". A worthy non-fiction companion to Homegoing, to the writings of Baldwin and other potent black voices.

Jul 24, 2016, 3:07am Top

>64 laytonwoman3rd: I read my first Ms. Zukas recently and really liked it. They are certainly readable and a great change of pace.

Edited: Jul 24, 2016, 12:28pm Top

Here's my adorable grand-niece, Lily, showing us how to double our reading numbers:

Jul 24, 2016, 2:52pm Top

Looks like Lily is a very advanced reader, Linda!

Jul 24, 2016, 3:52pm Top

>71 Familyhistorian: Her Mom swears that picture was NOT staged.

Edited: Jul 24, 2016, 10:10pm Top

How come grown-ups aren't smart enough to figure this stuff out! Adorable!

Jul 25, 2016, 2:14pm Top

>73 streamsong: I'm fairly convinced that we start out REALLY smart, and just lose ground the older we get!

Edited: Jul 25, 2016, 2:37pm Top

66. This House of Sky by Ivan Doig It's been a little over 4 years since I "discovered" Ivan Doig by reading The Whistling Season. What a comfort to know I still have many more of his books ahead of me, even though he has left us and will write no more. This memoir was completed in 1978, a few years after Doig lost two of the most important people in his life, his father and his maternal grandmother, who raised him together after his mother died when he was six years old. They are the stars of the story, but Ivan himself figures very prominently in it, as it tells of his own young life under the rugged conditions of mid-20th century Montana ranching and sheep-herding. It is easy to see the seeds of his novels in his own upbringing--and what a harvest he made of it. Doig's gift with the language is priceless...he just drops golden sentences all over the pages, and makes it seem effortless and utterly un-self-conscious. I'm convinced that he talked exactly as he wrote, and that he would have been just as much of a joy to listen to as he is to read. Five stars.

Jul 26, 2016, 1:24pm Top

Lots of good reading and reviews, Linda. I'm starting Homegoing today.

Jul 26, 2016, 1:45pm Top

>58 laytonwoman3rd: excellent review Linda that makes me want to read. How do you think this might work as an audiobook? Our library has a relatively short hold list for a playaway audio player version of this that is "in Process" meaning they have it but haven't gotten it on the shelf yet. I do not listen to many audiobooks - my attention seems to drift too easily when listening, or as I worry here, there could be many words, places and terms that would be lost on me as a listener instead of as a reader.

Edited: Jul 26, 2016, 3:11pm Top

>75 laytonwoman3rd: that may get nudged up the pile, I have you to thank for discovering Doig.

Jul 26, 2016, 5:44pm Top

>76 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Enjoy!

>77 RBeffa: I just don't know about listening to it on audio, Ron. I don't do well with anything on audio that requires much concentration because I'm usually either driving, or I have to listen in such short bursts with fairly long intervals in between. Especially in the last half of Homegoing I found myself flipping back to check on connections between characters; that would have frustrated me as a listener.

>78 Caroline_McElwee: If you like him already, I know you'll enjoy this one, Caroline.

Edited: Jul 27, 2016, 2:38pm Top

67. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

My cranky assessment of this classic: About 100 pages of tedious philosophical BS, 2 or 3 pages of very nice descriptive writing, and 40 pages of meh story about a pathetic aging artist who can't write, can't make decisions, and finds himself infatuated and obsessed with a delicate, almost sickly-looking teenage boy he finds beautiful. (Really...I've never understood the "pale and wan" concept of beauty.) Venice does not appeal to me...in my imagination it always smells bad, promotes melancholy and ill health. Why did he GO there when he needed a lift? Why stay when it became obvious that cholera was killing people left and right? A death wish, perhaps? OK, but not to put too fine a point upon it, what TOOK him so long? You want to end it, Aschenbach? Take a dip in that foul-smelling lagoon. I have no sympathy for you, and I'm not getting any younger myself.

I read Death in Venice in a new translation by Michael Henry Heim ("A haunting new translation", according to The New Republic) published in 2004. I understand there are several others, and as always I wonder if I would have been better served by one of those. I'm not inclined to investigate. I saved the introduction until after I read the novel, as I usually do. In it, Michael Cunningham talks about the dilemma of translation, but he doesn't solve it, of course. AND, he makes this parenthetical observation, to which I say "BINGO!": "it's hard to imagine a more humorless great writer than Mann".

Jul 27, 2016, 12:23pm Top

Ach du lieber Gott! I'll take a miss on that one, Linda. Not my cuppa. Thanks for the helpful review.

Jul 27, 2016, 12:28pm Top

>81 jnwelch: "Ach du lieber Gott!" Exactly.

Jul 27, 2016, 12:46pm Top

>79 laytonwoman3rd: thanks for the comment Linda. I had pretty much ruled out trying Homegoing as an audiobook. Now I'm sure! I'm currently listening to an audiobook of Tortilla Flat. This is not the greatest Steinbeck but it is an easy audiobook (with an excellent reader). Easy to listen to in pieces. I think I may finish it up with a paper book later today.

Jul 27, 2016, 12:56pm Top

>83 RBeffa: I often find a combination of audio and print works for me, especially now that I'm not driving to work everyday, and it isn't always convenient to listen in the house.

Jul 27, 2016, 2:02pm Top

>80 laytonwoman3rd: well Linda, it is some years since I last read the book, a twenty something I think I was, but the film moved me in my teens and still does. The obsession with the boy, for me, as well as being literal, is a metaphor for the older man's lost youth, he knows he is dying, he is trying to grasp that state with his last gasp. I found it heartbreaking. Then again, aged 14 just after it aired on tv, I got a letter from a young male pen pal who said 'my folks are watching this dreary film about a couple of wooley woofters on a beach' (ww here back then was slang for poofter/gay). Maybe I was also moved by the Mahler soundtrack to the movie. I was certainly moved by the city, and by Dirk Bogarde's performance. I wrote to tell him so, and still have his reply somewhere.

As for Venice, lady, you don't know what you are missing. It is a magical city, I've been twice. Steeped in history and literary history, full of light and reflection. I guess if you found yourself there 200 years ago, or on the hottest day of the year now, there might be a bit of a pong, but I never smelt one. It has a languor about it, it has mystery and some of the greatest creative people lived there, painted it and wrote about it. I wish I could show it to you.

Jul 27, 2016, 2:37pm Top

>85 Caroline_McElwee: I really appreciate your perspective, Caroline. I know I'm missing whatever it is that draws people to Venice. Of all the magical places in the world, this is one that has just never spoken to me...and I'm sure you could change my mind if we were to visit together! I just found this tale incredibly dreary, and his descriptions of Venice were not enticing (colored by his general malaise, of course, and the poor weather). I do think a different telling of the same story might have moved me, so I will do myself a favor and try to find the film.

Jul 27, 2016, 4:13pm Top

>80 laytonwoman3rd: Well. I guess it's just as well I never got around to reading that one. Bet I bought it when I was in college. I'm ambivalent about Venice. Son the elder took his family there a couple of years ago, and they had a great time. In the other hand, I saw a Viking Gigantes Cruiser Commercial a few days ago that presented a chilling vision of outsized vessel drifting around miniature buildings. Disgorging thousands into this little waterpark. No worries; don't guess I'll ever get there.

Jul 27, 2016, 9:17pm Top

Great review of House of Sky, Linda. Big Thumb. I loved the book too and I hope to read something else by Doig by year's end.

Edited: Jul 27, 2016, 9:53pm Top

68. Six Easy Pieces by Walter Mosley Six interconnected stories about Easy Rawlins coming to the aid of friends and friends of friends, learning what his woman truly means to him, and discovering at last what really happened to his oldest friend, Mouse.

Jul 27, 2016, 9:50pm Top

>87 weird_O: Never say never, Bill---Caroline may just pluck us both up by the collar and march us off to the Piazza San Marco to show us what's what with Venice!

>88 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Doig has risen to the top of the heap with me.

Jul 27, 2016, 11:04pm Top

HI Linda

I'm simply stopping by waving hello.
Happy summer to you.

Jul 28, 2016, 10:18am Top

Loved your review of the Mann, a writer I've never been tempted to read. Thanks for taking one for the team. I second Carolin's take on Venice, it is a very beautiful city.

Edited: Jul 28, 2016, 11:56am Top

>91 Whisper1: Hello, Linda...how lovely! You'd like my latest illustrated book, if you don't know it already:

69. Gator Gumbo by Candace Fleming A marvelous Cajun version of "The Little Red Hen". Old Monsieur Gator can't move fast enough to catch possums and otters anymore, and he's getting very tired of plain vegetables, so he decides to make a pot of gumbo just like Maman used to make, with tangy okra, and mouth-flamin' spices and a few other secret ingredients. Of course, he has a l'il trick up his sleeve...

Jul 28, 2016, 11:57am Top

>92 lauralkeet: OK, Laura, clearly we ALL have to go to Venice!

Jul 28, 2016, 12:04pm Top

You're killing me with these lovely kids books.

>36 laytonwoman3rd: Between you and Joe I fear I may seek out Papa Gatto. I'm hoping that the library has copies of Sanderson's books for me to browse. Me being a catlover makes these almost irresistible. I went through a serious phase of my own when the kids were young with some lovely illustrated books. All these years later I still treasure them. If grandkids ever come along I will be all over this stuff again I just know it!

Jul 29, 2016, 9:46am Top

>80 laytonwoman3rd: I was disappointed by Death in Venice too. In fact, in all Mann's shorter fiction.

Jul 29, 2016, 10:07am Top

>96 rebeccanyc: Well, then I feel vindicated! Did you enjoy his longer work? I'd welcome a recommendation.

Jul 30, 2016, 1:12pm Top

>80 laytonwoman3rd: >85 Caroline_McElwee: >86 laytonwoman3rd: >96 rebeccanyc:

I am in pretty good company thinking that Death in Venice was as dull as ditchwater.

Keen to go to Venice actually especially as I know Thomas Mann wouldn't be there to spoil it for me.

Lovely to see Rebecca in this neck of the woods.

Have a glorious weekend, Linda.

Jul 30, 2016, 1:38pm Top

>97 laytonwoman3rd:. I recommend Buddenbrooks to start. It's an easier read than some of his other books.

Jul 30, 2016, 2:02pm Top

>98 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!

>99 rebeccanyc: You know, I think I started Buddenbrooks many many years ago and just didn't get into it. It isn't even in my library now, so maybe I'm thinking of something else. I will keep it in mind, though. Mann may go in that box in my mind along with Henry James, who deserves not to be dismissed on the basis of one unsatisfactory experience...

Edited: Jul 30, 2016, 9:24pm Top

70. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

This is one of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, in which talented modern authors take a crack at retelling Shakespeare’s plays in contemporary settings. I enjoyed Vinegar Girl, Anne Tyler’s version of The Taming of the Shrew, in the way I usually enjoy her novels. They are diverting, feel “true”, and touch on life’s emotional issues without getting too profound or demanding much of the reader. I had a bit more fun with this one than I have with some of her other recent novels, and if I’m not mistaken, so did she.

Kate Battista is 29 years old, keeping house for her father and much younger sister, and working, more or less by default, as a teacher’s assistant in a pre-school. She was “invited” to leave college after telling a science professor that his explanation of a fundamental principle was half-assed. Although she could have re-applied after taking a semester off, she hasn’t bothered, not being particularly motivated to any career path. She isn’t crazy about her job and is often “on probation” for one thing or another, but the kids like her. She isn’t exactly devoted to her family, although she willingly follows and enforces her father’s household rules, some of which are mighty peculiar. She’s a bit ill-tempered and fairly anti-social.

Suddenly, it begins to become clear to her that her father and his research assistant, a Russian microbiologist whose visa is expiring, are hatching a plot to keep Pyotr in the country by that old tried-and-true method of marrying him to a American. Kate, that is. Both men initially assume she’ll be fine with this idea, and her father especially is bewildered to learn that she isn’t about it. At all. Such a simple request, really. Nothing much has to change. Pyotr will move in with them, Kate can carry on her life as before; things just have to look good for the Immigration people, that’s all.

It’s been a long time since I read The Taming of the Shrew, but Tyler’s plot seems much less complicated than Shakespeare’s, and it leaves out all the framing and almost all the subplots, although there are frequent nods to the play.

While Pyotr isn’t actively looking for a wife, and money isn’t what he needs, marrying Kate would be an advantage to him. He needs a green card to stay on in America. Dr. Battista needs his research assistant, without whom his years of work on auto-immune diseases may come to a screeching halt just as he is about to make a significant break-through. Marrying his daughter to his assistant would be to his advantage, but his goal isn’t to get rid of the responsibility for Kate as Baptista’s was. In fact, Dr. Battista expects his daughter to stay at home after the marriage and continue to run HIS household, which will then simply include an extra person—a son-in-law.

Aside from a relative’s joke about thinking that 15-year-old Bunny, the younger sister, might be married before Kate, there is none of that “older sister must be married first” motif found in the original. Bunny doesn't have a flock of suitors, but there is a "Spanish tutor" whose intentions are not entirely academic. Shakespeare’s love of disguises and mistaken identity is conspicuously absent. The groom does show up late for the wedding, dressed in flip-flops, baggy shorts and a dirty T-shirt, and in the only quote I recognized from the play, announces "She is marrying me, not my clothes."

Perhaps the biggest difference between Tyler’s version and Shakespeare’s is Kate herself. She starts out fairly domesticated, if a bit shrewish, and she isn’t going to accept that Man is the Master stuff. Pyotr tries it just once: “Hand me keys, Katherine. I am husband and I say hand me keys.” To which Kate replies “I am wife and I say no” and that’s the end of that! She also has her own rather remarkable twist on the Shrew’s final speech, which in this case is a ringing defense of men in general, but has none of that “place your hands below your husband’s foot, In token of {your} duty, if he please” foolishness. I’d almost say that it is Pyotr who is tamed, but that isn’t fair to him. At the end of this delightful tale, we are left with the impression that Kate and Pyotr are truly suited to one another, and that all is well that ends this well.

Jul 30, 2016, 4:31pm Top

71. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie Loved, loved, loved this National Book Award Winner. It's YA, I guess, and I hope a lot of young adults are reading it for pleasure. I'm fairly sure it's being required here and there, for the wisdom that's in it; I'm also keenly aware that it's probably being challenged for its language and subject matter by misguided parents, who think their kids ought not read about adolescents having the thoughts and feelings adolescents have, or about tough issues like alcoholism and racism and poverty. Foo. This is heart-wrenching and laughter-inducing in equal measure, and every kid who has ever felt awkward, out of place, or at odds with his best friend, or conflicted about his family (ALL of 'em, in other words) should feel better after reading this novel. It'd be good for the grown-ups too.

Jul 30, 2016, 9:15pm Top

>101 laytonwoman3rd: I've been curious what people think about that one. It's already on my radar since The Taming of the Shrew is one of my favorites. Hopefully I'll get to it this fall. I know it is checked out at the moment. I looked for it last week.

Edited: Jul 31, 2016, 12:06pm Top

>103 thornton37814: I'll be very interested in what you think of it, Lori, since you love the original play. I think, based on dim recollections, that this is about as loose a retelling as you can get. But maybe you'll see more correlations in it. I just really enjoyed it for itself.

Jul 31, 2016, 12:09pm Top

Pearl Ruling The Madonnas of Leningrad. It wasn't doing a thing for me, despite the intriguing premise of the historical section. Of course, it's one of those modern frame/historical story situations that often don't work for me. I gave it 60 pages and about 10 time-switches, and I simply wasn't engaging with either story or any of the characters. So into the donation box it goes.

Jul 31, 2016, 1:11pm Top

>101 laytonwoman3rd: Your report on Vinegar Girl is great, Linda. LT needs an amazon-like button, "Was this review helpful to you?" I've read several commentaries on the book without getting a picture of the story. Oh sure, I know the play's plot, etc., but how has Tyler's perspective rejiggered it? Now I have a picture, and I want to read it. Boom, onto the "Buy This for Me" list. You done good.

And by the bye, I was just at Amber's Social Hall and read an excellent review of the breakfasts you cook. When is breakfast served?

Jul 31, 2016, 1:28pm Top

Great review of Tyler's book. I love the idea that she had fun writing it too. I'm another reader who enjoyed it a great deal.

It had been a long time since I saw the play, so good to hear from someone who knows it so well.

Jul 31, 2016, 2:36pm Top

Delurking to say Hi! And you hit me with Vinegar Girl. Oh, and Venice is absolutely beautiful!! : )

Jul 31, 2016, 4:30pm Top

>106 weird_O: Well, good, Bill! At least as far as the book is concerned. I hope you enjoy it. I forget---do you like Anne Tyler? 'Cause it's more her than that other Bill guy, really. Now, as for breakfast, wait 'til I catch that kid of mine---I thought I taught her years ago to ask before inviting people home to eat! I guess it's real nice that she loves my breakfasts, though. As a matter of fact we had scrapple this morning, along with a rhubarb/pineapple crisp, and some wonderful free-range eggs scrambled up. I think the eggs were gathered yesterday morning just before I bought 'em from the farmer. Sorry you missed it! Drop in any time...Sunday morning's your best bet.

>107 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. I'm not sure I'd say I know the play well, but I found it came back to me in patches.

>108 Berly: Ha...another victim. I'll just repeat that I'm pretty sure anyone who enjoys Anne Tyler will enjoy Vinegar Girl, regardless of the Shakespeare connection. And, another vote for Venice. I'll put you on the list, for when we all make that trip together, Kim.

Aug 2, 2016, 9:47am Top

72. Sand Sharks by Margaret Maron The Umpteenth entry in the Judge Deborah Knott series, and it was a pretty good one, set this time in a beach-y town where a semi-annual conference of judges is taking place. Unfortunately at least one of their Honors won't be around to attend the next one. Nobody is terribly upset that he's gone, but of course they need to find out who and why. I love Deborah, and I hope I'm not getting burned out on these, but I did have a few quibbles with this one. First of all, Maron broke a cardinal rule, at least twice---two little bits of business tucked into the story line gave me that "this is gonna matter later" feeling, but one was never mentioned again and the other just remained an ongoing bit of business with no significance whatsoever. You know that gun over the mantel in Act One has to be fired before the play is over, right Margaret? Oh, well... Second of all, I've never attended a big ole conference of any kind, but the district judges of North Carolina seemed to have an awful lot of unscheduled time on their hands at this one. Days of it, not just a free afternoon set aside for fun. I don't mean to put anyone off this series; it's been great reading, and I'm still keen to follow Deb'rah as she goes. If you read in order and get this far, you can make up your own mind anyway.

Aug 2, 2016, 11:04am Top

>109 laytonwoman3rd: I liked Tyler's The Accidental Tourist and Breathing Lessons. Less enthusiastic about ...Homesick Restaurant. I think I've collected three or four other Tylers at library sales. I'd say in general, Yeah, I like her stuff.

Aug 3, 2016, 8:17am Top

>102 laytonwoman3rd: Nice review of The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian, Linda, I really liked it too when I read it back in 2009 :-)

I have read two book by Thomas Mann: The Buddenbrooks was a 5* read for me and for doglovers Bashan and I is a nice read. I am planning to read Death in Venice, as many books I read at the moment have a connection with Venice.

Aug 3, 2016, 8:58am Top

>111 weird_O: Saint Maybe was one of my favorite Tyler novels, and I really enjoyed The Accidental Tourist. Can never remember whether I've read Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant or not!

>112 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! I'm sure I'll give Mann another try one of these days. If you enjoy reading about Venice, there's a lot to appeal to you in his Death in Venice.

Aug 3, 2016, 9:03am Top

73. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett A quick engaging read written by a journalist who researched the world of book collecting and became acquainted with John Rilkey, a somewhat delusional book thief who stole mostly for the love of books, rather than for profit. It moved right along, but there wasn't really an awful lot to it, to be truthful. The book was expanded from an article the author wrote in 2007...the article probably would have been enough.

Edited: Aug 3, 2016, 12:01pm Top

>114 laytonwoman3rd: My last read did put me on to this list, the Modern Library's Top 100 novels, as selected by their Board in 1999. As we all love book lists, I thought I'd share. There's a non-fiction list too, which you can find here on the ML website

I didn't bother with touchstones, as they often refuse to register in a list this long. I've *'d the ones I've read in full. Some of those I've read multiple times, and heartily concur with their inclusion here. A few of these puzzle me somewhat. Of course 3 Faulkners is a good thing.

1. ULYSSES by James Joyce
*2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
*5 . BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
*6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
*7. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
9. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
*10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
11. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
12. THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
*13. 1984 by George Orwell
14. I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
*15 . TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
*16. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
*17. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
18. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
19. INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
20. NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
23. U.S.A.(trilogy) by John Dos Passos
*24. WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
*25. A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
26. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
*27. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
28. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
30. THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
*31. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
32. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
*33. SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
34. A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
*35. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
*36. ALL THE KING’S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
*37. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
*38. HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
*39. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
40. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
*41. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
*42. DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
43 . A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
44. POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
*45. THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
*46. THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
47. NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
*48. THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
49. WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
50. TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
51. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
*52. PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
53. PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
*54. LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
55. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
*56. THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
57. PARADE’S END by Ford Madox Ford
58. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
59. ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
*60. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
62. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
*64. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
65. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
*66. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
*67. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
*68. MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
*69. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton
70. THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
71. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
72. A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
73. THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
*74. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
75. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
77. FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
78. KIM by Rudyard Kipling
*79. A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
*82. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
83. A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
84. THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
85. LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
*86. RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
87. THE OLD WIVES’ TALE by Arnold Bennett
88. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
89. LOVING by Henry Green
90. MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
*91. TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
92. IRONWEED by William Kennedy
*93. THE MAGUS by John Fowles
94. WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
95. UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
*96. SOPHIE’S CHOICE by William Styron
97. THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
99. THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy
100. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington

Aug 3, 2016, 10:30pm Top

Oh oh oh, these lists are so seductive. A similar list was published under the auspices of Radcliffe College. Time magazine compiled a top-100-novels list, which is online, but it begins with books published in 1923. There's a list on Stanford's website that runs to 221 novels. For books published outside the US, the Guardian has lists, as does LeMonde and Wikipedia, LT, and a site called listchallenges.com.

Oh, and there are those 1000 books lists. If you're really stuck for ideas for books to read.

Aug 4, 2016, 6:59am Top

Oooh, I have that list in my Big Binder of Lists. Someday...

Aug 4, 2016, 7:05am Top

Morning Linda! I am so glad you loved Part-time Indian. I am a big fan too. It is just behind Lone Ranger and Tonto, IMHO. Alexie is overdue for some new fiction. Come on, Sherman.

Love the Modern Library's Top 100. I have done okay but there are many, many here I have still not read.

Aug 4, 2016, 8:06am Top

>116 weird_O: The Radcliffe list can be accessed from that same link...it was a "rival" list, apparently.

>117 scaifea: When you get to it, you'll probably find a lot of overlap, and you'll have a big head start on it already!

>118 msf59: I just listened to an NPR interview with Alexie in which he talked about his new children's book Thunder Boy, Jr. The link is on his author page. I really love this quote: " I am constructed of stories that have changed my life."

Aug 4, 2016, 10:05am Top

>119 laytonwoman3rd: Well, I've only read 24 so far, so we'll see how many more I happen to read before I get to the actual list.

Aug 4, 2016, 12:31pm Top

I've read 70 of the ML 100. But but but...some of the titles are trilogies, or quartets, and A Dance to the Music of Time is a dozen books. The unread 30 really amount to 46 I haven't read.

Aug 4, 2016, 1:24pm Top

I'm another fan of Part-Time Indian, Linda, and join Mark in plugging The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight. I also liked his Toughest Indian in the World collection. I want to read more of his books, including that Thunder Boy Jr. one.

Aug 4, 2016, 1:36pm Top

>105 laytonwoman3rd: That is too bad about the Madonnas book. I have a copy on hand I recently picked up and it sounded like it could be good.

I've pearl ruled two books lately that I had high expectations for but they just didn't work for me. After pearl ruling March Violets by Philip Kerr this morning I'm in a bit of a funk.

Aug 4, 2016, 2:00pm Top

I'm just catching up after a month's vacation, and as usual you've piqued my interest in a few books. And lists...ugh..who doesn't like book lists. (Maybe my son in fourth grade, but that's it). My wish list is overflowing.

Aug 5, 2016, 9:12am Top

Aug 5, 2016, 9:37am Top

>120 scaifea: I think my total is 45...but as I said, I've read some of those 2 or 3 times...so I think some mathematical shenanigans are in order!

>121 weird_O: I noticed that about the multiple volume entries on the list, Bill. Perhaps they should have called it 100 Best Works of Fiction?

>122 jnwelch: I will definitely be reading more of Alexie, Joe.

>123 RBeffa: Your mileage may vary on the Madonnas of Leningrad...I have a predisposition against books that are written in that particular style, although when done VERY well, it can work for me. I've been wondering about Kerr for years now...for some reason I own the fourth book in the Gunther series, not having read any of the preceding ones. I also think I tend to confuse him with Alan Furst. One of these days I'll get around to sorting that situation out!

Aug 5, 2016, 9:41am Top

>124 NanaCC: HA! Here, have another list! This one is from Book Riot, and it's one I really need to explore. I've read less than a quarter of these novels that feature New York City as a "character":

1. 1876: A Novel by Gore Vidal
2. A History of New York by Washington Irving
3. A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara
*4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
5. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
6. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
7. Another Country by James Baldwin
8. Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe
9. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
*10. Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow
*11. Bread Givers by Anya Yezierska
*12. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
13. Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
*14. Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
15. Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall
16. Christodora by Tim Murphy
17. City of Dreams: A Novel of Nieuw Amsterdam and Early Manhattan by Beverly Swerling
18. Daddy Was a Number Runner by Louise Meriwether
19. Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem
20. Dreamland by Kevin Baker
21. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
22. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
23. Fever by Mary Beth Keane
*24. Forever by Pete Hamill
25. Fury by Salman Rushdie
26. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
*27. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
28. Going Down by Jennifer Belle
29. Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older
30. Heyday by Kurt Andersen
31. How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
32. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
33. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
34. Jazz by Toni Morrison
35. Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.
36. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCan
37. Lowboy by John Wray
38. Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid
39. Lush Life by Richard Price
*40. Maggie, a Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane
41. Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos
*42. Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
43. Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
44. Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
*45. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
46. Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee
47. Netherland by Joseph O’Neill
48. Nevada by Imogen Binnie
49. Open City by Teju Cole
50. Passing by Nella Larsen
51. Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish
52. Push by Sapphire
*53. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
54. Re Jane by Patricia Park
55. Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam
56. Rules of Civility: A Novel by Amor Towles
57. Seize the Day by Saul Bellow
58. Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York by Marge Piercy
59. Sima’s Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross
60. Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins
61. Small Mercies by Eddie Joyce
*62. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
63. Speedboat by Renata Adler
*64. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
65. The Alienist by Caleb Carr
66. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
67. The Ask by Sam Lipsyte
*68. The Assistant by Bernard Malamud
69. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaVelle
70. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
71. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
72. The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
73. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
*74. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
*75. The Chosen by Chaim Potok
76. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
77. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
78. The Ex by Alafair Burke
*79. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
80. The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
81. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
82. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
*83. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
84. The Great Negro Plot: A Tale of Conspiracy and Murder in Eighteenth-Century New York by Mat Johnson
85. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
86. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
87. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
88. The Prince of West End Avenue by Alan Isler
89. The Street by Ann Petry
90. The Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer
*91. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
92. The Unpossessed by Tess Slesinger
93. The Warmest December by Bernice L. McFadden
94. Time and Again by Jack Finney
95. Underworld by Don DeLillo
*96. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
*97. Washington Square by Henry James
98. Watchmen by Alan Moore
99. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
100. Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Aug 5, 2016, 9:42am Top

>124 NanaCC: Thanks, Diana! Woodstock was a favorite of my father-in-law, and so he always makes me smile.

Aug 5, 2016, 9:47am Top

Oooh! Another book list! I've read at least half of them, but there are some on there I have never even heard of. Interesting. Just starting Flaubert's Parrot and The Golem and the Jinni. Happy Friday!

Aug 5, 2016, 9:55am Top

The Golem and the Jinni has been on my wishlist for a while, Kim. I'll be watching for your reaction to it. There are a lot of books on the NYC list that I've never heard of, but also several I've been meaning to get to. I hope to read Underworld this year when the AAC does DeLillo---I may hate it, but then at least I'll know!

Edited: Aug 5, 2016, 4:29pm Top

74. The Museum of Dr. Moses by Joyce Carol Oates Everyone always says this, but it's true...this woman's output it just astonishing. And the places her imagination takes her....yikes! In this collection of short stories she gets inside the heads of some very scary people, and does brilliant things for the reader. She loves to take a concept that's almost a cliche...like the closeness of twins, for instance...and turn it inside out. I'm a bit surprised at her female characters...there aren't any particularly strong women here. In fact, most of the women are victims, either of men or of circumstances. Many of them are also somewhat ineffective mothers. Of course, there are no male heroes either...the strong men use that strength in abusive, destructive ways. Hard to say what compels the reader through these stories when there is nothing uplifting in any of them. Her genius with form is one aspect...she often seems to be experimenting with that, and usually it works fairly well. The first selection in this collection, "Hi! Howya Doin!", would be stream of consciousness, except that the narrator is omniscient, so whose consciousness would it be? In "Bad Habits", the narrator seems to be telling a first person tale in which 3 children face drastic changes in their lives when their father is taken away and implicated in horrible crimes. The children are referred to individually as "A", "T", and "D,", and collectively as "us". But it is never clear who is telling the story; is it one of those three, or yet another child who does not appear, but only relates what happens? "Valentine, July Heat Wave" owes a little something to Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily", and really fails to shock as the ending is so predictable almost from the first page. The weakest story in the lot, I think, is the title selection. Oates does an incredible job of subtly raising the tension, making the reader feel the narrator's mounting fear, but the ending is a bit of an anti-climax. I haven't read much of Oates' work, and I'm not a big fan of horror, but I left this one with a great deal of admiration for her talent and skill, even when I might not love the result.

Aug 5, 2016, 1:42pm Top

>127 laytonwoman3rd: I've just read Everyone is Watching which could make it 101 - New York in the 20c - Whitman to the recent gentrification. Liked it a lot.

Thanks for the list!

Aug 5, 2016, 2:19pm Top

Catching up with the conversation here ...

I went to Venice for the first time 3 years ago, and of course I've been living half an hour away from it for over a year. It did not grab me on a first visit. It doesn't smell bad, but I definitely shudder at tourists dipping their toes and fingers into the canals. That water is full of things it's better not to think about. I think that I appreciated the city more after reading Calvino's Invisible Cities (I don't know if that would work if you haven't been there.) I am still not in love with the city, but I've found the appeal in the way it has many different faces. You have to dig down below the most apparent one, the tourist-filled one, but they're there. I still only want it in small doses - in spite of it being so close and around 8 euro round trip in train fare, I've only been there without shepherding tourists about 7 times in the time I've lived here. But I think Proust's descriptions are maybe the most real and appealing to me.

I'm another one who loved The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I'd been meaning to read Alexie for mumblemumble years and I'm so glad I finally got around to it. Will definitely be reading more of his work.

Aug 5, 2016, 4:14pm Top

>132 charl08: Hmmm...that one does sound interesting. Thanks for mentioning! ( I thumbed your review, btw. )

>133 ursula: I'm really loving hearing from people who know something of Venice. Sometimes an offhand remark can lead to the most interesting conversations!

Edited: Aug 5, 2016, 8:35pm Top

>133 ursula: I love Invisible Cities Ursula. I should read it again soon. I agree about the layers. I've visited twice, a week each. Straying off the main drag made a difference, and you leave the crowds behind. The second time we stayed in a great apartment in an old palazzo and behaved like residents, living above our station.

The first time I was there, I was with my sister, and one evening we were walking out to dine, taking back alleys and the like, crossing a square behind the school of music, and hearing students rehearsing, and I could almost hear, in the dark, the sound of club-footed Lord Byron going about his nocturnal wooing. But I am a literary romantic! Byron once, after a row with a mistress, leapt from her balcony into the Grand Canal (he was a great swimmer).

Ha, >134 laytonwoman3rd: you are being tethered to Venice, like it or not Linda. We also found some of the places the film of Death in Venice was shot.

Aug 6, 2016, 1:12am Top

>134 laytonwoman3rd: It's funny, I feel a little on the outside of the Venice love crowd as well - I have come to appreciate it but I would not be sorry if I never went back. For a couple of negatives - it is punishing on hot days, the reflections off the canals are brutal and there is absolutely no shade. The buildings don't have any overhang and of course trees are a rarity. And on rainy days, no shelter is a problem too - as well as navigating those narrow streets with an umbrella (or without being poked by an umbrella).

>135 Caroline_McElwee: Yeah I've always been tied to the last train of the night, although if you push that to its limit (and I have had to run for that last train before), it gets pretty close to "locals only". I am planning to go once more, on the earliest train to catch sunrise.

Aug 6, 2016, 8:38am Top

Happy Saturday, Linda! Thanks for supplying us with more lists. Egads!!

Glad you found something to admire in your JCO read. I hope to start Blonde later next week. I am still amazed how prolific she is.

Aug 6, 2016, 11:28am Top

I went to a local church bazaar last evening, as I do nearly every year, because they have a large book stall. Although some of the books I picked up with glee turned out to have damage, stains or writing in them, I did manage this meager haul, plus two unopened DVD's for a buck a piece:

Edited: Aug 6, 2016, 11:58am Top

>135 Caroline_McElwee:, >136 ursula: The best thing about visiting any place is being there with people who can show you the bits that are "authentic" rather than geared to tourists, or to stay long enough (even better) to discover some of them on your own.

>137 msf59: I'll be reading more Oates, Mark. I just have to be a bit careful what I pick. Horror isn't usually my thing, although occasionally I enjoy some of the best of it. I ought to try Blonde, I think.

Aug 6, 2016, 12:24pm Top

Nice short stack, Linda. That Rebecca West book got on my want list years ago, but I've never run across a copy. Didn't realize it's such a doorstop!

Aug 6, 2016, 5:09pm Top

Nice haul up there, Linda. I loved Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, and Sula is a standout.

Aug 6, 2016, 7:17pm Top

Oooh, nice stack of books! Well done, you.

Aug 7, 2016, 7:39am Top

>138 laytonwoman3rd: Nice a haul Linda. I have had the Rebecca West in the pile for some years. I read the first chapter and loved it, but put the book aside for a time when I could take long sips, and never got back to it.

Aug 7, 2016, 8:10am Top

>139 laytonwoman3rd:. I think you would like Blonde, Linda. I thought it was excellent.

Aug 7, 2016, 12:21pm Top

>139 laytonwoman3rd: Having a native show you around is defiantly the best way to see a town. My girls were so lucky on their trip--they have met up with 5 friends in 4 of the countries they visited.

Aug 9, 2016, 3:36pm Top

>140 weird_O:, >141 jnwelch:, >142 scaifea:, >143 Caroline_McElwee: I have learned how to shop for books, haven't I? That's an $8.00 haul, btw.

>144 NanaCC: I've been tempted by Blonde before, so now it's solidly on my wishlist.

>145 Berly: It's such a wonderful opportunity for young people to go far afield that way. My husband was lucky enough to travel through Germany, Austria and Switzerland between his junior and senior years in college, at the time of the Beethoven bicentennial, and he went with a music professor who had been to all those places many many times. He came back with so many wonderful stories and photographs....45 years later, I can almost believe I was there too!

Edited: Aug 10, 2016, 11:19am Top

75. God of the Rodeo by Daniel Bergner And so I hit the big 75 with more than a quarter of the year left to go!

This is a fascinating glimpse inside one of the toughest prisons in the country, Louisiana's Angola, a former plantation which now houses men (predominately black men) convicted of violent crimes, a large percentage of them sentenced to life without parole. The author was given free access to the prison, inmates and staff over a period of a year, despite the warden's second thoughts and attempts to bar him after a few months. It may be a bit out of date, as it was written in 1998, but as the author points out, the system doesn't want us to inquire, wonder or mind what happens to these prisoners...they've been dealt with precisely so ordinary citizens don't ever have to think about them again. They will not return to society or commit further crimes against it; their only victims from now on will be themselves and each other. Well written, not the least bit sensational, despite some pretty grim and graphic details.

My cover subtitles this book "The Quest for Hope, Faith and a Six-Second Ride in Louisiana's Angola Prison". I note that other editions change that to "The Quest for Redemption in..." I think the former is more accurate.

Aug 10, 2016, 6:57am Top

Congratulations on the 75er Linda! So that means you may make 100 by year end... I think I've only managed that a few times myself.

Aug 10, 2016, 7:26am Top

Congrats on reaching 75, Linda!

Aug 10, 2016, 7:27am Top

Morning Linda! Congrats on hitting the Mighty 75! God of the Rodeo sounds like a good one too.

Aug 10, 2016, 9:19am Top


Aug 10, 2016, 9:24am Top

>147 laytonwoman3rd: Sounds good. BB for me. And congrats on the 75 too.

Aug 10, 2016, 12:30pm Top

As slow reader, I salutes your achievement. 75 by mid-August. That's worth a gold star.

Or a thumb up!

Aug 10, 2016, 1:01pm Top

Well done, Linda. I'm at a measly 35 books year to date, which is an absolute snail's pace compared to previous years. Last weekend I overheard my husband telling someone, with some pride & awe, that I read "at least 70 books a year." I didn't want to burst his bubble ...

Aug 10, 2016, 3:56pm Top

>153 weird_O:, >154 lauralkeet: I don't consider myself a fast reader, but I spend a lot of time with a book in my hand. I expected my numbers to climb a bit this year, after retiring, but this is more than I anticipated.

Aug 10, 2016, 5:17pm Top

>148 Caroline_McElwee: I hope to pass 100, Caroline. I've hit it once.
>149 FAMeulstee:, >151 drneutron: Thanks Anita and Jim!
>150 msf59:, >152 charl08: God of the Rodeo was very good. I wish I could remember how it came to my attention; there may be some James Lee Burke connection.

Aug 13, 2016, 11:57am Top

Congratulations, Linda!

Aug 13, 2016, 11:06pm Top

Congratulations on passing 75 Linda - you beat me by a couple of days.

Thanks for the lists of books (you might have never guessed I would like those!)

I have read 53 of the Modern library 100
I have read a mere 16 of your New York List.

Have a wonderful weekend, Linda.

Aug 14, 2016, 11:36am Top

>157 kidzdoc: Thank you, Darryl!
>158 PaulCranswick: And I didn't even know we were racing! (Actually I threw those lists in there hoping to slow you down. ;>)

Edited: Aug 14, 2016, 4:09pm Top

76. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones I read this one for the BAC Challenge, so thanks to PaulCranswick for the introduction to Ms. Wynne Jones. Although I had a bit of fun with this (and couldn't keep from imagining that Howl was created for Johnny Depp to portray him) overall I thought it a bit of a messy effort, much like the character Sophie's often ill-considered ventures. There's a lot of humor, some excellent characterization, and some nifty magic, but no real framework for the world we're visiting. Too many instances where it seemed Howl's skills ought to have been equal to sorting things out, and too many contorted set-ups just to keep the castle moving, as it were. Of course, real life is often messy and disordered, and people frequently fail to do the simplest thing that might make the most sense...but I wasn't reading about real life, was I? I did enjoy the nod to John Donne; his "Song: Go and Catch a Falling Star", the basis of a witch's curse, gave what little structure there was to the story line here, but it was a pretty wobbly construction. A weak 3 stars.

Edited: Aug 14, 2016, 3:41pm Top

I have Pearl-ruled I Am No One, Patrick Flanery's latest novel, with great reluctance, as I found his Absolution to be one of the best novels of the 21st century I have read. I revisited my review of Absolution, and find that the strengths I noted in that novel were distinctly absent in I Am No One, at least as far as I took it. His sentences feel padded, wordy and awkward; his character belabors certain points ad nauseam to no apparent end; there is only the vaguest hint of what it's "about" and damn all has happened by page 78, where I gave up on it. I requested this last month from the ER list, but did not win it, and therefore grabbed it from the library. I note some of the LT reviews mention that "it gets better", or "the middle part is brilliant". Well, I just don't have the time or inclination to wade through the sludgy bits to get there, so I'm glad I do not feel obliged to finish it for the review.

Aug 14, 2016, 3:44pm Top

>161 laytonwoman3rd: Oh what a bummer. I almost grabbed this from the library but held off since my plate seems so full at the moment. This looked like a good one, but I see from the LT reviews that your reaction is not alone.

Thank you for the tipoff to the Star Trek 50th ann special on History Channel tonight! I do trust you have made your daughter aware of it.

Aug 14, 2016, 3:53pm Top

>162 RBeffa: Yes, thanks for the reminder...her father told me to be sure to let her know about it as well, and I haven't yet. As the Olympic swimming is over, her TV schedule may be clear tonight! *picks up phone to send text message to lycomayflower*

Aug 14, 2016, 4:03pm Top

>161 laytonwoman3rd: sounds mighty disappointing Linda, especially having enjoyed his previous book so much. I hate when that happens, but agree life is too short to stick with it until it gets better.

Aug 15, 2016, 8:51am Top

Thanks for taking one for the team with I Am No One, Linda, and for reminding me about Absolution.

I find it very interesting that LT's touchstone choice for I Am No One is 1984!

Aug 15, 2016, 4:17pm Top

>160 laytonwoman3rd: Our kids loved Diana Wynne Jones' books, Linda, and had me read her Chrestomanci stories, which were very good. For Howl's Moving Castle, you might some time watch the Miyazaki animated film version. It simplifies the story, and probably would confirm your belief that Johnny Depp is a natural for the role. Miyazaki's the one who did Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, among others.

Aug 15, 2016, 6:40pm Top

>164 lauralkeet: Yup, no regrets, Laura.

>165 kidzdoc: Those pesky touchstones!

>166 jnwelch: From the description I read of the movie, it seems Miyazaki changed the story significantly, adding a war (or developing that very minor point in the book) and an anti-war theme. I haven't caught the Japanese animation bug yet...maybe I should try this one.

Aug 17, 2016, 4:00pm Top

77. Little Scarlet by Walter Mosley This entry in the Easy Rawlins series is one of the best so far. It's August, 1965; Watts is erupting; a black woman who was known to have rescued a white man from a beating in the streets is found murdered and the unidentified white man is the prime suspect. The police can't afford to add THAT fuse to the powder keg, and white cops in the black neighborhoods are only likely to provoke further violence, so they ask Easy to investigate discreetly under a letter of authority from the police commissioner. He soon becomes convinced that the white man did not kill Little Scarlet, and that the actual murderer has been killing black women involved with white men for a long time. Encounters with a thoroughly decent detective who treats Easy with a collegial respect he's never experienced from any white man in authority before lends a tone of optimism to this tale of troubled times.

Aug 17, 2016, 4:30pm Top

>168 laytonwoman3rd: Yes! Did I mention I love this series? Little Scarlet is a standout, I agree.

Aug 17, 2016, 4:31pm Top

Don't think I've commented in a while, Linda, but I've been a dedicated lurker :)

One day, I will give those Easy Rawlins mysteries a try....

Aug 17, 2016, 4:58pm Top

>169 jnwelch: You MAY have mentioned enjoying Mr. Mosley's output...once or twice!

>170 katiekrug: A "dedicated lurker"---I like that. I like comments even better though!

Aug 17, 2016, 5:07pm Top

>171 laytonwoman3rd: :-) I hope I remembered to mention Plainsong, too. *ducks*

Aug 17, 2016, 6:26pm Top

>172 jnwelch: You're lucky I'm a peaceful woman...

Aug 17, 2016, 10:30pm Top

Oh oh! I've got that one, I've got that one. I guess this means I have to read it.

Eleven Mosleys on the shelf, only read three of them. But I DID like those three.

Aug 18, 2016, 7:07am Top

Nice review of Little Scarlet, Linda. I'll have to ask my father if he's read that one.

Aug 18, 2016, 9:55am Top

>174 weird_O: Get going! But read them in order, except for Gone Fishin', which could fit in anywhere.

>175 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl.

Aug 18, 2016, 1:47pm Top

Wonderful photo of your neice! Obviously a born reader.

Great review of the Doig which I have yet to read.

Looking forward to Vinegar Girl and I too loved the Sherman Alexie.

Aug 18, 2016, 10:23pm Top

Hi Linda. I've started the thread for September Series & Sequels.

It's at: http://www.librarything.com/topic/229450

Hoping you'll all stop by.

Aug 20, 2016, 1:22am Top

Congrats on 75, Linda!

Aug 20, 2016, 8:49am Top

>177 sibyx: I'm looking forward to more of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, especially Atwood's Hag-Seed.

>178 lindapanzo: I have stopped by with my potential September S&S reads. Thanks again, Linda!

>179 Familyhistorian: Thank you!

Edited: Aug 23, 2016, 4:04pm Top

78. As Good as Gone by Larry Watson An ER selection.

Calvin Sidey has a reputation for being tough, sharp and even violent in the small Montana town he abandoned so many years ago. When his young French wife was accidentally killed on a trip back to visit her mother, Calvin went off the rails, leaving his young son and a successful real estate business behind to work as a ranch hand, and to live in isolation on the prairie. Whether he actually killed a man before he left is still a matter of speculation among those who remember back that far. And now that he’s returned, temporarily at any rate, those old stories are gaining new credence with every encounter.

Calvin’s son Bill and daughter-in-law Marjorie now live in the house he moved out of, with their 17-year-old daughter and their 11-year-old son, who barely know their grandfather. But when Marjorie Sidey decides she must travel to Missoula for a hysterectomy Bill asks his father to come stay with the children, to be there, “just in case” while their parents are out of town. Both of his grandchildren have things going on in their lives that they are not sharing with their parents, but Calvin, despite being dangerously out of touch with the changing world of the 1960’s, seems to “get” them a bit better. His granddaughter shares his tendency to deal with her troubles without dreaming of asking for help --even for a 17-year-old, Ann Sidey exhibits an astonishing lack of instinct for self-preservation, but she comes to see her grandfather as a source of strength and support.

This is also the story of Beverly Lodge, the Sideys’ widowed next-door-neighbor, who remembers Calvin as the good-looking, athletic older boy who unintentionally set all the girls’ hearts throbbing before he went off to war and came back married to a foreigner. Beverly now finds herself attracted to this maverick who has so little tact or tenderness, and who seems not to care a damn about much of anything.

A lot happens in this novel, and much of it is not what you expect to happen. There always seems to be violence bubbling beneath the surface, and when it rises it takes an unpredictable shape. It was an engrossing read, but I’m hard-pressed to know what the take-away is meant to be. No one seems greatly changed by any of the events that play out here, least of all Calvin himself. But there are subtle consequences of Calvin’s brief presence. Conceivably he leaves Gladstone this time, a little better than he found it.

Aug 22, 2016, 12:36am Top

I'm glad you're using the girls as an "excuse" to build a good library of illustrated works! Papa Gatto looks really charming.
And I am so anxious to get hold of Homegoing. I'm in the library queue....

Aug 22, 2016, 12:36am Top

Oh! And congrats on passing the 75 mark!

Aug 22, 2016, 11:02am Top

>182 EBT1002:, >183 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen. I've ordered another of Sanderson's books...A Castle Full of Cats.

Aug 22, 2016, 11:37am Top

>181 laytonwoman3rd: - I have this one, too - also won through ER. But I probably won't get to it before OCtober at the earliest... Interested to hear your take on it.

Aug 23, 2016, 1:06pm Top

>185 katiekrug: Workin' on it, Katie. I may finish the review today.

Edited: Aug 23, 2016, 1:15pm Top

A Castle Full of Cats by Ruth Sanderson This was a delightful rhyming tale that took about 10 minutes to read, even with savoring the illustrations. The Queen loves her cats, (both the sweet ones and the brats!), but the King isn't so keen. The cats try to make him love them, but finally he finds the solution himself, and everybody's happy.

The illustrations are not quite so lush as in Papa Gatto, but they are full of cattiness, just the same.

Edited: Aug 23, 2016, 1:26pm Top

79. Impossible Dreams by Pati Hill This short (VERY short) novel is an intriguing glimpse into the mind and heart of a young French woman as she moves through relationships--marriage, motherhood, friendship, sisterhood, extra-marital affairs. It is very hard to describe, and quite unlike anything else I've ever read. The text comprises only 125 pages, many of which contain no more than a couple short paragraphs. It feels like a prose poem, although the language is not particularly rhythmic or musical. It is also accompanied by stylized photographic images which sometimes complement the text, and other times seem quite unrelated to it. Recommended, if you can find a copy.

Aug 23, 2016, 1:28pm Top

>187 laytonwoman3rd: I wonder if my library has that one! It looks like a fun read! Just checked - they don't. I'm sad.

Aug 23, 2016, 1:56pm Top

>189 thornton37814: Sanderson is worth seeking out, Lori. My library doesn't have this one, either, but it does have Papa Gatto and some of her fairy tales for older children.

Aug 23, 2016, 2:11pm Top

>190 laytonwoman3rd: Ours didn't have Papa Gatto either. I did notice both are available in Raleigh so maybe when I need to kill some time while Jeff does something for his mom while I'm in town, I can go sit and read picture books!

Aug 23, 2016, 2:15pm Top

Aug 23, 2016, 2:34pm Top

Another DNF for me...the audio version of Not My Father's Son read by Alan Cumming himself. I'm quite disappointed that this didn't work for me, as I was really looking forward to it. I found Cumming's presentation waaaay too melodramatic. I think it would be somewhat so in print as well (he certainly overuses "stunned"), but I may get my hands on a copy of the book just to see if I can finish it that way.

Aug 23, 2016, 4:27pm Top

>187 laytonwoman3rd: that looks excellent and fun!

>193 laytonwoman3rd: bummer. I will be interested to hear how you get on with the print book.

Aug 23, 2016, 4:54pm Top

>194 lauralkeet: I'm probably not going to be in a hurry to try the print version of Not My Father's Son...if I come across it in the library maybe I'll pick it up.

>181 laytonwoman3rd: I've finished my review of As Good As Gone now. Posted in the original message above, and on the book page.

Aug 23, 2016, 6:10pm Top

>193 laytonwoman3rd: - Oh, I'm so sorry you didn't like that one, Linda. I thought it was great. His narration was a bit over the top, but so is his personality, so it kind of worked for me.

And you're not making me rush to get to the new Watson!

Edited: Aug 23, 2016, 10:29pm Top

>196 katiekrug: I'm one of the few people who was not blown away by Watson's Montana 1948, so maybe you shouldn't go by me on that one. I did enjoy As Good As Gone as I was reading...I just wasn't sure what the end was meant to tell me.

Aug 23, 2016, 10:53pm Top

Interesting! Montana 1948 is the only other work of his I've read, and I wasn't blown away either...

Aug 24, 2016, 7:08am Top

Aw, nuts to the Alan Cumming book not working for you. I listened to it not long ago and absolutely loved it. But, then again, I absolutely love *him* and his dramatic ways. That voice. Mmmm, lovely.

Aug 24, 2016, 7:11am Top

>193 laytonwoman3rd: hmm, I have the book and expected to like it,so now I wonder if I will. I saw him on stage several times early in his career, and he was brilliant.

Aug 24, 2016, 9:53am Top

>198 katiekrug: For Montana, I guess I'm just spoiled by Ivan Doig. Nothing "wrong" with either of the Watsons, but they didn't hit that spot, you know?

>200 Caroline_McElwee: I think Cumming is very talented, but the only thing I recall seeing him in was waaay back when he played creepy Sean Walsh in Circle of Friends, so maybe I'm unconsciously pre-disposed not to take to him!? The genealogy aspect of this memoir is what drew me to it (and >199 scaifea: I DO like his voice, Amber, I really do) and it seemed to be taking forever to get to that part. I'll probably skim the print version for those bits.

Aug 24, 2016, 11:32am Top

>201 laytonwoman3rd: I really enjoyed him in the TV series The Good Wife, which has finished its run. I also enjoyed the audio version of the book, but it may be because I am a sucker for an accent.

Aug 24, 2016, 8:03pm Top

>193 laytonwoman3rd: I listened to that one as well and was lukewarm on the whole experience.

Aug 24, 2016, 9:19pm Top

Belated congrats on 75, Linda!

I'm reading As Good as Gone now. I did really like Montana 1948, but am finding this one harder to get into. Not bad, just hasn't really grabbed me yet.

Aug 24, 2016, 9:40pm Top

Good review of As Good as Gone, Linda! I love Watson and I also have an E.R. copy waiting nearby. Sorry to hear Montana 1948 didn't ring all your bells. It remains my favorite.

Thanks for the Dickinson poems on my thread. I have not read her.

Have you read Grief Is the Thing with Feathers? If not, I highly recommend it. Just finished it today.

Aug 25, 2016, 12:33pm Top

>193 laytonwoman3rd: I'm sorry Not My Father's Son didn't work for you, Linda. I loved it on audio. But I have a mild crush on the man from his hosting of Masterpiece, so.....

Aug 25, 2016, 12:35pm Top

>205 msf59: I've put Grief is the Thing with Feathers on hold at the library.

Aug 25, 2016, 9:15pm Top

Sorry to hear you didn't like Not My Father's Son, Linda. I have that one on the shelves and am looking forward to it.

Edited: Aug 26, 2016, 7:06am Top

>206 EBT1002: Ellen:; Have you seen the clip of him chatting about how to introduce tartan into one's wardrobe? It's adorable, and I suspect you can find it one youtube...

ETA: Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY4HlgCMKpQ

Morning, Linda!

Aug 26, 2016, 8:55am Top

>209 scaifea: "an airy experience"---I love it! Thanks, Amber.

Aug 26, 2016, 9:09am Top

>210 laytonwoman3rd: You're welcome! His voice make my heart skip a beat, I must say. And that smile is A-dorable.

Aug 26, 2016, 2:53pm Top

>202 NanaCC:, >203 ursula:, >206 EBT1002: I just wasn't feelin' it, and he was feelin' it too much!

>204 tymfos: Thanks, Terri!

>205 msf59: I hope you come to love Miss Emily, Mark. She's a tricky one. I'm making a note of Grief is the Thing With Feathers.

>208 Familyhistorian: I hope you like it better than I did, Meg...I don't think audio books are serving me well right now. I just don't have good opportunities to listen very often.

Aug 26, 2016, 3:02pm Top

>212 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks Linda, I haven't tried audio books but suspect they would not be a good fit for me as I always want to know what is going on around me and would be easily distracted.

>209 scaifea: I will have to take your word for it that it is a good clip because it is "not available in your country" for me.

Aug 26, 2016, 3:16pm Top

Aug 26, 2016, 6:53pm Top

>187 laytonwoman3rd: Love the illustrations. I want to be an illustrator in my next life.

>193 laytonwoman3rd: Sorry you didn't like it. I have it on Mount TBR but in paper form. I get too impatient with audio. I really liked him in Burlesque.

Aug 26, 2016, 9:56pm Top

>215 Morphidae: Morphy! So nice to have a visit from you. Sooo....why don't you pick up a pencil and illustrate something? There's no time like the present, as they say.

Aug 30, 2016, 2:21pm Top

>216 laytonwoman3rd: Essential tremors

Aug 30, 2016, 6:04pm Top

>217 Morphidae: Ah. and also Foo.

Aug 30, 2016, 7:24pm Top

>93 laytonwoman3rd: I am sorry that I have not visited your thread in some time. When I saw the images from Gator Gumbo, I cheered! I love this book and have read to my children many time. When smaller they enjoyed reading the sounds the ingredients made going into the pot. As they have gotten older, it all about the anticipation of not so poor otter, mouse, and skunk as they get closer and close to their fate. So much fun for all of us!

Edited: Aug 31, 2016, 11:16am Top

>217 Morphidae: *laughs* Yeah, foo is one word for it. I have several others. I've had people tell me to do lettering or drawing anyway, that I'd have my own "style." Not so much. When I'm drawing something and all of a sudden my fingers twitch and there's a line going off for a half an inch to an inch, it's extremely frustrating. And depending on the day, it can happen every 20 - 30 seconds. That's not even counting the trembling so I can't always draw a straight line. So, nope.

Sep 1, 2016, 8:40pm Top

>219 brodiew2: Welcome, Brodie. Having lived outside of New Orleans for 3 years long ago, I am very much drawn to anything that brings back memories of the place it used to be.

Edited: Sep 1, 2016, 8:42pm Top

80. The Knife Man by Wendy Moore. An absolutely engrossing read about a fascinating man, John Hunter, the "father of modern surgery". That phrase doesn't begin to suggest who he really was. I read this for the Non-fiction challenge for August, and hope to be able to contribute a coherent intelligent review at some point, but real life is not conducive right now.

Edited: Sep 2, 2016, 5:36pm Top

81. James Baldwin in Turkey by Sedat Pakay. Striking photographs, mostly black and white, of James Baldwin in "exile" in Turkey in the 1960's when he retreated there to write, out of the intense spotlight of the civil rights movement, and to bear witness from afar to the struggle for freedom going on in his own beloved country. The irony is mighty thick here in the 21st century.

Sep 2, 2016, 3:58am Top

>223 laytonwoman3rd: Glad you just couldn't resist Linda!

Sep 2, 2016, 10:12am Top

>224 Caroline_McElwee: Thank you for putting it on my radar, Caroline!

Sep 8, 2016, 10:34am Top

82. Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo Despite feeling that the book was too long (maybe what I mean is "too heavy to hold comfortably for very long"?) I really enjoyed this novel. Lots of extremely quirky-but-real characters, some sympathetic, some wicked, some truly likeable; many story lines tangled together but not confusing; several laugh-out-loud moments (very welcome just now); wonderful dialog and farcical situations. Couldn't help picturing Paul Newman and Bruce Willis in the roles of Sully and Carl (which they played in Nobody's Fool years ago), and that didn't hurt either.

Sep 8, 2016, 1:09pm Top

>226 laytonwoman3rd: Your review of Everybody's Fool tempts me, Linda. I read Nobody's Fool and didn't want to sully (ha) the memory by reading the latest.

Sep 8, 2016, 4:08pm Top

>226 laytonwoman3rd: well what a coincidence, I just borrowed this from my library. It's the Kindle edition, and does NOT include pagination (which is unusual and annoying), so I had to look up the hardcover page count to see what I was getting into. 496 pages. Long, yes, but my Kindle is easy to hold!

I read Nobody's Fool quite recently in preparation for this book, so Paul Newman Sully is still fresh in my mind. I'm looking forward to digging into this one, especially since you enjoyed it.

Sep 8, 2016, 10:18pm Top

>227 Familyhistorian:, >228 lauralkeet: I don't think I read Nobody's Fool---I just remember the movie version. Sully really is a terrific character. Paul Newman must have loved Russo---he was in the movie version of his Empire Falls, as well, and in fact he persuaded Russo to write the screenplay himself, when Russo thought he'd had it with those characters and that story.

Sep 9, 2016, 10:15am Top

>229 laytonwoman3rd: didn't know that ... interesting!

Sep 9, 2016, 12:57pm Top

I read Russo's That Old Cape Magic, my first of his books, earlier in the year and liked it.

Edited: Sep 11, 2016, 6:00pm Top

The next Bethlehem Library Book Sale and LT meetup is Saturday, September 19. Doors open at 10 a.m.

ETA to correct date. It is the 17th, not the 19th. Saturday, September 17. (Looked at last year's bookmark.)

Edited: Sep 11, 2016, 7:05pm Top

>232 weird_O: Thanks, Bill. That has been on my radar, but a dear family friend (my "second mom") passed away recently and her memorial service is that day, so I must again pass on the book sale. One of these days the stars will line up...

Norma was my mom's best friend, ever since high school. I spent a week with her family nearly every summer for many years when I was a kid. They introduced us to the Sheltie breed, lasagna, community swimming pools and The Man From U.N.C.L.E (we didn't get that channel at home).

Norma with her daughters and me (holding our first Sheltie pup, Lassie) c. 1967

Sep 11, 2016, 11:20pm Top

>209 scaifea: I love that. Thank you for posting the link!

James Baldwin in Turkey sounds fascinating and timely.

Sorry to hear about Norma's passing. The photo is so sweet and those "second moms" are really important. I hope the memorial allows you to remember her and honor her, and I hope you continue to feel her in your life. From your description, I'm guessing you do.

Take good care, Linda.

Sep 12, 2016, 10:00am Top

Oh, crapolas. Sorry to hear of your second mom's passing. Never a happy time. Sorry too that you can't join us.

Sep 12, 2016, 11:39am Top

I'm sorry for your loss, Linda.

Sep 12, 2016, 4:37pm Top

>233 laytonwoman3rd: it's always sad when part of our foundations leave us. But they are stuck in the mortar. I hope the memorial service is memorable Linda.

Great photograph.

Sep 13, 2016, 6:38am Top

Thinking of you, Linda.

Sep 13, 2016, 3:26pm Top

Thanks, everyone. Your condolences are much appreciated. My brother and I will go to the memorial service together on Saturday. This will mean two hours each way of uninterrupted togetherness. This kind of thing almost NEVER happens. I hate that it takes a loss to bring it about, but it will be a blessing, nevertheless. He also considered Norma a second Mom...she has a son about my brother's age as well.

Edited: Sep 13, 2016, 3:34pm Top

83. The Old Fox Deceiv'd by Martha Grimes No. 2 in the Richard Jury series. I enjoyed it very much. People say Grimes let Americanisms slip into her British series, but I can't say I've noticed any...other than those introduced by an American character. In this one I especially loved the characters of 12-year-old Bertie Makepiece, who figured out a big piece of the puzzle, and his faithful dog Arnold who saved the day. I'll look forward to following the series along.

Sep 13, 2016, 7:07pm Top

>240 laytonwoman3rd: I read a lot of Grimes' books when I lived in Cincinnati. I remember reading that one.

Sep 17, 2016, 12:31am Top

>240 laytonwoman3rd: The first books in the Richard Jury series are really good but the later books - not so much I found.

Sorry to hear about Norma's passing but good that you get to spend time with your brother. We are getting to the age that we meet up over funerals now which in a way is unfortunate but at least they bring people together.

Sep 18, 2016, 6:53am Top

I'm sorry to hear about Norma's passing, Linda.

Sep 18, 2016, 7:04pm Top

I'm sorry you lost your second mom. The loss of a family of choice member hurts just as much. My heart goes out to you and yours.

Sep 18, 2016, 7:11pm Top

>242 Familyhistorian:, >243 kidzdoc:, >244 Morphidae: Thank you, friends. I attended Norma's memorial service with my brother yesterday. We managed a lovely lunch and a book-store browse in Hobart, NY, the Book Village, just a few miles from where Norma lived. Then, of course, there were some nice conversations with her husband, children and grandchildren. It was a good day, despite the circumstances.

Sep 24, 2016, 11:29am Top

On vacation visiting lycomayflower in Virginia. There may have been unrestrained book-buying at Too Many Books and B&N (even flamingrabbit went a bit wild). All of mine are now in my catalog, but a photo will have to wait until I get home where I left my cabling.

Sep 25, 2016, 10:29am Top

84. A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews I read this for the Canadian Author Challenge. It's a grand picture of a young girl's life, in a Mennonite town in Manitoba in the 1970's. Although there are many lifestyle restrictions, and the possibility of excommunication (shunning) always exists, it often feels as though this story could be about any young girl raised in any conventionally religious family--not terribly different from my own American Baptist cousins growing up at about the same time. I knew so many people whose religion dictated their dress, or activities, or food choices that I was always fairly comfortable with my simple Methodist upbringing that seemed to only forbid things that were actually against the law. Nomi Nickel, like any normal teenager, rebels against the rules and authority, yet loves her fractured family and wants to impress her English teacher even while she seems to be neglecting the writing project he has set for her. There is a bit of a mystery and a "shocker" at the end that I didn't see coming and wasn't particularly shocked by. There's an interesting exploration of love and sacrifice here as well.

Edited: Sep 25, 2016, 10:43am Top

85. Whale Season by N. M. Kelby A mildly amusing romp through a forsaken Florida town where there are no whales, this story includes a Christmas visit from a modern incarnation of Jesus who has an unconventional take on offering salvation. I picked this up from my daughter's bookshelves whilst visiting. It was an easy, undemanding vacation read, somewhat in the style of Carl Hiassen, who blurbed it. Not "hilarious", nor even particularly funny most of the time, but I did laugh here and there. YMMV.

Sep 25, 2016, 9:24pm Top

Happy Sunday, Linda. I am glad to see you also enjoyed your Toews read. I loved All My Puny Sorrows and want to read all of her work.

Sep 25, 2016, 11:27pm Top

>240 laytonwoman3rd: "...and his faithful dog Arnold who saved the day." Love that.

>247 laytonwoman3rd: I have All My Puny Sorrows from the library and hope to get to it before I have to return it! Toews is a new author for me and she has seems to have been generally well-received around here.

>248 laytonwoman3rd: YMMV?

Sep 26, 2016, 8:33am Top

>249 msf59: I will read more of her work myself. And did you know you pronounce her name as though it were spelled "Taves"?

>250 EBT1002: Your Mileage May Vary. My daughter says I'm not allowed to use that without attribution So....she taught me what it meant. I share it freely.

Sep 26, 2016, 8:48am Top

Warning, warning, warning!! Do not go to the Goodwill Store in Roanoke, VA. They also sell books.

Sep 27, 2016, 5:32pm Top

Evidence mounts that I have a book-buying problem:

This was the result of a visit to Too Many Books, in Roanoke, VA, and a visit to my daughter's neighborhood Barnes & Noble during member appreciation days. (They better appreciate us a WHOLE lot.)

Amazingly, this time my husband walked out with more than one book in his hand from Too Many Books, and then two more from B&N. There's evidence of that, too:

As noted in >252 laytonwoman3rd:, there are books to be found everywhere---you cannot escape them. So this pile also found its way into my possession. (A couple of these were from The Four Seasons Bookshop in Shepherdstown, WV, where we stopped on our way home. But by that time even I was a bit overdosed, and I didn't do what I COULD have done...):

Sep 27, 2016, 5:58pm Top

Great book haul!

Sep 27, 2016, 7:48pm Top

Wow! That's an impressive haul.

Sep 27, 2016, 8:02pm Top

The last photo: The two DeLillos and the Bryson are top flight. I've read them, and give all three two thumbs up.

Sep 27, 2016, 8:08pm Top

>253 laytonwoman3rd: What great book hauls! Congratulations!

Sep 27, 2016, 9:34pm Top

You won't see any of us saying you were excessive in your purchases.

Sep 27, 2016, 9:59pm Top

Enablers, all of you. (Which is why I come here to confess, of course.)

Edited: Sep 27, 2016, 10:20pm Top

Your confession is accepted, go now in peace and buy many, many more books!

Sep 28, 2016, 12:09am Top


Sep 28, 2016, 4:53am Top

I warn you Linda, Book Lust is a real menace. I rarely look at mine (I have all three) as they always trigger a nasty rash of book purchasing, even when I go to them for library suggestions (the milder rash).

Great haul.

Sep 28, 2016, 11:01am Top

That's it? Couldn't you have bought any more books?!

Nice book haul! I'll pick up The Underground Railroad soon.

Sep 28, 2016, 11:08am Top

Ooh nice haul. Love those orange penguins.

Edited: Sep 28, 2016, 12:28pm Top

>260 Whisper1:, >261 Berly: See....this whole crowd is like that. No worries about interventions here.

>262 Caroline_McElwee: I know Nancy Pearl is one dangerous woman. This is the first volume, and it contains a recommendation for a book by my daughter's undergraduate advisor, G. W. Hawkes. So there's one bullet that won't get me; that one is already on my shelves.

>263 kidzdoc: Yes, yes I could have bought more. Two I particularly wanted to buy are a week or two away from publication. So watch this space. I was on the library's wait list for The Underground Railroad, but decided to buy it with the benefit of my daughter's B&N discount. I think I'd still be waiting for it at Christmas time, judging by my place on the list and the limited number of circulating copies.

>264 charl08: Yeah...Penguins. They follow you home.

Sep 28, 2016, 6:52pm Top

>265 laytonwoman3rd: yeh, that leaves about 499 bullets - not good odds for Russian roulette.

Hha, Pelicans are like Penguins in that regard...

Sep 28, 2016, 9:15pm Top

Nice book hauls, Linda. That should keep you busy for awhile. I can't wait to hear what you think about The Underground Railroad.

Sep 28, 2016, 11:08pm Top

Your opening photo is right out of the 1950's right? I have many black and white photos of my mother with permed hair and a dress with a skinny black belt. The tv show Donna Reed certainly impacted on the way in which women dressed.

I swear that my mother scrubbed the kitchen floor in heals. One of my memories of the time is that end of summer, returning to school time meant my sisters and I all got a Tony home perm. Eh gads, I can still smell the fumes.

Sep 30, 2016, 3:18pm Top

Great book haul, Linda!

Sep 30, 2016, 6:46pm Top

>267 msf59: This haul will keep me busy just trying to find a place to put them!

>268 Whisper1: Yes, Linda, probably about 1955, I'd guess. I wasn't getting perms yet then, but boy, I suffered through them for years! I don't even think you can buy home perms anymore.

>269 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. I may not travel far, but I make the most of it!

Edited: Oct 3, 2016, 8:18pm Top

86. Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker Well, I think I have a new favorite detective...Benoit Courreges, "Bruno", chief of police in a small village in the south of France. He cooks, he gardens, he works on his refurbished shepherd's cottage, he fends off the E. U. inspectors when they come to the local market looking for violations among the farmers and shopkeepers who do things the old way, he knows how to treat a woman, and everyone in town seems to love him. Mostly a comfort read, but with a painful kernel of history at its core. I'll be tracking down No. 2 in the series soon.

Oct 3, 2016, 12:56am Top

I have Shakespeare by Bill Bryson on my shelves. I bought it with a trip to Ashland, OR, in mind, to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (which we used to do almost annually when we lived but four hours away) but haven't made that trek yet. This reminds me to put it into the mini-vacation discussion hopper....

Oct 3, 2016, 3:34pm Top

>272 EBT1002: This one has been bouncing around my 'someday' list. I think I will add it to the aduio TBR for 2017.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2016

468 members

165,512 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.




About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 129,035,254 books! | Top bar: Always visible