HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
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.

Shannon's (sturlington) Stephen King Not-a-Challenge

2017 Category Challenge

Join LibraryThing to post.

1sturlington
Edited: Oct 19, 2016, 12:59pm Top



Seven '70s Kings in 2017!

Welcome to my tribute to my favorite author, Stephen King. King is best known for writing horror, of course, and he has tackled pretty much every trope in that genre: vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, monsters, doppelgängers, demons, the devil, psychic powers, and crazies of all descriptions. King has also stretched himself to write in many different genres beyond horror, including science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and crime. For this 2017 not-a-challenge* challenge, I picked seven King books published in the 1970s--his earliest and, in my opinion, among his best work--each featuring a classic King trope that recurs throughout his writing.

*I'm calling this a "not-a-challenge" because I'm not going to actually try to read books to fit the categories. Challenges are lots of fun to invent and post, but I've found that they usually don't match up very well with how my reading evolves over the year. So instead of trying to find books to fit the categories, I'm just going to see how my normal reading falls into these categories. I'll also use this space to track other nonrequired reading for the BingoDog, CATs, and where in the world am I? I'll post monthly roundups here, but I'll actually start a simpler thread for posting my full book reviews (probably in December).

The picture above is one of my favorite photos of King, which I have as a postcard. As far as I can tell, he has always owned corgis. His current dog is named Molly aka The Thing of Evil.

2sturlington
Edited: Nov 22, 2017, 8:28am Top

Carrie (1974)



King's debut novel featured a teenage girl who develops awesome psychic powers. King's books explore topics of domestic abuse, rape, and even abortion, and he has always written believable, well-rounded, often powerful female characters. Carrie is just the first of these memorable women, who include Charlie McGee, Frannie Goldsmith, Susannah Dean, Annie Wilkes, and Dolores Claiborne. This category is dedicated to women who kick ass.

2017 reads in this category:
1. The Blackbirder by Dorothy B. Hughes
2. Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand
3. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
4. Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand
5. The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
6. Marlena by Julia Buntin
7. Security by Gina Wohlsdorf
8. Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
9. Queenpin by Megan Abbott
10. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

3sturlington
Edited: Jun 28, 2017, 11:17am Top

Salem's Lot (1975)



Jerusalem's Lot is a small Maine town that becomes overrun by vampires. It is the first of King's rural small towns that become infected by something horrific, of which the most famous are Castle Rock (Needful Things) and Derry (It). This category is dedicated to my favorite setting, the strange town.

2017 reads in this category:
1. When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord
2. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
3. Universal Harvester by John Darnielle
4. The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford
5. The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
6. Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

4sturlington
Edited: Oct 26, 2017, 4:21pm Top

The Shining (1977)



The scariest of King's books has it all: a young boy with psychic powers, an alcoholic writer slowly going insane, a haunted hotel cut off from hope of rescue. King often revisits these themes--particularly children who have powers--in his books. While there are many tropes to pick from, this category is dedicated to my favorite type of horror story, the ghost story.

2017 reads in this category:
1. The Elementals by Michael McDowell
2. A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson
3. The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue
4. Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
5. The Prestige by Christopher Priest
6. The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
7. The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
8. The Widow's House by Carol Goodman
9. The Grip of It by Jac Jemc
10. The Fisherman by John Langan
11. Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

5sturlington
Edited: Oct 26, 2017, 4:21pm Top

The Stand (1978)



King's massive post-apocalyptic epic is one of my favorite novels by him. In it, the world is decimated by a superflu epidemic, and those who survive must battle pure evil. While King often returns to apocalyptic themes, it's never on as grand a scale as this. This category is dedicate to apocalyptic fiction.

2017 reads in this category:
1. The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
2. Suffer the Children by Craig diLouie
3. Come to Dust by Bracken MacLeod (sort of)

6sturlington
Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 12:43pm Top

Night Shift (1978)



While King may be well known for his "doorstopper" novels, he's published a lot of short fiction, starting with this classic collection. (Yes, it contained the story "Children of the Corn," which is much better than the movie.) This category is dedicated to short stories and anthologies.

1. Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
2. Pork Pie Hat by Peter Straub
3. Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two
4. Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume One

7sturlington
Edited: Dec 12, 2017, 2:12pm Top

The Long Walk (1979)



King published two novels under the pseudonym Richard Bachman in the 1970s, both with a distinctly dystopian tone. A later Bachman book, The Running Man, is also set in a dystopian future. While King didn't dabble much in the genre after that, his early efforts still stand out, so this category is dedicated to dystopias.

1. Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg (not a true dystopia, more anti-utopia, but I'm counting it here because this category is lonely)
2. Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory (again not a true dystopia, but close enough)
3. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
4. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
5. The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
6. Normal by Warren Ellis

8sturlington
Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 7:17am Top

The Dead Zone (1979)



King is known for ratcheting the suspense up so high that you just can't put his books down. His story of an ordinary man, Johnny Smith, who develops psychic powers and must race against time to stop an evil man from being elected president, is a prime example of King's gift for suspense. This category is dedicated to page turners.

2017 reads in this category:
1. The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
2. Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith
3. Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters
4. Ill Will by Dan Chaon
5. In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
6. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
7. Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia
8. Sanctum by Denise Mina

9sturlington
Edited: Dec 12, 2017, 2:13pm Top

Where in the World Am I?

Keeping track of which countries I have visited in my reading over time.


visited 42 states (18.6%)
Create your own visited map of The World

-----

Each year, I track how many states I can hit (started Dec. 2016).


visited 18 states (36%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

10sturlington
Edited: Nov 9, 2017, 6:49am Top

BingoDOG



1. Horrorstor -- 4/5/17
2. The Sympathizer -- 4/18/17
3. The Blackbirder -- 2/20/17
4. Available Dark -- 5/5/17
5. Eileen -- 3/29/17
7. The River at Night -- 5/8/17
8. A Stranger in My Grave (published in 1960) -- 1/6/17
9. The Two Faces of January -- 2/1/17
10. Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two - 11/9/17
11. 1001 Books for Every Mood - 1/18/17
12. Hag-Seed (Refers to The Tempest) -- 1/1/17
15. The Eyes of the Dragon -- 4/4/17
16. What We're Fighting For Now Is Each Other (climate change) -- 1/8/17
17. Thus Was Adonis Murdered -- 7/20/17
18. The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier (France) -- 1/14/17
20. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles -- 4/9/17
21. When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord -- 1/26/17
23. The Elementals by Michael McDowell (vacation homes on Gulf of Mexico) -- 1/20/17
24. The Bird's Nest by Shirley Jackson (1950s) -- 2/10/17
25. The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket -- 4/25/17

11sturlington
Edited: Jul 24, 2017, 8:47am Top

Deleted

12sturlington
Edited: Dec 7, 2017, 7:35pm Top

AlphaKIT Reads

Jan - M & S -- Stranger in My Grave by Margaret Millar -- 1/6/17; The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier -- 1/14/17; Beloved by Toni Morrison; The Elementals by Michael McDowell -- 1/20/17

Feb - W & H -- When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord -- 1/26/17; The Two Faces of January by Patricia Highsmith -- 2/1/17; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith -- 2/15/17; The Blackbirder by Dorothy B. Hughes -- 2/20/17; Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand -- 3/4/17

Mar - E & K -- Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans -- 3/10/17; The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue -- 3/18/17; Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh -- 3/29/17

Apr - I & D -- Ill Will by Dan Chaon -- 4/3/17; Suffer the Children by Craig diLouie -- 4/14/17; Universal Harvester by John Darnielle -- 4/24/17

May - C & T -- The Girls by Emma Cline -- 5/24/17

Jun - Y & N -- The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge - 6/17/17

Jul - B & G -- The Widow's House by Carol Goodman - 7/13/17; Bleed by Ed Kurtz -- 7/15/17; Coraline: The Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman -- 7/25/17; The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles -- 7/26/17; Borne by Jeff VanderMeer -- 7/31/17

Aug - O & F -- The Fisherman by John Langan - 8/19/17; The Orphan Master's Son - 9/10/17

Sep - U & P -- Pork Pie Hat by Peter Straub -- 9/19/17

Oct - A & V -- The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle -- 10/4/17

Nov - L & Q -- Queenpin by Megan Abbott -- 11/13/17; The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena -- 11/17/17

Dec - J & R -- News of the World by Paulette Jiles - 12/3/17; The Cove by Ron Rash - 12/7/17

And as always, yearlong X and Z

13sturlington
Edited: Aug 7, 2017, 4:44pm Top

AwardsCAT

January -- Year's Best lists: The Long and Faraway Gone (ALA Reading List) -- 12/27/16; When We Were Animals (ALA Reading List) -- 1/26/17
March -- Genre Awards (any genre prize not already featured) -- Generation Loss (Shirley Jackson Award) -- 3/4/17, Crooked Heart (ALA Reading List) -- 3/10/17; Eileen (Shirley Jackson Award) -- 3/29/17
April -- Pulitzer Prize -- The Sympathizer -- 4/18/17
July -- any Science Fiction/Fantasy award -- Coraline: The Graphic Novel -- 7/25/17; The Underground Railroad

End

14sturlington
Edited: Aug 7, 2017, 4:44pm Top

CATWoman

January: Classics by women -- The Scapegoat - 1/14/17
March: Genres -- Generation Loss -- 3/4/17; Crooked Heart -- 3/10/17; Eileen -- 3/29/17
May: Women in the arts -- In a Dark Dark Wood - 5/1/17; Available Dark - 5/5/17
June: Professional women -- Security -- 6/27/17; Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead - 6/30/17

End

15sturlington
Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 7:17am Top

HorrorKIT

Jan - King - family month -- The Eyes of the Dragon (reread/read aloud)
Feb - Jackson - psychological suspense -- The Bird's Nest -- 2/10/17; Deep Water -- 2/15/17
Mar - Matheson - creatures -- A Stir of Echoes - 3/12/17; The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue -- 3/18/17
Apr - du Maurier - books made into films -- The Prestige -- 4/29/17
May - le Fanu - ghosts -- The Winter People -- 5/14/17; The Shadow Year -- 5/19/17
June - Radcliffe - gothic -- The Haunting of Maddy Clare -- 7/7/17
July - Barker/Gaiman - YA/graphic novels - Coraline: The Graphic Novel -- 7/26/17
Aug - O'Connor - Women - The Grip of It by Jac Jemc -- 8/11/17
Sept - Brite/Due - diversity - The Devil in Silver -- 10/4/17
Oct - Oates - modern - Perfume - 10/14/17; Come to Dust - 10/21/17
Nov - Poe - short stories & poetry - The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two - 11/10/17
Dec - Bowen - crime & mystery - Sanctum - 12/20/17

SFFKIT
April: "Dystopian/Apocalyptic theme" - The Last One -- 4/11/17; Suffer the Children -- 4/14/17
July: "Award Winners/Nominees" - Coraline: The Graphic Novel -- 7/26/17; The Underground Railroad -- 8/7/17

End

16sturlington
Edited: Dec 12, 2017, 2:13pm Top

RandomCAT

January: Search and Rescue -- The Long and Faraway Gone -- 12/27/16
February: Yours, Mine, and Ours -- The Bird's Nest -- 2/10/17
March: Luck o' the Irish -- no
April: Love in the Stacks -- Horrorstor -- 4/5/17; Rules of Civility -- 4/9/17; The Last One -- 4/11/17; Hex -- 4/22/17; Universal Harvester -- 4/24/17
May: All About Mom -- The Winter People -- 5/14/17
June: Into the Unknown -- Marlena - 6/12/17; Gwendy's Button Box - 6/13/17
July: Let's Celebrate! (Birthdays) - The Postman Always Rings Twice -- 7/20/17
August: Animal Kingdom - Borne -- 7/31/17; The Fisherman -- 8/19/17
September: Where did the time go? - The Wonder --9/18/17
October: Turn on the Dark - The Devil in Silver - 10/4/17; Perfume - 10/14/17; Come to Dust - 10/21/17
November: Traffic Jam - Mapping the Interior - 10/25/17; Murder on the Orient Express - 11/2/17
December: One Day - Normal - 12/12/17

17sturlington
Oct 19, 2016, 1:24pm Top

And we're open!

18luvamystery65
Oct 19, 2016, 6:13pm Top

I love this challenge. I'd not read much Stephen King until this year and I really am enjoying him. Plan to continue my King discovery next year.

19sturlington
Oct 19, 2016, 8:42pm Top

>18 luvamystery65: Thanks! I hope you continue to enjoy his work.

20rabbitprincess
Oct 19, 2016, 9:34pm Top

Excellent setup! I particularly like the "strange town" category and will be interested to see how that fills up.

Also, I love that extremely old-school computer in the thread topper!

21majkia
Oct 20, 2016, 1:01pm Top

Nice setup! Good luck with it!

22sturlington
Edited: Oct 20, 2016, 1:05pm Top

>20 rabbitprincess: I really enjoy confined, isolated settings, especially in horror: small towns, islands, houses, remote locations. I don't know how many books I read will fit there, but I hope at least a couple will.

That computer (word processor?) is great, isn't it? Don't know if it's from the '70s, but it's definitely nostalgic.

>21 majkia: Thanks!

23VivienneR
Oct 20, 2016, 3:01pm Top

Great theme! I'll enjoy following, I just started reading Stephen King recently.

24DeltaQueen50
Oct 20, 2016, 4:58pm Top

Excellent theme, I haven't read much of Stephen King in recent years, but loved all his earlier stuff, especially It. Looking forward to seeing how these categories will fit your reading next year.

25sturlington
Oct 21, 2016, 6:19am Top

>23 VivienneR: Thank you!

>24 DeltaQueen50: It is also one of my all-time favorites.

26dudes22
Oct 21, 2016, 7:32am Top

The Shining was the first Stephen King I ever read and I can remember having to actually close the book because I just couldn't go on I was so scsred. Of course I did. And The Stand was another of my favorites. Took me two tries. I haven't read him in a long time though.

27Roro8
Oct 22, 2016, 12:10am Top

I haven't read much Stephen King either. I liked Firestarter and the one with the possessed car (I can't remember what it was called). However I read them years ago. Reading is about personal enjoyment to me, and it looks like you have set yourself up for plenty of reading happiness in 2017.

28sturlington
Oct 22, 2016, 8:43am Top

>26 dudes22: Some of his more recent books have been very good.

>27 Roro8: The car one is Christine. I agree--reading is my escape. I'm looking forward to a fun year.

29LisaMorr
Oct 23, 2016, 10:56am Top

Love your Stephen King themed challenge! I am a long-time fan and have read most of the ones you've listed above except for The Long Walk and I can't quite remember if I've read The Night Shift. I haven't read a lot of SK lately, maybe one book a year, I think mainly because I've been trying to broaden my reading a bit. In any case, your thread has me thinking about reading more SK soon!

30sturlington
Oct 23, 2016, 1:08pm Top

>29 LisaMorr: I hope you do. The Long Walk is collected in The Bachman Books, but I'm not sure that's still in print.

31LittleTaiko
Oct 23, 2016, 8:51pm Top

Like how you set up your theme. Have to say the only book of his I read was 11/22/63 which I enjoyed quite a bit once a friend assured me it wasn't a horror book. :)

32Chrischi_HH
Oct 25, 2016, 3:28pm Top

I haven't read any of King's books yet, but your thread certainly makes me curious. Nice setup!

33VictoriaPL
Oct 27, 2016, 7:48am Top

Love your theme!

34LisaMorr
Oct 27, 2016, 10:07am Top

>30 sturlington: Oh - I have The Bachman Books, and I supposedly read that a long time ago and I also have a paperback of The Long Walk. So, sounds like a re-read is in order!

35sturlington
Oct 27, 2016, 2:32pm Top

If anyone wants some Stephen King recommendations, let me know. I've read pretty much all of his work.

36-Eva-
Nov 20, 2016, 11:58am Top

I read a lot of King when I was younger, but hadn't for a while until I (finally) read The Stand a couple of years ago and confirmed that I still enjoy his writing. That doesn't always happen when you try a writer after many years.

" just going to see how my normal reading falls into these categories"
Brilliant idea! Happy reading.

37lkernagh
Nov 27, 2016, 5:31pm Top

Ooohhh... A Stephen King tribute sounds like a good way to tackle your 2017 reading! I admit, I haven't read any Stephen King novels, although I do hope to change that in 2017 and read 11-22-63, the only Stephen King book I own. ;-)

Interesting to learn that he has always owned corgis. I have a neighbor with three corgis and it is always a treat to encounter him and the dogs out on a walk.... I find the corgis are very independent-minded dogs!

Love the graphics that go with the categories. The one for your "The Shining" category has a bit of a festive feel to it, which I am guessing that is not quite the focus of the story but very apt for your ghost story category. :-0

38sturlington
Nov 27, 2016, 6:05pm Top

>36 -Eva-: He is consistently entertaining.

>37 lkernagh: I encourage you to read 11/22/63. I would put it in the pageturner category.

That graphic does have a cozy wintery feel, if you ignore the glowing eyes or the specter looming over the roof. :-)

39hailelib
Dec 13, 2016, 10:26pm Top

I might try something by King this year. Maybe The Stand.

40sturlington
Dec 14, 2016, 6:27am Top

>39 hailelib: An all-time favorite of mine.

41tess_schoolmarm
Dec 18, 2016, 11:30am Top

Very creative!

42mamzel
Dec 19, 2016, 3:02pm Top

I like how you are reading from the ALA book list. We have teachers that use the list for the college-bound for recommendations (because they're too busy to read what we have for the students in the library already). I wish we had a pot of money we could actually buy more of them. I applaud your efforts to read more nonfiction. I had that goal in 2016 and found some wonderful reads. I will continue that goal, too, in 2017. Have a wonderful year playing with Stephen!

43The_Hibernator
Dec 22, 2016, 8:08am Top

Nice theme. I'm reading The Stand right now, but it's hard to get through because it's so long!

44sturlington
Dec 22, 2016, 8:52am Top

>41 tess_schoolmarm: Thanks!

>42 mamzel: The ALA recommendations have really helped me find some quality books I wouldn't have otherwise read. Hoping to read some good nonfiction in 2017.

>43 The_Hibernator: The key with The Stand is to do nothing but read it. It's my hibernation book. I remember the first time I read it, I was sick in bed with strep throat. Made it extra-scary for me.

45The_Hibernator
Jan 1, 2017, 8:43am Top

46sturlington
Edited: Jan 3, 2017, 9:49am Top

Happy new year!

Up in >9 sturlington: I put maps of the world and the US. This project is likely going to take more than 1 year, but I'm going to try to visit through book settings 30 world regions (including off-world) and 10 US regions, and keep track of the locations on the two maps. Ideally, I'd like to eventually go to every US state and possibly every country, although I may have to resurrect some past reads to accomplish that goal. I'll see where I am at the end of 2017 and plan accordingly. Although I usually track my reading by location every year, this is the first time I'm going to make a concerted effort to visit every area of the world.

ETA I decided to count books I read in December 2016 for this challenge, since that's when I came up with the idea.

47mstrust
Jan 3, 2017, 12:06pm Top

Happy New Year and good luck with your not-a-challenge this year! You've created something fun and unique, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you read.

48sturlington
Jan 3, 2017, 1:07pm Top

>47 mstrust: Thanks, and happy new year to you too!

49virginiahomeschooler
Jan 3, 2017, 1:08pm Top

What a great theme and cover photo! I always enjoy hearing what Molly, aka the thing of evil, is up too. :)

50sturlington
Edited: Jan 9, 2017, 1:00pm Top

TV and movies based on books: There are many promising film adaptations of my favorites coming out this year, including two long-awaited Stephen King adaptations!

Here is the trailer for the Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale. It looks really well-done, and I absolutely love Elizabeth Moss, who plays Offred. If you have not watched Top of the Lake, it is well worth your time.

51sturlington
Jan 18, 2017, 6:46pm Top

Anyone who is interested in my Strange Towns category, I made a list of books that I have read and am planning to read (thumbs down just indicate books not at the library): http://www.librarything.com/list/689/all/Strange-Towns

This might give a better sense of what this category means to me. It is a favorite of mine.

52RidgewayGirl
Jan 18, 2017, 8:07pm Top

That's an interesting category. I instantly thought about Welcome to Night Vale, so I'm glad it's on your list.

53sturlington
Jan 19, 2017, 1:11pm Top

More book-to-film news: As a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, it's good to see his books finally being filmed. Hulu is adapting American Gods, and it looks fantastic. Now I find out that Amazon is adapting Good Omens. As my high school friends would say, "SQUEE!"

54mamzel
Jan 19, 2017, 3:19pm Top

>53 sturlington: I'll join them and jump up and down with them too! SQUEEEE!

55sturlington
Feb 1, 2017, 4:11pm Top

January wrap-up:

Fiction completed:
1. Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood - 3.5★ - no cat
2 A Stranger in My Grave - Margaret Millar - 3★ - no cat
3. The Scapegoat - Daphne Du Maurier - 4★ - a page turner
4. The Elementals - Michael McDowell - 3.5★ - a ghost story
5. When We Were Animals - Joshua Gaylord - 4★ - a strange town

Nonfiction (mostly) completed:
1. A History of the World in Six Glasses - Tom Standage - 3★ (audio)
2. What We're Fighting for Now Is Each Other - Wen Stpehenson - 4★
3. 1001 Books for Every Mood - Hallie Ephron - 3★

Abandoned: White Fang by Jack London on audio

In progress: Beloved; Sisters of the Revolution; The Subversive Copy Editor; The Eyes of the Dragon (read aloud); The Count of Monte Cristo on audio - will probably take me a year to listen!

All books review on their work pages or here.

56VictoriaPL
Feb 1, 2017, 4:14pm Top

>55 sturlington: Oh! re: Count of Monte Cristo Unabridged, I assume. Who is the reader?

57sturlington
Edited: Feb 1, 2017, 4:19pm Top

>56 VictoriaPL: Bill Homewood -- It is 52 hours long!

58lkernagh
Feb 7, 2017, 6:23pm Top

>55 sturlington: - Ooooohhhhhh..... The Count of Monte Cristo is a favorite read for me. I will be sure to check back - and give you some time - to see what you think of it.

59sturlington
Feb 7, 2017, 6:24pm Top

>58 lkernagh: Enjoying it so far.

60madhatter22
Feb 8, 2017, 9:17pm Top

Your challenge title got me curious. Great set up! I'm also a big Stephen King fan.
I like the maps, too. I'm wondering now what mine would look like. Hm ... :)

61-Eva-
Feb 22, 2017, 10:22pm Top

The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorites as well - I'll definitely try the audio version when I do my reread.

62Bookmarque
Feb 23, 2017, 9:22am Top

I have The Count as an audio read by John Lee. Other than when he does Haydee's dialogue, I like him.

63sturlington
Mar 2, 2017, 2:14pm Top

February round-up -- An All Women Writers Month!

Fiction completed:
6. The Two Faces of January - Patricia Highsmith - 3★ - no cat
7. The Bird's Nest - Shirley Jackson - 4.5★ - no cat
8. Deep Water - Patricia Highsmith - 3.5★ - page turner
9. The Blackbirder - Dorothy B. Hughes - 3★ - women kicking ass

Nonfiction completed:
4. The Subversive Copy Editor - Carol Fisher Saller - 3★

Abandoned: The Uninvited by Cat Winters

In progress: Beloved -- this is beautifully written but going slow because the subject matter is so difficult to read about and I can only take it in small chunks; Sisters of the Revolution; The Eyes of the Dragon (read aloud); The Count of Monte Cristo on audio; Generation Loss

All books reviewed on their work pages or here.

64sturlington
Apr 1, 2017, 11:58am Top

March round-up --

Fiction completed:
10. Generation Loss - Elizabeth Hand - 3.5★ - women kicking ass
11. Crooked Heart - Lissa Evans - 3.5★ - no cat
12. A Stir of Echoes - Richard Matheson - 4★ - ghost stories
13. The Boy Who Drew Monsters - Keith Donohue - 3★ - ghost stories
14. Underground Airlines - Ben Winters - 5★ - page turners
15. Eileen - Ottessa Moshfegh - 3.5★ - no cat

No nonfiction.

Abandoned:
The Travelers by Chris Pavone -- this book struck a couple of pet peeves right off the bat (see my review on the work page)

Beloved -- Well, I just put this "on hold" for now because it was going so slow and I was finding the subject matter just really difficult; I've been experiencing a lot of anxiety lately, and I'm finding that it's better to avoid reading that feeds into that anxiety for now. However, Morrison is a gorgeous writer, this is a beautifully written book, and I'm sure it would be a five-star read if I could bear to finish it. It's not her, it's me.

In progress: Sisters of the Revolution -- I'm making slow progress on this, so I'm going to try to read one short story at lunch; The Eyes of the Dragon (almost done!); The Count of Monte Cristo (30 hours left to go!); Ill Will by Dan Chaon

All books reviewed on their work pages or here.

65mstrust
Apr 1, 2017, 1:57pm Top

It looks like you had a pretty good March. I have several "in progress" books going too, the ones that I'll read 10-20 pages in between other books that seem to go by much faster.
Good luck with your April reading plans!

66sturlington
Apr 1, 2017, 2:39pm Top

>65 mstrust: Thanks! Yes, it was a good month, both in terms of number of books read and quality.

67RidgewayGirl
Apr 1, 2017, 5:22pm Top

Concerning the Pavone book - I read The Expats a few years ago and found it to be a disappointment.

68sturlington
Edited: Apr 30, 2017, 10:41am Top

>67 RidgewayGirl: His style is not for me, that's for sure.

69sturlington
Edited: Apr 30, 2017, 10:49am Top

April Round-up

Fiction completed:
16. Ill Will by Dan Chaon - 5★ - page turner
17. The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King (read aloud)
18. Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix - 3★ - ghost stories
19. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles - 3.5★ - no cat
20. The Last One by Alexandra Oliva -3.5★ - apocalyptic
21. Suffer the Children by Craig diLouie - 3.5★ - apocalyptic
22. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen - 3.5★ - no cat
23. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt - 3★ - strange towns
24. Universal Harvester by John Darnielle - 4★ - strange towns
25. The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket (read aloud)
26. The Prestige by Christopher Priest - 3.5★ - ghost stories

Whew! A good reading month, for sure.

Recommended cookbooks tried: Learn to Cook 25 Southern Classics 3 Ways and The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook

In progress: Sisters of the Revolution -- I'm making slow progress on this, so I'm going to try to read one short story at lunch; The Count of Monte Cristo on audio

All books reviewed on their work pages or here.

70mstrust
Apr 30, 2017, 11:11am Top

Yes, that is a good month!
My go to for Southern cooking are the Southern Living annuals. I have several, but the 20th anniversary edition is the one I get the most from. If it's not there, I call Mom.

71sturlington
Apr 30, 2017, 11:51am Top

>70 mstrust: I love Southern food. This was a new cookbook for me, and what I like about it is that it gives some new twists on old classics. The oven-fried chicken was really good.

72sturlington
Jun 1, 2017, 2:41pm Top

May round-up:

27. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware - 2.5★ - page turner
28. Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand - 3.5★ - women who kick ass
29. The River at Night by Erica Ferencik - 3.5★ - women who kick ass
30. The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon - 2.5★ - ghost story
31. The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford - 3.5★ - strange towns
32. Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg - 3.5★ - dystopias
33. The Girls by Emma Cline - 3.5★ - no category
34. Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory - 3.5★ - dystopias
35. The Silent Land by Graham Joyce - 3.5★ - strange towns

No real stand-outs this month, but other than a couple of duds, not bad at all -- 3.5★ means I enjoyed the book for the most part, although it had a few flaws, and I would recommend it.

Reviews are on the work page or here.

73sturlington
Jul 1, 2017, 12:31pm Top

June round-up:

36. I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid - 3.5★ - no category
37. Marlena by Julie Buntin - 4★ - women who kick ass
38. Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar - 4★- short stories
39. The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge - 4★ - no category
40. Little Heaven by Nick Cutter - 3.5★ - strange towns
41. Security: A Novel by Gina Wohlsdorf - 3.5★ - women who kick ass
42. Claire deWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran - 3.5★ - women who kick ass

A pretty good reading month. Everything I read this month I liked and would recommend.

Reviews are on the work page or here.

74sturlington
Aug 5, 2017, 8:47am Top

July round-up:

43. The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James - 3.5★ - ghost stories
44. The Widow's House by Carol Godman - 3.5★ - ghost stories
45. Bleed by Ed Kurtz - 2.5★ - no category
46. The Postman Always Rings Twice by James Cain - 4★ - no category
47. Thus Was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell - 3.5★ - no category
48. Coraline: The Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman - 3.5★ - no category
49. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles - 2.5★ - no category
50. Borne by Jeff Vandermeer - 4.5★ - dystopias

Reviews are on the work page or here.

75sturlington
Aug 5, 2017, 8:47am Top

The Dark Tower movie was so disappointing. I am bereft.

76mstrust
Aug 5, 2017, 11:10am Top

So you're a Nocturnal subscriber too? July was my first box, so I read Bleed too.
Sorry you didn't like the movie. :c

77sturlington
Edited: Aug 5, 2017, 11:37am Top

>76 mstrust: Yes, I've subscribed since April. The first three boxes were terrific. I got a signed copy of Borne in one. The July box didn't quite live up to the first three, but so far I have really enjoyed the selections.

ETA In case you're interested, here's a list of all the books I've received so far: https://www.librarything.com/list/11091/all/Nocturnal-Reading

I've marked off the ones I've read.

I really had high hopes for the movie. I think they wimped out. They had such a strong cast; it could have been so much better if they adhered more closely to at least the characterizations as they were developed in the book.

78rabbitprincess
Aug 5, 2017, 3:55pm Top

I also heard that the movie was 90 minutes and a PG rating, which can't have helped it tell the story properly. Idris Elba deserves a miniseries :(

79ErinPaperbackstash
Aug 6, 2017, 5:08am Top

Love your theme!!

I'm not excited on the Dark Tower movie either - they changed it from a quest to a classic battle, removed major characters and purpose, and... it's more like "inspired by" than "based on"

80sturlington
Aug 6, 2017, 8:53am Top

>78 rabbitprincess: You have hit the nail on the head. They softened Roland! They focused exclusively on Jake and didn't develop Roland's character at all. I was expecting a movie for adults but I think they want to make a franchise for tweens.

>79 ErinPaperbackstash: I didn't mind some of the plot changes, but there were certain elements of the story they should not have messed with.

81LibraryCin
Aug 6, 2017, 3:08pm Top

I'm kicking my self for not following along with more people's threads from earlier in the year. It's easier when I make a comment early on and can follow as things happen. Otherwise, when I (so very rarely!) check in otherwise, it's too many to look closely at. So... over half-way through the year, I'm trying to make a comment to keep up to date!

I love the "Stephen King" theme, by the way! Just fitting books in where they go is what I do, as well, though over the years, I've figured out the best categories to use to do that, so most of my books do fit somewhere!

82mstrust
Aug 6, 2017, 6:45pm Top

>77 sturlington: I so wanted the June Stephen King box but it sold out before I could subscribe. I'm eager to see what they'll do for October, as they're doing away with the themes.

83LisaMorr
Aug 28, 2017, 12:31pm Top

I was hoping that the movie would be great too - although I didn't think how they could do justice to it with one movie for seven books - so I was worried. I haven't even seen it yet, not sure I will.

84sturlington
Aug 28, 2017, 1:22pm Top

>83 LisaMorr: So what I am hearing from my friends who have seen it is that it's a better movie if you're *not* a fan of the books. I think they tried to aim at a young audience and so they softened it up way too much.

85LisaMorr
Aug 28, 2017, 2:23pm Top

>84 sturlington: Then I think I'll just continue to enjoy my re-read/completion of the series this year!

86sturlington
Aug 28, 2017, 4:22pm Top

>85 LisaMorr: Sounds like a plan!

87sturlington
Sep 9, 2017, 11:38am Top

August round-up:

51. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - 5★ - dystopia (sort of)
52. The Grip of It by Jac Jemic - 3★ - ghost stories
53. The Fisherman by John Langan - 4★ - ghost stories

Jeez, August was not a great reading month, in terms of number of books read. September isn't shaping up to be much better. We're well into the month, and I'm still trying to finish up The Orphan Master's Son, which I started in August. I'm determined to do that this weekend.

Life intrudes, I guess.

88sturlington
Oct 6, 2017, 3:56pm Top

September round-up (another slow reading month):

54. The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson - 5★ - dystopia (sort of)
55. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue - 4★ - no category
56. Pork Pie Hat by Peter Straub - 3.5★ - short story

89sturlington
Nov 3, 2017, 3:08pm Top

October round-up:

57. The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle - 4★ - no category
58. Perfume by Patrick Suskind - 3★ - no category
59. Come to Dust by Bracken MacLeod - 2.5★ - apocalyptic (sort of)
60. Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones - 4★ - ghost story

90mamzel
Nov 16, 2017, 4:59pm Top

I'm returning to LT and picking up with you in July. >88 sturlington: I read TOMS a couple of years ago and it's still with me. I can't believe the year is almost over!

91sturlington
Nov 16, 2017, 5:13pm Top

>90 mamzel: Me either!

92sturlington
Dec 3, 2017, 2:51pm Top

November round-up:

61. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - 4★ (reread)
62. The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two - 4★ - short stories
63. Queenpin by Megan Abbott - 3.5★ - women who kick ass
64. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena - 2.5★ - page turners
65. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott - 3.5★ - women who kick ass
66. Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia - 2.5★ - page turners

Nonfiction:
5. Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams - 5★

93christina_reads
Dec 4, 2017, 2:37pm Top

>92 sturlington: I'm reading (off and on) a different edition of Style called Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. One of the most useful books I've ever read in terms of describing what makes good writing good!

94sturlington
Dec 4, 2017, 3:06pm Top

>93 christina_reads: I used it for an editing class, but it was really a game changer for me. It gave me an entirely different way to think about writing.

95sturlington
Dec 23, 2017, 10:04am Top

I don't think my top five books will be surpassed by any of my year-end reading, so here is my list for this year:

1. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
2. Ill Will by Dan Chaon
3. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
4. Underground Airlines by Ben Winters
5. The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

Honorable mentions: The Bird's Nest by Shirley Jackson; Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace

Dishonorable mentions: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware; Bleed by Ed Kurtz; The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles; Come to Dust by Bracken MacLeod; The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena; Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

96lkernagh
Dec 23, 2017, 7:57pm Top

Hi Shannon, stopping by to wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and happiness this holiday season and for 2018!

97sturlington
Edited: Dec 23, 2017, 9:37pm Top

>96 lkernagh: Same to you and yours, Lori!

98VivienneR
Dec 25, 2017, 10:44am Top

99sturlington
Dec 28, 2017, 12:46pm Top

December wrap-up:

67. News of the World by Paulette Jiles - 4★
68. The Cove by Ron Rash - 3.5★
69. Normal by Warren Ellis - 3★ - dystopia
70. Sanctum by Denise Mina - 3.5★ - page-turners
71. Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume One - 3.5★ - short stories

Nonfiction:
6. Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix - 4★

100sturlington
Dec 28, 2017, 12:49pm Top

Yearly statistics:

Total books read: 77
Fiction: 71
Nonfiction: 6

Best categories: Women who kick ass (10) and Ghost stories (11)

Completed: HorrorKIT; AlphaKIT; RandomCAT (all but one month)

BingoDOG: all but four squares

101LibraryCin
Dec 29, 2017, 1:18am Top

>100 sturlington: Congrats to you!

102christina_reads
Jan 1, 5:26pm Top

>95 sturlington: Haha, I love your inclusion of the "dishonorable mentions"!

Group: 2017 Category Challenge

131 members

24,176 messages

About

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

Touchstones

Works

Authors

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,985,163 books! | Top bar: Always visible