VictoriaPL's 2017 reading, part one

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VictoriaPL's 2017 reading, part one

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Edited: Jan 5, 2017, 7:34am

Hi there!
My name is Victoria and this is my thread for the 2017 Category Challenge!
I grew up on the Spacecoast of Florida and am currently living in Upstate South Carolina. I'm married with no kids, though I am owned by one calico cat named Mallory.

This year won't be far different from the other 8 years I've done the Category Challenge. In 2017 I will celebrate 10 years on LT, so I have 10 categories. I anticipate changing jobs soon and sometimes Real Life derails my reading time, so I'm not making a numbers goal for 2017.

Thanks for stopping by!

Edited: Feb 17, 2017, 3:24pm

1. FIDELITY (Favorite Authors)

Redemption Road by John Hart 2.17.2017 *audiobook*

Edited: Jan 3, 2017, 8:05am

2 ANTIQUITY (Books dying a quiet death on my TBR shelf)

Edited: Feb 13, 2017, 7:14am

Edited: Feb 18, 2017, 9:22pm

4 AVAILABILITY (Shiny books caught on the fly)

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon 2.17.2017

Edited: Feb 6, 2017, 7:15am

5 CURIOSITY (Space Program History and Sci-Fi)

1. Too Far From Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space by Chris Jones 2.5.2017

Edited: Feb 8, 2017, 2:28pm

6 CAUSALITY (Self Improvement)

1. Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte 1.18.2017
2. Fox and Geese: A Great-Grandmother's Tale by Sarah Robinson Lowery 2.8.2017

Edited: Jan 24, 2017, 4:27pm

7 IMMATURITY (Young Adult)

1. The New World: Prequel to the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness 1.24.2017

Edited: Jan 5, 2017, 7:17am

8 NUMERALITY (Just Dewey It)







Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season by Nick Heil 1.4.2017



Edited: Feb 16, 2017, 7:40am

9 COMMUNITY (Group/Tandem reads)

1. Ross Poldark by Winston Graham 1.25.2017

American Rust by Philipp Meyer April?

Edited: Feb 21, 2017, 12:02pm

10 MOBILITY (Interlibrary Loan tracking)

Jamaica Inn

Jan 3, 2017, 10:13am

Good luck, you're categories are great, as is the balancing frog!

Jan 3, 2017, 10:25am

I can definitely relate to your Antiquity category. I always aim to reduce the number of them each year, but somehow it seems to always grow instead. :(

Jan 3, 2017, 10:55am

The frog is gorgeous!

Edited: Jan 3, 2017, 11:59am

>13 clue:, >15 MissWatson: I just love that frog! I had to put him where I could see him often.

>14 virginiahomeschooler: I know, right? Good luck to you with your TBR.

Edited: Jan 5, 2017, 8:51am

The 2016 Book Meme (based on books I read in 2016)

Describe yourself: The Reader

Describe how you feel: Frozen Solid: A Novel

Describe where you currently live: In the Garden of Beasts

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?: The Paris Architect

Your favorite form of transportation: As the Crow Flies

Your best friend is: The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom

You and your friends are: Hidden Figures

What’s the weather like?: Prisoner of Night and Fog

You fear: The Time it Takes to Fall

What is the best advice you have to give?: Revolution

Thought for the day: Tough Without A Gun

How I would like to die: What’s It Like in Space?

My soul’s present condition: Angel Time: Songs of the Seraphim, book one

Jan 3, 2017, 2:14pm

Well it's about time! Glad you decided to spend 2017 with us.

Jan 3, 2017, 2:16pm

>18 RidgewayGirl: Of course I am!

Jan 3, 2017, 3:11pm

I didn't realize that you grew up on the Spacecoast. On satellite radio, the well travelled 60s DJ mentioned recently that the area code for the Spacecoast is easy to remember: 3...2...1.

At some point, after I finish my sports book run, I'll check out the space book I got for Santa Thing and let you know. I would like to read more space and aviation this year. Still haven't read The Wright Brothers yet for instance.

Edited: Jan 3, 2017, 3:39pm

>20 lindapanzo: That's true! Yes, very easy to remember, LOL
I was actually born in Orlando but my parents hated the traffic, so we moved to the coast.
I think I inherited their vehicular disdain because I tend to lose my temper in heavy traffic.

Jan 3, 2017, 6:17pm

I agree wholeheartedly with your meme answer for the weather. It's been a sloppy snow/rain/freezing rain mix here all day and I decided not to go out to the library after all.

Have a great reading year!

Jan 3, 2017, 9:31pm

Followed you over here. Great categories and great meme answers. I'll be looking for you on one of those crows that fly by!

Jan 3, 2017, 10:29pm

>22 rabbitprincess: I need some sunshine but they are forecasting snow

>23 thornton37814: Welcome Lori! Ha! It’ll be a big crow, should be easy to spot!

Jan 4, 2017, 10:23am

I think of my TBRs as on life support rather than dying. If they're still on my shelf there's still a chance I'll read them. I like that you are using the DDS to organize your nonfiction reads. That should keep it varied as well as organized. Have a wonderful year!

Jan 4, 2017, 10:29am

>25 mamzel: that's true! Thanks, I think the Dewey category is the one I'm most excited about this year.

Jan 4, 2017, 10:59am

Just wanted to let you know that I set up the Poldark group read thread! Meant to do it last night, but it totally slipped my mind. *blush*

Jan 4, 2017, 11:04am

>27 christina_reads: awesome! Thanks so much!

Jan 4, 2017, 11:21am

Hi Victoria, saying hi, and nice categories:)

Jan 4, 2017, 11:22am

>29 EllaTim: Hi, thanks for stopping by! Thanks.

Jan 4, 2017, 5:16pm

Happy New Year! Looks like it's going to be another fun reading year. :)

Edited: Jan 4, 2017, 5:49pm

>31 andreablythe: definitely! Thanks for dropping by!
Happy New Year!

Edited: Jan 5, 2017, 7:32am

1. Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season by Nick Heil 1.4.2017

"But what tended to prompt the most intense discussion, beyond the course of action, beyond even the lurid spectacle of men and women suffering slow deaths at high altitude, was the suggestion that the modern circus on Everest had exposed something essential about who we are as human beings - an insight that reverberated among climbers and non-climbers alike. More specifically, the cavalcade of deaths during 2006 raised the highly uncomfortable possibility that, in fact, we are not all in this together - that we are simply the latest edition of a complex species tenuously drawn together into social systems that mask our genetic predilection towards selfishness and competition. The argument, followed to its logical conclusion, had less and less to do with climbing mountains and more to do with the foundations of human sociology, and it challenged some of our most cherished assumptions about the roots of compassion and altruism."

I am an armchair climber. I love mountaineering books. There seem to be so many of them now, as everyone wants to tell their side of what happened on Everest in the deadly 1996 and 2006 seasons. And this book doesn't shy away from the hard questions. Why do people climb Everest and other mountains at such great cost - not only monetarily but also in lives? Why do people fail to help their fellow man when mortal peril is so obvious?

I enjoyed it and if you're in to Everest literature, or curious about it, I would recommend it.

Jan 5, 2017, 2:25pm

Glad to see you are finally here, Victoria. Great category names and I,too, love the frog on the bicycle. :)

Jan 5, 2017, 8:02pm

>33 VictoriaPL: Congrats on your first completion of the year.

Jan 5, 2017, 8:20pm

>35 thornton37814: Thanks Lori!

Jan 6, 2017, 1:56pm

Currently Reading:
Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Waiting At Home:
Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

Just Picked Up from the Library:
Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte

We're expecting a snow storm to roll in late this afternoon and here in Upstate SC we completely shut down the moment a snowflake falls. I'm so excited about the excuse to burrow in with my books, LOL.

Jan 6, 2017, 2:00pm

Are you ready for the Snowpocalypse? Max brought his phone to school today since he wanted to be able to reach me if they had to close school early. There was quite a bit of hope in his voice. And Publix was a madhouse, but everyone was united in their determination to survive this with humor intact (in the parking lot, however, it was every man for himself).

Jan 6, 2017, 2:05pm

>38 RidgewayGirl: LOL. Aw, poor Max. We did Publix last night. Some lady was throwing frozen pizzas into her cart with abandon. I hope she doesn't lose power... what will she eat?

Jan 6, 2017, 3:28pm

Jim did errands this morning but we only had two items for the grocery list! We'll probably be struck until at least Monday if there really is the amount forecast for the Clemson area.

Edited: Jan 6, 2017, 3:49pm

>40 hailelib: You will probably have it worse than me. I'm at the very southern tip of Greenville County. Good luck! All my friends are posting about the snow on FaceBook and my husband, at home, is like nah, just rain, LOL

Edited: Jan 6, 2017, 4:34pm

In live in the South Central US and we got that storm last night. We only got about 2 inches of snow and it has cleared on the roads this afternoon. They did shut down the schools but it will be just the one day. The bad thing is the temperature. Our high for the day so far is 22 but with the wind chill it has been 10. I meet friends tomorrow morning at 8:30 for breakfast...only books or food would get me out in this. I am a truly spoiled Southerner when it comes to cold weather!

Jan 6, 2017, 5:31pm

>42 clue: bundle up and enjoy!

Jan 6, 2017, 5:51pm

It was sleeting when I set off to pick up the kids from school, but by the time I'd collected them, it was just rain.

Jan 6, 2017, 6:52pm

I saw a funny list of things to help you survive Snowpocalypse in a local paper. Some were:
1. Stock up on milk and bread. Obviously.
2. While you're at the market, might as well pick up other food that you might need to eat an actual meal instead of subsisting off bread and milk like a Dickensian street urchin.
3. Hold up the entire line like there's no one else waiting while you look for that expired coupon for milk and/or bread.
4. Act like it has never snowed before. Ever
5. Gather the supplies you'll need if there's an extended power outage: candles, flashlights, warm blankets, booze, satellite phone, animal pelts, whale blubber, a trashcan to throw through the front window of whatever store you're planning to loot.

There were a few more, but you get the idea.

We had a couple of inches last night and they're predicting anywhere from 5-15 inches where I am tomorrow depending on "how the storm tracks". I've got books and tea - that's good enough for me.

Jan 6, 2017, 8:02pm

>45 dudes22: LOL Whale blubber....

Jan 7, 2017, 6:22am

I just heard on the news that Greenville County might get 5 inches of snow. Stay home if you can.

Jan 7, 2017, 9:56am

>47 dudes22: We got about a quarter-inch. It didn't even start snowing here until after 4am

Jan 7, 2017, 10:08am

>37 VictoriaPL: I have the first 3 Poldark books and am anxious to being them!

Jan 7, 2017, 1:32pm

Are you enjoying your snow day? Ivy hates the snow. I've made pizza dough for tonight's dinner and granola's in the oven now.

Jan 7, 2017, 5:48pm

We got 4 inches here.

Edited: Jan 7, 2017, 7:08pm

>49 Tess_W: I can't wait to discuss Poldark with you!

>50 RidgewayGirl: We also had Pizza for dinner. Saw the Hidden Figures movie this afternoon. Very good!

>51 thornton37814: Be careful if you have to go out!

Jan 8, 2017, 11:40am

The South has more snow on the ground than we do here in Chicagoland (which is zero). However, it hasn't gotten above 20 degrees in 4 days here. Warmer, wetter spell ahead though.

Be careful if you're going out.

Jan 8, 2017, 12:41pm

>53 lindapanzo: Wow! I think our high today is 32 and the low for tonight is 15. I think I'm in full hibernation mode!

Jan 8, 2017, 2:04pm

Whereas here, it's 15 and sunny with no wind and we think it feels balmy. With no snow on the ground, though, the lows haven't gone below zero. A TV meteorologist friend was telling me it's hard to have sub-zero lows when the ground is bare. I believe it.

Jan 8, 2017, 4:31pm

So the school called to let me know that Greenville County Schools are closed tomorrow. Max did a dance and Dirk became cranky, because work isn't canceled. And Charlotte had a list of things she wanted to do, all of which required me to drive her places.

Is work canceled for you? The roads at least are clear of ice and snow, so hopefully the drive in will be uneventful. Drive carefully anyway.

Edited: Jan 8, 2017, 7:03pm

>56 RidgewayGirl: No such luck, Kay. They don't cancel work for us since we have the capability to work from home.

Be careful driving!

Jan 9, 2017, 2:45pm

Hi Victoria, sorry you didn't get a day off of work. I often snicker at how panicky people here in Georgia get over snow, but when it ices I'm all about staying off the road. (I grew up in the midwest.) Thanks for stopping by my thread.

Jan 9, 2017, 2:49pm

>58 markon: Hi there! Thanks for making it over to my thread!

Jan 9, 2017, 10:45pm

>45 dudes22: 4. Act like it has never snowed before. Ever

It's amazing how many people do this! Like drivers who have evidently forgotten what it is like in winter.

Jan 10, 2017, 7:46am

2. Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin 1.9.2017

partial description from Amazon:
Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: The world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated

There was only one thing about this book that I didn't like - and I can't tell you because it's a plot point. Except for that, I absolutely loved it. Ate it up. Like, squirreled myself away with a warm blanket and the book, because I wanted to be with it and only it. Yes, it has Hitler, strange Nazi medical experiments, angsty young love and the world is at stake! How did I not know this book existed?!? More! More!

Jan 10, 2017, 1:05pm

>61 VictoriaPL: Well, now I feel like I need to read this one, even though it barely registered on my radar before!

Edited: Jan 10, 2017, 1:20pm

>62 christina_reads: I should have warned: this is book 2. I didn't read book 1 but I'm considering it....

Jan 10, 2017, 3:26pm

>63 VictoriaPL: Ah OK, that helps! I'm off the hook for now. :)

Jan 12, 2017, 11:25am

Dropping off a star for you! And I might join in on the Poldark group read, I've got the first 3 books, and I've been meaning to start them for a long time.

Hope you're surviving the winter weather so far! Here in WI we got rain and then freezing rain and now light snow, so roads and sidewalks are icy but you can't see it. Glad to be home today for sure.

Edited: Jan 12, 2017, 11:36am

Just stopping by to say hello. Thanks for dropping by my thread. I like your challenge format!

Believe it or not, here in the western mountains of PA, it is 62 degrees at the moment. (!?) But a cold front is going to come through today so tonight's anticipated low of 32 degrees is only 2 degrees lower than tomorrow's forecast high of 34.

Weird weather. I think I'll go clean up the yard before the snow flies again.

Jan 12, 2017, 11:39am

>65 LauraBrook: Yay for more Poldark readers!

>66 tymfos: Hi there! We're supposed to be in the low 70s tomorrow. Talk about weird weather!!

Jan 12, 2017, 2:39pm

What a great to start to the year with those two reads! And 2 BBs for me (I guess 3, because I think I'd like to read the first one, Wolf by Wolf, as well).

Jan 12, 2017, 3:22pm

>68 LisaMorr: Hi Lisa! Oh yay! Let me know when you finally get around to Wolf by Wolf, I might read it with you.

Jan 13, 2017, 7:22am

My first Inter-Libarary Loan book has arrived!
Literary Lost: viewing television through the lens of literature by Sarah Clarke Stuart.
This one came from all the way across town - Furman University Library. Go Paladins!
Lost was my show. I still mourn it's ending. I loved seeing all the books referenced in it through the seasons. What is Sawyer reading now? or Is that a book in Jacob's hand?
I can't wait to delve into this one and revisit the Island again!

Jan 15, 2017, 2:14pm

Love your categories and your meme answers!

Jan 16, 2017, 7:11am

>71 lkernagh: Thanks Lori! Glad you stopped by.

Edited: Jan 18, 2017, 2:24pm

3. Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte 1.18.2017

I grew up watching eco-conscious shows like 3-2-1 Contact and I've always had the recycling bug. When our city recycling program stopped taking glass last year, it was like a knife in the liver. It almost kills me to put glass in the garbage bin. I've always bought grocery items in glass jars specifically because they were not plastic and wouldn't end up in the ocean, killing off sea birds and marine life. I'm the type of person who gives my house guests a tour of where the recycling bins are and am not above helicoptering over my mother to make sure she's playing by the house rules. So when Garbage Land popped up in my Recommendations, I knew it would find its way on to my library hold list.

Royte is one committed lady. She logged and documented her trash, recycling and composting for nearly a year. She visited landfills, recycling plants, composting plants, sewage treatment plants and sanitation garages as well as participated in eco fairs and industry conventions. She learned a lot about where our wastes go and it's impressive, informative and surprising.

Do you recycle? Why do you recycle? Does it make you feel better about the consumer culture we live in? Do you know where your recycled items actually, finally end up? It might not be where you think. It might not even be as beneficial as you imagined. And in the grand scheme of it all, it might not make that much of an impact.

Most of all, Ryote gave me more food for thought - bigger fish to fry, so to speak. And I feel better about the glass going into my garbage bin - mostly.

Jan 18, 2017, 2:37pm

I have too many things out from the library! Is this a real thing - book stress?!? LOL.

Jan 18, 2017, 2:49pm

>74 VictoriaPL: Join the club. ;-)

Edited: Jan 18, 2017, 3:11pm

>74 VictoriaPL: Totally a real thing! Also real is the panic when you have too few things out.

Jan 18, 2017, 3:55pm

>76 casvelyn: Oh no, that would be worse, LOL!

Jan 18, 2017, 5:20pm

Did you catch it from me, at the beginning of the month? It's out of control over here.

Jan 18, 2017, 5:34pm

>78 RidgewayGirl: that had to be it, Kay. I knew it was your fault! LOL

Jan 19, 2017, 5:14am

I've been using the library a lot this month too! Must be a bug - like the flu - that's going around.

>73 VictoriaPL: - I'm going to take a BB on this. I'm a big recycler too, constantly on my husband for putting things in that aren't supposed to be. We have (I think) a pretty good recycle program in our state. They have a great website with an alphabetized list of things so you can look up whether or not something can go into recycle and there's a weekly column in the paper that answers questions. When we move in the spring we won't be able to compost and I'm already having fits about having to put kitchen scraps in the trash. I'm trying to think of a way I could take it to my brother's farm every couple of days either to feed the animals or go into his compost pile. Did the city say why they don't take glass anymore?

Jan 19, 2017, 7:29am

>80 dudes22:. I hope you enjoy it!
Yes, the city said they couldn't find a buyer for the glass anymore. It boils down to money, like so many things do. In the book Royte actually remarks that many places (even 10 years ago) had stopped taking glass. I've always thought of recycling as a stewardship issue, an altruistic venture, not something done for money. But I'm not the one collecting a city's worth and having to find a place for it either, so I can see their point, even if it irks me.

Jan 19, 2017, 8:39am

>73 VictoriaPL:,>80 dudes22: In our city we used to recycle glass but stopped. We were told that was because no one wants to buy it. Glass is inexpensive to make and resources are plentiful so it is more expensive to process recycled glass.

Jan 19, 2017, 9:08am

Someone needs to come up with desirable products made from crushed glass.

Jan 19, 2017, 9:39am

Yes, I looked at some kitchen counter tops recently that were made from recycled glass and something else, forgot what. They were beautiful.

Jan 19, 2017, 10:01am

>84 clue: They are beautiful! We thought about buying a recycled glass counter on our recent kitchen remodel but went with a different material instead.

Jan 19, 2017, 1:59pm

I'll take a BB for Garbage Land as well; thanks for your review.

Jan 19, 2017, 2:36pm

>86 LisaMorr: Hi Lisa! Thanks for dropping by!

Jan 19, 2017, 5:13pm

>87 VictoriaPL: Embarrassed to say that I'm still making my way around this year's threads... And knowing that many book bullets are coming my way...!

Jan 20, 2017, 6:15pm

>88 LisaMorr: Book bullets! Thanks, Lisa. I had no idea what that stood for. :)

Good to know since this thread is full of them so far. The only Everest book I've read is Into Thin Air, but I was completely fascinated by it, so Dark Summit sounds like something I'd really like. Garbage Land is also going on The List. Blood for Blood probably wouldn't grab me if I'd read the dust jacket, but that was such a strong recommendation that I'm intrigued. There's not much better than a book you have to force yourself to put down and can't wait to get back to.

Jan 20, 2017, 9:49pm

> 89 Hi Shauna, thanks for visiting! You'll find SO many book bullets in this group, and on LT in general. It's our passion to share our reading.

Edited: Jan 20, 2017, 10:05pm

OMG. The Poldark drama.
So, there was a long queue for our library's copy of Ross Poldark. I thought I was being smart when I realized the Large Print copy was available. I noticed that even though it was broken up as two volumes, it was one "entry" in the library record. That should have been my cue to run.
The catalog would only allow me to check out volume one, which I did. When it arrived at my branch, I asked the librarian about it and she said she was able to put in a request for volume two for me. I took volume one home. A week went by and I never got a message that volume two was ready at my branch, so I emailed the library and asked about it. They emailed back that it was at my branch ready for pickup. So even though the status on the website did not reflect that, I dropped by my branch. It wasn't there. Wasn't. There.
I patiently explained it all for the librarian manning the desk and showed her the email. She looked in the system and said volume two had NEVER been pulled from the shelves at Main. Arrrrgggghhhhh.
WHERE is Ross Poldark?!? LOL

Jan 20, 2017, 10:06pm

I feel like after all that inconvenience, the library really should arrange to have Aidan Turner drop it off at your house personally.

Edited: Jan 20, 2017, 10:11pm

>92 RidgewayGirl: Do you think they could?!?! I think I'll write them back right now and suggest it! LOL

Jan 21, 2017, 4:51pm

>91 VictoriaPL: That's frustrating. I do large print frequently for mysteries at our library. They purchase a lot of mysteries in that format, so it's sometimes easier to find them on the shelf than the regular print ones.

Edited: Jan 24, 2017, 9:27am

I am DNF'ing Literary Lost : viewing television through the lens of literature by Sarah Clarke Stuart. I wanted more of a conversational tone, like attending a panel at a con or something. This was more on the lines of a dissertation and trying to read it just sucked the life out of me.

Jan 24, 2017, 9:43am

>95 VictoriaPL: - I had a book last year or the year before (?) that made me feel like I was sitting in a lecture hall. I'm pretty sure I did a DNF on that one too. Too many books that you want to read to spend time on something you don't.

Jan 24, 2017, 9:57am

>96 dudes22: Exactly, Betty!
I was forcing myself to go through and it and thought "why am I doing this? Move on!" LOL.

Jan 24, 2017, 11:10am

>93 VictoriaPL: It really is the least they could do. Tell me if it works. I might read the Poldark series, then.

And how is reading a large print book? The library has two copies of To the Bright Edge of the World and none in the regular variety. I tried a few pages and then realized they also had one of the ebook variety and went with that instead. I suppose I shouldn't complain, since I'll be needing the large print soon enough.

Jan 24, 2017, 11:51am

>98 RidgewayGirl: Ha! I picked up volume two yesterday. No Aidan in sight.
The large print is very, very large. I've had my vision corrected for distance, so sometimes it's difficult for me to read smaller print close up. I don't mind the large print as I don't have to wear readers with it.

Edited: Jan 25, 2017, 7:35am

4. The New World: Prequel to the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

I became a Ness fan girl when I read the Chaos Walking trilogy. What a talent that man has. I was very excited to download The New World, a short story prequel, for free off of Amazon. (I think it still is $0). I have to admit, I was underwhelmed by the telling of how Viola came to be on The New World. That said, I should really reread the first book to see if the two fit together better in my mind.

Edited: Jan 31, 2017, 7:50am

5. The Circle by Dave Eggers 1.24.2017 *audiobook*

Amazon description:
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

About a month or so ago, I saw a trailer for an Emma Watson film called The Circle and it caught my eye. I immediately did a search to see if it was a book. Ta-da! And the library had a copy, so win-win. I actually chose the audio-book format, thinking that it would probably translate well and it does. In fact, while I was listening to certain parts I found myself thinking, I wonder what this looks like in print?

This book scared me. I believe the implementation of technology in this story can come to be reality. Completely. I see it as a modern cautionary tale. I was reluctant to log onto FaceBook for days because I kept thinking of The Circle. You know those books that you forget about soon after finishing them? That won't be the case with this one.

Jan 24, 2017, 6:53pm

>93 VictoriaPL: If he did, I would arrange to visit you when he arrived ;)

Jan 24, 2017, 7:08pm

>95 VictoriaPL: The rest of us will avoid that one!

Jan 24, 2017, 7:29pm

>102 rabbitprincess: How many people can Victoria fit into her house, do you think?

Edited: Jan 24, 2017, 8:06pm

>103 thornton37814: Yes, I think that's for the best, Lori
>104 RidgewayGirl: LOL. I'm sure if Aidan showed up, we'd find out!

Jan 25, 2017, 7:46am

I hope to be picking some of these up from the library today. I guess you could call these In the Pipeline:

Redemption Road by John Hart (audiobook for the car)
Too Far from Home: a story of life and death in space by Chris Jones
The Boy who Loved Anne Frank by Ellen Feldman
The Mascot: unraveling the mystery of my Jewish father's Nazi boyhood by Mark Kurzem.

Jan 25, 2017, 7:50am

I'm very eager to find out what you think about The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank. I really like Ellen Feldman's novels, but haven't read that one.

Jan 25, 2017, 8:39am

>107 RidgewayGirl: I have not read her before. Looking forward to it!

Jan 25, 2017, 9:30am

>100 VictoriaPL: I was underwhelmed by this one as well. Boring prequel to an exciting trilogy.
>101 VictoriaPL: I just took a BB for The Circle.

Jan 25, 2017, 9:51am

>109 VioletBramble: Oh good, it wasn't just me! I love that trilogy.
I hope you enjoy The Circle.

Jan 25, 2017, 10:50am

>101 VictoriaPL: I think back on this book every time I am asked to rate something and when I see how many thousands of 5-star ratings a book got on GoodReads.

Jan 25, 2017, 11:09am

>111 mamzel: It doesn't quite have that 5-star rating here, Mamzel. But it certainly left an impact on me!

Jan 25, 2017, 1:04pm

>106 VictoriaPL: I'll be interested in your thoughts on the Ellen Feldman book as I have a couple of hers on my shelves and about three more on my wishlist, including The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank.

I also loved the Chaos Walking trilogy, but I think I will skip this prequel.

Jan 25, 2017, 1:39pm

>113 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy. Good to see you here. I'll be sure to post my thoughts on the Feldman.
I love all this love for the Ness trilogy!!

Jan 25, 2017, 2:28pm

Looks like you have a Holocaust/WWII theme going on with your reading. I'm almost afraid to stop by. I might take a book bullet, and I really don't need any more.

Jan 25, 2017, 2:41pm

>115 thornton37814: I usually do have at least one WWII book going. I have a whole category for it.
My husband asked me the other day what the attraction was and I couldn't really express it to him the way I wanted to. It was an extraordinary time and so many people were affected. All those stories really say so much about the human condition, good and evil, etc. I just can't stop reading them. And new books keep coming out!

Jan 25, 2017, 2:44pm

>116 VictoriaPL: It was the "greatest generation."

Jan 26, 2017, 6:03am

The only Patrick Ness I've read so far is The Crane Wife which I really enjoyed. I intended to read more by him and all this talk about the Chaos Walking trilogy has me thinking I'll give that a try when I get back to him.

Edited: Jan 26, 2017, 7:17am

>118 dudes22: it’s so good Betty, but be prepared to want to read all three books in a row, immediately!

Jan 26, 2017, 8:12am

6. Ross Poldark by Winston Graham 1.25.2017

Amazon description:
In the first novel in Winston Graham's hit series, a weary Ross Poldark returns to England from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth-believing Ross to be dead-is now engaged to his cousin. Ross has no choice but to start his life anew.

My dear friend Kay introduced me to the latest TV adaptation of the Poldark books. Leave it to the BBC to make such gorgeous eye candy! I was late to the series and I did not see some of the early episodes (my first was Ross-and-Demelza-and-that-dress scene), so it was nice to be able to read what I had missed out on. After I made the decision to read the series I stopped watching the episodes my DVR is faithfully recording so that I don't spoil the books.

What did I like about the book? The wit and subtle humor just steals the show. The class struggle is interesting, a little less genteel than say, Gaskell's North and South, more approachable maybe. The transformation of Ross from the angry, seething drunkard into a happy gentleman noble is nice.

What didn't I like? Some of the local color - the cock-fighting and the wrestling. I didn't mind the dress-shopping, so obviously it's the manly man stuff that doesn't appeal to my feminine nature. Still, I am so impressed that Graham could write about dress shopping! And his female characters feel female to me.

I sometimes have some trepidation when starting to read a series I've seen on TV but I'm so pleased with this one. I already know some of what lies ahead but I am looking forward to journey.

Jan 26, 2017, 9:11am

>120 VictoriaPL: That is a gorgeous cover!

Jan 26, 2017, 2:19pm

You're welcome, Victoria. But you would have found it on your own in time. If you want to watch the episodes you missed, let me know.

Jan 27, 2017, 7:19am

Yesterday RidgewayGirl and I went to our local FOL sale. I came away with more books than she did... because she kept handing me books! LOL. Even one of the FOL workers saw one of the books Kay had recommended and made a point to tell me how much she also enjoyed it. There isn't anyone else I'd rather shop for books with. I always enjoy our outings, Kay!

Here's the Haul:

The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick
Resistance by Owen Sheers
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Mr Mercedes by Stephen King
The Fireman by Joe Hill
American Rust by Philipp Meyer
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Marsbound and Dealing in Futures by Joe Haldeman

Jan 27, 2017, 7:42am

Likewise, Victoria. Did you find a place for the new books?

Jan 27, 2017, 7:47am

>124 RidgewayGirl: No, LOL. They will have to remain in the bag for awhile.

Jan 27, 2017, 7:49am

Mine are still in a pile, too. I'll squeeze them into their homes later today.

Edited: Jan 27, 2017, 12:33pm

Happy Friday everyone!!
Just for fun: Have you read the most popular book from the year you were born?

Edited: Jan 27, 2017, 12:43pm

No. I haven't, but I'm a bit curious about it.

ETA: C-N has a copy. Guess I'll put it on my list for the year somewhere. Interestingly, it's part of a trilogy, and I've read the middle book, although it was probably in the 1970s or early 1980s that I did so.

Jan 27, 2017, 12:46pm

>128 thornton37814:
Mine is Jaws, which I find so appropriate considering that I love Shark Week and all things ocean related. I have read it and I do own it, although it's not showing in my library. If I recall, I think there's a box of film tie-in books hiding in the attic that I need to process.

Jan 27, 2017, 12:55pm

I remember when Jaws came out. We all loved the song "Mr. Jaws" incorporating lines from other songs that came out after the movie. I found it on YouTube:

Jan 27, 2017, 1:01pm

>130 thornton37814: Ha! Too funny...

Jan 27, 2017, 1:29pm

Great book haul, Victoria. I just read American Rust and it was a wonderful read. I have read so many of those birthday books, but not the one for my year!

Jan 27, 2017, 1:34pm

>132 DeltaQueen50: Good to hear Judy! RidgewayGirl and I are going to read American Rust together.

Jan 27, 2017, 4:49pm

I'm not reading the book from my year of birth. No more Updike for me, thank you.

I was working in a bookstore the year Satanic Verses was released, along with the fatwa. That was interesting. And I knew a guy who liked to have Salman Rushdie paged whenever he was stuck in an airport. He said it was fun to see who was paying attention.

Edited: Jan 27, 2017, 5:04pm

>134 RidgewayGirl:
I feel that way about Kazuo Ishiguro and especially Haruki Murakami

Jan 27, 2017, 5:09pm

Can't say I've had the "pleasure" of reading Danielle Steel's Secrets, which is my birth-year book!

Jan 27, 2017, 5:13pm

Jan 27, 2017, 6:30pm

Haha, why is it that I have read so many of the shall I say scandalous books as a teen? I remember some of the covers, especially Valley of the Dolls.

I am curious about the book of my birth year which is a book about the clergy. I'll see if I can track it down.

I love looking at the vintage covers!

Oh, and American Rust was good.

Jan 27, 2017, 6:42pm

>138 lsh63: so glad you stopped by Lisa!

Jan 27, 2017, 8:55pm

>127 VictoriaPL: Hm. Portnoy's Complaint? I was about to say I didn't really like the one book I read of his (The Dying Animal) but when I looked it up to check the title I saw I'd given it four stars. Strange when that happens.

>130 thornton37814: I was just recently trying to explain that song to some younger co-workers and I got completely blank faces. After it came out my brother & sister & I spent a lot of time with a tape recorder trying to make up our own versions.

Jan 27, 2017, 11:08pm

> 140 I know, right? I do that too, Shauna!

Jan 28, 2017, 9:53am

>140 madhatter22: It really was a fun song!

Jan 28, 2017, 10:23am

Love the cover of Ross Poldark! And great haul at the book sale! Hope you like Mr Mercedes -- the whole trilogy was very good.

Jan 28, 2017, 12:45pm

That looks like a nice haul of books. See a couple on my wishlist.

Jan 28, 2017, 4:14pm

>143 rabbitprincess:, >144 dudes22: thanks for stopping to visit!

Jan 30, 2017, 3:39pm

>61 VictoriaPL: Oh my! Ryan Graudin is going to be in town next week talking about Blood for Blood. Most exciting thing I've heard all day.

Jan 31, 2017, 7:40am

7. The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank by Ellen Feldman 1.30.2017

The taste of rotten potatoes and moldy beans, and the cold that turned by mother's hands white as frost under the moth-eaten gloves, and the heat that beat down from the sky and steamed up from the streets where we were forbidden to walk, and the terror, and the degradation of the terror. I was trapped in that book as I had been trapped in that house. But - and this was what I could not understand - I was homesick for it too. I longed for those rank-smelling rooms where the walls steamed in summer and dripped as if in a cold sweat in winter. I yearned for those parents. I missed Anne. I ached for myself.

The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank is a what-if. What if Peter van Pels did not die in the Mauthausen concentration camp in May of 1945? What if he immigrated to America, denied his Jewish heritage and reinvented himself? What would that fresh start be like? What if the boy from the Annex grew up and had his own family? What if he stumbled across The Diary of Anne Frank? What if his wife became obsessed with the play of the book and the movie made from the play?

This is a book that drips with emotion and feeling. Peter is a man dealing with PTSD and he can't get away from the Annex because Anne Frank is a phenomenon. She is everywhere. If he is forced to go through those events over and over again, at least they could get the facts straight. He sees the way his trauma is affecting his wife and children and he tries to reign it all in. Feldman does such an excellent job at the psychological tension.

Highly recommended.

Edited: Jan 31, 2017, 7:52am


7 books read this month. Touched most of my categories.
Which the exception of the DNF, pleased with the selections.
Good month all around.

1. Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season by Nick Heil 1.4.2017
2. Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin 1.9.2017
3. Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte 1.18.2017
4. The New World: Prequel to the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness 1.23.2017
5. The Circle by Dave Eggers 1.24.2017 *audiobook*
6. Ross Poldark by Winston Graham 1.25.2017
7. The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank by Ellen Feldman 1.30.2017

Did Not Finish
Literary Lost : viewing television through the lens of literature by Sarah Clarke Stuart.

Redemption Road by John Hart
Too Far From Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space by Chris Jones

Jan 31, 2017, 8:35am

Great job in January!

It was great to see your review of The Circle - I picked that up the end of 2015, and I see that I need to get to it sooner than later.

Also - thanks for your review of Ross Poldark. I guess I am one of the few who had no idea what this 'Poldark' thing was. And now I know, and perhaps take a BB for it...

Edited: Jan 31, 2017, 8:40am

>149 LisaMorr: Hi Lisa! Thanks for stopping by.
re: The Circle, the movie is coming out in April. The book will turn you off of social media, so be prepared!

Jan 31, 2017, 9:09am

I'm so glad you liked the Feldman. She's an author whose books I always enjoy.

Jan 31, 2017, 9:12am

>151 RidgewayGirl: This was my first experience with Feldman but I will definitely look for opportunity to read her again!

Edited: Feb 1, 2017, 4:35pm

I saw this and thought of you. This is Leland Melvin's official NASA picture.

Feb 1, 2017, 5:31pm

>154 RidgewayGirl: oh my! Are the dogs going up too? Like back in the 60s?!?

Feb 2, 2017, 8:28am

Have you ever been so completely satisfied with your current crop of books that you don't want your reading nirvana to end? LOL.

Feb 2, 2017, 9:08am

>155 VictoriaPL: No, sadly the dogs did not go into space with him. They did appear on The Dog Whisperer, though, according to Wikipedia.

I'm glad your reading is going well. Long may it continue!

Feb 2, 2017, 9:09am

>157 RidgewayGirl: Ah! I have not seen The Dog Whisperer. Have you been watching it with Ivy? LOL.

Feb 2, 2017, 11:37am

Ivy is perfect. She has no need for the Dog Whisperer.

Feb 2, 2017, 12:04pm

>154 RidgewayGirl: That's a great official photo.

Feb 2, 2017, 12:18pm

>159 RidgewayGirl: LOL. Good answer, good answer....

Feb 5, 2017, 10:19pm

My first visit to your 2017-thread (I know, I know...). Looks like I should be getting on board with the Poldark... It keeps popping up in my PBS app, but I've not watched. Hmm...

Feb 6, 2017, 7:14am

>162 -Eva-: You definitely should, Eva! Thanks for stopping by...

Edited: Feb 6, 2017, 9:26am

8. Too Far From Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space by Chris Jones 2.5.2017

"Foam had often fallen from the tank (during Expedition Six's own launch, fragments had peppered Endeavour's belly hard enough to crack it's heat-resistant ceramic tiles), but it had never wielded the heft to damage the shuttle fatally. Now, although there were still engineers and technicians within NASA who continued to dismiss the theory, it looked more and more plausible. It was finally confirmed when a piece of foam was fired out of a gun at a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, replicating the collision, and it made like a cannonball. Looking at the entrance wound gave every astronaut the feeling that they had cheated death only because the aim of their own lost foam had been less true. It was as though they had each been lucky enough to duck bullets, but their friends had not.
For the men up on station, having survived the trip up and having yet to make the trip down, the realization left them swallowing a hot, sick feeling. They suffered from the sweats that follow catastrophe averted, the closest of calls.

Too Far from Home is the story of Expedition Six, the Russian and two Americans living on board the International Space Station when the Columbia disintegrated over the Southwest United States. When the all-stop was placed on Shuttle flights, they were stranded in Space with no one in Mission Control willing to venture a return date. It took two years after the Challenger disaster for the program to recover and they didn't know if it would be that long again. The unease of the crew was compounded by their grief for their friends and colleagues. At first they stayed busy, approaching the situation logically. They knew they had to stay healthy and strong so they exercised longer, they stretched their food rations and began to be even more diligent about the maintenance tasks on the ISS.
After several months their attitude about space and about the Station shifted. It wasn't just a temporary hotel room now, it had become their true home. They became so familiar with it and comfortable with their routines that when NASA found a way to bring them back to Earth, it caused them grief all over again. Six was just further evidence of how Space leaves its mark on those who encounter it. A great read.

I enjoyed Jones' storytelling. He gives you background on both the US and USSR's space programs and backgrounds on each man, easing you into the situation. You really come along side them as they founder and then find themselves again and you feel like you know these men personally. Highly recommended for those who enjoy Astronaut biographies and Space history.

Feb 6, 2017, 9:11am

Two weeks ago we were spending some time with my husband's family and I was making small talk with his Grandmother in the kitchen. She let fly with a story from her youth and I said "I didn't know you did that!" She turned to me, 96 years old and still sharp as a tack, "Well, you haven't read Fox and Geese!" I smiled "No, ma'am, I haven't yet." Fox and Geese: A Great-Grandmother's Tale is a collection of memories that my husband's cousin put together a few years ago and I knew we had been given a copy, just had to find it. Last night I started reading it. I'll see Grandmother on this upcoming Saturday. This time, I'll be prepared!

Feb 6, 2017, 9:21am

Too Far From Home sounds like a great read.

Feb 6, 2017, 10:23am

>165 VictoriaPL: - What a great idea! Sounds like she has some wonderful stories to share.

Feb 6, 2017, 10:38am

>167 LittleTaiko: It's just so amazing that she and I are living at the same time, but she remembers riding in horse-drawn wagons to school when the weather was bad and milking cows as part of her chores... things that to me are completely foreign.
In the past few years I have been thinking more about the changes in the world since I was a girl, like playing the Oregon Trail on an Apple 2 and how 3-year olds can now do more complex things on a cell phone. Is it like this for every generation?

Edited: Feb 6, 2017, 5:02pm

>168 VictoriaPL: - I think it is. There were no Apple 2s when I was growing up. We barely had 3 channels on the TV. I took computer programming in college in the days when COBOL was the big thing and machines were BIG!!! (I remember punch cards too.) Some days I so wish I were younger and could catch on quickly to all these new devices, etc. I don't know if it's because I'm older, but I'm very hesitant to just touch/click on something without know what is going to happen. I also wish I'd talked about how things were when my mother was younger when she was still alive. How interesting that your husband's grandmother wrote a book.

Feb 6, 2017, 5:20pm

>171 VictoriaPL: She was asked to write down some things she remembered and then family members typed them in and formatted them, arranging them for print.
I don't think she would have done it if not asked.

Feb 6, 2017, 9:23pm

I'm hoping to put together some family recipes, mostly my mother's, to publish and give as Christmas gifts this year. If I know the story behind a recipe, I'll provide it. If the recipe came into mom's possession from someone else, I'll weave in some genealogical stuff. I need to begin investigating options before too long, but I probably won't get around to the work until May.

Feb 7, 2017, 7:20am

>172 thornton37814: That sounds wonderful, Lori!

Feb 7, 2017, 9:11am

Lori, that's a fantastic idea.

Feb 7, 2017, 9:31am

> 172 One of my friends did something clever. I don't know the specifics of her process but here is what I think she did: she took a written recipe of her mother and grandmother and basically traced them (probably copied them first) on what I think is thin craft copper so they are reproduced in the original handwriting. Then she framed them and they hang in her kitchen.

Feb 7, 2017, 9:52am

>175 clue: That's awesome!

Feb 7, 2017, 5:04pm

>164 VictoriaPL: I read that book under the title Out of Orbit. It was really interesting!

Edited: Feb 8, 2017, 7:09pm

9. Fox and Geese: A Great-Grandmother's Tale by Sarah Robinson Lowery 2.8.2017

When my husband first took me home to meet his family, over twenty years ago, it was quite an overwhelming experience for me. I was raised alone by my father, so being with his large extended clan was quite an experience. Grandmother Sarah is definitely, as the book cover calls her, a matriarch. The entire family gathers at her house for all the high holidays, some birthdays and also attends two family reunions every year. On these occasions we sometimes hear stories about what it was like living through the Depression, the first and second World Wars, etc. Sometimes we hear half a story from one family member and finally get the other half from another. Sometimes the stories change depending on who's telling it. A few years ago someone finally asked Grandmother to write down some memories on paper and thus, Fox and Geese was born.

Grandmother's people (as they say) were farmers. It was interesting to learn how farms in Upstate South Carolina were run back then, before electricity, hospitals and paved roads. When six-year old kids were expected to look after their toddler siblings and only attended school seven months of the year to allow for farm work. They picked cotton and corn and worked in the cannery snapping beans, removing stones from peaches and peeling tomatoes (Sarah was the first person I had ever seen peel a tomato!). Some, like Sarah, were lucky enough to go off to a two-year college. Some, like her husband, went to war and came back with a different education.

I got such a thrill out of reading this small book. Mostly, I am sure, because I know many of the people mentioned in it. A few I never had the pleasure to meet and some I knew for a few years before they passed on. I also think learning about Sarah's young life gave me such a better appreciation of her personality, things she has said over the years, the way she runs her house, etc.

Feb 8, 2017, 6:59pm

That's quite the valuable document, Victoria. I have an older neighbor who was once goaded into telling stories about growing up in rural SC (by me) and it was so interesting.

Edited: Feb 8, 2017, 8:21pm

>178 VictoriaPL: What a treasure! I had to laugh at the peeling tomatoes comment, I grew up with that and do it myself. But get this, my dad used to peel grapes!! I am not going there.

Feb 9, 2017, 5:55am

That is such a great thing to have. When we went to visit friends a few years ago, she used to peel tomatoes and my husband thought that was a great idea. Once in a while I will depending on the tomato. I have heard of peeling grapes before, but you'd have almost nothing left - LOL!

Feb 9, 2017, 7:05am

>179 RidgewayGirl: It is interesting! We are so far removed from rural farm life.

>180 clue: I have heard of peeled grapes but have never done it, LOL

>181 dudes22: True, depending on the size of the grape! Peeled tomatoes are a wonder for those that have never encountered them.

Edited: Feb 9, 2017, 10:49pm

About a month ago I read Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin and loved it.
I had no idea at the time that she would be in town but tonight I had the opportunity to meet Ryan and she signed my book!
It was totally kismet!
We were in a small group setting and it was interesting to get to know her personality and hear her talk about her process.

Feb 10, 2017, 12:13pm

I may have overdone it at the library again.
In the pipeline:

Demelza by Winston Graham
Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
The Hungry Brain by Guyenet
Blue on Blue by Charles Campisi

Feb 10, 2017, 5:38pm

>183 VictoriaPL: That sounds like a wonderful evening!

Feb 11, 2017, 5:00pm

I am DNF'ing Approval Junkie by Faith Salie.
I think I'm too Conservative for it.

Feb 11, 2017, 8:41pm

I still approve of you, Victoria.

Feb 12, 2017, 7:48am

>187 RidgewayGirl: I appreciate that, Kay.

Feb 13, 2017, 12:05am

Eeep. I've been away from LT for a month and look how far behind I get.

>61 VictoriaPL:
Blood for Blood sounds like quite a fun alternate history. I guess it's a sequel?

>101 VictoriaPL:
Dude, it The Circle can effect you that much, then I definitely need to read it. Preferably before seeing the movie. :)

>164 VictoriaPL:
I didn't even realize the events in Too Far From Home happened. I was aware that people stayed up in the International Space Station, but wasn't aware they had been stranded for such a long time. That's one going to the top of my nonfiction reading list.

>183 VictoriaPL:
Congrats on the good luck of getting your book signed. Always exciting. :)

Feb 13, 2017, 7:13am

>189 andreablythe: Hi Andrea! Good to see you here!

Edited: Mar 10, 2017, 9:05am

10. The Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood by Mark Kurzem 2.12.2017

After seeing his mother lined up at a pit and shot, and his siblings bayoneted, young Alex Kurzem flees into the forest and survives a season alone before being found by soldiers. Instead of killing him, the unit adopts him and uses him to boost morale. In uniforms tailored to his small frame, he hands out chocolates, visits the invalids in hospital and attends ceremonies. Eventually they send him to a family in Latvia but he self-identifies as a solider and, due to his behavior, is sent back to the unit. When WWII ends, he is returned to the family and spends four years in a refugee camp before immigrating to Australia.

The elderly Alex, who has kept his past from his family, begins having night terrors and decides to reveal what little he can remember to his son, Mark. Together they embark on finding out Alex's true name and his village. They received little help from Holocaust groups, who stated that Alex might have been born a Jew but he did not suffer as a Jew did and he was not one of them. Even psychologists doubted that Alex was telling the truth, certainly no military unit would take in a child! Alex and Mark continue to explore Belarus to discover the place they came from, the place it all began and, finally, the truth.

I read this in about two sittings. It is very readable, like sitting down hearing a story from your grandfather. It's hard to imagine that soldiers who could so easily slaughter thousands of people would grant mercy to one small boy. Although, as messed up as young Alex was by his trauma, I'm not sure it was a mercy. I can fully see how Alex identified with them as a survival mechanism, they had clothes and food and weapons for protection. An interesting memoir.

"You don't understand the way it was," he murmured. "I just made the best of my situation. I stayed as silent as possible, all my time with them. I was never one of them. Ever! Deep down I knew they were not my people. They were strangers to me. All the time, strangers. They loved me, cared for me, treated me as one of their own. But I always knew what I was, even if I didn't know who I was. I was a Jewish boy. That meant I had to be on guard every moment I was with them. I couldn't risk being discovered. I would have been killed. I feared for my life all the time. The fear was ingrained in me. Can you imagine how it would be for a child to live like that every waking moment?"

Feb 13, 2017, 9:32am

Wow, what a story. In a way, it doesn't entirely surprise me that this kind of thing could happen. Although it's interesting and also not surprising that no one beloved him at first.

Feb 14, 2017, 8:45am

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Hope you are loving the book you're with today! LOL

Feb 14, 2017, 12:13pm

You too, Victoria. I forgot to wish you a Happy Galentine's Day yesterday.

Edited: Feb 14, 2017, 12:32pm

>194 RidgewayGirl: let's do lunch soon!

Feb 14, 2017, 12:47pm

Yes, please!

Edited: Mar 10, 2017, 9:05am

11. Redemption Road by John Hart 2.17.2017 *audiobook*

Amazon teaser:
"A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.
A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.
After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen…
This is a town on the brink.
This is Redemption Road."

I admire John Hart so much. His writing is so broken and raw and so perfect.
Like tales placed in small towns often are, everything is linked and events set other events in motion. I loved how it all the pieces came together. A 5 star read for me.

Edited: Mar 10, 2017, 9:06am

12. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon 2.17.2017

Wow. This chunkster ate up a good part of my month. But that's okay, I wanted to read an epic romance for Valentine's Day. The story changed and went in so many unexpected places. I was like, what in the world?!? But, that's okay too. I'd rather read a rollercoaster than something predictable. I do enjoy Claire and Jamie, I do, but I'm not really sold on the series. I'm not dying to grab the next one.

Feb 18, 2017, 9:31pm

A five star read is a thing of beauty. Glad your reading is going well.

Feb 20, 2017, 7:26am

>199 RidgewayGirl: Thanks Kay!

I was able to spend a few hours with Demelza yesterday. Hope to finish by the end of the month.

Feb 20, 2017, 8:29am

I've finished Moonglow and I think you'd like it. Lots of space stuff, WWII stuff and living in Florida stuff. And it's very well told.

Feb 20, 2017, 8:34am

>201 RidgewayGirl: You are the second person to mention it to me within a month's time.
I think I need to check this one out!

Feb 20, 2017, 8:41am

Of course, keep in mind that I liked it. That never bodes well.

Feb 20, 2017, 8:43am

>203 RidgewayGirl: LOL. I'm willing to chance it.

Feb 21, 2017, 12:03pm

DNF'ing Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart.
Too much schtick.

Feb 21, 2017, 12:29pm

Oh, that's too bad. The book trailer is awesome.

Feb 21, 2017, 12:32pm

>206 RidgewayGirl: You might love it, Kay. I got four disks in and just couldn't see myself sticking with it.

Feb 21, 2017, 12:42pm

I'm not one for memoirs, generally. I think Little Failure is on my list of books to look at if I see it, though. I much prefer fiction. I have yet to read any Shteyngart, but I do love his book trailers. It's fun to spot the actors and authors. David Ebershoff is in this one.

Feb 22, 2017, 11:28pm

>172 thornton37814:
What a fantastic present to receive. Great idea!

>175 clue:
Ooh, I have a couple of recipes from my grandmother that I would love preserved that way.

Feb 23, 2017, 2:18pm

One of my co-workers (male) stopped by my desk this morning and pointed to Demelza.
"I can tell it is a romance, yes?"
I guess in the classical sense, it is a romance but it's no Harlequin!
Is it the seascape? The look on her face?
I told him that it did have elements of a romance but was also about class struggle and family matters.
Then I found out he was really more interested in my bookmark. Not even for himself, but for his daughter, LOL. Whatever....

Mar 3, 2017, 1:49pm

>197 VictoriaPL: I've not read anything by John Hart; I think I'll start with Redemption Road.

Mar 3, 2017, 2:04pm

>211 LisaMorr: Lisa, let me know what you think of it!!
This topic was continued by VictoriaPL's 2017 reading, part two.