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Kerry (avatiakh) will be reading in 2017 #5

This is a continuation of the topic Kerry (avatiakh) will be reading in 2017 #4.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 3:07pm Top

part of my children's literature collection

Currently Reading:

Call it sleep by Henry Roth

My Year in books 2016

Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 12:08am Top

3 more Georgette Heyers to read

My 2017 category challenge:

1) ANZAC - Australia / New Zealand literature
2) Israel & Jewish World literature
3) Nonfiction
4) Young at Heart - children's & YA
5) Scifi & fantasy
6) Books in Translation
7) The Big Read - doorstoppers & series
8) Challenges - CATS, TIOLI & Theme reading
9) Anthologies, short stories, essays, poetry
10) Thrillers - adventure, crime & espionage
Overflow / General Fiction

Edited: Oct 20, 2017, 4:51am Top

ANZAC challenge 2017

ANZAC Bingo 1x25
1: Read a book set around WW1 - Somme Mud by E.P.F. Lynch
2: Read a dystopian novel - The Quiet Earth by Craig Harrison
3: Read a book published between 1950-1979 - Living in the Maniototoby Janet Frame (1979)
4: Read a book about convicts or forced migration - The Second Bridegroom by Rodney Hall
5: Read a book by a dead author - Towards another summer by Janet Frame
6: Read a book from a 'best of' list - The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
7: Read a book with a rural setting - The White Earth by Andrew McGahan
8: Read a book with yellow on the cover - Between Sky and Sea by Herz Bergner
9: Read a book less than 200 pages - The Severed Land by Maurice Gee
10: Read a book set outside Australasia - The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth
11: Read a journal/memoir (can be fiction) - Looking for Darwin by Lloyd Spencer Davis
12: Read a book about colonists/settlers - Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar
13: Read a book with a name in the title - The Legend of Winstone Blackhat by Tanya Moir
14: Read a fantasy novel - The Magicians' Guild by Trudi Canavan
15: Read a book about the goldrush - It's raining in Mango by Thea Astley
16: Read an award winner - Chain of Evidence by Garry Disher
17: Read a book with a murder - Trust No One by Paul Cleave
18: Read a book by a young writer under 35yrs - While we run by Karen Healey

19: Read a book with a school/education setting - Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
20: Read a book published in 2016/17 - Tell the truth, shame the devil by Melina Marchetta
21: Read a book with a # or quantity in the title - Sixty Lights by Gail Jones
22:Read a book about a marriage - Perfect Couple by Derek Hansen
23:Read a young adult book - My sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
24: Read a book by an indigenous writer - Mutuwhenua by Patricia Grace
25: Read a book with an animal/bird on the cover - All the green year by Don Charlwood

I've added titles but reserve the right to chop and change as the year progresses.

I'm failing this challenge though have read lots of ANZAC books this year

Edited: Dec 26, 2017, 2:50pm Top

more from my literature collection - graphic novels & illustrators bios etc

75er & other Reading challenges

I participate in the monthly TIOLI challenge and occasionally get a book read for the BAC (British Author Challenge), the Nonfiction Challenge here in the 75er group. In the category challenge group I've joined in a few already and I also try to read a book for the almost defunct Orange/Bailey's Jan/July group.

Group/shared Reads:

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth - read Apr-Jun

Poldark Saga series
Ross Poldark - read in Mar
Demelza - read in Apr
Jeremy Poldark - read in Apr
Warleggan - read in Apr
The Black Moon - read in May
The Four Swans - read in Jun
The Angry Tide - read in Jul
The stranger from the sea - read in Aug
The Miller's Dance - read in Oct
The Loving Cup - read in Oct
The Twisted Sword - read in Nov
Bella Poldark - read in Dec

Orange/Bailey's Jan:
The glorious heresies by Lisa McInerney - read in March
The Power by Naomi Alderman - read in Jan

BAC Challenge:
Jan: -
Feb: -
Mar: The Swinging Sixties - The Green Man (1969) by Kingsley Amis - done
Apr: The Viceroy of Ouidah by Bruce Chatwin
May: -
Jun: The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer
Jul: -
Aug: -
Sep: -
Oct: -

2016 Dec/Jan challenge:
Trust no one by Paul Cleave
Jun/Jul challenge:
Cut & Run by Alix Bosco
The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis
Collision by Joanna Orwin
The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong

Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 12:58am Top

Part of my Oct/Nov/Dec tbr pile -

just putting the titles that are hard to read -

I will have vengeance by Maurizio De Giovanni
The Damascus Cover by Howard Kaplan
Great Expectations
The last Palestinian: The Rise and Reign of Mahmoud Abbas by Amir Tibon
Malevil by Robert Merle
Call it sleep by Henry Roth

2nd column
Seeking Whom He May Devour by Fred Vargas
Kingfisher by Gerald Seymour
Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut
The pleasures of reading in an ideological age by Robert Alter

Edited: Oct 30, 2017, 11:41pm Top


Plans for October:
I hope to finish books I've started reading but made little progress on last month -
The Durrells of Corfu by Michael Haag
Malevil by Robert Merle - scifi
The Miller's Dance by Winston Graham - Poldark #9
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - audio
Moskva by Jim Grimwood - thriller
Call it sleep by Henry Roth
Shylock is my name by Howard Jacobson
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (HP #7) by J.K. Rowling
The quiet Earth by Craig Harrison

and the rat laughed by Nava Semel

I'm hosting the Oct near-future scifi reading thread in the category challenge:
The windup girl by Paolo Bacigalupi - received this in my first LTsantathing and still not read it

TIOLI entries:
The life to come by Michelle De Kretser - arc
Wilder Country - Mark Smith
The Thief - Megan Whalen Turner
Seeking Whom He May Devour - Fred Vargas

Half lost (Half Bad trilogy #3) - Sally Green
The FitzOsbornes at war (The Montmaray Journals #3of3) - Michelle Cooper
Death under sail - C.P. Snow

my tioli challenge - read a book with some relation to birds - cover art/title/author name
The starlings by Vivienne Kelly
Kingfisher by Gerald Seymour
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer
The Loving Cup by Winston Graham - Poldark #10

Oct 1, 2017, 12:27am Top

Waiting....! : )

Oct 1, 2017, 1:16am Top

>7 Berly: open for business

Oct 1, 2017, 1:40am Top

>5 avatiakh: That's an awesome TBR pile! Good luck finishing all those books you've started. I have three I am kinda stalled out on and need to get back to. Happy October!

Oct 1, 2017, 1:53am Top

Happy New thread! Love the shelf pictures, although your TBR pile is simultaneously tempting and a little intimidating. I was going to have a library book clear out for my trip but the online system let me renew them until I get back, so...

Oct 1, 2017, 3:43am Top

Happy new thread, Kerry!

I enjoyed looking at the pictures on your previous thread, especially the Rotorua sculptures.
And I love the pictures of all your books you use in this thread :-)

Oct 1, 2017, 4:21am Top

>9 Berly: I love to look at pictures of other people's book piles. I'm stalled on a few, a few others I started but haven't got far in and others I've started reading even though I hadn't planned to.
I used to like that group that did the book nudges, maybe I'll do one here.

>10 charl08: Thanks. Library books are so bad for me at present as they stop me getting on with reading my own books.

>11 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. I didn't take many photos as the weather was mostly underwhelming, and it's rained almost every day since we got home. Horrible weather, we are earning a glorious summer I hope.
I might add a few more book photos from my shelves, I usually ignore some of my bookshelves. I had to dust before I took those photos.

Oct 1, 2017, 4:41am Top

Book Nudging - https://www.librarything.com/groups/booknudgeinvitors

Post a photo of the books you vaguely feel like reading and then get LTers to nominate a 1st and 2nd choice and a comments as to why. Some will want to denudge a book as well.
This is quite fun, the group died as not enough people came to it.

so here's a few books grabbed from different piles. Nudge away.


Oct 1, 2017, 7:27am Top

Happy New Thread, Kerry! Hope you had a lovely weekend. Reading any good GNs? I have stalled out.

Oct 1, 2017, 7:40am Top

If it wasn't you, Kerry, I would think your reading plans were overly ambitious, but since it is you, I reckon you'll still be looking for other books to read in the last quarter.

Happy new thread. xx

Oct 1, 2017, 7:55am Top

>13 avatiakh: I haven't read any books from your picture, the two writers I know and like are David Grossman and Conn Iggulden.

Oct 1, 2017, 10:01am Top

Happy New Thread, Kerry.

I saw you're reading The Miller's Dance. I just finished it, and I've got The Loving Cup on hand to read soon.

I haven't read any of the ones in >13 avatiakh:, but I've wondered about Auntie Mame.

Oct 1, 2017, 5:39pm Top

Happy new thread!

Oct 1, 2017, 5:47pm Top

I'm not getting very far with A Horse Walks into a bar, as I've been distracted by library books. So selfishly, I'd like to know what you make of that one!

Oct 1, 2017, 8:52pm Top

Happy new thread, Kerry. Of your 3 Heyers left, The Masqueraders is my favorite. I know nothing of any of your books in >13 avatiakh: except Auntie Mame, which is delightful.

Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 3:30pm Top

Happy new thread, Kerry!

Wow. I had not heard that there was a five book deal for Gregg Hurwitz. Excellent. And, now that I think about it, Bradley Cooper would be an excellent Evan. Thanks for the update!

Oct 3, 2017, 6:47pm Top

>14 msf59: Hi Mark. No, I'm also having a break from reading GNs. I did bring The White Donkey: Terminal Lance home from the library the other day but not committing myself to reading it. My daughter is reading manga, My hero academia which was recommended to her, I tried but it didn't really appeal.

>15 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. Well, I have brought more books home from the library since posting my list. I'll be reading my first James Patterson, though he's more of a business than a writer, The Store is about a setup similar to amazon.com. I've read a couple of chapters and it doesn't really appeal, I'll finish it though.

>16 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. Thanks for nudging. I really like David Grossman, some of his work is easy to read and some requires an effort. Conn Iggulden is a new to me, I see his books everywhere and think I should try him.

>17 jnwelch: Hi Joe. I didn't get to The Miller's Dance in September which means I'll have to read two Poldarks this month, what a treat!
I used to get a little mixed up between Auntie Mame and Graham Greene's Travels with my aunt. Anyway it looks like a fun read.

>18 drneutron: Waves to Jim.

>19 charl08: Hi Charlotte. The Grossman book gets such good reviews, I'm sure I'll end up liking it when I pick it up.

>20 ronincats: Hi Roni. Thanks for the feedback on the Heyers, I'll save The Masqueraders for last then. Good to have feedback on Auntie Mame.

>21 brodiew2: Hi Brodie. I usually end up on wikipedia when checking out a book or film, mainly because they give a good reliable run down on publishing history/production details. I think it would be good on film and Bradley Cooper as Evan will be easier than thinking about Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher.

Oct 3, 2017, 6:59pm Top

Evan Has a lot of qualities that are reminiscent of John Reese from Person of Interest. Jim Caviezel might have played Evan a few year back.

Oct 3, 2017, 7:05pm Top

177) Shylock is my name: The Merchant of Venice Retold by Howard Jacobson (2016)

This is part of the Hogarth series on Shakespeare retellings. The book is set in present day England, and Shylock is a house guest at the home of Strulovitch whose story begins to be a reflection of Shylock's own. It's hard to know if Shylock is really there, he has ghost-like qualities at times. I struggled through the parts which are probably the most philosophical, where Shylock and Strulovitch converse at length. It's a fairly unhappy tale and Jacobson is really strong at putting everything on the table, warts and all.
I think he succeeds with the retelling though I can't see this ever being a popular read.

Edited: Oct 3, 2017, 8:56pm Top

178) Wilder Country by Mark Smith (2017)
The Road to Winter #2. This Australian dystopian adventure series is fairly action packed and a quick read. The world has been hit by a virus that's wiped out most of the population. In the first book we're introduced to young teen, Finn, who is by himself now, living in a small coastal Western Australian town with occasional trading visits to Ben, an older guy who lives on a rural property. Into his world comes Rose, pregnant and hunted by the Wilders, a violent gang that uses force to get what they need.
Now in the second book, Finn and Kas, Rose's sister, go into Wilder country, looking for Rose's kidnapped baby.
Rose and Kas are sileys or asylum seekers in the past. In this book Finn and Kas come across more siley survivors, a more menacing bunch who call themselves No-landers and have introduced a warlord like culture from their homeland. These sileys are more likely to kill to conquer and look to become more powerful and brutal than the Wilders.
Its been interesting to read two YA dystopian novels written recently that both give prominence to asylum seekers.
The other books were Karen Healey's When we wake & While we run.

Oct 3, 2017, 9:24pm Top

179) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (2007)

So since late last year I've been listening to Stephen Fry narrate the HP series. This was a revisit to the series as I'd read the books when they first came out, generally devouring the books in a couple of sessions to avoid any mention of spoilers. The first three books I also read aloud several times to my children when they were little.
So now I'm done, I found Harry to be an annoying and angry teen for most of the last few books. The second half of this last book became quite exciting as finally the final confrontation was to be had.
Overall a good series, though less compelling than the first visit. My favourite book remains The Prisoner of Azkaban.

I've been watching the new The Worst Witch tv series on Netflix. I read the book yonks ago, and this new series is fun, less scary than HP so if anyone is looking for a juvenile magical series this would be it. The book was first published back in 1974.

2017 with Bella Ramsey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3fHWN0FtBs
1998 with Felicity Jones: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2l1k4d

Edited: Oct 3, 2017, 9:44pm Top

...and from the library...
Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian - Australian YA / Text Prize winner 2016
H(a)ppy by Nicola Barker - scifi
Bridget Crack by Rachel Leary - Australian historical fiction / Van Diemen's Land, 1826
Penguin Bloom by Cameron Bloom - Australian nonfiction
Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss
My sister Sif by Ruth Park - Australian YA

Oct 5, 2017, 1:42pm Top

Not nudging you about any of the books you requested nudging on, but I will nudge you on a couple of books in your TBR piles. I read Malevil back in the 70's I think, and liked it so much I still have the mass market PB on my shelf--haven't reread it though. I'm now wondering whether you have to be a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction to like it, and I'm not sure how well it has stood the test of time, so I am interested to see what you think.

Call It Sleep is one I think would make my list of desert island books, at least if I could make it long enough. I read it first in college, and have reread it once, and listened to it on audio once since then, but it's been a while.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 4:05pm Top

>23 brodiew2: Brodie - I watched the pilot episode of Person of Interest a couple of weeks ago and agree with you about Jim Caviezel.

>28 arubabookwoman: Hi Deborah - Thanks for those nudges. I got interested in Malevil when another LTer read it earlier this year and gave it a good review. Not sure who but maybe Amber.
Call it sleep has been on my tbr pile for a couple of years now and I finally made a start. I had never heard of it before reading about it on some webpage.

Eminent NZ writer C. K. Stead has a new novel out after several years break, set in Paris and sounds very compelling, so I've added it to my library requests, I'm at the end of a fairly long queue. Another NZer, journalist Diana Wichtel, has written about searching for her Polish Jewish father, Driving to Treblinka: A long search for a lost father. I'm #108 in a queue of over 300.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 5:58pm Top

180) The store by James Patterson & Richard DiLallo (2017)

My first Patterson and probably my last. It's a clumsy thriller, the villian being an Amazon.com type clone that has taken drones, surveillance and big brother tactics to the extreme. When their latest 'history of rap' manuscript has been turned down by both their independent publisher and The Store's publishing team, Jacob and Megan decide to research and write an expose of the internet giant. They move their family to New Burg to start their new jobs in the warehouse division of The Store. New Burg is really creepy in a Stepford Wives-ish way.
Not compelling reading though one I wanted to read once I heard about the book as Patterson had slammed Amazon in the past, especially when we all thought e-books might take over and they had such a monopoly on those
- https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2014/05/29/james-patterson-amazon-hachette-bookexpo-america/9724969/

'Prolific best-selling author James Patterson told CNBC on Friday that his new work of fiction about an out-of-control big e-commerce retailer is not really about Amazon or its billionaire founder Jeff Bezos.
"I'm not out here to necessarily beat up Amazon as much as deal with this whole area of monopolies and megalomaniacs," Patterson said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "This is a strange era … of techy billionaires who are kind of running the world now."' https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/11/james-patterson-new-book-isnt-about-amazon-and-bezos-but-monopolies.html

Till now amazon has only had a digital store in Australia, but next year they'll also be selling a full range of products online to both Australia and New Zealand. So their monopoly of the world's retail continues to grow and I really start to wonder if they can ever be stopped from being so dominant.
'Amazon effect' has spooked local retailers

..and Europe is starting to crack down on Amazon's ability to evade tax
Europe’s Tax Beef With American Tech Giants

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 6:12pm Top

>30 avatiakh: I'm not a huge Patterson fan, but I certainly wouldn't judge him by a book he likely had little do with writing. He has series of his own, Alex Cross and Women's Murder Club(?), but he also has much more that he writes 'with' other authors. Go back in time a bit, and try one you are certain is his before writing him off. My two cents. ;-)

Oct 5, 2017, 6:16pm Top

Thanks Brodie. I'll make an effort to read one of his earlier ones.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 6:39pm Top

I'd rather be a fairy princess by Petra Kotrotsos and Christina Irini Arathimos (2017)
picturebook, new zealand

19 yr old Petra & collaborator Christina have written and ilustrated a children's story about Petra's childhood, she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was six and had to have chemotherapy. 'First diagnosed aged 6, she successfully fought it four times by the age of 15. She underwent several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and a spinal reconstruction.'
Quite a straightforward book to share with children about dealing with cancer at a young age.
Both authors are from Wellington's Greek community.

Wellington cancer patient and author Petra Kotrotsos shares her book with six year old Victoria at Wellington Hospital. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/94445258/when-cancer-attacks-you-have-to-fight--picture-books-message-to-young-patients


Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 7:03pm Top

Meet the parents by Peter Bently ills Sara Ogilvie (2014)
Fun read about how chaotic life can be for children and how useful parents are even if they don't always do what you want.

The covers of my book are too far apart! (and other grumbles) by Vivian French and ill. Nigel Baines
The title speaks to reluctant readers, though really the book is mainly about why we should read books, the joy of reading etc. Sort of preachy but in a good way. Adults will enjoy this. The publisher specialises in books for reluctant readers, dyslexic readers etc. Also brings out a YA range of exciting, mature books of short length.

The street beneath my feet by Charlotte Guillian and Yuval Zommer (2017)
Interesting look at the world under our feet and how it all works. I think this is part of a series where you turn the book on it's side and view double page spread. Great for the inquisitive child.

Oct 5, 2017, 7:55pm Top

and I'm glad that this was cancelled, real creepy to think how technology is advancing too fast for us to know how to deal with it -

Oct 9, 2017, 3:22am Top

181) Towards another summer by Janet Frame (2007)
The title comes from Charles Brasch's poem The Islands:
…and from their haunted bay
The godwits vanish towards another summer

and the poem is refered to throughout the book.
I listened to the audio cd. This is a posthumous publication, about 3 years after Frame's death. It feels very personal and autobiographical. Reclusive Grace is living and writing in London, she's a sparkling correspondent but extremely socially awkward in person. She's also comparing herself throughout to a migratory bird returning to a New Zealand summer. She accepts an invitation to visit a friend and his wife for a weekend in a small town. The entire time she's there, she's suffering from distinct ineptitude in conversation, dealing with the unexpected two small children, and general social niceties. After a couple of nights, she shortens her stay and returns to London. There is also reflection on her childhood.
It's quite painful to read as it's so personal and Frame would possibly not have wanted this published.

'A migratory bird may fly there, Grace thought, and felt herself immediately there with the touch of airless space upon her feathers; in the skyless world she felt neither leaden nor buoyant; where before in the world the wind curved and ruffled her feathers moulding them into subservience, separating their fronds into trembling fountain-shapes through which the sun, believing them to be the movements of water, hung rainbows; where before the wind guided her flight or sustained her motionless poise, now a surge of nothing enfolded her feathers, as if a cloud were being knitted to enclose her body; yet there were no boundaries; stone-falling, she would fall for ever; the land was for ever.'

Edited: Oct 9, 2017, 7:26pm Top

182) Seeking whom he may devour by Fred Vargas (1999)
Commissaire Adamsberg #2. A wolf is killing sheep in rural France, a group of wolves came over from Italy and established themselves in a national park some years before, but one seems to have gone rogue. A local woman farmer has been killed and now rumours have started that it's a werewolf or a werewolf with a wolf. Adamsberg gets drawn in when he sees an old girlfriend on the news, she's living in the village at the centre of the incidents.
Great second installment, I'll keep reading as I find them.

Oct 9, 2017, 7:48pm Top

>37 avatiakh: I have read the first Adamsberg and thought it ok but have not been able to track it down in the shops here. Thanks for the timely reminder to go and look again!

Oct 9, 2017, 8:55pm Top

Hi Paul, they are slower paced than the average thriller, but with this one Vargas gives us an unlikely but likeable set of characters to spend time with.

I'm reading really slowly. Have done a chapter of The pleasures of reading in an ideological age which was interesting. Comparing the difference between style in literary and popular fiction and how readers are so much less challenged in popular fiction. Stuff you already know but interesting to look at in depth.

Ok, I'm going to concentrate on my library e-book loans so:
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Poldark 9 & 10: The Miller's Dance & then The Loving Cup
and real book reading
Moskva by Jack Grimwood

Edited: Oct 10, 2017, 11:13pm Top

Scarface Claw, Hold Tight by Lynley Dodd (2017)

Yes, there's a peek of Hairy Maclary in this new book by Dodd. Scarface Claw is curled up in one of his favourite spots having a snooze, unfortunately it's the roof of Tom's car and when Tom pops down the road on an errand, he's wondering why everyone is waving at him. Poor Scarface is clutching on tight with his claws and doing a great surfing imitation as they drive down the road.

Augustus and his smile by Catherine Rayner (2001)

Love this one. Augustus looks everywhere for his smile and then finds it when he's happy. The star here are the beautiful illustrations of Augustus, he's so adorable. Interesting positioning of text on most pages.


Oct 10, 2017, 11:31pm Top

ooh, you are reading The Thief! That's a series that just keeps getting better.

Oct 10, 2017, 11:41pm Top

Love the Augustus illustrations.

I've picked up a copy of Amos Oz' memoir - really engaging, enjoying all the reflections on writers and academics in Jerusalem.

Oct 11, 2017, 1:19am Top

>41 ronincats: I'm enjoying it so far. I own a copy of the book but my daughter has it stashed away somewhere so I've been waiting a several months for the library's single e-book.

>42 charl08: I raced through that memoir when I was on holiday in Portugal about 10 yrs ago. Memorable too because I bought my copy in Cascais.

Oct 11, 2017, 1:47am Top

The grammar of spice by Caz Hildebrand
Really think this is a beautiful book, I brought it home from the library today.
a compendium of info on spices, each spice is accompanied by a illustrative reproduction from The grammar of ornament.

Edited: Oct 14, 2017, 8:55pm Top

Thanks for mentioning I'd Rather Be a Fairy Princess, Kerry. It doesn't seem to be available in the US or UK, unfortunately.

Oct 14, 2017, 8:54pm Top

>44 avatiakh: That does look like a beautiful book, Kerry.

Oct 14, 2017, 9:35pm Top

>34 avatiakh: the street beneath my feet book sounds fantastic. A lot of adults could probably read that and it would explain why roadworks here are still taking so long to be completed.....all those pipes!

Oct 15, 2017, 8:10am Top

>43 avatiakh: Yes, I could see it would be memorable. Beautifully written. Going to try and finish it before I go home so I don't have to carry it home, but I wish I could take it with me!

Oct 15, 2017, 8:12am Top

>44 avatiakh: Love the illustrations you've picked for this one. Will have a look out for it.

Oct 18, 2017, 9:46pm Top

>45 kidzdoc: a local publication, I'm sure there would be something similar over in the US. I asked my library to buy this and was disappointed that they only purchased 1 copy.

>46 PaulCranswick: indeed

>47 LovingLit: lots of great picturebooks around

>48 charl08: I haven't seen the film as yet.

>49 charl08: it's very striking

Oct 18, 2017, 9:51pm Top

Say zoop! by Hervé Tullet (2017)

My first reactions were - clever....but possibly gimmicky. I might have read his Press Here, not sure. Anyway this one is cute, you are introduced to a blue dot and 'trained' to say 'oh!' Loud for a big dot and soft for a small dot. After some fun pages you are introduced to a red dot and to say 'ah!'. etc etc

Edited: Oct 18, 2017, 10:06pm Top

183) one came home by Amy Timberlake (2014)
children's fiction

I listened to the audio of this and didn't like the narration one bit though I grew used to it.
Set in 1871 Placid, Wisconsin. When the sheriff brings home the mutilated body of Georgie's runaway older sister wrapped in the memorable blue-green gown, Georgie is convinced the body is not her sister. Georgie plans her own factfinding mission to find out the truth. Overall quite a good read, Georgie is resourceful and determined.
The plot also revolves round the hunting of the passenger pigeons which are now extinct.
At the time the Europeans began exploring North America, ornithologists and historians estimate that there were 3 to 5 billion passenger pigeons, constituting 25 to 40 percent of the total North American bird population. Each spring they migrated from the South to the Midwest, making a return journey in the fall, darkening the sky with their passing. A combination of their nesting habits, over hunting, and the clear cutting of forests caused their extinction. The last passenger pigeon, a captive bird named Martha, died at the Cincinnati Zoological Garden on September 1, 1914.


Edited: Oct 18, 2017, 10:12pm Top

184) The Miller's Dance by Winston Graham (1982)
Poldark #9. Raced through this as I'm playing catchup. A good read, I especially liked the little escapade at the end of the book. Anyway I've already started the next one so I'll be up to date again with the group read.

audio cd - I listen to these in the car. After one came home I started To the Dark Tower by Victor Kelleher but it didn't draw me in at all so I've started a re-read/listen of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass and so far really enjoying it.

Oct 21, 2017, 4:09am Top

185) The quiet earth by Craig Harrison (1981)

I'd seen the film years ago and now finally read the book. The narrative differs a lot from the film, I'm now halfway through a re-watch. Anyway a man wakes one morning to silence and the discovery that all other life has vanished, possibly at 6.12am exactly. As he drives around the countryside and back to the city where he lives he comes to understand that there might be a scientific explanation for what has happened
My copy, a Text Classic edition, has an introduction by Bernard Beckett who mentions that Harrison modeled it a little on the idea of Robinson Crusoe.
I'm now quite excited to read a YA that has been kicking around home for ages, The Dumpster Saga, as I had not realised that this was also written by Harrison, it got excellent reviews when it came out about 9 years ago.

Ok, I have just tonight and tomorrow to finish The Loving Cup, my latest Poldark. I have the e-book from the library and I can't re-borrow it.

Oct 22, 2017, 6:55pm Top

186) The Loving Cup by Winston Graham (1984)
Poldark #10. Excellent continuation of the series. Can't wait for book #11 though I do know what happens due to reading a spoiler description of book #12. Ross & Demelza's children continue to grow, the older two are both drawn to people that have led them a merry dance over the past few books and this continues here. The younger Bella is just finding her way into her teens, the final book focuses on her.

Oct 22, 2017, 7:55pm Top

I seem to recall my friend saying that in 2017 she had no chance of reaching 200 books given some of the chunksters planned. Mmmm!

I need to get back to the Poldark series after reading the first three.

Edited: Oct 22, 2017, 10:26pm Top

>56 PaulCranswick: Yes, well some of those chunksters have fallen by the wayside. I am impressed that I've managed to keep up with the Poldark books. The story is really well done and you won't regret getting back into them.

Current reading is The Magpie Murders, Death under sail (both TIOLI shared reads) & The Thief (e-read).
I have to admit that I don't enjoy e-reading that much, especially this morning with only a few hours remaining on my borrow of The Loving Cup the book froze on my tablet (immense frustration and panic) and I had to hurriedly download a copy onto my phone to finish it. Might be the BorrowBox app playing up.

Oct 22, 2017, 9:53pm Top

Hi, Kerry. Is this your first reading of The Thief? The sequels are even better!

Oct 22, 2017, 10:27pm Top

Hi Roni - yes, I've been meaning to read it for a long while but mislaid my own copy. I'm enjoying it, just had to get the two Poldark e-reads out of the way.

Oct 23, 2017, 3:39am Top

>57 avatiakh: That is awfull, Kerry, with only hours remaining your reading device letting you down :-(
That probably partly spoiled the fun of reading.

Oct 23, 2017, 8:52am Top

>55 avatiakh: I'm a little ways into The Loving Cup and enjoying it, Kerry. Good to see your enthusiasm for it.

Oct 23, 2017, 6:30pm Top

>60 FAMeulstee: got there in the end so all's good.

>61 jnwelch: Hi Joe - yes, quite a few interesting developments in this installment.

Oct 23, 2017, 6:33pm Top

187) Kingsman: the secret service by Mark Millar et al (2012)
graphic novel
This is what the popular Kingsman film is based on and I think I enjoyed the film a bit more than this GN. Still an interesting read for the original plot.

Edited: Oct 24, 2017, 4:39pm Top

188) Out of the woods: a journey through depression and anxiety by Brent Williams (2017)
graphic memoir
An amazingly honest look at mid-life depression and Williams' attempts to navigate and exit while avoiding prescription drugs. He does this through diet, exercise, massage and finding the right therapist. Later he moves to a more peaceful location and also rebuilds his relationship with his now adult children. This could be considered a guidebook for sufferers and especially family and friends of the depressed. Williams kept a diary through his journey which provided the basis for the manuscript.
Published by New Zealand Educational Resources.
The artwork is by Turkish illustrator Korkut Öztekin and reflects well this emotional journey. Williams found Öztekin on deviantart.com and felt that this was an illustrator who could portray the emotional aspect of the story.
There's a video & review here: http://www.duffthepsych.com/book-review-video-woods/#more-2952
Author site for book which includes resources for helplines and other books on the subject that the author found helpful: www.outofthewoods.co.nz
'Korkut asked me to design the page and panel layout, give detailed instructions on the action and dialogue, and support this with photo references. I was pleased to do this. Basic storyboards were what I used to do for my video dramas and it kept me involved in the story's realisation.

Korkut could only work in his evenings and he also had to contend with the serious illness of his mother, the birth of his first child, and political and social upheaval in his region. At times this was frustrating, but really, the speed was perfect for both the book and me. I was not strong enough to launch into a busy project, and the time it took meant I could really delve deeper into the content, and like with my journal writing, use it as a way to support my own recovery – not undermine it.'

Oct 24, 2017, 9:25pm Top

189) The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane, illus. Jackie Morris (2017)
illustrated poetry
Oh wow! This is an extremely large size (huge) book of beautiful poems, dedicated to the lost words of the countryside. An object of beauty, an indulgence of illustration and a collection of beautiful poems for all ages.

From The Guardian review: 'The acrostic spell-poems are designed to be read out loud. It is a book for adults and children, for adults to read with children. The spells carry the spirit of their subject in their structure. Take the brilliant “Magpie Manifesto: / Argue Every Toss! / Gossip, Bicker, Yak and Snicker All Day Long!” Not only are the word and the bird restored and celebrated, but the spirit and nature and the clatter of the magpie are conserved within its lines.' https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/oct/02/the-lost-words-robert-macfarlane-jackie-morris-review


Oct 24, 2017, 10:43pm Top

>65 avatiakh: Wonderful book, beautiful illustrations. Love the bird pictures!

Oct 25, 2017, 10:20am Top

>65 avatiakh: I saw the review and it looked gorgeous. I need to find an excuse to pick it up.

Oct 25, 2017, 4:26pm Top

>64 avatiakh: & >65 avatiakh: Your last two reads looks both great. I'll look out for both.

Oct 27, 2017, 2:54am Top

>65 avatiakh: Looks beautiful Kerry. Saw a short programme on two wildlife artists' work. Amazing to see this work close up.

Oct 27, 2017, 3:04am Top

Again, that Poldark series pops up! Well, there isn't any chance I'll forget the name now. : ) Looks like 200 is not going to be a problem. Carry on...

Oct 27, 2017, 4:04am Top

Hi everyone - thanks for all your comments. I'm away for the week and wifi access will be limited. Home next Friday.

Oct 28, 2017, 4:13pm Top

I want to throw out a request for participants in a group read of one of my favorite but relatively unknown fantasy novels, God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell. The "stalk" refers to stalking gods, not a stem. It is the first of a still ongoing series, but it is a complete story and easy to walk away from after the first book if you wish--indeed, all of us had to wait many years after this one to get a sequel. I am looking at possibly November, December or January for the time frame, but the actual month will depend on what those interested work out. If you would be at all interested, please PM me or drop by my thread and let me know.

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 6:15pm Top

Plans for November:
I hope to finish books I've started reading but made little progress on last month -

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer
Moskva by Jim Grimwood - thriller

Call it sleep by Henry Roth
and the rat laughed by Nava Semel
Kingfisher by Gerald Seymour
The windup girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Moskva by Jack Grimwood

others including TIOLI entries:
The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer
Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer
The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham - Poldark #11
The life to come by Michelle De Kretser - arc
1914: riding into war - Susan Brocker
The necessary angel by C.K. Stead
that inevitable Victorian thing by E.K. Johnston

Edited: Nov 4, 2017, 7:51am Top

I spent the last week in Paihia which is a small town that gets really busy in the summer as it is one of the main places to stay when visiting the Bay of Islands region. We had a quiet time, didn't do much as we've been here before several times. The photos above are inside Te Whare Rūnanga (the Meeting house) and of the ceremonial war canoe, Ngātokimatawhaorua, at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. The last photo was taken in Tutukaka, a small marina town further south.

We also took the ferry over to Russell (Kororareka) famously known in the early 1800s as the 'Hellhole of the Pacific'. It was the first permanent European settlement in New Zealand so has a lot of history for such a small place.

Nov 4, 2017, 4:57am Top

190) The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (2017)
Loved this one. There's two parts, first an editor settling down to read the final manuscript of a detective series and then the manuscript itself. The editor is not a fan of the writer, though appreciates the books, they're the main income for the publishing firm. There's a problem with the manuscript and the editor is forced to become a bit of a detective herself.

Nov 4, 2017, 5:14am Top

191) The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (1996)
children's fiction
Queen's Thief #1. This is one that I've been meaning to get to for ages as I noticed many other 75ers enjoying the series. Really enjoyed this first book and will definitely read the rest of the series next year. After boasting about how great a thief he is, Gen ends up in chains in jail. Then he's released and taken on a journey by a mage who needs him to steal an ancient treasure.

Edited: Nov 4, 2017, 5:26am Top

192) Death Under Sail by C. P. Snow (1932)
Snow's first book and a pretty good crime read, though he never wrote another crime novel after this. I think you call this a 'locked room' mystery, the murderer has to be one of the six guests on a sailing boat. The owner, Roger, a Harley Street specialist is found dead at the rudder, shot through the heart.
I have several of Snow's Strangers and Brothers novels and hope I can finally find time for them next year.

Edited: Nov 4, 2017, 5:45am Top

193) The Starlings by Vivienne Kelly (2017)
I received this from Text Publishing as a review copy over on goodreads earlier this year and have kept putting off reading it despite good intentions. It turned out to be a great read about the ups and downs of the Starling family through a 1980s rugby league season, as seen through the eyes of 8 year old Nicky Starling, a boy with no friends but a very vivid and active imagination. The season starts with the death of the grandmother from cancer. Then the young nurse, Rose, who was her live-in carer appears to have formed a rather inappropriate relationship with the grandfather. In the meantime the family must put up with the father's endless passion for his local league team, who might make it all the way to the state finals this time. Nicky is more interested in rewriting plays, reimagined from the Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare. Their mother, an English teacher, seems distant, Nicky's older sister, who has her own problems, blames it on the arrival of a handsome new teacher at the high school. Chaotic and loveable, Nicky and his family could survive this season or not.

Nov 4, 2017, 5:57am Top

194) Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer (1955)
Another quite good Regency read. When the Earl dies, he leaves behind his daughter, Serena, and his young wife who is a couple of years or so younger than the daughter. An obscure nephew has inherited the estate so the two young women must move on. Because of the terms of her eccentric father's will, Serena is under the trusteeship of a Marquis that she was once engaged to.

Nov 4, 2017, 6:22am Top

195) Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (1860)
I mostly listened to this, very slowly over the past couple of months and then read the last 40 or so pages. I was meant to be reading this alongside my daughter but she finished weeks and weeks ago. We were also meant to read Lord Jim together but she made it sound really lame so I don't think I'll pick that one up and go for his The Secret Agent instead. Now she's reading Don Juan.
Anyway Great Expectations is a great read, lots of interesting characters and the story is great.

Edited: Nov 4, 2017, 7:51am Top

On the drive home from Paihia, we stopped in Warkworth for a coffee and managed to find Chocolate Brown, a chocolate shop/cafe in a side street. The coffee was excellent and so was the fresh date scone. We bought some chocolate treats, you couldn't resist, the shop was totally delectable.

So in the photo - creme brulee fudge, nougat stuffed with pistachio & turkish delight, a krembo (tall chocolate-coated soft meringue), chocolates with stunning fillings, I loved how colourful those chocolates were....and for hubby some sugar-free dark plain chocolate.

Nov 4, 2017, 6:40am Top

196) The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer (1928)
This was a little different from her usual fare, cross dressing brother & sister, hiding out in plain view in London. They've been involved with the Jacobite rebels and if found out could be tried for treason hence the disguises. The opening scene where they rescue a young girl who changed her mind about eloping to Gretna Green with a rather forceful older man is really good stuff. Entertaining read and I've moved on to my last Heyer for the year, Beauvallet which is also a bit different, features a pirate.

Nov 4, 2017, 7:35am Top

>81 avatiakh: - Am I delusional, or am I remembering Krembos from Israel?? I think that was the only place I had ever seen or heard of them (and of course, tasted them)

Nov 4, 2017, 7:50am Top

Oh yes, krembo is Israeli, just that the cakes in the shop so resembled them.

Nov 4, 2017, 8:11am Top

Oh, good. So my old memory cells aren't quite gone yet! :-) I hadn't even remembered the word *krembo* until I saw it in print in >81 avatiakh:! Lol

Nov 4, 2017, 11:59pm Top

>74 avatiakh: What wonderful photos. Hani and I need to go and visit the North Island together as we only did the South Island last time around.

Nov 5, 2017, 3:58pm Top

>85 jessibud2: They'd given it a long-winded name but it shouted 'krembo' to me.

>86 PaulCranswick: Lots of great spots in the North Island. We talked to a bunch of Indian tourists who came for a 12 day visit just to the North Island.

Nov 7, 2017, 1:57pm Top

>81 avatiakh: Well, that looks delightful!

And I'm glad to see your positive comments about The Magpie Murders. I recently purchased that while on a weekend visit to Victoria, BC, and I'm planning to read it next month.

Nov 7, 2017, 9:11pm Top

>88 EBT1002: Now just a pleasant memory.

I loved Magpie murders, it got a bit tense towards the end.

Edited: Nov 15, 2017, 5:44pm Top

So I was away for a week and when I came back and unfroze my library request account, they all seemed to have arrived on the same day. Not sure if I can get all of them read but I'll have a good try.
That inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston - YA alt history of arranged marriage by genetics
The song from somewhere else by A.F. Harrold - children's fiction, I thought I was getting a picturebook so not sure i'll read this
Moonrise by Sarah Crossan - YA verse novel - will read all her work
Seconds: a graphic novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley - mentioned on someone's thread
Father Christmas and me by Matt Haig - last of his Xmas trilogy for children - lots of fun
The secret horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd - children's - not sure what/where I read about this one
Under the cold bright lights by Garry Disher - crime, looks really good
Nexus by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti (Zeroes #3), YA scifi
The road to Mexico by Rick Stein - cookbook
Malala's magic pencil by Malala Yousafzai - picturebook

Nov 7, 2017, 10:02pm Top

"...it got a bit tense towards the end." That is the best recommendation of all.

Good luck with that library stack!

Nov 8, 2017, 2:57am Top

197) Moskva by Jack Grimwood (2016)
Set in 1985 Moscow, intelligence expert Tom Fox is asked by the English ambassador to track down his teenage daughter who has run away from home. Fairly quickly he finds that her disappearance is probably tied to some grisly murders and kidnappings all linking to the upper echelons of power. A good enough thriller.

Nov 10, 2017, 1:35am Top

I already got hit with the Magpie Murders elsewhere and I've read most of the Heyers, but >90 avatiakh: is getting me in trouble!!!

Nov 10, 2017, 1:55am Top

>93 Berly: I'm getting stuck into That inevitable Victorian Thing, finding it rather fun. She's probably the only Canadian writer I make sure to read.

Nov 10, 2017, 1:59am Top

>94 avatiakh: I await your review--it does sound like a good one!!

Nov 10, 2017, 9:55pm Top

>54 avatiakh: oooh, I want to read that! The Quiet Earth looks gooooood, and I like that series too. Once again I will head to the library system to see if they have it

>90 avatiakh: Yum! What a great sight.

Nov 11, 2017, 4:03pm Top

Hi Megan - I'm also a fan of the Text Classics, have read a few of them, I like that they include NZ in the series. The introductions are also interesting and illuminating.

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 4:27pm Top

198) That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston (2017)
This is an alternate history type read. Back in Queen Victoria's day she made an important change to succession, she made the oldest child the heir rather than the oldest male heir. So then Queen Victoria II made her own changes in order to strengthen the colonial empire she'd inherited, she decided to seek out marriages for her children with the diverse people of the empire rather than with European royal dynasties. In time with scientific advances genetic matchmaking also becomes part and parcel of society.
In Ontario, Helena is about to make her debut, she's always known she'll marry August, just as he's always expected to marry her. Then she gets invited to Toronto, to make her debut season in high society, where unknown to anyone, the crown princess, Victoria-Margaret, is also making an incognito debut.
I enjoyed this, many of the concepts were interesting and I could be critical, but overall I just enjoyed the main characters and the politics etc of the world that Johnston invents.

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 5:18pm Top

Malala's magic pencil by Malala Yousafzai (2017)
illustrated story
Malala writes a simple story of her life for the very youngest, a bit earnest but important message. She uses the idea of having a magic pencil, like on her childhood favourite tv show except that now it's her own words coming from putting pen to paper that is creating the magic. Illustrated by Kerascoet Kerascoet.

Lines by Suzy Lee (2017)
I loved this wordless book using skating as a showcase for illustration.

This beautiful day by Richard Jackson (2017)
Illustrated by Suzy Lee. This was also available as an e-book so I took a quick look at it as well. Quite well done, the illustrations use colour really well.

The Longest Breakfast by Jenny Bornholdt (2017)
picturebook, new zealand
Father starts making breakfast for his children and as each page turns, one more person comes to breakfast, each one wanting a more and more elaborate meal - waffles, pancakes, sausages etc etc. In the end they sit down to a pile of well done toast with butter and all are happy. Illlustrated by Sarah Willkins who mostly does editorial work. I just felt this was dated.

Big box, little box by Caryl Hart
Superbly illustrated by Edward Underwood. A fun picturebook that rises above the pack. Cat loves exploring boxes and there's a mouse.

Nov 12, 2017, 8:47am Top

>98 avatiakh: Having just watched Victoria & Abdul at the cinema, the premise of this book seems even more delightful.

By the way if you get chance to see that film, I would strongly recommend it.

Nov 12, 2017, 9:50am Top

>100 PaulCranswick: - I also saw Victoria and Abdul yesterday, Paul! It was well-done! I have to google, though, to learn where the facts end and the fiction begins. The opening scene did have that line across the screen: *Based on true events - mostly*! Gave me a chuckle

Edited: Nov 15, 2017, 10:39pm Top

I'm halfway through The necessary angel which is due back at the library today and if I pick it up straightaway can get it done by tomorrow. I put it down in order to race through Garry Disher's latest crime novel, Under the cold bright lights which I've now finished, but but yesterday I picked up Lee Child's The Midnight Line and read two chapters before returning home and it draws you in....

no touchstones - I'll try later

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 4:37pm Top

199) under the cold bright lights by Garry Disher (2017)
A bit like Ian Rankin's Rebus, Auhl is a retired cop brought back in to work in the cold case division of Melbourne/Victoria police. He's separated from his wife who sometimes stays at the house he's inherited from his parents. It's a huge old mansion in the central Carlton neighbourhood and houses, alongside Auhl, his 'never there' student daughter and a motley crew of other interesting tenants including Neve and Pia, a mother and young daughter recently separated from an authoritarian husband/father, a custody case looming. Then there's the cases he's working on, one is solved quickly and the other takes most of the book to solve. Another case from the past revisits him as well. Entertaining crime read.
This was probably a stand alone novel, though I'm hopeful that it is the start of a new series. Auhl is willing enough to dispense his own justice at times and his home is really different, he lets it run almost like a commune or refuge.

Nov 15, 2017, 6:08pm Top

>101 jessibud2: I don't think we'll ever know the full story, Shelley, as the story is apparently based on Abdul Karim's journals. Edward VII destroyed all the records he could get hold of with regards to the relationship which would indicate to me that it was more true than not.

>102 avatiakh: Lee Child does have quite the habit of drawing his readers in quickly doesn't he?

Nov 15, 2017, 6:12pm Top

>103 avatiakh: Hi Paul. I just caught up on your thread and was too out of breath to comment. Anyway I read somewhere that this particular Reacher book is one of the better ones.

Nov 15, 2017, 6:20pm Top

>105 avatiakh: Ah! Great to know you were over there anyway. xx

Nov 15, 2017, 9:44pm Top

>103 avatiakh: Will look out for this one, sounds right up my street.

>99 avatiakh: Beautiful picturebooks. I would happily go to an exhibition made up of the images from some of these books. Little works of art.

Edited: Nov 15, 2017, 10:20pm Top

>107 charl08: I just saw this pic fly past on my twitter feed -

Istanbul: 'Tombili, an obese feline who was photographed leaning casually against a step, so tickled its fans that a bronze statue was put up in his honour after he died.'

Nov 17, 2017, 10:23pm Top

200) The necessary angel by C. K. Stead (2017)
This is the third book by Stead that I've read. He's probably New Zealand's best hope at the Nobel Prize that I can think of. He's a retired Prof of English Lit, prolific and adulated poet and writer of some really interesting fiction.

This book is set in 2014 Paris and the main character Max is an expat kiwi married but now separated from French academic Louise and with two young children. The story revolves around Max and the three women that dominate his life. All work or study at the Sorbonne, his wife is about to publish her breakthrough book, a criticism of Flaubert and Max is writing his own, a comparison between Naipul & Lessing. Change is in the air, both political and in Max's life. He's enchanted by Sylvia and intrigued by the bipolar grad student from England, Helen, but the pull of his dissolving marriage is still strong as he and his wife still enjoy each other as work colleagues.

It's a delightful literary read as Stead throws in discussion and reflection of many books and it's also a lovely tribute to Paris though Stead also includes the darker edges of the Charlie Hebdo attack.
I think the title comes from poet Wallace Stevens, not sure as the book had to go back to the library the moment I finished it. Stevens wrote The Necessary Angel: essays on reality and imagination.

I also love the cover.

Nov 18, 2017, 6:27am Top

>108 avatiakh: that is a very funny cat!

>109 avatiakh: I don't think I have read anything by this author. Is this one a good place to start, do you think?

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 4:38pm Top

201) The Midnight Line by Lee Child (2017)
Jack Reacher #22. I enjoyed this one a lot. The subject matter is very topical though I don't want to expand on plot details.

Nov 19, 2017, 8:33am Top

>110 charl08: I think it would be fine to start with this one. I've read his My Name Was Judas and the much earlier Smith's Dream and will be picking up his Mansfield in the new year. I haven't read any of his poems.

Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 3:07pm Top

>111 avatiakh: I enjoyed Midnight Line, too. Sorry the relationship with Michelle Chang didn't last. Is Reacher ever going to have more than a short duration one?

Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 3:31pm Top

>113 jnwelch: Hi Joe, just as I was thinking of letting Reacher go, I'm back to wanting to read the next one. Really think Lee Child struck gold on this one. I'm not expecting for there ever to be a permanent partner for Reacher, just doesn't fit with the image

Nov 20, 2017, 3:45pm Top

>90 avatiakh: Nice library book haul. Good luck with that!

Hi, Kerry. Just popping in to see how you are doing. It looks like you are busy with the books. This is a good thing.

Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 4:16pm Top

202) Penguin Bloom: the odd little bird who saved a family by Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Grieve (2016)
I got this out from the library a while ago and picked it up last night and read straight through. Can only call it very inspiring. The storytelling could have been done a little better, but Bloom is a photographer not so much a writer, and it's the photos that sing out to you. The text is fairly brief, just enough to give a context to the pictures.

First up, a very sad tale has to be told. When on a wanderlust vacation in remote Thailand, Bloom's wife almost died in a fall from a viewing balcony, the safety fence had dry rot and she fell 20 feet to a tiled floor in front of her husband and three young sons. After several months in hospital, Sam Bloom returns home in a wheelchair, a paraplegic and immediately sinks into depression and contemplates suicide. Then one of the children finds a baby magpie who has fallen from its nest and is near death with an injured wing. They name it Penguin because it's black and white. The little bird is nursed back to health and adopts the family especially Sam.

Sam has gone on to compete in kayak sprint racing and represented Australia in para-sports.
She writes an addendum in the book, speaking directly to those who have just been on the receiving end of lifechanging spinal injuries.



Nov 20, 2017, 4:22pm Top

>113 jnwelch: I'd take a relationship of a few months or a year for this guy - someone who at least made him think twice about finding a way to make it work!

Nov 20, 2017, 4:26pm Top

>117 jnwelch: Lol. We just have to take him as he is written. Is there a date for the next one? I got in early on the library queue for this one, there were about 800 behind me.

Nov 20, 2017, 4:35pm Top

>118 avatiakh: Ha! I can't resist wanting to chip in on the writing. :-)

I haven't heard of a date for a new one. I will say, he's been good about not making us wait super-long.

Nov 21, 2017, 8:18am Top

>116 avatiakh: Nice review, Kerry, a Dutch translation was recently published. I hope my library gets a copy soon.

Nov 22, 2017, 7:49am Top

>116 avatiakh: Thanks for posting those pictures, they really made me smile.

Nov 23, 2017, 7:23am Top

This is a time of year when I as a non-American ponder over what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for this group and its ability to keep me sane during topsy-turvy times.

I am thankful that you are part of this group.

I am thankful for this opportunity to say thank you.

Nov 24, 2017, 12:21am Top

>108 avatiakh: LOL! Very cute.

>116 avatiakh: Love it. Thanks for posting some of the photos. Amazing how small things can change your life.

Nov 24, 2017, 7:57pm Top

Hi Kerry, I am taking advantage of a head cold to get caught up with threads. Your threads - and your reading - continues to zip along at a fair clip!

>74 avatiakh: - Those pictures as amazing! Beautiful!

>80 avatiakh: - After having read both Lord Jim and Great Expectations - although with a number of years between the two reads - I think one can safely glean the connections in Lord Jim without the fine details of an immediate read of Great Expectations. Loved both books.

>81 avatiakh: - YUM!

>108 avatiakh: - I love learning the back stories about public art like this one!

Nov 25, 2017, 6:04pm Top

203) The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham (1990)
Poldark #11. So amazed at myself that I've read all but one in the series this year. I already have the last book in the set, Bella Poldark, home from the library and will read that in early December.
This one was quite action packed covering the lead up to the Battle of Waterloo and the battle itself. The Poldarks are in Paris in the first half of the book. Anyway another enticing read, both joyful and some sadness.

Nov 25, 2017, 6:09pm Top

>120 FAMeulstee: It's a sweet little book, even with Sam's sad story.

>116 avatiakh: I loved most every photo and enjoyed hunting down a few favourites

>122 PaulCranswick: Thank you Paul. I do enjoy this group even though I'm a quieter contributor these past couple of years.

Nov 25, 2017, 6:14pm Top

>123 Berly: Glad to supply the necessary cute cat pics to my LT friends!

>124 lkernagh: Yeah, maybe I will look at Lord Jim down the track. My daughter isn't much of a reader but has decided to do a number of English papers at uni. She loves to write, and I would so much love to see her reading more, still this year she's managed some good reads.

Yes, that Istanbul cat story was quite lovely.

Nov 29, 2017, 4:13pm Top

I'm struggling to keep myself interested in Michelle De Kretser's latest life to come. I've enjoyed her books before though this one is just too contemporary and the characters are all really flakey and after 100pgs I'm still not sure what it's really about. Unfortunately for me it's a review copy so I'm obliged to continue...it does get good reviews.

Nov 30, 2017, 12:20pm Top

Action-packed! Music to my ears. I have Twisted Sword, but haven't read it yet. That's extra motivation.

Nov 30, 2017, 5:27pm Top

A friend of mine is off to NZ for work on Saturday, so I've asked her to keep an eye open for a copy of The Necessary Angel so that I don't have to wait until I can get it for my UK Kindle in 2.5 months!!

I read all the Poldark novels at the beginning of the year and had a fabulous time.

Nov 30, 2017, 6:08pm Top

Hi Kerry

What a joy it is to visit here and see all the images of books. I am most impressed with the sheer number of books you have read thus far this year. It was a slow year for me. I didn't think I would get to 75. But, that goal is in sight.

Since our group began, I've obtained such great reads from you.

All good wishes.

Dec 1, 2017, 3:53am Top

>130 Chatterbox: Hi Suzanne - they're likely to keel over and faint when they see how much we have to pay for a book! Unity Books in Auckland or Wellington are the best place for browsing, though the Auckland store is tiny.

>131 Whisper1: Hi Linda - thank you for such lovely comments. I do visit your thread but this year I haven't posted that much on anyone's thread. There are so many good reads around and one I'll draw your attention to as today it won the YA Australian Prime Minister's Award - Words in deep blue by Cath Crowley from a very good shortlist which included The bone sparrow and The stars at Oktober bend - all were 5 star reads for me.

Words in deep blue by Cath Crowley -
Second-hand bookshops are full of mysteries

This is a love story.

It's the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets, to words.

It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.

Now, she's back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She's looking for the future in the books people love, and the words that they leave behind.

Sometimes you need the poets

Edited: Dec 15, 2017, 9:15pm Top

Reading Plans for December -

Bella Poldark by Winston Graham - final Poldark book
The Collaborator by Gerald Seymour

Final Stop, Algiers by Mishka Ben-David - library book
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

mainly will be trying to complete reading books I've started and put aside these past few months.

The Life to Come by Michelle De Kretser - finding this rather boring with lifeless characters, yet it gets glowing reviews, anyway a review copy
Call it sleep by Henry Roth - has been bumped by library books for a few weeks now
The windup girl by Paolo Bacigalupi - where did I put my copy? I'm only a couple of chapters along

...and some others that I've started

Library Books:

numerous ones at home and two children's books I'd like to read
Moonrise by Sarah Crossan
Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig

Dec 7, 2017, 12:47am Top

204) The Collaborator by Gerald Seymour (2009)
Quite a good thriller about a young woman from a ruthless Naples crime family who turns witness to the police. The collateral damage is the young English guy who loves her and has followed her to Naples when she disappears without notice from London. He's in the hands of the mafia and is the only bait they have to stop her.

Dec 7, 2017, 10:55pm Top

205) Moonrise by Sarah Crossan (2017)
Another beautiful verse novel by Crossan. 17 yr old Joe travels from New York to a small town in Texas to spend the summer visiting his older brother who is on Death Row. The dysfunctional family could be described as 'white trash', but Ed was only 17 when he was pressured to sign a false confession of murdering a cop. He's spent 10 years in jail and justice has always evaded him.

'Crossan was 14 when she watched "Fourteen Days in May", a documentary about Edward Earl Johnson’s final days on death row in Mississippi. "I’ve rewatched it several times and find it so affecting. I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. One of the moments that is particularly disturbing is when Edward is saying goodbye to his family. It's a few hours before the execution and there's a sibling in the background. I always wondered what that felt like, to say goodbye to your brother."

Moonrise tells that story. In the book, Joe hasn't seen his brother for 10 years for the most brutal of reasons: his brother Ed is on death row and an execution date has now been set. The story follows the final 30 days of Ed's life and Joe's determination to spend that time with him, no matter what people think.' - https://www.thebookseller.com/profile/sarah-crossan-im-not-interested-lecturing-anyone-i-think-myself-storyteller-583891

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 10:42pm Top

206) The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (1997)
audio, children's fiction
I've read this before when it first came out and I really enjoyed the chance to reconnect with all the characters. I think my favourite book is the next one, The Subtle Knife, so I'll be listening to that fairly soon. I'm hoping to get through this reread of the trilogy so early next year I can read his The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage which came out a few weeks ago.

Edited: Dec 7, 2017, 11:24pm Top

Another trip to the library and some real beauties to pick up:

Air & Light & Time & Space: how successful academics write by Helen Sword - will flick through and check out any advice to pass to my student children.
The diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell - his bookshop in Wigtown is Scotland's second largest used bookshop, this is said to be funny and fascinating
Driving to Treblinka: along search for a lost father by Diana Wichtel - well known NZ journalist's search for her father's story
Jacob's Room is full of books: a year in books by Susan Hill - already a few pages in, very good.
Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener

Notes on a banana: a memoir of food, love and manic depression by David Leite - I love Leite's Culinaria website, go there for recipes often.
The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers
Hazana: Jewish Vegetarian Cooking by Paola Gavin
Peppers of the Americas: The Remarkable Capsicums That Forever Changed Flavor by Maricel E. Presilla
The Brother Hubbard Cookbook by Garret FitzGerald
Acid Trip: travels in the world of vinegar by Michael Turkell

Dec 9, 2017, 1:15am Top

Plenty of cookbooks to entice above. Is The Brother Hubbard Cookbook by the ex-Irish Prime Minister?

Dec 9, 2017, 1:16am Top

Oh and wishing you a stellar weekend. I do recall you dismissing your chances of reading 200 books this year (205 books and counting!)

Dec 9, 2017, 4:35am Top

>138 PaulCranswick: I don't think so! Here's an article on my FitzGerald - https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/oh-brother-recipes-from-one-of-dublin-s-favourite-cafes-1.2810627

>139 PaulCranswick: Reading has really slowed down of late, possibly too hot to read.

Dec 9, 2017, 5:33am Top

>140 avatiakh: Yes it definitely wasn't the ex-Prime Minister - very fetching ginger beard though!

Dec 9, 2017, 10:48pm Top

207) Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig (2017)
Last in the Christmas trilogy. This has been a fun trilogy fleshing out the Father Christmas story in a rather inventive way. The illustrations by Chris Mould are really great too. Amelia has been finding it rather tough in her first year in Elftown, she's human and everyone apart from Father Christmas and his wife are elves.

Dec 10, 2017, 12:14pm Top

Oh, kudos to you for re-reading the Dark Materials trilogy before reading the new one, Kerry. I don't think I'm going to be that . . . industrious? But I've asked to get the new one for the holidays, and I can't wait to read it.

The Subtle Knife was my favorite, too. So good!

Dec 11, 2017, 2:58am Top

>143 jnwelch: Hi Joe - I'm enjoying it quite a lot, only get to listen when I'm in the car so making slow progress.

Dec 11, 2017, 3:23am Top

208) Parkland by Victor Kelleher (1994)
YA, Australia
Got this as a library interloan as it's fairly scarce. I found it on a list of Australian YA and thought it might be like an early version of Hunger Games.
All Cassie has known is Parkland, she's human and lives in the fortress-like enclosure with other humans, hybrids, gorillas and chimps. The keepers are mysterious and have bred ferocious leopogs, guard dogs that need to be restrained at all times. One day they capture a feral boy from the wild and Cassie knows she has to talk to him.
So it was an interesting dystopian read about alien gardeners trying to maintain an ecological balance on our planet after humans had taken too much advantage over the other animal life. Cassie, Leon the wild boy, Boxer a human/chimp and Ralph a human/gorilla escape from Parklands and are hunted by a pack of leopogs.

This is the first in the Parklands trilogy, the other two books are loosely linked rather than direct sequels. I'm fairly sure this is the first book by Kelleher I've read, will definitely be checking out more by him.

Dec 11, 2017, 3:48pm Top

Silent days, silent dreams by Allen Say (2017)

Stunning, evocative imagined biography of deaf, self taught artist James Castle.
I just noticed that the Castle Collection, the artist's estate, have hit this book with a copyright lawsuit as Say has replicated some of Castle's drawings. http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/community/boise/article181387736.html
An interview with Say about the book: https://bookpage.com/interviews/22061-allen-say#.Wi7udErXbIU


Dec 12, 2017, 7:57am Top

>146 avatiakh: Does sound like they are generally frustrated with the book too. What a shame: I had not heard of this artist before you mentioned this book. Would have thought the author would have checked before including them!

Dec 13, 2017, 12:01am Top

>147 charl08: Does seem a shame as Say is an excellent author/illustrator though seems to have missed on getting permission or somesuch this time. Castle's family did not treat him that well until his talent was recognised.

Dec 13, 2017, 12:08am Top

I'm enjoying the three books I'm currently reading - Bella Poldark, my last Poldark novel, Final Stop, Algiers, a spy novel and The life to come is bearing up ok finally. My audio of The Subtle Knife is going well too.

I've been rather ruthless with library books and taken many back to the library, I really need to concentrate on my own books, though as I type this I see a small pile by the desk which I posted about in #137. They are all due back in mid Jan so I have a few weeks to get to them.

Really want to finish The windup girl and call it sleep before year's end as well as what I'm already reading.

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 6:19pm Top

209) 1914: Riding into war by Susan Brocker (2014)
children's fiction
First in the 'Kiwis at War' series by Scholastic NZ. This follows the exploits of young Billy, who signs up at 17 for the Wellington Mounted Rifles. He ends up training his beloved horse Tui in the desert outside of Cairo and then his battalion is sent minus their horses to Gallipoli.
Exciting and sad as any story focusing on Gallipoli has to be, I'm hoping this series stays in school libraries for a long while.
Others in the series are:
1915: Wounds of War by Diana Menefy - nurses
1916 : dig for victory by David Hair - tunnels and trench warfare
1917 : machines of war by Brian Falkner - Air Corps

Dec 14, 2017, 8:31pm Top

Long time since I did a cafe pic so here's a couple of recent ones.

Mezze Bar - drinking a cortado and reading
This is my favourite inner city cafe, it just celebrated 25 yrs, and I've been a regular all along and even was a patron of their previous food place.

Local cafe with not so stellar coffee but we go there every few weeks.

First visit to Pastrami & Rye, a new NY influenced deli - that's two of my offspring enjoying lunch. Yaron gave their Reubens a thumbs up.

Dec 15, 2017, 1:30pm Top

210) Bella Poldark by Winston Graham (2002)

Last book in the Poldark series and a great concluding volume. I've enjoyed reading these twelve books and amazed myself that I kept up with the group read, though I did get off to a slow start.

Dec 15, 2017, 10:38pm Top

>151 avatiakh: That place looks great, Kerry. An ambition of 2018 is to get to the North Island around Easter. Hope I can have a coffee with you and maybe a sandwich at that splendid looking establishment.

Have a lovely weekend.

Dec 16, 2017, 6:26pm Top

>153 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul - would be great if you made it to NZ again. I had a yummy pastrami on rye though asked them to only put on half the usual amount of meat as I'm not keen on the more meat than bread approach of the NY delis.

Edited: Dec 16, 2017, 6:46pm Top

That Christmas feeling by Lili Wilkinson (2017)

Story of two children waiting for their parents to turn up on Christmas Eve, they are staying with their grandparents and it is very unChristmassy. I have a feeling that Wilkinson had her own child around Christmas a few years back. The illustrator, Amanda Francey, is new to me.
I do have a few annoyances, the grandparents are so old and lame, they are looking after the two preschoolers while the parents are at hospital. The story hides the fact that the parents are absent because of the baby being born which seems unrealistic because I can't imagine the children only thinking of the year before's Christmas and the fun they had then which they are not having now. There are no decorations, no Christmas food, no presents etc etc and the grandparents are so old they don't like to drive at night.
Come on....if they are the grandparents of preschoolers then they are most probably in their late 50s to early 70s and most people I'm aware of in these age groups are very active and would be doing their utmost to Christmas-up for their grandchildren who have been dumped on them at short notice.
...and what lame grandparents is reinforced by...'this year there was no Christmas pudding. Grandma and Grandpa tried to make one, but Grandma was allergic to nuts, and Grandpa forgot to put in the sugar...'
The parents & newborn turn up in the middle of the night while the kids have gone outside for whatever. Not sure if mums and newborns are allowed to leave hospitals in the night time, I know I wasn't many years ago and had to stay overnight which is another story.
All I can think is that the grandparents would have driven over to stay with the children rather than this contrived story.

Lili Wilkinson is the daughter of Carole Wilkinson, writer of the fab Dragonkeeper series and Wilkinson, herself is a well known writer of YA in Australia. I think this is her first picturebook.

Dec 16, 2017, 7:06pm Top

..on the other hand I also picked up The girl in the tower by Katherine Ardern today from the library...and I have 6 weeks to get it read.

Dec 16, 2017, 7:48pm Top

>154 avatiakh: I think I would follow you there. Love the bread more than the meat in truth.

Dec 19, 2017, 11:22pm Top

211) The Life to come by Michelle de Kretser (2017)
fiction, australia

First up, I got this as a review copy from Text Publishing a few weeks ago. While I really liked de Kretser's Questions of Travel I have to admit to struggling to read this one, I persevered mainly because it was a review copy. The main reason has to be the lack of story, the book is tied together only by a loose linking of characters, really I suppose like real life.
After reading a few reviews and reflecting on the book once I finished I can admire the writing, the style and referencing of the literary community both in Sydney and Paris, though none of this makes me love the book.
The central character is Pippa, a mediocre published writer and most of the book is from different points of view, of characters that have some tie to Pippa herself, either neighbours, house mates, friends or in-laws.
Everyone is a little unlikeable though well drawn by de Kretser, but the lack of actual story makes the book too meandering of a read. I think it would have worked for me if it had been described as a linked short story collection.

Anyway for a really good and positive review of the book - https://anzlitlovers.com/2017/10/02/the-life-to-come-by-michelle-de-kretser/
'In The Life to Come Michelle de Kretser scrutinises this existential aspect of our lives with wit and aplomb. Set in Sydney, Paris and briefly in Colombo, the novel traces the lives of diverse futures which intersect over the decades, contrasting despair and disillusionment with contentment and smug satisfaction. The author unpacks the eloquent silences that surround us to reveal the issues that we deny, suppress and ignore, exposing our flawed assumptions about other people. And she is wickedly funny about the role of social media in our lives…' anzlitlovers

Edited: Dec 19, 2017, 11:35pm Top

212) Dark Hours by Gudrun Pausewang (2006)
I've had this on my shelves since it was newly published so feel very pleased with myself for finally getting to it.
This is the story of German children forced from their home by the advance of the Russian army towards the end of WW2. They are heading to their grandparents' home in Dresden, when they are separated from first their mother, who is left behind at a small train station as she is about to give birth and then their grandmother while they wait in a larger town for another train.
Most of the action takes place as they survive buried in the ruins of the building where they sheltered during an air raid. They happened to all be in the women's bathroom at the time of the hit and so they have a small water supply, some food and the hope that they will be found. While Gisel, the oldest is 16 yrs, the other children are all much younger.
Quite a dramatic read and one that covers the German attitude towards Hitler fairly well.

Dec 19, 2017, 11:51pm Top

213) Final stop, Algiers by Mishka Ben-David (2017)

Ben-David is ex-Mossad and this is his third book featuring Mossad agents. I wasn't as taken with this one as the other two I read. It's not a page turner like it could have been.
Mickey is an Israeli who is recruited to join the Mossad after his girlfriend loses her life in a terrorist bombing. While researching his cover identity in Toronto he meets up with a girl from his past and they rekindle their relationship.
The Mossad stuff is really good but Mickey has lots of problems and while these drive the story, it is all relationship stuff that doesn't sit well this time with the espionage.
I'll keep reading Ben-David.

Dec 20, 2017, 12:17am Top

It is always a delight to visit here to see all your lists, the books you read, those you hope to read, and of course your reviews of the children's illustrated books as well as YA!

I send all good wishes for a wonderful December, and a Happy New Year

Dec 20, 2017, 7:50pm Top

Hi Linda - thanks for your good wishes.

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 8:37pm Top

Parlour Cafe in Howick Village

A trip out to the library and a freebie in the mail today. I had said I was going on a go slow with library books but I have just picked up some summer reading for all that. What I love about this time of year is that the library pushes back the return dates so this batch aren't due till 01 Feb.

Bad Debts (Jack Irish #1) by Peter Temple - just watched the tv series starring Guy Pearce and loved it
The Flying Classroom by Erich Kastner - suggested on the wikipedia page for The War of the Buttons as a similar type read
The tiger's daughter by K Arsenault Rivera - fantasy that I've had on request for ages, not sure why I first requested this but possibly because it is set on the Silk Road. First in a new trilogy.
Three Floors up by Eshkol Nevo - Nevo's latest set in a Tel Aviv apartment building
Native: Dispatches from a Palestinian-Israeli Life by Sayed Kashua - collection of his Haaretz columns
A boy in winter by Rachel Seiffert - Holocaust read
Galax-Arena by Gillian Rubenstein (Lian Hearn) - YA scifi
The guards (Jack Taylor #1) by Ken Bruen - thought I'd read this before watching the tv series

Hangman by Jack Heath - my freebie thanks to Allen & Unwin, a thriller that will be published in Jan 2018.

Dec 21, 2017, 3:08pm Top

Happy Yule Book Flood!

Dec 21, 2017, 11:17pm Top

214) Space Demons by Gillian Rubinstein (1986)
Lian Hearn's debut novel, published under her real name. This is the first in a scifi trilogy.
Andrew's father brings the prototype of a new computer video game home from Japan. The game has a sinister side to it, it consumes and thrives on hate and the problems that Andrew and his friends have begin to feel insurmountable.
Very good early story where protagonists enter the actual video game to play. Can't believe that she wrote this as home computers were just taking off.

Dec 22, 2017, 11:32pm Top

Kerry, you asked about Asian-influenced fantasy on Jim's thread and I responded there but thought I'd bring my recommendations here in case you didn't find them there.

Have you read Liz Williams' Inspector Chen fantasies? Set in a future Singapore. Also, THE classic is Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart for Asian Fantasy. Finally, Grace Lin has some wonderful fantasies based on Chinese mythology, starting with Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

Dec 23, 2017, 12:32am Top

Thanks Roni - I've read all the Grace Lin books and will look out Bridge of Birds. I had forgotten that I have Alison Goodman's Eon on the tbr as well and that looks to have some Asian mythology in it.

Dec 23, 2017, 8:26am Top

Yeah, I completely forgot about Hughart.really good books!

Dec 23, 2017, 5:21pm Top

Happy Holiday season, Kerry! I wish you and yours much light, laughter, love, and great books to read!

Dec 23, 2017, 5:24pm Top

It is that time of year again, between Solstice and Christmas, just after Hanukkah, when our thoughts turn to wishing each other well in whatever language or image is meaningful to the recipient. So, whether I wish you Happy Solstice or Merry Christmas, know that what I really wish you, and for you, is this:

Dec 23, 2017, 7:37pm Top

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

Dec 24, 2017, 8:32am Top

Knowing you lights my world!
Merry Christmas! Peace and Joy!

Dec 24, 2017, 2:24pm Top

(Or in other words, Happy Christmas, to you and yours!)

Dec 24, 2017, 9:08pm Top

Edited: Dec 24, 2017, 9:12pm Top

Merry Christmas, Kerry! I hope you are having a wonderful holiday! Hooray for The Guards! One of my very favorite crime novels!

I hope you enjoy The Darkest Dark, as much as I did.

Dec 24, 2017, 9:25pm Top

Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.

Dec 25, 2017, 1:40am Top

Dear Kerry, best wishes to you and yours at Christmas!

Dec 25, 2017, 10:18am Top

Happy Holidays to you and your family from Philadelphia, Kerry!

Dec 25, 2017, 3:29pm Top

wishing a holiday and new year of peace for you and yours!

Dec 25, 2017, 10:50pm Top

Thanks for all the Christmas wishes.

Dec 25, 2017, 10:59pm Top

215) Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer (1929)

Not a Regency setting for this one. Sir Nicholas Beauvallet is a 16th century English buccaneer. On attacking a ship sailing towards Spain, he takes on board Dona Dominica de Rada y Sylva and her father and vows to return them safely to Spain. He also vows to the beautiful Dominica that he'll travel to Spain within a year and claim her for his bride.
This starts a bit slow while they are on board the ship, but once Beauvallet gets to Spain, it's a rollicking read.

Dec 26, 2017, 4:30pm Top

Happy Boxing Day!!

Dec 26, 2017, 9:49pm Top

Thankyou, Kim. It's already well into the 27th here, I'm already running out of time to finish my 2017 reads.

Next 4 days I have to focus on:
The windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi - still not very far into this
Call it sleep by Henry Roth
and if there's time
New Boy by Tracy Chevalier - my e-book borrow only has a few days left

Dec 27, 2017, 5:09pm Top

Stop posting!! Read, read, read. ; )

Dec 28, 2017, 6:33pm Top

Happy Holidays, Kerry!

I just started Bella Poldark. The books have been so consistently good, haven't they.

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 6:10am Top

>185 jnwelch: Oh you'll love the wrap up in this last one.

Dec 29, 2017, 4:38am Top

216) New boy by Tracy Chevalier(2017)

This is the second Hogarth Shakespeare series book I've read this year, the previous one was Shylock is my name by Howard Jacobson. New Boy is a retelling of Othello, set in a 1970s Washington DC school playground. Most of the book is a painful contrived story about a bunch of school kids in the playground. The new boy is from Ghana, and he's the first black student at the school, his father is a diplomat so he's had a privileged upbringing living in European capitals. The story is fairly juvenile, though if you read a lot of children's literature then it doesn't ring true. I enjoyed the last chapter, when all the threads pulled tight, though still the book doesn't really appeal. Overall I'd have to say that Howard Jacobson's book is a superior read.

Finished this with a day to spare on my e-loan from the library so that feels good, and I hope to finish The Windup girl later tonight.

Dec 29, 2017, 6:08am Top

217) The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (2009)
This was one of the books that I listed back in January as one I hoped to get to this year. I was meant to finish it in October when I hosted the Nearfuture scifi theme read over in the category challenge group. Anyway it is done.
Set in a dystopian future Thailand, in a world that has been ravaged by severe environmental issues, failed diseased crops, lack of fuels etc etc. Thailand has a secret treasure, a seed bank, something that the global corporations would love to get their hands on.
I found this quite hard to get into, though eventually the story starts making sense and becomes quite intense reading. Overall I enjoyed it, though didn't love it.

Dec 29, 2017, 7:33am Top

I've read mostly lukewarm to negative reviews about New Boy similar to yours, so I won't read it.

Dec 29, 2017, 10:42am Top

>187 avatiakh: Thanks for the head's up on that one. I've been working my way through the Hogarth Shakespeare as well but after some lukewarm encounters (Vinegar Girl isn't a bad book but it definitely doesn't engage with more complicated readings of The Taming of the Shrew), I'm willing to skip entries if I see multiple negative reviews. So thanks for knocking that one off The List. :)

That said, I can recommend Hag-Seed, which I quite enjoyed.

Dec 30, 2017, 3:14pm Top

>189 kidzdoc: >190 MickyFine: I like it less the more I think about it. She's stressed the racism by setting the book in 1970s USA and then I think of Julius Lester's YA retelling Othello: a novel where he purposefully made Iago and Othello both African in order to avoid the racism element, a much classier read.

Dec 30, 2017, 3:21pm Top

I've finished my last book for the year, I had hoped to also finish Call it sleep but it's not a read that I want to rush.

218) The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman (1997)
children's fiction, audio

This is a reread for me, though doing it by audio. The audio version has a wonderful cast doing all the dialogue and a more muted narrator for the rest of the text. An enjoyable way to revisit the book. I hope to get the last book in the trilogy done in January so I can start The Book of Dust in February.

Dec 30, 2017, 3:24pm Top

I'll be back later today with favourites and stats etc. but here are a couple of links:

My 2017 Year in Reading

My 2018 Year Thread

Dec 30, 2017, 10:02pm Top

The darkest dark by Chris Hadfield & Kate Fillion (2016)

This was illustrated by the Fan brothers (Eric & Terry) and I have to say it is rather an enchanting read about how Chris Hadfield grew up wanting to be an astronaut and actually became one. It's about overcoming the monsters in your bedroom at night and watching the moon landing at an impressionable age. Loved it.


Dec 30, 2017, 11:04pm Top

>194 avatiakh: - Kerry, I am ending my year with a few small books and this was one of them! I plan to post my reviews tomorrow. Didn't you love how Hadfield's signature at the end of the book resembles a shuttle? I bet that is no accident! :-)

Dec 31, 2017, 8:08pm Top

>188 avatiakh: Been trying to get to The Windup Girl for a couple of years now! Hopefully next year

Dec 31, 2017, 8:08pm Top

Dec 31, 2017, 10:23pm Top

>196 rretzler: It's worth reading if you like a gritty dystopian style read. I received my copy back in about 2010 or 2011 in the LTsantathing.

>195 jessibud2: I loved this, a lovely way to finish up the year.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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