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LibraryLover23's 2018 Challenge

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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1LibraryLover23
Edited: Jan 1, 9:59am Top

Happy almost-New Year! I didn't really reach any of my reading goals last year so I'm just going to keep things informal regarding what I buy and how much I read, and we'll see where life takes me. I will say this time last year I was getting ready to start a new job and I feel like I'm in a better position now, life balance-wise.

This year also marks my tenth anniversary on LT, so I plan to celebrate that in the spring, maybe with a post about how life has changed since discovering this wonderful bookish site, and possibly with a book purchase (or ten!)




Previous Reading Challenges:

2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017

With 10 years of keeping track I can see that my average number of books read in a year is 83. Maybe that should be my goal...

2LibraryLover23
Edited: Sep 13, 7:07pm Top

2018 Reading List

January
1. Living The Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide To Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, And Feeling Better Every Day by Gene Baur with Gene Stone
2. Plant-Strong: Discover The World's Healthiest Diet With 150 Engine 2 Recipes by Rip Esselstyn
3. The Foxfire Book: Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building, Mountain Crafts And Foods, Planting By The Signs, Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing, Moonshining, And Other Affairs Of Plain Living edited by Eliot Wigginton
4. Sorcery & Cecilia, Or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
5. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel Of The Last Tsar by Robert Alexander

February
6. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
7. Princess In The Spotlight by Meg Cabot
8. The Hidden Life Of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries From A Secret World by Peter Wohlleben
9. Lincoln In The Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders

March
10. Princess In Love by Meg Cabot
11. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
12. A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
13. Princess In Waiting by Meg Cabot
14. Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass by Gary Paulsen
15. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
16. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

April
17. The Raven And The Nightingale: A Modern Mystery Of Edgar Allan Poe by Joanne Dobson
18. Forever by Judy Blume
19. Mr. Monk And The Blue Flu by Lee Goldberg

May
20. Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson
21. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
22. The Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris
23. Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys

June
24. Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet by Jamie Ford
25. The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
26. Down A Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
27. The World Of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes That Inspired The Little House Books by Marta McDowell
28. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

July
29. The Hygge Life: Embracing The Nordic Art Of Coziness Through Recipes, Entertaining, Decorating, Simple Rituals, And Family Traditions by Gunnar Karl Gíslason and Jody Eddy
30. Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich
31. Cockroaches by Jo Nesbø
32. The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets Of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager
33. I'll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search For The Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
34. How To Retire The Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskate's Guide To A Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement by Jeff Yeager
35. Sleeping With The Enemy by Nancy Price

August
36. I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming
37. The Dry by Jane Harper
38. Force Of Nature by Jane Harper
39. Going Into Town: A Love Letter To New York by Roz Chast
40. The Witch Tree Symbol by Carolyn Keene

September
41. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
42. The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
43. Don't Throw That Away!: 1,001 Ways To Reuse Your Stuff by Jeff Yeager

3LibraryLover23
Edited: Aug 3, 4:25pm Top

Here's a list of the series I'm currently reading, or ones that I hope to start soon. It's just a place for me to keep track.

Aidan, Pamela—Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series (read 1 out of 3) Next up: Duty And Desire
Alexander, Lloyd—The Prydain Chronicles (read 0 out of 5) Next up: The Book Of Three
Banks, Lynne Reid—The Indian In The Cupboard series (read 1 out of 5 but want to reread them all) Next up: The Indian In The Cupboard
Bradley, Alan—Flavia de Luce series (read 2 out of 9) Next up: A Red Herring Without Mustard
Castillo, Linda—Kate Burkholder series (read 8 out of 10) Next up: Down A Dark Road
Castle, Richard—Nikki Heat series (read 2 out of 9) Next up: Heat Rises
Cronin, Justin—The Passage Trilogy (read 1 out of 3) Next up: The Twelve
Dobson, Joanne—Karen Pelletier series (read 3 out of 6) Next up: Cold And Pure And Very Dead
Evanovich, Janet—Stephanie Plum series (read 24 out of 25) Next up: Look Alive Twenty-Five
Grafton, Sue—Alphabet Mysteries (read 3 out of 25) Next up: “D" Is For Deadbeat
Harris, Charlaine—Harper Connelly series (read 2 out of 4) Next up: An Ice Cold Grave
Harris, Thomas—Hannibal Lecter series (read 2 out of 4) Next up: Hannibal
Littlefield, Sophie—Stella Hardesty series (read 3 out of 5) Next up: A Bad Day For Mercy
Martin, George R.R.—A Song Of Ice And Fire series (read 5 out of 7) Next up: The Winds Of Winter
Nix, Garth—The Abhorsen Trilogy (read 0 out of 3) Next up: Sabriel
Penny, Louise—Three Pines series (read 10 out of 13) Next up: The Nature Of The Beast
Pullman, Philip—His Dark Materials series (read 1 out of 3) Next up: The Subtle Knife
Quinn, Spencer—Chet and Bernie Mysteries (read 8 out of 8) Next up: ???
Smith, Alexander McCall—Isabel Dalhousie series (read 7 out of 11) Next up: The Forgotten Affairs Of Youth
Smith, Alexander McCall—No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series (read 11 out of 18) Next up: The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party
Spencer-Fleming, Julia—Reverend Clare Fergusson series (read 6 out of 9) Next up: One Was A Soldier
Stewart, Mary—Arthurian Saga series (read 0 out of 5) Next up: The Crystal Cave
Tolkien, J.R.R.—Lord Of The Rings (read 1 out of 4) Next up: The Fellowship Of The Ring

4LibraryLover23
Edited: Jun 15, 1:02pm Top

These are the remaining Stephen King books I have to read as part of the King's Dear Constant Readers readalong. I'll be sad to see this challenge end as I've been working on it for years now, but as prolific as what he is, I'm sure there's going to be many more titles to come.

I've read his entire bibliography up to this point, these are the ones that are left (I'm skipping some of the e-books and things). Titles came from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_King_bibliography although of course, more can be added at any time.

Mr. Mercedes
Revival
Finders Keepers
The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams
End Of Watch
Charlie The Choo-Choo
Sleeping Beauties
The Outsider
Elevation

5drneutron
Dec 27, 2017, 4:34pm Top

Welcome back!

6elliepotten
Dec 28, 2017, 7:19am Top

I'm 10-year-Thingaversarying this year too, at the end of January. Already wondering which books to buy, as I had no idea it was a noble tradition to mark it with a spending spree! Any excuse, to be honest...

Starring you for 2018, and Happy New Year in the meantime!

7LibraryLover23
Dec 28, 2017, 9:18am Top

>5 drneutron: Thank you! And thank you for getting the group up and running!

>6 elliepotten: Oh yes, it's absolutely a valid excuse. And Happy New Year to you too!

8libraryperilous
Dec 28, 2017, 11:23am Top

>6 elliepotten: I have seen people mention buying the same number of books as their Thingaversary plus one (or plus two, or even plus three). I would think for a monumental one, such as a 10th, that one could work that to one's book buying advantage.

9elliepotten
Dec 28, 2017, 12:20pm Top

>8 libraryperilous: I just spotted that 'rule' yesterday... *cackles evilly* TO THE WISHLIST! Budget schmudget, right?! :P

10thornton37814
Dec 28, 2017, 2:46pm Top

Many happy reads in 2018!

11aqeeliz
Dec 29, 2017, 6:47am Top

>1 LibraryLover23: Why maintain your average score, increase it, go for 84!

12LibraryLover23
Dec 29, 2017, 8:41am Top

>8 libraryperilous: Good point, I forgot about the "one to grow on" part of the spending spree!

>10 thornton37814: Thank you, same to you!

>11 aqeeliz: I like the way you think aqeeliz, maybe I will... :)

13FAMeulstee
Dec 31, 2017, 10:00am Top

Happy reading in 2018!

14The_Hibernator
Dec 31, 2017, 12:46pm Top



Happy New Year! I wish you to read many good books in 2018.

15PaulCranswick
Jan 1, 4:05am Top



Happy New Year
Happy New Group here
This place is full of friends
I hope it never ends
It brew of erudition and good cheer.

16LibraryLover23
Jan 1, 10:10am Top

>13 FAMeulstee:, >14 The_Hibernator:, >15 PaulCranswick: Happy New Year and a wonderful year of reading to you too!

17LibraryLover23
Edited: Jan 1, 10:35am Top

1. Living The Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide To Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, And Feeling Better Every Day by Gene Baur with Gene Stone (306 p.)
This one was mostly finished before the new year and the second half is just recipes but I'm counting it anyway! I've been flirting with the idea of going vegan for awhile now, and this book makes the case for it by talking about the environmental and health implications of a meat vs. meat-free diet, and the pretty deplorable conditions of factory farming. Nothing food-related ever seems simple to me however, because as soon as one study is done somebody else comes along with something else to disprove it. That being said, I don't think animal suffering can ever really be justified. Not to me anyway. I'm not 100% vegan yet, but I'm getting there.

Favorite quote:
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." - Albert Einstein

18LibraryLover23
Edited: Jan 6, 2:47pm Top

2. Plant-Strong: Discover The World's Healthiest Diet With 150 Engine 2 Recipes by Rip Esselstyn (Kindle)
Another vegan lifestyle/cookbook. The author was a firefighter in Austin who convinced his fellow firefighters to adopt a plant-based diet when they saw the health benefits. (This in a state where "barbecuing is a sport.") The author is also featured in the documentary "Forks Over Knives" which is on Netflix, also about this same topic.

19LibraryLover23
Jan 7, 11:24am Top

3. The Foxfire Book: Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building, Mountain Crafts And Foods, Planting By The Signs, Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing, Moonshining, And Other Affairs Of Plain Living edited by Eliot Wigginton (384 p.)
Back in the 60's, Eliot Wigginton was a teacher in rural Appalachian Georgia, and in order to motivate his class, he had them put together a magazine made up of articles about the Appalachian way of living. The students interviewed their relatives for information, and the result morphed into a whole collection of magazines, which in turn became a series of books. I love stuff like this, I'm a sucker for learning about the homesteading lifestyle so these books are right up my alley. I particularly enjoyed the section on how to build your own log cabin, which covered everything from how to build the foundation, all the way up to what to use for the rafters. I have the second book in this series to read also and I look forward to enjoying it someday.

20libraryperilous
Jan 15, 10:54am Top

Good luck with the transition to veganism! re: nutrition, I used to get overwhelmed by the large amount of information. Then, I just decided that eating a variety of plant foods in a rainbow of colors probably was healthier than obsessing over nutrient minutiae. I'm reading How Not To Die right now.

21LibraryLover23
Jan 17, 1:26pm Top

>20 libraryperilous: That sounds like a good plan. I'm trying to get better every day with eating healthier. It's not always easy (especially around my coworkers!) but I'm working on it. That sounds like a good read, I might have to check that one out sometime...

22LibraryLover23
Jan 17, 1:35pm Top

4. Sorcery & Cecilia, Or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (326 p.)
Fun, frothy, light read about two cousins who write letters back and forth detailing their exploits in both romance and magical occurrences. Cecy lives in the English countryside, Kate in London, and both learn to navigate their respective boy troubles, a missing brother, and magic being practiced by both bad and good wizards. An enjoyable YA read for this snowy day.

23libraryperilous
Jan 19, 11:03am Top

>22 LibraryLover23: The Sorcery and Cecilia books get lots of love on LT. May be time to finally read them!

>21 LibraryLover23: I'm staying with my mom right now, and she wants to feed me. It's hard to resist her spaghetti and tacos, so I don't. I am a failed vegan right now.

24LibraryLover23
Jan 22, 5:19pm Top

>23 libraryperilous: Lol! I'm still eating leftover Christmas treats so don't feel bad. I'm not sure how I'm going to navigate work functions, that'll be the hardest obstacle I think. But I'll just try to handle different situations as they come up. That's all we can do, right?

25LibraryLover23
Feb 2, 5:33pm Top

5. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel Of The Last Tsar by Robert Alexander (229 p.)
Very good historical fiction about the last days of the Romanovs, as told from the perspective of their kitchen boy, Leonka. The tension as the date of the execution drew near was almost unbearable, and the description of the act itself was hard to stomach, but the book as a whole was very well done. My only quibble is that I didn't really buy the twist at the end, the book would have been stronger if it had just left off the epilogue I think. Still it was well worth reading, and I'm looking forward to the big Nicholas and Alexandra biography I have languishing somewhere on my shelves.

26LibraryLover23
Edited: Feb 3, 10:31am Top

27LibraryLover23
Feb 13, 5:18pm Top

6. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (283 p.)
Very cute read about an insecure 14 year-old girl who learns she's actually the princess of a small European principality. This might be one of the rare instances where the movie was just as good as, if not better than, the book. (I didn't care for book grandma nearly as much as I did Julie Andrews' grandma in the movie.) Still, it was very cute and funny and I'll most likely be reading the next few entries forthwith while the plot is still fresh in my mind.

28LibraryLover23
Feb 24, 9:32am Top

7. Princess In The Spotlight by Meg Cabot (257 p.)
The second book in The Princess Diaries series picks up right where the first one left off, with Mia just as goofy and naïve as ever. In this one Mia has to give a nationwide interview as the princess of Genovia, and Mia's mom is going through some major life changes as well. A fun, zippy read.

29LibraryLover23
Feb 24, 9:39am Top

8. The Hidden Life Of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries From A Secret World by Peter Wohlleben (Kindle)
Fascinating look at trees in all their complexities. The fact that they are complex (communicating with each other, helping each other out when sick, etc.) should come as no surprise but is surprising nonetheless. I was particularly struck by a passage where the author talks about how, in the forest, there's a series of checks and balances so no one species overwhelms the others, and I thought how sad we humans have no such system in place to keep our voraciousness in check. I'm also thankful I read this on my Kindle, as it made me a bit more aware of my paper consumption and recycling habits in general.

30FAMeulstee
Feb 24, 2:38pm Top

>29 LibraryLover23: I read (and loved) The hidden life of trees from the library, and felt good about not adding to the paper consumption. I felt a bit bad after reading Barkskins a big tome that I did buy in paper...
I try to reduce buying paper copies, but some are calling out loud to me ;-)

31libraryperilous
Feb 27, 10:19am Top

>29 LibraryLover23: I started this one but returned it without getting through it. I left it on Mt TBR, though, because I clearly just wasn't in the right frame of mind for it at the time.

>24 LibraryLover23: LOL. For sure! For work functions, I would either bring a snack I could smuggle onto my plate easily, or I would look for vegetarian options, like veggie sandwiches or even club sandwiches with meat that I could easily remove. I'd just not ponder the dairy or eggs I might be consuming.

Traveling was a bit harder, because I would meet people who offered to fix meals for me. So there sometimes would be meat I would just eat, like the time someone offered me half his lamb kebab on the eight-hour train ride from Casablanca to Marrakesh. It would have made him sad for me to refuse, and it made him happy that I ate it and said it was delicious. I lied, of course, but there was a pickle relish on it that masked some of the meat flavor.

32LibraryLover23
Mar 1, 6:33pm Top

>30 FAMeulstee: I know what you mean! There's something about the feel of a book in your hands that you just can't get from an e-reader. And I will say the book got me thinking of reducing my paper consumption in other areas as well - I switched to electronic bank statements, for example. It's just a little thing that I just never got around to doing, but this book pushed me to make the extra effort.

>31 libraryperilous: We had a potluck at work the other day and I brought minestrone soup and then just ate that. It worked pretty well, actually. And yes, I imagine traveling would be difficult. I'd probably treat it as a "when in Rome" kind of thing and just do the best I could. I'd imagine it's easier to just roll with the punches, like your train experience!

33LibraryLover23
Mar 1, 6:57pm Top

9. Lincoln In The Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders (audiobook)
This is a strange book, really strange, but I flat-out loved it. After Willie Lincoln dies, he ends up in the "Bardo," a sort of purgatory-like existence populated by the ghosts who share the graveyard with him. My reading experience was enhanced immeasurably by the audiobook narration, which was made up of a cast of 100+ actors. (Shout-outs go to Megan Mullally and Bill Hader, who were off the charts bananas as an alcoholic married couple, Bradley Whitford as a super intense slave owner, and my man Scott Brick, whose narration I adore in the Kate O'Hare/Nick Fox books. Also Nick Offerman as Vollman and David Sedaris as Bevins? Fantastic.) Anyway, I would say that this one is begging to be listened to, really you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't. It was a funny, moving, profane and thought-provoking read.

34LibraryLover23
Edited: Mar 1, 7:04pm Top

February Books Read
6. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
7. Princess In The Spotlight by Meg Cabot
8. The Hidden Life Of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries From A Secret World by Peter Wohlleben
9. Lincoln In The Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders

February Books Acquired
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (Technically a freebie, it cost 16 cents at a thrift shop and my mom had the spare change in her pocket so she bought it for me. Thanks Mom!)

35LibraryLover23
Edited: Mar 6, 5:48pm Top

10. Princess In Love by Meg Cabot (260 p.)
The third entry in The Princess Diaries series finds Mia with a boyfriend (but not the one she wants). She's also tackling more princess lessons to prepare for her upcoming trip to Genovia, and the looming threat of finals is on the horizon, including one for dreaded algebra. This one ended pretty nicely, with Mia finally getting her happy ending.

36LibraryLover23
Mar 11, 3:16pm Top

11. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Kindle)
A childhood favorite that I still love unreservedly today. I'm sure that this book went a long way toward establishing my never-ending interest in the whole farming/prairie/homesteading lifestyle.

37LibraryLover23
Edited: Mar 12, 5:50pm Top

12. A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin (1,123 p.)
What. A. Series. This is a behemoth of a book that took me months to read, and it amazes me that I'm able to keep all these characters straight.

Some random thoughts:
- Nothing bad better happen to Davos Seaworth, ever.
- What's up with Jon Snow? I know what happens to him in the TV show, but does book Jon Snow have the same fate??
- I found Daenerys' storyline to be completely stagnant and boring, at least until the last quarter of the book. (And in a 1,000+ pager that's saying something.)
- How about that Ramsay Bolton? He makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up...
- We got a brief (oh so brief) flash of Jaime and Brienne together again! I could easily read a thousand pages just of the adventures of those two. Easy.

Overall I felt this one was starting to stretch it a bit too thin (do we really need chapters from the perspectives of Barristan Selmy, Quentyn Martell, and that Connington guy? I don't think so.) It also reminds me of that episode of LOST where the characters that you know are going to make it off the island are all stationed in far-flung locales and you wonder how on earth they're ever all going to get together again as it seems impossible. Now the question is, I'm all caught up with the published books, should I try the TV show? Or just wait (and wait) for the next book to come out? Decisions, decisions...

38LibraryLover23
Mar 12, 6:03pm Top

13. Princess In Waiting by Meg Cabot (259 p.)
Fourth book in The Princess Diaries series and the last one that I own, so most likely the last one that I'll read. I enjoyed the books overall, but this one was probably my least favorite, as Mia seemed rather too naïve to be wholly believable. But the side characters are a hoot as always, and I love whenever Mia writes lists, like her favorite TV shows and instructions for feeding Fat Louie. They're a riot.

39LibraryLover23
Mar 15, 5:37pm Top

14. Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass by Gary Paulsen (120 p.)
Dreamy, lyrical writing about four seasons on a farm. I'm a big fan of Paulsen's - this one was a bit different from the other books of his I've read as there was no linear plot to speak of, it was more just vignettes of the people and places that make up farm life (which is a subject matter that I love reading about).

40LibraryLover23
Mar 21, 8:36am Top

15. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (254 p.)
I think I can safely say I won't be reading any more Gillian Flynn books. I can usually handle dark and disturbing, but this one was too much, even for me. (I also didn't care for her bestselling Gone Girl, as I couldn't stand either of the two main characters.) In this one the mystery was compelling, but the details were disgusting - a reporter who cuts herself returns to her small Missouri hometown to investigate a serial killer who is targeting children. (And did I mention the killer removes the victims' teeth?) Also, as a newly minted vegan, the descriptions of the activity in a pig slaughterhouse made me physically ill. No thank you, Gillian. I'll be moving on to something lighter next.

41LibraryLover23
Mar 29, 4:43pm Top

16. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman (181 p.)
This one was strange but good, like the other Neil Gaiman books I've read. After visiting an alternate reality with his friend Lettie Hempstock, our unnamed child narrator is horrified to discover that he's brought a creature from that reality back with him. Not only that, the creature has also hoodwinked his family into thinking she's their beautiful new tenant, and the children's new nanny besides. The narrator then needs the help of Lettie, her mother and grandmother to send the creature back where it belongs. Odd but intriguing, I'm looking forward to reading the other Gaiman(s) I have on my shelves.

42LibraryLover23
Apr 2, 5:09pm Top

March Books Read
10. Princess In Love by Meg Cabot
11. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
12. A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
13. Princess In Waiting by Meg Cabot
14. Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass by Gary Paulsen
15. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
16. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

March Books Acquired
None!

43LibraryLover23
Apr 12, 7:50pm Top

17. The Raven And The Nightingale: A Modern Mystery Of Edgar Allan Poe by Joanne Dobson (275 p.)
I adore these literary mysteries about an English professor who gets caught up in solving crimes at her prestigious liberal arts college. For a cozy, it's very erudite, bookish and New England-y, and there's a nice slow-burn romance between Professor Pelletier and the police chief, Lieutenant Piotrowski. This is the third in the series and, as you can tell by the title, the works of Edgar Allan Poe come into play. Very enjoyable stuff.

44thornton37814
Edited: Apr 13, 8:31am Top

>43 LibraryLover23: That's at least a book bullet for the first in the series.

ETA: Well, for the second. I've already read the first.

45LibraryLover23
Apr 16, 4:56pm Top

>44 thornton37814: Did you like the first one? I know my sister thought it was so-so but I really like them. They bring out the English major nerd in me.

46LibraryLover23
Apr 16, 5:00pm Top

18. Forever by Judy Blume (220 p.)
Well I can see why this one would have gotten banned from teen book lists. It's a rather explicit look at a girl's first real romance and whether or not it can stand the test of time. Blume is a great author, but this one won't go down as one of my favorites, and by today's internet standards maybe the frankness of the subject matter isn't so shocking after all.

47thornton37814
Apr 17, 9:03am Top

>45 LibraryLover23: I gave it a 3.5 when I read it in 2010. That probably translates to a 3 today. However, for a first in series, it's still enough I'd give the second a try.

48LibraryLover23
Apr 17, 5:34pm Top

>47 thornton37814: Well I hope you like it if you decide to continue on!

49libraryperilous
Apr 21, 1:42pm Top

>36 LibraryLover23: Farmer Boy is my favorite Little House book, by a long shot. But I wonder if I would find it a bit squicky as an adult? Anyway, I'm glad you continue to find it a favorite.

>43 LibraryLover23: "Oooohhh, shiny!"—Stella, my inner book mynah.

50LibraryLover23
Apr 28, 4:39pm Top

>49 libraryperilous: It never gets old for me, it's a favorite comfort read, even as an adult.

Teehee, if you get to them I hope you like the Professor Pelletier series as much as I do!

51LibraryLover23
Apr 28, 4:48pm Top

19. Mr. Monk And The Blue Flu by Lee Goldberg (295 p.)
When a "blue flu" hits the SFPD (i.e. the police force calls in sick because it's illegal for them to strike), Monk gets recruited to act as captain with a ragtag team of investigators who were previously booted off the force. It's a neat concept, and the show this is based on is reliably great, but in book form these just don't work that well for me. There were way too many cases introduced and the story is told from Natalie's perspective. Blech. She had some good episodes during her run, but I was Team Sharona all the way. I also blame this one for my slow reading progress this month as I was reluctant to pick it up between readings. I should've just given it up but what can I say? It was a gift.

53LibraryLover23
Edited: May 1, 3:56pm Top

20. Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson (302 p.)
Very sad look at Rosemary Kennedy, JFK's sister, who was born with intellectual and developmental disabilities and regressed further after she underwent a lobotomy in her early twenties. The author does inject some hopefulness though, by emphasizing how Rosemary's disabilities profoundly impacted her family and spurred most of them to help others.

54LibraryLover23
May 7, 7:33pm Top

Today marks my 10-year Thingaversary, so I thought I'd share the story of how I found this wonderful site. Back in late 2007 I came across an article in my local paper about how many books the average American reads in a year. I no longer remember the exact number, but whatever it was I remember thinking, "I'm sure I read more than that in a year!" So I sat down and wrote out a list of all the books I could remember reading up to that point (sadly it's incomplete because I couldn't remember them all).

My 2007 Reading List:
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Harry Potter books 1-7
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote
A Simple Plan by Scott Smith
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Summer Reading by Hilma Wolitzer
Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck
Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
A Time To Kill by John Grisham
Tears Of The Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
Breakfast At Tiffany's by Truman Capote
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich

Anyway, sometime in early 2008 I was skimming through NPR's book section when I came across an article about a website that lets you keep track of your reading. Eureka! - what a serendipitous match. Before I officially joined I would read through some of the threads to get a feel for what it was all about and I distinctly remember coming across alcottacre's thread and thinking, boy, these are some serious readers. But what's wonderful about the site is how it's expanded my reading horizons in ways I never could've imagined and for that I'm very, very grateful. And that's the story of how I found LibraryThing. :)

55LibraryLover23
May 8, 4:29pm Top

21. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne (344 p.)
After a series of natural disasters and a chemical weapons spill forces a group of kids to take refuge in a Walmart-type store, a Lord of the Flies situation ensues with the kids jockeying for power and untrustworthy adults on the outside trying to get in. I thought this one was pretty good - lots of edge-of-your-seat thrills and some genuine surprises. It ends on a cliffhanger unfortunately, so I might cheat and see if I can find a description of the next book to see how it all plays out.

56FAMeulstee
May 10, 12:56pm Top

Belated happy 10th Thingaversary!

I think we all thought the same when we saw Stasia's (alcottacre) thread ;-)
Like you LT has expanded my reading horizon, so glad we all found LT.

57LibraryLover23
May 12, 10:21am Top

>56 FAMeulstee: Thank you! I just remember being awestruck by how much she read. I still am, and now by everyone else's reading as well!

58libraryperilous
May 17, 8:42pm Top

>54 LibraryLover23: Happy belated TENTH thingaversary!

>50 LibraryLover23: Stella is unable to let that title go, so we are going to put in a new materials request for it.

My mom loves the Monk TV series. I've read a few Murder, She Wrote books, and they were fine. But those kinds of tie-ins usually seem pretty blandly written.

59LibraryLover23
May 19, 3:32pm Top

>58 libraryperilous: Thank you! I was just looking to see if my library system had a copy of the next book in the Professor Pelletier series and sadly they don't. So they're not super easy to find it seems, but worth seeking out!

And I agree, there's something about the alchemy of a show (maybe it's the actors themselves) that tie-in books can't quite recreate.

60LibraryLover23
May 19, 3:48pm Top

22. The Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris (367 p.)
Having never seen the movie version of this story, I'm glad that I now know what the title means and why the cover always features a picture of a moth. Anyway, this was a very good, breakneck-paced thriller about an upstart FBI agent who interviews and somewhat befriends the notorious cannibal Hannibal Lecter in order to find another serial killer. I do have to say that I think I'd give the slight edge to the first book of this series, if only because Frank Dolarhyde was a bit more of a creeper to me than the killer in this book. But Lecter is reliably great in any capacity, truly one of the best fiction villains out there.

61LibraryLover23
May 28, 6:17pm Top

23. Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys (346 p.)
It's 1950 in the French Quarter of New Orleans and Josie Moraine would give anything to leave behind her troubled mother and attend college somewhere east. When a wealthy tourist turns up dead the suspicion falls on Josie's mother, a prostitute who works under the watchful eye of Madame Willie Woodley. This one was a little hit-or-miss for me. I found it mostly dragged, but I really liked the ending. It was so-so overall.

62LibraryLover23
May 31, 5:44pm Top

May Books Read
20. Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson
21. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
22. The Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris
23. Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys

May Books Acquired
A Celebration Of Wellness: An Easy To Use Vegetarian Cookbook With Over 300 Lowfat And Nonfat Heart Healthy, No Dairy, No Cholesterol, Inspired Recipes by James Levin, M.D. and Natalie Cederquist (A gift from my aunt and I absolutely love it. It pushes all of my buttons and I'm somewhat obsessed with it. I'm not going to formally count it or write a review of it since I'm not reading it in the traditional way. I just skim through it, and skim through it, and skim through it...did I mention I was somewhat obsessed? Good stuff.)

63LibraryLover23
Jun 16, 9:43am Top

24. Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet by Jamie Ford (301 p.)
A Chinese boy and a Japanese girl fall in love but are separated due to the events of World War II in this Seattle-set novel. It was interesting to learn about this time period from an Asian perspective, but ultimately I found the story to be a bit slow-moving. Still if the subject matter seems interesting to you, I'd recommend checking it out.

64LibraryLover23
Jun 20, 2:15pm Top

25. The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë (Kindle)
The introduction to the Kindle version I read was written by a Mrs. Humphrey Ward who, in my interpretation, basically indicates that Anne wasn't in the same league as her sisters. Well, whatever Mrs. Ward, I thought this one was great. Similar to Wuthering Heights it's a story within a story, partially about Gilbert Markham, but more about his crush from afar, Mrs. Helen Graham. From what I've read, Huntingdon was based on Branwell Brontë, so what a joy he must have been. As I've said in other situations, reading a biography about this family, (which I invariably already have on my shelves) would be a worthwhile follow-up.

65libraryperilous
Jun 21, 9:00pm Top

Haha, Anne's always been my favorite Brontë. She's less Gothic and windswept and more "Everything is bad, especially men."

I've not read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, but I did like Ford's Songs of Willow Frost.

66LibraryLover23
Jun 23, 10:50am Top

>65 libraryperilous: This was my first by Anne, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

67LibraryLover23
Jun 23, 10:57am Top

26. Down A Dark Hall by Lois Duncan (181 p.)
I read that there was going to be a movie version of this book coming out soon, so I dusted off my copy for a quick reread. I adore Duncan's teen suspense novels and this one was no exception. In it Kit, initially excited by her entrance to an exclusive boarding school, is surprised to learn that there are only three other students and that all is not quite what it seems. Duncan's books are fast-paced and usually involve some connection to ESP. I love them unabashedly, she's one of my favorites.

68LibraryLover23
Jun 24, 4:57pm Top

27. The World Of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes That Inspired The Little House Books by Marta McDowell (379 p.)
I'm predisposed to love anything Little House-related and this book is no exception. It takes a look at the series through a natural lens, focusing on the flora and fauna that Laura described in the books, and taking a closer look at their history and how accurate Laura's memories were. (Side note, she was pretty accurate.) It also talks about the gardens and prairie grasses and trees and birds mentioned in the books, and some that weren't mentioned but were a part of Laura and Almanzo's later life at Rocky Ridge Farm. It also includes tons of illustrations, maps and photographs, which I loved poring over as I read. This one's a keeper.

69LibraryLover23
Jun 29, 10:12am Top

28. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (317 p.)
A fun YA romp about Ginny who, when her aunt dies, receives money and a series of letters instructing her to take a tour through Europe. Along the way Ginny finds adventure, romance, and learns to come out of her shell. A cute read.

70LibraryLover23
Jun 30, 6:22pm Top

June Books Read
24. Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet by Jamie Ford
25. The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
26. Down A Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
27. The World Of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes That Inspired The Little House Books by Marta McDowell
28. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

June Books Acquired
Melmoth by Sarah Perry (won through LT's Early Reviewers)
Dearest Dorothy, Merry Everything! by Charlene Ann Baumbich
The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study Of Nutrition Ever Conducted And The Startling Implications For Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-Term Health by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD
The Case Of The Missing Books by Ian Sansom
Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith
Time And Again by Jack Finney
The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Söderberg
The McDougall Program: 12 Days To Dynamic Health by John A. McDougall, MD
An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris
The McDougall Quick And Easy Cookbook: Over 300 Delicious Low-Fat Recipes You Can Prepare In Fifteen Minutes Or Less by John A. McDougall, MD and Mary McDougall
Three Complete Novels: "D" Is For Deadbeat, "E" Is For Evidence, "F" Is For Fugitive by Sue Grafton
The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (all bought at a library book sale, plus one or two others that I'm giving away, for a grand total of $20)
Vegan With A Vegeance: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (bought at a thrift store for $1)

71LibraryLover23
Jul 1, 9:22am Top

29. The Hygge Life: Embracing The Nordic Art Of Coziness Through Recipes, Entertaining, Decorating, Simple Rituals, And Family Traditions by Gunnar Karl Gíslason and Jody Eddy (159 p.)
I'm already aspiring to this lifestyle - "it's about feeling cozy from the inside out and letting this sense of utter contentment permeate everything you encounter throughout the day." I loved the pictures and the general feeling of happiness it evoked while I read it. I'm also trying to embrace each season as it comes, not so much looking ahead but enjoying the present moment, which is what this book advocates. And, as an aside, I did one of those DNA tests recently and it turns out I'm part Finnish! Who knew? So my appreciation for Scandivian culture has risen and Finland has rocketed near the top of my "places I'd like to visit list."

A quote about what qualifies as "hygge":

"The Scandinavian spirit overflows with hygge. Drinking hot spiced wine while wrapped in blankets by a glowing fire is hygge. A candlelit meal of warm comfort food with friends is hygge. A summer festival celebrating the longest day of the year with blazing campfires and live music is hygge. Wool socks, aromatic tea, and a good read at a cabin are hygge. A bakery with freshly baked bread is hygge. Bikes are more hygge than cars. Fluorescent lights are never hygge. Relaxing on the couch with a birch schnapps cocktail, your feet kept toasty nestled in the fur of a loving dog, is hygge." (p. 2)

Doesn't that sound lovely?

72LibraryLover23
Jul 2, 12:21pm Top

30. Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich (285 p.)
If you've made it through twenty-four books of this series you know what to expect: a zombie apocalypse, a boa constrictor named Ethel, and Grandma running off to join a swingers' group in Florida are just a few of the highlights. But it never gets old for me, these books are always just what the doctor ordered.

73LibraryLover23
Jul 9, 6:50pm Top

31. Cockroaches by Jo Nesbø (368 p.)
I enjoy this series about a hard-living Norwegian police detective who solves dark, gritty crimes. In this one Harry is sent to Bangkok to investigate the murder of a Norwegian ambassador, with the city's seedy underside coming to the fore. I liked how the book looked at two cultures and how they clashed, and that the cultures were different from my own. I have a few others in this series as well, which I look forward to reading someday.

74libraryperilous
Jul 10, 3:19pm Top

>73 LibraryLover23: This sounds intriguing, but I tend not to like contemporary crime, esp. not gritty police procedurals. Still, the location makes this one tempting.

>71 LibraryLover23: Sounds delightful. I'm very fond of the Icelandic tradition of Jólabókaflóð. Imagine getting a book catalog in the mail! And now I miss A Common Reader all over again.

75LibraryLover23
Jul 15, 5:41pm Top

>74 libraryperilous: This one was pretty gritty (I think all of the books in this series probably are), but I enjoy them for the view of other cultures.

And book catalogs sound fantastic!

76LibraryLover23
Jul 15, 5:51pm Top

32. The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets Of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager (231 p.)
I'm a big fan of this author, he breaks personal finance down to the basics, while also being hysterically funny. After he published his first PF book he went on a bicycle tour to promote it, and the cheapskates he met along the way inspired him to write this book. I'm also rereading his one on retirement right now, which I think stands as my favorite, but I love any and all things PF and you can't go wrong with the ultimate cheapskate as a guide.

77LibraryLover23
Jul 21, 5:11pm Top

33. I'll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search For The Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (328 p.)
I'm so glad I finished this one as it was keeping me up at night with pure, unsettled dread. The Golden State Killer committed fifty rapes and a dozen murders in California in the 70's and 80's and McNamara, who died before this book was finished, worked tirelessly and obsessively to help track him down. The fact that he has since been found through DNA evidence is wonderful news, although it's sad that McNamara never got to see it, and it's also rather interesting to see which theories were right and which were off the mark. If you like true crime this one's not to be missed, although as I said before it is deeply unsettling. But thank God they found the guy.

78LibraryLover23
Jul 23, 9:37am Top

34. How To Retire The Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskate's Guide To A Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement by Jeff Yeager (308 p.)
My favorite book by this author, and I especially love the profiles of people who have retired, or are on their way, and how they're making it work. I may have to break down and buy copies of his books sometime because right now I'm sad that I have to return these to the library. Well worth checking out and rereading for inspiration.

79LibraryLover23
Jul 28, 2:12pm Top

35. Sleeping With The Enemy by Nancy Price (314 p.)
In order to escape her abusive marriage, Sara Gray fakes her own death, flees to a small Midwestern town and creates a new identity. Eventually she starts to get settled in and begins to make friends, including a possible new love interest, but she can't be completely comfortable since her husband is still out there. This story was made into a popular movie starring Julia Roberts, which I've seen, so I knew the gist of what was going to happen. It was pretty good overall, although I think the movie did a better job of getting rid of some of the book's filler.

81LibraryLover23
Edited: Aug 3, 6:53pm Top

36. I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming (322 p.)
Sixth book in the Russ Van Alstyne/Clare Fergusson series. Clare is an Episcopal priest and Russ the police chief in small (fictional) Millers Kill, NY. This one was tightly plotted with lots of twists and turns. My only quibble with it is that Clare makes a few bone-headed moves where she deliberately puts herself in harm's way. Still, six books in I'm still invested in these characters and I look forward to seeing where everyone is going to end up in the more recent books (especially Hadley and Flynn!).

82libraryperilous
Aug 4, 8:23pm Top

>80 LibraryLover23: Is the none good news or bad? Are you trying not to acquire more books? If so, congrats on that kind of willpower!

>81 LibraryLover23: I've heard good things about this series. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

83LibraryLover23
Aug 15, 6:28pm Top

>82 libraryperilous: It's a good thing! I love to buy books but I definitely don't have the space for more. It doesn't stop me from buying them, however...but I consider it a victory if I can hold off for a month or two.

84LibraryLover23
Aug 15, 6:34pm Top

37. The Dry by Jane Harper (344 p.)
Debut mystery about Aaron Falk, a detective who returns to his remote Australian hometown for his friend's funeral. His friend is accused of murdering his family before turning the gun on himself, although his parents don't believe it. While in town (which is experiencing one of the worst droughts in its history, hence the title) Falk also encounters long-simmering tensions related to the mysterious death of another friend many years earlier. I thought this one was very well done, the characterizations were well-drawn and I was actually able to guess whodunit, although not whydunit. I'm reading the second in the series now and I actually like it better than the first.

85libraryperilous
Aug 16, 2:01pm Top

I've heard good things about the Harper series, although I usually eschew contemporary crime.

Haha, we bookworms take our moral victories wherever we can find them.

86LibraryLover23
Aug 22, 6:52am Top

>85 libraryperilous: I like that the books are set in Australia, an area I don't read enough about.

87LibraryLover23
Edited: Aug 22, 4:54pm Top

38. Force Of Nature by Jane Harper (326 p.)
Second book in the Aaron Falk series finds Falk investigating the case of a missing woman who was an informant for him at a shady financial company. The woman in question, Alice Russell, went missing on a company retreat, and Falk and his partner Carmen head to the trail to see if they can find out what happened to her. The chapters alternate between Falk in present day and a few days before, when the women started their retreat. The chapters told from the women's perspective were the better half of the book I thought, although I enjoyed it as a whole, and I also thought it was a bit stronger than the previous book in the series.

88LibraryLover23
Aug 22, 4:44pm Top

39. Going Into Town: A Love Letter To New York by Roz Chast (169 p.)
Love Roz Chast and her spidery drawings and I loved this graphic novel. The subtitle says it all really, a combination travel guide and love letter to NYC that had me laughing merrily throughout at its spot-on humor.

89LibraryLover23
Aug 26, 10:56am Top

40. The Witch Tree Symbol by Carolyn Keene (213 p.)
The last Nancy Drew book that I had unread on my shelves, so probably the last one I'll read for awhile. This one had a much better, linear plotline compared to the last entry I had read, and I was tickled that it took place in my hometown of Lancaster County, PA. Like all the others in this series Nancy is universally fawned over as she single-handedly solves whatever mystery comes her way.

90libraryperilous
Aug 28, 5:34pm Top

lol, I love the Nancy Drew books and I reread them often, but yeah, Nancy's a classic Mary Sue.

otoh, so many of my own interests or places on my travel spreadsheet come from those books. I'm grateful for that, even as I lament that I shall never be as poised, nearing 40, as our Nancy was at 18.

I've been meaning to read Chast's paean to New York, but I think I'll save it for my trip back (move back?!?!) in the fall.

91LibraryLover23
Sep 1, 6:25pm Top

>90 libraryperilous: Interesting. So what places are on your list?

And (possibly) welcome back! I like New York. It's within daytrip-distance so it's a place I've visited often and one I never get tired of.

92LibraryLover23
Sep 1, 6:26pm Top

August Books Read
36. I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming
37. The Dry by Jane Harper
38. Force Of Nature by Jane Harper
39. Going Into Town: A Love Letter To New York by Roz Chast
40. The Witch Tree Symbol by Carolyn Keene

August Books Acquired
None!

93LibraryLover23
Sep 2, 10:13am Top

41. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (312 p.)
I was shocked when I heard of Bourdain's death. I wouldn't call myself a superfan or anything, but I enjoyed his TV shows and knew I wanted to read this book sooner rather than later once I'd heard. It's a collection of essays about life in the restaurant biz, and in truth, makes it all sound rather...unappealing. Of course my eating habits have changed pretty drastically recently (a lifestyle that Bourdain dismisses with derision within the first ten pages, not surprisingly!), but all of the food he mentions did little to entice me. His intention I think though was to convey how hard cooks work and how passionate they are about cooking, and in that I think he succeeds.

94LibraryLover23
Sep 12, 4:24pm Top

42. The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (340 p.)
I didn't care for this one that much. I never warmed up to the main character, which is a problem as she's pretty much the only character through big chunks of the book. Lo, a writer for a travel magazine, joins an exclusive cruise ship on its maiden voyage, only to hear someone in the cabin next to hers get thrown overboard. When she raises the alarm however, no one believes her, as no one was staying in that cabin. Lo then takes it upon herself to solve the mystery, while not being sure who she can trust. Overall I thought some parts of the book were good, but the plotline stretched credulity a little bit too much for my taste.

95LibraryLover23
Sep 13, 7:12pm Top

43. Don't Throw That Away!: 1,001 Ways To Reuse Your Stuff by Jeff Yeager (145 p.)
I just love Jeff Yeager, I'm thinking of writing him a fan letter. Anywho, this is the only "Cheapskate" book I haven't read yet, mainly because there wasn't a copy available in the library. So I bought myself a cheap copy and I learned some things and had a few laughs along the way, which is just what I was hoping for.

96libraryperilous
Sep 21, 11:34am Top

>91 LibraryLover23: The main two are the Scottish Highlands and staying in a treetop inn in Kenya! I also have a fair few hobbies I'd like to take up if I were as capable as Nancy Drew.

I tried to read Ware's latest, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and I was bored almost immediately.

Hope you're having a nice month!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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