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Anita (figs) reads in 2018

This topic was continued by Anita (figs) reads in 2018 second part.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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1figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 1, 2018, 8:45pm Top



Hello and welcome! This is the third year that I have participated in this group. I must admit that last year, I started out strong with posting and following threads. Somehow, I kept on reading but neglected to post my progress. This year, I will do better :)

About me: I live in Canada. I am a biochemist that used to be a professional pianist, who now works in the healthcare field.

My rating system is as follows:

1 = Very Very bad. Either I could not finish the novel, or the plot was ill-conceived

2= Still bad. I managed to finish the book. It was probably boring, unoriginal or poorly written

3= Solid. There was character development, the pace was probably slow or parts of the book were well thought out. Still had the ability to make me think or at the very least want to continue reading, however, something was missing or could have been further developed.

4= Excellent read. I probably couldn't put the book down till it was finished. Pace was spot on, complex characters, made me think in a different way and so on

5= Does this ever happen? When it does, I will revise this section


2drneutron
Jan 1, 2018, 9:01pm Top

Welcome back!

3figsfromthistle
Jan 1, 2018, 9:05pm Top

4thornton37814
Jan 2, 2018, 12:12am Top

I'd tell you my boys (cats) say hi to your cat, but they are at least pretending to be asleep. Have a great year of reading!

5PaulCranswick
Jan 2, 2018, 12:53am 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.

6FAMeulstee
Jan 2, 2018, 4:00am Top

Happy reading in 2018, Anita!

7The_Hibernator
Jan 2, 2018, 10:16am Top



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

8BLBera
Jan 2, 2018, 5:29pm Top

Happy New Year, Anita. I wish you great reads for 2018.

9figsfromthistle
Jan 3, 2018, 7:41am Top

>4 thornton37814: Thanks! I hope you have a fantastic reading year as well. Also, your cats are adorable.
>5 PaulCranswick: Thank you for the lovely New years Poem.
>6 FAMeulstee: >7 The_Hibernator: >8 BLBera: Happy New year to you all, and happy reading!

10figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 3, 2018, 11:45am Top



1. A man called Ove: Fredrick Backman

First read of the year. I was not confident about this novel when I bought it however, after two pages, I was already laughing. A wonderful story about a seemingly grumpy man who wants to commit suicide however, life and other people get in the way.

A lovely novel that's worth the hype that surrounds it.

4/5

11thornton37814
Jan 4, 2018, 10:05pm Top

>10 figsfromthistle: Glad you liked your first book of the year.

>9 figsfromthistle: My cats thank you for praising their adorableness.

12figsfromthistle
Edited: Feb 18, 2018, 3:52pm Top



2. Nostalgia: M. G. Vassanji

A novel set in the future where those who can afford it are able to re-invent themselves by purchasing a strong, fit, younger body and new memories. However, the system is not perfect. Previous memories leak into the new ones and the symptoms become deadly. Hence the need for a specialist ( Frank Sina). Dr. Sina receives a patient who is troubled with a fragmented memory. He is told by higher authorities to desist treating him immediately. Dr. Sina is drawn to Presley and investigates further leading him to dangerous places and uncovers sensitive secrets.

Lots of things happening in this novel ( only after the first 100 pages). Class systems, grotesque, propaganda, immortality, violence, and religious morality squeezed into 250 pages. The ideas/themes are interesting however, the characters are a little lackluster.

Not a bad read

3.2/5

13mstrust
Jan 5, 2018, 1:07pm Top

Happy new year! I may have to cave and get A Man Called Ove.

14figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 2018, 10:59am Top



3. In the Month of The Midnight Sun: Cecilia Ekback
Lapland, 1856, a triple murder has occurred in Blackasen mountain and the accused, is a native Lapp. At the request of the minister of justice Magnus, a geologist is sent to Blackasen to map out the area and to unofficially investigate the triple homicide. He is also instructed to take Lovisa ( his sister in law) with him. They encounter the Sami, a nomadic group that is seen as sorcerers and discovers the secrets the mountains and the villagers are trying to hide.

Novel touches upon the supernatural, greed, guilt, women's rights, and traditions. The pace was a little slow for me however, it was not a bad crime novel.

3/5

15figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 2018, 11:00am Top

>13 mstrust: Thanks! Happy New Year to you as well.

16figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 2018, 11:42am Top

Oh my. I woke up this morning to 15cm of snow and -19 degrees and factor in the windchill it's minus 27!! Good thing I don't have to work this weekend. A great opportunity for me to sit by the fire and read :)

17Crazymamie
Jan 6, 2018, 11:45am Top

Dropping a star, Anita. That weather sounds daunting to say the least - an excellent plan to stay in. Too bad the characters weren't better in >2 drneutron:, as the premise sounds very intriguing.

18figsfromthistle
Jan 7, 2018, 9:47am Top

>17 Crazymamie: Thanks! Please keep in mind I tend to be on the harsher side when I review and rate a novel. There are also a few movies that came out before this novel that deals with similar themes. So perhaps unfairly, I expected something better.

19figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 7, 2018, 1:01pm Top



4. And Laughter Fell from the sky: Jyotsna Sreenivasan

A story about a young American- Indian woman ( Rasika) who moves back into her parent's house after graduating. Since she has completed her education and has a steady job, her family expects her to get married. Complications occur as potential suitors back out and Rasika unintentionally falls for a long time friend, Abhay. The only problem is that Abhay belongs to the wrong caste, has no job and seems to be lost in life. Of course, Rasika denies her feelings and desperately tries to please her parents. It is up to Rasika and Abhay to stand up for what they believe in.

A story of love, tradition and adulthood

3/5

20figsfromthistle
Jan 9, 2018, 2:54pm Top



5.Us Conductors: Sean Michaels

A story about an engineer, Lev Theremin who travels from Leningrad to America to show off his new invention, the Theremin ( an electronic musical instrument). He befriends various characters such as Schillinger and Shostakovich and of course, he becomes obsessed with a woman ( Clara Reisenberg). Unbeknownst to Lev, his travel companion that deals with the financial and advertising of the Theremin is also a spy. He goes missing and Lev must take over these duties. Things become tense, and Lev must flee back to Leningrad where he is later arrested and is forced into a labor camp. Later, he is transferred to a more pleasant jail where he must invent special listening devices that can go undetected.

3.5/5

21figsfromthistle
Jan 10, 2018, 10:33am Top



6.The Luxury Of Exile: Louis Buss

Claude Wooldridge, a former antique dealer acquires an antiquarian bookshop and discovers old letters addressed to a young lady named Amelia. Excitement takes over logic and Claude goes on the hunt to find Byron's letters that hint at a massive secret. The second half of the book focuses on Claude severing all family connections and moving to Naples where he finds temporary solace. He concludes that he is nothing more than a shell of a human being, lifeless, hollow and fraudulent.

Some parts of the novel were a little odd and sad, however, It was not a bad read.

3.2/5

22figsfromthistle
Jan 11, 2018, 8:52am Top



7. A Spool of Blue Thread: Anne Tyler

The story follows four generations of The Whitschank family. The reader is able to see how each generation comes to care for their house and how they make it into a home. Family secrets, disappointments, arguments, death, birth, and laughter all unravel in the Whitschank's home.

I enjoyed her writing, however, there were a lot of questions left unanswered. Perhaps Anne Tyler is waiting for the next book to further develop certain characters ( like Denny).

3/5

23figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 14, 2018, 7:00pm Top



8. The Guilty: David Baldacci

Will Robie is an assassin working for the government. After failing his last mission, he is sent down to his hometown Cantrel, Mississippi to figure things out. His father is in jail accused of murder and so naturally he goes on a fact-finding mission to clear his fathers name. However, Will and his father have a strained relationship and they must face what they have long been running from.

This is book #4 in the Will Robie series.

3/5

24figsfromthistle
Jan 16, 2018, 10:10pm Top



9.The Nest: Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

What would you do if you knew that in your middle age, you would be receiving a substantial amount of money? This is exactly the case with the Plumb family. Four siblings are counting on this mid-life financial windfall to dig them out of the financial messes they have created. However, when the time comes, the family receives news that their inheritance is not as big as they had expected. Their mother withdrew a substantial amount to help the eldest brother ( Leo). The Plumb family is anxious to get the money back and believe that Leo will in time, reimburse them. While waiting for Leo to sort things out, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice open up to each other about their hardships and begin to bond again.

3.2/5

25mstrust
Jan 17, 2018, 1:02pm Top

Your review reminds me that I have that one on the shelf. Sorry it was just a middling read for you.

26figsfromthistle
Jan 17, 2018, 3:50pm Top

>25 mstrust: Which novel are you referring to? For me when I rate a novel at three it means that is was a solid read and it was enjoyable. :)

27mstrust
Jan 17, 2018, 7:32pm Top

I was referring to The Nest, but I see now that your 3 stars is a bit more enthusiastic than my 3 stars, which means "not sorry I spent time with it, but not one I'd recommend with enthusiasm". ;- )

28thornton37814
Jan 18, 2018, 8:19am Top

>22 figsfromthistle: I thought I would like that one much more than I did. Your rating is slightly higher than mine was. I rated mine 2.5 stars which is "meh." It's definitely not one I'd recommend to folks.

>24 figsfromthistle: I've looked at that one from time to time (usually when I see someone else mention it here on LT) wondering if I might like it, but I really think it's probably not for me.

29figsfromthistle
Jan 18, 2018, 8:38am Top

>28 thornton37814: I absolutely agree with you. I did not enjoy a Spool of blue thread as much. I found the beginning to be great and the middle to be as you said just "meh". It was the first Anne Tyler novel I've read so I wonder how her other novels compare to this one. Although many seemed to enjoy it. However, I did prefer The nest

30figsfromthistle
Jan 21, 2018, 8:59am Top

31figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 24, 2018, 9:44am Top



11. The Loop: Edmund Burry

Fred Bartlett returns from WW1 as a shell of a man. Having suffered critical physical injuries, the death of friends and the loss of the love of his life he moves in with his brother's family. He becomes a blacksmith and remains recluse. He only speaks to his nephews and nieces when absolutely necessary and is happy to remain a passive member of the family. However, his nephew Will is different from the other kids. He constantly challenges Fred to engage with his limitless curiosities and questions. Soon his young nephew enlists as a pilot in WW2 and discovers a secret about Uncle Fred that will closely bond them and wake Fred out of his PTSD state.

3.7/5

32figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 26, 2018, 1:11pm Top



12. A Pale View Of Hills: Kazuo Ishiguro

Etsuko is Japanese woman living in England who is trying to work through her guilt by remembering a particular summer in Nagasaki, Japan after WW2. However, memory can be a tricky thing. It can be distorted to cover up repressed feelings or embellished.

I don't want to spoil anyone's reading by providing a detailed synopsis. I did, however, enjoy Ishiguro's writing style. Not a bad little novel.

3.5/5

33figsfromthistle
Jan 30, 2018, 4:15pm Top



13.The Orphan's Tale: Pam Jenoff

Noa is a young teen who is cast out by her family after becoming pregnant by a German soldier. She ends up working as a cleaner at a railway station where she discovers a railcar full of babies. In a moment of panic, she takes one of the babies and flees into a wintry storm. A traveling circus takes her in and she must learn to become a trapeze artist. Many challenges lie ahead and she is constantly putting her new family at risk.

Interesting read. I never knew that there were traveling circuses in WW2.

3.2/5

34thornton37814
Feb 3, 2018, 10:17pm Top

>33 figsfromthistle: I was interested in that one for awhile, but the reviews on it haven't held up as well. I keep seeing it available in my Overdrive wish list and always pass it up for something else. I don't know if I'll ever get to it or if it will eventually just be "deleted".

35figsfromthistle
Feb 6, 2018, 8:18pm Top



14. The Cottingley Secret: Hazel Gaynor

Olivia inherits her grandfather's antique bookstore and a manuscript written by Francis Griffiths that tells the story surrounding pictures taken in 1917 of fairies. These pictures even garnered the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As Olivia reads the manuscripts she learns to believe in herself and finds out that there is a little magic in each person waiting to be realized.

Well written and for the most part, held my interest.

3.5/5

36figsfromthistle
Feb 6, 2018, 8:55pm Top



15. The Martian: Andy Weir

Mark Watney and his crew are on Mars. A giant dust storm forces an early departure. Mark believed to be dead, is left behind. When he regains consciousness, he realizes that he is alone and finds ways to survive untill the next crew arrives to study the planet.

3.7/5

37figsfromthistle
Edited: Oct 9, 2018, 6:46pm Top



16. The Sisters Brothers: Patrick deWitt

Eli and Charlie are contacted killers. Their next mission takes them all the way to California where they must find Hermann Kermit Warm and end his life. However, their journey on horseback takes a little longer than expected. The brothers travel through each town like cowboys in the wild wild west. Fighting, drinking, and gambling. However, what happens when they reach San Francisco changes their thinking. They are left to question their bosses instructions and their career choice.

4/5

38BBGirl55
Feb 7, 2018, 10:14am Top

Hi and thanks for the vote, Just so you know the Vote was tied, so please go vote again. Thanks.

39figsfromthistle
Feb 7, 2018, 10:20am Top

>34 thornton37814: It seems that there are a lot of mixed reviews about it. However, I enjoyed the novel even if it wasn't perfect :)

40figsfromthistle
Feb 7, 2018, 10:20am Top

>38 BBGirl55: Hello! Ok, I will drop by and re-vote.

41figsfromthistle
Feb 7, 2018, 5:54pm Top



17. Leave Me: Gayle Forman

Maribeth is 40 years old, has two twins and a busy work schedule. She finds herself in the hospital after having a serious heart attack that is followed by surgery. When she is released from the hospital, she finds that her family is not quite as supportive and understanding and relies on her to take over her former duties. She leaves her family and husband behind to escape and recover. There, she makes new connections and is able to relax a little.

2.8/5

42figsfromthistle
Feb 12, 2018, 2:00pm Top



18. Mozart's Last Aria: Matt Rees

Mozart's sister, Nannerl receives a letter stating that her brother has passed away. Suspicious of the sudden passing of her brother, she travels to Vienna to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.There she discovers secrets that put her life in danger.

3/5

43Crazymamie
Feb 12, 2018, 8:08pm Top

You are doing some great reading, Anita. I loved both The Martian and The Sisters Brothers.

Hoping that you week will be filled with fabulous!

44figsfromthistle
Feb 13, 2018, 8:36am Top

>43 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! Indeed those two novels were great :)

45figsfromthistle
Edited: Feb 13, 2018, 2:22pm Top



19. Nothing Less: Anna Todd

Landon meets a woman( Nora) whom he finds irresistible. Just so happens that Nora is best friends with his ex Dakota. Nora's emotionally closed and mysterious and sensual. Landon is calm, open and trusting. There is one secret that could ruin everything Nora has been working toward. Will Landon forgive? Or will he get back together with his ex? All is revealed in the end.

Apparently, this is the second book in the Landon series. I did not read the first one. Not the typical book that I normally read so it wasn't my cup of tea. However, if you like romances then you will like this novel.

2.5/5

46figsfromthistle
Feb 17, 2018, 11:16am Top



20. Exiles: Philip Caputo

Three Novellas.

1. Standing In
2. Paradise
3. In The Forest Of The Laughing Elephant

3/5

47figsfromthistle
Feb 18, 2018, 11:59am Top



21. A Game For All The Family: Sophie Hannah

Justine and her family move out of the city and into the far countryside. She enrolls her daughter, Ellen in a private school. There, Ellen meets a boy named George who suddenly gets expelled from school and all the teachers and students pretend that George never existed. In the meantime, Justine receives threatening phone calls. The local police do very little to help and so Justine tries to figure things out on her own.

2.8/3

48figsfromthistle
Edited: Feb 21, 2018, 10:54pm Top



22. Glass Houses: Louise Penny

A Cobrador has placed himself in the middle of Three Pines town square, putting everyone on edge. Whose conscience is it trying to appeal to? The Cobrador vanishes and a murder occurs. Now Gamache finds himself on the witness stand in a dilemma. A whole year's hard work is at stake if he tells the truth. What will he do?

Another three pines mystery. Although not the best in the series, it was still quite enjoyable

3.5/5

49figsfromthistle
Mar 2, 2018, 10:47am Top



23. Half Blood Blues: Esi Edugyan

3.8/5

Review will come once I have enough time

50figsfromthistle
Edited: Mar 3, 2018, 11:30am Top



24.The Underground Railroad: Colson Whitehead

A story about a young slave working in the cotton fields who finds an opportunity to escape her circumstances through the underground railroad. However, things become complicated during her escape when she accidentally kills a man.

Very well written.

4/5

51figsfromthistle
Edited: Mar 3, 2018, 11:27am Top



25. Storied Life Of A J Fikry: Gabrielle Zevin

AJ is the owner of a little bookstore who has quite particular reading tastes. He has almost given up hope after losing his wife and feels comfort in the fact that he can retire anytime he wishes, thanks to a very valuable book. However, after a night of drinking, he passes out and his most valued treasure is stolen. Since he no longer has anything of value in his store, he leaves it unlocked and upon returning, he discovers that someone left a three-year-old child in his store. Slowly, his demeanor changes. He becomes more social and learns to rely on others and opens himself up to new challenges and relationships.

Well written. I especially enjoyed that everything happens in the bookstore!

3.7/5

52figsfromthistle
Mar 3, 2018, 11:48am Top



26. State Of Wonder: Ann Patchett

Dr. Marina Singh is a research scientist who is sent to the Amazon to find out more about her colleague's death and to inquire about the progress of a drug that has been in development for over ten years. She finds herself working alongside her previous medical professor, Dr. Swenson. Marina must learn to adapt to her surroundings and work through problems, including her lack of confidence. However, what she finds completely surprises her.

3.5/5

53Ameise1
Mar 4, 2018, 3:35am Top

Happy Sunday, Anita. I've read >50 figsfromthistle: and >52 figsfromthistle: last year. I enjoyed them very much.

54vancouverdeb
Mar 4, 2018, 5:04am Top

Happy Sunday, Figs. What a lot of wonderful reading you have done this year. I've enjoyed A Man Called Ove, A Spool of Blue Thread, and The Sisters Brothers. I have others that you have read in my TBR pile. Great reading.

55figsfromthistle
Edited: Mar 5, 2018, 8:52pm Top

>53 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara! Hopefully, you have a nice Sunday as well. :)

>54 vancouverdeb: Nice to see you here! I am fortunate that so far most of the books I've read have been good reads :). Hopefully, this trend will continue.

56figsfromthistle
Edited: Mar 8, 2018, 10:59am Top



27. The Couple Next Door: Shari Lapena

Anne and Marco are invited to a dinner party at their neighbor's house. When their sitter cancels at the last minute, they decide to take the baby monitor with them and check in every half hour. Surely nothing can go wrong. Except when they arrive home, the baby is nowhere to be found. In gathering evidence, different truths come to light. Affairs, blackmail, and financial problems complicate and delay the potential return of their daughter.

2.9/5

57figsfromthistle
Edited: Mar 10, 2018, 9:46pm Top



28. Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry: Paul Goldberger

A wonderful biography of Paul Goldberg, the architect who designed buildings such as the Guggenheim Bilbao and the Berlin Philharmonic concert hall. The reader learns about his childhood, and what styles and people influenced him in his work. Well written. In the end, you will feel like you really understand, appreciate and know Paul.

4/5

58m.belljackson
Mar 11, 2018, 4:11pm Top

>51 figsfromthistle:

I mostly loved A.J. Fikry and would have welcomed an ending that allowed a sequel.

59figsfromthistle
Mar 12, 2018, 10:21am Top

>58 m.belljackson: Indeed, a sequel would have been nice :)

60mahsdad
Mar 19, 2018, 2:19am Top

>57 figsfromthistle: I love Frank Gehry. We have one of his buildings here in LA. The Disney Concert Hall. Its a fascinating building to photograph.

61mstrust
Mar 19, 2018, 2:57pm Top

You've had some really good reads. I read The Martian this month and gave it around the same rating you did, and I also have The Sister Brothers waiting for me to get to soon. Good to see you liked it.

62figsfromthistle
Mar 20, 2018, 11:19am Top

>60 mahsdad: Frank Gehry's buildings are spectacular! Sometimes I have difficulties photographing his buildings with my little camera, given the massive amount of light refraction and reflection!

>61 mstrust: Hi :) I hope you enjoy The Sister Brothers!

63figsfromthistle
Mar 20, 2018, 3:58pm Top



29.Blindness: Jose Saramago

A man driving his car suddenly goes blind. He visits an ophthalmologist who cannot figure out the cause. Soon others are afflicted with the same condition and the government realizes that quarantine measures are necessary. They are left in an old mental hospital, with no care or direction. Soon, things get out of hand and primal instincts take over.

This novel was on my TBR shelf for at least three years. I wish I had read it sooner! So much to think about and analyze. Very well written.

4/5

64Ameise1
Mar 20, 2018, 5:11pm Top

>63 figsfromthistle: This is a very good book. It gave me lots to think about.

65figsfromthistle
Edited: Mar 21, 2018, 9:32pm Top

>64 Ameise1: Indeed, a lot to think about! I am looking forward to reading the sequel, seeing. Hopefully, it's just as great as Blindness.

66figsfromthistle
Edited: Mar 21, 2018, 2:33pm Top



30. No laughing matter: Joseph Heller and Speed vogel

Joseph Heller, an author suddenly feels tingling in his feet and becomes completely paralyzed. He is diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome. The reader is brought into Heller's world and learns of the hardships that he had to endure while recovering.

I enjoyed the novel, although it was not the greatest writing. It made me think of how we take things for granted and how important it is to cultivate good friendships. It also made me think about how lucky I am to live in a country that has free medical care (for most things).

3.5/5

67figsfromthistle
Mar 22, 2018, 12:09pm Top



31. Book of Days: James L. Rubart

After the death of his father and then later, his wife, Cameron sets forth on a quest to find the Book of days, where the past, present and, future of every human being is written in. As Cameron hunts for clues to the whereabouts of this so-called book, he forges friendships, finds out about his past and learns that the future is not always written in stone.

A story of friendship, forgiveness, and faith.

3/5

68mahsdad
Mar 22, 2018, 7:16pm Top

>62 figsfromthistle: Thought I'd share my one success at photographing Gehry.

69figsfromthistle
Mar 23, 2018, 1:13pm Top

>68 mahsdad: Thank you for sharing your spectacular photo. Very nice :)

70figsfromthistle
Mar 23, 2018, 1:49pm Top



32. Stowaway: Karen Hesse

A young boy runs away from home and smuggles himself aboard Captain Cook's ship, The H.M.S Endeavor. He eventually becomes a paid member of the crew and stays onboard for the whole three-year journey.

Written in journal format.

71katiekrug
Mar 23, 2018, 2:37pm Top

Hi Anita! I'm ashamed it's taken me so long to visit your thread, but I've dropped a star so will come around more often now.

Hope you have a great weekend!

72figsfromthistle
Mar 23, 2018, 3:03pm Top

>71 katiekrug: no worries. It's nice to see you here:)

73figsfromthistle
Mar 28, 2018, 1:45pm Top



33. I Let You Go: Clare Mackintosh

A little boy is hit by a car and dies. The local police are frantically searching for the driver. In the meantime, Jenna tries to rebuild her life in a small town by the sea. However, the past is a tricky thing to shake and things become complicated.

I started reading and I thought I might have to abandon the book however, I continued and it got much better. Great twists and one that I did not see coming.

3.5

74figsfromthistle
Edited: Mar 28, 2018, 2:01pm Top



34. The Chemist: Stephenie Meyer

Alex used to work for the government at a secret lab. When her boss decides that she knows too much, he tries to kill her. Her lab partner warns her and she escapes. Three years on the run and an old colleague convinces her that she is needed for a particular job-one that only she can handle. Innocent lives are at stake. However, what she finds puts her in greater danger. She must rely on her instincts, her "bathtub chemistry" and the help of others and of course fall in love as well!

3/5

75figsfromthistle
Mar 29, 2018, 1:33pm Top



35. An Object Of Beauty: Steve Martin

Lacey Yeager is an attractive, smart and strong woman who works in the Sotheby's art department. While there she learns how to recognize good art and what makes a potential buyer interested in a particular style/ painter. She applies that knowledge and opens up her own gallery. However, things are not always so easy. She must tread a fine line between her personal life, her morals, and business.

3.0/5

76figsfromthistle
Mar 29, 2018, 1:51pm Top

On a personal note: I am moving next month. I haven't decided if I should hire movers or enlist the help of my friends and my parents. Somehow, I don't think they would appreciate moving all the boxes of books down a four story walk up (or the piano either!). I'm having custom shelving made for my new house ( which will hold 3000 books) however, they won't be ready for another two months. So my endless boxes of books will have to remain packed for a while. I'm wondering if I should cull some books, but I think I will wait for the new shelving and decide then.

On a more happy note, yesterday was really rainy day and the used bookstore had a 50% off sale. Good thing for me, they have a limit on the amount you are able to buy. Otherwise, I would have gone overboard. I managed to walk out with a respectable 9 books :)

77katiekrug
Mar 29, 2018, 1:55pm Top

I moved at the end of 2016 from Texas to New Jersey. Hire the movers. And if you can, splurge on the ones that will do all the packing for you!

78figsfromthistle
Mar 29, 2018, 3:02pm Top

>77 katiekrug: Very good advice. I will look into local movers. Hopefully, it will go smoothly! Thanks

79drneutron
Mar 30, 2018, 8:09am Top

Yeah, I'd agree, given the piano. While friends are great, the movers will have the gear needed to get it down the stairs without damage.

80Crazymamie
Mar 30, 2018, 10:57am Top

What Katie said - our move was from Indiana to Georgia, and I loved having the movers pack everything up and move it. Worth every penny.

81mstrust
Mar 30, 2018, 12:26pm Top

Have a Happy Easter, Anita! And I hope your move goes smoothly!

82figsfromthistle
Mar 30, 2018, 6:50pm Top

>79 drneutron: Moving a piano is never fun ( or easy). I'll leave it to the professionals :)

>80 Crazymamie: Movers that pack for me? Yes, please :) Great idea.

>81 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer! Hopefully, you have a wonderful Easter as well

83figsfromthistle
Mar 31, 2018, 9:46pm Top

I participated in the Easter egg hunt today. Got 'em all :)

84vancouverdeb
Apr 1, 2018, 7:00am Top

I tried the Easter Egg hunt yesterday morning and I got them all too, with a little help from the spoilers. Happy Easter, Anita!

85figsfromthistle
Apr 5, 2018, 8:54pm Top



36. Testimony: Scott Turow

Bill ten Boom, a fifty-year-old lawyer, ends up quitting his job, gets divorced, and starts working for the Hague. His first case drags him through a political minefield. His goal is to establish what happened to 400 Roma in Bosnia. However, red tape, romantic interests, and unreliable evidence threaten to keep the truth hidden-no matter the cost.

The first quarter is a little slow. The storyline started to pick up thereafter.

2.9/5

86figsfromthistle
Apr 9, 2018, 11:09am Top



37. The Best Laid Plans: Terry Fallis

Daniel Addison used to have the perfect job ( or so he thought) as a speechwriter for the prime minister of Canada. He decides to leave Parliament Hill and takes on a job teaching English at the University Of Ottawa. However, Daniel must fulfill one last obligation. He has to find a liberal candidate to run in the conservative stronghold of Cumberland. He finds a fellow professor( Angus) who is willing to put his name on the ballot on the condition that Daniel, takes on teaching mandatory English to first-year engineering students. With no chance of victory, Angus sees running for election as an easy way out of teaching these unmotivated students. However, things are never that easy and his plans turn out to be more complicated than he thought.

A Canadian political satire. Very very dry humor.

3/5

87figsfromthistle
Apr 13, 2018, 11:53am Top



38.The Brother Gardeners: A Generation of Gentlemen Naturalists and the Birth of an Obsession: Andrea Wulf

A novel about the evolution of gardening and botany in the late 17th century onwards. Quite an interesting read. Serves well as an introduction to the history of gardening.

3.5/5

88vancouverdeb
Apr 13, 2018, 10:10pm Top

Great reading going on here. I see you've loaded up The Alice Network. I really enjoyed that book , I hope you do too!

89Crazymamie
Apr 15, 2018, 12:01pm Top

Happy Sunday, Anita!

90figsfromthistle
Apr 15, 2018, 12:17pm Top

>88 vancouverdeb: Thanks! I look forward to reading Alice Network.

>89 Crazymamie: Thank You. I am enjoying my Sunday indoors. We had a massive ice storm overnight which is providing me with a great opportunity to read and sit by the fire :)

91figsfromthistle
Edited: Apr 16, 2018, 10:27am Top



39. The Shoe On The roof: Will Ferguson

Thomas Rosenoff is a Ph.D. student who is trying to step out of his very successful father's shadow. In a last-ditch attempt to come up with a great thesis, he switches his focus to neuropsychology. He takes medical custody of three men who all claim that they are the son of God. His hypothesis is that the brain is highly suggestible and therefore has the ability to deceive. Therefore, "madness" as Thomas calls it can be unlearned.

At times this novel has a lot of promise. Many ideas are touched upon such as the role that religion/spirituality plays in forming one's beliefs, morals, and identity, medical ethics, and stereotypes of the mentally ill.

I did not care for the main protagonist at the beginning, nor for his father. The main argument for Thomas's behavior is that he was the test subject for his father's ideas on childhood development and therefore he is an empty, confused and disoriented man. More details about his childhood would have helped create a better understanding/character depth. Also the sudden appearance of a Jekyll and Hide murderer added very little.

" Tin men. Small Gods. Our chests have been scooped out. They have been replaced with clockwork hearts and old rags"

Overall, I'm still glad that I read it.

3/5

92figsfromthistle
Edited: Apr 25, 2018, 10:34pm Top

94PaulCranswick
Apr 24, 2018, 11:40pm Top

A lot of interesting reading going on over here, Anita.

I hadn't heard of the Will Ferguson book and for some reason Canadian authors don't get much coverage here, but I will keep an eye out for it.

95figsfromthistle
Edited: Apr 25, 2018, 10:18pm Top

>94 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Nice to see you here. If there is a particular book that you would really like to read, and can't find I'd be more than happy to send some to you :)

96BLBera
Apr 26, 2018, 8:56pm Top

Hi Anita - I found you! You've done a lot of great reading this year. Thanks for stopping by my thread.

97figsfromthistle
Apr 28, 2018, 9:48pm Top

>96 BLBera: Glad you found me :) So far my reading choices have been favorable. Fingers crossed it remains that way.

98figsfromthistle
May 4, 2018, 2:32pm Top



42.An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-first century: James Orbinski

James Orbinski recounts his experiences as an MSF doctor in the Congo, North Corea, Somalia, South America and Russia. Not an easy read, however, the reader is left with a better understanding of the plight of the innocent and how injustice, politics, and corruption hinder the MSF's ability to help those who are suffering.

4/5

99figsfromthistle
May 4, 2018, 2:35pm Top

Update: I have finished moving. I didn't get a lot of reading done though. Sadly, my custom bookshelves in my library are not installed yet. So all the book boxes remain closed. Oh well, there's plenty of other things to unpack and organize. I can't wait to organize my bookshelves though!!!

100BLBera
May 4, 2018, 5:56pm Top

Hooray for being moved. Organizing bookshelves is the most fun of any housework.

101mstrust
May 4, 2018, 6:23pm Top

Yay, the worst is over! Enjoy your new place!

102figsfromthistle
Edited: May 5, 2018, 6:54pm Top

>100 BLBera: Yay indeed! I can hardly wait to organize :) Especially since I have a lot more space to arrange my books the way I always wanted to.

>101 mstrust: Yes the moving part was quite an ordeal. The movers complained equally about the number of book boxes I had and about my lovely piano :) Thank you, I hope to enjoy my new house for many years to come.

103PaulCranswick
May 6, 2018, 6:08am Top

>95 figsfromthistle: Jolly kind of you, Anita, but don't get me started!!!

The cost of postage to Malaysia is not reasonable at all which is why I do like ordering books from Book Depo which somehow sends them to me for free.

Have a lovely Sunday. xx

104figsfromthistle
May 6, 2018, 9:52am Top

>103 PaulCranswick: Our postage fees are quite high here as well. Although, I'm sure they are not as high as they are for you. Have a great week, Paul.

105paulstalder
May 7, 2018, 3:27pm Top

>50 figsfromthistle: Sounds interesting, I put it on my wishlist

>65 figsfromthistle: I enjoyed that book very much

Wish you a good week

106figsfromthistle
May 7, 2018, 8:30pm Top

>105 paulstalder: Hi! Thanks for visiting. Hope you have a great week as well!

107figsfromthistle
Edited: May 7, 2018, 8:46pm Top



43. Duino Elegies, Bilingual edition: Rainer Maria Rilke

A few years back, I read, researched and analyzed these Elegies for a thesis paper ( in German). I came up with a great topic. Now I decided to read the Elegies again for pure enjoyment :) You can never go wrong with reading Rilke. Although this is the bilingual edition, I did not pay attention to the English part so I can't comment on the translation quality as I just read the German side ( sorry).

108witchyrichy
May 9, 2018, 2:32pm Top

Stopping by to say hello! You have been doing some terrific reading this year and I added The Brother Gardeners and Stowaway to my TBR list.

Glad you are done moving. When I moved a few years ago, I was fortunate to have an ready-to-go library and the first thing I did, despite my husband's disapproval, was unbox the books. I knew that once they were in place, the house would be a home and all the rest would just be easy.

109mdoris
May 9, 2018, 7:36pm Top

I've just had a fun visit to your thread. H0pe the move went well and those book boxes get unpacked soon.

110figsfromthistle
May 10, 2018, 9:28am Top

>108 witchyrichy: Hello! Thanks for stopping by :) A house definitely doesn't feel homey without books.

>109 mdoris: Glad you had fun! The move went as well as can be expected-I fear the book boxes will have to wait at least two months.

111figsfromthistle
May 10, 2018, 9:47am Top



44. A Trick of the Light: Louise Penny

Another murder in three pines, in an artist's garden, brings up old wounds, memories and old friends. Gamache finds plenty of suspects with enough motive to kill however, he must tread carefully if he wishes to uncover the truth.

"Who is it, exactly, you have needed, all these years to forgive?"

I know I haven't been reading this series in order *sigh* sometimes I like to go against the grain :)

3/5

112Crazymamie
May 10, 2018, 10:03am Top

Whoa! You are not reading the Three Pines books in order - I would think that would be confusing with the Gamache backstory that runs trough those books. You are reminding me that I need to get back to those books - I am ready for book five, I think.

Happy Thursday, Anita!

113figsfromthistle
May 10, 2018, 2:26pm Top

>112 Crazymamie: I read the first few in order so I got the idea of the backstory and it hasn't caused an issue so far. I think you will enjoy book #5. Enjoy the rest of your week!

114figsfromthistle
May 11, 2018, 10:47am Top



45. Every Note Played: Lisa Genova

A young, successful concert pianist finds out that he has ALS. He cancels his tour and ends up having to live with his ex-wife.

The author does a great job describing the physical, mental and emotional hardships of ALS.
Very well written

4/5

115vancouverdeb
May 11, 2018, 11:00am Top

Great to know that Every Note Played is a good as Lisa Genova's other books. I really enjoyed Inside the O'Briens . I have a close friend who was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 19, and told she would have 2 - 5 year to live. She is now confined to a power motor wheel chair, and requires assistance with breathing at night etc, but is now 52. I fear reading Every Note Played as it might hit too close to home for me. Maybe I'll try it soon.

116figsfromthistle
May 11, 2018, 3:11pm Top

>115 vancouverdeb: I'm sorry about your friend. Reading Every note played will definitely hit close to home for you. Lisa certainly doesn't sugar coat the tolls and effects of the disease and has very accurate descriptions.
Have a great weekend :)

117Berly
May 13, 2018, 1:49pm Top

Hi Anita! You have some great reads here. Congrats on the successful move--I wish you lots of happiness in your new abode. And the book unpacking can be a belated final celebration of all things good. Happy reading!

118EllaTim
May 14, 2018, 5:27am Top

Hi Anita, found your thread. Congratulations with your new home. I've moved twice recently, so I know about the stashes of unpacked books. And the grumbling of movers;-)

119figsfromthistle
May 14, 2018, 9:42pm Top

>117 Berly: Thanks. Designing and building the home was quite stressful. Now I can finally live in, decorate and enjoy it :)

>118 EllaTim: Thank you. Glad you found me :)

120figsfromthistle
May 28, 2018, 10:59am Top



46. I am Half-Sick Of Shadows: Alan Bradley

A movie is being filmed in the manor. Flavia instantly becomes friends with one of the star actresses. As you can imagine with actresses and film directors running about, a murder is bound to happen and who else but Flavia to be first at the crime scene! However, Flavia is not as concerned with solving the murder as she is busy trying to catch Father Christmas.

This is book # 4 in the series ( and yes I am reading this series in order). In this novel, the reader finds out a little more about Dogger. Also, for a change, the murder happens a little later on.

3/5

121thornton37814
May 28, 2018, 5:18pm Top

>120 figsfromthistle: I liked it better than you did.

122figsfromthistle
May 28, 2018, 6:13pm Top

>121 thornton37814: I enjoyed book #4. A 3-star rating is a solid, enjoyable and a good read for me :)

123ChelleBearss
Jun 1, 2018, 10:10am Top

You remind me that I need to get back to Flavia!

124figsfromthistle
Jun 1, 2018, 10:12am Top

>123 ChelleBearss: Yes I forgot about the series for a while as well. It's a good one though!

125figsfromthistle
Jun 1, 2018, 10:37am Top



47. Women In the Castle: Jessica Shattuck

1944- Marianne Von Lingenfels husband and other resisters attempt to assasinate Hitler. They are executed, leaving their wives and children behind in danger. After the war, Marianne and the other wives are released from prison. They end up living in an old run-down castle and each of them try to come to terms with their roles in the war, their guilt and shame.

3.8/5

126figsfromthistle
Edited: Jun 6, 2018, 11:02am Top



48. The Music Shop: Rachel Joyce

A man who owns a record shop has a unique gift- he finds the customer exactly the song he/she needs for their soul. When a stranger passes out in front of his shop, he becomes transfixed by her. He starts giving her music listening lessons and secretly allows himself to fall in love with her.

" Jazz was about the spaces between notes. It was what happened when you listened to the thing inside you. The gaps and the cracks. Because that was where life really happened; when you were brave enough to free fall"

A simple story about love, friendship, community and the influence and power music has to heal.

A quick read.

127figsfromthistle
Jun 6, 2018, 10:57pm Top



49. The One Man: Andrew Gross

Nathan Blum escapes from Poland during WW2 and ends up in America. Having thought his family to be dead he has nothing left to live for. Until he has an opportunity to put his guilt at ease. He must place himself in Auschwitz and try to extract a well-known physicist- Dr. Mendl. However, what he finds in the camp surprises him and his escape plan becomes even more complicated than he could have imagined.

3.2/5

128figsfromthistle
Jun 8, 2018, 8:20am Top

I woke up this morning and turned on the news channel- Doug Ford has been elected premier of Ontario ( with a majority government) Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. I'm not happy at all.

129figsfromthistle
Jun 11, 2018, 8:48pm Top



50. Speaking From Among The Bones: Alan Bradley

It's Easter and the tomb of Saint Tancred is scheduled to be opened up. Of course, Flavia has to be there to witness this rare event. However, when the lid is opened Flavia is the first to discover the church's organist dead in the tomb. Why would someone want to murder Mr. Collicutt? Flavia is on the case, with an unexpected partner.

I really enjoyed book # 5. Flavia is quite in her element here. Reader be warned, the novel ends with a major cliffhanger, so you may want to have book #6 ready to read.

3.5/5

130karenmarie
Jun 12, 2018, 8:07am Top

Hi Anita! It's my first visit here and I feel right at home. What's your kitty's name?

>111 figsfromthistle: As I've gotten older I've been compelled to read a series in order. I'm all caught up on Three Pines. I loved this one.

131figsfromthistle
Jun 12, 2018, 8:17am Top

> 130 Welcome! It's nice to see you here. My cat's name is Smokey.
I'm really enjoying the Three Pines series. It seems to be the only series that I'm not reading in order :)

132BLBera
Jun 12, 2018, 8:55am Top

Anita - I don't always read series in order, either. Sometimes, if one looks good, I read it to see if it's a series I would like to read. Then sometimes I go back to the beginning and sometimes I don't. That seems to work fairly well for me.

Smokey is beautiful.

I've had to stop watching the news in the morning...

133figsfromthistle
Jun 12, 2018, 10:19am Top

>132 BLBera: Thank you. It's hard to believe that Smokey is already 10 years old- How the time flies!
Indeed, it is difficult to watch the news. I guess we can just cross our fingers and hope for the best :)

134figsfromthistle
Jun 12, 2018, 12:05pm Top

So I'm house sitting for my parent's while they are in Europe and my mom just phoned to tell me that her brother died. I had hoped to see him one more time when I go to Europe at the end of the month, but I guess he couldn't hold on any longer. At least my Mom and Dad will be able to be at the funeral. Not a great way to end their vacation.

R.I.P - I will greatly miss him, definitely won't be the same without him around.

135mstrust
Jun 12, 2018, 12:07pm Top

I'm so sorry for your loss.

136figsfromthistle
Jun 12, 2018, 12:11pm Top

>135 mstrust: Thank you, Jennifer.

137FAMeulstee
Jun 12, 2018, 1:20pm Top

>134 figsfromthistle: Sorry to read you lost your uncle, Anita, especially since you hoped to see him at the end of the month.

138figsfromthistle
Jun 12, 2018, 1:52pm Top

>137 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita. We knew that he was not doing well lately. His prostate cancer went into the bones and soft tissues a while ago. He is also diabetic and suffered after getting an infection at the spa (Therme) that never could heal. As a result, his toe was amputated. Because of the constant chemo and 15 pills a day, it took a toll on his kidneys and heart. The family decided to let him "sleep in" as there was nothing they could do for him anymore. It's never easy, however, at least he was able to go peacefully.

139BLBera
Jun 12, 2018, 1:55pm Top

Sorry for your loss, Anita.

140figsfromthistle
Jun 12, 2018, 5:32pm Top

>139 BLBera: Thank you, Beth

141drneutron
Jun 13, 2018, 10:27pm Top

Me, too. So sorry for your loss.

142figsfromthistle
Jun 14, 2018, 11:03am Top

Thanks, Jim

143figsfromthistle
Jun 15, 2018, 8:26pm Top



51. The Purchase: Linda Spalding

A widowed man and his family are cast out of the community. He marries a fifteen-year-old orphan and heads off to Virginia to buy cheap farmland. After buying his new property, he attends an auction and mistakingly bids on an 8-year old slave. What happens after, is a stream of bad luck and misfortune and a family leaving to grapple with their conscience and morals.

* This novel was the winner of the Governor General's Award*

144figsfromthistle
Jun 16, 2018, 6:43pm Top



52. And A Bird Sang: Diane Bestwick

Lei and her husband have a beautiful baby boy. When Lei becomes pregnant she must wrestle with whether she is going to keep the baby or go through another abortion. As per law, she can only have a second child if she can pay the fine. This time she is adamant about keeping the child. She and her family face grave repercussions and are bullied and harassed by Gang ( an employee of the family planning committee).

Lots of issues/themes touched upon here. Well written and by a Canadian author.

4/5

145karenmarie
Jun 20, 2018, 8:24am Top

Anita, I'm so sorry to hear about your uncle. Letting him 'sleep in' and go peacefully takes a lot of love.

146figsfromthistle
Jun 23, 2018, 6:07am Top

>145 karenmarie: Thank you. It was only a matter of a few days, however, it was not an easy decision.

147figsfromthistle
Edited: Sep 29, 2018, 10:29pm Top

148figsfromthistle
Jun 24, 2018, 6:50am Top

Yay. I’m super excited. Tomorrow I start my vacation and fly to Vienna. Just have to get through this last day at work and pack :) One month of freedom!

149figsfromthistle
Jun 27, 2018, 5:55am Top

Second day in Europe. I went grocery shopping and set up my internet :) Just going to have a relaxing day and settle in :)

150figsfromthistle
Edited: Sep 29, 2018, 10:38pm Top



54.Rettungsringe: Jan Schröter

A middle-aged man suddenly finds himself alone and divorced. He starts thinking about the past and how his decisions have led him to his present state. He thinks back to a Highschool graduation trip that never ended happening and decides to finally take the trip. Three men and three women end up at a Highschool reunion and embark on a nature trip where they form new bonds and come to accept their life.

I picked this novel up in a bargain bin. The cover looked interesting and the synopsis seemed like it would be a great read. It's apparently supposed to be funny however, the humor was lost on me. The storyline had great potential that unfortunately fell flat.

2.5/5

151mstrust
Jun 27, 2018, 1:22pm Top

Have a great time! A whole month!

152figsfromthistle
Jun 28, 2018, 1:35am Top

>151 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer :)

153SqueakyChu
Jun 28, 2018, 8:38am Top

Stopping by to say hi...and dropping a star. Have a wonderful vacation in Europe, Anita!

154figsfromthistle
Jun 28, 2018, 10:41am Top

>153 SqueakyChu: Thanks! Great to see you here :)

155The_Hibernator
Jul 2, 2018, 7:59am Top

Hope your time in Europe is splendid!

156figsfromthistle
Jul 3, 2018, 12:45am Top

>155 The_Hibernator: Thanks! Hopefully, I will still find some time to read :)

157Berly
Jul 3, 2018, 1:29am Top

Sorry to hear about your uncle passing, but wishing you a wonderful month in Europe!! WOW.

158figsfromthistle
Jul 6, 2018, 1:45pm Top

Thank you :)

159Berly
Jul 7, 2018, 12:42pm Top

I saw your post on my thread and then asked if you had a thread because I couldn't find you even through I have you starred. One of THOSE days. LOL Hope Europe is agreeing with you.

160figsfromthistle
Jul 10, 2018, 8:30am Top

>159 Berly: No worries. Europe always agrees with me :) Yesterday, I saw a modern comedy play that was set outside of a castle. Luckily, the weather agreed with us so we didnt get wet.

161BLBera
Jul 11, 2018, 11:19am Top

I hope you're having a wonderful vacation, Anita.

I added both And a Bird Sang and The Purchases to my WL.

162The_Hibernator
Jul 14, 2018, 11:50am Top

Happy weekend!

163witchyrichy
Jul 14, 2018, 12:38pm Top

Stopping by after a long absence to say hello. Sending love to you and your family at the loss of your brother but hoping you can enjoy your European adventure with your family.

164figsfromthistle
Jul 15, 2018, 12:02pm Top

>162 The_Hibernator: Thanks! Hopefully, your weekend is going well.

>163 witchyrichy: Thanks :)

165figsfromthistle
Jul 15, 2018, 1:45pm Top

>161 BLBera: I'm having a great vacation :) Last week I went to see a play by Oscar Wilde - The importance of being earnest. I also spent a whole day in Belvedere castle viewing art ( mostly Klimt).

166mstrust
Jul 15, 2018, 8:02pm Top

Glad you're having a good time!

167Berly
Jul 16, 2018, 2:07am Top

Glad your vacation is going well! Keep it up!

168figsfromthistle
Jul 16, 2018, 6:41am Top

169Ameise1
Jul 21, 2018, 3:11am Top

All caught up here, Anita. Whew, lots had happenrd during the last few months. I'm glad to hear the the m8ve went well. I'm sorry for your loss.
Ah Vienna, such a beautiful city. I really love it. Once I spent several week in spring there when all theatres still had the plays. I saw every night another one.
You did some wonderful reading. It's always an inspiration to see it.
Happy weekend.

170figsfromthistle
Aug 6, 2018, 3:15pm Top

>169 Ameise1: Thanks! Nice to see you drop by :) There is always something to do in Vienna ( no matter how often you go!)

171figsfromthistle
Aug 6, 2018, 3:19pm Top

I am officially back from Europe and rested up. It's amazing how fast the time went. I will try my best to get around to the threads and catch up!

172paulstalder
Aug 7, 2018, 7:44am Top

Welcome back :) It seems that you enjoyed your stay in Vienna and that you have experienced quite different things.

173figsfromthistle
Aug 7, 2018, 9:28am Top

>172 paulstalder: Thanks, Paul. I only stayed in Vienna for a week with my Uncle. The rest of the time was split between other places ( Tirol, Murau, Graz, Retz, Jennersdorf) visiting relatives and staying at my parent's house.

174paulstalder
Aug 7, 2018, 12:50pm Top

>173 figsfromthistle: I was several times in Vienna, a lovely city. I also enjoyed some days in the Weinviertel, which was great.

175mstrust
Aug 7, 2018, 1:08pm Top

Welcome back! I hope you had a good time with your family.
Pics?

176figsfromthistle
Aug 7, 2018, 1:14pm Top

>174 paulstalder: The Weinviertel is always great. I love going to the Heurigen!

>175 mstrust: I had a fantastic time with my family and friends. I will post some pics a little later once I have more time :)

177Berly
Aug 11, 2018, 1:28pm Top

Taps foot impatiently...pictures?! : )

178figsfromthistle
Aug 13, 2018, 11:35am Top






Ok so here are a few photos of my trip. This was in Vienna at Belvedere Palace. I've been there twice however, they always have some new exhibit to view. This time it had to do with flowers. Paintings from Jan van Huysum, Rachel Ruysch, Josef Klieber, Joseph Nigg, Franz Xaver Petter, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Pauline von Koudelka-Schmerling, Rosalia Amon, Anton Romako, Hans Makart, Olga Wisinger-Florian, Tina Blau, Carl Schuch, Marie Egner, Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Michael Powolny, Egon Schiele, and Willem de Rooij.

It was quite interesting. the lady at the desk said that people spend around 45 minutes to go through the exhibit, however, my aunt and I needed 2 hours. We then strolled through the gardens even though it was an exceptionally warm day.

179figsfromthistle
Edited: Aug 13, 2018, 12:07pm Top





My relatives from the mountain region ( my mom's hometown) decided to take me on an early morning hike up a mountain on the Italien border to see the sunrise. Near the top was a little wooden hut where hikers can sleep overnight. However, at the very top of the mountain, there was another smaller hut that can be rented out. There was an 85-year-old lady who vacations there every year. She was friendly and made us some tea:) We then got the grand tour of the place. No running water or bathroom facilities inside. A wood stove in the corner for heating and cooking, a table and wooden plank boards to sleep. Everything you need ( bed linens, food and so forth) are brought up by volunteers. A very relaxing way to spend your vacation- no distractions. Just you and nature.

180figsfromthistle
Aug 13, 2018, 11:52am Top

>177 Berly: That's all the time I have for now. I will post some other pictures soon :)

181The_Hibernator
Aug 13, 2018, 12:38pm Top

>179 figsfromthistle: That sounds like a fantastic vacation. I don't think places like that are found very often in the US.

182mstrust
Aug 13, 2018, 2:28pm Top

Your vacation was a unique blend of culture and roughing it. Glad you enjoyed yourself, and thanks for the pictures!

183figsfromthistle
Aug 13, 2018, 10:40pm Top





Relatives of mine came to visit me ( at my parent's vacation home) and so I took them on a tour of the hot spring/wine and castle region in the area. This particular "Burg" is only 20 minutes away, so I've been there at least 8 times. It's worth it for the view alone and great to climb up for the exercise. Riegersburg castle sits on a volcanic rock at 485 meters height. There are three exhibits in the castle my favorite among them is the Witch Museum. Witch trials in the nearby town of Feldbach were held from 1673-1675.

The first picture is the view from the back. I don't have any recent pictures from the front of the castle ( older pictures are on another memory stick). The third picture is of older woven beehives.

184EllaTim
Aug 14, 2018, 5:49am Top

Hi Anita. You seem to be having a nice vacation. Hot spring/ wine and castle region sounds good. And I loved your story of the 85 year old woman who vacations up the mountain each year!

185BLBera
Aug 14, 2018, 10:34am Top

Thanks for the lovely pictures, Anita. It sounds like you are having a wonderful time.

186drneutron
Aug 14, 2018, 3:39pm Top

Wow, looks like a great place to visit!

187kidzdoc
Aug 14, 2018, 11:46pm Top

Great photos and descriptions of your holiday, Anita!

188figsfromthistle
Aug 15, 2018, 9:49am Top

>181 The_Hibernator: Yes, Indeed. Such places are quite rare.
>182 mstrust: Thanks!
>184 EllaTim: My vacation was quite nice. The 85-year-old woman was quite a character- full of life and energy!
>185 BLBera: You're welcome :)
>186 drneutron: Yes it is a lovely place to visit. There's so much variety in what to do and see.
>187 kidzdoc: Thank you. Glad you like them!

189figsfromthistle
Edited: Sep 29, 2018, 9:44pm Top



55. An Unmarked Grave: Charles Todd

Bess is a nurse who is helping soldiers injured on the French front. If the injuries of WW1 battles were not enough, Bess has to deal with soldiers falling ill of the Spanish flu. However, in the midst of the dead men, there is one that appears to have been murdered. Not many have seen the body however, those who have any knowledge of it seem to die under suspicious circumstances. After falling ill, Bess is taken home to England and with a few people she trusts, tries to uncover the murderer.

At times this was a great read. The motive of the murderer fell a little flat for me though.

3.5/5

190BLBera
Aug 15, 2018, 1:38pm Top

I felt the same way about the solution to this one, Anita. It seemed to come from nowhere.

191figsfromthistle
Edited: Sep 29, 2018, 10:31pm Top



56. Every Day: David Levithan

A teenage boy, "A" finds himself in a new body every morning. He tries to follow the hosts routine to minimize any damage, however, all that changes when he falls in love. Although he changes bodies, he is able to keep his memories.

A very interesting idea/ storyline.

192figsfromthistle
Aug 15, 2018, 2:09pm Top



57. Samaritans: Jonathan Lynn

Max Green is a man who loves a challenge. Better yet, he loves to make a lot of money. He ends up taking over a hospital that is knee deep in debt. He hires a star surgeon to lure wealthy patients to the hospital. All the while finding new ways diminish the services of those who are on the public healthcare system.

A very cruel, honest and at times absurd look at the troubles of a split healthcare system and those who manipulate it to create overinflated charges that are beyond most peoples reach. Lots of issues and questions here to think about. I'm just glad that I live in Canada where treatment is not a privilege but a right.

193figsfromthistle
Aug 15, 2018, 5:58pm Top

>190 BLBera: I know right! So frustrating!

194Berly
Edited: Aug 20, 2018, 5:39pm Top

Love the pictures! Thank you. : )

>189 figsfromthistle: Pass
>191 figsfromthistle: Intriguing....
>192 figsfromthistle: Ouch!!!

195figsfromthistle
Aug 21, 2018, 10:10am Top

>194 Berly: You're welcome. Glad you liked the photos!

196karenmarie
Aug 24, 2018, 8:20am Top

Hi Anita! Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. Neat pictures.

>189 figsfromthistle: I haven't been able to get into the Bess Crawford books, but love the Ian Rutledge series.

>191 figsfromthistle: Not even a book bullet for me - immediately ordered!

197figsfromthistle
Aug 24, 2018, 9:02pm Top



58. The Wrong Side of Goodbye: Michael Connelly

In this novel, Harry Bosh is a private investigator who also volunteers for the city of San Fernando police department. Privately, his services are acquired by a wealthy billionaire to hunt down a potential heir. For the police department, he is trying to catch a serial rapist. Both cases present him with challenges and put him in danger.

* Book #19 in the series* ( And yes, I've been reading this one in order! )

198figsfromthistle
Aug 24, 2018, 9:27pm Top



59.The Beekeeper's Apprentice: Laurie R King

15-year-old Mary Russell is a smart, opinionated, strong young lady who has great potential to become a detective. When she stumbles over Sherlock Holmes, they instantly connect. Mary becomes Holmes' pupil and soon he tests her knowledge by allowing her to assist in various cases.

* First book in the series*

199figsfromthistle
Aug 26, 2018, 10:19pm Top

>196 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I have to admit that I accidentally stumbled upon the Bess Crawford series. It's the first novel by Charles Todd that I've read so far. So I will try another one and see how it goes.

200figsfromthistle
Edited: Aug 31, 2018, 9:52pm Top



60. The Cellist Of Sarajevo: Steven Galloway

It's 1990, during the siege of Sarajevo a concert cellist decides to play Albinoni's Adagio for 22 days to honor the 22 victims killed while waiting in line for some bread. Danger surrounds him, and one sniper (Arrow) is given the task to protect him from a counter sniper. The reader is also introduced to Kenan who makes a dangerous trek across town to collect water for his family and his elderly neighbor.

201thornton37814
Sep 2, 2018, 9:04pm Top

>200 figsfromthistle: I enjoyed that one when I read it a few years back.

202figsfromthistle
Sep 3, 2018, 10:12pm Top

>201 thornton37814: Yes. It was a good read:)

203figsfromthistle
Sep 3, 2018, 10:13pm Top

So today was my birthday. Unfortunately, I had to work however, my co-workers sang happy birthday to me and gave me a nice card with a gift card to a local bookstore. I have the best co-workers in the world :)

204Berly
Sep 4, 2018, 3:07am Top

205drneutron
Sep 4, 2018, 1:35pm Top

Happy belated birthday!

206mstrust
Sep 4, 2018, 1:40pm Top

Glad your co-workers made up for having to work. Happy Birthday!

207kidzdoc
Sep 6, 2018, 7:07am Top

Happy belated birthday, Anita!

208figsfromthistle
Sep 6, 2018, 9:12pm Top

Thank you, Kim, Jim, Jennifer and Darryl for the birthday wishes :)

209figsfromthistle
Edited: Sep 24, 2018, 11:37am Top



61. Frog Music: Emma Donoghue

San Francisco, 1876, in a city bursting with crime, rape, social and racial inequalities, Blanche tries to make a living supporting her partner and his best friend by dancing and singing at a local club. However, when her friend is shot in front of her, and she suspects her partner to be the murderer, things get complicated. Her son is stolen by her partner and Blanche is forced to either lie in court or suffer the consequences.

211BLBera
Sep 8, 2018, 11:27am Top

Happy belated birthday, Anita. Many happy returns. It sounds like your coworkers know you well.:)

>200 figsfromthistle: This one sounds really good.

Have a wonderful weekend.

212figsfromthistle
Edited: Oct 12, 2018, 10:00pm Top



63. Recruits: Thomas Locke

Twins, Dillon and Sean have always thought themselves to be inventive and imaginative. Drawing futuristic worlds with glass trains that have the ability to defy gravity. However, when a new neighbor moves in next door, they find out that they have a unique ability to travel between other worlds where humans are the dominant species. They must pass a series of tests and eventually face the task of defending these worlds from an alien invasion.

YA Sci-fi/fantasy novel. Book one out of three.

213figsfromthistle
Sep 11, 2018, 10:34pm Top

>211 BLBera: Thanks, Beth! Indeed the cellist of Sarajevo was a great read for me :)

215ChelleBearss
Sep 16, 2018, 11:17am Top

>214 figsfromthistle: Oh, what did you think?

216figsfromthistle
Sep 22, 2018, 10:14pm Top

>215 ChelleBearss: I really enjoyed Bride of New France. It is well researched and the main protagonist's experiences in France as an orphan residing in the Salpêtrière Hospital are well developed. On the other hand, the section where the protagonist stays and starts a new life in Canada seemed too short.

217figsfromthistle
Edited: Sep 22, 2018, 10:28pm Top

218Berly
Sep 23, 2018, 12:44am Top

Just popping i to say Hi!

219figsfromthistle
Sep 24, 2018, 11:38am Top

>218 Berly: *waves* Hi :)

220figsfromthistle
Sep 27, 2018, 1:52pm Top



66. The family Gathering: Robyn Carr

Dakota Jones has been discharged from the army and decides to temporarily rent a cabin in a small town where his sister and brother live. However, he finds reasons to extend his stay ( among them a woman) and learns to deal with his past, forge new friendships and above all develop a stronger bond with his family.

221figsfromthistle
Sep 29, 2018, 9:26pm Top



67. A Legacy Of Spies: John Le Carre

Peter Guillam is summoned to England to shed light on Operation Windfall. Although he tries to thwart off serious questions and tries to deflect attention elsewhere, he is unable to maintain the upper hand. He leads a team to the operation quarters where he must sort through pages upon pages of documents that will assist the secret services legal team in defending against a lawsuit launched by Alec Leamus and Elizabeth Gold's children.

222PaulCranswick
Sep 29, 2018, 11:04pm Top

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Anita. xx

223figsfromthistle
Sep 30, 2018, 8:32am Top

>222 PaulCranswick: Thanks! Hopefully, you have a nice weekend as well

224EllaTim
Oct 1, 2018, 7:27am Top

>221 figsfromthistle: A new Smiley novel! Hmm, just read or do a reread first?

225figsfromthistle
Oct 1, 2018, 10:40am Top

>224 EllaTim: I would do a reread of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold if it's been a long time since you read it and can't remember. You'll get more out of this novel if you do.

226johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2018, 4:30pm Top

Hi Anita, thanks for stopping by my thread my dear.

227figsfromthistle
Oct 1, 2018, 11:13pm Top

>226 johnsimpson: Thank you for the return visit! :)

228tymfos
Oct 1, 2018, 11:24pm Top

I've been wanting to track down your thread. Since you were first to my new thread, it motivated me to finally stop by and say hi!

You've done some great reading. I see a few favorites of mine in the mix. Blindness, and The Cellist of Sarajevo both made me think. I see you're reading the Harry Bosch series in order. I am, too, though I'm not as far along.

229EllaTim
Oct 2, 2018, 5:58am Top

>225 figsfromthistle: Ah, Thanks, Yes, I can remember it was good, and pretty complicated! But the details are gone from memory.

230figsfromthistle
Oct 2, 2018, 3:01pm Top

>228 tymfos: Nice to see you here! I really enjoyed Blindness as well.

>229 EllaTim: Your welcome :)

231figsfromthistle
Oct 2, 2018, 9:19pm Top

The shortlist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize is out!

Songs for the Cold of Heart by Eric Dupont.
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.
French Exit by Patrick deWitt.
Motherhood by Sheila Heti.
An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim.

232figsfromthistle
Oct 4, 2018, 9:43am Top



68. Dead in the Water: Ann Granger

A young woman's body ends up floating in a river and ends up stuck among branches behind a writer's home. Inspector Jess Campbell is in charge of finding the identity and motive of the killer.

Not a bad mystery, not a great one either. A lot of times the plot seemed to drag on. Many dialogues and backstory were unnecessary and contributed very little.

Book # 4 in the series.

233The_Hibernator
Oct 4, 2018, 10:39am Top

>231 figsfromthistle: Washington Black is one I want to read.

234figsfromthistle
Edited: Oct 5, 2018, 8:57am Top



69.Metis Beach: Claudine Bourbonnais

Roman Carr comes from a small village in Quebec, where the rich and the poor are quite divided. He falls for one of the wealthy family's daughter and ends up fleeing Quebec to study in New York where he starts writing a satirical TV series. He receives news that his old flame is dying and ends up travelling to see her one last time. The news he learns is shocking and his return leads him to evaluate his past and try to move on in the present.

A lot of great points in the story. Women's rights, forgiveness, love and war.

235figsfromthistle
Oct 5, 2018, 8:50am Top

>233 The_Hibernator: I'm looking forward to reading that one as well. I'm waiting for my friend to finish reading so I can borrow her copy. Unfortunately, she dosen't read fast so I will have to wait a while *sigh*

237Ameise1
Oct 6, 2018, 3:07am Top

Happy weekend, Anita.

238figsfromthistle
Oct 6, 2018, 8:10am Top

>237 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara. Hope you have a wonderful one as well.

239ChelleBearss
Oct 6, 2018, 9:04am Top

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

240figsfromthistle
Oct 6, 2018, 10:34am Top

241BLBera
Oct 6, 2018, 10:35am Top

Hi Anita. Metís Beach looks good. Onto the WL it goes. I loved All My Puny Sorrows even though it is heart-breaking.

243figsfromthistle
Oct 6, 2018, 1:24pm Top

>241 BLBera: Metis Beach surprised me. I didn't think that I would enjoy it however, it was good.

244laytonwoman3rd
Oct 6, 2018, 2:49pm Top

>183 figsfromthistle: When I first saw that photo I thought it might be the abbey at Melk. My husband traveled in Austria, Switzerland and Germany during the Beethoven bicentennial (1970), and he has a photo reminiscent of yours.

I should read more of Miriam Toews's work. I read A Complicated Kindness a couple years ago, and enjoyed it very much.

245figsfromthistle
Oct 8, 2018, 8:04am Top

>244 laytonwoman3rd: The abbey at Melk is quite wonderful. They have a really nice library there.

I must admit that My Puny Sorrows is the first novel I read by Miriam Toews. I shall be on the lookout for her other novels.

246figsfromthistle
Edited: Oct 10, 2018, 10:37pm Top



72. Shelter: Jung Yun

Kyung Cho and his Wife Gillian are having financial troubles. They are close to the breaking point and consider moving in with Kyung's parents. However, a brutal home invasion of his parent's home causes them to change their plan. His parents end up staying with them and old feelings, family troubles and secrets end up coming out. Kyung's life unravels before him as one tragedy leads to another.

A solid read, however, there are potential triggers for some. Sexual violence, domestic abuse.

247figsfromthistle
Edited: Oct 10, 2018, 2:18pm Top



73.Revenge Wears Prada: Lauren Weisberger

Sequel to The Devil Wears Prada. The reader finds Andy owning a Glamor bridal magazine that she founded with Emily ( her former co-assistant to Miranda Priestly). She is about to marry into an important family and has many doubts about her future husband and of her feelings for her ex-boyfriend. Of course Miranda Priestly wants to buy her magazine and the two business partners fight over if they should sell or not.

Frankly, the only scenes that were amusing to read were the ones that involved Miranda Priestly. The reset * meh*. This novel does not show Andy to be strong and confident the way I would have expected from the ending of the first novel. Her strength comes much too late. I guess I just expected something different

248figsfromthistle
Edited: Oct 10, 2018, 10:55pm Top



74. The Jewels Of Paradise: Donna Leon

Caterina Pelligrini, a leading expert in Baroque Opera finds herself travelling back to Venice to take on a peculiar research job. She is instructed to sift through and translate pages and pages of manuscripts and letters by a 17th-century composer. However, her employers ( two money mongering cousins) want her to find evidence of a will and the location of certain treasures. Treasure, as it turns out, is in the eye of the beholder.

I thought I'd enjoy this novel more, given my classical music background. Fantastic twist at the end though.

249figsfromthistle
Oct 13, 2018, 7:54pm Top



75. Down a Dark Road: Linda Castillo

Kate Burkholder is the Chief of Police of a small tourist town, Painters Mill. She receives a call that a murderer has escaped from the Mansfield correctional facility. This man ( Joseph) was a childhood friend of hers and was convicted of murdering his wife in their own home while their children were asleep. Kate ends up being ambushed and is taken, hostage. All Joseph wants is for Kate to look into his case and prove his innocence. As always, it's not as easy as it seems but quite predictable all the same.

250drneutron
Oct 13, 2018, 8:35pm Top

Congrats on hitting the goal!

251figsfromthistle
Oct 14, 2018, 6:05am Top

Thanks, Jim !

252mstrust
Oct 14, 2018, 12:27pm Top

Congratulations!

253figsfromthistle
Oct 14, 2018, 3:42pm Top

>252 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer :)

254vancouverdeb
Oct 14, 2018, 6:40pm Top

Congratulations on hitting 75, Anita! Way to go!

255figsfromthistle
Oct 14, 2018, 10:36pm Top

>254 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deborah. Nice to see you here :)

256Whisper1
Oct 14, 2018, 10:55pm Top

>249 figsfromthistle: I enjoy the books of Linda Castllo. I've read many. She seems to know a lot about the amish culture.

257figsfromthistle
Edited: Oct 15, 2018, 10:39am Top

>256 Whisper1: It does seem that she is knowledgeable of the Amish culture. I've only read three books of hers so far.

258johnsimpson
Oct 15, 2018, 3:10pm Top

Hi Anita, congrats on hitting the 75 my dear, hope you had a good weekend.

259figsfromthistle
Oct 15, 2018, 5:51pm Top

Thanks John!

260FAMeulstee
Oct 15, 2018, 6:59pm Top

Congratulations on reaching 75, Anita!

261figsfromthistle
Oct 16, 2018, 6:34am Top

Thanks, Anita!

262The_Hibernator
Oct 16, 2018, 9:40am Top

Congrats on the 75!

263figsfromthistle
Oct 16, 2018, 2:30pm Top

Thanks Rachel! :)

264figsfromthistle
Edited: Oct 18, 2018, 12:23pm Top



76.If You Knew Her: Emily Elgar

Alice is a nurse in the comatose care ward. One of her patients, Frank has locked in syndrome and is aware of everything that is going on around him. Beside him, a young woman ( Cassie) has been admitted after being struck by a car. Cassie's family comes and goes and along with them, some confessions follow. Frank is trying desperately to communicate, and Alice goes on the hunt for clues about Cassie and the possible identity of the person who hit her.

265figsfromthistle
Edited: Oct 18, 2018, 12:14pm Top



77. Stanley Park: Timothy Taylor

Fresh out of culinary school, Jeremy Papier opens up a restaurant in Vancouver. His focus is on creating dishes from local produce. However, he runs into a lot of financial troubles. In the meantime, his father, an anthropologist, is living in Stanley Park among the homeless and both he and his son try to solve the murder of two children.

This topic was continued by Anita (figs) reads in 2018 second part.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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