This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
  • LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Lori (thornton37814) Reads with Sherlock, Mr B, and Barney in 2018 - thread 5

75 Books Challenge for 2018

Join LibraryThing to post.

Aug 1, 2018, 6:26pm Top


Here are my boys! Left to right: Sherlock, Mr. B, Barney

The boys will be going on vacation with me next week. I'm looking forward to their reaction to seeing the ocean from the room.

While I do plan to do a few things, the vacation is mostly for relaxing before the beginning of the academic year. I'll be in Daytona Beach, so if anyone knows good bookstores, restaurants, must-see attractions (NASCAR does not qualify as a must-see in my book; neither does Disney--I have no desire to stand in line for hours to ride something that lasts only a few minutes), let me know. Someone at church recommended Aunt Catfish's in Port Orange. I plan to go to St. Augustine one day. I've seen a few gardens and historical things I might try. I plan to walk on the beach when it isn't hot outside for the most part. I burn easily.

I'll be posting a summary of my reads for the year in the next 17 threads so #19 is yours.

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:29pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #1-10:

1. Where I Was From by Joan Didion - completed 1 Jan 2018
2. Pusserina the Wondercat by Kenneth B. Melvin; illustrated by Linda Albrecht - completed 1 Jan 2018
3. Raised Bed Gardening: How to Use Simple Raised Beds to Grow a Beautiful Vegetable Garden by Dane Alexander - completed 1 Jan 2018
4. The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg - completed 2 Jan 2018
5. Strawberry Yellow by Naomi Hirahara - completed 4 Jan 2018
6. Funeral Music by Morag Joss - completed 5 Jan 2018
7. Booked for Trouble by Eva Gates - completed 7 Jan 2018
8. The Toad Who Loved Tea by Faiz Kermani - completed 8 Jan 2018
9. Buried in the Country by Carola Dunn - completed 8 Jan 2018
10. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith - completed 12 Jan 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:31pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #11-20:

11. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens - completed 13 Jan 2018
12. Friends in High Places by Donna Leon - completed 15 Jan 2018
13. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale - completed 15 Jan 2018
14. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - completed 17 Jan 2018
15. Mary and Her Little Lamb by Will Moses - completed 17 Jan 2018
16. My Teacher by James Ransome - completed 17 Jan 2018
17. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper; illustrated by George & Doris Hauman - completed 17 Jan 2018
18. My Baby Blue Jays by John Berendt - completed 17 Jan 2018
19. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books by Lucille Colandro - completed 17 Jan 2018
20. The Balfour Declaration: Sixty-Seven Words, 100 Years of Conflict by Elliot Jager - completed 19 Jan 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:32pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #21-30:

21. The Litttle Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien - completed 20 Jan 2018
22. Laughter and Early Sorrow: and Other Stories by Brett Busang - completed 20 Jan 2018
23. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall - completed 21 Jan 2018
24. Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody - completed 25 Jan 2018
25. Hiding the Past by Nathan Dylan Goodwin - completted 27 Jan 2018
26. The Potter's Field by Andrea Camilleri - completed 29 Jan 2018
27. Life of Pi by Yann Martel - completed 1 Feb 2018
28. 'Over the Hills and Far Away': The Life of Beatrix Potter by Matthew Dennison - completed 1 Feb 2018
29. Planting Corn Belt Culture: The Impress of the Upland Southerner and Yankee in the Old Northwest by Richard Lyle Power - completed 1 Feb 2018
30. A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters - completed 3 Feb 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:33pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #31-40:

31. Creole Holiday by Phyllis A. Whitney - completed 3 Feb 2018
32. Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver; illustrated by Tomie DePaolo - completed 4 Feb 2018
33. Three Little Kittens by Jerry Pinkney - completed 4 Feb 2018
34. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter - completed 4 Feb 2018
35. Oh No, Gotta Go! by Susan Middleton Elya; illustrated by C. Brian Karas - completed 4 Feb 2018
36. The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck by Laura Murray; illustrated by Mike Lowery - completed 4 Feb 2018
37. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Jan Brett - completed 4 Feb 2018
38. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats - completed 4 Feb 2018
39. The Puppy Who Went to School by Gail Herman; illustrated by Betina Ogden - completed 4 Feb 2018
40. Rhymes Round the World by Kay Chorao - completed 4 Feb 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:34pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #41-50:

41. Keri Tarr, Cat Detective by Wendy Lement; illustrated by Jeffrey Scott Burrows - completed 4 Feb 2018
42. Involuntary Witness by Gianrico Carofiglio - completed 6 Feb 2018
43. From Jerusalem to Timbuktu: A World Tour of the Spread of Christianity by Brian C. Stiller - completed 7 Feb 2018
44. Sugar and Iced by Jenn McKinlay - completed 10 Feb 2018
45. The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore - completed 11 Feb 2018
46. Folly by Stella Cameron - completed 12 Feb 2018
47. Better Off Read by Nora Page - completed 15 Feb 2018
48. The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor - completed 16 Feb 2018
49. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - completed 18 Feb 2018
50. A Necessary End by Peter Robinson - completed 19 Feb 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:35pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #51-60:

51. Old Bear and His Cub by Olivier Dunrea - completed 21 Feb 2018
52. Destination: Antarctica by Robert Swan - completed 21 Feb 2018
53. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - completed 21 Feb 2018
54. Ladybug Girl and Bingo by David Soman and Jacky Davis - completed 21 Feb 2018
55. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell; illustrated by David Catrow - completed 21 Feb 2018
56. A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard; illustrated by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen - completed 21 Feb 2018
57. The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola - completed 21 Feb 2018
58. Plenty of Love to Go Around by Emma Chichester Clark - completed 21 Feb 2018
59. Just One More by Jennifer Hansen Rolli - completed 21 Feb 2018
60. Taking Care of Mama by Mitra Modarressi - completed 21 Feb 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:36pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #61-70:

61. Good Morning, Digger by Anne Rockwell; illustrated by Melanie Hope Greenberg - completed 21 Feb 2018
62. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans - completed 21 Feb 2018
63. Luke Goes to Bat by Rachel Isadora - completed 21 Feb 2018
64. Murder, She Knit by Peggy Ehrhart - completed 22 Feb 2018
65. Grand Canyon by Jason Chin - completed 22 Feb 2018
66. Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith - completed 25 Feb 2018
67. In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany - completed 27 Feb 2018
68. Slight Mourning by Catherine Aird - completed 27 Feb 2018
69. Walking on Edge: A Pilgrimage to Santiago by Reino Gevers - completed 1 Mar 2018
70. Foreign Bodies edited by Martin Edwards - completed 1 Mar 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:36pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #71-80:

71. Death by the Sea by Kathleen Bridge - completed 3 Mar 2018
72. Children of the Street by Kwei Quartey - completed 7 Mar 2018
73. The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves - completed 7 Mar 2018
74. Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon - completed 14 Mar 2018
75. The Birds of the Innocent Wood by Deirdre Madden - completed 15 Mar 2018
76. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley - completed 15 Mar 2018
77. Murder at an Irish Wedding by Carlene O'Connor - completed 18 Mar 2018
78. In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War by Tobias Wolff - completed 20 Mar 2018
79. The Mistletoe Murder: and Other Stories by P. D. James - completed 21 Mar 2018
80. The Lady Vanishes by Ethel Lina White - completed 24 Mar 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:37pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #81-90:

81. Our Hearts Were Young and Gay by Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough - completed 26 Mar 2018
82. Macbeth by Jo Nesbo - completed 27 Mar 2018
83. The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis; illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon - completed 28 Mar 2018
84. Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper - completed 28 Mar 2018
85. Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie - completed 31 Mar 2018
86. A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt - completed 31 Mar 2018
87. The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma's Table by Rick Bragg - completed 31 Mar 2018
88. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney - completed 1 Apr 2018
89. Bats in the Belfry by E. C. R. Lorac - completed 1 Apr 2018
90. Ice Cream Kitty by Nerina DiBenedetto; illustrated by Martha Houghton - completed 2 Apr 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:38pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #101-110:

101. Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Ehlert - completed 12 Apr 2018
102. Timothy Turtle by Alice Vaught Davis; illustrated by Guy Brown Wiser - completed 12 Apr 2018
103. Timothy Turtle by Al Graham; illustrated by Tony Palazzo - completed 12 Apr 2018
104. Walking Out: Poems by Betty Adcock - completed 12 Apr 2018
105. Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming - completed 12 Apr 2018
106. The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates - completed 14 Apr 2018
107. Society in Early North Carolina: A Documentary History by Alan D. Watson - completed 14 Apr 2018
108. The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson - completed 19 Apr 2018
109. Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland edited by Ellen Datlow - completed 19 Apr 2018
110. The Sayers Swindle by Victoria Abbott - completed 21 Apr 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:43pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #111-120:

111. Thus Was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell - completed 24 Apr 2018
112. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace - completed 25 Apr 2018
113. Blackout by Ragnar Jonasson - completed 1 May 2018
114. The Final Solution by Michael Chabon - completed 6 May 2018
115. Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell - completed 8 May 2018
116. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Gordon C. James - completed 8 May 2018
117. A Different Pond by Bao Phi ; illustrated by Thi Bui - completed 8 May 2018
118. Murder at the Mansion by Sheila Connolly - completed 8 May 2018
119. The Secret, Book, and Scone Society by Ellery Adams - completed 17 May 2018
120. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro - completed 18 May 2018

Edited: Aug 4, 2018, 8:16pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #121-130:

121. The Museum of Literary Souls by John Connolly - completed 19 May 2018
122. Every Seven Years by Denise Mina - completed 19 May 2018
123. How to Read Poetry Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster - completed 21 May 2018
124. Snow in August by Pete Hamill - completed 23 May 2018
125. Appalachian Ghosts by Nancy Roberts ; photographs by Bruce Roberts - completed 23 May 2018
126. The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo ; illustrated by Ruth Heller - completed 23 May 2018
127. Two Queens of Heaven: Aphrodite, Demeter by Doris Gates ; illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman - completed 23 May 2018
128. The Story of Georgia's Boundaries: A Meeting of History and Geography by William J. Morton - completed 23 May 2018
129. An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly - completed 26 May 2018
130. Dressed for Death by Donna Leon - completed 27 May 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 6:53pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #131-140:

131. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - completed 29 May 2018
132. Once in a Blue Moon Lodge by Lorna Landvik - completed 29 May 2018
133. Humming Words: A Collection of Poetry by Nancy Warwick - completed 29 May 2018
134. Murder on the Leviathan by Boris Akunin - completed 31 May 2018
135. Blood on the Tracks edited by Martin Edwards - completed 2 Jun 2018
136. Bad to the Bones by Rett MacPherson - completed 4 Jun 2018
137. The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley - completed 5 Jun 2018
138. Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin - completed 5 Jun 2018
139. Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com: How to Find Your Family History on the #1 Genealogy Website by Nancy Hendrickson - completed 6 Jun 2018
140. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann - completed 7 Jun 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 7:04pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #141-150:

141. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe - completed 16 Jun 2018
142. Station to Station: Searching for Stories on the Great Western Line by James Attlee - completed 18 Jun 2018
143. Probable Claws by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown - completed 21 Jun 2018
144. Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World's Best New Gardens by Christopher Woods - completed 22 Jun 2018
145. Nocturne by Deborah Crombie - completed 22 Jun 2018
146. The Curio Dealer's Wife by I. J. Parker - completed 22 Jun 2018
147. The King's Justice by E. M. Powell - completed 23 Jun 2018
148. Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor - completed 27 Jun 2018
149. Weekend at Thrackley by Alan Melville - completed 1 Jul 2018
150. The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck - completed 2 Jul 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 7:09pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #151-160:

151. Life's Extras by Archibald Rutledge; sketches by B. Hay Gilbert - completed 3 Jul 2018
152. No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie - completed 4 Jul 2018
153. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan - completed 5 Jul 2018
154. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis - completed 7 Jul 2018
155. Death and Judgment by Donna Leon - completed 10 Jul 2018
156. The South by Colm Toibin - completed 12 Jul 2018
157. I Will Find You by Daniela Sacerdoti - completed 13 Jul 2018
158. Rain: Four Walks in English Weather by Melissa Harrison - completed 14 Jul 2018
159. On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books by Karen Swallow Prior - completed 15 Jul 2018
160. The Adoptee's Guide to DNA Testing: How to Use Genetic Genealogy to Discover Your Long-Lost Family by Tamar Weinberg - completed 17 Jul 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 7:14pm Top

Books Read thru August 1, #161-165:

161. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer - completed 18 Jul 2018
162. Blue Water Hues by Vicki Delany - completed 19 Jul 2018
163. Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes by Karen Rose Smith - completed 23 Jul 2018
164. And Be a Villain by Rex Stout - completed 27 Jul 2018
165. A Faraway Island by Annika Thor - completed 28 Jul 2018

Abandoned Reads thru August 1:

1. Hidden Pasts by Clio Gray - abandoned 28 Jan 2018
2. Flat Broke with Two Goats: A Memoir of Appalachia by Jennifer McGaha - abandoned 12 Apr 2018
3. The Gathering by Anne Enright - abandoned 10 Jun 2018
4. The Cat Who Killed Lilian Jackson Braun by Robert Kaplow - abandoned 13 July 2018

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 9:54pm Top

Hi, Lori. Am I first?

I hope you enjoy your trip.

The St. Augustine lighthouse is a great place to visit. Great history.

There was a good used bookstore in Daytona Beach, the last time I was there. I think the name was Abraxas.

ETA yes! I checked my catalog. I bought some great books there.

Aug 1, 2018, 9:54pm Top

>19 tymfos: You are first. I have been to the St. Augustine lighthouse (and to St. Augustine itself). I just love the town though so I always want to visit if I'm close enough. I'll have to look for the bookstore.

Aug 1, 2018, 9:56pm Top

I hope that bookstore is still there. They had a good selection of history, judging by what I bought there.

Aug 1, 2018, 10:11pm Top

>21 tymfos: It appears they are about 3 miles from my hotel.

Aug 2, 2018, 12:14am Top

Happy new one, Lori. Lovely toppper. Enjoy your holiday.

Aug 2, 2018, 1:59am Top

Have a great holiday, Lori. Hope you find some good bookstores and that the boys enjoy the view of the beach.

Aug 2, 2018, 4:59am Top

Have a great holiday, I hope the cats enjoy the trip.

Aug 2, 2018, 3:00pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori! Thanks for sharing more photos of the boys.

Enjoy your vacation trip!

Aug 2, 2018, 4:40pm Top

Happy new thread Lori my dear.

Aug 2, 2018, 5:04pm Top

>23 Ameise1: Thanks! I always have to feature my boys on the topper!

>24 Familyhistorian: Someone told me about a used bookstore, so I'm hoping it has some treasures. Of course, I'm certain to find something historical in nature in St. Augustine or at another place I am going to try to remember to visit on Tuesday, the only day it will be open when I'm there.

>25 calm: Well, they'll enjoy being with me, even if they don't enjoy the ride that much.

Aug 2, 2018, 5:05pm Top

>26 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. I'm really looking forward to relaxing with the ocean in view!

>27 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. I always enjoy reading about your activities and tea drinking!

Aug 2, 2018, 5:11pm Top

>29 thornton37814:, Thank you for that comment Lori, I sometimes wonder if I am boring readers of my thread but like most of us it is just our day to day life and then we have trips and celebrations which add to our content. I hope you are having a really good vacation my dear, sending love and hugs dear friend.

Aug 2, 2018, 5:15pm Top

166. The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen

Date Completed: 2 Aug 2018

Category: San Diego

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #3: Read a book where the author’s last name starts with a vowel – A, E, I, O, or U and for this challenge Y is included

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - D

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: The Gallagher family returned to its home Deeprath Castle after an absence of twenty years following the untimely deaths of Aidan and Kyra's parents. Aidan, the lawful heir, proposes to place the castle in a historic trust, but he wants the library inventoried. His aunt hires Carragh Ryan to perform the job. The mystery goes back even further than that to the 19th century when Jenny Gallagher married Evan Chase, who appended the Gallagher name to his own so the heir would bear the surname. A local legend and ghost, the Darkling Bride, is also connected with the castle and its tower.

There is plenty of mystery, romance, and suspense in this book with a modern setting that reminds readers of the great Gothic mystery/romantic suspense writers of the past such as Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Phyllis Whitney. Those who enjoyed those authors will enjoy this book and vice versa. Those who like books, manuscripts, and the like will also find it interesting. Genealogists will enjoy it because some genealogical methods are employed in the book. I liked the Garda detective in the story although she was not the one who ultimately solved the puzzle. I hope this book revitalizes the genre and that this author continues to contribute well-written volumes to it.

Edited: Aug 2, 2018, 7:01pm Top

167. The Library Book (editor is not clearly stated but appears to be Rebecca Gray, author of the foreward)

Date Completed: 2 Aug 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge:

Other Challenges: Non-Fiction Challenge - Short and Sweet in August

Rating: 3 stars

Review: The Library Book was published to support The Reading Agency, whose website describes itself as "a charity whose mission is to inspire more people to read more, encourage them to share their enjoyment of reading and celebrate the difference that reading makes to all our lives." Rebecca Gray, author of the foreward, along with her colleague "John" appear to be the editors for the volume, although no formal attribution statement is made. The book consists primarily of essays written by various authors championing libraries and reading. A couple of selections were excerpted from published works, including a a fictional one in the case of China Mieville's contribution. My favorite contribution was Val McDermid's "Going to the Dogs." It described her experiences with libraries over the years, providing insight into why she chose the mystery genre. I'll let you read the essay to find out why she entitled her essay as she did. My next favorite was "Libraries Rock!" by Ann Cleeves. While her essay was different in nature, I found it to be written with a great deal of thought. In contrast, one or two of the contributions seemed to be written in haste and unedited, even by the author. It's a book those of us who love books and libraries should love, but it really encourages support for both reading and libraries.

Aug 3, 2018, 9:10am Top

Happy new thread!

Aug 3, 2018, 9:25am Top

168. How to Catch a Bear Who Loves to Read by Andrew Katz and Juliana Leveille-Trudel; illustrated by Joseph Sherman

Date Completed: 3 Aug 2018

Category: Bahamas

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #18: Read a Book that Includes a Bear, real or fictitious, in its Title or Plot

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Julia lives next to the forest and befriended many of the animals, but there is one animal she really wants to meet--a bear. She tries to attract them, but efforts fail. One day while she is reading a book about a bear and surrounded by her forest friends, her mom calls her to lunch. When she returns, she finds her book gone with a trail of blueberry-covered footprints leaving the area. What will Julia find? This is a cute book which encourages reading. The illustrations, while not Caldecott-worthy, are colorful enough to keep non-reading children interested as an adult reads aloud. I spotted this in the "Read Now" section at NetGalley and downloaded it in exchange for an honest review.

Edited: Aug 7, 2018, 9:33pm Top

169. A Boy and a House by Maja Kastelic

Date Completed: 3 Aug 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

TIOLI Challenge: TIOLI Challenge #9: Read a book where the first word rhymes with the last word of the previous title

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This wordless picture book by Slovenian author Maja Kastelic features a boy following a cat into and then through an old house. Along the way, he finds drawings scattered about rooms. The rooms are filled with "vintage" items. He finds a surprise awaiting in the attic. Although the book contains no words, it will certainly produce a lot of discussion for children who will be curious about what is contained in the picture. I believe the pictures were created with watercolors, but they are fairly "drab", probably in an effort to invoke the "old house feel." Just the thought of an unsupervised boy of this age will make many parents and other adults cringe, but others will view it as a product of another culture or as historic. I downloaded this "Read Now" title from NetGalley with the expectation I would write an honest review.

Aug 3, 2018, 11:28am Top

Enjoy your beach vacation! A man I graduated from high school with lives in New Smyrna Beach, and has a booth at the Deland Fairgrounds Farmers' Market every Wednesday; he refurbishes/recycles/upcycles/repurposes "things", and sells under the name "Dean's Rustic Designs". So if you're in the mood for a drive...

Aug 3, 2018, 12:11pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori! I haven't been posting much since summer is so short and *gasp* practically over. Got to enjoy these lovely days whilst we can.

Aug 3, 2018, 5:01pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori!

(something went wrong when you edited >14 thornton37814:, it will probably be solved if you save again after all titles show up on the right)

Edited: Aug 3, 2018, 6:45pm Top

Happy new thread! Enjoy your beach vacation! I'm off to the beach with my kids on Tuesday for 3 days with my husband's cousin and her family. Fingers crossed we're finished with all the rain by then, but I'm happy to read inside or out...

ETA: I took BB's for The Darkling Bride and The Library Book.

Aug 4, 2018, 8:15pm Top

>36 laytonwoman3rd: Deland isn't that far away. I have some friends from years ago who live there. The sister I was closest to lives in Germany at the moment. The cats are pretty curious here this evening, but they have decided it's okay with me here.

>37 Carmenere: I think someone is taking our summer away from us. They are certainly too short.

>38 FAMeulstee: I'll check on that. I always make sure it is displaying properly on my computer, but then sometimes I go back and find the touchstones aren't working.

>39 nittnut: Hope you enjoy your vacation too. I had a spot or two of rain on the way down, but nothing too bad. No idea if it will rain this week or not, but I plan to enjoy and relax anyway. Hope you enjoy both of those books. I got that second one on Kindle at some point, probably at a very low cost.

Aug 4, 2018, 8:46pm Top

170. The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

Date Completed: 4 Aug 2018

Category: Charleston

TIOLI Challenge: TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book where the letters of the title on the cover are all black or all white

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - Z; MysteryCAT - Historical Mysteries

Rating: 3 stars

Review: When a former magician's assistant is murdered, DI Edgar Stephens, who served in the Magic Men unit during World War II, recognizes it as an imitation of the Zig Zag Girl magic trick. He calls on his wartime friend and magician extraordinaire to assist him. When the murder of a person who served with them takes place, imitating yet another trick, they know someone connected with the unit is behind the murders. I enjoyed a great deal of the book, but the way the story ended and the naivety of Stephens made me lower my rating. There's a difference between providing lots of facts about the main characters and developing the characters. Sometimes the author erred by providing too many useless details without giving readers insights into what makes them tick and their strengths and flaws. The solution is not that difficult if readers pick up on the clues early in a couple of spots in the book. James Langton does a good job with the narration in the audiobook. It's a good book for a long drive.

Aug 4, 2018, 10:32pm Top

Happy New Thread, Lori! Looks like you are doing plenty of reading. Yah!

Hope you are having a nice weekend.

Aug 5, 2018, 3:27pm Top

>41 thornton37814: I much prefer Griffiths' other series, featuring archaeologist Ruth Galloway. I didn't continue this series after the first one.

Aug 5, 2018, 3:36pm Top

I was wondering if I should check on Zig Zag Girl but maybe only if it's the audio version. I do love the Ruth Galloway books. Thanks for the insightful review!

Karen O.

Aug 5, 2018, 5:07pm Top

>42 msf59: Actually, I spent the weekend traveling. I drove to Savannah, GA yesterday and on to Daytona Beach today. Check-in time was supposed to be 3 p.m. I arrived around 3:10 p.m. to join a line of guests who all discovered our rooms were not ready. I had to wait about 45 minutes with cats in tow to get into the room. It will go on the evaluation. If they can't have rooms ready at check-in time, they don't have enough housekeeping staff.

Aug 5, 2018, 5:09pm Top

>43 rosalita: I think I prefer the archaeologist ones for the mystery element too, but I quit reading them. It seemed to me all the author could do was antagonize Christianity. It wasn't worth it to me to keep reading.

>44 klobrien2: Based on what I've seen others say, the audiobook is probably the best way to go.

Aug 5, 2018, 5:14pm Top

This is the view from my hotel room for the next few days. I can walk down the steps off this patio right onto the beach.

Aug 5, 2018, 9:26pm Top

Edited: Aug 5, 2018, 9:28pm Top

171. The Murder of My Aunt by Richard Hull

Date Completed: 5 Aug 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge: TIOLI Challenge #11: Read a book found through a tag mash of humor and one of the following: mystery/horror/science fiction/fantasy

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: In an amusing plot, Edward tries to kill his Aunt Mildred. I didn't really care for Edward who lacked ambition, with the exception of ridding the world of his aunt, or Aunt Mildred, who was too controlling. I really wanted something with more of an investigation. We don't really get any sense of any suspicion that follows through with investigation until the final chapter. The structure is different, but I did not like it. I received this advance review copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Aug 6, 2018, 3:22pm Top

Happy new thread !

Aug 7, 2018, 9:01pm Top

Aug 7, 2018, 9:30pm Top

172. Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves

Date Completed: 7 Aug 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #13: Read a book that pairs well with a drink

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Gathered at the cemetery for the interment of Magnus Tait, the mourners, including Jimmy Perez, barely have time to move out of the way before a landslide topples tombstones and destroys Minnie Laurenson's former home. Perez discovers a body in the home which was believed to be vacant. Who is the woman? Is it the distant American relative who inherited the home or someone else? The autopsy reveals the woman was already dead when the mudslide occurred. Jimmy calls Willow Reeves in Edinburgh, asking for her assistance on the case. This installment shows Sandy developing better investigative skills. Suspects abound. A second murder near the same location leads investigators to look at those residing nearby more closely. I pinpointed the murderer rather early but it still was an engaging plot. I think there are some rather unrealistic elements to the plot. The wrap-up was perhaps a bit rushed and disappointing, leaving readers with additional questions left unanswered. Still, I'll read the next installment because I love this series.

Edited: Aug 31, 2018, 10:32pm Top

173. The Alpine Xanadu by Mary Daheim

Date Completed: 8 Aug 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

TIOLI Challenge: None at the moment, but I'll keep trying for the airport code one!

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - X & D

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: This is not a cozy series I follow. I only read a couple of early installments. I was motivated to listen to this one by the need for an "x" in the AlphaKIT. Emma Lord is publisher of the Alpine, Washington newspaper. She is engaged to Sheriff Milo Dodge. The book really seems to be more about the quirkiness of small-town life than about the mystery concerning the death of a local resident. Oh, the sheriff and Emma do investigate it, but it's more about the community than about the mystery. Emma and Sheriff Milo do elope in the book. It was a little all over the place with several story lines competing for the reader's attention. I suppose that's the way it is in the newspaper business though. I doubt I'll spend time catching up on the series. I didn't really enjoy them that much in the past, and I don't know and love the characters enough to continue it. The narrator was okay, but not outstanding.

Aug 9, 2018, 4:46pm Top

174. The Blackhouse by Peter May

Date Completed: 9 Aug 2018

Category: Cornwall

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Fin McLeod has been on leave since the death of his son. Now his marriage is on the skids. He is called back to his home, the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides, to investigate a crime with the same M.O. as one he'd been investigating in Edinburgh before his leave. He must face the ghosts of his past in the course of the investigation. While the story ended up coming together, I really did not like the amount of time spent on the past story in contrast to the present investigation which received very little attention. I understand why the author to his time with the backstory and it does provide more insight into Fin for future installments, but it took a little too much time to do so.

Aug 10, 2018, 11:24pm Top

Hope you have a great time on your VK! You're certainly cruising through the books. : )

Aug 11, 2018, 1:07am Top

I liked The Blackhouse more than you did, Lori. But I must admit that I stalled after the first few chapters on my first attempt. You got me with The Darkling Bride. Sounds good. I hope you and the boys are enjoying being home now.

Aug 11, 2018, 7:28am Top

Happy new thread.

Aug 11, 2018, 4:02pm Top

>55 Berly: I really enjoyed the time away. It was too short though by about a week, I think. I really felt I was just beginning to relax when it was time to leave.

>56 Familyhistorian: I'm glad you liked it better. I think I just didn't much like his school "chums." I'm sure I'll like the next one better.

>57 paulstalder: Thanks, Paul!

Edited: Aug 31, 2018, 10:37pm Top

175. Murder on Sisters' Row by Victoria Thompson

Date Completed: 10 Aug 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #1: Read a book whose ISBN contains a sequence of a three-in-a-row number

Other Challenges: MysteryCAT - Historical Mysteries; AlphaKIT - O

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: A man turns up at Sarah Brandt's home needing her services to deliver a baby. Until she gets there, she is not aware she is at a brothel on Sisters Row. Her patient Amy seems earnest in her efforts to get away from the house of ill repute where she is being held against her will. She tells Sarah about Mrs. Jeffrey VanOrner's rescue efforts, pleading with Sarah to plead with the woman to rescue her. Sarah locates the woman, and a rescue is scheduled. After Amy is at the safe house, Mrs. Van Orner is found dead in her carriage following a visit. Soon afterwards, Amy leaves the safe house with her baby. Detective Frank Malloy is impeded in what he can do because of the "protection money" paid by wealthy New Yorkers who frequent the brothels. He does, however, receive the go-ahead from Jeffrey Van Orner to investigate his wife's murder.

Although I really don't enjoy reading about the seedy side of society, Thompson created an interesting puzzle. Although I suspected the murderer's identity, her red herrings left me with enough doubt to keep me engaged. I'm interested in learning a bit more about the Charity Organization Society which inspired this installment. The author included a little about it, but I'd like to find additional information. Similar organizations exist today although they do not attempt to be as controlling of whether another can assist a person and usually they only serve to inform charities about what assistance was received. Many times the persons at such organizations today know whether or not the person is playing the system and truly in need. Although they don't usually comment, many times they will tell the calling charity when they know a person to truly be in need.

Aug 11, 2018, 4:54pm Top

176. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley

Date Completed: 11 Aug 2018

Category: San Diego

TIOLI Challenge: TIOLI Challenge #11: Read a book found through a tag mash of humor and one of the following: mystery/horror/science fiction/fantasy

Other Challenges: MysteryCAT - Historical Mysteries

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Upon her return home, Flavia de Luce discovers her father is hospitalized with influenza which has turned into pneumonia. Visiting hours have passed for the day, but she's promised she can go the next day during the afternoon visiting hours. To occupy her time, she calls on the vicar's wife Cynthia Richardson who asks her to deliver a note to a woodcarver in a nearby hamlet. She rides Gladys to his home where she discovers his corpse hanging on the back of his bedroom door. Using her observation and chemist skills, she begins to unravel the case. The hospital discouraged visitors that day because her father needed rest so that gives her more time to investigate. Over the next few days, she makes a couple of trips to London to find information concerning the death of an author whose book she discovers at the scene of the crime with a local girl's name in it. Flavia's adventures always entertain, and Jayne Entwistle does an outstanding job narrating this series.

Aug 11, 2018, 5:10pm Top

The fur boys and I made it home earlier today. They inspected the house thoroughly to make certain everything was as they left it. I only wish the house had done some self-cleaning while we were gone. I made it through one part of five of one more audiobook today. I hope I'll finish it commuting to work next week. It isn't due for 11 more days so that should give me plenty of time to finish it. Then I'll listen to the Arthur Conan Doyle sci-fi book downloaded from AudioSync while they were doing the teen promotion this summer. That will fit the British author challenge for the month. I need to go to the grocery store, but I'm not sure if that will happen today or tomorrow on the way home from church.

Aug 12, 2018, 3:54am Top

Cats are so funny about their space. They and you must feel better being home. You have reminded me that I should get back to reading about Flavia's adventures.

Aug 12, 2018, 12:16pm Top

Hi Lori!

Glad you and the fur boys made it home safe and sound.

>49 thornton37814: I'm sorry you didn't like The Murder of My Aunt - I found it deliciously amusing and ironic.

>54 thornton37814: I've read the first two, but haven't yet had the inclination to pick up the third although I can see it from where I am sitting.

Aug 12, 2018, 8:15pm Top

>62 Familyhistorian: Flavia is delightful. I think we'd all rather be at the beach. I return to work in the morning, and they won't like that any more than I will. Retirement won't come soon enough.

>63 karenmarie: I suspect it was just a preference thing with The Murder of My Aunt. I'd rather read about a crime being solved than one being plotted. Hopefully I'll get to the next Peter May in a few months.

Aug 14, 2018, 8:06pm Top

177. Harmless as Doves by P. L. Gaus

Date Completed: 14 Aug 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - D

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I love this series, especially the audiobooks read by George Newbern. In this installment a young Amish couple plans to elope to spare the girl from an undesirable marriage her father wishes to arrange. Before they can do so, Crist packs a punch that sends the other man to the ground. He assumes the man is dead and goes to his bishop to confess. The police are called. He confesses. In their haste, the sheriff's office fails to read him his Miranda rights. The girl's authoritative father soon takes off to Florida, disregarding everything his bishop tells him. Much of the early action in the book centers on Pastor Cal Troyer. Professor Branden is on sabbatical, researching at Duke University's Library. When Holmes County needs to send deputies to Florida, Branden, a reserve deputy, is sent to join Ricky Neal in the Sarasota area. While I don't know a great deal about the Pinecrest Amish Settlement in Florida, Gaus seems to have done his research because it concurs with what my quick search through sources tells me about it. One story line regarding Branden's wife carries over from the previous installment, so it is suggested readers follow the publication order. This "remorse" theme carries through the story and comes from the book's Bible verse derived title's interpretation. Setting part of the story outside Holmes County added some variety to the series. I look forward to the next installment.

Edited: Aug 16, 2018, 8:46pm Top

178. The Dark Monk by Oliver Potzsch

Date Completed: 16 Aug 2018

Category: Bahamas

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: MysteryCAT - Historical fiction; AlphaKIT - O & D

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This second in the Hangman's Daughter series opens with the poisoning of the parish priest. The hangman has his work cut out for him in this story featuring a Knights Templar tale, thieves, and more. Once again, the hangman's daughter Magdalena and Simon a doctor endanger themselves in the course of the story. This story lacks the quality the first in the series possessed. It was easily put down. The plot seemed contrived, and there was too much going on. I have at least one more installment downloaded to Kindle, but I may or may not read it. I actually enjoyed the author's comments at the end about his relation to the story more than the story itself.

Aug 16, 2018, 8:33pm Top

179. Westward the Tide by Louis L'Amour

Date Completed: 16 Aug 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #2: Read a book whose title suggests a journey

Other Challenges: American Author Challenge, RandomCAT - Let's Go to the Mountains

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Typical western. There are good guys and bad guys. There are Indians. It's a wagon train taking supplies. Lots of shooting. Much of the action in this one occurs in the Big Horn Mountains. All's well that ends well. I'm not a fan of the genre, but at least L'Amour is readable and reads quickly, making it less painful to someone who doesn't like the genre.

Aug 16, 2018, 8:42pm Top

One more comment about the above read. I decided to read the Wikipedia article on L'Amour. When I noticed his middle name was Dearborn, I decided his mother must have been a Dearborn. Further investigation proved that correct. Since Dearborn is an ancestral surname, I wondered how we might be related. I investigated, discovering we are 7th cousins once removed. I wrote a blog post describing how we are connected.

Aug 16, 2018, 8:55pm Top

>68 thornton37814: I really enjoy discovering things like that. Does it inspire you to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to write a better western?

Aug 16, 2018, 8:58pm Top

>69 RBeffa: I would NEVER write a western. I don't like the genre at all.

Aug 17, 2018, 1:38pm Top

180. Young Entry by Molly Keane

Date Completed: 17 Aug 2018

Category: Charleston

TIOLI Challenge: TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book where the letters of the title on the cover are all black or all white

Other Challenges: Irish Author Challenge

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Nineteen-year-old Prudence is the focal point in this quite readable coming-of-age novel set in Ireland. It features an aristocratic set with their horses and hounds on a fox hunt. Prudence gets around the countryside with her good friend Peter while she's feeling a growing attraction to her neighbor Toby. I enjoyed this charming story featuring beautifully-phrased descriptions of the landscape and depicting snippets of everyday life.

Aug 20, 2018, 8:22pm Top

181. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Date Completed: 20 Aug 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #18: Read a Book that Includes a Bear, real or fictitious, in its Title or Plot

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This fantasy novel resembles a medieval Russian fairy tale. There's even a wicked stepmother! It is the story of Vasya whose mother Marina, regarded by many to be a witch, died during childbirth. Before she dies, Marina predicts the child inside her will be the one like her. Vasya's father Pyotr remarries. Vasya in indeed a "magic child" who is more comfortable with nature and horses than a traditional female role. Although I'm not a fan of the fantasy genre, this tale is beautifully written. I doubt I'll read others in the series because I only venture into the genre upon occasion, but this story caught my attention when I read a pre-publication blurb. I am not sorry I finally took the time to read it.

Aug 20, 2018, 11:21pm Top

Hi Lori! The Murder of My Aunt was a disappointment for me, too. I'm glad you liked The Darkling Bride so much - I picked it up from the library a while back, but returned it unread. I'll try to give it another shot.

As for being related to Louis L'Amour, how cool!

Aug 21, 2018, 4:54pm Top

>72 thornton37814: Good review, Lori, I just finished it too.
I will read the next one when it becomes available in translation.

Aug 21, 2018, 6:31pm Top

You're much further ahead of me with the Shetland series. My library doesn't have them in audio, (which I much prefer, as I can read and do housework at the same time), so I get to print and eBooks much more slowly. Blue Lightning is next up for me.

I liked The Blackhouse much better than you did. I thought the sense of place was outstanding, especially the beach at Port of Ness, and the island of An Sgeir (Sula Sgeir in real life). I really enjoyed learning a bit about the Isle of Lewis, which I'll probably never get to see in person.

I've been considering The Bear and the Nightingale; your review may have tipped me over.

Aug 21, 2018, 7:08pm Top

>73 Dejah_Thoris: I'm glad I'm not the only one disappointed in The Murder of My Aunt. Hope you enjoy The Darkling Bride.

>74 FAMeulstee: It's just a genre thing with me that I'm in no hurry to consider reading the next one.

>75 countrylife: The sense of place for The Blackhouse was strong. I just didn't enjoy the back story. As I said, I know what he included it, but I still didn't really like it. Hope you like the Arden book.

Edited: Aug 31, 2018, 10:39pm Top

182. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle

Date Completed: 23 Aug 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #17: Read a book with a 3-word-title which is an airport abbreviation (rolling challenge, travelling east)

Other Challenges: British Author Challenge - Science Fiction; AlphaKIT - D

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Professor Challenger's descriptions of a pre-historic culture with animal life somewhere in the jungles of South America is met with derision by the scientific community. It is decided Professor Summerlee, his chief opponent, along with Lord John Roxton and newspaper reporter Edward Malone will accompany him on an expedition to investigate the claim. The tale is told through the eyes of Malone who sends letters back to his editor by a faithful watchman who stays on the opposite side of their destination plateau. They fell a tree to gain entrance to the plateau, but it falls in the gorge, leaving their only connection to the other world a rope which can deliver supplies or letters but not get them back across. They decide to accomplish their mission and then worry about a means to exit the plateau. They encounter a pterodactyl almost immediately. They encounter many dangers and adventures on this well-preserved plateau, including some "half-men, half-ape" creatures which could be the "missing link." I'll leave the rest of the story and adventures for your enjoyment along with their reception upon their return. I'm not a fan of science fiction, but I decided to give this summer AudioSync offering a try since it was authored by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This tale is very mild in comparison to many of today's science fiction offerings because of the genre's evolution over time. The adventure seemed to appeal to the interest in Darwinian theory at the time of the book's writing. The book was narrated by Glen McCready who seemed to have the perfect voice for Professor Challenger.

Aug 23, 2018, 9:15pm Top

183. Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Date Completed: 23 Aug 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #4: Read a book that contains the word "over" or "under" in the title

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Librarian Amy Webber and boyfriend and dancer Richard discover the corpse of an artist in her studio when stopping by to pick up works she donated for the Heritage Festival. While awaiting on experts to arrive, Amy, at the police's invitation, detects some forgeries among the artist's paintings. The woman's husband and daughter go missing. The substitution of some of her deceased uncle's works for those promised draws the attention of a local woman working with the art exhibit and of her son. Several tense moments move the plot along to its conclusion. Art lovers will likely enjoy this cozy mystery. Although this series is labeled "Blue Ridge Library," this installment featured very little about the library. While Amy did some research, it was mostly on databases she accessed while deputized for researching aspects of the art investigation. I found several characters unlikable. Some of the characters I would have liked to know more about were not all that well developed. As with many contemporary cozy mysteries, this one includes romantic relationships in various stages. The conclusion reminded me of an episode of "Charlie's Angels" where the stars are all sitting around at the very end discussing the case.

Aug 24, 2018, 3:47am Top

All caught up here, Lori. Happy Friday, I enjoyed your vacation photos on FB.

Aug 24, 2018, 7:49am Top

>79 Ameise1: Thanks! I only posted a few each day, but I didn't want to "overdo" it.

Aug 25, 2018, 7:07pm Top

184. The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Date Completed: 25 Aug 2018

Category: Cornwall

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #2: Read a book whose title suggests a journey

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: A stray cat makes his home atop Satoru's van. Satoru begins providing food for the cat. When a passing car injures the cat, Satoru tends to it, eventually moving out of his apartment into one which allows pets. He names the cat Nana. Things go well for about five years until Satoru suddenly announces he must fine a new home for Nana. We learn a lot of Satoru's back story and see similarities between his life and the cat's. Satoru never tells his friends why he seeks a new home for his cat but he knows none of these homes is right for Nana. My favorite parts of the story are those narrated by Nana himself. This tear-jerking Japanese story in English translation will charm cat lovers. I received an uncorrected proof through a GoodReads giveaway with the hopes, but not requirement, of a review.

Aug 27, 2018, 4:07pm Top

>67 thornton37814: >68 thornton37814: Hi, Lori! I'm glad you were able to find a way to add interest for yourself in the Louis L'Amour challenge. A neat discovery!

>77 thornton37814: I recall liking the Professor Challenger stories when I read them, but it has been quite some time.

Aug 27, 2018, 8:56pm Top

>82 harrygbutler: This one was offered as a free audiobook this summer, and then when the British author challenge was sci-fi for August, it seemed a perfect option.

Aug 29, 2018, 12:14am Top

So this is where I got the BB for The Darkling Bride. It was a good one. Thanks Lori.

Aug 29, 2018, 8:27am Top

>84 Familyhistorian: Glad you liked it, Meg! It may have been my highest rated book of summer.

Aug 29, 2018, 1:41pm Top

185. Murder at Hawthorn Cottage by Betty Rowlands

Date Completed: 29 Aug 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: Writer Melissa Craig moved to the Cotswolds. Soon her neighbor discovers a corpse near her home. A reporter seeks Melissa's help investigating the person whom he believes to be "Babs Carter" who worked at a local nightclub and disappeared without a trace. A young man interested in Babs suffered an automobile accident leaving him impaired a couple days after her disappearance. Melissa's investigation for her own novel conveniently yields clues for the puzzle at hand. Unfortunately the plot is not very believable. The prostitution and drugs concepts in the novel are not "cozy" at all and seem a bit seedy to include for people who enjoy this genre. While the Cotswold setting is nice, the seediness somewhat negated the sense of place that might have been achieved if the author had stuck to typical cozy plots. I received an electronic galley through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review. This book was originally published as A Little Gentle Sleuthing.

Aug 29, 2018, 2:21pm Top

186. Goodnight, Anne by Kallie George; illustrated by Geneviève Godbout

Date Completed: 29 Aug 2018

Category: San Diego

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This picture book captures the whimsical nature of the original book and of the character Anne Shirley as she says good night to all the people and places we love in Anne of Green Gables. Both the text and illustrations were excellent. I'm not sure young readers unfamiliar with the main story will understand all the references, but lovers of the series will love this one. I received an advance reading copy through NetGalley with an unbiased review expected.

Aug 30, 2018, 8:34am Top

187. Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

Date Completed: 30 Aug 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #13: Read a book that pairs well with a drink

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Merci attends a private school by doing "community service." Her friend is jealous of her assignment since Merci is assigned to help the friend's "crush." At the same time, Merci's grandfather Lolo, to whom she is quite close, is declining rapidly due to Alzheimer's Disease, and Merci doesn't really understand what is going on due to the family's decision to keep her in the dark. It's a coming-of-age tale which may appeal to middle school readers at the moment but probably lacks an enduring quality. Additional editing would shorten and make the story stronger. The author includes some common Spanish words in the story which are not translated for the reader. I suspect many middle school readers, particularly in Southern and Southwestern States with many Mexican and Central American immigrants, will not need a Spanish dictionary nearby, but I anticipate it might create problems for those with little exposure to the Spanish language. The book probably works best for middle schoolers with family members suffering from dementia. I received an advance e-galley in exchange for an honest review through the publisher via NetGalley.

Edited: Aug 31, 2018, 10:41pm Top

188. The Best Donut Recipes in History: Secret Step-by-Step Formulas for Delicious Donuts Your Family Will Love by Jennifer Olson

Date Completed: 30 Aug 2018

Category: Bahamas

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #3: Read a book where the author’s last name starts with a vowel

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - O

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: Olson offers several donut recipes of varying types. Unfortunately the author fails to document the validity of her title, and I refuse to believe any of the offerings qualify as the best donuts "in history." She even offered the type made with canned buttermilk biscuit dough. While I may eventually try or modify some of these, I've seen better recipes in other cookbooks. For example, I might try my chocolate cake donut recipe with the salted caramel drizzle she uses to accompany hers.I downloaded this book when it was offered free by Amazon.

Edited: Aug 31, 2018, 10:43pm Top

189. Dutch Oven Cookbook: Easy Recipes about the Art of Slow Cooking by Philip Smith

Date Completed: 30 Aug 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - D

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: My favorite part of this book was the history of the dutch oven in the opening pages. This was followed by a section on seasoning cast iron cookware in a variety of locations, indoor and outdoor. Finally the author included quite a few recipes for dutch ovens. A lot of the main dishes seemed to be Middle Eastern, but the soups and breads included expanded the sphere of influence to most of the world. I might be willing to try about 25% of the recipes although I doubt I would make that many. My repertoire already includes recipes I enjoy for several of the dishes so I'm unlikely to switch those out for the unknown. This book was offered free from Amazon some time ago, but I'm just now getting around to reading it.

Edited: Aug 31, 2018, 10:22pm Top

Since it's a 3-day weekend, and I'm in the mood to do something, I decided to visit the Museum of the American House Cat. It's about 100 miles away, but will probably take at least a couple of hours to get there since I'm dealing with the Smokies. With tourist traffic, it could take a little longer. It should be a fun day trip Saturday.

Sep 1, 2018, 5:58am Top

>91 thornton37814: have a good trip!

Sep 1, 2018, 5:55pm Top

>92 fuzzi: I had fun. Pictures to follow!

Sep 1, 2018, 5:59pm Top

American Museum of the House Cat, Sylva, North Carolina

The best carousels feature cats!

Cat mummy

The best tea pots!

Sep 1, 2018, 6:02pm Top

A Purr-fect Piece of Needlework

Enchanted by this Austrian bronze. Would love to hear these boys play!

I'm sure his tail keeps great time!

I'd vote for Morris! How about you?

Sep 1, 2018, 6:22pm Top

190. The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart

Date Completed: 1 Sep 2018

Category: Charleston

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: After the Maharaja dies, his daughter Princess Alexandrina (aka "Mink") and the last remaining loyal servant Pookie are forced to move to a "grace and favor" residence at Hampton Court Palace. The much loathed Major-General Bagshot dies after eating pigeon pies which were baked by Pookie for the festival. It was determined he'd died of arsenic poisoning. Princess Mink sets out to clear her loyal servant. The mystery in this one is quite mild, but the mystery is not what is front and center here as much as the subtle humor interspersed throughout the plot and the "upscale village feel" of the work. Even the names of the characters bring a smile to the readers' face as they read or listen to them. This book is probably not for everyone, but those who enjoy a little English comedic humor will enjoy this clever work. I listened to the audio version read by Hannah Curtis. Her female voices are superior to the male ones.

Sep 1, 2018, 6:44pm Top

191. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

Date Completed: 1 Sep 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #5: Read a book with a 3 word title and there must be at least one person on the cover

Other Challenges: MysteryCAT - Noir & Hard-boiled

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Brigid O’Shaughnessy, using an assumed name, seeks out Sam Spade, to tail a man. Sam's partner Miles Archer ends up dead when he takes the first shift. Brigid is not completely on the up-and-up herself, and Spade must determine when she is truthful and when she isn't in addition to figuring out what she's really after. She seeks a valuable black falcon statuette which is prized by others as well. Sam must muddle through the lies and deception to find those responsible for killing Archer. It's not my favorite genre, and I sometimes found it difficult to follow, but it is a classic because of its role in formulating the genre and worth the reader's time investment.

Sep 1, 2018, 9:42pm Top

>94 thornton37814: Looks like my kind of place, Lori!

Sep 1, 2018, 9:46pm Top

>98 ronincats: It was a nice little museum. I'd recommend cat lovers who are visiting the NC side of the Smokies make a visit.

Sep 2, 2018, 3:59pm Top

>94 thornton37814: Looks like a fun place to visit!

Sep 2, 2018, 6:45pm Top

>100 LibraryLover23: It was pretty interesting. It's a relatively small museum, but there are lots of things to look at.

Edited: Sep 2, 2018, 7:00pm Top

I went to the used bookstore in Knoxville and came away with a haul. I may own a few of these already. I became logged out of my LibraryThing app on my iPhone and couldn't remember what my password was without my trusty "cheat sheet," so I opted to spend the extra 5 cents on one 25 cents on another and $2 on yet another. I know I'll be able to sell the $2 one to someone else if it is a duplicate. I purchased one of the books for someone else, but I may read it first.

ETA: Just checked. I did own the $2 one but not the other two.

Sep 2, 2018, 7:37pm Top

>95 thornton37814: Thanks for sharing some of the cat museum through your photos, Lori — neat!

>102 thornton37814: Quite a haul!

Enjoy the rest of the long weekend!

Sep 2, 2018, 8:07pm Top

>103 harrygbutler: Thanks. It's a rather eclectic haul. I purchased one book primarily for one chapter, but that chapter was worth the cost of the book. I paid only about $30 (before tax) for the entire haul.

Sep 3, 2018, 10:49am Top

Hi Lori!

>68 thornton37814: Wow. 7th cousins once removed. That is so very cool.

>91 thornton37814: and >94 thornton37814: You’re closer to American Museum of the House Cat than we are even though we live in NC and you’re in TN. It’s about 4 hours for us, so will have to wait until the next time we’re in western NC. I just showed the website to Bill, and it’s something we’d love to see. I like that Dr. Sims is a.k.a. Catman2 – of course our Kitty William (a.k.a. Catman) is first among equals. *smile*

>102 thornton37814: Yay for books. I've come to rely on the LT app to make sure I don't buy duplicates, sorry you couldn't remember your password, glad that you didn't spend TOO much money on duplicates.

How do you go about selling your books? I've got some old romances that might be worth something (based on looking at them on AbeBooks).

Sep 3, 2018, 1:13pm Top

Happy Labor Day, Lori!

>102 thornton37814: When the Ground Turns in its Sleep. What an intriguing title. I will check it out on that alone.

Sep 3, 2018, 4:50pm Top

>102 thornton37814: What a great book haul! Happy Labor Day to you Lori. Will and I are indoors. It is way too hot to be outside. Even Lilly our Sheltie does not want to go out in the heat.

As always, I am impressed with all the amount of books you read thus far this year. I fear that this will be the first time since 2008 that I will not reach 75.

Sep 3, 2018, 7:15pm Top

>105 karenmarie: McKays does trade value for them. The genealogy book will be easy to sell to someone if I take it to a conference. I was pretty sure I owned a copy, but I wasn't too worried about getting a duplicate because I knew that even though it's content has been superceded by other citation guides, that a lot of genealogists want to own the "classic works," and that is one of them. I hope you enjoy your visit to the museum when you get to Western North Carolina. There's a NC PBS video piece about the museum if you look for it.

>106 brodiew2: It sounded rather interesting and is set in Guatemala. It's about a man trying to find family. It sounded like one I really wanted to read.

>107 Whisper1: Lilly is a smart dog! Linda, I'm sure you can find a few picture books to make it to 75 if you try! I was rather pleased with the haul.

Sep 3, 2018, 7:41pm Top

192. Abby Finds Her Calling by Naomi King

Date Completed: 3 Sep 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #11: Read a book with a full name (first name and family name) at the first page

Other Challenges: ScaredyKIT - Stephen King & family

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Suzanna "Zanna" Lambright fails to show up for her wedding day to James Graber. When her sister Abby finds her the next day, she realizes her sister is pregnant. Although she initially insinuates James is the father, the truth finally comes out of her. Zanna must face the consequences of her choice. The story is one of forgiveness and restoration, but it goes far beyond the main story and is woven throughout the different pieces of the story. King writes with better skill than many writers of the Amish fiction genre, providing a story likely to resonate with readers and provide encouragement and food for thought for years to come. While its message of forgiveness is faith-based, it is delivered in such a manner which is likely to be non-threatening to unbelievers. I look forward to the next installment in the series.

Sep 3, 2018, 8:06pm Top

Lori, You read so many books this year. Do you have a favorite?

Sep 3, 2018, 8:37pm Top

>110 Whisper1: My favorites (one fiction/one non-fiction) for 2018 to date are:
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fischer

Honorable mentions to:
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie
The Darkling Bride by Laura Anderson

There are a few others I rated as high as most of the honorable mentions, but I'll leave them off because these are the ones I enjoyed most.

Sep 4, 2018, 8:53am Top

>192 book bullet, blast! ;)

Sep 4, 2018, 9:05am Top

>112 fuzzi: I hope you enjoy the Naomi King. I read that one for this month's ScaredyKIT which is Stephen King and family. While the scariest things in her book are the shunning, an abusive husband and father, a devastating fire, and a heart attack, I'm glad the challenge was broad enough to allow me to try her work. I didn't even know King had a daughter who wrote Amish fiction before the challenge.

Sep 4, 2018, 10:59am Top

Hi, Lori--Looks like you had great fun at the Kitty Museum. : ) I can't believe you are on #192 already!! And I didn't know Stephen King had a daughter who writes about the Amish(!). Really?!

Sep 4, 2018, 3:33pm Top

>102 thornton37814: Nice book haul!

The kitty museum was interesting. I kind of liked the cat mummies...

Sep 4, 2018, 8:47pm Top

>114 Berly: The kitty museum was nice. It's hard to believe Stephen's daughter does that!

>115 nittnut: The cat mummy was one of the more interesting things there. I don't think I posted the petrified cat that was found in a chimney. It's a little too disturbing!

Sep 4, 2018, 10:01pm Top

I have not read anything tonight. I'm glued to the Weather Channel. It's coming in very near two cousins and several lifelong/longtime friends. Some of them have Jim Cantore in their hometown. The concern overnight into tomorrow will be tornados it may spawn where more of my family lives. I just hope I can sleep this evening. I know I won't go to bed until the tropical storm or hurricane makes landfall.

Edited: Sep 5, 2018, 12:38pm Top

>115 nittnut: we saw cat mummies at the Field Museum in Chicago, very cool!

>117 thornton37814: hope everyone is okay. Hurricanes are nothing to scoff at. I've been through a few like Hugo, Gloria, Irene.

Sep 6, 2018, 1:51pm Top

>118 fuzzi: I assume they are okay. I've heard from several and am waiting to hear from others. I think power may be an issue.

Sep 6, 2018, 9:28pm Top

193. How Does My Fruit Grow? by Gerda Muller

Date Completed: 6 Sep 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #3: Read a book you MUST read

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This picture book features more text than many do but would be a good book for early readers, although some vocabulary terms may be a little advanced. The illustrations are nicely done. An interactive activity in the front and back of the book encourages readers to match the numbered fruit to its numbered flower. This book would work well with a unit on edible plants. I received an advance electronic copy from the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Sep 7, 2018, 7:32am Top

Hi Lori! Woot! I've caught up.

The cat museum photos are so much fun! Thanks for sharing!

Good wishes for your family. Even if it's 'only' a power problem, I'm sure it's no fun.

I love your list in >111 thornton37814: . I think I need to check out Deborah Crombie.

Sep 7, 2018, 7:37am Top

>121 streamsong: To complicate matters, our cellular service was out all day yesterday so I couldn't call to check on them. I still don't have a 4G emblem, and it appears the signal this morning remains too low to make and receive calls. Hoping they resolve the issue today.

Edited: Nov 1, 2018, 6:30pm Top

194. The Lost Bird by Margaret Coel

Date Completed: 7 Sep 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #5: Read a book with a 3 word title and there must be at least one person on the cover

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - B

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Coel's Wind River series is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. In this installment, Father John and Attorney Vicky Holden, after his assistant Father Joseph is gunned down and a famous actress seeking her birth parents hires Vicky, uncover a black market adoption ring which operated years before. The year in question was 1964. The Arapaho remember it as the year all the babies died. As a librarian and genealogist, my favorite part of the book was when Vicky went to the library to research, even if the author did kind of poke fun at the genealogist who wondered when Vicky was going to be finished. However, the entire book and story, including the introduction of Father John's niece who comes to visit from Boston, held my attention. As usual I listened to the audio version read by Stephanie Brush.

Sep 8, 2018, 9:49pm Top

195. Acqua Alta by Donna Leon

Date Completed: 8 Sep 2018

Category: Cornwall

TIOLI Challenge:Challenge #12: Read a book that has an epigraph that is a poem or part of a poem written before the 20th century

Other Challenges: Two Guidos

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Brunetti recognizes a name when when looking over the crime report. He visits Brett Lynch, who first appeared in Death at La Fenice as an American with expertise in Chinese antiquities who is the homosexual lover of singer Flavia Petrelli, as the beaten victim in what is assumed to be a robbery gone awry. The thugs warn her not to visit a museum director who turns up dead soon afterwards. Venice is suffering flooding during the installment which adds to the atmosphere and provides an interesting twist in some of the action. The mystery is well-done, compelling readers to stick with the story. I missed a bit of the canal travel and family and food normally featured in the series, but the plot made up for it in other way.

Sep 8, 2018, 11:07pm Top

>1 thornton37814: Well, I am way too late for recommendations, nor would I have them from this distance of three-and-a-half decades, but I grew up just 20 miles inland from Daytona Beach. And your boys! I hear them. :-)

>97 thornton37814: I still haven't read that but have every intention of doing so.

Sep 10, 2018, 12:33am Top

>124 thornton37814: That reminds me that I haven't written my review of this Donna Leon--oops! Nice job. ; )

Sep 10, 2018, 12:43pm Top

>125 EBT1002: Several people in our church go to Daytona Beach often enough that I had some recommendations from them. I made the mistake of accepting a recommendation from the people in the next room who'd eaten at one place and thought it was good. I should have considered where they lived when I listened to their recommendation. Otherwise, all the recommendations worked out fine. I decided I might as well read the "classic noir" novel that gets the most attention. I'd seen the movie, but never read the book.

>126 Berly: I was a bit disappointed there was not a chance of getting the audio version of it by the end of the month. I really enjoy listening to the series.

Sep 10, 2018, 1:09pm Top

196. Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker

Date Completed: 9 Sep 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #6: Read a book with a definite article in the title, but not at the beginning

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: I really enjoyed the Alice Walker books I read in April for National Poetry Month, so I was excited to find this new collection of poems by the author. The collection contains the English poems and Spanish translations by Manuel Garcia Verdecia. The collection is perhaps focused a bit too much on the ills of society and philosophically aligned further left than my own leanings. While I agree with the author's points of social injustices, I think the way we would address them differs a great deal. I still enjoy the rhythm of the author's poetry. I even read a few of the poems in both languages, mainly to see if I was still able to read and comprehend in Spanish. As far as I can tell, the translator did a very good job--and I was able to comprehend more than expected. I received an advance electronic galley through the publisher via NetGalley with expectations of an honest review.

Sep 10, 2018, 7:11pm Top

197. A Christmas Revelation by Anne Perry

Date Completed: 10 Sep 2018

Category: San Diego

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #3: Read a book you MUST read

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: Worm is living at the Portpool Lane clinic funded by Oliver Rathbone with Miss Burroughs and Squeaky. He witnesses two men violently forcing a beautiful woman to go with them, following them to an area when they suddenly vanish. He later returns with Squeaky, discovering the woman has a story of her own and went with her captors somewhat willingly. All of this is set around Christmas. Squeaky shares the Christmas story with Worm who never heard it. Although the book is short, it seemed to drag on. It never captivated my interest. I did enjoy Squeaky's interaction with Worm apart from the main story line, including the recital of the Christmas story. I received an advance electronic uncorrected proof from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 11, 2018, 6:38pm Top

I know many of you will be excited to read that Knoxville's independent bookstore is doing well enough to expand: https://insideofknoxville.com/2018/09/union-avenue-books-announces-expansion/

Sep 13, 2018, 8:12pm Top

198. One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters

Date Completed: 13 Sep 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: British Author Challenge - Historical Fiction; AlphaKIT - E

Rating: 3 stars

Review: A girl, disguised as a boy, turns up at the monastery, seeking refuge. The king had a number of persons executed. One additional body is found. Cadfael gains the king's permission to seek the murderer. Meanwhile the king and his men are seeking the girl. This was a re-read for me, and I remembered enough of the story to make me realize I'd read it before, but the intervening time made details seemingly new at times.

Sep 14, 2018, 2:24pm Top

199. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

Date Completed: 14 Sep 2018

Category: Bahamas

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #14: Read a book where the main characters are children

Other Challenges: Irish Author Challenge

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Doyle depicts the childhood adventures of Patrick "Paddy" Clarke, a ten-year-old living in the Dublin suburbs. As most boys, he gets into his share of mischief. He hangs out with a group of male friends. We come to know the boys, their parents, their teachers, and even the priest in the course of the novel. The writing style is unconventional, but critics liked it well enough to award it the Booker Prize. No chapters can be found although white space between certain episodes give the readers an opportunity for a break. While I really didn't care for the "brats" or their language at times, it does provide a great snapshot of Irish life in the 1960s.

Sep 14, 2018, 7:37pm Top

200. Past Tense by Catherine Aird

Date Completed: 14 Sep 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Josephine Short, a woman with few friends and relatives, dies in a nursing home, leaving some unusual requests. Shortly thereafter an intruder enters her room. The attending physician noticed nothing unusual, attributing her death to heart failure. The woman listed a second cousin living nearby as the next of kin on her nursing home documents. He is in the Amazon at the time of her death, and his wife, who knew nothing about the woman, must deal with the arrangements. The woman's grandson from a faraway island attends the funeral. A young nurse who attended the funeral is found in the river soon afterwards. Then the old woman's grave is disturbed. Inspector Sloan and Constable Crosby try to make sense of mysterious circumstances which must be linked--but how? It's an interesting puzzle. My hunch was correct, but even I doubted my own conclusions from time to time. I listened to the audiobook read by Ric Jerrom. He did a good job differentiating voices.

Sep 15, 2018, 4:58pm Top

201. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

Date Completed: 15 Sep 2018

Category: Charleston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #18: Read a book with a celestial reference on Page 21

Other Challenges: American Author Challenge

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Tom Wingo, who had a mental breakdown resulting in his coaching job loss, travels to New York after his poet sister's suicide attempt. He spends a lot of time with his sister's therapist, Dr. Lowenstein, describing their dysfunctional family, a horrible sex crime committed against multiple family members, and the family's strangeness. I did not enjoy this book. I have never viewed the movie. Some plot features lack plausibility. I love the South Carolina Low Country, but I did not like the family he described or really any of the characters in either South Carolina or New York.

Sep 17, 2018, 7:03pm Top

202. Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Date Completed: 17 Sep 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #11: Read a book with a full name (first name and family name) at the first page

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This book actually tells of an event which took place early in Hannah Swensen's cookie-baking career. Hannah and her sisters charge their mom with recreating a Christmas Cake Parade like the one an older lady named Essie discusses. They discover a manuscript written by Essie. Hannah purchases the building which will become the Cookie Jar. We finally reached an "attempted murder" near the end of the book, but most of this is simply back-story. While the descriptions of eating the baked goods is quite good, I'm always frustrated by the "extra comments" in the recipes which make them difficult to use in a real kitchen. As a reader, I wish I'd been alerted in some manner this book, written as the 23rd installment of a series, is chronologically first (or wherever it may actually fall since it's been so long since I read the first installments). I received an advance egalley from the publisher through NetGalley with expectations of an honest review.

Sep 19, 2018, 4:01pm Top

Found all the pirate treasure!

Sep 19, 2018, 4:10pm Top

Over 200 books already. You are reading up a storm, Lori! I'm not sure how you find the time with the research and everything else you do.

Sep 19, 2018, 4:14pm Top

Hi Lori, congrats on getting to 200 books read my dear, sending love and hugs dear friend.

Sep 19, 2018, 5:15pm Top

>136 thornton37814: Congrats! I’ve only got 6 so far. I need to head over to the talk thread when I have some time and see if there are any helpful hints!

Sep 19, 2018, 9:12pm Top

>137 Familyhistorian: I'm not sure either. Some of those books are picture books or Kindle shorts, but the majority are full length books. Keeping an audio book going in the car helps.

>138 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. I thought of you the other day as I drank hot tea. I'm sure it was not as good as those pots of tea you make.

>139 Copperskye: I actually managed them all without visiting the thread. I did "Google" a couple of things. A couple of things had me nearly stumped, but I finally figured out what I was missing in the clue and got them.

Sep 19, 2018, 10:13pm Top

Hi, Lori. Sorry your Conroy pick was such a bummer. I really liked that book, but clearly he is not for all tastes.

Sep 19, 2018, 10:41pm Top

I found all the pirate treasure too, but needed some help with some of the movies!

So Ancestry did a huge update of their database earlier this week, and now my DNA results make perfect sense.
Still surprised at the amount of English, but investigation shows one of the Irish branches has been in the US for much longer than I thought and intermarrying with that population. All that wierd Scandinavian and other miniscule ethnicities have been subsumed into Germanic Europe, which is what I initially expected, with two branches of grandparents having parents born in Germany.

England, Wales & Northwestern Europe 38%
Ireland and Scotland 35%
Germanic Europe 27%

Sep 20, 2018, 6:29am Top

>141 msf59: Mark, I loved his My Reading Life a few years back when I read it. So maybe I'll just stick to his non-fiction if I read something else in the future.

>142 ronincats: In some ways the old one made more sense than the new for me. They've now grouped Switzerland into that England, Wales, and Northwestern Europe grouping; however, the map you see for the grouping does not include Switzerland. It is only when you tunnel through to a deeper level you see it on the map and in the description. I guess it does make a bit more sense all things considered, but it's certainly more boring. My new admixture is:

England, Wales & Northwestern Europe - 84%
Ireland & Scotland - 12%
France - 2%
Norway - 2%

Incidentally, the France includes the part of Switzerland in which my Amish resided as well as being where they migrated before coming to America.

My guess is the Norway is part of the British Isles stuff but is from long ago.

Sep 21, 2018, 1:31pm Top

203. Thomas Kinkade's Cape Light: A Christmas Secret by Katherine Spencer

Date Completed: 21 Sep 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #3: Read a book you MUST read

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Martin Nightingale must fulfill some odd wishes in his grandfather's will in order to receive his inheritance and his grandfather's house. His grandfather wants him to spend a large sum of money on personal needs of Cape Light residents with only a small amount going to charity needs. Through the story we learn the story of how Martin's grandfather's toy shop was saved through the generosity of Oliver. In the meantime, Martin finds himself falling for Louisa, the police officer who caught him speeding on his arrival into town. This was a heartwarming story--and a perfect one for Christmas. It reminds us we should bless others with the blessings bestowed upon us. Kindness, even to those who are not kind in return, exemplifies the Christmas spirit. I received an advance electronic uncorrected proof from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 22, 2018, 10:37am Top

204. A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss

Date Completed: 22 Sep 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #3: Read a book you MUST read

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 1 star

Review: Inspector Steine (pronounced Steen) solved the Middle Street Massacre in 1951, still glorying in its resolution 6 years later when Constable Twitten enters the Brighton police force. Theatre Critic A.S. Crystal knows a secret concerning the unsolved 1945 Aldersgate Stick-Up case and goes to the theatre intending to share his secret with the constable when Crystal himself is shot in his seat. Constable Twitten and partner Sgt. Jim Brunswick set out to solve the decades-old case while the Inspector busies himself with the new one. When I requested this one, I expected it to be a police procedural. The book contains some humor, although not necessarily the most enjoyable variety of that. While it was that, it was a bit too "noir" for my personal taste in detective fiction. I prefer books more like Deborah Crombie's Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series. The seedy elements in the book simply failed to work for me, but I'm certain others would enjoy the book more than I did. If you enjoy noir and hard-boiled detective stories, you will probably enjoy this one. If you prefer your books to contain a little less seediness, you will probably want to avoid this one. I received an advance e-book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Edited: Sep 22, 2018, 7:07pm Top

205. The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein

Date Completed: 22 Sep 2018

Category: Cornwall

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #3: Read a book you MUST read

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - B & E

Rating: 4 stars

Review: While the history portions were more topical than chronological, readers came away knowing snowmen were around in medieval times and possibly earlier. The strength of this book is in its images. I found the photos of snowmen in popular culture fascinating. A town in Maine broke its own record in building the largest snowman--well, actually a snow woman. The book features the snowman in books, movies, advertising, postcards, art, war, and more. It's a fascinating book that features snowmen from around the world. I received an advance electronic copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 22, 2018, 7:28pm Top

Happy Saturday, Lori! You've read some great books this summer! Wow, what a nice book haul too! Oh, yes, the pic of your beach getaway looks enticing! Hope you had a lot of reading time while there.

Sep 23, 2018, 4:24pm Top

>143 thornton37814: Ah, the ethnicity estimates. Fun aren't they? Every time they are up dated I seem to lose another Scandinavian country. For the longest time I had Finland and was trying to figure out how that fit in when they revised the estimates and Finland disappeared in my ethnicity. This time I lost Denmark but Norway and Sweden are still hanging in there at 4% and 3% respectively. I put that down to my known ancestry in the Western Isles of Scotland due to Viking incursions. Don't you have Orkney links, Lori? That probably accounts for your Norway 2%.

Sep 23, 2018, 8:47pm Top

>148 Familyhistorian: I'm sure it's some of that Northern Scottish Island stuff that is responsible for the Norwegian. (It showed as 1% Finland in the old.) Incidentally a bug has been placed in my ear about writing another genealogy book. I will have to see if I can find time to do it. This one would be a bigger project than the last one, but it's one that needs to be written. I'm not the only person who could write it, but it needs to be written a certain way--and I share that vision with someone who is too busy to write it.

Sep 23, 2018, 9:01pm Top

Hi, Lori! I love the pictures from the American Museum of the House Cat!!

>102 thornton37814: Nice haul!

Past Tense sounds interesting! I haven't read any Catherine Aird, though I think I have one on my TBR shelf, maybe.

Sep 23, 2018, 9:47pm Top

>150 tymfos: You will probably enjoy Aird. I've read a few of hers, but I have many more to go.

Sep 24, 2018, 2:22am Top

Over 200 books and pirate treasure!! Whoohoo!

Sep 24, 2018, 7:57am Top

>152 Berly: Yes. I think I'll hit a triple this year easily. I don't think I'll make it to a quadruple though--not unless I inflate it with Kindle shorts and picture books.

Sep 24, 2018, 9:49pm Top

206. My Life in a Cat House: True Tales of Love, Laughter, and Living with Five Felines by Gwen Cooper

Date Completed: 24 Sep 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #3: Read a book you MUST read

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Gwen Cooper, author of Homer's Odyssey, featuring the now infamous Homer, the Blind Wonder Cat, writes more tales about her cats, including Homer. She talks about her life, her loves, her time spent between New York and Miami. She relates episodes from cats contemporary to Homer and cats who came into her life later. Some are humorous; most will be appreciated by cat lovers. The book bogged down at times with too much of the author's own story or with excess verbiage. Still it's a fun read for cat lovers. I received an advance electronic copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 24, 2018, 10:22pm Top

207. The Body on the Beach by Simon Brett

Date Completed: 24 Sep 2018

Category: San Diego

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #15: Read a book whose title contains a common noun representing a person, but no pronouns or proper nouns

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Carole, retired from a job with the Home Office, settled in the quiet village of Fethering. A mysterious neighbor Jude moves in next door. While walking her dog, Carole discovers a body on the beach. Before calling the police, she washes her dog and tidies the kitchen. When they arrive at the scene, the body is missing, and they don't put much stock in her story. Her neighbor Jude is the only one who believes her account. A woman comes to Carole's door threatening her with a gun. She escapes out the back when Jude comes calling. Jude talks Carole into going to the local pub, even though Carole is not a pub person. Strange things occur at the yacht club, and ultimately that venue along with scenes with its members in other locations, provides most of the action for the book. The characters are quirky. I am not naturally drawn to them. I think the novel would have been strengthened by making it a police procedural. Carole and Jude are not the most endearing investigative team. I listened to the audio version read by Geoffrey Howard.

Sep 27, 2018, 4:32am Top

Sweet Thursday, Lori.

Sep 27, 2018, 7:24am Top

>156 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara.

Sep 27, 2018, 5:54pm Top

208. Good Tidings and Great Joy by Sarah Palin

Date Completed: 27 Sep 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: RandomCAT - Happy Birthday

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin discusses cultural attacks on Christianity, specifically on the holiday Christmas, in the guise of political correctness. She weaves in stories featuring her own family in or around the holiday. I began reading the e-book, but quickly decided it would work better in audio format with Palin reading it herself. I switched. Reaction to the book will largely fall along political party lines and views of Christianity. I doubt anyone would change their perspective. I am glad I did not read it at Christmas because it might take a little joy out of the season.

Sep 28, 2018, 11:38am Top

In looking through the electronic government documents, I came across an interesting one entitled "Bin Laden's Bookshelf." You can access here: https://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo86517.

Sep 29, 2018, 12:09pm Top

Just dropping by to wish you a wonderful weekend :)

Sep 29, 2018, 12:28pm Top

Hi Lori - Wow! Congrats on being well over 200 books and heading for a triple!

And another wow for the Christmas books.

That's an interesting review of Sarah Palin's book. I don't agree with her politically, but as you know, I'm a Christian. I may give that one a whirl. I haven't ever read anything by her and I do like to read books with alternate political spectrum views.

The English language books on bin Laden's bookshelf are chilling aren't they? Thanks for the interesting link.

Have a great weekend!

Sep 29, 2018, 10:42pm Top

Back to the reading numbers i love and remember!

Wish I could say the same.

Have a lovely weekend, Lori

Sep 30, 2018, 6:57am Top

>160 figsfromthistle: Thank! Hope yours was great!

>161 streamsong: She shares the same birthday as I do, but not quite the same year--off by one. I read that one for the challenge. It was shorter than her other books.

>162 PaulCranswick: Hopefully you'll be back up to your usual numbers before long. I suspect mine will drop off next year. Actually they'll probably be down next month because I've got lots going on in genealogy--a new client, 5 brand new lectures to deliver, and the annual meeting/seminar for North Carolina Genealogical Society.

Sep 30, 2018, 7:56am Top

Hej Lori, some interesting reading you have done.
I put Naomi King on my wishlist. Let's see, if I can find a book by her.

Interesting that you put Cadfael into the category 'Amish country' :) >131 thornton37814:

Sep 30, 2018, 12:18pm Top

>164 paulstalder: It was just the luck of the rotation on Cadfael. I don't think his monastery was in Cornwall so I couldn't put it there. (I think it is Shropshire.)

Oct 2, 2018, 4:01pm Top

209. Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri

2 Oct 2018

Category: Bahamas

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #1: Read a book Read a book whose title changes meaning if exactly one letter is taken away

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Montalbano's suspicions are aroused when a man is murdered outside an apartment building and an older couple who don't get out much residing in the building later turn up dead. Readers learn of rivalry between a "new mafia" and the established mob leaders. The women involved with Montalbano and Mimi figure into the story in minor ways. Food is always discussed although I found fewer occasions to salivate than in some installments. Although it is a solid installment, it was not a favorite. Grover Gardner did an excellent job narrating, as usual.

Oct 2, 2018, 4:06pm Top

Hi Lori, just stopping by to say hello my dear. Hope you had a good weekend and that you are well, I am slowly getting around the threads and now hope to be back on them more often through to the end of the year.

Sending love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

Oct 2, 2018, 8:41pm Top

>167 johnsimpson: Thanks so much, John. The weekend went pretty well. Sundays are spent mostly at church because of my many commitments there. I spent most of Saturday working on a presentation I gave last night. It went well, so I think my time paid off.

Oct 2, 2018, 8:50pm Top

210. Poems by W. B. Yeats

Date Completed: 2 Oct 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: Irish Author Challenge - Poets & Playwrights

Rating: 3 stars

Review: I enjoyed some poems better than others. I listened to this in an audio format, read by T. P. McKenna. It was my first time to listen to poetry in the audiobook format, and I found it more difficult to follow than poems in print. I think a longer pause between poems would help transition from one to the other a bit better. I tend to listen to audiobooks while driving, and distractions caused by traffic which don't cause one to lose much when listening to a novel create a bigger challenge in audio format. The narrator's voice reminded me of that of a stodgy old English professor.

Oct 3, 2018, 1:07pm Top

Hi Lori!

Wow, congrats on so many books read so far!

Oct 3, 2018, 1:44pm Top

>170 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. I should finish another short audiobook today and a print one probably tomorrow, since Wednesday night is choir rehearsal night.

Oct 3, 2018, 2:37pm Top

Hi, Lori.

I love the Montalbano series. What letter did you take away from the Excursion to Tindari title for the challenge?

>169 thornton37814: Good for you, for reading the Yeats poems. It can be challenging, but his best are so good.

Oct 3, 2018, 4:10pm Top

>172 jnwelch: The "i" at the end. The trip is now to Iran. Re: Yeats poems. I listened to them. I had planned to read them until I saw the audiobook was really short.

Edited: Oct 5, 2018, 10:14pm Top

211. The 39 Steps by John Buchan

Date Completed: 3 Oct 2018

Category: Charleston

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: MysteryCAT - Espionage

Rating: 3 stars

Review: It’s 1914, and World War I is eminent. Richard Hannay (a Scot) sets up house in London, having returned from Rhodesia. He meets a fearful American spy named Franklin P. Scudder who believes a plot is afoot to assassinate the Greek premier when he visits London. Scudder claims to be following a German spy ring. He allows him to stay with him. Soon two deaths, including Scudder’s occur in the building. Hannay worries he will be next for the assassins, but he must investigate himself, since he is the chief suspect. Hannay pores over Scudder’s notes, once he has broken the cipher. They mention “39 steps.” After being introduced to the Foreign Office by a local aspiring politician, his heroic actions prevent England from divulging secrets to the Germans. I listened to an audio version taken from the Golden Age of Radio with an introduction by Orson Wells and performed by a theatrical company. One had to listen quite carefully over the crackles to hear the soft voices of the actors. The recording quality is quite bad, and I recommend that persons wanting to listen to this one do so sitting in their living room as the original radio broadcasts were heard.

Oct 5, 2018, 8:43am Top

If you ever get a chance to see the play adaptation of The 39 Steps, Lori, it is fast-paced and surprisingly funny. We saw it many years ago in London. The Hitchcock movie is entertaining, too. The book wasn't quite as good as I hoped - your three stars would fit for me.

Oct 5, 2018, 10:34am Top

>175 jnwelch: The old radio version just had very poor sound quality. It definitely marred my enjoyment. I can't remember if that is one of the old Hitchcock movies I own or not. I don't have the DVD collection cataloged.

Edited: Oct 6, 2018, 6:41pm Top

212. Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories by Audrey Niffenegger

Date Completed: 5 Oct 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge:

Other Challenges: ScaredyKIT - Ghost stories; AlphaKIT - N

Rating: 4 stars

Review: A nicely varied collection of ghost stories. Stories include "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe, "Secret Life, with Cats" by Audrey Niffenegger, "Pomegranate Seed" by Edith Wharton, "The Beckoning Fair One" by Oliver Onions, "The Mezzotint" by M. R. James, "Honeysuckle Cottage" by P. G. Wodehouse, "Click-Clack the Rattlebag" by Neil Gaiman, "They" by Rudyard Kipling, "Playmates" by A. M. Burrage, "The July Ghost" by A. S. Byatt, "Laura" by Saki, "The Open Window" by Saki, "The Specialist's Hat" by Kelly Link, "Tiny Ghosts" by Amy Giacalone, "The Pink House" by Rebecca Curtis, and "August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains" by Ray Bradbury. My least favorite was "The Specialist's Hat" because snakes were overplayed. I also didn't really enjoy "The Pink House." My favorites were "The Black Cat," "Secret Life, with Cats," "The Mezzotint," and "Playmates."

Oct 6, 2018, 3:10am Top

Happy weekend, Lori.

Oct 6, 2018, 9:05am Top

>178 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara. I had not slept well for a couple of nights, so I took something to help me drift to sleep sooner and slept in this morning. I fed the cats when I got up to use the restroom so they'd let me sleep. I think I enjoyed the extra sleep. I'll need to scoop their litterboxes, but I will do that when I'm going out in a bit. Right now I'm enjoying listening to the birds chirping in the neighborhood.

Oct 6, 2018, 10:31am Top

>179 thornton37814: Oh, sorry to hear that you have sleep troubles. I hope it's getting better so8n.

Oct 6, 2018, 6:23pm Top

Oct 6, 2018, 6:57pm Top

Abandoned Read #5

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

Date Abandoned: 6 Oct 2018

Category: Harlan, Kentucky

Comments: I made it through three of the seven audio parts before calling it quits. It seemed like a collection of stories or vignettes about persons residing in or near Lucy Barton's home town in Illinois. The first story was interesting enough although I really did not like the ending of it. The book went down from there. Adultery and profanity seemed to be the major themes. I couldn't take the "F" word one more time, and I didn't really care about any of the characters or what happened to them.

Oct 7, 2018, 9:06pm Top

213. Snowflake in the Tea by Elena May

Date Completed: 7 Oct 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This short story, aimed at a teenage audience, tells the story of Michelle, a resident of Bremen, who meets a white cat in the snow while procrastinating responding to an email from a boy she met while studying abroad in Australia. The cat has some odd temperament points, but there's a touch of magical realism in the book. It's kind "You've Got Mail" with a cat in the picture. Teenage girls who enjoy love stories and magical realism will probably enjoy the story. I received an electronic copy through a GoodReads giveaway with hopes, although not a requirement, that I write an honest review.

Oct 9, 2018, 1:50am Top

Too bad that The 39 Steps was marred by a hard-to-hear radio recording, Lori. I read it in print and enjoyed it when I could follow what was going on. It sounds like you are very busy with genealogy. I hope that you find the time to write the book that needs to be written. Is it about records in a particular geographical area?

Oct 9, 2018, 7:35am Top

>184 Familyhistorian: No. I think I'd rather keep the concept under wraps at the moment, but it is aimed at a more general audience. It's a niche for which a need exists.

Oct 11, 2018, 9:01pm Top

214. Hushed in Death by Stephen Kelly

Date Completed: 11 Oct 2018

Category: Yellowstone National Park

TIOLI Challenge: Wiki is broken; will try to add later

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Inspector Lamb sets out to solve a murder. His daughter is a constable, serving as his driver, and helps the others with the investigation. The present murder seems connected to one the took place aboard a ship. The writing is weak. The sense of time and place lacks development. The character development is strong on most major characters but not quite to the level it needs to be on a few. I received an advance electronic galley from the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Oct 13, 2018, 11:04pm Top

215. In Harm's Way by Viveca Sten; translated by Marlaine Delargy

Date Completed: 13 Oct 2018

Category: Cornwall

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #3: Read a book where the final page number or electronic location number are added together to equal the number 4

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: A 400 page book with 107 chapters! The choppy organization disrupted the flow of the novel, making it difficult to follow. A journalist is found dead Christmas eve. Suspicion falls to her "ex" who retains custody of their child, but other suspects and motives exist. The police immediately notice the lack of a computer in the journalist's hotel room, leading them to suspect murder even before the autopsy reveals it. While I like the setting, I did not get a strong feel for it. The police did not seem very developed. I'm sure it's because it is a later book in the series, and I read no earlier installments. I received an advance electronic copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Oct 17, 2018, 8:55am Top

216. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Date Completed: 16 Oct 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - N & L

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I first read The Scarlet Letter in high school. I read it again about ten years later. After learning an ancestor's wife, although not the one from whom I descend, likely inspired Hawthorne's story, I became interested in the story again and read it about a dozen years ago. This summer AudioSync offered a free download of the version narrated by Donada Peters. I really enjoyed the listening experience. Although the narrator's voice was British, she did a great job narrating the colonial New England Puritan story featuring a woman forced to wear a scarlet A upon her breast. The father the Rev. Arthur Dimsdale suffered more than she because he failed to publicly confess his sin. The woman's husband, living under the assumed name of Roger Chillingsworth, was the clergyman's doctor and tormentor. The classic story reads differently than modern novels, but never fails to provide material for thought. It continues to be studied in schools because of its ability to be discussed. I enjoyed my revisit to Puritan New England through this audio production.

Oct 17, 2018, 12:43pm Top

Hi Lori - my daughter read The Scarlet Letter for school last year so I enjoyed the opportunity to revisit it as well. You're right - it still holds up as a stimulating and discussion-provoking work.

Oct 17, 2018, 2:54pm Top

Hej Lori. When doing genealogical research, did you come across the Pilgermission St. Chrischona? They sent about 300 German speaking (Lutheran) pastors to the USA before WW I, mainly to Texas and from there they spread throughout the USA. I did work in the archives there and we had occasional requests about one of the former students.

Oct 17, 2018, 8:59pm Top

>189 vivians: I wasn't really sure if I'd enjoy it as much in audio as I did in print, but I did. I was glad it was an AudioSync selection this summer.

>190 paulstalder: I have not come across those. Of course, I don't have many Lutherans in my tree either.

Oct 18, 2018, 8:18am Top

Interesting read about "The Bookish Life" at First Things: https://www.firstthings.com/article/2018/11/the-bookish-life

If the link does not direct you to the article, just Google First Things and scroll down to find the article. I had the link in my browser, but it wouldn't allow me to revisit it without going through the process again. Odd!

Oct 18, 2018, 1:41pm Top

217. The Cornish Village School: Second Chances by Kitty Wilson

Date Completed: 18 Oct 2018

Category: Cornwall

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 2 stars

Review: I had high expectations for this book, but it simply was not the read for me. I envisioned a book more along the lines of a "Miss Read" book, but instead the narrative was "too modern" to engage me. While I think the intended audience is adult, the writing style struck me as being more appropriate to a middle school audience. I did not feel a strong sense of place in Cornwall either, probably because the descriptions are brief and lack the adjectives which draw a reader into the landscape. If school stories with the headaches of modern technology, overpacked schedules, and societal problems is your idea of escape reading, give it a try. If not, go back and re-read the Fairacre and Thrush Green stories of an earlier day and time. I received an advance review copy of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oct 18, 2018, 2:33pm Top

Hello thornton37814! Is it ok if I call you Lori? I hope all is well with you. I had fun reviewing your thread. It sounds like you had some hits and misses so far this year. I've been struggling just to be reading.

>68 thornton37814: How cool that you found your self related to Louis l'Amour, even you are not a fan of the genre. ;-)

>87 thornton37814: I have been watching 'Anne With An E' on Netflix and I've seen other adaptations in the past. This looks like one that might be fun to read to the kids.

>158 thornton37814: This book piqued my interest, but I was unsure why the book itself would have robbed any joy if read at Christmas. Wait, maybe I do. If the book focuses on 'protecting Christmas', I can see how the Spirit of Christmas could be sidelined. I may take a listen anyway. Is this what you meant?

>177 thornton37814: Now, this looks interesting! With such a varied list of authors, it makes me wonder if the tone of the stories wanders from playful to suspenseful to scrary.

Oct 18, 2018, 4:00pm Top

Hi, Lori - Sorry to hear you've been suffering through a plethora of tepid books (with the exception of A Scarlet Letter, which I have not yet read). Good to know an audio version is available as that is how I am doing most of my reading these days. Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories looks interesting and would fit right in with my October reading theme. Currently I'm reading a trilogy about giant man-eating spiders taking over the world. Ew. Hope your restless night was a one-off. I hate it when that happens to me.

Edited: Oct 19, 2018, 9:18am Top

>194 brodiew2: I think it was too filled with stories of people trying to do away with Christmas. I really enjoyed the Niffenegger. The stories were varied enough to make it interesting.

>195 Storeetllr: I should know better thab to request ARCs that are not from major publishers by now. Those seem to be the source of most of the bad reads. I do recommend the ghost story book and Hawthorne's classic tale. I know things will pick up. My current read is probably a solid 3. Not sure if I'll complete it tonight or not, although I hope I can do so. If not, I'm sure I'll finish it tomorrow after I reach my brother's house while I'm waiting on nieces, nephews, etc. to arrive. Apparently they are all coming to see me. I've got some packing chores ahead of me tonight. I also need to back up my Saturday presentations to USB and upload the compiled syllabus to a location where people can download it if they prefer an electronic copy or if the library didn't make enough copies. I then add a TINYURL to the beginning and end slides of each presentation.

Oct 19, 2018, 9:20am Top

I'm getting ready to round up the cats and make my way to Mississippi where I'm conducting a genealogy seminar tomorrow. I will also be spending time with family. I understand some of my brother's children and their spouses (if applicable) are coming to visit me. I suspect I will be pretty busy until they head back on Sunday although I'll probably be online some Sunday evening and Monday.

Oct 19, 2018, 9:42am Top

>197 thornton37814: Have a fun trip, Lori!

Oct 21, 2018, 9:29am Top

>197 thornton37814: The seminar went well yesterday. Just checking in quickly this morning.

Oct 21, 2018, 1:46pm Top

218. A Season of Grace by Lorraine Snelling

Date Completed: 21 Oct 2018

Category: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - L

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: Nilda, a recent arrival in Minnesota from Norway, hopes a person from her past does not follow her to Minnesota. In the new country she finds two new chances at love, but the past still haunts her. While I enjoyed the glimpses into settler life, I did not enjoy the overall story which seemed disjointed. I normally enjoy immigrant stories, and I appreciate the faith expressed in the lives of the settlers, but this book simply didn't work for me. The novel does not make me want to try other works by the author.

Edited: Oct 22, 2018, 10:26pm Top

The fur boys and I head home in the morning. Although I'll get out to stretch a couple of times along the way, I'm ready for us all to be home. I have about 30 minutes remaining in one audiobook. (The mystery itself is already resolved, and I suspect the remainder just ties up a couple more loose threads.) I chose an Inspector Banks mystery to begin after I finish it. I'll be able to finish that one on a drive next weekend although I'll make good progress on it on the ride home tomorrow and the week's commute.

Edited: Oct 23, 2018, 5:10pm Top

219. The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye

Date Completed: 23 Oct 2018

Category: San Diego

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #7: Read a book with an odd number of letters in the title

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - L

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: Orphaned when his parents died in a fire, Timothy Wilde watches his own life savings melt away when a devastating fire destroys the area where he worked as a bartender and lived. His brother Val, a New York City fireman, secures both of them posts on the newly formed New York Police Department. Val is a captain, but Timothy is simply a roundsman. He had hoped to ask Mercy Underhill, a minister's daughter, for her hand in marriage. He moves to his ward, finding lodging above Mrs. Boehme's bakery. When a young blood-covered girl turns up at his doorsteps, the corpse of a boy named Liam is found soon afterwards, leading him to Silkie Marsh's establishment which exploits young Irish children. While the job of the police is primarily prevention of crime, Timothy finds himself investigating this one with the support of the city's first police commissioner. Mercy Underhill continues her mother's efforts at charitable work, in spite of her father's protests. He is intolerant of Catholics, and the poor Irish with whom she works are Catholic. The plot is very well-developed with several woven threads that make for a captivating read or listen. Boyer did a good job narrating the audiobook. I look forward to future installments in this series. My biggest regret is waiting so long to listen to it because I was afraid I might not like it.

Oct 23, 2018, 5:09pm Top

>202 thornton37814: Agree! Agree! Agree! Hi thornton37814. I loved this book on audio and I am so glad that you did too. timothy Wilde is a very well developed character as is the story as a whole. I have yet read either of the follow ups, but plan to have Seven For a Secret for the beginning of next year.

Oct 23, 2018, 5:11pm Top

>203 brodiew2: I added Seven for a Secret to my Overdrive wish list. I'll probably wait until after the first of the year to read it. Maybe we can do so around the same time!

Oct 23, 2018, 6:50pm Top

204 That would be cool. Let's keep it in nind.

Oct 23, 2018, 7:27pm Top

>205 brodiew2: Yes! Sounds like a plan!

Oct 23, 2018, 8:25pm Top

Hi, Lori. Good review of The Gods of Gotham. Thumb! I just read the second book in the trilogy, at the end of September and it was another strong entry. I'll have to get to the 3rd one, in the coming months.

Edited: Oct 29, 2018, 7:42am Top

220. A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

Date Completed: 23 Oct 2018

Category: Amish Country

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #12: Read a book for comfort

Other Challenges: British Author Challenge - Comedic Novels

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Likable characters and a charming setting make this book a great comfort read. However, it shows its share of adult marital problems as well. After a failed marriage, Katie, along with her small son, moves to Budbury, a village along the Dorset coast. She finds comfort in the charming cafe and the people of the village. Will her parents ruin her peace? Will she be able to love again? With the climax coming around Christmas, it's a perfect holiday read. I look forward to reading earlier installments of the series to learn more about Budbury. This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Oct 23, 2018, 8:30pm Top

>207 msf59: I'm glad to hear the second is so good!

Oct 25, 2018, 8:32am Top

221. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Date Completed: 25 Oct 2018

Category: Bahamas

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: American Author Challenge

Rating: 3 stars

Review: The title of the book is slightly misleading. While the second book details his approach to writing fiction, the first half of the book is autobiographical in nature--vignettes from the author's own life. While some of these episodes influenced his career as author, the connection to others is less apparent. Aspiring fiction writers will probably enjoy the book more than I did. Non-fiction authors will find the process different although certain things apply to us all--such as lean writing. In several places, King mentions The Elements of Style. This classic work influenced King's writing, and it continues to shape the prose of aspiring and great authors. At the book's close, King lists books which moved him. He acknowledges the list may not work for all. Better books on writing exist, so I recommend skipping this one unless King is a favorite author.

Oct 25, 2018, 5:52pm Top

222. Dr. Jo: How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America's Children by Monica Kulling; illustrated by Julianna Swaney

Date Completed: 25 Oct 2018

Category: Cork, Ireland

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: AlphaKIT - L

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: Monica Kulling introduces young readers to Dr. Sara Josephine Baker who worked among immigrant children in Hell's Kitchen. She recognized problems and created solutions to these. Dr. Jo's accomplishments make her a woman worth knowing. She saved the lives of many children, both through her medical efforts and through her efforts to educate midwives, babysitters, and parents. The illustrations are cleanly drawn but more reminiscent of books of an earlier era. Perhaps since we are dealing with a historical figure, it is not a major flaw. The author includes a brief biography of books and websites at the end. I would like to read the doctor's autobiography, written in 1939, to learn more of this remarkable woman. I received a copy of this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program with the expectation of an honest review.

Oct 25, 2018, 8:32pm Top

223. Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves edited by Glory Edim

Date Completed: 25 Oct 2018

Category: Charleston

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #1: Read a book Read a book whose title changes meaning if exactly one letter is taken away

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Editor Glory Edim shares authors' brief reflections on their literary influences, primarily in terms of books or their authors. These stories are broken up by short bibliographies of black-women-authored books fitting specific categories. The author's essays include white and black authors, both male and female. I wish Edim's lists included mysteries written by black authors, but it did not. A closing bibliography includes the titles mentioned throughout the book. Since the book is written primarily for "girls," the focus is somewhat feminist. I have read some of the titles. While not all the remaining ones appeal to me, I would like to read several of the classic novels, books about girlhood/friendship, and a few more poetry volumes. I received an advance uncorrected proof by the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Oct 26, 2018, 1:08am Top

Did the genealogy conference go well, Lori? I hope you had some time to relax at home with the boys before you had to go back to your day job.

Oct 26, 2018, 8:30am Top

>213 Familyhistorian: It went fine. I took them with me anyway so we got to spend some time together. I've got a quick trip for North Carolina Genealogical Society's Fall Seminar and Annual Meeting this weekend. I'm not speaking, so I just get to listen. If I had not already paid, I might have changed my mind about going. I really just want to stay home and relax. I'm really looking forward to one of the sessions though. It's on a topic I've wanted to learn more about. (What I've learned about it has been uncovered on my own, so I want to see what someone who truly knows what they are doing sees that I haven't discovered yet.) I won't be gone the whole weekend though, and the boys will be fine on their own for the amount of time I'm gone.

Oct 26, 2018, 10:23pm Top

I finished a Peter Robinson mystery on the drive to Raleigh, but my eyes have been too glazed over to review it this evening because of driving constantly in worsening rain. I'm glad I finally arrived. I didn't even eat supper. I just checked into the hotel and went to the room. I began listening to a new book just past Burlington, NC. I thought I was going to have to abandon it because of the snake descriptions, but it settled down as I drove on. (I'd decided to give it until I got to the hotel to decide whether to continue.) I'll stick with it for now.

Oct 28, 2018, 9:31pm Top

224. Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson

Date Completed: 26 Oct 2018

Category: Quebec City

TIOLI Challenge: Challenge #15: Read a book where you pick up where you left off

Other Challenges: None

Rating: 4 stars

Review: A lesbian woman who was in an amateur production of Twelfth Night is murdered. Does the motive lie in the present or in the past? Chief Inspector Banks and his team, which now includes Inspector Susan Gay, must puzzle it out. Everyone seems to be hiding something. Sergeant Hatchley married and received a promotion, moving to a coastal town, but still serving under Banks. The murder takes place just before Christmas. Most seasoned mystery readers will determine the perpetrator early, but the pacing of the investigation keeps readers interested regardless. I listened to the audio version read by James Langton who does a good job as usual.

Edited: Oct 31, 2018, 8:33pm Top

225. The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton

Date Completed: 30 Oct 2018

Category: Boston

TIOLI Challenge: None

Other Challenges: Nonfiction Challenge - First Person Singular

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Thomas Merton, orphaned by his college years, studied at Columbia and decided to take holy orders. He quickly realized that he really wanted something which would require sacrifice. The Franciscan order he chose cost him very little. He wanted something more. He remembered his friend's visit to the silent Trappist Gethsemane monastery in Kentucky and applied for a retreat there. His experience there was profound, but back with the Franciscans in New York, he found himself wanting more. He visited a more urban Trappist monastery, but found his call to Gethsemani. Along the way, we learn a lot about Merton's life and about contemplation. We also learn about God and man's relationship to him. This well-regarded work influences lives of protestants and Catholics seeking a greater intimacy with God. Much of the experience occurs in the build-up to World War II and in the early days of United States involvement in the war. Merton's draft number came up, but he failed a physical at first and was in the process of entering the monastery by his second call.

Oct 31, 2018, 5:59pm Top

>217 thornton37814: Congratulations on reaching 3 x 75, Lori!

Oct 31, 2018, 6:00pm Top

Congrats Lori on 3 x 75 for the year so far my dear.

Oct 31, 2018, 6:38pm Top

>218 FAMeulstee: >219 johnsimpson: Thanks! I'm happy I made it a triple. I have no hope of making it a quadruple, but I would like to reach 250 if possible.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

406 members

138,985 messages


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




About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 134,219,796 books! | Top bar: Always visible