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Tess Follows the Yellow Brick Road in 2019

2019 Category Challenge

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Edited: Jan 6, 10:33pm Top

Hi, my name is Tess and I'm a college professor-Western Civ, American History, and The Holocaust. I teach in real-time and also online.

I've been married to my husband for 43 years; have 2 sons and 7 grandchildren ranging in ages from 10 months to 18 years of age. I live in the midwest USA, Ohio, on about 5 acres in a rural area; although a grocery is only 1/2 mile from my house.

Besides reading, I love to cook, garden and travel. I've spent 3 weeks in London (2003), 2 weeks in France (2005), 10 days in Israel (2007) and 3 months in Washington DC. I have also visited 39/50 U.S. states and will add 4 more to the list this summer when we hit the Eastern Seacoast in search of author's homes and lighthouses.

By far I prefer to read novels, historical fiction, and Gothic and Victorian literature---not so much history, because I do that for work! I don't watch TV unless there is something important--which isn't very often! I quit listening to music sometime in the 70's, so my collection is very dated.

I am deathly allergic to real cats (tracheotomy) and since our pug dog died we currently don't have a pet. I told my husband when we are both retired and staying at home then he can get another pug; but I'm pushing for a pound puppy.

Unfortunately, I suffered from breast cancer this past summer and will be starting radiation therapy on Oct. 17. They have told me it will make me tired in weeks 3-5. We shall see!

I tried to do this group last year, but quickly became overwhelmed and dropped out. If I don't visit you often, it's not because I don't want to, but I teach in real life during the day and online 3 evenings per week. Somewhere in there I have to find time for the husband, grandkids, housework, laundry, cooking, the ballet (season tickets)....you get my drift.

I chose as my theme The Wizard of Oz because I just finished reading book 2 in the series, The Marvelous Land of Oz and as I was thinking of the colorful characters I thought: boy, one could get a lot of categories from this book!

I have over 600 books, both tree and ebooks to clear off my shelves so I can acquire new ones! I started on LT in 2011 and since then have read almost 1000 books! Posted now, but won't start reading the categories until 2019. I have a 20-30 minute commute each way to work, so I count audio books as "reading." I hope to read 100+ books this year.

My rating system:
1 star--waste of paper and ink
2 stars-Is this literature? -major flaws or mind numbing boring
2 1/2 stars-not so bad I had to stop reading
3 stars-average, but may still be quite enjoyable
3 1/2 fun, informative, thought provoking
4 stars-excellent read
4 1/2 exceptionally good, among my favorites
5 stars-in all ways a superior read


Edited: Jan 3, 9:05am Top

Dorothy-farm girl. I love to read books about the U.S. western settlement, particularly about women homesteaders. I want to read the Willa Cather trilogy as well as the last Little House book.

1. Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati 896 pages 4.5 stars

Edited: Oct 7, 2018, 3:33pm Top

Tin Man-If I only had a heart.........if I could only finish a series! This category is dedicated to finishing up series I've begun.

Edited: Jan 3, 9:05am Top

Scarecrow-If I only had a brain! This category will include Big Fat Books or DNF's.

1. The Source by James Michener 1104 pages 4 stars
2. Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky 621 pages 5 stars

Edited: Jan 2, 3:02am Top

Wicked Witch of the West---this category is reserved from true crime and psychological thrillers.

1. Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
2. A Killer's Mind by Mike Omer

Edited: Jan 6, 1:50pm Top

Glenda the Good Witch will have me reading new shiny books less than 2 years on my shelves.

1. Not Her Daughter

Edited: Jan 14, 5:52am Top

The Munchkins or the "little" people. For this category I will read YA books or books under 200 pages in length.

1. Emma by Jane Austen 168 pages 3 stars
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2 1/2 stars
3. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo 176 ages 3 stars
4. Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorn 17 pages 2 1/2 stars

Edited: Nov 1, 2018, 11:17pm Top

The Wizard-- since I don't like sci or fantasy, I'm making this category books over 75 years old to represent wisdom (which of course, the Wizard was lacking). Shakespeare will also be found in this category.

Edited: Jan 13, 9:05pm Top

Wicked Witch of the East Books from this category will be from the 1001 BYMRBY DIE!

1. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole 3 1/2 stars
2. Atonement by Ian McEwan 351 pages 3 1/2 stars

Edited: Jan 11, 5:22am Top

The yellow brick road is composed of many single bricks. This category will be for books that don't fit into any of the other categories.'

1. The Fig Eater by Jody Shields
2. Last Orders' by Graham Swift
3. Born Survivors by Wendy Holden
4. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
5. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Edited: Jan 13, 10:44pm Top

Bingo Dog


Edited: Nov 24, 2018, 9:35am Top

Group Reads

A Suitable Boy

Oct 6, 2018, 10:08pm Top

Dropping a star because I really want to see how you fill the Dorothy Farmgirl category!

Oct 7, 2018, 2:39am Top


Edited: Nov 25, 2018, 8:26am Top

Since I'm allergic to cats, I've taken a liking to Grumpy!


January - NPR 100 Best Horror Stories List or 100 Killer Thrillers List Young Goodman Brown
February The Corporeal Undead Interview with a Vampire
March - - True Crime The Dark Heart: A True Story of Greed, Murder, and an Unlikely Investigator
April - - Chills and Thrills with Modern Horror/Thrillers (2014 - 2019) An English Ghost Story
May - Children's Horror (or Horrific Children) Grimm's Fairy Tales
June - v - Technothrillers Ice Station
July - Vacation Month (read horror/thriller of your choice) More Grimm's (Book over 900 pages)
August -Gothic The Woman in White
September - - Ghosts & Hauntings In Ghostly Japan
October - Monsters & Creatures Monsters and Mysteries
November Stephen King and Family Joyland
December - Small Press/Indie (or catch up on a previous category) Finish Grimm's

Oct 7, 2018, 5:43am Top

So glad to see you here, Tess, and I'm looking forward to following along!

Also, wishing you all the very best for your radiation treatment, I'll be thinking of you.

Edited: Oct 7, 2018, 9:15am Top

>16 Jackie_K: TY, Jackie

Oct 7, 2018, 10:16am Top

Welcome back! I'm sorry to hear about your dog and your cancer news. Hope the treatment goes well and that your energy will return quickly.

My favourite of your categories is the Tin Man. It is SO TRUE how hard it is to finish off a series!

Oct 7, 2018, 2:56pm Top

Hi Tess, wonderful to see you here. I'm looking foreward to following your reading, especially the Dorothy farmgirl. And all my best wishes for your radiation therapy.

Oct 7, 2018, 3:42pm Top

Tess, I'm wishing you all the best with your radiation treatments and, my goodness, you do have a lot on your plate. I love your categories and I'm dropping a star here. We can root each other along with the 1001 BYMRBY DIE!

Oct 7, 2018, 3:51pm Top

>20 DeltaQueen50: TY Delta, I need a lot of rooting on for the 1001 book list; I've read about 105 of them and 50 were absolute stinkers, imho!

Oct 7, 2018, 3:53pm Top

>18 rabbitprincess:
>19 MissWatson:

TY TY TY RP and Birgit!

Oct 7, 2018, 4:01pm Top

I now have the "follow the yellow brick road" song in my head, so thank you for that >;-)
All the best for your treatment and hope that you'll be back on form as soon as maybe.
I'm also trying to work my way through 1001 BYMRBYD, so another one looking to share notes here.

Oct 7, 2018, 9:27pm Top

Hope that your treatment goes well, and that you're feeling better soon. Sounds as if you keep really busy with your teaching; you've read an amazing amount since joining LT. I enjoy following your reading.

Edited: Oct 10, 2018, 9:16pm Top

>23 Helenliz: Happens to me too!

>24 sallylou61: ty ty ty!

Oct 8, 2018, 9:40am Top

I wish you all the best with your cancer treatment and hope it is 100% successful!

Also, I'm loving the Wizard of Oz theme! Looks like you've set yourself up for some magical 2019 reading. :)

Oct 8, 2018, 9:55am Top

>26 christina_reads: TY, Christina!

Oct 16, 2018, 10:43pm Top

Oh, I love the yellow brick road! This is so cool:) I wish someone would do a quest challenge based on 'The Wizard of Oz'! I also like reading about the holocaust, and American history. I read a book a few months ago called Born Survivors by Wendy Holden. I was quite astonished that she had written it, because normally she writes chick lit. But it was a very well written, and well researched story, about four Jewish women who are pregnant, when they get taken to the camps, during WWII. It was very eye opening and very sad.

Oct 16, 2018, 10:46pm Top

What a wonderful way to read books! I love 'The Wizard of Oz'! I also like reading about American history, and the Holocaust.

Oct 17, 2018, 6:25pm Top

>28 seascape: I've not read Holden's book, but it's now on my wish list. TY!

Oct 23, 2018, 5:49pm Top

Such a classic movie! I agree with rp that the Tin Man category is my favorite. Best of luck with your radiation treatments.

Oct 25, 2018, 7:44pm Top

Just browsing the threads and couldn't resist stopping by. First, hoping and praying for a great outcome for your radiation therapy. Next, for your Summer Eastern Seaboard trip, two suggestions. My son and I just returned from a trip to Maine. Part of our time was spent in Portland, where we visited Portland Head Light, the oldest lighthouse in Maine and the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow house, which contains the family's actual furniture, paintings etc, from the time when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow grew up there. Loved visiting both of those places.

Oct 26, 2018, 9:31am Top

>32 cbfiske: Planned on going Longfellow's home....however we are not going to Maine. Maine, both Portland, Bar Harbor, Downeast, and Presque Isle are stops on another vacation. Thanks for the tip!

Oct 26, 2018, 2:04pm Top

You're welcome. Enjoy both trips.

Nov 5, 2018, 8:25pm Top

Best to you and prayers all will be fine.

Nov 5, 2018, 10:50pm Top

>35 mnleona: TY TY Leona. I've completed 14/25 treatments and I'm pretty tired about now; but it seems to be going well.

Nov 10, 2018, 12:04pm Top

So many KITS and CATS......reminds me of a poem I learned when I was little: As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits:
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were there going to St. Ives?

Nov 10, 2018, 1:20pm Top

Lots to choose from, yes! :) Hopefully that way there is always at least *one* challenge of interest. It would be a bit much to read something for all of them every month.

Nov 10, 2018, 7:24pm Top

Glad to see you back Tess. I've had the Willa Cather trilogy on my mind lately, and they've been on my bookshelf longer than that, so hopefully I'll get to them in 2019 too.

Nov 14, 2018, 1:22am Top

Ok...think it's time I start "cheating." I normally don't get much read between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I'm going to start 2 BFB's that I won't finish till January.....I think The Source by James Michener and Crime and Punishment which I've meant to read for years.

Nov 30, 2018, 6:33pm Top

I wish you luck for 2019 and hope everything goes well health-wise.
My favorite Oz character is definitely The Wicked Witch. She got to ride a broom and had a cool outfit.

Dec 2, 2018, 7:05pm Top

The Wizard of Oz is a wonderful theme! Joining the others with best wishes for your cancer treatment.

Dec 5, 2018, 1:48pm Top

Wonderful theme, Tess. I wish you well for your radiation treatment.

Dec 12, 2018, 4:51pm Top

Since many of you have asked: I've completed my daily radiation treatments (25 of them) and except for extreme fatigue and resultant weakness, no major side effects! I'm slowly getting my strength back and after having every test known to medical science, they have deemed me cancer free! I have started a hormone suppressant which I must take for 5 years and then they will prescribe a different one for me the next 5 years, but I'm tolerating it well--no hot flashes--so all is good!

Edited: Dec 12, 2018, 11:16pm Top

Sending good wishes your way for the radiation treatments & your 2019 reading plan. I hope you find some books (or audiobooks) to provide a welcome distraction, especially as you gradually begin to regain your normal energy levels. The grumpy cat picture is too funny!

>44 tess_schoolmarm: Edited: I just read your message & am glad hear you are done with radiation and tolerating the hormone suppressants well. Great news!

Dec 12, 2018, 10:09pm Top

>44 tess_schoolmarm: Very happy to read that you are done with the radiation treatments and are having no major side effects. The important thing now is to take care of yourself and allow things to slowly recover.

Dec 13, 2018, 4:16am Top

>44 tess_schoolmarm: I am so glad to hear that the radiation treatment is over and was successful!

Dec 13, 2018, 5:23am Top

>44 tess_schoolmarm: Good news. Take care.

Dec 13, 2018, 6:37am Top

>44 tess_schoolmarm: That's great news! I hope that you continue to recover with minimal/no side-effects, and have all the energy to read up a storm!

Dec 13, 2018, 9:41am Top

>44 tess_schoolmarm: Great news Tess!

Dec 13, 2018, 11:07am Top

Great news! Hope your recovery is smooth.

Dec 13, 2018, 12:07pm Top

Excellent news. Hope things continue to improve.

Dec 13, 2018, 1:42pm Top

TY all my book friends!

Dec 14, 2018, 6:10pm Top

>44 tess_schoolmarm: - That is wonderful news!

Dec 16, 2018, 5:27pm Top

Very happy to hear everything has gone well!

Dec 19, 2018, 9:59am Top

Hi Tess! I'm glad to hear the radiation treatment was successful! I wish you a great reading year in 2019!

Edited: Dec 26, 2018, 7:13pm Top

Guess I will start my 2019 reading 6-7 days early. I started two chunksters the first of December thinking that by alternating the reading of them they would carry over to finish in 2019. However, I came within 30 pages of finishing each by Dec. 15; can't wait any longer or I may forget and have to back track some. Since I didn't belong to a group in 2018 I'm going to go ahead and start posting now so I can keep track of everything!

The Source by James Michener. This is my 5th Michener read and I would say it's right about in the middle of reading enjoyment. This book is an excellent "history" lesson (as are all Michener books" for those who don't like the oft dry history reads.) I was mesmerized for about the first 600 pages, then the crusades began to drag out and read like a history book. All in all though, this was a fantastic read and clarified in novel form what I knew from my history studies. 1104 pages 4 stars

Categories: Scarecrow (BFB), Bingo Card-Read a CAT

Edited: Dec 23, 2018, 9:51am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Dec 23, 2018, 10:15am Top

Congratulations on completing your first book of the year, and a Michener book to boot! I am sure there were many historical details to soak in.

I bought an ebook version of Centennial for a local book group, then the group decided not to read the book. It is still sitting on my kindle. Maybe I'll tackle it some day.

Edited: Dec 28, 2018, 4:48am Top

>59 This-n-That: TY! I've yet to read Centennial, but during my lifetime I'd like to read all of Michener's historical sagas. I have read: Chesapeake, Hawaii--not sure if I've read that...maybe another island saga?, Texas, and Space.

Edited: Dec 26, 2018, 7:14pm Top

2. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The reading of this book was haphazard in a sense, but altogether educational. I had the Garnett translation on my ereader but that wasn't the translation on audiobooks. One said 504 pages one said 621 pages. (and then there is another "version" on Amazon at 430 pages) The chapters were not exactly the same number wise. However, with little trouble I could figure it out. So I listened while I drove and fell asleep and read while I was awake! I think I got a very complete picture! I really liked this book; the story of Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student who commits 2 brutal and calculated murders and spends much of the book justifying his actions in his mind and evading police scrutiny. The last 2-3 chapters in the book are very poignant as we do learn that love covers a multitude of sins. I did some research and there are actually 3 versions of this book (which may account for page and chapter discrepancies). It seems as if there was Dostoyevsky's letters/notes and "most" of his original manuscript. Then when the communists took over the Soviet Union pieced together 3 of his notebooks to make another version to suit their purposes (capitalism brings poverty). The author first had the initial part of the story published in 12 monthly installments in Russia--then added more later. I will go with 600 pages and 5 stars!

Cats: Bingo Dog (books in translation) , Scarecrow-BFB's

Dec 25, 2018, 11:39am Top

>61 tess_schoolmarm: Excellent start to your challenge, a 5 star read! I have a Dostoevsky book on my old ereader, but I can't remember which one it is. This one sounds good, although I must admit that despite my success in reading War & Peace the other year, I still find the Russian classics quite intimidating.

Edited: Dec 25, 2018, 5:37pm Top

>62 Jackie_K: Jackie, this one is much easier to read; not so many battles and cannon descriptions; although sometimes I have to wonder "who is that character?"

Dec 25, 2018, 2:02pm Top

>61 tess_schoolmarm: I'm always pleased to see the big scary calssics get good reviews, it makes them a little less scary. So most pleased to see your reaction to this big scary book.

Edited: Dec 26, 2018, 11:03am Top

Edited: Dec 26, 2018, 11:14am Top

I spent 2 hours this morning deciding how to "spend" one of my Christmas gifts, $100 gift card from Audible! I use audio books to and from school, actually anytime I'm in the car. I listen while I'm in the kitchen fixing dinner. I know I can get most of them for free from the library, but if you don't get to it right away, they take it away and you are only half done! Therefore, I just prefer to buy it to have it in my library. So, my purchases were:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Pachinko, The Good German, Where the Crawdads Sing, Lincoln in the Bardo, Secrets of a Charmed Life AND I still have $40 remaining! I bought 3 credits for $31 twice. Now that I've made my "impulse" buying, I'll wait for some of your inspirational book bullets to start flying before I spend the last bucks!

I also got a new bike for Christmas, my "old" one was from 1973 and needed new tires, new brakes, new gear set-up, and a new chain--my husband said nope and I got a new one. I can ride my bike, which is going to be a challenge since 2 artificial knees (but I will endure) and listen to my new books at the same time--it's a win-win!

Edited: Dec 26, 2018, 12:59pm Top

>66 tess_schoolmarm: - What great gifts and I see you made some fabulous purchases with the gift card!

Dec 26, 2018, 4:41pm Top

>66 tess_schoolmarm: What a fab Christmas! That is many hours of listening!
I must admit to being a bit fussy with audiobooks. How do you choose yours? I tend to select by who is reading as there are some that I found I just could not listen to.

Dec 26, 2018, 5:13pm Top

>68 JayneCM: Well, firstly I go to my wish list of books, then see if they are on audio. Then I listen to the little clip that Audible provides. It's usually 2-3 minutes long and I see if I like the reading or not. If so, then I put it in my cart.

Dec 26, 2018, 5:41pm Top

>69 tess_schoolmarm: That's good that you can listen to them! Looks like you have some great listening there - I have had The Tattooist of Auschwitz on my list since it came out. Same with Lincoln in the Bardo. Look forward to hearing what you think.

Dec 26, 2018, 6:07pm Top

3. The Fig Eater by Jody Shields. This book had great potential, but it was never realized. It was a good period piece in that it described Austria in the early 1900's very well. The book moved ever so slow with many red herrings--which I usually like; but in this case I'm thinking to myself: yet another red herring to slow down the plot! Another complaint is that there must have been over 1200 German (I would suppose) words used in 300 pages--just because they could? I got tired of looking them up. And lastly, had I known this was a werewolf book, I would have never never purchased it or read it. Sorry, this book just seems like a mish-mash of different topics strung together lightly to produce a book; no coherence. 311 pages. 2 1/2 stars
CAT: The Yellow Brick Road, Bingo Dog: Eastern European Setting or Author

Dec 26, 2018, 10:21pm Top

Hi Tess - Congratulations on being cancer free!

It looks as though you'll be reading some great books in 2019 - I'm looking forward to reading all about them.

Edited: Dec 28, 2018, 11:08pm Top

>72 Dejah_Thoris: Hi and thanks so much.

Has anybody been having the same problem as me.....my desktop is on most of the time. I turn off when I leave the house. But for the past 2-3 days when I go to discussions/posts to read in LT it's not the same view I normally get--none of the pictures appear and the writing is about font size 150. You are also unable to post(type) anything. I sign out of LT and sign back in and it's good for about half a day, then it's back to "that".

Now, I have noticed that hitherto in my address bar my comp is always telling me that LT is "unsecure". It no longer says that and that's when the problem started.

Any ideas?

Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 5:23am Top

4. Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman is a psychological thriller that lives up to its name. The very first chapter of the book has Erin digging a grave---for her husband. The rest of the book starts at the beginning when the couple was taking the vacation of a lifetime. He is a professional banker always unwilling to spend money and she is a successful documentary filmmaker. From chapter 2 one can begin to feel that something is not quite right. Good read! P.S. The author was an actress for one season on Downton Abbey. This was her debut novel. 352 pages 4 stars

CATS: Wicked Witch of the West (psychological thrillers) Bingo Dog: Debut Novel

Dec 29, 2018, 7:31am Top

>73 tess_schoolmarm: I read on another thread that the problem is with the 'http'. If you make sure that the URL you are using for LibraryThing starts with 'https' rather than 'http' apparently that sorts it out.

Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 8:36am Top

>75 Jackie_K: TY Jackie! mine does appear to be https....but it is an old bookmark. I will delete the favorite and reset that--it is years old!

5. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole is a Gothic novel-supposedly the first ever written. It has all the requisite components: castle, a villain, a helpless female, and a "ghost". I really do like my gothic less fantastical (such as Wuthering Heights). I read this because it was on the 1001 Books list. It was written much like Shakespeare so it was not an easy read. The preface states that it is much like A Midsummer Night's Dream. All in all I'm glad to have read this "very first" gothic novel. 192 pages 3 1/2 stars

CAT: Wicked West of the East (1001 BYMRBYD)

Dec 29, 2018, 11:02am Top

>44 tess_schoolmarm: Cancer-free is wonderful news! Congratulations!

Dec 29, 2018, 1:43pm Top

I'm just catching up on 2019 threads. Glad to hear your radiation treatment is over and most of all, was successful. I wish you good health in the coming year and good reading!

Dec 29, 2018, 4:34pm Top

Dec 29, 2018, 5:47pm Top

>76 tess_schoolmarm: I agree - I have chosen Wuthering Heights as my Gothic, even though I have read it multiple times. I'm not much of a horror/crime reader, so those categories will be a challenge for me. I'll have to look for the softer options available, no gory details.

Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 10:13pm Top

Just checking out the various threads.

Good news about your health!

Dec 30, 2018, 8:41am Top

Edited: Dec 30, 2018, 9:00am Top

6. Emma by Jane Austen. I'm not an Austen fan, but I feel as an "educated" reader I need to read her. This is my 5th Austen, which isn't much since I've been reading now for 60 years! (My mother taught me to read at age 4 using the Bible). Emma was the easiest Austen for me to read. Emma is a match maker or a nosey busy body; you choose! Her meddling has far reaching consequences. I don't really like the literary Emma, she is such a snob. However, I'm sure that is part of the period charm of this book. Critics have said this is the most perfect work of Austen. As for me, all her works seem the same and bleed together when I try to remember specifics from any of her books. Somebody told me I read an abbreviated edition because it was only 168 pages in length. However, nowhere on my book does is say abridged. When checking on Amazon it does seem short. I never knowingly read abridged books. If in fact I did, meh! I don't like this book enough to find another version and re-read. 3 stars

Dec 30, 2018, 9:09am Top

7. Finished up this audio book while I was preparing for my family's Christmas today. Between work schedules and such, this is the only day we could all get together--and all is very important to me. For me, family is everything! Into the Wilderness: Wilderness Saga, Book 1 is a great new series introduced to me by a lady in my RL reading group. Basically it is the American version of Outlander. This story takes place in Upstate New York, Quebec, and what will become the state of Minnesota. I'm already listening to book 2 as I make the scalloped potatoes (15 pounds) and the glaze for the ham. Will read everyone of these books, just as I did Outlander. While I would give the Outlander series a 5 for literary components, I would give Into the Wilderness a 4; but enjoyment brings it to a 4.5 CAT: Scarecrow (BFB's). 896 pages or 23 hours and 14 minutes on Audio.

Dec 30, 2018, 7:38pm Top

>84 tess_schoolmarm: I've been meaning to get to these books when I read them described as an American Outlander!
>83 tess_schoolmarm: I agree that Emma is a very hard character to like but I think that is part of the charm of the book - you just cannot believe that someone can be so unaware of those around her and how her words and actions affect them!

Dec 30, 2018, 9:23pm Top

>83 tess_schoolmarm: Sorry you didn’t like Emma more as that is my favorite Austen novel. Have you seen the movie Clueless? It’s a really fun spin on the story.

Dec 30, 2018, 10:26pm Top

>86 LittleTaiko: Have not seen the movie, but I will add it to my watch list--I'm not a TV or movie person...but I do watch maybe 6-7 movies per year.

Dec 31, 2018, 3:44am Top

Great theme! Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2018, 11:02am Top

Dec 31, 2018, 6:39pm Top

Wishing you and yours a happy and joyous 2019, filled with peace, love, and great books.

Dec 31, 2018, 8:26pm Top

Oh, love Pugs.
Best wishes for reading 2019.

Edited: Jan 1, 2:43am Top

>90 Dejah_Thoris: TY so much, Dejah!
>91 Kristelh: That is the cutest New Year's Card I've seen! Love it!
>88 The_Hibernator: TY TY T Y
>89 thornton37814: Thanks so much!

8. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arim. This was a cute romance written in 1922. It wasn't romance as most of us would know it; but it was more of a comedic romance; just a very sweet story. Three very disenchanted, bored, middle-aged housewives who could not be more unalike decide to rent an Italian villa for the summer and split the costs. They found a 4th roommate, a member of the aristocracy who just wants to be left alone, or does she? When the women arrive abroad, they find that the beauty of the Italian April truly enchants them—and that it begins to make them feel not only more connected with their inner self, but also more generous and loving to the world around them. A delightful read, if not slow in a few places. 232 pages 4 stars

CAT: Yellow Brick Road (misc)
Bingo Dog: 4+ rating on LT

Jan 1, 1:03am Top

>92 tess_schoolmarm: The movie is great too - some of the great English actors here. Another movie my hubby complained that 'nothing happens', which to me was part of the charm. I quite enjoy a slow paced read like this one.

Jan 1, 2:45am Top

>93 JayneCM: TY Jayne...I don't watch TV or movies for the most part, so had no idea---I can use this on my Bingo Dog as "made into a movie"!

Jan 1, 3:15am Top

>94 tess_schoolmarm: I tend to watch movies that are from books, just to see what they are like in comparison. I think the movie would have to be twenty plus years old.

Jan 1, 10:16am Top

Looks like 2019 is off to a good start!

Edited: Jan 1, 12:52pm Top

>96 rabbitprincess: TY RP. I actually "cheated" a little....I started about 5-6 books mid December and thought I would ring in the New Year by finishing them, but I finished much quicker than expected so I just went ahead and posted.

My husband and I had a rip-roaring New Year's Eve!;) We stayed in, I read from 8:30 pm, stopped about 11:59 to watch the New Year come in and give him a kiss, then read till I fell asleep at 3:30 pm. Needless to say I didn't get up till 11am today! Because I read most of yesterday, today I need to finish my notes/outlines/exams etc for the French Revolution; a new course I will be teaching come Jan. 7 Marat, Robespierre, Marie Antoinette, the Dauphin, The Affair of the Necklace, all great reading there!

Jan 2, 3:00am Top

9. A Killer's Mind by Mike Omer was the first in the Zoe Bentley series. I must have gotten this for free on Amazon, but I would not have purchased it. Zoe is a forensic scientist and gets called in to help with a case in which 3 women were embalmed and posed in public places. It was a great whodunit. 378 pages 4 stars

CATS: Wicked Witch of the West (true crime and psychological thrillers)

Edited: Jan 2, 9:52am Top

I'm new at this, but I tried!

Describe yourself:Somebody I Used to Know
How do you feel? Island of the Lost
Describe where you currently live: Little House on the Prairie
If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Cruising Panama's Canal: Experience the sights, sounds and thrills of cruise travel, told with the wit and charm of travel memoir writers Al & Sunny Lockwood
Favorite form of transportation: The Boys in the Boat
Your best friend is: Embers
You and your friends are: Dangerous Liasons
What's the weather like? Frozen in Time
Your favorite time of day is: Remains of the Day
What is life for you? The Reader
You fear: A Monster Calls
Best advice: Never Let Me Go
How you would like to die: The Silent Cry
Your soul’s present condition: These Happy Golden Years

Jan 2, 2:50pm Top

Sorry you didn't enjoy Emma more. It's my favourite Jane Austen.

Nice meme!

Jan 2, 5:26pm Top

Nice meme answers - especially the transportation one!

Jan 2, 7:12pm Top

Great work on the meme! Your answer for the weather is also applicable here -- high temperature of minus 12 Celsius!

Jan 2, 10:43pm Top

>99 tess_schoolmarm: Good answers!

Jan 3, 9:02am Top

10. Last Orders by Graham Swift. This came highly recommended and was a Booker Prize finalist. However, I found this book to be a snooze without relief. It is the story of 4 men who are taking the ashes of friend 5 to be scattered in the ocean. The entire story is their car ride to the ocean and their memories of the past. This book bounced back and forth between the past and the present like a rubber ball with no direction. On top of that, it was difficult to keep track of the characters because not a lot of names were used. I became so irritated with, "He says" then "I said" then "he says", that I counted them and at one point there 128 sentences that began that way within only one chapter. I lost count of who said what and the mixed up relationships. I was truly glad when they dumped their mate's ashes! 304 pages 2 1/2 stars

Category: Yellow Brick Road (Misc), Bingo Dog: Cover has a least 2 people on it. (Well, there are 4 beach chairs and each is occupied by a human, even though you can only see their backs).

Jan 3, 10:38am Top

Happy New Year, Tess! I think I am finally up to date with the threads after a week-long hiatus. And now I am raring to start reading. Looking forward to hear about the French Revolution books!

Edited: Jan 4, 8:46am Top

>105 MissWatson: Brigit, these are textbooks and primary sources (translated), I don't think you want to hear about them! I had to bone up on the French Revolution as I'm teaching a course beginning on Monday at the college level that covers this period and I never taught it at the college level before. I don't include these readings on LT, because they are sporadic, chapter here, a letter from Napoleon there, etc. For example, I read a letter from Napoleon to Prince Eugene, dated August 23, 1810, all about the silk trade. Also read a circular letter to the Sovereigns of Europe dated April 4, 1815, on his escape from Elba and return to France. Then we will be comparing the American and the French Revolutions so there is a reading from both Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine (the Rights of Man). Of course Burke and Paine were in opposition concerning the revolution. And then there is a "notebook of grievances" to be presented to the government from a rural community, Lignere la Doucelle. So as you can see, there aren't any books, just documents!

Jan 4, 8:24am Top

I'm off for a "mini" vacation for 3 days--there will be no reading! See you next week!

Jan 4, 9:37am Top

Have a good time!

Jan 4, 1:33pm Top

>107 tess_schoolmarm: Enjoy your "mini" vacation.

Jan 4, 2:18pm Top

Have fun

Jan 4, 3:40pm Top

Bon voyage!

Jan 4, 5:35pm Top

>107 tess_schoolmarm: Have a lovely time!

Jan 6, 1:50pm Top

11. I managed to finish one before bedtime reading and during a 3 hour car drive, Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey. I did like this one, although I think the main character was crazy! There was a moral dilemma to be solved. I'll let you make up your own mind on whether it was done correctly or not! 352 pages 3 1/2 stars

CATegories: Glenda the Good Witch ( new and shiny)

Edited: Jan 6, 4:12pm Top

>1 tess_schoolmarm:
Season tickets to the ballet! That's so lovely. It sounds wonderfully engaging, and a nice counterpoint and something to look forward to when you're through the exhausting medical treatment.

>66 tess_schoolmarm:
I have heard only excellent things about Lincoln in the Bardo -- but I have to say the others are new to me, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts on them. Merry belated Christmas to you!

>84 tess_schoolmarm:
I am intrigued by the idea of Into the Wilderness as an American Outlander. Sounds like a series to give a try, especially since your enjoyment was high enough to push it up by a half star.

Edited: Jan 6, 4:48pm Top

I started my walking on Saturday, January 5th. I walked only 2 miles the first day--but hey--that's a start! I walked the Scioto Mile (and back again). This is a downtown area in Columbus, Ohio that reclaimed about 33 acres of waste/swamp land. It is bounded on the north by Centennial Park and on the south by a statue of Christopher Columbus; our city is a sister city of Genoa, Italy. There are also 3 deer sculptures along the way, since Ohio's state animal is the white-tailed deer. I have hardly walked at all (no more than necessary) since my surgery/radiation treatment in mid-late 2018, so this was a biggie. I had unseasonably warm weather. 248 miles to go

Jan 6, 4:45pm Top

2 miles is an excellent start. My husband and I are trying to get out for 2 walks a day, both fairly short, but it does feel good to get out there and get some fresh air and exercise!

Jan 6, 4:47pm Top

I only managed 2 miles a day this first week too! Looking forward to exploring Ohio with you!

Jan 6, 5:49pm Top

Looks like you had good weather for the walk!

Jan 6, 6:27pm Top

Two miles seems like a big first step! I'm doing Spanish-language lessons in which we read some of the Wizard of Oz (El Mago de Oz) every day so I'm becoming familiar with Baum's original story and how it differs from the movie version. I go over the lessons repeatedly for practice, so I'm getting both Spanish and Oz immersion.

Jan 6, 6:51pm Top

>119 bkinetic: I'm a teacher and I think I probably walk at least 2 miles a day on my job! But, this weekend I also stopped by the Book Loft, an indie bookstore in Columbus, Ohio. I really really restrained myself and made 2 purchases:
1. Prague Spring by Simon Mawer
2. Places of America Lancaster I work in Lancaster and had never seen this particular history of the city.

Jan 6, 8:58pm Top

>115 tess_schoolmarm: - Lovely start to your walking challenge!

Edited: Jan 6, 10:28pm Top

12. Quick read this evening before I went to bed, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This was a short story, what can I say except that it was inane. Waste of my time! Glad it was a short story. Story of Benjamin, who ages quickly and then as he "ages" he becomes more infantile. 42 pages 2 1/2 stars

BINGO DOG: Short Story
CAT: The Munchkins

Edited: Jan 7, 2:47pm Top

Sunday Walk: ~1.5 miles Took a friend through the Franklin Park Conservatory, about 18 miles from my home. This is a world class arboretum featuring 5 distinct biomes: Himalayan Alps, desert, tropical rain forest, Pacific Island, and American southwest. An added bonus, the biomes were sprinkled with creations by artist Dale Chihuly.

221.5 miles to go.

Edited: Jan 7, 3:31pm Top

13. Dawn on a Distant Shore by Sara Donati. I finished this audio book on my way to work this morning. This book was not near as satisfying as book number one. This escapade involved leaving the Americas and most of the action was on the high seas or in Scotland. The plot was very convoluted and involved illegitimate children and unknown cousins. This seemed to be almost identical to my take on an Outlander book that took place in France. 647 pages 4 stars

Category: Glenda the Good Witch (new and shiny books less than 2 years old)

Jan 7, 4:01pm Top

>123 tess_schoolmarm: - Chihuly art always makes a nice walk even better. So pretty!

Jan 7, 5:34pm Top

>123 tess_schoolmarm: Seattle has a Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit, which is fabulous. Part of it also mixes his creations with plant life.

Jan 7, 6:51pm Top

>123 tess_schoolmarm: - Oh, an arboretum, and Chihuly art. Sounds like a perfect place for a Sunday walk! ;-)

Jan 9, 5:55am Top

14. Born Survivors by Wendy Holden. This is the story of 3 mothers who gave birth to children while interred during the Holocaust, mostly on the move. It's just amazing that any of these children survived being born in a coal car in sub-zero weather when their mothers had no food for over 10 days and were sometimes almost comatose. It really was just the kindness of a stranger in each of their lives that allowed both mother and children to live. All the mothers gave birth within the same week while being transported from Auschwitz II-Birkenau to a facility in Germany near the end of the War. The determination of these women is heartening. This was a BB from the Reading Through Time group. My only complaint is that it introduced each woman and spent about 10 pages telling about conditions and procedures at camp when they arrived. It was almost identical for 30 pages--one gets the idea of roll call after once such explanation-3 times is not necessary. 477 pages 4 1/2 stars.

CAT: Yellow Brick Road (Misc) , Bingo Dog-Book Bullet

Jan 9, 7:15am Top

>123 tess_schoolmarm: I love Chihuly! Just before I left London, in 2005, I visited Kew Gardens and he had pieces all over which made an amazing place even more special!

Jan 10, 8:54pm Top

15. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson was such a disappointment after reading her The Lottery. None of the characters were likeable and this reader didn't care what really happened to any of them. This book was a 1959 "horror classic" about a haunted house and what it "did" to people. Meh.....294 pages 3 stars

CAT: Yellow Brick Road (Misc)

Jan 11, 5:20am Top

I stayed up wayyyyyyyyyyy too late to finish Bird Box by Josh Malerman. This really was a psychological thriller! Something is out there that if "seen" causes people to commit acts of deadly violence. A page turner to the very end! I listened to this on audio. This weekend I will go over to my son's house and watch it on Netflix. (272 pages) 4 1/2 stars.

CAT: Yellow Brick Road (Misc)

Edited: Jan 11, 5:42am Top

>131 tess_schoolmarm: I've seen the movie and am waiting for my library hold of the book to arrive!
Even though there has been some bagging of the movie, saying the whole premise is silly and unbelievable (whoever said dystopian fiction had to be believable?!), it was gripping so glad to hear the book keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Jan 11, 8:38am Top

>131 tess_schoolmarm: This book sounds like it would be at about the limit of the scariness I can handle, so I might actually take the plunge and request it from the library... someday.

Edited: Jan 12, 3:01pm Top

Spent last evening reading 17. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. Starting out I guess I did not realize that this was written for ages 9-12, although I'm not sure some that age would understand this book. Reading the reviews I see it is often used in middle and high school lit or history classes, and that sounds more like it. That being said, all I can say is it is a "cute" little book about the love of a horse for his boy and visa versa. There is some very superficial information about the Great War, which was good. Really, now I don't have an interest in seeing the movie. 176 pages 3 stars.

CAT: Munchkins (books under 200 pages in length)

BINGO DOG: Book for children of YA.

Jan 12, 3:06pm Top

LOL-there will be no walking or pictures today! About 3-4 inches of snow this morning. This is my youngest granddaughter, Evie, aged 13 months, and her first time in snow!

Jan 12, 7:59pm Top

Looking forward to seeing what 2019 produces.

Edited: Jan 13, 12:11pm Top

So far 4 inches of snow and they are calling for more tonight. My grandchildren say the trees are "sad" because they are drooping! Yesterday I made barbecued beef in the crockpot, a pot of tomato bisque soup as well as baked 2 loaves of bread and made homemade chocolate pudding. I'm ready for a long day of reading (and eating!).

Jan 13, 12:26pm Top

What really bums me out.........you can get a book at Barnes & Noble (new, marked down) for the same price as you can at a used book store.

Jan 13, 2:55pm Top

>137 tess_schoolmarm: We didn't get much snow here--only a few flakes. It looks like we may have a better chance in 9 to 10 days.

Jan 13, 3:23pm Top

>135 tess_schoolmarm: What a sweetie! Did she enjoy her first snowy encounter?

>137 tess_schoolmarm: Those snow-covered trees are beautiful. My sister apparently has snow up to calf level (she's in Bavaria). Here in central Scotland it's being unseasonably mild, although they reckon we might have a bit of snow towards the end of the week.

Jan 13, 4:42pm Top

>131 tess_schoolmarm: Just curious what you thought of The Bird Box on Netflix (assuming you had a chance to watch it)? I have watched the Netflix version and probably will not read the book.

Jan 13, 6:09pm Top

>141 This-n-That: I find the book to be darker, especially the ending, than the movie. I also had trouble matching up the characters sometimes because they were written off differently in both the movie and the book. But all in all, I think not a bad movie version.

>140 Jackie_K: Babygirl Evie thought snow was just ok, but wasn't really thrilled with it, much like grandma!

Jan 13, 8:45pm Top

>142 tess_schoolmarm: Now I want to read it even more as I thought the ending of the movie was pretty wishy-washy and too neat and nice. Very interested to see the difference!

Edited: Jan 13, 9:06pm Top

18. Atonement by Ian McEwan is a bit of a dichotomy to me. On the one hand, it was over-written; meaning too much profuse and flowery language for the subject matter. On the other hand, it feels as if you have been punched in the stomach by the end of the book. I don't want to discuss it more so as not to give away the plot, but a Scripture verse comes to memory: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." 351 pages 3 1/2 stars

CAT: Wicked Witch (1001 books), Bingo Dog: About siblings

Jan 13, 10:44pm Top

19. Serendipity---my ereader said I was only 60% finished and I thought another week....but actually the last 40% of the book is the typed official written reports of all the survivors. If I enlarged the page enough to make the letters large enough, then they are blurry. I don't feel it was necessary to read this as it is all a repeat of what the author wrote about in the book. This was another great survival book Lost in Shangri-La (Enhanced Edition): A True Story of Survival by Mitchell Zuckoff. I have read a previous book by this author and this book did not disappoint. This is the story of the real-life crash of an army plane in the uncharted mountains of New Guinea during WWII.

CATS: RTT Survival (January), Glenda the good witch-less than 2 years on my shelf

Edited: Jan 14, 5:53am Top

20. I read Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne for the Scaredy CAT for January. It is the story of a pleasant young man who goes into the wood to meet somebody for an evening and comes out a changed man. Very short-only 17 pages and very meh, for Hawthorne. 2 1/2 stars

CATS: Munchkins (books under 200 pages), ScaredyKIT

Jan 14, 10:31am Top

>137 tess_schoolmarm: I'm ready to come to your house!

>145 tess_schoolmarm: I liked this book so much, wasn't the nurse amazing?

Jan 15, 4:26am Top

>137 tess_schoolmarm: I would be coming to your house just to be cool! It is 40 degrees C here, even at 8.30pm (which is 104F) and I do not like the heat at all! Cannot wait for autumn.

Jan 15, 8:52am Top

>148 JayneCM: The grass is always greener ........today it is about -9C. The power lines are snapping because of the cold and the internet will be gone--one time 3-4 years ago we were 10 days without power....that means no toilet refill after flushing (the well pump is electric). We have to haul buckets of water from the pool to refill tank after each flush....doable but lot of work. When we have no power I spend a lot of time in bed covered up reading! At least once a day we start the car and let it run for 20-30 minutes to recharge our tablets and phones. We have a small camping stove we can use in the garage to heat water to sponge bathe with. We have to run a generator (which uses $25 of gas per day) to keep the sump pump, fridge, and freezer running. No, the cold is not good!

Jan 15, 9:53am Top

>149 tess_schoolmarm: That is definitely not an easy way to spend the winter. It is scary how much we depend on electricity.

Edited: Jan 15, 10:53am Top

Oh, I was a bad bad girl today! I had about $40 remaining on a gift card and then I purchased 3 more credits on Audible; so 7 new audiobooks for me! My loves this time: Burger's Daughter, Lake in the Clouds (book 3 in a series I'm reading), Imperial Women, The Vicar of Wakefield, The Assassin's Song, Empress Orchid, and O, Pioneers!. I said I was going to save the remainder of the gift card for mid-year; but.....you know how that goes!

Jan 15, 10:19am Top

Hooray for gift cards!

Jan 15, 10:55am Top

>152 MissWatson: Love 'em! And, my 9th thingaversary was in December and I did not purchase for that; so with hopefully reading 100 books this year, I will still be ahead! And besides, ebooks or audiobooks don't seem to trouble me, it's those dang tree books that age and sit on shelves that need to be dusted that are worrisome!

Jan 15, 2:07pm Top

I don't think gift cards should be a reason for feeling guilty! :)

I don't buy for my Thingaversary either. The last couple of years I've figured that just by acquiring my usual amount of new books I'd be getting an equivalent number, so the thought of buying more on top of that did make me feel guilty!

Jan 15, 4:23pm Top

>149 tess_schoolmarm: I must admit, I am probably more looking forward to our winter! I love the romantic idea of living in the snow but I think the reality of it would be very difficult. In Australia, the snow is somewhere you visit - there are very few truly inhabited areas that get snow and if they do, it is only for much shorter periods than you do.
And enjoy the new books! I am sure that gift card would have burned a hole in my pocket too despite any good intentions of saving it for later!

Jan 15, 8:01pm Top

I've been whittling away at my Christmas gift cards as well, most 1,001 books, I think I have enough left for maybe three more books and I am trying to save that so I can at least stretch the giftcards out to a second month!

Jan 16, 12:59am Top

>156 DeltaQueen50: I do not want to be an enabler, but BookDepository currently has quite a few of the 1001 Books in their bargain section. I couldn't resist getting a few!

Jan 16, 8:38am Top

Yeah, a day at home--more time to read and putter!

Jan 16, 8:40am Top


Jan 16, 10:42am Top

I'm jealous! Hope you have a good day!

Jan 16, 11:26am Top

Have fun today!

Jan 16, 12:40pm Top

>157 JayneCM: Ack! Well, I'll just mosey on over there and have a look - you know - "just looking" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

Jan 16, 6:39pm Top

>162 DeltaQueen50: Hmmm, that's what I did! And I have some more parcels coming soon! Admittedly, I only bought three when I easily could have bought into double figures. So that's a good thing, right?!

>158 tess_schoolmarm: Have a lovely free day! Look forward to hearing what you were reading!

Jan 16, 9:43pm Top

>163 JayneCM: actually....I made lecture notes/outline for a unit on absolutism that I will be teaching in about a month. Then I read for only about 10 minutes a new Wilder book somebody got me for Christmas, and now going to listen to Cannery Row as I fall asleep! Didn't get near as much reading done as I had hoped.

Yesterday, 9:58am Top

>130 tess_schoolmarm: Too bad you didn't like it. I rather liked it. I mean, it wasn't The Lottery, but still. The miniseries is nothing like the book.

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