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pamelad's 19 in 2019

2019 Category Challenge

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Edited: Jan 11, 8:59pm Top

Just deciding on my 19 categories.

Currently considering:

1. Lists e.g. Guardian 1000, 1001 books
2. From the Kindle
3. From the shelf
4. From the wishlist
5. Kindle bargains
6. Something new - published in 2018 or 2019
7. Authors I haven't read before
8. Crime
9. Genres I don't usually read
10. Prize winners
11. Book Group (in the material world)
12. In translation
13. Series CAT
14. Australian
15. Calendar CAT
16. Rescued from Obscurity
17. Non-fiction
18. Humour
19. AlphaKit

Aiming for 4 in most categories. If I read one book in French I'll be pleased, and the number of group reads is unpredictable.

Edited: Jan 3, 3:34am Top

1. Lists e.g. Guardian 1000, 1001 books
2. From the Kindle
3. From the shelf
4. From the wishlist

Edited: Jan 15, 5:15pm Top

5. Something in French
6. Something new - published in 2018 or 2019
7. Authors I haven't read before

Daydream and Drunkenness of a Young Lady by Clarice Lispector
The Matriarch by G. B. Stern

8. Crime

Edited: Jan 9, 2:29am Top

9. Genres I don't usually read

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

10. Prize winners
11. Book Group (in the material world)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

12. In translation

In Matto's Realm by Friedrich Glauser

Edited: Jan 9, 7:18pm Top

13. Series CAT

Thumbprint by Friedrich Glauser

14. Australian
15. Calendar CAT

The Little Hotel by Christina Stead

16. Rescued from Obscurity

What Not A Prophetic Comedy by Rose Macaulay

Oct 20, 2018, 12:53am Top

another space

Oct 20, 2018, 12:54am Top

yet another

Oct 20, 2018, 12:54am Top

and another

Oct 20, 2018, 12:54am Top

this should do

Oct 20, 2018, 1:02am Top

One more for luck

Oct 23, 2018, 9:59am Top

I look forward to following along!

Oct 23, 2018, 7:45pm Top

Looks like you have lots of categories covered, good luck with your 2019 Challenge. :)

Oct 23, 2018, 8:34pm Top

Have a great reading year! Good luck with your French category. That's usually the toughest category for me.

Oct 26, 2018, 5:23pm Top

Two might be enough for the planned reads, and the same for the group reads. Will see how I go with the Other Genres category. There are reasons why I don't read a lot of scifi and fantasy! Four for the other categories.

In 2018 I started putting books into multiple categories, but it was so onerous that after reaching 72 or so books I stopped entering them at all, which is not the point of a category challenge. So this year, the only double-counting will be in the Wishlist and Tbr categories.

Other Genres

The City & The City by China Meiville
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said by Philip. K. Dick

Oct 26, 2018, 5:32pm Top

Is Airport Fiction a genre? This year I read 3 books by Liane Moriarty and really enjoyed one of them, Big Little Lies. In 2019 I might give Jodi Picoult a try. Could do some research at K Mart for others.

Edited: Nov 30, 2018, 5:01pm Top

Updated my categories to include some CATs. Still fluid.

The post I wrote on Nov 22nd about the update didn't survive.

Found a good book for the category Rescued from obscurity. Night of Camp David, about a president who becomes insane while in office.

Dec 2, 2018, 6:58pm Top

Fluid planning of your categories makes perfect sense to me, and yes, I think Airport Fiction can be considered a genre (or a subgenre). ;-)

Dec 6, 2018, 11:18am Top

Great plan. I think I need to create a "rescued from obscurity" category too.

Dec 6, 2018, 11:31am Top

I will be very interested to see what you find in the "rescued from obscurity" category!

Edited: Dec 10, 2018, 8:16pm Top

Handheld Press is publishing forgotten fiction. I'm very much looking forward to the reissue of Rose Macaulay's What Not, which an article in the Guardian describes as a "forgotten feminist dystopian novel, a story of eugenics and newspaper manipulation that is believed to have influenced Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-four."

A worthy candidate for Rescued from Obscurity.

>19 lkernagh:, >20 VivienneR:, >21 MissWatson: Thank you for visiting.

Edited: Dec 10, 2018, 11:49pm Top

I found What Not A Prophetic Comedy on Gutenberg.

Dec 11, 2018, 3:30am Top

>22 pamelad: Thanks for that link. Such a fascinating story!

Dec 17, 2018, 1:08pm Top

>17 pamelad: I volunteer for the Friends of the Library, and we recognize "airport books" are a genre, at least when it comes to donations being sorted :-). Jodi Picoult is a big one, along with Patterson, Brad Thor, Nelson DeMille...
Handheld Press looks wonderful. Happy reading in 2019!

Dec 19, 2018, 5:15pm Top

>17 pamelad: That is funny! I totally agree airport / Kmart fiction should be a category!

>25 mstrust: You must see so many of these books as they tend not to be keepers. One of my local op shops (thrift stores) has books at 20c each permanently as they just receive so many books. Now me, I hardly ever let a book leave my shelves!

Dec 19, 2018, 5:38pm Top

We do see a lot of the genre, so much so that we often have multiples of the same title, or just as often, five or six by the same author all in a row on the shelf. We charge 25 cents a paperback or $1 hardback.

Dec 31, 2018, 8:59am Top

Oh! I loved Brothers Karamazov I should really reread.

Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2018, 11:50am Top

Dec 31, 2018, 2:55pm Top

Jan 3, 4:00am Top

Finished the first book for 2019, Kate Atkinson's Life After Life.

Ursula Todd is born in England on a snowy night in 1910. She almost dies, and in one of her lives, she does. Initially I was didn't mind Ursula's alternative lives, despite being no fan of fantasy fiction, but when she ended up in Hitler's holiday compound in the hills I gave up and just plodded to the end of the book. A very long book!

If you don't mind fantasy, and an author who imagines that it is appropriate to base a fantasy novel on WWII, you might enjoy this book. Many people did. I thought the premise was tacky. If I'm going to read about WWII, I prefer an author who was there.

Putting this in 9. Genres I don't usually read.

Jan 4, 1:44am Top

Just finished Thumbprint by Friedrich Glauser, which was written in 1936, but translated from German to English for the first time in 2004. Glauser, described as the Swiss Simenon, wrote a psychological detective series featuring the Swiss detective Sergeant Studer. Thumbprint is the first. It is surprisingly modern in its outlook, not at all a period piece. Glauser, an opium addict diagnosed with schizophrenia, spent much of his life in psychiatric hospitals.Many of his descriptions of people and surroundings are arresting in their technicolour oddness.

Studer is an honest man. He was once an inspector, but was demoted to the lowest rank for refusing to give up on a case that his superiors wanted to ignore, and has managed to work his way back to sergeant. Studer is an appealing, well-rounded character. He has arrested a young man for murdering his girlfriend's father, but something seems wrong, so Studer convinces the examining magistrate that it would be bad for his career not to allow Studer to reopen the investigation.

I plan to read the next book in the series, In Matto's Realm. Glauser's books are published by Bitter Lemon Press, https://www.bitterlemonpress.com/collections/bitter-lemon-books, whose catalogue has quite a few interrnational crime novels that look to be worth trying.

Thanks NinieB!

This one is for 13. Series CAT, Series in Translation.

Jan 4, 8:37am Top

>32 pamelad: Another BB for me!

Edited: Jan 4, 6:43pm Top

>32 pamelad: Oh that sounds like a really interesting series!

Looks like my library has In Matto's Realm, Fever, and The Chinaman. I've requested The Chinaman, because I do love a story with suspicions of arsenic poisoning and mysterious gunshot wounds!

Edited: Jan 5, 4:38am Top

>32 pamelad: >33 tess_schoolmarm: Glad to be of service!

I've managed to borrow Matto's Realm from the Internet Archive and load it onto my tablet. Thumbprint and Chinaman are also available.

Or did I borrow it from the Open Library? Anyway, I had to join the Internet Archive, download Adobe Digital Editions, become an Adobe member and register my tablet. Many steps! I feel temporarily technologically competent.


Jan 5, 10:53pm Top

15. Calendar CAT

The Little Hotel by Christina Stead

Text Publishing's catalogue includes some Australian classics that have been hard to obtain for decades. I read The Man Who Loved Childrenmany years ago, but had never come across any of Stead's other books until now. The Little Hotel was first published in 1973, but it is set just after World War II.

The Little Hotel is a cheap tourist hotel in Lausanne, on Lake Geneva. It is the off-season, so most of the residents are staying for many months at cheap rates. Some have spent the years after the war drifting around the world, speculating in currency. Some are in hiding. Others are ill and have come to recuperate or to die. Apart from one sympathetic character, this is a group of selfish people, caught up in pettiness and vindictiveness.

This is a witty, satirical book. I found it very funny, but was glad it was no longer because I didn't want to spend any more time with such dreadful people. After this reintroduction to Stead's wonderful writing, I'm going to read more, starting with The Puzzleheaded Girl.

Australia Day is on January 26th, but the aboriginal people want the date changed because it celebrates the arrival of the British first fleet, so it's Invasion Day. As a compromise, I'm reading this book for the anniversary of Australia's Federation, January 1st, 1901.

Jan 8, 12:39am Top

12. In Translation

In Matto's Realm by Friedrich Glauser

In Matto's Realm takes place in a psychiatric hospital. The deputy director has called in Studer because both the director and a convicted child killer are missing. Matto's realm is the realm of madness, which affects the staff as well as the patients, and everyone connected with them. A foreign voice on the radio says, "Two hundred thousand men and women are gathered here to cheer me. Two hundred thousand men and women have come as representatives of the whole nation, which is behind me. Foreign states dare to accuse me of breaking a treaty. When I seized power this land lay desolate, ravaged, sick...I have made it great, I have made others respect it.."

The deputy director tells Studer, "The man who was talking just now was lucky. Had he had a psychiatric examination at the beginning of his career, perhaps the world might look a little different today. As I said before, contact with the mentally ill is contagious. And there are people who are particularly susceptible - whole nations can be susceptible. I once said something in a lecture to which people objected. Certain so-called revolutions, I said are basically nothing more than the vengeance of psychopaths."

Glauser is writing in 1936 so the psychopath is Hitler, but the tone is familiar. It was the background - the politics, the corruption, Suder's sympathy for the poverty-stricken working people , the world of the mental asylum with its warders, its experiments on the patients - that held my interest, more so than the plot. In fact, the plot was confusing, as befits a crime in an asylum.

Well worth reading.

Edited: Jan 9, 7:15pm Top

16. Rescued from Obscurity

What Not A Prophetic Comedy by Rose Macaulay

First published in 1918, then swiftly withdrawn, Macaulay's book deals with eugenics, newspaper censorship and government control of people's private lives. The book predates Brave New World and 1984 and may have been an unacknowledged influence on both.

Kitty Grammont works for the Ministry of Brains, whose goal is to make the British people more intelligent. The rationale is that, had people been more intelligent the Great War could not have happened, and in future an intelligent population will avoid wars. The Ministry plan to achieve its goals with a mixture of training and eugenics. The population is classified according to intelligence, from A to C3. People in the lower groups must marry someone more intelligent, and A's must marry down, and as a result the average intelligence of the population will increase. People must be certificated in order to marry. Those below C3 cannot marry and reproduce; nor can people with genetic abnormalities in their families, no matter how how their intelligence classification. To enforce the rules, people who have unsanctioned children must pay huge fines, and those who follow the rules get bonuses. Newspapers are banned from criticising the actions and policies of the government.

Unlike Huxley's and Orwell's books, Macaulay's is set in the near future, and is obviously an extension of the current reality. It is far more human and domestic that the other two books.

Worth a read.

Jan 11, 9:38am Top

>38 pamelad: Just d/l this for free from Amazon. Thanks for the review!

Jan 13, 1:12pm Top

>38 pamelad: and >38 pamelad: Wow - two book bullets in a row for me!

Edited: Jan 13, 9:07pm Top

>39 tess_schoolmarm:

Me too!

Sounds interesting and the price was right.

Jan 14, 12:35am Top

Group: 2019 Category Challenge

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