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DeltaQueen's Random Miscellaneous Challenge

2019 Category Challenge

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Nov 17, 2018, 7:05pm Top

Welcome to my 2019 Category Challenge. My name is Judy and I live in the suburbs of Vancouver, B. C., Canada. I love to welcome visitors to my thread to discuss books and life. An assortment of random quotes gave me the idea of setting up some miscellaneous challenges to help me shrink my TBR pile this year. Some of these quotes are from famous people while others are credited to “anonymous’ and have been taken from advertisements and greeting cards. What they have in common is that they all paint a colourful picture of life and were easily molded into category subjects.

I have been doing the Category Challenge for a good number of years and I love the loose structure this challenge gives to my reading. As always I have a goal of removing books from my shelves, but also as usual, I expect that I will be crossing myself up by all the additions I add during the year. My top priority will be reading from my own shelves and Kindle but another 2019 book goal is to continue reading books from the 1,001 Books to Read Before You Die List. I also love to participate in the various “Cats” that are established every year, hopefully my “Cat” reading will fit into my already set categories. Call me crazy but I’m going for 19 categories and have chosen 19 quotes fit my categories. I plan to read at least 8 books from most categories.

I enjoy the company of my husband, sipping a glass of wine, reading a good book, going for walks and, my family. But I also have a weird enjoyment of dark, twisted stories and I avidly watch “The Walking Dead” on TV.

Please feel free to join in on any conversations that are going on here, the welcome mat is always out.

A few of my 2019 Reading Goals:

1. My own books are my top priority, this includes my shelves, my two Kindles, my audio books and to a lesser extent my library list.
2. Read books from the 1,001 Books to Read Before You Die List
3. Only participate in challenges where I already have a book that fits

Edited: Nov 17, 2018, 7:17pm Top

2019 Categories

A. Armchair Travel: “To those who can dream, there is no such place as faraway.”

I will read 8 books set in 8 different countries

B. Book Bullets: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

So many of the books on my shelves and Kindle are there because of recommendations from friends here on Library Thing. I will read at least 8 books and hopefully more of these recommendations

C. One Word Titles: “Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”

I will read at least 8 Books that have a one word title.

D. Love Stories: “Every love story is beautiful, but my favorite is ours.”

I will read 8 books that have a connection to love.

E. Reading From My Shelves: “Having too many books is not the problem. Not having enough shelving – That’s A Problem.”

This category will be for books that I pull from my shelves either to fulfill a challenge or simply just because I felt like reading it at this point in time.

F. Let’s Eat!: “People who love love food are always the best people.”
Julia Child

I will read at least 8 books that have an item of food or drink in the title.

G. Doing My ABCs: Okay everybody, line up in alphabetical order according to your height.”
Casey Stengel

Throughout the year I will randomly read alphabetically by author’s name. Will use these reads for the AlphaKit.

H. 1,001 Books List: “A Classic never goes out of style.”
Coca-Cola Ad

Because of a bet with my brother I have been reading on books from the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die List, trying to catch up with his total. This is where I will list most of my reads from that list.

I. Series: “Happiness is finding the first good book of a series and knowing there are more to follow.”

In an effort to catch up in my series reading, I will read at least 8 series books.

J. Crime Stories: “Reading mysteries is recreation for intelligent minds.”
Donna Andrews

I will read at least one mystery or police procedural every month.

K. Vintage Crime: “I specialize in murders of quiet, domestic interest
Agatha Christie

I am a huge fan of the classic mysteries from the golden age of detective fiction and I will read at least 8 classic mysteries over the course of the year.

L. Out of the Past: “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”
Teddy Roosevelt

I will read at least one book a month that delves into history – as set by the Reading Through Time Group or to fit other challenges

M. Science Fiction: “If you take the shackles off your imagination, you can go anywhere with science fiction.
Lani Tupu

I will read at least 8 science fiction books over the course of the year.

N. Fantasy: “A Single Dream is More Powerful that a Thousand Realities”
J.R.R. Tolken

I will read at least 8 fantasy books over the course of the year.

O. Young At Heart: “Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.”
Walt Disney

I will read 8 YA books during the year.

P. Non-Fiction: “Any truth is better than indefinite doubt”
Arthur Conan Doyle

I will read at least 8 non-fiction books during the year

Q. Library List: Libraries: “The medicine chest of the soul”
Inscribed over the door of the library at Thebes

It’s not just about my own shelves. I will also read the following from the library in an effort to reduce my very long library list.

R. Saddle Up!: Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway!
John Wayne

Books about the American West and the cowboy way will be make up this category.

S. Overflow: “Sleep is good, he said, and books are better.”
George R.R. Martin

Books that don’t fit any of the above challenges, will be placed here.

Edited: Jan 4, 7:16pm Top

Books Read

Pages Read

Read From My Shelves

Edited: Nov 17, 2018, 7:21pm Top

How I Rate Books:

I am not a professional book critic nor do I consider myself to be an expert on literary standards, my reviews are based on my reaction to the book and the opinions expressed are my own personald thoughts and feelings.

2.0 ★: I must have been dragged, kicking and screaming, to finish this one!

2.5 ★: Below Average but I finished the book for one reason or another.

3.0 ★: Average, a solid read that I finished but can't promise to remember

3.5 ★: Above Average, there's room for improvement but I liked this well enough to pick up another book by this author.

4.0 ★: A very good read and I enjoyed my time spent with this story

4.5 ★: An excellent read, a book I will remember and recommend

5.0 ★: Sheer perfection, the right book at the right time for me

I use decimal points to further clarify my thoughts about the book, therefore you will see books rated 3.8 to show it was better than a 3.5 but not quite a 4.0; etc. These small adjustments help me to remember how a book resonated with me.

Edited: Jan 25, 12:05pm Top

2019 BingoDog

Books Read

3. About Siblings: The Profession of Violence by John Pearson
5. Mentioned in another book that I have read: City by Clifford D. Simak (Among Others by Jo Walton)
17. Made Into A Movie: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
20. Title Has 6 or More Words: At The Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper
21. Cover Has At Least 2 Human Figures: A New Day by Beryl Matthews
22. Translated Book: Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri

Edited: Jan 22, 5:22pm Top

2019 PopSugar Challenge

01 - A book becoming a movie in 2019
02 - A book that makes you nostalgic
03 - A book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction)
04 - A book you think should be turned into a movie: The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
05 - A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads
06 - A book with a plant in the title or on the cover
07 - A reread of a favorite book
08 - A book about a hobby
09 - A book you meant to read in 2018
10 - A book with "pop", "sugar" or "challenge" in the title
11 - A book with an item of clothing or acceessory on the cover
12 - a book inspired by mythology, legend or folklore
13 - A book published posthumously
14 - a book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie
15 - A retelling of a classic
16 - A book with a question in the title
17 - A book set on a college or university campus
18 - a book about someone with a super power
19 - a book told from multiple POVs
20 - a book set in space
21 - a book by two female authors
22 - A book with a title that contains "salty", "sweet", "bitter" or "spicy"
23 - A book set in Scandinavia
24 - a book that takes place in a single day
25 - a debut novel
26 - a book that's published in 2019
27 - a book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature
28 - a book recommended by a celebrity you admire
29 - a book with "love" in the title
30 - a book featuring an amateur detective
31 - A book about a family
32 - A book written by an author from Asia, Africa or South America
33 - A book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title
34 - a book that includes a wedding
35 - A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter
36 - A ghost story
37 - a book with a two-word title: Deep Creek by Dana Hand
38 - A novel based on a true story
39 - A book revolving around a puzzle or game
40 - Your favorite prompt from a past Popsugar Reading Challenge


41 - A "cli fi" book: American War by Omar El Akkad
42 - A "choose-your-own-adventure" book
43 - An "own voices" book
44 - Read a book during the season it is set in
45 - A LitRPG book
46 - A book with no chapters / unusual chapter headings / unconventionally numbered chapters
47 & 48 - Two books that share the same title
49 - A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom
50 - A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent

Edited: Jan 3, 11:50pm Top

A. Armchair Travel: “To those who can dream, there is no such place as faraway.”

I will read 8 books set in 8 different countries

Books Read

1. When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard - Philippines


1. Salt Houses by Hala Alyan – Palestine/Kuwait
2. The Queen of Water by Laura Resau – Ecuador
3. The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo - China

Edited: Jan 22, 5:25pm Top

B. Book Bullets: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

So many of the books on my shelves and Kindles are there because of recommendations from friends here on Library Thing. I will read at least 8 books and hopefully more of these recommendations.

1. The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin - Kerry (avatiakh) - 5.0 ★


1. The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs – Roni
2. Paper Girls Vol 1, 2 & 3 by Brian Vaughan – Andrea
3. Hell’s Bottom, Colorado by Laura Pritchett - Katie

Edited: Nov 17, 2018, 7:42pm Top

C. One Word Titles: “Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”

I will read at least 8 Books that have a one word title.


1. Dodgers by Bill Beverly
2. Shift by Hugh Howey
3. Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor

Edited: Nov 17, 2018, 7:48pm Top

D. Love Stories: “Every love story is beautiful, but my favorite is ours.”

I will read 8 books that have a connection to love.


1. Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
2. The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands
3. After the Dance by Dee Williams

Edited: Jan 6, 2:12pm Top

E. Reading From My Shelves: “Having too many books is not the problem. Not having enough shelving – That’s A Problem.”

This category will be for books that I pull from my shelves either to fulfill a challenge or simply just because I felt like reading it at this point in time.

Books Read

1. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson - 5.0 ★


1. Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
2. Hauntings by Ellen Datlow

Edited: Jan 16, 12:11pm Top

F. Let’s Eat!: “People who love love food are always the best people.”
Julia Child

I will read at least 8 books that have an item of food or drink in the title.

Books Read

1. At The Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper - 3.6 ★


1. The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka
2. The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates
3. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Edited: Jan 21, 11:37am Top

G. Doing My ABCs: "Okay everybody, line up in alphabetical order according to your height.”
Casey Stengel

Throughout the year I will randomly read alphabetically by author’s name. Will match my reads to the AlphaKit monthly letters.

Books Read

1. A - American War by Omar El Akkad
2. Q - The Alice Network by Kate Quinn


1. B - His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
2. M - The Delivery Man by Joe McGuiness

Edited: Jan 23, 8:38pm Top

H. 1,001 Books List: “A Classic never goes out of style.”
Coca-Cola Ad

Due to an on-going bet with my brother I have been reading books from the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die List, trying to catch up with his total. This is where I will list most of my reads from that list.

Books Read

1. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - 4.5 ★
2. The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien - 4.2 ★


1. The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
2. Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
3. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

Edited: Jan 17, 7:13pm Top

I. Series: “Happiness is finding the first good book of a series and knowing there are more to follow.”

In an effort to catch up in my series reading, I will read at least 8 series books. I expect the SeriesCat will help me in making my reading choices.

Books Read

1. Excursion to Tindari (5) by Andrea Camilleri - 4.0 ★


1. The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths (3) by Harry Bingham
2. Waiting For Wednesday (3) by Nicci French
3. The Missing and the Dead (9) – Stuart MacBride

Edited: Jan 27, 9:45pm Top

J. Crime Stories: “Reading mysteries is recreation for intelligent minds.”
Donna Andrews

I will read at least one mystery or police procedural every month.

Crime Stories

1. See How Small by Scott Blackwood - 3.8 ★
2. The Yard Dog by Sheldon Russell - 3.4 ★


1. Finders Keepers by Belinda Bauer
2. Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
3. Confessions by Kanae Minato

Edited: Jan 5, 12:38pm Top

K. Vintage Crime: “I specialize in murders of quiet, domestic interest
Agatha Christie

I am a huge fan of the classic mysteries from the golden age of detective fiction and I will read at least 8 classic mysteries over the course of the year.

Books Read

1. The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie - 3.8 ★


1. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers
2. The Case of the Late Pig by Margery Allingham

Edited: Jan 28, 9:31pm Top

L. Out of the Past: “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”
Teddy Roosevelt

I will read at least one book a month that delves into history – as set by the Reading Through Time Group or to fit other challenges

Books Read

1. The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks - 4.2 ★


1. The Bones of Paradise by Jonis Agee
2. Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

Edited: Jan 25, 12:23pm Top

M. Science Fiction: “If you take the shackles off your imagination, you can go anywhere with science fiction.
Lani Tupu

I will read at least 8 science fiction books over the course of the year.

Books Read

1. City by Clifford D. Simak - 3.4 ★


1. The Arrivals by Melissa Marr
2. Plague Year by Jeff Carlson
3. Fledgling by Sharon Lee

Edited: Jan 13, 1:08pm Top

N. Fantasy: “A Single Dream is More Powerful that a Thousand Realities”
J.R.R. Tolken

I will read at least 8 fantasy books over the course of the year.

Books Read

1. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner - 4.1 ★


1. Half A War by Joe Abercrombie
2. Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
3. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Edited: Jan 8, 1:38pm Top

O. Young At Heart: “Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.”
Walt Disney

I will read 8 YA books during the year.

Books Read

1. The Other Side of Dawn by Jack Marsden - 4.0 &@9733;


1. Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi
2. Help For the Haunted by John Searles
3. All The Rage by Courtney Summers

Edited: Jan 20, 1:17pm Top

P. Non-Fiction: “Any truth is better than indefinite doubt”
Arthur Conan Doyle

I will read at least 8 non-fiction books during the year

Books Read

1. The Profession of Violence by John Pearson - 3.7 ★


1. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
2. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
3. Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy by Mike Love

Edited: Jan 10, 11:51am Top

Q. Library List: Libraries: “The medicine chest of the soul”
Inscribed over the door of the library at Thebes

It’s not just about my own shelves. I will also read the following from the library in an effort to reduce my very long library list.

Books Read

1. A New Day by Beryl Matthews - 3.3 ★


1. The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones
2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
3. The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

Edited: Jan 14, 12:21pm Top

R. Saddle Up! - “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway!”
John Wayne

Books about the American West and the cowboy way will be make up this category.

Books Read

1. Deep Creek by Dana Hand - 4.2 ★


1. Last Stand at Saber River by Elmore Leonard
2. Hell Is Empty by Craig Johnson
3. The Color of Lightning by Paulette Jiles

Edited: Nov 17, 2018, 9:58pm Top

S. Overflow: “Sleep is good, he said, and books are better.”
George R.R. Martin

Just in case I don't have enough books to read, any that don't fit the above categories will reside here.

Books Read

Edited: Nov 27, 2018, 3:37pm Top

2019 Reading Plans

March: Hosting the SeriesCat: A Series Book by a Favorite Author
April: Hosting the Reading Through Time Monthly Theme
Hosting the ScaredyKit: Modern Horror /Thrillers
May: Hosting the CalendarCat
October: Hosting the TBRCat
November: Hosting the RandomCat
December: Hosting the FFFFKit: Reader's Choice

Edited: Nov 17, 2018, 10:03pm Top

Something to bear in mind:


Nov 18, 2018, 4:21pm Top

Excellent set of themes! I adore the quote from Disney, and I entirely concur. And I want the library in >23 DeltaQueen50:. I might need an extention to house it, granted. But at least I'd not run out of shelves any time soon...

Nov 18, 2018, 4:25pm Top

There are some wonderful quotes there! Very inspirational. It looks like you're all set up for another good reading year.

Nov 18, 2018, 6:25pm Top

Great categories and quotes!

Nov 18, 2018, 10:01pm Top

>28 Helenliz: Thanks Helen, I totally agree with the Disney quote and never intend to "grow-up"!
>29 Jackie_K: Now that I am all set up, I am getting eager to finish with 2018 and start in on 2019!
>30 tess_schoolmarm: Thanks Tess, I am looking forward to another great reading year!

Nov 19, 2018, 3:39am Top

Great categories and lovely pictures, Judy. I'm a little jealous you beat me to that library, Helen!

Nov 19, 2018, 10:23am Top

As usual, great categories, Judy. I will be following along for another year :)

Nov 19, 2018, 12:22pm Top

I love the quote - "I was born with a reading list I will never finish." So true!!!

Nov 19, 2018, 12:41pm Top

Have a happy 2019, and good luck with your year of reading goals!

Nov 19, 2018, 7:22pm Top

Looks like a great setup! I like your quote for the cozy mysteries category best :)

Nov 19, 2018, 11:05pm Top

I have been jspending the day sorting through my stacks and lining up books for my categories, the bingodog and the PopSugar Challenge. Whew!

>32 MissWatson: Thanks, Birgit, I kept it fairly simple this year as I really want to see my tbr stacks get whittled down.

>33 katiekrug: Glad to have you aboard, Katie!

>34 LittleTaiko: Ah yes, so true, but really we wouldn't have it any other way. Having stacks of books to read gives me great comfort.

>35 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer. I am ready to dig into my 2019 reading but still need to focus on finishing my 2018 challenges!

>36 rabbitprincess: Thanks, RP. I love sorting through my books at this time of the year and pulling out possible reads.

Nov 20, 2018, 11:48am Top

Nice set-up for 2019. I have you starred. I'll probably post my category challenge either Thursday or Friday, with the assistance of my feline helpers.

Nov 20, 2018, 12:40pm Top

>38 thornton37814: Welcome, Lori. Maybe you should place some books out for your cats to examine and then you could read the ones that they seem to favor - your own personal "Cat" Challenge!

Nov 20, 2018, 1:52pm Top

Just dropping by to see your set-up and leave a star--and I have to say, I love your set-up and the way you've brought it all together with quotes! That Agatha Christie one is a long-time favorite of mine :)

Nov 20, 2018, 2:38pm Top

I like some of the possibilities I see on your lists and look forward to your thoughts on them (and the BBs probably). I don't know how you manage to keep it so organized.

Nov 20, 2018, 6:14pm Top

Welcome back, Judy. Lots of great categories, as always, especially as tied together with the quotes.

Nov 20, 2018, 7:11pm Top

>39 DeltaQueen50: Maybe I'll just use whichever books they knock off the shelves!

Nov 21, 2018, 2:12pm Top

>40 whitewavedarling: I thought the Agatha Christie quote was so perfect for the category of Vintage Mysteries, and Ms. Christie certainly excelled at digging out the evil that lurked behind the quiet facade of life in many British villages or great houses!

>41 dudes22: Betty, I obviously have too much time on my hands! Honestly, I am never so happy as when I am sorting through my books & Kindles, making up categories and reading lists even if I seldom follow my early plans.

>42 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda. As you know I am a huge fan of reading challenges of all types and my biggest challenge this year will be reining myself in from trying to participate in too many!

>43 thornton37814: Good plan, Lori. You could call that category, "Cat Chaos!"

Nov 21, 2018, 9:14pm Top

Ahead of the game as usual, Judy. Love the quotes and can relate to >15 DeltaQueen50:. I have starred your thread and look forward to following along in 2019.

Nov 22, 2018, 11:33am Top

>45 Familyhistorian: Welcome Aboard, Meg!

Nov 22, 2018, 2:07pm Top

Very nice Judy. The quotes are perfect for your themes. I like the look of that pop sugar challenge too.

Not that you need it, being such an avid reader, but good luck with your reading target of 8 in each category.

Nov 22, 2018, 9:08pm Top

>47 Roro8: Hi Ro, I am already feeling a little overwhelmed with some of the challenges. I have gone through my books and do have an idea of what I will read for both the PopSugar and the Bingo Challenges. I am already telling myself to have fewer categories next year!

Nov 30, 2018, 3:12pm Top

Love your 2019 challenge set-up; I'll be following along and getting hit by many BBs!

Nov 30, 2018, 5:46pm Top

Thanks and welcome Lisa. :)

Dec 2, 2018, 7:02pm Top

Your quotes theme is fabulous, Judy! I got a good chuckle out of >13 DeltaQueen50: but the Walt Disney quote in >21 DeltaQueen50: appeals to me best!

Dec 5, 2018, 1:25pm Top

I love this theme! Very clever. I'm looking forward to following along with you in 2019, Judy.

Dec 5, 2018, 10:30pm Top

>51 lkernagh: Lori, I have a soft spot for both Casey Stengal and Yoi Berra quotes. "When you come to a fork in the road, take it" or " It’s like déjà vu all over again" make me smile everytime I see them. But as much as I love these quotes - I live by the Disney one.

>52 VivienneR: Ha, I was just over at your new thread (that I absolutely love) telling you that I will be following you during 2019!

Edited: Dec 6, 2018, 12:30am Top

>53 DeltaQueen50: I never visit threads until I've decided on my own theme. This year I had made a note of some quotations as a theme but they would never have compared with yours. I'm not creative enough to make it work this well.

Dec 9, 2018, 12:10pm Top

>54 VivienneR: Vivienne, I love the planning stages of setting up for a new year. I make notes for various themes and then once I have decided on which one I want to go with I then try to come up with categories that will both fit the theme and encompass my actual reading. Obviously I have too much time on my hands!

Dec 11, 2018, 7:53am Top

Enjoy your reading challenges. It was fun to read the book quotes you chose for themes.

Dec 11, 2018, 11:42am Top

>56 This-n-That: Thanks. I am looking forward to kicking off the new year and getting started.

Dec 14, 2018, 8:13pm Top

Judy, you're going to have to start a new thread before the new year!

Dec 15, 2018, 8:17am Top

Great set up Judy!

Dec 16, 2018, 2:14pm Top

>58 BLBera: I wouldn't mind that one bit, Beth, but I think this one will last through to the New Year.

>59 mysterymax: Thanks MysteryMax, I was just over checking out your new thread.

Dec 24, 2018, 2:32pm Top

Judy - yours is always one of my favorites when I get to reading everyone's new threads! Love your categories and the pictures that go with them and the whole of your organization! Have a great new year of reading!

Dec 24, 2018, 2:41pm Top

Thanks Cindy, I hope you have a great Christmas and that 2019 brings you lots and lots of great reads.

Dec 24, 2018, 2:44pm Top

I am pretty much ready for Christmas just a few things to take care of today so I will take this minute to wish everyone who drops by the best of the holiday season. I am excited for the new year and have packed a few choices to be my first book of 2019 as I will be bringing in the New Year with my family on Vancouver Island.

Dec 27, 2018, 3:50pm Top

I already love your thread, Judy, you have chosen wonderful quotes! Happy reading for 2019!

Edited: Dec 28, 2018, 3:56am Top

Love your great quotes and set-up! I can particularly relate to >11 DeltaQueen50:

>14 DeltaQueen50: You've got two of my very favorite classics: The Robber Bride and Excellent Women. Enjoy!.

Dec 28, 2018, 3:50am Top

>65 kac522: Yes! I absolutely agree with >11 DeltaQueen50:! There is no such thing as too many books but my shelves are disgreeing with me. I am running out of creative ways to fit more in!

Dec 28, 2018, 2:48pm Top

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Judy!

Dec 29, 2018, 2:13pm Top

Judy! What a great way to set your books up for this year! I wish you much success for a) completing all the books you've lined up and b) sticking with these challenge categories. And a happy new year to you and yours from the other side and end of the continent (Atlanta area).

Dec 31, 2018, 7:12am Top

Good luck with your POPSugar challenge and other challenges!

Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2018, 11:00am Top

Have a Happy New Year, Judy!

Dec 31, 2018, 11:14am Top

Dec 31, 2018, 3:01pm Top

Dec 31, 2018, 7:09pm Top

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

Jan 1, 10:52pm Top

Dropping off my star, Judy!

Jan 1, 11:35pm Top

Hi Judy, happy new year! Just stopping by to drop a star - I've decided this is the year to return to the forums. You've chosen some fantastic quotes that work so well for your theme - love the 'sleep is good, books are better' :-)

Jan 2, 2:27pm Top

Wishing you good health and good reading for 2019, Judy. I'm sure your bullets will be flying as usual.

Jan 2, 9:46pm Top

Looking forward to catching some of those bullets! Although my list is already at 201 books!

Jan 3, 1:17pm Top

Happy New Year, Judy.

Jan 3, 2:45pm Top

Judy, I love your set-up here. Looking forward to once again following your reading adventures.

Jan 3, 5:17pm Top

I'm home from my holiday visiting my family and I brought some gift certificates from Amazon and a nasty cold with me! Right now I am sipping on a hot tea and it's making my throat feel pretty good. Hopefully I can shake this off quickly. I want to again welcome all my old and new friends to my thread. I am looking forward to all that 2019 will bring us.

>64 Chrischi_HH: I hope you feel right at home here, Christiane, and visit often. :)

>65 kac522: When I saw that quote about not having enough book shelves I knew it would resonate with most of us on LT! Good to know that both The Robber Bride and Excellent Women are ones to look forward to reading.

>66 JayneCM: I have a lot of book shelves in my place but even so, I am starting to pile books in corners and other places. Personally I like to go to houses where books are to be seen everywhere, it's very comforting.

>67 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer, I did have a great Christmas. I hope you did as well.

>68 threadnsong: Thanks for the good wishes. I am trying to keep my categories fairly wide open so I can allow for some mood reading, but basically these categories are all pretty much old friends to me, ones I have used over the years. A Happy New Year to you and yours as well. :)

>69 The_Hibernator: Thanks Rachel. The 2019 PopoSugar Challenge doesn't look as straight forward as the 2018 one, but I have an idea for most of the prompts. Now I just have to mesh this challenge with my category challenge and, of course, the TIOLI challenges as well.

>70 mstrust: >71 thornton37814: >72 tess_schoolmarm: >73 Dejah_Thoris: Thanks and I hope 2019 is good to everyone.

>74 ronincats: Thanks, Roni. Have you checked out the monthly SFFFKit themes - it looks like a good year for those. I will be dropping by your 75er thread very soon.

>75 SouthernKiwi: Alana! It's great to see you back posting. Have you set up a thread for yourself?

>76 VivienneR: Thanks, Vivienne. I have only read one book so far this year, and will post my thoughts about it soon.

>77 JayneCM: One of the biggest dangers (and thrills) about LT is how quickly your wishlist/library list grows.

>78 BLBera: Thanks, Beth, and speaking about book bullets, I will be dropping by your thread soon and expect to take a few hits!

>79 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie, I hope all is well with you and your family. Looking forward to tracking your thread down as well.

Edited: Jan 3, 5:26pm Top

Of course it wouldn't be a good start to the year without this:

Book Meme for Books Read in 2018

Describe yourself: A Grown Up Kind of Pretty

Describe how you feel: All Systems Red

Describe where you currently live: In A Wide Country

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The City of the Sun

Your favorite form of transportation: Slow Horses

Your best friend is: Cousin Kate

You and your friends are: Over the Top and Back

What’s the weather like: Savage Season

You fear: Those Who Hunt the Night

What is the best advice you have to give: Go Tell It On The Mountain

Thought for the day: Tuesday’s Gone

How you would like to die: Wobble to Death

Your soul’s present condition: Peace Like the River

Jan 3, 6:00pm Top

Happy 2019, Judy!

Jan 3, 6:02pm Top

>81 DeltaQueen50: - Love thsoe responses, Judy!

Welcome home.

Jan 3, 7:00pm Top

Excellent answers to the meme! Welcome home and I hope you're feeling better soon.

Jan 3, 7:13pm Top

I hope you get over the cold quickly, and fantastic answers to the meme - if I could combine a city in the sun with slow horses I'd be a happy woman!

I've located myself in the Club Read group (here, if interested), the complete lack of structure appealed for this year, but I already have a strong suspicion I'll be moving back this way for 2020 :-)

Jan 3, 9:44pm Top

Good meme answers!

Jan 3, 9:58pm Top

Hope you feel better soon, Judy. The cold that my co-workers and I have has lingered for 3 weeks but, finally, seems to be easing for me.

Jan 3, 10:18pm Top

>80 DeltaQueen50: Actually, I had caught the January thread and starred it, but not the yearly planning thread, so thank you. I just went and starred it as well.

Jan 3, 11:41pm Top

>82 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle, and a Happy 2019 to you as well.

>83 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. I love going to visit my family, but I also love getting home to my hubby and all my "things"! ;0

>84 rabbitprincess: Thanks, RP. I am looking forward to finishing my updating here and then getting out and visiting everyone.

>85 SouthernKiwi: I've dropped a star, Alana, but, of course, I would love to see you back here at the Category Challenge!

>86 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori.

>87 lindapanzo: I have a feeling that this one may linger awhile, Linda, it's not terrible more annoying than anything with a fair amount of coughing.

>88 ronincats: Good, I always look forward to seeing what you will be reading for that challenge.

Edited: Jan 24, 4:16pm Top

1. When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard - 4.0 ★
Category: Armchair Travel - Philippines
January TBRCat: First in, Last Out
January Reading Through Time: Survival
January TIOLI #1: One Letter From Each Title Word Makes a New Word

When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the story of a Filipino family during the invasion of their country by the Japanese during World War II. The story is narrated by Yvonne, a lively nine year old in 1940, happily living in her family compound. Her father is an American trained engineer and is very valuable to the guerrilla movement and is often called away on mysterious errands. She and her mother, along with a few of the household servants move ever deeper into the jungle, fleeing from the Japanese, but never forgetting the loved ones that they leave behind.

This lively young girl is witness to a number of horrific events. She sees her mother’s health slipping away and lives through the fear of having her father fall into the hands of the Japanese. She is enriched by the Philippine folktales that are passed on to her through the family cook.

When The Rainbow Goddess Wept deals with the psychological damage that war wreaks through the events that happen within this small family. Yvonne refuses to give up hope and learns how to cope with the uncertainties that come their way. With this young girl, the author has created a sensitive and intelligent recorder, one who sees what is happening and, even though she doesn’t always understand, is able to paint a vivid picture of endurance and survival. This is an excellent story that highlights how war can bring out both the best and worst in people

Jan 4, 6:00am Top

I love your meme answers! Wobbling to death sounds hilarious!

Jan 4, 7:42am Top

I'm with Jackie - wobbling to death has to win the prize for best answer. also - I have Peace Like a River in the pile for Jan Reading as part of the TBR Cat. It's been in my pile since I joined LT.

Jan 4, 8:27am Top

>90 DeltaQueen50: a BB for sure!

Jan 4, 11:22am Top

>91 Jackie_K: Wobbling to death definitely sounds like the way to go - it was a pretty good historical mystery as well.

>92 dudes22: Betty, I loved Peace Like A River and I hope you do as well.

>93 tess_schoolmarm: I liked that it was a different viewpoint than the soldiers who were fighting or even prisoners of war. The author kept the story within the bounds of possibility as well, it wasn't overdone or sensationalized but read like a description of actual events.

Jan 4, 3:04pm Top

Happy 2019, Judy. I hope you get rid of your cold soon. All this rain probably doesn't help although we are having a bit of a break right now.

Jan 5, 9:30am Top

I did Wobble as my choice as well, sounds like there's an epidemic.

Jan 5, 12:31pm Top

>95 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg, I'm still struggling with this dang cold, but yes, the weather has improved - as I sit here this morning there is a bit of weak sunlight coming in.

>96 mysterymax: LOL, now all I can picture is a bunch of people wobbling themselves off to eternity!

Edited: Jan 24, 4:17pm Top

2. The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie - 3.8 ★
Category: Vintage Mysteries
January TIOLI #11: A Title Word Starts With the Same Letter as one of the Author's Names

The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie was a very fun read revolving around revolutionists, royalty, mistaken and false identities, a spectacular missing jewel and, of course murder. Beginning in Africa, the story quickly moves to the stately English manor of Chimneys and follows the escapades of Anthony Cade, international adventurer as he tries to complete his mission of delivering a sensitive Herzoslovakian manuscript of memoirs and a bundle of blackmailing letters.

This is the first book that features Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard, and he wisely stays in the background leading a firm and steady hand to the procedures. Along with an assortment of political guests, Battle is assisted by a couple of international colleagues whose main interest is in unveiling the famous thief, King Victor. The murders seem to be almost a side plot as political intrigue and revolution in the fictional Balkan state of Herzoslovakia is the main feature.

I think Agatha Christie had a fun time writing this tongue-in-cheek thriller/mystery. She delivers a tale peopled by handsome adventurers, swarthy foreigners, beautiful, calm English ladies, and fuddled English aristocrats. There was a sweet romance included and although the final outcome of the story was no surprise, I enjoyed this very vintage mystery.

Edited: Jan 5, 1:13pm Top

>97 DeltaQueen50: Very funny. I wobble when I walk anyway! And the Christie book is a BB.

Jan 5, 1:25pm Top

I hope you are feeling better soon, a cold is no way to start the new year. Mine started with a visit to the dentist who managed to split my chapped lips.

It was your first meme answer that stood out for me - A grown up kind of pretty. :)

Jan 5, 1:39pm Top

>99 mysterymax: I tend toward wobbling myself! The Christie book was definitely one that I was in the right mood for as it is rather silly, luckily I went along with the craziness and really enjoyed it.

>100 VivienneR: Ouch! Chapped lips are bad enough but split chapped lips must be very painful. I think "A grown up kind of pretty" is a lovely way to say "all grey and wrinkled". ;)

Jan 6, 8:09am Top

Happy new year, Judy! I've finally found your thread and How could I have missed it! (scrolls up) (scrolls downs) Duh, I didn't check the category challenge group. Good luck with it and all your hosting gigs!

Edited: Jan 6, 8:42am Top

>101 DeltaQueen50: I read the next one in the series as well...Invitation to a Dynamite Party. He has really great titles!

Jan 6, 9:26am Top

Hope the cold is going away by now.

>90 DeltaQueen50:

That sounds like a really interesting book that I may want to read.

Jan 6, 10:11am Top

>103 mysterymax: - That has to be an answer for the meme - it's such a good title.

Jan 6, 1:17pm Top

>102 Carmenere: Glad you found me, Lynda!

>103 mysterymax: I am definitely going to read some more of this series, actually I need to check out Peter Lovesey's modern detective stories as well.

>104 hailelib: Thanks Trisha, I am starting to feel much better and thankfully the coughing hasn't developed into anything too serious. I hope you are able to track down a copy of When the Rainbow Goddess Wept as I think it dealt with the subject of war in a realistic and non-sensational way. Also the author includes some Filipino folktales that enhance the book.

>105 dudes22: I totally agree. Invitation to a Dynamite Party sounds like quite the way to go!

Edited: Jan 15, 11:18am Top

3. I Am Legend Richard Matheson - 5.0 ★
Category: My Shelves
January ScaredyKit: NPR's 100 Best Horror Stories
BingoDog: Made Into A Movie
January Reading Through Time: Survival
January TIOLI #2: Read That Nagging Book

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson is a post-apocalyptic tale that was originally published in 1954. The story is told by Robert Neville, who appears to be the last surviving human of a pandemic whose symptoms resemble vampirism. The disease came about after an atomic war from which dust storms arose that rapidly spread the germs. This book has seem many film adaptations and has strongly influenced both the vampire/zombie genre and the concept of a worldwide disease apocalypse.

The story details Neville’s daily life in this bleak and scary Los Angeles as he outwardly goes about trying to keep himself supplied and safe while inwardly he attempts to understand and come to terms with the way the world has become. Every night he barricades himself into his house while the vampires gather outside and try to lure him out. After a period of depression and heavy drinking he turns to learning more about the disease and investigating the possibility of finding a cure.

I Am Legend is a masterpiece of scientific horror fiction and I can’t believe that I somehow managed to miss reading this book before now. As with many science fiction books from the 1950’s the author explores the nature of humanity and the pressure that loneliness can put on one’s sanity. Written in a clean, crisp style, I was immediately drawn into this story and pleased that the author’s vision remains fresh and current. For me, with my love of survival and apocalyptic stories, this was a brilliant read.

Jan 6, 1:50pm Top

>107 DeltaQueen50: You are making me want to reread that one, Judy! Great review, and if you posted that, I will add my thumb. I read it for the first time several years ago, and it surprised me - so different from what I was expecting, especially since I had seen the movie first.

Jan 6, 1:54pm Top

>108 Crazymamie: Mamie, I was just posting my review on the book's main page so it's there now. It's been adapted a number of times, I have seen two of the films and both were very different from the book.

Jan 6, 2:00pm Top

I added my thumb, Judy - your touchstone doesn't lead to the page your review is on. You need this one I Am Legend. Not sure why.

Jan 6, 2:04pm Top

>110 Crazymamie: I keep trying to fix the touchstone and I can't seem to do so. It's driving me crazy so I will leave it for now and hopefully I will be able to fix it later.

Jan 6, 2:07pm Top

It has to be the third one down - I am Legend and Other Stories, which is stupid, but that is how you get it to take you to your review.

Jan 6, 2:13pm Top

>112 Crazymamie: Thank you, thank you, my sanity's been saved for another day!

Jan 6, 2:22pm Top

*grin* Happy to help!

Jan 6, 4:47pm Top

>107 DeltaQueen50: And what a disturbing cover for that book! Deliciously creepy.

Edited: Jan 6, 4:51pm Top

>107 DeltaQueen50: A great review and a BB for me!

Jan 6, 4:53pm Top

I'm glad you enjoyed I Am Legend. It's definitely creepy, both with the vampires and Neville's isolation.

Jan 7, 12:51pm Top

>115 pammab: I totally agree with you about that cover, it certainly catches your attention.

>116 tess_schoolmarm: I hope you enjoy I Am Legend when you get to it, Tess.

>117 mstrust: Well, you know me - creepy is definitely in my wheelhouse! ;)

Edited: Jan 15, 11:18am Top

4. See How Small by Scott Blackwood - 3.8 ★
Category: Crime Story
January RandomCat: Your Name In Print
January TIOLI #18: Author's Name Has At Least One Set of Double Letters

In See How Small author Scott Blackwood explores the details and impact of a horrendous crime on the people who are involved or affected. In Austin Texas, three teenage girls go about the business of closing the ice cream parlor that they work in. Two men walk in and when they leave the store is on fire and the three girls are on the floor, naked, bound and murdered.

The author based his story on a similar real-life unsolved crime in an Austin yogurt shop and although this is indeed a terrible and ugly situation, Scott Blackwood manages to write a beautifully nuanced novel about how a community deals with this tragic loss. This book isn’t a mystery, it is a sensitive and honest look at how people rebuild their lives after a tragedy. While this isn’t an easy read, the author does avoid needless descriptions of violence but the emotional turmoil that the families endure is heartbreaking.

See How Small is a compassionate and creative study of a grim subject. The author’s intimate prose places the reader inside the minds of those who are left behind which I did find very difficult at times. One’s instinct is to turn away from such raw human emotion and give the sufferer some privacy, but in See How Small there is no escape. This is not a book that I can totally praise. Yes, it was both sensitive and dreamlike but it was also slightly disjointed and non-linear making it hard to connect with any of the characters. I suspect some will love it and some will not. Personally I am glad that I picked this book up.

Jan 7, 1:09pm Top

>119 DeltaQueen50: - Oooh, that sounds good, Judy. Adding it to the list!

Jan 7, 3:28pm Top

>107 DeltaQueen50: I've been meaning to read that book for ages; I believe my edition is from the Science Fiction Book Club. It's come off the shelf a few times but never made it to the top of the pile. I'll have to make sure it moves to the top sooner rather than later.

Jan 8, 6:48am Top

Hi Judy, I'm just wondering if you have read Beartown by Fredrick Backman? I listened to it last year and was very impressed. I'm thinking about reading the sequel but I don't want to be disappointed. Do you have any thoughts you could share with me?

Jan 8, 8:35am Top

Hi Judy - You are reading up a storm to start the year! You got me with I Am Legend and When the Rainbow Goddess Wept.

Jan 8, 1:32pm Top

>120 katiekrug: See How Small was an interesting read, Katie, the author doesn't try to explain or describe the murders with any depth, his focus is on the people surrounding the crime - the victim's mother, the first responder, a reporter and even one of the perpetrators. I'll be interested in what you think of it.

>121 LisaMorr: Lisa, I have had I Am Legend on my shelves in one form or another for many years. I don't know why I didn't ever pick it up but I am very happy that this month's ScaredyKit brought it to my attention. I love it when a book I've had for many years becomes a 5 star read - it makes me wonder what other treasures I have yet to find on my own shelves!

>122 Roro8: Ro, I haven't read Beartown yet although I have it on my list to read this year. I understand your hesitation about reading the sequel, as often the second book isn't as good as the first but I do see it (the 2nd Book) is very highly rated both here on LT and on GoodReads. I say give it a try. I have both Beartown and Us Against You on my Kindle so I will eventually read both myself.

>123 BLBera: Beth, I am a little concerned that I my have overbooked myself this year. 19 categories is a lot and I am trying to fit as many in during a month as I can. I have to keep telling myself that I'm the only one that really cares if I read a certain number of books over a certain period of time. But with that said, so far I hve been enjoying my reads.

Edited: Jan 15, 11:18am Top

5. The Other Side of Dawn by John Marsden - 4.0 ★
Category: Young At Heart
January TIOLI #2: Read That Nagging Book

The Other Side of Dawn by John Marsden is the seventh and final book in his Tomorrow Series. I’ve been reading this series slowly over the last few years and I am going to miss it, as I have become very attached to the characters but at the same time it was time to end the war and wrap the series up before it got to repetitive. Luckily, the author has published a trilogy that continues the story of the main character, Ellie.

The series has followed a group of Australian teenagers who became resistance fighters when their country was invaded while they were on a camping trip. It is now the final days of the war and the United Nations and other countries have come to Australia’s aid. This group has been asked to cause as much trouble as they can in order to disrupt the enemy and while causing an explosion at a fuel depot, Ellie becomes separated from the group. She must now move forward toward the end of the war alone, not knowing what happened to her friends.

I thought the author gave the series a realistic yet hopeful ending, things do not go back to the way they were. Many people have been killed and even more have been damaged. The war has brought changes and now Ellie must find her way in a new world. The Other Side of Dawn is the closing of a series about courage, friendship and survival. I now look forward to the trilogy that is about Ellie and her life after the war.

Jan 8, 4:45pm Top

>122 Roro8: They are both fabulous! Fredrik Bachman is an author who never disappoints!

Just read an article yesterday that Beartown is being made into a TV series. And the movie of A Man Called Ove is fabulous as, of course, is the book.

I have Britt-Marie Was Here down as my book that should be made into a movie - it is simply delightful. And then I Googled it and the movie is currently in post-production in Sweden. They must have listened!

Jan 8, 5:02pm Top

>126 JayneCM: I love it when a book I think would make a fantastic movie is actually filmed. I just hope it doesn't disappoint.

Jan 8, 8:18pm Top

>127 DeltaQueen50: I loved the movie of A Man Called Ove - it was a Swedish production, so kept that wonderful dry, tongue-in-cheek humour. A Swedish production company has also bought the rights to Beartown so should be good!

Jan 9, 4:12am Top

I've been meaning to read the Tomorrow series since my high school librarian enthusiastically (and repeatedly, if I remember right) recommended Tomorrow when the war began. I must get to it.

Jan 9, 12:22pm Top

>128 JayneCM: I am looking forward to finally reading Beartown this year.

>129 SouthernKiwi: I wish I could remember who it was who originally recommended the series to me, I know it was someone here on LT but I didn't make note of it. I have enjoyed the series over the last few years, they are fun escape reads and I did grow to care about the characters.

Jan 9, 1:52pm Top

>130 DeltaQueen50: Judy, I have tracked it down for you: Dianestm's 12x12 Category Challenge

Happy Wednesday to you!

Jan 9, 8:17pm Top

>131 Crazymamie: Mamie, you come to my rescue once again - you must be trying to win your Girl Guide Helper's Badge!

Jan 10, 9:37am Top

>107 DeltaQueen50: Loved I am Legend. Nothing like the movie, was it?

Jan 10, 10:56am Top

>132 DeltaQueen50: Judy, how did you know?

Jan 10, 11:43am Top

>133 The_Hibernator: You are so right, Rachel. I have also seen an earlier version called "The Omega Man' with Charleton Heston and again, it was nothing like the book.

>134 Crazymamie: Well, it's either that or you are working on "earning your wings" and I didn't here any bells ringing!

Edited: Jan 24, 4:19pm Top

6. A New Day by Beryl Matthews - 3.3 ★
Category: My Library List
BingoDog: Cover Pictures At Least 2 Human Figures
January CalendarCat: "New" Year - "New" Day
January TIOLI #6: Title Contains the Words "Happy", "New", or "Day"

A New Day by Beryl Matthews is the story of a sister and brother who overcome the difficulties of their situation and the war with Germany to forge a new and better life for themselves. Orphaned at a young age, Hanna has always tried to look out and protect her younger brother, Jack. When he is taken as a foster child by a couple, she thought this was the right thing for him. Unfortunately, all the man wanted was a free worker, and he mistreated and beat Jack. Jack eventually took matters into his own hands and, lying about his age, he joined the crew of a cargo ship. At the same time, Hanna, now 18 left the orphanage and took a job as a nanny to twin boys.

The story follows these two young people through to the end of the war, Jack staying at sea and experiencing the dangers of the Merchant Navy while Hanna moves to the country with her new found family. A New Day was a light and easy read but a little too predictable and overly sweet with all situations finding a simple solution and not a lot of depth being added to any of the characters. While I enjoyed the read, I am certain this will not be a book that I remember for any length of time.

Jan 10, 1:24pm Top

Hi Judy! I'm still slowly making my rounds through everyone's threads. You've got a great bunch of categories and the quotes are excellent! I've had the Tomorrow series on my radar for a while now, hopefully I can start it this year. Happy reading!

Jan 10, 9:16pm Top

>137 staci426: Hi Staci, I've really enjoyed the Tomorrow series and I am glad that there's still 3 more books in the Ellie Chronicles to read.

Jan 10, 10:24pm Top

>98 DeltaQueen50: I like a lot of Agatha Christie's very early mysteries, including this one. I'll be following your Vintage Mysteries category, as I'm planning to do Golden Age Mysteries again myself. There are so many great authors to choose from!

Jan 11, 11:48am Top

>134 Crazymamie: It seems that Vintage Mysteries are more readily available than they used to be. I am constantly hearing about authors from the Golden Age of Mysteries that I had never heard about before, and often their works are available electronically.

Edited: Jan 15, 11:17am Top

7. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - 4.5 ★
Category: 1,001 Books List
January 1,001 Challenge Read
January CalendarCat: Author has a January Birthday
January TIOLI #7: Rolling Challenge by Alphabetical Female Authors

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is a short novel that packs a big punch both in storyline and in information about the black experience in southern America during the early part of the 20th century. The story is set in Florida and is told in a series of flashbacks as the main character, Janie Crawford, a black woman now in her early forties, tells her story to her best friend.

Janie’s story unfolds against a backdrop of the relationships with three very different men than has shaped her life. Janie, a child born of rape from a woman who was also the product of rape, is raised by her grandmother. Nanny fearing that the beautiful Janie will also become a victim, arranges a marriage between her granddaughter and an older farmer, she believes this will give Janie the stability she wants her to have. Janie desires love and does not find it with this man so after her grandmother dies, she runs off with the smooth talking Joe Starks. But this is a controlling and ambitious man who treats her as property and strikes her to keep her in line. When Joe dies Janie is left financially independent but falls in love with a younger man, “Tea Cake” who is both a gambler and a drifter. While this relationship never runs smooth, Janie has finally found love. However a hurricane strikes and brings disaster.

Originally published in 1935, this American classic is written beautifully and serves as a testament to a woman’s strength and endurance. Janie develops from a manageable young teenage girl into a strong woman who is able to steer her own destiny. Written in the black vernacular of the 1930’s, the prose is poetic and the insights are astute.

Jan 11, 12:06pm Top

>141 DeltaQueen50: Great review, Judy - I loved that one. It is also fabulous on audio - I listened to it narrated by the fabulous Ruby Dee, and it was wonderful to hear that "1930's black vernacular" brought to life. The language has its own cadence that I never could have captured in my head by just reading the written words.

Jan 11, 12:18pm Top

>141 DeltaQueen50: I have that one on my shelf and expect to get to it in the next few months. I'm glad to see you give it such high marks.

Jan 11, 12:37pm Top

>141 DeltaQueen50: - What a lovely review of one of my favorite books, Judy.

I'd like to get my hands on the audio Mamie mentions to re-visit it someday.

Jan 11, 12:45pm Top

>142 Crazymamie: Oh, I wish I had thought about listening to Their Eyes Were Watching God, that audio sounds fantastic and might have raised this book to a 5 star level!

>143 mstrust: I found myself pulled into the story right away, Jennifer. It's a good one. :)

>144 katiekrug: I wish I had listened to that audio as well, the language has a richness and a musicality that Rudy Dee would have enhanced. If I go for a re-read, I will be on the lookout for that audio!

Jan 11, 4:49pm Top

>142 Crazymamie: I have read it too, but will definitely have to try and get a copy of that audio.

Jan 11, 9:01pm Top

That's one of the books I want to get to soon. It's been in the read now stack for too long.

Jan 11, 9:41pm Top

>141 DeltaQueen50: Thanks for a great review. I've had on my shelf for at least 30 years!

Jan 11, 10:52pm Top

>107 DeltaQueen50: Happy New Year a little late, Judy! I just put this on my wish list...I can't believe that I haven't read it yet. Great review! Did you read The Girl with All the Gifts? I'm sure you did! I really loved that one and had no idea what it was about when I started to read it, boy was I surprised.

Jan 12, 1:17am Top

>149 Dianekeenoy: I already had I Am Legend on my list, but now will add The Girl With All The Gifts. I'm sure it will fit into an ScaredyKIT somewhere this year!

Jan 12, 12:26pm Top

>146 JayneCM: See, even when one already has the book, we still get hit by book bullets!!

>147 hailelib: I was a little nervous about how I would take to TEWWG but the story grabbed me right away. I think you will like it Trish.

>148 tess_schoolmarm: I've had that book on my shelves for some time as well, my bet with my brother over the 1,001 Books List had me finally pulling it down.

>149 Dianekeenoy: Hi Diane, yes, I have read The Girl With All the Gifts, a five star read for me. I have also read The Boy On the Bridge a sort-of prequel and really liked that one as well.

>150 JayneCM: Jayne, The Girl With All the Gifts is a really good zombie story and slightly different from the norm.

Jan 12, 5:32pm Top

I like the sound of Their Eyes were Watching God, Judy. Your thread is dangerous!

Jan 13, 10:33am Top

>151 DeltaQueen50: I also read The Boy on the Bridge and liked that one as well. I just finished M.R. Carey's newest book, Someone Like Me which was very good. Not horror, but good thriller.

Jan 13, 11:28am Top

Hi Judy - The Marsden series sounds interesting. I might have to check into that.

I loved Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston was an amazing woman.

Jan 13, 1:01pm Top

>152 Familyhistorian: Meg, TEWWG is an amzing book and one that I am sure you would like.

>153 Dianekeenoy: I will have to add Someone Like Me to my wishlist, Diane, as I also read his Fellside which is very different from his other two books and I really liked that one as well.

>154 BLBera: I have found the Tomorrow series to be great escape reading over the last few years, Beth.

Edited: Jan 15, 11:17am Top

8. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner - 4.1 ★
Category: Fantasy
January TIOLI #14: Word(s) in the Title Are Also the Name of a Game

The fourth installment of the Queen’s Thief fantasy series is called A Conspiracy of Kings and features as it’s main character Sophos, the heir to the Kingdom of Sounis. As civil war erupts in his country armed men arrive at the villa that houses himself, his mother and sisters. He escapes by selling himself into slavery and when the opportunity comes he escapes and finds his way to the country of Attolia and seeks the aid of his friend Eugenides, the King of Attolia. Sophos and Eugenides, along with both the Queen of Attolia and the Queen of Eddis hatch a plot to see Sophos placed on the throne and recover control of his country.

I have loved all the books in this series, and A Conspiracy of Kings may just be my favorite one so far. Sophos is much more transparent than Eugenides as well as being painfully honest and not entirely sure if he should be the King of Sounis. He matures and develops over the course of the book, also his romance with the Queen of Eddis is downplayed but nevertheless is one that I was rooting for.

I know there are two more books in the series, and I expect that these books will deal with the upcoming showdown between these three small kingdoms and the Empire of Mede and I, for one, can hardly wait to see what happens next.

Edited: Jan 24, 4:21pm Top

9. Deep Creek by Dana Hand - 4.2 ★
Category: Saddle Up!
2019 PopSugar Challenge: Two Word Title
January TIOLI #11: A Title Word Starts With The Same Letter As One of the Author's Names

Deep Creek by Dana Hand is actually the first novel by non-fiction historians Will Howarth and Anne Matthews. Based on a real life crime, this book tells the story of how a small town judge and his young daughter discover the murdered and mutilated body of a Chinese miner. This was just the first of over thirty bodies of Chinese miners that were brutally murdered and discarded. Some washed down the Snake River that borders Oregon, Idaho and Washington while many others were found at their camp up the river in the remote Hell’s Canyon. These miners had been sent to Deep Creek by the Sam Yup Company of San Francisco, a large Chinese labor exchange company.

Soon the judge, along with two others, travel up the river to investigate. Along with the judge is Lee Loi, an ambitious young company investigator and Grace Sundown, who is along as their tracker. Very quickly they come to understand who did the murders, but as they deepen their investigation into why this happened, they uncover a land-grabbing conspiracy that involves some of the most prominent members of Lewiston, including members of the judge’s own family. Even when some of the murderers are brought to trial the locals neither cared enough about the Chinese victims or the horrible way they were killed. The accused were acquitted.

I found Deep Creek to be a gripping historical novel that made for a compelling and challenging read. Although in real life no one was ever charged with this mass murder, the authors have delivered a complex, interesting story that serves to illuminate many of the prejudices and deeply rooted racism that the Chinese faced when they came to America seeking a new way of life.

Jan 14, 12:44pm Top

>157 DeltaQueen50: That sounds interesting, thanks for the review.

Jan 14, 4:57pm Top

>157 DeltaQueen50: I wondered if that book was good. I don't remember if I added it to a wish list or not. I read a synopsis when it was due for publication.

Jan 14, 5:46pm Top

>156 DeltaQueen50: I really need to reread this series before the sixth (and final) book comes out, Return of the Thief. Can't wait to see how it all ends!

Jan 14, 6:57pm Top

>156 DeltaQueen50: The names make it sound very Greek-inspired. Is it?

Jan 15, 1:00am Top

>158 japaul22: I found Deep Creek to be very interesting and I enjoyed the novel the authors developed from this real life massacre.

>159 thornton37814: Lori, Deep Creek was brought to my attention by my library who post on-line a monthly review sheet for different genres. They rated this one highly and it caught my attention.

>160 christina_reads: I have been trying not to read this series too quickly as i hate to be in a position where I am waiting for the next book. But it really is a good one.

>161 Robertgreaves: Robert, I am pretty sure that the author has been inspired by ancient Greece. The three tiny kingdoms share a penninsula, the religion, customs, food and costumes appear to be inspired by Greece, and of course their names. The large threatening empire could certainly be mistaken for Persia as well.

Jan 15, 9:22am Top

>156 DeltaQueen50: I need to get back to that series this year. I have only read the first book but I have two and three sitting on my shelf.

Edited: Jan 15, 11:07am Top

>163 ChelleBearss: For me, Chelle, the first book has been the weakest one, I thought the series improved with each book thereafter as the author developed the plot and characters.

Jan 15, 11:22am Top

10. American War by Omar El Akkad - 3.8 ★
Category: Doing My ABCs
January AlphaKit: A
January SFFFKit: Meant to Read in 2018
2019 PopSugar Challenge: A "Cli-Fi" Book
January TIOLI #11: A Title Word Starts With the Same Letter As Does One of the Author's Names

American War by Omar El Akkad is a distopian novel that tackles some of today’s issues such as displaced people, climate change and the great political divide that seems to be getting greater all the time. Set in the late 21st century, this is also a novel about terrorism and the birth of a terrorist.

Young Sara Chestnut grows up in a metal container by the Mississippi River in Louisiana. This is a far different America from today’s, as flooding and rising oceans have changed the landscape. A handful of southern states have rebelled and are attempting to secede from the union which has set off a second civil war. Sara parents want to emigrate north, where it is safer and the job opportunities are better, but her father is killed in a suicide bombing so Sara’s mother moves the family which consists of Sara, her twin sister Dana and her brother Simon to a refugee camp. It is here that the seeds are planted by both a groomer and the continual violence and reprisals that turn Sara into Sarat, a terrorist, with a fierce determination to retaliate against the Blues for the damage they have done to her and her family.

With it’s red states versus blue states, displaced people that are contained behind walls and ignorant politicians than only care about themselves, the obvious purpose of the author is to show what the future could bring to America if they continue to travel down the road they are currently on. I admit to feeling uncomfortable with the bleak picture that he paints, and felt that he was a little too obvious in his stance. While American War was a very good read, I felt the author could have explored Sarat’s character with more depth. One thing that totally stood out was that Sarat was a child of mixed race and the race issue was never touched upon at all. I was left feeling that perhaps the author cared more about getting his agenda across than developing the story.

Jan 15, 3:40pm Top

Interesting review of American War. I have a copy on my tbr.

Jan 15, 9:59pm Top

>165 DeltaQueen50: I need to get to that this year.

Edited: Jan 16, 12:04pm Top

>166 RidgewayGirl: & >167 BLBera: I will be looking forward to reading the comments that both of you post about this book. The author is a Canadian-Egyptian journalist and I think he was trying to show that conditions that are occuring all over the world today in the area of displaced people and civil wars could happen here in North America especially when one particular resident of the White House constantly spouts rhetoric and promotes the divide.

Edited: Jan 24, 4:22pm Top

11. At The Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper - 3.6 ★
Category: Let's Eat!
January Reading Through Time: Survival
BingoDog: Title Contains 6 or More Words
January TIOLI #10: The Plot Involves Sisters

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum is a YA historical novel about two sisters living in London in 1665, the year that the Great Plague wiped out more than a third of the city’s population. Hannah is a recent arrival, come to help her sister Sarah in her sweet-shop. Even as the sisters start to hear rumors of a spreading sickness, she is excited to be in the city and enjoys her outings to discover the city as well as her blossoming friendship with Tom, the local apothecary's assistant.

As the summer heat mounts so too do the deaths, but by this time it is impossible to leave London unless one is rich. Hannah and Sarah stay healthy but all around them friends and neighbours fall victim to the disease. Being a YA story, the author manages to give these two likeable characters a hopeful ending as they become involved with trying to rescue a small baby from a house of death.

It was obvious that the author did a lot of research as she included a lot of details about food and clothing and was able to convey the atmosphere of fear, suspicion and horror that Londoners felt. No one knew that the disease is carried by the fleas on rats so many different preventatives were used, the sisters even developed a line of sweets to sell as medicinal aides. My only quibble with this story is the very abrupt ending. I felt there was still a lot of story yet to be told.

Jan 16, 5:11pm Top

I would never have expected a story about the plague from the title and cover. Thanks for the interesting review.

Edited: Jan 17, 11:33am Top

>170 mstrust: I actually really dislike that cover, Jennifer. Not only that it doesn't reflect the book at all, but the main characters are 17 and 20 years of age, the woman on this cover looks far older. Blech!

Jan 16, 10:13pm Top

Stopping by to get caught up with books and everything else. ;-)

Jan 17, 1:22am Top

>169 DeltaQueen50: As I believe I've mentioned before, I'm a little iffy on YA - but I love a good plague book. My library system has got it, so I may give At the Sign of the Sugared Plum a try. Thanks, Judy!

Jan 17, 10:03am Top

>169 DeltaQueen50: There is also a sequel, Petals in the Ashes, about the Great Fire of London.

Jan 17, 10:15am Top

>141 DeltaQueen50: I should really read that one.

Edited: Jan 17, 11:39am Top

>172 lkernagh: Hi Lori!

>173 Dejah_Thoris: Dejah, I thought the details included about the plague was very well done, but I did think the story was a little to simple and could have been filled out a little more.

>174 JayneCM: Aha! That somewhat explains the abrupt ending. I thought it read like there could possibly be a sequel. Not sure if I will actively hunt this one down, but if I happen to stumble across it, I would read it.

>175 The_Hibernator: It's a good story, Rachel, and it's also on the short side - somewhere around 220 pages, I believe.

Jan 17, 7:17pm Top

12. Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri - 4.0 ★
Category: Series
January SeriesCat: Series in Translation
BingoDog: Translated Book
January TIOLI #18: Author Has At Least One Set of Double Letters in His Name

In this fifth outing of the Inspector Montalbano series, the Inspector is investigating the murder of a young man at the doorway of his apartment building and the disappearance of an elderly couple, who happen to live in the same apartment building as the first victim. The elderly couple appear to have gone missing while on a tourist excursion to the ancient site of Tindari and while this incident seems unrelated to the other murder, Montalbano has concerns that they could be connected. He and his crew painstakingly put the pieces together and uncover an evil conspiracy that involves not only prominent citizens but also the mafia.

As with all Montalbano stories the reader must hold on tight and go with the twists and turns that the author takes you on. The use of sardonic humor along with the Inspectors internal musings and dishes of Sicilian food that are guaranteed to make the mouth water make these books a joy to read. The author captures the essence of Sicily in these farcical, witty and intriguing books.

Jan 18, 11:26am Top

Nice review, Judy. You are reminding me that I need to get back to that series - I am ready for The Voice of the Violin, I believe.

Here's hoping your Friday is full of fabulous!

Jan 18, 11:52am Top

>178 Crazymamie: And a fabulous Friday to you as well, Mamie. I enjoy the Montlbano series, although he isn't the most likeable of men, I love the sarcastic humor and the descriptions of all things Scilian - especially the food!

Jan 18, 12:44pm Top

Okay, I was wrong about which book I am ready for - I am right where you're at. Ha! So true that the main character is not so likeable. I had high hopes after Voice of the Violin, which is probably why that title stuck in my head.

Jan 18, 10:05pm Top

Dropping by to get caught up, lots of interesting reviews here Judy. I like the sound of American War, an exploration of those themes would be interesting but an obvious stance from the author may make me hesitate.

Jan 19, 7:32pm Top

>169 DeltaQueen50: Count me also among the people intrigued by a well-researched YA plague book! I find historical fiction very engaging...

Jan 20, 11:17am Top

>164 DeltaQueen50: You inspired me and I finished the second and am working on the third. I didn't realize that there were many more and I think the 6th one is due out any time now

>177 DeltaQueen50: I am waiting for the newest one to be published soon!

Jan 20, 11:29am Top

>177 DeltaQueen50: I have put the 1st book of that series on my wish list--but I need to finish 2 series that I'm midway through before starting another!

Jan 20, 12:59pm Top

>180 Crazymamie: With the number of series that I am reading I won't get to the next Montalbano book until next year! One of my goals this year to to pay more attention to the series that I am reading and try to finish some off or at least get caught up - if possible.

>181 SouthernKiwi: American War is a well written book, Alana, I think it is well worth a read.

>182 pammab: In At The Sign of the Sugared Plum the author certainly lays out the timeline of how the plague took hold in London during that hot summer of 1665. I am a historical fiction fan as well and the Restoration Period of Charles II is one of my favorite times to read about.

>183 ChelleBearss: I was surprised at how many books were in this series as well, Chelle. I thought it was a trilogy - but then it just kept growing! You are way ahead of me with the Camilleri series. I think Excursion to Tindari is the fifth in a series that has over 20 books.

>184 tess_schoolmarm: I admire your control, Tess. I keep adding new series and now I am having a tough time getting to all of them!

Edited: Jan 24, 4:23pm Top

13. The Profession of Violence by John Pearson - 3.7 ★
Category: Non-fiction
BingoDog: A Book About Siblings
January TIOLI #11: A Title Word Begins With the Same Letter As One of the Author's Name

The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins by John Pearson is a factual recounting of the lives of the Kray brothers, twins Reggie and Ronnie. This famous duo were not criminal master-minds with a great intelligence but psychopathic thugs using violence and fear to control others. They successfully used brutality and terror to swindle and exhort in order to build an empire of organized crime in London during the 1950s and 60s.

The Brothers had the special bond of being identical twins, although most people found Reggie the more charming of the two, Ronnie appeared to be the more dominant twin. Ronnie had been certified insane during one of his stays in prison, but Reggie still chose to support and follow him in most things. They were doomed to disaster as their antics got more and more violent and witnesses grew more determined to come forward. When the intelligent Inspector Nipper Read was put on their case, these two were finally brought to justice.

The author used a flat, matter-of-fact tone to tell this story, I suspect he was trying not to glorify the subject matter, but, for me, this deadpan delivery took away from the intricate and fascinating story, giving it the flavor of a newspaper report. I read a lot of British crime stories and the Kray Brothers have come into my reading many times either directly or by reference, so I was pleased to have been able to read such a factual account of their lives.

Jan 20, 1:30pm Top

I'll take a book bullet on The Tomorrow Series; since I've been making some progress on series, why not add more?

Jan 20, 1:46pm Top

>187 LisaMorr: I hope you enjoy the series, Lisa.

Jan 20, 2:03pm Top

>186 DeltaQueen50: The delivery might have been flat, but that cover is excellent ;)

Jan 20, 2:26pm Top

>189 rabbitprincess: Good eye, RP! I believe that is the movie-tie-in cover with actor Tom Hardy who played both twins in the film. :)

Jan 20, 5:44pm Top

You got me with Deep Creek, Judy. You seem to be shooting out the BBs all over your thread! I hope you are enjoying this sunny Sunday.

Jan 20, 5:50pm Top

Ha, posted before I saw your take on the book about the Krays. I appreciated the factual account about the twins because I had heard about them and wanted to know the real story. They were pretty scary.

Jan 21, 11:27am Top

>191 Familyhistorian: >192 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. I really liked Deep Creek both for the good writing and the interesting story. I had read so much fiction about the Krays that it was good to read the real story of these men. Although Reggie appeared to have some brains and business sense, I was expecting them to be far more polished and intelligent than they were.

Edited: Jan 21, 11:49am Top

14. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn - 3.7 ★
Category: Doing My ABCs
January AlphaKit: Q
January TIOLI #7: Rolling Challenge by Alphabetical Female Authors

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn opens in 1947 as Americans Charlie St. Clair and her mother arrive in England on their way to Switzerland. Charlie is being taken to a clinic to have an abortion. But Charlie has other ideas and slips away from her socialite mother on a quest to discover what happened to her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared during World War II. Her first step leads her to the home of Eve Gardiner, an older woman who may have information about Rose to share with Charlie.

The story is launched as Charlie, Eve and Finn, the chauffeur, head off to France to trace Rose. Eve has her own reasons for helping Charlie and the story now divides into two times lines, one follows the past as Eve is recruited to be a spy during World War I. She is sent to German occupied territory as part of a female network of spies, working undercover as a waitress while gathering information to pass along to the allies. The other storyline follows Charlie’s mission to find her cousin. These dual storylines, eventually blend into one and there is plenty of romance, adventure and suspense along the way.

The Alice Network was a great escape read even though I thought the book was little over-long, slightly repetitive at times and relied on considerable coincidences to move the plot forward. I definitely preferred the story of Eve during WW I as it was both intense and interesting. I had a little difficulty with the 1947 story as it was not easy to have a lot of sympathy for Charlie at the beginning of the story but she did mature and develop nicely by the end of the book and I did enjoy the relationship between the three main characters are they journeyed from one end of France to another.

Jan 21, 3:33pm Top

>194 DeltaQueen50: - Great review. That was one of my Boxing Day ebook purchases, so happy to know that it is a decent read.

Jan 21, 7:23pm Top

>194 DeltaQueen50: - I see that we had similar thoughts on this one. I'm not sure what they should have cut out but about two thirds through I was starting to wonder when it would actually end. Loved the characters though and did find it a nice way to escape.

Jan 21, 7:43pm Top

Hi Judy! It took me awhile, but I've found you! Good luck with your 2019 challenges. See you in TIOLI!!

Jan 21, 9:03pm Top

Ditto for me, Judy. Glad I found you! I love that Montalbano series.

Jan 21, 9:32pm Top

>195 lkernagh: I hope you enjoy it when you get to it, Lori.

>196 LittleTaiko: I sort of had a love/hate relationship with The Alice Network although I agree, I don't know what should have been cut, and I liked how everything came together at the end of the book.

>197 Carmenere: Welcome Lynda, and yes, I will definitely see you at the TIOLI Challenges!

>198 jnwelch: Welcome, Joe, pull up a comfy chair and settle in.

Edited: Jan 22, 5:41pm Top

15. The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin - 5.0 ★
Category: Book Bullets
2019 PopSugar Challenge: Should Be Made Into A Movie
January TIOLI #7: Rolling Challenge by Alphabetical Female Authors

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin is the story of a teenage boy who is desperately trying to save himself and his younger sisters from his very disturbed and dangerous mother. This is an intense and riveting story that I couldn’t put down, I was in turns horrified and disgusted that this mother of three was able to get away with how she treated her children. Her sister reveals at one point that Nikki, the mother, was an extremely difficult child who was always lying and having tantrums which makes me believe she had a lifelong mental problem that was never diagnosed.

This is a heartbreaking story as Matthew relates how their mother’s abusive behavior was overlooked by many as she never beat them or sexually molested them. Instead the children had to deal with her manic behavior, mood swings, and reckless endangerment. This is a portrait of a family in crisis that certainly stirs the emotions.

The Rules of Survival is told in the form of a letter that an older Matthew writes to his youngest sister, Emmy, but it is also a way for him to look back on events that shaped his life and help him to both heal and understand who he is. Although this book is labelled as YA, the story is powerful and haunting as it deals with a very adult subject matter. The author totally pinpoints the impact that an untreated mental illness can have.

Jan 22, 8:52pm Top

Edited: Jan 22, 9:22pm Top

>201 lkernagh: That's good as it was a BB for me from Kerry (avatiakh) as well! :)

Jan 23, 1:00am Top

Another BB for me - I guess a ricochet?

Jan 23, 5:29pm Top

>203 LisaMorr: Most definitely a ricochet! I have high hopes for my Book Bullet Category based on my first book, The Rules of Survival!

Jan 23, 5:32pm Top

My husband and I went out today and did some shopping, mostly at Costco and had the oil changed on the car. I did pick up one book at Costco called The Gown by Jennifer Robson, a historical fiction book built around Queen, then Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown.

Jan 23, 6:06pm Top

>193 DeltaQueen50: I thought that the Krays would be more like crime masterminds, Judy. But it seemed that was not the case.

Great review of The Alice Network you make it sounds interesting but not 100% captivating. lol. It is on my shelves and I am more likely to get to it sooner and, from the sounds of it, not feel bad about parting with it when I am done.

Jan 23, 8:34pm Top

>206 Familyhistorian: I admit that I was surprised that the Kray Brothers didn't have more finesse and more intelligence. Many of the books that I have read that have included characters who, although disguised, are meant to be the Krays have portrayed them as the evil kingpins not the guys who actually went out and thrashed people. As for The Alice Network, you've nailed my feelings about the book.

Jan 23, 8:44pm Top

16. The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien - 4.2 ★
Category: 1,001 Books List
January 1,001 Books List Challenge Read
TIOLI #7: Rolling Challenge by Alphabetical Female Authors

The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien is a semi-autobiographical story of a young girl growing up in 1960’s Ireland. Caithleen Brady is the child of a violent drunkard father and a long-suffering mother. She is raised in poverty with their farm slowly being run into the ground. She is close to two females, her mother and her friend Baba. Tragically she is about to lose her mother and her friend is really jealous and mean spirited, often making herself feel better at Caithleen's expense.

The two girls go to convent school together, although much of the time they are at odds. Caithleen is naive, a romantic dreamer while Baba is a realist, one who always looks out for herself. The girls eventually arrange to have themselves expelled and they then go to Dublin where Caithleen works in a market and Baba attends secretarial school. Baba wants freedom, to live the single party life while Caithleen, in her search for stability and love, gets involved with an older married man from her village. When each girl’s lifestyle falls apart, they must now learn to rely upon themselves.

The Country Girls is the first novel of Edna O’Brien and my first read by this author. I loved the story, although my own upbringing was very different, I found I could identify with Caithleen at times. Although written in straight-forward prose and an easy read, there is a lot going on underneath the simple language. Ireland of the 1960s was tightly controlled by the Catholic Church and it’s male dominated society. Women had very little freedom of choice, they were expected to marry or become nuns. This book touches on many subjects like alcohol abuse, repression of women and the hypocrisy of religion which caused quite an uproar when it was first published. Personally, I was totally engaged by this deceptively simple, quiet, coming-of-age story.

Jan 23, 9:37pm Top

Hi, Judy. Just dropping by to see what you've been reading and to say hi. Are you fully settled into your apartment lifestyle now?

Jan 23, 9:43pm Top

>186 DeltaQueen50: Glad you found the Krays an interesting read. I keep coming across books about them but although I was just a kid, I remember when they were in the news every day (I don't think my parents realized how much attention I paid to the news) and I've never been tempted to try one. Although most often they seem to appear in novels. Still, they remind me of that time, like a bad dream.

>208 DeltaQueen50: Now this one is much more to my taste. Nice review! I'm adding it to my wishlist.

Jan 24, 3:57am Top

>208 DeltaQueen50: The Country Girls sounds good - I look forward to when I get to that particular 1001 book.

Jan 24, 2:42pm Top

I'm glad you liked The Country Girls, it's such an interesting story of Ireland in the 60's. I agree with your "deceptively simple and quiet". I've read the first two in the trilogy.

Jan 24, 5:22pm Top

>209 ronincats: Roni, we were just saying how it's just about a year ago that we moved into the apartment and we are still loving it. I thought both of us would miss the house more but neither of us does. I guess we were ready for a change.

>210 VivienneR: Vivienne, I read a lot of British crime stories so I am glad that I finally read about these brothers who have influenced many a British author. I think you will enjoy The Country Girls.

>211 LisaMorr: Lisa, I've been lucky that both of my last two 1,001 reads have been good ones.

>212 mstrust: Jennifer, I went looking to see if the next two books were available for the Kindle and they don't seem to be, so I will have watch for them in second hand book stores both in RL and on-line.

Jan 24, 6:31pm Top

>208 DeltaQueen50: Eleanor Wachtel interviewed Edna O'Brien on CBC's Writers and Company last year and I've wanted to read The Country Girls since then. The content was shocking in its day.

Jan 24, 10:53pm Top

>208 DeltaQueen50: I'm hoping to read more from the 1001 list this year, and this sounds like a good candidate. Thanks for the BB.

Jan 24, 11:17pm Top

>208 DeltaQueen50: Thanks for the review--I sometimes have a difficult time finding something interesting from 1001 book list--but I will add this one.

Jan 25, 12:00pm Top

>214 bkinetic: Edna O'Brien also titled her memoirs "Country Girl" and I would love to read that as well, brought up in Ireland then living in London during the 1960's, she rubbed shoulders with many of the day's celebrities like the Beatles and I would love to read her take on all of that.

>215 mathgirl40: I am constantly on the prowl for accessible books from the 1,001 list, I've had some fabulous reads from there, but I've also had a few that I really struggled with as well.

>216 tess_schoolmarm: I hope you enjoy The Country Girls when you get to it, Tess.

Edited: Jan 25, 12:23pm Top

17. City by Clifford D. Simak - 3.4
Category: Science Fiction
BingoDog; A Book Mentioned in Another Book That I Have Read
January RandomCat: Your Name in Print
January TIOLI #18: Author's Name Has At Least One Set of Double Letters

City by Clifford D. Simak is a collection of science fiction stories that were originally published separately between 1944 and 1951, along with brief notes on each of the stories. These notes were written in order to link the stories into one novel. In 1973, a further story called “Epilog” was written and later added.

These stories are progressive and tell of a world where humans have developed technology to a point where society becomes more and more isolated until eventually mankind simply dies out because of loneliness and isolation. A different life-form then rises to become the dominant species and in this story that species is a pacifist society of dogs. Thousand of years pass by and the dogs are now dealing with another rising species, ants. While humans would have been quick to eliminate this threat, dogs do not believe in killing for any reason and so they must come up with a different solution.

I took two meanings from these stories, first, I felt Simak was showing his concern over mankind’s every increasing need for technological progress, fearing it would carry mankind to a point where we no longer needed to interact with one another. Secondly, these stories show his feeling that humans are unable to live at peace, not only among themselves but with any other species as well. City is a serious social commentary that was quite visionary for it’s time, but I never quite swallowed his premise and found the book quite dated.

Jan 25, 2:20pm Top

>218 DeltaQueen50: I guess it's hardly surprising that stories written 70 years ago about technology would feel dated but I'm glad that there was enough there for you to give it an above average rating. After I'd read Way Station I picked up a mini collection of his books and this one was one of them. This was probably the one I was going to read next of his works.

Jan 25, 2:55pm Top

>219 AHS-Wolfy: I did the very same, Dave! I read Way Station and was so intrigued by this author that I picked up a couple more of his books. I still have All Flesh Is Grass to read. I am enjoying discovering these early writers of Sci-Fi.

Edited: Jan 25, 4:57pm Top

Hi, Judy. I loved Simak's City, and had my wife and son read it. Some time later they mentioned enjoying "that book with the ants". It took me a while to figure out what they were talking about. I think of it as that book with the dogs!

It was the first one for me, and then I read the very good Way Station. I haven't read any others of his.

Jan 25, 7:46pm Top

I read The Country Girls a long time ago but never got around to the rest of the trilogy. I didn't know she had written a memoir, checked my library and they have it so I'll put it on my list.

Jan 26, 11:59am Top

>221 jnwelch: Joe, I am pretty sure I will remember the dogs much longer than the ants.

>222 clue: You reminded me that I hadn't checked my library for Edna O'Brien's memoir and, yes, they have it, so I will be reading it as well eventually.

Jan 27, 12:18am Top

>221 jnwelch: and >223 DeltaQueen50: - Okay, the comment about enjoying "that book with the ants" caught my eye, only to be further intrigued by "I am pretty sure I will remember the dogs much longer than the ants.". ;-)

Jan 27, 12:12pm Top

>208 DeltaQueen50: I read my first by her last year, understated was my description. I hadn't reaslised she was on the 1001 list. Must get around to looking those out.

Jan 27, 2:29pm Top

>165 DeltaQueen50:

My husband recently read American War and loved it. I'm not sure it's for me, just because I'm pretty much done with dystopian books & films, but maybe one day ....

Jan 27, 2:58pm Top

I'm thinning I might pick up City sometime this year. The conversation about it sounds intriguing.

Jan 27, 4:00pm Top

Hi Judy. I bought The Alice Network a while ago and have it sitting on the shelf. I really enjoyed Kate Quinn's Rome series and wasn't quite sure how I would like this one once I got my hands on it. I guess I will get to it eventually.

Jan 27, 9:41pm Top

I have had a difficult day as my oven decided it wasn't working about 5 minutes after I had put in a chocolate cake. I think it has to be the thermostat as it warms up and says it is at 350 degrees but I think it just keeps getting hotter. My cake ended up having a black, scorched top while the underneath part was barely done - and this only took about 10 mins. Once the oven starts to heat up, it locks itself and I had a heck of a time trying to get it to turn off and open. Just to double check I put some pecans in the oven later to toast and they burnt almost black in 3 mins. Guess I need to call the repair man!

Other than struggling with my oven, I also caught up on my laundry today and finished off a book (review to follow). January has been an excellent reading month in terms of quantity. The quality has been pretty good as well with a couple of 5 stars being placed.

>224 lkernagh: Yes, both dogs and ants, Lori, are in City. If you enjoy old-school sci-fi, this one is a gem.

>225 Helenliz: Not sure if my count is totally accurate, but I think Edna O'Brien has 4 books on the 1,001 list, Helen.

>226 Nickelini: Joyce, I saw someone on TV the other night saying that the Red/Blue separation in the States wasn't caused by Donald Trump - it was already there, he has just accelerated it. This person felt that the red and blue sides will not be able to work together in the future and this could lead to a separation. This kind of talk makes me think of American War as that seemed to be exactly what the author was saying.

>227 hailelib: I hope you enjoy City when you get to it, Trisha.

>228 Roro8: I did enjoy The Alice Network and it seems to get rave reviews, I tend to read two books at a time, and I know the other book I was reading with The Alice Network was The Rules of Survival which was a 5 star read, so Alice may have suffered because I loved "Rules" so much!

Jan 27, 9:49pm Top

18. The Yard Dog by Sheldon Russell - 3.4 ★
Category: Crime Stories
TIOLI #3: Animal in Title That Isn't A Real Animal

The Yard Dog by Sheldon Russell is a historical mystery that is set in Oklahoma during the 1940s. The main character is Hook Runyon, a one-armed railroad agent, also known as the yard dog, hired to run off hobos, arrest trespassers and generally keep things running smoothly. The war in Europe is on-going and this small corner of Oklahoma is also host to a German Prisoner of War Camp.

When a local homeless man turns up dead, Hook is told to write it off as an accident, but Hook is determined to uncover what did actually did happen. Along the way he uncovers a black market scheme that involves both German prisoners and American Army personnel, but as he digs further he realizes that this is a much bigger conspiracy than he originally thought. He is assisted in his investigation by a local man who works at the POW camp and a newcomer to the area, Dr. Reina Kaplan who has been sent to help re-educate the Germans.

I found the story very interesting but much more for the historical information than the mystery which seemed like an afterthought. With so many men away fighting, the locals are living very much hand to mouth and there is both fear of the German prisoners and high resentment for the good food and care that they receive. This is the first book in an on-going series that I probably won’t be continuing on with as I am not sure there is enough here to sustain a series.

Jan 27, 9:52pm Top

>229 DeltaQueen50: One of my friends had that problem with her oven! I can't remember what she did to fix it, though -- I can ask her if you like!

Jan 27, 10:58pm Top

In the group read of These Truths, Judy, it looks like these divisions have been there since the founding of the country. Sad.

Jan 28, 9:50am Top

>230 DeltaQueen50: That ones sounds interesting. Looks like my local library has it in print but not in e-book, so I'll have to do it when I've got time to make multiple trips into a library building whose design I hate!

Jan 28, 10:57am Top

>229 DeltaQueen50: That's really frustrating! I hope the repair is quick and inexpensive.

Jan 28, 11:48am Top

I hope you're oven is repaired quickly. A ruined chocolate cake is no laughing matter.

Edited: Jan 28, 2:17pm Top

>231 rabbitprincess: I have the repair man coming tomorrow morning, RP. I hope it is an easy and quick fix.

>232 ronincats: Roni, I think these differences can make a country stronger, if balance and understanding come into play. I think the U.S. will be able to do that once they have a president that understands that once he is elected, he is there to represent all the people.

>233 thornton37814: My library building is very "plain jane" Lori, I loved the Carnegie libraries that I went to as a child - much more ornate but unfortunately these older buildings are usually too small for todays usage and have been replaced over the years. I use my computer at home and order up my desired books and then just pop in and pick them up when they are ready.

>234 RidgewayGirl: Got my fingers crossed, Kay!

>235 mstrust: Jennifer, those were exactly my husband's words! He might get lucky though as I can probably slice off the burned top and make a trifle out of the remains.

Jan 28, 3:00pm Top

>236 DeltaQueen50: There is no such thing as popping in quick at ours because of the convoluted way you have to enter the building.

Jan 28, 9:27pm Top

>237 thornton37814: Oh that's too bad, luckily my library is very accessible so I can either walk over there or park outside. The pre-ordered books are set up on a set of shelves right beside the self operated check-out machine so I can slip in and out in a matter of minutes.

Jan 28, 9:32pm Top

After the shock of the cost for a replacement part on my stove, I promised myself a new stove instead of another repair. Now I'm just waiting for the darn thing to develop another problem.

Sorry about the chocolate cake. :(

Jan 28, 9:35pm Top

19. The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks - 4.2 ★
Category: Out of the Past
TIOLI #18: Author Has At Least One Set of Double Letters in Her Name

I always look forward to reading a book by author Geraldine Brooks, and The Secret Chord was another story where this author breathed life into history by telling an ancient biblical legend, the story of David. Told through the eyes of his profit, Natan, we see a young shepherd’s boy rise to be the chosen one of God. He has style, charisma and a savvy knowledge of people and their desires. He is able to gather men to him, bind the various tribes and city states of Judah together into the country of Israel.

Unfortunately David’s downfall turns out to be his family. He had been an unloved child of a drunkard, so when he had sons of own from his various wives, he pampered them and allowed no one to cross them. This in turn yielded a group of princes who were spoiled and jealous of one another. Like many great men, David could not see the weaknesses in his sons and this in turn lead to fratricide, treason and betrayal.

This story of a magnetic yet flawed warrior king is exciting, interesting and a very good read given the author’s restraints of having to follow what the bible has laid out as key points in David’s life. The Secret Chord served to remind me why I remain a huge fan of both historical fiction in general and Geraldine Brooks in particular.

Jan 29, 7:24am Top

I'm a big fan too and have this on my TBR patiently waiting. Have to see if I can fit it in this year.

Jan 29, 8:03am Top

>240 DeltaQueen50: I love Geraldine Brooks--this will go on my wish list!

Jan 29, 4:15pm Top

>239 VivienneR: It looks like a new oven for us as the cost of fixing the store would be very pricey. The fellow has put in an order for a new wall oven and it will probably be installed early next week. Now I have to plan all my meals to be cooked on the stovetop or in the crockpot for the next little while. Tonight, we are going out.

>241 dudes22: I had The Secret Chord on my TBR for quite some time as well but it was worth the wait. :)

>242 tess_schoolmarm: I was just thinking, The Secret Chord was published in 2015 so, hopefully, she will soon have a new book out.

Jan 31, 9:46pm Top

Since I have finished the books that I wanted to read for January I will take this opportunity to open a new thread so I can start fresh in February.

Feb 1, 2:34am Top

>240 DeltaQueen50: Geraldine Brooks never disappoints! I have had this one on my list for ages, really need to get to it.

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