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Lori's (thornton37814) 2019 Classic Bands Challenge

2019 Category Challenge

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Edited: Nov 22, 2018, 5:48pm Top

My 2019 reading plan involves a lot of reading from my own bookshelves, from e-books I've purchased or downloaded and not read, from my TBR list, and from the professional journals piling up.

I chose classic bands--mostly from the 1960s and 1970s with a few from the 1980s thrown in--to be categories for my theme. I chose twenty bands--fifteen for book categories, four for articles, and one for abandoned books. I am not setting specific targets for the number of books or articles in each category.

I will keep separate totals for books and articles. I think including articles in the reading plan will help me cut down on my reading backlog. The time I spend reading and studying many of these also can be included in my genealogy education plan for my Association of Professional Genealogists membership.

My categories are:
1. The Police - Police procedurals and true crime. I love the British mysteries featuring DCIs, etc., so I suspect this category will see quite a few books.
2. The Who - Other mysteries (cozies, private investigators, thrillers, etc.). Since mystery is my favorite genre, this one will see quite a bit of action, especially from series I wish to continue.
3. Herman's Hermits - Historical fiction. I read a lot of historical mysteries which could be included here or in one of the above categories, but I also enjoy fiction set in different times and places. Several Holocaust stories have captured my attention. Earlier today another genealogist posted a link to a two-volume fiction series based on the Northkill Amish which is important to my own family history. I expect I'll read several volumes that fit here.
4. Beatles - Literary Classics. A little Shakespeare? Dickens? Alcott? Hawthorne? etc.
5. Foreigner - Fiction with a non-US, non-UK, or non-Canadian setting. I'm not eliminating all English-speaking countries or the Caribbean from this one. I'm just trying to diversify my settings a bit.
6. Beach Boys - Miscellaneous Fiction. Some of these will be classic "beach read" type books. This is basically a "catch-all" fiction category.
7. New Kids on the Block - Children's & Young Adult (YA) Books. I'm certain this category will see lots of action at certain times of the year. I may also place some children's and YA books in other categories.
8. Air Supply - Poetry. I've got a couple of larger poetry collections I want to read, but I've found I really enjoy reading poetry. I'm giving it its own category so I'll read more!
9. Four Seasons - Nature/Weather/Gardening Books. Although this is primarily a non-fiction category, I might include a fiction book where some of these topics play a major role.
10. Bread - Food and Cooking. I have lots of cookbooks, books on food habit, and books on culinary history unread. It's time to knock a few of these out! Most of the cookbooks were at least glanced at, but it's time to pay more attention to them and review them.
11. Temptations - Religion. I suspect most of the books I read will be related to Christianity or Judaism. The books do not necessarily need to be theological in nature or on the history of religions. I suspect some of these will be books on "Christian life" or devotional in nature.
12. America - History. It probably seems a bit strange to make "America" the category for a book which is almost certain to include a fair amount of European history as well as American history, but it's the band I chose for the category.
13. Journey - Travel. I enjoy well-written travel narratives. However, I'm using the "travel" term in a broader sense, so if I think it fits, it probably goes here.
14. Mamas & the Papas - Genealogy. These will mostly be books on genealogy as a profession, using certain types of records, and other books marketed primarily to the genealogical community. However, I may include some other things I'm reading primarily because of my genealogical interest. Think of this as my "professional development" category.
15. Eagles - Other Non-Fiction. This is the catch-all category for non-fiction. I used Eagles because a book on birds would fit here!
16. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) articles. I need to read these case studies that demonstrate problem-solving approaches. I suspect this will be the one with the most articles read of the categories dedicated to a specific journal.
17. Boston - New England Historic & Genealogical Register ("The Register") articles. Since NEHGS is headquartered in Boston, the category seems appropriate.
18. Chicago - The American Genealogist (TAG) articles. I don't have as large of stash of these, and the frequency isn't as great so this one will be a smaller than the previous two. TAG is not published in Chicago and really has more of a New England/Mid-Atlantic focus, but since Chicago is an American city, I used it.
19. Bee Gees - Other articles. Many of these will be articles I found through bibliographies, in databases, or through social media posts that capture my attention, are relevant for my research, or just need to be read. Most will be history or genealogy related.
20. 5th Dimension - Abandoned reads. Let's hope for a small number here!

Edited: Jan 20, 1:28pm Top

Category #1: The Police - Police Procedurals and True Crime

1. Glass Houses by Louise Penny - completed 4 Jan 2019
2. Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo - completed 20 Jan 2019

Edited: Jan 23, 9:31pm Top

Category #2: The Who - Other Mysteries

1. Plum Tea Crazy by Laura Childs - completed 15 Jan 2019
2. Book, Line, and Sinker by Jenn McKinlay - completed 17 Jan 2019
3. Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby - completed 18 Jan 2019
4. Nerve by Dick Francis - completed 23 Jan 2019

Edited: Feb 4, 9:44pm Top

Category #3: Herman's Hermits - Historical Fiction

1. As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner - completed 12 Jan 2019
2. Seneca Falls Inheritance by Miriam Grace Monfredo - completed 31 Jan 2019
3. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn - completed 4 Feb 2019

Edited: Feb 5, 7:39pm Top

Category #4: The Beatles - Literary Classics

1. The Chosen by Chaim Potok - completed 5 Jan 2019
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - completed 5 Feb 2019

Edited: Jan 4, 7:10pm Top

Category #5: Foreigner - Fiction with non-US, non-UK, or non-Canadian setting

1. The Dry by Jane Harper - completed 4 Jan 2019

Edited: Nov 22, 2018, 6:00pm Top

Category #6: Beach Boys - Miscellaneous Fiction


Edited: Feb 2, 9:54am Top

Category #7: New Kids on the Block - Children's and Young Adult (YA) Books

1. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote - completed 1 Jan 2019
2. The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson - completed 22 Jan 2019
3. My DNA Diary: All About YOU (Genetics for Kids) by Lisa Mullan; illustrated by Neil Chapman - completed 2 Feb 2019

Edited: Feb 2, 6:42pm Top

Category #8: Air Supply - Poetry

1. Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver - completed 2 Feb 2019

Edited: Jan 8, 9:04pm Top

Category #9: Four Seasons - Nature/Weather/Gardening

1. The Outrun by Amy Liptrot - completed 8 Jan 2019

Edited: Nov 22, 2018, 6:06pm Top

Category #10: Bread - Food and Cooking


Edited: Jan 24, 1:07pm Top

Category #11: The Temptations - Religion

1. 365 Meditations from George MacDonald's Fiction by George MacDonald; edited by David Scott Wilson-Okamura - completed 6 Jan 2019
2. Breaking Free: Discover the Victory of Total Surrender by Beth Moore - completed 11 Jan 2019
3. Eight Lights: The Story of Chanukah by William F. Rosenblum and Robert J. Rosenblum; illustrated by Shraga Weil - completed 24 Jan 2019

Edited: Feb 5, 8:53pm Top

Category #12: America - History

1. The Shortest History of Germany by James Hawes - completed 10 Jan 2019
2. The Life of Charlemagne by Einhard; translated by Samuel Epes Turner - completed 24 Jan 2019
3. Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston; edited by Deborah G. Plant - completed 26 Jan 2019
4. The ABC's of Crime and Punishment in Puritan New England by Donna B. Gawell - completed 2 Feb 2019
5. The Scottish Borders (with Galloway) to 1603 by W. R. Kermack - completed 5 Feb 2019

Edited: Jan 8, 10:17pm Top

Category #14: The Mamas & the Papas - Genealogy

1. Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro - completed 8 Jan 2018

Edited: Nov 22, 2018, 6:12pm Top

Category #15: The Eagles - Other Non-Fiction


Edited: Jan 12, 8:28pm Top

Category #16: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) articles

1. Pam Prascer Andersen, "Indirectly Identifying Relatives of Michael Kerns of Blair County and Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania," NGSQ 105.2 (June 2017): 85-91. (7 pp.) - completed 2 Jan 2019
2. Claire E. Ammon, CG, “Parents for John Perkins (1788-1852) of Granby, Connecticut,” NGSQ 105.3 (September 2017): 219-228. (10 pp.) - completed 3 Jan 2019
3. Worth Shipley Anderson, JD, "John Stanfield 'as he is cald in this country': An Illegitimate Descent in Eastern Tennessee," NGSQ 106.2 (June 2018): 85-101. (17 pp.) - completed 8 Jan 2019
4. Harold A. Henderson, CG. "Fannie Fern Crandall and Her Three-Timing Darling Husband," NGSQ 106.1 (March 2018): 35-48. (14 pp.) - completed 12 Jan 2019

Edited: Jan 12, 8:38pm Top

Category #17: Boston - New England Historic and Genealogical Register ("The Register") articles

1. John M. Freund, “The Parents of Sarah Kelton, Wife of James Bowen of Rehoboth, Massachusetts,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register: The Journal of American Genealogy 171.681 (Winter 2017): 30-31. (2 pp.) - completed 6 Jan 2019
2. Nancy R. Stevens, “Amasa Coburn (1753-1815) of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register: The Journal of American Genealogy 171.681 (Winter 2017): 57-62. (6 pp.) - completed 6 Jan 2019

Edited: Jan 12, 9:16pm Top

Category #18: Chicago - The American Genealogist (TAG) articles

1. Sue Allan, Caleb Johnson, and Simon Neal, “The Origin of Mayflower Passenger Susanna (Jackson) (White) Winslow,” The American Genealogist 89.4 (October 2017): 241-264. (24 pp.) - completed 4 Jan 2019
2. Nathan W. Murphy, AG, FASG, "Captain Abraham Read and Emelia (Cary) (Read) Gressingham of Virginia and London: More on the Seafaring Kin of the Byrds of Westover, Virginia," The American Genealogist 89.4 (October 2017): 265-271. (7 pp.) - completed 12 Jan 2019

Edited: Nov 22, 2018, 6:17pm Top

Category #19: Bee Gees - Other articles.


Edited: Nov 22, 2018, 6:20pm Top

Abandoned Reads Category: 5th Dimension


The next thread is yours!

Nov 22, 2018, 8:09pm Top

What good looking boys!

Nov 22, 2018, 8:14pm Top

Kitties!!! :)

Great selection of bands and categories, and good idea to add categories for article reading -- it's reading too, after all. Have a great year!

Nov 22, 2018, 8:59pm Top

Hi Lori, I hope you are having a lovely Thanksgiving. I've dropped my star and I'm looking forward to following along.

Nov 22, 2018, 9:25pm Top

>22 RidgewayGirl: Aren't they handsome fellas?

>23 rabbitprincess: I think it will encourage me to tackle the backlog. I always have good intentions, but I don't do enough of it.

>24 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy! I've been looking forward to the categories since I first devised them in the summer. They just kind of "fell into place."

Nov 22, 2018, 9:25pm Top

Great categories; very creative!

Nov 22, 2018, 9:27pm Top

>26 tess_schoolmarm: Thanks! I think I'll like it better having more defined categories. I tried the rotation thing last year. It was okay, but it got boring after awhile. I think I'd be bored with monthly categories too, so I went back to standard ones with a twist by adding the articles.

Nov 22, 2018, 9:44pm Top

HI Lori - Looking forward to seeing your reading as always. I hope to set mine up this weekend.

Nov 23, 2018, 5:08am Top

Oh my, the boys have grown big! And your category pictures are a trip down memory lane, so much great music! Happy reading, Lori!

Nov 23, 2018, 10:19am Top

Your categories are so clever, I look forward to following along!

Nov 23, 2018, 1:57pm Top

>28 dudes22: It seemed a good time to do it. I had time to do so during my Thanksgiving break!

>29 MissWatson: I couldn't resist using the bands this time. I've used songs a couple of times over the years, but never the bands. It should be fun.

>30 clue: Thanks! I'm glad to have a few folks following me. I've marked some as I spot them, but sometimes I'm just quickly going through them and miss the ones I mean to mark, but I usually go through between Christmas and New Year's and begin adding the rest.

Nov 24, 2018, 6:36am Top

I love this setup! What a great idea!

Nov 24, 2018, 10:50am Top

>32 Jackie_K: Glad you enjoy the setup. I needed something that encouraged me to read things besides books! I think this one does the trick.

Nov 27, 2018, 11:02am Top

I love the bands theme! My parents have quite a few of those albums, and I grew up listening to them. My dad was partial to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (best name ever!) and my mom loved Herman's Hermits.

Nov 27, 2018, 4:00pm Top

I thought NGSQ got down to the "nitty gritty" of genealogy matters! I've been sitting on this theme since summer, and I continued to love it, so it's what my 2019 challenge became!

Nov 28, 2018, 5:02pm Top

How fun! I loved New Kids on the Block growing up - still do. :) Also, yea for the Bee Gee's!

Nov 28, 2018, 9:04pm Top

>36 LittleTaiko: The Bee Gees were probably my favorite in the 1970s.

Nov 30, 2018, 3:47pm Top

Very nice set up! Good luck with your 2019 reading!

Nov 30, 2018, 4:14pm Top

>38 LisaMorr: Thanks, Lisa!

Dec 2, 2018, 6:56pm Top

What a great music theme and, of course, love the kitties (although, they are big boys now, aren't they?)

Dec 3, 2018, 10:49am Top

>40 lkernagh: They are 3--still very playful. I love my boys!

Dec 4, 2018, 12:52pm Top

With your cats opening the thread, how could I resist? Then the great music to follow... I'll look forward to following your reading in 2019!

Dec 5, 2018, 3:38pm Top

>42 VivienneR: Thanks! I want to find a way to bring my fur boys with me to work. I miss them when I'm at work, and they are home.

Dec 5, 2018, 4:57pm Top

>43 thornton37814:, I freely admit that being with my cats and dog is the best part about working from home. In fact, they're probably the number-one reason I'll never go back to having a normal job lol!

Dec 5, 2018, 9:44pm Top

>44 whitewavedarling: I wish I could do without a "normal job." Maybe one of these days I can retire from the normal one and do genealogical research full-time.

Dec 13, 2018, 4:46pm Top

Fantastic idea for a challenge. Have a great reading year.

Dec 13, 2018, 10:34pm Top

>46 Zozette: Thanks. I hope it will be.

Dec 17, 2018, 12:59pm Top

Great theme! I'm a fan of The Who, especially their early stuff. Happy reading in 2019!

Dec 17, 2018, 4:08pm Top

>48 mstrust: Thanks. I think it will be a good year.

Dec 17, 2018, 5:35pm Top

I love your matching up of reading categories and bands! Maybe because I loved all those bands. Hope you enjoy all your reading in 2019!

Dec 17, 2018, 8:06pm Top

Really like your challenge setup. Looking forward to following your reading again, either here or in the 75 group.

Dec 18, 2018, 7:16pm Top

>50 jlshall: Thanks! I'd used songs as a theme before but never the bands!

>51 avatiakh: Thanks. I'll post in both so you can follow along in either or both!

Dec 24, 2018, 8:06pm Top

Love your categories, the bands and creativity!

Dec 24, 2018, 10:31pm Top

>53 countrylife: Thanks, Cindy!

Dec 25, 2018, 6:12pm Top

Merry Christmas to you and your gentlemen cats.

Dec 25, 2018, 11:33pm Top

Very creative categories. I'm definitely going to be keeping a watch on your Mamas and Papas categories. I'm very interested in genealogy too

Dec 26, 2018, 2:40pm Top

>55 RidgewayGirl: Thanks!

>56 CaitZ: I am certain I will enjoy that one. Many of the "history" books will probably be related to my genealogical interests as well.

Dec 26, 2018, 10:22pm Top

Your Challenge Categories are fabulous as always, Lori. I'll be particularly interested in the history and genealogy books you read - I'm trying to increase my nonfiction reading in 2019.

Dec 27, 2018, 5:26pm Top

>58 Dejah_Thoris: I think mine will increase too. That's where a lot of my backlog is at home.

Dec 31, 2018, 7:19am Top

Great idea! Good luck on your challenge and Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2018, 8:58am Top

>60 The_Hibernator: Thanks! It's almost time for the new year of reading! I began reading what will likely be my first full-length completion although I plan to read an article tomorrow as well!

Dec 31, 2018, 9:16am Top

Love the cats up at the top.

Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2018, 9:40am Top

>62 hailelib: My cats enjoy making appearances at the top of my threads and occasionally in other places too!

Dec 31, 2018, 1:19pm Top

That's the way CATs are, Happy New Years,

Dec 31, 2018, 2:41pm Top

Dec 31, 2018, 3:53pm Top

>64 Kristelh: >65 tess_schoolmarm: Thank you! Hope yours is great!

Dec 31, 2018, 5:10pm Top

Happy New Year, Lori! Looking forward to your reads again this year.

Dec 31, 2018, 6:36pm Top

Happy New Year, Lori! Wishing you and yours a happy and joyous 2019, filled with peace, love, and great books.

Dec 31, 2018, 6:40pm Top

>67 mysterymax: Thanks, Max! I'm behind on visiting the 2019 threads. Hopefully I can get a bit more caught up this evening.

Dec 31, 2018, 6:40pm Top

>68 Dejah_Thoris: Thanks! Hope yours is the same!

Dec 31, 2018, 6:40pm Top

I went through all the books I read to determine the best of 2018. These are listed in order of completion. Children's books are not included although a couple of those received 5 stars.

5 Star Reads
1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
2. No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
3. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer
4. When the English Fall by David Williams
5. Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Bible

I think my favorite was When the English Fall by David Williams.

4.5 Star Reads
1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
2. The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
3. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
4. Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie
5. Beowulf: A New Verse Tradition by Seamus Heaney
6. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
7. The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen
8. The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye

Dec 31, 2018, 6:59pm Top

>71 thornton37814: You got me with When the English Fall - in came into the library for me today. I've also been meaning to read Albion's Seed for what seems like forever. Maybe I'll finally pick it up!

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

Dec 31, 2018, 7:01pm Top

2018 Year-End Meme

With 302 books completed (and 5 abandoned reads), it was difficult to choose. I actually was choosing between 11 on one of these and could have entered additional options on my paper as I was choosing. In other words, even though I added honorable mentions for some categories, there were still others included in my handwritten selections that didn't make this final list!

Describe Yourself: Keri Tarr, Cat Detective
Honorable mention: The Best Cook in the World
Describe How You Feel: Flat Broke with Two Goats
Describe Where You Currently Live: My Life in a Cat House
Honorable mention: The South
If You Could Go Anywhere, Where Would You Go: Over the Hills and Far Away
Honorable mention: Where I Was From
Honorable mention: A Visit to William Blake's Inn
Your Favorite Form of Transportation: Steering the Craft
Honorable Mention: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car
Your Best Friend is: The Ice Princess
You and Your Friends are: Friends in High Places
What's the Weather Like: Rain
You Fear: A Shot in the Dark
Honorable Mention: The Spook in the Stacks
What's the Best Advice Your Have to Give: Anything Is Possible
Thought for the Day: Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful
How I Would Like to Die: Dying in the Wool
My Soul's Present Condition: Gardenlust

Dec 31, 2018, 7:02pm Top

>72 Dejah_Thoris: Hope you enjoy them!

Jan 1, 8:48pm Top

2018 Reading Stats from GoodReads

Jan 2, 9:35am Top

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019!

Jan 2, 11:29am Top

307 books! Wow!

Jan 2, 3:49pm Top

Happy New Year, Lori. I hope 2019 is as productive as last year's 307!

Jan 2, 4:44pm Top

That is super impressive! Congrats on making it past the 300 mark.

Jan 2, 8:51pm Top

>76 sushicat: Thanks!

>77 RidgewayGirl: Just 302! The GoodReads included the 5 abandoned books.

>78 VivienneR: I know I won't come close to that number (which was 302 since 307 included abandoned reads) in 2019. My reading plan will include articles plus books. I'll keep separate numbers for both. Maybe books plus articles will come close!

>79 LittleTaiko: Thanks!

Jan 2, 9:19pm Top

Book 1. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

Date Completed: 1 Jan 2019

Category: New Kids on the Block

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This Christmas story is based on Capote's relationship with an aunt and recalls Christmases where they gathered nuts and scraped pennies to gift fruitcakes. It's a lovely novella which captures the spirit of giving at Christmas.

Comment: I know Amber delivered the book bullet on this one last month. I put a hold on it, and it did come in during the 12 Days of Christmas. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

Edited: Jan 3, 9:32pm Top

Article 1. Pam Prascer Andersen, "Indirectly Identifying Relatives of Michael Kerns of Blair County and Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 105.2 (June 2017): 85-91. (7 pp.)

Date Completed: 2 Jan 2019

Category: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Remarks: Shows use of indirect evidence to establish parental relationship.

Jan 3, 4:34am Top

Great start to the year!

Jan 3, 7:31pm Top

Edited: Jan 4, 10:06am Top

>81 thornton37814: One of our library branches has had the tradition of having a reading of A Christmas Memory for at least a decade. The reader is a retired high school drama teacher and he is absolutely excellent. His mother, now in her nineties, comes and brings homemade sugar cookies. She uses an old recipe that includes lots of vanilla and the library always has hot cider. I never tire of hearing the reading and there is a group of people that are there every year, most I know but some I don't see very often, so it's an added pleasure to see them. I think everyone leaves in the true Christmas spirit!

Jan 3, 9:12pm Top

>85 clue: I enjoyed it. I may have read it long ago because the story is vaguely familiar, but I'm just not sure.

Edited: Jan 3, 9:31pm Top

Article 2. Claire E. Ammon, CG, “Parents for John Perkins (1788-1852) of Granby, Connecticut,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 105.3 (September 2017): 219-228. (10 pp.)

Date Completed: 3 Jan 2019

Category: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Remarks: Uses records of nearby New England towns to resolve the parentage of a man.

Jan 3, 10:41pm Top

Small Book Haul to Report

Jan 2 - Chattanooga McKays Used Books & CDs

Nerve by Dick Francis - a whopping 90 cents. I'll see how I like it for the shared read.

Jan 3 - Knoxville McKays Used Books & CDs

Finding Your People: An African-American Guide to Discovering Your Roots by Sandra Lee Jamison - $2. I've seen this one mentioned on bibliographies from African-American specialists.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer - 25 cents.

The Chosen by Chaim Potok - 50 cents - This is one I've wanted to read for awhile and is the American Author Challenge author this month. I saw it on the bargain books shelf so I got my own copy rather than borrowing a library copy.

The Marches: A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland by Rory Stewart - I've seen people talking about this one, and it was on my wish list. - $5

Jan 3, 10:45pm Top

>88 thornton37814: Nice haul, Lori, for not very much spent!

Jan 3, 11:29pm Top

>88 thornton37814: Great finds! Secondhand book shopping is my happy place!

Jan 4, 5:58am Top

>88 thornton37814: I read The Marches last year and enjoyed it very much. I found the author a bit spiky in places, but it is very well written.

Jan 4, 8:34am Top

>88 thornton37814: Great finds, great bargains!

Jan 4, 1:32pm Top

>89 Dejah_Thoris: I really didn't need to be adding much, but I knew I'd read or use all of the ones purchased.

>90 JayneCM: McKays is a huge warehouse-sized bookstore. We're fortunate to have it.

>91 Jackie_K: Perhaps I got the book bullet from you. I just remember seeing it in someone's feed and adding it to my wish list.

>92 tess_schoolmarm: Well, two will be read this month (although I do have January and February to read the Francis book for that shared read). I will try to read some of the others soon.

Jan 4, 2:04pm Top

>81 thornton37814: - That was one of the stories in the Christmas Stories collection that I recently finished. It was a rather sweet story.

Jan 4, 2:11pm Top

>94 LittleTaiko: Glad you enjoyed it. Maybe I read it in a similar collection? Who knows?

Jan 4, 4:24pm Top

This morning the cats all made a run for the French doors on the patio. Because they were looking up, I just assumed they'd seen a bird -- until I saw a squirrel climbing up the French doors. That squirrel should be thankful for the glass separating him from my cats!

Jan 4, 7:09pm Top

Book 2. The Dry by Jane Harper

Date Completed: 4 Jan 2019

Category: Foreigner

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Aron Falk returns to his hometown about twenty years after he and his father left. Twenty years ago, his friend Ellie drowned in the river, and her father wanted to pin the fault on Aaon. He returned because his friend Luke along with his wife and son died in what at first seemed to be a murder-suicide until the local officer realized Luke did not own ammunition of the type discharged. Aron, now with the state police's financial division and is based in Melbourne. This excellent first in series makes me excited to read more in the series with a "Down Under" setting. While I'd guessed solutions to both crimes, they were less obvious than some mysteries. I listened to the audio version narrated by Steve Shanahan.

Jan 4, 7:27pm Top

>97 thornton37814: We read this last year and Force of Nature in our book club. Very true to what actually happens during drought. I am very fortunate in that, although our area can get very dry in summer, our autumn rains are pretty reliable. I cannot imagine living in real drought conditions.
Just read also that Reese Witherspoon has optioned The Dry and it is being made into a movie with Eric Bana as Aaron Falk. It is very exciting to see the US picking up so many Aussie books, although I am hoping they film it in Oz. It really wouldn't work otherwise.
One of my favourite Aussie books is The Dressmaker. Such dry wit - the movie misses out quite a lot of the tongue in cheek irony of small town 1950s Australia. Well worth a read. And the movie was filmed just up the road - I nearly died of excitement when I saw Kate Winslet in town one day!
Anywaaayyy, getting off track. Loved The Dry. I did work it out but as you say, it was still well worth the read as they were not super obvious from the start.

Jan 4, 7:29pm Top

I thought ‘The Dry’ was an excellent book . She really bought the despair of living in a drought affected outback town to life.

Jan 4, 7:32pm Top

Book 3. Glass Houses by Louise Penny

Date Completed: 4 Jan 2019

Category: The Police

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Armand Gamache, now the Chief Superintendent of the Surete, seeks cooperation from a prosecutor he dislikes. The case involves a murder in Three Pines in which a woman staying in the Bistro died, apparently at the hands of a cobrador whose presence disquieted the village. The murder occurred at a time when Gamache's lack of big arrests in the war on drugs drew sharp criticism on all fronts. As Inspector LaCoste, now head of suicide investigates the murder discovered by Gamache's own wife Reine-Marie, a random remark by the poet Ruth Zardo causes Gamache to stumble upon an even more serious crime. Gamache needs the Crown's Chief man to assist in making the Surete look incompetent for the plan of attack on the war on drugs to work. I cannot say that I liked the potential impact of this installment on the series' future. I am uncomfortable with drug trafficking in murder mysteries. They become a bit too "noir" for my tastes. Still, this was a series I loved so I put up with it. I'm a bit nervous about reading the next installment.

Jan 4, 8:12pm Top

Article 3. Sue Allan, Caleb Johnson, and Simon Neal, “The Origin of Mayflower Passenger Susanna (Jackson) (White) Winslow,” The American Genealogist 89.4 (October 2017): 241-264. (24 pp.)

Date Completed: 4 Jan 2019

Category: Chicago

Remarks: Uses English wills, parishes, and other civil records along with "Records of the Commissioners of the Sewers" to resolve the parentage of a Mayflower female passenger.

Jan 4, 11:40pm Top

>97 thornton37814: I really enjoyed The Dry and Force of Nature when I read them last year. I'm looking forward to The Lost Man when it comes out next month.

>101 thornton37814: And I love those genealogical proof articles....

Jan 5, 9:36am Top

I haven't read Glass Houses yet. I find I don't enjoy the drug trafficking angle in books.

Jan 5, 9:36am Top

>102 Dejah_Thoris: I've been needing to catch up on those genealogical articles. I think we still have Force of Nature at the library. I will read it before it is due to be sent back to the leasing company. I sometimes delay sending back the ones I want to read (or another librarian wants to read) to the next quarter, but we know I can't put off the inevitable too long.

Jan 5, 9:38am Top

>103 mysterymax: I don't either. It's there all the way through it, but fortunately this is still Three Pines and the drug trafficking is a bit cozier than it is in most including that angle.

Jan 5, 9:43am Top

>105 thornton37814: I swear my mind is going. I did read it. But I gave it a lower rating than the others in the series and I've obviously stuck it in my brain's catalog as forgettable. Now I realize it was the first of three books by favorite authors that let me down. The other two being Craig Johnson and Stephanie Plum's latest.

Jan 5, 11:40am Top

>106 mysterymax: I really struggled between a 3.5 and 4 rating on it myself. I'm curious now what will happen in the next installment but I'm almost afraid to pick it up!

Jan 5, 10:21pm Top

Book 4. The Chosen by Chaim Potok

Date Completed: 5 Jan 2019

Category: The Beatles

Rating: 5 stars

Review:Reuven "Bobby" Malter, son of a rabbi, teacher, and scholar, meets Danny Saunders, son of a Hasidic rabbi, on the baseball field. On that day, Reuven had been called from his usual position to pitch. After a couple of misses, Danny hits the ball straight into Reuven's eye. Reuven ends up in the hospital where the surgeon removed glass from his eye. Danny comes to apologize, but Reuven doesn't really want to listen. Reuven's father, however, encourages Reuven to listen, forgive, and become Danny's friend. Hasidic Judaism chose Danny's path. He will become a rabbi like his father and marry a predetermined girl from a marriage arranged at an early age. Danny wants to become a psychologist. Reuven's father desires for him to become a mathematician, but Reuven wants to become a rabbi. Reuven and Danny become friends. Their Jewish faiths are different, and Danny's branch's strict adherence belittles other Jews. Most of the opening section of the book takes place during the final year of World War II. Reuven and Danny's friendship continues throughout their school years although they attend different schools. They attend the same college. Zionism becomes a divisive element in their relationship, although it is not the end of it. I don't want to tell too much of the plot. I wanted to read this book years ago but never found time for it until this month's American Author Challenge prompted me to pick it up. I do not think it will be the last time I read it. This is a powerful book!

Edited: Jan 6, 10:37am Top

>108 thornton37814: When I saw you were going to read Chaim Potok I felt sure you would love him and I'm glad to see that is true. I started reading his books thirty years ago and I can't think of any author I have enjoyed more. Although he may be best known for The Chosen he wrote a dozen or so novels. The Promise is the next book about Danny and Reuven so you may want to continue their story when you can. It's been a long time since I've reread any of his books and now that you've brought him back to my attention I should begin rereading them.

I don't remember the year, but in Potok's later life he spoke at a university about 100 miles from me. I was so excited to be able to hear him speak but when the day came we had icy roads and the university is up in the mountains so I couldn't go. He died a year or so after that, what a huge disappointment still that I missed that evening!

Jan 6, 12:07pm Top

>109 clue: I'm sure that would have been interesting. It's too bad the weather was bad. I'm certain I'll read more of Potok's work.

Jan 6, 8:22pm Top

Book 5. 365 Meditations from George MacDonald's Fiction by George MacDonald; edited by David Scott Wilson-Okamura

Date Completed: 6 Jan 2019

Category: The Temptations

Rating: 2 stars

Review: I downloaded this volume to my Kindle a couple of years ago thinking it would be good to use for daily devotions sometime. What a disappointment! The word "meditations" in the title is a misnomer. These are simply quotes. A meditation would include a devotional thought based upon the quote and perhaps a short prayer comprised of one or two sentences. I decided to just read through the volume rather than use it daily. While I enjoyed the quotes, I cannot rate this highly because its title misleads.

Edited: Jan 6, 9:08pm Top

Article 4. John M. Freund, “The Parents of Sarah Kelton, Wife of James Bowen of Rehoboth, Massachusetts,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register: The Journal of American Genealogy 171.681 (Winter 2017): 30-31. (2 pp.)

Date Completed: 6 Jan 2019

Category: Boston

Comments: Corrects an 1895 published genealogy's parentage conclusion by using an 1808 letter and probate records.

Edited: Jan 6, 9:18pm Top

Article 5. Nancy R. Stevens, “Amasa Coburn (1753-1815) of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register: The Journal of American Genealogy 171.681 (Winter 2017): 57-62. (6 pp.)

Date Completed: 6 Jan 2019

Category: Boston

Comments: Provides a more complete and better documented account of an individual in an earlier compiled genealogy.

Jan 8, 1:12pm Top

Article 6. Worth Shipley Anderson, JD, "John Stanfield 'as he is cald in this country': An Illegitimate Descent in Eastern Tennessee," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 106.2 (June 2018): 85-101. (17 pp.)

Date Completed: 8 Jan 2019

Category: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Comments: Examines evidence in county records including probate, wills, and bastardy bonds along with church records, particularly Quaker records although some Baptist records were used, and correspondence to resolve a person of illegitimate descent in East Tennessee.

Jan 8, 9:06pm Top

Book 6. The Outrun by Amy Liptrot

Date Completed: 8 Jan 2019

Category: The Four Seasons

Rating: 3 stars

Review: When the author finds herself at "rock bottom" due to an alcohol addiction, she rediscovers her home in the Orkney Islands. She beautifully describes the island and its habitat; however, it is ruined by the descriptions of her alcholism. She eventually winters on the Isle of Papay. While I loved the descriptions of Orkney, I did not enjoy reading about the author's addiction. I also did not appreciate the way she mocked her mother's Evangelical Christian faith. If the author simply focused on Orkney's natural environment, I would have enjoyed the book far more.

Jan 8, 9:11pm Top

Earlier today I ran by my local public library to renew my library card so I didn't lose all my Overdrive wish list and holds. I left about the same time one of my favorite staffers got off. She was celebrating because she'd checked her old on an Overdrive title just before she left. She'd gone from #438 to about #384 on whatever it was. I'm thankful I've never been that far down a list. I think I'd just give up and buy whatever it was!

Jan 8, 10:20pm Top

Book 7. Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro

Date Completed: 8 Jan 2019

Category: Mamas & The Papas

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Dani Shapiro took a DNA test. The man she believed to be her biological father was not. She discovered her parents difficult conceiving a child led them to a clinic where her mother was artificially inseminated not with her father's sperm but with that of a young doctor. A first cousin match led to the man's identity. Correspondence between Shapiro and her biological father took place. The eventually met. While I enjoyed the DNA story, the publication of the memoir revealing the man's identity appears to be a violation of genetic genealogy ethics, particularly when she continually voiced the man's concern for privacy. I received an advance electronic copy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I hope the final version includes her biological father's consent to be named.

Jan 8, 10:43pm Top

I'm having a bit of a problem with my current audiobook. The setting is Virginia, but the author's accent is Acadian. It just doesn't fit! I think I know why the audiobook was available and the ebook was not. If I read future installments, I will be certain to get an ebook if the narrator is the same.

Jan 9, 8:35am Top

I ordered what I thought was a Yahtzee score pad from Amazon, but found it was a book on arrival. If I follow the instructions on each page, how will I ever reach 63 to get the bonus at the top?

Jan 10, 9:39am Top

>118 thornton37814: The narrator can make or break a book for me.

Jan 10, 10:33am Top

>120 The_Hibernator: It's improving as she goes along. Still not perfect, but better. I'm not to the half-way point yet. I missed today's commute which would have added approximately another 45 minutes for me. I'm suffering from a sinus headache that was making me physically ill. It was a horrible night. Taking my sinus headache meds and trying to treat the underlying cause with a saline flush.

Jan 10, 12:42pm Top

Headaches are no fun, especially when they interfere with being able to sleep. I hope yours goes away soon.

Jan 10, 12:51pm Top

>122 RidgewayGirl: It's improving, but not gone. I need to eat something, but it's probably going to be something along the lines of chicken soup, dry toast, or something similar.

Jan 10, 12:55pm Top

Book 8. The Shortest History of Germany by James Hawes

Date Completed: 10 Jan 2019

Category: America

Rating: 2 stars

Review: When I saw this book, I saw it as an opportunity to learn more about the history of Germany. Disappointment set in almost from the moment I opened the book. Non-existent documentation, an overly familiar writing style, and blatant political bias plagued the account. In a small book such as this, one expects superficial treatment; however, the author's biases seem to drive what he glosses over and what he treats more in-depth. The author needs to return to writing fiction and refrain from non-fiction unless he plans to document his work and ignore his own biases. I received an advance electronic copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review. The book's index was not included in the version I read.

Jan 10, 1:23pm Top

>115 thornton37814: This was a 5* read for me, but I do agree that the bits about the author's addiction were hard to read. I appreciated that she didn't sugar-coat the experience, but it still wasn't pleasant. It was powerful though, I thought. I seem to remember her musing about her feelings on her mother's faith (which clearly she didn't share), and ultimately thinking who was she to mock something that her mother clearly found comforting. A small step, but for me it showed that she wasn't just mindlessly mocking, but reflecting on her behaviour.

Jan 10, 1:49pm Top

>125 Jackie_K: Glad you liked it better than I did. As I said, I loved the parts about Orkney, but not the personal stuff.

Jan 11, 9:36pm Top

Book 9. Breaking Free: Discover the Victory of Total Surrender by Beth Moore

Date Completed: 11 Jan 2019

Category: The Temptations

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Many women find Beth Moore's Bible studies wonderful. I found myself less thrilled with them. The study focused on a passage in the prophet Isaiah. Much of my problem with the book is stylistic. This felt more like a typescript of a speaking engagement in places than a book. It was overly familiar. I cannot fault her insights into God's Word, but the manner in which she presents it falls flat for me. I prefer for the writing to be leaner and more to the point. She includes the first and second person too much in the content for the style that works best for me. Most women will probably enjoy this study more than I did.

Jan 12, 11:21am Top

Lori- Wow, you are off to a wonderful start with your reading for the New Year. I also loved A Christmas Memory when I read it a few years ago. The National Genealogical Society Quarterly article sounds interesting.

Jan 12, 11:27am Top

>128 This-n-That: Hopefully I'll read many more NGSQ articles. I'll probably tackle another one later today as well as one from TAG.

Jan 12, 6:16pm Top

>108 thornton37814: I'm so glad you liked The Chosen! I remember being blown away when I read it the first time, and it's one of the books I had to go out and purchase after. I love the new cultural knowledge I always seem to get from his work.

>117 thornton37814: Is Inheritance: A memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love a recent non-fiction book? I seem to recall hearing about a story like this on one of the podcasts I listen to, and I'm wondering if the discussion might have been part of the advertisements / touring for the book release. I also get the impression that story is a surprisingly common one from that era, because of all the social stigmas at play.

Jan 12, 6:33pm Top

>130 pammab: Potok's work seems to be hitting home runs with everyone this month for the American Author Challenge. Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love releases in a few days, so it is brand new. Several books about finding new birth families appear all the time now because it makes a compelling narrative. My favorite is Bill Griffeth's The Stranger in My Genes.

Jan 12, 6:44pm Top

Book 10. As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

Date Completed: 12 Jan 2019

Category: Herman's Hermits

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Thomas Bright's family moves to Philadelphia to help Uncle Fred with his funeral home. They'd lived near his wife Pauline's family, but they wanted a better life. Evie loved books so she loved perusing her uncle's library as well as the nearby public library. Maggie found making friends a bit more difficult but she struck up a friendship with Charlie Sutcliffe and his older brother Jamie who lived across the street. Willa, the youngest, made friends easily. The war raged in Europe. Jamie's draft number came up. Thomas, now well-versed in the undertaker's trade, signed up for the medical corps to avoid the front lines. The flu hits Philadelphia hard. Schools close. Pauline volunteers with the women at church to take food to families affected. Maggie goes along, discovering a baby crying with a mother dead from flu and a sister she believes will die soon. "Alex" as the family calls him comes home to live with them. Thomas informs the authorities in the event family members seek him out. Willa comes down with the flu and recovers, but then Pauline comes down with it. Uncle Fred calls Thomas home from the training camp because of the family emergency. Life will never be the same for the Bright family. After the end of the war, the book takes up in the year 1925 where we see how the events of 1918 still affect the family. This book is beautiful. During the war sections, I considered awarding this book 5 stars. Although the mid-1920s sections were strong, they just failed to mesmerize me as the earlier sections did. Willa's under-age performances, and Evie's responsibility for a divorce caused this. Still, the authored penned a beautiful historical novel that captivates readers.

Edited: Jan 12, 9:21pm Top

Article 7. Harold A. Henderson, CG. "Fannie Fern Crandall and Her Three-Timing Darling Husband," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 106.1 (March 2018): 35-48. (14 pp.)

Date Completed: 12 Jan 2019

Category: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Comments: Although it remains uncertain whether or not Fannie married Frank Ira Darling, he fathered her child, and she used his surname. He had children by three women, and multiple women claiming to be his wife showed up when his body was returned to Michigan, leading to his mother's death. Uses pension files, newspapers, city directories, and other records.

Jan 12, 9:20pm Top

Article 8. Nathan W. Murphy, AG, FASG, "Captain Abraham Read and Emelia (Cary) (Read) Gressingham of Virginia and London: More on the Seafaring Kin of the Byrds of Westover, Virginia," The American Genealogist 89.4 (October 2017): 265-271. (7 pp.)

Date Completed: 12 Jan 2019

Category: Chicago

Comments: Establishes probable identity of Captain Abraham Read(e) by examining parish registers in England and Barbados, other government records, and published historical scholarship.

Jan 14, 9:28am Top

When it rains, it pours! Three e-book holds came in over the weekend. I already had two library books checked out and a couple other books I intended to read this month. My own books may get delayed until next month.

Jan 14, 10:52am Top

>132 thornton37814: That looks interesting! My father is reading a lot about the influenza epidemic because my grandfather's baby sister died in it and he was shaped by what that did to his family. Pittsburgh was one of the cities greatly impacted.

And I think there's a rule about how library holds have to all come in at the same time.

Jan 14, 12:20pm Top

>132 thornton37814: - I've had that one on my shelf for about a year now. Really hoping to get to it soon especially after your glowing review!

Jan 14, 4:43pm Top

>136 RidgewayGirl: It was an interesting novel, and it's the type book that I feel most people will rate 4 or higher unless they dislike the genre. She took liberties on a couple of minor things, but she tells what the historical inaccuracies included are at the very end.

>137 LittleTaiko: Hope you enjoy it. I saw a 5 star or 4.5 star on someone else's review of this in the last couple of weeks too.

Jan 15, 7:56pm Top

Book 11. Plum Tea Crazy by Laura Childs

Date Completed: 15 Jan 2019

Category: The Who

Rating: 3 stars

Review: When a banker shot with an antique crossbow falls from Timothy Neville's roof becoming impaled on the iron fencing thus meeting his death, Theodosia, who was present at the event, feels compelled to help her boyfriend Detective Pete Riley and his superior Detective Burt Tidwell with the investigation. She does uncover useful clues for the detectives but endangers those around her in the process. Theodosia's lists of suspects includes the wife of the victim, a colleague of the victim, a man involved in business deals with the victim, and a man who wants to stop the upcoming antique weapons show. A few comical moments are created. My suspicion fell to the person who committed the dastardly deed almost from character's introduction. This series is becoming very formulaic. I'd like to see Jamie become a regular in the series--perhaps being mentored by Drayton. It was nice to spend some time with my Theodosia and company, but with Theodosia dating Pete, her interaction with Tidwell was limited, and I missed that aspect.

Jan 17, 12:33am Top

>132 thornton37814: I'll have to remember that one, Lori. Thanks.

Jan 17, 8:46am Top

>140 Dejah_Thoris: I hope you enjoy it when you get to it.

Jan 17, 8:42pm Top

Book 12. Book, Line, and Sinker by Jenn McKinlay

Date Completed: 17 Jan 2019

Category: The Who

Rating: 3 stars

Review: When Riordan shows up to dig on an island near Briar Creek with what he believes to be Captain Kidd's treasure map, the citizens hold varying opinions. Some believe it will boost tourism; others voice concern over ecological implications. When the tourism director turns up dead on the island, operations halt. I don't want to convey too much of the plot. A love triangle with Lindsey, her current boyfriend, and her ex-fiance emerges, although Lindsey makes it clear to John she loves Sully. Character development for the police chief and for officer Emma advanced in this installment. The book provided a pleasant diversion.

Jan 18, 8:31pm Top

Book 13. Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby

Date Completed: 18 Jan 2019

Category: The Who

Rating: 3 stars

Review: When workers discover a skull buried in a storage shed on Lucie Montgomery's property, she calls in the sheriff. However, the murder victim lived in the mid-19th century. A glimpse in the family Bible reveals no death date appears next to Susannah Montgomery and additional evidence gleaned points in that direction. Although Lucie recently took a DNA test, the archaeologist working the case wants Lucie's DNA in the same format as the bone sample's DNA. While she spit for the test that revealed an unknown half-brother whom she gets to know in the narrative, she does a cheek swab for the match to the bones. In the meantime, a hurricane is headed to Virginia, and a French winemaker working a neighboring vineyard turns up dead. Suspicion falls to an immigrant whose secateurs are found near the body. He left his documents in his car where someone broke in and stole them. Lucie suspects an attempt to frame him. Miguel,however, ran, making him look guilty. Lucie finally gets around to solving the crime with the sheriff thankfully not far behind. The murderer's identity was obvious to me early on, but it took Lucie forever to figure it out. I liked the historical/genealogical parts far better than the present-day mystery. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Christine Marshall. I nearly abandoned it early on because the accent was wrong for the region. She dropped r's as New Englanders do rather than pronouncing them (and adding a few) as Virginians often do. However, she improved as the story went along. It made me think someone corrected her but that they didn't go back and fix the first couple of hours of reading. This first venture into this series came from reading a review mentioning the genealogical angle. I may go back and read earlier installments. If I do, I will read them unless the narrator differs.

Jan 20, 1:29pm Top

Book 14. Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo

Date Completed: 20 Jan 2019

Category: The Police

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: A serial killer murders women in a gruesome manner leaving Roman numerals carved upon their chests. Kate Burkholder, chief of police for Painter's Mill, fails to call for outside help at first, reminded of something that happened sixteen years ago during her life as an Amish teenager. When city officials ask for help from Columbus, they send a detective with a prescription drug problem to aid the investigation. When the second victim's body is discovered, Kate asks for assistance from the local sheriff's office. The charismatic sheriff knows how to play the press. The book combines the police procedural with the thriller. The book lacks the calmness other Amish Country crime novels, probably as much due to the nature of the crime as anything. While I prefer P. L. Gaus' Amish mysteries at the moment, I want to continue reading this one to see how Kate develops. I previously read a Christmas installment from later in the series which had a cozier feel than this first installment. Castillo's first effort held the reader's attention. My biggest complaint centers on a rushed romantic relationship, which feels especially rushed in light of what happened to Burkholder as a teen.

Jan 20, 5:46pm Top

>144 thornton37814: I thought the same thing about the romance. It was almost like the author remembered she had to write a romance into the book and quickly wrote one in.

Jan 20, 7:47pm Top

>145 clue: I don't really think romance needs to be a part of a mystery, but publishers think "sex sells."

Jan 21, 2:51pm Top

>145 clue: and >146 thornton37814: I hate it when romance and sex gets introduced. It's spoiled a lot of good mysteries.

Jan 21, 3:12pm Top

>147 mysterymax: That's so true!

Jan 22, 8:05am Top

>146 thornton37814: I feel the same way about historical fiction! If I want to read a romance (which I do every February for Valentine's Day), I will, but don't muddy up a good story just to include it for inclusion's sake!

Jan 22, 8:24am Top

>149 tess_schoolmarm: That's true. That's another genre that gets muddied.

Jan 22, 7:30pm Top

Book 15. The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

Date Completed: 22 Jan 2019

Category: New Kids on the Block

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Candice and her author mom move to her late grandmother's home in Lambert, South Carolina while their Atlanta home is being remodeled to put on the market due to her parents' divorce. Candice planned to spend time with her friends that summer, but now she will be alone much of the time as her mom writes. Candice' grandmother served as Lambert's city manager until a letter presenting a puzzle and an opportunity to help Lambert's economy caused her to dig up the tennis courts. She resigned due to pressure from the town, leaving the puzzle unresolved. Candice befriends Brandon from across the street. They both share a love for reading. She finds her grandmother's letter in one of her old puzzle books in the attic and enlists Brandon to help her resolve the puzzle. They uncover the outcome of a 1957 tennis match between the black and white schools which forced the town's coach and his family as well as a player to leave town, assuming new identities. Candice and Brandon piece things together to solve the mystery. While I loved the puzzle itself and even the story behind it, I would never encourage a Christian young person to read this as some of the behavior of children and adults clearly defies biblical commands and moral teaching.

Jan 23, 12:00pm Top

Book 16. Welcome to the Isles of Mull, Iona, Staffa by John Brooks

Date Completed: 23 Jan 2019

Category: Journey

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Although this little tourist book is somewhat dated, I found it provided insights about these Inner Hebridean Islands' history. While the photographs reflect the best quality for color reproductions of the 1970s, they still bring pleasure when viewed.

Jan 23, 9:33pm Top

Book 17. Nerve by Dick Francis

Date Completed: 23 Jan 2019

Category: The Who

Rating: 2 stars

Review: I'm clearly in the minority on this one, but I did not enjoy this book. I think I just don't enjoy horse racing (or any other form of racing) enough to relate to the main character. Rob Finn is an up-and-coming jockey but someone is trying to do him in. If you enjoy horse racing and thrillers, you might enjoy this one. I won't be trying another installment of the series.

Jan 24, 9:41am Top

Book 18. The British Isles: A Picture Book to Remember Her By designed by David Gibbon; produced by Ted Smart

Date Completed: 24 Jan 2019

Category: Journey

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I enjoyed my visit to the British Isles via this slim volume of photographs. While such a book could never replace an in person visit, armchair travelers will appreciate the collection which depicts many parts of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Northern Ireland.

Jan 24, 10:36am Top

>153 thornton37814: - I love horse racing but have never been able to get into those books either. Granted I haven't tried very hard either...:)

Jan 24, 12:27pm Top

>153 thornton37814: I'm sorry that one didn't work for you!

Jan 24, 1:06pm Top

>155 LittleTaiko: I'm feeling better now that a couple of people say they can't get into them either.

>156 cbl_tn: Well, it was worth a shot.

Jan 24, 1:16pm Top

Book 19. Eight Lights: The Story of Chanukah by William F. Rosenblum and Robert J. Rosenblum; illustrated by Shraga Weil

Date Completed: 24 Jan 2019

Category: The Temptations

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This is a very simple telling of the story of Chanukah (alson known as Hanukkah) in which Judah Maccabee recaptured the temple after Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated it by sacrificing a pig to Zeus. The eight day celebration arose from a period of purification and a rededication of the temple. The illustrations are very dated.

Jan 24, 7:25pm Top

>153 thornton37814: Too bad you didn't like Nerve by Dick Francis. His books vary quite a bit, some are very good and some not so good. I think I've read them all, luckily the not so good ones didn't put me off.

Jan 24, 8:33pm Top

>159 VivienneR: I'll just avoid the rest of them. He's obviously not for me.

Jan 24, 9:05pm Top

Book 20. The Life of Charlemagne by Einhard; translated by Samuel Epes Turner

Date Completed: 24 Jan 2019

Category: America

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This small volume,written in the 9th century by a member of Charlemagne's court, provides a glimpse of the leader's life. While it lacks the sophistication of modern biographies, its importance lies in revealing how his inner circle viewed him. I found the map of "Europe According to Einhard" fascinating.

Jan 25, 2:19pm Top

>160 thornton37814:

I've found that people generally really like Francis or don't care for him at all.

Jan 25, 6:30pm Top

>162 hailelib: I guess I'm one of the latter!

Jan 26, 9:34am Top

I'm heading out to flea market and antique places over in Sevier County. I'm trying to find something I like that can be used for a TV stand. (My new TV sits closer to the edges of my current one than comfort allows when one is owned by three cats.) The new ones I like are $200-$400 (and I didn't even look at the ones that were more expensive. I want to see if I can find something usable that can be refinished. I know what dimensions I would prefer so I'll see what I can find. If I can't find something, I'll see if my nephew who makes furniture as a hobby can beat the prices or if I just need to buy the one that is just over $200.

Jan 26, 12:06pm Top

When we moved here the previous owners unexpectedly left all their furniture (I think they're rented it out to students, so it wasn't stuff that they were desperate to keep). Whilst it was a pain to get rid of what we didn't want, it did mean that there were a number of things we could reuse. Most useful (apart from several bookshelves, obviously!) was a coffee table which is the perfect size for our large-screen TV.

Jan 26, 5:39pm Top

>165 Jackie_K: I want something a bit higher than a coffee table would be. I saw a few options today at one of the antique malls; however, it was not an ideal option. I think I would end up putting the money I'd save by going used into restoring/repurposing it, so it wouldn't really save much. I only made it through the south side of the highway today. I was tired after walking through two of those huge things--and one of them did not have a single viable option.

Jan 26, 6:21pm Top

Lori, I went shopping with a friend for a TV stand a few months ago. I don't know if this would work for you but she decided on a sofa table (the kind that goes behind a sofa) we found at a Habitat store. I thought it might be too high but she likes it.

Jan 26, 6:57pm Top

>167 clue: I did not see any sofa tables today. I think there is a Habitat store on the northbound side of Highway 66. If not, it's down in Sevierville proper where I didn't really try to stop. However, you are kind of stuck with what is in stock. I'll definitely go back to the one antique mall where I found the most furniture, but my next trip will mostly cover the ones on the northbound side of Highway 66. If I don't find something suitable soon, I'll probably just purchase something online and have it delivered to my doorstep. This one isn't too bad: https://www.wayfair.com/furniture/pdp/highland-dunes-myrasol-tv-stand-for-tvs-up... The top matches the wood on the railing that will be behind it and the unpainted wood in the table and chairs. The white matches the white part and tile in the dining table and the kitchen island. (The kitchen/dining/living room are kind of one big open space although the kitchen flooring differs.)

Jan 26, 7:55pm Top

I'm noticing a lot of broken image links in threads I'm visiting. At one time, LT supported external image links. I noticed some of my own which were linked to images I'd uploaded elsewhere began disappearing a couple years ago. At that point, I began uploading the cat photos and other images into my gallery here so they would display. I always link to LT cover images. Perhaps someone else knows other tricks if LT actually supports images outside LT they could share? It might help a lot of folks with broken image links.

Edited: Jan 26, 10:32pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jan 26, 10:32pm Top

I use number 3 all the time for my outside links and they always work:


Jan 27, 12:25pm Top

>171 tess_schoolmarm: That's what I was doing. They just weren't displaying. I copied the link address of the broken image on one of the ones I saw yesterday, and it was Amazon. I don't know what's going on. Maybe we need to report to bug collectors when we see them.

Jan 27, 1:21pm Top

Sherlock helps Mississippi State make points.

Barney heard the Lady Vols need help so they can break the biggest losing streak in decades.

Jan 27, 2:25pm Top

Book 21. Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston; edited by Deborah G. Plant

Date Completed: 27 Jan 2019

Category: America

Rating: 4 stars

Review: While dialect makes this a more difficult read than some, the telling of one man's experience on one of the final slave ships deserves a reading. Ii found the contrast between the way two brothers treated their slaves enlightening. The story itself will break your heart at times. The appendix with Cudjo's stories and an African game was fascinating.

Jan 27, 7:29pm Top

>173 thornton37814: - Love that the kitties are getting involved in basketball! Back in the day my parents had a consule TV (floor model) and I have fond memories of our cats chasing tennis balls and NASCAR cars as they "exited" the screen. Who said animals don't see things like we do?

Jan 27, 8:15pm Top

>175 lkernagh: Sherlock especially was following every movement. I'm glad they like the new bigger screen. I thought I bought it for myself, but I discovered I really bought it for them!

Jan 27, 9:04pm Top

>173 thornton37814: Oh that is super cute! :D

Jan 28, 9:41am Top

>177 rabbitprincess: They keep me entertained!

Jan 28, 11:10am Top

>173 thornton37814: I love those pictures of your boys watching TV. A friend was showing me some of the weird stations they now get as part of a free streaming service and when we got to CatTV, her cat became very interested so that is what we had on for the rest of the evening. I don't think I'd want any of my wild bunch watching other cats' hijinks and getting ideas!

Jan 28, 1:18pm Top

>179 RidgewayGirl: It's just as entertaining to watch them play ball!

Jan 28, 9:44pm Top

Tomorrow is a snow day at work. I can't believe they called it based on the forecast alone! I am, however, grateful!

Jan 28, 9:56pm Top

Enjoy your snow-day! You'll be able to watch tv with the boys. :)

Jan 28, 10:18pm Top

>182 VivienneR: Yes! They'll enjoy that!

Jan 28, 10:24pm Top

>164 thornton37814: My TV stand is a 2x4 Kallax cube bookcase from Ikea. Tip it sideways and it's the perfect size for a TV AND it holds lots of books.

Jan 29, 8:40am Top

>184 Yells: I really want something with doors on it. The tipped size looks like it is wider than the available space.

Jan 29, 8:42am Top

LibraryThing knows I'm the Crazy Cat Lady. I'm getting Miss Mink: Life Lessons for a Cat Countess from Early Reviewers.

Jan 29, 9:13am Top

I hope you're enjoying your snow day. Are you getting any snow? Over here, it's just rain and the temperatures have gone up (although they're supposed to go very low tonight).

Jan 29, 10:50am Top

We have 2 inches at my house and at the National Weather Service office near my house. There might be slightly more than 2 inches at my house which is at a higher elevation--maybe 2.2", but it's close to that 2" amount. Because of the timing, we probably won't have issues getting out tomorrow.

Jan 29, 5:54pm Top

We were supposed to get a really bad storm, but places to the south and west got it much worse than we did. I chose to work from home today based on the original forecast, so I'm taking full credit for our part of town being spared ;)

Hope you had a good snow day!

Jan 29, 6:38pm Top

>189 rabbitprincess: It was nice. I don't think we'll have any problem getting out tomorrow though.

Jan 29, 7:59pm Top

Lori after seeing the pictures of your cats and the TV I can see why you need a larger and more secure TV stand! I hope you find the perfect one. :)

Jan 29, 8:02pm Top

>191 DeltaQueen50: I suspect I'm just going to purchase the one that sells for a little over $200, but I haven't completely given up on finding a bargain yet.

Jan 29, 8:10pm Top

I made Grands! Crescents Ham and Egg Breakfast Braid today. It tastes incredible. Highly recommended.

Jan 30, 11:04am Top

If it helps, I bought my TV stand on Wayfair and like it a lot. (It's this one: https://www.wayfair.com/furniture/pdp/breakwater-bay-emelia-tv-stand-for-tvs-up-...) I did have to assemble it myself, which was a pain, but it was definitely less expensive than anything I was seeing in stores.

Jan 30, 1:21pm Top

>193 thornton37814: Looks good, pass it over!

Jan 30, 3:06pm Top

>194 christina_reads: That was one of the options I looked at. I probably should consider that one. It is within the width range. I think the depth is okay. The height is higher than my current one but not quite as high as I'd really like.

>195 mstrust: It was yummy! I couldn't find the green chives variety of Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese, but the store brand had an onion and green chive one which was perfect. I'm sure I could have subbed the plain kind with my own green chives chopped in it. I have enough for a couple more meals later in the week. I was concerned about how it would be after being reheated, but it worked fine. I reheated it in the oven rather than microwave though.

Jan 31, 7:31pm Top

Book 22. Seneca Falls Inheritance by Miriam Grace Monfredo

Date Completed: 31 Jan 2019

Category: Herman's Hermits

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Historical mysteries featuring well-known persons usually fall a bit flat with me. I enjoyed this one a bit more than some of those. In it Elizabeth Cady Stanton, acquaintance of the murder victim and her mother, testifies in the case. While local officers are investigating the murder, librarian Glynis Tryon plays an important role in the solution. Set during a time women are struggling to earn the right to own property and vote, the mystery's biggest flaw lies in gaps in evidence collection. The genealogist in me screamed "obtain a copy of the marriage license" in one instance. Another situation in the book's narrative produced one. A license plus other evidence readily available would quickly establish the proof needed for the earlier situation.

Feb 1, 12:19pm Top

Book 23. St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna: a Short Guide to St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna by Richard Rickett

Date Completed: 1 Feb 2019

Category: Journey

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This brief guide, designed for persons touring the cathedral, includes interesting information on the cathedral's architecture and history as well as on persons associated with the cathedral such as the great composer Mozart.

Edited: Feb 1, 1:15pm Top

Book 24. The Story of Franklin D. Roosevelt: Warm Springs and the Little White House by Georgia. Department of Natural Resources

Date Completed: 1 Feb 2019

Category: Journey

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: This souvenir booklet tells about Franklin Delano Roosevelt's trips to Warm Springs, Georgia and his building of what became known as the "Little White House." It includes photographs of the home and its furnishings. It tells the story of his unfinished portrait and about the state memorials on the grounds. Until I read this booklet, I did not know Roosevelt died at this home in Georgia rather than in Washington, D.C. The booklet stirred my interest in visiting the home which is now in the Georgia State Park system.

Feb 2, 9:53am Top

Book 25. My DNA Diary: All About YOU (Genetics for Kids) by Lisa Mullan; illustrated by Neil Chapman

Date Completed: 2 Feb 2019

Category: New Kids on the Block

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: This book introduces the science of genetics to children. I dislike using the term "dinky amigos." It reminds me of science class in middle school when a student teacher, on a day the regular teacher was out of town, defined the term "villi" for us. When the teacher returned, she asked us what they were. We gave the very memorable answer to her. She was absolutely shocked at the vulgar definition we recited back to her. The man never taught our class again and failed his student teaching. Perhaps the term "dinky" appears in all books published by "Dinky Press." If students cannot understand the science terms, perhaps studying the subject when they can is preferable to using a cute term that may cloud their thoughts when they advance in their studies.

Feb 2, 1:32pm Top

Book 26. The ABC's of Crime and Punishment in Puritan New England by Donna B. Gawell

Date Completed: 2 Feb 2019

Category: America

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Any time a book reduces a topic to ABC's, some dumbing down of the topic is bound to occur. This book mainly illustrates cases from the author's own family history. Much of the research came from the author's In the Shadow of Salem which fictionalizes her ancestor Mehitabel Braybrooke's story. (The cover of that one depicts an Amish/Mennonite woman on the cover rather than a Puritan.) Unfortunately Gawell's narrative seems to be limited to a few incidents which are re-hashed throughout the book from different perspectives. While she does point to records which exist, she does not carefully cite those references. She calls the bibliography an "appendix." It does not follow a recognized citation standard format.

Feb 2, 6:44pm Top

Book 27. Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver

Date Completed: 2 Feb 2019

Category: Air Supply

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Although I purchased this volume last year, I did not read it right away. I wanted to find time to savor the works of Mary Oliver whose work I love. Her death last month prompted me to pick up the volume. While Mary's words rarely rhyme, she conveys beautiful thoughts and scenes in poetic language. The volume contains poems collected from works published in the 1960s to 2015. I will revisit this volume many times in the years to come. My only criticism pertains to her affinity for including snakes in her poetry.

Feb 3, 3:49pm Top

An extra player on the field for the Kitten Bowl. Sherlock lends a paw.

Feb 3, 4:34pm Top

>202 thornton37814: I've added this to my wishlist. I'm sorry to say that I had never heard of Mary Oliver, but when she died a number of my friends posted poems of hers on facebook, and I loved every one.

Feb 3, 8:03pm Top

>204 Jackie_K: It's a good solid collection of her poetry with samplings over a wide range of years. I hope you really enjoy her work.

Feb 3, 8:23pm Top

Lori, I listened to an interview with Dani Shapiro today and I think you were the one who was concerned about how her book named her father and wondered if she'd gotten his permission? She spoke about that, saying that she changed his name and a few identifying details about him and that he read the manuscript and was happy with it. Thought you'd be interested in knowing that.

Feb 3, 8:30pm Top

>206 RidgewayGirl: Some people who have the final copy let me know on the GoodReads post that a statement appears in it saying the name was changed. I'm glad that happened. However, it's really a shame they had "placeholders" on those ARCs for so much of the content. I'm certain that either the default opening page was past the disclosure or that a placeholder was there because I always read those pages in real books. Sometimes I forget the ARCs often open to a page past front matter. I deleted the book after I reviewed it so I don't really know. We did get a copy at the library for the leased book program because we have several people who have showed interest in the DNA testing. I did see the disclosure in the book as I added it to the system.

Feb 4, 9:45pm Top

Book 28. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn

Date Completed: 4 Feb 2019

Category: Herman's Hermits

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This coming-of-age novel narrated by Huw Morgan, youngest son of a family of Welsh miners, paints of picture of Wales in the age of industrialization. The mines, now owned by outsiders who care more about profit than about the lives and welfare of their employees or about the integrity of the land, become less attractive, particularly when strikes yield little or no concessions by those in charge. Most of Huw's siblings move off during the course of the book. One brother dies, and Huw, although attracted to his widow, cannot wed her because of marriage laws. The book tells the story of Huw's education and of his first love as well. The book ends on a sad note. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Ralph Cosham.

Feb 5, 10:56am Top

>202 thornton37814: - I thoroughly enjoyed this collection too. I had forgotten about the numerous snake poems though until you mentioned it - there were quite a few. I probably wouldn't have noticed except they were all in the same section and not sprinkled throughout.

Feb 5, 12:17pm Top

>209 LittleTaiko: She did have some throughout, but there were several concentrated together in one of the earlier works.

Feb 5, 2:16pm Top

>208 thornton37814: Lori, How Green Was My Valley is one of my all-time favorite movies. It was filmed in 1941, directed by John Ford and stars Walter Pigeon, Maureen O'Hara and Roddy McDowell. I have always wanted to read the book that this film was based on so your review sent me off to Audible to check for it. It's there and I happened to have a credit so - it's now waiting patiently for me in my Audio line-up. :)

Feb 5, 2:37pm Top

>211 DeltaQueen50: Very nice! Hope you enjoy it.

Feb 5, 7:48pm Top

Book 29. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Date Completed: 5 Feb 2019

Category: The Beatles

Rating: 4 stars

Review:The classic tale of the March sisters--Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. It's a coming-of-age tale in many ways as the girls grow up and most find love. Marmee imparts wisdom when her daughters seek it. The neighboring Laurance family, particularly Laurie, plays an important role in the book. Jo begins her career as a writer. This classic never fails to make me cry. Even though I know it is coming, I never want Beth to die.

Feb 5, 8:55pm Top

Book 30. The Scottish Borders (with Galloway) to 1603 by W. R. Kermack

Date Completed: 5 Feb 2019

Category: America

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This book provides readers with a brief overview of Scottish border history, including information on major clans in the area. The author gives a good overview of life during Medieval times in the area. He addresses the importance of abbeys and the church during the period. Footnotes and an abbreviated bibliography (which lacks all the elements of modern citation requirements but which can probably still help the reader locate the book) provide readers with additional resources for further study. This book provided unexpected pleasure in its usefulness to genealogical research for the region.

Feb 6, 6:34am Top

>208 thornton37814: Are you planning on reading the other books in the series?

Feb 6, 8:20am Top

>215 JayneCM: Not immediately. I may or may not get to later ones. The South American setting of the second and third sounds interesting so I suspect I'll eventually get to them.

Group: 2019 Category Challenge

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