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Lisa's Not Quite As Serious in 2019

2019 Category Challenge

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1LisaMorr
Edited: Dec 10, 2018, 5:21pm Top

While I'm not going to be as serious (as in, I will be more playful), I am going to get more serious about reading in 2019!

I did not read as much as I wanted to in 2018 (and 2017) and I'll put that down to being a little depressed; things are looking a bit brighter and I'm feeling more optimistic and I'm planning on focusing some of that optimistic energy into reading. I read more than I ever did in 2016, and one of the things I did that year was to plan more and participate in most of the CATs and KITs; I plan to use the CATs and KITs to help me choose books from my categories where they aren't defined already, moving them off my shelves.

The other play on words is that I'm still going to include a bunch of series reading in my 2019 plans, but not quite as serious as the last two years.

So, I've got 19 categories with a few goals here and there.

I'm going to go for 64 books in 2019 - why not aim high!




Also plan to track pages read, based on average pages per book in 2018 so far:



2LisaMorr
Edited: Nov 5, 2019, 11:12am Top

1001 books - I would like to read one a month



1. The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan (Jan)
2. The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (Mar)
3. Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford (Mar)
4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (May)
5. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (September)
6. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
7. The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe*
8. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe*
9. The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe*

* Count as 1001 books but I don't count these as three books as they were included in Tales of Mystery and Imagination, which I haven't finished yet.

3LisaMorr
Edited: Oct 28, 2019, 2:48pm Top

Wheel of Time - I would like to finish the series; assuming I complete The Fires of Heaven this month, I have 10 left!



1. Lord of Chaos (April)
2. A Crown of Swords (July)
3. The Path of Daggers (October)

4LisaMorr
Edited: Oct 28, 2019, 2:48pm Top

The Dresden Files

I plan to participate in the annual read

January - March are the catch-up months and I may pick up some Dresden-related short stories or graphic novels
Then one a month:


Still need to pick up Ghost Story and Cold Days for November and December

1. Blood Rites (May)
2. Dead Beat (June)
3. Proven Guilty (October)

5LisaMorr
Edited: Feb 10, 2019, 5:52pm Top

Southern Vampire Mysteries

Assuming I complete Definitely Dead in December, I will have two left on my TBR:



1. All Together Dead (Jan)
2. From Dead to Worse (Feb)

CATEGORY COMPLETED

6LisaMorr
Edited: May 17, 2019, 8:47am Top

US Presidents Challenge



A life-long challenge for me I think! I haven't read any in a while - I would like to read a few in 2019. I have been reading them in order, and I'd like to complete biographies for these 6 in 2019:

William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
James K. Polk
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce

1. William Henry Harrison by Gail Collins

7LisaMorr
Edited: Dec 10, 2018, 6:52pm Top

Ender's Game

I have four to read on my TBR and would like to read them all in 2019:

8LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 7, 4:45pm Top

Frost in May Quartet

I have three left to read:



1. The Lost Traveller read in February
2. The Sugar House read in November
3. Beyond the Glass read in December

CATEGORY COMPLETED

9LisaMorr
Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 11:44pm Top

His Dark Materials trilogy

I read The Golden Compass in 2017 and need to complete the trilogy.


1. The Subtle Knife read in Feb
2. The Amber Spyglass read in Dec

CATEGORY COMPLETED

10LisaMorr
Edited: Feb 1, 2019, 2:19pm Top

Books from Lisa

In the 12 years I've known Lisa, she has given me 120 books! I have a lot yet to read... I'd like to read one a month.

The first book she gave me:


1. Chernobyl Prayer by Svetlana Alexievich - 2018, read in January
2. Still Alice by Lisa Genova - 2015, read in January
3. I'm Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjork - 2016, read in January

11LisaMorr
Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 11:45pm Top

Short stories

I have tons of anthologies; two that I definitely want to read are 1001 books:



1. Flashing Swords! #5: Demons and Daggers (April)
2. The Virago Book of Fairy Tales (November)

12LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 7, 1:46pm Top

2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin (1929-2018)



1. Unlocking the Air and Other Stories read in December

13LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 7, 4:40pm Top

2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)



1. Angry Candy read in December

14LisaMorr
Edited: May 20, 2019, 8:49pm Top

15LisaMorr
Dec 10, 2018, 6:14pm Top

Group Reads

Tom Jones in July/August/September

16LisaMorr
Edited: Aug 15, 2019, 1:43pm Top

The Completist: Stephen King

The Stand is the one book in my entire library that I've re-read the most.


Stephen King is one of the authors where I want to read his entire fiction catalog. I have about a dozen of his books and short story collections on my shelves that I haven't read yet:

Doctor Sleep
Bag of Bones
From a Buick 8
The Regulators
The Long Walk
Duma Key
Full Dark, No Stars
Nightmares and Dreamscapes
Four Past Midnight
and with Peter Straub: Black House and The Talisman

1. Four Past Midnight read in August

17LisaMorr
Edited: Apr 2, 2019, 2:53pm Top

The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks

He wrote his science fiction under Iain M. Banks and his 'normal' fiction under Iain Banks.

The first books of each that I read were:
and

Unread from my shelves:
Iain Banks:
Dead Air
A Song of Stone
Espedair Street
Whit
The Steep Approach to Garbadale
Walking on Glass

Iain M. Banks:
Surface Detail
Feersum Endjinn
Matter
Consider Phlebas
Use of Weapons
Excession
Transition

1. Consider Phlebas (read in Mar)

18LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 7, 2:49pm Top

Pilgrimage

I'm going to give this a go this year. Thirteen novels in four books, I guess I'll try one a month!


- I finished Pointed Roofs on Feb 3.
- Finished Backwater on 12 May
- Honeycomb completed on 25 May - finally one book done!

- The Tunnel, first novel in Pilgrimage 2, completed on 15 June
- Interim, second novel in Pilgrimage 2, completed on 29 July - second book done!

- Deadlock, first novel in Pilgrimage 3, completed on 11 November.
- Revolving Lights and The Trap finished in December - third book done!

19LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 12, 3:32pm Top

Most collected, but unread!

I took a look through my catalog and have a lot of books collected from certain authors where I haven't read even one yet. Quite often they are Virago Modern Classics, or recommended authors, or where I picked up a whole series that was recommended. So, these are the authors that are most collected, but unread, and I'd like to at least make a start!

Georgette Heyer (14)
Christine Feehan (12)
Nina Bawden (7)
George Eliot (6)
Rosamund Lehmann (6)

1. These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer read in December

20LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 7, 5:04pm Top

Miscellaneous

Just in case something doesn't fit anywhere else!

1. Slan read for Jan TBRCAT
2. Cat Confessions read in Feb, fits BingoDOG
3. Things That Fall From the Sky read in May, fits TBRCAT, BingoDOG
4. Six Moon Dance read in May, fits RandomCAT, CalendarCAT, BingoDOG
5. Daemon: A Novel read in June, fits TBRCAT, ScaredyKIT, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG
6. The Other read in August, fits TBRCAT, ScaredyKIT, RandomCAT, BingoDOG
7. Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House read in November, fits BingoDOG
8. They Called Us Enemy read in December, fits CalendarCAT

21LisaMorr
Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 11:58pm Top

BingoDOG

I pretty much just let the card play out naturally - we'll see how it goes!



Eastern European author or setting - Chernobyl Prayer
Made into a movie - The Thirty-nine Steps
Cover has at least 2 human figures - Slan
Related to medicine or health - Still Alice
Book in translation - I'm Travelling Alone
Read a CAT - All Together Dead
About or featuring siblings - From Dead to Worse
Animal in title, cover, significant role - The Subtle Knife
Part of a series - The Lost Traveller
Author uses middle name or initial - Cat Confessions by Allia Zobel Nolan
Weather word in title or book involves weather event - Love in a Cold Climate
Alliterative title - Flashing Swords! #5: Demons and Daggers (FIRST BINGO)
LT rating of 4.0+ - Blood Rites (4.18)
Children's or YA - My Body My Choice
Man title has 6+ words - Things That Fall from the Sky
Mentioned in another book - Lord of the Flies
Artistic character - Six Moon Dance
Title contains homophone word - Dead Beat
Book bullet - Daemon
Short stories or essays - Four Past Midnight
Debut novel - The Other
Prize-winner book - The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Food-related Title or Topic - The Sugar House
Graphic novel - Sandman Volume 2: Doll's House
Fairy tale - The Virago Book of Fairy Tales

COMPLETED MY BINGO CARD FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!!!

22DeltaQueen50
Dec 11, 2018, 2:50am Top

Great set-up, Lisa. I'm looking forward to following along.

23MissWatson
Dec 11, 2018, 3:34am Top

You've got some very interesting categories here, good luck with your plans!

24LittleTaiko
Dec 11, 2018, 5:14pm Top

Good luck with the president's challenge. I've been stuck on Lincoln for a few years now. I keep saying that this will be the year I finally finish the book I have - maybe 2019?

25rabbitprincess
Dec 11, 2018, 6:43pm Top

Welcome back and have a great reading year! This year I hope to follow your series lead somewhat and finally finish the Martin Beck series. I have three books left.

26whitewavedarling
Dec 12, 2018, 12:40pm Top

Dropping by to say I look forward to following along :) You've got some of my favorite Stephen Kings on your yet-to-be-read list, too: Duma Key, Four Past Midnight, and Doctor Sleep! I've got some of Iain M. Banks' works on my shelf, too--here's hoping you'll inspire me to finally get around to trying them!

27tess_schoolmarm
Dec 12, 2018, 4:37pm Top

Some really great reading! Good luck with your challenge.

28lkernagh
Dec 14, 2018, 6:04pm Top

Love the setup. What a perfect way to tackle your series reading!

29mysterymax
Dec 15, 2018, 8:25am Top

Looks like a fun year of reading.

30LisaMorr
Dec 15, 2018, 5:05pm Top

>22 DeltaQueen50: Thanks Judy!
>23 MissWatson: Thank you Birgit!
>24 LittleTaiko: Thanks and good luck with Lincoln, Stacy! I've got so many Lincoln biographies - I'll be spending some extra time with him!
>25 rabbitprincess: Thanks rp and good luck with Martin Beck!
>26 whitewavedarling: Thanks Jennifer! And I hope you try Iain M. Banks - I've enjoyed every book I've read by him.
>27 tess_schoolmarm: Thanks Tess!
>28 lkernagh: Thanks Lori!
>29 mysterymax: Thanks, hope to make it so!

31LisaMorr
Edited: Dec 17, 2018, 4:40pm Top

January reading plans

RandomCAT = Still Alice, which fits in my Books from Lisa category
SeriesCAT = I'm Travelling Alone, which also fits in my Books from Lisa category
ScaredyKIT = The Thirty-Nine Steps, a 1001 book
TBRCAT = Slan
CalendarCAT = All Together Dead; Slan also fits.
AlphaKIT (A & Q) = Still Alice, All Together Dead and I'm Travelling Alone all fit.
SFFKIT = All Together Dead fits January's theme

I also want to get start on Pilgrimage and will try to fit in the first novel, Pointed Roofs.

32majkia
Dec 17, 2018, 11:04am Top

Hope your depression stays away. Enjoy your reading!

33Helenliz
Dec 17, 2018, 12:30pm Top

Excellent plan to start the year. Enjoy The 39 steps it's a rollercoaster of a ride.

34LisaMorr
Dec 17, 2018, 4:01pm Top

>32 majkia: Thank you!
>33 Helenliz: Thanks - sounds like that should be the first one I read!

35This-n-That
Dec 21, 2018, 9:44pm Top

Just stopping by to say hi and wishing you a better year. I noticed you gave The House at Riverton 5 stars. That is encouraging, as I hope to read during 2019.

36LisaMorr
Dec 22, 2018, 10:38am Top

>35 This-n-That: Thank you! And I hope you enjoy The House at Riverton!

37VivienneR
Dec 23, 2018, 3:41pm Top

Great reading plan! I hope all goes well in 2019.

38Chrischi_HH
Dec 27, 2018, 5:05pm Top

Nice set-up! I wish you a great reading year with lots of good books! :)

39The_Hibernator
Dec 31, 2018, 7:20am Top

Sometimes it's good to drop the serious planning for a little fun. Good luck and happy New Year!

40thornton37814
Dec 31, 2018, 11:57am Top

41tess_schoolmarm
Dec 31, 2018, 2:52pm Top

42LisaMorr
Jan 3, 2019, 4:00pm Top

>38 Chrischi_HH:, >39 The_Hibernator: Thank you for the good wishes!
>39 The_Hibernator:, >40 thornton37814:, >41 tess_schoolmarm: Thank you and happy new year to you too!

43LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 19, 2019, 11:26am Top


#1 Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future by Svetlana Alexievich
293 pages
Category: Books from Lisa
Fits: AlphaKIT, BINGODog

Wow - first book of the year, and a solid 5-star read. April 26, 1986 was when the world changed, when Chernobyl blew up, the worst civilian nuclear disaster in history. Alexievich chronicles this event through interviews with the people affected, with a preface covering the salient facts about the incident and its effects: clean-up workers sent in without any protection to 'clean-up' the site; families of military personnel sent to the site to try to contain it before it ran-away and caused a much worse catastrophe; families evacuated from the hot zone; people who refused to leave the hot zone; people continuing to live and work the contaminated land; Communist party leaders; atomic physicists and other nuclear experts; children. Powerful and disturbing.

44JayneCM
Jan 3, 2019, 4:54pm Top

>43 LisaMorr: It truly is disturbing how this disaster and its after-effects have been totally ignored by the rest of the world. I watched a documentary recently about how it is 30 years later and it was eerie how the area was just abandoned and there are still kids' toys lying around, etc. It really was like looking at a movie about a terrible possible future.
I have this author's book Second Hand Time on my list for this year but will have to add this one as well.

45LisaMorr
Jan 3, 2019, 5:40pm Top

>44 JayneCM: I definitely want to read more by this author!

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill was on the front page of US newspapers for months, but not so much in other countries that I traveled to at the time. So I guess when I think about it, maybe it's natural for other countries not to focus on it. In my field, we study this incident and try to learn from it. I would think that nuclear physicists and others in the field are still studying this incident. I agree though that the after-effects and what is happening today in Belarus are not at the top of the news outside of the immediate area. It reminds me of Bhopal, another man-made technological disaster that has affected thousands in India, and is not widely discussed.

46JayneCM
Jan 3, 2019, 5:53pm Top

>Absolutely! And in the West, we do tend to focus only on our own 'problems'. I always find it ironic when watching news stories where they will spend hours with special coverage on a disaster in our own country with no or minimal casualties, whereas down the bottom of the screen, the newws ticker will casually list a disaster in a 'third world' country where hundreds or thousands have died.
I guess I am very much of the opinion (and Chernobyl, Fukushima and Bhopal proved it, if people paid attention), that we are in all this together. In the long run, there is no such thing as territorial boundaries and borders. We cannot say that something is happening in another country, so nothing to do with me. And the after-effects are ongoing. I think many people are of the opinion that once it is off our news screens, it is all 'fixed'.

47LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 3, 2019, 6:48pm Top

>46 JayneCM: Very true - would that we could all espouse that thought, that we are all in this together.

48tess_schoolmarm
Jan 4, 2019, 9:59am Top

>46 JayneCM: >47 LisaMorr: I agree absolutely--we are a village whether we want to acknowledge it or not.

49BookLizard
Jan 4, 2019, 11:40am Top

4>You're going to want to have Ghost Story on hand - Changes has a bit of a cliffhanger ending.

Good luck keeping the depression at bay. If I'm not reading, that's usually a clue that I'm stressed out or depressed. Quote you might like: "I am not avoiding reality when I read fiction; I am strengthening my ability to cope with reality" - Roxanne Gay

50RidgewayGirl
Jan 4, 2019, 12:24pm Top

I'm eager to read something by Alexievich. Everyone who has read something is impressed.

51staci426
Jan 4, 2019, 1:22pm Top

I like your plan to finish off specific series. That's always a goal of mine as well. I've also been working on the 1001 books to read list and Stephen King. I'm working in publication order, so haven't gotten to any of his on your list except for The Long Walk, which I really enjoyed. Hope you do too.

52JayneCM
Jan 4, 2019, 6:01pm Top

>49 BookLizard: Great quote! Totally agree. My hubby thinks reading is escapist and being an ostrich but I think it is the opposite. Now I have the quote to prove it! :)

53LisaMorr
Jan 5, 2019, 11:53am Top

>48 tess_schoolmarm: I'm hopeful that in 2019 the world will act more like it!
>49 BookLizard: Thanks for your advice - I'll be ready! And thanks for the quote - very apt; I'm going to try to turn to books more this year.
>50 RidgewayGirl: I look forward to hearing what you think.
>51 staci426: Thanks - I only managed to finish off one series last year, Stephen King's The Dark Tower and I was so happy to finish it (but also sad, if you know what I mean). I'm hoping to finish/catch-up with more this year, so I can make room for more! And definitely looking forward to reading more Stephen King; before last year, I hadn't read very much of his work for quite a few years.
>52 JayneCM: My husband tends to read non-fiction about current events and I read more fiction than non; we do hand a few books off to each - he's interested in Chernobyl Prayer.

54pamelad
Jan 7, 2019, 6:38am Top

>19 LisaMorr: I envy your 14 unread Georgette Heyer's.

I was also very impressed with Voices from Chernobyl. Last year I read The Unwomanly Face of War, which I recommend just as highly. We just don't know enough about Russia's participation in WWII. We underrate its importance, and the huge sacrifice of the Russian people. This book will open your eyes.

This year, I'm planning on reading Second-hand Time.

55JayneCM
Jan 7, 2019, 6:44am Top

>54 pamelad: I have The Unwomanly Face of War and Secondhand Time on hold - just waiting for them to arrive. She certainly looks like an author worth reading.

56LisaMorr
Jan 7, 2019, 2:53pm Top

>19 LisaMorr: I've heard so many good things about Heyer here on LT, and so have been picking them up, but still haven't read one yet (I know that's terrible...). So, I will definitely read at least one this year.
>19 LisaMorr: >20 LisaMorr: I didn't know a thing about Alexievich until I received this book as a present last year - I'm very excited to read more by her and will put both of those on my wishlist.

57LisaMorr
Jan 12, 2019, 1:07pm Top


#2 Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
420 pages
Category: Current Events

There was so much about this book in the news when it came out that I wondered how much was left for me to discover. Well, a lot. My husband was reading this on vacation and wanted me to read it quickly so that we could talk about it together.

One thing my husband brought up is how Rob Porter is portrayed in the book - almost as a hero. He figures prominently for about 200 pages of the book, ostensibly one of the only people trying to hold Trump back from his worst behavior; when he resigns, it garners about half a page - I was a bit disappointed about the light treatment of him in the end - I mean he resigned because of accusations of domestic abuse from his two previous ex-wives, and they had photos.

And actually that's a point about the book - there's no salacious stuff. It doesn't even mention the relationship between Hope Hicks and Porter, for example.

Also, I found that Woodward jumped around a lot in the book, without transitions - I was like, oh, OK, we're going to talk about that now...

The book starts in 2010 when Steve Bannon firsts meets Trump and ends when Trump's attorney Dowd resigns because Trump was planning on testifying to Mueller, against Dowd's advice. The detailed part of the book starts in August 2016 and goes through March 2018. I wasn't that surprised with a lot of the stuff in the book because I've seen Trump behave the way the book describes, because of all the leaking out of his administration and finally because of all the press this book got when it came out. What I guess was surprising is how denigrating he was of people in his administration, how badly he treated people; also, he didn't care about any facts that were presented to him, if they were not supporting his already developed opinion, which he would never change. Facts be damned - of course, this shouldn't really be surprising as this president lies more than any other (reference politifact.com).

I think Bob Woodward was trying to be as balanced as he could be - he seemed to be giving Trump a lot of credit for how charming he was when he would call the families of fallen military; what's weird is some stuff that was covered in the news about how Trump bickered with the widow of La David Johnson who was left behind to die in Niger, wasn't in the book. So, I was surprised about that.

Anyway, with everything that keeps coming out after more and more people are making plea deals with Mueller, I kept running across stuff in the book that led to a lot of 'a-ha' moments, and "it's all making sense now."

It's definitely worth a read.

58LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 19, 2019, 11:26am Top


#3 The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan
119 pages
Category:1001 books
Fits: ScaredyKIT, BINGODog

Bored Richard Hannay has already had enough of London, after returning from a life abroad. But then a neighbor drops by and Richard's life becomes very exciting, very fast. The coincidences are unbelievable at times in this espionage thriller as Richard becomes embroiled in trying to stop a secret plot to undermine the British war effort as Europe marches towards WW1. Still it was a fun ride as Richard races across Scotland by train, car and on foot as he tries to shake his pursuers and expose the plot.

59rabbitprincess
Jan 13, 2019, 9:21pm Top

>58 LisaMorr: Great cover on that edition! :)

60LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 19, 2019, 11:00am Top

>59 rabbitprincess: It is, isn't it? Sometimes the Oxford World Classics versions have really nice artwork.

61LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 19, 2019, 11:25am Top


#4 Slan by A. E. van Vogt
176 pages
Category: miscellaneous
Fits: TBRCat, CalendarCAT, BingoDOG

Originally published in four parts in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction in 1940, Slan is considered to be one of van Vogt's best novels. Slans are psychic, super intelligent, very quick and strong and are related to humans. How they are related to humans is a big part of the story, which follows Jommy Cross, a nine-year old Slan, as he matures and tries to discover these secrets and protect his race from being destroyed by the humans and another related-race. It was a pretty quick read and fairly interesting, but I found it to be a bit disjointed. That being said, for being published in 1940, it holds up well.

62LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 19, 2019, 11:28pm Top


#5 Still Alice by Lisa Genova
345 pages
Category: Books from Lisa
Fits AlphaKIT, RandomCAT, BingoDOG

Told from Alice's point of view, we learn about her symptoms leading up to a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. This is a tragic diagnosis for anyone, and for a linguistics professor at Harvard, not being able to find the right words, or eventually even to read, is brutal. We see what happens to Alice over two years, and learn what a devastating disease this is.

63lkernagh
Jan 19, 2019, 10:24pm Top

Genova's books are amazing. So well written and really gets to the physical/ mental/ emotional impacts on the character.

64LisaMorr
Jan 19, 2019, 11:29pm Top

>63 lkernagh: It was very well done. I noticed at the end of Still Alice a preview to a book about Huntington's disease; are most of her books centered around people suffering from various illnesses?

65LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 28, 2019, 10:45am Top


#6 I'm Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjork, pen name of Frode Sander Øien - translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund
474 pages
Category: Books from Lisa
Fits AlphaKIT, SeriesCAT, BingoDOG

Very good first book in the series Munch and Kruger where we are introduced to Holger Munch and Mia Kruger, both working in the Violent Crimes Section; well, Mia Kruger had worked in the Violent Crimes Section, but at the start of the book she is apparently planning to kill herself until Holger visits her on her solitary island, bringing her a case file that brings her back to the team, at least temporarily. What follows is a roller coaster of confusing clues as Munch and Kruger try to solve the mystery around a serial killer who's after 6-yr old school girls.

66lkernagh
Jan 20, 2019, 5:52pm Top

>64 LisaMorr: - Yes, all of Genova's stories are centered around people suffering from illnesses or medical conditions as a result of an accident.

67LisaMorr
Edited: May 24, 2019, 7:59pm Top


#7 All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris
323 pages
Category: Southern Vampire Mysteries
Fits AlphaKIT, CalendarCAT, SFFKIT, BingoDOG

I thought it was well done - things are getting more and more complicated for Sookie Stackhouse as she's gotten into the middle of various plots - vampires against vampires, humans against vampires - as well as having a were-tiger, a couple of vampires and a telepath interested in her. Lots to juggle in this one.

68LisaMorr
Edited: Feb 1, 2019, 2:35pm Top

January Summary

Read 7 books, which is a great pace if I can keep it up! Average page count per book was 307.

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while, and I did OK with that in January, with 5 books acquired at least a year ago:
books acquired before 2008: 1
2009: 1
2011:
2012:
2013:
2015: 2
2016: 1
2017:
2018: 2

More statistics:
3/7 books by women authors
2 non-fiction books
countries visited: 5 (Belarus, England, Scotland, US, Norway)
CATs and KITS: Alpha, Scaredy, TBR, Calendar, Random, Series
Bingo Cards: 6

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 1
2. Wheel of Time series
3. The Dresden Files
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 1
5. US Presidents Challenge
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet
8. His Dark Materials trilogy
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
13. Current Events - 1
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks
17. Pilgrimage
18. Most collected, but unread!
19. Miscellaneous

Best of the month: Chernobyl Prayer - 5*

69LisaMorr
Feb 1, 2019, 5:16pm Top

February reading plans:

Finish Pointed Roofs - the first novel in Pilgrimage.
SeriesCAT - The Subtle Knife, which fits my His Dark Materials trilogy category and the AlphaKIT
CalendarCAT - Love in a Cold Climate, which fits my 1001 book category
RandomCAT - The Lost Traveller, which fits my Frost in May quarter category
TBRCAT - The Help, also fits AlphaKIT
SFF-KIT - Xenocide, which fits my Ender's Game category and the AlphaKIT
ScaredyKIT - From Dead to Worse, which fits my Southern Vampire Mysteries category

So, that's already a huge list, but I want to get started with these also:
William Henry Harrison for my US Presidents Challenge
Backwater, second novel in Pilgrimage for the year-long read
Lord of Chaos for my Wheel of Time category

Will be much more than I can chew, but I'll make a stab at it!

70DeltaQueen50
Feb 1, 2019, 5:23pm Top

Good luck with your February plans, Lisa!

71rabbitprincess
Feb 1, 2019, 6:38pm Top

An ambitious February indeed! Good luck!

72christina_reads
Feb 4, 2019, 11:09am Top

>68 LisaMorr: Congrats on a great January! My reading pace is usually 6-7 books per month also.

73LisaMorr
Feb 4, 2019, 3:53pm Top

>70 DeltaQueen50:, >71 rabbitprincess: Thanks - I'll need it!

>72 christina_reads: 6-7 books per month is a great pace! It hasn't been my usual pace for the last few years, so I'm not expecting to keep it up; 4 is probably a more likely pace.

74LisaMorr
Edited: Feb 10, 2019, 5:56pm Top


#8 From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
359 pages
Category: Southern Vampire Mysteries
Fits ScaredyKIT, BingoDOG

Lots going on in this one, the 8th book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Sookie intervenes in what looks like a war between two groups of werewolves, she also ends up getting caught in the middle of a hostile takeover of the Louisiana vampire region, has to stand up for her brother when his wife, a werepanther, breaks her marriage vows, and also gets to meet her great-grandfather, a fairy prince - who leads her to meet another unknown relative.

It didn't finish in a cliffhanger, thankfully, because I don't have the next book yet, but I definitely want to continue with the series.

And, this finishes off my first series catch-up category for 2019! Yay!

75LisaMorr
Feb 15, 2019, 4:15pm Top


#9 The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
326 pages
Category: His Dark Materials
Fits SeriesCAT, AlphaKIT and BingoDOG

The second book in the His Dark Materials trilogy, The Subtle Knife starts off on our world, with Will trying to find a place to keep his mother safe. Eventually Will meets up with Lyra, and learns that his destiny is linked with hers. They travel back and forth between his world and another parallel world, running from enemies everywhere. It ends in a cliffhanger, and I'm definitely interested in what happens to Will and Lyra. Knowing this has been marketed to a YA audience, I was a bit surprised with some of the disturbing imagery and plot turns.

76LisaMorr
Edited: May 24, 2019, 8:02pm Top


#10 The Lost Traveller by Antonia White
314 pages
Category: Frost in May quartet
Fits RandomCAT, BingoDOG

This is considered the second book in Antonia White's Frost in May quartet. It's a bit confusing though, as the name of the main character changes from Nanda to Clara; I've read up a bit on White, and I understand things a bit better now, although I'm more curious than ever about what is autobiographical and what is made up.

White published this book 17 years after Frost in May; she has said that Frost in May was "so much my own life" and she wanted The Lost Traveller to be a real novel; she also said that everything in The Lost Traveller is "the sort of thing that happened" to her, "though many things are changed, many invented." This book explored more from the point of view of Clara's mother and father than the previous book, but clearly also focused on Clara from the time she returned home from a convent school at fifteen to when she got engaged at seventeen. There is a lot going on in this short time frame, some really disturbing stuff and a shock here and there. I'm quite curious to see how it continues.

77LisaMorr
Edited: Feb 24, 2019, 4:43pm Top


#11 Cat Confessions by Allia Zobel Nolan
64 pages
Category: miscellaneous
Fits AlphaKIT, BingoDOG

So, I was cataloguing books I got for Christmas today, and my MIL gave me this - 64 pages of cat pics and cat confessions later, and I guess I can count this as a book read... Not really that great, a mixture of real cat confessions (like hawking a hairball into a shoe) and fake ones (like 'told Mommy's date how old she really is'), but there were a couple of funny ones and the pictures were cute.

78LisaMorr
Mar 1, 2019, 11:13am Top

February Summary

Read 4 books, and the first novel in Pilgrimage 1, Pointed Roofs. Not as good as January, but I'll blame it on the fact that I've been a nursemaid to my husband who had surgery on his foot on 31 January, in addition to my regular job. Average page count per book was 273 - I'm not counting the pages read in Pilgrimage until I finish each of the 4 physical books.

Happy to have completed my first category - Southern Vampire Mysteries!

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while, and I did well with that in February, with 3 books acquired at least a year ago:
books acquired before 2008: 1
2009: 1
2011:
2012: 1
2013:
2015:
2016:
2017:
2018: 1

More statistics:
3/4 books by women authors (yay!)
0 non-fiction books
countries visited: 2 (England, US)
CATs and KITS: Alpha, Scaredy, Calendar, Random, Series
Bingo Cards: 4, no Bingo yet

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 1
2. Wheel of Time series
3. The Dresden Files
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 2 COMPLETE
5. US Presidents Challenge
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet - 1
8. His Dark Materials trilogy - 1
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
13. Current Events - 1
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks
17. Pilgrimage
18. Most collected, but unread!
19. Miscellaneous - 2

Best of the month: The Lost Traveller and From Dead to Worse, each 4*

79LisaMorr
Mar 1, 2019, 12:21pm Top

March reading plans

I have quite a few carryovers that I need to squeeze in somewhere in order to continue to make progress with my 2019 plans:

- Continue with Pilgrimage 1 - need to finish the book by reading Backwater and Honeycomb this month.
- Read William Henry Harrison - plan is to read 6 presidential biographies this year, so one every other month was the original plan!
- Read Lord of Chaos to stay on plan with finishing this huge series this year (10 books to read, so want to read 1/month from here on out - and they are tomes!).

I had planned to read Love in a Cold Climate for the February CalendarCAT and also the 1001 monthly challenge and then I realized that my version of the book also included The Pursuit of Love which is also a 1001 book, and that book comes first (although not a typical series, I understand that there are some characters in Love in a Cold Climate that appear first in The Pursuit of Love). I've enjoyed it so far, so I plan to finish the book, which will lead to 2 more completed in my 1001 category!

And then books for the March challenges:

TBRCAT: Funny Tales from Daily Life in the Westfjords of Iceland, also fits AlphaKIT
SeriesCAT: Consider Phlebas, fits my category: The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks
RandomCAT: Pilgrimage, which fits my Pilgrimage year-long read category and the group read
CalendarCAT: Also going to count Pilgrimage for International Women's Day, and anything else written by women
ScaredyKIT: In Cold Blood, fits my 1001 category
SFF-KIT: The Yiddish Policeman's Union

Another big pile for March; I think I will get more read this month - my husband is much more self-sufficient and I have a business trip with many hours of flying (reading!) time.

80rabbitprincess
Mar 1, 2019, 12:49pm Top

Looks like a good March ahead! Glad to hear your husband is on the mend and that you have a lot of reading time in store!

81lkernagh
Mar 1, 2019, 5:21pm Top

>79 LisaMorr: - I love how organized you are with your reading plans!

82LisaMorr
Mar 3, 2019, 9:23pm Top

>80 rabbitprincess: Thank you!
>81 lkernagh: Thank you - I'm trying to replicate what I did in 2016, when I read more books than I had in a long time.

83LisaMorr
Edited: Mar 11, 2019, 4:19pm Top


#12 The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
457 pages
Category: 1001 books (counts for 2!)
Fits RandomCAT, CalendarCAT, AlphaKIT and BingoDOG

The Pursuit of Love:
Within a couple of pages of starting this novel by Nancy Mitford, I ran into a description of a child-hunt, where the narrator's Uncle Matthew would hold an actual child hunt with huge braying hounds chasing two little girls across the country-side; no this isn't The Hunger Games and the little girls loved it and the neighbors thought Uncle Matthew was crazy. Thus starts this novel which was absolutely delightful! Lots of laugh-out-loud moments, but it was also a bit wistful, following along the narrator's cousin in her pursuit of love.

Love in a Cold Climate:
A companion novel to The Pursuit of Love, this novel has many of the same characters. It has the same narrator, and covers a period of time that overlap The Pursuit of Love. This time we follow the narrator's friend, the beautiful Polly (Leopoldina actually - her mother rather hoped she might marry royalty), and covers Polly growing up and her mother's efforts trying to marry her off. As with the previous novel, we get to see a lot of what pre-WWII London society was like. Another lovely novel that makes me a big Nancy Mitford fan.

84LisaMorr
Apr 2, 2019, 2:49pm Top


#13 Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
471 pages
Category: The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks
Fits: SeresCAT

Consider Phlebas is the first in Iain M. Banks' Culture series. I had read the second one first (The Player of Games) and loved it. You don't have to read them in order, however I did find this book explained a bit more about the Culture, a humanoid civilization.

While I liked it and I'm glad I read it, I didn't love it. It starts out very fast, with the protagonist Horza looking like he is going to die in a really disgusting way. He gets out of it, and then has several more adventures before he reaches the planet where his ultimate goal is located. And that's when things really slowed down - it took forever to move the plot along at this point. I stayed with it until the end, but I felt frustrated with how slowly it went - it was meant to be exciting with plot twists here and there, but it just dragged.

This was Banks first SF novel, and I did love the second one, and will definitely read more of The Culture.

85LisaMorr
Apr 2, 2019, 3:11pm Top

March Summary

Read only 2 books, not very good. I was pretty busy in March and it didn't help that the second book I read was a slog to finish. Oh well! Average page count per book was 464, which is up from Jan and Feb.

I completed my first book in a new category: The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while, and both books in March were acquired at least a year ago:
2016: 1
2017: 1

More statistics:
1/2 books by women authors
0 non-fiction books
countries visited: 3 (England, France, Spain)
CATs and KITS: Alpha, Calendar, Random, Series
Bingo Cards: 1, no Bingo yet

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 3* (2 1001 books in 1 physical book)
2. Wheel of Time series
3. The Dresden Files
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 2 COMPLETE
5. US Presidents Challenge
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet - 1
8. His Dark Materials trilogy - 1
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
13. Current Events - 1
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks - 1
17. Pilgrimage
18. Most collected, but unread!
19. Miscellaneous - 2

Best of the month: The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate - 5*

86LisaMorr
Apr 2, 2019, 4:36pm Top

Quarterly Summary

Thirteen books read, which suggests I'll finish 52 books by year-end. I think I can up the average a bit.

7 of 13 books read were by women - I'm proud of that!

10 of 13 books read were acquired 2017 or earlier.

Average page count 318; last year it was 359 - just depends on how many BFBs I get through! I have quite a few tomes planned, so we'll see where it gets to.

I've been picking out books for every monthly challenge and have lots of carryovers; I'm leaving them out in a pile on a table in the living room so they can stare me down and I may still get to some of them.

87LisaMorr
Apr 2, 2019, 5:04pm Top

April Reading To-Do List

(Again) I have quite a few carryovers that I need to squeeze in somewhere in order to continue to make progress with my 2019 plans:

- Continue with Pilgrimage 1 - need to finish the book by reading Backwater and Honeycomb this month and potentially start the Pilgrimage II.
- Read William Henry Harrison - plan was to read 6 presidential biographies this year, so one every other month was the original plan!
- Read Lord of Chaos; I am now officially behind on my plan to finish this huge series this year (10 books to read and most of them are tomes!).

And then books for the April challenges:

TBRCAT: I meant to read The Help in February, looks like I have another chance in April
SeriesCAT: I've been meaning to get back to The Wheel of Time; read the last one in December, and meant to pick up Lord of Chaos in February and then March - April is the ticket!
RandomCAT: Milkman: A Novel, a book I received from Lisa (checking off that category again!), is on the ToB this year (also fits AlphaKIT)
CalendarCAT: Don't know yet
ScaredyKIT: Haven
SFF-KIT: Flashing Swords #5: Demons and Daggers, which fits my short stories category.

Another big pile for April; I think I will get more read this month, but that's what I said last month! Seven books planned - and I'm considering something for the 1001 monthly challenge as well.

I better get reading!

88LisaMorr
Edited: Apr 28, 2019, 5:51pm Top


#14 Lord of Chaos
716 pages
Category: The Wheel of Time
Fits: SeresCAT

Phew, finally finished a book this month, and a tome to boot. Lord of Chaos is the sixth book in The Wheel of Time series. I have to say I found it to be a slog until exactly page 418 - then bam! There were so many threads to follow and so many characters to remember and try to keep straight but then Nynaeve did the impossible and cured Logain, a man who could channel but who had been stilled by the Aes Sedai . I raced through the remaining 300 pages and it didn't disappoint.

Funny thing about this one is that I thought for sure I had already read it, it looked like it had been read, but I definitely do not remember some of the stuff that happened. I wonder if I stopped reading mid-way?

Anyway, I'm excited to start the first totally new-to-me book in The Wheel of Time series, A Crown of Swords.

89LisaMorr
May 5, 2019, 4:34pm Top

April Summary

Read a grand total of ONE book...but it was a long one, 716 pages.

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while, and the one book I finished I've had since 1994!

More statistics:
0/1 books by women authors
0 non-fiction books
countries visited: none
CATs and KITS: Series
Bingo Cards: none

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 3* (2 1001 books in 1 physical book)
2. Wheel of Time series - 1
3. The Dresden Files
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 2 COMPLETE
5. US Presidents Challenge
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet - 1
8. His Dark Materials trilogy - 1
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
13. Current Events - 1
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks - 1
17. Pilgrimage
18. Most collected, but unread!
19. Miscellaneous - 2

Best of the month: I gave Lord of Chaos 4 stars.

90LisaMorr
May 5, 2019, 4:51pm Top

May Reading To-Do List

Lots of carryovers that I need to squeeze in somewhere in order to continue to make progress with my 2019 plans:

- Continue with Pilgrimage 1 - need to finish the book by reading Backwater and Honeycomb this month and potentially start the Pilgrimage II.
- Read William Henry Harrison - plan was to read 6 presidential biographies this year, so one every other month was the original plan!
- A Crown of Swords is next on the docket for The Wheel of Time

Started reading a short story collection for the April SFF-KIT that I've just finished.

And then books for the May challenges:

TBRCAT: William Henry Harrison (fits my US Presidents Challenge category), and a couple of ERs (hopefully!): Things That Fall From the Sky and My Body My Choice
SeriesCAT: A Crown of Swords (fits my Wheel of Time category)
RandomCAT: Six Moon Dance and/or Invitation to the Waltz
CalendarCAT: don't know yet
ScaredyKIT: Lord of the Flies (fits my 1001 category)
SFF-KIT: international SFF, not sure yet
Dresden Files group read: Blood Rites

91LisaMorr
Edited: May 5, 2019, 5:02pm Top


#15 Flashing Swords! #5: Demons and Daggers edited by Lin Carter
184 pages
Category: short stories
Fits: April SFFKit, Bingo (FIRST BINGO!)

Tower of Ice by Roger Zelazny
A Thief in Korianth by C. J. Cherryh
Parting Gifts by Diane Duane
A Dealing with Demons by Craig Shaw Gardner
The Dry Season by Tanith Lee

Five short stories that fit in the 'swords and sorcery' sub-genre. Two excellent, two good and one OK. My favorites were Parting Gifts, a story about a Rodmistress (a type of witch) called by the Goddess to fight once last fight against the Shadow and The Dry Season, about the occupation of a town, and a new commander arrives just five days before a sacrifice will be made.

92LisaMorr
Edited: May 14, 2019, 6:46pm Top


#16 Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
435 pages
Category: The Dresden Files
Fits: BingoDOG

There was a lot going on in this one - Harry takes a job trying to protect a porn movie producer and gets entangled with the White Council (wizards), and the White and Black Courts (vampires). He also gets a puppy and finds out more about his family.

93LisaMorr
May 17, 2019, 10:43am Top


#17 William Henry Harrison by Gail Collins
153 pages
Category: US Presidents Challenge
Fits: TBRCAT, AlphaKIT

It actually took me a long to get a copy of this and I finally bought a used library edition online (Danbury Public Library).

For a 31-day president, I didn't expect that much, but it did exceed my expectations. I felt like I got a sense of the man. I also don't think he would've been very successful. What resonated the most was how he was constantly begging people for jobs and how he wasn't very good at managing his money. He also seemed very generous and a gracious host, even though he was always short on money. Also interesting that he said he was going to follow the lead of congress (and essentially be a weak president), but some of his actions and statements towards the end seemed to belie that. And we'll never know.

94LisaMorr
May 20, 2019, 8:13pm Top


#18 My Body My Choice: The Fight for Abortion Rights by Robin Stevenson
175 pages
Category: Current Events
Fits: TBRCAT, BingoDOG, CalendarCAT

I received this book as part of the Early Reviewer's program, and it turned out to be more timely that I would've hoped. This book aimed at teens explains what an abortion is, who has abortions, the history of abortion, the fight for legal abortion in the US and Canada, how abortion rights are being attacked in North America and across the world, and what can be done to fight for reproductive justice. It is well-illustrated with photos and comics and lots of insets. Although marketed for a YA audience, as an adult I learned a lot. Well done and I hope it helps to educate young women as well as mobilize them.

95LisaMorr
Edited: May 24, 2019, 3:52pm Top


#19 Things That Fall From the Sky by Selja Ahava
230 pages
Category: miscellaneous
Fits: TBRCAT, BingoDOG

I received this through the Early Reviewers program and it's a little gem although I can't explain why very well. The first half of the book is told from the point of view of the daughter about her life, her recollections of her mother, and what her life has been like since her mother passed away in a very improbable way. Then there is a little section about Hamish MacKay and what he is famous for and how the daughter's aunt writes to him. The next little chapter is told from the point of view of the woman who comes to live with the daughter and her father, and finally the last chapter is told from the point of view of the daughter again. The imagery is beautiful. The book is full of grief, longing, hope and wistfulness. A lot of musing about time. It's a lovely book.

96lkernagh
May 24, 2019, 3:32pm Top

>94 LisaMorr: - Wow, that is a timely read. Great review!

97LisaMorr
May 24, 2019, 3:59pm Top

>96 lkernagh: Thank you!

98LisaMorr
Edited: May 31, 2019, 3:23pm Top


#20 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
263 pages
Category: 1001 books
Fits: ScaredyKIT, BingoDOG

Wow - what a read! I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't really this. A beautifully written tale of a group of boys stranded on an island as a result of an airplane crash. With no adults around, they start to organize under a leader, Ralph, who gets them set on tasks like building shelters and most importantly keeping a fire going so that the smoke will be noticed and they will be rescued. Ralph's main competitor is Jack, who just wants to hunt the feral pigs on the island. The longer they are there, their civilized nature starts to fall apart and it gets pretty gruesome!

99mathgirl40
May 24, 2019, 10:19pm Top

>88 LisaMorr: I'd read Lord of Chaos last year and had the exact same experience. I found it a total slog until that event occurred. I have mixed feelings about Nynaeve. She's a fascinating character but Robert Jordan infuriates me with all the focus on her dresses and her braid-tugging.

100LisaMorr
May 26, 2019, 4:20pm Top

>99 mathgirl40: LOL! That's exactly what I think of about her!

101LisaMorr
Edited: Aug 23, 2019, 4:26pm Top


#21 Pilgrimage I by Dorothy Richardson
490 pages
Category: Pilgrimage
Fits: CalendarCAT

Pilgrimage I encompasses the first three novels in Dorothy Richardson's Pilgrimage, 13 novels in four books. After I finished this volume, I read the introduction and foreword and gained a better understanding of why this work is important. I knew that it was one of the first works to use stream of consciousness; I didn't realize that although Richardson bills this as fiction, it closely follows her own life between 1891 and 1915.

The first novel, Pointed Roofs, has Miriam Henderson going to Germany to teach English in a school there. The second novel, Backwater, was pretty bleak - Miriam comes home and takes a job as a teacher which she doesn't like. She looks for another opportunity, and towards the end of the novel she is confident enough to leave the job at the school. Also her family is having financial difficulties; her father has to sell their home to help pay for her mother's care.

The third novel, Honeycomb, has Miriam going to work as a governess for a rich family in the country. Her two sisters get married. By reading the introduction and some other background information, I figured out that Miriam's mom passes away at the end of Honeycomb, but it's not that clear.

Reading this book was a bit of a slog; it was a slow as you might expect when stream of consciousness is used - everything Miriam sees and feels are described. I understand the importance of it, and reading Richardson's own foreword is helpful.

I'm committing to read all of Pilgrimage, so three more books and ten more novels to go!

102VivienneR
May 28, 2019, 5:16pm Top

>98 LisaMorr: I read Lord of the Flies many years ago and was very impressed with it. Often I find events in RL remind me if of the story and the behaviour of the boys.

103LisaMorr
May 30, 2019, 3:04pm Top

>102 VivienneR: Wow - events in RL? I'm afraid to ask...

104LisaMorr
May 31, 2019, 3:22pm Top


#22 Six Moon Dance by Sheri S. Tepper
454 pages
Category: Miscellaneous
Fits: RandomCAT, BingoDOG, CalendarCAT

Tepper created a really interesting world in Newholme, colonized by humans. The culture of Newholme is one where women have all the power, and I found reading it right now to be very interesting. Men have to be veiled, otherwise women might be tempted and corrupted by the sight of a male face. The planet has been going through a series of ever more violent volcanic eruptions, and for this reason mainly, the Questioner, from the Council of Worlds, has decided to visit the planet. Recommended!

105LisaMorr
May 31, 2019, 9:35pm Top

May Summary

Best month of the year so far with EIGHT books read! 298 pages per book was the average. How did I read so much more this month? I figured something out - normally I don't like to read more than one book at a time. However, some of the books I planned to read this month were on the slow side - Pilgrimage and William Henry Harrison are good examples. Probably everyone else knows this trick, but I worked out that if I read a chapter or so of a page-turner, and then switched over to read a chapter of Pilgrimage (for example), I could finish both books quicker than if I was just trying to read the book I started first (the slow book) in order. So this will be great for me as I try to make progress with the 13 novels of Pilgrimage and read some more US presidential biographies.

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while - did OK this month, but three were from 2019 (and two of those were early reviewers):
2008 or earlier - 2
2012 - 1
2015 - 1
2016 - 1
2019 - 3

More statistics:
5/8 books by women authors - a good month!
2 non-fiction books
countries visited: US, UK, Finland
CATs and KITS: Alpha, Calendar, Random, Scaredy, TBR
Bingo Cards: Six squares

I cracked a few new categories this month: The Dresden Files, US Presidents Challenge, Short Stories and Pilgrimage!

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 4* (2 1001 books in 1 physical book)
2. Wheel of Time series - 1
3. The Dresden Files - 1
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 2 COMPLETE
5. US Presidents Challenge - 1
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet - 1
8. His Dark Materials trilogy - 1
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories - 1
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
13. Current Events - 2
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks - 1
17. Pilgrimage - 1
18. Most collected, but unread!
19. Miscellaneous - 4

Best of the month: Six Moon Dance with 4 1/2 stars.

106LisaMorr
May 31, 2019, 9:42pm Top

June reading plans

To continue my year-long projects, I want to continue with Pilgrimage 2 and read The Tunnel; Dead Beat for The Dresden Files group read and A Crown of Swords to continue to make progress with The Wheel of Time.

For the CATS and KITS:
SeriesCAT - A Crown of Swords fits my Wheel of Time category
TBRCAT - Daemon - doesn't fit one of my categories, but is a series book I have laying around...
ScaredyKIT - also Daemon
RandomCAT - Guns, Germs, and Steel - books from Lisa
SFFKIT - don't know yet
AlphaKIT - most of the above fit J or D

107LisaMorr
Jun 18, 2019, 10:37pm Top


#23 Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
513 pages
Category: Dresden Files
Fits: BingoDOG, AlphaKIT

The big story in this one was that a trio of necromancers and their sidekicks were looking for a special book that has information on how to call forward the dead on Halloween so that one of them can become all-powerful. While all this is happening in Chicago, something bigger is happening between the Red Court and the White Council. And a demon from a previous encounter rears it's beautiful head, while Harry becomes a Warden of the White Council - what will happen next?

108LisaMorr
Edited: Jun 18, 2019, 10:54pm Top


#24 Daemon: A Novel by Daniel Suarez
429 pages
Category: miscellaneous
Fits: BingoDOG, AlphaKIT, TBRCAT, ScaredyKIT

Daemon starts off with a bang - two employees of a very successful computer gaming computer are killed through the internet ostensibly by the company's now-dead founder, a super-smart eccentric, some would say crazy. The local PD starts investigating, and then the CIA, and tons of government entities get involved in trying to figure it all out and prevent this dead guy from taking over everything. Suarez knows what he's talking about from a cyber security perspective, and this fast-paced techno-thriller pulls out all the stops. I understand there is a sequel and I will need to get it!

109VivienneR
Jun 21, 2019, 9:31pm Top

>103 LisaMorr: Not necessarily involving children! There are some adults who go wild if they think no one is watching.

110LisaMorr
Jun 21, 2019, 9:43pm Top

>109 VivienneR: Ah! Good point.

111LisaMorr
Jul 8, 2019, 7:45am Top

June Summary

Well only two books completed this month, but I did also finish The Tunnel, the first novel in Pilgrimage 2, and I started on both Guns, Germs and Steel and A Crown of Swords. 471 pages average for the two books I'm counting for this month (I'll count The Tunnel when I finish Pilgrimage 2).

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while - both books this month have been on my shelves for a while:
2009 - 1
2015 - 1

More statistics:
0/2 books by women authors - need to work on this a bit
0 non-fiction books
countries visited: US
CATs and KITS: Alpha, Scaredy, TBR
Bingo Cards: Two squares

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 4* (2 1001 books in 1 physical book)
2. Wheel of Time series - 1
3. The Dresden Files - 2
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 2 COMPLETE
5. US Presidents Challenge - 1
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet - 1
8. His Dark Materials trilogy - 1
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories - 1
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
13. Current Events - 2
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks - 1
17. Pilgrimage - 1
18. Most collected, but unread!
19. Miscellaneous - 5

Best of the month: Both books were 4 star reads for me.

112LisaMorr
Jul 8, 2019, 7:52am Top

2nd Quarter Summary

Twenty-four books read, which suggests I'll finish 48 books by year-end, slightly down from the first quarter. Reading a few tomes this year, and some challenging books, but hopefully will still get over 50 read.

12 of 24 books read were by women - I would be happy to have at least 50% for the whole year.
17 of 24 books read were acquired 2017 or earlier.

Average page count 341 up from 318 in the first quarter; last year it was 359 - just depends on how many BFBs I get through! I have quite a few tomes planned, so we'll see where it gets to.

There are a lot of books I've picked out for the monthly challenges that I would like to still get to - we'll see!

113LisaMorr
Edited: Jul 9, 2019, 12:18pm Top

July reading plans

Lots on deck for this month - we'll see if I can complete them all! I'm working on A Crown of Swords for my Wheel of Time year-long read and will finish that this week. I would also like to read Interim to finish Pilgrimage 2, part of another year-long read. I started Guns, Germs and Steel last month, and want to continue with it. Proven Guilty is up next for me for the Dresden Files. And for the CATS/KITS:

SeriesCAT: A Crown of Swords, fits my Wheel of Time category
RandomCAT: The Birds Fall Down, fits my 1001 category
TBRCAT: These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer; fits my 'most collected but unread' category
SFFFKIT: Xenocide or Use of Weapons; Xenocide is in my Ender's Game category, so that one will be first
AlphaKIT: A Crown of Swords and Xenocide (by Orson Scott Card) fir for C and Proven Guilty for P
CalendarCAT: hopefully something above will fit!
ScaredyKIT: Four Past Midnight, from my The Completist: Stephen King category

There is a group read of Tom Jones starting in July that I'd like to participate in, so I'll add that to the pile.

114LisaMorr
Edited: Jul 16, 2019, 5:59pm Top


#25 A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan
684 pages
Category: The Wheel of Time
Fits: SeriesCAT, AlphaKIT

This one picks up right where Lord of Chaos ends - in fact, there is a little bit of overlap where we see what happens from Sevanna's point of view when Rand escapes the White Tower's grasp (described in the previous book). Elayne and Nynaeve continue their search in Ebou Dar, with Mat helping out, while Egwene marches to the White Tower. Rand bounces around between Camelyn and Cairhien, involved in all kinds of palace intrigue and an almost deadly meeting with Padan Fain. And he goes to Shadar Logoth again to battle Sammael. Big cliffhangers at the end of this one, with the Seanchan coming to Ebou Dar.

Can't wait to start the next one!

115LisaMorr
Jul 29, 2019, 7:30pm Top


#26 Pilgrimage 2 by Dorothy Richardson
453 pages
Category: Pilgrimage
Fits: AlphaKIT, CalendarCAT

Pilgrimage 2 encompasses the fourth and fifth novels - The Tunnel and Interim. The Tunnel starts out with Miriam taking lodging in London where she works in a dental office. Interim continues, with the main change being that the lodging house has turned into a boarding house - now the inhabitants take their meals together. The stream of consciousness style continues with lots and lots of detail of everything that Miriam sees and feels. Miriam is enjoying her independence and solitude; she does engage with different groups of people throughout the book - her co-workers at the dental office, hanging out with two older single women, visiting an ill female acquaintance, going to concerts and lectures, chatting with her fellow boarders. It's interesting that she would really rather be alone and doesn't necessarily enjoy the change to a boarding house. I also thought it was interesting that she was regularly misunderstood by the men around her. And, although this is a stream of consciousness book, I'm little bit suspicious of Miriam as a narrator. I'm interested to see what happens next.

116LisaMorr
Edited: Aug 7, 2019, 12:15pm Top

July Summary

Again only two books completed this month - reasonably big ones, resulting in 568 pages average.

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while - both books this month have been on my shelves for a while:
2008 or earlier - 1
2017 - 1

More statistics:
1/2 books by women authors
0 non-fiction books
countries visited: UK
CATs and KITS: Series, Alpha, Calendar
Bingo Cards: No squares

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 4* (2 1001 books in 1 physical book)
2. Wheel of Time series - 2
3. The Dresden Files - 2
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 2 COMPLETE
5. US Presidents Challenge - 1
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet - 1
8. His Dark Materials trilogy - 1
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories - 1
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
13. Current Events - 2
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks - 1
17. Pilgrimage - 2
18. Most collected, but unread!
19. Miscellaneous - 5

Best of the month: Crown of Swords, 4 stars

117LisaMorr
Aug 7, 2019, 5:25pm Top

August reading plans

Big projects - continue the Wheel of Time with The Path of Daggers and Pilgrimage with Pilgrimage 3. I'd also like to see if I can get started with Tom Jones for the group read. I'm still sitting ready to read the next in the Dresden Files - Proven Guilty.

I'm currently reading Stephen King's Four Past Midnight, which I started for July's ScaredyKIT. I'm on the fourth novella of four. And this one fits my short story category.

I'm also slowly making my way through Guns, Germs and Steel which I picked for June's RandomCAT, and it's a book from Lisa.

I haven't read (well, completed - as the four Pilgrimage books will count for one 1001 book) a 1001 book for a while, and August is Virago month, so I'm thinking about The House of Mirth, which is a Virago Modern Classic and a 1001 book.

And for the CATs and KITs:

Calendar Cat: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, which fits my Books from Lisa category
SFFKIT: The Yiddish Policemen's Union and/or What Might Have Been, Volumes 3 & 4
ScaredyKIT: The Other by Thomas Tryon
TBRCAT: The Other fits this as well.
SeriesCAT: The Sugar House, which fits my Frost in May category.
AlphaKIT: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
RandomCAT: Not sure yet - theme is back to school.

118LisaMorr
Aug 15, 2019, 1:38pm Top


#27 Four Past Midnight by Stephen King
763 pages
Category: The Completist: Stephen King
Fits: BingoDOG, ScaredyKIT

Four novellas by Stephen King: The Langoliers; Secret Window, Secret Garden; The Library Policeman; and The Sun Dog, which I rated as 4* or 4.5* each. I liked The Langoliers best and The Sun Dog least, but at 4*, still very good. Vintage Stephen King, looking at different fears - fear of flying, fear of past transgressions catching up with you, fear of forgotten childhood abuse remembered, and fear of admitting the supernatural exists.

119LisaMorr
Edited: Sep 27, 2019, 5:23pm Top


#28 The Other by Thomas Tryon
294 pages
Category: Miscellaneous
Fits: TBRCAT, ScaredyKIT, RandomCAT, BingoDOG

Horror novel set in 1930's Connecticut, The Other follows Niles and his twin brother Holland as they get involved in a number of disturbing incidents during one hot summer in the town of Pequot Landing. One twin is nice and one twin is evil, isn't that how it always is in horror novels? And then there is grandmother Ada, who teaches them to play a game, but is it a game? Ada so loves her grandsons, but what is she to do?

Super creepy, and even though I saw the movie back in the late 70's and generally knew what would happen, this was an excellent read, and definitely gave me chills.

120DeltaQueen50
Aug 19, 2019, 11:35am Top

>119 LisaMorr: I remember being totally enthralled with Tom Tryon's novels back in the 1970's. Of course I also remember when he was one of my favorite actors as a Texas Ranger on one of Walt Disney's series.

121LisaMorr
Aug 19, 2019, 11:46am Top

>120 DeltaQueen50: I didn't even know he was an actor until I read the introduction to The Other - which series was he in?

122DeltaQueen50
Aug 19, 2019, 12:05pm Top

>121 LisaMorr: If I remember correctly Walt Disney did a series called Texas John Slaughter. Tom Tryon played the main character and he was a Texas Ranger. Of course this was way back in the early 1960s so my memory is a little hazy, but I suspect that I had a girlish crush on the actor.

123LisaMorr
Aug 26, 2019, 11:17am Top

>122 DeltaQueen50: I loved the Magical World of Disney as a kid; I missed the John Slaughter shows though. I probably would've liked him too - the photo of him at the beginning of The Other shows he was a charmer!

124LisaMorr
Edited: Aug 26, 2019, 11:31am Top

Happy Thingaversary to me!

Yesterday was my 11th Thingaversary and I decided to pick up 11 (plus 1 to grow on) recent books from my wishlist that I picked up as recommendations from LTers:

Hold by Bob Hicok
Bad Stories: What the Hell just Happened to Our Country by Steve Almond
Evil: The Science Behind Humanity's Dark Side by Julia Shaw
Dark Chapter by Winnie Li
Solace Lost by Michael Stilter
The Old Gods Waken by Manly Wade Wellman
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
First Test by Tamora Pierce
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sing by Kate Wilhelm

125DeltaQueen50
Aug 26, 2019, 11:39am Top

Congratulations! Great book haul.

126RidgewayGirl
Aug 26, 2019, 11:58am Top

Happy Thingaversary! That's an excellent stack of books. I'm interested in finding out what you think of Dark Chapter when you get to it.

127VivienneR
Aug 26, 2019, 1:33pm Top

Happy Thingaversary! What a great stack of books. Like RidgewayGirl, I'm interested in your opinion of Dark Chapter.

128rabbitprincess
Aug 26, 2019, 1:47pm Top

Woo hoo, happy Thingaversary! Someday I will actually read Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy. I started The Crystal Cave a long time ago but didn't have the patience to continue. I hope you're more successful than I was ;)

129Helenliz
Aug 26, 2019, 3:04pm Top

Happy Thingaversary! And that's an excellent list of book bullets. I expect to be hit in my turn. >:-)

130MissWatson
Aug 27, 2019, 6:37am Top

Happy thingaversary to you! I'm happy to see The crystal cave in the list, I hope you love it, too!

131LisaMorr
Aug 30, 2019, 1:57pm Top


>125 DeltaQueen50:, >126 RidgewayGirl:, >127 VivienneR:, >128 rabbitprincess:, >129 Helenliz:, >130 MissWatson: Thank you for your nice Thingaversary wishes! Looks like Dark Chapter and The Crystal Cave should be at the top of the pile to read!

132tess_schoolmarm
Aug 31, 2019, 10:49am Top

Happy Thingaversary. Sure looks like some great titles!

133LisaMorr
Aug 31, 2019, 5:55pm Top

>132 tess_schoolmarm: Thank you! I'm excited to get to them.

134LisaMorr
Sep 5, 2019, 12:25pm Top

August Summary

And again only two books completed this month, one big one, one smaller one, resulting in an average of 528 pages per book. I also made some progress in Guns, Germs and Steel and made it half-way through What Might Have Been Volumes III and IV. Best laid plans...

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while - both books this month have been on my shelves for a while:
2008 or earlier - 1
2009 - 1

More statistics:
0/2 books by women authors
0 non-fiction books
countries visited: US
CATs and KITS: ScaredyKIT, RandomCAT, TBRCAT
Bingo Cards: Two squares

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 4* (2 1001 books in 1 physical book)
2. Wheel of Time series - 2
3. The Dresden Files - 2
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 2 COMPLETE
5. US Presidents Challenge - 1
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet - 1
8. His Dark Materials trilogy - 1
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories - 1
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
13. Current Events - 2
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King - 1
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks - 1
17. Pilgrimage - 2
18. Most collected, but unread!
19. Miscellaneous - 6

Best of the month: The Other, 5 stars, with a close second in Four Past Midnight, 4.5 stars

135LisaMorr
Edited: Sep 6, 2019, 5:03pm Top

September Reading Plans

Every month I want to make progress on my categories, but then I read books for CATs and KITs that intrigue me, and make less progress on my categories than I had planned.

I'm disappointed, but then again, I'm enjoying the books that are outside of my categories, so I need to just relax about it (like I said I would this year!!!) and have more fun!

So, here are my September plans!

I really do want to read Path of Daggers this month. And get started on Pilgrimage 3.

I'm debating about picking up Guns Germs and Steel again, which has been REALLLLY slow... We'll see!

From the 1001 list, I'm planning on reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle for the September group challenge.

For the CATs and KITs, this is what I've selected:

RandomCAT - Autumn by Ali Smith
CalendarCAT - Autumn also works
SeriesCAT - No Wind of Blame (fits my most collected, least read category)
ScaredyKIT - The Turn of the Screw, which is also a 1001 book
TBRCAT - The Turn of the Screw would fit, but maybe I could at least get started on Tom Jones?
AlphaKIT - No Wind of Blame hits W
SFFKIT - The Amber Spyglass, which will finish my His Dark Materials category (hooray!)

136LisaMorr
Edited: Sep 6, 2019, 7:32pm Top

I only have 4 squares left for the BingoDOG - in the hopes that I can actually achieve a completed card this year (which I have never done), I've picked out the following 4 books:

Prizewinning - The Amber Spyglass
Graphic novel - The Sandman Volume II
Fairy tale - The Virago Book of Fairy Tales
Food-related theme or topic - Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon

Wish me luck!

137RidgewayGirl
Sep 6, 2019, 6:27pm Top

I have no hope for completing the BingoDOG, so I'm wishing you all the luck in the world. I have long wanted to read Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon.

138LisaMorr
Sep 6, 2019, 7:34pm Top

>136 LisaMorr: - thanks! I'll let you know how it is. I didn't try to fill any squares, if you know what I mean, up to this point I just read the books and looked to see if they fit anywhere.

Save for The Sandman, all of the books will actually fill one of my regular categories, so that's cool!

139NinieB
Sep 9, 2019, 12:41pm Top

>135 LisaMorr: You are not alone in making less progress than you would like on your categories! I didn't have specific categories this year, just one big category of read more TBR. But I've had so much fun reading the CATs and KITs that I am getting books from the library to fill those and not reading as much TBR as I wanted to.

Like you, I need to relax and have fun!

140christina_reads
Sep 9, 2019, 6:00pm Top

Count me in as another person who wanted to make a dent in her TBR this year but instead got distracted by shiny new books! But as long as you're enjoying what you're reading, I say count it as a win. :)

141LisaMorr
Sep 9, 2019, 9:04pm Top

>139 NinieB: and >140 christina_reads: Glad I'm not alone, and I'll keep enjoying the neat books I'm reading that are not exactly aligned with my plans!

142LisaMorr
Oct 4, 2019, 3:13pm Top



#29 The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
134 pages
Category: 1001 books
Fits: TBRCAT, ScaredyKIT

This started with a lot of promise - young woman starts a job as a governess at a country estate, sees ghosts and is very worried about her two young orphaned charges. It took way too long to read for a short novel, because it had too many words, if you know what I mean.

143tess_schoolmarm
Oct 5, 2019, 9:00am Top

>142 LisaMorr: I know what you mean! I also didn't think it had a suitable resolution.

144tess_schoolmarm
Edited: Oct 5, 2019, 9:01am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

145LisaMorr
Oct 7, 2019, 7:12am Top

>143 tess_schoolmarm: I agree! And I was a bit confused - I read the introduction afterwards which went into everything in detail. The way I read the ending was that she hugged/squeezed him so hard that he died, but the introduction talked about it as if he died from fright or something like that. Hmmm

146LisaMorr
Oct 7, 2019, 8:04am Top

September Summary

My September summary is almost as long as the one book I finished in September! I was thinking about not posting a summary, but hey why not. Only one book read this month, and a short one at that (134 pages). But I did make a little more progress with Guns, Germs and Steel and most of the way through The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while; I've had The Turn of the Screw since 2017.

More statistics:
0/1 books by women authors
0 non-fiction books
countries visited: UK
CATs and KITS: ScaredyKIT, TBRCAT
Bingo Cards: Two squares

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 5* (2 1001 books in 1 physical book)
2. Wheel of Time series - 2
3. The Dresden Files - 2
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 2 COMPLETE
5. US Presidents Challenge - 1
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet - 1
8. His Dark Materials trilogy - 1
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories - 1
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
13. Current Events - 2
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King - 1
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks - 1
17. Pilgrimage - 2
18. Most collected, but unread!
19. Miscellaneous - 6

Best of the month: only 1 read and it was only 3 stars...

147LisaMorr
Oct 7, 2019, 8:49am Top

October Reading Plans

I finished The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle last Friday, which counts for my 1001 category. I've gotten into The Path of Daggers, which I've been meaning to start since August, but very happy to report I'm 200+ pages into it since Saturday, and really enjoying it!

I also need to start Pilgrimage 3, which I have also been meaning to start since August... And I have Jim Butcher's Proven Guilty in my bag on this trip.

I have these 4 books picked out to complete by Bingo card:

Prizewinning - The Amber Spyglass - finishes my His Dark Materials category
Graphic novel - The Sandman Volume II
Fairy tale - The Virago Book of Fairy Tales - fits my short stories category
Food-related theme or topic - Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon - fits my 1001 category.

I'd like to start one of these this month also.

For the CATs and KITs:

CalendarCAT (which I'm hosting) - Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe, which will tick off 3 1001 entries!
RandomCAT - nothing comes to mind at present
TBRCAT - don't know yet, will have to look at some covers!
SeriesCAT - I'm thinking of The Sugar House, but I'm not sure if it will fit.
SFFFKIT - You Suck: A Love Story
ScaredyKIT - I think You Suck works here as well.

And since it's the last quarter, I would really like to see if I can get a least one book read for most, if not all of my categories, so I wanted to at least get some ideas on the table:

Xenocide for my Ender's Game category
The Telling for my In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin category
Angry Candy for my In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison category
These Old Shades for my Most Collected, But Unread category.

I've got some long trips planned between now and Christmas vacation, so hopefully I'll be able to pick off several of these, and then bring a bunch on vacation!

148LisaMorr
Edited: Oct 28, 2019, 2:27pm Top


#30 The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
607 pages
Category: 1001 books
Fits: BingoDOG

Really enjoyed this trip into Murakami's world. A great example of magical realism where everything is normal, but not exactly. Starts off with Toru, a young, married man who currently works taking care of the home, getting a phone call from someone he doesn't know but who supposedly knows him. Then he goes off into the back alley to look for a lost cat. From here we explore the origins of Toru's marriage to Kumiko, Kumiko's family, things that happened during the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, and the puppet state of Manchukuo, the history of a bad luck house, what happens at the bottom of a well, and well, just a whole lot more! Another very good book by Murakami.

149pammab
Oct 17, 2019, 8:44pm Top

>147 LisaMorr: Love your October plans! A number of books there I have either enjoyed or think I would enjoy, so I'm looking forward to your reviews.

150LisaMorr
Oct 28, 2019, 10:36am Top

>149 pammab: Thanks - finished 2 more and hoping to finish at least one more by Thursday, maybe 2! The rest will be part of my end of the year push, I hope!

151LisaMorr
Edited: Oct 29, 2019, 3:49am Top


#31 The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan
604 pages
Category: Wheel of Time

I really liked this entry in the Wheel of Time series. Even though we didn't see Rand until ~300 pages in, I really liked seeing what was happening with Elayne, Nynaeve, Brigitte and Lan and the Kin from Ebou Dar, Egwene marching with the rebel Aes Sedai, and Perrin and Faile in Ghealdan. And then Rand appears with a mis-matched army anchored with the Asha'man ready to go to war against the Seanchan with their collared women who can channel. It was really evenly-paced, except for the surprise ending as the Shaido kidnap some of Perrin's folks.

I'm ready for Winter's Heart!

152LisaMorr
Oct 28, 2019, 2:47pm Top


#32 Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher
547 pages
Category: Dresden Files
Fits: ScaredyKIT

Another very good book in the Dresden Files, which starts out with Harry having to witness the ultimate punishment carried out by the Wardens, of which he is now a member. Then he gets involved in figuring out where black magic is being conducted in Chicago, which leads him to a monster movie convention where all hell breaks loose, naturally. Along with this, he is tasked by his friend Michael to try to get his daughter talking to his wife, all combined with the continuing war with the Red Court. In short, a pretty normal entry in the Dresden Files. This one gave me a really big a-ha! moment, and I'm looking forward to seeing Harry have an apprentice, and to also see who is pulling the strings of this war.

153LisaMorr
Nov 1, 2019, 7:27pm Top


#33 The Sugar House by Antonia White
255 pages
Category: Frost in May
Fits: AlphaKIT, SeriesCAT

In The Sugar House, the 3rd book of the Frost in May quarter, Clara Batchelor has fallen in love with an older actor, while still pursued by her ex-fiancé. This was the best book so far in the series and I was drawn inexorably into the little tragedy of this novel. Really well done.

154LisaMorr
Edited: Nov 5, 2019, 11:08am Top

October Summary

Three books in October, all of reasonable length, for an average page count of 586. Also made progress with Pilgrimage 3 and started The Sugar House.

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while; all three books have been on my shelves for a few years:

2008 or older: 1
2015: 1
2016: 1

More statistics:
0/1 books by women authors
0 non-fiction books
countries visited: US, Japan
CATs and KITS: ScaredyKIT
Bingo Cards: One square (only 2 left!)

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 6* (2 1001 books in 1 physical book)
2. Wheel of Time series - 3
3. The Dresden Files - 3
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 2 COMPLETE
5. US Presidents Challenge - 1
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet - 1
8. His Dark Materials trilogy - 1
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories - 1
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
13. Current Events - 2
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King - 1
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks - 1
17. Pilgrimage - 2
18. Most collected, but unread!
19. Miscellaneous - 6

Best of the month: I gave Proven Guilty 4 1/2 stars.

155LisaMorr
Nov 5, 2019, 11:08am Top

November and December reading plans

I will complete my BingoDOG card for the first time ever - how 'bout that!

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle was a prize-winner and The Sugar House had a food-related title, so that left me with only two left and I finished The Sandman Volume 2: The Doll's House on Sunday for the graphic novel square. Now reading The Virago Book of Fairy Tales for the fairy tales square, and that will do it! Yay me!

I also want to continue my plan to get at least one book read in most categories ('fraid I won't have anything for group reads, although I could double-count my Pilgrimage books).

So, want to read:

Xenocide for my Ender's Game category
The Telling for my In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin category
Angry Candy for my In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison category
These Old Shades for my Most Collected, But Unread category.

Also, want to finish His Dark Materials, so need to start The Amber Spyglass. The Sugar House was so good that I would also like to complete the Frost in May quartet with Beyond the Glass.

And I've got Pilgrimage 3 to finish and perhaps I can read Pilgrimage 4.

The next book in the Wheel of Time series is Winter's Heart and the next one in the Dresden Files is White Night and it would be great to get to those also.

Hmmm, less than two months left, and this adds up to 11 books. I have two long trips left (lots of reading time on planes) and end-of-the-year vacation, so I think it's doable.

156christina_reads
Nov 5, 2019, 11:14am Top

>155 LisaMorr: Congratulations on covering your Bingo card! And good luck with the rest of your reading -- 11 books in 2 months sounds doable, especially with all your air travel!

157LisaMorr
Edited: Dec 4, 2019, 8:28am Top


#34 Sandman Volume 2 Doll's House by Neil Gaiman
232 pages
Category: Misc
Fits: BingoDOG

I really enjoyed this second entry in Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novel series. Morpheus, the Sandman, has identified a dream vortex that is disrupting dreams, which he will have to address. That dream vortex happens to be Rose, a young woman searching for her brother. There are a few other storylines going on - what's happened to some escaped denizens of dream world and what's happened to someone Morpheus has given essentially eternal life to. I will have to get to the next one sooner than I did this one.

158LisaMorr
Dec 4, 2019, 10:13am Top


#35 The Virago Book of Fairy Tales edited by Angela Carter
242 pages
Category: short stories
Fits: BingoDOG

This was a great collection of fairy tales from all over the world (Eskimo, Burmese, Greek, English, Indian, Russian, West African, Icelandic, etc.). I recognized quite a few as fairy tales I knew as a child, or precursors to those, and others were completely new to me. I'm going to come back and edit this post with a top five list or something like that.

159LisaMorr
Edited: Dec 9, 2019, 2:48am Top

November Summary

Three books in November, pretty short, for an average page count of 243. Also made progress with Pilgrimage 3, finishing Deadlock, the first novel. House.

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while; all three books have been on my shelves for a few years:

2012: 3

More statistics:
2/3 books by women authors
0 non-fiction books
countries visited: UK, US, (a few more to add from the Virago Book of Fairy Tales)
CATs and KITS: AlphaKIT, SeriesCAT
Bingo Cards: two squares for a completed card!!!

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 6* (2 1001 books in 1 physical book) plus 3 more Poe short stories
2. Wheel of Time series - 3
3. The Dresden Files - 3
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 2 COMPLETE
5. US Presidents Challenge - 1
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet - 2
8. His Dark Materials trilogy - 1
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories - 2
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
13. Current Events - 2
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King - 1
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks - 1
17. Pilgrimage - 2
18. Most collected, but unread!
19. Miscellaneous - 7

Best of the month: I gave both Sandman and The Sugar House 4 1/2 stars.

160LisaMorr
Dec 9, 2019, 2:54am Top

December reading plans

End of the year push!

I still want to continue my plan to get at least one book read in most categories ('fraid I won't have anything for group reads, although I could double-count my Pilgrimage books).

So, want to read:

Xenocide for my Ender's Game category
The Telling for my In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin category
Angry Candy for my In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison category
These Old Shades for my Most Collected, But Unread category.

I did finish The Amber Spyglass last week, so I have completed His Dark Materials. The Sugar House was so good that I would also like to complete the Frost in May quartet with Beyond the Glass.

And I've got Pilgrimage 3 to finish and perhaps I can read Pilgrimage 4 - these two are the bottleneck for the rest of the year, but I do really want to be done with Pilgrimage!!!

The next book in the Wheel of Time series is Winter's Heart and the next one in the Dresden Files is White Night and it would be great to get to those also.

Nine books left. I have a long trip back from Indonesia (lots of reading time on planes) and end-of-the-year vacation, so, still possible...

I'm hoping to get my 2020 category challenge posted next weekend - it will be quite similar to this year's I think.

161This-n-That
Dec 9, 2019, 6:41pm Top

>21 LisaMorr: Congratulations on the completion of your BingoDOG card! That's awesome you were able to cover all those themes without much reading pre-planning.

162LisaMorr
Dec 9, 2019, 9:48pm Top

>161 This-n-That: Thank you! I'm quite surprised, really only had to force fit a couple of books at the end of the year. Maybe it was an easy card? Or at least it naturally fit my regular reading.

163LisaMorr
Jan 7, 1:08pm Top


#36 The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
518 pages
Category: His Dark Materials
Fits: N/A

An exciting and bittersweet conclusion to the trilogy. Pullman laid out some interesting concepts. I found that this novel was more YA than the previous two and a few things didn't quite flow very well, but I still enjoyed it. Here's to the Republic of Heaven versus the Kingdom of Heaven!

164LisaMorr
Jan 7, 1:56pm Top


#37 Unlocking the Air and Other Stories by Ursula K. Le Guin
207 pages
Category: 2018 In Memoriam Ursula K. Le Guin
Fits: SFFKIT

An interesting collection of 18 short stories that are more mainstream than her sci-fi. My favorites were Standing Ground; Ether, OR; Olders and The Poacher. Not surprising given my tastes, all but one of these had magical realism or fantasy elements.

165LisaMorr
Jan 7, 4:02pm Top


#38 Pilgrimage 3 by Dorothy M. Richardson
509 pages
Category: Pilgrimage
Fits: N/A

I liked the 3rd book in Pilgrimage the most so far. This book of three novels, Deadlock, Revolving Lights and The Trap focused on her relationship with Michael Shatov, a Russian student, as well the beginning of her relationship with Hypo, and with her new roommate. Miriam's love of London shines through, as we experience what it's like to live in London as an independent female in the early 20's.

166LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 14, 5:05pm Top


#39 These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
378 pages
Category: Most collected, but unread
Fits: SeriesCAT

My first Georgette Heyer, These Old Shades, was written in 1926, one of Heyer's earlier novels. The premise is that a 19-year-old girl who has been disguised as a boy for ~7 or so years, literally runs into the Duke, who makes her his page. It turns out that not only is the page boy not a boy, she's also not who she thinks she is. The Duke has a hunch on who she really is, and uses the information to get back at a long-time villainous rival.

It's a cute book, no bodice-ripping as with many historical romances. I must say that I could never believe the premise that a 19-year-old girl could fool anyone that she was a boy. I also didn't feel any real romance. That being said, I enjoyed the adventures and the cuteness of it, and it was a very quick read.

This are a couple more books written featuring some of the same characters, so this fits the SeriesCAT December theme of a new series.

167LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 7, 4:41pm Top


#40 Angry Candy by Harlan Ellison
324 pages
Category: 2018 In Memoriam Harlan Ellison
Fits: SFFKIT

This collection of 18 short stories is centered on the theme of death. Ellison writes a great introduction and I really enjoyed a lot of these stories. My favorites were Paladin of the Last Hour, The Region Between, Chained to the Fast Lane in the Red Queen's Race and The Function of Dream Sleep.

168LisaMorr
Jan 7, 4:56pm Top


#41 Beyond the Glass by Antonia White
285 pages
Category: Frost in May Quartet
Fits: RandomCAT

The last book in the Frost in May quartet was quite a ride through the ups and downs of Clara's moods. Based on her own life, this final book looks at what happens to Clara as she is navigating the process to have her marriage annulled and then falls very hard for another man, into what feels like a manic-phase, and then spirals out of control and is put into a mental institution. Following along is depressing, disturbing and unnerving, but you can't take your eyes away either. A study of mental illness, and you hope for the best in the end.

169LisaMorr
Jan 7, 5:03pm Top


#42 They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
204 pages
Category: miscellaneous
Fits: CalendarCAT

This graphic novel by George Takei describes what it was like to be interred as a Japanese-American in two different camps in the US in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. Great images and words.

170mathgirl40
Jan 8, 8:32pm Top

>168 LisaMorr: Sounds like a dramatic finish to the quartet! I enjoyed the first book, and I've got the second and third ones waiting on my shelves. I hope to get to them in 2020.

171pammab
Jan 10, 4:47pm Top

>169 LisaMorr: I didn't know George Takei had a graphic novel!

When I visited one of the Japanese internment camps, I was really surprised by the messaging. It was very much "yeah, life was hard, but look how this population did the best they could! they built furniture and improved their terrible dorms and cared for each other, to the point that when the camps closed some people were afraid to go back out in the real world". It felt like a retelling of the American dream of self-sufficiency and making the best of a bad situation. The message around culpability and immorality and the government-sponsored removal of cross-generational wealth of immigrants was there, but it wasn't nearly as strong as I had been expecting from similar exhibits on other countries' camps.

The graphic novel sounds like a good one to pick up if I see it.

172LisaMorr
Jan 12, 3:17pm Top

>170 mathgirl40: It was really good and I'm very glad I finished it. Antonia White had a difficult life.

>171 pammab: That's really interesting; Takei's book does talk about how they did the best they could and improved the situation, but what you saw sounds a bit like whitewashing. And the bit about not wanting to go back out to the 'real world' - in Takei's book there were citizenship issues, and also, after taking their homes and almost all their belongings, they were only given $25 and a one-way ticket to anywhere in the US. I definitely want to visit one of these camps.

173LisaMorr
Jan 12, 3:35pm Top

December Summary

Seven books in December, six read while on vacation, for an average page count of 346. And started Pilgrimage 4 and Xenocide.

I'm trying to read more books that I've had around for a while and did really well with 6/7 books read on my shelves for a few years:

2008 or older: 3
2012: 1
2015: 1
2017: 1
2019: 1

More statistics:
4/7 books by women authors
1 non-fiction books
countries visited: UK, US, France
CATs and KITS: SFFKit, CalendarCAT, SeriesCAT, RandomCAT

Category Summary:
1. 1001 books - 6* (2 1001 books in 1 physical book) plus 3 more Poe short stories
2. Wheel of Time series - 3
3. The Dresden Files - 3
4. Southern Vampire Mysteries - 2 COMPLETE
5. US Presidents Challenge - 1
6. Ender's Game
7. Frost in May quartet - 3 COMPLETE
8. His Dark Materials trilogy - 2 COMPLETE
9. Books from Lisa - 3
10. Short Stories - 2
11. 2018 In Memoriam: Ursula K. LeGuin - 1
12. 2018 In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison - 1
13. Current Events - 2
14. 2019CC group reads
15. The Completist: Stephen King - 1
16. The Completist: Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks - 1
17. Pilgrimage - 2
18. Most collected, but unread! - 1
19. Miscellaneous - 7

Best of the month: I gave both Angry Candy and They Called Us Enemy 4 1/2 stars.

174LisaMorr
Edited: Jan 14, 4:55pm Top

2019 Summary

- 42 books for the year - short of my goal, but better than last year (29).
- 19/42 books read by women - that's a better average than I've managed in a few years.
- I also read lots of books that have been on my shelves for a while - 33/42 have been on my shelves 2017 or earlier, 13 of which I've had since 2009 or earlier.
- Five non-fiction books read - I'm not really concerned about that number as I definitely have a preference for fiction, but if I want to make progress with my US Presidents Challenge, I need to read a few more! With the Non-fiction CAT in 2020 and some of the other Kits I hope to read more than five.
- I also completed my Bingo card for the first time EVER!
- I also completed two series and read all the ones that I owned of another series.
- And very happy to have read at least one book in every category save two (I suppose I could've taken credit for Pilgrimage in the group reads category, but my original plan was to read Tom Jones, which I didn't even crack...). The other category was Ender's Game - and I managed to get Xenocide read for the first book of 2020.

Thanks for visiting, and now I'll focus on 2020!

:)

175pammab
Jan 13, 12:13am Top

>172 LisaMorr: It is a tough story to tell, because the Japanese Americans really did work *extremely* hard to make a nicer life for themselves within the confines of the camp, and it is totally inappropriate not to celebrate that ingenuity. But yeah, also, there is governmental and general American culpability in incarcerating innocents and citizens that to me should be the most important / central take-away.

You hit a ton of great books in 2019, it seems. Congratulations! And on completing your BINGO card, double congratulations!!

176LisaMorr
Jan 14, 4:56pm Top

>175 pammab: Good point - it is good that their ingenuity was celebrated!

Thanks so much! I'm also happy that I found the time to wrap it all up and put a bow on it!

Group: 2019 Category Challenge

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