Gilroy's 2019 Reading and Life Thread
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Each book will have a post, followed by a month summary of all reads. When the post appears for the book, I just started the book. The posts about the books will update as I read. I'm a slow reader, so you'll have to forgive me updating backdated posts. The notes also will go into the reviews. If books cross months, they don't get a new post for the new month, but they also don't get counted until finished.
The hopeful goals:
Total books to read: 45 -- 30 audio, 7 physical, 8 e-books
(Count as of December 1 - 32 audio, 11 physical, 6 e-books)
The current reads:
Audio - Holding until next year
Physical book - done until 2020
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (Kindle)
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (physical)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (audio)
Babylon Babies by Maurice Dantec (audio)
Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye (ebook)
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (audio)
The Animal in You by Roy Feinson (physical)
Note on how I designate a dud book:
Unless the book is so horrid of prose/story/cliché that I can't get past the first few pages, I feel the need to give the author at least 50 pages or a third of the book, which ever I can make. This allows for initial bad openings and characters to grow enough. At that point, if I continue to struggle and can't get into the book, I'm done and it becomes a dud. At least that's the plan.
Annual book poll for 2018
(Only one this year for ease of number crunching)
Start 1/1/19 End 1/21/19
-- Got this from the Friends of the Library book sale. Didn't check it closely enough. Someone has highlighted and made notes in it. That's so distracting to me. So even if I like the book, won't be keeping this copy.
-- The author aside chapters are annoying as all. There's no point to them, they don't really help the story. Speaking of the story, it's crawling with no activity at page 48. Too much detail (which may or may not become more important later in the book.) Just want SOMETHING to happen right now.
-- The book has gotten very preachy. Maybe, I can understand some of the more conservatives liking the storyline at this point, but I'm teetering on the edge of Dud for this book.
-- I gave it three weeks, easily put it down for other reading material and just didn't care for the plot at all. Don't like the main character, which is bad. So this goes to the dud file.
I might have been a tiny bit loose in saying I Pearl-ruled The Life of Pi, because I just decided at that incident that I didn’t like the way it was going rather than dumping it after a certain number of pages.
Happy new year!
Read by Jeremy Irons
Started 01/02/19 End 01/03/19
-- Interesting start and not at all what I expected when I saw the title. I like the thought that everyone has their own
-- I admit the book is unique, but it feels very preachy to me. Like they wanted to do a morality book and a fable or fairytale and it feels like it's clashing within the text. The talk of
-- Hadn't realized how short this book was. 4 hours by audio. Listened to it during lunch as well as while driving so done in two days. Not bad, just before a long drive to see family...
It's been a long time since I last read the Alchemist and I don't remember much about it, but did make a comment to the effect of 'finished but not my thing'. I made a similar comment after finishing 'The Zahir' by the same author.
Here's Nancy Pearl describing her philosophy - "I live by what I call 'the rule of fifty,' which acknowledges that time is short and the world of books is immense. If you're fifty years old or younger, give every book about fifty pages before you decide to commit yourself to reading it, or give it up. If you're over fifty, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100. The result is the number of pages you should read before deciding."
By the way, I am a great fan of Daniel Pennac. I have read most of his books and am well aware of, and a great supporter of, his, The Rights of the Reader.
>6 gilroy: Happy New Year, to you.
I wished I had Pearl ruled The Life of Pi when I got to the end. :P
Start 01/04/19 End 01/10/19
-- Okay, so this is more outside of what I normally read, but I figured I'd try something new.
-- Expanded trope
-- Kinda glad we don't have a love triangle yet, but I don't expect it to form, as one of the main male characters is her brother. (Edit: May have spoke too soon?)
-- Okay, now we've added a different twist with
-- I feel like a lot of this book suffered from trying to do too much. You have the kids approaching their 13th birthday and what that entails. You have the a second storyline linking them to the gypsies. You have world discovery (which technically links the two.) It felt compressed for time, like one would edit a movie to fit time allotted. Interesting book, but the next in the series isn't an immediate need.
Start 01/05/19 End 01/19/19
-- This starts with one of those deep seated mystery tropes. Young woman detective who's treated badly because she rose quickly in the ranks and is good at her job, bucking against the male status quo. *sigh*
-- Gruesome description of the murder scene and such. Still waiting to see where it goes.
-- Yup. The trope continues, with the old boys network fighting their good sense and still giving the main character complements. If the mystery itself hadn't been an interesting twist, I'd have dumped it by now.
-- Speaking of the murder -
-- At first, I felt scared that
>17 pgmcc: Ahhh, that's wonderful! :D
Start 1/10/19 End 04/29/19
-- Not sure about this one yet, but I'm like two chapters into it.
-- This has a feel of a more drawn out story than needed, but then again, we're getting the flavor of this small East Coast town.
-- A shame when
-- The author is really pushing it toward
-- I officially feel bad for letting the book sit as long as I did between readings. It was worthy of a good sit and read, not a stall. But I'm still not used to the whole reading on a tablet/phone/computer screen thing when it comes to books.
-- I can officially stand corrected. Definitely a twist ending that I should have expected. I always wondered why
-- Definitely liked the twist in the trope, having the cop and the out of town PI work together instead of being constantly at odds. It made the book more refreshing. And all the town "helpers" that kept offering advice.
Read by Douglas Hodge
Start 1/14/19 End 01/15/19
-- Hadn't realized how short this book is. Surprises me that they've managed to make two movies from the text.
-- I admit to having seen both movies before reading this, so I was following along in my head which scene was which. And how certain things referenced only showed up in certain movies. Also noted how scenes were altered accordingly.
Read by Simon Prebble
Start 01/15/19 End 01/25/19
-- So far this could be listed with the subtitle of "The Misadventures of Pip." It's interesting, though not something that's catching me close to focus on it.
-- If I'm listening to this correctly,
-- I'm feeling like this is another book written and published in stages, so they feel a little more stilted when pushed together. Though to bring the
-- Something I did have to keep correcting myself in my mind was that the use of certain words has changed mightily since this was written. When someone asks is he an intimate, this isn't referring to a date, but to a close friend, for instance.
-- I noted that unless he's given them no first name, Dickens has a habit of referring to characters by their title and first name. Mr. and Mrs. Joe. Mr. and Ms. Cecelia. It's a touch unnerving.
-- I've gotten just about past the half way point. My loan expires tomorrow. I'm not looking to renew. The story isn't real compelling to me, and the "Great Expectations" are two fold:
So for those who are curious:
House - Ravenclaw (Always felt I was more Hufflepuff, so maybe I can be a Huffleclaw or Ravenpuff?)
Patronus - Newfoundland (Curious since I don't like big dogs...)
Start 1/20/19 End 02/28/19
-- One of those things I'm not fond of is the exposition at the beginning of a book that may or may not be relevant to the story. Five chapters before we even get a mention of Dirk at all. Which makes me wonder is he even a character? Or a MacGuffin?
-- The more I read, the more I feel like
-- Some things have happened.
-- February must be my month to read or finish weird books. Because this one just was ... weird. Nothing seemed as it was, everything was off kilter. I still don't understand the scenes with the whole Electronic Monk...
Start 01/21/19 End 07/07/19
-- So far we start with cliché.
-- Twists, but I'm not sure how unique:
-- The first 55 pages is a short story that introduces certain characters. The writing is rather mundane, but the world and set up is interesting enough to go into the first book.
-- Okay, one and a half chapters in, and the characters from the short aren't apparently related to the book yet? So far, we've had hints of the island nation of Ourthoro but that's about it.
-- Chapters 10 and 11 finally connect to the opening novella. And we may finally wrap these stories together. Move forward. A shame that
-- I probably should have bailed on this months ago. It didn't really compel me to grab and read like I thought it might. I mean Dragons! But the title is misleading in itself. I honestly found the alternating POV not necessary, much less enjoyable. Most times, this can enhance a story or make things more suspenseful. I found it to be annoying and an expansion tactic rather than actually aiding the story. And the whole short at the beginning? Barely has anything to do with the primary novel.
Read by Allyson Johnson
Start 01/30/19 End 02/10/19
-- Last year I started the reread of the Honor Harrington Series through the audio books. These are actually expanded versions from the originals I read, so in a way it is like reading them new again. Not all the new details are found needed, but they're there now. Flag in Exile is book 5 of the series and we greet our heroine on Grayson after months of convalescing from the fall out of book 4.
--The expanded versions have allowed Weber to add more details on his opinions of politics, extreme belief, religion, and moderation. At times, Honor does feel like a Mary Sue or an author's avatar, but at other times, she doesn't.
-- On one hand, it's been so long since I've read this book, this is like reading it for the first time. I don't remember much of this book. On the other hand, I wonder how much I blocked out, as I hear relatives and other of similar political minds behind the rants of the primary bad guys.
Read by Roger Wayne
Start 02/11/19 End 02/21/19
-- Now back to something lighter and more fun. Something less triggering than the previous audio book.
-- We start now with our NPC group, plus the usual PC group... and we're adding a new PC group! This could get complicatedly fun!
-- Well, last book, we had
-- I'm not sure I liked the two PC parties with the one NPC party technique of this book. Obviously, it was needed for some of the story line, fixing certain elements into play. But for a bit, it got annoying. Though anyone who's played will recognize
-- When the artifact had been described initially, I suspected we might see something like happened in this book. What I didn't expect is the note in the epilogue. We've got a good long series ahead? Maybe? I'll enjoy following Thistle, Grumph, Eric, Gabrielle, and Timescor. Still not sure about Mr. Peppers.
Read by Douglas Hodge
Start 02/21/19 End 2/25/19
-- I thought the original Charlie book was a touch out there. This one makes that first one read like a sane storyline. OMG!
-- I've had trouble even developing thoughts on what direction this book went, quickly down hill, for sure. WEIRD is not even a good word. Dahl had to be on some major substances when he wrote this book.
-- Thought process: If the Buckets were mostly eating cabbage soup, wouldn't they have had propulsion from all that gas released when it finished digesting?
Read by Vikas Adam
Start 2/26/19 End 03/08/19
-- Back to this series.
-- Now we see the changes as we find out how Cal
-- And we see the group who will probably hold the place as evil villain the rest of the series.
-- Oh the puns, they HURT!
-- Interesting ending. Twist I wasn't expecting...
Start 03/01/19 End 03/31/19
-- I'd gotten this a few years ago, at the advice of a medical practitioner. Started and stopped it a few times, but now decided to focus directly on it.
-- Feels like many of these books focus on how to shift thoughts from negative to positive. Each presents it in their own way, from their own focus, but they are rather similar.
-- We're walking through the various tools now. ABCC, the Choice Map, the Switching lane. All good things to ponder.
-- A new thing to consider - Q-Storming, like brainstorming. A lot of what's discussed in this book could help with writing as much as every day life. It would force questions of what are the characters doing and why?
-- I've gotten through the explanation portion of the book, now on to the workbook portion, to see what else I can learn.
Read by Henrietta Meire
Start 3/8/19 End 3/13/19
-- I should have expected a book talking about swearing and it being good for you would of course go through the physiological and psychological aspects of swearing. Didn't realize that we'd again here about poor Phineas Gage and his tamping rod through the head.
-- This book covers a lot of different aspects of swearing, including origins, differences between languages and sexes, how we learn, and a few other things.
Read by Melissa Chambers
Start 3/14/19 End 3/21/19
-- Starting to listen to this, I realized this is NOT the book they made into a movie, though it is a thriller/mystery of sorts.
-- Our main character, Anna, is an investigative journalist who doesn't believe the police theory of a woman committing suicide by train. So she's hunting into details to find the truth.
-- So far she's gotten very little details that would be concrete enough for the police to bother listening to her. Meh. She persists.
-- Over half way through and we still have no viable suspects. The "suspense" part is limited at best. And the clues are slow to materialize. Really need to pick up the pace here, author.
-- I really dislike when a suspense writer adds in chapters from the victims POV prior to the incident, if they aren't the very first chapter or the prologue. Suddenly it feels like they didn't have enough material with the existing storyline to write the full book, so they had to add filler.
-- Well,duh. I should have known the author started pointing out that character more for a reason. Just it came out of left field, completely unexpected. I mean
Read by Joe Bennett
Start 03/25/19 End 03/29/19
-- So I saw the movie for this (staring Vin Diesel) before I read the book. Suspect I may regret that.
-- Translated, which I think I knew. The phrasing is ... interesting.
-- The beginning is a LOT of exposition, info dump syndrome. Finally getting some activity after 30 minutes of audio.
-- I'm having all sorts of problems with this book. Stating outright, I realize this is supposed to be a Dystopian world and all things are crap, but really, if Canada and the US exist, don't cross the border with their various agencies. That takes very little research. Cut back on the exposition that really isn't needed. Reading all the news articles when you only need one headline of the group, just half a chapter later.
-- Six hours into the 20 hour audio book, I bailed. Just couldn't stomach the bad writing any more.
Start 03/31/19 End 04/24/19
-- This one is for helping me improve my focus at writing. We'll see how it goes.
-- Some good concepts in the book. Not actually started the actual practices yet, though I probably should. Two I already tend to do. It's a breathing practice and a writing practice. It's the shaking practice I'm stalling on.
-- This is the second book I've read lately that recommends self observation without judgment. See what you're doing, don't label it with any specific thing, just watch. Then find ways to adjust accordingly to better your work flow, mind flow, etc.
-- Many good insights within this book, some of which are giving me ideas for blog posts for my writing blog. Good concepts. Movement opens space, which will allow for creativity to flow...
Read by Ryan Burke
Start 4/1/19 End 4/7/19
-- I've seemed to fallen into a new genre I enjoy. Probably existed for years: LitRPG. So this follows that same like.
-- Amused. I know this is supposed to be gaming made into literature (thus LitRPG) but I did NOT expect to actually follow a character through the creation screens.
-- Okay, so that's got to be an editing error.
-- Some of this is feeling like the author is telegraphing the plot.
-- The repetition of the stats screen every time it changes is just annoying now.
-- Of course that guy would come back to haunt them...
-- While it ends with a more or less complete story, there's a definite cliff hanger and what feels like THREE overarching story lines for the author to finish.
Read by Anna Fields
Start 04/08/2019 End 04/15/19
-- I've enjoyed watching the TV show that's based on these books. Before you try to warn me, I've already been told that the books and the show are two different entities. Here's hoping I enjoy the books like the show.
-- And my first major "Wait, what?" is that Dr Isles is a Goth! That completely changes the complexion of the character. Wonder if Sasha Alexander just didn't want to color her hair. She could have gotten tips from Pauley Perette!
-- This is reading like an episode of the TV show, though that episode happened in like season 3 or 4, not directly after the whole Surgeon investigation thing.
-- I had expected the ending, but didn't know they'd go so long before she actually stumbled across the true perp. Glad that
Read by Barnaby Edwards
Start 4/16/19 End 4/25/19
-- Saw the movie of this came out, wanted to read the book first.
-- About a half hour into the book (audio) and so far we've gotten very little back story for why. We've witnessed
-- The writing, the characters, the plot, it all continues to be a disappointment to me. And I went in with no expectations. That should tell you something. I'm not too worried about the split plot with
-- Not sure why I keep listening to this book. I really could not care which character lives, dies, or how this ends.
Start 4/25/19 End 05/22/19
-- Harry Dresden how we miss you so...
-- This is what I get for taking so much time between books. I'd forgotten
-- Definitely feels like it's going to be a fun book. Maybe one day I'll just sit and read it straight through.
-- Some interesting twists and turns to the story and I'm barely a quarter way through.
-- As normal for a Butcher book, less than 100 pages to go, the crap hits the fan blades on full. And He's
-- I like how Butcher is dealing with Thomas and his hunger. Glad to see Harry getting another wizard supporter. I'm scared of what might happen if Harry ever developed PTSD... Very excellent book. Strong writing again.
Read by Allyson Johnson
Start 4/26/19 End 5/15/19
-- I'm willing to admit, after the last book being very triggery for me, I was reluctant to start this book. The additional chapters and rewrites for the expanded editions make some of these harder to read. Or else I just sped through them before and don't remember some of this...
-- Okay, old trope here. We're going to give you an impossible situation with a rag tag crew and expect you to win. Or die trying...
-- Yup deepening said trope. New, green recruit threatened by old screw up, saved by the senior chief, placed in cross hairs. *sigh*
-- It's like there's two different writers from the last book to this one. The last book was dark, depressing, almost to the point of drawing pain. This book is light, some sense of humor, bordering on fun. There's still dark themes about
Start 04/29/19 End 07/19/19
-- The premise drew me in, but so far I'm not fond of the book. Major glitch, the author tried to write out the accent for a Germanic character, changing the v's and w's around, plus a few other things. Distracting.
-- SLOW moving plot. Too much toying around, really need to pick up the pace.
-- When you're sitting at a doctor's office and you willingly turn off the book reader to watch the TV, there's something wrong with the book. Marking this one as a serious DUD!
Read by Bahni Turpin
Start 5/17/19 End 05/30/19
-- Confession, I spotted this with good comments on Litsy, it covered a historical subject I frequently research (the US Civil War) and provided a unique perspective. Definitely wanted to check it out. Just waiting for librarian wife to pick it up, so I'll start it either tonight or tomorrow.
-- This is actually a well thought out and written book. Perhaps better than I expected, since I tend to hold so contrary to normal likes and dislikes.
-- One great thing is the author didn't just change history, she thought through exactly what the change would do and followed the changes accordingly. It gives a stronger feel to the book, I think.
-- Well, when you're cocky, you maybe don't do things as you should to keep from getting caught.
-- The first section created an interesting lead up and creates an arc I can follow, not to mention agree with the character's thought process. Not sure if that arc is book specific or series specific...
-- Trying to decide if the author resolved a plot point or just make it more complicated now.
-- Yeah! Representation!
-- I feel like as the ending neared, the author sped up the action. So while
-- The book steadily improved as the plot grew, so I'm willing to give this positive marks. There's a LOT to unpack in this book, though.
Start 05/23/19 End 6/15/19
-- Had a (former) friend swear that Meltzer is this great writer. Grabbed this book before our friendship fell apart. Time to get it out of the TBR list.
-- I'm already questioning the premise of this book. Which is sad, since I'm only 4 chapters in. For one thing
-- I feel like the story is being expanded wrong. It would have had more kick
Had a few mechanics suggest I veer away from CVT transmissions, because when they break, the car's done. Sadly, two of my preferred options have such a transmission.
Anyway, my top six I'm still working through in no particular order:
Sedans: Chevy Malibu, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion
SUVs: Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4 (except the 2019. The interior looks screwy), Ford Escape
(Waiting on the outside, in case I change my mind: Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forrester, Subaru Legacy)
Proper caveat required here: Proper care and maintenance of a vehicle will always make vehicles last. Ford is known as Found On Road Dead, yet this is the second I have to make 200k miles.
Good luck with your search!
See what I did there.
>65 Bookmarque: Wife has a 13 Impreza. We took it into the mountains of Georgia (the state, not the country) and it did very well. We're also talking about going kayaking more (with me learning how) so that is on the possible list. I guess I'm just looking at a little bigger vehicle. Which is why I considered the Legacy.
My son had a Legacy sedan. It drove well enough but never had the ooomph and finesse of the Impreza. We suspect it had been in a collision that wasn't reported. It was a great vehicle for his HS and college years. As soon as he got a real job out of college he traded it in for a Hybrid Camry. (Which he likes just fine... but he really wanted a Tesla.)
Read by Leslie Bellair
Start 5/31/19 End 6/5/19
-- And so I go back to the Revolutionary war period, with another alternate history. The US lost the revolution and continues to fight against the British Empire, though now with a Steam Punk feel.
-- This series continues to follow Charlotte Marshall and her merry group, though that group is separated.
-- The last few chapters felt rushed, like the author was trying to wrap up the trilogy without bleeding over into a fourth book.
Read by Patrick Lawlor
Start 6/6/19 End 06/10/19
-- This is a very vicious book. Animal abuse, stated as "training," dog fights that were encouraged... Not for the faint at heart. Not for the young either.
-- I hate to say this, but I saw that ending coming. Just the way the entire book telegraphed where it was going.
Read by Marguerite Gavin
Start 6/10/19 End 06/14/19
-- I admit I have been wanting to read this since I met the author at a writing conference. She's got a good sense of humor.
-- My first complaint: the person chosen to read this thing. Horrible. Just Horrible. She barely adjusted her voice for the multiple characters and any ... fun ... in the text is bled out by her nasally presentation.
-- So far, a few explicit scenes, but nothing so vulgar as to be porn. Those that are described tend to shift the focus away from that region. These also work well with the plot and meld seamlessly into the text. Not dropped there just to have them.
-- Lots of name dropping in this book. Not just brands to consider trademarks, but book titles and authors as well. Not just quotes from them but parts worked deep into the text.
--I expected more explicit scenes that I got. There was a lot of fade to black and quickie scenes that left much to be desired, though they fit into the storyline well. The storyline was okay but I felt it rather unfulfilling...
I have to admit that I usually find reading the reviews of raunchy novels more entertaining than the novels themselves.
Read by Simon Vance
Start 06/11/19 End 6/26/19
-- Two of my requested books came in at the same time. So I'm alternating between them. I had started reading this way WAY back when, but I don't remember all of it at all. So glad to hear it now.
-- I've just gotten a few bits of vampire "lore" with
-- Part of the story: houseguest gets nosy and pokes around castle against advice...
-- Hadn't realized when I started that this is an epistolary book, with things being detailed by letters and journal entries
-- They frequently bring up Van Helsing as a vampire hunter in other movies/books/comics. I thought we'd see that here, but maybe I'm not deep enough into the book yet...
-- I quite like the concept of King Laugh as Van Helsing described it. Definitely feel that way at times myself.
-- I feel like the three women vampires were more metaphor for the men's lust, either for Mina or for other women, but that may be me reading into it. Jonathan ran from them, because he was betrothed and as such ran from the temptation.
Start 06/16/19 End 07/22/19
-- Confession: I never read this when I was younger. Going back now to catch it. (Also not read Narnia or LotR)
-- Well, that's an interesting twist I didn't expect.
-- Very fun read. Wish I'd read it sooner, but I wasn't meant to...
Our local group: Southern Maryland Area Secular Humanists (SMASH for ease), affiliated with the Washington Area Secular Humanists (WASH, conveniently) booked a room at the library to hold a Drag Queen Story Hour (and make up tutorial if one chose to stay for it.)
Naturally, the locals have been up in arms about it for weeks. The wife didn't get as much flack on it this time, but the library had to have the local Sheriff on stand by again. And they had an arrest... again. I found out that several of the people on our county commissioners tried to get the politicized, which is a big no no in Maryland, which means they ALL lost my votes.
Sadly, everyone keeps saying "Let kids be kids" yet they are taking away the thought of dress up, make believe, and fun at the expense of adult thoughts when they look at a drag queen.
I'm really tired of stupid adults...
Read by Katherine Littrell
Start 6/30/19 End 07/09/19
-- The description drew me in, I admit it. Witch in a werewolf reservation, asked to find a human girl who was lost. Unique world, from Australia, giving different spins to things I usually hear.
-- Huh. All the last names are Gaelic. O'Connor, Fitzgerald, McGuire ... Interesting.
-- Why is it, when there's a female lead, they always immediately find the male lead attractive? Can't there be one instance when she looks at the guy and goes "Meh. Not for me."
-- Newer gripe: hesitated. I feel like this word is being overused and no real description as to what she does when she hesitates. Does she look away? Look down? Bite her nails? WHAT? Just saying "I hesitated" feel so ... incomplete to me. And to use it multiple times in a single page... Ugh.
-- The author left threads open
Her reaction: she finds his resemblance to her late husband creepy rather than endearing, and the fact that his willingness to be brave and self-sacrificing extends only to her well-being, and he can be completely selfish when other innocents are in danger, makes him rather despicable in her eyes! The insta-love behaviour on his part isn't as nauseating as it sounds either, he finds his own reactions inexplicable and there are strong indicators over the course of the book regarding a specific cause for these traits i.e. plot point, not cliché. They work together because they need to; and there are no signs by the end of the book of any incipient romance.
I did enjoy seeing the clichés subverted. Maybe it would work for you too?
Read by Alan Alda
Start 07/10/19 End 07/16/19
-- Every communication book I have read covers similar topics. Most of them start with Active Listening. Each book may term it differently, but it almost always has the same concept. Listen to hear, not listen to respond.
--I enjoyed this book. I feel like the end started to meander away from the base concept, but it still covered the base idea of communication and how earlier examples worked.
My local county commissioners held a public forum to hear how to better serve the community. Again the topic swung around to the library and it's sponsoring of the DQSH (which it didn't. But these people didn't want to hear that.) So the following day when the Library Board and the Commissioners sat down for their monthly butting of heads...
The commissioners took money from the Library Budget to give to the Sheriff's office... for covering the event. Again, the library had nothing to do with the event except provide the room. Yet they were punished for it.
Personally, I have no problem with the event organizers having to pay for the police doing security for an event. I disagree with going after the library because the event chose to use their room for the event.
Now, without anyone saying a thing, the commissioners are being inundated with calls and complaints from library and first amendment supporters. The state delegation is investigating if the commissioners broke the law. And there's a gofundme page to help put the money stolen by the commissioners back into the library coffers.
Perhaps there is a little justice in the world...
Read by Julia Whalen
Start 07/18/19 End 7/31/19
--Okay, I'm jumping on the popularity train here. Keep hearing about the book, now I gotta check it out.
-- To me, the book is discussing
-- I've been quiet on this book to this point, because it's a lot of things to think about and unpack.
-- I can honestly say parts of this book could be seen as a safety manual. Why the rules exist, why the Personal Protective Equipment exists...
-- I'm sure others poke to the religious aspect of the family. I'm filtering parts of this out, as not all the presented stances and problems are from that religion. From a
-- I find this book has a lot to unpack as you reach the end. There's a lot of signs and things that could speak wonders to the world at large...
Um, I guess I revealed which side I'm on. :)
Start 07/20/19 End 8/25/19
-- Am I the only one who would cast David Hewitt as Artis Corbin?
-- The world building is amazing. The writing is easy and this is proving a fun, quick read. Can't believe I'm already a quarter the way done. The set up is taking a touch more than I thought, but she did filter it in among the introductions.
-- I do wonder if the dinner scene and the comment about eating mammals was a commentary from a vegetarian author or just a characterization...
-- Wow. This is just a fast read, I've just cleared the half way mark and can't put it down.
-- Oh, I love that! The Modders are allegory for transgender people. I also love the nonbinary pronouns of Xe and Xyr.
-- I'm sticking to very well written. I'm already eyeing buying book 2.
-- I like the interplay the characters have developed, even though this book all feel like just a set up to know the world before the real plots begin. There's enough introduction to everything you feel that this is a huge universe the author is building.
-- This was such a great book, I had trouble putting it down.
Start 07/22/19 End 08/13/19
-- This is a TV show tie in, from the show Castle. Because I'll watch Nathan Fillion in almost anything. This is supposed to be the first book he wrote during the first season. So let's see what happens.
-- One chapter in and it sounds like the book is mirroring the TV show plot, which doesn't surprise me...
-- I'm still marinating my opinions on how this book goes. It feels so much like a plot of an episode, though with more of the thoughts out front. And to be seen from Beckett's eyes instead of Castle's... Not sure Kate had these thoughts though. Not until at least season 3.
-- The fact that the stay behind is a common theme through this book for Rook is a little amusing, except when it gets him in trouble.
-- Somehow I had a feeling
-- Silly book, fun to read... going to hold until I've read the series then make a keep/go decision.
Read by Simon Vance
Start 07/29/19 End 08/06/19
-- Back to a classic and the OG horror of its day.
-- This is my second with Simon Vance as a narrator, and I must say, he does marvelous work.
-- I expected this to cover more of
-- I'mj trying to decide if I feel sorry more for the monster... or Frankenstein himself.
Read by Stanley Brown and Jason Hill
Start 08/07/19 End 08/07/19
-- My train obsession catches up to me. :)
-- Very quick, painless book. I suspect it was written for the younger crowd. Very simple and to the point.
-- It gives some dates, names, and places of the first railroads in England. Somewhat informative. A good jumping off point for new details.
Read by Allyson Johnson
Start 08/08/19 End 08/25/19
-- I'm continuing on this series, because except for one book, these have been a good overall read.
-- Just about a third of the way into the book and there's a lot of talking and plotting, but very little forward action. I better understand why the editors might have dropped have these chapters with the first printing.
-- This is where the books start to really skew away from the earlier well focused plots. You start getting a lot more off shoots of political chapters and other side views, which may or may not benefit the story.
-- I'm honestly glad he didn't go into detail with regard to some of Honor's torture in this book.
Start 08/14/19 End 10/5/19
-- I'm not sure what I was expecting when I grabbed this book. Science fiction, definitely. But not military sci fi, I don't think. We'll see how it goes.
-- The first few pages feel choppy and scattered. I'm not sure if this is supposed to mirror the main character's state of mind or if it was just bad editing.
-- The switching between Rod and Blaine to refer to the main character gets real REAL annoying. I don't know if this is the two writers habits merging, but it makes following the character hard, because they are referred to differently.
-- I felt like
-- This is a dense book with a lot of characters. Sometimes it feels like they are shoehorning in characters, just to get them POV time.
-- I've honestly stopped reading for what the humans do. I care about the aliens. The human cast it too huge and uninteresting to care. I'll probably drop the book once the aliens are no longer part of the plot.
-- I just noticed that Heinlein listed this as "One of the Best science fiction books I've read" (Cover blurb) so I have different tastes than Heinlein. Explains a lot...
Start 9/7/19 End 9/10/19
-- so far, this is reading like a modified romance. Female lead, male lead, but with a murder and dead friend in common. Semi interesting premise. I'm 3 chapters in. Reads pretty easy.
-- this turned more interesting as I read. Very hard to put down.
- the end culprit I didnt expect, but they also weren't hugely touted through the book. Everything suggested about them made them make sense.
-- twisty turny, a very good mystery.
-- primary gripe (and I admit to doing it too) is a writer who gets stuck on a reaction. Jaymee was always balling her fists. Her reactions felt attached to her hands. Sometimes she'd bite her lip, but mostly her hands showed more.
Read by Dylan Baker
Start 8/26/19 End 9/5/19
-- Decided to check out another in the long list of "classics"
-- I'm four chapters in and my only thought so far is "If a modern author waited this long to name a character or have any action happen, they'd never get past the slush pile."
-- Nearing the end of Chapter 10 and my thoughts are to kill all the odd numbered chapters, to strengthen the story and speed it up some. It's crawling something fierce. My dogs can't handle the pace.
-- Really don't mind the loss of some of the characters as it was a huge cast. But really
-- I realize when this was written, the image was supposed to be a white family, but I'm getting more a sense of a former slave family that had finally gotten something going, became exploited by a white bank, then forced out. The constant push and the maltreatment. It all smacks horribly.
-- Almost to half way and am teetering toward dropping it as a dud.
-- at 56 % complete and needing to return it in four days, I'm going to call this one a dud for me. The character I most identified with just walked off scene not to return. The cast is overly large and hard to follow. And the book is depressing as all crap. It may have a great ending line, but I won't get to it to know...
Start 08/27/19 End 12/24/19
-- I was looking forward to this book. Something about it called to me. However, a chapter and a half in and I'm finding disappointment in the writing style.
-- Hmmm, magical elder to impart wisdom, second chapter. No wait, she's an excuse to Infodump.
-- Oh, I'm suffering from bad writing syndrome (tm). Info dump, twice within a few pages, all pushing a plot line that I'm having trouble swallowing, especially since there's very little set up to it. If I were the main character, I'd be demanding more proof, time to get ready, and just bolting away from the nuts. Suspect all my anticipation may be damaging my joy of this book and making me more harsh, but I would have the same issues without such.
-- While the feel of the main character is of a teen, the whole of the story feels rushed. There's too much info dump not enough plot and showing.
-- Perhaps scenes meant to show feel more like tell right now, but they didn't meld the two techniques well.
-- "Their faces were gleaming with laughter and flashing." This is an edit fail. Something else was said here and got lost.
-- "spilling down like entrails" oh that's not a good description for a character of royal stature
-- This feels like they are trying an homage to the hobbit or the lord of the Rings , but the writing skills just can't match Tolkien. Things happen, but the details are limited and there's too much focus on her and not enough on the journey.
-- Too much tell, not enough show. The book is only 286 pages long yet it feels like it could be 1000 easily.
-- Traitor in the midst? Maybe. And a hateful guard doesn't help either.
-- This book could use a good editor. Repeated words and phrases within a paragraph. Extended sentences that could be trimmed without losing meaning. Better word choices in some places...
-- And we have a deus ex machina ending. Thus book could have been so much more.
We remember the shock of the first plane.
We remember the disbelief of the second plane.
We remember the heroes who rushed in, the heroes of the third plane.
We remember the last plane so close to DC.
We remember the fall.
And we honor those who had no idea this was there last few hours.
Start 9/10/19 End
-- More than 20 chapters of backstory. Some history that may or may not be needed. I finally passed the quarter pole and feel like more story and less history is being told.
-- Somehow, I'm seeing this as a better way of displaying the BDSM culture than 50 Shades of Gray ever did. Some may see this as disgusting, but that is essential what an Anguisette desires.
-- I have no empathy for any character other than Guy to this point. Maybe Hyacinthe. Honestly, I find Phedre' a touch annoying.
Read by Gene Engene
Start 09/18/19 End 09/24/19
-- Thought I'd go back and explore this series again.
-- Main character is rude and a bit of a bore. Always seems to stumble across the attractive woman with a problem. Kinda formula.
-- Plot is a little fitting for right now.
Read by Amy Landon
Start 09/25/19 End 10/3/19
-- Been two years since I visited this part of Ms. Neill's thoughts. Let's dive back in.
-- The idea of magic versus normal seems like another way of framing the racism issues the world continues to face. Timely novel to read.
-- She mentioned the same issue with Malicha and being very formal, probably because he was a general, twice in a very short span. Almost like it was a section missed during the editing process.
-- why do romance authors, especially when using a female pov, always seem to see possession in the guy's eyes? And why is that a good thing?
-- I like the tension, the build of these books. Going to wait on the next one, but worth the series.
July Round Up;
The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien
Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye (Dud)
Blood Kissed by Keri Arthur
If I understood you, would I have this look on my face by Alan Alda
Educated by Tara Westover
Slaying It by Chloe Neill
(For count - 1 physical, 1 ebook (1 dud), 4 audio)
August Round Up
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Invention: Locomotive by William Henri
Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Heat Wave by Richard Castle
In Enemy Hands by David Weber
(For count - 1 physical, 1 ebook, 3 audio)
September Round Up
Tin God by Stacy Green
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinback
Injustice for All by J A Jance
(For counts - 1 ebook, 2 audio (1 dud))
For what it's worth, my mom who has never seen Castle, couldn't put the third (or was it second?) book down. It might have been both. She really loved them.
Right now, I'm watching the David Baldacci lessons. 18 lessons that average about 12 minutes, with a workbook and other insights included. Plus assignments and a forum to share.
I'm watching to see what other writers they get. Though they also have Simone Biles teaching Gymnastics, and a NatGeo photographer with a class on taking proper nature photography...
Read by Robert Glenister
Start Date 10/14/19 End Date 10/24/19
-- I found myself underwhelmed by the previous book in this series. Trying again to see if things improve
-- The scene with the reporter seemed out of place, unless it was for characterization purposes. Still unsure about it.
-- Pompous ass gets booted. Lady stays. Old cliche. Gruff, broke, hard luck PI also cliche.
-- Better characterization this time, not all based on how they hold a cigarette. I feel more for Cormorant this time too. This mispronunciation of the name resonates with me.
-- Somehow, shining a light on the
-- I have my suspicions on who the killer is, but I'm not sure. The clue of
-- And the thoughts I had proved bad, as one clue was a red herring
-- Get to the end, reveal the killer, and for some reason I was expecting to see a bigger reveal
-- They kept pointing toward one suspect, then did a sharp left at the end. That's much better plotted, better characterization, stronger overall story.
Read by Laural Merlington
Start Date 10/25/19 End Date 11/6/19
-- I've been reading this series all out of order but it hasn't hurt my understanding too badly
-- Savanah reads like the petulant 12 year old she should be. Paige feels more like a late 30 something than a mid 20 something. Maybe part of that comes from changes in the previous book that I missed
-- Leah is an interesting character but is so a red herring to the plot. I felt like she was underused
-- Lucas offers a different take on some of the world building that had come before. He's a bigger factor to the plot than admitted. Perhaps to the larger series arc.
-- I think I saw the whole
(I'm still gathering my thoughts on this one)
I've started making my notes into OneNote for the sake of more immediate comments when I can't get to the internet.
This has had ... mixed results. I'm no better making these notes than I was here...
Narrator Teri Schnaubelt
Start Date 11/6/19 End Date 11/15/19
-- I've enjoyed the later books in this series, so it's nice to go back to the beginning and see how things began.
-- This book follows Mary DiNunzio while working at her old law firm, before and up to her joining Bennie Rosato. It feels like a cross between a legal thriller (as the later books are) and a straight up stalker/thriller.
-- I feel bad for Mary, that she falls into the arms of a man who could be a potential stalker. Emotionally vulnerable, she fell into the guy's bed. Seems a bad idea
-- Somehow, pointing to Ned, this seems very red herring for the thriller concept. He's too obvious. Though Judy has a point too
-- They just started dating and he's already into the terms of endearment. *shudder*
-- The final culprit makes much more sense. I feel like the clues toward them were too few and far between. Not enough for it to be completely unconsidered, but enough for you to blink in shock
Start Date 10/6/19 End Date 11/28/19
-- Originally I picked this up as a gift to someone else. They didn't want it so it stayed on my shelf.
-- Silly little mystery as a flock of sheep try to solve their shepherd's murder.
-- I feel like the writer is talking down to the reader, with the constant reminder of who the smartest sheep in all Glennkill is.
-- You are getting a smattering of clues from the sheep in their various excursions and from them overhearing conversations, but I'm near the end of the book and am still lost.
-- I probably should have given up at the half way point on this book. I just wasn't drawn in. Point in fact, I avoided reading it some nights.
-- The final few chapters were disappointing. The culprit was a twist, but through all the story, not a good twist. No hints, no clues, nothing to point toward this outcome.
-- I feel like this should have been a dud book, but the concept was so unique…
So here's my round up for the last two months:
October Round Up
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
The Sight by Chloe Neill
The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournell
(For counts - 1 physical, 2 audio)
November Round Up
Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann
Everywhere that Mary Went by Lisa Scottoline
Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
(For counts - 1 physical, 2 audio)
Read by Gates McFadden
Start Date 12/9/19 End Date 12/10/19
-- I have limited thoughts on this. My first major comment is this is NOT an unabridged version, no matter what the cover says. It says Adapted for audio, which tells me that they edited it. Sounds are used to replace sentences.
-- It just didn't impress me. The story was a touch bland. And they tried to make an echo when dealing with dialogue.
Read by William Hope
Start Date 12/2/19 End Date 12/5/19
-- Read this way back in high school so wanted to read again to remember the storyline
-- There are some rather rude characters in here. Not to mention racist and narcissistic.
-- Let's see. Nick is Watson. Gatsby is a con. Daisy is a confused woman. Jordan is a golfer and maybe a cheat. George Wilson is a lost man. Myrtle Wilson is a ladder climber and materialistic woman. Most of the rest are ne'er-do-wells.
-- I remembered an accident at the books end, but I misremembered who drove and who died.
-- Gatsby was living as a shell of himself, maybe that's the take away from this book. Be true to self.
Start Date 11/28/19 End Date 12/25/19
-- It feels like the first few chapters are more to establish the attempt at slang the author created. Honestly, it isn't great, but I have to remember this was written for the middle grade set. However, cheesy, it is not. It's just pathetic.
-- This book definitely could have used a stronger editor, even for the grade they chose. Bring more focus to the story. Some chapters are done to introduce elements, I get that. But they ramble for too long. Those intros could be a partial chapter.
-- There's elements late in the book that I kept asking "why didn't they do this sooner?" or "Hasn't more time passed than is valid for that device?" The end of the book is a nice neat wrap up, except…
-- I am going back to the whole slang thing. It jarred me out of the story each time. It may "fit" the world, flow well with the text, but it makes absolutely no sense. For a character who's a bot repair person or who does things with his hands, fine. The main character isn't either of those things. Just NO.
Start Date 12/30/19 End 12/30/19
-- Psychology worked to face the animal world.
-- I had to manipulate the numbers just to get something close to my personality. this thing is so wrong...
-- Best friend chose different from me, so got me one that fits. Still not a good book from what I could tell.
Ever Shade by Alexia Purdy
Bot Wars by J V Kade
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
The Devil's Heart by Carmen Carter
The Animal in You by Roy Feinson
(for the count - 2 physical, 2 audio, 1 ebook -- 1 dud)
Final Count was 55 books read - 6 duds for a total of 49 books completed
Physical books - 13 read - 2 duds = 11
Ebooks - 8 read - 1 dud = 7
Audio books - 34 read - 3 duds = 31
49 fiction and 6 non fiction attempted.
18 fantasy, 11 science fiction, 11 Mystery, 7 other fiction
Here's the link to the annual book poll (It will also be in the new thread):
Link to Poll
2016 Subaru Crosstrek AWD
Blue with all the safety trimmings.