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Fourpawz2 - 75 Books - Year 12

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1Fourpawz2
Edited: Jan 1, 1:18pm Top



Although I ought to be tossed out of the group on account of my general neglect of my 2018 thread - I haven't even finished posting all of last year's books on it - I am back again. That's Jane up top looking particularly pretty and well-behaved. Often she is well-behaved, but she doesn't want to be boring about it and so makes it a point to change things up on a daily basis. We live on the south coast of Massachusetts in our desperately tiny house that is cram-jammed with books, both read and unread. Since last year I have been being stern with them. I'm not keeping just any old crap any more. It's measure up or move out!

I've been here on LT for more than a dozen years. How is that possible? Am not setting any particular goals for myself. I did manage to read 79 books last year so this year I mean to read 80. Will be ecstatic if I manage more than that.

2Fourpawz2
Edited: Today, 2:28pm Top

Books Read in 2019

January

1. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke - 1/06/2019 - 326 pages - 3 to 3.25 stars
2. Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman - 1/7/2019 -128 pages - 4.5 stars
3. Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward - 1/9/2019 - (357 pages) - 3.50 stars
4. The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes - 1/15/2019 - (469 pages) - 5 stars

3Fourpawz2
Edited: Jan 2, 10:44am Top

Real Life Book Club

January - The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - Reading

5Fourpawz2
Edited: Yesterday, 1:15pm Top

Books Acquired in 2019

1. A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford - Kindle - 1/02/2019
2. Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass by Tad Williams - Acquired through abebooks - MMPB in good condition - 1/15/2019

6Fourpawz2
Edited: Yesterday, 1:18pm Top

Books Borrowed in 2019

1. Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman - 1/02/2019 - audio book - borrowed from Overdrive - Completed
2. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke - 1/03/2019 - library book - Completed
3. Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward - 1/03/2019 - library book - Completed
4. Urchin of the Riding Stars by M.I. McAllister - 1/10/2019 - Overdrive audiobook

7Fourpawz2
Edited: Jan 4, 10:16pm Top

The Best and Worst of 2018

The Best Reads - in no particular order...

The Worst Hard Time
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Defiance: The Extraordinary Life of Lady Anne Barnard
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Beloved
Cleopatra: A Life
At Home
The Poisonwood Bible
Educated: A Memoir
The Great Fortune

The Worst Reads - A much smaller list because if a book is really bad, naturally the tendency is not to finish it....

The Walking Dead Compendium One and
Aunt Dimity and the Duke

The Best Cover...

The Dark Portal



The Worst Cover...

Girl, Interrupted



And Other Things Worth Mentioning...

Girl, Interrupted for being a bad book with a worse cover
The Legend of Colton H. Bryant for being another bad book, but with a good cover



Defiance: The Extraordinary Life of Lady Anne Barnard - a good book with a dreadful cover



Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - for being a very good book with a very good cover (the best of the HP series in my opinion)

8Fourpawz2
Edited: Yesterday, 1:23pm Top

...and because I like even numbers a little bit better than odd - reserved space number 8

All done now!

Okay - I've figured out what this space is for - the TBR books from various series that I am reading or want to start reading. As these books sometimes linger in the basket where I keep them, I am listing them here so that I will read some of the ones that have been gathering dust and so move on with series that I haven't visited in a while and others where I have been a bit more diligent about matters.

Books From The Series Basket

Grave Goods by Ariana Franklin - a long-time resident in the basket

Theft on Thursday by Ann Purser

The Shortest Way to Hades by Sarah Caudwell - long-time resident

The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart - long-time resident

Dreams of Steel by Glen Cook - long-time resident

Demelza by Winston Graham

The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker

Fortune's Favorites by Colleen McCullough - long-time resident in the basket

Death Without Company by Craig Johnson

The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

Death of a Village and Death of a Celebrity by M.C. Beaton - waiting to read these until I purchase their immediate predecessor

Wet Grave by Barbara Hambly

Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon

The Well of Lost Plots has been in this basket for literally years and I am thinking that it must mean that I really don't want to read any more of this series. I got tired of Fforde awfully quickly and the prospect of reading this seems like a chore.

Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass by Tad Williams - This one goes right into the series basket. Aiming to start this by Spring because I am half-way through the Otherland series and I know that I will risk forgetting important stuff from the first two books if I wait any longer. At 745 pages I expect it will take me most if not all of the year to finish this.

9susanj67
Jan 1, 1:08pm Top

Hi Charlotte! Happy new year and new thread!

10Fourpawz2
Jan 1, 1:22pm Top

Hi Susan! Thank you.

I've never been so late in setting up my thread before. Shocking! I really want to fill in those 7 blank spots, but it's time for me to read my daily bit of Wolf Hall. It was January 8th before I post my first book for the new year. I do hope that I can improve on that this time around.

11susanj67
Jan 1, 1:25pm Top

>10 Fourpawz2: Charlotte, you're not *really* late, what with it being 1 January and all :-) I hope Wolf Hall is growing on you.

12FAMeulstee
Jan 1, 4:03pm Top

Happy reading in 2019, Charlotte!

13PaulCranswick
Jan 1, 7:03pm Top



Happy 2019
A year full of books
A year full of friends
A year full of all your wishes realised

I look forward to keeping up with you, Charlotte, this year.

14banjo123
Jan 1, 9:44pm Top



looking forward to following your reading, etc, in 2019!

15souloftherose
Jan 2, 11:42am Top

Welcome back to you and Jane, Charlotte!

I've had a copy of Age of Wonder in my TBR for years so hopefully you will prompt me to pick it up when you've finished reading it - I am finding it difficult to motivate myself to read non-fiction at the moment.....

16Fourpawz2
Jan 7, 10:35am Top

>12 FAMeulstee:, >13 PaulCranswick:, >14 banjo123: & >15 souloftherose: - Thank you, guys!

Freaking freezing here! Not enjoying it. The weather people here in southern New England keep bemoaning the fact that we haven't really gotten any of the white stuff. Don't know what's wrong with them. I'm good with that. We've had plenty of rain - more than enough, really - so I'd like to just stick with the status quo. Now if it could just be a teensy bit warmer. Daytime temps in the 40s would be fine.



Book Number 1 - Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke - library book

Fourth book in the Hannah Swensen series. When I was taking a hard look at the books I've been allowing into the house, I decided that I would not be giving shelf room to any more from this series (other the ones already in the house and waiting to be read), but because I have quite a number of unread HS books I decided to continue with the series. It is still a harmless collection of murder mysteries with an occasional chuckle. And recipes. I've not felt compelled to actually make any of the cookies, but this time around I found one type that had condensed tomato soup as an ingredient which seemed pretty awful sounding. It may not be, but I don't really want to make the effort to find out for sure.

Anyway - there is a dead woman, partially buried in a hole that's been dug in the dirt-floored cellar of the house that Norman the dentist (and one of Hannah's two boyfriends) bought and naturally Hannah is -eventually- on the case. Hannah's investigations reveal a few possible murderers, but none of them pan out. I had no trouble identifying the murderer using my person-who-serves-no-purpose method.

Gave this one 3 to 3.25 stars because it made me chuckle a few times.

The cartoony cover on this one matches the others that I've read. Acceptable.

17Fourpawz2
Jan 8, 1:23pm Top



Book Number 2 - Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman - audio book read by the author

I was in a hurry when I picked out this audio book from the Overdrive website and failed to notice that it was a children's book. I am not much of a fan of children's books - not now and not when I was an actual child - so if I'd been paying attention when I was looking for something to listen to while working I undoubtedly would not have chosen this tiny book. But, I am happy to say, I really enjoyed the convoluted story that a father tells to his son and daughter which is supposed to explain why he has been so long in coming home with the milk that he'd set out to buy. It was very imaginative, clever and funny.

Gaiman is a good reader of his own work. Not every writer can say that.

Gave this one 4.5 stars. I think that as a child I would have enjoyed this one.

The cover art is eye-catching. That's the only down side to this book - I would really like to have seen the illustrations in a physical book.

18scaifea
Jan 9, 6:24am Top

>17 Fourpawz2: Gaiman. Is. Everything. And yeah, I definitely recommend picking up the actual book at some point to look at the amazing illustrations.

19Fourpawz2
Jan 10, 7:46pm Top

>18 scaifea: - I've only read a couple of Gaiman books. Will have to read more.

20PawsforThought
Jan 11, 5:00am Top

I agree with Amber >18 scaifea: regarding Gaiman. He's the only author that I'll buy a book from without even knowing what it's about or pre-reading a library copy. I trust his writing completely.

21Fourpawz2
Jan 11, 6:56am Top

>20 PawsforThought: - Sounds I will not go wrong if I make a Gaiman book my fiction purchase for February. Suggestions anyone?

22PawsforThought
Jan 11, 7:03am Top

>19 Fourpawz2: Which ones have you read so far?

23DeusXMachina
Jan 11, 7:14am Top

>17 Fourpawz2: I've heard so often now that the Gaiman's readings of his own books are simply amazing, I'll really have to try it out. And like you, I usually refuse to read children's books (or YA, for what it's worth), but I've read Coraline and the Graveyard Book and found both highly entertaining.

24Fourpawz2
Jan 11, 5:05pm Top

>22 PawsforThought: - So far, I've read American Gods and Neverwhere and I really liked both of them.

>23 DeusXMachina: - I am always surprised when an author turns out be a really bad reader of his/her own work. I've only read one book by Donna Tartt for that reason. Her reading of her own book gave me a permanent aversion to her work.

25fairywings
Jan 11, 5:20pm Top

>17 Fourpawz2: I was not much of a fan of children's books when I was young, but as an adult I've discovered there is so much more to choose from now than when we were kids, and quite a lot of them are either entertaining or really good.

>23 DeusXMachina: I agree withThe Graveyard Book it's one of my favourite books. I also quite like Stardust.

26PawsforThought
Jan 11, 7:15pm Top

>24 Fourpawz2: Neverwhere is my absolute favourite, along with the Sandman GNs, which I'd really recommend if you're into GNs. (And are okay with sex and violence because Gaiman doesn't shy away). Even if you're not that keen on children's books, The Graveyard Book is really good (and bordering on YA). Coraline is also as good a read for adults as it is for kids. All his children's books are amazing, though.
Stardust is a fun read full of adventures. A romp is probably the best way to describe it. I wasn't expecting Anansi Boys to really be up my alley, but I really liked it. It's set in the same world as American Gods but it's no where near as dark - more lighthearted.

27alcottacre
Edited: Jan 11, 7:25pm Top

>17 Fourpawz2: My local library has that one so I am going to have to check it out, Charlotte. Thanks for the recommendation!

>26 PawsforThought: I am a Neverwhere fan too. It was one of the first Gaiman books I ever read.

28Fourpawz2
Edited: Jan 12, 8:53am Top

>23 DeusXMachina:, >25 fairywings:, >26 PawsforThought: - Thanks for the recommendations, guys! I've decided to get a copy of The Graveyard Book next month. Sad to learn that The Sandman books are GNs as I am not a fan of them.

I wonder if I would have liked children's books better as a child if I'd had any. It's not that I did have any but rather that I did have many.

There are a few that I remember reading often - some of them dozens of times. There was a copy of a book about Bambi that I think, because it had a lot of Disney illustrations, was published in concert with the movie. In the third grade I borrowed it from the class library box almost every Friday so that I could maximize the number of days that I could have it in my possession. But most of the books that I read were filched from my mother's bookshelves and a lot of said books were undoubtedly highly inappropriate choices for a child.

>27 alcottacre: - You're very welcome, Stasia!

29Fourpawz2
Jan 12, 9:09am Top



Book Number 3 - Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward

This is what I consider to be the first "big" book spawned by the Trump Presidency. So very aptly named. The horror that is Trump! All of things that are wrong with 45 boggle the mind. The self-deception and the never ending lies. The way he treats people. It must be exhausting to be around this man.

I am looking forward to the time when he is out of office and the books about him that explore why he is the way he is begin to be published. They will either be fascinating because it turns out that he had a traumatic childhood or deadly dull because they reveal that he is just a hollow shell of a creature. I fear that it may be the latter.

Not entirely sure how to rate this one. It is not amazingly written, but I did enjoy, in an awful kind of way, the story of how the less repulsive of his minions dealt with him. Maybe it is about a 3.25 read.

The cover was pretty good, but honestly the last two days I was reading it, it was beginning to make me feel a little nauseous. That awful face pushed up so close to the camera - I was very glad to close the cover and put it aside. Even now it is in my car so that I won't have to look at it while waiting for the opportunity to drop it off at the library.

30BBGirl55
Jan 14, 5:09pm Top

>17 Fourpawz2: oh I love that book. Here in the UK we had a different artist.

31Fourpawz2
Today, 2:51pm Top

>30 BBGirl55: - Hi Bryony!



Book Number 4 - The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes

For the most part I loved this book about several of the -mostly English - giants of 18th and 19th century science. I was probably pre-disposed to enjoy it, being as how it starts out in the 18th century - my favorite century - but I kept on liking it into the 19th century. I was surprised by the close relationship between the scientific and literary communities - in particular Coleridge's affinity for scientists and science-y things. Chapter 7 - "Dr. Frankenstein and the Soul" - was particularly good. A lot to think about there. I must admit that I found Sir Humphrey Davy to be pretty tedious at times, but I got through that bit okay.

Definitely deserving of a 5 star rating and it has earned a place on the shelves.

Love the cover art too, even if there is too much printed crap on it. In particular I like the little balloon lurking in the top left-hand corner. Won't be surprised if this one ends up being a favorite cover - maybe the favorite cover - for 2019.

32jnwelch
Today, 4:46pm Top

Hi, Charlotte.

I'll have to track down The Age of Wonder. Five stars is hard to resist!

I like your favorites of '18 list. I loved Major Pettigrew's Last Stand when I read it.

Neverwhere is my favorite Gaiman book, and American Gods is growing on me after two reads. We're watching the tv series based on it now, and it's well done. I'm told Gaiman had a lot of input on it. (Neverwhere actually was original a British tv series he wrote, which he later turned into the novel!)

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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