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antqueen tries again in 2019

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Feb 10, 10:07am Top


Happy New Year, and it's good to be back! I haven't been around the forums much the past few years, but after getting back into TIOLI last year I thought I'd try posting about books again. I don't think I've ever gotten through a full year of it, so we'll see how it goes...

I live near Louisville, Kentucky with my husband and daughter and two cats. I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction and a scattering of other books, and lately my daughter and I have been reading some of her books together. I don't plan my reading, but I'll use challenges to pick a book I already have. I'm overly fond of challenges and lists when I read, in fact, but it's ticking the boxes that I like, not completing the list, so between TIOLI and other reading challenges I've collected I have lots of beautiful boxes to tick for whatever I decide to read. I'm looking forward to a great reading year!

Currently Reading:

Edited: Feb 8, 2:59pm Top

Acquired in 2019

Fanning's Narrative by Nathaniel Fanning

Edited: Feb 8, 3:25pm Top


Nonfiction Challenge

January: Prizewinners (and Nominees!)
February: Science and Technology: Innovations and Innovators
March: True Crime, Misdemeanors and Justice, Past and Present Day
April: Comfort Reads
May: History
June: The Pictures Have It!
July: Biography & First Person Yarns
August: Raw Materials: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral
September: Books by Journalists
October: Other Worlds: From Spiritual to Fantastical
November: Creators and Creativity
December: I've Always Been Curious About...


January: Read an SFF you meant to read in 2018, but never started/completed - Fables: The Dark Ages
February: Colonization
March: Mystery/police procedural/detective Science Fiction or Fantasy
April: Sword & Sorcery
May: International Sci-Fi/Fantasy by Non-US/UK authors
June: Road-trip
July: Space Opera
August: Alternate History
September: Series
October: Comedy
November: Award Winners
December: End-of-the-Year Wrap Up


January: Series in translation
February: YA/Children's
March: Series by a favorite author
April: Series You've Been Meaning to Get Back To
May: Newest book in a favorite series
June: Series that are definitely complete
July: Genre: fantasy
August: Series set in a country/region where you do not live
September: Genre: Mystery
October: Historical Series
November: Series with a female protagonist
December: Series that's new to you


January: First in, last out - read one of the oldest members of your tbr
February: A book you borrowed to read and still haven't got to
March: Book acquired on/for trips or for a special occasion
April: Book originally acquired for an LT group read or challenge
May: Book that I keep looking at, but never manage to open
June: Book bullet (i.e. book suggested by someone else, not necessarily on LT)
July: Book by an author with more than one book on your TBR shelf
August: Book purchased with great excitement and with plans to read right away that is somehow still on my tbr a year later
September: Classics I feel I should read
October: Book purchased because of its visual appeal (striking cover or colors, beautiful edition, etc.)
November: Book given to me as a gift
December: A book I bought because it was so cheap (library sale, remainder table, etc)

Edited: Feb 9, 5:46pm Top

  1. Debut novel - The Frame-Up
  2. Book about/featuring siblings
  3. Graphic novel - Fables: The Dark Ages
  4. Book made into a movie
  5. Part of a series
  6. Prize-winning book
  7. Animal on cover/in title/plays a significant role
  8. Children's/YA book, or reread a childhood favorite
  9. Short stories or essays - Ambiguity Machines
  10. Book with an artistic character
  11. Eastern European author or setting
  12. Fairy tale (classic or reworked)
  13. Read a CAT
  14. Alliterative title
  15. Cover has at least two human figures
  16. Book has an LT rating of 4.0 or more
  17. Main title has 6 or more words in it
  18. Topic or character related to medicine/health
  19. Read a book bullet (another LT member inspired you to read it) - All Systems Red
  20. Book in translation - The Crooked Mirror and Other Stories
  21. Title contains a homophone word (hair/hare, slay/sleigh, there/their/they're) - The Lost Heir
  22. Food-related title or topic
  23. Author uses middle name or middle initial
  24. Book mentioned in another book you have read
  25. Weather (title contains a weather word, or book involves/centers around a weather event)

Jan 2, 8:42pm Top

Welcome back!

Jan 3, 4:30am 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 this year.

Jan 3, 2:23pm Top

Thanks for visiting!

I may as well do the title meme too...

Describe yourself: Seeker
Describe how you feel: Gulp
Describe where you currently live: The Secret Garden
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Into the Wild
Your favorite form of transportation: The Paths of the Dead
Your best friend is: The Weaver
You and your friends are: Hackers
What's the weather like: The Arctic Incident
Your favorite time of day: Tea with the Black Dragon
What is life for you? The Neverending Story
You fear: The Noise Within
What is the best advice you have to give: Listening is an Act of Love
Thought for the day: Get Well Soon
How I would like to die: Dealing With Dragons
My soul's present condition: The Left Hand of Darkness

Jan 3, 4:40pm Top

Happy reading in 2019!

Edited: Jan 5, 1:40pm Top

All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Book 1 of The Murderbot Diaries
TIOLI #4: Read the first book of a series/trilogy or saga
BingoDOG #19: Read a book bullet

I've seen this on so many threads on LT I had to read it myself. A quick, fun story about a robot (cyborg, maybe) built as a security unit that, after an incident that prompted it to name itself Murderbot, hacked itself to free it from outside control. At first it only does its job to avoid suspicions about the hacking, but when confronted with danger to the unexpectedly sympathetic people it's supposed to be protecting, it finds itself having to make decisions it never expected to make. I loved Murderbot's snarky humor and the way it gradually began to cope with the first humans to treat it as a person rather than an unwanted but necessary thing. Murderbot's a great character, and I'll definitely pick up the next in the series.

Jan 5, 2:13pm Top

The Lost Heir by Tui Sutherland
Book 2 of Wings of Fire
TIOLI #10: Read a Book about sisters
BingoDOG #21: Title contains a homophone word

Some history about this one... my daughter enjoys reading books with me. Usually it's me reading to her, but sometimes she reads them to me. After she's already read them herself, of course, because reading them out loud is way too slow for a first read-through! Anyway, she brought me book 5 of this series first. And then book 4, and then book 3, and now this one. Reading a series in which one book follows closely after the others backward is bizarre, to say the least. And I gotta say, there's a lot of hints about what happens in future books and desperate situations that I'm really quite sure that the characters will make it through quite all right :)

It's a fun series. It's about five young dragons who were taken from their parents as eggs and raised in secret as the prophecy's chosen ones, meant to stop a war. Each of the first five books is from the point of view of one of those dragons. The dragons of the world are divided into clans based on... species? sub-species, maybe? Anyway, each of the dragons is from a different one. This book was from the point of view of Tsunami, a Seawing, a type with gills as well as lungs that generally live in the ocean. They go to look for her home and parents, hoping to find a safe place, but instead they only find more danger and complications. They're not deep books by any means, but they're fun and there's an diversity-is-good theme that manages not to be overwhelming despite its obviousness (I mean, five very different dragons who were raised together and thus avoided the prejudices of their parents are now setting off to stop a highly polarized war). Anyway, I wouldn't go looking for more on my own, but I enjoy reading them with my daughter.

Jan 5, 7:57pm Top

Happy 2019!
I keep seeing Martha Wells and really should pick up that series!

Jan 5, 8:53pm Top

Thank you for the lovely list of challenges in >4 antqueen:. I am going to borrow them for my own use, if I may, rather than hunt down and format them on my own. I haven't done the seriesCAT and the tbrCAT before, but looking at your list makes me think that I should this year!

Edited: Jan 6, 6:11am Top

Looks like we share 178 works, so I think I'll see if we read any more in common this year. In fact, your first read of the year is mine, too, so we're off to a good start. If you're doing the TIOLI for January, I see that All Systems Red has already been added to the 'first in series' challenge.

ETA: oh, sorry; it was you. Well, I've joined you now.

Jan 6, 3:22pm Top

Happy New Year Thread!

Jan 6, 3:39pm Top

>10 antqueen: My local library has that one, so I am going to have to give it a shot. Thanks for the recommendation!

Edited: Jan 6, 3:44pm Top

>14 humouress: Ha, you are a piker, Nina! Antqueen and I share 691 books!!

Jan 6, 4:10pm Top

*hangs head in embarrassment* Apparently we share 218 books, but there are a few duplicates. You and I do a bit better, on around 248. I shall try harder - when I find somewhere to put them all.

Jan 13, 2:45pm Top

Welcome back - beautiful cats!

>10 antqueen: Yay for Murderbot! I love that series. I think there's plans for a full length novel as well although not until next year (2020).

Edited: Feb 8, 10:44am Top

So, off to a great start, aren't I? I make a few posts in the beginning of January and then I disappear for a month. I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately, though I did finish a couple of books in January. Maybe I'll reread something fun this weekend to try to get going again...

I do have a lot of duplicate books! I like to listen to audiobooks that I've already read, and I always add them separately.

Feb 8, 10:52am Top

Pearls Takes a Wrong Turn by Stephan Pastis

Normally I wouldn't list a comic collection, but... reading slump, and darn it it's my thread and I can do what I want :) And I like Pearls Before Swine. A lot of strip authors don't publish books of comic strips anymore, but my husband and I like to read them together, and these are fun because Pastis puts comments under a lot of the strips.

Edited: Feb 9, 8:06am Top

Fables: The Dark Ages by Bill Willingham, Fables #12
SFFKit January: Read an SFF you meant to read in 2018, but never started/completed
BingoDOG #3: Graphic novel

In which it is demonstrated that a happy ending is only happy until you get to the next installment. Also, in which it is demonstrated that, having defeated one bad guy, you may just be setting yourself up for the introduction of a new (maybe even worse?) one. Willingham isn't as bad about killing off characters as, say, Martin is, but he's not shy about it either. Still, I was sad and a little surprised when Boy Blue died. I kept hoping he'd pull through. Looking forward to the next.

ETA the middle of a sentence that I'd forgotten...

Feb 9, 6:17am Top

I haven’t tried comic strips, but so many people are posting GNs, maybe I should give them a go.

Feb 9, 8:12am Top

I started with Sandman because I'd read a lot of Neil Gaiman's novels and short stories and went hunting for more series once I got near the end of those :)

Feb 9, 8:30am Top

The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin
The Golden Arrow Mysteries, #1

A geeky young woman writes for a comic book company. A cop is investigating what appears to be someone pretending to be a real-life superhero. After a chance meeting in a coffee shop, she becomes the comic book expert for the investigating team.

So, I'm not really the target audience for this one. I got it because it was a free ebook one month, and I read it because I was going to be at a hospital for most of a day and I needed something that looked light and funny and easy to read. I mean, a geeky female protagonist is great, and I do like the occasional mystery. But oh my, there for a while I swear there wasn't a page without at least one reference, usually more, to how gorgeous the cop was. It was ok for my purposes at the time, though. Light and funny and easy to read, and while the characters behaved somewhat unrealistically in many cases, it was the sort of book where it often fit the mood. The book ends with a part of the mystery solved, but the identity of the superhero still up in the air. I'm a little curious, but I doubt I'll pick up the next one.

Feb 10, 10:43am Top

Ambiguity Machines by Vandana Singh
BingoDOG #9: Short stories or essays

The stories in Ambiguity Machines are science fiction, some of them bordering on fantasy, with a lush, dreamy feel. Singh is from New Delhi, and her characters and settings reflect it, a welcome change from the more common western European/North American-influenced science fiction. The stories are all different, but many share themes. Climate change, overpopulation, the need for humans to understand and be a part of their environment rather than simply using it. I didn't read it quickly, rather spreading the stories out over a month, and I think it benefited by it. They're stories that want to be digested rather than rushed through. I've read Singh's stories before, in magazines or anthologies, and I'll have to pick up her other short story collection at some point.

Feb 10, 11:04am Top

I tried to read The Fifth Sorceress by Robert Newcomb for the January TBR challenge (one of the oldest members of your TBR) but I couldn't do it. My first DNF in a very long time, in fact. I've had enough books pick up in the middle that I rarely stop. This one, though... I somehow wound up with the second book in the series (a gift from someone, maybe?) and got the first because of that rather than because I particularly wanted it, and it sat there for years before I finally picked it up for this challenge.

A mistake, as it turns out :) It starts out with a prologue in which the (good, male) wizards banish the (evil, female) sorceresses after defeating their rebellion. Since killing them outright would be murder, and therefore Bad, they starve them for a while and take them out to the edge of a sea, beyond which no one has ever returned, put them in a tiny boat with a deliberately short supply of food, and leave them. Which apparently isn't Bad. I guess they were right, though, because years later they're still alive. Setting the stage for our Chosen Hero. In the meantime, the wizards have forbidden women to learn magic, though the main wizard guy at the start of the story readily admits that lots of women were on the Good side before, and lots of men were on the Bad side. So... obviously they outlaw the women.

I'm not fond of the powerful-women-must-be-evil theme. Even so, I actually had some hope for the story here, because Our Hero thinks that women should be allowed to practice the good magic, and even has a sister who has the potential to do magic. But it just kept going downhill. Wizard cast a sleep spell on Sister so he and Hero could talk about Important Things, and then a hidden sorceress shows up, and obviously she's using her magic to be as sexy as possible, and... yeah. I read a few reviews, which convinced me that it wasn't going to get any better, and left it there.

I guess that's two books to take off the TBR list, at any rate...

Feb 10, 12:13pm Top

>27 antqueen: The title sounds promising (ah, no - just realised it's reminiscent of The Fifth Elephant) so I clicked the link to look at the other reviews. Absolutely hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

Feb 10, 1:08pm Top

>27 antqueen: Sometimes, decreasing the TBR list is the only good thing about an attempted read!

Feb 11, 8:47am Top

>26 antqueen: that one looks good!

Edited: Feb 11, 9:58pm Top

>28 humouress: Well, The Fifth Elephant isn't my favorite Discworld novel, but I am rereading some Discworld right now :) I think I needed a brain-cleanse after this one. The reviews of The Fifth Sorceress are hilarious, though. It's on a list called "Mind-numbingly Awful Books" too. That cracked me up. At least I'm not alone in my opinions...

>29 foggidawn: I'm trying to look at it like that!

>30 drneutron: I'd love to hear what you think if you pick it up!

Feb 12, 12:46pm Top

>26 antqueen: That one's already on my list after it got shortlisted for an award (Philip K. Dick award) but glad to see a positive review from you.

>27 antqueen: Happy to pass on that one!

Feb 14, 1:46pm Top

Happy Valentine's Day!! ❤️💚💗💙

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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