Zozette’s 100 in 2019

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Zozette’s 100 in 2019

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Edited: Jul 8, 2019, 10:54pm

I managed 142 books last year but that included listening to 37 Agatha Christie books that are quite easy listens.

Goals this year

Complete my 2019 Challenge
Read /listen to at least three Stephen King books ✔️✔️✔️
Listen to 6 more Agatha Christie books ✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Read at least 6 biographies (or diaries) ✔️✔️✔️
Read at least 3 books set in Tasmania (where I live) ✔️✔️
Read three non-mystery books set in Iceland
Read more books by Zoran Zivkovic
25% of books non-fiction
25% of books at least written by female authors other than Agatha Christie
More collections of short stories ✔️✔️✔️
2 collection of poetry
2 plays

Jan 4, 2019, 3:49pm

I am off to a good start as I have just finishedmy 4th book in 4 days.

The Skeleton’s Holiday by Leonora Carrington. 7 short stories. Leonora was a British-born artist who ended up in Mexico. Her stories are quite strange but I love them 4/5. Very small paperback.

Verses for the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. 18th book in the Pendergast series. Not the best Pendergast book but better than a few of them. Action mainly takes place in Miami and once again Pendergast is hunting down a serial killer. 4/5.

Polly and the One and Only World by Don Bredes. This is a young adult book, a genre I only read occasionally. It is set in a post apocalyptic dystopian and is about a young teenage witch trying to get home to her people. Audiobook - narrated by Maggie Siff. 3.5/5 I imagine people who like YA would rate it higher.

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar. It was OK at least I liked it more than ‘Elevation’.Audiobook - narrated by Maggie Siff. 3/5

Jan 4, 2019, 5:27pm

Good luck with your reading in 2019! I like your list of goals.

Edited: Jan 10, 2019, 6:14am

5) Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith. Audiobook - narrated by Anjoa Andoh. Second book in the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency 4/5.

Jan 5, 2019, 5:13pm

Leonora Carrington's The Hearing Trumpet has been on my wish list for years. After reading your review, I've decided to start with The Skeleton's Holiday.

Edited: Jan 5, 2019, 6:05pm

The Hearing Trumpet is in my top 5 favourite books of all time. It starts out extremely funny with two of the most entertaining old ladies of all time. It gets more absurd as the story progresses. The audiobook version is absolutely wonderful.

Jan 6, 2019, 8:45pm

6) The Milk of Dreams by Leonora Carrington.

I hesitated before including a children’s picture book in the list of books I have read but as I have decided to read all of Leonora’s stories I think this has to be included. The little stories in it are strange but nowhere as strange as her stories written for adults. 3.5/5.

Jan 7, 2019, 11:07pm

7) The Cats by Nick Sharman, audiobook narrated by Richard Peterson. 1970/80s paperback horror fiction is my guilty pleasure, this one is about vicious cats on the rampage through London. I only gave it 2.5/5 because I took half a mark off because of the terrible accent the narrator did for an Australian character.

Jan 10, 2019, 6:16am

8) Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith. Audiobook - narrated by Anjoa Andoh. Third book in the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency 4/5.

I have listened to the first three books in this series in the last two weeks and I think I will leave the 4th one to next month.

Jan 10, 2019, 9:38pm

>9 Zozette: I really enjoy the audiobooks of the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - the narrator is wonderful.

Jan 12, 2019, 3:28pm

I finished Carrie by Stephen King. This is the 9th King book I have read. It was an uncomfortable read especially as the character of Chris was so much like a bully I had to endure at school though I was never bullied anywhere to the extent Carrie was.

I did not like that we are informed that some characters are going to die well before they do. I also though the climax came too early in the book (or the aftermath went on too long). However it was King’s first published book so I guess that has to be taken into account. I will rate the book as a 3.5/5.

Jan 13, 2019, 8:59pm

I finished my 10th book for the year though some of the books read have been short ones.

The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag is a novella by Robert Heinlein. I have read some Heinlein in the distant but this was a first read for me.

Jonathan Hoag knows that he goes to work each day, he gets paid each week, but he has no memory of actually working. He decides to hire a husband and wife detective team to follow him to determine just what work he actually does. It does not take long for things to get very strange.

I really enjoyed this story. 4/5.

Jan 16, 2019, 11:27pm

11th book of the year finished The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa.

I enjoyed this somewhat delightful, sometimes sad book. I loved the voice of the cat and his opinions on life, though the book was mainly about the life of the cat’s owner and his owner’s friendships. The ending was predictable. 4/5.

Jan 19, 2019, 5:12pm

12: The Death of Grass by John Christopher. Audiobook narrated by William Gaminara.

A disease is killing off all grasses and that includes rice, wheat, barley, oats and the grass livestock feed on. As the situation worsen a man living in London decides he must get his family and some friend’s to his brother’s farm knowing that his brother planted potatoes when he realised all grass was starting to die off. As law and order breaks down the small groups come across many barriers on their journey to the farm.

I first read this book back in the 1980s and I think it has aged quite well. 4/5.

Jan 22, 2019, 12:44am

Edited: Jan 22, 2019, 3:11am

>15 pamelad: I thought Marian and Carmella were two of the most delightful characters I have ever found in a book. Carmella’s letters and her plans to rescue Marian were so funny.

Jan 22, 2019, 10:26pm

13. The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. Audiobook narrated by Jane Collingwood and Sandra Duncan.

Maybe a little too sweet and light for me to totally enjoy. I did like the stories Anthony made up about the lost things. I thought Bomber’s sister was totally unbelievable even though she reminded me of one of my cousins. Overall 3.5/5.

Jan 23, 2019, 10:46pm

14. Murder in Keswick: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by William Todd. An OK Holmes pastiche. I worked out the mystery well before the end. 3/5

Jan 26, 2019, 4:01pm

15. The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley. Flavia de Luce Mystery. Flavia is back and she and Dogger has set up their own detective agency and they have their first case. As enjoyable as all the previous books have been. 4.5/5.

Jan 28, 2019, 6:48pm

16. Stig of the Dump by Clive King. I first read this book back in 1969. It is one of the few books from my childhood that I can be certain about when I read it. I enjoyed the book so much back then that I wrote my own story about Stig’s cave people tribe (set back in their own time). I filled a 64 page exercise book with my story which I illustrated myself. I won that year grade 6 creative writing award for my story.

Finishing the book after a break of 50 years I can easily understand why I liked it so much when I was a child. 4/5.

Feb 2, 2019, 12:25am

17. They Found a Cave by Nan Chauncy. My first book this year set in Tasmania.

When I was a child growing up in the 1960s. it was quite common for the teachers to up the film projector during lunch time on a cold and rainy day so that children could look at a movie in the school hall. We got to see the movie of the book quite a few time and I read the book during my primary school years. The policeman in the film was played by the father of two of the children at my school.

Four children are evacuated to Tasmania during WW2 to stay with their aunt Jandie on a farm in Tasmania. They become friends with Tas Pinner whose mother is Jandie’s housekeeper and his stepfather is the the foreman. Though Tas is a nice boy his parents are horrid. Aunt Jandie becomes very sick and has to go to hospital. After being mistreated the five children decide to run away to a secret cave that Tas knows about.

I loved the movie and book but I can now see that there is something that the children find that is treated in a way differently than it would be treated today. However apart from that I think this is still an good story. 4/5.

Feb 6, 2019, 6:11pm

18. Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman, narrated by Grover Gardner.

Though provoking book about Einstein dreaming about world’s where time functions differently from our own. In one world no-one remembers their past, in another the future is set and known to all. In another world time in circular etc etc

I enjoyed this book enough to order a second hand copy for myself. 4/5.

Edited: Feb 9, 2019, 11:28pm

19: Last night I finished listening to Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, narrated by Frank Muller. The suspense of the book was a little muted by me having watched the movie about 25 years so I knew how it would end. 4/5.

Feb 13, 2019, 5:55pm

20. I for Isobel by Amy Witting. Another Australian novel. Second Aussie novel I read in a row that has a horrible mother in it though this book is not a children’s book I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the second Isobel book. 4/5.

Feb 15, 2019, 6:45pm

21. Zero G by Dan Wells. Audiobook, full cast.

I downloaded this because it was one of the books I got get for free last month for being a member at Audible.

It was an OK children/family book. The narrators were very good. I think it I had read a printed version of this book it would have been a 3/5 but as an audiobook. 4/5.

Feb 19, 2019, 10:40pm

22. Dead Moon by Peter Clines. Audiobook narrated by Ray Porter. Book 3 in Threshold Series.

I really enjoyed the first two books in this series 14 and The Fold but I liked this one far less. I don’t really like zombie stories and the first two-thirds of this was just zombies before the connection to the first two books became obvious.

At least this time the zombies were on the Moon which is a little bit different from other zombie stories. I think anyone who liked Clines’ Ex-Heroes books would probably appreciate this story more than me. I thought the character in Dead Moon were bland as least when compared to the characters in 14 and in The Fold.

Ray Porter’s narration was excellent.

Overall 3.5/5. I will read/listen to the next book in the series when it is released.

Edited: Feb 28, 2019, 4:44am

23. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I remember having to study this book in high school which was about 45 years ago. I think I liked it back then but less so this time around. Nearly all the characters are unlikeable and I had trouble accepting that the society depicted in the novel could have changed so quickly. However I did lay in bed after finishing it trying to
decide which book/story I would endeavour to remember if that was the only way of keeping the story alive. I could not decide on one, I will have to give it more thought. 3.5/5.

24. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan, narrated by Sartaj Garewal. I bought this book during the ‘first of the series sale’. It was OK but I do not think I will read any more in the series. It is a murder mystery set in Mumbai, India. The setting was interesting but the mystery itself was a little mundane. 3/5.

I only managed 8 books in February compared to 16 in January.

Edited: Mar 24, 2019, 10:19pm

I have not posted for a while because arthritis in my fingers has made typing painful. I have finished 8 books since my last post, all of them audiobooks.

25) Pet Sematary by Stephen King. This means I have reach my challenge of reading three king books this year. I have not found King’s books to be scary. 3.5/5.

26) Pages and Co (Tilly and the Book Wanderers) by Anna James. I liked the fact that one of the books they wandered in was Alice in Wonderland. 3/5.

27) A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie 3.5/5

28) Listen to The Signal by Rob Dircks. An excellent collection of short sci fi stories. I liked all 16 of the stories. 4.5/5. (no touchstone)

29) A Mind of Her Own by Paula McLain. A novella about how Marie Curie meet her husband, Pierre. 3/5.

30) Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie

31) Death of the Nile by Agatha Christie

32) Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie

2/3 of my way to finishing my goal of listening to 6 Christie books this year and it means that I have finished a total of 41 in the last 18 months.

Apr 8, 2019, 12:00am

33) The Kalahari Typing School of Men by Alexander McCall Smith. I did not enjoy this book as much as previous books in the series. I think the series is getting a little repetitive so I might leave it a few month before continuing with this series. 3/5.

34) Nod by Adrian Barnes. One day the majority of people are no longer able Togo to sleep. Only about 1 in 10000 people can sleep and the non-sleeper start to go mad. Set in Vancouver, Canada. 3.5/5

35) Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie 3/5

36) The Wrong Unit by Rob Dircks. Humorous sci fi story about a robot who is left as the sole carer for a newborn child. 4/5.

Edited: Apr 9, 2019, 7:11pm

37) Resurrection of the Romanovs by Greg King and Penny Wilson.

The book is in three parts. The first part is mainly about the Romanovs and ends with their murders.

The second part is about Anna Anderson who, after being pulled from a canal in Berlin, claimed to by Anastasia, the youngest Romanov daughter. This part looks at who believed her story and why, and who disbelieved that she was Anastasia. It talks about the evidence for and against her being Anastasia.

The third part covers the known life of Franziska Schanzkowska, the woman who most people think Anna Anderson really was. This part also covers the find of the Romanovs’ bodies and the results of DNA testing.

I think that the first part is better and more thoroughly covered in The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport. The second and third part contained a great deal of information that I had not come across before. The book was very well researched. 4.5/5

Apr 19, 2019, 11:01pm

8 books since I last posted.

38) In Other Words...Murder by Josh Lanyon 3/5
39) Chocky by John Wyndham 3/5
40) Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi 4/5
41) The Ghost Had an Early CheckOut by Josh Lanyon 3.5/5
42) By The Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie 4/5
43) The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie 4/5
44) Solitude by Dean M Cole 3.5
45) The Woman in the Water by Charles Finch 4/5

I now have listened to 7 Christie books (target reached). I am way behind on my target for 25% of books read to be non-fiction (only one so far) and slightly behind of 25% of my books being written by a woman other than Agatha Christie. 10/45 so far as Josh Lanyon is a woman.

Later in the month I plan to listen to the follow up book to Solitude by Dean M Cole. Only one man, Vaughan Singleton, has survived a cataclysmic event on Earth and only he can rescue the only other person alive, astronaut Angela Brown, on the space station.

I will also try read more books by John Scalzi, and maybe some more the th Charles Lenox mysteries by Charles Finch.

Edited: Apr 22, 2019, 2:25am

46) Last night I finished Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson. This is a biography about John F Kennedy’s sister who was born intellectually disabled. I think her greatest misfortune was not her actual disability but to be born into such a high achieving, competitive family with very controlling parents. She had an IQ between 60-70 which means she was only mildly intellectually disabled and could have lead a happy life if she had not been put under so much pressure to succeed. If she had been born into more average family she might have been more accepted. I have a 37 year old son who has an IQ of 65 living at home with me so I can fully understand what level Rosemary was on and what challenges she would been to the average family. As it was her parents seemed more concerned about her embarrassing the family than they cared about her happiness. I do realise that children with disabilities were less accepted in the 1930s than they are today but I don’t think that is enough to excuse the Kennedys’ attitude to their daughter.

As Rosemary became an adult she understandably became more rebellious against the tight control she was under and he father agreed for her to have a lobotomy that went horribly wrong and left Rosemary far more disabled.

This was a tragic story that bought tears to my eyes several times and often made me angry. 4.5/5

May 22, 2019, 1:53am

Oh, that is an awful story. Poor Rosemary. :(

May 31, 2019, 9:56pm

Quite a few books to add

47) The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin. It started out being interesting but ended up dragging. 3/5.
48) Multitude by Dean M Cole. Follow up to the book 49) Solitude 3.5/5
49) The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie. I have read most of Christie’s best novels and now I am on to the middling one. 3/5
50) The Absolution by Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Another good Murder mystery set in Iceland. 4/5
51) The Real Wizard of Oz by Rebecca Loncraine. excellent biography of Frank L Baum. 4/5.
52) The Family Court Murders by Debi Marshall. True crime. A look the bout of shootings/bombings that plagued Australia’s Family Court between 1980-1985. Four murders, five bombings and at the time this book, no arrest. However since it was published a man has been charged with the crimes and his trial started last year and is continuing this year. 4/5.
53) Outland by Dennis E Taylor. First book in a new series by the author of the Bobiverse books. Slow start but picks up in the second half. 4/5. Only available as a audiobook at present. Nattared by Ray Porter.
54) A World Out of Time by Larry’s Niven. Classic sci-fi. 3.5/5
55) Medusa Uploaded by Emily Davenport. I loved the setting of this sci-fi novel but I found the politics in it to be somewhat boring. 3.5/5.
56) The Doll Collection edited by Ellen Datlow. OK collection of horror stories with a doll theme. 3/5.

Jun 1, 2019, 1:39am

>34 Zozette: I think I took a BB for The Family Court Murders. In 1985 I was working for a solicitor in Australia who had a large family law practice. I asked him then how he felt about the possibility of being appointed as a Family Court judge (which actually happened some years later), and he said “We’ve all got to go of something.”

Jun 17, 2019, 7:55pm

57) The Island: A Thriller by Ragnar Jonasson. Icelandic Murder mystery which is partly set on the small and remote island of Elliðaey. 3.5/5.
58) The Song of the Sirin by Nicholas Kotar. Epic fantasy based on Russian fairy tales. I am not a great fantasy reader and I think I might have preferred the original fairy stories. 3.5/5.
59) Winter World by AG Riddle. Ok sci fi story about the Earth suddenly starting to freeze. I preferred the part of this book set on Earth rather than the part set in space. I might read the second book once it is released 3.5/5.
60) The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. Excellent story about an injured detective who, while in hospital, decides to investigates Richard III and what became of the Princes in the Tower. It took me a while to get through because I kept looking up the people mentioned in the novel. 4.5/5.
61) Death of an Old Git by Andrea Frazer 4/5
62) Choked Off by Andrea Frazer. 3.5/5
This books were enjoyable and full of humour though in both cases I worked out who the killer was.
63) The Better Son by Katherine Johnson. Novel set in Tasmania. A man decided to return to the home town where his brother went missing 50 years before. I preferred the scenes set in 1952 the most. 4/5.

Edited: Jul 8, 2019, 10:52pm

Quite a few to add since my last post. A bad flare up of arthritis in my fingers have made typing hard. All of these were audiobooks as I have not been able to hold printed books.

64) wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart. Loved it and I have put in on my list to buy in printed form. 4/5

65) The Mangle Street Murders by MRC Kasasian. Murder mystery set in Victorian England. I don’t like the main protagonist (he is horrid) but the other characters are fine. 4/5

66) 4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie. 3.5/5

67) The Curse of the House of Foskett by MRC Kasasian. Second in the Gower Street Detective series. Still dislike Sidney Grice but I think you are meant to dislike him but I love his ward March Middleton. Lots of gruesome murders in this one. 3.5/5.

68) Uncle Dynamite by PG Wodehouse. Not as good as the Wooster and Jeeves books but still fun. 3.5/5

69) ‘The Lost Girls’. by Ava Benny-Morrison. No touchstone. This is a very sad true crime story. In 2010, the skeletal remains of a young woman were found in New South Wales. She goes unidentified for years. Then in 2015, the skeletal remains of a little girl are found in a suitcase 1100km away in South Australia. DNA results show that the two of them are mother and daughter. The book explains all the steps the killer took to convince the family that their loved ones were still alive. 4.5/5

70) ‘Gigi Make Paradox’ by Rob Dircks. Third in the Tesla Series. Newly released on Audible. I did not enjoy it as much as the previous two books. 3/5

71) Breakthrough by Michael C Grumley. OK sci fi thriller. Interesting enough for me to want to read the second book in the series. 3.5/5

72) Death Sentence by Joe Sharkey. True crime. The story of how John List kills his mother, wife and three children in 1971 before disappearing for 18 years until he was finally arrested in 1989. 4/5.

73) The Next Girl by Carla Kovach. I did not enjoy this mystery and I am not sure if I will read any more by this author

74) Seance on a Summer’s night by Josh Lanyon. 3/5

Sep 1, 2019, 8:54pm

I have not posted for quite a while due to illness, arthritis flare up and doing my spring cleaning a couple of weeks early. During that time I have read (or listened to) many books and I will try to list them over the next few days.

75) Make Room, Make Room by Harry Harrison. I last read this book about 40 years ago and I did not realise that the thing that is talked about most in the movie does not occur in the book. The book has not dated well 3.5/5

76) The Amazing Mrs Livesey by Marnie Nicholls. Interesting biography of a British con-woman who ended up in Australia. 4/5

77) Hetty Wainthorpe Investigates by David Cook and John Bowen. I preferred the TV series. 2.5/5.

78) Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. The history of textiles and the women who created them. 3.5/5.

79) The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel. This is the biography about a man who hid in the woods for 27 years, surviving by stealing from cabins. It was quite interesting but I thought the author was too pushy. 4/5.

80) One Hot Summer: Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli and the Great Stink of 1858 by Rosemary Ashton. I found this book about the events to the Thames becoming extremely smelly and how the London population dealt with it to be quite interesting. 4/5

81) Legends of Animation: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera by Jeff Lenburg. The Hanna Barbera cartoon were my favourite cartoons growing up so I found this book enjoyable though I kept having to stop to watch parts of the cartoons on YouTube. 4/5

Sep 2, 2019, 6:34pm

Good to see you back.

I just watched a film that might interest you because it features Leonora Carrington. It's called Female Human Animal. The main character is setting up an exhibition of Carrington's work for the Tait Gallery in Liverpool, both in the film and in reality, so we see Carrington's paintings and sculptures and hear snippets about her life and work. Carrington herself appears in extracts from an old interview. It's a weird film, where reality and fiction overlap. I found the reality more interesting than the fiction. It's on Mubi this month. https://mubi.com/showing/female-human-animal

Edited: Sep 5, 2019, 10:15pm

>39 pamelad: Thanks for the link. I will try to find a copy of it that I do not need to join up for. I might have to wait until it is available on DVD if it ever is.

I have actually finished my 100th book so I am quite a few books behind as far as this thread is concerned.

82) The Gemini Virus by Wil Mara. A disease that kills in 4 day hot the USA. 3.5/5.

83 Real Murders by Charlaine Harris. First book in the Aurora Teagarden series. I might read the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series and then decide on which series I might like best 3.5/5.

84) The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons. The first book in the Max Wolfe Murder series. 3.5/5

85) The Slaughter Man by Tony Parsons. 2nd Max Wolfe book. 3.5/5

86 The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. I have read or listen to all the Flavia De Luce books. I original read this as a paperback and decided to listen to it as an audiobook. I love Flavia 4/5.

87) Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie. This was actually the 76th book I read but somehow I left it out last time I posted. It isn’t just about princesses, there are queens and other noble women included. I like that it looks at some ‘badly behaved’ African, Asian and South/Central American ladies as well. 4/5.

I will try to post some more later today or tomorrow.

Edited: Sep 15, 2019, 12:54am

88) Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives by Mark Miodownik. Interesting popular science book. 4/5.

89) The Laptev Virus by Christy Esmahan. OK story. 3/5.

90) Fatal North by Bruce Henderson. True story about the Polaris expedition and the attempt to reach the North Pole. Was the leader of the expedition murdered or was his death from natural causes? 4/5.

91) Plod On, Sleepless Giant by MP McVey. This is a wonderful and imaginative fantasy about the elephant who has been turning the world since it was created. The story alternates between the world on the surface and the world at the center of the Earth. 5/5.

92) Old Bones by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. First book in a new series by these two authors. It features two characters from the Pendergast series, Nora Kelly and Cory Swanson. I was disappointed in the last two books in the Pendergast series but enjoyed this book. 4/5.