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April AlphaKIT : B and M

2019 Category Challenge

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Mar 14, 1:58pm Top

Welcome to AlphaKIT for April

The rules are... none! Use the letters however you like to choose your reads for the month. Well, okay, there is one rule: Have Fun!

April AlphaKIT letters are : B and M.


Please remember to update the wiki and enter books alphabetically:

Mar 14, 3:42pm Top

I am going to read We Must be Brave by Frances Liardet, both B and M in one! I just downloaded the audio version.

Mar 14, 4:55pm Top

I'm going to try to get Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken.
Touchstone Bowlaway

Mar 14, 7:27pm Top

I'm planning to read The Prime Minister's Secret Agent by Susan Elia MacNeal and Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley.

Mar 14, 7:34pm Top

My book club's choice for April is The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. Lots of choices for M. I'll have to see how they fit in with other challenges.

Mar 14, 8:00pm Top

I have three authors in my TBR that have both initials: Beryl Markham, Max Beerbohm, and Barry Maitland. I also have a number of books that have both letters.

Edited: Yesterday, 11:00am Top

I narrowed my April choices to these:

✔Alibis and Angels by Olivia Matthews
Assault and Beadery
Batter Off Dead
Be Our Ghost
Blood Oath
Body in the Attic
Broken Bone China
Chasing Down a Dream by Beverly Jenkins
✔Cold Brew Killing by Lena Gregory
✔Corned Beef and Casualties
Gown with the Wind by Stephanie Blackmoore
Mother's Day Mayhem
Murder at Marble House
Murder by the Book
Murder in the Reading Room
Murder Most Fermented
Walking Bread

Mar 15, 1:27pm Top

I am hoping to read His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet which covers both the B and the M and perhaps also The Delivery Man by Joe McGuiness Jr.

Mar 15, 6:19pm Top

So far, my plans are to read Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen and Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King for B and The Green Ripper by John D. MacDonald for M.

Mar 15, 8:29pm Top

If I don't get Middlemarch finished by March 31st... 😉

Mar 16, 12:22pm Top

I have planned Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gotner for M and The Little French Bistro by Nina George for B.

Mar 16, 2:28pm Top

I am planning to read Blue Willow and Miss Hickory which will also help with my personal Newbery Award challenge.

Mar 16, 5:31pm Top

This is my April Pool:

🐾 Born to Run (written and narrated by Bruce Springsteen)
🐾 Major Pettigrew's Last Stand (by Helen Simonson; narrated by Peter Altschuler)
🐾 Macbeth (by William Shakespeare)
🐾 The Mysteries of the Soldiers Grove (by Paul Zimmer)
🐾 Skippy Dies: A Novel (by Paul Murray)
🐾 Song of Achilles (by Madeline Miller)
🐾 Somewhere in Time (by Richard Matheson; narrated by Scott Brick)
🐾 Stir of Echoes (by Richard Matheson; narrated by Scott Brick)
🐾 The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart (by Jesse Bullington)
🐾 The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (McNulty Family #1; by Sebastian Barry)
🐾 The Secret Scripture (McNulty Family #2; by Sebastian Barry; narrated by Wanda McCaddon)
🐾 The Temporary Gentleman (McNulty Family #3; by Sebastian Barry)
🐾 The Miserable Mill (Series of Unfortunate Events# 4; by Lemony Snicket)

From it, I'm going to make a concerted effort to read:

🐾 The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (McNulty Family #1; by Sebastian Barry) and;
🐾 The Miserable Mill (Series of Unfortunate Events# 4; by Lemony Snicket)

I'm still trying to catch up on my March reading, so I don't know that I will be able to do more than that!

Edited: Mar 18, 3:31pm Top

Belisarius: the Last Roman General by Ian Hughes

Marmion by Walter Scott

(I intend to reserve Robert Graves's Count Belisarius (fiction)
but can't use it in this thread) I'll read Ian Hughes's non-fiction
first, to see how much Graves (no doubt a better writer than
Hughes) deviates from Hughes's (we hope) reality.))

Mar 17, 1:34am Top

And Andrew McCabe's The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump now that it's available for Kindle.

Mar 17, 8:51am Top

I'm planning on
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold
Dissidence by Ken MacLeod
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
A Plague of Swords - Miles Cameron

Mar 17, 5:13pm Top

A couple that fit for other challenges include:
- By the Shores of Silver Lake / Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Classified as Murder / Miranda James

A couple other options:
- Blizzard of Glass / Sally Walker
- Split Estate / Charlotte Bacon
- Dead to You / Lisa McMann

Edited: Mar 17, 5:53pm Top

I'm planning to read This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jalloun

That was a test drive. Looks like you can have a touchstone or HTML tags, but not both.

This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jalloun

Mar 17, 6:38pm Top

>13 LadyoftheLodge: Blue Willow was a 4 star read for me.

Edited: Mar 19, 7:58pm Top

Ben Franklin's Notebooks by Ben Horowitz

A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie

Mar 21, 2:56pm Top

I picked Milkman by Anna Burns for the RandomCAT as it fits both B and M.

Mar 23, 8:36am Top

I am thinking this would be a good time to read Bird Box by Josh Malerman for both B and M.
Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey.
Drop City by T. C. Boyle

Mar 29, 5:14pm Top

Slight change in plans! I'll be starting April off with My Grandmother Asked to Tell You She's Sorry (by Fredrik Backman)-- Postal Book Club selection :-)

Edited: Mar 30, 8:54pm Top

Wrong thread!!

Apr 1, 6:02pm Top

I haven't been doing very well with my AlphaKit reading this year, so I'm really going to make a huge effort with April.

I have quite a few Rex Stout/Nero Wolfe titles that would be appropriate:
Bitter End (The First Nero Wolfe Novella)
Might As Well Be Dead
The Red Box
The Rubber Band
Some Buried Caesar
Too Many Cooks

They've all been hanging around on my TBR stack for quite a while and it would be great to knock a couple off.

Other possibilities: They May Not Mean To, But They Do, by Cathleen Schine; and Barry Lyndon, by William Makepeace Thackeray (another one from the long-time TBR pile).

Apr 2, 11:49am Top

I'm reading Beneath the Mountain as my 'B' book, and planning on picking up Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier for my 'M' book.

Apr 3, 1:01am Top

My first title for this month is actually a title for the quarterly letter, "S":

Saga Vol. 3 (by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples) - Another excellent installment in this Space Opera featuring lovers from opposite sides of a war-torn star system and their little girl. This 6-issue compilation covers Alana, Marco and, Hazel's arrival on Quietus; and their pursuers-- a pair of assassins and a former slave-girl. We also get a glimpse of a pair of reporters who are hot on the trail, and a countess whose role in this is not yet clear. There are two panels with explicit sexual content but overall this is a relatively tame volume, though still not for kids or those easily offended.

Edited: Apr 3, 7:18am Top

Finished my first for April, Mojave Crossing by Louis L'Amour. It's a reread for the Sackett Challenge (http://www.librarything.com/topic/300974#6669583).

Apr 3, 11:30am Top

My first April book finished fits for both B & M: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. And my second book is a B: The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty.

Apr 3, 12:35pm Top

My library hold for Milkman by Anna Burns just came in. Good timing and hits both letters.

Apr 3, 1:14pm Top

Finished both for April: Blue Willow by Doris Gates and Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

Apr 4, 8:19am Top

>37 LadyoftheLodge: and what did you think of Blue Willow?

Apr 4, 5:06pm Top

I've read a couple of mysteries that fit -

Murder in Greenwich Village by Liz Freeland
Clouds in My Coffee by Julie Mulhern

Edited: Apr 4, 10:30pm Top

Apr 5, 8:06am Top

Book #2!

Bristlenoses: Catfish With Character by Kathy Jinkings

Entertaining and highly informative book about a popular variety of "suckermouth" catfish kept by hobbyists. There's some anecdotal aspects about the species, but also plenty of technical information that wasn't overwhelming to the amateur fish-keeper. There are a lot of photos and diagrams taken from scientific studies, too. Recommended for anyone interested in freshwater tropical fish.

Apr 5, 12:38pm Top

Finished off Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois Bujold.

Edited: Apr 7, 4:23am Top

Read two B's.

The Beautiful Derelict by Carolyn Wells A fact-free US crime novel from the 1930s. Not worth the trouble, but I read to the end to find out how the murderer had managed to use sodium metal as a poison. Where did the murderer store it, for a start? Does the author realise that metallic sodium and the sodium in soda mints are not at all the same thing? Forgive me, I am a chemistry teacher.These issues were not resolved!

The Seven Sleepers by Francis Beeding A boy's own adventure British spy story from 1925.

Apr 6, 7:20am Top

Starting Cities in Flight by James Blish.

Apr 6, 5:01pm Top

Reading Milady by Laura l. Sullivan

Edited: Apr 8, 12:29pm Top

I didn't choose this book for this Alpha Kit, but it works!
A Piece of the World by Christine Baker Kline

Apr 7, 6:06pm Top

I read Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings, first part of The Belgariad so that would work for B.

Apr 8, 7:45am Top

I read (for the B) Conan the Barbarian {Gnome 1954} by Robert E. Howard. It contains 5 of the original stories written by Howard. Overall I was pleasantly surprised.

Apr 8, 4:21pm Top

A couple more M books, one that I liked and one that I didn't.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman - fun look at the various myths. Made me interested in learning more.
The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty - ugh, this ties for my least favorite of all her books

Apr 9, 10:11am Top

I've finished Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley for my "B" book this month.

Apr 10, 9:57am Top

COMPLETED Cities in Flight by James Blish

Apr 10, 10:23am Top

Completed The Daedalus Incident by Michael J. Martinez.

A sort of Horatio Hornblower sails the Rocky Main to Mars.

Apr 10, 2:11pm Top

>38 fuzzi: I had not read Blue Willow before, but it was on my TBR list. I think some of it might be outdated for today's kid reader, but it was an interesting take on the Dust Bowl years. It certainly provides some perspective on how people are forced to live sometimes (viewed from the comfort of our own homes). I thought Janey was feisty and courageous.

Edited: Apr 13, 12:39am Top

Technically this hits both letters for the month, but I'm counting it in the "B" column (Though not articles pronouns always seem suspiciously short to count as full word!)

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry (by Fredrik Backman) - This is the story of an eight-year old girl who's "different" in a way that leads me to believe she is on the spectrum. Precocious and at odds with the world, her best friend is her grandmother who tells fantastical stories. The stories have their basis in the grandmother's life experiences, as Elsa (the little girl) begins to understand as she delivers a series of letters to the people living in the apartment building where she and her grandmother lived. This book was not as easy to get into as A Man Called Ove but it's just as manipulative in a tear-jerker kind-of-way.

Edited: Apr 13, 2:08am Top

And one for the "M" column! I finally hit books for both letters this month! :-)

12 Steps to Mr. Right (by Cindi Madsen) - Savannah Gamble founded and runs a dating coaching service to help other women who are seeking serious relationships navigate the dating scene. Then the one man who broke Savannah's heart in college (and set Savanah on this path of learning from her mistakes and helping others learn from theirs) re-enters her life. Does Savannah ignore all the red flags, undermining her own program in the process; or are her rules made to be broken when it comes to Lincoln Wells? This contemporary romance starts out with a fun premise but it bogs down a bit with a slower pace than you would expect from a rom-com and runs a little long at 300+ pages. In the end, not particularly memorable.

Apr 13, 3:21pm Top

Classified as Murder / Miranda James
4 stars

Charlie is a librarian and works with rare books at the local college. While volunteering at the local public library, he meets wealthy James Delacorte. James asks to hire Charlie to go through his personal rare book library to help discover what’s gone missing, as James is certain some items have. Unfortunately, James is found dead on Charlie’s first day of work.

I really enjoyed this! I loved Charlie’s Maine Coon cat, Diesel, who pretty much goes everywhere with Charlie. Charlie’s adult son also moved back him with his dog, so the critters were a lot of fun! There may have been a few things, librarian-related, that I found more interesting or enjoyable than others might (and there were a few things I wasn’t sure a non-librarian would understand, but maybe those things were small enough for most people to gloss over if it didn’t mean anything to them?). Overall, very enjoyable cozy mystery.

Apr 13, 3:25pm Top

I finished Rogue Protocol and Exit Strategy by Martha Wells.

Edited: Apr 14, 7:04am Top

Just finished Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope for the M. Sardonic humor is the real treat here. A Low Church clergyman receives particularly scathing treatment.

Edited: Apr 14, 7:01am Top

For the second quarter S:

The Story of Elizabeth by Anne Thackeray
Enter Sir John by Clemence Dane and Helen Simpson

Apr 14, 6:38pm Top

Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 / Sally M. Walker
4 stars

On Dec 6, 1917, there was an explosion in the Halifax Harbour. Around 2000 people were killed and many more injured.

This book is aimed toward younger readers, but I found it a good introduction. There are also plenty of archival photos included. The author decided to tell the stories of a few specific families – to follow what happened to the people in those families, what they were doing at the time, etc. I do think this makes the book more “relatable”.

I did know of the explosion, but this is the first I’ve read about it, to really get more info/details on it. I already have other books on my tbr about the topic, as well. I thought this book was very well done. (Hate to say I “really liked” a book about a disaster, though I’m sure I have before!)

Apr 15, 8:05am Top

Apr 15, 11:23am Top

Read a couple more books that fit: The Professor by Charlotte Bronte and Murder in Midtown by Liz Freeland.

Apr 16, 2:41am Top

Starting "The Elected Member" by Bernice Rubens.

Edited: Apr 17, 10:33am Top

COMPLETED The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens

Starting The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

Apr 17, 10:57am Top

Finished Far From True by Linwood Barclay and have immediately started the next book in the series by him The Twenty-Three. Need to see how this trilogy ends!

Apr 19, 12:10am Top

By the Shores of Silver Lake / Laura Ingalls Wilder
4 stars

Laura and her family are heading West. Laura and Pa are excited, though Ma is a bit hesitant, but Pa has promised they will find a homestead and settle down, and the girls can go to school.

This is such a great series! There were some beautiful descriptions of the Prairies (there were also some “extra” descriptions (of the prairie and other things) as Laura was Mary’s eyes, as Mary had recently gone blind after a bout with scarlet fever). I also really enjoyed the building of the town. You just don’t think about what it takes to start from scratch with no one else around and to watch a town be built from nothing!

Apr 19, 6:17am Top

Apr 19, 11:27am Top

>69 LibraryCin: my favorite books in the series begin with that one. If you've never read the next book, The Long Winter, you should!

Apr 19, 4:20pm Top

I finished Milkman by Anna Burns, a challenging read but I gave it 5★

Review posted: here

Apr 19, 5:15pm Top

Counting this one as my B read:

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
A brilliant philanthropist secretly recruits a group of ultra-smart kids to help him save the world from an equally brilliant bad guy with mind control issues (and machines). I quite liked the beginning, which was satisfyingly mysterious, but the cleverness and suspense got lost somewhere about midway for me. If it had stayed strong throughout, it would have been a nice mix of The Westing Game meets The Prisoner, so it's really too bad that it didn't, to be honest. There's a strong possibility that Middle Grade kiddos would love it, though.

Apr 19, 8:53pm Top

>71 fuzzi: I think I've read it. I'm pretty sure I read them all when I was younger, but I don't remember them, so it's like it's new. :-) And I will definitely continue with the series.

Apr 19, 9:40pm Top

Finished three so far - all B's
- A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe - Alex White
- A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy - Alex White
- The Hatching - Ezekiel Boone

some other possibles for B & M
Bone White - Ronald Malfi
Bibliophile - Jane Mount
Before Mars - Emma Newman
Black Mad Wheel - Josh Malerman
Moonglow - Michael Chabon

Apr 20, 6:56am Top

>74 LibraryCin: I tend to forget details of books I've read, so for me rereads are like reading them "new", too.

Apr 20, 6:17pm Top

Finished Beneath the Mountain. It was FANTASTIC. Full review written.

Yesterday, 8:55am Top

Finished The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. What fun. A little steampunk, a little fantasy and amusing characters.

Yesterday, 9:39am Top

COMPLETED The Silence of the Girls.

Starting The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

Yesterday, 6:24pm Top

Finished reading Mouths Don't Speak by Katia D. Ulysse. I've written a full review, but I fear I wouldn't recommend the book.

Group: 2019 Category Challenge

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