Tess leaves the Yellow Brick Road part 3
This is a continuation of the topic Tess Follows the Yellow Brick Road in 2019 Part 2.
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Hi, my name is Tess and I'm a college professor-Western Civ, American History, and The Holocaust. I teach in real-time and also online.
I've been married to my husband for 44 years; have 2 sons and 7 grandchildren ranging in ages from 1 to 19 years of age. I live in the midwest USA, Ohio, on about 5 acres in a rural area; although a grocery is only 1/2 mile from my house.
Besides reading, I love to cook, garden and travel. My favorite genres are historical fiction (not romance), Victorian, and Gothic literature. I also like stories about western U.S. settlement and psychological thrillers as well as true crime.
My rating system:
1 star--waste of paper and ink
2 stars-Is this literature? -major flaws or mind numbing boring
2 1/2 stars-not so bad I had to stop reading
3 stars-average, but may still be quite enjoyable
3 1/2 fun, informative, thought provoking
4 stars-excellent read
4 1/2 exceptionally good, among my favorites
5 stars-in all ways a superior read
BEGINNING TBR: 588
I've decided to drop my theme of the Yellow Brick Road, because I still read what I want, regardless of categories, so the purpose of the categories are non-existent. I will have just 2 normal categories, the Bingo Dog and also Scaredy Kit and Reading Through Time.
VIRTUAL BOOKSHELF-ebooks or audio books.
Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
The North Wing by Susan Butler 239 pages 3 stars
Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati 5 stars
Crime and Punishment
Second Hand Time: The Last of the Soviets by Sevtlana Alexeivich
The Woman in White by Wilke Collins 1005 pages 5 stars
Burger's Daughter DNF read 90/360 pages DNF
The Assassin's Song 336 pages (read 180 pages) DNF 2 stars
The Inheritance of Loss 386 pages (read 56 pages) DNF 2 stars
The Illiad by Homer 604 pages 3 1/2 stars
A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith 674 pages 5 stars
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
A Killer's Mind
Judgement Ridge: The True Story Behind the Dartmouth Murders 432 pages 5 stars
The Mystifying Murder in Marion, Ohio by Phil Reid 125 pages 2 stars
To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder by Nancy ROmmelmann 292 pages 4 stars
Not Her Daughter
Pachinko by Ming Jin Lee
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The Good German by Joseph Kanon 496 pages 2 1/2 stars
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris 5 stars
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens 379 pages 5 stars
Secret of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner 416 pages 4.5 stars
The Witch Elm by Tana French 521 pages 2 stars
River Bodies: (Northampton County Book 1) by Karen Katchur 300 pages 2.5 stars
Happy Dreams by Jia Pingwa 494 pages 2 1/2 stars
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 389 pages 5 stars
Coraline by Neil Gaiman 208 pages 2 1/2 stars
Heads you Win by Jeffrey Archer 438 pages 5 stars
I Was Anatasia by Ariel Lawhorn 352 pages 5 stars
Emma by Jane Austen 168 pages 3 stars
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2 1/2 stars
Go See the Principal: True Tales from the School Trenches by Gerry Brooks 199 pages 5 stars
The Nose by Nikolai Gogol 42 pages 2 1/2 stars
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett 96 pages 5 stars
Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal 386 page 3 stars
Code Name: Lise: The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII's Most Highly Decorated Spy by Larry Loftis 386 pages 5 stars
I've Been Thinking by Maria Shriver 239 pages 5 stars
The Time Machine H.G. Wells 88 pages 4 stars
The Vicar of Wakefield) Oliver Goldsmith 256 pages 3 stars
Summer by Edith Wharton 143 pages 3 stars
Clarissa by Samuel Richardson 1534 pages 3 stars
The Iron King: The Accursed Kings (Book 1) by Maurice Druon 369 pages 4 stars
The Demon Next Door by Bryan Burroughs 3 1/2 stars
In the Midst of Winter by Isabelle Allende 353 pages 3 stars
A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor 432 pages 2 1/2 stars
Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim 293 pages 4 stars
The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen 347 pages 3 1/2 stars
The Parisians 366 pages 5 stars
Letters of a Woman Homesteader (Dover Books on Americana)by Elinore Pruitt Stewart 144 pages 3 1/2 stars
The Mathematician's Shiva 393 pages 2 stars
In Ghostly Japan 103 pages 2 1/2 stars
I'll Never Tell by Christine McKenzie 356 pages 2.75 stars
A Room With a View by E.M. Forster 152 pages 2 1/2 stars
The Girl Who Lived by Christopher Greyson 278 pages 4 1/2 stars
Hawaii by James Michener 936 pages 4 1/2 stars
Iron Branch by Kelby Ouchly 236 pages 3 stars
Monsters and Mysteries by Ryed Owens 56 pages 2 1/2 stars
The Lost Journal by Chris Blewitt 299 pages 3 stars
Open Window by Saki 11 pages 2 1/2 stars
Fire Along the Skyby Sara Donati 688 pages 5 stars
Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee 573 pages 2 1/2 stars
Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland 473 pages 4 1/2 stars
The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham 370 pages 4 1/2 stars
The Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg 172 pages 2 1/2 stars.
The Queen of Swords by Sara Donati 576 pages 4 1/2 stars
The Last Stoic Read 25% of book DNF 2 stars
Quanah Parker: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches by S.C. Gwynne 396 pages 5 stars
The Endless Forest 640 pages 5 stars
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine 405 pages 4 stars
The Immortalists by Kyle______ 333 pages 3 stars
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury 364 pages 2 stars
Redesigning the Mob: The Nina Cocolucci Story by Jodi Ceraldi 356 pages 4 1/2 stars
Lincoln's Little Girl by Cecelia Holland 32 pages 5 stars
The Lazarus Project 326 pages 2 1/2 stars
The Yellow Wallpaper 22 pages 2.75 stars
Tempest in a Tea Room 226 pages 3 1/2 stars
The House we Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell 416 pages 2 1/2 stars
The Winter's Bone 226 pages 2 1/2 stars
The Washington National Cathedral 96 pages 5 stars
The King of the Mountains Edmond About 120 pages 3 1/2 stars
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 274 pages 4 1/2 stars
The Bad Guys Attack of the Zittens Aaron Blabey 139 pages
The Lost Eleven: The Forgotten Story of Black American Soldiers Brutally Massacred in World War II by Denise George 407 pages 3 stars
D-Day and the Battle of Normandy (Pikin Guide) 39 pages 5 stars
On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894
Forest Rose A Tale of the Ohio Frontier
Old Town in the Green Groves
West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915
A Wilder Rose 302 pages 5 stars
O, Pioneers! by Willa Cather 198 pages 2 1/2 stars
Alone in Berlin by Hans Falada 600 pages 5 stars
The Rommel Papers 554 pages 4 stars
Images of America Lancaster by Connie Rutter 138 pages 5 stars
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo 176 pages 3 stars
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn 138 pages 4 1/2 stars
The Irish Crisis by Charles Trevelyan 200 pages 3 stars
Mont Saint Michel 27 pages 3 1/2 stars
Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom 192 pages 3 1/2 stars
The Great Fire Jim Murphy 138 pages 5 stars
My Mother's Secret 138 pages 4 stars
Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale 96 pages 2 1/2 stars
Mein Kampf 389 pages 3 stars
The Education of Henry Adams 560 pages 4 stars
The Great Typo Hunt 269 pages 3 stars
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole 3 1/2 stars
Atonement by Ian McEwan 351 pages 3 1/2 stars
The History of Rasselas by Samuel Johnson 95 pages 2 1/2 stars
Vathek William Beckford 141 pages 2 stars
The Fig Eater by Jody Shields
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
The Longest Ride Nicholas Sparks
In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
Leap into Darkness by Leo Bretholz 263 pages 5 stars
The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli 386 pages 4 stars
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton 308 pages 3 stars
The Red Prior's Legacy by Alfred H. Bill 256 pages 3 stars
Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis 466 pages 3 1/2 stars
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding 3 stars 642 pages
Jamilia 4 stars 96 pages
The Color Purple by Alice Walker 295 pages 5 stars
A Mother's Reckoning by Sue Klebold 336 pages 5 stars
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Dubois. 180 pages 3 stars
The President's Daughter by Nan Britton 398 pages 5 stars
The Magic Lantern by Timothy Ash 178 pages 4 stars
The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson 278 pages 3 stars
John Brown's Raid National Park Service 108 pages 5 stars
A Christmas Treasury Various authors 300 pages 3 stars
Tales from the South Pacific James Michener 384 pages 4 stars
The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers by Thomas Fleming 416 pages 5 stars
A Guide to the World's Greatest Buildings by Trevor Howells
Where Poppies Grow by Linda Granfield 46 pages 3 stars
The Harvest Gypsies by John Steinbeck 82 pages 4 stars
Young Goodman Brown (NPR 100 Best Horror Stories List or 100 Killer Thrillers List)
North Wing by Susan Butler (Gothic) 239 pages 3 stars
The Girl With All the Gifts 5 stars (The Corporeal Undead)
Judgment Ridge: The True Story Behind the Dartmouth Murders 5 stars (True Crime)
The Bird Box 5 stars (Chills and Thrills with Modern Horror/Thrillers (2014 - 2019)
The Brothers Grimm (Children's Horror)
The Andromeda Strain (Techno Thrillers
Brothers Grimm (finished) ( Vacation Month read horror/thriller of your choice)
September - Ghosts & Hauntings In Ghostly Japan
October Monsters & Creatures Monsters and Mysteries
November Stephen King and Family Hearts in Atlantis
December -Small Press/Indie (or catch up on a previous category) Mile 81 Stephen King
READING THROUGH TIME
Lost in Shangri-La (Enhanced Edition): A True Story of Survival by Mitchell Zuckoff. (Survival)
War Horse (WWI)
Alone in Berlin by Hans Falada 5 stars (City)
Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Messnier (City)
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks 3 stars (Love)
A Wilder Rose by Rose Wilder Lane 5 stars (Wonderful Emptiness)
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 5 stars (Mythology Across Cultures)
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (Between the Wars)
Code Name: Lise: The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII's Most Highly Decorated Spy by Larry Loftis 5 stars (cryptology and code breaking)
The Great Typo Hunt 3 stars (travel)
Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale 3 stars (religion and philosophy
My Mother's Secrett by J.L. Witterick. 4 stars (WWII)
Sept-Pioneer Women--Letters from a Woman Homesteader
Oct-Something Lost The Lost: The Search for Six of Six Million (P.S.)
Nov-Marginalized People Empire of the Summer Moon
Dec-Let's go Retro
Oct-Dec-1946 to current day Redesigning the Mob: The Nina Cocolucci Story: based on a true story
91. Washington National Cathedral was a book I purchased in 2005 when I visited the Cathedral. It was nice to "revisit" this beautiful building again. The most interesting part of the book was the information on the high altar rerfedos. I have enclosed a picture of this instead of the book. The wall is above the high altar. It was just amazing to read about its construction: marble from Italy, sent to France to be sculpted, sent to the U.S. and then U.S. sculptors sculpted a place for each piece. It also took years for a committee to decide "who" merited a place on the wall. 95 pages 5 stars CAT: Tree book
Along with a new thread, today was book "clean out day!" I removed 9 books from my shelves that I am never going to read (most OLD anthologies, of which I have read 1-2 from each anthology), put them in a bag, and tomorrow they will be dropped at the library for the twice yearly sale. I sure feel "lighter"!
Hooray for cleaning your shelves and changing your challenge around to better reflect what you are reading.
Happy new thread. Housekeeping on thread and shelves is to be applauded. I'm dreadful at it!
>9 tess_schoolmarm: Good job on the book cleanout! I'm very good at putting the books into a pile, but haven't yet reached the point of sending them out the door.
92. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson is a collection of short stories set sometime between 1885-early 1900's There is no such town as Winesburg, but the book is based on the author's hometown of Clyde, Ohio. The short stories are not really related, except they take place in the same town, so some names are dropped more than once. These stories are told by George, a newspaper reporter who hears a lot of town gossip. The stories were folksy; rather boring. The stories were told, like an afterthought, rather than really lived. The characters were wooden. Not a book I would recommend unless you are a fan of short stories; which I'm not. However, the LT rating is high, so I must be in the minority. 170 pages 2 1/2 stars The Kindle edition is only $.49! CAT: Virtual Bookshelf
Happy housekeeping and happy new thread. Isn't it great to get rid of dross? There are so many great books, why waste space with the ones we will never read.
93. The King of the Mountains by Edmond About was a short amusing novella about a Greek brigand on a large scale. This story intersects with Hamburg botanist, Hermann Schulz. The story rests around Hermann and two wealthy society ladies being kidnapped by the brigands and their escapes. This was one of the books from my grandmother's attic published in 1948. After doing some research, I found that it was translated from the French but nary a word anywhere in the book of whom the translator may have been. 120 pages 3 stars for interest and 1/2 star for a great vocabulary--amongst other words I learned what bastinado was. (I had heard of it being done during the Holocaust, but it was never called by that name) Off to the FOL. CAT: Tree books (wish I had thought to make a "Grandma's books" CAT!)
94. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I read this when I was 12-13 so I re-read 5 decades later!. It's still a sweet story of a loving family just trying to get by during the Civil War. It still brought tears to my eyes when Beth died. I must say that time has lessened my enthusiasm for this type of writing; but ah--the memories! 260 pages 3 stars for enjoyment, plus 1 star for nostalgia. CAT: Tree books
I am participating in the 24/48 hour readathon. For this I have chose to read at least 50% of the time short books that I can finish in the 24 hour time frame; hence the last 2 reads. I still have some other shorts to go, but I'm enjoying this dedicated time as it is in the high 90's (95 at 11AM) here and too hot to work outside. https://24in48.com/
>21 tess_schoolmarm: Good luck with 24/48. That sounds too hot to do anything!
95. Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynne Truss I've had this book for about 10 years, read it once, but in light of the reading marathon I'm participating in thought I would read it again. It's an amusing book as to why we need to use commas! Example: Come let's eat grandma vs Come, let's eat grandma! Definitely a middle school book. 32 pages 4 stars (because it still makes me smile!) CAT: Tree book, and bingo homophone (leaves--noun vs. verb)
>17 tess_schoolmarm: Oooh, this sounds interesting! I read some of his short stories about marriage last year and rather liked his style. Off to check ...
96. The Bad Guys in Attack of the Zittens by Aaron Blabey. So.........I needed a graphic novel so I rang up my grandchildren and asked if they had one between the 6 of them. They did! I told them to bring it to my house. They did! What to know what zittens are? Zombie kittens! This is the zombie kitten apocalypse. It's the bad guys (which are really the good guys) vs. the evil Dr. Marmalade. This book has secret agents, a zombie antidote, and a cannibal granny as well as a goldfish who wouldn't go naked so she wore a bikini. This is 60 minutes of my life I will never get back! I feel incapable of even rating this book. 139 pages CAT: Bingo Dog--graphic "novel" and tree book.
97. The Lost Eleven: The Forgotten Story of Black American Soldiers Brutally Massacred in World War II by Denise George is the story of the Wereth 11; a group of African-American soldiers in WWII who were brutally tortured and killed by the SS. Wereth is a small town in then German Belgium, close to the Battle of the Bulge. These poor guys were brutalized before being shot (bayoneted in private parts, eyes bayoneted and then dug out, etc.) It is suspected that they were treated so badly because they were black. Despite their bravery and sacrifice, their murders were not prosecuted along with the others at Nuremburg; although their files were kept in the U.S. Archives. In 1994, at the site of their execution, a memorial was built in their honor with private funds. This was a non-fiction book which drew upon first-hand accounts of family members and fellow soldiers. Only 3 stars as the author created thought dialogues; which puts it in the realm of historical fiction rather than non-fiction. CAT: tree book. 407 pages 3 stars
Sadly, I did not do very well in the 24/48 reading marathon. It was much more difficult than I thought. I read about 12 hours in 48, only 50%. Oh well, still fun!
I've had 7 weeks off, traveled one, read a bunch, cleaned a bunch, and today is the day that I need to start revising my syllabi; they are due August 2. Wahhhhhhhhhh
>29 tess_schoolmarm: I asked my son if he were looking forward to getting back to school, and that was a decisive "no" from him. My daughter, on the other hand, is looking forward to being back in a dorm and seeing her friends again. Good luck with the syllabi!
>26 tess_schoolmarm: Those books, and all the similar books, are not written for us at all! I am very thankful to authors who are able to understand the absurd and juvenile sense of humor that kids respond to, because it's books like this one that move so many kids from hating reading to becoming readers. The new favorite is a series by the author of Captain Underpants called Dogman, which is about a crime fighter who was surgically created when a terrible accident meant that the only way to save two lives was to put the dog's head on the policeman's body.
>30 RidgewayGirl: >31 tess_schoolmarm: I must admit Captain Underpants is a guilty pleasure of mine (I first bought them for my godsons when they were younger). I bought the Dogman books for my nephew, and they are a huge favourite in his house, so I might have to buy myself them as well. There's something about Dav Pilkey's humour which just tickles my funny bone. I know it's very juvenile and not at all sophisticated, but there you are - there's my literary confession!
>28 tess_schoolmarm: Don't worry -- 12 hours is still a great total! I also read less than I had planned...I think I clocked in around 17 hours overall.
98. The North Wing by Susan Butler was billed as a gothic thriller. It was an average/good story; but certainly not a thriller nor gothic in my opinion. It did have the requisite old edifice, in this case Rochester Manor. There was "something" in the North Wing and it did take place during the right time period. At the end of the day, meh. I read this book to fulfill the August Scaredy Cat: Gothic. This was a free ebook. 239 pages 3 (just barely) stars.
99. D-Day and the Battle of Normandy (Pitkin Guides) was a nice glossy color photo book (with explanations) that I picked up when I visited France in 2005. This clearly brought back the emotion(s) I felt while standing on Omaha Beach and thinking what those brave men sacrificed for people they didn't even know. 39 pages 5 stars CAT: Tree Book
100. The Iron King: The Accursed Kings (Book 1) by Maurice Druon was a great period novel about Philip IV (Philip the Fair) of France during his reign 1284-1305. The Church played a great role during this time period as the papacy was "moved" to Avignon. Philip persecuted and burned at the stake Jews and the Knights Templar, because he owed them millions of dollars that he could never repay them. When the Grand Knight Templar is burned, he puts a curse on 13 future generations of kings. Philip also had three very dishonest daughters-in-laws who were confined to dungeons after committing adultery for the remainder of their lives. This book as been touted as the first "Game of Thrones", but since I'm not familiar with the Game of Thrones, I am unable to address that. The only "trouble" I encountered in the book were long phrases or sentences in French that I could not translate in context and had to look up, which made for choppy reading. I also would have liked a genealogical tree. For those two reasons, 4 stars instead of 5. There are 7 books in this series and I will read the next one. 369 pages. CAT: Virtual Bookshelf
What a great book to finish my challenge with--book # 100! I've never read this many books before by July. But school starts next month so my reading time will be cut by 80%
101. The Demon Next Door by Bryan Burrough is the story of serial killer Danny Corwin who was convicted of murdering 3 women in Temple, Texas. (Although he murdered 6) There were early signs, but not heeded by anyone, especially his parents. The church, the town, even the mayor took Danny's side in his first attack and couldn't believe that a sweet church-going young man would do such a thing. He was executed in Texas in 1997 by lethal injection. I love true crime books! This was an audio book. 3 1/2 stars CAT: Virtual Shelf
Congrats on finishing your challenge, Tess. And good wishes for a great school year!
102. Jamilia by Chingiz Aitmatov is a love story as opposed to a romance set in the Asian Russian Empire during WWII. It is the story of village life whilst trying to grow and transport grain for the soldiers. Enter a wounded soldier, a lonely soldier's wife, and her younger brother-in-law. The author is from Kyrgyzstan and the translator is James Riordin, an English novelist. The beauty of the story is it's subtlety. The sum total of the book is greater than each individual page. 96 pages 4 stars CAT: Tree Book
>37 tess_schoolmarm: Wishing you a great school year. That's great you were able to fit in so many books, during such a short period of time.
103 The Color Purple by Alice Walker This is an epistolary novel with letters written by Celie, to God, asking about her condition. The story takes place in rural Georgia from about 1900-1936. African-Americans weren't officially slaves anymore, but times were tough and things for women really hadn't changed too much. The book focuses on growth, change, redemption and forgiveness. Very graphic as to both physical and sexual abuse. A very moving book. The title of the book comes from a line near the end of the book, "God gets pissed when you walk by a flower and don't notice it's beauty." (It was a field of purple flowers) 295 pages 5 stars CAT: Tree book
>47 tess_schoolmarm: I remember watching that when it came out in the mid-1980s. I purchased the book and read it after watching the film.
>48 thornton37814: My mother told me there was a movie, so I'm going to look it up at the library this week...it's not free on Prime or Netflix!
104. A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold. Sue is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two shooters at Columbine. This book was a real tear jerker. Besides suffering the death (suicide) of her son, she has to live with the fact that he was responsible for the death of 13 innocent people and the injury of 20 more. Even today, 20 years later, people still approach her in anger and ask, "How could you not know?" Her answer is only "Love is not enough." She's afraid to go to the store or anywhere else because she might be approached by someone who will berate her as a mother. I was in tears for a good part of the book. I feel for the victims, Dylan (who was mentally ill but undiagnosed), and for his mother and family who were left to shoulder the "blame" for this tragedy. I'm in love with the fact that all the profits from her book go to organizations which aid in treating mental health. In December 1998, Harris and Klebold made Hitmen for Hire, a video for a school project in which they swore, yelled at the camera, made violent statements, and acted out shooting and killing students in the hallways of Columbine High School.. They were told their project was good in a gruesome way, but fulfilled the requirements of the project. The teacher shared this with the parents and school counselor, and nobody thought it a viable threat. 336 pages 5 stars
105. The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene Dubois was the children's version of Around the World in 80 Days, only more absurd and inane. 180 pages 3 stars CAT: Tree Book--off the the Friends of the Library it goes!
So I'm very detailed oriented, very methodic (as most historians are). Today is a "big" accomplishment for me--only true bibliophiles will understand: I just finished every book on my shelves dated before 2012! (That is every book I had/purchased before that date). It has taken me 5 years to get to this place and a lot of willpower. My new goal: finish off 2012 by the end of this year. I think I should be able to do it because it's just 7 books; but one is 1350 pages.
>52 tess_schoolmarm: Ooh, that is very impressive! How did you manage to resist the lure of the new and shiny?
>52 tess_schoolmarm: Kudos to you! I know how difficult it is to simply try to read just from your shelves - I can't imagine how I would do if I set a goal like that!
>52 tess_schoolmarm: - Congrats on reaching that goal! I've been doing something similar and know what a good feeling it is to get those old books read.
Thanks to all! It really wasn't difficult--I did not ignore the new and shiny--but I only bought new if I had a gift card. My wish list has grown exponentially--from a few hundred to over 1000! Putting them on my wishlist is ALMOST as good as buying them!
And I see you're already over your target of 100 books for the year. Great job!
106. In the Midst of Winter is a novel by Isabelle Allende which tells the stories of 3 Latino immigrants who end up in Brooklyn. This story was very simple and slow at times. I did learn a lot about current Chilean history. I tagged teamed this book with audio when I was driving. I probably will not read any other books by this author as reviewers said this was Allende's "only" novel that did not contain magic realism--of which I am not a fan. 353 pages 3 stars CAT: Virtual Bookshelf
107. The President's Daughter by Nan Britton could be labeled as a tell-all from 1927. Nan Britton claimed to have given birth to Warren G. Harding's love child in 1920. She received support from Senator/President Harding until his death. Nan nor his child was mentioned in his will. She tried to secure support for her child from the Harding family who provided nothing. Britton's book was a best seller, selling 90,000 copies in its first year. It was interesting to note that while at the printers "six burley men" entered the printing shop and seized the "book" and all it's printing plates. Two months later under a court order, they returned the plates and the book was published. I do feel sorry for Nan, she was threatened and ridiculed by the Hardings and their prestigious friends. Sadly, more than 250 love letters from another Marion woman were found and were dated from 1909-1920. Harding was a womanizer. Nan died in the early 90's and her daughter, Elizabeth Ann, was a grandmother, but still no recognition from the Hardings. However, in 2015, a grand nephew of Warren G. Harding donated a DNA sample as did Elizabeth Ann's granddaughter, and it was a match--they were cousins, so Warren G. Harding was the father of Nan's daughter as there were only 2 Harding brothers. The Hardings have since shunned and kicked this nephew from the family! The Harding family is still in denial--stating that DNA tests do not prove anything. How silly in this day and age. Nan is not blameless in this sordid affair. She relentlessly pursued Harding from the time she was 17 years old. Several adult women talked to her about her shameless behavior concerning Senator Harding, but she totally disregarded them. To her credit, she was in love with Harding; but he probably not so much with her--she was a young diversion. This was a great read to me as I grew up in Marion, Ohio, home of Warren G. Harding and am familiar with the places mentioned and have heard the names of some of the people mentioned in the book. 398 pages 5 stars CAT: Tree book
I'm trying awfully hard to read and finish A Memory of Violets but it's becoming increasingly difficult--this author is not good a weaving a story between the past and present and I'm lost most of the time! Another 20-25 pages.....
108. The Magic Lantern by Timothy Ash was a non-fiction read concerning the four major "reflotions" of 1989: Poland, Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia. American textbooks give all four of these events about 2 sentences and one is the fall of the Berlin Wall. The author witnessed all 4 of the events and tells about it in a very straight-forward manner. I didn't see any bias in his reporting. I really liked the preface to the book about why historians don't make good witnesses; I agree! This was a great read on these 4 movements. The book gets its name from The Magic Lantern Theatre, home to the Czech movement (Vacal Havel). 178 pages 4 stars CAT: Tree book
109. The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson is the true story of Leon and his family rounded up to live in the Krakow ghetto. From Krakow moved to Plaszow and then to Emalia, Oscar Schindler's plant. Amazingly 5/7 of these family members survived Plaszow, Flossen, and even Auschwitz due to Schindler. There was nothing new in this book, but it was given to me by a student. I can happily report in two weeks to him that I read it this summer. 278 pages 3 stars CAT: Tree book
110. John Brown's Raid is the glossy souvenir I took home from the museum gift shop when I visited John Brown's Museum in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. I certainly doubled my knowledge of the event from reading the book. As an interesting aside, John Brown was married twice and had 20 children. Sadly, only 7 survived him, some dying in early childhood from disease and 3 dying in the raid. From all accounts Brown was a good father, ""There was a paternalistic tenderness about him, brought on by hardships suffered together. Ruth remembered that he showed her 'a great deal of tenderness,' and when the children were ill he stayed up at night caring for them." (Stephen B. Oates, To Purge This Land With Blood). 106 pages 5 stars CAT: Tree book
Well......I did go off my book diet. I justify it that: 1) school is about to begin and I needed a few audiobooks to read on the commute 2) I have read 109 books this year, so I can indulge! Any way, my modest stash:
Russka by Edward Rutherfurd
The Personal History of Rachel Dupree by Ann Weisgarber
The First Dog by Adam Cassell (a free ebook)
The Second Rider by Alex Beer (MissWatson made me do it!)
The Periodic Table by Primo Levi
With 109 books under your belt so far, you can easily afford a few new ones. Is Rutherfurd's Russia as big as his other books? (The link goes to something else) I've got Paris on my TBR and it looks like it will take up a month or so.
>70 MissWatson: I changed the spelling of Rutherfurd...it's RussKa...link is correct now. Yes, all of his books are about the same, it's 961 pages. I've got Paris, The Forest, and Sarum on my wishlist; have read New York and it was very good; although it focused mainly on New York and the Revolutionary and Civil War. My friend read Ireland and he didn't really like it.
111. A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers by Hazel Gaynor. This was 2-tiered story line: one from 1876 and one from 1912. I had purchased this audio book in the hopes that it would be about girls and the flower selling business--it really wasn't! It was mostly about girls, who might at one time sold flowers but had been rescued. The back and forth time periods was not done well by this author. The character development was not sufficient. This novel is based partly on historical fact. Low's Handbook to the Charities of London does list a Watercress and Flower Girls Christian Mission in London in existence in 1866. In connection with the mission, there was an industrial training branch, a servant's training home, an orphanage and home for waif girls, a cottage hospital and convalescent home. It also says that over 10,000 benefitted from this mission under the management of John Groom. So I did get a little history, but the entire book was just meh. 432 pages 2 1/2+ stars CAT: Virtual bookshelf (audio)
112. A Christmas Treasury by various authors. I know it's not December, but this is one physical BIG book, about 11 x17 and since school starts next week, I don't want to be carrying it around, hence I read it now. It's a collection of various Christmas stories: The Blue Carbuncle (Arthur Conan Doyle), The Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens), and The Gift of the Magi (O. Henry) were my favorites. It was amazing how The Christmas Carol was not how I recollected it; although I might have read an abridged version in high school. 300 pages 3 stars CAT: Tree Book
113. We have always lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. How I loved Jackson's The Lottery; how I dislike this book! The best description I can give is that this book is either magical realism, slightly Gothic, or surrealism. The Blackwoods have endured the death of several of their family members by arsenic poisoning. Constance was tried for the crime, but acquitted by a jury. Nonetheless, the family, very old and wealthy, are town pariahs. However, throughout the book the reader questions themself as to the story--is it really happening, it is the figment of one's imagination, etc? Even by the end of the book, I don't have the answer! This book couldn't keep my attention. 162 pages 2 1/2 stars CAT: Virtual bookshelf
114. Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener. This really isn't your typical Michener novel, as it's not an epic saga. It is a collection of short stories all dealing with WWII. I found them interesting, but certainly not feel-good or uplifting in anyway--war is hell! 384 pages 4 stars CAT: Tree book
>75 tess_schoolmarm: I always enjoyed Michener's books--and 384 pages is short for him!
115. Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim was the story of a young Chinese woman married to an unseen man by a matchmaker in 1923. They are married by proxy and then meet and immediately begin their voyage to Angel Island, where Mei Ling must obtain entry through Immigration as her husband's first wife. The Chinese Exclusion Act was in effect and unless you had a university degree you could not enter. Her husband already had entry. She becomes pregnant on her wedding night. The book is about the voyage, the almost one year wait on Angel Island and their subsequent life both in San Francisco and then Oakland. I have read other books by this author that I have enjoyed more. I just found a some of the situations not plausible for the date and culture. 293 pages 4 stars CAT: Virtual Shelf (ebook)
116. The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen was the story of a young woman who joined the Land Girls of England during WWI. They were placed at different farms during the war to work the land because the men were off at the front or had been killed. It was hard, brutal work. I liked this historical part of the novel; but not so much the romance part. I'm not a romance fan, per say. This book seemed a bit superficial; but still a good read. 347 pages 3 1/2 stars CAT: Virtual shelf (audio book)
I got this from Deltaqueen and thought it would be fun! Please feel free to copy and participate!
1. The persons who helped me fall in love with reading were: mother, elementary teachers and the bookmobile lady. We lived in a very rural area with no library (and our school had no library) so the bookmobile was a monthly treat!
2. One book I love to give as a gift is: Since I have 7 grandchildren I give out children's books the most and my favorite is The Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin. The art work is so fabulous that even adults like these books. There is also the diary of a fly and ant as well!
3. If I could write like one author it would be
Diana Gabaldon – great stories, wonderful characters, gorgeous writing.
4. One book I think deserves more attention is
A Gift Upon the Shore by M.K. Wren
5. The friend(s) I always turn to for reading recommendations is/are
My LT Friends
6. What do you do about a book you're not liking
I'm pretty much a completist--it's a compulsion to finish. It has to be awfully bad for me not to finish.
7. One book that absolutely shocked me was:
Ethan Fromme. I have read several Wharton books and meh. But this one.....!
8. My favorite place to read is:
In the summer on my deck poolside. In the winter, curled up on my bed with my favorite fleece.
9. If I could read only one book for the rest of my life it’d be:
The Bible or The Complete Works of Shakespeare
10. The books I’m currently reading
Tree book The Intimate Lives of our Founding Fathers
Tree book-Great Buildings of the World
It was very good! Since the other 2 of her reads were meh, I was pleasantly surprised!
Good answers! I love the idea of a bookmobile for people living in areas without easy access to a library. I fell in love with Ethan Frome when I read it as well. I have liked all the Edith Wharton's that I have read, but that one stand heads and shoulders above them all.
>81 tess_schoolmarm: If you liked Ethan Frome then you should like Summer, which is set in a similarly rural environment--can't remember if it's the Berkshires but it's New England or New York. The other Edith Wharton I liked was The House of Mirth, which is about a woman from a wealthy New York City family that suddenly loses its money. I found it very powerful. The Wharton that didn't work so well for me was The Age of Innocence.
>47 tess_schoolmarm: Got around to watching the movie, The Color Purple. It was a great adaptation of the book. I rated the book as a 5, the movie would be a 4, because it did veer in the characterization of Shug (trying to reconcile with her father) and Albert as an unrepentant alcoholic. But all in all a great read and a great movie!
117. Another WWII book, The Parisians was a superb read. It was heavy on the real persons (a good thing) such as Coco Chanel, Hermann Goring, Arlette (Machal), athlete Violet Morris turned Gestapo torturer and Swede Raol Wallenberg. Most of the action takes place at the Ritz Hotel, which the Nazis did commandeer (with a 90% discount) as their headquarters. A great book depicting both the collaborators as well as the resistance. Authored by Marius Gabriel 366 pages 5 stars CAT: Virtual shelf This is another case where I really wish I knew French. I'm so language deficient! (English and Spanish just really doesn't get it in my case)
118. The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers by Thomas Fleming may just be the best non-fiction I've read in quite awhile. Mr. Fleming has certainly done his research and also presents two sides to the story, if at all possible. He draws on letters, diaries, journals, etc. In this book he showcased: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin. I liked how the author addressed rumors, where they probably started, reasons for them, and in the best scholarship possible, analyzed their veracity. It seems there is nothing new in politics, the slander, the misinformation, etc. In the case of Washington, several detractors had his signature forged to make it appear as if he was carrying on an affair. This book will go back on my shelf as I might want to revisit it in the future. 416 pages 5 stars CAT: Tree book
119. Babbit by Sinclair Lewis is a big DNF for me! I stuck with it for 105 pages of 464, but it was so dry and boring that I'm not going to waste any more time with this book. It is a satire on 1920's American life and the main character is such an egoist and narcissist that there just isn't anything to draw me to the book. 1/5 stars if I had read the entire book--Virtual bookshelf
120. Letters of a Woman Homesteader (Dover Books on Americana) by Elinore Pruitt Stewart. This was a series of letters written by Elinore to her friend back east. I think there are letters missing because there were big gaps. That being said, it was a better than average book. What I found interesting is that even though married, she had her own claim and worked it with no help from her husband who also had his own claim. Elinore was good friends with Zebulon Pike and traveled extensively, which really wasn't normal for that date and time. The writer had some connection with the Mormons but I was unable to ascertain what that was. 3 1/2 stars 144 pages CAT: Virtual Bookshelf (ebook), Reading Through Time-Sept. Women Pioneers
I really must not read your posts as I always get a million books I want to add to my list! Maybe not the one about zombi kittens though! That book (and all the others like it) are exactly why I do not agree with people saying that 'all reading is good reading'. There are so many, many wonderful books to choose - why would you want children (or adults, for that matter) to waste their reading time on rubbish.
Rant over! Thanks for all the great new books for my list!
>89 tess_schoolmarm: It's been awhile since I read that one, but I gave it 4 stars when I did. It might translate to 3.5 stars now--or it might still be 4. I read it about the time I began tightening my standards a bit.
>87 tess_schoolmarm: - Well this is definitely going on my list. I'm a sucker for non-fiction books involving the founding families. Pretty much every time I read a historical political book, I'm amazed and reassured by the fact that people are basically the same throughout history.
121 The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer had great potential but fell really flat for me. When I got the book I thought it would be mostly about a Shiva. The shiva was the background, but most of the book concerned jealous mathematicians and their quest to solve the Navier-Stokes Math Problem. It also concerned itself with the Fibonacci numbers and also solving Hilbert's Problems (6 are today yet unsolved). One entire chapter (21 minutes) is the oral defense of the Pythagorean Theory. UGH! Then another chapter is Rachela's explanation of how quantum physics can be applied to weather disturbances. The Jewish shiva and the oddball relatives could have been funny, but they weren't. I do not recommend this book unless you would like to read a non-fiction math story--this certainly isn't a novel in my world. 383 pages 2 stars CAT: Virtual Library
122 In Ghostly Japan by Lafcadio Hearn. I read this thinking it would be ghost stories. There were 2 ghost stories that were fair, but most of the book dealt with Buddhism, the incense ceremony, and 100 translated words. This was a hodgepodge of trivia. 103 pages 2 1/2 stars, but it is free on Kindle! CAT: Virtual Bookshelf, Scaredy Cat-Sept.
123. Dead Wood by Dan Ames was a murder mystery that takes place in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. I'm not a murder mystery fan, but this did keep you wondering until the end and then it sort of fizzled. I'm still not sure who dunnit! This was book 1 of the John Rockne PI series. There was a lot of humor contained within. I got this book for free on Amazon Prime. 260 pages 3 stars CAT: Virtual bookshelf P.S. Word about the author: My ebook lists author as Dan Ames (as does the link) However, the the book on LT lists the author as Dani Amore. I wonder if Dan and Dani are the same person and perhaps changed their name? This book was free on Amazon in 2014
Just in case you thought.........that I'm very critical or that I DNF many books; here's the story probably for the next few months for me: When I first got my ereader in 2014 I also started getting free reads almost on a daily basis from Amazon/Kindle. Of course, being a new ebook owner I just d/l every single one of them! For the past few years, with the exception of challenges and certain groups, I've been trying to read chronologically and am now up to year 2014! I will now be tackling many, and I mean many of those 2014-2015 books. I say that to say this: I am now more discerning when it comes to the book of the month, week, or day! The newness of the ereader has worn off. But who knows that I might find some gems in this "stash"?
>98 tess_schoolmarm: I think many of us are the same when we first became ereader owners! My first ereader (in 2012, I think - maybe 2011) was a Sony, and I still have it. That mainly has classics from Project Gutenberg on it - I decided I needed to be more educated and so downloaded loads of Russian, British and American classics. I also downloaded some free travel books, which first introduced me to the maxim that some things are free for a reason...! Like you I'm keeping them for reading at some point, but I'm not going to flog myself if I just can't face finishing them! I'm much more discerning too now, and only acquire things I honestly think will be good quality.
I did the same thing with my new Kindle, I pretty much downloaded every freebie or daily deal for about two years and then realized I had a pile of books that really didn't interest me. I have since read some and discarded others and now I try to be a little more choosy over the deals that are offered.
>98 tess_schoolmarm: I think many of us downloaded far too many of the Kindle freebies when we got our first e-reader. I still occasionally download an occasional one, but I'm much more discriminating. I still have a backlog and have not been as methodical as you.
it's good to have company. I also downloaded freebies and cheapies that I know now I will never read. Although I've done a pretty good job cleaning out the bookshelves in my house, my Kindle seems almost hopeless. I think deleting things I won't read will be a good project for cold winter days.
Well, then, I guess great minds and book hoarders do think alike! I'm in good company. I'm going to Pearl Rule that slew of books. Pearl says I only have to read 35 pages, but I'm going to read 25% of the pages and if still no hook, off into the Kindle cloud it goes!
I've also got way too many Kindle books because of downloading left and right back when my Kindle app was new. Now, if it looks interesting, I check the reviews on LibraryThing and my local library. That way I talk myself out of lots of books.
124. So I start my slew of free Kindle books! I'll Never Tell by Christine McKenzie was the story of a 19 year old unsolved vicious attack. The family of a locally owned campground, where the attack took place, was meeting after a long absence to hear the reading of their father's will. Things will come out and the perpetrator of the attack will be made known (in the last chapter). This was barely an average read and I was often bored. I kept reading because I wanted to know who did it. In retrospect, I should have just skipped to the last chapter and foregone the middle of the book! 356 pages 2.75 stars CAT: Virtual Bookshelf
125. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster I tried to enjoy this book, but was challenged. The characters were not engaging and the storyline was overly dramatic. Perhaps I'm just tired of English Victorian manners literature? The longest 152 pages I have ever read!
2 1/2 stars CAT: Virtual bookshelf (only $.45 on Amazon)
To finish off September:
Hawaii by James Michener
The Girl Who Lived
A Guide To The World's Greatest Buildings - Masterpieces of Architecture & Engineering
I better get to reading as Michener is well over 1000 pages!
126. The Girl Who Lived, by Christopher Greyson, a psychological thriller that kept my attention from the very first word to the very last. There were many red-herrings that led the reader's imagination into over-drive! The last 4-5 pages were weak (after the mystery is solved), so only 4 1/2 stars. I will definitely be looking up more from this author. I listened to this on audio and the narration was superb. Just over 9 hours, equivalent of 275 pages. CAT:: Virtual bookshelf
Not much time to read last week or this week: stacking 6000 lb. of wood, making applesauce and baked apples to freeze, made a big pot of chicken noodle soup, beef cabbage soup, and chili soup and put in freezer. Cleaning out flower beds for the last time this year (hopefully). Making my husband a coca-cola chocolate cake today and then perhaps tonight I can sit down, rest, and read!
127. Hawaii by James Michener. What an epic! This told the story of Hawaii from its formation by volcanoes to settlement by the people of Bora Bora and Tahiti through Statehood in 1959. I learned so much history. I was surprised at the hatred the Chinese had for the Japanese and visa versa. Both groups and the whites had the same hatred for the native Hawaiians. I was also surprised to learn that the genealogical history of the Hawaiians was only about 20% Hawaiian and the rest Chinese, Japanese and the descendants of missionaries as many of the native Hawaiians were killed off by measles or influenza. Very informative chapters on the Molokkai leper colony, too. A tad boring near the end with the politics of statehood. This rounded out the story for me as I had visited Hawaii in 2017. Great read! I used both audio and paperback for this read. 936 pages 4 1/2 stars.
128. Iron Branch by Kelby Ouchley was the story of a young part Cherokee/part white girl who was trying to make a life for herself in the deep south right before and during the Civil War. It was a good, basic story; but primarily written for YA, I would think as even the sentence structure is simplistic. This was a free book from Amazon in 2012. 219 pages 3 stars CAT: Virtual Bookshelf
129. A Guide to the World's Greatest Buildings by Trevor Howells. I can't say I read each and every page, but I did look at each and every page and read all the picture captions. I read in its entirety Chapter 1-Places of Worship. I was surprised that Notre Dame wasn't in there nor the Rouen Cathedral; while Notre Dame de Haut has an entire page! This is a beautiful glossy book that I might dip in and out of in the future. 245 pages CAT: Tree Book
Picture of Notre Dame de Haut:
>112 tess_schoolmarm: I’ve had this on my shelf forever. Nice to see your positive review. I’ll have to try to get to it sooner rather than later.
132. The Lost Journal by Chris Blewitt A secret document is hidden during the Revolutionary War and surfaces some 200+ year later. More than 1 person wants to get their hands on their journal and not all for good intentions. A good read, seems the storyline is familiar, but I know that I haven't read this book before. 299 pages 3 stars CAT: Virtual Bookshelf, Reading Through Time--Something lost This was free on Amazon in 2014.
October reading plans:
Fire Along the Sky, book #4 in the Sara Donati series
The Last Stoic
Redesigning the Mob: The Nina Cocolucci Story: based on a true story of survival as a mafia wife for Reading Through Time Group
The Immortalists to fulfill my last Bingo Dog Square
Anything else is a bonus!
I guess we have a lot in common regarding books! I don't like Saki either. I gave up trying any more titles. Enough is enough.
134. Fire Along the Sky by Sara Donati. This is book #4/6 of the Into the Wilderness series. As the other four, it was an excellent read focusing on the War of 1812 and the Bonner children. I read this and also listened while driving--the narration was divine as always. 688 pages 5 stars CAT: Virtual Bookshelf
135. The Divine Comedy (The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso) by Dante Alighieri, translated by John Ciardi. I don't even know where to begin or how to review this! I fear that 50% of it was above my head and so any review would be an uneducated one. The book begins with Dante meeting Virgil (the poet) at the first level of hell and traveling with him to the very deepest depth, finding his love, and then arriving in heaven. Each level of hell is worse than the one before and a historical figure that most people would recognize is at each level. At each level the "punishment" seems to fit the crimes committed by these people. I appreciated this translation as Ciardi provided synopsis and notes at the end of each canto. I think this book is one that needs to be read slowly and more than once and in small doses. 938 pages--no way can I rate this--I don't have the ability. CAT: Virtual Bookshelf (ebook) I have a Longfellow anthology that contains his translation of this; but I'm almost afraid to read it--although I love Longfellow; not sure he's up to translating Dante.
136. The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee. I purchased this audio book as my book of the month in September. However, wish I had not! It was one of those mystical realism books--I couldn't follow the plot as to the past, characters and scenes within the operas, or the present. Maybe I would have followed better had I had a hard copy. Again, lots of French words that I could not make head nor tails of. This took place during and right after the Franco-Prussian War. It is the story of a "falcon" opera singer--falcon a very rare voice, just under soprano. This book dropped names like Verdi, P.T. Barnum, Napoleon III, etc. Time and place were an issue for me. 16 hours, equivalent to 573 pages. 2 1/2 stars.
>111 tess_schoolmarm: It seems like everyone is getting into Circe recently! I may have to increase its rank on my TBR as well. I'm looking forward to what you think!
>110 tess_schoolmarm: .. And how was the coca-cola chocolate cake last month? I have never heard of such a thing, but it sounds delicious.
>126 pammab: As usual, the coca-cola cake was a hit! Cola just brings our the rich deep chocolate taste.
137. Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland I've read many good books by this author and this one does not fail to satisfy. This book is based in reality. Clara was real as was the struggle in the early 1900's with women not being permitted to join unions. Did not know much about the Tiffany family (father a jeweler, son a window maker), but the excesses and craziness did not surprise me. Great read although some of the descriptions of glass cutting and curing were too much. 432 pages 4 1/2 stars CAT: Virtual bookshelf
>128 tess_schoolmarm: I read this one a few years ago and I liked it so much, I'm sure it was one of my favorites that year.
138. The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham was the story of political dissident Anka, who is in a camp with her parents and sister. She is suddenly whisked away to the home of the Goebbals, where she is employed as a midwife (her career before the camp) to none other than Eva Braun. A very good "what if" story. 370 pages 4 1/2 stars CAT: Virtual bookshelf
139. Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg. This is a very convoluted tale of two brothers and perhaps a demonic being. This is billed as a satire on Calvinism. The premise of the story is that Robert, the youngest "son" of the Laird (but perhaps the son of the Parson) is convinced by his best friend (perhaps the "demon") that since he is of the elect, that nothing he does will be cause for him to lose his place in heaven. Robert really isn't a bad guy and doesn't understand why he's being accused of all sort of things, including the murder of his brother and mother. This reader thinks it was the demon who committed these acts. Half of the time I had no idea who was telling the story, Robert, or his brother, or "the editor." Good thing this book was short or I would have put it down and not finished. Also the servant's dialogue was almost unintelligible to me; much like Cockney only Scottish. Not recommended. 206 pages 2 stars This book is free on Kindle. CAT: Virtual Book
140. The Harvest Gypsies by John Steinbeck. I'm not really a fan of Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath and Cannery Row), but found this short writing to be excellent reading. It was originally 7 newspaper articles that has been made into a short non-fiction book. Steinbeck heart wrenchingly describes the plight of the Okies during the Great Depression. He describes in detail their living conditions in the Hoovervilles. He also does a good job making these gypsies so very human. They were mostly small family farmers that lost their farms during the dust bowl. He tells us how the people in California hated them but needed them. Without these migrant workers most of the California peach and apples orchards would have failed. The book also includes photographs by Dorothea Lange and others, which were published when the columns were. Certainly much better than The Grapes of Wrath IMHO. 82 pages 5 stars CAT: Tree book, Reading Thru Time: Marginalized People.
141. Queen of Swords by Sara Donati. Book #5/6 in The Wilderness series. I really liked this book, but it has been the least favorite of the series so far as the setting is New Orleans during the War of 1812 and far removed from Lake in the Clouds in upstate New York where the rest of the Bonner family reside. Am looking forward to reading the last book in this wonderful series! 576 pages 4 1/2 stars. CAT: Virtual Bookshelf
142 The Last Stoic by Morgan Wade. This was one of the many free Kindle books I d/l in 2014. I read 25% of the book but did not finish. It was a duel timeline and neither the Roman nor the modern day one interested me at all. It wasn't necessarily bad; I'm just not interested in it at this time. I could decide to pick it up at a later date CAT: Virtual Bookshelf DNF 2 stars of what was read
>134 Jackie_K: It was very good! I was hesitant to read it because of my previous disappointing Steinbeck reads; but I really liked it!
143. Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne is really more of a sweeping history of the Comanches than a biography of the Parkers. Only the last 4 chapters really deal with Quanah. I liked this book because it gave a multi-faceted look at the time period. Not only does it show the relentless push of the white man in their quest for manifest destiny, it also gives a realistic picture of the torture techniques of the Comanches. I was surprised that the author did not balk in explicitly describing the absolute heinous tortures the Comanches inflicted upon the "settlers", from the first Spanish "invasion" until the late 19th century. It's not PC to talk or write of this savagery and it was refreshing to get an honest narrative. So many people are misinformed concerning Native Americans but I found this book to be consistent with what is really known of the Plains Indians, specifically the Comanches. There may not be more information concerning Quanah's mother available, but the book contained scant information about her. 396 pages, 5 stars. Recommended reading! CAT: Virtual Bookshelf, Reading Through Time: Marginalized People
Your brain on fiction, a very good article!
Time crunch! I always feel this near the end of the year. So many books.......
What I absolutely must read before 2020
Finish The Immortalists This is the last square on my Bingo Card
Finish The Endless Forest I'm about 200 pages in of a 600+ page book, this is book 6/6 series
Read Redesigning the Mob: The Nina Cocolucci Story: based on a true story for my Reading Through Time Group (1946 on)
Read December "Let's Go Retro" for Reading Through Time
Read my November Stephen King read for Scaredy Cat Mile 81 and my December (which is a catch up month)
If I can complete the above, all my challenges will have been accomplished this year!
>139 tess_schoolmarm: Wow, you are close! You can do it!
I definitely want to get to the Sara Donati series next year - it has been on my reading wishlist forever!
>142 JayneCM: Sara Donati is my favorite series EVER, followed by a close 2nd by Outlander. I'm hoping that the group read will do Poldark in 2020 because I'm sure that will become a favorite, too.
>143 tess_schoolmarm: I have never read the Outlander series! Which is amazing to me as it is all the things I love - history, time travel, family saga. Now that the TV series have started, I am thinking I will wait until they are all done and then read the whole series.
I also have Poldark on my list to read but I have not watched any of that series.
144. The Endless Forest by Sara Donati. This was book 6/6 of The Wilderness series. As usual, an excellent book by this author. With finishing this last book I feel that I have lost a good friend. I'm grieving---is that normal when one finishes a long series? I will set this series aside because I'm sure it will be a re-read. 640 pages 5 stars CAT: Virtual Bookshelf
>145 tess_schoolmarm: I definitely feel that way when finishing a series, especially if it is one that I have come to late so have been able to read them all at once. I am very much looking forward to getting to this series myself soon.
>137 tess_schoolmarm: Love this review and the book recommendation! I like the idea of a book that isn't biased in its treatment of everyone's savagery, though I'm not sure that I'd be up for graphic descriptions. So... how gruesome is it?
>138 tess_schoolmarm: I'm always amused when people indicate that novels support social skills because in my case that wasn't the case at all! I definitely was into my twenties before I realized that some of the social experiences and looks and sounds I was hearing but not really processing as meaningful were parallel to descriptions in books that I'd been reading and easily understanding for their metaphorical value for many years. Never quite sure what to make of this, but the article you link is interesting nonetheless, because I do believe it from these experiences!
>139 tess_schoolmarm: Good luck getting through your challenge! Just about 6 weeks left now.
>147 pammab: Pam, the torture is not anything you probably can't handle, rape, scalping, roasting humans alive on a spit, skinning people alive, etc. They don't dwell on it, but they were honest.
145. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine This was a very traditional story, young girl marries controlling sociopath that makes her life miserable. Young schemer comes along and breaks up marriage, or did she? This is where the book gets interesting and leaves the traditional path. 4 stars 405 pages
CAT: Virtual Bookshelf
>138 tess_schoolmarm: Thanks for sharing the article. It's an interesting read.
146. The Immortalists by Kyle Mills I read this book to finish my BINGO DOG--yeah, I'm finished It was supposed to be about medicine and/or health. The tags for this book indicated medicine so I read it. In my opinion, it was more a thriller with a medical issue as a theme: youth serum. 3 stars, 333 pages. This was a free Kindle book in 2011. CAT: Virtual Bookshelf
>151 tess_schoolmarm: Congratulations on filling up your card! Isn't it satisfying?
147. Throttle by Stephen King and Joe Hill This was a short story to fulfill my November Stephen King read. Not a fan of the short story, so this fell really flat for me, but it was intense in places. It was a duel between a trucker and a group of bikers. 3 stars 54 pages CAT: Scaredy Cat November, Virtual Bookshelf
I'm confident that I will finish all my challenges this year with just 3 books to go and I'm halfway through the first one! Wheewwwwwwwwwwww!
148. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I literally loved Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. The same can not be said of this novel. A lightening rod salesman shows up at Jim Nightshade's door and says a storm is coming. And then a mysterious carnival shows up in town at 3 in the morning. The curiosity of teenage boys compels Jim and his friend Will to sneak to the carnival to watch them set up, and they learn this is not an ordinary carnival. Halloween has come early and it's not a good thing. This was a coming of age story of the fantasy/sci fi variety. The writing was overblown and flowery; at times I thought I was reading Dickens. I read 1/3 of the chapters (about 100+ pages) and quit. DNF 2 stars, 336 pages
>157 tess_schoolmarm: I have loved all the Ray Bradbury I have read this year. Well, it is two books, but I thought they were both well done. I really loved the set up of The Martian Chronicles, how all the stories wove together to make a history of human habitation of Mars. And Fahrenheit 451 - loved!
149. Body of Proof by Darrell Brown. This was an audible original and the narration and background were just horrendous. There was constant background sounds (probably like a newspaper office) and if there weren't those sounds they had music playing. This interfered with my hearing the words--which were not by professional narrators-but by reporters. This was more like a documentary than rather than book. I returned the book to Audible because it was so bad. This was the story of Suzanne Pilley's disappearance in Edinburgh in 2010 and the subsequent conviction of David Gilroy. Gilroy was convicted on circumstantial evidence. The reporters found nothing new--after all that struggle to listen! 5 hours 30 mins 2 stars
150. Redesigning the Mob: The Nina Cocolucci Story by Jodi Ceraldi This was a great book taking place at the end of the fading protection racket ran by the Mafia in the late 1970's and early 1980's. It was a true story, but written in novel form because some of the conversations could only be imagined. Nina, at age 18, unknowingly married a mobster; in this book called Vito DeGregetti (Paul Castellano in real life) who ran things such a protection rackets, prostitution rings, credit card scams, etc. She was able to divorce him and tried to keep her 3 sons from the mob and was successful with only 1 of them joining the Marines. The other 2 became involved in family businesses but to their credit did not know with whom they were really getting involved. I feel the title is misleading because Nina really didn't redesign the mob or anything they did, so I am unsure as to why the title No doubt Nina had a tough life and I feel for her working her entire life to insure her sons did not follow the path of their father. DeGregetti (Castellano) was gunned down by the Gambino family in 1985. I got this book for free on Kindle sometime in either 2011 or 2012 356 pages 4 1/2 stars CAT: Reading through Time-modern history 1946-present, Virtual CAT.
151. Lincoln's Little Girl by Cecelia Holland was the story of Julie Taft, aged 10, whose parents lived next to the White House. Julie had 2 younger brothers who played with the Lincoln boys (Willie and Tad) day and night. Julie was often sent to oversee the boys, but most often spent her time in the White House with Mary Todd Lincoln, who never had a daughter, trying on clothes, shopping, or doing needlepoint. After the death of Willie, the Tafts were instructed to keep their children at home by Mary Lincoln as it made her too sad to see them. The Taft children never saw the Lincoln children again. A great albeit short memoir. 32 pages 5 stars CAT: Virtual Bookshelf
152. The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon sounds interesting and probably could have been, had I been able to completely follow the storyline. I listened to this on audio and it was impossible to follow. It's a dual time line with some characters by the same or like names. There were no chapter numbers, no chapter titles, and therefore when listening I was not sure if I was listening to the 1903 setting or the 1968 setting. The 1903 story is one of the killing of Lazarus, a Bosnian immigrant to Chicago. The 1968 setting is one of author Vladimir Brik (an immigrant from the Ukraine) who stumbles upon the story of Lazarus and wants to write a book about it. The story jumps back and forth between the two settings and therein was the problem for me. I read the entire book, but wanted to quit more than once, thinking I would finally make the connections; but sadly, that never happened. 316 pages 2 1/2 stars CAT: Virtual Shelf
153. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was my December read for the Scaredy-Cat Kit. If I interpreted this story correctly, it was about a woman's descent into madness following the birth of her child. The story was gothic in nature. Meh.....not much to say about this short story. 22 pages 2.75 stars
I am FINISHED with all of my lists, my CATS, my KITS, Bingo Dog, and have reached my reading goal for 2019! This is the first time since 2014 that I have completed everything! December is a freebie, I can be "decadent"!
>169 tess_schoolmarm: Wonderful! It must feel very satisfactory to tick off all the boxes! I hope you will still tell us what you read though.
I have almost reached my Goodreads goal of 125, which is more realistic than the one here of 201. That ain't gonna happen! But I at least want to finish my Bingo card - fingers crossed.
>171 JayneCM: Oh, I will still track and review, but if I want to binge on a series or read a bunch of "trashy" books, I can!
>172 tess_schoolmarm: Nothing wrong with trashy books! I often need a cosy romance or a book that is just 'nice' to take a break!
Congratulations! I'm reading the last of mine now, hope to finish tonight. I still have posting to do though.
154. Tempest in the Tea Room (An Ezra Melamed Mystery) by Libi Astaire was a cozy mystery-Jewish style! Ezra Melamed is a detective in the Jewish community. He has to solve the case of poisonings and attempted murder. There were a lot of Jewish terms and foods and ceremonies explained quite well in this book. I enjoyed it, although not really a mystery fan. 226 pages 3 1/2 stars CAT: Virtual Shelf
Congratulations on reaching your goals! I hope you enjoy your decadent free reading.
>169 tess_schoolmarm: Congratulations, that's got to feel good. Hoping for an enjoyable freebie month full of fun reads.
I think that reading something that's the intellectual equivalent of candyfloss every now and then is good for the mind and soul. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it >;-)
>186 JayneCM: at least half of the 500 books "on my shelves" are from the early days of my e-reader (2012-2015) when Kindle offered a book a day or week for prime customers free...I just took advantage of them all since they were "free." I'm working my way through them slowly but surely and if they sound promising I start them, I've only abandoned 3-4 of them. I've got a few stinky reads, but also some very good ones.
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