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Anita ( figs) Reads in 2019 -Second Thread

This is a continuation of the topic Anita ( figs) Reads in 2019 .

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Aug 5, 5:42pm Top

Time for a second thread!

Edited: Aug 6, 9:25am Top

My rating system is as follows:

1 = Very Very bad. Either I could not finish the novel, or the plot was ill-conceived

2= Still bad. I managed to finish the book. It was probably boring, unoriginal or poorly written

3= Solid. There was character development, the pace was probably slow or parts of the book were well thought out. Still had the ability to make me think or at the very least want to continue reading, however, something was missing or could have been further developed.

4= Excellent read. I probably couldn't put the book down till it was finished. The pace was spot on, complex characters, made me think in a different way and so on

5= Does this ever happen? When it does, I will revise this section

Best books read this year so far:

Memoir: Tara Westover: Educated

YA: Robin Roe: A List Of Cages

Historical Fiction: Glynis Peters: The Secret Orphan

Book That deserves a re-read: Jim Crace: The Melody

Edited: Aug 7, 7:30am Top

Books read up until August

Edited: Aug 5, 10:41pm Top

Here is a photo of the carriage house that has consumed a lot of my time. It's attached to the existing house ( which is not shown). Still, a lot of work to be done....

Aug 5, 5:44pm Top


Aug 5, 6:15pm Top

Happy new thread, Anita!

Aug 5, 6:15pm Top

>6 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita!

Aug 5, 6:16pm Top

Happy new thread, Anita!

Aug 5, 6:28pm Top

>8 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer!

Aug 5, 6:51pm Top

Happy new thread! That's some addition!

Aug 5, 7:39pm Top

Happy new thread!

Aug 5, 7:53pm Top

>4 figsfromthistle: Wow! That looks awesome! Happy new thread and I love your topper, too. : )

Aug 5, 9:06pm Top

Happy New Thread, Figs. Love that colorful topper. I missed most of your last thread. I will try to do better, on this one.

Aug 5, 9:47pm Top

Happy new thread, Anita.

>3 figsfromthistle: Some very good books up there.

Aug 5, 10:41pm Top

>10 jessibud2: Thanks! By accident, it turned out a little bigger than planned.

>11 drneutron: Thanks!

>12 Berly: Thank you x 3 :)

>13 msf59: Thanks. This particular cactus had 20 flowers on it. Not bad considering it did not look too healthy in the spring

>14 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!

Aug 5, 10:48pm Top

Happy New Thread, Anita!

Edited: Aug 5, 11:06pm Top

56. Terry Fallis: One Brother Shy

Alex is a socially awkward man who is haunted by an incident that happened in high school. He is just trying to exist without bringing on too much attention or forming meaningful connections with others. However, something he discovers forces him to venture outside of his comfort zone.

Some parts were funny. A novel that touches upon bullying and the negative impact it can have on a person-way into adult life. This was the weakest novel by Fallis so far and yet showed strengths in unexpected ways. Too many things irritated me- ah well!


Aug 5, 10:58pm Top

>16 ronincats: Thanks, Roni!

Aug 6, 8:18am Top

Happy new thread!

Aug 6, 9:21am Top

>19 foggidawn: Thanks, Foggi!

Edited: Aug 6, 10:22am Top

Happy new thread, Anita.

Lovely photo of the flower at the top.

>4 figsfromthistle: This looks amazing. Are you almost finished?

Aug 6, 3:31pm Top

>21 BLBera: Thanks! It's 3/4 of the way finished. There's still the stairs and retaining wall on the outside to do. The drywall is hung and the taper seems to be taking a long time since he is only working on the weekends. The siding and facia should be done by the end of the week. I spent my day off running around looking for flooring and tiles and lights ( with little success). So it is getting there.

Aug 6, 5:22pm Top

Happy New Thread, Anita. Lovely flowers up top - from a cactus, yes?

>3 figsfromthistle: Fun! Thanks for posting those. Of our shared reads, All the Light We Cannot See would be my favorite.

Aug 6, 7:24pm Top

Happy new thread, Anita. Lovely flower up there.

>3 figsfromthistle: Nice to see all those covers. Somehow they make me more curious to read the books, but it must have been a lot of work to show them like this.

>4 figsfromthistle: Is this your home?

Aug 6, 8:27pm Top

Happy new thread! I love the "books read" displayed that way.

Aug 7, 3:37pm Top

>23 jnwelch: Thanks! Yes those are from a cactus in my flowerbed:)
All the Light we cannot see was a 4 star read for me as well.

>24 EllaTim: Thank you, Ella. I like seeing covers lined up like that as well. Also, the picture of the house is an addition that I made to my home ( like a carriage or coach house).

>25 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks! The book covers displayed that way is kind of calming.

Aug 7, 10:45pm Top

Hi, Anita! Happy new thread! I like the book cover display, too.

Aug 8, 5:50am Top

>27 tymfos: Thanks :)

Aug 8, 10:02am Top

>3 figsfromthistle: Great graphic Anita! Happy new thread.

Aug 8, 10:11pm Top

57. Aja Gabel: The Ensemble

Four university music majors form a quartet with the short term goal of winning a prestigious competition. Emotions run high as the four members strive to achieve personal and professional goals.

A coming of age story where nothing seems to happen and yet the reader finds him/herself plunged into the trials, successes, and turbulences of the four protagonists chaotic lives.

Mixed feelings on this one.


Aug 9, 10:27pm Top

58. Barbara Kingsolver: Flight Behavior

Dellarobia is housewife living in a small spiritual centric town. Feeling suffocated by her surroundings she attempts to run away. However, in the depths of the forest, she sees something extraordinary that causes her to turn back and re-evaluate everything she believes in.

This is the first novel by Kingsolver that I have read. I did not know what to expect and ended up enjoying it. A great story about determination, challenge, and change. How each action has long-reaching effects and it is up to us to ensure that these effects are positive.


Aug 10, 9:11pm Top

Hi Anita, I love the visual display of the books you've read. There are some excellent ones there. I also enjoyed Flight Behavior, although it's not my favorite Kingsolver book. Off the top of my head, I remember liking The Lacuna and Poisonwood Bible quite a bit. Also, her first book, The Bean Trees about a road trip from Kentucky to Tucson, AZ, and adopting a Native American baby girl was memorable.

Wow, you are adding an addition to your house. Makes my little project look, well, little. Do you have a completion date to look forward to?

Aug 10, 10:27pm Top

>33 Donna828: Hey Donna! I will definitely have to acquire more Kingsolver books.

As for the house, I have no set completion date however, I really would like to be done before the snow flies. The project did get out of hand as it was just supposed to be a garage addition *sigh*.
It looks like you have been quite busy with your remodel as well.

Aug 10, 10:48pm Top

Happy new thread, Anita!

Aug 11, 6:04am Top

>35 kidzdoc: Thanks!

Aug 11, 8:34am Top

Hi, Figs! I am a big fan of Kingsolver but have not read Flight Behavior. It is on the list. I hope this one sparks you to read more of her work.

Aug 11, 9:47am Top

Funny how projects get out of hand, Anita. :)

I also LOVED Flight Behavior, and it is one of my favorite Kingsolvers. You have a lot of good choices ahead.

Aug 11, 3:17pm Top

>37 msf59: Yes, I will definitely read more of her work.

>38 BLBera: I know :) I had Kingsolver's book in my TBR pile for a long time. Don't know why it took me that long to pick it up. Looking forward to more of her books.

Aug 11, 4:53pm Top

Hi Anita my dear, happy new thread. Hope you are having a good weekend, I am slowly catching up on all the posts on the threads that I have not seen whilst being away. I am posting about our holiday but am not going to bore you all with the minutiae but hope to post some pictures when I get them from Karen. Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Aug 11, 9:14pm Top

>40 johnsimpson: Welcome back from your vacation! Can't wait to see the pictures you have taken :)

Aug 11, 9:53pm Top

Happy new thread, Anita. That is quite an addition. It definitely grew from just a garage! I love the topper. I don't think I have ever seen a blooming cactus before.

Aug 12, 5:56am Top

Happy new thread Anita!

I thought the photo in >1 figsfromthistle: was roses until I saw the leaves. The flowers look luscious.

>3 figsfromthistle: Not seeing most of the covers :0(

>4 figsfromthistle: Wow! You're doing that yourselves?

Aug 12, 4:33pm Top

>42 Familyhistorian: Thanks! This particular cactus blooms after the first year. I have another cactus that took 20 years to grow one bloom. I am surprised that they survive in the Candian climate. Quite beautiful.

>43 humouress: Hi! Sometimes when I have trouble seeing the covers I sign out of LibraryThing and back in and it seems to do the trick.

As for the addition, a lot was done by my father and I ( my mom helped where she could). I am lucky that my father is a retired construction engineer. We hired someone for plumbing, framing, heat and electrical. I also opted to hire a drywaller as this job is too heavy for my dad ( he has severe knee problems). The rest is all us. Not too long ago we completed the brick and stucco- that was a huge job for us. I forgot how it was like to build scaffolding and mix mortar!

Aug 12, 11:24pm Top

>44 figsfromthistle: I was wondering if you built the structure yourselves. I’m not sure I’d trust something that big if I built it; my dad is a bit of s DIY-er but my husband would rather get someone else in to do work. Especially as it’s more affordable in Asia.

Amazing job! Especially the bridge.

Aug 13, 6:13am Top

>45 humouress: We just hired someone to build the structure (framing). He worked off the design and engineered drawings that my dad made.

You are quite right to always be careful when building. Many aspects can go wrong and many people underestimate the knowledge needed. Here we have building inspectors that come at various stages to ensure all is well. Is it the same in Asia?

Aug 13, 11:38am Top

Dropping in to say hi and find you deep into the house construction and still able to knock out some books!

Aug 13, 12:25pm Top

I love your new carriage house and the walkway to it! It looks like there is living space above it? A new library for you, perhaps?

Aug 13, 7:33pm Top

>47 mstrust: Hi Jennifer! My reading keeps me calm :)

>48 streamsong: Thanks. Yes, there is a living space above that also extends to the back. I have already been eyeing a few locations for a library. Perhaps in the walkway/hallway leading to the original house. It would be wide enough :)

Aug 14, 2:30pm Top

I'm a Kingsolver fan -- glad you enjoyed Flight Behavior

Aug 15, 7:19am Top

>50 RebaRelishesReading: Yes, Kingsolver is a great author :)

Aug 15, 7:23am Top

59.Patrick deWitt: Under Major Domo Minor

Lucy Minor is a young man who has run out of opportunities in his home town. He decides to take on a job as an assistant to the majordomo who is Baron Von Aux's, right-hand man. He soon discovers the peculiarity of the townspeople and the rules concerning his stay in the castle are equally puzzling. Or course, Lucy finds himself in love and in dangerous and uncomfortable situations.

Somehow this story pulled me in. I was intrigued to see what happens on Lucy's journey. I enjoy deWitt's writing style, however, I was waiting for more to happen ( and I don't mean the grotesque scene in the middle).


Edited: Aug 17, 2:14am Top

>46 figsfromthistle: Hmm, don't know. Singapore is the most by-the-book of Asian countries but it's been more than a decade since we had our house renovated but I don't remember it being inspected. Of course, we didn't do it ourselves, so it's entirely possible that the inspectors came by and talked to the construction people.

I do know that there are a lot of regulations and our contractor had to stick to them. In England, for instance, we usually had a string to pull to switch on bathroom lights. In Singapore, you're not allowed electric points inside the bathroom and our electrician absolutely refused to put them up for me, even though a friend managed to find the switches and send them to me. (This is the same electrician who happily relocated lights at will, which caused the guys doing the construction to grumble about all the holes they had to patch up after him.)

ETA: >52 figsfromthistle: Haven't come across Lucy as a man's name; unless it's his surname and he's the younger brother (hence the 'minor')?

Aug 19, 8:41pm Top

>53 humouress: It is interesting how building codes vary. You would think that something that is a fire hazard in one country or even a province would still be a fire hazard in another. Sometimes I swear that the inspectors just make things up :)

Lucy is the protagonist's nickname. His real name is Lucien. The minor comes from the fact that he is the assistant to the majordomo who in turn is the assistant to the Baron. So Lucy holds the lowest rank and the castle.

Today, 4:39pm Top

60. Peter Matthiessen: In Paradise

To find out about his family history, Clements Olin takes part in a one week retreat in Auschwitz. He encounters many people who are struggling with their grief and guilt. All have a story to tell and all of whom have differential reasons for taking part in the retreat.

Many issues were subtly touched upon here.


Today, 9:21pm Top

>55 figsfromthistle: We had a really good discussion about that in my book club, but it was a tough one to read.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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