TalkSqueakyChu's 2019 PURRfect Reading Year - 4th quarter

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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SqueakyChu's 2019 PURRfect Reading Year - 4th quarter

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Edited: Jan 1, 9:27am

Continued from here with my 2019 reads.

Goal: 75 books

71 books

Goal: 14,000 pages

12910 pages

Goal: 365 days

365 days

This thread is dedicated to feral cats.

Edited: Dec 9, 2019, 4:21pm


Photo by Patricia Pierce - Flickr, CC-A

50. American Splendor: Ego & Hubris, The Michael Malice Story - Harvey Pekar - TIOLI #1: Read a book whose cover pictures at least one person in a position other than standing (man flying or falling) - 152 pages
51. Melanie's Song - Joanna Biggar - TIOLI #2: Read a book from your favorite genre (literary fiction) - 357 pages
52. The Age of Wonders - Aharon Appelfeld - TIOLI #4: Read a book in translation (Hebrew/English) - 270 pages

Edited: Dec 9, 2019, 7:56pm


Photo by Michele Dorsey Walfred - Flicr, CC-A

1. BookCrossing Meetup at Birdie's Cafe in Westminster, Maryland - That was fun!

53. Permanent Record - Edward Snowden - TIOLI #3: Read a book with a title that mentions something you could recycle (record) - 339 pages
54. Hop on Pop - Dr. Seuss - TIOLI #1: Read a book that measures approximately 1 cm in thickness (0.9906 Centimeters) - 64 pages
55. The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo - TIOLI #8: Read a book that has been adapted from / or into another form - 187 pages
56. Humans of New York - Brandon Stanton - TIOLI #2: Read a book with the name of a city in the title (New York) - 138 pages
57. So Many Bunnies - Rick Walton, Paige Miglio - TIOLI #7: Read a book where the title completes the phrase "I am thankful for..." - 32 pages
58. Away Went the Farmer's Hat - Jane Belk Mancure - TIOLI #3: Read a book with a title that mentions something you could recycle - 30 pages
59. Killing Floor - Lee Child - TIOLI #10. Read a book by an author who has a sibling who is in the creative arts (his brother Andrew Grant, a thriller writer) - 419 pages
60. Diary of a Worm - Doreen Cronin - TIOLI: None - 40 pages

Edited: Jan 1, 9:28am


Photo by Ariosvaldo Gonzáfoles - Flickr, CC-A

1. BookCrossing Annual Holiday Party in Alexandria, Virginia on 12/22/19. Good food and...The First Line Game!

61. Volume Control : Hearing in a Deafening World - David Owen - TIOLI #3: Read a book you have acquired (by any means) in 2019 (public library loan) - 292 pages
62. Under the Love Umbrella - Davina Bell - TIOLI #2: Read a book where there is a dance in the title (Chinese Umbrella Dance) - 32 pages
63. You - Caroline Kepnes - TIOLI #6: Read a book that was touchstoned by a group member between 1/1/19 and 11/30/19 - not self! (Quondame's fourth quarter continuation...., >169) - 422 pages
64. Winter Birds - Jim Grimsley TIOLI #4: Read a book with something connected to winter in the title (winter birds) - 209 pages
65. Things I Like - Anthony Brown - TIOLI #17: Read a book by an author whose name has an odd number of characters - 22 pages
66. Moo, Baa, La la la! - Sandra Boynton - TIOLI #1: Read a book which pictures on its cover a person, an animal, or a creature with horns (cow) - 14 pages
67. Cross-Country Cat - Mary Calhounn - TIOLI #5: Read a book with snow on the cover - 40 pages
68. On Tyranny - Timothy Snyder - TIOLI #17: Read a book by an author whose name has an odd number of characters (13) - 126 pages
69. Faceless Killers - Henning Mankell - TIOLI #14: Decorate a Christmas tree with words from title or author (hen) - 369 pages
70. D-Day Landings - Ricrad Platt - TIOLI #11: Read a book set in the first half of the 20th century - 48 pages
71. Lost in the Snow - Linda Jennings - TIOLI #16: Read a book with a (predominantly) blue cover for the December birthstone challenge - 26 pages

71 books in 2019

1. A sweeplette for December, 2019. Hurray!

Sep 26, 2019, 6:53pm

Happy new thread!

Sep 26, 2019, 7:48pm

>5 drneutron: Thanks for the wishes. I forgot to finish it. Guess I'll do that in a bit.

Sep 26, 2019, 8:23pm

Love the kitties!

Sep 26, 2019, 9:12pm

>7 fuzzi: Me, too! :)

Sep 26, 2019, 9:18pm

Happy new thread, Madeline! Love those faces!

Sep 26, 2019, 10:54pm

>9 jessibud2: Thanks! They are pretty sweet!

Sep 28, 2019, 2:44pm

Happy new thread, Madeline!

>3 SqueakyChu: I like the tabby cat picture, amost blending in.

Sep 28, 2019, 3:28pm

Happy new thread. Adorable cat photos!

Sep 30, 2019, 2:49am

Happy new thread, Madeline.

Edited: Sep 30, 2019, 8:21pm

>13 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul.

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 8:00pm

50. American Splendor: Ego & Hubris, The Michael Malice Story - Harvey Pekar

October 2019 TIOLI #1: Read a book whose cover pictures at least one person in a position other than standing (man flying or falling)

I'm uncertain what to say about this graphic novel. I did not get the message it was trying to convey, despite the Ayn Rand quote on the bottom of the last page. I felt that most of it was over my head. I did not like the protagonist, but I did like the panels and how the story was told.

I found the man in this story was mostly misunderstood. He failed to care for others, and was therefore treated badly by them in return...especially in his many and varied work situations. I understood (and agreed with him) about not bearing up in an untenable work situation.

This is probably one of the graphic novels I liked the least of those I've read. The artwork is great as is theh format of the book, but the story is not complelling and the main character I did not like at all.

There is a real Michael Malice. However, I'm not sure it's someone I'd particuarly like to know.

Rating - 3 stars

Edited: Oct 7, 2019, 5:38pm

(deleted content)

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 7:59pm

51. Melanie's Song - Joanna Biggar

October 2019 TIOLI #2: Read a book from your favorite genre (literary fiction)

I think the author did a terrific job with this novel. It's of a newpaper journalist who did a series of stories about the women with whom she spent a year in France. Her editor wants her to do another series about the same women, only quite a few years later. Here's the rub. One of the original women has now completely disappeared. It's up to this journalist to try to figure out what happened to the missing woman, Melanie, while finding and interviewing the other remaining women.

I loved how the author created this story in small chapters, making it fairly easy to read although there are many characters. The characters are vivid and interact in various ways in an impressive display of managing a complex plot.

A fun aspect of this story was that it took place originally in the late 1960s, early 1970s, so it took me back to a time to which I could well relate.

This novel was based on a previous novel by the same author with the same women friends. If this novel is any indication of how good the previous novel was, I need to go back and read that one, too!

Rating - 5 stars

Oct 8, 2019, 7:32pm

Wow, I lost you there for a while. Found and starred!!!

Oct 8, 2019, 10:48pm

>18 Berly: Glad you stopped by to visit!

Oct 10, 2019, 2:44am

My pleasure. : )

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 7:59pm

52. The Age of Wonders - Aharon Appelfeld

October TIOLI Challenge #4: Read a book in translation (Hebrew/English)

I found this to be a well-written yet sad story about a Jewish boy’s experiences in Austria prior to World War II. Although the boy’s Father was a well-known writer and secular Jew, that made no difference to the boy and his family as attitudes toward Jews declined in the pre-war years. Later the boy, then a grown man, returned from his current home in Jerusalem to visit the town in which he grew up. That turned out to be a melancholy and unsatisfactory experience.

Appelfeld does an amazing job of pulling the reader into the emotional space of the protagonist, although it’s a place the reader might rather not be. Reading books of this kind tend to be depressing yet I feel compelled to read them. This one, like others of Appelfeld’s I’ve read, deals with pre-WWII antisemitism, a topic which makes me uncomfortable. The atmosphere presented in the book felt so true that it frightened me. I was actually relieved when the story ended so Bruno could return to Jerusalem.

Rating - 4 stars

Edited: Oct 27, 2019, 12:01pm

Okay. You know I am a Little Free LIbrary steward. However, did you know that my husband builds Little Free Libraries for a hobby? These two were installed this past week at the Mattie J.T, Stepanek Park in Rockville, Maryland, USA. Watching the installation were Bridget Newton (mayor of Rockville), Beryl Feinberg, (Rockville city council member), Jeni Stepanek (Mattie's mom). Assisting with the installation was Ron Orndorff (horticultualist for Rockviile). Read more about Mattie here:

For those of you on Facebook, here are some more pictures:

Oct 27, 2019, 1:22pm

>22 SqueakyChu: nice!

I recently found a Little Library in our downtown and one in a nearby town that hadn't yet been added to the LT local database. Good to see them popping up all over!

Edited: Oct 27, 2019, 3:42pm

>23 fuzzi: People don't have to add them to the data base, but I strongly encourage those to whom we donate our LFLs to register them with They have a map of all the registered ones here:

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 7:59pm

53. Permanent Record - Edward Snowden

November 2019 TIOLI #3: Read a book with a title that mentions something you could recycle (record)

I had fun reliving the days after the personal computer entered our lives, and recalled, from having sons of my own who are contemporaries of Snowden, just how completely computer gaming took over a part of their lives. I also recalled, with sadness now, how wondrous the Internet was when it was free from government and corporate dominance. It was a force with which to be reckoned and to challenge oneself.

I loved the chapter about hacks where Snowden figures out how not to do any of his Math homework. I had to laugh when reading this because one of my own children used that same tactic in a high school computer class. Explanation finally understood...after all these years!

I was fearful of having to read parts of the book about where Snowden would make the decision to work for the public to his detriment and against his government. In the end, I was cheering Snowden and mortified by my own federal government’s secrets. I can’t help but feel Snowden is a hero whose intent was in the public interest.

I was astounded by the fact that Snowden and one other techie were the nighttime sysadmins for 12 hours for the whole global CIA network, and they were *contractors*!

Snowden’s description of his night shift on the computer reminded me of my own nighttime job where and when a work colleague of mine used to play Scrabble together on the computer to make the long nighttime hours pass more quickly.

I was wondering how much of the information Snowden revealed about his training (its location and what he learned) is common knowledge or if it should not have been revealed.

This is probably the most terrifying book I’ve ever read because it’s not about history but about the present and the future. It is also not science fiction, but what I would consider to be the truth. It actually kept me awake at night thinking about the blatant disregard of the Constitution and unconstitutional secret-keeping by the American intelligence community. How can a country acting in such a manner even be considered to be a functioning democracy? Was it foreshadowing of the further demise of American democracy?

I was a bit annoyed at Snowden’s hacking into unknowing subjects’ personal computers even though I understand he needed that to maintain his own secret identity.

Here we have an extremely intelligent man. I somehow wonder if he did what he did in part just to see if he could do it AND get away with it.

I like how, throughout his book, Snowden carefully explains “computer-speak” to us common folk. That is an important component of making this book accessible to all who read it.

One aspect of this book, oddly enough, I did not like was that when I wanted to talk about the book’s contents, the people with whom I’d spoken wanted to give me their negative impression of the author. That was missing the point of what he wrote. I found that frustrating.

It’s true that computer systems are quite a mystery to all but the techies. I’m amazed by their knowledge.

This book was as interesting, and probably even more interesting,for me to read than any spy novel could ever be.

Some parts of Snowden’s story made me laugh:

“I wasn’t wild about the idea of taking thousands of pictures of my computer screen in the middle of a top secret facility.”

What a nightmare it must have been for Lindsay, Ed's girlfriend, following his sudden departure! I loved the last line of the book, and knowing how her situation ended.

It’s good to know that web security increased after Snowden’s revelation to the world.

“The year 2016 was a landmark in tech history, the first year since the invention of the Internet that more Web traffic was encrypted than unencrypted.”

I very highly recommend this book whatever your feelings are about its author.

Rating - 5 stars

Edited: Nov 4, 2019, 11:43pm

I know the review above seems like a lot of rambling, but I wanted to put down all of my thoughts as I was reading that book. It just blew me away!

Nov 4, 2019, 9:57pm

I saw an excellent documentary about Snowden a couple of years ago. I can't remember the title now but it was really good and I think that was my introduction to him. I don't think I was aware of his story before that.

Edited: Nov 4, 2019, 11:43pm

>27 jessibud2: Might it have been Citizenfour directed by Laura Poitras? I saw that one as well. It was after that when I read No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald. Since then I've been fascinated by Snowden's story. Perhaps also it's because Fort Meade, where NSA is located, is situated not all that far from where I live.

Nov 6, 2019, 2:53pm

>22 SqueakyChu: Nice little free libraries!

I am always delighted when I find a new free library in my area.

Nov 6, 2019, 3:36pm

>28 SqueakyChu: - Yes, I think that was it.

Edited: Nov 6, 2019, 5:21pm

>29 figsfromthistle: We had our Rockville city elections yesterday, and while there, I think I found homes for two more Little Free Libraries (not yet built). Two city council members seemed interested in them.

One person was the same woman (Beryl Feinberg) who is stewarding (or maybe helping to steward) the Little Free Libraries pictured above, She had been running for re-election and won. I still have her lawn sign on my lawn! :D

The other was an Asian man (Kwan Lee) who was running for the first time and seemed interested in having a Little Free Library for the Asian community in Rockvillle. I purposely went over to meet him because his strongest issue was diversity and immigrants. I had hoped to have an Asian on our city council . He was great. He only lost by less than 200 votes. He came in fifth, but only four were chosen to sit on the council.

I left the voting area thinking how much I love Rockville. It's a large city but so much like a small town, I feel as if I am friends with the council members and the mayor (although one of my true past friends eventually became mayor of Rockville!) We had kids in the same playgroup as toddlers. :D

Rockville had their first vote by mail election. It was a resounding success. It increased the votes by 20%. Many people simply skip the Rockville elections and not pay attention to local issues. I think it's important to vote in any election. It should not be a right that's taken for granted.

Another eason I love Rockville elections si that they are non-partisan. They do have coalitions, but I never vote a straight coalition ticket, I just choose individuals whose thoughts line up most with my own.

On the national scene, we had some good results. In the state of Virginia (a purple state), both the Senate and the House flipped! In the state of Kentucky (where Mitch McConnell is from), a Democratic governor was elected. Small victories may add up in the future. This was a test to see what would happen in red states. So far, so good. Mississippi elected a Republican governor, but they are hard core Trump supporters. The Democrat did fairly well in that election, but it's no surprise he lost. The results give me (guarded) hope for the future.

If you're wondering why I was at city hall if we had mail-in ballots it's that I always procrastinate. I looked up the candidates at the last minute, and then I didn;t have time to mail my ballot so I had to take it to city hall...which was so much fun as I got to talk to the individual candidates and the mayor. :D

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 7:58pm

54. Hop on Pop - Dr. Seuss

November 2019 TIOLI Challenge #1: Read a book that measures approximately 1 cm in thickness (0.9906 Centimeters)

This is such a perfect book for toddlers! I read it to my 1 1/2 year-old granddaughter yesterday while babysitting because she loves the word "hop". She calls bunnies "hop-hops". :D

Anyway, the book has funny illustrations, words that rhyme, and lots of things to talk about. When I told her daddy that I was leaving this book for her, he told me that she already had two other copies of it, one small and one big. Therefore I am taking it home to release soon to another young child.

Rating - 5 stars

Edited: Nov 11, 2019, 12:04pm

By the way, I later found out (because I track all of my books) that the other large Hop on Pop book that was in my son's home was another copy of the same book that I gave to my grandson on his eight-month-old birthday, He is now six years old. i didn't even remember that! Haha!

Nov 10, 2019, 9:37pm

>32 SqueakyChu: I can still quote stretches of that book, love it and Go Dog Go.

Edited: Nov 11, 2019, 12:06pm

>34 fuzzi: Dr. Seuss books never get old. I still remember reading The Cat in the Hat to my oldest son over and over when he was a little kid. My all-time favorite Dr. Seuss book, though, is The Lorax. It was so prescient.

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 7:58pm

55. The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo

November 2019 TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book that has been adapted from / or into another form (nonfiction into manga)

This was such a cute book! Fortunately, I didn't have to study the concepts of tidying up the KonMari way because I already read the author's nonfiction book before picking up this manga. I could enjoy the book for what it was. Since I am a great fan of manga, I got much enjoyment in seeing the characters of Chiaki and Chiaki's neighbor interact. I also enjoyed seeing Marie as a character (the tidying-up tutor) in her own book. Several of the panels of this story had me laughing out loud.

I'll leave you with this moving quote from the book.

We live in this moment. Who you are now is more important than memories of your past. Be good to yourself."

Rating 4.5 stars

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 7:58pm

56. Humans of New York - Brandon Stanton

November 2019 TIOLI Challenge #2: Read a book with the name of a city in the title (New York)

This is a terrific book! Not only are the photographs well done, but they are inclusive of all kinds of people one might see in the city of New all parts of the city. It displays like a love letter to the diverse population of New York.

My favorite photos were those of the elderly and young children. However, there is enough variety throughout this book to find great photos of any human subject in which you might be interested.

In addition to the photos were those great captions. Most of them contained remarks by the subjects of the photos. Some of them were wise, some were funny, but all were thought-provoking. Some of the photos did not include captions with remarks, but those did include the location those photos were taken.

All subjects agreed to be photographed. Well, I guess the very tiniest of kids didn't as their parents did the agreeing for them, and some of the kids even turned away from the camera.

In this world of mine, where my own country is turning individual against individual, it is heartening to see this book, so rich in the kind of people who share my country and this world with me. I appreciate them all.

Rating - 5 stars

Nov 19, 2019, 7:14am

>37 SqueakyChu: How nice, I didn't know there was a book. I follow Humans of New York on Facebook, and like the stories from people from New York and other cities around the world.

Edited: Nov 19, 2019, 10:18am

>38 FAMeulstee: i only knew it was a blog from the book although I haven't checked the blog out yet. I didn't know it was a Facebook group. I spend way to much time on my phone and computer as it is. I really don't need more places online to hang out so I loved that Humans of New York was a real book! :D

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 7:57pm

57. So Many Bunnies - Rick Walton, Paige Miglio

November 2019 TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book where the title completes the phrase "I am thankful for..."

This is such a cute book! It's fabulous for toddlers who love bunnies. There are so many of them to find in this board book. It also has the ABC as well as counting up to 26. It's fun to read out loud as it is all written in rhyme in a manner similar to the poem about "The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe".

Rating - 5 stars

Edited: Nov 26, 2019, 8:17pm

58. Away Went the Farmer's Hat - Jane Belk Mancure

November 2019 TIOLI Challenge #3: Read a book with a title that mentions something you could recycle (hat)


I read this book to my granddaughter while babysitting day. We both enjoyed the story and the humor. It did make her laugh. She likes to say individual words, one of which is "hat". She could also identify many of the animals pictured. The book shows how a hat can have many uses and also shows how the farmer's wife was able to solve the problem of the wind repeatedly blowing away the farmer's hat.. This is a cute story!

Rating - 5 stars

Edited: Nov 26, 2019, 8:17pm

59. Killing Floor - Lee Child

November 2019 TIOLI Challenge #10. Read a book by an author who has a sibling who is in the creative arts (his brother Andrew Grant, a thriller writer)

This is quite the thriller. Short sentences. Complex plot. Multiple characters. Action packed. I’m not a reader of crime fiction but this novel’s opening lines got me reading at quite a fast pace. At one point, the story seemed to drag so I thought of bailing. That didn’t work. I kept thinking of this story. Wondering how it would end. Back to the book I went without pause until the story ended. I am now so ready to read the next crime novel in this series. In addition, now I know why Lee Child is such a popular author.

Rating 4.5 stars

Nov 23, 2019, 10:16pm

>42 SqueakyChu: Mentioned it on Barbara's thread, Madeline. This is a great start to an excellent, if sometime formulaic, series.

Keep up the good work with the Free Little Library. xx

Have a great Sunday.

Edited: Nov 26, 2019, 8:22pm

60. Diary of a Worm - Doreen Cronin

No TIOLI Challenge :(

This book is so precious! I grabbed it when I saw it in a Little Free Library because I remember having such delightful times reading another book, Diary of a Spider, by this same author to my grandson when he was much smaller.

What makes this book stand out is that it is hilarious! The drawings are perfect. The messages are realistic, but they do have just a bit of mischief in them. This is a book I'm saving to share with my granddaughter as I'm 100% sure she will love it.

Rating - 5

Nov 28, 2019, 7:48am

Happy Thanksgiving, Madeline! Wishing you and the family all the best

Nov 28, 2019, 10:12am

>45 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley!

Edited: Dec 12, 2019, 6:23pm

61.Volume Control : Hearing in a Deafening World - David Owen

December 2019 TIOLI Challenge #3: Read a book you have acquired (by any means) in 2019 (public library loan)

This was a terrific book. I'm not sure how interesting it would be to a fully hearing person, but it was amazing to me as a hearing-impaired individual. Because it was recently published, it contained very relevant information for me.

Not all of what I read was making me very happy, though. In fact, I was fuming after I read the way that the hearing aid industry is ripping off people for the costs of hearing aids. I learned a lot more about alternatives to hearing aids, a product that my husband had been pushing me to try. Now those less expensive, self-programmable alternatives don't seem quite as strange. In fact, there is one product I'd really like to try. Maybe one day I'll have the chance.

I liked learning about the difference in the way hearing aids and cochlear implants work. Since I know personally about hearing aids, I think now I more fully understand what the sensation of a cochlear implant must be like. The experience sounds (no pun intended) quite different.

I was happily encouraged by the section about hearing research. I think I more fully understand what my hearing loss is really about (loss of connection to the auditory nerve rather than loss of hair cells). I was also intrigued by the discovery that loud noises which seem temporarily resolved after the fact then later in life can be the cause of hearing decline. I'm sorry that I was of the generation which paid no attention to hearing protection so now I'm suffering because of it. I liked the very last chapter about hearing protection and am glad to report that my grandchildren knows exactly when it's time to don those sound-decreasing ear muffs.

This book was comprehensive, easy-to-read, and very informative. I recommend it mostly to those who are either hearing impaired or who interact with others who are hearing impaired.

Rating - 5 stars

Edited: Dec 3, 2019, 6:25am

>47 SqueakyChu: - Sounds like a good read, Madeline. I have had ear problems since childhood though I don't think I have significant hearing loss (yet). But we have a few deaf kids in our family and my mother recently got a hearing aid which she doesn't think she needs but we know she does. I think I remember a segment on one of those shows like CBS Sunday Morning or some such program that was all about those other, programmable alternatives and it was most interesting. Over the years, I have also taught deaf, and hard of hearing students. I will see if my library has this book!

Dec 3, 2019, 2:49am

So many great books in so many different genres!! Wow. Thanks for the reviews. : )

Edited: Dec 3, 2019, 1:19pm

(deleted duplicate message. )

Edited: Dec 3, 2019, 1:22pm

>48 jessibud2: Shelley, do you really want to know how I discovered this book? The story will make you laugh. Remember when you told me to turn Don Jr.'s book spine in so no one would see it or check it out? Well, I found one book already sitting in that position on my public library new bookshelf. and I wanted to know what it was. It turned out to be Volume Control which looked interesting enough to check out. I checked it out right away, Maybe your method is not foolproof. Ha!

Volume control also has some interesting results of current research regarding teaching/learning of deaf/Deaf/hard-of-hearing kids. I wonder if it would surprise you, or if it would be something you already knew from your teaching experience.

>49 Berly: So which books did I inspire you to read, Kim?! :D

Dec 3, 2019, 4:49pm

>51 SqueakyChu: - I guess I will really have to find out! We used sign language (ASL) with some of our deaf students but I learned quickly and surprisingly that sign language also worked amazingly well with some of our hearing but non-verbal students. I had one little girl, for example, who had severe CP (cerebral palsy) whose speech was extremely difficult to understand. She had picked up on the ASL we were using for a deaf student in our class and when she saw how difficult it was for me to sometimes know what she was trying to say to me, she would use signs! I was stunned when I realized what was going on but once I did, we continued to use both sign and speech with her and it made a HUGE difference for us all. What a happy discovery.

Your story about how you found it is hilarious!

Dec 3, 2019, 7:23pm

>52 jessibud2: That's a really interesting story about your student with CP.

Dec 3, 2019, 8:34pm

>53 SqueakyChu: - That's really the only thing I really miss about teaching, Madeline: the kids. Take away (some of) the parents, the administration, the government, the endless paperwork and just let us teach, and I'd still be there.

Dec 3, 2019, 9:05pm

>54 jessibud2: I understand completely!

Dec 5, 2019, 12:22pm

Hey there ~ been awhile since I commented:
The talk about Word on the Street interested me a lot, especially this comment on Shelley's thread:

I'd be interested in understanding what Bookcrossing is all about (I just skimmed the links briefly).

We have a WOTS festival in our town (Saskatoon, SK) but I don't know any of the organizers. If you have a suggestion on how I could initiate a booth suggestion and what all is involved (or another url to describe the set up), I would hope to promote such a thing.

Edited: Dec 5, 2019, 7:09pm

>56 SandyAMcPherson:

This will tell all about Bookcrossing.

Basicly, Bookcrossing is a book-tracking website. It works like "Where's George?" Any book can be registered and given a BCID (BookCrossing iD number) which is written in the book. A journal entry is made to start the book on its travels. Anyone who reads the book can add a journal entry (for free and even anonymously).

Here's an example of a book with a BookCrossing journal entry.**

I picked this entry to show you because it is what cemented my friendship with Shelley (LT's jessibud2). Note the year: 2005! :D

What needs to happen to run a BookCrossing booth at a book festival:
1. Join which is free and has no strings.*
2. Collect books and register them on BookCrossing under your BookCrossing userid.
3. Be sure that each book has a BCID (BookCrossing identification number attached to (by label) or written in the book. You can print out free labels if you want.
4. Get others to do this with you. It is way more fun.
5. Approach a book festival organizer and tell them that you want to do this. See if they will allow you to do this for free as you will not be making any money. Stress that it will attract LOTS of fair-goers. It will not interfere with book sales. People who want to buy books will buy books anyway. People know our booth and return to the fairs yearly to visit our booth.

I would also add that anyone can contact the following individuals to learn more about how book festivals utilize Bookcrossing to maximize their fair-goers experience.

1. Jud Ashman, mayor of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and fair organizer

2. Elisendra Sola-Sole, owner of Kensington Row Bookshop, Kensington, Maryland and fair organizer

Let me know if you need any further information. Definitely let me know what you do!

*There is an option to join Bookcrossing (the annual wings program) to help support it which I do, but it is better to learn about it first and be sure you want to do this. I have been a BookCrosser since 2003 (sixteen years!). It has brought me great joy! I meet up with fellow BookCrossers monthly and have been doing so for at least ten years. I even went to a BookCrossing meet-up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with Shelley's group two years ago! :D

** Shelley, I think you more than worked out your end of this trade with your warm hospitality during our Canada trip! :D

Edited: Dec 5, 2019, 1:19pm

>57 SqueakyChu: This is really a fabulous overview.
Thanks so much... I will stay in touch about letting you know what I decide I can do!

Edited: Dec 5, 2019, 7:07pm

>58 SandyAMcPherson: Absolutely let me know. All that I can say is that it is tons of fun. I look forward to these festival swith great anticipation every year.

Dec 8, 2019, 3:36am

>51 SqueakyChu: Volume Control and Permanent Record are the front runners. ; )

Dec 8, 2019, 11:52am

>60 Berly: Both of these books are SO excellent. Don't miss them! I just lent Permanent Record to a friend of mine in Virginia, but Volume Control needs to go back to my public library, I plan to get Permanent Record back to keep as part of my permanent collection which, oddly enough, is very small even though I have gazillions of books in my house! :D

Edited: Dec 9, 2019, 12:24pm

62. Under the Love Umbrella - Davina Bell

December 2019 TIOLI Challenge #2: Read a book where there is a dance in the title (Chinese Umbrella Dance)

This is a beautiful book! Significantly; it arrived on a rainy day.

The cover is outstanding because of its sparkly background and its diverse group of friends standing together under a brightly-colored umbrella.

After reading this book, I think it would be fun to talk to the child to whom you read this book about metaphors. In this sweet story, told in poetry, the umbrella signifies the love which covers a child in times of adversity. Any child should be able to identify with the characters of this book who are multi-ethnic and have a variety of difficulties. It's easy to understand and should bring a measure of comfort to its little listeners.

"Whatever you fear, come close my dear
You're tucked in safe for always here
And I will never not be near
Because of our love umbrella."

Rating 5 stars

Dec 9, 2019, 4:17pm

63. You - Caroline Kepnes

December 2019 TIOLI Challenge #6: Read a book that was touchstoned by a group member between 1/1/19 and 11/30/19 - not self! (Quondame's fourth quarter continuation...., >169)

Phew! That was a really good book! Very suspenseful. Very sexy. Very gruesome. Lots of plot twists. Interesting characters. Creepy as hell.

It’s the kind of book that kept me turning pages and changing what I thought the outcome would be time after time.

This was a debut novel, but it is one that will have me looking for more of this author’s work in the future...if I want to be creeped out...which I definitely will desire in any future novel of hers.

Rating - 5 stars

Edited: Dec 11, 2019, 11:17am

64. Winter Birds - Jim Grimsley

December 2019 TIOLI Challenge #4: Read a book with something connected to winter in the title (winter birds)

The subject of this book, the interactions of a North Carolina family struggling with poverty, many children, alcoholism, verbal and physical abuse, infidelity, and disability (loss of an arm by the dad and hemophilia of two sons) are not topics that usually interest me. However, this author’s writing is so compelling. It just sings! What a delight it is to read this novel although the story is beyond sad. It’s utterly heartbreaking because it is extremely dark and terrifying in its reality.

It took everything I had not to jump into the pages of this book and say to the Mama, “Leave that bastard. I’ll take you to where you can find help and shelter for yourself and your children”. This is not my life, but it upset me so much because this fiction may be real life for someone else just bouncing around the pages of this novel.

Rating: 5 stars

Dec 11, 2019, 4:28pm

Madeline, just saw this list on someone else's thread. Thought it might interest you. From young picture books right up to older kids. So many look so excellent!

Dec 11, 2019, 6:56pm

>65 jessibud2: Wow! That’s quite a list. The only book on that list I’ve read is They Call Us Enemy which was excellent.

Edited: Dec 11, 2019, 7:23pm

Me too, and I agree. I also read Michelle Obama's Becoming (well worth a red if you get a chance) and I have now put a few of the picture books on hold at the library. So many of them look wonderful.

Dec 11, 2019, 8:17pm

I saw Michelle's book available now in my library, but I have too many other books on board to read it presently. I'm on a roll now with books that are a bit away from my usual book fare.

Dec 11, 2019, 8:37pm

>68 SqueakyChu: - Hehe, yes I appreciate your reviews in >63 SqueakyChu: and >64 SqueakyChu: Not my fare at all and now I know to stay away from those. I have never been a big fan of creepy or scary, but these days, I am just trying to keep my head above water and am seeking out only books I think will make me feel good, or uplifted somehow. I just can't handle more turmoil than my own RL is dishing out lately. I may (or may not) snap out of it one of these days!

Dec 11, 2019, 11:38pm

>69 jessibud2: When I was at the library I found the sequel to You by Caroline Kepnes...and, yes, I took it home to read this month!

About Winter Birds...After I finished reading that book, I found out that the story, even though written as fiction. was autobiographical. I was shocked and saddened.

Dec 12, 2019, 12:22pm

Great review of Volume Control, Madeline. My father has suffered from tinnitus and moderate hearing loss for years, which I suspect is due to his love of playing music and the television at excessively high volumes, so I'll plan to buy and read this book in 2020. A thumb from me for your review.

Dec 12, 2019, 6:24pm

>71 kidzdoc: You might be interested in knowing that the author of Volume Control himself suffers from tinnitus.

Edited: Dec 14, 2019, 12:37am

65. Things I Like - Anthony Brown -

December 2019 TIOLI Challenge #17: Read a book by an author whose name has an odd number of characters

This is a rather sweet book. It’s very simple with each page depicting one thing a child likes. My almost two-year-old granddaughter liked trying to say some words she knew after recognizing some of the pictures. When it was time to go home after our Shabbat dinner tonight, she gladly received this book to take home to her own house. She liked this book, too

Rating 4 stars

Dec 16, 2019, 11:04am

>72 SqueakyChu: Thanks, Madeline. I'll definitely get and read that book very soon.

Edited: Dec 16, 2019, 10:20pm

66. Moo, Baa, La la la! - Sandra Boynton

December 2019 TIOLI #1: Read a book which pictures on its cover a person, an animal, or a creature with horns (cow)
What a cute book! This would be a wonderful book to share with a toddler because of its simplicity, its humor ("three singing pigs say La La La!"), and its adorable illustrations. Young children love to learn and imitate animal sounds so this would be a fun book for any parent or other caregiver to read to and discuss with a favorite young child.

Rating - 5 stars

Edited: Dec 18, 2019, 11:10pm

67. Cross-Country Cat - Mary Calhoun

December 2019 TIOLI Challenge #5: Read a book with snow on the cover

This is the story of a cat whose Kid owner wanted him to ski. Henry the cat didn't want to ski, but he had to in the end when he was inadvertently left behind in the family's cabin after the family headed home in their car.

I couldn't really get into this story. What happened to Henry seemed unusually cruel. I know this is a kid's book and fantasy, but the pictures were very realistic of a Siamese cat. The cat was out in the cold. It had its hind feet stuck into tiny skis. The terrain over which Henry the cat traveled was extremely snowy and cold. Maybe I'm overthinking this story because I had feral cats who had to fend for themselves outside when it snowed.

I like the drawings in this book, but I would much rather read a cat story about a cat in a warm, snugly environment. I wasn't too impressed with the Man whose only two words in this book were "Idiotic cat!"

Rating - 2 stars

Dec 20, 2019, 8:11pm

>76 SqueakyChu: I don't really recall this one, though I think my children had a copy. The Audubon Cat was one they liked, and I recently enjoyed Hot Air Henry.

Dec 20, 2019, 8:27pm

I'll be interested to see how close you get to 75, Madeline.

Have a lovely weekend.

Edited: Dec 20, 2019, 10:41pm

>77 fuzzi: That book didn't inspire me to read more books about Henry, but, in all fairness, if I get my hands on a copy of one of the other Henry books, I'll read it to give the author a fair shake.

>74 kidzdoc: I'll be interested to see how close you get to 75
I'll be interested in that as well. Haha!

I'm exhausted from cooking for the family today. Tomorrow I want to stay home, rest, and read. We'll see how far i get. Sunday I'll be out partying! :D

Edited: Dec 21, 2019, 12:36am

68. On Tyranny - Timothy Snyder

December 2019 Challenge #17: Read a book by an author whose name has an odd number of characters (13)

I felt the need to reread this book because I now think my own country stands in murkier territory regarding tyranny than it did in 2017 when this book was written and in 2018 when I first read this book. Some of what it said I did not clearly understand, but yet it gave me chills and a terrified feeling when I considered what this book was telling me about my children's and grandchildren's future. I will try to heed the advice of this book (keep informed through print rather than electronic media, maintain a valid passport, limit online sharing, and safeguard your privacy...among other things), but I will also try not to give in to hopelessness and will try to keep a strong sense of resistance to those practices I see and hear about with which I do not agree.

This book is quickly becoming dated. It should be read now by others and should be updated by its author.

Rating - 4.5 stars

Dec 21, 2019, 6:22pm

Greetings to my fellow biblio-geeks! It has been a privilege to chatter here with you.

A winter solstice is the moment in time when the Earth's tilt away from the Sun is at its maximum and the Sun's maximum elevation in the sky is at its lowest. Thus the ice crystals form magical lighting effects ~

Sundogs and a sunrise on the Winter Solstice

Dec 21, 2019, 7:37pm

>81 SandyAMcPherson: I’m definitely looking for more light with the passage of the solstice. Happy holidays!!

Edited: Dec 25, 2019, 1:59pm

69. Faceless Killers - Henning Mankell -

December 2019 TIOLI Challenge #14: Decorate a Christmas tree with words from title or author (hen)

Even though I'm not really a big reader of crime fiction, I found this novel of a police investigation of a violent murder of a farmer and his wife a compelling read. Henning Mankell is a Swedish author, and the settings for his novel are in various places within Sweden. I'm only sorry that this country's cities are not familiar to me.

The book was so interesting to read with it many clues, an incredible number of characters, many place names and much alcohol and even more coffee. I found the characters very likable. Wallander came across as a dedicated policeman although I had a problem with his hitting on a married woman in his office. I felt great compassion toward the policeman Rydberg who was ill toward the end of the book.

I know that this book is the first book of a series of more than twenty novels. I don't know that I'll ever get to or want to read them all, but for now, I'd certainly like to try the next book in this series.

I have to note here that this book was written about Sweden in 1991. It's very unsettling for me now as an American reader in 2019 to be reading about white nationalism and crimes against asylum seekers as my own country is dealing with a federal government with what I consider to be repugnant policies against asylum seekrs and refugees. Sad truth so often comes out in fiction.

Rating - 4 stars

Dec 23, 2019, 6:01am

>83 SqueakyChu: Henning Mankell was a good writer, Madeline, after reading this one I was hooked.
The Wallander series is not 20 but 10 books. That might be doable ;-)

Sadly all over the Western world there have always been nationalist and xenophobic tendencies... :'(

Dec 23, 2019, 6:10am

Happy Hanukkah, Madeline!

I just saw this book and review over on Linda (Whisper1)'s thread. Looks like something you might enjoy. I just placed a request for it from my library. It's a children's book:

As Good As Anybody by Richard Michelson with illustrations of Raul Colon.

This is the amazing story of two men, advocating for non violence even though they and families received terrible cruelty and violence.
On March 21, 1965, Abraham Joshua Heschel, a prominent Rabbi, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, long a proponent of rights for blacks, joined hands to cross the bridge in Selma, Alabama. This action was for the voting rights of blacks.

Heschel came to America, fleeing the hatred of Jews at the hands of the brutal Nazi's. Sadly, while he escaped, his family was murdered in the Holocaust.

MLK, Jr. was a very strong leader and advocate for the rights of blacks...and all.

Both men were told by their father's when they were little, "You are as good as anybody." With that in mind, arms were linked and the long journey continued.

Edited: Dec 23, 2019, 1:51pm

>84 FAMeulstee: Anita, I've read another book of Henkell's in the past. That one was Before the Frost. I was critical of that book when I read it, but I did write down that I'd be willing to read more books by this author.

Sadly all over the Western world there have always been nationalist and xenophobic tendencies

Yeah. I've come to realize what a cruel world we live in. however, I was surprised by the antagonistic attitudes expressed in a book about Sweden. I always assumed that Scandinavian countries were more liberal in thought, but I guess people are pretty much the same the world over. Most individual thoughts and ideas about others are formed by attitudes children see at home. I think I've been a good teacher to my kids and grandkids about this. We are very curious about others different from ourselves and always want to learn more from them, not avoid them or be cruel to them. WE hurt when they hurt.

>85 jessibud2: Happy Chanukah, Shelley!

That book does look good. I remember from my late teens and young adulthood (seems like a LONG time ago!), we as Jews always marched hand in hand with our black friends to help secure their rights. It's almost odd that now we hear more loudly in America about discrimination against Muslims and Hispanics. The discrimination against Jews, black, and Asians does not disappear. It hides its ugly self for a while, only to reappear later, mostly at a very inopportune moment. If I sound bitter at the world, it's because I am. Our entire planet is not a sfae place in more ways than one.

On a better note, wishing you and your family (especially your mom), calm and peace of mind for the New Year. {{{Hugs}}}

Edited: Dec 25, 2019, 1:55pm

70. D-Day Landings - Richard Platt

TIOLI #11: Read a book set in the first half of the 20th century (1939)

This is a powerful and moving book which left me in tears as I turned the last page. It brought to life the tremendous sacrifices of our troops in opposing the aggression of the German Nazis and Japan in World War II.

I know this book was written for children, but I read it because I felt compelled to learn more about the Normandy invasion when I saw this book before its release in my Little Free Library. I was fascinated, mesmerized, and terrified by the story and pictures.

It did what i wanted it to do. It significantly added to my knowledge of the Normandy invasion, how it was conceived, how it was executed, and how it affected the world.

I recommend this book highly for all ages, and I'm in my seventies!

Rating -5 stars

Dec 25, 2019, 9:49pm

Thank you for keeping me company in 2019.......onward to 2020.

Dec 25, 2019, 10:12pm

>88 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Best wishes for s good holiday season and a fun New Year!

Dec 26, 2019, 11:45pm

Best wishes this holiday season!! See you in 2020!

Dec 26, 2019, 11:54pm

?90 Have a wonderful New Year, Kim!

Dec 26, 2019, 11:56pm

Edited: Dec 28, 2019, 4:23pm

71. Lost in the Snow - Linda Jennings -

December 2019 TIOLI #16: Read a book with a (predominantly) blue cover for the December birthstone challenge

This book is gorgeous! I was attracted to read it by its big beautiful cover with sparkly white lettering and sparkly white snowflakes falling all around a single puppy. The cover is beautiful enough to frame and hang up in a child's room!

The story, with fantastic illustrations, is about a puppy who goes out into the snow to play. Suddenly his siblings are gone, and he finds himself alone in the snow. The puppy named Ollie encounters an owl, some baby foxes, and a mouse in his attempts to find his way home, but eventually it is his mother's voice he hears which brings him home.

This is a lovely story. An especially good time to share it with a young child might be on a cold, winter's night when the reader and the child can snuggle up together.

Rating - 5 stars

Dec 28, 2019, 4:13pm

Madeline, this afternoon I picked up a few books from the library, Volume Control and As Good As Anybody. I saw another book that I should have brought home but didn't (though now, in retrospect, I am going to request it!), and is one I think you'd get a kick out of. I love *alternate* stories and this one is a parody of Goodnight Moon, for Hanukka!

I used to have a basket of *alternate title* books in my class when I was still teaching and we had great fun with them! Mostly fairy tales, alternate versions of them and some very clever and fun.


Dec 28, 2019, 4:21pm

>94 jessibud2: That looks so cute!