Ellen seeks balance in 2019 - Thread 9
This is a continuation of the topic Ellen seeks balance in 2019 - Thread 8.
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My Rating Scale:
= Breathtaking. Maybe a masterpiece.
= Excellent! Among my favorites of the year.
= Particularly enjoyable, kept me reading.
= So good. I'm glad I read this.
= A solid read. Generally recommended.
= This was an okay read.
= Meh. Pretty much a waste of time.
= Nearly no redeeming qualities. Really rather bad.
= Among the worst books I've ever read.
Honestly, I'm rarely going to complete any book earning fewer than two stars but I reserve the right to rate them based on my experience.
COMPLETED IN JANUARY
1. Death in a Darkening Mist by Iona Whishaw
2. Blessed are Those Who Thirst by Anne Holt
3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
4. Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim
5. Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
6. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay ~ audiobook
7. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
8. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
9. The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens
10. Hotel Brasil by Frei Betto
COMPLETED IN FEBRUARY
11. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
12. Last Friends by Jane Gardam
13. The Proof of the Honey by Salwa Al Neimi
14. The Marauders: A Novel by Tom Cooper
15. True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
16. Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey
17. The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
COMPLETED IN MARCH
18. Becoming by Michelle Obama
19. Faithful Place by Tana French
20. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
21. How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs
COMPLETED IN APRIL
22. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
23. Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom
24. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
25. Berlin Noir Ed. by Thomas Wörtche
26. West by Carys Davies
27. Auschwitz Violin by Maria Angels Anglada
28. The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
29. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
COMPLETED IN MAY
30. Benediction by Kent Haruf
31. Dancing Fish and Ammonites by Penelope Lively
32. The Merchant's House by Kate Ellis
33. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
34. Circe by Madeline Miller
COMPLETED IN JUNE
35. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
36. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
37. Sugar Run by Mesha Maren
38. The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
39. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
40. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
41. How to Love a Country: Poems by Richard Blanco
42. Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston
43. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
44. Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
COMPLETED IN JULY
45. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Life and Writing by Anne Lamott
46. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
47. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
48. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
49. The Firemaker by Peter May
COMPLETED IN AUGUST
50. Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett
51. An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
52. A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths
53. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
54. The Initiates: A Comic Artist and a Wine Artisan Exchange Jobs by Étienne Davodeau
55. Dry Bones: A Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson ~ audiobook
56. Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Frances Strachey
57. Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
58. If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O by Sharyn McCrumb
COMPLETED IN SEPTEMBER
59. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Şafak
60. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
61. Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss
62. Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
63. A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths
64. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
65. The Handmaid's Tale (Graphic Novel): A Novel by Margaret Atwood (Author), Renee Nault (Illustrator)
66. The River by Jane Clarke (2016-01-29) by Jane Clarke
67. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
68. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei (Author), Harmony Becker (Illustrator)
COMPLETED IN OCTOBER
69. Longbourn by Jo Baker
70. The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan
71. Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
72. Catfulness: A cat's guide to achieving mindfulness
73. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
74. A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum
75. The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
76. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
COMPLETED IN NOVEMBER
77. The Scholar: A Novel by Dervla McTiernan
78. The Long Take by Robin Robertson
79. Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear
SeriesCAT ~ Hoping to whittle away on my TBR shelves
December: Series that's new to you ~ The Horseman by Tim Pears? Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley?
5. Book mentioned in another book you have read ~
..... The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (in How to Love a Jamaican) OR
..... Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid (in Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim}
Personal Reading Challenge: Every winner of the Booker Prize since its inception in 1969
1969: P. H. Newby, Something to Answer For
1971: V. S. Naipaul, In a Free State
1972: John Berger, G.
1973: J. G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
1974: Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist ... and Stanley Middleton, Holiday
1975: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust
1976: David Storey, Saville
1977: Paul Scott, Staying On
1980: William Golding, Rites of Passage
1981: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
1982: Thomas Keneally, Schindler's Ark
1983: J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K
1984: Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
1986: Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils
1988: Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda
1990: A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance
1991: Ben Okri, The Famished Road
1993: Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
1994: James Kelman, How late it was, how late
1997: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
1999: J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace
2003: DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
2004: Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
2006: Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
2007: Anne Enright, The Gathering
2010: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question
2019: Margaret Atwood, The Testaments, and
Happy new thread, Ellen.
>12 EBT1002: Love all the kitties.
The topper is lovely.
Enjoy San Diego!
*waves* Glad to hear you enjoyed Harriet. I'm looking forward to seeing that.
76. The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan
As mysteries go, the Cormac Reilly series is a good one so far. Set in Galway, Scotland, the series features Detective Cormac Reilly and his (life, not work) partner Emma Sweeney. They left Dublin under something of a cloud and are working to establish credibility and happiness in Galway despite a trail of trauma and skepticism on the part of Cormac's new colleagues. As is true of all mysteries, there is a bit of formula emerging in these first two but the characters are interesting and the mysteries new. Definitely recommended for mystery lovers.
>17 ronincats: Hi Roni!
>18 Caroline_McElwee: Isn't that a lovely photo of the Palouse in autumn, Caroline?
>19 figsfromthistle: Thank you!
>20 jessibud2: Hi Shelley and thanks for visiting.
>21 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I'm SO looking forward to a few days in San Diego. Saturday will be a LONG day at the conference but Sunday will be light and Monday is free day! Yay! It's looking like a meet-up with Roni and a trip to the zoo are shaping up for that day. And sunshine and warmth!
From my prior thread:
I highly recommend the film Harriet. We saw it yesterday and it was truly wonderful. Stay for the song at the end.
I'm a late arriver - Happy New Thread, Ellen!
Great topper, and it looks like Pullman has a nice public library.
I've made a mental note about "Harriet". I'm glad it turned out to be good. What a story.
>1 EBT1002: Not really sure that the topper is Autumnal, Ellen, but it sure is striking.
Looks more like a desert-scape but I love the colours.
Happy new thread. xx
I'm taking Ellen and P to the zoo a week from tomorrow! So exciting! I'll be exhausted after my three day show over the weekend, but what better way to spend a day (other than reading). But really, the San Diego Zoo! And no rain in sight!
ETA Truth to tell, they would have gone without me...but why?
Happy new (ish) thread. Lovely pottery figure in your topper, a beautiful tribute.
Hope you have fun at the zoo. I really enjoyed spending time with Roni and Reba in SD last year.
Hi Ellen! Happy new thread.
From your previous thread I didn't get to see Judy last Friday, may go this week.
>33 ronincats: Being from SoCal, the San Diego Zoo was a highlight of my childhood. We went several times over the years, always by train.
>25 EBT1002: Looking forward to this, it opens in the U.K. at the end of the month Ellen.
>23 EBT1002: ooh - someone in my office just recommended this series to me. Apparently there was an Audible freebie (possibly already expired?) which is a short story prequel to the series and is also supposed to be great.
>27 ffortsa: and >28 jnwelch: and >29 johnsimpson: and >30 SandDune:
Thank you Judy, Joe, John, and Rhian!
>31 BLBera: I have to get through four (now three) days at work first, Beth. Today was really tough. I'm experiencing some pain related to some skin treatment I'm doing on my forehead and I was just grumpy and did not want to be there. I left about 90 minutes early and I'm home now. The week should get better and then Friday we're San Diego bound! Yay!
I think you'll enjoy The Ruin. It took a couple of chapters for me to get into it but I enjoyed it.
"So much for reading from my shelves in November." LOL - story of our lives!
>32 PaulCranswick: The topper really is autumnal, Paul. Those are wheat fields. Whitman County is the top wheat producing county in the U.S. In the fall the stubble from the last crop takes on a golden hue. The small green shoots (we grow mostly "winter wheat" in these parts) aren't visible yet but when they start to show, the gold and green is a beautiful blend.
>33 ronincats: YAY!!!!!
>34 PaulCranswick: Paul! I think you are correct! Cool beans. I will go back and change the numbers. Thanks for seeing that!
>35 charl08: Roni actually made that little ceramic cat for me, Charlotte. It sits on the buffet in our living room next to the little jade cat we picked up in Taipei last spring. I absolutely love it.
Yay Zoo! Yay LT MeetUp! Yay San Diego!
>36 karenmarie: I hope you can squeeze in both Judy and Harriet, Karen. Both are excellent.
I've heard great things about the SD Zoo so we're pretty excited to see it! And to meet up with Roni! :-)
>37 Caroline_McElwee: Enjoy, Caroline!
>38 vivians: A bit in the Seattle Times turned me on to Dervla McTiernan's series, Vivian. I did not know about the short story but I've enjoyed both The Ruin and The Scholar.
>39 jnwelch: Thanks Joe! I'm looking forward to both the zoo and meeting Roni! And some good Mexican food. And some warm weather. As our friend Mark would say, *BAG*
>40 drneutron: Thanks Jim!
>41 msf59: Hi Mark! "LOVE the Kim topper!" ???
I'm really enjoying The Long Take. I remember you (and Joe, too, I think) warbling about it. I read more this morning with my coffee and had to force myself to put it down and get ready for work. I do hope you see Harriet; it is so good. And I've been eyeing The Man Who Saw Everything and will be interested in your thoughts.
I also loved The Long Take Ellen. So good. And the San Diego Zoo was a memorable experience for me. And together with an LT meet up you can't go wrong. Have a great time.
I hope tomorrow is better, Ellen. I've heard lots of good things about The Long Take.
Enjoy your trip to San Diego, Ellen. A trip to the San Diego Zoo with Roni at the end sounds really good!
Yes, I was a warbler for The Long Take, maybe the first. Loved it! It is such an amazing piece of work. I'm still dumbfounded at what he has done.
>50 EBT1002: When I read the description a month ago, I wanted to read it. The order for it was placed this week so hopefully it will arrive soon. I may need to fight another librarian over the book during Thanksgiving. She loved the description too.
Hi, Ellen! Late to the party, but oh my goodness - your topper! It looks more like painting than photo to my eye. No matter which, it is striking.
I just had a happy time looking at your list of Booker winners, of which I have read 14. I say, "Go for Possession as soon as you can!"
I'm glad for your trip to San Diego, and I don't even envy your meeting with Roni - much....
(I haven't read *Night Circus* yet, so I can't desire *Starless S* yet in good faith.)
Hi Ellen, I am also a little late in wishing you a Happy New Thread, but I am very happy that I stopped by - that topper picture is amazing! Are you still in San Diego? Lucky you, getting to meet and spend some time with Roni. You are doing well with your Booker project, I am still reading books from the "1,001 List of Books to Read Before You Die" but it is going slowly.
Hi! Said with much love.
>10 EBT1002: Only one more for Bingo!!!
And belated congrats on reaching 75!! (I am two away....)
>41 msf59: >44 EBT1002: I love "the Kim topper," too! Even though I don't get it. LOL
>50 EBT1002: Ooooh. I really liked The Night Circus. Might have to get The Starless Sea....
Count down to San Diego--I'm jealous. : )
Hope you got my weather bulletin, Ellen! Going to be 80 at the waterfront on Saturday, then a little cooler on Sunday and Monday, thank goodness! I'm at my three-day show starting tomorrow; hope your flight down goes smoothly.
>50 EBT1002: Guess what I just picked up from the library today? Now, whether I'll have time to read it before it's due is a whole other story. It is quite a chunkster.
Have fun in San Diego. I hope the conference is a good one and that you enjoy the sun.
78. The Long Take by Robin Robertson
A story told in poetic form, not poetry exactly but with poetic rhythms and images and form. Walker returns from war but his home on Nova Scotia feels alien. He settles first in New York and then makes his way to Los Angeles where he finds friends, a sense of place, a job. His PTSD is palpable and his tenuous balance between Skid Row and the press room is beautifully illuminated. This is a love poem to the city, a eulogy for the city's past, and a tribute to both the fragility and the resilience of the human spirit. Memorable and worthwhile.
>47 BLBera: My week got better, Beth, thank you.
>48 Familyhistorian: Thank you, Meg. I'm super excited about warm weather (although today is a lovely day on the Palouse!), good Mexican food, and the zoo with Roni!
>49 jnwelch: I thought I remembered you as one of the warblers for The Long Take, Joe. I thought of you when Joe Welch was quoted -- your father? grandfather?
>51 thornton37814: Lori, I love that you get to fight with other librarians for new books. I did put The Starless Sea on hold at the Seattle Public Library -- I'm number 117 in the queue for one of 13 e-copies. I may end up buying it before my turn comes up. Or maybe my little local library will have it in hard copy and I can obtain it that way.
>52 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. The topper is a photo which gives you an honest idea of how beautiful my new home territory is. I still don't plan to retire in this little town but I'm coming to love the Palouse.
I keep thinking I'll move Possession up on my TBR pile and I just haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe I'll fit it in before the end of 2019.
The Night Circus is a good one. I'm not always a fan of magical realism but I quite liked that on.
>53 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy! Nice to see you. I fly to San Diego today and return on Tuesday. We are planning to spend Veterans Day visiting the zoo with Roni. I am very excited!
>54 Berly: Love right back atcha, Kim. I miss you lots, my friend! I AM going to make my way to Portland one of these days....
I'm going to finish my Bingo card very soon; I just downloaded Annie John from the library and it will be my "book mentioned in another book."
>55 ronincats: I saw it, Roni, and we have packed accordingly! I have to protect my face and forearms from the sun as much as possible so I may be in long sleeves but the lightest weight long sleeves I own!
>56 BLBera: Wow, you got a copy of The Starless Sea very quickly, Beth. I have put it on hold but I'm waaaay down in the queue for an e-copy so we'll see if I end up just buying it. It's not like I don't have plenty of other things to read while I wait... Ha.
Okay, I'm at least caught up on my own thread now. It's time to top up the bird feeders to last them until Wednesday morning (ha) and head to the airport. San Diego, here I come! Yay!
Happy Friday, Ellen. You credit Eunice Kim for the artwork in your topper. That is what I was referring to. The Starless Sea sounds really good.
Have a great trip to San Diego! Jealous...
>68 EBT1002: I'm watching your progress through this series with interest. I let it lapse for no good reason, other than being attracted by other series.
>65 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley. I'm spending some of my San Diego time (all of today!) attending a working conference. It's a bit hard to be inside a conference room when the view outside is AMAZING. Blue skies, blue water, green palm trees.... But I'm happy to be adding some vacation elements to the trip. *smile*
>66 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline.
>67 msf59: Oh dear, Mark, I am a bit embarrassed. I knew that photograph was a work by Eunice Kim and my brain still just went to our dear friend (Kim)Berly. LOL.
>70 lauralkeet: It's funny that I'm making my way through the Maisie Dobbs series so steadily, Laura. I like it but there are a couple of bugaboos I have with her writing, most notably Winspear's focus on what Maisie (and other characters) is wearing on any given day. I really don't care about the wool jacket and the green scarf and the whatever-whatever shoes.... But the march through post-WWI London is interesting and I'm curious to see how Hitler's increasing presence will manifest. So far it's a background warning bell.
Hi Ellen! Sounds like you have some good reading, and what a good time to go to San Diego.
>71 EBT1002: Hi Ellen - I've read the whole Maisie Dobbs series and I agree about the unevenness. I feel really invested in the characters and so will likely continue if she writes more, but I'm not finding them to be particularly memorable.
Hope you're having a great trip to San Diego and get some time outside the hotel!
I'm hijacking the most popular threads to get word out, and you are one of them...
Its 75'er Christmas Swap Time! : https://www.librarything.com/topic/312848
>62 EBT1002: Yes - I forgot! That was my grandfather he quoted. A cool surprise.
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