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BLBera's Reading in 2019 - Chapter 7

This is a continuation of the topic BLBera's Reading in 2019 - Chapter 6.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1BLBera
Edited: Nov 8, 3:07pm Top



My name is Beth. I love books – talking about them, writing about them, reading about them. I also love to read with my granddaughter Scout. She is the inspiration for the photo. She does love her snow forts.

I teach English at my local community college, so I am always looking for books I can use in my classes.

I tend not to plan my reading, other than for my book club, which meets once a month. We meet in January to plan our year’s reading.

I tend to read more fiction than nonfiction and more women authors than men.

Welcome to my thread. Lurk or stop and say hello.

2BLBera
Edited: Nov 12, 12:03pm Top

Currently Reading

3BLBera
Edited: Nov 12, 11:36am Top

4BLBera
Nov 8, 12:02pm Top

Read in 2019
January
1. A Killer in King's Cove*
2. Well-Read Black Girl*
3. The Bus on Thursday
4. Winter* πŸ’œ
5. West
6. A Fatal Winter*
7. The Golden State
8. If the Oceans Were Ink*
9. Mothering Sunday* πŸ’œ
10. The Dreamers
11. Henrietta Who?*
12. In Search of Lost Books
13. Felicity*
14. Zuleikha*

January Reading Report
Books read: 14
By Women: 12
By Men: 2
Novels: 10
Poetry: 1
Nonfiction: 2
Essays: 1
In translation: 2

Library: 5
From my shelves: 9
- Ebooks: 2
- Physical copies: 7
- Gave away: 3

February
15. The Clockmaker's Daughter πŸ’œ
16. Maisie Dobbs* REREAD
17. Where the Crawdads Sing πŸ’œ
18. So Horrible a Place*
19. Corregidora*
20. Ghost Wall
21. The Fire This Time*
22. The Last Romantics πŸ’œ
23. The Auschwitz Violin*
24. Desire Lines*
25. Jordan Point*
26. The Talisman Ring*
27. Sing, Unburied, Sing* REREAD πŸ’œ
28. Weight of Light*

February Reading Report
Books read: 14
By women: 14
By men: 0
Novels: 12
Poetry: 1
Essays: 1
In translation: 1

Library: 4
From my shelves: 10
- Ebooks: 2
- Physical copies: 8
- Gave away: 3

March
29. The Round House* REREAD
30. The Great Believers πŸ’œ
31. The Sympathizer*
32. Lost Children Archive πŸ’œ
33. The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls
34. Praise Song for the Butterflies
35. I'd Rather Be Reading
36. The Wife*
37. Things that Fall from the Sky*
38. A Deadly Divide

March Reading Report
Books read: 10
By women: 9
By men: 1
Novels: 9
Essays: 1
In translation: 1

Library: 6
From my shelves: 4
- Ebooks: 1
- Physical copies: 9
- Gave away: 3

* From my shelves

5BLBera
Nov 8, 12:02pm Top

Read in 2019
April
39. Number One Chinese Restaurant
40. Onigamiising
41. The Unit*
42. The Dark Circle*
43. If, Then
44. My Sister, the Serial Killer
45. How to Love a Country* πŸ’œ
46. The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel
47. Girl in Translation*
48. Men We Reaped
49. The Other Americans
50. A Woman Is No Man πŸ’œ
51. The Stranger Diaries

April Reading Report
Books read: 13
By women: 12
By men: 1
Novels: 10
Essays: 1
Memoir: 1
Poetry: 1
In translation: 1

Library: 9
From my shelves: 4
- Ebooks: 2
- Physical copies: 11
- Gave away: 1

May
52. Good Talk πŸ’œ
53. Normal People πŸ’œ
54. By Its Cover*
55. Loose Woman*
56. The Quiet Girl*
57. Falling in Love
58. The Legacy
59. In this Grave Hour*

Reading Report - May
Books read: 8
By men: 1
By women: 7
Novels: 6
Poetry: 1
Memoir (graphic): 1
In translation: 2

Library: 4
From my shelves: 4
- Ebooks: 2
- Physical copies: 6
- Gave away: 1

June
60. The Door*
61. The Murder Room* REREAD
62. Neon Prey
63. After the Flood*
64. The Poet X
65. Pachinko*
66. The Stone Circle
67. Ordinary People
68. A Woman of No Importance
69. When All Is Said πŸ’œ
70. Circe πŸ’œ
71. Good Omens*

Reading Report - June
Books read: 12
By men: 2
By women: 10
Novels: 10
Poetry: 1
Biography: 1
In translation: 1

Library: 7
From my shelves: 4
- Ebooks: 2
- Physical copies: 10
- Gave away: 4

*From my shelves

6BLBera
Edited: Nov 8, 12:03pm Top

Read in 2019
July
72. Toys Go Out*
73. A Bend in the Stars
74. Big Sky πŸ’œ
75. Cotillion*
76. Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel
77. Bibliophile*
78. The Flight Portfolio
79. My Own Words* πŸ’œ
80. Say Nothing πŸ’œ
81. Young Jane Young*
82. The Chai Factor

*From my shelves

July Reading Report
Books read: 11
By women: 10
By men: 1
Novels: 6
Graphic novel: 1
Memoir: 1
Nonfiction: 2
Kids: 1

Library: 6
From my shelves: 5
- Ebooks: 1
- Physical copies: 10
- Gave away: 3

August
83. The Luminaries*
84. Silent Auction*
85. The Ice Princess*
86. The Source of Self-Regard πŸ’œ
87. The Heavens
88. Death in Brittany*
89. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel* πŸ’œ
90. Little Women* REREAD
91. Weird Little Robots* πŸ’œ
92. Top Secret Twenty-One
93. The Bookshop of Yesterdays*
94. Disappearing Earth
95. Dear Mrs. Bird
96. The Bird King πŸ’œ

August Reading Report
Books read: 14
By women: 13
By men: 1
Novels: 11
Graphic novel: 1
Essays: 1
Kids: 1
Translation: 2

Library: 6
- Audiobook - 1
From my shelves
- Ebooks: 2
- Physical copies: 11
- Gave away: 3

September
97. The Wall
98. The Toll-Gate*
99. Last Witnesses
100. The Body Lies
101. Jar City*
102. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
103. A Better Man
104. Ask Again, Yes πŸ’œ
105. They Called Us Enemy πŸ’œ
106. Ice Cold Heart
107. The Flatshare

*From my shelves

September Reading Report
Books read: 11
By men: 3
By women: 8
Novels: 9
Memoir: 2
Graphic: 1
In translation: 3

Library: 9
- Audiobook: 2

From my shelves: 2
- Gave away: 1

October
108. The Ventriloquists
109. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World
110. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
111. The Testaments πŸ’œ
112. The Lager Queen of Minnesota*
113. Red at the Bone πŸ’œ
114. Names for the Sea*
115. In the Woods

October Reading Report
Books read: 8
By men: 1
By women: 7
Novels: 6
Memoir: 2
Graphic: 1

Library: 6
- Audiobook 1

From my shelves: 2
- ebook 1
-Gave away 1

7BLBera
Edited: Nov 8, 12:19pm Top

You Must Read This! (Thanks Katie)


Something to Declare by Julia Alvarez

This memoir in essays is lovely. Alvarez is a poet and writes movingly of her experience as an immigrant in this selection. She writes about early memories growing up in the Dominican Republic, her family's departure from the DR just ahead of the secret police, challenges adjusting to a new culture and language, and writing. I love this book, and think perhaps it's time for a reread.

9BLBera
Nov 8, 12:05pm Top

Welcome!

10susanj67
Edited: Nov 8, 12:08pm Top

Happy new thread, Beth!

ETA: Yay! I'm first! The top picture looks very chilly, although really I am just jealous that there isn't enough snow here for a snow fort of my own.

11BLBera
Edited: Nov 8, 12:12pm Top

You are first, Susan. Accept a crown.



Snow forts are pretty fun, and Scout is getting to be quite the architect. I'm not sure she would actually read in one...

12katiekrug
Nov 8, 12:47pm Top

I used to love building snow forts, too, Beth.

Happy new thread!

13quondame
Nov 8, 12:48pm Top

>1 BLBera: OMG!

Happy new thread!

14Ameise1
Nov 8, 12:54pm Top

Happy new one, Beth. What a great topper.

15EBT1002
Nov 8, 2:09pm Top

Hi Beth. I now have Sabrina & Corina on my wish list along with Something to Declare. As always, your thread is dangerous! Oh, and Happy New One!

I'll likely hopefully finish Messenger of Truth on the plane today (it's my least favorite of the Maisie Dobbs series so far) and I'll have downloaded Annie John and The Body Lies, both of which are now available for me as eBooks from the library. For the first time ever I am going on a trip without any old fashioned books, only my new kindle.

Oh, I LOVE my new kindle. I got the new Oasis, trading in my old one. The feature I thought I would love on the original model -- that the device charges from the cover -- ended up being a terrible feature. It meant I always had to be sure the device and the cover were seated correctly and that was not always easy to do. They have eliminated that feature so I assume I'm not the only one who didn't like it.

Have a great weekend, Beth. I look forward to hearing how you like Frankissstein. I have a copy and hope to read it soon.

16figsfromthistle
Nov 8, 2:53pm Top

Happy new one!

17BLBera
Nov 8, 3:14pm Top

>12 katiekrug: Snow forts are fun, Katie, even when I have a tyrant telling me I have to dig deeper!

>13 quondame: Thanks for stopping by, Susan.

>14 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara. I hope it's awhile before we have THAT much snow. Right now there are just a couple of inches on the ground.

>15 EBT1002: Thanks Ellen. Good to know that you love your Kindle. I have a Nook, and it is getting older. I hate having to replace devices; it's so far out of the realm of my expertise.

I hope your weekend is great.

I think I might pull Something to Declare off my shelf for a reread next year.

18BLBera
Nov 8, 3:14pm Top

>16 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita!

I hope I haven't missed anyone.

19FAMeulstee
Nov 8, 4:29pm Top

Happy new thread, Beth!

>1 BLBera: I hope we get some snow this winter.
It won't be enough to creat such a lovely (and cold) booknook, we rarely get more than an inch of snow ;-)

20msf59
Nov 8, 6:50pm Top

Happy Friday, Beth! Happy New Thread! Looking forward to your thoughts on Frankissstein. I sure had a good time with that one.

21drneutron
Nov 8, 7:51pm Top

Happy new thread!

22mdoris
Nov 8, 8:27pm Top

Happy new thread Beth. I loved the topper of Scout in the snowfort with her book. Perfect!

23PaulCranswick
Nov 8, 8:46pm Top

Happy new thread, Beth.

That topper looks chilly!

24BLBera
Nov 9, 1:20pm Top

>19 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita - I guess we want what we don't have. I wouldn't mind a month of snow, but four months is a bit much.

>20 msf59: I am loving Frankissstein, Mark. Winterson is smart and funny and writes beautifully. There's a lot to think about here.

>21 drneutron: Thanks Jim.

>22 mdoris: Hi Mary. Thanks for stopping by.

>23 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. Yes, it does. Kids when playing don't seem to feel the cold.

25banjo123
Nov 9, 11:51pm Top

Happy new thread, Beth! Love the snowfort.

26BLBera
Nov 10, 8:40am Top

Thanks Rhonda. Since snow is coming anyway, I guess we might as well have fun with it.

27CDVicarage
Nov 10, 9:09am Top

I'm a lurker, Beth, but I always read through and enjoy the Scout stories!

28vivians
Nov 10, 12:35pm Top

I'm just about to start Frankissstein on audio so I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it! I read Julia Alvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies years ago and remember it as a really powerful story of the Dominican Republic. I'll have to add the memoir to my list!

29Familyhistorian
Nov 10, 2:44pm Top

Happy new thread, Beth. That chilly topper brings back memories of building snow forts although I never read in one and we definitely never had any grandparent labourers!

30mahsdad
Nov 10, 5:32pm Top

Hi Beth,

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

31BLBera
Nov 10, 10:56pm Top

>27 CDVicarage: Lurkers welcome, Kerry.

>28 vivians: Hi Vivian! Alvarez is one of my favorites. In the Time of the Butterflies is great, but her poetry and essays are also wonderful. I will watch for your comments on Frankissstein. I don't know how it will work on audio.

32BLBera
Nov 11, 11:16am Top

>29 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. Snow forts are fun, probably even more so with other people laboring.

>30 mahsdad: Hijack away, Jeff.

33BLBera
Edited: Nov 11, 8:40pm Top


118. Frankissstein is an amazing novel that I will think about for a long time. The novel challenges ideas of gender and identity, but the central question it asks is what it means to be human -- and Winterson does all of this while telling a fascinating story filled with memorable characters.

There is Mary Shelley, imagined during her life with Shelley, beginning with the summer she wrote Frankenstein. There is Ry Shelley, a present-day surgeon, who happens to be transgender. There is Victor Stein, a man who wants to download his brain and so achieve immortality. There is Ron Lord, the creator of a sexbot empire, who happens to also be hilarious.

While I am, for now, giving this novel five stars, I recognize that this novel is not for everyone. I loved this.

Next: A Bitter Feast -- good lighter reading that doesn't compete with Frankissstein.

34ronincats
Nov 12, 12:09am Top

A belated happy new thread, Beth!

35BLBera
Nov 12, 11:36am Top

Thanks Roni.

36japaul22
Nov 12, 11:50am Top

>33 BLBera: The only Jeannette Winterson book I've read is Oranges are not the only fruit and to be honest I didn't really like it. This sounds very different, though, and is an appealing topic to me. I might put myself on the library wait list.

37BLBera
Nov 12, 11:57am Top

>36 japaul22: I've loved every Winterson book I've read, Jennifer. Frankissstein is very different from Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, and from most other novels! I'll watch for your comments.

38BLBera
Nov 12, 12:01pm Top


119. A Bitter Feast is the latest Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mystery and it does not disappoint. We catch up with the growing family and spend time with Melody Talbot's parents in the Cotswolds. The mystery is OK; it was fairly easy to figure out who the guilty person had to be. I thought the motive was a little weak, but I still enjoyed spending time in the Kincaid-James world outside of London.

Next: The Starless Sea

39rosalita
Nov 12, 2:31pm Top

>38 BLBera: Beth, A Bitter Feast made me so hungry the whole time I was reading it! I really want that pub to be real, and to be able to go there and eat. Sigh.

40BLBera
Nov 12, 2:48pm Top

I was going to mention that, Julia! You are absolutely right.

41msf59
Edited: Nov 12, 3:45pm Top

>33 BLBera: I am so glad you loved Frankissstein. It didn't make the full boat for me, but I really enjoyed it. The audio of The Starless Sea just came up from my elibrary. The Water Dancer also just came in, so I will go with that one first. Hope you are staying warm & cozy, Beth.

42brenzi
Nov 12, 6:10pm Top

I don't think Frankissstein is for me Beth but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

43thornton37814
Nov 12, 7:31pm Top

>38 BLBera: I'm looking forward to getting to that one, but I've got a couple others to read (or listen to) first.

44BLBera
Nov 12, 7:42pm Top

>41 msf59: Hi Mark. I hope you are staying warm. I know Frankissstein is not everyone's cup of tea. Stay warm. I think it's supposed to get warmer by the end of the week. Fingers crossed.

>42 brenzi: Hi Bonnie. Frankissstein is a tricky one to recommend, I think. I loved it, but I know not everyone would.

>43 thornton37814: You will enjoy it, Lori. It was a very enjoyable read for a cold, holiday Monday.

45Copperskye
Nov 12, 9:18pm Top

Happy newish thread, Beth! Love the snowy book-fort topper but my goodness, get that kid some mittens! πŸ˜€

46ronincats
Yesterday, 4:06pm Top

Just letting you know I got my copy of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill from the library the other day and had a great time reading it. Light and very clever!

47Donna828
Yesterday, 5:25pm Top

Beth, I've loved the two books I've read by Jeanette Winterson but I wasn't sure about Frankissstein. I trust your judgment as we have such similar reading tastes, although I may wait to read it next year when I need something "different" instead of something "easy". Ha! I'm not even sure what that means. I think I need to be sure I'm going to love a book during the busy leading-up-to-the-holidays reading days.

48BLBera
Today, 1:32am Top

>45 Copperskye: Thanks Joanne! I know. The hands do look cold.

>46 ronincats: So glad you liked it, Roni.

>47 Donna828: I get it, Donna. Sometimes I need to rest the brain.

49karenmarie
Today, 12:29pm Top

HI Beth!

It’s a little late, but happy new thread.

>15 EBT1002: Drat. I just went over to Amazon and looked at the new Oasis. I could trade in my two old Kindles for a total of $30, get 25% off, and still pay a small fortune. However, it's nice to know...

>33 BLBera: Excellent review – I have this one and just put it on my β€œwill probably start soon” stack.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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