December AlphaKIT - E and R

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December AlphaKIT - E and R

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Nov 14, 2019, 12:23pm

Welcome to AlphaKIT for December.

The rules are... none! Use the letters however you like to choose your reads for the month. Well, okay, there is one rule: Have Fun!

December AlphaKIT letters are : E and R.


Please remember to update the wiki and enter books alphabetically:

See you next year for the 2020 Category Challenge.

Nov 14, 2019, 2:50pm

Thanks, Jean for another enjoyable year with the AlphaKit. I am looking forward to 2020.

For December, I am planning on reading - The Funeral Boat by Kate Ellis and Christmas At the Gingerbread Cafe by Rebecca Raisin.

Nov 14, 2019, 6:33pm

My online reading group traditionally reads two mysteries in December. This year's choices are "The Eyes of Aurora" by Albert Bell and Saturnalia by John Maddox Roberts

Nov 14, 2019, 7:03pm

Hoping to get to The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham.

Nov 14, 2019, 8:07pm

I think I'm going to try and finish The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff which I started a while ago and also Mandarin Plaid by S.J. Rozan.

Edited: Nov 15, 2019, 5:10pm

My always tentative plan is to read The Editor by Stephen Rowley (Touchstone not working), it will cover both E and R.

Nov 15, 2019, 4:57pm

plans at the moment are : A Man of Some Repute - Elizabeth Edmonson, and The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater

Nov 15, 2019, 5:49pm

>7 majkia: That's funny -- I also have A Man of Some Repute on my TBR! Maybe I'll read it, too, so that we can compare notes. :)

Edited: Nov 19, 2019, 10:12am

I am planning to read Missing May by Cynthia Rylant to add to my Newbery category for 2019. It is a quick read. Also, Ellen Tebbits by Beverly Cleary.

Nov 18, 2019, 12:54am

Thinking of re-reading Jane Austen's Emma.

Nov 18, 2019, 4:18pm

I'll be reading The Tsunami File by Michael E. Rose for a double.

Edited: Nov 29, 2019, 9:04pm

I've been able to start December a few days early and have completed The Editor by Steven Rowley which works for both E and R. Loved it, 4*.

Nov 29, 2019, 9:25pm

Dec 1, 2019, 4:09pm

I have completed my "E" read with The Funeral Boat by Kate Ellis.

Dec 2, 2019, 9:45pm

I'm starting an "E" book, The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin.

Dec 3, 2019, 11:05am

My first read this month was an E book, Everywhere That Mary Went by Lisa Scotoline.

Edited: Jan 2, 2020, 11:13pm

Here are my possibilities for the month.
I'd be thrilled if I got half read considering my social calendar is bulging and I'm hosting 2 parties and Christmas dinner!

Bridal Suite by Rochelle Alers
✔Clarets of Fire by Christine E. Blum
Dark Queen Rising
Death on a Page by Essie Lang
King's Justice by Susan Elia MacNeal
Lady Risks All
Murder Can Mess Up Your Masterpiece by Rose Pressey
Murder in the First Edition
Murder Once Removed
Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
✔Pinot Red or Dead?
✔Pride, Prejudice and Poison by Elizabeth Blake
Prologue to Murder by Lauren Elliott
Sauvigone for Good by J. C. Eaton
Street of the Five Moons by Elizabeth Peters

Dec 4, 2019, 8:44pm

For an R: No Bones About It by Ruth Sawtell Wallis, a 1944 mystery.

Dec 6, 2019, 10:14am

I completed Deep River by Shūsaku Endō for E

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 12:11pm

Dec 7, 2019, 3:39pm

The Right to be Cold / Sheila Watt-Cloutier
3.5 stars

Sheila Watt-Cloutier was born in a Northern Quebec Inuit community and raised by her mother and her grandmother. She was sent away to school in Churchill, and (mostly) enjoyed her time there. She later married, had kids, and went back and forth between her home in Northern Quebec and the southern part of the province.

Eventually, she would become an activist; she is most commonly associated with environmental activism, but really she is an activist for her Inuit culture, for education and health care, and yes, for the environment and climate change, and how it is currently affecting the Inuit culture and lifestyle. They are seeing the effects of climate change now, and they feel that they deserve “the right to be cold” – they need that cold – in order to sustain their traditional culture.

This was good. I expected more of the environmental aspect in the book (and a lot of that did come in the 2nd half), but actually ended up enjoying the biographical part of the book best. Much of the 2nd half of the book included her travels to various conferences and counsels to tell the story of the Inuit to put a “human face” on the environmental crisis in the Arctic. Surprising to me, I just didn’t find that part as interesting. Overall, though, I liked it.

Dec 7, 2019, 6:52pm

I have completed my "R" read with The Night Ferry by Michael Robotham.

Dec 7, 2019, 7:20pm

Dec 8, 2019, 11:00am

Completed both of mine-- Missing May and Ellen Tebbits. These are also part of my Newbery personal challenge for 2019.

Dec 9, 2019, 9:59am

I'm in the middle of my "R" book, A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh.

Edited: Dec 9, 2019, 12:00pm

Another E book finished - Eva's Eye by Karin Fossum.

Dec 12, 2019, 6:45pm

Finally read an R book - An Untimely Frost by Penny Richards.

Dec 13, 2019, 7:28am

January 2020 (!!!) thread is up:

Dec 13, 2019, 10:33pm

Landline / Rainbow Rowell
3 stars

When Georgie decides she needs to stay home and work over the Christmas holiday (she’s a script writer and she has a deadline to get multiple new scripts done for her dream show in a short time), her husband takes their two daughters to his “home” in Nebraska for the holiday. Georgie has trouble getting ahold of her husband on the phone, but does manage on her mom’s landline. BUT, it appears that the Neal she has gotten ahold of is not her current husband; the Neal on the other end of the landline is the Neal she knew before she married him… she is talking to the Neal from 15 years ago!

Both main characters were very unlikable. Neal did not come off as a nice person, at all, in my opinion, and Georgie was such a whiner and acted like she was still a teenager, all angsty over the holiday separation. I also had a hard time, at times, figuring out if we were in current day or flashing back to when they were both younger or if it was current-day Georgie talking on the landline to younger Neal. I listened to the audio, which was fine and held my attention, but overall I was disappointed. Even still, I’m rating it ok, but I think I liked the premise more than the execution of it.

Dec 13, 2019, 10:49pm

Black Rose / Nora Roberts
3 stars

Roz is running a gardening business out of her home and has hired Mitch to help investigate who might be the ghost that has been in her historical home all her life. She suspects one of her ancestors, but wants to find out for sure.

This is the second book in a series (trilogy, I think). Unfortunately, it took me about 2/3 of the book to figure out who most the supporting characters were (though two of them would have been the main characters in the first book; I just remembered nothing about it!). Even after figuring out most of the characters, there were still a few that confounded me until the end. Anyway, I’m rating the book ok. The ghost story is the interesting part of the story. The romance – meh. Roz, I think, was 47 years old (my age), but to me, for some reason, I pictured her in her 60s! I’m not sure if I’ll read the last book or not, although I am curious to find out more about the ghost.

Dec 16, 2019, 10:48pm

Dec 16, 2019, 11:38pm

Wolf by Wolf / Ryan Graudin
3.75 stars

What if the Axis had won World War II? Yael was a little girl and had been one of the medical subjects in one of the concentration camps. What they did was inject her with something to make her appear more Aryan. Turns out she could do more than appear Aryan after a while – she could “skinshift” to look like anyone else. Because of this, she was able to escape, and years later, in 1956 when she is 17-years old, she is part of the resistance and she has a mission – she is impersonating a girl motorcycle racer. Once she wins, she’ll have access to Hitler…

This one took a bit for me to get “into” it, but once it got going, I thought it was good. We go back and forth in time from current day Yael in the resistance to young Yael in the concentration camp and everything leading up to how she got to her current mission. There was a good twist at the end and it is a series (or maybe trilogy?), so I will continue.

Edited: Dec 18, 2019, 1:19pm

Finished Emma by Jane Austen. Works for E. Was a reread.

Dec 20, 2019, 5:46pm

Dec 22, 2019, 1:50am

Dec 22, 2019, 4:59pm

I have completed my "R" read with Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe by Rebecca Raisin.

Dec 22, 2019, 9:11pm

I finished Rules of Engagement by Elizabeth Moon

Dec 23, 2019, 2:04am

DNF the Elizabeth Moon book. Now reading "Eight for Eternity" by M. E. Mayer

Dec 24, 2019, 8:43pm

I gave up on my "E" book, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Maybe it was too dated for me to appreciate, or perhaps reading about hippies doing drugs wasn't interesting enough to keep my attention...

Dec 25, 2019, 12:55am

Emily: Evan's Girls / Elle Klass
3 stars

Emily was adopted when she was young enough that she doesn’t remember her biological family. She is happy and isn’t interested in learning about them. All she knows is that they died in a car crash. As she grows up, though, she overhears discussions that make her wonder, though she never questions it. However, things get dangerous for her as an adult once she is married and has a family of her own.

I really liked the first ¾ of the book, but it took an odd turn and I wasn’t crazy about the ending. This was book 2 in a series; I “won” the book in a giveaway without realizing there was a book 1, so I hadn’t read it. Up until the end, I don’t think I needed to, but the main character (based on the title of book 1) does make an appearance at the end. Since I found the ending, not just odd, but somewhat confusing, I wonder if it would have been better to have read the first one first? Either way, up until the end, I thought I was going to (go back and read book 1), but the odd turn the ending took just didn’t… I just didn’t like it, so I don’t think I’ll plan to read the first one (nor will I plan to read the 3rd). I still gave it an “ok” rating, though, as I did really liked most of the book.

Dec 25, 2019, 8:00am

I finished The Raven Boys. Very atmospheric, almost gothic in texture and plot. Not at all what I expected going in, and that's a good thing.

Edited: Dec 26, 2019, 2:39am

Edited: Dec 27, 2019, 10:36am

Another E book
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot and who ever would have thought that I would not get any R books read. Maybe if I could finish the Richardson volume that I am currently in. Maybe....

Dec 28, 2019, 2:47am

Starting The Bone Garden by Kate Ellis

Dec 30, 2019, 2:35pm

I ended up reading three books for the E:
* The Brownies and Other Tales by Juliana Ewing
* The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
* Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott

Dec 30, 2019, 6:42pm

I read one more "R" book this month, Discerning Religious Life by Sr. Clare Matthiass.