Anita's (figs) year of perfect vision 2020!
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The above picture was taken by me through a tiny airplane window. This was over the Atlantic ocean near Iceland
Welcome! My name is Anita. I'm 33 years old and live in Canada. It's my 5th year on LibraryThing. I quite enjoy being part of the 75 ers group and can't wait to see what the new year will bring!
My rating system is as follows:
1 = Very Very bad. Either I could not finish the novel, or the plot was ill-conceived
2= Still bad. I managed to finish the book. It was probably boring, unoriginal or poorly written
3= Solid. There was character development, the pace was probably slow or parts of the book were well thought out. Still had the ability to make me think or at the very least want to continue reading, however, something was missing or could have been further developed.
4= Excellent read. I probably couldn't put the book down till it was finished. The Pace was spot on, complex characters, made me think in a different way and so on
5= Absolutely perfect.
Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!
Happy new year, new decade and new thread, Anita! Dropping a star here.
Wishing you 12 months of success
52 weeks of laughter
366 days of fun (leap year!)
8,784 hours of joy
527,040 minutes of good luck
and 31,622,400 seconds of happiness!!
^^^what Berly said...I mean, how can you compete with that comprehensive blessing?! *fumes off*
Dropping a star, so I can fiollow you!
My 2020 75-book challenge thread is here
>5 FAMeulstee: >6 DianaNL: >7 lyzard: >8 PaulCranswick: >9 drneutron: >10 jessibud2: >11 brenzi: >12 Berly: >13 richardderus: >14 Berly: >15 SandyAMcPherson: >16 Ameise1: >17 BLBera: >18 harrygbutler: >19 banjo123: >20 jnwelch: >21 EBT1002: >22 quondame:
Thank you Anita, Diana, Liz, Paul, Jim, Shelley, Bonnie, Kim, Richard, Sandy, Barbara, Beth , Harry, Rhonda, Joe, Ellen, Susan for all your New Year and reading wishes!
I look forward to this new decade and all the new adventures it will bring.
Dropped my star and may adopt your rating system. I haven't rated books in the past but would like to start, mostly as a way of distinguishing between good and great.
Happy new year!
Happy New Year, Anita! I'm looking forward to following along with your thread.
>24 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella!
>25 witchyrichy: It is a good way to separate the good from really good. I am a little harsher with my rating system. My 3.5 stars would be like others rating the same book as a 4
>26 susanj67: Thank you! I can't wait to see what you are reading as well :)
>27 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle
>28 paulstalder: Hi Paul! Happy New Year to you as well
Hi Anita! Did you read anything this year? Here it is, January 2. What have you been doing?
* I'm kidding, just kidding *
I have been falling behind on the messages that so many threads have already. I'm also nearing the end of Asimov's Foundation. It's a start.
1. Dave Eggers: A Hologram For The King
Alan Clay is a broke businessman trying to sell hologram technology to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. He finds himself waiting in a large tent in the middle of the desert for an opportunity to meet the King. His whole financial success rests on landing this job but others are vying for the same opportunity.
>30 weird_O: Ha! Well I did manage to finish a very short novel :) Lots of threads popping up so it is hard to keep up. The New Year rush usually staggers at the end of January so it should be a little easier to catch up then. I look forward to reading your review of Asimov's Foundation.
Anita, nice to see you get off to such a good start again this year on the threads.
Have a lovely weekend.
Hi Anita my dear, I have starred you and will be following you throughout the year dear friend.
Thanks, John. I look forward to following you throughout the year
Have a lovely weekend!
>31 figsfromthistle: You almost make that sound good enough to slip past my "no more Eggers" rule. Not quite...maybe if it'd been a five-star read, but nope on threes.
Hi Anita, and Happy New Year. What an incredible photo for a topper! You have talent!
2. Barbara Kingsolver: Unsheltered
1871 Thatcher Greenwood moves into an old dilapidated house and soon forms an unusual friendship with Biologist Mary Treat. At this time, Darwin's ideas are ridiculed, and active supporters like Thatcher and Mary are chastised. Evolution by natural selection is blasphemous in the Utopian town of Vineland.
2016, Willa Knox and her husband Iano move into Thatcher Greenwood's home. Still needing massive repairs Willa hopes to receive a preservation grant. She comes across correspondence between Mary and Darwin. Meanwhile, her life is in shambles. Somehow she must care for her grown children and her ignorant father in law.
This novel seems to have a lot of ideas crammed into a few pages. From political propaganda to social unrest and regulated healthcare. I did not care much for certain characters.This would be a great book club read.
Side note: I read Flight Behaviour last year and it was one of my best reads of 2019
The threads are crazy at this time of year. I finally found yours, Anita. Looks like your reading is off to a good start for the new year.
Hi Anita and Happy New Year!
I've enjoyed several of Kingsolver's books, and I will get to Unsheltered sometime this year. :) Great review!
Wishing you many book and other adventures this year!
Hi Anita, you’re off to a great beginning on a new decade of reading. I remember kind of liking the oddness of the Eggers book, and Unsheltered made my Top Ten list in 2018. I have liked all of Kingsolver’s books. I look forward to seeing what else you read this year.
Finally getting around to visit threads. Hope you have a great reading year!
3.Philip Pullman: the Book of Dust
Malcolm, a precocious boy, helps his father at the inn. He regularly runs errands for the nuns in the nearby priory. In their charge, the nuns are looking after a baby who seems to have a great number of enemies. Secret organizations, spies and strange instruments such as the alethiometer are all things that Malcolm must watch out for and learn about if he is to be successful with his mission.
A solid YA fantasy book. First in a series of three.
So today is an exciting day! I took the day off because my new kitchen is being installed. Hopefully everything goes as planned. So far so good.
>63 figsfromthistle: That's exciting. So how much can they get done in a day?
>64 quondame: I'm not sure. It takes three days in total and another one for the countertop. So far, the base cabinets are in.
>63 figsfromthistle: Renovations *shudder*
I promised The Man no renovations in 2020.
We had - as in, couldn't avoid - a lower level bathroom rebuild two years ago. It was the proverbial sequential vortex because of ensuing issues with the carpeting in the adjoining rooms and basement plumbing needing to be brought up to code.
Sending best wishes. It will be worth dining out for the week!
>66 SandyAMcPherson: Oh my! It sounds like you had a major renovation. Anytime plumbing is involved plans always go sideways and takes longer. Now the question is-are you going to keep your promise of no renovations in 2020? ;)
>67 jnwelch: It would be good to read the next one to see what happens next.
>68 richardderus: Ha! Thanks, Richard :)
I hope everything goes smoothly and on time and you're very happy with the result! That said, you are dealing with renovation guys...
>60 figsfromthistle: That's one that's been languishing on my wish list for much too long!
Happy New year, Anita! Happy New Thread! Love the Iceland topper. Nice to see you around last year. Hope that continues. I am a big Kingsolver fan, but I have still not read Flight Behaviour. Bad Mark?
>73 msf59: Thanks!
Yes indeed, bad bad Mark! Flight Behaviour is quite exceptional. I also think it would be of interest to you. Lots about the migration of monarch butterflies.
>72 figsfromthistle: Hope the installation was a huge success--glad they cleaned up their mess.
>69 figsfromthistle: Now the question is- are you going to keep your promise of no renovations in 2020?
Oh yes! I've booked us a couple trips to see family and one involves staying in a resort area as a treat for the grand kids and a break for the parents. So, no renovation budget.
Which is fine with me. I need at least a year after the plumbing/carpetting and painting scenarios of the last 2 years. I want fun for the money!
>78 SandyAMcPherson: Now that sounds like a great plan! Have fun on the trips :)
Anita, it is exciting that you are getting a new kitchen. Pictures, please? I am looking forward to a renovation-free year. I still have nightmares about things that happened last year. I guess I don't deal well with change, although I'm very glad with the new look and I don't miss those popcorn ceilings at all.
>80 Donna828: I shall have some pictures when the countertop is installed :)
Popcorn ceilings! My parents had them up until two years ago. They changed it to an orange peel. It looks a lot nicer and they didn't have as much scraping to do. It is always hard to let go of things that we are used to, until the new becomes more familiar.
>45 figsfromthistle: I've added it to my maybe-for-book club list. We will meet in February to pick the next 12 books.
How exciting that you get a new kitchen, Anita. I hope you will post photos. I hope everything goes smoothly.
4. Robert Galbraith: Career of Evil
Book number three in the series focuses more on getting to know Robin. The novel starts with action, then moves on to a slower pace and ends with exciting fury.
I enjoyed this installment
My apologies, Anita! I was sure I had been by and dropped my star.
Happy New Year!
I'm another fan of the Comoran and Robin series. I loved Lethal White; some LTers thought it should've been shorter. I wanted it to be longer. :-) There's a good Brit TV mini-series based on the books, called C.B. Strike.
Congratulations on your new kitchen, Anita. I think kitchen renovations are one of the hardest remodeling challenges.
I'm also a big Cormoran Strike fan. I've enjoyed them all.
As promised here are some photos of the kitchen. Obviously it's not yet finished but it's coming together :)
>94 figsfromthistle: I can imagine it will be a wonderful feeling when you get this set up for yourself!
>95 quondame: Yes it will be! I am already picturing where to put things :)
>94 figsfromthistle: Ohhhh nothing quite as exciting as a new kitchen. Well once you're over the horror of renovation that is lol. It looks great Anita.
>94 figsfromthistle: That does look splendid, Anita.
Cooking would be a joy there.
Happy Friday, Figs! I need to book horn in the last Cormoran Strike novel. I have had it forever. I am moving Flight Behaviour to my audio pile and hopefully get to it soon.
>85 figsfromthistle: I liked that one.
You're kitchen is looking gorgeous, Anita.
5. Thea Lim: An Ocean Of Minutes
1981, pandemic flu arrives in the U.S. When Polly's husband, becomes ill, she decides to work for a time travel company to pay for his treatments. They make plans to meet in 1993. However, she is diverted to 1998. What lengths will Polly go to hold on to the past?
This novel is well written. It surprised me as well as it deals with immigration, displacement, memory, and identity. Not just a love story.
>94 figsfromthistle: Looking GOOD, Anita! What kind of counters are you going to have? Do you have a side by side refrigerator? Hope you have plenty of clearance for open doors when that island is in. Such fun to organize with all that room!!!
>94 figsfromthistle: More kitchen envy from here, too.
Lovely neutral colours in a room that always ends up needing airiness. And a glass-fronted cabinet, great stuff.
>85 figsfromthistle:, I like this series along with you, too. But I never could (yet) face Lethal White. It is so very intimidating. I need to borrow it when I'm going on a long, relaxing trip and devote my time to reading. I love the idea of learning more about Robin in Book #3.
>94 figsfromthistle: That looks amazing!! I can't wait to see what the quartz counters look like. You must be thrilled. : )
>85 figsfromthistle: I have definitely been enjoying the Robert Galbraith series--can't wait for the next one to come out.
>106 figsfromthistle: That one sounds interesting--I usually like time travel.
Happy weekend, Anita!
Hi Anita, it looks like we are sharing some reading interests. I like Dave Eggers nareation style. And Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible has been on my shelves for some time now.
Pretty kitchen you got there - it really makes you want to start cooking right away! :-)
Happy reading weekend!
Congrats on the kitchen, Anita! I know how good that feels, as you can finally see the end of the project!
>106 figsfromthistle: That's an unusual take on time travel romanticism. Interesting, I'm glad I know about it now.
I love the shiny bright kitchen. Very sleek and modern looking. Your paint color is very similar to the grey we chose for our upstairs bedrooms. We love it!
I've only read the first one in the Cormoran Strike series. I own No. 2 and will be reading it soon. Maybe I will catch up with them by the end of the year.
>94 figsfromthistle: It looks good, Anita. We had our kitchen in the house back in Seattle remodeled and it was indeed a mess. But once it was done, it changed our lives for the better. I still miss the beautiful tile I chose for the backsplash. It was "mini-brick" and oh so lovely.
>116 Donna828: Thanks! The wall paint is Benjamin Moore Cement Grey. The cabinets are Chantilly lace :) Have a great Sunday
>117 EBT1002: Thank you :) The whole idea of renovation is to make the daily life more functional and easy :) Your mini-brick backsplash sounds lovely. I haven't decided on one yet.
6.A. J. Jacobs:The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
A.J wakes up one day and realizes that he has stopped learning. He challenges himself to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.
Lots of facts and little personal stories that are sometimes funny. Each chapter is divided by the alphabet so at the end you feel as if you have gone through the entire Encyclopedia.
Anita, your new kitchen looks gorgeous. All that space! I'm very envious :-)
You've had some excellent finishes too. I think I liked Unsheltered a bit more than you, but I liked the modern part of the story rather than the older narrative.
An Ocean of Minutes sounds really good. I've added it to my library wishlist.
>119 figsfromthistle: Interesting. Did it read like fiction or was it an info dump type book? I like the idea of it
>120 susanj67: Thank you :) It took a lot of patient waiting till I was able to get this project going.
I hope you enjoy a ocean of minutes. I really enjoyed it.
>121 ChelleBearss: I say it's somewhere in-between. Lot's of facts with one fact each chapter that comes with a story, or experience from the author's personal life.
>119 figsfromthistle: Interesting. Our family legend is my dad's reading of the entire 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. As he was born in 1911, he said he knew everything since and didn't need to consult a more modern reference. His memory was prodigious - he had made the effort to internalize the architectural model to store knowledge with related images. I did however find that one of his volumes of EoB wasn't complete - at least half was a duplicate of another volume, so there must have been some gaps in his data. He never mentioned the missing sections.
>119 figsfromthistle: I enjoyed that book because I spent my kidhood reading the EB for fun! My older sisters made merciless fun of me for it, which probably explains why I kept at it even after I hit articles like "French Polish" *shudder* and probably would've refused to go on without the spur.
>123 quondame: Very cool! It does help that your dad was able to retain the information he read. Must of been great and frustrating as well to have someone around who knows everything :)
>124 richardderus: Your sisters may have made fun of you, but I bet that they are now envious of your knowledge. It must have come in handy to smite them down a notch or two ;)
>85 figsfromthistle: I'm currently re-listening toCareer of Evil and have just reached the point where
>94 figsfromthistle: Congrats on the kitchen remodel - I like the pics of it so far.
>119 figsfromthistle: I read this book and enjoyed it, but it was before I joined LT so don't have a record of when. How I wish I'd kept a reading log my whole life. Sigh.
My brother was an encylopedia reader, too. In his case, we had a copy of the World Book encyclopedia.
I gave it a shot to emulate him, but only read a few of the entries that interested me.
Your new kitchen looks very nice: very chic and also very usable. Good job!
I'll get to Unsheltered mumblemumble sometime this year, too. I enjoy Barbara Kingsolver and that was a nice review.
>126 karenmarie: Thanks!
Your are getting to the good action packed part of the novel:)
It would be great to have a record of all the books read from the beginning of ones reading journey. If I ever were to have children, I think I would get them to track their reading. How neat it would be to see throughout the years.
>127 streamsong: Wow! I am surprised by the amount of encyclopedia readers. I know that back in the day a lot of households had a set and it was considered a major investment. Often the only reading material in the whole home.
7. Nazanine Hozar: Aria
Behrouz discovers an abandoned baby in the alleyway. Against his instincts, he takes her in and names her Aria. His wife, however, is not supportive and Aria is subjected to her physical and psychological abuse. At the same time, Iranian's are transforming themselves. Hiding their beliefs and religion to conform to the Shah's beliefs while a new religious leader (Ayatollah Khomeini) is poised to take over.
A story of identity, beliefs, revolution, transformation, and forgiveness.
>129 figsfromthistle: - I just picked that one up at a recent visit to Value Village. It looked like an interesting read.
Aria sounds really intriguing! I haven't read anything by an Iranian author yet. This will change. :-)
My husband had an old set from his grandfather (from 1931). He says it's still quite interesting, because the world has changed so much. My brother has bought several sets of old encyclopaedias, because people want to get rid of them, and he likes them. It was considered a major investment, and now they go for peanuts. I'm still not tempted to start reading, though.
>129 figsfromthistle: Sounds interesting.
>130 jessibud2: It was an interesting read for me. May not be for everyone though. A long character driven book.
>131 PersephonesLibrary: She was born in Tehran, Iran and now lives in British Columbia, Canada.
>132 EllaTim: Cool! I know that the old encyclopedias are dirt cheap however, the new ones are over 1000 for a set.
>133 mdoris: Hi Mary!! Nice to see you :)
I had a small collection of old (1890s through 1940s) dictionaries for the same reason >132 EllaTim: says her brother likes the encyclopedias. It isn't easy to recognize change as it's happening, but a great way to make it clear is to read old reference books.
>135 richardderus: I like old dictionaries, too.
I have a 1946 edition of the pocket version of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary although at 4x6½ and 1¾ inches thick, it is hardly 'pocket-sized'! I love that many words are also shown with their archaic forms.
It never occurred to me, but maybe I should add it to my LT catalogue. It's in my library... beside my Latin-English dictionary. H'ermmm :) ya' think?
>135 richardderus: Cool! I have a set of old encyclopedias but mostly I have old Atlases. It is always interesting to look back and see how countries, and borders have changed.
>136 SandyAMcPherson: It never occurred to me either to catalogue reference books. I have quite a few ( including old textbooks of mine) I think I will slowly start adding them to LT. Good idea!
So This year my goal is to read one book a month that I should have read earlier in life but somehow never got around to. Mostly classic, iconic or very popular works. I won't review these as the majority of readers will be more than familiar with these works. Discussion and debates are welcome though. Here is the first instalment finished.
8. George Orwell: 1984
>138 figsfromthistle: I've done similar reads. Now I'm tempted to put together books I wish I had available when I was 7,8,...25 lists.
>138 figsfromthistle: I read that, and Animal Farm, in my earliest possible teens, so it's just part of the furniture in my head. The story spoke to me because it felt like the world I lived in as an irreligious gay kid. Pep rallies and football madness made me squirm because they seemed like the Hates Orwell spiced things up with.
I still shudder in sports bars.
>138 figsfromthistle: - Great idea for a goal!
I have a Nineteen Eighty Four story. I decided to read it in December of the year 1983. I was sitting on the subway one day and looked up. I met the eyes of a guy across the aisle and he smiled. He asked what page I was on, then lifted the book he was reading, to show me that he, too, was reading the same book. It would be lovely to say a romance began in that moment and we lived happily ever after, but no, one of us got off at the next stop and that was it. But it's a true story! :-)
>143 jessibud2: What a great story. Thanks for sharing.
>138 figsfromthistle: There's something so seminal about the 1984 story.
I never read 1984 or Brave New World until I was in first-year English (at University). We had to write term papers comparing them and it was the source of a lot of angst and debate.
Now, the two works merge in my mind as dystopian realities that somehow came to pass. TV is SOMA, yeah? And haven't all those CCTV networks in the UK have been likened to Orwellian surveillance?
I think Anita's idea is really great. Looking forward to seeing what other LTers thought when they read these works.
>94 figsfromthistle: I love the kitchen pictures! I bet you are most anxious to be done with the reno!
>106 figsfromthistle: Added to the BlackHole!
>119 figsfromthistle: I get to dodge that BB as I have already read that one.
>129 figsfromthistle: The subject of psychological/emotional abuse hits a little too close to home for me. I think I will give that one a pass.
>141 richardderus: Oh my! It must have been awful to feel that way!
It is interesting that things that happen in our youth have a lingering effect in our minds into adulthood. To this day I still can't sit at the front or be in the front of a crowd. I always have to be at the back. All because of bullies and their actions when I was in grade 7! *sigh*
>142 fairywings: Have fun with the re read.
>143 jessibud2: That's a really awesome story! Could you imagine what would have happened if you both stayed to talk? That story would make a great book ;)
>144 SandyAMcPherson: You could think of the CCTV as Orwellian surveillance. Or in America the N.S.A has the ability to monitor on extremely different levels. You could also argue that the amazon's Alexa and google nest as the modern day surveillance collecting data and listening into conversations. The possibility to abuse this technology is great and the information and privacy we give up is quite astonishing.
>145 alcottacre: Hi! Hope you have a great Thursday!
9. The Dying Detective: Leif GW Persson
Lars Johannson is a retired police officer who finds himself in the hospital after a blood clot explodes in his brain. His doctor makes him aware of a cold case involving a 9-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered. With the help of his best friend, he begins investigating.
This was very well written. Sometimes I felt that things fell a little too easily in place. Unfortunately, this is part of a series ( which I did not know). So now I have to read it from the beginning.
>148 figsfromthistle: My local library does not have that one or any of the books in the series, but I will keep my eyes open. Thanks for the recommendation!
Stopping by quickly to wave hello!
>94 figsfromthistle: Nice kitchen. Is that in the new carriage house? I’m always on the lookout for kitchen designs because my existing kitchen annoys me a LOT. However, we’ve just come back from holiday to find our bathroom half-renovations aren’t quite complete and my husband says I’ll have to wait three years for my new kitchen.
My parents used to have a set of encyclopaedias that they carted from country to country and house to house and it was amusing to let a book fall open and read the entries there (the same with dictionaries) but I never read the set from cover to cover. Then an encyclopaedia salesman tried to sell a set to one of my aunt’s but she discovered she could buy a computer for less with access to the internet and up to date information - and I think our set didn’t survive the next move (which was, admittedly, years later when my parents were downsizing and moving countries.
Hi Anita! It's too bad Aria didn't get a higher rating. It looks like a fantastic premise.
>150 figsfromthistle: Nope. I did the same thing you did - read it without realizing it was part of a series.
>155 weird_O: Yep. Oh my heck yes...make the surveillance a convenience and voilá! Like the stupid Ring doorbell. It is SHUDDERSOME what y'all're handing to Them.
>153 humouress: Hi! Yes, it's part of the carriage house. When will your bathroom renovations be completed? It is wise to wait a bit with the kitchen. Always best to think those thing through and the longer you wait, the less you have to sacrifice in design, material and so forth.
>154 The_Hibernator: I quite enjoyed Aria
>128 figsfromthistle: I have Bill’s family’s 1963 Encyclopedia Britannica set, with several year-updates, too. I actually used them when Jenna had school projects when little – some of the information was still accurate. Haven’t cracked open one in years, but just can’t bear to get rid of them.
>136 SandyAMcPherson: and >137 figsfromthistle: I have 546 books tagged ‘reference’, all the way from Bibles to the encyclopedias, genealogy, and all 132 cookbooks. If it’s a book and I own it, it’s cataloged. You should go for it!
>138 figsfromthistle: Excellent goal. I’ve read 1984 but don’t remember it at all – Animal Farm, on the other hand, is still familiar to me. I’m doing something similar about reading what’s on my shelves, and have a separate thread in the 2020 ROOT Challenge group. I’ve met several people over there who aren’t in the 75ers, although there are also 75ers there, too.
>161 karenmarie: There are a number of books that I have not catalogued. I have to get on that :)
131 Cook books! Wow! Whats your favourite one? I really love Anna Del Conte: Gastronomy of Italy. Easy, simple recipes that are hearty.
I have to look at the ROOT challenge. Did not know of it's existence.
Anita, that's a great idea to catch up on some of the "should have read years ago" books. I only read 1984 a couple of years ago too. Scary. But I'm not sure even Orwell could have anticipated how much information we just give away for free nowadays. This morning I was reading a book about China, which was written in 2014, and I googled the name of a famous mosque in the Uighur region to see if it was still open (no, it turns out). I'd have thought twice about looking that up if I was in China.
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