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Anita's (figs) year of perfect vision 2020!

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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1figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 2, 7:09am Top



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!

2figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 6, 11:18am Top




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.

3figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 16, 2:34pm Top

Books read so far


4figsfromthistle
Edited: Dec 31, 2019, 6:47pm Top

Happy New Year everyone!!

Come on in!

5FAMeulstee
Dec 31, 2019, 6:39pm Top

Happy reading in 2020, Anita!

6DianaNL
Dec 31, 2019, 6:45pm Top

Best wishes for 2020!

7lyzard
Edited: Dec 31, 2019, 9:46pm Top

Hi, Anita! - best of luck with your 2020 reading plans. :)

8PaulCranswick
Dec 31, 2019, 7:58pm Top



Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!

9drneutron
Dec 31, 2019, 8:48pm Top

Welcome back!

10jessibud2
Dec 31, 2019, 8:59pm Top

Happy new year, new decade and new thread, Anita! Dropping a star here.

11brenzi
Dec 31, 2019, 9:36pm Top

Happy New Year Anita and happy reading in 2020

12Berly
Dec 31, 2019, 9:41pm Top



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!!

13richardderus
Jan 1, 12:11am Top

^^^what Berly said...I mean, how can you compete with that comprehensive blessing?! *fumes off*

14Berly
Jan 1, 1:05am Top

15SandyAMcPherson
Jan 1, 1:54am Top

Dropping a star, so I can fiollow you!

My 2020 75-book challenge thread is here

16Ameise1
Jan 1, 6:17am Top

Found you and starred. Happy reading 2020.

17BLBera
Jan 1, 9:47am Top

Happy New Year, Anita. I hope you have a stellar year of reading.

18harrygbutler
Jan 1, 9:52am Top

Happy New Year, Anita!

19banjo123
Jan 1, 1:08pm Top

Happy Reading!

20jnwelch
Jan 1, 7:40pm Top

Happy New Year, Anita!

21EBT1002
Jan 1, 7:45pm Top

Hi Anita and Happy New Year!

22quondame
Jan 1, 10:46pm Top



Happy New Year, Anita!

23figsfromthistle
Jan 2, 7:32am Top

>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.

24EllaTim
Jan 2, 7:37am Top

Happy New Year, Anita!

25witchyrichy
Jan 2, 8:33am Top

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!

26susanj67
Jan 2, 8:36am Top

Happy New Year, Anita! I'm looking forward to following along with your thread.

27ChelleBearss
Jan 2, 9:42am Top

Happy New year, Anita!

28paulstalder
Jan 2, 9:57am Top

29figsfromthistle
Jan 2, 2:25pm Top

>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

30weird_O
Jan 2, 2:33pm Top

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.

31figsfromthistle
Jan 2, 2:39pm Top



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.

3/5

32figsfromthistle
Jan 2, 2:42pm Top

>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.

33weird_O
Jan 2, 2:48pm Top

>31 figsfromthistle: Yay! Ya beat me. Foundation isn't very long, so don't downplay your accomplishment.

34figsfromthistle
Jan 2, 6:42pm Top

>33 weird_O: Well it isn't a race.... :)

35karenmarie
Jan 3, 7:11am Top

Hi Anita and happy new year!

>1 figsfromthistle: Excellent photo. Thanks for sharing.

>31 figsfromthistle: I bought this book at a Friends of the Library sale for the sole reason that I love the cover - the design and the texture. I've just tagged it '2020 read'.

36PaulCranswick
Jan 3, 7:48am Top

Anita, nice to see you get off to such a good start again this year on the threads.

Have a lovely weekend.

37figsfromthistle
Jan 3, 3:16pm Top

>35 karenmarie: Thanks!

I bought the book for the exact same reason :) I hope you enjoy it!

>36 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! I hope to continue to keep up.

38johnsimpson
Jan 3, 5:21pm Top

Hi Anita my dear, I have starred you and will be following you throughout the year dear friend.

39figsfromthistle
Jan 4, 6:05am Top

Thanks, John. I look forward to following you throughout the year

Have a lovely weekend!

40mstrust
Jan 4, 7:00pm Top

Found and starred, Anita! Happy 2020!

41richardderus
Jan 4, 7:04pm Top

>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.

42Berly
Edited: Jan 4, 7:17pm Top

Hurray for book #1!! I like Eggers, unlike my friend above. ; )

43figsfromthistle
Jan 4, 9:06pm Top

>40 mstrust: Hi! Glad you found me!

>41 richardderus: My 3* ratings can be a little tricky ;)

>42 Berly: Can't say I have much of an opinion about Eggers work in general as it was the first novel by him that I have read. I will have to read another by him to fully decide.

44Whisper1
Jan 4, 9:17pm Top

Hi Anita, and Happy New Year. What an incredible photo for a topper! You have talent!

45figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 4, 10:07pm Top



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.

3.5/5

* Recommended*

Side note: I read Flight Behaviour last year and it was one of my best reads of 2019

46figsfromthistle
Jan 4, 9:42pm Top

>44 Whisper1: Hi Linda! Thank you :)

47Familyhistorian
Jan 5, 1:21am Top

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.

48Ameise1
Jan 5, 4:19am Top

>45 figsfromthistle: I've read Flight Behaviour five years ago and liked it. The Lacuna was a good one, too.
Happy Sunday Anita.

49figsfromthistle
Jan 5, 8:50am Top

>47 Familyhistorian: Hi! It is difficult to keep up on all the treads this time of the year.

Have a lovely Sunday :)

>48 Ameise1: I have the Lacuna on my TBR shelf. Glad to hear you liked it

50streamsong
Jan 5, 10:49am Top

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!

51BLBera
Jan 5, 3:44pm Top

I liked Flight Behavior more than Unsheltered, but any Kingsolver is good. I must admit, though, that I didn't like Lacuna. I think that's the only one by her that I haven't liked.

52Donna828
Jan 5, 4:24pm Top

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.

53figsfromthistle
Jan 5, 6:47pm Top

>50 streamsong: Hi! Thank you, same to you!

>51 BLBera: Yes I agree, I also enjoyed Flight Behaviour more.

>52 Donna828: Hi! Eggers seems to be one of those authors that people really like or don't.

54alcottacre
Jan 5, 6:58pm Top

Happy New Year, Anita!

55EBT1002
Jan 5, 7:45pm Top

>45 figsfromthistle: I liked Unsheltered better than you did, Anita, but I largely agree with your comments. I liked Willa so much although there were other characters with whom I did not want to have dinner.

Have a great week ahead!

56thornton37814
Jan 5, 8:37pm Top

Finally getting around to visit threads. Hope you have a great reading year!

57figsfromthistle
Jan 5, 10:30pm Top

>54 alcottacre: Thanks! Happy New Year to you as well

>55 EBT1002: Hope you have a wonderful start to your week.

>56 thornton37814: Nice to see you! I hope to have a better reading year as I only read 88 books last year.

58kidzdoc
Jan 6, 3:37am Top

Happy New Year, Anita!

59figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 7:04am Top

Thanks, Darryl.

Hope you have a great 2020!

60figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 10:22am Top



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.
3.2/5

61witchyrichy
Jan 6, 10:24am Top

>45 figsfromthistle: >51 BLBera: I also liked Flight Behavior better than Unsheltered but wasn't sorry I read the latter. Kingsolver is one of the few authors I keep up with. She lives in Southwest Virginia and am hoping her restaurant reopens this year: https://www.harvesttablerestaurant.com/

62figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 10:27am Top

>61 witchyrichy: Ohh I did not know that she has a restaurant! Neat

63figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 10:50am Top

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.

64quondame
Jan 6, 11:04am Top

>63 figsfromthistle: That's exciting. So how much can they get done in a day?

65figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 11:15am Top

>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.

66SandyAMcPherson
Jan 6, 12:55pm Top

>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!

67jnwelch
Edited: Jan 6, 1:05pm Top

>60 figsfromthistle: Hi, Anita. I recently read the second one, The Secret Commonwealth. If you liked The Book of Dust, I think you'll like the second one, too.

68richardderus
Jan 6, 2:00pm Top

>63 figsfromthistle: This is me wishing you luck with the installation:

69figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 3:12pm Top

>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 :)

70mstrust
Jan 6, 3:13pm Top

I hope everything goes smoothly and on time and you're very happy with the result! That said, you are dealing with renovation guys...

71ChelleBearss
Jan 6, 3:26pm Top

>60 figsfromthistle: That's one that's been languishing on my wish list for much too long!

72figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 6:52pm Top

>70 mstrust: So far at the end of the day, everything seems good. They are also the first people that clean up the mess they make ( even swept the sawdust from cutting the wood!).

>71 ChelleBearss: Perhaps it will come off your wish list and into your books collection soon. :)

73msf59
Jan 6, 7:07pm Top

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?

74figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 7:14pm Top

>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.

75Crazymamie
Jan 6, 9:17pm Top

Dropping my star, Anita. Happy New Year!

76figsfromthistle
Jan 7, 5:27am Top

>75 Crazymamie: Nice to see you! Have a wonderful week

77Berly
Jan 7, 6:13am Top

>72 figsfromthistle: Hope the installation was a huge success--glad they cleaned up their mess.

78SandyAMcPherson
Jan 7, 8:45am Top

>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!

79figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 7, 1:46pm Top

>78 SandyAMcPherson: Now that sounds like a great plan! Have fun on the trips :)

80Donna828
Jan 7, 1:56pm Top

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.

81figsfromthistle
Jan 7, 3:00pm Top

>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.

82karenmarie
Jan 8, 8:46am Top

Hi Anita!

>45 figsfromthistle: I've added it to my maybe-for-book club list. We will meet in February to pick the next 12 books.

83BLBera
Jan 8, 9:02am Top

How exciting that you get a new kitchen, Anita. I hope you will post photos. I hope everything goes smoothly.

84figsfromthistle
Jan 8, 10:09am Top

>82 karenmarie: How exciting! Hopefully, all 12 books you pick will be great reads.

>83 BLBera: I shall put some up soon-ish :)

85figsfromthistle
Jan 8, 9:17pm Top



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.

3.2/5

I enjoyed this installment

86ronincats
Jan 8, 9:23pm Top

My apologies, Anita! I was sure I had been by and dropped my star.



Happy New Year!

87figsfromthistle
Jan 9, 7:07am Top

>86 ronincats: No worries. The main thing is you found me :)

88EllaTim
Jan 9, 7:25am Top

>72 figsfromthistle: Great! Good luck with your new kitchen.

I have added Flight Behaviour to mount TBR.

89figsfromthistle
Jan 9, 7:47am Top

>88 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella!

I hope you enjoy flight behaviour

90Crazymamie
Jan 9, 9:15am Top

>85 figsfromthistle: I love this series! They are great on audio, too.

91jnwelch
Jan 9, 12:41pm Top

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.

92Oregonreader
Jan 9, 1:12pm Top

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.

93figsfromthistle
Jan 9, 2:35pm Top

>90 Crazymamie: It is a great series!

>91 jnwelch: I just bought Lethal White today. It is massive!! 648 Pages. I shall wait a little before I read this one. I've got to look up the tv series. Sounds like a good one!

>92 Oregonreader: Thanks! :)

94figsfromthistle
Jan 9, 2:46pm Top

As promised here are some photos of the kitchen. Obviously it's not yet finished but it's coming together :)



95quondame
Jan 9, 2:57pm Top

>94 figsfromthistle: I can imagine it will be a wonderful feeling when you get this set up for yourself!

96figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 9, 5:58pm Top

>95 quondame: Yes it will be! I am already picturing where to put things :)

97ChelleBearss
Jan 9, 8:29pm Top

>9 drneutron:; wow looks great. Love that light fixture!

98brenzi
Jan 9, 8:41pm Top

>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.

99richardderus
Jan 9, 9:13pm Top

100PaulCranswick
Jan 9, 9:23pm Top

>94 figsfromthistle: That does look splendid, Anita.

Cooking would be a joy there.

101figsfromthistle
Jan 10, 5:47am Top

>97 ChelleBearss: Thanks!

>98 brenzi: Thank you :)

>99 richardderus: I can't wait till its actually finished :)

>100 PaulCranswick: Yes, it will be nice to have a functional, slick kitchen.

102msf59
Edited: Jan 10, 6:43am Top

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.

103Crazymamie
Jan 10, 7:58am Top

>91 jnwelch: What Joe said. I loved Lethal White and wanted more.

Love the new kitchen pics!! I love white cabinets and all those lovely drawers - elegant but also highly functional. Thanks for sharing, Anita!

104Ameise1
Jan 10, 1:25pm Top

>85 figsfromthistle: I liked that one.

You're kitchen is looking gorgeous, Anita.

105figsfromthistle
Jan 10, 3:13pm Top

>102 msf59: Happy Friday to you as well! I hope you enjoy Flight behaviour!

>103 Crazymamie: It is a good series :) Thanks. The style is transitional so it's not overly modern or traditional :)

>104 Ameise1: Thanks

106figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 10, 7:16pm Top



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.

3.5/5

107ronincats
Jan 10, 7:18pm Top

>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!!!

108SandyAMcPherson
Jan 10, 8:45pm Top

>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.

109figsfromthistle
Jan 11, 5:41am Top

>107 ronincats: Thanks! I am getting quartz counters that are white with a wave pattern of grey. I do have lots of clearance for the fridge. ( 4feet).

>108 SandyAMcPherson: Thank you! It took a while to plan the kitchen so I am happy with the way it's turned out. Have a great weekend!

110Berly
Jan 11, 6:16am Top

>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!

111BLBera
Jan 11, 9:36am Top

>94 figsfromthistle: I love your kitchen, Anita. It looks so light.

An Ocean of Minutes sounds good.

112PersephonesLibrary
Jan 11, 10:44am Top

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!

113jessibud2
Jan 11, 10:58am Top

Congrats on the kitchen, Anita! I know how good that feels, as you can finally see the end of the project!

114richardderus
Jan 11, 11:01am Top

>106 figsfromthistle: That's an unusual take on time travel romanticism. Interesting, I'm glad I know about it now.

115figsfromthistle
Jan 11, 3:16pm Top

>112 PersephonesLibrary: Welcome!

I shall follow your reading this year.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend

>113 jessibud2: Thank you! Yes, it is a great feeling when the end is near.

>114 richardderus: I hope you enjoy it! It was shortlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

116Donna828
Jan 11, 10:25pm Top

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.

117EBT1002
Jan 12, 12:46am Top

>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.

118figsfromthistle
Jan 12, 8:15am Top

>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.

119figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 12, 9:46am Top



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.

3/5

120susanj67
Jan 12, 8:39am Top

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.

121ChelleBearss
Jan 12, 11:23am Top

>119 figsfromthistle: Interesting. Did it read like fiction or was it an info dump type book? I like the idea of it

122figsfromthistle
Jan 12, 4:48pm Top

>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.

123quondame
Jan 12, 5:45pm Top

>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.

124richardderus
Jan 12, 8:01pm Top

>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.

125figsfromthistle
Jan 12, 9:27pm Top

>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 ;)

126karenmarie
Jan 13, 12:24pm Top

Hi Anita!

>85 figsfromthistle: I'm currently re-listening toCareer of Evil and have just reached the point where Robin intervenes with Alicia to tell her that Noel is a pedofile, Shanker chases Noel out of the house, and Cormoran is musing breaking up with Ellen because of their income inequality and the fact that he doesn't really like talking to her.

>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.

127streamsong
Jan 13, 12:25pm Top

Hi Anita!

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.

128figsfromthistle
Jan 13, 2:19pm Top

>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.

129figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 14, 5:02am Top



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.

3.5/5

130jessibud2
Jan 14, 9:23am Top

>129 figsfromthistle: - I just picked that one up at a recent visit to Value Village. It looked like an interesting read.

131PersephonesLibrary
Jan 14, 10:50am Top

Aria sounds really intriguing! I haven't read anything by an Iranian author yet. This will change. :-)

132EllaTim
Edited: Jan 14, 11:11am Top

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.

133mdoris
Jan 14, 2:04pm Top

Hello Anita, coming by for a visit!

134figsfromthistle
Jan 14, 5:03pm Top

>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 :)

135richardderus
Jan 14, 9:35pm Top

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.

136SandyAMcPherson
Jan 14, 10:29pm Top

>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?

137figsfromthistle
Jan 15, 8:32am Top

>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!

138figsfromthistle
Edited: Jan 15, 4:52pm Top

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

139quondame
Jan 15, 5:01pm Top

>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.

140figsfromthistle
Jan 15, 5:01pm Top

>139 quondame: That also sounds like a great idea!

141richardderus
Jan 15, 5:28pm Top

>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.

142fairywings
Jan 15, 5:35pm Top

I remember reading both 1984 and Animal Farm at school. Don't remember a whole lot about them but I do have them on my list for a future reread.

143jessibud2
Jan 15, 6:14pm Top

>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! :-)

144SandyAMcPherson
Jan 15, 8:15pm Top

>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.

145alcottacre
Jan 15, 8:39pm Top

>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.

146figsfromthistle
Jan 16, 7:41am Top

>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 ;)

147figsfromthistle
Jan 16, 8:50am Top

>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!

148figsfromthistle
Jan 16, 2:33pm Top



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.

3.5/5

149Crazymamie
Jan 16, 7:06pm Top

>148 figsfromthistle: I really liked that one, too, Anita.

150figsfromthistle
Jan 16, 8:20pm Top

>149 Crazymamie: Did you read the other ones in the series?

151alcottacre
Jan 16, 8:55pm Top

>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!

152figsfromthistle
Jan 16, 9:53pm Top

>151 alcottacre: Cool! I hope you like it :)

153humouress
Edited: Jan 17, 3:48am Top

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.

154The_Hibernator
Jan 17, 10:20am Top

Hi Anita! It's too bad Aria didn't get a higher rating. It looks like a fantastic premise.

156humouress
Jan 17, 11:48am Top

>155 weird_O: Ha! Knew it wasn’t just me being paranoid.

157Crazymamie
Jan 17, 12:19pm Top

>150 figsfromthistle: Nope. I did the same thing you did - read it without realizing it was part of a series.

158richardderus
Jan 17, 1:39pm Top

>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.

159figsfromthistle
Jan 17, 8:51pm Top

>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

160figsfromthistle
Jan 17, 8:55pm Top

>155 weird_O: 😂

>156 humouress: :)

>157 Crazymamie: I hate when that happens. I try to avoid starting new series and inadvertently, I dive right into a new one!

>158 richardderus: Ooh I never thought about the doorbell! Good thing I haven't bought one yet! ;)

161karenmarie
Yesterday, 10:20am Top

>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.

162figsfromthistle
Edited: Yesterday, 4:28pm Top

>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.

163lyzard
Edited: Yesterday, 9:04pm Top

>138 figsfromthistle:

Oh, nice! I will be following your challenge progress with interest.

>155 weird_O:

My life's so boring that anyone surveilling me is likely to get exactly what they deserve. :D

164figsfromthistle
Today, 5:41am Top

>163 lyzard: Hi!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

165susanj67
Today, 6:08am Top

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.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2020

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