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Lori (thornton37814) Reads 75 x 2 in 2020 (Thread 2)

This is a continuation of the topic Lori (thornton37814) Reads 75 x 2 in 2020 (Thread 1).

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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Edited: Jan 31, 9:28pm Top


Pictures (L-R): Sherlock, Mr. B, and Barney

I'm well on my way to 150 in 2020 with 36 completions in January. I doubt my pace will continue at this rate, but I've found some great ways to carve out time for reading. I've got several upcoming conference presentations and some genealogical society board duties that will eat away at some of my time.

For fiction mystery is my favorite genre. Historical fiction is a close second. I do read other genres. For non-fiction, I probably will read history or genealogy books most, but I'm quite eclectic there as well.

I also participate in the Category Challenge, and my categories there may give you an idea of some of my plans for the year. My theme for the category challenge is cats, and I usually post the category here in this thread as I read things too.

1. Maine Coon - Mysteries
2. Siamese - Historical Fiction
3. Norwegian Forest - Other Fiction & Literature
4. Persian - History & Genealogy
5. Scottish Fold - Travel
6. Ragamuffin - Food & Drink
7. American Shorthair / Tabby - Cats
8. Russian Blue - Poetry
9. Ragdoll - Juvenile/YA
10. Bengal - Other Non-Fiction

Shelter Cats = Abandoned Reads

I will also track journal articles, book chapters, and other shorter things read, but these will not count as "books read."

I will participate in some challenges each month although I may not commit to reading something in each of them each month. I'm also going to try the BingoDog challenge from the Category Challenge group.

Edited: Jan 31, 9:10pm Top

Books 1-10:

1. Facets of Death by Michael Stanley- completed 1 January 2020
2. Much Ado About Nutmeg by Sarah Fox - completed 1 January 2020
3. Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie - completed 2 January 2020
4. The Art of Uzbek Cooking by Lynn Visson - completed 2 January 2020
5. Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler - completed 4 January 2020
6. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers - completed 5 January 2020
7. The Little Berlin Cookbook by Rose Marie Schulze - completed 5 January 2020
8. Keep Calm and Carry On, Children by Sharon K. Mayhew - completed 6 January 2020
9. Off the Grid by John Hunt - completed 6 January 2020
10. Laurel Mercantile Co.: Family Recipes & Stories (vol. 1) edited by Erin Napier - completed 7 January 2020

Edited: Jan 31, 9:15pm Top

Books 11-20:

11. Bible Personalities: A Treasury of Insights for Personal Growth and Ministry by Warren W. Wiersbe - completed 7 January 2020
12. Two Steps Forward by Suzanne Woods Fisher - completed 9 January 2020
13. A Killer in King's Cove by Iona Whishaw - completed 12 January 2020
14. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David Von Drehle - completed 12 January 2020
15. Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon - completed 13 January 2020
16. Waterland by Graham Swift - completed 14 January 2020
17. The Hidden Ways: Scotland's Forgotten Roads by Alistair Moffat - completed 16 January 2020
18. An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest by Alan Fadling - completed 17 January 2020
19. Death Finds a Way by Lorine McGinnis Schulze - completed 17 January 2020
20. She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge - completed 20 January 2020

Edited: Jan 31, 9:20pm Top

Books 21-30:

21. Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson - completed 20 January 2020
22. Generations and Change: Genealogical Perspectives in Social History edited by Robert M. Taylor, Jr. and Ralph J. Crandall - completed 21 January 2020
23. The Asylum by Nathan Dylan Goodwin - completed 21 January 2020
24. Nightwoods by Charles Frazier- completed 22 January 2020
25. Good Mews: Inspirational Stories for Cat Lovers by Kitty Chappell - completed 23 January 2020
26. An Incomplete Obituary for Damien Stewart Wilson by Sean Rose - completed 23 January 2020
27. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro - completed 24 January 2020
28. Clue by Paul Allor and Nelson Daniel; lettered by Neil Uyetake and Gilberto Lazcano - completed 24 January 2020
29. Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit - completed 25 January 2020
30. The Witch Elm by Tana French - completed 26 January 2020

Edited: Jan 31, 9:24pm Top

Edited: Feb 13, 8:19am Top


1. File M for Murder by Miranda James
3. An Incomplete Obituary for Damien Stewart Wilson by Sean Rose
7. The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch
8. Death Finds a Way by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
13. The Art of Uzbek Cooking by Lynn Visson (GeoCAT)
16. The Little Berlin Cookbook by Rose Marie Schulze (Berlin native)
17. The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill
18. A Killer in King's Cove by Iona Whishaw
23. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers (Arthur Ransome's Legacy Library)
24. Much Ado About Nutmeg by Sarah Fox
25. Keep Calm and Carry On, Children by Sharon K. Mayhew (World War II evacuation of children from London)

Jan 31, 9:09pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori.

Edited: Jan 31, 9:13pm Top

Happy new thread! Cute cats, and lots of books read!

Jan 31, 9:12pm Top

Happy new one!

Jan 31, 9:25pm Top

>6 thornton37814: Thanks, Paul!

>7 PaulCranswick: Yes. I have 3 handsome fellas!

>8 quondame: Thank you!

Feb 1, 9:25am Top

Happy new thread! Excellent pace you are setting with 36 books already!

Feb 1, 9:42am Top

Happy new thread, Lori!

Excellent photos of the boys - looking at kitties always makes me feel good.

Feb 1, 11:57am Top

>1 thornton37814: That’s a lovely trio. Such handsome kitties!

Feb 1, 1:53pm Top

>11 ChelleBearss: Thank you!

>12 karenmarie: I love looking at them, but I love petting them even more!

>13 Copperskye: They are handsome fellas!

Edited: Feb 1, 4:04pm Top

Best and Worst of January

Fiction: Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie
Non-Fiction: Great Possessions: An Amish Farmer's Journal by David Kline

Honorable Mention:

Waterland by Graham Swift
Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit
An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest by Alan Fadling
Generations and Change: Genealogical Perspectives in Social History edited by Robert M. Taylor, Jr. and Ralph J. Crandall

Worst: Off the Grid by John Hunt


Clue by Paul Allor and Nelson Daniel; lettered by Neil Uyetake and Gilberto Lazcano
An Incomplete Obituary for Damien Stewart Wilson by Sean Rose

Feb 1, 4:05pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori!

Feb 1, 4:26pm Top

Happy new thread Lori my dear and what lovely Furboys you have.

Feb 1, 5:34pm Top

You missed me up there ;)

Have a great weekend.

Edited: Feb 1, 6:39pm Top

>16 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia!

>17 johnsimpson: Thanks. My Fur Boys are great company. I had an online board meeting today, and a couple of them decided to be a part of it. I was happy to show them off.

>9 figsfromthistle: >18 figsfromthistle: Oops! We must have cross-posted! I hate when that happens. Thanks!

Feb 1, 7:22pm Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 1, 7:36pm Top

>20 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! I was just thinking I ought to get off here so I can read some tonight. My momentum is already slowing down!

Feb 2, 4:52pm Top

Hi Lori, happy February!

Feb 2, 6:19pm Top

Aweeeee! The boys are so handsome. You lucky girl, you!
Oh! and Happy new thread!!

Feb 2, 7:08pm Top

I've gotta figure out how you manage to read so many books in one month!

Feb 2, 7:44pm Top

>22 richardderus: Thanks, Richard.

>23 Carmenere: Yes. I'm lucky they adopted me.

>24 Esquiress: I don't know. I doubt it will be that many this one. There's a chance I may finish one tonight. If not, I'll finish an audiobook and probably two print ones tomorrow. However, I'm seeing my momentum slowing.

Feb 2, 8:33pm Top

>25 thornton37814: Still totally impressed. I tried to get into audiobooks, and I just couldn't. Perhaps I was trying the wrong ones. I think the book A Canticle for Leibowitz would be better in print, because it was just dreadful as an audiobook.

Feb 3, 11:26am Top

>26 Esquiress: I mostly listen to mysteries. I also enjoy things like full cast audio recordings of Shakespeare's works.

Feb 3, 11:29am Top

Book 37. Borrowed Crime by Laurie Cass

Date Completed: 3 February 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Minnie Hamilton, assistant director of a northwestern lower peninsula Michigan library, runs its bookmobile services, relying on volunteers or off-duty staff member volunteers to be the second person on outings. Her cat Eddie goes along, especially charming schoolchildren. When Denise Slade can't make it on her day, she sends her husband Roger in her place. When the bookmobile stops for a restroom break, Roger is shot. Was it a hunting accident? or was Roger, or even his wife Denise, the target? His sister wants to sue the library, but Minnie, realizing her job is in jeopardy, knows she must assist the officials in catching the killer. With one of the normal officers off, a new officer assists in the investigation. He shows an interest in Minnie but doesn't realize she's been dating Tucker. Tucker has been making lots of excuses lately about not spending time with Minnie. Is he seeing another woman? As one might expect in this series, the cat helps nab the killer. It was a pleasant outing. The killer wasn't completely obvious, but most readers might suspect the person early. At one point Minnie looks through some records that eliminate a suspect, but the author does not share what she saw that eliminated him--just provided evidence that the glance eliminated him. The reader can somewhat figure out what she found by the questions she asked about the records, but since it was knowledge possessed by Minnie, providing details would clarify matters for readers. This pleasant read is perfect (or is it purrfect?) for a day when something light and fun appeals.

Feb 3, 12:04pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori! Good solo photos of the boys up top.

Feb 3, 1:50pm Top

Happy New Thread, Lori!

Maybe I missed it - how did you like Remains of the Day, and the Sharon Olds' collection, Stag's Leap?

Feb 3, 8:05pm Top

>29 harrygbutler: Yes. I took those early in the year and have been saving them to post on #2. It's so hard to get good shots of them.

>30 jnwelch: Remains of the Day was pretty good. I gave it 3.5 stars. It was a bit monotonous in audio because there was only one voice. I hated Stag's Leap.

Feb 3, 8:28pm Top

Book 38. The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill

Date Completed: 3 February 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: Dr. Siri Pahboun, 72-year-old coroner for Laos whom deceased spirits visit, suspects foul play when an important man's wife comes to the morgue at the hospital. However, the body is taken before he completes the autopsy. Still he completed enough steps to verify his suspicion. Then rescuers recover the body of a Vietnamese man in a lake. On the surface it appears he was tortured, potentially leading to bad relations with Vietnam. However, the coroner from that country obtained another corpse from the same location which was immediately known to be Vietnamese. I loved his nurse and his assistant with Down's syndrome. The spiritism angle was a little too strange for me. I doubt I'll continue the series because of that. It's really a shame because I liked the setting in a culture with which I'm unfamiliar. I listened to the audiobook read by Gareth Armstrong who is a good narrator.

Feb 3, 9:26pm Top

Happy new thread! I quite liked The Coroner's Lunch, but I haven't read any more of the series. I had forgotten about it. I really liked the nurse and the assistant.

Edited: Feb 4, 7:39am Top

>33 nittnut: The spiritism angle is what marred my enjoyment. I'm just not into those weird things, and it made it hard for me to follow. It sometimes felt like "fantasy" genre, and I'm not a big fan of that.

Feb 4, 1:13pm Top

Book 39. Perfect Pie and Pastry Recipes: Homemade Dessert Pies Made Easy Cookbook by Katherine Hupp

Date Completed: 3 February 2020

Category: Ragamuffin (Food & Drink)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: For a small cookbook, this one isn't bad. The book begins with crusts, offering tips such as always using ice water or making certain the butter or shortening is cold. It then moves to fruit pies, most requiring two crusts. Custard-based pies and other pies, such as pecan, follow. The author provides several tips on meringues to vary the flavor a bit. While I'll probably use my own family's recipes for most of the pies included, I did enjoy this.

Feb 4, 1:26pm Top

Book 40. Julio Bunny Goes to the Library by Nicoletta Costa

Date Completed: 3 February 2020

Category: Ragdoll (Juvenile & YA)

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: On a rainy day, Julio Bunny is bored. He sees a friend reading a pirate book and thinks it looks interesting. The friend takes him to the library where a goat serves as the librarian. I can't help but wonder about a goat librarian. Wouldn't the goat eat all the paper? I'm not quite sure this book works although it does theoretically encourage reading. Other books do a better job addressing the topic.

Feb 5, 12:59pm Top

Book 41. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Date Completed: 5 February 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: This classic Shakespeare comedic play features two men in love with the same woman who both end up falling for another woman after Puck errs. Shakespeare, who often incorporates elements of fantasy, included faeries in the play. There's even a play within the play in this one. It's not my favorite Shakespeare play, but it's a good one.

Feb 6, 12:26pm Top

Belated happy new thread, Lori!

You are zooming through the books this year :-)

Feb 6, 2:30pm Top

>15 thornton37814: happy new thread!

Are the Runner-Ups to be considered under Worst?

Feb 6, 6:22pm Top

>38 FAMeulstee: I'm making progress in the TBR pile.

>39 fuzzi: Yes. The runner-ups are for worst.

Feb 6, 6:31pm Top

>28 thornton37814: I enjoy light reads, so I will look for that one. It appears that my local library has one of the books in the series, Lending a Paw, and that is it. Have you read that one, Lori?

>37 thornton37814: One of my favorite plays!

Feb 6, 8:59pm Top

>41 alcottacre: Yes. I read Lending a Paw and loved it. It's one of the books from a gift collection that we already owned at the library but I kept out so I would read them before putting them in the book sale. I've been reading those during lunch most days.

Feb 6, 9:07pm Top

I'm not finding much time to read this week. I've got a lot going on. I have read stuff, but I just haven't completed much. I hope to remedy that tomorrow. I'll be riding in the church bus with our youth choir on their trip to an event in middle Tennessee. It's normally a 3.5 to 4 hour drive, but with snow in the forecast and the road closures on I-40 due to potholes or other issues because of this week's flooding, it could take longer. I hope to be able to read on the bus and then perhaps while they are rehearsing if I don't need to be involved in auditions or sectionals. We'll be heading back Saturday late afternoon/evening so I hope to have more time then too. I hope I can complete two books in process and begin the Viveca Sten one for the group read. I'm only taking my iPad so the e-books will be my entertainment. I probably won't check in here until I return. I'm sure it will take a few days to catch up so please forgive me.

Feb 6, 10:44pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori. Good luck with your reading plans during your trip.

Feb 8, 9:57am Top

Happy new thread! Enjoy your trip despite all the weather issues.

Feb 8, 8:19pm Top

>44 Familyhistorian: Just got back in. I finished two books and began another. I probably would have made more progress if I had not had a horrible headache on the return trip. I'll try to find time to review them tomorrow, but I'm probably not staying online long tonight because of the headache. I took something just now, but I'll mostly relax and pet cats.

>45 witchyrichy: The snow was a pretty snow. It clung to the grass and trees but not the roads. Some issues this morning in East Tennessee, but since I was in Middle Tennessee, it was okay. Even though the temps stayed down, the sun came out enough this afternoon to take care of most of the issues locally. Some parents who drove over today to see their daughter perform told us it was pretty bad when they left but the worst was over by the time they got a little past Knoxville.

Feb 9, 12:39pm Top

Book 42. File M for Murder by Miranda James

Date Completed: 7 February 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Charlie Harris, archivist at a university in Athena, Mississippi, finds himself involved in another investigation when his daughter Laura returns home to teach drama. When the playright/director for the production turns up dead, several suspects with varying motives emerge. Fortunately Diesel the cat helps keep a fire meant to torch the home from ever gaining hold and shows Charlie the suspicious package addressed to Laura before she can open it. One suspect is killed. Police must seek the killer from striking again and try to keep Laura safe, but Charlie and his son Sean, an attorney, know they need to help. While this installment provides a fun reading experience, the police and amateur sleuths need better relationship development to improve the series. Kanesha, whose mother works for Charlie, seems entirely too cold and distant. I think the author, in an effort to make her seem all business-like, made her too cold.

Feb 9, 12:54pm Top

Book 43. Nighttime Is My Time by Mary Higgins Clark

Date Completed: 7 February 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 2 stars

Review: A class reunion provides the backdrop for this novel. A serial killer appears to be at work. Much of the book concerns itself with one member missing and others concerned the last member of a group will be the next victim. I did not enjoy this book. Too much action came from tiresome conversation. I never got past apathy for all the characters. I considered abandoning the book several times, but I wanted to read a book by Clark after her death. I obviously picked the wrong one from my library's e-book collection.

Feb 9, 2:11pm Top

Book 44. Putting Flesh on the Bones: Bringing Your Ancestors to Life by Mark W. Swarthout

Date Completed: 9 February 2020

Category: Persian (History & Genealogy)

Rating: 1 star

Review: I picked up this book some years ago when offered free. Its content disappoints. To me "putting flesh on bones" involves writing about the ancestor, incorporating elements of social history. Instead the author provides a few types of resources which might provide records or more information on your ancestor. I really don't think any of the resources, in and of itself, would bring an ancestor to life as the subtitle claims. It is only when those resources are used in conjunction with social history and woven into a narrative this happens. At least I spent no money on this book which needed an editor's hand.

Feb 9, 2:31pm Top

Book 45. Romney Marsh: Eighth Wonder of the World by Roderick Leyland

Date Completed: 9 February 2020

Category: Scottish Fold (Travel)

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: In this odd little book, Leyland asks whether Romney Marsh deserves to be called the eighth wonder of the world as one writer claims. He discusses the flora of the region, includes a bit of history, and provides several photographs of the era. What appeared to be the focal question was never answered. The book ends rather abruptly without a conclusion. The author overused forms of the "be" verb in his writing. The photographs bumped the rating up slightly. I obtained this book free for Kindle in 2012.

Feb 9, 3:01pm Top

Book 46. Traditional Recipes of Reunion Island by Yohann Maillot

Date Completed: 9 February 2020

Category: Ragamuffin (Food & Drink)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This small, but interesting, collection of recipes, influenced by French, Indian, and Chinese cuisines, offers readers a glimpse of the typical fare of Reunion Island. The collection contains no photos.

Feb 9, 3:05pm Top

Book 47. Speaking Chileno: A Guide to Spanish from Chile by Jared Romey

Date Completed: 9 February 2020

Category: Scottish Fold (Travel)

Rating: 1 star

Review: While a few of the expressions included in this volume may assist a tourist visiting the country of Chile, most shows the author's familiarity the slang associated with sexual innuendo, drunkenness, and other low forms of expression. Most females will not wish to read this, and persons under age twenty-one should not read it. The author's potty mouth ruins this book. This was a freebie obtained several years ago on Kindle.

Feb 9, 3:24pm Top

Book 48. Evernote: Your Second Brain by James Keaton

Date Completed: 9 February 2020

Category: Bengal (Other Non-Fiction)

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: A very basic introduction to Evernote for persons using or considering using the platform. Better books on the subject exist. The introduction and conclusions both thank the reader for downloading the book.

Feb 10, 10:37am Top

I just returned from the annual exam for my boys. All three were healthy, and their weight is okay for now, but the vet would like for me to cut back a little to keep them from gaining weight as they age. This will take awhile to adjust, I suspect, as the ones with more voracious appetites will probably cheat Barney who tends eat small amounts at a time, so I'll have to find ways to make sure each gets his own ration.

Feb 11, 4:14am Top

Belated happy new one, Lori. I love the photos of your boys.
Wishing you a fabulous birthdady. May all your dreams come true.

Feb 11, 7:35am Top

>55 Ameise1: Thanks for the birthday bouquet!

Feb 11, 4:41pm Top

Happy Birthday, Lori! I hope your headache is long gone and you can completely enjoy your birthday with the boys!

Feb 11, 5:43pm Top

>57 ronincats: I'm ready to celebrate with my boys. I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a baking potato, steak, an angel food cake, strawberries, and ice cream. I need to get that potato in the oven, but I'll be disturbing at least one (and maybe two cats) when I do. Two are beside me, but I think only one will be affected when I get up.

Edited: Feb 11, 6:13pm Top

I purchased a birthday present for myself today. I ordered season 4 of Shetland on DVD. Then I placed an order for:

Plain as Day by Laura Bradford (a Kindle short)
Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott (first in a series I've been meaning to try)
A Frontier Teacher in Tonto Basin by Angeline Mitchell; edited by Stanley C. Brown (a diary to read for a presentation I'm doing in May)
The Possibility of Prayer by John Starke (a book just released today that caught my eye in the publisher's catalog)

Only the last one is in print. I opted for e-book on the others. I'll try to add touchstones for the last two after I add them to LibraryThing since no valid touchstone options displayed.

I spent about $23 on the books and $20 on the DVD. Not bad for my birthday gift to myself.

Now I'm cooking my birthday supper. I began the baked potato. I'll start the ribeye steak in a bit. Strawberry shortcake (angel food cake, strawberries, ice cream) is for dessert.

Why do birthdays make us miss our moms so much?

Feb 11, 6:23pm Top

Happy birthday, Lori! Happy to hear that you are treating yourself - enjoy!! I love Shetland, too!

My birthday always makes me miss my mom. She’s gone 10 years this year and it still hurts my heart that I can’t talk to her. Hugs to you.

Feb 11, 6:34pm Top

Happy personal new year, Lori!

Feb 11, 6:37pm Top

Happy birthday, Lori!

Feb 11, 7:24pm Top

Happy Birthday!!!

Feb 11, 8:22pm Top

Happy birthday, Lori.

Great to see you enjoying your posting and especially your reading in 2020.

Feb 11, 8:59pm Top

>60 Copperskye: Thanks! I really enjoyed the steak. It's better than what is available at most restaurants here. The only problem is I was too full for dessert. I'll enjoy it later though.

>61 richardderus: >62 FAMeulstee: >63 fuzzi: Thanks

>64 PaulCranswick: I feel like I'm getting nothing read this week. I've struggled to keep up with the Facebook well-wishes today. I try to like and comment on them all. I'd try to look every hour during the peak posting and every two or three the rest of the time. I'm sure I'll be way behind in the morning.

Feb 11, 9:05pm Top

>65 thornton37814: Nothing read?! 48 books in 43 days?!

Feb 11, 9:38pm Top

>66 PaulCranswick: I'm just not making much progress this week.

Feb 11, 9:42pm Top

Happy birthday, Lori!

Feb 11, 9:56pm Top

Feb 11, 11:33pm Top

Hi Lori. Happy Birthday!
>59 thornton37814: Excellent birthday haul for yourself. Season 4 of Shetland -- yay!

Back on your prior thread, I have Nightwoods on my wish list. I loved Cold Mountain way back when.

>43 thornton37814: Where in "middle Tennessee" were you? I have cousins in Nashville and Burns, and my favorite aunt lives in Waverly. One cousin, and her daughter, went to MTSU.

Feb 12, 8:24am Top

>70 EBT1002: I was in Murfreesboro, home of MTSU. Each year the Tennessee Baptists hold an event for the state's youth choirs that alternates between the 3 regions of the state. (It actually alternated between east and west until this year when middle was thrown back into the mix.) The event was held at a church there, but I hope they select a different facility in 3 years. The set-up was not good.

Feb 13, 5:36pm Top

Book 49. Blood from a Stone by Donna Leon

Date Completed: 13 February 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: When an African street vendor selling counterfeit brand name bags dies, Brunetti gets called to the scene. With only American tourists as witnesses, he begins to reconstruct what happened and begins investigating the man's identity and residence. A search of the man's home reveals hidden gems of high value. However, Patta tells Brunetti to quit investigating. Two higher agencies take over the investigation. Brunetti smells something amiss. The reader is left asking questions as this one leaves many matters hanging or speculative. While I enjoyed the installment to an extent, the lack of answers left me slightly unsatisfied. I loved David Colacci's narration.

Feb 13, 5:42pm Top

Interested to see what Book 50 is, Lori.

You really are on a roll!

Feb 13, 6:01pm Top

>73 PaulCranswick: I think it will be the Viveca Sten for the group read. I think I'll finish it tonight.

Feb 13, 6:05pm Top

>74 thornton37814: I am intrigued by her, Lori, but her books are simply not available here. I think I will Book Depo the first one or two.

Feb 13, 7:43pm Top

>75 PaulCranswick: I enjoyed the first one. Getting ready to post the review.

Feb 13, 7:46pm Top

Book 50. Still Waters by Viveca Sten

Date Completed: 13 February 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: When a man's body washes ashore on Sandhamn, Thomas Andreasson goes there to investigate with a couple of junior detectives while the team leader departs for her vacation. The recently divorced Thomas' connection to the island makes him a good choice to ask questions of the locals. When the dead man's only known surviving cousin also turns up dead, the team realizes both victims likely met their fate at the hands of a murderer. One story line which eventually shows a slight relation to the other involves Nora, a friend of Thomas, and her doctor husband who argue over a job opportunity. While this isn't a perfectly plotted mystery, its setting and likable characters keep readers engaged. While the book fits the police procedural category best, Nora does a bit of amateur sleuthing, making this one readers of both sub-genres might enjoy.

Feb 13, 7:54pm Top

>42 thornton37814: Good to know!

>59 thornton37814: Sounds like some great birthday presents to me!

Feb 13, 8:14pm Top

>78 alcottacre: I thought I needed to get a little something for myself.

Feb 13, 8:52pm Top

Belated birthday wishes, Lori! It sounds like you were very good to yourself and had a lovely birthday! Excellent way to celebrate, imo.

Feb 13, 9:12pm Top

>77 thornton37814: Well done on 50 books already, Lori. I know RD has been banging the drum about this one being a great series.

Feb 13, 9:47pm Top

>80 Storeetllr: Thanks!

>81 PaulCranswick: I enjoyed the first book. It's not perfect, but that's pretty typical for a first in series. I think we'll continue the group read through the rest of the series. Several of us want to do so.

Feb 14, 10:31am Top

Belated Happy Birthday Lori! Excellent birthday dinner, by the way.

>59 thornton37814: Why do birthdays make us miss our moms so much? Sad, but true. My mom used to call me at 6 a.m. PST (the exact time I was born) and sing Happy Birthday to me. My sister has taken over and it’s quite wonderful too, but just not Mom.

Feb 14, 12:34pm Top

>83 karenmarie: I think each year that goes by I miss her more and more. Everyone at work forgot my birthday this year. It made me realize how Mom never forgot. Then I began to reminisce. You know how it goes. I ended up crying, of course.

Feb 14, 1:27pm Top

Book 51. Yorkshire: A Story of Invasion, Uprising and Conflict by Paul C. Levitt

Date Completed: 14 February 2020

Category: Persian (History & Genealogy)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Levitt traces the history of Yorkshire from prehistoric times to the recent past in this work, showing a history of invasion by other peoples into the middle ages and conflicts, such as that between Protestants and Catholics, after that. Although the recent past extends almost to the twenty-first century, the two World Wars are the last major conflicts treated. Levitt's work is quite readable and provides a good overview. Documentation is a bit sparse and surprisingly seemed to follow APA format rather than a more traditional humanities approach to citation. This, of course, limits its usefulness to historians, but for laypersons wanting an overview of Yorkshire's history, it excels.

Feb 14, 2:17pm Top

>83 karenmarie: my mom has been gone for 25 years, but my father has called me every year on my birthday and left a Happy Birthday singing voicemail.

Feb 14, 7:13pm Top

>86 fuzzi: That's nice.

Feb 14, 8:51pm Top

Happy Friday, Lori. How did I not have your thread starred? What the heck? I blame brain freeze. Well, I have you starred now and I want give you a belated Happy Birthday! I always appreciate your visits on my thread.

Feb 14, 8:54pm Top

>88 msf59: Thanks, Mark! It's easy to miss threads in the craziness of the year starting up. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

Feb 14, 9:02pm Top

Hey, you are not even mad? Yah! I am so happy that so many LTers are hanging in there and continuing to make this place special.

Feb 14, 9:46pm Top

>90 msf59: I think those of us who've been around here long enough know how easy it is to miss a thread (from personal experience).

Feb 15, 10:46am Top

Book 52. Flubby Is Not a Good Pet by J. E. Morris

Date Completed: 15 February 2020

Category: Tabby/American Shorthair (Cats)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This children's book compares the cat to other pets who sing, catch, run, and jump. Since Flubby doesn't do those things, the book concludes "Flubby is not a good pet." However, there's a silver lining in a shared need between pet and human. I think the book misleads about cats because cats can do all those things. The singing may not be like that of a bird, and they may only do the other things when not being asked to do them, but cats are great pets. I am happy to see the mutual need element. The illustrations are okay. This book is good for beginning readers.

Feb 15, 11:52am Top

>85 thornton37814: That one looks like one I might like. Thanks for the recommendation, Lori!

Have a great weekend!

Feb 15, 12:55pm Top

>93 alcottacre: I enjoyed it. It met the "invasion" theme of one of the cats or kits in the category challenge.

Feb 15, 12:58pm Top

Book 53. Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut by Sarah Graves

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Date Completed: 15 February 2020

Rating: 3 stars

Review: The town's pirate festival promises to be good business for Jacobia "Jake" and her friend Ellie who own the local bakery. When a man turns up dead in their basement, Jake becomes the chief suspect and knows she needs to catch the person or persons responsible before she lands in jail. The bakery plays a secondary role in this adventure with the seaside location paramount. While the main characters feel better developed than in the first installment, the mystery itself needs better plotting. Jake and Ellie come across as bumbling fools who fail to heed their own intuition, rather than clever amateur detectives. I almost quit reading this installment when a snake scene went on far too long. Potential exists for the series, but it still needs a dose of reality achieve it.

Feb 15, 6:27pm Top

Book 54. Corned Beef and Casualties by Lynn Cahoon

Date Completed: 15 February 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: St. Patrick's Day festivities brought lots of visitors to South Cove. Jill's coffee and book store sold lots. When a young woman who visited the shop turns up dead at the beach, Jill can't resist assisting her boyfriend in the investigation even though he warned her off. This novella presents a quick and fun read for cozy fans or fans of the series. While I read a Christmas novella from the series and enjoyed it, I need to begin the series.

Feb 15, 9:29pm Top

Book 55. Fidelity: Poems by Grace Paley

Date Completed: 15 February 2020

Category: Russian Blue (Poetry)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Published when the author was eighty-four, this collection reflects, in part, the author's reflections on that period in her life. The author's style involves all lower case with the exception of the word "I." Spaces, rather than punctuation, mark pauses. The author's style does not resonate well with me, although I appreciated some of the poems. The author's atheism manifested itself in one poem in the collection. I prefer Mary Oliver's poetry.

Feb 15, 10:17pm Top

I've been watching Hallmark Movies & Mysteries tonight. I'm really enjoying A Beautiful Place to Die (link to the book on which it is based). While I own a couple of later books in the series, I've never read them. I think I'd want to begin with this one (even though I'm watching the movie). I'll have to see if I can find this at the used bookstore as part of my Thingaversary haul next month.

Feb 16, 4:08am Top

Wow 55 books in and no sign of slowing down at all!

>85 thornton37814: That one of course interests me as one of the actual Yorkshiremen in the group!

>97 thornton37814: I have ordered that one from Book Depo for the AAC but it hasn't arrived yet.

Have a lovely Sunday.

Feb 16, 4:02pm Top

wish you a good new week

Feb 16, 4:08pm Top

>97 thornton37814: I made it about 30 pages into this collection and gave up, Lori. Nothing was clicking. Now, I will be trying Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, a story-collection by Paley. I hope this one works.

Feb 16, 7:51pm Top

>99 PaulCranswick: Yes. You probably would like the Yorkshire history. I didn't want to read a sci-fi for the invasion theme in the KITastrophe, so I chose real invasions! I hope you like the Paley more than I did, but I really couldn't get into her style very much. However, I am trying to read more poetry, and it was an opportunity to try her poetry. I've got a mystery collection going on for the book club at work. We only read one or two stories per week.

>100 paulstalder: Thanks, Paul

>101 msf59: I can understand abandoning it. I agree it wasn't really my style, but I knew I could make it through it quickly so I went ahead and read it. I've been trying to read more poetry, and it was an opportunity to do so. I'll be curious to see what you think of the story collection. We had one at our library. I probably should have read it rather than the poetry one I had to purchase.

Feb 16, 9:42pm Top

Book 56. Journey to the Alcarria: Travels Through the Spanish Countryside by Camilo José Cela

Date Completed: 16 February 2020

Category: Scottish Fold (Travel)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: The author, who won a Pulitzer later in life, recounts his travels in Spain's Alcarria region. He enjoyed talking to locals or doing things based on opportunity. The tale seemed to be as erratic as his planning for the journey had been. The narrative ended somewhat abruptly although some hints of its near completion appeared in the concluding chapter. The author consistently refers to himself in the third person as "the traveler." The construction seems odd to us now. While more modern forms of transportation existed--and the author did take a bus at one point--the locals mostly seemed to get around by animal-driven carts. I wonder what a modern traveler to the region would find. Perhaps the style appeals more to his original Spanish audience, but it lost its appeal through time or translation. Interesting tidbits of local color make it still worth reading, but one must slog through less interesting pieces to get to these gems.

Yesterday, 1:32pm Top

Book 57. Luke: The Gospel of Amazement by Michael Card

Date Completed: 17 February 2020

Category: Bengal (Other Non-Fiction)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: In the early days of Contemporary Christian Music, Michael Card was one of my favorite artists. His music always seemed to provide a refreshing insight into a familiar passage of Scripture. I'm not sure when I stumbled across this commentary he wrote, but the title intrigued me. I eventually ordered the Kindle version. I decided to pull it out to use in my daily quiet time. Card provides insights into the text by making the reader think about it through the lens of first century culture. He explains some aspects of Jewishness--although Luke is probably the least Jewish of the Gospels. This commentary does not explore textual criticism of passages nor does it argue theological differences. It is perfect for a layman's daily quiet time. The text presented in the commentary comes from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

Yesterday, 8:14pm Top

Book 58. Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Date Completed: 17 February 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Vianne Rocher opens a chocolate shop in a French village near the Catholic Church. The story begins around Valentine's Day and runs until the day after Easter. She tempts the villagers to pursue happiness, breaking their Lenten vows, with her offerings. The book contains a touch of magical realism, friendships, religious undertones, and a whole lot of chocolate-y goodness.

Yesterday, 8:29pm Top

>102 thornton37814: I hate to report this Lori, but I also abandoned Enormous Changes at the Last Minute. It just wasn't grabbing me. Sadly, I think Paley is a bust, but at least I tried.

Edited: Today, 8:44am Top

>106 msf59: Good to know I didn't miss anything by reading the poetry instead of the short story! The poetry was painful enough, but it was short, so I could endure it.

Today, 8:23pm Top

Book 59. Coconut Layer Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Date Completed: 18 February 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Hannah accompanies her mother to California to visit a relative. Doc prescribed the vacation for her when he diagnosed her with stress. It isn't long until she receives a message the police need her help in an investigation in which Lonnie's presence makes him a suspect. Mike can't investigate because Lonnie is his partner. Only a newly minted detective and the chief himself can investigate, so even the chief wants Hannah to meddle this time. The victim's personality made her unpopular so several persons held motives. A remains of a coconut layer cake plays into the investigation, thus giving the installment its title. The book contains lots of recipes. The premise of this one does not really hold up that well as the police would have called in the state to conduct the investigation. However, it was fun. The love triangle between Hannah, Norman, and Mike continues. I received an electronic advance copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Today, 8:25pm Top

>105 thornton37814: Nothing wrong with chocolaty goodness, Lori. She was born and brought up about 5 miles from me Joanne Harris and I have seen her about town in Wakefield and Barnsley a time or two - in book shops!

Today, 8:48pm Top

>109 PaulCranswick: Interesting. I'm assuming you meant John if you are talking about Wakefield bookshops since I don't think you meant that she saw herself.

Today, 9:13pm Top

>110 thornton37814: No Lori, I meant that I saw her. Don't forget that I have not been a regular since the mid 1990s but she sort of knows my sister from Huddersfield University where she has some links I think. Around the time of her second book I think I was in Wakefield? when she did a book signing but I cannot be certain.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2020

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