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scaifea's thread #4

This is a continuation of the topic scaifea's thread #3.

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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1scaifea
Feb 12, 7:28am Top



I'll start Pumpkinheads later today. It's my first Rainbow Rowell and I admit that I'm pretty excited about it.

Hey, everybody!

From the Introductions Thread:
I'm Amber, a one-time Classics professor, turned stay-at-home parent/lady of leisure, turned part-time library assistant. I spend my time sewing, writing, knitting, baking, and, of course, reading. Oh, and I run an Etsy shop and I'm co-writing a Latin textbook with a former colleague. So I keep busy.

My reading life is happily governed by lists, which means that I read a healthy variety of things across various genres.

I'm 44 going on 12 and live in Ohio with my husband, Tomm; our 11-year-old son, Charlie; and our two dogs, Tuppence the Border Collie and Mario the Golden Retriever.



Favorite Books from 2019
Next of Kin
The Book of Boy
Ficciones
Night Watch
The Name of the Wind
A Monster Calls
Check, Please! Book 1
Art Matters
The Heart's Invisible Furies

2scaifea
Edited: Today, 6:50am Top



What I'm Reading Now:
-The Body: A Guide for Occupants (Read Soon! Shelves)
-Telephone Tales (1001 Children's Books)
-Raising Steam (Discworld series)
-These Old Shades (romance genre list)
-Cranford (audiobook)
-Pawn of Prophecy (Charlie's bedtime book)
-The Wise Man's Fear (Read Soon! Shelves)

Books on Deck:

-Uncle Silas (books by year - 1864)
-Read It and Weep (series read with my mom)
-The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare re-read)
-Peyton Place (Banned Books)
-The House on the Borderland (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy list)
-Lord Foul's Bane (BSF Award)
-Secondhand Souls (Moore bibliography)
-(unread book from my shelves)
-(a book from my Read Soon! shelves)
-The Experience of Insight (Buddhist reading list)

3scaifea
Feb 12, 7:30am Top

The five-ish or so books I have going at once and the On Deck books nearly all come from the following categories and lists:

1. A book from the 100 Banned Books book (at least currently. As soon as I finish this list, I'll replace it with another, and oh, I've got tons of lists).

2. A children's book, for Charlie's library. I'm trying to collect books from various award lists, and I like reading them before reading them to Charlie or deciding to add them to Charlie's shelves. For this category, I’m currently working through three lists:
a. 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Die
b. The Newbery Honor books
c. Cooperative Children's Book Center list

3. A book from the Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List, in chronological order.

4. A list I'm working through together with my best friend, Rob: The Hugo/Nebula/WFA/Bram Stoker (and other) lists (combined, in chronological order)

5. For this category, I cycle through 9 different stacks:
a. Agatha Christie's bibliography (in chronological order)
b. Stephen Fry's bibliography (in chronological order)
c. John Boyne bibliography (in chronological order, sort of)
d. Neil Gaiman's bibliography (in some order other than chronological (don't
ask)).
e. Christopher Moore's bibliography (in chronological order)
f. Maggie Stiefvater's bibliography (in chronological order)
g. The NEH Timeless Classics list
h. The National Book Award list (in alpha order by title)
i. The Pulitzer list (in alpha order by author)

6. An unread book from my shelves.

7. A book from my Read Soon! shelves.

8. A book on Buddhism or from the Dalai Lama's bibliography.

9. Book-a-year challenge: Three years ago, along with a few others in this group (*cough* Paul *cough*), I made a year-by-year list to see how far I could go back with consecutive reads. I've since been trying to fill in the gap years.

10. A book from the couple of series that I'm reading together with my mom.

11. A full-on re-read through Shakespeare's stuff.

12. A read-aloud-to-Charlie-at-bedtime book (or two).

13. An audio book, which I listen to as I knit/sew/otherwise craft/drive.

14. A Discworld book (so many of these are coming up soon on various lists, so I'm just diving into it)

15. A romance novel, using as a guideline an excellent list of authors and works curated by lycomaflower (I know virtually nothing about this genre, but I now work in a library where many, many lovely people come through to check out books of this genre, and I want to know something about it).

16. This slot is reserved for books that just grab me and shout that they need to be read Right Now.

4scaifea
Edited: Today, 7:11am Top

Books Read

JANUARY
1. Still Life (Read Soon! Shelves) - 9/10 = A
2. Breaking Stalin's Nose (Newbery Honor Book, audiobook) - 8/10 = B-
3. The Golden Name Day (Newbery Honor Book) - 7/10 = C
4. Lumberjanes #2: Friendship to the Max (series read) - 10/10 = A+
5. Lumberjanes #3: A Terrible Plan (series read) - 10/10 = A+
6. Lumberjanes #4: Out of Time (series read) - 10/10 = A+
7. Lumberjanes #5: Band Together (series read) - 10/10 = A+
8. Lumberjanes #6: Sink or Swim (series read) - 10/10 = A+
9. Lumberjanes #7: A Bird's-Eye View (series read) - 10/10 = A+
10. Lumberjanes #8: Stone Cold (series read) - 10/10 = A+
11. Lumberjanes #9: On a Roll (series read) - 10/10 = A+
12. Lumberjanes #10: Parents' Day! (series read) - 10/10 = A+
13. Lumberjanes #11: Time After Crime (series read) - 10/10 = A+
14. The Adventurous Eaters Club (Read Soon! Shelves/Christmas gift from Charlie) - 9/10 = A
15. The Black God's Drums (Alex Award) - 9/10 = A
16. Call Down the Hawk (Read Soon! Shelves) - 10/10 = A+
17. Mr. Justice Holmes (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
18. I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld) - 9/10 = A
19. The White Stone (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B-
20. The Corn Grows Ripe (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-

FEBRUARY
21. The Book of Essie (Alex Awards) - 9/10 = A
22. Lumberjanes 12: Jackalope Springs Eternal (series read) - 10/10 A+
23. Lumberjanes 13: Indoor Recess (series read) - 10/10 = A+
24. Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks (series read) - 10/10 = A+
25. Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass (series read) - 10/10 = A+
26. Lumberjanes: The Shape of Friendship (series read) - 10/10 = A+
27. Mooncakes (recommended by Laura (lycomayflower)) - 9/10 = A
28. Vanity Fair (audiobook) - 7/10 = C
29. They Called Us Enemy (Read Soon! Shelves) - 9/10 = A
30. The Rattle Bag (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B
31. Queen of the Sea (impulse library checkout) - 8/10 = B-
32. Pumpkinheads (impulse library checkout) - 9/10 = A
33. Snuff (Discworld) - 9/10 = A
34. Agnes Grey (audiobook) - 8/10 = B+
35. New Kid (Newbery Medal) - 10/10 = A+

5scaifea
Feb 12, 7:31am Top

Able Baker Charlie doing some holiday cookie decorating:



Also, The Gals, of course:



6Carmenere
Feb 12, 7:34am Top

Happy new thread, Amber! So cool you have an in-house baker to make the holidays extra special.

7PaulCranswick
Feb 12, 7:40am Top

Happy new thread, Amber.

>1 scaifea: It can only be in LT that you express your excitement at an upcoming read and we all empathise.

8figsfromthistle
Feb 12, 7:41am Top

Happy new one!

9scaifea
Feb 12, 7:43am Top

>6 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda! Yes, it's such a luxury to have an in-house pastry chef. Totally worth it, though.

>7 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! Right?! Just one of the million reasons why this place is so amazing.

>8 figsfromthistle: Thanks!

10scaifea
Edited: Feb 12, 7:57am Top



31. Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis (impulse library checkout, graphic novel) - 8/10 = B-
A sort of alternate history/historical fiction graphic novel loosely based on the experiences of the young Elizabeth I. I enjoyed it just fine, but it didn't knock me off my feet like I was expecting. I think, honestly, it would have worked better as a plain old novel, where details could be fleshed out more (and I don't really feel like the illustrations playing a strong enough role in the story anyway). *shrug*

11msf59
Feb 12, 8:19am Top

Happy New Thread, Amber!

12Ameise1
Feb 12, 8:22am Top

Happy new one, Amber. I love the photos.

13thornton37814
Feb 12, 8:35am Top

Happy new thread! Glad to see Charlie doing his Valentine's Day baking!

14jnwelch
Feb 12, 8:38am Top



Happy New Thread!

>10 scaifea: Agreed.

Pumpkinheads - you'll have fun with that one. Eleanor and Park is my favorite Rainbow Rowell so far.

15scaifea
Feb 12, 9:13am Top

Thanks, all!!

>14 jnwelch: Joe: I can't believe I haven't read any of Rowell's stuff so far, and I have it from a Most Trusted Source that her stuff is amazing so I am *so* excited to get started with her!

16drneutron
Feb 12, 9:27am Top

Happy new thread!

17foggidawn
Feb 12, 9:37am Top

Happy new thread! Ooh, Rainbow Rowell is the best.

18scaifea
Feb 12, 9:44am Top

>16 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>17 foggidawn: Thanks, foggi! And WOOT for another Rowell fan!

19RebaRelishesReading
Feb 12, 12:18pm Top

#4 already!! Wow!

20richardderus
Feb 12, 1:24pm Top

>10 scaifea: My experience of graphic storytelling in one simple aside: *shrug*

I feel so validated.

21ChelleBearss
Feb 12, 1:32pm Top

Happy new thread!

From your last thread I’m sure you were not surprised about Charlie’s teacher’s comments. You already knew he was awesome! (Although it’s good to hear eh:)

22scaifea
Feb 12, 4:03pm Top

>19 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: *grins*

>20 richardderus: Richard: I usually really enjoy the graphic novels I read - this one was the exception and even so I didn't *not* like it. So I'm not sure you'll find that validation here, mister.

>21 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! It *is* in fact nice to hear.

23johnsimpson
Feb 12, 4:09pm Top

Happy new thread Amber my dear.

24scaifea
Feb 12, 4:10pm Top

>23 johnsimpson: Thanks, John!

25quondame
Edited: Feb 12, 5:20pm Top

Happy new thread!

>5 scaifea: Great photos, I bet that lot keep you busy!

26FAMeulstee
Feb 12, 7:09pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber!

27alcottacre
Feb 12, 7:15pm Top

Checking out the new thread, Amber!

28ronincats
Feb 12, 9:59pm Top

Happy New Thread, Amber!!

29brodiew2
Feb 12, 10:12pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber!

>1 scaifea: Thank you for introducing me to Pumpkinheads. I've been working on a farm, in WA state, for 15 years, during the pumpkin and Corn maze season. For many years I took admission for the corn maze but more recently I have been working in fire pits. Your pets are rentals where people can come and have parties or small family gatherings. Very satisfying seasonal work.

30scaifea
Feb 13, 5:20am Top

Thanks, folks!

>29 brodiew2: Brodie: I hope you enjoy the Rowell - I'm loving it so far.

31scaifea
Feb 13, 5:23am Top

Today's Agenda:
A work day for me, and I may have some company if school gets canceled; we've got about 3 inches of snow-turned-slush-turned-ice on the roads this morning, so I'm expecting at least a delay. Then again, Tomm may work from home, too, and if he does then Charlie will likely just stay with him.

On the reading front:
I did get started on Pumpkinheads yesterday and I'm already in love: the quick and clever dialogue is fantastic!

32MickyFine
Feb 13, 11:41am Top

Yay for enjoying Rainbow Rowell. My personal favourite of hers is Fangirl but I've enjoyed all of her books and short stories.

33scaifea
Feb 13, 1:56pm Top

>32 MickyFine: Micky: I *need* to get to Fangirl soon!

34MickyFine
Edited: Feb 13, 5:34pm Top

>33 scaifea: Oh yes, it's fabulous. So many hearts for it. Also, then you can read Carry On and I've got a feeling you're going to love Simon and Baz.

35scaifea
Feb 13, 5:46pm Top

>34 MickyFine: Micky: I'm willing to go out on a limb and proclaim my love for them sight unseen.

36PaulCranswick
Feb 13, 5:55pm Top

>20 richardderus: Have to agree with RD, Amber. Unless it is really well done like Persepolis or Maus, I won't be forking out the extra to look at pictures and follow a drab and predictable storyline. I'd prefer to conjure the images in my head usually.

37scaifea
Feb 13, 6:26pm Top

>36 PaulCranswick: Paul: Well, I'd say stay clear of Queen of the Sea, then, although for me that one is very much the exception; most all of the graphic novels I've read have been excellent.

38scaifea
Feb 14, 6:02am Top

Today's agenda:
It's a full work day for me, so yeah.

On the reading front:
I read a nice chunk of These Old Shades yesterday (it took me about 50 pages of dragging my feet before this one clicked but now I'm fully into it and loving it), and I finished up Pumpkinheads last night. I'm not sure if I'll get to a mini-review today or not, but I'll just say now that I LOVED it.

39Crazymamie
Feb 14, 11:12am Top

Morning, Amber! I am late to your newest thread, but I am wishing you happy anyway. Hoping your Friday is full of fabulous!

40fairywings
Feb 15, 5:29am Top

Happy new thread Amber.

41scaifea
Feb 15, 5:48am Top

42scaifea
Feb 15, 5:54am Top

Today's agenda:
I'm up stupid early for a Saturday because Charlie and I need to get packed and get going to Indiana for the long weekend. We'll be back Monday evening.

On the reading front:
I was going to start The Body: A Guide for Occupants over my lunch break yesterday, but then Tomm, who worked from home for the day, surprised me by bringing me lunch at the library! Pretty sweet, really. But anyway, I didn't get that one cracked open. I did, though, start New Kid last night before bed and it's excellent so far. Oh, and yesterday was my cargo day, so I got some good listening in on Agnes Grey. It's so-so so far, but not bad that I'm giving up on it. I think the reader is the issue and not so much the story - she's fairly lackluster.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

43Crazymamie
Feb 15, 7:54am Top

Morning, Amber! Wishing you and Charlie safe travels.

44katiekrug
Feb 15, 8:31am Top

Safe travels and have a good time in Indiana!

45RebaRelishesReading
Feb 15, 12:38pm Top

Ditto Mamie and Katie -- hope you have a lovely, safe trip!

46richardderus
Feb 15, 4:01pm Top

Have a delightful time in Indiana!

47johnsimpson
Feb 15, 4:39pm Top

Hi Amber my dear, have a great time in Indiana.

48figsfromthistle
Feb 15, 7:35pm Top

>42 scaifea: I enjoy reading on lunch breaks. Although, everyone seems to interrupt me when I want to read. I have to find a different reading location ;)

Have a great weekend

49bell7
Feb 15, 8:31pm Top

Hope you have a wonderful weekend trip, Amber!

50paulstalder
Feb 16, 4:11pm Top


wish you a good new week

51ChelleBearss
Yesterday, 9:25am Top

Hope you had a great visit and safe travels back tonight!

52scaifea
Yesterday, 4:24pm Top

Thanks, everyone!

The trip was mostly great as it usually is, but I did wake up in the middle of Saturday night with a nasty migraine and muddled through most of Sunday with it. Thankfully but this morning it was gone and stayed gone long enough for me to get us home. It seems like it's trying to make a comeback now. I'm trying to cut it off at the pass with preemptive meds, so we'll see...

53Ameise1
Yesterday, 4:56pm Top

Feel better soon.

54scaifea
Yesterday, 5:16pm Top

>53 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara, I'm working on it!

55scaifea
Today, 5:21am Top

Today's Agenda:
Well, the migraine has receded again, for now (fingers crossed that it stays away), so yay! And that means I can do my treadmilling this morning, along with some laundry and a couple of odds and ends (including, hopefully, time to make some cookies) before heading to work at noon.

On the reading front:
Over the weekend I finished up Snuff and Agnes Grey, and I made progress on These Old Shades and started listening to Cranford. Then last night I finished New Kid, which means that I'm four mini-reviews behind. Yoicks.

56scaifea
Today, 5:26am Top



32. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell (impulse library checkout, graphic novel) - 9/10 = A
I love it when the plot of a story is predictable but the characters and the dialogue are *so good* that you can't even be mad, and in fact you'd be mad if it didn't turn out the way you thought it would. I *loved* this graphic novel about two teens who became friends through their yearly seasonal work at a pumpkin patch and who help each other through a last night of work before parting ways for college. I fell in love with both of them in seconds for their sweetness, badassery, and cleverness. This was my first Rowell and now I must read All. The. Things.

57scaifea
Today, 6:11am Top



33. Snuff by Terry Pratchett (Discworld, 398 pages) - 9/10 = A
Sam Vimes, on the insistence of his wife, goes on holiday to the country. To relax. And spend time with his family. Only someone's gone and murdered a goblin, so there's police work to be done and justice to be served.
Only Pratchett could spin a worthy lesson about equal rights for all using a story about goblins, a hot-headed blacksmith, and a woman who writes children's books about poo. And you just can't help but love him for it, right along with loving Commander Vimes as well.

58scaifea
Edited: Today, 6:52am Top



34. Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë (audiobook) - 8/10 = B+
A young, middle-class woman in mid-1800s England gets a harsh awakening from her sheltered life when she seeks employment as a governess to two different upper-class families. Mistreated by both the snobby employers and her charges *and* the lower-class servants, she leads a snubbed and lonely life.
Slow to start (I'm still not certain what the point of the first third of the novel was, really), but once it gets going, I enjoyed Miss Grey's story. I especially enjoyed the quiet simplicity of the love story bit. It was interesting, too, how Anne tells the story of the governess life in a much different, much more realistic and everyday style than her sister, Charlotte.

59scaifea
Today, 7:12am Top



35. New Kid by Jerry Craft (Newbery Medal, graphic novel) - 10/10 = A+
Jordan is the new kid at his middle school, and if that weren't hard enough, it's a fancy, rich-kid school and he's a non-white-skinned scholarship student. The story takes up through how Jordan negotiates this new, strange, and sometimes-frustrating space, making friends, standing up to bullies (both among the students and the staff), and making his own space within it all. It's brilliantly done. I mean, so much so that *every* kiddo should be reading it. The pictures of middle school life, and of everyday racism, drawn here are realistic and all the more brain-and soul-shaking for being undramatic. I'm so happy that Craft won the Newbery for it, and I hope it gets into as many young hands as possible.

60brodiew2
Today, 11:01am Top

Good morning, Amber! I hope all is well with you.

>57 scaifea: Absolutely! Great comments. I really enjoyed it as well and put a review up in my thread as well. I am so thankful that you spotlighted it at the top of your thread.

>59 scaifea: I've heard about this GN, but have not read it yet. You are inspiring me to take a closer look at some GN that I might not have known about or passed on. I appreciate that. I'll be picking this one up.

61bell7
Today, 11:05am Top

>59 scaifea: Oh hooray, glad you liked New Kid! I thought it was fabulous. Also, you're making me want to get back into Discworld. I usually read series in order, but that one I've read at random off and on, and really should consider starting from the beginning (I know, it's not really the best at the beginning) and make my way through.

62scaifea
Today, 12:16pm Top

>60 brodiew2: Brodie: I'm glad that you're giving graphic novels a fresh look. There are definitely some worthy options out there.

>61 bell7: Mary: Yes! Woot for New Kid!!

And there's nothing wrong with reading through the Discworld in publication order. That's what I've done. Honestly, I'll likely never get a tattoo, but if I ever did, "Publication Order or Die" would be at near the top of the options list.

63Familyhistorian
Today, 1:17pm Top

Happy newish thread, Amber. I am way behind on LT and just finished reams of your old thread yesterday. I'm glad that These Old Shades is finally clicking for you. It is my favourite Heyer and one of the books that I reread, which I rarely do.

64MickyFine
Today, 5:48pm Top

>56 scaifea: So glad you loved it. You've got so many great Rowell reads ahead.

65scaifea
Today, 5:57pm Top

>63 Familyhistorian: Meg: I'm glad you enjoy the Heyer, too!

>64 MickyFine: Micky: I haven't been this excited about a new author in a long while. I NEED to read all her stuff, nowish.

66PaulCranswick
Today, 7:37pm Top

>58 scaifea: Agnes Grey fits the BAC for August, Amber, as I am featuring the sisters that month.

Glad to see the migraine has gone and that you are safely back from Indiana.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2020

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