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RidgewayGirl Reads Some Books in 2020 -- Third Quarter

This is a continuation of the topic RidgewayGirl Reads Some Books in 2020 -- Second Quarter.

2020 Category Challenge

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Edited: Jun 30, 11:29am Top

It's hard to believe that the year is only half over! Feels more like the third year of 2020, rather than the third quarter, but here we are. This year's theme is the artist Kelly Reemtsen and most of my categories are ones that have worked well in past years, but I've added a few new ones.

Let's get this party started! And by "party" I mean "reading quietly in a comfortable chair."

The pictures in my challenge are all by Kelly Reemtsen. If you're interested in finding out more about this amazing artist, here's an article: https://artmazemag.com/kelly-reemtsen/

Edited: Yesterday, 7:49pm Top

Currently Reading

Recently Read

Books Acquired

Reading miscellany:

Owned Books Read: 30 -- Look at me, reading off of the tbr shelves!

Library Books Read: 23 -- Thanks to this pandemic, I'm reading more from my own shelves!

Netgalley: 11

Books Acquired: 54 -- I think I'm beginning to see why I have so many books.

Rereads: 1

Edited: Jul 10, 5:31pm Top

Category One.

A Map of the World

Books by authors from different countries.

Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

1. Optic Nerve by Maria Gainza, translated from the Spanish by Thomas Bunstead
2. A Girl Returned by Donatella Di Pietrantonio, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein
3. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
4. In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami, translated by Ralph McCarthy
5. The Missing American by Kwei Quartey
6. The Margot Affair by Sanaë Lemoine

Edited: Jul 5, 11:48am Top

Category Four.

The Rooster

Every year I follow The Morning News Tournament of Books, also known as The Rooster because of the grand prize - a live rooster. This year's competitors can be found here: https://themorningnews.org/article/the-2020-tournament-of-books-shortlist-and-ju...

1. Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg (2020 longlist)
2. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (2020 Competitor)
3. Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer (2020 Competitor)
4. Saudade by Suneeta Peres da Costa (2020 Competitor)
5. We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin (2020 Competitor)
6. Overthrow by Caleb Crain (2020 Competitor)
7. Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson (2020 Competitor)

Edited: Jul 10, 5:30pm Top

Category Five.

Expats, Immigrants, Works in Translation

1. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, translated from the Spanish by Magda Bogin
2. Dominicana by Angie Cruz
3. My Mother's House by Francesca Momplaisir
4. Sovietistan by Erika Fatland, translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson
5. You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat
6. Herkunft by Saša Stanišic
7. Tell Me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli

Jun 30, 10:45am Top

Category Eight.

Countries, States, Cities, Towns -- Books with Place Names in Their Titles

1. Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda
2. Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry
3. In West Mills by De'Shawn Charles Winslow

Jun 30, 10:46am Top

Category Nine.

CATs and Book Clubs

1. The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea (February book club)
2. Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston (March book club)
3. The Whispering Wall by Patricia Carlon (April GeoCAT)
4. The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares, translated from the Spanish by Ruth L. C. Sims (April book club)
5. Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn (June RandomCAT)

Edited: Jul 2, 12:32pm Top

Category Ten.

Published in 2020

What can I say? I like fresh books.

1. Stateway's Garden by Jasmon Drain
2. Apeirogon by Colum McCann
3. You Again by Debra Jo Immergut
4. Long Bright River by Liz Moore
5. A Children's Bible by Lydia Millet

Edited: Jul 12, 12:18pm Top

Category Eleven.

The Ebook and Nothing But

While I generally prefer to read a physical copy, I tend to have a book or two going on my iPad.

1. Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin
2. Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar
3. Weather by Jenny Offill
4. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
5. The Lives of Edie Pritchard by Larry Watson
6. Writers and Lovers by Lily King
7. Final Girls by Riley Sager

Jun 30, 10:49am Top

Category Twelve.

The Overflow

Get it? The overflow?

Jun 30, 10:53am Top

And the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge!

1. A book published in 2020. -- The Body Double by Emily Beyda

2. A book by a trans or non-binary author.

3. A book with a great first line.

4. A book about a book club.

5. A book set in a city that has hosted the Olympics. -- Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

6. A bildungsroman.

7. The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed.

8. A book with an upside-down image on the cover. -- Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

9. A book with a map. -- The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

10. A book recommended on a podcast. -- Apartment by Teddy Wayne

11. An anthology. -- Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers edited by Joyce Carol Oates

12. A book that passes the Bechdel test. -- A Girl Returned by Donatella Di Pietrantonio

13. A book with the same title as a movie or tv show.

14. A book by an author with flora or fauna in their name. -- Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda

15. A book published in July. -- You Again by Debra Jo Immergut

16. A book by or about a woman in STEM.

17. A book that won an award in 2019. -- Herkunft by Saša Stanišic

18. A book on a subject you know nothing about. -- Stateway's Garden by Jasmon Drain

19. A book with only words on the cover, no images or graphics. -- Optic Nerve by Maria Gainza

20. A book with a pun in the title.

21. A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins. -- Looker by Laura Sims

22. A book with a robot, AI or cyborg character.

23. A book with a bird on the cover. -- Apeirogon by Colum McCann

24. A fiction or non-fiction book about a world leader.

25. A book with "gold," "silver" or "bronze" in the title.

26. A book by a WoC. -- Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

27. A book with at least a four star rating on LT. -- The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

28. A book you meant to read in 2019. -- The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

29. A book about or involving social media. -- The Missing American by Kwei Quartey

30. A book with a book on its cover.

31. A medical thriller. -- Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer

32. A book with a made up language.

33. A book set in a country beginning with "C."

34. A book you picked up because of the title. -- All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost by Lan Samantha Chang

35. A book with a three word title. -- Her Daughter's Mother by Daniela Petrova

36. A book with a pink cover. -- Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg

37. A western.

38. A book by or about a journalist. -- Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diáz

39. A banned book.

40. Your favorite prompt from a past PopSugar challenge.

Jun 30, 10:53am Top

And I'm officially open for business! Come in and put your feet up.

Jun 30, 11:22am Top

Happy new thread! I know what you mean about this year taking about 3 eons to pass. I keep telling myself that this too, will pass.

Jun 30, 2:10pm Top

Happy new thread! I'm sure Christmas must be round the corner, the year's taken so long.

Jun 30, 2:22pm Top

Happy new thread. I would love a set of at least three of Kelly Reemtsen's prints but I suspect she is out of my price range.

Jun 30, 2:56pm Top

Happy new thread! I love browsing all the reading challenges you have on the go.... great information for trying to come up with my 2021 category challenge. :-)

Jun 30, 3:51pm Top

Welcome everyone! The sweet tea is in the blue pitcher and the peach sangria is in the green one. Help yourselves.

Judy, I'd love to have some of her artwork in my house, too.

Lori, I was thinking of ideas for next year, then realized that's eons from now.

Jun 30, 5:11pm Top

Oh, peach sangria! Happy new thread! :)

Jun 30, 5:27pm Top

Happy new thread! Re: your last book on the previous thread - The Nickel Boys is one of the books I checked out to read between now and the time faculty report back for work in August. It's one of the three I brought over by the couch--one is one I began during lunch and continued reading at the front desk. I'll finish it tonight. Another is non-fiction. I decided it was time to get around to Whitehead's book.

Jun 30, 6:26pm Top

Happy new thread! I feel like this year has been so slow but at the same time so fast. I'm working from home full time and finding the days just go by in a blink.

Jun 30, 6:45pm Top

Happy New Thread, Kay! I took a sangria and browsed through your reading so far, enjoying and looking to see if there were any more BBs I should take. Re: The Nickel Boys from your last thread - As much as I enjoyed The Underground Railroad, I don't think this one is for me. Sounds a little more gruesome than I like, from what people are saying about it.

Jul 1, 4:58am Top

Happy new thread, Kay!

Jul 1, 7:09am Top

Happy New Thread!

Jul 1, 9:22am Top

Happy New Thread!

Jul 1, 11:41am Top

Welcome, everyone!

Lori, I also thought that it was about time to get to The Nickel Boys, too. I'd checked it out of the library last year and ended up returning it unread. I'd expected it to be more violent and less hopeful than it was. I'm glad to have read it.

Betty, while it's not an easy book to read, The Nickel Boys is far less wrenching than The Underground Railroad.

Edited: Jul 1, 12:10pm Top


Jul 2, 12:50pm Top

Hideo Yokoyama's Six Four begins with the fourteen year old cold case kidnapping and murder of a seven year old girl, but that's just the scaffolding. Really this is a novel about the internal politics of a Japanese police prefecture and the machinations between departments and officers jockeying for position.

Mikami is a detective reassigned to the press office, a forgotten corner of administration where he leads a group of three working out of a too-small office. As the novel begins, they are stuck between the administration department and an increasingly angry press as they seek to keep the name of a driver who hit a pedestrian secret. At the same time, Mikami is asked to set up the press for a visit from the top police commissioner from Tokyo and things rapidly fall apart as he is torn between what he is being asked to do and what he feels is right, between the responsibilities of his current job and his allegiance to the career he had as a detective and in finding out what exactly went so wrong fourteen years ago. Miakami and his wife are also searching for their runaway daughter.

I can't tell you why a novel focused on the internal struggles of a police department should be so fascinating, but I enjoyed every single page. Mikami was just such a great character to spend time with as he methodically works to figure out what exactly is going on and gains some understanding of himself, his wife and his career.

Jul 2, 1:59pm Top

Happy new thread, Kay!

Your rapid time measurement is happening around here too. We had a quiet Canada Day at home with the furnace back on again because it was more like November than July. I hope it's a temporary fix and better weather in time for our birthdays.

Jul 2, 3:03pm Top

>34 VivienneR: I love that even the weather is like, "let's get this year over with!"

Jul 2, 5:52pm Top

>34 VivienneR: Vivienne, we're having a heat warning this weekend -- want some? I can send it over. We won't miss a few degrees ;)

Jul 2, 9:23pm Top

>34 VivienneR:
>36 rabbitprincess:

Don't know what you guy's heat wave is, but we in the U.S. midwest are having one this week. For the past two days it's been 92 F (33 C) and tomorrow it's supposed to be 94 F (34.5 C). That's warm for us in July, as August is our hottest month!

Jul 3, 1:22am Top

>36 rabbitprincess: Thank you! Just checked the forecast and yes, your few degrees should arrive tomorrow.

>37 Tess_W: It got up to a blistering 16C (60F) today with black clouds all over. In the early evening the clouds started to break up. Anything in the 30s C is normal for us in July. August is hotter.

Jul 3, 2:15am Top

>37 Tess_W: Tess, I'm in South Carolina's low country this week and we are cooler than you.

Jul 3, 9:27am Top

>37 Tess_W:, >39 RidgewayGirl: I was stunned a couple of days ago while watching CBS Evening News. They reported that our small Southern city was going to have weather the next day (yesterday) that would be as hot as the Sahara. WHAT? It was hot but not what I would expect in a desert!

Jul 3, 9:50am Top

>40 clue: I just checked the temperature at the Sahara Desert today and the high is supposed to be 72, kid's stuff!

Edited: Jul 3, 12:09pm Top

I wonder why we all think it's so much hotter? I mean - I'm sure it is hotter sometimes, but why do we think it is all the time? Must be because of Lawenrce of Arabia making it look that way.

Jul 3, 6:31pm Top

>41 Tess_W: Well, goes to show what I know, it's 101 here today but is only forecasted to be 81 tomorrow.

Jul 3, 7:08pm Top

>37 Tess_W: That's about where we are, temperatures in the 30s C with the humidity making it feel much hotter. And the temperatures not falling much below 20 degrees C overnight. It's been like this for the past couple of days, and it's expected to continue into next week.

>42 dudes22: I know, it seems odd that the Sahara would be seen as hot all the time. If I think of blistering heat, I think of Saudi Arabia. I just checked the weather for Riyadh. It's about 2 a.m. there as I type and it's 33 degrees C! And tomorrow's forecast high is 44 degrees C! :O The LOW is 26!

Jul 3, 8:29pm Top

>44 rabbitprincess: I'm not sure the Sahara is any hotter than places in Arizona and Nevada (but then, I've not done the research). My niece lives in Arizona and she says it gets so hot during the day, (100-110 F) that airconditioners don't work optimally...only cools so much--like 80F, where most people like it cooler than that. It's that way for June-October, mostly. AND, they have scorpions bad---they have a black light and they check their beds and under their beds before they go to bed for the night! No way, no how!

Jul 3, 9:32pm Top

>45 Tess_W: Ewwww scorpions! mstrust I hope you don't have to contend with those!

Jul 4, 2:39am Top

>45 Tess_W: Owww! Scorpions! I got stung by a hornet last week and I felt very sorry for myself.

Edited: Jul 4, 6:24am Top

We have friends who winter in Az and they tell us about using a black light to find scorpions.

Jul 4, 11:35am Top

I was unaware that the scorpion problem was so bad until I stayed at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. I was talking to an employee there and she said they have them all the time--it's like an epidemic. She said when the maids clean the rooms they black light everything before they leave and they have a "bag" when they nab the scorpions and take them away for disposal. She said they have a doctor there 24/7 that deals primarily in scorpion bites. Most people just welt up, but some can have deathly reactions. She told me they like damp and dark........and therefore migrate to towels thrown on the floor.

Jul 4, 1:50pm Top

We don't have a lot of them but a few years ago a very nice subdivision was built on a big rocky hill and the scorpions moved in first. I worked with someone who lived there and for awhile he killed them in his shower every morning and a couple of times came in with stings. Not for me at all, I'll stay in the flats!

Jul 5, 11:32am Top

When I lived in Phoenix, I encountered a scorpion in the sink of a wet bar at a friend of my mother's who had bought a new condo at the edge of the metropolitan area. That's the only time I saw one and I lived in Phoenix for eleven years. It probably just wanted a drink of water.

Back home from two weeks at the beach. It was good to be away from home for more than errands, but as the numbers were skyrocketing while we were there, it felt like we were cheating being there although we did stay away from people and wore our masks when we had to run to the store. VictoriaPL (who used to post here) was there and we did continue our quest to visit every single independent bookstore in SC, adding the three in Beaufort.

Let me add that if you're one of the people who go through the store clutching the free mask you were given at the store entrance in your hand and not wearing it on your face over your nose and mouth, you are not a nice person. We are in trouble here and if people could behave responsibly things would get back to normal a lot more quickly. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Jul 5, 11:40am Top

>51 RidgewayGirl: I agree with your TED talk!

Edited: Jul 5, 7:17pm Top

>51 RidgewayGirl: Good TED talk!

Masks are mandatory on public transit here, but enforcement is virtually impossible. I don't envy the drivers being saddled with that responsibility. A friend of mine who braved the transit system late last week saw, on the same trip, a woman wearing the mask with her nose sticking out AND a man wearing the mask under his chin. Note to self: do not take the bus until we get a vaccine.

I hope Victoria is doing well! Glad you were able to see her :)

Jul 6, 1:33am Top

It just amazes me how many people don't take the virus seriously. We have excellent numbers here in B.C. and masks aren't mandaory yet I would say that 90% of the people in my area wear them when shopping or out in a public area. Better safe than sorry!

Jul 6, 9:18am Top

>52 Tess_W: Thank you! It's so weird that 'wearing masks to stop the spread of a dangerous virus' became a political stance.

>53 rabbitprincess: It looks like here the approach to those who refuse to care about others in their community is just to ignore them. Masks are now mandatory in many places, with free masks available at the door, so anyone refusing them is doing so to make a point and it's best to just give them a lot of space.

It was so fun to see Victoria. She's still reading almost exclusively WWII-themed books and she bought a new one while we were on our bookstore hunt. Beaufort, SC is a gorgeous place and I would like to visit it when the heat and pandemic aren't factors.

>54 DeltaQueen50: Judy, much of that may be the difference being in a country whose motto is, "No one tells me what to do!" and being in a more sensible place. I'm hoping that if things get worse here in SC, and the skyrocketing numbers indicate they might, people will change their minds and start embracing the idea that we're all in this together. You can tell our governor is frustrated (although he won't close anything or mandate anything) because he has told us that if we don't start wearing masks, college and high school football seasons will be canceled!

Jul 7, 8:13am Top

>55 RidgewayGirl: I found a nice little used bookstore in Little Switzerland, North Carolina I'd like to visit in more normal times. It offers coffee too. With most of the "facilities" closed along the Blue Ridge Parkway, I hopped off at Little Switzerland because I'd heard it was a quaint town. I saw only one other car parked at the bookstore/coffee shop so I headed in there with my mask. The caramel macchiato was really good. I only looked at a couple of sections and didn't purchase anything, but I'm sure I could have found something to purchase if I'd taken longer to browse.

Jul 7, 9:44am Top

>56 thornton37814: I looked Little Switzerland up and, boy, is that remote! I bet that the scenery was gorgeous. Bookstores with coffee shops do encourage a longer browse. If you're ever back in Greenville, let's go to M. Judson's. They have a cupcake bakery and coffee shop inside.

Jul 7, 7:28pm Top

>57 RidgewayGirl: I'm sure I'll get back to Greenville post-COVID-19. I'm just avoiding populated places. I'd actually seen Little Switzerland mentioned in something I was reading from a travel author. Apparently the inn there is pretty nice.

Jul 7, 7:28pm Top

>57 RidgewayGirl: I'm sure I'll get back to Greenville post-COVID-19. I'm just avoiding populated places. I'd actually seen Little Switzerland mentioned in something I was reading from a travel author. Apparently the inn there is pretty nice.

Jul 10, 4:19pm Top

Casey is having a hard time. She's saddled with student debt, living in a garage and working as a waitress as she tries to write. She's been working on her novel for six years and it's going badly. She's estranged from her father for very good reasons. Also, her mother died suddenly and then the guy she fell in love with at a writers' colony dumped her. She doesn't see things improving and she's dealing with a lot of anxiety.

So this sounds dreary, doesn't it? Except that Casey also has some good, supportive friends and her own resilience and humor to guide her along as she deals with mourning her mother and negotiating her way through her life. Lily King writes so gorgeously and with such immediacy in Writers and Lovers that I quickly forgot that I don't generally like novels about novelists -- it feels like an exercise in navel-gazing and how many novels about writers are there now? Except King's take is fresh and visceral and fun, while also being heartbreaking and fully committed to showing the precariousness of Casey's makeshift life.

I loved this novel. I loved how King had me inhabiting Casey's life and while that was rarely a comfortable place to be, it was intense. I loved the mocking/loving look at the writing life and at writers and the various ways they can be ridiculous.

Edited: Today, 12:07pm Top

The Blood of Heaven is the story of Angel Woolsack, who came to an isolated and poverty-stricken community in west Florida in 1776. He's alone with his father, his mother having died, and his father is a fire and brimstone preacher who disciplines his son by making him swallow live coals. Things only become more bleak and bloody from there, as Angel runs away from home, forming a partnership with two brothers, and taking their name as his own as they seek first to survive, through preaching and robbery, then to create a new country, called West Florida, with the help, they hope, of the American leader, Aaron Burr.

Kent Wascom has created a violent world, where the only way to survive is to embrace cruelty and to strike without mercy. This isn't a comfortable story with a happy ending, but it is riveting and blood-soaked, if that's what you're in the mood for.

Group: 2020 Category Challenge

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