Lori (thornton37814) Reads 75 x 2 in 2020 (Thread 5)

Talk75 Books Challenge for 2020

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Lori (thornton37814) Reads 75 x 2 in 2020 (Thread 5)

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 7:14pm

Bald River Falls, near Tellico Plains, Tennessee

My reading slowed a bit over the summer and will likely be a bit sporadic between now and the end of the year. I won't finish with the numbers of some years, but I'm hoping I can hit 225 and maybe a little beyond that.

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'm also including my BingoDOG card (from the Category Challenge) group here. I'm actually doing pretty well. I only have a couple more to go. Folktales should not really be a problem to fill, but "not set on earth" is more challenging for someone who isn't a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy.

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 7:18pm

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: Sep 7, 2020, 7:21pm

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: Sep 7, 2020, 7:22pm

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: Sep 7, 2020, 7:24pm

Books 31-40:

31. Be Free: Exchange Legalism for True Spirituality by Warren W. Wiersbe - completed 27 January 2020
32. Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds - completed 27 January 2020
33. Great Possessions: An Amish Farmer's Journal by David Kline - completed 28 January 2020
34. Stepping Into Rural Wisconsin: Grandpa Charly's Life Vignettes, from Prussia to the Midwest by Edward J. Kuehn and Linda T. Ruggeri - completed 28 January 2020
35. The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch - completed 30 January 2020
36. The St. Valentine's Day Cookie Massacre by Elisabeth Crabtree - completed 30 January 2020
37. Borrowed Crime by Laurie Cass - completed 3 February 2020
38. The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill - completed 3 February 2020
39. Perfect Pie and Pastry Recipes: Homemade Dessert Pies Made Easy Cookbook by Katherine Hupp - completed 3 February 2020
40. Julio Bunny Goes to the Library by Nicoletta Costa - completed 3 February 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 7:26pm

Books 41-50:

41. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare - completed 5 February 2020
42. File M for Murder by Miranda James - completed 7 February 2020
43. Nighttime Is My Time by Mary Higgins Clark - completed 7 February 2020
44. Putting Flesh on the Bones: Bringing Your Ancestors to Life by Mark W. Swarthout - completed 9 February 2020
45. Romney Marsh: Eighth Wonder of the World by Roderick Leyland - completed 9 February 2020
46. Traditional Recipes of Reunion Island by Yohann Maillot - completed 9 February 2020
47. Speaking Chileno: A Guide to Spanish from Chile by Jared Romey - completed 9 February 2020
48. Evernote: Your Second Brain by James Keaton - completed 9 February 2020
49. Blood from a Stone by Donna Leon - completed 13 February 2020
50. Still Waters by Viveca Sten - completed 13 February 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 7:29pm

Books 51-60:

51. Yorkshire: A Story of Invasion, Uprising and Conflict by Paul C. Levitt - completed 14 February 2020
52. Flubby Is Not a Good Pet by J. E. Morris - completed 15 February 2020
53. Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut by Sarah Graves - completed 15 February 2020
54. Corned Beef and Casualties by Lynn Cahoon - completed 15 February 2020
55. Fidelity: Poems by Grace Paley - completed 15 February 2020
56. Journey to the Alcarria: Travels Through the Spanish Countryside by Camilo José Cela - completed 16 February 2020
57. Luke: The Gospel of Amazement by Michael Card - completed 17 February 2020
58. Chocolat by Joanne Harris - completed 17 February 2020
59. Coconut Layer Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke - completed 18 February 2020
60. The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurdon - completed 21 February 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 7:34pm

Books 61-70:

61. Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson - completed 22 February 2020
62. Circle of Friends Cookbook: 25 Mac & Cheese Recipes by Gooseberry Patch - completed 22 February 2020
63. Branching Out: How to Research Your Family's History by Simon Fowler - completed 22 February 2020
64. English Tea Murder by Leslie Meier - completed 24 February 2020
65. Hidden Depths by Ann Cleeves - completed 24 February 2020
66. Seasoned by Salt: A Historical Album of the Outer Banks by Rodney Barfield - completed 25 February 2020
67. British Manor Murder by Leslie Meier - completed 25 February 2020
68. Rainbows Are Made: Poems by Carl Sandburg - completed 26 February 2020
69. The Possibility of Prayer: Finding Stillness with God in a Restless World by John Starke - completed 27 February 2020
70. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers - completed 29 February 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 7:36pm

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 7:44pm

Books 81-90:

81. High Country by Nevada Barr - completed 7 March 2020
82. Final Account by Peter Robinson - completed 8 March 2020
83. The Prairie Schoolhouse by John Martin Campbell - completed 9 March 2020
84. Geography and Genealogy: Locating Personal Pasts edited by Dallen J. Timothy and Jeanne Kay Guelke - completed 10 March 2020
85. Letters, 1796-1817 by Jane Austen; edited by R. W. Chapman - completed 14 March 2020
86. Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott - completed 14 March 2020
87. Conan Doyle, Detective: The True Crimes Investigated by the Creator of Sherlock Holmes by Peter Costello - completed 16 March 2020
88. Be Comforted by Warren W. Wiersbe - completed 19 March 2020
89. Mr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman - completed 23 March 2020
90. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks - completed 24 March 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 7:47pm

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 7:52pm

Books 101-110:

101. The Tinned Fish Cookbook by Bart Van Olphen; photographed by David Loftus; translated by Laura Vroomen - completed 8 April 2020
102. Pumpkin Spice Peril by Jenn McKinlay - completed 11 April 2020
103. The Great Revolt of 1381 by Charles Oman - completed 12 April 2020
104. Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station by Dorothy Gilman - completed 15 April 2020
105. Becoming a Just Church: Cultivating Communities of God's Shalom by Adam L. Gustine - completed 17 April 2020
106. Going Back by Shelia Gaines - completed 21 April 2020
107. Vintage Murder by Ngaio Marsh - completed 21 April 2020
108. Suffer the Little Children by Donna Leon - completed 23 April 2020
109. Closed Circles by Viveca Sten - completed 24 April 2020
110. In Morocco by Edith Wharton - completed 25 April 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 7:59pm

Books 111-120:

111. The Lifeline by Margaret Mayhew - completed 25 April 2020
112. The Red, Red Snow by Caro Ramsay - completed 29 April 2020
113. Curiosities of Crime in Edinburgh During the Last Thirty Years by James M'Levy - completed 29 April 2020
114. That Way and No Other: Following God Through Storm and Drought by Amy Carmichael; edited by Carolyn Kurtz - completed 1 May 2020
115. The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson - completed 3 May 2020
116. The Poetry of Good Eats by Gary Dickson - completed 6 May 2020
117. Treacherous Is the Night by Anna Lee Huber - completed 6 May 2020
118. Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan - completed 9 May 2020
119. The Wishing Tree by William Faulkner - completed 9 May 2020
120. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers - completed 11 May 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 8:05pm

Books 121-130:

121. Eureka Mill: Poems by Ron Rash - completed 12 May 2020
122. Macbeth by William Shakespeare - completed 14 May 2020
123. A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette - completed 16 May 2020
124. Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music that Made a Nation by Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw - completed 16 May 2020
125. Killer Chardonnay by Kate Lansing - completed 19 May 2020
126. Deep River by Karl Marlantes - completed 21 May 2020
127. Nana's Garden by Larissa Juliano; illustrated by Francesca de Luca - completed 21 May 2020
128. Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert - completed 25 May 2020
129. The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor - completed 1 June 2020
130. Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn - completed 5 June 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 8:12pm

Books 131-140:

131. We Must Be Brave by Frances Liardet - completed 13 June 2020
132. Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers - completed 16 June 2020
133. Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison - completed 17 June 2020
134. The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold - completed 18 June 2020
135. Guiltless by Viveca Sten; translated by Marlaine Delargy - completed 21 June 2020
136. The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe - completed 23 June 2020
137. An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma - completed 25 June 2020
138. Careless Love by Peter Robinson - completed 27 June 2020
139. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway - completed 28 June 2020
140. The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald - completed 28 June 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 8:18pm

Books 141-150:

141. In the Lateness of the World by Carolyn Forché - completed 30 June 2020
142. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson - completed 30 June 2020
143. Play Hungry: The Making of a Baseball Player by Pete Rose - completed 30 June 2020
144. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead - completed 1 July 2020
145. Let's Go to Europe and Draw by Peggy MacNamara - completed 2 July 2020
146. The Long Call by Ann Cleeves - completed 3 July 2020
147. The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan - completed 4 July 2020
148. The Island by Ragnar Jónasson - completed 5 July 2020
149. The Soup and Bread Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas - completed 5 July 2020
150. The House in the Woods by Mark Dawson; narrated by Simon Vance - completed 6 July 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 8:22pm

Books 151-160:

151. The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse - completed 7 July 2020
152. The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn - completed 8 July 2020
153. American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan - completed 10 July 2020
154. Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers - completed 12 July 2020
155. One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak - completed 16 July 2020
156. The Summer Country by Lauren Willig - completed 20 July 2020
157. Kevin Belton's New Orleans Celebrations by Kevin Belton with Rhonda K. Findley; illustrated by Eugenia Uhl - completed 20 July 2020
158. When We Were Young & Brave by Hazel Gaynor - completed 24 July 2020
159. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo - completed 27 July 2020
160. Confessions by St. Augustine - completed 6 August 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 8:27pm

Books 161-170:

161. About Face by Donna Leon - completed 9 August 2020
162. Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers - completed 9 August 2020
163. Tonight You're Dead by Viveca Sten; translated by Marlaine Delargy - completed 16 August 2020
164. Florence and Her Fantastic Family Tree by Judy Gilliam; illustrated by Laura Addar - completed 19 August 2020
165. A Few Figs from Thistles: Poems and Sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay - completed 20 August 2020
166. Zotero for Genealogy: Harnessing the Power of Your Research by Donna Cox Baker - completed 21 August 2020
167. Innocent Graves by Peter Robinson - completed 25 August 2020
168. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell - completed 28 August 2020
169. Collected Poems, 1909-1962 by T. S. Eliot - completed 2 September 2020
170. The Old Success by Martha Grimes - completed 6 September 2020

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 8:33pm

Books 171-173:

171. The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown by Vaseem Khan - completed 6 September 2020
172. Edward Lear's Cats by Edward Lear; edited by Dr. Bruess - completed 6 September 2020
173. Hangman's Holiday by Dorothy L. Sayers - completed 7 September 2020

Abandoned Reads:

1. Ribbon of Sand: The Amazing Conversion of the Ocean and the Outer Banks by John Alexander and James D. Lazell - abandoned 25 February 2020
2. A Body in the Bookshop by Helen Cox - abandoned 3 March 2020
3. Force of Nature by Jane Harper - abandoned 11 March 2020
4. Naked in Death by J. D. Robb - abandoned 23 May 2020
5. The Porpoise by Mark Haddon - abandoned 16 July 2020

Edited: Nov 16, 2020, 5:55pm


1. File M for Murder by Miranda James
2. Rounding the Mark by Andrea Camilleri
3. An Incomplete Obituary for Damien Stewart Wilson by Sean Rose
4. Sugar and Vice by Eve Calder
5. Life on Mars by Jon Agee
6. Letters, 1796-1817 by Jane Austen; edited by R. W. Chapman
7. The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch
8. Death Finds a Way by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
9. Collected Poems, 1909-1962 by T. S. Eliot
10. A Few Figs from Thistles: Poems and Sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay
11. Corned Beef and Casualties by Lynn Cahoon
12. Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott
13. The Art of Uzbek Cooking by Lynn Visson (GeoCAT)
14. Kanahena: A Cherokee Story by Susan L. Roth
15. Julio Bunny Goes to the Library by Nicoletta Costa
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
19. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
20. American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan
21. The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth by Thomas Morris
22. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
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)

Edited: Sep 7, 2020, 7:36pm

Book 174. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson; translated by Thomas Teal

Date Completed: 7 September 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: This series of vignettes features a girl and her grandmother on a Gulf of Finland island. While some stories include minimal action, most explore family relationships and living in an isolated setting. The short length enables one to read it in one or two sittings.

Sep 7, 2020, 7:36pm

Happy new thread, Lori.

>21 thornton37814: Read that one too this year. Whilst it was not unenjoyable it was pretty slight and I really cannot comprehend how it made it into the 1001 Books list.

Sep 7, 2020, 7:39pm

>21 thornton37814: It was kind of a mixed bag. A lot of people enjoyed it far more than I did. I didn't really dislike it, but I expected it to have a few more "interesting" stories. Little girls usually are more adventurous than this one.

Sep 7, 2020, 7:39pm

Happy new thread!

Sep 7, 2020, 8:08pm

Happy new one!

Sep 7, 2020, 8:43pm

>23 thornton37814: >24 drneutron: Thanks, Jim and Anita!

Sep 7, 2020, 9:12pm

Book 175. The Best American Poetry 2020 edited by Paisley Rekdal; series editor, David Lehman

Date Completed: 7 September 2020

Category: Russian Blue (Poetry)

Rating: 2 stars

Review: About all I want to say about this book is that if this is the best American poetry offers, I'll be reading British poetry or older poetry from now on. Very few poems instilled a sense of calmness and peace. Few dealt with themes of beauty, peacefulness, the sea, flowers, birds, etc. Too much of the content was stressful, and to call some of it poetry stretches the definition. I received an advance review copy through Edelweiss. While the publisher appreciates reviews, they are not required.

Sep 7, 2020, 10:13pm

Book 176. Ancestry Quest: How Stories from the Past Can Heal the Future by Mary Beth Sammons

Date Completed: 7 September 2020

Category: Persian (History & Genealogy)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Journalist Mary Beth Sammons looks at the popularity of genealogy providing insights on how it can bring a sense of completion and healing to those undertaking the quest. She cautions researchers about the high percentage of persons finding unexpected results when incorporating DNA testing into their research. Sammons interviewed several genealogists, some of them very well-known, about things they found in their research. One storyteller appears to be related to me through her Quaker Thornton line. Sammons consulted genetic genealogist Diahan Southard for insights into the field. Although the book contains a few citations, it will not win any awards for documentation, particularly since blind endnotes were utilized. The stories should make this popular as a general interest book. The inclusion of well-known genealogists' stories adds to the appeal. I received an advance review copy from the publisher through Edelweiss. Although not required, reviews are appreciated.

Sep 8, 2020, 1:55pm

Happy new thread, Lori. I love that waterfall picture!

Sep 8, 2020, 3:40pm

>29 lkernagh: It is a lovely waterfall.

Sep 8, 2020, 3:45pm

Book 177. A Poison Tree and Other Poems compiled and illustrated by Mercer Mayer

Date Completed: 8 September 2020

Category: Ragamuffin (Juvenile/YA)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This older collection features poems for upper elementary to lower middle school children. Many would lend themselves to discussion. It is beautifully illustrated. Some featured poets include Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hughes, James Stephens, and Richard Wilbur.

Edited: Sep 8, 2020, 4:38pm

Happy new thread Lori, my dear friend.

Sep 8, 2020, 5:17pm

Happy new thread, Lori!

Love the waterfall at the top. My reading is similair to yours this year.

Sep 8, 2020, 5:59pm

>32 johnsimpson: Thank you, John. I should have begun it last month before the last one got so long. I just wasn't paying attention to the "numbers."

>33 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I enjoyed visiting that waterfall on a day trip. It was right next to the road so I didn't have much of a hike.

Sep 8, 2020, 6:45pm

Happy New Thread, Lori! Love that waterfall. 176 books? Wow! That is very impressive. Hope you are doing well.

Sep 8, 2020, 6:56pm

Happy new thread, Lori!

Sep 8, 2020, 7:26pm

>35 msf59: It is a lovely waterfall. I just hope I can make it to 225 this year. Maybe I can even get to 250 if I try hard. I should be able to do so, but I won't make it to 300.

Sep 8, 2020, 9:11pm

Happy new thread! Glad you found The Summer Book appealing, too.

Sep 8, 2020, 9:43pm

Hi Lori, From your precious thread, I just picked up Hamnet from the library and hope to start it soon. I’m glad to see you liked it. I also need to get back to the Alan Banks series. I’ve only read a couple of them but I liked them.

Sep 9, 2020, 8:43am

Hi Lori, and happy new thread!

I've still got Hamnet on my radar. I appreciated the review on your last thread.

Sep 9, 2020, 9:11am

This user has been removed as spam.

Sep 9, 2020, 9:27am

>38 richardderus: I enjoyed it, but it wasn't quite what I expected.

>39 Copperskye: Hope you enjoy your read of Hamnet, but I'm confident you will. I like Inspector Banks too. He's one of my "go tos" for audio-books for the commute to and from work.

>40 karenmarie: I think you'll enjoy Hamnet when you get to it.

Re: >41 AlyssaUther: Looks like I was spammed. Thanks to folks who marked the user, resulting in removal!

Sep 9, 2020, 9:29am

Book 178. It's Spring by Noemi Weygant

Date Completed: 9 September 2020

Category: Ragdall (Juvenile & YA)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: At the time this book was written, this probably worked very well for teaching children about things in nature while creating an appreciation for poetry. The author enjoyed photographing things in nature and accompanying them with poetry, making presentations to photography groups (and perhaps elsewhere). The photograph colors are limited by the resolutions available in the late 1960s, limiting its usefulness today. However, this would make a great book to be reissued with new photographs so a new generation could enjoy the nature poems.

Sep 9, 2020, 2:24pm

Happy New Thread, Lori.

That's a lovely waterfall up top.

Lots and lots (and lots!) of good reading. Like Richard, I'm glad The Summer Book went over well with you. That was first recommended to me by our late 75er friend Ellie Moses, and will always be a special one for me for that reason.

Sep 9, 2020, 7:48pm

>44 jnwelch: Thanks for stopping by. I'm behind on visits to the cafe, but I will try to get caught up. Glad you like the waterfall! As I said, I didn't record who passed the book bullet to me, but I'm glad I read it.

Sep 10, 2020, 6:29pm

Happy new thread, Lori. The waterfall at the top really caught my eye. >28 thornton37814: The genealogical theme of the book does have some appeal. Was there much about past stories healing the future?

Sep 10, 2020, 7:00pm

>46 Familyhistorian: I think the theme is present in some of the stories. It may be stretching it to say they all share the theme. I do think they show how the stories affected the researcher.

Sep 12, 2020, 8:00pm

Book 179. A Home for Hannah by Amy Lillard

Date Completed: 12 September 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: After her husband dies, Hannah McLean leaves Nashville with her 14-year-old son Brandon to return to the home she left 15 years ago just outside Pontotoc, Mississippi in the Amish community. It's a mixed bag of emotions and reception. Her father remains aloof while her mother welcomes her. The most complicated relationship exists between herself and Aaron Zook. When she left Pontotoc, Aaron began dating another woman because of Hannah's brother's suggestion. Hannah never intended to be gone forever, but when she found herself pregnant, she and him dating someone else, she didn't want him to feel obligated to marry her. Instead she found someone who promised to accept the child as his own although he failed to live up to the promise. With Hannah's "Englisch" ways and concern for her son who wants modern conveniences, will she and Aaron find a way to reconcile? With deadlines to make her choice, what will she choose?

I enjoyed this novel set near the area of the country in which I grew up. It is probably a little preachier in one spot than much of today's Amish fiction, but it probably doesn't stay there long enough to offend those who want the romance without the preachiness. The novel frequently mentions the Pontotoc community's connection to the Etheridge community in Tennessee.

Edited: Sep 17, 2020, 9:39pm

Book 180. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Date Completed: 12 September 2020

Category: Siamese (Historical Fiction)

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: What an incredible book from a different perspective! The 9-year-old narrator's father serves as Commandant of Auschwitz. The story begins when the family leaves its nice Berlin home to go live in a house not nearly so nice and with no playmates. From his bedroom window he sees people clothed in striped pajamas living on the other side of the fence in huts. He befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives on the other side of the fence. The author perhaps overplays childhood ignorance/innocence in the story. I find it difficult to believe the boy did not know what was going on; however, I found the story fascinating because of the perspective. Most books would use a narrator inside the camp rather than outside, and using the voice from the outside created impact here. While I want to give it 5 stars, I cannot quite do that because of the believability factor. I listened to the audio book read by Michael Maloney. It was well done, and the musical interludes were beautiful.

Sep 12, 2020, 9:52pm

A belated Happy New Thread, Lori!

Sep 13, 2020, 9:42am

Sep 13, 2020, 12:21pm

>49 thornton37814: Oh dear
I cried *BUCKETS* while reading that book. What a powerful punch it packed!

Happy Sunday. Hope dinner tonight doesn't tax your little grey cells too much...I'm going with a can of chili and cilantro-lime rice with a tossed salad.

Sep 14, 2020, 8:36am

>52 richardderus: I really enjoyed Boyne's book, Richard. Last night I made a burger on the George Foreman. We had a thunderstorm moving in, so I just did something quick hoping to get it cooked before we might end up with another power outage. We had one that lasted about 2.5 hours on Saturday because the winds knocked trees on the lines. I was afraid of a repeat performance because it looked like these had the wind too.

Sep 14, 2020, 8:59am

Book 181. The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson

Date Completed: 14 September 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Emma Daley wants to spend Christmas somewhere besides with her friend Gillian's family in Arizona this Christmas. Gillian persuades her to join them on a house swap adventure in Colorado. Songwriter West Prescott's family is the Colorado family heading to Arizona. When he realizes he left unpublished lyrics in plain sight, he heads back to the house to retrieve them, intending to rejoin his family. Unable to get another flight out because of a snowstorm, he heads to the caretaker's cottage he turned into a studio to spend the night. He decides to retrieve something from his jeep when he Gillian catches him. To avoid telling her who he really is, he says he is the caretaker. He finds himself drawn to Emma when he meets her later that evening. He offers to teach her to ski the next day. She finds he's a really good ski instructor. Not realizing he owns the house, Emma worries that West's over-familiarity with his boss' things might get him in trouble. What happens when they figure out who he really is? Will Emma and West get together or will the lie keep them apart? I found this book slow in starting, but once the main plot began shaping, it moved along nicely. The author kind of left Gillian's parents out once the action really began, but she gave them too big of a role in the earlier portion of the book. This is definitely a mixed bag. It might be a nice plot for a Hallmark Christmas movie if the first portion was re-written--although I must admit that except for a mention of Christmas shopping, this book could happen any time in winter. I received an advance copy through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 14, 2020, 2:04pm

Hi Lori.

I have a copy of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas on my TBR shelves. Interesting note about the believability factor, but 4.5 stars is still a hearty recommendation!

Sep 14, 2020, 8:49pm

>55 EBT1002: Yes. I really liked it.

Sep 15, 2020, 2:12pm

Book 182. Out of This World: A Journey of Healing by Mary Swander

Date Completed: 15 September 2020

Category: Bengal (Other Non-Fiction)

Rating: 2 stars

Review: While I realized the author was not Amish and simply residing in an Amish community, I expected this book to to include more on the Amish community since that was the first subject heading. Instead the book fits the memoir category and only mentions the Amish incidentally as she interacts with them. The author discusses her decision to move from a California city back to her native Iowa. She purchased the former Fairview School as her residence and planted her own organic garden because of allergies to pesticides and such. The book may interest those who wish to "get back to nature." If readers seek an account of living among the Amish with the focus on the neighbors instead of the author, skip this one.

Sep 16, 2020, 8:52am

Sorry your latest read wasn't a great one for you, Lori, and here's hoping the next one is better!

Sep 16, 2020, 10:50am

>58 bell7: That was one of those spur of the moment things. I was withdrawing the print copy because we have an e-book. The print had not been used in years so the e-book alone was sufficient. I decided to read it before putting it into our book sale pile. It wasn't what I expected.

Sep 17, 2020, 11:02am

Book 183. A Slice of Snow: A Book of Poems by Joan Walsh Anglund

Date Completed: 17 September 2020

Category: Russian Blue (Poetry)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: The untitled poems in this collection often seem like quotations or statements written in verse. They are brief, ranging from a couple lines to about a dozen at most. Each poem is accompanied by tiny illustrations on the opposite page. Some appeal more than others.

Sep 17, 2020, 1:51pm

#183 is an example of a major issue I have with most, if not all, poetry: Why is this a poem? Why isn't it an aperçu or an aphorism or a saying, proverb, sutra?

Oh well, no one is making me read the stuff now that I'm not in school. But how I loathed it then, and the echoes of that reverberate to this day.

Sep 17, 2020, 6:00pm

>61 richardderus: I'm processing a gift collection of 3 boxes of poetry books. I was fairly selective in what I kept, but this one seemed to be one we should have. Apparently she is better known for her illustrations. I actually enjoyed this one which took very little time to read, but I also realized it was not the best quality in the world. Lots of other libraries own this one, and I do feel it's probably a good example of a certain type of poetry.

Sep 18, 2020, 2:07pm

Happy Librarian's Day!

Sep 18, 2020, 2:41pm

>63 richardderus: Thanks. I didn't realize today was Librarian's Day. I'm celebrating by not working.

Sep 18, 2020, 3:12pm

>64 thornton37814: The perfect celebration, IMO.

Sep 20, 2020, 2:50pm

>65 richardderus: Just happened to be my day off since I work today (Sunday).

Sep 22, 2020, 7:35pm

Book 184. Murder with Cinnamon Scones by Karen Rose Smith

Date Completed: 18 September 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: When gallery owner Reese Masemer's corpse turns up by the covered bridge, Daisy's friend Tessa becomes the chief suspect. She'd been dating the man, and some say the couple fought recently. It all happens when Willow Creek's businesses host a quilting event. Although it offers a predictable cozy plot, it provides a few moments of escapism for readers who want to indulge in a cup of tea, tasty treats, and a little spot of murder.

Sep 22, 2020, 9:44pm

Book 185. Snowfall on Cedar Trail by Annie Rains

Date Completed: 22 September 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Halona, a single mom and florist, struggles to give her speechless son the support he needs. He used to speak, but following his father's death, he quit doing so. Halona finds herself making more trips to the principal's office than she would like. She enrolls him in the Mentor Match program where he is paired with the local police chief Alex Baker. The police chief wants nothing more than to solve the case involving his father's murder. Meanwhile Alex shows professional concern for another woman suffering at the hands of her husband. Snowfall on Cedar Trail offers a pleasant Christmas love story. This review applies only to this story, and not to the bonus story. I received a copy through GoodReads Giveaways. Although terms do not require reviews, they are appreciated.

Sep 22, 2020, 9:48pm

Book 186. That's My Church: The Seven Churches of Revelation by J. M. Hope

Date Completed: 22 September 2020

Category: Bengal (Other Non-Fiction)

Rating: 1 star

Review: Readers wanting to learn more about the seven churches of Asia Minor would be better served by obtaining a readable commentary or a devotional commentary by someone such as Warren Wiersbe than by this incoherent book. The writing did not flow, and the insights were shallow. I received this through GoodReads giveaway. Although reviews are not required, they are appreciated.

Sep 23, 2020, 9:07pm

>69 thornton37814: Welp, I'll remember to avoid that one. Sorry you had such a bad read!

Sep 23, 2020, 9:41pm

>31 thornton37814: Hi Lori. When my oldest daughter, now 47, was a little one, she loved Mercer Mayer's books when I read them to her.

I hope all is well with you. The photo in your opening image is incredible. Is this near where you live?

Sep 24, 2020, 9:29am

>70 bell7: I should know better than to request GoodReads giveaways that are not from publishing houses or authors with who I am familiar.

>71 Whisper1: The photo was taken at Bald River Falls. It's probably about 2 hours away from me. I took a day trip before school began and visited there and drove over the Cherohala Skyway into North Carolina. A friend told me about the easy-to-access waterfall so I decided to go see it.

Sep 26, 2020, 9:07pm

>67 thornton37814: Mmm, cinnamon scones. I'd probably pick that one up for the title alone, Lori. Have a great weekend!

Sep 26, 2020, 9:49pm

>73 Familyhistorian: I think I picked up the series because it is set in Amish country in an area where my Amish ancestors once lived. I know the time period is completely different, but I still enjoy Amish fiction. I think my favorite Amish mystery series is the one by P. L Gaus set in Holmes County, Ohio. But you are correct -- cinnamon scones are tasty!

Sep 27, 2020, 7:34am

Book 187. A Better Man by Louise Penny

Date Completed: 27 September 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: As Jean-Guy prepares to leave for France, Armand Gamache returns from his leave of absence. Jean-Guy is temporarily his boss. The demoted Armand is slated to return to his old job as head of homicide. Two less known officers play important roles in this story--Lysette Cloutier, who was recruited to major crimes because of her ability to track the money, and Bob Cameron, a former hockey player. Lysette's goddaughter Vivienne has gone missing. They suspect her abusive husband played a role in the disappearance. At the same time, much of Quebec, including Three Pines, is under threat of a major flood event. Most officers are diverted to flood control and management. Isabelle Lacoste, although technically still on medical leave, returns to help investigate the case. We know someone is lying, but who is it? Will they get the right man or woman? Will the charges stick? I enjoyed the installment, and I hope I get to the current installment soon so I'm no longer "one behind."

Sep 27, 2020, 7:48pm

Book 188. Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge

Date Completed: 27 September 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Aidan spies on his "girlfriend" through a Skype vulnerability. He gets a little more than he expected when he witnesses her murder although he cannot see the suspect. It puts him in a precarious situation. He phones an anonymous tip, but the police soon determine who called. He becomes a suspect in the case because his testimony does not add up. The author does a good job with character development, and others may find the mystery more appealing than I did. The alternating viewpoints between the deceased's past and the present investigation did not work for me. I tire quickly of that overused technique, particularly when it could come out in other ways during the investigation. I received an advance uncorrected proof months ago through GoodReads. While reviews are appreciated, they are not required.

Sep 27, 2020, 8:17pm

>75 thornton37814: That was a good instalment in the series. Not one of the books has been bad so far.

Sep 27, 2020, 8:21pm

>75 thornton37814: You’re almost all caught up! I loved the latest one, and hope you do, too, when you get to it.

Sep 27, 2020, 8:23pm

>77 figsfromthistle: I do love the series.

>78 Copperskye: I've seen several people mention (on Facebook) that it's their favorite in the series. This series is a favorite among genealogists.

Oct 1, 2020, 7:40am

Book 189. The Christmas Boutique by Jennifer Chiaverini

Date Completed: 30 September 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This 2019 Christmas installment in the Elm Creek Quilts series shows the quilters preparing for the town's Christmas boutique which benefits the food pantry. Originally scheduled for the church hall, the church sustained water damage due to frozen pipes. It is moved to Sylvia's retreat. A little Christmas reconciliation occurs within the narrative. Each long chapter is told from the perspective of a different woman. The book gave a lot of back story with little forward progress. Still it was a pleasant enough read. The series tends to be quite formulaic. The same story is often repeated. I tired of these a long time ago and got behind on the series. I skipped many intervening installments, but I still felt I had not missed a beat.

Oct 2, 2020, 6:46am

Book 190. Girl by Edna O'Brien

Date Completed: 1 October 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Captors take Maryam and several friends from their schools to the jungle wilds where the men rape the girls and force them to convert to Islam. Maryam becomes pregnant, giving birth to Babby. When opportunity presents itself in the form of camp bombing, Maryam flees with Babby, eventually returning to her prior home. The author depicts the violence and sympathizes with the girls, but she also presents Maryam as someone with the strength and courage to overcome. In the end, Maryam and Babby find a new life. The novel arose from interviews of survivors of the 2014 Boko Haram kidnappings. Although short, the novel's subject matter makes reading difficult due to the situation's horrors.

Oct 4, 2020, 2:39pm

Book 191. Softly Blows the Bugle by Jan Drexler

Date Completed: 4 October 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Left a Civil War widow, Elizabeth returns home to her Amish family. Her brother who served during the war, mainly as a medic, brings home a crippled Confederate soldier Aaron he'd met in the hospital. The soldier, while not Amish, bore the surname Zook. He doesn't know much about them, but they feel certain he may be related. Meanwhile a man calling himself Solomon Mast turns up, moving onto a nearby farm. Solomon is determined to rush Elizabeth into marriage so he can get the land her late husband left. However, Aaron recognizes him from Virginia and knows he is an imposter. Lots going on here. The story itself is predictable but pleasant. The writing bothers me. Editors left too many sentences beginning with "And" -- something those of a certain age learned not to do. The must unforgiveable error occurs near the end of the book when the Mississippi lawyer brings out a birth certificate for the boy he brings for Elizabeth to rear. Sorry! Birth certificates did not exist in Civil War and Reconstruction era Mississippi. I received an advance reading copy through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program in exchange for an honest review.

Oct 6, 2020, 3:20pm

>49 thornton37814: That was an interesting and good read for me, too

Oct 7, 2020, 7:39am

>83 paulstalder: It went on my radar back when a lot of you all read it. It took me a little longer to get around to reading.

Oct 8, 2020, 6:06pm

Book 192. Tidelands by Philippa Gregory

Date Completed: 5 October 2020

Category: Siamese (Historical Fiction)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Set in the years immediately prior to Cromwell's rule through Charles II's reinstatement as King, Tidelands focuses on residents of the island of Fairmile, particularly Alinor Reekie and her family. We see the remnants of the system of lords and their servile tenants. Alinor's husband left about a year prior to the book's beginning, and she's doing her best to support her two children with her midwife practice and through various jobs, mostly involving distilling herbs, milking cows, and other farm duties for the local miller's family. Her husband's accusations of her "magic" led many persons to be suspicious about where she obtained her cures. The resident lord, a papist, hired a man posing as a teacher, but working as a spy for the king, to tutor his son. He extended an invitation to Alinor's son to study with his son and to be his son's companion until he went to university. Too much sex outside the bonds of matrimony occurs for my taste, but it is central to the plot. I found the historical elements interesting, but I had a love-hate relationship with the story itself. The ending ruined the book for me. It seemed abrupt, leaving too much for future installments. While I want to know the resolutions, I'm not sure I want to wade through another installment this long to discover them. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Louise Beasley who did a capable job.

Oct 8, 2020, 6:30pm

Book 193. The Middle Ages: A Very Short Introduction by Miri Rubin

Date Completed: 7 October 2020

Category: Persian (History and Genealogy)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: My expectations and the book's content did not align. My interest was more in a chronological overview of the period with political divisions, important peoples, and information on the lives of everyday persons. While the book began to address some of the latter toward the book's conclusion, the text mainly looked at broad themes from the period rather than providing the information I wanted to acquaint myself before moving to other books dealing with specific aspects. Others may enjoy it more than I did, but I was disappointed.

Oct 8, 2020, 6:32pm

Book 194. Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm

Date Completed: 8 October 2020

Category: Ragdoll (Juvenile & YA)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Beans and his gang live in Key West during the Great Depression. He's learned that adults lie. His unemployed father is often gone seeking work, and his mother takes in laundry to help make ends meet. Beans often works for "Winky" who always cheats him. The town's buildings are in need of facelifts, and the economy is so poor, garbage service is no longer available. There's just a bad-smelling garbage dump. One day a man saying he's working for the president rolls into town. He plans to turn Key West into a tourist destination. I'll leave the rest of the story for you to find out. It's a great piece of historical fiction for young readers. They'll enjoy the gang and their marble-playing and perhaps learn a little about the Great Depression and the Works Progress Administration in the process. I listened to the audiobook read by Kirby Heyborne and found it a perfect way to enjoy the book.

Oct 8, 2020, 7:09pm

I am always amazed at not only how many books you read, but also how good they are!

Oct 9, 2020, 6:38am

>88 Whisper1: Well, I've had some duds too. I finished another one last night so I need to write that up when I'm awake enough to do so.

Oct 9, 2020, 8:01am

Book 195. Alpha and Omega by Harry Turtledove

Date Completed: 8 October 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: This book explores the question "What if the Bible is true about the end times?" In the book's opening pages, a red heifer is found in Arkansas and brought to Jerusalem where the 3rd temple is being built. Missing for centuries, the Ark of the Covenant has been located. The book includes Jewish, Islamic, and Christian characters, and various reactions to the drama unfolding before their eyes occurs. Who is the antichrist? Some scoff the rapture hasn't occurred yet. It's an interesting exploration of the theme by a mainstream author, but in the end, it fell a little short.

Edited: Oct 9, 2020, 10:19pm

Hi, Lori! I'm just stopping by to say hello and wish you appy reading! :)

eta to add Great thread-topper photo!

Oct 9, 2020, 11:05pm

>90 thornton37814: Wow, you rated that significantly higher than I did and Turtledove is usually an author I like - but I don't read his Civil War or WWII inverted histories.

Oct 10, 2020, 8:44am

>91 tymfos: I'm using a mix of print and app reading these days, and I'm trying to mostly read print this weekend to give myself a break from anything remotely related to Zoom. I just want to curl up with three cats and a book when I read.

>92 quondame: I didn't know what to expect from Turtledove. I have never read anything by him. I think that's why I was likely a little more generous. He did a good job with character development, and he is a good writer. He probably did drag the story a little longer than it needed to be, but I think he did that to emphasize the scoffing predicted in Revelation. I had read the blurb about the book when I ordered it for the library and wanted to read it before it gets returned to the book leasing company. As soon as I place this month's order, I need to return a bunch of books. I think that one will likely be among the returns.

Oct 10, 2020, 4:28pm

>93 thornton37814: My favorites are his Elabon series, a wry take on fantasy with strong domestic developments. Not anything like anyone else's were stories. I also like his alt-Byzantine, the Greek traders, and many others of his books.

Oct 10, 2020, 8:48pm

>94 quondame: I'm not a huge fantasy fan so I suspect the alternate histories might work a little better for me.

Oct 10, 2020, 9:19pm

>27 thornton37814: Reading back over your thread, I had to smile at >27 thornton37814:. I also prefer British poetry but I am biased of course but finally an American poet has won the Nobel Prize and at least they picked a gifted one in Louise Gluck.

Have a lovely weekend, Lori.

Oct 10, 2020, 9:26pm

>96 PaulCranswick: I do like Mary Oliver and a few American poets. Of course, many of the ones I enjoy are deceased.

Oct 10, 2020, 9:34pm

>97 thornton37814: A constant theme of mine is that with the latest death of a particular poet those coming up in their stead have neither their eloquence, voice, technical capability or originality. I remember writing when Seamus Heaney died a few years ago:


Where are the poets
Who raised the standard, now fallen
Tattered and degrading upon the ground;

As battles rage undiminished
Whose is the voice to be found

To set the calumnies before us
Such that the call is worth the sound?

Who now holds the mantle
In order to find the magic in the commonplace
To wade through weeds to waiting shore -

Whence the pen’s nib dries and the sword sharpens
And eloquence is placed in little store.

Who will stand with lyric of love and longing
Now that Heaney breathes no more?

Oct 10, 2020, 9:40pm

Book 196. The Innocents by Michael Crummey

Date Completed: 10 October 2020

Category: Siamese (Historical Fiction)

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: Evered and Ada, orphaned when their mother and father die within a couple weeks of one another, find themselves surviving the harsh northern Newfoundland winters. Evered assumes his father's job working as a fisherman for a man who supplies them with the other staples needed. Their only contact with the outside world generally comes when the supply ship comes twice a year. This is an incredible story, and Crummey tells it in a manner the evokes the time and place.

Oct 11, 2020, 4:29pm

>99 thornton37814: Closing in on your 200th read, and it was a good one too. It's nominated for the Giller Prize this year, and is definitely on my "procure soon" list.

Oct 11, 2020, 6:47pm

>100 richardderus: It's a good one. It will be a top 5 of the year for me.

Oct 11, 2020, 7:02pm

Book 197. A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith by Timothy Egan

Date Completed: 11 October 2020

Category: Scottish Fold (Travel)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: After his mother's death, Timothy Egan decided to pay tribute to his Catholic upbringing by taking a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome. The three-month journey visited many "holy sites" where monastics, popes, and saints trod. I enjoyed reading about the events that took place at the stops along his journey. Maps prefaced each section of his journey. It's a wonderful travelogue but is probably a little too Catholic-focused for this Southern Baptist who would have enjoyed a few more Reformation sites. (Martin Luther did receive treatment.)

Oct 11, 2020, 7:45pm

I'm just dropping in to say hello, Lori. You've been doing some great reading. The Innocents sounds interesting.

Oct 11, 2020, 7:53pm

>103 Oregonreader: I really enjoyed it. The story just really grabbed me.

Oct 12, 2020, 5:30pm

>99 thornton37814: Lori, I’m delighted that you enjoyed The Innocents so much. Michael Crummey is a wonderful storyteller.

Oct 13, 2020, 1:34pm

>105 Donna828: It's definitely one of my top 5 for the year. It's in the top 3 now.

Oct 13, 2020, 1:37pm

Book 198. Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Date Completed: 13 October 2020

Category: Siamese (Historical Fiction)

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: Ana, a native of the Dominican Republic, marries an older Juan Ruiz, a Dominican living in New York, with the goal of eventually bringing her family to live in the United States. The abusive Juan doesn't love her. He just wants her family's property. His younger brother Cesar resides with them. After Juan returns to the Dominican Republic to protect his property during a Revolution, Cesar gives the pregnant Ana more freedom. She takes English classes from a nun. She finds ways to earn a little money. She learns to navigate the city. What will happen when Juan returns? Will her family make it to New York? I did not enjoy this book. I really wish the author had provided more on the revolution in the Dominican Republic. Although I lived in this era, I was young, and I don't remember it. I did not like the brothers--well at least the main two, Juan and Cesar. I'm sure others loved it a bit more than me, but I did not enjoy the book's violence.

Oct 16, 2020, 4:04pm

Hi Lori! Trying to get back in the LT swing of things, so here I am. : ) Nice review of The Innocents. I am not familiar with the author so now I have to look him up! Happy Friday.

Oct 16, 2020, 5:32pm

>108 Berly: He's Irish Canadian, I think. I picked it up for our library based on advance reviews. The chair of our English department read it and raved about it, so I added it to my reading list. I'm glad I did.

Oct 17, 2020, 11:10am

Just a quick hello, Lori. Congrats on your reading.

>93 thornton37814: I just want to curl up with three cats and a book when I read. I love having all three of mine near me when I read in the evening - usually 2 on the couch with me and one on the loveseat or ottoman. Very few things beat kitty love.

Oct 17, 2020, 1:47pm

>110 karenmarie: I fear my cats will be on a high for a bit. I transplanted the catnip into pots and brought it indoors. Temp got down to 34, and I had to cover my plants because it had rained all last weekend when I'd planned to do that task (and had time to do it). I got everything transplanted after I ate lunch so I'm good to go, but the cats have definitely been nibbling at the plant. By their behavior, I can tell they are on a catnip high.

Oct 18, 2020, 12:33pm

Book 199. Owl Be Home for Christmas by Donna Andrews

Date Completed: 18 October 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Meg helped her grandfather plan his owl convention just before Christmas. A snowstorm threatens to keep the entire convention snowbound over the holidays, and then a well-known but not well-liked owl expert dies under suspicious circumstances during the banquet. Fortunately Meg's father, the medical examiner, witnesses the incident, and a deputy is staying at the inn because his vehicle got stuck. Suspects abound. Even Meg's own grandfather possessed a motive. It's a fun Christmas mystery. In the story set in 2019, they propose holding another conference in 2020 a little earlier in the season--perhaps in September or October, but definitely before Thanksgiving. Obviously the author had no clue of what things would be like in 2020. I wonder how they enjoyed their Zoom conference?

Oct 20, 2020, 1:05pm

Book 200. An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson

Date Completed: 20 October 2020

Category: Siamese (Historical Fiction)

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Something about the writing style of this book made it difficult for me to follow the plot. Mystery author Josephine Tey plays a role in the mystery although Archie Penrose, the detective, figures more prominently. The mystery set in London's theatrical world focuses on the death of a woman who rode the train with Tey but never made it off. A key figure in the play's production also meets his demise soon afterward. I didn't find the novel very engaging, and I doubt I'll read others in the series. I like Tey's novels, but I'm not a fan of Upson's work.

Oct 20, 2020, 6:04pm

Congratulations on reading 200, Lori. Too bad you didn’t like your 200th book better. Having golden age mystery writers appear in books seems to be a bit of a sub genre these days.

Oct 20, 2020, 8:48pm

>114 Familyhistorian: It didn't work for me. I gave the series a try. I can move onto the countless other books on my TBR list without adding the rest of that series!

Oct 21, 2020, 3:48pm

Hi Lori my dear, congrats on hitting 200 books read for the year so far. Hope all is well with you and the fur babies and we send love and hugs to you dear friend.

Oct 21, 2020, 5:30pm

Two Hundred is a way cool goal to have reached. Congratulations!

Oct 22, 2020, 1:20pm

>116 johnsimpson: My fur babies have been so loving. They all want their turns at being the subject of my attention.

>117 richardderus: I want to make it a triple for the year. 25 to go, and I've got an ebook and audiobook nearing completion and should complete a couple audiobooks and hopefully another book over the weekend. I have 2 year-long reads so I think I'll reach my goal easily! I'm just sad I won't make it to the quadruple status this year. COVID-19 broke my concentration.

Oct 22, 2020, 1:24pm

>114 Familyhistorian: First books in a series can be dangerous when the writing clicks, Lori. Sometimes it feels just as good not to want to continue with a series.

Oct 22, 2020, 3:46pm

>118 thornton37814:, Hi Lori my dear, Felix is just the same wanting attention, he gets onto the coffee table to nudge his zoom groom so that he can be brushed, we got him a new brush which is double sided and he just loves it. The only thing with him is that every few strokes he wants his cheeks or under his chin brushing. He has started to come and lay on my lap more over the last two or three weeks and he knows it is Karen that feeds him. I must admit that it seems as if we have had him since a kitten rather than as an eight month old in January, we wouldn't be without him even if he is a bit naughty.

Hope all is well with you and you are having a good week, sending love and hugs dear friend.

Oct 22, 2020, 8:06pm

>119 Familyhistorian: Yes. Fortunately it was writing style instead of something else. I might have been tempted to try another one if it just wasn't quite up to snuff as I'd think she might hit her stride around the 3rd book. With writing style, it either works or doesn't.

>120 johnsimpson: I'm glad Felix is bringing you such joy. I'm going to miss mine the next couple of days. I just hope they'll welcome me back quickly instead of punishing me too long.

Oct 22, 2020, 8:30pm

Book 201. A Question of Belief by Donna Leon

Date Completed: 22 October 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Vacation time looms on the horizon as Brunetti begins on unofficial investigation into the way Vianello's aunt spends her child's inheritance. Court postponements also captivate his attention when a friend informs him about a noticed irregularity. He finds these a welcome diversion from the lack of cases leading up to vacation and knows their unofficial status makes them easy to drop. He looks forward to escaping the Venice heat in a mountain setting, but before he reaches his destination, he receives a call. A murder connected to the court date irregularities occurred. Vianello also returns from his vacation to assist. Everyone describes the victim as "a good man," but someone hated him enough to commit murder. Is the motive work-related or linked to his personal life? It's another great installment in the series with David Colacci doing the narration.

Oct 23, 2020, 7:56pm

Book 202. Winter of Secrets by Vicki Delany

Date Completed: 23 October 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Now past her probationary period, Constable Molly Smith finds herself spending Christmas eve/Christmas morning with Constable Dave Evans overseeing the removal of a vehicle from the rushing shallow cold waters of the river. A few days later, she finds herself accompanying Sergeant John Winters to the morgue when the autopsy shows one of the drowned men died at least 24 hours before the accident. The two young men were part of a group staying at a local bed and breakfast while enjoying the powdery slopes of the local ski resort. Molly often finds her mom Lucky whose friend owns the bed and breakfast present when she arrives to question suspects. A local sixteen-year-old girl from an unfortunate family thought she would marry one of those men. Meanwhile a man who threatened Molly's friend and whom Molly arrested comes back to town, having been paroled for good behavior. I love this series in the audiobook format, narrated by Carrington MacDuffie. It provides pleasant escapism in the enjoyable setting of Trafalgar, a British Columbia resort community.

Oct 23, 2020, 9:49pm

Book 203. Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers

Date Completed: 23 October 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Lord Peter goes undercover at an advertising agency to investigate an irregular death, but he also discovers a drug ring in the process. He nearly slips up with his cover a few times. The office staff provides interesting characters. I just don't like the series that much. Although this is one of the better installments, Bunter is largely absent, and I really enjoy his character.

Oct 25, 2020, 11:52am

Hi Lori!

>111 thornton37814: Kitties on catnip are a riot.

>113 thornton37814: Fantastic accomplishment, congrats on 200.

>124 thornton37814: I’m sorry you didn’t like Murder Must Advertise more and indeed don’t particularly like the series. Lord Peter and Harriet are some of my catnip…

Oct 25, 2020, 5:37pm

>125 karenmarie: It really is a shame I don't enjoy Lord Peter more. I am enjoying my cats this evening. I've missed them while I went to Mississippi for a cousin's memorial service. I was only gone about 56 hours, but I thought of them often, and really missed them at bedtime and first thing in the morning when one of them always awakens me before the alarm goes off.

Oct 25, 2020, 5:39pm

Book 204. Drawing Conclusions by Donna Leon

Date Completed: 25 October 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: When an old woman dies of a heart attack in her home, something feels off to Commissario Guido Brunetti when he visits the scene. The coroner finds evidence the woman had been grasped from the front and that she was possibly shaken. The autopsy is conclusive she died of heart attack and that she hit her head on a nearby radiator when she fell. Still Brunetti feels compelled to unofficially investigate. He finds the woman, a retired teacher, volunteered at a Catholic home for seniors. In his search of the apartment following her death, he found unopened packages of cheap women's lingerie in multiple sizes. He finds a cause for this in the investigation, and this leads to a further thread of investigation. This is not the strongest installment in the series, and Brunetti seems to feel guilt for some of the things Signorina Elettra does and that he asks her to do which skirt the law. I enjoyed listening to the installment read by David Colacci even if it wasn't a favorite in terms of plot.

Oct 28, 2020, 10:30pm

Book 205. In the Heat of the Moment by Viveca Sten

Date Completed: 28 October 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Midsummer weekend on Sandhamn includes a lot of teenage partying. Jonas' daughter stays out past her curfew, and he spends the entire night searching for her. One girl loses the rest of her party and is finally joined by one in the shelter to wait until parents can come. But worst of all, one boy is found dead with a head wound caused by the repeated bashing of a stone against his head. The deceased's father vows revenge on the person who killed his son. Thomas and Margit investigate along with the help of other team members. The author seems to be using similar elements to previous books in this book. Unfortunately it makes the plot seem a little stale.

Nov 1, 2020, 5:17pm

Book 206. Thin Ice by Paige Shelton

Date Completed: 1 November 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Author Beth Rivers who writes as Elizabeth Fairchild escaped from a van after being kidnapped by a crazed fan. Although her doctor wishes she would stay in St. Louis, Beth gets out of town, heading for rural Alaska. She finds the boutique hotel she booked actually serves as a halfway house for petty thieves. She poses as someone who fell off a horse in Denver although the local law enforcement knows the truth. Just before her arrival, a local woman's suspicious death sends Donner, a park ranger, to meet her plane while the police chief investigates the crime scene. Beth's experience working in her grandfather's police station becomes valuable to Gril, who needs someone with mathematical calculations concerning the forensic evidence. Gril also asks her to revive the local newspaper which ceased print when its previous owner died. This town that attracts people running from their pasts provides a pleasant setting for this standalone set up in a manner it might lead to a pleasant series.

Nov 3, 2020, 9:54pm

Book 207. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Date Completed: 3 November 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: This classic adventure story featuring pirates and treasure continues to delight today's readers and listeners. Jasper Britton's narration was so well done I felt I listened to a full-cast narration instead of a single performer. Five audio versions were available to me through my libraries, and I listened to the samples of each, settling on this one, and I'm so glad I did.

Nov 3, 2020, 10:05pm

Book 208. The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith

Date Completed: 3 November 2020

Category: Bengal (Other Fiction & Non-Fiction)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: This classic work on God's grace remains relevant to today's reader.

Nov 4, 2020, 10:48am

>129 thornton37814: You got me with that one, I'm a sucker for books set in Alaska.

Nov 4, 2020, 11:21am

>132 LibraryLover23: I enjoy Alaska settings too. I did notice GoodReads listed it as part of a series, so I added it here. Just awaiting the next installment.

Nov 4, 2020, 12:43pm

Book 209. Summer Snow: New Poems by Robert Hass

Date Completed: 4 November 2020

Category: Russian Blue (Poetry)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: I enjoyed some of the poems in this collection, but many failed to resonate with me. It includes a few prose selections which are not mentioned in the book's subtitle. While Hass writes some poetry with shorter lines, making the poems easier to read, many feature almost page-width lines. I preferred the ones with shorter widths, and I preferred ones with topics that didn't seem like his daily journal written in poetic form.

Edited: Nov 6, 2020, 7:59pm

Book 210. Detective Stories edited by Peter Washington

Date Completed: 4 November 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Peter Washington compiled an outstanding collection of detective stories in this volume. He roughly arranged stories from newest to oldest. I read this for our book club at work where we typically read one or two short stories per week and complete it in a semester. We began the collection back in January, reading the first selection. At that point we decided we would rather read them in reverse order--oldest to newest--so we could see the influence older authors might have on the newer ones. Of course, the book club was interrupted by COVID-19, so we did not resume our read until fall semester. We then did not meet in person, but on Zoom. We enjoyed the collection.

Stories included were "The Takamoku Joseki" by Sara Paretsky, "Window of Opportunity" by Ian Rankin, "People Don't Do Such Things" by Ruth Rendell, "Inspector Ghote and the Miracle Baby" by H. R. F. Keating, "Mademoiselle Berthe and Her Lover" by Georges Simonon, "Death and the Compass" by J. L. Borges, "Leg Man" by Erle Stanley Gardner, "I'll Be Waiting" by Raymond Chandler, "The Gatewood Caper" by Dashiell Hammett, "The Blue Geranium" by Agatha Christie, "A Jury of Her Peers" by Susan Glaspell, "The Blue Cross" by G. K. Chesterton, "Silver Blaze" by Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Stolen Cigar Case" by Bret Harte, "Long Looked-for, Come at Last" by James McLevy, and "The Purloined Letter" by Edgar Allan Poe.

If you are looking for a great selection of detective stories, I highly recommend this collection. It features a nice binding and a ribbon bookmark. It is not available on Kindle or other electronic formats.

Nov 6, 2020, 8:19pm

...fifteen to go...

Nov 7, 2020, 8:10am

>136 richardderus: And I am reading about 5 or 6 at the moment--two of those are year-long reads--a Bible and devotional book. Then I have 2 print books, 2 Kindle books, and one audiobook in process besides. I guess that is 7 in process.

Nov 7, 2020, 3:25pm

Hi Lori my dear, i hope that you and the furboys are having a nice weekend and send love and hugs to you from both of us dear friend.

Nov 7, 2020, 6:57pm

>138 johnsimpson: As acting chair of the program committee for a genealogy society, I was tied up with a big event this weekend. Most of the work went on beforehand, so the boys and I were able to enjoy lots of petting and cuddles during the event. I had two places where I had to speak, but I read from a script to stay on track. I think the day went well, and I really enjoyed my cats.

Nov 7, 2020, 8:42pm

Book 211. Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America's First Lady of Food by Susan Marks

Date Completed: 7 November 2020

Category: Ragamuffin (Food & Drink)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Born out of an advertising campaign for Gold Medal flour, Betty Crocker and the women who portrayed her over the years became a staple in the American household. In the early days, women responding to the radio broadcasts received a wooden recipe box with recipes. When the great depression hit, Betty Crocker helped women economize. During the war years, she showed women how to make the most of their rations. I found myself wanting to ask my deceased mother about her memories of the earlier incarnations of Betty Crocker. While my mom always used Gold Medal flour, I wondered why many of her recipes called for Duncan Hines yellow cake mix rather than Betty Crocker. I remember asking her once why she used Duncan Hines instead of Betty Crocker, but she didn't really have a good answer. Duncan Hines came later than Betty Crocker though. It's still an interesting culinary and social history read, focusing mainly on my mother's era.

Nov 7, 2020, 8:51pm

>140 thornton37814: Must read! Thanks, I'd never heard of that book before.

Mama used Duncan Hines mixes for coffee cakes and emergencies & I've toddled right along behind her. Golden mix, teaspoon of cinnamon, toss 1C fresh blueberries in and use the rest of the blueberries in the oat/pecan streusel.

Nov 8, 2020, 10:22am

>141 richardderus: I joined a "social history" book club Friday night, and that's the read for tonight's discussion. I downloaded it and read it quickly.

Nov 8, 2020, 3:25pm

Edited: Nov 9, 2020, 10:17am

>143 fuzzi: I don't usually have that many going at once. It's really a matter of some things coming in or receiving a slightly higher priority to read while I was reading the others. At times I keep a Bible study book and perhaps a collection of short stories, poetry, or other anthology going while I'm reading other things. It's really not quite as daunting as it seems. I usually only have one fiction in print and one in audio in process and perhaps a non-fiction along with the year-long reads. On this occasion, I did have two fiction and two non-fiction in process.

Nov 9, 2020, 10:19am

Book 212. The Timepiece by Beverly Lewis - completed 8 November 2020

Date Completed: 8 November 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Although Earnest grew up in a church similar to the Amish, he didn't join until after his divorce. Twenty years after his marriage to Rhoda, his past caught up with him, and he just served 6 weeks under the bann because of his sin. Imagine his surprise when Adeline shows up claiming to be a daughter from that first marriage--a daughter he never knew existed. She always assumed her stepfather was her father, so she was surprised to read about it in her mother's diary. She sought Earnest. While it is clear from the beginning Adeline loves worldly things too much to become Amish, her time spent with her Amish family will leave a mark upon her life. Earnest's other daughter Sylvia questions her relationship with her fiancée, Titus, when he seems more interested in outward appearances than on them. Sylvia decides to postpone joining the church until she feels forgiveness in her heart toward Titus and toward his family's treatment of her father during his bann. The book shows Adeline's desire to find what she is missing, and Sylvia's struggles to find the true meaning of love. I enjoyed this book that appears to be a revisit of a family the author wrote about in a previous book. Someday I hope to find the earlier book and see this family at an earlier period in time.

Nov 11, 2020, 7:16pm

Had to take one of my fur boys to the vet this morning. He was holding an eye closed, and although there was no discharge, I was concerned. The vet says he suffered trauma, but there is no abrasion or ulcer--mainly swelling. Just a little bit of conjunctivitis. We're guessing a brother sneaked up on him when he wasn't quite on guard. I'm attempting to put the cream in his eye three times a day. I had the vet do it the first time. I think I got more on his fur than in his eye this last time, but hopefully I'll do better before bedtime.

Nov 12, 2020, 8:50am

I'm sorry your fur boy probably 'wasn't quite on guard'. Wrestling kitties for medicines is thankless. Good luck with that.

Does your vet allow you to come in with your fur boys? I have to drop our kitties off, which is stressful for me and them. I had to get gabapentin for Zoe for her first-ever check at our vet after adopting her last December and the vet said that without it the exam would have been a disaster. Now it's Wash's turn, my timid boy, so I'll check with the vet first about gabapentin for him, too.

Nov 12, 2020, 1:32pm

>147 karenmarie: Right now, you drive up to a numbered place. They come and get the cat, the vet comes out and talks with you after examination, then a vet tech brings the cat and the bill. It's rather strange, and I'm sure Barney would have preferred his pet human holding him. They did say Barney was much better than most cats so I'm a bit encouraged by that.

Nov 12, 2020, 1:34pm

Book 213. From These Broken Streets by Roland Merullo

Date Completed: 12 November 2020

Category: Siamese (Historical Fiction)

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Set in World War II Naples, an archivist (Giuseppe) comes up with a plan to aid the Allies. He and Lucia, a secretary, go underground with the aid of of her father, risking much, to help overthrown Fascist and Nazi regimes. Unfortunately the novel started far too slowly and failed to draw me until the last 50 to 75 pages. I'd hoped for a more engaging read set in a the Italian theater of the war about which I knew little.

Nov 13, 2020, 6:57am

>146 thornton37814: hope your kitty (and you!) are doing better today.

Nov 13, 2020, 8:21am

>148 thornton37814: That's exactly what we have to do, although our vet is too small for numbered spaces. I'm glad that Barney was 'much better than most cats.'

Nov 14, 2020, 10:48am

Hi, Lori.

Sorry the violence was a bit too much for you in Dominicana. Detective Stories sounds good.

Nov 14, 2020, 8:36pm

>150 fuzzi: I think Barney's eye is improving daily. I probably need to keep putting the medicine in another couple of days, but his brothers are playing with him again so I think that's a good sign too.

>151 karenmarie: There are 3 vets in the practice. One is usually at the east office. They had 6 numbered spaces, but only one other person came while I was there. Of course, I was earlier in the day, and they tend to do surgeries early so there may have been some drop-offs before I arrived.

>152 jnwelch: I feel like it took forever to get through it because of COVID and because I didn't want to get ahead of the rest of our group, but it really was a nice collection.

Edited: Nov 15, 2020, 2:53pm

Book 214. At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

Date Completed: 15 November 2020

Category: Persian (History & Genealogy

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Bill Bryson's book is not really quite what I expected. His social history of England uses the setting of a home and its spaces or features to explore various topics relevant to the lives of those who once lived in these houses. He explores epidemiology (quite appropriate in 2020 with the pandemic), gardens, electricity, sewage, slavery, finances, education, and much more in the volume. The book lacks citation footnotes (even of the blind end note variety); however, it includes a nice bibliography. Some footnotes with further explanations do appear at the bottom of some pages, usually linked by an asterisk. The volume's size intimidates casual readers, but the author's engaging style will win most over, particularly if they approach the book a chapter per day.

Nov 15, 2020, 3:55pm

>154 thornton37814: Reading Bryson a chapter a day is an excellent suggestion. He can get a bit "samey" if taken in large doses, and there is almost always a lot to consider when reading his books. A bit of time to think is a great suggestion.

Have you read A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell? It's about the experiences of Italian Jews escaping the Nazis with the hearty help of many Italians...and a good deal of the book is set against a well-drawn background of that theater of the war.

Nov 15, 2020, 6:44pm

>155 richardderus: I generally did 2 or 3 chapters a day, but usually in separate readings. The Russell book has been on my wish list for a long time. I really should read it. I suspect I would like it much better than this one. I think it was one of the choices for a free Kindle book, and it sounded most interesting when I got it.

Nov 16, 2020, 2:45pm

Book 215. Kanahena: A Cherokee Story by Susan L. Roth

Date Completed: 16 November 2020

Category: Ragdoll (Juvenile & YA)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: This picture book shares a grandmother's Cherokee story to a young girl about a terrapin and possum who eat persimmons. A wolf comes along eating the persimmons, but ends up choking on a large one. The terrapin uses the wolves ears to eat kanahena, a type of cornmeal mush eaten by the Cherokee. Word spreads among the wolves about terrapin's new eating utensils. They come to put an end to terrapin, but he tricks them. The tale ends with several versions of terrapin's eventual fate, presenting an opportunity for the young child to decide which he thinks happened. Cute story with illustrations that will appeal to some and not to others but which convey the Cherokee theme well.

Edited: Nov 16, 2020, 3:12pm

Book 216. Life on Mars by Jon Agee

Date Completed: 16 November 2020

Category: Ragdoll (Juvenile & YA)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: A child lands on Mars seeking life. He takes along cupcakes to share. He sees nothing but dirt all around him. He finally spots one sign of life. This book is all about the illustrations. We see not only the narrator's story but the reality of the situation as well. Great book for beginning readers or as a read aloud for younger children.

Nov 17, 2020, 1:14pm

Book 217. From Sea to Stormy Sea: 17 Stories Inspired by Great American Paintings edited by Lawrence Block

Date Completed: 17 November 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction and Literature)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Out of the seventeen stories, I enjoyed about four of them. Some of the stories seemed to correlate with the painting providing inspiration very little. My favorites were "Silver at Lakeside" by Warren Moore, "On Little Terry Road" by Tom Franklin, "A Matter of Options" by Gary Phillips, and "Baptism in Kansas" by Sara Paretsky.

Edited: Nov 18, 2020, 1:44pm

Book 218. The Mistletoe Matchmaker by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Date Completed: 18 November 2020

Category: Norwegian Forest (Other Fiction & Literature)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Cassie Fitzgerald's father immigrated from Ireland to Canada. He's never returned to visit his parents. Finally they come over one year, and Cassie returns to Ireland with them. Christmas approaches on the Finfarrin Peninsula. While the characters from previous installments appear in this installment, one does not need to read the series in order for this Christmas installment. The plot is more about village life than anything else. It's somewhat lackluster--not really drawing one in to the place and not really giving a true sense of Christmas.

Edited: Dec 11, 2020, 10:42am

Book 219. Fog Magic by Julia L. Sauer

Date Completed: 19 November 2020

Category: Ragdoll (Juvenile & YA)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This Newbury honor book tells the story of a fog-obsessed girl living in Nova Scotia. While others see the fog as an economic hardship, Greta loves it. She ventures "over the mountain" into a land of imaginary friends or a time from the past to a fishing village whose stories she's heard told. She finds a young girl with whom she shares adventures. The language and style remind me of the way my mom told stories. Published in my mom's childhood, this book may have been one she read and cherished. This book should keep even today's young reader's interested in its tale.

Nov 22, 2020, 7:15pm

Book 220. Flashback by Nevada Barr - completed 21 November 2020

Date Completed: 21 November 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mystery)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Anna Pigeon leaves her assignment on the Natchez Trace Parkway to temporarily fill the shoes as Chief Ranger at Dry Tortugas National Park off the coast of Key West. The ranger there is on medical leave as others question his sanity. Anna receives a packet of letters written by an ancestor who accompanied her husband to Fort Jefferson during the Civil War, the main feature of the national park. The present story involves a boat explosion, the injury of the other law enforcement ranger, dives to learn more about the boat and its potential business, and more. The past story dealing with the Lincoln Conspirators imprisoned in Fort Jefferson is told completely through the letters. Each story could stand on its own--and probably should have. I love historical fiction, but I read Nevada Barr's work for Anna's story and found myself tiring of the endless letters. They occupied far too much of the story, and I found myself asking whether her ancestor would have written such long letters. While I enjoyed both stories, they didn't really work that well together. This is more of a 3.25 star read than a 3.0, but it's not quite up to a 3.5 one so I'm rounding down. I listened to the audio book narrated by Barbara Rosenblat.

Nov 22, 2020, 7:48pm

Abandoned Book 6. The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

Date Abandoned: 22 November 2020

Category: Shelter Cats (Abandoned Books)

Comments: I wanted to like this book based on the Italian invasion of Ethiopia during World War II, but I just could not get into the story. I finally gave up trying.

Nov 23, 2020, 12:25pm

>161 thornton37814: Oh, that one sounds excellent. I'm also a fog-fancier (as long as I don't have to be out in a car or something).

>163 thornton37814: I had the same experience: I was all ready to like it a lot and...didn't. So disappointing!

Have a lovely week ahead, Lori.

Nov 23, 2020, 8:51pm

>164 richardderus: I saw the fog book on Linda's thread and had to try it. Fortunately it was available as an e-book immediately so I grabbed it. I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't enjoy The Shadow King.

Nov 23, 2020, 8:54pm

Book 221. There's a Murder Afoot by Vicki Delany

Date Completed: 23 November 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mystery)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Gemma Doyle, a London native now residing in New London on Cape Cod, returns home to attend a Sherlock Holmes conference. Her father's presence by the side of his estranged brother-in-law leads an incompetent DI with a grudge against his former colleague to arrest him. Gemma's father was hit over the head by the real party, and he doesn't remember how he ended up in the room. Several Americans came with Gemma, including Jayne and Ryan. Gamma's sister Philippa's high-ranking governmental connections prove useful. I have not read previous installments, but I want to go back and read them so I can understand the allusions and back story a bit better. I suspect knowing it would enhance my enjoyment. It's still a solid mystery, and I look forward to going back and catching up.

Nov 23, 2020, 9:07pm

Well, if I'm going to forget I read a book earlier this year, at least it was a slim volume of poetry!

I won't count it a second time since it is the same year, but I re-read In the Lateness of the World by Carolyn Forché today.

Nov 26, 2020, 3:07pm

That Vicky Delaney murder looks interesting, Lori. You're really going through the books! I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 26, 2020, 4:25pm

Hi Lori my dear, Happy Thanksgiving Day and hope that you are having a good day dear friend.

Nov 26, 2020, 4:56pm

>168 Familyhistorian: I think I like her Constable Molly series better, but this one was good. I just needed more back story.

>169 johnsimpson: Well, it started out bad. I went to take a shower this morning and managed to throw my back out just bending over to open a drawer. I've been in pain all day long.

Nov 26, 2020, 5:01pm

>170 thornton37814: Well that's a bummer. I hope you find relief quite soon and Thanksgiving gives you something to enjoy.

Nov 26, 2020, 5:24pm

>171 quondame: I'll survive. I'm just chalking it up to 2020.

Nov 27, 2020, 2:05am

This Brit wishes to express his thanks for the warmth and friendship that has helped sustain him in this group, Lori.

Nov 27, 2020, 2:06am

Hope your back repairs itself as soon as possible and doesn't spoil your holiday.

Nov 27, 2020, 12:30pm

>170 thornton37814: sorry to hear about your back, hope it eases soon...and don't use heat for more than 20 minutes at a time (advice based upon my previous occupation).

Nov 27, 2020, 1:14pm

>173 PaulCranswick: Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes.

>174 PaulCranswick: Thanks for the well wishes. It's doing a little better today.

>175 fuzzi: I used a heating pad overnight. It helped, but it wasn't always directly on my back. I've got it to my back at the moment, but I do plan to give myself breaks from it. I'm only using the low setting.

Nov 27, 2020, 1:39pm

>176 thornton37814: good. Doc fuzzi doesn't want you to make it worse. 😉

My doctors would recommend 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off (heat not touching the site)...or use an ice pack in between the heating pad applications. You have to give the injured area cooling off periods.

Nov 27, 2020, 3:46pm

>170 thornton37814:, Hi Lori my dear, sorry to hear that you injured your back whilst in the shower and obviously caused you pain for the rest of the day. I hope you have got some relief from the pain overnight and send special Yorkshire love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

Nov 27, 2020, 6:03pm

>177 fuzzi: I've had it off more than on today. I don't really think the heating pad is helping that much. I think the rest on the bed helped better than anything.

>178 johnsimpson: I'm okay except for when I need to bend. I had to fill the plate with the cat's wet food and drop it for them as I couldn't bend to put it down. (I used a paper plate.) I'm sure it will heal with rest.

Edited: Dec 11, 2020, 10:43am

Book 222. Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Date Completed: 27 November 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: When an old corpse's remains turn up on a farm that once housed a hippie commune, Amy Webber helps the police with a bit of research and helps the farm's owners warn old commune members. Of course, she ends up asking questions of her own which endanger her. She's also making wedding plans with Richard and helping with Sunny's mayoral campaign. While there are several obvious clues pointing to the responsible person, the author incorporates enough red herrings to make it interesting, even for those who are not fooled by them. It failed to captivate the reader as some books do, making it easy to put down after reading a few chapters.

Nov 28, 2020, 6:48pm

>179 thornton37814: ow.

Hope you continue to improve.

Nov 28, 2020, 8:06pm

>181 fuzzi: Thanks. It does pretty well after resting for a bit, but it hurts after I've been up awhile. Still it is better overall.

Nov 30, 2020, 12:03pm

Glad you are healing!

Stopping by to say hello and dropping off a picture of my holiday tree for some inspiration on this dreary Monday morning. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Nov 30, 2020, 12:26pm

Hi Lori!

>170 thornton37814: I’m sorry you threw your back out. Yes, another 2020 thing. I personally use pain killers for back pain – usually ibuprophen but took 2 tylenol extra strength before I started moving books of bags around today to head it off at the pass. I hope it’s much better today.

I see you’re very close to 3x75. Fantastic.

Nov 30, 2020, 1:04pm

Lori. I'm sorry to hear that your back is hurting. I'm not sure if you own a tenz unit, if not, I highly recommend that you obtain one. It helps!

Nov 30, 2020, 2:17pm

>183 witchyrichy: Love your holiday tree. My cats would topple that one, I think.

>184 karenmarie: I should easily hit 225. I don't think I can make it to 250. Maybe 240? We'll see.

>185 Whisper1: Had to look up what that was. They seem to be reasonably priced. Will do more investigating.

A friend with COVID in a local hospital needed to be placed on a ventilator and transported to a larger hospital. Knoxville is completely full so he was transported to Asheville. I'm guessing Chattanooga was also full because I would have thought they would have chosen Chattanooga before Asheville because of the way insurance works.

Dec 3, 2020, 10:25pm

Book 223. Kopp Sisters on the March by Amy Stewart

Date Completed: 3 December 2020

Category: Siamese (Historical Fiction)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Although the fifth book in the series, I did not read previous installments. I suspect I missed useful backstory which would lead to a great appreciation for this book. The Kopp Sisters--Constance, Norma, and Fleurette--attend a National Service School prior to the United States' entry into World War I. Everyone expects the United States to enter the war, and many women want to contribute to the cause. Norma wishes to train pigeons. Constance, recently fired from her deputy sheriff position by the new sheriff who sees no use for women in law enforcement, does not want to be the camp's matron although she ends up in that role. Notorious Beulah Binford shows up at the camp under the presumed name of Rosanna "Rosie" Collins. In the author's afterward, she admits fictionalizing more narrative in this book than previous ones because she knew less about the sisters' activity during the time. While the setting and championing of women's abilities will draw fans, the story's weakness leaves readers unsatisfied. Perhaps the story's weakness came from trying to place real people in places they never were just to provide contact with another character, but the plot seemed to move nowhere. Still I enjoyed learning a little about the National Service Camps, although the author embellished them a bit.

Dec 7, 2020, 10:34pm

>180 thornton37814: I am hopelessly behind after my computer issues. But I am here. 223 books!! WOW! Very impressive.

I hope your back improves soon. Best wishes for the holidays. : )

Dec 8, 2020, 12:56am

I hope your back is doing much better now, Lori. Have a great week!

Dec 8, 2020, 7:37pm

>188 Berly: I need to record the audiobook I finished last night. I should finish another book shortly to make it a triple!

>189 Familyhistorian: My back is doing much better now. It began to "turn the corner" over the weekend. I may get a little twitch at the end of a long day, but for the most part, I'm pain free.

Dec 8, 2020, 7:56pm

Book 224. A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie

Date Completed: 7 December 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Duncan, Gemma, Doug, and Melody travel to Melody's parents' country estate in the Cotswolds. Gemma and the kids went with Melody ahead of Duncan. Doug travels by train. When Duncan nears his destination, he is hit head-on by a car. Although Duncan survives with concussion, the driver and the passenger of the other vehicle are dead. The driver tried to communicate with Duncan right before she died, but she doesn't manage to convey her message. It appears the passenger was already deceased when the crash occurred, and no one can figure out why he was in the woman's car. The passenger was a renowned chef with ties to the owner of the village pub. Unlike most DIs who would want others to stay off his turf, this one is grateful for assistance offered by Duncan and Gemma. I always love these mysteries, and this was no exception. A big change takes place in Melody's relationship status during the book. I really enjoyed meeting her parents in the casual setting of the country estate and hope they will appear in future installments. Because Duncan and Gemma are not on one of their own cases, this one possesses elements of the cozy mystery as well as the police procedural. I listened to the audio book read by Gerard Doyle.

Dec 8, 2020, 9:20pm

>190 thornton37814: I'm glad you back isn't troubling you as much. It is so draining to have to consider every movement before doing anything or have the pain when you don't.

>191 thornton37814: That looks interesting, and she has written so many others.

Edited: Dec 8, 2020, 9:29pm

>192 quondame: Yes. Sadly I'm all caught up until she writes another one. There's no word on when it will come out. It's been a year or so since that one came out, so I'm not sure what's holding it up. Nothing on her web site--and no indication of a next in series anywhere else I can find.

ETA: I found a comment on her page that says the next one comes out next autumn and the title and other info will be released soon. That's a LONG wait!

Dec 8, 2020, 9:38pm

>190 thornton37814: At least it's improving. I'm so sympathetic with pains like that!

Dec 9, 2020, 6:41am

>190 thornton37814: good news, thanks for letting us know.

Dec 9, 2020, 7:31am

>194 richardderus: >195 fuzzi: If I'd still had significant pain, I would have scheduled a chiropractic visit this week. I suspect once we finish the semester tomorrow so I'm not sitting at a desk for hours at a time that it will probably completely clear. Like everyone where I work says, "This semester can't be over soon enough." I suspect we'll be saying the same thing next semester. I hope fall 2021 will be better.

Dec 9, 2020, 8:03am

>196 thornton37814: you might consider going to see your chiropractor even though the pain is better. My DC used to say that an absence of pain did not mean there was an absence of a problem. I still get an adjustment every 6 weeks.

Dec 9, 2020, 3:04pm

>197 fuzzi: I'm not anxious to go during COVID. We have far too high of a COVID rate at the moment where I live.

Dec 9, 2020, 9:29pm

Book 225. Scorched Eggs by Laura Childs

Date Completed: 8 December 2020

Category: Maine Coon (Mysteries)

Rating: 3 stars

Review: A fire at the county services building leaves a woman dead. Suzanne smelled the fire just minutes before it exploded. When fire investigators find it to be arson, Suzanne decides to assist Sheriff Doogie investigate. She finds several useful clues which endanger her and lead to the killer. While I gave this one 3 stars, it really falls a little short of that. I seem to enjoy the series a little less with each installment. (I actually read books 7 and 8 before this one.)

Dec 9, 2020, 11:05pm

Congratulations on 3x75, Lori.

Back to your old ways reading wise!

Dec 10, 2020, 5:14am

>199 thornton37814: Congratulations on reaching 3 x 75, Lori!

Dec 10, 2020, 6:44am

Well done, Lori — 3 x 75!

Dec 10, 2020, 6:48am

>199 thornton37814: wow, congratulations on 225!

Dec 10, 2020, 7:13am

Catching up here only to find that you have read 3X 75!!! Wow! Congrats :)

Have a happy Thursday.

Edited: Dec 10, 2020, 7:45am

>200 PaulCranswick: Not quite up to last year's standards for this year.

>201 FAMeulstee: >202 harrygbutler: >203 fuzzi: >204 figsfromthistle: Thanks. I've probably had fewer "shorts" and children's books this year in reaching that total than in some years. I had a couple of "slumps," but I still got a respectable total.

Dec 10, 2020, 1:51pm

Congratulations on 225!

Dec 10, 2020, 3:49pm

>206 quondame: Thank you.

Dec 10, 2020, 4:00pm

Hi Lori my dear, Congrats on reaching 3 X 75 books for the year dear friend.

Dec 11, 2020, 9:32am

>208 johnsimpson: Thank you, John.