Morphy's 12 in 12

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Morphy's 12 in 12

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1Morphidae
Redigerat: jan 3, 2015, 8:11pm

This is the first I've done since the 888 challenge (8 books in 8 categories in 2008) since I'm still not done with THAT one! But I'm a list-addict and it's been three years, so I'll give it a shot. I'm aiming for 12 books in each challenge for a total of 144 but if I manage 110 or so, I'll be happy.

Categories (128/144):

1. Family Science Fiction Read (6/12)
2. TIOLI Most Popular Books (8/12)
3. Prior Year Challenges (9/12)
4. 1001 Fantasy Books to Read Before You Are Turned into a Newt (12/12) DONE
5. US 50 State Challenge (12/12) DONE
6. Around the World in 80 Sleuths (12/12) DONE
7. Reading Romances Challenge (12/12) DONE
8. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List (12/12) DONE
9. LT Recommended (12/12) DONE
10. Off the Shelf (12/12) DONE
11. Nonfiction (12/12) DONE
12. Most Popular Books by Year by GoodReads (9/12)

I'll only be counting books I haven't read before.

***

With a Side of:

a. From Random (10/12)
b. From TBR Next (4/12)
c. From @ Next (12/12) DONE
d. From @ Series (12/12) DONE

***

And I needed a place to stick this:

Bookshop Girl's Mixing It Up 2012 Challenge DONE!

Classics - Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck review link
Biography - Rose: My Life in Service by Rosina Harrinson review link
Food - Salt by Mark Kurlansky review link
History - The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin review link
Modern Fiction - Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson review link
Graphic Novels - Soulless: The Manga by Gail Carriger review link
Mystery - Still Life by Louise Penny review link
Horror - The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey review link
Romance - Only With Your Love by Lisa Kleypas review link
SF/F - The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch review link
Travel - Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole review link
Poetry - Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss review link
Journalism and Humor - Bossypants by Tina Fey review link
Science and Natural History - Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart review link
Children's and Young Adult - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares review link
Social Sciences and Philosophy - The Secret Language of Symbols by David Fontana review link

2Morphidae
Redigerat: feb 17, 2013, 3:52pm



John Robinson: Have you noticed, you take to opposite position to whatever I say?
Maureen Robinson: Of course I do, we're married.
~ Lost in Space

Family Science Fiction Read
My husband and I came up with a list of science fiction books we are going to read together in 2012.

1. Blood Music by Greg Bear
2. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
3. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
4. Sphere by Crichton, Michael
5. The Man in the High Castle by Dick, Philip K.
6. The Lathe of Heaven by Le Guin, Ursula K.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

The Plan:

April- Downbelow Station by Cherryh, C. J.
August - The Mote In God's Eye by Niven, Larry and Pournelle, Jerry
September - Gateway by Pohl, Frederik
October - On the Beach by Shute, Nevil
November - A Fire Upon the Deep by Vinge, Vernor
December - On Basilisk Station by Weber, David

3Morphidae
Redigerat: jan 3, 2015, 7:56pm



Morpheus: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. ~ The Matrix

TIOLI Most Popular Books
I created a database of all books read for any Take It or Leave It challenge and I'll be picking from the most popular.

1. Still Life by Penny, Louise
2. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
3. Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott
4. The Tiger's Wife by Obreht, Téa
5. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Sijie, Dai
6. Sense and Sensibility by Austen, Jane
7. Montana 1948 by Watson, Larry
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

The Plan:

May - Moveable Feast, A by Hemingway, Ernest
July - Invisible Bridge, The by Orringer, Julie
September - Case Histories by Atkinson, Kate
October - Great House by Krauss, Nicole
December - Night Bookmobile, The by Niffenegger, Audrey

4Morphidae
Redigerat: sep 1, 2014, 2:26pm



Phil: Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today. ~ Groundhog Day

Prior Year Challenges
I have many unfinished challenges from prior years (including the aforementioned 888). I'm going to try to get some of them completed.

1. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
2. 500 ideas for Small Spaces by Bouton, Eldonna
3. Life on Air by David Attenborough
4. Eating Mindfully by Susan Albers
5. The Creative License by Gregory, Danny
6. Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica
7. The Blue Fairy Book by Lang, Andrew
8. Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts by Sherman, Josepha
9. The Creative Journal by Capacchione, Lucia
10.
11.
12.

The Plan:

April - 20000 Years of Fashion by Boucher, Francois
August - The Confessions of St. Augustine by Saint Augustine
November - The Way of the Journal by Adams, Kathleen
December - The Annotated Brothers Grimm by Grimm, Jacob

ETA: 888 Challenge themes: Been too long on TBR List, Database Challenge (I have a huge LT database of various book recommendation lists. Books were the most popular across lists.), Newbery Award Winners, YA, Writing/Creativity, Random Picks from Wish List by Others, From the Beginning (from author bibliographies I want to complete), The Feel Good List (self help type), Memoirs/Biographies, Folklore, Children's

5Morphidae
Redigerat: dec 23, 2012, 10:35am



Aunt Jet Owens: And this is what comes from dabbling; I mean you can't practice witchcraft while you look down your nose at it. ~ Practical Magic

1001 Fantasy Books to Read Before You Are Turned into a Newt
The denizens of the Green Dragon nominated and voted on the "best" fantasy

http://www.librarything.com/profile/1001Fantasy

1. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Lynch, Scott
2. Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
3. The Riddle-Master of Hed by Patricia A. McKillip
4. A Midsummer's Night Dream by William Shakespeare
5. Tea with the Black Dragon by Macavoy, R. A.
6. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
7. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
8. Beauty by McKinley, Robin
9. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
10. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Adams, Douglas
11. The Arabian Nights by Sir Richard Burton
12. The Innocent Mage by Miller, Karen

6Morphidae
Redigerat: jan 3, 2015, 8:15pm



Ray Kinsella: The only thing we had in common was that she was from Iowa, and I had once heard of Iowa ~ Field of Dreams

US 50 State Challenge
Challenge I've been working on for years - a book written by an author from each state as well as a nonfiction book and a fiction book set in each state

1. The Ox-Bow Incident by Clark, Walter Van Tilburg
2. The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin
3. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
4. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
5. Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss
6. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
7. Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan
8. Ben & Jerry's by Lager, Fred
9. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
10. My Own Country by Abraham Verghese
11. The Circus Fire by Stewart O'Nan
12. Kindred by Octavia Butler

7Morphidae
Redigerat: jul 27, 2014, 8:29pm



Wadsworth: Professor Plum, you were once a professor of psychiatry specializing in helping paranoid and homicidal lunatics suffering from delusions of grandeur.
Professor Plum: Yes, but now I work for the United Nations.
Wadsworth: So your work has not changed.
~ Clue

Around the World in 80 Sleuths
A list from The Independent (UK) - http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/crime-fiction-aro...

1. Garnethill by Mina, Denise
2. Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
3. The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom
4. Three Bags Full by Swann, Leonie
5. The Wrong Kind of Blood by Hughes, Declan
6. Maigret and the Old Lady by Simenon, Georges
7. The Moonstone by Collins, Wilkie
8. The Last Llanelli Train by Lewis, Robert
9. Last Bus to Woodstock by Dexter, Colin
10. He Died With His Eyes Open by Raymond, Derek
11. Dead Simple by James, Peter
12. Water-Blue Eyes by Domingo Villar

8Morphidae
Redigerat: okt 3, 2013, 9:22pm



Seth: I would rather have had one breath of her hair, one kiss of her mouth, one touch of her hand, than eternity without it. One. ~ City of Angels

Reading Romances Challenge
http://reading-romances.com/reading-romances-challenge-2012/

1. Tempting the Beast by Lora Leigh - Erotica
2. Never After by Laurell K. Hamilton, et al.
3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
4. Touch the Dark by Karen Chance
5. After Glow by Jayne Castle
6. Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
7. Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn
8. Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes
9. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
10. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
11. The Burning Point by Mary Jo Putney
12. Angels at the Table by Debbie Macomber

The Plan:

I have no idea if I'll like the books selected each month. If I'm struggling with the choices, I'll start picking various romance subgenres from Mount TBR.

9Morphidae
Redigerat: apr 18, 2013, 6:15pm



Richard Sumner: Hello? Santa Claus's reindeer? Of course I can... let's see, there's Dopey, Grouchy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy, Bashful, Rudolph and Blitzen! You're welcome! ~ Desk Set

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
I'm slowly working my way through reading all the books mentioned in this guide.

1. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
2. Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow
3. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman
4. Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke
5. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
6. Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas
7. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
8. Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
9. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
10. Patty Jane's House of Curl by Lorna Landvik
11. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
12. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

10Morphidae
Redigerat: aug 5, 2013, 6:05pm



Ninny Threadgoode: (voiceover) After Ruth died and the railroad stopped runnin', the cafe shut down and everybody just scattered to the winds. It was never more'n just a little knockabout place, but now that I look back on it, when that cafe closed, the heart of the town just stopped beatin'. It's funny how a little place like this brought so many people together. ~ Fried Green Tomatoes

LT Recommended
Books from my LT Recommended collection. They are member recommended, not site recommended.

1. Lottery by Patricia Wood
2. Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue
3. Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atheron
4. Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart
5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
6. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
8. Bossypants by Tina Fey
9. Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
10. Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
11. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie King
12. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The Possibilities:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
To Touch a Wild Dolphin by Rachel Smolker

11Morphidae
Redigerat: aug 18, 2013, 2:11pm



Evelyn: It's just a book. No harm ever came from reading a book. ~ The Mummy

Off the Shelf
Books off my physical bookshelves. I'm bad at reading ones I actually own versus getting them all from the library.

1. Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole
2. Progeny by R. T. Kaelin
3. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
4. Dewey by Vicki Myron
5. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
6. Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik
7. 150 Pounds Gone Forever by Diane Carbonell
8. White House Kids by Joe Rhatigan
9. Divergent by Veronica Roth
10. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
11. Kosher Chinese by Michael Levy
12. Animal Wise by Virginia Morell

12Morphidae
Redigerat: jan 12, 2013, 4:03pm



Tuffnut: (about the Dragon Manual) Wait, you mean, *read*?
Ruffnut: While we're still alive?
Snotlout: Why read words when you can just kill the stuff the words tell you stuff about?
Fishlegs: Oh! I've read it like seven times. There's this water dragon that sprays boiling water at your face. An-and there's this other one that buries itself for like a...
Tuffnut: (interrupting) Yeah that sounds great. Now, there was a chance I was gonna read that...
Ruffnut: But, now?
~ How to Train Your Dragon

Nonfiction
Self-explanatory though I am going to try to select books from the 111 Nonfiction Books to Read Before Your Brain Atrophies (another Green Dragon list.)

http://www.librarything.com/topic/99441

1. State Fair by Miller, Susan Lambert
2. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
3. Rose: My Life in Service by Rosina Harrison
4. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
5. Salt by Mark Kurlansky
6. The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes
7. Athena by Susan Deacy
8. The Secret Language of Symbols by David Fontana
9. Overcoming Binge Eating by Christopher Fairburn
10. Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
11. The Complete Bible Handbook by John Bowker
12. The Gallery of Regrettable Food by Lileks, James

13Morphidae
Redigerat: jan 3, 2015, 8:11pm



Abe Sapien: If there's trouble, all us freaks have is each other. ~ Hellboy

Most Popular Books by Year by GoodReads
I stole this idea from Zoe. I'm going to select the top book from each year for the last twelve years. It has to be something I'm willing to read, not a book in the middle of a series, and not something I've read before or I have selected for another challenge. I'll move down the list until I hit a book that fits.

1. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (#10)
2. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin (#4)
3. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (#6)
4. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
5. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
6. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
7. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
8.
9. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
10.
11. Bossypants by Tina Fey
12.

The Plan:

2012 - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn DNF
2010 - Matched by Ally Condie (#5)
2006 - The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (#15)
2005 - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (#8)

14VictoriaPL
nov 29, 2011, 12:35pm

Good to see you over here, Morphy. Welcome to the Challenge!

15mstrust
nov 29, 2011, 1:22pm

Welcome back!

16-Eva-
nov 29, 2011, 1:43pm

Excellent categories, illustrations, and potentital reads. You may wreak havoc on my wishlist! :)

17majkia
nov 29, 2011, 2:41pm

She does that often, to a lot of us, alas....

18Morphidae
nov 29, 2011, 2:46pm

My work here is done for the day. Bwhahahaha.

19DeltaQueen50
nov 29, 2011, 2:50pm

Hi Morphy, great to see you back. I see lots of interesting books and categories, especially the Most Popular Books From the TIOLI Challenge. I can sense my wishlist growing already!

20-Eva-
nov 29, 2011, 4:04pm

->17 majkia: & 18

Looks like 2012 will be yet another year when I wish bad books on all my fellow LT:ers! :)

21cyderry
nov 29, 2011, 4:06pm

So many interesting probabilities, I'm going to have to keep an eye on your reads.

22AHS-Wolfy
nov 29, 2011, 5:43pm

*Pops in to wave to Morphy*

23clif_hiker
nov 29, 2011, 8:39pm

looks terrific! Like the quotes too.

24lkernagh
nov 29, 2011, 9:46pm

Great list of book candidates and I love the film quotes.... half of them I recognized and started to play the films in my mind!

25SouthernKiwi
nov 30, 2011, 2:05am

You have quite a few books listed which cross over with my library. I'll be following your reading next year.

26Morphidae
nov 30, 2011, 6:04am

The quotes were fun to research and they are all from movies that I love.

27psutto
nov 30, 2011, 6:27am

great quotes and categories - we have some on our reading lists the same so will have to compare notes...

28ChelleBearss
nov 30, 2011, 8:33am

Hi Morphy! Great categories!
got'cha starred :)

29AnneDC
dec 2, 2011, 2:27pm

I'm impressed with your pre-planning. (Sounds like something I would do.) And I love the quotes.

30PaulCranswick
dec 2, 2011, 6:19pm

Morphy - as well thought out and organised as expected. Your 50 states and the TIOLI ideas are particularly innovative. My money is on you finishing off the list before the end of June!

31_Zoe_
dec 2, 2011, 7:06pm

I'm glad you liked the GR list idea enough to copy it!

32Morphidae
dec 2, 2011, 7:31pm

>29 AnneDC: They make me smile

>30 PaulCranswick: HA! It will probably be 2015 before I finish if 888 was anything to go by.

>31 _Zoe_: Theft is the greatest form of flattery?

33_Zoe_
dec 2, 2011, 7:32pm

Exactly :)

34Morphidae
Redigerat: sep 1, 2012, 6:47pm

Four more categories (personal lists) that I want to be sure I get to in 2012.

With a Side of:

a. From Random
List of all TBR books I want to get to in the next year or two

1. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
2. Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher
3. Bridge of Dreams by Anne Bishop
4. Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper
5. Unraveled by Courtney Milan
6. In Great Waters by Kit Whitfield
7. Feed by M. T. Anderson
8. Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
9. The Warlock in Spite of Himself by Christopher Stasheff
10. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
11.
12.

35Morphidae
Redigerat: okt 1, 2012, 2:08pm

b. From TBR Next
List of the next book in various challenges I do

1. Dreamweaver's Dilemma by Lois McMaster Bujold
2. The Bone People by Keri Hulme
3. Finally Thin by Kim Bensen
4. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

36Morphidae
Redigerat: aug 12, 2012, 2:18pm

c. From @ Next
Books that are next in the bibliography of the numerous authors I am following

1. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
2. Only With Your Love by Lisa Kleypas
3. Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh
4. Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
5. Fair Game by Patricia Briggs
6. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
7. Raven Calls by C. E. Murphy
8. The Royal Mess by MaryJanice Davidson
9. The Waste Lands by Stephen King
10. Covet by J. R. Ward
11. Memory of Fire by Holly Lisle
12. Darkover First Contact by Marion Zimmer Bradley

37Morphidae
Redigerat: jun 14, 2012, 12:32pm

d. From @ Series
Books that are next in the series

1. Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh
2. The Broken Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
3. Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
4. A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison
5. Timeless by Gail Carriger
6. Heir of Sea and Fire by Patricia McKillip
7. Dragon Wytch by Yasmine Galenorn
8. Conspiracy in Death by J. D. Robb
9. Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
10. Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
11. Hexed by Kevin Hearne
12. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Spears

38mysterymax
dec 16, 2011, 11:14am

Love the quotes!

39mamzel
dec 16, 2011, 11:24am

Desk Set is one of my favorite movies. Thanks for reminding me to look for it on Netflix or Amazon when I'm on vacation next week. Tracy and Hepburn were brilliant!

40Morphidae
jan 8, 2012, 3:10pm

Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh - 7 out of 10 stars
I like the emotional intensity between Elena and those around her. I get totally absorbed in the world Singh created. The plot felt more fractured than in previous books for some reason but it still kept my interest. Recommended for urban fantasy lovers.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch - 5 out of 10 stars
Lynch is a good writer when it comes to his pacing, dialogue and story telling - yet I could barely finish this book because of the violence, torture and language. A couple times I got annoyed at the author when the time changes became manipulative. Lastly, I didn't like the main character. He didn't have enough positive qualities to negate the bad. Not recommended except for those who don't mind graphic and depressing stories about criminals with few redeeming qualities.

Still Life by Louise Penny - 7 out of 10 stars
I can see why Penny is popular. The characters and charm make this a fun read. The style was a bit simple for me though. It might be because this is a first book. I've been told that the books get even better. Also, one of the secondary characters really annoyed me and I'm not sure what the purpose was of including her except as a foil for the chief inspector. Recommended for cozy mystery readers.

State Fair by Susan Lambert Miller - 5 out of 10 stars
This would have been a much more enjoyable book with some accompanying text. There was just a few pages of short personal experience stories - more like blurbs - at the beginning. The photos were interesting but I was surprised at how amateurish they seemed. Some of the match ups between the photos were amusing - baby ducks next to a picture of plastic duckies, for example. Not recommended.

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan - 7 out of 10 stars
This is a mash up of Harry Potter and Greek mythology. Riordan tells a good story with likable characters yet I wish he'd slow up the pacing. I imagine he won't though as the frantic pace is common in books aimed at this particular age range. I'd like to see more character growth as well. Otherwise, recommended for fantasy and adventure lovers.

Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole - 7 out of 10 stars
I smiled and rolled my eyes at the goings-on of the crew and passengers. The insights into the "backstage" of flight attendants were fascinating. While a breezy read, it was a bit too episodic for me, perhaps because the author was a blogger first. Also, it is obvious this is a new author as the book needed tightening up. There were a lot of tangents. Recommended for those that like reading behind the scenes memoirs.

41lkernagh
jan 8, 2012, 3:54pm

Nice string of reviews. I have been reading a number of different opinions about The lies of Locke Lamora. Looks like I will need to get around to removing it from my TBR pile for a read to see what I think of it.

42majkia
jan 8, 2012, 3:59pm

I'm so surprised by the variety of reactions to Lies of Locke Lamora. I loved it and didn't find it particularly unsettling. But then I'm a Joe Abercrombie fan.

43clif_hiker
jan 8, 2012, 4:21pm

re: The Lies of Locke Lamora; I admit to being a bit bothered by the torture scenes (that's why I've avoided Joe Abercrombie, and refuse to touch anything written by Terry Goodkind).... but I only recall one really bad scene from Locke Lamora, and I liked the rest of the story very much.

time and place and other events in our lives probably play a greater role than we know in our tolerance for certain things...

44-Eva-
jan 8, 2012, 5:19pm

Lies of Locke Lamora is on my wishlist too and it keeps getting moved up and down as I hear varied voices about it. That's not a bad thing, though - all praise for any book will almost definitely mean a let-down once you get to it. It is a shame about Riordan, isn't it. I too wish he would write something more slowly paced since his stories and characters are really good.

45majkia
jan 8, 2012, 5:33pm

#43 I've never read Terry Goodkind. I might have to, to figure out what you mean :)

46thornton37814
jan 8, 2012, 8:51pm

I think you'll understand the role of the one who annoyed you (if it's the one I think it is) as you read more of the series. Bury Your Dead is my favorite, but you can't read that one until you've read the others, especially The Brutal Telling.

47Morphidae
jan 9, 2012, 6:26am

It's the woman who got sent home because she was totally clueless.

48mysterymax
jan 9, 2012, 7:29am

Funny, that person drives my husband nuts, too, and yet she is my favorite character other than Gamache and his crew.

49Morphidae
Redigerat: jan 12, 2012, 7:59am

The Broken Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin - 8 out of 10 stars
Surprisingly for the second book in a trilogy, I like this better than the first book. The first book was a little too "dreamy" for me. Broken Kingdoms is more direct and set in the present. There was the right amount of tenseness. Too much and I stress out and don't enjoy the story as much. I liked the characters and didn't see one of the "reveals" coming. About the only negative about the book is that the end was a little sad. There was hope, but overall, Oree ended up losing out. Strongly recommended for all fantasy readers but you really should read the first book before this one.

50Morphidae
Redigerat: jan 12, 2012, 6:46pm

Only With Your Love by Lisa Kleypas - 6 out of 10 stars
I thought from the purple prose of the back blurb that I was going to hate this book, but it was, in fact, pretty good. I don't know what the publisher was thinking. I liked the characters and the romantic roadblocks. She is married to one twin, think she is widowed and falls in love with the other twin. I could have done without the "your mouth says no but your body says yes" attitude in the first sex scenes though. I also liked the back bayou setting. Mildly recommended for Kleypas and mid-list romance readers only.

Blood Music by Greg Bear - 5 out of 10 stars
An interesting look at research gone wrong - what if the absolute worst happened? - but too much on the hard science fiction for my tastes. It has the flavor of The Stand by Stephen King without the great characterizations. Freaked me out without giving a hopeful ending. It felt more like horror than science fiction in some parts. Recommended only for hard science fiction and horror fans.

51The_Hibernator
jan 12, 2012, 5:59pm

I'm also not a big fan of torture, though I try to put up with it if it's important for plot development in a good book. Sometimes violence is very gratuitous though! I agree about Terry Goodkind. I managed to make it through that LONG (and boring) torture scene in Wizard's First Rule, and even got a couple more books into that series. Then I realized that gratuitous violence in uber-long books was Terry Goodkind's mantra, so I gave up after a while. Perhaps I will avoid The Lies of Locke Lamora.

You ought to check out your review for Blood Music up there...I'm not sure that's what you meant to say?

52Morphidae
jan 12, 2012, 6:46pm

>51 The_Hibernator: Whoops! Corrected.

53LauraBrook
jan 14, 2012, 10:59am

*Star* Here's to another year of great reading, Morphy!

54Morphidae
Redigerat: jan 15, 2012, 3:36pm

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares - 7 out of 10 stars
While I found the whiny angst of teenage girls annoying at times, the story eventually redeemed itself with some growth among the group. I liked all the different stories and how each girl had her own unique personality and life issues. I may continue with the series. I'm not sure yet. Recommended for those that like YA.

Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck - 7 out of 10 stars
I smiled a lot through the tales, especially when it came to the logistics of traveling in a truck, the poodle Charley and the various characters they met up with. It sometimes became a bit of a slog when Steinbeck got philosopical. Not much of a travelogue, more of a memoir. Recommended for those that like nonfiction essays.

Unclaimed by Courtney Milan - 8 out of 10 stars
While the plot seems a mite ridiculous, I loved the characters, their interactions and the dialogue. Humorous, heart-warming and heart-wrenching in turns. Strongly recommended for romance lovers.

55Morphidae
jan 22, 2012, 2:56pm

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson - 4 out of 10 stars
There was very little story here and what story there was was rather banal. Also, there were too many unanswered questions in the end. It's like you got a few snap shots in time with nothing leading up to them or happening after. And it happened in both time lines - as a teenager and as an old man. I liked reading the interactions with others - they were done well. Not recommended.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig - 6 out of 10 stars
First, the modern researcher part really did feel thrown in. I rarely get thrown out of a story, but those parts were really jarring. Willig is a good enough writer that I was able to breeze through the story but the characters were so flighty, I couldn't believe in them. The hero was fIuffy and shallow and I couldn't imagine him as a spy. I liked the humorous family episodes, but they went on too long and didn't fit in the story. And the villain was so over the top - I mean, "Take him to the extra-special interrogation room!" Really? I was laughing instead of being nervous for the hero. Recommended for those that like light-hearted mid-list romance and only with reservations.

Garnethill by Denise Mina - 7 out of 10 stars
I liked the setting. I'm unfamiliar with Scotland or its people though I wonder at the darkness. Are they really that criminal, foul-mouthed, depressed and alcoholic? I would have marked the book up another notch for the characters. At times I really didn't like them, especially the main character. But because they were nuanced, I was able to relate. Typically, I don't rate a book an 8 unless I want to read it again, so Garnethill missed out on that. But it really was well done, I thought especially how mental illness was treated. Recommended for mystery readers.

Quote: "…the concentration of a spliffed goldfish." Bwhahaha.

56lkernagh
jan 22, 2012, 4:15pm

Wow.... blink and 6 new reviews pop up over here! ;-)

I saw your review for Garnethill on you thread over on the 75 group and now that I have read glanced at it again here, the premise is starting to warm on me. Not a book bullet right now unless we admit that time travel has suspended it while I continue to ponder this one!

57Morphidae
jan 22, 2012, 5:09pm

Another thing I liked about Garnethill was the dysfunctional family interactions. They felt real. I didn't like the main character's drinking but from what I read of the rest of the trilogy that becomes an issue so it's not just blown off.

58AHS-Wolfy
jan 22, 2012, 6:18pm

I still need to get to the 2nd book in the Garnethill series. Enjoyed that one but I seem to be good at starting series but never carrying on with them.

59DeltaQueen50
jan 22, 2012, 6:55pm

I am a big fan of Denise Mina and the Garnethill trilogy is my favorite series of hers so far. Yes, very dark, and an extremely dysfunctional family! Between Denise Mina, Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride you certainly get a picture of a hard-drinking, hard-living, bad eating nation!

60Morphidae
jan 22, 2012, 7:17pm

Oh boy. My next book for the Around the World in 80 Sleuths is Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin.

61LisaMorr
jan 22, 2012, 11:20pm

Love your categories, pictures and quotes, and have added a couple to my list from your reviews - Unclaimed and Garnethill. I work with a lot of people from Scotland, so I will read it and think about your comments!

62Morphidae
jan 31, 2012, 1:52pm

The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter van Tilberg Clark - 4 out of 10 stars
No matter how good the writing, if I don't like the characters, if I feel that the events are horrific and nothing good happens, I won't enjoy a book. I'll give westerns one more try (also read Lonesome Dove), then I'm giving up on this genre. Not recommended.

Tempting the Beast by Lora Leigh - 4 out of 10 stars
I liked the concept of genetically engineered warriors having to hide from their evil creators but the execution left a lot to be desired. Too much sex, too little plot. I know, I know. It's erotica and suppposed to be like that. This is another genre that's not for me, I guess. I prefer my smut with more story. Not recommended even for erotica lovers.

Progeny by R. T. Kaelin - 7 out of 10 stars
I never read self-published books and thought I never would. But after several good reviews and recommendations here on LT, I decided to give it a try. It also helped that the author sent me a copy. Smart guy. Because now I'm willing to buy the sequel. It is obvious this is a first book - it could have been tightened up by a 100 pages or so. But it is also obvious that this guy has talent. I liked the world-building, magic system, and the characters. Kaelin was clever in how he explained the many coincidences that often plague the plots of epic fantasy. The only reason it didn't get an 8 is because it dragged at times. Otherwise, a solid good read. Recommended for epic fantasy lovers.

Lottery by Patricia Wood - 7 out of 10 stars
I liked the story and the characters but I found the voice tedious. I understand using Perry's voice, but it wasn't something that appealed to me. It is probably a more realistic version of what really happens to lottery winners than I imagined but I had hoped for a bit more "fun." All that being said, it's a lovely and tender story and you really root for Perry. Recommended for those interested in the issues of the mentally challenged and those that liked Flowers for Algernon.

Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh - 7 out of 10 stars
*SPOILERS*

I never did like the reincarnation idea in romances. It feels too much like not being able to let go - especially after 1000 years. However, I like Singh's story-telling, world-building and relationship dynamics. She also handles sex scenes a lot better than Leigh. They feel real rather than like something out of Penthouse. Recommended for Singh readers.

63Dejah_Thoris
jan 31, 2012, 4:14pm

You've got me interested in Progeny and I've already read the Singh -- the others I think I'll skip. Thanks!

64rtkaelin
feb 6, 2012, 11:46pm

FYI... hold off as a new edition is forthcoming...

Good news on Progeny shall be shared soon...

65Morphidae
feb 14, 2012, 6:19pm

500 Ideas for Small Spaces by Kimberley Seldon - 7 out of 10 stars
I really liked the pictures - they were lovely. And the ideas, while repetitive at times, were helpful. Now if I could only afford to do what I'd like in our little house! Recommended for those that are in little homes and have some money to spare.

66LisaMorr
Redigerat: feb 15, 2012, 10:28am

Progeny sounds really neat.

edited because I got my threads mixed up!!!!

67Morphidae
feb 27, 2012, 2:22pm

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury - 7 out of 10 stars
I typically struggle with Bradbury's writing as being too lyrical, but this was mostly straightforward and at times rather creepy and horrific. So much so I could almost categorize this as a collection of horror rather than science fiction. I am glad I re-read this as an adult.

Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn - 6 out of 10 stars
This didn't do a lot for me. Other people have done this flavor of book better, Wurts and Feist come to mind with the Empire trilogy for the Japanese-style intrigue and Hobb with the adopted assassin theme. For some reason, I couldn't connect to the characters. Perhaps because I simply didn't like them. I won't read the rest of the trilogy.

Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow - 7 out of 10 stars
The writing was excellent and I really enjoyed reading about the society and culture of the time. It was a little jarring at times - the plot did not move smoothly - and at times the action flagged. But I could relate to all the characters and learned a lot about the time it was set in. Recommended for those that like historical fiction.

Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher - 7 out of 10 stars
Butcher writes real page turners and builds plot tension to an almost painful crescendo. These aren't great, but are solid reads with good world-building and interesting characters that I want to learn more about.

A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison - 6 out of 10 stars
I'm so glad I don't buy these anymore. I'm tired of the angst, angst and more angst and I'm tired of nothing good ever happening. Nothing new is going on. In fact, things just keep getting worse. I'm about done with this series. I'll give it one more shot but I doubt the author can make me care about these characters again.

68Morphidae
mar 1, 2012, 3:11pm

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin - 6 out of 10 stars
Meh. The hard-boiled, unlikeable, alcoholic morose detective trope does nothing for me. And it really didn't get going on the mystery until about half-way through the book. Mostly it was the main character being depressed and mopey.

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson - 5 out of 10 stars
Meh. It made good points about change but this should have been a magazine article rather than being padded into a slim book.

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison - 6 out of 10 stars
I read this because I'm a completist when it comes to certain authors, otherwise I wouldn't have touched it. The "whiny paranormal teen who doesn't fit in but has super-powers" theme is getting old though I suppose a teen girl would probably like it. Am I getting crotchety?

69christina_reads
mar 1, 2012, 9:54pm

Am I getting crotchety? No; the YA books are just getting worse. There are still some good ones, but you have to wade through a lot of sub-par stuff.

70mathgirl40
mar 1, 2012, 10:40pm

Agreed. There seems to be a good deal of mediocre paranormal YA out there. I did like Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series, though.

71Morphidae
mar 4, 2012, 8:01pm

Never After by Laurell K. Hamilton - 7 out of 10 stars
I don't particularly care for anthologies, especially romance ones, as just as you get to know the characters, it's over. However, in this selection, it works, probably because of the trope used. Fast, fun and fanciful.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson - 7 out of 10 starsThe humor is a little dated but this is a charming story which made me run right out to go watch the movie again. While there are some major differences, in general, they both have the same tone of a HEA for a delightful woman who decides to come out of her shell and live a little.

72christina_reads
mar 6, 2012, 1:06pm

I love Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day! It's definitely a perfect comfort read. I also liked Never After, although I think some of the stories worked better than others. My favorite was the one called "Tanglewood" or something like that.

73Morphidae
mar 8, 2012, 11:28am

The Riddle-Master of Hed by Patricia A. McKillip - 7 out of 10 stars
It would have gotten an 8, however, while I liked the main character's reluctance at first, eventually the angsting got annoying. My hope is that there is less of that in the rest of the trilogy. I like this engaging story and am very curious about what happens next so I requested the other two books from the library.

74psutto
mar 9, 2012, 9:30am

@73 - I have the trilogy on my shelf not sure if I'll get round to it this year but am interested to see what you think of the whole 3

75Morphidae
Redigerat: mar 12, 2012, 7:17pm

Bridge of Dreams by Anne Bishop - 7 out of 10 stars
While I enjoyed the continuation in the world of Ephemera, it is missing the intense sensuality and laugh out loud humor that I so love in the Black Jewels world. I like that it didn't end with a HEA but rather Happy For Now. I didn't like how lightly events and people were touched upon then moved past and it all wrapped up too neatly.

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs - 8 out of 10 stars
The growth and nuances in Anna and Charles' relationship are wonderful and the mystery was enjoyable, if not overly complex. Briggs is definitely a favorite. Her world building pulls me right into a book and doesn't let go. Good stuff!

Timeless by Gail Carriger - 7 out of 10 stars
I don't know. Maybe I've become jaded now that we are five books in. The bloom is off the rose. My favorite characters in this book were all secondary ones - Biffy, Alkeldama, Lyall. Loose ends felt wrapped up too easily or maybe, too quickly? It all felt too pat. All that being said, Carriger is a good writer and I zipped through this in one sitting.

Dreamweaver's Dilemma by Lois McMaster Bujold - 7 out of 10 stars
I liked seeing her growth as an author through the selection of her short stories over the years. Also enjoyed reading about her as an author and the essays about genre. The Vor encylopedia type stuff (geneaology, pronounciation) was boring though.

76SouthernKiwi
mar 13, 2012, 4:32am

You might have just tempted me to give Anne Bishop a second chance. I've only read Belladonna (didn't realise it was part of a series), which I thought was OK, but a little lacking in detail. The Black Jewels series sounds like it's worth a try.

77Morphidae
mar 13, 2012, 6:58am

The Black Jewels series is a LOT better than the Belladonna series.

78majkia
mar 13, 2012, 8:15am

Oh man I hated the Black Jewels. But then I worked for years with rape victims and it set off triggers for me, so that's why.

79Morphidae
mar 13, 2012, 11:10am

Black Jewels is definitely not one for someone who has issues related to reading about rape or child abuse.

80mysterymax
mar 13, 2012, 1:40pm

I see that you have Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann ahead of you on your 80 Sleuths list. I just finished it a little while ago and loved it. Very different but a total hoot.

81SouthernKiwi
mar 14, 2012, 3:28am

>77 Morphidae: - 79, thanks for the extra info, I'll consider myself forewarned but I'll still give Black Jewels a go I think.

82Morphidae
mar 15, 2012, 5:08pm

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper - 7 out of 10 stars
Not as humorous and snarky as MaryJanice Davidson's Betsy series, not as dark or emotional as Charlaine Harris' Sookie series but rather light and fun cotton candy worth a giggle or two.

Rose: My Life in Service by Rosina Harrison - 7 out of 10 stars
This was recommended for those that like Downtown Abbey and while I haven't watched it (yet), I love reading about that time period and culture. I enjoyed especially how fiesty Rose was. She brooked absolutely no nonsense, even from her employer. Or should I say, especially from her employer? I read about their spats with a grin on my face.

83Morphidae
mar 18, 2012, 6:21pm

Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue - 4 out of 10 stars
Faber did this so much better in The Crimson Petal and the White that there is simply no comparison. This was a disappointment after I enjoyed Room by Donoghue. The plot was plodding and most of the characters were unlikeable. I almost put the book down a couple times out of boredom and because it was so bleak. Not recommended.

84lkernagh
mar 18, 2012, 8:24pm

I have Slammerkin on my TBR bookcase. I was fascinated with Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White when I read it ... oh.... a few years back, so a little worrisome to learn that the books just don't compare. Room was good.

85Morphidae
mar 26, 2012, 4:56pm

Life on Air by David Attenborough - 7 out of 10 stars
At times a bit dry and tedious, but overall a fascinating look at the man responsible for so many animal and nature programs. I doubt there are many of us that haven't watched at least a few of his shows in the Life series. I didn't know he was with BBC TV from the very beginning. His dry sense of humor shines through. Recommended for those that like autobiographies, nature programs and the history of TV.

86mathgirl40
mar 26, 2012, 9:21pm

I really loved Room and was wondering about Donoghue's other works. Good to have the warning about it, though I might still try it out one day.

87-Eva-
mar 27, 2012, 2:01pm

I love Attenborough!! It just never dawned on me there'd be an autobiography - definitely going on the wishlist.

88psutto
mar 28, 2012, 2:39pm

And mine!

89Morphidae
mar 28, 2012, 4:08pm

>87 -Eva-: and 88 It even has pictures! Lots of nifty pictures.

90mamzel
mar 30, 2012, 6:25pm

I would hope so with all the places he's been! His Facebook page must be spectacular! ;-)

91Morphidae
apr 1, 2012, 2:10pm

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson - 8 out of 10 stars
I've liked this series from the beginning though it was brought down a notch by its darkness and bleakness. The characterizations and world building are great. There is one plot point near the very end of the book that just blew me away and I'm still going "Holy Shit!" Maybe others wouldn't be so affected by it but I'm still grinning days later.

92Morphidae
apr 7, 2012, 3:21pm

Raven Calls by C. E. Murphy - 6 out of 10 stars
Felt too much like a YA with frantic action that doesn't stop until near the end of the book when we finally get some character development. I miss the humor and character building in Murphy's earlier books.

Heir of Sea and Fire by Patricia McKillip - 6 out of 10 stars
Ish. The prose is too lyrical for my tastes and the plot is simply women running around looking for the Riddle-master and being told "no, go home, it's too dangerous" by the leaders (mostly men.) I have no idea why Readerle likes Morgan so much, much less love him. She hardly knows him.

93Morphidae
maj 13, 2012, 2:08pm

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare - 7 out of 10 stars
I enjoyed the bumbling players, especially Bottom. He's so clueless! I found the parts with the lovers less intriguing and rather irritating at times.

The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin - 6 out of 10 stars
While I found the history of meterology and the culture of the time and area interesting, the fictionalized accounts of what was going on in people's heads was annoying. Also, the stories about kids and teachers got repetitive and there were too many names to keep track of - not a problem I usually have but the families were too similar to keep separate.

Touch the Dark by Karen Chance - 6 out of 10 stars
I was recommended this book because I love urban fantasy but this one lacks the usual sense of humor or hope that I like. The characters and world-building are interesting enough that I'll hesitantly try the next one. This one felt mostly like introduction to the world so with any luck there will be more story coming up.

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus - 6 out of 10 stars
Meh. It was an interesting look into the culture of the wealthy but I found the main character to be a total doormat. I wanted to smack some sense into her.

Unraveled by Courtney Milan - 7 out of 10 stars
It was okay. I prefer Milan's novels over this novella. It lacked the richness of world and relationship building. Also, while the characters were okay, I never really warmed to them. I did like that it wasn't a total "happily ever after" ending. The hero is damaged and remains so though the heroine helps him be more open and engaged.

Conspiracy in Death by J. D. Robb - 8 out of 10 stars
I feel like I'm repeating myself so I'll keep it short. Love the relationships Eve has, even the combative ones. I like how she deals with both people and her own demons while sorting out a mystery. I'm beginning to wish, however, that Roarke had more to do. He's starting to feel tacked on as sex partner and computer hacker. Still, I love this series and enjoyed this particular caper.

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich - 6 out of 10 stars
Starting to feel too much the same. I think I'll take a long break from them. Stephanie can only be too incompetent and undecided for so long before it becomes grating. Still chuckled throughout most of it though especially when it came to grandma.

94Morphidae
maj 21, 2012, 10:25am

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman - 6 out of 10 stars
From reviews and recommendations I was expecting more humor. It was cute in some ways, but in general, was just interesting and amusing essays on his life. Sometimes he expected you to know more physics than the usual person does. And he wasn't a very good writer. They read like high school essays at times, "What I Did Last Summer."

In Great Waters by Kit Whitfield - 7 out of 10 stars
I liked the idea of merpeople, how they became royalty and how they dealt with being on land. I liked the alternative history. Also, I liked most of the parts where Henry is trying to understand with how landspeople think and act.

I was sort of meh on the characters. In some ways, they weren't very likeable. I didn't DISLIKE them, I just didn't warm to them.

SPOILER:
I found the part where the author implied that Henry was the one being burned manipulative and it turned me off.

The world-building, alternative history, and Henry's transition to being landbound were pluses and the hard to like characters and manipulation were negatives. Also, there was a bit too much tell instead of show.

Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy - 7 out of 10 stars
I liked Martha at times. She had a kick-ass attitude and I really appreciated it when she wouldn't succumb to the kidnappers but I found her too bland when they first set out to find Elizabeth. I also got a grin out of her playing with the remote car. I could sympathize with Elizabeth a little but in general found her an unlikable character. Fred was my favorite character. I love nerds.

I think Long could have been written a little deeper though I really liked how dragonish he was when searching for Martha. It took me a bit to become involved in the story. It didn't grab me at first. It took until Martha disappeared for me to become really interested.

Lastly, it couldn't seem to settle on what type of story it was. It was too plodding to be a thriller, too straightforward to be a mystery, and had too little interaction between the main characters to be a romance.

Dewey by Vicki Myron - 8 out of 10 stars
While a bit more memoirish than I was expecting, this is still a great book. I smiled throughout the stories of Dewey's antics. He was quite the personality and I enjoyed reading about him.

The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom - 5 out of 10 stars
Ugh. All this book was about was people being mean and snarky to a wimpy door mat. The mystery got "solved" two pages from the end by the "villian" basically saying, "Oh, it was me." Ish.

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor - 7 out of 10 stars
Normally children's books don't do it for me but this one had enough emotional depth to keep me engaged without being saccharine or weepy.

Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton - 8 out of 10 stars
A bit of romance. A bit of rags to riches. A bit of mystery. A bit of historical fiction. A lovely bit of fluff. Definitely going to read more of this series.

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke - 8 out of 10 stars
This is the third inspirational fiction book I've read and they've all been lovely. I'm not Christian, but I do appreciate stories of faith as long as they don't thwap you upside the head with it. This is a little like Little House on the Prairie plus a Hallmark romance.

Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart - 7 out of 10 stars
Do not read this book while eating. You have been warned. Interesting and gross by turns but by the end of the book it was feeling a bit repetitive. Also, I would have liked to have known the size of the bugs in inches, not millimeters. I don't know millimeters!

95thornton37814
maj 22, 2012, 8:20am

I think I was in college when the first in Janette Oke's books came out. I absolutely loved it. I think it was because of the prairie setting. I absolutely devoured the series at that time.

I remember liking Shiloh when I read it years ago.

I read one book in Ian Sansom's series and hated it. I think it's the only "librarian" book series that I just didn't enjoy.

96clif_hiker
Redigerat: maj 22, 2012, 9:39am

arghh! Richard Feynman is one of my heroes! He inspired me to learn how to play the bongos and so much more... (and as a physics teacher, the knowledge required was a treat rather than a chore)

but you're right... his writing isn't that terrific... and not everybody gets that into physics.

one of my favorite images... kind of sexist, but describes the man very well...

97mstrust
maj 22, 2012, 3:12pm

Ha! And the expression on his face is fantastic!

Seriously, I wouldn't have even touched Wicked Bugs so you're braver than me.

98Morphidae
maj 28, 2012, 7:17am

Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott - 4 out of 10 stars
I'm just grateful it was short. While I was very interested in the culture and medical techniques of the time, the florid and flighty writing style made this a difficult read.

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson - 3 out of 10 stars
Imagine a bore at a party bitching about his neighborhood. And all the suburbs around his neighborhood. For hours. All the restaurants suck. All the motels are dirty. Customer service is awful, ad nauseum. Bryson's usual humor is missing and he comes across as a total jerk. I'm not quite sure how I finished this. Maybe because I'm used to so much better from him.

99thornton37814
maj 28, 2012, 10:57am

Hope your next reads are better.

100Morphidae
jun 3, 2012, 4:32pm

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - 8 out of 10 stars
Delightful and I especially loved how the circus itself was a character, too. Yet I can't help but feel this could have been a 9 or 10 with just a little bit more. I'm not sure what would have given that extra push, perhaps more in-depth characterization and a little less time, person and point-of-view hopping? As it was, it felt like convenience store chocolate. Yes, it's chocolate, but…

The Waste Lands by Stephen King - 6 out of 10 stars
I'm not quite sure what happened. I read a near 600 page book and can't really tell you there was much of a plot. There was lots of characterization and world building, but there was next to no plot. Odd… just odd.

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harrise - 6 out of 10 stars
It's just more Stackhouse soap opera. As in the last book, there wasn't a plot that threaded the book together, more of a bunch of vignettes. I think Harris has run out of steam with this series. It's just as well that this is supposedly the next to last book. I think I know who Sookie will end up with and I'll be content with that.

Covet by J. R. Ward - 6 out of 10 stars
Decent enough read but I'm spoiled with the Brotherhood books and this series opener is missing its charm and emotional pull.

101mamzel
jun 7, 2012, 12:12pm

I enjoyed The Night Circus because of its originality and touch of fantasy. I am number 52 in the queue for Deadlocked at my library. I suppose I continue with the series out of habit. I'm sorry that it doesn't keep even with the previous books. The last one better be a doozy!

102-Eva-
jun 7, 2012, 1:54pm

I thought The Night Circus was enchanting as well, and I like your chocolate analogy. I felt like I was watching a beautiful movie rather than reading a book. I did accept it since I'm greeted in the beginning as a visitor to the circus and am just meant to watch, but I really hope Morgenstern gets more under the skin of her characters in hew next book - this movie "trick" only works for one book. :)

103Morphidae
jun 14, 2012, 12:36pm

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende - 7 out of 10 stars
I thought this was charming though a bit simplistic at times. The movie seemed to stick pretty close to the first half of the book and it was nice to be able to "see" the characters.

Hexed by Kevin Hearne - 7 out of 10 stars
Not as good as the first one as it felt a little too frantic and it was a bit darker but still a lot of fun with laugh out loud humor. Another series my husband and I are sharing which is very nice.

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire - 5 out of 10 stars
Average vampire romance, nothing to separate from the pack. Missing humor and emotional impact. This is the second Sparks I've read, and the last.

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger - 6 out of 10 stars
I don't get the appeal of reading about doormats being abused by nasty bosses. After The Nanny Diaries and this one, I'm done. Thankfully Weisberger wrote an otherwise interesting book that has a sense of humor.

104Morphidae
jun 20, 2012, 10:51am

The Bone People by Keri Hulme - 5 out of 10 stars
I almost quit this book but pushed through past the first 50 pages and was able to get into the writing style but it was never easy. Often I had to re-read a paragraph to understand what was happening and who was thinking what. I would have rated this lower as the characters were often unlikeable but something connected with me, perhaps their hope and spirit in spite of their brokeness.

Eating Mindfully by Susan Albers - 5 out of 10 stars
I've read far too many self help books, been to too much therapy and read too much about weight loss to have gotten much out of this. Perhaps someone with less experience would have gotten more, therefore, the average rating.

105-Eva-
jun 20, 2012, 6:44pm

I'm so intrigued by The Bone People since I've heard such incredibly differing opinions from people who normally have similar views - can't wait to get to it. :)

106Morphidae
jul 1, 2012, 11:12am

Salt by Mark Kulansky - 5 out of 10 stars
Some nonfiction tells a story. Other nonfiction spews facts and trivia. Unfortunately, Salt is much more the later than the former and, therefore, was a rather tedious read. I liked all historical the pictures though.

Memory of Fire by Holly Lisle - 7 out of 10 stars
Decent fantasy read. I will try the next in the series. Nothing special but the plot kept my interest and I liked both the female leads though I also found them a little annoying at times, so they are definitely not perfect people.

Finally Thin by Kim Bensen - 8 out of 10 stars
I've been hunting around for years trying to find a book by someone who has lost at least 200 pounds and has good advice. Either they haven't lost a lot of weight. Or it's mostly memoir and very little help. Or they've lost the weight through surgery or in an unhealthy manner.

This was just what I was looking for. About a third of the book is about how she gained 200 pounds, lived as an obese person and finally lost and maintained the weight. The second third gives sound advice on how to lose weight that allows that we are all unique people and that one size does not fit all. The final third is recipes.

About the only thing I didn't like was her reliance on highly processed low-fat and no-fat foods. I personally believe they aren't very healthy. But in general, this is the best book I've found on the subject.

107mamzel
jul 2, 2012, 2:07pm

I'm sorry to hear you didn't like Salt. I had it on my radar to read.

108Morphidae
jul 9, 2012, 6:49pm

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick - 7 out of 10 stars
The story was simple yet kept my interest and the line drawings were absolutely delightful. The illustrations almost told the story all by themselves. I'm not quite sure why this was called fantasy though as there really aren't any fantasy elements to it.

Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas - 6 out of 10 stars
It was okay. While the story was interesting and the characters multi-dimensional, I didn't get emotional at any point - a requirement for a good romance for me. You gotta make me weep! Or laugh! Or something. Anything.

109mamzel
jul 10, 2012, 2:06am

I kind of thought that a young boy living by himself in a train station was kind of fantastic myself. Selznick's book Wonderstruck is similar in style but is a completely different story. I hope you might give it a try some day.

110Morphidae
jul 23, 2012, 8:08pm

Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn - 5 out of 10 stars
I had a hard time summarizing the book in just a few words. There was a bit of fantasy, a bit of romance, a bit of political intrigue, some battle, a little bit of everything really. I didn't really like or dislike any of the characters. None stood out. I kept wanting this to be just a little more than it was. I was left with a feeling of "meh" when I was done.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving - 5 out of 10 stars
The first half was very slow going and I nearly gave up a couple of times. I found it banal and boring. Eventually though I got to the point where I had to find out what happened next. Mostly this is a book of odd characters and vignettes about them.

111Morphidae
jul 29, 2012, 5:43pm

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - 6 out of 10 stars
It took me about 200 pages to warm up to Claire. She seemed a bit of a cold fish. Otherwise for a huge book, it seemed to zip right along. Nice mix of romance, historical fiction and adventure.

112mathgirl40
jul 29, 2012, 6:11pm

I have a copy of Outlander that's been sitting on my shelf for years. I started it at one time but didn't get very far. Maybe I just need to get through the first 200 pages. :)

113SouthernKiwi
aug 1, 2012, 2:18am

The Cross Stitch series is one of my favourites, I'm a sucker for a book which mixes of history, adventure and romance and does it well.

114Morphidae
aug 12, 2012, 2:26pm

The Creative License by Danny Gregory - 8 out of 10 stars
Encouraging enough for creative types, artists and journalers, that I've put it on my Amazon wishlist to own one day. Lots of good ideas and inspirations and filled with Gregory's sketches of slices of life.

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum - 4 out of 10 stars
The main character is a jerk and the heroine is too stupid to live. The story was brutal and the plot was frantic. I don't get the appeal.

Beauty by Robin McKinley - 7 out of 10 stars
The first half of the book got a 9 and the second half sort of petered out to a 5 or 6. The story was appealing, gentle and interesting but it didn't go anywhere. There was build up but it didn't really ever hit a peak. I might not be explaining it well. It was sort of "that's it?" Don't get me wrong. I liked it and am glad I read it. But it was missing something in the end that would have made it a great story.

Darkover First Contact by Marion Zimmer Bradley - 8 out of 10 stars
Bradley writes so well. I lose myself in her stories. You don't always like the characters you are reading about but I certainly get absorbed in the books. The world-building and characterization is fantastic.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski - 5 out of 10 stars
Everyone in my book club HATED the ending. Absolutely hated it. Reviews of the rest of the book varied from didn't like to absolutely loved, but the vote was unanimous on the ending. I was middle of the road on the first 90% of the book. It could have been trimmed by 100 pages certainly. But I loved the descriptions of the kennel workings and the dog point of view chapters. I liked the parts with Henry, the helpful soul. The ending sucked.

Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann - 4 out of 10 stars
I liked the concept of the book but the execution fell flat. The author needed a lot more clarity when writing this book. I'd think I'd finally be catching on and then she'd go off on some weird tangent. Nothing pulled together.

115thornton37814
aug 12, 2012, 8:34pm

I read Three Bags Full back when it was new. I was not reviewing things on LibraryThing at the time it came out, but I had read it recently enough that I remembered liking it, and I may have rated it higher than it actually was when I added it to LibraryThing. After reading your review, some of the weird tangents cropped back up in my mind, but it must have pulled together better for me, or I would not have given it 4 of 5 stars.

116-Eva-
aug 13, 2012, 7:56pm

I'm planning the Outlander-series for next year's challenge - thanks for the takes-a-bit-getting-into-warning! For some shopping-mad reason I got the whole series unseen when Borders was closing shop, so I do hope I like it...

Three Bags Full is on Mt. TBR - another thanks for adjusted expectations. :)

117Morphidae
Redigerat: sep 7, 2012, 6:54am

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See - 7 out of 10 stars
See is fabulous when it comes to pulling you into a time and place. I learned so much about the culture of 1930s - 50s China and Chinatown and the mindset of the people. I would have rated this book higher but it was so very depressing.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein - 7 out of 10 stars
I zipped through this book in a couple of hours, it was so compelling and I loved the dog's voice. Yet I couldn't help but feel manipulated at times with so many unpleasant events happening at once. It felt like the author asked himself, "What other horrible things can I possibly do to this person?"

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - 9 out of 10 stars
I was reluctant to start this one. Not another angsty YA. And I just knew there would be a sappy ending. Ugh! But it wasn't like that at all. It was very real, sympathetic and touched my heart. Best book I've read so far this year.

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss - 4 out of 10 stars
Meh. Too much build up for this one. Don't know why it's such a popular gift for graduates. I would think they would feel talked down to. Too simplistic.

Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik - 4 out of 10 stars
While I love the dragon personalities and the world-building is done well, after seven books of constant misery, I'm not going to read any more books by Novik. Her plots consist of one tragedy after another and I'm no masochist. I like a little hope and humor in what I read. Her novels read like a laundry list of trauma, "What else can I do these people?" No, thanks.

Feed by M. T. Anderson - 5 out of 10 stars
This YA, on the other hand, *was* too angsty and sappy. The language and characters are aimed strictly at teens. About the only thing going for it was the interesting take on what might happen if we continue on the path of corporatocracy and being "hooked in" to the Internet. What if we are actually physically hooked up?

150 Pounds Gone Forever by Diane Carbonell - 5 out of 10 stars
Meh. While most of the book had good information - no fad diets, no strict rules, healthy balanced eating, encouraged exercise, small slow changes - I found her negative attitude about her weight issues off-putting. She lacked compassion, often referring to herself as a whale or to waddling, for instance. I felt as if we met face-to-face, she would feel as disgusted with me as she once obviously felt for herself.

118Morphidae
sep 1, 2012, 6:58pm

Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott - 5 out of 10 stars
While a nice story, it was too preachy and saccharine for me. Doesn't come near up to the level of Little Women. A disappointment.

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin - 6 out of 10 stars
I like straightforward writers that tell a story without a lot of flowery detail and Levin fits right into that sphere. Maybe a little TOO simple, perhaps. Straightforward story. I wouldn't call it horror, more suspense, even with the supernatural elements. It was more creepy than scary. At times I felt Rosemary was simply TSTL (Too Stupid To Live.)

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - 8 out of 10 stars
I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. On one hand, it was panned as over-rated. On the other hand, it was very popular. I wasn't sure what to expect. I ended up scarfing it down pretty quicky. Picoult really tells a great story even if you know what is coming. She keeps the emotional tension taut without it being too much.

The Warlock in Spite of Himself by Christopher Stasheff - 5 out of 10 stars
Shows its age. This might have gone over well back in the 70s but now it feels too, I don't, arrogant and stuffy. The over-competent hero with his amusing side kick comes in to fix everything and gets the girl with no effort at all. Yawner.

The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes - 8 out of 10 stars
Yum yum yum. Lovely pictures. Lovely thick, smooth paper. Lots of good information on the history and culture and fashion. Would have liked to have seen a diagram of the house and when they talked about a fashion, an appropriate picture should have always been with it. But otherwise, fun.

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire - 6 out of 10 stars
Meh. I'm not sure why I didn't get into this one. It's right up my alley. Perhaps because the heroine is sort of a borderline personality - depressed, anti-social, avoids responsibility, no sense of humor, etc. I might try the next one. Not sure.

119lkernagh
sep 1, 2012, 9:31pm

You have been busy reading. Like you, I am reluctant to read The Fault in our Stars but I keep seeing praise for this one and now from you as well! ;-)

120mathgirl40
sep 3, 2012, 10:25am

Just catching up with your thread. You've done a lot of reading in the past couple of weeks! I picked up Shanghai Girls recently at a library sale (for 25 Canadian cents -- can't beat that!) so glad to see you enjoyed it (and I can live with "depressing"). I also read with interest your thoughts on Marion Zimmer Bradley. I started Mists of Avalon a little while ago. This is my first time reading her works and I agree that it is easy to get absorbed in her world.

121-Eva-
sep 4, 2012, 11:48pm

Ooh, I want The World of Downton Abbey. Shiny!

122Morphidae
sep 5, 2012, 6:39am

>119 lkernagh: It really was surprisingly good.

>120 mathgirl40: I enjoy Lisa See's writing. Always depressing, but very interesting.

>121 -Eva-: I know! I just wanted to hug it.

123DeltaQueen50
sep 6, 2012, 11:01pm

Love your short reviews and in particular, from Rosemary's Baby, my new favorite acronym TSTL (Too Stupid To Live), I'm sure I will find lots of places to use it.

124Morphidae
sep 7, 2012, 6:56am

>116 -Eva-: Had to correct my own post. I posted the wrong review.

Feed by M. T. Anderson - 5 out of 10 stars
This YA, on the other hand, *was* too angsty and sappy. The language and characters are aimed strictly at teens. About the only thing going for it was the interesting take on what might happen if we continue on the path of corporatocracy and being "hooked in" to the Internet. What if we are actually physically hooked up?

>123 DeltaQueen50: Yeah, unfortunately there are too many heroines like that!

125Morphidae
sep 9, 2012, 5:14pm

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - 7 out of 10 stars
I struggled at first. I found it slow going but by mid-book, I could barely put it down. Still, I was left feeling empty. I thought I could relate to Mary at first, but then as the story went on, you realize how very off she was. And by the end, you understand that Constance is too. Not so much horror as creepy. Very, very creepy.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine - 8 out of 10 stars
An absolute delight. While certainly aimed at the pre-teen set, I enjoyed it thoroughly. The heroine was proactice and amusing, the secondary characters were delightful (even the bad guys) and the world-building was interesting. I wanted to hug the book when I was done. Too bad I hear the movie was awful.

126christina_reads
sep 10, 2012, 10:21am

@ 125 -- I have to admit, the movie version of "Ella Enchanted" amused me, but it is definitely very different from the book (and the book is certainly better)!

127-Eva-
sep 11, 2012, 12:04am

I have We Have Always Lived in the Castle on the wishlist, but I had understood it leaned more towards horror. Creepy is better! :) I liked the Ella Enchanted-movie as well, but if the book is so much better, I'm definitely going to read it!

128Morphidae
sep 11, 2012, 6:39am

We Have Always Lived in the Castle has murder (off stage), madness and prejudice, but nothing I would classify as "horror" - supernatural elements, gory violence, etc.

129-Eva-
sep 11, 2012, 12:00pm

It might be that menacing Penguin cover that has tricked me into thinking it's regular horror. :)

130Morphidae
sep 24, 2012, 1:01pm

The Wrong Kind of Blood by Declan Hughes - 7 out of 10 stars
I'm not sure why I liked this one. I'm not usually into books that are this bleak nor into characters that drink and fight and cat around, but the writing is particularly smooth and the story was interesting and complex.

Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan - 5 out of 10 stars
Dear lord, could women be any more stupid about men? I doubt it. One sleeps around, another is being divorced by a cad, another keeps dating men who take off and the fourth is closed off. The language is atrocious. I'm not a prude by any means, neither is my husband who overheard some of the audio, but both of us shook our heads over the amount of foul language. The only things that keep this book from being a total wash out are the friendship between the women and the familial relationships.

131lkernagh
sep 24, 2012, 1:39pm

.... and taking a pass on Waiting to Exhale. I am sure that book would drive me crazy.

132-Eva-
sep 24, 2012, 6:33pm

I think I've seen a movie based on that, but I don't remember if I liked it. :) I'm going to pass on the book too.

133Morphidae
okt 23, 2012, 2:42pm

Overcoming Binge Eating by Christopher Fairburn - 5 out of 10 stars
The writing was fine but the information was old for me as I've been through a binge eating program. Also, it was more aimed at bulemics rather than those with binge eating disorder. Lastly, more than half the book covered defining what binge eating was rather than how to actually overcome it.

134Morphidae
okt 29, 2012, 4:23pm

Bossypants by Tina Fey - 8 out of 10 stars
Even though I've never seen either of the shows, I enjoyed her book. She has a great sense of humor, obviously, and seems to be a delightful and interesting person.

135Morphidae
nov 12, 2012, 3:44pm

Patty Jane's House of Curl by Lorna Landvik - 8 out of 10 stars
Enjoyed this very much. The number of tragedies were a bit much but I didn’t want the book to end. It was heart-warming and funny. I laughed and cried. All the characters were interesting from the sisters to the secondary ones.

136Morphidae
nov 18, 2012, 4:01pm

Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica - 5 out of 10 stars
Easy enough to read but more of a memoir than an inside scoop like I was expecting. More philosophical than gossipy like I was hoping. Sometimes I liked the author, other times I thought he was too full of himself.

Sphere by Michael Crichton - 5 out of 10 stars
Reads like a Harlequin version of a thriller. Seems to be aimed at 10 - 12 years olds. No richness of plot or characterizations were one dimensonal, etc. Even the adventure seemed bland. It wasn't scary or thrilling, just meh.

137-Eva-
Redigerat: nov 19, 2012, 4:30pm

I have Waiter Rant on Mt. TBR due to Anthony Bourdain's endorsement of it, but I can tell I need to lower my expectations before reading - thanks for the warning!! :)

138lkernagh
nov 19, 2012, 1:34pm

I read Waiter Rant back in 2009 - I gave it 3 stars and not much of a comment so I think we are more or less on the same page with that one!

139Morphidae
nov 28, 2012, 5:17pm

The Arabian Nights by Sir Richard Burton - 6 out of 10 stars
It took me two years to finish these but I'm glad I did. Fair warning, prose can't get anymore purple than this - an LT review called it "overwrought" and I have to agree. But if you take it slow, the stories are quite enjoyable. The boy gets the girl and the riches every time after numerous adventures. It would have gotten tiring, but like I said, I spread it out over years.

Codependent No More by Melody Beattie - 6 out of 10 stars
I've read too many self-help books. Unless they have something new and different to say, I'm just bored. I'm sure this book was ground-breaking when it came out, but I've been through twenty years of therapy and it's all old hat to me. Gave it an average rating becausei it's my fault not the book's or author's.

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George - 5 out of 10 stars
SPOILERS: Odd because Cinderella isn't the main character which made the story weak and the plot - I don't know what to call it - not tight? mushy? The Cinderella character was unsympathetic for much of the story and then suddenly we are supposed to root for her. The main character ends up with the prince even though they don't spend much time together and they are far too young. Typically, I don't call a book YA. I give the genre it's in SF, Fantasy, Fiction, etc. But in the case, it was so blaringly obvious it was aimed at teens, that I had to brand it YA.

140Morphidae
dec 3, 2012, 5:46pm

Angels at the Table by Debbie Macomber - 6 out of 10 stars
Not my usual fare, but recommended to me by an elderly friend and I was able to enjoy it for what it was - an inspirational, light romance. The characters were a little too one-dimensional for me, but I liked the set up and thought the angels, Shirley, Goodness, Mercy and Will were fun if a bit saccharine.

141Morphidae
dec 23, 2012, 10:39am

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick - 5 out of 10 stars
Ish. I really liked the concept but someone should have warned me this was more of a philosophical tract than a story. Choppy and confusing and not my cup of tea.

Ben & Jerry's by Fred Lager - 7 out of 10 stars
A little dull at times but otherwise enjoyable read about the Vermont-based ice cream makers. As bumbling as they seemed, it is surprising they managed to be so successful!

The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller - 7 out of 10 stars
It lost a star because of that darned cliff-hanger. ARGGH! I'm definitely getting the next book. I found the small size of the country odd. How could it be self-sustaining? And the dragged out prophecy was annoying. We STILL don't know why he's "the one." Lastly, I saw what was coming with Durm and Morg a mile away. But I liked all the characters and how they were multi-dimensional. Most weren't all good or all bad. And I just love Asher. He's a trip and made me smile.

The Complete Bible Handbook by John Bowker - 3 out of 10 stars
I don't think I've ever been so grateful to finish a book. I only did so out of sheer determination. I wanted a book with pictures that would provide me with historical context for the Bible. What I mostly got was apologetic evangelism and pulpit-pounding woo-woo.

142mathgirl40
dec 23, 2012, 11:50am

It's been a long time since I've read any of Dick's novels and I was thinking I should try one again, but it sounds like maybe The Man in the High Castle is not one I should start with.

143Morphidae
jan 2, 2013, 3:26pm

White House Kids by Joe Rhatigan - 7 out of 10 stars
Should be a good book for kids though perhaps it talked down a little too much, especially when the author spoke directly to the reader. I liked the inside look at the shenanigans the kids got into. Some presidents were strict, others were very permissive. Other interesting bits were how open the White House used to be and how the Secret Service works now. While I enjoyed the photographs, the illustrations seemed amateurish and blotchy. Lastly, a red background makes text very difficult to read, especially the black fonts.

After Glow by Jayne Castle - 6 out of 10 stars
Should be a good book for kids though perhaps it talked down a little too much, especially when the author spoke directly to the reader. I liked the inside look at the shenanigans the kids got into. Some presidents were strict, others were very permissive. Other interesting bits were how open the White House used to be and how the Secret Service works now. While I enjoyed the photographs, the illustrations seemed amateurish and blotchy. Lastly, a red background makes text very difficult to read, especially the black fonts.

Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes - 5 out of 10 stars
Rachel is entirely unlikeable throughout most of the book which made this an unpleasant read. It wasn't until the last quarter of the book that she got herself together and became a relatable character.

144Morphidae
jan 12, 2013, 4:13pm

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch - 7 out of 10 stars
I would have enjoyed this book more if the main character showed a bit more competence. Watching characters bumbling through events frustrates me. Also, the ending confused me. The villian seemed to just give up. Otherwise an enjoyable adventure and I'm sure I'll pick up the next in the series as I liked the world building and magic system.

Divergent by Veronica Roth - 8 out of 10 stars
Oh, this was gooood. Only reason I didn't rate it a 9 is because it was so dark. I could barely put this book down and unlike a lot of YA, it wasn't all angsty. Or at least not enough to annoy. I found the world intriguing, the plot complex and the characters well-defined.

The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks - 4 out of 10 stars
This guy was full of snark and, for the most part, not funny at all. The pictures were blurry and I really wanted to see the recipes, not just what the author thought was a funny interpretation of what the ingredients might be.

145mathgirl40
jan 12, 2013, 4:36pm

Glad to hear you liked Divergent. I did too.

I'd borrowed The Gallery of Regrettable Food from the library a few years ago. I don't remember much of the commentary (probably just skimmed it quickly) but I recall that my husband and I had some good laughs over the photos. Some of the photos looked awfully close to items we'd seen at family potluck suppers!

146-Eva-
jan 12, 2013, 6:38pm

I have Midnight Riot waiting on Mt. TBR. Sorry to hear about the bumbling characters, but I'll keep my fingers Xed that the world building is good enough to keep me going. Seconding your thoughts on The Gallery of Regrettable Food - I'm actually thinking of hacking my copy to pieces and make postcards of the images.

147AHS-Wolfy
jan 12, 2013, 8:06pm

I really liked Midnight Riot and am aiming to get to the third in the series this year. I'm glad you liked Divergent as that's also a potential for my own challenge this year.

148Morphidae
jan 28, 2013, 3:22pm

Maigret and the Old Lady by Georges Simenon - 4 out of 10 stars
Thankfully this was short. The mystery and characters were quite boring. It had no charm whatsoever, though it tried. Either the characters were unlikable or two dimensional. The villain while not unexpected, was not lead up to well in the plot. It felt shoved in.

149mstrust
jan 28, 2013, 7:56pm

I've only read Maigret and the Man on the Bench, but it sounds very similar ending-wise. Maybe that was Simenon's way? I have a few other Maigret's on the shelf that I keep meaning to get to, but luckily ...the Old Lady isn't one of them.

I was surprised at how underwhelmed you were by The Gallery of Regrettable Food as it's my #1 go-to book for a laugh.

150Morphidae
feb 17, 2013, 3:54pm

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin - 4 out of 10 stars
As I've said before, if I don't like the characters, I don't like the book. George's, the main character's, only interesting quality is his ability to dream reality into being. Otherwise, he's a boring milquetoast of a man. Heather is a one-dimensional ball-buster. Huber, the bad guy, is a slimy, egomaniac with delusions of grandeur. Add in some psychobabble, a meandering plot, and some deus ex machina aliens. I have to say I really didn't like this book at all. Thankfully it was short or I wouldn't have been able to finish it. I'm done with LeGuin. I've read several of her books and the only ones I thought were any good were her Earthsea series.

151Morphidae
feb 25, 2013, 5:17pm

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough - 5 out of 10 stars
I almost Pearl Ruled this book at page 48 out of boredom but gave it until the end of the chapter and there was enough of a hook (a friend called it a "Barbie fishing pole") that I was able to finish it. It's obviously a debut novel as it needed a lot more tightening up and the story needed more depth.

152Morphidae
mar 11, 2013, 6:38pm

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith - 8 out of 10 stars
Less of a mystery and more of a character study, it's a collection of vignettes about various problems and a large cast of characters. The mysteries are so easy even I could solve them. Sometimes before the mystery was even fully explained! But it's very charming and made me smile. I've gotten the next book from the library and have ordered the DVD of the TV show from Netflix. I'm hooked.

153hailelib
mar 19, 2013, 10:32am

For some moods, McCall Smith is perfect.

154Morphidae
mar 28, 2013, 5:10pm

The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang - 6 out of 10 stars
I wasn't expecting to read so many stories I was already familiar with. It made this book slightly disappointing. But otherwise a decent look at fairy tales and stories from different cultures. It wasn't just fairy tales however. For instance, there was one of Gulliver's tales included. Nor did they all end happily. These are the "real" fairy tales with some dark and unhappy endings.

155Morphidae
apr 18, 2013, 6:17pm

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins - 6 out of 10 stars
What I like about Collins' writing is that it is straightforward and clear, unlike a lot of other writing in the 1800s. I didn't like The Moonstone as much as The Women in White though. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because I felt the story dragged at times. I did like the epistolary style and each voice was distinct.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear - 8 out of 10 stars
I really enjoyed this. I felt it was more fiction than a mystery though as most of the book was flashback and back story. It had a wonderful sense of time and place and I love books about the servant class in England especially during this time of change (pre- and post-WWI.)

156Morphidae
maj 17, 2013, 9:05pm

The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King - 7 out of 10 stars
I'm sure it was true to the Sherlock style mysteries but I found it a little annoying that there was no way to solve the mysteries myself. Only the characters could figure them out because of their special knowledge and intellect. Otherwise an enjoyable story.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood - 7 out of 10 stars
Atwood is a good writer with a great sense of character and place. She keeps my interest when the characters are intriguing and the plot is moving. But when she philosophizes and describes too much, she loses it. I was hesitant about reading this because of the open ending, but by the time I was finished, I was fine with it. I have my own opinion about it.

157clif_hiker
maj 26, 2013, 9:24am

I encourage you to continue both the Maisie Dobbs and the The Beekeeper's Apprentice series ... I think they both improve.

158Morphidae
jun 9, 2013, 12:17pm

The Last Llanelli Train by Robert Lewis - 2 out of 10 stars
This is the worst bit of dreck I've read in years. There was no mystery, there was barely a plot. The protagonist went so far past unlikable, I don't have words though scum of the earth could work. Even the cover had nothing to do with the book. The only excuse I can give for finishing it is that I kept hoping it would get better. Plus it was short.

Kosher Chinese by Michael Levy - 6 out of 10 stars
I thought it would be less about eating, drinking and pooping and more about the differences in culture. Oh, there was some culture, but it was mostly teenaged girls fascination with Western pop culture. Interesting enough, but not exactly what I was looking for.

159mstrust
jun 9, 2013, 1:35pm

Dang it, I perked up at the word Llanelli as I've actually been there. This one is not going on the WL.

160clfisha
jun 11, 2013, 3:04pm

@158/159 it was pretty bad wasn't it? It's not even set in Llanelli but Bristol :)

161Morphidae
aug 18, 2013, 2:13pm

Animal Wise by Virginia Morell - 6 out of 10 stars
I was hoping for something a bit more entertaining and a bit less dry, but overall an enjoyable read about studies on how various animals think from ants to parrots to dolphins. I can see how the author wanted to make it clear that there are scientific foundations for animal thought and emotions, but I would have liked a more approachable style with more stories about the animals and people rather than studies. By the end I felt hammered over the head with the message of "Yes, animals think and feel even though past scientists say they didn't!"

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross - 7 out of 10 stars
Even with a simplistic plot and somewhat flat secondary characters, this book grabbed me. I had fun with it. And to be honest, enjoyment is more important to me than "literary quality." I like the era and the costumes and the machinery and the powers and...well, the second book is already on hold at the library!

162LauraBrook
aug 20, 2013, 6:02pm

Hi Morphy! I keep seeing Girl in the Steel Corset at work (the library) and it's oh so tempting. Your review didn't help! I think I need to return a few of the 30-odd books I already have first, though. Otherwise I'll have to make multiple trips to my car to return them all!

Hope you're having a good week!

163Morphidae
okt 3, 2013, 9:22pm

The Burning Point by Mary Jo Putney - 6 out of 10 stars
The plot was draggy, Kate was indecisive and reactive until late in the book and Patrick is a "redeemed" wife beater. Meh. Liked some of the secondary characters and, in general, her characterizations were rich and interesting.

164Morphidae
okt 8, 2013, 8:11pm

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay - 8 out of 10 stars
Really good book that I zipped through in one afternoon. The stories were told in alternating chapters which kept them clearly separated. My only disappointment was the last few pages - the relationship was far too obvious and the ending just sort of... petered out.

165Morphidae
nov 25, 2013, 3:09pm

He Died with His Eyes Open by Derek Raymond - 5 out of 10 stars
Hardboiled noir is just not my thing. I don’t like the bleakness or cynicism of it all. I don't like depressed detectives who have no hope and stories with no happy endings. There is no humor, no joy. Just yuck. Reading about listening to the tapes and the alcholic rambling on and on was just boring on top of that. So not recommended.

166Morphidae
jan 20, 2014, 1:08pm

Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts by Josepha Sherman - 5 out of 10 stars
Rather tedious as the author wrote down numerous variants of many rhymes, some with only a word or two changed. Also, there were so many footnotes, all at the back of the book, I spent half my time paging back and forth. If it hadn't been for those two things, I would have really liked this book. A fun look back at my childhood.

My Own Country by Abraham Verghese - 8 out of 10 stars
What Verghese lacks as a husband and friend, he makes up for as a doctor and writer. The world of rural Tennessee and how not only AIDS but the exposure of the entire gay community affects the area is brought to heartbreaking life. It's beautiful and brutal and it absorbs Verghese's entire world. Occasionally gets boring when case studies and character descriptions go on a little too much. We don't need to know every single article of clothing someone is wearing. But that's really my only (minor) complaint.

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather - 7 out of 10 stars
I hesitant about reading this book because I was expecting more description and less plot. I'm happy to say this was not the case. Fascinating story about the difficulties of a new leader coming into a well-established religious community. I wanted more detail though. Cather often had the disconcerting habit of getting me all excited about something happening - like a trip to Rome - then the next paragraph was about him arriving back from Rome a year later! But, but, what HAPPENED in Rome? I liked this edition because it had a nifty ribbon bookmark attached.

167Morphidae
feb 28, 2014, 9:05pm

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie - 5 out of 10 stars
Uh oh. I wasn't expecting a "literary novel" - miserable things happening to miserable people. Yes, I know. It was the Chinese Revolution. But I've read other books set during this time period and they weren't this much of a downer. This one had little plot, near unlikeable characters, no character growth and an unsatisfying ending. I did enjoy the setting and learning about this particular aspect of the Revolution. Some parts were amusing - especially getting the folk songs from the old man. It had straightforward writing which I like. None of the book club members liked it much either. All questioned why we had decided to read this.

168Morphidae
mar 16, 2014, 9:56pm

Dead Simple by Peter James - 8 out of 10 stars

More of a thriller than a mystery - will the groom be found in time? Especially when about halfway through you get told who did it though not exactly why. There is also a twist at the end about motive. Had me at the edge of my seat the entire time (even with knowing the ending.) Well done.

169Morphidae
apr 28, 2014, 8:05pm

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen - 8 out of 10 stars
Not as delicious as Pride and Prejudice but still a lovely and fun book. It was made especially interesting by the tutored thread with lyzard and Smiler69. I wish though that she hadn't waited until the very last pages to wrap everything up.

170mstrust
apr 29, 2014, 4:30pm

I sot of think of Pride and Prejudice as #1 and Sense and Sensibility as #2 in the Austen hit list. And it isn't that S&S is any less, it's just that Elizabeth and Darcy are so good.

171Morphidae
jul 27, 2014, 8:31pm

Water-Blue Eyes by Domingo Villar - 6/10 stars

172Morphidae
sep 1, 2014, 2:29pm

The Creative Journal by Lucia Capacchione - 7 out of 10 stars
Good enough that I'll be purchasing it at a later date to work through the exercises. Might be a little too navel gazing for some. The author used examples from people who were for the most part obviously not skilled artists. That appealed to me and makes the process seem less intimidating and more likely something I would do. Already has made me make some small changes to how I arrange my priorities.

The Circus Fire by Steward O'Nan - 8 out of 10 stars
While difficult reading, it made me nauseous and heart-sick at times, this is a well-written and fascinating book not only about the fire, but about circus history and the 1940s. I liked how the photos were spread throughout the book with the text they were related to rather than all smooshed together in the middle. I only wish they had done more of a wrap up of the main survivors. There were so many people mentioned, even I got confused.

173Morphidae
Redigerat: jan 3, 2015, 8:15pm

The Color of Water by James McBride - 6/10 stars
A fascinating story and well written but I don't know how the children turned out so well as the mother seemed to be such an unpleasant person. It felt like the author was lauding a neglectful parent at times. He wasn't all that nice a person either.

Montana 1948 by Watson, Larry - 6/10 stars
I struggled with rating this. On one hand, the writing is exceptional. On the other, it wasn't a pleasant read thematically and the end was unsatisfactory (subjectively.) So, it got a middlin' rating.

Kindred by Octavia Butler - 6/10 stars
Very well written but none of the characters were appealing which reduced my enjoyment. I wanted to smack Dana several times and ask, "What the hell are you DOING?" Her husband was a moron and Rufus and his father were a nasty pair. Even the other slaves were mostly unpleasant. The ending was abrupt and confusing. I'm hoping a different Butler will be better as I loved Bloodchild.