VioletBramble's 12 in 12 Category Challenge

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VioletBramble's 12 in 12 Category Challenge

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Redigerat: jun 1, 2017, 8:07pm

I thought I'd give this a try again this year. Hopefully it will go better than 2011s challenge. I'm planning broader topics than last year, so, that may help. I'll also be doing a stepped challenge this year. I won't start until Jan 1, 2012.
I don't have a theme for my challenge, but I did name my categories with help from The Quotationary

Redigerat: jun 1, 2017, 8:07pm

1) Today is the first day of the rest of of your life - Charles Dederich
A book to be read daily, throughout the year.

1) Vegan Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration for Cooking, Eating and Living Compassionately

Vegan's Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration for Cooking, Eating and Living Compassionately - I'll be reading this.
365 Tao Daily Meditations - have discovered that this book can not be used during a leap year. It will be next years book if i have a similar category/need.

Redigerat: aug 1, 2017, 10:17pm

2) Science is what we know, and philosophy is what we don't know -Bertrand Russell
Science books

1) Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout - Lauren Redniss
2) Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain - Maryanne Wolf

Redigerat: jun 1, 2017, 8:08pm

3) Whenever I feel an urge to exercise, I lie down until it goes away - Anonymous
Yoga and exercise books. I hope to attend a yoga retreat where one of the authors on my intended reading list is teaching. Maybe that will move this category along quickly.

1) Healing Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain: Easy, Effective Practices for Releasing Tension & Relieving Pain - Carol Krucoff - completed 1/26
2) Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running - Dagny Scott Barrios
3) Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga - Amy Weintraub

Redigerat: jul 23, 2018, 4:00pm

4) Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope - Dr Seuss
Fantasy, SciFi, Steampunk

1) Hannah's Garden - Midori Snyder -- completed 2/4
2) The Ice Dragon - George RR Martin - completed in Jan
3) Lifelode - Jo Walton -- completed 2/16
4) Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld

Hannah's Garden
Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer

Redigerat: nov 7, 2017, 10:00pm

5) Books, that paper memory of mankind - Arthur Schopenhauer
Histories, memoirs, diaries

1) Life Work - Donald Hall
2) An Interrupted Life : The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hilesum 1941-43
3) A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway
4)Farewell to Manzanar - Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
5) A Christmas Memory and One Christmas - Truman Capote

Farewell to Manzanar
Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience
An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43

Redigerat: nov 7, 2017, 10:00pm

6) One of the biggest lies in the world is that crime doesn't pay. Of course, crime pays - G. Gordon Liddy
Crime, mysteries, police procedurals

1) The Moving Toyshop - Edmund Crispin - completed 1/23
2) The Singing Sands - Josephine Tey
3) Buzz Off (A Queen Bee Mystery) - Hannah Reed 6/10
4) Mind Your Own Beeswax (A Queen Bee Mystery) - Hannah Reed 6/16
5) Plan Bee (A Queen Bee Mystery) - Hannah Reed 6/22
6) Still Life - Louise Penny - 8/9

Still Life
Fatal Grace
some Queen Bee mysteries
The Moving Toyshop

Redigerat: nov 7, 2017, 10:00pm

7) Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested - Francis Bacon
Fiction and NonFiction books that contain recipes, possibly some actual cookbooks.

1) Power Foods 150 Delicious Recipes With the 38 Healthiest Ingredients - The editors of Whole Living Magazine -- Completed 1/11
2) Everyday Cooking with Dr. Dean Ornish - Dean Ornish,MD --- completed 2/4
3) Apartment Gardening: Plants, Projects and Recipes for Growing Food in Your Urban Home - Amy Pennington -- completed 2/16
4) Eat More, Weigh Less- Dr Dean Ornish -- completed 3/4
5) Bountiful Containers: Create Containers of Herbs, Fruits and Edible Flowers - McGee and Stuckey
6) Eating for Beginners: An Education in Food from Chefs, Farmers and One Picky Kid- Melanie Rehak Completed 7/5
7) Botany, Ballet and Dinner from Scratch - Leda Meredith

Few Eggs, No Oranges
Eating for Beginners: An Education in Food from Chefs, Farmers and One Picky Kid
The Food of a Younger Land
Botany, Ballet and Dinner from Scratch

Redigerat: jun 1, 2017, 8:09pm

8) Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators - Stephen Fry
Books already on my Kindle

1) Divergent - Veronica Roth Completed 1/8
2) The Black Prism - Brent Weeks - completed 3/24
3) The Mapping of Love and Death - Jacqueline Winspear - completed 7/24
4) A Lesson in Secrets- Jacqueline Winspear - completed 7/26
5) Infernal Devices (Angry Robot) - KW Jeter completed 8/7
6) Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay - Nancy Mitford completed 9/19
7) Tooth and Claw - Jo Walton - completed 9/30
8) Insurgent - Veronica Roth - completed 10/10

The Black Prism
Infernal Devices (Angry Robot)
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St Vincent Millay

Redigerat: okt 1, 2017, 9:56pm

9) Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree - Ezra Pound
Literary fiction

1) The Tricking of Freya - Christina Sunley
2) The Green Man - Michael Bedard
3) The Moonflower Vine - Jetta Carleton
4) Farthing - Jo Walton
5) Ha'Penny - Jo Walton
6) Half a Crown - Jo Walton
7) The Beauty of Humanity Movement - Camilla Gibb
8) The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
9) Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese

The Tricking of Freya
Little Women --I have never read this....nor this:
Pride and Prejudice
The Moonflower Vine
Shades of Grey
The Beauty of Humanity Movement
The Tale of Genji

Redigerat: jan 4, 2017, 11:12pm

10) No good thing is pleasant to possess without friends to share it - Seneca the Younger
Shared reads, groups reads, book club reads, TIOLI challenge books. This category will include books for Orange January, Orange July, Morphy's Green Dragon Fantasy reads and Charles Dickens' birthday in Feb.

1) When the Emperor was Divine - Julie Otsuka -- completed 1/2/12 - Orange January
2) A Visit From the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan -- completed 1/15 - Orange January
3) Bleak House - Charles Dickens -- completed 2/20 ---TIOLI book for Charles Dickens 200th birthday
4) The Riddle-Master of Hed - Patricia McKillip - Morphy's Green Dragon Fantasy reads
5) Bel Canto - Ann Patchett - book club
6) Tea with the Black Dragon - RA MacAvoy - Morphy's Green Dragon Fantasy Reads
7) The Hidden - Margaret Haddix - ( with Barb, Matt and T)
8) The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - (Orange July)
9) Thrall : Poems - Natasha Trethewey (shared TIOLI book)
10) Speaking From Among the Bones - Alan Bradley (Early Reviewers)

A Visit from the Goon Squad
When the Emperor was Divine
Bleak House
Riddle Master
Tea with the Black Dragon
Mistress of the Art of Death
The Historian
Cutting for Stone

Redigerat: jul 1, 2012, 4:55pm

11) The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it - Dylan Thomas
Poems and poetry anthologies

1) Hunger Moon: New and Selected Poems, 1980-2010 - Marge Piercy completed 1/25
2) The Four Seasons: Poems - Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Editor: JD McClatchy 1/31
3) The Tunnel: Selected Poems - Russell Edson 2/2
4) Irish Poems Everyman's Library Pocket Poets - Editor Matthew McGuire- 3/3
5) Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing, and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals, Aspirations and Intentions- Robert McDowell
6) Special Orders : Poems - Edward Hirsch
7) Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000 - Lucille Clifton
8) Tigers at Awhitu - Sarah Broom
9) The Ada Poems - Cynthia Zarin
10) The Girls of Peculiar - Catherine Pierce
11) A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith - Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler

The Hunger Moon: New and Selected Poems, 1980-2010
Blessing the Boats
Special Orders: Poems
The Complete English Poems - John Donne
Carnival Evening
numerous titles from The Everyman's Library Pocket Poets series

Redigerat: dec 11, 2012, 12:27pm

12) Books worth reading are worth re-reading - Holbrook Jackson
Re- reads of favorites, comfort reads and books I first read a long, long time ago.

1)To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee completed 1/7
2) Trixie Belden and the Marshland Mystery - Kathryn Kenny - 2/4
3) Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse- completed 3/11
4) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - JK Rowling 5/10
5) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - JK Rowling 6/4
6) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling 6/20
7) Litte, Big- John Crowley 7/12
8) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling
9) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
10) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Book 6) - J.K. Rowling
11) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
12) Doomsday Book - Connie Willis

This category is pretty much set:
All 7 Harry Potter books
Doomsday Book - in December...I love to read this at Christmas time
To Kill a Mockingbird
Little, Big
Trixie Belden and the Marshland Mystery - I'm in the mood to read about botany.

dec 5, 2011, 3:15pm

I love your quotes, (And hooray for Trixie Belden!!)

dec 5, 2011, 3:47pm

oh I adored Trixie Belden! My hero!

dec 5, 2011, 4:41pm

I love the idea of using quotes! I can't wait to see which books you end up picking!

dec 5, 2011, 4:51pm

Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators - Stephen Fry

Love it!!!!!

dec 16, 2011, 5:49pm

I love the quotes. I think you are in for a treat if you are just starting the Inspector Gamache series. Have fun!

dec 21, 2011, 1:40am

Love the quotes too. I'm planning on rereading Harry Potter this coming year too. I ripped through the last few books on the day they were published and never picked them up again. The first 3 I read aloud to my children over and over again when they first came out.

Redigerat: jan 4, 2017, 11:13pm

Hello everyone, thanks for visiting my thread. Yay for Trixie Belden fans.

Mamzel - I am just starting the Louise Penny books. Everyone raves about the series so I'm really looking forward to reading them.

Kerry - have fun re-reading the Harry Potter books. In 2007 I read the whole series through three times. I loved discovering (re-discovering?) all the little connections that run through the series.

I'm off now to check out all your threads, then I will be back on the first of the new year. Happy Holidays everyone!

Redigerat: jan 15, 2012, 2:21pm

1) When the Emperor was Divine - Julie Otsuka
Fiction, History, Japanese-American internment, Orange January, TIOLI challenge book with an imperial title, 12 in 12 category: shared reads

The story of a Japanese - American family living in San Francisco at the start of WWII. The father was arrested - in his robe and slippers - on the eve of Pearl Harbor and taken to a prison camp. The family packs up their belongings and, with the rest of their Japanese -American neighbors, is transported by train to an internment camp in the Arizona dessert. The family members are only referred to as; The Woman, The Girl and The Boy. The point of view shifts to each of them at various parts of the narrative.
A short book and a quick read - I finished the first half of the book while waiting for my sister to shower and dress for the movies. Highly recommended.

2) To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Re-read, Fiction, TIOLI challenge book that takes place in a southern state mentioned in MLK Jr speech, 12 in 12 category ; Re-reads

A coming of age story, set in 1930s Alabama, seen through the eyes of 8 year old Scout Finch. Atticus, Scout's father and a lawyer, is set by Maycomb County to defend Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson is a black man accused of the rape of a white woman. Much of the book is about how Scout and her brother Jem deal with the prejudices of their small town and their extended family. Other parts of the story concern a young friend named Dill who visits every summer and their reclusive neighbor Boo Radley.
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite book- definitely on my Top Ten List. The story, the drama and the true to life characters make this a near perfect book. Highly recommended.

Redigerat: jan 15, 2012, 3:22pm

3) Divergent - Veronica Roth
Young adult, dystopia, fiction, TIOLI challenge authors first book, 12 in 12 category: Kindle books

First in a series. Tris (Beatrice) is a 16 year old who lives in a future dystopian Chicago. The citizens are divided into 5 factions. The members of each faction value a particular virtue or character trait. Abnegation are selfless, Candor are honest, Dauntless are brave, Erudite value intelligence and Amity strive for peace above all else. No mention is made of how society came to be this way or what is happening in the rest of the country. Tris was born into Abnegation. At age 16 each citizen is hooked up to a computer simulation to determine their true faction. At a ceremony each person can chose the faction they will then belong to forever. If you switch factions you can have no contact with family or friends in your old faction. There are a few people that the computer simulation is unable to match with a faction. These people are able to manipulate the simulation and could potentially be considered for multiple factions. These people are called divergent and are considered dangerous to the power structure of the society. Tris is Divergent. Tris discovers a plot to change the way things are done in the city. A plan that puts everyone in Abnegation in peril.
On the surface there are many similarities to The Hunger Games - at least in this first book.
I found this book hard to put down. I read far later into the night than I should have. Looking forward to the rest of the series. Highly recommended.

4) The Ice Dragon - George RR Martin
Children's literature, Illustrations, TIOLI challenge book about dragons

A short children's book about a girl born during the worst cold spell in known history. Her mother dies in childbirth. The girl grows up with a cold disposition and her family feel distant from her. Because of her coldness she is the only person who can touch the Ice Dragon and survive. Contains a few lovely pencil illustrations of dragons and medieval village life.

5) Power Foods 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients - Editors of Whole Living Magazine
Food and Drink, Nutrition, 12 in 12 category: books with recipes

Discusses 38 power foods: artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, mushrooms, spinach, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes, winter squash, apricots, berries, citrus, kiwi fruit, papayas, pears, brown rice, oats, quinoa, dried beans, green peas, soy beans, almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, eggs, yogurt and fish. The books give you the health benefits of each food, tips on buying, storing and preparation to obtain maximum nutrition. Also covers oils, alliums, herbs, spices and alternative sweeteners. Contains a glossary of nutritional terms, a nutritional index and a guide to eating to help maintain health if you have certain chronic illnesses.
I've marked 27 recipes in the book as potentials to try preparing. The recipe I plan to make for the recipe challenge is Edamame and butternut squash succotash.

I will update this weekend, I promise. I've just been feeling kinda blah lately.

jan 12, 2012, 9:44am

Blah happens. 5 books so far is a good start to the challenge!

jan 12, 2012, 5:34pm

I agree, 5 books in 13 days is pretty good. The blah will pass.

jan 14, 2012, 11:02am

Hi VB! Hope the blahs have gone away!

Redigerat: jan 4, 2017, 11:13pm

6) A Visit From the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan
Fiction, TIOLI challenge Orange Prize nominee, Orange January, 12 in 12 challenge category: shared reads

Interconnected short stories that center on a music producer, his one time assistant and the people they come in contact with. Most of the segments take place in New York City and involve the music industry.
This book was just okay. I didn't like most of the characters. There were only two chapters I found interesting: Dolly doing PR for a dictator and the chapter told by an autistic boy utilizing graphs and Power Point slides.

Redigerat: jan 4, 2017, 11:13pm

Hi Lori, Leonie and Laura! Thanks for visiting my thread. I am still feeling blah but have caught up on reviews (or at least descriptions) of all books read so far.

Redigerat: jan 4, 2017, 11:14pm

Happy Lunar New Year!!

7) The Moving Toyshop - Edmund Crispin
Mystery, 12 in 12 challenge category: Crime

Eminent poet Richard Cadogan is bored with life in London. He takes the train to Oxford, apparently looking for adventure at his old school. A change in the train schedule leaves him stranded and walking the last miles to Oxford. Once in Oxford he stumbles upon a dead body above a toyshop. He's hit over the head and locked in a closet. He manages to escape and tell his story to the police. When Cadogan and the police arrive at the location there is no toyshop and no body. Cadogan calls on his old friend, Oxford don Gervase Fen to solve the mystery.
I think I may have expected too much from this book (People raved about it to me, said it was their favorite mystery). The mystery itself was laughable. So much made no sense. About three quarters of the way through the book a large chase ensues. This was very funny in a Three Men in a Boat sort of way (and it involved punting).
The book was okay. I wouldn't recommend it unless you liked the other books in the Gervase Fen series.

jan 31, 2012, 3:47pm

Hey there, just checking in. I remember getting a Crispin mystery from the library last year but I couldn't get started with it so took it back. This one isn't convincing me on his mysteries either but nice review.

feb 5, 2012, 8:53pm

Hi Leonie! Thanks for checking in.

feb 5, 2012, 9:31pm

8) The Hunger Moon: New and Selected Poems , 1980-2010 - Marge Piercy

Selected poems from Piercy's last nine collections, plus some new poems. I enjoy her poetry more than her fiction. Her poems are about feminism, politics, Judaism, her cats, death, sex, war and more.
Piercy is one of my favorite poets. Highly recommended .

I'll post some favorites here and some different ones in my 75 Challenge thread if anyone is interested.

The Wind of Saying

The words dance in the wind of saying.
They are leaves that crispen,
sere, turning to dust. As long
as that language runs its blood-

rich river through the tongues
of people, as long as grand
mothers weave the warp and woof
of old stories with bright new

words carpeting the air
into dreams, then the words
live like good bacteria
within our guts, feeding us.

We catch the letters and trap
them in books, pearlescent butterflies
pinned down. We fasten the letters
with nails to the white pages.

Most words dry finally to husks
even though dead languages
whisper, blown sand through
the dim corridors of library stacks.

Languages wither, languages
are arrested and die in prison,
stories are chopped off at the roots
like weeds, lullabies spill

on the floor and dry up.
Conquerors force their words
into the minds of their victims.
Our natural language is a scream.

Our natural language is a cry
rattling in the night. But tongues
are how we touch, how we reach,
how we teach, the spine of words.

The Working Writer

I admire you to tantrums they say,
you're so marvelously productive,
those plump books in litters
like piglets.

Then the comments light on my face
stinging like tiny wasps,
busy-busy, rush-rush, such a steamy
pressured life. Why don't
you take a week off
when I visit? I spend July
at the beach myself. August
I go to Maine. Martinique
in January. I keep in shape
Thursdays at the exercise salon.
Every morning I do yoga for two
hours; it would mellow you.
Then I grind wheat berries
for bread, weave macrame hammocks
and whip up a fluffy mousseline dress.
Oh, you buy your clothes.

I just don't know how you live
with weeds in the living room,
piles of papers so high the yellow
snow on top is perennial. Books
in the shower, books in bed,
a freezer full of books.
You need a cleaning lady or two.
I saw a bat in the bedroom
last night, potatoes flowering
behind the toilet.

My cats clean the house, I say.
I have them almost trained.
In winter we dig the potatoes.
All year we eat the books.

Redigerat: feb 5, 2012, 9:47pm

9) Healing Yoga for Neck & Shoulder Pain: Easy, Effective Practices for Releasing Tension & Relieving Pain - Carol Krucoff
Exercise, Yoga, TIOLI challenge book with acknowledgement section of less than 6 paragraphs.

The title is self explanatory. A slim volume with life style tips and exercises to alleviate back and neck pain. Recommended.

10) The Four Seasons: Poems - Everyman's Library Pocket Poets. Edited by JD McClatchy

A collection of poems about the four seasons by various poets including Chaucer, Shakespeare, Ted Hughes, Thoreau, Robert Frost, Hardy and more. This collection was okay, a 3/5.

Mary Oliver

This morning
two birds
fell down the side of the maple tree

like a tuft of fire
a wheel of fire
a love knot

out of control as they plunged through the air
pressed against each other
and I thought

how I meant to live a quiet life
how I meant to live a life of mildness and meditation
tapping the careful words against each other

and I thought-
as though I were suddenly spinning, like a bar of silver
as though I had shaken my arms and lo! they were
wings -

of the Buddha
when he rose from his great garden
when he rose in his powerful ivory body
when he turned to the long dusty road without end
when he covered his hair with ribbons and the petals of flowers
when he opened his hands to the world.

feb 5, 2012, 10:10pm

11) The Tunnel: Selected Poems - Russell Edson

I first read about the poetry of Russell Edson in the book Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. Goldberg wrote about a poetry reading that Edson had given at the University of Minnesota. After the reading Edson sat alone; the faculty and staff did not approach him. She wrote: Though we all laughed during the reading, he touched on naked truths in us all and we were uncomfortable. Edson's poetry is unique and strange. Recurring themes throughout his poems include monkeys/apes, cannibalism, cooking your pets, body parts falling off, chopping up people/animals with axes, ceilings and marrying inanimate objects. His poems feel like weird dreams. I liked these prose poems, but, they are definitely not for everyone.

The Marionettes of Distant Masters

A pianist dreams that he's hired by a wrecking company to ruin a piano with his fingers...On the day of the piano wrecking concert, as he's dressing, he notices a butterfly annoying a flower in his window box. He wonders if the police should be called.Then he thinks maybe the butterfly is just a marionette being manipulated by its master from the window above.
Suddenly everything is beautiful. He begins to cry.

Then another butterfly begins to annoy the first butterfly. He again wonders if he shouldn't call the police.
But, perhaps, they are marionette-butterflies? He thinks they are, belonging to rival masters seeing whose butterfly can annoy the other's the most.

And this is happening in his window box. The Cosmic Plan: Distant Masters manipulating minor Masters who, in turn, are manipulating tiny butterfly-Masterswho, in turn, are manipulating him....A universe webbed with strings!
Suddenly it is all so beautiful; the light is strange.... Something about the light! He begins to cry...

The Autopsy

In a back room a man is performing an autopsy on an old raincoat.
His wife appears in the doorway with a candle and asks, how does it go?
Not now, not now, I'm just getting to the lining, he mutters with impatience.
I just wanted to know if you found any blood clots?
Blood clots?!
For my necklace...

The Rat's Legs

I met a rat under a bridge. And we sat there in the mud discussing the rat's loveliness.
I asked, what is it about you that has caused men to write odes?
My legs, said the rat, for it has always been that men have liked to run their hands up my legs to my secret parts; it's nature...

I posted different Edson poems in my 75 challenge thread.

Redigerat: feb 5, 2012, 10:12pm

I was in the mood to read books that involved botany, so:

12) Trixie Belden and the Marshland Mystery - Kathryn Kenny
Mystery, Series, Young adult, TIOLI challenge author name worth 12 or more Scrabble points, ReRead.

The 10th book in the Trixie Belden Mystery Series. This book is my favorite in the series because it involves botany. Trixie and Honey are collecting plant specimens from Martins Marsh to replace the ruined collection belonging to their botany teacher. The mystery involves a young violin prodigy who keeps running away to find the rumoured pirate treasure buried in the marsh.

13) Hannah's Garden - Midori Snyder
Fantasy, Young adult

One of the titles in Brian Froud's Faerieland Series where authors wrote novels based on a piece from his Faerieland paintings. This is the first book that I've read in the series.
17 year old Cassie Brittman lives in an apartment with her single mother, Anne. She plays violin during open sessions at a local bar with her mandolin playing boyfriend, Joe. When Cassie's grandfather becomes ill she and Anne return to the family farm. This is no ordinary farm. Cassie's grandfather is a renowned "mystical" painter. His paintings of the farm are worth large sums of money. But the farm has made him crazy. His mother, Hannah, was also thought to have been driven crazy by the farm and it's mystical happenings before she mysteriously disappeared. Hannah had created an amazing, spiral shaped garden behind the house. When Cassie and Anne arrive at the farm the house and garden have been almost destroyed. Strange beings keep appearing to Cassie. Cassie has to discover who the people are who are destroying the farm and their connection to her family's true background. She discovers that the mysterious Red Clan are out to destroy the world of humans and stopping them would require a sacrifice from Cassie - or someone else in her family.
This book was fast paced and well written. I will be looking for more books by Midori Snyder. Highly recommended.
My favorite botany part: when Cassie recreated Hannah's garden by using Hannah's journal, which was illustrated by Cassie's grandfather.

That's it for botany .. and coincidentally, violins.... for now.

14) Everyday Cooking With Dr Dean Ornish - Dean Ornish,MD
Diet, Vegetarian, Recipes, TIOLI challenge book with double TIOLI letters (OO)

I found out too late that I'm reading the Ornish books in the wrong order. This book is the follow up to Eat More, Weigh Less and continues Ornish's heart healthy nutrition plan laid out in that book. Ornish recommends a diet consisting mostly of fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains with optional egg whites, non fat dairy and fish. The diet is part of his lifestyle program which includes moderate exercise, meditation, stress management training, smoking cessation, and psychological support. I'm assuming that these things are discussed in his earlier books, as this books covers only diet changes and recipes.
There are 150 recipes in the book. A large number of them sound like things I wouldn't like -- a little bit too many recipes with eggplant and mushrooms for my liking. But, there are enough there that I'm willing to try as well. For the TIOLI food challenge for February I plan to make the Chickpea Stew with Couscous.

feb 9, 2012, 8:07am

15) Okay For Now - Gary D Schmidt
Young adult, Art, War

This book is sort of a sequel to The Wednesday Wars. Doug Swieteck, a minor character in that book, is the main character and narrator for this book.
The Swieteck family moves from Long Island to Marysville (upstate NY) after Doug's father - an immature, abusive alcoholic- loses his job by mouthing off to his boss. They move into a house that Doug nicknames The Dump. Marysville is a small town with little to do. Doug starts hanging out at the town library. The library has a book of Audubon bird plates on display. One of the librarians notices that Doug is interested in the book and starts instructing him in drawing copies of the plates. Each chapter is prefaced by an Audubon bird plate which is the focus of that chapter in two ways -- it's the piece that Doug is copying and the composition of that plate is used as a metaphor for what's happening between the human characters in that chapter. The librarian tells Doug that the town is selling off the plates to raise money. Doug makes it his mission to get all the plates back into the book.
The book takes place in the early 70s during the Vietnam War era. Doug's oldest brother returns from the war missing both legs and possibly blind. He has to deal with war protesters and being unable to find/keep a job due to his injuries and people's attitudes toward his disabilities. Doug's other older brother, Christopher, is blamed in a series of robberies in town. Doug is now treated badly by his teachers, principle and customers (he delivers groceries on Saturdays) because of his brothers reputation as a thug.
This book deals with a lot of tough subjects - alcoholism, physical and verbal abuse, poverty. Often Doug leaves out the bad stuff - like the blank spaces in a drawing. The reader finds out what happened in later chapters. There are a few chapters where Doug refuses to remove his shirt in gym class. When the reason is finally revealed it was not at all what I was expecting and so much worse than I even imagined.
This book was a quick read and very good. I don't buy the complete change in behavior of a major character at the end of the book though. Another thing that bothered me ......

We're supposed to believe that Doug can not read. He was in Mrs Baker's 7th grade class at Camillo Junior High School. In The Wednesday Wars Mrs. Baker was a really great teacher. I doubt that she'd never notice that Doug can't read.


Highly recommended.
Too bad this book doesn't fit into any of my 12 in 12 categories.

feb 11, 2012, 11:35am

I see you have been busy reading, and a nice mix of books/poetry as well.

feb 15, 2012, 11:36am

>35 VioletBramble: I thought The Wednesday Wars was wonderful. I'll have to look for this one.

feb 19, 2012, 1:04pm

#36 Hi Lori, thanks for stopping by.
#37 Ivy - if you liked The Wednesday Wars you will like Okay For Now. It's a quick read.

16) Apartment Gardening: Plants, Projects, and Recipes for Growing Food in Your Urban Home - Amy Pennington
NonFiction, 12 in 12 category:Books with recipes

I read this book to see what herbs and plants I could grow in my apartment; which could share containers, etc. There's a good chapter on natural plant fertilizers. There are also instructions on how to build a drying rack, a worm bin and a plant container from a filing cabinet. Thee are recipes in this book for foods, herbal salts, tisanes, salves, balms, toners and oils. There are sections on canning, growing sprouts and foraging for the urbanite.

feb 19, 2012, 2:32pm

17) Lifelode- Jo Walton
Fantasy, Fiction, 12 in 12 category: Fantasy

The book jacket refers to this as a domestic fantasy. It takes place in the manor house of Applekirk. Ferrand is the lord of Applekirk. His wife is Chayra. Ferrand's sweetmate Taveth runs the household. It is her lifelode (calling). Taveth's husband Ranal is in charge of the farming on the estate. Taveth and Ranal have two teenaged children. Taveth and Ferrand have a young daughter. Ferrand and Chayra have a son, Hodge, who is the heir of the manor. Chayra and Ranal have an infant daughter. This is the family of Applekirk. Applekirk is somewhere in the midlands of this world. Travel west and time passes faster while thoughts and actions slow down. In the very far west people are robotic, doing the same things over and over. Travel east and time slows down while thoughts and actions speed up. In the east yeya (magic) is practiced and becomes more powerful the further east one travels. The gods live in the east. People spend decades in the east and return to their homes in the west to find that many hundreds of years have passed.
Taveth has a special power that allows her to see the past, present and future of individuals all at a glance. The story itself tells of the past, present and future--all in the present tense. It's a little confusing at first, but, then you learn how to figure out the time based on the context.
The story -As summer ends things are going along routinely for the family. They are preparing for the harvest. Taveth is planning what to store to get the family through the winter. Jankin, an academic from the university town of Marakanda, to the west of Applekirk, comes to stay with the family. Jankin is studying the Marisians; the ancient peoples thought to have settleed the area around Applekirk. The same day that Jankin arrives at Applekirk Hanethe, great-greatgrandmother of Ferrand arrives home. Hanethe was once lord of the manor. She left many generations ago and no one alive remembers her except by name. Only decades have passed for Hanethe . She has very powerful yeya. Hanethe is returning to Applekirk after having provoked the god Agdisdis. Agdisdis is the god of childbirth. Agdisdis will use many people, including Jankin, to exact her revenge upon Hanethe. Agdisdis' revenge will have profound effects upon the family and the village of Applekirk.
A plus for foodies --- because the story centers around Taveth and her lifelode is housekeeping you get to read about every meal that she cooks. Reading this book made me hungry.
This is a limited edition book. Only 800 copies were printed. ( I have #242). If you're interested in this book I'd recommend looking for it as soon as possible before the limited edition sells out.
Highly recommended, 4/5 stars.

Redigerat: feb 24, 2012, 11:45pm

18) The Conference of the Birds - Peter Sis
Illustrations, Poetry

A gorgeous book. Peter Sis adapted the 12th century poem The Conference of the Birds by the Persian poet Farid Ud-Din Attar. The birds of the world travel through many hardships to find their "king". The illustrations are beautiful and the textured paper feels really nice.
Thanks to Kerry for mentioning this book on her thread last year.

19) Bleak House - Charles Dickens
Fiction, 12 in 12 Challenge category: shared reads

Set in 1850s England. A nearly 1000 page book with what feels like 1000 characters. The first third of the book reads like multiple short stories, mostly sad, a few humorous. After that characters start showing up in each others' stories and the story gets rolling. All of these characters are connected in some manner to a law suit, Jarndyce vs Jarndyce. It's too long and involved a story to summarize in a short review. Dickens set out to show the corruption of English society and the ineffectiveness of the English legal system.
The book is really well written and I loved Esther (one of the two narrators), but I almost give up a third of the way into the book. Luckily, chapter 19 was really funny and the place where the story became interesting. I'm glad I kept reading; it's a long book with a slow start, but it was worth the time it took to finish. Recommended.

feb 25, 2012, 12:17am

A nearly 1000 page book with what feels like 1000 characters

I know it shouldn't but that comment brings to mind War and Peace, a book I have repeatedly picked up and failed to finish! ;-) I am enjoying my read of Great Expectations and love how Dickens' portrays characters and society so I may get around to reading Bleak House at some point!

feb 25, 2012, 1:23am

Wow, Bleak House almost sounds like a Russian novel. Your description reminds me of Dead Souls which read like a caricature of Russian society disguised as a novel.

Redigerat: apr 7, 2016, 8:53pm

I keep forgetting to post here. I'm no good at multi-challenging.
#41-42 Hi Lori and Katie. I think Bleak House may be the British eqivalent to large Russian novels like War and Peace and Dead Souls. It was definitely a commentary on British society.

mar 12, 2012, 9:13pm

20) The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For - Alison Bechdel
Comics, Anthology, TIOLI challenge Rainbow List, LGBTQ

I picked this up after reading Bechdel's graphic novel Fun Home. This book collects over 20 years worth of Bechdel's comic series. Centers on 7 lesbian friends and their friends, parents and children, their lives, loves and politics. Topics covered include same sex marriage, coming out, adoption by same sex parents, bisexuality, promiscuity, vegetarian food, environmental issues, cancer, transgender issues. I found myself reading late into the night, involved with these wonderful characters. I got so upset every time someone would cheat on their lover. I wanted to shake them. Highly recommended.

21) Tea With Milk - Allen Say
Illustrations, Children's literature

Masako, who has grown up in San Francisco, moves with her parents to their native Japan. Masako feels like a foreigner in her parents country. She drinks her tea with milk and sugar. She gets a job in a department store. She meets an English speaking young Japanese man who also drinks his tea with milk and sugar. They get married.
The illustrations are wonderful

22) The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain - Peter Sis
23) Tibet Through The Red Box - Peter Sis
Illustrations, Graphic novel

Two memoirs in graphic novel form. In The Wall Sis tells the story of growing up in Czechoslovakia after WW II; the politics, culture and what it was like trying to be an artist in a Communist country. In Tibet Sis tells the story of his fathers time in Tibet. In the 1950s his father was sent by the army to China. His father was a film- maker and was to teach the art to the Chinese. They were to film the building of a huge road through the mountains and into Tibet. His father is lost in Tibet when the mountain wall collapses during filming. The stories in the book are the stories he told his children about his lost time when he returned home.
The illustrations in the Tibet book were similar to Sis' illustrations in The Conference of the Birds . In The Wall the illustrations are mainly black and white with red highlighting the political aspects of the drawings. Highly recommended.

24) Drawing From Memory - Allen Say
Memoir, Graphic Novel

Say's memoir of growing up in Japan, wanting to be an artist. Say was mentored by Noro Shinpei, a prominent Japanese cartoonist. Say tells the story of his training and his life long friendship with Shinpei. Recommended.

Redigerat: jun 1, 2017, 8:09pm

25) Madison Square: The Park and It's Celebrated Landmarks - Miriam Berman
NonFiction, NYC

A book about the architecture surrounding Madison Square Park. I read this mainly for the history of the Flatiron Building (my favorite building) and to find out the identity of the long empty building north-west of the park that has had it's Christmas decorations left up for years now.

26) The Singing Sands - Josephine Tey
Mystery, TIOLI challenge author birthplace/MARCH

An Inspector Alan Grant (of Scotland Yard) mystery novel. Like all of the Tey books that I've read so far this one is more of a novel and not a puzzle solving mystery. A dead man on the overnight train to Scotland scribbled some lines of poetry on a newspaper. Grant tries to figure out the place that the poem describes. Also like every other Tey I've read, the mystery can't be solved from the clues given. In this one the perp confesses in a letter.
I'm glad that I read this for SqueakyChu's TIOLI challenge involving the authors birth place. Because I looked it up I know that Tey was born in Scotland (Invernese) and lived there most of her life. Throughout the book Tey's dislike for Scottish Nationalism is evident. It permeates the book and is rather off-putting. The book was well written, but, overall, just okay.

mar 12, 2012, 9:16pm

27) Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout - Lauren Redniss
Graphic novel, Science, TIOLI challenge 20th century woman

This graphic novel is not just about Marie and Pierre Curie, it's about Radium. The entire history of radium; it's discovery and isolation, radiographs, radiation therapy for cancer,what the French, American and Russian governments did to obtain weapons utilizing radium, Chernobyl, The Three Mile Island nuclear plant meltdown, nuclear spies, the Manhattan Project, Hiroshima and other things I've already forgotten. Very informative.
I didn't really like the illustrations but the Cyanotype Printing technique used to make them sounds interesting.
Fun Fact: brazil nuts are the world's most naturally radioactive food
Use of a word from my list of favorite words: ensorcelled (pg 133)
Highly recommended.

It could even be thought that radium could become very dangerous in criminal hands, and here the question can be raised whether mankind benefits from knowing the secrets of Nature, whether to profit from it or whether this knowledge will not be harmful for it. The example of the discoveries of Nobel is characteristic, as powerful explosives have enabled man to do wonderful work.They are also a means of terrible destruction in the hands of great criminals who are leading the people to war.- Pierre Curie, 1903

mar 12, 2012, 9:20pm

28) Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals, Aspirations and Intentions - Robert McDowell
NonFiction, Writing, Poetry, Spirituality

This book is mainly about writing poetry. There are multiple chapters with exercises on writing various different forms of poetry. I was more interested in the small section on using poetry in your prayers, rituals and meditations.

29) Irish Poems: Everyman's Library Pocket Poets - edited by Matthew McGuire

An anthology of poetry by Irish poets, predominantly about Ireland. Included poets: WB Yeats, Seamus Heaney, Swift, Thomas Moore, Oscar Wilde.
Not as good as I expected - 3/5 stars

Here's one of the few poems not about Ireland. This poem is about the Angkor Wat Temple in Angkor, Cambodia:

Ank'Hor Vat
by Denis Devlin

The antlered forests
Move down to the sea.
Here the dung-filled jungle pauses

Buddha has covered the walls of the great temple
With the vegetative speed of his imagery

Let us wait, hand in hand

No Western god or saint
Ever smiled with the lissom fury of this god
Who holds in doubt
The wooden stare of Apollo
Our Christian crown of thorns:
There is no mystery in the luminous lines
Of that high, animal face
The smile, sad, humouring and equal
Blesses without obliging
Loves without condescension;
The god, clear as spring-water
Sees through everything , while everything
Flows through him

A fling of flowers here
Whose names I do not know
Downy, scarlet gullets
Green legs yielding and closing

While, at my mental distance from passion,
The prolific divinity of the temple
Is a quiet lettering on vellum.

Let us lie down before him
His look will flow like oil over us.

Redigerat: jan 13, 2015, 10:22pm

30) Eat More , Weigh Less - Dean Ornish, MD
Dr. Dean Ornish's Life Choice Program for Losing Weight Safely While Eating Abundantly

review to come...

mar 12, 2012, 9:23pm

31) Siddhartha - Hermann Hess
Reread, Spirituality, Fiction

The story of Siddhartha, a Brahmin's son who leaves home to find enlightenment. For a while he becomes an aesthetic. Then he leads a worldly life, with a job as a merchant, where he indulges in gambling, sex and owning material possessions.Eventually be becomes a wise old man who sits on a log and watches the river. His experiences and the river have taught him everything he needs to know to become enlightened.
This is a reread. I read this book 30 years ago in University. I didn't remember much about the book, except I thought that it was about the Buddha (also sometimes known as Siddhartha). This Siddhartha is a different person who meets the Gautama Buddha.
A quick enjoyable read.

mar 13, 2012, 12:02pm

@46 straight onto my WL for the Radium book

mar 18, 2012, 11:20am

Tibet: Through the Red Box is going on the WL - and on my challenge short list. It sounds fascinating, and so does the other Sis book, but one at a time!

Redigerat: aug 5, 2012, 10:34am

32) Special Orders - Edward Hirsch
33) The Black Prism - Brent Weeks -- excellent book.
34) Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000 - Lucille Clifton
35) Bountiful Container: Create Container Gardens of Herbs, Fruits and Edible Flowers - McGee and Stuckey
36) The Riddle Master of Hed -Patricia McKillip

37) LifeWork - Donald Hall
Memoir, TIOLI challenge book by a different author that is related to another book you've read for TIOLI Collected Poems: Jane Kenyon
Hall discusses his work ethic. He details how he works, his habits, daily schedule, etc He also details how his grandparents worked and how that influenced how he sees work.

38) BelCanto - Ann Patchett
Fiction, TIOLI book that has won a literary prize not previously featured on TIOLI

A South American country. The Vice Presidents house. A birthday party for a rich Japanese business man. The entertainment is a world famous soprano. Terrorists break in, hoping to take the President hostage. The President is not at this party.
Most of the book centers on the hostages getting to know each other and their captors over months of captivity. I enjoyed this part of the book. The ending was disappointing, although, I can't imagine any other way the situation could have ended. A good, sad book.

Redigerat: jun 26, 2012, 9:51pm

39) Tigers at Awhitu - Sarah Broome
Poetry, TIOLi book with a wild mammal in the title, New Zealand

New Zealand poet Sarah Broom writes poems about illness, death,motherhood and the New Zealand landscape.


For a while it hurt, how every year
the spring galloped in. Orange flowers crowded
my study window, the scent forced it's way in
through the cracks. In a matter of days
a twitch of green became a riot of leaves.
The banal, insulting ease of it.

Meanwhile, degeneration.
I could not find the spring inside me
any more. My body was faulting all over
like a badly wired circuit. I looked
at the children with their apple tree eyes,
their honeysuckle skin, their sappy,
yawning mouths, and I hated them.

But eventually I gave up on it,
kicked it away, my body, the wreck,
the fantasy. and then it started.
daffodils sprouting between my toes.
Fantails nesting in my beard. Blossom
in my naval, daisies in my groin.
Baby rabbits sleeping in my dressing gown
pockets. And the smells on the breeze
that wafted around my head! I let it be.
Usually people go out with the winter,
but I had a feeling that spring
would take care of me.


and if we stood right here
while this sun, low and red,
just sank into the cradling sea,
and if we kept on standing
here, as the ragged cliffs
started to darken behind us
and the air grew rough
and unsteady with the edge
of the night, and if the earth,
instead of turning slowly
towards morning, just spun
out of orbit and went crying
into the luminous, star-stabbed
true cold of space, and if
we could still stand here
even then, with the ocean
losing it's footing, the gulls
flailing and the stars

tell me
what would you

jun 26, 2012, 9:53pm

40) The Ada Poems - Cynthia Zarin

A book of poetry inspired by the novel Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle by Vladimir Nabokov. A synopsis of the novel, which I have not read, tells me it is about the incestuous relationship of a brother and sister (Ada, of the title).
These poems, mostly sonnets, were pretty, strange and confusing. Most of the confusion is probably because I haven't read the source material and was missing references, information, etc.
If I ever do read the Nabokov novel I will re-read these poems to see if they will make sense to me then.


The rain all night made rivulets in the garden
between the flagstones and the ferns, which were
just starting to unfold their fan fronds underneath
the sky's turned-down indigo cup. The rain broke up
the earth into islands and promontories flecked
here and there with green - moss, I think, though it's
too early and too cold. Rain raced down the window,
a no-legged race played out to nothing.
The tears behind my lids are more fire than water.
What does the fire say? Black heart, white ash.
Outside, the mockingbird hoots
but does not answer. Hecuba, barking.
Your sure hand in the dog's fur. Too early. You're sleeping too.
It's snowing where you are. The dark-rimmed dog's eye
is the sun behind a raindrop, an eclipse, a peeled rind.


The truth is I always think of you.
The garden is beautiful as a folktale -
speedwell, oxalis, and foxglove,
white moths above the foamflower.
What would it be like I wonder
if want were set as song,
to sit with you in the evening, my life's love,
as cats eye bees in the bee balm
and the shade grows long?

jun 26, 2012, 9:56pm

41) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - JK Rowling re-read
42) Tea With the Black Dragon - RA MacAvoy - part fantasy, part mystery. Dated, but still a good read
43) Stuff Parisians Like - Oliver Magny French culture. Read for up-coming Paris trip.
44) The Tricking of Freya - Christina Sunley. A young woman searches for the truth about her family in Canada and Iceland. Made me want to go back to Iceland. Recommended.
45) Among The Hidden - Margaret Peterson Haddix Read with my co-worker and her two kids. They recommended it as being "like Hunger Games" In the future families are only allowed to have two children. Third children are hidden. Thanks to the internet the hidden children decide to unite in protest. It was okay. I'd read the rest of the series to find out how it ends.
46) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - JK Rowling Re-read
47) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Jk Rowling Re-read

48) Buzz Off (A Queen Bee Mystery) - Hannah Reed
49) Mind Your Own Beeswax (A Queen Bee Mystery) - Hannah Reed
50) Plan Bee (A Queen Bee Mystery)- Hannah Reed - this cozy series is set in a small town in Wisconsin. The main character, Story Fischer, owns a grocery store and is a beekeeper. She also speaks in bullet points, has no impulse control and can't keep her nose out of other peoples business. She got on my nerves after awhile, esp in the third book. The mysteries were pretty good and I enjoyed learning about beekeeping. I will probably continue to read this series as it progresses.

jun 26, 2012, 9:58pm

51) The Girls of Peculiar: Poetry - Catherine Pierce

I plucked this small book of poetry off the shelf because I liked the title and the cover art. I liked these beautiful, strange poems about girls, identity, desire and the 70's.


And everything is haunted: the storybook where girls
in dirndls are devoured. Her mother's silver-spined
paperbacks that heat her in dark places. The newspaper
with it's front page bloodied by the car crash. She can't

stop her eyes. She tries to forget what she's read, but
like that other story, once she's bitten in, she can't untaste.
Her mind won't listen, veers off into the forest marked

Forbidden, holds a knife to her throat when she begs it
to stop. For safety, she drinks her own guilt. It inoculates her.
Everyone thinks she is the good daughter,
her world a gold-leaf illustration. No one knows

the words seed themselves in her brain. That they grow
and grow,their roots tangled, their limbs goblin-fingered.
No one hears how they whisper, Think me. The words

blacken and climb until she can't see past their spiny tops.
Even as the world goes on real around her, she is shadowed.
Sometimes light flickers above the clawed trees, and in it
she can make out people moving. They laugh like the dragon

isn't always behind them. Like the limbs aren't full
of hanged children, swinging. Like they have never
watched, horrified, their minds race over the landscape

like escaped hounds. She aches toward the people. But then
the pages open again and she gorges herself to sickness.
She doesn't want to find the path. She's the wicked daughter,
the one who stays lost, and she'll learn that story by heart.

She'll dwell in her own darkness, grow lizard-lidded,
cat-limbed. She'll drink her evil down. She'll twist the trees
into every shape but the one that reads The End.

jun 26, 2012, 10:14pm

Just wanted to quickly catch up. I'm many months behind -- work stuff, school stuff and family stuff taking up all my time. Hopefully soon I'll be able to catch up properly.
What is with all the authors who have suddenly joined all the groups?

#50 -51 psutto and cammykitty - thanks for visiting my lonely little thread. Hope you enjoy the books.

jun 26, 2012, 10:27pm

Progress in Categories as of today:

1) Daily book --in progress, about a month behind
2) Science 1/2
3) Exercise 1/3
4) Fantasy 3/4 (4th book in progress)
5) Memoirs 1/5
6) Mystery 5/6
7) Food 5/7
8) Kindle 2/8 (saving this category for vacation reading)
9) Literature 1/9 (I really need to get going on this category)
10) Shared reads 7/10
11) Poetry 10/11
12) Re-reads 6/12

jun 26, 2012, 11:38pm

Ooooo... I like that poem "The Child has read Everything."

jun 27, 2012, 9:09pm

Welcome back! Overall I loved Bel Canto but have to say the ending did leave me wondering that it could have been handled better/differently.

jun 29, 2012, 6:24pm

Holy crap, you've been busy reading while you were away. Nice to see you again, VB!!!

sep 5, 2012, 9:39am

I'm very, very far behind. I've never been away from my own thread for this long (more than 2 months). I'm not sure what's going on this year but I seem to have little free time for posting. Work remains heavy. In the past 2 weeks I've turned 50 and ran my first 5K ( a lot of fun, actually). Next week my friend Pat and I are going to go celebrate our 50th birthdays at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I'm sure that sounds lame but we are really thrilled to be going. Our first choice was Paris -then we saw the price for Paris.
A quick catch up for June, July and August:

June recap:

Books read in 2012: 51
Books read in June: 6
Books off the shelf 2012: 36
Borrowed from library: 5
Fiction: 25
NonFiction: 12
Poetry: 9
Graphic novel: 6
Female author: 33
Male author: 21
TIOLI books 2012: 28
Recipes from cookbooks: 4
Books bought in 2012: 82 (19 in June)

sep 5, 2012, 9:41am

Books read in July:

52) A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith - Ilya Kaminsky
Essays, poetry, TIOLI challenge authors initials form a common abbreviation
I will do a proper review for this Early Reviewers book soon.

53) Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running - Dagny Scott Barrios
NonFiction, Exercise, TIOLI challenge book with girl or woman in title
Incredibly thorough book about women's running. I'm keeping this one on the shelf.

54) The Green Man - Michael Bedard
Fiction, Fantasy, Poetry, TIOLI challenge book with a color of the Olympic rings in the title.
Also an Early Reviewers book for which I still owe a proper review. (soon)

55) Little, Big - John Crowley
Fantasy Masterwork, Fantasy, Favorites, Reread, TIOLI rainbow colored book
A re-read of one of my favorite books. Also the book from which I borrowed my LT username. Highly recommended.

56) The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffennegger
Fiction, Time travel, TIOLI book with > 300 pages and a multi-word title.
I bought this book years ago for my mother while she was in the hospital. She never read it and eventually gave it back to me. The book was better than I expected. I also see what all the Whovians who complain that Steven Moffit (spelling?) stole River Song's story on Doctor Who from this book are talking about. Right down to the blue notebook.

57) The Moonflower Vine - Jetta Carleton
Fiction, TIOLI book - authors surname could be a first name.
A quiet book about a family, their farm and the secrets they keep from one another. Recommended.

58) The Mapping of Love and Death - Jacqueline Winspear
Mystery, Series, TIOLO book >300 pages with multi-word title
59) A Lesson in Secrets - Jacqueline Winspear
Mystery, Series, TIOLI book by an author whose cannon you are trying to complete.
Two solid entries in the Maisie Dobbs series. Recommended.

July recap:

Books read in 2012: 59
Books read in July: 8
Books off the Shelf: 41
Borrowed from library: 5
Fiction: 31
NonFiction: 14
Poetry: 9
Graphic novel: 6
Female author: 39
Male author: 24
TIOLI books 2012: 36
Recipes from cookbooks: 4
Books bought in 2012: 90 (6 in July)

sep 5, 2012, 9:43am

Books read in August:

60) I Saw a Peacock With a Fiery Tail - Ram Singh Urveti
Poetry, Design, Art, TIOLI book starts with/ ends with challenge.
A book with die-cut, illustrated pages depicting a playful poem in which the second line of one stanza and the first line of the next fit together. The cuts in the pages bring the connected lines together in a way that makes the poem make sense.

61) Eating for Beginners: An Education in the Pleasures of Food from Chefs, Farmers and One Picky Kid - Melanie Rehak
NonFiction, Food, TIOLI book with an embedded name
Similar to Eating Animals in that the author, having become a parent, sets out to discover where their food comes from. Instead of sneaking into factory farms like Foer, Rehak starts working as a chef at her local organic restaurant and visits their food suppliers. Recommended for those interested in organic foods, family farms, GMO's and humane butchering.
Recipe made: corn off the cob with garlic.

62) Infernal Devices - KW Jeter
Steam punk, Time travel, TIOLI book with an alternate earth
Strange book by the author who coined the term steampunk. Hard to describe- set in Victorian England, time travel through special eye glasses, half fish prostitutes, a man made of leather filled with saline and a man attempting to bring about the end of the earth through vibrations in an effort to contact life in space.

63) Still Life - Louise Penny
Mystery. TIOLI book Life or Death
The first in the Three Pines series. Will definitely be reading the rest of this series. Recommended.

64) Farthing
65) Ha'Penny
69) Half a Crown - all by Jo Walton
Fantasy, Fiction, Alternate history,Police procedural, Mystery, Scotland Yard, Small Change Series, TIOLI books with monetary unit.
A series set in an England where Hitler was not defeated in WW II. England has made a truce with Hitler. Germany and Japan are the world superpowers. England is becoming increasingly fascist. All three books follow Detective Carmichael, initially of Scotland Yard, promoted to the Watch ( think Gestapo) and the behind the scenes corruption of England's leaders. Carmichael's chapters alternate in each book with another character and their perspective on or involvement in the politics of the time. Set in the 1950's and 60's. Recommended.

66) Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld
Fantasy, Alternate history, TIOLI book recommended from the author generator ( from Garth Nix)
An alternate WWI in which Germany and Austro - Hungary have large steam driven machines that walk and shoot (Clankers) and Britain has weapons made of fabricated animals. It took me 150 pages to get into this book, but once I did I enjoyed the story. I'll read the rest of this series, but not any time soon.

67) Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga - Amy Weintraub
Yoga, Mental health, TIOLI book with embedded first name.
It took 6 months to finish this book. I made a lot of notes that I still have to sort through.

68) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling
reread for August

sep 5, 2012, 9:45am

August recap:

Books read in 2012: 69
Books read in August: 10
Books off the shelf 2012: 47
Borrowed from library: 5
Fiction: 39
NonFiction: 16
Poetry: 10
Graphic novel: 6
Female author: 46
Male author: 27
TIOLI books 2012: 45
Recipes made: 5
Books bought in 2012: 100 ( 10 in August)

Planned reading for September:
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay
An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Sept reread
Insurgent - Veronica Roth
Tooth and Claw- Jo Walton
multiple poetry books
possible read: The Children's Blizzard - David Laskin

sep 5, 2012, 10:02am

Just wanted to say that I love Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

sep 6, 2012, 7:46pm

Hi VB, welcome back! Lots of good reading going on, and thankfully any potential BBs were already on my hit list - phew! Have fun at Harry Potter - that's one thing that I would LOVE to do. :)

sep 6, 2012, 9:01pm

I keep hearing that I have to read Still Life. Next year?

sep 9, 2012, 11:37am

#66 - Hi japaul - I'm enjoying Savage Beauty very much so far. I've only read 13% so far, according to my Kindle. I didn't know anything about her early life. It is so interesting.

#67 Hi Laura! I'm looking forward to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I'm hoping for a fun and relaxing vacation. I need some stress free time. And I want to try a butterbeer (or two..or three... depending on the length of the lines)

#68 - Hi cammykitty - Still Life was a good mystery. The solution was a complete surprise. Also, it was a quick read.

Redigerat: jun 1, 2017, 8:10pm

70) The Book of Men : Poems - Dorianne Laux
Poetry, TIOLI book by an American poet (3/5)

71) Given Sugar, Given Salt - Jane Hirshfield
Poetry,TIOLI book by an American poet (4.5/5)

I'm at work. Will update later from home with poems.

sep 9, 2012, 6:26pm

Oh, I haven't read Hirshfield for a while but I love her poems!!!

sep 11, 2012, 9:58pm

#71 - Hi cammykitty - I loved that entire collection. Here are some poems:

The Gallop
Jane Hirshfield

There are days the whole house moves at a gallop.
Bookshelves and counters, bottles of aspirin and oil,
chairs, saucepans, and towels.

I can barely encircle the neck
of a bounding pen with my fingers
before it breaks free of their notions;
open the door before the dog
of lop-eared hopes leaps through it;
pick up the paper before it goes up as kindling.

Barely eat before something snatches
the toast from my plate,
drains the last mouthfuls of coffee out of my cup.

Even these words-
before the blue ink-track has dried on the paper,
they've already been read
and agreed to or flung aside for others I don't yet know of,

and well before
I have dressed or brushed out the braid of my hair,
a woman with my own shadow
has showered and chosen her earrings, bought groceries
and fallen in love, grown tired, grown old.

Her braid in the mirror shines with new ribbons of silver,
like the mane of a heavy warhorse.
He stands in the silence as if after battle, sides heaving, spent.

Jane Hirshfield

Decades after a man leaves the Church,
still he is called the priest.

Many years since she set down her bow,
a woman remains the cellist.

The one who seduced so many is content
now to sip her tea,
and still she is looked at with envy and hatred.

The one who held life and death
in his mouth
no longer speaks at all, yet still he is feared.

The unmoving dancer rehearses her steps,
Again, perfection eludes her.

Fate loosens it's grip. The bruises stay.

sep 11, 2012, 10:00pm

72) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
Reread for Sept, TIOLI book that is set in a school

73) Medicine: Poems - Amy Gerstler -- (wrong touchstone there)
Poetry, TIOLI book by an American poet
This is the second poetry collection I've read by Amy Gerstler. I enjoy the quirkiness of her poems. Definitely will be looking for more by her.

Fugitive Color

The fading valor of the past
flaunts its flaglike tints.
Your nut brown hair
abdicated to gray. Jane's
theatrical blushes, staining
face and neck raspberry, should
be included in this list
of different, short-lived
or semi-visible tints.
Also we must mention colors
leached by the sun from
billboards or hair ribbons.
She came to live with us
when her eyesight failed,
so all she'd seen- weather-beaten,
sketchy, or shocking pink -
retreated into the dim realm
of afterimage and aura.
Threadbare sheets and pillow slips
exchange brightness for gauzy
softness. Then there's the smeared,
jumpy blur I see when I shut my eyes
and try to read the dog's mind -
or the flickering souls of dinner plates
and doorknobs who're certain
they're monuments. A childish,
bright violet desire to cry is
scorched into drab, unvoiced joy
by the heat of the waffle iron,
which crimps the air in this kitchen,
where curtains stir like the surface
of some vanished river.

Cut Up

This peculiar ability of my giant dog
to shell and eat pistachio nuts,
to debate great apes at the National Zoo
and deny various tribes of aborigines;
to perpetuate the ornamental breeds,
resort to magic uniforms and to chew
grilled pork is not too pretty, but it is
a way of life and I am used to it by now.

sep 15, 2012, 12:05am

Great poems by Hirschfield, & I like "Cut Up" too. I'm trying to remember why I know Amy Gerstler's name.

sep 21, 2012, 10:33pm

#74 Hi cammykitty. Amy Gerstler was the editor of a recent edition - 2010 or 2011- of America's Best Poetry. She wrote one of my favorite poems - Advice to a Caterpillar. Have you ever read it?

Redigerat: jun 1, 2017, 8:10pm

This review is for Book # 52, read in July

A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith - Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler

The dormant life of language when stirred by poetry, awakens and releases the dormant life in us, and that current can carry us, if not to God, at least to the possibility of God. - Christian Wiman

Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler have collected conversations with nineteen contemporary poets about their faith, their creativity and the connections between the two. The book jacket claims conversations with poets, but there seems to be only one actual interview/conversation (with Li-Young Lee). The rest of the essays appear to be from a series of letters/emails between the authors and the poets. Some of the essays seem disjointed or repetitive. That's my only complaint about this otherwise beautiful book.
Each poet discusses their personal history with religion - what religion they were raised in, their experiences with spirituality/religion, their spiritual searches and their present spiritual/religious life. Most of the poets link their creativity with their spirituality. Almost every religion is represented - Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Wiccan, Islam, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Amish and Quagan (Quaker Pagan). One of the poets is an atheist.
Of course I was most interested in reading the essays about the poets whose work I know and love - Li-Young Lee, Jane Hirshfield, Carolyn Forche and Joy Harjo. But all of the essays were interesting and touching and I found my way to the poetry of many of the new-to-me poets : Alicia Ostricker, Anne Finch, Fanny Howe, Gerald Stern and Grace Paley.

sep 21, 2012, 10:37pm

Some poems from the book:

by Gregory Orr

This was what was bequeathed us:
This earth the beloved left
And, leaving,
Left to us.

No other world
But this one:
Willows and the river
And the factory
With its black smokestacks.

No other shore, only this bank
On which the living gather.

No meaning but what we find here.
No purpose but what we make.
That, and the beloved's clear instructions:
Turn me into song; sing me awake.

Grace Paley

Here I am in the garden laughing
an old woman with sagging breasts
and a nicely mapped face

how did this happen
well that's who I wanted to be

at last a woman
in the old style sitting
stout legs apart under
a big skirt grandchild sliding
on off my lap a pleasant
summer perspiration

that's my old man across the yard
he's talking to the meter reader
he's telling him the world's sad story
how electricity is oil or uranium
and so forth I tell my grandson
run over to your grandpa ask him
to sit beside me for a minute I
am suddenly exhausted by my desire
to kiss his sweet explaining lips.

Redigerat: jun 1, 2017, 8:10pm

This review is for book #54, read in July

The Green Man - Michael Bedard

Fifteen year old Ophelia (O) is spending the summer with her Aunt Emily while her father is in Italy. Aunt Emily is a poet and she owns a book store called The Green Man. Aunt Emily has recently had a heart attack and has a history of possible mental illness. O is something of a budding poet herself, although she tries to hide it. O is afraid that being a poet means that she will also suffer from mental illness. O discovers that The Green Man is a very special book store where the poets of the past come back to life - in more than one way.
I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read. Interesting to find out that it's a sequel to another book about the Green Man written more than 20 years ago. Recommended.

Redigerat: aug 1, 2017, 10:47pm

74) Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay - Nancy Milford

I've been a fan of the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay for over three decades. All I knew about her personal life was that she lived in Greenwich Village, was bohemian and a bisexual. This well researched biography covers Millay's entire life; from her childhood where she and her sisters basically raised themselves in poverty to the addiction to morphine that took over her life in her last years. Milford paints a picture of Millay as a magnetic genius who easily seduced people into helping her in her career and with her finances. She shows Millay as a selfish child-like woman who manipulated those around her.
There is a lot of information in this book. Sometimes I was confused as to when something happened in relation to other things. Milford jumped around a bit. The book is a little long and could have done with some more editing.
Fun fact - Millay's middle name is St. Vincent because her Uncle's life was saved at St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village right before she was born.

sep 21, 2012, 11:59pm

That isn't the Amy Gerstler poem I know - I still am not quite sure what I've read of hers. I love Grace Paley's poetry. That poem is beautiful.

dec 2, 2012, 9:56pm

Once again showing up after many months away. I don't know what has happened to my time this year.
Just a quick catch up:

75) Head Off & Split - Nikky Finney
76) Thrall:Poems - Natasha Trethewey
77) Tooth and Claw - Jo Walton
78) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
79) Insurgent - Veronica Roth -------really liking this series
80) Vegan Daily Companion
81) Persephone: Photographs - Philip Trager
82) Dancers: Photographs - Philip Trager
83) Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books - Leah Price
84) The Beauty of Humanity Movement - Camilla Gibb
85) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
86) An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hilesum 1941-43
87) Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain - Maryanne Wolf
88) Botany, Ballet and Dinner from Scratch - Leda Meredith
89) Speaking From Among the Bones - Alan Bradley
90) The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
91) A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway
92) Farewell to Manzanar - Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

November Recap:
Books read in 2012: 92
Books off the Shelf: 60
Books borrowed from the Library: 7
Fiction: 47
Nonfiction: 26
Poetry: 15
Graphic Novel: 6
Female author: 64
Male author: 33
TIOLI books: 37
Recipes from Books: 5
Books bought in 2012: 135

3 books away from finishing my challenge. My December reads will be:
A Christmas Memory - Truman Capote -- memoir
Cutting for Stone - Abrahan Verghese - literature
Doomsday Book - Connie Willis - reread

Hopefully next year I'll be able to keep up better than I have this year. I plan on catching up with the 2013 challenge group on Tuesday while I wait for furniture to be delivered.

dec 2, 2012, 10:00pm

Hiya VB! Nice to see you again, and I hear you about real life getting in the way. Doesn't the world know that we have books to read?!?

Hope you're well!

Redigerat: jan 4, 2017, 11:15pm

Hi Laura! Thanks for visiting. I hope you're doing well.
I'm good - a couple of scary mini strokes in the last three months but I actually feel really good otherwise. My sister's shore house in NJ flooded during Sandy. I got through with only a missing window screen.
Ah, time to read. I wish my job understood that during my free, unpaid, time I would like to read instead of developing staff inservices for various committees. Nursing is all about committees these days.

dec 3, 2012, 1:50am

Welcome back! Looks like you have been very busy reading. Here is hoping all is well with you.

dec 3, 2012, 5:47am

interested in what you think of proust and the squid that's a possible for me for 2013...

Redigerat: jul 23, 2018, 4:01pm

#84 - Hi Lori! Thanks

#85 Pete- I enjoyed Proust and the Squid. It was accessible and interesting. Also a fairly quick read.

Redigerat: jul 23, 2018, 4:01pm

93) A Christmas Memory and One Christmas and The Thanksgiving Visitor - Truman Capote.
Three excellent holiday true short stories. Highly recommended.

94) Doomsday Book - Connie Willis
A re-read of one of my Top 10 favorite books. The first of Willis' time traveling Oxford historian books. History student Kivrin is accidentally sent back to 1348 during the plague. Kivrin's story always draws me in and I'm able to forget the things that drive me crazy about the book --the lack of means of communication in 2057 and Willis' repeated use of placing too many obstacles in the way of her characters (she does this in all her books). Highly recommended. Takes place at Christmas so my real world book club re-reads this one at Christmas time every few years.

Redigerat: dec 31, 2017, 7:07pm

Review for book #89:

Speaking From Among the Bones - Alan Bradley

The fifth book in the Flavia de Luce mystery series. Eleven year old chemistry genius and amateur sleuth Flavia once again sneaks out of Buckshaw ( the family estate) at all hours of the day and night, to ride around Bishop's Lacey and its environs on her trusty bike Gladys. The mystery revolves around the 500th anniversary of the death of St Tancred, the patron saint of the village church. While excavating his bones the body of the missing church organist is found in the crypt. The mystery in this book was very good. I did miss the descriptions of the English countryside that were sprinkled throughout the other books in the series. There were some new characters in this story, some of whom will hopefully be in the next book. Also, the big reveal at the end of the book is sure to have fans of Flavia anticipating the next book in the series.

dec 16, 2012, 2:12pm

I'm glad you are a fan of this series, too!

Redigerat: dec 31, 2017, 7:07pm

#89 - Hi Manzel. Oh yeah, I love that precocious Flavia and can't wait to see what situations she gets herself into next time.

96) Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese

The story of twin brothers Marion and Shiva. They were conjoined but separated during birth. Their mother, Sister Mary Joseph Praise, a nun and nurse, died during childbirth. Their father, a surgeon who attempted to deliver them, abandons them in his despair. Raised at Missing Hospital in Addis Ababa the two eventually become doctors themselves. When one twin betrays the other their lives go in separate directions. It will take a tragedy that becomes a miracle to bring them back together. Set in the 1960-80s in Ethiopia and NYC.
It took me almost the entire month to read this book. The story telling is slow, with many characters and their back stories, many descriptions of medical conditions and surgical procedures against a backdrop of political unrest in 1960-70s Ethiopia and the violence of 1970s NYC. The time spent with this story is worth it - the writing is beautiful and descriptive. I actually cried at the end. Recommended.

Rory Gilmore Reading List

Redigerat: jan 4, 2017, 11:20pm

oops-I forgot book #95

95) Phillip Trager - Phillip Trager

The New York Public Library is running an exhibition of Tragers photography. I checked out three collections of his work. In this collection I enjoyed the section of NYC photos, esp the one of the Flatiron Building viewed through the columns of the Met Life Bldg.
Sadly, Trager's photography left me uninspired.

Redigerat: okt 1, 2017, 9:55pm

Recap for 2012:

Books read in 2012: 96
Books off the Shelf: 62
Borrowed from Library: 8
Fiction: 49
NonFiction: 28
Poetry: 15
Graphic Novel: 6
Female author: 65
Male author: 36
TIOLI books: 37
Recipes make from cookbooks challenge: 5
Books bought in 2012: 146

Redigerat: jun 1, 2017, 8:11pm

As of 1125 this morning I have completed my 12 in 12 challenge. This is the first time I've actually completed the category challenge. Having broader categories definitely helped.
See ya in 2013!! Happy New Year!

dec 30, 2012, 3:38pm

Woo hoo, congratulations!!!!

dec 30, 2012, 3:42pm


dec 30, 2012, 5:57pm

Congrats on completing your challenge.

dec 31, 2012, 2:51am


jan 2, 2013, 11:02am

Well done!