Tricia's 12 in 12

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Tricia's 12 in 12

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1hailelib
Redigerat: dec 12, 2012, 8:51am

This may be a real challenge for me since the last few months have been a slow reading period and may not improve for a while yet. So I'm going to start out with a goal of six in every category and hope to raise it to at least ten later. The categories are pretty much the same as before, partly because they do keep my selection of books fairly varied and also because I can make almost anything fit

Since my 11 in 11 isn't yet finished I'll be working mostly on it for the next three weeks but I will go ahead and post a few here for books I don't need for that challenge.

The categories are:

I. Young at Heart -- mostly YA

II. Mystery and Suspense -- can include romantic suspense

III. Favorite Authors -- any genre or even nonfiction

IV. Next in Line -- I will try to read the 'next' book(s) in at least 5 series

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever

VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction that doesn't fit neatly into one of my other fiction categories. This will probably be mostly an overflow category.

VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion possibly including a section from the KJV Bible b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)at least one each from philosophy and psychology/education.

VIII. Short and Sweet -- Essays, plays, poetry, short stories, books for children younger than the audience YA aims for. Even long excerpts from books.

IX. Science and Technology -- may also include history of science, invention,etc.

X. History, Biography/Memoir -- may also put in one or two biographical fiction as well as straight biography. This section will have a broad interpretation.

XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction

XII. Fiction Rereads -- since I'll be doing this anyway

2hailelib
Redigerat: aug 27, 2012, 8:17am

I. Young at Heart -- mostly YA

1. The Crow by Alison Croggon -- finished January 19, 2012
2. The 39 Clues Box Set with books 2-10 by various authors -- finished Jan 29, 2012
3. The Necromancer by Michael Scott -- finished Feb 11, 2012
4. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale -- finished Apr 9, 2012
5. Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer -- finished Apr 17, 2012
6. The Dead and the Gone and This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer-- finished Apr 21, 2012
7. Bewitching by Alex Flinn -- finished May 6, 2012
8. Divergent by Veronica Roth -- finished June 17, 2012
9. Insurgent by Veronica Roth --finished June 28, 2012
10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer -- finished July 4, 2012
11. Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle -- Finished August 13, 2012
12. The Calling by Kelly Armstrong -- Finished August 24, 2012

3hailelib
Redigerat: jul 14, 2012, 9:38am

II. Mystery and Suspense

1. A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly -- finished January 16, 2012
2. Dick Francis's Gamble by Felix Francis -- finished Feb 1, 2012
3. Murder Under Cover by Kate Carlisle -- finished Feb 4, 2012
4. Venus in Copper by Lindsey Davis -- finished Mar 21, 2012
5. The Attenbury Emeralds by Jill Paton Walsh -- finished Apr 9, 2012
6. Death at Epsom Downs by Robin Paige -- finished Apr 13, 2012
7. The Merchant's Mark by Pat McIntosh -- finished May 21, 2012
8. Drop Dead by June Drummond -- finished Jun 2, 2012
9. Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell -- finished Jun 15, 2012
10. The Killing Way by Tony Hays -- finished July 5, 2012
11. Bertie and the Seven Bodies by Peter Lovesey -- finished Jul 10, 2012
12. The Seven Sleepers by Elizabeth Ferrars -- finished Jul 13, 2012

4hailelib
Redigerat: aug 23, 2012, 11:30am

III. Favorite Authors -- any genre or even nonfiction
1. Teatime for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith -- finished Feb 6, 2012
2. Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz -- finished Feb 11, 2012
3. Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde -- finished Mar 8, 2012
4. Fair Game by Patricia Briggs -- finished April 6, 2012
5. Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann -- finished Apr 12, 2012
6. The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith -- finished Apr 15, 2012
7. Celebrity in Death by J. D. Robb -- finished May 24, 2012
8. Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick -- finished Jun 6, 2012
9. Home from the Sea by Mercedes Lackey -- finished July 6, 2012
10. Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey -- Finished July 26, 2012
11. Broken by Kelly Armstrong -- finished August 12, 2012
12. The Witness by Nora Roberts -- Finished August 20, 2012

5hailelib
Redigerat: aug 31, 2012, 10:10am

IV. Next in Line -- I will try to read the 'next' book(s) in at least 5 series

1. The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey -- finished Jan 9, 2012
2. Hidden by Kelly Armstrong -- Feb 13,2012
3. Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear -- Finished Feb 26. 2012
4. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini --finished Mar 11,2012
5. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs -- Finished Mar 15, 2012
6. Timeless by Gail Carriger -- Finished Mar 26, 2012
7. The Iron Hand of Mars by Lindsey Davis -- Finished May 11, 2012
8. Bitten by Kelly Armstrong -- finished Jun 7, 2012
9. Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear -- finished Jul 7, 2012
10. King of Sword and Sky by C. L. Wilson -- finished Aug 7, 2012
11. Thirteen by Kelly Armstrong -- finished Aug 21, 2012
12. The Silver Ghost by Charlotte MacLeod -- finished Aug 29, 2012

6hailelib
Redigerat: aug 23, 2012, 11:25am

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction -- books from a series or stand alones

1. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher -- finished Jan 8, 2012
2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman -- finished Feb 12, 2012
3. 11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King -- finished Feb 18, 2012
4. Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher -- finished Mar 12, 2012
5. The Magicians by Lev Grossman -- finished Apr 28, 2012
6. Hearth: Exile by M. R. Jenks -- Finished May 16, 2012
7. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire -- finished Jun 3, 2012
8. Lord of the Fading Lands by C. L. Wilson -- finished July 27, 2012
9. Lady of Light and Shadows by C. L. Wilson -- finished August 2. 2012
10. Sky Dragons by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey -- finished August 8, 2012
11. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher -- finished Aug 10, 2012
12. Crown of Crystal Flame by C. L. Wilson -- finished Aug ??, 2012

7hailelib
Redigerat: aug 27, 2012, 8:19am

VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction that doesn't fit neatly into one of my other fiction categories. This will probably be mostly an overflow category.

1. Great Sky Woman by Steven Barnes -- finished Mar 16, 2012
2. Ruthless Game by Christine Feehan -- finished Apr 18, 2012
3. A Presumption of Death by Jill Paton Walsh and Dorothy L. Sayers -- finished Apr 19, 2012
4. Left for Dead by J. A. Jance -- finished Apr 24, 2012
5. The Warlock by Michael Scott -- Finished May 4, 2012
6. The Technologists by Matthew Pearl -- finished May 15, 2012
7. Born of Silence by Sherrilyn Kenyon -- finished May 29, 2012
8. It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips -- finished Jun 9, 2012
9. Judgment Call by J. A. Jance -- finished August 8, 2012
10. Case for Three Detectives by Leo Bruce-- finished August 12, 2012
Aug 20, 2012
11. Beneath a Rising Moon by Keri Arthur -- finished Aug ??, 2012
12. Haven by Kay Hooper -- Finished August 25, 2012

8hailelib
Redigerat: dec 30, 2012, 9:01am

VII. Spirit and Mind

1. Heroes of the Dawn : Celtic Myth text by Fergus Fleming, Shahrukh Husain, C. Scott Littleton, and Linda A. Malcor
2. Ragnarök : the end of the gods by A. S. Byatt -- finished Mar 12, 2012
3. X-Men and philosophy : astonishing insight and uncanny argument in the mutant X-verse edited by Rebecca Housel and J. Jeremy Wisnewski -- finished Mar 31, 2012
4. Mr g: a novel about the Creation by Alan Lightman -- finished May 22, 2012
5. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee -- finished Jun 14, 2012
6. Out of My Life and Thought by Albert Schweitzer -- finished Jul 8, 2012
7. Quiet : the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain -- finished July 12, 2012
8. Jealous gods and Chosen People by David Leeming -- finished December 1, 2012
9. Transformations of Myth Through Time by Joseph Campbell -- finished December 11, 2012
10. Alone Together by Sherry Turkle -- finished December 14, 2012
11. When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone -- finished December 20, 2012
12. The Mindful Carnivore by Tovar Cerulli -- finished December 30, 2012

9hailelib
Redigerat: nov 16, 2012, 9:03pm

VIII. Short and Sweet

1. 75 Years of Children's Book Week Posters text by Leonard S. Marcus -- finished Jan 11, 2012
2. The Lost by J. D. Robb; Patricia Gaffney; Mary Blayney; Ruth Ryan Langan -- finished Jan 31, 2012
3. The Problem Child by Michael Buckley -- finished Feb 3, 2012
4. Lafayette and the American Revolution by Russell Freedman-- finished Feb 20, 2012
5. The Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus -- finished May 5, 2012
6. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry -- finished May 6, 2012
7. Chaotic by Kelly Armstrong -- Finished Jun 29, 2012
8. Down These Strange Streets edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois -- finished Aug. 31, 2012
9. The Nine Mile Walk by Harry Kemelman -- finished Sept 5, 2012
10. The Scargill Cove Case Files: An Arcane Society Story by Jayne Ann Krentz -- finished September 14, 2012
11. The Tree of Life by Peter Sis -- finished Oct 29, 2012
12. An Apple for the Creature by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner, editors -- finished November 16, 2012

10hailelib
Redigerat: dec 7, 2012, 5:46pm

IX. Science and Technology -- may also include history of science, invention,etc.

1. The Mathematics of Life by Ian Stewart -- finished Mar 6, 2012
2. Big Bang : The Origin of the Universe by Simon Singh -- finished Apr 10, 2012
3. The Rise of Radio by Alfred Balk -- Finished May 3, 2012
4. Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine --Finished May 16, 2012
5. Tomatoland : How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit by Barry Estabrook -- Finished May 31, 2012
6. An Imagined World: A Story of Scientific Discovery by June Goodfield -- finished Jun 26, 2012
7. The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson -- Finished August 3, 2012
8. Epigenetics by Richard C. Francis -- Finished August 26, 2012
9. The Wandering Gene and the Indian Princess by Jeff Wheelwright -- finished September 12, 2012
10. The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes -- finished September 28, 2012
11. The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean -- finished Nov 15, 2012
12. Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger -- Finished December 7, 2012

11hailelib
Redigerat: dec 12, 2012, 1:41pm

X. History, Biography

1. Mirage : Napoleon's scientists and the unveiling of Egypt by Nina Burleigh -- finished Jan 23, 2012
2. 428 AD by Giusto Traina -- finished Feb 5, 2012
3. Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson by David O. Stewart -- finished Apr 24, 2012
4. Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands by May Cravath Wharton M.D. -- finished May 13, 2012
5. Over the edge of the world : Magellan's terrifying circumnavigation of the globe by Laurence Bergreen -- finished May 26, 2012
6. 1491 : new revelations of the Americas before Columbus by Charles C. Mann - finished Jun 8, 2012
7. Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson -- finished Jul 22, 2012
8. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt -- finished September 30, 2012
9. The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes -- Finished October 4, 2012
10. Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak -- finished October 12, 2012
11. October Sky by Homer H. Hickam, Jr. -- finished October 19, 2012
12. Black Potatoes : The Story of the Great Irish Famine by Susan Campbell Bartoletti -- finished December 12, 2012

12hailelib
Redigerat: dec 26, 2012, 8:19am

XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction

1. Maphead by Ken Jennings -- finished Feb 4, 2012
2. Moonwalking with Einstein : the art and science of remembering everything by Joshua Foer -- Finished Feb 25, 2012
3. Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky -- finished Apr 2, 2012
4. Madhur Jaffrey's Step-by-Step Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey -- finished May 1, 2012
5. Creating the Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka -- Finished Jun 22, 2012
6. Don't throw it out : recycle, renew, and reuse to make things last by Lori Baird -- Finished Jul 1, 2012
7. The Making of Avatar by Jody Duncan and Lisa Fitzpatrick -- finished October 7, 2012
8. Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler -- finished October 24, 2012
9. Language: The Cultural Tool by Daniel L. Everett -- Finished November 9, 2012
10. Tibet Through the Red Box by Peter Sis -- Finished November 19, 2012
11. Visions of Utopia by John Egerton -- Finished December 22, 2012
12. The Half-Life of Facts by Samuel Arbesman -- December 25, 2012

13hailelib
Redigerat: dec 4, 2012, 7:50pm

XII. Fiction Rereads

1. Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs -- finished Jan 22, 2012
2. The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov -- finished March 25, 2012
3. Why Shoot a Butler by Georgette Heyer -- Finished Mar 27, 2012
4. April Lady by Georgette Heyer -- finished Apr 4, 2012
5. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs -- Finished May 17, 2012
6. Hot Money by Dick Francis -- finished May 23, 2012
7. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury -- finished Jun 11, 2012
8. The Left Leg, The Hollow Chest, and File for Record by Phoebe Atwood Taylor writing as Alice Tilton -- finished Jun 19, 2012
9. Seven Tears for Apollo by Phyllis A. Whitney -- finished Jul 2, 2012
10. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart -- finished Sept. 18, 2012
11. The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer -- finished November 27, 2012
12. The Clock Strikes 12 by Patricia Wentworth -- finished December 4, 2012

14hailelib
Redigerat: dec 13, 2012, 3:15pm

Bonus Reads

1. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick -- finished October 4, 2012
2. The Lost Night by Jayne Castle -- finished October 6, 2012
3. Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury -- finished October 15, 2012
4. Samurai Game by Christine Feehan -- finished October 21, 2012
5. Un Lun Dun by China Miéville -- finished October 30, 2012
6. Heart Secret by Robin D. Owens -- finished November 1, 2012
7. Delusion in Death by J. D. Robb -- Finished November 17, 2012
8. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz -- Finished November 20, 2012
9. Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn -- Finished November 21, 2012
10. The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling -- Finished November 25, 2012
11. A Christmas Journey by Anne Perry --Finished December 11, 2012
12. Dragon Companion by Don Callander -- finished on December 13, 2012

15mamzel
dec 19, 2011, 7:31pm

A theme with punctuation marks? Cool! ;-)

16hailelib
dec 19, 2011, 9:13pm

Actually place markers for now.

17hailelib
Redigerat: nov 30, 2012, 2:41pm

So, I finally decided to say goodby to last year's challenge and begin reading for this year.

This space is for listing possible novels to read (many are series continuations):

1. The United States of Atlantis by Harry Turtledove *
2. The Burning Ground by Jo Clayton *
3. Ill Met by Moonlight by Lackey and Gellis +
4. Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey *
5. Ragamuffin by Tobias S. Buckell *
6. Bitten or Broken by Kelly Armstrong *
7. The Charmed Sphere by Catherine Asaro
8. Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey
9. Always Time to Die by Elizabeth Lowell *
10. Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde +

11. American Gods by Neil Gaiman ** downloaded; read
12. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare *
13. Superior Saturday by Garth Nix *
14. Mastiff by Tamora Pierce *
15. Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones *
16. Shaman Winter by Rudolfo Amaya *
17. any unread Nero Wolf
18. Any unread Tony Hillerman
19. Teatime for the Traditionally Built by McCall Smith * read
20. Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn *

21. Ruthless Game by Christine Feehan *
22. Goddess of the Sea by P. C. Cast *
23. Secrets of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst *
24. Night of the Wolf by Alice Borchardt +
25. Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallon *
26. Eona by Alison Goodman *
27. Venus in Copper by Lindsey Davis +
28. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett +
29. The Crow by Alison Croggon ** - downloaded; read
30. any unread by Joseph Bruchac

* public library
** public library downloadable
+ my own shelves

more to come

18hailelib
Redigerat: nov 30, 2012, 2:45pm

This space is for listing other possible reads:

1. The Tao of Physics or The Web of Life by Fritjof Capra *
2. Alone Together by Sherry Turkle *
3. Earth: An Intimate History by Richard Fortey *
4. The Murder Room by Michael Capuzzo *
5. The Mathematics of Life by Ian Stewart *
6. The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain +
7. The Tipping Point or Blink by Malcolm Gladwell *
8. The Colosseum by Keith Hopkins and Mary Beard *
9. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed -- Jared Diamond *
10. Fossil Legends of the First Americans -- Adrienne Mayor

11. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt -- Edmund Morris *
12. Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington +
13. The Family that Couldn't Sleep by D. T. Max *
14. any play by Shakespeare +
15. Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer *

16. After the prophet by Lesley Hazelton **
17. A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel +
18. The destiny of the republic : a tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a president by Candice Millard *
19. The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed *
20. Operation Mincemeat by Ben McIntyre *

21. Men of tomorrow : geeks, gangsters, and the birth of the comic book / Gerard Jones. *
22. Miss Leavitt's stars : the untold story of the woman who discovered how to measure the universe / George Johnson *
23. Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel+
24. Edwin Hubble : mariner of the nebulae / Gale E. Christianson *
25. The fly in the cathedral / Brian Cathcart *

26. Mindful Eating by Jan Chosen Bays *
27. Joseph Banks: A Life by Patrick O'Brian

* public library
+ my own shelves

more to come

19hailelib
jan 12, 2012, 9:43am

Two fiction books read between challenges which I am not counting:

Canyons of Night by Jayne Castle aka Jayne Ann Krentz -- Typical Arcane Society but a little different from the other Harmony stories even though there is a dust bunny.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs -- The first Mercy Thompson adventure which I had somehow missed.

20hailelib
Redigerat: jan 13, 2012, 10:17am

IV. Next in Line #1

1. The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey -- finished Jan 9, 2012

A Five Hundred Kingdoms Book. I love this series and this book was no exception. Godmother Lily is having trouble keeping the Tradition from creating a big mess in the kingdom of Eltaria and every time she thinks that events are under control the Tradition twists into an unexpected path. Recommended for fans of fairy tales retold.

From my own shelves. paperback. 408 pages

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction #1

2. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher -- finished Jan 8, 2012

Another installment of The Dresden Files. These should be read in order for maximum enjoyment. I will soon be looking for the next adventure.

From the public library. hardcover. 352 pages

21hailelib
Redigerat: jan 13, 2012, 10:16am

Viii. Short and Sweet #1

3. 75 Years of Children's Book Week Posters with text by Leonard S. Marcus -- finished Jan 11, 2012

A very nice large format book with a long introduction. There is a full page for each poster with the 'captions' containing interesting facts about the artist of that year's poster and placing it in the context of the year's events. The introduction is a short history of the publishing of children's literature in the U.S. and the establishment of Children's Book Week. Many of the artists have been awarded Caldecott Medals and/or have had Caldecott Honor books.

I may take another 'go' through this book before returning it to the library.

From the public library. hardback. 88 pages. 808.86

22hailelib
Redigerat: jan 17, 2012, 11:30am

II. Mystery and Suspense #1

4. A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly -- finished January 16, 2012

Also for the Monthly Sub-Challenge.

As others have said, it took a while for me to really get into this book but about halfway through the story began moving faster. Of course, much of the first chapters were setting the stage, explaining the New Orleans of the 1830's and why Benjamin January returned there and how he fit into the city's social structure. This was the first novel I've read set in pre-Civil War New Orleans that was told from the point of view of someone who wasn't a Creole which made it even more interesting. I will probably read the next book in the series.

From the public library. 311 pages.

23hailelib
jan 20, 2012, 9:04am

I. Young at Heart #1

5. The Crow by Alison Croggon -- finished January 19, 2012

Book three of Croggon's Pellinor series, this installment follows the adventures of Hem and his new companions, Irc (a white crow he rescues) and Zelika, a refugee fleeing the front lines after the destruction of her city. Hem has to grow up considerably in this story and he discovers something about the part he must play in the final confrontation with the Nameless One.

Since it had been over a year between Book Two and Book Three, it took a couple of chapters to get back into the story. However, without being too heavy-handed about it, Croggon included enough back story in the first chapters to pull me back into the world she has conjured into being. While this is YA (Hem is 12) it's at the more mature end of YA.

Download from the public library. 511 pages (print).

24hailelib
jan 20, 2012, 9:35am

VII. Spirit and Mind #1

6. Heroes of the Dawn : Celtic Myth text by Fergus Fleming, Shahrukh Husain, C. Scott Littleton, and Linda A Malcor -- finished January 19, 2012

I took my time over this book, partly because of the large format but mostly because of the detailed illustrations accompanying the text. As in other volumes of this Time-Life series, it is the photographs that make this such an interesting book. The authors cover the history of the ancient Celts and the legends and myths of the various groups that made up the Celtic peoples, including an overview of the Arthurian legends. Recommended as an introduction to Celtic myth.

From the CMS library. 133 pages.

25hailelib
Redigerat: dec 1, 2012, 11:01am

And still more books I MIGHT read:

1. The Lies that Bind by Kate Carlisle *
2. The Merchant's Mark by Pat McIntosh
3. Charlaine Harris : Shakespeare's Landlord* or Dead as a Doornail** or Real Murders*
4. Kissing Sin by Keri Arthur *
5. The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz * or **
6. Raven's Strike by Patricia Briggs
7. Any unread Louis L'Amour +
8. Fever Season by Barbara Hambly
9. the Necropolis Railway by Andrew Martin *
10. The Problem Child by Michael Buckley *

11. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield *
12. The Bookman's Promise by John Dunning *
13. Dick Francis's Gamble by Felix Francis *
14. The Cobra King of Kathmandu by P.B. Kerr *
15. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
16. Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick release date: 4/24/12
17. Time and Again by Jack Finney
18. Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear *
19. The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan
20. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett *

21. The Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin *
22. Shadow Valley by Steven Barnes
23. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein *
24. True Grit by Charles Portis *
25. Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber *
* public library
** public library downloadable
+ my own shelves

26hailelib
jan 23, 2012, 9:31am

So far, between the books listed as "might reads" above, the ones I've never read in my wishlist collection, and the maxed out list on my public library account (capped at 100) there are over 200 possibles. And I haven't even looked at the messages that I have have marked as favorites because I wanted to be able to find those titles again! Also the hundreds on my shelves that it would be nice to read (or reread). Books are being added faster than I can read them...

27hailelib
Redigerat: jan 24, 2012, 9:11am

XII. Fiction Rereads #1

7. Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs -- finished Jan 22, 2012

This was the first book I read in the Mercy Thompson series and is the second one in the series. When I saw it at the library soon after finishing Moon Called I thought "Why Not?" and brought the book home. Still an entertaining story for those who like this kind of fantasy. (Contemporary with magic, fae, werewolves and vampires.) I may reread another one or two while waiting for the next installment of Mercy's adventures.

From the public library. 342 pages

28mamzel
jan 23, 2012, 4:26pm

Books are being added faster than I can read them...

If only those authors would stop writing and let us catch up!

29psutto
jan 24, 2012, 6:01am

26 a feeling we all know I think

I was reading today (in the rather marvellous planet word) that the number of books being published per year is always growing and the Bodlein library in Oxford which as a copyright library gets a copy of every book published in UK and books are added at the rate of 1000 per day add to that all the e-books that don't make print....

30hailelib
Redigerat: jan 24, 2012, 9:12am

> 28, > 29

Since writing that, I requested 2 books from the public library, added one to the list above, and marked at least three challenge posts as favorites so I won't forget about those titles! But I did finish a book!

X. History, Biography #1

8. Mirage : Napoleon's scientists and the unveiling of Egypt by Nina Burleigh -- finished Jan 23, 2012

The story of Napoleon's mismanaged invasion of Egypt in 1798 as told by the journalist Nina Burleigh. He led over 50,000 soldiers and sailors and 151 French scholars and artists into an adventure for which they were ill-equipped and unprepared. The destruction of their fleet soon after arrival left many of the sailors dead and most of their supplies at the bottom of the bay at Alexandria. A lucky few among the savants had packed their instruments with their personal baggage but most were lost, leaving them scrambling to find tools, even paper and pens, to carry out their investigations. Complicating their work was the contempt, resentment, and even mistreatment by the military. Despite the difficulties, during the years they were stuck in Egypt, the scientists, artists, and engineers explored the land, measuring, drawing, and collecting specimens and artifacts, including the Rosetta Stone. The book (in 24 volumes) written after they returned to France was the first comprehensive view of Egyptian culture, both ancient and contemporary, that had ever appeared in Western Europe.

I enjoyed the book and found it very interesting although, in places, Burleigh seemed to wander around a bit. But, of course, the characters she was following were wandering about as well. She covered, not only their discoveries, but their reactions to an unfamiliar culture and their reactions (from letters and journals) to the military misadventures they witnessed. Jim, however, didn't enjoy it as much as I did since he was hoping for more about the way they carried out their experiments and measurements and their discoveries of the temples, tombs, etc. For those interested in Napoleon and Egyptian history.

From the public library. Introduction + text = 255 pages plus plates, notes, bibliography, index. 962.03

31hailelib
Redigerat: feb 6, 2012, 8:58am

Short and Sweet #2

9. The Lost by J. D. Robb; Patricia Gaffney; Mary Blayney; Ruth Ryan Langan -- finished Jan 31, 2012

An anthology of four stories, each just under 100 pages. The "In Death" story was adequate but nothing special. It started off well but a section near the end seemed to be hurried and not very well thought out.

The second story by Gaffney was so-so and I didn't much care for the other two. Only recommended for fans of the authors.

From the public library. 372 pages.

32hailelib
Redigerat: feb 6, 2012, 8:58am

Catching up:

I. Young at Heart #2

10. The 39 Clues Box Set with books 2-10 by various authors -- finished Jan 29, 2012

I had read the first book in this series to see if we wanted to get the rest of them for the students and was interested enough to read further. Since I was feeling a little under the weather, I just keep on reading til I finished book 10. These were short and quick reads except for #10 which was somewhat longer and a bit more complicated. Dan (11) and Amy (14) travel all over the world looking for the clues and finding out family secrets as they go.

While these are adventure stories a lot of history and geography are incorporated into the books in a fairly entertaining way. One thing that amused me was that I was reading about Napoleon in Egypt here shortly after finishing a book (See above, message 30) about that very subject. A theme to the series that is made explicit in the last book is that it is better for the branches of the Cahill family to cooperate than it is for them to fight.

Recommended for 10-12 years.

From the CMS library.

33hailelib
Redigerat: feb 6, 2012, 8:59am

II. Mystery & Suspense #3

11. Murder Under Cover by Kate Carlisle -- finished Feb 4, 2012

This is the 4th entry in the Bibliophile Mystery series and the third one I have read. An OK but not great mystery. Brooklyn Wainwright is a bookbinder and conservator who restores rare books and her lover is an ex-spy who is now (mostly) in the security business although he still has contacts that are very helpful in this particular case. What does the the murder of Robin's new boyfriend have to do with the copy of the Kama Sutra that Robin brought to Brooklyn for restoration? Why are Ukrainians and Russians breaking in and ransacking everyone's apartments?

I liked the first couple of books in this series better, possibly because there was more about restoring books, but I will read the others as I come across them.

From the public library. 412 pages. large print edition.

34hailelib
Redigerat: feb 6, 2012, 8:59am

OOPS!

Almost skipped

II. Mystery & Suspense #2

12. Gamble by Felix Francis -- finished Feb 1, 2012

Although Dick Francis' name appears on the cover Gamble is apparently almost all the work of Felix. It is a fairly interesting book about Nick Foxton, an ex-jockey who is now a financial advisor in the London firm of Lyall and Black. A colleague, also with Lyall and Black, is murdered while the two of them are attending a race meeting at Aintree, thus plunging Nick into danger as he tries to find out why anyone would target Herb Kovak. Using vintage Francis-style storytelling, Felix turns out a reasonable mystery. For rereading, however, I would turn to some of the earlier Dick Francis tomes.

From the public library. 352 pages.

35hailelib
Redigerat: feb 6, 2012, 9:00am

XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction #1

13. Maphead by Ken Jennings -- finished Feb 4, 2012

Interesting but somewhat rambling narrative of the author's life-long love affair with maps, atlases and cartography. We are treated to a tour of his encounters with all types of "geogeeks": highpointers, geocachers, road atlas rally enthusiasts and so on. Entertaining and informative.

From the public library. 249 pages plus notes and index. 912

36The_Hibernator
feb 5, 2012, 9:08am

Hmmm, I've been pondering the 39 Clues, but I am often skeptical of a series with multiple authors. Seems like some books are good and others not so much but you have to read even the authors you don't like to get through the series. But I think I'll give this one a try, anyway. Looks like a lot of people like it.

37hailelib
Redigerat: feb 5, 2012, 9:25am

Re: 39 Clues

I wondered if there was an overall outline of where each volume had to go so that the final story where the Clues came together would fit into Book 10. There were hints along the way and lots of twists and turns for a series aimed primarily at 10-12 year olds. One thing to be aware of: the authors immediately start another series that is a sequel to the story arc in the first one. The children who are through the first series are waiting with impatience for the next episode to become available. I'm contemplating reading them myself beginning with Vespers Rising.

38hailelib
Redigerat: feb 6, 2012, 3:35pm

X. History, Biography #2

14. 428 AD by Giusto Traina -- finished Feb 5, 2012

428 AD : An Ordinary Year at the End of the Roman Empire is a short but dense book that tries to be a snapshot of the Empire at a time between antiquity and the medieval age. There is still an Empire, although the East and West are separating, Christianity is spreading and is now a dominant religion supported by the ruling families, and Constantinople is now a very powerful city politically and one whose bishop is also very influential in directing the course that the Church will take over the next decades. I think Traina was largely successful in this little book but there are a lot of people and events to keep track of and the book is as much about the history of Christianity as it is about the political conflicts of the time.

Recommended for those really interested in Late Antiquity.

From the public library. 132 pages plus extensive notes. 937.09

VIII. Short and Sweet #3

Another for children:

15. The Problem Child by Michael Buckley -- finished Feb 3,2012

Didn't enjoy this one as well as the first two in the Sisters Grimm series. However, Buckley's Red Riding Hood was interesting. A twisted fairy tale for ages 8-11 that once more ends with another story on its way.

From the public library. 305 easy pages.

39hailelib
Redigerat: feb 6, 2012, 3:27pm

I've been reading for the challenge for about a month now. Here is where I am:

I. Young at Heart -- 2 of 12

II. Mystery and Suspense -- 3 of 12

III. Favorite Authors -- any genre -- 0 of 12

IV. Next in Line -- 1 of 12

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever -- 1 of 12

VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction -- 0 of 12

VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)philosophy and psychology/education. -- 1 of 12

VIII. Short and Sweet -- 3 of 12

IX. Science and Technology -- 0 of 12

X. History, Biography/Memoir -- 2 of 12

XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction -- 1 of 12

XII. Fiction Rereads -- 1 of 12

15 books in 8 categories.

Not too bad. Still, it will be a good idea to try to keep them evened up so I need to find something for science and technology soon...

40hailelib
feb 7, 2012, 10:47am

III. Favorite Authors -- #1

16. Teatime for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith -- finished Feb 6, 2012

Another installment from the series featuring Mma Ramotswe. While I have enjoyed everything I've read by McCall Smith, the No. 1 Ladies' series remains my favorite. In this one the little white van finally gives up and her husband buys Mma Ramotswe a "new" one and there are the usual clients and personal ups and downs of the series regulars. These books make good bedtime reading.

From the public library. 210 pages.

For my next fiction I have started American Gods and have 11/22/63 from the library.

41lkernagh
feb 11, 2012, 10:55am

Looks like you are making good progress on your challenge Tricia!

42hailelib
feb 11, 2012, 12:24pm

>40 hailelib: Thanks!

III. Favorite Authors #2

17. Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz -- finished Feb 11,2012

About what I expected from Ms. Krentz. Boy and girl meet. Instant attraction complicated by the various bad guys targeting them. Resolution of the immediate problem. Boy and girl spend rest of lives together. First in trilogy. Fun for fans of the author who don't mind the paranormal twists. However, not an Arcane Society novel.

From the public library. 324 pages.

Still reading American Gods and 11/22/63, one on our iPad and one in print. I've also started a YA fantasy but I really wanted an easy to read, feel good book last night. :)

43hailelib
Redigerat: feb 13, 2012, 10:30am

I. Young at Heart #3

18. The Necromancer by Michael Scott -- finished Feb 11, 2012

A so-so YA fantasy that is part 4 of a series that should really be read in order. (There is a prequel that I haven't seen and 2 more books after this one.) These are definitely not stand alone books with each one ending in a way that feels more like a commercial break than the end of a book.

The Necromancer opens with Josh and Sophie back in San Francisco along with Nicholas and Perenelle. They are hoping for a rest from their adventures but that is not to be. This volume is not quite up to the previous ones but I am invested enough in the overall story to continue the series at some point.
Spoiler ahead
After all, we left Scathach and Joan back in time in Atlantis and Josh has gone with Dr. Dee feeling that the Flamels and Sophie have betrayed him. What further twists can Scott introduce into the narrative?

From the public library. 385 pages.

44hailelib
feb 13, 2012, 10:54am

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction #2

19. American Gods by Neil Gaiman -- finished Feb 12, 2012

I began reading this in the original print edition but only got about a quarter of the way through before it had to go back to the library (had been requested and they only had one print copy) but they did have an e-version for download available so I got that. It turned out well because this was the 10th anniversary edition with some bonus materials and a revision by Gaiman. I even managed to finish before the loan ran out!

At first I wasn't sure what I thought of American Gods and it took awhile to get into the story. Overall I did enjoy it enough that I will probably read something else by him in a few months. (I really liked Stardust when I read that a while back.) This book follows Shadow after his release from prison. On his way to his wife's funeral, Shadow meets Mr. Wednesday who hires him as driver, assistant and errand boy. Wednesday introduces him into a world that he never suspected existed of gods, old and new. A war is coming and Shadow has a part to play.

From the public library. 560 pages.

45hailelib
feb 14, 2012, 9:27am

IV. Next in Line #2.

20. Hidden by Kelly Armstrong -- finished Feb 13,2012

I was in the library yesterday to pick up a video and wandered over to the new book shelves where I found this little volume (even though I hadn't meant to check out anything else 'til I finished the ones already at home!). A small, relatively short book with several full page illustrations by Anilgram, I zipped through the story and finished before bedtime.

Although a recent entry in the Women of the Otherworld series it is set between a couple of earlier books and features Clay, Elena and their young twins. The two have gone to a cottage in Canada to have an old-fashioned Christmas with their children. Once they arrive, Elena and Clay discover a strange werewolf lives nearby and there was recently an odd death. The circumstances compel them to investigate and they call in some other pack members to help out.

I enjoyed the story well enough but the illustrations didn't quite fit my idea of how these characters appear. That's a minor quibble though and readers of graphic urban fantasy books will probably like the style. This is a book published by Subterranean Press.

From the public library. 193 pages but moderately large font. More novella than novel.

Now back to my other books! The Stephen King will have to go back early next week so I need to concentrate on it.

46hailelib
feb 19, 2012, 11:02am

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction #3

21. 11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King -- finished Feb 18, 2012

Since there are a lot of reviews already, I'll just say that once I got into the story it became a page turner. Parts are really a historical novel but King explores what happens if you change the past as well.

The story brought back a lot of memories of the early sixties and I know exactly where I was when Kennedy's death was announced. It was a reminder of just how much has changed.

From the public library. 832 pages plus afterword.

47hailelib
Redigerat: feb 20, 2012, 1:10pm

VIII. Short and Sweet #4

22. Lafayette and the American Revolution by Russell Freedman-- finished Feb 20, 2012

Freedman writes great nonfiction for younger audiences and Lafayette and the American Revolution is no exception. A fact-filled and well-illustrated book for the middle grades it would be an excellent addition to any school library. Lafayette, although married and with a child on the way, was only nineteen when he sailed for America to become a general in Washington's army and only 24 when he played a major part at the Battle of Yorktown, which effectively ended the war with the surrender of Cornwallis.

Although this book is primarily about his experiences during the Revolutionary War, Freedman does give us a summary of Lafayette's early life and also a chapter about his experiences after the War.

Recommended.

From the CMS library. 76 pages plus Timeline plus notes and bibliography.

48hailelib
Redigerat: feb 26, 2012, 1:56pm

XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction #2

23. Moonwalking with Einstein : the art and science of remembering everything by Joshua Foer -- Finished Feb 25, 2012

I saw this book on the 'New Book Shelves' at the library soon after seeing it get a favorable mention here on LibraryThing and decided to bring it home. I enjoyed Foer's book which is part history of memory, part exploration of what science has to tell us about how we remember, and part memoir of the year he not only explored the techniques of those who participate in Memory Championships but learned many of these memory techniques and entered the next year's competition himself. Like many of the others who have read the book I would recommend it.

From the Public Library. 271 pages plus notes. 153.14

49hailelib
feb 27, 2012, 10:35am

IV. Next in Line #3

24. Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear -- finished Feb 26, 2012

The second in the Maisie Dobbs series and one where the aftermath of WWI is still affecting the characters. Maisie begins by investigating a missing person and finds that she must also investigate an associated case of murder. Nearly all the characters are still being affected by the war, including Maisie and her assistant Billy. A very good book although it didn't blow me away quite as much as the first one. I will definitely continue with this series.

From the public library. 309 pages.

50hailelib
Redigerat: mar 2, 2012, 10:54am

Summary of my progress to date:

I. Young at Heart -- 3 of 12
II. Mystery and Suspense -- 3 of 12
III. Favorite Authors -- any genre -- 2 of 12
IV. Next in Line -- 3 of 12
V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever -- 3 of 12
VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction -- 0 of 12
VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)philosophy and psychology/education. -- 1 of 12
VIII. Short and Sweet -- 4 of 12
IX. Science and Technology -- 0 of 12
X. History, Biography/Memoir -- 2 of 12
XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction -- 2 of 12
XII. Fiction Rereads -- 1 of 12

24 of 144. I seem to be on schedule. Looking back over the last two months, the books that stand out are
American Gods, 11/22/63, and Mirage : Napoleon's scientists and the unveiling of Egypt.

I'm currently reading Something Rotten, Mathematics of life, Ragnarok, and Mindful Eating.

I hope to get to The Technologists, Big Bang, X-Men and Philosophy, Atlas of Remote Islands, Venus in Copper (for the third in a series), and The Sparrow soon.

51clfisha
mar 2, 2012, 11:11am

oo I picked up a copy of The Technologists the other day, looks intriguing.

52lkernagh
mar 2, 2012, 9:21pm

Hi Tricia, I see you are making great progress with your challenge!

53hailelib
mar 3, 2012, 9:55am

I am managing to read some everyday but not all I want to read. Too much time reading Talk!

Last night icosahedra and their relationship to the structure of viruses put me right to sleep. The Mathematics of Life isn't quite the right book for bedtime reading. Then a couple of hours later the arrival of our part of the severe storm system reached western South Carolina and woke us up. At least we seem to have dodged the tornado bullet though there was a lot of wind and some hail. After a while I got the iPad and read about the life of Cervantes 'til things calmed down a bit and I was sleepy again.

54hailelib
mar 6, 2012, 4:41pm

IX. Science and Technology #1

25. The Mathematics of Life by Ian Stewart -- finished Mar 6, 2012

Ian Stewart has written an introduction to 'biomathematics' for the non-specialist. He begins thus:

"Biology used to be about plants, animals, and insects, but five great revolutions have changed the way scientists think of life.
A sixth is on its way."

Those first five were the microscope, systematic classification, evolution theory, discovery of genes, and the discovery of DNA structure. The sixth, of course, is the increasingly important place of mathematics in cutting-edge research into the life sciences.

I found this book informative and interesting but I did have to slow down about a third of the way into the book in order to understand the topics Stewart was covering since my knowledge of the life sciences is spotty and my my math is definitely rusty. However, the author is knowledgeable and he covers the field pretty much up to the present day. (published in 2011).

Recommended.

From the public library. Preface + 317 pages + Notes. 570.151

55lkernagh
mar 6, 2012, 10:46pm

The Mathematics of Life sounds interesting. My math skills are .... well.... we just won't talk about my math skills but the life sciences angle is what really peaked my interest.

56hailelib
Redigerat: mar 9, 2012, 10:20am

III. Favorite Authors #3

26. Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde -- finished Mar 8,2012

This book about the adventures of Thursday Next was very much what I expected from Fforde and the series. Although a favorite author, he is also one I enjoy more if I space the books apart, with other, completely different ones in between. The Thursday books do make a little more sense if read in order.

From my own shelves. 383 pages

57hailelib
mar 9, 2012, 10:31am

Yesterday I picked up a book from the library that I requested a while back, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. While these are not the best fantasy novels around, I did want to finish Eragon's story. Being a very long book that I probably won't be able to renew because of the waiting list I went ahead and started it, reading nearly a hundred pages. Just as well there was a summary of the previous three at the beginning because the reader is thrown right into the middle of a battle.

Also reading the short book Ragnarok by Byatt. Quite different in length, feel, everything.

On a more personal note: while reading Talk this morning I had a crown come loose and out! Well, I need to visit the dentist anyway...

58hailelib
Redigerat: mar 12, 2012, 3:22pm

While I did read a little more of Ragnarok this weekend, what I finished were two books that weren't actually planned for this month.

IV. Next in Line #4

27. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini -- finished Mar 11, 2012

A rather average fantasy that is a bit derivative and probably longer than it needed to be, but, it kept me turning the pages and staying up too late. Eragon finally finds something that may help in the coming climatic battle. In the end he is faced with making some very hard decisions...

Recommended for those who have been following Eragon's adventures. However, the four books should be read in order.

From the public library. 856 pages.

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction #4

28. Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher -- finished Mar 12, 2012

I kept seeing the Alera books mentioned and, since I like the Dresden Files by Butcher, I thought "why not?" and put a hold on it. When it came into my local library branch it was a rather well-read, ready to fall apart, paperback. After glancing at the first few pages I was hooked and started the book right after finishing Inheritance. Another long book that kept me up way too late. Most of the humans in Alera can control one or more furies, which are elementals of air, fire, water, earth, wood, and metal. Yet in a time of crisis the boy Tavi, who has no bond with any fury, becomes a key player in the drama. I liked this world and its characters well enough that I will be on the lookout for the next installment in the Codex of Alera.

From the public library. 506 pages.

Now back to the books I meant to read!

Edited to fix the mistakes I only saw after hitting Submit.

59hailelib
mar 12, 2012, 3:32pm

> 55 lkernagh:

Sorry I took so long to reply. Like I said above, in the Mathematics of Life Ian Stewart starts out slowly to try to bring everyone up to speed. He does carefully explain the math without a lot of formulae, etc. but I was reading late at night when sleepy, which I wouldn't really recommend doing.

60hailelib
Redigerat: mar 13, 2012, 9:05am

VII. Spirit and Mind #2

29. Ragnarök : the end of the gods by A. S. Byatt -- finished Mar 12, 2012

My library classified this book as a novel and in a way it is. Byatt's book (somewhat autobiographical) features a small girl who, along with her mother, is evacuated to the British countryside during WWII. There she explores the fields and woods and reads and reflects on the books her mother gives her, especially the one that recounts the stories of Asgard and the reign and then twilight of the Norse gods. So, we have both the retelling of the myths and way they affect the small girl.

I took my time about reading Ragnarök : the end of the gods but I think it will stick with me a while. Byatt may not become a favorite author (This was my first experience with her style.) but this series from Canongate is one I want to read more of as the books I have seen so far are well done and interesting.

From the public library. 177 pages including end essay, bibliograhy, etc. 823.914

61hailelib
mar 15, 2012, 4:23pm

IV. Next in Line #5

30. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs -- Finished Mar 15, 2012

A lot of my series books end up being Fantasy and this novel is no exception. While this is the first full novel in the Alpha and Omega I had already read Hunting Ground and liked it so I wanted to read Book 1 of the series before ordering Fair Game from the library. After spending my entire afternoon at the dentist's I wanted something enjoyable and not requiring a lot of concentration so I picked this book up last night even though I had already started a couple of nonfiction ones.

Cry Wolf is a 'read straight through' book set in the fantasy world of the Mercy Thompson stories and features some characters that we first encountered there, including Bran and his sons. I really enjoyed this story about Anna and Charles. Since there are a number of reviews already I'll just recommend Brigg's novel to those who like stories about werewolves, witches, and other supernaturals. If you like urban fantasy give her world a try.

From the public library. 294 pages.

62hailelib
mar 17, 2012, 10:10am

VI. Anything Goes #1

31. Great Sky Woman by Steven Barnes -- finished Mar 16, 2012

I wasn't sure what to expect since I don't remember reading anything by Barnes previously but there were some enthusiastic comments on LT and the story sounded interesting so I picked up the public library's copy. It was a very engrossing story which I really enjoyed.

At the beginning of Great Sky Woman we are introduced to Stillshadow, the leader of the tribe's dream dancers (medicine women) and we witness the birth of the girl and the boy who will usher out the Ibandi's old ways and lead the way into new ones. Good, speculative fiction taking place in the distant past...recommended for readers of prehistorical fiction.

From the public library. 341 pages.

63hailelib
mar 21, 2012, 11:51am

II. Mystery and Suspense #4.

32. Venus in Copper by Lindsey Davis -- finished Mar. 21, 2012

Venus in Copper is the third in the series about Marcus Didius Falco. Falco decides to go back to working for private clients since the Palace doesn't pay his fees promptly or even at all. He needs funds in order to move up in the world but private clients are just as much trouble as Imperial ones. Lots of details about life in Rome, some interesting characters, and a murder to solve made this an enjoyable book. I do think this series may be best read in order starting with Silver Pigs.

From my own shelves. 277 pages.

64hailelib
mar 25, 2012, 10:34am

XII. Rereads - fiction #2

33. The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov -- finished March 25, 2012

Includes Foundation; Foundation and Empire; Second Foundation.

Last week, I couldn't settle to any of my current public library books for long, so I went looking in my own shelves for something that would hold my interest. The first book that I pulled off the shelf that I got more than a page into before putting it back was The Foundation Trilogy.

It had been decades since I last opened it and I was surprised at how it held my interest. Considering that these books are about 60 years old they hold up pretty well though I did notice that the women were almost absent in Foundation. Not too surprising since the perceived audience for science fiction at that time was mainly teen-aged boys. (I was considered weird for reading such stuff since I was female.) The many references to atomic science were amusing but the social commentary could almost have been written today. Apparently hidebound bureaucracies are similar in any time and place!

I did read all three straight through but they went pretty fast and kept me entertained on a day when I was a bit under the weather. It's nice that others who are doing the group read are finding them interesting.

Recommended for those who read 'classic' SF.

From my own shelves. The three together are about 675 pages.

Now to read some more of the non-fiction books that need to go back to the library soon.

65hailelib
mar 27, 2012, 9:03pm

IV. Next in Line #6

34. Timeless by Gail Carriger -- Finished Mar 26, 2012

Some time has passed and the Infant Inconvenience has become a toddler, one who creates some unusual problems, especially at bath time. Then Lady Maccon receives an unusual invitation from an unusual vampire Queen. As a result the Maccons depart for Egypt and discover some surprising things about their world. This being the last installment in the story arc a lot of loose ends are tried up. The five books in this series really should be read in order.

Recommended for those already familiar with Alexia, her family, and friends.

From the public library. 386 pages.

66hailelib
mar 27, 2012, 9:33pm

XII. fiction Rereads #3

35. Why Shoot a Butler by Georgette Heyer -- Finished Mar 27, 2012

I chose this paperback to entertain myself on the way out of the house since the magazines in the doctor's waiting room aren't very interesting and the books I was part way through were too large to fit in my bag. It was a quick "grab something on the way out of the door" choice but a good one.

We've had this book for years but it had been some time since I last read one of Heyer's mysteries. The story opens with Frank Amberley on his way to the country. Having taken his cousin's 'short-cut' he ends up lost and following an unfamiliar road when he discovers a car containing a dead man and Shirley Brown standing next to it with a gun. Mr. Amberley reports the murder making no mention of Miss Brown, but does start his own investigation into the matter.

An enjoyable English mystery from the 30's by an accomplished storyteller. Recommended for readers of Agatha Christie and the other British author of that decade. Also for fans of Georgette Heyer. I really liked spending time with these characters and spotting the clues though I did remember who did it and why.

From my own shelves. 214 pages.

67christina_reads
mar 27, 2012, 9:34pm

I just finished reading Why Shoot a Butler as well! I love Heyer's romances, but it looks like her mysteries are going to be good reads too.

68hailelib
Redigerat: mar 27, 2012, 9:47pm

I like some of Heyer's mysteries better than others but they are all worth trying. I suspect I'll read another one soon.

69hailelib
Redigerat: apr 1, 2012, 10:40am

VII. Spirit and Mind #3

36. X-Men and philosophy : astonishing insight and uncanny argument in the mutant X-verse edited by Rebecca Housel and J. Jeremy Wisnewski -- finished Mar 31, 2012

Not as light as the title might lead one to believe, X-Men and Philosophy is a compilation of essays by various authors on aspects of philosophy which are explored through an examination of the world of the X-Men. Several were thought provoking and there were even a couple that struck me as differing in conclusion from one another. All the authors did agree that the world and the characters in the comics and movies about X-Men were complex, giving insight into our own world and its dilemmas.

From the public library. 235 pages including notes at end of each essay. 741.597

70hailelib
Redigerat: apr 1, 2012, 11:06am

I'm actually on track for reading a full 144 books but my categories are a little unevenly populated. Maybe I can somewhat remedy that in April. Or Not. At least there is something in each category.

To date:

I. Young at Heart -- 3 of 12
II. Mystery and Suspense -- 4 of 12
III. Favorite Authors -- any genre -- 3 of 12
IV. Next in Line -- 6 of 12
V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever -- 4 of 12
VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction -- 1 of 12
VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)philosophy and psychology/education. -- 3 of 12
VIII. Short and Sweet -- 4 of 12
IX. Science and Technology -- 1 of 12
X. History, Biography/Memoir -- 2 of 12
XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction -- 2 of 12
XII. Fiction Rereads -- 3 of 12

Total: 36 of 144

Looking back, the books that stand out are
American Gods, 11/22/63, Great Sky Woman, Mirage : Napoleon's scientists and the unveiling of Egypt and The Mathematics of Life. So, I added a couple more books to my list but the previous ones remained.

I hope to finish Big Bang, Atlas of Remote Islands, and Mindful Eating soon.

The Technologists, The Sparrow, The Merchant's Mark, and The Iron Hand of Mars are also waiting, not so patiently, for their turn, and I've started Don Quixote (I might catch up to the group read!).

71hailelib
apr 2, 2012, 12:20pm

XI. Anything Goes - Nonfiction #3

37. Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky -- finished Apr 2, 2012

A slim, attractive book including a Preface, two-page spreads for 50 islands, Glossary, and Index. There is a great map of each island and on the facing page an interesting story connected to the island along with alternate names, country, number of inhabitants, etc.
The book is well designed and my only quibble there is that the Penguin orange used in the timelines and the Preface text doesn't have quite enough contrast for my eyes so that it was a bit hard for me to make out. However the color scheme works brilliantly for the maps.

Some of the islands I had heard of and some were new to me but many of the stories were a bit unexpected and nearly all were very interesting. Highly recommended for anyone fascinated by maps and atlases.

From my public library. Total pages = 144 910.914

72lkernagh
apr 2, 2012, 9:40pm

Good job on your reading for the challenge Tricia! Heyer is a fun read. I may need to think about revisiting her book as part of next year's challenge.....

73hailelib
Redigerat: apr 7, 2012, 1:08pm

XII Fiction Rereads #4

38. April Lady by Georgette Heyer -- finished Apr 4, 2012

While I have an old (nearly ready to fall apart) copy of April Lady I actually read it on an iPad as a library download. I've read it several times before over the years but, as always, I found it to be delightful. Nell, Giles, and their siblings have a few problems to work through but by the end of the story everyone gets what they want. The proper end to one of Heyer's light Regencies.

Ebook ? pages. My copy has 217 pages.

74hailelib
Redigerat: apr 7, 2012, 1:07pm

III. Favorite Authors #4

39. Fair Game by Patricia Briggs -- finished Apr 6, 2012

About a year after some of the werewolves have 'come out' to the public, Charles has become worn down with the harsh disciple he must mete out to those who are endangering the other wolves by their uncontrolled behavior. Anna is very worried and at last gets Bran to consider than perhaps Charles should be given fewer or at least different assignments as his Enforcer.

Thus Charles and Anna find themselves in Boston as consultants to the FBI agents who are tracking a serial killer. It turns out that the killer is targeting fae and werewolves primarily. I figured out the killer before they did but the story was kept interesting by Charles' difficulties and by Anna's attempts to help him. There was also the relationships between the various Feds and the supernaturals and, at the end, the general public. Will all the effort that Bran and his Alphas have expended trying to generate good public relations be for naught? I will be eagerly awaiting Ms. Briggs next installment in her world of the Marrok to find out what happens next.

The Alpha and Omega series is a good companion series to the Mercy Thompson series and both are recommended for readers of urban fantasy.

From the public library. 293 pages.

75hailelib
apr 9, 2012, 10:23am

I. Young at Heart - YA #4

40. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale -- finished Apr 9, 2012

Book of a Thousand Days is loosely based on the tale of Maid Maleen as collected by the Brothers Grimm. However, Shannon Hale moves her setting to a place very like medieval Mongolia. Here Dashti becomes maid to Lady Saren and because Saren refuses to marry the suitor her father arranges for her, he shuts the two of them into a tower for seven years. The rejected suitor attacks Saren's kingdom and razes it to the ground and the other suitor (Tegus) for the Lady's hand is unable to release his Lady and goes away.

Finally, Dashti and Saren escape on their own when their food runs out but find only a devastated land. After some wandering they end up in Khan Tegus' city and find work in his kitchens. And things proceed ...

The story is told by Dashti in the form of a journal that she keeps. (Writing materials were part of the supplies left in the tower and the journal serves to record the days
and pass the time when Dashti isn't working.) She also writes down her thoughts and the healing songs she uses in an attempt to help Saren be less fearful and become stronger. However Saren doesn't reveal the cause of her fearfulness until they have been in the house of Khan Tegus for some time and it is more the presence of the cat they call My Lord than the healing songs that finally begin to help her. It is really Dashti who is the heroine of the story and not the Lady.

I really enjoyed Book of a Thousand Days and would recommend it to anyone who likes fairy tales and their retellings. Since it is aimed at the YA audience it is also a fairly quick read.

From the Public Library. 305 pages.

76hailelib
Redigerat: apr 14, 2012, 1:19pm

II. Mystery & Suspense #5.

41. The Attenbury Emeralds by Jill Paton Walsh -- finished Apr 9, 2012

The war is finally over and Lord Peter, Harriet, and their family have settled into post-war life. Thirty years after the original Attenbury 'case' young Lord Attenbury comes to Peter for help. There is a mystery aurrounding the famous large emerald that the Attenbury family has always kept in the bank because it is too valuable for use on other than state occasions. Can Lord Peter solve this mystery? And are any of the deaths associated with it over the years actually murder? With the help of Harriet and Bunter, Lord Peter does solve the puzzle of the emerald even though he is interrupted by a family crisis.

Some nice glimpses into life in England during the post-war era and a nice visit with the Wimseys. Though Walsh isn't as really another Sayers I will still be reading A Presumption of Death which takes place during the war at Talboys.

From the public library. 374 pages. Large Print Edition

IX. Science & Technology #2.

42. Big Bang : The Origin of the Universe by Simon Singh -- finished Apr 10, 2012

Singh has written a very good piece of popular science in Big Bang. While I knew the science he introduced, I loved the way he laid it out for the general reader with clear explanations, good illustrations, and a minimum of equations. Told in chronological order from the Greek philosophers to the cosmologists of today, Big Bang is also a history of science and an explanation of how science is done. It was also a good review for me of relativity and cosmology.

To me, the really great thing was all the details about the people and how they explored their ideas that I had not run across before reading this book. Additionally there were a wealth of quotes from scientists and non-scientists to introduce and illuminate the various sections.

Recommended.

From the public library. 497 pages + glossary + bibliography.

77hailelib
Redigerat: apr 14, 2012, 3:12pm

III. Favorite Authors#5.

43. Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann -- finished Apr 12, 2012

A romantic suspense with emphasis on the suspense though there are two romances; that of Shane Laughton and Michelle "Mac" Mackenzie and the one between Elliot Zerkowski and Stephen Diaz. There is also another pair who may or may not eventually have a more than friends relationship.

The story takes place in a future dystopian United States where the distance between haves and have-nots has become exceedingly vast. People will take any kind of job that will give them enough funds to eat and have a place to sleep. There are also the Greater-Thans who have been born with the ability to access more of their brain than the 'normal' people. The Obermeyer Institute searches out and trains Greater-Thans to properly use their abilities.

But a very expensive and super addictive drug is being sold that will turn anyone into a Greater-Than and then turn them violently insane. Teams from OI regularly have to go out and subdue these addicts. With his skills as a former SEAL, Shane is welcomed into the institute. And the story develops from there.

This is very much a Brockmann novel but it also has some elements that are new such as the rather bleak future setting and the Greater-Than 'powers' that include super-strength, telepathy, aging reversal, etc. It did leave me hoping for a sequel or even a series. She does say in a note at the beginning of the book that this is the first book of The Fighting Destiny Series.

From the Public Library 511 pages.

II. Mystery and Suspense #6.

44. Death at Epsom Downs by Robin Paige -- finished Apr 13, 2012

A so-so mystery with an interesting background and some very interesting historical characters, the most noted being Lillie Langtry and The Prince of Wales, Albert Edward. The Victorian and horse racing details are well researched and the book was worth a read for that but it did drag a little for me. It's the seventh in a series but seemed to work all right as a stand alone story.

Robin Paige is in fact the writing team of Susan Wittig Albert and Bill Albert and each of them supplied an author's note at the end.

While I don't regret reading this book, I probably won't actively seek out others in the series.

From the public library. 292 pages.

78hailelib
apr 16, 2012, 9:46am

III. Favorite Authors #6.

45. The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith -- finished Apr 15, 2012

Another short, easy, but entertaining tale featuring The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. While the 'mysteries' are not particularly difficult for Mma Ramotswe to solve there are developments in the lives of Phuti and Mma Makutsi. We do get to visit a different part of Botswana, the Okavango Delta, and there are Precious Ramotswe's observations on her fellow humans to delight us as always.

From the public library. 211 pages.

79hailelib
apr 17, 2012, 12:29pm

I need to stay out of the local library until I've done more of my planned reading for April. We went in yesterday to return some books and movies (We both thought the movie J. Edgar was really good.) and they had two books I had requested. Luckily I didn't see any others I wanted to read more than the ones already in the pile at home. However those two plus another novel I acquired on my previous trip are now at the top of the pile. Maybe I should turn it over and put the bottom ones on top!

80hailelib
Redigerat: maj 1, 2012, 1:58pm

I. Young at Heart #5.

46. Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer -- finished Apr 17, 2012

I read this because of an enthusiastic mention of the second book in the trilogy that it is a part of and I enjoyed it enough to immediately order the other two from the library. Miranda has to grow up quickly after a major disaster affects the entire earth. We follow her family's struggles to cope with food shortages, cold, an altered climate, epidemics, and the lost of loved ones through Miranda's journal entries.

Life as We Knew It is marketed for ages 12 and up but I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys survival and disaster stories, especially if they like YA literature.

from the public library. 337 pages

VI. Anything Goes -- Fiction #2 and #3

47. Ruthless Game by Christine Feehan -- finished Apr 18, 2012

From the LT reviews apparently I'm not the only one who found the early books in the series better than the more recent ones. Ruthless Game was far from a favorite read and I could have done without the frequent and overly long 'bedroom' scenes. In fact, after the first couple I pretty much skipped those in order to get on with the story. Only recommended for completest readers of the GhostWalkers series.

From the public library. 397 pages

48. A Presumption of Death by Jill Paton Walsh and Dorothy L. Sayers -- finished Apr 19, 2012

A moderately OK mystery (though the murderer of the landgirl was pretty easy to spot!) with Harriet Vane Wimsey doing most of the detecting in the first half of the book since Peter is on a secret mission somewhere. It's early in WWII and Harriet is at Talboys with both the Wimsey and the Parker children and the country round about is full of evacuees, airmen, and landgirls. Naturally Harriet agrees when the overworked local police ask for a bit of help in a murder investigation. But it's Peter who, after his return, comes up with the answer. Nice details of village life at the beginning of the war and a nice visit with the Wimsey family. For those who can't get get enough of Ms. Sayer's characters even when written by another author.

From the public library. 378 pages

81lkernagh
apr 20, 2012, 12:01am

I need to stay out of the local library until I've done more of my planned reading for April.

I have tried that repeatedly over various months and have failed miserably each time..... good luck and know that you have a support group here! ;-)

82DeltaQueen50
apr 20, 2012, 1:26pm

Hi Tricia, glad you enjoyed Life As We Knew It. I am on my way out the door to go to the library, fingers crossed I only pick up what I ordered!

83hailelib
apr 20, 2012, 9:22pm

I sent my husband today and he only got the things on hold. So, maybe I'll actually read some of the ones that I've already got sitting next to the bed!

84hailelib
Redigerat: maj 1, 2012, 1:59pm

I. Young at Heart #6

49. The Dead and the Gone and This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer-- finished Apr 21, 2012

These two books are number two and three in the trilogy that Pfeffer began with Life as we Knew It. They were quick reads that I finished in one afternoon, picking up the last one immediately after closing the first one. In The Dead and the Gone we follow Alex and his sisters and discover how New York City fared in the months following the change in orbit of our Moon. The disruption in food supplies, the looting, and the "flu" epidemic make life hard for everyone remaining in the city. Scavenging becomes a way of life for Alex as he tries to keep his remaining family together. Then comes the opportunity to leave the city for good.

In This World We Live In the narration is resumed by Miranda via her diaries. While the first two books seemed to end on slightly hopeful notes this volume again plunges our characters into major difficulties and they end up worse off than before. Somehow neither Miranda nor Alex came off as well in the third book. With Miranda having her first really serious crush and Alex acting super stubborn in his determination to lodge Julie in a convent or a 'safe' city, it took a tornado to jolt them back into a more realistic stance. I was also left feeling that humanity just might not make it. There is also the sense I had that Pfeffer was either a bit tired of her story or she was leaving room for a fourth volume. Still this was a good trilogy when taken as a whole.

From the public library. 321 pages and 239 pages.

85hailelib
Redigerat: maj 1, 2012, 1:59pm

X. History, Biography #3.

50. Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson by David O. Stewart -- finished Apr 24, 2012

An interesting blow-by-blow account of Johnson's difficult Presidency and his troubles with Congress. Not everyone will be up for the level of detail here, but the book is well researched and the graft, bribery, etc. that was rampant in the 1860's makes today's politicians look good. Of course, it may be that today they are more adept at hiding the evidence. The book certainly demolishes some of the 'myths' that have grown up around Lincoln, Johnson, and Reconstruction. Johnson got off to a rocky start and he would certainly have had an easier time if he had been able to compromise rather than get angry and stubborn and try to go around Congress. Recommended, especially for those who like all the details of who did what and when.

From the public library. 326 pages plus appendices, extensive notes, and index. 973.81

86hailelib
Redigerat: maj 1, 2012, 1:59pm

VI. Anything Goes - Fiction #4

51. Left for Dead by J. A. Jance -- finished Apr 24, 2012

Another in the mystery/suspense series featuring Ali Reynolds and her friends. This is book seven and, while it probably doesn't really require that the reader be familiar with the earlier books, I think that reading these in order would be best.

A friend of Ali's from the Police Academy is seriously injured in a shooting and she volunteers to help his young wife. While at the hospital she also becomes involved with Sister Anselm's current case, a young girl left for dead in the Arizona desert. I did enjoy this book but I also figured out what was going on before the various cops (and our heroine) arrived at the correct answer. It was a great distraction from the aftermath of a major dental procedure and a nice change of pace from my nonfiction reading.

Recommended for Jance's fans.

From the public library. 293 pages

87hailelib
Redigerat: maj 1, 2012, 2:06pm

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction #5

52. The Magicians by Lev Grossman -- Finished Apr 28, 2012

After reading this story I understand why there is such a divergence of opinion about it. There's lots of teen-age angst and I didn't find the main characters particularly likeable. The "hero", Quentin, takes forever to grow up and he spends most of his life up to the end of the novel waiting for his wonderful future to magically appear. Although very gifted his potential is thus being largely wasted and his time in his dream world of Fillory doesn't seem to teach him anything until the very end of Grossman's story. Even then I wasn't sure if Quentin had really grown up. And yet, the book kept me turning pages right up to the end and rooting for the characters to find themselves. My recommendation is to read a few reviews before deciding whether to read this book.

From the public library. 402 pages.

88hailelib
Redigerat: maj 1, 2012, 2:23pm

I've read a lot of fiction this month and I know there will be little trouble doing the full 12 in each of those categories. However the mixed and nonfiction categories are filling more slowly! While I've started several books that I do intend to finish, none of them 'grab' me so that I can't wait to get back to them.

Reading so far:

I. Young at Heart -- 6 of 12
II. Mystery and Suspense -- 6 of 12
III. Favorite Authors -- any genre -- 6 of 12
IV. Next in Line -- 6 of 12
V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever -- 5 of 12
VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction - overflow -- 4 of 12
VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)philosophy and psychology/education. -- 3 of 12
VIII. Short and Sweet -- 4 of 12
IX. Science and Technology -- 2 of 12
X. History, Biography/Memoir -- 3 of 12
XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction -- 3 of 12
XII. Fiction Rereads -- 4 of 12

Total: 52 of 144

The books that stand out for April are (in no particular order):

The Atlas of Remote Islands and Big Bang by Singh for nonfiction.

April Lady and the trilogy by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

Next: to finish the nonfiction I've started and to read at least some of the holdovers from April. These include The Technologists, The Sparrow, The Merchant's Mark, and The Iron Hand of Mars. They keep getting pushed aside for 'new' books from the library! And of course there is the stack of library books I haven't even opened...

89hailelib
Redigerat: maj 1, 2012, 10:12pm

The two books I'm hoping to finish soon are Over the edge of the world : Magellan's terrifying circumnavigation of the globe and The Rise of Radio.

Meanwhile I have pretty well finished the cookbook I've been reading:

XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction #4

53. Madhur Jaffrey's Step-by-Step Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey -- finished May 1, 2012

A large format and beautifully organized cookbook with great photos illustrating each step of the recipes. The author includes bits of history, personal experiences, and sample menus. A good book for someone who seriously wants to prepare Southeast Asian cuisine in their own kitchen. While I may not try any of the specific recipes here it did give me some inspiration for my own kitchen. I will probably take another look at some of the ideas before returning this book to the library.

Recommended.

From the public library. 264 pages. 641.5954

90lkernagh
maj 1, 2012, 9:54pm

Hi Tricia, looks like you are making great progress with your challenge!

91christina_reads
maj 1, 2012, 11:41pm

52 out of 144 books? I'm impressed! Wish I were that far along. :)

92hailelib
maj 2, 2012, 4:33am

Some were short and easy reads!

93hailelib
maj 3, 2012, 11:40am

IX. Science and Technology #3.

54. The Rise of Radio, from Marconi through the Golden Age by Alfred Balk -- Finished May 3, 2012

This would have fit in a couple of other categories but I finally went with technology since radio broadcasting is a product of technology and invention. It could also have fit history and Anything Goes equally well.

The Rise of Radio took some time to read as there were new names of people, places, and shows mentioned in practically every paragraph. (And they were often short paragraphs.) The chapters were fairly short with each one covering a different aspect of radio history in the US. The amazing thing was how many names I recognized, though many I knew from TV rather than from listening to the radio. And one major early figure in broadcasting and hardware (receivers and other equipment), Powell Crosley, Jr., I knew from his manufacture of refrigerators that seemed to last forever.

While I am glad to have read this book and to revisit memories and learn about the early careers of a number of entertainers, I'm not sure I would recommend it. It requires patience and a tolerance for the sometimes dry recitation of facts and a bit of repetitiveness due to the organization of the material. On the other hand there was the occasional surprising and interesting anecdote. For instance, Edward R. Murrow, on a trip back from England after his historic broadcasts from London in the early days of WWII, was invited to dinner at the White House. He and his wife ended up having a light meal of scrambled eggs with Eleanor Roosevelt since Franklin Roosevelt was too busy to see him before midnight. The date was Dec 7, 1941.

Probably the most important part of the book was Balk's analysis of the ways society and radio interacted and why the period between WWI and about 1950, particularly the thirties and forties came to be known as "the golden age of radio". He also tells us about the effects of the rising interest in TV, changes in the rules of ownership, deregulation, etc. Balk believes that today radio is a pale shadow of its former self and no longer the really positive force of its past.

From the public library. Text: 279 pages, illustration with photos. Also notes,bibliography, index. 384.54

94hailelib
Redigerat: maj 6, 2012, 11:05am

Vi. Anything Goes -- Fiction #5.

55. The Warlock by Michael Scott -- Finished May 4, 2012

The further adventures of Josh, Sophie, and the various Immortals and Elders they have met. As usual, the ending is something of a cliffhanger but the next (and supposedly final) volume will be out soon. I like this series and think it is above average YA fantasy with great use of both mythical and historical characters. However, the books should definitely be read in order and many people will prefer reading them close together.

From the public library. 400 pages.

95hailelib
Redigerat: maj 6, 2012, 11:10am

Viii. Short and Sweet #5 and #6.

56. The Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus -- finished May 5, 2012

Another YA but more for older children than teens and a quick read for adults. This one seems to be aimed at a fairly young audience between readers of the 39 Clues and readers of series like The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. However, I found The Gods of Manhattan to be less interesting than either of those. The premise that very important people became gods after death until they faded away when people no longer remembered them was interesting and their world had potential. Unfortunately, I don't think that Mebus quite pulled it off. There was something vaguely unsatisfying about the book and I may not bother with the sequel.

From the public library. 340 pages

57. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry -- finished May 6, 2012

This play has been discussed in more than one thread recently and sounded good, especially since it had been a long time since I saw the movie version. Driving Miss Daisy packs a lot into its 51 pages and rings true to me as to time and place. Exploring both aging and the changes in the relationship between Miss Daisy and Hoke, Uhry held my attention all thought this small prize-winning gem. Recommended.

From the public library. 51 pages.

96lkernagh
maj 6, 2012, 6:05pm

Rise of Radio looks good! Happy to see you also enjoyed Uhry's play..... ;-)

97hailelib
maj 6, 2012, 7:06pm

Just remember that the Radio book requires a bit of patience! Still, I had some fun with it.

I've ordered tithe DVD of Driving Miss Daisy from the library as I'm interested in comparing the two.

98hailelib
maj 7, 2012, 10:21am

I. Young at Heart #7.

58. Bewitching by Alex Flinn -- May 6, 2012

Bewitching was an impulse download from the 'Newest Ebooks' section of my library's catalog which I tried because it was a fairy tale retelling. It was relatively short and featured several tales (mostly a variant of Cinderella) along with the witch Kendra and her story. Kendra is the overall narrator and tries to explain why her helping others solve their problems is often a bad idea as something generally goes wrong. The Cinderella story is about Emma and her stepsister, Lisette, and how Lisette coming to live with her Dad and his wife and stepdaughter affects Emma's life. While Emma and even Lisette do grow up some in the story, there is an awful lot of 'Am I pretty enough?', 'Why isn't life fair?', 'Why doesn't anyone like me?' and all the other questions that worry teens. This was definitely a story aimed at teens about concerns that loom large in their lives and will be enjoyed most by the ones who are looking for a fluff read about girls their own age.

From the public library. ebook with about 340 pages. (I would have guessed more like 200 by the length of time it took to read.)

99hailelib
Redigerat: maj 7, 2012, 10:28am

I've about OD'ed on YA this past week. Time to get back to Magellan and his search for THE strait. Then there's a book about the Americas before Columbus and some mysteries and speculative fiction that have been stacked by the bed practically forever. Also, I do need to work on my nonfiction categories a bit more in order to even them out with the others.

100hailelib
maj 12, 2012, 11:40am

IV. Next in Line #7.

59. The Iron Hand of Mars by Lindsey Davis -- Finished May 11, 2012

I really meant to read this in April (4th in series) but by the time my husband finished it we were into May. This Falco installment is a solid read that is about about average for the series so far. The series takes place in the Roman Empire during the time of Vespasian and his son Titus. Although the story commences in Rome, Didius Falco is soon on his way to Germany on an investigation for the Emperor (where he also hopes to find Helena). Between lover's quarrels, politics, disappearing legates, murders, and the aftermath of revolt by various Germanic tribes, Falco has his hands full. We are still enjoying this series and will definitely be looking for the next book.

101VictoriaPL
maj 12, 2012, 9:05pm

You are making me want to read more of Lindsey Davis. I bet Falco was a nice break from the YA. I've been doing a fair amount of YA myself lately and you're right, balance is important!

102hailelib
maj 13, 2012, 11:22am

I especially like all the details Davis gives us about various aspects of life in the Empire.

103hailelib
Redigerat: maj 14, 2012, 9:49am

X. History, Biography #4.

60. Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands by May Cravath Wharton M.D. -- finished May 13, 2012

Doctor Woman is an autobiography of a woman who led a very interesting life. Born about 1873 on a farm in Minnesota and then spending part of her early life in South Dakota, when her father tried homesteading there, May eventually attended Carleton College, graduated from the University of North Dakota, and spent a year studying in Europe. Then after a year teaching at the University of North Dakota and a broken engagement, May reverted to a childhood dream of being a doctor and enrolled at the Medical School of the University of Michigan when she was 28. Eventually, as a doctor practicing in Atlanta, she met Edwin Wharton. After their marriage they went to Cleveland where he acted as a minister and she was resident doctor at a mission (?) house or settlement. Then they found themselves in New Hampshire for eight years. But finally they had a 'call' to go to Pleasant Hill Academy in a rural and isolated area of the Tennessee Cumberland Plateau. And this was just thru page 27!

Doctor May, as she came to be called, was a teacher and doctor for the residential Academy. This Academy was supported by the Congregationalist Church as a mission to provide education for the children of a rather isolated area just west of the Smoky Mountains. She arrived in 1917 and had settled in and gotten her school clinic off the ground with some basic heath care for the students when the flu of 1918 arrived. With 90% of the students and staff sick and needing expert care her burdens were increased as families in the surrounding area began calling on her help. At the time the only way of reaching many of the cabins where her patients lived was to walk the many miles between them through all kinds of weather, over rickety swinging bridges or through dangerous fords. Later Dr. May was able to acquire a horse, then a buggy, and eventually an old Ford. However, people further and further from the Academy were calling on her so that the travel time continued to consume large parts of her day. (And night!)

There are many anecdotes about her adventures and her various patients as she became a valued member of the "mountain" community in the middle portion of the book and this is the section that I most enjoyed. I can actually remember the stories my parents and grandparents told about this area and the author's observations of the life there brought it all back. One house I remember visiting that belonged to my mother's grandparents never did have electricity and they were comparatively well-to-do since he had a general store and was the local pharmacist. They lived more toward the Kentucky border but the country was much the same. I actually visited Pleasant Hill with my father's parents at a time when Dr. May would have been living there though I was too young to remember more than the fact that we went there. So, in many ways, her story was a reminder of my roots and of how much things have changed.

At any rate I thoroughly enjoyed this book although the constant fund-raising towards the end was less interesting. Still, it was a necessary component of her life as was the continuous search for people to come help with the work for very little compensation beyond the satisfaction of helping others to a healthier and better life.

Recommended for those interested in the history of rural health care and in the history of Tennessee, particularly that of the Cumberland Plateau and its people.

From my own shelves. 214 pages 610.924B

104hailelib
maj 15, 2012, 2:01pm

IV. Anything Goes - Fiction # 6.

61. The Technologists by Matthew Pearl -- finished May 15, 2012

A lot of the reviewers have given good descriptions of the basic story in The Technologists so I'll just say that I enjoyed the novel, the history of Boston and MIT and the glimpses of the attitudes prevalent among various groups about science and what it can and can't do. It left me thinking that I might like to read one of Pearl's other novels before long.

From my own shelves. 476 pages including afterword, etc.

105lkernagh
maj 16, 2012, 12:02am

Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands sounds interesting! Glad to see you enjoyed The Technologists. For such a large book page-wise it does fly by very quickly.

106hailelib
maj 17, 2012, 2:03pm

I don't know that Dr. May Wharton was a particularly good writer but the story she had to tell was really interesting to me. The book had been setting here for some time unread. It was one my mother had picked up somewhere years ago when she was collecting books on Tennessee history and it was one of the ones I decided to keep when my father's stuff had to be moved since the house was being sold.

107hailelib
Redigerat: maj 17, 2012, 2:53pm

Two more books finished, both yesterday, both first heard about on LibraryThing.

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction #6.

62. Hearth: Exile by M. R. Jenks -- Finished May 16, 2012

This is by an LT author who offered it in a short free-download promotion on Amazon. (I'm pretty sure it was in a thread on the Hobnob with Authors group.) The premise sounded interesting so I took a chance.

Exile is the first volume in a projected series and is not really a stand-alone book because some people will see the ending as something of a cliff-hanger. This self-published book was remarkably free of typos and while I did find that there were a couple of slightly awkward sentences and I was a bit confused about Sister Regina's religious views these are minor quibbles. The storytelling was great, pulling me in immediately so that I had to keep reading til later in the night than I meant to. (This Kindle version was set up properly and worked as expected in my IPad Kindle app.)

At the beginning of Hearth: Exile we meet a despairing Brinn outside St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. For months he has been searching for clues to his identity and his past with very little luck. Homeless, with a rather peculiar form of amnesia, Brinn has about run out of ideas as to what he should do next. Then he meets Lauren who has the same problems with her memory. Through her, Brinn also meets Page, a young orphan, and Sister Regina of the Convent of the Sisters of Saint Margaret. With their help he finds a temporary refuge working for the Sisters and begins to recover his memory and uncover the fact that he and Lauren are not from our world. The story is about their recovery, the relationship they form with Page and their discovery of the danger they are all in.

My only real complaint about M. R. Jenk's book is that it will be a few months before the next installment is available.

From my own "shelves". about 300 pages ebook

108hailelib
maj 17, 2012, 3:10pm

IX. Science and Technology #4.

63. Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine --Finished May 16, 2012

The version I read id the original 1991 book, not the updated one that has appeared more recently.

Last Chance to See is a great read, combining humor, facts and a very serious subject in an entertaining book. Adams and Carwardine travel to remote locations to see seriously endangered animals and all but their first journey were recorded for BBC Radio. While some of their experiences were hilariously narrated by Adams the underlying message was always that mankind should be doing a better job of taking care of the Earth. Whether you like Adam's fiction or not give this book a try. Or read the much more recent version where Carwardine and Fry revisit these places.

From the public library. 216 pages. 591.52

109The_Hibernator
maj 17, 2012, 8:01pm

I loved Last Chance to See, too! (I also read the 1991 version.)

110psutto
maj 18, 2012, 5:37am

one of my favourite books, its also worth reading the Stephen Fry version and catching both the original radio shows (available on the BBC website) and the more recent TV program...

111fantaginamaria.wac01
maj 18, 2012, 5:41am

yes

112hailelib
maj 18, 2012, 8:49am

Thinking back, before LT I had gotten into a reading rut where nearly everything I read could be considered romance or romantic suspense. Somehow my reading of non-fiction and non-romance genres had faded away into practically nothing. But with all the recommendations and the formation of the various challenge groups my reading has broadened to cover all kinds of books once more and romance and formerly favorite authors are just a small part of my reading. I must admit, however, that fantasy of all kinds does account for a lot of my fiction! But I did have periods of my life when SF was a dominant genre for fiction and textbooks made up most of the non-fiction reading. Still, thanks to all the people here who have introduced me to new authors and a lot of great books about all kinds of subjects.

113hailelib
maj 21, 2012, 4:08pm

XII. Rereads - Fiction #5

Grabbing a small paperback to pass the time in the doctor's waiting room a couple of weeks ago, I came up with this one which I finished last night (after getting most of way through in another waiting room).

64. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs -- finished May 17, 2012

This is an old paperback which I bought in 1963 when Ballantine was reprinting many of Burrough's books. Even then the 'science' was a bit nonsensical and his Mars unrealistic but the adventure was great. Even though it had been a long time since I had read any of the Mars books I still enjoyed the adventure and even the antique 'pulp' writing. However, one does have to remember that these books were written a hundred years ago and some of the characters' attitudes and beliefs would be frowned on if expressed by contemporary authors. My library has ordered the DVD of the new movie, "John Carter", and it will be interesting to compare it with the original.

From my own shelves. 149 pages.

114hailelib
maj 21, 2012, 4:34pm

II. Mystery and Suspense #7

65. The Merchant's Mark by Pat McIntosh -- May 21, 2012

The third installment of the Gil Cunningham series of medieval mysteries which take place in Scotland and in particular Glasgow. I'm finding these a little harder to come by than some of the other books I've been reading so this one was from Amazon. What I find interesting is the time and place and the details of everyday life more than the actual mystery.

In this episode Gil and an old acquaintance, Augie Morison, have ordered some books from a dealer in the Low Countries, and the small barrel has finally arrived. Gil and his friend Pierre go along to see the delivery opened and all present are surprised to find that the contents are a head, some Royal treasure, and brine. Of course all this is reported to the Provost and an inquest is held but complications ensue. Gil along with Pierre travel back and forth across Scotland trying to solve the mystery of the head's identity and why it was packed with some of the King's property. Back in Glasgow Gil's fiance and his sister find that they are just as involved in unraveling the mystery. I enjoyed The Merchant's Mark and will eventually track down the next book in this series. (Since there are references to people and events from earlier books one should probably read them in order.)

From my own shelves. 327 pages.

115hailelib
maj 22, 2012, 3:41pm

Vii. Spirit and Mind #4.

66. Mr g: a novel about the Creation by Alan Lightman -- finished May 22, 2012

Although this is a work of fiction, Mr g raises some of the same questions that scientists, theologians, and philosophers ask. I'm not really sure what I think about Lightman's little novel but it was interesting and I think that this category is as good a fit as any.

From the public library. 214 short pages.

116hailelib
maj 23, 2012, 12:00pm

XII. Fiction Rereads #6

67. Hot Money by Dick Francis -- finished May 23, 2012

Wanted something lighter than my current nonfiction to wait out a thunderstorm. (We usually unplug everything electronic when storms are close. Can't afford to replace stuff!) This was the book I lit on. Even though I remembered who the murderer was from about page 2, it was fun following Ian Pembroke about and seeing how he figured out what was going on and what the real motive was. A fairly good story that hasn't aged too much but I am a Francis fan.

From my own shelves. 279 pages. published 1988 (USA)

117hailelib
Redigerat: maj 26, 2012, 12:35pm

III. Favorite Authors #7.

68. Celebrity in Death by J. D. Robb -- finished May 24, 2012

For me, the "In Death" books are ones that I will read straight through so I have to start them with a fairly free day ahead. That said, this latest book in the series will not end up as one of my favorites.

We start with Dallas and friends attending a dinner party to celebrate the near completion of the vid being made from Nadine's bestseller about the Icove affair (an earlier case).
The actors and their real life counterparts enjoy dinner and then watch a gag reel in the host's home theater. Just as the party is breaking up one of the actors is discovered dead and it is unclear whether it's an accident or homicide.
Naturally, Dallas ends up as the primary investigator.

In this book the main focus is on Dallas and Peabody with the usual satellites appearing infrequently. Even Roarke has a smaller role than usual. I also thought there was less emphasis than usual on the differences between the New York of 2012 and our own New York. A slight irritant was the overuse of NYSPD cop jargon, especially acronyms, in the first part of the book.

Recommended for fans who have read all the earlier books. (There are definite spoilers for a couple of those other books in the series.)

From the public library. 389 pages.

118hailelib
Redigerat: maj 26, 2012, 1:38pm

X. History, Biography #5

69. Over the edge of the world : Magellan's terrifying circumnavigation of the globe by Laurence Bergreen -- finished May 26, 2012

Over the Edge of the world is a detailed account of the Armada with Magellan as its Captain-General that set out from Spain to find the Strait that was thought to connect the Atlantic with the Seas on the other side of the Americas.
Leaving Seville in 1519, the fleets ultimate mission was to find an alternate route to the Spice Islands and claim new lands for Spain.

Magellan's mission was complicated by politics, unscrupulous suppliers, officers at odds with him and with the other officers, incompetence and inexperience among the officers, and ignorance about the size of the South American continent, the location of a possible strait and the fact that the Pacific was huge instead of the the narrow body of water they were expecting. This is a detailed account of rivalries, mutinies, and extreme hardships, the deaths of their Captain-General and many of their officers and fellow crewmen, largely drawn from the diaries and recollections of men who participated in the voyage.

Finally, in September of 1522, the last remaining ship of the fleet made it back to Seville with less than one-tenth of the men aboard who had set out on the Armada's five ships. Eighteen of the original expedition had come home having circumnavigated the globe and acquiring a cargo consisting of precious spices. It was nearly sixty years before another expedition would repeat their feat.

This was a very informative book and included detailed Notes and sources. If you like books about exploration or about the rivalry between Spain and Portugal during the Age of Discovery give this book a try.

From the public library. 414 pages plus Notes, etc. 910.92

119hailelib
Redigerat: jun 2, 2012, 8:31am

VI. Anything Goes #7.

70. Born of Silence by Sherrilyn Kenyon -- finished May 29, 2012

Born of Silence is the fifth League novel that Kenyon has written over the past ~20 years and one of her really long ones. While I enjoyed it well enough there was a lot of "Why do I have to suffer so much?" on the part of both the hero and the heroine. Also, be advised that there are inconsistencies between this novel and the first one featuring the League universe. While I read Kenyon's books occasionally, if I come across a new one at the library, I don't seek them out.

Born of Silence is the story of Darling Cruel and Zarya. Since Darling is the heir to the government Zarya is trying to overthrow they only meet in his guise of Kere, another Resistance leader, and she has never seen his real face. Then he is captured by the Resistance as Prince Darling and their troubles really begin. This was OK while I was reading it but not particularly memorable.

From the public library. 614 pages

120hailelib
maj 31, 2012, 11:02am

IX. Science and Technology #5.

71. Tomatoland : How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit by Barry Estabrook -- Finished May 31, 2012

Tomatoland is a book that I saw mentioned by another member of the group and since my library had it I ordered it on impulse. Estabrook's book was interesting to me and has convinced me to try and visit the local farmer's market again. There is some history of the tomato and also some information on current research in tomato genetics, heirloom varieties, and improving the commercial product as far as taste is concerned. A large portion of the book, however, covered the way tomatoes are grown in an area that has the wrong soil and climate (Florida) by extreme use of chemical fertilizer and pesticide applications. There is also a lot of text devoted to the plight of the field workers. These workers often don't speak English and have only a little Spanish with their first language being an obscure Amerindian language. Thus they don't really understand their rights, how to avoid pesticide contamination, etc. Just the fight to see that they are paid at least minimum wage has been an uphill one. Not a book to read while eating tomatoes!

From the public library. 201 pages +notes, bibliography, index 635.642

121hailelib
Redigerat: jun 2, 2012, 8:34am

End of May round-up:

Reading so far:

I. Young at Heart -- 7 of 12
II. Mystery and Suspense -- 7 of 12
III. Favorite Authors -- any genre -- 7 of 12
IV. Next in Line -- 7 of 12
V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever -- 6 of 12
VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction - overflow -- 7 of 12
VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)philosophy and psychology/education. -- 4 of 12
VIII. Short and Sweet -- 6 of 12
IX. Science and Technology -- 5 of 12
X. History, Biography/Memoir -- 5 of 12
XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction -- 4 of 12
XII. Fiction Rereads -- 6 of 12

Total: 71 of 144

Favorites for May (no particular order):

Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands by May Cravath Wharton M.D. -- because of the time and place
Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine -- because of the subject and Adam's storytelling
Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry -- loved the play, then watched the movie (also excellent)
The Technologists by Matthew Pearl -- the setting and the story
The Merchant's Mark by Pat McIntosh -- the setting in medieval Glasgow and other Scottish locations

Made some progress at evening up my categories.

122christina_reads
jun 1, 2012, 10:42pm

You're doing so well! Congrats on the progress.

123hailelib
jun 2, 2012, 3:50am

Thanks!

124lkernagh
jun 2, 2012, 1:28pm

I see you are right on track with your challenge!

125hailelib
jun 3, 2012, 3:19pm

> 124

I'm doing OK so far but I expect some months will see fewer books finished than in May.

Yesterday was a reading day so I've finished two more fiction books, a short mystery and a fantasy.

126hailelib
jun 3, 2012, 3:46pm

Mystery and Suspense #8.

72. Drop Dead by June Drummond -- finished Jun 2, 2012

Drop Dead is a short mystery written in the 70's. No city or country is mentioned and I finally decided that the author was using a fictional stand-in for any English speaking city. Here she is looking at why some people choose suicide, some life, and some even choose murder. The time is just before Christmas, somewhere in the North (a snow storm is on its way to the city), and the book opens with a young woman taking a large amount of cash from her bank account. Later we discover that she uses it at Kuper's General Store, a multi-floor department store catering to the more affluent citizen's of the city where she buys numerous gifts to be gift-wrapped for 'David'. Then, after buying herself a new coat, the woman makes her way up to the ninth floor and goes out onto a balcony with the intention of jumping when the storm arrives. Much of the mystery revolves around David's identity and whereabouts. There are also the secrets that everyone is keeping.

This book had been lurking on my shelves unread for a long time and I think that it is the only book by Drummond that I have read. Apparently she wrote historical fiction, including romances, as well as mysteries and most of her books were first published in England although she spent most of her life in South Africa. I would not be adverse to reading something else by her.

From my own shelves. 154 pages.

127hailelib
jun 3, 2012, 4:16pm

And something different although it did involve a death and a mystery:

V. Science Fiction and Fantasy #7.

73. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire -- finished Jun 3, 2012

A fantasy starring October Daye who is half Fae and half Human. The locale is the San Francisco area where the human and the Fae worlds overlap with the various types of supernaturals moving between the two worlds using their magic to hide their existence from the ordinary humans. October, or Toby to her friends, had largely left the Fae world to live with her human lover and have a child with him. Working as a P.I., one day Toby was ambushed by a pureblood and left in a fishpond as a koi where she spent the next 14 years. By the time the spell broke her lover and child had moved on and wanted nothing to do with her and she had pretty much lost everything.

Then, the one Fae she had been regularly in touch with was murdered leaving a spell that bound Toby to solve the mystery of her death and punish the murderers or die herself. With her investigating skills rusty and not having caught up to the changes that had taken place while she was bespelled in the pond, Toby makes mistakes and more people die before she finds out who the criminal is.

McGuire has created an interesting world and I will probably read more of Toby's adventures since I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. It's the first in a series so there is a certain amount of world-building and back-story introduced but it was done well enough that I didn't notice any interference with the flow of the story.

From the public library. 346 pages.

128VictoriaPL
jun 3, 2012, 5:20pm

Both of those sound great, thanks! Don't you just love 'reading days'?

129christina_reads
jun 6, 2012, 12:46pm

@ 127 -- I love the Toby Daye series! I found book #2, A Local Habitation, to be a bit weak compared to the others. But stick with it, because all the rest of the books are great!

130hailelib
jun 6, 2012, 1:11pm

>129 christina_reads:

While my local library has the first Toby Daye book they are missing the second. I did put it in my Wishlist collection so that I wouldn't forget to look for it at the local used bookstore when I finally get there again.

Meanwhile I read another chunk of 1491 - right now in a section about pre-Inkan civilizations in the Andes. There are so many unfamiliar names that it requires a fair amount of focus so last night I took another break with fiction that we picked up at the library yesterday. (We took back five books and videos and came out with six.)

On another note, Jim finished reading Last Chance to See and liked it so much he wants to order a copy for our son. (Birthday coming up!)

131hailelib
jun 7, 2012, 3:51pm

Between bits of 1491 I've read two fiction books that I picked up from the library. the only surprising thing about that is that both are on my lists of possibles posted upthread. That means I've actually read 12 out of about 80 from that list and even fewer from the list of 100 I keep on my public library online account. Since the library list stays maxed out there are lots of others that I can't even put on it. Instead I have a LOT of favorite messages marked in the group threads here. One day I need to look at them and make up a new list somewhere. This expanding of lists is a common problem, isn't it?

132hailelib
Redigerat: jun 16, 2012, 10:36am

III. Favorite Authors #8.

74. Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick -- finished Jun 6, 2012

Nothing surprising here as Crystal Gardens is typical of recent Amanda Quick novels. A little romance, a little mystery, some recycling of past ideas, a middling amount of paranormal. Just what I was in the mood for so I enjoyed it. However for people who aren't fans already I would recommend starting with one of the earlier historical fiction books the author wrote under this name, especially if paranormal isn't your thing.

From the public library. 320 pages plus a preview of the next Jayne Castle book.

IV. Next in Line/Series #8.

75. Bitten by Kelly Armstrong -- finished Jun 7, 2012

Bitten is the first book in the Women of the Otherworld series by Armstrong. This is a series that I have read mostly out of order beginning with No Humans Involved.
While I had picked up a lot of Elena and Clay's early history together from those later books this is where it we learn haw Elena really began to come to terms with becoming a werewolf and with Clay having bitten her before she even knew that such beings were real. The story opens with Elena living in Toronto with her human boyfriend who hasn't a clue about the werewolf part of her life. There is a call from Jeremy, the Pack's Alpha, and she has to return to Stonehaven in a rural part of New York. There Elena discovers that the Pack is under attack and there is also the problem of Clay who considers her his mate. If you are interested in the Otherworld series this is a good place to start. While we only have werewolves in Bitten later books introduce us to the whole panoply of supernaturals. A good series for those who like urban fantasy.

From the public library. 518 pages.

133hailelib
Redigerat: jun 16, 2012, 10:37am

X. History, Biography #6.

76. 1491 : new revelations of the Americas before Columbus by Charles C. Mann - finished Jun 8, 2012

Last year I read the YA book Before Columbus by Mann and wanted to know more so I put this on my list at the public library and finally got around to requesting it.

Since there are a number of excellent reviews on LT I won't be long-winded here but this book is highly recommended for those with an interest in indigenous peoples, Andean civilizations, Mesoamerica, etc. The book is well researched and, while Mann's bias towards certain theories occasionally peaks through, he does try to be even-handed in presenting the various viewpoints on Pre-columbian America. It is also a fairly readable book for such a complicated subject.

Mann certainly convinced me that a lot of what I thought I knew about North American Indians on leaving school was totally wrong. Apparently, new discoveries and interpretations are happening nearly every year but not really making it into mainstream thought. (This book is c.2005.)

From the public library. 339 pages plus appendices,notes, extensive bibliography,index. 970.011

134hailelib
Redigerat: jun 16, 2012, 10:38am

VI. Anything Goes #8.

77. It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips -- finished Jun 9, 2012

This book by Phillips is the first one in the Chicago Stars series. It is mainly for her fans and for lovers of contemporary romance and American football.

Phoebe inherits her father's professional football team conditionally. If the team doesn't win the AFC championship in January then it will pass to her cousin instead. The story is about how two damaged people come to respect and even love one another while leading the team to a better than expected season.

I did describe this book to my son as a bit of fluff between more serious reads. Entertaining but not particularly memorable and not one I'm likely to reread.

From the public library. 376 pages.

135hailelib
jun 11, 2012, 10:45am

I'm about half-way through Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Almost every story Bradbury tells evokes some memory of my own childhood. One of the news stories following his death said that the book is semi-autobiographical and I can believe it. Good writing, good memories; what can be better?

136hailelib
Redigerat: jun 16, 2012, 10:38am

XII. Fiction Rereads #7

78. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury -- finished Jun 11, 2012

Bradbury's somewhat nostalgic look at childhood in an Illinois town during the summer of 1928. Although first published in 1946, Dandelion Wine is still a powerful look at the world of children discovering themselves and life during one eventful summer. Douglas and Tom are 12 and 10 and spend their summer exploring, playing, watching the neighbors, participating in the rituals of summer, experiencing loss and storing up memories.

I was vividly reminded of my own family's summers in the fifties which weren't so very different from Doug's. And in the end the memories of summer led to the memories of autumn which had it's own rituals as do all the seasons. I'm very glad to have reread this book after so many years.

Recommended.

From my own shelves. 184 pages.

137lkernagh
jun 12, 2012, 8:50pm

I tend to avoid Bradbury's works because I mistakenly assume that they all have a sci-fi angle. Your review has convinced me to revisit that assumption and add Dandelion Wine to my For Later list!

138hailelib
Redigerat: jun 16, 2012, 10:39am

> 137 I hope you like Dandelion Wine when you get to it.

Vii. Spirit and Mind #5.

79. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee -- finished Jun 14, 2012

In Stuff The authors do describe actual hoarders and their 'stuff' but they also spend much of each chapter talking about the attempts at treatment and the possible nature-nurture causes of hoarding. It's not just the elderly and the socially inept who hoard but people of all ages and walks of life.

Among Frost's case histories are people who are living in such dangerous conditions that their communities order a clean-out of their homes. This often causes as many problems as it solves and the hoarder generally is in the same situation less than a year later. Dr. Frost's most successful clients consider themselves to be recovering rather that cured and setbacks are common. Some clients are so distressed at trying to discard items that they terminate treatment instead.

If you know someone who you think might be a hoarder then this book is recommended since it has suggestions about what sometimes works and what never works.

From the public library. 279 pages plus notes. 616.852

139hailelib
Redigerat: jun 16, 2012, 10:39am

II. Mystery and Suspense #9.

80. Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell -- finished Jun 15, 2012

This was checked out of the library on impulse as I have enjoyed Elizabeth Lowell's books in the past; however, something about this novel didn't work for me. I can't quite put my finger on the problem. The general premise that begins with finding some unusual Mayan artifacts and follows through to a present day cult that thinks a new Age will begin with the proper sacrifice at the end of the current Long Count was quite interesting. Also, my impression was that the research done by the author was extensive and meticulous and the romance part of the story followed a fairly usual pattern. Maybe my dissatisfaction was because of my feeling that this novel was only written to take advantage of all the tabloid hype about the world ending in December, 2012. Or maybe it just wasn't up to Lowell's usual standard or perhaps my reading preferences have moved further from this type of book than I had realized.

From the public library. 390 pages.

140hailelib
Redigerat: jul 1, 2012, 10:51am

I. Young at heart #8.

81. Divergent by Veronica Roth -- June 17, 2012

I received this from the library much sooner than I expected and read it immediately. I also wrote a longish review which I lost...

Rather than trying to reconstruct it I'll just point to many already on LT. I will continue with the trilogy but I do agree with some of the criticism of the book. It is a page turner but the violence and the heavy risk taking glorified in the Dauntless training will not be for everyone. I also wouldn't give Roth's novel to younger YA readers.

From the public library. 487 pages + bonus materials + excerpt from Insurgent (This was the FollettBound Edition)

141hailelib
Redigerat: jul 1, 2012, 10:51am

XII. Fiction Rereads #8.

82. The Left Leg, The Hollow Chest, and File for Record by Phoebe Atwood Taylor writing as Alice Tilton -- finished Jun 19, 2012

The other day I wasn't in the mood for any of the books I had lined up so I went to my bookcases to see if anything grabbed me. The Hollow Chest turned out to be just what I wanted and led to a couple of others in the Leonidas Witherall series. I would probably have read even more before stopping but my copy of The Cut Direct is falling apart and I didn't have the patience at the moment to deal with loose pages. I did take a quick look at Amazon and they do have one of the series that I've never seen before as a 2.99 Kindle download. In fact there are four in the series that I have never come across before on the series page.

These were described on Amazon by one reader as "screwball comedies" in print. Not for everyone, but I've always liked them. Witherall is a retired teacher who used to work at the Meredith Academy for Boys. Unknown to most of his acquaintances he also writes adventure books about Lt. Haseltine and whenever he is in a tight spot, just like his hero he thinks about the battle of Cannae. Another oddity is Witherall's beard which makes him look like Shakespeare. This leads to many people calling him 'Bill', as well as Shakespeare, rather than use his name. In each book a rather odd murder is featured in such circumstances that 'Bill' and the other characters involved with the murderee must quickly solve the crime themselves to avoid jail and other undesirable consequences. Haseltine and Cannae also feature in the resolution of the crime in every book.

This series was written in the late thirties and early forties and the stories are contemporary to that time. The locale is the small towns and suburbs around Boston and the characters range from generals to small-time mobsters. (Frenchy in The Left Leg is a reformed triggerman and an old friend of Bill's.) If you like your mayhem served with copious amounts of broad comedy you might try one of the Witherall series.

From my own shelves. 171, 278, & 282 pages

142The_Hibernator
jun 19, 2012, 7:56pm

I felt that Divergent was a lot less violent (and gross) than Hunger Games. I liked Divergent even though I hated Hunger Games...

143christina_reads
jun 22, 2012, 1:55pm

The Witherall books sound like fun! I'll have to add them to the ever-growing list.

144hailelib
jun 22, 2012, 3:44pm

> 142 That may be true, but those who didn't like the level of violence in The Hunger Games may also have trouble with Divergent.

> 143 I think they are fun books and if I ever see the ones I don't already have I'll probably buy them. Sometimes the humor, even if not for every reader, is just right for my mood.

145hailelib
Redigerat: jul 1, 2012, 10:51am

XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction # 5.

83. Creating the Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka -- Finished Jun 22, 2012

Another in Susanka's Not So Big books, this one is from 2000 and therefore is not her latest. While there are some interesting houses featured and even a very small condo in New York City I didn't feel that I learned as much from this book as I did from her book on remodeling a home to better fit the 'not so big' philosophy. I would recommend it mostly to those who haven't seen her other books in the series. The most interesting part was at the end where the same generic plan was used as a starting point for two very different houses. One was the Back to Basics version and other she called The Whole Nine Yards version. Although the WNY house was only 400 square feet larger it cost nearly twice as much to build. Yet both were clearly livable for their families.

From the Public Library. 258 pages. 728.0973

146hailelib
Redigerat: jul 1, 2012, 10:52am

IX. Science and Technology #6.

84. An Imagined World: A Story of Scientific Discovery by June Goodfield -- finished Jun 26, 2012

A book that I pulled from our own shelves because it fit the June TIOLI subchallenge which turned out to be much better than I had expected. I only started reading it on the weekend and today it is finished having become a page-turner fairly quickly. Goodfield follows a medical researcher and her colleagues for several years as they struggle with questions about lymphocytes, immunodeficiency, and the role of iron in all this. The research described here takes place from 1975 to 1980.
The scientists are somewhat anonymous as they wished their names to be changed in this account of the highs and lows, both professional and personal. There were periods of exciting progress and others of disappointments and tedious repetition of their experiments. One recurring disappointment was the grant applications that kept coming back as 'scientifically sound but unfunded' so that 'Anna' and her group never were sure if they would have results before their money ran out. An interesting look at the process of science, and, since the author is a historian of science, the details are not too hard for the nonspecialist to follow.

From my own shelves. 240 pages. 616.07

147hailelib
Redigerat: jul 1, 2012, 10:53am

I. Young at Heart #9.

85. Insurgent by Veronica Roth -- finished June 28, 2012

As I expected, I read this straight through very soon after receiving it from the library. The story picks up almost immediately after the end of Divergent and again leaves us at a "What do we do now?" place in the characters lives. (Unfortunately the third book is probably a year away from release.) In this volume in the story of Tris and her family and friends we see the aftermath of the events in Divergent and discover more about what it means to be Divergent, especially as Divergent as Tris is. There are action scenes, betrayals, and secrets revealed. To say much more would be to give spoilers for both books, so...At any rate I'll be reading the third book in this trilogy whenever it appears.

From the public library. 525 pages.

148hailelib
Redigerat: jun 30, 2012, 10:05am

This week Jim received a copy of Selected Letters of James Thurber from our son (a belated Father's Day gift - didn't get it in the mail before taking off for California but sent it on his return. It looks interesting so I may take a look at it when Jim is finished brosing through it.

Meanwhile I'm about halfway through both Out of My Life and Thought by Albert Schweitzer and Quiet by Susan Cain. Neither one suited my mood yesterday so I downloaded a novella from the public library and read that instead.

149hailelib
Redigerat: jul 1, 2012, 10:53am

VIII. Short and Sweet #7.

86. Chaotic: A Novella by Kelly Armstrong -- Finished Jun 29, 2012

This novella takes place in Kelly's Women of the Otherworld series and is an introduction to Hope Adams, a Chaos half-demon. It also features Karl Marsten in a chapter of his life after he becomes reconciled to the North American werewolf Pack and is on fairly good terms with them. This novella originally appeared in the anthology Dates from Hell edited by Kim Harrison.

We open as Hope is attending a museum gala with a date arranged by her mother and totally bored by Douglas who is obviously more interested in networking than in getting to know her. Slipping away, she confronts Karl who is in the process of stealing some jewelry from a closed exhibit. From there it's action all the way since Hope thinks she's working for the Council while actually she is being manipulated by a Sorcerer in a spot of unsanctioned revenge against Karl. Not as good as Armstrong's longer novels but still a pleasant short entertainment.

From the Public Library ebook - about 95 pages

150hailelib
Redigerat: jul 1, 2012, 11:03am

The year is at the midpoint and time for another update on my progress.

Reading so far:

I. Young at Heart -- 9 of 12
II. Mystery and Suspense -- 9 of 12
III. Favorite Authors -- any genre -- 8 of 12
IV. Next in Line -- 8 of 12
V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever -- 7 of 12
VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction - overflow -- 8 of 12
VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)philosophy and psychology/education. -- 5 of 12
VIII. Short and Sweet -- 7 of 12
IX. Science and Technology -- 6 of 12
X. History, Biography/Memoir -- 6 of 12
XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction -- 5 of 12
XII. Fiction Rereads -- 8 of 12

Total: 86 of 144

Favorites for June (no particular order):

Drop Dead
Rosemary & Rue
Divergent/Insurgent
Dandelion Wine
An Imagined World
1491: New Revelations

151hailelib
Redigerat: jul 1, 2012, 11:26am

The most memorable (and favorite) books so far this year with no more than 2 per category:

Book of a Thousand Days
A Free man of Color
Teatime for the Traditionally Built / The Double Comfort Safari Club
Birds of a Feather
American Gods
11/22/63: A Novel
Great Sky Woman
The Technologists
Ragnarok
Driving Miss Daisy
Last Chance to See
An Imagined World
Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands
1491:New Revelations
Atlas of Remote Islands
Dandelion Wine

These are listed by the order of the categories I put them them in. I wonder how many will still be on the list at the end of the challenge. After all, there must be a lot of equally interesting ones still to be discovered.

152DeltaQueen50
jul 1, 2012, 2:14pm

Looks like you are having a good reading year, that's quite a diverse and interesting list of favorite reads. That's one the best things about this category challenge, you can fit so much variety into your reading.

153hailelib
jul 1, 2012, 2:32pm

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that for a long while after my son was born I read mostly romance and romantic suspense. While I still read some of those authors my previous favorites seem just average now. The category challenges have really broadened my reading. That's why I'll be back next year.

154DeltaQueen50
jul 1, 2012, 2:36pm

I'm the same Tricia. Over at the 75 Group Thread people are assembling lists of their favorite books by the year, I was a little nervous about trying it as I remember reading a lot of 'bodice-rippers' and romance through the 1980's and early 90's. I think raising kids and working didn't leave me much time to delve into anything much deeper than popular fiction and romance.

155hailelib
Redigerat: jul 1, 2012, 2:52pm

While Mitchell was really young I actually read a lot of Harlequin/Silhouette type romance because they were easy to put down quickly and then pick back up later. Also they were fast reads. Other genres and nonfiction were neglected and then I got into a rut and it took LT to get me out of it and back to a more adventurous and eclectic reading list.

ETA - Of course I read a lot of children's books during that time.

156hailelib
jul 2, 2012, 10:11am

XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction #6.

87. Don't throw it out : recycle, renew, and reuse to make things last by Lori Baird -- Finished Jul 1, 2012

I picked this up on impulse at the library about 3 months ago and have been reading it in ten minute bits ever since. Some sections I only skimmed as they weren't really applicable. Many of the ideas here are good ones but I didn't find much that I didn't already know. This book would be best as a reference for inexperienced householders, especially those on a tight budget. The emphasis is getting the most out of everything you have and finding creative 'second lives' for items no longer suitable for their original purpose. The author believes in buying quality, taking good care of it, fixing it , and throwing away as little as possible.

From the public library. ~360 pages. 640.41

157lkernagh
jul 2, 2012, 8:30pm

86 of 144 read is a great accomplishment!

158hailelib
jul 3, 2012, 9:09am

Well, that total is so high because there have been a lot of days when I didn't feel up to anything more than reading!

159hailelib
Redigerat: jul 3, 2012, 1:04pm

XII. Fiction Rereads #9.

88. Seven Tears for Apollo by Phyllis A. Whitney -- finished Jul, 2, 2012

I read this for the July subchallenge (seven in the title) and I think that it must have been a very long time since I last read this book because I didn't remember any of the story. Today
Whitney's books would be called romantic suspense but they were considered Gothics in the sixties. However Seven Tears for Apollo is above average for that type of book. Dorcas even managed to acquire a backbone by the end of the novel.

At the beginning of the story Dorcas is a very young widow who is secretly glad to have escaped an abusive marriage. Odd things have been happening and she feels as if she is being watched so Dorcas accepts Fernanda's offer to travel to Rhodes as her companion/secretary. But trouble follows Dorcas and on Rhodes we finally discover the truth that has been eluding her.

I actually enjoyed the book once I was a couple of chapters in and decided that Dorcas wasn't really 'too stupid to live', just in the process of getting over being psychologically abused. The descriptions of Rhodes as it was then were also good, making the island almost a character in its own right. Of course, a lot of the people were the stock characters found in novels of this genre.

Recommended for those who enjoy Gothics.

From my own shelves. 218 pages.

160hailelib
Redigerat: jul 5, 2012, 3:25pm

Young at Heart #10.

89. Cinder by Marissa Meyer -- finished July 4, 2012

Cinder is a somewhat different retelling of Cinderella. It is set in the future and Cinder is a cyborg living in the city of New Beijing with her guardian/stepmother (who dislikes cyborgs and has no idea why her late husband took on Cinder's guardianship) and her stepsisters Peony and Pearl. Sixteen year old Cinder works as a mechanic with her earnings supporting the family and dreams of freedom although she does love Peony who loves her in return.

One day Prince Kai comes looking for someone to fix his android and takes a liking to Cinder. Naturally there is going to be a ball and there are rumors that the Prince will be looking for a bride there. Other rumors insist that Kai will enter into a diplomatic marriage with the Lunar Queen. Lunars are greatly feared by Earthens because of their glamour and their ruthlessness.

Will Cinder go to the ball? Will the prince still like her when he discovers that she is a cyborg? And what about the sticky situation between Earth and the Lunar kingdom? Then there is the deadly plague complicating everything, especially after Peony contracts it and her mother blames Cinder.

A lot of the plot was telegraphed early in the story but I still enjoyed the book and will look forward to Meyer's next one. After all, this one is crying out for a sequel and I want to know what happens next to Cinder. This is aimed at the young adult audience and recommended for those who read YA.

From the public library. 387 pages.

ETA: Just read a short story which is a Prequel to Cinder. It can be found at http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/12/glitches and is called "Glitches".

161hailelib
jul 7, 2012, 10:38am

II. Mystery & Suspense #10.

90. The Killing Way by Tony Hays -- finished July 5, 2012

This novel is set during a period after the last Roman Legions left Briton but there are still memories of Roman ways and the Britons are attempting to keep the Saxons at bay and some elements of law and civilization alive. As the story begins the Consilium of Breton leaders is gathering to choose a Rigotamos (or High King) to replace the retiring Ambrosius Aurelianus. The meeting is to be at Castellum Arturius, the stronghold of Lord Arthur, and various lords and their followers have gathered there.

One night a murder occurs and at first the evidence seems to point to the elderly Merlin. Arthur wants to save his old teacher but he also wants to find the truth. Malgwyn ap Cuneglas is ordered to investigate and to discover Eleonore's murderer. Although Malgwyn, a one armed veteran of the war with the Saxons, has no great love for Arthur he does have a personal interest as Eleonore was his deceased wife's sister. It soon becomes clear that there is more to this than meets the eye and the outcome of the election depends on the mystery being solved.

We meet many of the traditional characters from the Arthurian legends: Kay, Bedevere, Guinevere, etc. but this is not the Medieval Court of Knights, Ladies, quests, and tournaments. Instead we have the Britons' struggles against the Saxons and the clash of the new religion of the Christ with the old one of the Druids.

I enjoyed this novel more for its characters and setting than for the puzzle. It was an interesting take on what an historical Arthur and his times might have been like. I'll be on the lookout for its sequel which, unfortunately, my local library does not have.

From the public library. 258 pages.

162hailelib
Redigerat: jul 8, 2012, 10:53am

III. Favorite Authors #9.

91. Home from the Sea by Mercedes Lackey -- finished July 6, 2012

Home from the Sea, set in Edwardian England, is a recent installment in Lackey's Elemental Masters series and has as its central character Mari Prothero who lives with her father Daffyd on the coast of Wales. The Prothero's have always been fishermen with uncanny luck because of a bargain made generations ago with the Selch. On her eighteenth birthday Mari learns the details of this bargain; to keep their luck she must marry a Selch and after having children her husband and half her children will return to the sea. But Mari is also an untutored Water Master and the leader of the White Council, Lord Alderscroft has become aware of her power and has sent champions to monitor her education and protect her.

Her champions are none other than Sarah and Nan whom we met in an earlier novel in the series. While not Elemental Mages they have a certain magic of their own and allies in their 'pets' who are rather uncommon birds as well as the friendship of the Oldest One, aka Robin Goodfellow aka Puck, who remained behind when many of his kind retreated from the worlds of men.

The world has changed considerably since the Prothero bargain was struck in the mythical times before Arthur and Mari isn't going to marry just any Selch. She bargains with their leader for both a teacher to help her control her magic and a choice of suitors. Nan and Sarah become her friends as well though they don't tell her of their mission right away. There are also complications due to a bullying constable being posted to the local village. He's been ordered to report on possible trouble makers and zeros in on Mari and Daffyd as the most likely candidates.

This is a favorite series of mine for light reading and I enjoyed Home from the Sea although its not the best book in the series. Seeing the young women that Nan and Sarah have become was interesting as was meeting the Selch and finding out their differences from and similarities to the Selkies.

From my own shelves. 311 pages.

163hailelib
Redigerat: jul 8, 2012, 1:40pm

IV. Next in Line #9.

92. Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear -- finished Jul 7, 2012

There are some pretty good reviews of Pardonable Lies already so that I will simply say that I enjoyed another trip into Maisie's world and will probably be reading the fourth in this series before too long. My only other comment is that they should be read in order as there are a number of continuing characters.

From the public library. 340 pages.

164hailelib
Redigerat: jul 8, 2012, 2:15pm

VII. Spirit and Mind #6.

93. Out of My Life and Thought by Albert Schweitzer -- finished Jul 8, 2012

A while back we began watching The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones and discovered that between the episodes and the many documentaries these are a pretty good introduction to some of the history of the early twentieth century. During the group of programs called 'The War Years' Indie is in Africa and meets Albert Schweitzer. There he learns something about the doctor's philosophy and we wanted to read something about this. Our local library had this book and my husband read it first. He said that there were a few interesting chapters but it didn't really satisfy him. I finally decided to give it a try before returning the book to the library.

This book is a bit hard to categorize. It's definitely biography but Schweitzer spends a great deal of time on his researches into religious thought and the early history of Christianity, his thoughts on philosophy, and his work as a concert organist. Before he became a physician he was known as a theologian and philosopher and was often asked to give concerts and lectures outside of his duties as a professor and vicar. Even after entering medical school at the age of thirty he continued these other studies as much as time would permit. The reason for becoming a medical doctor was his conviction that that was his best way of helping the people of Africa and his decision to go to Africa as a missionary led then to his decision to practice medicine.

In addition to his earned PhD and his M.D., Schweitzer received many honorary degrees in all the fields he worked in as well as the Nobel Peace Prize. He also published a number of books, pamphlets, and articles. This book was first published in 1931 and this particular translation into English was published in 1990 from a German copy in which Schweitzer made his own corrections between 1930 and 1960. Out of My Life and Thought was a somewhat slow read for me as so much of the book was about his thinking on subjects I know little about but it was interesting enough that I did eventually finish.

From the public library. Preface + 245 pages + chronology + bibliography. Also photo section. 610.92

165hailelib
Redigerat: jul 10, 2012, 5:14pm

II. Mystery and Suspense #11.

94. Bertie and the Seven Bodies by Peter Lovesey -- finished Jul 10, 2012

This Victorian mystery was read because of the Seven in the title and because it was sitting on my shelves never having been read before.

Bertie and the Seven Bodies is the second in a short series featuring Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, as the investigator. 'Bertie' and his wife attend an autumn house party where shooting is to be the main attraction. At dinner on the first night one of the guests, an actress, ends up face down in her dessert, apparently poisoned and a small bit of newsprint is found at her place containing the word Monday. Other deaths follow and seem to go according to the nursey rhyme that starts with "Monday's child is fair of face".

Bertie makes a somewhat bumbling detective and the party never does call in the police other than the Prince's bodyguard who has little experience detecting. However, things do eventually become clear and the culprit is caught. This story reminded me at times of And Then There Were None and The ABC Murders but I prefer Christie.

A somewhat pleasant entertainment but I won't be looking for the remaining novels in this series. However, those who can't get enough of Victorian mysteries may like it.

From my own shelves. 196 pages.

166hailelib
jul 13, 2012, 9:17am

Vii. Spirit and Mind #7.

95. Quiet : the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain -- finished July 12, 2012

There are a number of good reviews on Lt for this book so I don't really have much to say here.

I did enjoy reading this book and found the various stories Ms. Cain used to illustrate her points to be interesting. However, as I approached the end of the book I realized that I hadn't really learned much. It had merely confirmed that my husband and I both have more traits that put us on the introvert end of the personality scale rather than on the extrovert end. I feel that the most valuable chapter was the one advising teachers and parents, particularly extrovert teachers and parents, on how to interact with the very introverted child without making them think there is something wrong with them. Recommended primarily for those interested in reading about personality traits.

From the public library. 271 pages + notes. 155.232

167hailelib
Redigerat: jul 26, 2012, 1:47pm

II. Mystery and Suspense #12.

96. The Seven Sleepers by Elizabeth Ferrars -- finished Jul 13, 2012

This was read because of the number seven in the title and because it was sitting there on my shelves for decades without being read. I suspect it was given to me by my mother but I don't really know. She was one of those readers who don't keep her books so would bring me bags full whenever they visited us. (And generally take some back with her with my name inside which would come back to me next time.) From the cover on this copy I think Ferrars' American publisher was hoping to make a lot of sales to readers of "Gothics". -- This was released by Dell in the early seventies. -- There was the usual frightened looking girl on the cover and a description on the back implying that Vanessa was a heroine who was being plunged into horror and in danger of her life. Well, LUKE was the main character and he was the one whose life was being turned upside down, at least in the beginning of the story.

As the novel opens, Luke is visited by a private investigator at his flat in London to confirm that he is the grandson of a woman who had died fifty years before. Then he begins getting letters from a Mrs. Garvie-Brown of Edinburgh hinting that her family might owe him something. Finally, in an effort to put a stop to these unwanted letters and invitations, Luke decides to go to Edinburgh and confront Mrs. Garvie-Brown. There he finds an elderly lady who seems to think that her late husband had 'married' and then killed seven women before a late-in-life marriage to her. He also discovers that he looks an awful lot like all the Garvie-Browns.

I liked this book more than I expected and would read others by this author. Her main characters (Luke and Vanessa) did develop somewhat and the mystery of Mrs. Garvie-Browns evidence for contacting Luke and the eventual death of one of the characters was fairly well explained. This is about average for mysteries of the time.

From my own shelves. 185 pages.

168hailelib
Redigerat: jul 21, 2012, 2:50pm

Somehow I double posted the previous message.

I'm still reading Isaac's Storm and the Age of Wonder for nonfiction as well as Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss. All interesting in different ways.

I also ordered some books from Amazon that will probably show up in about a week -- always use Super Saver Shipping so it takes a while. Since the gift certificate was pretty big I saved some for exploring Kindle books for my iPad.

169hailelib
jul 23, 2012, 1:49pm

Bought One Coffee With and The Princess Bride as ebooks for the princely sum of $1.99. One was a Kindle daily deal and one was free. Those are my kind of prices. Of course it's not really a deal if one isn't already interested in reading the book...

170hailelib
jul 23, 2012, 2:03pm

X. History, Biography #7.

97. Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson -- finished Jul. 22, 2012

A very readable book about Isaac Cline, Galveston, and the hurricane of 1900. As the hurricane arrived at the Texas coast this narrative became one I didn't want to put down. The reader learns a lot about Isaac's life, the Weather Service, Galveston and hurricanes told in an easy to read story (even with the switching back and forth that Larson does). I would recommend {Isaac's Storm to almost anyone.

From the public library. 273 pages + notes 976.413

171mamzel
jul 24, 2012, 12:16pm

My family was in Texas, not too far from Galveston, in 1961 for Hurricane Carla. Not a big one as far as winds but Texas gets flooded by the storm surge easily. I can remember returning to our neighborhood and all the shingles from everyone's roofs were covering the streets.

172hailelib
Redigerat: jul 26, 2012, 1:47pm

One of the problems in 1900 was that they didn't know about storm surges and that the geography of the shore and the way it gradually shelved off into the Gulf at Galveston meant that there could be a strong surge. They thought that the geography of that part of the Texas coast would protect them from unusually high tidal flooding but, in fact, the opposite was true. The surge was very like a tsunami because the wind was from the north for the early part of the storm and held back the water. Then the wind shifted and the surge came in scouring the land and pushing the debris inland with a force that knocked down houses thus adding to the mass being pushed further in.

173hailelib
jul 29, 2012, 11:07am

III. Favorite Authors #10.

98. Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey -- Finished July 26, 2012

Beauty and the Werewolf is another story from The Five Hundred Kingdoms series. The story starts with Bella at home, expertly guiding her two young stepsisters and managing her father's household. Normally 'The Tradition' would try to steer her into a Cinderella story but Bella also often visits the Granny (Wise woman and herbalist) living in the woods and in cool weather she wears an old red riding cloak with a hood that used to be her father's. The next time she goes into the woods Bella is later than usual starting home and meets up with a wolf who just happens to be a Duke who has been cursed and turns into a wolf at the full moon. Finally the Tradition starts forcing Bella into the path of a Beauty and the Beast story.

I always enjoy Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms novels and this was no exception. We even get to see a bit of Godmother Elena and her Mirror servant. Recommended for fans of this series. While they don't really have to be read in order stating with the first one, The Fairy Godmother, is probably a good idea.

From my own shelves 402 pages

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction #8.

99. Lord of the Fading Lands by C. L. Wilson -- finished July 27, 2012

This is the first book in a series and is really the first chapter in a long story that runs to five books. For those who don't like cliff-hangers having the whole series before starting is a good idea. I ordered this book without realizing that it would stop in mid-story but fortunately my local library system has the whole series and the second volume is already ow its way to me.

The Fey king, Rain Tairen Soul, has traveled to Celieria to fing a way to save his peoples and there he finds his soul mate Ellysetta. There are problems both political and magical that make a mating between them difficult but he is convinced that Elly is the answer not only for him but also for his people. I'll probably be reading the second book as soon as I get it.

From my own shelves. 398 pages

174hailelib
Redigerat: jul 31, 2012, 4:44pm

Since I won't be finishing anymore I'll do an end of the month update now.

Reading so far:

I. Young at Heart -- 10 of 12
II. Mystery and Suspense -- 12 of 12
III. Favorite Authors -- any genre -- 10 of 12
IV. Next in Line -- 9 of 12
V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever -- 8 of 12
VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction - overflow -- 8 of 12
VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)philosophy and psychology/education. -- 7 of 12
VIII. Short and Sweet -- 7 of 12
IX. Science and Technology -- 6 of 12
X. History, Biography/Memoir -- 7 of 12
XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction -- 6 of 12
XII. Fiction Rereads -- 9 of 12

Total: 99 of 144

Most memorable for July (no particular order):

The Killing Way by Tony Hays
Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
Lord of the Fading Lands by C. L. Wilson
Out of My Life and Thought by Albert Scheitzer
Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson

I should soon be finished with The Social Conquest of Earth by E. O. Wilson and then back to The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes. I also need to finish the book by Brian Aldiss and then start on the stack of library books - actually two stacks ; one upstairs and one down.

175lkernagh
jul 31, 2012, 10:09pm

99 out of 144 gets a WOW from me and it looks like you are on track for your challenge!

176christina_reads
aug 1, 2012, 5:32pm

Agree with Lori -- very impressive reading!

177hailelib
aug 3, 2012, 9:47am

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction #9.

100. Lady of Light and Shadows by C. L. Wilson -- finished August 2, 2012

The 100th challenge entry for this year! My reading will probably slow down some but there is a very good chance I will finish the entire set of 12 books in 12 categories. At any rate I've already met the preliminary goal of six in each category. The next goal is to have eight in each category where I haven't yet gotten that far.

Lady of Light and Shadows is the second book of the Tairen Soul series. Ellysetta and Rain still have issues to work out and the the Mages of Eld are still conspiring against the Fey. Too much more and I would be in spoiler territory but I will say this is part adventure, part fantasy, and part romance and I raced through the book. Later today I will be ordering the next volume from my public library.

From the public library. 386 pages.

178hailelib
aug 3, 2012, 9:54am

Lori and Christina - Thanks. A lot of my fiction has been of the easy variety and so easy to pile up the reads but I have some fairly heavy nonfiction lined up which always takes a while. And there will probably be less time for reading over the next month. Or less time to be online! We'll have to see how it goes. Meanwhile I've gotten down to the last 20 pages of the E. O. Wilson book (the Social Conquest of the Earth) which I'll be adding here soon.

179hailelib
aug 5, 2012, 1:37pm

IX. Science & Technology #7.

101. The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson -- Finished August 3, 2012

The Social Conquest of Earth is Wilson's most recent book and gives his current thinking on evolution and sociobiology. He asks the questions "Where do we come from? What are we? and Where are we going?". Then he attempts to answer them. This is an excellent and probably controversial look at how man arrived at his current state. For more discussion see Jeremy's (jdb1) excellent review on the work page.

From the public Library 297 pages. 599.938

180hailelib
aug 9, 2012, 9:40am

After dealing with water leaks and roofers and other fun things like that I took a couple of days 'off' and read some light fiction I had out of the library. Thus completed the next three books and even found challenge slots for them.

Next in Line #10.

102. King of Sword and Sky by C. L. Wilson -- finished Aug 7, 2012

The third book in the Tairen Soul series. Some problems are solved but there is now War between the Fey and the Eld. I'll be getting the next book in the series soon.

From the public library. 467 pages.

Fantasy and Science Fiction #10.

103. Sky Dragons by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey -- finished August 8, 2012

Most recent book set on Pern. Not the best though I liked it better than a number of reviewers. Mostly for people who want to complete the Pern series.

From the public library. 368 pages.

Anything Goes - Fiction #9.

104. Judgment Call by J. A. Jance -- finished August 8, 2012

The latest book featuring Sheriff Joanna Brady. An OK but not great entry in this series. I did enjoy the book but some recurring characters have moved on and I wasn't totally convinced by the motive for the murders. I will read any further additions to Jance's series but only from the library.

From the Public Library. 400 pages.

181hailelib
aug 11, 2012, 11:52am

Fantasy and Science Fiction #11.

105. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher -- finished Aug 10, 2012

The next book in the Dresden Files (I like to read these in order.) and Harry is having problems as usual. He is being blackmailed, the War with the Red Court isn't going well, and Chicago is about to be destroyed by necromancers obsessed with achieving world domination.

The stakes seem to be getting higher in every book and I'm wondering what happens when Harry runs out of new tricks and has piled up too much bad karma. For those who liked the earlier books in the series.

From the public library. 393 pages.

182hailelib
aug 12, 2012, 9:22am

III. Favorite Authors #11.

106. Broken by Kelly Armstrong -- finished August 12, 2012

This is one of the Otherworld series of books with Elena as a main character and narrator. She has recently become pregnant and the rest of the Pack can't quit hovering but Elena needs to be doing. Finally she convinces Jeremy to accept a job from half-demon Xavier who is willing to trade a favor for a favor. It seems simple, just a quick trip to Toronto, a simple burglary of a historic letter which the current "owner's" ancestor had stolen years ago.

Of course it's not that simple and the Pack is faced with trying to shut down a portal they accidentally trigger because of a spell on the letter, placed there by the sorcerer who wrote it. The sooner they close it the safer Toronto - and Elena - will be. Did I mention the two zombies that come out of the portal? Jaime is called in to consult since she is the best necromancer they know.

Fun, but the Otherworld series is probably best read in order, especially by those who don't like spoilers.

From the public library. 444 pages.

183hailelib
aug 12, 2012, 3:56pm

VI. Anything Goes - Fiction #10.

107. Case for Three Detectives by Leo Bruce-- finished August 12, 2012

I read this book for the August sub-challenge because of the authors name. Leo Bruce is a pen name used by Rupert Croft-Cooke for his mysteries. This one features Sgt. Beef and dates from 1936.

A variant of the classic country house locked-room mystery, Case for Three Detectives is also a send-up of three classic fictional detectives. Bruce's names for them are Lord Simon, Monsieur Picon, and Monsignor Smith. The village detective, Sgt Beef, insists that it's a simple case and he knows who the murderer is but the three detectives do their investigations and come up with original solutions. However the Sgt. has the last word.

At first I was only reading a few pages each day and was pretty sure I knew who (but not how) before our intrepid detectives showed up and I wasn't sure I would finish. About half way through however I began to be amused by the detectives and interested in finding out their solutions and where they went wrong.

I would recommend this to those readers with an interest in the British mysteries of the thirties and the authors of that period.

From my own shelves. 234 pages.

184hailelib
aug 14, 2012, 3:29pm

I. Young at Heart #11.

108. Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle -- Finished August 13, 2012

This YA book from an LT author reminded me of the Regency romances that I was reading in the '80's except for the element of magic. The place is (mostly) London and it's the year when Victoria became Queen. The Leland sisters are to go to London for the season with Penelope looking forward to all the parties and Persephone thinking she would rather stay home. There they have adventures and their abilities as budding witches gets them into and out of trouble. This is a light romance and fantasy in a historical setting that I would have no problem giving to a young teenage girl to read. However adults might notice that the magic isn't very well explained and that the twins, especially Persy, are a bit modern in their ideas, etc. It's also apparently the first in a series and I don't know if I'll look for the sequel or not.

From the public library. 346 pages.

185christina_reads
aug 15, 2012, 10:45am

@ 183 -- Case for Three Detectives looks like fun! I'll have to see if I can track it down.

186hailelib
aug 15, 2012, 7:42pm

I wouldn't mind reading another mystery by Leo Bruce if I should come across one.

187hailelib
Redigerat: aug 27, 2012, 8:13am

I've finished some fiction that I need to note here quickly so that I can return them to the library. Hope to come back and comment later.

VI. Anything Goes #11.

109. Beneath a Rising Moon by Keri Arthur -- finished Aug ??, 2012

I've read a couple of Keri Arthur's books in the Riley Jensen series that were OK so when I ran across this one at the library I decided to give it a try. I ended up skimming most of the book and only finished it because it was relatively short. The basic story seemed to be just a flimsy framework for one sex scene after another. The main characters were werewolves, many of whom used the full moon as an excuse for promiscuous behavior. Not recommended.

From the public library. 240 pages.

V. Fantasy and Science Fiction #12.

110. Crown of Crystal Flame by C. L. Wilson -- finished Aug 18, 2012

The completion of the Tairen Soul series by Wilson. Brings the story to a satisfactory conclusion with Rain and Ellesetta finally completing their bond. Somehow I forgot to list Queen of Song and Souls which was the fourth book so I'll just count it as part of this one. The five books of the series are really just one very long fantasy story with the final battle being in the last book.

From the public library. 469 pages.

III. Favorite Authors #12.

111. The Witness by Nora Roberts -- Finished August 20, 2012

A nice romantic suspense from Ms. Roberts. Reading this after the one by Keri Arthur was good as there was lots of story that did NOT take place in the bedroom. Recommended for Robert's fans.

From the public library. 488 pages.

IV. Next in Line #11.

112. Thirteen by Kelly Armstrong -- finished Aug 21, 2012

The conclusion (according to Armstrong) of her Women of the Otherworld series and the thirteenth novel in said series. All the continuing characters are back and a number of relationships are tidied up. Not my favorite Otherworld book but a must read for those who have been following Armstrong's world.

From the public library. 442 pages + beginning of Bitten which started the series.

188hailelib
aug 27, 2012, 8:25am

Added a few comments to message 186.

I have some more books to add - maybe later today.

189lkernagh
aug 28, 2012, 12:06am

Nice to see you have been busy reading! I haven't and I am afraid my challenge reading is severely lacking this month. If I finish three books that will be an accomplishment!

190hailelib
aug 28, 2012, 12:18pm

I have been reading -- just not what I had planned to read this month! I've also filled nearly all my fiction slots so my next move will be to create an Unlimited Bonus category to keep track of additional fiction 'til I'm ready to start on the 2013 challenge.

Actually I'm feeling pretty good about this year's challenge because ALL my categories have more than the minimum I gave myself at the beginning of the year. I just want to get a few more books into the other categories before moving on.

191hailelib
Redigerat: aug 31, 2012, 10:47am

I. Young at Heart #12.

113. The Calling by Kelly Armstrong -- Finished August 24, 2012

The Calling is the second in a trilogy for the YA market with a heroine who is a shapeshifter. This book appears to be set in the same universe as Ms. Armstrong's Otherworld series. Maya and her friends are on the run trying to escape the people hunting them and also trying to reconnect with their families. Along the way they do discover that they each have unusual abilities that they first started manifesting as they passed through puberty and began high school. I enjoyed this book but it makes more sense if one has read the first book. Also some will want to have all three on hand before reading them as they pick up where the previous one left off. (The third one won't be available until next spring.)

From the public library. 326 pages.

VI. Anything Goes - Fiction #12.

114. Haven by Kay Hooper -- Finished August 25, 2012

Another novel in Hooper's series featuring Bishop, the Special Crimes Unit, and the private organization Haven. Jessie is returning home to try to confront her past and obtain better control of her paranormal abilities. But waiting for her in that past that she can't quite fully remember is a dangerous criminal...

This book was about average for the series but I did like some of the earlier books better. Still an OK and fairly quick read.

From the public library. 326 pages.

IX. Science and Technology #8.

115. Epigenetics by Richard C. Francis -- Finished August 26, 2012

A very interesting look at how genetic material (DNA) is expressed and how this expression can be changed by the environment in the individual cell, in the tissue around the cell and even by signals from other parts of the organism. I'm not sure I understood all of Francis' arguments but I will be interested in finding out more about the subject. Apparently nature and nurture are much more complicated than the simple biology most of us learned in school would have us think.

From the public library. 160 pages text plus copious notes and bibliography.

IV. Next in Line #12.

116. The Silver Ghost by Charlotte MacLeod -- finished Aug 29, 2012

A typical Sarah Kelling mystery full of Sarah's offbeat friends and relations. Sarah and her husband Max are attending a "Renaissance Revel" and during the course of the party a family retainer is found dead, Aunt Bodie is missing, and the host's Rolls Royce Silver Ghost is stolen. Somewhat humorous in the same vein as other mysteries by this author. I did enjoy this book but a steady diet of them would get old fast.

Read as the eighth in a series for the August sub-challenge since it was on my shelves and one that I had not read before.

From my own shelves. 181 pages.

192hailelib
Redigerat: aug 31, 2012, 12:50pm

VIII. Short and Sweet #8.

117. Down These Strange Streets edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois -- finished Aug. 31, 2012

Down These Strange Streets is an anthology of short stories that could be classified (more or less) as urban fantasy and features some of today's more popular authors who have experimented with that genre. The streets range from ancient Babylon to WWII Alaska and some of the stories features characters that may already be familiar to many readers. There's Lord John (Gabaldon), Garrett (Glen Cook), Warren (Briggs) and several others. Not only did I visit some of my favorite series but there are a few new-to-me authors that I should be on the watch for. Several readers weren't very impressed with this collection but I liked it. Naturally some stories are better than others and a couple verge on creepy but I found it to be a fair introduction to urban fantasy.

One thing I found particularly interesting was Martin's characterization of today's urban fantasy as the child of two older genres: Horror and Noir. So, if you like these sorts of stories you may find something of interest in the anthology.

From the public library. 482 pages with introduction by Martin

193hailelib
Redigerat: sep 1, 2012, 9:14am

The end of August update:

Reading so far:

I. Young at Heart -- 12 of 12
II. Mystery and Suspense -- 12 of 12
III. Favorite Authors -- any genre -- 12 of 12
IV. Next in Line -- 12 of 12
V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever -- 12 of 12
VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction - overflow -- 12 of 12
VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)philosophy and psychology/education. -- 7 of 12
VIII. Short and Sweet -- 8 of 12
IX. Science and Technology -- 8 of 12
X. History, Biography/Memoir -- 7 of 12
XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction -- 6 of 12
XII. Fiction Rereads -- 9 of 12

Total: 117 of 144

Most memorable for August (no particular order):

The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson -- Finished August 3, 2012
Epigenetics by Richard C. Francis -- Finished August 26, 2012
Down These Strange Streets edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois - finished Aug. 31, 2012
Case for Three Detectives by Leo Bruce-- finished August 12, 2012
Books from the Tairen Soul Series

194hailelib
Redigerat: sep 1, 2012, 9:24am

The full 144 books is still possible but I will be satisfied with whatever totals I end up with since I have met my minimum goal in every category.

For September I really need to finish some already started books that have been sitting here waiting for me to get over my plunge into fantasy. Then there is the stack of books from the library and while smaller than usual it is time limited. Besides, when they go back I can get more!

195hailelib
sep 5, 2012, 7:27pm

VIII. Short and Sweet #9.

118. The Nine Mile Walk by Harry Kemelman -- finished Sept 5, 2012

This is a collection of short mystery stories featuring the "arm-chair" detective Nicky Welt and there is also an introduction by Kemelman explaining the origin of the first story about Welt. The original copyrights for these particular ones range from 1947 to 1967 so they tend to have an all male cast. The narrator is the County Attorney for a college town near Boston and a friend and former teacher at the University where Welt teaches. While I spotted the solutions for some of the stories they were enjoyable.

The book was read for the September sub-challenge.

From my own shelves. 151 pages.

196christina_reads
sep 6, 2012, 5:38pm

Ooh, I've read the short story "The Nine-Mile Walk" and really liked it! I'll have to check out the whole collection.

197hailelib
sep 12, 2012, 10:59am

IX. Science and Technology #9.

119. The Wandering Gene and the Indian Princess by Jeff Wheelwright -- September 12, 2012

This is the story of Shonnie Medina, a young Hispano woman, her battle with cancer, and the very aggressive cancers that have struck generation after generation of her family. Its also about the Conversos of Spain, the Jews who converted to Christianity to avoid persecution, many later going to the New World ahead of the inquisition, and how their genes found their way into New Mexico and Colorado. The information presented by Wheelwright is very interesting but sometimes the way he told the story was a bit off-putting to me, leading to a very slow reading experience. I felt like his narrative kept hopping around from point to point and person to person. However his description of the San Luis Valley and its inhabitants was compelling even though he occasionally seemed to be trying for poetic description a little too hard..

From the public library. 228 pages + notes. 616.994

198hailelib
sep 19, 2012, 3:03pm

XII. Rereads #10.

120. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart -- finished Sept. 18, 2012

We finally got the repairs to our sunroom done and the furniture moved back in which allowed me to get to my copy of Nine Coaches Waiting in time to read it for the September challenge.

This is a book that I had read several times before but it had been a long time since the last reading of any book by Mary Stewart. Nine Coaches Waiting had always been a favorite and it kept me turning the pages this time as well. Even though I remembered the general outline of the story the details were what made the book for me. Set in France in the late fifties, this is the story of Linda Martin as narrated by her. While raised in France, Linda had spent the decade after her parents death in England, first in an orphanage and then working at a school. When offered the opportunity to become governess to the young Comte Phillippe de Valmy she jumped at the chance to return to France. But soon there were problems and a romance all in very good Gothic style...

Recommended if you have enjoyed other books by Mary Stewart or if you are a fan of the Gothics of the fifties and sixties.

199lkernagh
sep 19, 2012, 7:29pm

I have already added Nine Coaches Waiting to my 2013 gothic reading candidates list so happy to see it stands the test of time and multiple re-reads!

200hailelib
sep 19, 2012, 7:59pm

I hope you enjoy it! I may read another of Mary Stewart's books soon IF I can get some of the rather tall stack of library books I have out read and returned before too long.

201christina_reads
sep 24, 2012, 12:21pm

@ 198 -- I love Mary Stewart, and Nine Coaches Waiting is one of my favorites. Due for a reread soon, I'm thinking!

202mamzel
sep 25, 2012, 11:39am

This sounds like a good recommendation for a group read for 2013!

203lkernagh
sep 25, 2012, 9:05pm

Agreed! *off to make the rec on the group read thread for 2013*

204hailelib
sep 28, 2012, 3:15pm

A Mary Stewart month might be nice!

205hailelib
sep 29, 2012, 9:41am

IX. Science and Technology #10.

121. The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes -- finished September 28, 2012

The Age of Wonder covers the period in British science from Captain Cook's voyage around the world with the young Joseph Banks sailing on the Endeavour as the expedition's naturalist up to shortly after an equally young Charles Darwin sailed on the Beagle as that expedition's naturalist. Richard Holmes focuses on a few of the leading figures of the time, including Banks, the Herschels (William and Caroline), Mungo Park, Davy, Mary Shelley (what ideas were current among literary,philosophical, and scientific circles that led to her famous novel?), Coleridge and his peers, and the next generation of scientists such as Faraday, Babbage, Darwin, and John Herschel along with Mary Somerville as a populariser of science.

Although I read this over several months with other reads between sections, in the end, I found it to be a great look at this period in the history of science. At the beginning of Banks career, first as a naturalist and then as the very influential President of the Royal Society, there was not really a separation of the various branches of intellectual life. The Society's lectures were not only attended by observers and experimenters in science but by poets, essayists, and interested members of the general public. Many of the literary figures dabbled in science and many of the scientists wrote poetry. In fact the very word scientist was invented towards the end of this period, being first suggested at an early meeting of the BAAS.

Not only am I interested in learning more about the various scientists mentioned in Holmes' narrative but I'm also interested in reading more about Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, the Shelleys, Byron, and Keats, and their works, but most especially the essays of Coleridge. This is a book I would like to have on my own shelves but, alas, it must go back to the library.

From the public library. 469 pages + Prologue + about 80 pages of cast list, recommended reading, references, index + plates.

206lkernagh
sep 29, 2012, 5:44pm

Great review of The Age of Wonder Tricia.... Thumb!

207hailelib
Redigerat: sep 30, 2012, 12:08pm

Thanks!

I've been working on the last part of The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt today and should have a few comments in a day or two.

208hailelib
Redigerat: sep 30, 2012, 12:28pm

X. History, Biography #8.

122. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt -- finished September 30, 2012

This book has several excellent reviews on LT already so I won't be going into detail here. I did enjoy Greenblatt's book and found it to be a relatively quick read. There was some history of the 1400's that I was unfamiliar with and biographical information about the book-hunter, Poggio Bracciolini. The author also explains why Poggio's discovery of a copy of Lucretius' poem, On the Nature of Things was so important. All very interesting.

From the public library. 265 pages + extensive bibliography and notes. 940.21

209hailelib
sep 30, 2012, 12:34pm

Message 14 has now been given over to Bonus Reads since some of my categories are ready to overflow.

I've also reached the minimum I set for myself initially so I could declare the challenge done but I will continue and try to get a few more in the less full categories.

The next couple of weeks will be spent trying to finish some of the already started books that are soon due back at the library.

210hailelib
okt 1, 2012, 11:54am

The end of September update:

Reading so far:

I. Young at Heart -- 12 of 12
II. Mystery and Suspense -- 12 of 12
III. Favorite Authors -- any genre -- 12 of 12
IV. Next in Line -- 12 of 12
V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever -- 12 of 12
VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction - overflow -- 12 of 12
VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)philosophy and psychology/education. -- 7 of 12
VIII. Short and Sweet -- 9 of 12
IX. Science and Technology -- 10 of 12
X. History, Biography/Memoir -- 8 of 12
XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction -- 6 of 12
XII. Fiction Rereads -- 10 of 12

Bonus Reads -- new category, no books as yet, will be fiction overflows.

Total: 122 of 144

Most memorable for September (no particular order):

Out of the few I finished, probably

The Age of Wonder for nonfiction and

Nine Coaches Waiting for fiction, even though it was a reread.

22 books remaining to complete a full challenge. The initial goal of six in each category has been reached.

211hailelib
okt 4, 2012, 2:35pm

X. History, Biography #9.

123. The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes -- Finished October 4, 2012

There is so much social history included in Jessica Fellowes book about the TV series Downton Abbey that I'm including in my history category although it could easily have gone into the catchall category for nonfiction.

This is a beautifully illustrated book full of photos from the filming of the series showing the actors and sets but also many historical photos to help the reader envision the people, fashions, etc. of the period during which the story of Downton Abbey takes place. Although there are few spoilers for those who haven't seen the series, the book contains a lot of background information to ground the reader in the period and the many changes that were taking place in England before, during, and after WWI. I enjoyed the book very much and would recommend it to anyone watching Downton Abbey and anyone with little knowledge of English country life during this period.

From the public library. 297 pages. 791.457

212lkernagh
okt 4, 2012, 8:30pm

I saw The World of Downton Abbey sitting on my library's FastReads shelf and flipped through it quickly while I was there. The photos I saw are amazing! I knew there was no way I was going to be able to properly enjoy the book in the short 7 day loan period our Fast Reads have so I sadly returned it to the shelf for another patron to check out. I did add it to my For Later list for when I do have time to read it. I am all caught up on the series so I won't have to worry about spoilers but that is good information to know!

213DeltaQueen50
okt 4, 2012, 10:58pm

You appear to be about the same place I am in the challenge - I have twenty-six left to go. I am hoping to finish sometime in November so I can use December as a free reading month.

214hailelib
okt 5, 2012, 9:10am

>212 lkernagh:
My husband also enjoyed the Downton Abbey book. We are about halfway through the second season and I didn't see anything that gave away the storyline although I'm not much bothered by spoilers.

>213 DeltaQueen50:
I will probably take to the end of the year to finish but put a lot of 'I want to read this now' books into my bonus category, reading them between challenge books. Then I'll start fresh in January. I think for 2013 I'll do a relaxed challenge with broad categories and a low minimum for each and probably start my thread over there in December.

215hailelib
okt 5, 2012, 9:54am

Bonus Reads #1

1. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick -- finished October 4, 2012

{not counted toward total for challenge}

Wonderstruck is a YA novel I've been curious about ever since it was published. Long, but a quick read, the novel is the story of Ben in 1977 and Rose beginning in 1927. Although 50 years apart the two children have some things in common and Selznick interweaves the stories with that of Ben told mostly through text and that of Rose mostly through Selznick's great drawings.

Not only is the story an interesting one about family, and discovering one's roots but it is also an exploration of the world of the Deaf and the world of museums from the first Cabinets of Wonder to more modern times with exhibitions and Dioramas and World's Fairs. While I was more impressed by The Invention of Hugo Cabret this is still a very good book in a similar style.

From the CMS library. ~659 pages.

216hailelib
Redigerat: okt 8, 2012, 2:36pm

Bonus Reads #2.

The Lost Night by Jayne Castle -- finished October 6, 2012

Another novel that takes place on Harmony where nearly everyone has at least a small amount of paranormal Talent and a few people are very Talented indeed. This is the story of Rachel and Harry and takes place on the island of Rainshadow. We were introduced to the community on Rainshadow and the mystery of The Preserve in a previous novel and since the mystery isn't really solved by the end of this one there is definitely another book to come. Typical of earlier Harmony novels and a pleasant evening's entertainment for fans of this series.

From the public library. 332 pages.

XI. Anything Goes - Nonfiction #7.

124. The Making of Avatar by Jody Duncan and Lisa Fitzpatrick -- finished October 7, 2012

Almost more than anyone would want to know about the way Avatar was made with many, many photos of the cast and crew during production, and detailed explanations of the processes involved and the new techniques that had to be invented in order to make the movie work. Recommended for fans of James Cameron, this movie, and for film buffs who are very interested in how those images get to the big screen.

From the public library. 271 pages. 791.437

217hailelib
Redigerat: okt 13, 2012, 9:51am

X. History, Biography #10.

125. Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak -- finished October 12, 2012

Rehak's book is part history of children's books and publishing, part social history of women in the US, and part biography of Stratemeyer, his daughters, and author Mildred Wirt Benson. But most of all, it is the story of Nancy Drew from her earliest incarnation to the present day version of the famous girl detective. While I was more of a fan of the Hardy Boys than Nancy Drew, I enjoyed the book and found it to be an easy read though some may find the level of detail more than they want to know. To me, however, the details were fascinating. I have been vaguely interested by the Stratemeyer Syndicate for some time and this book provided a lot of information about it and some of the ghostwriters employed, especially Mildred Benson. (I also noticed that LT member James Keeline was mentioned in the acknowledgments as one of Rehak's sources.)

From the public library. 224 pages + notes + bibliography. DD 813.52

218hailelib
Redigerat: okt 14, 2012, 4:15pm

VIII. Short and Sweet #10

126. The Scargill Cove Case Files: An Arcane Society Story by Jayne Ann Krentz -- finished September 14, 2012

This was a free "ebook" that is really a teaser for the Arcane Society books. A short story set in Scargill Cove, we find Fallon solving a local mystery while juggling a large J&J workload and coming to the realization that maybe he does need an assistant. The story is in the form of Fallon's private notes to himself about his work. For fans of the Arcane series.

From my iPad. 49 pages including the list of her works and intros to two of her newer books.

219hailelib
Redigerat: okt 19, 2012, 3:58pm

Bonus Reads #3

Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury -- finished October 15, 2012

(Need to think about this a bit --several good reviews on the work page.)

ETA: A good book but it didn't have the same impact on me that Dandelion Wine did. Here Doug is at that stage where the boy is beginning to feel the changes that will usher in the adult Douglas and the elders of the town have to make their own adjustments to the approaching end of life.

From the public library. 211 (short) pages.

220hailelib
Redigerat: okt 19, 2012, 3:59pm

X. History, Biography #11.

127. October Sky by Homer H. Hickam, Jr. -- finished October 19, 2012

This has been on my shelves for years and I really don't know why it took me so long to read it. I first became aware of the book when the movie came out and later a colleague had her rather advanced group of sixth-year elementary students read it. Then the entire Sr. Elementary class (9-12 years) watched the movie. (I loaned my copy.) The whole class loved it but those who had read the book voted unanimously that the book was even better. I wholeheartedly agree.

This book was a real page-turner for me and the adventures of the Rocket Boys show a great deal about the way science should be done. There are also numerous details about life in the coal mining towns of West Virginia during the late fifties and into the sixties. Recommended.

From my own shelves. 428 pages. DD 629.109

221VictoriaPL
okt 19, 2012, 11:09pm

If you liked Rocket Boys than I definitely recommend The Coalwood Way.

222hailelib
okt 20, 2012, 1:27pm

This morning we went to a book sale run by the Pickens County "Friends of the Library". It was a bag sale and I choose the large size for $5. Even the two paperbacks were the size of hardcovers but I managed to get 16 books in the bag. Even figuring in the cost of the gas that was about 50 cents a book. Of course, most of what they had was fairly recent popular fiction but then I read a lot of popular fiction.

The books are:

Creating small gardens
Shakespeare : the invention of the human
Mother of kings
Exit music
The prince and the pilgrim
All mortal flesh
The last kingdom : a novel
Pompeii : a novel
The Cthulhu mythos
Rose cottage
The book of the dead
Innocent as sin
The Yiddish policemen's union : a novel
Gracie : a love story
The Shambhala anthology of Chinese poetry
National Geographic Peoples of the world

A variety of books to fit almost any mood! Now to figure out where I should put them...

223lkernagh
okt 20, 2012, 5:15pm

Nice book haul Tricia!

224mamzel
okt 21, 2012, 4:15pm

I hope you will enjoy Pompeii as much as I did.

225psutto
okt 22, 2012, 7:18am

Great haul!

226hailelib
okt 22, 2012, 1:21pm

>221 VictoriaPL: Thanks for the recommendation Victoria.

>223 lkernagh:, 224, & 225 - With a tight budget I hardly ever buy books except for sales like this and the gift certificates I sometimes get. I'm glad they had so many that I was interested in. (Either the specific book or in trying out the author.) When I'll be reading any of these is up in the air as I have a number checked out of the library that I'll soon have to return. Then there's the dozen or so that I've pulled off my shelves to read and the ones on my iPad that have been downloaded but not read over the past few months. A rather common problem here on LT...

227hailelib
okt 22, 2012, 1:29pm

Bonus reads #4.

Samurai Game by Christine Feehan -- finished October 21, 2012

While I enjoyed this one more than the last one I read about the Ghostwalkers there were still a couple of slow spots (bedroom scenes that go on forever that I pretty much skipped). The story was OK and I liked the new heroine well enough but I'm still thinking that I'll only read any further volumes in the series from the library. It's about time for Ms. Feehan to come up with some new ideas. Definitely escapist reading.

From the public library. 626 pages.

228christina_reads
okt 22, 2012, 5:10pm

Had to chime in to praise the great haul! Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is on my TBR list. I love Mary Stewart, so I quite enjoyed Rose Cottage.

229hailelib
Redigerat: okt 25, 2012, 11:30am

Glad to hear that about Rose Cottage Christina.

Anything Goes - Nonfiction #8.

128. Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler -- finished October 24, 2012

Connected : the surprising power of our social networks and how they shape our lives started off a little slowly but got better in the last half. The authors begin with explaining simple networks and talk about degrees of separation. They tell some interesting stories that illustrate their points and the notes back up their conclusions with the research citations.

I came away with these main ideas:
1) Everyone is connected to everyone else in the world by an average of six degrees of separation (less in some cases).
2) Man evolved to be social and organize himself into networks.
3) Each person's influence extends out to three degrees and in fact friends of friends may influence you more than more closely related people.
4) There are four kinds of people; loners, cooperators, free riders, and punishers that have evolved to balance one another.
5) A person's networks rarely grow to be larger than about 150 people as this is the number that our brains have evolved to handle. (Think size of a small village where everyone knows everyone else.) Of course, one may belong to more than one network and thereby connect two networks together.

There is a lot more covered in the book but that's what I will mainly remember.

From the Public Library. 309 pages + plates + notes and index. DD302.3

230hailelib
Redigerat: okt 29, 2012, 3:42pm

Viii. Short and Sweet #11.

129. The Tree of Life by Peter Sis -- finished Oct 29, 2012

A lovely picture book that is a surprisingly detailed biography of Charles Darwin from his childhood up to the last major work he did (on earthworms). It especially covers the voyage of the Beagle and how he came to formulate the ideas in On the Origin of Species. While I prefer Starry Messenger by the same author, all of his books are worth a look. This would be a good introduction to Darwin for older children.

From the Public library. 34 pages. 576.8

231hailelib
nov 1, 2012, 2:21pm

Bonus Reads:

5. Un Lun Dun by China Miéville -- finished October 30, 2012

This book started out slowly for me and I kept getting distracted by other books I wanted to read. However, the local library probably wont let me renew it again so a few days ago I decided that I had to finish Un Lun Dun. To my surprise this time the book caught me and I was able to read the last two-thirds quickly.

We start out in what seems to be a rather normal London neighborhood where the two friends, Zanna and Deeba, live. They begin to notice that Zanna is being watched by odd people and animals and at last Zanna decides to find out what is going on. Along with her friend Deeba she makes her way to a strange and fascinating alternate version of London where adventures ensue and they learn that Zanna is believed to be the Chosen One who will defeat a dangerous enemy. But then the trouble really begins...

This is an imaginative fantasy that is billed as YA but can certainly be enjoyed by any lover of fantasy. While this is my first book by China Miéville it probably will not be the last.
From the public library. 429 pages.

6. Heart Secret} by Robin D. Owens -- finished November 1, 2012

A return visit to the world of Celta and the story of Heart Mates Garrett and Artemisia. Of course, as usual in these books, true love does not have an easy path. Many characters from earlier books in the series make an appearance and the feral Fams that Garrett uses as informers (He's a private investigator.) are more interesting than some of the spoiled Fams of earlier books. Recommended for fans of the series but it does assume that readers are at least somewhat familiar with this world already.

From my own shelves. 350 pages.

Heart Secret and Fever Season just came this week as an add-on to an Amazon order (a measuring device to help in a home improvement project Jim is contemplating). After all if we are going to get free shipping why not add a couple of paperbacks? Or maybe the reasoning was more along the lines of "If I'm getting a new toy she should get something too."

232hailelib
nov 1, 2012, 2:44pm

The beginning of November update:

Reading so far:

I. Young at Heart -- 12 of 12
II. Mystery and Suspense -- 12 of 12
III. Favorite Authors -- any genre -- 12 of 12
IV. Next in Line -- 12 of 12
V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever -- 12 of 12
VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction - overflow -- 12 of 12
VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)philosophy and psychology/education. -- 7 of 12
VIII. Short and Sweet -- 11 of 12
IX. Science and Technology -- 10 of 12
X. History, Biography/Memoir -- 11 of 12
XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction -- 8 of 12
XII. Fiction Rereads -- 10 of 12

Bonus Reads -- new category, will be mostly fiction overflows -- 6

Total: 129 of 144

Most memorable for October (no particular order):

World of Downton Abbey and The Making of Avatar
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the women Who Created Her
October Sky aka Rocket Boys
and from the bonus books probably Wonderstruck

15 books remaining to complete a full challenge. The initial goal of six in each category has been reached. Doable if I don't pick up too many really long ones. I'm about half-way through Language: the Cultural Tool by Daniel L. Everett and I've just started The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean.

233mamzel
nov 1, 2012, 5:35pm

I loved all the word play in Un Lun Dun. I've had several students check the book out and enjoy it.

234lkernagh
nov 2, 2012, 1:34am

You have made great progress with your challenge Tricia and I am looking forward to reading Un Lun Dun. Very nice review!

235cyderry
nov 2, 2012, 2:06am

Un Lun Dun is on my list now too.

236AHS-Wolfy
nov 2, 2012, 7:08am

Good to see more positive reviews for a Miéville title that I haven't got to yet. It's currently languishing on my tbr shelves.

237psutto
nov 2, 2012, 12:15pm

Languishing on my TBR too, I'm sure I'll get to it after Xmas though

238hailelib
Redigerat: nov 2, 2012, 2:30pm

I should definitely try something else by him next year! The "problem" with this challenge is that I find out about so many new authors and great books by reading everyone else's threads.

(I tend to lurk more than post.)

239DeltaQueen50
nov 4, 2012, 1:24pm

I also recently discovered China Mieville and certainly know the difficulties (and joys) of finding so many new authors here on LT. I will be reading Un Lun Dun next year for sure as there is going to be a group read of it in December of 2013.

240hailelib
nov 10, 2012, 9:08am

Finally finished another book.

XI. Anything goes Nonfiction #9.

130. Language: The Cultural Tool by Daniel L. Everett -- Finished November 9, 2012

This book was slow going and easy to put down. Without the challenge I might not have kept picking it back up. While there were many interesting and important ideas about language discussed here I didn't like the presentation of those ideas very much.

Everett discusses how man evolved to become capable of language and how thinking, culture, and language are related. He uses his many years of research among Amazonian peoples to show why he believes that language is an invented cultural tool rather than an instinct and/or hard-wired in our brains. Some of the discussions get rather technical and somewhat hard to follow and his writing style doesn't make this my kind of book.

From the public library. 327 pages +appendix + bibliography. DD 400

I'm still reading small sections of The Violinist's Thumb and I've started the anthology An Apple for the Creature.

241hailelib
Redigerat: nov 15, 2012, 11:06am

IX. Science and Technology #11.

131. The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean -- finished Nov 15, 2012

This is a terrific book about DNA and our genetic code. Full of interesting stories about scientists, musicians, and less well known people like Mr. Yamaguchi who survived both Hiroshima and Nagasaki and lived to 2010, dying at the age of 93 (of cancer) I had fun with this book. From evolution to epigenetics the science and the stories kept me reading and I would recommend Kean's book.

From the public library. 356 pages + notes + bibliography. 572.8

The Violinist's Thumb will be a hard act to follow so I may finish a couple of light fiction books before tackling my next nonfiction read which will probably be Alone Together by Sherry Turkle.

242hailelib
nov 16, 2012, 9:12pm

VIII. Short and Sweet #12.

132. An Apple for the Creature by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner, editors -- finished November 16, 2012

This anthology of paranormal and urban fantasy was probably published with October reading in mind. While I found the first story (a Sookie Stackhouse episode) rather slight and put the book down for a couple of weeks before returning to it either my mood had changed or the other stories were generally better. In the end I did enjoy the selection of stories by Harris and Kelner although I thought the ones contributed by the editors were the weakest ones. A good way to sample some new authors and thus cautiously recommended.

From the public library. 336 pages.

243hailelib
nov 18, 2012, 9:02am

Bonus Reads #7.

Delusion in Death by J. D. Robb -- Finished November 17, 2012

Not my favorite in the series but still OK. One problem may be that many of the continuing characters that make this series so entertaining were either just barely there or missing altogether. I also didn't find the mystery as interesting as usual and there were a lot of references to details in the previous book which I read just long enough ago that I had forgotten them.
anyone interested in the '...in Death' series should start at the beginning and read them in order.

From the Public Library. 388 pages.

244psutto
nov 19, 2012, 7:54am

another prompt for me to get the violinist's thumb...

245hailelib
Redigerat: nov 19, 2012, 7:29pm

XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction #10.

133. Tibet Through the Red Box by Peter Sis -- Finished November 19, 2012

Another of this authors great 'picture' books. While I still prefer his book on Galileo this one is quite interesting being a mix of the authors memories and his father's journal entries with richly detailed illustrations.

From the public library. about 58 pages. 951.5

246hailelib
nov 19, 2012, 7:32pm

I've just started Alone together and I'm alternating between A Casual Vacancy and The House of Silk.

247hailelib
nov 22, 2012, 3:37pm

Bonus Reads

8. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz -- Finished November 20, 2012

The House of Silk is a Sherlock Holmes mystery set in Victorian London. Its been a long time since I read any Holmes story by Conan Doyle or anyone else so I wasn't sure what to expect. The first few chapters didn't click for me right away, but as I got into the story I did begin to enjoy it very much. While previous Holmes adventures by people other than Conan Doyle have been just so-so for me this one was pretty good. The style seemed authentic and the mystery was a type that Holmes might have involved himself in. I may have to pull one of the originals out and read it.

From the public library. 294 pages.

9. Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn -- Finished November 21, 2012

This is a series that I have read out of order and I bought Kitty Takes a Holiday to fill in the story between the second and the fourth one. Here we get the story of how Ben became a werewolf too and we have some of Cormac's and Ben's back story. A pretty good entry in this urban fantasy series.

From my own shelves. 303 pages + intro to the next book about Kitty.

248hailelib
Redigerat: nov 22, 2012, 3:44pm

I'm still reading A Casual Vacancy and Alone together as well as having started Twinkie, Deconstructed.

Also trying to decide whether to just tweak my categories for next year or the do a major overall. There's still time...

249hailelib
nov 25, 2012, 12:19pm

Bonus Reads

10. A Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling -- Finished November 25, 2012

There are already a number of reviews, both pro and con, for this book and I doubt that there are many people left who don't know at least a little about it. Not my usual kind of novel but I must say that Rowling kept me interested in following these characters even though they were not very likable and tended to be self-absorbed and self-destructive. I read A Casual Vacancy mainly out of curiosity about Rowling's new direction and I do understand why there are such different opinions about the story she told here. Not a book I want to reread but probably worth my giving it a go this time.

From the public library. 503 pages.

250hailelib
Redigerat: nov 25, 2012, 12:25pm

Still reading Alone Together and Twinkie, Deconstructed. I've also started a reread of The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer for light reading with a happy ending.

251hailelib
nov 28, 2012, 10:39am

XII. Fiction Rereads #11.

134. The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer -- finished November 27, 2012

One of my favorite Heyer's. Most of the novel takes place in a West Riding country parish fairly near Leeds. The locals are naturally curious about the heir to the rather decrepit Broom Hall and discovering that he is the Corinthian Sir Waldo Hawkridge gives the locals much to gossip about, especially when they discover that he is visiting with his cousin Lord Lindeth. Since both are well-to-do bachelors the ladies are particularly interested in meeting them. The heiress Miss Tiffany Wield and her governess-companion Ancilla Trent play major roles as well. The main romance almost flounders on a misunderstanding but all's well in the end. Georgette Heyer does Regency romance very well and this is one of her better ones. (At least in my opinion. I've noticed that LT'ers who read her books have different favorites!)

From my own shelves. 252 pages.

252lkernagh
nov 28, 2012, 1:25pm

I am looking forward to diving back into Regency romances like Heyer's books for my 2013 challenge - she is a great writer for comfort reading!

253hailelib
nov 28, 2012, 5:02pm

Yeah, I wandered around my fiction shelves looking for something that felt right and Heyer won.

254DeltaQueen50
nov 30, 2012, 1:15pm

I haven't read The Nonsuch yet, I'll have to hunt that one down.

255hailelib
Redigerat: dec 1, 2012, 11:24am

VII. Spirit and Mind #8.

135. Jealous gods and Chosen People by David Leeming -- finished December 1, 2012

This was rather short and quickly read. Leeming was concise and yet, because I read it straight through over about three days, the text seemed somewhat repetitious. This was probably because the same gods keep appearing in slightly different guises among the various ancient peoples of the Middle Eastern area Leeming took as his territory. Then there was the tribal God of the nomadic Semitic people whose descendents are still squabbling over territory and over who is really the chosen people. And we get the Christians of various varieties whose religion also came from these lands. All in a very slim book. Leeming also makes it clear that he has very little time for fundamentalists of any description.

Warning: This book may not be for everyone as the author treats the texts of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic faiths as another group of mythologies, albeit ones that still have active believers.

From the public library. 135 pages + bibliography + index. 291.13

256hailelib
dec 1, 2012, 11:38am

The beginning of December update:

Reading so far:

I. Young at Heart -- 12 of 12
II. Mystery and Suspense -- 12 of 12
III. Favorite Authors -- any genre -- 12 of 12
IV. Next in Line -- 12 of 12
V. Fantasy and Science Fiction paranormal, quest, urban, alternate history, whatever -- 12 of 12
VI. Anything Goes -- Any fiction - overflow -- 12 of 12
VII. Spirit and Mind -- a.) Religion b.) Mythology, folklore, and legend c.)philosophy and psychology/education. -- 8 of 12
VIII. Short and Sweet -- 12 of 12
IX. Science and Technology -- 11 of 12
X. History, Biography/Memoir -- 11 of 12
XI. Anything Goes Nonfiction -- 10 of 12
XII. Fiction Rereads -- 11 of 12

Bonus Reads -- new category, will be mostly fiction overflows -- 10

Total: 135 of 144

Most memorable for November (no particular order):

Jealous Gods and Chosen People
The Violinist's Thumb
The Casual Vacancy

While I've reached the minimums I had in mind I am still trying for the full 144 and have 9 to go.

About a third of the way thru Alone Together, halfway thru Twinkie, Deconstruted, and I've just begun The Clock Strikes 12 which is a mystery for the December monthly challenge.

257christina_reads
dec 3, 2012, 10:32am

Only 9 more books -- good for you! Looks like you'll finish your 144 with no problem.

258hailelib
dec 3, 2012, 1:14pm

I suspect it will be close but I'm happy with my progress.

259hailelib
dec 4, 2012, 8:08pm

XII. Fiction Rereads #12.

136. The Clock Strikes 12 by Patricia Wentworth -- finished December 4, 2012

This mystery by Patricia Wentworth is a fairly typical Miss Silver novel. The story opens on New Year's Eve at the country house of the Paradine family where James Paradine has discovered that a member of the family has acted in a way that he considers a betrayal. The evening ends with Paradine's death and the police conclude that it was murder. Miss Silver is visiting her niece nearby and is soon called in by Mark Paradine since the murder was almost certainly committed by a member of the household.

I didn't really remember the story but it had probably been 30 years since I last read it. It held my interest but then I do like an old-fashioned British mystery from time to time. Recommended for Ms. Wentworth's fans.

From my own shelves. 201 pages.

260hailelib
dec 7, 2012, 5:55pm

IX. Science and Technology #12.

137. Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger -- Finished December 7, 2012

An interesting book but a slowish read because I was actually trying to follow and understand all of the chemical processes involved. As the subtitle says most of the ingredients in today's processed foods go through many chemical processes. They may be grown, mined, or created in a lab, but nearly all go through several complicated processes on their way to becoming part of a batch of Twinkies or any other processed food. Recommended.

From the public library. 263 pages. 641.308

261thornton37814
dec 7, 2012, 10:52pm

I pulled the Twinkie book out of a TBR box when they announced it's demise, but I still haven't managed to read it. I may get to it later this month, but I've committed to so many other books, I really don't know if I will or not. It will fit my "Galloping Gourmet" category in the 2013 Category Challenge though, so I do plan to get to it soon, one way or the other.

262hailelib
dec 12, 2012, 9:11am

VII. Spirit and Mind #9.

138. Transformations of Myth Through Time by Joseph Campbell -- finished December 11, 2012

For Joseph Campbell this book is fairly accessible. It's apparently a companion book to a series of programs he did for PBS near the end of his life. Because it's an overview of myth from the earliest times up through the medieval Grail stories it did help me finally see some of the points that Campbell was making in other writings of his that I had previously read. However one needs to take the conclusions in the first part of the book with a grain of salt as our discoveries in the last twenty years about early man and even the beginnings of civilizations have changed some expert's opinions about the lives of these peoples. Also the text seemed to, at times, refer to illustrations that may have been used in the TV lecture but didn't make it into the book. Still, not a bad starting point to learn about Campbell's views on mythology.

From the public library. 260 pages. 291.1

263hailelib
dec 12, 2012, 9:31am

Bonus Reads #11

A Christmas Journey by Anne Perry -- finished December 11, 2012

Not as long as the page count would indicate as these are small pages with a nice-sized font and relatively wide margins. Really a novella rather than the novel the cover claims.

I read this as a short introduction to Anne Perry as it has been decades since I last tried her work and I don't remember if there was any particular reason for not continuing. There are definitely unread Pitt and Monk books on my shelves. While not great the story here was good enough that I will probably join in next year's Anne Perry reads for at least one book.

A Christmas Journey isn't really about Christmas as much as it is a pilgrimage made in hopes of obtaining forgiveness. The journey across Scotland for Isobel and Lady Vespasia was certainly difficult enough and there was a bit of a mystery that gave Lady Vespasia plenty to think about.

From the public library. 108 pages.

264hailelib
Redigerat: dec 12, 2012, 9:37am

Six books to go...

I'm even making progress on Alone Together which has been a slooow read.

265hailelib
dec 12, 2012, 1:56pm

X. History/Biography #12.

139. Black Potatoes : The Story of the Great Irish Famine by Susan Campbell Bartoletti -- finished December 12, 2012

Since I was feeling decidedly unenergetic this morning I got under a blanket with this book meaning to read just a few pages. When I finally looked up, it was lunchtime and I had finished the book.

Black Potatoes covers a bit of history that I vaguely knew about from studying immigration in American history since it was a major cause of so many Irish coming to America in the mid-1800's. The details and the effects on the relationship between the Irish people and Great Britain (i.e. British government) were new to me. Although written at a YA level any interested reader would find Bartoletti's book a good introduction. As with many YA nonfiction books the illustrations and quotes are great features helping sustain interest in the text. Recommended for history buffs of any age but especially for those 11 to 15 years old.

From the public library. 172 pages + map, timeline, bibliography, index. 941.5081

Wow, one more down and five to go. I might just finish by my target date if I choose the books for my car trip this weekend carefully.

266hailelib
dec 13, 2012, 3:29pm

Bonus Reads #12

Dragon Companion by Don Callander -- finished on December 13, 2012

A fun escapist read.

Tom is waiting for his train at the Capitol Hill Metro when he suddenly realizes that he's arrived in another, very unfamiliar, place. Before he has totally collected his wits Tom meets Retruance Constable who just happens to be a Dragon and the adventures begin. There's magic and damsels in distress and a wicked guardian just to mention a few elements. This was an impulse choice from the library's uncatalogued paperback shelves and I didn't know what to expect but I would definitely read something else by Callander.

From the public library. 321 + map

267thornton37814
dec 13, 2012, 7:07pm

I'm glad to see you enjoyed Black Potatoes as much as I did!

268hailelib
dec 16, 2012, 12:56pm

Vii. Spirit and Mind #10.

140. Alone Together by Sherry Turkle -- finished December 14, 2012

I really wanted to like this book more than I did. Turkle raises important issues in both sections of her book -- Part One: The Robotic Moment and Part Two: Networked.

When people are exposed to robots that seem to respond to them they then respond back by confiding in them, teaching them, and generally acting as though there is affection going in both directions of the robot-human relationship. Turkle questions why this occurs and whether or not it is a good thing.

Then, in the second part of the book she examines how people of all ages, but especially teens, interact with their games, computers, email, and devices allowing IMing and texting. Some people have come to the point of feeling confused, even naked, without their phone always there in a pocket or in their hand. They can't imagine being without it. Again she questions how we got to this point and what is good and what is bad about always being connected.

But, I found that Turkle's examples became repetitive and I believe that she could have gotten her concerns across just as well in a more concise version of the book, perhaps only two-thirds as long.

From the public library. 314 pages + notes. 303.483

269hailelib
Redigerat: dec 20, 2012, 1:04pm

VII. Spirit and Mind # 11.

141. When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone -- finished December 20, 2012

Merlin Stone wrote about an interesting topic: how the goddess-centered religions of early peoples in the area from Egypt and Greece to India gave way to the male god-centered religions that came to predominate in these areas and what the change did to the status of women. This is a book first published in 1976 and has a definite feminist flavor. Also, if written today there would be later archaeological evidence for her to cite. Nevertheless, the author did hold my attention although occasionally I felt that she was pushing a bit too hard to make her points. The material on the origin of Biblical stories was very interesting, especially the Creation and events in the Garden of Eden.

From the public library. 257 pages + Date Charts and Bibliography. 291.211

270hailelib
Redigerat: dec 20, 2012, 1:20pm

I'm nearly through with Visions of Utopia by John Edgerton and then only 2 more to go.

I think the next one will be The Half-Life of Facts which I stumbled across at the library yesterday.

271hailelib
Redigerat: jan 8, 2013, 10:10am

XI. Anything Goes -- Nonfiction #11.

142. Visions of Utopia by John Egerton -- Finished December 22, 2012

The subtitle of this little book is Nashoba, Rugby, Ruskin, and the "New Communities' in Tennessee's Past and it is a short treatment of three communities based on Utopian ideals that were attempted in the 1800's. While all three failed there were interesting aspects to each and they form a chapter in Tennessee's history that I knew nothing about prior to reading Egerton's book. The book also has maps, drawings and photographs that help illustrate the various locales discussed. Recommended for those interested in Tennessee history.

From my own shelves. 87 pages = sources and some recommended reading. 335.9

272hailelib
Redigerat: dec 23, 2012, 9:22am

Bonus read #13

Time of Death by J. D. Robb -- Finished December 23, 2012

A compilation of three novellas starring Eve Dallas and Roarke. About average as these novellas go with the third one being the best. Good for sandwiching between other more serious books.

Looking at my comments from when I read the original anthologies these appeared in, I seem to have slightly different opinions about the stories relative quality. Maybe because I read these together and compared them to each other rather than with the other authors' (not so good) stories they were first published with.

From the public library. 288 pages.

273hailelib
dec 23, 2012, 9:24am

Time to get serious about The Half-life of Facts by Samuel Arbesman. Only two books to go.

274lkernagh
dec 23, 2012, 6:55pm

Two books is so do-able.... looking forward to congratulating you when you complete your challenge.... I just know you can do it!

275lkernagh
dec 24, 2012, 1:43am

Since I probably won't make it back here until after the 25th, I just wanted to stop by and wish you a happy holiday, Tricia!

276hailelib
Redigerat: dec 26, 2012, 8:52am

>275 lkernagh:

Thanks for the holiday greetings. I hope your Christmas went well!

Almost there:

XI. Anything Goes - Nonfiction #12.

143. The Half-Life of Facts by Samuel Arbesman -- December 25, 2012

This book was meant for a popular audience although many of the examples Arbesman uses are expanded upon and references given in the notes. It's an easy, readily understood, discussion of how knowledge evolves over time with 'facts' being modified or even overturned and also how science is really done as compared to the ideal of how it such be done. After all science is a human activity and those involved have the foibles and biases one should expect in any group of humans. This book is definitely recommended! In fact, I've told my husband he needs to take a look at it before I return it to the library.

From the public library. 209 pages + notes. DD 501

Now to wrest the book I had intended for #144 away from my husband!

277hailelib
Redigerat: dec 30, 2012, 9:26pm

VII Mind and Spirit #12.

144. The Mindful Carnivore by Tovar Cerulli -- finished December 30, 2012

Well, I've only now gotten Beyond Religion by the Dalai Lama from my husband. That was the book I was going to use here with The Mindful Carnivore being extra or even for 2013. However as I read this book I discovered that it wasn't just about food or veganism vs. other diets but rather something of a meditation on life, ethics, mindfulness, and the author's internal journey from eating whatever to Vegan and then to a mindful awareness of what and why he is eating.

Cerulli's journey included the fishing he did every summer when young and his gradual conversion to a vegan lifestyle. Then, for health reasons and on the advice of his doctor he began adding dairy and eggs back into his diet. Part of the journey was the author's research into the production of the foods he and Cath were obtaining locally, from the supermarket, and from their own vegetable patch. Becoming aware of how many animals die to produce grains and vegetables, milk and eggs, had him thinking more deeply about man's place in the natural world. It also led to his returning to fishing and then eventually to contemplating taking up deer hunting.

In the end, Cerulli's point isn't that we should all take up fishing and hunting but that everyone should have a deep awareness of their relationship to the meadows, forests and streams and to the plants and animals that co-inhabit them with us and make up the cycle of life that we all belong to.

Well written and well research, The Mindful Carnivore immediately drew me in and presented me with much new information (especially about deer and the ins and outs of deer-hunting) and the author's inner struggles as to the ethics of food production, hunting, etc. were enlightening. This turned into an entertaining book I would recommend to a wide range of people. One blurber described it as an "engaging meditation on what it means to be human."

From the public library.. 258 pages + notes. DD 641.3

278hailelib
Redigerat: dec 30, 2012, 9:47am

Well, this marks the successful end to my 2012 challenge with 12 books in 12 categories and another 13 bonus reads. On to 2013!

ETA: I'll be back to do an end of year round-up to really wrap up the year properly.

279AHS-Wolfy
dec 30, 2012, 10:33am

Congrats on completing your challenge.

280paruline
dec 30, 2012, 7:36pm

Congratulations! Just in time too!

281lkernagh
dec 31, 2012, 3:22am

Congratulations on finishing your challenge, Tricia!

282hailelib
jan 1, 2013, 1:42pm

Looking over my reading for 2012, I think I had a pretty good year for reading. There were 24 books that stand out for me, lots of nearly as good, and only five that I now think of as subpar.

The standouts in no particular order:

Isaac's Storm -- Erik Larson
The Swerve -- Stephen Greenblatt
Mr g: a novel about the Creation -- Alan Lightman
The Mindful Carnivore -- Tovar Cerulli
Driving Miss Daisy -- Alfred Uhry
Last Chance to See -- Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine
The Social Conquest of Earth -- E. O. Wilson
The Age of Wonder -- Richard Holmes
The Violinist's Thumb -- Sam Kean
Over the Edge of the World -- Lawrence Bergreen
1491: new Revelations of the Americas -- Charles C. Mann
October Sky aka Rocket Boys -- Homer H. Hickam, Jr.
Atlas of Remote Islands -- Judith Schalansky
The Half-life of Facts -- Samuel Arbesman
Book of a Thousand Days --Shannon Hale
A Free Man of Color -- Barbara Hambly
The Merchant's Mark -- Pat McIntosh
Pardonable Lies -- Jacqueline Winspear
American Gods -- Neil Gaiman
11/22/63 -- Stephen King
Great Sky Woman -- Steven Barnes
The Technologists -- Matthew Pearl
Dandelion Wine -- Ray Bradbury
Wonderstruck -- Brian Selznick

The Not Really Recommended:

Bewitching -- Veronica Roth
Beautiful Sacrifice -- Elizabeth Lowell
Beneath a Rising Moon -- Keri Arthur
Ruthless Game -- Christine Feehan
The Lost -- an anthology with the story by J. D. Robb being acceptable and the others not so much.

283christina_reads
jan 1, 2013, 8:10pm

Congratulations on completing your challenge! I'm impressed that you managed a full 144 books plus bonus reads!

284clfisha
jan 2, 2013, 11:25am

Congrats!