Mysterymax's 12 in 12 Plus 26 - Part 2

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Mysterymax's 12 in 12 Plus 26 - Part 2

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Redigerat: dec 28, 2012, 9:03am

I forgot a counter and its too hard to keep track without one!

I'm Done! I'm Done!! I'm Done!!!

I found one book I had tagged as 12 in 12, but never actually put it on my list, so I have started a small "extras" ticker.

1. The Game Is Afoot - Holmes Pastiches -DONE:

1. Death Cloud by Andrew Lane - reviewed
2. The Jewel of Covent Garden by Wayne Worcester
3. Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Raleigh Legacy by L. B. Greenwood reviewed - enjoyed Worcester's book more
4. The Unopened Casebook of Sherlock Holmes by John Taylor
5. The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
6. The Secret Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes by June Thomson - very disappointed, always felt she was such a good writer - see review
7. Sherlock Holmes In Orbit - short stories compiled by Mike Resnick
8. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz - a good one
9. Pirate King by Laurie R. King - very disappointing
10. The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes by Larry Millett
11. The Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin
12. The Adventure of the Ectoplasmic Man by Daniel Stashower

2. Second Verse Same as the First - Some of those books I've always said I would re-read - DONE:

1. The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth - reviewed
2. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
3. The Spy Game by Marc Lovell
4. Moonraker by Ian Fleming
5. Apple to the Core by Marc Lovell
6. From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming
7. The Healer's War by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
8. The Spy With His Head in the Clouds by Marc Lovell
9. One Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie
10. The Pelican Brief by John Grisham
11. The Maltese Falcon by Dashell Hammett
12. Too Many Ghosts by Paul Gallico

3. "Oh, Archie!" - more Rex Stout - DONE:

1. Champagne for One by Rex Stout. - had to start the New Year with this one.
2. Second Confession by Rex Stout
3. Poison a la Carte by Rex Stout
4. Method 3 for Murder by Rex Stout
5. The Rodeo Murder by Rex Stout
6. Too Many Clients by Rex Stout
7. Might As Well Be Dead by Rex Stout
8. The Final Deduction by Rex Stout
9. The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout - can't get the touchstone to work.
10. A Right to Die by Rex Stout
11. The Golden Spiders by Rex Stout
12. Please Pass the Guilt by Rex Stout

4. Far Out! - Steampunk/Sci-fi/Fantasy - DONE:
1. The Technologists by Matthew Pearl - an ER book, reviewed
2. The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick
3. The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
4. The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Mark Hodder
5. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
6. Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine
7. The Doctor and the Kid: A Weird West Tale by Mike Resnick
8. The Janus Affair: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel by Pip Ballantine
9. Souless by Gail Carriger
10. Changeless by Gail Carriger
11. Blameless by Gail Carriger
12. Redshirts by John Scalzi

5. Around the World in 80, strike that, 12 months - 12 countries - DONE:

1. Princess of Burundi by Kjell Eriksson (Sweden)
2. The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell (Ireland)
3. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (Japan)
4. Hand Me Down World by Lloyd Jones (Germany) - an ER book, reviewed
5. The Track of Sand by Andrea Camilleri - Sicily
6. Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith - Russia
7. The Paris Directive by Gerald Jay - France
8. Don't Cry, Tai Lake : An Inspector Chen Novel by Xiaolong Qiu - China
9. The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny - Canada
10. These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach - (India)
11. The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman - Australia
12. Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach by Colin Cotterill - Thailand

6. The Kid in Me - picture books, junior fiction and young adult - DONE:

1. Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer (YA)
2. Mrs. McBloom, Clean Up Your Classroom by Kelly S. DiPucchio - reviewed (JP)
3. The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey - reviewed (YA)
4. Hoot by Carl Hiaason - reviewed (YA)
5. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (YA)
6. SilverFin by Charlie Higson (YA)
7. Seaglass Summer by Anjali Banerjee (JF) - reviewed
8. The Last Dragon by Silvana De Mari (JF)
9. The Midnight Tunnel by Angie Frazier (JF - reviewed
10. The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
11. The Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey Couloumbis - a much more enjoyable read from an adult's point of view that the one above it, even though The Apothecary would be an excellent jr read. - reviewed
12. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart - quite good.

7. Up All Night - spy, suspense and adventure - DONE:

1. Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst
2. Old Dogs by Donna Moore - reviewed
3. A Darker Place by Jack Higgins - reviewed
4. House of the Hunted by Mark Mills - reviewed
5. Garden of Beasts by Jeffery Deaver
6. The Risk Agent by Ridley Pearson - an ER book, reviewed
7. Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon - excellent
8. Mission to Paris by Alan Furst
9. Guardian of Lies by Steve Martini
10. The Dirty Dozen by E. M. Nathanson
11. Music of a Life by Andrei Makine - not a spy novel but it did keep me up all night!
12. With Siberia Comes A Chill by Kirk Mitchell - a combination spy/police procedural, very good.

8. To Be Continued - more in series I have already started - DONE:

1. Acceptable Loss by Anne Perry
2. New York to Dallas by J. D. Robb
3. Killing The Blues by Michael Brandman - a Jessie Stone mystery
4. Night and Day by Robert B. Parker
5. In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming - reviewed
6. Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
7. A Matter of Justice by Charles Todd
8. Tag Man by Archer Mayor - reviewed
9. Taken by Robert Crais - reviewed
10. Slash and Burn by Colin Cotterill - love Dr. Siri!
11. Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
12. Dorchester Terrace by Anne Perry

9. Read the Book, the Butler did it - mysteries of all sorts - DONE:

1. Dangerous Undertaking by Mark de Castrique
2. The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill - reviewed
3. Tailspin by Catherine Coulter - didn't quite "do it" for me, 3 stars only
4. Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann - reviewed
5. Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler
6. The Man Who Changed His Name by Eric Wright
7. The Dead of Winter by Rennie Airth
8. The Drop by Michael Connelly
9. Fly Me to the Morgue by Robert J. Randisi
10. Winter of the Wolf Moon by Steve Hamilton
11. A Presumption of Death by Jill Paton Walsh
12. The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith

10. Time and Time Again - historical fiction - DONE:

1. Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead - Wow what a book! reviewed
2. Doc by Mary Dora Russell
3. Far Bright Star by Robert Olmstead
4. Saving the World by Julia Alvarez
5. My French Whore by Gene Wilder - I don't usually consider WWII 'historical' when it comes to novels, but made an exception this time.
6. The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
7. An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd
8. The Yard by Alex Grecian
9. A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry
10. The Heat of the Sun by David Rain
11. The Death of Attila by Cecelia Holland
12. The Desperado Who Stole Baseball by John H. Ritter - so good!

11. Truth is Stranger Than Fiction - non fiction - DONE:

1. Curse of the Narrows by Laura M. MacDonald
2. One I disliked so much I don't even want to mention it! - reviewed
3. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik larson - reviewed
4. Fire On the Beach by David Wright & David Zoby
5. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale - finally did the review, but it got way too long, so I have put a shortened comment as the review and the long one on my blog -
6. The Fever Trail by Mark Honigsbaum
7. The Day The World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim Defede
8. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain - I kept thinking of all the people I knew that I wished would read this book.
9. Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson
10. Drop Dead Healthy by A. J. Jacobs
11. Gracie: A Love Story by George Burns
12. How to Cook A Dragon by Linda Furiya

12. American Pastime - baseball - DONE:

1. Waiting for Teddy Williams by Howard Frank Mosher
2. Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace
3. Best Bet in Beantown by G. S. Rowe
4. Lefty: An American Odyssey by Vernona Gomez - an ER book, reviewed
5. The Greatest Minor League by Dennis Snelling - an ER book - reviewed
6. Imperfect: An Improbable Life by Jim Abbott - reviewed
7. Calico Joe by John Grisham
8. Basepaths by Jerry Klinkowitz
9. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach - excellent
10.The Baseball Codes by Jason Turbow
11. Seven Games in October by Charles Brady
12. Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz

13. Twenty-Six More - a group of odds and sods - DONE:

1. Stay Close by Harlan Coben - regular mystery/suspense.
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - excellent coming of age story
3. Bad Faith by Aimee Thurlo - excellent 'clergy' mystery
4. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak - thought I would never finish it!
5. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
6. Judgment Call by J. A. Jance
7. Shake Off by Mischa Hiller - disappointment
8. Pacific Glory by P. T. Deutermann - very good story about three navy men, in the Pacific theatre during WWII, and the nurses they loved.
9. The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee
10. Targett by Robert Randisi
11. Harry Lipkin, Private Eye by Barry Fantoni
12. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
13. The Pig Comes to Dinner by Joseph Caldwell
14. The Pig Goes to Hog Heaven by Joseph Caldwell
15. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
16. Fluke by Christopher Moore
17. The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore
18. Celebrity in Death by J. D.. Robb
19. The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
20. Timeless by Gail Carriger
21. Heartless by Gail Carriger
22. Not One of Us by June Thomson
23. The Betrayal of Trust by Susan Hill
24. Delusion in Death by J. D. Robb
25. Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay - excellent!
26. The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva - forgot to add this, read it just before #25. I love this series. And this category is now done, too.

EXTRAS - Just can't stop

1. Black Dragon by Kirk Mitchell - This one involves a military policeman at one of the Japanese internment camps during WWII and a murder.
2. Death's Favorite Child by Frankie Y. Bailey - really like her books!
3. A Dead Man's Honor by Frankie Y. Bailey
4. Redbreast by Jo Nesbo - another new author for me that I really like
5. Nemesis by Jo Nesbo
6. The Nightmare by Lars Kepler - excellent thriller from Sweden
7. Three Stations by Martin Cruz Smith - really enjoyed this one
8. Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume - good old classic
9. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman - a nice twist on dragon tales
10. 13 Hangman by Art Corriveau - a ya book, picked up one of his adult ones too
11. Old Murders byFrankie Y. Bailey - love this writer
12. Cold Days by Jim Butcher - Hooray! Back to what made Harry Dresden so great.
13. Grandville by Brian Talbot -my first graphic novel
14. Grandville Mon Amour by Brian Talbot
15. John Torres "Chief" Meyers by William A. Young - en ER book
16. Housewrights by Art Corriveau - liked his YA book more
17. Sins of the Father by Jeffery Archer - invested all that time to read a book that didn't conclude. YUCK!
18. Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman - my last ER book of 2012.

Redigerat: aug 12, 2012, 10:26am

I've just realized that I needed to start on my banned books section or I will be stuck reading them as all the great new fall books come out. Indeed they already have started - brought five home from the library.

Trouble is, I find most of the banned books boring in the extreme and have to wonder what the fuss was all about.

So in the interest of saving my reading sanity, I am dumping the banned books section and replacing it with a steampunk/sci-fi/fantasy section (the books I had read for the 26 more section) and putting my 2 read books from the banned section in the 26 more section.

Not fair, but...

aug 14, 2012, 5:21pm

Added Don't Cry, Tai Lake : An Inspector Chen Novel to my 'Around the World' section. As always Xiaolong Qiu's books reflect a true China. This one had much more poetry than the others have. He is still up against the political powers that be.

aug 14, 2012, 6:27pm

>2 mysterymax: that reminds me - I got Memoirs of Hecate County becuase it was a banned book and forgot about it. I have now put it on the top of the pile. sorry to hear the banned books were boring.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

aug 15, 2012, 2:31pm

Judgment Call by J. A. Jance is a good addition to the Joanna Brady series.

aug 18, 2012, 5:58am

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst added to 'Up All Night'.

Furst is one of the best in the spy genre. Like with all authors, you like some of their books better than others. I can't say that this one is my favorite. In fact, for most of the book I felt a bit disappointed. But eventually it had me turning the pages with addiction. I wouldn't recommend it as a way to begin reading Furst, but if you are one of his many fans you shouldn't miss it.

aug 19, 2012, 6:51pm

Shake Off should have gone in my 'Up All Night' section as it is a 'spy thriller', or so the blurbers tell you. But it didn't keep me up all night. It didn't even keep me up late. So it goes in the '26 more' section.

Redigerat: aug 21, 2012, 10:20am

Black Dragon does go in the 'Up All Night' section. Good plot, good timing, good characters, very tense.

Our library got a batch of Kirk Mitchell books donated and I got to bring them home to read to see if we should catalog them. Black Dragon was Kirk Mitchell's first book. While this one is set during WWII in a Japanese internment camp, one of the other books is an alternative history novel and most of them are mysteries of the Tony Hillerman genre.

Even without reading them all I would recommend Mitchell as an author to try.

aug 22, 2012, 9:14pm

Trouble is, I find most of the banned books boring in the extreme and have to wonder what the fuss was all about.

I hear you! Good for you, dropping the category for something you'll enjoy more.

aug 26, 2012, 4:50pm

For the historical fiction section - The Yard by Alex Grecian - terrific read about the Murder Squad of Scotland Yard right after the Ripper murders. Several parallel cases dovetail nicely together. Good read.

Redigerat: aug 29, 2012, 7:15am

Guardian of Lies by Steve Martini - average, average, average.

Redigerat: sep 2, 2012, 10:29pm

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny - Probably the best written of her series so far. But I was unhappy at the end. While the murder is solved, one is left thinking that perhaps the murder was done for the best of reasons while the truly evil person in the story remains unchecked. This may be more what real life is like, but I am after fiction here, not real life. And while the setting is wonderful and very interesting, I missed the people of Three Pines.

sep 2, 2012, 11:00pm

Checked my series list and it appears I stalled after reading book #2 in the Gamache series.... but only because other books keep grabbing my attention! Happy to see that *gasp* book 8 in the series is as you put it, possibly the best written one in the series so far. Looks like I have some catching up to do! ;-)

Redigerat: sep 3, 2012, 11:14am

I realize now that I took on too many challenges - not only in number but I simply forgot about them - concentrating on this one. While a few of them were overlaps most of them weren't so I am going to put them into this challenge and forget the others! (So no. I haven't read all these books in one day! lol)

sep 3, 2012, 9:11am

Actually - this puts me so close to the end that once I finish here I will add to my 75 page, just to keep track of this years reading. Am starting to think about next years theme...blank wall!

sep 3, 2012, 9:20am

What I added that was very good -

I really enjoyed The G-String Murders.

Harry Lipkin, Private Eye was an ER book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The solution was easy but Harry is a great guy and I can't wait to read more of him.

Winter of the Wolf Moon put Alex McKnight as my fourth favorite PI when I read the book. Since then the powers that be chose Tom Cruise to play Jack Reacher and I am not sure that I can ever read another one... So Alex is now in third place while Reacher holds on to a very very shaky fourth place.

The Grimm Legacy was a YA book that had such a great cover I had to read it. Imagine a library full of objects rather than books... magical things...I loved the way Polly Shulman made the magic so logical and possible.

Ella Minnow Pea is wonderful.

sep 4, 2012, 4:18am

I like The G String Murders too, great characters & mystery and interesting setting!

sep 4, 2012, 6:56am

Yes, no one would have known the setting like Lee! I wish she had written more but I can't find any mention of them.

sep 4, 2012, 8:11am

The only ones I know about are her biography and Mother Finds a Body which I think the Femme Fatales publishing house republished. I have heard it's not as good as The G String Murders but I am still keeping my eye open, as I would love to try it.

sep 4, 2012, 9:10am

I'll keep my eye out too. Thanks for letting me know about it. The G-String Murders really had the authenticity of setting. Who'd know more about that scene than her!

sep 4, 2012, 4:35pm

@ 16 -- Glad to hear you liked The Grimm Legacy! I really enjoyed Polly Shulman's Enthusiasm but haven't tracked down any of her other work yet. And I loved Ella Minnow Pea as well!

sep 4, 2012, 5:13pm

I was amazed at how Shulman made the magic seem so possible, so believable. It was a fun read.

sep 4, 2012, 9:51pm

Ella Minnow Pea is such a fun, quick read! Happy to see the mention of The Grimm Legacy.... on the growing reading list for next year it goes!

sep 5, 2012, 6:36am

I'm not sure that I had 'fun' with Ella Minnow Pea. Certainly on the surface it was fun, but I had this increasing tension and horror grow throughout the book...finding it a great commentary on how government can become fixated on one thing (even to the point of becoming tyrannical) and how easily we can let our freedoms go. Especially when we don't speak out. It seemed very applicable to what is happening to our own country - and what has happened to other countries.

I loved the uniqueness of the book, but found it more like having to take a really big pill, but at least the pill was sugar coated.

sep 6, 2012, 8:49am

Added A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry.

Few writers approaching their 18th book in a series are as able to keep their characters as alive, interesting, growing, and fresh but Perry does. This book was excellent, what more can I say.

It's 1864 in London and a gruesome murder has been committed. In order to find the true murderer Monk, Hester & Rathbone must solve two seperate murders committed two years apart.

sep 6, 2012, 11:03am

Added Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson

Its a book I have been meaning to read for a long time and finally got around to it. Excellent read. Actually the one of his that I have enjoyed the most.

It's the story of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 that killed 8 - 10,000 people and literally destroyed the city of Galveston.

Powerful book.

sep 7, 2012, 11:06pm

Oh, I thought Isaac's Storm was excellent! I just read another book about that hurricane which was good in its own way, but Isaac's Storm was something special. Powerful book, indeed!

sep 9, 2012, 11:11am

Added These Foolish Things to my Around the World (India) section. -

This is the book that the movie 'The Exotic Marigold Hotel' was taken from. One of those rare moments when the movie was better than the book!

sep 10, 2012, 12:24pm

Added The Betrayal of Trust to my 26 more section.

Was disappointed in it. I have loved the Simon Serrailler series, but this one wasn't the best. It was a 200 page mystery put into a 350 page book. I did review it.

sep 13, 2012, 7:49pm

Added The Light Between Oceans to by Round the World section.

I cried through the last few pages. Absolutely wonderful first novel. Congratulations to Ms. Stedman.

sep 15, 2012, 3:28pm

Added a Rex Stout - The Doorbell Rang - but couldn't get the touchstone to work. This is the one where Nero takes on J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.

Only 19 books left to go!

sep 16, 2012, 6:39pm

Added The Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin to the Holmes section. All I can say about this pastiche is - Hogwash.

sep 19, 2012, 7:29am

Have added Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach to my Around the World section. And that section is now Done!

1. The Game is Afoot - 1 left

2. Second Verse Same As The First - 2 left

3. Oh, Archie - 3 left

4. Far Out - DONE!

5. Around the World - DONE!

6. The Kid In Me - DONE!

7. Up All Night - DONE!

8. To Be Continued - DONE!

9. Read the Book - DONE!

10 Time and Time Again - 3 left

11.Truth is Stranger - 3 left

12. American Pastime - 2 left

extra. 26 More - 3 left

If I counted right that is 17 left to go. It will be touch and go as we are coming into a pretty busy time of the year.

sep 19, 2012, 9:34am

Great progress on your challenge!

Redigerat: sep 21, 2012, 6:03am

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

sep 21, 2012, 8:36am

Added Drop Dead Healthy - very funny in parts. 16 to go!

sep 22, 2012, 4:42pm

Added Delusion in Death by J. D. Robb - It was good to see Eve finally getting closure on her personal past. Felt like a watershed moment with things moving on to a new level. it will be interesting to see where Robb goes with it.

sep 28, 2012, 2:42pm

Added Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay. This was a great suspense thriller. It starts off quietly and slowly builds to the point where you don't want to turn the page because you KNOW that something awful is going to happen on the next page! One of the very few times that the ending has caught me unprepared. I am going to re-read it as soon as I clear the library books that are due back next week.

sep 28, 2012, 3:55pm

Forgot to add The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva. I have always loved this series and this was a worthy addition.

sep 29, 2012, 2:26pm

Finished off my Sherlock Holmes section with The Adventure of the Ectoplasmic Man by Daniel Stashower. This was one of the better pastiches in the group I read. Having Harry Houdini in it possibly made it more interesting.

okt 7, 2012, 5:34am

Added to the Baseball section - Seven Games in October by Charles Brady.

A compulsive gambler has lost almost everything, embezzles money from his company to place a mammoth bid on the World Series which he thinks he can "fix" by kidnapping one of the players family.

The book follows the gambler and his plan, the FBI, the Mafia (who doesn't like people 'fixing' the game in which they have big interests as bookies), the player and the seven games of the World Series.

Amazingly, the many story lines all end in a very fitting manner. It was a very good story.

okt 14, 2012, 7:13pm

Added to the non-fiction section -
Gracie: A Love Story by George Burns

I remember listening to them on the radio and watching them on tv - even the reruns. This is a wonderful book about Gracie, full of laughs and I loved every minute of it.

I'm now at 160 books - just 10 more to go for my challenge!

okt 14, 2012, 7:16pm

Congratulations on hitting 160 books! 10 more to go to complete the challenge is great!

okt 19, 2012, 7:26pm

My second anniversary on LT!

I am adding The Heat of the Sun by David Rain to my historical fiction section. I am in a quandry about writing the review because it wasn't the best book... sort of mediocre... I hate that. You always want to say good things...

okt 19, 2012, 11:16pm

Happy anniversary!

okt 20, 2012, 7:04am

44, Happy anniversary! Sometimes a negative review can tell you more about a book than a positive one. Not every one you read is going to be to your liking and I'm sure most authors understand this so don't take offence.

okt 20, 2012, 7:26am

Thanks to both of you. The last time I had to write a negative review I knew exactly why I didn't like the book. This time I am having a harder time figuring out what to say.

okt 20, 2012, 11:48am

Happy anniversary! I agree that negative reviews are also helpful. I often will still read a book that interests me even after I see negative reviews, but at least I then know what to expect.

okt 20, 2012, 4:00pm

I did it - see below. It was an ER book. I wanted to not finish the book but since I was committed to writing a review, I did. Now on to three Rex Stout books to finish my Nero Wolf section.

I can only give this book three out of five stars, for it was neither bad nor exceptional. The idea behind the story was entertaining and imaginative, but the execution did not fulfill the potential of the idea.

I am a firm believer that every book should stand alone. A writer should never assume that the reader has read his previous book(s) or a play, or other work he is basing his story on. This novel makes a clear assumption that you are familiar with the story of Madame Butterfly. If you are not, you will be hopelessly confused through the first half of the book, if you even get that far.

The story is about what happens to the son of Madame Butterfly and Lt. Pinkerton, Trouble, and his friend Woodley Sharpless.

Written as if it were a stage production - with on "overture" rather than a "prologue", Act One and Act Two rather than chapters, a "Between the Act" (his way of saying "intermission" - in which he finally provides the back-story for those not familiar with Madame Butterfly), then Act Four and Act Five, followed by "Curtain" - there is no continuity between "acts" to tell us how the characters got to where they are. In Act One, Trouble and Sharpless are at boarding school in Vermont. In Act Two it is 1926 and the boys are in their 20s when they meet again in Manhattan. Act Three takes place in Japan during 1937. And Act Four takes place in Los Alamos just prior to the delivery of the atomic bomb. The "curtain" takes place 40 years later. You learn of experiences they have had, but you don't watch. You are quite removed from it most of their lives.

While the book is supposed to be about Trouble, it is told through the voice of Sharpless and thus you come to know more about him that you do about Trouble. It is difficult to gain an understanding of the feelings and motives behind these various chapters of the boy's lives. While the story does, eventually, come somewhat together, I think the word that best describes the book is 'incomplete'.

okt 20, 2012, 8:27pm

Well, that sounds like a very thoughtful and fair review. I don't think you should feel bad about saying anything negative.

okt 20, 2012, 11:00pm

Thanks. It took me a whole day to pin down what it was about the book that made me feel less than happy with it. It could be confusing in places, I am sure, to someone who didn't know the opera. Also, the book cover said it was "beginning where one world=famous love story left off to introduce us to another" and I didn't feel that there was that kind of love story in this book. It was just disappointing in so many ways.

okt 21, 2012, 8:00pm

Added three Nero Wolfe novels to finish up "Oh Archie".

okt 22, 2012, 7:43am

Having spoken to several authors on the subject what they want of course is good reviews but more than that they want honest reviews. Mostly it's a matter of taste whether you'll like a book or not and if a book is not to your taste doesn't mean it's badly written....

okt 22, 2012, 8:36am

I was so totally prepared to like this book, but it was so disjointed and I kept feeling how utterly impossible it would be to understand if you didn't know about Madame Butterfly. And I would have changed the cover description from 'love-story' to tragedy.

I took some non-serious Nero Wolfe mysteries as a remedy for the blues!

Redigerat: okt 25, 2012, 3:29pm

Some reviews are much more difficult to write than others, but I think you did a fair job -- fair, as in fair to the book and its author -- and that your review would be useful to people trying to decide whether they'd want to read that book, making it a good and helpful review.

okt 26, 2012, 9:08am


okt 30, 2012, 8:17am

Added The Death of Attila by Cecelia Holland to my historical fiction list. I had read it a long, long (very long) time ago and it was on my books to read again.

nov 1, 2012, 12:09pm

Added The Desperado Who Stole Baseball by John H. Ritter to my historical fiction list to finish the section.

Very good read. A YA book (pity the grownups that don't appreciate this section). It's 1881 and a 12 year old boy and Billy the Kid join forces to help the Dillontown baseball team.

What's not to love in a book that describes the people "The gruff-and-tumble founders of Dillontown, California, were a scrappy bunch. From fistfighting misfits and cattle rustlers to gold-digging drunkards and cardsharp hustlers. And that's just the women. The men were all that, plus they smelled bad."

nov 2, 2012, 11:25am

@ 58 -- That does sound like fun! :)

nov 3, 2012, 9:36am

Three books left to go! Have added The Brooklyn Nine to my baseball section. It is the story of nine generations of a family and the role of baseball in their lives. Beginning in 1845 and ending in 2002. Another YA book that is very enjoyable.

nov 7, 2012, 2:07pm

Finished off the non-fiction section with How to Cook a Dragon. This is a very nice memoir of Vermont cook and author Linda Furiya's time in China. (She will be speaking at our library next week!). There are a few recipes in the book (one at the end of each chapter) and the closest to cooking a dragon might be the 'Tender Chicken Breasts with Firecraker Sauce'. She has also written another book that might be even better than this one entitled Bento Box in the Heartland.

Two more to go!

I've been adding books to my 'hope to read in 2013 challenge' list and am happy to find that almost half of them so far will be off my own shelves. It might work if all my favorite writers would stop and let me get caught up, but I know I will be dragging them home from the library and then I'll 'have' to read them first as they have to go back and my own shelves will get neglected.

Haven't decided when the right time to start will be either.... I haven't set actual numbers to read, so somehow Jan 01 seems the most honest this time since I just want to read as many as possible in the one year.

nov 7, 2012, 9:16pm

Two books left... that is fantastic! As for 2013, I think one or two have started their challenges but I will be holding off until Jan 1 only because that has been my habit to date and I am still plugging away at my 12 in 12. The shiny books are catching my attention again so I probably won't finish my 12 in 12 much before New Years.

nov 7, 2012, 10:16pm

Lori, I think I would like to copy your idea of listing your challenges on your profile page. This time next year I probably won't be able to remember how many I read this year! lol

Any idea yet what your first book of the new Challenge will be? Somehow it seems like starting a new challenge and a new book on New Years Day calls for something really special...

nov 8, 2012, 12:31pm

I haven't decided on my first book for 2013 yet. I have some ideas from my TBR bookcase - figure I might try to start my year off on the right foot if I want to make a dent in my TBR pile - but I am keeping my options open, just in case Santa surprises me with something under the Christmas tree this year. :-)

nov 15, 2012, 8:15am

With the addition of The Maltese Falcon and Too Many Ghosts I am Done!

nov 15, 2012, 10:22am

For my "extra" reading between now and the end of the year, I started a new ticker with a book I found I had tagged but not put on the list anywhere (at least I can't find it) - Black Dragon by Kirk Mitchell.

nov 15, 2012, 11:49am

Well done! On to 2013!

nov 15, 2012, 3:55pm


nov 15, 2012, 9:16pm

Congrats on completing your challenge.

nov 15, 2012, 11:07pm

Congratulations on completing your challenge. Will you now move over to the 2013 group and get started there or take the rest of the year to just read whatever strikes your fancy?

nov 16, 2012, 4:44am


nov 16, 2012, 7:47am

I think I am just going to read whatever comes along and says "read me"" Came home from the library yesterday with another bag of books...there's just no help for me...

nov 16, 2012, 11:12pm

Congratulations! '

I think I am just going to read whatever comes along and says "read me"

Sounds like a great strategy for celebrating the completion of your challenge!

nov 17, 2012, 10:05am

my problem is there are always a hundred books screaming "read me, read me NOW!" :(

nov 18, 2012, 8:36am

I wish there was a 'time machine'. You could stop action all around you, read all the books on your TBR list and then start action again and you would be all caught up. Of course, it would only take a month or two and you would be behind again.

nov 18, 2012, 12:21pm

Oh, I like the idea of a time machine for reading!

nov 19, 2012, 8:06am


Redigerat: nov 19, 2012, 9:17am

Loooking over my lists there were some books that I really, really liked and some that I didn't.

My Best Reads in 2012

The Butler Did It: Sherlock Holmes Pastiches
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Sherlock Holmes in Orbit by Mike Resnick
The Adventure of the Ectoplasmic Man by Daniel Stashower

Second Verse Same As the First: Re-Reads
The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth
Too Many Ghosts by Paul Gallico

Oh Archie!: Nero Wolfe
No favorites, I love all of them

Far Out: Steampunk, Fantasy & Science Fiction
The Technologists by Matthew Pearl
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine

Around the World in 80: Set in foreign lands
The Paris Directive by Gerald Jay

The Kid in Me: Picture Books, Junior Fiction, Young Adult
Picture Book: Mrs McBloom, Clean Up Your Classroom by Kelly S. DiPucchio
Junior Fiction: Seaglass Summer by Anjali Banerjee
Young Adult: Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, The Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey Couloumbis and The Desperado Who Stole Baseball by John H. Ritter

Up All Night: Spy, Suspense and Adventure
This entire section was excellent but my favorite book of all was Old Dogs by Donna Moore

To Be Continued: From Series I Was Already Reading
A Matter of Justice by Charles Todd
Taken by Robert Crais

Read the Book, the Butler Did It: Mysteries
Winter of the Wolf Moon by Steve Hamilton
Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann

Time and Time Again: Historical Fiction
Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead
Doc by Mary Dora Russell

Truth is Stranger than FictionNon-fiction
There were lots of good reads in this section, but the best was Curse of the Narrows by Laura M. MacDonald

American Pastime: Baseball
The Baseball Codes by Jason Turbow

Honorable Mentions
Bad Faith by Aimee Thurlo
The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee

nov 19, 2012, 9:53am

I was about to enter my Best New Author Find of 2012 when I realized that I hadn't entered her books in my 12 in 12, so I am adding them to my "extras" Death's Favorite Child and A Dead Man's Honor. Both are by Frankie Y. Bailey.

Dr. Bailey writes an excellent mystery. Her attention to detail is precise. Her female character (Lizzie Stuart) is a delight. Lizzie, like Frankie Bailey, is a university professor in criminal justice. These books ring true in every aspect and you should give them a try if you like mysteries. (I think). I am currently reading her third novel Old Murders and have the fourth You Should Have Died on Monday to go. Hopefully, there will be a new one before too long!

nov 19, 2012, 10:08am

And an afterthought - I just looked up the list I made of best books so far that I did in June, and those books are still on my best reads list.

nov 19, 2012, 1:05pm

Love the best reads list!

nov 20, 2012, 3:35pm

May next year bring you more of the same!

nov 21, 2012, 11:28am

Congratulations! Nice summary!

nov 24, 2012, 7:26pm

my problem is there are always a hundred books screaming "read me, read me NOW!" :(
Oh, how true.

I love the time machine idea, too. And that was a great summary!

nov 24, 2012, 9:03pm

Nice end of the year summary.

nov 29, 2012, 7:26am

Added a couple more to my extras - mysteries by Jo Nesbo. New author for me. The books require close attention because there are a lot of characters and with unfamiliar names the first book was hard for me to keep track of who each person was. The second was much easier and I like the characters.

Redigerat: dec 7, 2012, 1:20pm

Since I can't stop reading and I want to wait until Jan 1 to read for the 13 Challenge, I have decided to add as 'extras' so I can keep track of what I read this year. (See the list at the bottom of my regular 12 in 12 categories!) Also have read my first graphic novel, thanks to clfisha !! Grandville, really liked it after awhile.

dec 13, 2012, 4:43pm

Read the new Harry Dresden book Cold Days. I had been so disappointed in the last one, but this one is just great. More of everything that made all the old books in the series so good.

dec 16, 2012, 1:43pm

I've never read this series and I might try and make my way through them this year with the help of the local library.

dec 16, 2012, 5:36pm

I was dragged kicking and screaming to this series by my adult daughter who kept saying - you will like this! I was going - NO I don't like that 'kind' of book. (No vampires, or other nasty creatures for me please!) But I finally gave in. Not only 'liked' the series, I loved it. Went from there to Sookie Stackhouse and then to Mike Resnick's Fable of Tonite series. Harry Dresden has that 'hard-boiled detective' sense of humour. I hope you enjoy them.

Redigerat: dec 24, 2012, 9:51am

Added four more books to my "Extras" section as I am determined not to start my 13 in 13 challenge until Jan 1st!

Among them my second graphic novel - the Grandville Mon Amour book by Brian Talbot and I have requested the third in the series from the library.

Don't bother picking up Jeffery Archer's book Sins of the Father. I like series as much as the next person, but I don't like putting in the necessary hours to read a book that doesn't tell you how it ends. I invested the time and emotion into this book and finally - at the end - there is no end. It just quits. It's a commercial ploy to get you to buy/read the next book. I probably would have continued to series if this one had had an ending.

Housewrights was enjoyable but not compelling.

I also finished one of my ER books. A bio about John Torres "Chief" Meyers who was a catcher for the New York Giants. Fairly good read with lots of interesting stuff included.

Am hoping to finish my other ER book before the end of the year - Eighty Days.

Happy Holidays to all of you.

Redigerat: dec 28, 2012, 9:07am

My last ER book of 2012 was Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman. I have started my last library book, but it is pretty big so I think it will be my first 2013 read, so I will sign off on this thread!

Can anyone tell me how to keep the thread, or at least the list of books I read? (The first entry in the thread)

dec 28, 2012, 12:43pm

The threads don't disappear, if that is what you are worried about. They can go dormant after a number of months of non-activity but they are still accessible.... I tend to bounce into my old threads from 2009 when I want to check what I thought of a book I read then. So I don't spend all my time trying to relocate one of my old threads, I keep the treads listed on my profile page and just click the link to the thread I want to access and Voila!

If you want to store the information on your computer, there is a way to download your LT library as an excel spreadsheet.... or you can always cut and paste the text content into a Word/text file on your computer, but I am guessing that is not what you were asking about.

dec 28, 2012, 1:29pm

Lori, how did you put the link on the profile page?

Redigerat: dec 28, 2012, 2:45pm

how did you put the link on the profile page?

Copy the URL address for the thread you want to link to from your profile page. The URL address for this thread is
I have my links on my profile page in the "About my Library" section. You can paste the URL as copied there although it does help to identify that it is for your "12 in 12 Plus 26 - Part 2 thread" or with some other text to help you know where the link will take you. You can consider pasting something like this, which is a quick and easy copy and paste:
Mysterymax's 12 in 12 Plus 26 - Part 2:
Once you have made the edit, just click "Save Changes". If you want to get fancier with it (have the hyperlink be the actual title of your thread) you would paste the title and the URL address using some html code:
(a href="URL address of thread") Title of thread(/a)
for the html code to work properly, you will need to replace all the rounded brackets () with the corresponding "lesser than" symbol found over the comma key and the "greater than" symbol found over the period key on your keyboard. When you do that, text like this:
(a href="") Mysterymax's 12 in 12 Plus 26 - Part 2(/a)
Shows as this:

Mysterymax's 12 in 12 Plus 26 - Part 2

dec 28, 2012, 3:06pm

Thanks, I will give it a try when I get a few minutes and have fortified myself with coffee!!

Redigerat: dec 30, 2012, 9:12am