LauraBrook's 12-12: Chapter Two
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*****As of December 29th, 73 of these count for this challenge
Back for another round! I'll be doing a stepped challenge this year in the optimistic hope that I'll be working more and will therefore have less time to read. Whatever happens, I know I'll be able to finish this amended version and still have some "free" reading time before the year is up.
A. Stalled - finish one book that I stopped reading halfway through
B. First Friday - two books from my real life Contemplate a Classic bookclub (nearly 10 years strong!)
C. Work It! - three from my Work bookcase
D. Armchair Traveler - four from my Travel bookcase
E. Peer Pressure - five from the LT threads
F. Be My Guest - six from the bookcases in my guest room
G. Hobo's 'R Us - seven stragglers found in random places in my house
H. You Have To Read This! - eight rec'd by my friends Nan and Jenna (4 each)
I. Initium Abecedarium - nine from authors A through L on my shelves
J. Abecedarium Cessatione - ten from authors M through Z on my shelves
K. Three Week Fling - eleven library books
L. Blindfold - twelve picked by LT members
1. Armadale by Wilkie Collins (Sept ?) 840 pgs
B. First Friday - two books from my real life Contemplate a Classic bookclub (nearly 10 years strong!)
1. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (Jan 6) 208 pgs
2. Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg (Feb 28) 60 pgs
C. Work It! - three from my Work bookcase
1. The Path of the Dream Healer by Adam (Jul 4) 225 pgs
2. Iridology Simplified by Bernard Jensen (Oct 15) 40 pgs
3. Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss (Dec 8) 303 pgs
D. Armchair Traveler - four from my Travel bookcase
1. 1900 House by Mark McCrum (Jul 30) 192 pgs
2. Paris: Then & Now by Peter Caine (Oct 15) 144 pgs
3. Rural Britain: Then & Now by Roger Hunt (Oct ?) 208 pgs
4. Encore Provence by Peter Mayle (Dec 26) 226 pgs
1. Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra by Peter Kurth (Feb 1) 230 pgs - from Linda/Whisper1
2. World War Z by Max Brooks (Jun 7) 344 pgs
3. Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James (Jun 20) 514 pgs
4. Fifty Shades Darker by EL James (Jul 6) 532 pgs
5. Japan Ai by Aimee Major Steinberger (Jul 29) 185 pgs
F. Be My Guest - six from the bookcases in my guest room
1. Chucaro: Wild Pony of the Pampa by Francis Kalnay (Apr ?) 115 pgs
2. Hyacinth Bucket's Hectic Social Calendar by Jo Rice (Apr 22) 160 pgs
3. Keeping Up Appearances: Hyacinth Bucket's Book of Etiquette for the Socially Less Fortunate by Roy Clarke (Apr 22) 192 pgs
4. The Golden Pencil by W. F. Hertel (Jun 9) 64 pgs
5. Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City by Holly Denham (Jun 9) 535 pgs
6. The West Wing by Edward Gorey (Jul 4) 64 pgs
1. Hurricane Story by Jennifer Shaw (Jan 1) 92 pgs
2. Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel (Feb 17) 64 pgs
3. Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel (Feb 17) 64 pgs
4. Cinderella by Beni Montresor (Apr 25) 32 pgs
5. Topsys & Turvys by Peter Newell (Apr 25) 74 pgs
6. When I Were a Meerkat by Andrew Davies (May 10) 144 pgs
7. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley (Jul 4) 297 pgs
1. The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (May 30) 200 pgs
2. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Jun 27) 579 pgs
3. Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser (Oct 6) 252 pgs
4. Homeland by Barbara Hambly (Nov 26) 320 pgs
5. Sacred Space by Denise Linn (Dec 8) 326 pgs
6. Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb (Dec 29) 390 pgs
7. Recipes for a Perfect Marriage by Morag Prunty (Dec 31) 304 pgs
On tap: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell,
1. A Midnight Carol by Patricia K. Davis (Feb 18) 200 pgs
2. The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley (Feb 2) 12 hrs
3. The Weed That Strings The Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley (Feb 2) 364 pgs
4. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins (Mar 16) 327 pgs
5. Kim by Rudyard Kipling (Apr ?) 253 pgs
6. A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley (Apr 20) 359 pgs
7. The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott (May 10) 306 pgs
8. Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde (May 5) 436 pgs
9. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (May 31) 319 pgs
1. Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence (Mar 5) 294 pgs
2. Dracula's Heir by Sam Stall (Apr 21) 88 pgs
3. Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell (Apr 21) 7 hrs 35 min
4. The Kingdom by the Sea by Paul Theroux (Mar 30) 14 hrs 26 min
5. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (Jun 6) 8 hrs 16 min
6. Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani (Jul 29) 306 pgs
7. Catch & Release: An Insiders Guide to Alaska Men by Patricia Walsh (Aug 1) 142 pgs
8. A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny (Aug 17) 342 pgs
9. Why Do I Say These Things? by Jonathan Ross (Sept 22) 320 pgs
10. Sage-ing While Age-ing by Shirley MacLaine (Oct 6) 262 pgs
1. Peter Doig by Judith Nesbitt (Jan 3) 160 pgs
2. Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America by Leslie Knope (Jan 10) 240 pgs
3. Fanny by Holly Hobby (Jan 15) 33 pgs
4. Priscilla and the Splish-Splash Surprise by Nathaniel Hobbie (Jan 15) 32 pgs
5. Beach Ball by Peter Sis (Jan 15) 28 pgs
6. Madlenka by Peter Sis (Jan 15) 48 pgs
7. Madlenka's Dog by Peter Sis (Jan 15) 40 pgs
8. Komodo! by Peter Sis (Jan 15) 32 pgs
9. The Three Golden Keys by Peter Sis (Jan 15) 64 pgs
10. The Paris Apartment by Claudia Strasser (Jan 30) 160 pgs
11. The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World by Guillaume de Laubier (Feb 1) 248 pgs
1. Franny & Zooey by J. D. Salinger (picked by Betty/dudes22) (Oct 13) 202 pgs
2. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (picked by Linda/lindapanzo)
3. Holly's Inbox by Holly Denham (picked by Ilana/Smiler69) (Jan 15) 667 pgs
4. Thames: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd (picked by Alison/RidgewayGirl) (Oct 13) 481 pgs
5. The Complete Book of Massage (picked by Lisa/jonesli) (Feb 3) 144 pgs
6. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron (picked by Judy/DeltaQueen50) (Oct ?) 185 pgs
7. An Area of Darkness by V. S. Naipul (picked by Lori/lkernagh)
8. The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain (picked by Anders/GingerbreadMan) (Mar 27) 84 pgs
9. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (picked by Eva/bookoholic13) (Jun 30) 290 pgs
10. The Palace Under The Alps by Bill Bryson (picked by Renee/ReneeMarie) (Dec 31) 256 pgs
11. The English Landscape ed. by Bill Bryson (picked by paruline) (Jul 30) 460 pgs
12. Schloss Schonbrunn guide (picked by Victoria/VictoriaPL) (Mar 26) 63 pgs
December: 10 / 2,445 / 10 hrs 8 min
November: 9 / 2,277 / 0
October: 19 / 4,465 / 30 hrs 29 min
September: 14 / 3,983 / 15 hrs 46 min
August: 4 / 828 / 0 (what a terrible reading month!)
July: 10 / 2,712 / 0
June: 13 / 3,603 / 8 hrs 16 min
May: 7 / 1,581 / 0
April: 15 / 2,230 / 29 hrs 21 min
March: 21 / 2,307 / 23 hrs 38 min
February: 13 / 1,822 / 20 hrs
January: 15 / 2,136 / 0
1. Gaga by Johnny Morgan (Jan 30?) 176 pgs
2. Impressionists by the Sea by John House (Jan 30?) 156 pgs
3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (Feb 18) 4 hrs 30 min
4. 100 Unforgettable Dresses by Hal Rubenstein (Feb 7) 208 pgs
5. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (Feb 23) 2 hrs 30 min
6. Bringing Tuscany Home by Frances Mayes (Feb ?) 240 pgs
7. Mrs. 'Arris Goes To Paris by Paul Gallico (Mar 4) 157 pgs
8. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (Mar 3) 2 hrs 29 min
9. Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus by Peter Sis (Mar 3) 38 pgs
10. Play, Mozart, Play! by Peter Sis (Mar 3) 26 pgs
11. Tibet: Through the Red Box by Peter Sis (Mar 3) 62 pgs
12. Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei by Peter Sis (Mar 3) 36 pgs
13. The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis (Mar 3) 50 pgs
14. The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sis (Mar 3) 37 pgs
15. Pilgrimage by Annie Leibovitz (Mar 3) 246 pgs
16. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale (Mar 13) 288 pgs
17. Chopsticks by Jessica Andrews and Rodrigo Corral (March 14) 304 pgs
18. Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books by Leah Price (March 10) 208 pgs
19. Through No Fault of My Own by Coco Irvine (March 14) 87 pgs
20. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (March 14) 3 hrs 5 min
21. Crossed by Ally Condie (March 23) 10 hrs
22. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (March 25) 3 hrs 20 min
23. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (March 27) 3 hrs 44 min
24. Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne Fluke (Apr 7) 310 p
25. Full Service by Scotty Bowers (Apr 4) 288 p
26. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (Apr ?) 3 H 35 M
27. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (Apr ?) 3H 45M
28. A Month of Summer by Lisa Wingate (Apr 20) 359 pgs
29. Firefly: The Official Companion, Volume 1 (May 4) 176 pgs
30. Evan Only Knows by Rhys Bowen (Jun 9) 230 pgs
31. Niagara Falls: An Intimate Portrait by John Grant (Jun 7) 154 pgs
32. Harry Lipkin, Private Eye by Barry Fantoni (Jun 14) 208 pgs
33. Tale As Old As Time: The Art & Making of Beauty & The Beast by Charles Solomon (Jun 15) 176 pgs
34. Werewolves of Wisconsin by Andy Fish (Jul 4) 122 pgs
35. TroubleMaker 2 by Janet Evanovich (Jun 28) 109 pgs
36. Houses of the National Trust by Lydia Greeves (Jun 23) 400 pgs
37. Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani (Aug 5) 272 pgs
38. Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich (Jul 30) 320 pgs
39. Albert and the Others by Guy DeLisle (Aug 17) 72 pgs
40. How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden (Sept 1) 208 pgs
41. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Sept 2) 382 pgs
42. Horse, Flower, Bird by Kate Bernheimer (Sept 2) 189 pgs
43. Marcus of Umbria by Justine van der Leun (Sept 1) 218 pgs
44. Pyongyang by Guy Delisle (Sept 6) 176 pgs
45. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (Sept 21) 305 pgs
46. Bound to Shadows by Keri Arthur (Sept 22) 346 pgs
47. The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism by Kate Winslet (Sept ?) 286 pgs
48. Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen by Trisha Yearwood (Sept ?) 224 pgs
49. Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood by Trisha Yearwood (Sept ?) 223 pgs
50. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Sept 27) 15H 46M
51. Evan's Gate by Rhys Bowen (Sept 29) 266 pgs
52. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (October 5) 15H 45 M
53. The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson (Oct 6) 64 pgs
54. The Roald Dahl Omnibus by Roald Dahl (Oct 6) 682 pgs
55. Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge (Oct 13) 192 pgs
56. Mercury by Hope Larson (Oct 13) 236 pgs
57. Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol (Oct 13) 224 pgs
58. The Professor's Daughter by Joann Sfar (Oct 14) 80 pgs
59. Cats, dogs, men, women, ninnies & clowns by Jeanne Steig (Oct 14) 351 pgs
60. CLAMP School Detectives, V. 1 by CLAMP (Oct 14) 203 pgs
61. Magic Knight Rayearth, V. 1 by CLAMP (Oct 14) 207 pgs
62. Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Oct 13) 529 pgs
63. Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani (Oct 15) 14H 44 Min
64. Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick (Oct 19) 316 pgs
65. Locke & Key Volume 5, Clockworks by Joe Hill (Nov 10) 160 pgs
66. Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer (Oct ?) 9H 2Min
67. Jim Henson's Doodle Dreams by ? (Nov ?) 96 pgs
68. Old World Murder by Kathleen Ernst (Nov ?) 325 pgs
69. Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City by Guy DeLisle (Nov ?) 320 pgs
70. Green Mansions by W.H. Hudson (Oct ?) 176 pgs
71. Thyme of Death by Susan Wittig Albert (Nov ?) 320 pgs
72. The White House Garden by William Seale (Nov ?) 128 pgs
73. The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen (Nov 23) 320 pgs
74. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (Nov 29) 288 pgs
75. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Dec 8) 374 pgs
76. The Christmas Tree by Julie Salamon (Dec 30) 122 pgs
77. The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel by Jeanne Duprau (Dec 30) 88
78. The English American by Alison Larkin (Dec 31) 10H 8M
1. Monsieur Lambert by Sempe (purchased at the Milwaukee Art Museum for their Impressionists exhibit) $14
2. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston (purchased w/a gift card at bn.com) $9
3. Dido and Pa by Joan Aiken (from Amazon, used) $7
4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (from B&N.com, w/coupon) $16
5. Is & Cold Shoulder Road by Joan Aiken (from Amazon) $9
6. The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry (from Amazon, used) $8
7. Sense & Senbility by Jane Austen (from Amazon) $12
8. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (Half Price Books) $2
9. Thornfield Hall by Emma Tennant (Half Price Books) $2
10. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by the Countess of Carnaervon (Daedalus Books) $9
11. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Barnes and Noble) $29
12. Kovel's Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide 2012 by Terry Kovel (through their website) $19
13. In A Dark Wood Wandering by Hella S. Haasse (HPB) $2
14. Edith Wharton: An Extraordinary Life by Eleanor Dwight (HPB) $8
15. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (HPB) $8.50
16. Late Bloomer by Melissa Pritchard (HPB) $2
17. Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott (HPB) $2
18. Queen Camilla by Sue Townsend (HPB) $2
19. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Amazon) $13
20. A Sleep and a Forgetting by William Dean Howells (Amazon) $10
21. May Day by F. Scott Fitzgerals (Amazon) $9
22. A Simple Heart by Gustave Flaubert (Amazon) $7
23. The Complete Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby (Amazon) $9
24. The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honore de Balzac (Ammy) $8
25. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins (Ammy) $14
****Marker: Today is March 15****
26. Cathedrals and Castles by Henry James (HPB) $2
27. Forgotten Tales by Edgar Alan Poe (HPB) $1
28. The Fall of the House of Usher and other tales by Edgar Allan Poe (HPB) $5
29. West from Home by Laura Ingalls Wilder (BWB) $4
30. Green Mansions by W.H. Hudson (BWB) $4
31. Romola by George Eliot (BWB) $4
32. Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky by Chris Greenhalgh (BWB) $4
33. Laura, the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Donald Zochert (BWB) $4
34. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (BWB) $4
35. The Healing Earth by Philip Sutton Chard (Ammy) $12
36. Tales of Belkin by Alexander Pushkin *(Ammy) $9
37. How the Two Ivans Quarrelled by Nikolai Gogol *
38. Lady Susan by Jane Austen*
39. The Lifted Veil by George ELiot *
40. The Dead by James Joyce*
41. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle *
42. The death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy*
43. Freya of the Seven Isles by Joseph Conrad*
44. Michael Kohlhaas by Henirich Von Kleist*
45. Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson *
46. Stempenyu: a Jewish romance by Sholem Aleichem*
47. Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville*
48. The Beach of Falesa by Robert Louis Stevenson*
49. Adolphe by Benjamin Constant*
50. Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Ammy) $11
51. Daddy Long Legs & Dear Enemy by Jean Webster (Ammy) $12
52. Sepulchre by Kath Morton (Dollar Store) $1
53. Coffee with Mozart by Julian Rushton (Dollar Store) $1
54. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (B&N) $11
55. 1900 House by Mark McCrum (Ammy) $10
56. Lucky Break by Esther Freud (B&N) $9
57. Harry Potter Page to Screen (Ammy) $42
58. The Awakening by Kate Chopin (Ammy) $9
59. The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett " "
60. The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette by Marie-France Boyer (Ammy) $14
******* Today is June 10 ********
61. Journals and Letters by Fanny Burney *$18
62. The West Wing by Edward Gorey *$10
63. Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (-Bookcloseouts.com) $2
64. Serendipity Market by Penny Blubaugh (-) $2
65. Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan (-) $3.50
66. Moominpappa's Memoirs (-) $1.50
67. Madlenka by Peter Sis (-) $1.50
68. The Book of the Maidservant by Rebecca Barnhouse (-) $2.50
69. I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison (-) $2.50
70. The 100 Best Poems of All Time by Leslie Pockell (-) $1.25
71. Jim Henson's Doodle Dreams by Jim Lewis (-) $0.87
72. The Crabby Cook Cookbook by Jessica Harper (-) $1.75
73. Britain and Ireland: A Visual tour of the enchanted isles by Robin Currie (-) $7.50
74. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (LRB) $30
75. The White House Garden by William Seale (Dollar Store) $1
76. Essence by A.L. Waddington (*) $18
77. The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart (B&N) $18
78. The Ultimate Nap Book by SARK (*) $7
79. Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper by SARK (*) $13
80. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley (8) $13
81. Teenage Revolution by Alan Davies (*) $5
82. My Favourite People and Me by Alan Davies (*) $4
83. The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde (Boswell Books) $23
84. The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (BB) $23
85. Feast by Nigella Lawson (B&N) $10
86. If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster (HP) $2
87. The Women of Pemberley by Rebecca Ann Collins (HP) $2
88. The South by Colm Toibin (HP) $2
89. The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sis (HP) $2
90. Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley (A) $9
91. Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats (A) $12
92. Afterlives of the Famous by Sylvia Browne (B&N) $5
I enjoyed reading the personal backgrounds and stories from these cookbooks as much as I did the recipes themselves. While I don't cook "southern" that often, I did pull a few recipes to try in the next couple of weeks. There's even a recipe for cooking a turkey easily - and I think I can manage it this next Thanksgiving! 4 stars each
Book 106: The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism by Kate Winslet
The information about these specific autistic kids, Keli in particular, and Kate's relationship with his mother were interesting, and while the celeb self-portraits were alright, I didn't like or understand most of their quotes. Glad I got this one from the library. 2.5 stars
Book 107: Bound to Shadows by Keri Arthur
The eighth book in the Riley Jenson series, this one left me a little flat. While I still didn't quite figure out who the murderer was (again! that's one of the things I enjoy the most about these books), it didn't hold my attention like it normally does. Nothing was wrong with it, but it was just an okay read this time. 3 stars
Book 108: A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
I wanted to like this book more than I did. While the premise (set in the 1800's - I think - an older man places an ad in a Chicago paper looking for a "reliable wife", a woman responds and marries him, but things aren't exactly what they appear to be on the surface) sounded quite interesting, there is a whole lot of sex in this book. Not necessarily outright sex, but lots of talking and thinking and remembering and... it was a surprise! A friend and I were reading it together during a readathon on Friday night and we played a game - every time the word "sex" or "whore" or "oyster" or something similar came up, we said it out loud. We were nearly constantly talking! There were a couple of twists to the storyline, and that kept me going, but otherwise I would've given up. 2.75 stars
Book 109: Why Do I Say These Things? by Jonathan Ross
Bits and bobs from his life. They're funny and ridiculous and honest stories (he doesn't always show himself in the best light, which is refreshing), and even though I liked him before this book, I like him even more now. Anyone know what he's doing these days? 4 stars
Book 110: Armadale by Wilkie Collins
Holy crap, was this book ever long! I started this in 2009 for my real-life book club, and since I didn't finish it in a month (it's over 800 pages - I got to page 118) and for our meeting we went to a stage version of the book, it wasn't something I was in any hurry to get back to. After all, I pretty much knew the story, right? But of all of the partially finished book on my shelves, this one was the one that bugged me the most. So - I decided to make this the book I'd finish for my first category. After a couple of months of plowing through it, I made it through the end! Normally I enjoy a thick Victorian novel, but this got to be entirely too long-winded in my opinion. Overall it was good, and if it could have been 200 or 300 pages shorter I may have loved it - instead, I'm giving it a generous 3 stars.
That's funny! Pretty well done on the readathon anyway - at least you got the dishes done! :)
Hi Lori! I've read and loved Collins' The Law and The Lady, so much so that I have something like 7 more titles of his on my TBR shelf. I think Armadale was a bummer because I'd seen the play, it'd been so many years between starting and finishing it, and that I just wasn't that into the story. Armadale seems to have more middle-of-the-road feelings and reviews than his other major titles. I like your plan of reading TWIW and skipping A for now.
Hi Betty! It was VERY slow reading for me too. Usually after a chapter I can get into the linguistic flow, and it never happened for A this time. As is, I can't enthusiastically rec A to anyone but diehard Collins fans, so if you feel up to doing some Concentrated Reading in future, I'd try another of his more well-known titles.
I've been thinking about what to write in this review, and all I can think of is "Totally Awesome"! The 80's were my childhood, and even though I didn't necessarily have the video game and techie experiences in the book, they're a fabric of my upbringing. An excellent story, filled with radical flashbacks and narrated by the tubular Wil Wheaton, I'm only sorry that I won't be able to listen to this again for the first time. 5 stars!!!
Book 112: Evan's Gate by Rhys Bowen
In this eighth book in the series, we find Evan solving two cases at once, while also trying to get an old shepards cottage approved to fix up, where he and his fiancee, Bronwen, can live once they get married. Crime #1 - a little girl goes missing while playing on an empty beach, and #2 - a child's skeleton is found under the front walk of the cottage where Evan wants to live. Are they related? What about the unsolved case from Evan's childhood, where his blond neighbor disappeared without a trace? And the current girls' father - is he fleeing from the Russian mob, or just trying to take his daughter? And is the mother honest in her account of what happened that day?
I always enjoy returning to this series. The whodunit isn't always a mystery, but watching the characters get there (and in this instance, what actually happened in one of the cases) is always a pleasant surprise. 3.75 stars, and I'm sorry to say that I'm nearly done with Evan Evans!
This classic tells the tale of Eugenia, Clym, Venn, and a cast of misfit characters as they live their dark and love-affair-triangled lives in and on Egdon Heath. While the narrator (Alan Rickman) was excellent, the story itself didn't do much for me. Fairly bleak (and yes, I know that Hardy does that quite well - usually, it works for me), and without much redemption to this Wisconsinite, the whole shebang left me feeling rather flat about all of it. 3 stars
Do you think the book was lessened by listening to it? Some just don't do well as audiobooks, no matter the skill of the reader (and I'd like to listen to Alan Rickman read to me).
I'd listen to Alan Rickman read the phonebook... :)
One bonus of this was that Mr. Rickman sang the songs that are in the book - fun surprise!
What a sweet sweet story! Emma has done an incredible job of getting the tone and rhythm of Beatrix Potter's work, and Eleanor Taylor has somehow managed to draw accompanying illustrations that look like Ms. Potter's yet still have a small something that makes it her own. It transported me back to my own childhood! Simply wonderful! Five stars (Also, the book comes with a CD of Emma reading the book, though I haven't listened to it yet.)
Book 115: The Roald Dahl Omnibus by Roald Dahl
This chunky collection of short stories (all previously published in other books) was really hit or miss for me. Some I couldn't finish at all. But there were seven stories that made an impression:
"Taste" - A guest at a family dinner party tries to guess where and when a bottle of wine is from, and if he's correct, he can marry one of their daughters. But it's creepier than that...
"Lamb to the Slaughter" - A pregnant woman is making dinner for her husband, fixes him a drink, and then goes out to the store because she's forgotten to get veggies to go with the lamb in the oven. She goes upstairs to practice a smile or two, goes to the grocers for the veg, and comes home to find her husband mysteriously dead. After calling the police and they've investigated, she offers them to stay and eat the dinner she's prepared. There's no reason to waste it, right?!?
"The Wish" - inside the mind of a child while he plays in the backyard by himself.
"The Landlady" - A young businessman arrives in a new town and is on his way to a pub for a room when he spots a perfect and charming B&B and decides to stay there instead. He's the only one there, and the landlady is so charming and sweet and grandmotherly, hmmm, I wonder why that dog hasn't moved the whole time I've been here. Or the bird. Huh. Anyway, it's just so warm and comfortable, and oh my a whole meal? What, is this a roast? Wow, uh thank you. Hmm, this coffee tastes bitter. So when was the last time someone stayed here? Three years - oh, the guest book. Those two guys names sound familiar...now if I could just place where I'd heard of them. Was it the newspaper?....
"William & Mary" - upon her husbands death (whom she never really like anyway) she reads a letter from him explaining that he's made a decision about what he's going to do with his body after he's gone. She's to go and visit a friend of his, a scientist, to see if he's made the right decision and to see if he is still "with us".
"The Great Switcheroo" - A husband who lusts after his neighbors wife tells a fib about a "friend" of his. This "friend" and his neighbor switched places in bed without the wives knowing for one hour every other week. The husbands decide that they can do the same, so they rehearse and give it a shot. But the results are not what they expected them to be.
"Bitch" - Two men formulate a perfume that makes both the wearer and the first person who smells it turn into insatiable lust machines. There can't be any bad side to this, can there?
3 stars overall
Book 116: Sage-ing While Age-ing by Shirley MacLaine
A bit difficult to get into at first, this ultimately won me over. In the guise of her unpacking her new house, each chapter talks about different aspects of UFOs, coincidence, Spirit, religion, and all sort of related subjects. Fascinating, and it was nice to read something that shares the same opinions and beliefs as I do. 4 stars
Book 117: Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser
A gift from a friend, this sort-of self-help book was actually helpful! What a concept! 4 stars
I just got home from hearing Jasper Fforde speak, and OMG, I have a new author crush! I've got pictures that I'm too lazy to post online and then upload here tonight, but I'll do it tomorrow morning. To sum up: it was EXCELLENT and I was my usual awkward-dork self when he signed my books.
Plus, I made a new book friend! YAAAAAY! So far she's only on goodreads, but I'll see if I can swing her over here to LT. :)
I'm prone to that myself!! :)
Hopefully he swings by here too - I've never seen fforde "live."
And now, prepare yourself for a big dose of short reviews. This past weekend was Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon. A friend joined me for 12 hours on Saturday (ended up being way more distracting than I'd planned on), and I spent the last 6 hours sleeping, but I still got a few books read. Then on Sunday, after I recovered, I read a few books that I didn't get to, and kept at it on Monday.
Book 118: Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
This girly, introverted and artsy graphic novel is based on the author, but I believe the high school setting and situation aren't true. At any rate, this was a nice addition to the genre, and would be a great way for teen/tween girls to test the waters. 3.5 stars
Book 119: Mercury by Hope Larson
This dark, time-jump graphic was surprisingly dark. While not necessarily outstanding or a "must read", I recommend this to fans GNs. (Mark and Joe, I think you'd like this.) 4 stars
Book 120: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
A great GN, with an ending I didn't see coming. It has the same look as Persepolis, but the story is unlike anything else I've read. I was really pleased with this one, and I'm even going to add it to my wishlist. I'm even more pleased that I didn't know anything about the story at all, aside from the fact that both Mark and Joe liked it - what a nice recommendation duo you guys make! 4.5 stars
Book 121: The Professor's Daughter by Joann Sfar
What a fun GN! This Victorian tale of the titular daughter and her love, the mummy Imhotep IV, was so enjoyable. The minor plot issues were inconsequential to this reader - the overall story, and the perfect illustrations were so outstanding that I read it 3 times and enjoyed it each and every time! 4.75 stars
Book 122: Cats, Dogs, Men, Women, Ninnies & Clowns by Jeanne Steig
This hefty collection of unpublished illustrations and short bio information about the illustrator and author William Steig, was a sweet trip to nostalgia-land. As the author and illustrator of some of my favorite books when I was young, I was a little disappointed with this collection, but it was still interesting. 3 stars
Books 123 & 124: CLAMP School Detectives, Volume 1 and Magic Knight Rayearth, Volume 1 by CLAMP
These two are aimed for a younger audience than myself, I think. While they were both enjoyable, I felt like there wasn't much of a story there (especially in the Rayearth), and they were easy to read quickly. Don't know if I'll follow up with the rest of the series or not. 3 stars each
Book 125: Franny & Zooey by J. D. Salinger
One of my Blindfold category choices (picked by Betty/dudes22), I'm sorry to say that I didn't like it. Salinger just doesn't do anything for me, and neither do his contemporaries - I know they're popular, and rightfully so, but they and I were never meant to be friends. This book felt like a novelization of a play, all talk and no action, and really I'd rather just read a play instead. 2 stars
Book 126: Thames: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd
"The Thames is a metaphor for the country through which it runs. It is modest and moderate, calm and resourceful; it is powerful without being fierce. It is not flamboyantly impressive. It is large without being too vast. It eschews extremes. It weaves its own course without artificial diversions or interventions. It is useful for all manner of purposes. It is a practical river." p.9
Another Blindfold book (this one picked by Alison/RidgewayGirl), this one I thoroughly enjoyed. Once I got used to his writing, the pages just flew by. One interesting topic after another, pitch-perfect writing, with wonderful pictures and illustrations, I felt like this could have been longer and even more enjoyable. I actually said "that's it?!?" when I finished! 4 stars
Book 127: Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Another quick read, this second of the trilogy felt a little rushed and haphazard overall. (I thought it was maybe from my lack-of-sleep craziness, but I guess not, according to some other reviews out there.) Fun, great to rack up the page count for RAT-stat-crazy me, but it wouldn't spur me to rec the series to anyone out there who wasn't already a great fan of the first book. Am assuming that it's got "middle child syndrome" and I still look forward to the final installment next year. 3 stars
Book 128: Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
A nice story, has that Trigiani feel, just an all-around good book. Nothing fancy, no explosions, no major drama, no lives are threatened, just a nice story. 3 stars
Book 129: Iridology Simplified by Bernard Jensen, DC
A short intro to the practice of Iridology. It's something I've been curious about for years, and if anything this book just peaked my interest a little more. Very interesting. 3.5 stars
Are you still with me? ;)
Book 130: Paris Then And Now by Peter Caine
I love these books. History always seems so near to me, not some obscure thing in the past, and this is the ultimate compare/contrast. I only wish that I could visit Paris again to refresh my brain as to how things look now (this was published in 2003) as I'm sure there are a few minor changes. Exciting and just about perfect in my eyes! 5 stars
And, darn, Franny & Zooey was in a question on my pubquiz last night and I really wish I had read this post before the quiz - I had totally forgotten that Salinger wrote it.
I've heard that Insurgent suffers slightly from being the second book, so I'm absolutely waiting until the last one is published before I start!
Definitely putting Anya's Ghost on the wishlist - my latest ER-book was from the same publisher, so I'm hoping I've found a new favorite! :)
I know, mamzel, some people have a hard time with it. When I read it (when it first came out) I just checked out my brain and hopped on the storyline. I thought it was pretty fun, and a fast read, but looking back I can see how you'd maybe have a hard time. Hope you can hang in there - or, give it the Pearl Rule and move on! :)
I know it's really popular, and some of my good buddies here just adored it, but I have to say that I'm part of the minority who didn't care for it. I'm going to give it 2 stars and call it a day. :-/
Wow. Powerful and affecting, amazing and sad, terrifying and hopeful - this is outstanding narrative non-fiction! I will be reading more about this crazy country in the near future, it looks like there are a few books to choose from that are recently published. Thanks to Mark, et. al, for the push to read this book on my shelf. 5 stars!
Really? That's interesting - you're one of the first I heard who didn't absolutely love it. "30 pages of not liking a single character" is quite bad. :)
Also, interesting perspective on Gone Girl. I just finished it yesterday and am still collecting my thoughts on it. I definitely know what you mean about unlikeable characters...although I actually did like Nick despite his overall sleaziness.
There have been lots of one-off chair massage jobs the last 2 weeks, and then most of my "regulars" all called and wanted to come in, so I've been busy. Thankfully, things are slowing down. Aside from last night, the most I've been able to read is 10 pages at most before falling asleep - very very bad!!! And, to top off all of the craziness, I'm switching to AT&T UVerse for TV service and they've been to my house 2 times (so far) to try and get it hooked up - they'll be back again on Wednesday afternoon to hopefully, finally, get everything taken care of on their end and finishing the installation then. It doesn't really bother me at all that it's not already done (mostly because, as my ex-employer, I SO understand how the company "works"), but the only pain in the ass is that I don't have internet access. So from this past Saturday afternoon until Wednesday afternoon (God help me if it's longer than that) I won't be able to check in on anything (even email - yikes!) unless my iPhone access works for some strange reason, and that's fairly spotty. I'd grab my laptop and sit in a coffee shop somewhere, but my computer is 4 years old and the last time I tried, it was being all farty and dumb and wouldn't let me stay connected to the WiFi. So - I'm at Mom & Dad's house to use their computer, and no offense to them, but I hope I don't have to come back again tomorrow or Wednesday morning.
I finished a few books, just after my last check-in here, but I wasn't prepared to come in here and use their computer when I left the house this morning, so it'll have to wait until Wednesday.
How are you all doing? What's new and exciting? I'm halfway through the new Royal Spyness mystery by Rhys Bowen, The Twelve Clues of Christmas, and it's so good that I'd be thrilled if it was 4 times as long as it is. Other than that, I'm just trying to jam in the few books that I "have to" read for this challenge (and I still have to make my 13-13 thread!) before the year is up. And Thanksgiving is at my house on Thursday. And you'd think that a paper factory exploded in my house and things landed in piles all over my dining room table. Blerg.
Okay, off to check a few other threads quickly, and then I need to head home to put away groceries! See you all soon - hopefully!!
I hope your internet access is up and running again SOON. Although you're probably getting tons done and read without it!
I SO understand how the company "works"
Funny how a well-placed pair of quotation marks change a sentence... ;)
I'm hoping that I remember to come back later today and update the few books I've read, but with the way my brain works lately, it's a 50/50 shot.
Oh! And my internet works!!!!! Someone came on Tuesday, said I didn't need something the other guys thought I would, set everything up and quietly left. There have been a couple of minor issues with working out some kinks, but things get fixed within a few minutes of my putzing around, so no biggie. And, AND, I can record 4 things at once, which is seriously amazing!!!! :D
Okay, one of my "co-workers" from my "new" office is coming over any time now to discuss ways we can boost our business, so I'd better unlock the front door and tidy up a bit of newspaper. See you all later!
And, congratulations on having internet access again! :)
1. Winter Shadows by Margaret Buffie (An October ER, only partially overdue)
2. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
3. The Palace Under The Alps by Bill Bryson
4. Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb
5. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
6. An Area Of Darkness by V.S. Naipaul
7. Sacred Space by Denise Linn
8. Recipes for a Perfect Marriage by Kate Kerrigan
9. Encore Provence by Peter Mayle
10. one book from my work bookcase
11. and one more from my travel bookshelf
Oh brother. I think I am officially screwed.
There is another outstanding ER book that needs reading and reviewing, but at this point, it's going to have to wait until I get these suckers finished off.
Alison and Lori, thanks! I know, it's not a total to sneeze at, but I still feel badly that I (probably) won't be able to finish everything I am supposed to.
Mamzel, when I told my friend and her Mom that I hadn't read the book yet, nor seen the movie (well, I've seen chunks of it, but not the whole thing together), they almost threw me out of the house. :) That same friend is the one who picked GWTW for me to read this year. She assures me that it's an easy read and that I'll get sucked into it, but it's still a giant book. And good for you for getting students to read it!!! A very smart move, my dear!
Okay, here we go! The books I've read in the last month...
Book 132: Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer
I know this isn't the best way to start Ms. Heyer's impressive oeuvre, but I had to start somewhere. It was underwhelming and seemed unevenly paced (I listened to this one). I'm happy to say that while this wasn't the ripping yarn I was hoping for, I do have several other titles of hers that I'm looking forward to reading. 2.5 stars
Book 133: Jim Henson's Doodle Dreams by Jim Lewis
A short, sweet, uplifting book. Would be a nice stocking stuffer for the Henson/Muppet fan in your life. 3.5 stars
Book 134: Old World Murder by Kathleen Ernst
A fun and promising start to a mystery series! I wasn't sure whodunit, though I had my suspicions, and even if I did figure it out, I still would've enjoyed the book. Why, you ask? Partly, it's due to the fact that I know the author, though only casually. The other part is that it's set in my backyard and in my childhood years! It takes place in the early 1980's at the living historic site, Old World Wisconsin, in Eagle, Wisconsin. I've spent many happy days there as my Grandparents built a house on a lake about 10 miles away from Eagle, and my family would spend weekends during the school year and weeks at a time during the summer, at the house, and driving around the countryside. There's something sort of magical about this book for me, it so has the pace and feeling of my childhood afternoons. I look forward to the next in the series! 4.25 stars
Book 135: Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City by Guy DeLisle
Another outstanding book from Guy. Man, is he ever talented! This time, we follow Guy and his family as they spend a year in Jerusalem for his wife's (or is she his girlfriend? hmmm) job. There's something about his work that set you so firmly and pleasantly inside his world that it's always a treat to spend time with my nose in one of his books. 4.5 stars
Book 136: Green Mansions by W. H. Hudson
Read this for my Classics bookgroup, and I couldn't tell you much about it except that I found it sexist and a bit overwrought and ridiculous. Not in a necessarily horribly offensive way, mind you, but it just didn't do anything for me. 2 stars
Book 137: Thyme of Death by Susan Wittig Albert
Yet another start to another mystery series. The first of the China Bayles series, it's set in Texas in the early 90's (and some of the fashion so reminded me of my middle school years that it made me laugh out loud), and features China and her herb shop, solving mysteries and getting to know the residents of the quirky town. A nice plot without many surprises, but as it's the first one, a certain amount of world-building needed doing. I'll happily return to the series, but it's not one that I'm chomping at the bit to get at. 3.5 stars
Book 138: Rural Britain: Then & Now by Roger Hunt
I so wanted to like this book more than I did. Filled with photos from the Frick collection (and only sometimes with accompanying "present day" shots, often taken from different angles - I was hoping for more of a side-by-side photo book) and lots of historical information, it could've done with both different (ideally, matching) current photos and a much larger format. It's the size of a slightly wider trade paperback and while my eyes are good, I had a hard time reading the teensy print more often than not. 3.8 stars
Book 139: When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
A heartfelt, common sense book about how to cope with life when things fall apart. Buddhist in nature, yes, but the lessons in here can apply to anyone at all. One of the best "self-help" books that I've read. 4 stars
Book 140: The White House Garden by William Seale
A dollar store find, it's filled with gardening information and photographs, yes, but it's also chock-full of info about the White House itself and the presidencies that have been in the building and influenced the landscaping. 3.5 stars, and rec'd to anyone with an interest in any of these topics.
Book 141: Locke & Key, Volume 5, Clockworks by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
The fifth in the excellently dark "Locke & Key" graphic novel series. Nothing outstanding in this one, but it was a really decent read and makes me with the next (and final) title was being released sooner than later. 4 stars
Book 142: The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
I don't think there are adequate words to describe just how much I loved reading this latest in the Royal Spyness series. The charming small-village-at-Christmas setting, the murders, the Great House, the cottage, and her family and friends (though no Belinda! What?!?) - it's all just perfect. 5 stars
Book 143: The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Read for my other real life bookclub, I didn't expect to be so fully immersed in this literally dark and unique world. A breeze to read, and such an interesting premise - the next two books in the series are sitting on my coffee table right now! I didn't know anything about the book before opening it up, and I'm so glad that it was that way - do yourself a favor, fans of YA and alternate worlds and the Hunger Games and all things like this, and get this book ASAP! 4.5 stars
Book 144: Homeland by Barbara Hambly
Chosen by my friend Jenna for me to read for this challenge, until the last 30 pages, I didn't know what in the hell this book was really supposed to be about. We follow the lives of two best friends, one in the North and one in the South, throughout the American Civil War, and get to know both of them and their lives in all of their happiness, misery, triumph, and struggles. A very good read, and one that I wouldn't have known about without my friend - Thanks, PJ! 4.25 stars
And now, I'm almost done with The Hunger Games, though it is most certainly not on my TBR In The Next Month list, and my Christmas decorating is only partly finished, so I'd better wrap that up too.
I just updated my To Read list and I have 787 books to choose from. This sounds strange, but shouldn't that number be higher?!?
Thanks in advance!!!
If you were a group of a dozen people, maybe!
When you do finally get to watch the movie, please do not watch it on TV. Commercials ruin a film like this.
For your 13-13, I'd pick Astrid and Veronika since (1) the author is Swedish and (2) it's on my Mt. TBR as well. :)
Kay, looking forward to your choice! :)
Lori, I'm glad someone picked that one! I keep pulling it off of the shelf and putting it on my coffee table to read, and it keeps getting pushed back by other books. So looking forward to this one - and the movie too! :D And thanks for the compliment too, I should really be looking at everyone else's To Read lists and getting into more trouble.
Eva, thanks! My friend Nancy/alphaorder also picked that book for me to read - if you want to, you can make another pick, or I'll just make extra sure to read it next year. I'm good either way!
Lori #2, great choice! Isn't there a sequel to this one? Hmmm, maybe I should check at Half Price Books tomorrow night and see if I can rustle a copy of it up!
After dinner, I'll post a list of already-picked titles, and I'll put a 2013 tag on the books in my library too. But for now - wine!
You have so many fantastic books in your TBR. I envy you the discovery of them. Do all of our TBRs hold such treasures? Would you be willing to read A Passage to India with me? I've had that on my TBR for a year and have heard so many good things about it.
I think you're right - each TBR is chock-full of great books, and I'm sure when I look at yours it'll induce great-reading envy in me too. :) Sure, A Passage to India sounds fantastic! I've had my copy since I was in college, mumblemumble years ago; lets just say that it's a bit overdue.
Mark/msf59: 1. The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell
2. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Joe/jnwelch: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Linda/lindapanzo: The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny (or whatever is #3)
Micky/MickyFine: 1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
2. Soulless by Gail Carriger
Sara/saraslibrary: Esio Trot by Roald Dahl
Linda/Whisper1: The Awakening
Nancy/alphaorder: Astrid & Veronika by Linda Olsson
Stephen/Ape: Sixpence House by Paul Collins
Lori/lkernagh: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Alison Kay/RidgewayGirl: A Passage to India
Lori/thornton37814: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Eva/-Eva-: Astrid & Veronika by Linda Olsson
Terri/tloeffler: Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
Nora/Norabelle414: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Roni/ronincats: Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly
Anders/GingerbreadMan: Moominsummer Madness by Tove Jansson
If you still want more titles, my pick would be Moominsummer madness. I seem to recall you liked your last visit to Moomin valley a lot, and I'd be glad to offer something quick and fun to your challenge :)
An excellent source for making any space you spend time in more harmonious, open, etc. A truly enjoyable book, and I can't imagine a better reference book for the subject. 5 stars!
Book 146: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
How I haven't read this before, I don't know. Really great, and I'm thankful that a friend has leant me her copies of the rest of the series! 4.5 stars
Book 147: Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss
Another one out of the park, an outstanding book on chakras, personal health and healing, spritual power (from many religions), and how to see yourself and your body in a new way. Rightfully considered one of the essentials of the genre. 4.5 stars
With two of these counting towards my 12-12 challenge, that leaves me the following to finish it up:
1. Gone With the Wind
2. Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb
3. Recipes for a Perfect Marriage by Kate Kerrigan
4. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
5. An Area of Darkness by V.S. Naipaul
6. The Palace Under the Alps by Bill Bryson
7. Encore Provence by Peter Mayle
It seems mostly doable, with the exception of GWTW. *sigh* I don't know if I'll be able to finish this. The other books I'm "supposed" to read in the same time period are Winter Shadows by Margaret Buffie, Pure by Juliana Baggott, The Stranger by Albert Camus, and Under the North Light by Lawrence Webster.
"ever so moved by her own incredible wisdom"
LOL! It's actually very few authors who should be allowed to read their own works. There's a reason we have actors...
I've read The Hunger Games, but never got around to continue the series and I wish I had if for no other reason than momentum. If I pick it up again, I'll have to reread the first book (not that it would be a bad thing!). Looking forward to seeing if you think the rest of the series holds up.
I'm listening to a book where the author reads it herself, and it's pretty good! I know I've listened to others by professionals and they've been WAY worse than this one is. (It's The English American by Alison Larkin, FYI.) I'm looking forward to continuing the Hunger Games series too, but as my TBRs in 2012 aren't really moving, it's looking like next year will have to be the soonest I can get to it. So really, only a couple of weeks! (How is that possible?!?)
There is something so restful, calming, charming, etc, about Mr. Mayle's works. It's a little slice of life that's not quite mine, and more like the life I think I want to have. This has been my evening reading for the last few weeks, and, this time especially but, every single time I opened up this book I wondered why I waited so long to get back to his writing. This book is a collection of Peter's Provencal life with topics ranging from the long life of locals to searching for the perfect corkscrew. Just lovely. 4.5 stars
Here's my Christmas haul of book pressies!!!
Courtesy of Mark's Christmas Swap, I received Read This! and My Ideal Bookshelf from Nancy/alphaorder)! Both are books that I didn't think I'd actually get, and I desperately wanted each! We met last week for coffee, pastries and conversation at a lovely French restaurant/bakery in Wauwatosa, and I count that as my favorite part of the present.
The World of Downton Abbey from Linda/Whisper1
Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede
Lavinia by Ursula LeGuin (my first Le Guin!)
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
and To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
all from my LT Secret Santa, casvelyn!
I don't get books from my parents because they think I've got a lifetime supply (ha!) and know that I feed my own habit often enough. I do have a few real-life book friends, but this year one of them didn't get me a book (!!), and I haven't seen the rest yet. Finger crossed for more titles!
1. Recipes for a Perfect Marriage by Morag Prunty
2. An Area of Darkness by V. S. Naipaul
3. Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb
4. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
5. The Palace Under the Alps by Bill Bryson
6. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Just a little light reading for the weekend, then. *eye roll and deep sigh* And, I have at least as many other books that I'm in the middle of, double that of library books, and 4 more that I need to start (and finish) within the next 2 weeks. As ambitious as I may be, I don't think that I'll make any of these goals in time.
Hi, BookLizard! Just checked my library and the only one available is Middlesex - it's 21 hours long! It's really really tempting, but I think I'll pass if for no other reason than I don't want to spend a whole day listing to someone talk at me while I don't really read. I repeat: crazy, yes, but true.
Andrea and Eva - thanks! Of course, the scariest ones are left to the last, I've been avoiding them all year.
Anders! Oh, you're perfect company to crash and burn with! You have every reason to not have pulled this year off, and mine is just...I don't know what. Poor planning? Laziness? Teenage you-can't-make-me attitude? Pick one or all, they all apply. I had to catch up on months of posts on your thread too, my friend, you're among friends. :) Here's to a more successful reading year in 2013 for both of us - and maybe less sickness for your family too!
I did, however, read 1 of my books from start to finish this morning!
Book 149: Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb
I expected to really kind of hate this book, solely because I'm not a fan of "women's fiction" or "men are bastards let's stand strong in our woman-ness together!" kinds of stories. But since a friend chose this book for me to read, I had to give it at least 50 pages (aka the "Pearl Rule"). So last night I read nearly 50 pages. Thought "Oh crap, I think I'm going to like this", went to sleep thinking about the characters (a sure sign), and as soon as I got up and made coffee I did nothing but sit and read and refill my cup until the last page was read.
This story of a mid-30's woman leaving her extremely abusive fiancee on their wedding day and escaping across the country to live with her eccentric Aunt Lydia and the cast of characters in her small town sounds completely cliche. But Cathy Lamb turned it all on its' head somehow and made me fall in love with each character and their struggles, and even had me tearing up more than once. If you can read a nearly 400 page book in about 5 hours, I have to admit that I was wrong for judging a book by its ridiculous cover and say that I truly enjoyed this book and will happily read more of this authors work in the future. 4.15 stars
Back to avoiding shoveling our sad amount of snow and all household chores! I have 5 books that need reading!
This means that I won't have officially finished this challenge, and I'm almost 100% okay about it.
I exhaust myself sometimes.
Book 150: The Christmas Tree by Julie Salamon
Sweet, sentimental, uplifting. I didn't want to like this but but I did, and it made me really cry. If for no other reason, I hope you can find a copy to check out the fabulous illustrations! 3.5 stars
Book 151: The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel by Jeanne DuPrau and Niklas Asker
Meh. It's such an unusual world that I thought a GN would be a natural fit. It wasn't, at least for me. While the movie wasn't outstanding, I thought it did a better job of getting the Ember universe just right. 3 stars
To all of my LibraryThing friends, I wish you a very happy, healthy, prosperous, book-filled year! I'm so thankful for each and every one of you!
Read by the author, this was a very well done audiobook, as was the book itself. A fictionalized account of her life (and based off of her play by the same name) as an English girl who finds out that she's actually adopted and that her birth parents are American, it's her story about growing up, and how she builds a relationship with her birth parents, her attempts at balancing a life in both England and America, and about how she (and therefore, we) identify ourselves. I think it'd be a nice book for any adoptee to read, and I've rec'd it to my friend in the hopes that she can both see herself and understand herself a bit better. (She has just recently discovered who her birth mother is and can't quite figure out the best way to approach her and/or what her expectations are.) I'd recommend listening to this book as opposed to reading a physical copy if for no other reason than the excellent accents that the author does. 3.9 stars
Book 153: Recipes for a Perfect Marriage by Morag Prunty
Chosen for me to read by my friend Nan, this wasn't quite the novel I was expecting, somehow. It was very good, a story of two women in different times (one in Ireland in early 20th C., and the other in modern-day NYC) told in alternating chapters, covering both recipes and how they coped in new marriages with lives that were not what they thought they were going to be. I recommend this book, certainly, but I'm not sure what kind of group would really appreciate it. If it sounds interesting to you, I wouldn't hesitate to find a copy and devour it at once! 4.1 stars
Book 154: The Palace Under the Alps by Bill Bryson
Chosen by my friend Renee (ReneeMarie, here on LT), this early Bryson was a lot of fun to read. It really increased my mental "To See in Europe" list and was funny and smart to read through (some of the sights I've even seen!). If you're a fan of Bryson or of travel writing/guides, I think you can't go wrong with this book. 4.4 stars (This was published in 1985 using his full first name, and while a few of these sites are now more well-known, some of the descriptions and prices made me a bit nostalgic for a less technological time.)
And with that, I'll be wrapping up my end-of-2012 list in just a bit!
Total books read: 154
Total hours for audiobooks: 137 hours, 38 min
Total pages read: 30,389
Best Of list, in no particular order. These are the books I think most fondly of or enjoyed the most, not necessarily the best written, etc.
1. Madlenka by Peter Sis
2. The Three Golden Keys by Peter Sis
3. Holly's Inbox by Holly Denham
4. Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra by Peter Kurth
5. Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico
6. Through No Fault of My Own by Coco Irvine
7. Chopsticks by Jessica Andrews and Rodrigo Corral
8. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
9. Schloss Schoenbrunn guidebook
10. A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
11. Dracula's Heir by Sam Stall
12. Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
13. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
14. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
15. Houses of the National Trust by Lydia Greeves
16. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
17. Japan Ai by Aimee Major Steinberger
18. Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle
19. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
20. The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson
21. The Professor's Daughter by Joann Sfar
22. Paris Then & Now by Peter Caine
23. Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick
24. Old World Murder by Kathleen Ernst
25. Jerusalem by Guy Delisle
26. The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
27. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
28. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
29. Encore Provence by Peter Mayle
30. Sacred Space by Denise Linn
While I was three books short of officially completing the 12-12 Challenge (Gone With the Wind, An Area of Darkness, and Middlesex - apologies to Jenna, Lori, and Linda for not getting to their chosen books), I think I did alright in the end.
Thanks to everyone for following along with my reading and crazy life this past year - see you in the 2013 groups!
Here it is, my 13-13: http://www.librarything.com/topic/145661
Here's my 75 2013 thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/146495
And my ROOTS thread as well: http://www.librarything.com/topic/145825
You did more than alright! Congrats on a wonderful reading year. Looking forward to following along again in 2013.