SqueakyChu's First ever BC Mt. TBR Challenge!

DiskuteraFor BookCrossers: Reduce MTBR Challenge 2014

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SqueakyChu's First ever BC Mt. TBR Challenge!

Denna diskussion är för närvarande "vilande"—det sista inlägget är mer än 90 dagar gammalt. Du kan återstarta det genom att svara på inlägget.

1SqueakyChu
Redigerat: dec 23, 2014, 7:45pm

Thanks, BoekenTrol71, for starting this group. I want in because I've always wanted Bookcrossers to take advantage of the forums here on LibraryThing for book challenges.

My challenge is going to be very low in number this year because I want to accomplish it for 2014. I failed all of my personal book challenges for 2013. I'm not sad. I'll just lower my goals and try again this year. :)

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Goal: To read ten books in 2014 registered by other Bookcrossers




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Planning My Reading ... (or) ... The Only Way I'll Succeed at This Challenge!

COMPLETED:
1. The Cat Who Covered the World - Christopher S. Wren
BC journal
* from maryzee (Rest in peace, dear friend) - With me since 11/3/12 - See msg #10 below.

2. Magical Thinking - Augusten Burroughs
BookCrossing journal
* from gnissorckoob - With me since 4/17/2006 - Oh, man! That's a long, long time. :(

3. Short Stories - Louisa May Alcott
BC journal
* from be7 - With me since 8/20/05. Oops! That was 9 years ago.

4. Sixty-Nine - Ryu Murakami
BC journal
* from cameing (LT's cameling) - with me since 1/13/13 - Only a year! :)

5. Driving Over Lemons - Chris Stewart
BC journal
* from Amusedbythis - With me since 3/10/2007 - Yikes! Seven years?! I better get moving on this one. :)

6. The Fountain of Age - Betty Friedan
BookCrossing journal
*From Oldbroad - I can't believe I've had this book since 11/28/05. Was I waiting to be considered "old" to read it?!

7. House of Windows - Adina Hoffman
BookCrossing Journal
* From jessibud (LT's jessibud2) - She mailed this book to me in 2008. I've only had it for 6 years now, but I did start to read it today. :D

8. Blindness - Jose Sarmago
*BC journal
* from ghir - In my possession since 8/31/06 - Oopsie! :D

9. Hawks for Kids - Sumner Matteson
BookCrossing journal
*From KateKintail - since 06/18/14. I picked this book up at a BookCrossing meet-up today. It's destined to go to the Little Free Library at the National Audubon Society in Kensington, Maryland.

10. An Audacious Alphabet - Amy J. Francisconi
BookCrossing journal
*From ResQGeek at today's BookCrossing meetup (6/8/14)

11. Zeitoun - Dave Eggers
BookCrossing journal
*From melydia on 4/28/14. See! I didn't wait so long! :D

12. The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells
BookCrossing journal
*From KateKintail on 1/26/14 during a monthly meet-up in which we played the "first Line Game". I chose this book because it had the word "portmanteau" in the opening line. :D I loved this book! I now look forward to reading more books by H.G. Wells. This is the first book of his that I've ever read.

13. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend - Matthew Dicks
BookCrossing journal
* From ResQGeek and Nat4Lee on 12/23/12. Two years already! Hmmmm? :)

14. Xenophone's Guide to the Canadians - Vaughn Roster
*BookCrossing journal
* from 6of8 since the 11/2/14 BCinDC meetup at Birdie's this past weekend. At least this was a short book! :D

15. Harvest Home - Thomas Tryon
* BC journal
* from gomboggit - With me since 3/15/05 - No kidding!? - Ooops!!

16. Beware of God - Shalom Auslander
*BookCrossing journal
*This was a recent surprise wishlisted RABCK from slipperbunny of Finland. Thank you so much!

NOW READING:
What next?!

TBR - PERHAPS I'LL READ THESE:
17. Painted Moon - Karin Kallmaker
BC journal
*from Shann24lvr - With me since 6/18/08 - Only six years. Not so bad! :)

18. 1984 - George Orwell
* BC journal
* from melydia - With me since 7/2/10 (Notes: Not so bad. Only 3 plus years.)

More to come!

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Info for others: Tickers can be found at Ticker Factory.

Good luck with your personal book challenges for 2014...and Happy New Year!

2BoekenTrol71
dec 28, 2013, 2:31pm

Welcome and thanks for joining!!

Good luck on reaching your goal! If needed, I'll cheer to encourage you :-)

3SqueakyChu
dec 28, 2013, 2:55pm

Some times I *do* need encouragement. I'll keep that in mind!

I should actually go now and pick the book with which I want to begin this challenge. Of course, I'll tell from which BookCrosser it came. :)

4SqueakyChu
dec 29, 2013, 1:25pm

I think this is going to be fun - especially because I'll be discovering other BookCrossers here on LibraryThing who I never knew were here!

5SqueakyChu
dec 29, 2013, 1:30pm

Turthfully, I don't know how many books I have from other Bookcrossers because I belong to BCinDC, the local Washington, DC, BookCrossing club. I've been an avid Bookcrosser for over 10 years and have always exchanged books with other Bookcrossers. I keep all of my personal books (and TBR) on LibraryThing, although I register all books going through my hands on BookCrossing (even those I put in my own Little Free Library of Twinbrook). :D

I'm sure I have at least ten, though! :D

6BoekenTrol71
dec 29, 2013, 2:02pm

>5 SqueakyChu: *broad grin*

7SqueakyChu
dec 29, 2013, 3:37pm

:)

8SqueakyChu
Redigerat: jan 20, 2014, 3:05pm

I like soffitta1's idea to list the books. I have so many on Mt. TBR that I'd like to identify the ones I have from other Bookcrossers. Those books really do need to get moving. I think I'll also list when I received them...to induce guilt into myself! :D

(Moved my book list up to message #1)

9SqueakyChu
Redigerat: dec 31, 2013, 1:00pm

I've discovered that I have 44 books that originated in BookCrossing in my To Read list. I don't have time to fool with those stats now, but I just wanted to let you know that you can sort by this parameter here on LibraryThing by using the "From where?" option on the "Your Books" display.

Happy New Year everyone!

10SqueakyChu
jan 5, 2014, 1:31am

> 8

I've decided it's time to start this challenge in earnest so I picked the book to read. It's The Cat Who Covered the World (see BC journal entry in msg #8). This is a fitting book with which to begin because the book was first started on its travels by MaryZee, a very dedicated BookCrosser who is no longer alive. She was a member of my local BookCrossing group, BCinDC. I used to read her messages on the BC forum long before I ever met her. Sadly, she died suddenly at age 59. My group still meets with her family occasionally at Birdie's Café in Westminster where the Official BookCrossing Zone she started years ago still remains. This book has also passed through the hands of 6of8, another very cheerful fellow member of BCinDC.

With these thoughts in mind, today I'll begin to read this book...

11ardachy
jan 8, 2014, 4:13pm

Good to see you have started your first. Nine or 43 more to go!

12SqueakyChu
jan 8, 2014, 8:21pm

I think...nine! :)

13SqueakyChu
jan 12, 2014, 1:44am

Hurray! I finished my first book, The Cat Who Covered the World and it was such a sweet read. It was by and about foreign correspondent Christopher S. Wren's travels about the world in the course of his job, but more about his cat Henrietta who was part of the family and part of this travel experience. I found it a deeply heartwarming story. It would be a superb read for anyone who loves cats.

This book had previously been read by my friend MaryZee (sadly no longer alive) and also by my friend 6of8 whom I'm going to see in about two weeks at a BookCrossing meet-up. I plan to give this book to my daughter who has three cats of her own. I think she'll really like this book. I can guarantee, though, she will never make a BookCrossing journal entry about it. :(

Now, I'll be off to choose another BookCrossing book to read for this challenge, but only after I finish and review an Early Reviewer book I won here on LibraryThing.

I'm 10% done with this challenge so I'm ahead of the game! :D

14iwillrejoice
jan 12, 2014, 1:52am

I can guarantee, though, she will never make a BookCrossing journal entry about it.

It does seem to be true that friends & family don't journal BC books. Except once, when I hadn't made a release note for it! (Argh!)

15SqueakyChu
jan 12, 2014, 1:54am

When my daughter was away at college, I always pleaded with her to take books to wild release on campus. her response was always an eye roll! :)

16iwillrejoice
jan 12, 2014, 1:58am

Guess that's just Mom's thing. :-)

17SqueakyChu
jan 12, 2014, 2:01am

Yeah...

18BoekenTrol71
jan 16, 2014, 10:20am

You're going well, congratulations!! Though no cheering needed (yet) :-)

19SqueakyChu
Redigerat: jan 16, 2014, 11:33am

At least I'm on target with this BC challenge...so far! Last year I was beaten by every single challenge I tried. There were about 5 of them. My real challenge for 2014 is to do better this year.

I think I'll now go and choose another BC "challenge" book to have on hand when I have a few free moments...

20SqueakyChu
jan 16, 2014, 11:39am

Book #1 of 10:



Here's my BC journal entry for The Cat Who Changed the World by Christopher S. Wren.

21SqueakyChu
jan 18, 2014, 9:02am

Yikes! I just found a BC-registered book I've had (without reading) since 2006! I moved that book up on my list to "Currently reading". See msg #8. Heh!

22BoekenTrol71
jan 20, 2014, 2:15pm

I think I'll find a few of those 'skeletons' too, although I can't beat you: you have the book from message #21 longer than I'm a BC-member... I'm not trying to induce guilt!, just comparing :-)

23SqueakyChu
Redigerat: jan 20, 2014, 3:03pm

you have the book from message #21 longer than I'm a BC-member

Am I really that old?! LOL!!

I'm going to have to sort through my BC list to see which books in my possession are truly that old. Then I need to get a move on those. Thanks for bringing this challenge to LibraryThing. I would have ignored it totally on the BC website! Ha!

24SqueakyChu
jan 20, 2014, 10:33pm

I'm loving the chance to look at these really old BookCrossing books, and finally deciding to put them somewhere on a "To Be Read Soon List". I don't want to put too many books on that list at once, or I'll be frozen into not reading any of them. Slowly, slowly...I will surely tackle at least a few of them. I'm listing those I dsicover from time to time up in message #1.

25SqueakyChu
Redigerat: jan 20, 2014, 10:37pm

I'm making good progress on Magical Thinking, although I'm not liking this book at all. I'll read it, though. I might hit one or two essays that I like. So far I've read eight, but I don't think any of them are either entertaining or funny.

Is this book exceptionally bad, or has my reading taste changed since I last read a book by Augusten Burroughs? Perhaps it's the double whammy of having recently read a book by the even more distasteful and offensive author David Sedaris?

26BoekenTrol71
jan 21, 2014, 2:26pm

> 25 I've read Running with Scissors by him and I absolutely disliked it. I'm not sure I'll ever pick up a book again that he has written...

David Sedaris is yet unknow to me. If he's anything like Burroughs, I'm not sure I'll try hime...

Good luck on finishing Magical Thinking, interesting to learn what you think :-)

27SqueakyChu
jan 21, 2014, 3:20pm

> 26

David Sedaris is yet unknow to me. If he's anything like Burroughs, I'm not sure I'll try hime...

If you dislike Burroughs, you'd absolutely hate David Sedaris. Maybe read one of his essays just to see what I mean, and then quickly get rid of the book! Oddly enough, many people find both of these authors hysterically funny. Neither even make me want to smile. Rather, what they write generally makes me frown.

I will finish Magical Thinking because I want to add this book both to my BC Mt. TBR challenge and to my ROOTS challenge. Then I'll try to read something I like better. :)

28melydia
jan 24, 2014, 10:07am

I filtered by bookshelf by TBR, books in my possession, books registered by other people, then sorted by most recently journaled - ascending (so the least recent would be first). I'm doing okay - my oldest one has only been in my hands since 2008. ;)

29SqueakyChu
Redigerat: jan 24, 2014, 10:14am

I've got you waaaaay beat by year, melydia, but I also see that I haven't registered all of my BC books on LT.

It's fun trying to find those now and getting them registered here and read. I've been finding them by the same way you've been locating them - by filtering at BookCrossing.

By the way, who gave you the book registered in 2008? Just curious!

30SqueakyChu
feb 2, 2014, 11:15pm

31mathgirl40
feb 2, 2014, 11:21pm

Congratulations on completing another book from your list! Too bad it was such a disappointment. I've not read anything by this author, and it sounds like it's best if I don't start now. :)

32SqueakyChu
feb 2, 2014, 11:29pm

Thanks! I'm excited that I've already read two of such hanging-on books! I'm ready to start a third one now.

33melydia
feb 4, 2014, 12:09pm

>29 SqueakyChu: It was ivylibra224, who from her profile looks to have been inactive since 2009, so it's safe to assume she's not waiting on the edge of her seat for my review. :)

It's also not one of the books I'm reading for this challenge, because it has prerequisites. The oldest is Lighthouses of Massachusetts, registered by wilderwoman and given to me by KateKintail in 2010. Not bad!

34SqueakyChu
feb 4, 2014, 3:27pm

... in 2010. Not bad!

Not bad at all! :)

35SqueakyChu
Redigerat: feb 25, 2014, 9:41pm

Book 3 of 10:
Short Stories - Louisa May Alcott



I was favorably impressed with this tiny volume of short stories by 19th century novelist Louisa May Alcott. This is the first book I've read by her in over 50 years! I did read Little Women as a child, but I have not recollection of that book other than I liked it. In addition, my elementary school was named after this author. It was Louisa May Alcott School #59 on Reisterstown Road in Baltimore, Maryland. I don't know if that school (or even the building) still exists. :)

There are only five stories in this 55-page book. It was very quick to read, but also suitably impressive. I liked that four of her stories were about her experiences as a nurse at a military hospital in Georgetown, DC (in the heart of what is now Washington, DC) during the Civil War. She was a night nurse for part of that time, at least. I, too, was a nurse in DC, although my experience was as a visiting nurse in the second half of the twentieth century.

There are some things about nursing that never change. It's what I always liked best about nursing - that is, the human interactions and the support provided by nurses through coping with illness and impending death. These topics are handled beautifully in this book. The nurse in our story is warm and caring. She also is an abolitionist who, in a story called "My Contraband" gives great support to the mixed race brother of a Rebel in a most unusual story that uses Fort Wagner, South Carolina, as the historical setting for a dramatic scene.

I was taken aback by the essay called "Happy Women" which was the author's explanation of why a woman did not need to defend her position of not wanting to marry. It's a very dated essay, but the content is quite outspoken for its time.

These are very heart-rending stories which touched me deeply. Who knows? I might even choose to go back and read a bit more by this nineteenth century author!

Rating - 4.5 stars

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I'm so excited. This book can begin to travel again...after nine years! :D

36iwillrejoice
feb 17, 2014, 12:36pm

Sounds like one I'd like! Off in search...

37ardachy
feb 17, 2014, 4:04pm

Nine years to read a 55 page book IS slow progress ;)

38SqueakyChu
feb 17, 2014, 5:46pm

LOL!!

My progress *is* picking up, though...

39SqueakyChu
Redigerat: feb 25, 2014, 9:40pm

Book 4 of 10:
69 - Ryu Murakami



This is a sparkling book about Kensuke Yazaki, a teenage boy in Japan in 1969 who really did not like attending school. Together with friends Amada and Iwase, he planned to barricade his school and then stage a protest play. This was all done whilst in the midst of a pervasive and heavy crush on Yazaki's "Lady Jane", Kazuko Matsui.

Although geared to a young adult readership, this book was a delight to read. It was light-hearted, reminiscent of the late 60s, and not malicious or offensive in any way.

How did any of us get through that era? It was a tough time and a wonderful time. I loved this journey back into that era, but also being able to see it through the perspective of a teen in Japan as opposed to the young adult I was in the United States at that time.

Rating - 4 stars

40SqueakyChu
feb 22, 2014, 9:58am

Cool beans addendum note to the previous note above about 69: This BookCrossing book was actually started on its journey by Bookcrosser cameing who is LTer cameling. :)

41mathgirl40
feb 25, 2014, 7:29am

>40 SqueakyChu:: How nice! Great to see people who are on both sites.

42SqueakyChu
feb 25, 2014, 9:36am

> 41

I'm always encouraging LTers to join BookCrossing and vice versa. It's been a challenge of my own to get these two websites more connected. They both have so seem to meld together so well.

43SqueakyChu
feb 25, 2014, 9:37am

The fun thing about completing these BC TBRs is that they're making other Bookcrossers very happy as well. I started one book last night that another BookCrosser (OldBroad) RABCKed to me w-a-y back in 2005. That's embarrassing!

The good news is that I'm now old enough to appreciate it as it's a book about ageism in America. I'll tell you more after I finish the book - which won't be too soon as it has over 600 pages! :)

44SqueakyChu
feb 25, 2014, 9:40pm

Book 5 of 10:
Driving Over Lemons - Chris Stewart



With warmth and humor, Chris Stewart describes his move with his wife Ana to a remote spot in Andalucía, a mountainous area of Spain, where he buys a house and starts his own farm. I love his determination and great spirit of adventure as he manages to leave his English roots behind and become a full-fledged member of this Spanish community.

In particular, I loved reading about the people of the area and how they reacted to this expat from England. The description of the scenery was magnificent, although I really would have preferred to see larger, color pictures within this book. The animal stories were also terrific...from the pets dogs that didn't always behave to the sheep that ran away as a flock. More important than all of these, though, were the friendships that developed in the years that Chris lived in El Valero which is what the author called his farm. Domingo was a friend in the truest sense of the word and probably had much to do with Chris and Ana's successful adaptation to their new country.

Rating - 4 stars

45iwillrejoice
Redigerat: feb 25, 2014, 11:22pm

Rating - 4 stars

Good to know. I have a copy of this somewhere... I'll have to dig it out!

46SqueakyChu
Redigerat: feb 25, 2014, 11:44pm

Let me know what you think of it. jessibud2 found that she has a BookCrossing copy of this book's sequel, A Parrot in the Pepper Tree. I hadn't known that the book I just finished was the first of a series.

47SqueakyChu
Redigerat: mar 21, 2014, 12:00am

Book 6 of 10:

The Fountain of Age - Betty Friedan



I found it very strange but serendipitous that I've had this book in my hands since 2005, but I never picked it up to read until I did so for a reading challenge in 2014. In the same year and at age 66, I was suddenly told by my employer of more than 39 years that I no longer had a job and could go home immediately. Thus began my own episode of "aging" and trying to make what I would of this last stage of life. It was with great fear, oppressive emotional stress, and nightmares which would awaken me each night that I started my retirement years. Fortunately, I was able to get many of those pressing financial worries under some sort of control before I chose this book to read. This state of being allowed me to take great interest in the subject matter as I could relate to all of what was being said. I also saw it as a tool to help me move forward in learning to cope with aging in ways I never considered before.

I found it very encouraging to learn that aging is not a limiting condition outside of the physical deterioration one may expect sooner or later. I was happy to learn that brain development and differentiation in age continues through age seventy or eighty...or even longer in some individuals. One thing it will certainly do is to make me work toward demonstrating my personal strengths as I age and not to fear my numerical age (which I never have). I very much appreciate Betty Friedan's momentous work on this book about the aging mystique and only wish it would do as much for aging as her previous books have none for the feminine mystique. Not only this book, but also this subject needs to be much more in the forefront of our reading and learning as the "graying of America" (as American baby boomers become senior citizens) takes place. We, of age, are a strong and determined force, and this book is the proof.

Beware that this is not light reading. This is a thick, dense book, well over 600 pages. Some might find this kind of reading dry. As for me? I was fascinated by every sentence!

Rating - 5 stars

48ardachy
mar 21, 2014, 4:56pm

Well done on getting through such a thick, dense book at your age! Seriously, it does sound interesting.

49SqueakyChu
mar 21, 2014, 10:59pm

At my age! Ha!!

It was just such an excellent book. It was worth reading every page. Very empowering.

50mathgirl40
mar 22, 2014, 11:08am

The Fountain of Age sounds like a very interesting book. I'm not at the same stage of life yet, but my friends and I all have elderly parents, so aging is certainly on my mind. I'd just recently read a novel, Flee, Fly, Flown about two escapees from a nursery home. While it was written in a mostly humorous way, it touched on many of the issues the elderly face.

51SqueakyChu
Redigerat: mar 22, 2014, 12:13pm

I was really impressed with The Fountain of Age, but, as I said, it hit me at the right time. I wishlisted Flee, Fly, Flown as it sounds as if it would be a book I'd like to read.

Check out this list (nonfiction) and this list (fiction) for more books about aging. Feel free to add your own selections to these lists.

52mathgirl40
mar 22, 2014, 6:46pm

Thanks for the pointers to the lists, SqueakyChu.

53SqueakyChu
mar 22, 2014, 6:57pm

Enjoy!

My favorite from the fiction list is The Leisure Seeker.

54wareagle78
mar 24, 2014, 7:56am

SqueakyChu, thanks for the book recommendation. While I have not been invited to leave my job, I am certainly thinking of retirement and all it will mean more than ever before. There is much to ponder about the rest of our lives, when we know we are still mentally agile and not willing to do nothing. Cheers!

55SqueakyChu
Redigerat: mar 24, 2014, 9:23am

Yesterday was a fun day. I went to a birthday celebration of a friend's mom's 90th birthday. One of her-88-year-old friends was there. I kept telling the younger woman that she's "just a kid" as she's only 88 years old. :)

My oldest friend is 101 years old. She's the mother of another friend of mine. She lives out of town so I don't see her that often, but I did go to her 100th birthday celebration.

One of my best topics of conversation with individuals of my parent's generation is to compare hearing aids with them! :/

56SqueakyChu
mar 24, 2014, 9:23am

>54 wareagle78:

Enjoy the book. It's inspiring.

57SqueakyChu
mar 29, 2014, 12:06pm

Heh! I just started another book, House of Windows, that jessibud2 sent to me in 2008.

Oopsie! Love this challenge. :D

58jessibud2
Redigerat: mar 30, 2014, 6:57am

>44 SqueakyChu: >46 SqueakyChu: - Ok, I am holding my book for you. When Zoe comes to Toronto for the LT meetup, I will give it to her. I just found (and joined) this group and this thread, thanks to your link in your most recent journal note in House of Windows. I am not sure if I knew about this group before. If I did, I wasn't paying attention. I am not sure it makes sense for me to start my own challenge here since I am doing the ROOT challenge and trying to devote that one to moving BC TBR books. It seems a bit redundant. What do you think?

59SqueakyChu
mar 29, 2014, 9:49pm

>58 jessibud2:

It doesn't matter if it is redundant. It's fun because THIS is the ***only BookCrossing challenge*** here on LT. We BookCrossers have to stick together!

So do it along with the rest of us. The other BookCrossers on this challenge are mostly not part of the 75 challenge group; many are not part of the ROOTs group. Here we are ALL Bookcrossers.

You can cut and paste your reviews/thoughts/reactions to what you read to all three groups. Different people will see your cross post on the three different groups.

However, if you do think it's too redundant (and it might be), skip it for now, but consider doing it for 2015.

Hint: I'm using my old BookCrossing books and my ROOTs book for both of the challenges. Killing two birds with one stone sort of thing... Heh!

This particular MTBR BC challenge brought to my attention some fabulous books that I have neglected for years!

By the way, I just love House of Windows. It was really fun picking up such an old book and finding a note from you in it! :)

61SqueakyChu
Redigerat: apr 1, 2014, 12:39am

Book 7 of 10
House of Windows - Adina Hoffman



I adored this book. It brought back a flood of memories from the few months I had the privilege and delight of living and working in the city of Jerusalem. Although author Adina Hoffman talked about her experiences in the city at a later time period than when I was there, she brought back all of the local color of that city The people in Jerusalem are amazing - so colorful, so special. If I could have, I would have jumped right into the pages of this book, taken the author's hand and told her to let go, not be afraid of the city and its inhabitants, and to simply take everything in around her with joy. There was a sense of trepidation about her writing. Maybe it was because I was there as a single woman and the author first came there as a married woman, that I felt the beginning of this book was so tentative.I guess it was the time in which she lived there. I was there before the Intifada began.

Perhaps not as much for others who have never been to Israel or to Jerusalem, but for me, this book was simply enchanting. I loved all the characters - even the ones who were less than agreeable. That was because I seemed to know them all. She nailed her emotions and reactions of others in such a way that all the characters came vividly to life. With Hoffman's great eye and descriptive ability, she made this book as alive as any book could be. I enjoyed this read immensely.

Rating - 5 stars

62mathgirl40
apr 5, 2014, 9:04am

House of Windows sounds like a great read. I always like reading books set in places I've visited or plan to visit.

63SqueakyChu
apr 5, 2014, 11:47am

This book was extra special because it was a place in which I'd actually lived. I loved living in Jerusalem. If my dad had not been alone in the United States that year, I probably would have immigrated to Israel and continued to live in that city.

64SqueakyChu
Redigerat: apr 17, 2014, 8:44am

Book 8 of 10

Blindness - Jose Saramago



Blindness seemed quite a "slog" is because it tended to go on and on. The conversations without punctuation didn't bother me all that much because I was usually pretty clear who said what, although I will admit that I did go back to reread a few of its passages to clarify this issue.

The premise is interesting. A bout of "white blindness" sweeps the entire population. When this affliction only affects only a few people, they were placed in quarantine. However, when the blindness becomes more rampant, the government security in charge of this quarantine area abandoned its residents and they are left to fend for themselves. No names are ever used for the main characters, although the reader gets to know them quite well by their description.

I think the idea of this novel was to show how people, when reduced to their basics, are all the same. With eyesight, we "see" without seeing. Without eyesight, we sometimes "see" even more.

The end of this story surprised me. Now I do want to read its sequel, "Seeing". I want to see if the message I gleaned from this first book carries through in its sequel.

Hey, maybe "slog" was too rough of a word. Maybe "slog-lite" would be a better way to describe my feelings as I worked my way through this story.

Rating - 3.5 stars

65ardachy
apr 17, 2014, 4:29am

A fine piece of fence sitting. I know what you mean though, I feel like that occasionally.

66SqueakyChu
apr 17, 2014, 8:05am

Heh!

67SqueakyChu
Redigerat: apr 17, 2014, 8:46am

> 65

I went back and edited my "non-review" above into a review because of this conversation. See messages 37 through 41 there. :D

68ardachy
apr 18, 2014, 4:37am

:-)

69jessibud2
maj 5, 2014, 10:06am

I just finished Billy Crystal's memoir, Still Foolin' 'Em. I've linked to my BC journal notes on the book, which I loved!

70SqueakyChu
maj 5, 2014, 10:27am

>69 jessibud2:

just a truly decent human being, a quality that seems to be in increasingly rare supply among the famous (and even not-so-famous)

That's refreshing. Glad you picked such a good book.

71SqueakyChu
jun 8, 2014, 9:27pm

Book 9 of 10

Hawks for Kids - Sumner Matteson



This is a nice book about hawks for children and their parents. I liked this book because the information presented was in a small enough amount not to be overwhelming or confusing. In addition, the book had some large photographs which would make identification of hawk species easy and some lovely colored-pencil drawings to illustrate the story of hawk expert Prakash teaching his young friends Allison and Amanda all about hawks.

Rating - 4 stars

72SqueakyChu
jun 8, 2014, 10:44pm

Book 10 of 10

28. An Audacious Alphabet - Amy J. Francisconi



Adorable and laugh-out-loud funny alphabet book! Precious and colorful illustrations...

My favorite:
U - an unbridled unicorn undulating in his underwear

Tee hee!

This is a good book to share with anyone, any age, because everyone is sure to learn a new vocabulary word or two.

Rating - 5 stars

73SqueakyChu
jun 8, 2014, 10:44pm

Woot! I did it!!

74mathgirl40
jun 10, 2014, 10:16pm

Congratulations on reaching your goal ... and the year's not even half over yet! Do you have a new goal for the remaining months?

75SqueakyChu
Redigerat: jun 11, 2014, 10:25am

Nope. Last year I failed to meet most of my goals so I'll just post any more books here that I read that are BC-registered by others. In that way, I can exceed my goal this year! :)

76ardachy
jun 11, 2014, 3:32am

That is exceedingly good!

77mathgirl40
Redigerat: jun 11, 2014, 7:15am

>75 SqueakyChu: Excellent idea!

78SqueakyChu
jun 11, 2014, 12:47pm

Book 11 of 10

Zeitoun - Dave Eggers



This is such a disturbing book. It's made worse by knowing that the story is true. It begins with the Zeitoun family who were caught in the oncoming Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Mr. Zeitoun and his wife, owners of a painting/construction business, and their four children were involved in the maelstrom of preparation for evacuation. However, Mr. Zeitoun (referred to as "Zeitoun" in this book) makes the decision to stay at home to weather the storm and watch his other properties while having his wife and children evacuate. This was probably the worst decision of his life.

What ensues afterward is painful story. Zeitoun remains to do good and help people as he is owner of a small working canoe. However, his good intentions were almost for naught as he was arrested and imprisoned unfairly and made to suffer for his Islamic background and appearance.

What happens in this story is almost unbelievable. The many lapses of good judgment by others and the cruelty and unfairness of our law enforcement agencies are downright frightening. How could such situations happen? It is so unfortunate.

In response, author Dave Eggers, decided to tell the Zeitoun family story in as much detail as possible. To try to right the wrongs, he, along with the Zeitoun family and McSweeney's, set up The Zeitoun Foundation which consists of multiple agencies to help victims of and also to prevent abuses such as those suffered by the Zeitoun family during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This was a step in the right direction after untold cruelty to a hardworking husband, father, business owner, and immigrant to America.

Rating - 4 stars

79BoekenTrol71
jun 27, 2014, 2:12pm

Oh wow, you're one in the plus!! Congratulations!!

I think I might do that too now. When I reached my goal of 15, I adjusted the ticker to 30. But, this is so much more fun :-) Seeing how many you are in the plus instead of looking at a gap all over again.

80SqueakyChu
jun 27, 2014, 5:05pm

Haha! Thanks.

Last year I failed so miserably at my challenges that I simply wanted to feel a sense of accomplishment this year.

81soffitta1
jul 10, 2014, 2:39pm

Congratulations!!!

82SqueakyChu
jul 10, 2014, 3:42pm

Thanks!

83SqueakyChu
Redigerat: nov 3, 2014, 9:34am

Book 12 of 10

The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells



It's not easy being invisible!

Griffin, a minor scientist in England, discovers how to make things invisible. His experiments with living things only left the back of a white cat's eyes, but he was able to make himself totally invisible. That's when his troubles began.

How does an invisible man eat (especially if partially digested food is still visible), clothe himself (especially if "walking clothing" scare others, or get and carry money without creating "floating money" (especially before the days of "virtual money"? In addition, how does an invisible man refrain from performing acts of mischief that are so enticing?

This classic novel answers the above questions and provides for an interesting play-by-play of this scientist's adventures, including his ability to find someone (Mr. Marvel, the tramp) who scams him and, by chance, to discover someone who could help him (Dr. Kent). Both funny and sad, this story is well written, almost believable, very imaginative, and a most enjoyable read.

Rating - 5 stars

----------------------------

I chose this book at BCin DC's party where we played the "First Line Game" because it had the word "portmanteau" in the opening line. :D

I loved this book! It was so entertaining. I now look forward to reading more books by H.G. Wells. This is the first book of this author that I've ever read.

84mathgirl40
okt 31, 2014, 10:38pm

Nice review of The Invisible Man! I've enjoyed a couple of other H. G. Wells books but haven't gotten around to this one yet.

85SqueakyChu
Redigerat: okt 31, 2014, 11:11pm

Which other H.G. Wells should I read? I have The Time Machine here at home!

86mathgirl40
nov 1, 2014, 8:13am

Our sci-fi/steampunk book club read The Time Machine and had a very good discussion about it, and I've also read The War of the Worlds. Some of the ideas seem fanciful and dated now, but I found it very interesting to read these early sci-fi books. It's obvious how the entire genre was influenced by his works.

87SqueakyChu
nov 1, 2014, 9:53am

Thanks! I'll also look for War of the Worlds as well. I saw that movie a gazillion years ago...and it was dated then! :)

88SqueakyChu
Redigerat: nov 3, 2014, 9:37am

Book 13 of 10

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend - Matthew Dicks



In the voice of an eight-year-old, this novel tells the story of the in-existence-for-five- years Budo, the imaginary friend of Max, an autistic first-grade child. At the opening of the book, Budo clearly explains the differences in Max from a "normal" child, but shows such a loving understanding in doing so that it made me want to jump into the story to also befriend Max. Max is an only child whose parents tend to differ in how best to handle him. Max's idol is one of his teachers, Mrs. Gosk.

When Max suddenly disappears from school, no one knows what to do except Budo, who is determined to figure out what happened to Max. Budo's adventure is so imaginative that it becomes a quest to right a wrong.

Due to the simple narrative, I consider this a young adult book rather than an adult novel, but the story is so endearing, I recommend it for all ages.

Rating - 4.5 stars

89jessibud2
nov 3, 2014, 11:36am

>88 SqueakyChu: - The copy I have has a different cover than yours. I haven't seen this one before! I also loved this story.

90ardachy
nov 3, 2014, 2:17pm

I read a lot of H G Wells in my youth. The Time Machine, The Shape of Things to Come, The Island of Doctor Moreau and The War of the Worlds spring to my mind although I read several others. Maybe now would be a good time to seek out some I never got round to such as Men Like Gods or Star Begotten

91SqueakyChu
nov 3, 2014, 3:47pm

>89 jessibud2:

Did you also cry at the end? :)

>90 ardachy:

I was surprised that I liked The Invisible Man so much. As a rule, I don't care for science fiction, but I thought that this book was quite humorous. Which of the H.G. Wells books did you like the most?

92jessibud2
nov 3, 2014, 10:41pm

>91 SqueakyChu: No, I don't think I did but I did think about it for a long time afterwards. There were a few things that didn't ring quite true for me but not enough to spoil the overall story.

93SqueakyChu
Redigerat: nov 4, 2014, 8:23am

>92 jessibud2:

I was impressed with the fact that the author uses a child with autism as the focus of his story and makes us understand how "normal" Max really is. My favorite line from the book is...

But you have to be the bravest person in the world to go out every day, being yourself when no one likes who you are.

I'd love to see how Max fares through his teenage years. That must be the hardest! Maybe there will be a sequel?

What were the things that didn't ring true to you? Was you recation from your point of view as a teacher or as a reader?

94SqueakyChu
nov 4, 2014, 8:56am

Book 14 of 10

Xenophobe's Guide to the Canadians - Vaughn Roste



A mildly amusing and somewhat educational guide to Canadians. Personally, I'd rather learn about Canadians from talking to them and taking another trip through their vast and beautiful country.

Rating - 3 stars

95jessibud2
nov 4, 2014, 12:29pm

>93 SqueakyChu: I think from my perspective as a teacher of autistic kids. ** spoiler alert**

The part that felt a bit unrealistic to me was how capable Max *suddenly* became at the end, able to navigate his way home, even when he saw her coming after him, and even when there were obvious obstacles that had, up to that point, caused great anguish and caused him to get *stuck* (crossing the road, e.g.). That said, I felt the author (who is, by the way, an elementary school teacher and likely has first-hand experience with autistic kids) handled it quite well and in a satisfactory way, using the power of Budo to guide him.

96SqueakyChu
Redigerat: nov 4, 2014, 2:05pm

>95 jessibud2:

That makes sense. By that part of the story, though, I was so enchanted by this fantasy, that I just wanted Max to get home quickly and safely. :)

97jessibud2
nov 4, 2014, 3:25pm

>96 SqueakyChu: Me too! :-)

98ardachy
Redigerat: nov 10, 2014, 6:39am

It is hard to say which is my favourite HG Wells novel because it is so long since I read them but if I was forced into a corner with a pointy stick I would say The Time Machine.

99SqueakyChu
Redigerat: nov 10, 2014, 10:16am

Great! That's the one I have. :)

100mathgirl40
nov 20, 2014, 7:01am

>94 SqueakyChu: Yes, I agree. It's always best to learn about a country by visiting it and talking to the people, and if you're ever in my part of Canada (Southwestern Ontario, just west of Toronto), you should let me know! :)

101SqueakyChu
Redigerat: nov 20, 2014, 6:07pm

>100 mathgirl40:

Truthfully, I hope to make it up to Toronto again one day because I'm determined to meet Jessibud (jessibud2) in person at some point in my life. She and I have been corresponding via BookCrossing for years. I'll be happy to meet you as well at the same time! :)

102jessibud2
nov 20, 2014, 8:13pm

>101 SqueakyChu: - Just say when!! :-)

103SqueakyChu
Redigerat: nov 20, 2014, 9:06pm

>102 jessibud2:

When it's not so cold!! :)

104jessibud2
nov 20, 2014, 10:10pm

Haha! At least I don't live in Buffalo!! We may have cold but they have SNOW!!!

No disrespect intended. It is scary, what's happened there the last few days. Really! :-(

In a perfect world, they could cart up all that snow and ship it off to somewhere suffering from drought conditions....

105SqueakyChu
nov 20, 2014, 10:20pm

I remember when I used to like snow. That was back in the days when I could play in it and didn't have to drive in it. One of the advantages to being retired is that I no longer have to drive in it.

Buffalo's snow is really scary!!

106mathgirl40
nov 20, 2014, 10:24pm

>101 SqueakyChu: I do go into Toronto occasionally and would love to meet you, jessibud2 and other Toronto BookCrossers one day. There are several other BookCrossers in my area (Kitchener-Waterloo), so if any of you ever head this way, let me know and I can arrange a meet-up. :)

107SqueakyChu
nov 20, 2014, 11:04pm

108jessibud2
nov 21, 2014, 6:11am

>106 mathgirl40: -Mathgirl, you're a bookcrosser, too? We are having a meetup in a couple of weeks (Dec 7)! Come join us!

http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/22/513645

109mathgirl40
nov 21, 2014, 7:02am

>108 jessibud2: I can't on Dec. 7, but I would love to join you one day for one of your meetings!

110jessibud2
nov 21, 2014, 7:54am

> Ok. We meet about every other month. We are about 5 or 6 regulars but often have a few others coming and going. The Harbord House pub is pretty central and a great venue. The owner has allowed us to set up an OBCZ bookshelf. I'll make myself a note to keep you in the loop. Can you send me a PM via bookcrossing, so I'll have a contact? We love having new people join us! Last month we had a German bc'er in town who joined us and in the summer, an ex-pat American who has lived in Australia for years, was visiting us, too

111SqueakyChu
nov 21, 2014, 9:41am

Hey, you two! We of BCinDC love visiting BookCrossers as well so let us know when you're in the DC area. We even have ad hoc meet-ups to fit in out-of-town visitors!

I always see the meet-ups for Toronto posted on this forum, but the commute is too long. ;)

112SqueakyChu
Redigerat: dec 23, 2014, 7:47pm

Book 15 of 10

Harvest Home - Thomas Tryon



What a horrifying story! What a great book!

This is the story of what awaits Ned Constantine, his wife Beth, and his daughter Kate after they leave urban life behind and move to the rural Connecticut town of Cornwall Coombe. Its population of individuals, most notably the herbalist Widow Fortune and the postal worker Tamar Penrose, carry out their ancient harvest traditions and festivals, having as their crescendo the rite of Harvest Home, an ancient secret ceremony celebrating the corn harvest and ritually symbolizing earthly renewal.

The characters of this story are positively creepy. It turns out that you can't tell the good guys from the bad guys (or gals). I really liked the main character Ned who was an artist. He, at first, saw the beauty of Cornwall Coombe and tried to capture it in his paintings. His intention was to make a better life for his family. Unfortunately, he didn't realize his mistake until too late.

If you love taut writing, unpredictable characters, small town settings, and unsettling scenes, you'll appreciate this book. if you have a queasy stomach for grizzly scenes, it might be better to just pass this book along to someone else who finds horror novels entertaining.

Rating 4.5 stars

113SqueakyChu
dec 23, 2014, 7:48pm

Book 16 of 10

Beware of God - Shalom Auslander



These are stories based on the Jewish tradition which are totally profane and blasphemous so read them at your own risk. Some of them are quite funny. I liked three of the stories better than the others. "Bobo the Self Hating Chimp" is the story of how a chimp becomes aware of God, Death, Guilt and Shame. In "Somebody Up There Likes You", Bloom does not die in the car accident meant to kill him. "Startling Revelations from the Lost Book of Stan" tells the story of Stan finding the oldest Testaments. Don't say you weren't warned about the impropriety of these stories!

Rating - 3.5 stars

114jessibud2
dec 23, 2014, 9:44pm

>113 SqueakyChu: "Book 16 out of 10" - I love it! ;-)

I will not meet any of the goals I set for myself here this year. Oh well. That's life, I guess. But well done, you!

115SqueakyChu
Redigerat: dec 23, 2014, 11:43pm

I hope you noticed that I only chose 10 books because I knew I could never meet this challenge otherwise. Last year I failed so badly in my challenges that I set a really low bar this year...and I won all four of them for 2014!

By the way, I'm really happy that I got to read some of the older BookCrossing-given-to-me books this year. In the past, I just let them linger on my shelf. However, those are precisely the books that need to travel. :)

116mathgirl40
dec 25, 2014, 1:29pm

>111 SqueakyChu: I'd love to visit DC one day. If/when I do, I'll be sure to contact the DC BookCrossers. Thanks for the invitation!

Well done on this challenge, and congratulations for winning all four of your 2014 challenges!

117SqueakyChu
dec 25, 2014, 1:34pm

>116 mathgirl40:

Definitely come see us!

Thanks for the congrats!

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