JayneCM Feels At Home In 2021

Diskutera2021 Category Challenge

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JayneCM Feels At Home In 2021

1JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 24, 9:42pm



"Home is where you keep your books!" Avijeet Das

I am Jayne, a book lover for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I would get in trouble for reading under the bedcovers with a torch - and I haven't stopped reading way past my bedtime!

I live in Australia on a small farm in sheep territory. Our small town has one literary claim to fame - one of Charles Dickens' sons lived here, Alfred D’Orsay Tennyson Dickens. Thus we have streets named Byron, Shakespeare, Collins (for Wilkie), Tennyson and of course, Dickens. Sadly, his young wife was killed in a carriage accident in our main street and is buried in Hamilton Cemetery, and the Dickens' family moved away to start afresh.

I am a lover of vintage - the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s are my happy place! I have two Etsy shops - one for my handdyed yarn and one for my vintage knitted items, patterns and other finds.

This is my third year in the challenge - it is a wonderful place to stretch my reading. I am always too ambitious but you can never read too much!

I do not have as many categories this year as the CATs and KITs seem to keep me pretty busy! But I have added a nonfiction category. I plan to choose a new topic each year; a chance to brush up on some areas of interest.
The Read Around The World category began last year as we have added this as a way for my 12 year old son to focus his reading. And like we all find in category reading, he has discovered some wonderful books. So I am following along - he chooses the countries.

79/185 = 42.7%

Read Around The World 3/5 = 60%
Prize Winners 3/5 = 60%
Wartime 3/5 = 60%
1001 Monthly Challenge 5/12 = 41.67%
The Apple Isle 2/5 = 40%
Woolly Ones 1/5 = 20%
BingoDOG 16/25 = 64%
RandomCAT 5/12 = 41.67%
GenreCAT 4/12 = 33.33%
HistoryCAT 2/12 = 16.67%
AlphaKIT 14/26 = 53.85%
MysteryKIT 4/12 = 33.33%
ScaredyKIT 5/12 = 41.67%
SFFKIT 2/12 = 16.67%
GeoKIT 5/7 = 71.43%
KITastrophe 1/5 = 20%
Random Reads 4/13 = 30.77%

2JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 13, 4:07am



'Read Around The World' - read a book from every country

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." Dr. Seuss


Create Your Own Visited Countries Map


1. Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty (Ireland)- finished 28th January 2021
2. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare (Nigeria)- finished 18th April 2021
3. Confession With Blue Horses by Sophie Hardach (Germany) - finished 15th May 2021
4.
5.

3/5 = 60%

3JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 24, 10:28pm



'We Have A Winner' - Prize winners announced in 2021

"You rarely win - but sometimes you do." Harper Lee

1. When You Trap A Tiger by Tae Keller - winner 2021 Newbery Medal - finished 15th March 2021
2. The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk by Natasha Farrant - winner of the 2020 Costa Children's Book Award - finished 19th April 2021
3. The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey - winner of the 2021 Miles Franklin Award - finished 20th July 2021
4.
5.

3/5 = 60%

4JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 13, 4:10am



'Wartime' - non-fiction with 'wartime' in the title

"This is a war to end all wars." Woodrow Wilson

1. Keep Smiling Through: My Wartime Story by Vera Lynn wth Virginia Lewis-Jones finished 16th January 2021
2. The Sisters of Battle Road: The Extraordinary True Story of Six Sisters Evacuated from Wartime London by J.M. Maloney - finished 4th June 2021
3. The Girls Who Went To War: Heroism, Heartache and Happiness in the Wartime Women's Forces by Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi - finished 11th June 2021
4.
5.

3/5 = 60%

5JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 23, 8:34pm



'A Challenge in a Challenge' - monthly group challenge reads from 1001 Books group

"Don't limit your challenges; challenge your limits." Tony Robbins

1. January - Read a book you meant to read last year, I chose November Group Challenge for book I have never heard of - In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan - finished 5th February 2021
2. February - Read a book with 'love' in the title, or that features a love story of some sort - Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - finished 11th July 2021
3. March - Read a book by an Irish author or set in Ireland - The Book of Evidence by John Banville - finished 20th June 2021
4. April - Read a book with a cover that attracts you for some reason - The Commandant by Jessica Anderson - finished 12th April 2021
5. May - Read someone else's last read - A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch
6. June - Read a book by an author local to you - Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
7. July - Read a book that is/was a high school text - Lord of the Flies by William Golding - finished 19th July 2021
8. August - Random number generator - Strait Is The Gate by Andre Gide
9.
10.
11.
12.

5/12 = 41.67%

6JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 23, 8:35pm



'The Apple Isle' - books about or set in Tasmania

"Perhaps the virtue of coming from a place like Tasmania is that you had the great gift of knowing that you were not the centre of things, yet life was no less where you were." Richard Flanagan

1. Stars Over The Southern Ocean by J.H. Fletcher - finished 24th February 2021
2. A Year on the Farm by Sally Wise - finished 5th March 2021
3.
4.
5.

2/5 = 40%

7JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 19, 5:20am



'Woolly Ones' - books about sheep or shepherds

"After all, the wool of a black sheep is just as warm." Ernest Lehman

1. On Sheep by Axel Linden - finished 7th March 2021
2.
3.
4.
5.

1/5 = 20%

8JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 23, 8:39pm



'BingoDOG'

"Bingo is my game-o!"

As an extra challenge, I will attempt to read only Australian authors for BingoDOG.



1. Arts and recreation - The Strays by Emily Bitto
2. Type of building in title - The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton
3. Dark or light word in title - The White Girl by Tony Birch
* 4. One word title - Tourmaline by Randolph Stow - finished 14th February 2021
5. Contains a love story - Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms by Anita Heiss
* 6. 20 or fewer LT members - Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson - finished 21st March 2021
* 7. Classical element in title - Deeper Water by Jessie Cole - finished 16th March 2021
* 8. Set somewhere you'd like to visit - A Year in the Mud and the Toast and the Tears by Georgie Brooks - finished 28th March 2021
* 9. Character you'd be friends with - The Dressmaker's Secret by Rosalie Ham - finished 28th March 2021
* 10. About history or alternate history - Elizabeth & Elizabeth by Sue Williams - finished 5th July 2021
* 11. Suggested by another generation - Black Cockatoo by Carl Merrison - my niece - finished 12th March 2021
* 12. New to you author - The Last Bookshop by Emma Young - finished 12th May 2021
13. Read a CAT or KIT - After Australia - May GenreCAT short stories
14. About or contains magic - Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings
* 15. Title describes you - Maggie's Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley - finished 13th April 2021
* 16. Impulse read! - The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall - finished 7th January 2021
* 17. 2 or more authors - The Last Lighthouse Keeper by John Cook with Jon Bauer - finished 23rd July 2021
18. Made you laugh - Smart Ovens For Lonely People by Elizabeth Tan
* 19. Less than 200 pages - Orry Kelly: Miss Weston's Protege by Robert Parkinson - no touchstone - finished 4th January 2021
* 20. You heartily recommend - The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham - finished 24th March 2021
21. Nature or environment - Rain Birds by Harriet McKnight
* 22. About time or time word in title - I Give My Marriage A Year by Holly Wainwright - finished 25th January 2021
* 23. By or about marginalised group - The Yield by Tara June Winch - finished 12th January 2021
* 24. Senior citizen protagonist - The Weekend by Charlotte Wood
25. Southern Hemisphere - Living The Good Life by Linda Cockburn

16/25 = 64%

9JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 24, 9:43pm



RandomCAT

"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you." Princess Diana

January - Laughter - French Exit by Patrick deWitt - finished 18th February 2021

February - Fruit and Veggies - Three Apples Fell From The Sky by Narine Abgaryan - finished 7th May 2021

March - It's a Surprise! - Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella - finished 30th May 2021

April - Let's go to the Library - Tess_W - Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel - finished 8th June 2021

May - Let's Play Monopoly! - Do Not Pass Go: From the Old Kent Road to Mayfair by Tim Moore

June - Everything Old is New Again - Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

July - Summertime - Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro - finished 24th July 2021

August - On the Road Again - Walk Me Home by Catherine Ryan Hyde

September

October

November

December

5 /12 = 41.67%

10JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 17, 9:08pm



GenreCAT

"I like the idea of trying to write a book in every genre." China Mieville

January - Non fiction - Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hanson finished 10th January 2021

February - Biography - The Story of Beatrix Potter by Sarah Gristwood - finished 18th July 2021

March - Action and Adventure - The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

April - Literary fiction - Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter - finished 6th April 2021

May - Short Stories and/or Essays - Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold finished 3rd May 2021

June - Historical Fiction - Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

July - Romance - Spring Magic by D.E. Stevenson

August - Poetry/Drama/Graphic Novels - With a Star in My Hand : Rubén Darío, Poetry Hero by Margarita Engle

September

October

November

December

4/12 = 33.33%

11JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 15, 8:18pm



HistoryCAT

"The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future." Theodore Roosevelt

January - The Middle Ages - Divine Heretic by Jaime Lee Moyer

February - 1800-Modern Day - Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe - finished 19th May 2021

March - Early Modern History c. 1500 – 1800 - The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt - finished 8th April 2021

April - Ancient 8th C BC to 6th AD - The Falcon of Sparta by Conn Iggulden

May - Dynasties, Civilizations, and Empires - Queens of the Crusades by Alison Weir

June - Military, War, and Revolution - The Romanov Empress: A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna by C.W. Gortner

July - Social History - Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes: The Story of Women in the 1950s by Virginia Nicholson

August - Read About Your Own Country -

September

October

November

December

2/12 = 16.67%

12JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 21, 7:32am



AlphaKIT

"I knew the alphabet. Maybe I could be a writer." Hubert Selby Jnr.

January P & M
For M - That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam - finished 9th February 2021
For P - The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper - finished 31st January 2021

February
For T - There's No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumara - finished 28th February
For K - The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero - finished 9th March 2021

March
For U - Under The Golden Sun by Jenny Ashcroft - finished 4th Aprl 2021
For R - Tirra Lirra By The River by Jessica Anderson - finished 29th March 2021

April
For A - Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland - finished 22nd May 2021
For W - The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan - finished 26th May 2021

May
For I - I Am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist - finished 25th June 2021
For N - Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon - finished 2nd July 2021

June
For C - Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - finished 14th June 2021
For D -

July
For S - A Sky Full Of Stars by Dani Atkins - finished 12th July 2021
For O - The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin - finished 16th July 2021

August
For V -
For J -

September
For F -
For L -

October
For H -
For E -

November
For B -
For Y -

December
For G -
For Q -

Year Long
For X -
For Z - Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler - finished 15th July 2021

14/26 = 53.85%

13JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 21, 7:33am



MysteryKIT

"Mysteries abound where most we seek for answers." Ray Bradbury

January - Water - The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - finished 23rd March 2021

February - Pastiche Mystery - The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer - finished 31st May 2021

March - Locked-Room Mystery - And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

April - Senior Citizen as Detective - Better Off Read by Nora Page - finished 7th July 2021

May - European Mysteries - Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog by Boris Akunin

June - British Golden Age - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

July - Cops 'n' Robbers Lady Style - The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer - finished 21st July 2021

August - Cosy Mysteries Featuring Animals - The Tale of Holly How by Susan Wittig Albert

September

October

November

December

4 /12 = 33.33%

14JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 22, 6:38am



ScaredyKIT

"Every day is Halloween, isn't it? For some of us." Tim Burton

January - Graphic Novels and YA - Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury - finished 17th January 2021

February - Creepy Nonfiction - The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale - finished 21st April 2021

March -Short Stories and Novellas - Order of the Wicked by Danielle Paige - finished 11th March 2021

April - Possession - A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge - finished 17th June 2021

May - Witches and Magic - The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw - finished 22nd July 2021

June - Diverse Perspectives - Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

July - Ghosts and Hauntings - The Lost Ones by Anita Frank

August - Adrift (Water and Outer Space) - The Survivors by Jane Harper

September

October

November

December

5/12 = 41.67%

15JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 16, 12:44am



SFFKIT

"Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it." Lloyd Alexander

January - Leftover from 2020 - Earthlings by Sayaka Murata - finished 2nd March 2021

February - Sentient Things - Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews - finished 27th April 2021

March - Fortune and Glory! - Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

April - Series - Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

May - Time Travel - 11/22/63 by Stephen King

June - It's About the Journey - Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

July - Historical Fantasy - The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

August - Female Authors - Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura

September

October

November

December

2 /12 = 16.67%

16JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 27, 7:23am



GeoKIT

"Without geography, you're nowhere." Unknown

North America (includes Mexico, Canada, and USA) The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah - finished 25th April 2021

Central and South America (includes the Caribbean) The Seven Sisters: Maia's Story by Lucinda Riley - finished 22nd June 2021

Asia - Fragile Monsters by Catherine Menon - finished 30th April 2021

Africa

Europe (includes Russia) - The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman -finished 26th June 2021

Oceania (includes Australia and New Zealand)

Polar (includes Antarctica and tundra regions) - Chasing The Light by Jesse Blackadder - finished 21st January 2021

5/7 = 71.43%

17JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 13, 4:56am



KITastrophe

"Know the difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience." Bruce Lee

Year-Long: Epidemics and Pandemics Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel - finished 3rd January 2020

Jan-Mar: Technology/Industrial/Man-made Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham

Apr-June: Transportation and Maritime The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

July-Sept: Weather/Geological/Fires The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin

Oct-Dec: Riots/Uprisings/Sieges/War/Invasions

1/5 = 20%

18JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 16, 10:29pm



Random Reads

"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are." Mason Cooley

For those 'just because' reads!

1. The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay - finished 11th May 2021
2. The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess - finished 29th May 2021
3. A Million Aunties by Alecia McKenzie - finished 3rd July 2021
4. Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor - finished 17th July 2021

4/13 = 30.77%

19JayneCM
okt 16, 2020, 3:39am

Let's get this party started!
I am looking forward to seeing what the CATs and KITs have in store for us!

20MissWatson
okt 16, 2020, 6:19am

Great setup, but it will feel like a long wait for the CATs and KITs to fill up!

21Tess_W
okt 16, 2020, 6:39am

Great categories, Jane! If you are like me, I take a book to bed every night and have been known to still be reading when the alarm goes off-----or now since I'm retired, when the sun comes up. I look forward to getting some BB's from you, especially about Australia.

22JayneCM
okt 16, 2020, 7:40am

>20 MissWatson: I know! Now that I am here, I want to know what we will be reading next year!

>21 Tess_W: I am the same - I can easily read until 2am if it is a book that simply cannot be put down!
Hmm, you have given me an idea. I may choose one of the CATs or KITs or even BingoDOG, and read only Australian authors for it. Why not add an extra level of challenge?!

23Helenliz
okt 16, 2020, 7:49am

>22 JayneCM: I decided to only read female authors for BingoDog this year. 4 left, 3 of which I have books lined up for, so I might manage it. Certainly more challenging.

24majkia
okt 16, 2020, 8:09am

Great set up, Jayne. Happy reading!

25dudes22
okt 16, 2020, 8:19am

Hey, Jane. Love your set up and your extra challenge with the Bingo. I haven't posted mine yet (waiting for Cats), but I already know that I'm going to concentrate on my series for the AlphaKit this year. Hoping to get some good BBs from you. You should think about joining the Needlearts Group. We'd love to see you there.

26JayneCM
okt 16, 2020, 8:58am

>23 Helenliz: I'm sure you will make it! I think it will make it a fun extra challenge.

>24 majkia: Thank you!

>25 dudes22: Thank you. I will definitely pop over and join, sounds just my thing!

27This-n-That
okt 16, 2020, 11:39am

What an interesting story about where you reside! (Of course, I immediately had to go read about Alfred D’Orsay Tennyson Dickens.) Wishing you the best of luck with your ambitious reading plans, especially your "Read Around the World Challenge." I agree, one can never read too much. : )

28LadyoftheLodge
okt 16, 2020, 11:48am

I love the black and white photos! Somehow they capture things differently and more nuanced than color photos. (Yikes, I can remember when "color photos" did not exist! Does anyone remember flashcubes and Instamatic cameras???)

29Jackie_K
okt 16, 2020, 12:14pm

Excellent set up - just dropping my star. I'm still not 100% sure of my theme for 2021, although an idea is starting to form.

30NinieB
okt 16, 2020, 1:35pm

Dropping a star as I'm looking forward to reading along. Hope you'll post a picture of some hand-dyed yarn soon!

31DeltaQueen50
okt 16, 2020, 1:45pm

I've placed my star and I am looking forward to following along in 2021.

32VivienneR
okt 16, 2020, 4:26pm

Hi Jayne! You live in an interesting town!

Nice set up, I'm looking forward to following along in 2021.

btw, I can't see the image in your opening post.

33rabbitprincess
okt 16, 2020, 4:57pm

Hurray, Jayne's here! Looking forward to seeing how those CATs and KITs fill up your challenge!

34hailelib
okt 16, 2020, 9:47pm

You’ve set some interesting goals for your challenge. Good luck.

35LittleTaiko
okt 16, 2020, 9:51pm

Ready to follow your 2021 reading.

36JayneCM
okt 16, 2020, 10:30pm

Thank you, everybody!
I think we are all very keen to get this new year, in reading and everything else, underway!

37Jackie_K
okt 17, 2020, 4:56am

>32 VivienneR: The image isn't working for me either.

38dudes22
okt 17, 2020, 7:18am

39mnleona
okt 17, 2020, 9:32am

Interesting about the names of streets. I will have to check on them.
I have been to Australia and loved my time there.

40lkernagh
okt 17, 2020, 4:28pm

I love the literary connections your town has! I am looking forward to following your 2021 reading.

41JayneCM
okt 17, 2020, 10:34pm

I have changed the first image for another one - hopefully all good now!

Thanks all for visiting!

42MissWatson
okt 18, 2020, 5:10am

>41 JayneCM: Yes, I can see this. Great image!

43Jackie_K
okt 18, 2020, 6:56am

>41 JayneCM: Awesome, yes I can see that! Very apt!

44JayneCM
okt 19, 2020, 1:09am

Phew! Who knows what was wrong with the first image as I could see it - too technical for me!

45pamelad
nov 12, 2020, 4:48pm

>6 JayneCM: I am really impressed! I am also planning to read to read more Australian writers this year, so will be following with interest.

46clue
Redigerat: dec 7, 2020, 10:55pm

I look forward to tagging along with you again this year, and although I meant to cut back on CATs, I'll be seeing you on Genre CAT and Random CAT as well. I hope you have a great reading year!

47This-n-That
dec 29, 2020, 10:51pm

>8 JayneCM: I think I searched for your topic about 5 times and must have kept overlooking it, lol! Wishing you a great year of reading. Your BingoDOG plans look especially challenging. I hope you find some wonderful Australian authors to fill in your card. Happy New Year.

48JayneCM
dec 30, 2020, 5:34am

>47 This-n-That: Thank you! Happy New Year to you also!

49Chrischi_HH
dec 30, 2020, 5:56am

You have chosen wonderful quotes and pictures for your categories, Jayne. Great set-up! Have a great reading year!

50JayneCM
dec 30, 2020, 6:20am

>49 Chrischi_HH: Thank you! Over ambitious as always but I do love a challenge! :)

51MissBrangwen
Redigerat: dec 30, 2020, 10:44am

Your categories are so interesting!

I will certainly look out for the Australian authors you read and the Tasmania books!

52JayneCM
dec 31, 2020, 3:12am

>51 MissBrangwen: Thank you! I look forward to following your reading too.

53JayneCM
dec 31, 2020, 3:13am

Here in Australia it is five hours to go until 2021 and it looks like all the Covid problems are gearing up again. All the states have closed their borders to each other from midnight, masks are back, numbers for get togethers have reduced - we will have to wait and see what 2021 has in store for us!

Happy New Year, everyone! Nearly time to pick up my first 2021 book.

54JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 23, 3:18am



January 2021

1. Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel - finished 3rd January 2021 - KITastrophe Pandemics
2. Orry Kelly: Miss Weston's Protege by Robert Parkinson - no touchstone - finished 4th January 2021 - BingoDOG less than 200 pages
3. The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall - finished 7th January 2021 - BingoDOG impulse read
4. Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hanson - finished 10th January 2021 - GenreCAT non fiction
5. The Yield by Tara June Winch - finished 12th January 2021 - BingoDOG by or about a marginalised group
6. Keep Smiling Through: My Wartime Story by Vera Lynn with Virginia Lewis-Jones - no touchstone - finished 16th January 2021 - book with 'wartime' in title
7. Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury - finished 17th January 2021 - January ScaredyKIT graphic novel/YA
8. Chasing The Light by Jesse Blackadder - finished 31st January 2021 - GeoKIT Polar
9. I Give My Marriage A Year by Holly Wainwright - finished 25th January 2021 - BingoDOG time word in title
10. Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty - finished 28th January 2021 - Read Around The World - Ireland
11. The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper - finished 31st January 2021 - January AlphaKIT letter P

11/185 = 5.95%

Read Around The World 1/5 = 20% Diary of a Young Naturalist
Prize Winners 0/5 = 0%
Wartime 1/5 = 20% Keep Smiling Through: My Wartime Story
1001 Monthly Challenge 0/12 = 0%
The Apple Isle 0/5 = 0%
Woolly Ones 0/5 = 0%
BingoDOG 4/25 = 16% Orry Kelly: Miss Weston's Protege, The Mother Fault, The Yield, I Give My Marriage A Year
RandomCAT 0/12 = 0%
GenreCAT 1/12 = 8.33% Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees
HistoryCAT 0/12 = 0%
AlphaKIT 1/26 =3.85% The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin
MysteryKIT 0/12 = 0%
ScaredyKIT 1/12 = 8.33% Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes
SFFKIT 0/12 = 0%
GeoKIT 1/7 = 14.3% Chasing The Light
KITastrophe 1/5 = 20% Station Eleven
Group Reads 0/13 = 0%

55dudes22
dec 31, 2020, 10:08am

Thought I'd jump over and say Happy New Year! We still have all day to go.

56PaulCranswick
jan 1, 11:00am



And keep up with my friends here, Jayne. Have a great 2021.

57lkernagh
jan 1, 3:36pm

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

58JayneCM
jan 1, 5:20pm

>55 dudes22: >56 PaulCranswick: >57 lkernagh: Thank you all! We have just had all our state borders closed again, so not sure yet about more road trips - hopefully later in the year! Both my daughters had holidays planned in January that involved driving over borders, so they are a bit upset as we all thought 2021 was putting it behind us for the most part. Soon!

59JayneCM
Redigerat: jan 25, 6:21am



Book 1. Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

KITastrophe Year Long Epidemics and Pandemics


This book was published n 2014 but now, of course, is very relevant. I have always been drawn to end of the world scenarios but it certainly seems closer now than previously. The passages describing the pure luck that prevented one of the characters from catching the virus were particularly poignant. He catches a tax where, luckily, the driver was not contagious and noone who had the virus had used it. By pure luck, he did not happen to touch any contaminated surfaces while in the airport and caught a plane wth no infected passengers or crew. It really brought home the indiscriminate nature of the virus.
It also made you think about how easy our lives really are in the modern era. The awe that the younger people showed 25 years after world's end for the magic of things we take for granted, such as electricity, health care, food you don't have to grow or hunt yourself, even garbage trucks, really makes you pause and be more grateful.

60JayneCM
Redigerat: jan 6, 9:30pm



Book 2. Orry Kelly: Miss Weston's Protege by Robert Parkinson - no touchstone

BingoDOG less than 200 pages


Like Orry Kelly himself, the two books on him are not featured in LT! Orry Kelly was arguably one of the most important and influential costume designers in Hollywood history, yet very few peple have even heard of him.
This book fits into my Australian BingoDOG as Orry Kelly was born in a small country town in New South Wales. He has won the most Academy Awards by an Australian, three wins from four nominations. It is said that he would easily have won twice that number but the Costume Design award was only begun halfway through his career, after movies such as 42nd Street, Casablanca, Jezebel, The Letter and The Little Foxes.
Believe me, you know many of the costumes he designed - Some Like It Hot, Casablanca, Gypsy, The Maltese Falcon, Jezebel, Arsenic and Old Lace, anything Bette Davis ever wore - she insisted on Orry Kelly designing her costumes.
Yet after his death in 1964, he disappeared into obscurity. t was only when Gillian Armstrong came across his story and decided to make a film about him, that it seemed the movie industry were noticing him again. The decision to make the film was catapulted forward when Orry Kelly's memoir, which had been sent to a nephew in Sydney after his death and promptly forgotten, was rediscovered. Orry Kelly had requested that it not be made public until after all the people mentioned had passed on. And we find out why when we discover that on a young and very poor Orry Kelly's arrival in the US, he had a relationship with a young man named Archie Leach - later to go by the name of Cary Grant.
Leaving his personal life aside, Orry Kelly should be remembered for his amazing contributions to the Golden Age of Hollywood.













Just realised that I didn’t say anything about the actual book! This is meticulously researched. Over half of the book is actually accompanying notes, appendixes, etc, including a list of every movie, stage show and revue he designed for, information about any person mentioned in the text and more. As such, the book itself reads as a list of facts. There are some interesting tidbits but for a more readable book, I’d look for the memoir, Women I’ve Undressed by Orry Kelly. It is worth a look just for the costume drawings. But Orry Kelly has a dry wit and a sharp tongue and he doesn’t hold back!

61pamelad
jan 4, 1:45pm

>60 JayneCM: I'd heard of Orry Kelly, so I always notice his name in the credits. Just last week I watched The Little Foxes, starring the fabulous Bette Davis, on Kanopy and saw that he was the designer.

Putting Women I've Undressed on the wish list.

62JayneCM
jan 6, 9:25pm

>61 pamelad: I haven't seen it - I am slowly working my way through all the movies I can find from that era.

63JayneCM
Redigerat: jan 16, 11:57pm



Book 3. The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall

BingoDOG impulse read


My library has been closed for two weeks and was to reopen on 4th January. But we had quite a lot of rain in the last week or so and the library suffered flood damage. So they opened yesterday morning for two hours - thank goodness I was in town and popped in as they will now be closed for at least another week.

I saw this one of the shelf and grabbed it as it was Australian and thought it would fit into my Australian BingoDOG somewhere.
As you may know, I love dystopia, cli-fi, future world scenario books. I really liked the believability of this world - it really would just be a few steps to reach the world the author describes. Especially with the world the way it is at the moment. We need to scan in to shops, cafes, restauarants, the library, at the moment where I live for COVID contact tracing. So it could be easily happen that the government decides that it would be easier if everyone had a number that they could scan in - maybe worn on a wristband. Then a step to chipping everyone, like in this book. I'm certainly not an alarmist, conspiracy theory person, but I can certainly see that a future like this could be a possibility.
Anyway, I liked that beginning and the ending, but the middle seemed to get a bit lost and off track for me. But still a quick and interesting read.

64JayneCM
Redigerat: jan 31, 7:59am



Book 4. Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hanson

GenreCAT non fiction


As the author's son says, "The world could do without us, but it couldn't do without bees."

This book goes from looking at how much of a Big Mac burger would remain without bees, to Colony Collapse Disorder, to native bees of many countries.

65This-n-That
jan 12, 12:25pm

>64 JayneCM: This looks like a good one! Bees are so important to our environment and agriculture and they are so cute. (I am not allergic though and have only been stung once when I was a little kid.) If you like memoirs, I'd also recommend The Honey Bus which I read last year. I am not personally a big memoir fan but I appreciated the story and the family bonding through bee keeping.

66JayneCM
jan 12, 5:10pm

>65 This-n-That: Thank you - I will add that one to my list. I am plannng a whole category on bees for 2022.

67JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 23, 3:18am



Book 5. The Yield by Tara June Winch

BingoDOG - by or about a marginalised group


68dudes22
jan 13, 6:12am

>65 This-n-That: - I see I have that in my recommend category as a BB from you last year.

Another good book on bees is Robbing the Bees by Holly Bishop. (can't get touchstone to work)

69Jackie_K
jan 13, 12:32pm

>66 JayneCM: Another good bee book is A Book of Bees by Sue Hubbell. And as well as The Honey Bus on my wishlist (also, I think, a BB from This-n-that), I have A Honeybee Heart has Five Openings by Helen Jukes on the list, I've heard it highly recommended.

70JayneCM
jan 16, 11:57pm

71JayneCM
Redigerat: jan 25, 6:27am



Book 6. Keep Smiling Through: My Wartime Story by Vera Lynn with Virginia Lewis-Jones

Book with 'wartime' in title


This is a book about a specific time in Vera Lynn's wartime experiences, when she travelled to Burma to perform for the troops, and was written when she was 100 years old!
Vera Lynn was the only ENSA performer to travel to the 'forgotten' war. And it was interesting to note that not everyone agreed with the trip. Apparently it was debated in the House of Commons when Lord Winterton, a Conservative politcian, suggested that the men needed some sterner music to prepare them for fighting. It was thought that all this sentimental drivel would lead to deserting and a loss of morale.
However reading many of the letters sent to Vera, both at the time and many years later, her visit had the opposite effect.
One letter says: "Dad said your visit brought so much joy and life back into the troops when they most needed it as they thought their country had forgotten about them."

72JayneCM
jan 17, 3:46am



Book 7. Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

ScaredyKIT graphic novel/YA


Now that I have read this graphic novel version of Ray Bradbury's book, I will definitely be working the original book into a future ScaredyKIT month!

73spiralsheep
jan 17, 7:38am

>71 JayneCM: I think a woman such as Vera Lynn reminding soldiers that they were fighting for something, as well as against something, would be an excellent morale boost. Lynn must've had such an interesting life.

74LadyoftheLodge
jan 17, 12:37pm

>72 JayneCM: Yikes, I remember the movie! I had nightmares for months (years?) and still remember parts of it.

75justchris
jan 17, 8:22pm

That is an impressive number of challenges you've taken on! Good luck and good enjoyment of the many books to go through in 2021!

76JayneCM
jan 21, 11:36pm



Book 8. Chasing The Light by Jesse Blackadder

GeoKIT Polar

77JayneCM
Redigerat: feb 5, 12:54am



Book 9. I Give My Marriage A Year by Holly Wainwright

BingoDOG time word in the title

78JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 4, 8:53pm



Book 10. Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

Read Around The World - Ireland


79Jackie_K
jan 28, 1:49pm

>78 JayneCM: Ooh, I've got that on the pile for this month too!

80JayneCM
jan 31, 7:04am

>79 Jackie_K: It was great. Such an articulate writer, not only about nature and the environment but in explaining his autism and how he deals with it.

81JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 2, 8:48pm



Book 11. The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper

January AlphaKIT letter P

82JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 2, 8:48pm



February 2021

12. The Weekend by Charlotte Wood - finished 4th February 2021 - BingoDOG Senior citizen protaganist
13. In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan - finished 5th February 2021 - January 1001 Books Challenge
14. That Kind Of Mother by Rumaan Alam - finished 9th February 2021 - January AlphaKIT letter M
15. Tourmaline by Randolph Stow - finished 14th February 2021 - BingoDOG one word title
16. French Exit by Patrick deWitt - finished 18th February 2021 - January RandomCAT Laughter
17. Stars Over The Southern Ocean by J.H. Fletcher - finished 24th February 2021 - The Apple Isle
18. There's No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumara - finished 28th February 2021 - February AlphaKIT letter T

18/185 = 9.73%

Read Around The World 1/5 = 20%
Prize Winners 0/5 = 0%
Wartime 1/5 = 20%
1001 Monthly Challenge 1/12 = 8.33% In Watermelon Sugar
The Apple Isle 1/5 = 20% Stars Over The Southern Ocean
Woolly Ones 0/5 = 0%
BingoDOG 6/25 = 24% The Weekend, Tourmaline
RandomCAT 1/12 = 8.33% French Exit
GenreCAT 1/12 = 8.33%
HistoryCAT 0/12 = 0%
AlphaKIT 3/26 =11.54% That Kind Of Mother, There's No Such Thing As An Easy Job
MysteryKIT 0/12 = 0%
ScaredyKIT 1/12 = 8.33%
SFFKIT 0/12 = 0%
GeoKIT 1/7 = 14.3%
KITastrophe 1/5 = 20%
Group Reads 0/13 = 0%

83JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 20, 6:04am



Book 12. The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

BingoDOG Senior citizen protaganist

84pamelad
feb 4, 2:15pm

>83 JayneCM: Three stars for The Weekend means you weren't that impressed? Neither was I. Our book club read it and thought that, for women who were meant to be friends, they didn't like one another very much. Some of us thought that the author wasn't much in sympathy with her elderly characters.

85mathgirl40
feb 4, 10:39pm

>72 JayneCM: This is one book I'd like to read for a future ScaredyKIT theme too, and I'd love to read both the original and graphic novel versions.

86JayneCM
Redigerat: feb 23, 6:07am



Book 13. In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan

January 1001 Books Challenge


Interesting!

87JayneCM
feb 8, 9:31pm



Book 14. That Kind Of Mother by Rumaan Alam

January AlphaKIT letter M

88JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 9, 3:45am



Book 15. Tourmaline by Randolph Stow

BingoDOG one word title


Very atmospheric if you want a description of an outback town.

89JayneCM
Redigerat: feb 18, 6:01am



Book 16. French Exit by Patrick deWitt

January RandomCAT - Laughter


One of the characters, Joan, talking about love and marriage as you get older:

"What you want is to know someone's there; you also want them to leave you alone."

So true!

90rabbitprincess
feb 18, 5:44pm

>89 JayneCM: Haha this is me when I am working from home and my BF has the day off!

91justchris
feb 19, 12:17am

92LadyoftheLodge
feb 20, 3:14pm

>89 JayneCM: Sounds like something my cats would say! :>)

93JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 15, 5:24pm



Book 17. Stars Over The Southern Ocean by J.H. Fletcher

The Apple Isle

94JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 9, 3:46am



Book 18. There's No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumara

February AlphaKIT letter T


I really couldn’t engage with the main character. There were funny parts but they were too few and far between.

95JayneCM
Redigerat: apr 4, 6:44pm



March 2021

19. Earthlings by Sayaka Murata - finished 2nd March 2021 - January SFFKIT leftover from 2020
20. A Year on the Farm by Sally Wise - finished 5th March 2021 - The Apple Isle
21. On Sheep by Axel Linden - finished 7th March 2021 - Woolly Ones
22. The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero - finished 9th March 2021 - February AlphaKIT letter K
23. Order of the Wicked by Danielle Paige - finished 11th March 2021 - March ScaredyKIT Short Stories and Novellas
24. Black Cockatoo by Carl Merrison - finished 12th March 2021 - BingoDOG suggested by another generation - my niece
25. When You Trap A Tiger by Tae Keller - winner 2021 Newbery Medal - finished 15th March 2021 - 2021 Prizewinners
26. Deeper Water by Jessie Cole - finished 16th March 2021 - BingoDOG classical element in title
27. Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson - finished 21st March 2021 - BingoDOG 20 or fewer LT members
28. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - finished 23rd March 2021 - January MysteryKIT - water
29. The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham - finished 24th March 2021 - BingoDOG heartily recommend
30. The Dressmaker's Secret by Rosalie Ham - finished 28th March 2021 - BingoDOG someone you'd be friends with
31. Tirra Lirra By The River by Jessica Anderson - finished 29th March 2021 - March AlphaKIT letter R

31/185 = 16.76%

Read Around The World 1/5 = 20%
Prize Winners 1/5 = 20% When You Trap A Tiger
Wartime 1/5 = 20%
1001 Monthly Challenge 1/12 = 8.33%
The Apple Isle 2/5 = 40% A Year on the Farm
Woolly Ones 1/5 = 20% On Sheep
BingoDOG 11/25 = 44% Black Cockatoo, Deeper Water, Song of the Crocodile, The Dressmaker, The Dressmaker's Secret
RandomCAT 1/12 = 8.33%
GenreCAT 1/12 = 8.33%
HistoryCAT 0/12 = 0%
AlphaKIT 5/26 =19.23% The Dollmaker of Krakow, Tirra Lirra By The River
MysteryKIT 1/12 = 8.33% The Woman in Cabin 10
ScaredyKIT 2/12 = 16.67% Order of the Wicked
SFFKIT 1/12 = 8.33% Earthlings
GeoKIT 1/7 = 14.3%
KITastrophe 1/5 = 20%
Group Reads 0/13 = 0%

96JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 28, 5:06am



Book 19. Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

January SFFKIT leftover from 2020


Totally bizarre and creepy, but mesmerising all the same.

97JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 15, 5:26pm



Book 20. A Year on the Farm by Sally Wise

The Apple Isle

98justchris
mar 4, 9:00pm

You're making good progress!
>97 JayneCM: That looks good!

99JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 11, 4:54pm



Book 21. On Sheep by Axel Linden

Woolly Ones

100Tess_W
mar 8, 7:52am

>99 JayneCM: a BB for me!

101JayneCM
mar 9, 3:42am

>100 Tess_W: It is a very quick read as each page is a diary entry and some are only one sentence. It is more about his thoughts on sheep farming and the environment in general than detailed descriptions.

102JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 23, 7:11pm



Book 22. The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero

February AlphaKIT letter K


Beautifully written - and that cover!
This is a middle grade historical fiction based on the ghetto in Krakow during WWII. The magical/fantasy element really helps to make this topic accessible to a younger audience without detracting from the seriousness of the facts. Yes, I cried at the ending.
This is a wonderful book for all ages.

103JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 11, 5:45pm



Book 23. Order of the Wicked by Danielle Paige

March ScaredyKIT Short Stories and Novellas


I love a series with quests, good versus evil, magic, all that good stuff. Throw in the fact that it is a twist on the Oz books and I’m there!
This is one of the many prequel novellas to the Dorothy Must Die series. Imagine an Oz where Dorothy is the baddie, come from the Other Place to take over Oz. I think I will have to read the whole series now!

104JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 28, 5:06am



Book 24. Black Cockatoo by Carl Merrison

BingoDOG suggested by another generation - my niece


A quick middle grade read about a young Aboriginal girl who rescues a black cockatoo. In only 62 pages this book conveys a real sense of the alienation that exists in the community, between white and black, but particularly between the generations in the community as the younger people struggle to bridge both worlds.

Mia’s grandmother says to her “You live in both worlds. You will be strong both ways.”

Yet for many, such as Mia’s older brother, it becomes too difficult to live in both worlds. It is hard to be strong in yourself all the time. And often this leads to trouble.

The author is a Jaru and Kija man and based this book on his own experiences growing up in a remote town.

105dudes22
mar 11, 6:11pm

>102 JayneCM: - I think I'll take a BB for this. And that is a great cover.

106MissBrangwen
mar 13, 9:05am

>104 JayneCM: That's a BB for me!

107Tess_W
mar 13, 9:06pm

>104 JayneCM: A BB for me, also!

108JayneCM
Redigerat: apr 4, 6:55pm



Book 25. When You Trap A Tiger by Tae Keller

Prizewinners - 2021 Newbery Medal

109JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 29, 10:32pm



Book 26. Deeper Water by Jessie Cole

BingoDOG classical element in title

110JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 22, 5:54am



Book 27. Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson

BingoDOG 20 or fewer LT members


This book, although it doesn’t give a timeline, seems to be set around 1950s-1960s, certainly before the 1967 referendum.
It follows an Aboriginal family living in a small country town where relations are full of tension. It is a powder keg waiting to explode.
The chapters alternate between the living family and the ancestral spirits and spirits of deceased family members who are watching over them.
It builds to an amazing climax as the spirits sing to affect change for the remaining living family members.
It is a damning account of what the white people have done, and continue to do, to our first people - not only with violence but also by uncaring and inconsiderate treatment of their culture, such as the town building the tip on one of the sacred ceremonial grounds.

111MissBrangwen
mar 22, 3:44am

>110 JayneCM: Interesting review and I will save this in my Australia tbr list!

112JayneCM
mar 22, 5:47am

>111 MissBrangwen: There is a great non-fiction book that came out last year, describing the Songlines called Songlines: The Power and the Promise by Margo Neale.

113JayneCM
Redigerat: mar 22, 5:58am



Book 28. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

January MysteryKIT - Water


Well, I read it in a day, so I guess you can say it kept my attention! I liked the ending, that's all I'll say.

114spiralsheep
mar 22, 7:59am

>110 JayneCM: Song of the Crocodile sounds marvellous. It's the second Aboriginal authored novel I've saved to my If AusLit Prices Go Down list this year (I can't make myself spend £21-00 on a novel I'll read once then give away). I liked your review of Black Cockatoo too.

115MissBrangwen
mar 22, 9:27am

>112 JayneCM: Thanks for pointing that one out to me!

>113 JayneCM: This was one of the first thrillers I read and the book that got me into reading crime and mystery apart from just the Agatha Christies!

116JayneCM
Redigerat: apr 18, 7:09am



Book 29. The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham

BingoDOG heartily recommend


I first read this book in 2001 just after its release and adored it. I could picture every one of the characters and this book certainly has the whole cast of quirky small town characters with all their dark secrets.
When the movie came out, I was a bit worried it wouldn’t live up to my imagination of the characters but it was fabulous. Any movie with Hugo Weaving and Judy Davis is going to be great!
The movie did leave out what I felt was the crowning glory of Tilly’s revenge though.
I decided to reread this book for two reasons. Firstly, I had slotted it in to the heartily recommend category for BingoDOG so needed to confirm that I still did! Secondly, The Dressmaker’s Secret, the sequel, has been released and I cannot wait to see what Tilly has been up to. I hope Sergeant Farrat makes an appearance as well.
If you love a quirky Australian small town feel, complete with all the dark secrets you could wish for, give this a try. And of course, the fabulous descriptions of the clothing!

117Tess_W
mar 24, 5:50am

>116 JayneCM: I have that one as an audio book. Thank you for your great review. I will make sure I read it soon!

118dudes22
mar 24, 6:39am

>116 JayneCM: - I'm going to take a BB for this, but when I used your links to get to the book, the first one goes to the movie and the second book to a book by a different author. I can find it, but thought you might want to know.

119spiralsheep
Redigerat: mar 24, 9:56am

>116 JayneCM: I loved that film. It was structured like a historical revenge drama but with the female protagonist coming out on top. I didn't know there's a sequel book so thank you for that. ETA: The Dressmaker's Secret.

120MissBrangwen
mar 24, 2:39pm

>116 JayneCM: Fantastic!!! We just saw the trailer of the movie on Netflix and decided that we absolutely must watch it! I didn't know it was a book, though - so even better!

121NinieB
mar 24, 4:56pm

>116 JayneCM: My husband and I watched the movie, I think on your recommendation, Jayne! I liked it even if I was a bit confused much of the time. My husband thought the tone was all over the place--not sure how much he liked it.

122clue
Redigerat: mar 25, 9:18pm

>116 JayneCM: My library has it! It has a different cover and I can remember looking at it when it was on the new book shelves. I'll check it out soon.

123JayneCM
Redigerat: apr 5, 6:06pm



Book 30. The Dressmaker's Secret by Rosalie Ham

BingoDOG someone you'd be friends with


I still enjoyed this but not as much as the original book. The characters are even crazier than before!
Probably a lot of my rating for this book came from the dressmaking descriptions and the time period it was set in. I love vintage and my era of choice ends around this time period - 1953, the year of the queen’s coronation. So I loved the descriptions of the fashions. It is also set in Melbourne where I grew up and it is always good to read about familiar places.
I think most people would rate this lower though as it was a little repetitive in its themes and the characters were even more over the top, although this didn’t bother me. I thought they were still hilarious.
As I choose it for the BingoDOG someone I’d be friends with, I should mention that of course it would be Tilly Dunnage, the dressmaker, I’d enjoy meeting. As well as Sergeant Farrat.

124Tess_W
mar 28, 5:46am

>123 JayneCM: the original has been on my TBR pile for sometime. I need to to get it (as well as about 400 other books!)

125JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 7, 11:37pm



Book 31. Tirra Lirra By The River by Jessica Anderson

March AlphaKIT letter R


Like most Australians of a certain age, I first read this book in high school. I do remember enjoying it but not all that much detail.
I am assuming we studied it as it had won the Miles Franklin about a decade before so ended up on the school syllabus. I definitely relate to Nora much more now. I don’t think many teenagers could truly understand Nora as the story is about the elderly Nora looking back at her life. I think most teenagers would read this and think that they wouldn’t mess up their lives like that so they would have to look back and think their life was wasted. It is not until we get to a certain age ourselves that we really understand Nora and how easy it is for your life to end up somewhere other than where you hoped and planned for.
I don’t think this would get past the curriculum board now with topics such as sexual incompatibility, affairs and a briefly described but horrific abortion.
The book is definitely character rather than plot driven, with beautiful writing. Although it covers Nora’s whole life, not much happens, which I see as the whole point of the book. How much does one life add up to really?

126Tess_W
mar 29, 11:35pm

>125 JayneCM: a great review, Jane. It's going on my WL. As to your last question: In reality, infinitesimal.

127dudes22
mar 30, 7:44am

>125 JayneCM: - I think I'll take a BB for this too. I like books that are written this way.

128pamelad
mar 30, 3:55pm

>125 JayneCM: It's years since I read this and your review makes me want to read it again.

129JayneCM
apr 4, 6:43pm

>126 Tess_W: >127 dudes22: I hope you enjoy it.
>128 pamelad: Did you study it at school too?

130JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 4, 6:12am



April 2021

32. Under The Golden Sun by Jenny Ashcroft - finished 4th April 2021 - March AlphaKIT letter U
33. Grief Is The Thing With Feathers by Max Porter - finished 6th April 2021 - April GenreCAT literary fiction
34. The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt - finished 8th April 2021 - March HistoryCAT Early Modern History c. 1500-1800
35. The Commandant by Jessica Anderson - finished 12th April 2021 - April 1001 Challenge read a book with a cover that attracts you for some reason
36. Maggie's Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley - finished 13th April 2021 - BingoDOG title describes you
37. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare - finished 18th April 2021 - Read Around The World Nigeria
38. The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk by Natasha Farrant - finished 19th April 2021 - winner of the 2020 Costa Children's Book
39. The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale - finished 21st April 2021 - February ScaredyKIT Creepy Nonfiction
40. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah - finished 25th April 2021 - GeoKIT North America
41. Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews - finished 27th April 2021 - February SFFKIT - Sentient Things
42. Fragile Monsters by Catherne Menon - finished 30th April 2021 - GeoKIT Asia - Malaysia

42/185 = 22.7%

Read Around The World 2/5 = 40% The Girl With The Louding Voice
Prize Winners 2/5 = 40% The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk
Wartime 1/5 = 20%
1001 Monthly Challenge 2/12 = 16.67% The Commandant
The Apple Isle 2/5 = 40%
Woolly Ones 1/5 = 20%
BingoDOG 12/25 = 48% Maggie's Going Nowhere
RandomCAT 1/12 = 8.33%
GenreCAT 2/12 = 16.67% Grief Is The Thing With Feathers
HistoryCAT 1/12 = 8.33% The Dark Lady's Mask
AlphaKIT 6/26 =23.08% Under The Golden Sun
MysteryKIT 1/12 = 8.33%
ScaredyKIT 3/12 = 25% The Wicked Boy
SFFKIT 2/12 = 16.67% Clean Sweep
GeoKIT 3/7 = 42.86% The Four Winds, Fragile Monsters
KITastrophe 1/5 = 20%
Group Reads 0/13 = 0%

131JayneCM
Redigerat: apr 12, 7:04pm



Book 32. Under The Golden Sun by Jenny Ashcroft

March AlphaKIT letter U


About halfway through this book, I started to think the author wasn’t Australian. Just little things, like calling Jaffas Jaffies and a few other things.
Then there was a scene where the cattle station owner says he will show the little English boy his first koala and he picks a wild koala off a tree and hands it to him to cuddle. No! My husband has to relocate wild koalas or take them to the vet if they find sick or injured ones and they are not cute and cuddly! Their claws are sharp and they get very angry when they are scared. And also, you would not be able to pick one off a tree from the ground. They are not stupid enough to sit at predator level!
Nevertheless, this book was enjoyable. It served its purpose of being a relaxing read for our Easter break.

132JayneCM
Redigerat: apr 8, 7:42am



Book 33. Grief Is The Thing With Feathers by Max Porter

April GenreCAT literary fiction


In this case, hope is not the thing with feathers. Yet Crow ultimately brings hope as he helps the family manage their grief.
This is a short beautifully written book about a man and two boys struggling to cope after the death of their wife/mother. Crow appears as a type of grief counsellor. Like a slightly horrific Nanny McPhee, he promises, “I won’t leave until you don’t need me anymore.’
It is told from three points of view - Dad, Crow, Boys. The boys sections are particularly heartbreaking as they try to do things, even naughty things they know she would have hated, just so they can remember their mum for a bit longer.
For its length, this book packs a punch. There are absolutely beautiful, sorrowful lines such as when Crow says he found their home to be ‘every surface dead Mum, every crayon, tractor, coat, welly, covered with a film of grief.’

133Tess_W
apr 6, 1:20pm

You did it again, Jayne; hit me with a BB!

134JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 4, 6:23am



Book 34. The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt

March HistoryCAT Early Modern History c. 1500-1800


Historical novels based on actual historical figures are my catnip!
Shakespeare scholars have been debating forever on so many questions of his life. This novel covers two of these questions - what if Shakespeare had a female coauthor for some of his plays; and what if this lady was the Dark Lady of Sonnets 127-152.
This book really drew you into the time period. The author’s descriptions of everything from clothing, architecture, food, etc, set the scenes beautifully.
We follow Aemilia Bassano Lanier from her childhood through to her becoming the first published female English poet.
The book is also a wonderful exploration of the treatment and rights of women in this time.
Mainly a book based on a ‘what if’ premise, it is well worth a read for a dip into Renaissance England and Italy.

135JayneCM
Redigerat: apr 13, 8:42am



Book 35. The Commandant by Jessica Anderson

April 1001 Challenge read a book with a cover that attracts you for some reason


I hovered between 3.5 and 4 stars for this. Jessica Anderson’s writing is a slow burn, very character driven, which in such a setting it must be.
Convict settlements were very isolated and quickly became very insular. Oftentimes the line between captor and captive could become blurred. Patrick Logan was the real life commandant of the Moreton Bay penal settlement (now Brisbane) from 1826 to his death in 1830. He was hated by the convicts for his extreme punishments and cruelty yet like most of these men he declared he was simply following orders. This quote from the novel shows what many thought of the convicts:

“But he was never cruel in a hot way. It was more that he thought of them as so many building blocks to be put to his use.”

It is an unfortunate fact of Australia’s history that many of the men in charge were not of the best character. Australia was the place you sent younger sons who would not inherit in England and thus had to make their own way. Or the sons who had proven to be ‘difficult’ and needed to be sent out of the way, such as Dr Cowper in the book. We ended up with some shockers! The isolation of the settlements also meant that the men in charge could take matters into their own hands with often little or no concern of reprisal.
The book is interesting as it shows the minutiae of the daily life of these people who have been thrown together in this small community and must muddle along together as best they can, whether they actually like each other or not.

136pamelad
apr 12, 8:27pm

>129 JayneCM: I'd finished school by the time Tirra Lirra by the River was published, so read it in my twenties. It's an odd choice for adolescents, even though it's a good book. When I was 17 I thought that 20 was old!

Glad you've been able to fit in a trip to Loch Ard Gorge. So much better without all the people! I'm thinking now of other places to visit while the tourists are away. Perhaps the penguins on Phillip Island.

>135 JayneCM: I thought the female, domestic perspective on the penal colony was interesting.

137MissWatson
apr 13, 2:24am

>135 JayneCM: It's a lovely cover. And a good review, putting this on my ever-expanding wishlist...

138dudes22
apr 13, 7:32am

>135 JayneCM: - That's an interesting cover considering the theme of the book. Some of what you said I knew about (why men came there, etc) and I read The Secret River which told some of the same stuff. It's the first of a trilogy but I haven't gotten to the other two yet.

139JayneCM
Redigerat: apr 26, 7:12pm



Book 36. Maggie's Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley

BingoDOG title describes you


This was just the book I needed - a quick undemanding read to just enjoy. It was set in Melbourne where I grew up. I lived near Camberwell where Maggie’s mother lived and I worked in Smith St, Collingwood, where Maggie worked. It was like a little trip down memory lane!
The book made me laugh although I would probably slap Maggie in real life as she is the most annoyingly self-centred and pathetic character I’ve read in a while.
Still a fun read to while away an afternoon.

So why does the title describe me? Because, like Maggie, “I’m a nice middle-class girl. I went to a private school. Worrying about what other people think was what I ate for breakfast for eighteen years.”
Unfortunately, unlike Maggie, I am still doing what everyone expects of me! Which isn’t necessarily what I would choose to do. Such is life!

140JayneCM
Redigerat: apr 19, 8:07am



Book 37. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare

Read Around The World Nigeria


“... a girl-child is a wasted waste, a thing with no voice, no dreams, no brain.”

In Nigeria, many girls are treated as commodities, worthwhile only for their bride-price or the amount they can be sold for as a housemaid.
Adunni is fourteen years old and all she wants is an education so that she can one day help other girls like her. Before her death, her mother had worked hard to pay for school fees but now Adunni cannot continue her schooling. The book follows her struggle to find a way to continue her education and find her voice.

“My mama say education will give me a voice. I want more than just a voice. I want a louding voice.”

The book is written in the first person, using Adunni’s broken English. As the book progresses, her language becomes more grammatically correct as she studies to improve her English. I found this method to be powerful and beautifully written as you really felt as though Adunni is speaking to you.
Altogether a powerful book.

141Tess_W
apr 19, 8:00am

>140 JayneCM: On my WL that goes!

142JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 27, 7:28am



Book 38. The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk by Natasha Farrant

winner of the 2020 Costa Children's Book Award


This was our latest read aloud and we all loved it! This is my kind of children’s book - action and adventure, great friendships, set in the past. I must admit to not having time for most middle grade/YA books set in modern times which just seem to focus on bad relationships, bullying, and phones. Call me old-fashioned!
The book is mainly set just after WWI. Lotti and Ben set out on a perilous journey to find their lost family members.
A wonderful read.

143MissBrangwen
apr 19, 11:18am

>142 JayneCM: Beautiful cover!

144pamelad
apr 19, 6:41pm

>140 JayneCM: Adding this one to the wish list.

145dudes22
apr 19, 6:58pm

>142 JayneCM: - What age level would you say this is for? I see you are calling it middle grade/Ya - around 13?

146JayneCM
apr 21, 6:48am

>145 dudes22: My 9 year old loved it, as did my 12 year old. There is mention of death and war injuries and the horrible uncle threatens to shoot Lotti's dog, but there is nothing too violent. The writing style is very gentle.

147dudes22
apr 21, 2:31pm

>146 JayneCM: - Thanks - I'm always on the lookout for books that boys will enjoy.

148JayneCM
apr 22, 12:05am

>147 dudes22: My boys are going through a boat adventure stage. So we have been doing the Swallows and Amazons series and then I saw this one when it won the Costa. I also have Of Boys and Boats lined up next.

149JayneCM
apr 22, 12:15am



Book 39. The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale

February ScaredyKIT Creepy Nonfiction

150JayneCM
Redigerat: apr 24, 11:41pm



Book 40. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

GeoKIT North America


Powerful and compelling says the recommendation on the front of the book. And it is!
This was a quick read simply because I didn’t want to put it down.
If you didn’t know that this was historical fiction, you could be forgiven for reading it as an apocalyptic novel - people holding each other up at gunpoint to steal petrol or food, food riots, tent cities set up as people travelled the roads to find food or some poorly paying work.
Yet this is the story of Elsa, who lived through the Dust Bowl, travelled to California and joined the union movement. Hers could be the story of any number of Americans during this period. Elsa just wants to keep her family together and her children fed but she discovers that sometimes you need to stand up and say no more.
Get ready for a good cry at the ending!

“The four winds have blown us here, people from all across the country, to the very edge of this great land, and now, at last, we make our stand, fight for what we know to be right. We fight for our American dream, that it will be possible again.”

151pamelad
Redigerat: apr 24, 11:52pm

>150 JayneCM: Many years ago I read John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, which is also about people fleeing the Oklahoma dust bowl for California. It has stayed in my mind ever since.

152JayneCM
apr 24, 11:56pm

>151 pamelad: I have that on my reread list as I first read it decades ago.

153clue
apr 25, 5:11pm

>150 JayneCM: I've been meaning to put a hold in for this at the library. I just checked Overdrive and I would be number 342 (there are 8 copies) for it. Looked at the library catalog for the hardback and I was very surprised, I'm next in line! Even though the library is now open for short hours, many are obviously still using the ebooks rather than go in or use curbside pickup. I wonder if that will be a change people make permanently.

154JayneCM
apr 26, 7:06pm

>153 clue: I had to wait a long time for my library hold. I just can’t do reading on a screen; I need a book!
Certainly online seems to have become much more prevalent. Even though we have been out of lockdown for quite a while, there are still shopfronts closing down as many people have not returned to in person shopping.

155JayneCM
Redigerat: apr 30, 11:35pm



Book 41. Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

February SFFKIT Sentient Things


This was a fun romp with a classic werewolf/vampire love triangle. A fun way to while away the afternoon. The best part was the inn itself. I thought that was intriguing - and I’d love to be able to tell my house what to do like that. Imagine the renovating you could do!

156VivienneR
apr 26, 8:06pm

Hi, Jayne. Just catching up on your thread - that takes a long time to get through as I have to check the titles you mention at the library, place holds, etc. You've certainly been getting some good reading done!

157JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 13, 2:00am



Book 42. Fragile Monsters by Catherine Menon

GeoKIT Asia


This book is set in Malaysia, about three generations of women. The chapters alternate between the past and the present.
The writing is beautiful and evocative - a wonderfully crafted novel.
But I just couldn’t feel for the characters.
And it is definitely a slow burn. The second half is faster paced but I can see why quite a few people DNFd it before then.

158JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 5, 5:45am



May 2021

43. Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold - finished 3rd May 2021 - May GenreCAT Short Stories or Essays
44. Three Apples Fell From The Sky by Narine Abgaryan - finished 7th May 2021 - February RandomCAT Fruit and Veggies
45. A Year in the Mud and the Toast and the Tears by Georgie Brooks - finished 8th May 2021 - BingoDOG Set somewhere you'd like to visit - Adelaide Hills
46. The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay - finished 11th May 2021 - Random Reads
47. The Last Bookshop by Emma Young - finished 12th May 2021 - BingoDOG new to you author
48. Confession With Blue Horses by Sophie Hardach - finished 15th May 2021 - Read Around The World (Germany)
49. Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe - finished 19th May 2021 - February HistoryCAT 1800-Modern Day
50. Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland - finished 22nd May 2021 - April AlphaKIT letter A
51. The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan - finished 26th May 2021 - April AlphaKIT letter W
52. The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess - finished 29th May 2021 - Random Reads
53. Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella - finished 30th May 2021 - March RandomCAT It's a Surprise!
54. The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer - finished 31st May 2021 - February MysteryKIT Pastiche Mystery

54/185 = 29.19%

Read Around The World 3/5 = 60% Confession With Blue Horses
Prize Winners 2/5 = 40%
Wartime 1/5 = 20%
1001 Monthly Challenge 2/12 = 16.67%
The Apple Isle 2/5 = 40%
Woolly Ones 1/5 = 20%
BingoDOG 14/25 = 56% A Year in the Mud and the Toast and the Tears, The Last Bookshop
RandomCAT 2/12 = 16.67% Three Apples Fell From The Sky, Surprise Me
GenreCAT 3/12 = 25% Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold
HistoryCAT 2/12 = 16.67% Stone Sky Gold Mountain
AlphaKIT 8/26 =30.77% Florence Adler Swims Forever, The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes
MysteryKIT 2/12 = 16.67% The Case of the Missing Marquess
ScaredyKIT 3/12 = 25%
SFFKIT 2/12 = 16.67%
GeoKIT 3/7 = 42.86%
KITastrophe 1/5 = 20%
Random Reads 1/13 = 7.69% The Animals in That Country, The Last Book Party

159JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 7, 2:05am



Book 43. Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

May GenreCAT Short Stories or Essays


I absolutely love folk and fairy tales and retellings of them. This collection are retellings of folktales of the British Isles, set in modern times. Various authors contributed, all female.
I enjoyed them all and had a few favourites. I have always been drawn to human/animal transformation tales so Between Sea and Sky (the selkie) and The Panther Princess were favourites.
It was great that the original tales were published in the book as well. So I read each retelling, then read the original.

160JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 10, 11:58pm



Book 44. Three Apples Fell From The Sky by Narine Abgaryan

February RandomCAT Fruit and Veggies


This is one of those gentle, calm, character driven reads that just makes you sigh with happiness.
It is set in a remote Armenian village that has been torn apart by war, drought, famine and earthquakes, yet still the villagers continue their daily lives.
The ending is a beautiful surprise and a fitting wrap up.
It does jump around in time so characters that died in the last chapter suddenly reappear as the author has switched time periods again. But once you get used to that, it flows gently along and you become invested in the village and what will happen to all the residents.

161dudes22
maj 7, 6:00am

>160 JayneCM: - Well you've hit me with another BB.

162JayneCM
maj 7, 6:11am

>161 dudes22: I hope you enjoy it. It is the perfect lazy afternoon read.

163Jackie_K
maj 7, 4:00pm

>160 JayneCM: Ooh, definitely a BB for me too! That sounds lovely!

164JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 7, 11:50pm



Book 45. A Year in the Mud and the Toast and the Tears by Georgie Brooks

BingoDOG Set somewhere you'd like to visit - Adelaide Hills


First let me say that this kind of book is totally my feel good catnip read. Hence the high star rating. It is also set in Australia and written by someone around my own age with my sense of humour so I found it hilarious.
Any book that starts with ‘A Year of’, I automatically want to read. Even more so if it is about self-sufficiency, rural living or anything related.
This book had me hooked from the first pages where the author talks about the TV show The Good Life and how she can still hum the entire theme song. Just hearing that theme song throws me back to Saturday evenings in my childhood, making sure dinner was over and cleaned up so we would be ready for The Good Life, in the days where you had to wait a week for each episode! In truly modern fashion though, I have just binge watched the whole series after signing up to Britbox. Still my inspiration!
I lived in the Adelaide Hills until I was five and I still love going back there.

165MissBrangwen
maj 8, 4:54am

>160 JayneCM: A BB for me, too! I don't think I've ever read anything Armenian.

166spiralsheep
maj 8, 6:47am

>164 JayneCM: But did the author have a Margo next door? It's only the Good Life with Margo and Jerry! :D

167JayneCM
maj 9, 1:37am

>166 spiralsheep: Margo is my favourite part - "Well thank you very much, Jerry!"

168spiralsheep
maj 9, 1:59am

>167 JayneCM: When they make paper hats, and hers is made out of the Daily Telegraph because that's the only newspaper that matches her standards, lol. Iconic. And the costuming generally. I mean, Penelope Keith is a good actress but the dresses made Margo a perfect character.

169JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 1, 5:31am



Book 46. The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay

Random Reads


As the main character says, “this is batshit crazy.”
And this book absolutely is!
It is about a pandemic where the virus gives humans the ability to talk to and hear animals, birds, reptiles, even insects. But you don’t just hear them when they are ‘talking’, such as a dog barking - you can feel them, taste them, sense them; their body language, every mark they make just by being in a space.

“She’s speaking in odours, echoes, noises with random meaning popping out of them.”

People are going insane listening to all that the animals have to say. And some of it is less than complimentary!

The book is set in the north of Australia where Jean is a park guide at a native animal park.
It is a very Australian book, very gritty and in your face; there are no niceties here.

Totally engrossing read. The pace never lets up. Well worth a read if you’ve ever wondered what animals are ‘saying’ about us!

170JayneCM
maj 11, 12:23am

>168 spiralsheep: oh yes, I love some of Margo’s outfits!

171JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 19, 7:17pm



Book 47. The Last Bookshop by Emma Young

BingoDOG new to you author


As you can see, I read this in one night. So it was obviously an enjoyable read. Duh, it is about a bookshop owner and has book references, in particular plenty of C.S. Lewis. And Cait’s car is named Dent for H2G2 fans.
But it was pretty formulaic - you knew how the book would play out from very early on. Still a lovely cosy read, particularly if you have a love of bricks and mortar bookshops.
The author was a bookseller so the main gist of the book is about the change from in-person to online shopping. And even the people who do come into the shop may not be purchasing. Such as the guy who, when asked if he needed help, replied that he was just making notes of what to get for his Kindle. Wouldn’t you say that you were just browsing?!

172JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 15, 10:50pm



Book 48. Confession With Blue Horses by Sophie Hardach

Read Around The World - Germany


This book was published in 2019, the 30 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
A book that discusses the still fraught relationship that exists in Berlin and how difficult it is to leave the past behind.

Ella was a child in East Berlin in 1987 when her family attempted an escape to the west. The book alternates between Ella’s childhood and 2010, where Ella is in Berlin, trying to piece together what happened to her family.
I have not read a lot about East Germany and I certainly did not know that there are still archivists working to piece together, literally, the shredded files of the Stasi. Ella is hoping that her mother’s file has been found so she can find out who betrayed them.

This is a powerful book, very moving. It is a book that exists in the grey areas - the line between right and wrong is very blurry. How do we really know what is right or wrong? It is very often not that easy to define.

Ella’s confusion, her shyness and fear, caused by living under such a regime, is palpable.

“Men like Kuboweit had owned our lives; we had obeyed them even when they had been nowhere near us. And we obeyed them still; we kept that instinct not to stand out, not to attract the wrong sort of attention, not to ask the wrong kind of questions.”

173JayneCM
maj 18, 11:35pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/464528114815521/?ref=newsfeed

Some of you may be interested in this free online talk wth Robin Wall Kimmerer.

174JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 26, 9:44pm



Book 49. Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Miranda Riwoe

February HistoryCAT 1800 - Modern Day

175JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 14, 8:13am



Book 50. Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

April AlphaKIT letter A


I found this book to be a very relaxing, enjoyable read. It is set in one of my favourite time periods, the 1930s, so that probably helped.
It was interesting that it was true. Florence was the author’s great-great aunt. While there were a few alterations of the facts to make the novel read better, these were limited.
The most bizarre fact I learnt from this novel was about the Atlantic City infant incubator exhibit. A major part of the story is about the premature birth of Fannie’s baby. And I was totally amazed that in order to see her baby, she had to visit the exhibit on the Boardwalk. Imagine having your premature baby used as a sideshow exhibit? If a baby looked like it had only a short time left to live, they would be taken off display and the mother called to say goodbye. I was totally flabbergasted by this!

176JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 29, 5:30am



Book 51. The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

April AlphaKIT letter W

177JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 5, 5:50am



Book 52. The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess

Random Reads

178JayneCM
Redigerat: maj 31, 5:53am



Book 53. Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

March RandomCAT It's a Surprise!


The book was enjoyable and made me laugh. But any time I read books like this, I realise contemporary chick lit isn’t really my thing! It was good to have a quick undemanding read for Lockdown 4.0 though!

179Jackie_K
maj 31, 1:49pm

>178 JayneCM: I hope you're out of lockdown soon, and keeping well meantime! They're loosening the restrictions here, and I worry it's too soon.

180JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 13, 4:12am



Book 54. The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

February MysteryKIT Pastiche Mystery

181pamelad
jun 1, 5:03pm

>178 JayneCM: Hi Jayne. It doesn't look as though the lockdown will be over by Friday, but I'm sure we'll defeat this latest outbreak. The streets are almost deserted, and almost everyone at the supermarket is wearing a mask, so it seems that people are doing the right thing. I hope the home schooling is going well.

182JayneCM
jun 5, 5:41am

>181 pamelad: We certainly have it easier, being in regional Victoria. Hope you are keeping well - and have lots to read!

183JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 1, 10:06pm



June 2021

55. The Sisters of Battle Road: The Extraordinary True Story of Six Sisters Evacuated from Wartime London by J.M. Maloney - finished 4th June 2021 - non-fiction with 'wartime' in the title
56. Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel - finished 8th June 2021 - April RandomCAT Let's go to the Library - Tess_W
57. The Girls Who Went To War: Heroism, Heartache and Happiness in the Wartime Women's Forces by Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi - finished 11th June 2021 - non-fiction with 'wartime' in the title
58. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - finished 14th June 2021 - June AlphaKIT letter C
59. A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge - finished 17th June 2021 - April ScaredyKIT Possession
60. The Book of Evidence by John Banville - finished 20th June 2021 - March Challenge in a Challenge - Read a book by an Irish author or set in Ireland
61. The Seven Sisters: Maia's Story by Lucinda Riley - finished 22nd June 2021 - GeoKIT Central and South America
62. I Am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist - finished 25th June 2021 - May AlphaKIT letter I
63. The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman - finished 26th June 2021 - GeoKIT Europe (includes Russia)

63/185 = 34.05%

Read Around The World 3/5 = 60%
Prize Winners 2/5 = 40%
Wartime 3/5 = 60% The Sisters of Battle Road: The Extraordinary True Story of Six Sisters Evacuated from Wartime London, The Girls Who Went To War: Heroism, Heartache and Happiness in the Wartime Women's Forces
1001 Monthly Challenge 3/12 = 25% The Book of Evidence
The Apple Isle 2/5 = 40%
Woolly Ones 1/5 = 20%
BingoDOG 14/25 = 56%
RandomCAT 4/12 = 33.33% Like Water For Chocolate
GenreCAT 3/12 = 25%
HistoryCAT 2/12 = 16.67%
AlphaKIT 10/26 =38.46% Where The Crawdads Sing, I Am Behind You
MysteryKIT 2/12 = 16.67%
ScaredyKIT 4/12 = 33.33% A Skinful of Shadows
SFFKIT 2/12 = 16.67%
GeoKIT 5/7 = 71.43% The Seven Sisters: Maia's Story, The Blackbird Girls
KITastrophe 1/5 = 20%
Random Reads 1/13 = 7.69%

184JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 3, 3:17am

185JayneCM
jun 8, 6:06pm



Book 56. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

April RandomCAT Let's go to the Library - Tess_W

186JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 22, 7:18pm



Book 57. The Girls Who Went To War: Heroism, Heartache and Happiness in the Women's Wartime Forces by Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi

non-fiction with 'wartime' in the title


I always enjoy reading about women in WWII. This book follows three women for the duration of the war, alternating a chapter for each. Jessie joins the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service), Margery joins the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) and after a short stint in the Women’s Land Army, Kathleen joins the WRNS (Women’s Royal Naval Service).
The WRNS, or Wrens, was considered the force to be in as their uniform was the classiest and was the hardest to get into, unless ‘daddy’ had the right connections.

I did not know that when the WRNS was formed prior to WWI, they were to be called the Women’s Auxiliary Naval Corps until someone realised that the abbreviation might cause much hilarity among the sailors!

187dudes22
jun 13, 5:37am

That is "interesting" about the WRNS. I think I'd like this book too and will take a BB for it. Kate Quinn has written a couple books about women during WW II that were very good. One is The Alice Network which follows 3 girls who are part of the French Resistance and The Rose Code which is about 3 girls who worked at Bletchley Park breaking German codes. They're also written in alternating chapters and I enjoyed both of them.

188JayneCM
jun 14, 8:06am

>187 dudes22: I definitely have those two on my TBR! I am particularly obsessed with Bletchley Park.

189JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 17, 6:50pm



Book 58. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

June AlphaKIT letter C


Yes, the plot is fairly obvious but this book has such an all-encompassing and evocative sense of place that you are just swept up in it. And it moves at a great pace, using one of my favourite techniques, that of converging time periods.
We begin with six year old Kya in 1952. The second chapter then jumps to the scene of an alleged murder in 1969. The chapters then alternate between the two time periods until they meet up. It always makes me want to read faster when a book is set out like this as you get the little clues linking up the two time frames.
But the characters are almost secondary to this novel - the marsh/estuary is the real star. Beautifully written scenes of the natural world, which makes sense as the author is actually a wildlife scientist.
I’ve been wanting to read this since it was first published and I’m glad I finally did. Well worth it.

190JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 16, 6:56am



Book 59. A Skinful of Shadows by Nancy Hardinge

April ScaredyKIT Possession


We start the book when Makepeace is twelve years old. Her mother begins to teach her how to fight off the ghosts who wish to find refuge in her mind. For Makepeace has inherited a strange gift or curse from her father, her mind is able to accommodate the spirits of the recently deceased.
Makepeace must learn to use this ability to her advantage or have her mind torn apart as others try to use her ability against her.

“Sometimes you had to weather everything and take your bruises. If you were lucky, and if everyone thought you were tamed and trained . . . there might come a time when you could strike.”

This was a fantastic read. It is classified as YA, which some people seem to think lowers the book’s potential readability for an adult. For me, many of the most compelling books I have read have been YA, particularly in this fantasy, supernatural genre.
It is paced perfectly - there really weren’t any ‘slow’ bits to slog through to get to the good stuff.
It is set during the English Civil War, first or second as the monarch is Charles I. And I love historical fiction.
This book ticked lots of boxes for me!
It would also work for the July ScaredyKIT of ghosts and hauntings, if anyone needs a book for that slot.

191dudes22
jun 18, 5:25am

I've read some really good YA books too. And I love the cover on this, although I'm not much of a fantasy reader, so will pass on a BB.

192JayneCM
jun 19, 12:22am

>191 dudes22: I must admit to being a sucker for a lovely cover!

193JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 11, 1:15am



Book 60. The Book of Evidence by John Banville

March Challenge in a Challenge - Read a book by an Irish author or set in Ireland

194JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 25, 7:29pm



Book 61. The Seven Sisters: Maia's Story by Lucinda Riley

GeoKIT Central and South America - Brazil


This is one of those formulaic, fairly predictable historical/contemporary romances (we are following two characters in two timelines) and I loved it. As you can see, I read this 626 page book in less than two days.
I really enjoyed it as the historical timeline was set in Brazil and France, following the design and construction of Christ the Redeemer.
I am looking forward to reading the other books in the series as we follow the six sisters - and presumably find out about the missing seventh sister.

195JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 1, 10:11pm



Book 62. I Am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist

May AlphaKIT letter I


Oooh, I did enjoy this one, if enjoy is the word for it!
Creepy and suspenseful, the action never stopped.
The people staying in four caravans in a busy summer campsite wake up one morning to find they are the only people there. And everything else has disappeared including the sun. Then a figure appears on the horizon.
The ending was great - it made me laugh at the irony of it all.
My only disappointment is that this is the first book in a trilogy and books 2 and 3 have not been translated into English. I hate when that happens!

196JayneCM
Redigerat: jun 27, 7:37am



Book 63. The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman

GeoKIT Europe (includes Russia)


And a YA novel gets the five stars again!
This novel managed to fit in so many issues without seeming at all contrived. And I have not seen any other historical fiction set around the Chernobyl disaster.
The story follows two girls whose fathers are both working at the reactor on the night of the accident. At the same time there is a story of another young girl escaping the German invasion in 1941.
This would be a great novel to introduce young readers to how life was in Soviet Russia.

197JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 24, 9:45pm



July 2021

64. Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon - finished 2nd July 2021 - May AlphaKIT letter N
65. A Million Aunties by Alecia McKenzie - finished 3rd July 2021 - Random Reads
66. Elizabeth & Elizabeth by Sue Williams - finished 5th July 2021 - BingoDOG about history or alternate history
67. Better Off Read by Nora Page - finished 7th July 2021 - April MysteryKIT Senior Citizen as Detective
68. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - finished 11th July 2021- February 1001 Monthly Challenge - Read a book with 'love' in the title, or that features a love story of some sort
69. A Sky Full Of Stars by Dani Atkins - finished 12th July 2021 - July AlphaKIT letter S
70. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler - finished 15th July 2021 - Year long AlphaKIT letter Z
71. The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin - finished 16th July 2021 - July AlphaKIT letter O
72. Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor - finished 17th July 2021 - Random Reads
73. The Story of Beatrix Potter by Sarah Gristwood - finished 18th July 2021 - February GenreCAT - Biography
74. Lord of the Flies by William Golding - finished 19th July 2021- July 1001 Monthly Challenge - Read a book that is/was a high school text
75. The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey - finished 20th July 2021 - Prize winners
76. The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer - finished 21st July 2021 - July MysteryKIT Cops 'n' Robbers Lady Style
77. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw - finished 22nd July 2021 - May ScaredyKIT Witches and Magic
78. The Last Lighthouse Keeper by John Cook with Jon Bauer - finished 23rd July 2021 - BingoDOG by 2 authors
79. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro - finished 24th July 2021 - July RandomCAT Summertime

79/185 = 42.7%

Read Around The World 3/5 = 60%
Prize Winners 3/5 = 60% The Labyrinth
Wartime 3/5 = 60%
1001 Monthly Challenge 5/12 = 41.67% Love in the Time of Cholera, Lord of the Flies
The Apple Isle 2/5 = 40%
Woolly Ones 1/5 = 20%
BingoDOG 16/25 = 64% Elizabeth & Elizabeth, The Last Lighthouse Keeper
RandomCAT 5/12 = 41.67% Klara and the Sun
GenreCAT 4/12 = 33.33% The Story of Beatrix Potter
HistoryCAT 2/12 = 16.67%
AlphaKIT 14/26 = 53.85% Nothing But Blue Sky, A Sky Full Of Stars, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot
MysteryKIT 4/12 = 33.33% Better Off Read, The Case of the Left-Handed Lady
ScaredyKIT 5/12 = 41.67% The Wicked Deep
SFFKIT 2/12 = 16.67%
GeoKIT 5/7 = 71.43%
KITastrophe 1/5 = 20%
Random Reads 4/13 =30.77% A Million Aunties, Blaming

198JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 12, 5:44am



Book 64. Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon

May AlphaKIT letter N


A moving book about relationships - in a marriage, parents and children, friends - and how we negotiate within these relationships.
It is a very quiet and gentle book, but it delves deeply into the complexities of the human condition.

These quotes encapsulate the feeling of the book.

“. . . the terrifying knowledge that we hold in our hands each other’s fragile hearts, and can treat them as gently or as roughly as we please.”

“. . . and I was struck by the sense of how wonderful life is, and how sad, and how strange that it can even be both of these things at the very same time.”

199JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 15, 5:19am



Book 65. A Million Aunties by Alecia McKenzie

Random Reads


I was very interested in the art aspect of this novel and loved reading about the visits to the museums in France.
I did feel that there were too many characters and not enough character development. I would have preferred to know more about a few of the characters rather than jumping between so many POVs.

200JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 5, 6:43am



Book 66. Elizabeth & Elizabeth by Sue Williams

BingoDOG about history or alternate history


I am reading all Australian books for BingoDOG this year and I love historical fiction. So this recently published book about the unlikely friendship between Elizabeth Macquarie and Elizabeth Macarthur was perfect.
Elizabeth ‘Betsey’ Macquarie was the wife of Lachlan Macquarie, the fifth Governor of the colony of New South Wales. Taking over the position after the disastrous rule of William Bligh, Macquarie was instrumental in putting in place many improvements to the colony.
Elizabeth Macarthur was the wife of John Macarthur, recognised as the father of the wool industry in Australia.
What is less recognised is the role played by the wives of both those men, particularly Elizabeth Macarthur.
An interesting read for anyone interested in colonial Australian history.

201dudes22
jul 5, 9:53am

>200 JayneCM: - I seem to be reading a lot of historical fiction lately and so I'll take a BB for this - although it might be a while before I get to it.

202JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 24, 9:46pm



Book 67. Better Off Read by Nora Page

April MysteryKIT Senior Citizen as Detective


This was a fun read, a nice way to while away some time. I didn’t really engage with any of the characters but it was still an enjoyable book. It certainly picks up in the second half of the book.
And I didn’t guess the murderer! I’m sure a ‘real’ mystery reader would do better than me!

203JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 23, 8:42pm



Book 68. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

February 1001 Monthly Challenge - Read a book with 'love' in the title, or that features a love story of some sort


I enjoyed the beginning and the ending - but the interminable middle! Oh, it just dragged on and on!
Even if Oprah called this one of the greatest love stories, I just found the main male character to be creepy and obsessive. I mean, who keeps a notebook listing their 622 sexual conquests?! Who has 622 sexual conquests?! And why do they have to be described in detail? Enough already!
The writing was certainly beautiful and atmospheric. But the content of the story just became boring.

204JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 19, 5:25am



Book 69. A Sky Full Of Stars by Dani Atkins

July AlphaKIT letter S


Tear jerker alert! I was crying within ten minutes of starting this book.
I read it in one day so you can see it is an easy and engrossing read.

205JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 15, 5:33am



Book 70. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Year long AlphaKIT letter Z


Historical fiction about the ‘Golden Couple’ of the Jazz Age, the Fitzgeralds.

It seems that most people will be either Team Scott or Team Zelda. Either Zelda held Scott back and he never reached his full literary potential; or Scott’s alcoholism and his jealous and controlling nature constricted Zelda, leading to her breakdowns. I think this book shows that the combination of both was never going to be successful and they dragged each other down. It also explores the detrimental influence of Ernest Hemingway in their relationship. He was always there, like an evil influence on Scott’s shoulder, whispering against Zelda.

This was an interesting read although I would have liked to read more about the two bookends of Zelda’s life - her childhood and her life after Scott’s death.

Truly a tragic life, where there seemed to be so much potential.

206JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 21, 7:38am



Book 71. The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin - finished 16th July 2021

July AlphaKIT letter O


What a beautiful book - you will need the tissues.

Lenni and Margot are both suffering from terminal conditions, or as the nurses are now advised to call it, life-limiting conditions.
Lenni calls the children on her ward the airport children, waiting in the terminal for their plane to leave.
When a new art therapy room is set up in the hospital, Lenni meets Margot. Lenni is 17 and Margot is 83 and they realise that together they are 100 years old. So they decide to paint 100 paintings - one for each year of their lives. And as they paint, they tell each other the stories of their lives.

“. . . and together Margot and I celebrated our one hundred years on the earth. It’s been a long life and it’s been a short life.”

Beautifully written, a different kind of the usual terminal teenage patient love story.

207dudes22
jul 16, 11:40am

>206 JayneCM: - I'll take a BB for this.

208Jackie_K
jul 16, 2:34pm

>206 JayneCM: I'm taking a BB too, that sounds lovely.

209LadyoftheLodge
Redigerat: jul 16, 2:35pm

>207 dudes22: Same here. It sounds like something I want to read. How many boxes of tissues do you suggest??

210clue
jul 16, 2:49pm

Me Too. It's pouring rain and I decided it was a good day to go to the library since I can't pull weeds. I've aleady checked and they have it and it's available!

211JayneCM
jul 16, 8:20pm

Hope you all enjoy it. Lenni is a fabulous character. Quite a few tissues but it ultimately leaves you feeling happy and hopeful.

212JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 17, 9:11pm



Book 72. Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor

Random Reads


This is the July group read in the 1001 Books group.
I love Elizabeth Taylor. Like Barbara Pym, her books explore the everyday minutiae of women’s lives. Not really plot driven, but rich in characterisation.

The book is about regret and blame, especially as we grow older and look back on our lives. There are always things we wish we had done differently, things we feel we missed out on, things we blame ourselves for. As we grow older, it is about making peace with these regrets and not letting them take over.

“Amy began to think that we all leave everything too late.”

213JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 17, 9:21pm



Book 73. The Story of Beatrix Potter by Sarah Gristwood

February GenreCAT - Biography


This is the perfect biography if you would just like to know about Beatrix Potter without all the in-depth scholarly discussion. It is very readable and contains just the right amount of information for a beginning biography, particularly if you respond to the visual. The best part for me was the photographs and illustrations. Of course photographs of Beatrix’s life but also of how the places she lived look today. This book is published by the National Trust and Beatrix left the majority of her property to the National Trust, thus being instrumental in protecting large swathes of the area from inappropriate development.

A beautifully presented book. Makes me want to watch Miss Potter again!

214JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 20, 10:02pm



Book 74. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

July 1001 Monthly Challenge - Read a book that is/was a high school text


This was a reread for me as I studied it in year 10 - a short while ago!
Yes, it is fairly simplistic and lacking in any deep character development or dialogue, but that is the point of the book. It was written as an allegory for teens, to show just how thin the veneer of civilisation can be and how easily it can be eroded if everyone doesn’t play by the same rules.
As one of the boys says, “the rules are the only thing we’ve got.”
And when the rules of the grown ups’ world are abandoned, chaos ensues.

215pamelad
jul 20, 5:35pm

You mentioned somewhere that you were reading Amanda Lohrey's The Labyrinth. I've just bought it and plan to read it soon.

>8 JayneCM: Your All-Australian BingDOG is very impressive!

Excellent lockdown weather yesterday. Very pleasant reading inside in the warmth watching the wind and rain outside. Fingers crossed that the numbers are down today and the lockdown ends by next Wednesday.

216JayneCM
jul 20, 9:54pm

>215 pamelad: Just finished it - still keeping up with a book a day in lockdown! I enjoyed it but not a five star for me.

I am enjoying my Australian BingoDOG - I like that is encouraging me to look for even more Australian authors than usual. I'm not sure if I will do BingoDOG the same way next year or another theme, but I do like to have a connecting theme of some sort. My other thought is books published in the first half of the twentieth century or Victorian literature as they seem to be my favourites. Plenty of time to think about that though!

Certainly will be reading weather. Here we are forecast for rain for the next eight days! I think our spillway will definitely be flooding soon. Happy reading!

217JayneCM
jul 20, 10:14pm



Book 75. The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey

Prize winners - winner of the 2021 Miles Franklin Award


I enjoyed the gentle flow of this book; it really is a book where not much happens. But that reflects the meandering nature of the labyrinth. You travel the labyrinth, slowly and thoughtfully, and in the end you are supposed to see more clearly.
This is the story of Erica, whose grown son has been imprisoned. She follows him to a sleepy beach town close to the prison, so she will be able to visit him. Now she is no longer working or has much to structure her days, she decides to build a labyrinth. The book follows her through this journey, as well as skipping back in time to let us know how she arrived at this place in her life.

At first, Erica seems inert, even when it comes to the labyrinth. "It would be easy to remain in this fugue state of apathy, to have always an idea, a half-formed plan that never materialises." After the stresses of the trial and the move, it is easier to do nothing. Nothing in her life has ever gone to plan, so why bother?

By the end of the book though, ". . . the fugue is ended."

218Tess_W
Redigerat: jul 21, 5:24am

>217 JayneCM: Definitely one to add to my WL!

219JayneCM
jul 21, 7:30am

>218 Tess_W: Hope you enjoy it! Just out of interest, do your libraries have many Australian books available?

220dudes22
jul 21, 7:31am

>217 JayneCM: - You caught me - BB.

221JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 22, 6:40am



Book 76. The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer - finished 21st July 2021

July MysteryKIT Cops 'n' Robbers Lady Style


I read the first Enola Holmes book earlier in the year, after my boys watched it on Netflix, and loved it. This one was even better. The first book, as many in a series seem to be, was mainly about character set up. But now that we have met Enola, Sherlock, Mycroft and their mother, this book was more about the mystery of Lady Cecily. Although there were also some marvellous scenes of Enola outsmarting her detective brother.

I love Enola as she is determined to live life her way, not the way society dictated to young women of the late 19th century. She refuses to be trapped into decency.

"If any decent woman's calling consisted of taking her proper place in society (husband and house, plus voice lessons and a piano in the drawing-room), then this particular woman-to-be prefers to remain indecent. Or, more accurately speaking, a disgrace to her family."

222JayneCM
jul 21, 7:49am

Seven books in seven days! Can I keep up the streak?!
Amazing how much reading you can do when it is rainy wintry weather and you are in lockdown for at least another week!

223NinieB
jul 21, 8:43am

>219 JayneCM: Not many Australian novels are published in the US, so public libraries usually have a very small selection. Academic libraries will sometimes buy Australian novels from Australia.

224Tess_W
Redigerat: jul 21, 8:59am

>219 JayneCM: I'm not sure! I only ever do a search for specific books; which I don't usually find in my consortium. However, I live in the Midwest and I think that if I were nearer to the larger cities like New York or Los Angeles, there might be more available. Most of the time I buy them used or d/l on Kindle.

225JayneCM
jul 21, 9:13am

>223 NinieB: >224 Tess_W: That's a shame! Not being biased, but we do have some great books! At least being able to buy them for Kindle makes so many more books from around the world available.

226dudes22
jul 21, 11:54am

>223 NinieB: - I couldn't find The Labyrinth in my local library nor in the ILL system for our state. I was figuring they didn't have it because it's still fairly new. My sister works in the local library so I might give her the book name and see if they'll order it.

227JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 22, 6:50am



Book 77. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw - finished 22nd July 2021

May ScaredyKIT Witches and Magic


Ok, I was hooked from the first page! This is a young adult novel, but don't let that put you off. I found it totally gripping. I had to read fast as, although I had guessed part of the storyline, I needed to know how it would all unfold.
And so atmospheric! Quite eerie and chilling. The setting is perfect.

Two hundred years ago, the three Swan sisters were drowned in the harbour as witches. Now they return every summer to lure boys to their deaths in the sea to wreak revenge on the town that killed them. Can they be stopped?

"Love is an enchantress - devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat."

228JayneCM
Redigerat: jul 23, 8:59pm



Book 78. The Last Lighthouse Keeper by John Cook with Jon Bauer

BingoDOG 2 or more authors


This is a memoir by a man who was a lighthouse keeper in Tasmania during the 60s and 70s, during the changeover from kerosene to electric powered lighthouses.

I should have loved this as it had all the elements I love - Tasmania, lighthouses, nature, the ocean, living a solitary life, facing hardships.
And there were little sections that I loved. When he was living at the most southerly lighthouse in the world, he describes seeing a humpback whale glide past the island. He also talks about lying under the stars and watching the Aurora Australis.
The descriptions of getting on and off the islands are crazy! And the weather they had to contend with, particularly on Maatsuyker. As he says, certainly not the romantic, peaceful life outsiders imagine.

"They always make lighthouses look so peaceful and romantic. They're as romantic as sharks."

But most of the book is about his own personal struggles with his two marriages and his first wife keeping his children from him.

I just wanted more about the lighthouses!


You can still work on Maatsuyker Island - there is a caretaker position. So one couple lives on the island for six months at a time. It certainly does look beautiful!

229JayneCM
jul 24, 9:53pm



Book 79. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

July RandomCAT Summertime


Wanted to love it, but didn't really. It was a good story but just didn't deliver for me.

Klara is an AF (artificial friend) and is purchased by Josie. Klara, however, is different from the other AFs from the beginning - she is more interested in the world around her and observes and stores away human behaviour and interaction. She is able to learn more about the nuances of human relationships than AFs generally would.

The book just didn't seem to go anywhere in particular. But still an enjoyable read, just not as wonderful as I was expecting. I guess the expectations were very high, being the first novel after winning the Nobel Prize in Literature!