Mstrust Shows Her ROOTs

Diskutera2022 ROOT CHALLENGE

Bara medlemmar i LibraryThing kan skriva.

Mstrust Shows Her ROOTs

dec 28, 2021, 2:48 pm

Hi, I'm Jennifer. I live in Phoenix, have been on LT since March, 2008, and this is my third year of ROOTing. My goal is to have 50% of my total reads be ROOTs, which I'm counting as a book that has aged at least a month on my shelf. I made my goal for last year.
I hope you'll drop in and check out my reads. I'm also hosting January's ScaredyKit:
Good luck to you, and Happy New Year!
Now pick up a book.

dec 28, 2021, 4:56 pm

Yay, Jennifer's here! Good luck with reading those ROOTS!

dec 28, 2021, 8:17 pm

Happy to see you here. What's your goal for 2022?

dec 29, 2021, 6:36 am

Hi Jennifer, good to see you back again! Happy ROOTing.

BTW: I don't see you in the memberlist, don't forget to join the group.

dec 29, 2021, 7:43 am

Good to see you back again!

dec 29, 2021, 8:04 am

Glad you're back. Good luck rooting.

dec 29, 2021, 12:50 pm

>3 rabbitprincess: Thanks, and good luck to you too!

>4 cyderry: Thank you! My goal is the same as last year, just to hit 50% ROOTs of whatever my total for the year is. I don't do the ticker because I don't know if I've succeeded until I have my grand total.

>5 connie53: Hi Connie! Thanks, and good luck to you! And thanks for reminding me to join.

>6 Jackie_K: Thank you, Jackie, and good luck to you this year!

>7 majkia: Thank you, Jean! Happy Rooting!

jan 2, 2022, 11:03 am

1. Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix. The story of a group of Orsk employees, especially Amy, who determine to find out who has been ruining their low-priced Ikea knock-off furniture each night after the store closes. Actually, only junior store manager Basil and wanna-be ghost hunting duo Matt and Trinity are that determined. Amy and Ruth Anne have been asked to be there because every other employee Basil asked already had plans, and the two women are willing to run up some overtime, hopefully while sitting in the breakroom.
But the group do find who is messing up the stock, and soon wished they hadn't. Will anyone survive doing an overnighter in the store?
This is a re-read for me, for the ScaredyKit's haunted house theme. I hadn't read it in five years or so, loved it back then and just as much now. It's a clever, modern haunted house story, and since the author left it open for a sequel I'm hoping he does it. 4.5 stars

jan 3, 2022, 2:55 am

A Happy New Year of reading, Jennifer

jan 3, 2022, 10:27 am

Thank you, Robert, and to you too!

Redigerat: jan 3, 2022, 12:08 pm

2. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. After successfully feeding his family from the stocks of three nasty farmers, Mr. Fox finds that the men have joined together in their determination to kill him. He can't have that, his family would starve. So he hatches a fantastic plan to keep stealing from the farmers and even gets his friend Mr. Badger in on it.
I'm making my way through Dahl's catalog and it's a fun task. 4 stars

jan 4, 2022, 5:30 am

Congrats on finishing two ROOTs already, Jennifer!

jan 4, 2022, 11:21 am

Thank you!

jan 4, 2022, 11:59 am

Just dropping in to add my "Happy Reading in 2022" to the stack!

jan 4, 2022, 4:27 pm

Thank you, Jerry, and Happy New Year to you!

Redigerat: jan 6, 2022, 3:33 pm

3. What Now, King Lear? by Alistair Boyle. Part-time detective Gil Yates is hired by the widow of mega-wealthy Orville Sampson to find out who shot her husband. Not only was Sampson murdered in his mansion, he suspected he'd be murdered, as he had a clause in his will that stipulated that none of his three terrible daughters and their even worse husbands would receive their $300 million inheritances unless his killer was caught and convicted. The similarities to King Lear run loosely throughout.
With so much money and so many awful suspects to pick apart, Yates has to solve the crime in order to get paid himself, and he could really use the money.
This is the second of a series featuring Yates, a likable and put-upon man who hides his detective work from his wife and father-in-law, who consider him dead weight in the family business.
My copy has a much better cover, of a gray-haired man with a big target on his back. This has been on my shelf for three years.

jan 8, 2022, 4:22 pm

>12 mstrust: I read Fantastic Mr. Fox for the first time recently and was thoroughly charmed by it. Dahl is a lot of quirky fun.

jan 9, 2022, 10:02 am

I ran off to the library and got several more Dahl's, so expect more reviews.

Redigerat: jan 9, 2022, 10:05 am

4. The Giver by Lois Lowry. Jonas lives with his family unit in a tightly ordered community that celebrates the milestones of childhood each year. This year, his younger sister is old enough to be given a bike and Jonas, at twelve, is old enough to be assigned the occupation he'll have for the rest of his working life. His friends are assigned to occupations that are expected and make them happy, while Jonas is given a job that no one could have suspected: a receiver of memories. Most of the community didn't even know this job existed.
Every afternoon, Jonas meets with the Giver of these memories, a very elderly and isolated man who holds the memories of many people, and who shows Jonas what cold, warmth, love and joy feel like. He sees color for the first time, something that had been breed out of his people when leaders decided everyone should be the same, without differences and talents that would lead to envy. The insights into what he and his people have been missing leads Jonas to take unheard of actions. 4.5 stars

I don't know if this one would have been on my radar if not for The Great American Read. It's a haunting story.
A couple of days after I'd finished it I saw the movie version was playing on SYFY. Stars Jeff Bridges as the Giver and Meryl Streep as the community leader, but the last 30 minutes was completely changed to make it a happy Hollywood ending.
I've had this for a year.

jan 9, 2022, 6:11 pm

>20 mstrust: This is one of those books that it seems like everyone else around me (even other classes at the same school) was assigned to read, but I somehow missed it... I must see about picking it up.

jan 10, 2022, 11:30 am

It came along after my school days, but somehow it got past me for all these years. Next year will be it's 30th anniversary.

jan 10, 2022, 11:31 am

Redigerat: jan 16, 2022, 12:34 pm

5. Murder at Melrose Court by Karen Baugh Menuhin. Major Heathcliff Lennox's valet calls him to the front door to have a look at the dead man lying there. The local detective doesn't believe that Lennox has never seen the man and wasn't responsible for his death, but there's no proof otherwise so Lennox is allowed to travel to his family estate for Christmas.
What would normally be a dull collection of cousins and their elderly uncle is thrown into chaos this year with the introduction of the uncle's new fiancee, a Russian Countess, and her beautiful young niece. It turns out that the Countess has been working on the old man for awhile and now, with the whole wealthy family gathered, she announces that their uncle has a new will that replaces them with her. It doesn't take long for the first murder.
Published in 2018 and part of a series, this has a real Golden Age feel with snappy dialogue and humor. This sat on my Kindle for probably close to a year.

Redigerat: jan 25, 2022, 12:11 pm

6. Much Dithering by Dorothy Lambert. Jocelyn married young and was widowed soon after, left with the family home and a good amount of money through her late husband's minor aristocratic family. She has also been left with a mother-in-law, aunt and mother who all take turns telling her what to do. As a result, Jocelyn is described by all as dull and wasting her youth.
When the village of Much Dithering is chosen by a wealthy family from London as their new home, the young son immediately latches onto Jocelyn with the intention of marrying her, no matter that he's already been secretly seeing Jocelyn's mother for some time, and Mama isn't the type to take this sort of treatment. Another stranger appears, this one an interesting old army friend of a local Colonel who has already been pursuing Jocelyn for some time.
Published in 1938, it's an intensely domestic story, meaning almost all of it occurs in one home or another and focuses on the romantic travails of a handful of people. Which got a bit claustrophobic, but it also reminded me of the romantic angles in some Agatha Christies.

Redigerat: jan 30, 2022, 3:02 pm

15. Flight by Sherman Alexie. Fifteen year-old Zits has been placed in twenty-one foster homes since he was six, when his mother died. The string of foster parents has ranged from indifferent to abusive, and an assault on his latest foster mother lands Zits in a cell, where he meets an older boy named Justice. For the first time in years Zits has a friend, someone who cares for him and looks out for him, though the reader knows to be wary of Justice. This manipulative friend leads Zits to a strange series of awakenings that explore Native American and White relations in American history.
A thought-provoking book that addresses race and the foster care system, while also switching the main character back and forth from victim to victimizer.

jan 30, 2022, 3:18 pm

Redigerat: feb 4, 2022, 3:09 pm

8. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. Catapulted into action by his own depression, the author researched the happiest places in the world (circa 2007), or places that had distinct beliefs about happiness, and went. Starting with a happiness expert in The Netherlands, Weiner visited Switzerland, Bhutan, Quatar, Iceland, Thailand, Great Britain, India and came back to America. He also spent two weeks in Moldova, the country rated lowest in the happiness index. By meeting the average people, professionals in mental health, spirituality, a psychic, and some government officials, he was able to give the reader a general semblance of what life is like in that country and what makes that particular nationality happy.
I've had this on the shelf for a few years. It's my eighth ROOT of 17 books overall.

feb 4, 2022, 4:39 pm

>28 mstrust: I like the sound of that one - added to the wishlist!

feb 4, 2022, 5:04 pm

It was very interesting and I hope you get a chance to read it.

feb 13, 2022, 4:06 pm

If anyone wants to see my haul from today's massive book sale, visit my 75ers thread:

Redigerat: feb 19, 2022, 12:43 pm

9. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.
The story of Janie, a child of rape who was raised by her grandmother. At sixteen Janie is spotted kissing a boy, so her grandmother makes Janie marry the boy, though Janie doesn't love him. This begins Janie's struggles with unhappiness due to a lack of autonomy in an age when women were defined by their relationships to men. Her attempts to find happiness tend to have hard repercussions.
It took some time for me to get used to the phonetic dialogue, but the story of Janie's life is engrossing. I first thought that Janie made choices that led to her unhappiness, but the more I thought about it, I realized that Janie was going with the best of two bad options, but always with the hope of things working out. I read this because of its ranking on The Great American Read. 4 stars

feb 26, 2022, 3:06 pm

Congrats on reading so many ROOTs already. I read Horrorstor years ago and loved it also. I'm pretty sure I first heard about it through this group, actually! :)

mar 1, 2022, 1:43 pm

Thanks, I'm trying to keep to a 50% ROOTs pace but I have fallen behind by reading books I just bought at the sale a few weeks ago.
I found Horrorstor in a bookstore when it first came out. The cover was too intriguing to pass up.

Redigerat: mar 1, 2022, 1:45 pm

10. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. When the new tenants of the Sunset Towers apartment building notice smoke coming from the long abandoned Westing mansion, they all know something strange is happening, but none of them could guess how strange things are going to get. Samuel Westing hasn't been seen in years and was presumed to have died in some far-away place, so it's not only a surprise when his newly deceased corpse is found in the mansion, but also to discover that he had written a will that invited every tenant in the apartment building to play a game, with the winner taking the Westing fortune.
This was the 1979 Newberry Medal winner, and it's a complex story featuring sharp-witted characters, including thirteen year-old Turtle. 4.2 stars

I've had this for a year.

Redigerat: mar 8, 2022, 10:29 am

11. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. A collection of short stories about the citizens of the small town. What most of the stories have in common is that each character has something that makes them feel isolated and often desperately unhappy, whether this is a bad marriage or an unsuccessful career or unrequited love. While some readers have found this a depressing book, and it certainly isn't a happy one, there are little unexpected touches of humor, and a lot more sex than you'd expect in a book published in 1919.
I read this for the group read.

Redigerat: mar 10, 2022, 4:51 pm

12. Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell. Sixteen year-old Ree's life has always been one of poverty in the Ozarks, but things have gotten worse now that her father is missing when he's expected to show up for his court date. As he'd signed the family shack and all their land against his bail bond, Ree, her barely functioning mother and her two young brothers will be homeless unless she can find her father and get him to court, or failing that, and given the type of people he hung around with, prove that he's dead.
I read this for the mystery group's "small town/big lies" theme. It's the first I've read from Woodrell and captures the modern issue of drug abuse in rural, desperately poor areas.
I've had this on the shelf for five months.

mar 15, 2022, 10:36 am

For anyone interested, I'm hosting this month's MysteryKIT. It's noir and hard-boiled, so if you've been meaning to read Chandler or Hughes, come join.

Redigerat: mar 16, 2022, 10:53 am

13. Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike. This is the story of what happened before Hamlet. As a teenage princess Gerutha argues with her father against her upcoming wedding to the much older soldier Horwendil, an argument she loses. The result of this marriage is a boy whom Gerutha never feels very motherly towards, claiming the child is cold to her. All the while, her brother-in-law has been circling Gerutha, desperately in love.

This is the second Updike I've read, having read The Centaur many years ago and liked it. I can't say that I liked this one though. Gerutha's own life wasn't explored, she is shown only in connection to the men in her life, and because of that, her portrayal is sexualized much of the time, while her role as mother to Hamlet is thin in the story, he actually figures little.
I got the feeling pretty quickly that Updike was a guy who liked the sound of his own voice. The sentences are packed with as many descriptions as could be jammed in, making for heavy paragraphs. 2.5

Redigerat: mar 21, 2022, 12:53 pm

14. Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. In the small, isolated desert town of Night Vale, Jackie is the owner of a pawnshop that pays eleven dollars for pretty much anything that can be pawned, including tears. She's nineteen and has always been nineteen, she can't remember being any other age. It doesn't bother her that much.
Diane is a single mother to teenage shapeshifter Josh and works in an office that performs unclear business. Diane is the only person in the office who remembers a recent co-worker named Evan, though her memory of him is getting weaker. More importantly, she's shocked to see her ex, Josh's father, has returned to town after abandoning his family years before, and he seems to be working every job he can get.
Creeping into their lives is the worry about a mysterious man in a tan jacket who has been skittering all over town, handing over pieces of paper with two words written on them. He put one in Jackie's hand at the all-nite diner and now she can't get rid of it. The two women really dislike each other, but when Josh somehow escapes Night Vale, something few people have been able to do, they work together to find him.
Surreal, funny, and with strong doses of both sci-fi and horror, this is the second Night Vale novel I've read and now I want them all. How can I not like a place where a visit to the public library is nearly always fatal?

This is my 14th ROOT out of a total of 32 books, so I'm falling a little behind my 50% goal.

mar 21, 2022, 4:18 pm

I had heard of (though never listened to) the podcast of the same name (I think) and always thought it sounded quite fun. Does the novel cover the same ground or is it separate, do you know?

mar 21, 2022, 5:53 pm

I haven't listened to all the WTNV podcasts, but quite a few, but I can say that the novels are new stories with some of the podcast characters doing cameos. For instance, Cecil and Carlos were in this book as peripheral characters.

Redigerat: apr 10, 2022, 5:42 pm

37. Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. Private detective Philip Marlowe can't walk down the street without finding trouble. He meets recently released sociopath Moose Malloy while just standing on the sidewalk, with the giant ex-con dragging Marlowe into a bar to watch him bust the place up and murder the owner. Now Marlowe is a witness and tries to help the police find Malloy, but he's quickly sidetracked to a paying job, hired to escort a strange man paying a big ransom for a stolen rare jade necklace. Because nothing goes smoothly for Marlowe, no matter how much he does his research, the trade doesn't happen and he's involved in another murder. Things get more complex and dangerous from there.
This is a wild ride through L.A. and the surrounding cities. It's a true hardboiled novel. Published in 1940. I finally read this for the MysteryKit this month.
I don't know how long I've had this one, but a long while.

Redigerat: apr 15, 2022, 5:53 pm

16. The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden. Chester the cricket jumps into a picnic basket near his home in Connecticut and is mistakenly brought to Times Square, a place he'd only heard of. He quickly makes friends with locals Harry the cat and Tucker Mouse, and adopted by Mario, a little boy who helps his parents run their newsstand. Though Chester has a hard time adjusting to city life, his amazing musical talent eventually makes him a star.
Published in 1960, it's a children's book that doesn't talk down to the reader. Chester plays opera and classical music.
I've had this for about two months.

apr 17, 2022, 11:21 am

Happy Easter!

maj 1, 2022, 1:32 pm

Hi Jennifer. Finally getting to your thread. I could have sworn I'v been here recently, but that is not the case. Maybe just to read and not post. I don't know. You are reading ROOTs and that is a good thing.

maj 1, 2022, 8:00 pm

Hi, Connie! I'm glad you found me! I'm trying to get more of my ROOTs in but keep being distracted by library books.

Redigerat: maj 1, 2022, 8:02 pm

17. Witch: The True Story of Las Vegas's Most Notorious Female Killer by Glenn Puit. In 2001, North Las Vegas police were called to a storage facility, which had been opened by employees because of the terrible smell. When the police discovered the source, a trash bin that had been duct taped shut, they removed the bin to their forensic lab. Inside, they discovered the jellied remains of sixty-five year old Christine Smith, a Texan who had resided in Central California for decades.
Learning that the storage unit belonged to Smith's middle-aged daughter, Brookey Lee West, the detectives began unraveling the history of a remarkably dysfunctional and dangerous family.
The title says this is a Las Vegas story, though very little of it actually took place there, the Smith/West family lives most of the time in Bakersfield and other small central cities.

I've had this for just a few months and read it for April's ScaredyKit

Redigerat: maj 5, 2022, 5:36 pm

18. Al Capone Throws Me A Curve by Gennifer Choldenko. In the last book of the "Tales from Alcatraz" series, Moose is now thirteen and his autistic sister Natalie turns seventeen. Their mother is forced to face the fact that Natalie is maturing and wants to look her age, and she has a crush on a boy. But when Moose is forced to keep watch over both Natalie and the prison warden's bratty daughter one afternoon, Moose and all the other kids on the baseball field discover that Natalie picks up on bits of conversation that make Moose's life as her brother even harder.
I like this series a whole lot as it's written with historical accuracy and realism. It's partly about growing up on Alcatraz and following the many rules for safety and dealing with the prisoners, but it's also placed during the Depression, and Moose's family also has the issue of Natalie's autism in a time when the understanding about this was rare. 4 stars

Redigerat: maj 12, 2022, 6:50 pm

19. Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo. The hitman for a crime boss is given an assignment that doesn't sit well with him. The boss wants his own wife killed, an order that the hitman finds so strange that he decides to observe his target for a while and find out why this woman is to die.
This is well-written and excellently translated, a character driven story of a hitman who is smarter than he claims and more humane than he wants to be. My first Nesbo, I read this for the "Detectives in Translation" MysteryKit theme, and it's a ROOT to boot. It's been on my shelf 2.5 years.

Redigerat: maj 18, 2022, 11:42 am

20. When the Mob Ran Vegas by Steve Fischer. Though the book is divided into topics, like Sinatra in Vegas or the history of certain casinos, there are lots of names that run all the way through the book, and they're great names: Wingy Grober, Jimmy the Weasel, Icepick Willie, Beldon Katleman and Lucky Luciano. And Bugsy Siegel. There's the story of how long-time mob mover and shaker Johnny Roselli was finally nabbed by the FBI for his very minor involvement in fixed card games at The Friar's Club in L.A., the creative financing that went into places like The Riviera, and the story of casino boss Carl Cohen punching Sinatra so hard that it knocked out his bridgework and ended Sinatra's long relationship with The Sands.
I quibble with some information being a bit off, such as casino boss Gus Greenbaum and his wife were not decapitated in Phoenix as reported here, but this is one of the few books about Vegas that attempts to explain what happened to the Moulin Rouge casino, which if you're familiar, that mention will get you interested. Lots of dirt on mob guys and their casinos, and a look at the city's past.
This is my 20th ROOT out of a total of 45 reads.

Redigerat: maj 18, 2022, 6:02 pm

21. Esio Trot by Roald Dahl. Mr. Hoppy has been in love with the widowed Mrs. Silver for years. He lives in the apartment above hers and grows plants on his balcony, which gives him the excuse to look down and discuss her beloved pet turtle with her. When Mrs. Silver says that she would love nothing more than to see her little Alfie grow into a big turtle, Mr. Hoppy forms a scheme.
Dahl's gentle yet humorous romantic tale.

Redigerat: maj 25, 2022, 10:03 am

22. Cream Teas, Traffic Jams and Sunburn by Brian Viner. A look at holiday-making Brits, both abroad but especially when they are traveling around the U.K. The author recalls what his childhood vacations with his family were like and the popularity of "holiday camps". He discusses the cream tea, an English tradition more indulged in by foreign tourists now, girl's weekends vs. lads weekends, the worst traffic jam in British history, and how he and his wife travel with three children.
Not as funny as Bryson, but lots of interesting memories about growing up in the 70's in the U.K.

Redigerat: maj 30, 2022, 12:13 pm

23. Don't Applaud. Either Laugh Or Don't by Andrew Hankinson. An in-depth look at the famous New York club The Comedy Cellar, specifically during the period of the Louis CK scandal. The book works backwards, observing the story as it broke in the news and how it affected other comics, some of the women involved, and the comedy club owner who had a close relationship with the comic.
The book looks at comics and the connections that are formed among themselves, and what it's like to manage a club that employs comics, a group of people who say unexpected things, and sometimes offend the customers and their employers. Which leads to a discussion of the change in audiences as people have become more confrontational, and the difficulty of being a comic in the time of cancel culture.
The author interviews a lot of well-known stand-ups and the owner and employees of The Comedy Cellar. An interesting inside perspective of the industry.
This was an ARC I won on LT and it's been on my shelf for over a year. Bad girl.

Redigerat: jun 3, 2022, 6:01 pm

24. Every Living Thing by James Herriot. The fifth book in the series, Herriot is still running his Yorkshire veterinary practice along with Siegfried. Tristam has left to start his own practice and has been replaced by other young vets, eventually by Calum. Upon moving into the upstairs flat, this new vet quickly acquires his own menagerie of badgers, dogs, foxes, and even an owl, leading to more outbursts from Siegfried.
James and Helen need to find a more modern house but get outbid at every turn, and James befriends an old man and his cat who have set up their tent along the road.
Funny and gentle despite the graphic depictions of veterinary emergencies, I'd like to read the whole series.

jun 5, 2022, 9:02 am

Hi Jennifer. I've been neglecting the ROOTers for some time. Live, sunny days, babysitting the grandkids and doing volunteer work for the library at Lonne's school. And reading of course. Today is a rainy day with some thunderstrokes. A perfect Sunday for reading al those neglected threads.

You have read some nice books. Some of the titles made me chuckle.

jun 5, 2022, 11:03 am

Hi Connie!
You've had a lot to keep you away, and that happens. I'd love to have your rain, as long as it's cool. We'll have monsoons over the summer and that's hot rain that makes it sticky.
Enjoy your reading day!

jun 5, 2022, 11:55 am

>57 mstrust: Yikes! No it's cold rain. Good to be back, Jennifer.

jun 5, 2022, 1:59 pm

>55 mstrust: I keep meaning to get hold of this series. I still fondly remember the TV series from the 1970s. One day ...

jun 5, 2022, 6:03 pm

>58 connie53: Lucky! I think we get maybe four days a year of cold rain.

>59 Jackie_K: My mom was hooked on the 70's version of the show, and I'm hooked on the current version. It's so much funnier than I'd expected.

jun 6, 2022, 4:45 am

>60 mstrust: My parents used to put on the audiobooks/radioshow(?) of James Herriot for long car trips, and we are all hooked on the new version of the show - it is so lovely and charming.

jun 6, 2022, 9:54 am

It is charming, and I was very surprised to learn that it's the first tv job for the actor playing James. He's perfect.

Redigerat: jun 15, 2022, 1:10 pm

51. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Told in a series of short stories that add up to the invasion of Mars by the people of Earth.
Facing the threat of war on Earth, several expeditions arrive to determine if Mars is inhabitable, if the Martians will coexist with people from Earth. The Martians don't want to lose their civilization to the domineering humans who come by the thousands.
I can count on one hand the number of sci-fi novels I've read, it's just not my thing, but this is some of Bradbury's finest writing. 4 stars

Redigerat: jun 24, 2022, 11:35 am

53. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. We meet A.J. as he's still in deep mourning, his wife having been killed in a car accident. Hes on auto pilot, barely keeping his Alice Island bookshop afloat, and getting drunk alone in his apartment at night. The one thing he sees value in now is his copy of Edgar Allan Poe's Tamerlane, which is stolen one night when he drunkenly takes it from its case to admire it. In its place is a toddler.
The change this unexpected gift brings to A.J.'s life is extraordinary, causing him to rethink his expectation that he will remain solitary and run his business into the ground.
This sat on my shelf for a long time, and I think I put it in my summer stack because it takes place on an island. I was hooked very quickly and looked forward to picking it up. I mean, it takes place in a bookshop, with lots of book talk, but it's also funny and heart-breaking. Recommended. 4.5

jun 30, 2022, 12:35 pm

Just noting that I've started an Autumn & Halloween Substack newsletter. Everything to do with the season: book reviews, events, short stories, recipes. Autumn all year long. It's called Autumn Lives Here.

jul 6, 2022, 5:20 pm

My second Autumn & Halloween post is up on Substack. This week is all scary podcasts, apple recipes and monster romance. Come over when you have 15 minutes or so.

Redigerat: jul 8, 2022, 5:01 pm

27. The Case of the Terrified Typist by Eric Stanley Gardner. The terrified typist is a temp who has been sent by the agency Perry Mason's office usually uses, or so he thinks. The temp is the fastest, most accurate typist Mason and Della Street, his office manager, have ever seen, so they are curious when she leaves her desk and never comes back. Even more curious about her when the gem import office in the same building is burgled around the time she left. Pulling the thread of this woman's life leads Mason and Street into the world of international diamond smuggling.
Honestly, this wasn't that interesting to me, though the courtroom scene was more realistic than others I've read from the same time period, with the lawyers arguing over the most trite statements. It was my first Perry Mason so it could be that I picked a dud in the series.

Redigerat: jul 13, 2022, 9:55 am

28. Patty Jane's House of Curl by Lorna Landvik. Sisters Patty Jane and Harriet rely on each other throughout their lives. They have to, as they survive horrible parenting and short-lived happiness with men, eventually finding independence by opening a salon. On cold Minnesota days, three generations of women gather to work in the salon, while nights see the space turned into an informal school where locals can show off their expertise.
My sister passed this onto me a year or two ago, and I liked it too. It's deeper than the title would imply, seeing the sisters through decades.

jul 13, 2022, 10:04 am

Here's Vol. 4 of my "Autumn Lives Here" Substack. It's pumpkin beers and a visit to a new Halloween shop in Vegas.

jul 14, 2022, 1:35 pm

Anyone who wants to come join the Shakespeare Cat is welcome. I'm hosting this month's theme of "Lesser Works":

jul 18, 2022, 10:27 am

The new edition of Autumn Lives Here is up! Clown phobia, pumpkin carving and the story of music producer Joe Meek:

Redigerat: jul 22, 2022, 1:42 pm

The new Autumn Lives Here is up. Jaws, pumpkin spice and a trip to Hell!

Redigerat: jul 22, 2022, 1:32 pm

29. True Grit by Charles Portis.
Fourteen year-old Mattie Ross is sent to collect her father's body, his personal property and his horse from Fort Smith, where her father was killed by Tom Chaney. Mattie arrives determined to see that Chaney is held accountable for this deed but discovers that the local lawmen have let the killer slip away and he's rumored to have joined up with notorious Lucky Ned Pepper's gang. Her determination never wavering, Mattie seeks out and hires Rooster Cogburn, the U.S. Marshal with the most "grit", which means a man who gets the job done any way he can. They are joined by a lawman from Texas, who is also after Chaney for a separate murder.

Mattie's calm intelligence, fearlessness, and ability to argue or haggle to the point that the men she's dealing with treat her as an equal, is a joy. She is the catalyst for everything that happens, as it's clear that Chaney would be allowed to escape justice if not for her grit.

jul 23, 2022, 6:16 am

>73 mstrust: I really enjoyed Mattie's no-nonsense voice in this one - and I thought the new movie was quite well done as well (I haven't seen the older one, so can't weigh in there).

jul 23, 2022, 10:14 am

We have Prime, which offers the John Wayne version. I've never seen either version but wouldn't have minded if it had been the later version. We'll watch it tonight. Strange that Netflix has neither.

Redigerat: jul 26, 2022, 12:05 pm

The new Autumn Lives Here is up! Halloween shopping and an encounter with a creature.

Redigerat: jul 30, 2022, 9:49 am

The new Autumn Lives Here post is up. Cookies, death rituals and the story of The Candy Man.

Redigerat: aug 3, 2022, 11:09 am

The new "Autumn Lives Here" post is up! A look at horror host Zacherley and part 2 of the true crime story of "The Candy Man".

aug 3, 2022, 2:11 pm

30. Pericles, Prince of Tyre by William Shakespeare. Pericles, called Prince and King interchangeably, goes to win the hand of a princess and finds that the king is unwilling to let his daughter go because they are in an incestuous relationship. He plays a game with each courting prince, asking them a riddle that ends in the young man's death. Pericles catches on pretty quickly and escapes across the waters, but the king sends a man to follow and kill Pericles to keep him from exposing the king's secret.
Pericles goes on to survive shipwrecks and lost love. His daughter experiences kidnapping and slavery. Yet, because this has a happy ending, it may be included as a comedy.
Scholars generally agree that Shakespeare probably wrote exactly half of this play.

Redigerat: aug 8, 2022, 11:13 am

Volume 10 of Autumn Lives Here is up! Sweet Autumn viewing and your haunted stuff, along with a blatant demand.

Redigerat: aug 9, 2022, 12:30 pm

31. Floors by Patrick Carman. Ten year-old Leo mostly lives the life of an overworked adult. He and his widowed father live in the basement of the Whippet Hotel in Manhattan, an amazingly quirky nine floor structure built by eccentric Merganzer Whippet, who has been missing for several months now. Whippet was a fun boss who was obsessed with ducks, but since he's been gone the hotel has been run by Ms. Sparks, a horrible woman who screams and threatens the employees constantly. She especially hates Leo and his dad, who are the maintenance crew. They're working day and night fixing the plumbing and a/c, and minding the hotel's flock of ducks, because everything has been breaking lately. Leo and the new doorman, also a young boy, find that the hotel holds a deep mystery that has to be solved in order to save it.
A fun story reminiscent of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library.

Wow, I've had this one on the shelf for 7 years!

aug 12, 2022, 10:50 am

The new Autumn Lives Here is up! A cringy 70's Halloween special, Alfred Hitchcock books and a chocolate cherry cocktail.

Redigerat: aug 15, 2022, 11:53 am

32. Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches by John Hodgman. A memoir of the travels and temporary homes of Hodgman and his wife, and then as a family with three kids.
While I had expected laughs, the stories were more pleasant, easy reads with probably the most amusing section when he was giving a speech at an old Southern college and witnessed a strange dynamic among the people who invited him, or his reason for hating fudge. But sprinkled throughout were these weird apologies for his ethnicity and references to his privilege and guilt, and relaying with pride how he chewed out a wealthy woman who was nice to him because he didn't approve of her parenting, and really, because he believed she had too much. He spent a chapter near the end discussing social justice, and it seemed like this was the book he'd really wanted to write but because he made his name in humor, he had to sneak the messaging in. I know I didn't expect that from a book with this title.

aug 15, 2022, 4:33 pm

>83 mstrust: He has three kids now? I remember when he had just two, whom he referred to in The Areas of My Expertise as Hodgmina and Hodgmanillo.

aug 15, 2022, 7:34 pm

Hmmm, I googled and you're right, two kids listed. I must have thought he added a third from the references to a baby later on.

aug 16, 2022, 11:47 am

The new Autumn Lives Here is up! Halloween gardening and lots of candy:

aug 16, 2022, 6:21 pm

>85 mstrust: Awww I was looking forward to a third nickname based on his surname :) I'll have to add this one to the to-read list.

aug 17, 2022, 12:22 pm

Hope you like it!

Redigerat: aug 20, 2022, 11:34 am

The new Autumn Lives Here is up! Overlooked Halloween viewing, Night Vale and more candy, right this way-

Redigerat: aug 24, 2022, 11:15 am

Yep, here's the latest Autumn Lives Here! Halloween coffees and a new short story. Come and get it!

Redigerat: aug 28, 2022, 8:02 pm

Autumn Lives Here is new! Maple books, pumpkin bars and a true lottery tragedy.

Redigerat: sep 6, 2022, 11:20 am

33. We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix. In her late 40's, Kris finds herself a shell of her former self. She used to be a rockstar, now she works the desk at a chain hotel. She has so many regrets, a lot of it centered around "contract night", over twenty years ago, when Durt Work's singer, Terry, pushed to make himself the star, but Kris caused the end of both the band and their friendships.
Suddenly overcome with a desire to see her old bandmate Scottie, Kris shows up unannounced and walks into an ongoing situation, that Scottie has locked himself in the basement and unloads a barrage of craziness on Kris. It falls on her shoulders to save the world from the Blind King, but she can't do it alone and she doesn't know who to trust.

Redigerat: sep 10, 2022, 11:36 am

The new Autumn Lives Here is up! The season is here! Scary short stories, seasonal viewing and the history of Mars chocolate bars.

Redigerat: sep 12, 2022, 1:27 pm

34. Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go by Dale E. Basye. Eleven year-old Milton and his older Goth sister, Marlo, are killed by a falling decoration at the mall. Next thing they know, they're in Heck, a hellish place for bad children that is run by Bea "Elsa" Bubb, the Principal of Darkness. Marlo was indeed a bad kid, she loved shoplifting and being a problem, but Milton was a good kid who shouldn't be in Heck. To make things worse, the bully who led to Milton and Marlo's death is also in Heck, and he's so mean that he's quickly promoted to being in charge. Milton and Marlo are determined to get out of Heck, and to take another good kid, big Virgil, with them.
A really funny and original story, and I believe it became a series. I'll mention that the way from Heck to freedom involves crawling through the sewage pipes of the underworld, and it's graphic and gross, but the age group this is aimed at is 9-12 years of age, of which I am not. I still enjoyed it.

I've had this since February.

sep 12, 2022, 4:40 pm

>94 mstrust: That actually sounds quite fun!

sep 12, 2022, 5:02 pm

It is! Creatures and attitude abound!

sep 16, 2022, 11:23 am

Hi Jennifer. Waving at you.

sep 17, 2022, 10:33 am

Waving back!

sep 18, 2022, 12:58 pm

35. The Mansion in the Mist by John Bellairs. Thirteen year-old Anthony has one friend, the old librarian, Mrs. Eells. When she tells Anthony of her vacation plans, he begs to go too, so they meet up with Mrs. Eells brother, Emerson, at an island rental.
One stormy night, Anthony finds an old chest in an unused room and climbs in, as teens do, to find himself on the grounds of a spooky mansion. He enters and finds a meeting of sinister black-robed people who are discussing the destruction of Earth.
This has some real tension, and Bellairs books are always good.

Redigerat: sep 22, 2022, 9:57 am

36. Goosebumps Most Wanted: The Haunter by R.L. Stine. Sammy and some classmates are assigned a project, to either prove or disprove haunted houses. To accomplish that, the group decides to spend Halloween night trying to get proof at the local abandoned house that everyone says is haunted. The other kids think this is a good idea, but Sammy has earned himself the reputation for being chicken to the point that even his parents encourage him to go and see that nothing will happen. But the kids do experience a sinister presence and Sammy gets the worst of it.
This is the most intense Goosebumps I've read. Published in 2016, this has a more up-to-date feel. The kids are trying to mimic the ghost hunter shows and have expensive ghost equipment, but more than that in terms of updates is the acknowledgement of a boy who isn't brave. The only thing that seemed outdated was that Sammy is being constantly bullied and assaulted by a bigger boy, both in front of classmates and even in front of a teacher, who only tells the bully that his behavior is terrible, then goes back to teaching.
But this book is scarier than the usual Goosebumps.

Redigerat: sep 27, 2022, 3:25 pm

37. The Smashed Man of Dread End by J.W. Ocker. When thirteen year-old Noe's family finds an amazing deal on a house on a cul-de-sac, they grabbed it and move in weeks later. Noe and her little sister are fine with the move until Noe notices a group of girls standing in the street watching the new family move in. One girl gives Noe an ominous warning to stay out of the basement at night, but Noe isn't one to take warnings, and she discovers a monster that slips out of the basement cracks at night. Turns out that he isn't just in her basement, the Smashed Man can climb out of the cracks of any of the homes on the dead end that have kids.

Good scares, and the least helpful mentor possible in the form of grumpy Fern, an older woman who is tasked with observing the Smashed Man but not interested in protecting the kids he's after.

Redigerat: sep 30, 2022, 2:20 pm

The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft. The story of the outcast Whateley family, which suddenly gains a new member when somehow the grossest Whateley, Lavinia, has a baby boy. Wilbur grows at four times the speed of a normal baby, growing huge, learning to read and write and study the dark arts. He quickly becomes a huge, devious and threatening man who stalks the libraries of universities trying to get his hands on restricted ancient materials.
Creepy, tense, weird, and with a team of hero librarians!

okt 4, 2022, 5:48 am

Hi Jennifer. You have read some scary sounding books! I'm not very keen on horror books. I read them just to meet a challenge on my RL-bookclub.

okt 4, 2022, 11:13 am

My Autumns are filled with spooky stuff!

Redigerat: okt 6, 2022, 4:33 pm

38. The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs and the Perverse Pleasure of Obituaries by Marilyn Johnson. Former editor of Esquire and Life staffer, Johnson pursues the people behind one of her interests, reading newspaper obits. She meets with several of the most followed obit writers in NYC and London, and attends an obit writers convention in New Mexico. She studies the various styles of obit by newspapers big and small, and looks at what sets the great obit apart from the standard. She discusses the obits of the famous and great obits written about the non-famous, and talks to writers who took on the post-9/11 obits.
Published in 2006, this is a study of a particular type of writing, and it involves more travel and humor than you'd likely expect. One of those books that sent me googling people mentioned.

Redigerat: okt 18, 2022, 10:29 am

39. A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley. The subtitle on my book says "The curious story of how crime was turned into art", while LT's subtitle is "The story of a national obsession". Either fits, as this is historian Worsley's study of infamous British murders that caught the public attention, making both victim and murderer famous.
Worsley discusses famous cases such as the Red Barn Murder and the Madeleine Smith poisoning, and the formation of the Metropolitan Police and rise of crime detectives such as Mr. Wicher. And she discusses how death or murder became a form of entertainment, whether it was the real public executions or detective novels.

Redigerat: nov 6, 2022, 9:02 am

40. The October Country by Ray Bradbury.
A collection of horror and fantasy published in 1955. There are several in this collection that were used in the tv series Ray Bradbury Theater, including "The Crowd", about a man who survives a car accident but notices that a crowd appears within seconds of car accidents all over the city. "The Man Upstairs" is surprising because of the fearless little boy who hates his grandmother's new lodger the minute he sees the man. I think "The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Mantisse" has a contemporary feel. An incredibly boring man becomes the ironic obsession of a group of hipsters who seek out the mundane. They observe him like he's an exhibit, listen to him prattle on about boring subjects, and he finds himself popular for the first time in his life. But he's aware when the novelty of his dullness wears thin and works at finding ways to keep them interested in him.

This has been on my Kindle for so long that I forgot it was there. And I'm doing fine goal-wise, as this was my 40th ROOT out of 79 reads overall, with my goal being 50%.

Redigerat: nov 20, 2022, 3:34 pm

41. End of Watch by Stephen King. The last in the Bill Hodges trilogy, this sees Bill and Holly running a sort of detective agency as partners, which has opened up Holly's world considerably. Jerome is in Arizona for a while, and Bill has stopped going to the hospital to see if he can prove that Brady Hartsfield, aka Mr Mercedes, is faking his brain damage. But Bill was right. Brady's doctor, Babineau, has been giving Brady illegal, experimental drugs that have woken something in him, along with the outdated gaming tablet Library Al dropped off just on the off chance Brady would like looking at the cartoon fish. He does, because the hypnotic fish allow him to reach out to strangers.
A page-turner that involves crime, murder, telekinesis, and Bill's adopted family. Nearly 500 pages long, but it wraps up the whole story.

Redigerat: nov 22, 2022, 10:13 am

The latest Autumn Lives Here is up, and it's got the easiest strudel recipe ever, toxic flowers, and a new creepy bookshop.

Redigerat: dec 5, 2022, 10:34 am

42. The Killer Across the Table by John E. Douglas.
Douglas is the original FBI profiler and the author of Mind Hunter, along with several other books about the work he and his early colleagues did in creating profiles on the worst criminals in America. In this book, he discusses many murders, some that involve children, where he was able to conduct extensive interviews with the killers. Much of the book is about how he studied the murderers beforehand, and what techniques he used or advised parole boards to use in order to get the murderer talking, and often giving unintentionally honest answers.

Redigerat: dec 6, 2022, 10:29 am

A new Autumn Lives Here is up, with holiday horrors and piranhas!

Redigerat: dec 18, 2022, 4:24 pm

43. The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg.
The story of a Jewish Chicago family that crumbles under such dysfunction over the decades that it can't hold together anymore.
The matriarch, Edie, is by far the more dominant personality in her marriage, and has been able to push people into what she wants since she was a small child. Her husband, Richard, was an outgoing young husband who became a civic leader for some years, but the younger generations stopped shopping at his outdated pharmacy. Edie was a successful lawyer who gained a significant amount of weight and frightened everyone with her sudden anger, and her daughter and granddaughter are copies of her.
After 40 years of marriage, Richard finally left Edie, knowing for years that they would both be happier apart. He's right, but that doesn't stop the friends and family from taking sides and blaming Richard for the family falling apart.
Going between humor and despair, I always looked forward to picking this up again.

This sat on my Kindle for most of the year. I think it may be my last completed read of 2022. It was 43 out of 84 total books this year. I was shooting for 50% ROOTs, so I made it!

dec 22, 2022, 6:35 am

Hi Jennifer. I want to wish you and yours all the best for 2023 and Happy Holidays.

I hope to see you in 2023.

dec 22, 2022, 1:01 pm

Thank you, Connie, and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

dec 22, 2022, 1:01 pm

dec 28, 2022, 12:29 pm

Any word on when 2023 is going up?

jan 1, 2023, 11:02 am