DeltaQueen Tries for Balance & Focus in 2023 - Part 5

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DeltaQueen Tries for Balance & Focus in 2023 - Part 5

Redigerat: sep 15, 11:33 pm

The bigger they are the better the balance!

Hello, my name is Judy and I have been participating in the Category Challenge since 2009. I live in a suburb of Vancouver, B.C. with my husband of 44 years. Our two daughters are married and, lucky for us, living not too far away. We have two grandchildren, a boy and a girl, who are pretty much grown up but we see them often. Grandson is a real outdoors guy and loves to fish, hunt and go camping. Granddaughter is in her second year of college and is working toward a teacher’s certificate which will take her four years, I believe. She is crazy for horses and rides every week. She is currently supplementing her income by working part-time at a local coffee shop. We live a quiet life and reading is a favorite occupation for both of us.

I have decided that this year will be a year of seeking balance and focus in my reading life. I have less categories than I usually have and will plan everything on a monthly basis. I have chosen monthly themes and will try to read at least 2 books that will fit each theme. We have an interesting mix of Cats and Kits this year but I am planning on participating only when I have a book that fits. As always I will be reading a certain number of books from the 1,001 Books To Read Before You Die list and participating the Reading Through Time Challenges, keeping track on a monthly basis. Another way of obtaining balance is to read both high and low from my own shelves – I have 20 shelves that are packed with books so I plan to read at least two books from separate shelves every month. Along with that I also have over 1,300 books loaded onto my various Kindles and Audio Apps and so will try to include a couple of them monthly as well. I also have a very long library list that I need to keep chipping away at.

The focus part of my challenge this year involves series. I am trying to focus on my on-going series so instead of starting new series, I will read from the ones I am already working on. Of course, I will also be participating in the BingoDog which I hope to complete with books that I have already chosen to read. As I do love a good reading challenge, I also have developed one of 30 prompts from other various challenges and one that is a monthly challenge for one book. Of course I will be continuing to participate in the monthly TIOLI Challenges.

As we are about to enter into the last quarter of the year, I can say that my challenge is working. My shelves are showing empty spaces as I mostly replace my books with e-books. I have made a few dents in my series but this will be an on-going project. As always, I am enjoying good books and good conversation here on Library Thing!

Has anyone else noticed what I noticed when I was pasting these elephant pictures to my thread - it's the same elephant in both pictures! Who knows what the animal was really balancing on but it's won my admiration just by balancing it's bulk on it's own front legs.

Redigerat: sep 15, 4:47 pm

Challenge Format:

I intend to list my reading by the month, but I will list my planning process at the beginning of each month. There may be some over-lapping but even if a book fits in a variety of places, it will only count once in my monthly book count.

1. Monthly Planning

I will chose a theme for the month and read one or two books that will fit


January: Winter Weather
February: Matters of the Heart
March: Short Stories
April: Historical Fiction
May: Hispanic Heritage
June: An English Summer Garden
July: Celebrating Canadian Authors
August: Travel, Adventure, Survival
September: Back to School
October: Things that Go Bump in the Night
November: War
December: Christmas Stories/Mysteries

Cats & Kits

I will list which Cat/Kit I am participating in, along with the book that I
will be reading

1,001 Reads

Will chose one or more books to read from the 1,001 Books to Read
Before You Die List

Reading Thru Time

Historical Fiction that will fit the monthly theme as set by the members
of the Reading Through Time Group

High & Low Shelves

Books chosen from my shelves

Kindle & Audio

Also chosen from my stock


One of two series books per month

Library Books

At least one or two from the list each month


Just in case I read a book that doesn’t fit elsewhere

Redigerat: sep 15, 4:48 pm


Books Read

Pages Read

Redigerat: nov 6, 9:29 pm

2023 Reading Challenge - COMPLETED

1. Connection to Ireland: Matt's Haunting
2. Set during a war: The Heroic Garrison
3. Read a non-fiction book: No Beast So Fierce
4. Published the year you joined Library Thing (2008): A Daughter's Secret
5. A body part is in the title: A Serpent's Tooth
6. A post-apocalyptic story: Siege
7. A book related word is in the title: Guadalcanal Diary
8. The book features a road trip: A Thousand Miles
9. The word “Lost” in in the title: The Lost World
10. A new-to-you author: One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow
11. The word “All” is in the title: All the Light We Cannot See
12. An item is named in the title: A Catalog of Birds
13. A short book of 250 pages or less: Enter a Murderer
14. Location is in title: Jellicoe Road
15. Science Fiction or Fantasy Written by a Woman: Scout's Progress
16. A Direction word is in the title: Star of the North
17. The title contains 5 – 7 words: The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson
18. A pronoun is in the title: You Are Dead
19. A Sword, dagger or shield in pictured on the cover: Sharp Ends
20. “Love” is in the title: The Man Who Loved Lions
21. Read a Graphic Novel: The Customer is Always Wrong
22. Finish a long-reading series: Circle of Flight
23. Title contains a month: February's Son
24. Story is set in space: The Last Colony
25. One of the 5 W’s – who, what, where, when and why – is in the
title: Where Angels Fear to Tread
26. The word “Secret” is in the title: The Secrets We Left Behind
27. Title contains a quiet word – quiet, whisper, silence, hush, etc – These Silent Woods
28. “ING” is found in title words: Last Seen Wearing
29. A memory word in title – memory, remember, recall, past, when: A Memory of Violets
30. Set in a Mediterranean country: The Scent of the Night

Redigerat: nov 5, 4:14 pm

2023 Interconnected Monthly Reading Challenge

1. January: A Book That Starts with “A” or “The”: The Heroic Garrison by V. A. Stuart

2. February: The cover or spine of the book compliments the January book cover: Splendid by Julia Quinn - Navy Blue Spine compliments The Heroic Garrison by V. A. Stuart - Dark Red Spine

3. March: The Title Starts with the next letter in the alphabet from your February book: "T" - The Taking of Jemima Boone by Matthew Pearl - historical fiction

4. April: A different genre from your March book: Death At the Opera by Gladys Mitchell - Mystery - 191 pages

5. May: The book is longer than the book in April: The Glass-Sided Ants' Nest by Peter Dickinson - 212 pages - 21 letters

6. June: The title has half as many letters as your May book: The Cartel by Don Winslow - set in Mexico

7. July: Set in a different country or part of the world from your June book - Crime Machine by Giles Blunt - set in Canada

8. August: The same genre as the July book: Crime Machine - July and Shoot to Thrill by P. J. Tracy are both crime novels.

9. September: Turn to page 50 of the August book and your September book must have one of the words on this page in it’s title - Postscript to Poison by Dorothy Bowers

10. October: The book’s title starts with the first letter of the author’s name from your September book - Devil's Wake by Steven Barnes (letter = D) Set in the future

11. November: Set in a different time period from your October book - Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis - set in 1942

12. December: Book has to be within 20 pages of the book you read in November.

Redigerat: sep 15, 4:56 pm



1. A Catalog of Birds by Laura Harrington - 4.2 ★
2. The Heroic Garrison by V. A. Stuart - 3.8 ★
3. After the Snow by S. D. Crockett - 2.5 ★
4. Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard - 4.3 ★
5. When the Music's Over by Peter Robinson - 4.5 ★
6. The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell - 4.1 ★
7. Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby - 4.5 ★
8. A Daughter's Secret by Anne Bennett - 3.7 ★
9. The Taster by V. S. Alexander - 3.7 ★
10. Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim - 4.0 ★
11. Chess Story by Stefan Zweig - 4.0 ★
12. The Silent Land by Graham Joyce - 4.5 ★
13. Deadly Friends by Stuart Pawson - 4.0 ★
14. The Princess Bride by William Goldman - 4.5 ★
15. The Midwife of Venice by Rpberta Rich - 3.8 ★
16. Bats in the Belfry by E. C. R. Lorac - 3.6 ★
17. The Scent of the Night by Andrea Camilleri - 4.0 ★


18. The Hunger by Alma Katsu - 4.0 ★
19. Splendid by Julia Quinn - 3.8 ★
20. Vathek by William Beckford - 3.4 ★
21. The Girl from World's End by Leah Fleming - 3.6 ★
22. Black Seconds by Karin Fossum - 4.0 ★
23. The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson by Nancy Peacock - 5.0 ★
24. Scout's Progress by Sharon Lee - 4.3 ★
25. The Awakening by Kate Chopin - 3.3 ★
26. A Thousand Miles by Bridget Morrissey - 2.0 ★
27. The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones - 2.5 ★
28. The Bells At Old Bailey by Dorothy Bowers - 3.5 ★
29. No Beast So Fierce by Dane Hucklebridge - 3.8 ★
30. Eden by Tony Monchinski - 3.8 ★
31. Sydney Bridge, Upside Down by David Ballantyne - 4.0 ★
32. Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh - 3.8 ★
33. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - 4.3 ★
34. A Darker Domain by Val McDermid - 4.1 ★

Redigerat: sep 15, 4:57 pm

2023 Books Read (con't)


35. Circle of Flight by John Marsden - 3.8 ★
36. The Customer is Always Wrong by Mimi Pond - 4.2 ★
37. Life on the Mississippi by Rinker Buck - 4.0 ★
38. Mothers Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell - 4.2 ★
39. Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff - 3.4 ★
40. The Taking of Jemima Boone by Matthew Pearl - 3.8 ★
41. The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave - 4.2 ★
42. Godiva by Nicole Galland - 4.3 ★
43. Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie - 4.2 ★
44. Star of the North by Anna Jacobs - 3.6 ★
45. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster - 2.7 ★
46. Enter A Murderer by Ngaio Marsh - 3.7 ★
47. Round Mountain by Castle Freeman Jr. - 4.5 ★
48. Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie - 3.8 ★
49. The Secrets We Left Behind by Soraya M. Lane - 4.0 ★
50. American By Day by Derek B. Miller - 4.2 ★
51. Hard Ride by Elmer Kelton - 4.0 ★


52. One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker - 4.0 ★
53. Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce - 4.2 ★
54. Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan - 5.0 ★
55. Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton - 4.2 ★
56. False Colours by Georgette Heyer - 4.0 ★
57. Now We Are Dead by Stuart MacBride - 4.2 ★
58. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - 5.0 ★
59. Last Seen Wearing by Hilary Waugh - 4.5 ★
60. Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart - 4.0 ★
61. Death At the Opera by Gladys Mitchell - 4.0 ★
62. The Maid by Nita Prose - 4.0 ★
63. The Sands of the Kalahari by William Mulvihill - 4.1 ★
64. Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley - 2.0 ★
65. The Low Bird by David L. Robbins - 3.7 ★
66. In A Dark House by Deborah Crombie - 4.5 ★

Redigerat: sep 15, 4:58 pm

2023 Books Read (con't)

67. The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn - 4.2 ★
68. Blue Horses by Mary Oliver - 4.0 ★
69. Darkest Unsolved Mysteries by Edward Collins - 2.5 ★
70. Daughters of the Storm by Elizabeth Buchan - 4.1 ★
71. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins - 5.0 ★
72. Anthem by Deborah Wiles - 4.2 ★
73. Siege by Rhiannon Frater - 3.7 ★
74. The Glass-Sided Ants' Nest by Peter Dickinson - 2.6 ★
75. Don't Send Flowers by Martin Solares - 3.8 ★
76. A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor - 3.6 ★
77. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco - 3.3 ★
78. The Snow Walker by Farley Mowat - 4.0 ★
79. Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski - 3.5 ★
80. City of Spies by Mara Timon - 4.0 ★
81. Some By Fire by Stuart Pawson - 4.0 ★
82. I Know An Old Lady by Margaret Standafer - 3.7 ★
83. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros - 4.3 ★
84. Grizzlies, Gales and Giant Salmon by Pat Ardley - 3.7 ★
85. Sky On Fire by Emmy Laybourne - 3.8 ★
86. The Bone Garden by Kate Ellis - 4.0 ★


87. Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin - 4.2 ★
88. Sugar Candy Cottage by Elizabeth Cadell - 4.0 ★
89. A Serpent's Tooth by Craig Johnson - 4.0 ★
90. The Cartel by Don Winslow - 4.3 ★
91. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald - 3.4 ★
92. Under a Siena Sun by T. A. Williams - 3.8 ★
93. A Litter of Bones by JD Kirk - 3.8 ★
94. The Man Who Loved Lions by Ethel Lina White - 3.3 ★
95. Soul Catcher by Michael C. White - 4.5 ★
96. Storm in the Village by Miss Read - 4.2 ★
97. Trustee From the Toolroom by Nevil Shute - 4.1 ★
98. The Summons by Peter Lovesey - 4.2 ★
99. Wall by Tom Abrahams - 3.0 ★
100. There's Trouble Brewing by Nicholas Blake - 4.0 ★
101. The Rainbow and the Rose by Nevile Shute - 2.5 ★
102. The Great Trek by Zane Grey - 3.8 ★
103. Bramton Wick by Elizabeth Fair - 4.0 ★
104. Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne - 3.7 ★
105. Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger - 3.8 ★
106. Fair Stood the Wind For France by H. E. Bates - 4.2 ★
107. The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake - 4.0 ★

Redigerat: sep 15, 4:59 pm

2023 Books Read (con't)


108. Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland - 4.0 ★
109. Savage Country by Robert Olmstead - 4.0 ★
110. February's Son by Alan Parks - 4.0 ★
111. Arundel by Kenneth Roberts - 4.5 ★
112. Starlight by Richard Wagamese - 5.0 ★
113. Mary Wakefield by Mazo de la Roche - 3.8 ★
114. Ocean State by Stewart O'Nan - 4.0 ★
115. Crime Machine by Giles Blunt - 4.0 ★
116. The Snow Gypsy by Lyndsay Jayne Ashford - 3.2 ★
117. The Radleys by Matt Haig - 3.8 ★
118. The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields - 4.5 ★
119. The Last Colony by John Scalzi - 4.2 ★
120. Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem - 4.0 ★
121. Death Stalks A Lady by Shelley Smith - 3.3 ★
122. Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter - 3.3 ★
123. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn - 4.1 ★
124. You Are Dead by Peter James - 4.2 ★


125. Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn - 4.0 ★
126. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean - 3.7 ★
127. The Fall of the Governor, Part 1 by Robert Kirkman - 3.4 ★
128. Gabriel's Story by David Anthony Durham - 4.5 ★
129. Of Wee Sweetie Mice and Men by Colin Bateman - 4.0 ★
130. Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik - 3.6 ★
131. Sisters of Reckoning by Charlotte Nicole Davis - 4.0 ★
132. The Complete Steel by Catherine Aird - 3.5 ★
133. The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan - 5.0 ★
134. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter - Japanese Folk Tale - 3.5 ★
135. Haywire by Justin R. Macumber - 4.0 ★
136. The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - 3.6 ★
137. The Hike by Susi Holliday - 2.0 ★
138. Shoot to Thrill by P. J. Tracy - 3.5 ★
139. The Labyrinth Makers by Anthony Price - 4.0 ★
140. Return to the Lost World by Greig Beck - 3.7 ★
141. The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn - 3.7 ★
142. Deathwatch by Robb White - 4.2 ★

Redigerat: okt 28, 10:03 pm

2023 Books Read (con't)


143. World Departed by Sarah Lyons Fleming - 4.5 ★
144. Down Among the Dead Men by Geradine Evans - 3.0 ★
145. Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden - 4.5 ★
146. Windhall by Ava Barry - 2.0 ★
147. Death At The President's Lodging by Michael Innes - 4.0 ★
148. The Guide by Peter Heller - 3.7 ★
149. Chaka by Thomas Mofolo - 3.7 ★
150. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt - 4.0 ★
151. Matt's Haunting by Rebecca Patrick-Howard - 3.0 ★
152. Fair Land, Fair Land by A. B. Guthrie - 4.3 ★
153. Postscript to Poison by Dorothy Bowers - 3.8 ★
154. These Silent Woods by Kimmi Cunningham Grant - 4.3 ★
155. Dear Teacher by Jack Sheffield - 4.0 ★
156. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou - 4.0 ★
157. Days Without End by Sebastian Barry - 4.5 ★
158. Pearls Before Swine by Margery Allingham - 3.6 ★
159. Copper River by William Kent Krueger - 4.5 ★


160. Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz - 3.6 ★
161. The Whisper on the Night Wind by Adam Shoats - 4.2 ★
162. Josephine Baker's Last Dance by Sherry Jones - 4.2 ★
163. Roseanna by Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo - 4.0 ★
164. An Obedient Father by Akhil Sharma - 3.7 ★
165. The Good People by Hannah Kent - 4.2 ★
166. Devil's Wake by Steven Barnes - 3.4 ★
167. The Naked Nuns by Colin Watson - 3.8 ★
168. The Suicide Motor Club by Christopher Buehlman - 4.0 ★
169. Exit Lines by Reginald Hill - 3.8 ★
170. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - 4.0 ★
171. Outback by Patricia Wolf - 4.0 ★
172. The English Air by D. E. Stevenson - 4.2 ★
173. The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill - 4.0 ★
174. Darkness, Darkness by John Harvey - 4.2 ★
175. The Bus On Thursday by Shirley Barrett - 4.0 ★
176. Eden Rising by Andrew Cunningham - 4.0 ★
177. Eden Lost by Andrew Cunningham - 4.0 ★
178. Haunted Nights edited by Ellen Datlow & Lisa Morton - 4.0 ★
179. Eden's Legacy by Andrew Cunningham - 4.0 ★

Redigerat: nov 15, 9:35 am

2023 Books Read (con't)


180. Ghosts of Bungo Suido by P. T. Deutermann - 4.0 ★
181. Gap Creek by Robert Morgan - 5.0 ★
182. The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis - 3.4 ★
183. Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis - 4.0 ★
184. Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen - 4.3 ★
185. Pop Goes the Weasel by M.J. Arlidge - 4.0 ★
186. Keep the Home Fires Burning by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles - 4.3 ★
187. Pillars of Light by Jane Johnson - 4.1 ★
188. Hamlet, Revenge! by Michael Innes - 3.3 ★

Redigerat: okt 28, 10:06 pm

Monthly Reading Plans

September 2023 Reading Plans

Monthly Theme Books – Back to School – school setting

✖ Goodbye Mr. Chips by James Hilton - will not get to
✔ Death at the President’s Lodging by Michael Innes
✔ Dear Teacher by Jack Sheffield

Monthly Cats/Kits

AlphaKit: V – Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt E – Down Among the Dead Men by Geraldine Evans
: ClassicCat: SKIP
GeoCat: Africa – Chaka by Thomas Mofolo
: KiddyCat: SKIP
MysteryKit: College/University Setting – Death at the President’s Lodging by Michael Innes
RandomKit: The Wild, Wild West – Fair Land, Fair Land by A. B. Guthrie Jr.
ScaredyKit: Haunted House – Matt’s Haunting by Rebecca Patrick-Howard
SeriesCat: Vintage Series – Death at the President’s Lodging by Michael Innes,
Pearls Before Swine (12) by Margery Allingham, Postscript to Poison (1) by Dorothy Bowers

1,001 Books
✔ I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
✔ Chaka by Thomas Mofolo

Reading Through Time – School Days, Days
✔ Dear Teacher by Jack Sheffield

High & Low Shelves
✔ The Guide by Peter Heller
✔ Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
✔ Pearls Before Swine by Margery Allingham
✔ Fair Land, Fair Land by A. B. Guthrie Jr.

Kindle & Audio Books

✔ Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
✔ Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
✔ Postscript to Poison by Dorothy Bowers
✔ Windhall by Ava Barry
Matt's Haunting by Rebecca Patrick-Howard


✔ Copper River (6) by William Kent Krueger
✔ World Departed (1) by Sarah Lyons Fleming
✔ Down Among the Dead Men (2) by Geraldine Evans

✔ These Silent Woods by Kimmi Cunningham


✖ One Bright Summer Morning by James Hadley Chase - will not get to this month

October 2023 Reading Plans

Monthly Theme Books - Dark and Disturbing

✔ Devil’s Wake by Steven Barnes
✔ The Bus on Thursday by Shirley Barrett
✔ The Suicide Motor Club by Chris Buehlman
✔ Haunted Nights by Ellen Datlow

Monthly Cats/Kits

AlphaKit: N – The Naked Nuns by Colin Watson H – Exit Lines by Reginald Hill
ClassicCat: By a Woman – The English Air by D. E. Stevenson
GeoCat: Canada and the United States – The Whisper of the Night Wind by Adam Shoalts
KiddyKat: Siblings – Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz
MysteryKit: SKIP
RandomKit: Treats – Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones
ScaredyKit: Tricks – The Suicide Motor Club by Chris Buehlman
SeriesCat: Asian Setting – The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill
SFFFKit: Award Winners – Fahrenheit 451

1,001 Books List

✔ An Obedient Father by Akhil Sharma

Reading Through Time – Traditions

✔ The Good People by Hannah Kent

High & Low Shelves

✔ Exit Lines by Reginald Hill
✔ The Merry Misogynist (6) by Colin Cotterill

Kindle & Audio Books

✔ The Naked Nuns by Colin Watson
✔ The English Air by D. E. Stevenson
✔ Outback by Patricia Wolf (KU)
✔ Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz
✔ Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Brabury


✔ Roseanna (1) by Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo
✔ Darkness, Darkness (12) by John Harvey


✔ The Whisper on the Night Air by Adam Shoalts
✔ Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones


✔ Eden Rising (1) by Andrew Cunningham
✔ Eden Lost (2) by Andrew Cunningham
✔ Eden's Legacy (3) by Andrew Cunningham

Redigerat: nov 15, 9:37 am

Monthly Reading Plans

November 2023 Reading Plans

Monthly Theme: War and the Homefront

✔ Keep the Home Fires Burning by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
✔ The Ghosts of Bungo Suido (2) by P. T. Deutermann
✔ Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis

November Cats/Kits

AlphaKit: T - Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis, L - The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
: ClassicCat: Skip
: GeoCat: East Asia (Korea) - The Red Palace by June Hur
: KiddyKat: Retellings, FairyTales, Myths & Legends – Sunlight and Shadow by Cameron Dokey, Red Hood’s Revenge by Jim C. Hines,
: MysteryKit: Senior Sleuths – The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
RandomKit: Let there be light – Pillars of Light by Jane Johnson
: ScaredyKit: Skip
SeriesCat: Historical – Keep the Home Fires Burning by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
: SFFFKit: Graphic Novels, Novellas – Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

1,001 Books List
: The Green Hat by Michael Arlen

Reading Through Time – Indigenous Author
: Killing Custer by James Welch

High & Low Shelves
✔ Gap Creek by Robert Morgan
: Final Cut by Lin Anderson
✔ Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

Kindle & Audio Books
: White Mischief by James Fox
: Sunlight & Shadow by Cameron Dokey
: Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey
: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
✔ Hamlet, Revenge by Michael Innes (KU)
: The Red Palace by June Hur


✔ Pop Goes the Weasel (2) by M. K. Arlidge
: Red Hood’s Revenge (3) by Jim C. Hines

✔ Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
✔ Pillars of Light by Jane Johnson


Redigerat: nov 3, 2:37 pm

2023 Hosting Duties

✔ January: RandomKit
✔ March: Reading Thru Time – Notorious Women
✔ April: ClassicCat – Classic Mystery/Detective Novels
✔ May: ScaredyKit – Surviving the Horror
✔ June: MysteryKit – Vintage Mysteries
✔ July: SFFFKit: Series
✔ August: Series Cat: I’ve Been Meaning to Get Back to This Series
✔ October: GeoCat – Canada and the United States
✔ November: KiddyCat – Fairy Tales, Myths & Legends
✔ December: Reading Through Time - Reader's Choice

Redigerat: sep 15, 5:04 pm

sep 15, 5:05 pm

Well, other than forgetting to put a new number on this thread, I am now open for business. I guess I will just repeat Thread #4.

sep 15, 7:12 pm

Happy new thread, Judy!

sep 15, 9:22 pm

>16 DeltaQueen50: As group admin, I can change the title so that it says Thread 5 :)

sep 15, 9:42 pm

I'll echo >17 RidgewayGirl:! Happy new thread!

sep 15, 9:51 pm

Happy new thread

sep 15, 11:31 pm

>17 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay - it hard to believe that we are soon to be entering the final quarter of the year!

>18 rabbitprincess: I sent you a PM Rabbitprincess, I would love it if you could change the title to #5.

>19 LibraryCin: & >20 lowelibrary: Thanks, Cindy and April.

sep 16, 5:53 am

Happy New Thread! Can't believe we're already at the last quarter of the year.

sep 16, 8:57 am

sep 16, 9:16 am

Happy new thread, Judy!

sep 16, 10:41 am

Happy new thread, Judy. The elephant is great!

sep 16, 11:02 am

Happy new thread, Judy!

sep 16, 11:33 am

Happy new thread, Judy. It's great that you are making room on your shelves -- for more books, right?

sep 16, 11:47 am

Happy New Thread!

sep 16, 12:30 pm

Happy new thread! And well done for spotting the same elephant!

sep 16, 12:45 pm

Happy new thread! You are so organized!

sep 16, 2:41 pm

Happy New Thread! Still enjoying keeping up with you and being welcome.

sep 16, 2:58 pm

>22 dudes22: Thanks, Betty. I can't believe how quickly the year has gone. I guess it's time to start thinking about how I want to set up next year's challenge.

>23 rabbitprincess: A huge thank you, RP!

>24 katiekrug: >25 MissWatson: >26 mstrust: Thank you Katie, Birgit & Jennifer. I am struggling a little with my reading right now so I am hopeful that having a new thread to fill will inspire me!

sep 16, 3:04 pm

>27 BLBera: I am trying to control my book buying urges, Beth, but not doing a very good job of it. I don't get out to the bookstores much anymore but my finger gets plenty of exercise pushing those Kindle buttons!

>28 Storeetllr: Thanks, Mary.

>29 Jackie_K: I got a little chuckle out of the same elephant being used - what did we every do before "copy and paste"?

>30 Tess_W: I am a compulsive list maker and paper pusher. I think that's why I love the Category Challenge - there is always something that I can make a list for!

>31 LadyoftheLodge: Thanks Cheryl. As I get older I am finding my world shrinking so having this computer really gives me the escape that I need.

sep 16, 7:39 pm

Happy new thread, Judy! You are a great planner thinking about next year already.

sep 16, 8:00 pm

>34 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I am looking forward to making all the lists and planning my categories!

sep 17, 5:11 pm

151. Matt's Haunting by Rebecca Patrick-Howard - 3. ★
Category: Kindle & Audio Books
September ScaredyKit: Haunted Houses
2023 Reading Challenge: A Connection to Ireland
September TIOLI #2: Headline Character Count

When Matt’s parents purchase a dilapidated cottage on the remote Irish island of Inis Dubh he finds himself roped into going there and overseeing the renovations. His best friend and the love of his life, Taryn joins him and soon they discover that this island is full of ghosts and secrets. The cottage seems to be a key place in the haunting and Matt and Taryn believe this is all connected to a missing woman from a number of years ago. Then a second young woman disappears and they find themselves hunting not only ghosts but a serial killer as well. Without knowing who the killer is, the reader soon leans that he has his eye on Taryn.

Matt’s Haunting by Rebecca Patrick-Howard is a spooky haunted house story with a paranormal mystery attached and I was intrigued from the start. Unfortunately the author spends far too much time sorting through Matt’s and Taryn’s relationship which caused the book to be overlong and took away from the more interesting aspect of the book, the haunting and the killings.

Matt’s Haunting needed both a better editor and proof-reader. The story needed come cutting and shaping and the many spelling mistakes and wrong words needed correcting. I liked the parts of the book that dealt with the ghosts but overall I think this is a book that I should have set aside.

Redigerat: nov 3, 2:52 pm

152. Fair Land, Fair Land by A. B. Guthrie - 4.3 ★
Category: High & Low Shelves
September RandomCat: The Wild West
September TIOLI #6: Title Fit the Posted Picture

Fair Land, Fair Land by A. B. Guthrie is the third book in the series that he wrote about the American West. He started with The Big Sky, a story about mountain men, then moved on to The Way West detailing how pioneers followed the Oregon Trail settling and developing the region. This third book he called a finishing touch as he wanted closure for the characters of the first two books.

In Fair Land, Fair Land we once again meet Dick Summers, originally a mountain man who became a guide on the Oregon Trail. Now as he looks around, he can see and feel the end of his free way of life. More and more white people are settling, building farms and towns and changing the land. He and his friend Higgins decide to strike out and live a free life while they can. Along the way he meets and takes as his companion, Teal Eye, a young Blackfoot woman who he knew in the past. The book is leading us to his confrontation with Boone Caudill, a previous partner who owes Dick Summer an explanation for his behaviour that ended with the death of a good friend to both men.

This was my first read of Fair Land, Fair Land although I have long been a fan of A. B. Guthrie and have read most of his other books more than once. The author was well known in Montana as a conservationist and was strongly in favor of wolves being returned to Yellowstone Park. In this book he shows some of this by having Dick Summers becoming aware and pondering upon the end of the buffalo, the treatment of the Indians, and the eventual spoiling of the land by over development. This was a historically accurate portrayal but is also a moving and engrossing story.

sep 18, 11:30 am

>36 DeltaQueen50: Thanks for taking the hit on this one so I don’t have to.

sep 18, 1:23 pm

>38 Storeetllr: LOL! You are welcome, Mary. :)

sep 19, 1:43 am

Happy new thread, Judy. Can't believe we're on the final stretch. I love looking through your lists of books and usually get hit with a BB or three.

>32 DeltaQueen50: I was wondering who would be the first to mention next year's planning! I might have guessed. :)

sep 19, 11:08 am

>33 DeltaQueen50: I really dislike Amazon's reworking of their Kindle Rewards program. I used to earn free downloads, but now the points expire.
And have you watched "Daryl Dixon"?

sep 19, 3:35 pm

>41 mstrust: Welcome, Vivienne. Yes, I am already thinking about next year - I love the planning!

>42 DeltaQueen50: I have watched the first episode of Daryl Dixon and have the second one ready to go - maybe later on today. I like the French setting but other than that I don't see anything new - as usual the really bad guys are other humans and zombie slaying seems to be almost an afterthought. I will watch the series as I am a Daryl fan.

sep 19, 3:39 pm

I have been experiencing some A-Fib episodes and I spent last night in the hospital. They gave me an electric shock and that bounced my heart rate from 160 down to 85 or so. I was sent home this morning with instructions to call my doctor(s) and see if they think my medicine needs adjustment. I am just so happy that I got to come home so quickly as I hate being the hospital!

sep 19, 3:54 pm

Wow, sorry you had a scary night! I'm glad you're home.

sep 19, 4:01 pm

>43 DeltaQueen50: Glad you are home and hope this gets sorted.

sep 19, 6:52 pm

>43 DeltaQueen50: Glad you're home again, Judy. Here's hoping it doesn't happen again.

sep 19, 7:24 pm

Sorry to hear you're having heart troubles again. Hope you're feeling better soon.

sep 19, 7:33 pm

>44 mstrust: & >45 Tess_W: & >46 RidgewayGirl: It was a long night, for sure. I can't sleep in those skimpy beds that they have in Emergency, I spent most of the night in a very uncomfortable chair. I have called my heart doctor and he's scheduled some tests for me and then a follow up appointment to go over my meds. in case something needs adjusting. A-Fib is difficult as your body can go in and out of it so easily. Those electric shocks are no fun, my chest is covered in tiny blisters from the burn.

Redigerat: sep 19, 8:57 pm

>48 DeltaQueen50: I would agree, Judy, A-Fib is so very fickle. It acts up unexpectedly! I don't have A-Fib, I have it's "cousin", SVT (Superventricular Tachycardia), which is in the upper chamber of the heart and not as serious. I have to take an aspirin and the smallest dosage of a beta blocker possible (propranolol) . In 10 years I have had only one time my heart was beating so fast that I was having difficulty breathing. I called the Dr. and by the time he called back it was gone! He told me that people with SVT are also susceptible to A-Fib. He told me that if I wanted to slow my heartrate to: hold my breath and strain, dunk my face in ice water, or cough. Here's to no more surprises, Judy!

sep 19, 10:34 pm

>49 Tess_W: I have my fingers crossed that everything stays regular as I have heard that eventually the heart muscle toughens up and the electric shocks don't work anymore either. Here's to no more surprises for you either!

sep 19, 10:46 pm

153. Postscript to Poison by Dorothy Bowers - 3.8 ★
Category: Kindle and Audio Books
September Interconnected Reading Challenge: A title word appears on page 50 of previous month's book
September Series Cat: Vintage Series
September TIOLI #2: Headline Character Count

Originally published in 1938, Postscript to Poison by Dorothy Bowers is this English author’s first book. In it she introduces Inspector Dan Pardoe whom she wrote about three more times. This story is about the investigation into the death of Cornelia Lackland who, while recovering from a lingering illness is poisoned. The suspects are limited to immediate family, servants, and the few people who visited the house around the time of her death.

Inspector Pardoe interviews all the suspects and as other elements come to light, the case becomes far more complicated than he had originally thought. With Cornelia’s cruel treatment of others, her constant changing of her will, anonymous letters floating about and long lost relatives turning up, the author keeps her readers guessing as to who the murderer could be. When another murder takes place, it seems to muddy the waters somewhat, but Inspector Pardoe persists and eventually reveals all.

I enjoyed this first novel and hopefully will read more by this author. Unfortunately there isn’t a large catalogue to choose from as the author died from tuberculosis when she was 46.

sep 20, 12:47 am

Judy, I'm so sorry to hear you are having more heart problems. I hope you can find a quick treatment that you can apply if it happens again.

It happened to my husband recently and the hospital monitor just went wild. They thought it wasn't working so disconnected him and tried again, same thing. Meds brought it down to 166 and then things got better. It was very scary. He collapsed at home and his head hit the bottom bookshelf which practically scalped him. I drove him to emergency with towels wrapped round his head to soak up the copious blood.

Take care of yourself. I hope you are feeling well again soon.

>51 DeltaQueen50: This is one of the books I'm considering for October. Good to get your opinion.

sep 20, 7:20 am

Hi Judy, I hope things settle down for you soon. A-fib has been a topic of discussion in the family lately, my mother was diagnosed with it last year, and was promptly put on medication. We're not certain if her heart rate went wild because she was in a highly agitated state from a UTI or if she had it all along. Last week when I took her for an ultrasound she was very unsteady on her feet, where I thought she was going to fall, it turned out that she hadn't taken her medication. It was scary.

sep 20, 12:43 pm

>52 VivienneR: That episode with your husband sounds scary, Vivienne. It's frustrating that I have to wait to see any of my doctors as I don't want to have to go back to the hospital if I can help it.

>53 lsh63: A-Fib seems to be quite common amongst us 'oldies'. My favorite sister-in-law also has it, and I hear of more and more cases all the time. Hopefully the medication will keep your Mom from going into it.

sep 20, 3:02 pm

Sorry to see that you had to spend the night in the hospital, Judy. I know they keep you there to monitor you but being that uncomfortable can't do a body much good. It's good that it was only one night. I hope your heart has settled down now.

sep 21, 12:32 am

sep 21, 7:36 am

Sweet Thursday, Judy. Happy New Thread. How are all your various challenges going? I have not participated much, in the past few weeks but I am getting books read off shelf and that is the main thing. Have a good weekend.

sep 21, 12:08 pm

>57 msf59: Hi Mark, I am enjoying my reading although I seem to have slowed down considerably. I doubt that I will get to all the books that I had planned to read in September but I will keep working at it. Good on you for continuing to read the books from your shelf, it does give one a feeling of satisfaction to see those shelves shrinking doesn't it.

sep 21, 8:17 pm

154. These Silent Woods by Kimmi Cunningham Grant - 4.3 ★
Category: Library
2023 Reading Challenge: A "Quiet" word is in the title
September TIOLI #6: Title fits the posted picture

These Silent Woods by Kimmi Cunningham Grant is the story of a secretive army vet who, upon the death of his girlfriend, almost loses custody of their baby daughter. He takes the baby and disappears into the Appalachian wilderness, living in a cabin owned by an army buddy of his. He fears that he is being sought and that his girlfriend’s parents will never give up the search. Then one day, he and his daughter see a stranger in the woods near their land and he fears that this could be the end of their safety.

I was completely pulled into this story, the author is also an award winning poet and this shows in her vivid and evocative writing. The relationship between the father and daughter pulls on the heart-strings and helps to make this book memorable. In fact, all the characters in the book are well developed and help to flesh out the riveting story.

These Silent Woods is a multilayered story, delivering both family relationships and suspense. There is a quiet thread of tension that runs throughout the story and makes the reader aware that the outside world could intrude at any moment. The author’s lyrical prose highlights her observations on nature and wildlife but there are a few plot holes and unbelievable twists that left me with some unanswered questions.

sep 23, 2:56 pm

>42 DeltaQueen50: I am also looking forward to planning and getting ready for next year. I like discussing the categories.

I hope you are feeling better soon and the A-fib gets addressed. My husband also has it and you are right about the intermittent episodes. The shock treatment did not work for him either after awhile.

sep 23, 4:37 pm

>60 LadyoftheLodge: Hi Cheryl. I am currently having good days and bad days so I am really looking forward to 2024 planning to give me something positive to think about. I know that another trip to the hospital and another shock treatment is looming and I am not looking forward to that. It doesn't help that I can't get in to see either of my doctors until late October. So does medication keep your husband's A-fib in check?

Redigerat: sep 23, 4:45 pm

155. Dear Teacher by Jack Sheffield - 4.0 ★
Monthly Theme: Back to School
September Reading Through Time: School Days
September TIOLI #2: Headline Character Count

Dear Teacher is the third book in author Jack Sheffield’s series of observations about his years as a head master at a small primary school in North Yorkshire. This book covers the school year of 1979 – 1980. Margaret Thatcher has come into power and the feeling in the staff room so far is quite mixed. This is the year that JR of the top television show Dallas got shot and Abba are the top hit-makers. Although Jack is seeing Laura Henderson, his thoughts and heart are yearning for her sister, Beth.

Other characters are experiencing life in different ways from newly wed bliss or a surprise pregnancy, to a marriage that needs some attention. The tone of the book is warm, safe and comforting much like life in the British village of Ragley-on-the-Forest. Filled with stories about the eccentric villagers or amusing tales about what the children said or wrote along with references to popular culture of the times, Dear Teacher is a nostalgic look back and a comfort read for someone who well remembers those times.

sep 23, 10:24 pm

Hello Judy and Happy New Thread. And so very, very sorry to hear about your recent hospitalization. I see the ads for medications to control A-fib and now I know several people (via this thread) who are affected by it.

I am so glad you are doing better, even with the extra doctor's visit looming, and thank you as always for your great book reviews. And themes. And holy cow, we are looking at 2024, aren't we?

sep 24, 10:28 pm

>63 threadnsong: Thanks Threadnsong. I hadn't heard much about A-Fib before I was diagnosed but since then I have met quite a few people who have it.

sep 24, 10:37 pm

156. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou - 4.0 ★
Category: 1,001 Books List
September TIOLI #1: Tagged "Racism"

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the 1969 autobiography of her early years by American author-poet Maya Angelou. This is a powerful coming of age story that covers her life from age three to eighteen, ending with the birth of her son. The author details some of her struggles with both racism and misogyny and she explains how the love of literature, her strength of character and her eventual acceptance and embracing of black culture allowed her to move forward and feel empowered.

Most of her growing years were spent in the small segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas under the care of her paternal grandmother who implanted a strict moral code. She and her brother are taught to avoid contact with white people and stick to their own kind but nevertheless there were some racist incidents. When she and her brother were sent to live with their mother in St. Louis, eight year old Maya is raped by her mother’s boyfriend, another trauma for her to overcome.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is considered a classic of African-American writing as her story shines a light not just on her race and gender but many other aspects as well. She wasn’t afraid of showing that at times she was confused, uncertain and naive which in turn, allowed me to see her as a real person and become invested in her childhood journey.

sep 25, 10:07 pm

157. Days Without End by Sebastian Barry - 4.5 ★
Category: Kindle & Audio Books
September TIOLI #10: About a war that took place before I was born

While Days Without End by Sebastian Barry is not a classic western, it illuminates a particularly violent time in American history as seen through the eyes of young Irish immigrant, Thomas McNulty.
Opening in the late 1850s, we meet Thomas and his best friend John Cole. With not a lot of options open to poor orphan boys like themselves, the two boys spend some time as dancing partners for miners but when they grow and mature into young men and no longer appeal as females, they join the army. At first they are sent out West to participate in the Indian Wars and as their closeness develops into love, they are soon to be involved in the brutality of the American Civil War.

The author has created two memorable characters, anti-heroes in many ways, cross dresser Thomas and his beloved partner John even adopt a young Indian girl to complete their small family. The times are difficult and the book is packed with violence but the writing is poetic, raw and gripping as the story unfolds. Much like Cormac McCarthy’s writing, the combination of lyrical prose and bloody actions work together to make the story come alive on the pages.

I suspect that Days Without End is a book that one either loves or hates and I come down firmly on the side of love. The plot can seem a little unreal at times, but the author delivers his story in such an interesting way that I found Days Without End to be a very satisfactory read.

sep 25, 10:48 pm

I'm very sorry to hear about the hospitalization and hope that your doctor is able to get things sorted out for you. Do take care of yourself!

>62 DeltaQueen50: I've not read any of Jack Sheffield's books, but your description and the cover image make the series sound very appealing.

sep 26, 12:07 pm

>67 mathgirl40: Thanks, Pauline. I just wish I could get in to see my doctor sooner than late October. The Jack Sheffield series of books are a light-hearted looked at the late 1970s and early 1980s. Set in Yorkshire and full of quirky characters, they are a light and fun read especially enjoyable between more serious books.

Redigerat: sep 26, 5:21 pm

158. Pearls Before Swine by Margery Allingham - 3.6 ★
Category: High & Low Shelves
September Series Cat: Vintage Series
September TIOLI #2: Headline Character Count

Pearls Before Swine by Margery Allingham is the 12th book in the Albert Campion series and was first published in 1945.. Albert Campion has been on the continent involved in undercover war work and now has returned to England for some well deserved leave. He is therefore flabbergasted when he steps from his bath only to find the corpse of a woman on his bed. Apparently Lugg and the dowager Marchioness of Carados, not knowing that he was home, thought this was a good place to stash the body that she found in her about-ti-be-married son’s bed.

Thus kicks off this 12th mystery and we find Campion, who only wants to enjoy his leave, caught up in a twisty, complex mystery that will see him chloroformed, kidnapped, involved in a hunt for art thieves and encounter more near murders before he assists the police in finding the true culprit behind all these nasty deeds. Although there were too many characters to keep track of, Pearls Before Swine gives the reader an interesting look at war-time London.

As this series advances we find Campion changing. Originally when introduced he was a 20 something bright young thing, now he is a war-weary 40 year old who yearns for the company of his loved ones amid peace and quiet. Still sharp and well able to out-think most people, especially the criminals, he has the ability to see beneath people’s outer veneer. Although he doesn’t relish the hunt he does truly seem to want to help people. Pearls Before Swine was a little too complex to make for an easy read but it definitely adds to the overall series.

sep 27, 11:34 am

I keep meaning to read more Allingham, Judy. I love her Campion books.

Sorry to hear that A-fib is still bothering you. I hope your meds keep it under control. I know people who have had it, and they say it is very uncomfortable.

sep 27, 1:30 pm

>70 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. I am enjoying working my way through the Campion series.

Redigerat: sep 28, 1:54 pm

>69 DeltaQueen50: I think I have done a wonderful job of obtaining most or all of the books in the Campion series without reading any of them except for the first book. I think sometimes I think they might be as you indicated, too complex for my poor little brain. I still want to get to them one day. I think I'm going to be a rebel and read them out of order.

sep 27, 3:57 pm

>72 lsh63: I think I have done a wonderful job of obtaining most or all of the books in the Campion series without reading any of them except for the first book.

I haven't read any of these books by Margery Allingham, but I can very much relate to the sentiment in this sentence about books in general!

sep 28, 1:17 pm

>72 lsh63: I think this series will definitely stand up to being read out of order. Campion is an interesting character to read about as he is neither a policeman nor a private detective. He is a high society problem solver and his connections are usually all he needs to gain entrance to just about anywhere. I think you will enjoy the books when you get to them.

>73 Jackie_K: Yes, I have managed to fill my shelves with a few series that I have yet to begin. Someday ... I keep telling myself!

sep 28, 2:08 pm

My Top Books of the 3rd Quarter of 2023

: Starlight by Richard Wagamese
: The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
: Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
: World Departed by Sarah Lyons Fleming
: The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

Redigerat: sep 28, 2:17 pm

>75 DeltaQueen50: I have added all of them to my vastly growing TBR. Thanks!

Of course, there is NO CHANCE I can read them all, so I must filter them in some way.

sep 28, 6:24 pm

>61 DeltaQueen50: My hubby just saw the cardiologist yesterday. The medications keep him stable, although he still has the a-fib. He does not have symptoms of racing heart or shortness of breath or dizziness. He got a good report from the cardiologist.

sep 28, 6:37 pm

>76 JoeB1934: I hope you enjoy the ones you do read, Joe. However, I should warn you that World Departed by Sarah Lyons Fleming is a Zombie apocalypse story. I love her story-telling and I love stories with zombies but I know that many people prefer not to read "zombie" books. :)

>77 LadyoftheLodge: Good news that the medication is working for him, I am hoping that my doctors can come up with some kind of combination that will work for me.

sep 28, 8:01 pm

>78 DeltaQueen50: Thanks for the tip. I definitely won't read that one. I have so many others to read!

sep 29, 1:29 pm

159. Copper River by William Kent Krueger - 4.5 ★
Category: Series
September TIOLI #9: A Place Name in Title

Copper River by William Kent Krueger is the 6th book in his excellent Cork O’Connor series. This book picks up right after the preceding one as a contract for his life has been put out and in order to keep his family safe, he leaves and goes into hiding. He knows this is temporary as the man who blames him for the death of his sons will soon find out the truth.

Before Cork gets away completely though he is attacked and wounded. He makes his way to the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan where he has a cousin, Jewell. She is a widow with a son called Ren, and she agrees to look after him. He doesn’t realize that he has run into even more danger here as there is an on-going conspiracy that includes multiple kidnappings, rape and murder. Keeping Ren and his friends safe becomes Cork’s number one priority.

I can’t gush enough about this book, or indeed, this series. The writing is absorbing and suspenseful, the characters well developed and interesting and the author’s sense of place gives us a strong feeling for the north woods that stand alongside the shores of Lake Superior. Copper River was a wonderful read and I am looking for more from this creative and versatile author.

sep 29, 7:11 pm

>80 DeltaQueen50: - I'm still a couple behind this one so I skipped your review but saw the "can't gush enough" and realize I need to get going and catch up.

sep 29, 10:25 pm

>81 dudes22: I love this series! And, of course his stand-alone books as well.

sep 30, 5:36 am

>82 DeltaQueen50: - I'm anxiously waiting for my hold on his newest stand-alone from the library.

Redigerat: sep 30, 7:58 am

Happy Saturday, Judy. I also loved Days Without End and I also really enjoyed Old God's Time. I want to read more of his earlier work.

>75 DeltaQueen50: Good list!

sep 30, 4:04 pm

>80 DeltaQueen50: Thanks to that excellent review you sent me on a search for William Kent Krueger books.

okt 1, 12:39 pm

>84 msf59: Hi Mark, I hope you are having a great weekend. I suspect that I may have taken the BB for Days Without End from you. He is an impressive writer and I am looking forward to reading more from him.

>85 VivienneR: Vivienne, the Cork O'Connor series is very good and seems to be getting better the further I get into it. His stand-alone books such as Ordinary Grace and This Tender Land are among some of my best reads of the last few years. He is well worth looking into.

Redigerat: okt 1, 12:52 pm

160. Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz - 3.6 ★
Category: Kindle & Audio Books
October KiddyKat: Siblings
October TIOLI #1: Title Letters are Divisible by Five

Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz is the sequel to his YA thriller The Rains. We continue to follow the Rain Brothers as they fight against an alien invasion that has overtaken the world. They are not just up against the insect like aliens, most people over the age of eighteen have been turned into mindless zombies controlled by the space creatures. Now a new species of beings has been developed and hatched, and these creatures are extremely strong and ferocious.

Chance and Patrick find out that not only are they immune to the spores that turn humans into zombie like creatures, they have also been genetically engineered to be the humans best chance at defeating these creatures and taking back Earth. Of course their saving of Earth depends on their staying alive long enough to complete their mission. The brothers, along with their girlfriend Alex, fight to stay alive although the clock is ticking down as Alex is approaching her eighteenth birthday. The action is non-stop and intense as this daring trio fight to save humanity.

Last Chance is aimed at the YA market and as such there were some aspects that I felt were not needed, but the author provides a good combination of horror, action, teen romance, humor and gross-out ick that I am sure would appeal to the younger set. Fast-paced, exciting but entirely predictable.

okt 1, 4:28 pm

>85 VivienneR: - re: >86 DeltaQueen50: - What she said!

okt 1, 8:32 pm

>86 DeltaQueen50: Thanks for the added information. The library doesn't have all his books but I'll find enough to keep me happy.

>88 dudes22: Another fan!

okt 2, 5:39 pm

161. The Whisper on the Night Wind by Adam Shoalts - 4.2 ★
Category: Library
October GeoCat: Canada and the United States

The Whisper on the Night Wind by Adam Shoalts takes the reader on an amazing journey to the wilds of Labrador as he and his companion, Zach, investigate a series of encounters that occurred over a century ago. The small settlement of Taverspine, which today has mostly disappeared, experienced visitations from a creature that no one could identify. There were nameless sounds, unknown tracks, and sightings of a strange creature. Children reported being stalked and sled dogs disappeared. The people who lived in Taverspine were experienced trappers, they were sure that the creature wasn’t a bear and in fact, they eventually felt that that had been the victims of a windigo or a demon.

Shoalts is a skilled woodsman and naturalist with a lot of experience travelling in the Canadian wilderness. He and a friend decided to go to this area of Labrador and see if they could find answers. What follows is a wonderful book that describes the woodlands, rivers and mountains of a land that has not had a lot of attention from man. There is a haunted darkness to these isolated forests and the two travelers had to be careful not to spook themselves. They did come up with a working solution that could explain the Taverspine monster, but were unable to prove it and after they were home and checked their night vision camera, they were left with more questions than answers.

The Whisper on the Night Wind was an excellent read that combined folklore, history, natural science, and adventure into one fascinating story.

okt 2, 5:51 pm

>90 DeltaQueen50: That sounds like a really interesting book, Judy.

okt 3, 1:53 pm

>91 NinieB: It was interesting and perfect for this time of year - a little spooky but not over the top. He's an interesting guy, I've read another of his books about travelling across the Northern part of Canada that was really good as well.

okt 4, 11:58 pm

162. Josephine Baker's Last Dance by Sherry Jones - 4.2 ★
Category: Library
October RandomKit: A Treat
October TIOLI #5: A Word in the Title Refers to Non-Written Art

Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones is a biographical novel about American Josephine Baker, who, because of her race, had to go to France in the 1920s to be declared the entertaining star that she was. She lived life on the edge whether she was struggling as a poor black child in St. Louis or achieving fame by dancing partially nude on the stage of the Folies Bergere. But there was more to this woman than what was shown on stage, she was equally at home in the uniform of the French Air Force, or working with the French Resistance during World War II, for which she was awarded the Resistance Medal and the Croix de Guerre. She also spent time as a Civil Rights Activist and was the only woman invited to speak at the 1963 March on Washington. Unfortunately she was never able to attain popularity in the United States and her star turn in the 1936 Ziegfeld Follies was not commercially successful.

The author brings this vibrant personality to life on these pages. As Josephine Baker conquers Paris in the Jazz Age we read of her transformation and her interactions with some of the greatest artists of the day among them, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Cole Porter and George Gershwin. Her romantic life was very bumpy but she never gave up her search for love and acceptance. The words “too young, too dark, too ugly” haunted her and her celebrity status at times was much more important to her than being faithful in a relationship. Josephine’s rise to stardom took place in France but meanwhile the Nazi party and Hitler were rising in Germany and soon cast their shadow over all of Europe.

I thoroughly enjoyed Josephine Baker’s Last Dance not only for learning about this intriguing personality, but also for the author’s wonderful writing and creative research which brought the setting and the times vividly to life.

okt 5, 6:24 am

>93 DeltaQueen50: - I picked this up at the end of last year when I was shopping for Christmas gifts. I've been trying to get to it this year, but I think it might be next year before I do. Looks like it will be an interesting book.

okt 5, 12:10 pm

>94 dudes22: I enjoyed it Betty. She had a difficult childhood and then an amazing life which made for a very good read.

Redigerat: okt 6, 1:30 pm

163. Roseanna by Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo - 4.0 ★
Category: Series
October TIOLI #3: Author Died on or after February 29, 2020

Roseanna by husband and wife team Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo is the first book in their Martin Beck series of police procedurals. This book was originally published in 1965 yet I found it stands up to today's’ standards very well. These two authors are credited with laying the groundwork for modern Swedish crime fiction.

As Martin Beck hunts for the killer of an American tourist, whose nude body was dredged from a busy waterway, we learn of the value of teamwork. The police inquiry becomes global as they discover that she was most probably thrown from a passenger cruise ship. Through interviews and examination of holiday photographs they are able to piece together how the victim spent her time on the cruiser and, they are able to identify a possible suspect who spent time with her. Martin Beck becomes convinced of this suspects guilt but surveillance doesn’t help so they set a trap.

This is the first book in the series so the characters are introduced and the reader is given a few pointers about their basic personalities. The police work isn’t glamorized but shows the hours of routine, repetition and legwork that is involved. There isn’t anything larger than life or especially heroic about Martin Beck, he comes across as a solid detective whose health and home life aren’t the best. I enjoyed this book and am interested in seeing how the series develops.

okt 5, 3:28 pm

>96 DeltaQueen50: I have enjoyed very much the TV series that covers many of the books in the Beck series. They are all exactly as you portrayed them here.

okt 6, 9:59 pm

>97 JoeB1934: I shall have to keep my eyes open for them. :)

okt 6, 10:06 pm

164. An Obedient Father by Akhil Sharma - 3.7 ★
Category: 1,001 Books List
October TIOLI #4: One of the Title Words Begins with an O, N or D

An Obedient Father by Akhil Sharma is a story set in India during the time of the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rayiv Gandhi in 1991, it is centered upon the life of a corrupt civil servant who we soon realize is a loathsome creature who, having molested his own daughter many years ago is now looking at his twelve year old granddaughter. This is a man who is so self-centered that he doesn’t think about anything other than what he wants. I seriously considered abandoning this book, but it was very well written and the parts that were about his extorting money and collecting bribes drew me in, also I read with the hope that his daughter’s rage and hatred would be unleashed upon him.

The story is full of misery, but the author paints a vivid picture of daily life in poverty-stricken Delhi and the main character, loathsome as he is, does show some depth and intelligence. An Obedient Father was a difficult read due to the subject matter but like driving past a car accident, it was almost impossible to look away. Although written in a light conversational tone, this is a book that is raw and uncompromising as it tells the story of a man’s inner conflict and base desires. The political corruption that it exposes seems quite tame in contrast.

okt 9, 9:12 pm

165. The Good People by Hannah Kent - 4.2 ★
Category: Reading Thru Time
October Reading Thru Time: Traditions
October TIOLI #7: Adding or Removing a Letter Creates a New Title

Although The Good People by Hannah Kent is a fictional novel, the author did take inspiration from an actual event that occurred in 1826. This story, set in County Kerry illustrates how folkloric beliefs and superstitions were a strong presence among the rural people. Their traditions of curses, talk of fairies and changelings, herbal remedies and rituals to ward off evil and mischief were thriving and most rural areas had a woman who was wise in the way of herbs and treatments as well as having a strong knowledge of the fairies or “good people” are they were often called.

As a series of unexplained events occur, from deaths of locals and still births, to hens laying less eggs and cow giving less milk, people started to point fingers and apply blame. Some accused Nance, the local wise woman while others were convinced that a young child, the grandson of a local widow, was a changeling and was the cause of all the disruptions. When her husband dropped dead, Nora was devastated and started to look at her crippled grandson in a different way. She was convinced that he was a changeling and needed to go back to the fairies in order for her true grandson to be returned. She took the child to Nance, who came up with a plan that went terribly wrong.

Dark and claustrophobic, The Good People gives us characters that are trapped by ritual and gossip. The author had a great feel for her subject matter and her textured writing brings this rural, backward place to life.

okt 11, 12:10 am

166. Devil's Wake by Steven Barnes - 3.4 ★
Monthly Theme: Dark & Disturbing
October Interconnected Reading Challenge: Title of October's book starts with the first letter of the previous month's author's name
October TIOLI #2: Title Contains the Word "Devil"

Devil’s Wake by Steven Barnes is a zombie apocalypse story that follows all the usual routes. A strange disease affects people and turns them into flesh eating monsters. The main characters are a group of young people who travel by rickety bus through Washington State, Oregon and into California. I didn’t realize that this was the first book in a series so was rather disappointed with the abrupt ending. Although there was plenty of action and it was a quick, fun read, I don’t think I will be continuing on with this series as it really had nothing new to offer.

okt 12, 1:26 am

>93 DeltaQueen50: Interesting review of Josephine Baker's Last Dance, Judy. I'm waiting for that one from the library but, in the meantime, I came across Agent Josephine: American Beauty, French Hero, British Spy about how she spent the war years. It just left me wanting to know more about what led up to that time.

I hope that your Thanksgiving was a good one.

okt 12, 8:30 am

I think I have The Good People on my Kindle, Judy. I should check - it sounds very good.

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

Redigerat: okt 12, 8:43 am

Sweet Thursday, Judy. I do not remember much about it, but I rated The Good People 4 stars, so I must have enjoyed it. We could do a shared read of The Bee Sting early next year, if you are up for it?

I also hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

okt 12, 12:13 pm

I haven't said much about my Thanksgiving as it wasn't the best day. I cooked a turkey dinner on Sunday and my younger daughter and husband come over. But unfortunately on the Monday, I had to take my husband into our local hospital's Emergency. After a number of hours they decided to transfer him to a bigger hospital. Without going into too many details, we think he had an infection in his bladder or kidneys. He is still in the hospital but is feeling much better and there is talk of transferring him back to Delta Hospital, and hopefully I will have him home with me by the weekend.

>102 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. Josephine Baker led a very interesting life and, of course, that made for an interesting book.

>103 katiekrug: Hi Katie. I had The Good People on my shelf for years! I am glad that I finally got to it as it was well written and a very interesting story. One word of warning however, it is quite a dark and somewhat depressing story so being in the right mood for it is important.

>104 msf59: Mark, I would be happy to read The Bee Sting with you next year either as a joint or a group read. I am looking forward to next month and reading Gap Creek with you.

okt 12, 12:40 pm

>105 DeltaQueen50: Wishing your husband a speedy recovery, Judy!

okt 12, 1:38 pm

Hi Judy, I'm sorrry about your husband's hospital stay, I hope he recovers quickly and comes home soon!

okt 12, 1:51 pm

Here's hoping that your husband is home this weekend, Judy!

okt 12, 1:54 pm

>106 christina_reads: Thanks, Christina.

>107 lsh63: Thanks, Lisa.

okt 12, 2:53 pm

With the AF and the infection you and your husband are having a really bad run. Wishing the pair of you a long interval of uneventful good health.

okt 12, 3:49 pm

>105 DeltaQueen50: Wishing your husband an uneventful recovery. Here's to a fall and winter free of health woes!

okt 12, 3:57 pm

Best wishes to both of you, I'm echoing the wishes above for uneventful health for the foreseeable.

okt 12, 4:40 pm

You've had a tough time of it lately, health-wise. Hope things get better soon for both of you.

okt 12, 5:14 pm

I am so sorry to hear of your husband's health problems. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

okt 12, 6:47 pm

>108 NinieB: Thanks, Ninie. My fingers are crossed, we just seem to be waiting now, he's been told that they are transferring him back here but nothings happened yet.

>110 pamelad: Getting old is no fun! I would love to have a stretch of good health for the two of us!

>111 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay. I am luck that I have two daughters that have been driving me to the hospital and back. My younger daughter is a nurse which come in handy as well, she understands the medical terms and is able to communicate with the nurses.

>112 Jackie_K: >113 dudes22: >114 LadyoftheLodge: Thanks, Jackie, Betty and Cheryl.

okt 12, 9:23 pm

>105 DeltaQueen50: Oh no! I'm sorry your Thanksgiving didn't turn out so well. Hope your husband is feeling better and can return home soon.

okt 12, 10:46 pm

>116 LibraryCin: I've just got home from the hospital and we are hoping that he will be released tomorrow. I am looking forward to having him home!

okt 12, 10:54 pm

167. The Naked Nuns by Colin Watson - 3.8 ★
Category: Kindle & Audio Books
October AlphaKit: N
October TIOLI #4: A Title Word Begins with an O, N, or D

Although The Naked Nuns by Colin Watson is a mystery, it is also a very humorous story. We follow a feud that exists between two Flaxborough, England, businessmen, Harry Crispin and Arnold Hatch as they play out revenge scenarios on each other. As the revenge gets more creative we can see that their jealousy of each other could easily be leading toward murder.

Before the end of the book, we have anonymous letters arriving that speak of naked nuns and a murder, the deliberate sinking of a pleasure cruiser boat, an American Mafia gangster coming to the small town, and some elaborate mayhem during a Medieval Banquet, and finally, the discovery of a body. All that’s left is for the police to put all the pieces together and arrest the murderer.

The Naked Nuns unfolds in a witty and funny manner. I didn’t mind that the murder didn’t happen until late in the book, I was enjoying the red herrings that the author set and being introduced to some strange and interesting characters. I have a feeling that I may have read this book many years ago as I knew pretty much from page one who the murderer was, nevertheless I found this book to be quite engaging and enjoyable.

okt 13, 5:04 am

All my best wishes for a speedy recovery for a husband and for a nice, quite, uneventful time!

okt 13, 7:42 am

I had forgot that you would be joining us on Gap Creek, Judy. That's great. Have a great weekend.

okt 13, 1:02 pm

168. The Suicide Motor Club by Christopher Buehlman - 4.0 ★
Monthly Theme: Dark and Disturbing
October ScaredyKit: Tricks
October TIOLI #11: Book is 300 plus pages

The Suicide Motor Club is a horror novel by Christopher Buehlman, who also is the narrator of the audio version that I listened to. The book opens with a nomadic group of vampires attacking a family on a New Mexican highway. While Judith, the wife survives, she watches in horror as her little boy is grabbed from their car and pulled into the vampire’s vehicle. She never sees her little boy again. Her husband dies in the subsequent car crash.

Vowing to destroy these evil creatures, Judith first becomes a nun and then becomes the hunter, stalking these evil beings across the highways of America and relying upon religion and goodness to overcome them. And believe me, these vampires need to be destroyed as they are brutal and sadistic, delighting in their evil ways.

It’s been awhile since I have read a novel that features vampires and I enjoyed this blood-fest. I was particularly pleased that a woman was the main character and the destroyer of monsters. A warning for the slightly squeamish, there is lots of violence and gore scattered throughout the book.

okt 13, 1:22 pm

So sorry to hear about your husband being in hospital, Judy. I hope he's well and home today as planned.

>118 DeltaQueen50: I'm taking a BB on The Naked Nuns. Sounds intriguing.

Redigerat: okt 15, 1:43 pm

>121 DeltaQueen50: Now that sounds like a proper vampire book. Taking a BB.

okt 14, 3:17 am

>122 VivienneR: Thanks Vivienne, unfortunately, he is still in the hospital but I am hoping that tomorrow we get some better results and he can come home. The Naked Nuns was a fun read, I hope you enjoy it.

>123 lowelibrary: Yes, these vampires are true horror creatures which is the way I like my vampires.

okt 14, 3:28 am

169. Exit Lines by Reginald Hill - 3.8 ★
Category: High & Low Shelves
October AlphaKit: H
October TIOLI #10: Have read 3 or more of this author's books in the past but none in 2023

Exit Lines by Reginald Hill is part of the Dalziel and Pascoe series and as three old men die on a dark and stormy November night, we are left wondering how and why they met their fate. While one seems to have died during the course of a burglary, another died from a combination of a fall and exposure, and the third was a traffic accident, but at least one witness swears that a drunken Dalziel was the driver leaving the local reporters wondering if this is a police cover-up. Each elderly man left a dying statement that, instead of helping, actually made things even more confusing.

Although I am not this author's biggest fan, the plot here was interesting and complex. I found the author’s use of humour helped to keep the story on track. The issues of aging, death, and senility were used in a way that showed humanity and intelligence. Although Dalziel was mostly a background presence, Pascoe and others on the police team were able to bring the book to a satisfactory conclusion.

okt 14, 9:07 am

>125 DeltaQueen50: Thanks for the review! I pulled this book out when you said you were starting it, so I am glad that it seems to have been pretty good :)

okt 14, 2:31 pm

>126 rabbitprincess: Dalziel and Pascoe are not usually my cup of tea, but I thought that this one was quite well done. I hope you enjoy it!

okt 14, 5:26 pm

Echoing everyone's good wishes and hope for better months ahead.

>118 DeltaQueen50: Adding to my TBR for sure. I could use some humor in my reading now.

okt 14, 6:33 pm

>125 DeltaQueen50: Thanks for this BB as Reginald Hill is a longtime favorite and the issue of aging is high on my current thoughts.

okt 15, 8:39 am

>127 DeltaQueen50: I used to really like the series but then found the later books too long and the early books too sexist. So once I've read the last unread Hills on my shelves, I'll stop trying to finish the series.

okt 15, 4:19 pm

>128 beebeereads: I was finally able to pick up my husband at the hospital this morning but he has to go back in every day next week at 8:00 am for a treatment. Ugh!

>129 JoeB1934: I hope you enjoy Exit Lines, Joe.

>130 rabbitprincess: That pretty much describes my feelings about the series as well.

okt 15, 4:31 pm

170. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - 4.0 ★
Category: Kindle & Audio Books
October SFFFKit: Award Winners - 1954 Hugo Award
October TIOLI #1: Number of Title Letters are Divisible by 5

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is a cautionary tale that seems more relevant in the extreme politics of today that ever before. We already have intolerance and distrust of intellectuals, the banning of books that don’t fall in line with a certain way of thinking and the conviction of many that their traditional values should be applied to everyone.

The ritual of burning of books and fine art that is described in this book is meant to be disturbing and the author’s powerful prose gives Montag’s story the tension and darkness that is required. Fahrenheit 451 was like my own worst nightmare coming to life but Bradbury was wise enough to leave his readers a slight sense of hope as Montag finds and joins in with a small group of resisters at the end of the book.

In Bradbury’s own words, “I don’t want to be a Democrat or a Republican or a Communist or a Fascist, just an all-American. I want to be myself, find out what I think, then get it out in the open and then intellectualize about it.” So whether we are looking back at Senator Joseph McCarthy or on to today’s Donald Trump, we need to stand up to the brow-beating and scarifying, speak out on our own truths and listen to others.

okt 15, 6:49 pm

>132 DeltaQueen50: was this your first read? Ive read it several times since HS and every time it scares me more

okt 15, 9:31 pm

>133 cindydavid4: It was my first read, and it was scary as I could see how book burning could come about in todays' world. I need some light reading now to follow up on this.

okt 16, 12:52 am

Good to see that your husband is home, Judy, even if he needs to be at the hospital at 8:00 am everyday this coming week. They don't make it easy, do they?

Redigerat: okt 16, 3:35 am

>135 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. They sure don't make it easy but he needs to finish the course of liquid antibiotics that they have him on. So off to the hospital we will go!

ETA - At least this will give me even more reading time while I wait for him. :)

okt 16, 4:05 pm

>136 DeltaQueen50: Glad to see he is home with you again.

okt 16, 4:24 pm

Glad your husband’s home, Judy, even if he has to get daily treatments.

>132 DeltaQueen50: This one definitely qualifies as a horror story for Spooktober.

okt 17, 9:55 pm

>137 LadyoftheLodge: Thanks Cheryl, I am enjoying seeing him get stronger every day.

>138 Storeetllr: Hi Mary, The Suicide Motor Club was definitely a rather gruesome read, but yes, perfect for Spooktober!

okt 17, 10:06 pm

171. Outback by Patricia Wolf - 4.0 ★
Category: Kindle & Audio Books
October TIOLI #4: Title contains a word that starts with an O, N or D

Outback by Patricia Wolf is the first book in her DS Lucas Walker series. This book is set in the Australian outback as Lucas Walker comes home to visit with his dying grandmother. At the same time two young German backpackers pass through town and disappear in the bush. Lucas is asked to act as liaison between the families of the missing and the police. The older sister of one of the backpackers comes to Australia to aid in the search of her sister, and she and Lucas work together to try to solve the mystery.

I found this story quite engrossing and the author certainly made the harsh country of the Outback, with it’s isolation, severe heat, and dust a major part of the story. The writing was descriptive without being too long-winded and the characters felt real. Lucas and Barbara worked well together and as the serial killer angle is slowly revealed the tension rose and the pages turned much faster.

The story unfolds through multiple viewpoints, including that of the villain and this aspect also gave the book a sense of urgency as the reader could feel that time was running out for the victims. I didn’t love the ending however, as a number of threads were left hanging but I would say that it did it’s job as I have already picked up the next book in the series.

okt 17, 11:53 pm

>140 DeltaQueen50: That's a BB for me! Thanks Judy!

okt 18, 12:22 am

>141 VivienneR: I hope you enjoy Outback, Vivienne.

okt 19, 12:51 am

172. The English Air by D. E. Stevenson - 4.2 ★
Category: Kindle & Audio Books
October ClassicsCat: Woman Author
October TIOLI #7: Adding or Subtracting a letter gives you a new title

The English Air by D. E. Stevenson tells the story of Franz von Heiden, son of a Nazi official but with an English mother. He comes to England in 1938 to visit his English cousins, and to study them. He is not only accepted by the Braithwaite’s, but this stiff, formal young man also discovers that Hitler doesn’t have all the answers. He develops an admiration for the English people and realizes that freedom, respect for others and standing up for one’s beliefs are more important than blind obedience and following the unbreakable rules of the Nazi party.

He falls in love with Wynne Braithwaite and, she in turn loves him, but when he realizes that war is unavoidable, he leaves and returns to Germany. There he joins a freedom league and resists until it becomes too dangerous for him to remain. His friends help him return to England but needing to do his part he decides to go and fight the Nazi’s in Finland.

I really enjoyed this book, originally published in 1940 during World War II. The Braithwaite family were a delight to read about and even Franz who came in as a strong supporter of Hitler, grew on me as he slowly changed his views. The war is a constant shadow in the background of this story and although the author left the ending hanging, I think it was wisely done as at that point in the war no one knew which way it was going to go. D. E. Stevenson is known for her light, comic touch and that is certainly evident here but in The English Air she also doesn’t shy away from more serious issues as well.

okt 19, 4:01 pm

>143 DeltaQueen50: It sounds interesting, so I've just read it. Books that were actually written during WWII are much more informative than historical novels about the same time.

okt 19, 4:38 pm

>144 pamelad: I'm glad that you enjoyed The English Air, I enjoy reading books that were actually written during the war as I feel you get a much better picture of how things were.

okt 19, 11:41 pm

just put it on Kindle,thanks for the rec.

okt 20, 11:49 am

>146 cindydavid4: I do enjoy D. E. Stevenson and still own many of her books in print and on Kindle.

okt 20, 12:22 pm

>146 cindydavid4: I hope you enjoy it, Cindy.

>147 LadyoftheLodge: I also enjoy Stevenson and find her books to be reliably enjoyable. :)

okt 20, 12:31 pm

173. The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill - 4.0 ★
Category: High & Low Shelves
October Series Cat: Asian Setting
October TIOLI #10: Have read 3 or more of this author's books, but none this yet this year

The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill is the sixth book in his Dr. Siri Paiboun series. Set in Laos in 1978, Dr. Siri is the national coroner, although at 73, he would rather be retired. In this outing, Dr. Siri and his group of friends solve a serial killer mystery and as an added bonus, track down a missing, slightly “crazy” local and save his life as well.

The serial killer travels around the country to various small villages. He selects the prettiest virgin from the village, courts and marries her, only to murder her within hours of the wedding. Dr. Siri becomes concerned about this case when one of the victims is brought to his morgue.

As always, I enjoyed my time spent with Dr. Siri and his friends. This story had more to do with straight forward detection rather and relying on the spiritual world, although, Dr. Siri did have a number of premonitions that helped to move things along. I look forward to my next encounter with this lovable reluctant coroner.

Redigerat: okt 21, 6:38 am

>149 DeltaQueen50: - It's been a couple of years since I read one of these. I had it as a possible this year, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I'm up to #9 so a bit ahead of you.

okt 21, 7:53 am

Happy Saturday, Judy. I loved the Dr. Siri series. I think I read the first 10 or 11. I wouldn't mind revisiting the first one or 2, one of these days.

okt 21, 12:22 pm

>150 dudes22: It had been a couple of years since I read this series and I am not sure why it slipped my attention but I am happy to have it back in the rotation!

>151 msf59: Hi Mark, I hope you are having a nice weekend. We are planning a quiet day with an evening of Netflicks. The Dr. Siri series is a fun one and I don't plan to let as much time go by before I read the next one.

okt 21, 10:06 pm

>149 DeltaQueen50: I just read book number one a few weeks ago. I'm not sure I'm going to continue with the series, but your review might push me into doing so.

okt 22, 6:02 am

>153 Tess_W: It is a slightly odd series as Dr. Siri has a strong connection with the underworld and so the supernatural tends to be a part of every story. I know this aspect doesn't sit well with everyone, but I enjoy the humour and witty writing.

okt 22, 6:09 am

174. Darkness, Darkness by John Harvey - 4.2 ★
Category: Series
October TIOLI #4: A Title Word Begins with an O, N or D

Darkness, Darkness is the 12th and final DI Charlie Resnick novel. We find Charlie is now retired but still working as a civilian investigator, or as he puts it, a paper pusher, when a body is found under a slab of concrete. This body is that of Jenny Hardwick who disappeared in 1984 during the British Miner’s Strike. Charlie is asked to assist his friend DI Catherine Njoroge in the investigation.

The author weaves both the past and present together as Charlie comes to terms with the inevitability of his police work ending. The details surrounding the death of Jenny are vivid as she was a militant union activist, a mother of three and the wife of Barry, a scab. For years she had been dismissed as a runaway wife, despised instead of being mourned. Now it is up to Charlie and Catherine to try and find out what happened.

While this was another well written and interesting story, I was sad that it is the final Charlie Resnick book. I have been reading this series for years and I will miss these excellent police procedurals.

okt 22, 7:52 am

Hi Judy, you got me with Outback from >140 DeltaQueen50:, and you also reminded me I might be ready for another Charlie Resnick. The next one up for me is Easy Meat.

okt 22, 12:09 pm

>156 lsh63: Hi Lisa, as much as I am happy to actually finish one of my many series, I am going to miss reading about Charlie and his team. This was an excellent series!

okt 22, 9:47 pm

175. The Bus on Thursday by Shirley Barrett - 4.0 ★
Monthly Theme: Dark and Disturbing
October TIOLI #7: Adding or Subtracting One Letter Makes a New Title

The Bus on Thursday by Shirley Barrett was a perfect choice for my October theme of “Dark and Disturbing” books. This will be a book that I will be mulling over for some time as I found it shocking, baffling and strangely funny. Set in a small town in Australia and dealing with a lot of crazy, this is a book that defies description.

Eleanor, a cancer survivor, comes to the small town of Talbingo to take over the teaching position as the previous teacher has mysteriously disappeared. Eleanor is not a very likeable person and indeed, she doesn’t seem to hold a candle to the beloved previous teacher, yet the people of the town are so strange that one can’t help but have a certain amount of empathy for her. The local priest attempts to exorcise her, calling her cancer a demon, one of her pupils, fourteen year old Ryan, seems obsessed with staring at her breasts or touching her in inappropriate places, she gets involved with Ryan’s very strange older brother, who seduces her and then declares her a slut. Meanwhile there is a rickety old bus that hovers around the town that Eleanor is convinced is a ghostly apparition.

While the beginning of the book certainly drew me in, I did find that it got more and more confusing toward the end. I truly couldn’t tell if Eleanor is possessed, mad or perhaps the only sane person in the book. The Bus on Thursday seems to be part rom-com, part horror but always darkly humorous and more than a little strange. This was a great book to spend time with on a dark October evening.

okt 23, 10:28 pm

176. Eden Rising by Andrew Cunningham - 4.0 ★
Category: Extras
October TIOLI #1: Letters of the Title are Divisible by 5

Eden Rising by Andrew Cunningham is an apocalyptic story about two young people who manage to survive when 95 percent of the Earth’s population are wiped out in a catastrophic event. With their families dead, Ben and Lila decide to leave Boston and move south before the winter weather traps them.

What follows is an adventure story as they travel the Appalachian Trail, fall in love, and decide to find a home in the wilderness where they can raise their expected child in peace and quiet. Of course, this is a survival story and so they experience many incidents that they have to fight their way through. They learn to rely upon each other and hone their skills until they have built a “Robin Hood” reputation up and down the trail.

I enjoyed this story of Ben and Lila’s journey and I was happy that although they were often forced apart, they always managed to find each other again. The world has become a dangerous and violent place but these two seem to have the expertise to not only survive but to thrive. I am looking forward to immediately picking up the second book in the trilogy and continuing on with their story.

Redigerat: okt 25, 10:19 pm

177. Eden Lost by Andrew Cunningham - 4.0 ★
Category: Extras

Eden Lost by Andrew Cunningham is the second book in his Post-Apocalyptic trilogy. The Earth as we know it has disappeared, the result of a gigantic nuclear bomb set off in space. First 95 percent of the population died and all electricity ceased. The weather patterns changed and eventually North America suffered a series of earthquakes that changed the lie of the land forever. Seven years after the original event, Ben and Lila, along with their young daughter Katie were living in the back woods of Northern Carolina when a forest fire forced them to give up their home. They decided to travel west to a rumored community near Yellowstone.

Once again being on the move meant that they met different types of people, some were good but there were also some bad ones. Ben and Lila eventually got to Yellowstone, made a new home and were genuinely happy when their daughter and her friends were kidnapped. Rescuing Katie and extracting revenge has left Ben with more than a few enemies that he may have to deal with in the future but he also found his brother Aaron and was happily reunited with him.

I am still enjoying this story and I plan on picking up the third volume immediately.

okt 26, 12:40 am

Some interesting reads up thread, Judy. I had not heard of the Dr. Siri series. Sounds like something I would like.

okt 26, 12:42 pm

>161 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. the Dr. Siri series is a fun one, light mysteries with some very interesting characters. Set in Laos during the 1970s, there is also a touch of the supernatural as Dr. Siri has a spirit guide.

okt 26, 12:51 pm

178. Haunted Nights edited by Ellen Datlow & Lisa Morton - 4.0 ★
Monthly Theme: Dark and Disturbing
October TIOLI #6: Short Stories of Horror

Haunted Nights is a collection of sixteen short stories of horror, each one connected to Halloween. Edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton, the stories are written by well known authors such as Kelley Armstrong, Garth Nix and Stephen Graham Jones.

The connection to Halloween was very different for each story so along with scheming jack-o’-lanterns, strange changelings, scary masks that aren’t near as frightening as what they are covering, there are also stories about trick or treating in the future and horrifying urban legends. For me, as with all short story collections, some worked better than others, but all in all, this was an excellent Halloween treat filled with striking images and plenty of chills.

Redigerat: okt 26, 8:31 pm

179. Eden's Legacy by Andrew Cunningham - 4.0 ★
Category: Extras

Eden’s Legacy by Andrew Cunningham is the third book in a Post-Apocalyptic series. I thought it was the final entry in a trilogy but I see that there is a fourth book. At this point in time I think I have read enough of the series and will most likely not bother with reading the fourth. This in no way means that I did not enjoy the series but I think all bases have been covered and any further story would only be repeating what has already happened.

Eden’s Legacy opens seventeen years after the world ended. Our main characters of Ben and Lila are not firmly established in Yellowstone country and their daughter is turning sixteen, the age they were when the nuclear event occurred. Cat has grown into an independent, self-sufficient young woman with a strong bond to animals. She has also fallen in love with Simon, a young man who is very much like her. A group of young people, Cat and Simon included, go off on an exploratory trip but run into problems with a colony of ex-miners who are desperate for women. A group from Yellowstone heads out to help the youngsters, but in actuality, they are quite able to handle themselves. Cat and Simon find a beautiful valley in Colorado and decide that this will be their home.

Meanwhile the country is slowly recovering, the settlements are interacting with each other and a mail system has been set up. Ben and Lila as well as Cat and Simon are looking forward to the future which is a good place to leave them. I’ve enjoyed all three of these books with their adventure and survival techniques.

okt 28, 1:21 pm

>149 DeltaQueen50: I too am a Dr. Siri fan and have read all the books published so far. I’m thinking it may be time for a reread of the series. It has been awhile.

You’ve hit me with a number of BBs: The Eden trilogy and the short horror story collection. So, thanks, I think. 😉

okt 29, 2:46 pm

>165 Storeetllr: Hi Mary, I hope you enjoy any BB that I managed to hit you with. I seem to be looking for escape reading right now and so I am currently enjoying a WW II submarine story.

okt 29, 8:59 pm

Hello Judy and what a month you have had! I hope your husband is on the road to recovery.

Like you, I found Fahrenheit 451 disturbing when I first read it in 1989 and again at the end of 2020. I had forgotten the bit about the resistance at the end.

And Josephine Baker! What an amazing woman she was. Glad there was this research into her life.

Please find some balance for yourself as the turmoil swirls around you! Much love to you and hope your days are brighter, and, well uneventful.

okt 30, 3:39 am

>167 threadnsong: Thanks. Yes, my hubby seems to have fully recovered, thank goodness. I have a few tests coming up this week as we are still trying to find the magic combination that will bring my heart rate down under 100, but it has lowered somewhat which is encouraging.

okt 30, 12:26 pm

You're racking up some good reads, Judy, and a few that I loved.
Wishing you a Happy Halloween!

okt 30, 6:39 pm

Thanks, Jennifer and a very happy Halloween to you as well. Halloween is one of the things that has become synonymous with you in my mind. Tiki bars, drinks and glasses are another!

okt 31, 4:02 pm

Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone!

nov 1, 12:36 pm

>171 DeltaQueen50: Thanks! Love that cute graphic.

nov 1, 3:00 pm

>172 LadyoftheLodge: We had a very quiet Halloween here. No Trick or Treaters but we did hear a lot of fireworks going off in the park near us.

nov 1, 3:04 pm

180. Ghosts of Bungo Suido by P. T. Deutermann - 4.0 ★
November Theme: War and the Homefront
November TIOLI #12: Escape Read

Ghosts of Bungo Suido by P. T. Deutermann was a military thriller that followed the exploits of a captain of a submarine during World War II. Gar Hammond and his submarine, Dragonfish are sent on a secret mission to penetrate Japan’s Inland Sea and hopefully take out the enormous destroyer that was being built in Kure. While the mission was somewhat successful, the captain got stuck outside and was taken prisoner.

The story is taking place during the closing days of the war, and while a prisoner, Captain Hammond gets a close up view of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. The author specializes in military novels and delivers a fast paced, exciting story of surprise attacks, explosive battles and sinking ships.

It should be noted here that Ghosts of Bungo Suido is loosely based on a true event, and although I suspect the author added a great deal of fictional content, this is obviously a well written and well researched novel.

nov 2, 4:29 pm

>173 DeltaQueen50: Same here, we went to eat at a local bistro that serves authentic Mexican food, so that was a sort of Dia de los Muertos celebration. I guess some other parts of town were inundated with little goblins though!

nov 2, 10:44 pm

>175 LadyoftheLodge: Now I am craving Mexican food!

nov 3, 1:51 am

181. Gap Creek by Robert Morgan - 5.0 ★
Category: High & Low Shelves
November TIOLI #7: A Book I Have Been Eagerly Awaiting

Written as a tribute to his grandmother, author Robert Morgan wrote, Gap Creek, the story of the first couple of years of a young couple’s marriage. They lived in Appalachia around the turn of the century when money and jobs were scarce and this young couple had to try and live off the land. Julie is a strong young woman who is trying to make a home for herself and her new husband, Hank. When Hank loses his job and their live-in landlord dies, life changes for them. It doesn’t help that Julie is pregnant and Hank feels inferior in that he can’t seem to support them.

The author paints a vivid picture of life in the Appalachian high country. Hank and Julie must face a number of difficulties such as fires, floods, a drunken neighbour, and grifters. They struggle with nature, with work and with their disappointments in themselves and each other. But the author is always respectful of his characters making sure that this story of sufferings and misfortunes is delivered with compassion and hope.

I was totally engrossed by their life and I am very thankful that I live in the ease of a modern times. Gap Creek is a book that I will long remember, with it’s strong sense of place, gripping story and the amazing character of Julie. Resourceful, strong, brave and industrious her self-sufficiency was admirable especially considering her isolation from others. With his simple yet descriptive writing, I was often reminded of old-time country music and I will certainly be looking for more from this author.

Redigerat: nov 3, 5:24 am

>177 DeltaQueen50: - This was a 5-star read for me too when I read it a few years ago. There's also a sequel to this which I haven't gotten to yet.

nov 3, 9:15 am

Happy Friday, Judy. I am so glad you loved Gap Creek so much. I only glanced at the review, since I won't be starting it for a few more days. Have a good weekend.

nov 3, 2:47 pm

>178 dudes22: I picked up a copy of the sequel this morning, Betty. I understand this this book is told from the viewpoint of their daughter so I will probably wait awhile and let Julie's strong voice fade somewhat.

>179 msf59: You have yourself a good weekend as well, Mark. I can't wait to see what you think of Gap Creek.

Redigerat: nov 3, 4:50 pm

182. The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis - 3.4 ★
Category: Library
November AlphaKit: L
November TIOLI #5: Author's Name Has 11 or Fewer Letters

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis is a dystopian coming-of-age story that has elements of both horror and mystery. Elka has considered the Trapper as her father since he found her in the woods when she was seven and has looked after her ever since. When she learns from the righteous, cold-eyed magistrate, Jennifer Lyons, that he is in fact, a monster, a serial killer, who has been training her to follow in his footsteps she leaves and heads north to see if she can find her original family.

While part of me enjoyed this caricature of the Old West, there was another part of me that found the characters a little too cartoon like, the language a little too stilted and the story while full of action and adventure pretty unbelievable. While Elka travels through the ravaged north country, the Trapper is barely one step behind her - is he tracking her to save her or to kill her?

I was intrigued by the setting as it obviously was British Columbia and parts of the Yukon, but unfortunately this easy to read story although dark and raw just wasn’t quite as original as I would have hoped.

Redigerat: nov 5, 4:23 pm

183. Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis - 4.0 ★
November Monthly Theme: War
November AlphaKit: T
2023 Reading Challenge: A Book Word is in the Title
2023 Interconnected Reading Challenge: Set in a different time period from October's book
November TIOLI #14: A book I bought this year

Guadalcanal Diary opens on July 26, 1942 as war correspondent Richard Tregaskis is travelling on an American destroyer toward an island in the Pacific where the Marines are going to be landed and meet the enemy in the first land battle of World War II. The island turns out to be Guadacanal and Tregaskis is there every step of the way as the Americans battle the Japanese throughout the Solomon Islands.

The book was published in 1943 and gave Americans at home a bird’s-eye view of the battle in the Pacific as he lived alongside the soldiers and experienced all that they did. Morale was high even though they were dealing with night raids, snipers and bombing attacks. Even dealing with disease, lack of food and sleep, he was able to let America know that their “boys’ were performing well.

Guadalcanal Diary is frontline reporting at it’s best. Written in diary form, there is very little about “me” or “I”. It’s all about the soldiers. The story is engrossing and historically accurate, written in simple prose that highlights the slang of the day and grounds the book in reality. This is an honest and compelling account of what the Marines were facing as they fought and liberated this small corner of the Pacific.

nov 6, 4:04 am

>182 DeltaQueen50: - I think I'll probably get this for my husband for a Christmas gift. I usually buy him a book as one of his gifts and I'm sure this is something he'd like.

nov 6, 7:48 am

I see your reading continues apace, Judy! I have Gap Creek on my Kindle - guess I should get to it soon, given how much you liked it.

nov 6, 9:34 pm

>183 dudes22: I hope he enjoys it, Betty.

>184 katiekrug: Hi Katie, I will be interested in how Gap Creek hits you. I think you will love it.

nov 6, 9:37 pm

184. Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen - 4.3 ★
Category: High & Low Shelves
November TIOLI #1: Written by an Israeli or Palestinian author

Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen is a literary thriller that is set in Israel. Neurosurgeon Eitan Green has a good life, married to a beautiful police officer and the father of two young boys but one night as he is coming off a long night shift at the hospital, he drives out into the desert and as he is speeding along a moonlit road, he hits someone. This one deadly mistake could ruin his life, his family and his reputation so as he gazes down upon the dying man, he makes the decision to not report the accident. This decision brings Sirkit into his life. She is the dead man’s wife who blackmails him into providing medical care to other illegal African refugees.

The story advances and we share in Eitan’s moral crisis as his guilt and shame engulf him. To make matters worse, his wife has been assigned to the hit and run case, and although her supervisors aren’t particularly interested in whether she finds culprit who killed an illegal immigrant, she does want to find out who did it. Eitan also can’t explain the building relationship he is developing with Sirkit, on one hand he hates her for the power she has over him, but on the other, he is struggling with the building sexual tension that arises between them.

The story is excellently written but is very dense and the pacing is quite slow. Not only are we reading of Eitan and his dilemma but also of the prejudice that exists when dealing with refugees and illegal immigrants. It’s a grim story but one that probes the complexity of our moral choices. The book is beautifully translated from Hebrew by Sondra Silverston and is a remarkable novel that deals with morality, power and prejudice.

nov 8, 6:03 pm

Hi Judy - What a lot of great reading you've been doing! I LOVE the Martin Beck series; it gets better with each one. I first them in the 1970s, I think. I also like Cork O'Connor. Overall, the series is well done. There has only been one that I was disappointed in.

nov 8, 6:35 pm

Happy Wednesday, Judy. I finished Gap Creek. It was a quicker read than I expected. I didn't feel the same love, as you. I thought it was a perfectly acceptable read but it didn't ring all my bells. I think Benita is having the same thoughts, although she has a long way to go. I am sure you will continue the Gap Creek saga. I doubt I will. All that said, I am glad I finally got to it.

nov 8, 7:45 pm

>187 BLBera: Hi Beth. I picked up the Martin Beck book as it is on the H. R. F Keating's list of 100 Best Crime Novels which I am slowly working through. Of course now I am interested in reading more about Beck!

>188 msf59: Hi Mark, Gap Creek seems to be one of those books that gets a varied response from the readers. I found his writing reminded me of the simplicity of a Castle Freemen or Leif Enger. And, yes, I have already picked up the sequel to enjoy in the near future.

nov 9, 12:50 am

I put a hold on one of the Dr. Siri mysteries, thanks for the recommendation. It looks like the books that you have been reading since then are a lot less lighter but they also look like interesting choices.

nov 9, 12:16 pm

>190 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg, the Dr. Siri series is a fun one so I hope you enjoy. I tend to read the more serious books at the beginning of the month and save the lighter ones for later.

nov 9, 1:38 pm

185. Pop Goes the Weasel by M.J. Arlidge - 4.0 ★
Category: Series
November TIOLI #6: Last word of title is a plant or animal

Pop Goes the Weasel by M. J. Arlidge is the second book in the DI Helen Grace series. In this outing Helen and her team are once again hot on the trail of a serial killer. The book opens with a man being murdered in an empty house and a memento then being sent to his wife and children. The murders are gruesome and Helen is quite a troubled soul, but she appears to working through her issues in each book and she is definitely becoming a more sympathetic character.

Although the book is over 400 pages, it is both a page turner and a quick read with most chapters being around 4 pages long. As men are being butchered in seedy locations, the police are quick to turn their attention to the prostitutes that work these areas. The author keeps the action fast, throws in a few twists and doesn’t hold back the gore. I do recommend reading the first book in the series, Eeny Meeny, as there are a few story arcs that continue from the first volume.

Although these books are definitely over-the-top I find them quite addictive. Personally I don’t take them too seriously, but I do enjoy the ride. Not for the faint of heart but this is a series that I look forward to continuing on with.

nov 10, 11:05 am

>170 DeltaQueen50: I'm happy to be associated with those things!
Have a good weekend!

nov 10, 3:34 pm

>193 mstrust: You as well, Jennifer!

nov 11, 7:03 pm

Hello and enjoying catching up on your reading! I have heard of >182 DeltaQueen50: and once again, I know more about what Guadalcanal Diary is about through your insightful review. And Gap Creek also sounds interesting. I'm with you on the gratitude you expressed living in modern times.

nov 12, 5:09 pm

>195 threadnsong: Hi and welcome Threadnsong!

nov 12, 5:18 pm

186. Keep the Home Fires Burning by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles - 4.3 ★
Monthly Theme: War and the Home Front
November SeriesCat: Historical Series
November TIOLI #12: An Escape Read

Keep the Home Fires Burning by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is the second book in the War at Home series. This volume covers the second year of World War I, that of 1915. The men are marching off to war and the women are left at home to pick up the pieces and in some cases to do the men’s jobs.

We follow along with the Hunter family and while eldest sister, Diana experiences a terrible loss, younger sister, Sadie continues to train horses to be sent to the French front. She is feeling an attraction to the local vet, John Courcy, but he then enlists and is off to France. The two elder Hunter brothers, David and Bobby have enlisted as well. David is fighting from the trenches in France while Bobby has decided to become a pilot. There are a number of characters to follow and at times I had to stop and refresh my memory on how they were all connected to the Hunter family. Some are relatives, some are servants and some are friends but all are being touched by the war and having to make changes and sacrifices in their own lives.

This book ends as 1915 comes to a close and I am now looking forward to the next book, The Land of My Dreams which will cover 1916. The author is an accomplished writer and her research is impeccable making these books not only a great story but also very informative on all aspects of Britain at war.

nov 15, 1:14 am

187. Pillars of Light by Jane Johnson - 4.1 ★
Category: Library
November RandomKit: Let There Be Light
November TIOLI #5: Author's Name Has Eleven or Fewer Letters

Pillars of Light by Jane Johnson is an epic story of love, war and redemption. Set mainly in and around the city of Acre during it’s siege by Christian armies during the third crusade there are two main story-lines. We follow the love story of Zohra, a Muslin girl and a young Jewish doctor, Nathanael as they live through the two year siege. We also follow an Englishman, John Savage and his group in a story that revolves around the influence of Islamic architecture on the European Gothic cathedrals that were being built in the Middle Ages.

These central characters are fictional. Both the small group of English wanderers who join the Crusade unwillingly and the Muslim family that is caught in the city of Acre. But the author has done extensive research and all the major players of the day are here from the Muslim leader, Saladin, to Richard the Lionheart along with the various Cardinals, Churchmen and Knights that were part of the Crusade.

Pillars of Light is well written and certainly held my interest but at almost 500 pages did feel a little lengthy. The author obviously felt that Saladin was the moral center of the story, he is portrayed as gracious, caring and wise while the Christian leaders came off as greedy, cruel and venal.

nov 15, 9:42 am

188. Hamlet, Revenge! by Michael Innes - 3.3 ★
Category: Kindle & Audio Books
November TIOLI #4: Food Embedded in Title

Originally published in 1937, Hamlet, Revenge! is the second novel to feature Inspector John Appleby as he investigates the murder of Lord Auldearn, the Lord Chancellor of England during an amateur production of Hamlet at the country house of the Duke of Horton. Appleby works closely with Giles Gott, who appeared in the first book of the series and keeps Appleby informed on the guests and family at the large country estate of Scamnum Court. Along with the murder, there is espionage and a mysterious puzzle to unravel.

I won’t be counting this book as one of my favorites of Innes as I found it rather too clever. Chock full of Shakespearean quotes, the actual plot was intricate but dense and moved very slowly. There was a large cast of characters to keep track of and they all seemed to have motive and opportunity. Overall I found the story rather pretentious, slightly amusing but not a book that I believe I will long remember.

nov 15, 1:59 pm

>199 DeltaQueen50: I felt much as you did about this one -- way too many characters, and it was hard to tell what was actually important to the mystery and what was just filler. I still have my copy because I'd like to read it again sometime...I think knowing who the baddies are will help me to appreciate it more!

nov 15, 4:27 pm

>200 christina_reads: I can definitely see that a re-read would make things much clearer but I doubt that I have the patience for a 2nd reading.

Redigerat: nov 15, 5:41 pm

>199 DeltaQueen50: I also disliked this book, and agree that it is pretentious and tedious. I'm not nearly erudite enough to enjoy it.

nov 16, 12:53 pm

>202 pamelad: Pretentious and tedious are exactly the words I was looking for!
Den här diskussionen fortsatte här: DeltaQueen Tries for Balance & Focus in 2023 - Part 6