LoisB will give it a try!

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Discussão100 books in 2014 challenge

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LoisB will give it a try!

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Editado: Jan 23, 2014, 11:54 am

Last year I read 122, so hopefully I can repeat it this year. Here is my Official Completed List for 2014.

Editado: Jan 25, 2014, 9:08 am

Here are my plans for January:

*Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel Carol Rifka Brunt (book club) (TBR)
*Three Doors to Death Rex Stout (Jan CAT) (Jan TIOLI #12)
*Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America ****
*Madam: A Novel of New Orleans Cari Lynn (ARC)
X O, Africa!: A Novel Andrew Lewis Conn (ER)
*Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal Karl Schonborn (ER)
*My Antonia Willa Cather (AA)
*Fer de Lance Rex Stout (Jan CAT) (Jan TIOLI)
Dynamite Fishermen Preston Fleming (MG) (Jan TIOLI #1)
*Killer Boobs, a memoir of how my breasts tried to kill me... Amy Valentine (MG) (Jan TIOLI #11)
*Little Failure: A Memoir Gary Shteyngart (Jan CAT) (MG) (Jan TIOLI #3)
*Between Sisters Kristin Hannah (Jan TIOLI #2)
*Chocolat Joanne Harris (Jan TIOLI #6)
One Knee Equals Two Feet: And Everything Else You Need to Know About Football John Madden (Jan TIOLI #14)
Seldom Come By (The Iceberg Trilogy) Sherryl Caulfield (MG)
*Dawn at Last Lawrence Grodecki (MG)
Days in the History of Silence Merethe Lindstrom (Jan CAT)

If I don't complete the list (highly likely), I'll move the unreads to February.

Dez 31, 2013, 10:27 am

>:-) just dropping breadcrumbs so I can follow your progress.

Nice to know I'm not the only one who has a "to read list" every month that is always larger than i can manage to get through.

Dez 31, 2013, 12:19 pm

I thought that Tell the Wolves I'm Home was great. Welcome to the group!

Dez 31, 2013, 2:00 pm

Hello. Best wishes for the Challenge.

You have a great line up for January .

Jan 1, 2014, 11:12 pm

#1 My Antonia****

Jan 2, 2014, 12:17 pm

Ah, Rex Stout is always fun. I burned through all his Nero Wolfe books too quickly though. Hope you enjoy him!

Jan 2, 2014, 11:44 pm

#2 Teaching Bridge on Cruise Ships

>7 mabith: I read them all years ago, so I'll be enjoying the re-reads.

Jan 3, 2014, 8:59 am

#3 Anybody for Tea?

Jan 3, 2014, 10:29 am

#4 Three Doors To Death

Jan 3, 2014, 2:07 pm

Good luck with your 2014 challenge Lois. I look forward to keeping up with your reading lists.
BTW, I just happen to think Cather is marvelous!

Editado: Jan 3, 2014, 2:33 pm

>11 rainpebble: My Antonia was the first that I have read - at least in recent years. I'm sure I read something (O Pioneers???) in high school, but that was so long ago! I loved My Antonia, so it probably won't be my last.

Jan 4, 2014, 6:30 am

Welcome to the group! And it looks as if you're off to a great start already.

Jan 4, 2014, 9:10 am

#5 Tell the Wolves I'm Home ****

A powerful story, told by an awkward teenager, about her love for her uncle and the impact of his death from AIDS. Definitely, a good read! I'm looking forward to my book club discussion.

Jan 4, 2014, 6:59 pm

A great start to the year, and welcome to the group! I enjoyed Tell the Wolves I'm Home last year. I'll be looking forward to following your reading this year.

Editado: Jan 6, 2014, 7:29 am

#6 Killer Boobs, a memoir of how my breasts tried to kill me... by Amy Valentine *****

This was a wonderful book! It may seem strange to say that about a woman's memoir of her breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent 250 days of treatment, but it was a well-written, compelling account. The author's positive attitude, her humorous and somewhat irreverent approach, and her very personal writing style make it seem like a conversation with a friend. While most of us have clinical understanding of chemotherapy side effects (nausea, fatigue), we may not know it at a personal level. I found this book to be informative and heartwarming. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand breast cancer treatment from a human perspective.

Jan 6, 2014, 7:11 am

I do have to say, that is a truly excellent title. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Jan 8, 2014, 10:58 pm

#7 Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America ****

This is a powerful and disturbing story about racism in Lake County FL. It begins in 1949 with accusations of a rape by 4 Negro men on a young white woman; it continues covering trials and appeals through the 1950's. The book also covers the early career of Thurgood Marshall, who, as a civil rights lawyer working for the NAACP defended the accused.

I live in Lake County FL. I am horrified that the subject events occurred here. It is a tragic chapter in our history.

Jan 10, 2014, 10:31 am

#8 Fer de Lance - not my favorite Nero Wolfe story. They get better later in the series.

Jan 10, 2014, 11:41 am

Luckily Stout gets better quite rapidly. I always forget that two favorites Too Many Cooks and Some Buried Caesar are so early in the series.

Jan 10, 2014, 8:41 pm

9. On the Slam **

This was a cozy mystery with a contract bridge setting. A cute quick read, but nothing special.

Jan 11, 2014, 11:28 pm

10. Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal

I received a copy of this book from the LibrayThing Early Readers program.

When I read the first few pages, I thought I was hooked and looked forward to a compelling read. The story is autobiographical and starts with his childhood, plagued with bullying, teasing, and the insecurities of being different. The childhood portion was indeed compelling. But then the story progressed to a rather unexciting stint at Yale followed by a travelogue of his trip around the world. The last few chapters were interesting, but the middle of the book was lacking. Overall rating = ** 1/2 stars

Jan 12, 2014, 10:09 pm

11. Chocolat ****

So very French!

Editado: Jan 13, 2014, 12:43 pm

>23 LoisB::
I expected to love Chocolat when I read it for I love Joanne Harris, loved the movie & have seen it numerous times. But on some level this book didn't work for me. I am happy to see that you enjoyed it though.

(edited just to say that I found her Five Quarters of the Orange to be quite wonderful)

Jan 14, 2014, 8:46 pm

12. Madam: A Novel of New Orleans ****

Madam: A Novel of New Orleans is a compelling piece of historical fiction focusing on prostitution at the turn of the 20th century in New Orleans. The narrative is descriptive, painting a grim scene of the life of the lowest-level prostitutes. The pacing is excellent, and the outcome is an improvement. Much of the story is based on real people and real events, with some literary license. I definitely recommend this book!

Jan 14, 2014, 10:19 pm

I'll have to keep Madam: A Novel of New Orleans on my list for when I'm in need of some nice historical fiction.

Jan 19, 2014, 12:15 pm

13. Little Failure: A Memoir ***

In Little Failure: A Memoir, the author describes his emigration from the Soviet Union to the US as a child in 1979 and his life as an immigrant in Queens, NY. The story was interesting and leads to a lot of "What if?". What if his parents had spoken English at home? What if he had attended public school rather than a private Jewish school? What if his parents had not been so frugal that they got furniture from the dump and clothed them in cheap, used "by the pound" clothes? What if he had not followed his girlfriend to college in Ohio?

The author is likeable as a child, evoking sympathy for the bullying he received during his struggle to be accepted, but develops a mean steak as he grows older, in turn bullying those weaker than him, and lying almost pathologically. The good news is that although he did not meet his parents expectations he achieved the success as a novelist that he had longed for. ***

Jan 19, 2014, 3:26 pm

14. Dawn at Last ***

Jan 19, 2014, 4:39 pm

15. Fifteen Poems by Leonard Cohen

Jan 20, 2014, 6:53 pm

16. Between Sisters: A Novel

A traditional Kristin Hannah - good story, good storytelling, lots of tears from me! ****

Jan 24, 2014, 9:12 am

17. Interview with the Sphinx

Jan 26, 2014, 2:00 pm

18. Seldom Come By (The Iceberg Trilogy) ****

This was a magnificent novel - a long and powerful story with wonderful highs and tragic lows. The story is placed in Newfoundland and the writing depicts its stark, harsh climate. Most of the story takes place during WW I, conveying the impact on both those who fought and those they left behind.

This is a long story (510 pages), so it's not a quick read. And, it's Part 1 of the trilogy. I'm looking forward to Part 2!

I received this book as an LT Member Giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

Fev 1, 2014, 11:53 am

19. Selected Short Stories by William Faulkner **

Faulkner, the master of the run-on sentence and the incomplete ending - need I say more?

Fev 2, 2014, 3:19 pm

20. Anne of Green Gables ***
a nice, dare I say "old-fashioned" story

Fev 3, 2014, 8:21 pm

> 33 "need I say more?"

Actually, if I hadn't seen that you had given the book two stars I wouldn't know how to take that review. If he's a "master" of run-on sentences, and incomplete endings, maybe that means he uses them extremely effectively?

But then there was only two stars, so... apparently not. :)

Editado: Fev 3, 2014, 10:37 pm

I don't think run-on sentences are ever acceptable - it's a sign of a mind that can't think logically. I admit that I like complete endings with all loose threads tied up, probably because I lack a strong imagination.

Fev 3, 2014, 10:40 pm

21. A River in the Sky ** OK, but not as compelling as I like my mysteries to be.

Fev 4, 2014, 9:52 am

22. The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks ****

A very well-written true story about a woman whose cancer tissue was taken and used, without her knowledge or consent, for scientific research. The research resulted in both the polio and HPV vaccines.

Fev 4, 2014, 10:22 am

>37 LoisB: "I don't think run-on sentences are ever acceptable - it's a sign of a mind that can't think logically."

I can't say that I ever remember thinking, "Ew, yuck! Run on sentence!" myself. So perhaps I don't even notice them when I read?

I've been accused of using a run-on sentence, but the person who made the accusation thought that "run-on sentence" meant "a very long sentence". ::eye roll::

"I admit that I like complete endings with all loose threads tied up, probably because I lack a strong imagination"


I also like complete endings. I don't expect an author to tie up all the loose threads if there's a sequel in the offing, but if the sequel fails to materialize then I get annoyed at the lack of closure.

And yet, as far as I can tell, I have as strong an imagination as anyone who isn't actively delusional. :)

Its perfectly possible to think The Lady and the Tiger is stupid, for example, while still being entirely capable of coming up with an ending for oneself. Just because I can "solve the puzzle" and get the story to an acceptable (happy!) ending, doesn't mean that I feel gratified for the opportunity. In fact I only did it, because my English teacher insisted.

Most of the people who revel in incomplete endings don't seem to want to complete the story themselves either -- they actually want it to remain unresolved. They wan't to "explore the situation further". And I have also noticed that there are those who lack the imagination to "explore" on their own, but who instead of being happy and satisfied with a nice neat ending, bug their favorite authors to write unending sequels.

So I'm pretty sure imagination and the preference for closed endings are two entirely unrelated qualities.

Fev 5, 2014, 1:53 am

#38 I agree LoisB, the Henrietta Lacks story was a great read, appalling that her family/descendants are struggling while the HeLa cells make millions for the medical companies.

Fev 5, 2014, 8:49 pm

23. Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 ****

A very interesting story about an event that I had heard of , but knew no details. Having spent most of my life in the Boston area, I was very familiar with the North End and could easily picture the geography. I also spent a good portion of my career in the Engineering business and found that many of today's engineering standards and practices were put in place as a result of the Molasses flood.

Fev 8, 2014, 8:20 am

24. Dakota ***.5

This was an enjoyable mystery with an adult theme. The sleuth is a female journalist. What makes this book different is that it is set in North Dakota and many of the characters are members of the Blackfeet tribe, adding a lot of local color to the story. This is the second in a series. I want to read the first in the series (Montana) and look forward to others.

Fev 10, 2014, 8:50 am

25. The Picture of Dorian Gray *

Finally, I'm finished! It was a struggle reading this book. If I was not participating in OLTOB, I would have abandoned it.

Editado: Fev 10, 2014, 10:22 pm

>43 LoisB: My daughter appears to bear her English teacher a grudge for having forced her to read it. As soon as the unit on the book was complete, she borrowed the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen from the library, saying that she didn't care about the rest of the show, she just wanted to see Dorian Gray die. HORRIBLY. HAHAHAHA!

(I haven't read it myself. It didn't sound like it was quite my thing.)

Fev 10, 2014, 3:26 pm

Any movies where James Joyce and/or Samuel Richardson get to die horrible deaths, I would watch them, bonus if Jane Austen gets tortured (don't tell wookie ) !!

Fev 10, 2014, 5:43 pm

At least Dorian Grey is a short book. :)

Bryan, I'd be very disappointed in your Austen comment, only I'm too happy that you want to kill off Joyce in a horrible fashion first. I'm *all* for killing off Joyce in a horrible fashion.

Fev 10, 2014, 9:35 pm

Fev 10, 2014, 11:46 pm

#46 wookie it's nice that we can compromise in terms of wishing authors nasty endings !

And some great reading in this thread Lois !

Fev 11, 2014, 1:08 am

#38 #40:
Simply must chime in on H. Lacks. Such a compelling story, and so disappointing in the way Henrietta was treated. I am a sucker for this sort of book, but you'd think I would quit hoping for a happy ending.

Fev 11, 2014, 8:05 am

49> I know what you mean about wishing for the happy ending. The way she and her family were treated was horrible. And, I hate the fact that others were able to profit financially from her tragedy.

Fev 11, 2014, 8:06 am

>48 bryanoz: Thanks!

Fev 11, 2014, 11:15 am

On Henrietta Lacks, the New York Times had a recent article (8/8/13) "A Family Consents to a Medical Gift, 62 Years Later"

Here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/science/after-decades-of-research-henrietta-la...

Fev 11, 2014, 12:07 pm

>52 bg853: Thanks for the link!

Fev 11, 2014, 6:43 pm

27. Notes from a Small Island**

This was not as good as "In a Sunburned Country". I know he loves Great Britain, but I found his humor to be somewhat condescending. Bits of "the Ugly American" kept showing up.

Fev 12, 2014, 9:45 am

28. Mornings in Jenin ***

One of my categories in the 2014 Category Challenge is "Second Chance" - an opportunity to finish books that I started prior to 2014, but for some reason, abandoned. "Mornings in Jenin" was one of those books. I have no idea why I stopped reading it. Somehow, I think it just got lost in my Kindle TBR pile. According to my Kindle, I had read 71% of the book, but I didn't remember enough of the details, so I re-read the first few chapters, then skipped ahead to the 71% mark.

This was a great book. it deals with a subject that I think is critical to our time - the horrible mistreatment of normal Palestinian citizens at the hands of the Israelis and their supporters. I don't know why I stopped reading it, but I'm very glad I finished it!

Fev 12, 2014, 2:04 pm

Definitely adding Mornings in Jenin to my list.

Fev 12, 2014, 5:18 pm

Mornings in Jenin was one of my favorites of 2013--it took me forever to get around to reading it, I think because either the length or the blurb on back just game me the impression it would be a slow read, but I ended up being so thankful I finally got around to it! Glad to hear you enjoyed it, also :)

Fev 14, 2014, 1:53 pm

29. In A Small Town (A Small Town Series: Book One) **.5

Interesting, but nothing special.

Fev 15, 2014, 10:09 pm

30. Trouble in Tawas**

a cozy quick read

Fev 18, 2014, 7:53 pm

31. Dynamite Fisherman ***

This was an interesting book. I thought that the first 75% was heavy on detail and background and light on action. The story deals with a CIA agent in Lebanon in 1981, an goes deeply into the political situation at the time. Since I have only a superficial understanding of the events, I found it a bit tedious to follow. Fortunately, the last 25% was exciting, and worth the effort it took to get there.

I received a free copy of this book from the LibraryThing Members Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review.

Fev 20, 2014, 12:28 pm

32. Jewel ***

This is a story about a woman who, in 1943, gives birth to a child with physical and mental "challenges" in rural Mississippi. It focuses on the challenges she faced as a mother and the impact on her family and her marriage.

Fev 23, 2014, 12:06 pm

33. Tipping the Velvet ***

This was my first foray into the world of lesbian fiction. It is a coming-of-age story set in London circa 1890. Part 1 of the book was charming; part 2 was sad, and a bit raw; in part3, the heroine strives to become ordinary and finds happiness - a very enjoyable read.

Fev 23, 2014, 8:56 pm

Oh, I do like Sarah Waters, I'm glad you liked Tipping the Velvet!

Editado: Fev 24, 2014, 4:24 pm

34. Why I Married A Murderer: And How I Survived the Divorce ***.5

This was an interesting, quick read. It's written in a very funny, chatty style. I'm not sure I understand why she did it, but her motives seem honest.

Fev 25, 2014, 11:52 am

35. The Pecan Man ****

The Pecan Man is a heartwarming story about tragic racial interactions in central Florida. I don't want to describe the story for fear of "spoilers", but I strongly recommend it as a good quick read!

Editado: Fev 27, 2014, 5:33 pm

36. Paris France *

Well, I thought Faulkner was going to win My Least Favorite Author award this year, but he has taken a back seat to Gertrude Stein! Is it too much to ask that an author have a solid understanding of sentence structure, punctuation, and storyline?

Fev 28, 2014, 10:25 am

February Summary:

18 books - 5 non-fiction (1 classic), 13 fiction (4 classics)

two ****, 2 *

Challenges completed:

5 TBR books read
February American Authors Challenge
February Group Reads (Anne of Green Gables)
One Library Thing One Book (TPODG)
February MysteryCAT (4)
February GeoCAT (3)
February RandomCAT (1)
February UNOFFICIAL AlphaCAT (3)
February UNOFFICIAL GastroCAT (1)
2014 Category Challenge (18 books in 10 categories)
2014 ABC Challenge (5 titles, 5 authors)
50 States (2)
TIOLI (18)

Mar 1, 2014, 9:38 am

Wow I love that you are doing so many challenges! I'm fairly new to LibraryThing - obviously I need to explore even more.

Mar 1, 2014, 9:41 am

>68 wareagle78: I love doing the challenges. It makes it easier to choose what to read next. Most of the challenges can be found under the 75 Books for 2014 and 2014 Category Challenge groups. If you want a link to a specific challenge, let me know.

Mar 1, 2014, 9:46 am

Thanks, Lois!

Mar 1, 2014, 10:35 am

Mar 1, 2014, 9:30 pm

38. Wide Sargasso Sea ***

Very interesting "prequel" to Jane Eyre explaining the "mad woman in the attic". Lots of local Caribbean color. An enjoyable read!

Mar 2, 2014, 6:43 pm

39. Cakes and Ale ***

A very enjoyable Maugham read. It is a satire of the English aristocracy and the London literary scene at the beginning of the 20th century.

A previous reader had questioned the title, since neither cakes nor ale are mentioned within. I googled and found the following (uncited) in Wikipedia:

Maugham drew his title from the remark of Sir Toby Belch to Malvolio in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night: "Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?" Cakes and ale are the emblems of the good life in the tagline to the fable attributed to Aesop, "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse": "Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear".

Mar 4, 2014, 6:58 am

I think I may have a copy of Cakes and Ale somewhere...

Mar 4, 2014, 8:16 am

>74 wookiebender: It works for the UNOffICIAL GastroCAT challenge this month!

Mar 4, 2014, 9:49 pm

GastroCAT, is that like LOLCats? :)

I generally skip the challenges, I like reading whatever happens to be there when I need a book. Serendipitous reading!

Mar 4, 2014, 9:53 pm

Mar 5, 2014, 12:53 pm

40. All the Pretty Horses ***

The story started very slow, but midway through the very long first chapter, the story began to pick up pace. I stayed with it primarily for the American Authors challenge. Cormac McCarthy is a master of descriptive writing and that is what made the book enjoyable. And with the help of Sparknotes, it was understandable.

Mar 7, 2014, 3:35 pm

41. The Language of Flowers ****

A complex story of an orphan, her love for flowers, and her life. It made me cry, so it gets four stars!

Mar 7, 2014, 10:08 pm

Lois, I loved The Language of Flowers! I was so inspired after reading it that I did meaning inspired floral decorations for a dear colleagues' retirement party right afterwards. Tears galore!

Mar 8, 2014, 9:25 am

>80 wareagle78: - Interesting - I'm not sure I could pull it off, but I'm glad you were able to do that!

Mar 8, 2014, 10:23 am

In 5 days, I leave for my 3 week vacation in Europe! I have plenty of reading material on my Kindle (about 80 TBR) and I have my iPad for backup if my battery runs out. But, I figured I should have one paperback in case the airlines have strict "electronic device" policies.

I want something that isn't particularly interesting, so that I will not want to devour it in one sitting. So, I've decided to bring The Orphan Masters Son. It's a book that I started last year but abandoned, primarily because it didn't measure up to Nothing to Envy. It fits in my "Second Chance" category and may put me to sleep on the airplane (an added benefit).

Mar 8, 2014, 9:05 pm

Lois I hope you have a wonderful vacation and don't run out of reading material!

Mar 9, 2014, 2:25 pm

Mar 9, 2014, 5:56 pm

Glad you've got your reading sorted out for your holiday! (Always the most important part of packing, I feel.) Have a great vacation!

Mar 9, 2014, 6:51 pm

>85 wookiebender: Thanks! A lot of my reading is planned to coordinate with the WW II sites we will be visiting.

Editado: Abr 8, 2014, 11:06 am

53. A Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing ***.5

A Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing is an enjoyable debut novel, 10 years in the making. It is a lengthy saga of an Indian family who emigrate to New Mexico, narrated by the daughter. The family is oddly dysfunctional, but somewhat complacent until tragedy strikes both in India and in New Mexico.

The story covers the typical angst of teenage relationships - siblings, dating, parents. It also addresses adult relationships, extended families, friendships, marriages, and careers. I enjoyed reading this book, even though, at 500 pages, it is much longer than my typical reads.

Abr 9, 2014, 4:32 pm

54. Home ***

Abr 10, 2014, 6:53 pm

Abr 12, 2014, 11:18 am

56. Thin Wire ***

This was an interesting story written by a mother and daughter about the daughter's struggle with heroin addiction and the journey they took toward her recovery. It gives a good insight into the mind of an addict and the pain that is suffered by all involved.

Abr 12, 2014, 7:35 pm

Looks like you did better than me as far as holiday reading goes. I only managed to read two short books on my recent two week holiday, although I had close to fifty books loaded on the reader (just in case). The one physical book I took with me was placed in a drawer when I unpacked and only taken out again to pack it!

Abr 12, 2014, 7:48 pm

>92 judylou: I probably had more time than you - 2 trans-Atlantic flights plus a 5 hour delay!

Abr 12, 2014, 7:59 pm

Nothing like a good delay to get some reading done!

Abr 13, 2014, 9:26 pm

Abr 14, 2014, 11:56 am

58. The Polish Officer **.5

I found this book tedious to get through- definitely not my cup of tea.

Abr 14, 2014, 12:17 pm

I struggled with it too - in fact, all of Alan Furst's books that I have tried have proved to be a bit of a challenge.

Abr 14, 2014, 12:24 pm

This was the only one that I have tried (my first Furst). I'm not a hurry to tackle another.

Abr 20, 2014, 12:26 pm

59. A White Wind Blew ****

The story takes place in a tuberculosis sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky during the 1920's. Dr. Pike, a widower, struggles with his need to treat his patients and his desire to return to his studies for the priesthood. His late wife, Rose, was the love of his life. Can his love of music and his medicine fulfill his needs? Or, should he devote his life to Go?

This was a powerful novel with some historical basis. Definitely, a good read!

Abr 20, 2014, 8:40 pm

Abr 21, 2014, 5:46 pm

61. Morning in the Burned House ***

I enjoyed this collection more than I expected. Atwood's lyrical prose becomes interesting poetry.

Abr 21, 2014, 10:42 pm

Abr 25, 2014, 10:32 pm

63. Florida Straits **

I needed some fluff after giving up on IBM & the Holocaust!

Abr 26, 2014, 10:49 pm

64. A Handful of Heaven ***

Abr 28, 2014, 10:13 pm

65. Hope from the Ocean ***

This was an enjoyable read. It's a family saga that begins in Ireland and ends in Pennsylvania. The author strongly conveys the Irish sense of "family" throughout the story.

Unlike most novels of its type, the story starts at the beginning and continues chronologically, rather than stepping back and forth through time. I like this approach as it adds some suspense to the story. I am being intentionally vague because I don't want to spoil the story, but one major event was not fully covered, leaving something to the reader's imagination. I also see room for a sequel.

I received this book through the LibraryThing members Giveaway program

Abr 29, 2014, 9:01 pm

April Summary:

15 books, most of which were 3+ stars
started and abandoned 2 more
completed the following challenges:
-Unofficial AlphaCAT
-Unofficial GastroCAT
-TIOLI (10)
-American Authors
-Atwood April Group read

Maio 1, 2014, 4:08 pm

66. The River Way Home: The Adventures of the Cowboy, the Indian, and the Amazon Queen ****

This was a very enjoyable YA adventure story that takes place in the early 1900s in the Florida jungle. The main characters are teenagers - a white "cracker" boy, a Seminole "Indian" boy, and a "colored" city girl. They get lost on the river during a storm and their adventure begins. The story contains a lot of Florida "local color". The last 60 pages are the authors notes on people and places that inspired her story. I enjoyed the notes as much as the story.

If you don't mind the terminology, which would be politically incorrect in today's world, this is a great look at "old" Florida.

Maio 3, 2014, 9:43 pm

67. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity - ***.5

This was a tough book to read. It's a stark, grim description of life in a Mumbai slum, and it was non-fiction! The sad thing is that the story ended on the eve of the slum's destruction with little hope of an improved future. Very sad!

Maio 4, 2014, 12:38 pm

Maio 5, 2014, 4:08 pm

69. Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty **.5

For some reason, I was expecting more from this book by Diane Keaton. It was an easy read - a "memoir" of sorts. But, when I finished it, I thought "OK, nothing special".

Maio 7, 2014, 5:48 pm

70. My Accidental Jihad ***

This was an interesting read. Although it is sub-titled: A Love Story, it is more than that. It's not just "woman meets man", it's "woman meets different man and learns to accept and understand his upbringing, culture and faith".

This is a memoir of a woman raised in a Southern California, "marginally" Christian home who meets and marries a slightly older Libyan man who is a practicing Muslim. The beauty of the story is that they each respect each other and learn to value their differences.

Maio 11, 2014, 3:11 pm

71. We Need to Talk About Kevin

Others have described this book as "disturbing" - I agree. I can't even rate this book. In some ways, it was a 4-star book; in others, it's a 2-star. But, in no way does it average to a 3-star. I will just say that I have a love-hate relationship with this book. Some people in this world should not have children!

Maio 11, 2014, 8:27 pm

When I read Behind the Beautiful Forevers I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't fiction. A tough book to read indeed!

Maio 13, 2014, 11:48 am

After due consideration, I'm rating We need to talk about Kevin 4 stars.

Maio 13, 2014, 9:45 pm

72. The Painted Girls ***.5

This was an interesting story of ballet dancers in late nineteenth century Paris. The dancers are sisters who came from poverty, and had various levels of success in their careers. It was well-written with good characters and a satisfactory ending.

Maio 14, 2014, 6:58 pm

73. The Optimist's Daughter ***

My first Eudora Welty! Interesting enough to read in one sitting.

Maio 15, 2014, 10:25 am

74. Nine Tailors ****
One of my favorite Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries -so much local color, and a lot of info about the art of bell-ringing.

Maio 15, 2014, 3:32 pm

The Nine Tailors is such a good read. And most of the bellringing info is pretty sound. There are a few bloopers, but you'd really need to know your stuff to spot them. Hubby & I are ringers & he points out all the discrepancies; as for me, I'm happy to get wrapped up in the story

Maio 18, 2014, 9:37 pm

>118 Helenliz: I find the bell-ringing fascinating. I know nothing about it, so I would never catch the bloopers.

Maio 20, 2014, 9:38 am

75. Go Away Home ****

Go Away Home is a heartwarming story that takes place in Iowa in 1913 - 1918. In some ways it is reminiscent of My Antonia. Liddie, a farm girl, has aspirations to become a dressmaker and live an adventurous life away from the farm. The story takes her to town, some career satisfaction, an additional career opportunity, and love. I don't want to spoil the story, so I will just say, it was an excellent read.

I received this book from the LT Members Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review

Editado: Maio 21, 2014, 9:06 pm

76. Diver Down (Mercy Watts Mysteries) ***

Diver Down is a quirky, fun little mystery. It is part of the Mercy Watts series. Diver Down takes place in Roatan with a cast of crazy characters while attempted murder takes place in a vacation resort. It's a great quick read when you need a break from the serious stuff.

I received this book from the LT members Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review.

Maio 23, 2014, 9:32 pm

77. Cards on the Table ***

An Agatha Christie re-read for me.

Maio 23, 2014, 9:53 pm

Ah, I love Cards on the Table. I'm a sucker for bridge. The TV episode for that one is especially fun.

Maio 23, 2014, 10:12 pm

>123 mabith: I'm an avid bridge player, too!

Maio 24, 2014, 1:14 am

The BBC made a marvellous radio version of Cards On The Table, too.

Maio 24, 2014, 5:05 pm

78. Behind Dark Doors ****

Behind Dark Doors is collection of intriguing short stories about ordinary situations ending with a dark twist. The situations include a cooking contest, an accident during recess, anew girl in class, a 70th wedding anniversary, a teenage boy's messy room and a D-Day veteran suffering from PTSD.

All but one of the stories are brief. The dark twist jumps out at you! I could not put this book down. Definitely, a great read!

I received an electronic copy of this book as part of the LibraryThing Members Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review.

Maio 25, 2014, 7:21 pm

I wish I were an avid bridge player but there was never anyone to play with! My mom got me a computer bridge game geared at kids when I was little and I absolutely loved it. The family was not so keen on real life playing, sadly. I try to guilt them by saying they're letting my grandparents down, but no luck.

Editado: Maio 28, 2014, 4:01 pm

>127 mabith: go to www.bridgebase.com - you can play with people around the world 24/7 for free.

Editado: Maio 28, 2014, 4:12 pm

79. The Other Story ****

After reading Tatiana De Rosney's novel Sarah's Key, I looked forward to reading another of her works. I received a freeelectronic copy of The Other Story from the LT Early Reviewer program in exchange for an honest review. Although the two books are completely different, I was not disappointed.

The Other Story is the story of Nicholas, a young novelist who achieves instant fame and recognition for his first novel. The story is made into a movie and the starring actress receives an Oscar. Nicholas becomes addicted to the fame, the recognition, and the adulation that he receives on social media, so that his relationships with family, friends and his publisher become strained. Despite his vanity and narcissism, there's a glimpse of a decent person.

I found this novel to be compelling and a very interesting read.

Maio 31, 2014, 8:17 pm

May Summary:
14 books
13 TIOLI challenges
MysteryCAT (2)
AlphaKIT (2)
American Authors

Editado: Jun 1, 2014, 11:51 am

80. The Penelopiad ****

I was very reluctant to start this book for the OLTOB group read. But once I read the first paragraph, I was hooked. It's a fun story - well-written, clever, creative, and just do different!

Jun 1, 2014, 2:57 pm

81. God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian ***

This was a very short, quick read that I enjoyed. I'm moderately surprised because I was only vaguely familiar with Slaughterhouse Five, having tried to read it many years ago. The book is a series of interviews with dead people conducted in a "near-death" state by the author. The interviews were originally aired on NPR station WNYC.

Jun 4, 2014, 5:40 pm

82. Moloka'i ****

This is a story of a young Hawaiian child with Hansen's disease (leprosy), at the turn of the twentieth century, who is taken from her family and sent to live on Molokai. The author provides
considerable detail about Hawaiian culture and topography, as well as the treatment and struggles endured by the patients.

I enjoyed this immensely; any story that leaves me crying gets 4 stars.

Jun 6, 2014, 7:53 pm

83. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings ****

I had never read Maya Angelou, so, to commemorate her death, I read this well-written memoir of her childhood. Although she spent some time with her mother in St. Louis and California, she is a child of the south and owes her upbringing to her paternal grandmother. I definitely recommend this book.

I got my copy from my local library and was surprised to find that it was a first edition, published in 1969! I never think about how long books sit on library shelves!

Jun 7, 2014, 1:08 pm

84. A Pedigree To Die For ***

A cute little cozy mystery set in the world of dog show poodles. I read this as part of my library's participation in Overdrive's Big Library Read.

Jun 7, 2014, 5:01 pm

85. Psychophilia ****

Disturbing! This is the story of a mentally ill young woman who has attempted suicide and suffers from germ phobia and OCD. She is married to a pompous ss who is having an affair with the live-in housekeeper. This is a thriller right up to the very end. M heart was racing as I read the last page!

Jun 8, 2014, 9:23 pm

86. A Land Remembered ***.5

A nice family saga about the settling of Florida in the late 19th century.

Jun 10, 2014, 7:01 pm

87. Duplicate Death ***

I was fooled right up to the end!

Jun 11, 2014, 4:12 pm

88. Back to the Bedroom ***

A fun Janet Evanovich ROMANCE!

Jun 13, 2014, 11:00 pm

89. 12 Years a Slave**

I found this book rather tedious, written in the formal style of the 19th century. However, the story was certainly compelling and I can understand that it would make a good movie.

Jun 14, 2014, 10:47 pm

90. The Thirteen Problems ***

A re-read of a collection of Miss Marple short stories - she is my favorite Christie detective.

Jun 16, 2014, 4:21 pm

91. Last Train to Paradise ***.5

This was an interesting story about Henry Flagler's mission to build a railroad across the ocean to Key West, FL. The book contains a lot of geographic and engineering details which were particularly interesting because we are planning a trip there in September.

Jun 17, 2014, 9:13 pm

92. The Secret Garden ***
A nice young adult story that I missed when I was that age - reminiscent of Heidi

Jun 18, 2014, 7:07 pm

Jun 19, 2014, 1:23 pm

94. Lucia, Lucia ***

Jun 20, 2014, 1:15 pm

95. Never Knowing ****

Chevy Stevens is a master of the psychological thriller, and this one didn't disappoint. As an adult and mother to her own child, Sara decides to search for her birth parents. What she finds is frightening! It's one of those books that you don't want to put down.

Jun 22, 2014, 12:20 pm

96. Too Much Sun *
Boring story of an arrogant adolescent misogynist!

Jun 22, 2014, 6:16 pm

97. Innocent Until Proven Guilty ****

Wow! This was a great, quick read. In the Prolog, you learn about the victim and the crime. Soon after you learn about the accused murderer, the likely mastermind, and the motive. What's left? Gun fights, car chases, twists, turns, more murders, a rogue cop, and just when you think it's over, you realize you are only 70% though the book. And there's a final twist to be revealed!

Jun 23, 2014, 3:23 pm

Jun 24, 2014, 8:49 am

99. Eye of the Witch ***

This is a book that I had a hard time rating. Genre: paranormal mystery - * for paranormal (I'm not a believer), **** for mystery (I could not put it down). Plot: sufficiently complex. Character development: OK. Editing: in need of someone who understands homonyms! (It's legal counsel not legal council.)

Editado: Jun 25, 2014, 7:36 pm


100. Lucky Us ***

This also completes my sweep of this month's TIOLI challenges - a first for me!

Jun 26, 2014, 2:32 am

You sure did!

Congratulations on reaching the magical 100!!

Jun 26, 2014, 2:36 am

Congratulations! Having made it so quickly you could probably complete another lap of 100 more before the year is out. :)

Jun 26, 2014, 7:51 am

>152 judylou: Thanks!
>153 Eyejaybee: Thanks, but I need to concentrate on reading New York for my RLBC. At 1000+ pages, that will take me a while to get through. I also have an ARC that is 700+ pages.

Jun 28, 2014, 7:49 am

>151 LoisB: congratulations on both reaching 100 and the TIOLI clean sweep. That's some impressive reading!

Jul 2, 2014, 10:48 pm

101. I Murdered My Library ***
102. Where'd You Go, Bernadette ****
103. The Maltese Falcon **

Editado: Jul 3, 2014, 11:53 am

104. Virgin: A Novel ("Flowers" cover)

I have to admit that I am not part of the target audience for this book. It's the story of Ellie, a 21 year old virgin trying to change that status. I am old enough to be her grandmother! The language in the book is detailed, explicit and informative. My generation still doesn't talk about things like that. This was a funny, occasionally sad, and enjoyable read. I recommend it!

Jul 6, 2014, 4:34 pm

105. Guidebook to Murder ***
106. Q Road ***

Jul 7, 2014, 10:27 am

Jul 7, 2014, 12:30 pm

108. Innocents Abroad *

This will be my last Mark Twain read! I didn't particularly like his writing when I was young, and I like it even less now.

Jul 9, 2014, 7:22 pm

109. Victura: The Kennedys, A Sailboat And The Sea ****

"Sailing is a metaphor for life". These words, attributed to Ted Kennedy by the author, constitute the theme for Victura, an in-depth look at the childhood of John F. Kennedy and his siblings. Their father's passion and drive to succeed influenced them from a very young age. They were taught to sail, to race, and to win. Second-place was not acceptable!

The Kennedy's were a remarkable family and this is a great story. The author had extensive access to family members, so there is a very personal tone to the story.

Jul 9, 2014, 9:14 pm

110. Out of Dublin ***

Editado: Jul 11, 2014, 3:07 pm

111. I'll Give You Something to Cry About: A novella **.5

Interesting story about a family consisting of a father who has lost a leg to bone cancer, a mother who has taken a sabbatical from the family to study creative writing, a stereotypical mother-in-law, a transgender 16 yr old, and a 6 year old child prodigy on the violin. There was so much to each of the characters, that I wish it had been a novel rather than a novella.

Jul 13, 2014, 9:11 pm

Editado: Jul 15, 2014, 10:37 am

113. Crazy by Linda Vigen Phillips ****

This was a great book! It's the story of Laura, a high school student from a dysfunctional family in 1963. The causes of the dysfunction are her mother's mental illness and the family reluctance to talk about it. Laura is a talented artist, like her mother, who fears that she is the cause of the latest episode and fears that she will follow in her mother's footsteps.

The book is targeted to the YA audience, but can easily be enjoyed by those of us who remember 1963, and those in between.

I received this book as part of the LT Early Reviewers program in exchange for a honest review.

Editado: Jul 18, 2014, 3:17 pm

114. Killer Ambition ***

This was an enjoyable read. Unlike most books in this genre, the author (consistent with her background) delves deeply into the District Attorney's office activities. Although the book was long, it was compelling and well-written. I will definitely read another of Marcia Clark's novels.

Jul 18, 2014, 3:18 pm

Jul 20, 2014, 5:44 pm

Jul 20, 2014, 6:26 pm

Jul 23, 2014, 10:42 pm

118. Memoirs of an Exorcist: My Life Fighting Satan

In the Catholic church, there is a huge mystique surrounding exorcism - a mystique which my 13 years of Catholic education did nothing to dispel. We were told that exorcism is a rite performed by priests on those who are possessed by the devil - end of story!

I received an Advanced Readers Copy of "Memoirs of an Exorcist: My Life Fighting Satan" from Open Road Media. It does much to fill in the gaps. The book addresses the reluctance of the current-day church hierarchy to discuss exorcisms and the devil. I learned that exorcism is not a single event, but rather a process that can take many years to complete. Of major concern, is the lack of a succession plan for today's exorcists.

I believe that evil exists. I believe in the power of prayer. I am a skeptic of the paranormal. I found this book to be informative and compelling.

Jul 26, 2014, 9:17 pm

120. Olive Kitteridge ***

I originally started this book and stopped because I was having a hard time following the story line, then someone explained to me that each chapter was a separate story (DUH)! I finished the book and enjoyed it. I think the five years that have passed since my first read have helped me appreciate its message.

Ago 1, 2014, 2:27 pm

121. Nemesis by Philip Roth ****

My only prior experience with Philip Roth's works was with Goodbye Columbus and Portnoy's Complaint, both of which I read many years ago and both of which I remember as rather crude. Nemesis was a pleasant surprise. Whether it is due to Roth's maturity as a writer, or my own maturity as a reader, I found Nemesis to be a gripping coming-of-age story. Set in Newark, NJ during the 1944 polio epidemic, it's the story of Bucky Cantor, a phys-ed teacher, summering as a playground instructor. He has found a career, a woman to love, and is on the brink of a wonderful life when tragedy strikes. I definitely recommend this book!

Editado: Ago 2, 2014, 6:26 pm

Ago 3, 2014, 7:56 pm

Ago 4, 2014, 5:51 pm

Ago 5, 2014, 8:18 pm

127. Unusual Uses for Olive Oil *

I did not like this book at all - the characters were all annoying! This was surprising since I have enjoyed the other Alexander McCall Smith books that I have read. If I did not need it for 2 challenges, I would have abandoned it.

Ago 6, 2014, 9:51 am

Ago 6, 2014, 12:07 pm

With that series of Alexander McCall Smith books the point is that they're all annoying, as it's just a sheer comedy series with a lot of making fun of academia (and German stereotypes). That's actually the fourth book, and it would be an especially odd read without having started at the beginning (Portugese Irregular Verbs), as the antics ramp up through the series.

Ago 6, 2014, 1:46 pm

>178 mabith: Thx. I probably would have found it funnier if I started with th first book in the series.

Ago 7, 2014, 3:56 pm

I think that liking one of Alexander McCall Smith's series is no indicator that you'll enjoy any of the others, as they are really quite different. I have found that while I enjoyed the No 1 Ladies detective agency, and some of his short stories, I found that the Isabel Dalhousie book I tried was awfully prim and a bit preachy.

Ago 7, 2014, 5:57 pm

>189 Thx for the info. I will add them to my list of books to skip!

Ago 8, 2014, 9:35 pm

Ago 9, 2014, 4:00 pm

130. Reckless ***
Este tópico foi continuado por LoisB will give it a try! Part 2.