Judylou's 100

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Judylou's 100

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1judylou
Editado: Jan 20, 2014, 10:48 pm


My main bookcase

I thought I might list my favourites from last year here too. In no particular order . . .

The Children's Hospital
The Dinner
The Orphan Master's Son
Life After Life
Capital
Sisterland
My Beautiful Enemy
The Night Guest
Bingo's Run

I am looking forward to doing some serious reading again this year. And looking forward to following the many friends I have made here on LibraryThing!

Here we go again!

2Eyejaybee
Jan 1, 2014, 10:14 am

Hi Judy. Best wishes for 2014, and happy reading!

3wookiebender
Jan 1, 2014, 11:48 pm

Good to see you here again! Looking forward to your 2014 reading.

4mabith
Jan 2, 2014, 12:16 pm

Happy 2014 and books books books!

5rainpebble
Jan 3, 2014, 2:48 pm

Happy New Year Judylou & good luck with your 2014 reading challenges. I look forward to following you.

6Tanya-dogearedcopy
Jan 4, 2014, 9:08 pm

Hello! Just dropping by to say, "Hi!" I'm looking forward to seeing what you read!

*starring* :-)

7bookwormjules
Jan 5, 2014, 9:20 am

Welcome back, good luck!

8judylou
Jan 20, 2014, 10:27 pm

Thank you for all the welcoming thoughts! I have had a rocky start to the year and am finally ready to start my thread properly now. I will go back up to Message No 1 and add a few things, then I will be ready to post my first books of the year.

9judylou
Jan 20, 2014, 10:57 pm

1. The Vale Girl by Nelika McDonald

An interesting book, set in a small country town where everyone knows everyone and everyone knows the local prostitute and her teenage daughter too well. When young Sarah Vale goes missing, the townspeople are fairly indifferent. Only her best mate Tommy cares enough to persuade the town policeman to keep searching for her. It seems that behind the facade of every quaint, pretty country town lies plenty of disquiet, and this town is no different. Good!!

10judylou
Jan 20, 2014, 11:06 pm

2. Cementville by Paulette Livers

Another small town, but this one somewhat different. It is 1969 in Kentucky and the town's young men are returning. Most of them are returning in coffins from Vietnam, and one is coming in on a bus from Canada to attend his brother's funeral. This is a really good story about what it means to be a hero, about how grief affects us all differently and about how family grievances can be overcome through unexpected friendships and newly found respect. Good!!

11judylou
Jan 20, 2014, 11:09 pm

3. The Gifts of the State: and other stories by Adam Klein

Adam Klein has put together an incredibly interesting collection of stories. They were written by young Afghanis who attended Klein’s writing workshop in Kabul. The stories depict moments of the lives of these young people, both real and imagined. They write of traditional blood debts, where a very young girl is given to an older man in marriage after a member of her family kills a member of his family accidentally. They write about life in a city under the Taliban where books are banned, but one young man, who himself is inspired by Micky Spillane rents comics to children and romances to ladies from his illicit book shop. They write about romance and love, and exile from their own country. They also write about the unimaginable brutality and horror of life in their own country.

The stories themselves are written well. Some of them flow better than others, some of them appeal more than others, and some of them are more forgettable than others. But this is true of all short story collections. What I will remember about this collection is the stories that it tells.

Recommended!

12judylou
Jan 20, 2014, 11:19 pm

4. The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

Set in early 20th Century New York, Coney Island is a place of wonder and delight, at least for the visitors, if not for the residents. Coralie's father is a collector of oddities; the siamese twins, the wolf man, the tattooed lady, the butterfly girl. His museum displays these "freaks" along with his own daughter who he has trained to be a mermaid. In alternating chapters we hear from Coralie and Eddie, a finder of people and things, and a photographer who allows the camera to see for him. This book had me intrigued for the first half, but lost me a little in the middle somewhere. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I preferred young Coralie and the museum itself, more than the romance which kept on almost happening. OK.

13judylou
Jan 20, 2014, 11:24 pm

5. Wool by Hugh Howey

After reading this last year, I thought it a good choice for listening to in the car on a very long trip with my husband, my son and my mother. And I was right! It isn't easy to pick a book that will keep everyone happy, but this one did. It is the future and all of humanity is held within a silo, safe from the toxic wasteland outside. But not everyone is happy, and human nature being what it is, certain people are always striving for answers and explanations for their lives. A great story and it has prompted me to get the next in the series ready for reading! Excellent!

14judylou
Jan 20, 2014, 11:33 pm

6. The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Or *The Collected Works of AJ Fikry

I really enjoyed reading this one. AJ is a bookstore owner on Alice Island. His wife has just died in a car accident and he is well on his way to drinking himself into an early grave. Then along comes Maya. Maya is only two years old. A precocious little girl who is left in the bookstore with a note from her mother, whose body is soon found washed up on the beach. AJ fully intends to allow the authorities to take Maya away on Monday, but then, well, he just cannot. I loved the tone of this book. It was sweet, but not cloying. There was fun and humour, as well as complexity. And best of all, it was supported the whole way through by books, books and more books! Recommended.

15judylou
Jan 20, 2014, 11:39 pm

SO I think that I am caught up now. What am I currently reading? I started When Colts Ran on audio just this morning, but found it hard going, so I turned it off and listened to Rodriguez instead while I cleaned the house. I haven't started it yet, but I think I will read Prayers for the Stolen next.

16wookiebender
Jan 21, 2014, 9:51 pm

Glad you got all caught up, hope that the rest of your year runs smoother!

I also really liked Wool, and I must buy the next book sooner rather than later.

And Roger McDonald can be rather hard going. Not my favourite Australian author. (Not a *bad* author, just not my favourite!)

17judylou
Jan 21, 2014, 11:23 pm

Thanks wookie.

I started Shift instead of the other one after all. So far I am liking it too.

18judylou
Jan 22, 2014, 5:40 pm

I started to read Christopher Koch's Lost Voices which was the book for my sister's book club. As I was holidaying with them, I went along with her. But I only had one morning to read the book. Just as well! I really did not like it. It was beyond dull and even though I only read about 70 pages, it seemed to me to be a real old man's book. Most of the book club liked it but with reservations!

I also listened to about 5 hours of Robert Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling. Bleh! Won't bother to pick up the rest of it. My husband quite enjoyed it and read to the end. When he finished he asked me who I thought was the murderer. I guessed correctly. He wondered how I could have known. I said because it had to be that person, according to the formula. He was unimpressed.

19wookiebender
Jan 24, 2014, 7:39 am

Uh oh, I have Lost Voices on Mt TBR and The Cuckoo's Calling on my wishlist!!

20jfetting
Jan 24, 2014, 9:41 am

How did it take me so long to find your thread? I love your bookshelves!

21judylou
Jan 25, 2014, 1:13 am

I would never tell you what you should or shouldn't read wookie, you might like both of them. But really, I wouldn't bother!

Jennifer, I just wish they were bigger!!!

22judylou
Jan 30, 2014, 11:43 pm

7. Shift by Hugh Howey

The story continues. This time we flash between the building of the silos and the story of Solo who is introduced in the first books. Silo number 1 is populated by the very people who engineered the building of the silos. They are cryogenically stored, but woken for shifts to work the silo centuries apart. I liked it a lot.

I have now started The HUndred Year Old Man who Climbed out a Window and Disappeared.

23wookiebender
Editado: Fev 1, 2014, 5:25 am

Glad you enjoyed Shift, I really must buy myself a copy!

24judylou
Fev 4, 2014, 2:20 am

8. When Colts Ran by Roger McDonald

I tried. I really did. I listened to a bit more than half of this book, but that is enough for me. While sorting through my wardrobe yesterday I listened to another hour or more and by the end of the sorting I realized that I had no idea what was going on in the story. So time to move on. Perhaps another day?

Started AM Homes's This Book will save your Life instead.

25judylou
Fev 11, 2014, 7:47 pm

9. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

I was so scared by The Shining back in the day, that I was unsure whether I would be disappointed by this one, but I wasn't! It definitely wasn't as scary as I remember The Shining to be, but it was a great story. Young Daniel has grown up. He has had a hard life, but things are getting better. Then he discovers he is not the only one with the shine, and his life changes again. Stephen King is a great storyteller.

26wookiebender
Fev 11, 2014, 8:26 pm

Having just read The Shining for the first time (flawed, but a great story, and yes, I was scared witless at times), I'm not sure I want to continue straight onto Doctor Sleep, even though I'm hearing good things. I think I'm just happy it all ended for Danny, and let's just leave it there for the time being...

27bg853
Fev 11, 2014, 8:46 pm

Another interesting aspect of Doctor Sleep is that it is a book about a recovering alcoholic whih is written by a recovering alcoholic.

Likewise, Stephen King has admitted he was an alcoholic when he wrote The Shining which features a writer, Jack Torrance, who was an alcoholic.

There was a good reason all the AA mantras in the book rang so true.

28judylou
Fev 13, 2014, 1:53 am

Yes, there was a lot of AA in the book. I had heard that King struggled with alcohol in the past, and I felt that he handled all the AA stuff very well. I did not find it intrusive at all.

29judylou
Fev 13, 2014, 2:05 am

10. The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed out a Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

I couldn't love this one as much as so many others did. I enjoyed the chapters set in the present more than the forays back into history. I just felt the historical stories were too silly and unbelievable. It reminded me of The Simpsons. But not in a good way :O(

30ronincats
Fev 13, 2014, 2:09 am

Hi, Judy. I've got Wool on my Kindle but haven't gotten to it yet. Too many books, too little time...I love the photo of your bookshelves--YES! Use every inch!

31judylou
Fev 13, 2014, 7:26 pm

hehehe If I could squeeze any more on, I would!

11. The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

I listened to the Dark Tower series last year and absolutely loved it. So when I forgot to take my book to work for lunchtime reading, I had to search the shelves for another book to start (yes, I work in a library and could not believe how hard it was to find a book I wanted to read that day :O) This book was written after all the others and belongs somewhere in the middle of the series, but I didn't feel like I had missed out by reading it last. When young Roland is sent on a mission to put an end to a deadly shapechanger, he finds a lone survivor, a young boy who has just seen his father killed. To help him through a long night, Roland tells young Billy a story. I liked it.

32wookiebender
Fev 13, 2014, 8:25 pm

Oh, I wasn't a great fan of The Hundred Year Old Man, although from memory, I liked the historical stories better than the current day one.

33judylou
Fev 13, 2014, 11:51 pm

wookie, between the two of us, we might have really liked that book!

34LShelby
Fev 14, 2014, 1:38 pm

35wookiebender
Fev 15, 2014, 12:52 am

Oh, that's too funny. :)

36judylou
Fev 17, 2014, 5:53 pm

12. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

It seems that a lot of people loved this book, but I wasn't one of them. It was a bit too light and airy for me. The basic boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back plot was dandied up by giving the main character Aspergers. Unfortunately, I couldn't believe the character. He was too over the top and stereotyped for me. Sure, there were some funny moments and the writing was slick, but it just wasn't a hit for me. I wasn't surprised in the least to read in the notes from the author that this was originally written as a screenplay. It will probably make a very enjoyable rom com one day.

Now reading The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings and still listening to This Book will save your Life.

37judylou
Fev 20, 2014, 6:32 pm

13. This Book will Save your Life by A.M. Homes

Someone suggested I read this (was it you bryanoz?) after I said how much I liked May we be Forgiven. I have now placed Homes on my best of authors list!! I absolutely loved this book.

Richard Novak is a rich middle aged man living alone in the California hills. He keeps himself fit, with a regime of exercise and healthy food, but one day he finds himself dialing 911, thinking he is about to die. Things start to change. He doesn't die (of course) but now he starts to live differently. He realises his isolation when the only people he has to call from the hospital are his estranged wife, his teenage son and his housekeeper. But then Richard begins to collect new friends. There is the doughnut shop owner who loves Richard's car, the insurance man, the woman he rescues in the supermarket, the famous actor, the reclusive author, and finally his own son. As I said, I loved this book, but the ending was so surprising, I rewound the audio twice just to make sure I didn't miss something. Can you love and hate an ending at the same time?

38judylou
Fev 20, 2014, 6:39 pm

14. The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Set in a ski resort town in the Colorado mountains, Sarah is a grieving mother. Cully, her young son has died in an avalanche and she is trying to get back into her life as a local TV presenter. She has her father for support, but he also has his problems, and her son's father is in the background. But then along comes Kit, who turns out to have been Cully's girlfriend, and she has just discovered that she is pregnant. An interesting look at grief and how people react to it and to others who are also suffering a loss.

Now listening to Eyrie by Tim Winton and reading Instructions for a Heatwave

39bryanoz
Fev 21, 2014, 4:28 am

#37 You are so welcome judylou !, must read something else from this great author.

40wookiebender
Fev 21, 2014, 8:10 am

Oh, must check out This Book Will Save Your Life now! And I'm hoping you enjoy the new Tim Winton, I've liked his later books a lot. Haven't bought that one yet, though. (Hm, maybe a good bookclub suggestion...)

41judylou
Fev 27, 2014, 1:12 am

15. Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell

In 1976 England suffered months of heat and little rain. During this time the Riordan family were also suffering. Robert Riordan said goodbye to his wife one morning and went out for the paper. He never returned. Their three children were forced to leave their own personal crises and come home to their mother. They all air their grievances while trying to work through them, both old and new. This was a little bit formulaic, but nevertheless, it was a great read.

42judylou
Fev 27, 2014, 1:14 am

16. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

This was a tragic story about teenagers with cancer. Not much more to say about it really.

43judylou
Fev 27, 2014, 1:19 am

I am now reading Fuse and listening to Started Early, Took my Dog. I had to give up on the audio version of Eyrie, I didn't like it. But I have ordered the book from the library and expect I will like reading it a lot more than listening to it.

44jfetting
Fev 27, 2014, 12:28 pm

I will have to read something by this Homes person. This Book Will Save Your Life sounds great and I really liked your review.

45bookwormjules
Mar 1, 2014, 2:19 pm

I'm hoping to read The Rosie Project soon. I hope I enjoy it more than you did, it's a shame it didn't work out for you. But, it is nice to see more variety of reviews on the book.

46judylou
Mar 3, 2014, 1:46 am

Jennifer, thanks, and let me know if you ever do read Homes.

I hope you like it too jules. Many people liked it a lot more than I did!

17. Fuse by Julianna Baggott

Book 2 in the series, this was a continuation of the story in Book 1 - Pure. We get to hear what happens to all the old characters and follow them in the next stage of their adventures. I liked it.

47judylou
Editado: Mar 8, 2014, 6:08 pm

18. Eyrie by Tim Winton

Tom Keely is a broken man. He has had a very public meltdown and has lost his job, his home, his marriage and his self respect. He has replaced all these things with alcohol and prescription drugs. From a beautiful home by the river he now lives at the top of a noisy, smelly, hot tower block, a million miles from his previous existence. He meets Gemma, a girl who lived in his street when they were children, and her little grandson Kai, a strangely compelling boy. As soon as they meet we wonder if Kai, and Gemma, will be the catalysts for Keely to get his life back on track.

Winton never fails to impress me with the way he can capture a character with so few words. I love the way he can say so much with just a few lines of dialogue.

Now reading The People in the Trees and listening to Brixton Beach

48judylou
Mar 8, 2014, 6:14 pm

19. Started Early, Took my Dog by Kate Atkinson

Jackson Brodie is trying to find the birth parents of a New Zealander. Tracy Waterhouse, an ex-cop working as a security guard in a shopping centre has just bought a toddler from a junkie. Tilly is an ageing actress suffering the beginnings of dementia. And they all fit together wonderfully. A great story!

49judylou
Mar 11, 2014, 7:15 pm

20. The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

There was nothing about this book that I liked. I cannot believe that I actually read the whole thing. It was dull and plodding and written in an old fashioned style which is something I really dislike. A scientist discovers an island in Micronesia where if turtle meat is eaten on the 60th birthday, that person lives indefinitely. Apart from the dullness of the story, there were many instances of cruelty and nastiness and some really horrible scenes. Anyway, on to something better!

Now reading: We Need New Names

50whitewavedarling
Mar 11, 2014, 9:34 pm

Sigh--and that's on my tbr pile. Did you at least like the cover? I have to admit: I love the cover, and partly picked it up for that reason...

51judylou
Mar 12, 2014, 2:05 am

hahaha Yes the cover was very pretty.

52wookiebender
Mar 12, 2014, 7:32 am

Glad you enjoyed the Tim Winton, I suggested it for bookgroup but it gt shouted down. I think we've settled on more "popular" fiction. :) But given a number of them work for publishing houses, and have to read for a living, I think they should have a greater say in our bookgroup choices (which we do for fun, really). Funnily enough, we've got the latest Kate Atkinson as our next read, there were several Jackson Brodie fans in the group. Not that this is part of that series, but we're always happy to read another Atkinson. :)

53judylou
Mar 17, 2014, 7:46 pm

I hope you get to read Eyrie anyway wookie.

21. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

Loved it! Told through the voice of Darling, a little girl living in a shanty town called Paradise, running wild with her madly named gang of friends. They love nothing better than to visit the nearby town of Budapest to steal guavas from the trees of the rich people. They play games and observe the adults in their town. They all aspire to a better life and to moving away from their homes to live in the mythical land called America. Darling is lucky. Her Aunt takes her to America where she has to learn to fit in and where she discovers that America is not the fabled land of plenty she imagined it to be. A story about home and family and the hardships of immigration.

54judylou
Mar 17, 2014, 7:51 pm

22. The Weaver Fish by Robert Edeson

Perhaps this one reminded me too much of The People in the Trees, but I didn't like it. Also set on an isolated island, full of scientists and scientific discoveries, I just couldn't warm to the characters, or care about the story.

55mabith
Mar 17, 2014, 11:00 pm

Glad to hear you loved We Need New Names! It's been on my list for a while.

56bryanoz
Mar 19, 2014, 4:41 am

On my list too, thanks for the review !

57judylou
Mar 26, 2014, 6:33 pm

23. Reality by Ray Glickman

The unnamed narrator is a successful businessman who is looking for a challenge. After watching Big Brother he decides to o a social experiment of his own. He chooses six people randomly from the Perth telephone directory and then sets them up to meet in different ways. The premise sounds great, but it didn't develop into anything that interested me much. The only thread that I enjoyed was the relationship between an elderly holocaust survivor and a fireman / handyman who is doing some repairs for her. I felt that it was overlong and the action in the story really was lacking. In fact I skipped a whole wedge of pages in the middle and I don't feel like I missed anything in the story at all. A shame, because the writing was good, but it could have been a much better adventure!

58judylou
Mar 26, 2014, 6:50 pm

24. Brixton Beach by Roma Tearne

This was a great story to listen to. Tearne's writing is superb and a joy to hear. Sita Vonseka is a Sinhalese who marries a Tamil during the civil war in Ceylon. They face discrimination and leave for England with their young daughter Alice. Sita struggles with her life, her husband, her loss of family, her loss of a baby, and perhaps most of all her loss of identity as a new migrant. We follow the family through trial and turmoil in England, always referenced by the turmoil of war in what is now known as Sri Lanka.

59wookiebender
Mar 30, 2014, 10:30 pm

I've heard good things elsewhere about Brixton Beach, thanks for reminding me of it!

60judylou
Abr 12, 2014, 2:21 am

I'm back from two weeks on the ocean and still can't believe how much fun we had on our cruise to New Zealand. The only downside of all that fun was that I only got to read two books and they were both pretty lightweight ones at that! Hope I can get back into the reading rhythm again :O)

25. Life as we Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Book 1 in the trilogy. An asteroid has hit the moon, knocking it closer to the Earth and causing all sorts of damage - earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, etc. Miranda is a teenager, a bit of a whinger, living with her mother and brothers. The story is told through her journal entries and describes their struggle to survive.

26. The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Book 2. This time we are in New York when the moon is knocked closer, where a 17 year old boy is left to struggle to survive ad protect his two younger sisters.

So guess what I am reading now . . . Book 3 - This World we Live In.

And also The Girl with all the Gifts

61judylou
Abr 12, 2014, 7:14 pm

27. This World we Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The third in the series. Took only one day to read, but it wasn't as enjoyable as the others. For me, too much religion involved.

62bookwormjules
Abr 16, 2014, 6:22 am

I've bern on the fence for that trilogy by Pfeffer and I kind of bounce back and forth from wanting to read it and not. I think it's a book I might have issues with, especially the third, especially if there is to much religion in it.

63judylou
Abr 18, 2014, 3:18 am

#62 Jules, They are OK books, but not something I would recommend highly. The religion begins with a vengeance in Book #2, but it somehow seemed to fit into the story easily. The religion in Book #3 felt more preachy. That is why I mentioned it.

28. Maze by JM McDermott

I read this one a while ago and just realised that I had forgotten to add it here. So . . what to say about this very strange, very weird, very compelling book? There is a maze. Don't know where it is. Or when it is. Or how it is. There are people in the maze. They have come from everywhere and everywhen. The maze is not a friendly place. There are awesomely scary beasts and bugs and plants. There is never enough food or water, but even when there is food, eating it can at times be deadly. This strange mix of people try to survive together, but even though they are such a diverse group, their simple humanity may still be their downfall.

64judylou
Abr 19, 2014, 8:58 pm

29. Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood

A very satisfying ending to the trilogy. The story continues where The Year of the Flood finishes up. We get to find out what happens to everyone and also to have a look back at the stories of such characters as Zeb and Adam.

65judylou
Abr 21, 2014, 11:54 pm

30. The Girl with all the Gifts by MJ Carey

As many of you may know, I am a sucker for a good zombie story. And this is a good zombie story! The girl in question is Melanie. She Lives in a secure cell where it takes two armed guards to transport her to and from the classroom - the only place she ever goes. Melanie is extremely bright and lives for the days when her beloved Ms Justineau is the teacher. It soon becomes obvious just why Melanie and the other children are kept so securely. Zombies! I have read a lot of zombie books. Mostly they are run of the mill us against them stories, while some are well-written, many are pretty ordinary. But this one is different, well-written and highly enjoyable. I liked it a lot.

Now reading: They Shall Begin Again so far a bit disappointing; and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

66judylou
Editado: Abr 30, 2014, 7:59 pm

31. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

Set during the ten years covering the two recent Chechen wars, this is a beautifully written story about war and how it affects the ordinary people of an ordinary village. It was a surprise to me to discover that this was Marra's first novel. The writing is superb, the imagery is delicious and the characters are just perfect. War is not nice and there is some stuff in this book that is not nice, but read it anyway. You will not be disappointed.

Now reading Annihilation ~ Yes! and The Bone Season ~ meh. and Transatlantic ~ it got better!

67judylou
Maio 3, 2014, 10:39 pm

32. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

This is the first of a trilogy, the other two to be published later this year. Nothing is explained in this very interesting book. It isn't known where we are, or when we are. Simply that there is an area known as Area X. Groups of explorers have been sent in through the "border" to discover it's secrets. Through the journal entries of "the biologist" (no names here either) we learn what is happening to her group. But what we learn is not necessarily what is happening. Or is it?

68judylou
Maio 3, 2014, 10:50 pm

33. Transatlantic by Colum McCann

I listened to this book. At first I thought it was going to be one of those books that you should read, not listen to. But I persevered and was glad I did. The first section was a tad monotonous for me. I'm not that interested in how planes work, so was happy to move on from there to the rest of the story. It really was a fascinating story after all. Moving through history, following characters through their descendants, there is one thing that ties them all together. Highly recommended.

69judylou
Maio 9, 2014, 5:02 am

34. Boy Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

I seem to be reading some good books lately and this one didn't disappoint me. I thought it might, as so many heavily reviewed an highly recommended books do, but I am very glad to have read it! Boy is a girl in the fifties, living with an abusive father in New York. She runs away to a small town where she tries to fit in. I won't say any more about the story. I don't want to spoil it for any future readers, but all I should say is read it!

Now reading The Martian, listening to Watercolours and still putting off finishing The Bone Season.

70judylou
Maio 13, 2014, 8:28 pm

35. The Martian by Andy Weir

Loved it! An astronaut is left behind accidentally when a mission to Mars goes wrong. He has to survive with only what has been left behind until he can be rescued. Can he do it? This book kept me up late at night. Will he survive or not? How will he overcome each of the challenges he faces to survive? A real thriller. There is a lot of science involved to explain how he manages things like atmosphere, food, heat, etc. Most of it went over my head, but it all sounded feasible to my science challenged brain, so I didn't care, I just kept reading!

71mabith
Maio 14, 2014, 1:14 am

Glad you liked The Martian! It's my favorite fiction book I've read this year and I don't see anything replacing it.

72torontoc
Maio 14, 2014, 9:36 am

I have Boy Snow Bird on my to read soon book pile!

73judylou
Maio 14, 2014, 8:43 pm

Mabith, wasn't it a great story. And I discovered it is going to become a movie with Matt Damon playing the lead. I am looking forward to that as well!

Cyrel, read it soon. I don't think you will be disappointed.

74mabith
Maio 14, 2014, 8:56 pm

I'm kind of worried about the movie. I fear they'll change it to have a big romance angle (there's the small side thing in the book, but you know how movies are...).

75judylou
Maio 14, 2014, 9:09 pm

36. Saga by Brian K Vaughan

A friend suggested I read this graphic novel. She thought it was pretty good. I thought it was interesting, but it didn't make me a huge fan of the graphic novel.

76judylou
Maio 14, 2014, 9:17 pm

37. Watercolours by Adrienne Ferreira

When I first started this one I didn't think I would like it, but after listening for a while it grew on me. A young teacher moves to a country town where he finds a small boy with an extreme talent for art. He tries to nurture this talent but the townsfolk have different ideas. His good intentions cause some problems and bring lots of secrets to the surface.

77judylou
Maio 14, 2014, 9:24 pm

#74. hadn't considered that. But I guess it is likely.

78judylou
Maio 17, 2014, 9:05 pm

38. Saga: Volume 2 by Brian K Vaughan

Yep, I succumbed. Now I have ordered Volume 3 from the library.

79ronincats
Maio 21, 2014, 5:03 pm

I'm on the hold list for The Martian at my library--I keep creeping up closer.

80judylou
Maio 21, 2014, 8:42 pm

39. Wolves by Simon Ings

Set in the not too distant future where enhancements are changing the way the world is seen and the way we interact with the world, Conrad is a teenager living with a mother suffering mental illness and a father trying to keep it all together. His best mate Michel has some strange ideas, imagining the death of the world in all its variations. As adults Michel makes a living from writing about the apocalypse while Conrad works on implants which change the world to make the real imaginary.

It is so hard to describe this book. I will quote from the blurb.

Wolves is a surreal whodunnit about what happens when unhappy men get their hands on powerful media. Part crime novel, part coming of age story, this is an informed, atmospheric, cutting-edge tale of the near future.

81judylou
Maio 22, 2014, 1:28 am

40. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I didn't much like this book. It didn't develop into anything I wanted to read, the characters all felt a bit wishy washy and quite juvenile. Oh well, onto the next one.

82wookiebender
Editado: Maio 25, 2014, 7:24 am

Did you like Wolves? I keep on tossing up on whether to buy it or not. (Shallow me, I love the cover.) and another recommendation for The Martian! Resistance is futile. :)

I'm with you on The Bone Season, all over the shop really.

And yay! for Saga, glad you got into it.

83judylou
Maio 27, 2014, 8:49 pm

Wookie, that cover was fabulous! I found myself looking at it before I could start reading. I had seen that book when it first came through to the library and it appealed to me then, but I didn't have time to read it. But I am glad I rediscovered it. I liked it a lot. It was an interesting take on the future with some good strong characters. Try it!

Please read The Martian. You will thank me (and all the others who have loved it :O)

I'm glad someone agrees with me about The Bone Season. Over-hyped it is.

Who would have thought? A graphic novel with a cover picture of, what, two sexy mutants? One with horns, the other one breastfeeding a baby? What the . .?? Not my cup of tea, I say to myself. But my friend and co-worker at the library said read it. I said ummmm OK. And I did. And loved it!

Now I just have to find another one equally as good.

84judylou
Maio 27, 2014, 9:59 pm

41. Coldbrook by Tim Lebbon

Yes, it is a zombie book, but this one has a touch of SF as well! I found myself reading late into the night. It was very exciting and enjoyable.

A group of scientists has developed a breach which reaches into another world - a version of our earth; one of the millions of earths out there, all the same, but different. When the inevitable happens (yes, OK, zombies) all the failsafes are put in place, but as with all these scenarios there is that one person (I always call the Dr Smith character) who jeopardizes everything for their own benefit.

I liked it!

85judylou
Jun 1, 2014, 4:03 am

42. Tideline by Penny Hancock

This was a fairly harrowing story. Told through Sonja, a middle aged woman living in a house on the Thames. She is not happy in her marriage, her mother is unwell, her husband wants her to sell her beloved River House and it seems that she is grieving for a boy she used to love as a teenager. So what does she do? She kidnaps a teenager to take the boy's place. I found it quite creepy and unsettling, but I still listened to it to the end.

86judylou
Jun 1, 2014, 8:13 pm

43. Lexicon by Max Barry

Everyone knows that words can hurt. In this book set in the near future, words can be used to kill. A school in Virginia selects students based on some very particular criteria. Very few of these students manage to graduate, but when they do, they are known as Poets and awarded with the name of a known poet. So Yeats (the man in charge) sends Emily Dickinson to Broken Hill (Australia) where she falls in love and discovers a word which could change the world forever. Eliot and Bronte are after her. Will they find her in time?

A very original book, this was a lot of fun to read and quite thought provoking.

87whitewavedarling
Jun 1, 2014, 9:12 pm

>43 judylou: Thanks for that review--I think I'm going to have to look that one up sooner than later.

88judylou
Jun 4, 2014, 10:02 pm

It will be worth it!

44. Saga: Volume 3 by Brian K Vaughan

Exciting and addictive. When will there be Volume 4?

89judylou
Editado: Jun 7, 2014, 12:10 am

45. The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam

I love Old Filth. What a character. He is such a man of his times. For those of you not familiar with these books Filth stands for "Failed in London, Try Hong Kong". Filth is a lawyer who does very well for himself in Hong Kong where he meets Betty and marries her. It is interesting how Betty mentions once or twice that she had been in an internment camp during the war. Interesting because she mentions it so breezily. A few times we hear that her parents died while there, but it is as if she has decided to forget the entire time. I would have liked to hear a little more about Betty, to try to understand her motives.

Currently reading:
By Blood we Live
Parasites Like Us

90wookiebender
Jun 9, 2014, 11:16 pm

I believe that Saga is continuing, I've got issue #19 on my iPad to read...

91judylou
Jun 11, 2014, 7:53 pm

That's good to know wookie!

46. By Blood We Live by Glen Duncan

This is the third book in the trilogy and ends the story nicely, although there is still room for more! Talulla (werewolf) is struggling to keep her family intact and safe from the new militant Catholic Church. Her three year old twins are becoming more aware and she is having dreams which seem to be portents of the future. Meanwhile 20,000 year old Remshi (vampire) is also having dreams which he is trying to decipher. There is something drawing these two together and they both struggle with the implications.

Now reading:
Parasites Like Us
The Lost Child

92wookiebender
Jun 17, 2014, 11:40 pm

Oh, I haven't even read Talulla Rising yet!

93judylou
Jun 18, 2014, 12:43 am

Come on wookie . . get a move on!!

94judylou
Editado: Jun 18, 2014, 12:55 am

47. They Shall Begin Again by Giacomo Papi

The dead are returning and no-one knows why. It starts with an old man creating a scene in a local grocery store. He is taken to the hospital and tells an incredible story of his life and his death. Incredibly, it appears to be true. He died more than thirty years ago. And he is only the first.

The doctor who attended the old man begins to study the phenomena and leaves his pregnant girlfriend to attend a conference with the hope of finding an answer to the problems created by these returned people.

The dead are returning faster and faster, more and more of them are going back to their homes and families, if they still exist. But as they are returning from all the ages of man, there is nowhere for them to go. It won’t be long before all the earth’s resources are overcome. Their needs for water, food and land cannot be met.

While I enjoyed the story, I did not enjoy the prose as much. It was awkward and felt stilted in parts. Whether this is a fault of the author or the translator, I do not know; but I think that within the pages lurks a great story just waiting to get out.

Now reading:
Lost Child and on audio Last Friends

95judylou
Jun 19, 2014, 8:14 pm

48. 100 Modern Quilt Blocks by Tula Pink

49. Lucky Spool's Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making

50. How to Make a Quilt by Barbara Talbert

Yes, there is a theme going on here. I have a new hobby.

96judylou
Jun 20, 2014, 4:44 am

51. Parasites Like Us by Adam Johnson

Hank Hannah is an anthropologist who studies the Clovis people of North America. He is supervising Eggers - living for a year as a Clovis person - and Trudy. Hank is a bit of a loser, the highlight of his career (a book called the Depletionists) is well in the past and he now stumbles through his life as a professor. A discovery made by Eggers leads to the end of the human race, with only a few survivors left behind.

97LShelby
Jun 20, 2014, 9:53 am

>95 judylou:
Yay, I'm not the only person listing craft-y type books. :)

98judylou
Jun 20, 2014, 7:20 pm

I am always looking at crafty books, but don't usually list them because I often just look at the pictures while watching TV. But these ones I actually read!

99judylou
Jun 21, 2014, 8:54 pm

52. The Lost Child by Suzanne McCourt

I am always drawn to these Australian country town dysfunctional family stories. Although I grew up in a country town, our family was pretty normal, so I'm not sure why they appeal to me so much. Anyway, this wasn't the best one I have read, but it was good. Set in the Coorong and starting in the 50's, Dad has returned from the war a different man. He cannot look at his small daughter and she tries everything to make him notice her. His pre adolescent son is confused and angry, and his wife is losing it. There are the usual small town characters. An interesting mix of caring, concerned and simply nosey neighbours. All told through Sylvie the little girl who idolizes her big brother and grows into a confused and resentful teenager.

100LShelby
Jun 21, 2014, 11:03 pm

>98 judylou:
Looking at the pictures does seem to be a huge part of the appeal. :)

101judylou
Jun 23, 2014, 5:25 am

I can spend hours just looking.

53. Last Friends by Jane Gardam

The final story in the Old Filth series. I enjoyed this one a lot too. It is after the death of Veneering and Filth and follows some of the other characters introduced in the other books. I listened to it which I think was a good thing.

102judylou
Jun 27, 2014, 2:02 am

54. All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Yolandi and Elfrieda are sisters. They grew up in a Mennonite Community where her family did not really fit in. Yoli has grown up to be an author of a series of rodeo books for young girls, she is divorced, broke and she has two children. Elf has become a world renowned concert pianist with a husband who loves her, no children and an unassailable need to die.

The family is familiar with death, as the girls’ father suicided when they were younger. Elf has tried her best, using knives, pills and even bleach, but each time has been brought back from the brink to be placed in the psych ward for months at a time.

Toews herself is from the same background as Yoli and Elf, growing up in a Mennonite community. She also had a father and a sister who committed suicide. Yet this does not come across as a memoir. It attests to Toews’ ability as a writer, that she can approach this subject with her usual sense of wry humour. There are some laugh-aloud moments in this book, just as there are some very sad moments. But they sit side by side without melancholy and without being overly sentimental.

This is a very perceptive story. It portrays the shame and the guilt of suicide and the resentment and heartache involved in loving someone with a mental illness. It also portrays the strength of the bond between siblings; not only that of Yoli and Elf, but also of their mother and her sister who does what she can to support the family. This cannot have been an easy book to write, but it is certainly an easy book to read.

103torontoc
Jun 28, 2014, 10:25 am

I liked your review of All My Puny Sorrows I was very moved when I read the book last month.

104mabith
Jun 28, 2014, 6:42 pm

All My Puny Sorrows sounds wonderful. I was looking for it having no luck, and realized it doesn't come out in the US until October or November. So sad!

105judylou
Jun 29, 2014, 3:18 am

Thanks Cyrel. Toews is one of my favourite authors. I think I have read all of her books. What I love about them is how her sense of humour shines through so well. She is a very perceptive writer and really captures her characters beautifully. All My Puny Sorrows was a very moving book.

mabith, keep a lookout for it. It is definitely worth it!!

106judylou
Editado: Jul 7, 2014, 1:51 am

55. Being Human: The Road by Simon Guerrier

This was a fun audio book based on the series Being Human (the original English version). I enjoyed it.

107judylou
Jul 7, 2014, 1:47 am

56. Icefall by Guy Hallowes

This was awful. The blurb made it sound like it would fit me perfectly. But. If only it was well written, or even averagely written. . .

The world as we know it is about to end. An ice shelf is going to collapse, causing a tsunami and raising the sea level by metres. It is set in the Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney. A rich Sydney family decide to set up a settlement in an isolated place where they will be self sufficient after the disaster. They collect a group of like minded people to join them. Sounds good so far. But then. Daughter in law Tanya - a blonde beauty who happens to be perfect in every way - decides to swim naked in a lagoon one evening and just as she stands on a rock in the middle of the lagoon, a beam of light hits her. This is when the mob of aborigines steps out of the bush to declare that she has been seen in a vision and will now be known as the White Goddess. Now these aborigines have apparently been living traditionally in the hills. They mostly don't speak English and they live in humpies and hunt with boomerangs. Really? In the Blue Mountains? And from there it just gets worse. Think ASIO, Vikings, murders and rampant male brutality. Also, I was surprised that every second person in the aftermath of the tsunami seemed to have a gun, which they were happy to use on anyone. I think that is somewhat UnAustralian!!! So, don't bother with this one.

108judylou
Jul 10, 2014, 3:59 am

57. Deeper Water by Jessie Cole

Mema lives a simple, quiet and isolated life with her mother in a farmhouse on the remote North Coast hinterland. One day as the rain falls and the river rises, she saves a young man when his car is swept into the water. He is forced to stay with them until the water recedes. Also at the house are Mema’s sister Sophie and her two very young children whose father has recently left them.

Mema’s mother is a potter and the sale of her pots supports their tenuous lifestyle. Apart from her two daughters, she has a number of sons but they have all grown up and moved away and do not keep in touch. Mema misses her brothers and recalls the fun they had together as children as well as the support they provided her during her teenage years.

Mema’s only friend is a wild girl who lives with her drunk, abusive father in a dilapidated house higher up the mountain. Anja is a beauty, but is a damaged soul who has suffered her father’s physical and verbal abuse. Mema’s family have always protected her as much as they can.

The presence of the young man in their house unsettles the family and forces Mema to step out of her comfort zone. This introduces her to new experiences but also causes her relationship with Anja to fracture in spectacular fashion.

Jessie Cole’s second novel confirms her strength as an author. She writes in clear and concise prose and is adept at capturing the brilliant landscapes which are obviously very close to her heart. Her characters are delightful. She has populated her book with real-life people who are easy to relate to and believe. This is a captivating story told in a convincing and compelling voice.

109judylou
Jul 21, 2014, 10:21 pm

58. House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski

This was an impressive book. It was huge and involved and quirky and unusual and strange and even verging onto the weird! A young man retrieves a trunk full of papers and notes and photos etc, from the home of an elderly man who had recently died. The papers etc, all tell the story of a filmmaker, his wife and young children who move into an innocuous house in the suburbs somewhere. But the house is not static. It moves. Rooms appear where there were no rooms before. Dimensions change. And when a corridor appears leading to who knows where . . . well, what can be done but to explore it.

But this is not just a creepy house story. It is so much more. Told through found objects, journal articles, film, interview transcripts, and footnotes. So many footnotes.

This was well worth the time it took to get through. It challenges the reader to rethink narrative and style and form. I recommend it.

110judylou
Jul 29, 2014, 10:23 pm

59. The Magician's Apprentice by Trudi Canavan

This is a prequel to a trilogy by Canavan which I have not read. I listened to it on audio. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it wasn't so ridiculously long. I even dropped off to sleep in the car a few times, and when I woke up it didn't really seem to matter to the story. Oh well. On to the next one.

111judylou
Jul 29, 2014, 10:32 pm

60. My Real Children by Jo Walton

This story sounded great. One choice leads to two very different lives for Patricia who we meet in a nursing home as a very confused elderly lady suffering dementia. She seems to have had two different families and cannot remember which one is her real family. Alternating chapters follow her alternative lives with a different future for the world in each one. Unfortunately, I felt that the writing was just flat and lifeless. It didn't make me want to care about Patricia or Patty or Tricia.

112judylou
Jul 31, 2014, 3:28 am

61. Big Brother by Lionel Shriver

An audio book, read with a very annoying (to me) accent. This was a real diatribe on the current state of the eating habits of America. There was a story in there . . somewhere . . . but at times it was hard to separate the lecture from the fiction. Shriver always confronts with her writing and she has certainly managed to do this here, but it made me feel uncomfortable, and I didn't enjoy it much. But maybe this was her intention?

113jfetting
Ago 1, 2014, 10:37 am

Just catching up on your thread... and adding books to my wishlist! I want to read House of Leaves now.

114judylou
Ago 4, 2014, 2:16 am

62. After Before by Jemma Wayne

Emily is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. Lynn is a miserable old woman about to die. Vera is a recovering party girl / addict trying to stay on the straight and narrow with her very religious fiance. These three women are all destined to become a part of each others lives. Vera is engaged to Lynn's son and Emily becomes Lynn's carer. The tale goes back and forth (After and Before) telling the three stories. I can't say I loved it. The constant religion references bored me and the character of Vera was very annoying. But it was OK.

115judylou
Ago 4, 2014, 3:04 am

63. The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

Ava and Wash are trapped under rubble after a plane crashes at an air show. Ava is OK but Wash is severely injured. With friends and family watching, Ava places her hands on Wash's injury, and he is cured. The video is soon uploaded and the hordes descend on their small town. Everyone wants a piece of Ava and her father, the town sheriff, does all he can to protect her. I liked Mott's first book, and I like his second (although perhaps not quite as much). Can't wait for his third!

116judylou
Ago 9, 2014, 10:10 pm

64, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I did like this book about the relationship between Eleanor - new girl at school, odd looking and unconventional; and Park - half Korean and doing his best to stay under the radar. Park has a loving family and suffers the usual teenage troubles, but Eleanor's family is in real trouble, and so is she if she stays there.

117judylou
Ago 9, 2014, 10:19 pm

65. Among Others by Jo Walton

Talking to a friend about a previous book (My Real children) which I felt a bit ambivalent about, she recommended I try this one. As we were at work, and there was a copy on the shelf, I felt like I had to take it. So did I like it better? Yes, I did. Mori is a young girl living in Wales with her identical twin, talking to the fairies, changing the world with magic, keeping away from their mother the witch, etc. But there is an accident and Mori is sent to her father in England, who promptly sends her to a boarding school where she suffers many small and large humiliations. The book is steeped in books. SF and Fantasy reign and this gives the book a whole other level on which to be appreciated.

118judylou
Ago 10, 2014, 4:14 am

66. The Silent History by Eli Horowitz

In the not too distant future a number of children are born without the ability to speak, or it seems to even process language. As it becomes more widespread, parents, doctors and researchers study the phenomena without any luck in finding the cause or the cure. It is only when the children are discovered to communicate with each other through minute facial movements that it seems there is some hope for the future.

The story is told through many points of view. Some are fleeting voices; others are used consistently through the story. There is the father who spends every hour of the day working towards being able to communicate with his daughter; the teacher working in a special school for the “Silents” who cares too much for her charges; the New Ager who believes the children are the purest form of life; and the politician who at first, altruistically sets up a commune, and later selfishly allows it to fail.

When these Silent children begin to grow up, becoming teenagers and then young adults, public opinion begins to change. They are seen less as children who need help and funding and Government attention and more as social outcasts and a drain on their communities and society in general.

As a treatise on discrimination and prejudice, “The Silent History” is a success, showing how public opinion can be swayed through all kinds of communication. As a book of fiction it is also a success, with a plot that is extensive and captivating, characters that surprise and shock, and writing that compels you to just keep on reading.

119judylou
Ago 11, 2014, 3:18 am

67. The Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett

Rex Jenson is fun. He and his family are new to this working class suburb where families struggle to provide the basics. When the Jenson’s moved into the neighbourhood they had more than any of the local children could ever aspire to having.

He’s happy to have any and all of the local kids in his house. He will feed them treats that they never get in their own homes; he’ll let them borrow his sons’ new bikes and other toys; he’ll let them swim in the new swimming pool in the backyard; and he pays more attention to them than their own parents ever do.

Avery is a vulnerable wisp of a child, parentless and unloved. Garrick is a bully, a boy who suffers his own family’s horrors. Freya is a girl about to hit puberty and discovering what kind of man her father is and that her mother is unable to protect her or her many siblings. Syd and Declan are two of Freya’s brothers, still too young to be able to make a difference.

It doesn’t take too long before the boys all come to the same conclusion. Rex is not quite right. They learn to avoid him, dodging his attempts to dry them off after a swim and making sure they are not left alone with him. But Colt, Rex’s older son already knows what his father is like and he is waiting for the inevitable fallout from his father’s behaviour.

Hartnett’s writing appears effortless. She manages to entrance the reader with this brief look into the lives of ordinary people.

120judylou
Ago 12, 2014, 1:02 am

68. Adultery by Paolo Coelho

I was once a firm fan of Coelho. But I haven't read anything good by him for ages. This one was not good at all. Unbelievable characters, silly plot and a strange overall mix between fiction and non-fiction. As I said in my review . . Where is the subtlety?

121wookiebender
Set 10, 2014, 11:44 pm

Oh, I'm glad you gave Jo Walton a second chance! I thought Among Others was great, but my favourites of hers are the Farthing series. I haven't read the new one yet (have only seen it in a $45 edition!! no thanks!), but I probably won't let your negative review stop me reading it. :)

And, um, Vikings in the Blue Mountains?? What the...

122judylou
Out 26, 2014, 5:48 pm

I have been holidaying for the past two months and sadly, have found myself unable to read very much at all while away. I have only finished one book.

69. A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin

Another great storytelling feast from this author. The kings are still fighting, the small folk are copping the worst of it and the nastiest of the characters still have the reader booing and hissing. All in all a great read and looking forward to the next one.

Currently reading: The Blackwater Lightship & California

123jfetting
Out 27, 2014, 12:42 pm

The Silent History sounds fantastic. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

124judylou
Out 29, 2014, 5:56 pm

70. The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin

A dysfunctional Irish family have a lot of issues to work through. Declan, who has not been in touch for some time, returns to the family with some devastating news and (perhaps predictably - it is a novel after all) brings everyone together to rehash their past problems. Beautifully written and well worth reading.

Currently reading: California and Lost and Found

125judylou
Nov 1, 2014, 5:55 pm

71. Lost and Found by Brooke Davis

When a quiet elderly man, escaping from a nursing home; a very loud elderly woman, a recluse since the death of her husband; and a little girl, all alone; set out to find someone, they break all the rules and find themselves instead.

126judylou
Nov 14, 2014, 5:41 pm

72. The Meaning of Grace by Deborah Forster

My kind of book. An Australian family saga. Grace is mother to three children; two girls, one boy and is making a life for them in a small country town after leaving her husband. She makes mistakes, the kids grow up with their own problems and when they are forced to come back together again, they must decide whether family is still important enough to allow forgiveness.

now reading: Madigan Mine and Dust

127judylou
Nov 17, 2014, 1:10 am

73. Madigan Mine by Kirstyn McDermott

Don't bother. Just don't.

128Helenliz
Nov 17, 2014, 2:05 am

ooops. Not a classic of the genre then?

129wookiebender
Nov 17, 2014, 5:46 am

Ouch.

130judylou
Nov 22, 2014, 5:54 pm

74. Dust by Hugh Howey

The final book in the SIlo trilogy. I have enjoyed this series a lot. This book was a satisfying end to the story of a future where massive silos have been populated with societies of people who do all the can to survive. Interesting on a number of levels.

75. The Female Ward by Debalina Halder
Another one I couldn't finish. In India, three young women are sent to jail. This is the story of the hardships they face. I think it could have been a good story, but it hasn't been told well.

Now reading: Inheritance and Dog Stars

131judylou
Nov 26, 2014, 10:46 pm

76. The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

There are very few people left alive in a world suffering extreme climate change. Most people have been decimated by a virus and those who are left struggle to survive. Hig, a pilot, and his dog Jasper have made a "home" for themselves in an airport with Bangley, a tough as nails gun nut. A crisis forces Hig to go and look for something else, leaving Bangley alone. I liked this book a lot. I liked the very clipped and sparse prose and I liked the slowly growing relationship between the two men. I have had this one for ages, not sure why I didn't read it earlier.

132judylou
Nov 26, 2014, 10:53 pm

77. California by Edan Lepucki

The world is dying yet again! A young couple leave the city and head out into the wilderness of California to try and survive on the land. They are very isolated with only one other family in contact. They find a compound where things are not all they seem. This was OK. Not that great.

133judylou
Nov 26, 2014, 10:59 pm

78. Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

Mr Toibin has become one of my newest favourite authors. This was a very satisfying story. Nora is a widow with four children. Her husband died quite suddenly and she now has to learn how to survive and how to live by herself.

134mabith
Nov 26, 2014, 11:55 pm

Glad to hear the praise of Toibin! I have several of his on my to-read list.

135wookiebender
Nov 27, 2014, 6:18 pm

I've only read one Toibin novel, Brooklyn, but it was excellent. I should chase down a few more of them.

136judylou
Editado: Dez 2, 2014, 4:34 am

mabith, hope you can get around to a Toibin soon!

wookie, I own a copy of Brooklyn. But haven't read it yet.

79. Inheritance by Nicholas Shakespeare

Andy is a young man working in a low paid job for a publishing company. When an old teacher dies, he goes to attend his funeral, but in his usual fashion he is running late and doesn't quite make the funeral. But as a consequence of this, he is in line for a huge inheritance. What follows is an interesting story. I enjoyed this one.

Now reading: Mr Penumbra's 24 hour Bookshop

137judylou
Editado: Dez 11, 2014, 5:36 pm

80. Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

This oe fell a bit short of the mark for me. I thought it was a little confused. Was it a serious story with a bit too much humour? Or was it a funny book with a bit too much drama? Not sure.

81. House of Ashes by Monique Roffey

Set on a fictional island (think Trinidad) and the Leader has gathered a group of men and boys to overthrow the Government. Most of the story is set in the aftermath of this mini revolution. I wasn't terribly involved in this story. The characters didn't grab me.

Currently reading: Flight Behaviour & Acceptance

138wookiebender
Dez 17, 2014, 12:41 am

Yes, I seem to remember wanting to like Mr Penumbra more than I did.

139Eyejaybee
Dez 17, 2014, 1:55 am

I enjoyed Mr Penumbra but really struggled with the prequel, Ajax Penumbra.

140judylou
Dez 17, 2014, 5:53 pm

I hadn't heard of the prequel. But I'm not really tempted to pick it up.

141judylou
Dez 23, 2014, 11:03 pm

82. Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

Climate change. Romance. Family saga. Butterflies. Really enjoyed this great story. But I am still a bit unsure of the ending though.