Yells 2019: A year of reading and sharing. Let's get started!

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Yells 2019: A year of reading and sharing. Let's get started!

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Editado: Jan 8, 2019, 8:40pm

Happy reading everyone!

It's now January 6th so I suppose starting a thread would be a good idea. I will use this as a way to organise all the challenges I keep joining while also logging all the random stuff I read in between.

I am a Canadian happily living with my husband and two cats in Southern Ontario. We both love to read and have a house bulging with books so we use this site to keep track of it all (like that is ever possible). I managed to read just over 200 books last year but this year promises to be busier so I will aim for 150 or so.

Editado: Jan 18, 2019, 3:11am

1001 Books to Read Before You Die list

Some suggestions (aside from some of the ones listed below under BBC Big Read 100)

Regent's Wife by Alas
Cloudsplitter by Banks
Savage Detectives by Bolano
What a Carve Up! by Coe
Underworld by DeLillo
USA by Dos Passos
Parade's End by Fox
Good Soldier Svejk by Hasek
Hunchback of Notre Dame by Hugo
Kindly Ones by Littell
Doctor Zhivago by Pasternak
In the First Circle by Solzhenitsyn
Vanity Fair by Thackeray
Infinite Jest by Wallace
Once and Future King by Wilde

Editado: Mar 31, 2019, 1:45am

BBC Big Read 100

I am down to only 8 left on the top 100 list (and I own the first 6). Maybe in the future, I will tackle the long list but for now, it would be nice to actually finish a list for once :)

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez
Suitable Boy by Seth - pending
Magician by Feist
Tale of Two Cities by Dickens
David Copperfield by Dickens
Guards, Guards by Pratchett
Mort by Pratchett
Night Watch by Pratchett

Editado: Jan 8, 2019, 7:37pm

100 CBC Books

I am up to 62 read so I have a ways to go still. Here are some suggestions that I have waiting on the shelves:

What the Body Remembers by Baldwin
A Season in the Life of Emmanuel by Blais
Polished Hoe by Clarke
Beautiful Losers by Cohen
A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Courtemanche
Sweetness in the Belly by Gibb
Best Laid Plans by Fallis
Fruit by Francis
De Niro's Game by Hage
Brown Girl in the Ring by Hopkinson

Editado: Jan 8, 2019, 8:40pm

Giller Prize and Governor General's Award nominees (past and present)

I love Canlit prizes so I generally try to read at least a few off the current list each year. Thankfully there is a lot of overlap with the prize lists.

Canada Reads

Each year, the Canada Reads committee comes up with a theme (last year's was One Book to Open Your Eyes) and then invites local celebs to suggest books that fit that theme. Five are chosen and the panel of celebs debate the pro and cons of each until one book is left standing. I try to read the 5 recommendations and then I follow along with the podcasts to see which get voted out. I love hearing people advocate for their suggestions and how they relate the book to that year's theme.

Editado: Jan 8, 2019, 7:45pm

Women's Prize

I don't read enough women's fiction so this list helps fill that gap. The only winner that I haven't read yet is Glorious Heresies by McInerney so I will definitely try to read that this year. I also have a bunch of nominees kicking around here. With a rather diverse short and long list, I have a ton of possibilities here.

Editado: Jan 8, 2019, 7:47pm

Man Booker Prize

I am working through the winner list so will continue with that. It's not my main focus but I am slowly making progress.

Editado: Jan 8, 2019, 7:47pm

School stuff

I am working on a Masters in English so I am sure I will have a few books to post here.

Editado: Jan 8, 2019, 7:47pm


I never seem to make time to read non-fiction but yet I have a huge bookcase full of interesting stuff.

Editado: Jan 10, 2019, 5:24pm

Random stuff

This includes Santathing recommendations, books bought on a whim (even though I promise myself that this will be the year that I only read what I own), stuff loaned from others with the disclaimer 'this is the best book ever!', library books, kindle deals that I can't turn down etc. It also includes my re-reading of all Stephen King novels in order (I am on Dark Half right now).

Jan 6, 2019, 10:36pm

welcome, Yells. Intrigued by these lists.

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 7:46pm

January 2019

1) Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. One of the mini challenges on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die thread is reading something by an author who is new-to-you so I am trying to do that this month. This book is also on the BBC list and since I have never read Dostoyevsky, I thought it was about time to rectify that.

The plot is quite simple: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov is a poor man who decides one day to kill the local pawnbroker and steal her money/goods. What he doesn't realise is how much this act will affect him afterwards. I've always been interested in psychology so watching him struggle with his guilt was fascinating. At times he is paranoid, angry, sad, scared and smug but never happy.

Stats: fiction, kindle compilation, BBC Big Read, 1001 Books to Read Before You Die

Editado: Jan 8, 2019, 8:41pm

2) Fox 8 by Saunders. This short tale is about a fox who learns to read and discovers that a 'mawl' is being built. As he watches his habitat disappear, he struggles with understanding why 'yumans' are so complicated and sometimes mean. With it's simple language and basic drawings, it's easy to dismiss this as a children's book but it is a deceptively complex and timely tale of the effect we have on our environments.

Stats: fiction, library book

Editado: Jan 8, 2019, 8:15pm

3) The Monopolists by Pilon. The history of the board game Monopoly. I was thrilled to discover that it was actually invented by a woman in 1903 (although sad that Lizzie Magie didn't get proper recognition for it). I love reading about the origins of common items that I have around the house and since I love games and puzzles, this was definitely a hit. The book jumps around a bit but eventually all the pieces fit together and you see how a game like this was pretty much inevitable considering the financial climate in the US at the time.

Stats: non-fiction, kindle

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 7:47pm

4) Cutter and Bone by Thornberg. Another new-to-me author off the 1001 list. This one is a thriller that takes place in 70s American after the Vietnam War and follows two men as they try to find peace with their demons. Richard Bone and Alex Cutter are reluctant friends who live together in poverty. Bone was all set up to live a fairly prosperous life but now finds himself penniless and unemployed (his 'employment' these days is using women for sex and money). Alex Cutter returned from Vietnam minus a few body parts and spends his time drinking and drugging to forget the horrors of the war.

One afternoon, Bone is out walking when a car screeches to a halt in front of him and a man throws what looks like a set of golf clubs in a trash can. He soon realises that this was a body dump and he is the only witness. He doesn't want to become involved at all but begrudgingly tells the police what little he knows. The next day, while reading the newspaper, he sees a picture of a man with the same build as the killer and even though he didn't see the man's face, he realises that this is probably the killer. Cutter instantly dreams of blackmailing the man and convinces the others to go along with it despite the fact that they really don't want to and what follows is part madcap adventure/part searing indictment of the war.

Stats: fiction, kindle, 1001 Books to Read Before You Die

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 7:47pm

5) Moscow Stations by Yerofeev. What a surreal look into the mind of an alcoholic living in 70s Soviet Russia. I am sad to see so many negative reviews on Amazon because this is a fascinating novella. It's part autobiographical and chronicles the trip of Venya Erofeev as he travels home by train to his wife and child. There are no chapters per se but instead the prose is broken up by train stops along the route. When he gets on the train in Moscow, he is rather lucid but he travels with a suitcase full of liquor so as he travels the countryside and drinks, his thoughts become more and more bizarre. He has numerous debates about the politics of the time but it's not always clear as to whether he is debating himself or actual people. I really enjoyed this novel and will keep it as I think it's one to revisit.

Stats: fiction, used book bought on-line, 1001 Books to Read Before You Die

Jan 7, 2019, 1:16am

>14 Yells:

This sounds great!! I really enjoyed a book on professional scrabble players awhile back, and have read a few on pro chess players.

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 7:47pm

Forgot to log the first one I read this year... d'oh!

6) The Killer Inside Me by Thompson. Really spooky look into the mind of a serial killer. Lou is everyone's favourite police officer but in his spare time, he likes to kill people who irritate him and then he frames others for the crimes.

Stats: fiction, kindle, 1001 Books to Read Before You Die

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 7:47pm

Sick with a cold so I stayed in bed and read Roald Dahl books all day. All the childhood memories....


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Esio Trot
The Twits
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
George's Marvelous Medicine
Fantastic Mr Fox
The Magic Finger
The Witches

Stats: fiction, books off the shelf, BBC Big Read

Jan 10, 2019, 2:05pm

>19 Yells: I'm sorry to hear you aren't well but am a little bit jealous that you could read all day.

Jan 10, 2019, 5:21pm

>20 rhian_of_oz: Not the best way to sneak in a reading day but I suppose it works! I don't have quite so much free time today but I will try to finish the box set by the weekend. I have a pregnant friend who will be gifted this when I am done. She is a fan as well so hopefully we can eventually make this little one a fan too!

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 7:47pm

16) Matilda by Dahl. Love Matilda! Smart girl who uses her powers for good :)

Stats: fiction, book off the shelf, BBC Big Read

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 7:47pm

17) The Man Who Loved Children by Stead. Not impressed with this one (and I normally like novels about dysfunctional families). Highly annoying characters and a weird plot line.

Stats: fiction, kindle, 1001 Books to Read Before You Die

Editado: Jan 18, 2019, 6:03am

18) Dark Places by Flynn. So I am either super smart or thriller authors are calling it in these days. That is two in a row where the killer was really obvious from the start. Very disappointed.

Stats: fiction, kindle

Editado: Jan 18, 2019, 6:03am

19) French Exit by DeWitt. What an odd book! I mean, I knew it would be odd as Sisters Brothers was quite weird but this was so very different and so very odd. Malcolm and his mother have found themselves poor for the first time and so they sell all their belongings, gather up the cat (who is really her dead husband) and sail off to Paris. Soon, they are living in a borrowed apartment with a ragtag group of people who may or may not be friends. The story is weird but the humour is so subtle and wonderful.

Stats: fiction, library book

Jan 14, 2019, 6:31pm

>25 Yells: interesting !!

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 7:48pm

20) Farewell, My Lovely by Chandler. I really enjoy these older crime noir novels. Modern crime writers have to rely on twist after twist in order to stand out (and the story can get really weird and complicated) while older writers, who were busy inventing the genre, were able to be creative in different ways. The story is still complex but without all the 'biggest twist yet!' or 'you won't see this coming!' My only issue is the racism. I understand that that was life back then but it still makes me cringe a lot when reading. This book seemed to be a lot worse than some of his other stuff.

Stats: fiction, kindle, 1001 Books to Read Before You Die

Jan 15, 2019, 5:29pm

Enjoyed catching up on your reviews. I'm amazed that you are on book 19 of the year 14 days into January!

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 4:59pm

>28 AlisonY: No school or work yet this month and reading some kids books = getting a lot of pleasure reading done!

21) Something for Everyone by Moore. A book of short fiction by an awesome Canadian writer. As usual, some stories were okay but others, like The Fjord of Eternity, The Challenges and Rewards of Re-entering the Workforce and Skywalk were great.

Stats: fiction, library book

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 7:48pm

22) The Long Goodbye by Chandler. I am beginning to love Marlowe. He is blunt, crude and honest (And racist and misogynistic but I am trying to ignore that). He says whatever is on his mind and doesn't take crap from anyone. This is my favourite one so far. He does a good deed and it lands him in the middle of a big old mess.

Stats: fiction, kindle, 1001 Books to Read Before You Die

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 7:49pm

23) Danny the Champion of the World by Dahl. This has always been one of my favourites. I love Danny's relationship with his father and his reaction when he finds out the big secret (that the whole town seems to be involved in). And the scene with the pram always makes me giggle.

Stats: fiction, book off the shelf

24) Magician by Feist. Games of Thrones meets Lord of the Rings. Who doesn't love books with magic, elves, castles and dwarves? Pug is a penniless orphan who comes to live in the town of Crydee. When he becomes of age, he is apprenticed to a magician and slowly becomes aware of his inate powers. I bought the second in the series and will read it soon.

Stats: fiction, kindle, BBC Big Read

Jan 18, 2019, 4:01pm

>31 Yells: Aah Magician. My best friend and I read the original three books in the late 80s/early 90s. I always think of it as the first epic fantasy series I read, except I know I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy earlier.

Jan 18, 2019, 6:00pm

I was never into fantasy when I was younger; no idea why as I read pretty much anything else. I only read the LoTR trilogy a few years ago for the first time (And loved it) so now I am making up for lost time. I had never heard of Magician but it's on the BBC Big Read list so it was only a matter of time before I got to it. I wish I read this stuff sooner!

Editado: Jan 27, 2019, 8:27pm

25) The BFG by Dahl. I just love the big friendly giant. And so does the queen apparently :)

Stats: fiction, book off the shelf, BBC Big Read

26) Boy by Dahl. I am almost through the boxset. This is the first not-an-autiobiography written by Dahl about early memories that stuck out in his mind. The poor boy sure got caned a lot. i love seeing where he got inspiration for some of his novels.

Stats: fiction, book off the shelf

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 7:49pm

27) Mort by Pratchett. The adventures of Death and his bumbling new apprentice Mort. I just love the humour and really needed the laughs today. He gave an apologetic grin. ‘You’re a lot luckier than most dead people, if you look at it objectively,’ he said. ‘You’re alive to enjoy it.’

Stats: fiction, kindle, BBC Big Read

Jan 19, 2019, 9:29pm

>31 Yells: >32 rhian_of_oz: When I first really got into reading just for fun, this Feist series was a nice treat. This was ~1991 for me.

Editado: Jan 25, 2019, 1:47am

28) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez. This is obviously the work of a great writer. The way he describes mundane events and objects is just magical. Unfortunately my tired, muddled brain is way too overloaded these days to truly appreciate everything so it took me forever to read and I probably missed quite a bit. I will reread this one at some point when things calm down.

Stats: fiction, book off the shelf, BBC Big Read, 1001 Books to Read Before You Die

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 5:03pm

>32 rhian_of_oz:: >36 dchaikin: - I love it when a book sparks a memory, good or sometimes bad. Awww, the power of a great book!

Jan 23, 2019, 6:54pm

>37 Yells: well, it is a long book. My problem was how fast it read for me. I needed to slow down and think about things more, but the book kept rushing off to the next event. One for me to reread too.

Jan 23, 2019, 7:45pm

True enough. It would also help if everyone had different names. I was constantly referring to the family tree trying to sort everyone out. Marquez might have been ready to jump to the next family but I was still trying to sort out the current one.

Jan 23, 2019, 8:10pm

>40 Yells: he did that intentionally, of course, to emphasize repetition and cycles - characters with the same names have similar characteristics, except when they don’t. : ) The twins were flipped at some point, for example, meaning they had the wrong names.

Jan 23, 2019, 9:05pm

Yup, that was definitely part of the genius of the novel. My problem is that I need a calmer, more attentive brain to better appreciate his genius. I read and enjoyed Love in the Time of Cholera which had his vintage flavour but with a more traditional, linear storyline so I was hoping this would be more of the same. I didn't realise how prolific he could be!

Jan 23, 2019, 10:34pm

I was surprised to learn his other work doesn’t repeat the style of OHYoS. It’s his only work with so much flair. Most of his writing is very formal in style (in translation), although he can get very poetic. LitTOC is more typical, but also has a flow that is easy on the reader, and that his earlier works don’t usually have. He does it again some other later works, Love and other Demons and especially Memories of My Melancholy Whores.

Jan 23, 2019, 10:49pm

Interesting... I haven't read much by him but will definitely need to check out more.

Editado: Jan 25, 2019, 1:48am

29) Going Solo by Dahl. This is the last one from my boxset. It's part two of his not-an-autiobiography and looks at his time as an RAF officer fighting in Greece and Syria. The most striking memory was one where he was scouting a potential landing strip and he encounters a large group of Jewish child refugees. Dahl was so young when he joined the RAF and had spent so much time fighting far away from home, he had no idea what was going on elsewhere. He couldn't understand why they were displaced and why, even if/when the war ended, they wouldn't be able to return home. It was a memory that actually made me put the book down to think about.

Stats: fiction, book off the shelf, BBC Big Read

Editado: Mar 31, 2019, 1:47am

February 2019

30) Brother by Chariandy. This is on the Canada Reads long list and for good reason. This is only his second novel but it is wonderful. Michael and Francis are Trinidadian Canadian brothers growing up in the suburbs of Toronto. They are being raised by their mother, who works insane hours to keep a roof over their heads, and struggle to deal with poverty and racism.

Stats: fiction, library, Canada Reads

Editado: Jan 31, 2019, 1:46am

31) Homes: A Refugee Story by al Rabeeah and Yeung. Another Canada Reads longlist nominee. This one is a short yet powerful memoir about a young kid growing up in Iraq and Syria before coming to Canada with his family as refugees. His family left Iraq when he was ten and arrived in Syria looking for a better life. Three years later, they fled again as violence took over that country as well.

Stats: non-fiction, library, Canada Reads

Editado: Fev 3, 2019, 11:24pm

32) David Copperfield by Dickens. My favourite Dickens book so far! Poor David/Doady/Trotwood/Davy never knew his father and loses his mom early as well. To escape his mean stepfather, he runs away and ends up living with his aunt. The story follows him throughout his schooling and into marriage. I gotta say, I liked Agnes but Dora & Jip were really annoying.

Stats: fiction, kindle, 1001 Books and BBC Big Read

Editado: Fev 4, 2019, 10:57pm

33) By Chance Alone by Eisen. A memoir by a young man who survived Auschwitz (of his immediate family, he was only one of three who survived the war) and eventually came to Canada as a refugee. This is a nominee for Canada Reads this year. It was a fascinating story but the book really could have used a good editor.

Stats: non-fiction, library, Canada Reads

Fev 1, 2019, 5:59pm

Will you read all the Canada Reads nominations? Enjoying your reviews. I haven’t otherwise heard of these books.

Editado: Fev 3, 2019, 11:23pm

>50 dchaikin: I don't generally read everything on the long list but I do try to read the five short list titles prior to the debates. They just announced the short list and I was pleasantly surprised to see the three I read already made the cut. The debates start the end of March and are always interesting to listen to. The theme this year is Books That Move You and so far, all these have.

Editado: Fev 4, 2019, 11:14pm

34) Invention of Curried Sausage by Timm. A neat little book about WWII and food. A journalist in Hamburg sets out to prove that curried sausage was invented in his hometown by a local woman who runs a street cart, instead of in Berlin as was commonly thought. He tracks her down in a retirement home years later to get the truth but she has another story to tell first. She recounts her life at the end of the war when she starts an affair with a much younger deserter and curried sausage becomes secondary.

Stats: fiction, book off the shelf, 1001 Books

Fev 4, 2019, 5:52pm

>51 Yells: you’ve chosen wisely. : )

>52 Yells: sounds kind of fun, especially for the seriousness I associate with the 1001 list.

Editado: Fev 4, 2019, 8:04pm

>47 Yells: This book attracted my attention too. I've placed a hold on it at the library but as it is still at the "on order" stage, this might take a while.

Another book from the Canada Reads short list that I hope to read is The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family by Lindsay Wong. Have you read this one?

Editado: Fev 4, 2019, 10:58pm

>54 VivienneR: I am on hold for The Woo-Woo but it is one that I put on hold when the long list first came out so I will probably get it before the debates. How can you not read it with a title like that? :)

>53 dchaikin: It was definitely a change for the 1001 list and WWII literature in general! ETA - per Amazon, it's also a movie... interesting

Editado: Fev 18, 2019, 11:47pm

35) Lady Chatterley's Lover by Lawrence.

Okay then... scandal aside, did Lawrence ever actually have sex? He seems fascinated by it but I have to wonder if he is mixing it up with like darts or something. The poor, poor man...

Stats: fiction, kindle, 1001 Books

Fev 5, 2019, 6:50pm

Have not read it, but that made me laugh. Darts or something...

Editado: Fev 5, 2019, 8:56pm

>56 Yells: I've read a lot of D.H. Lawrence books, including three versions of Lady Chatterley. You have a point about Lawrence, he was so prudish - well, maybe weird would be more accurate. I don't know how Frieda put up with him.

Thanks for the smile.

Editado: Mar 6, 2019, 8:21pm

36) The Woo-Woo by Wong.

The fourth book on the Canada Reads list this year and not at all what I expected. From the subtitle, I was expecting something humourous but this was quite different. It's a memoir of a young Chinese woman growing up in Vancouver in a really bizarre, eccentric family. All the female relatives have some sort of mental illness but it's blamed on the Woo-Woo (ghosts) so no one ever gets proper treatment. The family's way of showing love is through swearing, insults and violence (her mom lights her foot on fire to remind her that sleeping in is lazy). Needless to say, Wong grows up angry at the world and repeatedly lashes out at anyone who tries to get close. The book is really her therapy session as she tries to make sense of it all and deal with her own health issues.

Stats: non-fiction, library book, Canada Reads

Fev 20, 2019, 6:31pm

>59 Yells: Whoa! Especially the lighting the foot on fire thing.

Editado: Mar 31, 2019, 1:48am

March 2019

37) The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Bradley

I like the Dogger/Flavia detective agency idea. Another enjoyable read.

Stats: fiction, library book

Editado: Mar 6, 2019, 8:27pm

38) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Manson

In going with my Grace and Frankie "fuck this" theme this year... I liked it. There isn't anything new in here but sometimes it's nice to hear someone tell you again that sometimes you need to be a little selfish and let go.

Stats: non-fiction, present from my super-wonderful husband

Editado: Mar 6, 2019, 8:28pm

39) Light Fantastic by Pratchett

I am fast becoming a fan of Discworld. I love, love, love the witty banter and humour.

Stats: fiction, e-book

Editado: Mar 6, 2019, 8:33pm

40) Connections in Death by Robb

I gotta say, I am getting a little tired of these. I like the crime element but the personal stuff is getting annoying. Apparently Eve can't even dress herself anymore and Roarke, despite running the universe, has a lot of time to help the police?

Stats: fiction, library book

41) Lethal Velocity by Child

A reread. I haven't had much brain power these days so I just wanted to read something fluffy and enjoyable.

Stats: fiction, e-book

Editado: Mar 6, 2019, 8:37pm

42) The Wedding Guest by Kellerman.

I don't have the brain capacity to read anything but fluff these days. Not a bad read but really unbelievable and most of the characters were highly annoying.

Stats: fiction, library book

Editado: Mar 31, 2019, 1:49am

43) Maphead by Jennings

I love maps and trivia so this was the pretty read for a lazy afternoon. I didn't realise that Jennings wrote so many books!

Stats: non-fiction, e-book

Mar 6, 2019, 7:04pm

>56 Yells: Darts? Oh, dear. Maybe I'll skip that one.

Editado: Mar 31, 2019, 1:49am

44) I Owe You One by Kinsella.

Doormat grows a backbone and finally stands up to all the idiots and freeloaders in her life. Ugh.... I generally like her version of fluff but this was awful.

Stats: fiction, library book

Editado: Mar 31, 2019, 1:50am

45) The Lying Game by Ware.

Another yawner . I seem to be on a roll. Four friends come together and try not to remember how shitty they were back in school and how they covered up a crime. But, of course, someone wants them to remember. And when everything gets revealed, you are underwhelmed because it was way too obvious.

Stats: fiction, e-book

Editado: Mar 31, 2019, 1:55am

46) If Tomorrow Comes by Sheldon.

Dated but still a good yarn. A woman goes to jail for a crime that she didn't commit (well, she sorta did commit a crime but ends up being a pawn for a bigger crime). Once she is released, she is determined to get revenge on all who put her there and, because that is so satisfying, decides to become a modern day Robin Hood.

Stats: fiction, e-book

Editado: Mar 31, 2019, 2:36am

47) An American Marriage by Jones

This book made me so angry but in the end, I quite enjoyed it. I will admit, I ordered a copy because it's been on my radar for a while and it's now nominated for the Women's Prize, but when I saw that Orpah endorsed it, I was tempted to return it unread. When she had her first book club, I read a few of her choices and they always seemed to be the same story retold in various ways. This one is quite different so hopefully that means she has branched out a bit? Anywho, it's about a young couple who, while visiting his parents in a small southern town, find themselves in hot water when he is accused of a crime that he didn't commit. The story looks at the aftermath as they both struggle to deal with this in different ways.

It's not a pleasant read at times. Their lives follow different paths and I found myself yelling at various characters throughout. But in the end, I got it. Life isn't always fair or just and it's never simple. And just when you think you have everything figured out, something will happen and force you to re-calibrate. This novel was the tour de force of re-calibration.

Stats: fiction, library book

Editado: Mar 31, 2019, 2:13am

48) The Color Purple by Walker.

This was a re-read but it's been a very long time so I don't remember much. I love her language but the casual violence and neglect is a little overwhelming at times. I have never read the sequel so I am curious to see what happens with Celie and her family.

Stats: fiction, e-book

Mar 25, 2019, 6:17pm

>63 Yells: I loved The Light Fantastic. I think it's usually considered on his lesser early books.

>72 Yells: must come back to read your comments.

Editado: Mar 31, 2019, 2:14am

49) If Beale Street Could Talk by Baldwin

What a powerful read! Baldwin is such an amazing author and this was a true work of art. Eerily similar to An American Marriage but so much better. I hope whoever produced the movie did it justice.

Stats: fiction, library book

Editado: Mar 31, 2019, 2:29am

50) The Pisces by Broder

Okay then... what on earth does one say about this kind of book? Long listed for the Women's Prize and nothing like what I would normally read. From the reviews, I can see that this is definitely a polarising book! Lucy is in a downward spiral of codependency and depression so she escapes to her sister's beach house for a fresh start. She attends a support group and at first, things seem to be looking up but gradually the downward spiral continues with messy public sex with strangers and animal abuse. Then she meets Theo, a merman, and falls in love. Yup, you read that right. A merman. Or at least, maybe a merman. Given her state of mind, I am not certain that he actually exists. In fact, thinking that he was just a figment of her depressed imagination is the only thing that kept me reading because the rest of the book was just plain weird and disturbing.

Stats: fiction, library book

Editado: Maio 9, 2019, 11:48pm

April 2019

51) Number One Chinese Restaurant by Li

Everyone seems to have a different opinion on how to run this family business. It was an interesting book but I wasn't wowed but any part of it. I read it as it's on the long list for the Women's Prize but I am not really sure what put it there.

Editado: Maio 9, 2019, 11:49pm

52) American Agent by Winspear.

More Maisie. This time, she is now in the thick of WWII and family/war obligations are taking their toll on her time and energy.

Editado: Maio 9, 2019, 12:13am

53) Educated by Westover

Yikes.. it's hard to believe that people live like this is modern day America. Tara and her family are cut off from the rest of the world thanks to her father and his distrust of just about everything. It sounds like dad has some undiagnosed mental issues as he is sometimes manic and paranoid but then on rare occasions, he is somewhat rational and kind. Against the odds, Tara breaks free of the family to attend university but it's only years later that she finally understands where the compulsion to do that came from.

54) Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Land

A memoir about a young woman who finds herself pregnant while in an abusive relationship. She manages to escape but then faces years of crippling poverty as she tries to find her feet again. The one big criticism I have for this book is that there are a lot of gaps. I find with memoirs, it's easy for the author to forget that the reader isn't privy to all the details of their life so they write about things without explaining fully.

55) My Sister the Serial Killer by Braithwaite

This one is on the Women's Prize longlist and I can see why. Nigerian Korede is trying to live her life by following the rules but has to deal with her flaky sister Ayoola who can't stop murder her boyfriends. On the surface, it's a clever satire but underneath, is has a much darker side. There are no easy answers or resolutions in this book and that just adds to its appeal.

Editado: Maio 9, 2019, 11:43pm

As usual, I started the year all gung-ho about reading but come April, things really slowed down. I haven't been able to concentrate much these days so I have been doing more hands-on stuff to keep focussed. Hopefully with the nicer weather, that will change.

Maio 10, 2019, 5:48pm

Wish you a good reading zen. Enjoyed your posts. I’m really looking forward to getting to If Beale Street Could Talk. Your comments on The Pisces are, well, interesting.

Jun 26, 2019, 3:15pm

56) Shock Wave by Cussler

57) Flood Tide by Cussler

58) Normal People by Rooney

Yikes, it's been a while! I think I missed logging a couple books but can't for the life of me remember what they were. Lately I have been busy looking for a new job, working on school work and taking care of ageing parents so there isn't a lot of reading time left over. Hopefully that changes soon.

The two Cussler books were rereads but I needed mindless brain candy so they fit the bill. Normal People is a fantastic book about two unlikely lovers. In high school, they secretly date but it's a rather toxic relationship. Throughout university, they remain friends and slowly come to learn more about each other and themselves. It's raw and painful at times but also hopefully.

Editado: Ago 6, 2019, 3:56am

Ago 13, 2019, 7:54am

Very belatedly catching up on your thread. For some reason a few threads have accidentally disappeared off my radar.

Worth catching up for your comment on the DH Lawrence book alone - that did tickle me!