Moneypenny's 2020 ROOT Log

Discussão2020 ROOT CHALLENGE

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Moneypenny's 2020 ROOT Log

Editado: Jan 30, 2020, 12:58 pm

Hello there and welcome to my 2020 ROOT log! I'm Caity, a technology director for county government in beautiful Colorado. I'm married to a lovely man who works long, intense hours as a sales manager for a car dealership. Mr. M works 12-14 hour days 6 days a week and my job is fairly fluid with workload and hours, so I've got more reading time than most. We've got a feisty French bulldog (Bibi) and a sweet kitty boy (Poptart). If I'm not with them, I've got my nose in a book! I'll read anything and everything you hand me but am most at home in the fantasy/sci-fi realm.

I originally started tracking my reading here as a way to recover from the burnout of a particularly intense graduate program but quickly discovered that this is one of the best places on the entire internet. I've participated in this challenge for the last 2 years. In 2019, I wound up blowing past my goal of 50 ROOTs with a total of 142 ROOTs read (!).

I'm not aiming anywhere near that high in 2020. I read a lot of mediocre books last year and have got some pretty big goals both at work and in my personal life that will take up the bulk of my reading time. I'm shooting for 1-2 books a week this year and have decided to set my ROOT goal as 50 again.

As always, I'm planning on keeping track of my book expenditures with the goal of no more than 5 books a month or $15 spent per month, which ever comes first. Mr. M is also an avid reader/book collector and between the two of us we have enough books to open our own small public library. If I don't keep the book purchases to a minimum, we're liable to wind up buried in an avalanche of books!

Thanks for stopping by! Drop a note so I can follow along with what you're reading!

Jan 1, 2020, 9:58 am

Welcome back to the ROOTers, Caity! Lovely introduction.
Happy New Year and Happy ROOTing.

Editado: Fev 13, 2020, 6:32 pm

Book List

1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (paper)
2. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (paper)
3. Jane Eyre by Jane Austen (paper)
4. Middlemarch by George Elliot (paper)
5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (paper)
6. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (paper)
7. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (paper)
8. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (paper)
9. New Spring by Robert Jordan (paper)
10. La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (paper

11. The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman (paper)
12. Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones (Kindle)
13. Belgravia by Julian Fellowes (Kindle)
14. Atomic Habits by James Clear (paper)
15. Altered Carbon by Richard K Morgan (Kindle)
16. The Witches of Blackbrook by Tish Thawer (Kindle)
17. Dangerous Liasons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (Kindle)
18. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas (Kindle)
19. A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan (Kindle)
20. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (Kindle)

21. Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (Kindle)
22. Still Life by Louise Penny (Kindle) finished 2/13; 5 stars
23. The Lies of Locke Lamora Lamora by Scott Lynch (Kindle)
24. The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (paper)
25. Rebecca by Daphne du Marier (paper)
26. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (paper)
27. The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenoliera (paper)
28. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (Kindle)
29. The Line by J.D. Horn (Kindle)
30. The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker (Kindle)

31. Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson (Kindle)
32. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Kindle)
33. The Bees by Laline Paull (Kindle)
34. The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan (Kindle)
35. Perennials by Julie Cantrell (Kindle)
36. The Lake House by Kate Morton (Kindle)
37. A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor (Kindle)
38. The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
39. The Secret Language of Stones by MJ Rose (paper)
40. The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (Kindle)

41. Birth of an Empire by Conn Iggulden (Kindle)
42. The Likeness by Tana French (Kindle)
43. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K LeGuin (Kindle)
44. The Quick by Lauren Owen (Kindle)
45. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (Kindle)
46. Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn (paper) finished 1/5; 4 stars
47. Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn (paper) finished 1/6; 4 stars
48. Dynasty of Evil by Drew Karpyshyn (paper) finished 1/7; 4 stars
49. Revan by Drew Karpyshyn (paper) finished 1/1/; 4 stars
50. Darth Plagueis by James Luceno

Jan 1, 2020, 10:43 am

Welcome back, good luck for 2020!

Jan 1, 2020, 11:13 am

Welcome back and have a great reading year! Looks like you have a good variety of books to choose from :)

Jan 2, 2020, 12:30 pm

Good luck with your list!

Editado: Jan 30, 2020, 12:57 pm


Thanks everyone! Here goes nothing!

1. Revan by Drew Karpyshyn
Mr. M and my brother are both hugely into Star Wars books. For years, they asked me to give them at least a try but I was too much of a book snob to do it. That changed last year with reading the prequel trilogy movie novelizations: the movies themselves might not be great, but the added details and depth that the novelizations provided was absolutely terrific. So when Mr. M pulled Revan down and asked me to read it yesterday, I couldn't say no. This was a terrific read if you're a fantasy geek. Revan's story is heartbreaking and truly tragic and the lore/history of this time period in SW is fascinating. Loved it and can't wait to read Karpyshyn's Bane trilogy!
4 stars

2. Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn
Another highly recommended Star Wars trilogy from Mr. M and my brother. I enjoyed this almost as much as Revan. Focusing on the state of the Sith three thousand years after Revan's time, Bane realizes and starts to implement the Rule of Two and turns the Sith empire into a hidden, shadowy threat. Super good!
4 stars

3. Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn
The continuation of Bane's story. The author's note at the beginning says that the author took only 6 months to write the entire book start to published product and unfortunately it shows in the story. It was rushed, weirdly paced, and definitely could have used a better editing hand. There's a good book in here somewhere, and the overall plot was good enough to keep me interested but sadly a missed opportunity.
4 stars for the idea of the book, 2 stars for the actual execution of it

4. Dynasty of Evil by Drew Karpyshyn
Thankfully, the conclusion was much better. Bane's story wraps up in a completely satisfying way that also changed my own personal head canon of the Sith lords. Big thanks to Mr. M for insisting I read these!
4 stars

5. The Morning After by Kate Williams
6. The Arrest by Kate Williams
7. The Verdict by Kate Williams
8. The Wedding by Kate Williams
9. Beware the Baby-Sitter by Kate Williams
10. The Evil Twin by Kate Williams
11. Jessica's Secret Love by Kate Williams
12. Left At The Altar by Kate Williams
13. Double Crossed by Kate Williams
14. Death Threat by Kate Williams
15. A Deadly Christmas by Kate Williams
Holy nostalgia, Batman! My parents are thinking about moving into a smaller house now that they're empty nesters and have started clearing out parts of their current house. They found a giant box of my books from childhood, which contained the above Sweet Valley High books (95-100) and 107-111. Once I had taken the box home, I immediately started to read. As a child, I watched a lot of soap operas with my mother and these books are basically soap operas written for preteen girls. This arc involves crazy fighting between the twins (Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield) for prom queen, Jessica spiking Elizabeth's drink with alcohol and letting her drive drunk, two murdered boyfriends for Jessica in the span of maybe a month (the timeline is a little fuzzy), a murder trial, the reunion of two long-estranged spouses, a wedding, an teenage boy taking care of an abandoned infant for a full week, and a twin look-alike plotting to murder Elizabeth and take her place in the Wakefield family. Talk about a wild ride. I wouldn't say that these books are good necessarily but they were definitely entertaining!
3 stars each, mostly for nostalgia

Jan 3, 2020, 1:03 am

Good luck with your 2020 ROOTing, Caity!

Editado: Out 31, 2020, 4:22 pm

2020 Book Expenditures Tracker

No books purchased! Way to go, self!

Lovely War by Julie Berry: Kindle, $2
The Island of the Sea Women by Lisa See: Kindle, $3
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen: Kindle, $3
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres: Kindle, $3

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry: Kindle, $10
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: Kindle, $2

The Bone Season and it's accompanying sequels by Samantha Shannon: $2
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole: Kindle, $9
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix: $10
Yikes, I definitely went over budget this month!

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood: Kindle, $3
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy: Kindle, $2
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn: Kindle, $2
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore: Kindle, $2
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai: Kindle, $2
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick: Kindle, $2
I managed to stay under my $15 monthly limit, but just barely. At this rate I'll never be free of ROOTs. But secretly I think having a library free of ROOTs waiting to be read would be a bleak thing indeed.


Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read: Kindle, $5

The Sword of Shannara The Elfstones of Shannara The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks: Kindle, $2
Hyperion by Dan Simmons: Kindle, $1
The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams: Kindle, $2
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson: Kindle, $2

No books purchased!

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth: Kindle, $2
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice: Kindle, $2



Total 2020 Book Expenditures

Jan 30, 2020, 6:40 pm

High five! I haven't bought a book yet this year either, although that might not last...

Jan 31, 2020, 2:23 am

>9 Miss_Moneypenny:, >10 rabbitprincess: I did not buy a book in January too. How good are we!

Jan 31, 2020, 6:41 am

>9 Miss_Moneypenny: >10 rabbitprincess: >11 connie53: I more than made up for it, I think. I couldn't resist the bargain bins.

Editado: Jan 31, 2020, 2:07 pm

>10 rabbitprincess: >11 connie53: Look at all the self-restraint we've got! *throws confetti*

>12 MissWatson: Yes, but at least they were bargain books and not full price! *throws more confetti*

Editado: Fev 20, 2020, 1:49 pm


Yowza, January was a heck of a month. Here's hoping that the groundhog is right and that spring (both literal and metaphorical) is on the way soon!

16. The Next Right Thing by Emily P Freeman
This is without a doubt the last time I check out a book by an Instagram personality based on another Instagram influencer's recommendation. I didn't hate it, but it was definitely underwhelming. I'm not sure who the audience for this book is, but I definitely am not it. Are there actually people who need to have their hands held throughout how to make a decision? This was a big miss for me.
2 stars

17. Cut Flower Garden by Floret Farms
At the end of this month, Mr. M and I are moving into a new house with an absolutely insane backyard. Where we live has a terrific climate (local crops include grapes, peaches, and corn) and I'm looking forward to starting my first garden. In addition to growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs, I have visions for a grand flower garden that I'll primarily use for cut flowers because there's nothing better than having fresh flowers at work! This book was a really great place to start and the pictures are phenomenal. Highly recommended.
5 stars

18. The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
Magical realism and Southern Gothic are two of my favorite things to see in a story and Allen typically does a great job combining the two. Garden Spells has a prime place on my library shelf and I'm slowly working my way through her back catalog. Sadly, this one wasn't as great as her other books. Her characters seemed a little flat and the plot was just kinda "meh" (two women have to overcome high school weirdness to become friends as adults...and somehow heal the town through that friendship? Still unclear). It wasn't a terrible way to waste an evening but I did find myself wishing I had reread Garden Spells instead.
3 stars

19. Still Life by Louise Penny
This book has been languishing on my Kindle for over a year now and I am absolutely kicking myself for waiting this long to read it. It's not a cozy mystery, but it's not graphic at all. It's got a lovely cast of characters and a charming, tiny Canadian town and just enough pathos. Love, love, love and I can't wait to read the next one.
5 stars

20. Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler
I read the 10th anniversary edition of this book many years ago and have successfully used it's principles to avoid pregnancy after my miscarriage in 2016. Now that Mr. M and I are ready to try for a baby again, I figured it was time to check out the updated 20th anniversary edition and refresh my knowledge. I'm so glad I did because there was so much new information! Obviously, Natural Family Planning (NFP) isn't for everyone, but I had so many adverse side effects on hormonal birth control that this method really was a life saver for me. Highly, highly recommended for any woman post-puberty who wants to learn about how her body works.
5 stars

21. Dirty Genes by Ben Lynch
I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018 and have been looking for ways to work holistically with my body (in addition to taking all my recommended MS meds and supplements!). Dirty Genes was recommended to me by my medical social worker as a good place to start and it was a pretty eye opening read, especially when I think about all the things my husband struggles with that we've just been writing off as "how he is," namely his wickedly bad case of ADHD, hair trigger temper, and up and down moods. I'm not 100% convinced and I need more research, but I think that a diet overhaul and some lifestyle changes are in the future for the Moneypenny household.
4 stars

Fev 12, 2020, 3:18 am

I hope you will see your garden in bloom soon, Caity.

Fev 12, 2020, 4:24 am

Gorgeous picture, again!

Fev 18, 2020, 1:01 pm

>15 connie53: >16 MissWatson: Thank you both! I'm hopeful that in a few months I'll be able to picture spam this thread with my own garden!

Fev 18, 2020, 2:26 pm

Looks like you will have a wonderful time planning your garden. I'm looking forward to the photos.

Fev 19, 2020, 10:11 am

Your first list inspires me to include more classics and non- fiction in my reading, not just blow through unread mysteries. 😋

Fev 20, 2020, 1:51 pm

>18 Familyhistorian: Thank you! I'm pretty jazzed, although I do think the dog and cat will wind up turning it into their own private playpen.

>19 ritacate: I had high plans for my list but I realized this week that I've been putting off the thicker classics! It's definitely time for me to get started on them as well!

Editado: Mar 9, 2020, 12:39 pm


22. Attack on Titan 1 by Hajime Isayama
23. Attack on Titan 2 by Hajime Isayama
24. Attack on Titan 3 by Hajime Isayama
25. Attack on Titan 4 by Hajime Isayama
26. Attack on Titan 5 by Hajime Isayama
Back in 2015, Mr. M and I instituted a "pizza and anime Saturday" tradition. The very first anime we started with was Attack on Titan and now almost 5 years later, I'm diving into the manga. The last gasp of humanity has spent the last several hundred years hiding from human-eating Titans behind 3 enormous walls. At the start of the story, the Colossal Titan breaches the outermost wall and the Titans begin another wave of attacks. Humanity prepares for it's last stand and off we go! Both the manga and anime are almost too violent/gory for me, but the story is so unique that I can get past it. I'm really enjoying these but I also find myself preferring the extra depth that the anime has to it.
5 stars each

27. A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
Chief Inspector Gamache and the residents of Three Pines absolutely stole my heart in Penny's first book Still Life, so I was eagerly anticipating this second installment. I absolutely loved this one and have already queued up the third in the series.
4 stars

Editado: Abr 29, 2020, 4:28 pm

Wow. The world has turned upside down. I haven't been out of my neighborhood in almost 4 weeks. Between my MS, bad lungs, and a generally inefficient immune system, I'm definitely in the immunocompromised category and have been taking extreme precautions to stay healthy during this insane time.

Thankfully, I can work from home, my husband still has a job, and we're in a much better place than a lot of people we know. And on the upside, since we're running such a lean operation at work I've got more time for ROOTing!

28. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
In times of stress, I always turn to my favorite comfort reads from childhood: Little House and the Little Women series. Little House took precedence this time because of the focus on the Ingalls family surviving in extreme hardship. A true classic!
5 stars

29. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Continuing with my comfort reading is the second in the Little House series. The differences in Laura and Almanzo's upbringing is absolutely shocking and of the two, I think Farmer Boy wins out in my affections.
5 stars

30. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
Another sheer delight from Louise Penny. Her murder mysteries aren't graphic and the absolutely charming depiction of Three Pines makes me want to move to Canada immediately.
5 stars

31. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Prairie was never my favorite of the Little House books, if only because the anti-Native American sentiment was pretty offensive to me even as a child (I'm half Choctaw but white passing and my parents did an excellent job of raising me to be sensitive to racism and my heritage). But still, the depictions of how the Ingalls family survived the harsh frontier was captivating.
5 stars

32. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Plum Creek was my childhood favorite, the one I read over and over. But as an adult looking back, I'm not sure why. The Ingalls family is in major debt and continues to make unwise financial decisions (Pa borrows against the next year's wheat crop in an area that he's never grown in before to build a clapboard house for Ma) and the grasshopper plague devastates them even further. Not a great time for the Ingalls family for sure.
5 stars

33. A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
Another highly enjoyable murder mystery with the incomparable Armand Gamache and his excellent team. I've been hearing about the pleasures of the Gamache series for years and I'm kicking myself that it took so long for me to pick them up.
4 stars

34. By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
When I would rank the Little House books as a child, this was always near the bottom. Not a lot happens: the Ingalls family moves to South Dakota and spends a year following the railroad before Pa finds their permanent homestead. But as an adult, I was entranced by Wilder's description of the never-ending prairie and their time on the lake shore. This was lovely.
5 stars

35. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
This book was frightening as heck to read as an adult. Realizing just how close the Ingalls family came to death by starvation was harrowing. The mental toll of surviving a full 7 months of blizzards without modern heating and conveniences is a nightmare to think about.
5 stars

36. Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
In this volume, the Ingalls family starts to see some prosperity finally. The family spends more time in town and the book is a neat look at how pioneers socialized (minus the absolutely awful blackface scene).
4 stars

37. These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
This final volume always gets me. Laura is "going" with Almanzo Wilder and is growing up. This is a sweetly sentimental ending that never fails to make me cry.
5 stars

38. Storm Front by Jim Butcher
The first in the Harry Dresden series; it's a little hokey but a good introduction to Dresden's universe. He's a professional wizard in Chicago who also consults for the Chicago PD and in this volume, he's racing to solve several grisly magical murders. The bones of a really great urban fantasy series are in here, so on to the next book I go!
4 stars

39. Fool's Moon by Jim Butcher
The second Harry Dresden was just not as good.
2 stars

40. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
Harry's third adventure picked up significantly and renewed my interest in the series.
3 stars

41. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
And the fourth Dresden novel was the best so far! Harry gets mixed up in a huge war between the faerie courts and his skin is on the line.
4 stars
42. Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser
Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series had a profound impact on my life. As a child, we moved frequently throughout the American West and Laura's journey helped ease my pain every time. As an adult, I still cherish the books (although I'm a little iffy about the racism in them) and was thrilled to see the Kindle copy of this go on sale last year. It was absolutely fascinating. Fraser did an excellent job of setting the national stage for Laura's life and I learned so much. This is going on my best of 2020 list for sure.
5 stars

43. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun
44. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern by Lilian Jackson Braun
45. The Cat Who Turned On and Off by Lilian Jackson Braun
46. The Cat Who Saw Red by Lilian Jackson Braun
47. The Cat Who Played Brahms by Lilian Jackson Braun
48. The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lilian Jackson Braun
These were included in the boxes of books my parents gave me at the beginning of the year. I read these cozy mysteries when I was just a wee thing and they surprisingly hold up nearly two and a half decades later. They're dated in a way I didn't notice as a child but a fun, nostalgic read.
3 stars each

49. Death Masks by Jim Butcher
50. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
Another two super entertaining entries in the Dresdenverse. Harry's still battling the Red Court without assistance of the wizard council, still missing his old girlfriend, and still managing to get mixed up in the most outrageous situations. These are like candy and I'm so glad there's more to come.
4 stars each

Abr 4, 2020, 7:45 am

Hope you continue to stay safe and well! And what a beautiful rose for this month :)

Abr 4, 2020, 10:01 am

>22 Miss_Moneypenny: That's a lovely rose! Weird times indeed, so take good care of yourself.

Abr 11, 2020, 3:43 am

Stay Safe, Caity!

Abr 12, 2020, 1:16 pm

Editado: Maio 29, 2020, 8:12 pm


I just can't believe that it's already May. We're halfway done with Q2 of 2020 and what a long, strange trip it's been. But Colorado has had a much easier time of dealing with COVID than the rest of the country and my county in particular hasn't had a single death from it. As a result, we're starting to open back up slowly. Mr. M went back to his car dealership today, my workplace is opening it's doors on May 18, and masses will start to be celebrated in my town this weekend! I'm starting to feel cautiously optimistic.

On the reading front, April was a stellar month for me. Reading is my number one way to handle stress and it definitely shows in both my numbers read and the books I chose to read. I didn't read as many ROOTs as I should have and I've completely neglected the reading plan I set for myself in January. Nevertheless, I hit my personal goal last month and am looking forward to contributing to the group's ROOT total from here on out!

51. Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts
52. Heaven and Earth by Nora Roberts
53. Face the Fire by Nora Roberts
When I was 16, my family fled a hurricane that was headed for our small Texas beach town and took shelter with my aunt and her family in Austin. In the rush to leave, I hadn't packed enough reading material and when I started complaining, she tossed me the first volume in this trilogy. I kind of rolled my eyes (I was a snob about romance novels then) but decided i didn't have anything else to read so I might as well try. Long story short, I was immediately hooked on the story. Roberts writes settings like nobody else and for me that makes up for her slightly formulaic characters and plots. I was transported to the tiny New England island and was completely charmed by the three women and their struggle to find love and save the day. This trilogy is my purest comfort read and it holds a special place in my heart.
4 stars

54. The Victory Machine by Ethan Sherwood Strauss
The Golden State Warriors' dominance of basketball nearly ruined the fun of watching the sport for me. My heart belongs to a small market team and they were never going to be able to beat the Warriors after Kevin Durant joined. So it was with great interest that I picked up Strauss's examination of how they became so dominant and where it all went wrong. It was a super quick read and wasn't bad but I wanted more. I thought that Strauss's journalism roots showed pretty heavily: I wanted more detail, more teeth, more musings from both the author and his interview subjects. But instead it was mostly a surface level look. It honestly feels like an extended EPSN article rather than a full length book. Still, it was a pleasant way to spend a stormy afternoon.
3 stars

55. Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman has long been on my "season pass" author list. I'll read anything he puts out, even if I find that his later work isn't as captivating as his earlier stuff. Thankfully, Fragile Things is one of his earlier books and despite my reluctance to read short stories, he captured my attention and imagination with each one. Highly recommended if you're looking for horror/fantasy/creepy short stories.
4 stars

56. His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
I originally read this in 2019 and was so captivated with the dragons and people of Novik's world that I immediately bought it. If you're at all interested in alternate history with a touch of fantasy, you need to read this.
5 stars

Editado: Maio 11, 2020, 12:54 pm

>27 Miss_Moneypenny: Nora Roberts is one of my favorite writers to go to when times are difficult and I need some comfort reading. Light and easy with some romance and magic.

Congrats on reaching your goal!

Maio 11, 2020, 7:09 pm

>28 connie53: Thank you Connie! She does have that magic touch for comfort reading without a doubt.

Maio 12, 2020, 3:24 am

Congratulations on reaching your goal!

Maio 21, 2020, 2:06 pm

>30 MissWatson: Thank you! It's hard to complain about having to stay home when there are so many good books to read!

Jul 9, 2020, 3:24 pm


Woof, what a hecking month. I'm combining June and July into one post since I only read 8 books in June and sadly none of them were ROOTs. However it's a new month and forward we must go.

57. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher 4 stars
58. Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher 4 stars
59. White Night by Jim Butcher 3 stars
When I read the first two Harry Dresden books back in 2017, I wasn't really impressed. They were pretty boilerplate and Harry's "chivalry" was incredibly grating. But since they're just hanging on my shelves taking up space, I figured I needed to read them if only to get them out of my house. Imagine my shock when they turn out to get substantially better. Dresden becomes a real and full fledged character and his world expands exponentially. I've turned out to really love these.

60. The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
This was long listed for the Man Booker prize in 2018 and man it definitely deserved it. Grace, Lia, and Sky are 3 sisters living with their mother and father in seclusion since men have become literally toxic to women, causing them sickness and death. Or are they? The book never makes explicitly clear if these women are actually living in a dystopia or a cruel, abusive cult. At the beginning of the book, their father disappears and shortly thereafter 3 men wash up on their shore. The men's presence causes the cracks in the sisters' world to deepen. Mackintosh asks a lot of interesting questions about the limits of love, the meaning of sisterhood, and exactly how much the human spirit can take. She offers no answers and the thread of dread and violence shines brightly throughout the book, leading to a climax that's violent but not graphic. This sounds like a terrible book, but I thought it was fascinating, provocative, and sad all at once. Highly recommend if you're into smart, feminist, thought provoking allegories.
4 stars

Jul 9, 2020, 5:21 pm

Glad to see most of your July ROOTs so far have been four stars, and that the Dresden books have been improving for you :)

Beautiful flowers!

Ago 18, 2020, 2:45 pm


Welp, June and July were my worst two reading months in recent memory. Between my husband getting laid off in June and me coming down with the coronavirus in July, this has been an absolutely terrible summer. But on the bright side, being home with my husband all day has been terrific and I didn't pass the coronavirus to anyone in my family. Plus, there's always the comfort of books and reading!

61. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer 4 stars
62. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer 3 stars
63. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer 3 stars
64. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer 4 stars
When Twilight was originally released, I was working at a Borders and going through a very rough time. It was pretty much required reading and while I recognized the problems in it (and lord, are there problems here), it stuck with me as a true comfort read because the idea of being with my family for all eternity just hits me right in the heart. I only break out Twilight when things are really bad and this never-ending year of misery definitely called for a re-read.

Ago 19, 2020, 7:07 am

>34 Miss_Moneypenny: Wow, that's been a tough couple of months for you - I hope things are starting to look up, that your husband finds work soon, and you continue to recover from the 'Rona.

Ago 19, 2020, 2:49 pm

Oh no, what a terrible summer :( I hope you continue to recover and that your husband finds a new job soon.

Ago 31, 2020, 8:52 pm

That's a whole lot of bad stuff happening in a very short amount of time! I hope everything is going better now.

Editado: Set 27, 2020, 8:45 pm


Thank you so much for all the well wishes. Thankfully August was more mild, even if my parents did wind up moving in with us at the end of the month. Intergenerational living is proving to be an adventure so far, but the dog is absolutely loving having extra people around lol!

66. Big Book of Kombucha by Hannah Crum
Making kombucha is one of my favorite hobbies. I absolutely love kombucha but couldn't stomach paying so much for the bottles ($5 around here), so I learned how to make it on my own. This book was terrifically informative and easy to follow, plus there are a ton of flavor combinations I never would have thought to try. Definitely recommended!
5 stars

67. Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Sager's books have gotten increasingly better as he writes and this, his newest, is his best yet. Super duper spooky, fascinating ending, and it left me with the light on at bedtime just in case. Highly recommended if you're a fan of haunted house stories.
4 stars

68. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Gothic literature is one of my favorite genres and Moreno-Garcia does it superbly. Noemi is sent to save her cousin from her new husband, but winds up getting completely entangled and trapped in a spooky house with spooky relations and their spooky history. This was super duper evocative and creepy and had an ending that I completely didn't see coming. I can't wait to read through her backlist!
4 stars

69. The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich
This is my absolute bible of pickling. Hundreds of recipes from all over the world (even a recipe to mimic Amy March's pickled limes!), clear instructions, and no fluff: this was a masterclass in preserving.
5 stars

70. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I've heard about this book for years but Card's personal views on minorities and homosexuals are so repugnant to me that it colored my view of his work. When I finally broke down and read it, it absolutely blew me away. How on earth could a man who is so filled with hate toward people who are different from him write such a moving book about how important it is to understand those who aren't like us? This was a violent, moving, sad, excellent book and I'm so glad we've got the entire quintet waiting on our bookshelves.
5 stars

71. Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker
This is a masterpiece of investigative journalism. Kolker writes about the Galvins: 12 children, 6 of whom went on to develop severe cases of schizophrenia and intermingles it with a history of the disease and how their genetic material has shaped the future of schizophrenia research. This was heartbreaking, hard to read, and so incredibly important.
5 stars

Set 5, 2020, 12:51 pm

Hi Caity. Wow, I just read about the horrible summer you had. I hope you are feeling fine now. I've heard that recovering from Corona may take a while. And all that's good for your husband finding a job again and getting used to living with your parents.

Editado: Out 31, 2020, 4:24 pm


Ah, we're finally in October. It's my favorite season, my favorite month, and finally the work craziness starts to wind down. Even the dumpster fire that is 2020 can't wreck October for me!

72. Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
This is my third Christie book and she's shot to the top of my favorite mystery author lists. This was another engrossing, tightly plotted, exhilarating whodunit and one that I'm so glad to have on my shelves.
5 stars

73. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
A classic and one of my very favorites to read aloud.
4 stars

74. Sailor Moon Eternal Edition 1 by Naoko Takeuchi
75. Sailor Moon Eternal Edition 2 by Naoko Takeuchi
76. Sailor Moon Eternal Edition 3 by Naoko Takeuchi
77. Sailor Moon Eternal Edition 4 by Naoko Takeuchi
Despite my love of comic books and graphic novels, I never managed to really get into manga with the exceptions of Saiyuki and this. When Sailor Moon was released in the US, my brother, sister, and I turned it into a huge ritual. We'd walk to the comic store and browse for at least an hour for anything not Sailor Moon related. Then when we couldn't stand the anticipation any more, we'd buy one copy and rush home. Since she was barely 7 (and my brother was only 5) at the time, I'd read it out loud while we looked at the pages together. I have incredibly fond memories of this time, and my sister still has our original collection (incredibly beaten up and held together with tape but priceless to us at this point).

All of that to say: I love Sailor Moon. 90s feminism was a beautiful thing and it's all over the pages of this manga. Usagi stays true to herself and her friends while also growing as a character. She and Tuxedo Mask manage to have one of the most functional relationships in a comic that I've seen. She manages to save herself/her friends much more than he swoops in to save the day, they work together, and there's no brooding "I love you and want to be honest with you about my superhero life but I caaaaaan't because I have to broooooood darkly" (I'm looking at you, Batman!). I also really love that Usagi's powers/strength level don't vary at all. It's explicitly mentioned that Tuxedo Mask has no powers and unlike say, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Usagi only grows in power and this level never lessens.

The first two volumes cover the entire Dark Kingdom arc; the second two cover the Dark Moon arc. They're the recently re-done editions with larger pages that really allow Takeuchi's wonderfully delicate and expressive artwork to pop. Definitely worth the upgrade to me.
5 stars

78. The Witches by Roald Dahl
A quick Halloween read aloud with my favorite kids. This book never fails to satisfy both adults and the tinies.
4 stars

Out 13, 2020, 5:04 am

Happy and Healthy October for you and your family, Cathy. You deserve some peace and quiet.

Out 13, 2020, 1:26 pm

>41 connie53: Thank you Connie! It's been a heck of year for everyone and I'm praying so hard that 2021 will be kinder to us all!

Out 13, 2020, 1:33 pm

>42 Miss_Moneypenny: I hope so too! We just saw a press conference of our prime minister with new measures to get the infection down again.

Out 15, 2020, 5:31 pm

>43 connie53: That's terrific! Hopefully it works!

Out 16, 2020, 2:50 am

I do too.

Editado: Nov 17, 2020, 6:58 pm


79. On the Most Holy Rosary by John Paul II
The famous encyclical where Pope John Paul II introduced the world to the Luminous Mysteries.
5 stars

80. Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
I loved, loved, loved Ender's Game when I read it in September and imagine my surprise when the sequel was even better than the first. Card deepens his examination of what it means to be human, what it means to be other, and how to live. This was fantastic.
5 stars

81. Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
I really, really loved the first two Ender books but in this third one the premise is starting to wear thin. I don't have any attachment or even interest in Norvinha's family (talk about unlikeable characters!) and so much of this was devoted to them. Still, I really love Jane and the world of Path that was introduced and the way Card wraps up the plot was pretty ingenious.
4 stars

82. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
I read this way the heck back in 2001 and remember really enjoying it. Reading it as an adult was a very different experience. I'm not sure if I just skimmed it the first time or what, but I didn't remember close to 80% of the plot and was SHOCKED at the amount of rape, incest, and erotica in this book. For all that though, it was a genuinely scary Gothic horror story with a terrifically interesting plot and world building.
4 stars

Dez 25, 2020, 6:53 am

Happy Holidays from the Netherlands!

Dez 29, 2020, 4:37 pm

>47 connie53: Thanks Connie! Happy New Year!

Dez 29, 2020, 5:11 pm

Well, we're only 3 days out from 2021 and I know I won't be reading any more ROOTs between then and now so let's have some superlatives!

The Worst of 2020
The Next Right Thing by Emily P Freeman
It's not even that this was a truly bad book. It just seemed... unnecessary? to me? Who is out here needing hand holding through decision making? This might be unfair of me, but just like I'm over anything written by Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy, Knox McCoy of the Podcast, and Kendra Adachi of The Lazy Genius, I am heartily sick and tired of bloggers writing books. New goal for 2020: no more blogger/authors!

The Best of 2020
Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
I don't have enough good things to say about these two books. They were thought provoking and inspired long, heated conversations many weeks after I turned the last pages. Philosophical but not pedantic and boring, full of heart without being sappy, these might be the best books I've read in the last several years.