Cindy/LibraryCin's 2021 Challenges

Discussão2021 Category Challenge

Aderi ao LibraryThing para poder publicar.

Cindy/LibraryCin's 2021 Challenges

Editado: Jan 1, 4:20pm

My long list of challenges to follow...

I have chosen two new categories for the 12x12 challenge: BIPOC authors or main characters and ARCs.

For my "Trim the TBR/Roundtuits", I am now only including those that have been on my tbr for 3+ years (in the past I've done 2+ years).

Editado: Set 16, 10:30pm


Play Book Tag (tags or challenges)

1. Furiously Happy / Jenny Lawson. 4 stars
2. A Prayer for the Dying / Stewart O'Nan. 2.5 stars
3. The Witch Elm / Tana French. 4 stars
4. Vanishing and Other Stories / Deborah Willis. 2.75 stars
5. Victoria's Daughters / Jerrold M. Packard. 3.75 stars
6. Orphan Train / Christina Baker Kline. 4 stars
7. The Silver Linings Playbook / Matthew Quick. 3.5 stars
8. We Have Always Been Here / Samra Habib. 3.5 stars
9. The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England / Ian Mortimer. 4.25 stars
10. Such a Pretty Face / Cathy Lamb. 4 stars
11. The Last Runaway / Tracey Chevalier. 3.75 stars

Editado: Jul 28, 5:10pm

ARCs (Netgalley, Early Readers)
1. Good Neighbors / Sarah Langan. 5 stars
2. Women in White Coats / Olivia Campbell. 4.25 stars
3. The Drowning Kind / Jennifer McMahon. 5 stars
4. The Last Thing He Told Me / Laura Dave. 4 stars
5. Local Woman Missing / Mary Kubica. 5 stars
6. The Clover Girls / Viola Shipman. 3.5 stars
7. Such a Quiet Place / Megan Miranda. 4 stars
8. The Other Passenger / Louise Candlish. 4 stars
9. Never Saw Me Coming / Vera Kurian. 4 stars

Editado: Ago 18, 9:38pm

Reading Through Time
1. New Boy / Tracy Chevalier. 4 stars
2. The Shoemaker's Wife / Adriana Trigiani. 4 stars
3. Bloody Jack / L.A. Meyer. 3.75 stars
4. The Devil's Making / Sean Haldane. 3 stars
5. Late Nights on Air / Elizabeth Hay. 2 stars
6. A Night Divided / Jennifer A. Nielsen. 4 stars
7. The Midnight Bargain / C.L. Polk. 3.5 stars
8. The Meat Racket / Christopher Leonard. 5 stars

Editado: Set 3, 11:00pm

Oh Canada! (Canadian Authors)
1. Barometer Rising / Hugh MacLennan. 3.25 stars
2. Akin / Emma Donoghue. 3.5 stars
3. The Figgs / Ali Bryan. 3.5 stars
4. In the Mood for Peace / Phyllis Wheaton. 4 stars
5. Herbert has Lots for a Buck / Elizabeth McLachlan. 4 stars
6. The Sun Down Motel / Simone St. James. 4 stars
7. The Marrow Thieves / Cherie Dimaline. 3.5 stars
8. The Most Precious Substance on Earth / Shashi Bhat. 3.5 stars
9. The Horseman's Graves / Jacqueline Baker. 2.5 stars
10. The Donnelly Album / Ray Fazakas. 3.5 stars
11. Crow Lake / Mary Lawson. 4 stars

Editado: Ago 18, 9:51pm

Trim the TBR (On TBR 3+ years)
1. An Available Man / Hilma Wolitzer. 3.5 stars
2. Suffering Succotash / Stephanie Lucianovic. 4 stars
3. Death / Neil Gaiman. 3.75 stars
4. The Tao of Martha / Jen Lancaster. 3.5 stars
5. The Richest Woman in America / Janet Wallach. 2 stars
6. Hallucinations / Oliver Sacks. 3.25 stars
7. Mrs. Mike / Benedict and Nancy Freedman. 3 stars
8. I Hunt Killers / Barry Lyga. 4 stars
9. Strange Bedpersons / Jennifer Crusie. 3 stars
10. Fairest. Vol. 1: Wide Awake / Bill Willingham. 3 stars

Editado: Set 11, 3:45pm

Will it Ever End? (Continuing Series)
1. Shadowland / Alyson Noel. 3 stars
2. The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw / Christopher Healy. 3.5 stars
3. A Barricade in Hell / Jaime Lee Moyer. 3.5 stars
4. File M for Murder / Miranda James. 3.5 stars
5. The Valley of Horses / Jean M. Auel. 3.25 stars
6. The Sleeping Beauty / Mercedes Lackey. 4 stars
7. Hana / Lauren Oliver. 3.5 stars
8. The 9th Judgment / James Patterson. 3 stars
9. Where She Went / Gayle Forman. 3 stars
10. The Promise / Robert Crais. 3.5 stars

Editado: Jul 4, 4:31pm

Off the Shelf (Print or E- Books I Own)
1. The Guest List / Lucy Foley. 4.5 stars
2. The Escape Room / Megan Goldin. 4.25 stars
3. Nightmares & Dreamscapes / Stephen King. 3.25 stars
4. The Dreams of Ada / Robert Mayer. 4 stars
5. Uprooted / Naomi Novik. 4 stars
6. What the Dead Leave Behind / Rosemary Simpson. 4 stars
7. The Invited / Jennifer McMahon. 4.25 stars
8. Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands / Chris Bohjalian. 3.75 stars

Editado: Set 16, 9:57pm

Audio Books
1. The Crossing Places / Elly Griffiths. 3 stars
2. The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter / Theodora Goss. 3 stars
3. Helter Skelter / Vincent Bugliosi. 3.5 stars (abridged)
4. Pale Rider / Laura Spinney. 3 stars
5. A Piece of the World / Christina Baker Kline. 2.5 stars
6. Shadow on the Crown / Patricia Bracewell. 3 stars
7. The ABC Murders / Agatha Christie. 3 stars
8. Maisie Dobbs / Jacqueline Winspear. 2.5 stars
9. The Almost Sisters / Joshilyn Jackson. 3 stars
10. Before We Were Yours / Lisa Wingate. 3.75 stars
11. Notorious RBG / Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik. 3 stars
12. The Witch of Blackbird Pond / Elizabeth George Speare. 3.25 stars

Editado: Ago 20, 10:01pm

I'll Travel Virtually (Books Set in Other Countries - not Canada, USA, or England)
1. The Tattooed Witch / Susan MacGregor. 3.75 stars
2. Daughter of Time / Sarah Woodbury. 3.75 stars
3. Madame Tussaud / Kate Berridge. 3 stars
4. Headhunters / Jo Nesbo. 3 stars
5. Naked and Marooned / Ed Stafford. 3 stars
6. My Sister, the Serial Killer / Oyinkan Braithwaite. 3.5 stars
7. The Other Side of the Night / Daniel Allen Butler. 4.25 stars
8. The Romanov Empress / C.W. Gortner. 3.5 stars

Editado: Ago 4, 10:59pm

Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My! (Animals)
1. The Real James Herriot / James Wight. 3.75 stars
2. Woman in the Mists / Farley Mowat. 4.5 stars
3. What's a Dog For? / John Homans. 4 stars
4. All My Patients Kick and Bite / Jeff Wells. 3.5 stars
5. The Constant Rabbit / Jasper Fforde. 3.25 stars
6. Pride and Prejudice and Kitties / Pamela Jane, Deborah Guyol, Jane Austen. 3 stars
7. Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs / Blaize Clement. 3.75 stars

Editado: Set 14, 10:49pm

Truth is Stranger than Fiction (Nonfiction)
1. The Lady in Medieval England, 1000-1500 / Peter Coss. 2.5 stars
2. Ghostland / Colin Dickey. 3.5 stars
3. The Stranger Beside Me / Ann Rule. 4 stars (abridged audio)
4. The King's Speech / Mark Logue. 3.5 stars
5. El Deafo / Cece Bell. 4 stars
6. When Breath Becomes Air / Paul Kalanithi. 3 stars
7. Mudlark / Lara Maiklem. 3 stars
8. The Women of the Cousins' War / Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin, Michael K. Jones. 3 stars
9. Angry Weather / Friederike Otto. 3.5 stars
10. The Road to Jonestown / Jeff Guinn. 4 stars
11. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes / Caitlyn Doughty. 4 stars

Editado: Ago 26, 10:26pm

BIPOC (Authors or main characters)
1. Crazy Rich Asians / Kevin Kwan. 3.5 stars
2. Buses Are a Comin' / Charles Person. 5 stars
3. I Do Not Come to You By Chance / Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. 3 stars
4. Mexican Gothic / Silvia Moreno-Garcia. 3.25 stars
5. Braiding Sweetgrass / Robin Wall Kimmerer. 3.25 stars
6. Roots / Alex Haley. 3.5 stars
7. Honolulu / Alan Brennert. 4 stars
8. Caste / Isabel Wilkerson. 3.75 stars
9. Chop Suey Nation / Ann Hui. 3.5 stars

Editado: Set 1, 10:51pm

Overflow (doesn’t fit other categories)
1. Ordinary Grace / William Kent Krueger. 4 stars
2. Paper Girls / Brian K. Vaughan. 3.5 stars
3. The Wicked Deep / Shea Ernshaw. 4 stars
4. Eight Cousins / Louisa May Alcott. 3 stars

Editado: Jul 14, 11:27pm


1. Book less than 200 pages
. The Lady in Medieval England, 1000-1500 / Peter Coss. 2.5 stars
2. Time word in title or time is the subject.The Constant Rabbit / Jasper Fforde. 3.25 stars
3. Set in or author from the Southern Hemisphere. Naked and Marooned / Ed Stafford. 3 stars
4. Book with or about magic. The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw / Christopher Healy. 3.5 stars
5. Arts and recreation. A Piece of the World / Christina Baker Kline. 2.5 stars
6. Classical element in title (Western: earth, air, wind, fire, aether/void. Chinese: wood, fire, earth, metal, water). When Breath Becomes Air / Paul Kalanithi. 3 stars
7. Book with the name of a building in the title. The Sun Down Motel / Simone St. James. 4 stars
8. By or about a marginalized group. The Tattooed Witch / Susan MacGregor. 3.75 stars
9. Senior citizen as the protagonist. An Available Man / Hilma Wolitzer. 3.5 stars
10. Suggested by a person from another generation. In the Mood for Peace / Phyllis Wheaton. 4 stars
11. A book about nature or the environment. Woman in the Mists / Farley Mowat. 4.5 stars
12. A book that made you laugh. Furiously Happy / Jenny Lawson. 4 stars
13. Book you share with 20 or fewer members on LT. The Figgs / Ali Bryan. 3.5 stars
14. Book about history or alternate history. Barometer Rising / Hugh MacLennan. 3.25 stars
15. Book with a title that describes you. Good Neighbors / Sarah Langan. 5 stars
16. Book you heartily recommend. The Guest List / Lucy Foley. 4.5 stars
17. Author you haven’t read before. The Crossing Places / Elly Griffiths. 3 stars
18. Impulse read!. The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter / Theodora Goss. 3 stars
19. One-word title. Akin / Emma Donoghue. 3.5 stars
20. Book with a character you think you'd like to have as a friend. Uprooted / Naomi Novik. 4 stars
21. Dark or light in title. Shadowland / Alyson Noel. 3 stars
22. Set somewhere you’d like to visit. The Real James Herriot / James Wight. 3.75 stars
23. Book by two or more authors. Mrs. Mike / Benedict and Nancy Freedman. 3 stars
24. Book with a love story in it. The Shoemaker's Wife / Adriana Trigiani. 4 stars
25. Read a CAT or KIT. Women in White Coats / Olivia Campbell. 4.25 stars

Editado: Set 16, 9:58pm

January: LOL
- Furiously Happy / Jenny Lawson. 4 stars

February: Fruit and Veggies
- Suffering Succotash / Stephanie Lucianovic. 4 stars

March: It's a Surprise!
- Uprooted / Naomi Novik. 4 stars

April: Let's Go to the Library w/out Leaving the House (choose off another LTers shelf)
- What the Dead Leave Behind / Rosemary Simpson. 4 stars

May: Let's Play Monopoly
- Orphan Train / Christina Baker Kline. 4 stars

June: Everything Old is New Again (Retellings)
- The Sleeping Beauty / Mercedes Lackey. 4 stars

July: Summertime
- Honolulu / Alan Brennert. 4 stars

August: On the Road Again (travel)
- Chop Suey Nation / Ann Hui. 3.5 stars
- The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England / Ian Mortimer. 4.25 stars

September: Award Winners
- Crow Lake / Mary Lawson. 4 stars
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond / Elizabeth George Speare. 3.25 stars

October: Character Who Gives



Editado: Set 14, 10:50pm

January: Middle Ages
- The Lady in Medieval England, 1000-1500 / Peter Coss. 2.5 stars

February: Modern c.1800 to now
- Ghostland / Colin Dickey. 3.5 stars
- The King's Speech / Mark Logue. 3.5 stars
- Pale Rider / Laura Spinney. 3 stars

March: Early Modern c.1500 to c. 1800
- Bloody Jack / L.A. Meyer. 3.75 stars
- Madame Tussaud / Kate Berridge. 3 stars

April: Ancient 8th C BC to 6th AD
- The Valley of Horses / Jean M. Auel. 3.25 stars

May: Dynasties/Civilisations/Empires
- Victoria's Daughters / Jerrold M. Packard. 3.75 stars

June: Military/War/Revolution
- The Women of the Cousins' War / Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin, Michael K. Jones. 3 stars

July: Social History
- Caste / Isabel Wilkerson. 3.75 stars

August: Your Own Country
- The Horseman's Graves / Jacqueline Baker. 2.5 stars
- The Donnelly Album / Ray Fazakas. 3.5 stars
- Chop Suey Nation / Ann Hui. 3.5 stars

September: Religion/Philosophy/Politics/The Law
- The Road to Jonestown / Jeff Guinn. 4 stars
- Notorious RBG / Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik. 3 stars
- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes / Caitlyn Doughty. 4 stars

October: A country/region of your choice

*November: Events

December: Adventure/Exploration and Discovery

Editado: Set 16, 9:59pm

January: Nonfiction
- The Lady in Medieval England, 1000-1500 / Peter Coss. 2.5 stars
- Women in White Coats / Olivia Campbell. 4.25 stars

February: Memoirs/Biography
- The Real James Herriot / James Wight. 3.75 stars
- The King's Speech / Mark Logue. 3.5 stars
- Buses Are a Comin' / Charles Person. 5 stars
- The Tao of Martha / Jen Lancaster. 3.5 stars

March: Action & Adventure
- The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw / Christopher Healy. 3.5 stars
- Bloody Jack / L.A. Meyer. 3.75 stars
- Uprooted / Naomi Novik. 4 stars

April: Literary Fiction
- I Do Not Come to You By Chance / Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. 3 stars
- A Prayer for the Dying / Stewart O'Nan. 2.5 stars
- Mexican Gothic / Silvia Moreno-Garcia. 3.25 stars

May: Short Stories/Essays
- Braiding Sweetgrass / Robin Wall Kimmerer. 3.25 stars
- Vanishing and Other Stories / Deborah Willis. 2.75 stars
- Hallucinations / Oliver Sacks. 3.25 stars
- Herbert has Lots for a Buck / Elizabeth McLachlan. 4 stars

June: Historical Fiction
- Mrs. Mike / Benedict and Nancy Freedman. 3 stars
- Roots / Alex Haley. 3.5 stars

July: Romance
- Strange Bedpersons / Jennifer Crusie. 3 stars
- The Midnight Bargain / C.L. Polk. 3.5 stars

August: Poetry/Drama/Graphic Novels
- Fairest. Vol. 1: Wide Awake / Bill Willingham. 3 stars
- Paper Girls. Vol. 1 / Brian K. Vaughan. 3.5 stars

September: YA/Children
- Where She Went / Gayle Forman. 3 stars
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond / Elizabeth George Speare. 3.25 stars

*October: Horror/Supernatural/Paranormal

November: SFF

December: Mysteries

Editado: Jul 24, 11:35pm

Year Long: Epidemics/Pandemics
- Pale Rider / Laura Spinney. 3 stars

January – March: Technological/Industrial/Man-Made
- Barometer Rising / Hugh MacLennan. 3.25 stars

April – June: Theme: Transportation and Maritime
- The Other Side of the Night / Daniel Allen Butler. 4.25 stars

*July – September: Theme: Weather/Geological/Fires
- Angry Weather / Friederike Otto. 3.5 stars

October – December: Theme: Riots/Uprisings/Sieges/War/Invasions

Editado: Set 14, 10:50pm

*January: Graphic Novels & YA
- Shadowland / Alyson Noel. 3 stars
- Death / Neil Gaiman. 3.75 stars

*February: Creepy Nonfiction
- Ghostland / Colin Dickey. 3.5 stars
- Helter Skelter / Vincent Bugliosi. 3.5 stars (abridged audio)
- The Stranger Beside Me / Ann Rule. 4 stars (abridged audio)

March: Short Stories and Novellas
- Nightmares & Dreamscapes / Stephen King. 3.25 stars

April: Possessed
- Mexican Gothic / Silvia Moreno-Garcia. 3.25 stars

May: Witches and Magic
- The Invited / Jennifer McMahon. 4.25 stars

June: Diverse Perspectives
- My Sister, the Serial Killer / Oyinkan Braithwaite. 3.5 stars

July: Ghosts and Hauntings
- The Sun Down Motel / Simone St. James. 4 stars

August: Adrift (Water and Outer Space)
- The Wicked Deep / Shea Ernshaw. 4 stars

September: The Dead, Their Habits and Abodes
- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes / Caitlyn Doughty. 4 stars

October: Real-Life Monsters

November: Stephen King and Family

December: Horror/Thrillers

Editado: Set 11, 3:46pm

January: Water
- The Crossing Places / Elly Griffiths. 3 stars
- The Guest List / Lucy Foley. 4.5 stars

February: Pastiche Mystery
- The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter / Theodora Goss. 3 stars

March: Locked Room Mysteries
- The Escape Room / Megan Goldin. 4.25 stars

April: Senior Citizen as Detective
- File M for Murder / Miranda James. 3.5 stars

May: Mysteries Set in Europe
- Headhunters / Jo Nesbo. 3 stars

June: Golden Age Mysteries
- The ABC Murders / Agatha Christie. 3 stars

July: Cops 'n Robbers Lady Style (Lady Cops and Lady Robbers)
- Maisie Dobbs / Jacqueline Winspear. 2.5 stars
- The 9th Judgment / James Patterson. 3 stars

*August: Cozy Mysteries Featuring Animals
- Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs / Blaize Clement. 3.75 stars

September: Mismatched Detectives
- The Promise / Robert Crais. 3.5 stars

October: Minorities/Diverse

November: Historical Mysteries

December: Detectives in Ancient Greece and Rome

Editado: Set 16, 10:31pm

Year-Long: X, Z

January: P, M

- The Lady in Medieval England, 1000-1500 / Peter Coss. 2.5 stars
- Barometer Rising / Hugh MacLennan. 3.25 stars
- The Tattooed Witch / Susan MacGregor. 3.75 stars
- The Drowning Kind / Jennifer McMahon. 5 stars

February: T, K
- The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter / Theodora Goss. 3 stars
- The King's Speech / Mark Logue. 3.5 stars
- Crazy Rich Asians / Kevin Kwan. 3.5 stars
- The Shoemaker's Wife / Adriana Trigiani. 4 stars
- The Tao of Martha / Jen Lancaster. 3.5 stars

March: U, R
- The Richest Woman in America / Janet Wallach. 2 stars
- The Dreams of Ada / Robert Mayer. 4 stars
- Uprooted / Naomi Novik. 4 stars

April: A, W
- All My Patients Kick and Bite / Jeff Wells. 3.5 stars
- I Do Not Come to You By Chance / Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. 3 stars
- In the Mood for Peace / Phyllis Wheaton. 4 stars
- When Breath Becomes Air / Paul Kalanithi. 3 stars
- What the Dead Leave Behind / Rosemary Simpson. 4 stars

May: I, N
- Headhunters / Jo Nesbo. 3 stars
- The Invited / Jennifer McMahon. 4.25 stars
- Naked and Marooned / Ed Stafford. 3 stars

June: C, D
- The Constant Rabbit / Jasper Fforde. 3.25 stars
- The ABC Murders / Agatha Christie. 3 stars
- The Other Side of the Night / Daniel Allen Butler. 4.25 stars
- The Women of the Cousins' War / Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin, Michael K. Jones. 3 stars

July: S, O
- Hana / Lauren Oliver. 3.5 stars
- Strange Bedpersons / Jennifer Crusie. 3 stars
- The Sun Down Motel / Simone St. James. 4 stars

August: V J
- The Horseman's Graves / Jacquline Baker. 2.5 stars
- Paper Girls. Vol. 1 / Brian K. Vaughan. 3.5 stars

September: F L
- Crow Lake / Mary Lawson. 4 stars
- Such a Pretty Face / Cathy Lamb. 3 stars
- Where She Went / Gayle Forman. 3 stars
- The Last Runaway / Tracey Chevalier. 3.75 stars

October: H E

November: B Y

December: G Q

Editado: Set 19, 2:44pm

(Classic) Trim the TBR/Roundtuits
I've decided to make this anything on my tbr for 3+ years (I had been doing 2+ years to now.

1. Stay / Allie Larkin
3. Sugarhouse / Matthew Batt
5. Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals / Hélène Rajcak, Damien Laverdunt
7. Penelope / Rebecca Harrington
13. Twelve Patients / Eric Manheimer
14. You Take it from Here / Pamela Ribon
15. Out With It / Katherine Preston

1. The Lady in Medieval England, 1000-1500 / Peter Coss. 2.5 stars
2. Barometer Rising / Hugh MacLennan. 3.25 stars
3. An Available Man / Hilma Wolitzer. 3.5 stars
4. The Tattooed Witch / Susan MacGregor. 3.75 stars
5. Furiously Happy / Jenny Lawson. 4 stars
6. The Real James Herriot / James Wight. 3.75 stars
7. Suffering Succotash / Stephanie Lucianovic. 4 stars
8. The Shoemaker's Wife / Adriana Trigiani. 4 stars
9. Death: The High Cost of Living / Neil Gaiman. 3.75 stars
10. The Tao of Martha / Jen Lancaster. 3.5 stars
11. Daughter of Time / Sarah Woodbury. 3.75 stars
12. The Richest Woman in America / Janet Wallach. 2 stars
13. Nightmares & Dreamscapes / Stephen King. 3.25 stars
14. The Dreams of Ada / Robert Mayer. 4 stars
15. The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw / Christopher Healy. 3.5 stars
16. What's a Dog For? / John Homans. 4 stars
17. Madame Tussaud / Kate Berridge. 3 stars
18. All My Patients Kick and Bite / Jeff Wells. 3.5 stars
19. The Devil's Making / Sean Haldane. 3 stars
20. I Do Not Come to You By Chance / Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. 3 stars
21. Vanishing and Other Stories / Deborah Willis. 2.75 stars
22. Hallucinations / Oliver Sacks. 3.25 stars
23. Shadow on the Crown / Patricia Bracewell. 3 stars
24. Herbert has Lots for a Buck / Elizabeth McLachlan. 4 stars
25. Naked and Marooned / Ed Stafford. 3 stars
26. Mrs. Mike / Benedict and Nancy Freedman. 3 stars
27. Roots / Alex Haley. 3.5 stars
28. I Hunt Killers / Barry Lyga. 4 stars
29. The Other Side of the Night / Daniel Allen Butler. 4.25 stars
30. The Women of the Cousins' War / Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin, Michael K. Jones. 3 stars
31. The Silver Linings Playbook / Matthew Quick. 3.5 stars
32. Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands / Chris Bohjalian. 3.75 stars
33. Honolulu / Alan Brennert. 4 stars
34. Strange Bedpersons / Jennifer Crusie. 3 stars
35. The 9th Judgment / James Patterson. 3 stars
36. The Marrow Thieves / Cherie Dimaline. 3.5 stars
37. The Horseman's Graves / Jacqueline Baker. 2.5 stars
38. The Meat Racket / Christopher Leonard. 5 stars
39. Fairest. Vol. 1: Wide Awake / Bill Willingham. 3 stars
40. The Romanov Empress / C.W. Gortner. 3.5 stars
41. The Donnelly Album / Ray Fazakas. 3.5 stars
42. Such a Pretty Face / Cathy Lamb. 4 stars
43. Where She Went / Gayle Forman. 3 stars
44. The Last Runaway / Tracy Chevalier. 3.75 stars

Editado: Set 8, 12:12am

PBT Trim the TBR
1. The Lost Boy / Dave Pelzer
2. The Tattooed Witch / Susan Macgregor. 3.75 stars
3. The Silver Linings Playbook / Matthew Quick. 3.5 stars

4. Beth / Nora Kay
5. In the Mood for Peace / Phyllis Wheatley. 4 stars
6. Herbert Has Lots for a Buck / Elizabeth McLachlan. 4 stars
7. The Dreams of Ada / Robert Meyer
8. Daughter of Time / Sarah Woodbury. 3.75 stars
9. Such a Pretty Face / Cathy Lamb. 4 stars

10. Sylvia / Bryce Courtenay
11. The Horseman’s Graves / Jacqueline Baker. 2.5 stars
12. Honolulu / Alan Brennert. 4 stars

Editado: Set 11, 3:46pm

Fly the PBT Skies
January: England: 4285.44 miles
The Lady in Medieval England, 1000-1500 / Peter R. Coss. 2.5 stars

February: Singapore: 6772.34 miles + 500 bonus
Crazy Rich Asians / Kevin Kwan. 3.5 stars

March: Maine: 9154.17 miles
A Piece of the World / Christina Baker Kline. 2.5 stars

April: Ireland: 2703.08 + 500 bonus + I've been there
The Witch Elm / Tana French. 4 stars

May: Minnesota: 3680.76 miles
- Orphan Train / Christina Baker Kline. 4 stars

June: Nigeria: 6335.71 miles + 500 bonus
- My Sister, the Serial Killer / Oyinkan Braithwaite. 3.5 stars

July: Hawaii: 10,126.14 miles
- Honolulu / Alan Brennert. 4 stars

August: Pakistan: 7798.65 miles + 500 bonus
- We Have Always Been Here / Samra Habib. 3.5 stars

September: Los Angeles: 7945.40 miles
- The Promise / Robert Crais. 3.5 stars




Editado: Set 16, 10:32pm

Pursue It! Book It! Track It!
Prozac (exact word)
- Good Neighbors / Sarah Langan. 5 stars
group therapy (exact words or situation)
- An Available Man / Hilma Wolitzer. 3.5 stars
suicidal ideation (exact words or situation)
- An Available Man / Hilma Wolitzer. 3.5 stars
coping skills (exact words)

divorce (exact)
- The Real James Herriot / Jim Wight. 3.75 stars
bigamy (situation or exact)
- Crazy Rich Asians / Kevin Kwan. 3.5 stars
sibling rivalry (situation or exact)
Come/coming/came out (exact)

Safari (Exact and character must GO ON a safari)
- Woman in the Mists / Farley Mowat. 4.5 stars
Equator (Exact)
- Woman in the Mists / Farley Mowat. 4.5 stars
Ebola (Exact)
Habitat destruction (Exact or Situation)
- Woman in the Mists / Farley Mowat. 4.5 stars

Pointed arch (exact or description of one in architecture)
- What the Dead Leave Behind / Rosemary Simpson. 4 stars
Graveyard/cemetery (person must visit this place)
- The Witch Elm / Tana French. 4 stars
Lights turning of unexpectedly (situation)
- Mexican Gothic / Silvia Moreno-Garcia. 3.25 stars
Raven (exact)

pulp fiction (exact)
urgent travel (exact or situation)
- Victoria's Daughters / Jerrold M. Packard. 3.75 stars
storytelling Storytelling: a character/person in the book is telling a story to another character/person
- Vanishing and Other Stories / Deborah Willis. 2.75 stars
letter (exact)
- Vanishing and Other Stories / Deborah Willis. 2.75 stars

surfing (situation - could be surging waves or the internet)
sunburn (exact)
???- Mudlark / Lara Maiklem. 3 stars
sandcastle(s) (exact)
- Mudlark / Lara Maiklem. 3 stars
beach (situation - person/character has to visit a beach)
- Mudlark / Lara Maiklem. 3 stars

Ball -- someone must attend a large, formal dance (situation)
- The Midnight Bargain / C.L. Polk. 3.5 stars
Gretna Green - must mention in the context of an elopement (exact)
- Pride and Prejudice and Kitties / Pamela Jane, Deborah Guyol, Jane Austen. 3 stars
Rake (exact)
- A Night Divided / Jennifer A. Nielsen. 4 stars
Hyde Park (exact)
- Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands / Chris Bohjalian. 3.75 stars

immigration (situation)
- The Donnelly Album / Ray Fazakas. 3.5 stars
religious ritual (situation)
- We Have Always Been Here / Samra Habib. 3.5 stars
food (situation)
- Chop Suey Nation / Ann Hui. 3.5 stars
culturally significant location (situation)
- We Have Always Been Here / Samra Habib. 3.5 stars

Kleenex (exact)
onion(s) (exact)
- The Last Runaway / Tracey Chevalier. 3.75 stars
wedding (situation)
college (situation)




Editado: Set 3, 11:01pm

Travel Across Canada

- The Figgs / Ali Bryan. 3.5 stars
British Columbia:
- The Devil's Making / Sean Haldane. 3 stars
New Brunswick:
Northwest Territories:

- Late Nights on Air / Elizabeth Hay. 2 stars
Nova Scotia:
- Barometer Rising / Hugh MacLennan. 3.25 stars
- The Most Precious Substance on Earth / Shashi Bhat. 3.5 stars

- The Marrow Thieves / Cherie Dimaline. 3.5 stars
- We Have Always Been Here / Samra Habib. 3.5 stars
- The Donnelly Album / Ray Fazakas. 3.5 stars
- Crow Lake / Mary Lawson. 4 stars
Prince Edward Island:
Prairie Provinces:

- Herbert has Lots for a Buck / Elizabeth McLachlan. 4 stars

- The Horseman's Graves / Jacqueline Baker. 2.5 stars
Northern Canada:

- Mrs. Mike / Benedict and Nancy Freedman. 3 stars

Editado: Set 16, 10:32pm

Play Book Tag

January: Mental Health
- Good Neighbors / Sarah Langan. 5 stars
- Furiously Happy / Jenny Lawson. 4 stars
- The Drowning Kind / Jennifer McMahon. 5 stars
Bonus tag: Historical Fiction
- Barometer Rising / Hugh MacLennan. 3.25 stars

February: Family Drama
- Crazy Rich Asians / Kevin Kwan. 3.5 stars

March: Africa
- Woman in the Mists / Farley Mowat. 4.5 stars

April: Gothic
- A Prayer for the Dying / Stewart O'Nan. 2.5 stars
- The Witch Elm / Tana French. 4 stars
- A Barricade in Hell / Jaime Lee Moyer. 3.5 stars
- Mexican Gothic / Silvia Moreno-Garcia. 3.25 stars

May: Short Stories
- Vanishing and Other Stories / Deborah Willis. 2.75 stars

June: Beach Reads
- My Sister, the Serial Killer / Oyinkan Braithwaite. 3.5 stars
- The Silver Linings Playbook / Matthew Quick. 3.5 stars

July: Regency
- The Midnight Bargain / C.L. Polk. 3.5 stars
- Pride and Prejudice and Kitties / Pamela Jane, Deborah Guyol, Jane Austen. 3 stars

August: Cultural
- We Have Always Been Here / Samra Habib. 3.5 stars
- The Romanov Empress / C.W. Gortner. 3.5 stars
- Chop Suey Nation / Ann Hui. 3.5 stars
- The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England / Ian Mortimer. 4.25 stars

September: Made Me Cry
- Such a Pretty Face / Cathy Lamb. 4 stars
- Where She Went / Gayle Forman. 3 stars
- The Last Runaway / Tracey Chevalier. 3.75 stars




Editado: Ago 26, 10:28pm

Reading Through Time

January: Shakespeare’s Children
- New Boy / Tracy Chevalier. 4 stars

February: Fashion
- The Shoemaker's Wife / Adriana Trigiani. 4 stars

March: Arghh, Matey
- Bloody Jack / L.A. Meyer. 3.75 stars

April: The Sun Never Sets (British Empire)
- The Devil's Making / Sean Haldane. 3 stars

May: Meet the Press
- Late Nights on Air / Elizabeth Hay. 2 stars

June: Rewriting the Past
- The Constant Rabbit. Jasper Fforde. 3.25 stars

July: Now We Are Free
- A Night Divided / Jennifer A. Nielsen. 4 stars

August: Food
- The Meat Racket / Christopher Leonard. 5 stars
- Chop Suey Nation / Ann Hui. 3.5 stars

September: Time Travel/Prehistoric

October: Supernatural

November: Readers' Choice


Dez 27, 2020, 10:26pm

Hope you have a great year of reading!

Dez 27, 2020, 10:53pm

Dez 28, 2020, 12:37am

Good luck with your 2021 reading!

Dez 28, 2020, 5:27am

Hope you have some good reading this year.

Dez 28, 2020, 1:23pm

Looking forward to following along with your 2021 reading. :)

Dez 28, 2020, 8:12pm

Good luck with all your categories!

Dez 28, 2020, 11:09pm

Wishing you a good year of reading and good luck with all your challenges here.

Jan 1, 12:27pm

Happy New Year, Cindy and wishing you a year filled with wonderful reads!

Jan 1, 5:40pm

Happy New Year Cindy. Thanks for stopping by on my thread. Wishing you a great year of reading. I am always excited to start a new year of reading. I bet you are too. Keeping in touch in 2021.

Jan 1, 5:48pm

Happy new year! Looking forward to seeing what you read this year.

Jan 1, 6:01pm

Happy New Year! I'll be lurking along.

Jan 1, 6:29pm

Looks like you're all set for the new year! Hope you have lots of great reads in 2021!

Jan 2, 4:12pm

You have so many great categories, Cindy. Enjoy your reading!

Jan 3, 10:12pm

12x12 Nonfiction, HistoryCAT, GenreCAT, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG, PBT Fly the Skies, Trim the TBR (Classic)

The Lady in Medieval England, 1000-1500 / Peter Coss
2.5 stars

This is a nonfiction history of “ladies” in medieval England. Ladies - not just meaning women - but upper class nobility “ladies”. It covered things like inheritance, heraldry (coats of arms, usually from the father or husband, used in women’s seals), kidnapping (aka “ravishing”!), marriage, romance…

Too academic for my liking. There were some interesting nuggets, but also a lot of big words, long paragraphs, and quotes in Middle English. When I’m bored by a book, I don’t put it down, but I tend to skim. I definitely skimmed (or just skipped) anything in Middle English, and a bit more. Otherwise, bits and pieces caught my attention, but not enough to even say it was “ok” (in my rating system). The interesting bits gave it the .5 stars above not liking it, as a whole.

Jan 3, 10:26pm

>43 LibraryCin: Sorry that one didn't work out. I'm really enjoying The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer.

Jan 4, 12:47am

>44 thornton37814: I know - my first book of the year, too - a dud!

I should find and follow your thread - I'm curious to know what you think of the one you're reading. :-)

Jan 5, 11:33am

Welcome back and happy reading!

Jan 6, 9:57pm

12x12 Oh Canada, KITastrophe, AlphaKIT, PBT Bonus tag, Travel Across Canada, BingoDOG, Trim the TBR (Classic)

Barometer Rising / Hugh MacLennan
3.25 stars

It’s 1917 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Penny (a woman working at the shipyard – very unusual for the time)’s love (and cousin) has been at war and he’s missing. They all think he’s dead. So, when Angus (much older than Penny) asks her to marry him, she accepts. Only days later, the Halifax Harbour goes up in an explosion.

The book only follows just over one week. It took longer than I liked to get to the explosion. Leading up to it wasn’t nearly as interesting as the explosion itself and the aftermath, but not long after, it concluded mostly with their regular lives again. If there had been more focus on the disaster, I would have enjoyed it more, I’m sure. There was an afterword by another “classic” Canadian author, Alistair Macleod – one of those that analyzes the book; one of the ones that should never be an introduction but often is (because it gives away the story)! Luckily, it was an afterword.

Jan 6, 10:25pm

>47 LibraryCin: Ugh, I hate it when introductions give away the plot! Spoilers should definitely go in the afterword...sounds like the publisher of that book had the right idea!

Jan 7, 10:23pm

12x12 Audio, MysteryKIT, BingoDOG

The Crossing Places / Elly Griffiths
3 stars

Archaeologist Ruth is called in to help identify the bones of a child found. That is - how long have the bones been there? It is determined the bones have been there for a very long time, much longer than the police feared, thinking it might be Lucy, a little girl who had disappeared ten years earlier. Ruth then goes on to help the police with their investigation.

I listened to the audio. It was ok. I missed a lot of it at the start, as the audio just wasn’t holding my attention. It picked up part-way through and I was more interested, but I still missed a few things. I really didn’t like two particular characters, but it might have – in part – been due to the voices/accents by the narrator. Those accents (and/or the voices for them) really annoyed me! When they revealed who the killer was, I couldn’t even figure out who that was! Not sure when he was mentioned earlier in the book, but I obviously missed it. There was something else from the end I wanted to mention that wasn’t a spoiler, but I’ve already forgotten what it was. I don’t plan to continue the series.

Jan 8, 10:24pm

12x12 Reading Through Time, Read Thru Time

New Boy / Tracy Chevalier
4 stars

This is a retelling of Othello. A YA version with kids in grade 6 in the 1970s. Osei is the new boy at school, and he’s black. He almost immediately has a connection with the popular blonde girl, Dee. But others aren’t impressed with that, particularly the feared Ian, the class/school bully. Ian decides to get some revenge on the new boy.

I’ve never read Othello, so I didn’t know how this was going to turn out. As awful as the racism and bullying was from the kids, I was shocked at it from the teachers! Although I really enjoyed the book (and hated Ian!), I was surprised at the abrupt ending. I didn’t like the end. Often that brings down my rating, but I decided to leave it as I thought all the way through, as I was reading. Although disappointed with the end, overall, I really enjoyed it.

Jan 10, 4:59pm

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR (Classic), Pursue It!, BingoDOG

An Available Man / Hilma Wolitzer
3.5 stars

Edward has recently (within the past 2(?) years) lost his wife, Bee. Bee was his soulmate, though they met and married later in life. Edward is still only 63 (I think). He and his adult stepchildren are close, and those stepchildren decide to move things along by creating and publishing an ad for him on a dating site(?) (or was it a personal ad?). Luckily, they do tell him before he starts to receive replies. He reluctantly tries a few dates.

This was good, although I wasn’t sure I was going to like where it was headed for a while. Luckily, it turned out ok in the end. I also liked Edward’s relationships with his stepkids and his mother-in-law.

Jan 14, 11:04pm

12x12 Travel, Trim the TBR (Classic & PBT), BingoDOG, AlphaKIT

The Tattooed Witch / Susan MacGregor
3.75 stars

Miriam’s father is a doctor. They are in a room with important priests (as a 17-year old woman, she shouldn’t be there) and the young handsome priest is dying. Miriam’s father is trying to help when the Grand Inquisitor comes in, insists the young priest needs his last rites and forces him to drink wine – wine with extra powder in it. The young priest convulses and dies. As Miriam and her father try to leave, the Grand Inquisitor accuses them of murder and locks them up. Miriam has to find a way out and she won’t leave her father behind.

That is pretty much the first chapter. I don’t want to go into too much more, as I don’t want to give anything away, but part-way through we meet another character, Joachin, who lost both parents when he was 9- and 11-years old. Joachin is looking for a priest with a scar – a scar Joachin gave him when that priest murdered Joachin’s mother. Joachin plans to kill the priest with the scar.

When Joachin was introduced, initially I wasn’t as interested in his storyline (nor the storyline of another group of people introduced a bit later), until things (and characters) started to come together. The book really picked up in the last ¼ of the book, and though I didn’t increase my rating up to 4 stars (that’s what I’d rate the last bit of the book), I pulled up my rating just that extra bit above 3.5 stars (good). This is a trilogy, so not everything was tied up at the end, as it will continue, and I will continue with the next book, as well.

Jan 17, 3:56pm

12x12 Off the Shelf, MysteryKIT, BingoDOG

The Guest List / Lucy Foley
4.5 stars

Jules and Will have planned their wedding on a deserted (except for the newly created wedding “pavilion”) island in Ireland. The wedding party is expected to arrive the day before and spend two nights there, while the rest of the guests will arrive the day of. A bad storm is coming the night of the wedding. And things go horribly wrong…

It’s told from different points of view, but at the start of each chapter, we are given the name of that character’s POV for that chapter, as well as who they are. Some of them include Jules, the bride; Hannah, the plus one (her husband Charlie, is Jules’ best friend); Aoife, the wedding planner; Johnno, the best man (and long-time best friend of Will’s from way back in boarding school); Olivia, the bridesmaid (and Jules’ much younger sister).

The atmosphere is done so well – this deserted, dangerous, boggy island with a storm coming. The opening chapter starts with things going wrong during the wedding, then backs up to everything leading up to what happened at the wedding. Parts were creepy, and I was kept wanting to read. There were not very many likeable characters in this book, but there were a couple. No surprise here, but everyone had secrets.

Editado: Jan 24, 10:37pm

12x12 ARCs, Pursue It, BingoDOG, PBT, Netgalley

Good Neighbors / Sarah Langan
5 stars

The book is primarily set in 2027 (when the pertinent events happen), but it’s actually a reporter in 2042 (I believe) who is looking back on the “Murders of Maple Street”, and what led up to it. Arlo, Gertie and their kids, Julia and Larry moved to Maple Street a year earlier. They are pretty much “white trash”, but were trying to be upwardly mobile. It took a bit of time to be accepted, but after their immediate neighbour Rhea befriends Gertie, things go much smoother… until the 4th of July, when Gertie realizes everyone on the street was invited to the party except them. She’s not sure what happened for them to be excluded.

Things get more and more out of hand amongst the kids when Rhea’s daughter, Shelley, and Julia suddenly aren’t speaking (but Julia doesn’t understand why). Just before Shelley disappears into a giant sinkhole that opened up across the street, she had accused Julia’s father of something terrible. The rumors and gossip get so out of hand, and things go incredibly wrong…

This built, though part-way through I knew I would rate it quite high (was thinking 4.5 stars), but the end – I didn’t see coming! Holy crap – that mob mentality! I was angry at so many of those people! I feel like this is a slightly different take on the current thriller fad. It did remind me a bit of “Big Little Lies” with the articles and interviews (from 2042) that were interspersed, but it was still quite different from others out there (in my opinion).

Jan 24, 3:16pm

12x12 PBT, PBT, RandomCAT, BingoDOG, Trim the TBR (Classic)

Furiously Happy / Jenny Lawson
4 stars

Blogger Jenny Lawson has a number of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. In this, her second book, she takes a humourous look at herself and her eccentricities, mostly in the form of anecdotes.

I listened to the audio, which she narrated herself and I thought she was really good. There were lots of times when I laughed out loud. Every so often, she’d mention that because I was listening to the audio, I wouldn’t see the photo that’s in the book to go with her current story, but listeners of the audio do get a bonus chapter at the end. It included cats. Which made me happy. Well, she mentions cats at various points throughout the book, anyway. (But that’s not why I gave it 4 stars! Cats were just an added bonus.)

Editado: Jan 24, 10:37pm

Esta mensagem foi removida pelo seu autor.

Jan 24, 10:36pm

12x12 ARCs, GenreCAT, BingoDOG, Netgalley

Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine / Olivia Campbell
4.25 stars

This is mainly a biography of three of the first women doctors in the mid- to late-19th century, but also a history of the fight for the right of women to become doctors. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in the US to earn an MD, in the mid-1800s. It took a while longer, but Lizzie Garret was the first in England. Sophia Jax-Blake was not immediately next in the UK, but she worked hard fighting for the right of women to be able to earn that designation; she did get her MD later s well, but she also helped start up two women’s medical schools – in London and Edinburgh.

Every step of the way took months and years of hard work for these women to be able to earn that MD. With the stereotypes and fears of male doctors, professors, and medical students pushing back with excuses to deny them this. Before the women’s schools were set up, these women had to take classes (many privately, and at a much higher cost), as well as find a placement for clinical practice to gain that experience; very very difficult to do when most hospitals continually turned them down. There were some male doctors (and professors) who were sympathetic and did help out as much as they could.

I’ve left out so much of the struggles! This book is nonfiction, but it reads like fiction. Very readable. Oh, the frustration, though, at the male students, doctors, and professors! They call the women “delicate” and such, but as far as I can tell, the men were the “delicate” ones with their temper tantrums (the phrase entered my head even before she used it in the book!), not able to handle that there are women just as smart and can do the job just as well as they (possibly) could (although I do wonder about some of those men!). And these men were supposed to be trusted to tend to women’s health issues!? Ugh! (Many women at the time avoided, if possible, seeing male doctors for their ailments.) Many of the women students had better grades than the men, but of course, were never really acknowledged for it.

Jan 26, 8:26am

>57 LibraryCin: One ancestor is listed as a "doctress" in a mid-1800s census. I always suspected she was of the more homeopathic variety, but I discovered some of her brothers also practiced medicine so she may have trained under them. Medicine wasn't as regulated of a practice in that state at the time, so it's hard to tell. I'm certain she did not attend a formal medical school.

Jan 26, 6:20pm

>58 thornton37814: Oh, that's cool!

Jan 29, 10:55pm

12x12 Oh Canada, BingoDOG

Akin / Emma Donoghue
3.5 stars

Noah is 79-years old and planning a trip to his home country, France – a country he had to leave at 4-years old due to the war. He has a set of photographs his mother took that had been in possession of his sister, who has since passed away, and Noah is hoping to find out more about them. A few days before the trip, he is contacted by social services. He has a great-nephew with no other family they are able to find/contact who needs a temporary guardian, as his father (Noah’s nephew) died, and his mother is in jail. Michael is 11-years old; he and Noah have never met.

It was good. Kept my interest, though it wasn’t terribly fast-moving. I sure did dislike the kid, though.

Jan 30, 2:53pm

>60 LibraryCin: I thought the kid in this was well-done. He'd lost his family and his entire world and been placed without his input with an old man who didn't seem that happy to have him around. He did pretty well, considering.

Editado: Jan 31, 1:41pm

>61 RidgewayGirl: Like Noah, I tend to not like kids, so... LOL!

And really? (ETA: The tone on this is meant for Micheal, the kid!) To make realistic gun noises in a crowd? And to talk about terrorists, etc, in an airport!? Ugh!

Jan 30, 11:41pm

>52 LibraryCin: The premise for The Tattooed Witch makes it sound like a great YA novel with a vaguely probably-not-here setting! But it seems like maybe it was intended for adults (is it a romance?) and wasn't quite successful enough to send me seeking it out.... Too bad.

Jan 31, 1:38pm

>63 pammab: There is a romance, yes. Yeah, part romance, part fantasy, part adventure, part historical fiction, I suppose. A lot of things!

Jan 31, 9:22pm

>61 RidgewayGirl: Please accept my apologies for my tone in >62 LibraryCin:. That was not directed at you. It was directed at the character, Michael! I reread it this morning, and added my edit there, when I realized how awful it sounded.

Jan 31, 10:35pm

12x12 ARCs, Netgalley, PBT, AlphaKIT

The Drowning Kind / Jennifer McMahon
5 stars

Jax and Lexie are sisters and spent their summers growing up with their Gram, who lived in a house with a “spring” pool in the yard. The spring, for decades, was someplace where people believed there were healing powers in the water. Locals, however, also believed that if you took something from the spring, the spring demanded something back.

Jax and Lexie always knew, growing up, that their Gram’s sister, Rita drowned in that spring. But, they loved it there, anyway. As adults, Lexie was diagnosed with a mental illness, and she had bouts of mania. Jax is a social worker, but had been estranged from Lexie for about a year – for her own mental sanity, she had to stop trying to fight Lexie’s battles for her when Lexie was off her meds. When she ignores Lexie’s calls one night, Jax is devastated to learn, the next day, that Lexie has drowned in the spring. (This is not a spoiler, as it happens almost immediately in the book.)

That was the current-day (2019) storyline. There was another storyline, set in 1929, when the property Jax’s Gram lived on was once the location of a hotel, where people came to use the spring for its healing powers. Ethel and Will are a couple without kids, but they desperately want a child. They head to the hotel for a short stay, and Ethel “asks” the spring to grant her her wish… and it does.

Really really good. This is one you may not want to read by yourself, in the dark, at night. Not all of it, but there were enough parts (as I read just before bed a couple of nights!) that were creepy and chilling. The atmosphere in the book was done really well, and there are even more family issues and secrets than what I’ve mentioned here.

Fev 1, 11:12am

>65 LibraryCin: No worries, Cindy. I took no offense. Boys of that age are not easy to be around, even in the pages of a book!

Fev 1, 5:00pm

>67 RidgewayGirl: I'm glad to hear it didn't "sound" as bad as I thought it might!

And, oh, he just aggravated me to no end! LOL!

Fev 1, 7:08pm

>68 LibraryCin: Aren't you glad that you haven't inherited one for yourself!

Fev 1, 10:00pm

>69 RidgewayGirl: LOL! Yes, I am!

Maybe it's made me even more crotechty about kids (it probably has), but my brother never had kids, either, so I haven't really been around kids since I was one myself! Not on any regular basis, anyway. Ahhh, I did babysit when I was a teenager. (That just cemented me not wanting any myself, though!)

My friends know I don't like kids, so if they have them, they know I won't interact. (Well, if a kid comes up to me and says something, I will talk to them; I don't ignore them.)

That being said, my brother's current girlfriend does have two kids. I've only met them once and we live in different cities and don't see each other often, so... They are 12 and 10, I think. And we were with a huge group of people, so we interacted with the adults and they interacted with the other kids!

Fev 4, 10:33pm

12x12 Audio, MysteryKIT, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG???

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter / Theodora Goss
3 stars

Mary Jekyll (Dr. Jekyll’s daughter) and some other ladies who are daughters, descendants, and/or creations of Dr. Moreau, Frankenstein, and Mr. Hyde (and more), have gathered to tell their stories, including a story of working with Sherlock Holmes to solve some murders. All these men (except Holmes) were doctors, scientists, inventors, etc, and did plenty of (human) experiments, including in some cases, on their daughters. They were part of an Alchemists’ Society. Mr. Hyde’s daughter was unknown to Mary until after both of Mary’s parents had died. Together, these women tell their own stories in addition to their story of searching for a murderer.

It was ok. For me, the idea of the story was better than the execution, but that doesn’t surprise me. I’m not a fan of Sherlock Holmes (or any of the classic characters in this book), nor have I even found any spinoffs that I really like. But I was still hoping. I listened to the audio, but I’ve heard this narrator before, so I don’t blame the narration for my “ok” rating. I did enjoy the little “breakouts” where the women would chat amongst themselves as they wrote their story; however, I will not be continuing the series.

Fev 6, 10:34pm

12x12 Nonfiction, HistoryCAT, ScaredyKIT

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places / Colin Dickey
3.5 stars

This isn’t just a book of ghost stories. The author digs deeper into the history of these haunted places and the some of people who supposedly haunt them. Not only that, he looks at supernatural history, in general. For instance, in the mid-19th century, Spiritualism became popular; current day, we see the fascination via ghost hunters and reality tv. Also current day (though he doesn’t go into detail on this, as it is in the epilogue), he talks a bit about technology – smart homes/devices, and social media.

Of course, there are plenty of ghost stories included, as well. Some of the places he looks at include homes, hotels (he stayed in one with a group of people where they all had infrared cameras), brothels, prisons, insane asylums, and more.

I found this quite interesting. There was a section on haunted towns/cities, as well, and I particularly liked the part on New Orleans, because I’ve been there. I had heard of some of the other stories/places he talked about.

Fev 8, 10:34pm

12x12 Audio, ScaredyKIT

Helter Skelter / Vincent Bugliosi
(abridged audio)
3.5 stars

In 1969, Charles Manson and a few of his “family” committed multiple murders two nights in a row. Vincent Bugliosi was the DA who got them convicted and sentenced to death. This book looked at the murders, the investigation, and the trials.

I listened to the audio, and unfortunately, this ended up being an abridged version of the book. As I ask in all my reviews of abridged audios – why? Why not record the entire book? Anyway, I read this when I was in high school (a few decades ago!), and it wasn’t as creepy as I remember. I can’t say for sure if the abridged version was the reason for that, but in part, I’m certain not seeing the photos was part of that. Charles Manson was a creepy creepy looking man. Since this was abridged, I still want to reread the entire thing. Overall, it appeared that the abridgement was done fairly well, though I’d much rather read the entire book.

Fev 9, 10:43pm

12x12 Animals, GenreCAT, Trim the TBR (Classic), Pursue It, BingoDOG

The Real James Herriot / James Wight
3.75 stars

“James Herriot” was the pseudonym of a veterinarian, James “Alf” Wight, who became an author after decades of veterinary practice in the countryside of England in the mid-20th century. This biography was written by his son. Instead of, like Herriot’s books, a focus on the animals, this book focuses on Alf and the people in his life – his family, lifelong friends, veterinary partners, and more – starting with his life in the country and his vet practice, then switching to writing books, which he also really seemed to enjoy.

I’ve only read a couple of Herriot’s books, but I’ve really enjoyed them. This biography is very good, as well, and of course, there have to be a few animal stories thrown in – not only of a few of the patients, but also of Alf’s own pets. It’s been a bit too long for me to remember the “characters” in Herriot’s books to compare them to the real life versions of those people, but I still quite liked this book.

Fev 10, 10:05pm

12x12 Nonfiction, ScaredyKIT

The Stranger Beside Me / Ann Rule
(abridged audio)
4 stars

It’s hard to say how many women Ted Bundy murdered in the 1970s. Former Seattle policewoman Ann Rule was a friend of Bundy’s and it took her a long time to believe that he had actually done the things he was convicted of and put to death for. This book outlines the murders, as well as Ann’s friendship with Ted, and her realization that he did do those things.

Unfortunately, this was another abridged audio. Again, I feel like it was done well, in that I didn’t notice things that might have been missing. I just wish it had been the entire book! Like “Helter Skelter”, I did read this one back in high school, but given that that was 30+ years ago, I didn’t remember much of it. I actually hadn’t remembered the author’s friendship with Bundy at all (though the murders in Florida – the last ones he did – had stuck with me all this time, as well as other details about him). What I listened to was very good, though I’m not sure I’m a fan of Ann Rule reading her own books. Like with “Helter Skelter”, because this was an abridged version, I would still like to reread the entire book.

Fev 14, 1:56am

>75 LibraryCin: Love true crime and as a general rule Ann Rule; but like you, don't like abridged versions.

Fev 14, 10:42pm

12x12 Nonfiction, HistoryCAT, GenreCAT, AlphaKIT

The King's Speech / Mark Logue
3.5 stars

Mark Logue is the grandson of Lionel Logue, who left Australia with his wife to move to England in the early 20th century. This was after he’d started helping people with their public speaking. When he arrived in England, he continued his business there, and ended up with the future King of England as one of the people he was helping.

“Bertie” had a stutter and was terrified of public speaking (not so good when you are royalty!). Initially, he was not meant to become king, but when his older brother abdicated, Bertie (now King George VI) was next in line. Lionel was a lifeline for the king, as Lionel helped Bertie before every speech he had to make for a very long time. They became friends, as much as the king and a commoner could.

This was good. I have seen the movie, but I don’t think much time was spent on Lionel’s life. The book actually did spend more time on Lionel than the movie did. In addition to Bertie/King George’s life. Mark used many letters between the two men to write this biography.

There was a section in the middle, describing events during WWII that I lost a bit of interest in, but I quite enjoyed it before and after (and it wasn’t all the events of the war where I lost interest, so it may just have been that I was tired when I read that part!). We also get small glimpses into (now) Queen Elizabeth’s young life, as well. The book also follows both men to their deaths – though Logue was 15 years King George’s senior, Logue outlasted the king, but not by very long.

Fev 15, 10:38pm

12x12 Trim the TBR, Trim the TBR (Classic), RandomCAT

Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater's Quest... / Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic
4 stars

The author was a picky eater growing up and wanted to look into why people hate the foods they hate. As an adult, she has managed to, not only overcome her food pickiness (for most things), but she has become a foodie. In this book, she describes information from scientists on taste, smell, and how other senses affect how people taste things; she was also able to visit a taste lab. Other chapters talk about moms dealing with their picky eater children, emotions and food, eating out, and relationships, among other things.

I found this quite interesting. I am not nearly as picky as many of the people she described in her book, but I’m not very good about trying new foods, and I have issues with various textures. She did talk about textures at one point, and we agree on one item: bananas! (I also hate bacon, and the smell, but surprising to me, apparently that’s one meat that is supposedly appealing to most people, including some vegetarians. Blech!) I found the science very interesting and I found myself annoyed with some of the people in the relationship chapter! She also included plenty of humour, as well as her own stories, and plenty of 80s and 90s references, which were fun.

Fev 16, 2:56am

>78 LibraryCin: Sounds fun--on my WL it goes!

Fev 16, 5:26pm

Fev 16, 11:33pm

>78 LibraryCin: Suffering Succotash sounds like a light, fun read. I quite enjoyed reading your thoughts on it! I'm always surprised at the differences and depths of reactions that people have to food; it does seem more than cultural.

Fev 17, 4:16pm

>81 pammab: Apparently it is! And it was very interesting. And of course, as you read, you pick out stuff that might apply to you! LOL!

Fev 18, 8:53am

>77 LibraryCin: I love the film but so far didn't know that it's based on a book (or forgot about it). Great review!

>78 LibraryCin: How interesting! I was a very picky eater as a child (and compared to many other people I still am), and several years ago I read an article about how this might be related to sensitivity (like some people are more sensitive to pain, itching clothes etc). It was a relief to read about this.

Fev 18, 5:36pm

>83 MissBrangwen: Yeah, in the first couple of chapters she used the word "supertasters". :-) There are tests that you can have done to determine whether or not you are a supertaster. She did a bunch of them, and it turns out she's an average taster. I think she said 25% is a supertaster, 50% are average, and 25% are... I can't remember the word, but they don't taste as much. She figured her husband (who eats everything!) was one that tastes less. Can't recall if he did any of the tests or not.

Fev 18, 6:35pm

>83 MissBrangwen:
>84 LibraryCin:

I once read a book about taste buds. Evidently our taste buds start to die as we age; men's die faster than women's. That is why, according to the book, you see "old" men pouring hot sauce onto everything. They are trying to recover some taste.

Fev 18, 8:59pm

>85 Tess_W: Oh, that is interesting!

Fev 18, 10:48pm

>78 LibraryCin: Sounds interesting. Might take a look at it myself.

>81 pammab: I think tastes and smells plug directly into our lizard brain, and are stronger memory triggers, and thus more likely to have strong emotional associations too. Hence, the surprisingly strong reactions people can have. Or at least, that's my thought on it.

>84 LibraryCin: I'm pretty sure I'm an undertaster. I don't have much talent in discerning individual flavors, more just a general it tastes like food, food good. It has to be pretty awful before it puts me off.

As I've gotten older, I've definitely developed more issues with texture. Plus, definitely notice the tastebuds dying back. I use a lot more salt at 50 than I used to at 20 or even 40.

Fev 19, 9:58pm

>87 justchris: You know, I was just assuming I'd fall into the average range, but now that you describe discerning individual flavours, that's definitely me, as well.

But, at the same time, there are a lot of things I don't like, and it's not all due to texture!

Fev 20, 11:38pm

12x12 BIPOC, PBT, Pursue It, Fly the Skies, AlphaKIT

Crazy Rich Asians / Kevin Kwan
3.5 stars

Rachel is a Chinese-American professor in New York. She has been dating history professor, Nick, for two years. Nick grew up in Singapore and was educated at Oxford. Although he is ridiculously wealthy (or his family is), he has told Rachel nothing about this, nor about his family. Rachel is in for a shock when she travels with Nick for the summer (and for Nick’s best friend (from elementary school… also ridiculously rich)’s wedding. The wedding is front page news in Singapore.

Unfortunately for Rachel, Nick has also told her nothing about his snobby, gossipy family. The family (especially his mother) who gets in their heads before they even meet Rachel that Rachel is a gold-digger, and the family will do everything they can to make sure the two never marry.

Ok, the first few chapters left me reeling and confused. There were so many characters and I never did really figure out who was who in many cases, or how they were related. Though – for most – I did figure out who the nicer friends/family were and who the horrible snobs were. Once we were introduced to Nick and Rachel, though, it got better. And some of their nicer friends I liked. In the end, I liked it, and I will continue the trilogy.

Fev 21, 10:23pm

12x12 Audio, KITastrophe, HistoryCAT

Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World / Laura Spinney
3 stars

The subtitle pretty much tells you what the book is about. I listened to the audio. The male British narrator is always a warning for me, and that warning “fit”. My mind wandered in and out, and it was interesting in parts. In addition to a broader outlook, the author looked at different countries around the world and how it affected those countries. I think I lost interest a bit more looking at the countries individually than looking at the pandemic in a broader sense. It sure was interesting to see the parallels to today – one of those parallels being the health measures that governments try to take with varying results of compliance.

Editado: Fev 28, 1:37pm

12x12 Read Thru Time, Reading Thru Time, Trim the TBR (Classic), AlphaKIT, BingoDOG

The Shoemaker's Wife / Adriana Trigiani
4 stars

It’s around 1900 in Italy. Ciro and his brother are only about 5 and 6 years old when their mother, who has just lost her husband (the boys’ father) and just can’t cope, drops them off at a convent. She tells them to be good, help out, and she’ll be back in 6 months for them. Well, she doesn’t come back. At 15-years old, Ciro is hired out to dig a grave for a little girl, when he meets Enza, that little girl’s oldest sister. There is an instant connection. But, something happens soon after and they are kept apart.

Some time later, they both separately arrive in America – New York City, to be exact. Ciro is a shoemaker’s apprentice, while Enza is working as a maid (very ill-treated), and also finds a job as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera. We follow their lives as immigrants in the US in the early 20th century.

I really liked this. It didn’t move fast, but I really enjoyed the story, and was rooting for Ciro and Enza. I liked the characters and their relationships. The author’s note at the end tells us that this is based on Trigiani’s grandparents’ lives.

Fev 28, 3:54pm

12x12 BIPOC, GenreCAT, HistoryCAT

Buses Are a Comin': Memoir of a Freedom Rider / Charles Person
5 stars

In 1961, a small group of people, both black and white and of a variety of ages from the author at 18 years old up to a retired white couple, got on a variety of buses, planning to head from Washington, DC to New Orleans. The idea was to test what would happen when they sat at various places on the bus, front or back, regardless of their colour. They also (black and white), in some cases, sat together. Supreme Court Decisions in the 1940s (before Rosa Parks) and the 1950s said that anyone should be able to sit anywhere on interstate buses, and that anyone should be able to sit anywhere, use any washroom, order from any food place, etc. inside the depots.

Wow… what an amazing group of very brave people! Granted, some of them didn’t realize how bad it would get (including Charles, though he had grown up in Georgia… but Georgia wasn’t the worst), but this was the first group of “Freedom Riders” that set off a chain of others to continue when they were unable to finish their trips. It’s crazy to me how the KKK was still alive and well in the deep South, and even police were involved. Obviously, this book includes violence (though the Riders themselves had vowed to be nonviolent), and some awful subject matter. It was heart-wrenching at times.

The first chapter tells of the climax of the trip, but then backs up to tell us about Charles’ life growing up. In May 1961 for those two weeks that the first Freedom Ride was happening, he was at the tail end of his first year of college. He had previously been involved in some protests in Atlanta with other college students regarding the segregation of blacks and whites in restaurants and cafes. But this was something else. When I finished, I “had” to check a few videos on youtube.

Fev 28, 9:52pm

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR (Classic), ScaredyKIT

Death: The High Cost of Living / Neil Gaiman
3.75 stars

Sexton is 16-years old and thinking about killing himself. He is writing a note when his mother interrupts him and asks him to leave so she can do some spring cleaning. While out, Sexton meets Didi… who it turns out is Death personified, though she does “remember” her young teenage life as Didi. She appears to be a teenager like Sexton, so they spend a day and night just “hanging out” doing normal teenage things (while still aiming to do an odd errand – there is a 250 year old woman who has asked Didi to find and retrieve her heart for her).

This is a graphic novel, highlighting the character Death from the “Sandman” series.. I liked it better than the ones I’ve read from the Sandman series. The introduction by Tori Amos was odd. I also though the “afterword” comic on sex and AIDS was odd, but it was published I 1993, so I guess he was trying to get some factual info out there. But I liked the character who is Death, and her kind-of friendship with Sexton. I also loved her “look” – dark and goth.

Fev 28, 11:40pm

>91 LibraryCin: I was thinking The Shoemaker's Wife sounded too perfectly farfetched, but then when you said it was based on the true story of the author's grandparents, I perked up. What hard lives, and what joy to come out of them.

>92 LibraryCin: Buses Are a Comin': Memoir of a Freedom Rider sounds fantastic!

Mar 1, 5:17am

>92 LibraryCin: Love the stories of the Freedom Riders. Had a terrific lesson plan for that in my civil rights unit.

Mar 1, 5:04pm

>94 pammab: "Buses Are a Comin'" really is. It hasn't been published yet, though, fyi. I believe it will be published at the end of April.

>95 Tess_W: I actually hadn't heard of Freedom Riders until someone else was reading the book and mentioned it!

Mar 1, 9:44pm

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR (Classic), GenreCAT, AlphaKIT

The Tao of Martha / Jen Lancaster
3.5 stars

In this memoir of Jen’s, she looks back at 2012, when she made an effort to emulate her idol, Martha Stewart. She wanted to get organized around her house and throw great parties…

The memoir included more than Martha Stewart… it included other happenings that year, such as the loss of her beloved dog Maisie. That was the toughest part of the book, in my opinion, but it certainly hit my heart. The other memorable part, for me was her mammograms. Other bits of it were off and on funny. I’m not a Martha Stewart fan, personally, so that wasn’t a draw for me at all. I listened to the audio, narrated by Jen herself, and she did fine with the narration.

Mar 2, 9:24pm

12x12 Travel, Trim the TBR (Classic + PBT)

Daughter of Time / Sarah Woodbury
3.75 stars

Meg has a toddler daughter, Anna, and just recently buried her abusive husband, who she’d been trying to leave. When Meg and Anna are driving one night, an accident spins their vehicle, but when they wake up, Meg thinks someone is playing a prank. They have woken up in the 13th century, and the man taking care of her is the Prince of Wales (when Wales was still its own country). At this time, the Prince, Llywelyn, has made a tentative peace with the Prince (King?) of England, but still has people coming after him, including his own traitorous brother, Dafydd.

I quite enjoyed this time travel/historical fiction/romance. The chapters alternated points of view between Meg and Llywelyn. I did prefer the chapters from Meg’s POV, likely due to a. being a woman, and b. being able to “picture” how one might react shifting in time from present day to the 13th century! I liked the pronunciation guide (for Welsh) at the start of the book. Apparently this is a prequel to a series, but I haven’t (yet) read any of the rest of the series (though I plan to continue now!)

Mar 5, 11:37pm

12x12 Off the Shelf, MysteryKIT

The Escape Room / Megan Goldin
4.25 stars

When four co-workers are brought together last-minute on a Friday night, no one expects this. They are meant to do an escape room – is this team building? No one really knows why they were asked to come, but the prestigious financial firm where they work has been laying people off, so Vincent (team lead), Jules, Sylvie, and Sam don’t feel that they can decline. Their escape room has them locked in an elevator, solving clues. But they don’t seem to be able to get out no matter what they do…

I’ve done a lot of escape rooms and they are fun, but this is terrifying! In a real elevator, not having the safety features of a set-up room, and not even knowing who set it all up. None of the characters are especially likable. The chapters actually alternate between the four in the elevator, and backing up in time to another character, Sara Hall, who once worked with them, so her chapters go over her time at the firm. Despite disliking the characters, I certainly wanted to keep reading!

Mar 6, 6:44am

>99 LibraryCin: I'll take that as a BB!

Mar 6, 1:19pm

>100 Tess_W: Enjoy! :-)

Mar 6, 11:28pm

Sounds like some good reads.

>92 LibraryCin: It’s crazy to me how the KKK was still alive and well in the deep South, and even police were involved.

Not *even* the police. *Especially* the police. Historically, American police forces are descended from slave patrols in the bad old days. That why the ugly crackdowns on BLM and the ineffectualness at the Capitol insurrection. The KKK was/is basically a domestic terrorist organization, and local policemen have always been heavily involved in local KKK chapters.

>93 LibraryCin: I used to read the old Sandman comics back in the day and definitely liked Death much better than Dream, who was always something of an asshole. Not sure I'd chase down any of the spinoff graphic novels. Sounds like you enjoyed this one.

>99 LibraryCin: I've never done an escape room in real life. Sounds like you've enjoyed them. I do a lot of escape room puzzles online. That sounds like quite a thriller. Yikes.

Editado: Mar 7, 3:22pm

>102 justchris: Wow, re: the KKK and police! I had no idea.

I have the next Sandman on my tbr, but I may or may not continue after that. I do plan to continue with the Death series.

They are fun. We have a good group of people who do them. We have also switched to online escape rooms. They all meet once/week. I'm doing once every 2nd week, but with a ton of other zoom things taking up time, I'm likely going to switch to once a month. We chat (zoom) for a bit first, then it (whatever online escape room) can take a few hours or we might do more than one online. In person, the rooms are one hour only, then we would go out and eat and chat.

Mar 9, 9:19pm

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR (Classic), AlphaKIT

The Richest Woman in America / Janet Wallach
2 stars

Hetty Green was born in 1834 and, despite being a girl, learned about money and investments from her father (hmm, on reading the blurb, this may not have been where she learned this – at least not directly). She also seemed quite litigious and took offense when inheritances she thought should go to her didn’t. She was a very wealthy woman.

I listened to the audio, and though the narrator didn’t appear to have an accent, she did pronounce some vowels oddly, which distracted me. Combine that with really being kind of boring and I wasn’t impressed. Because of being somewhat boring, I may not have the summary exactly right, as I wasn’t paying attention to parts of the book. And I didn’t particularly like Hetty. In some ways, she was obviously before her time.

Mar 9, 9:47pm

>93 LibraryCin: I'd read the entire Sandman series some time ago and liked it very much, but I've not read any from this spinoff series. I'll have to give it a go.

Mar 10, 5:05pm

>105 mathgirl40: I hope you like it!

Mar 10, 10:21pm

12x12 Off the Shelf, Trim the TBR (Classic), ScaredyKIT

Nightmares & Dreamscapes / Stephen King
3.25 stars

I’ve had this book since university and I can’t remember if I read it back then or not. I decided to (re)read. As with all short story collections, I liked some better than others. There were a few I really liked in the first half and I was debating about rating this higher than other short story collections I’ve read in the past, but some of the stories in the second half brought my rating down a bit.

I think something I’m not crazy about with short stories is the energy it takes to move from one to the other so quickly. I always knew that I often didn’t like how short they were because I’d just be “getting’ into the story, when it would end and move on to the next. It was reading this that it occurred to me it takes “energy” to start with a new story so often – you have to get to know new characters and a new plot.

Some of the stories I really liked included Dolce’s Cadillac, Chattery Teeth, You Know They Got a Hell of a Band (if I hadn’t read this one before, I had definitely heard about it), Rainy Season, Sorry Right Number (this was more of a screenplay, but I quite liked it). His last “story” was more of a diary/journal (nonfiction) about his son’s Little League baseball team and a successful season they had. He included an interesting note at the end with a bit of information behind some of the stories.

Mar 14, 10:52pm

12x12 Off the Shelf, Trim the TBR (Classic + PBT), AlphaKIT

The Dreams of Ada / Robert Mayer
4 stars

In 1984, in the “town” of Ada, Oklahoma, Denice Haraway left her job at a convenience store/gas station with a man (they simply looked like a couple). When the people who saw them leave went inside, the clerk (Denice) was no where to be found. It appeared that the place had also been robbed. It was only later that they realized the woman they saw leaving was the clerk.

When composite sketches brought Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot to the attention of the police, they were brought in and questioned. When both confessed on camera, that pretty much sealed the deal. It wasn’t long before they recanted – said they thought their confessions (given under pressure) would easily be exposed as lies. But, despite a LOT of inconsistencies in those confessions, the two were arrested and charged.

I didn’t know the outcome of this. I may have when I heard about the book, but by the time of reading it now, I didn’t remember. I don’t want to say too much if anyone wants to read the book to see what happened and not find out things ahead of time. Even behind my spoiler tag, I haven’t specifically said, but I expect one might be able to figure it out, so you are warned!

Wow, I couldn’t believe it! Wow, I’m appalled! And to this day… Ugh! There were parts in the book that were a little more dry – sections that included things written by Tommy (he’s not very literate), and other legal details – but overall, it was interesting, particularly once they had the private investigator on the case. And suspenseful during the trials. This was originally published in 1987, but a new edition (with a new afterword) was published in 2006; the 2006 is the one I read.

Mar 15, 10:15pm

12x12 Audio, BingoDOG, Fly the Skies

A Piece of the World / Christina Baker Kline
2.5 stars

I listened to the audio and missed much of the first half of the book, so the summary will be sparse. Christina was born with some kind of deformity in her legs, and as she gets older it’s harder and harder to walk. Oh, she grows up on a farm in Maine. That’s all I’ve got!

The book flips back and forth in time from when she is a child in the early 1900s to the mid-1900s as an adult, but the earlier storyline catches up with the later one. I finally did get some interest towards the end of the book, but by then, I didn’t know who some of the characters were – Sam? At one point, I thought he was a brother, but I’m not sure. Learned toward the end that Al is a brother. I also got mixed up with an early love interest, as I thought he was a later-on artist who used Christina as a model, but apparently they were two different people/characters.

Oh, and surprise (to me)! As I peruse some of the other reviews, I had no idea this was based on a real painting by a real artist, so presumably the artist in the story goes by the real artist’s name? Since I thought the love interest and the artist were the same person (other reviews reminded me his name – the love interest – was Walton), obviously I have no idea who this artist is, though it finally did occur to me that they were two different people when I realized, later on that the artist’s name started with an A (but after finishing the book, I can’t remember – apparently it’s Andrew). You can see I’m not much into art! Throughout most of the book, I was considering rating it 2 stars, but as I did finally get interested at the end, I upped it to 2.5.

Mar 16, 12:46pm

>109 LibraryCin: I don't know much about art either, but I do happen to know this particular painting because it's got my name in it. :) It's called Christina's World, and the artist is Andrew Wyeth:

Mar 16, 5:20pm

>110 christina_reads: LOL! Thank you. Someone at GR also pointed me to that link, so I could read about it (nonfiction-like!).

I forgot to put it in my review, but I had wondered a few times in the story why the author named her main character her own name! I thought it odd. Didn't know till I was writing my review that that was because she was a real person. Oops! LOL!

Mar 16, 6:29pm

I rather like Andrew Wyeth paintings. I might look up the book ...

Mar 16, 11:40pm

>112 hailelib: I hope you like it! I wonder if it would have made a difference if I'd known it was not only a real painting, but a real person behind the story?

Mar 19, 11:17pm

12x12 Oh Canada, Travel Across Canada, BingoDOG

The Figgs / Ali Bryan
3.5 stars

June has just retired, but with her and Randy’s three adult children still living at home (though they’ve been trying to get rid of them for a while!), there’s not much time to relax. When she is trying to get her kids to help her clean the basement, her youngest son, Derek, gets a phone call. He needs to go to the hospital because Marissa is having her baby. Who is Marissa, June wonders, but they pile in the car to be there with Derek. Soon, Derek is home with a baby he’d only found out a week or so earlier that he was the father of. Daughter Vanessa seems to have a much older girlfriend – who new Vanessa was a lesbian!? Not June, nor Randy. Both June and Randy also have their own family issues going on at the same time…

This was a whirlwind! I liked it, but I’m sure happy to live alone. All that activity was crazy and would drive me insane! I like my quiet life. There was humour mixed in here and there, as well. This is a local author to me, so it’s always fun to read about places I know in my city.

Mar 20, 8:01am

>114 LibraryCin: That sounds a fun read (but, like you, I wouldn't want to live it).

Mar 20, 2:29pm

>115 spiralsheep: It's a book club book, and a local author, so it will be fun to do our discussion on Tuesday, I think. I believe they arranged for the author to be "there" (zoom, of course!).

Mar 21, 10:03am

>116 LibraryCin: Bonus! I hope you enjoy the discussion.

Mar 21, 10:39pm

12x12 Series, GenreCAT, BingoDOG, Trim the TBR (Classic)

The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw /Christopher Healy
3.5 stars

This is the third (and final – sniff!) installment of the “Hero’s Guide” series, which follows the “League of Princes”. The League of Princes consists of four Princes Charming (which is not the real name of any of them!): Duncan, Liam, Frederic, and Gustav. Although the princesses (Snow, Rapunzel, (Cinder)Ella) have been involved in all adventures in the series, in addition, this time around, they (as well as an additional character Val Jeanval, and Lila, Liam’s younger sister) give themselves a name (which Snow shortens to ffff… though I can’t remember what exactly it stands for! But I liked Snow’s shortened version!).

Anyway, in this one, all our heros are “WANTED” for the murder of Briar Rose (aka Sleeping Beauty), though they don’t even realize it initially! There are bounty hunters on their tail, looking for the “untold riches” that are promised to those who bring them back alive.

As usual, this was fun! I listened to the first two on audio, which I think added to the “ambiance”, though I do recall that I did occasionally lose interest, but Bronson Pinchot was the narrator and with all the accents and voices he can do, what fun! With the ebook this time around (the library did not have the audio for this one), I do think I was able to keep more focus, though I did miss those voices and accents! I am sad that the series is finished.

Mar 24, 2:45pm

12x12 Reading Through Time, Read Thru Time, GenreCAT, HistoryCAT

Bloody Jack / L.A. Meyer
3.75 stars

At the end of the 18th century, Mary thinks she was about 8 years old or so when her parents died and she was literally put out on the street and left to fend for herself. She managed to join up with some other homeless kids and they begged and stole and did what they could for money and food. When she was a few years older, Mary decided to dress like a boy and she managed to get on a ship as a ship’s boy. But no one knew she was really girl as they went about their adventures on the sea.

I listened to the audio and loved the accent. I think it was a Cockney accent (had to look that up!). I quite enjoyed this and it gets the extra ¼ star for the audio. The story was fun, too. It’s odd, but whether I listen to or read adventure, I tend to not pay as much attention to the adventure parts. Odd, I know. But I still quite liked the story and I will be continuing the series.

Mar 25, 3:18pm

12x12 Animals, PBT, Pursue It, BingoDOG

Woman in the Mists / Farley Mowat
4.5 stars

Dian Fossey was chosen by Louis Leakey (the same man who sent Jane Goodall to study chimpanzees) to study gorillas. Dian did not have a degree in a related field, though she loved animals. She started in the 1960s until she was murdered in her cabin in 1986. She fell hard for some men (though she never married), but she also did not get along with a lot of people, including some of the students who came to work with her. There was a lot of friction as different people had different ideas about how Karisoke (where she ultimately ended up studying the gorillas in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda) should run.

The gorillas (and other animals there) were often targeted by poachers and the area also had farmers who allowed their cows into what was supposed to be a protected park area. Dian took it upon herself, in order to save the gorillas, to do (and train others to help… plus she used her own money to pay people since the park rangers didn’t appear to do anything to help) what she called “active conservation”. That is, destroying the snares/traps, rescuing as many animals caught in those traps and by poachers as possible, and catching the poachers. She didn’t agree with bringing tourists to visit the habituated gorillas, though she later relented as long as they were small groups, but she still wasn’t overly happy about it.

Farley Mowat took much of this book from Dian’s own journals/writings, and changes the font in the book to indicate when/where he is using Dian’s words. He fills in the rest. I read “Gorillas in the Mist” years ago. It focuses more on the gorillas themselves, whereas this (though it includes some of the gorillas) focuses more on Dian and the politics and relations with the various people involved. I also read a book by two of Dian’s former students who she didn’t get along with, but I don’t recall all the animosity (but it was so long ago, I may not be remembering, or maybe they left out some of the political issues). In any case, it would be a dream for me to study wild animals in the wild! So, I really enjoyed this. Frustrating at the people who weren’t helping Dian more with her “active” conservation, though I’m not sure I would be brave enough to confront poachers with guns and machetes, either!

Mar 28, 3:40pm

12x12 Off the Shelf, RandomCAT, AlphaKIT, GenreCAT, BingoDOG

Uprooted / Naomi Novik
4 stars

Every 10 years, the Dragon comes to the valley to select a 17-year old girl to go with him. She is not seen again for the next 10 years. The people allow this because the Dragon makes sure the evil in the Wood that surrounds them stays at bay. Growing up, Agnieszka (and everyone else) always knew it would be her smart, beautiful best friend, Kasia, who is chosen. Possible spoiler, though it happens in the first couple of chapters: But, it’s not Kasia who is chosen. It’s Agnieszka.

I really enjoyed this. This one has (Baba) Jaga mentioned – she’s not a character, as she is long-dead, but she is mentioned and her effects are felt. Many know that I am not always a fantasy fan (depends on the type of fantasy), but I do like fairy tales. This one had a lot going on – not all at once, but one thing after another. Lots of adventure in this one.

Mar 28, 6:12pm

>121 LibraryCin: I loved Uprooted! Since you enjoyed it as well, I would also recommend Novik's Spinning Silver.

Mar 28, 9:24pm

>122 christina_reads: Thank you! Another friend on GR also recommended that one to me, and I've added it to the never-ending tbr! :-)

Mar 29, 12:45am

>121 LibraryCin: What a great reminder of Uprooted! I've only seen positive reviews, including many that, like you, say "I'm not usually into X but I really like this book". I've only met Baba Yaga twice -- once Card's Enchanted and once in my favorite imperial-Russia-inspired science fiction series. Would I benefit from a bit more fairy tale knowledge going into this one?

Mar 29, 3:18am

>124 pammab: I'm intrigued. What's this Imperial-Russia-inspired SF?

Mar 29, 5:14pm

>124 pammab: I haven't read much about Baba Yaga myself. I really don't think you need to know anything about her (or any fairy tales, really) to read (and enjoy!) this one.

Mar 31, 1:46am

>125 MissWatson: It's the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold, which has a zillion complicated books but really is quite delightful.

>126 LibraryCin: That's great! I'll definitely keep Uprooted in the back of my mind.

Mar 31, 9:38pm

>127 pammab: I do hope you like it if you give it a try!

Editado: Mar 31, 10:19pm

12x12 Animals, Trim the TBR (Classic)

What's a Dog For? / John Homans
4 stars

In this book, the author looks at various aspects of the history of dogs and dog-human relationships. Some of the topics include evolution, dog behaviour (also compared to other animals), breeds, rescues, etc.

I quite liked this. Despite being an audio book, I was kept interested (though apparently, I don’t have much to mention in my review!).

Abr 1, 11:22pm

12x12 Travel, HistoryCAT, Trim the TBR (Classic)

Madame Tussaud: A Life in Wax / Kate Berridge
3 stars

Madame Tussaud was taught by her “uncle”(? Not sure if he was really her uncle, or just the man her mother worked for) to form wax models. She also turned out to be a pretty good marketer and businesswoman. She lived through the French Revolution, then took her wax figures with her to England. From there, she travelled through Scotland and Ireland. Meanwhile, her husband and one son (the other son was with her) stayed in France (until the younger son was in his early 20s, at which time he joined his mother and brother). A man she had gone into business with when she went to England and her husband took advantage of her brilliant head for business (and the money that came from it).

Most of what people know of the early part of Marie Grosholtz’s (Madame Tussaud’s) life came from her own autobiography. This author tries to verify (but has a hard time doing so) much of what Marie wrote about her own life. It seems that there may have been a lot of exaggeration, particularly during the French Revolution, when she created wax figures out of decapitated heads during the “Terror”. It was easier to verify her life (as she became more well-known) once she moved to England.

The book was ok, but a few too many parts of it were kind of dry reading. All I knew about her was from Michelle Moran’s book, but her book pretty much ended when Marie moved to England. I hadn’t realized she had done as much travelling as she had – to promote her show and her wax models. She really does seem to have had a good head for business, but much of her money was taken by a bad deal with the man she went into business with in England (until she untangled herself from him) and her dud of a husband in France.

Abr 1, 11:32pm

12x12 Nonfiction

El Deafo / Cece Bell
4 stars

Cece Bell grew up in the ‘70s. Just before kindergarten she became sick and lost her hearing. She was horrified to have to go to school (not including her first year when she was in a school with other deaf kids) with a hearing aid and a case (the “Phonic Ear”) strapped to her chest. The case worked with a microphone she had her teachers speak into so she could hear. Well, she could hear without it, but it wasn’t clear enough for her to understand. She found that she could hear her teachers, with the microphone, even when they weren’t in the classroom! Although she had a hard time making friends and was often lonely, she tried to consider her hearing loss (and the resulting use of the hearing aid) her superpower! This is a graphic novel depicting her childhood.

I enjoyed this. This is a story meant for kids. There were a lot of up and down emotions in this one, and she sprinkled in some humour at times, as well.

Abr 2, 9:36am

>131 LibraryCin: I liked this one as well! I also liked that the characters were portrayed as rabbits ;)

Editado: Abr 2, 12:31pm

>132 rabbitprincess: Yeah, I forgot to mention that! Realized at some point in bed that I didn't mention anything about the illustrations!

Abr 3, 10:05pm

12x12 Animals, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR (Classic)

All My Patients Kick and Bite / Jeff Wells
3.5 stars

This is a set of stories/essays, in the vein of James Herriott, about a vet and his interesting cases. Dr. Wells also includes some personal information in some of the stories, as well. Dr. Wells is in Colorado.

I enjoyed this. I’m not sure if there are more in his series of stories, but if there is, I will continue reading them.

Abr 5, 1:59pm

12x12 Read Thru Time, Reading Through Time, Trim the TBR (Classic), Travel Across Canada

The Devil's Making / Sean Haldane
3 stars

Chad Hobbes went to law school in England, but never wrote the bar exam. In 1868, he has come to British Columbia, a British colony, but not yet part of Canada (which was just recently formed in the east), but without having written the bar, he cannot practice as a lawyer, so he gets a job as a constable in Victoria. When an American “alienist” (psychiatrist - I had to look it up!) is found murdered in a very gruesome way, everyone assumes it’s the First Nations people who are closeby who killed him. One is arrested and it is assumed he will soon hang for it. Hobbes, though, doesn’t think he (nor any of the other natives) did it, and he sets out to find who really did it. In the meantime, Hobbes finds himself attracted to the sister of the man who was arrested.

Be warned: this was quite gruesome in the details. Also, there was a lot of investigation into sexual things. There is definite racism here, primarily against native people. Overall, I’m rating this ok. There were parts that just didn’t interest me, so I kind of tuned out, but other parts were fine and I followed without an issue. I’m thinking maybe the writing style? The odd thing is that I love historical fiction, I also like mysteries (though some types more than others), but oddly, more often than not, historical mysteries don’t interest me as much. I have no idea why.

I did like the Canadian background in this, though. I’ve been to Victoria a couple of times, so I could picture some of the places mentioned. There was an odd (I thought) twist and I felt like the end was a bit too much all tied up – except for one thing. That one thing wasn’t a happy one (and it was apparently a real event). The brief afterword also explained that many of the people were real people.

Abr 7, 11:23am

>127 pammab: Thanks! I've noted it down for future reference.

Abr 10, 5:23pm

12x12 BIPOC, Trim the TBR (Classic), GenreCAT, AlphaKIT

I Do Not Come to You By Chance / Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani.
3 stars

In Nigeria, Kingsley’s father is very sick, and to pay for his hospital bills, Kingsley must go to his rich uncle for money to pay for his father’s care. Uncle Boniface (more well-known in the community as Cash Daddy) shamefully (to the rest of the family) gets his money from 419 email scams. Kingsley has an engineering degree but is unable to find a job. This eventually forces him to work for his uncle.

This was ok. I’m not sure there were many characters I particularly liked, and it was a bit slow in the first half. The end also confused me a bit, as I’m not exactly sure what happened there. I had briefly considered upping my rating a bit until the end.

Abr 11, 3:24pm

12x12 PBT, PBT, GenreCAT

A Prayer for the Dying / Stewart O'Nan
2.5 stars

In a small town in Wisconsin in the 19th century, “you” (Jacob) is a preacher, an undertaker (and apparently, a sheriff, which I missed). An illness has come into town and people are dying. Not only that, there is a wildfire nearby.

It’s a short book. Right off the bat, I wasn’t liking the second-person narrative, so I didn’t like the writing style. It wasn’t easy to follow, and for a while there were a couple of people who I wasn’t sure whether or not they were dead or still alive, after all. I appear to be in a minority, but I’m not a fan of this one.

Abr 13, 12:26am

Well, that's a series of depressing books and disappointing reads the last couple weeks. I hope things turn up for you soon!

Abr 13, 9:35pm

>139 pammab: LOL! I hadn't even really noticed there was such a string! 3 stars for me is still "ok". I guess it's been about a week since a 3.5 stars, which for me is still "good".

My current audio is very good, though! Hopefully will finish tomorrow and post a better review for it. :-)

Abr 15, 1:29am

>140 LibraryCin: It's because I often read a dozen posts in a row, I think -- weak patterns are much more apparent then, than when you're reading a bunch of books over the course of a few weeks and you have an actual life interspersing each of the reading & reviewing sessions. I also treat 3 as "totally acceptable, no bad emotions" (but I prefer to have 4s and 5s. :)) Looking forward to your next review!

Abr 15, 5:06pm

>141 pammab: Yeah, I figured you must have just looked at a bunch to catch it. :-)

Abr 15, 9:15pm

12x12 PBT, PBT, Pursue It, Fly the Skies

The Witch Elm / Tana French
4 stars

When Toby’s house is broken into, and Toby confronts the burglars, he is beaten pretty badly. After some time in the hospital, it is decided that he should go live with his uncle (who is dying of cancer) in the “Ivy House”. It’s a house where Toby and his cousins spent a lot of time when they were growing up. Not long after Toby arrives, his cousin’s kids are playing in the yard and discover a skull in the giant tree in the garden! This leads to some interesting confessions amongst the cousins…

I really liked this! I listened to the audio. Have to admit that some of the parts (especially near the beginning), I lost a bit of interest, but that was just mostly Toby with his buddies. The story got much more interesting after Toby and his girlfriend Melissa moved in with Uncle Hugo. Really, the narrator was just fine. The last 2/3 of it definitely kept me interested and though a few things weren’t necessarily twists, there were a few of those thrown in, as well.

Abr 18, 3:56pm

12x12 Series, PBT

A Barricade in Hell / Jaime Lee Moyer
3.5 stars

It’s 1917. Delia sees ghosts, and lately there have been a lot of them following her detective husband Gabe around. Gabe is now investigating what looks like a ritual murder. As Gabe and his partner/friend, Jack, continue in their investigation, they discover more and more people who have disappeared. Sometimes Delia and her mentor/friend Dora are brought in to help Gabe and Jack with their cases, and this appears to be needed this time around.

This is the second book in a series. The chapters alternate between Delia and Gabe, and in this one, I found Gabe’s murder investigation more interesting than Delia’s ghosts. In my opinion, this wasn’t nearly as good as the first book. It’s been a few years, so I can’t compare directly, but the first one did make my favourites that year. This one – there was a lot going on – a lot of action – and I’m usually interested in ghosts, as well as murder mysteries, but this one didn’t pull me in as much. I’m still rating it “good”. There is currently one more book in the series (I’m not sure if it ends at a trilogy, or if she’s writing more for the series) and I will be reading it.

Abr 19, 10:41pm

12x12 Oh Canada, BingoDOG, AlphaKIT, PBT Trim

In the Mood for Peace: The Story of the Izzy Doll / Phyllis Wheaton.
4 stars

The Izzy Doll is a small knitted/crocheted doll that Canadian peacekeepers have been giving out to kids in war-torn countries, or just poor kids in countries where they are posted. It started with Mark Isfeld, who died in Croatia in 1994 while serving a peacekeeping mission there. He was trying to clear landmines at the time. Previous to his death, though, he told his mom back in Canada how much he wanted to give these kids something to call their own. She started making these little dolls and shipping them to her son to hand out. This has since grown into a much much larger project, where people all over the country (and some in the US) help knit/crochet these little dolls to bring smiles to those kids’ faces.

The book is also a biography of Mark, and both his parents, and it also looks at peacekeeping and peacekeepers, as well as landmines and the attempt to rid the world of them, as they are so dangerous long after conflicts end. There is also some memoir added in as Phyllis travels and talks to various people she focuses on in the book (the Isfelds and others).

I had never heard of the Izzy Doll before Phyllis, the author of the book (and an acquaintance of mine!) gifted a copy of the book to me. As sad as it was for the soldier whose idea it was to have died not long after he started handing them out (and both his parents died within months of each other in 2007), it is absolutely an uplifting book. The book is also peppered with photos of the Isfelds and more.

Abr 19, 11:11pm

12x12 BIPOC, PBT, Pursue It, ScaredyKIT, GenreCAT

Mexican Gothic / Silvia Moreno-Garcia
3.25 stars

Noemi has gone to see her recently-married cousin, Catalina, who married suddenly and is now living in a remote large house with her new husband’s family. Noemi’s father is worried about some letters Catalina has written, as it sounds like she is very ill, so he wanted Noemi to go see how Catalina is doing and see if she can help. Catalina’s husband, Virgil, and his entire family is very odd, to say the least… and it seems quite apparent that they don’t want Noemi there.

The book is slow moving. I listened to the audio, which was fine, but not a whole lot happened until about the last quarter of the book. It did pick up, but not enough for me to raise my rating very much (the extra .25 is for when it finally picked up). I’ve seen this compared to “Rebecca” as a Mexican Rebecca, and Rebecca also started very slow, but there was something about the atmosphere in Rebecca and the story that had me like it better, overall. The atmosphere was done well in this one, too, but one thing I didn’t like were the odd, kind of psychedelic, dreams Noemi was having. Those were just...weird. That did put me off some. Overall, 3 stars for me is ok, and I added the little extra for the pick up at the end.

Editado: Abr 23, 9:35pm

12x12 Nonfiction, BingoDOG, AlphaKIT

When Breath Becomes Air / Paul Kalanithi
3 stars

The author was only 36 years old, and hadn’t quite graduated yet to become a neurosurgeon/neuroscientist, when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. At one point, he considered an English degree, so he set to putting his story down in a book.

It was ok. It (rightfully) felt short and he seemed to skip through large amounts of time. I know it’s because he tried to write it all when he had a limited time left, and in the epilogue, written by his wife Lucy, she specifically said he didn’t finish his book. I was more interested in his life events over the theology/philosophy discussion he added in at times. I listened to the audio, which was fine. I did like that they brought in a female narrator to read the epilogue written by Lucy.

Abr 24, 9:43pm

12x12 Off the Shelf, RandomCAT, AlphaKIT, Pursue It

What the Dead Leave Behind / Rosemary Simpson
4 stars

It’s March 1888 in New York City. The day a huge blizzard blows in (this was a real event), Prudence’s fiancee (Charles, a lawyer) is out walking with a couple other men. One of them decides he can’t go on, but Charles goes on with his friend and fellow lawyer, Roscoe. Roscoe gets further ahead, and when Charles stops to rest, he is knocked out and dies in the cold.

Prudence has also only recently lost her own father (a judge). She is now living with her hated stepmother, Victoria (Victoria and Prudence’s father had only been married a couple of years), and unfortunately, Victoria is trustee to Prudence’s inheritance until she turns 31. The trusteeship was supposed to have transferred over to Charles when they married in only 2 weeks.

Prudence and Charles’ best friend Geoffrey (also a lawyer) work on trying to figure out what’s going on, and how to help Prudence get her rightful inheritance out of her stepmother’s grasp.

I was very impressed with the descriptions of the snow storm. I also loved that Prudence was treated so well by her father; they were very close and he treated her more like a son… as in, he taught her a lot of lawyer-ly stuff that a woman, at that time, would never normally have learned. Prudence is smart and I like how the men/lawyers she is working with (Roscoe, in addition to Geoffrey) accept that she is capable. We have an idea what happened early on, but spend the book trying to figure out how it all happened. There were a lot of characters, though, so I did tend to forget who was who at times, and it was a bit of a tangle/maze even once it was revealed how everything happened. I have no issues with how things ended and I will continue with the second book in the series.

Abr 25, 10:09pm

The Last Thing He Told Me / Laura Dave
4 stars

Hannah has been married to Owen for two years. Owen had a daughter previously, Bailey, who is now 16-years old. One day, Owen just doesn’t come home again. He sends a note to Hannah that just says “Protect her”. As Hannah hears on the news, the owner of the company Owen has been working for has been arrested and charged with fraud.

This was really good. Another one that pulled me in right away and kept me wondering. I definitely didn’t expect the ending. Told from Hannah’s point of view, some chapters backed up in time to see the relationship (and some earlier events) between Hannah and Owen.

Abr 28, 9:33pm

Local Woman Missing / Mary Kubica
5 stars

11 years ago… a woman with a baby waits for her husband to come home. It’s late but she heads out for a “run” – or so she tells her husband. She is actually cheating on him (but to be “fair”, it seems he is also cheating on her). Now… Delilah lives in a dark basement. She doesn’t know how old she is or how long she’s been there, but she knows she’s outgrown her shoes and clothes. There is nothing in the basement except a toilet, Delilah, and Gus, who came some time after Delilah had been there a while. 11 years ago (May)… we follow Kate (Delilah’s neighbour), as Delilah’s dad knocks on the door on a rainy night, not knowing where his 6-year old little girl, Delilah, is or his wife, Meredith. 11 years ago (March)… we follow Meredith, Delilah’s mom, a doula, and yoga instructor, as she wonders where the threatening texts she’s been receiving are coming from…

Those are snapshots from the start of the book. The book does go back and forth in time, and switches perspective (each chapter tells you the time and whose perspective it is, so it’s easy to follow), but it pulled me in immediately and kept me wanting to read! I didn’t want to put down the book, though there are a couple of parts that had me nervous: reading at night at home by myself, not wanting to turn the lights out for bed! Some great twists in this one, and it had me scared a couple of times. Adds up to 5 stars from me.

Maio 1, 11:48pm

12x12 ARCs

The Clover Girls / Viola Shipman
3.5 stars

Em(ily), Rachel, V(eronica), and Liz met at summer camp in 1985 and became life-long friends (or so they thought). They spent the next four summers together and they called themselves the “Clover Girls”. Unfortunately, that last summer, there was a rift that pulled them apart. Em tried to keep in touch with everyone, but mostly they went their separate ways and had their own lives.

Liz had a family, then divorced, and in current day, is a realtor and watches over her mother in a care home (her kids and grandkids never visit); V became a model, then married and gave up her career for her husband and kids; Rach was an actress for a while, then went into politics… well, I’m not sure what exactly she is, but she works for a very conservative politician and she seems to do some kind of damage control (in the form of being in the spotlight to explain things, mostly things with regard to policies around women).

When they each get a letter out of the blue from Em, she is already dead. She wants them to revisit the camp to spread her ashes, and of course, to come together again.

I enjoyed this. I loved all the 80s references! Starting with friendship pins (remember those!?), then of course, the music and movies… What brought the rating down a bit for me was that there was a bit more gushi-ness than I would have liked. Maybe it’s because I’m really not a gushy person (at all! Probably the opposite), but it didn’t seem real to me. It was too much for me. Also, one thing near the end… I felt like a couple of the women acted very childishly in that one event. They didn’t act like adults. Overall, though, I still liked the book. Liz and Em (easily) were my favourite characters, and I did like Liz’s storyline. There is also a book club guide at the end; I hadn’t thought of it as a book club book but there were some good questions included.

Editado: Maio 4, 9:04pm

12x12 BIPOC, GenreCAT

Braiding Sweetgrass / Robin Wall Kimmerer
3.25 stars

The author is an Indigenous woman who studied botany, so she learned our white scientific ways to study and research. But she combines that with everything she learned while growing up Indigenous – the traditional “ways of knowing”, specifically with regards to trees, plants, nature.

I love the philosophy that nature is so much more than white people (and scientists) give it credit for. I can’t even explain, but I really did agree with most of what she described. I listened to the audio (read by the author) and I did lose focus at various parts, so I did miss some of it. But there were plenty of other interesting things mentioned/explained that I enjoyed listening to.

Maio 4, 2:29am

>150 LibraryCin: Local Woman Missing sounds like a book that will either keep you up reading all night or just keep you up all night!

Maio 4, 8:46pm

>153 VivienneR: LOL! Well, there were definitely a couple of parts like that. :-)

Maio 5, 10:33pm

12x12 PBT, PBT, GenreCAT, Trim the TBR (Classic), Pursue It

Vanishing and Other Stories / Deborah Willis
2.75 stars

A book of short stories… I’ve said it before – I’m not usually a fan of short stories, and I wasn’t here, either. There was one that I liked; there were a few more that were ok – I wouldn’t say I liked them, but at least they held my attention; the others, I just wasn’t interested in and didn’t even manage to follow.

I hate writing a bad review about a book by a Canadian author, but I’ve actually also met this author a couple of times (and my book is a signed copy). I did like that some of the stories were set, not only in Canada, but in my city (Calgary – where the author lives, or did the last I knew), and in another city I’ve visited a couple of times (Victoria), so it’s always nice to recognize the places mentioned/described.

Maio 7, 9:17pm

testing - can I post a comment?

Maio 8, 6:57am

>156 LibraryCin: You didn't say if you wanted a doublecheck but I can see and reply to your comment. :-)

Editado: Maio 8, 1:39pm

>157 spiralsheep: Hi, thank you! I should have edited it or something.

I am unable to comment on an already existing thread using FF. Chrome seems to be ok (which is what I'm using now). I was, however, able to start a new thread and comment on it in FF. I have posted to the Bug Collectors group with the issue.

Maio 8, 2:35pm

>158 LibraryCin: I couldn't post comments for a short while yesterday, but I assumed that was only while they updated the site to the new search thingy. I'm using a different browser to you though.

Well done for reporting it on Bug Collectors.

Maio 8, 4:08pm

>159 spiralsheep: First noticed for me Thursday evening. Continued Friday evening and today, still. At least I can comment via Chrome!

Maio 10, 10:38pm

12x12 PBT, HistoryCAT, Pursue It

Victoria's Daughters / Jerrold M. Packard
3.75 stars

This is a nonfiction book about Queen Victoria and her daughters. Of course, there is info about her and her entire family, but the focus is on her five daughters: Vicky, Alice, Helena (known as Lenchen), Louise, and Beatrice. They all had very different personalities. Of course, Victoria wanted to keep one of her girls with her all her life – someone to be there and take care of her, particularly after she lost her husband, Albert, quite young.

3.5 stars for enjoyability – that is, it was good – but I gave it that little extra because of the sheer amount of information included. I do feel like this is a really good source to find information about Queen Victoria’s daughters. There were a few parts where I lost interest, mostly with German/Prussian politics, but I can see why it was included with Vicky married to a future Kaiser, so it absolutely affected her life.

Being Canadian myself, I was interested in Louise and Lorne’s years in Canada; also of interest were where a couple of the province and city names came from. I did find it started to get confusing when the focus started being on Victoria’s grandchildren. Partly because of the common, repeated names, but also just because there got to be so many! Luckily, the author did find ways to refresh my memory. I found it interesting at the end as the generations passed on to the next monarch(s) – something we usually don’t think about – those sisters became further and further away from the crown every time it passed on.

Maio 13, 9:51pm

12x12 Series, (April) MysteryKIT

File M for Murder / Miranda James
3.5 stars

Archivist and rare book cataloguer Charlie Harris’ adult daughter, Laura, has come “home” for a semester to teach acting at the local college. Unfortunately, the distasteful playwright Connor Lawson is also in town. He just rubs Charlie the wrong way! Not only does Connor happen to be working with Laura, Charlie finds out Laura once dated him, and he does not want to take no for an answer. It’s not long before Laura gets some threatening mail. And a bit later… someone is found murdered.

I do enjoy this series! As a librarian (and a cataloguer), I like the library tidbits included (the author is a library cataloguer). There’s some fun interaction between Charlie, Laura, and Charlie’s son, Sean (and a couple of boarders at Charlie’s house), too. And I have to mention Charlie’s smart Maine Coon cat (all 36 lbs of him!), although I do feel like Diesel wasn’t as much in this one as the others, but it’s been a while, so I might not be remembering. The murder doesn’t actually happen until about 1/3 of the way into the book, as the first bit is introductions to the characters. I really do enjoy this series and will be continuing.

Maio 16, 3:19pm

12x12 Read Thru Time, Reading Thru Time, Travel Across Canada

Late Nights on Air / Elizabeth Hay
2 stars

This story revolves around people who work at a radio station in the mid-1970s in Yellowknife, NWT. Dido and Gina are fairly new to Yellowknife and the radio station. All the men seem to be attracted to Dido.

Wow, this was boring. There were a couple of mildly interesting things that happened – thee was debate on a new pipeline that a company wanted to put in and a woman disappeared in winter. But, overall, pretty slow and boring. And I didn’t see one likable thing about Dido, who seemed to just go back and forth between the men. In fact, I don’t think I really liked very many of the characters… maybe Gwen, but then I skimmed so much of the book in the end, so hard to say if she really was likable.

I’m not sure why I added it to the tbr… looking now, I see it was either nominated for or won the Giller Prize, which should have been a red flag waving me away, but if the story initially sounds interesting, I will still often try them. I see the GR description also says “Written in gorgeous prose…”, which should also be a warning to me.

Maio 16, 3:42pm

12x12 Series, (April) HistoryCAT

The Valley of Horses / Jean M. Auel
3.25 stars

A continuation of “The Clan of the Cave Bear”, I won’t say too much about how it happened, but in this book, Ayla is on her own, trying to survive, and looking for what the Clan call “the Others” – that is, people of her kind. She finds a nice spot to settle and manages to tame a horse, and raise a lion cub! Meanwhile (and I missed the circumstances around it), two brothers, Jondalar and Thonalan are travelling. Thonalan becomes injured, so they find a group of people to stay with while he improves.

I listened to the audio, so I did miss some things. Overall, I liked the story (I preferred Ayla’s chapters), but (and I will use terminology I found in other reviews), I didn’t think the “caveman porn” was necessary (though there was less of it than I expected, based on reviews). I could have done without the majority of it, though. I do hear it gets worse as the series goes on, but I think (for now), the story is interesting enough for me to continue to the next book. I also thought, for a prehistoric man, Jondalar was maybe a bit too contemporary in his attitudes toward women. Not everything was contemporary, but certainly more than I expected, although I guess we don’t really know what prehistoric culture was like. I did enjoy learning about the making of fire, tools, and the survival strategies and I loved Ayla’s animal companions. ¼ star was taken off for the caveman porn aspect.

Maio 19, 12:17am

12x12 PBT, Fly the Skies, RandomCAT

Orphan Train / Christina Baker Kline
4 stars

In 2011, teenaged orphan/foster “child” Molly is in trouble and has to do some community service. Her boyfriend’s mom works for a rich old lady and gets her an interview with the lady to help her sort out her attic as her community service. While helping Vivian, Molly learns more about Vivian’s life as an orphan/foster child – starting in the 1920s – and as she grew up. Vivian started life in Ireland as Niamh (pronounced Neev), and came to New York City with her family. It wasn’t long before she was on her own and was sent on a train heading west with other orphans. This is a train that brought orphans to families who “wanted” them (or wanted free labour), and she was shuffled around a bit more.

I really liked this. I thought Vivian’s story was more interesting than Molly’s, though I did like the friendship that developed between them. I did know about these trains, as I’m sure I’ve read another book on the topic. (Looked it up, similar situation with the British Home Children who were sent to Canada…) My edition of the book has an author’s note, reading guide, etc, which included some photos of some of the real “orphan train” children.

Maio 22, 11:35pm

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, GenreCAT

Hallucinations / Oliver Sacks
3.25 stars

Oliver Sacks is a neuroscientist, and this book includes essays on the topic of hallucinations. There were chapters on blindness, Parkinsons, epilepsy, drugs, migraines, narcolepsy, and a lot more, as well as a couple of chapters on auditory and smell hallucinations.

It was mostly interesting, but some parts did lose my interest. His books are like that for me (well, the few that I’ve read).

Maio 23, 11:52am

>166 LibraryCin: I think I'll put this one on the maybe list. I would at least like to read the chapter on smellucinations (which if not already a word, should be). I get what you mean about some parts not being as interesting as others in his books.

Editado: Maio 23, 3:05pm

>167 rabbitprincess: smellucinations
LOL! That's a great word!

Editado: Maio 27, 10:40pm

12x12 Audio

Shadow on the Crown / Patricia Bracewell
3 stars

In the early 1000s, Emma of Normandy was chosen by her mother to travel to England to marry the older king. She was more the age of his eldest son, but she was also ambitious. The agreement was that she would be made queen (the king’s previous wife and mother of his many sons was never made queen). Things get dangerous for Emma when the Danish king attacks England, even though Emma’s mother is Danish.

Although I’m only rating it “ok”, I will add the second book to my tbr. I don’t think I’ve read anything (or if I have, it’s very little) about this time period, so I’d like to know more. I listened to the audio, so I’m certain that’s why I missed things. It did pick up for me in the middle. There were a few other perspectives in the book, but it took me a while to “catch” this.

Maio 27, 10:40pm

12x12 Travel, AlphaKIT, MysteryKIT

Headhunters / Jo Nesbo
3 stars

Roger Brown is a headhunter, pretty much the best. He is married to Diana, but can’t really afford the lifestyle she wants. She runs a small art gallery (that he paid for). When the former head of a tech company in Amsterdam comes to Norway, he is the perfect candidate for a big tech company in Oslo. When Roger meets him, he also discovers that he has a rare piece of artwork. Far too tempting for the sometimes-art thief/forger! And things go very awry…

It took me a while to “get into” this. Even when it picked up, unfortunately, my mind was a bit elsewhere, but I did get my mind back on what I was reading after a bit. At first, the twist at the end confused me a bit, but it was explained. It’s kind of one of those things where it’s tempting to go back knowing what you know “now”, at the end of the book, to see how you had been led astray in your thinking. I’m rating it “ok”, but I feel like if my mind had been paying better attention at the moment it picked up, I “should” be rating it good.

Maio 30, 4:12pm

12x12 Off the Shelf, ScaredyKIT, AlphaKIT

The Invited / Jennifer McMahon
4.25 stars

In the early 20th century, Hattie was seen as a “witch” because she saw things before they happened. In 1924, she warned people not to send their children to school because it was going to be burned down. She was right – three kids died and the townspeople hanged Hattie for it. (This was the opening chapter, so not a spoiler.)

In 2015, Helen and Nate bought the land that Hattie had lived on. They lived in an old trailer while they built their dream home. Helen had been a history teacher, so she loved to research the history of the land they bought, so she learned more and more about Hattie and her descendants as she went. She brought in antique pieces to build into their home. But, Helen was also seeing Hattie, who seemed to be trying to communicate… Nate, a science teacher with a love for the local wildlife on their land (they live beside a bog), was drawn toward a white doe he catches glimpses of, but can’t seem to get a photo.

Next door, a young Olive, whose mother disappeared a year earlier (she apparently ran off with a man), doesn’t want Helen and Nate living on Hattie’s land. Olive and her mother were convinced Hattie had left a treasure and they were on the hunt to find it. Olive still planned to find it.

The chapters mostly went back and forth between Helen and Olive in 2015. There were only a few flashback chapters to traumatizing incidents. This is another really good book by Jennifer McMahon. She is very good at creepy. It would have been more so if I’d read more at night (tried to, but I fell asleep a couple of times – not due to the book, however!). I found following Helen more interesting than following Olive, but of course the stories do come together with a surprise end (though I guessed it only a few pages before it was revealed).

Maio 31, 11:14pm

12x12 Oh Canada, PBT Trim, Trim the TBR (Classic), GenreCAT, Travel Across Canada

Herbert has Lots for a Buck / Elizabeth McLachlan
4 stars

This book looks at twelve small towns on the Canadian Prairies, four towns in each of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. These are towns that have reinvented themselves to come back from dying out completely. One chapter for each town tells us the history of the town and what they’ve done to keep the town alive.

I grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan, so I found this really interesting. It might have helped that I know some of the towns (and I know about Rosebud, AB and Vulcan, AB and their “claims to fame,” so to speak); however, I really do think the stories of these towns could be interesting to anyone. The author really does write the stories of the towns very well. The book reminded me a bit of CBC’s “Still Standing”, except the book includes more town history, in addition to the current situations in the towns.

Favourites of mine were Craik, SK (now an eco-village) and Neubergthal, MB (done up as a historical Mennonite village). My Dad’s background is Mennonite, so that might also have helped with the interest there. Other towns (you can guess what Vulcan is famous for): Rosebud is for the dinner theatre in town; Warner, AB for a world-class women’s hockey program; Elbow, SK for their marina, Beacham, SK for the artists in town; Inglis, MB for their “elevator row” (historical grain elevators). The title really drew me to the book, as I have family in Herbert, SK. The author did not include Herbert as one of the essays, but she mentioned a bit about it (and the title) in the epilogue.

Jun 1, 7:09am

>172 LibraryCin: That does sound interesting. I love the specificity of local history: these people in this place at this time.

Jun 1, 9:21pm

>173 spiralsheep: That's what I was thinking. These stories are interesting, whether or not one grew up in a small town, on the prairies, or whether or not one has anything in common with the people and places. Still interesting stories!

Jun 1, 9:56pm

12x12 Travel, Trim the TBR (Classic), BingoDOG, AlphaKIT

Naked and Marooned / Ed Stafford
3 stars

The author decided he wanted to maroon himself on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific (I believe in Fiji) for 60 days with nothing, including no clothes! Now, because he got a tv deal, he did have to take a camera and microphone, and there were daily “checks” (via note), if needed; also the drop place for the notes was also meant to replenish batteries. The notes were not to include anything to motivate.

This was interesting. I listened to the audio, though, so as is often the case, I did lose interest at times. I had a real hard time listening to how he hunted and killed, though. (Even the tv show did not air one of his (more brutal) kills.) The book not only looked at how he survived, but also he reflected on his mental state being so isolated.

Jun 4, 10:02pm

12x12 Animals, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG, Reading Through Time

The Constant Rabbit / Jasper Fforde
3.25 stars

It was in the late 1960s that the “Event” happened. The Event caused rabbits (and a few other animals...though not nearly as many as the rabbits) to become anthropomorphized. It’s decades later and many people are leporiphobes. Peter Knox (who works for the Rabbit Compliance Taskforce, sort of tracking down specific rabbits, I think) discovers a long-ago college friend (and rabbit) Connie has moved in next door, along with her husband.

My summary might not be exactly right, as I found the first half-ish of the book quite confusing. I ended up quite enjoying the second half, though, once I (kind of) figured out what was going on… though I don’t want to say too much more in my summary so as not to give anything away. So for the first bit of the book, I kept thinking – ok, Fforde is way too smart for me because this is over my head. I did like the second half-ish, though. At that point, there seemed to be more of a plot and things happened, and I understood what was happening. Anyway, this all made me unsure how to rate it, so I went with 3.25, between ok and good. It seems there was a bunch of “deep” satire that went over my head, but once there as a plot, I liked it!

Jun 5, 3:05pm

12x12 Travel, ScaredyKIT, Fly the Skies, PBT

My Sister, the Serial Killer / Oyinkan Brathwaite
3.5 stars

Korede is a nurse in Lagos, Nigeria. Her younger sister, Ayoola, has managed to murder each of her last three boyfriends and Korede is always there to help her out. But when Ayoola sets her sights on a doctor Korede works with… a man Korede has a crush on herself, she needs to figure out what to do.

This was good. Short chapters and a short book overall, so fast to read. But I was certainly interested. The book also looks back in time at the sisters’ relationship with their father (who died ten years earlier).

Editado: Jun 8, 9:31pm

12x12 Nonfiction, Pursue It

Mudlark: In Search of London's Past Along the River Thames / Lara Maiklem
3 stars

The author is a collector of sorts. “Mudlarking” is collecting items/artifacts that are washed up and found in the mud along the banks of the Thames River, and apparently a lot of people do this. Some of these items are hundreds of years old. Some of the items, she is able to restore herself, and some she sends away for restoration. The chapters are organized by the area, and each will give a bit of history of the area (as this can affect the types of items found there), combined with some of the items she has found and the history of those items.

I found some chapters more interesting than others – the one at Greenwich, which looked at some Tudor history (the Greenwich Castle was one of Henry VIII’s favourite residences), along with animal bones and utensils found (and thus meals and utensils used during Tudor times). Oddly, the other chapter that held my interest more than others was the one of current day garbage. Overall, I’m calling this one ok. I had hoped to like it more – the premise is something I feel like I am interested in – but for some reason, it just couldn’t hold my interest all the way through.

Jun 10, 10:16am

>178 LibraryCin: I've been mudlarking on the Thames (depending on definitions) and I can confirm that like any beachcombing it's probably more interesting to do than to read about, although I am still looking for good books about the experience. :-)

Jun 10, 9:37pm

>179 spiralsheep: I think the other reviews are a bit better if you wanted to give this a try. I had never heard of mudlarking before!

Jun 11, 7:27am

>180 LibraryCin: I saw Lara Maiklem's old pre-instagram blog years ago and I don't expect the book has anything new, but I might put it on my possible To Read list for next year as it's in my local library along with Lisa Woollett's Rag and bone : a family history of what we've thrown away which might cover more of my interests.

People hypothetically know the Thames is tidal, hence the giant flood barrier, but only a small percentage of people descend to the beaches. The lighter rubbish tends to accumulate around breakwaters and in corners such as at the bottom of steps so the beaches that are easiest to access are often only accessible through an accumulation of, for example, several hundred years of animal bones with plastic trash on top. Navigating over that and the mud in exchange for a few 19th century pipe clays (the equivalent of cigarette butts) and the risk of E.coli or worse probably isn't worth it to most people. I enjoy beachcombing though. :-)

Jun 11, 9:39pm

>181 spiralsheep: Yeah, I'm not sure it would be for me! It's fun finding stuff, but getting stuck in the mud, etc... maybe not so much for me! LoL!

Jun 12, 4:05pm

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR (Classic), BingoDOG, GenreCAT, Travel Across Canada

Mrs. Mike / Benedict and Nancy Freedman
3 stars

In the early 1900s, Katherine (Kathy) is sent to Calgary, Alberta to live with her uncle due to her health, where she meets RCMP Mike. Although Kathy is only 16, they get married and move further north – where there aren’t many white women, and life is much more primitive than Kathy is used to.

Apparently this is based on a real person – I only found that out by looking at a few other reviews. I listened to the audio, which wavered in and out on holding my attention (or not). It was ok. Some parts I liked, but overall, ok. Had a hard time with a couple of parts about injured animals. I’m not sure I particularly liked any of the characters. Except for one secondary character (due to the unusual name), I tended to get those secondary characters mixed up. One of the good things, though, were descriptions of hardships encountered: loss, fire...

Jun 13, 4:48pm

12x12 Audio, MysteryKIT, AlphaKIT

The ABC Murders / Agatha Christie
(BBC Dramatization)
3 stars

So, when someone is killing people starting with the beginning of the alphabet, they bring Poirot in by sending letters hinting at the next murder to come. So, the first person to die had both initials start with A and the town she was in started with A; then B, then C…

I listened to the BBC Dramatization (though I didn’t grab it on purpose), which is usually better for me than the books. I’ve found that many of these “golden age” (and earlier) mysteries just aren’t my thing. I liked the premise behind it, but this one still (even the dramatization) didn’t hold my attention well enough to follow everything. It may have been better (for me) than reading the actual book, though.

Jun 17, 10:31pm

12x12 BIPOC, Trim the TBR (Classic), GenreCAT

Roots / Alex Haley
3.5 stars

In the mid-18th century, Kunta Kinte grew up in “The” Gambia, Africa. When he is about 17 “rains”, he is kidnapped and taken on a boat across the “big water” and finds himself in a strange new world; he doesn’t even understand the language. He tries to escape multiple times, but the 4th time, he is caught and punished severely. The book follows not only the rest of his life, but the lives of some of his descendants. Next up, his daughter, Kizzy; one of her sons, who later becomes known as “Chicken George”, as he raises and fights roosters; George’s son Tom becomes a blacksmith…

It’s starts of as fiction, but the last few chapters chronicle Alex Haley’s genealogical research and findings. I know there was controversy, but Haley even says himself that the people are real and as many situations as he could find in his research as possible are real; obviously specific conversations, etc. are fictionalized. I’ve added tags for historical fiction and biographical fiction, but also memoir for the last chapters. This had nothing to do with my rating, though.

3.5 stars for me is good. I liked it. It’s also very long. I don’t often rate really long books much higher than 3.5 stars. I think that it’s hard to sustain “really good” in a book over 800+ pages! (And keep in mind, I’m generally a tough rater, anyway.) I admire that this was a groundbreaking book at the time it was published, and it reached a wider audience with the tv mini-series. I only watched the movie as an adult (I was a kid when it would have originally aired on tv). There was a longer section in Africa than I’d expected. I wasn’t crazy about the cockfighting (though, obviously it happened – and sadly, still does). Overall, though, good book. I’m glad I finally read it.

Jun 19, 11:35pm

12x12 Series, RandomCAT

The Sleeping Beauty / Mercedes Lackey
4 stars

The godmother of the kingdom Eltaria, Lily, has been the Fairy Godmother there for about 300 years. Rosa is the current princess, and The Tradition is trying to morph Rosa’s life into a fairy tale (and mixing the fairy tales up in the process). When Rosa’s mother dies, Lily convinces Rosa’s father that he and Lily should marry in order to keep the kingdom safe. To keep up appearances for The Tradition, Lily acts as the Evil Stepmother to Rosa, particularly after the King dies.

At this point, in order to protect the small, but rich, kingdom from invaders, Lily (aka Queen Sable) invites princes from the neighbouring kingdoms to come vie for Rosa’s hand. To do this, Lily and Rosa (with the help of Lily’s magic mirror) come up with “trials” for the princes to compete in. One of the princes (in actual fact, a Hero), Siegfried is big and more of a fighter than anything, but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Also competing are Siegfried’s new friend Leopold and the charming and handsome Desmond.

I really enjoyed this, especially from about half-way through (maybe a bit earlier) when the trials began. The trials were fun. I also loved Siegfried, who has a wonderful way with animals. He also added some great humour into the book. Rosa and Lily were strong, tough women, which I also really liked.

Jun 20, 6:56am

>186 LibraryCin: That sounds terrific fun!

Jun 20, 1:15pm

>187 spiralsheep: Technically it's 5th (I think) in a series, but you really don't need to read them in order (unless, like me, you are a bit OCD about it! LOL!)

Now, I couldn't recall as I wrote my review (I can go a long time between reading books in a series), but I had an inkling that this has been my favourite. Looking at my ratings for the others, this is, indeed, the case.

Jun 20, 6:17pm

>188 LibraryCin: Looks like it's most people's favourite in the series. I've added it to my maybe 2021 list.

Jun 20, 9:42pm

>189 spiralsheep: I hope you like it, if you get to it!

Jun 22, 11:04pm

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR (Classic)

I Hunt Killers / Barry Lyga
4 stars

Jasper (aka Jazz) Dent’s father, Billy, is a serial killer (with over 100 murders to his name). His mother disappeared a while ago, and his father is now in jail. Jazz lives with his senile grandmother (Billy’s mother). Although it’s more Jazz taking care of her than the other way around. Jazz is in high school and is afraid, due to how he was raised, that he will turn out like Billy. When there is one murder in town, Jazz is convinced it’s a serial killer, but the police won’t listen because it’s only one and there has to be at least three before they are considered serial. But Jazz not only knows, he is able to predict the next murder… That’s when the police start listening to what Jazz has to say.

I listened to the audio and this was good. Quite a different perspective on a serial killer novel. In addition to the murder mystery aspect of the book, Jazz was dealing with doubts about himself, and not knowing/worrying if/that he might turn out like his dad. I did find it a bit unbelievable that the cop would go to Jazz with details of the murders, but I guess he was hoping Jazz could help. Overall, though, I really liked this; it is a series and I will continue.

Jun 23, 11:29pm

12x12 Travel, KITastrophe, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR (Classic)

The Other Side of the Night: The Carpathia, the Californian and the Night the Titanic Was Lost / Daniel Allen Butler
4.25 stars

This is a book about the sinking of the Titanic, but more from the points of view of two of the closest ships that night. In fact, one of them – the Californian – was within sight distance and saw the distress rockets go up… and the captain, Stanley Lord, didn’t do anything. He was a very authoritarian captain and his subordinates didn’t feel that they could go against him. Further away (unfortunately a full 4 hours or so), was another ship – the Carpathia – whose captain, Arthur Rostron, immediately set sail as fast as the Carpathia had ever gone in her life to get to the Titanic as soon as possible. It was the Carpathia who plucked as many survivors as she could out of the lifeboats to safety.

This was really good. I’m sure I must have read snippets about these other ships in the other Titanic books I’ve read, but I don’t recall details from those books, though I knew the names of the ships. This was very detailed from those points of view. Leading up to the disaster, this also looked at brief biographies of the captains and a bit of history of the ship/cruise and wireless industries. There was also a close look at the inquiries afterward, both in the US and in Britain to get to the bottom of what happened that night

Jun 27, 10:53pm

12x12 Nonfiction, HistoryCAT, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR (Classic)

The Women of the Cousins' War: The Duchess, The Queen, and the King's Mother / Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin, Michael K. Jones
3 stars

This is a biography of three women during the time of the Wars of the Roses (once called “The Cousins’ War”): Elizabeth Woodville (Edward IV’s wife, and the mother of the two “princes in the tower”), Jacquetta “Rivers”(?) (Elizabeth’s mother), and Margaret Beaufort (Henry VII’s mother). Each author writes about one of the women, plus Philippa Gregory writes an introduction on women and history – why you won’t find as much information about women in history and more.

As mentioned in the (quite interesting, I thought) introduction, it’s hard to find information about historical women. Because of that, it’s hard to write an interesting biography, I think. Jacquetta seemed to have the least amount of information to work with. For all three (but especially Jacquetta), there was more about the war and what the men were doing and the big events than about the women themselves, and I’m not as interested in the wars, the fighting, and the politics. So, I tended to skim over those parts, unfortunately, and that’s why I kept my rating to 3 stars, ok.

I did learn a bit, though. Although I’ve read a little bit about the Wars of the Roses, I couldn’t have told you who Jacquetta was. I also get Margaret Beaufort mixed up with Margaret of Anjou (and I’m still not entirely certain who Margaret of Anjou is, although she was around at the same time and was mentioned in this book).

Jun 27, 11:11pm

12x12 PBT, PBT, PBT Trim, Trim the TBR (Classic)

The Silver Linings Playbook / Matthew Quick
3.5 stars

30-year old (he thinks) Pat has just come home with his mom from the “bad place” – the mental institution – where he has been for a while. He doesn’t (initially) realize it’s been actually been years. Pat is convinced he and his wife Nikki will come together after their “apart time” because he trying really hard to better himself, with exercise and choosing to be kind (instead of being right). He, his father, and his brother are all huge football fans of the Eagles. Pat and his brother bond fairly quickly, with the help of the Eagles games, but Pat’s father is having a harder time connecting with Pat. Pat’s best friend Ronnie introduces Pat to Ronnie’s sister-in-law, Tiffany, but Tiffany is just odd. And Pat still loves Nikki and plans to reconcile with her as soon as possible.

I liked this! There way maybe more football than I liked, but still, overall I liked it. I really liked Pat’s therapist. I did see the movie I-don’t-know-how-many-years-ago and remember liking it, too, but I remembered very little about it. I believe it is why I decided to read the book, though. It is a very quick read.

Jul 1, 2:37am

12x12 ARCs

Such a Quiet Place / Megan Miranda
4 stars

Set in a close-knit neighbourhood with a pool, and beyond that, woods and a lake, Harper lives alone after her fiance cheated, then left, and her roommate, Ruby, was arrested and put in jail for killing two of the neighbours – the couple next door. All the neighbours have an online chat where they discuss things, then immediately delete. Ruby was in jail for just over a year before she is let out on a technicality and to everyone’s surprise, she comes back and walks into Harper’s house like nothing had happened! To no surprise, this puts everyone on edge. Harper had, at least, testified in Ruby’s defense, but she was never really sure whether or not Ruby had done it.

I thought this was really good. It kept me reading and wanting to continue reading. Everyone has secrets. There were creepy parts. There was a map at the start of the book to show the layout of the neighbourhood and where each of the main “players” lived on the block, which I thought was a nice addition.

Jul 1, 11:34pm

12x12 ARCs

The Other Passenger / Louise Candlish
4 stars

Jamie and Clare are Gen Xers and become fast friends with Kit and Melia (in their late 20s/early 30s) in January of 2019. Clare and Melia work together. Kit and Jamie start taking the public transit boat on the Thames together. Just before Christmas, Kit disappears; Jamie was the last person to see him, as far as the police know.

This started off slow, but really picked up about half-way through, then again with about a quarter of the book left. Because of the slow start, I wasn’t sure I’d rate it as highly as I did, but the second half pulled me in more, and there were some good twists! I don’t think any of the characters were particularly likeable, though. The book opens with Kit’s disappearance, then backs up as Jamie tells his story. That first half (while it’s still a bit slow), is mostly snippets of each month leading up to Christmas.

Jul 4, 5:02pm

12x12 Off the Shelf, Trim the TBR (Classic), Pursue It

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands / Chris Bohjalian
3.75 stars

Emily (grade 11) was at school when it happened. There was just a couple more days until the end of the school year. Both her parents worked at the nuclear plant in town. The kids at school only knew that sirens were going when they were loaded on to buses and taken away. Emily kept overhearing things about her parents, about how her drunk father had caused this. She needed to disappear. She didn’t want anyone to know she was their daughter, since they were being blamed for the meltdown.

Emily, who since changed her name to Abby, is telling the story in hindsight, and going back and forth in time, and she does jump around, as it’s kind of a conversational tone. There is one dividing line that makes it easier to tell when in time you are as you read: B.C. and A.C. (Before Cameron and After Cameron). Cameron is a young runaway boy that she takes under her wing, as they are both homeless on the streets of Burlington, Vermont.

The book is rough as it shows the life of a homeless teenage girl. I did cry a few times, usually in reference to Maggie, the dog Emily had left behind in the radioactive zone (not that she had a choice). I had to laugh at the “connection” between Emily Dickinson’s poems and the “Gilligan’s Island” theme (and then I sang the poems as they came up in the book)! I quite liked this and it got just a bit more interesting toward the end, but I’m not sure I liked it as much as others I’ve read by Bohjalian.

Jul 5, 9:43pm

12x12 Audio, MysteryKIT

Maisie Dobbs / Jacqueline Winspear
2.5 stars

In 1929, Masie Dobbs is opening up a detective agency and gets her first case. It’s not long before she solves this one, then the book takes us back in time to when she was younger and had to take a job as a servant, where she was not only treated well, but she was helped with an education. Then WWI hit, and she became a nurse.

This might not be a great summary, as I listened to the audio and missed much of it. I was interested at the start, then sort of missed the going back in time (although it did say the year at the start and I sort of wasn’t thinking, as I do – vaguely – recall hearing the new date). From there to the end of the book, what I paid attention to was patchy.

I was somewhat interested again for part of her time during the war. There were very few characters that I remembered who they were when mentioned again later in the book, though. I did like Simon and Maisie’s relationship with her father, Frank. They are pretty much the only other characters I remember (oh, and Lady Rowan – Maisie’s employer when she was a servant). I got the idea that there was another mystery at the end of the book, but I really had no clue what was going on there – apparently (based on other reviews), there was a murder – I had no idea! See how much I missed!? Although it’s considered a mystery, there is next to no time spent on a mystery in the book. Needless to say, I will not be continuing the series.

Jul 7, 10:46pm

12x12 BIPOC, PBT Trim, Trim the TBR (classic), Fly the Skies, RandomCAT

Honolulu / Alan Brennert
4 stars

Named “Regret” by her parents, this little Korean girl so wanted an education but it was forbidden. As a teenager, though, she managed to get permission to travel to Hawaii as a “picture bride”. Immediately upon arrival, along with four other Korean girls she met on the ship, and now self-named Jin (meaning “Gem”), they married their new husbands before being allowed entry into their new country. Jin’s hope had been that her husband would be able to get her an education in Hawaii, but she was sorely disappointed (to put it mildly), not only with this, but with many other things, as well.

I really enjoyed this. I not only learned about the life of a picture bride, I learned about Hawaii in the early 20th century, and about Korea and the interactions with Japan that I really knew nothing about. I was impressed with how many real-life people Brennert brought into the story.

Jul 10, 10:39pm

12x12 Reading Through Time, Read Thru Time, Pursue It

A Night Divided / Jennifer A. Nielsen
4 stars

Overnight, one night in 1961, a barbed wire fence went up in the middle of Berlin. It was the beginning of the Berlin Wall, which of course, was built up as a concrete barrier in later months. Gerta is only 8-years old, and her father and middle brother were in West Berlin at the time. They have no way back. When Gerta is 12, she sees her brother on the other side of the wall as she is walking to school. When she sees her father a few days later, he tries to signal something to her: he wants her to dig her way to escape.

This was really good. I have to admit I really knew very little about the Berlin Wall (beyond that it came down in 1989) or the politics surrounding it, so this was interesting to learn. And heartbreaking for those families who were separated. In an interview with the author at the end of the book, it seems that most families were eventually reunited, but the exceptions were those people who were “dissidents” (as Gerta’s father is in the book) – those who were known to not agree with how things were being run.

Jul 10, 10:47pm

12x12 Series, AlphaKIT

Hana / Lauren Oliver
3.5 stars

This is a short story in the Delirium series. Hana is coming up to the time she will be “cured” – that is, she will not be able to love. In the months leading up to that time, however, she has discovered an underground of young people who have not yet been cured. They party, dance, and love before they will no longer be able to.

This was good. Very short, but a quick capture of one of the characters in the series. I have read the first in the series and there are more short stories following different characters, as well as at least two more full-length books in the series.

Jul 11, 6:21pm

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR (Classic), AlphaKIT, GenreCAT

Strange Bedpersons / Jennifer Crusie
3 stars

Tess and Nick broke up a while back. When Nick shows up at Tess’s door, he needs a favour. In order for a big promotion at his work (he’s a lawyer and his work (and money) has always been his priority), he needs someone to pose as his fiancee for a weekend event and he’s hoping Tess will help him out. They never had much in common beyond a wild attraction, and although Tess hesitates, she agrees. Not only that, she convinces her best friend to accompany Nick’s friend/fellow lawyer (Park) to the same weekend gathering, although she really can’t stand Park.

This was ok. Romance is not usually my “thing”, but sometimes the chick lit has enough other in it that it can be fun and light and enjoyable to me. There were attempts at humour that didn’t really make me laugh in this one, and I’m not sure I really liked any of the characters. There was a secondary plotline that was kind of interesting with a bit of a twist in it, which I liked. This was short and will be forgotten fairly soon, I’m sure.

Jul 14, 11:26pm

12x12 Reading Through Time, Read Thru Time, PBT, GenreCAT, Pursue It

The Midnight Bargain / C.L. Polk
3.5 stars

Beatrice wants to spend her life learning magic, doing magic, and becoming a mage. With this, she wants to help her merchant father. Unfortunately, society (and her father) have other plans for her: marriage and children. And as soon as a woman is married, on goes the collar to stifle all magic because it might hurt any forthcoming children. So, women don’t get to do magic (only men) until they are beyond childbearing years.

In a bookstore, as Beatrice hunts for grimoires (textbooks) to help her learn magic, she runs into a brother and sister from a wealthy family who could have an influence on her father’s business. The sister, Ysbeta, wants the same grimoire Beatirce has her hands on. Playing peacemaker, Ysbeta’s brother suggests Beatrice and Ysbeta learn together, but Ysbeta buys the book and walks out without providing an invitation/calling card for Beatrice to meet her to study. In the meantime, it is bargaining season when the eligible men come to woo the eligible daughters and/or bargain with their fathers.

This was good. Fantasy can be hit or miss for me, depending on the type of fantasy. This was urban fantasy, so more my “thing”. There is also a romance mixed in, but not too much romance for my liking, either. Overall, I liked it.

Jul 14, 11:52pm

12x12 Oh Canada, ScaredyKIT, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG

The Sun Down Motel / Simone St. James
4 stars

In 1982, Viv arrives in Fell, New York, and starts working the night shift at the Sun Down Motel. It’s not long before she learns of the visitors (some alive, some not) to the motel. As she learns more about the murders (and deaths) that happened in the previous few years, she does some investigating and comes up with a theory about what happened. But, not long after, Viv herself disappears.

In 2017, Viv’s niece Carly arrives in Fell. Carly has a fascination with true crime, and with her mother (Viv’s sister) recently passed away, Carly feels like she can investigate what happened to Viv. Following in her aunt’s footsteps, Carly also starts working at the Sun Down Motel… only to discover some of those same visitors to the motel.

I listened to the audio. There were two different voices for each of the main characters. It didn’t hold my attention 100%, but I was interested enough that plenty of times, I “rewound” to hear what I’d missed. There was some good atmosphere, with some creepy happenings.

Jul 18, 11:32pm

12x12 BIPOC, HistoryCAT

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents / Isabel Wilkerson
3.75 stars

In this book, African-American author, Isabel Wilkerson, argues that the United States has a caste system with African-Americans at the bottom. She makes comparisons to the caste system in India (with Untouchables at the bottom) and with the Nazi regime in Germany. Caste is a bit different from social class in that you are born into your caste and you can never get out of it.

This was interesting. I was particularly drawn in by the Nazi comparisons, and I think that’s what I will remember the most of this book. I have to admit I unlikely to remember the list of “pillars” of the system (she did a chapter on each). I’d like to say the first half (which included those pillars) wasn’t as interesting, but it just depended on what she was talking about at the time. She has plenty of anecdotes through history, including her own. She also discusses politics, particularly the 2016 election, as well as the elections that brought Barack Obama to power. Of course, there is a lot about slavery, the Jim Crow laws, and the Confederacy, as well. She does do a really good job explaining and making the comparisons. This is – most definitely – well worth reading.

Jul 20, 11:58pm

12x12 Series, MysteryKIT, Trim the TBR

The 9th Judgment / James Patterson
3 stars

There is someone out there killing mothers and their babies. Also, there is a thief robbing people; after a high profile robbery (an actor), the actor’s wife is murdered and it appears that the robber is also the murderer.

I listened to the audio and overall, this was ok. It seemed like every time there was a focus on the women’s personal lives, it was all about sex. Ugh! Did they even meet up beyond the one time at the end of the book? I’m at a point where it may not be worth it to continue on. The audio had my attention sometimes.

Jul 24, 11:34pm

12x12 Nonfiction, KITastrophe, AlphaKIT

Angry Weather / Friederike Otto
3.5 stars

Scientists are now able to study (some? most?) weather events and be able to determine how much more likely that event was made by climate change (or if climate change even made it more likely at all)! That is, they do it quickly, before the event fades from people’s memories and other events have happened in the meantime. This is unusual, since for scientists, peer review is important before publishing results of studies, but this can take months to do.

This book explains how they do that, primarily using models. There is a very small group of scientists worldwide who are currently doing this; the author is one of those scientists. She also looks at a few specific weather events and explains how they came up with their findings.

I thought this was good. There’s more to it than I’ve mentioned in my summary, and I can’t explain it well, but I did find it interesting. It may have been particularly interesting because about a month ago, there was an extreme heat wave where I am in Alberta, as well as in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. I had actually heard a couple of weeks ago that they had determined that this heat wave WAS more likely due to climate change and that it was 2C warmer than it would otherwise have been without climate change; when I heard that, I had no idea that a book I’d planned to pick up this month was going to look at that very thing! And, checking online, it was this group of scientists who came up with that.

Jul 28, 4:56pm

12x12 Audio

The Almost Sisters / Joshilyn Jackson
3 stars

When 38-year old graphic novel writer/artist Leia discovers she is pregnant, she is not unhappy. But she is single and this is the result of a one-night stand with someone she knows only as “Batman”, whom she met at a comic convention. Before she gets a chance to tell any of her family, she discovers her brother-in-law has been cheating and has left her sister, AND her grandmother is in bad shape with dementia. She must go see her grandmother, Birchie. Birchie is a rich woman who lives in a town that bears her family name and her best friend Wattie has been living with her for a long time, taking care of her.

I listened to the audio and it was ok. It held my interest more the further I got into it. The author herself read it, and she did a good job. I could have done without the entire plot of Leia’s graphic novel, though; that bored me, and there was too much of it. But overall, I’m calling this one “ok”. Nothing overly exciting or special, but it wasn’t bad.

Jul 28, 5:09pm

12x12 ARCs

Never Saw Me Coming / Vera Kurian
4 stars

Chloe is a psychopath. She will be attending university in Washington, D.C. She chose this school for two reasons: 1. she was able to get into a program where a resident academic/psychologist (or psychiatrist?) is studying psychopaths, and her tuition is paid; 2. Will goes to school there. Chloe needs to find Will, and she is counting down from 60 days to what will happen once she’s found him…

Andre is also in the program, but actually managed to fake his way in! He is not really a psychopath, but had other psychological issues when he was a bit younger (that, in many cases, does lead to a later diagnosis of psychopathy), and he applied as a joke. When he was accepted, it was hard to turn down the free tuition. There are five other psychopaths in Dr. Wyman’s program.

I’ve been reading a lot of mystery/thrillers lately (it has overtaken historical fiction as my current favourite genre), but many of them blend together a while after I finished. What I liked about this one is it’s a bit different with multiple psychopaths running around. The main viewpoint is Chloe’s, but Andre’s POV is followed, as well as a few others as the story goes on. I didn’t quite believe that someone would be able to fake their way in to the program with someone who has studied psychopaths for decades, but I put that aside to “enjoy” the story.

Jul 28, 5:13pm

>209 LibraryCin: That one does sound intriguing!

Jul 28, 5:23pm

>209 LibraryCin: so, do they have group therapy or something? He just invited all these psychopaths to come to the campus?

Editado: Jul 28, 5:28pm

>211 VictoriaPL: No, they don't know the others in the program.

They are each given a watch and they need to check in at random intervals when they are contacted via the watch with where they are at the time, and a scale on how they are feeling (are you angry, are you happy, rate 1-7, for example) They also have to come in to do some tests (some online, some not) in person for the study.

Jul 29, 4:09pm

12x12 Animals, PBT, Pursue It

Pride and Prejudice and Kitties / Pamela Jane, Deborah Guyol, Jane Austen
3 stars

This is a (partial) rewrite of “Pride and Prejudice” with all the characters as cats.

It was cute; it was silly; it was ok. There were some parts that made me smile or laugh. It’s a short, fast read. There were cat photos included with subtitled phrases from the book to fit the photo; the photos were taken specifically for the book (and they thanked the people and cats in the acknowledgments at the end; I thought one of my cats had an unusual name, but it was kind of fun to see one of the photographed cats also has his name: Io.) Some of the actual text of P&P was included, as well. It went back and forth between the characters as cats and the actual text (which didn’t take away from the characters as cats – that is, it still “fit”). The text of the original is in italics, so easy to tell.

Jul 30, 5:18pm

12x12 Oh Canada, Travel Across Canada, Trim the TBR (Classic)

The Marrow Thieves / Cherie Dimaline
3.5 stars

It’s sometime in the future, and Indigenous people are being hunted by non-Indigenous for their bone marrow, as there is something in it that helps people dream, and Indigenous are the only ones who are now able to dream. Frenchie, a 16-year old(?) Metis boy, has lost both his parents and his older brother, so he’s on his own until he comes across a group of Indigenous people travelling north.

This was good. I had a bit of trouble getting into it at the very start, but it only took a couple of chapters. I didn’t like one of the decisions Frenchie made near the end of the book, but that ended up working out better than I’d expected. I also thought the very end was unrealistic, but it was good up to that point. It’s a pretty fast read.

Jul 30, 5:28pm

>214 LibraryCin: interesting!

Jul 31, 8:49am

>214 LibraryCin: Someday I will read this! The author gave the keynote speech at a conference I attended a few years ago.

Jul 31, 10:10pm

>216 rabbitprincess: Oh, I bet that was interesting!

Ago 2, 2:48pm

12x12 Oh Canada, Travel Across Canada

The Most Precious Substance on Earth / Shashi Bhat
3.5 stars

Nina is an East Indian girl, growing up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is mostly vignettes of her life, starting in grade 9 in the 1990s and continuing through high school and beyond, as she becomes a teacher and navigates online dating.

I thought this was good. I liked Nina’s parents, and I liked many of the pop culture references. I was a bit confused that there was something at the beginning that never seemed to be tied up, though. I kept wondering if it would resurface later in the book, but it didn’t – unless I missed it.

Ago 4, 10:58pm

12x12 Animals, MysteryKIT

Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs / Blaize Clement
3.75 stars

When pet sitter Dixie is at the vet’s to pick up one of the pets she is caring for (parrot Big Bubba), a girl and her stepfather come in. There’s something odd about the two of them, but Dixie’s friend, Hetty, offers the girl, Jaz, a job helping take care of the service dog Hetty is training. Not long after, three young thugs enter Big Bubba’s home while Dixie is there, looking for Jaz! A bit later, still, Dixie’s high school friend comes by, desperate for help, as her rich husband has been kidnapped and is asking for a $1 million ransom payment.

This is the 5th in the series, and it’s not entirely implausible Dixie’s friend would come to her, as she used to be a cop. I am still really enjoying this series, and in this one, I liked the additional info provided about parrots (even though they didn’t have much to do with the storyline). I also felt like this one was a bit different from the usual murder storylines in cozy mysteries.

Ago 6, 10:01pm

12x12 Audio

Before We Were Yours / Lisa Wingate
3.75 stars

In the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, the Tennessee Children’s Home Society was seen as a positive thing for adopting out poor orphans to wealthy families. It was only discovered in 1950 that many of those kids had families who wanted them. Many of those kids were kidnapped and kept in orphanages, abused, and finally sold.

This fictional account follows 12-year old Rill and her four siblings who were taken off their parents’ boat to live in an orphanage, then to be adopted out. There is also a present day story where Avery is trying to figure out something her grandmother Judy didn’t want anyone to know, as a stranger has a letter for Grandma Judy, but the letter isn’t allowed into anyone else’s hands except Judy, whose mind is no longer well.

I listened to the audio and I thought it started off pretty slow, so it took me a bit to get “into” it, and I might have missed a few things at the start (that may or may not answer a question I had near the end). It did pick up, though, and I found myself more engaged. I actually ended with a couple of questions, though; I have a guess as to the answer to one of them, but if it was outwardly answered, unfortunately, I missed that, too. My questions and the slow start are why I couldn’t bring my rating up to 4 stars, but the bulk of the book was engrossing enough that it almost could have been there. I was glad there was an author’s note at the end with more of the true story of the Home Society.

Ago 7, 10:35am

Did you know there is a following book, Before and After by Lisa and her friend Judy Christie? I have it but haven't read it yet. It's nonfiction and tells the life stories of some of the children. Judy worked for a small town newspaper for years and I would guess she did the research although she also writes light fiction.

Editado: Ago 7, 3:36pm

>221 clue: Oh, cool! I did not know that. I will take a look. Thank you!

ETA: That touchstone leads to a page that may be in error.

This appears to be the better page:
Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived…

I've just combined them.

Ago 14, 6:25pm

12x12 Canada, Travel Across Canada, PBT Trim, Trim the TBR (Classic), HistoryCAT, AlphaKIT

The Horseman's Graves / Jacqueline Baker
2.5 stars

This is set near the Sand Hills in Saskatchewan near the Alberta border. It starts in 1909, but quickly moves on to the next generation. I wouldn’t have known it from the story, but the majority of the farmers living nearby are German immigrants, (I think) via Russia.

All these things should have been more interesting to me with a German (via Russia) family background, and I grew up in Southern Sask and have been to the Sand Hills.

I feel like 2.5 might even be a bit generous. There was one storyline that was (somewhat) interesting, but mostly this was boring. I wasn’t all that interested, and I was confused by who some of the characters were and how they related to the story. Well, they were all in the same town/area, but otherwise… Drove me nuts the one character was simply called “the boy”. Seriously? He doesn’t have a name? Come on!

Editado: Ago 15, 3:30pm

12x12 PBT, PBT, Fly the Skies, Pursue It, Travel Across Canada

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir / Samra Habib
3.5 stars

Samra Habib was still a girl when her entire family came to Canada from Pakistan. They were a part of a minority group of Muslims who were discriminated against in their own country. As she grew up, she knew she didn’t see things the same as her parents and she did not want to marry her cousin in the arranged marriage that had been planned. In fact, she wasn’t interested in men at all, and thought she may be asexual. As an adult, she came to realize that she was, in fact, queer. And she learned how to reconcile that with her Muslim faith.

This was good. It did move quickly and it felt like it skipped forward fast in some cases. It was interesting to read about, though. Have to admit (though that wasn’t the entire purpose of the book!), I found the first half more interesting - the parts that focused on her trying to fit in after she immigrated.

Ago 18, 9:38pm

12x12 Reading Through Time, Read Thru Time, Trim the TBR (Classic)

The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business / Christopher Leonard
5 stars

This book looks at the meat industry, with more of a focus on the chicken industry: the way factory farming built up, the history of it. It started with the chicken industry first via Tyson Foods in 1929 with Jim Tyson. His son, Don, later took over and continued to grow the business, eating up all the different steps in the process, in addition to most of the smaller competitors. They control every step of the chicken business and have incredible power over the farmers, who are often driven to bankruptcy. But the banks continue to fund more farmers to take the places of the bankrupt farmers, because the banks get their money back on those defaulted loans from a federal program (that was not originally meant for this purpose!).

While reading the book, it hadn’t occurred to me to rate it as high as I am, but I feel like my reaction to the book warrants it. The anger, the swearing at the book, the emotions the book brought out it me, I think, warrants the 5 stars. It did make me angry and frustrated that things are going this way, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop it… unless the government gets some teeth and stops bowing to the corporate lobbyists for the good of the regular people, the good of the farmers. Well worth the read for anyone who wants to know (and even those who don’t!) what is going on with our modern-day food (or, at least meat) industry.

Ago 18, 9:51pm

12x12 Trim the TBR, Trim the TBR (Classic), GenreCAt

Fairest. Vol. 1: Wide Awake / Bill Willingham
3 stars

This is a spinoff of Wilingham’s “Fables” series. It focuses on Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) and Ali Baba. Ali Baba finds himself a bottle and when an imp comes out of it instead of a genie, he is sorely disappointed. However, the imp explains that Ali Baba needs to find the sleeping princess and wake her with “True Love’s Kiss”. When he finds her, though, there are two sleeping women – and he doesn’t know whom to wake, so he wakes them both – Briar Rose and the Snow Queen, who then chases after them to capture them.

This was ok. Maybe I would have liked it more if I’d read it closer to when I was still reading “Fables” and at the point where this one made more sense? As always, the colour illustrations were very nice, but the story left something to be desired. I will not be continuing this spinoff series.

Ago 19, 9:37pm

12x12 Overflow, GenreCAT, AlphaKIT

Paper Girls. Vol. 1 / Brian K. Vaughan
3.5 stars

It’s the late 1980s. 12-year old Erin is doing her paper route in the early morning hours of Nov. 1, so there are still people wandering about in costumes from Halloween. When a group of boys starts harassing her, three other girls (also delivering their papers – but they are doing so together) come to Erin’s rescue. They stick together the rest of the night, but there are weird things going on… from something that looks like the spaceship from War of the Worlds to other creepy looking monsters roaming about outside. Not only that, the girls’ parents (at least the two whose homes they went to) seem to have disappeared.

I liked this. Nice illustrations (it’s a graphic novel) and I liked the 80s references. It did end on a bit of a cliffhanger and I definitely plan to continue, but it might take me a while to get to the second volume.

Ago 20, 10:00pm

12x12 Travel, PBT, Trim the TBR (Classic)

The Romanov Empress / C.W. Gortner
3.5 stars

This is the story of Maria Feodorovna (aka Minnie), the mother of Nicholas, the last Tsar of Russia. She was a princess in Denmark before she moved to Russia to marry Alexander III, (later) Tsar of Russia. Minnie comes to love her adopted country Russia, has many children, marries them off, and tries to advise her children, even as they become adults. Nicholas, however, in marrying a woman Minnie never wanted him to marry, Alexandra, is more influenced by Alexandra (who, in turn, eventually is influenced by Rasputin, much to Minnie’s aggravation).

Once again, I listened to the audio, and once again, it took me some time to get “into” it. It actually took me a while to figure out exactly who Minnie was! It was also a bit trickier because I don’t know most of the people (though I know more about Nicholas and his family) in this story. I have to admit, once I figured out who some of the people were, it got more interesting, though there were always people throughout the book whom I couldn’t place. In most cases (likely all), I either missed it when the person was introduced, or I simply forgot. It didn’t help that many people had the same name and/or there were very similar nicknames for some (Alecki vs Aleksi (mother? son?– sp? I listened to the audio, so not sure of the spelling… add to that, Alix, who was Minnie’s sister!).

Certainly, it got more interesting with the conflict between Minnie and Niki’s wife. Alexandra when Alexandra was fawning over Rasputin. (But even before Rasputin, they really didn’t get along.) I do think there was a lot of historical detail to the book; it seemed it was well-researched.

Ago 23, 11:29pm

12x12 Oh Canada, Travel Across Canada, HistoryCAT, Trim the TBR (Classic), Pursue It

The Donnelly Album / Ray Fazakas
3.5 stars

The Donnelly family was an Irish family who immigrated to Canada in the mid-1800s. They set up in the township of Biddulph, Ontario. They were rough – they got into fights, they drank, they vandalized neighbours’ barns (including arson), sabotaged competing business… The father, James, was even convicted of murder and spent time in jail. But the entire area was rough and others did these things, too. James and Johanna had seven sons and one daughter. After decades of the violence, locals got tired of it and took things into their own hands. In the end, four of the family were murdered and burned in one house, and one of the sons murdered in another.

I’ve read a couple other books on the Donnellys, so the entire story was not new to me, but I think this book had a lot more detail and more episodes of things happening. There was a LOT of detail. In addition, there were photos – of the people, the places, letters and other primary documents that the author used in his research. There was a LOT of research that went into this, but it was also a bit dry to read at times. I wanted to give it 4 stars for the extensive research, but I’ve kept my rating just under that. 3.5 stars is still good for me.

Ago 25, 10:47pm

12x12 Overflow, ScaredyKIT

The Wicked Deep / Shea Ernshaw
4 stars

In the seaside town of Sparrow, Orgeon, the three Swan sisters, Marguerite, Aurora, and Hazel, were drowned 200 years ago, accused of being witches. But there was a curse. Every year for a few weeks leading up to the summer solstice, they return and inhabit the bodies of three teen girls. While inhabiting these host bodies, they take their revenge by drowning boys they seduce.

Penny lives on the island with the lighthouse with her mother; her father disappeared mysteriously a few years ago. Just before the big party the night they know girls’ bodies will be taken, a strange boy wanders into town, not knowing what happens there every year. He wants to get a job working for Penny on the lighthouse island. But this is really bad timing for a new boy to come to town…

I really enjoyed this! It was not even on my radar, except that it fit a monthly challenge. Primarily the story was set in current day with Penny and Bo, but there were flashbacks to tell the Swan sisters story, as well.

Ago 26, 10:26pm

12x12 BIPOC, PBT, Pursue It, RandomCAT, HistoryCAT, Reading Through Time

Chop Suey Nation / Ann Hui
3.5 stars

Ann Hui grew up in Vancouver, and later moved to Toronto where she became a journalist. In 2016, she decided to do a cross-Canada road trip with her partner while stopping at Western Chinese (aka “Chop Suey Chinese”) restaurants and talking to and learning about their owners and the history of the Chop Suey Chinese restaurants in Canada and North America. This is as she learns that her parents had run a Chinese food restaurant before she was born that she never knew about. She weaves in her father’s story, as he immigrated from China (years after his father and sisters came to Canada), grew up, married, worked in and ran restaurants, and had children.

I listened to the audio, read by the author herself, and quite enjoyed this. I was particularly interested in the chat with the owner of the Silver Inn Restaurant in Calgary (where I live), as I was only there for the first time a couple of years ago. This s where “ginger beef” was invented. (I also hadn’t realized that ginger beef is specifically a Western Canadian dish!) But, there were other interesting stories, too. I have to admit it took a while to get “into” her father’s story – I found it more interesting after he arrived in Canada. Ann Hui did a good job of reading the book. She did stumble over words occasionally, but it didn’t detract from the story,

Ago 27, 8:50am

>231 LibraryCin: This book made me so hungry! I'm glad that Ann Hui read it herself and did a good job with it.

Ago 27, 9:44pm

>232 rabbitprincess: LOL! Yes, makes me want some Chinese food! I don't eat meat often, anymore, but I did indulge in the ginger beef when I finally got to the Silver Inn Restaurant a few years back. mmmm, ginger beef...

Ago 28, 5:45am

>230 LibraryCin: I just read that too and really enjoyed it.

Ago 29, 5:40pm

12x12 PBT, RandomCAT, PBT

The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England / Ian Mortimer
4.25 stars

This is nonfiction. The “time traveller” in the title is the reader; the “guide” is, of course, the book. The book takes us back in time to 14th century England, and walks us through, telling about the places (countryside, cities, towns), the people (classes of people), what they wore, what they ate, how they travelled and where they might stay (inns, people’s houses, which of course are different depending on the person’s wealth and rank). Basics like languages, the calendar and time, money and measurements. There are chapters and health and hygiene, as well as the law and what people did. Some things changed between the early and late 1300s and some of this is described, as well.

I found this so interesting. There is so much detail to immerse you into this time and place in people’s daily lives. And I do like the way it’s set up, with the reader “time travelling” there. I feel like this is the setting for (or at least bits and pieces are) many role-playing games, as well as much fantasy, whether on purpose or not. It turns out this is a series! I will definitely be continuing.

Editado: Ago 30, 6:21am

>235 LibraryCin: I love these books! I have three of them, I am not sure if that is all of the series? Fascinating and easy to read.
Oops, just realised I posted this twice on two different threads! I thought it hadn't saved!

Ago 30, 11:12pm

>236 JayneCM: LOL! I didn't notice who it was on the other thread whom I just replied to and was about to go back and check. Leaning towards it being you... :-)

Set 1, 10:51pm

12x12 Overflow

Eight Cousins / Louisa May Alcott
3 stars

Rose is left an orphan and initially goes to live with her aunts and boy cousins. It’s only a bit later that her Uncle Alec, a doctor, comes along with the intention to raise her, but the aunts are not too sure, so it all starts off and a kind of trial.

It was ok, but it was pretty sickly sweet. Just too much goodness going on with these kids. I did love Uncle Alec, though.

Set 2, 10:00am

>238 LibraryCin: Haha, "too much goodness" is a common Alcott problem, especially with the women! But I liked Eight Cousins, and even more the sequel, Rose in Bloom, when they're all grown up.

Set 2, 9:10pm

>239 christina_reads: I wasn't going to look into the sequel, but now I am kind of intrigued if it's when they are grown...

Set 3, 9:51am

>240 LibraryCin: It is indeed! There's more of a focus on romance, so if that's not your cup of tea, I wouldn't recommend it. I liked it, though! :)

Set 3, 9:47pm

>241 christina_reads: I'll take a closer look. Romance isn't always my thing, but you never know... Thanks for the extra info!

Set 3, 10:59pm

12x12 Oh Canada, Travel Across Canada, AlphaKIT, RandomCAT

Crow Lake / Mary Lawson
4 stars

When Kate is only 7-years old, tragedy hits her family in Northern Ontario. She and her baby sister, Bo, end up being raised by their older brothers, Luke (19-years old) and Matt (17-years old). Luke gives up his future so they can stay together, and also so Matt can finish school and continue to university (he was always the smarter one, anyway – the one expected to go to university). Kate and Matt have a bond.

Grown-up Kate, a professor in Toronto, never thought she’d fall in love, but she has. But she also has a hard time opening up to Daniel about her past and her family, even though they’ve been together for more than a year. Daniel still hasn’t even met her family.

I really liked this. It was slow-moving, but I found even the biology bits interesting. There was tension in Kate’s family, though she didn’t understand much of it when she was a kid. And the neighbours had some drama (this may be putting it lightly) going on at their place, as well. I actually read this over a decade ago, but only remembered siblings and a lake (actually it was a pond). I really didn’t remember much at all, but it was chosen as a book club book, and I’m really glad I reread it.

Set 4, 11:18pm

12x12 Nonfiction, HistoryCAT

The Road to Jonestown / Jeff Guinn
4 stars

Jim Jones was the leader of the Peoples’ Temple. This is the group that, in November 1978, committed mass suicide in Guyana, by “drinking the Kool Aid” (it wasn’t actually Kool Aid, but a similar flavoured drink, laced with cyanide). Over 900 people died that day. This book is actually a biography of Jim Jones, so it looks at his entire life. When he was starting out, he was charismatic, he believed in a world (in the 50s) where races mixed freely, and he believed in socialism, where everyone helped everyone else. The socialism attracted some to his group, as did his so-called healing powers. As his group got bigger, he moved them from Indiana to California, and of course, later to Guyana. He was married, but had several affairs and children.

This was really good. I didn’t realize until I checked it out of the library that the author is Jeff Guinn. It was just last year that I read his book on Bonnie and Clyde and I thought it was so well-researched, as was this one. I actually didn’t know much about Jim Jones or his followers, so this was new to me (except the “Kool Aid” suicide). I can see where he would have been very charismatic and appealing with his outlook on life, initially, at least. I would have liked to know more of the aftermath and the people left behind; I suppose that would have been somewhat extraneous, though, since the book is a biography of Jim.

I listened to the audio, and I do wonder if the book might have some photos (I suspect so – his Bonnie and Clyde book did), so I may have missed out on that, but the narrator was good. It was long, so yes, I did lose interest occasionally, but not often and overall, I thought it was well done.

Set 5, 9:04am

Jeff Guinn is indeed a good author! I liked his Bonnie and Clyde book too.

Set 5, 1:25pm

>245 rabbitprincess: Yeah, I might have to seek out others by him...

Set 8, 12:10am

12x12 PBT, PBT, PBT Trim, Trim the TBR (classic), AlphaKIT

Such a Pretty Face / Cathy Lamb
4 stars

Stevie’s mother was mentally ill and did a bad thing when Stevie was still a child (that I don’t want to give away in my review, even though we found out at the beginning what happened there). Stevie’s grandparents had done their best to take care of Helen (their daughter; Stevie’s mother) and protect her, while also taking care of Stevie and her sister, Sunshine. As an adult, the events of the book take place some months after Stevie had bariatric surgery; she has since lost 170 lbs.

She is trying to figure out who the new skinnier Stevie is, as she tries to deal with the lawyers where she works and the case she hates helping defend; her best friend who is still very overweight seems to have changed toward Stevie; the neighbour down the street, Jake (who only moved in just after Stevie’s surgery), is just way too good-looking and Stevie is completely tongue-tied around him, so she tries to avoid him altogether; and Stevie is trying to help her cousins plan her horrible uncle’s 40th wedding anniversary…

There is a lot going on in this book, and a lot of characters, but I really liked it. There is also a huge mix of very “weighty” (pun not intended initially, but when I realized it was punny, I decided to leave it!) issues in book: mental illness, obesity, abuse, and so much more, but mixed in with the occasional bit of humour. I found myself being horrified by Helen, Stevie’s uncle, her “friend”, and the lawyer defending that case, but then the author would turn around and put Stevie in some ridiculous situation (usually trying to avoid Jake!), and I’d be laughing. I thought she did that very well. II think a bunch of very quirky characters made it “easy” to throw in the humour. At the same time, the author did a good job of showing the struggle that Helen went through with her schizophrenia.

I was surprised at the lower ratings, but on reading the reviews, I can see why they rated it what they did, but it wasn’t enough to bring my rating or enjoyment of the book down (although some of the quirky characters were a bit too quirky for me!). I think all the emotions were in this book (there was also a lot of love).

Set 8, 12:25am

12x12 Series, PBT, Trim the TBR (Classic), GenreCAT, AlphaKIT

Where She Went / Gayle Forman
3 stars

Three years ago, Adam and Mia split. Mia had lost her family and had barely survived herself. She was about to head to Julliard to study the cello. Adam, meanwhile, became a famous rock star. This is told from Adam’s point of view as he and Mia meet up again in New York after one of Mia’s concerts.

I listened to the audio and I had no issues with it. But overall, I thought the story was ok. It’s been a long time since I read the first book, but I did think the author did a nice job with the recap. It seemed to fill me in on everything I needed to know that I had forgotten. I guess music stories are not necessarily all that appealing for me, nor are rock star celebrity stories. Of course, this is a YA book, so I can see where both of those things are maybe more appealing for younger people.

Set 10, 10:22pm

12x12 Audio, HistoryCAT

Notorious RBG / Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik
3 stars

The RBG in the title is, of course, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the first women lawyers in the US, and later Supreme Court judge.

She was an amazing woman who brought about a lot of good for women, but I was a bit disappointed that this wasn’t really a biography as much as a look at her work and career, and the changes she brought to US law. There were bits and pieces of her personal life, but not a lot. I listened to the audio and it was not interesting to listen to various laws being read. It was pretty short – it felt like it was abridged but it wasn’t. This was published in 2015, before her death… and also before Trump made it into office. For me, this was simply “ok”.

Editado: Set 11, 3:45pm

12x12 Series, Fly the Skies, MysteryKIT

The Promise / Robert Crais
3.5 stars

P.I. Elvis Cole is investigating, looking for someone at a home where no one answers the door. As he is leaving, police descend and he sees someone run out of the house. He runs after, but is stopped by police officer Scott James and his dog Maggie. There is also someone dead inside and a room full of explosives. Before James ran into Cole, though, he and Maggie came face-to-face with the guy who ran. They clearly saw each other’s faces.

This was good. It’s a lot of testosterone, maybe darker than much of what I prefer in a mystery, but what brought the rating up a bit for me was Scott and Maggie. I love their relationship! I also like that we are given the same scene (or important parts of the scene) from a few different perspectives. This is only the second book that follows Scott and Maggie. It’s too bad there aren’t more, as I find them so much more interesting than Elvis Cole and Joe Pike who have far more books in their respective series.

Set 12, 1:15am

>198 LibraryCin: I had a similar reaction to Maisie Dobbs, though I'd read a different (much later) one in the series on paper first that I quite enjoyed as a mystery. The first one in the series felt extremely un-mystery-ish to me as well, and quite hard to engage on audiobook. Sorry you spent some time on it without getting much enjoyment. :(

Set 12, 1:38am

Add me to the list of readers who gave up on Maisie Dobbs. I didn't care for the times when she went into a room and picked up on what had happened in that room in the past. And the books all became much the same.

Set 14, 10:49pm

12x12 Nonfiction, ScaredyKIT, HistoryCAT

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory / Caitlyn Doughty
4 stars

Fascinated with death since she was a child, at 23-years old, after completing her medieval history degree, the author worked at a crematorium where she learned a lot and it prompted her to go to mortuary school, though she hated embalming with a passion! But she wanted to learn what the majority in the industry were taught. In addition to stories she tells of her coworkers, and incidents and stories with the dead bodies she worked with, she looks at the history of death rituals in various places and times.

Loved some of the quirky people she worked with! I enjoyed reading about the different death/dying rituals through time and place. She does throw some humour in there – I suppose to work in the industry one must possess some humour to lighten things up. Like her, I have been wanting to have a green burial for a long time now. It was just about a week ago that a new cemetery opened in my city with a green burial option, so I’m happy about that.

Set 15, 9:33am

>253 LibraryCin: I need to read one of her books. Yes, I am also requesting a green burial when the time comes. We do have a green cemetery here in my region, so that's an option. But I don't have any children, so I hate using up the space with no one to visit. I also found a company that takes your cremains and mixes them with concrete and then drops you into the ocean, where you eventually become a coral reef. Currently that's #1 on my list.

Set 15, 9:49pm

>254 VictoriaPL: takes your cremains and mixes them with concrete and then drops you into the ocean, where you eventually become a coral reef.

That's interesting! I hadn't heard of that one...

But I'd still prefer not to do the cremation, personally.

Set 16, 9:57pm

12x12 Audio, RandomCAT, GenreCAT

The Witch of Blackbird Pond / Elizabeth George Speare
3.25 stars

It’s the 17th century. Katherine (Kit) is from the Caribbean and is now an orphan, so she manages to find passage on a ship to Connecticut, where she has an aunt. Her aunt and uncle (and cousins) take her in, but she has a hard time adjusting to the culture, and to the amount of work she is expected to help with (she is used to having slaves to do the work). She befriends the local elderly woman who lives alone, Hannah. Hannah is a Quaker, and is also considered a witch by the locals and Kit is asked not to visit Hannah, anymore.

I listened to the audio, and mostly I liked it, but it was hard to keep focus, unfortunately. I liked it enough that I often rewound to listen again to try to catch what I’d missed, but I still missed more than I would have liked.

Editado: Set 19, 2:43pm

12x12 PBT, PBT, Pursue It, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR (Classic)

The Last Runaway / Tracy Chevalier
3.75 stars

In the mid-1800s, Honor, a Quaker, is accompanying her sister Grace across the ocean from England to Ohio, where Grace is to marry Adam, someone they grew up with who had moved to Ohio to help out his brother in his business. Unfortunately, Grace dies along the way. Honor is so seasick on the crossing, she can’t imagine getting back on a ship to cross the ocean again to head home. But it’s a bit odd for her to live with her widowed almost-brother-in-law, and his newly widowed sister-in-law. They manage for a while.

On her way to Ohio, Honor met up with a local slave hunter. Before reaching Adam, Honor stayed a few days in a nearby town, helping Belle in her hat shop, as Honor is an amazing quilter and seamstress. Once she arrives to stay with Adam, though, she finds herself quite out of place, despite being part of a community of Quakers.

This book had a lot going on… that is, the author had to do a lot of research on a lot of different things, including Quakers, quilting, Ohio, and the Underground Railroad. I quite liked it, but I never did figure out the odd attraction she had for one character. I did love Belle! I’m not a quilter or sewer, so I found the Underground Railroad and the Quakers more interesting. It’s odd that I’ve not read much about Quakers before, but both my audio book and this one, being read at the same time included Quakers who are immigrants to the US (though the audio was set in the 17th century and this one in the 19th).

Set 17, 9:54am

>256 LibraryCin: That was one of my favorite books growing up! I'll have to revisit it one of these days...although it's always scary, wondering whether your childhood faves will hold up!

Set 17, 9:23pm

>258 christina_reads: It is always a bit scary, isn't it!?

This is one I hadn't heard of until a month or two ago, to be honest, though. So, it was a first time read for me.

Editado: Set 19, 11:27pm

>256 LibraryCin: I also really loved this book as a child, though I have to say, I remember mostly scary small town different-is-witchy-ness -- not anything about the Caribbean or Quakers! Funny which themes stick.