VivienneR Reads in 2024

Discussão2024 Category Challenge

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VivienneR Reads in 2024

Nov 28, 2023, 7:58 pm

The Reading Woman 2024 Wall Calendar : Gifts from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Welcome to my 2024 reading plans! I live in the Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada, surrounded by beautiful snowy mountains. This will be my 11th year of participating in the Category Challenge and every year has been a lot of fun - not only finding books that fit challenges and reading them - but following along with others in the group.

Editado: Fev 21, 9:16 pm

My favourite genre. I’m aiming for 24.

  1. The Family Game by Catherine Steadman
  2. Plain Murder by C.S. Forester
  3. A Murder at Balmoral by Chris McGeorge

Editado: Jan 31, 3:47 pm

Another favourite category, and another aim of 24

  1. Tatouine by Jean-Christophe Réhel
  2. Coronation Year by Jennifer Robson

Editado: Jan 31, 3:47 pm

My Series
An attempt to catch up on many of the series that I’ve started.

  1. The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

Editado: Fev 1, 6:17 pm

From Lists
These will be chosen from various lists - Guardian 1000, Keating’s 100 Best Crime novels, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, LibraryThing lists such as Pleasant Surprises, my own “Must Read” list, or any other interesting list I come across.

  1. The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

Editado: Fev 18, 6:55 pm

Faraway Places
Books with a setting in some faraway place will go here.

  1. Close to the Bone by James MacBride

Editado: Fev 18, 6:56 pm

Short stories, Essays, Novellas
Short stories and essays, alone or in collections, and short novels will be here.

  1. Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx

Editado: Fev 26, 2:41 pm


January A: Hidden in Plain Sight by Jeffrey Archer
January Y: I Will Find You by Harlan Coben
February E: Tricky Twenty Two by Janet Evanovich
February E: Turn a Blind Eye by Jeffrey Archer
February F: The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
March H R
April U O
May N P
June J B
July I S
August M G
September V C
October D T
November L W
December K Q
All year X & Z

Editado: Fev 18, 7:01 pm


  1. January Cleaning the gold by Karin Slaughter & Lee Child
  2. January Rumpole on Trial by John Mortimer
    March - historical:
    April - series:
    May - golden age:
    June - author new to you:
    July - cross-genre:
    August - amateurs:
    September - upstairs/downstairs:
    October - not too scary:
    November - noir:
    December - culinary:

Editado: Fev 2, 5:01 pm


January - Early Birds: The Falcon Always Wings Twice by Donna Andrews
February - Escape or Rescue: Prisoners of the castle: an epic story of survival and escape from Colditz, the Nazis' fortress prison by Ben Macintyre

Editado: Fev 3, 3:13 pm


January: Bloody January by Alan Parks
February: Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

Editado: Fev 5, 2:56 pm


January: long running prize - The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
February: from your own country - The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
March: new to you
April: women’s writing
May: doubling up (two or more)
June: book lists
July: a country not your own
August: for a genre
September: fits another CAT
October: short & long lists
November: children's book awards
December: your choice

Editado: Jan 5, 4:51 pm


January: Psychological Thriller: Just Another Missing Person by Gillian McAllister
February: Gothic
March: True Crime
April: Witches, Black magic
May: Graphic, short fiction
June: Serial Killers
July: Corporeal Undead
August: MG and YA horror
September: Stephen King
October: Contemporary Horror
November: Vampires, werewolves
December: Catch Up! Fits Any Month

Editado: Fev 13, 5:55 pm

Historic Fiction Challenge

1. Read a work of historical fiction set in the country you’re from

2. Read a work of historical fiction set in a different country to the one you’re from

3. Read a work of historical fiction set in your favourite historical time period to read about

4. Read a work of historical fiction set in a time period you’ll less familiar with
  • Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd (Regency)

    5. Read a work of historical fiction with a speculative element

    6. Read a work of historical fiction about a real historical figure or a specific historical event
  • The Oscar Wilde Murders at Reading Gaol by Gyles Brandreth

    7. Read a work of historical fiction of over 500 pages

    8. Read a Classic work (written/published at least 60 years ago)

    Bonus: Read a Classic work of historical fiction (written at least 60 years ago about a time period at least sixty years before the work was written/published)
  • Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie - published in 1944, set in Ancient Egypt
  • 15VivienneR
    Editado: Fev 22, 2:36 pm

    1. About food or cooking
    2. With an ugly cover
    3. Only title and author on cover
    4. Featuring twins: Vengeance by Benjamin Black
    5. A topic about which you have specific knowledge
    6. Published in a year ending in 24
    7. Epistolary or diary format
    8. "Big" or "Little" in the title
    9. A book from LT "Similar libraries"
    10. About friendship: Super Friends! by Cale Atkinson
    11. A three-word title
    12. Paper based item in plot: Death of a Scriptwriter by M.C. Beaton
    13. Read a CAT
    14. A short story collection
    15. Person's name in title
    16. Set in a city: The Late Train to Gipsy Hill by Alan Johnson
    17. Fewer than 100 copies on LT
    18. Written by a person of colour
    19. Written by an author 65 or older
    20. Featuring water
    21. Involves warriors or mercenaries
    22. Reread a favourite book
    23. Written in another cultural tradition: Moon of the Turning Leaves by Waubgeshig Rice
    24. Takes place in multiple countries: A Man Called Intrepid by William Stevenson
    25. A current/recent bestseller

    Nov 28, 2023, 9:39 pm

    I've finished drooling over your fantastic pictures and I've dropped my star so I can follow along as per usual. :)

    Nov 28, 2023, 10:28 pm

    I love the "Reading Woman" theme! Happily looking forward to following along next year!

    Nov 28, 2023, 11:29 pm

    Great pics & theme. I'm sure that per the usual, I will get a lot of BB's!

    Nov 29, 2023, 12:24 am

    I will be very interested to see what mysteries you choose. I am always looking for mystery writers who are new to me.

    Nov 29, 2023, 5:51 am

    I love all your pictures, Vivienne, but think the Random is my favorite. Waiting to see what BBs you pass along. Happy Reading.

    Nov 29, 2023, 6:33 am

    Very nice theme! Good Luck with your reading!

    Nov 29, 2023, 7:08 am

    The cat in the canoe looks so intrepid! :)

    Have a great reading year, and good luck catching up on those series!

    Nov 29, 2023, 2:04 pm

    >16 DeltaQueen50: Glad you like the pictures, Judy!

    >17 NinieB: Thank you, Ninie.

    >18 Tess_W: Thank you, Tess. I'm looking forward to the BBs being returned.

    >19 Zozette: I'm always on the lookout for new-to-me mystery writers too. That's what brought me to LibraryThing in the first place.

    >20 dudes22: Random is my favourite KIT, Betty. And of course those BBs go in both directions.

    >21 majkia: Thank you, Jean.

    >22 rabbitprincess: Yes, definitely a fearless feline! Series will always be a real challenge for me.

    Nov 29, 2023, 2:21 pm

    I've just dropped my star for another year!

    Nov 29, 2023, 2:28 pm

    >24 Jackie_K: Thank you, Jackie.

    Nov 29, 2023, 3:16 pm

    >8 VivienneR: Those shelves might not be all that practical, but they look great. Happy reading!

    Nov 29, 2023, 7:58 pm

    I love the pictures and like almost everyone here I am waiting to see what BBs I get this year. Good luck with your reading in 2024.

    Nov 29, 2023, 9:43 pm

    Love that calendar! Looking forward to following along in 2024.

    Nov 30, 2023, 12:36 am

    >26 pamelad: Thank you, Pam. I'm looking forward to 2024. That picture has been annoying me for a while - all the books are the same size. I suppose if you had a huge collection of the old Penguin paperbacks...

    >27 lowelibrary: Thank you, April. I'm looking forward to BBs too!

    >>28 JayneCM: Thank you, Jayne. I'm looking forward to 2024 too and our shiny new challenges.

    Nov 30, 2023, 5:32 am

    A great theme and lovely images, Vivienne! I'm looking forward to following your reading!

    Nov 30, 2023, 2:58 pm

    >30 MissWatson: Thank you, Birgit. I just wanted the simplest theme. I hope it works out as planned.

    Dez 1, 2023, 2:11 pm

    Dropping a star so I can keep up on your reviews. Happy reading in 2024!

    Dez 1, 2023, 2:14 pm

    >32 mstrust: Thank you, Jennifer. Good to see you dropping by.

    Dez 1, 2023, 2:30 pm

    Yikes, I'd better start thinking about next year's challenge, especially since all of you are all ready to go! I look forward to following your reading for another year.

    Dez 1, 2023, 3:08 pm

    >34 RidgewayGirl: Yes, it's that time of year! My reading begins to get a bit tired around November and a plan for the new year is so tempting.

    Dez 5, 2023, 6:11 am

    I've got you starred and will be closely following your Mystery category, which is my favorite genre as well.

    Dez 5, 2023, 3:40 pm

    >36 lsh63: And I'll be following your reading too, Lisa!

    Dez 8, 2023, 7:10 pm

    I have added the Historic Fiction Challenge to my list. Looking forward to a great reading year.

    Dez 9, 2023, 11:13 am

    Oh, I love the pictures you have selected for your thread! The cat in >6 VivienneR: looks so serene and cute at the same time.

    I'm looking forward to meeting you in the Historical Fiction Challenge! I hope to focus more on that in the next year.

    Dez 9, 2023, 2:59 pm

    >39 MissBrangwen: Glad you enjoyed the pictures, Mirjam. I couldn't resist the canoeing cat who reminds me of my cat who always looked serene no matter how much excitement was in the air.

    I'll look forward to following your Historical Fiction.

    Dez 17, 2023, 5:59 am

    Hello Vivienne! Your pictures are gorgeous and I'm looking forward to lots of BBs!

    Dez 17, 2023, 1:05 pm

    >41 susanj67: Thank you, Susan. I hope I can provide those BBs!

    Dez 18, 2023, 1:28 pm

    Your historical fiction sections looks great. I'd get stuck reading King Arthur stories.

    Dez 18, 2023, 6:29 pm

    Thank you! I've read many King Arthur stories pre-LT. Definitely easy to get lost in them.

    Dez 19, 2023, 1:05 pm

    >44 VivienneR: If you are a movie fan...THE LAST LEGION is worth a watch. Stars Colin Firth and Ben Kengsley. One of my favourite films. Arthur, Excalibur, the stone, the works. Love love love this movie.

    Dez 19, 2023, 2:59 pm

    >45 mysterymax: Ooh, terrific! I've been a fan of King Arthur since grade school. Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley are favourites too. Off now to do a movie search.

    Dez 19, 2023, 4:42 pm

    >46 VivienneR: Let me know! I actually bought a copy.

    Dez 20, 2023, 7:28 pm

    >47 mysterymax: It seems I've already seen both! However, I'll keep them in mind for a rerun at some point. My daughter-in-law likes this type of movie too and shares her large collection with me.

    Dez 21, 2023, 12:49 pm

    My public library actually has that movie which surprised me.

    The cat is a great picture but I really like the women reading. Have fun with your books for 2024.

    Dez 21, 2023, 4:08 pm

    >49 hailelib: Thank you, Trish!

    Dez 22, 2023, 9:33 pm

    I'm looking forward to 2024 reading and it looks by your planning you have a good year ahead of you. I'll be tagging along!

    Dez 30, 2023, 6:16 pm

    Happy New Year to you all! I'm looking forward to sharing your reading choices in 2024.

    Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 2:40 pm

    >51 clue: Thank you Luanne! See you in the New Year! Sorry I missed your post until now.

    Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 11:24 pm

    RandomKIT January - Early Birds

    The Falcon Always Wings Twice by Donna Andrews

    The setting of a family-run Renaissance Fair gives the mystery a dash of historic flavour. A pair of rare falcons has been found breeding on the grounds inspiring Meg’s grandfather to protect them. When an actor suspected of mistreating them is murdered, grandfather becomes prime suspect. A fun mystery, but more ‘renaissance’ than whodunnit.

    Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 11:27 pm

    MysteryKIT January - Short stories

    Cleaning the gold by Karin Slaughter & Lee Child

    Terrific story but it just leaves the reader wanting more.

    There is still more than three hours to go until midnight and January 1 and I've added two titles already. Surely a good omen for the new year.

    Jan 1, 9:16 am

    Jan 1, 3:26 pm

    Happy New Year! I hope it's filled with lots of good books!

    Jan 1, 10:35 pm

    Hi Vivienne. Love your planned reading setup! Wishing you a wonderful year of reading in 2024.

    Jan 2, 12:42 am

    >56 mstrust:, >57 cbl_tn:, >58 lkernagh: Happy New Year to you all. I'm looking forward to a good reading year!

    Jan 2, 1:25 pm

    I'm late to the party, but plonking my star - better late than never?
    The LT list called 'Pleasant Surprises' is new to me - I will have to dig it out.

    Jan 2, 2:00 pm

    Thank you for dropping in, Charlotte! I was looking for something else and came across the "Pleasant Surprises" list that I found intriguing - but have yet to examine closely.

    Jan 2, 3:17 pm

    Happy new year, Vivienne. Looking forward to another year of interesting reading.
    I like the women reading pictures, who knew we were so worthy of art?!

    Jan 3, 3:34 pm

    Happy new year to you too, Helen. It is thoroughly amazing just how many artists thought women reading was a worthy subject!

    Jan 3, 3:38 pm

    PrizeCAT January - long running prize

    The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths - won the Edgar Prize

    Update 2024: Since reading others in this series and enjoying most of them (but not all), I wondered why I had given this one a mere 3.5 stars and decided a reread was in order. Part of the story involved the similarity Ruth’s investigation into the find of historic skeleton of a child and Nelson’s police investigation of a missing child. The archaeological topic is interesting but I did not find Ruth or Nelson to be interesting characters - although I know they develop throughout the series. Ruth is consumed by low self-esteem and Nelson is ready to arrest anyone no matter how tenuous the link is to the case he’s investigating. There were too many leaps from vague ideas to fact; too many links found where none existed; too many problems with plot and characters. My revised rating is even less than the first.

    Jan 4, 8:11 pm

    Hope you have a great year of reading. Looks like you are off to a good start.

    Jan 5, 12:17 am

    Thank you, Lori! I hope your year is a good one too!

    Jan 5, 4:52 pm

    ScaredyKIT January: Psychological thriller

    Just Another Missing Person by Gillian McAllister

    This is a gripping, very twisty mystery. I wish I had read the print version instead of listening to a badly narrated audiobook, that reduced my appreciation and thus my rating.

    Editado: Jan 6, 11:02 am

    >67 VivienneR: I hate it when a narrator detracts from the story!

    Jan 6, 1:51 pm

    >68 Tess_W: Me too! I expected more from Joanne Froggatt who was the maid in Downton Abbey.

    Jan 6, 2:16 pm

    >67 VivienneR: >69 VivienneR: Oh, that is disappointing indeed!

    Jan 7, 8:28 pm

    >70 MissBrangwen: Very disappointing but I'll keep the book in mind and get it in print sometime - when I've forgotten spoiler details!

    Jan 8, 5:49 am

    The narrator can make or break a book. I've been known to stop after just a few minutes if the voice is all wrong.
    I listened to one Jane Austen inspired short story collection, fortunately narrated by several people, where one narrator pronounced Avon (as in the River in bath) in a very peculiar way. Every time she said it, it was like fingernails down a blackboard.

    Jan 8, 6:30 pm

    Monotone voices, weird pronunciation, heavy breathing - all so annoying. I always try a few minutes of an unfamiliar narrator before deciding whether to continue and as a result I've rejected many. As far as I know, the author doesn't have a lot of say in the choice of reader but it's part of the final product and should be reflected in the rating.

    Jan 8, 6:40 pm

    Historic Fiction - Bonus: A classic work of historical fiction (written at least 60 years ago about a time period at least sixty years before the work was written/published)

    Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie

    Unique among Christie’s novels and yet it has a typical Christie plot featuring a family eaten up with jealousy and ambition. The setting of Ancient Egypt makes it one of her best. The details of life and culture in Ancient Egypt can be trusted because of her experience in the area with her archaeologist husband. Highly recommended.

    Jan 8, 8:34 pm

    >73 VivienneR: I had one that was driving me crazy the other day. I think I paused it and started another book. I'll decide whether or not I will go on with the audiobook after I finish the other one. I may be able to stand it more on a commute to and from work than on that long drive from Mississippi.

    Jan 9, 12:07 am

    >75 thornton37814: I can't listen to books while I drive, it just doesn't work for me. Even worse would be one I didn't like to start with. Good luck Lori.

    Jan 9, 10:46 am

    >73 VivienneR: I wish everyone would make clear they "read" a book by audio rather than print when they rate the book, particularly if they didn't like the narration. I feel for the author when the audio isn't as good as it should be and the author takes the hit in an overall rating.

    Jan 9, 11:42 am

    >77 clue: - I've only really "gotten" into audio books in the past year/year-and-a-half and I do try to mention whether the audio really enhanced the book or was just ok and make a note of who the narrator was. The very first audio I tried was back in 2015 and had two female main characters and I couldn't tell which one was which and so dropped it and read the book. Then I promptly quit audio books for about 6 years. But I kept seeing references here to people who had good things to say about some audios and decided to give them another chance. I do try to stop and think about how I would rate a book if I were reading it rather than listening and I will drop an audio rather than finish it if I'm not liking the narrator.

    Jan 9, 6:46 pm

    >77 clue: I agree, especially if the narration deserves comment whether good or bad. I believe I read quickly and audiobooks are usually too slow for me and I wish I could speed up the recording. Although that wasn't the case for McAllister's book at post >67 VivienneR:, where one of the narrators rattled on quickly but in a monotone.

    >78 dudes22: I keep a note of some favourite narrators and also those that don't make the cut. I usually avoid books read by authors, but one exception was Catherine Steadman who narrates her own mystery novels very well. Coincidentally, she also acted in Downton Abbey (see >69 VivienneR:). In most cases I prefer a paper book, with an ebook as second choice.

    Jan 9, 7:01 pm

    >79 VivienneR: Libby and Audible both allow you to speed up the recording. If there is a strong dialect it doesn't work, but for direct English I can go to 1.25 on some books.

    Jan 9, 9:23 pm

    >80 JoeB1934: Thanks for that info, Joe. I don't have audible books but I'll look into the others on Libby. I remember I borrowed one that had already been set at a faster pace and was delighted with it. But I had no idea that I could set the speed myself.

    Jan 9, 9:29 pm

    >80 JoeB1934: - I didn't know that either. I'll need to check it out.

    Jan 9, 10:29 pm

    I love your "Reading Women" thread toppers !

    >74 VivienneR: This was one of the very first Agatha Christie novels I'd read as a teenager and led to a life-long love of mystery novels, so I feel quite nostalgic about it!

    Jan 10, 12:07 am

    >82 dudes22: The one I had was a Recorded Books version offered through my library. I was ready to borrow more but it seems they joined forces with Overdrive and I didn't see the speed change button again.

    >83 mathgirl40: Thank you, Paulina. That would have been a good choice for your first Christie. I can't remember the exact Christie title that was my first but I could probably pick out my first half-dozen and then I couldn't get them fast enough. My dad got me started (hooked).

    Jan 10, 5:24 am

    >84 VivienneR: - I looked around Libby last night and I couldn't find a way to change the speed either.

    Jan 10, 7:07 am

    >74 VivienneR: In a strange coincidence, I am currently reading Lives of the Ancient Egyptians. The life of Hekanakht, a farmer, says that he wrote many letters showing the competitiveness, tension and resentment in his household. The letters showed such an intriguing family life that Agatha Christie based Death Comes As The End on them.

    Editado: Jan 10, 10:08 am

    >85 dudes22: On my version, if you open a book there are two lines across the top of the display. The top line, in the middle there is a very small time dial and if you click on it a new dialog box pops labeled playback speed. It does stay at that value for any additional books.

    Jan 10, 1:13 pm

    Hey Vivienne! I lost track of your 2023 thread somewhere along the way. Is this your main haunt for 2024?

    Jan 10, 7:32 pm

    >87 JoeB1934: - Thanks - I found it.

    Jan 11, 1:12 am

    >85 dudes22: I haven't found it yet either.

    >86 JayneCM: That's fascinating! I haven't heard any personal Christie stories about Death comes as the end. Lives of the Ancient Egyptians sounds good too. It's not in our library system but I'll keep on looking.

    >87 JoeB1934: Thanks Joe. I'll look for that. It would be an invaluable tool.

    >88 AlisonY: Thanks for dropping in Alison. Yes, this is where I hang out most of the time. I enjoyed the company at Club Read but just didn't have time to keep it up. I have trouble keeping up with threads here. I'll drop by and visit now and then.

    >89 dudes22: Good for you! I don't have anything signed out on Libby right now but will test it asap.

    Jan 11, 3:30 pm

    Bingo 22 - Written in another cultural tradition

    Moon of the Turning Leaves by Waubgeshig Rice

    This is a follow up story to the excellent Moon of the Crusted Snow although it is not necessary to have read the earlier book.

    Ten years after an apocalyptic event left a small Indigenous community separated from what remains of the rest of the world, they find food is becoming scarce. A small group set out to find out if their historic homeland is a possible alternative. Without knowing what they might find, the 6-person team journey through northern Ontario to the place on Lake Huron that translates as “where the birch trees grow by the big water”. The trek of over 1000 kilometres is expected to take four months allowing them to be back before winter. They encounter all kinds of danger, not least being the extremist survivalist militia groups.

    What makes this different from other dystopian stories is the Indigenous element. Rice describes the Anishinaabe culture well and the reader understands all they have achieved since the blackout. It was an unexpectedly moving story in which I got to know each member of the expedition and shared their ordeals and triumphs.

    My book was an audio version with a superb reading by Bill Meresty. Because I read Moon of the Crusted Snow in print I intend to get the audiobook also read by Meresty.

    Jan 12, 4:49 am

    >91 VivienneR: - I was planning on reading this later in the year because I liked the first book so much. But I checked and the audio version is not available - at least not yet. I'm going to wait a bit and see if it's added.

    Editado: Jan 12, 6:24 am

    >84 VivienneR:
    >87 JoeB1934:

    I get books from Overdrive and Libby and Audible and there are always narration speed buttons to be found on my reads. Odd thing though, I have to turn them down to 90-95% speed, especially the Brit readers! People have made fun of us midwesterners in that we talk so slowly! Evidently we hear slowly also. I use a Samsung tablet with all the bells and whistles, don't know if that makes a difference.

    As far as in my reviews, if I listened ONLY on audio I usually try to include this and only omit it if I forget. The fact is that I usually also have the ebook version of the book, because I can't always understand some pronunciations in the audio version, so I want to go check. This is especially true in the case of names. Also, if I get distracted from an audio book, I may go back to the ebook and read that chapter. Rarely do I just do audio alone.

    Jan 12, 2:43 pm

    >92 dudes22: Good idea to wait for the audio version, Betty. As I mentioned, I liked it so much that I'll reread the first book in audio too.

    >93 Tess_W: It suddenly occurred to me that I don't see the speed control because I download audiobooks to my iPod. I'll try listening to one directly on Libby to see what I'm missing.

    "Evidently we hear slowly also." got a smile! I understand the need to check names in print. I too often get both print and audio for that reason.

    Editado: Jan 12, 2:47 pm

    Category: Short Stories

    Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx

    A collection of short stories all of which conjure up the tough American West. Like all short story collections, I enjoyed some more than others and again found that it’s a good idea to spread out the reading instead of feasting on them all at once. All of the stories show Proulx as a terrific writer.

    The cover on my book is beautiful.

    Jan 12, 5:26 pm

    >93 Tess_W: I am a fellow Midwesterner, yet when I moved to Texas and then Oklahoma, I was told I talked too fast.

    Jan 12, 5:54 pm

    >87 JoeB1934: & >93 Tess_W: Just tested Libby and yes, I found the speed control! Thank you!

    Jan 12, 6:10 pm

    >91 VivienneR: This gets its American release in hardcover at the end of February. Since I have a copy of the first book in paperback, I'm going to try and wait for the paperback release to read it. I would not bet on my ability to wait though.

    Jan 12, 7:35 pm

    >96 lowelibrary: I would agree that Texans and Sooners would say that. But by the time you get to Arizona and California, you talk too slow. One of my best friends is from DC and she bites her tongue not to finish my words and sentences. I think that maybe I have trained myself to talk a bit slower because I've taught for 30 years and I want to be sure people hear and understand me.

    Jan 12, 7:35 pm

    Jan 13, 9:23 am

    >95 VivienneR: I love how Proulx writes as well. I looked back at my own reviews and found that I enjoyed the second installment of Wyoming Stories much more than Close Range.

    Worth a read if you've not got to it yet. It felt a much more solid collection.

    Jan 13, 2:47 pm

    >98 RidgewayGirl: Bill Merasty's narration added so much atmosphere and verisimilitude to the book that I might pick up the print version out of interest although I'm sure I'd 'hear' his voice throughout. I'm on a long holds list for the first book in audio format.

    >101 AlisonY: Good to hear, Alison. And I happen to have a copy of Bad Dirt on the shelf.

    Jan 14, 6:03 am

    >102 VivienneR: - I didn't read The Martian until after I had seen the movie (not intentionally - I just hadn't gotten to it) and all I could hear was Matt Damon's voice as I was reading the book.

    Jan 14, 4:44 pm

    >103 dudes22: That would be very nice!

    Jan 14, 9:11 pm

    Bingo 12 - paper based item

    Death of a Scriptwriter by M.C. Beaton

    An old Hamish Macbeth mystery that I missed back in the day. Here, the locals in Drim are dazzled by show business. Hamish is always fun.

    Jan 15, 1:55 pm

    CalendarCAT - January

    Bloody January by Alan Parks

    Set in January 1973, this is a bleak story of detective Harry McCoy’s conflict with an influential family in Glasgow. Too much blood, gore, sex, drugs and alcohol. I had trouble warming to the story or any of the characters and won’t be picking up any others by the author.

    Jan 15, 1:58 pm

    >106 VivienneR: Hi Vivienne, I just finished that book this morning. I enjoyed it, but I can see why it wouldn’t be everyone’s taste..

    Jan 15, 2:24 pm

    >107 lsh63: What a coincidence! I'm glad you enjoyed it, Lisa. I usually relish "tartan noir" but this one was OTT. I stuck with it, rather hopefully, but by the end I was sorry I wasted time on it.

    Jan 16, 12:42 am

    >105 VivienneR: Have never read this author. Will check out this series.

    Jan 16, 2:42 pm

    >109 bookworm3091: I hope you enjoy the books. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series became more well-known when a tv series was made in the 1990s with Robert Carlyle as Hamish.

    Jan 17, 3:35 pm

    AlphaKIT January A

    Hidden in Plain Sight by Jeffrey Archer

    It has taken a while for me to get to the second in Archer’s William Warwick series but it was worthwhile. Archer is a great storyteller, although so far, this is not my favourite of his series. Nevertheless, I will be continuing to read and even though it concerns the rich elite and their problems, his stories can be addictive and entertaining.

    Jan 18, 1:46 pm

    Rumpole on Trial by John Mortimer

    MysteryKIT January - Short Stories

    Rumpole’s cases always appear lighthearted but often have an underlying significance, as the first in this collection shows when an eight-year-old girl is taken into custody. As usual, this was another fun collection of legal tales from Mortimer.

    Jan 18, 9:58 pm

    >111 VivienneR: Jeffrey Archer is one of my top 5 fav authors! I've not read this series, but I've read all the Clilfton Chronicles as well as several stand alones. I have Kane and Abel and Shall We Tell The President scheduled for this year.

    Jan 18, 10:00 pm

    >112 VivienneR: Great minds and all, Vivienne! I book one by this author ready to this year, also!

    Jan 19, 12:48 pm

    >113 Tess_W: Glad to hear Archer is a top favourite of yours. There's no doubt about it, he's a terrific storyteller. I too have read the Clifton Chronicles. I remember finishing one book and rushing off to the library to pick up the next one in the series.

    >114 Tess_W: Mortimer gets all the legal details just right. It is amazing how he can make such a dry subject so entertaining.

    Jan 20, 3:14 pm


    The Family Game by Catherine Steadman

    Harriet, a bestselling novelist, is engaged to Edward, eldest son of one of the wealthiest families in America. Meeting his family turns out to be as unnerving as anticipated. Then as Christmas approaches the family invite Harriet to join in their strange “games” that are foreign to her, a new arrival from England. Thrilling, horrifying, but totally unrealistic, secrets emerge as the story progresses. Harriet should have escaped the in-laws from hell and run, as fast as she could, back to England at any point in this story. Even with the high level unbelievability, this is a book that is hard to put down as the reader joins Harriet in trying desperately to figure out what is going on.

    Jan 22, 3:09 pm

    AlphaKIT January - Y

    I will find you by Harlan Coben

    Inconceivable, and from early in the story it was predictable, but Coben’s fine storytelling compensated.

    Jan 22, 6:00 pm

    >117 VivienneR: I'm a bit leary of trying another Coben book. They all seem very psychologically scarey.

    Jan 22, 8:32 pm

    >118 mysterymax: I believe this was my first Harlan Coben book and I found it pretty far-fetched, but then that is often the case in mystery novels. However, I have come to recognize his movies and have chosen to be on the lookout for them and avoid at all costs.

    Jan 24, 3:20 pm

    Historic Fiction - 4: set in the Regency period, a time I'm less familiar with

    Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd

    I really enjoyed this Regency cosy mystery featuring Lucy Harrington, the rector’s daughter, and the injured Major Robert Kurland, recently returned from Waterloo.

    Jan 24, 3:30 pm

    >120 VivienneR: I enjoyed this series and liked the flawed characters, particularly the clueless, grumpy Robert.

    Jan 24, 3:49 pm

    >121 pamelad: I enjoyed it more than I expected, Pam. My problem is that this is the only one in the series that the library holds.

    Jan 24, 5:59 pm

    >120 VivienneR: I'm glad you liked it! I'm making my way through the series now and so far have enjoyed them all.

    Jan 25, 6:42 pm

    >123 christina_reads: I'd like to continue with the series too but will have to spring for the kindle versions.

    Jan 26, 9:09 am

    >117 VivienneR: I've read a couple of Coben's (not this one). I think his niche is psychological thrillers, but not sure! I found the stories and mysteries good, but incomplete, as they did not answer the question, "why"?

    Jan 26, 3:15 pm

    >125 Tess_W: That's a really good question, Tess! And it applies to this story too but the question got buried in the convoluted story. I own another Coben book but may never read it.

    Jan 26, 3:17 pm

    Category: Fiction

    Tatouine by Jean-Christophe Réhel

    This serendipitous find at the library, proved to be an eccentric and endearing account of the unnamed narrator as he negotiates life with cystic fibrosis. Persistently broke because he has trouble holding down a job means he must buy food at the dollar store. He’s appealing in an odd way. He’s also funny. There were some sections when I laughed more than I have ever done while reading a book, and another that almost brought me to tears. A warning: his symptoms can be gross. This unique, touching story is set in Montreal.

    Jan 26, 4:43 pm

    Hello, Vivienne! I love the images you have chosen, and your categories are great - I should have gone with Lists instead of just the one list and might change mine. Or file that away for nest year.

    I did not know that there was a follow up to Moon of the Crusted Snow! Adding that to The List, and it's good to know about the audio - making a note of that.

    Editado: Jan 28, 1:32 am

    >128 Crazymamie: Thanks for dropping by. I always start wanting to change my categories around February. :)

    I hope you like Moon of the Turning Leaves.

    ETA correct title

    Jan 28, 1:31 am

    Category: Fiction

    Coronation Year by Jennifer Robson

    Not exactly what I expected but it was a good tale anyway. The story centres on three residents of the Blue Lion Hotel which stands on the coronation procession route.

    Jan 28, 3:16 am

    >130 VivienneR: I still have The Gown by this author on my shelf. I started it once and liked it a lot, but abandoned it for reasons I cannot remember.

    Jan 28, 11:49 am

    >130 VivienneR:>131 I liked The Gown but I remember I wasn't sure in the beginning that I would. I also liked Goodnight from London but don't remember a thing about it. After readidng The Gown I bought the autiobiogrphy of the designer and have read portions of it but I don't think I've read it all, I do remember the tiny type quite well.

    Jan 28, 9:54 pm

    >130 VivienneR: I have this one and The Gown on my TBR. Hope to get to t his this year!

    Jan 29, 2:15 am

    >131 MissBrangwen: I have The Gown too. I always seem to put it off and can't remember why - maybe for the same reasons you abandoned it?

    >132 clue: Easy to understand that you have forgotten details of Robson's book. It's her low-key style of writing that does it. There is no melodrama to keep it in the mind. That's interesting that you bought the autobiography of the designer (Hartnell, wasn't it?).

    >133 Tess_W: Good, I'd like to hear your opinion, Tess. I'll watch out for it.

    Editado: Jan 29, 7:17 pm

    Jan 29, 3:33 pm

    >135 clue: That would be interesting. I'll have a look for it.

    Jan 31, 3:51 pm

    Category: Mystery

    Plain Murder by C.S. Forester

    This riveting psychological mystery published in 1930 is set in a London advertising agency of the 1920s. One of the employees, Morris, has persuaded two other men to take part in a scheme to make a bit of extra money. When their supervisor discovers the fraud he threatens to report them to the top. Before he was able to do so, he became the first victim. Getting away with murder motivates Morris to tackle other problems. It’s a clever, compelling story that doesn’t let up.

    Forester is better known for the fantastic Hornblower series. How disappointing that he wrote only three mysteries.

    Category: My Series

    The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

    When lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Mickey Haller inherits his caseload that includes defending the charge of murder against a powerful Hollywood executive. And while the plot is top notch, Connelly adds to the gripping story by making the courtroom scenes fascinating. Of the Connelly novels that I’ve read so far this is my favourite. I am looking forward to reading more in the series.

    Jan 31, 5:53 pm

    >137 VivienneR: Plain Murder sounds good. I've found it on KoboPlus, along with another crime novel of his, Payment Deferred. The only book of C S Forester's I've enjoyed so far is The African Queen, which was terribly snobbish, so I'll be interested to see how class-ridden the crime novels are. I must have tried some of his Horatio Hornblower books back in the dark ages, but am not at all tempted to read any now.

    Jan 31, 11:57 pm

    >139 pamelad: Yes, I remember how prejudiced The African Queen was. The movie was better. I read somewhere that he wrote three mysteries, but I have only found Plain Murder and Payment Deferred and have both. I was hooked from the first page of Plain Murder so I'm looking forward to another. The plot was not particularly surprising but it wasn't long drawn out and held my attention.

    I was a fan of Hornblower many, many years ago (many decades, actually) and I might give one another try to see how it weathered.

    Fev 1, 2:12 pm

    >137 VivienneR: Plain Murder does sound good. I've reserved an audio version from the library.

    My library also has The Pursued by him, that sounds like it might be a detective novel: "Marjorie had never seen a dead body until she got home one summer evening and found her sister Dot on the kitchen floor in a pretty dress, with her head in the oven. She looked peaceful. But their mother suspects that Dot's death was far from natural."
    Although Lt's blurb describes it as a thriller.

    Fev 1, 3:17 pm

    >141 Helenliz: Thank you for the information about The Pursued! I'm off to look for it.

    Fev 1, 6:18 pm

    Category: From Lists
    According to CK this one is on many lists

    The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

    I borrowed this for my husband and while listening to his praises I knew I had to read it too. I particularly enjoyed the information about the chickadee, one of my favourite birds. I believe the BB was from Jackie_K, so thank you from both of us, it was fascinating.

    Fev 1, 6:21 pm

    >140 VivienneR: Oh, yikes, because a few years ago we all watched The African Queen together as a family and even my Dad was shocked at how much racism there was.

    Fev 1, 11:46 pm

    >144 RidgewayGirl: It's been many years since I read the book and then watched the movie. TBH I've forgotten most of the movie apart from a couple of scenes but I didn't think it was as bad as the beginning of the book when her brother was speaking and which I found shocking. Hepburn and Bogart performed so well, that's what is remembered most.

    Fev 2, 5:02 pm

    RandomKIT February - Escape or Rescue

    Prisoners of the castle: an epic story of survival and escape from Colditz, the Nazis' fortress prison by Ben Macintyre

    Like many, my interest in Colditz Castle began with the tv series broadcast in 1972-74, starring Peter McCallum, and featuring the escape plans from the legendary POW prison that was said to be escape-proof. Over 70 metres above ground, with stone walls 2 metres thick, the castle invited methods of escape that were eccentric, to say the least, ranging from human catapults to a glider. Although the guards outnumbered the prisoners, 130 escapees managed to get out, and of those 32 were successful in reaching safety. Many of those imprisoned at Colditz had been successful escapees of other camps and were, or went on to become, famous names. They included David Stirling, the British officer who founded the Special Air Service (SAS) who had escaped four times prior to Colditz. Airey Neave (later a member of parliament and advisor to Margaret Thatcher) made a remarkable but failed first attempt as a German officer. He found the brief time of freedom addictive and his second attempt via a trap door under the stage of a theatrical production made him the first British POW to escape Colditz. His fake German uniform was ingenious. Officers were not expected to work but lower ranks were required to work by serving their superiors, thus creating a miniature international community with hierarchy and snobbery intact, to say nothing of racism as Birendranath Mazumdar, the only Indian officer, can attest. Macintyre’s narrative is fascinating, covers much more than escape attempts and is well worth reading for entertainment value as well as historic.

    Fev 2, 7:41 pm

    >146 VivienneR: I have read the author and like him! Going off to find this book now!

    Fev 3, 9:47 am

    >143 VivienneR: Yes, I got that book last month from the library, and like you was really blown away by how clever and ingenious birds are. I'm glad you both enjoyed it too!

    Fev 3, 9:51 am

    >146 VivienneR: Nice review, Vivienne. Adding that one to The List.

    Fev 3, 3:07 pm

    >147 Tess_W: I'm sure you will enjoy it, Tess. Macintyre can tell a good story.

    >148 Jackie_K: There are so many bird books to choose from that it's always good to get a recommendation.

    >149 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie! It is one of those books that will send you looking for more information.

    Fev 3, 3:10 pm

    CalendarCAT - February
    In Canada, Freedom to Read Week is in February, which inspired this choice for the CAT.

    Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

    A coming of age story of 12 year-old Anita, set in the Dominican Republic in 1960 when a secret group planned the overthrow of dictator Trujillo. Taken from the author’s personal experiences and providing a good look at Dominican culture and politics of the day as seen through the eyes of Anita.

    Fev 5, 2:59 pm

    PrizeCAT February - from your own country
    Canada Reads (Winner – 2014)
    Canadian Authors Association Award (Winner – Fiction – 2014)
    CBC Bookie Awards (Winner – Canadian Fiction – 2014)
    Globe and Mail Top 100 Book (Fiction – 2013)

    The Orenda by Joseph Boyden

    No doubt, this book is a fabulous achievement by Boyden but it was a difficult read considering the legacy of the Catholic church in Canada of all those recently discovered unmarked graves at schools operated by the church.

    Fev 7, 5:35 pm

    AlphaKIT February: E

    Tricky Twenty Two by Janet Evanovich

    It was a lot of fun following Stephanie on a busy job as a bounty hunter. Lula is the funniest sidekick in crime fiction.

    Fev 10, 5:53 pm

    AlphaKIT February: F

    The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

    Split between 1913 and 1993, this is a mystery set in New York city, and features the New York Public Library and its rare books collection. It was difficult to keep track of all the characters and their relationships. As well, the details are flawed in both timelines and left me disappointed.

    Fev 10, 9:27 pm

    >154 VivienneR: I have read a different book by Fiona Davis which also left me feeling disappointed. The Dollhouse was set at the Barbizon Hotel for Women in New York City. The subject matter appealed to me but the execution was not good. Perhaps she is one of those authors who comes up with great ideas to write about but her delivery isn't up to par. I am planning on giving her a second chance as The Dollhouse was her debut book.

    Fev 10, 9:37 pm

    >154 VivienneR: Last year I read The Magnolia Palace and liked it at a 4-star level.

    Fev 11, 3:29 pm

    >155 DeltaQueen50: Previously, I started and abandoned one of Davis's books - can't remember which one. Maybe she is not the author for me. You are right in saying she comes up with great ideas to write about.

    >156 JoeB1934: I think your post about the Magnolia Palace might have been what prompted me to try another by Davis. I'll keep it in mind and hang on to that one for another time.

    Fev 11, 9:50 pm

    Hello Vivienne! Finally catching up with several threads on this group, and as always am really enjoying your insights and categories for 2024.

    >143 VivienneR: Sounds really fascinating - I always pay attention when I hear the Carolina wrens scolding. There can be an errant cat or squirrel, I never know.

    >146 VivienneR: This sounds absolutely fascinating. I had no idea this prison (and its escapes) even existed until you including it in your list.

    Fev 11, 11:36 pm

    >158 threadnsong: Nice to see you dropping by.

    We don't get the Carolina wrens around here but I just listened to them on the Song Sleuth app and they must be a treat to hear in real life. Ackerman's book was fabulous.

    Macintyre's books are all hits. There was so much in his book that I didn't cover, but it's an amazing story.

    Editado: Fev 11, 11:47 pm

    Bingo - About Friends

    This was my latest Early Reviewer book and just fitted nicely on my Bingo card.

    Super Friends! by Cale Atkinson from the Simon and Chester series.

    A hilarious, colourful story that conveys the message that making a new friend can be stressful for many reasons, not least that your current friend who happens to be a ghost might be jealous. However, it’s possible for everyone to bounce back and discover the treasure of having another friend. This graphic novel will delight children in the 7-11 age group. It’s fourth in the Simon and Chester series but it’s not necessary to have read the earlier books to enjoy this one. The graphic format makes it easier for children to read and follow along with details and expression.

    Editado: Fev 13, 5:59 pm

    Historic Fiction Challenge: About a real historical figure or a specific event

    Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol by Gyles Brandreth

    This wasn’t an easy read. With the harshest conditions meted out to Oscar Wilde the beginning was heartbreaking and I thought of abandoning the book but decided, rightly as it turned out, to carry on. The atrocious conditions continued but I had to know the story. Brandreth has mixed a murder mystery into this account of Wilde’s life story, and it’s not readily apparent where the fiction begins or ends. When Brandreth was asked how much of this is true, he replied “All of it. Or almost all of it. Certainly more than you would think.” I was glad I continued reading. Additional material includes: Rules for Prisoners, a letter from Wilde to the Home Secretary, and more. Recommended.

    Editado: Fev 14, 6:59 pm

    Bingo : Featuring Twins

    Vengeance by Benjamin Black

    I love the way Black writes. This one, darkly melancholic, uncovers spite and malice yet Black (aka John Banville) still makes Quirke’s investigation appear meandering, thoughtful. I’m sorry to say this is the last I own of this series. I’ll miss Quirke.

    Fev 14, 7:31 pm

    >162 VivienneR: Yes, he is one of my favorite authors also.

    Fev 15, 12:05 am

    >163 JoeB1934: Yes, we share a lot of favourites, Joe.

    Fev 18, 5:48 pm

    >154 VivienneR: Initially I wanted to read that one. What's not to love about the library lions at NYPL? Then I began reading reviews of it, and I never tried to pick it up. Sounds like I didn't miss much.

    Fev 18, 7:06 pm

    >165 thornton37814: I felt the same way as you did, Lori. The lions at NYPL was a real draw but the story dragged a bit and became confusing. I found other books by Davis disappointing too.

    Fev 18, 7:21 pm

    Category: Faraway Places

    Close to the Bone by James MacBride

    Too long, but I still enjoyed this Scottish noir mystery. Very dark, brutal, but with just enough humour to lighten the grisly topic and enough idiotic excuses to exasperate.

    Editado: Fev 19, 5:13 pm

    >166 VivienneR: I did like her book about the women at the Barbizon but that was probably swayed by my interest in the subject. When I was a teen I would see advertisements for the Barbizon in the back of Seventeen magazine and was intrigued by that. I've tried a few others and DNF them. She does have a talent for choosing subects though.

    Fev 19, 5:07 pm

    >168 clue: That sounds like an interesting book, Luanne! I'll keep it in mind.

    Fev 19, 9:19 pm

    Bingo 24 - set in multiple countries

    A Man Called Intrepid by William Stevenson

    Knowing I enjoy espionage novels, my neighbour lent me this classic true story. It became the first five-star read of the year.

    When searching for a man to help bring the Americans into the war Churchill said that man must be not just fearless, or dauntless, but intrepid! William Stephenson was that man. Among other unfamiliar topics, I learned about Camp X, the fascinating top secret spy training centre in Canada. Stephenson developed a talent for recruiting agents, Sir Noel Coward among others, and asked diplomat Lester B. Pearson (future prime minister of Canada) to become a “King’s messenger” conveying secret documents across the Atlantic. A quote from Pearson’s autobiography relates the danger and unexpected risks involved. Ian Fleming worked closely with Stephenson and trained at Camp X. He later admitted that many of the devices portrayed in his James Bond series were derived from Intrepid’s operations. This is a terrific book, well written and interesting throughout: one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read about WWII.

    Fev 20, 9:27 am

    >170 VivienneR: BB taken!

    Fev 20, 1:53 pm

    >171 christina_reads: I hope you enjoy it, Christina. I remember seeing one or two episodes of the tv series back in the 1970s with David Niven in the part of Intrepid.

    Fev 21, 4:38 am

    >154 VivienneR: Oh no! Lol! I bought this on one of my hauls.

    Fev 21, 2:18 pm

    >173 Tess_W: Well, considering the number of readers who liked it, you may have made a good choice. It just wasn't for me. In most cases I dislike split timelines and I could not picture the library in my mind. I'll be watching out for your opinion. :)

    Fev 21, 9:17 pm

    Category: Mystery

    A Murder at Balmoral by Chris McGeorge

    This was a lot of fun! It’s set in an alternate timeline where King Eric, one of the progeny of Edward VIII (who didn’t abdicate) is monarch. Eric wants a family Christmas at Balmoral so he dispenses with all the staff except chef and security chief. And of course there is a snowstorm that confines everyone, setting the perfect scene for a locked room murder. The security chief is missing, leaving the chef to investigate. My copy was an audiobook narrated by David George whose delightful voice sounds suspiciously like King Charles. I hope to find more by McGeorge.

    Fev 22, 2:38 pm

    Bingo 16 - set in a city

    The Late Train to Gipsy Hill by Alan Johnson

    Johnson served as Secretary of State, Home Secretary, and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in the British government’s Labour Party and showed a talent for writing with four volumes of memoirs that became best-sellers. Now with the same flair he has taken to writing mystery novels. As Russian gangs try to gain power in London, a young Ukrainian woman becomes a target. She is given some protection by an innocent admirer that draws him into the maelstrom too. A fast-moving, exciting thriller that holds the reader’s attention. I’m looking forward to more by Johnson. Highly recommended.

    This is going in the “set in a city” Bingo square because London is such a strong feature.

    Fev 22, 2:51 pm

    >176 VivienneR: A BB for me

    Fev 22, 7:24 pm

    >177 JoeB1934: You will enjoy it, Joe! He's a good writer and it's an exciting story.

    Fev 23, 12:28 pm

    >175 VivienneR: I added this one to my WL! Christmas and Balmoral and a murder sounds like a great read.

    Fev 24, 12:10 am

    >179 MissBrangwen: It was fun. I hope you enjoy as much as I did when you get around to reading it.

    Fev 26, 2:40 pm

    AlphaKIT February: E

    Turn a Blind Eye by Jeffrey Archer

    This series is getting better as it progresses. I particularly enjoyed the courtroom drama that Archer can do so well. The cliffhanger ending didn’t have me rushing to the shelves to retrieve the next book, but I will certainly look forward to it sooner rather than later.