SqueakyChu's - 75 Books Challenge for 2009 - Chapter 2

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2009

Aderi ao LibraryThing para poder publicar.

SqueakyChu's - 75 Books Challenge for 2009 - Chapter 2

Este tópico está presentemente marcado como "adormecido"—a última mensagem tem mais de 90 dias. Pode acordar o tópico publicando uma resposta.

Editado: Dez 21, 2009, 10:44 am

Continued from here.

Note to myself: I read 53 books in 2008.


My 75 Books Challenge for 2009:
...includes at least one local author!

1. The Girl on the Fridge - Etgar Keret
2. When The Emperor Was Divine - Julie Otsuka - Reading Group Orange January
3. The Master of Go - Yasunari Kawabata - Reading Globally Japan theme
4. Crow Lake - Mary Lawson - Reading Group Canada theme
5. The Woman Who Can't Forget - Jill Price

6. Recipes from America's Small Farms - Joanne Lamb Hayes
7. Friendly Fire - A.B. Yehoshua
8. Rat - Andrzej Zaniewski
9. Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter - J. Nozipo Maraire - Reading Globally Africa theme
10. Playing for Pizza - John Grisham

11. The Girls - Lori Lansens
12. Nervous Conditions - Tsitsi Dangarembga - Reading Globally Africa theme - What's in a Name Challenge 2
13. The Moldavian Pimp - Edgardo Cozarinsky - Reading Globally Argentina theme - What's in a Name Challenge 2
14. Death at the Old Hotel - Con Lehane - BookCrossing bookray - Local Author - What's in a Name Challenge 2
15. Outcasts United - John St. Warren - Early Reviewer

16. Maple Sugarin' in Vermont: A Sweet History - Betty Ann Lockhart - BookCrossing bookray
17. Loon - Jack McLean - Early Reviewer
18. The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
19. Going Gray - Anne Kreamer
20. Goat: A Memoir - Brad Land

21. Electroboy - Andy Behrman
22. The Tennis Partner - Abraham Verghese - Global Author Challenge
23. Touch and Go - Eugene Stein
24. The Big Year - Mark Obmascik
25. Fatal Light - Richard Currey - Early Reviewer

List of books continues in post #4.

Curious about my categories? Check out how they are arranged on my 999 Challenge.

Jul 11, 2009, 6:16 pm

Found you and got you starred again, Madeline!

Jul 11, 2009, 6:28 pm

How did I completely miss Chapter 1? Following you now!

Editado: Set 30, 2009, 12:16 am

Continued from post # 1

26. The Wasp Eater - William Lychack
27. Among Other Things, I've Taken Up Smoking- Aoibheann Sweeney
28. Frida's Bed- Slavenka Drakulic - Global Author Challenge
29. Bird by Bird - Ann Lamott - Dewey Decimal Challenge
30. Joy Comes in the Morning - Jonathan Rosen - What's in a Name Challenge 2

31. What the Deaf-Mute Heard - G.D. Gearino - What's in a Name Challenge 2
32. My Latest Grievance - Elinor Lipman
33. Secret Son - Laila Lalami - Early Reviewer
34. Counting Coup - G.D. Gearino
35. The Soloist - Mark Salzman - Reading Globally Arts theme

36. Tongue: A Novel - Kyung-Ran Jo - Early Reviewer
37. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegetable Gardening - Daria Brown Bowman
38. Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout - Early Reviewer
39. Scream Queens of the Dead Sea - Gilad Elbom
40. The Longest Trip Home - John Grogan

41. American Rust - Philipp Meyer
42. Diet for a New America - John Robbins
43. The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon - Reading Globally Polar theme
44. Sorry - Gail Jones - Orange July
45. The Dawning of the Day : A Jerusalem Tale - Haim Sabato

46. The Twitter Book - Tim O'Reilly
47. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
48. McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales - Michael Chabon
49. The Way to the Cats - Yehoshua Kenaz
50. The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food - Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

List of books to be continued in post # 6.

Jul 12, 2009, 1:17 am

Once again, I have starred Chu.
hugs n stuffs,

Editado: Dez 21, 2009, 10:46 am

List of books 51 through 75 will be continued here.

51. Gaby Brimmer: An Autobiography in Three Voices - Gaby Brimmer - Early Reviewer
52. Push Comes to Shove - Wesley Brown - Concord Free Press
53. Going After Cacciato - Tim O'Brien
54. The Ghost in Love - Jonathan Carroll - Reading Globally, ghost theme
55. To Sibera - Per Petterson - Early Reviewer

56. Bringing Out the Dead - Joe Connelly
57. Writing in the Dark - David Grossman
58. Namako: Sea Cucumber - Linda Watanabe McFerrin
59. The Flying Troutmans - Miriam Toews
60. The Story of a Marriage - Andrew Sean Greer

61. Honey and Dust - Piers Moore Ede
62. Garlic and Sapphires - Ruth Reichl
63. Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person - Miriam Engelberg
64. Wearing Dad's Head - Barry Yourgrau
65. Brooklyn - Colm Toibin - CURRENT READ

66. Sixty Stories - Donald Barthelme - CURRENT READ
67. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen - CURRENT READ

75. Uh Oh! No way I'll finish this challenge by midnight on New Year's Eve. :(

Jul 12, 2009, 2:52 am

Hi, just stopping by to say hi. Great list of books you have read so far this year.

Jul 12, 2009, 8:21 am

Hi Dianne,

I try to read some of the more "off-the-beaten-track" books. My favorites are those that are great, but not known by many others. Then I like to spread the word. My best discoveries this year (in terms of authors) are Abraham Vergehese, Jack McLean, and G.D. Gearino.

Editado: Jul 15, 2009, 10:12 pm

As far as reading, I'm completely entranced by The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff which I picked up as an audio CD from my local library.

I'm also slowly slogging my way through The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon which other LT-ers swear upon a stack of bibles (well, not really!) gets better. I sure do hope so. I'm one third of the way through the book and still not liking it.

Jul 12, 2009, 12:13 pm

Jul 12, 2009, 12:21 pm

*waves to belva*

Jul 12, 2009, 3:32 pm

I hate to hear someone slogging. I know I told you to keep reading, but I'm not one of those people who feels like I have to finish a book I don't like, and once I get irritated at an author, or decided I don't like a book, it usually doesn't get better, so can I change my mind? There are so many good books out there. I liked The Yiddish Policemen's Union right away--which really surprised me because the setting is so dreary, and the main character is a mess, and an alcoholic, which I usually have NO patience for!

Jul 12, 2009, 4:35 pm

I'm reading it through because biblioholic13 sent it to me. I'm okay. Don't worry about me. I'm doing other fun things as well in between the chapters. Today I made a chocolate zucchini cake. That'll give me something good to eat while I read. :)

Jul 15, 2009, 10:11 pm


I'm not slogging any more! About 225 pages into The Yiddish Policemen's Union, I'm starting to find the story interesting. The similes still have me rolling my eyes heavenward, though. :)

Editado: Jul 23, 2009, 10:49 pm


The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon

Finished it. Didn't like it. Here's my review. The best part of this book is that it's done.

Rating -- 2 stars

Jul 23, 2009, 2:35 pm

Oh Squeaky, I'm so sorry you disliked the book. And here Bonnie and I went on and on about how good it was. I would have told you to stop reading if you really hated it, but I agree with you, that with a mystery like this, you do want to know how it ends. Here's hoping your next book is as good for you as this one was bad.

On to better things, chocolate zucchini cake sounds yummy, I happen to have extra zucchini in the fridge, I know what I'm doing this afternoon.

Jul 23, 2009, 4:12 pm

Madeline - Sorry to hear that it wasn't a good read for you in the end. What have you got lined up next?

Jul 23, 2009, 8:04 pm

Kerry - I just started Sorry by Gail Jones for my Orange July. I'm so happy to be reading soomething I like again. What a relief! The writing is just beautiful.

Susan - Do you need the recipe for the chocolate zucchini cake? My recipe is wonderful and so easy!!

For books that are prize winners, I sometimes want to finish them to see if I can figure out what others find so appealing about them. I know that Chabon is a wonderful writer so I didn't just want to dismiss his book. The funny thing is, that once I decide I'll force my way through a book, the book usually don't get any better through to its end.

Editado: Jul 23, 2009, 8:07 pm

By the way, wookiebender is reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union now. I can't wait to hear what she has to say about it. It seems as if this book is one that people don't feel neutral about. Either they love it or hate it.

Jul 24, 2009, 12:08 am

I guess I am an exception to the lovers or haters - I fell somewhere in the middle. I was disappointed in the book in that I thought I would like it more than I did, but I did not hate it.

Editado: Jul 25, 2009, 12:54 am

Madeline, I know lots of people on LT are reading the same books, but I still think it's hilarious how often you and I have got the same books in front of us. Sorry was the only new book I just had to buy (even though it was full-price) while at the used-book sale a couple of weeks ago and am really looking forward to reading it. Still enjoying The 19th Wife but have gotten distracted by a bunch of library books that need to go back or be renewed. This is the first time in my life--yes, in my whole life--that I am reading more than one book at a time. I don't know how you guys all do it--I forget too much, and I don't feel as engaged in the story reading this way.

P.S. I don't even remember noticing similes or metaphors while reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union, but I can get annoyed by things like that too. I remember thinking while reading Wallace Stegner, "This guy is just too in love with describing the light on this leg, it's really taking me away from the story, rather than into it." It's a fine line, isn't it? A friend and I were just talking about how great the writing was in Plainsong by Kent Haruf and we both remember thinking that as we were reading, but it didn't get in the way of the story. Have you read that book?

Edited to fix Touchstones (thanks, Madeline).

Editado: Jul 24, 2009, 9:29 am

Hehe! Bonnie - Isn't it funny how we used books fanatics often find one book at those stores that are full price but that we need right away (along with the other 400 or so books on our TBR mountain)?

Ooh! Sorry is great so far and comes highly recommended by others. You can read it for the Orange July Challenge. That's an easy challenge in which you only have to read one Orange Prize winner or nominee in July. You're doing that already anyway!

I'm listening to The 19th Wife on CD. I picked up the book but think it seems better on audio. The narrator on my CD is excellent. He makes it more of a theatrical production than a book. Unfortunately, I only get to listen to it on weekends when I use my car. I now take the Metro (and a real book to read on it) to work during the week.

I don't really like to read more than one book at a time. One book alone allows me to better concentrate on the story. That said, I have no will power when I see an interesting book in my collection and take a peek at its first few pages. That often gets me hooked. A good way to read two books at once is to pick one fiction and one non-fiction. A non-fiction book often does not intertwine itself with a novel. Second, if you choose two novels to read at the same time, be sure they are completely different or you'll just find a character from one novel stepping casually into the pages of your other novel while you're reading it!

The similes and metaphors in The Yiddish Policemen's Union were brilliant. I just upped my rating for that book from 1 to 2 stars for those alone. They're the best I've ever read, I think. Here is a random sample:

Landsman crouches by the cot for another minute or so, collecting himself like a beggar chasing scattered dimes along the sidewalk.

A scrotal pair of propane tanks huddles against the side of the building.

Back through the village of Jims, a row of steel roofs along an inlet, houses like the last ten cans of beans on a grocery shelf before the hurricane hits.

I just opened the book at random to share these with you, but they are all brilliant and deserve a handbook of their own, preferably with a glossary to the book itself. By the way, there are such glossaries available on the web. Here is one glossary by a blogger.

That's another good reason for finishing some books I don't like. I can share information about them or talk about them knowledgeably.

Your touchstone points to a lone book. I think you mean Kent Haruf's Plainsong, didn't you? I haven't read it (or own it) yet.

Today bookoholic13 is listed as the #2 person for "Members with Your Books". Good call, LT! I actually got my copy of The Yiddish Policemen's Union directly from her in California through BookMooch!! :D

A new feature of my thread:

What DC is reading:
Seen read by someone on the Metro yesterday - Spook by Mary Roach.

Jul 25, 2009, 12:55 am

Finished The 19th Wife but will reserve comments for when you're finished as well. :-)

Jul 25, 2009, 9:02 am

It'll take me a long time to finish it because I only listen to it in the car on weekends. I'm up to disc 5 (of 15) now, though.

Jul 25, 2009, 12:54 pm

I'm so terrible at remembering details, I'll probably have nothing to say by then, but we can always talk about the other books we seem to be reading at the same time.

Thanks for the examples from The Yiddish Policemen's Union. I remember "the scrotal pair..." metaphor because I had a slightly negative reaction to it. It felt crude, but it sounded like the kind of thing the narrator would say, and it did allow me to "see" the propane tanks. I would have to go back to see if it added to the story. I guess that's what you're saying, right? That some of the similes and metaphors didn't seem necessary? That they just distracted you?

Editado: Jul 25, 2009, 2:17 pm

I love similes and metaphors, but I think they have to be subdued enough to make you not think of them as such. They should paint a picture, not jump off the page. When they become overabundant or too prominent, you start reading for those instead of for the story line.

I didn't like particularly like the story, but I thought the similes/metaphors were amazing. That's the thing about Chabon. He has great creativity with words and ideas. The way he put them together for this novel just didn't work for me. Would I read more of his books? Absolutely!

Jul 25, 2009, 2:18 pm

The good thing about The 19th Wife is that I'm finding it great entertainment.

Jul 25, 2009, 6:25 pm

>18 SqueakyChu:, Hey Madeline - I for one, would love the recipe for the chocolate zucchini cake. I've just replaced smoking with eating....

Editado: Jul 25, 2009, 11:02 pm

Your wish is my command...

Yield: 24 squares

1 stick plus 1 Tbsp butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp grated orange rind
½ cup milk (or Lactaid)
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
2½ cups flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x12 baking pan. In large bowl, cream butter & sugar. Beat in eggs, melted chocolate, vanilla, orange rind, and milk. Stir in zucchini. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix dry ingredients into zucchini mixture. Turn batter into pan. Bake for forty minutes. Cool on a rack before removing cake from pan. (Note: If using a Bundt or tube pan, bake for 1 hour.)

*** I have no idea when I found this recipe in The Washington Post. I’ve been making this recipe for years!

Congrats on quitting smoking! Not an easy task...

Jul 26, 2009, 12:56 pm

I should look for my recipe. I got it from someone else, so don't know where it came from, but I got it at least 30 YEARS AGO! Wow! Time does fly! I haven't made it for years, but it was even easier recipe since it only required cocoa mix which everyone pretty much has, and was surprisingly chocolaty. I don't remember if it had the orange rind, but I love the combo of orange and chocolate, so would definitely add that if it didn't. My recipe tasted really good to me, but I bet yours is even better. I used to make mine in a bundt pan. You should try that, Madeline; it makes it fancier to serve. I used to sometimes dust it with powdered sugar, sometimes drizzle frosting or chocolate sauce.

Jul 26, 2009, 6:33 pm

Thanks for the recipe, I was away all weekend and just catching up on LT now, so thanks for posting it. I love using tried and true recipes instead of randomly find them on the internet.

I read the 19th Wife last year, and liked it, but wondered to whole way through how much of the historical chapters were true. Books based on truth like that always make me think about which parts were embellished (American Wife really scared me, the whole thing seeming it could be fact)

Jul 28, 2009, 1:21 am

In the afterword, it sounded like the author was really concerned about that as well. I think the speeches by Brigham Young were accurate. I'd like to read the original Thirteenth Wife and also read a nonfictional account of that time in Mormon history. It seemed like there was a lot left out.

Editado: Jul 31, 2009, 10:36 am

44. Sorry - Gail Jones

I'm feeling kind of bad about this book. It seems as if it was loved by everyone who read it except for me. I found the writing too flowery for my taste and the story too depressing. I figured out the key element of the plot and only hoped that it would happen sooner so that the book would be done. Am I in a reading funk or what?

I think I was a bit disappointed with the story, too, because I'd been thinking it would give me more insight into the Aboriginal culture or at least more about the one Aboriginal character of Mary.

ETA: I didn't want to write a review of this book, but I finally did so. Slowly trudging on...

Rating - 2 stars

Jul 30, 2009, 10:19 pm

I haven't read this one and probably won't after reading your review. I did a little hunting around and came up with Carpentaria by Alexis Wright which sounds interesting and is also set in the Australian outback.

Editado: Jul 31, 2009, 7:55 am

Kerry, I now feel even worse for influencing you not to read this book! It is on the Orange Prize longlist.

ETA: There are quite a few Orange Prize books of which I'm not particularly fond.

Editado: Jul 30, 2009, 11:42 pm

There was one memorable quote in Sorry that I'm saving:

A secure pleasant solitude shaped itself around her. In the sweet warm air drifted lilting voices, occasional noise from outside, a banging door, a parrot-screech, a car passing slowly, crunching on the gravel. Nothing to disturb the composed inwardness of her own world of reading.

Jul 31, 2009, 1:26 am

Don't worry, I have a pile of books to read, so I'm always looking for excuses not to add to it! I usually read Orange Prize books long after their heyday.
That quote is lovely.

Jul 31, 2009, 3:12 am

Madeline, I didn't particularly like Sorry either. Though the writing was often exquisite, her use of mostly third person just kept me at enough of a distance. I kept wanting to feel more; a book like this should make me cry--I guess I'm getting hard-hearted. :-(

Editado: Jul 31, 2009, 7:56 am

--> 38

Phew! I feel better now. Too bad I read that book for Orange July. It would have gone along with the Aboriginal theme for Reading Globally in August as Mary was Aboriginal and the author was Australian.

Did you notice how the narrative kept changing from first person back and forth to third person? That made me crazy as well.

(Trying to avoid spoilers) I didn't believe what was eventually disclosed. It didn't seem possible.

In addition, I usually feel some compassion for the mentally ill, but I never felt anything at all for Stella. Nicholas was just nasty. Perdita was pathetic. I should have at last felt something for her or her two friends. I felt as if I were in a conversation with someone I didn't like - trying to find a polite way to exit. :)

Editado: Jul 31, 2009, 10:42 am

I went back and wrote a review of Sorry. See the link in Message 33. That leads me to think about reviews and why there are so many good reviews and so few negative reviews. This is what I came up with.

After finishing a disagreeable book, I don't want to think about it any more. I want to either throw it across the room or move it along to someone who will have a better appreciation of it.

It's often hard to put into words what make a book a bad fit for me. If the writing is good and everyone else loves it, why does it not appeal to me? That takes some thinking. I'm not one of those reviewers who gets off by bad-mouthing a book I dislike. I want to be able to clearly express what made it not appeal to me. In that way, I hope not to be putting down some very talented writers. In addition, I would like to direct only readers who would truly appreciate the book to it and those who would not away from it

Ago 1, 2009, 8:18 am

I couldn't figure out why the author switched back and forth between first and third person; it both bothered and distracted me. I knew on the first page what happened, so not a surprise, and was very disappointed in Perdita's rationalizations once she "found out" the truth. Mary's story should make us sadder shouldn't it? I did like the political explanation about efforts to make the government (and the people that went along with it) say, "Sorry!)

I agree with you about the lack of negative reviews, though I more often than most, it seems, write critical comments. I think your explanation sums up my intentions as well: "I want to be able to clearly express what made it not appeal to me." And that doesn't bother me, because it's my own opinion, and very personal reaction, not a statement of fact.

Editado: Ago 13, 2009, 1:42 am

45. The Dawning of the Day - A Jerusalem Tale

I truly loved this book. It was so beautiful. Beware, though, because I cannot recommend this book to everyone. It is filled with Jewish liturgy (the author teaches in a Jerusalem yehiva), stories within stories, and the pulse of life in Jerusalem. This was a book that for me, a person who had once lived in that golden city, brought nostalgia for Jerusalem to the point of tears. I found myself sometimes drifting into the story itself by "visiting" the places mentioned or "tasting" the ka'ak, a type of pastry, or sipping the sweet mint tea. I would say I was more taken in by the setting of this story than most other readers would be.

The main character, Ezra, is a simple man who works in a laundry and lives a life of piety. In his own way, he brings charm to those who know him by the stories he recounts to others. Other memorable characters walk the pages of this book. Rahamim is a blind musician with a story of the past. Dr. Yehudah Tawil is Ezra’s erudite brother-in-law who loves to display his educational prowess. Haham Pinto is the sage who shares his knowledge by delivering religious sermons. Madame Sarah is Ezra’s wife and true soul mate.

The liturgy that accompanied this story was fitting and inspirational. Due to the way in which the author brought authentic teaching to the secularism of his novel, this book filled my soul. I simply did not want it to end.

Rating - 5 stars

Ago 14, 2009, 12:03 am

Looks very good! I will see if I can track down a copy. Thanks for the recommendation!

Ago 14, 2009, 3:07 am

You're welcome! I was so happy to be back reading an Israeli novel that I picked another one to read right away. Now I'm working on The Way to the Cats by Yehoshua Kenaz.

Ago 14, 2009, 3:27 am

I will be anxiously awaiting your review of that one as well. I hope it is as good as the other.

Ago 14, 2009, 12:03 pm

I'm liking it. I read another book, (Returning Lost loves), by Yehoshua before which I liked very much and even shared with a fellow LTer. I like to promote good Israeli novelists. Both Haim Sabato and yehoshua Kenaz are excellent writers and are appreciated both in Israel and internationally. Grab and read some of their books if you can.

Ago 14, 2009, 1:34 pm

Madeline, yesterday I read A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy. Hard to think about that darling little boy on the cover having to go through all those terrible experiences, much less the six million his story represents. Have you read it? Arubabookwoman gave it to me.

Ago 14, 2009, 3:31 pm

Haven't read it. Would like to, though. My maternal grandparents died in Auschwitz. :(

Have you read the two graphic novels Maus (I and II) by Art Spiegelman? If not, you *must*. They're probably the best books around to understand the Holocaust in a way that is not too threatening or overwhelming for the reader.

Editado: Ago 14, 2009, 5:40 pm

Oh, so sorry, Madeline! :-((( I would have such a hard time reading books like this if I had family who died in the Holocaust, but you have to, to bear witness at least, huh?

I absolutely loved the Maus books and am still *mad* at my son for taking them to his high school literature class--wanting to prove that graphic novels can be an excellent way to tell even such a serious story--and never getting them back. I only feel better if I imagine dozens of high schoolers reading them every year--one hopes anyway.

Edited to fix my spelling and grammar. Can't think when I'm mad! ;-)

Ago 14, 2009, 6:05 pm

I actually like to read Holocaust books because I try to piece together what it must have been like for my grandparents and (also for my mom who lost her parents). I can only do it in little doses though.

I liked the Maus books because I was able to actually "walk my way" into the crematoria and imagine the paths and the feelings that my grandparents must have had. It's really too sad to imagine.

Ago 15, 2009, 1:16 am

I am reading a pretty good one on the Holocaust right now, Madeline - The War Against the Jews. It is nonfiction, though, not fiction.

Ago 15, 2009, 1:32 am

I don't usually do nonfiction books that speak of the whole war. That's pretty heavy reading for me.

I recently read an interesting book about the Holocaust called Fatelessness by the Polish novelist Imre Kertész. The copy I read was the newer translation. It's the story of the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of a young boy. The story is told without any evil and without any politics. What I find most fascinating about Holocaust literature is the vast array of ways this part of history is presented to the public.

Ago 15, 2009, 1:36 am

#52: Fatelessness is already on Planet TBR. I will bump it up!

I had a feeling that the nonfiction might be a bit much for you given your family history. If you do ever decide to read heavier nonfiction about the Holocaust, that book and Martin Gilbert's are good starting points.

Ago 15, 2009, 1:48 am

I'll keep them in mind, but will probably pick something else. :)

Ago 15, 2009, 1:58 am


I appreciate your input on good Israeli authors. I hope you continue reading them so that I have some starting points.

Ago 15, 2009, 6:57 am

No problem. I don't think I'll ever stop reading Israeli novels. Through them, I vicariously visit Israel (much cheaper than plane fare).

Ago 15, 2009, 7:39 am

True. Books are much cheaper than airfare anywhere!

Ago 17, 2009, 3:22 pm

Squeaky, I received Dawning of the Day as an ER book and loved it also. In my review I wrote:

A truly beautiful tale of Ezra Siman Tov. A simple man, a storyteller, a religious man who has dedicated every part of his life to god. He thinks he is unworthy due to an incident that occured during childhood, yet is deeply loved and honoured within his community.
Each chapter tells us a small part of his story. Through these tales and homilies, told by both religious leaders and by Ezra himself, we learn about him and his life.
If I had a pencil while reading, my book would be filled with underlined passages. The text was as thought provoking as it was elegant. A lovely book.

I agree, this is not a book for everyone, but if you are the right person it is a wonderful book.

Ago 18, 2009, 11:58 pm

Susan, it's so nice to hear how much Dawning of the Day meant to you. I really love Sabato's writing on so many levels.

Editado: Ago 24, 2009, 10:02 pm

46. The Twitter Book - Tim O'Reilly

This is a great little book. I'm new to Twitter so I found everything in the book really interesting and helpful. I'm not scared to make a mistake on Twitter now. After all, my message will be seen at most for about five minutes.

This book is well organized, comprehensive, pretty (love the colors and the birds) and fun (the writing allows for newbies to make mistakes). This is a book I'm hanging on to. It'll be a good reference because it has other links I'll probably find useful the more familiar I become with Twitter.

Rating -- 5 stars

Ago 25, 2009, 4:40 am

#60: It was all I could do just to join Facebook, so I do not think I will be getting on Twitter any time soon, but I will keep the book in mind in case I ever do :)

Ago 25, 2009, 6:21 am

twitter is a lot less intimidating than facebook. I like it :)

Ago 25, 2009, 8:37 am

Thanks for The Twitter Book recommendation! Adding it to the TBR pile.

Editado: Ago 25, 2009, 8:48 am

First of all, Twitter is so much more interesting than Facebook. Each person only has 140 characters to get you interested in what he or she has to say. You can follow or unfollow anyone at any time. If you dislike the comments someone posts, just unfollow them.

You can also follow interesting entities. For example, I follow authors, book publishers, slow food organizations, LibraryThing (nice to have when LT is down for no apparent reason).

Twitter has no stupid games, surveys, give "someone a plant" as does Facebook.

In addition, it takes very little time to read. It's almost like the headlines that scroll at the bottom of a news program. The difference is that it scrolls vertically instead of horizontally and only includes news that you like.

Do I like Twitter? Well, yes!

ETA: It was actually a few LT members who enticed me to join Twitter. I found it overwhelming for a total of two days. Then I was off and running with it.

Ago 25, 2009, 11:10 am

Melinda, you've sold me on the Twitter book at least. I'm just worried about how much time I spend on LT, reading all my "starred" postings--instead of actually reading a book. I'm such an avoider; I'm worried that I'll use Twitter to avoid even more.

Ago 25, 2009, 9:15 pm

You will! Guaranteed!!

Editado: Ago 26, 2009, 7:17 pm

Well, at least you're honest! ;-)

Ago 26, 2009, 10:01 pm

Man Squeak;
I leave for a few days and it takes me an hour to catch up on you. You have been a very busy girl and I ripped a lot of recx off your thread today. Thanx hon.
Well, I wanted to stop by and say hello as I am attempting to catch up will all my fav threads so I can get back to books.
Will catch you later my dear.

Ago 26, 2009, 10:44 pm

Hi Belva,

I was at the beach for a week and didn't really do much here at LT (although I did take my laptop this year - and couldn't resist logging in every now and then). :)

Ago 26, 2009, 11:40 pm

Madeline! LOL! Who's "Melinda?" I'm sorry, I knew I was stressed this morning, but that's no excuse for renaming you. Just call me "Barney." (I've had two different students think that was my name.)

Ago 26, 2009, 11:43 pm

I've been called everything from Medallion to Marmaduke in my life, so Melinda is not bad. I was just wondering who she was! :)

Editado: Ago 31, 2009, 2:25 am

47. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith - Anne Lamott

This is the second book by Anne Lamott that I have read. The first book of hers that I read was Bird by Bird which was a gentle and humorous guide to writing. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith is a book of essays. They are great! She talks about a variety of topics, but her son Sam pops up in many of them, and her abiding faith is prominent throughout. I find LaMott's writing to provide very pleasant interludes. It's the kind of writing that can be picked up at different times and not read straight through. She makes me laugh, and she tells it like it is. I enjoys the lessons of life that come shining through her work.

Rating -- 4 stars

Ago 31, 2009, 5:31 am

I like Lamott's books, too.

Ago 31, 2009, 12:48 pm

She's a very talented writer. If you liked those two books I'm sure you will like all of her non fiction books...I haven't tried her fiction yet though.

Ago 31, 2009, 2:04 pm

I plan on picking up some more of Ann Lamott's books. I like her writing style as much as I do that of Barbara Kingsolver who also does essays (nonfiction). There's a gentle grace in the way both of those author write.

Ago 31, 2009, 4:22 pm

I've read several books by Lamott, and really like her, too. The first book I ready by her was a gift, Traveling Mercies: Some thoughts on Faith. I read Bird by Bird, too.

Plan B is on my TBR pile, as I recently purchased a used copy. I'm glad to see that you liked it!

Editado: Ago 31, 2009, 4:45 pm

I always passed Ann Lamott's books by before. I guess, from their covers, they looked like some sort of religious books. I didn't feel like reading about Christianity and didn't realize there was more to her books than what was pictured on their covers. The only reason I picked one up at all was that I thought Bird by Bird was about birding. :)

Editado: Set 2, 2009, 8:56 pm

Ha! Ha! I'll have to check out more of her books, I guess. I really enjoyed Bird by Bird, but then read a memoir-type book about how she kicked drinking and found religion and was hugely disappointed. I know way too many people who can only give up the one addiction by moving over to the other one. I'm not talking about religion in general. I'm talking about the all-intensive, "I'm saved, and now you can be too!" mantra that takes over that person's whole life. I guess it's a better addiction in terms of their health, but relationship-wise, it's insufferable.

Edited to stop italics. Probably should edit to make less vehement, but...

Editado: Set 2, 2009, 9:25 pm

The book I'm listening to isn't that kind of book. She talks about all kinds of things. Obviously, religion is a big part of her life, but I wouldn't call this a preachy book. She has essays about different topics. Some of them are about people whom she met and what she thought of them.

Which is the book you read? Perhaps I'll skip that one, but so far I've enjoyed her writing and the way she expresses herself. I think she's really funny.

By the way, you can be vehement on my thread. I don't mind. I like passion!

Set 5, 2009, 12:18 am

It seems as if this group is the place to be! The 75 Book Challenge is the now the #1 group. It even has Hogwarts and The Green Dragon beat. Go 75-ers!!

Set 5, 2009, 1:02 am

Set 5, 2009, 9:17 am

That's amazing. Isn't it? I think it's headline news.

We have currently captured "most active talk" and "most read talk", but we have quite a ways to go until we beat both of them on "total messages" and "groups with the most members". I have no doubt that someday we'll be #1 in those categories as well.

Including the 999 Challenge group, these two groups are the ones I find most interesting and fun (and ones that are open for anyone in which to participate).

Set 9, 2009, 11:25 pm

SqueakyChu, it is a very active group. I've probably only read about half the messages posted in the 75 group. I get sorta of caught up but people keep posting and I get behind again. I think the group will reform anew for 2010 ( it did this year- as the 2009 75 group) so passing the Dragon and the Harry group in total posts probably won't happen.

Set 9, 2009, 11:48 pm

I've found the best way to follow this group is to star the people with the categories that I find most interesting and just follow them.

I'd never try to read all of the posts. I'd have to quit my job and stay home full time to do that! :)

Set 10, 2009, 11:17 am

Lol! I'm with you! Occasionally, I have the time to check out new threads, but most of the time it's all I can do to keep up with my starred threads. I just read The Earth Hums in b Flat, Madeline. It seems like a book you would really like. :-)

Set 10, 2009, 8:30 pm

...and onto my wishlist it went! :)

Editado: Set 10, 2009, 9:53 pm

48. McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales - Michael Chabon

This is an anthology of science fiction/fantasy/bizarre stories. I thought I'd like them more than I did because of the great list of authors this book contains. There were Stephen King, Dan Chaon, Michael Crichton, Neil Gaiman, Nick Hornby, and Elmore Leonard among others. The two best stories were by two authors I'd never read before.

One story I especially liked was "Chuck's Bucket" by Chris Offutt. In this science fiction tale, a man is immersed in a professor's time machine and enters multiple tongue-in-cheek and often hilarious realities. This was a very clever story and told in a delightful way.

My favorite story, though, was "The Albertine Notes" by Rick Moody in which a news reporter is working on an article about Albertine, a memory-boosting substance. This was a convoluted tale but terrifically engaging and imaginative. Even though I tend to shy away from sci-fi material, this is actually a story I'd enjoy reading over again at a later date.


Editado: Set 11, 2009, 1:59 am

I'm not particularly fond of either Sci-Fi or short stories (I'd rather read novels), but you make this book sound good enough to add it to my wish list. Thanks, Madeline! :-)

Set 11, 2009, 7:24 am

>87 SqueakyChu:: Between the deliberately pulp cover and your description, it sounds like a return to the Golden Age magazines. I'll have to try that. Thanks.

Set 11, 2009, 10:03 am

I have to warn you, everyone, that the collection is very uneven. The absolutely worst story in the collection (to me, anyway) was "the Tale of the Gray Dick" which turns out to be a chapter of a book inStephen King's Dark Tower series. To think that King is a favorite author of mine! I was deeply disappointed.

Before you read Chabon's book, be aware that I rated it at 3 stars. The good and bad stories balance each other out. It's not a decidedly great collection of stories, but it did force me to read works by new-to-me authors. The authors I like I'll be sure to check out again.

In conclusion, this book was an author-stretching and genre-stretching book for me. I guess that's good in a way. Some of these authors I'd never even thought to try before (Michael Crichton? Elmore Leonard?? Nick Hornby???). That's the beauty of a good short story anthology. Just be aware who the editor is. I like Michael Chabon's talent (even though I didn't like The Yiddish Policemen's Union). :)

By the way, there are more books within this McSweeney's series. One is a book that I lost somewhere in my house. The short stories published in this series of book have all, at one time or other, been published in Mcweeney's Quarterly, a literary magazine.

Editado: Set 11, 2009, 10:31 am

Hi SqueakyChu - I just skimmed though most of this thread. Your posts on Sorry inspired some thoughts of my own. I read it earlier this year. My initial reaction was actually not all the different from yours. I enjoyed the writing, but not the story so much - I had this impression that the writing itself overwhelmed the story (Actually, I though the story was a little soft, and, if the title indicates the intended purpose, it was off focus in the sense that taking Australian aboriginals from their parents was only a side story.). However, for whatever reason the writing developed it's own sense in me, somewhat in hindsight. I'm usually annoyed when the writing style seems more important than the book, but that didn't happen to me here.

As for this comment of yours "I think I was a bit disappointed with the story, too, because I'd been thinking it would give me more insight into the Aboriginal culture or at least more about the one Aboriginal character of Mary." - I wholly agree!

If you're curious, my initial response is here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/54129#1200813 (See post #129. Tthe link is correct, but the page may shift as images are downloaded.)

Set 11, 2009, 10:54 am

Some of these authors I'd never even thought to try before (Michael Crichton? Elmore Leonard?? Nick Hornby???).

Madeline! "Look at me!" Get Shorty!

>91 dchaikin:: I had a similar reaction to Sorry!.

Set 11, 2009, 11:25 am

--> Bonnie (92)

I'd probably never read Get Shorty. Ha!

--> Daniel (91)

I liked your review. My reaction to a book really comes from my heart (and maybe my guts!). I either get bored, upset or I get swept along. Sorry was book I expected to like, but didn't so much. I'm now reading a book I expected not to like, but now I'm enjoying it immensely (more on that specific book when I finish it). Anyway, go figure!

Set 11, 2009, 11:12 pm

Well, Madeline, at least watch the movie! Pretty please? I don't usually like movies, or books, in the genre at all, but this one's hilarious!

Set 12, 2009, 12:15 am

Maybe some day...

Editado: Set 12, 2009, 12:42 am

Folks, tell her what's she's missing! ;-)

Edited to add: I completed my 999-challenge today! Y-A-Y!

Set 12, 2009, 12:43 am

Wow! So soon?! Congrats!!!

Set 12, 2009, 3:09 am

#96: Congratulations, Bonnie!

*Stasia is going back to lurking again now*

Set 12, 2009, 9:00 am

Hi Stasia,

Hope all is well with you.


Editado: Set 13, 2009, 9:15 pm

49. The Way to the Cats - Yehoshua Kenaz

Yolanda Moskowitz is a 76-year-old woman who ended up in a Tel Aviv rehab hospital after a debilitating fall. Her story is not only an amazing story of aging and that of a crotchety old woman, but it is also a glimpse of paranoia and the chance to stare uncertainty straight in the eye. Among the many colorful characters in this book (the artist Lazar Kagan, the nurse Satana, the masseuse Adela, the demented patient Paula), the reader gets to experience the drama of aging and becoming incapacitated. It’s a rough road.

Again I’ve fallen in love with the way Yehoshua Kenaz writes. He has the ability to dissect people to see things within themselves that perhaps even they cannot see. This is a book of humor, but not the hilarious kind. It's the gentle sad humor that comes with knowing that life is not perfect and the years are spinning by.

I especially love the translation from Hebrew by Dalya Bilu. The words of the novel are not complicated. Some of the sentences are translated literally from Hebrew, making me want to hold onto this book and perhaps, someday in the future, try to read it again in its original language. It will be a delight to read this book again at any time.

Rating - 5 stars

Set 14, 2009, 1:44 am

#100: Thanks for another great recommendation, Madeline!

Set 14, 2009, 8:12 am

You're welcome.

I'm surprised that this author is not better known outside of Israel. His work is that good. One of his books has already been made into a movie (which I haven't seen yet). I'm on the lookout for more of his books.

Set 14, 2009, 8:44 pm

The Way to the Cats sounds like a wonderful book. I'm adding it to my list. Thanks.

Set 14, 2009, 9:32 pm

I loved it, arubabookwoman. I hope you do, too.

Set 14, 2009, 10:25 pm

I'm also going add it to my list. Next year I hope to read a variety of books from Israel, I've built up quite an expansive list of recommendations already from LT alone.

Set 14, 2009, 11:02 pm

I'll be following your Israeli reading.

By the way, did you hear the very sad news that Asaf Ramon (son of the late Israeli astronaut) died today in an military plane accident? :(

Set 15, 2009, 12:20 am

Yes, very sad.
I visited Nasa and saw the space shuttle ready for launch a few days before it took off on that trip.

Editado: Set 15, 2009, 8:40 am

I always hate hearing sad news from Israel. There's usually so little good news that's broadcast from there. My heart goes out to the Ramon family. What a lot of hurt. As my uncle (an Israeli who didn't like to write many letters) and others used to say, "No news is good news".

Rest in peace, Asaf Ramon.

Set 15, 2009, 9:24 am

I live in a relatively new subdivision and one of the main roads is named 'Ilan Ramon Drive' a nice but sad reminder every time I drive on it.

Right now I am reading Rashi's Daughters, the first in a trilogy. A fictionalized account of the real Rashi and how he lived and taught his daughters, in secret, the teachings of the Talmud. So far it's fascinating.

Set 15, 2009, 10:26 am

108: "There's usually so little good news that's broadcast from there"

sad, but true.

Set 15, 2009, 8:30 pm

--> 109

Sounds interesting. There's a surprising discrepancy in the way that book was liked (or disliked) by LT reviewers!

--> 100

Yeah. I can only get the good news by email or Facebook (via friends and relatives!).

Set 22, 2009, 7:42 pm

--> 85

I just got The Earth Hums in B Flat from Bookins. Thanks for the recommendation, Bonnie.

Set 23, 2009, 11:50 am

Are you talking to me? Oh, yeah, I see now you are. You can call me bonniebee if you want, Madeline, to differentiate me from brenzi. My maiden name (ooh, that sounds antiquated) started with a B. Anyway, hope you like it! I don't remember now exactly why I thought you would like it, so won't get my feelings hurt if you don't.

Set 23, 2009, 8:21 pm


Set 23, 2009, 8:22 pm

Here's a cool concept. Tell me what you think...

Set 24, 2009, 12:28 am

That's an interesting idea. I have mixed feelings. I've read books that have pushed me to give or volunteer. That's even why I've bought certain books in the first place--as my own call to action. (Blessed Unrest comes to mind.) But having the expectation upfront? IDK. I like the feeling of "choosing" to give. I guess I'd give to a charity if the book was good enough and made me want to do that. If the book wasn't any good, I wouldn't want to pass it along. You've got me intrigued, though. Good luck!

Editado: Set 24, 2009, 12:44 am

I'm reading Push Comes to Shove by Wesley Brown for the free book. The story is mediocre. I'm halfway through. It's probably because of the content. The story is about angry blacks in the 60s/70s. I guess I don't really want to be reading about that. I kind of like the protagonist, but the other characters leave me cold. I'll need to see where this book is going before I can decide for sure if I like it or not. It's exactly at 3 stars right now.

Editado: Out 3, 2009, 4:37 pm

50. The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food - Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

This was a CD I borrowed from my library. Much of what was in this book was content I had already learned from other "foodie" books. However, the chapter about farmed fish contained material that was new to me. That particular chapter I found fascinating as well as upsetting. The author is a vegan/vegetarian (varies) so the tone becomes a bit preachy at times. The message it gives is a good one, however, so don't write it off completely.

Rating - 3 stars

Editado: Out 3, 2009, 4:32 pm

51. Gaby Brimmer: An Autobiography in Three Voices - Gaby Brimmer

I won this book as an Early Reviewer and found it extremely interesting. It is the story of a Mexican woman, born with severely debilitating cerebral palsy. I selected this book because I thought it was about a Mexican Jew and love to read about Jews in Spanish-speaking countries. As it turns out, this woman was never observantly Jewish but fascinated me for other reasons. Due to severe aphasia (difficulty speaking), her main communication was done with the big toe of her left foot, either by using an alphabet board or by typing. The story was told in three voices: that of herself, her mother, and her lifetime caregiver. The most important lesson I took from this book was the intelligence and innate abilities of a woman who was so easy to write off as incapable. Who she was was as a person was so hidden in a body over which she had little control. There are nice lessons to learn by reading this book.

Rating -- 4 stars

Editado: Out 2, 2009, 10:25 am

52. Push Comes to Shove - Wesley Brown

My reaction to this book went from 3 stars, down to 1 star, up to 4 stars, and then settled on 3 stars! It was quite a roller coaster ride. My review turned out to be way too long as you shall see as you read it here. The reason it got so long was that I had the initial review (which was terribly composed and said nothing of value to any reader) evaluated by the Reviews Reviewed group who so kindly and gently guided me into improving what I wrote. I love being a student and working on my writing.

By the way, I'm offering this book up on LibraryThing's Member Giveaways.

Rating--3 stars

Out 2, 2009, 3:24 pm

Congratulations on your hot review listed on today's home page.

Out 2, 2009, 5:44 pm

Hot review?! That's hilarious!! I worked so hard on that review but much credit goes to the reviewers of that review.

Out 4, 2009, 1:26 am

#119: I am adding that one to Planet TBR. Thanks for the recommendation, Madeline.

Editado: Out 12, 2009, 12:43 am

53. Going After Cacciato - Tim O'Brien

An excellent book. I fully remember the time of the Viet Nam war, whether I want to or not. It was a tough time. Tim O'Brien is probably the best novelist I've read who writes about that time. He was an infantryman in that war. His writing reflects the terrible consequences of war as well as the gamut of emotions felt by its soldiers. I loved Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, and I'm equally impressed with Going After Cacciatio. Here's my full review.

Rating - 5 stars

Out 12, 2009, 6:24 pm

We're studying The Things They Carried during one of my classes this year. Needless to say, I am SO excited after having heard only great things about it on LT. Can't wait!

Out 12, 2009, 7:14 pm

Lucky you! And thanks for reminding me to add it to my wish list. I don't know why it wasn't already on there.

Out 12, 2009, 7:38 pm

I actually have my former copy of The Things They Carried travelling now as one of my Bookcrossing bookrays, although it's been quite a while since I've heard from the person who supposedly has the book now. :(

Out 12, 2009, 7:43 pm

--> 126

While you study the book, go back to the Library of Congress website and take a look at the podcast of Tim O'Brien. I saw him deliver this talk on the day of the National Book Festival here in DC last month.

Tim O'Brien has now been officially added to my *favorites* list of authors.

Out 13, 2009, 1:18 pm

#124: I loved The Things They Carried when I read it earlier this year, so Going After Cacciato is definitely going on Planet TBR! Thanks for the review and recommendation, Madeline.

Out 13, 2009, 2:56 pm

SqueakyChu - Two on the wishlist. Thanks for pointing these out.

Out 13, 2009, 9:40 pm

You're welcome!

Out 13, 2009, 9:41 pm

Any Jonathan Carroll fans on this thread beside myself?

Out 14, 2009, 2:09 pm

Message #124.
Thanks for your excellent review of Going After Cacciato. I gave it a hearty thumbs up! Like you, I really loved The things They Carried. I also liked In the Lake of the Woods. Have you read this one?

I'm adding Going After Cacciato to my list.

Out 14, 2009, 2:27 pm

Madeline, we haven't been reading the same books lately, but I've got The Things They Carried a long with a lot of other great books waiting for me at the library. :-)

Editado: Out 14, 2009, 7:47 pm

You've got to give me a heads up. Tell me what you're going to read, and I'll bite if it's something I think I'll like.

Next up for me is To Siberia by Per Petterson because I won it as an Early Reviewer.

Out 14, 2009, 7:50 pm

--> 133

I haven't read In the Lake of the Woods, but I've got a copy of it!! I'll read anything else this man has written. He's won me over completely.

Editado: Out 21, 2009, 10:59 pm

54. The Ghost in Love - Jonathan Carroll

Jonathan Carroll books are so much fun to read, although I didn't like this one as much as I did others of his. He writes in an odd sort of genre. It's what I'd call urban fantasy. The story has real characters yet some of the elements of the story are fantasy. Two wonderful places to start with this author are either Bones of the Moon or The Land of Laughs, the latter being my favorite.

The Ghost in Love is the story of a man who experiences ghosts and other sorts of odd happenings after he falls and hits his head. He was supposed to die, but didn't. Hence his life is complicated by what happens subsequent to his accident. Here's my full review of The Ghost in Love.

Rating -- 3 stars

Out 22, 2009, 8:34 am

I like the sound of "urban fantasy". It should be used more often as a genre as I imagine there are probably quite a few books out there that would fit your description of UF very neatly!

Out 22, 2009, 8:42 am

I don't think I made up the term, but I don't see it used very often. I also like the term "cozy mystery" when applied to some books.

Out 25, 2009, 12:10 am

The Things That They Carried is one of my desert island books. I also heartily recommend In the Lake of the Woods. It approaches the Vietnam theme from the effects the war had on the survivors.

Out 25, 2009, 12:48 am

I actually have that book, arubabookwoman, but haven't read it yet. I'll be delighted to read anything else that Tim O'Brien has written. Thanks for your recommendation.

Editado: Out 30, 2009, 12:12 pm

55. To Siberia - Per Petterson

I was so lucky to receive this novel through LT's Early Reviewer program. Although I have this author's other well known book, Out Stealing Horses, I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I liked To Siberia very much. It's the story of the relationship of a sister and brother who grew up in Denmark. Do note that the author is Norwegian. It's a very lyrical book full of emotional depth. Here's my full review.

Rating -- 4 stars

Out 30, 2009, 1:03 pm

Hi Madeline - If you need encouragement, I highly recommend Out Stealing Horses. It's one of my favorite books.

Out 30, 2009, 1:07 pm

--> 143

Good choice...as I already have that book in my home and on my TBR list! :)

Out 30, 2009, 4:05 pm

I'll second #143 -- Out Stealing Horses was wonderful!

Out 31, 2009, 4:59 am

I have not yet read Out Stealing Horses either, but that is not going to stop me from adding To Siberia to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, Madeline.

Editado: Nov 6, 2009, 10:07 am

56. Bringing Out the Dead - Joe Connelly

Wow! A most impressive and strong work by a debut author. Although the book came out in 1998, I took a chance on getting it through BookMooch because I never seem to find any books I like there. This one seemed somewhat interesting until I actually got it and started reading it. It exploded for me.

The story is by an author who once was a medic in New York City. The novel is of Frank, a medic in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. The book teems with the vibrant people and situations in that area of Manhattan in addition to the adrenaline-filled lives of medics at their work. Frank makes a most believable lead character. Anyone who has worked in the health field knows the ghosts (literally and figuratively) that fill the lives of those who deal with life and death on a daily basis. This comes across well as flashes of some situations never leave Frank's mind. Feeling burnt out by his job, but getting a rush from it nonetheless, he pushes and pushes to do the best he can for everyone he treats. Often, though, he doesn’t treat himself so well. Great book! Here's my full review.

Rating - 5 stars

Nov 6, 2009, 9:57 am

>147 SqueakyChu: : wasn't there a film from that book, featuring Nicholas Cage ? I didn't watch it, but remember the preview.

Editado: Nov 6, 2009, 10:46 am

There was indeed a Martin Scorsese movie made from this novel. However, since I don't follow movies not in English (I'm hard of hearing and only see foreign films with subititles), I'd never heard of it before! :D

There's got to be much, much more in this book than there could ever be in that movie. I'd say, for those who've seen the movie, it would be worthwhile to read the book and compare the two.

Nov 6, 2009, 10:27 am

Not being a huge fan of Nicholas Cage (to put it midly :) ), I'll rather read the book :)

Nov 6, 2009, 10:42 am

LOL! Go for it!

I'll have to check out the movie review, though. Thanks for reminding me of that.

Nov 6, 2009, 2:55 pm

Bringing out the Dead sounds great! I've added it to my list.

Our county library has it, but only in audiobook format. Do you think it would be a good one to listen to?

Nov 6, 2009, 3:29 pm

If the narrator is good, I think it would work out really well on audio. Try it and see. If you don't like the narrator, wait until you can get this book in book form.

Editado: Nov 15, 2009, 5:26 pm

57. Writing in the Dark - David Grossman

Formerly known to me as a noted Israeli author, but now more familiar to me as the peacenik who lost his 21-year-old son in the Lebanon war, David Grossman is a man to whom one should give attention. In this slim volume (an ARC, published in 2008, that I actually picked up from BookMooch - what luck!), are several essays talking about the author's love for literature, its meaning for him, and how he sees Israel as it stands presently. Although what he says is not "political", what about Israel is not political? He speaks from his heart, though, and expresses why his literature delves into concepts more universal than the "situation" (the state of unrest between the Palestinians and Jews in Israel). He discusses the existential pain of modern-day Israel while only briefly touching upon the deep sadness of a fallen son. In the broadest sense possible, he knows that he is not alone in his sentiment. This is a book for reflection, all the more so if you are among those who love Israel and can also find something of value in Israel's diverse population and other populations which surround it. Here's my full review

Rating -- 4.5 stars

Editado: Nov 15, 2009, 9:37 am

58. Namako: Sea Cucumber - Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Uh oh! This is a book I think I should have like but really didn't. The author's writing style is very beautiful, however there is simply no story!

The premise of the book is that a family goes to Japan because 10-year-old Ellen's dad has been having an affair and her mom thinks that going to Japan, where Ellen's maternal grandmother lives, will resolve that problem. Ellen and her three siblings cavort together (a strength of the book, in my opinion) in Japan, and Ellen discovers her heritage. What is missing is anything of interest. At several places in the book, I saw an opening into a more interesting plot, but these ideas stopped just as suddenly as they started. Frustratingly, I plowed through the end of the book but got little reward for my endurance. Here's my full review

Rating 2.5 stars

Nov 15, 2009, 9:39 am

By the way, if anyone here is interested in reading Namako; Sea Cucumber, just let me know, and I'll post it on BookMooch. Writing in the Dark has already been taken.

Nov 15, 2009, 4:01 pm

Thank you for the review of Writing in the Dark. I'm adding it to my list.

Have you read Grossman's Yellow Wind? I also have that one on my tbr list, having seen it recommended by several LTers.

Nov 15, 2009, 4:38 pm

>154 SqueakyChu:: Writing in the Dark sounds interesting. I'll have to hunt it down.

Nov 15, 2009, 4:45 pm

Writing in the Dark is already on my wishlist. I've now read a few of his books.

Nov 15, 2009, 5:14 pm

--> 157

I have a copy of The Yellow Wind. I just need to fit it into my reading list. You know the problem. :)

Nov 16, 2009, 12:18 am

Adding Writing in the Dark to the BlackHole. Thanks for the review and recommendation, Madeline.

Nov 16, 2009, 12:30 am

You're welcome, Stasia!

Nov 16, 2009, 10:21 am

Writing in the Dark is going on my wish list, too.

Editado: Nov 16, 2009, 1:54 pm

I think you'll like this book, Darryl. I'm always interested in what you have to say about Israeli authors as you do so much reading by international writers.

Nov 20, 2009, 11:21 am

I'm not counting this in my challenges for this year as The Complete Chile Pepper Book, an Early Reviewer book I won, has turned out to be more of a reference book than one that I can read for a challenge. However, it is so good that I thought I'd mention it here and point you to my review. I've always loved to grow and eat a wide variety of chile peppers so winning this book was a great treat for me. It's excellent!!

Nov 20, 2009, 5:03 pm

Madeline - very nice review of writing in the Dark. It's going on the wishlst.

Nov 20, 2009, 5:22 pm

Thanks, Daniel. It's a slim volume, but it says a lot.

Nov 20, 2009, 5:26 pm

Having never read Grossman before, I've added both Writing in the Dark and See Under: Love to my wishlist after reading your wonderful review.

Nov 20, 2009, 5:50 pm

Just a warning, Terri. See Under: Love is a tough book to read. I saw it today in a used bookstore and was still trying to decide whether or not to get it again. I forgot how difficult it was. I'll probably go back and get it, though, even if I don't read it any time soon.

Nov 20, 2009, 6:13 pm

I'd recommend starting with The Zigzag Kid and agree that See Under: Love is a difficult read.

Nov 20, 2009, 6:17 pm

I already read The ZigZag Kid and loved it! I enjoyed Someone to Run With as well. Those are both easy reads. The former was especially fun to read.

Nov 20, 2009, 8:00 pm

OK, maybe I'd better start with the easier ones first.

Editado: Nov 20, 2009, 10:23 pm

59. The Flying Troutmans - Miriam Toews

I heard people talking about this book and this author here on LT. I think it was on Reading Globally when we were reading Canadian authors. The novel's author, Miriam Toews, is from Winnipeg, Canada. Her writing is delightful. This was a fun read about a young woman on a road trip with her niece and nephew. The story deals with the teens' mother's mental illness, a tough topic. The book, however, free-spiritedly sails along, carrying with it a lot of love. Here's my full review.

Rating -- 4 stars

Nov 21, 2009, 2:24 am

#173: That one has been in the BlackHole far too long. I really must locate a copy!

Nov 21, 2009, 8:07 am

Nice review, Madeline. I'll probably read this next month, or early next year.

Nov 21, 2009, 9:16 am

--> 175

As always, I'm looking forward to what you think of it, Darryl. I have another book by Toews somewhere here at home. I'll have to find it now.

--> 174

Stasia, I'd offer you my, copy but it's from my public library. They wouldn't think too highly of me if I mailed it to you. ;) Hope you find a copy, though.

Nov 21, 2009, 12:12 pm

The Flying Troutmans just landed on Mt. TBR.

(You have been adding a lot of stuff to my Wishlist this week!)

Nov 21, 2009, 12:25 pm


Nov 21, 2009, 11:26 pm

#176: I appreciate the thought, Madeline!

Editado: Nov 27, 2009, 10:49 pm

60. The Story of a Marriage - Andrew Sean Greer

I loved Andrew Sean Greer's book The Confessions of Max Tivoli and was dissapointed how slow this book started out. The story takes place in 1953 San Francisco. A woman, husband and child live simply until a person of the past suddenly arrives at their home and seems to shatter their marriage. The story proceeds very slowly. Although I wasn't planning to not read the story completely, I was thinking about it. Finishing the novel was the right choice because the last third of the book was extremely well done and left me feeling satisfied that I did not give up this story half way through. Here's my full review.

Rating - 3.5 stars

By the way, if you haven't read The Confessions of Max Tivoli yet, do so right away. It's a wonderful love story about Max who was born an old man and who grows younger every day. I read this before I ever heard about "Benjamin Button".

Nov 28, 2009, 5:33 pm


I have not yet read Max Tivoli but do own it and have had it since well before Benjamin Button. I could not believe went he movie came out and it wasn't based on this book. I kept telling people there was this other book about a person aging backwards. How there are two stories about this still baffles me. I haven't seen the movie yet either. I will try to get the book read, it seem like a little one. Well, I'll move it up my list anyway.

Nov 28, 2009, 5:37 pm

Hi Madeline.

I'm very glad you decided to stay with our 75 challenge group! You would be missed.

The Confessions of Max Tivoli sits on one of my book shelves waiting to be read. Your comments prompt me to try to find it among the piles that are now double and triple stacked.

Nov 28, 2009, 6:09 pm

Susan and Linda,

Do read The Confessions of Max Tivoli and let me know how you like it. I thought it was really beautifully written.

The funny thing was that the protagonists o f"Max Tivoli" were named Max and Alice, the names of my dad and mom. Weird! Perhaps that is another reason why I like this book so much.

Dez 3, 2009, 8:34 pm

*tosses aside* Gilead by Marilyn Robinson.

Yes, I can see how this book would be a Pulitzer Prize winner. The caliber of the writing is very high. However, it's not a prize winner for me. The ultimate test of a book is one that doesn't put me to sleep while listening to it in the car. Gilead did not pass that test. No more Marilyn Robinson.

Editado: Dez 3, 2009, 8:38 pm

Tossing aside a book was not a help in finishing my challenge (which is already a hopeless loss), but it sure is a relief. Now, back to Honey and Dust...which I love! It's such a pleaure to read. More on that book when I finish it.

Dez 3, 2009, 9:33 pm

Oh, I loved Gilead because I read it at the perfect time for me. I had just gone to visit my sister and her huge loving family of children and grandchildren right before she died of a brain tumor--a glioblastoma just like Edward Kennedy. Anyway, while I was reading Gilead, I was thinking a lot about all my important relationships with people alive and dead, as well as what makes life meaningful and "enough" so it was perfect for me. I don't think I would have loved it nearly as much a year earlier or later. Whenever people talk about a book they had expected to like more based on other people's recommendations, I always think of Gilead as an example of how much a reader's own life experiences (or needs and interests) impacts his/her reaction to a book. Sorry this is so long. I miss talking to you. Glad you're going to stay with the 75-ers, so we'll hopefully talk more next year. :-)

Dez 3, 2009, 9:54 pm

Hi Bonnie,

I missed you, too.

Interestingly enough, the book Honey and Dust just "speaks to me" in the same way that Gilead did to you. I agree with you when you say that so much of what we read we actually bring to the book ourselves. Lines trigger memories, both happy and sad, in a way that we relive part of our past and feel that the author of the book "understands" us.

I can see where a book such as Gilead would be a comforting read when it supports us at the time of loss of life. I'm wondering if I should retrieve Gilead from the "tossed" pile and put it away to read at another time. I think I'll do just that. Perhaps the problem with this book was that I was listening to it rather than reading it. The narrator was great but the story was more of a diary than a linear story; probably not a good choice for weary highway travel.

My newest car CD is Brooklyn by Colm Toibin about an Irish girl headed to Brooklyn. I first read about it in the thread by kidzdoc. So far, I'm enjoying it very much. I even listened to it in the car today - with no adverse effects. :)

Dez 3, 2009, 9:54 pm

P.S. There's still time to talk this year!

Dez 3, 2009, 10:20 pm

finishing my challenge (which is already a hopeless loss)

Don't say that! I'm still telling myself that even though I've read no more than 8 books in any other month this year, I could complete 14 this time. You never know.

After all, I do have a good pile of already-started books to draw from....

Dez 3, 2009, 10:31 pm

It's a loss. Perhaps not a "hopeless loss", though, as I've already read more books than at this same time last year. That, in itself, is amazing since I'm spending way more time talking about books online than I am in actually reading them. :)

Dez 3, 2009, 10:41 pm

There are some books, Madeline, that I don't think I could stand to listen to, and Gilead is one of them. I think it would come off as too "syrupy" when read. Did it? I needed so much thinking time while I was reading--it was like his comments were a catalyst for my own thoughts that I continued on with throughout the day.

I read Brooklyn this year too based on Kidzdoc's recommendation as well as others that followed. It's sort of a quiet book and in many ways feels more real than lots of other books because the character doesn't take big chances or make huge changes. (Don't think I'm giving anything away.) Plus, I always like reading books that give me a feel for what it was like to live in another era. I thought my son would like it because he lives in Brooklyn now, but don't think there's enough there about the city to grab him.

Btw, Kidzdoc is responsible for more books added to my wish list than any other LT-er. And it's all one-sided, as he's always way ahead of me, reading books in hard-bound while I like to wait for the paperbacks to come out or I have to wait my turn at the library.

Dez 3, 2009, 11:11 pm

Gilead did not come off as "syrupy" because the narrator was great. I still think it was because of the writing style. Long narratives don't go well on long drives.

I needed so much thinking time while I was reading--it was like his comments were a catalyst for my own thoughts that I continued on with throughout the day.

Yeah. There are some books like that. While reading them, you just want to stop at a certain point, put down the book and think about a scene or an idea. One book that I read this year that did that to me was Dawning of the Day: A Jerusalem Tale by Haim Sabato. So many of the scenes in teh city of Jerusalem came alive for me (having lived in that city before), that I just wanted to lay the book aside awhile and remember the vivid details. Then I was ready to go back to read more.

I've decided to keep Gilead. I'll come back to it one day.

Kidzdoc is responsible for more books added to my wish list than any other LT-er.

I hear you. Today he's #4 on my list of "Members With Your Books". There's probably a reason for that! You dropped down to #20. :D I think kidzdoc has *the* most interesting thread of books read of any other LT-er. Perhaps that's because there are so many translated books and so many of which I've never heard. I love to discover new authors.

I'm with you. I prefer the trade paperbacks to all other forms of books.

Editado: Dez 3, 2009, 11:31 pm

I'm not trying to sell you on Gilead, Madeline. I just think it's a good example of how much a reader brings to the table. That's why I don't feel bad when I don't like a book that someone else does, or when they don't like my favorites. For example, most people wouldn't love Ellen Foster as much as I do. I almost feel embarrassed to say how much I love that little book--and that little girl!

I'm sad about my lowly status in terms of our libraries. I think I dropped down when I added a bunch of my children's books, and it will only get worse as I add more of them. But it sure was fun when we were by chance reading the same book so much of the time mid-year! :-)

edit. to change "are" to "our." How come I never see those grammatical mistakes until after I post?!

Dez 4, 2009, 1:08 am

regarding Gilead, I'm glad you might give it another try, and I'm glad you're not forcing yourself to read (or listen to) it now. I just re-read it and had some trouble - and made the mistake of not putting it down. It's not a book that pulls me in. I have to be in the right state of mind for it.

bonniebooks - Ellen Foster is a great book.

Dez 4, 2009, 8:58 am


Thank you for your kind compliments, Bonnie & Madeline!

Dez 4, 2009, 10:37 am

--> 193

I never read Ellen Foster, but a long time ago I read another book by Kaye Gibbons. Perhaps it was A Virtuous Woman. I remember liking her quiet gentle way of writing and had been planning to read more of this author's books. Perhaps I'll make Ellen Foster my next.

Don't think you had to"sell" Gilead to me. This was not a book I disliked. I could see wonderful writing and also recognize that the writing was not capturing me at the time I was listening to it. There seems to be a lot that the author wants to say (and probably more that I should allow myself to hear). I know right away when I *totally* don't like a book. Those I usually want to throw across a room. Gilead deserves another chance at another time.

Dez 4, 2009, 6:30 pm

Hi Madeline - I haven't read anything else by Gibbons, but EF is not quiet and gentle - in case you were wondering.

Editado: Dez 4, 2009, 9:16 pm

Out of curiosity, I went back to read my notes about A Virtuous Woman (from back in 1999).* I gave it 4 stars and described it as "like listening to country folks talk". It was the story of a couple who talk about their marriage in alternating chapters. He was reminiscing after his wife was dead, and she was talking after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

I think whatever kind of book Ellen Foster turns out to be will be okay as I remember liking Gibbons' writing style.

*I am so glad I was talked into journaling books read back in 1997. It's fun to look back at what my thoughts were at that time.

ETA: I also just looked up A Virtuous Woman here on LT where LT member drebbles said it was "one of those simple, quiet kind of books where there is little action or plot, just the story of two people who come to love and care for each other. Yet, it's the kind of story that will stay with you long after you've read it."

P.S. Glad my memory wasn't failing me. You had me worried there for a sec, Daniel. :)

Dez 4, 2009, 9:46 pm

lol - sorry, I wasn't trying to worry you! :)

ps - That is really cool that you have 12 years in your book journal. I have been keeping a list for some 18 years, but not a journal. You've inspired me, I think I'll do that and start by converting my 2009 threads into a journal.

Editado: Dez 4, 2009, 10:27 pm

This was back in the days when computers were just starting up. I was on local online access for the Washington area. Of course, I gravitated to talk about books. Someone convinced me to keep a journal of books I've been reading. It was just a list of books, alaphabetical by author's last name, followed by title of book, publisher, and year. I added a one-paragraph plot and a one-paragraph review and then gave it a star rating. Occasionally I also posted a review on Amazon.

It's was all on a very long Microsoft Works document page! Later, I pulled out the non-fiction, graphic novels, and short stories to give those books their own document page.

I just looked at my fiction document now. It's 97 pages long!

I stopped doing it when I joined LibraryThing because here I could do the same thing but share my comments. No one in my home (husband or three grown children, two who've moved away) is the least bit interested in what I write about books.

The fun thing about that 97-page document is that I can use the "find" button to access whatever I want even if I can't remember the name of a book. I've referred back to it very often in the past ten years, always in on-line conversations about books.

One thing I recently did that was especially fun was to pull up an old review of a book by Michael Zadoorian. He is a relatively unknown author who is also an LT author who not too long ago did an author chat here. I was able to pull up my old remarks about his book and post my review of it on LT for him to see after chatting with him. When I really read his book, Second Hand, was back in 2001 (eight years ago). Fortunately, I gave it five stars! :)

Editado: Dez 4, 2009, 11:19 pm

61. Honey and Dust - Piers Moore Ede

This was such a fun and fabulous read. It was made for me. The author is a "foodie" who travels to five countries in Asia as he attempts to see in person some very old methods of honey-gathering. You can read more about this book in my full review.

Rating--4.5 stars

Dez 5, 2009, 1:37 am

#201: That one looks like one I would enjoy, Madeline. Nice review of it as well - gave it a thumbs up! I am adding the book to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation.

Dez 5, 2009, 10:31 am

It was really a good book. I could *so* identify with many of the author's experiences. He did many things that I did while in the Middle East and many things I wish I could have done. In part of the book, he was in the Annapurna region of the Himalayas. My cousin's son recently returned from a trekking journey there and shared some of his pictures with me. I was as wowed by the pictures he sent me as I was by the author's description of it. It looks and sounds overwhelmingly magnificent.

Very few people here on LT (only 10) have a copy of Honey and Dust. That's a shame. It is definitely worth reading. I want my copy to go to someone who will really appreciate it. I found that a member of my Bookcrossing group has this book on her wishlist (!) so I'm going to surprise her with my copy tomorrow. We just love to find and give away wishlisted books to each other.

Tomorrow is our BookCrossing group holiday party. I'm going to try to make a cheesecake. I hope it doesn't crack this time.

At our party each year, we do a fun game. Each of us brings a few (used/registered) books, wrapped in holiday paper. On the outside of each package is the first line of each book. One of us later reads the outside of the package and we decide if we want the package or not by the first line that was read. It is so much fun. Part of the fun was looking for books with odd first lines. If we don't like the book we win, no problem. It just gets passed along to someone else through Bookcrossing.

Dez 5, 2009, 10:44 am

By the way, I discovered Honey and Dust by looking through all sorts of books on Bookmooch. It seems I can never find books I truly want there any more. I guess I'll have to just start looking for more obscure treasures on BookMooch from now on. :)

Dez 5, 2009, 11:33 am

Nice review of Honey and Dust - definitely worth clicking to the full review.

Dez 5, 2009, 11:37 am

Thanks, Daniel and Stasia.

I've *got* to get others to read this book. It would be good if my review helps encourage that.

Dez 5, 2009, 11:43 am

#206 - I have a book like that. It's Possessed by Shadows by Donigan Merritt. (See my review if you're curious.). I'm adding Honey and Dust to the wishlist, partly on the basis of your asterisks. :)

Dez 5, 2009, 1:50 pm

My library has a copy of Honey and Dust so I've added it to my tbr list.

Dez 5, 2009, 2:05 pm

Your enthusiastic and enjoyable review has caught my attention. I'm adding it to my wish list, too. Thanks, Madeline!

Editado: Dez 5, 2009, 5:27 pm

--> 207

Daniel, you're right about the feeling I got from Honey and Dust. It was just the way you described Possessed by Shadows in your review. I added that to my wishlist.

-->208 avatiakh:

Enjoy the book, Kerry.

--> 209

You're welcome Darryl.

Editado: Dez 5, 2009, 7:32 pm

I am reading such a fun book now! It's Garlic and Sapphires, a book by andour Ruth Reichl, food critic for The New York Times.

I'm only up to page 21, but this book has recipes instead of pictures. So guess what I'm doing? Not sure? I'm baking the New York Cheesecake. Its recipe is listed on page 20. The cake is cooling now, and tomorrow I'm taking it to the annual holiday party of my local Bookcrossing group.

How cool is that? Eating my way through a book...

Editado: Dez 5, 2009, 7:57 pm

Whose cheesecake recipe is it? If it's from Junior's in Brooklyn, I'll be interested to learn how it turns out. Junior's is generally considered to make the best cheesecake in NYC—and it's my favorite, too.

Dez 5, 2009, 8:08 pm

Ruth says its her own recipe, one that she's been modifying since she first spied it in a magazine in high school. The magazine called it Lindy's New York Cheesecake. So far, it's the first cheesecake I've made that hasn't cracked. It has a sour cream topping and is cooling presently.

Now I won't be able to give this book away when I'm done reading it. I've got to keep all of the recipes! :)

The recipe is really easy. I won't get to taste it until tomorrow. I'm going to transport it in its springform pan, riding on the Metro, I think. I hope it stays in one piece! If it turns out good and you want the recipe, I'll give it to you. Let me do the taste test first, though.

Dez 5, 2009, 8:37 pm

Madeline, if it turns out good, I would like to get the recipe.

Amazon sells the Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook by Alan Rosen, BTW.

Another recipe I need to get is the pumpkin cheesecake tarts that my aunt's neighbor's eldest daughter made for Thanksgiving last week. I barely grabbed the last one, and it was fabulous!

Dez 5, 2009, 8:42 pm

Hey I put that cookbook on my wishlist. Why not? it doesn't cost anything, and it might show up one day. :)

Pumpkin cheesecake tarts? Yum! I have a 32-pound pumpkin which I grew this summer sitting in my living room. I have yet to figure out what to do with it. Pumpkin cheesecake tarts sound like a distinct possibility! :)

Dez 5, 2009, 8:44 pm

Darryl, I found an online link to the New York Cheesecake recipe I just used. I'd say don't wait for the taste test. Make it tonight and surprise your friends tomorrow! :)

Dez 5, 2009, 8:44 pm

>201 SqueakyChu: - Just chiming in to say that Honey and Dust is going on my TBR list. You may single-handedly double the number of LT members with this book in their libraries!

And all of this talk about cheesecake is making me hungry!

Editado: Dez 5, 2009, 8:47 pm

--> 217

You may single-handedly double the number of LT members with this book in their libraries!

Yay! That makes me very happy. I like to promote lesser known good books/authors.

If you are near Alexandria, Virginia, tomorrow, that's where this cheesecake is going! :)

Dez 5, 2009, 8:50 pm

I would surprise my friends if I made cheesecake, since I don't make desserts. :)

If you're ever in NYC, there is a Junior's in the food court in Grand Central Station in addition to the one on Flatbush Avenue.

Dez 5, 2009, 9:01 pm

It's not too late to start. This one is really easy, too!

I might get back to NYC one day so I'll keep that in mind.

Dez 6, 2009, 12:24 am

I read Garlic and Sapphires last year and had a good time with it. I hope you continue 'cooking' your way through the book, Madeline.

Dez 6, 2009, 12:45 am

I wish I could cook my way through every book.

When I was reading Dust and Honey, I did stop to taste some honey that my CSA farmer gave me this September from her bee colony. I felt I needed that to get the "taste" of the story I was reading. :D

Did you make the New York Cheesecake, Stasia?

Dez 6, 2009, 12:51 am

Nope, I did not. I love cheesecake, but am seriously trying to lose weight (I started last August), so desserts are taboo for me until I drop some more weight.

Dez 6, 2009, 1:00 am

Well, I'm tasting the one I made tomorrow. It'll just be a little sliver, though. Keepin' the calorie count down a bit myself.

Dez 6, 2009, 1:12 am

Let us know how it turned out! I will enjoy the vicarious cheesecake :)

Dez 6, 2009, 10:35 am

So far, I have to enjoy the vicarious cheesecake myself. The party is not until this afternoon. :(

Dez 6, 2009, 2:37 pm

Congratulations on the hot review of Honey and Dust! You're definitely doing a good job increasing awareness of that book :)

Dez 6, 2009, 5:44 pm


You know what? I passed along my book to the perfect person tonight. She's a member of BookCrossing who wishlisted that book. She is going to read it on a yoga retreat this Jnauary and then pass it along to others at that retreat. The book will then remain in perfect hands. Ah, karma!!

Dez 6, 2009, 5:46 pm

The cheesecake was a hit. I still have a bit left if anyone wants some!

Editado: Dez 6, 2009, 6:25 pm

You could give a slice to Washington's field goal kicker, as a part of his last meal before he is exiled to Siberia.

Dez 6, 2009, 6:20 pm

The 'Skins should have won that game for sure, but Geaux Saints!

Dez 6, 2009, 6:48 pm

You could give a slice to Washington's field goal kicker, as a part of his last meal before he is exiled to Siberia.


I haven't checked the game news yet because I just got home from the BookCrossing party, and my husband (an avid Redskin fan) is at another family party. It sounds like a game I am glad to have missed. Ugh! :(

Dez 6, 2009, 6:54 pm

Washington led most of the game, and was ahead by 7 points with a little over a minute left in the fourth quarter, and the ball was on the Saints' 4 yard line. Washington lined up for a 23 yd FG that would have clinched the game, but the kicker missed! So, naturally, the Saints drove down the field, scored the tying touchdown, and won the game in OT, 33-30.

Your husband may need Xanax or Haldol to go to sleep tonight.

Editado: Dez 6, 2009, 7:06 pm

That's a worse scenario than I could ever have imagined. Are they really *that* bad this season? (rhetorical question)

Your husband may need Xanax or Haldol to go to sleep tonight.


Dez 6, 2009, 8:58 pm

The Steelers had an awful ending to their game, too . . . touchdown by the Raiders to win the game, with 9 seconds left . . . .

*sulk, pout*

Dez 6, 2009, 9:17 pm

Too bad. I'd take the Steelers over the Raiders, too. My former roommate was from Pittsburgh. Actually, she now lives in Pittsburgh again.

Dez 7, 2009, 12:56 am

How the $%^& do the Steelers give up 21 points in the 4th quarter? Especially to the inept Raiders???

There can only be one explanation. During the off season, the Bengals (famously nicknamed the Bungles by the late, great Steeler announcer Myron Cope), who are 9-3, and the 6-6 Steelers switched defensive players.

The Eagles looked fantastic in beating the Falcons 34-7. And the Giants looked even better in beating the Cowboys!

Dez 7, 2009, 12:56 am

I am a Redskins fan, but this year, I am pulling for the Saints to go all the way. I keep telling my hubby, who is from Lousiana, that some time in my lifetime the Saints will make it to the Super Bowl. This could be the year :)

I am sorry about the Steelers though - I am big Ben Rothlisberger fan. I will take just about anyone over the Raiders.

Editado: Dez 7, 2009, 3:45 am

Congratulations on your Hot Review. I've had to add Honey and Dust to my wishlist after reading your review.

I hope you enjoy Garlic and Sapphires. I loved it when I read it. It made me a little hungry though at times, and I just loved how her personality would change depending on the disguise she adopted. I won't spoil it for you, but I'm going to watch for your review we can 'chat' about certain parts of her book later.

Oddly enough, I didn't like her other books as much as this one.

Editado: Dez 7, 2009, 9:06 am


It's a good thing I picked Reichl's best book to read first then. :)

ETA: Did you make any of the recipes from that book?

Dez 8, 2009, 9:53 pm

Adding Honey and Dust to the TBR list! Unfortunately it isn't for sale new at Amazon.com... going to have to track it down some other way...

Dez 8, 2009, 10:18 pm

I guess that's the problem with a book that's not very popular. Too bad!

Dez 8, 2009, 10:19 pm

Want to hear some very sweet karma? The cousin to whom I was referring in my review of Honey and Dust just sent me pictures of himself and his girlfriend on Mount Everest ... where they just announced their engagement. Awwwwww!

Dez 8, 2009, 11:47 pm

Wow! How awesome is that! Congratulations to your cousin and his girlfriend for making it up to Everest and then getting engaged on top of that!

Dez 9, 2009, 1:32 am

Congratulations to the cousin and girlfriend - both on conquering Everest and the engagement!

Dez 9, 2009, 8:25 am

I seriously doubt they "conquered" Everest. My guess is that they visited a base camp on the mountain.

It's more than I've ever done, though. It's too cold on Everest. The most I've done is make it to the top of a volcano in Guatamala many year ago. Anyway, it was warmer there. :)

Dez 11, 2009, 5:05 am

Just adding my two bits that I'm adding Honey and Dust to my TBR as well! Nice review!

Dez 11, 2009, 10:14 am

Hope you find a copy and enjoy the read, Steph!

Dez 13, 2009, 3:01 am

Looking at the "Get this book link" it looks like abebooks has some copies available for Honey and Dust, if anybody else wanted to know.

Dez 16, 2009, 10:01 pm

62. Garlic and Sapphires - Ruth Reichl

This is a book which tells of the time that Ruth Reichl was the food critic for the New York Times. The author has to assume disguises in order to enter undetected into those restaurants she wishes to review. The result is a humorous story, some restaurant reviews, and some recipes. Here's my full review.

Rating - 4 stars

Dez 17, 2009, 3:29 am

That cover's so funny. Mine wasn't like that!

By the way, I *am* finishing A Pigeon and a Boy and I'll let you know what I think... it's now overdue and we leave the country in 14 days, so I really need to get to bed and read another chunk!

Dez 17, 2009, 8:00 am

I'll be so disappointed if you don't like it as I have it on my TBR list and have loved the other works by Shalev. I'm wwaiting to hear your thoughts of it...

Editado: Dez 17, 2009, 8:35 am

As 2009 comes to a close...

Looks like I'm heading for the end of the year, but I'll not be making my quota of books for this challenge. No problem, though. So far, I've read ten more books than last year with the very slight possibility (I doubt it, though) that I'll break 70 by the year's end. I'll try again this coming year.

How has everyone else done with this challenge? What other challenges are you attempting in 2010?

Editado: Dez 17, 2009, 8:35 am

What was your top read of 2009? Only pick *one* book, though (...even if you have more than one and can't decide!).

I think mine would have to be Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien. Perhaps that was colored by the fact that I saw the author in person at the National Book Festival this year, but I really get into his writing. I've also read The Things They Carried in the past and loved that book as well.

Dez 17, 2009, 4:19 pm

Hey, thanks for asking! :)

I'm at book 72: I think I can, I think I can . . . make it to 75 . . .
Next year, I'm doing the 75 Challenge again, the 1010 challenge, and the books-off-the-shelf challenge.

Top read of 2009???? I can't say any one book really stands head and shoulders (pages and binding) above the rest, but the one that keeps coming to mind is Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy by Diana Preston. Masterful job of detailed historical reporting, thoroughly documented, AND great storytelling. I loved the way she used quotations in her narrative!

Dez 17, 2009, 5:00 pm

I think my top read of 2009 would have to be The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, which just blew me away.

Dez 17, 2009, 5:45 pm

top read... oh it's so hard to pick one. I'm between two that I loved but I'll pick the lesser known of the two - Helen DeWitt's The Last Samurai !

Dez 17, 2009, 6:40 pm

Wolf Hall for me - couldn't put it down, and I felt like I was seeing the world through Cromwell's eyes. Can't wait for the sequel!

Dez 17, 2009, 8:34 pm

Esta mensagem foi removida pelo seu autor.

Dez 17, 2009, 9:45 pm

No surprise; Wolf Hall was my favorite book of the year.

Dez 17, 2009, 10:42 pm

63. Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person - Miriam Engelberg

A graphic novel about breast cancer? Sounds depressing, doesn't it? It is, and it isn't. Read more about this book in my review.

Rating - 4 stars

Dez 18, 2009, 1:24 am

#250: I enjoyed that one a lot when I read it last year and have Reichl's Tender at the Bone set to read in 2010.

#254: No way can I pick just one!

Dez 18, 2009, 1:34 am

Hehe, Stasia. Not when you have soooo many from which to choose! :)

Dez 18, 2009, 1:54 am

Can I submit my top 50?

Dez 18, 2009, 2:01 am

That'll fill up my whole thread! :)

Dez 18, 2009, 2:16 am

I knew there was going to be a catch!

Editado: Dez 18, 2009, 6:33 am

well Stasia you could submit one that is not necessarily your favourite - hey I had difficulty picking a favourite with 75 books, imagine if I had read 500! - but maybe one that you would like to see more people read? Or maybe one that you think a lot of people will love? Or some other such criterion instead of "favourite" :)

Dez 18, 2009, 6:54 am

If I had to choose ones that I wish more people would read, it would be Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o or So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba.

If choosing one that I think a lot of people would love, I would choose either The Chosen by Chaim Potok or Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

. . . and those are only my fiction choices!

Dez 18, 2009, 9:56 am

Whew! I just read 268 posts in your thread and now I am going over to the new 75 Book Challenge to star you. I read your intro in that group and thought...hmmm....what an interesting LT name (although I prefer Madeline) and we are the same age...so here I am.

We agree on many of the books you've read. I'm glad Bonniebooks and others have persuaded you to give Gilead another try. Perhaps it is better read than listened to? I do think timing is all-important in reading books.

I won't fill up your thread with everything I have to say because 2010 awaits. I will add that my favorite book of 2009 was Cutting for Stone. P.S. My name on the challenge is DonnaReads.

Dez 18, 2009, 10:44 am

Hey, Stasia! I'm excited to say that I've got Wizard of the Crow from the library and it will be one of my first books finished in 2010.

Dez 18, 2009, 10:45 am

I had a bit of a rough year personally and I am not going to make my goal of 85 this year. I'll not even hit 75. I'm going to try again next year. More importantly, I'm doing the Off the Shelf Challenge and hope to have some success there next year. I have a couple of Tim O'Brien's already on my shelves so hopefully I'll get to at least one of them.

I have two books I'm torn between naming my favorite, so I'm going to go with the lesser known Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill which I loved.

Editado: Dez 18, 2009, 11:17 am

>268 alcottacre:

Congratulations, Stasia!!! You narrowed your one book recommendation down to four. Good job! :)

By the way, The Chosen is still one of my husband's all-time favorite reads. He will not let me give away his very old copy of it to other Bookcrossing members. They have to find their own copy.

Dez 18, 2009, 11:19 am

By the way, I think I'm going to start my 2010 75-ers thread with your book recommendations for top read of 2009.

Editado: Dez 18, 2009, 11:41 am

>271 nancyewhite:

Whew! I just read 268 posts in your thread

Whew is right!! Sorry 'bout that. Next time, keep up... ;)

what an interesting LT name

My name is actually that of a hamster we had many years ago when I was breeding hamsters for a nearby pet store. None of my usual names (Madeline, my last name, my intials, etc.) would take at AOL IM so I kept adding choices at random. Finally I cam down to the names of all my hamsters. SqueakyChu was the first name that "took". :)

we are the same age

Love it!

I'm glad Bonniebooks and others have persuaded you to give Gilead another try.

I think that sometimes timing is the thing. I know that previously I loved reading books about India, but now that the Reading Globally group recently did their theme as India, I had no interest in reading that type of fiction at that time. My favorite way of picking reads is totally at random. I'd be hopeless in any kind of formal book group.

(Re Gilead) Perhaps it is better read than listened to?

Even though the narrator was excellent, I think you may be right. I'll read the hard copy next try.

I won't fill up your thread with everything I have to say because 2010 awaits.

Looking forward to your comments...

I will add that my favorite book of 2009 was Cutting for Stone.

I've had that book wishlisted for a long time. Actually, ever since kidzdoc recommended it.

Have a great holiday, Donna!

Editado: Dez 18, 2009, 11:40 am

> Hi, Nancy!

Which of the O'Brien books are you intending to read this year? Both of the ones I read I've loved. They were Going After Caciatto and The Things They Carried. I saw and heard Tim O'Brien read this piece at The National Book Festival this past September. It moved me to tears. I then had to add him to my list of favorite authors.

Dez 18, 2009, 11:43 am

I have The Things They Carried and In the Lake of the Woods. I'm not sure which I'll read or perhaps I'll read both. I've read many good things about both books.

Dez 18, 2009, 11:43 am

I have The Things They Carried and In the Lake of the Woods. I'm not sure which I'll read or perhaps I'll read both. I've read many good things about both books.

Editado: Dez 18, 2009, 1:13 pm

Comments on my current read: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen...

I'm really liking the part of this book that is being narrated by the very old man. It reminds me of the crotchety old woman in The Way to the Cats by Yehoshua Kenaz. In Gruen's book, the female author seems right on target describing an aged man. In Kenaz's book, I felt that the male author so aptly described an old woman. Both do that so well! It always amazes me when an author can clearly place himself or herself inside the body of an entirely different person.


Editado: Dez 18, 2009, 1:00 pm

I *loved* Water for Elephants!

edited because I couldn't make the heart symbol. harumph.

Dez 18, 2009, 1:12 pm

Yeah. I'm finding it a fun read. I'm reading it much more quickly than other books I've read of late.

Dez 18, 2009, 2:31 pm

Water for Elephants is a perfect book for the Winter Holiday rush. What other books from your library would you suggest for this hectic (at least for some people) time of the year, Madeline?

Editado: Dez 18, 2009, 3:07 pm

Great question, Bonnie. I like feel-good books during the crazy stress of this time of year.

I'd suggest
1. Marley and Me by John Grogan - nonfiction - Who can resist a good animal story?
2. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak - fiction - During the Holocaust there were some good Germans.
3. The Confessions of Max Tivoli - Andrew Sean Greer - fiction - a new twist on a love story

Everyone else, what three books would you suggest as Perfect Books to Alleviate Holiday/Winter Stress?

Dez 18, 2009, 3:27 pm

#270: Bonnie, I hope you like it!

#272: Hey, I can let you have 50 good book recommendations! Be glad you only got 4! lol

#278: Count me in as one of the Water for Elephants lovers!

Dez 18, 2009, 3:35 pm

>282 SqueakyChu:: Thanks, Madeline! I've read all three, but I don't remember the details of The Confessions of Max Tivoli so maybe it's time for a reread.

Dez 18, 2009, 3:44 pm

Have you read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger yet? Rather than a reread, go for something new to you. That's also a new twist on a love story.

Dez 18, 2009, 3:55 pm

Another perfect rec, but already read it, Mad! Keep 'em coming! :-)

Dez 18, 2009, 4:32 pm

>274 SqueakyChu:: That was the most in-depth reply I have received...and thank you for explaining how you got the name SqueakyChu. Love it. I was Lucky1 on Yahoo Games, named after my Yellow Lab (well, I still am, but I don't play as often). I used to be hooked on playing Literati (much like Scrabble), but now my LT addiction has taken over.

I have the Max Tivoli book in my behind-the-library-door book stash. Hope to get to it soon. Also a big fan of Water for Elephants when I read it several years ago. I'm a sucker for old people reminiscing about their past. Hmmm...I wonder at what age that starts?

Dez 18, 2009, 5:05 pm

Another Water for Elephants fan, it made my top ten this year. Each time I think about the book I like it even more. Max Tivoli is sitting on my tbr pile, but it is moving up higher on the list.

Dez 18, 2009, 5:45 pm

--> 286

Duh! It's so hard because we read the same books! :)

I'm thinking. I'm thinking...

Dez 18, 2009, 5:50 pm

--> 287

When I saw my longest post (on the new memes feature started by Tim), I almost fainted. People could fall asleep reading such long posts. :)

I used to be an on-line Scrabble addict as well. I was up to the intermediate level and got great pleasure from sometimes (if I got lucky) beating some good players. Yeah. The LT addiction I have now precludes me from ever going back to that.

Hmmm...I wonder at what age that starts?

I've been doing it all my life. Ha! I always like to remember the past, thinking of all its highlights and blocking out everything negative. "Life is good."

Dez 18, 2009, 5:51 pm

> 288

*pushes "Max Tivoli" a bit higher then sneaks off*

Editado: Dez 18, 2009, 8:31 pm

> 286

Okay, this is one of my favorite authors, and you have none of his books in your library. I checked this time.

The author is Jonathan Caroll. His books are a bit surreal. Think you can handle that? Read The Land of Laughs or Bones of the Moon. The former is my favorite.

Want to try an Israeli author? Read the (again) strange book by David Grossman called The Zig Zag Kid.

All three books are very entertaining. These are not especially "feel good" books, but they are really fun to read.

They're guaranteed to release you from stress.

Editado: Dez 19, 2009, 2:29 pm

Woohoo! Last night I noticed that two of my reviews made the Hot Reviews page at the same time. The books reviewed were The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer and Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person by Miriam Engelberg.

At least I know that someone else is reading them. :)

I'm still finding it hard to write a good review, though (at least to my standards). I can think of all kinds of things I want to say about a book while reading it. However, when I go to write the review, those thoughts fly right out the window. Yes, I can take notes, but often I'm reading, burdened with heavy bags, on a crowded Metro train. Not exactly a choice place to write a book review.

A funny fantasy: I can see myself on a crowded Metro train dictating my book review into my cell phone. People slowly start turning their heads and then listen anxiously as I tell whether or not the book is worthwhile reading. When I give the book five stars, they cheer and applaud. Those who have cell phones dial to order the book right away. Others are busy scrambling as they look for some discarded piece of newspaper on which to write the book details. I hope those people talking on their phones are ordering their books from a local indie... :D

Editado: Dez 19, 2009, 11:09 am

LOL! I'm applauding your fantasy.

The photos of the snow in the D.C. area on The Weather Channel this morning are impressive. I hope that it ends soon.

Dez 19, 2009, 11:44 am

Actually, today I don't mind it so much because I don't have to go back to work until Tuesday. My husband says that 20 inches of snow are expected here in my area of Maryland.

It's a great day for baking, though. Later today, I'm going to try to bake a coffee cake from a recipe given to me by avaland.

Dez 19, 2009, 2:23 pm

>293 SqueakyChu:: Congrats, Madeline! And thanks for the laugh! When I was younger, I used to catch myself having rescue fantasies. :-)

Editado: Dez 19, 2009, 2:25 pm

Are you going to share those? :)

ETA: I'm snowed in today so I'd be happy to read some fantasy...

Editado: Dez 19, 2009, 9:10 pm

64. Wearing Dad's Head - Barry Yourgrau

The operative word here is strange. This book has some of the oddest stories I've read in a long time. I found this book at The Book Thing of Baltimore. After planning to keep it for a book fair in April, I discovered it was a Bookcrossing-registered book. I'd found a wild release! In addition, the book itself was wild enough to entice me to read it. I found that experience to be quite fun. You'll find more about this small, bizarre book on my full review.

Rating - 4 stars

Editado: Dez 19, 2009, 9:21 pm

I didn't read this thread for 8 days and there are 50+ new posts! You're turning into Stasia!

To answer your questions from a couple of days ago, I'm in about the same place as you are with the challenge (a few books behind you currently), but I also managed to increase my reading significantly over last year, so I'm happy.

I don't know that I can even remember all the challenges I'm doing next year. Here's a start:
75 Book Challenge (of course!)
1010 Challenge--5 books per category
Books Off the Shelf Challenge (20 acquired 2009, 20 acquired previously)
TBR Challenge
Dewey Decimal Challenge

Best fiction book of the year: The Hunter's Moon
Best non-fiction book of the year: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

(Yeah, I know you didn't ask for two... but that's what you got! :P)

I'm hoping someone will start a best-of-the-year thread for this group (best 10%, to allow for Stasia's 50 ;)). I would do it, but I'm not sure what the policy is on asterisks....

Editado: Dez 19, 2009, 9:55 pm

>I didn't read this thread for 8 days and there are 50+ new posts! You're turning into Stasia!

You're hilarious, Zoe! I'm snowed in. We already have 18 inches of snow, and I'm going nowhere this weekend. What else am I going to do? Read?!

Yeah, I guess we should start a best of the year. Morphidae needs something else to count! Should we take a poll to see who should start it? ;)

Oops! This is post # 300. Next post will have to go to this new thread.

Dez 20, 2009, 8:26 am

Congratulations on the hot reviews!

Editado: Dez 20, 2009, 11:15 am

Thanks, Linda!

That was a surprise. I kind of thought Cancer Made me a Shallower Person, might make the list, but I didn't even like the other book, The Story of a Marriage that much. Its ending was very good, though; too bad the beginning irritated me so. I'd rather that people would read Andrew Sean Greer's The Confessions of Max Tivoli which, to me, was a superior book by far.

By the way, I always notice when a review of yours makes the Hot List. Pretty often, too. Accept my congrats for your overall good reviews!

Dez 20, 2009, 11:10 am

*gently guides followers to this thread*

Dez 31, 2009, 1:54 pm

Peace, love and good will all coming your way from me dear Squeak. I love you and wish you & yours the best in 2010.
big new year hug,

Dez 31, 2009, 3:56 pm

Thanks, Belva. A happy and healthy New Year to you and your loved ones!

Dez 31, 2009, 6:38 pm

Happy New Year. I follow your thread avidly and appreciate all the comments and great books you read!

Dez 31, 2009, 7:06 pm

Aw, thanks, Linda.

I wish you and your family a most Happy 2010! Cheers!!

Jan 1, 2010, 4:06 am

Happy New Year, Madeline!

Jan 1, 2010, 9:33 am

Thanks, Stasia. May you enjoy a wonderful 2010 as well.

Abr 15, 2010, 3:07 pm

I see you liked the cheesecake recipe from Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl. Have you tried any of her other recipes? I'm dying to try some and typed up quite a few of them. (I need to get the book back to the library soon.)



Abr 15, 2010, 7:38 pm

I didn't try the other recipes. They just didn't appeal to me. I make a Matzo Brie, but I prefer my way of making it and not hers. :) The Cheesecake was outstanding, though, and really easy to make!