Cheli X 2 75 Challenge 4th Qtr

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2009

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Cheli X 2 75 Challenge 4th Qtr

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Out 6, 2009, 2:21 pm

To keep things neat and tidy I should have started a new thread for the 4th Qtr earlier. Don't forget to visit Cheli's Shelves. I have a book giveaway that ends October 15th. Maybe you'll be the lucky winner!

Here's the link to my old thread. My 3rd Qtr Thread for 75 Book Challenge
I'm 20 books from finishing my second 75 , there's where I'm starting the ticker. The first 55 can be found on the previous thread.

Editado: Out 6, 2009, 2:28 pm

Author: Terri Thayer
Read: Sept 30 - Oct 6
Category: Crafts in the background
Pages: 381

April Buchert decides to head back to her roots when she discovers that her husband is a no goo scoundrel. She leaves everything in San Francisco and heads to her hometown of Aldenville, PA to try to put her life back together. Her father, owner of a construction company, offers her a job and a place to live in an old barn that he has restored and modernized. Besides the living space, he uses it for his office and it is just down the road from her mother's house.
The big job that Ed Buchert hires April is to restore a mural for an extremely particular client and April has difficulties since she's never doe this type of work before. Her father, working for the same client nearby, runs into his own difficulties when during demolition, a skull is found. Since her father's company did the original construction, he is a suspect.
April turns to her best friend Deana, and her Stamping Sisters Club to help her find out what happened so long ago and clear her father's name.
The book was enjoyable but not terrific. I had numerous issues -- the characters (some were never completely identified, April's appearance was never really fleshed out, names were not complete), the craft aspect was not very integral to the story other than getting the characters together, some of the characterizations were very trite, and insufficient clues. I doubt that I will read another in this series any time soon.

Out 6, 2009, 3:16 pm

Sounds like I can hold off on this Thayer series for awhile. Thanks Cheli.

I was all excited when I got an email from Amazon today that Tim Myers (who has a lot of craft mystery series) has a new book out. However, it's a childrens' book.

Out 7, 2009, 8:18 am

Not letting you escape my attention

Out 7, 2009, 3:46 pm

Found you and starred you!

Out 8, 2009, 11:24 pm

Got you starred again, too!

Out 9, 2009, 4:22 pm

Author: Emilie Richards
Read: Sept 30 - Oct 9
Category: Followers
Pages: 468

Aggie Sloan-Wilcox and her husband, Reverend Ed Wilcox, have escaped Emerald Springs for a romantic weekend in New York City but one of Ed's flock track them down when her spouse goes missing in the same city. Using their time on the Big Apple to try and find Joe Wagner, Aggie and Ed find out more than they want and not the person for which they are searching.
Returning home, Aggie, at Ed's request, befriends Maura (Joe's wife) and continues to try to find the wayward spouse. Joe, who worked for the Food Bank, is missing on one of the most important days of the year and not available to help with the Food Bank's annual fundraiser. Hw many more requests for help could be placed at Aggie's feet - Now the obnoxious wife of the town's mayor has dropped dead at the chocolate fountain while attending fundraiser. Hazel Kefauver (the deceased) was not a popular person but how was she poisoned in front of everyone? AThe Mayor wants Aggie to look into it.
While trying to track down what happened to Joe and solve Hazel's murder, Aggie has a few minor mysteries to solve as well - what happened to the punch bowl and who is doing the construction in the dead of night at Junie's quilt shop? All this while trying to be a good wife, mother and friend.

The cozy mystery was absolutely delightful with all the twists and turns as well as the amusing situations that Aggie had to deal with.

Out 10, 2009, 8:46 am

You have got to stop suggesting new series to me! I cannot keep them all straight :)

Editado: Out 13, 2009, 9:36 am

I have been a member of Librarything officially for one year! I originally joined because tutu told me about this thing called a 999 Challenge and I thought it would be fun and maybe get me to read some different things.
How it has changed my Life! I read more books, different kinds of books and talk to people about books!

During the 365 days that I have been here, I have read 153 books (In all the previous 12 month periods the most I ever did was 122). Before LT (BLT) I normally read romances and a few mysteries, NOTHING ELSE.

Look how it's changed! The 153 books I read since joining breakdown like this:

Romances 13
Cozy Mysteries 57
Mysteries 22
Histories/Biographies 20
General Fiction 30
Classics 9
Non Fiction 2

I read 97 actual books and listened to the other 56 on audio.

Books in a series 75 (not necessarily all mysteries)
First in a series 39
Ongoing series 36

Can you believe the change for me! It amazes me all the wonderful books that have enriched my life simply because of this magnificent website, and that doesn't even take into consideration the wonderful friends that I have made here.

Yes, I bought a lifetime membership when I joined so that I could catalog all the books that I have read but also the books that I wanted to read. But to me, what's priceless is the understanding and camaraderie of all those here at LT that completely understand why I love the written word. I'm hoping that it's more like a lifetime friendship with all of you!

To all of you here, I thank you for a magnificent year and hope that we have many more books and years to share!

Out 13, 2009, 9:33 am

Cheli - congratulations on the anniversary! I didn't keep stats like you did, but I'm sure that if I had they'd show a similar result of the influence of LT. More books - more variety - more bookish conversation. Wishing you - and all of us - many more years of enjoying and sharing a love of reading.

Out 13, 2009, 12:05 pm

Cheli--congrats on your first year here!! Everything you said, I feel exactly that way, too.

I'm reading way more books and have more variety in my reading. Plus, I've met a lot of great people here, people who understand more than anyone else how much I love books and love to talk about them.

Out 13, 2009, 2:58 pm

Here's to the far more varied reading and the wonderful people I've met. You lot are a curse on my tbr pile, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Out 14, 2009, 12:33 am

congratulations Cheli! I agree with your comments! Prior to LT I was very skeptical of social networks and sharing on the internet. This group is great!

Out 14, 2009, 2:49 am

Congratulations! What a sweet post that was! Here's hoping your next year is even better!

10: ah, that's the beauty of LT, you don't have to keep stats - it does it for you :)

Out 14, 2009, 11:57 am

Happy Thingaversary,
Happy Thingaversary,
Happy Thingaversary,

Editado: Out 15, 2009, 1:58 pm

Author: Mary Ellen Hughes
Read: Oct 10 - Oct 13
Category: Crafts in the background
Pages: 368

Jo McAllister, A recent widow, returns to her hometown to open a craft store with her best friend. On the day of the grand opening, the clown that she hired to greet the customers is found dead in the storeroom after the festivities. The police seem to zero in on her since the murder took place in her shop, with knitting needles from her stock. Jo feels that she needs to vindicate herself and with the help of her friends and the crafters that come to her different workshops, she finally figures out the culprit, but maybe a bit too late.

I loved the characters in this story. The way that the author used not just the older members of the small town but also Charlie, Jo's 15 year old godson, to wheedle information that Jo needed to solve the murder was very amusing. Jo's character especially was well-presented making her very believable and sympathic. I'm going to have to track down another of this series.

Out 14, 2009, 10:03 pm

Wreath of Deception sounds like a fun book.

Out 15, 2009, 12:27 am

I'll agree with Whisper, #133 looks like a good read.

Out 15, 2009, 12:49 pm

I am putting it on Planet TBR, too!

Editado: Out 19, 2009, 11:57 pm

Author: Kaye Dacus
Read: Oct 13 - Oct 17
Source: LT ER program - review requested
Category: LT ER
Pages: 317

I really didn't know what to expect when I got this book through LT's ER program so I was pleasant surprised as I read this light-hearted romance and realized that there was another book that preceded this one. (I'll have to find it.) The title kind of threw me off because, though it ends in a romantic manner, I wouldn't really classify it as a typical romance, it was more the journey of two people to find themselves so that they could come together.

Meredith Guidry, the heroine, is in her mid-thirties and has had a "crush" on Major O'Hara (that's his real name) for 8 years while he worked with her. Since he doesn't seem to be interested in her, Meredith makes pledge to herself on New Years Day to make an effort to move on and find someone to share her life with. In the meantime, Major is harboring secrets, including his feelings for Meredith, which complicate matters. The journey that both characters take in this story is amusing, entertaining, and at points enlightening. A fun read.

Editado: Out 17, 2009, 11:45 pm

Author: Steve Berry
Read: Oct 2 - Oct 17
Source: Public Library
Category: Audio Book
Pages: 462

This was a very complex book in that not only was it a complicated thriller, it was also full of history and political drama. Granted, the historical references in some instances were pure fiction, but it definitely held my attention and drove me to the conclusion.

The Alexandria Link is the second in the Cotton Malone mysteries by Steve Berry (a friend, I hear, of Dan Brown and his books are very much in the same vein). Cotton is a retired federal agent who is drawn back into a situation that he thought was buried. His son is kidnapped and the ransom request is not money. He must reveal the whereabouts of a person who he secreted away years before and only he knows where the person is. The evolving story is intricately woven between the search by Cotton and events that are handled by Cotton's former boss and his friend.

The Alexandria Link is the search for the lost library of Alexandria and the historical nuances are very compelling. Compounding this search with the political unrest of the Middle East, kept me intrigued. The only drawback was that at times it was difficult to follow because of the habit Mr. Berry had of jumping back and forth between different threads of the mystery.

Out 17, 2009, 11:40 pm

Happy anniversary! What a great post.

Out 18, 2009, 2:50 pm

#21 Glad to hear that you enjoyed this book - I've got the audio version out in the car and am about 1/3 into it. After a fast-paced beginning, it seems to be dragging a bit right now, and I've been hoping that the action will pick up again soon.

Out 19, 2009, 3:25 am

#20: I will give that one a try one of these days when I need something light to read.

#21: Already read that one, so I am dodging a book bullet there :)

Editado: Out 20, 2009, 1:44 pm

Author: Katarina Mazetti
Read: Oct 18 - Oct 20
Source: FSB Associates /Caitlin Price - ARC review requested
Category: Romance
Pages: 209

This is a tale of two lonely people who meet at a cemetery and "fall in love" but are completely incompatible as to their lifestyle and desires of what life has for them.
Fortunately, for me, it was a short book. I was ready to give up on it about 100 pages in, but decided to brave it for the duration. It wasn't my style of romance, it was very depressing because neither of the characters appeared to be happy with what was happening. I didn't care for the writing style - it was just too choppy.

Out 21, 2009, 4:53 am

#25: I think I will give that one a pass. I hope your next read is better for you, Cheli!

Out 24, 2009, 9:40 pm

Author: Dorothy Sayers
Read: Oct 24
Source: Public Library
Category: Leaders
Pages: 156

This is the first of the Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy Sayers. It was originally published before the depression and has a distinct style that still stands up by today's standards.

Lord Peter, an unemployed aristocrat, enjoys his hobby of investigating crimes and uses his social situation ( the son and brother of a duke) to help Scotland Yard inspectors solve some unusual crimes. In this story a naked man is found dead in the bathtub and the Dowager Duchess (Peter's mother) asks him to search for the killer. Peter's friend Inspector Parker is searching for a missing businessman and the two decide to swap cases not realizing what else has been swapped. Little do they know what lies ahead.

I have heard of this series, mainly through the PBS series (which I've never seen) and decided that this was the right time to try it out. The style is sharp and amusing. Even though the story is set nearly 100 years ago, it still held my interest and entertained.

Out 25, 2009, 3:42 am

The series improves when Harriet Vane arrives on scene! IMHO, of course.

Out 25, 2009, 8:08 pm

#27 This looks great - I've added it to the wishlist

Out 28, 2009, 1:41 pm

Author: Allison Hoover Bartlett
Read: Oct 21 - 28
Source: Penquin Group for review
Category: New Writer
Pages: 258

John Gilkey is a thief, but not a normal thief, he steals rare books from anywhere and anyone and anytime. This is the story of a man who criminally and repeatedly steals rare books, not to read but because he felt that they made him a more important person if they were in his possession.

The narrative is by a writer who is researching a book about rare books and the criminals who market stolen tomes and reveals the rare book market in a strange light.

I had a very difficult time with this book for several reasons. First, at no point anywhere near the beginning is the reader given any idea of the tract that the story is headed - meaning I saw no plotline. I was about 75 pages into the book when I figured that no plot was the plot and just went with it.

Next, I wasn't sure whether the book was supposed to be about John Gilkey (the book thief) or Ken Sanders (who was a book security specialist) and worked to recover lost stolen books. I also did not like the way that the author/writer in the story kept trying to justify Gilkey's behavior or make it seem as if it was understadable considering his background.

Lastly, when I finally decided that Gilkey was the center figure, I came to that conclusion simply because the writer kept going on and on with him about how he stole this book and how he would steal that book. It got pretty boring toward the end. Informative to a degree but definitely not a keeper.

Out 30, 2009, 3:05 pm

Thanks for the review, Cheli! I've seen that book, and been tempted by the title, but now that I've seen your thoughts, it doesn't sound so appealing. Another bullet dodged!

Out 31, 2009, 4:50 am

I hope the next read is better for you, Cheli!

Editado: Nov 1, 2009, 7:29 pm

Well, October was my slowest month reading wise. I had so many other things that took me away from my reading that I only managed to finish 8 books, bringing me to 58/81 for the second 999 I will definitely have to speed up if I'm am going to reach my goals. The best of the month was most definitely, THE ALEXANDRIA LINK.

I managed to read :
Whose BODY?
Beware False Profits
The Man who Loved Books Too Much
Menu for Romance
Wreath of Deception
Stamped Out
Benny & Shrimp
The Alexandria Link

For November, I have planned:

Clouds of Witness
Across the Endless River
Widow of the South
Lost Throne
My Name is Will
Petticoat Affair
Martin Van Buren
Them Bones
The Cruelest Month
Through a Glass, Deadly
True Colors
Secrets of a Christmas Box
The Mournful Teddy
Eggs in Purgatory

Editado: Nov 1, 2009, 8:22 pm

Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
Read: Oct 31 - Nov 1
Source: Public Library
Category: Followers
Pages: 288

This mystery with Lord Peter Wimsey and his valet, Bunter, has them working diligently to clear Lord Peter's brother (the Duke of Denver) of a murder charge. The characters include not only the Duke of Denver, but Peter's sister Lady Mary, his Mother the dowager Duchess, colorful villagers, and a few political malcontents.
Again this mystery was written in the early part of the 20th century but it was still entertaining and challenging for the reader.

Nov 2, 2009, 12:46 am

#34: Looks like you have a nice selection of books planned for November. I hope you are able to fit them all in!

Nov 4, 2009, 5:09 pm

Author: Thad Carhart
Read: Oct 20 - Nov 3
Source: FSB Associates for review
Category: Romance
Pages: 320

This book is a fictional account of the life of Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea who was born during the great exploration of Lewis & Clark. Starting with a short account of the exploration, the story continues with the tales of his youth and visits to Europe (across the endless river= Atlantic Ocean).

The author includes numerous facts of Baptiste's life while weaving an entertaining though unverified story of his travels with Duke Paul of Württemberg. Mainly, the book strives to show the difference between the two worlds that he is part of - the Indian world from his mother and the European or civilized world from his father. It has a tendency to drag when the areas of Natural history were being discussed, but overall, it was entertaining and educational combined together. The love story that went throughout was definitely very understated.

Nov 4, 2009, 5:23 pm

#36 Cheli, this book sounds a lot like one I saw at the library several months ago called Museum of Human Beings by Colin Sargent. It was also a biographical novel about the life of Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, from his birth on the Lewis-Clark Expedition to Europe as a young man, and then his return to the US. It didn't have enough appeal to make me want to read it at the time, but I find it interesting that two similar books have been published in such quick succession. Do you recommend this one?

Nov 7, 2009, 10:29 pm

Author: Robert Hicks
Read: Oct 19 - Nov 7
Source: Public Library
Category: Romance
Pages: 702

I didn't exactly know what to expect from this book and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. This is the tale of the little recognized Civil War Battle of Franklin in Tennessee and how it affected the people in the town near the battlefield. It also brings to light the efforts that were made by the townspeople to preserve the cemetery and Carnton home where so many soldiers were taken after the battle.

This book appears to be a tribute to Carrie McGavock and her slave/friend Mariah. These two women of the south worked diligently to care for the wounded and to provide solace to the families of the soldiers who died in the battle.

Carrie McGavock is the normal southern woman, wife and mother. Before the battle, her life is filled with depression and grief related to the death of 3 of her young children. It seems that Carrie doesn't come alive until literally everyone around her is dying. The Confederate Army turns her home into a hospital and together, Carrie and Mariah work to ease the suffering of the survivors. Carrie becomes involved emotionally involved with Zachariah Cashwell, a Confederate sergeant who Carrie sends to the surgeon for a leg amputation. Their time together is cut short when Cashwell is sent to a Union prison. Carrie's spirit turns to protection of the cemetery where the Confederate soldiers are buried and she and her husband John work to have the soldiers reburied on the land when the original cemetery is threatened.

The historical facts are cleverly woven throughout the fictional story, enlightening the reader while enhancing the story.

Nov 7, 2009, 10:33 pm


#37 If you're interested in the period, Indian differences and how the "halfbreeds" were treated by different cultures, it's interesting but other than that, it wasn't terrific.
I thought I'd read it in conjunction with my history reading and find out something more about the Lewis and Clark, no didn't get it, but since the book was free, I read it.

Nov 8, 2009, 12:17 am

#38: That one looks right up my alley. Thanks for the recommendation, Cheli!

Nov 8, 2009, 11:38 am

#38 This is interesting - The Judas Field, that I read back in September and didn't like very much, was the story of civil war veterans who travelled back to Franklin, TN to recover the bodies of 2 of their fallen commrades for re-interrment at home in the family cemetery. Lots of flash-backs to the battle. This one looks like it might be better. I'm adding it to the wishlist for a closer look later.

Nov 8, 2009, 2:19 pm

>38 cyderry: Glad to hear you liked it, Cheli. I saw it at a book sale & picked it up because I had just read A Separate Country. I may have to move it up on the pile!

Nov 9, 2009, 1:47 pm

# 142THE PETTICOAT AFFAIR: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson's White House
Author: John F. Marszalek
Read: Nov 3 - 9
Source: Public Library
Category: History
Pages: 304

Andrew Jackson was a man of deep moral principles and unfailing loyalty to his friends. When his wife Rachel, who had been much maligned during her marriage to Jackson, died before his inauguration, Jackson transferred his emotional support to his friend John Eaton and his wife Margaret Timberlake Eaton when her reputation was manipulated by the scandal of her marriage to Eaton before the required mourning period for her first husband had ended. The rules of mourning at that time required the widow to wear black for at least 2 years, not leave the house except for church, attend no social events. The widow wasn't even supposed to do any sewing because if she did she was not showing the proper amount of regard at loosing her spouse.

Margaret Timberlake lived with her family who ran a hotel and helped entertain the guests so she was constantly in view and socializing with men. For this fact, after her marriage to John Eaton (less than a year into her widowhood) Margaret Eaton was not considered by the other Washington wives as welcome into the polite society.
John Eaton had been a friend of Andrew Jackson's for more than 20 years and Jackson had selected him to be the Secretary of War. The other cabinet member wives refused to invite Margaret Eaton and her husband to social events and noticeably snubbed her at events held at the White House. Jackson took offense and through the first two years of his presidency tried to resolve the issues but was unable to. His solution was to start his cabinet over.

"The dissolution of the Jackson's cabinet, the only such event in American history, demonstrated the depth of the president's determination to have his way in the matter of Margaret Eaton."
"Andrew Jackson could never understand it, but it was he, not John C Calhoun, who made the snubbing of Margaret Eaton into the political cataclysm it became."

I found this book highly interesting showing that scandal and politics are not new bedfellows of the 20th century. I was also very surprised by the detail of the book since the 1000 page biography I had previously read about Jackson had very little about the Eaton Affair. I'm definitely glad that I took the time to read it.

Nov 17, 2009, 5:48 pm

Author: Donna Leon
Read: Nov 11 - 16
Source: Public Library
Category: Followers
Pages: 387

We return to Venice in this second of the series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti as he is confronted with the death of a young American and a possible suicide of the doctor who identified the body. Since Brunetti's superior, Patta, wants the murder of the American resolved quickly, Guido goes to the American Army base in Vicenza to gather information on the victim and to try to determine why he was killed. When later he is handed on the case involving a mugging of a VIP and theft of expensive art, little does Guido know that the cases are connected and will result in an unusual ending.

I really enjoy these mysteries because Donna Leon serves up the clues in a slow and subtle way so that that the reader is going at exactly the same pace as the character. She delicately weaves the story introduces each element that is needed to resolve the mystery at the same time giving it the necessary importance and details to push the reader forward. Her interconnection of the characters and the story is quite masterful.

I have to admit that this story was so well-written that at times I truly believed that it could be happening and that really seemed so real that I wonder if Ms. Leon knows something that we all don't. Should we all be so trusting of a foreign government that doesn't behave the way we want? Should any country have carte blanche to behave in a manner that is not to the betterment of all mankind? This book definitely posed so very interesting questions about our or any society and made me stop and wonder. At the same time as I am wondering, I was wishing that I could visit all the places that she described with such vivid preciseness - the beauty of the city with the contrasts of its problems, oh well, maybe someday.

Nov 17, 2009, 9:48 pm

So many people here on our 75 challenge group love Donna Leon's books. I really must make these a mission to read in 2010.

Thanks for your excellent recommendations!

Nov 20, 2009, 10:46 pm

Author: Louise Penny
Read: Nov 18 - 20
Source: Public Library
Category: Followers
Pages: 387

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to the village of Three Pines when Madeleine Favreau apparently dies of fright during a séance at the old Hadley house. The psychic holding the séance was on vacation in the small village but was that a coincidence or planned?

As Gamache gets deeper into the search for Madeleine's killer (she had been given poison) he must also face the consequences of his actions in his previous case against the popular head of the Sûreté du Québec for heinous crimes. His family is attacked in the newspapers and his son arrested in Paris as he works to clear not only his name but also solve the murder.

The book is filled with descriptions that draw you in and characters that make you want to meet them in reality with deeper and deeper characterizations. Subtly Penny weaves the details and grabs you by the throat until you can't put down the book until you know the answers to the questions that have you on the edge of your seat.

Nov 21, 2009, 2:48 am

Yep, I am loving the Three Pines series, too!

Nov 26, 2009, 10:57 pm

#145 Martin Van Buren and the Romantic Age of American Politics
Author: John Niven
Read: Nov 10 - 26
Source: Public Library
Category: History /Bios
Pages: 715

Martin Van Buren, eighth President of the United States, "may have been a conservative, an advocate of States Rights, an agrarian, a party regular, but he was overall a New Yorker, a Northerner, and a pragmatic politician." The Little Magician as he was called, ruled New York politics for the majority of his lifetime, manipulating the selection process of who would have what office, who would be supported and who would be denounced. Behind the scenes of numerous vital issues, MVB would work the state legislature negotiating the passage of legislation that had far-reaching effects.

On the national scene, Van Buren worked tirelessly in support of Andrew Jackson and served as his Secretary of State as well as Vice President. In these capacities, he traipsed through the quagmire of issues of the day - bank dissolution, abolition, Indian removal - frequently calming a volatile Jackson and preventing numerous catastrophes. Van Buren's Presidential candidacy was complicated not by the issues of the day, but the selection of a running mate.

Upon his election, he was confronted with the banking issues, a depression and costs of the Indian removal - all issues inherited from Jackson. Trying to use the concept of a subtreasury to combat the depression, VB was handicapped by a hostile congress.

Defeated when he ran for re-election, Martin VanBuren felt that the importation of voters by the Whig Party constituted election fraud. The following years he spent trying to rebuild the Democratic party which he had built in New York state. He was drafted in a later Presidential election to run for the Free Soil Party which advocated the end of slavery.

This book was overwhelming in the amount of details that were dispensed regarding the politics of the State of New York elections and national politics during the Presidencies of Jackson, Van Buren, Tyler, and Polk. Since this was titled to be a biography of Van Buren, I was disappointed with the amount of information about unrelated people and events regarding the political machine that MVB was credited to have created. It was also difficult to read because the print was smaller than normal so that 1 page was probably equivalent to 2 pages of a normal book, so 700 pages was really many more.

A description of Martin Van Buren which seems appropriate - " An American Statesman who with his faults, his weaknesses, his little vanities had made no little consequence on his state and his nation."

Nov 28, 2009, 10:02 pm

Author: Elizabeth Bright
Read: Nov 20 - 28
Source: Public Library
Category: Crafts in the background - card making
Pages: 233

Jennifer Shane with her own shop, Custom Card Creations, is battling to stay a float with her new business even though Aunt Lillian is still "volunteering" her services in exchange for supplies. So when Aunt Lillian finds her a new studio apartment she signs on the dotted line before she is told about the resident ghost.

Jennifer learns to live with "her" but has other difficulties - an overzealous neighbor, a stalker, and an ex-fiancé trying to get back together. Then one of her best customers and a friend, Maggie, dies in what appears to be an auto accident. But Jennifer doesn't believe it because she received a handmade card from her dead friend stating that someone is trying to kill her.

Jennifer and Lillian work to figure out who killed Maggie while fighting off her various admirers.

Nov 28, 2009, 10:05 pm

Congratulations on reaching 146 books thus far in 2009!

Editado: Nov 30, 2009, 4:26 pm

Author: Louise Penny
Read: Nov 25 - 29
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Follower, Audiobook
Pages: 581

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec takes his wife of many years, Reine-Marie, to Manior Bellechasse in rural Quebec to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Their peaceful solitude is interrupted by the arrival of a dysfunctional family that includes Peter and Clara Marrow from Three Pines. Murder seems to follow the Inspector since the sister of Peter Marrow is found dead a little later so that the time which should have been peaceful and relaxing has turned deadly.

Gamache sends Reine-Marie to Three Pines which is just over the hill while the investigation proceeds. The personal relationship and their family interaction is more prevalent in this book as we learn of Gamache's family history.

The story is again intricately woven around the lives of the characters drawing the reader farther and closer with each page trying to determine how the mystery will be resolved and whose demons will be exorcised.

Since this book was set outside of Three Pines but incorporated Three Pine residents, the shift didn't bother me as much as I anticipated. However, it does make one stop and think, are Peter and Clara a major reason (that we haven't figured out yet) for all of these murders?

Dez 1, 2009, 5:38 pm

Author: Elizabeth Bright
Read: Nov 29 - Dec 1
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Follower
Pages: 229

Jennifer Shane is named the Businessperson of the Year but before she can accept her award, the body of her sister's arch enemy and brother-in-law's mistress is found stabbed to death.

Jennifer is thrown into the investigation when her apartment building is torched and she takes it as a warning, maybe she knows more than she thinks she knows.

This is a delightful light and entertaining cozy mystery series, which even includes tips and tricks for making your own greeting cards.

Dez 1, 2009, 6:22 pm

Cheli, isn't this that series by Tim Myers, the one who also writes the candlemaking mysteries? I think it is. Wish he'd do more. It seems like awhile since he's released anything.

Editado: Dez 1, 2009, 6:33 pm

Yes it is by Tim Myers aka Elizabeth Bright. I haven't read any of his other series yet but they are on the radar.

Dez 1, 2009, 6:33 pm

Author:Janet Evanovich
Read: Nov 30 - Dec 1
Source: Public Library
Category: Romance
Pages: 243

Megan Murphy is a potter living in Williamsburg, Va. She supplements her income on the weekends by being a tour guide n the historical area. The story begins with a hungry bunny nibbling on her skirt and her confrontation with the owner, a handsome young pediatrician.

The story evolves into a light hearted romance complete with Patrick (the doctor) being caught by Megan's father wearing her pink chenille bathrobe and nothing else. It was utterly delightful. The antics surrounding the Thanksgiving dinner are enough to make you laugh until you cry.

Dez 2, 2009, 2:17 am

#55: I will look for that one when I am in the mood for something light to read. Thanks for the recommendation, Cheli.

Dez 2, 2009, 6:24 pm

#150 The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship
Author: Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel
Read: Dec 2
Source: FSB Associates for review and giveaway
Category: Overflow - New Writer
Pages: 358

All of us in our lifetime have somehow "misplaced" a friend or someone who was extremely important at one time in our lives. This is the story of two women who where best friends, who helped each other through puberty, adolescence, and much more and then due to a miscommunication, lost that closeness and drifted apart.

Lilly and Val are two enormously different people and yet you see, in this book, how a friendship that was forged in childhood could be integrated into adulthood. They shared everything, their differences and their similarities and struggled through the errors that we all make as we grow up.

I loved this book. I received it and I am so proud that this book was a first giveaway on my book blog. It was delightful, so much so that I couldn't put it down which is something that happens rarely for me. The story is told in the form of letters and e-mails and the Recipes that are included sound absolutely scrumptious. Makes me want to start a recipe club myself.

My only problem with this book was trying to decide where to shelve it - cookbooks or fiction - it would fit either.


Dez 2, 2009, 9:45 pm

Yay, good for you!

Dez 3, 2009, 5:19 am

Congratulations, Cheli!

Dez 3, 2009, 8:34 am

Congratulations on 150 books! You've added many to my TBR pile!

Editado: Dez 3, 2009, 11:31 am

#55 Cheli, I thought I'd read all the non-Plum Evanovich books, but I don't remember this one. It does sound like a lot of fun. Even though Thanksgivings is past, I might grab it on my next library trip just for something light and funny in the middle of the December/Christmas crush.

edit to add congratulations on finishing 150!

Dez 3, 2009, 4:46 pm

Congratulations, Cheli!

Dez 3, 2009, 5:03 pm

Congratulations on completing your second 75 challenge, Cheli!

Dez 3, 2009, 6:17 pm

Congrats, Cheli. Pretty soon, you'll be done with your second 999 challenge, too!!

Dez 3, 2009, 6:52 pm

Cool! Congrats again!

Dez 5, 2009, 8:32 pm

Congrats, Cheli! 2 x 75 - that's amazing!

Dez 7, 2009, 10:18 pm

\#151 Eggs in Purgatory (A Cackleberry Club Mystery)
Author: Laura Childs
Read: Dec 3 - 7
Source: Owned
Category: Overlap - Leader & Crafts/cooking in the background
Pages: 418

Laura Childs has a new series - the Cackleberry Club which is about 3 women - Suzanne a widow, Petra whose husband has Alzheimer's, and Toni in the midst of a divorce. Together they run a restaurant/book store/craft store. It's as if the author is combining the Tea Shop series with the Scrapbook series and adding a twist. The characters are entertaining and heartwarming.

One morning, Suzanne notices that her lawyer's truck is still the parking lot when she lets the dog out for a run. She goes over to see if everything is alright and finds him dead. That same day on her way home, she sees a truck run off he road. The following night, hr lawyer's office is burglarized. A crime spree seems to have hit the little town of Kindred and Sheriff Doogie seems to be in over his head. Before the week is over, Suzanne is also confronted with accusations of embezzlement against her late husband.

Fueled by the need to clear her husband's name, Suzanne is embroiled in a state investigation surrounding the embezzlement and an abusive cult down the road. The solution was a little forced but entertaining.

Dez 8, 2009, 11:34 pm

#67: I did not realize Laura Childs had a new series. I will have to check into that one. Thanks for the recommendation, Cheli!

Dez 11, 2009, 12:00 am

#152 William Henry Harrison : A Political Biography
Author: Dorothy Burne Goebel
Read: Nov 29 - Dec 9
Source: Public Library - ILL
Category: Overflow - Histories/Biographies
Pages: 380

William Henry Harrison was the man who held that office for the shortest period of time, just one month. This is what most people know about this man. Because of this fact, there are few books about this man's life, he is, it seems just a mere mention in other histories.

Most people, besides his short term in office, also remember that he was the "hero" of the battle of Tippecanoe (the presidential campaign slogan was "Tippecanoe and Tyler too"). He served as the governor of the Indiana Territory due to partisanship appointment during the Madison administration which led to this battle. The Battle of Tippecanoe truly didn't have much of an impact on the War of 1812 but did bring Harrison to the forefront since he was so arrogant when he refused to serve under General Winchester and insisted on command. "As a soldier, he was never taken off his guard, and his nerve never failed him; the victories of Tippecanoe and the Thames will always stand to his credit." However, "he was prone to rest content with a single victory when he should have pressed on toward the successful conclusion of the war."

As a legislator, Harrison worked in the House of Representatives and Senate for the betterment of the lot of army officers and enlisted to prevent the amount of men who deserted. He disliked the political process but it was not beyond him to use political connections to better his own standing. "He desired public offices and frankly sought them, in office he did his best, but he lacked the powers of a Calhoun, a Clay, or a Webster."

After his election, his one month in office was spent in a round of celebratory parties and ranglings over Cabinet positions.

This book was detailed with the events of Harrison's life but lack details on the issues of the times which led to his election. It mainly dealt with the political process.

This book is "a true picture of a man as he was - kindly, courteous, brave and cheerful, endeared to his family and his friends."

Dez 14, 2009, 8:10 pm

#153 Death du Jour
Author: Kathy Reichs
Read: Dec 8 - Dec 14
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Follower
Pages: 632

This is the second installment in the Temperance Brennan series and it was as interesting as the first as the reader is provided a three tiered mystery that is woven masterfully tying together an century old excavation to a modern day murder mystery.

Tempe takes on a private excavation of a convent cemetery to identify the remains a nun that is being submitted for canonization during the slow time of a Canadian winter. Not expecting the Great Quebec Ice Storm of 1998 – the ice and cold preserve crime scenes, but hamper investigations.

Unfortunately, the discovery of 6 bodies including 2 babies during the investigation of a fire interrupts her private work and threatens her academic schedule. Returning to UNC in Charlotte, NC Temperance encounters other mysterious deaths that lead her to some unusual circumstances and mysterious adventures.

How all the pieces are woven together so intricately is amazing and yet holds the reader spellbound. Definitely a great series to be followed.

Editado: Dez 15, 2009, 10:21 am

Author: Naomi Novik
Read: Dec 4 - Dec 14
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Follower/ Audio Book
Pages: 398

The Temeraire series continues in this installment of the tale of this Chinese Celestial Dragon. Captain Laurence has to cope with the bureaucrats of the English government as well as the diplomats from the Chinese government.

Requests have come from the Chinese government asking for the return of Temeraire since Celestial Dragons are only supposed to belong to the royal family of China. Laurence and Temeraire board a dragon transport and travel to China.

The adventures of these two close friends enchant and entertain with tales of sea serpents, dragon love and intrigue.

Dez 15, 2009, 3:23 am

I am going to have to get to the Temeraire series one of these centuries!

Editado: Dez 15, 2009, 6:39 pm

I've got the 1st, 3rd and 4th books in the series. Must get Throne of Jade!

Dez 15, 2009, 7:20 pm


Great books you are reading!

Dez 19, 2009, 9:57 pm

Author: Naomi Novik
Read: Dec 16 - Dec 19
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Follower/ Audio Book
Pages: 400

I have been enjoying this series about Temeraire, a Chinese Celestial Dragon. Installment #3 tells the tale of Temeraire's return travels from China back to England during the Napoleonic wars.

Laurence and Temeraire receive orders to go to Istanbul to retrieve 6 dragon eggs and bring them back to England. Their travels take them through the desert, a Sultan's palace, battlefields in Prussia before their return to England.

The commentary of this tale is an very interesting way of showing the social and political issues related to slavery and property ownership. Temeraire's innocence easily shows the reality of the world and how power and abilities can be misunderstood all wrapped up in an adventure for an alternative history.

Dez 20, 2009, 9:20 pm

#156 JOHN TYLER: the American President series
Author: Gary May
Read: Dec 15 - Dec 20
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Histories//Biography
Pages: 208

John Tyler became the 10th President of the United States upon the death of William Henry Harrison having been in office for only 1 month.

Tyler's time in office was filled with firsts of all kinds - he was the first man to take office after the death of his predecessor, first President married while in office, first President to have his entire cabinet resign because they disagreed with his policies, first President to be abandoned by the party that he represented at election. He was known for the numerous vetoes that he exercised and after leaving office, for voting for Secession and supporting the Confederate States of America.

John Tyler was not a popular President with either the people or the politicians of the day. His time in office was marked by the death of his first wife as well as constant battles with the Congress regarding policies. He was extremely proud of the fact that his administration was responsible for finally settling the border issues between Maine and Canada so that that the threat from Britain was eliminated.

This book wasn't very large but it did give sufficient information so that I can move on to the next president.

Dez 21, 2009, 3:28 pm

Author: Cleo Coyle
Read: Dec 15 - Dec 21
Source: Website for review
Category: Overflow - Followers
Pages: 384

I started the Coffeehouse mystery series earlier this year and when I got the chance to read the latest and get a signed copy from the author I had to jump in it. I was not disappointed.
The downturn in the economy has Claire Cosi trying to come up with new ideas that will draw customers into the Village Blend coffeehouse so when a Traveling Santa, a frequent customer, suggests the Fl-la-la-la Lattes, Claire is happy to incorporate the idea into their holiday menu. On the night that the new lattes are to be taste-tested, Claire invites the Santa to join the party and when he is a no show, goes out into a snow storm to find him. What she finds is his body and carafes of trouble.

The police think it is a random mugging, but Claire sets out to prove it was murder.
As she follows the clues, Claire's investigation becomes a sleigh ride of mishaps which eventually land her in some cold water as the t rail gets hotter.
The story is entertaining and will hold your interest until the end. Definitely a great addition to this series.

Dez 21, 2009, 3:46 pm

Catey has enjoyed several books in the Coffeehouse series. Looks like a series I need to read too.

Dez 22, 2009, 8:31 am

At your speed of reading, I'm sure you will finish the entire series in a day.

Dez 22, 2009, 11:02 am

#79: I guess it depends on how many there are!

Dez 22, 2009, 12:53 pm

Cheli - I'm glad to see there's an American Presidents series book about Tyler, but your lukewarm response to it is making me uneasy about resolving to read the next 6 presidents in one year. I'm finishing up Andrew Jackson this week (#7) so next year I'll be doing Tyler and those just before and just after him. This is the period that I think of as the great unknown. Not the sainted founding fathers, not Lincoln, not the 20th century politicians that we're familiar with. Those old guys that no one knows anything about. I hope you're willing to push me along!

You've read a lot of great books this year - an incredible variety! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and safe travels. I'll meet you back here again next year.

Dez 22, 2009, 1:02 pm

#81, I'd like to have an Abe Lincoln and Civil War category for 2011. To do that, I think I'll need to read about the next 11 presidents (#5 to #15--Monroe to Buchanan). Most likely, it'll just be the American Presidents series for me, for these presidents. Probably except for Andrew Jackson.

I'm amazed that there are any books about William Henry Harrison.

Dez 22, 2009, 1:09 pm

#82 "I'm amazed that there are any books about William Henry Harrison.

Me, too. Unless they mostly cover his military career - how long was he in politics before being elected president?

Dez 22, 2009, 1:12 pm

#83 Based on Cheli's review at message 69 of the William Henry Harrison book she read, it sounds like longer than I would've thought.

I keep hoping that the American Presidents series would release a book about him by the time I got to him but no such luck, probably.

Dez 22, 2009, 1:43 pm

Actually, he had a short military career and a much longer political one. He served in the military then resigned his commission to become the governor of the Indiana Territory and then with the indian uprisings, he was commissioned again to be a major general (he wouldn't take a lesser rank - pride or conceit I think). I was actually looking for a better book for John Tyler when I came across this one for Harrison. The Tyler one, I think, was perfectly adequate - It told of his younger life and how he worked his way up as a politican finally being placed on the ticket with Harrison to balance it geographically. It also went into the issues of the day and his policies and stances.

Dez 22, 2009, 1:48 pm

I've found that I can reserve Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and his time by Freeman Cleaves at the library so I did just that. I put a suspension until June 1st, though. By then, I should have a better idea of where I am.

I am eager to get started again on the presidential challenge. I got really bogged down with that book about the Constitution. I'm putting that one aside and getting started on Monroe, probably as soon as I finish my 999 next week.

Editado: Dez 23, 2009, 3:27 pm

#158 Christmas Sucks: What to Do When Fruitcake, Family, and Finding the Perfect Gift Make You Miserable
Author: Joanne Kimes
Read: Dec 21 - Dec 22
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - New Writer (Christmas Challenge)
Pages: 160

First, let me say that Christmas is my favorite, absolutely favorite, time of the year. I starting preparing for Christmas in June and July so that I can setup my Christmas display and have it ready by Thanksgiving. It doesn't come down until February at the earliest. That said, why would I read a book with this title? I thought it might be interesting to see how the other half look at this wonderful occasion and so I started, prepared to not like it at all.

Okay, so here is the scoop, I really enjoyed this book. I laughed so hard at parts that tears streamed down my face, and my husband ( the original Scrooge), has a look on his face, like - okay she's really lost it now.

The writer has this wonderful style for sarcasm and her descriptions are just to die for! She addresses all the issues surrounding the holiday preparations - shopping, Santa Claus, parties, gift giving, decorating, traveling, family gatherings - and even gives you tips on how to avoid the stress in all these areas.

Here are just a few of the humorous words from Joanne Kimes on a few subjects surrounding the holidays.

Shopping " Black Friday is a modern day version of a Roman Gladiator match"
Parking at the mall - "vultures circling over a dying zebra"
purchasing a gift the 3rd week in December - "If you are hoping to get something monogrammed, get out your Sharpie."
Gift Giving - "Create a nice gift. This year I am giving out infused Vodka. It's easy to make, looks great in a pretty bottle, and who couldn't use a stiff shot this time of year?"
Hosting a Party - "Ask a close friend to come early to have an extra set of hands around because your husband is still busy SITTING ON HIS ASS."

I could go on and on, but then I would just be re-writing the book here. If you need a good laugh to make you believe that it is all worthwhile, this is the book to get.

Editado: Dez 26, 2009, 1:57 pm

Author: Anne Perry
Read: Dec 23 - Dec 26
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Follower (Christmas Challenge)
Pages: 193

Toward the end of 2009, my sister again introduced me to another challenge (The Christmas Challenge) so I found several books that were related to the holiday that I had not initially intended to read. This one I truly enjoyed because I read Anne Perry's books and recognized the characters.

This tale is about Grandmama Ellison from the Thomas & Charlotte Pitt series. Those who have read the series, know this character as a mean-spirited, grumpy old lady who is shuffled from family member to family member. For this Christmas she is sent to spend the holiday with her daughter-in-law (who has remarried a man younger than herself and actor, horrors!) Then when the new "son-in-law" receives a message from his aunt that another aunt is being sent to his house, also for the holiday, Mrs. Ellison is extremely put out because she will not be receiving the attention she feels she deserves. The story evolves in an unusual manner but is reminiscent of a Christmas Carol for the spirit of redemption. It is amusing to watch the character change.

Editado: Dez 26, 2009, 1:57 pm

Author: Steven Hornby
Read: Dec 24 - Dec 26
Source: publisher for review
Category: ER/ LT Recommendations
Pages: 248

This was a cute book aimed at children to entertain with the tale of the lives of the Christmas tree ornaments and what they do when the humans go away. The story revolves around three ornaments Larry, Debbie, and Splint and Larry's "dog" Tinsel who head out away from the safety of the Christmas tree to find out why Larry's brother Terrence didn't make it back it the tree this year. They encounter numerous obstacles and injuries that they need to overcome before they can return to the tree with their story of what has happened.

I have read several Christmas tales, and while this one is amusing, I think that it is better suited for children less than 6 yrs old. It reminded me of the book Doll People that I read earlier this year, but not quite on the same level of quality.

Dez 30, 2009, 5:25 pm

Author: Anne Perry
Read: Dec 26 - Dec 28
Source: public library
Category: Christmas
Pages: 198

This was a light cozy mystery that brought the character Dominic from Anne Perry's original Pitt book forward as a main character with life changes and personality changes as well. I enjoyed the book as a simple fill in for the season and the end of the year.

Dominic and his new wife take on the responsibilities of a small village as fill in vicar and find that it may be more than that.

Dez 30, 2009, 5:53 pm

Message 87...
I laughed right out loud at this comment:

Hosting a Party - "Ask a close friend to come early to have an extra set of hands around because your husband is still busy SITTING ON HIS ASS."

This exact occurrence led to a squabble yesterday....mumble...,mumble...mumble..Which is what I did while a certain someone watched tv while I was in the garage cutting apart approximately 25-30 large card board boxes before making dinner for his family....

Dez 31, 2009, 12:04 am

I had to include that one because that hit really close to home. My husband and I host an open house every year. Each year he invites more and more people - this year the invites were over 200. I had to cook and bake, shop for the beverages and paper products and have everything ready (for an unknown number of people because he didn't know who was going to come and wouldn't ask!). My husband sat on HIS ASS all day Saturday (party was Sunday) while I slaved away with the preparations. I got back at him when he had to do the cleanup and I sat on my ass!

Dez 31, 2009, 12:08 am

Here's the link to my 2010 75 Challenge thread

I don't know if I will finish another book this year so I wanted to make sure there was a marker for next year. Hope to see you there!

Editado: Jan 1, 2010, 8:32 pm

2009 RECAP
When I look back at my reading for 2009, I am really very happy with what I accomplished. I read a much greater diversity of genres/topics than ever before in my life and found so many new series and writers that I want to pursue. But the best part was the fellow readers that I found and friends that I have made. That said, here is the summary for 2009!

Total books read (including audiobooks) 162

Owned books 40
Library Books 122

Cozy Mystery 51
Mystery 27
Fiction 19
History/Bio 24
NonFiction 3
Romance 14
Youth 16
Classics 8

Books 101
Audio 61
New Writers 96
New Series Started 45
Continuing Series Books 45

Books on my list at start of 2009 81
Books read from that list 49

Page goal 35,000
Page total 59,524 70% higher than expected

Challenges completed

999 Challenge #1 - 81 no overlaps
999 Challenge # 2 - 81 no overlaps
First in a series goal of 12 new series - read 45 first in a series
Support Local Library 50 Bks goal- 122
75 Book Challenge LT
75 Book Challenge X 2
100 Book Challenge LT
Great Summer Readoff - 40 books June 1 - August 31
August Reading Challenge - 14
2009 Terp Challenge - 28/28
Audio Book Challenge - 12 goal - completed 61
Christmas Challenge - 4

Ongoing Challenges
US Presidents Challenge -10/43
The Europe Endless Challenge -- 4/51
50 State Challenge - 25/51

Best of 2009

Cozy Mystery
Series Three Pines Mysteries
Book A Rule Against Murder
Series Mistress of the Art of Death
Book Mistress of the Art of Death
Series World of Hetar
Book Shadow Queen
Series His Majesty's Dragon
Book His Majesty's Dragon
Classics Black Beauty
Fiction Rhett Butler's People
History/Bio Patriarch:George Washington and the New American nation
NonFiction Wedding of the waters : the Erie Canal

Most thought provoking - Time Traveler's Wife
Funniest - Christmas Sucks

Worst book on the list Grandma Gets Laid
Most Disappointing Blind Assassin

Biggest diappointment for the year
Classics Category

Of all the books that I read in 2009, my top pick was .....


I only hope that I have as great a time and books in 2010 as in 2009!

Jan 1, 2010, 11:06 pm

Very interesting re-cap Cheli. We have several cozy mystery series in common. 2009 was a year of many mystery reads for me. I'm adding Rhett Butler's People to the wish list. Thanks for the rec!

Jan 1, 2010, 11:35 pm

Great summary, Cheli!