brenzi's 75 book challenge just for fun

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2009

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brenzi's 75 book challenge just for fun

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Editado: Out 19, 2009, 9:10 pm

Hi everyone! Linda (Whisper) invited me to take on this challenge because as a member of the 50 book challenge, I have gotten to know her and other 75 book challenge members on their threads. I'll say right from the start I'm not going to reach 75 books but I will definitely read more than 50 and Linda was so gracious and I do enjoy the threads so here is my list:

1. The Air We Breathe by Andrea Barrett ****
2. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson *****
3. Amy and Isabel by Elizabeth Strout ****
4. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston *****
5. Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett ****
6. The Road Home by Rose Tremain ****
7. A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell *****
8. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout ****
9. The Custodian of Paradise by Wayne Johnston***
10. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse ****
11. Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan ****
12. The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon ****
13. Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout ****
14 -16. The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies *****
17. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery *****
18. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson ****
19. Deaf Sentence by David Lodge ****
20. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick ****
21. Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich *****
22. Netherland by Joseph O'Neill **1/2
23. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith ****
24. Small Island by Andrea Levy *****
25. City of Thieves by David Benioff ****
26. Shadow Country by Peter Matthiesson *****
27. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie ****
28. The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville *****
29. A Death in the Family by James Agee ****
30. Telex From Cuba by Rachel Kushner ****
31. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson *****
32. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri ****
33. That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo ****
34. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay ***
35. The Help by Kathryn Stockett *****
36. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin ****
37. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan ****1/2
38. The Day the Falls Stoof Still by Kathy Marie Buchanan ****
39. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese ****1/2
40. The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon ****1/2
41. Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov ****
42. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov ****1/2
43. The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan ****1/2
44. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers *****

That brings me just about up to date and I'm almost to the end of #45. I've been fortunate in that since I've joined LT I've gotten so many good reading suggestions that I don't have many books that I've rated less than 3 stars. Not that many years ago I had many, many 1 and 2 star reads. I love LT.

Out 17, 2009, 12:29 pm

Yay! You made it!
Welcome - you're going to love it here.


Out 17, 2009, 12:37 pm

Welcome! Now it is official.

Out 17, 2009, 4:55 pm

Welcome aboard! I like what you've read so far this year, so I'm starring your thread, brenzi.

Out 17, 2009, 6:05 pm

Your list reminds me that I really need to start reading some of the Andrea Barrett books I've picked up over the years.

Out 17, 2009, 6:10 pm

That's a great reading list, Brenzi.

Out 17, 2009, 10:23 pm

Thank you everyone for your kind words I'm happy to be on board.

Out 18, 2009, 12:42 am

Welcome to the group! Some terrific reads in your list. I cannot wait to see what you read over the remainder of the year.

Out 18, 2009, 4:41 pm

Finished Still Alice by Lisa Genova and I'll write my review later tonight. Started on Black Swan Green by David Mitchell and it's proving to be an addictive read so far.

Out 18, 2009, 5:22 pm

welcome to the group and hope your stay here is wonderful - so wonderful in fact, that you will never want to leave again! :)

Out 18, 2009, 6:57 pm


I recently read Still Alice. It was the book selected for my book club. The librarian who is a friend and led the discussion also included an alzheimers specialist.

I'm interested in learning your opinions.

Out 18, 2009, 8:38 pm

Welcome to the 75ers.

I am interested in your reading list - the Eggers book has me very interested although I have not yet been able to snag it at my library.

Out 18, 2009, 9:35 pm

Welcome to the group - good to see someone else has read Say you're one of them, I heard the author speak at our Writers and Readers Festival which inspired me to read the book.

Out 19, 2009, 1:58 am

I will be interested in seeing your thoughts on Black Swan Green. I had it on my list to read this year, but so far have not gotten to it.

Editado: Out 19, 2009, 9:50 am

>12 kiwidoc: I had never read anything by Eggers before but this book was stunning in the way it exposed more of the ineptness in the way Katrina was bungled. I hope you're able to get it. And thank you for welcoming me to the group.

>13 avatiakh: I loved Say You're One of Them but what a gut wrenching read, don't you agree?

>14 alcottacre: I'm about halfway through Black Swan Green and loving it.

Editado: Out 19, 2009, 11:10 am

#45 Still Alice by Lisa Genova

From my review:

At the age of fifty, Alice Howland is at the pinnacle of her career. She has been a psychology professor, a Ph.D, a noted author, an accomplished researcher and a respected speaker. For the past 25 years, her career in the Harvard community has been a source of pride for her and her family. How ironic then, that this gifted, intelligent woman, whose intellectual capabilities have secured her identity in her professional community, should suddenly find herself unable to remember the simplest details, disoriented in a onetime very familiar location and missing important engagements because she simply forgot. This happens often enough for Alice to seek a medical opinion and, after many tests and examinations, the diagnosis is frightening: early onset Alzheimer’s disease.


Out 19, 2009, 2:57 pm

Great review, brenzi! I'm adding this to my wish list.

Out 19, 2009, 3:06 pm

Brenzi..I agree with Darryl, your review is great. I've given it a thumbs up.

Also, I've added Say You're One of Them to my tbr list.

Out 21, 2009, 9:32 pm

Hi Brenzi! I've got you starred now. Nice to have a new friend. I have read some of the books on your list this year and look forward to trying out a few of your other ones. Nice review...what an awful prospect to face! :(

Editado: Out 22, 2009, 8:59 am

Hi, Brenzi! I have you starred now, too. Still Alice was already on my wish list, or I would have added it after your great review!

I must say, though, books like this are scary for me, because my Dad and three of his seven sisters suffer(ed) from Alzheimers.

Out 22, 2009, 9:17 am

Hi Brenzi and welcome! Any friend of Linda is a friend of mine.
There is no way on this green earth that I am going to make 75 books this year but I stumbled upon this thread and met many terrific people.
Got ya starred.

Out 22, 2009, 10:24 am

> Hi Berly, Thanks for visiting. Yes it is an awful prospect.

>Thank you tymfos and both of my parents suffered from Alzheimers' but not the early onset kind, fortunately.

>Thanks for the welcome Carmenere. I've found everyone here to be very friendly too.

Editado: Out 22, 2009, 10:46 am

Congratulations on the Hot Review for Still Alice, Brenzi. I've added that to my wishlist .. my grandmother had Alzheimer's as does a friend's mom. I've always wondered who was more scared, the family watching their loved ones suffer from the disease, or the victims, realizing that their minds were starting to give out on them.

Out 22, 2009, 11:01 am

Still Alice is powerful in that it focuses on the person suffering from Alzheimer's. So many books are written from the perspective of the caregiver.

Out 22, 2009, 11:19 am

Thanks for visiting cameling and Linda. Still Alice was one of the most pwerful books I've read and will stay with me a long time.

Out 22, 2009, 2:12 pm

Calling all Barbara Kingsolver fans. WalMart, Amazon and Target are in a price war. Kingsolver's yet to be released book, The Lacuna, as well as 9 other books that would need to be pre-ordered, are on sale for $9. At that includes free shipping! This is only good as a pre-order so act soon.

Out 22, 2009, 2:18 pm

brenzi...You have just give a bag of candy to all of us chocolate to I go for a sweet fix.

Out 22, 2009, 4:20 pm

brenzi... big big hug for that tip! Off to Amazon I go ... I just hope I leave without too much damage to my shopping cart

Out 23, 2009, 12:31 am

Where is that darn credit card?

Editado: Out 25, 2009, 8:19 pm

Welcome Brenzi--I'm looking forward to following your reads for the rest of the year. David Mitchell is one of my favorite authors, so I'll be interested in your review of Black Swan Green.

If you're interested in another book written from the pov of an Alzheimer's victim, I read The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey earlier this year, which was very good.

Out 25, 2009, 4:43 pm

Thank you so much for the welcome, arubabookwoman. I enjoyed Black Swan Green (my review will be done tonight I hope) and have Cloud Atlas on my TBR. I will keep The Wilderness in mind. Thanks for the suggestion.

Out 25, 2009, 8:21 pm

Cloud Atlas is one of my desert island books. It's very different from Black Swan Green, though.

Out 26, 2009, 1:25 am

I read Cloud Atlas earlier this year and liked it a lot, Brenda. I hope you do, too, when you get around to it.

Out 26, 2009, 11:31 am

#46 Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

From my review:

The town of Black Swan Green in 1982 provides the setting for David Mitchell’s adolescent coming of age story that might just be autobiographical. Jason Taylor is thirteen years old and serves as narrator of the story that describes one year in his life, a year full of possibilities and loaded with teenage angst as well.

Read more here:

Out 26, 2009, 12:06 pm

Great review. I gave it a thumbs up!

Out 26, 2009, 6:25 pm

Really enjoyed your review of Still Alice. Good job.

Out 26, 2009, 7:33 pm


Congratulations on yet another hot review -- listed on today's home page!

Out 26, 2009, 8:20 pm

Thank you and thank you.

Editado: Out 28, 2009, 10:49 am

Well my local library had their annual book sale anjd I made a small haul. I picked up:

Good Faith by Jane Smiley

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard

Runaway by Alice Munro

What Maisie Knows by Henry James

A Dangerous Woman by Mary McGarry Morris

Vanished by Mary McGarry Morris

The same day I got two Paperback Swap books:

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov and

Lush Life by Richard Price

Every one of them in new or nearly new condition.

It feels so good to get them all set in their neat little places among my book shelves. Ahhhhh. So good.

Out 28, 2009, 10:47 am

wow brenzi what a haul! I just finished A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and it made me put every other Eggers on my wish list. Lush Life was fun to read.

Out 28, 2009, 10:51 am

Yes I recently read Eggers' Zeitoun, a fabulous read so I was happy to find this one.

Out 28, 2009, 11:56 am

Gotta love those library sales. Ours was last week and I am still smiling over my latest acquisitions. Twenty-some books for around $40. Even my CPA husband couldn't compain about that!

Out 28, 2009, 1:14 pm

I am just jealous that A) you have book shelves and B) you had room to shelve them!! Happy reading.

Out 28, 2009, 2:43 pm


I'm anxious to learn your opinions on the Eggers book when you are finished. I remember that you read Zeiton and had positive comments

Editado: Out 30, 2009, 4:13 pm

#47 - Lark & Termite by Jayne Ann Phillips

#48 - 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

#49 - now reading The Housekeeper and the Professor

My 50th book will be...wait for it....The Cellist of Sarajevo that I decided a long time ago would be saved for this special achievement. I know, I know, most people have already read it, but I haven't.

(Touchstones not working)

Out 30, 2009, 3:13 pm

I've got The Cellist of Sarajevo on my TBR pile just waiting to be picked up and read so I look forward to reading your review once you complete this book.

Out 30, 2009, 10:01 pm

Don't give too much away - I haven't read it yet either!

Out 30, 2009, 10:21 pm

congratulations on reading 49 -- soon to be 50 books!

Out 31, 2009, 5:18 am

I loved The Cellist of Sarajevo when I read it earlier this year. I hope you like it, too.

Nov 5, 2009, 11:04 am

#49 The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

From my review:

In The Housekeeper and the Professor, Yoko Ogawa uses mathematics and baseball as metaphors for life and, in so doing, has written a very imaginative and charming novel. The housekeeper is a single mother, living in Japan in the early 1990’s, when she is assigned to the brilliant mathematics professor. She is his tenth housekeeper, the previous nine having been unable to deal with his special requirements. Ever since the Professor suffered a head injury in a car accident many years previously, his memory ends in 1975 and his short term memory only lasts eighty minutes.

Read more here:

Nov 6, 2009, 4:15 am

#50: I already have that one in the BlackHole. One of these centuries I will actually get to it!

Nov 6, 2009, 2:22 pm

I've heard such wonderful things about your #49. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

Nov 8, 2009, 1:58 pm

Finished The Cellist of Sarajevo and will write my review later today; started The Lacuna, the new Barbara Kingsolver novel.

Editado: Nov 8, 2009, 2:21 pm

I love your review of The Housekeeper and the Professor. I think that one's going on my list!

ETA to add:

Oops! It's already on the list! Well, I guess I'll have to move it UP on the list!

Nov 8, 2009, 5:11 pm

The Housekeeper and the Professor is on my tbr list noted that Darryl (Kidzdoc) recommended it. How I wish I had more time to read. There are so many great books out there that have been recommended. I still have books on the tbr pile from our 2008 challenge group....

Brenzi...loved your review as well!

Nov 8, 2009, 5:12 pm

Just got back from a quick trip to visit family in Colorado, and there sat my little box from B&N with The Lacuna waiting patiently for me. I have a few library books to read first, darn it. I'll be interested to see what you think about it.

Nov 8, 2009, 5:17 pm

I understand about the imperative of reading library books. I have many waiting right now.

Nov 8, 2009, 8:02 pm

This one is already on my list and like tymfos, after reading your review, I think I'm going to have to move it up the list so I read it sooner rather than later.

Nov 8, 2009, 9:04 pm

>53 brenzi: - I'll be looking forward to your thoughts on The Lacuna. Kingsolver is a favorite of mine. I'm meeting my mom and dad for shopping in Chicago this coming weekend, and I'll bet my mom or I one will end up with that one.

Editado: Nov 8, 2009, 9:23 pm

>56 Donna828: and 59 I've been anxiously awaiting The Lacuna since I heard Kingsolver was publishing her first novel in nine years. I've loved everything she's writeen, esp. The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven and The Poisonwood Bible. I'm just getting into it but I'll say it is set in Mexico 1929-30 and I believe it will span many decades and cover a lot of historical events from those years.

>54 tymfos:, 55, 58 The Housekeeper and the Professor is a quiet gem. I think you'll enjoy it.

Editado: Nov 9, 2009, 10:53 am

# 50 The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

From my review:

Told by four distinct voices, “The Cellist of Sarajevo,” by Steven Galloway describes in chilling detail the grizzly circumstances surrounding the 1991-1993 Siege of Sarajevo and the toll it took on its citizens. Spare and haunting in its prose, this novel grabs you by the throat almost immediately with its quiet intensity, and is very hard to put down until you’ve digested the final sentences.

Read more here.

Touchstones not working.

Nov 9, 2009, 12:22 pm

Great review. I gave it a thumbs up.

Nov 9, 2009, 2:35 pm

What a wonderful review. I thumbs upped it. It's already on my wishlist, and I hope to get a copy soon.

Nov 9, 2009, 7:26 pm

Ditto what Caroline/Cameling said!

Nov 9, 2009, 8:56 pm

Thumbs up from me, too, and I do plan to read that one!

Nov 9, 2009, 11:08 pm

boo hoo, I don't get to read this one any time soon. My daughter has me on a book diet! I'm not allowed to mooch, borrow, or buy any more books until I finish 3 I already have...

Nov 10, 2009, 8:41 am

Congratulations on your Hot Review, brenzi.

Nov 11, 2009, 7:57 pm

Just calling in to say hi. I'm way behind on all the threads so I missed your comment back to me about Uwem Akpan's Say you're one of them.
This was one of the most powerful (yes, and gutwrenching) books I read this year, and the author is the most gracious, sincere gentleman, a Jesuit priest who believed so strongly that these stories had to be told and had to be told from the child's perspective. He spoke at our local writers & readers festival as he was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers Prize which was announced at the event. I was totally impressed by him and his book. Did you note that it has been picked as an Oprah book?

Nov 11, 2009, 8:18 pm

I was able to get this book at my library. I have three weeks to read it...I'll start after I finish Wolf Hall.

Nov 12, 2009, 10:14 am

>68 avatiakh: Yes I did hear that Oprah picked it up. The thing about that book is that the stories keep reverberating back to me even many months after I read it. I agree, very powerful.

>69 Whisper1: Wolf Hall is up next for me (it's actually waiting for me at the library) when I finish The Lacuna which I'm loving.

Nov 12, 2009, 10:54 am

I finished Wolf Hall last night. It is very good!

Nov 13, 2009, 9:46 am


Last night I read the first chapter of Say You're One of Them. OH, my, it is so sad.

Nov 15, 2009, 8:33 pm

I finished The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver and will write my review shortly. It was a wonderful read.

Nov 16, 2009, 11:04 am

From my review:

Barbara Kingsolver has not published a novel in over nine years, but with her newest offering, The Lacuna, her fans will happily see that the wait was well worth it. She has written a cracker jack of a story, spanning the North American continent over thirty years, and covering American geography, politics and history in a way that only Kingsolver can. She adroitly exposes a time in our history of which no American can be proud, and looks provocatively at art and the artist from numerous angles.

Read more here.

Nov 16, 2009, 5:43 pm

Great review, Brenda. I will be looking for the book.

Nov 16, 2009, 11:10 pm

Hey, congrats, you have a hot review!

Nov 16, 2009, 11:24 pm

Hi Brenzi-- The Cellist of Sarajevo is nearing the top of my pile and I love Kingsolver, so I will have to find that one, too. :)

Editado: Nov 17, 2009, 8:53 pm

Brenzi - I bought The Lacuna this weekend, and now that I've read your review, I'm looking even more forward to reading it. Great review!

Nov 17, 2009, 9:43 pm

I agree with Amy. It sounds like a winner!

Nov 17, 2009, 9:56 pm

Thank you everyone. I just heard that Barbara Kingsolver will be on NPR tomorrow discussing the book :-)

>78 porch_reader: porch reader, I hope you enjoy it too.

>77 Berly: You have a treat waiting for you with those two, Berly.

Editado: Nov 19, 2009, 2:16 pm

The 2009 National Book Awards were presented last night and the fiction winner was Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. Why doesn't it surprise me that my library system only has one copy and I'm #19 on the list?

Nov 19, 2009, 6:08 pm

#81 At least your system has a copy! :)

Nov 19, 2009, 8:36 pm

I have Colum McCann's Dancer: A Novel on my TBR list, but I've only read This Side of Brightness and Fishing the Sloe-Black River. He visited my college when I was a senior, and was very pleasant - and the stories he shared about his research were fascinating!

I hope the list moves quickly - I'd love to hear what you think of Let the Great World Spin!

Nov 20, 2009, 11:10 am

>81 brenzi:: I fared a little better with Let the Great World Spin. I am No. 7, and our library has four copies. My problem is that I have 10 books on hold now and I'm afraid they will all come in quick succession. I may have to use that marvelous little feature called "freeze" which holds my place in line until I am ready for the book.

Bonnie, don't you know that delayed gratification is character building? :-)
Knowing you, there are some great books in your life patiently standing by while you are waiting.

Good luck with finding a copy, tymfos. And, thank you Luxx, for sharing your personal experience with the author. I find I am more engaged with a book if I have met the author.

Nov 20, 2009, 2:26 pm

#82: My local library does not appear to have ever heard of Colum McCann, so I can empathize entirely!

Nov 20, 2009, 2:32 pm

#85 I'm hoping that the National Book Award will carry some clout in suggesting that the library might want the book . . .

Nov 20, 2009, 3:01 pm

#86: Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Nov 20, 2009, 6:59 pm

>84 Donna828: "don't you know that delayed gratification is character building?"

I have heard that Donna but don't you ever hear about a book and have to have it right NOW even though the TBR pile is towering over you as you try to wend your way through the house? It's ridiculous, I know. Tell me I'm not the only one who does this!

Editado: Nov 20, 2009, 8:27 pm

don't you ever hear about a book and have to have it right NOW even though the TBR pile is towering over you as you try to wend your way through the house? It's ridiculous, I know. Tell me I'm not the only one who does this!

Oh, I wouldn't know anybody like that . . .

*sitting in the hulking, looming shadow of TBR mountain and ordering yet another book*

ETA to add description "hulking, looming" in order to portray clearer image of my book-buying folly!

Nov 20, 2009, 10:02 pm

I have no idea what you are talking about...seriously, no really! Why are you laughing at me? Well, of all the nerve. ;)

Nov 21, 2009, 1:13 am

#89: I refuse to comment, lol.

Nov 21, 2009, 4:34 pm

I have got The Lacuna on order, so nothing to add to my TBR pile this week from here. whew!

I'm still waiting for my copy of Wolf Hall from the library. I considered buying a copy, but given the number of books I still have waiting to be read, I think I can wait a little longer for my library copy. I saw a copy of it here in Australia and in paperback, it was $69 ! That's just crazy.

Nov 21, 2009, 6:11 pm

>89 tymfos:, 90, 91 Whew!! Validation. Thank God. I'm OK. I'm OK.

>92 cameling: $69 for a paperback!!! I don't think so.

Nov 21, 2009, 6:14 pm

Yeah, I've been really shocked at the book prices here. They really weren't that expensive 2 years ago when I was here and went home with an armload of books. A friend who lives here said that they've raised the prices of many things, including books.

Nov 23, 2009, 3:16 pm

>93 brenzi: Brenda, if you're not OK, then a LOT of us aren't OK. Thank YOU for the validation!

Nov 25, 2009, 7:06 pm

I....think....I can.......almost...see..........the end .......of Wolf Hall. I don't remember when I've taken this long to finish a book. Sooo dense, but sooo good.

Nov 25, 2009, 7:45 pm

That one is still on my list, but I promised myself I'd clear out some of my recent purchases before picking it up.

Nov 28, 2009, 10:14 pm

I'm anxious to learn your impressions re. Wolf Hall.

Did you have a good holiday?

Editado: Nov 29, 2009, 1:34 pm

Yes Linda I had a very good holiday. My son and his wife didn't make it in from Raleigh (they went to her parents in Scranton area) but they'll be here for Christmas which makes me very happy. So we had my daughter and her significant other and my sister's family and it was great fun. I finished Wolf Hall and The White Tiger over the past couple of days. I'm hoping o write my WH review later today. I've still got it in my mind because there was so much to think about.

TS not working

Nov 29, 2009, 2:16 pm

Here's my predicament: while I was reading Wolf Hall I made a decision to get a good start on my overwhelming TBR pile and stacked up my next three reads right on my nightstand. But why oh why did I stop at the library? Sure, I was driving right by. And yes, I was not in a hurry to get anywhere in particular. I had to go in. I have so little will power when it comes to book stores and the library that I am helpless. Result: I escaped with only two books that I will now read to the detriment of The Pile. The two books? Love and Summer by William Trevor and Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls. Oh well the pile will still be there when I finish these two :-)

Editado: Nov 29, 2009, 3:15 pm

"the pile will still be there..."

So true! And maybe it will have grown a bit while you neglect it with those library books. Mine seems to expand when I neglect it.

I would have grabbed those two books as well. In fact, I have been waiting for Half-Broke Horses ever since it came out. I'm eager to hear your thoughts on Wolf Hall. I have it checked out from the library, but have to finish Where Men Win Glory and Disgrace (for a real life book group) before I can indulge in it. I have a strong hunch it (WH) will be in my Top Ten, along with The Lacuna if I am able to get it read in '09. I'm glad I bought The Lacuna so that I can take my time reading it.

Edited for clarification.

Nov 30, 2009, 10:59 am

#52 Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said? Not a thing so I will, instead, make this a primer for those readers, like me, who know nothing about the Tudors or 16th century England. You too can read and enjoy Wolf Hall.

Read more here.

Nov 30, 2009, 1:28 pm

That was a thumbs up review if I ever read one! I can't wait for it now...just a few more days.

Nov 30, 2009, 1:38 pm

hear hear Donna. thumb!

Nov 30, 2009, 2:30 pm

ooo! me too! Library has Wolf Hall on next month's order. Is it December YET? :)

Nov 30, 2009, 4:21 pm

Wonderful review. You have a hot review! Congratulations on a job well done!

Nov 30, 2009, 7:57 pm

Congrats on the hot review!

But why oh why did I stop at the library? Sure, I was driving right by. And yes, I was not in a hurry to get anywhere in particular. I had to go in. I have so little will power when it comes to book stores and the library that I am helpless. Result: I escaped with only two books that I will now read to the detriment of The Pile.

I hear you! But pity me and my TBR mountain . . . I HAVE to go to the library regularly because I work there . . . ;)

I'm eager to hear what you think of Half Broke Horses. I've had my eye on that book since it arrived at our library.

Nov 30, 2009, 9:30 pm

I loved Half Broke Horses! I had already read Glass Castles, and it was interesting to see where Walls came from. A gritty, funny book.

Dez 1, 2009, 12:11 am

And I loved your review of Wolf Hall and thumbed it earlier today. I wasn't planning on reading it but you may have changed my mind!!

Dez 1, 2009, 8:32 am

> Donna, Eliza, Milda, Linda, Terri and Joanne - Thank you all so much and I envy you because you have Wolf Hall ahead of you.

>Berly - wasn't Glass Castle wonderful but at the same time depressing? I'm enjoying Half-Broke Horses too.

Dez 1, 2009, 11:08 am

Bonnie, your review of Wolf Hall was wonderful, and your enthusiastic comments make me want to read it again, now! I've thumbed it, too.

Dez 1, 2009, 11:54 am

>107 tymfos: YOU WORK AT THE LIBRARY!!!!!! Yikes! My dream job and yet the worst possible job. I would be so overcome with books. I would be bringing piles of books home every day without a hope of being able to actually read them. Oh boy.

>111 kidzdoc: Thank you Darryl. Yours was the first review I read of Wolf Hall because I think you read it very early on and you dubbed it "the best book I read all year" and that made me want to read it. Since you've read so many really good books I knew WH would be really good. (enough of the really good but you get what I mean)

Dez 1, 2009, 12:04 pm

Great review of Wolf Hall - that book has been checked out from the library for the last week and is due back in one more. I just don't think I will get to it. Will have to buy a copy with all the accolades. Have you read any others of hers, Brenzi?

Dez 1, 2009, 7:36 pm

Hi Bonnie- I was following you on the 50 but I did not know you were also here! Pretty sneaky! I took a look at your list of books, up above and it is so impressive! You write great reviews and your reading choices are impeccable!

Dez 1, 2009, 9:21 pm

>113 kiwidoc: No I haven't read anything else by Mantel yet. Does anyone out there have any suggestions as to what would be another good choice? She's written quite a few other books. Help please.

>114 msf59: Hi Mark. Yes I will not reach 75 by Dec. 31 but I am already on a record pace for me thanks to LT and all the great recommendations including some of yours. You have read a lot of great books yourself and I believe we've read a lot of the same ones too.

Dez 1, 2009, 9:43 pm

I will be starting Cutting For Stone soon and I have Small Island, Child 44 and The Yiddish Policeman's Union, all waiting in the wings! Whew!

Dez 3, 2009, 3:36 am

Great review of Wolf Hall brenzi ... between you and Darryl, I can't wait till I get to this myself

Editado: Dez 4, 2009, 11:59 am

#53 The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

From my review:

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga tells the story of one’s man’s life dealing with the injustice of the caste system in India and of how he escaped and became an entrepreneurial success. This is not an uplifting story. I was not left with a feeling of hope even though the way in which the story was told was light and humorous.

Read more here.

Dez 5, 2009, 2:28 am

#118: Nice review of a book already in the BlackHole, Brenda. I am looking forward to reading it one of these centuries, lol.

Dez 5, 2009, 2:32 am

Nice review, brenzi. I had read White Tiger after I had been to India for the 2nd time, and I enjoyed the book a great deal because not only was he humorous, he could so easily have been one of the many thousands that I saw in the slums who did not have his temerity to refuse to accept his born station in life.

Dez 5, 2009, 7:28 am

Bonnie- It looks like another solid review of White Tiger. I've had it buried in my tbr for months. Time for an excavation!

Dez 5, 2009, 9:52 am

Outstanding review of The White Tiger, brenzi! That reminds me; I have his next book, Between the Assassinations, lying around here somewhere...

Dez 5, 2009, 10:22 am

Bonnie- Another Hot Review! You are on fire!

Dez 5, 2009, 2:51 pm

Stasia, Caroline, Mark,

Thank you so much. It was a very good read.

Thanks and I didn't know he had another book out. I'll have to look for it.

Dez 6, 2009, 3:21 pm

Dear Bonnie -

What a delightful surprise awaited me here on the 75/2009 Challenge today! I was checking out Mark's fairly recent leap over/up to the ol' 75 ... reading along in the posts to his new thread, and lo and behold, I discovered that you had also taken up the gauntlet. (Good for you, Linda. Just the kind of LT friend to inspire and challenge Bonnie to join us here!)

I enjoy looking over your "read" list and notice how many of the books that are "yours" are also "mine". In fact, it is almost easier for me to look for the ones on your list that I haven't read. *chuckling*

Well, I want to take the time to read all of your posts here very soon. I have now starred your thread and will return often to say hello and see if there is anything that I am missing.

With a warm welcome to you and hope that you have lots and lots of fun and excellent reading here with us, as you have had with your buddies over on the 50/2009 Challenge, who are also a wonderful, wonderful group of LTers.

With love,


Dez 6, 2009, 3:44 pm

I finished Half-Broke Horses and I'll write my review later tonight. I'm moving on to Love and Summer by William Trevor.

Dez 6, 2009, 5:30 pm

Hey, "Miss Bonnie!"* Looking forward to your review. I've wanted to read that book since reading The Glass Castle. That's the only bad thing about making friends online--we can't borrow each other's books! (Unless you're a friend of Mark--he's very generous! Oops! That reminds me, I haven't mailed him his books. "If wishes were horses...")

*I know you're not a "Miss" but some of my parents who have grown up in the South insist on having their children refer to me that way out of respect, so I'm passing it along to you.

Dez 6, 2009, 9:38 pm

Well Miss Bonnie*, I would be happy to let you have the book except it's a library book (see post 100). Now I do have books that I'd happily share with you but how do I know what you don't have or would be interested in reading? Hmm. A conundrum.

*I've never lived in the South so you can dispense with the formalities ;-)

Dez 6, 2009, 9:54 pm

I'm looking forward to your review. I loved Glass Castle and want to know if Half-Broke Horses is as good or if it's a case of the author drawing it out on the success of the first book.

Dez 6, 2009, 11:30 pm

Brenzi.. Like Ruth,
Yes, I'm very glad that you accepted the invite to join us here. What a great addition you and Mark are!

Dez 6, 2009, 11:45 pm

>128 brenzi:: Thanks for the thought, but I'm not fishing for any free books, Bonnie. But we do like so many of the same books, we should try reading the same book at the same time next year. Wouldn't that be funny? The other 75ers would get so discombobulated. ;-)

Dez 7, 2009, 3:09 am

#131 : you mean we aren't already?!!!

Dez 7, 2009, 9:39 am

>131 bonniebooks: Oooo Bonnie a very very small group read with confusing posts from both of us. You are so diabolical much like ...uh...myself. Hmmm.

Dez 7, 2009, 9:40 am

>130 Whisper1: Linda you are really way too kind but right about Mark. He's such a sweetheart.

Dez 7, 2009, 11:26 am

#54 Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

From my review:

I remember reading Jeannette Walls memoir, The Glass Castle, teary-eyed at the life she and her siblings led at the hands of her alcoholic father and totally useless mother, fending for themselves because the parents who could provide for them chose not to. Walls new book, Half-Broke Horses, described as a true-life novel, tells the story of Walls’ grandmother, a gritty, tenacious, unsentimental, harsh woman. There were no tears here just many thoughts of “Who would do that?” or “Who would let their child do that?”

Read more here.

Dez 7, 2009, 6:30 pm

#135: Nice review, Bonnie, and it looks like a very good book. Adding it to the BlackHole!

Dez 7, 2009, 6:55 pm

Bonnie- I just finished it too! Very good review! I won't be able to compete. Can I just say: See Brenzi's fine review, underneath my same 4 star rating! It's funny, Lily's strong personality didn't bother me at all. I admired her!

Dez 7, 2009, 9:36 pm

Nice job on the review, Bonnie. I enjoyed Lily until she became a Mom. That's when her actions really began to bother me.

Dez 8, 2009, 8:26 am


Looks like you will have another hot review coming your way. I really liked your comments re. Half Broke Horses.

Dez 8, 2009, 8:28 am

opps I forgot to add that I gave a thumbs up to you as well Mark! The comments inspire me to read this book.

Dez 8, 2009, 8:29 am

Mark, Thank you very much. Maybe it's a Mother thing or maybe it's just me.

Joanne, Exactly what I thought. When she let RoseMary dive into the neighbor's garbage to retrieve a bottle for the deposit money because they were so poor and trying to save and then in the next breath announced that she was going to take flying lessons, that was the beginning of the end for me. Even six year old RoseMary knew that would cost money. Irritating.

Dez 8, 2009, 1:20 pm

Sometimes I just hate you, Bonnie! :-) You're reading all these good books that I'm going to have to wait a year to read if (I want 'em in paperback), and then you write these really great in-depth reviews. I feel like the tag-along little sister trying to keep up, but you're always doing everything better, faster, sooner. Sigh! Good thing I love my big sister!

Dez 8, 2009, 3:25 pm

The library had this book just sitting on the shelf. Are you saying you prefer paperbacks? Really? Maybe the publishing companies should talk to you because obviously they should put out the paperbacks first followed months later by the lowly hard cover edition. ;-)

I am going to annoint you with the title -"Person with the Most Consistently Unique and Quotable Posts". You are too funny.

Dez 9, 2009, 12:30 am

Very nice review, brenzi. Hmm..... I'm in two minds about Half Broke Horses now after reading both your review and Mark's. I was planning on reading it, but I'm starting to suspect it's a book that's going to cause a number of eye-rolls on my part.

Dez 9, 2009, 12:58 am

#144 - Oh definitely, but really only in the second half. For the most part, it is an interesting read. Just my $0.02!

Dez 9, 2009, 8:24 pm

Brenzi - I loved your review of Half Broke Horses. I bought this one for my mom for Christmas, and after reading your review and Mark's reviews, I'm thinking I made a good choice!

Dez 9, 2009, 9:19 pm

>144 cameling: and 146 - Thank you. I really enjoyed Half Broke Horses and I do recommend it because Walls is a terrific writer and she has quite a tale to tell. But for me, this wasn't The Glass Castle and yes Lily irritated me during the second half of the book, just like Joanne. That didn't make it a bad read. (I gave it 4 stars.) I'll be interested in what you think of it.

Dez 9, 2009, 10:19 pm

You know, I haven't written a review of Half Broke Horses as yet, but, I hope to do so very soon. In the meantime, I admire both your review, Bonnie, and Mark's as well.

I do want to say, now, however, that the genetic material and sheer gumption passed along to Jeanette Walls came, at least partially, directly from the talents, intelligence and determination of her maternal grandmother.

Times have changed in how we respect and relate to our children, very true. And, at the same time, simply look at what Jeanette Walls has done with her inherited grit and smarts.


Editado: Dez 10, 2009, 7:06 pm

#55 Love and Summer by William Trevor

From my review:

Do you recall the story of King Solomon and the baby, wanted by two women who each claimed to be its mother? King Solomon, of course, threatened to cut the baby in half, giving one half to each woman. By threatening this, he could see the reaction of each woman and know who the real mother was, for what mother could stand by and watch her child slaughtered? This is the type of story for which William Trevor is gloriously known, not because Trevor has the wisdom of Solomon but, rather, his forte is telling stories with no easy answers and with very difficult choices. The heartbreaking “Lucy Gault” was just such a story and so is his recently longlisted 2009 Booker Prize nominee, “Love and Summer.”

Read more here.

Dez 11, 2009, 4:27 am

This is definitely up my street .... on to the wishlist it goes.

Dez 11, 2009, 6:50 am

#149: I already have that one in the BlackHole, Bonnie, or I would be adding it again. Nice review!

Dez 11, 2009, 6:24 pm

Well today was the third snow day for me. For those of you from the warmer climes, snow days are unexpected (but happily accepted) days off from school because there is just too much snow to deal with. Right now we're at about 22" and still falling. The skiiers in my family are rejoicing and have already gotten two ski days in with beautiful fluffy powder. So......

Dez 11, 2009, 10:47 pm

Lucky you .... I am looking forward to some skiing when I get home later this month.

Dez 11, 2009, 11:18 pm


My grand daughter (now six) was born in the month of February. As I was taking her mommy to the hospital, the snow was falling, falling, falling. There was a total of 24" on the ground the day she was born. Because of a declared snow emergency, I had to stay at the hospital for two days with my daughter and brand new baby It was such a delightful, special time.

I hope you are warm, safe and enjoying the beauty.

Dez 11, 2009, 11:42 pm

oooo, snow! we love snow! and snow days! unfortunately it doesn't snow much in San Antonio, definitely never 24". But we did get about 24 flakes last week!

Dez 12, 2009, 2:38 am

I did not even get 24 flakes! I want some snow . . .

Dez 12, 2009, 4:18 am

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

Linda : What a great memory.

Editado: Dez 14, 2009, 9:41 pm

Hi Brenzi! Snowless in OR. (Well, okay, there is snow on Mt Hood...but I have to drive there!) I loved Half Broke Horses and, for the record, I was less irritated with the grandmother than her daughter, Rosemary, who seemed like a wild one from the cradle (and grows up to be one of the dysfunctional parents of Jeanette Walls in The Glass Castle).

edited for wrong touchstone

Dez 14, 2009, 10:16 pm

Bonnie -

I'm thinking of you every day in all that snow. Keep warm and safe. Stay in touch.

> 154 - Linda - Just wanted to say that I am so glad you took the time to share such a sweet and pleasant memory with Bonnie, and I had the opportunity to read about it here on her thread.

What an unforgettable memory of snow and such special time with your daughter and her baby girl. I will add your story to my special memories of you and how special you are.

... and to all a good night!


Dez 14, 2009, 10:37 pm

#154 - Linda, what a great family memory to share with your granddaughter!

Dez 15, 2009, 12:51 pm

>154 Whisper1: Linda,

That is a beautiful memory! Better than the one I had in 1982 when my daughter was born on Jan. 13. The weather was absolutely horrific (even for Buffalo standards) and she was delivered between storms. We had visitors the first day and then no one could come. The corner room I was in was too cold for the baby so they only brought her out to nurse and then back immediately) into the nursery. I couldn't wait to get home :-(

Dez 15, 2009, 12:53 pm

I set up my 2010 thread even though I won't post any books to it until January 1. It's right here.

Dez 15, 2009, 12:55 pm

Brenzi-- That was no fun at all! I was talking this morning with my oldest (she is counting down the days to her birthday) and I told her that December is the busiest time of year in the hospitals because everyone comes in to be induced so they can get the tax break, so she is a tax baby! She was not amused.

Dez 15, 2009, 11:09 pm

Bonnie - Jan 13th? That's a great day to have a birthday no matter how awful the weather. ;) (I was born on Jan 13 but a few years, er, decades, before your daughter.)

Dez 16, 2009, 4:12 pm

January 13 was my due date with my first, but he held out for Poe's birthday on the 19th. He also waited for the only snow we had that winter, the little so-and-so...

Room too cold for the baby? I would have rushed home, too. Poor you. :(

Dez 17, 2009, 4:14 am

Hugs and kisses from an friendly, insomniac, fellow book lover, etc.

Catcha later when I'm truly awake.



Dez 18, 2009, 12:08 pm

Well I've finally topped myself. In an all too frequent incidence of totall memory loss, I have the same book in the mail to me from Amazon AND Paperback Swap. Too late to cancel either one. Geesshhh!

Dez 18, 2009, 12:36 pm

I'm amazed this doesn't happen to all of us more often! :)

Dez 18, 2009, 2:44 pm

Just went through my tbr's in anticipation of next year and realized that I have two copies each of Midnight's Children and some other book which I can't now remember the title of, so will probably buy a third copy if I don't watch it! ;-)

Dez 18, 2009, 3:23 pm

#167: I cannot tell you how many times that has happened to me!

#169: Ditto.

Dez 18, 2009, 3:40 pm

>170 alcottacre:: Reading 500+ books a year and a "black hole" that contains how many books? All your avid followers can totally believe that, Stasia!

Dez 18, 2009, 3:42 pm

#171: I refuse to discuss how many books are in the BlackHole (especially since I have no idea the exact count!), but yea, it happens to me quite frequently.

Dez 18, 2009, 6:16 pm

Oh...well...that makes me feel sooo much better....knowing that I'm surrounded by others plagued with the same irksome malady. Stasia it's true that you have a very good reason for ending up with multiple copies of various titles. But as for me, not so much.

Dez 18, 2009, 7:30 pm

I admit I'm a "tad" obsessive compulsive and thus want desperately to find a way to place all my books in an order that would alleviate duplication... thus, I ponder the following:

Sound I place them in order by author
Should I place them in order of subject
Should I place them in order of book size (making them look pretty on the shelves)
Should I place them in order of those read vs those unread.

A few months ago I tried to place all my YA books in one location, then started to subdivide into Newbery classics...


Realizing that I don't have the luxury of one set of large book cases, the books are throughout the house and thus even if I found a system it would be near impossible to follow through....

I do realize that I'm very fortunate to have so many books.

Editado: Dez 21, 2009, 12:55 pm

#56 Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden

I would have never known about this wonderful book had it not been for Andrea (spacepotatoes). Thank you Andrea.

From my review:

Joseph Boyden has written a WWI novel of magnificence and splendor. Told alternately by Niska an Oji-Cree medicine woman and her nephew, Xavier Bird we learn of a side of the war of which little has been written.

When the story opens, Niska is traveling from her home in northern Ontario to reclaim her nephew, who has returned from the Great War. During the trip back to her home by canoe, Xavier relates the story of his time overseas alternately with his years growing up with his boyhood friend, Elijah Whiskeyjack. Elijah and Xavier enter the army and serve together. It soon becomes apparent to those in charge that the two are skilled shooters and they are soon utilized as snipers, aiming to eliminate their German counterparts.


Dez 21, 2009, 12:26 am

Hi Brenzi! Here's another lifesaver (mango this time) in case you missed the first one I threw to you!

Dez 21, 2009, 12:30 am

#175: I bought that one and hope to get to it in 2010. Looks like a very good read!

Dez 21, 2009, 1:01 am

I've also added this to the list.

Dez 21, 2009, 6:48 am

Bonnie- Another terrific review! Sounds like a winner!

Dez 21, 2009, 4:58 pm

Had to add this one to my wishlist. It sounds like a great read.

Dez 21, 2009, 5:37 pm

Same here; I've added it to my wishlist and starred your review.

Dez 21, 2009, 5:43 pm

Just trying to stay in touch. I miss posting. Will read your review as Three Day Road is definitely on my finish reading list ... I had to return it before I finished reading it, so that other library patrons could have their turn. You know. I can't hog them all.

With lots of love. By now your review has probably gone in to Extreme Hot Review!!!

With love,


Dez 21, 2009, 5:46 pm

>182 womansheart:: "Extreme Hot Review!" Love this, Ruth, and yes Bonnie is extremely HOT these days. :-)

Dez 21, 2009, 5:52 pm

I just read your review too, I'm so glad you liked it! And you describe Boyden's writing perfectly - "prose that sings" is exactly what it's like. Are you planning to read Through Black Spruce in the new year?

Dez 21, 2009, 7:15 pm

Congratulations on yet another hot review!

Dez 22, 2009, 8:05 am

Thank you everyone for your kind words. This was a wonderful read.

>184 spacepotatoes: Yes, Andrea I am planning to read Through Black Spruce. Have you read that one?

Dez 22, 2009, 8:14 am

Brenzi (Bonnie)

I'm stopping by to say, once again, what a wonderful part you are to the 75 challenge group. I'm ever so glad you came on board.

Merry Christmas and Happy New New to you my friend!

Dez 22, 2009, 6:26 pm

>186 brenzi: Yup, I read that one a couple of months ago...I'm pretty sure I reviewed it on my 50 Book thread though I'm so far behind, I might not have! Either way, it was also very, very good. Not as gripping as Three Day Road, I think because there was no war going on, but still beautifully written and a good story.

Dez 22, 2009, 8:09 pm

>187 Whisper1: Linda,

You are quite possibly the kindest, most thoughtful person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Merry Christmas to you too and I look forward to reading your posts and reviews in the new year. They're always so insightful.

Dez 22, 2009, 9:16 pm

School's out tomorrow. Time to have more fun?

For lots of love and appreciation for your friendship to me, just give me a shout, and I'll tell you know where you stand with me.

(I don't want to embarrass you publicly by such lavish praise in front of your other fans).

Your giddy sleep deprived friend,


Dez 22, 2009, 10:43 pm

It is good to see a post from you. I hope you are feeling much, much better today.


Dez 26, 2009, 10:31 pm

I am currently reading A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore but with the holiday I haven't been getting a lot of reading done. That is about to change :)

Dez 27, 2009, 8:22 am

Hi Bonnie- Glad to see you are enjoying the Moore book! I have that reserved at the library ( but it looks like one worth owning!). I saw you received Let the Great World Spin. I'm over 200 pages in and it's been excellent. It looks like a great one to finish the year with. I've been meaning to get to Grenville for awhile now. I have The Secret River buried in my tbr somewhere!

Dez 28, 2009, 1:01 am

Hi, Bonnie -

How was your Christmas? Good food? Pleasant family time and everybody loved, loved, loved each other and their presents, too?

I am in the holding pattern for the next doctor's visit which may not happen until he returns from his well deserved week off. I can't wait to see him again. He is my husband's "go to" Urologist and has a wonderful way of being fully there with his patients. A good listener, too. Brilliant surgeon, also. And, his Physicians Assistant is terrific, too. I am and will be in good hands, now. I "fired the other doctor" which was a smart move on my part.

In between all the holiday business and fun ... I hope that we have a chance to talk on the 'phone. Things have been very busy for all of us and it would be so nice to catch up with you a little bit. I have been too completely washed out (fatigued) to even read a few paragraphs. I wake up hours later, with the books on my chest and lap and the bedside lamp blazing away.

Looking forward to connecting with you soon.

With love,


Dez 28, 2009, 1:53 pm

Brenzi-- Happy After Christmas!! Have you recovered from whatever holiday festivities you enjoyed? Have you found time to get back to reading yet? I have two more books to fit in before the year changes and then I will reach my 100 goal! Got to go!

Editado: Dez 29, 2009, 4:37 pm

#57 A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

From my review:

Tassie Keltjin is a multi talented college student, the offspring of potato farmers in the mid-West (who raise legendary potatoes, in demand by upscale restaurants everywhere). In the year following 9/11, she plays the bass skillfully, is on a quest for her first boyfriend, loves reading Sylvia Plath, Chaucer and the like, and, to make ends meet, takes on a job as a nanny for multi-racial MaryEmma, foster child of Sarah Brink and her husband, Edward, who are awaiting formal adoption proceedings. It is Tassie who tells her story, and author Lorrie Moore who provides a storyline that centers on the new role of terrorists in our lives and the themes of loneliness, racism, loss and war. Because above all else, Tassie is lonely.

Read more here.

Dez 29, 2009, 7:18 pm

Bonnie- I'm so glad you liked it! I hope to get my copy from the library, very soon! BTW, I finished Let the Great World Spin today! It was incredible! What a great book to end the year with!!

Dez 29, 2009, 7:34 pm

>196 brenzi:: Bonnie, I picked up my copy of A Gate at the Stairs today. Good but not great, huh? This will be my first book by Lorrie Moore so I don't have anything to compare it with. At least it looks like a fairly fast read.

>197 msf59:: Mark, I am No. 1 on the reserve list for Let the Great World Spin. I'm glad to hear the "great" word because this is the one I've been anticipating. I'm glad that I'll be starting out the new year with some good books.

Dez 29, 2009, 7:37 pm

HI Bonnie

All good wishes for a wonderful New Year!

Congratulations on reading 57 books in 2009.

Dez 29, 2009, 8:08 pm

Let the Great World Spin arrived in my stocking so I guess Santa was peeking at my wishlist:) I'll start the New Year off with it too Donna. Tonight I'll start Stitches, my first graphic novel so who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Dez 29, 2009, 8:08 pm

Bonnie, is this the same Lorrie Moore who writes short stories?

Dez 29, 2009, 8:12 pm

Stitches is wonderful. I hope you like it as much as I did.

I'll probably read Let the Great World Spin next, too.

Dez 29, 2009, 8:19 pm

>201 spacepotatoes: Yes Andrea she had at least one collection called Birds of America.

>202 Copperskye: Oh Joanne maybe we'll all be reading it at the same time. We could have a mini-group read except Mark would have to arrange it. LOL

Dez 30, 2009, 2:39 am

Have to add Let the Great World Spin! 2010 has not even begun, and I already feel my new stack leaning! Course that's just the way I like it. ;)

Dez 30, 2009, 10:03 am

I gave you a thumbs up for your great review, Bonnie. I wasn't bowled over by it but I didn't hate it either.

Dez 30, 2009, 7:44 pm

#58 Stitches by David Small

This is my last book for 2009 and a good one it was.

There was a time when I was a book snob and wouldn’t consider reading a lowly graphic novel (formerly known as a comic book but packaged and peddled now as a hardbound book). That was yesterday. Today I read Stitches by David Small and now I’m not so haughty. This little gem was just a wonderful book.

Read more here.

Dez 30, 2009, 8:18 pm

Thanks to LT, I have several graphic novels on my TBR for next year. I'm glad you liked this one, it's on my list.

I've read Like Life, another one of Lorrie Moore's collections and I loved it. Anagrams seems to be one of her better known ones, that one's on my TBR. Now that I know Gate at the Stairs is by her, I will be adding that to the TBR too. I have a feeling that list is not going to get shorter any time soon :)

Dez 30, 2009, 9:02 pm

Year end wrap-up

What a wonderful year of reading I've had, enhanced greatly by LT and all the wonderful recommendations I've received since joining.

58 books read - a personal record

20,232 pages read

Countries visited: France, Canada, Ireland, India, Great Britain, Mexico, Bosnia, Japan, Wales, Ethiopia, Sweden, Italy, Rwanda, Jamaica, Russia, Norway, Switzerland, Burma, Nigeria, Biafra, Australia, Cuba

Prize Winners -

3 Pulitzer Prize winners
2 Man Booker Prize winners
4 Orange Prize winners
2 National Book Award winners

And now the really hard part....choosing ten favorites. In no particular order:

1. Mudbound by Hilary Jordan
2. Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston
3. A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
4. Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
5. Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
6. Small Island by Andrea Levy
7. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
8. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
9. The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville
10. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

There were many others that were so close but I guess I have to draw the line somewhere. So I hope you will now follow me to my impossible dream of reading 75 books in 2010.

My 2010 challenge thread

Dez 30, 2009, 10:14 pm


I read Mudbound in 2008 and thought it was wonderful!

Dez 30, 2009, 11:28 pm

Hi Bonnie, I enjoyed reading your year-end wrap-up and we shared a couple of favorites!

Dez 30, 2009, 11:55 pm

Nice summary, Bonnie.

Like you, I have discovered graphic novels through LT and have read some very good ones. I will be adding Stitches to the BlackHole you can be sure. David Small did the illustrations for one of my 'memorable reads' for the year, The Underneath.

Dez 31, 2009, 6:39 am

Bonnie- Great way to close out and congrats on the personal record! Surprisingly, I've only read one off your list, but have several in my tbr, including Small Island and Plague of Doves. There should be no reason we don't have another wonderful year in 2010! Happy New Year!

Dez 31, 2009, 9:40 am

That was a terrific recap of the year, Bonnie. I love how you have done so much global reading. And keeping track of the pages read...another idea I might steal! Do you keep a running total?

I'm not surprised that I have read nine of your Top Ten books. Great list. I remember loving the title of Johnson's book when it came out years ago. I'll keep my eye out for a used copy. Our tastes are so similar that I know I'll like it without doing my usual due diligence. Keep dreaming big and Happy Reading in 2010!

Dez 31, 2009, 11:49 am

Hi Bonnie, - What a nice closure to your 2009 reads. I've read The Elegance of the Hedgehog and Small Island from your top ten list, and have 4 others already on my TBR which I'm planning on getting to next year....hmm that sounds so far away, but is really tomorrow.

Anyway, I wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year, and see you over at the 2010 thread starting tomorrow!

Dez 31, 2009, 4:28 pm

Thanks everyone!

>Donna, well it would have made so much sense to keep a running total but no I didn't. Great suggestion for next year though. Happy New Year everyone!

Dez 31, 2009, 5:21 pm

Congratulations Brenzi!! Happy New Year and I look forward to your new thread. All my best.

Dez 31, 2009, 6:32 pm

Happy New Year! It is a joy to know you!

Jan 1, 2010, 4:28 am

Happy New Year, Bonnie!

Jan 1, 2010, 7:48 pm

Happy New Year! Just wanted to let you know that my 2010 challenge thread is up, it's at:

Drop in and say hello every once in a while :)