CynWetzel's 100 in 2013

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CynWetzel's 100 in 2013

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Dez 31, 2012, 9:51 pm

Hello, again!
I really like tracking my books on LT with these groups. My category challenge is only 91 books this year, so maybe I'll get lucky and make 100. (I only got to 93 in 2012, but there were some *big* books in those 93!)

I'm just going to use the same tracker on this thread as on the category thread...

Editado: Jan 21, 2013, 2:33 pm

Current Print Read: Telegraph Avenue / Michael Chabon

Current E-Read:

Current Listen: Fever dream / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Next Print Read: The Technologists / Matthew Pearl

Next E-Read:

Next Listen: Cold vengence / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Jan 1, 2013, 2:03 am

Looking forward to following your thread.

Jan 1, 2013, 3:06 am

Looking forward to reading about your 2013 reading!

Jan 1, 2013, 2:31 pm

Hi, judylou and wookiebender! Happy New Year! and happy reading!

Jan 2, 2013, 10:05 pm

1/91 The girl with no shadow / Joanne Harris 2013-01-02; 444 pg.

This is a continuation (Harris doesn't like the word 'sequel') of Chocolat, and I wish I hadn't waited so long to read it! Though it's available at my local library, I picked up a copy at Big Lots for $2 right after Thanksgiving. This particular edition had a "P.S." section, which included "insights, interviews & more."

Harris tells the story by chapters from the point of view of one of three characters: Vianne, Anouk, and Zozie. Vianne, now "Annie," and Anouk, now ," are settled in a small village near Paris, struggling to make ends meet selling factory-made chocolate and trying to be 'normal.' Along comes Zozie and suddenly there's magic in their lives again.

It is a deliciously tangled tale woven around mother-daughter relationships, but there's plenty of romance and coming-of-age angst embroidered throughout. And chocolate, of course. Yes, yes, Roux is there, too.

Now, I'm going to watch my Chocolat DVD and drool. Whether over the chocolates or Johnny Depp is for you to guess.

Jan 3, 2013, 3:43 am

I got a bit excited then, thinking here was another of the Chocolat books that I hadn't read yet. But then I realized that it is just a different title to the one I read, The Lollipop Shoes.

Jan 3, 2013, 6:28 am

So, I should read Chocolat then...?

Jan 3, 2013, 8:05 am

Yes you should wookie, it is a good read !

Editado: Jan 4, 2013, 11:12 am

>7 judylou: Oh, judylou! I'm sorry to have misled you. I meant to mention the non-US title. :( But, there *is* a new book, Peaches for Father Francis, that brings them all back to Lansquent!

>8 wookiebender: Yes, wookiebender, you should; its much more intriguing even than the film.

Jan 3, 2013, 5:31 pm

I've never seen Chocolat (when a movie or book has so much press sometimes it's difficult for me to really enjoy it), but maybe I'll have to break out the book when I need some good fiction.

Jan 3, 2013, 7:38 pm

Chocolat was one of the few movie and book doubles that I really enjoyed. And I just picked up the new one from the library yesterday! So I will be reading it soon.

Jan 3, 2013, 8:24 pm

Okay, I'll look into finding a copy of Chocolat!

Editado: Jan 8, 2013, 9:28 am

2/91 Peaches for Father Francis: a novel / Joanne Harris 2012-01-05; 452 pg.

Well, I couldn't resist. Even though I had several books ahead of it in my reading list, once I poked my nose in it at work the other day, I couldn't get it out.

A letter 'from beyond the grave' brings Vianne back to Lansquenet, to find some things unchanged and many more very changed. Not the least is the lack of the river folk and a settlement of Muslims complete with mosque and women in hijab. At the center of one scandal after another is, of all people, Monsieur le Curé, Father Francis Reynaud!

There's a lot in this story to think about. It's quite tragic in many respects. But there are many laughable moments and memorable characters, both familiar and new, old and young.

I'll be surprised if Harris ever writes another book for Vianne; this one brings a nice, circular conclusion to the relationships begun in Chocolat. I hope to read Harris's other books to see if all her stories are as enthralling, or if I am just attracted to Vianne's tales.

One of my favorite moments is from near the end of the book:
Omi, and ancient Muslim woman says, '"You priests. You're all the same. You think fasting helps you think about God, when anyone who can cook would tell you that fasting just makes you think about food."'

Jan 5, 2013, 11:43 pm

Nice review.

It's quite tragic in many respects. But there are many laughable moments and memorable characters,

I think this is why I like these novels. There is always tragedy / sadness, but it is always balanced out with something whimsical to make you feel better!

Jan 6, 2013, 8:26 pm

Life is funny.
I received an email this morning from PaperbackSwap for a book I've had on my wishlist forever! The funny part is that we had just purchased and received a copy for the library, which is sitting on my desk waiting to be read as soon as I finish Pratchett's Dodger.

At least there are 21 other people wishing for the book, so if I don't want to keep this copy for myself I can pass it along.

Editado: Jan 8, 2013, 9:26 am

3/91 Dodger / Terry Pratchett 2013-01-07; 360 pg.

Oh! What a fun book!

"Was that a sign? He really wanted a sign. There ought to be signs, and if there was a sign there should be a sign on it to show that it was a sign so that you definitely knew it was a sign."

Having never actually read Dickens's Oliver Twist, all through the book I thought Pratchett was telling a back/alternate story -- I'm still not sure, but what I know about the Dodger character in OT doesn't quite fit. Perhaps we could say that in Pratchett's tale, Dickens's not yet written character, "Artful Dodge,r"was inspired by the 'real' Dodger. To say much more would probably spoil the story.

Regardless, this romp through Dickens's England with our orphaned Dodger, a tosher (one who searches the sewers of London for treasures lost and discarded) caught up in international intrigue, danger and murder, after coming to the rescue (on a dark, stormy night -- heh heh) of a damsel in distress, is Dickens done Pratchett style. Serious stuff with plenty of humor and humanity.

Pratchett calls it "historical fantasy" not "historical fiction," bringing a wide cast of famous/infamous folks into Dodger's path. While not entirely a predictable plot, I believe all readers will find the ending satisfactory. I, for one, hope we get more adventures of Dodger.

Jan 9, 2013, 1:38 am

I'm going to have to check that book out! Sounds fun.

Jan 9, 2013, 2:16 am

It does sound good. Pratchett is one of the many authors that I want to read more of.

Editado: Jan 21, 2013, 2:20 pm

4/91 Flow down like silver: Hypatia of Alexandria / Ki Longfellow 2013-01-13; 295 pg.

I have had this on my reading list for several years, ever since I read Ki Longfellow's The secret Magdalene, the first of her Divine Feminine trilogy. This is the second; the third is yet to be published.

Hypatia is both known and unknown, and Longfellow's novel weaves what little we know of her with what is know of her father, her students, her time and her city, Alexandria, and all the other players of the time. It was a time when Christianity and its intolerance for "heretical" beliefs was growing strong -- as even among Christian sects there was violence -- while philosophy and science were seen as Satanic.

It is not a happy ending. But it is a thoughtful look into the time and Longfellow presents an inspiring woman: "What I knew for sure about her told me who she might be and how she might have conducted herself. What I knew for sure of her times told me what she endured."

5/91 Shadow of night / Deborah Harkness 2013-01-13; 24:10 hrs (audio)

Well, I was going to link back to my comments on the first book, A discovery of witches, but I didn't write any!

I am not a fan of vampire books at all -- Jim Butcher's is the only exception I can think of -- and I almost quit Discovery when I realized it had vampires. But the story was intriguing, so I persevered even though as I was listening to an audiobook, I couldn't flip the pages past any icky parts.

Shadow of night is the second title in Harkness's "All Souls Trilogy" and finds the two main characters, Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont time traveling to 1590 Elizabethan England (and France and Prague) and much intrigue and danger of both the political and personal kind. Diana's magic is trained, Matthew's modern sensibilities attempt to influence current events, all while they attempt to find an elusive alchemical text to take back to the present day. Among the characters in 1590 Matthew's close circle (I never did understand *where* 1590 Matthew went during this "time walking") we find Kit Marlowe, Walter Ralaigh, Thomas Harriot, George Chapman, Henry Percy, and many other famous and infamous make brief appearances (including Elizabeth I and Rudolph II).

Apparently critics disliked the length and pace, as well as the numerous extra characters. I found it all rather enjoyable. And that is mostly what I want from fiction.

Editado: Jan 15, 2013, 1:31 pm

About seven (of twenty-two) chapters into the audio of The girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own making, I have to stop. The author is reading (not narrating) it. I swear it's putting me to sleep, in addition to missing words when she drops her voice. I can't turn it up because then when she raises her voice, it's too loud. Perhaps it will be a better read; right now I'm fighting to stay interested (and awake). I'll try to find a print/electronic copy somewhere.

Jan 15, 2013, 2:48 pm

I enjoyed that one a lot so it's worth finding a print copy!

Jan 15, 2013, 5:44 pm

The frustration of trying to listen to an audio that goes from the whisper to the shout! I have suffered through these before too.

Jan 16, 2013, 7:30 pm

Oh great. So I pick up reading the text of The girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own making, and I'm *hearing* Valente's voice in my head!

Solution: purposefully imagine Neil Gaiman's voice. ;D

Jan 16, 2013, 11:28 pm

Oh dear, I hope you get over this annoying narration!! I bought the book for my niece for her birthday, and so far have not seen her to pass it over... that means it's okay to read it myself first, right...?

(It's actually a family tradition, Mum often gives me books with bookmarks in them, and then snaffles them back instantly.)

Our local library is offering a training session for parents and teachers who want to inject some oomph into their reading-aloud, which I think is cool. I attempt different voices (my Scottish accent is appalling), dramatic pauses, etc. Often interrupted by "WILL YOU PLEASE BE STILL!!!". Wriggling chaos monkeys, they are.

Jan 17, 2013, 9:20 am

>25 wookiebender: Yes, of course, you may read it first! So much better to say to her, "You will love this book!" instead of "I hope you like this book."

Fever dream is much better for my driving listen! The tension keeps my focus alert. :D (Though I have to say, René Auberjonois's non-dialog narration can be pretty monotone. In this case, however, I think it may be that lone detective kind of narration carrying over from old movies?)

Editado: Jan 17, 2013, 9:46 pm

6/91 The girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own making / Catherynne Valente 2013-01-17; 288 pg.

I'm glad I took time to finish the print book, instead of giving up when I was unhappy with the audio version. It's a nicely written fairytale, and I look forward to September's next adventure.

"Shoes make the path you're on. Change your shoes, change the path."

Jan 20, 2013, 12:13 am

I had to send Shadow of Night back to the library unread, as I was just jammed with deadlines at the time. Now I'm on the waiting list again. I enjoyed the first book.

Editado: Jan 21, 2013, 2:31 pm


7/91 Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons / Jane Austen and Vera Nazarian & Northanger Abbey / Jane Austen 2013-01-21; ebooks

As I began reading Nazarian's parody, I was curious how closely (or distantly) it followed Austen's original tale. So I read a chapter of each, one after the other. By the time I got halfway through chapter 11 of Nazarin's, I abandoned hers completely.

Northanger Abbey is itself a paraody of the gothic novel, and the additional silliness of Nazarian's angels, demons and dragons was just too much for me to endure--I mean, enjoy. Perhaps it is just not the book for me to be reading at this moment. If I had already read Austen's book, I might have enjoyed it more, too. I have it as an ebook, so I may go back to it just out of curiosity, to see what happens.

It's definitely not my favorite Austen (P&P and S&S vie for that honor).

Editado: Jan 21, 2013, 2:24 pm

Comments finally added for Flow down like silver: Hypatia of Alexandria and Shadow of night at 20

Jan 21, 2013, 10:26 pm

Oh, I'm rather fond of Northanger Abbey, Henry Tilney is incredibly funny.

Jan 22, 2013, 9:47 am

It may just have been the wrong time. :)

Editado: Jan 24, 2013, 1:36 pm

8/91 The Giver / Lois Lowry 2013-01-24; 225 pg.

Not quite sure why I've never read this Newbery medal winner, but with the publication of the fourth book, Son, I decided to read them all.

I'm not sure at all how I would feel about the ending of The Giver had I read it in 1993 when it was published. Would I have taken it at face value? Would I have thought that the ending was only a dream? I suppose, the music is the key to indicate it was a true thing and not the last moments for both children, à la The Match Girl.

Editado: Jan 25, 2013, 8:55 pm

9/91 Heaven preserve us / Cricket McRae 2013-01-25; ebook

Second in McRae's "Home Crafting Series" cozy mysteries, and includes a couple of recipes for preserves as well as directions for bath salts and gel air freshener.

Editado: Jan 27, 2013, 1:14 pm

10/91 Frame-up / John F. Dobbyn 2013-01-27; ebook

Jan 28, 2013, 8:59 pm

11/91 Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children / Ransom Riggs 2013-01-28; ebook

I've wanted to read this for a long time, so when I saw it available from Overdrive at a local library, I checked it out. I basically couldn't put it down, and I'm looking forward to Riggs's follow up book due this year (I could swear I saw an early review of it but can't find anything about it now).

There are probably people who can find problems with the time "looping", but I had no trouble suspending my disbelief in this story and just enjoying the ride, rather terrifying though it could be at moments. I don't know at what age I would have been able to read this as a child/early teen and not had nightmares.

The vintage photographs are, of course, an integral part of this book. As an eBook, I was afraid they would not be included, but they were. Unfortunately, they were often not present wholly on one page. I want to at least take time to look at a print copy sometime in order to enjoy the photos.

Jan 30, 2013, 8:03 pm

12/91 Gathering blue / Lois Lowry 2013-01-30; 241 pg.

Second of the Giver quartet, not a continuation of The Giver but another story in the same 'world', I very much enjoyed this story. Okay, well, I didn't "enjoy" the mistreatment of the children and injured/sick. The ending is very much more obviously leading the reader to believe the story will be picked up again.

Fev 1, 2013, 10:20 pm

13/91 Messenger / Lois Lowery 2012-02-01; 187 pg.

The third title in the Giver quartet follows one of the characters from Gathering blue to his new life at Village, where something sinister seems to be taking over the people and the land.

Fev 2, 2013, 11:51 pm

14/91 Son / Lois Lowry 2013-02-02; 393 pg.

Longest and last of the Giver quartet, the story it brought full circle in many ways, while also presenting a different viewpoint to tales already told by other characters. Very well told, and completely enthralling. I think I'll pick up these for my ereader for a reread in the future, so I can search the text easily when I need to remember certain parts. :)

(This is the only book of the four which, appropriately and perhaps as an author statement, says "THE END" on the final page.)

Fev 6, 2013, 9:39 pm

Oops, I was so anxious to begin the next (audio)book that I forgot to post this one:

15/91 Fever dream / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Upon recommendation of my boss, I started this trilogy by Preston & Child, and enjoyed it just as much I suppose as she did. Very intense, involved story line following Special Agent Pendergast as he investigates his wife's death.

Now... of course... I have to back track to read the previously written books involving Pendergast!

If anyone has read them and thinks I can forgo Relic and Reliquary, please let me know. I'm not sure the plot of those two are for me. :/

Editado: Fev 11, 2013, 5:56 pm

16/91 The fifth assassin / Brad Meltzer 2013-02-07; 448 pg.
Although I do not care for his television show, Decoded, I do enjoy Meltzer's books. This is a continuation of the story begun in The inner circle, and will apparently continue in another book to come. A quick but pleasurable read.

Editado: Fev 11, 2013, 5:55 pm

17/91 Relic / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child 2013-0-09; 468 pg.
I can't believe I read this book. I do not like monster/horror books. And I definitely remember making sure I did *not* watch the movie version. However, my boss got me hooked on the Pendergast character by recommending the newest books by Preston & Child (Fever dream, Cold vengeance, and Two graves; I'm 2/3rd through the audio of the 2nd one). So, I'm backtracking and reading all the Pendergast books. I think once I get past Reliquary I'll be done with monsters.

Three times in Relic, Pendergast says, "It's a very bad habit, but one I find hard to break." I'm curious to see if the 'habit' continues through the series; I can't say I've noticed it in either Fever Dream or Cold Vengeance.

Fev 13, 2013, 2:31 pm

18/91 Reliquary / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child 2013-02-12; 480 pg.

One occurance of "It's a very bad habit, but one I find hard to break" from Pendergast.

I have to say, I find the older titles less enthralling, but shall we attribute that to character development and better writing?

Onward to The cabinet of curiosities.

Fev 15, 2013, 5:37 pm

19/91 The cabinet of curiosities / Douglas Preston / Lincoln Child 2013-02-14; 656 pg. (pbk)

Third "Pendergast" book, this one was a bit less about monsters, but still centered on the Natural History Museum. :) I enjoyed this one more than the previous two, and I learned a bit of the Pendergast family history. I only figured out about half the 'who dun it' before it was revealed. I hate when I figure things out too early. The main female character in this one first appeared from the pen of Preston & Child in Thunderhead, so, of course, another addition to my to-be-read list.

Fev 15, 2013, 5:47 pm

20/91 Cold vengence / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child 2013-02-15; audiobook (12 hrs.)

Second in the "Helen Trilogy" this one really leaves you hanging. No wonder my boss was so anxiously awaiting the publication of the third title! All the hints and references to Pendergast's past in this trilogy are what set me to reading the older titles with this character. Secrets. Lots of secrets.

Have to wait until Monday to begin Two Graves...

Fev 20, 2013, 3:41 pm

21/91 Still life with crows / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child 2013-02-20; 592 pg.

This one really had me going. :) I'm surprised that Relic has been the only one of these stories to be made into a film. One interesting element of reading these prior books is seeing how the recurring characters came into the storyline, and how Pendergast's personal backstory is revealed.

Editado: Mar 4, 2013, 9:28 pm

Whipping through these Preston & Child books... only two more to finish with the Pendergast novels.

22/91 Brimstone 2013-02-22; 497 pg.
First book in the Diogenes trilogy.

23/91 Dance of death 2013-02-??; 592 pg.
Second book in the Diogenes trilogy.

24/91 The book of the dead 2013-03-01; 400 pg.
Third book in the Diogenes trilogy.

25/91 The wheel of darkness 2013-03-04; 528 pg.

Editado: Mar 5, 2013, 9:46 pm

26/91 Two graves / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child 2013-03-05; 16:22 hr.

This is the most recently published book in the Pendergast series, and I can't help but wonder if there will ever be another. If so, I'm going to guess it won't be for a while... he's going "on vacation."

I still have Cemetery dance to finish, and then I think I'm ready for something light-hearted and much less intense. And some of those very interesting-looking non-fiction books sitting on my book cart waiting to be cataloged for the library. :)

Mar 15, 2013, 12:11 am

Well, I've sort of lost my place...

I finished Cemetery dance (Douglas Preston & Lincoln child), I think it was last Friday, half reading text and half listening to audio.

I got through three discs of their Gideon's sword before I gave up. Maybe it was the wrong book at the wrong time, maybe it was the narrator, but I found the story just too boring and the main character unlikeable -- that I'm fairly certain is probably the narrator, but as I learned with Valente, once spoiled, (almost) forever ruined.

Also I quickly listened to Lyra's Oxford and Once upon a time in the North, follow-up stories in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series... but they were so short I'm not counting either of them. The story of the second actually takes place prior to all the events in His Dark Materials, and tells how Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrnison met. Additional segments inform us that Lyra has pursued a masters of philosophy in economic history and her dissertation is titled: "Developments of patterns of trade in the European Arctic region with particular reference to independent balloon carriage (1950-1970)".

So, not a lot of progress for this week.


Abr 11, 2013, 9:06 pm

Catching up ...

28/100 Borrower of the night / Elizabeth Peters

29/100 Murder by mocha / Cleo Coyle

30/100 A brew to kill / Cleo Coyle

31/100 The third gate / Lincoln Child

32/100 Citadel // Kate Mosse

Feel like I forgot a few, though.