wareagle78: newcomer is in

Discussão100 books in 2014 challenge

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wareagle78: newcomer is in

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Editado: Jan 4, 2015, 11:43 pm

This is my first group - if I mess something up I hope someone will let me know!

So far I have finished in 2014:

1. A Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (Bingo entry #13: Different continent)
2. Tumbleweeds by Leila Meacham (Bingo entry #11: One-word title)
3. City of Women by David Gillham
4. The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore
5. Still Alice by Lisa Genova (Bingo entry #9: Female author)
6. Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink (Bingo entry #13: non-fiction)
7. Stitches by David Small (Bingo entry #16: heard about on-line)
8. Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson
9. Wicked Games by Jessica Clare
10. The Red Unicorn by Tanith Lee (Bingo entry #19: Bottom of stack)

11. Help the Poor Struggler by Martha Grimes (Bingo entry # 22: more than 10 years old)
12. You are Beautiful:A Beauty Guide for Real Women by Ken Paves
13. Sycamore Row by John Grisham, a library book (Bingo entry #17, bestseller)
14. Secrets from the Past by Barbara Taylor Bradford
15. The King's Deception by Steve Berry (Bingo entry #10, mystery)
16. The Professor's Pet by Tara Crescent (Bingo entry #4 -this year)
17. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (Bingo entry #18, true story)

18. Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy
19. Hot Water by Erin Brockovich (Bingo entry # 23, second in series)
20. Timeless Love by Edith Edremoda (Bingo entry # 12, short stories)
21. Sacred Road by Todd Maxwell Preston
22. The Divorce Papers: A Novel by Susan Rieger
23. The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory
24. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (Bingo entry #5, number in title)
25. Back Bay by William Martin (Bingo entry # 15 - 1st book by fave author)
26. Serendipity's Tide by L. Shelby
27. Treachery's Harbor by L. Shelby
28. Fealty's Shore by L. Shelby
29. Fallen Angel by Roger Elwood (Bingo entry # 24, blue cover)

30. Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin
31. City of Dreams by William Martin (Bingo entry # 1 - 500+ pages
40. Omicron Code by Victor Arkium
32. Return to the Beach House by Georgia Bockoven
33. Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green
34. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Bingo entry # 3, made into movie)

35. The Road to Grace by Richard Paul Evans
36. Megan's Cure by Robert B. Lowe
37. The Wishing Trees by John Shors
38. Breakwater Bay by Shelley Noble
39. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
41. Pretty Woman by Fern Michaels
42. The Colony by John Tayman
43. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
44. God Save the Queen by Dorothy Cannell
45. Purity in Death by J.D. Robb

46. Mountain Heather by Alexandra Raife
47. Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux
48. Nightshade by John Saul (Bingo Entry #21, scary)
49. White Hot by Carla Neggers
50. Reflections from My Mother's kitchen by Karen Malena
51. She Belongs to Me by Carmen Desousa
52. A Family Affair by Mary Campisi
53. How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt & Live Prosperously by Jerrold Mundis

54. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie Bingo #20, a book my mother loved
55. Murphy's Law by Lori Foster
56. Island Girls by Nancy Thayer
57. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
58. Playing with Fire by Peter Robinson
59. Recessional by James A. Michener
60 Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey (audiobook)

61. The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
62. The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick
63. Chop, Chop by L N Cronk
64. The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant by Terry Felder
65. The Making of Nebraska Brown by Louise Caiola

66. Law of Gravity by Stephen Horn
67. Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman 4*
68. Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani4*
67. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
68. The DaVinci Legacy by Lewis Perdue
69. Upside Down by John Ramsey Miller
70. Sweetness #9 by Stephan Eirik Clark 3*
71. Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg 4.5*
72. Gold by Chris Cleave 4*
73. A Promise to Remember by Karen Cushman 3.5*
74. I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg 3.5*
75. Scent of Lilacs by Ann H. Gabhart 3.5*
76. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult 4.5*
77. Melt with Me by Jessie Evans 3*

78. Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf
79. Water Walker by Ted Dekker
80. Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline
81. Love Letters by Debbie Macomber

82. Cycle of Lies bu Juliet Macur
83. It's All Relative by Wade Rouse
84. Irreparable Harm by Melissa F. Miller
85. A Promise to Remember by Kathryn Cushman
86. Sixty Acres and A Bride by Regina Jennings
87. It's All Relative by Wade Rouse
88. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

And here's my bingo card, thanks to LShelby:

My other personal reading goals for 2014 include --

One non-fiction book a month:
January: Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
February: Wild by Cheryl Strayed
March: Sacred Road by Todd Maxwell Preston
April: oh well, this month was rough
May: Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
June: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt & Live Prosperously by Jerrold Mundis
July: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie
and Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey (audiobook)
August: The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick
December: Cycle of Lies by Juliet Macur,
It's All Relative by Wade Rouse

One book on the food industry:

Ten books from my MTBR that were registered by another Bookcrosser:
1. The Red Unicorn by Tanith Lee
2. Help the Poor Struggler by Martha Grimes
3. Fallen Angel by Roger Elwood
4. God Save the Queen by Dorothy Cannell
5. Purity in Death by J.D.Robb
6. Nightshade by John Saul
7. Recessional by James A. Michener

Jan 11, 2014, 6:34 am

Welcome! No rules, so don't worry about getting things wrong. :)

Jan 11, 2014, 7:39 am

>1 wareagle78: "I'll give the Bingo a go as soon as I can figure out how to add it in my message!"

If you mean my bingo utility, you copy the following string of text, paste it into your message, and then alter the numbers at the end so that the markers go where you want them. Right now it's set to mark boxes 1 and 2:

<img src="http://www.lshelby.com/Utilities/Bingo/bingocard.php?type=Reading-2014&color=navy&markers=1-2">

Jan 11, 2014, 11:06 am

Welcome to the group!

Jan 13, 2014, 12:27 am

Thank you, LShelby, that's exactly what I meant!

Jan 13, 2014, 12:30 pm

Welcome Teresa. No rights nor wrongs here. Read & enjoy. I enjoy this group & find it calm & pressure free. I hope you do as well.
Tell me though, did you weep when you read The Light Between Oceans? I wept copiously when I read it and loved it ever so much.
Good luck with your challenge wareagle.

Jan 15, 2014, 11:33 am

I didn't weep but my heart broke for Lulu and all of her parents. It was a wonderful story!

Jan 15, 2014, 3:00 pm

I so agree wareagle.

Editado: Jan 20, 2014, 11:49 pm

The stack to the right of my chair is much smaller! Perhaps I will start on the stock to the left of my chair by February. Or, more likely, I will just restock...

Jan 22, 2014, 1:31 am

Hi wareagle, welcome to the group. Hope you enjoy your reading this year!

Jan 22, 2014, 11:32 pm

Thanks, Judylou. I'm enjoying my reading so far, and enjoying the group too!

Editado: Fev 1, 2014, 11:17 am

6. Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink:

I knew about Hurricane Katrina. I sat horrified and mesmerized as floodwaters ravaged the city so many of us loved. I watched dismayed at the sight of people stranded on highway interchanges, in the Superdome. We took supplies to the evacuation center in our own hometown, holding Katrina refuges from a five hour drive away. Church groups from here still go down to help rebuild the region. Yet somehow, the stories of the hospitals had leached from my mind.

Told with clear-eyed prose and resulting from indepth research, Dr. Sheri Fink has laid open for examination the disaster taking place in one of New Orleans' largest hospitals: Memorial. What happens when floodwaters rise, cutting electricity and running water? What happens when options for rescue seem few? How does one ration health care? Is there even a need to do so? Who decides and how? If you, as a health care professional, make a wrong decision, in what ways are you liable?

Five Days at Memorial forces the reader to engage with these questions and more. Fink's viewpoint is unflinching and matter-of-fact, informed by expert testimony, opinions of medical ethicists, the Louisiana health care fraud division investigators, experts, and the doctors and nurses themselves. Despite the gravity of the subject matter and the length of the book, it was engrossing. Very much worth the time.

Editado: Mar 8, 2014, 8:42 pm

7. Stitches by David Small

This is my first graphic novel, and I found the format enriching to the story - the pictures explained beautifully his fears, his nightmares, his losses. I can't imagine words alone would have had the same impact.

Jan 26, 2014, 7:20 am

Five Days at Memorial sounds interesting!

Jan 26, 2014, 8:27 pm

8. Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson.

This was a quick and light-hearted romance read to offset the days and emotion invested in Five Days at Memorial! The characters were cute the story was predictable and it was a free Nook book.

Jan 27, 2014, 1:04 am

Capped off a lovely, lazy, Nook-reading day with
9. Wicked Games by Jill Myles writting as Jessica Clare. Easy, steamy read based on the Survivor television series.

Editado: Fev 11, 2014, 9:27 pm

10. Ten books in January. Since I have been an unreliable tracker in the past I was uncertain what my pace actually was, and I'm pleased to be on track.

The Red Unicorn is a BookCrossing book that has been in my hands for years. I' m sure it will be grateful for a new home. I would classify this a YA read. The third in a trilogy, the author summarizes the first two books in the opening pages. The books revolve around a young woman, Tanaquil, who was searching for family and now is fleeing the man she loves who must honor his commitment to her sister. She discovers she is a sorceress and learns about her skills in this book, as well as visiting a parallel world where she discovers more about herself. A quick, easy read. The author has a lovely sense of place and describes Tanaquil's explorations and worlds beautifully.

Editado: Abr 4, 2014, 3:28 am

#13. Sycamore Hill by John Grisham

I like Jake Brigance, the main character. The storyline was interesting. I enjoy legal dramas in general. So why was this book so difficult to finish? I truly enjoyed some of the characters, particularly Portia. For me the final third really dragged. The climax of the story was dramatic but predictable. I dunno, I'm left with as "meh".

Fev 12, 2014, 7:35 pm

Too bad about #13. I think I've read The Client, but that's the only Grisham I've read.

Fev 16, 2014, 1:59 am

#14 Secrets from the Past by Barbara Taylor Bradford
I spent the entire book wondering if I'd read it before... and I had not. That may be the most damning thing I could say about this story. The book had some moments of beauty - descriptions of homes, of Venice, of Tommy's photography. The love between the sisters was pretty to read also, but especially between Serena and Jessica more than a bit too sweet. Ditto Serena and Harry. The heroine was so lacking in depth - toss shocking secrets at her, have her boyfriend smash the television with a copper frying pan, witness a woman shot in the streets surrounded by beseeching relatives - nothing seems to register deeply. Looking at the replacement television months later, she realized she's never seen that copper frying pan before. What? Oh well.

I have read BTBradford many times in the past when I needed a bit of "strong woman" fiction, but this work was disappointing. Areas of the story had great potential, but we never dug below surface smiles and unblemished family love. Gag.

Fev 16, 2014, 2:02 am

I must also admit that my February reading has been adversely impacted by the Olympics. I love the Olympics - obsessively.

Editado: Fev 24, 2014, 6:22 pm

Despite my addiction to the Olympics, I managed to finish book #15, The King's Deception by Steve Berry. I am a fan of this type of book, and of Mr. Berry's Cotton Malone series. Like past books, this one takes a new perspective of an historical fact that seems surprising at first, but more and more likely during the course of the book. Mr. Berry's descriptions of British landmarks are richly detailed and a pleasure to read, while the intrigue was engaging. Even though the reader knew from the opening chapters that Cotton and his son make it through the book safely as the tale is told retrospectively, it kept my attention. There were characters that were introduced that were not fully fleshed out, particularly Miss Mary's twin sister. I hope that means we will see her again.

If you like historical mysteries of the Dan Brown ilk, put this one on your wishlist.

Editado: Mar 2, 2014, 6:36 pm

Finished a couple more, #16, an ER read, The Professor's Pet by Tara Crescent and #17, Cheryl Strayed's Wild. Reviews to follow, but have to say until then that Wild is excellent.

Fev 28, 2014, 7:33 am

I've heard really good things about Wild, will have to keep my eyes open for it.

Fev 28, 2014, 5:45 pm

Hope you enjoyed Wild, I thought it was a humorous and touching read.

Editado: Mar 2, 2014, 6:35 pm

16. The Professor's Pet by Tara Crescent

I read this book as part of the Early Reviewer program, my initial "win". I learned much from this book, the first being what BDSM meant. Yes, I stumbled into a commitment to review a book in a genre with which I am neither familiar or particularly comfortable. But a deal is a deal, so I read it through.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Although at the beginning the interactions between Jake and Emily seemed manipulative, it became apparent that much care and thoughtfulness was used by Jake as the dom in the relationship. As Jake taught Emily the world of dominance, it served as an introduction that the uninitiated reader could also appreciate. While I have no experience with this genre thus no real basis for comparison, I liked the characters and the story and am giving it four stars.

However, I will be avoiding BDSM in the future.

Editado: Mar 10, 2014, 2:32 pm

19. Hot Water by Erin Brockovich

Page 221. That's the page when this story of 275 pages finally became interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading. Perhaps my disconnect was because this was the second AJ Palladino book, and I did not read the first. Certainly it was assumed that the reader knew the back story to the characters, because little was provided. I do think the background would have helped me to vest in the characters more deeply. AJ is obviously drawn from Brockovich herself, an environmental crusader focusing on nuclear issues. The characters - her son David, her partner Elizabeth, the old friend Ty, the extended family - seemed interesting but we were not given much to go on.

Mar 11, 2014, 2:49 am

22. The Divorce Papers: A Novel by Susan Rieger

I was given a copy of this book through the LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's program in return for an honest review of the book.

The Divorce Papers threads the story of a divorce together with the wife's attorney's self-absorbed life lessons, told primarily via the memos, letters, settlement agreements, emails and custody documents of the case file. I had many things to do today, but the book kept drawing me back.

Divorce is not a funny topic, too often a very painful one. However, watching Mia grow from a devastated wife to a strong, feisty, no-holds-barred woman was delightful, and her frankness brought humor to the situation. At the start of the book she latches on to Sophie, a criminal attorney with no interest or experience in handling a divorce, and by weight of her family connections to the law firm, secures her to handle the case. Interwoven with the divorce file documents, we have Sophie's very young, fairly self-indulgent gushing of her job and life angst onto her best friend Maggie and also onto the managing partner working with her on the divorce. While Mia made me love her, Sophie too often made me want to shake her, although I doubt that was the author's intention.

Some reviewers have found the format a bit tedious, the legal documents overdone and serving to slow the action down. For me, I found the format engaging and the legal documents interesting enough to read thoroughly. I felt they advanced the story nicely.

Beyond the growth of Mia certain, smaller parts of the story shone with grace. Grappling with the divorce was the 11-year-old daughter, Jane. Her thoughts and fears were beautifully brought out in emails between Mia and Sophie and then through the report of the counselor who offered a custody recommendation. Mia's father Bruce was also nicely developed.

In all I enjoyed the book, even found it hard to put down. The wry humor and especially the actions and thoughts of Mia appealed to me. I would look for more work by this author.

Mar 16, 2014, 7:46 pm

23. The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory

Editado: Mar 17, 2014, 4:23 am

20. Timeless Love by Edith Edremoda
I was given this in a member give-away in return for an honest review.

This was a selection of short stories written to illustrate facets of love, many God's love. The stories were each very brief - frankly too much so my taste. The stories were spare and could have been fleshed out more to be more enjoyable and help the reader identify more with the characters and stories. Presently they remind me of parables in their brevity and message.

The stories seem perhaps to have been translated, or written in English by a non-native speaker. The prose will be less distracting after attention from a good editor.

I don't intend the review to be completely negative. The stories were interesting, and the ones about the prostitute especially have stayed in my mind. I think the author's ideas show promise.

Editado: Mar 20, 2014, 11:13 pm

I am reviewing out of order, but I am (finally) getting caught up!

20: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl is a young woman raised unconventionally but anchored in her mother. When she dies, Cheryl finds herself adrift and self-destructive, leaving her husband for a deadbeat and experimenting with heroin. While trying to pull herself together, she spots a book on the Pacific Coast Trail and convinces herself that a long hike is just what she needs to pull her life together.

That she tries is ludicrous. She doesn't break in her boots, her pack is enormously overweight, she has precious little experience, she used heroin only a day or two before setting out. Yet, set out she does, and persevere she does. Her story is self-aware, insightful, wry, and gut-wrenchingly honest. She makes the hike sound impossible, yet has me longing to strap on my own pack to tackle it myself. The trail through her eyes is long, unyeilding, amazing and inspiring. The characters she meets are portrayed in a way that makes me think I know each one. And her struggle to come to grips with her life, which underlies the entire story, inspire me.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in a woman's struggle to find a path. It was the best book I've read in months.

Mar 17, 2014, 7:23 am

# 31 Great review !

Editado: Mar 31, 2014, 1:19 am

24. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley ****1/2

A Thousand Acres starts out as a vignette of a modern farm family - husbands and father successfully working the land, daughters leading the kind of hard-working farm wife existence so admired by their neighbors. The picturesque existence quickly unravels as tensions buried (and not so) are uncovered, a prodigal son returns to the neighborhood, a key family member succumbs to madness as another fights cancer and a third finds life hard to reconcile with past dreams.

The story is a masterful deconstruction of the life of a family, a farm, a community, and the threads that hold them together. Its awards are well deserved, its characters memorable. Recommended.

Mar 23, 2014, 3:49 am

25. Back Bay by William Martin

I have enjoyed the later books in the Peter Fallon series, but have only just found book 1. The story was fast paced and, despite its length, kept me engaged throughout. Reading the series in backwards order, I was surprised at Peter's beginnings and crisis of confidence. Beyond that, it was all I could have hoped. Martin does a great job with historic detective-work genre, and makes the American past - its people and its places and its events - completely accessible to the reader.

Editado: Mar 24, 2014, 7:39 am

26. Serendipity's Tide by L. Shelby
27. Treachery's Harbor by L. Shelby

Full reviews to follow but two quick notes. First, I stayed up all night tonight in the grip of these books. Second, LShelby, get that third book written quickly!!

Mar 24, 2014, 3:46 pm

Actually the third book is already written. It's called Fealty's Shore and it is available at Amazon or at the Aircastle website.

Mar 24, 2014, 7:52 pm

Fantastic, Shelby! Thanks!

Mar 30, 2014, 9:48 pm

28. Fealty's Shore by L. Shelby
29. Fallen Angel by Roger Elwood

Editado: Abr 4, 2014, 3:36 am

29. Fallen Angel by Roger Elwood

A cautionary tale by a fallen angel now in Satan's legion, named Observer. His job was to chronicle the evil of the world through time through his hosts. The author uses Observer to call out hypocritic Christians now and in history, was well as those who lean into Christianity as a "feel good" religion and ignore its judgments and requirements. He also discusses homosexuality, Islam, neo-Nazism, and a host of other items. This book is not for the politically correct nor for the faint of heart.

Mar 31, 2014, 1:19 am

>33 wareagle78:

A review of A Thousand Acres has been added.

Abr 2, 2014, 12:04 am

Twenty-nine in the first quarter. Pleased, but I really need to stop and do my taxes!!

Editado: Abr 10, 2014, 12:56 am

30. Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin

Doing taxes is probably overrated anyway.

This is a Civil War romance, but much more. Caroline grows up in Virginia, but when sent to live in Philadelphia after her mother's death, her tenderness towards her family slaves blooms into an abolishionist. When she returns to Richmond shortly before war breaks out, she struggles with how to follow God and do His will when her views are so counter to her family and friends. Nicely done, enjoyed the characters.

Abr 14, 2014, 11:03 pm

All I have to say is...

as determinedly as I have been avoiding doing my taxes, you would think I would have finished more books.


Abr 17, 2014, 6:34 pm

31. City of Dreams by William Martin

I continue to be enamored of the Peter Fallon series, although this one is not my favorite of the bunch. The story centers on New Emission Bonds, issued by the young United States to finance their war for independence. As usual, the history was woven into the current-day mystery in a manner I found both appealing and seamless. However, I found the current-day mystery to have a few too many threads and had a bit of trouble keeping track. I also admit that my imagination is stretched a bit too far when an object lost for over 200 years is found by two groups at the same moment. The relationship between Peter and Evangeline was given a lot less ink than in some of the other books, and I missed that.

I've given this one four stars, and I will continue to look forward to more in the Peter Fallon series.

Abr 22, 2014, 12:40 am

32. Return to the Beach House by Georgia Bockoven ***

I really wanted to love this book. Some characters, especially Grace, grabbed at my heart with two swift hands and never let go. The settIng was lovely, and I want a week at the beach house myself. But despite my wish, I did not love this book. There were just too many holes in the story for me.

The book is a sequel, and the prologue requires more of the story than the reader is given. Who were Joe and Maggie? Her first in-laws? Caretakers of the house? Previous owners? I have no idea. Grace is introduce with lovely description and back story, then two-thirds of the way through the book her stepsister Rebecca appears, also with an interesting story, but out of nowhere. I even re-read the prologue to try to find her but she truly landed from a past unknown to the reader of the current book.

The structure of the book was clever and promising. The stories of the beach house renters, two summer and one winter, build a novel that was more like a collection of novellas flanked by the thoughts of the owner at beginning and end. I loved all of the renters as well as the others who enter their lives, but that became my second complaint. For the first two rental stories, I felt like the door was slammed in my face at the last moment. After investing in the characters, the story built toward climax then cut abruptly to the resolution, leaving the reader to scurry behind wondering what happened. The third story was different and did involve the reader through until the natural end of the problems, and it was very gracefully done.

The book has so much promise. I know I would like it better if I had read the first book immediately beforehand, but I did expect the book to be able to stand alone a bit better.

Note: I received an advanced copy of this book through the LibraryThing early reviewer program in return for an honest review.

Abr 29, 2014, 10:07 pm

#34. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Excellent story, taut, suspenseful, redefines the term "psychological thriller." I'm still pondering the characters and the resolution.

Maio 5, 2014, 8:23 pm

#35. The Road to Grace by Richard Paul Evans

Light, easy read. A bit moralistic in places but I enjoyed this third book in the Walk series. Towards the end Alan covers a portion of Missouri that I explored on a personal trek of my own (by car) and that portion especially resonated.

Maio 18, 2014, 11:07 pm

#38 Breakwater Bay by Shelley Noble

On her 30th birthday, Meri's confident, happy life takes a hit. At her birthday dinner at her beloved grandmother's house, she is given the news that she was adopted, perhaps illegally. Than, her about-to-be-fiance boyfriend Peter announces he is heading to the west coast for a summer internship. The story works through Meri's angst from there, sometimes with great success, at other times less so.

The negative first. I found Meri's relationship with Peter unbelievable and handled in a very odd manner. He announces that he is leaving for the summer and never considers discussing it with her in advance, but this seems to have little effect on Meri. He takes a job at an uncle's law firm and is so quickly involved with high-profile cases that he has no time nor interest in calling, yet expects Meri to want to join him. What is he doing exactly? He's not even accepted into law school. All of this seems to make very little difference to Meri, who was not confident enough of Peter to even tell him of her new family history. In the end, the addition of Peter to the story seemed superfluous, added little to the storyline other than (obviously) distracting me.

However, the rest of the story and the characters were a hit with me. Meri is in historic preservation, a field that fascinates me and that has at times been a bit of an avocation. Her work, her family, her friends, Gran's neighbor and Meri's protector Alden, and Alden's children were all compelling The locations were nicely drawn. Other than Peter, the story kept me turning the pages and rooting for the ending that, though increasingly obvious, was welcomed. i will certainly read more from this author when it becomes available.

I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Maio 18, 2014, 11:08 pm

#39 The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Loved it. At first glance the story reminds me of a Maeve Binchy novel - the intricacies of life in a British community - although this is set in Australia. As the story unfolds, however, it becomes more than that. Love, pain, and the tentacles of the secret that lie at the heart of the story are interwoven in a way that illuminates the key characters beautifully. The counterpoint of the history Berlin Wall - separation, disbelief, and eventual reconnection form a thoughtful backdrop. Will be looking for more from this author.

Editado: Maio 18, 2014, 11:44 pm

>48 wareagle78:

#37 - The Wishing Trees is the story of a widower and his young daughter as they struggle to overcome the death of their young wife and mother to cancer. At her behest, they take a trip to the places where the couple had met and loved in the far east. The story is so close to being a memorable and meaningful book.

What I liked: Mattie, the daughter, is vividly drawn both from a physical and an emotional standpoint. her struggles to connect with her mother through her art are tender and poignant. Her lovingly awkward manner with her father ring true to me, ad her desire to help others is touching.

I also loved the descriptions of the countries Ian and Mattie visit. The author has obviously traveled throughout this region and loves it. The descriptions are so lovely that I will keep them in my memory for quite a while, especially the restaurant with the fireflies and the moving sidewalks of Hong Kong.

It was one of the place descriptions that reminded me that I had read John Shors before. When Ian and Mattie visit the Taj Mahal, the descriptions and history closely mirrored Shor's earlier work Beneath A Marble Sky. It was a bit disconcerting, almost deja vu, to read the descriptions and the history again.

It is harder to pinpoint exactly what I did not like but it has to do with Shor's characterizations of people and the way he moves his plot forward. Somehow the descriptions are forced and painful to read. Ian's Australian accent seemed heavy-handed and intrusive, almost to the point that I stopped reading the book early on.

Tensions build to abrupt anticlimaxes. Fox example, Ian worries for days about his inability to reach the orphanage director in India. Is there a problem? An emergency? Should he go to more trouble to find out what's wrong? Then - oh well - communication problems. Nothing to see here, move along.

Overall, the book has potential and flashes of beauty but is too stilted for the reader to truly fall in love.

Editado: Jul 10, 2014, 2:40 am

#40 - The Omicron Code by Victor Arkium

Just realized that I did not include this one in my list. I read it in early April but am not going to go back and renumber. This was a Member Give-Away book.

I have often wondered about the dark side of the Internet - black hats, hackers, others using the internet for personal gain, and that's why I was interested in reading The Omicron Code. A thriller based on a hacker, Troa, who is being used as bait in something beyond his control, the story builds in tension until the last chapter. A few of the twists I guessed in advance, but many were surprising but not unbelievable in context - something many authors cannot manage. Not every word rang true - Troa declaring his love for Lisa was a bit ridiculous, but he was certainly in lust with her, and he would not be the first young man to mistake unsatisfied lust as love. I could name one or two other discrepancies, but they did not take away from the overall enjoyment of the book.

The story is well-paced, technical in places but not overly so, the dialogue true and the descriptive elements decently done. The first chapter is one of the best, but I found it difficult to tie it into the rest of the narrative until well into the story. Beta, especially, appeared out of nowhere and his past linkages explained very late.

Overall I enjoyed the book. While not yet at the same level of writing, fans of Michael Crichton and that science/tech based thriller realm might give this book a try.

Maio 24, 2014, 4:13 pm

#41 - Pretty Woman by Fern Michaels

Accidental re-read. Was dropping off some books in the 2nd and Charles free bin and several fairly new romances were there. Grabbed this and a couple of others. I did go ahead and re-read it. On this read I was really distracted by the cadence of speech of Rosie, the main character. She was given a very choppy voice, which I found annoying. As a character she is very likable so I hated this one anomaly.

Maio 26, 2014, 12:24 am

#42 - The Colony by John Tayman

It may be cheating to put this book on the list but i think we are pretty much making up our own rules, and this feels like a finish of sorts to me. I've been reading The Colony for over a year. The story of the leper colony of Hawaii, it has chicanery, heroism, human suffering, man's inhumanity to man, and man's resilience all between two covers. Despite this great potential and the bonus of being a true story, it was so dry that I struggled mightily for 166 pages before making the decision to call it quits. This is a rare thing indeed for me but quite a relief.

Jun 1, 2014, 11:49 pm

#43 - Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

I can easily make this review sound full of quasi-religious fervor, although I will try to hold myself back. This book has been in my hands for about a year, sitting by my favorite chair, ignored. I'm not sure why I picked it up early this week out of the many choices I had, but apparently the time was right for it to make sense and change my approach to money.

Listen, there is nothing new here. Budget, have an emergency buffer, pay off your debts, invest. I mean, you knew all this, right? Certainly I did, at least intellectually, Somehow Dave made it all seem possible. Not easy, but possible. Lots of personal stories, both his own and from others who have used his program, enforced the "yes you can" message. I know I feel more comfortable with a new, reasonable budget in place, and no longer have to guess when the inevitable "can we afford to..." question arises. I hope that if I re-read this review in a year, I still feel as passionate.

Jun 1, 2014, 11:52 pm

#44 - God Save the Queen by Dorothy Cannell

A British mystery that I've had in hand for many years. The blurbs on the cover tell me this author is extraordinarily funny. I found some chuckles and smiles, but only one "laugh out loud" moment. The story, and the murder, take place in frosty-cold Gossinger Hall where the butler leads a household staff including a cook/housekeeper, a stableman, a gift-shop manager, and his granddaughter. The house is open for tours, and it is on one such day that the murder takes place and the story begins.

The good: Cannell develops her characters beautifully. Although some end up as caricatures, it is intentional and does add humor. Mrs. Most, whose passion for cleanliness causes her to take down the centuries-old tapestries to be scrubbed, is one example. Flora and Vivian, the main characters, prove to be thoughtful, clever, warm, and endearing.

The not so good: the story rambled a bit and the mystery became clear to me fairly early on in the story. The ending seemed a bit rushed in its attempt to tie up the loose ends of Flora's future.

The inexplicable: page 88 in my copy was a mirror image. I have never run into this error before in a published work, and even tried to divine whether it was purposeful and meant to move the plot forward in some way. Alas, it was just a mistake.

Not sure I would seek out this author again, but the story did not warrant its long period of being ignored at my house either.

Jun 6, 2014, 8:10 pm

#45 - Purity in Death by JD Robb

The story is a futuristic cop drama featuring Lt Eve Dallas, a fascinating character that has obviously been the centerpiece in previous books. The book stands well alone, however, and was a good read. While the story is based in the future, the technology and sociological changes are not the focus of the book, and if that is not your genre of choice it is not distracting. Instead Robb focuses on the crime and the development of both her plot and her characters. Her Fern Michaels alter ego was apparent with the emphasis on relationships, personal insights, and just enough steaminess.

Jul 9, 2014, 1:48 pm

#53 How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt & Live Prosperously by Jerrold Mundis

There are more recent versions of this book available and I suggest the reader find one. The premise of the book is two-fold. First, no matter how desperate one feels, you are not your debt and you are just as entitled to your life as your debtors are to their money. The second part is where the datedness of the work is a problem. The author suggests making a budget and paying only what you can afford toward your debt, while stopping debt increase (which he calls debting) entirely. However, his examples use interest rates that are quite low. It seems likely that anyone with a serious debt problem in 2014 may find it difficult to afford the monthly interest charges, much less make headway on their debt. Its age also gives it a level of quaintness, such as debit cards being available only to a privileged few.

The principles are sound, though a bit in dissonance with my new guru Dave Ramsey (who advocates a fast, hard push at knocking out debt rather than doing it at a comfortable pace). I would be interested to see how the book's recommendations are changed in later versions.

Jul 10, 2014, 2:22 am

54. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie

Beautifully written story of a most remarkable woman. Massie places us firmly and sympathetically in the life of Sophia, to become Catherine II of Russia. Despite the years covered and the in-depth attention to Russia's legal, political, and military history, the book reads easily and the reader becomes enmeshed in Catherine. I found her, and the story, quite fascinating. Highly recommended.

Jul 13, 2014, 4:18 pm

55. Murphy's Law by Lori Foster

Junk food for the eyes and brain. Smart, hardworking, unknowingly gorgeous young woman falls for a rich hunk, fighting it all the way. Beach fare.

Jul 21, 2014, 3:27 am

56. Island Girls by Nancy Thayer

This book had me hooked in the opening scene when chic, glamorous Arden loosens the zipper of her pencil skirt when she sits at her desk. The story is about three sisters - two half and one stop - who are forced to spent the summer together in their late (shared) father's house in order to inherit. The three women are wonderfully drawn, so personable, and so likeable, that the reader is invested in them immediately. Their summer in the Nantucket house, the men in their lives, and their individual growth makes for a fun read. Absolutely recommended as a great beach read, or an enjoyable bit of women's fiction any time.

I received a copy of this book through LibraryThing's Early Review program in exchange for an honest review.

Jul 21, 2014, 3:53 am

57. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The Great Gatsby set in the late 1930's is the best way I can characterize this novel. The story centers around Katey Kontent, a bright young women from a Russian immigrant family on her own as a young working woman in 1938 Manhattan. The tone is witty and elegant, the writing peculiarly spare. We learn about Katey more through observation than through description of her character or any analysis on her part. She seems remarkably well assimilate to be born of immigrants into an immigrant neighborhood, fitting in with the bluebloods with amazing ease. The glittering world of Manhattan is a well-drawn backdrop to the play of her life, including a boarding-house friendship with midwestern Eve and a chance meeting with Tinker Grey that changes the arc of all of their lives.

I enjoyed the book, truly I did. However, it felt shallow to me, reliant on crisp language and unlikely encounters to tell a story that I was never sure I believed. I hesitate to recommend.

Jul 27, 2014, 6:46 am

58. Playing with Fire by Peter Robinson

A fire, then another, break out in a small English town, and we join with the police as they search for answers. This is a well-written mystery with interesting, sympathetic characters. Recommend.

Jul 27, 2014, 7:00 am

59. Recessional by James A. Michener

I have had this book around for many years, in fact it is one of the oldest Bookcrossing books I have in my home - I've had it since 2004. Yet when I picked it up this week, I sped through it.

I love James Mitchener, although in general I have to be in the mood to tackle one of his sweeping tomes. Recessional was different. It is a tighter story than his general sweeping tale of a place (think Tales of the South Pacific or Hawaii). The story of a doctor running from his profession due to lawsuits and high insurance premiums, it becomes a panorama of an upscale Florida retirement community. The residents and staff are fascinating, the backstory of making such a community popular and profitable interesting as well. My parents are in just such a community, although not in Florida, and what I read rang true in many ways. Michener adds his love of place in the descriptions of the flora and fauna of the Tampa community, and I found those portions of the story rewarding as well. Many of the vignettes of the residents left me teary-eyed. This book may not be for everyone, but I found it well-written and enjoyable.

Ago 10, 2014, 3:35 am

61. The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Sometimes even when you know where the story is going, you are willing to settle back and enjoy the ride. That's the case with The Great Escape. Lucy, First Daughter, runs away from the alter and into seclusion, accompanied by a tough cyclist. Fun beach read, entertaining and enjoyable.

Editado: Out 23, 2014, 2:04 am

62. The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

At the start the book seemed duplicative of many other accounts of the Facebook founding that I've read, and I considered not finishing. I'm happy that I did. The by-now iconic history morphs into thoughtful and intricate musings on online transparency, globalization, the potential effects on governments, organized groups, commercial entities and media of Facebook and other social media. I am impressed with Zuckerberg's vision, and how despite his naivety and at times immaturity, he has shifted the paradigm of friendships and interactions. Although it drags at times, and is becoming a bit dated, I learned a lot about this service that I have been using since 2008. More importantly (to me), I learn a good bit about monetization of the Internet and the philosophy of social networks. Recommended.

Out 23, 2014, 2:10 am

Well, I have been AWOL. Have you missed me? Here are the books I've read in late August, September, and so far in October:

66. Law of Gravity by Stephen Horn
67. Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman 4*
68. Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani 4*
67. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
68. The DaVinci Legacy by Lewis Perdue
69. Upside Down by John Ramsey Miller
70. Sweetness #9 by Stephan Eirik Clark 3*
71. Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg 4.5*
72. Gold by Chris Cleave 4*
73. A Promise to Remember by Karen Cushman 3.5*
74. I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg 3.5*
75. Scent of Lilacs by Ann H. Gabhart 3.5*
76. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult 4.5*
77. Melt with Me by Jessie Evans 3*

I'll try to get back in with reviews of some or even most, but wanted to get at least the log caught up.

Dez 6, 2014, 2:28 am

78. Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf
79. Water Walker by Ted Dekker
80. Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline
81. Love Letters by Debbie Macomber
82. Cycle of Lies bu Juliet Macur

The last one made me so angry that I once spent hours watching the Tour de France and cheering for (and believing in) Lance Armstrong.

Dez 27, 2014, 12:51 pm

My reading this fall and holiday season has fallen off sharply! However, the reason is gratifying, at least to me. I gave in to my ling - standing yearning to learn to quilt. Not only that, I promised a quilt to the bride of my son's best friend, my "other son." Then they moved the wedding up five months, to next weekend. The quilt is lovely and I am thrilled to have done it, but it cut at least three books a month from my list every month since September. Oh well, all is good! Even if I finish up all my "in progress" I won't reach 100 but I am okay with that. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Jan 4, 2015, 11:13 pm

Ended the year at 88. Moving on to 2015!