LibraryLover23's 2020 Challenge

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LibraryLover23's 2020 Challenge

1LibraryLover23
Editado: Jan 1, 3:16pm

Joining in again and looking forward to another great reading year!




Previous Reading Challenges:
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019

2LibraryLover23
Editado: Dez 31, 2020, 9:33am

2020 Reading List

January
1. North To Freedom by Anne Holm
2. Vegan's Daily Companion: 365 Days Of Inspiration For Cooking, Eating, And Living Compassionately by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
3. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman
4. Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman

February
5. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
6. Are You Afraid Of The Dark? by Sidney Sheldon
7. The Windfall by Diksha Basu
8. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

March
9. Busted: A Tale Of Corruption And Betrayal In The City Of Brotherly Love by Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker
10. Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
11. Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich
12. Heart Of Barkness by Spencer Quinn
13. The Most Beautiful Walk In The World: A Pedestrian In Paris by John Baxter

April
14. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
15. One Was A Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming
16. Christy by Catherine Marshall
17. The Lost Man by Jane Harper
18. The Madonnas Of Leningrad by Debra Dean
19. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

May
20. The Invention Of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
21. The Nature Of The Beast by Louise Penny
22. Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City by Matthew Desmond
23. The Witch's Book Of Self-Care: Magical Ways To Pamper, Soothe, And Care For Your Body And Spirit by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
24. Emma by Alexander McCall-Smith
25. Cold And Pure And Very Dead by Joanne Dobson

June
26. Masked Prey by John Sandford
27. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What The Reach Teach Their Kids About Money - That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter, C.P.A.
28. The Power Of One by Bryce Courtenay
29. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
30. Trixie Belden And The Secret Of The Mansion by Julie Campbell
31. Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases by Dean Ornish, M.D. and Anne Ornish
32. Cheaper By The Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
33. Black Klansman: Race, Hate, And The Undercover Investigation Of A Lifetime by Ron Stallworth

July
34. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
35. Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming
36. The Book Stops Here: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle
37. In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
38. Revival by Stephen King
39. Speaking From Among The Bones by Alan Bradley
40. The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
41. Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

August
42. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
43. How To Retire With Enough Money: And How To Know What Enough Is by Teresa Ghilarducci
44. Madame Tussaud: A Novel Of The French Revolution by Michelle Moran
45. Space Station Seventh Grade by Jerry Spinelli
46. How To Retire The Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskate's Guide To A Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement by Jeff Yeager
47. The Confession by R.L. Stine
48. What Holly Heard by R.L. Stine
49. The Face by R.L. Stine

September
50. A Bad Day For Mercy by Sophie Littlefield
51. The Five: The Untold Lives Of The Women Killed By Jack The Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
52. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
53. Rats: Observations On The History & Habitat Of The City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan
54. Down A Dark Road by Linda Castillo

October
55. The Daughter Of Time by Josephine Tey
56. The Witch's Book Of Self-Care: Magical Ways To Pamper, Soothe, And Care For Your Body And Spirit by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
57. The Devil's Advocate by Andrew Neiderman
58. The Once And Future King by T.H. White
59. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

November
60. Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane
61. Your Money Or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship With Money And Achieving Financial Independence by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin
62. The Maltese Manuscript by Joanne Dobson
63. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
64. Ghost Story by Peter Straub

December
65. More Book Lust: 1,000 New Reading Recommendations For Every Mood, Moment, And Reason by Nancy Pearl
66. Christmas With Anne And Other Holiday Stories by L.M. Montgomery
67. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
68. The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
69. Finding Christmas by Karen Schaler
70. The Greatest Secret by Rhonda Byrne

3LibraryLover23
Editado: Nov 30, 2020, 10:41am

Here's a list of the series I'm currently reading. It's just a place for me to keep track.

Bradley, Alan—Flavia de Luce series (read 5 out of 10) Next up: The Dead In Their Vaulted Arches
Castillo, Linda—Kate Burkholder series (read 9 out of 13) Next up: A Gathering Of Secrets
Dobson, Joanne—Karen Pelletier series (read 5 out of 6) Next up: Death Without Tenure
Evanovich, Janet—Stephanie Plum series (read 26 out of 27) Next up: Fortune And Glory
Grafton, Sue—Alphabet Mysteries (read 3 out of 25) Next up: “D" Is For Deadbeat
Littlefield, Sophie—Stella Hardesty series (read 4 out of 5) Next up: A Bad Day For Romance
Martin, George R.R.—A Song Of Ice And Fire series (read 5 out of 7) Next up: The Winds Of Winter
Penny, Louise—Three Pines series (read 11 out of 16) Next up: A Great Reckoning
Quinn, Spencer—Chet and Bernie Mysteries (read 9 out of 10) Next up: Of Mutts And Men
Smith, Alexander McCall—Isabel Dalhousie series (read 8 out of 13) Next up: The Uncommon Appeal Of Clouds
Smith, Alexander McCall—No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series (read 12 out of 21) Next up: The Limpopo Academy Of Private Detection
Spencer-Fleming, Julia—Reverend Clare Fergusson series (read 7 out of 9) Next up: Through The Evil Days

Edited this list to make it a little more streamlined. Deleted the trilogies and series that I haven't started yet to make things a little simpler.

4LibraryLover23
Editado: Set 10, 2020, 9:04am

These are the remaining Stephen King books I have to read as part of the King's Dear Constant Readers readalong.

I've read his entire bibliography up to this point, these are the ones that are left (I'm skipping some of the e-books and things). Titles came from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_King_bibliography. I'm lagging a bit, although I'm enjoying the ride. (He tends to write them faster than I can read them...)

Revival
Finders Keepers
The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams
End Of Watch
Charlie The Choo-Choo
Sleeping Beauties
The Outsider
Elevation
The Institute
If It Bleeds
Later

5LibraryLover23
Jan 20, 2020, 3:10pm

1. North To Freedom by Anne Holm (190 p.)
First book of the year is a young adult novel about David, a young boy who, when given a chance to escape from the concentration camp he's only ever known, takes the opportunity to make his way north to Denmark. At first David is sure it was a prank letting him escape, and that he'll be caught at any minute, but as time goes on he begins to believe he might actually have a chance at freedom. David's background and some of his circumstances are purposefully left vague so, like him, you learn about the world slowly, through his eyes. It's an effective technique, one that allows you to hope David finds the respite and freedom he deserves.

6LibraryLover23
Jan 20, 2020, 3:27pm

2. Vegan's Daily Companion: 365 Days Of Inspiration For Cooking, Eating, And Living Compassionately by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (320 p.)
For me following a vegan lifestyle has become effortless, which is kind of crazy, because I was always of the "I could never do that" school of thought. But really, for me, it's a piece of cake. (A big slab of red velvet cake with buttercream frosting, which is what I ate after I finished this book. See how hard it is to be a vegan?) Anyway, this book has recipes to try and stories featuring animal activism in the arts (I didn't realize before how animal rights-oriented some of my favorite authors were.) There are also some animal rescue stories, which melted me into a puddle, including one about a hen who adopted a chick at an animal sanctuary and (literally and figuratively) took her under her wing. Even after the baby grew up she would still go to her adopted mother and burrow under her wing, although at that point she had grown so big only her head would fit. Definitely worth checking out if you're interested or curious about this lifestyle.

7LibraryLover23
Jan 20, 2020, 3:36pm

3. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman (159 p.)
4. Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman (136 p.)
I've become more and more of a fan of graphic novels, and although I haven't read many, the ones I've tried have been fantastic. This duology is about the author's parents' experiences during World War II, particularly his father's time in a concentration camp. (I'm not sure why I'm reading so many concentration camp books back-to-back, this is not a subject that I can easily handle.) Overall it's a heart-wrenching story but it still contains moments of levity. The author's father's resourcefulness and ingenuity in his efforts to survive are astounding, and the story is rendered simply but powerfully through this medium.

8thornton37814
Jan 20, 2020, 9:32pm

Hope 2020 is filled with great reads for you!

9drneutron
Jan 20, 2020, 10:30pm

Welcome back!

10alcottacre
Jan 21, 2020, 2:18am

>5 LibraryLover23: >6 LibraryLover23: Adding both of those to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendations!

I loved the Maus books. Glad to see they have found another fan.

Looks like your reading year is off to a wonderful start!

11FAMeulstee
Jan 21, 2020, 4:08pm

Happy reading in 2020!

12LibraryLover23
Jan 21, 2020, 6:50pm

Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome!

>10 alcottacre: Stasia, it's great to see you posting again!

13alcottacre
Jan 21, 2020, 6:51pm

14libraryperilous
Fev 8, 2020, 4:22pm

Happy 2020 readings!

15LibraryLover23
Fev 23, 2020, 3:03pm

>14 libraryperilous: Hello, my friend, happy 2020 readings to you too! I'll have to find your thread and catch up with all your good readings so far this year!

16LibraryLover23
Fev 23, 2020, 3:18pm

January Books Read
1. North To Freedom by Anne Holm
2. Vegan's Daily Companion: 365 Days Of Inspiration For Cooking, Eating, And Living Compassionately by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
3. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman
4. Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman

January Books Acquired
The Witch's Book Of Self-Care: Magical Ways To Pamper, Soothe, And Care For Your Body And Spirit by Arin Murphy-Hiscock (a freebie)

I haven't been around much lately, although I have been reading (albeit very slowly). After this upcoming week things should settle down significantly as I recently acquired a work-from-home job which I'm super excited about, I can't wait. Hopefully I'll have more time (and brain power) to get back into a reading groove as I sorely miss it. Hope all is well with you guys, I have a lot of catching up to do!

17LibraryLover23
Fev 23, 2020, 3:27pm

5. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (247 p.)
Disillusioned with her provincial marriage, Emma Bovary embarks on a series of affairs and, along the way, makes some disastrous financial decisions. Everything comes to a head when the money comes due and no one is willing to help her (including any of her former partners). I struggled mightily with this one at first, it wasn't until I got through the first third or so that it finally clicked for me, and I found the second half to be a bit better. I'm glad I can check it off my list but this is not a classic I would ever bother reading again.

18LibraryLover23
Fev 23, 2020, 3:33pm

6. Are You Afraid Of The Dark? by Sidney Sheldon (494 p.)
Pure brain candy fluff. Two women whose husbands died under mysterious circumstances are targeted by the megalomaniacal owner of their husbands' company. They go on the run, depending on each other for support, while lots of twists and turns and action scenes ensue. Didn't require a lot of brain cells to read this one (which was much appreciated after my previous book).

19libraryperilous
Mar 1, 2020, 12:22am

>17 LibraryLover23: I loathe Madam Bovary. It's such sexist garbage. The French social realists, to a last man, couldn't be bothered to see women as real people.

For your burgeoning interest in graphic novels, I'd recommend the March trilogy by John Lewis, The Tea Dragon Society, and Iron: Or, the War After.

20LibraryLover23
Mar 4, 2020, 4:49pm

>19 libraryperilous: Thank you for the recommendations! I've read and loved a few by Derf Backderf and Roz Chast, and it's definitely a medium I'd like to explore further.

21LibraryLover23
Mar 4, 2020, 5:58pm

7. The Windfall by Diksha Basu (293 p.)
A middle class Indian family's lives are upended when the patriarch comes into a large sum of money. Some things change for the better, and some for the worse. More of a character study than an action-heavy piece, I enjoyed it.

Interesting quote:
"His India was neither rich nor poor. There were no huge homes and elaborate weddings, nor were there slums and water shortages and child laborers. The middle ground was too confusing to explain to an outsider. It wasn't exotic enough or familiar enough." (p. 23)

22LibraryLover23
Mar 4, 2020, 6:06pm

8. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (audiobook)
I unabashedly love this one, it always gets me in the right headspace. It focuses on the law of attraction and the power of positive thinking. (What you think about and thank about, you bring about.) Made my car trips much more pleasant.

23LibraryLover23
Mar 4, 2020, 6:12pm

February Books Read
5. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
6. Are You Afraid Of The Dark? by Sidney Sheldon
7. The Windfall by Diksha Basu
8. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

February Books Acquired
Books 1-10 in the Knights Templar mystery series by Michael Jecks
Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City by Matthew Desmond
Battle Cry Of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson (these came from a library's half-off sale)

24LibraryLover23
Mar 4, 2020, 6:18pm

9. Busted: A Tale Of Corruption And Betrayal In The City Of Brotherly Love by Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker (242 p.)
Two intrepid reporters at the Philadelphia Daily News took down an entire narcotics squad when they learned of the corruption and abuse within. This was hard to read as far as subject matter, but in tone and writing style it was easy to breeze through. Laker and Ruderman were rewarded for their efforts with a Pulitzer Prize, but the slap on the wrist that most of the cops received is nothing short of maddening.

25alcottacre
Mar 4, 2020, 6:30pm

>23 LibraryLover23: Evicted is a terrific book! Hard subject matter though.

26LibraryLover23
Mar 5, 2020, 4:18pm

>25 alcottacre: I've heard good things about it, I'm looking forward to it!

27ocgreg34
Mar 5, 2020, 4:22pm

>4 LibraryLover23: I read "Elevation" last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.

28LibraryLover23
Mar 5, 2020, 6:10pm

>27 ocgreg34: Good to hear! It's rare to find a book of his I don't like.

29LibraryLover23
Mar 11, 2020, 6:00pm

10. Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler (274 p.)
Rebecca wonders how her life would have been different if she had chosen a different fork in the road - what if she had stayed with Will instead of choosing her husband Joe? Now a grandmother, Rebecca has the opportunity to spend time with Will again and decide if she made the right decision after all.

Anne Tyler is in the upper echelon of writers, to me she's top tier. This is similar to her other books with its sprawling cast of quirky characters that you can't bear to part with, but with a pervasive sense of melancholy throughout. I haven't found any of hers to match my favorite (Saint Maybe, which is in my all-time top 5), but her books are so masterfully good that I love them all anyway.

30LibraryLover23
Mar 16, 2020, 6:18pm

11. Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich (333 p.)
Grandma Mazur's marriage to mobster Jimmy Rosolli ends forty-five minutes after the ceremony when Jimmy drops dead of a heart attack. The problem is, Jimmy was in charge of a set of keys that unlocks a mob group's treasure, and now everyone thinks Grandma has them. It's up to bounty hunter Stephanie Plum to protect Grandma while trying to find the keys first. Another fun romp with Stephanie and Co., and some lighthearted hijinks to combat the world's craziness.

31libraryperilous
Mar 17, 2020, 11:24am

>30 LibraryLover23: I've heard good things about this series and that Lisa Lutz's Spellman Files is a good reading comp.

32LibraryLover23
Mar 17, 2020, 6:40pm

>31 libraryperilous: Yes, the Spellman Files series is great too! They're laugh-out-loud funny, although they also have these surprising moments of gravity. The Stephanie Plum books are basically the same plot points recycled over and over but I never get tired of them. They still make me laugh, twenty-six books in!

33LibraryLover23
Mar 21, 2020, 1:59pm

12. Heart Of Barkness by Spencer Quinn (299 p.)
Ninth in the Chet and Bernie series, featuring Arizona PI Bernie and his lovable, always loyal canine partner, Chet. I didn't think the mystery in this one was as compelling as some of the others (a country singer is accused of murdering her manager/boyfriend but Bernie thinks she's innocent). Chet's antics and dim bulb thought process are always endearing though.

34alcottacre
Mar 21, 2020, 2:10pm

>29 LibraryLover23: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation!

35LibraryLover23
Mar 22, 2020, 11:56am

>34 alcottacre: You can't go wrong with an Anne Tyler book in my humble opinion!

36LibraryLover23
Mar 22, 2020, 12:00pm

13. The Most Beautiful Walk In The World: A Pedestrian In Paris by John Baxter (298 p.)
A series of Parisian anecdotes as told by Australian writer and expatriate John Baxter. It was okay, the focus leaned pretty heavily on food and Ernest Hemingway, so not quite what I was expecting. Nice to take a trip abroad when I can't really leave the house though.

37libraryperilous
Mar 22, 2020, 12:03pm

>36 LibraryLover23: LOL feeling this armchair travel thing so hard right now. I've never had a taste for travelogues—always preferring to physically go somewhere—but I already am desperate.

At least it's a lesser problem. It's okay to be angry and sad about these kinds of things, I think, as long as we also hold space in our hearts for the larger problems and hurts.

Hope the work from home thing is going well for you!

38LibraryLover23
Mar 22, 2020, 7:20pm

>37 libraryperilous: Thanks! It was serendipitous indeed to start a remote job right before the virus hit. I would be completely out of luck if I was at my old job. We'll see what happens long-term, right now it's just day-by-day, as it is for everyone.

39LibraryLover23
Mar 31, 2020, 3:44pm

March Books Read
9. Busted: A Tale Of Corruption And Betrayal In The City Of Brotherly Love by Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker
10. Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
11. Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich
12. Heart Of Barkness by Spencer Quinn
13. The Most Beautiful Walk In The World: A Pedestrian In Paris by John Baxter

March Books Acquired
None. I figure it will be quite awhile before I buy books again, as I almost exclusively buy from places like library book sales. Thank goodness I've prepared for just such an eventuality by having at least four years' worth of TBRs on my shelves...

40libraryperilous
Mar 31, 2020, 7:26pm

>39 LibraryLover23: I'm finding myself restless for news books, even though I placed an order for some new ones. I've been experimenting with reading e-books. But, honestly, my personal library is around 60% aspirational. I really shouldn't be complaining.

41LibraryLover23
Abr 3, 2020, 3:09pm

>40 libraryperilous: Haha, I understand, believe me. My Kindle died last year and I haven't made the effort to look into replacing it so e-books have fallen by the wayside for me. But I'd like to look into an e-reader again someday. They're nice to have, especially for traveling.

42LibraryLover23
Abr 3, 2020, 3:28pm

14. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (330 p.)
I liked this one, can't say I loved it though. I appreciated the writing style, which was mostly epistolary, but (and this is a big but for me) I didn't particularly warm to any of the characters. I felt sort of remote from them, which means I wasn't that invested in their various outcomes. I loved that Antarctica factored in as a setting though, that's high on my list of places that I enjoy reading about.

43LibraryLover23
Abr 4, 2020, 10:53am

15. One Was A Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming (327 p.)
I forgot how great this series is - this is the seventh book in the series but the first one I had read. I liked it so much I went back and read books 1-6 and I'm only just now catching up to where I started. The books are about an Episcopal priest and a police chief in a small town in upstate New York, their relationship, the various townspeople, and of course, whatever crime(s) happen to take place. In this one Clare (the priest), back from a tour of duty in Iraq, joins a support group. When one in the group dies, Clare suspects murder, Russ (the police chief) thinks suicide. The mystery was compelling and tightly plotted, the characters are fully fleshed out, and it just happens to end on a cliffhanger. Good stuff.

44PaulCranswick
Abr 5, 2020, 10:31pm

Have a lovely, peaceful, safe and healthy weekend.

45LibraryLover23
Abr 7, 2020, 3:30pm

>44 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul - I hope you had a lovely weekend as well!

46PaulCranswick
Abr 12, 2020, 8:14am



I wanted my message this year to be fairly universal in a time we all should be pulling together, whatever our beliefs. Happy Celebration, Happy Sunday

47LibraryLover23
Abr 12, 2020, 12:06pm

>46 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!

48LibraryLover23
Abr 13, 2020, 9:47am

16. Christy by Catherine Marshall (474 p.)
A fictionalized take on the author's mother's life. As an idealistic young woman in Tennessee in 1912, Christy feels a calling to teach at a remote Appalachian village school where she gets a bit more than she bargained for. Reading this, you can tell the story was meticulously researched, the situations and customs Marshall describes closely resemble those found in the non-fiction Foxfire books. This one started out really strongly for me but it started to drag a bit by the middle; there were one too many crises of faith going on, from just about every other character I thought. But this area of the world is of interest to me, and the strong characterization and surprisingly gritty and realistic storylines made it worthwhile.

49LibraryLover23
Abr 21, 2020, 2:26pm

17. The Lost Man by Jane Harper (340 p.)
A murder mystery set in the remote Australian Outback. The story opens with two brothers meeting over their middle brother's dead body and rockets off from there. I've read Harper's other novels, they're all set in remote Australian locations and all have twisty endings. This one is no different - another solid read.

50libraryperilous
Abr 21, 2020, 4:43pm

>49 LibraryLover23: I don't usually read contemporary crime novels, but Harper's books do sound intriguing.

51LibraryLover23
Abr 24, 2020, 9:20am

>50 libraryperilous: She's really good at conveying atmosphere and a sense of place. You can feel the isolation (and in this book's case, heat) in her mysteries.

52libraryperilous
Abr 24, 2020, 11:43am

>51 LibraryLover23: May I ask if the books are too grim or gory? I don't handle either well, which is one reason why I usually avoid contemporary crime. Thank you for the info. I'm very intrigued.

53LibraryLover23
Abr 26, 2020, 3:12pm

>52 libraryperilous: Wellllll, I would say they're not explicit, the unsettling parts happen off-scene or are alluded to. However, the subject matter of this one involves abuse. (I can't quite remember the specifics of her earlier two books.)

So not gory, but I would say, yes, her books can be grim. Sorry, hopefully that gives you some direction on whether you want to try them or not! (And if you don't, I totally understand.)

54LibraryLover23
Editado: Abr 30, 2020, 4:42pm

18. The Madonnas Of Leningrad by Debra Dean (231 p.)
A woman slowly succumbs to Alzheimer's, although her memory of her youth in Russia and her time spent during the siege of Leningrad remains strong. This one was beautifully written, with lots of facts about the Hermitage Museum and the siege itself that made the story come alive.

55LibraryLover23
Abr 30, 2020, 4:44pm

19. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (97 p.)
Twenty years worth of correspondence between Hanff, a freelance writer living in NYC, and Frank Doel, a bookseller in London. Delightful, funny, moving, and highly recommended.

56LibraryLover23
Maio 1, 2020, 1:54pm

April Books Read
14. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
15. One Was A Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming
16. Christy by Catherine Marshall
17. The Lost Man by Jane Harper
18. The Madonnas Of Leningrad by Debra Dean
19. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

April Books Acquired
Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott
Vegan Cooking For Carnivores: Over 125 Recipes So Tasty You Won't Miss The Meat by Roberto Martin
Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases by Dean Ornish, M.D., and Anne Ornish
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (birthday presents ♥)

57libraryperilous
Maio 1, 2020, 3:46pm

Happy birthday!

58LibraryLover23
Maio 3, 2020, 12:12pm

59LibraryLover23
Maio 3, 2020, 12:23pm

20. The Invention Of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (373 p.)
Historical fiction about Sarah Grimké, a feminist and abolitionist from the 19th century, and the slave that was given to her when she was eleven years old, Hetty, nicknamed Handful. The chapters alternate back and forth between the two, and the story follows them from childhood to late middle age. While both were real people, little is known of Handful and much was forgotten about Sarah, although her contributions to the fight against slavery and for women's rights should probably be better known. I found it to be a much better book than Kidd's The Mermaid Chair, but not quite up to my enjoyment of her first book, The Secret Life Of Bees.

60LibraryLover23
Maio 8, 2020, 3:49pm

21. The Nature Of The Beast by Louise Penny (376 p.)
Now retired to Three Pines, former Chief Inspector Armand Gamache soon learns that crime doesn't stay away, even in this peaceful village. When a boy given to flights of fancy is murdered, and a weapon of mass destruction is found in the nearby woods, Gamache and Co. have to race the clock to find out whodunit and why. A solid entry to the series, it's been awhile since I read a Three Pines book and I've missed these characters and this isolated little town.

61LibraryLover23
Maio 13, 2020, 2:54pm

22. Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City by Matthew Desmond (422 p.)
An amazing book. I'm trying to read through my towering TBR stacks and pass on these books once I'm finished, but this one was so good I may need to keep it for rereading. But it'll be awhile, as it's a difficult subject matter - the author embedded with impoverished families in a Milwaukee trailer park and the inner city to learn how eviction shapes their lives. He also follows landlords to show how they interact with their renters (side note: not well).

He doesn't really go into detail on this, but I was struck by the cyclical nature of poverty - these people came from difficult circumstances and their children seem to have a slim chance of moving past their hardships. I also can't help but wonder how terrible things must be right now for them with the current pandemic situation; it's a terrible thing, but it's also important to understand and try to help.

62LibraryLover23
Editado: Maio 17, 2020, 10:14am

23. The Witch's Book Of Self-Care: Magical Ways To Pamper, Soothe, And Care For Your Body And Spirit by Arin Murphy-Hiscock (224 p.)
A calming collection of tips and tricks on ways to engage in physical, emotional, spiritual, and household self-care. I would read it before bed and it would lull me to sleep. Not because it was boring, but because it was so darn soothing.

63LibraryLover23
Maio 23, 2020, 4:14pm

24. Emma by Alexander McCall-Smith (361 p.)
This one started out terribly for me; Emma was not the least bit likeable, she was obnoxious and annoying. And yet...once she has her epiphany and starts to make amends I began to love it. It was a bit too little, too late though.

64PaulCranswick
Maio 24, 2020, 7:41pm

Enjoy your long weekend. x

65LibraryLover23
Maio 25, 2020, 3:51pm

>64 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul! I hope you had a great weekend as well.

66LibraryLover23
Maio 25, 2020, 4:09pm

25. Cold And Pure And Very Dead by Joanne Dobson (258 p.)
After making a flippant remark to a reporter about what she believes is the greatest novel of the twentieth century, English professor Karen Pelletier is shocked when not only does the book rocket back on to the bestseller lists, but its long-lost author shows up after being accused of murdering the reporter who ran the story. This is a great mystery series, not least because of its literary connections. (It's a step above the traditional cozy, I think.) I was also tickled to find that my copy is signed by the author, which is a little crazy because I have no memory of where I bought the book and I only realized it was signed when I cracked it open to read. A serendipitous find that makes me happy.

67LibraryLover23
Jun 2, 2020, 4:33pm

May Books Read
20. The Invention Of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
21. The Nature Of The Beast by Louise Penny
22. Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City by Matthew Desmond
23. The Witch's Book Of Self-Care: Magical Ways To Pamper, Soothe, And Care For Your Body And Spirit by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
24. Emma by Alexander McCall-Smith
25. Cold And Pure And Very Dead by Joanne Dobson

May Books Acquired
None!

68LibraryLover23
Jun 7, 2020, 6:05pm

26. Masked Prey by John Sandford (406 p.)
The newest Lucas Davenport novel. I didn't find it quite as compelling as the previous entry in the series, and with an alt-right antagonist, it was a little too unsettling for these crazy times. But the ending sets up a nice little teaser for the next entry's mystery, which I would gladly read, whenever that time comes.

69LibraryLover23
Jun 7, 2020, 6:12pm

27. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter, C.P.A. (207 p.)
There were a few valid points made here, but I thought it was also interspersed with borderline sleazy tactics. (I got the sense he was taking advantage of people when they were down). All perfectly legal advice, but his ethics were a bit murky. There are personal finance books out there that I like much, much better.

70libraryperilous
Jun 7, 2020, 10:20pm

>69 LibraryLover23: Someone once tried to collect zombie debt from my mom by telling her she could take out a loan against her car. Legal to tell her that, they claimed, but super immoral, and he was super rude to her as well.

>66 LibraryLover23: Really need to try this series.

71LibraryLover23
Jun 10, 2020, 4:00pm

>70 libraryperilous: Oh gross, yeah, there are some super shady financial tactics out there.

I hope you like the Karen Pelletier series! The author herself was a college professor and literary scholar, which adds a layer of authenticity to the books.

72LibraryLover23
Jun 11, 2020, 3:01pm

28. The Power Of One by Bryce Courtenay (518 p.)
A boy's coming-of-age story set in South Africa starting at the cusp of World War II. I admit South Africa is not a place I read about often (and this is told from a white character's perspective), but it still helped enlighten me a bit on a time and place I know little about. It was a loooong book, but what I appreciated most about it was its characterization. Big Hettie, Geel Piet, and of course, Doc, were memorable and fully realized. I'm going to have to watch the movie version now (Morgan Freeman as Geel Piet! Daniel Craig as Botha?!) and then I can put these characters to rest.

73LibraryLover23
Jun 13, 2020, 10:46am

29. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (251 p.)
A Newbery Medal-winning children's book about self-taught genius Nathaniel Bowditch. Coming of age in Salem, Massachusetts, in the 18th century, Bowditch came from a sailing family and taught himself Latin, mathematics, and other subjects. After going to sea himself, he eventually wrote The American Practical Navigator, the "Sailor's Bible," which is still in use today. I loved all the nautical terminology and high-seas adventure, as well as Nat's super-powered intelligence.

74libraryperilous
Jun 13, 2020, 1:36pm

>73 LibraryLover23: One of my all-time favorite books. Such a grand nautical adventure!

75LibraryLover23
Jun 15, 2020, 2:30pm

76LibraryLover23
Jun 16, 2020, 2:16pm

30. Trixie Belden And The Secret Of The Mansion by Julie Campbell (236 p.)
This was recommended to me as a companion series to the Nancy Drew books. It has a similar feel as far as the era goes, but the characters are much younger in age. Trixie is elated when a new girl moves in next door and together both stumble on a mystery involving (what else?) a missing heir. The amount of mishaps these kids get into was mind-boggling (thrown from a horse, diving into shallow water, falling from a ladder, almost getting hit by a car, chased by a rabid dog...) but that's part of what adds to the excitement.

77LibraryLover23
Jun 20, 2020, 11:18am

31. Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases by Dean Ornish, M.D. and Anne Ornish (506 p.)
Comprehensive overview on how a whole foods, plant-based diet, proper exercise, stress reduction, and compassion techniques are the key to a healthy, fulfilling life. I enjoy reading about topics like this, and aspire to better follow some of the practices outlined within.

78LibraryLover23
Jun 21, 2020, 11:49am

32. Cheaper By The Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey (207 p.)
An efficiency-expert dad with a larger-than-life personality and a psychologist mom who doesn't believe in discipline work to keep their brood of twelve kids in check with sometimes disastrous results. I'd be curious to read the sequel to see how their lives played outafter the death of their father.

79LibraryLover23
Jun 28, 2020, 2:43pm

33. Black Klansman: Race, Hate, And The Undercover Investigation Of A Lifetime by Ron Stallworth (191 p.)
Stallworth was a detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department in the 1970s when he answered a classified ad for people interested in joining the Ku Klux Klan. This memoir details his undercover investigation and how he infiltrated the Klan. It was an interesting read, but also depressing in a lot of ways.

80PaulCranswick
Jun 29, 2020, 5:16pm

>79 LibraryLover23: That does look an interesting read.

I find it hard to conceive how the Klan is still able to survive today.

81LibraryLover23
Jun 30, 2020, 2:23pm

>80 PaulCranswick: It was interesting to get an "insider's" perspective, but yeah, a depressing subject matter.

82LibraryLover23
Jun 30, 2020, 2:24pm

June Books Read
26. Masked Prey by John Sandford
27. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What The Reach Teach Their Kids About Money - That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter, C.P.A.
28. The Power Of One by Bryce Courtenay
29. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
30. Trixie Belden And The Secret Of The Mansion by Julie Campbell
31. Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases by Dean Ornish, M.D. and Anne Ornish
32. Cheaper By The Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
33. Black Klansman: Race, Hate, And The Undercover Investigation Of A Lifetime by Ron Stallworth

June Books Acquired
None!

83LibraryLover23
Jul 2, 2020, 3:51pm

34. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman (306 p.)
After a devastating loss, CeeCee moves from Ohio to live with her great-aunt in Savannah, Georgia. While there, she comes to terms with her grief and is accepted by a group of eccentric (yet loving) Southern women. The first quarter or so of this one hooked me in, but the rest of it was a little more uneven. I always enjoy books set in the South, though.

84LibraryLover23
Jul 3, 2020, 2:04pm

35. Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming (294 p.)
This one was tremendously good. Cumming writes about a childhood spent tormented by his abusive father, as well as the mysterious circumstances surrounding his maternal grandfather's death. I was fan of Cumming's before, but reading this cemented my admiration. One of my top reads of the year.

85libraryperilous
Jul 4, 2020, 10:18am

>84 LibraryLover23: I love Alan Cumming, and he definitely is an amazing and admirable person. I'm glad you've found a new favorite book!

86PaulCranswick
Jul 4, 2020, 11:19pm

In this difficult year with an unprecedented pandemic and where the ills of the past intrude sadly upon the present there must still be room for positivity. Be rightly proud of your country. To all my American friends, enjoy your 4th of July weekend.

87LibraryLover23
Jul 5, 2020, 11:12am

>85 libraryperilous: Thanks! I adore Alan Cumming too, and this one was just great.

>86 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!

88LibraryLover23
Jul 9, 2020, 3:05pm

36. The Book Stops Here: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle (323 p.)
Eighth in a cozy mystery series (of which I haven't read any other entries) about Brooklyn Wainwright, a bookbinder living in San Francisco. In this installment, Brooklyn lands a temporary gig as a book appraiser for a traveling antiques TV show. The first book she appraises (a rare copy of The Secret Garden) leads to trouble when a man claiming to be the book's rightful owner threatens her if he doesn't get the book back. In addition, the host of the show is being stalked by an unknown assailant and before long someone ends up dead. I admit I have a soft spot for cozies (the mystery genre in general is my favorite), so I enjoyed this one. Not quite so much that I'm willing to go back to the beginning, or continue on to the end, but it was a pleasant diversion all the same.

89LibraryLover23
Jul 13, 2020, 1:44pm

37. In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson (307 p.)
Bryson's take on Australia was much sunnier and happier than the previous work I read of his on Great Britain. You can tell (and he states emphatically) how much he appreciates Australia, along with its culture, natural habitats, and friendly citizens. I felt like I got a clear, personal tour of the country, as a lot of detail was brought vividly to life. My favorite parts were the historical anecdotes and asides. I feel like I learned a lot and had fun doing it, and really, what more could you ask for?

90libraryperilous
Editado: Jul 13, 2020, 10:47pm

>88 LibraryLover23: I read one of these and liked it but not enough to make it a regular read. I especially didn't enjoy the security service boyfriend.

>89 LibraryLover23: I sometimes find Bryson to be mean-spirited, but this sounds like it might be fun.

Edited: formatting error

91LibraryLover23
Jul 16, 2020, 3:18pm

>90 libraryperilous: Yes, Bryson's hatefulness in his book on Great Britain was more than I could stomach, but he was much mellower here, thank goodness!

92LibraryLover23
Jul 16, 2020, 3:55pm

38. Revival by Stephen King (405 p.)
Jamie Morton is just six years old when he first meets Reverend Charlie Jacobs. Jacobs manages to cure Jamie's brother of a medical condition before a tragic accident forces Jacobs to move away. When Jamie next meets up with him, he's now a young man strung out on drugs, and Jacobs just might have the cure to his condition as well. However, all of Jacobs' cures tend to come with a price... I fairly flew through this one, there was ample foreshadowing and interesting time jumps that kept the pages moving. King just knows how to tell a good yarn.

93LibraryLover23
Jul 21, 2020, 3:15pm

39. Speaking From Among The Bones by Alan Bradley (396 p.)
Ever-precocious Flavia de Luce finds herself at the center of yet another mystery when she discovers the body of her church's organist tucked inside the tomb of said church's patron saint. Flavia takes the lead, discovering clues long before the police do, and generally finding herself in one scrape or another. What I love about Flavia is how she is brilliant in some areas and completely clueless in others. I find it to be an endearing trait. What I was not expecting was a big twist at the end of this one, which will hopefully be explored further in the next installment.

94libraryperilous
Jul 22, 2020, 4:41pm

>93 LibraryLover23: I've only read a few of the Flavia books, but the last one, especially, really got Flavia's development right. Bradley's good at conveying how her youth often leads her to misinterpret motivations and feelings. She simply isn't old enough to understand some things. There are two particular lines in The Golden Tresses of the Dead where she's grown up enough finally to name and understand cynicism, and it's just so bittersweet the way Bradley needs just two sentences to show how much she's grown.

One thing I like about the Flavia series is that she's a scientist and also devout. The novels seem pretty rooted in faith, actually.

95LibraryLover23
Jul 23, 2020, 3:06pm

>94 libraryperilous: I'm looking forward to seeing Flavia's growth throughout the series - I was actually wondering if she would be in a sort of suspended animation, or if she would mature as time goes on. I'm glad to know it's the latter.

96LibraryLover23
Editado: Jul 27, 2020, 2:58pm

40. The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald (156 p.)
Slim, sad little novel about a woman who wants to open a bookshop in a small English seaside town. The year is 1959 and widow Florence Green decides to open a bookshop, despite protests from one of the town's most prominent citizens. To everyone's surprise, the shop does quite well at first, although that doesn't stop some from trying to halt its progress. The writing in this one was smooth and funny, but also poignant. A worthwhile read.

97LibraryLover23
Jul 27, 2020, 2:58pm

41. Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell (280 p.)
The first Kurt Wallander mystery. For a police procedural I thought it was very well done, with lots of red herrings and a methodical sifting through of clues and interviewing of suspects. Can't say I was a huge fan of Wallander himself, though. Maybe he develops a bit more in the later installments, but I found him rather boorish and a little too short-tempered for my taste.

98LibraryLover23
Ago 2, 2020, 5:35pm

July Books Read
34. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
35. Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming
36. The Book Stops Here: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle
37. In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
38. Revival by Stephen King
39. Speaking From Among The Bones by Alan Bradley
40. The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
41. Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

July Books Acquired
None!

99LibraryLover23
Ago 2, 2020, 5:48pm

42. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow (270 p.)
This one was...interesting. I have no idea how to summarize it. I even went back and reread the book's jacket and it says something to the effect of, "to describe it would be to take away from the joy of reading it," so clearly the publisher had no idea what to say about it either. The gist of the story centers on a family (Mother, Father, Boy, Grandfather, Mother's Younger Brother) who live in NY in the early 20th century. It then goes off on tangents, following anyone who comes into their orbit, including real-life figures, both famous and obscure. So, one chapter might be on Father's Arctic expedition, and the next on Harry Houdini learning how to fly a plane in Europe. And yet, it all works. I was invested in everyone, from "Little Girl," all the way up to J.P. Morgan. It was a unique reading experience, one I don't think I'll soon forget.

100LibraryLover23
Ago 3, 2020, 9:25am

43. How To Retire With Enough Money: And How To Know What Enough Is by Teresa Ghilarducci (128 p.)
Some good tips here, but it was surprisingly dark.

Here are some direct quotes:
"Another piece of grim news - I know they've been coming thick and fast..." (p. 53)
"Bill had Alzheimer's, but Betty was able to look after him - until she came home from the doctor one day with very bad news. She was in hospice and dead from lung cancer within 17 weeks." (p. 107)

It's like, geez, I'd like my personal finance advice with just a touch more sunshine please. There were some good points made, however. I particularly liked her take on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and how we can use civic involvement to make sure those programs stay strong.

101LibraryLover23
Ago 20, 2020, 3:59pm

44. Madame Tussaud: A Novel Of The French Revolution by Michelle Moran (462 p.)
I can truly say I knew next to nothing about the French Revolution before reading this book. (I'm not even sure if I knew Madame Tussaud was a real person.) I now feel that I have a thorough grounding on the subject, in fact, I thought the book got a little bogged down by seemingly mentioning every skirmish and calamitous turn of events. I kept having to stop and look things up, too, like did that actually happen? The character of Marie Grosholtz (based on the real-life figure) was fully realized and led a fascinating life during this tumultuous time. I'm glad I read this one, I feel like I learned a lot and did it in an enjoyable way.

102LibraryLover23
Ago 20, 2020, 4:04pm

45. Space Station Seventh Grade by Jerry Spinelli (232 p.)
A heartfelt look at the ups and downs of Jason Herkimer's first year of junior high school. Like most kids this age, Jason can be annoying, but you can't help but root for him too. I was surprised at some of the turns of events in this one, there was a particular twist at the end that I didn't see coming. Sweet, sad, funny, and worth checking out if you like YA books.

103libraryperilous
Ago 21, 2020, 9:23pm

>101 LibraryLover23: I have another book about Tussaud on my shelf, Little, by Edward Carey, but I think it may be a bit too snobby for me.

104LibraryLover23
Ago 25, 2020, 2:35pm

>103 libraryperilous: That one looks interesting! Tussaud is definitely a fascinating person, I was surprised at how crazy her life was.

105LibraryLover23
Ago 25, 2020, 6:10pm

46. How To Retire The Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskate's Guide To A Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement by Jeff Yeager (308 p.)
I needed some positive personal finance after my last retirement read, and Yeager's always good for a laugh. The best part of this book is the interviews with fellow cheapskates at the end of each chapter. They give insight on how to live fuller, yet simpler, lives. I appreciate the camaraderie with frugal folks, even if it's only in book form.

106LibraryLover23
Ago 30, 2020, 11:13am

47. The Confession by R.L. Stine (150 p.)
After one of Julie's friends confesses to killing the school bully, Julie has to carry the guilt of knowing the secret. Then she starts to worry, will her friend kill again?

48. What Holly Heard by R.L. Stine (145 p.)
Holly is the biggest gossip in school, and when she shares a shocking bit of news she overheard to her friend Miriam, Miriam doesn't take it seriously at first. But then something bad happens to Holly...

49. The Face by R.L. Stine (150 p.)
Martha was in an accident and lost her memory. When she starts drawing a face of a boy she doesn't know she begins to wonder, could he be connected to her accident?

When I was younger, I used to eat up these 90's era teen horror novels like they were candy. Although my favorite writer from this time was (is and always will be) Christopher Pike, I easily have at least 50 of Stine's Goosebumps and Fear Street novels scattered across my shelves. These are super melodramatic and every chapter ends on a cliffhanger, but they are rollicking, nostalgic fun.

107libraryperilous
Ago 30, 2020, 2:33pm

>106 LibraryLover23: Oh, I read a ton of both these authors in junior high. And then, one day, I just stopped. My taste for teen horror just ... ended! Still one of the weirder reading experiences I've had. It was like a switch had flipped in my brain overnight.

Anyway, it was a super fun experience while it lasted. I'm glad it's held up for you as an adult. Someday, when I have some extra shelf space for nostalgia, I'm going to reacquire some of my favorites.

108LibraryLover23
Ago 31, 2020, 2:19pm

>107 libraryperilous: That's funny that it ended so abruptly for you! I definitely moved away from these as I got older, but it's fun for me to go back and reread them, for old time's sake.

There's something to be said for holding on to your childhood favorites - some of these "Fear Street Collectors' Editions," of which I have a few, are now going for at least four times what I paid for them back in the day. I have no interest in selling mine, but it's kind of funny that they're becoming somewhat rare. I must be getting old!

109LibraryLover23
Ago 31, 2020, 3:41pm

August Books Read
42. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
43. How To Retire With Enough Money: And How To Know What Enough Is by Teresa Ghilarducci
44. Madame Tussaud: A Novel Of The French Revolution by Michelle Moran
45. Space Station Seventh Grade by Jerry Spinelli
46. How To Retire The Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskate's Guide To A Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement by Jeff Yeager
47. The Confession by R.L. Stine
48. What Holly Heard by R.L. Stine
49. The Face by R.L. Stine

August Books Acquired
None!

110LibraryLover23
Set 10, 2020, 9:40am

50. A Bad Day For Mercy by Sophie Littlefield (260 p.)
Fourth in the Stella Hardesty series. Stella runs a sewing shop by day and metes out justice to abusive boyfriends and husbands at night. It's been awhile since I last read an entry in this series, and I forgot how funny it was. These books have a similar vibe to the Stephanie Plum books and her level of zaniness. In this installment, Stella travels from Missouri to Wisconsin to help out her sister's stepson with a problem involving his girlfriend's jealous husband. Stella also has to juggle the romantic interest of two men: sweet and dependable BJ Broderson, and lights-her-world-on-fire Sheriff Goat Jones. It's a fun read, I'm looking forward to the final installment (which, sadly, my library doesn't have) so I can see how everything plays out.

111LibraryLover23
Set 11, 2020, 3:57pm

51. The Five: The Untold Lives Of The Women Killed By Jack The Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold (333 p.)
Despite the ominous title and cover image, there's nothing gruesome or gory in this one at all. Rather, it's more of a social justice look at how working-class women lived in London in the 19th century. Not much is known about these five women, they lived transient, poverty-stricken lives, and records have since been lost or were sensationalized in the news due to the murders. However, Rubenhold takes great pains to paint a sympathetic portrait of them, almost blindingly so. What I found most moving, strangely enough, was the list at the back of the book that detailed the items they had on them when they died. Since all but one of them was homeless at the time (and not all were prostitutes, either, despite the popular way of thinking), they had all their worldly possessions with them at the time of their death. For some reason, that personalized them to me more than just about anything else in the book.

112libraryperilous
Set 11, 2020, 5:29pm

>111 LibraryLover23: I've heard nothing but praise for this one, and I do want to read it. However, I can't stomach the sadness of (poor women's) lives devalued and wasted right now. Definitely seems like it deserves its acclaim.

113LibraryLover23
Set 12, 2020, 2:28pm

>112 libraryperilous: It's worth seeking out, but I completely understand the need to wait until the right frame of mind to read it.

114LibraryLover23
Set 12, 2020, 2:40pm

52. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen (296 p.)
A continuation of the story started in Garden Spells, about two gifted sisters who are considered outcasts in their small town in part because they have a magical apple tree in their backyard. This one takes place in fall, with the Waverley family waiting for the apple tree to blossom, while also dealing with various personal issues. It makes for perfect reading for this time of year and gives off a strong, Practical Magic vibe (the movie, anyway, I have yet to read the book).

115LibraryLover23
Editado: Set 16, 2020, 4:20pm

53. Rats: Observations On The History & Habitat Of The City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan (251 p.)
I'm not sure where I first heard about this one, but I do remember making note of it because it just sounded like something that would be right up my (rat-infested?) alley. Sullivan takes a look at...rats, specifically rats in NYC. He becomes fascinated by them, and takes the time to examine their history in America and points out how with their voracious, destructive appetites and expanding population they're like the animal equivalent of humans.

Sullivan wrote this book in 2001 and was studying a rat colony in an alley a few blocks from the World Trade Center. That interlude gave the book a melancholy air since I was reading it on 9/11, but he also talks about how exterminators had to come in and destroy the overrun rat population after the towers came down. (That's a disturbing subject I never would have thought of.) Speaking of exterminators, Sullivan also interviews many of them in the course of this book, and more than one thinks that due to the underground sewers and layers under New York, there's a good chance there are rats below ground that have never seen humans before. The ones at the surface are the "smaller," weaker rats who were pushed out of the underground areas, which is a thought that gives me great, great pause.

116LibraryLover23
Set 20, 2020, 2:20pm

54. Down A Dark Road by Linda Castillo (292 p.)
One of the Kate Burkholder mysteries. This one involves a friend from Kate's Amish childhood who was convicted of murdering his wife. After encountering him in a hostage situation, Kate begins to believe he may be innocent of the crime. This one held my attention and the pacing was good, but I think I'm starting to burn out a bit on this series. There are one too many instances of Kate stupidly throwing herself into dangerous situations when she should know better, and how many violent Amish crimes can one town hold, anyway? (Although I live in an Amish area and we have a case right now of a missing Amish woman...it's sad.) Anyway, I may keep on with these books for a bit longer, but I may not be in a huge rush to do so.

117LibraryLover23
Editado: Out 1, 2020, 8:41am

September Books Read
50. A Bad Day For Mercy by Sophie Littlefield
51. The Five: The Untold Lives Of The Women Killed By Jack The Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
52. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
53. Rats: Observations On The History & Habitat Of The City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan
54. Down A Dark Road by Linda Castillo

September Books Acquired
Nobody Hitchhikes Anymore by Ed Griffin-Nolan (won through LT's Early Reviewers)

118LibraryLover23
Out 3, 2020, 11:31am

55. The Daughter Of Time by Josephine Tey (206 p.)
Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard is flat on his back in the hospital after a work injury when he decides to solve the mystery of Richard III to pass the time. Did, Richard, actually kill his two nephews in the Tower? With the help of an American research assistant, Grant hopes to find out.

I thought this one was great. I admit I had a bit of a tough time keeping all of the historical figures straight, but it kept me entertained and, ultimately, enlightened.

119LibraryLover23
Out 12, 2020, 2:34pm

56. The Witch's Book Of Self-Care: Magical Ways To Pamper, Soothe, And Care For Your Body And Spirit by Arin Murphy-Hiscock (224 p.)
I just read this one a couple of months ago, but it's so darn soothing, and I can use the calming vibes.

120LibraryLover23
Out 12, 2020, 2:40pm

57. The Devil's Advocate by Andrew Neiderman (313 p.)
Kevin Taylor is ecstatic when he joins John Milton & Associates, a prestigious NYC law firm. Kevin comes to suspect, however, that the firm's leader may just be the devil himself. Great premise, and I think I may have seen the movie already, but a little lacking in execution. I didn't care for the ending either, unfortunately.

121LibraryLover23
Out 12, 2020, 3:51pm

58. The Once And Future King by T.H. White (639 p.)
Where to begin? I guess first I'll say this was a long, long book. My edition was 639 pages of what I would generously guesstimate was a size 7 font. It took me months to read, in part because I abandoned it for awhile because it was getting on my nerves. But I persevered. I didn't dislike it per se, but I will put it in the donation bag with glee.

Prior to my reading this book, I had read Helen Macdonald's H Is For Hawk, which in addition to being about hawks, is also a biography of White. I knew going into this that my prior reading of "H" would color my impression somewhat, as White was a sadist. (Macdonald touches on how he abused his hawks, for example.) I think I can comfortably say that even without knowing that particular tidbit, I think anybody could flip to just about any page in this book, read a paragraph, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that White was a sadist. One particularly gruesome scene involved the Orkney boys luring a unicorn to them, stabbing it to death, disemboweling it, realizing it was too heavy to carry home, so they decapitated it, realized it was still too heavy, and then kicked the head down the mountain back home. (Was this book originally geared to kids?)

Anyway, that being said, the book itself is split into four parts, following the Arthurian legend. Spoilers Ahead, although I imagine most people are fairly familiar with Arthur's story already.

Book 1: The Sword In The Stone - In which we meet Arthur as a young boy, when he's affectionately known as "Wart." Arthur is being brought up in a foster home and is tutored by the magician, Merlyn, who sends him on many fantastical adventures, usually involving him being turned into an animal. At the end of the book, Arthur needs to find a sword for his foster brother, and ends up pulling out the sword in the stone, which proves his royalty as the future king of England.

Book 2: The Queen Of Air And Darkness - Now king, Arthur has to contend with warring factions who are unhappy with his ascension to the throne. One of these factions, the Orkneys, is led by the evil Morgause, who tricks Arthur into sleeping with her. She bears his son, Mordred, out of wedlock.

Book 3: The Ill-Made Knight - Lancelot is on the scene, and quickly rises to become Arthur's best knight. He also falls in love with Arthur's wife, Guenever. This book goes over Lancelot's many adventures, and was probably my favorite of the four.

Book 4: The Candle In The Wind - Now old, Arthur is on the decline, and his Round Table and the ideals his knights stood for are starting to disintegrate. Mordred is also out for revenge.

I will say, a big bright spot in this book was Merlyn. I read that J.K. Rowling borrowed heavily from this version for Dumbledore, and it shows. Merlyn wears a robe and a hat, has a bird friend in his office, and often says absurd things that are deceptively deep. He's laugh-out-loud funny too. The pity is he's only in the first two books...

So, that's my (very long) review of The Once And Future King. I had a lot to get off my chest about this one it seems.

122LibraryLover23
Out 13, 2020, 7:35am

59. Macbeth by William Shakespeare (97 p.)
My favorite Shakespeare play. It seems appropriately Halloween-ish with witches and ghosts and evil deeds.

123libraryperilous
Out 13, 2020, 10:37pm

>122 LibraryLover23: Mine too, along with The Tempest. When I read it last year, I was struck at how sympathetic I found Lady Macbeth, contra my high school teacher's rants about her and my own previous reactions to her. Have you seen Throne of Blood? It's an incredibly gorgeous and fascinating retelling of Macbeth set in feudal Japan.

I haven't read the White because I don't really like Arthuriana (except The Idylls of the Queen). I recall reading a review that mentioned how split the book feels, I guess because it gets progressively grimmer. I shan't read it, as unicorn torture is a bridge too far.

124LibraryLover23
Out 16, 2020, 4:06pm

>123 libraryperilous: Ha! You're right, unicorn torture is a bridge too far.

This read-through of Macbeth I was surprised there wasn't more Lady Macbeth. She must have loomed larger in my imagination. She's the most fascinating character, I think! And no, I haven't seen Throne Of Blood. Thanks for the recommendation!

125LibraryLover23
Nov 3, 2020, 2:11pm

October Books Read
55. The Daughter Of Time by Josephine Tey
56. The Witch's Book Of Self-Care: Magical Ways To Pamper, Soothe, And Care For Your Body And Spirit by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
57. The Devil's Advocate by Andrew Neiderman
58. The Once And Future King by T.H. White
59. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

October Books Acquired
Zip, zero, zilch

126LibraryLover23
Nov 3, 2020, 2:54pm

60. Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane (324 p.)
Fast-paced action featuring Boston PIs Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. In a previous book (Gone, Baby, Gone), Patrick and Angie went searching for a missing child, and the same cast of characters is featured in this installment. Held my attention and helped break up the reading slump that I currently find myself in, so for that I'm grateful.

127LibraryLover23
Nov 3, 2020, 2:56pm

61. Your Money Or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship With Money And Achieving Financial Independence by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin (350 p.)
A reread. Joe and Vicki are preaching to the choir here, but I am always, always down for personal finance advice.

128LibraryLover23
Nov 11, 2020, 3:50pm

62. The Maltese Manuscript by Joanne Dobson (275 p.)
I adore this literary mystery series set at a prestigious New England college. In this installment, Professor Karen Pelletier contends with thefts from the college library (including a missing manuscript of The Maltese Falcon), a troubled student, and an eventual murder. This is the rare series that I'd like to own each entry because they're not easily available from my library, I can never find them during my in-person used book searches, and I'd like to go back and reread them all someday.

129libraryperilous
Nov 12, 2020, 11:33am

>128 LibraryLover23: I keep forgetting about this series. I need to try it!

130LibraryLover23
Nov 23, 2020, 10:16am

>129 libraryperilous: They're worth seeking out, but not super easy to find. At least, in my experience!

131LibraryLover23
Editado: Nov 25, 2020, 8:24am

63. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer (207 p.)
From the front cover, so no spoilers:

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter...

Krakauer follows McCandless' journey after he left college and traveled around the country before making his final pilgrimage to Alaska. This is a reread for me of this powerful, sad book. I was struck this time by how profoundly McCandless changed the lives of the people he came in contact with, including the author's, and to a lesser extent, mine for reading about him.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention, the reason I reread this one was because of the recent news that they moved the bus where McCandless died as too many people were making pilgrimages to it and getting stuck or dying. Again, it's amazing to me how profoundly he affected people.

132LibraryLover23
Editado: Nov 30, 2020, 10:44am

64. Ghost Story by Peter Straub (567 p.)
A story about the supernatural goings-on in a small New York town. I found it to drag a bit at times, but there were two parts that were genuinely shiver-inducing. One of which involved two teenage boys investigating what they think is an abandoned house, and the other had to do with a bad snowstorm and the townspeople being forced to use the jail as a temporary morgue. When the sheriff is all alone in the jail, he swears that some of the bodies have moved from where he originally put them... Creepy, good Halloween reading that I unfortunately didn't finish until Thanksgiving!

133LibraryLover23
Dez 1, 2020, 10:08am

November Books Read
60. Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane
61. Your Money Or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship With Money And Achieving Financial Independence by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin
62. The Maltese Manuscript by Joanne Dobson
63. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
64. Ghost Story by Peter Straub

November Books Acquired
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret To A Long And Happy Life by Héctor García (freebies)

134PaulCranswick
Dez 25, 2020, 11:21am



I hope you get some of those at least as we all look forward to a better 2021.

135LibraryLover23
Dez 26, 2020, 3:44pm

>134 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul! I hope you had a nice holiday.

136LibraryLover23
Dez 26, 2020, 3:47pm

65. More Book Lust: 1,000 New Reading Recommendations For Every Mood, Moment, And Reason by Nancy Pearl (286 p.)
I'm always in awe of how many books this woman reads. I noticed this series is starting to get a bit dated, though. It would be nice if she did a continuation sometime.

66. Christmas With Anne And Other Holiday Stories by L.M. Montgomery (214 p.)
Some of these are a little schmaltzy, but the "Matthew Insists on Puffed Sleeves" chapter alone is worth the price of admission.

67. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Kindle)
Couldn't put this one down. Upsetting subject matter, but well worth it.

68. The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (441 p.)
I remember buying this from the "Books to Take You Away from the Madness" table at the Strand in NYC, and that it does. It reminded me very strongly of the TV show Firefly, which is a good thing. It was a fully realized world with three-dimensional characters.

69. Finding Christmas by Karen Schaler (359 p.)
A Hallmark movie in book form. Emmie leaves a series of scavenger hunt clues for her workaholic boyfriend to find so he can join her on a Christmas vacation. When a different guy shows up instead, Emmie realizes she may be dating the wrong guy... This was cute, although very twee, and I think my eyes just about rolled out of my head when the characters engage in a movie-watching marathon, featuring movies that the author herself wrote the screenplays for. Not really my thing, but a pleasant-enough diversion.

70. The Greatest Secret by Rhonda Byrne (256 p.)
I love The Secret, which is all about the law of attraction and how you should always focus on the solution, never the problem. (So, for example, hold a peace rally instead of an anti-war rally.) This one focuses on capital-a "Awareness" and how being more aware will bring you greater happiness. I think. It was way more woo-woo than I was expecting and I'll have to probably reread it someday as most of it went over my head.

137libraryperilous
Dez 27, 2020, 9:37pm

>136 LibraryLover23: I liked Chambers' novel, which is full of kindness, but she also excels at writing a sense of wonder. Space is rad, and so is sci-fi, and I think she really gets that as an author.

featuring movies that the author herself wrote the screenplays for

?!? oh my god I would never how? Where was the editor?

138LibraryLover23
Dez 29, 2020, 9:56am

>137 libraryperilous: Ha! I know, that was a pretty bad move all around. ;)

139weird_O
Dez 31, 2020, 1:42am

Time to take out the trash!

140LibraryLover23
Dez 31, 2020, 9:32am

>139 weird_O: I fully agree with that sentiment! Happy New Year and here's to a much better 2021!

141LibraryLover23
Dez 31, 2020, 9:38am

December Books Read
65. More Book Lust: 1,000 New Reading Recommendations For Every Mood, Moment, And Reason by Nancy Pearl
66. Christmas With Anne And Other Holiday Stories by L.M. Montgomery
67. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
68. The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
69. Finding Christmas by Karen Schaler
70. The Greatest Secret by Rhonda Byrne

December Books Acquired
The Greatest Secret by Rhonda Byrne (bought to support Bethany Beach Books in Bethany Beach, Delaware, who was selling this book along with a ticket to a virtual launch party)
What's Cooking At Moody's Diner: 60 Years Of Recipes And Reminiscences by Nancy Moody Genthner
The Book: A Cover-To-Cover Exploration Of The Most Powerful Object Of Our Time by Keith Houston (gifts)

Didn't quite make it to 75, but I'm giving myself plenty of slack after this crazy year!

142PaulCranswick
Dez 31, 2020, 9:52pm



As the year turns, friendship continues

143LibraryLover23
Jan 1, 11:14am

>142 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul! Happy New Year!