DeltaQueen Tries for Balance & Focus in 2023 - Part 2

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Discussão2023 Category Challenge

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DeltaQueen Tries for Balance & Focus in 2023 - Part 2

Editado: Fev 21, 12:10 am



Hello, my name is Judy and I have been participating in the Category Challenge since 2009. I live in a suburb of Vancouver, B.C. with my husband of 44 years. Our two daughters are married and, lucky for us, living not too far away. We have two grandchildren, a boy and a girl, who are pretty much grown up but we see them often. Grandson is a real outdoors guy and loves to fish, hunt and go camping. Granddaughter is in her first year of college and is working toward a teacher’s certificate which will take her four years, I believe. She is crazy for horses and both rides and teaches every week. We live a quiet life and reading is a favorite occupation for both of us.

I have decided that this year will be a year of seeking balance and focus in my reading life. I have less categories than I usually have and plan everything on a monthly basis. I have a monthly theme and will try to read at least 2 books that will fit each theme. We have an interesting mix of Cats and Kits this year but I am planning on participating only when I have a book that fits. As always I will be reading a certain number of books from the 1,001 Books To Read Before You Die list and participating the Reading Through Time Challenges, keeping track on a monthly basis. Another way of obtaining balance is to read both high and low from my own shelves – I have 20 shelves that are packed with books so I plan to read two books from separate shelves every month. Along with that I also have over 1,300 books loaded onto my various Kindles and Audio Apps and so will try to include a couple of them monthly as well. I also have a very long library list that I need to keep chipping away at.

The focus part of my challenge this year involves series. I am trying to focus on my on-going series so instead of starting new series, I will read from the ones I am already working on. Of course, I will also be participating in the BingoDog which I hope to complete with books that I have already chosen to read. As I do love a good reading challenge, I also have developed one of 30 prompts from other various challenges and one that is a monthly challenge for one book. Of course I will be continuing to participate in the monthly TIOLI Challenges.

Editado: Fev 4, 3:50 pm

Challenge Format:

I intend to list my reading by the month, but I will list my planning process at the beginning of each month. There may be some over-lapping but even if a book fits in a variety of places, it will only count once in my monthly book count.

1. Monthly Planning

I will chose a theme for the month and read one or two books that will fit


January: Winter Weather
February: Matters of the Heart
March: Short Stories
April: Historical Fiction
May: Hispanic Heritage
June: An English Summer Garden
July: Celebrating Canadian Authors
August: Travel, Adventure, Survival
September: Back to School
October: Things that Go Bump in the Night
November: War
December: Christmas Stories/Mysteries

Cats & Kits

I will list which Cat/Kit I am participating in, along with the book that I
will be reading

1,001 Reads

Will chose one or more books to read from the 1,001 Books to Read
Before You Die List

Reading Thru Time

Historical Fiction that will fit the monthly theme as set by the members
of the Reading Through Time Group

High & Low Shelves

Books chosen from my shelves

Kindle & Audio

Also chosen from my stock


One of two series books per month

Library Books

At least one or two from the list each month


Just in case I read a book that doesn’t fit elsewhere

2. Actual Books Read

Editado: Fev 4, 3:51 pm


Books Read

Pages Read

Editado: Abr 1, 9:44 pm

2023 Reading Challenge

1. Connection to Ireland:
2. Set during a war: The Heroic Garrison
3. Read a non-fiction book: No Beast So Fierce
4. Published the year you joined Library Thing (2008): A Daughter's Secret
5. A body part is in the title:
6. A post-apocalyptic story:
7. A book related word is in the title:
8. The book features a road trip: A Thousand Miles
9. The word “Lost” in in the title:
10. A new-to-you author: One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow
11. The word “All” is in the title:
12. An item is named in the title: A Catalog of Birds
13. A short book of 250 pages or less: Enter a Murderer
14. Location is in title: Jellicoe Road
15. Science Fiction or Fantasy Written by a Woman: Scout's Progress
16. A Direction word is in the title: Star of the North
17. The title contains 5 – 7 words: The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson
18. A pronoun is in the title:
19. A Sword, dagger or shield in pictured on the cover: Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie
20. “Love” is in the title:
21. Read a Graphic Novel: The Customer is Always Wrong
22. Finish a long-reading series: Circle of Flight
23. Title contains a month:
24. Story is set in space:
25. One of the 5 W’s – who, what, where, when and why – is in the
title: Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
26. The word “Secret” is in the title: The Secrets We Left Behind by Soraya M. Lane
27. Title contains a quiet word – quiet, whisper, silence, hush, etc –
28. “ING” is found in title words:
29. A memory word in title – memory, remember, recall, past, when:
30. Set in a Mediterranean country: The Scent of the Night by Andrea Camilleri

Editado: Mar 9, 4:32 pm

2023 Interconnected Monthly Reading Challenge

1. January: A Book That Starts with “A” or “The”: The Heroic Garrison by V. A. Stuart

2. February: The cover or spine of the book compliments the January book cover: Splendid by Julia Quinn - Navy Blue Spine compliments The Heroic Garrison by V. A. Stuart - Dark Red Spine

3. March: The Title Starts with the next letter in the alphabet from your February book: "T" - The Taking of Jemima Boone by Matthew Pearl

4. April: A different genre from your March book

5. May: The book is longer than the book in April

6. June: The title has half as many letters as your May book

7. July: Set in a different country or part of the world from your June book

8. August: The same genre as the July book

9. September: Turn to page 50 of the August book and your September book must have one of the words on this page in it’s title.

10. October: The book’s title starts with the first letter of the author’s name from your September book

11. November: Set in a different time period from your October book

12. December: Book has to be within 20 pages of the book you read in November.

Editado: Abr 1, 9:45 pm

2023 Bingo Dog

1. Art or craft related
2. Popular author's first book: Splendid by Julia Quinn
3. A topic you don't usually read about
4. A book that taught you something: Life on the Mississippi by Rinker Buck
5. A best seller from 20 years ago: Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh
6. STEM topic: The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich
7. Author under 30: Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
8. Number/quantity in title: One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker
9. Author shares your zodiac sign
10. Features an inn or hotel
11. Next in one of your series: The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave
12. Features music or a musician: Star of the North by Anna Jacobs
13. Read a Cat: Deadly Friends by Stuart Pawson
14. Small town or rural setting
15. Features a journalist or journalism
16. Set on a plane, a train or a ship
17. A memoir: The Customer is Always Wrong by Mimi Pond
18. Features a member of the cat family: No Beast So Fierce by Dane Huckelbridge
19. 1,000 + copies on Library Thing: Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard
20. Involves an accident
21. A book is on the cover
22. 4+ rating on Library Thing: Scout's Progress by Sharon Lee
23. Switched or stolen identity
24. Local and/or regional author
25. Plant in Title or on Cover

Editado: Fev 28, 3:43 pm



1. A Catalog of Birds by Laura Harrington - 4.2 ★
2. The Heroic Garrison by V. A. Stuart - 3.8 ★
3. After the Snow by S. D. Crockett - 2.5 ★
4. Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard - 4.3 ★
5. When the Music's Over by Peter Robinson - 4.5 ★
6. The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell - 4.1 ★
7. Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby - 4.5 ★
8. A Daughter's Secret by Anne Bennett - 3.7 ★
9. The Taster by V. S. Alexander - 3.7 ★
10. Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim - 4.0 ★
11. Chess Story by Stefan Zweig - 4.0 ★
12. The Silent Land by Graham Joyce - 4.5 ★
13. Deadly Friends by Stuart Pawson - 4.0 ★
14. The Princess Bride by William Goldman - 4.5 ★
15. The Midwife of Venice by Rpberta Rich - 3.8 ★
16. Bats in the Belfry by E. C. R. Lorac - 3.6 ★
17. The Scent of the Night by Andrea Camilleri - 4.0 ★


18. The Hunger by Alma Katsu - 4.0 ★
19. Splendid by Julia Quinn - 3.8 ★
20. Vathek by William Beckford - 3.4 ★
21. The Girl from World's End by Leah Fleming - 3.6 ★
22. Black Seconds by Karin Fossum - 4.0 ★
23. The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson by Nancy Peacock - 5.0 ★
24. Scout's Progress by Sharon Lee - 4.3 ★
25. The Awakening by Kate Chopin - 3.3 ★
26. A Thousand Miles by Bridget Morrissey - 2.0 ★
27. The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones - 2.5 ★
28. The Bells At Old Bailey by Dorothy Bowers - 3.5 ★
29. No Beast So Fierce by Dane Hucklebridge - 3.8 ★
30. Eden by Tony Monchinski - 3.8 ★
31. Sydney Bridge, Upside Down by David Ballantyne - 4.0 ★
32. Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh - 3.8 ★
33. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - 4.3 ★
34. A Darker Domain by Val McDermid - 4.1 ★

Editado: Abr 3, 8:02 pm

2023 Books Read (con't)


35. Circle of Flight by John Marsden - 3.8 ★
36. The Customer is Always Wrong by Mimi Pond - 4.2 ★
37. Life on the Mississippi by Rinker Buck - 4.0 ★
38. Mothers Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell - 4.2 ★
39. Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff - 3.4 ★
40. The Taking of Jemima Boone by Matthew Pearl - 3.8 ★
41. The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave - 4.2 ★
42. Godiva by Nicole Galland - 4.3 ★
43. Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie - 4.2 ★
44. Star of the North by Anna Jacobs - 3.6 ★
45. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster - 2.7 ★
46. Enter A Murderer by Ngaio Marsh - 3.7 ★
47. Round Mountain by Castle Freeman Jr. - 4.5 ★
48. Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie - 3.8 ★
49. The Secrets We Left Behind by Soraya M. Lane - 4.0 ★
50. American By Day by Derek B. Miller - 4.2 ★
51. Hard Ride by Elmer Kelton - 4.0 ★


52. One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker - 4.0 ★
53. Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce - 4.2 ★

Editado: Mar 28, 10:00 pm


Monthly Theme Books – Winter Weather
✔ After the Snow by S. D. Crockett
✔ The Silent Land by Graham Joyce

January Cats/Kits
✔ AlphaKit: I & S - Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim & The Heroic Garrison by V. A. Stuart
✔ Classic Cat - Adventure Classics: The Princess Bride by William Goldman
✔ Mystery Kit – TV/Movie Detective: When the Music's Over by Peter Robinson
✔ Random Kit - Hidden Gems: A Daughter's Secret by Anne Bennett, Deadly Friends by Stuart Pawson, Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes (Discarded), The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich
✔ SFFF Kit - Cobwebs & Dust: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

1,001 Books
✖ Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift - set aside for later
✔ Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard
✔ Chess Story by Stefan Zweig

Reading Through Time – Our Fine Feathered Friends
✔ A Catalog of Birds by Laura Harrington

High & Low Shelves
✔ A Daughter's Secret by Anne Bennett
✔ Scent of the Night by Andrea Camilleri
✔ Deadly Friends by Stuart Pawson
✖ Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes - DNF, discarded
✔ The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich - to replace the above

Kindle & Audio
✔ Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim
✔ The Heroic Garrison by V. A. Stuart
✔ The Princess Bride by William Goldman

✔ When the Music's Over (23) by Peter Robinson
✔ The Heroic Garrison (5) by V. A. Stuart
✔ Scent of the Night (6) by Andrea Camilleri

✔ The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
✔ Blacktop Wasteland by S. A. Cosby

Additional Reading

✔ Bats in the Belfry by E.C. R. Lorac


Monthly Theme – Matters of the Heart

✔ Splendid by Julia Quinn – Interconnected Reading Challenge, Bingo
✔ A Thousand Miles by Bridget Morrissey
✔ Slightly Scandalous (3) by Mary Balogh

February Cats & Kits

AlphaKit: J & F – The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones, The Girl From World’s End by Leah Fleming
ClassicCat: Published Before 1900 – The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Vathek by William Beckford
GeoCat: A Place I Want to Visit (New Zealand) – Sydney Bridge Upside Down by David Ballantyne
KiddyCat: YA Mystery – Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
MysteryKit: Classic Setting – The Bells of Old Bailey by Dorothy Bowers
RandomKit: Seconds – A Darker Domain by Val McDermid (2nd in series), The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones (2nd book by author), Scout’s Progress by Sharon Lee (published in 2002)
ScaredyKit: Historical Horror – The Hunger by Alma Katsu
SeriesCat: In Translation - Black Seconds by Karin Fossum
SFFFKit: Romantic SciFi/Fantasy – Scout’s Progress by Sharon Lee

1,001 Books

✔ The Awakening by Kate Chopin
✔ Vathek by William Beckford

Reading Thru Time – Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My

✔ No Beast So Fierce by Dane Huckelbridge – Bingo, 2023 Reading Challenge

High & Low Shelves

✔ The Girl From World’s End by Leah Fleming
✔ Scout’s Progress by Sharon Lee – Bingo, 2023 Reading Challenge
✔ Eden by Tony Monchinski
✔ The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson by Nancy Peacock, 2023 Reading Challenge

Kindle & Audio

✔ The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones
✔ The Bells of Old Bailey by Dorothy Bowers
✔ Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, 2023 Reading Challenge
✔ Sydney Bridge, Upside Down by David Ballantyne


✔ A Darker Domain (2) by Val McDermid
✔ Black Seconds (6) by Karin Fossum


✔ The Hunger by Alma Katsu

Editado: Abr 3, 8:03 pm

March Reading Plans

March Monthly Theme: Short Stories

✖ Pistols for Two by Georgette Heyer – Paperwhite
✔ Round Mountain by Castle Freeman – Paperwhite
✔ Mothers Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell – Paperwhite
✔ Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie – Paperwhite
✔ Hard Ride by Elmer Kelton - Paperwhite

March Cats/Kits

AlphaKit: G & A – Godiva by Nicole Galland & Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie
Classic Cat: Adapted Classics – Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
GeoCat: Australia & New Zealand – Circle of Flight by John Marsden, The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave, Enter A Murderer by Ngaio Marsh
KiddyCat: SKIP
MysteryKit: SKIP
RandomKit: Water, Water Everywhere – Life on the Mississippi by Rinker Buck
ScaredyKit: SKIP
SeriesCat: YA/Children’s Series – Circle of Flight by John Marsden
SFFFKit: The Dark Side – Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie

1,001 Books List

✔ Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster – Paperwhite, 2023 Reading Challenge

March Reading Through Time – Notorious Women

✔ Godiva by Nicole Galland – Paperwhite

High & Low Shelves

✔ Star of the North by Anna Jacob, Bingo, 2023 Reading Challenge
✔ Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh, 2023 Reading Challenge
✔ Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie

Kindle & Audio

✔ The Taking of Jemima Boone by Matthew Pearl – Paperwhite – Interconnected Reading Challenges
✔ Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie – Paperwhite, 2023 Reading Challenge
✔ The Secrets We Left Behind by Soraya M. Lane – Unlimited, 2023 Reading Challenge


✔ Circle of Flight by John Marsden – Paperwhite
✔ American by Day by Derek B. Miller - Paperwhite
✔ The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave (6) – Paperwhite, Bingo


✔ The Customer is Always Wrong by Mimi Pond – Graphic Novel, Bingo, 2023 Reading Challenge
✔ Raft of Stars by Andrew Graff – Library
✔ Life of the Mississippi by Rinker Buck - RandomKit

April Reading Plans

Monthly Themed Books – Historical Fiction

: The Night Birds by Thomas Maltman
✔ One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker – Bingo
: False Colors by Georgette Heyer

April Cats/Kits

AlphaKit: W: Last Seen Wearing by Hilary Waugh, D: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Bingo)
ClassicCat: Classic Mystery – Death At the Opera by Gladys Mitchell, Last Seen Wearing by Hilary Waugh
GeoCat: SKIP
KiddyCat: YA Fantasy – A Traitor to the Throne (2) by Alwyn Hamilton
MysteryKit: Tartan Noir – Now We Are Dead (10.5) by Stuart MacBride
RandomKit: The Seven Ages – False Colors by Georgette Heyer (Emotional Lover), The Low Bird by David L. Robbins (Devoted Soldier), Now We Are Dead by S. MacBride (Corpse)
ScaredyKit: Food Related Horror – Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart
SeriesCat: A Series You Don’t Need to Read in Order – Death at the Opera
SFFFKit: Historical Fantasy – Traitor to the Throne (2) by Alwyn Hamilton

1,001 Books List

: Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley

Reading Through Time – April Fools

: False Colors by Georgette Heyer

High & Low Shelves

: In a Dark House (10) by Deborah Crombie
: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – Bingo, 2023 Reading Challenge
: Death At the Opera by Gladys Mitchell – Interconnected Reading Challenge - Genre
: Last Seen Wearing by Hilary Waugh – 2023 Reading Challenge

Kindle & Audio Books

: The Low Bird by David L. Robbins
: Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart
: The Maid by Nia Prose – Bingo
: The Sands of Kalahari by William Mullvihill – Bingo


: Now We Are Dead (10.5) by Stuart MacBride
: Traitor to the Throne(2) by Alwyn Hamilton


✔ Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce
: The Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan - Bingo

Editado: Mar 17, 1:12 pm

2023 Hosting Duties

✔ January: RandomKit
✔ March: Reading Thru Time – Notorious Women
✔ April: ClassicCat – Classic Mystery/Detective Novels
May: ScaredyKit – Surviving the Horror
June: MysteryKit – Vintage Mysteries
July: SFFFKit: Series
August: Series Cat: I’ve Been Meaning to Get Back to This Series
October: GeoCat – Canada and the United States
November: KiddyCat – Fairy Tales, Myths & Legends

Editado: Fev 4, 4:04 pm

Fev 4, 4:07 pm

Am I first? Wow!

Fev 4, 4:10 pm

Hi Victoria, yes, you are first! I don't have much in the way of a prize - I guess you could either have one of those macaroons from above -- or a dog biscuit!

Fev 4, 4:12 pm

>14 DeltaQueen50: Ha! I actually do really enjoy macaroons 😊

Fev 4, 4:17 pm

Fev 4, 4:37 pm

Happy new thread!

Fev 4, 4:40 pm

So many interesting reads in your last thread, Judy! You are reading up a storm.

Fev 4, 5:24 pm

Happy new one, Judy! Love the topper images.

Fev 4, 6:31 pm

Happy new thread, Judy!

Fev 4, 8:16 pm

A new thread for a new month!

Fev 5, 6:58 am

Happy new thread, Judy. The topper images are wonderful!

Fev 5, 7:09 am

Love strolling through your new thread and seeing how well your reading is going so far.

Fev 5, 7:28 am

Happy Sunday, Judy. Happy New Thread! You sure have an ambitious reading plan ahead of you. How well do you do each month, reaching your goals?

Fev 5, 10:59 am

Happy new thread! And just look at that Boxer baby in your topper!

Fev 5, 11:02 am

Happy new thread, Judy. I love the topper photos. You are off to a good start in your 2023 reading.

Fev 5, 5:03 pm

I hope everyone is having a lovely, relaxing Sunday. We went to brunch at the local golf course this morning and I am stuffed! The rest of the day is going to be spent lazing around, most likely with a book in my hand.

>17 Jackie_K: Thanks Jackie

>18 ronincats: Hi Roni. I was thinking about you today when I picked up my next read, Scout's Progress by Sharon Lee. I can't thank you enough for introducing me to this series!

>19 Crazymamie: I thought if I could have the balance and focus of these 2 pups than I would have no trouble with my reading goals this year! So far I have been able to keep my focus on my older books and have cleared quite a space on my shelves.

>20 katiekrug: Hi Katie. Thanks. :)

>21 hailelib: Well, actually the last thread lasted me for 3 months as I originally set it up in November. I get so excited about the new year and the new challenges that I can't wait to get going!

>22 MissWatson: Thanks Birgit, I just love how patient the dogs are as they wait for their treats.

>23 dudes22: Thanks, Betty. So far my reading year is going well, and I can see the spaces in my bookshelves. One day very soon I will need to rearrange my shelves and I might actually get to put all my books on display!

>24 msf59: Hi Mark. My January plan went well. I DNF one book, and I didn't get to one book, but I did read all the rest that I planned on. For some reason, even though it is a short month, I often read a lot of books in February. Hopefully, this year that will hold true and I have certainly got off to a good start.

>25 mstrust: I know, isn't that Boxer sweet. His face is so expressive, I bet you have a hard time resisting Coral when she looks at you like that!

>26 BLBera: Hi Beth, I have been doing well with the reading but less so with the visiting of threads! Hard to find the right balance hopefully I will get caught up this month.

Fev 5, 5:14 pm

21. The Girl From World's End by Leah Fleming - 3.6 ★
High & Low Shelves
February AlphaKit: F
February TIOLI #6: The Number "6" and "0" appear in the ISBN

The Girl From World’s End by Leah Fleming is a story of family, hardships, tragedy and romance. Set mostly on a farm in the Yorkshire Dales, we see the strength of character needed to build a life in this scenic yet harsh environment. Although quite predictable, I enjoyed the story of a young girl whose life seems to be defined by the tragedies she suffers. It covers the time period of the 1920s through to post WWII.

Mirren lost her father at a young age and is taken from the city to be raised by her estranged grandparents in the Yorkshire Dales. She comes to love the country and the farm, but never quite finds the happiness that she deserves. The war years are at the core of the book and it was interesting to read how it affected this remote farming community. The book also deals with the effects of alcoholism and the turmoil it can create.

I found The Girl From World’s End to be the simple, heartfelt story that I expected. This is another book that has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time and although not a keeper, was a pleasant read.

Fev 5, 5:37 pm

Happy new thread. Brunch at the golf course sounds like a good way to spend a drizzly February Sunday

Fev 5, 8:24 pm

Your lunch sounds like it was wonderful, Judy. I hope it was sunny while you were there. I did see some sun today but that soon changed. Looks like you are making good progress reading your older books. I read a bunch of those in January but then the library holds kept rolling in. I really need to control my trigger finger when it comes to library holds but at least those aren't books that I'm adding to my personal library.

Fev 5, 8:35 pm

Oh wow, Judy! Here I am, playing catch-up with my threads, and here you are with a whole new thread. I'll just swing back over to your earlier thread and catch up some more.

Agree with your other posters about the dogs and their focus - mine gets that same look on her face when she smells or sees a squirrel. Yes, really! Congrats on your categories and on staying focused with all the books.

Fev 6, 12:15 am

>29 Nickelini: There weren't very many golfers out on the course today, but the restaurant was lively and the food was good. We were with the elder daughter and it was nice to get caught up with her and all her news about her family.

>30 Familyhistorian: Unfortunately we didn't see any sunshine over here today, Meg. It was dull, cloudy and drizzly on and off all day. I like that I am clearing some of my older books away, but I am feeling a little guilty about my extremely long library list. I will need to start paying more attention to that soon or I will find the books are gone by the time I get around to requesting them! That perfect amount of balance is still eluding me!

>31 threadnsong: My mom's old dog used to get excited over the word squirrel as well. I don't think she ever caught a squirrel, but I guess she dreamt about it! I suspect I might get the same look on my face if we pull up near a bookstore!

Fev 6, 8:29 am

Love the thread topper images. >:-)Happy new thread.

Fev 6, 9:08 am

Happy new thread. So enjoy following your progress and LOVE the doggie representative of what you (and most of us) are trying to accomplish.

Fev 6, 9:47 am

Judy, I have to laugh! Your remark about seeing some space in your shelves hit home. For Christmas, strictly as a joke, a friend gave me bookends! She's every bit as bad about book buying as I am, and neither she nor I have a need for bookends! I'm considering those bookends a challenge and the race is on! I'll make sure she comes over as soon asI have to use them to keeps books in the bookcase upright.

Fev 6, 1:35 pm

>33 Helenliz: Thanks, Helen.

>34 beebeereads: Although the year is young, I am feeling pretty confident that I will be seeing those shelves thin out. I love both those doggie pictures!

>35 clue: Those bookends are a great challenge! Now you have a goal and need to settle in and read toward it - good luck and good reading!

Fev 6, 4:37 pm

Hi there, happy new thread and Happy Valentine's Day although a bit early. I enjoyed the doggie pix the most.

Fev 6, 9:40 pm

>37 LadyoftheLodge: Hi Cheryl and thanks!

Fev 6, 9:47 pm

22. Black Seconds by Karin Fossum - 4.0 ★
February Series Cat: In Translation
February TIOLI #7: Red or Black in Title

Black Seconds by Karin Fossum is the 6th installment in the Inspector Sejer series. Set in Norway, this outstanding police procedural deals with the tragic disappearance of a little girl. She set off on her bike to the local store and simply vanished. After days of searching, first her bike turns up and then, in a highly visual spot, her body was found.

The author’s accurate and sensitive writing and the slow step-by-step investigation felt extremely realistic. Although it is quite obvious to the reader who the perpetrator is from the early pages, we experience the frustration the police feel as they try to figure out what happened. Fossum often writes about crimes that aren’t open and shut cases and allows the reader to see all sides of the situation. Sejer’s empathetic and detailed handling of the suspects allows him to peel back the layers and get to the real truth of what happened.

I found Black Seconds to be an engaging read, the author digs a little deeper into the origins of the crime and allows us access to the thought process of not only the police and the mother of the missing child, but all other characters as well. I am looking forward to reading more of Karin Fossum books that feature Inspector Sejer as I find him, with his calm and refined manner, to be very charming.

Fev 7, 9:37 pm

Took me a few days, but popping over for ease of (continuing to) follow along!

Fev 8, 12:29 am

>40 LibraryCin: Hi Cindy, the threads are busy these days - I'm struggling with keeping up.

Fev 8, 7:50 pm

>41 DeltaQueen50: I think your threads are very popular. You have many admirers!

Fev 8, 10:05 pm

>41 DeltaQueen50: They have been very busy!

Fev 9, 2:14 pm

>43 LibraryCin: Well, thank you, mam. :)

>44 DeltaQueen50: Hopefully, things will slow down a bit soon.

Fev 9, 2:48 pm

Great comments, Judy. You remind me that I read the first couple of Fossum books and enjoyed them. I need to get back to that series.

Fev 9, 3:36 pm

>32 DeltaQueen50: I know what you mean about the library books being gone, Judy. I've had a few library books disappear while on my hold list. Somehow they're usually the ones that it will be hard to find somewhere else.

Fev 9, 7:22 pm

>45 BLBera: Although I didn't love the first book in the Karin Fossum series, the second one blew me away and it has kept it's high standard ever since. The author has a way of looking at various crimes in a unique way so that we often learn not just "who and where" but the "why" as well.

>46 Familyhistorian: I try to go through my library list about once a year and I find I often have to remove books that are no longer available at the library. I guess their books have a shelf life and have to be moved along to make room for new books. But you're right, it's often the books that I can't find anywhere else that disappear!

Fev 9, 7:41 pm

23. The Life and Time of Persimmon Wilson by Nancy Peacock - 5.0 ★
High & Low Shelves
2023 Reading Challenge: Title is 5 to 7 Words Long
February TIOLI #10: Old MacDonald's Farm

The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson by Nancy Peacock is an engrossing novel that follows the life of a former slave as he searches for the love of his life, Chloe. They have been cruelly separated by their former master and all Persey knows is that Mastah Wilson and Chloe are in Texas. The story is narrated by Persimmon from a jail cell where he awaits his hanging, charged with the murder of a white man and of raping and kidnapping his wife. But as his story unfolds we are shown that not everything is as it seems and our sympathy shifts entirely to Persimmon.

The story covers Persey’s slave years working on a sugar plantation in Louisiana, and being in love with Chloe, a light skinned fellow slave, who was taken to the big house and kept there as a plaything for the Master. They meet secretly and dream of the day that they will be free and able to be together. Meanwhile the Civil War rages on and the Yankees are getting closer. Before the Yankees arrive, the Master packs everything up and flees to Texas. He has suspicions about Persey and Chloe and so shoots Persey leaving him for dead. Persey spends years searching for Chloe, he spends time in the Union Army, works on a ranch, wanders Texas and is captured and becomes a Comanche and then, one day, he comes face to face with Mastah Wilson.

The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson is first and foremost a tragic love story, but with both it’s timing and it’s setting it is also a remarkable novel of historical fiction. It is a story of hope, perseverance, violence and love. The author realistically portrays the brutality of slave life and the desperation of slave owners by the end of the Civil War. This gripping story of a black man’s bittersweet journey is beautifully written and I highly recommend it.

Editado: Fev 9, 8:46 pm

>48 DeltaQueen50: Got it! She's a new author to me, thanks for the heads up.

Fev 10, 4:41 pm

>49 clue: I have had The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson on my bookshelf for years! Talk about a hidden gem!

Fev 10, 10:53 pm

24. Scout's Progress by Sharon Lee - 4.3 ★
High & Low Shelves
February SFFFKit: Romantic Science Fiction/Fantasy
Bingo: Rated 4.0 or better on Library Thing
2023 Reading Challenge: Science Fiction Written by a Woman
February RandomKit: Seconds
February TIOLI #15: A Person's Name is on the Page that Is the Same Number as the Amount of Books Read Last Year

Scout’s Progress is a science fiction romance, part of the Liaden Universe series by Sharon Lee. In this volume we meet Aelliana who is desperate to escape from her abusive brother. When she wins a ship in a card game, she feels that she is on her way to becoming free, but she doesn’t have her pilot’s licence. In an effort to obtain her license she meets and becomes involved with the pilots and scouts that work at the shipyard where her new ship is stored. This brings her into contact with Daav, leader of Clan Korval whom we met before in a previous book.

Society here is a mass of rules and dictated behavior and the story becomes quite Austen like as rules are followed, and rules are broken, as Aelliana and Daav meet, become friends, then comrades who fall in love. There are obstacles to overcome, Aelliana’s brother is one, but Daav is also involved in settling a contract, a marriage of convenience and even though it is obvious to everyone that Daav and Samiv are not very compatible, if broken could bring shame and disgrace to not only Clan Korval but the clan of his betrothed as well.

I loved this story! Daav was already a favorite character from the previous book, and Aelliana quickly became someone I rooted for and wanted to see succeed. The group that works together at the spaceport are supportive and give Aelliana the opportunity to learn the skills that she needs, and provide her with much needed friendship. Daav and Aelliana have become a couple that I am eager to read more about so I am already looking forward to the next book, Mouse and Dragon. Once again this author has delivered a wonderful blend of science fiction and romance that is rich in detail and peopled with fully-realized characters.

Fev 11, 4:52 am

Happy New Thread (though I am late to the party) - I love these cute dog pictures!

Fev 11, 12:58 pm

>52 MissBrangwen: Thanks Mirjam - it's never too late for good wishes!

Fev 12, 7:04 am

Happy ... er... new thread Judy!

Fev 12, 2:41 pm

>54 humouress: Thanks, Nina!

Fev 12, 8:04 pm

25. The Awakening by Kate Chopin - 3.3 ★
1,001 Books List
February ClassicCat: Published Before 1900
February TIOLI #8: A Classic That Has Been Adapted to Film and That I Have Seen

Apparently when The Awakening by Kate Chopin was first published in 1899, it shocked readers with it’s story of a wife’s marital infidelity. The author’s tale of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage who seeks outside fulfillment was considered extremely controversial.

Personally I wasn’t very engaged by this story. I really didn’t like the main character, Edna, finding her too wishy-washy, too unsure of herself and what she wants from life. It didn’t really bother me that was a rather neglectful mother and wife, but she seems to drift through life, expecting others to fill in her gaps. At first she has Robert who spends all his time with her while she is vacationing. She rather takes him for granted until he leaves for Mexico, then she decides that she loves him but when he doesn’t write or come back to her, she allows herself to fall into another relationship with a notorious womanizer. When Robert returns, she once again realizes that it’s him that she loves but when her friend begs her to think of her children, she realizes that society will never accept her leaving her husband and children for Robert.

There are a number of books written about this subject including Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina and I quite frankly had more sympathy for each of those characters. Edna Pontellier acknowledges her awakening and her urge to break free from restrictions placed on her by society, but when push comes to shove, she takes an entirely different route to freedom. For all of that, The Awakening is a classic of American Literature and a well done example of feminist writing.

Fev 12, 8:49 pm

>56 DeltaQueen50: I had a similar rection to yours, and thought that the heroine was a wealthy, self-absorbed whiner who needed to wake up to herself.

Fev 12, 10:49 pm

>57 pamelad: I am glad that I am not the only one who found Edna to be a waste of space. I know the times were difficult for women who didn't conform to the exact specifications set by society, but I kept wishing Edna had a little more backbone.

Fev 13, 6:22 am

>56 DeltaQueen50: >57 pamelad: I'm happy to find I'm in good company, because I didn't like Edna either.

Fev 13, 8:20 am

I was also very much not a fan of The Awakening...

Fev 13, 2:44 pm

>59 MissWatson: & >60 katiekrug: Ha! And since we are all women of fine taste, we must be right in our feelings about The Awakening!

Fev 13, 2:45 pm

After a spell of good books, I know seem to be going through some not-so-good books, hopefully this won't last long!

Fev 13, 2:57 pm

26. A Thousand Miles by Bridget Morrissey - 2.0 ★
Monthly Theme: Matters of the Heart
2023 Reading Challenge: Book Features a Road Trip
February TIOLI #6: The numbers "6" and "0" are to be found in the ISBN

I had a difficult time getting into A Thousand Miles by Bridget Morrissey as I didn’t connect in any way to the characters. I expected to like this book more as it entailed a road trip taken by a couple who had been high school sweethearts more than 10 years ago. Both the reason they broke up long ago and the reason that they are now on this trip was vague. The problems that they encountered and dealt with felt like roadblocks put there just so we could see them working things out together.

I most probably would have discarded this book but I was reading it for a challenge so I forced myself to finish it. I admit that I wasn’t invested in the characters, and as much as the author told me they did – I didn’t think they had any chemistry. Second chance romance stories have to have to be believable, and have a valid point of conflict and A Thousand Miles failed on both counts.

The most fun I had with this book was when I got to push the discard button on my Kindle.

Fev 13, 3:38 pm

>63 DeltaQueen50: "The most fun I had with this book was when I got to push the discard button on my Kindle. "

That made me laugh! I know how it feels.

Fev 13, 4:09 pm

>64 VivienneR: There is something very satisfying in sending a bad book out into the ether!

Fev 13, 6:36 pm

>63 DeltaQueen50: The promise of being able to write an honest review has carried me through many a very bad book! Thanks for taking one for the team.

Fev 14, 1:29 pm

>66 RidgewayGirl: You are most welcome!

Fev 14, 3:18 pm

>63 DeltaQueen50: LOL! I just discarded a few from my Kindle ("Why did I buy THIS?") and sent back a couple early returns to the library. Bye-bye!

Fev 14, 9:09 pm

>51 DeltaQueen50: I loved Scout's Progress too! I really need to get back to the Liaden Universe. I've read about half of the series so far.

Fev 15, 2:42 pm

Interesting comments about The Awakening, Judy. I read it in 2011 and had to check my notes because I didn't remember a lot. I gave it 4 stars because I appreciated the snap shot of women's lives and what was expected of them in that time period. What I do remember very well though is when I searched the book online and the gross misogyny that The Awakening brought out. Lots of comments about how the reader was offended that a mother had ideas other than devoting themselves 1000% to motherhood and women actually having their own thoughts. Lots of comments about how wickedly selfish Edna was, and also comments about how the book promoted women having affairs. This was 2011, not 1911.

Fev 15, 4:24 pm

>68 LadyoftheLodge: Now I just need to work on getting myself to discard books before I invest too much time in them!

>69 mathgirl40: I am looking forward to the next book as it continues the story of Aelliana and Daav. They are my second favorite couple of the series, my first would be Val Con and Miri who are featured in a number of book, all of which I have already read.

>70 Nickelini: It's amazing to me that people today still have such strong opinions about how a woman should handle motherhood and demand that it should be the main priority of their life. I had no problem with Edna's attitude toward her children what put me off Edna was her lack of commitment to anything. She just sort of drifted through life but wasn't willing to make any hard decisions. I do realize that women were very limited in what they could do without arousing the distain and ire of society but she just rubbed me the wrong way. It's funny how much has changed since then - - and how much hasn't changed!

Fev 15, 4:35 pm

27. The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones - 2.5 ★
Kindle & Audio Books
February AlphaKit: J
February RandomKit: Seconds
February TIOLI #6: The numbers "6" and "0" are in the ISBN

I was looking forward to reading The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones, a dystopian/post-apocalyptic story that sounded intriguing. Set in the future, America is now divided into zones, some with acceptable living conditions and others most definitely not. Due to an infestation of ticks who are particularly invasive and dangerous, large areas have been emptied of people and left to return to nature. Now the only way to go into these areas is as a tourist, part of a guided group and in this book we follow one such group as they cross the salt line to experience nature. They go through extensive training, are supplied with special equipment and clothing, and must always travel in pairs.

The book started out as expected, introducing the ensemble cast and setting up their trip which was set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina but once they got underway the story suddenly changed and instead of the high-octane survivalist story that I was expecting turned into a run-of-the-mill thriller with the group being taken prisoners. Instead of adventure and deadly ticks, the narrative became a social commentary on various subjects such as technology, human rights and quality of life concerns. I was left feeling confused and uncertain as to what the book was trying to accomplish.

I have seen mixed comments about this book, some handled the change in story direction well and others did not. I did not. On top of not being the story I expected, I found it quite slow and at times it got quite bogged down in politics. There weren’t any characters that I particularly cared about so all in all, a disappointing read for me.

Fev 16, 6:59 pm

Hi Judy, it looks like you’ve been doing some great reading. The month has gotten away from me, but I am making plans to catch up!

Fev 16, 11:05 pm

>73 lsh63: Hi Lisa, it's been a mixed bag so far. I've had some excellent reads and some not so good ones. But I am pleased that I have done a fair amount of reading of some of my older books.

Fev 17, 3:05 pm

28. The Bells At Old Bailey by Dorothy Bowers - 3.5 ★
Kindle & Audio Books
February MysteryKit: Classic Setting
February TIOLI #2: Rolling Challenge - Be My Valentine

The Bells At Old Bailey by Dorothy Bowers was originally published in 1947, but the author’s style of writing made me think more of 19th century Victorian authors. When five words would do, this author put in 25, resulting in an overly descriptive, slow read. However the plot was interesting as were the characters and I couldn’t wait for the final pages to find out how everything fit together.

The small village of Long Greeting had had it’s share of tragedy that spring, but when the sixth death was obviously a murder, everyone started looking back at the five suicides that preceded it. Scotland Yard had already sent Inspector Raikes to the sleepy village to inquire into the five suicides, so he was in place when Miss Bertha Tidy was brutally murdered. This murder was quickly followed by another, as someone was desperately trying to cover their tracks.

I found The Bells At Old Bailey to be a fairly enjoyable vintage mystery. The author delves into the intricate factors of village life and gives the reader a backstory on just about every character. While I would have preferred a faster moving plot, overall this was an interesting reading experience and I would certainly try another of this author’s books in the future.

Fev 17, 4:14 pm

>75 DeltaQueen50: I had trouble keeping track of all the characters in this one and thought the plot didn't hold together very well. But I like that Dorothy Bowers' characters are working women, which is unusual in vintage British mysteries.

Fev 17, 6:43 pm

>76 pamelad: There were a lot of characters, and the author did like to delve into their background. I, too, was happy that there were quite a few working women amongst the characters but even so, I think it would have been a better book with less characters and if she had been less wordy. Have you read any others by this author? I have Fear For Miss Betony and Postscript to Poison on my Kindle.

Fev 17, 11:05 pm

>77 DeltaQueen50: I thought both were better than The Bells at Old Bailey. Postscript to Poison is my favourite Bowers with Fear for Miss Betony second. I've read the entire Bowers ouevre, which is not hard because there are only five books.

Fev 17, 11:19 pm

>63 DeltaQueen50: Oof! Well, I'll remember to avoid that one - thanks!

Fev 18, 10:41 pm

>78 pamelad: Well, that's good news. If they are both better than the one I just read, then I should be fine with them.

>79 humouress: You're welcome! :)

Fev 18, 11:33 pm

Looks like you're making progress going through your own books, Judy. I'm having problems getting to my own stakes lately due to library holds coming in droves. I guess I know who to blame for that!

Fev 20, 2:37 pm

>81 Familyhistorian: Obviously there is no right or wrong way to work through our desired reads. I am doing well with removing physical books from my shelves, but I worry that I am ignoring my library lists as I am only reading 1 or 2 books from the library per month. I haven't yet found that perfect balance and I suspect that I probably never will!!

Fev 20, 2:48 pm

29. No Beast So Fierce by Dane Huckelbridge - 3.8 ★
Reading Through Time: Lions, Tigers & Bears, Oh My!
Bingo: Features a Cat or a Member of the Cat Family
2023 Reading Challenge: A Non-fiction Book
February TIOLI #2: Rolling Challenge - Be My Valentine

No Beast So Fierce by Dane Hucklebridge is the story of a man-eating tiger and the hunt that eventually brought her down. In the early 1900s, the Champawt Tiger was responsible for over 430 deaths over a 9 year period. The books details the pursuit of this tiger as well as providing a lot of information about tigers in general, their habitats, feeding patterns, physical and behavioral attributes, their origins and the myths that have risen up around them. The author also reflects upon the course of the colonization of India and the detrimental effect this had on nature as well as the people.

There have been some well known and documented cases concerning man-eaters such as a female tiger responsible for over 100 deaths in 1997, and, in 2014 a tiger that left a National Park attacked 10 people over a 6 week period. While man-eaters aren’t common, there have been enough cases to provide some information. Of 18 man-eaters examined after death, 10 of them had physical injuries to their teeth or paws that would encourage them to go for easy prey like men. The Champawt Tiger showed damage to her jaws that appeared to have been caused by a gun.

I learned a lot about tigers from this book so I am happy to have read it but I did have a few problems with the writing as the author seemed to stretch the story out by repeating himself and the facts. And although there were a lot of facts to absorb, he also adds his own thoughts and guesswork into events where there is little to no documentation, leaving this reader unsure of what is the truth and what is supposition. But overall I found No Beast So Fierce to be a horrendous yet fascinating story.

Fev 20, 10:20 pm

>83 DeltaQueen50: This book sounds intriguing. Not quite a BB, but most definitely a hard think.

Fev 20, 11:46 pm

>84 lowelibrary: While No Beast So Fierce was an interesting read, I would recommend that if one wants to read about a man-eating tiger and the hunt for it, then the book entitled, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant is a far better book. It is written in a strong narrative fashion and tells a fascinating story.

Editado: Fev 23, 8:42 pm

30. Eden by Tony Monchinski - 3.8 ★
High & Low Shelves
February TIOLI #2: Rolling Challenge - Be My Valentine

Eden by Tony Monchinski was exactly the book I was looking for – an action packed, zombie bashing thriller that tells how the world falls apart in the space of a few days as the dead rise up, feed on the living and create more zombies. Set in New York City, the story does jump around quite a bit, following different people, but it didn’t take long before the reader sees that the story-lines are painting a vivid and surreal picture of how the dead overcome the living.

Among various characters, there are two, Harris and Buddy, who I would deemed the main characters. Harris is a school principal who is separated from his wife, he was working in Queens while she was in Manhattan. He meets up and becomes close friends with Buddy, who we know, has recently been in prison on death row. Buddy and Harris try to reach Manhattan but it is impossible, so they eventually find refuge in Eden, a small area that has been fenced to keep the dead out. Things aren’t perfect here either as it is being run by a bully and his minions, but Harris and Buddy soon deal with that issue. Buddy leaves on an exploratory mission, trying to find a better place. While Harris settles into Eden, meets Julie and forms a new relationship. But someone wants Harris out of the way, and lets zombies into the compound and into Harris' house. This puts Harris on a manhunt to find out who was trying to eliminate him.

I can see from the mixed reviews of this book that many people could not get past the timeline jumps and I admit I spent the first third of the book feeling confused. I am not sure why the author presented his story in this manner. But if you are a fan of zombie thrillers, Eden has the goods with masses of various types of zombies – slow ones, fast ones, smart ones, loud ones, along with plenty of action and a character or two to bond with. I have had Eden on my shelf for a long time, but luckily somewhere along the way, I also picked up the other two books in the trilogy.

Editado: Fev 21, 10:25 am

Great review! I've never heard of this one so it's going on the list.
Oops, touchstone is wrong.

Fev 21, 4:33 pm

I hope you’re out enjoying the sunshine, Judy.

Fev 24, 12:41 pm

>87 mstrust: I have fixed the touchstone, Jennifer, thanks for telling me about it. I hope you enjoy Eden when you get to it.

>88 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. I have been in hospital for the last few days. I am home now but still not feeling 100%. So although it's great to see the sunshine, I haven't been able to get out into it!

Fev 24, 12:48 pm

As I mentioned above, I have been in hospital. I went in on Tuesday morning with chest pain and the cause was a too rapid heartbeat. They tried electric shock to reset my heart rate but that didn't work so they have been playing around with my medication. They doubled the dose on one of my heart medications and that seemed to do the trick. They sent me home yesterday but last evening I had another attack. Back to the hospital but this time they were so overwhelmed that I was still waiting three hours later. By this time my heart had settled down so we just came home. My plan now is to try and get hold of my heart doctor and go through everything with him and see what he thinks I should do next. So far today, my heart is behaving but I do feel light-headed and slightly dizzy which could be from the increased dosage. Anyway, I need to have a complete review of all my medications and find something that works for me.

I did spend so much time sitting around in the hospital that I finished two books.

Fev 24, 12:51 pm

I'm so sorry to hear about the heart woes, Judy. I hope your doctor can recommend a regimen that will settle things down. ((Hugs))

Fev 24, 1:01 pm

31. Sydney Bridge, Upside Down by David Ballantyne - 4.0 ★
Kindle & Audio Books
February GeoCat: A Place I Have Always Wanted to Visit
February TIOLI #15: A name is on the page that is the same number as the total number of books I read in 2022

I found Sydney Bridge, Upside Down by David Ballantyne to be a very strange but layered story. The story is told by Harry, a boy on the verge of adolescence. Harry lives in New Zealand, at a remote sea side settlement with his parents and his younger brother. It it school holiday time and his mother is away visiting relatives in the city. But his attractive city cousin, Caroline, has come to stay for her holiday.

There is a darkness to this story that we sense immediately but as Harry continues with his story, we realize that the darkness originates with him. We also put the pieces together about exactly why the mother is gone and who she has left with. Harry loves fun and good times, but he also likes things to go the way he wants and he makes sure that they do. He bullies his brother and his friend, Dibs, he lies, charms and laughs his way out of trouble. Sydney Bridge, Upside Down is actually a horse owned by the local recluse who sees Harry for exactly what he is.

Sydney Bridge, Upside Down is excellently written. The author respects his readers and doesn’t spell anything out, leaving it to us to figure out what is happening and why. It was originally published in 1968 so is slightly dated but the book is an interesting mixture of thriller, coming-of-age story and family tragedy that made for a very intense and satisfying read.

Fev 24, 1:32 pm

Hope you are feeling better, Judy, and that your doctor is able to get you on the right treatment plan!

Editado: Fev 25, 1:00 pm

>91 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. I was just on the phone to the doctor's office and the best they can do is have my doctor phone me next Tuesday. Meanwhile, if I have problems over the weekend, I will have to head back to the Emergency Department at our local hospital.

>93 christina_reads: Thanks, Christina - I sure hope we can get this straightened out soon!

Fev 24, 2:15 pm

32. Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh - 3.8 ★
Monthly Theme: Matters of the Heart
Bingo: A Best Seller from 20 years ago
February TIOLI #12: The first two words of the title begin with the same letter

Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh is the third book in her historical romance series about the Bedwyn family. The first two books dealt with two of the men in the family while this book is about Freyja, their sister. Freyja has made appearances in the other books, so we already know much of her backstory and personally, I didn’t find her very likeable. Luckily, the male lead, Joshua Moore, Marquees of Hallmere is much more sympathetic.

Joshua appears to be a laughing, light hearted rake but we soon find out that he has a sensitive, compassionate side as well. He very much admires Freyja and encourages her free spirit, but he also likes to challenge her. The two end up in a fake engagement, and are, of course the last to realize that they are perfect for each other.

The “fake” engagement is a standard variant of romance stories and this one is quite well done. As the relationship develops first into a friendship and then into love, we grow to know the characters and it isn’t too long before we are rooting for them. While Slightly Scandalous isn’t my favorite of the series, I enjoy reading about this family and as there are still three more siblings to read about, I look forward to continuing on in the series.

Fev 24, 2:21 pm

>90 DeltaQueen50: Am glad you are hanging in there. I hope they find the cause or the right combination of meds. I have gone through the same thing and there is no apparent reason! One day my BP was 160/100 and the next 90/58---my head was spinning! The bad thing is I couldn't read with my head spinning--so it was all audio for me for quite awhile. Again, take care and I hope you are back to your "old" self quite soon!

Fev 24, 3:06 pm

>90 DeltaQueen50: - Hope you feel better soon, Judy. And that your doctor can sort everything out.

Fev 24, 3:45 pm

Oh no, Judy! Sorry to hear about your heart problems. I hope they figure it out soon

Fev 24, 4:24 pm

Wishing you a speedy resolution. Take care!

Fev 24, 5:44 pm

Yikes! Hoping your weekend is much more restful and that your doctor can figure out what's up soon!

Fev 24, 5:56 pm

>90 DeltaQueen50: Judy, I hope your heart settles down and you feel better.

Fev 24, 6:21 pm

> Oh my, I sure hope you get in to see your ususal Dr. soon. Until then, don't read anything that might be upsetting, LOL!

Fev 24, 11:21 pm

>90 DeltaQueen50: Oh, wow. This sounds scary. I'm glad things have settled down and I hope they can come up with the magic formula for your meds.

Fev 25, 7:15 am

Hope your doctor can sort out the issues soonest! In the meantime, take it easy (it's times like these we can be so grateful for books in all their various formats!).

Fev 25, 10:22 am

Take care, Judy. I hope you get things solved soon. Heart stuff is scary.

Fev 25, 1:19 pm

Thanks for all the kind messages and encouragement from everybody. I am doing fine, haven't had any more episodes. I do still feel somewhat lightheaded and strange. My brain seems to be working at half speed and I have to double check everything, and although I am not the world's best speller now I am really struggling to put words together correctly. I am also struggling a little with my reading as the words often don't make sense to me and I find myself reading the same pages over and over again. I may have to throw out my reading plan and just read simple easy books for now.

>96 Tess_W: Thanks, Tess. My blood pressure was part of the problem with me as well. As my heart kept beating faster, my blood pressure keep sinking. I hate the fact that I am now so dependent on medication.

>97 dudes22: Hi Betty. I am really looking forward to getting to talk to my doctor on the phone - Tuesday can't come quick enough for me. Now I am expecting phone calls from both my doctors - the heart specialist in the morning and my GP in the afternoon.

>98 Nickelini: Thanks, Joyce.

>99 beebeereads: Thank you.

>100 rabbitprincess: Thanks RP, I expect part of the problem is old age!! I am trying to rest and my husband is trying to handle most of the household chores - but sometimes it is just easier for me to do it!

>101 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay. So far things are going well.

>102 clue: Yeah, I think I need a steady diet of calm, relaxing, and easy reads. Bring on the YA books and romances!

>103 LibraryCin: Thanks, Cindy.

>104 Jackie_K: Thanks, Jackie. I haven't tried any audio books yet but I have a feeling that I would zone out so best to stick to Kindles and real books.

>105 BLBera: You are right about being scary, Beth. I wasn't sure that I was going to come out of this one. I also feel terrible when I see how upset my husband, my daughters and the grands are.

Fev 25, 2:29 pm

>90 DeltaQueen50: Oh no! I am sorry to hear of these health concerns. Thinking of you and praying for you.

Editado: Fev 25, 2:36 pm

Hi Judy, just catching up here and I’m sorry to hear about your health issues and I hope that things calm down for you soon.

Fev 25, 2:39 pm

Sorry to see that your heart is acting up, Judy. I hope it is a quick fix once you get to speak to your doctors.

Fev 25, 2:56 pm

Sending you my best wishes, Judy. So sorry you're having to wait for medical support.

Fev 25, 4:38 pm

Do hope you get to the bottom of the heart problems soonest.

>75 DeltaQueen50: tempted, mostly on the grounds of the title. I'm a church bellringer so my eye is easily caught by bells in titles.

Fev 25, 6:07 pm

>107 LadyoftheLodge: Thanks Cheryl, I am doing well today.

>108 lsh63: Thanks, Lisa. I was able to have a really good conversation with my pharmacist and she relieved many of my concerns.

>109 Familyhistorian: Things are going well right now, Meg. And I have my fingers crossed that they will stay that way as I just heard that we are expecting a large snowfall later on this evening. Definitely time to hunker down.

>110 pamelad: Thanks Pamela, I saw the long hours that the nurses were working when I was in the hospital, some were working 10+ hour shifts. They have my admiration and gratitude.

>111 Helenliz: Thanks, Helen. Unfortunately, both the title and the picture on the cover are misleading. The book has nothing to do with bell-ringing at all.

Fev 25, 6:19 pm

33. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - 4.5 ★
Kindle & Audio Books
February KiddyCat: YA Mystery
2023 Reading Challenge: A location is in the title
February TIOLI #6: The numbers "6" and "0" are in the ISBN

I don’t even know where to begin with Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I spent the first third of the book deciding whether I was going to set it aside or not but it was interesting enough that I continued to read on as I wanted to know what was going on. Eventually I couldn’t put it down as I was totally captured by the characters, the setting and the tense atmosphere. The writer gives the reader fragments of various stories and leaves it to us to fit all the pieces together.

This Australian YA story is hard to define or describe, set in and around the grounds of a private school, part of the story is about the yearly territory battles that occur between the students of the school, the cadets that come and camp nearby and the local kids or “Townies”. Revolving around the leaders of each group, Taylor for the school, Jonah for the cadets and Santiago for the Townies, we learn of past and present relationships. There is also a story from the past, involving five young people whose legacy is still being felt, and far off, at the edge of the story, there is a serial killer who has been operating in the area for some time.

Jellicoe Road engages the reader with it’s intricate structure, nuanced writing and the interwoven lives of the characters. It is complex tale that reduced me to tears by the end of book. A well blended combination of mystery and romance, this was a very powerful story.

Fev 25, 9:54 pm

Judy, just catching up on threads. So sorry to hear about your heart problems. I have a friend here who just went through the exact same experience, but they managed to get it under control and she's doing fine now. I'm sure they'll get it sorted. Take some relaxing time. Looking forward to hearing a good report on how everything is going.

Fev 26, 8:25 am

Sorry to hear your heart is acting up. The side effects must be pretty scary. I hope things work out soon.

Fev 26, 2:15 pm

>113 DeltaQueen50: This one sounds good, Judy. I look for it. I hope you are feeling better.

Fev 26, 3:25 pm

>112 DeltaQueen50: that's OK, they rarely do. Liz got me with The Belfry Murder which turned out to be equally mis-represented!

Fev 26, 3:28 pm

Happy Sunday, Judy! Stopped by to see your progress and it’s looking very good.
Have a wonderful week ahead!

Fev 28, 12:29 pm

I'm so sorry to hear about your health scare! I hope your appointment with your heart doctor gets you back to feeling well.

Fev 28, 3:24 pm

Definitely a time to hunker down, Judy. I've had a few things cancel lately due to the weather.

Fev 28, 3:39 pm

I spoke with my heart specialist this morning and he has relieved me of many of my concerns. I am scheduled for a day of wearing a heart monitor and then a follow up appointment but he seem to feel that as long as we keep on top of things and I keep track of my blood pressure and heart rate, it should go well.

>114 mysterymax: Thanks. I know now that it was an episode of atrial fibrillation which caused my heart rate to escalate. Hopefully the increased dosage of my medication will help keep the rhythm regular.

>115 MissWatson: Thanks Birgit.

>116 BLBera: After a shaky start, I ended up loving Jellicoe Road, Beth. I hope you get a chance to read it.

>117 Helenliz: I will keep my eyes peeled for anything that deals with bell ringing and let you know if I find one. :)

>118 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. I am feeling much better about everything and can now concentrate on my books!

>119 mstrust: Hi Jennifer. I feel a lot better after taking with my doctor. I have an appointment to go see him after I wear the heart monitor so we can fine tune the details.

>120 Familyhistorian: What strange weather we are having! It was very pretty, watching the snow fall yesterday, but it went on and on, and I started to feel a little concerned. But I can see that it is already melting away today.

Fev 28, 3:49 pm

34. A Darker Domain by Val McDerid - 4.1 ★
February RandomKit: Seconds
February TIOLI #6: The numbers '6' and '0' are in the ISBN

A Darker Domain is a psychological thriller by Val McDermid. This is the second book that features Detective Inspector Karen Pirie of the Fife police department. The plot flashes back and forth in time from the current time of 2007 and back to 1984 and the time of the miner’s strike.

DI Pirie is investigating two cold case crimes from 1984, one is the disappearance of a miner and the other involved the kidnapping of a powerful and wealthy man’s daughter and grandson. The miner had been thought to have started a new life in Nottingham, but no trace of him can be found. The kidnap case ended badly with the daughter being killed, but the baby grandson has never been accounted for. New clues have come to light that turn their attention to Italy. DI Pirie has her hands tied in many ways, from budgets, to a superior who doesn’t like or understand her but mostly by the grandfather of the missing child. He not only wanted total control over the case, he also wanted to be the one to decide what the police were to be told.

A Darker Domain was an excellent read. The characters are well drawn and the plot was intricate. Val McDermid is well known for her superb writing, and in this book, she uses the backstories to fill in the details, explain the motives and move the story along. The linking of the two crimes was done in a way that felt fairly realistic and the final resolution really highlighted how the rich and powerful are given privileges that ordinary people aren’t offered.

Fev 28, 3:55 pm

>121 DeltaQueen50: That's good news!

Fev 28, 3:59 pm

>121 DeltaQueen50: That's a relief. A friend of mine had his atrial fibrillation treated with an ablation. No one is sure how this works. It's good that you can control yours with medication.

Fev 28, 4:02 pm

>121 DeltaQueen50: Glad that you've got some more positive news. And knowing what it is can ease the worry of not knowing.

Fev 28, 6:42 pm

Hi, Judy. I am glad to hear the good news about your health. Pretty scary, right? I am glad we are doing a shared read of Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure. Try to track down his Oregon Trail book, if you have not read it.

Is the TIOLI aimed primarily at books on our shelves?

Fev 28, 9:04 pm

>123 LibraryCin: Thanks, Cindy. I certainly feel better now that I know more.

>124 pamelad: I think ablation is used when nothing else works quite right. For now, the medication seems to be keeping my heartbeat regular so I don't need the invasive treatment.

>125 Helenliz: Exactly, now that I know what to do, hopefully I can keep on top of it.

>126 msf59: Hi Mark, yes, last week was no fun!! I have read his Oregon Trail book and really liked it so when I saw he had another adventure book, I immediately ordered it from the library. The TIOLI challenges are to be used however each person wants - I know you are using it to help clear those pesky shelves but many simply use the challenges as a way to choose their reads or to join in with others. TIOLI stands for "Take it or leave it" and that's exactly what Madeline means. There's no right or wrong way to join in and if you plan on a book but don't get to it - no problem.

Fev 28, 10:00 pm

Hi, Judy. I read your note on my thread and immediately came over to send you hugs and heart steadying vibrations mojo! I think the Tea Princess books would be just the thing for you at this point! Also very happy how you loved Scout's Progress. (I don't like that cover, though.) Glad your doctor was reassuring.

Fev 28, 10:39 pm

I'm so glad that you are feeling a bit better. I hope your monitor will be useful to you and your cardiologist. I work with outpatient cardio tests and procedures. It is amazing what we have learned about the heart and what therapeutic measures can be taken. Please do take care of yourself.

Mar 1, 9:07 am

Glad you are feeling better, Judy. I know a couple of people who have had ablations done,but can't say I know what they are. Hopefully the monitor will give your doctor a clearer picture.

Mar 1, 2:13 pm

Well, I am off on my first solo venture out since I got home from the hospital. I am nervous about going out on my own, but at the same time, I don't want to be stuck at home all the time or have to rely on my husband to take me places. I'm off to pick up library books and a few groceries.

>128 ronincats: Hi Roni, I loved Scout's Progess and I agree with you about that cover - in fact pretty much all the covers in this series need to be updated!

>129 VictoriaPL: Thanks, Victoria. I am trying to find the balance between "looking after myself" and getting on with my life!

>130 dudes22: Thanks, Betty.

Mar 1, 2:18 pm

>127 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. That is what I figured. For now, I will use it to clear those "pesky" shelves. It seems to be working.

Mar 1, 4:30 pm

>131 DeltaQueen50: I can't think of a better way to venture forth than a trip to the library! Hope you a successful outing.

Editado: Mar 1, 5:01 pm

Hi Judy, I have been thinking about you a lot and I am glad to hear you are doing better. My hubby has a-fib and takes medications to help with that. He also had experiences similar to yours with his heart racing and an irregular heart rate. The medications seem to help and he sees his cardiologist every four to six months. He was not a good candidate for an ablation.

Mar 1, 8:55 pm

Great to hear the Dr. says your problem is controllable with meds! You probably feel back to normal since your outing took you to the library and grocery. I'm sure that's a routine many of us share.

Mar 1, 9:23 pm

>132 msf59: :)

>133 beebeereads: Probably like many of us here - the library is my happy place! My outing went well and I feel more and more like I getting back to myself.

>134 LadyoftheLodge: Wish your hubby well from me, Cheryl. It seems to be all about balance, somehow I got out of balance and they think I was in A-Fib for quite some time. I need to check my heart rate and blood pressure a couple of time a day and so far - so good.

>135 clue: It was nice to get out and do some normal things. I did get quite tired but had a nap this afternoon which was good. I am ready to jump into March!

Mar 2, 4:54 am

Hi Judy! I'm coming by to see how you are and relieved that you're feeling better.

Some intriguing books - good reviews! - but they seem suspenseful, so they make me want to see how the story ends first :0)

Mar 2, 8:44 am

Hi Judy! I'm happy to see that you are feeling better. My mom got diagnosed with A-Fib last summer and she is none too happy about having to take the medication. What I don't know is whether that instance was a result of a UTI which made her highly agitated and confused or she had it already and it went undiagnosed. At almost 93, I pick and choose my battles with her about medications and doctor visits. She claims that the medicine is making her tired and I try not to argue with her. Back at >122 DeltaQueen50:, I think I finished the Karen Pirie series, and I thought I read that there was going to be a 7th book, but for the life of me I can't remember where.

Mar 2, 2:48 pm

Glad you are feeling better, Judy! And glad your doctor has been keeping an eye on things and keeping the problem under control with medication. Take care!

Mar 2, 2:57 pm

>137 humouress: Hi Nina, yes, my go-to books are often mysteries, I enjoy the suspense! I am definitely feeling much better.

>138 lsh63: I know what you mean about your Mom, we had to tiptoe around some medical issues with my Mom as well. Ha! That's probably what my daughters think about me as well. My youngest is a nurse and she does like to tell me what to do medically. I sometimes listen. I just checked the site called Fantastic Fiction and they show a Karen Pirie book, number 7, coming out in 2023. It's called Past Lying. It doesn't give an exact date, just that it will be out this year. I better get going on this series!

Mar 2, 3:00 pm

Just popping in to say I love Fantastic Fiction! It's great for seeing an author's entire output and figuring out which books are parts of series (and in what order).

Mar 2, 3:08 pm

>141 christina_reads: And when you look up a particular book on FF, there's a list of "similar" books down the bottom of the page that can lead you to other writers. You can lose track of time as you follow the trails!

Mar 2, 3:12 pm

>139 VivienneR: Thanks, Vivienne - aging can be a difficult process, luckily we have our sense of humor and our books to help us along!

>141 christina_reads: & >142 pamelad: I have lost many an hour exploring authors and books at Fantastic Fiction!

Editado: Mar 2, 8:03 pm

Judy, it just so happens that today is the 20th anniversary re-issue of Scout's Progress with a new cover

And a forward by the authors here:


ETA This is my copy, which is the omnibus including both Local Custom and Scout's Progress:

Mar 2, 10:56 pm

>144 ronincats: That new cover is an improvement - but I think I like your omnibus cover the best.

Mar 2, 11:07 pm

35. Circle of Flight by John Marsden - 3.8 7#9733;
Kindle & Audio Books
March SeriesCat: YA/Chidren's Series
March GeoCat: Australia & New Zealand
2023 Reading Challenge: Finish a long reading series
March TIOLI #2: An author I have read before and given 4 stars or better

Circle of Flight is the third and final book in the Ellie Chronicles, which in turn continued the story that began in YA Tomorrow series. I have been reading these books for some time now, and was sad to say goodbye to the characters, especially Ellie Linton. I have followed them through the invasion of their country and now, the rebuilding.

In this final offering, Ellie goes through some major changes as first terrorists from across the makeshift border raid the farm and take Gavin prisoner. Ellie finds herself going under-cover into enemy territory in order to rescue him and bring him home. Things go badly and she finds herself trapped and helpless, but of course, her friends are not going to abandon her. Secondly, the child services have finally gotten around to checking up on orphaned Gavin and are not at all positive about his guardian being seventeen year old Ellie. This involves another fight although this time in a court room.

Circle of Flight managed to bring resolution to many of the problems that Ellie was facing and by the end of the book, she had made some major decisions about how to move her life forward. I am glad that I read the Ellie Chronicles, but didn’t love them as much as the Tomorrow series, in which Ellie and her friends become involved in fighting a war to save their country.

Mar 4, 1:46 am

36. The Customer is Always Wrong by Mimi Pond - 4.2 ★
Bingo: A Memoir
2023 Reading Challenge: A Graphic Novel

The graphic novel, The Customer is Always Wrong by Mimi Pond is loosely based on the author’s own life. Set in Oakland in the late seventies it is the story of a young artist who, to make ends meet, works as a waitress in the Imperial Cafe, a restaurant that seems to house eccentrics, drunks, junkies and creeps. The story revolves around Madge and the many fascinating characters that she works with and waits upon.

This is very much a story of a young person who is just about to find herself. After a romantic breakup, she submits some of her cartoons to various magazines in New York and to her surprise, three are picked for publication. Now she knows that it is in her destiny to move to New York and follow her dream. Of course the people around her have their own dramas and concerns and making that decision to move on isn’t easy. It doesn’t help that just as her life appears to be advancing, many of her friends are stuck in the sameness of their lives, and succumb to addiction and alcoholism.

Both the drawings and the narrative are stylish and straight to the point as this young woman ponders her future and makes the decision to advance her life and career. The book reminds us how we all remember a certain place at a certain time in our past when we needed to make major life decisions in order to grow. There are some dark moments, but the author knows how to use humor to advance this story that excellently captures the melodrama of moving on and leaving people and places behind.

Mar 4, 2:14 pm

>147 DeltaQueen50: The title itself is appealing!

Mar 4, 5:09 pm

>148 LibraryCin: Having worked in retail when I was a teenager, there were times that I certainly agreed with that title!

Mar 4, 9:40 pm

>149 DeltaQueen50: Agreed!

>122 DeltaQueen50: This sounds like a fascinating series and thank you for the good review.

And it seems like the couple of weekends I skipped catching up with your thread - wow! I'm so glad you're OK, Judy. Heart problems can be so very difficult, both from an emotional and a physical POV. And yes, medication has advanced and do please listen to your daughter the nurse from time to time! We need you around for these wonderful reviews and your great reading lists.

Mar 4, 10:04 pm

>149 DeltaQueen50: Yes! LOL! I have also worked retail.

Mar 5, 2:36 am

>144 ronincats: Well, I have the Dragon Variation, with a different cover again. It's lined up to be read soon, but (against Roni's advice) I'm trying to read the series in chronological order, which means I have to get ahold of the chapbooks which come in between the first omnibus and this, in their 'Constellations' omnibus(esses).

Mar 5, 7:14 am

>121 DeltaQueen50: What a relief! I am glad to read that you received some good news from your doctor.

>122 DeltaQueen50: I read this some time ago and loved it. My thoughts were similar to yours.

>140 DeltaQueen50: How great that there will be a 7th book in the series!

Mar 5, 8:39 am

Happy Sunday, Judy. I hope you are enjoying the weekend. You got me with The Customer is Always Wrong. I am always looking for good GN recs.

Mar 5, 1:42 pm

>150 threadnsong: Thanks, Threadnsong. I am looking at this as a warning bell and so I am looking at ways to improve and adjust my lifestyle.

>151 LibraryCin: I loved my retail job, working at a local department store, but it certainly did open my eyes to what people will demand.

>152 humouress: I love this series - between this one and the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold, I couldn't pick a favorite! I've been following Roni's reading order and the series has flowed wonderfully.

>153 MissBrangwen: I am very happy that there is going to be another Karen Pirie book, but of course, I need to step up and get those books read!

>154 msf59: Ha, I love giving you the odd BB. It's funny though, I'm not sure where I heard about The Customer Is Always Wrong, I wondered if it had been you!

Mar 5, 2:00 pm

37. Life on the Mississippi by Rinker Buck - 4.0 ★
March RandomKit: Water, Water Everywhere
Bingo: A Book That Taught You Something
March TIOLI #2: An author I have read before and given 4 or more stars to

Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure by Rinker Buck is a travelogue drenched with history as we follow along with the author as he navigates the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. His boat was a classic, an authentic wooden American flat boat, of the type that was originally used to move goods, pilot these rivers, and open the American frontier.

As well as being an avid traveler, Buck obviously has a strong interest in history and was well able to pass along and reflect upon a number of fascinating tales of previous river adventures. I didn’t find this book quite as joyful as when he travelled west in a covered wagon but I believe he used this voyage to help process the recent death of his mother. This wasn’t an easy trip by any means as he and his crew had to constantly be vigilant for both natural and man-made obstacles as well as having to master navigating the river currents and moving around huge numbers of commercial barges, tugs and ships.

Overall I enjoyed Life on the Mississippi finding the trip fascinating. The author manages to convey some of the beauty that still exists along the banks of these rivers and weaves a fine tale that should appeal to both armchair travelers and anyone who is interested in American history.

Editado: Mar 5, 4:21 pm

>155 DeltaQueen50: ">151 LibraryCin: LibraryCin: I loved my retail job, working at a local department store, but it certainly did open my eyes to what people will demand."

I actually didn't mind working retail, either, but it just didn't pay enough. I ended up working two jobs (retail F-T and another P-T) and was only getting by (and not being able to afford to pay my student loans), so I ended going back to school (for my MLIS).

Mar 5, 4:30 pm

>149 DeltaQueen50: I had a holiday job in a shop like K-mart and spent a lot of time stacking shelves. I can still remember the woman who wanted me out of the way (I was kneeling on the floor to stack a bottom shelf), so she rammed her trolley into me.

Mar 5, 4:35 pm

Good for you for pushing yourself to get back to normal, Judy. Your reading is definitely back on track. You got me with a BB for The Customer is Always Wrong.

Mar 5, 4:37 pm

>157 LibraryCin: I worked at a department store during both my high school and college years. The pay was terrible, even for those times but there were a lot of students working there and most of the full time staff were really great. I spent most of my time in handbags, jewellery and scarves.

>158 pamelad: That's terrible - basically treating you like part of the furniture! It doesn't take much to smile and say please and thank you - but a lot of people just can't seem to be bothered using their manners.

Mar 5, 4:59 pm

>147 DeltaQueen50: *snort* I wouldn't go quite that far but I get where they're coming from...

Mar 6, 3:28 pm

>161 Helenliz: I think everyone would benefit from some time working with or serving the public. Perhaps they would learn to think about their actions.

Mar 6, 4:11 pm

Well, I'm laughing! When I was saving money for school I quit working at the library and started working at a department store because it was more money, even though I'm sure they didn't pay more than minimum wage.

I worked in the evenings and there was another young woman working in the women's department with me. We had fun coming up with games to play. My favorite was each of us having a display table to choose and arrange merchandise on then seeing which table sold the most that night.

But then there was the worst memory. Another young woman working the same time we did was abducted and raped one night. We were so scared from the on.

Mar 6, 9:36 pm

I worked at Hallmark. A friend of mine worked at a (discount) department store. She made quite a bit more than I did! (Well, it seemed like quite a bit... I think a couple of dollars an hour or so more.) It seemed to me that department stores must have paid more than the smaller retail stores.

>163 clue: Oh, that's terrifying!

Mar 7, 2:19 pm

>163 clue: Terrifying, indeed! I was lucky, during my retail years, my Dad or my current boyfriend would pick me up when I worked until 9:00 pm.
I remember when I first started working which would have been about 1966, I earned $1.00 an hour. I could have earned more by babysitting but at the time, I thought working in retail sounded more adult.

Mar 7, 5:59 pm

38. Mothers Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell - 4.2 ★
Monthly Theme: Short Stories
March TIOLI #2: An author I have read before and given 4 or more stars to

Two words linger in my mind when I think of author Bonnie Jo Campbell and those two words are “hard realism” and "grit”. In Mothers Tell Your Daughters she give us a collection of short stories about women. From hard-luck stories of women living difficult lives to poignant stories that warm your imagination, these are tales to linger over as you puzzle out their layered meanings.

The author gives us varied and meaningful stories bout working class women that have humor, wit and grace. Her writing is both lyrically descriptive and uninhibitedly earthy. She writes about how her characters respond to emotional, financial and physical catastrophes and makes each situation unique with her empathetic and darkly humorous writing.

I enjoyed being immersed in Mothers Tell Your Daughters as this author excels in writing short stories. She captures life from all sides as she writes of mothers, daughters, sisters, cousins, nieces and neighbours as they struggle, cuss, and work through their heartbreak and sticky lives. Of course as in all collections of this nature, some stories spoke louder to me than others, but overall this was a very positive reading experience.

Mar 8, 4:53 pm

39. Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff - 3.4 ★
March TIOLI #3: A Book I Didn't Buy

Set in northern Wisconsin, Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff takes place mainly on a river. This adventure story is centred around two young boys who run away from home after one shoots the other’s abusive father. Various adults are paired up to try and locate the boys and of course, there are white water rapids, black bears and hungry coyotes just to name some of the dangers to be faced.

I really thought that I would love this book as I usually devour survival stories, but something just felt a little off about this story. I think the author was trying too hard to put obstacles in the way of the character’s safety and the result was that the story felt forced and awkward at times. The author does however write beautifully about the wilderness, and the relationship between the two boys felt very realistic. Ultimately however, I found Raft of Stars of be an uneven adventure story.

Mar 9, 4:23 pm

I spent the morning at the hospital having another echocardiogram and now I am hooked up to a heart monitor for the next 24 hours. Of course, after having a difficult day yesterday with rapid heartbeats - today, I am going great. I would rather it was the other way around so that they could get a good look at what's happening!

Mar 9, 4:38 pm

40. The Taking of Jemima Boone byMatthew Pearl - 4.0 ★
Kindle and Audio Books
Interconnected Reading Challenge for March - Read a book whose title starts with the next letter after February's Title
March TIOLI #10: Historical Book that is set in the 19th century or before with characters of color

The Taking of Jemima Boone by Matthew Pearl opens by examining the incident in 1776 where a daughter of Daniel Boone and two of her friends are captured by a group of Cherokee and Shawnee Indians. This was more than just three young girls being kidnapped because of who these girls were related to. When the Indians asked if the girls were sisters, Jemima said yes, thinking that there could be an advantage to having the Indians think that all three were related to the famous Boone.

The frontier unrest was due to the settlers pushing into Kentucky, which was considered sacred ground to a number of Indian tribes. The Indians could see their land was being whittled away as once the white people claimed the land, they immediately drove the Indians out. There were atrocities committed by both sides and the bitterness between white and Indian had been going on for years. This was at the time of the Revolutionary War and Daniel Boone was an important person on the frontier. He personally led a group to make the first settlement in Kentucky, and had the respect of other pioneers and the ear of important people in Washington. Hanging Maw, the leader of the raiding party, was pleased with this capture as he felt they could use these girls as leverage. His plan backfired, however, as Boone and his men caught up to the Indians, rescued the girls and killed a couple of the Indians. One of the Indians killed was the son of the famous war chief, Blackfish, and so the back and forth animosity continued on.

The author uses this incident to launch his account of how Daniel Boone, his fort entitled Boonesboro and the rest of the frontier settlements survived the next few years when they were fighting not only the Indians but the British who saw these frontiers as easy targets. Diplomacy and peace talks were thrown out and paranoia ran deep on all sides. The Taking of Jemima Boone is written in a knowledgeable and interesting manner. The author obviously did a lot of research and presents his facts in an engrossing manner which made for an exciting read.

Mar 9, 4:44 pm

>168 DeltaQueen50: As when your teeth stop hurting as soon as you make the dentist appointment. I hope the doctor can diagnose the problem whether or not your heart acts up while you're using the monitor.

Mar 9, 6:15 pm

>168 DeltaQueen50: Diagnosis is such a long and varied process. Hope you can be patient and they find an answer soon.
>166 DeltaQueen50:, >167 DeltaQueen50:,>169 DeltaQueen50: I love how you read such a wide range of books. It gives those of us who follow you such choices as to what to add to our TBRs-LOL !!

Mar 9, 8:00 pm

>169 DeltaQueen50: I'd never think of Matthew Pearl writing a book of this nature. Good to know about it.

Mar 10, 9:04 am

>169 DeltaQueen50: Matthew Pearl on Boone? Wow! Adding that one to a TBR list.

Mar 10, 4:07 pm

>168 DeltaQueen50: Isn't that always the way? Best of luck getting a diagnosis soon, Judy.

Mar 10, 4:40 pm

>170 pamelad: I see my doctor next Tuesday and I am hoping he had some varied ideas of how to treat me as I am finding that my system isn't happy with the increased dosage of medication that I am taking.

>171 beebeereads: Yes, I will read pretty much anything - even the back of a box of cereal if I'm desperate!

>172 clue: & >173 thornton37814: I knew that I recognized the author's name, but I haven't read anything else by him. I can see a number of his fictional books would appeal to me.

Mar 10, 4:46 pm

>174 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. At this point we know that the problem is atrial fibrillation. I am just hoping for some different ways to treat it!

Mar 12, 10:17 pm

>168 DeltaQueen50: I'm glad you are out of the hospital and >176 DeltaQueen50: that they know what the problem is. Hoping your medical team can find ways to keep you reading many more amazing books (or cereal boxes, if that's what you've got handy).

>169 DeltaQueen50: I had no idea this even happened! It's hard to remember that in 1776, Kentucky was the frontier and that Daniel Boone was around during this time.

Mar 13, 12:25 am

>177 threadnsong: Hi Threadnsong - I tend to think of Daniel Boone as how I saw him played on tv by Fess Parker but he was actually quite political and ambitious. I had a huge crush on Fess Parker when I was a child, first when he played Davy Crockett and then as Daniel Boone.

Editado: Mar 13, 12:56 am

41. The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave - 4.2 ★
Bingo: Next Book in one of your series
March GeoKit: Australia & New Zealand
March TIOLI #5: A Title Word is Made Up of Two Complete Words

New Zealand author Paul Cleave specializes in intense and violent thrillers set in the Christchurch area. The Laughterhouse is his 6th book in the Christchurch Murders series and the third one to feature Theo Tate, a disgraced police detective who has been struggling along as a private investigator. In this outing Theo has a chance to be reinstated to the police force as he assists his friend, Detective Carl Schroder in hunting down Caleb Cole, a spree killer who is intent on punishing everyone who he holds responsible for the death of his small daughter, and the suicide of his wife fifteen years ago. He has been in jail for the last fifteen years for the killing of the man who brutally killed his daughter, but now his revenge is turned upon jurors, lawyers, and witnesses.

Cole kidnaps a psychiatrist who testified that the killer could be cured of his obsession with young girls. Along with him, he also took the doctors three young daughters vowing to kill the children in front of their father. This tense story actually follows a number of narratives, one of which is Theo’s backstory which includes the loss of his daughter and a wife in a coma. As the police tear around Christchurch in an effort to locate Cole and rescue the children, the lack of sleep and rising tension has everyone near to collapse.

As with all his books, I found The Laughterhouse to be a total page-turner. It is gripping and heart-wrenching with characters that, even as they act in horrifying ways, are somewhat sympathetic. Theo is fighting his own demons and injuries and the ending of the book leaves a number of questions that I am hoping further books will answer. This is a great series, but not for the faint hearted as it can be very bloody and dark.

Mar 13, 8:19 am

Hi, Judy. I am glad we were reading Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure together. I still have a chunk of it to read. I am finding it more meandering, especially in the second half. Too many narrative detours. Ooh, I have been meaning to read Mothers Tell Your Daughters forever. I love her short fiction.

Mar 13, 1:37 pm

>180 msf59: Hi Mark, I though Rinker Buck was much more reflective in this book, it probably was the recent loss of his mother combined with the quietness of drifting down the river. I, too, am a huge fan of Bonnie Jo Campbell- and - Mothers Tell Your Daughters was an excellent collection of short stories.

Mar 13, 8:47 pm

42. Godiva by Nicole Galland - 4.2 ★
March Reading Thru Time: Notorious Women
March AlphaKit: G
March TIOLI #6: All or Nothing - the word all is in the title or author's name

Godiva by Nicole Gallant is a novel of historical fiction that the author based on the legend of Lady Godiva and her naked ride through the village of Coventry. I really enjoyed this story and admire how the author was able to place prominent people of the day in such a way that the drama that played out was realistic and had purpose.

Although historians now believe that this ride never took place, it is firmly planted in our minds. In this story, the author depicts Godiva, Countess of Wessex as a powerful, politically astute woman who has received the displeasure of King Edward for her meddling ways in the affairs of men. He is not strong on his throne and in an effort to gain some control of Godiva and her husband, Leofric, he demands they turn the village and lands of Coventry over to him, when they refuse, he then demands that Coventry pays a severe tax and when they again refuse, he, wanting to humiliate both Godiva and her husband, demands that she rides through the town naked. When she successfully does so, Edward has one more trick up his sleeve, and tries to have Godiva excommunicated.

Although the author freely admits that much of this book was taken from her imagination, she certainly breathes live into the legend by making Godiva a believable person who is independent yet secure in her love of Leofric. She and her husband are opposing the payment of an unjust tax imposed by an insecure king who had a personal vendetta against this couple. I was captivated by the story and will certainly be on the lookout for more historical fiction by this author.

Mar 14, 9:17 am

Glad that they have diagnosed the problem. I know the right type of meds and the dosage are often difficult to get settled. I had Afib for sometime, and poof--it just disappeared, after about 10 years on the meds. Here's hoping you get just the right treatment SOON!

Mar 14, 2:10 pm

>183 Tess_W: Thanks, Tess. I have been feeling pretty rough the last couple of days but I am seeing the doctor later today and have my fingers crossed that he can come up with something.

Editado: Mar 16, 3:26 pm

43. Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie - 4.2 ★
Monthly Theme: Short Stories
2023 Reading Challenge: A Sword, Dagger or Shield is Shown on Cover
March AlphaKit: A
March SFFFKit: The Dark Side
March TIOLI #2: An Author I Have Read Before and Given 4 or More Stars

Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie is a collection of short stories that are all set in the fantasy world that he created in his First Law World series. Featuring a rogues gallery of characters, some of which we have met before while others are completely new, they dispense violence and treachery as they travel this unique world. There are 13 stories in all, and, as is usual in short story collections, some appealed to me more than others but overall I was left with a feeling of wanting more.

It was a nice surprise to meet some familiar characters but there were a couple of new ones that I would love to see expanded into their own book, in particular Shevedieh and Javre, Lioness of Hoskipp who appear in five of the stories. If you are familiar with Abercrombie’s style of grim-dark fantasy then you will love this collection, but if you are new to this author, I would suggest starting at the beginning of his First Law World as this author is excellent at world building, character development and intricate and interwoven plots that show to advantage in the longer books.

The First Law World series is one of my favorite fantasy series and I was thrilled to be able to return there with this collection. Yes, they are extremely violent and bloody but the author wisely offsets this with dark humor and by giving his audience characters that you grow to care about. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sharp Ends and look forward to more from this author.

Mar 16, 11:54 pm

I'm wishing you a speedy recovery, Judy. Good health and good books!

Mar 17, 10:32 pm

>186 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer. :)

Mar 18, 6:16 am

Just catching up on threads... hope you are doing better now!

Mar 18, 8:46 am

Hi Judy! I hope you're feeling better. Glad to see your reading continues apace!

Mar 18, 3:35 pm

>188 bookworm3091: Thanks, my doctor adjusted my medication and so far I have been doing much better.

>189 katiekrug: Thank, Katie. I am doing much better and haven't had an episode in a couple of days. I do find I tire very easily - but hey, reading is a good way to relax - right?

Mar 18, 3:46 pm

44. Star of the North by Anna Jacobs - 3.6 ★
High & Low Shelves
Bingo: Music or Musician featured
2023 Reading Challenge: A direction word is in the title
March TIOLI #2: An author I have read before and given 4 or more stars to

Star of the North is the second book in author Anna Jacobs series about the Preston Family. While the first book mostly featured the eldest sister, Carrie, this 2nd book features the second sister, Marjorie. Marjorie is the pretty one of the Preston sisters, but she is a dreamer and dreams of going on the stage and performing. She has no desire to have children or do menial work so she is thrilled when she is asked to assist singer, Denby Sinclair with his act.

When Denby Sinclair moves on, he offers to take Marjorie and, even marries her to reassure her family but unfortunately Denby has a huge secret that will eventually come to light and ruin Marjories’ life. While Marjorie is the main character in the story, we also get caught up with the rest of the family that we got to know in the first book. Unfortunately the cruel mill owner, Athol Stott, is slowly recovering from his many injuries that occurred at the end of the last book, and he has vowed revenge upon the Preston family.

Although the characters are fairly one-dimensional and the plot predictable, I enjoyed escaping into this family saga. Light, undemanding yet dramatic, I particular enjoyed the setting of the various music halls that Marjorie travelled to. There are two more books in this series and I will be continuing on and reading more about this family.

Mar 18, 4:59 pm

Judy, I'm glad your doctor is working with you to find the right combination and dosages of medications. And that you're finding fun books to read as you work through all this.

Mar 18, 8:00 pm

>182 DeltaQueen50: I had no idea this was merely legend! Well, then, kudos to Nicole Galland for giving this legend some true-to-life characters.

And yeah, I remember watching Fess Parker and his coonskin cap and having a bit of a child's crush on him. He was pretty darn handsome!

Mar 18, 8:17 pm

>192 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay. I truly don't know what I would do with myself if I wasn't a reader. Nothing carries me away from everything as much as a good book will do!

>193 threadnsong: I was surprised when I read it was a legend not an actual fact as well. Godvia, herself is often described as a very religious and charitable woman so I like to think that perhaps she did stage some sort of protest over taxation! I am trying to think if I had a crush on anyone before Fess Parker but he was certainly one of the first to catch my eye!

Mar 19, 2:47 pm

45. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster - 2.7 ★
1,001 Books List
March Classic Cat: Adapted Classics
Bingo: Author Under 30
2023 Reading Challenge: One of the five W's is in the title
March TIOLI #13: Set in more than one country

I just completed reading Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster and unfortunately, I really didn’t like the plot or the characters, finding it an altogether depressing read. It is often called a “comedy of manners”, but I found nothing amusing about the book. From the very upright and staid British characters to the handsome but uncultured and rather stereotypic Italian, Gino, there wasn’t a sympathetic character among them.

For me, Where Angels Fear to Tread was a sad story of unfulfilled passions and life unlived. This was Forster’s first novel, written when he was 26, and I felt that it was uneven and at times rather cruel. Of course there were glimmers of his writing genius but in this early work, he still had quite some way to go.

Mar 20, 8:10 pm

Hope you're feeling better, Judy.

While my March books have been just fine, my reading pace has really slowed down. Thank goodness for your and my TIOLI challenge for March. Everything is going into one or the other.

Mar 21, 1:51 pm

>196 lindapanzo: Hi Linda, I am doing ok. Still having good days and bad days and will probably continue to do so until we hit on the right combination of meds or they decide to put a pacemaker in.

I am the same with the March TIOLI Challenges, most of my books are being entered into your challenge or mine.

Mar 21, 9:54 pm

46. Enter A Murderer by Ngaio Marsh - 3.7 ★
High & Low Shelves
2023 Reading Challenge: A Short Book of Less Than 200 Pages
March TIOLI #3: A Book I Didn't Purchase

Originally published in 1935, Enter A Murderer by Ngaio Marsh is the second of her mysteries to feature Inspector Roderick Alleyn. This particular mystery is set in and about a theatre, a world in which the author knew well as she has spent time touring as an actress and had experience as a director.

This book delves into the theatre world and the personalities of the cast and crew. The murder took place on the stage and was viewed by many including Inspector Alleyn and his friend, Nigel Bathgate. The victim is an actor that no one liked and so there was no limit to the number of suspects. Inspector Alleyn needed to work his way through all the suspects and also look into past scandal and a drug connection. I did feel that during the course of the story, the author used too many red herrings so when the actual murderer was finally revealed at the end of the book, I felt a little blah about the whole thing.

This second book helps to develop the character of Inspector Alleyn and he holds his own against so many larger-than-life theatre personalities. The writing was lively with plenty of wit and charm and I will definitely be reading more from this series.

Mar 22, 1:26 pm

47. Round Mountain by Castle Freeman Jr. - 4.5 ★
Monthly Theme: Short Stories
March TIOLI #2: An author I have read before and given 4 or more stars

Round Mountain by Castle Freeman Junior is a collection of twelve short stories all set in the backwoods of Round Mountain, Vermont and connected to each other by the reoccurring character, Homer Patch. Homer is a local boy, born and raised in Round Mountain, grows up to become the second county constable and eventually retires and is a genial, helpful good ol’ boy who hangs out with his cronies.

The stories are spread over decades, and each one covers an incident in Homer’s life. In this small rural community, the stories become significant as we learn about the people of the area, their fears, disappointments and hopes for the future. The author writes beautifully and even the most mundane moments come alive. Like fading snapshots the author has captured Homer and many other characters as they live their sometimes difficult lives. This is an author that knows his territory and captures the ebb and flow effortlessly.

Round Mountain is a wonderful collection and while I first fell in love with this author’s writing when I read “All That I Have”, this set of stories only adds to my admiration. His prose is sparse, but each word is chosen perfectly and captures the feeling of rural New England.

Mar 24, 10:18 am

>199 DeltaQueen50: This sounds wonderful! I haven‘t heard of this author but have added it to the WL.

I hope that your health will improve soon and am sending you lots of strength and best wishes!

Mar 24, 11:55 am

>200 MissBrangwen: Castle Freeman Jr. is a wonderful author and I hope you enjoy his writing. I am feeling much better these days, but unfortunately, now we are dealing with my husband being in the hospital. He has been diagnosed with an infection of the bowel and hopefully he will be home with me in a couple of days.

Mar 24, 12:06 pm

>201 DeltaQueen50: - I'm sorry to hear about your husband. When it rains, it pours, eh?

Take care.

Mar 24, 12:50 pm

>201 DeltaQueen50: Sorry to hear this. Hope he gets well soon!

Mar 24, 2:52 pm

Sorry to hear about the husband's problems too.

Mar 24, 5:21 pm

>201 DeltaQueen50: Oh no, you are not catching much of a break at the moment, Judy! I hope your husband is soon home and his infection is treated successfully.

Mar 24, 6:48 pm

Thanks, everyone for your good wishes. I wasn't going to mention this as I am a little tired of being the Queen of Doom and Gloom but as you can imagine it's weighing heavily on my mind.

Mar 24, 7:16 pm

48. Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie - 3.8 ★
High & Low Shelves
March TIOLI #1: The Word ‘Happy’ or it’s Antonym or Synonym in the Title

Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie features Hercule Poirot and manages to blend mystery and romance in am interesting manner. As usual I was quite wrong in “who dunit” but the author has been very clever in her set up of two murders and Poirot really needed his brainpower to solve this case as all the evidence seemed to point at one person, and of course, that one person was who Poirot was tying to clear.

I am constantly in awe of Agatha Christies’ storytelling originality but I did feel a little cheated with this one as there was a lot of information that we, the readers, were not privy to. Nevertheless, Sad Cypress was a quick and engaging read where the story was mostly told in the form of flashbacks.

Mar 25, 12:41 pm

I hope you and your husband have a very good week ahead. Stop hanging out at the hospital!

Mar 25, 1:20 pm

I hope both you and your husband feel better soon, Judy. And you've still managed to read! I am impressed.

Mar 25, 2:00 pm

>208 mstrust: We're trying, Jennifer, we're trying.

>209 BLBera: Reading is keeping me sane, Beth!

Mar 25, 2:36 pm

I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you strength and blessings!

Mar 25, 2:39 pm

>199 DeltaQueen50: I've not read this author. Definitely added this collection to my TBR and will search out his other works. I'm a born Vermonter, although I only lived there until I was 4 yo. The setting intrigues me and the beautiful, but sparse writing invites me in as well. Thanks!
I do hope your week has gotten better. We all understand the stress of having a loved one fall ill. Best to you both.

Mar 25, 8:49 pm

Good to see that you are feeling a bit better, Judy. Hopefully your doctor will come up with the optimum treatment and your husband's infection will be cured soon.

Mar 26, 7:32 am

>201 DeltaQueen50: So sorry. Seems you are dealing with a lot in the last couple of months. Here's to warm weather and good health!

Mar 26, 7:53 am

Happy Sunday, Judy. How are you feeling and how is your husband doing? I hope both of you are better. I also remember loving Round Mountain. I have another one of his in the stacks.

Mar 26, 4:20 pm

The news on the husband is good. He's improving and there is a good chance that he will be released tomorrow. He misplaced his glasses this morning so I rushed up to the hospital with a spare pair, but he just texted me that they found his glasses in the kitchen - they must have been on his breakfast tray!

>211 LadyoftheLodge: Thanks for your good wishes. I will be very happy when I get him home again.

>212 beebeereads: I had read All That I Have by Castle Freeman Jr. previously and thought it was excellent. I preferred it to this collection of short stories but that is because I am not usually a huge fan of short stories I prefer the longer format with more character and story development. Nevertheless, Round Mountain was very, very good.

>213 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I tell you getting old is not for the weak-hearted!!

>214 Tess_W: We are having a beautiful day today. It's warm and very springlike - it seems like the tree blossoms have sprung open over-night. I would love to have a couple of months of spring weather as I am not looking forward to the extreme heat of summer!

>215 msf59: I am happy to report that we are both improving and doing fine, Mark. I do believe it was probably a book bullet from you that first introduced me to Castle Freemen Jr.

Mar 26, 4:23 pm

>216 DeltaQueen50: I think glasses hide themselves when you're not looking. The hours I've spent searching the house! Glad to hear your husband is well enough to come home.

Mar 26, 4:44 pm

>217 pamelad: It's so awkward at the hospital as he has very little space to put things - and he does tend to scatter his belongings about. He was lucky that the glasses were found and returned to him.

Mar 26, 4:52 pm

49. The Secrets We Left Behind by Soraya M. Lane - 4.0 ★
Kindle & Audio Books
2023 Reading Challenge: The word "secret" is in the title
March TIOLI #3: A Book I Didn't Purchase

The Secrets We Left Behind by Soraya Lane is a novel of historical fiction set in World War II. It opens with the retreat of the British Forces from Dunkirk. The author bases part of her story on the true life massacre at Le Paradis where 97 English soldiers of the Royal Norfolk Regiment were gunned down as they attempted to surrender. We also follow the story of Cate, a British nurse who stayed at the field hospital to assist the badly wounded and got left behind.

Cate, and her patient, Jack, sneak away into the French countryside. They are taken in by two French sisters, who also have taken in two wounded solders from the Norfolk Regiment. Unfortunately one of the French sisters has attracted the attention of the local Nazi commander, which complicates everything, as they attempt to put together a rescue mission. At this point the story got a little unbelievable as these strangers who are living with extreme stress and tension start developing romances with each other.

I did enjoy my read of The Secrets We Left Behind as it dealt with bravery, survival, loyalty, love and friendship and the three main characters were resilient, intelligent and brave young women. This is my first book by this author, but I would certainly be pleased to read more from her.

Mar 26, 5:01 pm

I'm so sorry to hear you - and your husband - have been having health issues. And glad that your most recent news is better. Our beautiful spring weather will surely help to lift your spirits and make you both feel better.

Mar 26, 9:41 pm

Haha re: the glasses! I am unable to commiserate, though. The only time my glasses come off is to sleep. (Except maybe when I'm cleaning them?) Really can't see without them!

Mar 27, 5:46 am

Glad to hear that Mr DQ is feeling better. Hope he's home soon.

Mar 27, 6:22 am

Hi Judy, Just checking in here, I'm sorry to hear of your husband's health issues. I hope you are doing well and he is feeling much better soon!

Mar 28, 9:52 pm

I was able to bring my husband home from the hospital today which was a relief. He is on some pretty strong pills but is feeling good and ready to get back into his regular routine. I will be glad to say goodbye to March and hello to April as I am hoping it will be a much better month for us!

>220 VivienneR: The weather has been really nice here, Vivienne. I noticed that the daffodils on our deck have all come into bloom in the last couple of days.

>221 LibraryCin: My hubby is always misplacing his glasses! I try to stay a little more organized with my things but he just scatters everything about and is always surprised when he can't find something!

>222 dudes22: Thanks, Betty. I know he is very happy to be home.

>223 lsh63: Hi Lisa. Yes, we are both doing pretty good at the moment and we are hoping that, as nice as they treat us, we have seen the last of the hospital for some time!

Mar 28, 11:04 pm

50. American By Day by Derek B. Miller - 4.2 ★
March TIOLI #4: A Nationality is Named in the Title

I thoroughly enjoyed American By Day as it reacquainted us with Sigrid Odegard, the detective in Norwegian by Night as she embarks on a quest to America to locate her missing brother in upstate New York. She arrives and meets with the local sheriff, Irving Wylie, who is also trying to find her brother, Marcus, as he is implicated in the mysterious death of a black American professor.

The story is less of a mystery and more of a slyly perceptive lesson in American history in the area of race and identity, politics and police procedures. Sigrid knows her brother is innocent, but she must uncover the truth before the events escalate into gun-play. Working both with and against the police at various times she nevertheless manages to make a solid link with Irv Wylie and together they make a formidable pair.

The author uses humor to make his point and move this imaginative and entertaining story along. I found American By Day an enjoyable read that made some very valid points about freedom, race, grief and individuality.

Mar 29, 3:07 am

>224 DeltaQueen50: It's been a bad month for you, so here's hoping April will treat you nicely!

Mar 29, 3:24 am

Hoping April treats family Delta Queen better. Glad he's home - with his glasses!

Mar 29, 2:55 pm

>226 MissWatson: & >227 Helenliz: It has been a bad month but hopefully things are going to getting better. The only thing looming over us now is that we need to get to our accountant's office and sign off on our taxes.

Mar 29, 8:03 pm

>225 DeltaQueen50: I have this on my Kindle! I loved Norwegian By Night 5* for me. I also read Derek Miller'sThe Girl in Green which was a 4.5* for me. I highly recommend.

Glad March will be behind you shortly. Here's to April!

Mar 29, 8:28 pm

Judy, you are due for a pleasant and uneventful Spring.

Mar 29, 9:40 pm

>229 beebeereads: Thanks for the recommendation of The Girl in Green I want to read more from this author!

>230 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay. Pleasant and uneventful is exactly what we need!

Mar 29, 9:43 pm

51. Hard Ride by Elmer Kelton - 4.0 ★
Monthly Theme: Short Stories
March TIOLI #11: Title Sounds Naughty But Isn't

Hard Ride is a collection of short stories, all set in the American West and written by seven times Spur Award winner Elmer Kelton. There is a good variety of stories, some are set in the 20th century and tell of more modern times but the bulk are set in the golden days of the old west and are full of adventure, love and “doing the right thing”. The characters ranges from cowboys, ranchers, sheriffs, military officers to desperadoes, bandits and revenge driven hard men. Women are a bit of an after-thought although there is one story that has a woman as the villain who easily keeps her gang in line.

As in all story collections, some stories seemed better than others, but over all this was an interesting. While the anthology easily showed the reader the strength and power of the western spirit, the short story format meant that there wasn’t much time to flesh out the characters. I have been a fan of this author for many years, and Hard Ride showcases his writing and gives us a taste of what he accomplishes with his novels.

Mar 31, 4:23 am

>225 DeltaQueen50: Another BB! You are deadly, Judy!

Mar 31, 4:25 am

>224 DeltaQueen50: That is good news, Judy - echoing your wish that you don't see the hospital for a long time!

Mar 31, 2:51 pm

Somehow in all the confusion, I have lost a day so was quite surprised that today is actually the last day of March - April starts tomorrow!

>233 Tess_W: If you haven't read Norwegian by Night by this author, I would suggest that you start there. I wouldn't say they have to be read in order, but I get kind of twitchy when series are read out of order!

>234 Jackie_K: I am taking my husband to see his regular doctor today and I expect there will be some tests set up, but I am also getting a trip to the library so it's all good!

Mar 31, 4:08 pm

Glad to hear that your husband is doing better, Judy. Hoping that April is a better month for you.

I saw that you're planning to read Dear Mrs Bird for your TIOLI challenge in April. I really enjoyed that one and this prompted me to see if my library has the second one in the series, Yours Cheerfully, on Kindle and they do. Though I'm a tad disappointed that it doesn't have Bird in the title. Now would be a good time to read it as I just finished a historical mystery featuring an advice columnist and I think I'm on a roll on advice columnist novels.

Mar 31, 4:24 pm

>236 lindapanzo: I really liked both Dear Mrs. Bird and Yours Cheerfully. I think book #3 in the series is coming out this summer.

Mar 31, 7:09 pm

Glad your husband is doing better and I hope you are doing well too. That was a nasty month for you both - but then you lost one day of it, so not all bad! :)

Abr 1, 9:32 pm

>236 lindapanzo: Hi Lynda. I think Dear Mrs. Bird is going to be exactly the kind of book I need right now. I am in the mood for light and lively, nothing too serious or dark. I'm sure I will be happy to get back to some darker reads later on in the month but for now, I am looking at lighter reads.
I hope you are able to fit Yours Cheerfully into the TIOLI Challenges.

>237 christina_reads: Hi Christina, I have started Dear Mrs. Bird and so far it's going great! Good to know that there are at least two more books to read.

>238 VivienneR: Thanks, Vivienne. We are both working on getting our strength and equilibrium back.

Editado: Abr 1, 9:52 pm

52. One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker - 4.0 ★
Monthly Theme: Historical Fiction
Bingo: Title Includes a Number or a Quantity
2023 Reading Challenge: A new-to-me author
April TIOLI #4: The word "bird" is in the title

It is 1870 and the Bemis and Webber families are settlers living in the shadow of the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. The nearest town is 20 miles away and so have no one to rely upon but each other. Unfortunately, they become even more connected to each other through adultery and murder. As one husband is killed and the other is put in jail, the wives are left alone with the responsibility of their farms and their children.

While one wife feels extremely guilty, the other is overwhelmed by her bitterness and hatred, but life in this remote corner of Wyoming is harsh and winter is coming all too soon forcing the two women to band together to survive the winter. When they combine their households, 13 year old Beulah Bemis and 16 year old Clyde Weber are left to carry the bulk of the workload, even though Clyde’s mother does everything she can to keep the youngsters apart, living in fear of a romantic connection between the two.

Although there wasn’t a lot of plot to this story, it nevertheless held my attention mostly due to the authors’ very descriptive and poetic language. The story is relayed to us by four different characters so there is some overlap and repetition and I feel that the book could easily have been edited into a much shorter tale. One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow is a story of life, death, and redemption. The author does an excellent job of describing the beauty of nature, and the passing of the seasons.

Editado: Abr 2, 1:39 pm

>240 DeltaQueen50: I've decided what I like about Hawker is her clear vision of what women experienced living in the West, and it may not be a way we have become familiar with. Actually, I haven't read all of her books, I've got at least one waiting but that's certainly the way I felt about this book and another one.

Abr 2, 3:22 pm

>241 clue: This is the first book by Olivia Hawker that I have read but I do have another, The Fire and the Ore which is about the Mormons and sounds very interesting.

Abr 2, 8:03 pm

>240 DeltaQueen50: - I have this one as well as a few others in my TBR. And I love books with good descriptions.

Editado: Abr 2, 8:10 pm

Hello Judy and so glad you are saying goodbye to March! What a difficult month for you and DH, and so very happy you are both on the mend.

Both Norwegian by Night and the one you mention on >225 DeltaQueen50: sound good and have that sort of looking at ourselves in the looking glass that is so very, very important. And One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow this does sound very interesting, too. If I'm not mistaken, you are a fan of the Western genre, right? I read a book called Letters of a Woman Homesteader back in the 90's and it was extremely descriptive in its detail of life on the frontier as an adult.

Hoping April brings you light and love and lots of flowers!

Abr 2, 8:47 pm

Echoing all the wishes for you to have a better April than March, Judy. I think you should be done with hospitals for a while. I'm hoping the warm weather comes back soon. There was a dusting of snow on the ground when I looked out the window this morning and, although the weather app on my phone predicted cloudy weather, it was raining so hard I cut my walk short today.

Abr 3, 7:57 pm

>243 dudes22: Betty, I think you will enjoy One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow when you get to it. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

>244 threadnsong: Thanks Threadnsong - I am hoping that April is a much better month for us. You are correct in saying I love books set in the American West. I read Letters of a Woman Homesteader a few years ago and remember quite liking it. I am currently reading a fascinating book about Edward Curtis, a photographer who, during the early 1900s, photographed the Indians, their lives and culture. His goal was to capture as much as he could before it was gone forever.

>245 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. Although it's a bit chilly, I am loving being able to look out the window and see the trees and daffodils blooming. Of course I am not in any hurry for the really warm weather - I would love about 4 months of Spring!

Abr 3, 8:10 pm

53. Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce - 4.2 ★
Category: Library
April TIOLI #4: The word "bird" is in the title

Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce was exactly the kind of book that I needed right now. The author uses humour and a plucky heroine to highlight her story set in London during the Blitz. This is a story of friendship, loss, and most importantly, strength during adversity. I love stories about how women cope during wartime, so this book was an excellent fit for me.

The main character, Emmeline Lake, was fun to follow as she both worked for “Women’s Friend” Magazine”, bending the rules that the formidable agony aunt, Mrs. Bird set about which letters were acceptable and which were not as well as volunteering to answer phones for the Fire Brigade. Although the bombs are falling every night, Emmy and Bunty, her flatmate and best friend, try to stay optimistic and carry on as best they can. When tragedy strikes, the story becomes one of courage, kindness and optimism.

Dear Mrs. Bird was a pleasurable read and paints an interesting picture of the wartime world of 1940 London. The book has a little romance, a little adventure and a lot of heart. This is the first book in a trilogy and I am looking forward to reading more of Emmy’s adventures in the next book.

Abr 4, 9:34 am

>247 DeltaQueen50: Glad you liked this one, Judy! It hit the same "light WWII fiction" spot that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society did for me.

Abr 4, 2:23 pm

>248 christina_reads: Hi Christina, yes, it did have the same vibe as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society had, and I am looking forward to continuing on.

Abr 4, 5:45 pm

>247 DeltaQueen50: - I'll be taking a BB for this one.

Abr 4, 5:49 pm

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Editado: Abr 4, 11:28 pm

>250 dudes22: Oh, I think you will enjoy Dear Mrs. Bird, Betty.

Editado: Abr 5, 12:00 am

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