Linda Hopes to Pick up the Pace in Quarter TWO of 2024

É uma continuação do tópico Linda Begins 2024 as She Means to Continue.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2024

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Linda Hopes to Pick up the Pace in Quarter TWO of 2024

Abr 3, 11:16 am

Everything that comes into the house must meet with Molly's approval---even the Royal Mail is under suspicion until properly inspected.

Hi, I'm Linda, a retired paralegal, though that says very little about me nowadays, as my work life ended in 2015. I live in Northeast Pennsylvania, with the above four-footed tyrant, and my husband, flamingrabbit. Since giving up the legal grind, I have kept busy with volunteer work centered around libraries, cemeteries, and genealogy. I serve on the Board of Directors of the Scranton Public Library, and several of its committees. I am President of the Equinunk Cemetery Association, which is located in my home village along the Delaware River, and do as much grave-hunting and photographing as time and weather will allow for the website

LT has been an essential part of my life since I joined in 2005, after my daughter lycomayflower told me about "this site where you can catalog your books." My response was something like, "Why would I want to do that?" HA! I simply can't imagine life without it anymore. I never knew how much I needed a reading community, until I found one. There are links on my profile page to my earlier reading threads.

I've been hosting an American Authors Challenge in the 75 Book Challenge Group since 2019, and details of this year's monthly challenges can be found downthread.

Finally, as some of you know, I'm averse to gifs and list-serve-type greetings, but I LOVE visitors who comment on my reading, or on other topics introduced here. Everyone is welcome to lurk or engage, as you see fit.

Abr 3, 11:17 am

The ticker where I will keep track of my numbers, and how pitifully I fall short of my 100 book/year reading goal. (For four years after retiring, I routinely surpassed that goal. The pandemic, for some reason, plunged me back to the low 80s, which is less than I was reading those last several years when I was still working full time.) I actually made a list of my totals for the last dozen years, and was surprised by the consistency:

2023: 81
2022: 82
2021: 85
2020: 84
2019: 104
2018: 110
2017: 100
2016: 112
2015: 86
2014: 100
2013: 82
2012: 88

Editado: Abr 19, 2:12 pm

Here will be a list of the books I read in the current quarter of 2024.

I use some shorthand to help me keep track of my reading trends:

ROOT identifies a book that I have owned for at least a year at the time I read it.
CULL means I put the book in my donation box for the library book sale after finishing it, or otherwise gave it away.
DNF means I didn't finish the book, for one reason or another, usually explained in the related post.
ER means I received the book from LT's Early Reviewer program.
GN refers to a graphic novel, GM a graphic memoir This is not a category I use much.
An * asterisk indicates a library book.
LOA means I read a Library of America edition;
SF means the book was a Slightly Foxed edition, (NOT science fiction, which I so rarely read);
VIRAGO means it was an original green-spined Virago edition from my own collection;
FOLIO indicates a Folio Society edition.
AUDIO and e-Book are self-explanatory, and probably won't appear very often.
AAC refers to the American Author Challenge.
NF indicates a non-fiction read.
TR indicates a work in translation
RR means it's a re-read for me

Clicking on titles in this post will take you to the message in which I reviewed or commented on that book.


22. Harm Done by Ruth Rendell CULL
23. ZABAR'S by Lori Zabar NF, AAC, ROOT, CULL
24. Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres ROOT
*25. by Tana French

Editado: Abr 3, 11:21 am

My first quarter reading went like this: (Title links should take you to the post in the previous thread where I commented on the book.)


1. Sula by Toni Morrison ROOT, CULL
2. Heading North by Holly M. Wendt
3. In Between; Creativity Set Free by Don Freas NF
*4. Force of Nature by Jane Harper
5. Calico Lane by Judy Kiehart
*6 Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
*7. Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie


*8. North Woods by Daniel Mason
*9. Track of Sand by Andrea Camilleri
10. People of Darkness by Tony Hillerman CULL
11. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk CULL, TR
12. The Tree of Hands by Ruth Rendell ROOT
13. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ROOT, NF
14. The Commonplace Book of Pie by Kate Lebo ROOT, RR, NF
15. No, I Won't Bow Down on That Dirty Ground by Maurice Martinez ROOT, NF
16. Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe NF


17. Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote AAC, ROOT, CULL
18. The Broken Shore by Peter Temple ROOT, CULL
19. Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard ROOT
*20. Dry Bones by Craig Johnson
21. The Black Box: Writing the Race by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. NF

Editado: Abr 16, 11:12 am

Here is where I will keep a list of my new acquisitions throughout the year. Trying HARD to keep this total down, given the size of my TBR collections.

1. In Between; Creativity Set Free by Don Freas
2. Conamara Blues by John O'Donohue
3. Blind Descent by Nevada Barr
4. The Dark Wind by Tony Hillerman
5. People of Darkness by Tony Hillerman
6. Colorful Palate by Raj Tawney
7. Upcountry by Chin-Sun Lee
8. A Widow's Curse by Phillip DePoy
9. James by Percival Everett
10. Sammy Two Shoes by Phillip DePoy
11. Sinister Graves by Marcie Rendon
12. Girl Gone Missing by Marcie Rendon
13. The Black Box: Writing the Race by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
14. Five Novels by Ursula Le Guin

Editado: Abr 19, 2:17 pm

In an attempt to ameliorate the consequences of >4 laytonwoman3rd: above, and to prevent something like THIS from happening, I have an ongoing mandate to move books out of the house,

so I will keep a list of those titles here.

1. The Rag and Bone Shop by Jeff Rackham **
2. Sula by Toni Morrison
3. The Optimist by Joshua Mehigan
4. Collected Poems of Edith Sitwell
5. Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon by Pablo Neruda
6. The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafron
7. Consolation by Garry Disher
8. Mercy of a Rude Stream by Henry Roth
9. A Diving Rock on the Hudson by Henry Roth
10. Requiem for Harlem by Henry Roth
11. From Bondage by Henry Roth
12. When the Frost is on the Pumpkin James Whitcomb Riley, Ill. by Glenna Lang
13. When a Wolf is Hungry by Christine Naumann-Villemin
14. Giant Treasury of Peter Rabbit
15. Giant Treasury of Beatrix Potter
16. Sarah and Simon and No Red Paint by Edward Ardizzone
17. A Wolf's Tale by Eva Montanari
18. The Weather in the Streets by Rosamund Lehmann
19. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
20. The Little Ottleys by Ada Leverson
21. Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamund Lehmann
22. Elegy for Iris by John Bayly
23. The Red and the Green by Iris Murdoch
24. Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
25. The Bell by Iris Murdoch
26. Changes at Fairacre by Miss Read
27. Cry Wolf by Aileen LaTourette
28. Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
29. The Green Knight by Iris Murdoch
30. The Strange Necessity by Rebecca West

31. through 50. are itemized in >96 of my previous thread. And I will continue here with:

51. Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward
52. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
53. In America by Susan Sontag
54. Essays of the 1960s and 70s by Susan Sontag
55. Later Essays by Susan Sontag
56. Sontag by Benjamin Moser
57. Writing Lives ed. by Mary Chamberlain
58. Michael Chiarello's Bottega
59. The Mitford Girls by Mary S. Lovell
60. The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustved
61. Intuition by Allegra Goodman
62. A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie King
63. Gunnar's Daughter by Sigrid Undset
64. Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Edgerton
65. In Memory of Junior by Clyde Edgerton
66. Werewolves in Their Youth by Michael Chabon
67. The Final Solution by Michael Chabon
68. High Country by Nevada Barr
69. Borderline by Nevada Barr
70. Winter Study by Nevada Barr
71. Classic Ghost Stories by Charles Dickens et al.
72. Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

** I actually kept this one on hand, thinking I might give it a second chance. I Pearl Ruled it initially.

Editado: Abr 3, 11:31 am

Here's the line-up for the 2024 American Authors Challenge:

(I put links here to each month's thread as it is created.
And, I will update this post periodically with my personal choices and completions in the challenge.)

JANUARY: Mark Twain
January thread is here.

FEBRUARY: Susan Sontag
Her thread is here.
Read and skimmed portions of the Moser biography and first section of "Against Interpretation" Enough.

MARCH: Truman Capote
The Capote Thread
Finished Other Voices, Other Rooms

APRIL: General Non-Fiction (with host Caroline Caroline_McElwee)
Here is the April thread

MAY: William Maxwell
JUNE: Queer Authors (with host Dr. Laura Koons lycomayflower)
JULY: Susan Power a/k/a Mona Susan Power
AUGUST: Jeffrey Lent
SEPTEMBER: Living American authors who were born outside the US but adopted this country as their home.
OCTOBER: Katharine Anne Porter
NOVEMBER: Jewish American Authors (with host Kristel kristelh)
DECEMBER: The Heartland (regional authors from the middle of the country)

WILD CARD : 2015 Redux Pick an author from the 2015 Challenge

Complete the challenge by reading at least one work from the author or category featured each month AND one work from the Wildcard list each month.
(Just like the main challenge, this earns you no points whatsoever.)

The general discussion thread for the 2024 AAC Challenge is here.

Abr 3, 1:18 pm

Happy new thread!

Abr 3, 1:18 pm

Happy new threadddd!

Abr 3, 1:53 pm

New digs look nice, Linda3rd.

Abr 3, 2:00 pm

Happy new thread, Linda!

Editado: Abr 3, 2:51 pm

>1 laytonwoman3rd: I am glad to see senior Post Mistress Molly has her eye on the bag! That wouldn't be a book would it!

You have fewer in than me this year, and more out. I need to get back to regular evictions Linda. Not being a driver slows that down.

Abr 3, 4:55 pm

Happy new thread, Linda! I hope it passed the cat scan. ;-)

Abr 3, 5:30 pm

Happy new thread, Linda.

Offering up some ear scritches to Molly if she accepts such things.

Abr 3, 5:32 pm

Happy new one, Linda.

Abr 3, 5:47 pm

Happy new thread, Linda (and Molly! - Security is an important detail!)

Abr 3, 7:20 pm

Happy new thread Linda!

Abr 4, 12:20 am

Happy new thread, Linda. x

Abr 4, 5:00 am

Happy new thread, Linda!

Abr 4, 11:57 am

Happy new thread, Linda.

>3 laytonwoman3rd: I like that your plan is flexible.

>4 laytonwoman3rd: I always enjoy new threads because it gives me a chance to review the year-to-date reading. You've read some great ones. I loved Sula and look forward to reading some Gates.

Abr 4, 5:31 pm

Happy new thread!

Editado: Abr 5, 5:07 pm

So many lovely visitors! Shortly after I created this thread, we lost power, due to a wicked long windstorm. Although we have a generator for necessities, we try to limit our electricity usage while it's online, for various reasons. So I haven't spent much time on the computer the last couple days. Commercial power was restored earlier this afternoon---YAY!

So, welcome, Foggi, Lilly, Stasia, Richard, Caroline, Katie, Carrie, Shelley, Susan, Paul, Micky, Beth, Anita and Lori! Thanks for stopping by. AND...

>10 richardderus: I admire your civility, RD, as I'm sure you grimaced ever so slightly over the sweetest babeh kitteh evah.

>12 Caroline_McElwee: The bag did indeed contain bookS, Caroline. It was a Christmas gift order from a few years back. The Royal Mail no longer sends things in the pouch, I guess, because the last few orders from the UK came in boring shipping boxes. Although Molly does enjoy those once emptied.

>13 cbl_tn:, >16 jessibud2: Inspection and Security are Molly's primary duties. She even opens cupboards on occasion to make sure the pots and pans are in good order, and monitors the yard, porch and patio from all accessible windows.

>14 MickyFine: Molly absolutely adores skritches, although it might take you several years to get her to accept them directly from you in person...she is shy with people other than those who live here.

>20 BLBera: I keep that list mostly for myself, but I like knowing someone else finds it useful. Sula wasn't my favorite of Morrison's novels, but she never produced a dud.

Editado: Abr 5, 5:49 pm

22. Harm Done by Ruth Rendell Rendell overdid herself a bit with this one. Two young women (teenagers, really) disappear and then return home, refusing to say much at all about where they've been. Both insist they were not molested or physically harmed in any way other than being mildly drugged initially, but were confined, required to change into "more appropriate" clothing, and ordered to perform household chores for several days before being allowed to leave. Inspector Wexford and his team piece things together bit by bit, but as it truly appears there was "no harm done", and the victims aren't interested in pursuing the matter, the cases are about to be buried in limbo when a 3-year-old disappears from her cot in the middle of the night, reminiscent of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping generations before. Neighbors of a convicted pedophile, absent any evidence or likelihood whatsoever, convict him again without benefit of trial, certain he has somehow snatched the toddler from the bosom of her family almost immediately upon being released from a lengthy prison term. Protests in front of a police station get ugly, and a policeman who is not even involved in the investigation is gruesomely killed by a petrol bomb thrown by an unidentified member of the mob. Too many subplots, secondary characters, back stories and red herrings; too little detecting. A lot of social commentary, dysfunctional families, willful ignorance and class prejudices running amok in all directions. Although I truly wanted to know the who, how and why of all the separate crimes, I felt this novel was a tangled-up mess. If it had been cut in two, with each half given fair treatment, that might have resulted in two much better novels.

Abr 9, 12:57 am

Phew! Glad you have the power back. Happy newish thread!!

Abr 9, 5:03 pm

>24 Berly: Thanks, Kim! Our new whole house generator (installed last summer) got a good workout, 45 hours without commercial power. It's the first time we had to rely on it, and we were very well pleased. In fact, I called the gas company to let them know we were running the generator and would probably need a fill-up before our next scheduled delivery, and they came the same day!

Editado: Abr 10, 2:44 pm

23. Zabar's by Lori Zabar Exacty what it says there on the cover..."A family story, with recipes", this is the history of the Zabar family from the early 20th century (when Louis fled the the pogroms in Ukraine that had killed his father, wounded his mother, and left him a hunted man) through the next hundred years of retail endeavors in NYC culminating in the gigantic, iconic purveyor of smoked fish, caviar, artisanal breads, imported cheeses, coffee, housewares, deli meats and coffee on Broadway. Zabar's has appeared or been referenced in any number of TV shows and movies, is beloved by resident New Yorkers, celebrities and tourists, and prides itself on offering high quality products at reasonable prices. It was an interesting read; I learned a few things (the difference between smoked salmon and true lox, for example), and intend to try one or two of the classic recipes included. Written by a granddaughter of its founder, it is something of a book-length ad for Zabar's products and services, but the author pulls no punches in describing some of the personal failings, familial conflicts and legal battles over policies and ownership through the decades. Sadly, Lori Zabar succumbed to cancer just a few months before her book was released.

Abr 10, 3:10 pm

>26 laytonwoman3rd: - I think I saw a piece on this, perhaps on CBS Sunday Morning, or maybe elsewhere. I like this sort of book and will seek it out.

Abr 11, 4:57 pm

>25 laytonwoman3rd: Isn't it awesome when things work out right? : )

Abr 13, 6:42 am

>26 laytonwoman3rd: That looks fascinating, Linda.

Abr 13, 7:12 am

Happy new thread and I love the photo at top! Ours are all about investigating anything that comes into the house too.

Abr 14, 3:37 pm

>27 jessibud2: I wish I had seen that piece. We nearly always watch CBS Sunday Morning, but occasionally have to miss it for one reason or another.

>28 Berly: Indeed!

>29 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul! I've had a craving for a bagel with smoked salmon and the fixings ever since reading it.

>30 ursula: Today Molly's inspecting a new paint job in the kitchen...not sure she's approving of it just yet!

Editado: Abr 14, 4:17 pm

24. Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres A historical novel of the very best kind...full of actual history, human stories of love, sacrifice, joy and sorrow sweeping the reader along with all the emotions. I saw the movie based on this novel, and remember being relatively unmoved by it. That probably kept me from visiting the book for years, unfortunately. I read it now as part of the Memorial for Rosalita project in the 2024 ROOTS CHALLENGE.

In World War II, a Greek physician and his lovely young daughter on the Isle of Cephalonia live through the occupation of their paradise by both Italians and Germans; the privations and horrors associated with war in general; the treachery and brutality of an army on the verge of defeat; and the ultimate insult added to those injuries: the massive earthquake of 1953 that destroyed their homes. Through it all, the islanders manage feats of bravery and resistance; find some sympathy, friendship, and even love among the occupiers; question the ancient gods, philosophers and poets; endure. The lively irreverent Captain Antonio Corelli and his mandolin lighten the mood, and encourage hope for the future, but circumstances do not bode well for any sort of happy ending. Reviewers have aptly compared this novel to Tolstoy and Dickens, for it is tragic and comic in equal measure. Sometimes it's hard to know which mask you're seeing. My first 5 star read in a while.

Abr 16, 9:37 am

>32 laytonwoman3rd: I can't believe I have still not read this Linda, though it has been on the shelf for years. Your 5*s will get it shoehorned in this year.

Abr 18, 12:27 pm

>32 laytonwoman3rd: I've had this on my shelf for years as well, Linda. Time to dust it off, I guess.

Abr 19, 2:00 pm

>33 Caroline_McElwee:, >34 BLBera: You both make me feel better about letting my copy languish unread since 2007!

Abr 19, 2:05 pm

25. The Hunter by Tana French A winner, follow-up to French's The Searcher, in which we learn more about Trey's family situation when her long absent father returns to a lukewarm welcome, with a scheme that aims to involve the whole town in an enterprise Cal is certain will come to no good. Every conversation in it is full of subtext, sometimes to the detriment of the narrative flow when a character ruminates on what So-and-So was actually saying. Other than that technique being a bit overdone, I loved the way the Irish modes of expression worked here, especially in pub scenes. Grand.

Ontem, 6:18 am

>36 laytonwoman3rd: I'm happy to see this review, Linda. I'm still waiting on a library copy.

Ontem, 11:33 pm

>36 laytonwoman3rd: You remind me that I haven't read the Tana French books already on my shelf, Linda. I really should do something about that.