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Chutes and Ladders Reading Challenge

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We have a grand prize winner! Congrats to Keith who raced to the top with some great luck. All other prizes are now up for grab. Winners who complete the board may restart the board at the beginning if they like. Game play will continue until mid-march.

Keith wins: Grand Prize: Bookish Box that includes 5 books from your TBR (you submit a wish list and we pick 5 books from there to gift to you) plus lots of extra bookish goodies.

Eligible prizes still up for grabs include:
Avid Reader Prize: Prize pack of 5 books. You submit a wish list and we pick 5 books from there to gift to you.
10 Hidden Prizes: 10 squares were selected at random as hidden prize squares. On these squares you’ll find a range of prizes including: Book box from Book Riot, 3 month Book of the month club gift subscription (US only, international winners will receive a gift card from book depository to pick their three books), t-shirt from Out of Print, surprise bookish goodie (worth approximately $25), Folio Society book , Literary Candle from Off the Page (our Etsy Store), and several free books.

Note: To win a hidden prize you must be located on that square at the end of the game. In the event that more than one person is on the same square, the winner will be selected using random.org

Dice Roll dates:
1. Monday December 12
2. December 19
3. December 26
4. January 2
5. January 9
6. January 16
7. January 23
8. January 30
9. February 6
10. February 13
11. February 20
12. February 27
13. March 6

Dice Roll & board positions (02/20/17):

Eligible players:
Tracy: rolls a 10 and moves to square 58 (non-fiction about music/musicians)
Blueberry: rolls 10 and moves to square 41 (books set in Asia)
*Rachel: Rolls a 4 and moves to 15 (book by woman of color)
Chili: rolls a 12 and moves to 71. LADDER to 91 (reads: travel)
Joi: Rolls a 10 and moves to square 53 (book about war)
Jan: rolls a 2 and moves to square 75 (TBR 4)
Cindy: Rolls an 11 and moves to square 77 (TBR 23)
Book worm: rolls a 1 and moves to square 75 (TBR 4)
Jessica: rolls a 8 and moves to square 74 (book with dog on the cover)
Anna: Rolls a 1 and moves to square 79 (European literature excluding British)
Tanya: rolls a 2 and moves to square 69 (translated novel published post-2010)
Nicole: rolls a 7 and moves to square 71. Ladder to 91 (reads: travel)
Gwen: rolls a 2 and moves to square 62. Slide to 19 (reads: Book set in London or New York)
*Katie: rolls a 3 and moves square 15 (book by woman of color)
*Keith: rolls an 11 and moves to square 13 (family relationships)
Jen: rolls a 4 and moves to square 50 (speculative fiction)

Remaining players:
Lauren: currently on square 66 (historical)
Kate: currently on square 47 (fiction featuring food)
AJ: Currently on square 26 (TBR 8)
Alison: currently on square 46 (TBR 21)
Booker Talk: currently on square 33 (African American Science fiction or fantasy)
Andrea: currently on square 20 (A Costa Prize Winner or nominee)
*Sushicat: currently on square 2 (TBR 15)
Renee: currently on square 42 (TBR 12)

*has completed one round of the board.

296 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sushicat’s TBR List
    1 Dark Matter
    2 The Giver
    3 Strange Evil
    4 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    5 Dawn
    6 The Martian Chronicles
    7 Throne of the Crescent Moon
    8 Shards of Honor
    9 I Am Legend
    10 Way Station
    11 The Day of the Triffids
    12 Malice
    13 The Girl on the Train
    14 Scott Free
    15 Ghostheart
    16 The Monkey’s Raincoat
    17 Cemetery Lake
    18 Killing Floor
    19 The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
    20 Only One Life
    21 Laidlaw
    22 I Hear the Sirens in the Street
    23 Relic
    24 Roseanna
    25 The Boy in the Suitcase

    Like

    November 27, 2016
    • Sushicat #

      YA / LGBT: Lumberjanes 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson – 3.5 stars
      The first volume of this Eisner winning graphic novel series introduces us to the 5 girls hardcore lady type who participate in this rather special summer camp. While earning their badges and upholding the spirit of the camp, they encounter monsters and have adventures that reminded me very much of some adventure films. Girl scouts jumbled with Indiana Jones. Fun, but not sure why this would be award worthy. And no clue why this would be tagged LGBT…

      Liked by 1 person

      December 18, 2016
      • Lumberjanes is the 2016 winner of the GLAAD (formerly Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award, for its inclusion of LGBT themes and representation.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 8, 2017
    • Sushicat #

      Thriller: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – 5 stars
      A man is abruptly jerked out of his life and awakens in a parallel universe where he is not an ordinary family man, but a celebrated genius. So which is the better life? How do the choices we make define our identity? The journey back to try and recapture his own life makes for a gripping read.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 21, 2016
      • Sushicat #

        British Crime: Seeking the Dead by Kate Ellis – 4 stars
        This is the first book in the mystery series around Joe Plantagenet and the first I read by this author. I liked the historical aspects, the spooky component and the characters introduced. I will be back for more.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 30, 2016
    • Sushicat #

      Nobel Prize winner: The Bluest Eyes by Tony Morrison – 4 stars
      Pecola’s biggest wish is to have the bluest eyes – which clashes completely with her very black skin, but represents all that is beautiful and guarantees happiness. The book explores what gives rise to this wish and how a person comes to feel unworthy of love and happiness due to circumstances of race and upbringing.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 8, 2017
    • Sushicat #

      Your Choice: The Investigation by J.M. Lee – 4.6 stars
      The setting: a prison camp in Japan during WW2. A guard is found dead. His young colleague is tasked with finding the murderer and also with taking over his role as the censor. These two roles allow him to uncover layer by layer connections between the dead man and the prisoners, learning as he goes the back story of each of the protagonists, prisoners and personnel, but also their role in the society which is the prison population and the power of books and poetry.

      Like

      January 12, 2017
    • Sushicat #

      Short Stories: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver – 4 stars
      A short collection of very short stories, highlighting moments where love is diminished or is turned to other, darker emotions.

      Like

      January 22, 2017
    • Sushicat #

      Steampunk: Seven for a Secret by Elizabeth Bear – 3.6 stars
      This second entry into the New Amsterdam series takes place in 1938 in a London conquered by the Prussians. Though rather short, it paints a fascinating picture. The focus of the story is not so much on action, but on turning points.

      Like

      January 28, 2017
    • Sushicat #

      Your choice: The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomaso di Lampedusa – 4 stars
      The book paints a vivid picture of life in Sicily at the end of the 19th century by following the life of the patriarch of the Salina family and his family and retainers. This would also work for landscape as character.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 1, 2017
  2. Anna’s list
    1. The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham
    2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
    3. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
    4. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
    5. Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
    6. Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin
    7. The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
    8. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Nora Zeale Hurston
    9. The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan
    10. The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
    11. Night by Elie Wiesel
    12. The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson
    13. The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro
    14. The Fate of Katherine Karr by Thomas H. Cook
    15. Manitou Canyon by William Kent Krueger
    16. Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier
    17. Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
    18. The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
    19. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
    20. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
    21. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
    22. Death on Blackheath by Anne Perry
    23. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
    24. The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
    25. A Christmas Message by Anne Perry

    Like

    November 27, 2016
  3. Chili’s list
    1. The Girl With All The Gifts
    2. The Queen Of Tearling
    3. The Electric Kool Aide Acid Test
    4. The Undoing
    5. Hild
    6. The Clasp
    7. The Glass Castle
    8. The Perfect Girl
    9. The Virgin Suicides
    10. In The Garden Of Beasts
    11. The Corrections
    12. Speak
    13. Pride And Prejudice
    14. Class Action
    15. The Name Of The Rose
    16. A Brief History Of Seven Killings
    17. The Bullet
    18. Cider House Rules
    19. The Other Boleyn Girl
    20. The Blind Side
    21. House Of Sand And Fog
    22. Oliver Twist
    23. We Were The Mulvaneys
    24. The Godfather
    25. The World According To Garp

    Like

    November 27, 2016
    • Category: Christmas
      Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
      👍👍👍👍

      I love Discworld books, they are such a hoot! In this book Death takes over for the Hogfather on Hogwatchnight and mayhem ensues. Death’s granddaughter Susan, with the help of oh god of hangovers, rescues the Tooth Fairy and helps saves the Hogfather. This was a fast, fun read.

      Liked by 2 people

      December 14, 2016
    • Category: Korean author
      The Vegetarian by Han Kang
      👍👍👍
      The book tells the story of Yeong-hye from three different perspectives, her husband, her brother-in-law and her sister. This book is not for everyone, as somr parts are very graphic violence. I just could not connect with this story. It was a slog to get through and it is only 188 pages.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 24, 2016
    • Week 3 TBR #10
      In The Garden Of Beasts by Erik Larson
      👍👍👍👍👍

      I found this book fascinating because it gave an inside perspective of Nazi Germany shortly after Hitler came to power. Ambassador Dodd and his daughter Martha have differing views of the Nazi government in the beginning. Martha is in awe of them and defends them while her father sees to growing threat they pose. Dodd tries to warn the US of the looming threat but is ignored. Martha eventually had her eyes opened to the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 30, 2016
      • Week 4: Debut Novel
        The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
        👍👍👍👍👍
        This started out as a 4 for me but the last quarter really nailed it. Set in Vietnam and the US, the story is a confession by the narrator. As a captain in the special police and a communist spy the narrator escapes the fall of Saigon and heads to the US. He continues to spy on his former boss, the general and his allies. He returns to Vietnam to try and save his boyhood friend and ends up captured and sent to a reeducation camp. This book really captures the struggle of the narrator having sympathies for both sides.

        Liked by 2 people

        January 5, 2017
    • Week 5: Children’s Classic
      Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
      👍👍👍👍👍
      I really wish I had read this as a child. It was a marvelous book. Anne Shirley is an orphan who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. While they had requested a boy, Matthew and Marilla decide to keep Anne. Anne is an imaginative and talkative child with a knack for mishaps. I really enjoyed this book and now need to read the next one to find out what new adventures Anne will have.

      Like

      January 14, 2017
    • Week 6: TBR #24
      The Godfather by Mario Puzo
      👍👍👍👍👍

      I have not seen this movie but if it is half as good as the book, then it’s a must see. This is such a good story I didn’t want to put the book down and go adult. It is the story of the Corleone family, a major player in the New York Mafia. This was a real page turner for me.

      Like

      January 19, 2017
    • Week 7: Biography or memoir adapted to screen
      Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
      👍👍

      According to the blurbs this was supposed to be humorous. It was not. There was a lawsuit brought against the author by the family who was the basis for the Finch family. The author still maintains that the book is 100% true. That is truly disturbing. The things depicted in the book happening to a thirteen year old boy is horrifying.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 28, 2017
      • I really disliked this

        Like

        January 28, 2017
      • Cindy Allas #

        My most hated book.

        Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

        Like

        January 28, 2017
      • Blueberry #

        My most hated book ever.

        Like

        January 28, 2017
      • Not my most hated but a close second.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 29, 2017
    • Week8: TBR #3
      Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
      3.5👍

      This was a strange and trippy book. This took place before I was born, so I had a hard time relating to the mindset of Kesey and the Pranksters. I did find it interesting and well written. But frankly I wouldn’t want to be on the bus.

      Like

      February 5, 2017
    • Week 9: True Crime
      The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
      👍👍👍👍👍

      This book follows the story of Gary Gilmore from his parole from an Illinois prison on April 9, 1976 to his execution in Utah on December 17, 1977. This book raises a lot of questions about the prison system and capital punishment. Was Gilmore destined to fail at fitting in to society because he was too institutionalized. Was it right to execute him? This book will really make you think about these things. It does have graphic violence and language, so it may not be for more sensitive readers.

      Like

      February 12, 2017
    • Week 10: Cozy Mystery
      Murder Past Due by Miranda James
      👍👍👍

      Librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine coon cat Diesel help solve the murder of a bestselling author. Godfrey Priest returns to Athena Mississippi and his old college to donate his papers and receive accolades but ends up dead instead. This was a cute book and entertained me for an afternoon. Diesel is a cool cat.

      Like

      February 18, 2017
  4. Andrea’s List
    1. Murder in th Orient Express – Agatha Christie
    2. Dr. Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
    3. Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline
    4. Rebeca – Daphne Du Maurier
    5. A moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway
    6. Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
    7. El país bajo mi piel – Gioconda Belli
    8. Mad bout the boy – Helen Fielding
    9. Rosemary´s baby – Ira Levin
    10. Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
    11. Anne of Avonlea – Lucy Maud Montgomery
    12. The forgotten garden – Kate Morton
    13. As time goes by – Micheal Walsh
    14. Along way down – Nick Hornby
    15. My name is red – Orhan Pamuk
    16. The Perfume – Patrick Süskind
    17. Between Shades of Grey – Ruta Sepetys
    18. Voices from Chernobyl – Svetlana Alexievich
    19. In cold blood – Truma Capote
    20. In the name of the Rose – Umberto Eco.
    21. Man´s search for meaning – Viktor Frankl
    22. Lord of the flies – William Golding
    23. Reading Lolita in Teheran – Azar Nafisi
    24. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
    25. The girl on the train – Paula Hawkins

    Like

    November 27, 2016
    • Week #1
      TBR #15: My name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
      3.4 stars

      During the sixteenth century, the Sultan commissions the best illustrators in Istambul to create a book using the European styles, but this is not well accepted by the Islam. It’s a story about assasinations and the investigation to find the assasin. Very well written, using different point of views, but to much description that sometimes it becomes very slow and boring.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 8, 2017
    • Week #5
      TBR #7: El país bajo mi piel (The country under my skin) by Gioconda Belli
      4 stars

      The author’s memoir, of her marrying and becoming a mother very young, while being part of a high class society during the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua. How she became a Sandinist, who really wanted to free her country, her exile and finally returning to her country.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 15, 2017
    • Week #6
      TBR #22: Lord of the flies by William Golding
      3.5 stars

      After a plane chrashed on a deserted island, a group of schoolboys are the only survivors. They tried to get organized as a community while they wait for their rescue. The story involves leadership, laws, morality, politics, and the reality getting mixed up with a game.

      Like

      January 22, 2017
  5. Rachel’s List
    1.The Axeman’s Jazz – Julie Smith
    2. The bloody wood – Michael Innes
    3. The Cat Who brought Down the House – Lillian Jackson Braun
    4. Christietown – Susan Kandel
    5. Clear-Cut Murder – Lee Wallingford
    6. Confessions of a Jane Austen addict – Laurie Viera Rigler
    7. Cutwork – Monica Ferris
    8. Death’s a beach – Winona Sullivan
    9. Death at Daisy’s Folly – Robin Paige
    10. Death in a cold climate – Robert Barnard
    11. Duplicity Dogged the dachshund – Blaize Clement
    12. The Empty Copper Sea – John D. MacDonald
    13. Hold the Cream Cheese, Kill the Lox – Sharon Kahn
    14. If I’d Killed Him When I Met Him – Sharyn McCrumb
    15. If looks could kill – Kate White
    16. I heard that song before – Mary Higgins Clark
    17. It had to be You – Jill Churchill
    18. The Maze – Catherine Coulter
    19. Miss Seeton Rocks the Cradle – Hamilton Crane
    20. Mrs. Malory and the Fatal Legacy – Hazel Holt
    21. Murder at the spa – Stefanie Matteson
    22. Murder in the Title – Simon Brett
    23. Sand Sharks – Margaret Maron
    24. The Silence in the Library – Miranda James
    25. Touch – Elmore Leonard

    Like

    November 27, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Roll 1: TBR #10

      Death in a Cold Climate by Robert Barnard 3 stars

      The body of a boy who disappeared around Christmas is discovered in the melting snow in Tromso, Norway. The mystery is a bit different in that it is mainly concerned with figuring out who the boy is and why he was in town. Filled with Barnards typically dry humor and it has a satisfying solution to the mystery.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 17, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Roll 2: TBR #22

      Murder in the Title by Simon Brett 3 stars

      Charles Paris is reduced to playing the corpse in the production of a play in Rugland Spa. A series of accidents occurs during the production and Paris begins an investigation. I’ve read a few books in this series before, though totally out of order. They are humorous, easy reads.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 22, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Roll 3: Thriller

      Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark 3 stars

      Margaret and Steve Frawleys twin girls have been kidnapped and the kidnappers ask for an $8 million reward though the Frawleys are not rich. There are some definite moments of suspense in the book and I didn’t guess the identity of one of the kidnappers which is a plus. The ending is a bit rushed and it isn’t as good as her earlier works but still a worthwhile read.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 29, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Roll 4: My choice

      Bloody Ten by William Love 3 stars

      Davey Goldman is a part time private eye who is also the personal secretary to the disabled Bishop Regan. Goldman becomes friends with actor Jim Kearney who is soon accused of murdering his half brother. I’ve never read this series before and found it enjoyable and didn’t guess the murderer which was a plus.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 5, 2017
    • Rachel #

      Roll 5: coming of age

      The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger 3 stars

      The story of Holden Caufield’s weekend in New York after he is kicked out of boarding school again. For some reason I never had to read this classic book in school so I’m glad I read it now. I never really connected with Holden but I didn’t dislike him either, mostly I felt sorry for him and thought he should seek counseling. To me he seemed to have something similar to manic depression, only sped up from real life.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 13, 2017
    • Rachel #

      Roll 6 : humor

      The Dog Who Knew Too Much by Spencer Quinn 4 stars

      This is the fourth book in the Cheat and Bernie mystery series. The books are told from the perspective of Chet who is a dog. This time around Chet and Bernie are hired to help protect Anya during parents weekend at her sons camp. Then her son ends up missing on a camping trip. This series is a lot of fun, mainly because Chet gets easily distracted by things like food and rawhide shoelaces while telling the story.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 19, 2017
    • Rachel #

      Roll 7: TBR #25

      Touch by Elmore Leonard 2 stars

      Juvenal seems to have stigmata and be able to heal people. Multiple people want to use Juvenal for their own ends. I have read Leonard’s books before and enjoyed them. My problem with this book is there was no real point to the story. Multiple characters show up but very little happens, overall a disappointment.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 27, 2017
    • Rachel #

      Roll 8: TBR #20

      Mrs. Malory and the Fatal Legacy by Hazel Holt 3 stars

      An old college friend of Mrs. Malory’s dies and leaves her as literary executive of her estate. There isn’t a lot of mystery here, more details of being a literary executive and conversations with friends. I read on other book in this series a long time ago and I’m not even sure why I own this book but I’m glad it’s off my TBR pile.

      Like

      February 3, 2017
    • Rachel #

      Roll 9 : Translated work

      The Bat by Jo Nesbo 3 stars

      This is the first book in the Harry Hole mystery series. I found it interesting that even though the main character is a Norwegian police officer the whole book is set in Australia. Harry is sent to Sydney after a Norwegian girl is found raped and strangled. Not as engaging as some of the later entries in the series but i liked reading how the series started.

      Like

      February 11, 2017
    • Rachel #

      Roll 10 TBR #17

      It Had to Be You by Jill Churchill 3 stars

      This is the fifth entry in the Grace and Favor mystery series, set in New York during the depression. This time around Lily and Robert Brewster are hired to help at a nearby nursing home when one of the patients is murdered. Lily and Robert don’t actually do much investigating this time and their main involvement in the story is getting a dumbwaiter installed in the nursing home. The ending seemed a bit rushed and why the murder had to occur when the victim was going to die of natural causes that day anyway is never really explained. Not much of a mystery but I still enjoy the main characters.

      Like

      February 17, 2017
  6. Lauren’s List
    1. Commonwealth, Ann Patchett
    2. Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
    3. The Girls, Emma Cline
    4. The Sellout, Paul Beatty
    5. Homecoming, Yaa Gyasi
    6. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
    7. Purity, Jonathan Franzen
    8. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
    9. Fingersmith, Sarah Waters
    10. The Story of a New Name, Elena Ferrante
    11. Absurdistan, Gary Shtengart
    12. Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shtengart
    13. Lolita, Nabokav
    14. The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, Liz Jensen
    15. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    16. The Quiet American, Graham Greene
    17. them, Joyce Carol Oates
    18. White Noise, Don DeLillo
    19. Cider House Rules, John Irving
    20. Lost Language of Cranes, David Leavitt
    21. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
    22. On Love, Alain de Botton
    23. Sophie’s Choice, William Styron
    24. Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
    25. Shoe Dog, Phil Knight

    Like

    November 30, 2016
    • Square 11, TBR # 17:

      I had no idea what to expect when I chose this (500+ page) book from the 1001 book list for my TBR list. This was my first read from Joyce Carol Oates, and it was, in a word: intense. The story follows a down-and-out white “typical” American lower-class family from the 50s into the early 70s, following the matriarch from a small town in Ohio to the bustling grit of Detroit over the course of three decades. Oates’ language and its lyrical nature is fantastic, but this is not a book I would recommend to anyone “for fun,” or one that I would choose to read again. The subject matter and the characters themselves are difficult: the manic energy of the novel embodies their feelings of hopelessness, depression, madness and despair, coupled with murder and all shades of violence throughout. I can’t give it less than 4 stars, but it’s a challenging book to say the least.

      Here’s hoping the next book is a little more uplifting!

      Liked by 3 people

      December 21, 2016
    • Square 14: Debut novel (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer)

      I chose this for my debut novel largely because it popped up in several spots as a recommendation and also because I loved the name (how could you not)? I also liked the fact that it’s not a “new” debut novel; the author was in her early ’70s when she completed it and sadly died shortly before it was published, making this her first and last novel. The fictional story depicts life on the Island of Guernsey during WWII through a series of letters between many delightful characters. It manages to take the heavy topic of war and its effects seriously while remaining lighthearted, and strikes a good balance. Though some of the character development was a bit uneven, I appreciated the literary device of using letters to tell the story, and loved that the main character was a female writer brought to Guernsey because of the power of books. This was fun to read and a solid 4-star for me.

      Liked by 2 people

      January 1, 2017
      • Square 23: South African Contemporary (Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee)

        This was my first Coetzee book, so I chose his Booker prize winner. The language and rhythm of words is beautiful, and I felt Coetzee did a masterful job of writing about the difficult subjects of post-Apartheid race issues in South Africa, in addition to questions of power and sexism. However, I have to really understand the characters (even if I don’t like them or agree with their choices) in order for a well-written book to work. That didn’t happen for me here.

        Final conclusion: I would read another Coetzee book, but this one wasn’t the best for me. 3 stars.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 9, 2017
    • Square 33: African American science fiction/fantasy (Kindred by Octavia Butler)

      I really, really wanted to like this book. It’s the bestselling novel of award-winning science fiction writer Olivia Butler, and the first novel of hers I’ve read. Perhaps my biggest issue is with the execution of the novel’s premise: that a mid-20s African American woman travels through time to help her white forefather in 1819 (who enslaved her relatives and is “a man of his time”) stay alive. There are interesting dynamics that play out in the book, but for me the characters seemed two-dimensional and all-too-willing to accept a totally insane concept (time travel in a world where everything else is normal? Hmm). I’m not sure if it was the genre or elements of the story itself, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea; apparently most people disagree, because it’s got great ratings on Goodreads! 2 stars.

      Like

      January 14, 2017
      • Square 43: TBR 3 (The Girls by Emma Cline)

        This was a great debut novel about a 14 year-old girl, seeking acceptance and purpose, who finds herself connected to a Manson-like cult in the summer of 1969. The writing is great, and the character development of the main character Evie is strong, so that even when she participates in activities the reader doesn’t like or approve of, it fits within the story’s narrative and helps to explore her psyche as an adolescent within this time period. Overall, this is a book I would recommend. It would make for a great beach or summer read. 4 stars.

        Like

        January 21, 2017
    • Square 52: TBR 1 (Commonwealth by Ann Patchett)

      Ann Patchett has a magical way of weaving together characters and settings in a way that makes even mundane situations feel as if the reader has escaped to a new world. This book about two blended families across a 50 year time span does a nice job of taking quiet, understated moments and constructing a narrative that seems to simmer with tension below the quotidian surface. I’d give this one 4.5 stars; while it’s not an all-time favorite I’d read many times over, it’s well written and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a recently published good read.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 29, 2017
    • Square 55: True crime (The Road Out of Hell by Anthony Flacco)

      I chose this particular true crime book because until I saw the book description, I didn’t know about its subject, a serial killer in late 20s California who committed 20+ murders of young boys. The book is told from the perspective of his nephew, who recounts the horrors and sexual abuse he endured decades before. Though the tone of the book struck me as revisionist in many ways, the core story is as gut wrenching and horrifying as one might expect. True crime is not a genre I read much of, and I don’t know that I would read much more based on my experience reading this book. Not bad by any means; just not my thing. 3 out of 5 stars.

      Like

      February 6, 2017
    • Square 64: graphic novel (MIND MGMT, Volume One: The Manager)

      This was a really fun category! I don’t read graphic novels generally, though in the past I loved Persepolis, so it was great to see what was available at the library. I enjoyed the first volume of MIND MGMT, which reads like a detective story and sci-fi tale rolled up into one. It was difficult for me to wrap my head around the complexity of the novel, which introduces an amnesia-based problem that hides a larger and more complicated backstory; I don’t know if that’s because I’m new to the genre, this was the first volume of several, or a combination of both. The graphics were fantastic, and I can see why people collect these books, which are really a different kind of art form. I’d read the next in the series! 4 out of 5 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 12, 2017
  7. Renee’s list

    1. The girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey
    2. Don’t you Cry by Mary Kubica
    3. The Matter with Morris by David Bergen
    4. Invincible Summer by Alice Adams
    5. Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
    6. A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler
    7. The Girl From The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor
    8. Undermajordomo by Patrick Dewitt
    9. The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard
    10. Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety by Ann Y. K. Choi
    11. The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore
    12. The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
    13. Chai Tea Sunday by Heather A. Clark
    14. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
    15. The Third Man by Graham Greene
    16. The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan by Robert Hough
    17. The Gilded Life of Matilda Deplane by Alex Brinkhorst
    18. Rules for a Knight by Ethan Hawke
    19. Clover by Dori Sanders
    20. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
    21. Property Of by Alice Hoffman
    22. My Antonia by Willa Cather
    23. The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence
    24. The Affirmation by Christopher Priest
    25. The Great Spring by Natalie Goldberg

    Like

    November 30, 2016
    • Week 1: Christmas
      Book: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

      I Loved it! This was my first book by Charles Dickens and now understand why he is a legend. It blew my mind in a few parts how issues and ways of life haven’t changed a bit! Perhaps this read will be a new tradition for me.

      Liked by 2 people

      December 17, 2016
    • Week 2: TBR #10
      Book: Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety by Ann Y. K. Choi

      I could not put this book down and regret waiting for this challenge to get me to read it. I saw an article about the author and the book, being her debut novel, and was curious. She blew me away with her insight, graceful writing and layers of complexity underneath uncomplicated sentences. I cried all throughout the last five chapters. If I could, I would give it more than 5 stars. How did this book not win a national award!?

      Liked by 1 person

      December 22, 2016
    • Week 3: South African Contemporary
      Book: July’s People by Nadine Gordimer

      The beginning of this book was really neat and I enjoyed the first 15 pages or so. Then it became too disjointed and uninteresting. I would be interested in giving this author another try – she does have a gift for writing – but this story just wasn’t it for me. I was hopeful that the ending would bring it all together nicely, but it didn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 1, 2017
    • Week 4: Nobel Prize Winner
      Book: The Honeymoon by Patrick Modiano

      I have great luck with book choices recently. I absolutely love this style of writing. I was hooked straight away – it lost me a bit in the middle and the ending came across as abrupt to me. But I will be sure to read more of Patrick Modiano as I am certain that he has a few gems during his career. The Honeymoon is a good read but I would hesitate to recommend this to someone who reads commercial fiction. This book is for literary fiction lovers and readers willing to fill in the gaps of the story themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 8, 2017
    • Week 5: Book written before 1900s
      Book: Notes from the Underground by Dostoyevsky (1864)

      This is an interesting read. It was so odd in its final message that it will take some time to determine his true purpose for publishing something so absurd. The traditional elements of Russian classic drama was ever present though and I always find it so amusing to read. I don’t feel like this was necessarily a bad read – just an odd one with a take away feeling of “what the heck was that?”

      Liked by 1 person

      January 15, 2017
    • Week 6: Landscape as Character
      Book: Barkskins by Annie Proulx

      With a title like Barkskins you’d make the assumption that the book would perfectly fit this weeks category. It definitely fit – but not in the way that I had expected. The forest, forestry, trees and their relationship with humans is the way that the book incorporated the landscape as a character in the book. I had expected the landscape to have a unique personality of it’s own, set the tone of events that happened etc…to some degree it did but it was subtle and didn’t come off as strong as expected. The subject matter engrossed me the entire book as it is a personal interest of mine despite some character lives in the book were less interesting than others.
      This book is definitely a product of the times and is a book that will continue to get strong reviews and gain Annie Proulx an even stronger following. I am very pleased with this weeks selection.
      I am sneaking this review in rather late as it is nearly 1 am PST but I figured since the new roll hasn’t happened yet I am still in the green. Fingers crossed. It was a 700+ page book had me committed the entire week. I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment with this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 23, 2017
    • Week 7: Memoir or Biography adapted for screen
      Book: The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto “Che” Guevara

      I rarely read memoir and biography so this was a welcome change. I have read travel accounts before though and always enjoy them. The travel aspect of this book was the only thing that held my interest. Even though the writing was quite good and it flowed nicely I was never able to get drawn in or emotionally invested for some reason. Three stars.

      Like

      January 28, 2017
    • Week 8: A book set in Asia
      Book: Peony by Pearl S. Buck

      I absolutely loved this book and coming to love this author (this was the second book I’ve read by this author and both I’ve given strong 5 star rating!). This book is a gem in that it follows a Jewish family and community that eventually gets swallowed by assimilation. It is one of those lost pieces of history that makes for interesting stories and Buck does so with her undeniable grace. Highly recommended.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 5, 2017
    • Week 9/10: TBR #12
      Book: The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

      How disappointing. I had about an hour left to complete the book but fell asleep – unable to finish in order to make the deadline for week 10. The worst part being that it was a lousy book. There was a small section in the middle of the book where I thought it might pull through and bring it to a three star or even, with much effort, a possible four star but it only drudged on. There was zero emotional pull, sympathy for the main character was non-existent and – the worst part – the point of view and tense of the book was irritating and, in my opinion, the wrong choice for the story.

      Like

      February 13, 2017
      • Oh, this makes me sad, Renee! I really liked The Day the Falls Stood Still.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 13, 2017
      • Glad someone enjoyed it 🙂

        Like

        February 13, 2017
  8. Book Worm’s List
    1. J D Robb
    2. Hat Full of Sky Terry Pratchett
    3. The Simarillion Tolkien
    4. Julius Daphne du Maurier
    5. Rosemary Sutcliff
    6. Richard North Patterson
    7. The Broken Window Jeffrey Deaver
    8. High Tide Jude Deveraux
    9. Mercy Julie Garwood
    10. Rosemary Sutcliff
    11. Peter Robinson
    12. Folklore of the Discworld Pratchett
    13. Unfinished Tales Tolkien
    14. Scent of Jasmine Jude Deveraux
    15. Rosemary Sutcliff
    16. J D Robb
    17. Girl on the Train
    18. Richard North Patterson
    19. Peter Robinson
    20 The Kills Linda Farnstein
    21. J D Robb
    22. Discworld Companion Pratchett
    23. Richard North Patterson
    24. Peter Robinson
    25. You Belong to Me Johanna Lindsey

    Like

    November 30, 2016
  9. Tracy’s List
    1. Voices From Chernobyl- Alexievich
    2. Giovanni’s Room- Baldwin
    3. Are You My Mother- Alison Bechdel
    4. Queen of the Night- Chee
    5. White Noise- Delillo
    6. Shadow Tag- Erdrich
    7. Shades of Grey- Fforde
    8. We Love You Charlie Freeman- Greenidge
    9.The Dovekeepers- Hoffman
    10. The Cider House Rules- Irving
    11. Welcome to Braggsville- Johnson
    12. The Painted Bird- Kosinski
    13. The Lost Language of Cranes- Leavitt
    14. Number Nine Dream- Mitchell
    15. Norwegian Wood- Murakami
    16. The Sympathizer- Nguyen
    17. A Personal Matter- Oe
    18. Dorothy Must Die- Paige
    19. The Enchantress of Florence- Rushdie
    20. Sweet Thursday- Steinbeck
    21. Silmarillion- Tolkien
    22. The Feast of the Goat- Vargas Llosa
    23. Winter in the Blood- Welch
    24. The People in the Trees- Yanigahara
    25. L’Assomoir- Zola

    Like

    December 1, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      White Noise by Don Delillo- 4 stars
      This was a delightful look at a college professor obsessed with his own fear of death, manifested by the spill, and his exposure to, a noxious chemical. It is satire, but the humor is so subtle that I would recommend it to those who don’t like satire.

      Liked by 2 people

      December 13, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Horror
      Zone One by Colson Whitehead- 3.5 stars
      Zombies are taking over, and humans are trying to survive. There is, in true Whitehead fashion, a lot of symbolism and humor in this book, but also lots of things to really ponder.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 23, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      TBR #22
      The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa- 3.5 stars
      The last days of Trujillo of the Dominican Republic are highlighted in this interesting, history (over) laden novel. It was well researched and well written, with a style that puts the reader there, in the cruelest regime and the horrifying aftermath of Trujillo’s assassination.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 29, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Thriller
      Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell 3 stars
      A police procedural that is the first in a series based on Detective Kurt Wallander, this was just okay. The bad guys were caught (sorry-spoiler), there’s a chase or two, etc. I don’t think I’ll be hunting for the rest of the series.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 4, 2017
      • You’ll miss out. They’re actually a biography of a man struggling to be a father, a colleague, a decent human being. They get richer as the series progresses. I cried when I read the final novel, and I’ve got a core of steel when it comes to sentiment.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 28, 2017
      • Tracy S #

        Maybe I’ll give them a try. My library has all of them.

        Like

        January 28, 2017
      • I hope you do. I love crime novels, but these are pretty run of the mill. I struggle to remember the plots. Mankell’s attempts to address contemporary issues in Swedish society can be a bit clunky at times, as well. His strength, I think, is in examining Kurt as a man from a particular generation and his ill-preparedness for changes in society.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 29, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      Mystery
      Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey 3 stars
      An imposter pretends to be the lost heir of a fairly wealthy family- but his real identity and the actual fate of the real heir are the mysteries here. The writing is terrific, but the plot was pretty predictable now- though maybe not when written.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 13, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      African/American SFF
      The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavalle- 2.5 stars
      Tom is tired of being treated badly by whites in 1920s era NYC, and he finds a magical way to get revenge, for better or worse. This felt like it had so much potential, but ended up feeling very incomplete to me.

      Like

      January 18, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      Landscape as Character
      The Bear and the Nightengale-4 stars
      What a fun read! A new take on Russian fairytales- The landscape is the forbidding winter forests of Russia, and it has the added bonus of the river, trees, snow, etc coming to life as spirits. The picture in my mind while reading was always this freezing land, and I feel that makes the landscape even more affecting as a character.

      Liked by 2 people

      January 24, 2017
    • Tracy S. #

      TBR #12
      The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski 3.5 stars
      NOT for the faint of heart. The unnamed narrator is a boy of 9 at the start and a boy of 12 at the end of the story. He is sent by his Jewish parents to a village in Poland to wait out WWII. Fate has other ideas, and our narrator is abused and watches atrocious abuses against humans and animals as he finds his way in the world. This was very well written, with themes of isolation, and the horrors of human nature, but so very violent.

      Like

      February 2, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      TBR#3
      Are You My Mother? By Alison Bechdel 3 stars
      The follow up to Fun Home, this is Bechdel’s graphic memoir regarding her mother, and her life/loves in respect to her relationship with her mother. The book had a large amount of space dedicated to the author’s psychological research with the intent of self-analysis. This could have been much less detailed- it detracted from the book for me. Otherwise, it was okay.

      Like

      February 7, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      Science
      Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe 3.5 stars
      An interesting look at things, like space stations, the periodic table, internal organs, the US Constitution, and the USS Constitution, to name a few. This was fascinating in many ways, but the author gave “other” names for things, e.g. Air Bags for lungs, and didn’t give the real name of the thing. It wasn’t an issue if I knew the material, but I know next to nothing about, say, a combustion engine, and that real word would be nice to know.

      Like

      February 15, 2017
      • Tracy S #

        This book wasn’t long enough for the challenge- only about 70 pages. I’m reading another, and will review later today.

        Like

        February 15, 2017
      • I’ll allow it

        Like

        February 15, 2017
      • This type of category reads longer so 70 pages is more like 150

        Like

        February 15, 2017
      • Tracy S #

        Thanks, Jen- I appreciate that! I did just finish Amy Stewart’s The Earth Moved-4 stars. (Just in case). Who knew that earthworms were so fascinating?

        Liked by 1 person

        February 15, 2017
  10. Blueberry’s List
    1. Night of Many Dreams
    2. The Painted Drum
    3. Five People You Meet in Heaven
    4. Love Medicine
    5. Pull of the Moon
    6. A Walk With Jane Austen
    7. A Knitter’s Companion
    8. Joni
    9. Over Easy
    10. The Tie That Binds
    11. Reading Lolita in Tehran
    12. The Angel’s Game
    13. House of Sand and Fog
    14. The Club Dumas
    15. Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle
    16. The Case of the Missing Books
    17. Help, Thanks, Wow
    18. Mrs. Dalloway
    19. 1984
    20. Animal Farm
    21. Olive Kitteridge
    22. Preide, Prejudice and Cheese Grits (haha, don’t judge)
    23. Don’t Let Me Go
    24. Death by Bourbon
    25. Last Stop Klindenspiel

    Like

    December 3, 2016
    • Blueberry #

      I neef to confirm ….I can’t see the square but it looks like other people on square 6 are reading a book by a Koreamn author, correct? Good thing I saw that before I started my #6 book.

      Like

      December 22, 2016
      • Yes because we all came downs chute so we are reading the book at the top of the chute while you are treading the one at the bottom of the chute!

        Like

        December 22, 2016
      • So you are reading YA LGBT which is the category on square 6 (because you landed on square 6). The rest of us landed on square 16 so we are reading book by Korean author because that is the category on that square. U fortunately for us, that square led down a chute but we still read the square ok which we originally landed

        Like

        December 22, 2016
    • Blueberry #

      Ok, good thing I checked.

      Like

      December 22, 2016
    • Blueberry #

      YA LGBT

      Jumpstart the World – Catherine Ryan Hyde 3 stars

      Catherine Ryan is probably my favorite writer. I usually love everything she writes. This book was good but I love ut as much as others. It was told in first person by a very juvenile sounding character who has been moved to an apartment to live alone by her mother. She is only 15 but her mother’s boyfriend doesn’t want her around. Her next door neighbor is a woman transitioning to a man.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 24, 2016
    • Blueberry #

      TBR #10

      The Tie That Binds

      Kent Haruf is an amazing writer, so simple yet elegant. His characters are filled out. I didn’t care for this story however. It was pretty miserable. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to give it a 3 or a 4 on Goodreads but ultimately decided a 3. (It would be a 3.5 if I had that option).

      Liked by 1 person

      January 1, 2017
      • Blueberry #

        I meant to say his characters are so complete, beautifully filled in. (Stumbling for words)

        Liked by 1 person

        January 1, 2017
    • Blueberry #

      #20 Costa Award winner or nominee

      A Place Called Winter. This book was so good. I never would have heard of it or the author if not for this challenge. The book had some happy and some sad.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 8, 2017
    • Blueberry #

      TBR 8
      Joni by Joni Earecksen
      Joni had a diving accident in her teens which broke her neck. This was about her struggles with her Christianity and coming to terms with now being a quadriplegic. She eventually becomes an artist by using a pencil in her mouth. I listened to it on audio and did not like the author’s reading voice.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 12, 2017
    • Blueberry #

      TBR 19
      1984 by George Orwell

      Big Brother watches everyone through telescreens set up everywhere. There is no history; it is changed as needed to reflect current happenings to have been always true. Winston questions this and tries to join the Brotherhood which he thinks is fighting Big Brother. He is caught and tortured. I initially enjoyed this but now I’m not sure how I feel. I listened to it on audio which not my usual choice was good for this book.

      Liked by 2 people

      January 22, 2017
    • Blueberry #

      haha, sorry that was so choppy. I didn’t realize. I was trying to write it during intermission at a play. I wanted to get it in before I forgot and missed tomorrow’s deadline.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 22, 2017
    • Blueberry #

      # 40 (memoir or biography adapted to screen)

      my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1896193933

      Like

      January 29, 2017
    • Blueberry #

      square #48 science
      Hidden Figures

      I really hoped to like this better than I did. It was a lot of science and a who’s who list of African-American females in the space industry. I was hoping for some narrative and more of a memoir.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 4, 2017
    • Blueberry #

      Book #11 Reading Lolita in Tehran

      I would rate this book 3- 3.5 stars. I liked the story of the women’s relations and I learned a lot about the revolutionary changes in Iran during the 70’s to 90’s. I didn’t enjoy that so much of the books was about the history of the revolution in Iran. Also the story was not told chronologically but was all over the place in it’s time line.

      Like

      February 12, 2017
    • Blueberry #

      TBR 24

      Poorly written, comments not making sense, characters doing our of character behaviors or sayibg stupid things. I was told 3 times that a table was a Nakashima, really? Too bad I like the characters and the story until the very bad ending leaving the rest of the storyline hanging. This is a series touted as being able to read the induvudual books as stand-alones but I had no idea who anyone was, especially as she would change the names she called characters and never had ANY explanation of who anyone was.

      Like

      February 15, 2017
  11. Kate’s List
    Her privates we
    Hogfather by Pratchett
    The Drunken Botanist by Stewart
    The Port Chicago 50 by Sheinkin
    The Towers of Trebizond
    The Invention of Curried Sausage
    Something Rotten by Fforde
    Cold Comfort Farm
    Salvage the Bones
    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
    The Disappearing Spoon
    Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee
    Half of a yellow Sun
    Unwind
    Homegoing
    The Garden of the Finzi-continis
    Bring up the Bodies
    Middlemarch
    Wideacre
    Niko’s Nature by Kruuk
    A Lesson Before Dying
    We are not Ourselves
    The Unexpected Mrs Polifax
    The Complete Don Quixote (graphic novel)
    The soul of an octopus

    Like

    December 3, 2016
    • Week One – Book by an African Author
      Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

      My Review on Goodreads

      Liked by 3 people

      December 18, 2016
    • Book Two – TBR #10
      Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet – by Jamie Ford
      ★★★★
      The title pretty much sums up the tone of this story of a middle-aged man in 1986 looking back on his tumultuous childhood in Seattle during World War II. Henry was the only Chinese student in his almost all-white middle school when he developed a deep friendship with the other “scholarshipping” student, second generation Japanese-American Keiko. Ford’s book is a pretty emotional look at the devastating injustices visited upon the Japanese American community in the name of patriotism and national security. My only quibble would be that Henry and Keiko seemed far more mature to me than twelve years old. Maybe that is a natural product of their traditional sheltered upbringings, but I can’t image today’s twelve year olds being that composed and mature.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 28, 2016
    • Book Three – English Crime
      Clouds of Witness – Dorothy L. Sayers

      Jiggery-pokery! When Lord Peter Wimsey uttered those words in my audio book version of this Dorothy L. Sayers classic I literally whooped in delight. So that’s where Fat Tony Scalia picked up that phrase that so infamously worked its way into his dissenting opinion on a Supreme Court challenge to health care subsidies. This novel went well with my binge-watching of Downton Abbey at the same time. I could only wish that Lord Peter could have been on hand at Downton to bring a swifter resolution to some of the endless murder subplots on the series.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 8, 2017
    • Book Four – South African contemporary
      Waiting for the Barbarians by J. M. Coetzee
      ★★★★★
      I have issues with the Goodreads summary for this chilling novel. The magistrate’s tenure in a sleepy frontier town on the outer edges of the Empire is indeed upended by the arrival of Colonel Joll from the Third Bureau. However there was no real evidence of any impending war until the Colonel and his like started rounding up the indigenous population and torturing them.

      By keeping the identities of his Empire and his barbarians mystery Coetzee allows his reader to draw their own analogies. Was he writing about South Africa and its indigenous populations? He could just as easily be referring to any of the European colonial powers, the United States genocidal assault on its native populations, or as immediately came to mind for me, the United States’ more recent misadventures in the Middle East. By page 6 I was disturbed by the parallels that were leaping off the page. By page 25 I put the book down to call my Senators to voice my opinions about the current confirmation hearings. This was a very disturbing but powerful book.

      Like

      January 12, 2017
    • Sadly what with knitting, marching and badgering my congress critters I’m not getting much reading done 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      January 23, 2017
      • My daughter and I marched thus no reading for me either this week.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 23, 2017
    • Still limping along at the back of the field…

      Book Five: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons TBR #8

      This has been languishing in my TBR ever since it was a 1001 book of the month read ages ago. Now that I have finally read it I have to say I wasn’t thrilled with it. Maybe its flippant tone was edgy at the time nowadays it seems to me Gibbons was trying too hard to be funny and though I love the Monty Python strain of British humor I’ve never liked the town v. country and more class based varieties. As for the vocabulary I was never sure if she was just making stuff up or it really reflected Sussex vernacular. That’s not what they sound like on Foyle’s War! I did like the names of the cows.

      Like

      January 27, 2017
    • Book Six – Supernatural

      Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore

      Somewhat disappointing debut novel from the author of Lamb. The off-the-wall sense of humor is the same but over the years Moore has developed a far lighter touch with his humor that is lacking in this violent gory tale of a demon running amok in the Northern California town of Pine Cove. I liked most of his characters I just was turned off by the gruesomeness.

      Like

      February 5, 2017
    • Book Seven landscape as character

      Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

      The landscape was actually my favorite character in this story of a young woman and her three suitors in the fictional county of Wessex in southern England. Of the men Troy was a smarmy self-centered narcissist, Boldwood was a stalker, and as for Gabriel, well I never quite forgave him for not supervising his dog properly. At first I was annoyed with Bathsheba for perceived fickleness until I reflected that in this age she’d be a young college student with the privilege of playing the field a bit and exploring different relationships. Why should she have to commit to a life-sentence as the property of one man at any age let alone as such a young woman exploring her own strengths and capabilities. With a few Hardy novels under my belt in addition to Pratchetts Tiffany Aching series I almost feel as I though I might be qualified to start keeping a few sheep.

      Like

      February 12, 2017
  12. Gwen’s List:
    1. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
    2. Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami
    3. Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters
    4. Solanin, by Inio Asano
    5. The Bonesetter’s Daughter, by Amy Tan
    6. Phonogram, Vol. 1: Rue Britannia, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
    7. The Fate of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen
    8. The Sound of Waves, by Yukio Mishima
    9. Snow Country, by Yasunari Kawabata
    10. Fear of Flying, by Erica Jong
    11. Hardboiled & Hard Luck, by Banana Yoshimoto
    12. Girl in a Band, by Kim Gordon
    13. A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
    14. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, by Kurt Vonnegut
    15. The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro
    16. Hot Milk, by Deborah Levy
    17. Grotesque, by Natsuo Kirino
    18. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, by Audre Lorde
    19. Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi
    20. Dietland, by Sarai Walker
    21. Breath, Eyes, Memory, by Edwige Danticat
    22. The Happy Atheist, by P.Z. Myers
    23. Wandering Son, by Takako Shimura
    24. Strange Weather in Tokyo, by Hiromi Kawakami
    25. George, by Alex Gino

    Like

    December 3, 2016
    • Roll one, TBR #10, Fear of Flying by Erica Jong. Four stars.

      This was fascinating, though surprisingly heavy on the Freudian psychology of the 70s and a bit dull during the trip when she’s accounting the history of her relationships. The way Jong tracks the process of women’s internal liberation – middle class white women, anyway – was poignant for me, frustrating much of the time, but ultimately hopeful. I marked so many passages (using my lovely blades of grass page markers) that my book looks like a little garden. I love the complete frankness of Jong’s narrator, the open – if convoluted – examination of herself.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 19, 2016
    • Would you say Nadine Gordimer is South African contemporary?

      Like

      December 19, 2016
      • Hmm, I think so. She published her last novel in 2012 and her novels tackle a variety of contemporary issues

        Liked by 1 person

        December 19, 2016
      • Excellent. I’ve been meaning to read her for a long time. Thanks!

        Like

        December 19, 2016
    • Roll two, square 23, contemporary South African author. The House Gun, by Nadine Gordimer. I think four stars.

      Gordimer is an author I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, so I’m glad the opportunity came up. Her writing is so impressive; it’s remarkable how deeply she can explore the private thoughts of people facing the most dire circumstances, and address large societal and historical issues at the same time. It took quite a while longer for me to read, and I’m still thinking about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 2, 2017
    • Roll four, book by a Nobel prize winner: Why I Am Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell. All the stars.

      I think I’ve found my philosopher. I’m shocked how progressive Russell was in the early twentieth century – most of these essays were written in the 20s and 30s, even one as early as 1903, and the collection was published in 1957, but they all say things that I still feel radical for believing nearly a century later. From what I can tell he was essentially a feminist, or at least approximately, and given the time period it’s surprising how few things he said that wouldn’t be acceptable today – there was an offensive comment each about sex workers and the mentally ill, two groups that I think even now are among the last to gain respect, and a few mentions of “primitive savages,” etc. I’m so glad this was my own copy, not a library book, because I will be rereading and thinking about it for a long time. He had so many interesting thoughts about the future, and only one of them seems crazy (the idea that because of scientific progress, the patriarchal family was dissolving and pretty soon children were going to start being raised by the state. He has good reasons for thinking so; it’s just funny because of how decidedly it has NOT happened. But who knows, maybe it’s still in the future, and we’re just not there yet).

      Liked by 3 people

      January 5, 2017
    • Roll 5, landscape as a character: Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte. [There are going to be spoilers in here because I think the statute of limitations runs out at 150 years.] This was a difficult category for me, but I had been wanting to reread this book for a long time—I first read it probably fifteen years ago, in high school—and I remembered how significant the landscape is in creating the atmosphere, both reflecting and shaping Catherine and Heathcliff. Here’s the full review on my blog.

      Like

      January 15, 2017
    • Jen, landscape as a character is the one I just did – would I not move to 40 after rolling a 1?

      Like

      January 16, 2017
      • Oh, hold on. Let me take a look

        Like

        January 16, 2017
      • yes, you are on square 40. Sorry, I will change that above. Ignore the game board photo. You’ll be reading memoir/biography adapted to screen

        Liked by 1 person

        January 16, 2017
      • Thanks!

        Like

        January 16, 2017
    • Roll six, memoir adapted to stage: The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion.

      I haven’t written a full review of this yet, but I probably will need to. It was pretty difficult to read: such raw, precisely-articulated grief is almost overwhelming. This is the first I’ve read of Didion’s work, and that seems strange to me, to be introduced to someone via the most intimate, traumatic experience of their life.

      Like

      January 23, 2017
    • Roll seven, TBR #2. Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami.

      This book is close to 500 pages, so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it in one week. I should have remembered how much I love Murakami – I finished easily in five days. It may be one of my favorites of his books. The plot was so interesting, the characters have great relationships, and I was struck often by a really beautiful idea or well-put phrase. It had been a while since my last Murakami and like always, as I finish it I’m so excited that I still have more of his books to read.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 29, 2017
    • Roll eight, main character under 20. Horimiya, volume 2, by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara.

      A “slice of life” manga about two high school students whose parents are so busy they’re never around, so the teenagers are basically responsible for themselves – and very different outside of school than their classmates would ever guess. I like that this one develops the relationship between the two guy friends as well as the one between the girl and the boy (the two main characters, Hori and Miyamura). There’s no romance (yet), just the usual drama about who likes who among high school students.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 31, 2017
    • Roll nine, part of a series. Titus Groan, by Mervyn Peake.

      I have very mixed feelings! Peake has a spectacularly unique voice and way of describing things. One of my favorite devices is how he shows what all the other characters are doing while the character in focus is doing whatever they’re doing. I can’t believe how long it took me to read, though. Even despite the fascinating characters and creative imagery, I found that some pages were taking me 20 or 30 minutes to read, and I barely made it through in the end. There’s a great chance I’ll read the other two later, but I couldn’t do it now.

      Like

      February 20, 2017
  13. Joi’s List:
    1)And Then There Were None- Agatha Christie
    2) The Book Thief by Mark Zusak
    3) Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews
    4) Hanover House- Brenda Novak
    5) People Who Eat Darkness: The Fate of Lucie Blackman by Richard Lloyd Perry
    6) Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riorden
    7) The Lovers Dictionary- David Leviathan
    8) The Revised Fundamentals of Caring- Jonathan Evison
    9) Four to Score by Janet Evanovich
    10) Thirty Days to Thirty- Courtney Psak
    11) Security- Gina Wohlsdorf
    12)Follow You Home- Mark Edwards
    13) Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
    14)The End of Your Life Book Club- Will Schwalbe
    15)unSweetined- Jodie Sweetin
    16)Oliver Kitteridge- Elizabeth Strout
    17)Summerlost- Ally Condie
    18)A Stolen Life- Jaycee Dugard
    19)Every Fear- Rick Mofina
    20)The Assistants- Camille Perri
    21)Love, Loss, and What We Ate- Padma Lakshmi
    22) The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy- Ann Rule
    23)The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper- Phaedra Patrick
    24)Imperfect Strangers- Lea O’Harra
    25)Murder at the Vicarage- Agatha Christie

    Like

    December 3, 2016
    • Joi #

      Roll 1, December 12: Space 12- Book #10
      Thirty Days to Thirty by Courtney Psak

      This book was a nook freebie I’ve had for quite a while and meaning to read. Thank goodness was a quick and easy read because unfortunately it was not that great.
      2 Stars

      Link to Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1837711883?book_show_action=false

      Liked by 1 person

      December 13, 2016
    • Joi #

      Roll 2, December 19: Space 18- Thriller
      Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris
      4 Stars

      Yay! Happy to roll onto the thriller tag. LOVE psychological thrillers, and I’ve been waiting for an excuse to read this book.

      Link to Review:
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1843954636

      Liked by 1 person

      December 21, 2016
    • Joi #

      Roll 3, December 26/Jan 2: Space 20- Costa Winner or Nominee
      The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer
      3 Stars
      I didn’t actually know what the Costa Awards were- so this was education on that matter. Found the book with the most interesting cover from the past two years, so that’s how this came to be my read.
      Link to Review:
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1858426029

      Liked by 1 person

      January 5, 2017
    • Joi #

      Roll 4, Jan 9: Space 24- Mystery
      The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
      3 Stars
      Dang it!!! I finished this last night and forgot today was a holiday IE did not have to wake up early to go to work), I was going to post this before the next roll but it seems as I missed the deadline and the next round has already started 😦
      Link to Review:
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1655500076

      Like

      January 16, 2017
    • Joi #

      Roll 5, Jan 16/23: Space 34- Supernatural
      Cinder by Marissa Meyer
      4 Stars
      I am not a supernatural fan (I did enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse books, but am all finished with the series)-so this one was stretching for me. I wasn’t sure if Cinder would count for supernatural since I normally think of vampires, werewolves, witches for that. But it’s been tagged over 100 times as Supernatural so I guess it counts! Been meaning to make it to Cinder and it’s series for ages so this was a good reason to read it.
      Link to Review:
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1646623511

      Liked by 1 person

      January 28, 2017
    • Joi #

      Roll 6, Jan 30/Feb 6: Space 35- Book Written Before 1900
      A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (originally published in 1887)
      3 Stars
      Wanted to read this this year, so this was a good excuse. I’m actually amazed at the amount of literature I HAVEN’T read that was written before 1990.
      Link to Review:
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1898267317

      Like

      February 9, 2017
    • Joi #

      Roll 7, Feb 13: Space 43- TBR #3
      Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews
      4 Stars
      YAY! Finally rolled onto a book I already own, and was on the TBR list.
      Link to Review:
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1584297678?book_show_action=false

      Liked by 1 person

      February 18, 2017
      • I generally don’t reread books, anymore, but when I was in high school, Flowers in the Attic was one I read a number of times! I really liked it when I read it back then!

        Like

        February 18, 2017
  14. Keith’s List
    1 Ben Mezrich – Bringing Down the House
    2 Patricia Wood – Lottery
    3 John Hartley Williams – Mystery in Spiderville
    4 Toby Litt – deadkidsongs
    5 David Nicholls- One Day
    6 Kapka Kassabova – Street Without a Name
    7 Jean-Claude Izzo – Total Chaos
    8 Belinda Bauer- Darkside
    9 Leslie Schwart – Angels Crest
    10 Matti Joensuu – Priest of Evil
    11 Stuart Macbride- In the Cold Dark Ground
    12 Natascha Kampusch – 3,096 Days
    13 Jill Leovy – Ghettoside
    14 Linwood Barclay- Broken Promise
    15 Laura Barnett- The Versions of Us
    16 Martyn Waites – Speak No Evil
    17 Grace Monroe- The Watcher
    18 Grace Monroe- Dark Angels
    19 Glenn Taylor – The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart
    20 Aaron Hartzler – What We Saw
    21 Joseph D Pistone- Donnie Brasco
    22 Janet Fife-Yeomans – Killing Jodie
    23 Michael Dibdin- Ratking
    24 Joe Donnelly- Bane
    25 Chloe Hooper- A Child’s Book of True Crime

    Like

    December 3, 2016
    • Keith #

      YA LGBT – fortunately I had a copy of “If I Was Your Girl” which was in a Bookriot box.

      4 star review. This was riveting, and whilst not ‘fun’, I kept turning the pages. The continuing theme was about the darker side of human nature, with some glimpses of redemption thrown in. The bravery of those (including the author) who go through the process of becoming trans-gender is astonishing – this is an essential read for anyone wishing to get a fuller understanding, and dare I say it, compassion.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 17, 2016
      • Keithw #

        Roll 2 – thriller. The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross. 3 stars. This was perfectly engaging, with the expected number of twists and turns before the denouement. Despite this, I had some of it worked out pretty early, and I’m not much of a predictor. Enjoyable in the way that I find all thrillers, but nothing outstanding.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 26, 2016
    • Keithw #

      Roll 3, my choice. Dark Flight by Lin Anderson. 3.5 stars https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1850650785?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

      Liked by 1 person

      December 30, 2016
    • Keithw #

      Hi, I got retelling but I’m not really sure what this means. Can you please advise???

      Like

      January 2, 2017
      • I didn’t come up with the category so I think use your best judgment. I think it can be any kind of reworking or adaptation of another story — a fairy tale retelling (like Gregory Macguire books), a retelling of a Shakespeare play (e.g. the Hogwarth series), or an reworking of a classic (Jane Steele, Madwoman in the Attic, etc). Or it could mean a take off on another book, from the point of view of a minor character, etc. I think you can be pretty creative with what you select. If you like Shakespeare, the Hogwarth series would be a good place to take a look.

        Like

        January 2, 2017
      • Keith #

        I got creative with this ‘retelling’ and chose The Three by Sarah Lotz. It’s kind of a fictional retelling of fictional events in a fictional book. The fictional book is made up of fictional interviews, blog posts, articles etc. Not sure why it worked for me, it just did. Nearly 4 stars for me, so I rounded it up. A little bit more on my Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/915199715?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

        Liked by 1 person

        January 9, 2017
    • Keith #

      TBR 20 Aaron Hartzler – What We Saw. A controversial topic, sensitively handled. Not for the faint hearted. The end was rather predictable, but didn’t detract from my “enjoyment” (definitely not the right word) of this book. Goodreads comments at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1873892898?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

      Like

      January 16, 2017
    • Keithw #

      Me and You by Niccolo Ammaniti. My first ever Italian book. 4.5 stars, a little gem. Goodreads Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1882430096?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

      Liked by 1 person

      January 22, 2017
    • Keithw #

      Tbr 15. Laura Barnett – The Versions of Us. Oh my goodness. If ever there was a poster for ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, this is it. I expected something light and fun, in a Sliding Doors scenario. Three separate stories, back and forth, back and forth, confusing me. Each time I went back to it, I had to re-read quite a bit for refamiliarisation. By the time I got the hang of it, I was near the end. After a quirky beginning, it was just all far more serious than I expected. Not badly written at all, although completing out has been a mission. 3.5 stars. However, the following sentence deserves five stars “he stands for a moment before opening the studio door, looking down at the beach, flooded with a disorientating happiness; and he savours it, drinks it in, because he is old enough now to know happiness for what it is: brief and fleeing, not a state to strive for, to seek to live in, but to catch when it comes,and to hold on to for as long as you can”.

      Like

      February 20, 2017
  15. Cindy’s List
    1. Through a Window / Jane Goodall
    2. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth / Chris Hadfield
    3. On Thin Ice / Richard Ellis
    4. Keeping Our Cool / Andrew Weaver
    5. Tsunami: the Newfoundland Tidal Wave Disaster / Maura Hanrahan
    6. Small Beneath the Sky / Lorna Crozier
    7. Honolulu / Alan Brennert
    8. The Anatony of Edouard Beaupre / Sarak Kathryn York
    9. Into Thin Air / Jon Krakauer
    10. The Snow Child / Eowyn Ivey
    11. White Oleander / Janet Fitch
    12. Naked in Death / J.D. Robb
    13. Becoming Marie Antoinette / Juliet Grey
    14. Big Boned / Meg Cabot
    15. Cool Water / Diane Warren
    16. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox / Maggie O’Farrell
    17. The Lake House / Kate Morton
    18. Lives of Girls and Women / Alice Munro
    19. Love Saves the Day / Gwen Cooper
    20. Milkrun / Sarah Mlynowski
    21. Orange is the New Black / Piper Kerman
    22. Road Trip Rwanda / Will Ferguson
    23. The Winter Palace / Eva Stachniak
    24. Three Maids for a Crown / Ella March Chase
    25. We Bought a Zoo / Benjamin Mee

    Like

    December 7, 2016
    • Square #4. Fantasy (Me, I would consider this science fiction/horror, but it is tagged “fantasy” at both GR and LT. I do see why some would tag it that way.)

      Dinosaur Lake / Kathryn Meyer Griffith
      4 stars

      Henry is the Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake, which sits atop a volcano. There has been no volcanic activity in anyone’s memory and earthquakes are rare and mild. Near the start of the book, some dinosaur bones are found when a small earthquake reveals them. When Henry learns that people have seen a “monster” in the lake, including one of his best friends/one of the other rangers, he doesn’t really believe them until he sees it himself. Things go from bad to worse as people start to disappear…

      This was really good. Lots of suspense and I was often on-the-edge-of-my-seat with a pounding heart. There was a range of characters and motivations; some of the characters I liked, some not so much! At first, the book had me thinking of similarities to Jurassic Park, then Jaws (Henry gets to a point where he wants to close the lake, but no one believes that there is a problem), and some Loch Ness Monster (monster in a lake) and Bigfoot (no one believes it) thrown in there. This is part of a series, and I do hope to continue.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 18, 2016
    • Anything over 75 pages. Not really a hard and fast rule for this challenge as long as it’s reasonable

      Like

      December 19, 2016
    • Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 19, 2016
    • Square #25. Children’s Classic

      Charlotte’s Web / E.B. White
      4.5 stars

      Wilbur is a pig and was the runt of his litter. When the farmer wants to kill him, his 8-year old daughter, Fern, won’t let him. She insists she’ll raise him. When Wilbur gets older, though, he is sent to Fern’s uncle’s barn, where Fern visits daily. Wilbut makes friends with many of the other animals in the barn, and his closest friend becomes a spider, Charlotte. When the other animals warn that Wilbur won’t be alive come Christmas, Charlotte comes up with a plan to save Wilbur’s life.

      I remember reading this and loving it when I was a kid, but I certainly don’t remember specifics. I do remember bawling at the end! I still love this story, and though I didn’t bawl like I did when I was a kid, I did cry. Maybe I’m rating it higher because of my memories of the book, as well, so the extra half star may be for that, but that’s ok. Part of it could also just be my love of animals, and I love how they are portrayed in the book. I believe I read the original edition of the book (and I’m sure it was the same edition I read when I was a kid), and the illustrations are very nice.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 23, 2016
    • Week 3. Square 29. TBR #11

      White Oleander / Janet Fitch
      3.5 stars

      Astrid’s mother is a poet and a murderer. When Astrid is 12? 13?, her mother murders one of her series of boyfriends and goes to jail. This lands Astrid in various foster homes until she turns 18, during which time there is sex, drugs and violence.

      I wasn’t sure, at first, if I was going to like it. I didn’t like the (literary) writing style. Lots of description and in a case or two, I had to “read between the lines” to figure out what was actually happening. It got better after Astrid’s mom went to jail (seemed like less poetic description once the poet character was not as much in the story?), and I found all the various happenings in the foster homes much more interesting. I’m not sure I really liked Astrid, but I certainly felt badly for her. Definitely didn’t like her mother.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 31, 2016
    • Week 4. Square 31. TBR #24.

      Three Maids for a Crown / Ella March Chase.
      4 stars

      This novel follows the Grey sisters. The oldest, Lady Jane Grey became Queen of England for 9 days, following Henry VIII’s son, Edward. Henry’s oldest daughter (Jane’s cousin), Mary I, took over and imprisoned and later beheaded Jane. Jane had two younger sisters, Katherine (Kat) and the hunchbacked Mary. Kat married twice for love and Mary was never expected to marry. They were all threats to the throne.

      I have read much about Jane, but only one other book (I believe it was nonfiction) about her sisters. I really enjoyed this, but then Jane has fascinated me since high school. The chapters switch perspectives between all three of them. I actually didn’t like Mary in this book, nor did I like Kat all that much. It’s a fictional portrayal, so that may not be, personality-wise, what they were really like, anyway, but the book was still enjoyable, and of course, it’s always a fun way to learn more.

      Like

      January 14, 2017
    • Square 43. TBR 3

      On Thin Ice / Richard Ellis
      3.5 stars

      This book is all about polar bears, from the time Europeans first came across them up to their current potential peril due to global warming/climate change.

      The history is unfortunate, as humans mostly tended, for a long time, to simply shoot them on site, assuming they were a threat (yes, they can be dangerous, but apparently, they are also very curious, and much of their approaching humans seems more to have been from curiosity than aggression). There was information on their behaviour, which I found particularly interesting. There were chapters on zoos and circuses, and on hunting. The last chapters focused on global warming and how it will affect polar bears and other wildlife in the Arctic; I’ve read enough about this that I’m not surprised by any of it, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating (and sad). There were also plenty of photos, both mixed in with the text and in a separate colour section.

      Like

      January 22, 2017
    • Square 55. True Crime

      Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder / Mark Nelson and Sarah Hudson Bayliss
      3 stars

      The “Black Dahlia” murder was the murder of 22-year old Elizabeth Short in LA in 1947. She was found with her body cut in half. The murder has never been solved, but George Hodel was one of the suspects at the time. This book illustrates the similarities between Elizabeth Short’s murdered body and surrealist art. Hodel was apparently connected to the art scene in LA around the time, as well as being a doctor.

      I am more interested in the crime itself and not surrealist (weird!!!) art. There were plenty of photos in the book, of both surrealist art and the crime scene. The crime scene photos are pretty graphic, but the authors assure the reader that these are the least bad of the crime scene photos. The photos do show how closely her body does resemble plenty of surrealist art. There was a LOT more information than I ever wanted to know about surrealism and the artists themselves. The bulk of the book was really about the art and the artists and less about the crime. Despite me not really being interested in art history, the book mostly did hold my attention, so it’s an “ok” for me, but I’d really like to find more information on the murder itself where the book actually focuses on that.

      Like

      January 29, 2017
    • Square 58. Nonfiction about Musicians

      Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter / Randy L. Schmidt
      4 stars

      This book was not authorized by the family. Any earlier biographies, tv movies, etc, were all authorized by her family and, seemingly, “whitewashed”. The author of this one talks to many, many people who knew Karen – friends, family, other celebrities – to put together her life.

      Karen Carpenter was one of the siblings in the musical brother-sister duo, The Carpenters, who became stars in the 1970s. Karen became anorexic and died at 32-years old.

      The above was about as much as I knew about Karen Carpenter. The Carpenters were big before I was born and when I was very young. I do remember some of their music from when I was younger, but I particularly remember watching the tv movie that aired in 1989. I was in high school at that time and that may have been when I found out about her anorexia. This book brings to light some of the reasons that she may have developed anorexia: an overprotective mother; a disastrous marriage; though she was the “star” of the Carpenters, she was always second-best in her family, as brother Richard was always her parents’ (or at least her mother’s) favourite, and that was never hidden.

      There was a lot of detail about the songs/hits, etc. Maybe a bit too much. At the same time, I had a Carpenters soundtrack running through my head the entire time I was reading it! I even had to youtube their music to listen to some I didn’t know (or some I did know, but didn’t recognize based on the title). And I’m listening to The Carpenters as I write this review.

      Overall, though, I thought it was very good. There was a lot I didn’t know about Karen, and it was all very interesting, and no question, very sad.

      Like

      February 11, 2017
    • I see for this week, I’ve landed on “historical” (as have a few others). Is this historical fiction or nonfiction, or either one? Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 13, 2017
      • Interpret it however you wish. 🙂

        Like

        February 13, 2017
      • Hmmm, ok. Thank you!

        Like

        February 13, 2017
    • Square 66. Historical

      The Nightingale / Kristin Hannah
      4.5 stars

      Vianne and Isabelle are sisters, but are not close. Vianne is married and has a daughter and lives in rural France, while Isabelle prefers Paris. Vianne’s husband goes to fight in World War II, and Isabelle goes to live with Vianne. The sisters are opposites. Vianne wants to not rock the boat and just wait for Antoine to come home. Isabelle is furious and wants to help stop the Germans, so she gets involved with some underground resistance. In fact, Isabelle is very involved and it is very dangerous. Meanwhile, Vianne’s home is “confiscated” by the Germans when the town is invaded and a German soldier stays with them. This is dangerous for everyone…

      The book goes back and forth between 1995 and 1939-1945. I think I’ve only read one other book (that comes to mind, anyway) that is set in France during the war (Sarah’s Key), so between the two books, I am learning more of what happened in occupied France. At first, I found Isabelle’s story more intriguing (we also went back and forth between what was happening with each sister), but as time went on, things were happening on both ends. Despite the length of the book, it was a fast read for me. Very, very well done and very interesting and heartbreaking, at times.

      Like

      February 19, 2017
  16. Tanya’s List:
    1. Christmas in Alaska by Debbie Macomber
    2. Pigs Have Wings by P. G. Wodehouse
    3. A Damsel in Distress by P. G. Wodehouse
    4. Very Good, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
    5. The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman
    6. The Bourbon Kings by J. R. Ward
    7. Judas Island by Kathryn R. Wall
    8. The Princeton Imposter by Ann Waldron
    9. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigrani
    10. The Highlander’s Wife by Karen Marie Moning
    11. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
    12. Man’s Heart by Debbie Macomber
    13. Heart of Texas Vol 1 by Debbie Macomber
    14. Heart of Texas Vol 2 by Debbie Macomber
    15. Heart of Texas Vol 3 by Debbie Macomber
    16. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
    17. The Lancelot Murders by J. M. C. Blair
    18. A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen
    19. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
    20. The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanon
    21. Goddess of Light by P. C. Cast
    22. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    23. The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie
    24. The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
    25. A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie

    Like

    December 7, 2016
    • Tanya Dietz #

      Category: YA LGBT
      Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
      3 stars

      This story follows several young men through the course of a weekend. Some are trying to make a statement by breaking a kissing world record, some are experiencing a new love, some an older love. Another is just trying to find himself. While all this is going on, the story is told by the ones who came before them, the ones who are only there spiritually. This story touches a tough subject and does so very well.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 18, 2016
      • Tanya Dietz #

        Category: Set in Alternate Future
        Divergent by Veronica Roth
        4 stars

        Many decades ago the world was torn apart by war. Now people are divided into factions, each one highlighting a characteristic that in theory will keep war from happening. Beatrice is on the cusp of choosing which faction is right for her. However, she thinks differently, she isn’t only one faction and it shows. This is a large problem as being divergent means going against the system, and with some unhappy with the system, she’ll need to watch her step lest she ends up dead. Excellent story, I look forward to continuing the series.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 24, 2016
    • Tanya Dietz #

      Category: Book set before 1900
      The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
      2 stars

      In the days of Puritanical times Hester Prince has had a child. The only problem is that her husband had been missing for 2 years meaning Hester is an adulterer and she won’t name the father. The story continues for 7 years and concludes with learning her Co- adulterer’s name and a resolve of that conflict. I found the story easy enough to follow but I was bored with it and probably wouldn’t have finished it, at least right now, if not for the game.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 1, 2017
      • Tanya Dietz #

        That category should have been book written before 1900. Either way or still fits.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 1, 2017
    • Tanya Dietz #

      Category: Nebula or Hugo winner
      Uprooted by Naomi Novik
      4 stars

      Every 10 years, the Dragon takes a girl to come live with him as payment of sorts for keeping the Wood at bay. However this year he has chosen someone unexpected and the Wood is getting bolder. I really enjoyed this book and find myself sort of wishing there were more, that it was a series.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 9, 2017
    • Tanya #

      Category: Book about war
      Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaime Ford
      4 stars

      This story follows Henry, a Chinese American who in 1986 is relating his experience of being a teenager during WWII, living in Washington, and befriending a Japanese American girl. Following the events of Pearl Harbor, life for the Japanese living in the US changed dramatically, and Henry watches it all unfold as his best friend, a second generation Japanese American girl, taken away and forced to live in one of the camps. Not only does this separate them, but his father, a very nationalistic Chinese man, is very against anything that is Japanese. The story jumps back and forth between the 2 time lines, but was very easy to follow and I very much enjoyed the book.

      Like

      January 15, 2017
    • Tanya Dietz #

      I’ve finally finished! When looking ahead on the last roll I had, this was the category I didn’t want because it usually takes me awhile to read non fiction.

      Category: Nonfiction about music
      A Brief History of Rock, Off the Record by Wayne Robins
      4 stars

      This books covers so many aspects of Rock n’ Roll starting at the very beginning in the 1950’s. It discusses the roots of the genre, the various artists and even some of the political and cultural things that were going on at the time. I found the book very enjoyable as I would constantly read a song title and start singing to myself. There are so many good songs that were brought back to my attention and I found the information very interesting.

      Like

      February 12, 2017
    • Tanya Dietz #

      Category: Women authors
      The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter
      3 stars

      This book is the first in the Lords of the Underworld series. Warriors to the Gods, the Lords made a mistake and are now cursed to house within them the demons they released. Maddox houses Violence, but also has a second curse in which he dies violently every night at midnight. Enter Ashlyn, who seemingly tames not only Maddox, but his demon as well. All the while, there are Hunters out to destroy the Lords. I like this book and will most likely continue on with the series.

      Like

      February 19, 2017
  17. Jessica’s List
    Naomi Alderman The Power
    1. Naomi Alderman The Power
    2. Ali Smith Autumn
    3. Zadie Smith Swing Time
    4. Elizabeth Mckenzie The Portable Veiled
    5. Julian Barnes The Noise of Time
    6. Claire North The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
    7. Laline Paul The Bees
    8. Sarah Moss The Tidal Zone
    9. Colm Toibin The Testament of Mary
    10. Anne Tyler A Spool of Blue Thread
    11. Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche Americanah
    12. Pat Barker Regeneration
    13. Jeanette Winterson Oranges are not the only fruit
    14. A L Kennedy Serious Sweet
    15. Jiri Well Mendelssohn is on the roof
    16. Rona Jaffe The Best of Everything
    17. Emily St John Mandel Station Eleven
    18. Jess Walter Beautiful Ruins
    19. Heather O’Neill The Girl Who was Saturday Night
    20. Liane Moriarty The Husbands Secret
    21. Helen Dunmore Exposure
    22. Simon Mawer Tightrope
    23. Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse 5
    24. Deborah Levy Hot Milk
    25. Graeme Macrame Burnet His bloody project

    Like

    December 7, 2016
    • jesshodg #

      TBR 10 A Spool of Blue Thread Anne Tyler
      3 stars
      I enjoyed this book but it didn’t challenge me or really make me think, and it was not original – I’m really surprised it made the Booker shortlist. I did like it’s focus on old age and responsibility for parents as they get older and the strains on sibling relationships that that can bring. It’s the kind of book my mum will love and she will be getting my second hand copy as an extra present next week.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 18, 2016
    • jesshodg #

      Korean Author The Vegetarian Han King
      4 stars
      This book will stay with me for a long time. Totally original and not exactly a pleasant read, it is in three sections all told from the point of view of someone close to the protagonist, never directly from her. The attitudes described in the book to mental health, women, marriage and sex were disturbing and I found very surprising. It made me both want to find out more about Korea, it’s culture and attitudes to women and also to read Han Kang’s 2016 book, Human Acts.

      Liked by 2 people

      December 24, 2016
    • jesshodg #

      TBR Tightrope Simon Mawer
      2 stars
      Cold War spy novel, not my usual thing, but had high hopes for ripping through it post-Christmas. Two big problems with it unfortunately, first it just took so long go get going and second the narrator was another character in the book who just wouldn’t have known what was going on and frequently said as so “I confess I’ve made this up. I know a great deal but I can’t know everything. So, like me, you’ll have to imagine her..” Didn’t work for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 2, 2017
    • jesshodg #

      Fiction from India Heat and Dust Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
      4 stars
      I enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would, it’s description of rural India was so vivid, I felt I was living there through the British woman’s experiences, who was there to find out more about a scandal involving her step-grandmother. History repeats itself and India has a life changing effect two generations later as well. “India always changes people, and I have been no exception”. The place of women, the interaction between the British Civil Service and the Indian royalty, the difference that fifty years makes to a society – all fascinating and I would definitely recommend.

      Liked by 2 people

      January 8, 2017
    • jesshodg #

      Latin American Fiction Chronicle of a Death Foretold Gabriel Garcia Marquez
      4 stars
      An odd little book, very surprised at the abruptness of the ending. Would read Marquez again though, brilliant description of the town, it’s characters and great story telling. It just felt like there were a lot more miles left in it when it ended!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 14, 2017
    • jesshodg #

      TBR 12 Regeneration Pat Barker
      4 stars
      I’ve read a couple of Pat Barker’s novels before (my dad’s claim to fame is that he taught her A Level English and had to send her out of the classroom for using the f word), and this one, the first of a triology, didn’t disappoint. Mainly about the treatment of shellshock in WW1 and new techniques being used – some horrific – but also interesting bits on the changing role of women and their empowerment through work and the impact on the doctors of treating soldiers and having to decide to send them back to war. Will go back for parts two and three.

      Like

      January 22, 2017
    • jesshodg #

      TBR 21 Exposure Helen Dunmore
      3 stars
      I raced through this – it was a real page turner – but felt dissatisfied at the end. There were a lot of plot holes, and I felt some of the characters weren’t developed enough for me to believe the story. A perfectly good, easy to read Cold War thriller though if you like that sort of thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 29, 2017
    • jesshodg #

      Speculative Fiction Divergent Veronica Roth
      2 stars
      I had to google what speculative fiction was! I have to say I didn’t really like this but it was already on my kindle as a freebie and was a quick read. I appreciated the thought gone into the new world created and it was fast paced and kept my attention. I’ve read other books like it and enjoyed them (e.g. the Hunger Games trilogy) but I don’t think I was in the mood this week (am reading The Gustav Sonata which is amazing and I’d much rather have been reading that!) I don’t think I’ll be picking up books 2 and 3 but am pleased I now know what speculative fiction is (and The Handmaid’s Tale is now on my TBR!)

      Liked by 1 person

      February 5, 2017
    • jesshodg #

      A book set in London or New York Little Deaths Emma Flint
      2 stars
      This book frustrated me a lot as it could have been great but the structure wasn’t well thought out – there was very little tension and more revealed in the last few pages than the whole middle section – and the characters were poorly developed and, the males especially, really weak. Disappointing especially because of all the hype!

      Like

      February 11, 2017
    • jesshodg #

      Historical Crooked Heart Lissa Evans
      3 stars
      Set in the Second World War a clever but lonely ten year old Londoner is evacuated and the book tells the story of his changing relationship with the slightly dodgy and struggling woman who takes him in, their changing relationship and how they learn to depend on each other and eventually love each other. Heart warming and easy to read and I especially liked the description of North London’s roads and neighbourhoods that were bombed. The plot loses its way somewhat and it didn’t change my life but it was a gentle, comforting read.

      Like

      February 19, 2017
  18. Alison’s List:
    1. The Solitude of Emperors – David Dandar
    2. Paddle to the Amazon – Don Starkell
    3. Hard-boiled Wonderland – Haruki Marukami
    4. Ex-Libris – Ann Fadiman
    5. The Language of Threads – Gail Tsukiyama
    6. Arctic Dreams – Barry Lopez
    7. Sylvia: Queen of the Headhunters – Philip Eade
    8. A life Full of Holes – Driss Ben Hamed Chardhai
    9. Four Quarters of Light (An Alaskan Journey) – Brian Keenan
    10. Wilderness Tips – Margaret Atwood
    11. The Siege of Krishnapur – J G Farrell
    12. How to Keep your Volkswagen Alive – Christopher Boucher
    13. The Seed Collectors – Scarlet Thomas
    14. An Elegy for Easterly – Pettinah Gappah
    15. Secrets – Nuruddin Farah
    16. My Shadow – Bryan Rostron
    17. Island Home – Tim Winton
    18. Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffeneger
    19. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
    20. Tarot Tales – Rachel Pollak & Caitlin Mattews
    21. Circling the Sun – Paula McLain
    22. The Elusive Truffle – Mirabel Ossler
    23. The Black Peril – Capt W E Johns
    24. Changing Planes – Margaret Atwood
    25. Burning the Page – Jason Merkoski

    Like

    December 7, 2016
    • Week 1 : (3) African writer
      Going Home by Simao Kikamba
      225 Pages
      Rating: 2.5 stars
      The grim and heartbreaking story of an Angolan political refugee & his odyssey through Africa, terminating in Johannesburg, South Africa. A slow and grinding descent into a desperate struggle to survive. Not an easy read & I didn’t enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 16, 2016
    • Week 2: (8) TBR 17
      ISLAND HOME A Landscape Memoir by Tim Winton
      197 pages
      Rating: 4 stars
      A beautifully produced and illustrated book. Tim Winton’s love song to his home, Australia: the land, the people. His indictment of colonial and post-colonial exploitation of the land and peoples. A clarion call to value and protect the environment and nurture our fragile planet.

      Like

      December 24, 2016
    • Week 2: (8) TBR 17
      ISLAND HOME A Landscape Memoir by Tim Winton
      197 pages
      Rating: 4 stars
      A beautifully produced and illustrated book. Tim Winton’s love song to his home, Australia: the land, the people. His indictment of colonial and post-colonial exploitation of the land and peoples. A clarion call to value and protect the environment and nurture our fragile planet.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 26, 2016
      • I keep meaning to read something by Winton – and then forgetting

        Liked by 1 person

        December 26, 2016
      • Week 3: (12) Fiction from India
        WHITE MAN FALLING – Mike Stocks
        281 pages
        Rating: 3 stars
        This debut comic novel won the 2006 Goss First Novel Award. Set in Tamil Nadu and featuring Police Sub-Inspector (Retd) R.M. Swaminathan’s unexpected journey into sainthood and also the tricky negotiations to marry off eldest daughter Jodhi. A pressing matter in a family of 6 daughters! A satire on religion, the meaning of life – or perhaps its meaninglessness.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 29, 2016
    • Week 4: (9) TBR 24
      CHANGING PLANES – Ursula le Guin
      214 pages
      Rating: 3 stars
      Le Guin at her brilliant imaginative best, as she hops from plane (of existence) to plane, spurred on by horrible episodes of waiting in nasty, noisy, airports. She conjures up different ways of living, different ways of organising society, based on some aspect of our own battered old world. Only in le Guin’s worlds, she sees improved ways of living and being. Go! Ursula le Guin.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 7, 2017
      • Week 5 : (8) Landscape as Character
        A DRINK OF DRY LAND – Chris Marais & Julienne du Toit
        223 pages
        Rating: 3.5 stars
        Wonderful account of driving through the vast spaces of Namibia, from the barren desert of the Kalahari to the Skeleton Coast and the diamond studded Richtersveld and up to the Caprivi Strip – plus many tiny quirky dorpies (tiny towns/villages) in between. The landscape, the people – the indigenous Nama and the Bushmen, the explorers and traders, the settlers – German, Afrikaans and others – a vast land but rich with history, adventure and spectacular wildlife.

        Like

        January 15, 2017
      • Week 6: (2) : A book set in Asia
        The Language of Threads – Gail Tsukiyama
        275 pages
        Rating: 3stars
        Sisterhood of the Silk workers – Pei, who entered as an 8 year old , flees China prior to the Japanese invasion in 1938, taking along orphan Jen Li. Story of how the two girls survive life in Hong Kong, the Japanese occupation, and post war life. A lovely story of courage and determination. I enjoyed it.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 22, 2017
  19. AJ’s List
    1. Six of Crows
    2. Interpreter of Maladies
    3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    4. Pride and Prejudice
    5. Change of Heart
    6. Now and Not Yet
    7. Beautiful Darkness
    8. Phantom Horse
    9. Sense and Sensibility
    10. Divergent
    11. Life of Pi
    12. Lionboy
    13. Lord of the Flies
    14. Gods in Alabama
    15. Adam
    16. Mrs Dalloway
    17. A Study in Scarlet
    18. I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You
    19. Jack and Jill
    20. I Am Malala
    21. The Alchemist
    22. The Madness Project
    23. The Tenth Circle
    24. The Fellowship of the Ring
    25. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    Like

    December 7, 2016
  20. Jan’s LIst
    1. The Letters of Ivor Punch, Colin McIntyre
    2. Three Craws, James Yorkston
    3. The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry
    4. How Late It Was, How Late, James Keenan
    5. The Glorious Heresies, Lisa McInerny
    6. Thousand Cranes, Yasunari Kawabata
    7. Mr Norris Changes Trains, Christopher Isherwood
    8. The October Country, Ray Bradbury
    9. Slade House, David Mitchell
    10. The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson
    11. Nora Webster, Colm Toibin
    12. Parade, Shuichi Yoshida
    13. Fatale, Jean-Patrick Manchette
    14. The Giant, O’Brien, Hilary Mantel
    15. The Miner, Natsume Sōseki
    16. The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
    17. The Children Act, Ian McEwan
    18. Japanese Fairy Tales, Yei Theodora Ozeki
    19. The Red House Mystery, A A Milne
    20. The Human Fly & Other Stories, T C Boyle
    21. On Kissing, Tickling & Being Bored, Adam Phillips
    22. A Pale View of Hills, Kazuo Ishiguro
    23. Yes, Please, Amy Poehler
    24. The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham
    25. A Sicilian Romance, Ann Radcliffe

    Like

    December 7, 2016
  21. You have to have to find a book for that category. Only the TBR list numbers correspond to the TBR list you submitted. The rest of the squares will require some thought to fill

    Like

    December 10, 2016
  22. Katie’s List
    1) Trespass by Rose Tremain
    2) The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
    3) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    4) The Radiant Way by Margaret Drabble
    5) The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
    6) Love by Toni Morrison
    7) A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
    8) Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
    9) West of Here by Johnathan Evison
    10) The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
    11) Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte
    12) Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
    13) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    14) In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
    15) My Beloved Wordl by Sonia Sotomayer
    16) Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
    17) Small Island by Andrea Levy
    18) Poor Caroline by Winifred Holtby
    19) The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
    20) Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
    21) Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
    22) Great House by Nicole Kraus
    23) Powder and Patch by Georgette Heyer
    24) DeNiro’s Game by Rawi Hage
    25) Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller

    Like

    December 10, 2016
    • Looks like my first attempt disappeared so let’s try this again!…

      Week 1: TBR 17: Small Island by Andrea Levy

      4*. A story about 2 couples in post-2nd world war London, told by each of the 4 characters in first person. Also has flash back chapters/sections where each character tells their back story, which sounds confusing but actually works. I loved the characters and this was actually quite a fast read for me considering it was over 500 pages!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 19, 2016
    • Week 2: Costa prize winner or nominee: Pure by Andrew Miller (winner in 2011).

      3*. A novel set in Paris prior to the French Revolution, following the destruction of les Innocents, a prominent, over-full cemetery that has now started to contaminate the city. I can see why this won the Costa – it has beautiful writing whilst still being engaging and it is an interesting subject (apparently based on a true event) but…the characters were a little too sordid for my liking and the vivid descriptions of the smell from the cemetery were almost physically nauseating. It seems strange to dock stars for the vividity of the writing but it just meant this was a world I wasn’t rushing to get back to.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 26, 2016
    • Week 3: my choice: The Best American Essays, edited by Johnathan Franzen

      4*. Thought it would be best to try and finish this before 2017. This is a collection of long form articles from a range of often times obscure magazines that I would never normally read. There are some big names (Joyce Carol Oates) and some I’ve never heard of. As with any collection, there are some hits and misses but it was an opportunity to read about subjects I wouldn’t normally and from authors I haven’t been exposed to. Surprisingly, my favourite essay was The Bonds of Battle by Sebastian Junger which was a fascinating look at PTSD – a subject I didn’t know I was interested in. Would definitely recommend.

      Liked by 2 people

      January 2, 2017
    • Week 4: books into movies: Inferno by Dan Brown

      2*. I read several Dan Brown books 10 years ago and remember thinking they were all fast-paced and enjoyable. Whilst this is somewhat of a page-turner with some impressive plot twists, I just couldn’t get over the awful writing this time round! My reading was consistently slowed by some involuntary eye rolling! Just terrible. This might be one book where the movie will be better than the book.

      Liked by 2 people

      January 9, 2017
    • Week 5: Humor: I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

      2*. I think I went in to this book with unfair expectations. I understood this to be a series of humorous vignettes about the author’s life and aging and was hoping for something like Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, which I loved. I was disappointed. This was a quick and light read with some mildly humorous stories (can I be that cutting about an author who is now deceased?) but nothing very memorable (I guess I can!). I wouldn’t recommend it.

      Like

      January 14, 2017
    • Week 6: a book published in the 1980s: Perfume by Patrick Suskind

      4* This is the second book I’ve read in the last month based in 18th century France (the other book being Pure by Andrew Miller; see above) and actually mentioned the cemetery that features in Pure several times! This was completely unintentional and the connections were a little spooky! However, this is the better book. Based on a sociopath with an inordinate sense of smell it is a quirky book unlike anything I have read before. The middle got a bit weird (when he started dreaming/imagining about the smell library in his mind) and the end was a little leud which was enough to stop this being a 5* read. Otherwise highly recommended!

      I think there is a chance I will complete the board this week. I would love to start from the beginning again if so. Having so much fun!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 23, 2017
    • Week 7: translated work: Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

      4*. This was actually probably a 3* read for me but knowing that the author was only about halfway through this novel when she died in Auschwitz, made this novel all the more moving. Knowing that she had likely lived through similar storylines made the book more fascinating than it would otherwise have been. As a novel, I found there to be too many characters to care about them all and maybe this would have benefited from some editing. Although of course fate had other plans. So sad.

      Like

      January 30, 2017
    • Week 8: TBR 7: A Thousand Splendid Sun’s by Khaled Hosseini

      5*. An absolutely incredible book. An all time favourite. Have recommended this to 2 people in the last week. I have owned this book for at least 2 years and can’t believe it took me this long to get to it. So glad I did this reading challenge for this book alone. I read another book by this author a couple of years ago (And The Mountains Echoed) and it was good…but this was excellent! Read it!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 5, 2017
    • Week 9: Thriller: The Killing Lessons by Saul Black

      3*. This is probably a very good thriller – a range of storylines, a fast moving plot – but I think that this just isn’t the right genre for me. It was very graphic and I found it tough to read at times. I read it quite quickly but was ultimately glad it was over so I could get those stories out of my mind.

      Like

      February 12, 2017
    • Week 10: Latin American Fiction: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

      3*. Possibly 4* as I thin about it more. I’ve heard this is many peoples favourite book which might have resulted in some unfair expectations. This novel followed multiple generations of a family and I loved that part. However, the multitude of characters all had similar names and I spent the first half of the book constantly flicking back to the family tree at the front to orient myself. I also took a 2 day break from reading at the beginning of the week and had to reread quite a bit to be able to get back into it. However, now at the end, I am still thinking about the book and I wonder if it might grow on me. Definitely interested to read more from this author but hope that the next book isn’t quite such hard work.

      Like

      February 20, 2017
  23. BookerTalk’s List
    1. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
    2. Border Country by Raymond Williams
    3. A tale for the time Being- Ruth Ozeki
    4. Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
    5. Half a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Adichie
    6. The Cheltenham Square Murder, John Bude
    7. Snow Country, Yasunari Kawabata,
    8. A Brief history of Seven Killings, Marlon James
    9. True History of the Kelly Gang, Peter Cary
    10. Sacred Hunger, Barry Unsworth
    11. Oscar and Lucinda, Peter Cary
    12. The Murder of Halland, Pia Jul
    13. The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Richard Flanagan
    14. Good behaviour, Molly Keane
    15. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Dodi Smith
    16. How Late it Was, How Late, Kelman
    17. The Blue Room by Hanne Ørstavik
    18. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
    19. The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
    20. The Vegetarian: Han Kang
    21 The Kill, Emile Zola
    22. The Cruellest Month, Louise Penny
    23. My Anthonia, Willa Cather
    24. Angels Game, Zufon
    25. Love Song, Andrea Levy

    Like

    December 10, 2016
  24. Nicole’s List:
    1. The Master and Margarita – Bulagakov
    2. Downtown Owl – Klosterman
    3. Death with Interruptions – Saramago
    4. The Sense of an Ending – Barnes
    5. A Gentleman in Moscow – Towles
    6. Harvest – Crace
    7. Eventide – Haruf
    8. Big Little Lies – Moriarty
    9. Reckless: My Life as a Pretender – Hynde
    10. The Chemist – Meyer
    11. Anne of Windy Poplars – Montgomery
    12. Special Topics in Calamity Physics – Pessl
    13. The Hot Zone – Preston
    14. Old School – Wolff
    15. Their Eyes Were Watching God – Hurston
    16. Just Mercy – Stephenson
    17. Appendix A: An Elaboration on the Novel The End of Alice – Homes
    18. The Awakening of Miss Prym – Sanmartin
    19. Comedy in a Minor Key – Keilson
    20. August is a Wicked Month – O’Brien
    21. Blackass – Barrett
    22. Harmony – Parkhurst
    23. A Beggar in Jerusalem – Wiesel
    24. Arial – Plath
    25. The Lightkeepers – Geni

    Like

    December 11, 2016
    • Set in Alternate Future ….

      1984 – George Orwell

      I started out reading Player Piano, Vonnegut’s first book and though ostensibly it was set in an “alternate future” it hit too close to home. A bunch of people’s jobs taken over by machines leaving them all unemployed. It was depressing and lacked Vonnegut’s trademark humor – though it totally hit the nail on the head. (Struggle between the 1% of the rest of the world.)

      I abandoned it for another all too realistic version of an alternative future in 1984. I know I read this in school, but only remembered the major highlights. EVERYBODY should be reading this book right now. I know it’s old news for everybody, but it’s really brilliant .. adding it to my 2016 favorites list. So many parallels to what is going on right now, how easily we could slip into a world like this. How far have we slipped already? Will be writing a longer review with quotes on GR.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 19, 2016
    • Space #2 African American Science Fiction/Fantasy

      Liked by 1 person

      December 25, 2016
    • Move 3, written before 1900 ….

      2/5

      Oh dear god. My least favorite thing…. stream of consciousness writing. With tiny print. While whining.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 31, 2016
    • roll 3, set in Asia

      Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage – Murakami 3.75/5

      https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18425128-colorless-tsukuru-tazaki-and-his-years-of-pilgrimage—haruki-murakami-3

      Liked by 1 person

      January 7, 2017
    • Roll 5? I’m lost. Book about War

      Going After Cacciato – Tim O’Brien
      3/5

      This book was like Around the World in 80 Days if the starting point was going AWOL from the Vietnam war. It was a good story, but it went back and forth between character studies of soldiers and the story so it broke the flow and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have . Not as good as O’Brien’s other books, yet I’d still recommend it.

      Like

      January 29, 2017
    • Graphic Novel Roll

      Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began
      5/5

      I think Maus I suffered from expectation syndrome. This book, to me, packed more of a punch. I may also be that I was recently at Auschwitz so I have more context. Regardless, I “get it” way more from this book and found it really well done.

      Like

      February 19, 2017
  25. Jen’s List
    1. Uprooted by Novik
    2. Ready Player one
    3. The year of the flood by Atwood
    4. Fates and Furies by Groff
    5. The Turner House by Flournoy
    6. The Mothers
    7. The Fifth Season
    8. Your Heart is a muscle the size of a fist
    9. Mr. Fox
    10. Tuesday Nights in 1980
    11. Shylock is my Name
    12. Hagseed by Atwood
    13. Hild
    14. The Noise of Time
    15. A Torch Against the Night
    16. A Darker Shade of Magic
    17. The Association of small bombs
    18. Voices from Chernobyl
    19. Nora Webster
    20. Black Swan Green
    21. Ancillary Sword by Leckie
    22. Heartless by Meyer
    23. Open City
    24. Sexing the Cherry
    25. The Doubter’s Almanac

    Like

    December 11, 2016
    • Roll 1: Horror. Read The Night Film by Pessl. 4 stars. I enjoyed this book and it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. It wasn’t really horror but was tagged horror in Goodreads and Library thing. An interesting blend of thriller and literary fiction and well written. The app seems to have gone missing so I read the book without the extra interactive material

      Like

      December 19, 2016
      • I couldn’t access the extras either when I read it and was left wondering how much I was missing.

        Like

        December 23, 2016
    • Roll 2: Book by Korean Author. Drifting House by Krys Lee. Review here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18406459-drifting-house-by-krys-lee

      Like

      December 25, 2016
    • Roll 3: TBR 17. Association of Small Bombs. Review on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/21152376-jen. Full review to be posted on this blog in the next 2 weeks

      Like

      January 2, 2017
      • roll 5: Mystery. The Grown-up by Gillian Flynn. 3 stars. Thought it was okay a bit formulaic and the ending was rushed. It was just okay for me.

        Like

        January 16, 2017
  26. its fine how you did this Jen, thanks

    Like

    December 12, 2016
  27. A graphic novel would work.

    Like

    December 13, 2016
  28. I’m glad! I ended up with horror which is not my genre of choice by any means

    Like

    December 13, 2016
  29. This one is on my list for the game, too, and has been sitting on my bookshelf for months as well. 🙂 But I’m really looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 17, 2016
  30. Book number 1 finished – here is the review https://bookertalk.com/2016/12/18/snow-country/

    Liked by 1 person

    December 18, 2016
  31. jesshodg #

    The game can’t finish next week, we’ve only just started and I’m reading so many good – and new for me – books! Can’t we carry on?!

    Liked by 2 people

    January 9, 2017
    • Yes, the game will continue until March even after the first person reaches the end of the board because there are lots of other prizes. I did several test trials and wasn’t expecting winners so early (although there are quite a few chutes at the top so we shall see). Glad you’re reading good books!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 9, 2017
    • Sushicat #

      Will you still roll for the ones that have finished the game? I would miss challenge of reading for the roll every week… So right now I’m hoping for a chute – lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 12, 2017
      • Lol, if you want you can restart the board if you get to square 100 before the end of the game. That way I will keep rolling for you 😁. I’m surprised people haven’t gotten more chutes yet. When I did trial runs there were lots of chutes

        Like

        January 12, 2017
      • Rachel #

        If I make it to 100 before the end of the game I definitely want to restart and continue. I’m having too much fun playing :-).

        Like

        January 13, 2017
  32. Keithw #

    Me too!

    Like

    January 14, 2017
    • Me 3 lol

      I was hoping this would help get rid of my TBR books but I have only landed on 1 so far

      Like

      January 14, 2017
      • Sushicat #

        Looks like I got what I wished for lol

        Liked by 1 person

        January 18, 2017
  33. This weeks roll present a problem for me. I landed on African American Science fiction or fantasy but since I don’t read sci fi or fantasy my choices are article. When you then add in the requirement of an African American author it makes it impossible. Any suggestions?

    Like

    January 23, 2017
    • hmm, I’m not sure what to suggest to you. Some of the categories are fairly narrow but hopefully serve to get readers to try to find something new that they wouldn’t have thought to try. Maybe try speculative fiction rather than traditional science fiction? There are several African American authors who have written plays or novellas that you could try and find in the library. I think the fantasy part would be harder for you if you dislike fantasy. At least with science fiction, you could conceivably find a book that isn’t too odd. Not sure what to suggest. You could either opt to stop on this square and throw in the towel (so the game ends and you’ll be on this square as your final square) or you could try and ask for suggestions for books from other readers who might be able to recommend something to you liking. Below is one link with some ideas. I will look around and see if I can find any recommendations for books that aren’t your traditional sci-fi/fantasy

      http://www.forharriet.com/2014/08/7-black-women-science-fiction-writers.html#axzz4WaqJbxN0

      Like

      January 23, 2017
      • Thanks for this and your other suggestions. Since my goal this year is to read only what I already own for the next six months I cant go buying anything new. Unfortunately therefore I’ll have to “throw in the towel” as you describe it.

        Like

        January 23, 2017
      • I’m sorry. Good Gail though! I wish I could do the same.

        Like

        January 23, 2017
      • Actually, if you want to keep playing. I will allow you to go back to your previous square then roll again next week and see if you get a square that allows you to continue. Let me know

        Like

        January 23, 2017
      • thanks Jen.I will send you an email so we can continue this

        Like

        January 24, 2017
    • This might have some ideas. http://www.oxfordaasc.com/public/features/archive/0114/

      Like

      January 23, 2017
    • and final suggestion… maybe something like Kindred which isn’t solely science fiction but a blend of genres that examines legacy of slavery? I know someone else read that here (although may not have loved it).

      Like

      January 23, 2017
      • I’ll vouch for Kindred! I’m not a big fantasy fan, but I can usually handle sci-fi a bit better. Kindred includes some time travel, which is what would make it “sci-fi”. It made my top 10 books the year I read it! 🙂

        Like

        January 23, 2017
    • I recently read Binti that was really short and took a few hours to read. You could try something like that? It’s $3 for the kindle version

      Like

      January 23, 2017
  34. Congratulations Keith!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    January 23, 2017
    • Keithw #

      Many thanks. This is my first ever reading challenge!

      Liked by 3 people

      January 23, 2017

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