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Summer Reading Challenge

Summer-Reading

Starting June 21st. Join us for our fun reading challenge. Sign up by email (jenlane3@yahoo.com) to get your personalized passport in preparation for your reading travels. You get a passport with destinations, you chose which books you want to read to fulfill each destination, and when you have finished reading and reviewing your book, you can move onto the next destination in your passport. Share your destinations and reading choices in the comments section for this page.

Cool prizes will be awarded at the end of the challenge (September 22nd).

Instructions:

  • Sign up by emailing us a few things: 1) A name you want to use for your passport (can be your real name or even better a creative name from literature); and 2) A photo or image you’d like to use for your “passport.”
  • When you receive your passport, pick any destination and then select a book that is appropriate for your destination. For example, if you get “France,” you can read a book set in France, by a French author, with France in the title, written in French, etc.It’s a good idea to have either myself or Book Worm approve it before you read it.
  • Read your book.
  • Post your 3 sentence (or less) review when you have completed the book. Reviews should be simple and include whether you liked it or not, the reason why it fits the destination, and a star rating (out of 5 stars).
  • “Stamp” your passport and move on to the next destination of your choosing.

Tour Group Bonus points: If you chose to do so, you can form groups to tackle any one of the additional destinations posted below on June 21st. As a group, you must pick a book and all group members must read it the book in order for individuals to receive the 3 extra bonus points. Groups must include at least 2 people but there is no maximum number – but remember you only get the points if you all read it so bigger groups may be a risk! You can complete this part at any time in the challenge.

Tour Group Travel Destinations:
Belgium
Madagascar
Greenland
Singapore
Venezuela
Antarctica

Frequent Flyers (a.k.a the scoreboard):
Nanny Ogg -33 (pages read: 10,479): Completed 9/21
Ursula – 33 (pages read: 8,826). Completed 9/21
Glo-worm – 29 (pages read: 9,448)
Tracy S – 26 (pages read: 7,362)
Anne Shirley – 26 (pages read: 7,246)
Chili -24 (pages read: 10,508)
Maxibob-24 (pages read 6,346)
LibraryCin – 22 (pages read: 7,006)
Rachel Morgan – 22 (pages read: 6,767)
Jaenelle Angelline-16 (pages read: 5,056)
Sushicat – 15 (pages read: 4,668)
Aarti -15 (pages read: 3,760)
Nicole – 14 (pages read: 5,376)
Second Honeymoon – 13 (pages read: 3,821)
Luna – 13 (pages read: 3,141)
Morgen -10 (pages read: 4,108)
Nia -9 (pages read: 2,646)
Tanya -8 (pages read: 2,303)
Jean Paget – 8 (pages read: 1,638)
John -6 (pages read: 3,070)
Jo March -6 (pages read: 2,887)
Tiger Lily – 6 (pages read: 1,870)
Charisma – 5 (pages read: 1,439)
Emily -5 (pages read: 1,308)
Becky -3 (pages read: 1,150)
Yvonne – 2 (pages read: 541)
Kate T – 2 (pages read: 479)
Missy Bee – 1 (pages read: 336)

491 Comments Post a comment
  1. John #

    Where’s Waldo John

    Destination: Greece
    Destination: Spiritual Retreat – Seeds of Contemplation, by Thomas Merton
    Destination: Oktoberfest
    Destination: Scotland Yard – The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
    Destination: First Visit (read a debut novel) – The Ministry of Special Cases, by Nathan Englander
    Destination: Mountain Vacation – The Man with the Baltic Stare, by James Church
    Destination: India – A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth – June 29
    Destination: Water Park
    Destination: Visiting Friends or family – The Love Hunter, by Jon Hassler
    Destination: African Safari – Nervous Conditions, by Tsitsi Dangarembga
    Destination: Mexico
    Destination: Alternate World – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
    Destination: Farming vacation – Field of Prey, by John Sandford
    Destination: Ghost Town – James Madison: A Life Reconsidered, by Lynne Cheney – July 4
    Destination: England – The Soldier’s Art, by Anthony Powell – July 11
    Destination: Ireland – A Green Journey, by Jon Hassler
    Destination: Las Vegas
    Destination: Futuristic travel – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Phillip Dick
    Destination: National Park
    Destination: China – The Emperor’s Pearl, by Robert Van Gulik – July 6
    Destination: World Heritage Site
    Destination: Traveling with Kids – Dying Gasp, by Leighton Gage
    Destination: Thailand
    Destination: Cultural experience – Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Destination: Nebraska
    Destination: New Orleans
    Destination: Road Trip – Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne
    Destination: Museum Tour
    Destination: Japan – Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden
    Destination: Staycation –

    Like

    June 15, 2015
    • John #

      India – A Suitable Boy.

      My review: 5 stars
      Lata, Mehra’s youngest, her time to marry.
      Muslim’s not cricket, so no Durrani.
      Rhyming poet, dark mirror, no Chatterji.
      Boring cobbler, heart of gold, Haresh will be.

      Liked by 3 people

      June 23, 2015
    • John #

      Ghost Town: James Madison: A Life Reconsidered – finished July 4.

      The perfect day to finish a biography of this extraordinary man. Madison’s concern with the centrality of religious liberty to all liberty comes through in this excellent new biography. One wonders how it was that America was blessed with such a superabundance of men of extraordinary genius and character. Of Washington it was said that he was “First in war, first in peace and first ion the hearts of his countrymen;” Jefferson is often called the author of America, referencing his writing of the Declaration; Madison must surely be the architect of America for his drafting and husbanding of the Constitution.

      If you are at all interested in American history, I strongly recommend this.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 7, 2015
    • John #

      China – The Emperor’s Pearl

      Magistrate Dee is a 7th century Chinese Sherlock Holmes. Apparently based on a historical figure that was renowned for his ability to solve crimes, Judge Dee is minding his own business with his wives when he has, in short order, not one, but four murders to solve. It quickly becomes clear the crimes are related, though figuring out exactly how they are related is the key to solving the crime. Misdirection, a detective smarter than those around him and a final confrontation with the various suspects in a dark room on a stormy night bring all of the standard elements in this genre to a setting in ancient China, simultaneously familiar and exotic.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 7, 2015
    • John #

      Road Trip: Around the World in 80 Days
      by Jules Verne
      ★★★

      [Spoiler Alert] I last read this as a child, and while it was a diverting story, the logical breaks and factual errors became distracting. San Francisco was not the capital of California in 1872, though it was temporarily for 5 months in 1862 due to severe flooding in Sacramento. Southern Senators would not have been pushing for a different route for the railroad in 1862 for the simple reason that by then they were not in Washington, it being the middle of the Civil War. Most importantly, the big surprise development at the end makes no sense. Fogg knew he had to arrive in New York on the 11th because he had his Steamship schedule. Even if we can imagine him being unaware that he had gained a day, he should have discovered his error when he arrive in New York and found, to his surprise, that the China didn’t leave until the next day. The casual sense of racism was also bothersome, but probably just reflects the reigning social philosophies of the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 8, 2015
    • John #

      England: The Soldier’s Art
      by Anthony Powell

      The “phony war” is clearly over now. The Soldier’s Art is set in the darkest days of the war for Britain. Seemingly alone in the world resisting Hitler’s seemingly unstoppable legions, setbacks beset Britain on all sides as she suffers through the Blitz and the Battle of Britain, but Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union at the end of the book marks, perhaps, the true “end of the beginning.”

      Liked by 1 person

      July 11, 2015
    • John #

      Visiting Friends or Family: The Love Hunter

      What do you do when your best friend is slowly dying from MS and begs to die? If you resolve to kill him, is it really mercy if you’ve fallen in love with his wife? Hassler writes a compelling novel with this as the backdrop and suggests that the answer to dread disease is to continue living life to the fullest extent possible, even if it might kill you.

      Hassler’s writing is brilliant. I loved this description of a philosophy professor: “a nihilist who believed in nothing but tenure.”

      If you haven’t read Jon Hassler, you owe it to yourself to start.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 12, 2015
  2. EmilyD’s Rocking Summer Reading Challenge

    Destinations:
    Ghost Town
    Cambodia
    Into the Amazon
    China
    Musical Festival
    France
    Argentina
    Brazil
    Las Vegas
    Disneyworld
    Spiritual Retreat
    London
    Ski Vacation
    Historic Pilgrimage
    Venice, Italy
    Beautiful Gardens
    Australia
    Repeat Visit: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
    Road Trip: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
    Pyramids
    Alternate World/Universe
    Museum: Museum Fool’s Puzzle Earlene Fowler
    Weekend Getaway
    Area 51
    Vietnam: Saigon has fallen
    Ancient Civilization
    Survival/Wilderness Camp
    Eco-travel
    Visiting Friends or Family
    Middle East
    Tour Group

    Liked by 1 person

    June 15, 2015
    • Emily’s Approved books:
      -Amazon: Paddle to the Amazon by Don Starkell
      -Historical pilgrimage: Eleanor of Castile by Sara Cockerill
      -Eco-travel: Around the World in 80 Documentaries by Christopher D. Winnan
      -Road Trip: The Way of a Pilgrim by Anonymous
      -Spiritual Retreat: Retreat with the Lord by Fr.John Hardon
      -Ghost Town: The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
      -China: China Boy by Gus Lee
      -Survival/Wilderness camp: Solitude by Robert Kull
      -Cambodia: In the Shadows of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratnor
      -Middle East: The Faith Club by Idliby, Olivar, and Warner
      -France: My Life in France by Julia Child
      -Ancient Civilizations: The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel
      -Brazil: The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho
      -London: When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
      -Australia: A Final Reckoning: A Tale of Bush Life in Australia. George Alfred Henty
      -Las Vegas: Whisper No Lies by Cindy Gerard
      -Argentina :Far Away and Long Ago by W.H. Hudson
      -Venice Italy: The Lion of St. Mark by G.H.Henty
      -Pyramids: The Cat of Bubastes by G.H.Henty
      -Disneyworld: A Private Affair by Kathy Clark
      -Gardens: The garden of evening mists by Tan Tawn Eng
      -Visiting family and friends: Let’s Take the Long Way Home
      -Area 51: The War of the Worlds by HG Wells
      -Alternate World: The Lion, Witch,and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
      -Music Festival: The Music of Creation by John Michael Talbot
      -Weekend getaway: Thoughts on Solitude by Thomas Merton

      Liked by 1 person

      June 17, 2015
      • Saigon Has Fallen by Peter Arnett is a short book about
        the fall of South Vietnam in 1972. It was alright, but not
        What I expected from a Pulitser Prize winner. 2**

        Destination: Ski vacation:
        Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer , was one of the best books
        I have read in a long time. Well written, nicely illustrated,
        moved right along, never bogged down. 4.5*

        Destination: Repeat visit: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer 3*** Shorter book, much harder to plow thru. Interesting story, though it would have been easier to read if it had been written chronologically.

        Destination: Museum Fool’s Puzzle Earlene Fowler 3.5***
        This book was the first in a series about a young widow
        who has taken over the management of an art museum.
        I enjoyed this “cozy” mystery and it’s down home characters.

        Liked by 2 people

        June 23, 2015
      • Not sure if this is ok , but I will try it

        Is there any mystery/forensics fans that would like to read a Belgium
        who-dun-it with me?

        Chocolate Diamonds (Jill Quint, MD, Forensic Pathologist Book 2)
        right now free at Amazon

        Liked by 1 person

        July 8, 2015
      • Destination: Road trip Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift 3***

        This book really did nothing for me, interest-wise.
        It was readable and some humorous parts. I gave
        it 3***, because most readers of sci-fi or fantasy
        would probably like it.

        Jen, would you change this please, if it is
        acceptable/approved. Had to read it for
        another challenge and figured I could
        use it here as well.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 31, 2015
  3. NANNY OGG’S SUMMER TRAVELS

    DESTINATIONS:
    Portugal: Seeing by Saramago
    Georgia, U.S.A.: Tobacco Road
    San Diego Zoo: Destination: San Diego Zoo – Condor: To the Brink and Back
    Ski Vacation: The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
    Mount Everest: The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev and G. Weston DeWal
    Las Vegas: Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
    Croatia: Croatia – The Pillars of Hercules by Paul Theroux
    Broadway:Fun Home
    Staycation: What the Dead Know
    China:Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
    Jungle Exploration:The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier
    Buckingham Palace: King, Kaiser, Tsar by Catrine Clay
    Ethiopia: Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gib
    Thailand: The Windup Girl
    Alaska: The Snow Child
    Bora Bora: Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horwitz
    Discover Your Roots: Broken Harbour by Tana French
    Disney World: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow
    Spain: The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte
    Awards Ceremony: Confederacy of Dunces
    Survival Camp: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
    Repeat Visit: Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
    Lake Vacation: At the Water’s Edge
    Cultural Experience: Rashomon and Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
    Dude Ranch: Blood Sport by Francis
    Oktoberfest: The Ludwig Conspiracy
    Adventure Travel< The Moor's Account
    Austria: The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer
    Cambodia: In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
    Ghost Town: The Last Oracle by James Rollins

    Like

    June 15, 2015
    • Books approved for Nanny Ogg (to date) include:

        *Destination: Jungle Adventure – The Last Unicorn: The Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures by William DeBuys
        *Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
        *The Pillars of Hercules by Paul Theroux – for Croatia
        -Dude Ranch – Blood Sport by Dick Francis
        -Buckingham Palace – King, Kaiser, Tsar by Catrine Clay
        -Staycation – What the Dead Know – by Laura Lippman Based on a crime that occurred virtually in my back yard.
        -Spain – Incantation by Alice Hoffman
        -Awards Ceremony – Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward – NBA
        -Cultural Experience – Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie
        -Adventure Travel – the Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen

        Like

      June 16, 2015
    • Destination: Portugal
      Seeing by Jose Saramago ★★★★ Routine citywide elections in Portugal’s capital are thrown into disarray when 3/4 of the electorate mysteriously turn in blank ballots. Full Review at:
      http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/528533/June—Reviews-of-Books-Not-Tagged-Romance?showall=true#13848073

      Destination: Thailand – The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi ★★★★ Very dark dystopia set in Bangkok post climate change/ecological collapse/fossil fuels.
      full review at: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/528533/June—Reviews-of-Books-Not-Tagged-Romance?showall=true#13849956

      Destination: Georgia, U.S.A. – Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell ★★ Unhumorous 1932 satire(?) about poor ignorant Georgia tenant farmers in the depths of the Depression. If these folks were around today they’d have a reality show on TLC.

      Destination: Discover Your Roots – Broken Harbour by Tana French ★★★★ Book 4 in the Dublin Murder Squad series, fits the destination due to my mostly Irish heritage. When a young family of four is found slaughtered in their dream home, veteran detective Scorcher Kennedy and his brand new wet-behind-the-ears partner Richie Curran are hand-picked to solve the case. Full review at:
      http://www.shelfari.com/groups/108590/discussions/522470/Kates-2015-Reading-List?showall=true#13853501

      Liked by 1 person

      June 22, 2015
    • Destination: San Diego Zoo – Condor: To the Brink and Back – the Life and Times of One Giant Bird by John Neilson ★★★★ I’m old enough to remember that depressing day in 1987 when news broke that AC-9, the world’s last remaining wild condor, had been trapped, crated and shipped off to the zoo in San Diego. Neilson recounts the ups and downs of one of our most iconic species and the efforts to stave off extinction. Full review at: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/528533/June—Reviews-of-Books-Not-Tagged-Romance?showall=true#13855089

      Liked by 1 person

      June 29, 2015
    • Destination: Disney World – Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow ★★★★ The ad-hoc group that runs the Haunted Mansion in the Disney World of the future scrambles to fend off a hostile take-over by the crew that has just successfully rehabbed the Hall of Presidents. Extremely imaginative sci-fi loaded with thought-provoking ideas not to mention sex, drugs, music, murder, reincarnation (well rebooting from backup), madness, etc…
      Full review at: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/529223/July—Reviews-of-Books-Not-Tagged-Time-Travel?showall=true#13857100

      Liked by 1 person

      July 1, 2015
    • Destination: Survival Camp The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan ★★★★ Excruciating account of the experiences of a group of Australian POWs forced to work on the Burma Railroad as slave labor. What sets this book apart from other similar accounts that I have read is Flanagan’s foray into the hearts and minds of the torturers as well as the victims.
      Full review at: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/23394/discussions/528518/-b-Summer-Reading-Challenge-2015–Childhood-Games-b-?showall=true#13858802

      Liked by 1 person

      July 4, 2015
    • The Silent Land by Graham Joyce ★★★ Whilst on a ski holiday in the Pyrenees a young married couple narrowly escapes death by avalanche. But after they dig themselves out and struggle back their resort they discover that their hotel and indeed the entire town have been abandoned, there is not a living soul to be found. Entertaining but not a lot of surprises for anyone with a passing acquaintance with the likes of The Twilight Zone.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 6, 2015
    • Destination: Broadway – Fun Home by Alison Bechdel ★★★★★ This graphic memoir is a terrific coming of age story which focuses on the author’s difficult relationship with a troubled and mercurial father and her discovery of her own sexual identity. I will definitely make a point of seeing the hit Broadway show based on it if I make it to New York during the run of the play.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 8, 2015
    • Destination: Ghost Town – The Last Oracle by James Rollins ★★1/2 A large portion of the climax of this espionage thriller takes place in the Ukrainian ghost town of Pripyat, as international intelligence agents and ne’er do wells converge on the ceremonial placing of a new sarcophagus over the crumbling remains of the Chernobyl melt down. Every so often I will revisit a genre that I don’t care for to see if I can get a handle on what so many others find appealing. Didn’t work this time, I still find this sort of thing epically silly.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 13, 2015
    • Destination Oktoberfest: The Ludwig Conspiracy by Oliver Pötzsch ★ On the plus side this definitely fit the category; modern day antiquarian bookseller bounces around Bavaria trying to solve the mystery behind the death of Ludwig II while menaced from all sides by loonies. They even mentioned Oktoberfest repeatedly. On the down side this was either a bad book poorly translated or a terrible book accurately translated.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 20, 2015
    • Destination Lake Vacation – At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen ★★★★ Maddie Hyde, her husband Ellis, and his best friend Hank represent all that is reprehensible in high society Philadelphia in the winter of 1944. After a particularly debauched New Year’s Eve party the threesome sets out for the highlands of Scotland into the teeth of World War II in a self-absorbed mission to discover proof of the Loch Ness Monster.
      Full Review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/529223/July—Reviews-of-Books-Not-Tagged-Time-Travel?showall=true#13874691

      Liked by 1 person

      July 21, 2015
    • Repeat visit Soul Music by Terry Pratchett ★★★★ The evolution of rock and roll on Discworld is combined with Death undergoing another of his periodic existential crises. I expected to love this as Death is one of my two favorite characters in the series but didn’t perhaps because a depressed Death is less fun than when he is just taking care of business in his usual courteous professional way. This is my 28th Discworld novel and 30somethingth by Pratchett.
      Full Review:
      http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/529224/July—Collective-Reads-for-Our-Shelf—Time-Travel?showall=true#13884352

      Liked by 1 person

      August 1, 2015
    • Tour Group Destination: Madagascar – The Aye-aye and I by Gerald Durrell ★★★★ This is a book that simultaneously delights and depresses. On the one hand Durrell’s descriptions of Madagascar’s unique wildlife are magical. On the other hand the destructive environmental forces he describes have continued unabated in the twenty plus years since this book was published.
      http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/529815/August-Reviews-of-Books-Not-Tagged-as-Tragedy-?showall=true#13884551

      Liked by 1 person

      August 1, 2015
      • deadlikeme13 #

        Hi Kate, did you have the book The Aye-aye and I by Gerald Durrell, or did you have to order it? Our libraries don’t seem to have it 😦
        Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 9, 2015
    • In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner ★★★★★ Assignment: read a book about Cambodia. No problem, this one is highly rated, and immediately available from the library for kindle. As soon as I realized the time setting, the narrative opens in 1975, I thought “oh no, this is going to be painful.”
      Full review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/529814/August-Collective-Reads-for-Our-Shelf—Tragedy?showall=true#13886360

      Liked by 1 person

      August 3, 2015
    • Destination: Austria – The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Anne-Marie O’Connor ★★★★ I don’t think that I’ll ever experience an art museum in quite the same way after reading this book. O’Connor combines straight forward biography of a brilliant artist and his most iconic models with a gritty look at the dark acquisitive, indeed felonious, side of the art world.
      Full review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/529814/August-Collective-Reads-for-Our-Shelf—Tragedy?showall=true#13889023

      Liked by 1 person

      August 5, 2015
    • Destination: Buckingham Palace – King, Kaiser, Tsar by Catrine Clay ★★★ The personal and political relationships between George V of England, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia are examined from the complex family relationships even before their births through the conclusion of the first World War.

      Full Review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/108590/discussions/522470/Kates-2015-Reading-List?showall=true#13893465

      Liked by 1 person

      August 9, 2015
    • Destination: Spain – The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte ★★★ Antiquarian book-dealer Lucas Corso is already working on one task, authenticating an original manuscript of a chapter of The Three Musketeers, when he is offered another even more profitable commission. A wealthy Madrid collector possesses one of three known editions of a banned book about the devil and dark arts from the 17th century that earned its creator death by burning at the stake. Full review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/11271/discussions/529243/-b-Reviews-July—September-2015-b-?showall=true#13896626

      Liked by 1 person

      August 13, 2015
    • Destination: Alaska – The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey ★★★1/2 Unable to recover from the devastating stillbirth loss of their only child, fiftyish couple Mabel and Jack decide to gamble all by leaving the relative security of their 1920 Pennsylvania farm and become homesteaders in Alaska. Unfortunately starting a new life in the northern wilderness is more challenging than they expected and they continue to grieve separately and alone while balanced on the knife’s edge of failure or starvation. Full Review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/23394/discussions/529500/-b-Summer-Reading-Challenge-2015–Childhood-Games-(Second-Thread?showall=true#13897267

      Liked by 1 person

      August 14, 2015
    • Destination: Las Vegas Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion ★★★ Thirty-something Maria Wyeth is grappling with imminent divorce, a barely detectable career, an institutionalized 4-year-old daughter and just about every other vice/situation you would expect to encounter amongst the beautiful people of 1970 Hollywood/Las Vegas. Infidelity, barbiturates, gambling, closeted homosexuals in sham marriages, abortion, alcoholism, suicide attempts, gun play, car crashes, laying around the pool doing nothing, cruising the freeways, it’s all in there. Full Review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/11271/discussions/529243/-b-Reviews-July—September-2015-b-?showall=

      Liked by 1 person

      August 17, 2015
    • Destination: Bora-Bora – Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horwitz ★★★1/2 As someone who considers herself both a history buff and a geography geek it is strange that I’ve gone through my life with only the most superficial knowledge of the voyages and accomplishments of Captain Cook. In this entertaining 2002 non-fiction entry, Horwitz, an American correspondent, travels the globe in Cook’s wake interspersing historical accounts of the famous explorer with a look at the state of the cultures that he impacted with his eighteenth century “discoveries”. One fun fact: a raging epidemic of venereal disease on board the Endeavour is responsible for Cook’s lingering in the vicinity of Bora-Bora before heading south to his true purpose, looking for Antarctica.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 19, 2015
    • Destination: Jungle Exploration/Adventure – The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier ★★★1/2 A bored composer accepts an assignment to travel to the unexplored upper reaches of a South American river system in search of some primitive musical instruments. Full review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/11271/discussions/529243/-b-Reviews-July—September-2015-b-?showall=true#13904280

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2015
    • Destination: Mount Everest – The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev and G. Weston DeWalt ★★★1/2 Legendary Russian mountaineer gives his account of the tragic deaths on the mountain during the April 1996 storm that Jon Krakauer made infamous in his best-seller Into Thin Air. If I ever re-read that one it will be with a healthy dose of skepticism for his assessment of Boukreev who seemed like a thoroughly stand-up guy, who perhaps was misunderstood somewhat because of the language barrier, and possibly short-changed by Krakauer’s rush to press?
      Full Review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/529814/August-Collective-Reads-for-Our-Shelf—Tragedy?showall=true#13905288

      Liked by 1 person

      August 23, 2015
    • Destination: Ethiopia – Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb ★★★ Harare, Ethiopia in the early 1970s, the years leading up to the overthrow of Haile Selassie I, is experienced through the eyes of an orphaned teenage Anglo/Irish/Muslim girl. The story also flips back and forth to post revolution London as the narrator struggles to reconnect with loved ones left behind and build a community in hostile, racist council estates. I enjoyed the history and the culture, the religion and the mysticism, not so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 27, 2015
    • Destination: Dude Ranch – Blood Sport by Dick Francis ★★★ Three top-ranked studs have disappeared under suspicious circumstances over the past 10 years, are they random victims of bizarre accidents or carefully selected kidnappees? Depressed, suicidal spy-hunter Gene Hawkins uses his vacation to try to crack the mystery, surprisingly following the clues to a Wyoming dude ranch. I enjoy the horse-centric plots of settings of Francis’s mysteries but am less impressed with the clichéd tough-guy prose and wise-cracking dialogue.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 29, 2015
    • Destination: Croatia – The Pillars of Hercules by Paul Theroux ★★★1/2 Noted novelist and travel curmudgeon sets out in 1994 to circle the shores of the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to Morocco. His route takes him through Croatia smack dab in the middle of their wars with Serbia and Bosnia shortly after the wanton destruction of the 500 year old Ottoman bridge in Mostar, pretty much proving that sick as ISIS is they did not invent cultural vandalism. Time spent in Syria during the despotic reign of the current dictator’s father was a creepy foreshadowing of the current mess.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 2, 2015
    • Destination: Staycation – What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman ★★★★ I enjoyed my first introduction to this local (to me) author. The crime that inspired this mystery took place about a mile from my home and I am almost the exact age of the main character so all of the little details of the narrative were eerily familiar. I was that mouthy pre-teen tagging along after her older sister to the mall when the older girl was looking to hook up.
      Full Review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/530711/September-Reviews-of-Books-That-Dont-Fit-the-Tag?showall=true#13922514

      Liked by 1 person

      September 7, 2015
    • Destination: China – Shanghai Girls by Lisa See ★★★ Let me start out by saying that I loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. This book started out in a promising fashion as well with two Shanghai sisters, Pearl and May, defying their no-good father’s attempts to marry them off to emigrant Chinese in order to pay off his gambling debts to gangsters. Full Review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/108590/discussions/522470/Kates-2015-Reading-List?showall=true#13924421

      Liked by 1 person

      September 9, 2015
    • Destination: Cultural Experience – Rashomon and Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa ★★★ Japan in the days of the Samurai, definitely not the culture I was raised in! I enjoyed the stories that inspired the classic film but liked the others less. Substitution because if I’m going to participate in three challenges simultaneously I might as well make them overlap.
      Full Review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/11271/discussions/529243/-b-Reviews-July—September-2015-b-?showall=true#13927307

      Liked by 1 person

      September 12, 2015
    • Destination: Awards Ceremony – A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole ★★★ The curious history of this winner of the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is recounted in Walker Percy’s foreward. Full Review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/11271/discussions/529243/-b-Reviews-July—September-2015-b-?showall=true#13927716
      Jen, I was hating it around page 100, about where you bailed out I believe, but it did get better thankfully.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 12, 2015
    • Destination: Adventure Travel – The Moor’s Account by Laila Lailami ★★★★ Excellent account of the mid 1500s Narvaez expedition which crosses the southeast Gulf Coast of North America from Florida to Mexico as told from the perspective of the Moorish slave Mustafa ibn Muhammad who served Captain Andres Dorrantes de Carranza, one of the three Castilian survivors of the trek.
      Full Review: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/530711/September-Reviews-of-Books-That-Dont-Fit-the-Tag?showall=true#13936309

      Like

      September 21, 2015
      • this means you are done, right? Congrats! I thought you would like this book. It was probably a 3.5 star read for me but I don’t generally love historical fiction.

        Like

        September 21, 2015
  4. Jean Paget #

    DESTINATIONS:
    Spain
    Jungle Exploration
    The White House
    Survival/Wilderness Camp
    Broadway, NYC
    Venice, Italy
    The Bermuda Triangle
    Futuristic: Futuristic: Reunion in Death by J. D. Robb
    High School Reunion
    Ireland
    Forbidden Loc (Banned Book)
    South Africa
    Ski Resort
    First Visit (Debut Novel)
    France
    Bora Bora
    Beautiful Gardens: Red Lily by Roberts
    World Heritage Site: Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks
    Chile
    Music Festival
    Middle East
    Camping
    Brazil
    Spiritual Retreat: How to Walk by Thich Nhat Hanh
    Las Vegas
    San Diego Zoo
    Kenya
    Trip to the Countryside
    China

    Group Read Destination: Antarctica – Endurance, Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage: All group members completed = 3

    Liked by 2 people

    June 16, 2015
    • Jean’s Approved Destinations:
      -Spain: The Fencing Master by Artuo Perez-Reverte (Spanish Author)
      -The White House – Murder in the White House by Margaret Truman
      -Ireland: The Cooper Beech – Maeve Minchy set in an Irish village
      -South Africa – The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonasson, novel following Nombeko Mayeki from S.A. to Sweden
      -Kenya – The Flame Trees of Flicka – Elspeth Huxley
      -Beautiful Gardens: Red Lily by Nora Roberts, the 3rd of the In the Garden Trilogy.
      -Trip to the Countryside: An Apple A Day, Adventures of a Country Doctor by Cornelius Slater, M.D.
      -Broadway, NYC: Murder in Manhattan by Steven Allen. Mr. Allen wrote a short lived musical that opened on Broadway in the same theater that today houses Mama Mia.

      Like

      June 19, 2015
      • Jean Paget #

        Spiritual Retreat: How To Walk by Thich Nhat Hanh. Suggestions for practice in mindful walking and meditation. How to use walking to make yourself more present in your daily life. After reading the whole book, it will now be useful to go back and read a lesson a day and put into practice the teachings.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 23, 2015
    • Jean Paget #

      Futuristic: Reunion in Death by J. D. Robb.
      The time is somewhere in the 2050s. Lt. Eve Dallas is handed the case of the poisoning of a rich man by a woman she helped put in prison years ago. And Eve assigns a cold case to Peabody to solve. Another great addition to the “In Death” series.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 28, 2015
    • Jean Paget #

      Survival/Wilderness Camp: Two Old Women by Velma Wallis
      It is harsh winter, cold, and The People are starving. The difficult decision is made to leave behind the two old, complaining women. A young grandson leaves his small ax with his grandmother. It would be so easy for the women to go to sleep and die. But they are stubborn. A simple story that earned 5/5 from me.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 29, 2015
      • Jean Paget #

        Group Read Destination: Antarctica – Endurance, Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
        Travelers: Jean Paget and chilipinkcat
        Incredible it was. In 1914 the Endurance set out with a crew and a plan for the polar explorer to make an on foot crossing of Antarctica. In January 1915 the ship became locked in the ice pack a day short of its destination and eventually was crushed. Then began a more than year long struggle for survival for the the 28 men, culminating in a 850 mile journey for Shackleton and 5 men in a 22 foot boat seeking help.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 15, 2015
    • Jean Paget #

      Beautiful Gardens: Red Lily by Nora Roberts 4/5 stars
      This third book of the In The Garden Trilogy brings us Hayley’s story and her budding romance with Harper. And the story of the ghost, Amelia, is completed. Now I can sit in my garden and think about the lives of the three couples in the trilogy, as I am done.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 21, 2015
      • Jean Paget #

        World Heritage Site: Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks. 4/5 stars
        Following an impulse, the Sparks brothers set out on a tour around the world, visiting such World Heritage sites as the Taj Mahal, Ayer’s Rock, and Machu Picchu. But the book is more than a travelogue as it is also the story of the past and current relationship between these close brothers.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 2, 2015
  5. Danielle C #

    The Travels of Tiger Lily

    Destinations to be traveled:
    Nigeria: Life is a Dance
    Ghost Town: Notes from Ghost Town
    The weekend getaway: Fat Vampire; an Underdog Vampire Novella
    Roadside attraction: Another Roadside Attraction
    Award ceremony: The Color Purple
    Argentina: Argentina: The Silent Sea
    Jungle Exploration
    China
    Spiritual Retreat
    Area 51
    Culinary vacation
    Historic Pilgrimage
    Music Festival
    Caribbean
    Water Park
    World Heritage Site
    Kenya
    Staycation
    On a budget
    Middle East
    Hollywood
    Volunteer your time holiday
    Texas
    Discovery your roots
    Vietnam
    Trip to countryside
    Spa/relaxation vacation
    Lake vacation
    New York
    London

    Liked by 1 person

    June 16, 2015
    • Tiger Lily’s Approved Books:
      -Nigeria: Life is a Dance
      -Ghost town: Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison
      -Weekend getaway Fat Vampire; an Underdog Vampire Novella by Johnny B Truant
      -Award winner: The Color Purple by Alice Walker
      -Argentina; The Silent Sea by Clive Cussler
      -Jungle Exploration: The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly obsession in the Amazon by David Granin
      -China: Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
      Spiritual: The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singe
      -Area 51: The Gift by Dae Donoan
      -Culinary Vacation: Pies and Peril by Janel Gadowski
      -Historic Pilgrimage: The Dream by Drew Hansen
      -Music Festival: Sound Proof by Barbara Gregorich

      Like

      June 17, 2015
      • Danielle C #

        Nigeria: Life is a Dance (4 stars)

        Christopher Okoro is born a twin and condemned to die based on Nigerian culture. His father saves him. This story details his life and survival against all odds. He spends his life proving his worth.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 30, 2015
      • Danielle C #

        Notes from Ghost Town. 4 stars

        This story was re-release under a new title in May, Girl Unseen. Olivia’s best friend is murdered and her mom is arrested for the crime. With the help of the ghost of her friend, she discovers that her mom is innocent and seeks out the evidence to prove it. This was a nice, fast paced read. I expected this to be a “light and fluffy read” and was pleasantly surprised to find that it touch on coping with loss, mental instability, and rebuilding life after something tragic. It added a nice structure to the story that went beyond the normal semi-predictable crime mystery.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 3, 2015
      • Can you tell me how many pages are in Life is a Dance? Keeping a running table and I am having trouble finding the book

        Like

        August 8, 2015
      • Danielle C #

        Award Ceremony: The Color Purple
        5 stars

        I loved this book. The story focuses on African American Women living in the South and their struggles in life. It is told through written letters, first from Celie to God and later between sisters Celie and Nettie. It a picture of love and hate, tolerance, faith, and survival.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 17, 2015
      • Danielle C #

        Life is a Dance has 218 pages. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, I just got back from vacation.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 17, 2015
      • no problem. I actually found the page count thanks!

        Like

        August 17, 2015
    • Danielle C #

      Weekend away: Fat Vampire; an Underdog Vampire Novella. 5 stars

      Reginald is fat, out of shape and an outcast in society. When he is turned into a vampire he is not the “ideal” vampire. He is outside the ideal stereotype of beauty, strength and speed when you think of vampire. This is a quirky little story about how an outcast in both human and vampire society survives. It was funny and odd and a thoroughly enjoyable read. I rated it 5 stars not because it is a great piece of literature or a life changing story, but because I just LOVED reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 5, 2015
      • Danielle C #

        Another Roadside Attraction
        3 stars

        The first half of this book was torturous to read. I found myself lost and confused. The main characters have a roadside zoo but not really since only had a flea circus, garter snakes, and a hot dog stand. Then a friend steals a corpse and it become a whole different story about religion and what what happen if the world discovered that Jesus and the resurrection was all a lie. I LOVED the second half of the book and I understand that the first half was set up allowing for the second half but it was really hard to follow.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 4, 2015
    • Danielle C #

      Argentina: The Silent Sea
      3 stars

      Juan Cabrillo and other members of the Corporation are sent into Argentina to recover a downed Satellite. This mission reveals a plot by the Argentine government that could shift the balance of power world wide. It becomes their mission that Argentina does not succeed. This was a good action packed read, that dragged a bit at times. It is very predictable.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 31, 2015
  6. glo #

    Glo-worm’s Travel Destinations:
    Brazil: Bahía Blues – Yasmina Traboulsi – 4 stars
    Croatia: The first rule of swimming – Courtney Angela Brkic
    Camping
    Russia: The Romanovs: Final Chapter by Robert K. Massie
    Snow/Ski Vacation
    Hollywood: Hollywood Murders and Scandals: Tinsel Town After Dark – Mike Riley
    First Visit(debut novel): Girl at War – Sara Novic
    Thailand: Sightseeing – Rattawut Lapcharoensap
    Ireland: Love, Rosie – Cecelia Ahern
    South Carolina
    New York
    Trip with the gals (female author): Trip with the gals – Un rincón del alma – Antonia Corrales
    Lost in translation (translated work):El Archipielag Gulag Tomo 1 y 2 – Alexander Soljenitsin
    Turkey: Regards from the Dead Princess – Kenize Mourad
    Las Vegas
    San Diego Zoo
    Spiritual Retreat: Soulful Truth Telling: Disbelieving the Lies that keep Us from the Love We Desire – Sharon Pope
    Scotland Yard:Trail of Tears – A.J. Quinnell
    Vacation nightmares: Wreckage – Emily Bleeker
    Off the beaten track:Trail of Broken Wings – Sejal Badani
    World Heritage: Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
    Cultural experience: House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East – Anthony Shadid
    Pyramids: Pyramid – Tom Martin
    China: Valley of Amazement – Amy Tan
    Chile: Ines of my soul by Isabel Allende – 5 stars
    South Africa: Long walk to Freedon – Nelson Mandela
    New Orleans: The Awakening – Kate Chopin
    Alaska: Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey
    Disneyworld: Project Future: The Inside Story Behind the Creation of Disney World –Chad Denver Emerso
    Nigeria: Life is a Dance – Chibuzo Okoro

    Tour group – Madagascar – The Aye- Aye and I – Gerald Durrell

    Liked by 1 person

    June 17, 2015
    • Glo-Worm’s approved books (to date):
      -South Africa – Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela or Diamonds, Gold, and War: The -British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa – Martin Meredith
      -New Orleans – The Awakening – Kate Chopin
      -Chile – Ines of my soul – Isabel Allende
      -Disney World – Project Future: The Inside Story Behind the Creation of Disney World –Chad Denver Emerson
      -Croatia – The first rule of swimming – Courtney Angela Brkic
      -First visit (debut novel) – Girl at War – Sara Novic (may 12th 2015)
      -South Carolina – All different kinds of Freedom – Jessica McCann
      -New York – What she left behind – Ellen Marie Wiseman
      -Turkey – Regards from the Dead Princess – Kenize Mourad
      -Cultural Experience: House of Stone: A memoir of Home, Family & a Lost Middle East
      -Off the beaten track: Trail of broken Wings – Sejal Badani

      Like

      June 17, 2015
    • glo #

      Russia: The Romanovs: Final Chapter by Robert K. Massie – 2 stars
      Interesting but too factual for my taste. He explores the death of the Imperial family from when they are executed onward, it is interesting to see the role that politics kept playing in the case even long after the assasinations and even after the demise of the Soviet Unión and the opening of its borders. Giving it 2 stars because it doesn’t read like a historic novel but more like an essay, not exactly what I was looking forward to.

      On to Chile now!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 23, 2015
      • glo #

        Ines of my soul by Isabel Allende – 5 stars
        I really enjoy this authors narratives, they are detailed enough to paint the picture of all characters and the settings yet not too detailed to border on slow and boring. I feel she is a great story-teller.
        In this book she tells of the life of Ines Suarez, spanish seamstress that left her home to search for her husband in America. She then embarks on a grand adventure, not necessarily with her husband and conquers the territory of Chile and establishes the city of Santiago. There aren’t many stories of women “conquistadors” so that also makes it unique.

        Traveling to one of my favorite cities now, New Orleans!!

        Liked by 1 person

        June 29, 2015
      • glo #

        The Awakening – Kate Chopin – 3 stars
        Before reading the book i read several reviews that rated the book from feminist bible to hateful characters. After reading the book i would say i consider neither applies, in my opinión whether or not the characters, specially the main carácter, are likeable or not it is a journey through the discovery of desires and the price of the freedom to live those desires. I give it 3 stars because i found the first half of the book utterly boring but it made up on the second half.

        Off to Scotland Yard and mind puzzling mysteries!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 2, 2015
      • glo #

        Scotland yard – Trail of Tears – A.J. Quinnell – 5 stars
        Definitely AJ Quinnell would fit under my “Best Authors” category. His books are full of unexpected twists and this one did not dissapoint. A reknown surgeon mysteriously commits suicide. An experienced wounded cop is reinstated but the case is suddenly taken over by a rookie FBI agent. A vet daughter of a Congress woman finds odd similarities between a Coronel’s dead show dog and his current show dog. All ties together in due time and unimaginable events.

        Time for a trip with the gals!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 7, 2015
      • glo #

        Trip with the gals – Un rincón del alma – Antonia Corrales – 5 stars
        Another journey through the discovery of desires and destiny yet on the contrary to Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, this is written in a very easy to read entertaining tone where the narrator is writing to her mother basically explaining who she really is. It gets you into the story and makes you look forward to finding out what happens next. Oh, and the beginning and ending tie together and are unexpected.

        Start spreading the news…I’m leaving today…I want to be a part of it…New York, New York, New York!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 9, 2015
      • glo #

        New York – What she left behind – Ellen Marie Wiseman – 5 stars
        It is one of those books that captures interest, you just can’t wait to find out what happens next, what is true and what is not and how the characters will develop.
        It is also crude in a researched fictional way, how people considered, insane, were treated in those days.
        Definitely recomend it.

        Off to Hollywood for some glitz, glamour and scandal!!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 13, 2015
      • glo #

        Hollywood – Hollywood Murders and Scandals: Tinsel Town After Dark – Mike Riley – 0 stars (not even worth rating)
        Worst spent hour in my life, wouldn’t reccomend it to my worst enemy, badly written, nothing interesting, no new info not even a hint of scandal and malice in it!! So disappointing!!

        Moving on to Disneyland and some magic!!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 15, 2015
      • glo #

        Disney World – Project Future: The Inside Story Behind the Creation of Disney World –Chad Denver Emerson – 3 stars
        Knowing the dimensions of the project its not a surprise all the process and legalities that played a part in its formation. Interesting the level of secrecy and control that the company wanted, Disney definitely had severe control issues 🙂

        Going on an expedition…Madagascar and the Tour Group!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 4, 2015
      • glo #

        Tour group – Madagascar – The Aye- Aye and I – Gerald Durrell – 5 stars
        To be honest I joined this group because the book sounded just light and fun. Come time to read it, I have never been so happy about a flu in my life, got me time off work and under the covers with the book.
        I loved Durrell’s descriptions and style! I wouldn’t consider it a travel book about Madagascar as i have seen it described but more of a cultural experience and a beautiful account of incredible creatures. Oh and i don’t agree with his captivity for conservation but still loved the book and am definitely a new Durrell fan!

        Shipping myself off to Turkey!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 7, 2015
      • glo #

        Turkey – Regards from the Dead Princess – Kenize Mourad – 5 stars
        Absolutely fell in love with Selma, the dead princess! As far as the writing goes, i wouldn’t catalogue it as 5 stars but the story completely made up for it. The way life turns and spins, Selma’s decisions, society expectations and culture sometimes makes you want to say “really, are you that dumb” but through it all i think you fall in love with this girl born in opulence, raised to be served and pampered and the way she faces her family’s downfall. I was once told “everyone is doing their best with the knowledge and experience they have at the time”, Selma personifies this.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 14, 2015
      • glo #

        For approval:

        Vacation nightmares: Wreckage – Emily Bleeker

        Cultural Experience: House of Stone: A memoir of Home, Family & a Lost Middle East

        Off the beaten track: Trail of broken Wings – Sejal Badani

        Like

        August 14, 2015
      • glo #

        Vacation nightmares – Wreckage – Emily Bleeker – 3 stars
        I liked the book, at first it seemed somewhat like Gone Girl full of mystery as to what really happened but then it became too predictable and the ending to “chick flick” that’s why i gave it 3 stars. Its an entertaining read.

        On the way to Nigeria!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 18, 2015
      • glo #

        Nigeria – Life is a Dance – Chibuzo Okoro – 4 stars
        A great book that deals with life, death, religion, culture and trials in life.
        HIghly recommended.

        Continuing on the Southern Hemisphere off to the land of samba, Brasil!!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 19, 2015
      • glo #

        Brasil – Bahía Blues – Yasmina Traboulsi – 4 stars
        Short easy read over lunch hour. A book with very interesting characters yet it portrays life in Bahía pretty much in the same way as life is depicted in City of God, violence galore!

        Of to snowy and wild Alaska!!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 19, 2015
      • glo #

        Alaska – Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey – 5 stars
        Sad, cold, yet heartwarming at times, an eerie feeling between fairytale and harsh reality. An interesting book, i’m much more of a drama, mystery full of twists reader and this one’s pace is slow, yet the characters so interesting i can’t say i ever got bored.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 21, 2015
      • glo #

        Awesome reading weekend, nothing like a rainy day at the beach with good books.

        Off the beaten track – Trail of Broken Wings – Sejal Badani – 5 stars
        A book that shows the lasting scars of domestic violence in all the household, the mother unable to protect her children, the oldest child with the pressure to be perfect, the favorite child that can supposedly do no wrong, the smallest child unwanted. Hard to read at times and heartbreaking, yet somewhat hopeful.

        Thailand – Sightseeing – Rattawut Lapcharoensap – 5 stars
        Loved it! Through several stories one sees a country, a culture not just an exotic paradise. Full of love, pain, anger, political punches, corruption and poverty critics. Each story is not just a short story but a view into a life, past and present, hard and endearing at times. Exceptional.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 24, 2015
      • glo #

        China – Valley of Amazement – Amy Tan – 3.5 stars
        Apparently not her best book from what i’ve read in review, but I haven’t read enough written by her to determine that. I thought it was a rich, marvelous story, she continues with the strong mother-daughter theme as in other books by her. I gave it 3.5 stars because I didn’t like the characters much, specially Violet.

        Flying to Africa for some pyraminds and then a visit to Mandela!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 27, 2015
      • glo #

        South Africa – Long walk to Freedon – Nelson Mandela – 5 stars
        Amazing story, amazing man, amazing struggle, amazing cause, amazing human being!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 31, 2015
      • glo #

        Cultural experience – House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East – Anthony Shadid – 4 stars
        Bayt…home…roots…
        Definitely a cultural experience coming from a place with no army that has barely seen any armed conflicts and definitely none in my lifetime so far, it is completely different reading about places where war, conflicto, and exodus has been a constant for quite a while. Having lived away from home for some years I can understand what it feels like to want to return HOME.
        I gave it 4 stars only because at times i found it slow and almost lost interest.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 1, 2015
      • glo #

        Pyramid – Tom Martin – 4 stars
        My kind of mystery novel! He mixes archeology, mythology and adventure in a great way, keeps the pace page turning, the characters are likeable though not super developed. I’m giving it 4 stars because I didn’t love the ending.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 3, 2015
      • glo #

        Ireland – Love, Rosie – Cecelia Ahern – 5 stars
        Super fun to read since it is made of emails, notes, etc. Loved the story, it has lots of ups and downs as it expands 40 yrs in the life of the characters and you see so many missed opportunities and words left unsaid, endearing moments, frustration, and all sorts of emotions. Loved it!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 5, 2015
      • glo #

        haven’t had a chance to post in a while so here go my two lastest finishes.

        The first rule of swimming – Courtney Angela Brkic – 4 stars
        Wonderful book just like its cover! An interesting subject which much like House of Stone, I know little about from personal experience, the scars and collateral damage left by war and exile.

        Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell – 5 Stars
        Awesome suggestion!
        At first I had trouble trying to follow the style of the book, but it still held my interest page after page. Loved discovering the connections between the parts. Highly recommend it!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 11, 2015
      • Cloud Atlas is one of my favorite books. Love David Mitchell. We featured him as the monthly author a while back.

        Like

        September 11, 2015
      • glo #

        Debut novel – Girl at War – Sara Novic – 5 stars
        Somehow I’ve chosen several war books, very interesting. This book has a different perspective, its war seen through the eyes of a child. Nice writing, vivid characters.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 14, 2015
      • glo #

        So I’ve just had a long weekend with an “Ahhhhhh” moment, trumpets sounding, light shining down from the heavens and plenty of non work time to accomplish the feat! After racking my brains about what book to read under the Translated category, right there on my shelf waiting to be seen was the 1977 edition of Gulag Archipiélago (in spanish) volumes 1 and 2 “borrowed” from my grandfather’s shelf over a decade ago and never seeming to reach the top of the TBR pile! Thank you Summer Challenge for making me look outside the box!

        Translated – El Archipielag Gulag Tomo 1 y 2 – Alexander Soljenitsin – 5 stars
        A very dense book and a very hard read, the experiences portrayed in this book are gruesome to say the least, the complete horror of human cruelty is depicted on these pages. The evil system of communism and the intense pain and injustice of being a political prisoner. And sadly it led me to the recent news in Venezuela with the veredict on the Leopoldo Lopez case, it seems sometimes history loves reapeating itself.

        Wanted to post the pic of the books, complete relics but I don’t know how to do it here, Jen I’ll send you the pic.

        And I think this is about as much war, imprisonment and devastation I can take in one year, off to look for happier books!!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 17, 2015
      • He is a wonderful author. I haven’t read this one but I am impressed you got to it before the end of the challenge. Can you tell me how many pages? GR has the English version at 512. is that right?

        Like

        September 18, 2015
      • glo #

        Hi Jen, if it wasn’t for the challenge I would not have been able to finish it! It was a hard book to trudge through! Volume 1 has 530 pages and Volume 2 has 488.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 21, 2015
      • glo #

        Las Vegas – Beautiful Children – Charles Bock – 2 stars
        I read good reviews on this book and to be honest quite disliked it. I didn’t like the writing style of Bock for the mayority of the book, the characters were not likeable at all and then sometimes characters don’t have to be likable for the book to be good but in this case i found them not even well developed. Would not recomend this book no matter how good of a review the Times gave it!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 21, 2015
    • glo #

      Spiritual Retreat: Soulful Truth Telling: Disbelieving the Lies that keep Us from the Love We Desire – Sharon Pope – 5 stars
      I love books that make the reflect on life and this one makes you reflect not on hypothetical theories but on actual situations you’ve experienced in your life and at the end of each chapter leaves questions to guide your self analysis.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 30, 2015
      • glo #

        Hi deadlikeme13! I ordered it, i found it on a site called Abe’s Books, and it came from a seller in England.

        Like

        August 9, 2015
      • Charisma #

        Oh, I thought this might be the case. I think, I’m hopeful, I was able to find it through another library, but not sure how long would it take for it to arrive here.

        Like

        August 10, 2015
      • glo #

        FOR APPROVAL –
        CHINA – found one for china that i had on my to-read list some time ago and never got around to it – Valley of Amazement – Amy Tan
        THAILAND – Sightseeing – Rattawut Lapcharoensap
        IRELAND – Love Rosie – Cecelia Ahern
        PYRAMIDS – Pyramid – Tom Martin

        Any suggestions for World Heritage Sites? haven’t found any that really peak my interest 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        August 21, 2015
      • Those are approved. We will post ideas for world heritage sites on Sunday with our update!

        Like

        August 21, 2015
      • deadlikeme13 #

        Hi glo, I was looking for something my son would like if not enjoy and found for him Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. (He was approved to read it for the destination.)

        –explanation–

        Apparently in one of the parts we have the author mention Hawaiian Volcanoes:

        List of World Heritage Sites in the United States https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Heritage_Sites_in_the_United_States

        Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawai%CA%BBi_Volcanoes_National_Park

        Cloud Atlas
        http://www.bookdrum.com/books/cloud-atlas/9780340822784/bookmarks-251-275.html?bookId=1353

        And the mentioning of Mauna Kea in the two links above.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 22, 2015
      • glo #

        Awesome!! Thanks for the suggestion, i think Cloud Atlas is actually on my to-read list, kill 2 birds with one book! 🙂

        Like

        August 24, 2015
      • deadlikeme13 #

        I really enjoyed Cloud Atlas when I read it. It was hard at times, but was worth-its-while 🙂 Very interesting structure of the book for me. They say the audio is even better than reading the book 🙂

        Like

        August 25, 2015
  7. Kate_T #

    Where in the World is Kate T Traveling For the Summer?

    Destinations:
    Futuristic:
    India:
    Spiritual Retreat:
    221B Baker Street:
    High School Reunion:
    France:
    Ireland:
    Water Park:
    Cambodia:
    Croatia:
    Award Ceremony(book that has won an award)
    Thailand: Bangkok 8
    Trip to the Countryside/rural vacation:
    Salem, Massachusetts:The Crucible by Arthur Miller
    Off the Beaten Path:
    Wild West:
    California:
    Ghost Town:
    Travel by Train:
    Volunteer for your holiday:
    Mountain vacation:
    Italy:
    Lake Vacation:
    City Travel:
    Texas:
    Eco-travel:
    New York:
    Survival/wilderness camp:
    Alaska:

    Liked by 1 person

    June 17, 2015
    • Kate_T #

      Kate T’s Approved Books to date:
      -Futuristic: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip Dick
      -Spiritual Retreat: Life in the Medieval Cloister by Julie Kerr
      -221B Baker Street: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
      -France: Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
      -India: Animal’s People by Indra Sinha
      -Thailand, Bangkok 8 by John Burdett.
      -Ireland: A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
      -Salem, Massachusetts: The Crucible by Arthur Miller
      -California: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
      -Travel by Train: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
      -Cambodia: The Rent Collector by Cameron Steve Wright
      -Italy: My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
      -Croatia: Bone Woman by Clea Koff
      -Off the beaten path: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
      -Mountain vacation: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakaur
      -Texas: The Buckskin Line by Elmer Kelton
      -New York: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
      -Survival/Wilderness camp: The Martian by Andy Weir

      Liked by 1 person

      June 17, 2015
      • Kate_T #

        Review: The Crucible by Arthur Miller

        I chose this book for my Salem, Massachusetts destination. A dark part not only in our American history that should be remembered and learned from. Look now on the Internet, tv, and out your own front door and you will see it even today. A great social commentary book. 4 stars.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 23, 2015
    • Kate T #

      Review: Bangkok 8 by John Burdett

      I chose this book for my Thailand destination. After reading, I realized that sex sells and that is what John Burdett had in mind when writing it. Is Bangkok inhabited only be prostitutes and druggies? It seemed like it in this book! 1 star

      see my full review here: http://www.shelfari.com/books/74605/Bangkok-8/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      June 21, 2015
  8. Chili travels the world…….

    Destinations Completed:
    -Sweden
    -Alternate World: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
    -Award Ceremony: Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
    -Ski Resort: Aspen Pulp by Patrick
    -California: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    -The Quiet American by Graham Greene
    -Camping: Into The Wild by John Krakauer
    -Weekend Getaway: American Gothic Tales
    -Museum tour Chasing Aphrodite The Hunt For Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum by Jason Felch & Ralph Frammolino
    The Madonna of Excelsior by Zakes Mda
    Japan: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
    Ancient Ruins: The Iliad by Homer translated by Robert Fagles
    Return Visit: Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
    Russia: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    -Traveling with Kids: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
    -Volunteer Vacation: Poisonwood bible
    -Georgia, USA: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
    -Africa: The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
    – India A Son Of The Circus by John Irving
    -Venice, Italy: Othello by William Shakespeare
    -France: The Plague by Albert Camus
    -Tour Group Antarctica Endurance Shakleton’s Incredible Journey – whole group completed = 3 points

    Liked by 1 person

    June 18, 2015
    • Destination completed: Sweden

      Harbor by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist
      Harbor takes place on an island in an archipelago off the coast of Sweden. It gets of to a slow start but the writing style really makes it flow. I will never again look at the sea the same way.

      👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      June 24, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Alternate Universe/World
      The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

      Set in the Four Corners of Civilization, Kvothe tells his life story to the Chronicler over the span of three days. This is day one, the beginning of Kvothe’s after a traumatic life event. I loved this book, it is a must read for fantasy lovers.
      👍👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      June 29, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Award Ceremony
      Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

      Gravity’s Rainbow won the National Book Award in 1974. I really don’t know what to say about this book, I hated it. I slogged through to the end and was grateful when it was finally over. Why this book won an award is beyond me.
      👎👎👎👎👎

      Liked by 1 person

      July 11, 2015
    • Destination Completed:Ski Resort
      Aspen Pulp by Patrick Hasburgh

      Washed up television writer Jake Wheeler returns to Aspen broke and out of work. He gets involved in the seedy underbelly of Aspen, while trying to locate a missing teenager. This book is not a literary masterpiece but was an enjoyable read.
      👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      July 12, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Tour Group Antarctica
      Endurance Shakleton’s Incredible Journey
      Read with Jean

      Shakleton set out to be the first to transverse Anartics from west to east. The expedition never made their destination, instead they were frozen into the pack ice of the Weddell Sea. This was the start of their journey to survive and save themselves. The writing is not the best but it is worth the time to read it for the story alone.

      3.5👍

      Liked by 1 person

      July 15, 2015
    • Destination Completed: California
      East of Eden by John Steinbeck

      This is a beautifully written book. I loved it. It is set in the Salinas River valley and tells the story of the Trask and Hamilton families. This book had it all, love, betrayal, murder, jealousy. It runs the gamut of human emotions. I highly recommend this book.

      👍👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      July 21, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Vietnam
      The Quiet American by Graham Greene

      Set in Vietnam this is the story of the relationship between correspondent Fowler and young American Pyle. The story deals with Pyle’s innocent blunders on war policy, while Fowler tries to understand his motives for intervening. This book is very well written and I would recommend it. I will definitely be reading more of Graham Greene’s work.

      👍👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      July 25, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Camping
      Into The Wild by John Krakauer

      Into The Wild tells the story of Chris McCandless’s journey through the last few years of his life. This is not a simple weekend camping trip but a way of life leafing up to the epic Alaskan adventure. At the end of the book I still had no clear understanding of what Chris McCandless was looking for, or hoping to get away from.

      👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      July 29, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Weekend Getaway
      American Gothic Tales

      This was a difficult book for me because I really don’t care for short stories. There isn’t enough character development a d detail to enjoy the story. A few stories did stand out as bring really good. The Lovely House by Shirley Jackson, The Outsider by H. P. Lovecraft and The Temple by Joyce Carol Oates.

      3.5👍

      Liked by 1 person

      August 2, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Museum Tour
      Chasing Aphrodite The Hunt For Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum by Jason Felch & Ralph Frammolino

      This book gives an inside look at how museums, especially the Getty Museum, used to acquire antiquities. From looking the other way to all out forgery, the Getty Museum blatantly ignored laws governing antiquity acquisition. The one good thing to come out of the Getty scandal is the change in how museums now acquire antiquities.

      3.5👍

      Liked by 1 person

      August 10, 2015
    • Destination Completed: South Africa
      The Madonna of Excelsior by Zakes Mda

      The book is set in Excelsior, Free State, South Africa and starts by following Niki during apartheid and continues with her children after it ends. I really like how the chapters start with a description of a painting by the artist they call the Trinity. I really enjoyed this book, it was beautifully written.

      4.5👍

      Liked by 1 person

      August 11, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Japan
      Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

      This book tells the stories of Nakata and Kafka. The story seems disjointed in the beginning and you’re not sure where it is going to lead, but it all comes together at the end. It is a beautifully written book. Haruki Murakami is a masterful story teller.

      👍👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      August 15, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Ancient Ruins, Troy
      The Iliad by Homer translated by Robert Fagles

      The Iliad set in Troy is the story of the Trojan war. The Achaeans descend on Troy to win back Helen, the wife of Menelaus. This is a very easy translation to understand, but don’t skip the introduction, it’s long but very informative.

      👍👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      August 19, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Return Visit
      Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson

      This is an epic story that has it all, royal court intrigue, religious conflict, scientific discoveries. Puritan Daniel Waterhouse navigates the royal court of England and Eliza wends her way through the French and Dutch Republic. I was totally immersed in the story and didn’t want it to end but it is not a book for everyone.

      4.5👍

      Liked by 1 person

      August 24, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Russia
      Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

      This is the story of married Anna who falls in love with Vronsky. There is so much more to the story than Anna and Vronsky, it gives the reader a look into Russian society at that period of time. I enjoyed the book but by the end Anna was a pathetic and unlikable character.

      👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 2 people

      September 1, 2015
      • deadlikeme13 #

        I read that one too for the same location 🙂 You know, I kept thinking: “When’s she gonna jump under that train already.” I was trying to guess why she’d do it, and when. But my-oh-my was I ever wrong in all my predictions. Even worse, by the end of the book, when it finally happened, I was so sorry for her, so sorry to see her go “mad”, cause it couldn’t have been anything else. She was deeply disturbed, and there was no one who could understand and help her, as people get help nowadays.

        Like

        September 9, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Traveling with kids
      The Road by Cormac McCarthy

      This is an amazing, dark story that is wonderfully written and definitely deserved the Pulitzer. It is the story of a man and his son traveling across the burned and dead U.S.. This is not a fun filled family vacation but still traveling with a child.

      👍👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      September 5, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Volunteer Vacation
      The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

      This is the story of the Price family, lead by an abusive husband and father on a mission trip to the Belgian Congo. The story is told from the perspective of the four daughters. It is interesting to see how that trip affected how they lived the rest of their lives.

      👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      September 8, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Georgia U.S.A.
      The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

      This is a beautiful but sad book. Set in a southern mill town (probably Georgia as the either is from there) the misfits in town seek solace in the company of John Singer, a deaf mute. Singer himself is mired in loneliness from the loss of his friend Antonapoulos.

      👍👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      September 10, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Africa
      The Heart Of The Matter by Graham Greene

      Set in West Africa, this is the story of Scobie, an honest man who is lead astray and pays the ultimate price. I really like Greene’s writing style but I did not enjoy this story as much as The Quiet American.

      👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      September 13, 2015
    • Destination Completed: India
      A Son Of The Circus by John Irving

      I enjoyed this book, it was quite a trip. Set in Bombay (now Mumbai) it follows a Dr. , twins separated at birth, a transexual serial killer and cicus dwarf. The story pulls all theses eccentric characters together and really works.

      👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      September 19, 2015
    • Destination Completed: Venice, Italy
      Othello by William Shakespeare

      This was a last minute substitute due to the library being closed for remodeling. This story is a tragedy with all the fixings, jealousy, revenge, murder and suicide. I forgot how much I enjoyed Shakespeare and would recommend you give it a read.

      👍👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      September 19, 2015
    • Destination Completed: France
      The Plague by Albert Camus
      9:939 Central Time Zone

      The story is set in Oran, a French port on the Algerian coast, beseiged by the plague. The town gates are closed leaving the citizens exiled from the world. The book follows the changes to the personalities of the characters who are well and trying to survive the devastation.

      3.5👍

      Liked by 1 person

      September 22, 2015
  9. Tanya #

    Tanya’s Excellent Adventure

    Destinations
    1) Discover Your Roots
    2) Lake Vacation
    3) Cultural Experience
    4) South Carolina
    5) Artsy Vacation: Heist Society by Ally Carter
    6) Texas
    7) Train Travel: The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie
    8) Broadway, NYC: Pygmalion and My Fair Lady by George Bernard Shaw
    9) Russia: Russian Winter by Daphne Kalorama
    10) Turkey
    11) Island Vacation
    12) Brazil
    13) Australia
    14) Camping
    15) Pyramids
    16) Music Festival: Murder at the Castle by Jeanne M. Dams
    17) Disneyworld
    18) The White House
    19) Visiting Friends or Family: Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
    20) Greece
    21) India
    22) Historical Pilgrimage
    23) Wild West
    24) Caribbean
    25) Georgia, USA
    26) Alternate World: Visions in Silver by Anne Bishop
    27) Space Travel
    28) Foodie’s Paradise
    29) Ski Vacation: Murder on Ice by Carolyn Keene
    30) Ghost Town

    Liked by 1 person

    June 18, 2015
    • Tanya’s Approved List of Books:

      Destinations
      1) Discover Your Roots: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
      -I have Civil War soldiers in my family tree
      2) Lake Vacation: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
      -character had spent a summer vacation there and has returned with her own daughter
      3) Cultural Experience: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
      -Pretty sure there isn’t any Chinese in my background
      4) South Carolina: Charleston by John Jakes
      5) Artsy Vacation
      6) Texas: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
      7) Train Travel: The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie
      8) Broadway, NYC: Pygmalion/My Fair Lady by George Bernard Shaw
      -This became a Broadway Play
      9) Russia: Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
      10) Turkey: Snow by Orhan Pamuk
      11) Island Vacation: Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea by Nancy Atherton
      12) Brazil: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
      -author is Brazilian
      13) Australia: The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
      14) Camping: The Troop by Nick Cutter
      15) Pyramids: City of the Dead by T.L. Higley
      16) Music Festival: Murder at the Castle by Jeanne M. Dams
      -takes place at a Welsh music festival
      17) Disneyworld: Walt Disney by Neal Gabler
      18) The White House
      19) Visiting Friends or Family: something written by Nora Roberts
      -If I were to visit my mom and peruse her shelf I would find something by her favorite author Nora Roberts
      20) Greece: The Greek Myths by Robert Graves
      21) India: The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
      22) Historical Pilgrimage: The Canterbury Tales by Chauncer
      23) Wild West:
      24) Caribbean: Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
      25) Georgia, USA: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
      26) Alternate World: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
      -based in a world called Namid, loosely based of N. America
      27) Space Travel: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
      28) Foodie’s Paradise:
      29) Ski Vacation: Murder on Ice by Carolyn Keene
      -weekend on the slopes
      30) Ghost Town: Finding Utopia by Randy McNutt
      -nonfiction exploring lost highways, towns, battlefields of Ohio

      Like

      June 20, 2015
    • Tanya #

      Destination: Alternate World
      Visions in Silver by Anne Bishop

      This books is the third in the Others series and takes place in Thasia. I felt it was a successful installment. I enjoy the buildup, knowing that not only is it a buildup to the conclusion of this particular novel, but a complex one that will continue into the next book of the series. I give this book 4 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 8, 2015
    • Tanya #

      Destination: Russia
      Russian Winter by Daphne Kalorama

      This was a beautiful debut novel filled with romance, mystery, secrets, and regrets. The scenes shuffle between present day Boston,following characters Nina, Grigori, and Drew, and Communist Russia, following Nina as a star ballerina of the Bolshoi. I really enjoyed it and look forword to more from this author.
      I give this 4 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 25, 2015
      • Tanya #

        Destination: Visiting Friends and Family
        Dark Witch by Nora Roberts

        Leaving everything behind, Iona travels to Ireland to find herself and her heritage. She not only finds herself but also family, friends, love, magick, and a fight between light and dark. I really liked this book and look forward to the next in the trilogy.
        4 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        September 2, 2015
      • Tanya #

        Destination: Artsy Vacation
        Heist Society by Ally Carter

        Katarina Bishop is forced to leave the normal life she is trying to build when her father is accused of stealing priceless artwork from a mob boss. Now she has 2 weeks to find the art and steal it back or those she cares for will be targeted. This was a fun book, but was a bit simplistic.
        3 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        September 3, 2015
      • Tanya #

        Destination: Train Travel
        The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie

        Exactly what one expects of Agatha Christie, murder, missing jewels, and of course a somewhat unexpected conclusion. Once again Hercule Poirot is on the scene using his little gray cells to solve the case. Another good read by one of my favorite authors.
        4 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        September 9, 2015
      • Tanya #

        Destination: music festival
        Murder at the Castle by Jeanne M. Dams

        Dorothy Martin and her husband Alan travel to Wales to attend a new music festival and find among the beautiful setting and music blackmail and death. Now it is a race to find the truth before something worse happens and before those involved leave. I really liked this cozy mystery and am happy to see it is part of a series.
        4 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        September 12, 2015
      • Tanya #

        Destination: Ski Vacation
        Murder on Ice by Carolyn Keene

        What’s a ski vacation without accidents meant to cause severe disablement or death, a lurking prowler, and suspicious characters? Luckily Nancy Drew and her friends are around top get to the bottom of things. This book hit on nostalgia for me as Nancy was a favorite of mine growing up.
        3 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        September 12, 2015
      • Tanya #

        Destination: Broadway, NYC
        Pygmalion and My Fair Lady by George Bernard Shaw

        Henry Higgins is positive that he can take Elizabeth Doolittle and turn her from a lowly flower girl with terrible speech to a duchess. So positive that he bets he can do so in 6 months. Eliza’s life is turned upside down in this charming play.
        3 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        September 21, 2015
  10. Happy with a lot of my choices.
    1. Australia; A Town Like Alice by Nevile Shute
    2. Survival/wilderness camp
    3. Brazil
    4. Snow/ski vacation
    5. Musical festival
    6. California
    7. Alternate world
    8. Cultural experience
    9. Visiting friends/family
    10. Greece
    11. Japan
    12. Award ceremony
    13. Road trip
    14. Romantic escape
    15. Argentina
    16. Discover your roots
    17. Turkey
    18. Italy
    19. Area 51
    20. Farming vacation
    21. Vacation hot spot
    22. Classic vacation
    23. Cruise/sailing the high seas
    24. Volunteering for your holiday
    25. Middle east
    26. Trip to the countryside
    27. 221B Baker Street
    28. New Orleans
    29. High school reunion
    30. Lake vacation

    Liked by 1 person

    June 19, 2015
    • Destination 1: Australia
      A Town Like Alice by Nevile Shute
      This is a story about love and economic development. I enjoyed the parts of this book which weren’t actually set in Australia the best. I especially liked the story of women surviving the war by walking from town to town in Malaysia before finally settling in a small village and learning to live like the locals.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 1, 2015
      • Destination 2: Survival/wilderness camp
        Lord of the Flies by William Golding
        Wow! Amazing book, I can’t believe I’ve never read this before. A group of children are stranded on an island and childish innocence is quickly lost and replaced by something much more primitive and animalistic.

        Liked by 2 people

        September 1, 2015
      • deadlikeme13 #

        Re: Lord of the Flies: Loved the book as well. Very well thought one, I think.

        Like

        September 9, 2015
  11. Sushicat #

    Sushicat’s Travelogue

    Travels Completed:
    Alaska: Murder on the Yukon Coast by Sue Henry
    New York – Too Close to Home by Lynwood Barclay
    Hollywood – Night Film by Marisha Pessl
    New Orleans – A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge
    Cultural Experience -The Immoralist by Andre Gide
    Croatia – Alamut by Wladimir Bartol
    7. First Visit – Candlemoth by R.J. Ellory
    Lost in Translation: Showa 1939-1944 by Shigeru Mizuki
    Trip with the Gals: Die Lebenden und die Toten
    Russia: Paradise of the Blind
    Off the Beaten track: The Martian by Weir
    12. Hong Kong – Ghetto at the Center of the World by Gordon Mathews
    Bonus – Tour Group: Madagaskar: Ghost of Chance by William S. Burroughs (+3)

    Like

    June 19, 2015
    • Sushicat #

      Sushicat’s list of approved books:
      -Ghost Town: Xuxub Must Die by Paul Sullivan
      -Hiking/Trekking: True Summit by David Roberts
      -Russia: Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith
      -Snow/Ski Vacation: Annapurna by Maurice Herzog
      -Thailand: Bangkok 8 by John Burdett
      -Ireland: Christine Falls by Benjamin Black
      -Turkey: Belshazar’s Daughter by Barbara Nadel
      -South Africa: Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
      -Brazil: The Partner by John Grisham
      -Trip with the gals (female author): The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
      -Pyramids: Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
      -Chile: Cuentos de Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
      -Spiritual Retreat: Quiet by Susan Cain (being about quiet and introspection, this represents spiritual retreat)
      -Zimbabwe: Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
      -South Carolina: Slow Burn by Julie Garwood
      -Scotland Yard: The Grave Maurice by Martha Grimes
      -World Heritage Site: Midaq Alley by Nagib Machfus
      -Off the beaten track: The Martian by Andy Weir
      -Las Vegas: Velocity by Alan Jacobson:
      -Bermuda Triangle: Havanna Red by Leonardo Padura
      -Dude Ranch: Black Hills by Nora Roberts

      Like

      June 20, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        Nele Neuhaus counts for a Trip with the gals.

        Like

        August 20, 2015
    • Sushicat #

      1. Alaska – Murder on the Yukon Quest by Sue Henry – 4 stars
      Rationale: #6 in the Alaska Mysteries, showdown in the second half of the Yukon Quest goes down in Alaska, Alaskan heroine, Alaskan writer
      I love going back out there – physically or through a book that brings it nicely back to life like this one does. And the furry cast is just lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 23, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        2. New York – Too Close to Home by Lynwood Barclay – 4.5 stars
        Rationale: set in upstate New York
        When the family next door is murdered, the life of Jim Cutter and his family become embroiled into the investigation and it soon looks as though they might have been the intended victims. Told from Jim Cutter’s point of view, things develop with many surprising twists and end up with a satisfying resolution.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 28, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        3. Hollywood – Night Film by Marisha Pessl – 4 stars
        Years ago, his research into the life of underground film legend Cordova ended Scott’s investigative journalist career in disgrace. After the suicide of Cordova’s daughter he’s back on the trail – but the price might be even higher. I liked the way Pessl included pictures and fictitious webpages and even an app into the reading experience (though they are not essential to it). I also liked the blurring between reality and magic, the way the story kept shifting till the end.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 4, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        4. New Orleans – A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge – 3.5 stars
        The graphic novel gives voice to seven people who lived in New Orleans when Kathrina hit, some who evacuated and some who stayed. By giving room to very diverse tales a broad range of issues is laid out. The time covered is not only the immediate impact of the storm but also the longer term effect it had on their lives. I would have loved it, if it had gone onto a bit more depth on the individual stories.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 4, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        5. Cultural Experience – L’immoraliste by Andre Gide – 3.5 stars
        After a brush with death, Michel looks for purpose in a life of indulgence. Chasing meaningful experiences he uncovers his latent homosexuality and is attracted by more unsavory characters.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 9, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        6. Croatia – Alamut by Wladimir Bartol – 4 stars
        The story of how a small band of religious fanatics rose to prominence in ancient orient. Or how one persons with enough ruthlessness can gain power over people and change the course of history.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 13, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        7. First Visit – Candlemoth by R.J. Ellory – 5 stars + a heart
        Daniel Ford spends a lot of his last month on death row recounting his life to a priest. RJE likes the term slow motion thriller for his works. I find that very fitting. This was a book to be savored – for the way he brings a historic period to life and for the way his flawed characters grow on you. New favorite author!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 25, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        8. Lost in Translation: Showa 1939-1944 by Shigeru Mizuki – 4 stars (original in Japanese)
        In his history of the Showa period (1927-1989) in graphic novel format, Shigeru Mizuki combines sequences in near fotoreaslistic style for the general history with more cartoonish sequences for his personal history. This makes of a great series of books (this is the second of four). I liked this one a bit less than the first one, as there was much military action which became a bit repetitive.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 1, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        9. Die Lebenden und die Toten (I Am Your Judge) by Nele Neuhaus
        5 stars

        Not yet out in English, but a treat to be looking for. It starts with seemingly random killings and ends with a very interesting case – lots of suspects, satisfying build up and wrap up.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        Bonus – Tour Group: Madagaskar: Ghost of Chance by William S. Burroughs
        3 stars

        I liked the lemurs and was appalled by the inventive sicknesses. For me to really get this book, I would need a little chemical assistance.

        Liked by 2 people

        September 2, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        10. Russia – Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong – 4 stars
        A young Vietnamese woman is trapped in familial obligation and duties. In the Marxist community there is no room for success and what little prosperity is earned goes towards other family. She finally goes to Russia as a factory worker. A trip to her uncle in Moscow gets her to review her life and obligations to family and to herself.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 9, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        11. Off the beaten track – The Martian by Andy Weir – 5 stars
        I just had a lot of fun with this audiobook. Macgiver on Mars with a wicked sense of humor. I should probably deduct a star as the what is supposed to be a log is more like a verbal commentary, but it was fun. I did not even mind all the techie stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 15, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        12. Hong Kong – Ghetto at the Center of the World by Gordon Mathews – 3.5 stars
        An interesting insight into a hub of low-key globalization in the middle of Hong Kong. Traders from Africa looking for affordable goods, asylum seekers waiting for a rare chance to move to another country, tourists looking for an affordable place to stay, people from all over the world and all sorts of cultures mingle inside a 17 story block housing guesthouses, food and goods stalls of all sorts.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 21, 2015
      • Charisma #

        Re: Madagascar. I actually thought the diseases were real. I recol ‘knowing’ about the Hairs. Maybe it was some horror movie I watched based on the book, or something. I tried to find anything like that on the internet, and was unsuccessful.

        Like

        September 22, 2015
  12. Book Worm Goes Global

    1) Vacation Hot Spot (Best seller) – Go Set A Watchman
    2) Japan – Silence Endo
    3) Argentina
    4) Beautiful Gardens
    5) Italy
    6) Train Travel
    7) Area 51
    8) Sweden
    9) New Orleans
    10) High School Reunion – Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant Anthony Powell
    11) Into the Amazon
    12) Weekend Getaway (short story) – Stone Mattress
    13) Safari
    14) Staycation
    15) Alternate World (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep)
    16) National Park
    17) Spain
    18) Bora Bora
    19) Forbidden Location (Banned book)
    20) Vacation Nightmares
    21) Oktoberfest
    22) Visiting Friends or Family – The Illuminations
    23) Lost in Translation – Journey to the End of Night Celine
    24) Thailand
    25) Discover your Roots
    26) Ireland
    27) Disney World
    28) Caribbean
    29) Lake Vacation
    30) New York – Divided in Death J D Robb

    Like

    June 19, 2015
    • New York – Divided in Death J D Robb set in New York in the 2050s

      Number 19 in the Eve Dallas series sees Eve trying to solve the murder of a cheating husband and his lover when it is clear his wife has been set up to take the fall

      School Reunion – Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant Anthony Powell about old friends and reunions

      The 5th installment of the Music of Time sees the narrator and his friends dealing with various kinds of marriage and relationships as well as death and frustration

      Vacation Nightmare – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz a holiday in DR under El Jefe would be a nightmare

      5 Stars full review will appear on this blog soon

      Alternate World – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Philip K Dick

      4 stars full review will appear on this blog soon

      Weekend Getaway – Stone Mattress Margaret Atwood Short Story Collection

      3 Stars collection on 9 short stories including one featuring the characters from The Robber Bride

      Vacation Hot Spot – Got Set a Watchman Harper Lee

      3 stars review on this blog

      Lost in Translation Journey to the End of Night Celine written in French originally

      3 stars review to follow on this blog

      Japan – Silence Endo
      4 Stars reviewed on this blog

      Visiting friends or family – The Illuminations Andrew O’Hagan
      5 stars review to follow on this blog

      Liked by 1 person

      July 1, 2015
  13. Morgen #

    My passport for the summer!
    Wild West
    The Weekend Getaway: Weekend Getaway – A good man is hard to find
    Traveling with Kids
    Wine Country
    World Heritage Site
    Japan
    Argentina
    Bora Bora
    Alternate World/Universe
    Survival Camp
    Russia
    England
    California
    South Africa: Cry Beloved Country
    Pyramids
    Farming Vacation: Every Living Thing
    Spa Town
    Award Ceremony
    National Park
    Staycation: Black List by Brad Thor
    Into the Amazon
    Australia: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
    Beach Vacation: Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
    French Riviera
    Ireland (perfect because I’m actually traveling here in august):Trinity by Leon Uris
    Sail the High Seas: In the Kingdom of Ice
    Ancient Civilization
    Island Vacation
    Trip to the Countryside
    Tuscany

    Liked by 1 person

    June 19, 2015
    • Morgen #

      Morgen’s Approved Books:
      -Sail the High Seas – In the Kingdom of Ice: the Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
      -Alternate Universe – The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
      -Russia – The Tiger: a true story of vengeance and survival
      -Ireland – Trinity by Leon Uris
      -Trip to the Countryside – Watership Down I’ve always wanted to read it and technically is about farm animals 🙂
      -The Weekend Getaway – A good man is hard to find and other stories
      -South Africa – Cry the beloved country
      -Japan – Unbroken: A World War II story…
      -Beach Vacation – Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
      Farming Vacation – Every Living Thing by James Harriot
      Staycation – Black List by Brad Thor (set in and around Washington DC)
      Australia – In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

      Like

      June 19, 2015
      • Morgen #

        Ireland: Trinity by Leon Uris
        A great book for the first 600 pages but started to drag a bit toward the end. Interesting characters and I learned a bunch about the potato famine and pre-revolution history. 4 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        July 10, 2015
      • Weekend Getaway – A good man is hard to find:
        I found these all the pretty so/so short stories. Very predictable, a character was misunderstood and then died in almost every one. The last story, the displaced persons, was my favorite and saved the book from a 2 star rating.
        3 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        July 13, 2015
      • South Africe: Cry the Beloved Country Review
        Good book! Shows the evils of apartheid and a path way out of it all wrapped up in a decent story. Easy read, I enjoyed it.
        4 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        July 21, 2015
    • Australia: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
      I love Bill Bryson’s tour books and this one is no exception. Learned tons about the history of Australia and have a bunch of places I know want to visit. Best part of the book was his obsession with the Prime Minister of Australia who went swimming one morning and disappeared (assumed pulled out by a rip tide and eaten by a shark). Why wasn’t this news in the rest of the world? Because Australia is a crazy deadly, but wonderful place.
      5 stars!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 12, 2015
    • Russia: The Tiger, a True story of Vengeance and Survival
      A fascinating book that goes through Russian history, geography, and evolution, with a true story about a killer tiger. The author spent a lot of time on tangents and stories about mythology, personal histories, and random facts so the book dragged on a little. There was a good narrative in there between all the textbook facts.
      3.5 Stars

      Liked by 1 person

      August 21, 2015
    • Staycation: Black List by Brad Thor
      A fast mystery/suspense book, great for a lazy summer day by the pool. Premise is that there’s a plot by the gov’t to destroy the internet but before they can do that they need to kill everyone who might stop them. Pretty far down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole, but I liked the main characters and the action scenes made it a great read.
      4.5 Stars

      Liked by 1 person

      August 23, 2015
    • Beach Vacation: Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
      A fun pirate book set in Port Royal Jamaica. Lots of dangers on the high seas, pirates, Spanish naves and a kraken thrown in for good measure. Generally like Michael Crichton books but this wasn’t one of my favorites. Like the book although won’t read it again.
      3.5 Stars

      Liked by 1 person

      August 29, 2015
    • Sail the High Seas: In the Kingdom of Ice
      Wow what a tragic story. I had never heard of the USS Jeannette before picking up this book and I can’t believe it doesn’t have a bigger place in history. It also hard to fathom how many ships got lost in the arctic and were never found again. Still more amazing is that scientists in those days actually thought the north pole could be tropical!! Amazing story of adventure and survival.
      4 starts

      Liked by 1 person

      September 7, 2015
    • Farming Vacation: Every Living Thing
      A fun read told in James Harriott’s signature hysterical style. There were fewer stories about his family and coworkers in this book and that left it a little flat. If you want to read one of his books, I would recommend All Creatures Great and Small over this one.
      3.5 Stars

      Liked by 1 person

      September 21, 2015
    • Trip to the Country Side: Watership Down
      One last book finished with hours to spare (on the east coast). I liked Watership Down a great deal. Seemed much more than a children’s story despite the authors preface describing it that way. The author created a whole world unique to rabbits and told their perspective flawlessly. It wasn’t what I expected, a lot more character development and themes than your average kids book.
      4 Stars

      Like

      September 22, 2015
      • excellent. Nice work getting it in under the wire! Watership Down was the first book to ever make me cry when I was a child.

        Like

        September 22, 2015
  14. Nicole D #

    Nikki D May or may not leave the couch

    Las Vegas
    High School Reunion: A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
    Brazil
    New York: Sag Harbor – Colson Whitehead
    Futuristic
    China: The City and the City – China Mieville
    Morocco
    Greece
    Off the Beaten Track: Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
    Traveling with Kids (god forbid): After Alice – Gregory Maguire
    Jungle Exploration
    Visiting Family or Friends: Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Museum tour: Team of Rivals
    Ancient Civ
    New Orleans
    Pyramids
    South Africa; Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Patton
    Road Trip
    Lake Vacation
    Romantic Escape: Anne of the Island – LM Montgomery
    Area 51: The Roswell Conspiracy – Boyd Morrison
    Sweden
    Volunteer for your vacation: Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund
    Staycation
    Middle East
    Classic Vacation: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court – Mark Twain
    Disneyworld: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom – Cory Doctorow
    Ghost Town: Centuries of June – Keith Donohue

    Liked by 1 person

    June 19, 2015
  15. LibraryCin’s Travel Plans – Summer 2015

    Ghost Town: Locke & Key. Vol. 2: Head Games / Joe Hill
    Music Festival: The Little Shadows / Marina Endicott
    Alternate World: Sunshine / Robin McKinley
    Pyramids
    France: The Second Empress / Michelle Moran
    Traveling with Kids: The Battle of the Labyrinth / Rick Riordan
    India: The Space Between Us / Thrity Umrigar
    New Zealand
    San Diego Zoo: Zoo / James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
    Beach Vacation: An Embarrassment of Mangoes / Ann Vanderhoof
    Cruise the High Seas: Down with the Old Canoe: A Cultural History of the Titanic Disaster / Steven Biel
    Island Vacation: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
    Thailand
    Beautiful Gardens
    First Visit (Debut Novel):The Heretic’s Daughter / Kathleen Kent
    Zimbabwe
    Sweden: The Girl Who Played With Fire / Stieg Larsson
    Vacation Nightmares: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter / Seth Grahame-Smith
    Space Travel: Catalyst by Anne McCaffrey
    Middle East: Sweetness in the Belly
    Spiritual Retreat
    Las Vegas: Catnap / Carole Nelson Douglas
    Futuristic: The Compound / S.A. Bodeen
    Venice, Italy: The Haunted Hotel / Wilkie Collins
    National Park
    Alaska: Stickeen / John Muir
    Off the Beaten Track: K2: Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain / Ed Viesturs
    Artsy Vacation: I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You / Courtney Maum
    Scotland Yard: What Alice Knew
    Nebraska

    Liked by 1 person

    June 19, 2015
    • LibraryCin’s Approved list of books:

        – Alternate World: Sunshine by Robin McKinley
        – India: The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
        – New Zealand: Slipping Into Paradise: Why I Live in New Zealand by Jeffrey M. Masson
        – Zimbabwe: The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe by Peter Godwin
        – Las Vegas: Catnap by Carole Nelson Douglas
        – Futuristic: The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
        – Pyramids: Child of the Morning / Pauline Gedge
        -Off the Beaten Track: K2: Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain / Ed Viesturs
        -Scotland Yard: What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James and Jack the Ripper by Paula Marantz Cohen
        -Travel with Kids: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
        -Beach Vacation: An Embarrassment of Magoes by Ann Vanderhoof
        -San Diego Zoo: – Zoo / James Patterson
        -Venice: The Haunted Hotel / Wilkie Collins
        –Beautiful Gardens: The Botany of Desire / Michael Pollan

        Like

      June 19, 2015
      • Island Vacation:
        Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. 4 stars.
        The bulk of this book takes place on an island in Wales. I love that it was based on real old photographs and I loved that they were included in the book (a bit dark in the ebook, but I could make them out). I loved the creepiness of the old house when Jacob first comes upon it. It’s not action-packed (though there’s more of that at the end), but I really liked the story, overall.
        For full review (including synopsis):
        http://www.shelfari.com/books/18102255/Miss-Peregrines-Home-for-Peculiar-Children/reviews/4812983

        Liked by 1 person

        June 23, 2015
      • Cruise the High Seas:
        Down with the Old Canoe: A Cultural History of the Titanic Disaster / Steven Biel. 2 stars

        As this is looking at the Titanic disaster, I though it fit for a “sea” “vacation”! It just wasn’t what I was interested in. I skimmed though a lot of it. It was too academic for my liking, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 28, 2015
      • Vacation Nightmares:
        Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter / Seth Grahame-Smith
        4 stars

        I figure any vacation with vampires is bound to be a nightmare!

        I really liked this. I will admit that I don’t know American history very well, so what I know about Lincoln is only the very basics. I do suspect much of what was in the book did really happen (but I can’t say for sure) – except, of course, all the stuff about vampires! I didn’t find it fast-paced, as it followed him on his travels for both work and vampire-hunting, but I really enjoyed it.

        France:
        The Second Empress / Michelle Moran
        4.5 stars
        The majority of this is set in France.

        I really liked this. Napoleon is another historical figure I’ve not read much about. Though this was fiction, Moran took much of what she learned and put in the book from primary sources (including some actual letters written by Napoleon, his ex-wife, and others). I have to say that Michelle Moran sure does know how to tell great historical fiction!

        Full review, including summary:
        http://www.shelfari.com/books/26582558/The-Second-Empress/reviews/4819413

        Liked by 1 person

        June 30, 2015
      • Alaska:
        Stickeen / John Muir
        3 stars

        In this memoir, it is the late 1800s and the author is exploring Alaska with a dog, Stickeen. There was a lot of description that I wasn’t always interested in. It did get more interesting once they got onto that glacier and had to figure out how to get back. Overall, a little disappointing, though, as I expected more about the dog.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 1, 2015
      • Ghost Town:
        Locke & Key. Vol. 2: Head Games / Joe Hill
        3.5 stars

        One of the characters was thought to have died 30 years ago, but he has returned (and hasn’t aged).
        It was good, but I didn’t like it as much as the first one. It ended on a “cliffhanger”, but I was already planning to read the next one in the series, anyway. The illustrations are very well done (it’s a graphic novel).

        Space Travel:
        Catalyst / Anne McCaffrey
        4 stars
        This book encompasses all of: universal domination, catnapping, telepathy, space travel, disease…
        I really enjoyed this. I waffled between 4 and 4.5 stars, but am going with 4. Science fiction is not always my “thing”, but the cats did it for me in this one. I do suspect, though, that this one is not going to be all that appealing to someone who isn’t a cat person.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 5, 2015
      • Sweden:
        The Girl Who Played With Fire / Stieg Larsson
        4.25 stars

        This took quite a while to get going (longer than the first book, I thought), but it really picked up (after the first bit of background information, which really is needed) about a third of the way in. And it picked up even more at the very end. One thing I did have some trouble with was keeping all the people straight – probably a combination of so many characters, plus the Swedish names (and they are almost all referred to by their last names). Overall, though, I really liked it, just not quite as much as the first book.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 16, 2015
      • Artsy Vacation
        I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You / Courtney Maum
        3.5 stars
        Main character is an artist and his art plays a decent “role” in the plot.

        I didn’t think, at first, that I’d like the book, because I hated Richard so much right away. However, the book got more interesting as it went along, and I was amazed to find myself, later in the book, sort of rooting for the guy. Maybe that’s because it was from his point of view? Or did the author write it that well? Or both? I don’t know why, but in the end, I’d rate it a “good” book.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 22, 2015
    • First Visit (Debut Novel):
      The Heretic’s Daughter / Kathleen Kent
      3.5 stars

      It was good. I listened to the audio and the first 1/3 or so (mostly set-up… before the accusations started) was not enough to hold my interest, so I often lost focus. It did pick up for me once the accusations began, however. Because the rest of it was more interesting, it was enough for me to rate the book “good”.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 17, 2015
      • Music Festival:
        The Little Shadows / Marina Endicott
        (Historical fiction about vaudeville)

        3.5 stars

        I liked this, but it didn’t quite live up to what I expected. There was a lot of vaudeville detail that probably didn’t need to be there. I did read it, in part, because of the vaudeville, but it was a lot. Overall, though, I did enjoy it and I wanted to keep reading and wanted to be reading when I wasn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 27, 2015
      • And one more for today:
        Beautiful Gardens:
        – The Botany of Desire / Michael Pollan

        It’s about plants. It’s also tagged “gardens” and “gardening” on shelfari.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 2, 2015
      • Las Vegas:
        Catnap / Carole Nelson Douglas
        3 stars

        This was set in Las Vegas/

        It was ok. I wasn’t crazy about Temple at the start of the book, especially, though I guess she wasn’t so bad later. I did like Louie (who had the occasional chapter to himself, from his point of view); that part of the book was cute. I don’t think it’s enough to keep me reading the series, though.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 3, 2015
      • India:
        The Space Between Us / Thrity Umrigar
        4 stars

        This is set in India. I really liked this. This is the second book I’ve read by Umrigar and she does a really good job with character relationships, which is really what her books seem to be about. The book also goes back in time to follow both Sera and Bhima’s lives (and Maya’s) to explain how they got where they are now.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 7, 2015
      • Traveling with Kids:
        The Battle of the Labyrinth / Rick Riordan
        4 stars

        With the worry that Camp Half-Blood will be attacked, Percy and his friends (led by Annabeth) must go on a quest inside the labyrinth that is located (but moves around) underneath America. These books really are a lot of fun! There is a lot of action in these YA books and it keeps me wanting to read.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 16, 2015
      • Venice, Italy (This is set in Venice):
        The Haunted Hotel / Wilkie Collins
        2.5 stars

        There did actually seem to be a lot of activity in the book and it initially seemed like I was going to enjoy the writing style, but I got lost early on with so many characters and I had trouble figuring out who was who. It temporarily picked up for a bit in the second half, as the hotel was opened and the haunting(s?) happened. But then, I sort of lost interest again as the story wrapped up.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2015
      • Alternate World (set in an alternate world):
        Sunshine / Robin McKinley
        3.5 stars

        I enjoyed this. I was listening to the audio, though, so I did miss parts. I read somewhere that this was meant to be an adult book by McKinley, but the narrator sounded young (though she did do a good job), so it was hard to get out of my mind that it wasn’t YA. There were some humourous bits, like wondering whether or not vampires ever needed to pee (how does their digestive system work?) and there were a couple of other similar amusing thoughts that just aren’t coming to me at the moment. Definitely enjoyable!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2015
    • And one for approval:
      Nebraska:
      Eleanor and Park / Rainbow Rowell
      Apparently, that’s where it is set.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2015
    • Off the beaten track:
      (Mountain climbing)

      K2: Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain / Ed Viesturs
      4 stars

      It was interesting to hear about the various excursions and adventures on the mountain, from the 1930s to 2008. I was listening to the audio, so my mind did wander occasionally, and for some reason, a little more in the second half, but overall, I quite enjoyed it. Because it was the audio, though, it was tricky sometimes to figure out which year’s excursion I was listening to if I missed it! Some of the history was interesting, as well, as you get to hear about how some of the gear has changed over time.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 29, 2015
    • This is probably a long-shot, but Thailand is a tougher one for me.
      Would I be able to read a book set in a neighbouring country, Laos, for Thailand? It doesn’t have the tag at shelfari, but it is one of the places listed in the “Setting and Locations” section on the book page at shelfari:

      – The Coroner’s Lunch / Colin Cotterill

      Like

      August 29, 2015
      • One more for approval:
        Middle East:
        Sweetness in the Belly / Camilla Gibb
        This is tagged “middle east”, though it appears to mostly be set in Ethiopia and England. According to wikipedia, though, Ethiopia was once considered part of the Middle East.

        “The first official use of the term “Middle East” by the United States government was in the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine, which pertained to the Suez Crisis. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles defined the Middle East as “the area lying between and including Libya on the west and Pakistan on the east, Syria and Iraq on the North and the Arabian peninsula to the south, plus the Sudan and Ethiopia.””

        Liked by 1 person

        August 29, 2015
      • Okay, I’ll approve that

        Like

        August 29, 2015
      • I’m going to hold off on that one today. Check the update that will post tomorrow (around 10am est) and you will understand why

        Like

        August 29, 2015
      • Ok, to clarify: I’m assuming it’s Sweetness in the Belly that’s approved and I’ll wait on The Coroner’s Lunch. Thanks! 🙂 I’ll be looking for the update!

        Like

        August 29, 2015
    • An Embarrassment of Mangoes / Ann Vanderhoof
      3.5 stars
      (Beach Vacation)

      I enjoyed this. There was a little too much discussion of local food (with recipes included) for me, but I’m sure there a lots of people who would enjoy that. It does help with describing the culture of all the various places/islands they visited. Along the way, they also met plenty of other cruisers and locals. At the end of the book, I would have liked to hear a bit about how they got over what must have been some culture shock coming back home. They did go back to visit in the Caribbean a few years later, though, so we did get a few updates of some of the local people they’d met.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 30, 2015
      • Futuristic:
        The Compound / S.A. Bodeen
        4 stars

        When Eli is only 9-years old, he and his family (minus his Gram and twin brother, Eddy), run to their underground compound and manage to escape the nuclear bomb outside.

        I really enjoyed this! I did figure out some of what was going on before it was “revealed”, but I was still reading on the edge of my seat to find out what would happen next.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 1, 2015
    • Scotland Yard:

      What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James & Jack the Ripper / Paula Marantz Cohen
      3 stars

      Scotland Yard was investigating Jack the Ripper.

      It was ok, but anytime there was any focus that wasn’t on Jack the Ripper, I got bored. The dialogue seemed very pretentious or maybe just too intellectual for me or something. I also had trouble getting past William being able to bring bits of evidence home to show Henry and Alice for discussion. Although I have at least one more fictional Jack the Ripper book on my tbr, I’m thinking the nonfiction is actually more interesting to read about than the fictionalized versions.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 7, 2015
    • San Diego Zoo:

      Zoo / James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
      4 stars

      This was really good. I like that Patterson writes in the short chapters he uses, as it spurs me on (of course, in addition to the plot!) to want to keep reading. I was really trying to figure out how the novel was going to end, and I think it was… fitting, probably realistic (if such a situation was to be “realistic”, the way they ended it certainly was).

      Liked by 1 person

      September 9, 2015
      • Middle East (Ethiopia was once considered part of the Middle East; Islam is also a big part of the book, which is a religion shared by many in the Middle East)

        Sweetness in the Belly / Camilla Gibb
        3.5 stars

        It was good. I mostly didn’t like Lilly, though, especially in the 1980s as she pined away for Aziz so many years later and wouldn’t let anyone else in (nor did she even decorate her apartment…she just couldn’t move on). I had a bit of trouble getting “into” the book at first, though. It was a bit tricky, also at first, as the narrative jumped back and forth between Ethiopia in the 70s and London in the 80s, as I tried to follow along and figure out who everyone was. Overall, though, the story still turned out to be a good one.

        Like

        September 13, 2015
  16. Jo March’s Destinations:

    1.Broadway, NYC
    2.Spain: dime quien soy
    3.Japan
    4.Ski Resort/Snow Vacation: Book: Snow Soldiers by Carrie Crafton
    5.Lost in translation
    6.Pyramids
    7.Cape Town
    8.Off the beaten track
    9.Alaska
    10. Safari
    11.The Alps
    12.Road Trip: Book: Wild by Cherryl Strayed
    13.India
    14.Russia
    15.Ireland
    16. An Ancient Civilization
    17.Forbidden Location
    18.Museum Tour:
    19. London
    20. Turkey: Regard from the Dead Princess by Kenize Mourad
    21. Train Travel
    22.Survival Camp
    23. China
    24. Brazil
    25. New Orleans
    26. Mexico
    27. Artsy Vacation
    28. Cultural Experience: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    29 Romantic Escape
    30. Budapest

    Like

    June 19, 2015
    • Andrea’s List of Approved Books:

      London: Hawskmoor by Peter Ackroyd
      Snow Vacation: Snow Soldiers by Carrie Crafton
      Artsy Vacation: Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel

      Like

      June 20, 2015
      • Destination: Turkey
        Book: Regard from the Dead Princess by Kenize Mourad
        Rating: 5 stars

        The author recreated her mother’s life, who as the granddaughter of the last sultan, was raised up in great opulence in Turkey, suffered from exile in Beirut, became part of an arrange marriage with an Indian Rajah and lived in Paris while the German invasion during WWII.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 5, 2015
      • Destination: Museum Tour
        Book: El Maestro del Prado (The Master of the Prado) by Javier Sierra
        Rating: 3.5 stars

        The description and analysis of the paintings was very interesting, I even look up every single one, and went through the details and theories of each one, but the characters and plot of the story was very poor.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 12, 2015
      • Destination: Spain
        Book: Dime quien soy (In english it will be something like: Tell me who am I)
        Rating: 5 stars

        This is a story about Amelia, who lived through the Franco’s reign in Spain, WWII and the Cold War. In each one she played an important role as a secret agent working for the Allies. The book explains very well the political views, and got me to have a better understanding of what was really going on in Europe at that time. And as for the horrors suffered by humanity, the author made me feel as I was just there, living it, sometimes I just had to stop reading to come back to reality, I guess I can say that I really got into it.

        I have to say that this novel really made me travel, for I visited 14 countries in just one book.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 14, 2015
    • Destination: Cultural Experience
      Book: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
      Rating: 5 stars

      A story about true friendship, loyalty and family; of secrets well kept and how destiny comes around. I cried and laughed while reading it. The author incorporates a little about Afghan culture and history which complement very good with the story.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 18, 2015
      • Destination: Snow Vacations
        Book: Snow Soldiers by Carrie Crafton
        Rating: 3 stars

        I really didn’t like this one, although it explores themes like friendship, family, history and most of all with the encounter with oneself, I couldn’t identify with the main character. Sometimes if just goes over the same thing over and over again, and I felt it let some things unresolved.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 2, 2015
    • Destination: Road Trip
      Book: Wild by Cherryl Strayed
      Rating: 5 stars

      After her mother died, her divorce and a drug abuse, the author traveled the Pacific Coast Trail. In the memoir she tells the story of all she went through during this adventure and how it helped her reconnect with her self and make her stronger. I really identified with the main character, because I believe that at least once in our lifetime, everyone goes trough difficult times, and there’s always a “Trail” that helps us get trough.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 15, 2015
  17. Here is my list. Looking forward to getting started!

    1. African Safari: Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    2. Wine Country: The Villa by Nora Roberts
    3. Ukraine: Enchantment but Orston Scott Card
    4. Ghost Town
    5. Classic Vacation: Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne
    6. Spain: The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan
    7. Oktoberfest
    8. Japan
    9. Spiritual Retreat: Manuscript found in Accra – Paulo Coelho
    10. Venice, Italy
    11. Time Travel
    12. Roadside Attraction
    13. Argentina
    14. Into the Amazon: Dead Witch Walking
    15. Discover Your Roots
    16. Historic Pilgrimage
    17. France
    18. Area 51
    19. On a Budget: Bridge of Dreams by Anne Bishop
    20. New York: The Voice by Anne Bishop
    21. Vacation Hotspot (Bestseller List)
    22. Volunteer Holiday
    23. Hollywood: Adultery by Paulo Coelho
    24. Farming Vacation
    25. Road Trip
    26. Cultural Experience
    27. 221B Baker Street
    28. Loch Ness
    29. The Caribbean: Holding the Cards
    30. Bora Bora

    31) Tour Group – Madagascar.

    Like

    June 20, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      9) Spiritual Retreat Done!

      “Every second sentence of this book is a sucker punch to the chest. Your breath will catch and your heart will pound as the truth of the Copt’s words sink deep into your bones. You would be hard pressed to find a person who does not relate to even one of Paulo Coelho’s insights into Life, Love and everything else. Manuscript found in Accra is a book that will reward you with new discoveries at every re-read.”

      http://blog.actonart.co.za/2015/06/a-spiritual-retreat.html

      Liked by 1 person

      June 22, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      23) Hollywood – Done

      I decided to go with Paulo Coelho’s Adultery for this one. Adultery seemed like a fitting theme for Hollywood, although the book actually explores a mid-life crisis, adultery being a symptom of this, instead of the actual theme of the book. I did not like this book. I don’t think that it was necessarily a bad book, but the problems the character struggles with are not problems I can relate to and so I couldn’t form an emotional connection with what was happening on the page.

      http://blog.actonart.co.za/2015/06/summer-reading-challenge-hollywood.html

      Liked by 1 person

      June 23, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      20) New York – Done

      I chose The Voice by Anne Bishop as my New York destination because Anne Bishop resides in New York.

      The Voice is a compact novella that tells the story of a small village with a dark secret; a mute and unfortunate orphan girl is forced to carry the Sorrow of all the people. I enjoyed this exploration of the moral obligation to take responsibility for your own emotional well being.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 27, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      19) On a Budget – Done

      I chose Bridge of Dreams by Anne Bishop for my Budget location because “Dreams are the best kind of Budget VayCay”.

      Bridge of Dreams is the final novel in the Ephemera series. I enjoy everything Anne Bishop, and this one was no exception. I will say though, that I found the… dynamics… of the romance in this story a little bit weird. An enjoyable read and if you like your fantasy with a darker, sexy edge, Anne Bishop is a must.

      http://blog.actonart.co.za/2015/06/summer-reading-challenge-featuring-anne.html

      Liked by 1 person

      June 27, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      1) African Safari – Done

      I chose Lauren Beukes Zoo City. It is set in an alternate Johannesburg where criminals are “animalled” and have to carry around an animal “familiar”.

      I really wanted to like this book, but found myself very disappointed. It read more like a retelling of events than an actual emotional suck-you-in kind of story. I did not feel connected to the main character and overall, the story felt kind of flat, despite all the action and the interesting setting.

      http://blog.actonart.co.za/2015/07/summer-reading-challenge-african-safari.html

      Liked by 1 person

      July 1, 2015
      • Nicole Del Sesto #

        that’s too bad, I really liked Zoo City

        Like

        July 13, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      4) Ghost Town – Complete

      I chose Second Glance by Jodi Picoult. It is set on the backdrop of a dispute between a developer and an Abenaki tribe who claim the land set to become a strip mall is in fact an Indian Burial ground. Strange things begin to happen in the town.

      I was slow to start this book, but enjoyed it overall. The true historical facts of the Eugenics Project of the 1930’s creeped me out far more than any ghost ever could.

      http://blog.actonart.co.za/2015/07/summer-reading-challenge-ghost-town.html

      Liked by 1 person

      July 17, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      16) Historic Pilgrimage – Complete

      I chose Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue for the Historic Pilgrimage. It tells the story of Bitterblue, who came to be queen as a child. Now an adult, she takes to wandering the streets at night, disguised, to learn about the Kingdom’s past and the terrible reign of her father.

      I did not really enjoy this one. I found it to be a little boring. I would, however, recommend Graceling and Fire, the first two books in this set.

      http://blog.actonart.co.za/2015/07/summer-reading-challenge-historic.html

      Liked by 1 person

      July 17, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      5) Classic Vacation – Done

      I chose The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I admit, I tend to ignore the classics for fear of the language being terribly archaic and headache inducing. This choice was a stab in the dark. I was pleasantly surprised at the language being a really easy read and doubly surprised at just how short this book is. I enjoyed that, despite everything, Hester Prynne is still a strong willed and proud woman.

      http://blog.actonart.co.za/2015/07/summer-reading-challenge-classic.html

      Liked by 1 person

      July 21, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      For Approval, Tour Group Read for Madagascar:

      Child of the Light (Book 1 of the Madagascar Manifesto) by George Guthridge and Janet Berliner.

      The book is a dark fantasy set in Nazi Germany. The title of the trilogy comes from a real life “Madagascar Plan” that outlined a plan to relocate Jewish people to Madagascar.

      Liked by 3 people

      July 21, 2015
      • amandaacton #

        Lana Alam aka Rachel Morgan is my tour guide buddy for this one.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 27, 2015
      • Charisma #

        Hi amandaacton,

        Could you please tell me if this book “Child of the Light” is appropriate for a 13-year-old?

        Thanks.

        Liked by 2 people

        August 9, 2015
      • amandaacton #

        Hi Charisma. Sorry for only rresponding now. I have bot been keeping track of the comments.

        Child of light has some pretty dark themes in it, but I think a 13 year old would be able to read and enjoy it. I can’t speak for the follow up books in the trilogy of course as I haven’t read them yet, but while a lot of child of light is set during the childhood of the main characters, they are adults in the following books and I am not sure how that effects the direction in which the story goes

        Like

        August 24, 2015
      • deadlikeme13 #

        Thanks amandaacton. I was able to find another book for Madagascar, but I’ll keep this one in mind for him to read a little later 🙂 Thanks again for the info.

        Like

        August 25, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      31) Tour Group – Madagascar. Done.

      I chose Child of the Light, book 1 of the Madagascar Manifesto by George Guthrie and Janet Burliner. A lolove triangle set in Nazi Germany. Hints are given in the first installment of the plan to send Jews to Madagascar.

      With a subtle touch of “other wordly” forces and the real darkness of Germany during that time I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am eager to read the next in the series.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 2, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      2) Wine country – Done

      I chose to read The Villa by Nora Roberts. Romance, murder and corporate espionage set against the backdrop of the merger of two wine farms.

      This is probably not a “bad” book and I am sure a certain demographic would love this book. I did not. It took me a very long time to read it. I should not read romance novels.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 24, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      3) Ukraine – Done

      I chose Enchantment but Orston Scott Card. It starts with a boy in modern age Ukraine who finds something peculiar in the woods the day before his family migrates to the US. Years later, as an adult, he returns to the same spot and finds sleeping beauty. A fight with a bear and kiss leads to an exploration of what happens after “happily ever after”. I enjoyed this lighthearted book pitting familiar fairy tales against the likes of baba yaga.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 27, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      6) Spain – Done

      I chose the Sisterhood by Helen Bryan. It jumps between the story of an American girl in Spain and Spain during the inquisition.

      There were parts that I enjoyed, but by and large the book was a collection of horrible abuses suffered by women. The whole thing became horribly depressive and I found myself willing the book to hurry up and be finished already.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 7, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      For approval 29) The Caribbean: Holding the Cards by Joey W. Hill. – set on a private Caribbean island.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 8, 2015
      • no need to seek approval anymore (see last update #6). all automatically approved

        Liked by 1 person

        September 8, 2015
      • amandaacton #

        Whoops! I’m in the middle of a big move and haven’t been paying attention to anythinanything other than working through my list! :$

        Liked by 1 person

        September 9, 2015
      • No worries. Good luck with the move. I’m impressed you can read anything at all -moving is stressful

        Like

        September 9, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      29) Caribbean – Done

      I chose Holding the Cards by Joey W. Hill. An erotic adventure on a secluded Caribbean Island.

      The story was light fluff and easy enough to read. Nothing spectacular, but definitely better than 50 shades. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      September 14, 2015
    • amandaacton #

      14) Into the Amazon – Done

      I chose Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison, bought and read on Amazon Kindle App.

      Enjoyable story. Little bit annoyed by the multiple false endings, reminded me of the bad guy in the action movie who. Just. Won’t. Die. Book also poses a LOT of questions and the leaves them unanswered.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 16, 2015
  18. Tracy S. #

    Here’s my list:
    1. Discover your roots: Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun
    2. Zimbabwe: Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
    3. Sailing the High Seas: In the Heart of the Seas by S.Y. Agnostic
    4. Hiking/Trekking: Wild by Cheryl Strayed
    5. Ancient Civilizations: The Frogs by Aristophanes
    6. Portugal: Cain by Jose Saramago
    7. Georgia, US: A House in the Uplands by Erskine Caldwell
    8. Beach Vacation: La Brava
    9.Staycation Destination: My Ex-Boyfriend’s Wedding by T. Sue Versteeg
    10. Classic vacation: A tale of a tub by Swift
    11. Australi
    12. London: Around the World in 80 days by Jules Verne
    13. Mountain vacation: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haru
    14. Cultural experience: The Housekeeper and the Professor
    15. Argentina: Money to Burn by Piglia
    16. Vegas, baby!: Stone Junction.
    17. Romantic escape: The Marriage plot by Eugenides
    18. 221B Baker Street
    19. Caribbean
    20. Cambodia
    21. Vacation Hot Spot: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    22. Lost in Translation:
    23. Historic Pilgrimage: Hollywood
    24. Mexico: The Burning Plain and Other Stories by Juan Rulfo
    25. Into the Amazon: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
    26. Turkey: The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay
    27. Train Travel: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
    28. Vietnam: Paradise of the Blind
    29. Paris: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
    30. California: Cutter and Bone by Thornburg

    Liked by 1 person

    June 20, 2015
    • Tracy S. #

      Here are the books I plan to fit into those categories:
      3. Seas: In the Heart of the Seas by Agnon OR Sound of Waves by Mishima- title/setting
      8. Beach: La Brava- Leonard (set in Miami Beach)
      11. Australia- Schindler’s List- Keneally- author is Australian
      14. Cultural- Housekeeper and the Professor- Ogawa- See reason for #1 above.
      16. Las Vegas- Stone Junction- Dodge- features a magician. Can’t find those anywhere else but Vegas, right?
      17. Romantic escape- Spring Torrents- Turgenev- man travels, falls in love.
      18. 221B Baker Street- Adventures of Sherlock Holmes- Doyle. umm…
      19. Caribbean- Claire of the Sea Light- Danticat- author from Haiti
      20. Cambodia- First They Killed My Father- Ung- setting- this may come last. I know several Cambodian refugees, and they have told me about their horrific experiences. I will cry when I read it.
      21. Hot spot- All the Light We Cannot See- Doerr- because Pulitzer, major peer pressure, bestseller.
      22. Lost in Translation: to be announced- probably right before I read it- too many to choose from.
      23. Hollywood- Play it As it Lays- Didion- about movie people.
      25. Amazon- State of Wonder- Patchett- it’s literally a trip down the Amazon. I was going to put any old book I bought from Amazon on here, just to be ornery, but decided not to. 🙂
      28. Vietnam- Paradise of the Blind- Huong- setting/author
      29. Paris- Asphodel- H.D. or And the Mountains Echoed- Hosseini- setting
      30. California- Cutter and Bone- Thornburg or Myra Breckinridge- Vidal- setting.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 20, 2015
      • Tracy #

        Destination: Zimbabwe (setting/author)
        Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
        4 stars.

        This book shows that women’s lib was not just an American movement in the 60s and 70s. It is the story of women who were traditionally expected to bend to the patriarchy, and how they coped and started to change it.
        I enjoyed this book, from a cultural standpoint, and as a story of the many changes a young woman went through, not just adolescence.

        Destination: Mexico
        The Burning Plain and Other Stories by Juan Rulfo (setting/author)
        4 stars

        A collection of short stories set during and after the Mexican Revolution, this is mostly told by men with questionable character. The land is as much a character as any narrator, and is just as harsh and unforgiving. Possibly the best short story collection I’ve read.

        Destination: Ancient Civilizations (author/setting)
        The Frogs by Aristophanes
        4.5 stars

        Effeminate Dionysius borrows his brother Heracles’ lion skin and travels to Hades to bring back Euripedes, so he can save Athens from its ennui with some rallying plays. A farcical comedy on the surface, this has deeper Athenian politics at its roots. But, being the nonGreek scholar I am, I just found it hilarious.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 28, 2015
    • Tracy #

      Destination: Train Travel(setting)
      Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
      3.5 stars

      Hercule Poirot is called upon to solve the murder of a murderer, and no one is who they seem to be. This was a nice escape from heavier reads, and it had an interesting twist at the end. I can’t believe I’d never read it before!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 2, 2015
    • Tracy #

      Destination: Georgia, USA (location)
      A House in the Uplands by Erskine Caldwell
      2.5 stars

      Grady Dunbar has gambled away his plantation, and believes he is right to abuse his wife, the blacks and poor whites who work his land, and all of them let him, even toadying to him.

      This was racist and sexist, every character was despicable, and it was not exceptionally well written. That being said, It may be one of the first books written (in 1946), by a man who sympathizes with women and blacks, albeit in a racist and sexist way.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 3, 2015
    • Tracy #

      Around the World in 80 days by Jules Verne
      3.5 stars
      This was an enjoyable, fantastical romp around the world, with adventure and excitement at every locale, but no travel by balloon, which I expected. I can see how this piqued the curiosity of so many, and provided a much needed fantasy for many.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 5, 2015
    • Tracy #

      Destination: Turkey
      The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay
      2.5 stars
      A sometimes humorous novel that reads like a cross between a travelogue and a religious guilt trip, this is the story of a younger woman and her eccentric aunt exploring the possibility of missionary work in Turkey. I was looking forward to this, but it was very hard for me to connect with the writing style.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 7, 2015
    • Tracy S. #

      Destination: Lost in Translation (from Icelandic to English)
      Independent People by Halldor Laxness
      3.5 stars
      A stubborn, selfish, jerk of a man buys a croft for raising sheep in early 20th century Iceland, and he makes life twice as hard for himself and his family as it should have been. This was a very rich novel, with very real characters and beautiful settings, along with allegory and, I suspect, retellings of Icelandic sagas and poetry. It was loaded with politics and Freudian relationships, but all in all, a good story.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 14, 2015
    • Tracy #

      Destination: Cultural Experience (a culture different from mine)
      The Housekeeper and the Professor
      5 stars
      A math professor with an eighty minute memory and his housekeeper provide an amazing summer for her 10 year old baseball fanatic son. All discover that the meaning of family can include anyone. This was a beautiful, quiet story that appealed to me as a reader, and as a math/science geek.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 15, 2015
    • Tracy S. #

      Destination: California
      Cutter and Bone by Thornburg
      3.5 stars

      Alex Cutter, a Vietnam Vet who left a leg, arm, eye and his mind behind is friends with Bone, a divorced gigolo dropout. When Bone sees a man dumping what turns out to be a body in a trashcan, and thinks he recognizes the murderer in a newspaper photo of a wealthy good ol’ boy from the Ozarks, Cutter sets them out on an odyssey filled with murder, mayhem, and an ill-advised road trip to Missouri.
      This was well written, and captured the mood of the 70s- Thornburg is a master of description. I was disappointed in the ending- without giving it away, it was done almost exactly in a popular movie from the 60s.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 19, 2015
    • Tracy #

      I would like to change my destination: roots to Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun, if it meets with approval. Still a Norwegian author, and a double bonus…I come from a long line of farmers. (Plus they grow lots of potatoes, which are root vegetables).

      Liked by 1 person

      July 19, 2015
    • Tracy S. #

      Destination: Discover Your Roots
      Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun
      4 stars
      Isak sets out to build a farm and a family in the moors of Norway, near the Swedish border. Not much of a plot, but a fascinating look at pioneer farming, and the love of land and family. I was a bit put off by his treatment of women- they were servants until pregnant, then became wives or killed their baby. But I’ve read of worse treatment of women (see Independent People), and Isak’s love for his wife and family made the blow a bit lighter.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 22, 2015
    • Tracy #

      Destination: Historic Pilgrimage Hollywood
      Play it as it Lays by Joan Didion
      3.5 stars
      Maria Wyatt, a B movie actress in the 60s is having a breakdown, and takes the reader with her. I am again blown away by Didion’s writing- she says so much with so few words. The subject matter and the story, however, are extremely depressing.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 23, 2015
    • Tracy S. #

      Destination: Argentina
      Money to Burn by Roberto Piglia
      3 stars
      This was a well written account of a bank robbery and its aftermath in Buenos Aires, 1965, with some fictionalization thrown in. It was also incredibly violent- not really my thing.

      Destination: Staycation
      My Ex-Boyfriend’s Wedding by T. Sue Versteeg
      2 stars
      I went to school with the author, and I have to say that Toni writes formula romance well. That said, this genre just isn’t for me anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 26, 2015
    • Tracy #

      Destination: Mountain
      Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
      4.5 stars
      I love Kent Haruf’s quiet, simple way of saying so much while writing so sparingly. His swan song is this sweet story of two elderly people who just don’t want to be alone at night. It’s not quite as good as his other books, but is still going to haunt me for a while. I will miss him as a writer.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 31, 2015
    • Tracy S. #

      Destination: Classic
      A Tale of a Tub by Jonathan Swift
      3.5 stars
      This is truly a book about nothing. Swift is poking fun at other authors who dedicate their books to everyone, and whose digressions are irrelevant. It was fun to read- but I feel I was missing something, as I had no historical context. Maybe in my next life I’ll be a historian…

      Liked by 1 person

      August 2, 2015
    • Tracy #

      Destination: Hot Spot
      All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
      4 stars
      A WWII story of two young people, one a French girl, one a Nazi boy, whose lives are connected yet separate. It was good, but a bit disappointing… I guess I expected more after so many of my friends talked it up.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2015
    • Tracy S. #

      Destination: Hiking/Trekking
      Wild by Cheryl Strayed
      3 stars
      A 26 year old woman, still reeling from her mother’s death, and her own heroin addiction and divorce, decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Along the way, she finds her strength. This was a good, entertaining read, not fabulous, but it is honest about how life is messy.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 9, 2015
    • Tracy #

      I would like to change my Romantic Escape read to The Wedding Plot, if I may. There’s certainly a lot of romantic dreamers in this one!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 16, 2015
    • Tracy #

      I meant The Marriage Plot. Sorry! Ugh.

      Like

      August 16, 2015
      • I think that’s what I had assumed. Yes, that’s fine

        Like

        August 16, 2015
    • Tracy #

      Destination: Romantic Escape
      The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Euginedes
      5 stars
      Three college graduates try to make their way in the world in the year after graduation. I loved this book- the plot, characters, descriptions, the ending- it was fantastic.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 17, 2015
    • Tracy #

      May I change my book for Portugal to Cain by Saramago? (Written in Portuguese)

      Like

      August 22, 2015
    • Tracy #

      Destination: Portugal
      Cain by Jose Saramago
      This is an alternate bible story, with a time traveling Cain seeing the Old Testament first hand. Throughout his life, he questions God’s goodness and wisdom. Though not the best book ever, this was a book that made me think, and was written well enough for me to want to read more of this author.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2015
    • Tracy #

      Destination: Paris
      And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
      3.5 stars
      Separated from each other as small children, Abdullah and Pari miss each other deeply, though Pari doesn’t remember who is missing. This shows us how so many can touch our lives and make a difference. A quick, entertaining read.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 23, 2015
    • Tracy S #

      Destination: Into the Amazon
      State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
      4 stars
      In the spirit of Heart of Darkness, but with a modern medicine twist, a pharmacologist goes into the Amazon basin to find out what happened to her dead predecessor, and to see how the fertility research is coming. While not as scary as the original, this held my interest and was a quick read, full of intrigue and plenty of scary medical scenarios of its own. I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read by this author so far.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 3, 2015
    • Tracy S #

      Destination:Sailing the Seas
      In the Heart of the Seas by S.Y. Agnostic
      3 stars
      A group of Jews set out from Poland to Israel, meet with some obstacles along the way, and pray. A lot. There was a bit of magical realism in this, as it is supposed to be the story of Hananiah, a man guided by the hand of God. It was okay.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 7, 2015
    • Tracy S. #

      Destination: Las Vegas
      Stone Junction by Jim Dodge
      4.5 stars
      Daniel Pearse and his mother, Annalee are the keepers of AMO’s outlaw house, where Annalee and every outlaw give Daniel an unconventional education. When Annalee is killed, Daniel’s education really begins: Awareness, safecracking, drug smuggling, gambling, disguises, and, finally how to vanish, are taught to him by AMO’s finest, all leading to a task that combines all his skills and culminates in his final education. This was Rushdie meets Tom Robbins meets Hunter S.Thompson meets Elmore Leonard meets Carl Hiaasen- fun, exciting and magical.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 12, 2015
    • Tracy S. #

      Destination: Beach vacation
      La Brava by Elmore Leonard
      3.5 stars
      An action/adventure classic, the plot is based on a noir movie, and engineered by the bad-girl star of that movie. It was interesting and funny, although I’m not sure if it was 1001 list worthy.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 13, 2015
    • Tracy S. #

      Destination: Vietnam
      Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong
      3 stars
      A coming of age story of a young woman post-Vietnam War, this also touches upon the politics of that time, with a greedy, money and food grubbing “Communist” uncle. It was a Dickens-esque story that was good, but sometimes hard to follow. I think this would have been better if it had been longer.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 16, 2015
  19. Anne Shirley’s Summer Vacation..

    Stop 1: China. The Good Earth by Buck
    Stop 2: Survival/Wilderness Camp: Robinson Crusoe
    Stop 3 – Wine Country: Valley Fever by Katherine Taylor
    Stop 4 – Spa Vacation: Nancy Drew Secret of the Spa by Carolyn Keene
    Stop #5 – New Zealand: The Bone People
    Stop #6 – Artists Retreat: The Colour of Heaven by James Runcie
    Stop #7 – Egypt: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    Stop #8 – The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
    Stop #9 – Nigeria – Little Bee by Chris Cleave
    Stop #10 – Scotland Yard – The Yard by Alex Grecian
    Stop #11 – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larrsson
    Stop #12 – Disneyworld – The Return – Disney Lands by Ridley Pearson.
    Stop #13 – Venezuela – The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos by Margaret Mascarenhas
    Stop #14 – Area 51 – The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
    Stop #15 – GROUP READ – Child of Light: Madagascar Manifesto by Janet Berliner and George Guthridge (3 points)
    Stop #16 – Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams
    Stop #17 – San Diego Zoo – The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
    Stop #18 – Visiting Friends/Family – Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene
    Stop #19 – Visit the Countryside – Life in the Country by Giovanni Verga
    Stop #20 – Time Travel – The Time Traveller by H.G. Wells
    Stop # 21 – Austria – The Musician’s Daughter by Susanne Dunlap
    Stop #22 – Broadway, NYC – Ideal: the novel and the play by Ayn Rand
    Stop #23 – Road Trip – On The Road by Jack Kerouac
    Stop #24 – Spain – The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

    Like

    June 20, 2015
    • Anne Shirley’s List of Approved Books:
      Stop #1 – China: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
      Stop #2 – Survival/Wilderness Camp: Robinson Crusoe By Daniel Defoe
      Stop 3 – Wine Country: Valley Fever by Katherine Taylor
      Stop #4 – Spa Vacation: Nancy Drew Secret of the Spa by Carolyn Keene
      Stop #5 – Turkey: The Bone People, by Keri Hulme

      Like

      June 20, 2015
    • therungirl #

      Stop 3 – Wine Country: Valley Fever by Katherine Taylor
      There wasn’t a lot to this story in terms of story development and the end left me feeling cheated. It was decent but really could have used more tragedy or more love. It was a little too safe. http://www.shelfari.com/books/38746469/Valley-Fever-A-Novel/readers-reviews

      Liked by 2 people

      July 4, 2015
    • Stop #4 – Spa Vacation: Nancy Drew Secret of the Spa by Carolyn Keene.
      Typical Nancy Drew. It was nice to be brought back to my childhood for an afternoon. The series is still a fun read for any young girl. I gave it three stars because it was fun and I could see my niece enjoying it but I don’t think I will be reading any other Nancy Drew’s at least not for awhile. http://www.shelfari.com/books/63545/Secret-of-the-Spa/readers-reviews

      Liked by 2 people

      July 4, 2015
    • Stop #9 – Nigeria – Little Bee by Chris Cleave
      This was my favourite read so far in this challenge. I could not put it down and I highly recommend it for anyone who has Nigeria in their passport!
      http://www.shelfari.com/books/12086160/Little-Bee

      Liked by 1 person

      July 20, 2015
    • Stop #10 – Scotland Yard – The Yard by Alex Grecian
      I may have found a new genre to read! I was surprised how much I enjoyed this mystery novel. And, even more to my surprise, I was disappointed with the all-around happy ending. The book had me expecting a tragedy all along…
      I gave this novel four stars. The last 100 pages sealed the deal. I was expecting it to come out as a five star rating for me.
      http://www.shelfari.com/books/26198809/The-Yard/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      July 26, 2015
    • Stop #11 – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larrsson
      Wow, I was very impressed with this novel. I felt that I was forced to give it 4 stars instead of 5 though because of some of the unnecessary side-story lines. But, hopefully, these were just intended to set up the subsequent novels. I will definatetly put the next ones on the list to read after this challenge. This is another time when through this challenge I have had my eyes opened to new genres! Yay! http://www.shelfari.com/books/3542641/The-Girl-with-the-Dragon-Tattoo/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      August 1, 2015
      • Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much! (And even better that it’s opened up a new genre for you!) Are you thinking of reading more mystery or thrillers or both? Along the thriller lines, I’d recommend trying Harlan Coben (The Woods and Gone for Good were both 5 stars for me) and/or Linwood Barclay (Canadian and my favourite by him of what I’ve read so far is No Time for Goodbye).

        Like

        August 1, 2015
    • Stop #12 – Disneyworld – The Return – Disney Lands by Ridley Pearson.
      Every chapter was written with a “formula” and the plot was purely designed to create a series of books that would hopefully turn into cash for the publishers.
      This is the first fantasy novel I’ve read in a long time and I would classify it in a similar category as the Twilight series – poorly written and poor plot. http://www.shelfari.com/books/37785990/Disney-Lands-%28Kingdom-Keepers%29/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      August 2, 2015
    • Stop #14 – Area 51 – The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
      Sci-fi will never be my genre. So, this review may not be useful for those who realy enjoy Sci-fi novels. I gave this book 3 stars because it was very well written and I enjoyed the some of the witty banter. The story was simple and great for a wide audience with very little back-story and new world detail to keep track of. http://www.shelfari.com/books/19346/The-Hitchhikers-Guide-to-the-Galaxy/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      August 8, 2015
    • Stop #15 – GROUP READ – Child of Light: Madagascar Manifesto by Janet Berliner and George Guthridge
      Hands down five stars! I loved this book! Every time I opened the book I had trouble putting it down. This is one of the stories that will never leave you. The characters are alive and become your friends. The cultural and historical aspects of the novel make earn it the full five stars. I cannot wait to read the second novel of this series. http://www.shelfari.com/books/579588/Child-of-the-Light/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      August 12, 2015
    • Stop #16 – Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams
      This book was brilliantly put together – it traces the historical life and career of Hiram Bingham, who was dubbed the person who “discovered” Machu Picchu, along side the travels of the author who tries to re-trace his steps. The author is authentic and remains neutral to all the debate and mystery that surrounds this world wonder. It would be a perfect read for anyone who is planning on making a trip to Machu Picchu – but it is equally a refreshing read for anyone interested in this mystical site. A well earned five 5 stars!
      http://www.shelfari.com/books/21990322/Turn-Right-at-Machu-Picchu/reviews/4841970

      Liked by 1 person

      August 15, 2015
    • Stop #17 – San Diego Zoo – The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
      It was a bit of a challenge to rate this book because I didn’t entirely enjoy the tone or structure of the book but the ending left me feeling good and warm inside. It is an ok book to read to children but some of the subject matter (animal cruelty) can be too much for some readers. Overall I gave it three stars.
      http://www.shelfari.com/books/24109137/The-One-and-Only-Ivan

      Liked by 1 person

      August 16, 2015
    • Stop #18 – Visiting Friends/Family – Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene
      I have mixed feelings about this novel. I really really enjoyed Greene’s writing style and I found his sense of humour endearing. I am anxious to read more of his novels. But, I also thought that the novel was more of a draft in the works. There were lots of meaningless side notes and useless chatter and the ending was completely and utterly odd. Even though, I still gave it a fair rating because I enjoyed something quirky (finally!) to read amongst all these books I have been reading recently. I am settling on giving the book 3 stars mostly because I don’t think there are many readers who will like it and as mentioned it was not cohesive.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 19, 2015
    • Stop #19 – Visit the Countryside – Life in the Country by Giovanni Verga
      I probably would have given this an even lower star rating if it were possible. The writing golden rule of “Show don’t tell” is completely ignored by Verga (thankfully for the reader – being told everything meant the stories were short!). The foreward of the short story collection it tells a bit of history of the writer and his reputation for being one of the greatest story-tellers of all time, this seems odd to me.
      The stories were full of statements of biblical or “Italian” creed. There is was little story and plenty of diction about women-hating and beating people and loving only your parents and doing right by the church. I did not rate the book because I don’t agree with his points of view, I rated the book one star because it was not story-telling; I felt it was heartless ranting. http://www.shelfari.com/books/39238766/Life-in-the-Country-%28Hesperus-Classics%29-by-Verga-Giovanni-%282003%29/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      August 21, 2015
    • Stop #20 – Time Travel – The Time Traveller by H.G. Wells
      I did not enjoy the structure of the story or the writing style. Considering the time in which this novel was written I gave it three stars. For it’s time it is exceptional but based solely on my personal taste I did not enjoy it at all. http://www.shelfari.com/books/41158/The-Time-Machine/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      August 26, 2015
    • Stop # 21 – Austria – The Musician’s Daughter by Susanne Dunlap
      It was difficult to get through this book. I felt distant from the main character right from the start and did not feel like I could believe her young age or some of the emotions/ideas she had throughout the novel. The book seemed slapped together and forced. I read at the back of the book that this was the authors first young adult novel. I am not sure if it is the genre or this author but it certainly felt like a waste of time reading it. The depth of character and take-away feelings of the novel just were not present at all for me. I felt forced to give this novel two stars mostly because of some of the careless writing throughout. I would have felt comfortable with a three star rating if there weren’t so many useless sentences and straight-forward comments – I expect an author to always abide by “show don’t tell”.
      http://www.shelfari.com/books/4370161/The-Musicians-Daughter/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      September 2, 2015
    • Stop #22 – Broadway, NYC – Ideal: the novel and the play by Ayn Rand
      This being the first Ayn Rand writing I’ve ever read I can now understand the hype. I loved having the unpublished novel and play side by side. It provided insight into novel adaptations for movies that I wouldn’t otherwise been able to understand if not reading them side by side. I highly recommend this unique presentation of Ayn Rand’s work. http://www.shelfari.com/books/38402886/Ideal/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      September 6, 2015
    • Stop #23 – Road Trip – On The Road by Jack Kerouac
      This was certainly an interesting read. Not my typical style but I did enjoy the historical aspects of the novel and my husband enlightened me about the beats culture. It is a solid three stars because I liked it far more than I thought I would and I have a great appreciation for the sentiment and poetic-ness of the content.
      http://www.shelfari.com/books/19917/On-the-Road/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      September 9, 2015
    • Stop #24 – Spain – The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
      What a surprise! I had read Hemingway in University and only remembered not liking the book (Old man and the Sea). So, I decided to give him a second try! This book was quite funny and a truly entertaining story. However, the end was certainly a disappointment and I felt like I had only spent time listening to a bunch of rambling from a drunk. In any case, I developed more respect for Hemingway in the process.
      http://www.shelfari.com/books/16325/The-Sun-Also-Rises/readers-reviews

      Liked by 1 person

      September 12, 2015
  20. Rachel Morgans Exciting Destination stops:

    1) Trip to the Countryside: A Blade of Grass – Lewis Desoto
    2) Camping:
    3) Loch Ness: At the Water’s Edge: by Sara Gruen
    4) Food’s Paradise: It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig
    5) Classic Vacation (think classic literature): “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger.
    6) Australia: Full Moon Rising” by Keri Arthur
    7) Adventure Travel: Chicken Soup for the Traveler’s Soul” – Jack Canfield et al.
    8) Nigeria: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
    9) Spa Town
    10) Road Trip
    11) Beach Trip: South Beach by Aimee Friedman
    12) Area 51
    13) Music Festival
    14) England:Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman)
    15) Staycation:
    16) Broadway NYC
    17) Hollywood
    18) Bora Bora: The Bungalow by Sarah Jio
    19) National Park
    20) Disneyworld
    21) South Africa: South Africa (Disgrace by JM Coetzee
    22) Romantic Escape: The Pact (Jodi Picoult)
    23) Lost in Translation (book that has been translated): Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel García Márquez
    24) Jungle Exploration
    25) Ireland: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
    26) Wild West: Wild West: “Cowboys are my Weakness” by Pam Houston
    27) Sweden: The Ritual
    28) Mexico: “Like Water for Chocolate”
    29) Rome, Italy: The Book of Unholy Mischief” by Elle Newmark
    30) India

    Tour Group Destination: “Child of the Light (Book 1 of the Madagascar Manifesto)

    Like

    June 20, 2015
    • Rachel Morgans approved books:

      South Africa – Disgrace by JM Coetzee
      Ireland – The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
      Australia – Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur
      England – Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
      Trip to The County Side – A Blade of Grass by Lewis Desoto

      Liked by 1 person

      June 25, 2015
      • A Blade of Grass – Lewis Desoto (Trip to the Country Side)
        A heart-wrenching look at the relationship between two women living on the war-torn border of South Africa and an unnamed county. They struggle to define their friendship when white and black are not meant to be alike – this amazing book will haunt me for a long time to come. (next stop South Africa and Disgrace)

        Liked by 1 person

        July 2, 2015
      • 5) Romantic Escape – The Pact (Jodi Picoult) This book centers around two couples and their children who grow up together almost more as siblings than friends. The friendship blossoms into love. When an apparent suicide pact leaves one of the children dead their lives are thrown into disarray – what really happened? AMAZING book 5/5!!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 8, 2015
      • 7) Staycation: Ontario Ghost Stories – Barbara Smith
        This book is an collection of ghost stories from people in Ontario. They were really interesting but honestly if you have a vivid imagination this is a TERRIBLE book to read before bed. 3/5 some of the stories felt a little flat – they needed more to them.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 19, 2015
    • First stop Ireland:
      Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

      Megan moves to Ireland with her dad because of his new job. A handsome stranger soon catches her eye and seems just as interested in her as she is in him. Before she knows it she’s fallen head first into a whole new world she didn’t know existed and she may play an integral part in the future of the planet. This book was a little too simply written for me to absolutely love it but I definitely enjoyed the core themes. The teen angst was perhaps a little over the top but it was believable for the most part… it was an enjoyable read. 3 out of 5 for this one

      Liked by 1 person

      June 25, 2015
      • 4th stop – South Africa (Disgrace by JM Coetzee) David Lurie has a somewhat one sided, brief romantic relationship with a student. When he refuses to apologize he loses his job at the university. He goes to visit his daughter on her farm and things just get worse. This was a painful read. 0 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        July 4, 2015
    • Stop number 2 took us to the land down under – Australia

      I read “Full Moon Rising” by Keri Arthur. The Author lives in Melbourne Australia and the story is set in a futuristic Melbourne as well.

      Riley and her brother Rhoan are vampire/werewolf hybrids who work for the Directorate of Other Races which is essentially the governing body that polices the interactions between races and keeps the peace.. although keeping the peace seems to mostly mean assasinations. The twins works to keep their mixed heritage secret but it soon becomes apparent that there are those who know what they are and who would like to take advantage of their unique genetic make up to create a race of super “creatures” (for lack of a better word). Riley, Rhoan and a gaggle of other fun characters are soon fighting for their lives against the fast approaching full moon which also incidentally signals a surge in ‘wolfy’ hormones (they are incredibly promiscuous creatures -vthink “mate or die”) that culminates with three of our characters turning into wolves when the full moon hits.

      All in all not a terrible book – I give it a 2/5 – I am not likely to read more of the books in this series even though the cliff hanger does sort of leave me wanting to know who the heck the person at the very top is!!

      NEXT STOP – The countryside and “A Blade of Grass” by Lewis Desoto

      Liked by 1 person

      June 29, 2015
    • 6) England – Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman) Richard Mahew is living a pretty ordinary life until the day he happens upon a bleeding girl on the sides walk. He stops to help her and by the next morning he is for all intense and purpose invisible in his real life and must return to London Below and the Lady Door for a pretty amazing adventure. Loved this book – 5/5
      review: https://booksihavelived.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/book-review-neverwere-neil-gaiman/

      Liked by 1 person

      July 11, 2015
      • Have you read others by Neil Gaiman. Neverwhere is right up there with my favourites by him. Another is The Graveyard Book.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 12, 2015
      • Lost in Translation – Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel García Márquez) This story covers the life experience of a boy who falls in love with a girl, cannot marry her and then spends the next 50 years secretly sleeping with woman after woman waiting for his first loves wife to die so he can convince her she was wrong. I could not connect with him at all and honestly felt he was an obsessed stalker – I will not give away the ending and I apologize to those who love this book – but I would not have finished this book if not for the reading challenge.

        Liked by 2 people

        July 26, 2015
      • Tour Group Madagascar “Child of the Light (Book 1 of the Madagascar Manifesto)” by George Guthridge and Janet Berliner. Amazing – I will be reading the rest of the trilogy. Two friends one Catholic and one Jewish find themselves in a love triangle with another friend – a Jewish girl. They find their lives turned upside down as the Nazi hell becomes more and more relevant to their quality of life. 5 stars and a steal at under $1 on amazon kindle 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        July 30, 2015
      • Can you let me know when your whole group has finished and I will update your score? You’ll get 3 points once everyone has finished.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 31, 2015
      • I will let you know Jen – we are waiting on one more person 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        July 31, 2015
      • Wild West: “Cowboys are my Weakness” by Pam Houston. This is a collection of short stories about cowboys and the women who love them. I was somewhat bothered by the fact that her strong female characters were diminished in many of the stories by abusive men. I liked the writing but the understanding of “love” in many of the stories just didn’t work for me. 1 star

        Liked by 1 person

        July 31, 2015
      • Foods Paradise (Culinary adventure) – It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig. Loved that this book doesn’t just tell you what to do but also gives scientific reasons why to do it. I’ll be following this strictly in the near future. 5/5 definitely recommend it – they have a ton of references etc. too so lots of future reading planned 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        August 12, 2015
      • Nigeria – Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
        Absolutely LOVED this book 5/5
        Here’s a link to my review on Shelfari:
        http://www.shelfari.com/books/13182145/Akata-Witch

        Liked by 2 people

        August 19, 2015
      • Loch Ness – :At the Water’s Edge: by Sara Gruen
        another amazing book 5/5 I was surprised by how much I loved it
        my review: http://www.shelfari.com/books/38009478/At-the-Waters-Edge?uid=o1514666359

        Liked by 1 person

        August 19, 2015
    • deadlikeme13 #

      My son read Akata Witch and absolutely loved it. He even started to write his novel using the ideas/writing style from that book.

      Liked by 2 people

      August 20, 2015
      • That is awesome! You will have to update once he’s a published author ;D It really was a beautifully written books – I loved the characters!

        Like

        August 23, 2015
      • Bora Bora – The Bungalow by Sarah Jio
        It starts with a letter – one that almost doesn’t get delivered which throws the recipient, Anne Calloway back in time. 70 years before she joined the Army nurse corpse to keep her friend company (the excuse she gives herself) on the island of Bora-Bora. There she meets Westry, finds a bungalow and witnesses an aweful crime. This book is absolutely perfectly written – loved the ending!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 23, 2015
      • Beach Trip – South Beach by Aimee Friedman – utter nonsense. 16 year olds on Spring Break at South Beach, staying on their own (because grandma who they were supposed to stay with has a boyfriend so she’s lying to the parents saying they are out) and drinking with fake IDs. Ridiculous love interests – young girls may find the appeal of this book but I give it 0 stars.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 26, 2015
      • well, that sounds terrible

        Liked by 1 person

        August 26, 2015
      • Rome, Italy – “The Book of Unholy Mischief” by Elle Newmark. Ironically I discovered this on my bookshelf and have no idea where it comes from. I LOVED this book. It is set in 1498 at the dawn of the Renaissance – Venice is gripped with rumours of an ancient book that promised the secret to immortality and the making of gold – everyone wants it and those in power are willing to do terrible things to get it. Luciano is a street urchin who finds himself being rescued from a life of crime by the head chef who workds for the corrupt Doge. The journey Luchiano and the Chef take is one worth reading – many ups and downs but definitely a well rounded and satisfying read. 5/5 stars!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 30, 2015
      • Classic Vacation (Think Classic Literature) “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. I likened this book to “Ferris Beuller’s Day off” except it was a weekend and Holden is dealing with anxiety and depression after being kicked out of yet another school – he is avoiding going home at any cost but eventually decides to sneak home to visit his little sister. It took me a while to get into the writing style but I did end up enjoying the book. It felt at times like we were living in his head “stream of consciousness” – and I enjoyed it. 4/5 stars.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 7, 2015
      • Adventure Travel – “Chicken Soup for the Traveler’s Soul” – Jack Canfield et al. As with most of the “Chicken Soup” collections this book had it’s fair share of tear jerkers – I read it with a box of tissues. There were amazing stories of conquering adversity, of loss, of family togetherness, of growing and learning – all in all these stories were a GREAT read. 4/5 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        September 7, 2015
      • Sweden – “The Ritual” by Adam Nevill. Four University friends go hiking in the Scandinavian wilderness. They try to take a short cut to get home faster because two of their friends are not fit and are injured and struggling. The shortcut has disastrous consequences and it was easy to see early on that they would not all make it out alive. I don’t usually read books described as “A mind-twisting journey into the dark backwoods of terror” because of my vivid imagination… but I actually enjoyed this one – it wasn’t just gore for the sake of gore – I was fascinated by the hidden world albeit terrifying that Adam Nevill created in the virgin woods. 4/5 stars.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 7, 2015
      • My final destination for this challenge is Mexico – “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquirel It was a mix of cookbook and WAY over the top soap opera type love story (actual sparks coming off of people in the heat of passion). It wasn’t a horrible read but I like my “fantasy” stories to be set in a more believable landscape I guess… I found the embellishments were just too much. It sounded like something you would hear from two kids on the playground, “oh yeah, well my dad can lift up 10 trucks above his head and throw then over the roof”… that kind of thing. I also just couldn’t connect with the main character Tita – I found many of the decisions she made regarding her love life really really frustrating. I give it 1/5

        Liked by 1 person

        September 22, 2015
  21. Lynsey #

    Luna Lovegood’s Summer Wanderings

    Jungle Exploration
    Lost in Translation: Candide by Voltaire – 3.5 stars
    Budapest
    Venice, Italy: The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith
    Alternate World: Pricksongs and Descants by Coover
    Cambodia
    Award Ceremony: Award Ceremony: Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
    London: Nicholas Nickleby by Dickens
    Camping
    Survival/Wilderness Camp: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
    Beach Vacation
    Spain
    Artsy Vacation
    Area 51
    Scotland Yard: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
    Hollywood
    Russia
    Forbidden Location: Forbidden Location: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
    High School Reunion
    Wild West
    Road Trip: Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
    Bora Bora
    Paris
    Australia
    China
    Island Vacation: The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
    Time Travel
    Cultural Experience
    Pyramids
    Hong Kong

    Tour Group: Madagascar – The Aye-Aye and I: A Rescue Mission in Madagascar by Gerald Durrell

    Like

    June 21, 2015
    • Lynsey #

      Destination Alternate World: Pricksongs and Descants by Robert Coover – 2 stars
      Alternate versions of traditional fairytales, fables and biblical stories. I’m not a short story fan nor do I enjoy post-modern fiction but some of the stories I liked. If you like post-modern fiction, give it a try.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 23, 2015
      • Lynsey #

        Destination Scotland Yard: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier – 4 stars
        A young bride arrives at Manderley, her husband’s huge estate on the coast of England and has to deal with the memories of the previous wife who died accidentally only 10 months previous. But was it an accident? A Psychological whodunnit. I selected this book for my Scotland Yard destination for both the mystery surrounding the death of Rebecca and it’s location set in England.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 29, 2015
    • Lynsey #

      Destination Road Trip: Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne – 4 stars
      The ultimate road trip as Phileas Fogg and his newly hired servant, Passepartout traverse the globe just to win a bet that it can be done. A fun journey despite the flawed ending.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 16, 2015
    • Lynsey #

      Destination Venice: The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton – 3.5 stars
      Nick and Susy are poor users who decide to marry each other in order to take advantage of their rich friends extreme wealth by living in their glamorous homes while “honeymooning”. Venice is just one of the many settings in this comedy of errors where misunderstandings and misinterpretations stand to disrupt their well laid plans.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 17, 2015
    • Lynsey #

      Forbidden Location: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – 4 stars
      Everyone knows the story of Alice, a classic childhood story, so i’ll skip the review. I chose this for my Forbidden Location because it was banned in Hunan, China in 1931 for it’s portrayal of anthropomorphized animals acting on the same level of complexity as human beings. The censor General Ho Chien believed that attributing human language to animals was an insult to humans. He feared that the book would teach children to regard humans and animals on the same level, which would be “disastrous”. (information from Wikipedia)

      Liked by 1 person

      July 22, 2015
    • Lynsey #

      Lost in Translation: Candide by Voltaire – 3.5 stars
      Originally Published in French this classic has been widely translated.
      A simplistic, optimistic man who is cast from his most ideal world into a journey where the most violent, terrible things occur and becomes slowly disillusioned. A little too violent for my tastes but I could not help but chuckle at the many satirical moments in this book. I also enjoyed Candide’s outlook and naivety.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 23, 2015
    • Lynsey #

      Destination Survival/ Wilderness Camp: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – 4 stars Life before and after a pandemic virus wipes out 90 % of the population. An interesting premise and an entertaining read.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 28, 2015
    • Lynsey #

      Award Ceremony: Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga – 4 stars
      A book about cultural and gender roles in Zimbabwe in the 1960’s and 70’s. Interesting characters and a good story made for a solid read that won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for best book.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 4, 2015
    • Lynsey #

      Group Read: Madagascar – The Aye-Aye and I: A Rescue Mission in Madagascar by Gerald Durrell – 3.5 stars -This was an interesting and humorous read about Durrell’s trip to Madagascar to collect animals for his captive breeding program. I would have preferred to read the basics in a magazine article and found the book overly detailed. I’m not sure captive breeding is the best use of resources in terms of saving animals from extinction.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2015
      • Lynsey #

        Island Vacation: The Summer Book by Tove Jansson – 5 stars
        A collection of charming stories about a grandmother and her granddaughter who spend summers on an island in the gulf of Finland. Beautifully descriptive with characters that come alive.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 31, 2015
    • Lynsey #

      Destination London: Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens – 3.5 stars No one paints a portrait of london life in the 19th century better than Dickens. Nicholas Nickleby was Dickens third novel and I think he improved on his style with his later works. That being said, I still enjoyed this book about a young man left to make his way in the world after his father dies leaving him, his mother and sister penniless.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 19, 2015
  22. Aarti Around the World – Approved!

    1. Eco travel – Solar by Ian McEwan (global warming)
    2. Italy – Italy for beginners by George Mikes
    3. Train travel – Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    4. Hiking/Trekking – Into thin Air by Jon Krakauer
    5. First visit (debut novel) – Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
    6. Ghost Town – Abandon by Blake Crouch (Based in abandoned mining town)
    7. School field trip – Evening Class by Maeve Binchy
    8. Trip with the gals (female author) – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    9. California – White Oleander by Janet Fitch (Based in Los Angeles)
    10. Repeat visit (author read before) – Sea of poppies by Amitav Ghosh
    11. Venice – The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
    12. Beautiful Gardens – The garden of evening mists by Tan Tawn Eng
    13. Brazil – Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin
    14. Award Ceremony – Narrow road to the deep north
    15. Discover your roots – Third Class Ticket by Heather Wood ( Story about a group of Bengali villagers who make a trip around India to visit their roots. Since I am Bengali and this is a story about visiting roots I’m rather chuffed with this one )
    16. Paris – All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr
    17. Spa town – Three men in a boat ( its a book about a relaxed holiday)
    18. Cambodia – First they killed my father by Loung Ung
    19. Beach – The Beach by Alex Garland
    20. China – Red Sorghum by Mo Yan
    21. Disneyworld – Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas ( retelling of Cinderalla)
    22. Vacation Nightmares – The Ruins by Scott Smith ( vacation turns horror story)
    23. Salem Massachusetts – Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
    24. Romantic Getaway – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    25. On a budget – Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
    26. Cruise on the high seas – Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
    27. Greece – The Magus by John Fowles
    28. Travelling with kids – Alice in wonderland
    29. Off the beaten track – Watchmen ( graphic novels are so far off the beaten track for me they are in the jungle)
    30. Australia – The husband’s secret by Lianne Moriarty

    Group Tour Book – My family and other Animals by Gerald Durrell

    Like

    June 21, 2015
    • Destination Italy – Italy for beginners by George Mikes (pronounced Mik-esh)
      A hilarious guide to negotiating Italy for the first time visitor, it also has a lot of insights on the political and social situation. I liked it very much. Gave it 4 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 22, 2015
      • The garden of evening mists – Tan Twan Eng.
        A story of pain and endurance, love and mystery, this book taught me a lot about Malay, Japan, and the art of gardening. Loved this book. Gave it 5 stars

        Liked by 1 person

        June 26, 2015
      • Can you tell me how many pages are in Italy for Beginners? Just trying to tally your page count.

        Like

        August 20, 2015
      • Jen, it has 128 pages

        Liked by 1 person

        August 25, 2015
    • Travelling with kids – Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
      A delightful books filled with clever puns and word play. With twists and turns which felt like stream of consciousness writing. A children’s book highly readable by adults. Gave it 4 stars

      Liked by 1 person

      June 28, 2015
    • First Visit (debut novel) – Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
      This was a frightening look into the mind of an elderly woman rapidly sinking into dementia. Maud thoroughly mixes up the past and present. There is frustration, anger and love in this strong debut novel. I gave it 4 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 2, 2015
    • Trip with the Gals – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
      The unnamed and much younger narrator is swept off her feet by Maxim de Winter and agrees to marry him. After a honeymoon in Italy they return to the family estate Manderley and the evil shadow of the late Mrs de Winter, Rebecca. With twists and turns and characters that seemed so real , the book kept me involved to the last page. I was sorry it ended! I gave it 5 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 7, 2015
    • Group Tour Book – My family and other Animals by Gerald Durrell
      One of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. It made me laugh out loud and read out parts of it to my husband and son. Except for the bits about the mantis (I’m a bit squeamish about insects – shudder!!) the book was a dee-LIGHT-ful account of the authors stay in Corfu and his encounter with various natural species including some eccentric people – family and friends! I gave it 5 stars and a heart!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 13, 2015
    • Cruise on the high seas – Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crighton
      Set in Jamaica in 1665, this is a rollicking story of piracy, or privateering. It has all elements of high sea adventure, warships, hurricanes, damsels in distress, treason, murder, and even a deep sea monster, the kraken.
      Not particularly well written but fun to read. I gave it 3 stars

      Liked by 1 person

      July 15, 2015
    • Nightmare Vacation – The Ruins by Scott Smith
      Two young couples are on Mexican vacation when the brother of a tourist friend disappears in the Mexican jungle leaving behind a hand drawn map. They all decide to go looking for him and the vacation rapidly goes south from there. It’s a page turner, a good horror romp with all the necessary elements to bring on the chills. I gave it 3.5 stars on the horror scale

      Liked by 1 person

      July 20, 2015
    • Hiking/Trekking – Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
      The mother of all hiking/trekking, this book takes us right into the climbing of Mount Everest at 27000+ feet. It’s a true account of the 1996 Everest disaster where 12 people died. I learnt so much from this book! I learnt about climbing, high altitude climbing, what drives climbers/mountaineers, the commercialization of Everest and the inherent dangers of trying to do so. Most of all I learnt about the awesome power of nature and the limits of man’s will and endurance. I gave this book 5 stars and a heart!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 25, 2015
    • Venice – The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
      One of the most powerful prose writers I’ve ever had the fortune to read. Its a magical story of two people and their intertwined destinies set in Napoleanic time. This was a re-read for me and I’ll probably read it again. I gave it 5 stars

      Liked by 1 person

      August 5, 2015
    • California – White Oleander by Janet Fitch.
      It’s a coming of age book, it’s a foster care book, it’s a mother-daughter book but for me it was a book of high drama and description. It was like a Bollywood film. Highly enjoyable while it lasted. I gave it 4 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 13, 2015
    • Australia – The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
      This was fun to read. It’s not ‘literature’ maybe, but as soon as I finished it, I started to read The Hypnotists Story by the same author. I enjoyed it. Gave it 3.5 stars solely on enjoyment

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2015
    • Spa Town – Three men in a boat by Jerome K. Jerome
      Three men (the author, and his friends Harris and George) and their dog take a trip down the Thames in an attempt to cure themselves of the sense of malaise they all are feeling. The book is less about the trip and more about the hilarious anecdotes. Similar to Wodehouse’s writings. I really loved this one. Gave it 5 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 4, 2015
  23. JoLene R #

    Ursula’s Goes Overland (JoLene R’s Summer Vacation)

    Stamps Earned:
    3 ) Traveling with Kids
    15 ) Off the beaten Track. Heart of Darkness
    18 ) Georgia, USA
    14) Sailing the High Seas: Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen
    1) Paris France: Midnight Train to Paris by Julliette Sobanet
    8) Wild West: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
    25) Survival Camp: The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
    21) Vacation Nightmares: Ruby Red by Kirsten Gier
    18) The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
    17) Loch Ness: At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
    27) Farming Vacation: The Accidental Farmers
    26) Lost in Translation: Sapphire Blue by Kirsten Gier
    24) Forbidden Location: Saga: Volume 1 banned book (pre-approved)
    2) Spain: The Rose of Fire by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
    9) New Orleans: The Awakening by Kate Chopin (approved for someone else)
    16) First Visit: Through the Door by Jodi McIsaac
    7) London: Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins
    Vietnam: In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien
    20) Ocktoberfest: Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier
    12) Visiting /Friends/Family: Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K Vaughn
    29) Spa Resort: My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald (pre-approved)
    11) Hiking/treking: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
    5) Ireland: Into the Fire by Jodi McIsaac (2nd book in trilogy – pre-approved)
    4) Trip with girls (female author): Among the Unseen by Jodi McIsaac

    Stamps Needed:
    6 ) Lake Vacation
    10 ) Alaska
    22 ) Kenya
    23 ) Greece
    28 ) Portugal
    30 ) Budapest
    31 ) Bonus

    Liked by 1 person

    June 21, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      Approved books:
      Georgia, USA: The Line by JD Horn
      Loch Ness: At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
      Farm Vacation: Animal Farm by George Orwell
      Off the beaten Track: Hearst of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
      Forbidden Location: Saga (hopefully I can find my copy) or The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
      Pyramids: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
      Sailing on the High Seas: Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen
      OckoberFest: The Ludwig Conspiracy by Oliver Potzsch
      Trekking: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (or Wild — already approved)
      Survival Camp: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis — a scholar travels back in time during the plague
      London: Girl on a Train (takes place in London)
      Farming Vacation: The Accidental Farmers (changing from Animal Farm)
      Vacation Nightmares: Ruby Red –> Gwen has not been “trained” for time travel because everyone thinks her cousin has the gene. Therefore Gwen is not prepared when it turns out that she is the selected one. (Originally written in German so I could use for translation or Ocktoberfest).

      Like

      June 23, 2015
      • sure. that’s approved. I also fixed the score. Let me know if that’s not accurate

        Like

        August 10, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      2) Travel with kids: The Vacationers by Emma Straub
      The Post family vacation to Mallorca filled with dysfunction, family secrets and dislikable characters. The parents are dealing with the aftermath of an affair, a grown son is not as successful as he seems and the teen-age daughter just wants to get laid; when you add in a gay best friend hoping to adopt and you have the run the gambit of the predictable plot lines of this summer “beach read”.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 24, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      15) Off the Beaten Path: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad – Completed: 6/25
      Full Review

      Cautionary tale of a ship’s captain, Marlow, who works for a trading company (“the Company”) and is sent to the Belgian Congo where he encounters the illusive Mr Kurtz. Highly recommend the audio by Kenneth Branagh. Not sure that I understood all the symbolism.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 25, 2015
      • JoLene R #

        18) Georgia, USA: The Line by J. D. Horn –
        Completed: 6/27
        Full Review on Shelfari

        The Taylors are a Savannah family of powerful witches, all except Mercy who seems to have no power. When one of their own is murdered, Mercy is driven to uncover some hidden family secrets. Fun story, but the heroine was a bit of a “mary sue”.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 27, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      14) Sailing the High Seas: Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen
      Completed: 6/29/15
      Full Review on Shelfari

      Royal Spyness #8 finds Georgiana travelling with her mother to American (by boat) so that her mother can get a quickie divorce. The usual hijinx ensues when there is a theft on the boat and possibly a man overboard. I continue to enjoy this series — audio version.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 3, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      1) Paris France: Midnight Train to Paris by Julliette Sobanet
      Completed: 7/6/15, 2 stars
      Full review on Shelfari

      Jillian’s twin sister goes missing. Her ex, Sam is the investigator and together they end of also in 1937 to investigate a similar crime. Interesting premise, not so great writing.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 9, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      8) Wild West: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
      Completed: 7/11/15, 3.5 stars
      Full review on Shelfari

      Charlie and Eli Sisters are brothers and contract killers in the 1850’s. The writing style is interesting and enjoyable but the story (for me) wasn’t compelling — meaning, I enjoyed it while reading, but wasn’t driven to pick it up and finish it quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 11, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      17) Loch Ness: At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
      Completed: 7/18/15 4 stars
      Full Review on Shelfari

      Three spoiled rich Americans go to Scotland to hunt for the Loch Ness monster — during World War II. Enjoyable but predictable story.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 20, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      25) Survival Camp: The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
      Completed: 7/23/15 3.5 stars
      Full review on Shelfari

      A Sci-Fi classic – Kivrin travels back in time to medieval England, but things go awry. Rich in historical detail, but a bit depressing. It won both the Locus and Nebula awards.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 23, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      21) Vacation Nightmares: Ruby Red by Kirsten Gier
      Completed: 7/26/15 4 stars
      Full Review on Shelfari

      Gwynn’s family carries a time travel gene, but it was always thought her cousin Charlotte would inherit it. Gwynn is not prepared at all for time travel experience (the history, the mysterious secret society, etc) and to make matters worse, someone is in the past keeps trying to kill her!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 30, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      13) Pyramids: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
      Completed: 7/30/15 4 stars
      Full review on Shelfari

      Siblings Carter and Sadie have been raised separately are brought together by their father a famous Egyptologist, but then he disappears — turns out their ties to Egypt are more than just professional. Great world-building and non-stop adventure. Audio was excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 31, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      27) Farming Vacation: The Accidental Farmers: An urban couple, a rural calling and a dream of farming in harmony with Nature
      Completed: 8/7/15 3.5 stars
      Full Review on Shelfari

      Urban couple give up working for “the man” to move to the country and start a livestock farm. Covers a lot of topics including daily life, and industrialized farming issues.

      26) Lost in Translation: Sapphire Blue by Kirsten Gier
      Completed: 8/4/14 3 stars Originally written in German.
      Full Review on Shelfari

      2nd book in the Precious Stone trilogy. Time travel adventures with a mysterious prophecy — that’s the good. Lots of teenage angst — that’s the bad!

      24) Forbidden Location: Saga: Volume 1 banned book (pre-approved)
      Completed: 8/7/15 4 stars
      Full Review on Shelfari

      Star-crossed lovers desert their particular sides in an intergalatic war, have a baby and go on the run.

      (Also, I put in a post above for approval, I must have hit reply in the wrong place because it didn’t put it at the end, but just after my approval post listing.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 10, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      Approval needed: Spain: Rose of Fire by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. He is Spanish and part of the story takes place in Barcelona. Not this is really more of a novella, so I understand if it can’t count.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 17, 2015
      • It counts. There’s no requires minimum number of pages. Approved

        Like

        August 17, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      2) Spain: The Rose of Fire by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. (pre-approved)
      Completed: 8/14/15 3 stars
      This is short piece that describes the origin of the “Cemetery of Lost Books” which is unifying theme of a set of novels set in the early 20th century in Barcelona. While it was interesting, it didn’t have quite the same lyrical quality of writing as his longer works. I do highly recommend the others, especially Shadow of the Wind (one of my all time favs).

      9) New Orleans: The Awakening by Kate Chopin (approved for someone else)
      Completed: 8/16/15 3 stars
      Full review on Shelfari

      One of the first feminist novels about a woman, Edna Pontellier, at the turn of the century who is unhappy with her role as a second class citizen and decides to buck the social norms in various ways. It was very hard to root for her as she was not likeable, but I thought that the writing was very evocative and can understand the historical significance. It was partially set in New Orleans and I grew up there, so I found the descriptions of life in the city really interesting.

      16) First Visit: Through the Door by Jodi McIsaac
      Completed: 8/10/15 4 stars
      Full review on Shelfari

      This is the a debut novel that is first in a trilogy. A single mother finds out that her daughter has magical powers which lead her to being kidnapped. A great adventure story based on celtic mythology (which was a first for me :-).

      Liked by 1 person

      August 19, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      Need approval for
      Vietnam: IN the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien. Main character fought in Vietnam War. The author also fought in Vietnam war and has written one of the defining books for that war (The Things They Carried — highly recommend).

      Budapest: Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst. Main character is hungarian living in Paris who gets involved trying to stop the Nazi war machine in Hungary — Budapest is listed as location on Shelfari

      Visiting Friends and Family: Saga, Volume 2: Book description — Thanks to her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana, newborn baby Hazel has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies, and horrific monsters, but in the cold vastness of outer space, the little girl encounters her strangest adventure yet… grandparents.

      Treking: The Distance between Lost and Found by Kathyrn Holmes: Something happens on a group hike…..

      Also — I had also posted New Orleans and First Visit in the above post (in addition to Spain).

      Liked by 1 person

      August 21, 2015
      • Yes approved

        Like

        August 21, 2015
      • Yes, I am pretty sure o counted those already

        Like

        August 21, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      7) London: Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins
      Completed: 8/21/15 5 stars
      Full Review on Shelfari

      While commuting Rachel Watson sees something which could be key to helping the police solve a crime. The plot twists keep you guessing and multiple narrators and timelines are used to fill in details/back story illustrating that public and private personas can be very different. Highly recommend.

      (I think this should put me at 16 books).

      Liked by 1 person

      August 21, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      Awesome — I will get my copy from the library. Any other takers?? It’s a short book.

      Like

      August 26, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      20) Ocktoberfest: Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier
      Completed: 8/25/15 3 stars
      Conclusion of the YA time travel trilogy that started with a bang, but ended in a whimper. Great secondary characters, but the main couple with the insta-love relationship was disappointing.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 26, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      12) Visiting /Friends/Family: Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K Vaughn (pre-approved)
      Completed: 8/24/15 4 stars
      In this installment, we get to meet Marko’s parents who are seriously upset by his relationship with Alana, but as typical grandparents, they quickly fall under the spell of baby Hazel. The story was more focused and immersive than the first book.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 26, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      Approval Needed:
      22) Kenya: Nairobi Heat — setting in Nairobi (capital of Kenya)
      23) Greece: The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood – this is the story of Odysseus’ wife Penelope.
      26) Spa resort: My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald. Young girl tries to convince her family to convert their failing pharmacy into an eco-spa. (Cover has a girl getting a facial which is something that happens at a spa).

      Like

      August 27, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      I’m way behind on my reviews because I was on vacation. Writing a couple reviews each day :-D.

      Need approval: I picked up a graphic novel of The Odyssey when I was getting my copy of The Penelopiad — was going to use it as a refresher as I read The Odyssey a long time ago. Then I realized that I can use it for my Greece stamp — let me know if that won’t work.

      Portugual: The Orphans of Race Point is about a Portuguese community in Massachusetts. Will this work. I started the History of the Seige of Lisbon, but it’s a pretty slow read. I think I might be only 2 books away from finishing so now I’m looking for quicker reads.

      Like

      September 17, 2015
      • no need for approvals anymore. WE changed the rules in one of our challenge update posts. So you can read whichever books you think fit

        Like

        September 17, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      29) Spa Resort: My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald (pre-approved)
      Completed: 8/27/15 3.5 stars
      Lucy, a 12 year old, is wise beyond her years and is obsessed with beauty and business. She tries to help her mom and grandmother turn around their failing family pharmacy by turning it into an eco-spa. This is geared toward younger side of young adult, but the audio was enjoyable and I think I would have loved it as a 12 year old.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 17, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      11) Hiking/treking: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
      Completed: 8/29/15 4 stars
      Full review on Shelfari
      Something terrlible happened to Hallie Calhoun at last year’s church retreat. Her parents have sent her back and this time she and a couple of other kids get lost in the woods. The survival aspects of the story were gripping, but the set-up about the past incident was not believable to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 17, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      5) Ireland: Into the Fire by Jodi McIsaac (2nd book in trilogy – pre-approved)
      Completed: 8/29/15 4 stars
      Cedar must prove herself to the Tuatha De Danaan by travelling back to Earth to find one of the ancient relics. Loved the use of celtic mythology and world-building.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 17, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      4) Trip with girls (female author): Among the Unseen by Jodi McIsaac
      Completed: 11/2/15 5 stars
      Conclusion of the trilogy wrapping up with Cedar trying to save the “unseen”, those magical creatures of legend (mermaids, pixies), who have started dying. This was a well-crafted, fast-paced series that I mostly listened to on audio.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 17, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      6) Lake Vacation: Ladies of the Lake by Haywood Smith
      Completed: 9/14/15 4 stars
      Entertaining story about 4 sisters that must spend 90 days together going through their grandmother’s lake house in order to inherit. The story is told from the POV of the oldest sister Dahlia, a former ballerina, a poor divorcee and allergy-ridden who was the grandmother’s favorite. Lots of family drama and comedy.

      10) Alaska: The Call of the Wild by Jack London (set in Alaska)
      Completed: 9/13/15 4 stars
      As an animal lover, this was a hard book to listen to because of the depiction of life in a pack and the treatment of the dogs by unsavory owners. It was interesting to have the story told from the POV of Buck (a dog). I can definitely see that it would appeal to young boys and why it is considered a classic.

      22) Kenya: Nairobi Heat by Mukoma wa Ngugi (set in Kenya)
      Completed: 9/4/15 3 stars
      This was an interesting start to a series — an African american cop is investigating the murder of a white girl, who is found on the steps of an African american professor (in Wisconsin, no less). The investigation leads him to travel to Kenya where he meets all kinds of interesting characters.

      23) Greece: The Odyssey by Seymour Chwast (graphic novel retelling of Odyssey)
      Completed: 9/15/15 2 stars
      Full review on Shelfari
      Dumbed down version with primitive art work. For some unexplained reason, Odysseus now travels in a rocket ship and fights battles with laser guns. I’ll pass on the remainder of this series (he does other classics like Canterbury Tales and the Divine Comedy)

      Liked by 1 person

      September 21, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      28) Portugal: The Tale of the Unknown Island by José Saramago (Portuguese author)
      Completed: 9/19/15 3 stars
      This is a short allegorical story (with cute drawings). A man goes to the king to get a boat so that he can go exploring and find an unknown island. No one believes that there are still islands that are unknown, but the king’s cleaning woman does have confidence in the man and tries to help him. I’m not really a fan of Saramago’s style of giant run-on sentences.

      30) Budapest: Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst (Night Soldiers #6) (set in Budapest)
      Completed: 9/19/15 3 stars
      Full review on shelfari
      Nicholas Morath, a Hungarian ex-pat living in Paris gets involved in various “missions” by his uncle, a diplomat during the late 1930’s. This is a great “series”, but this wasn’t the best book. Furst is a master at creating the mood of this particular time period and I always learn a lot about Europe and the events leading up to WWII.

      31) Bonus: Madagascar – Ghost of Chance by William S. Burroughs
      Completed: 9/20/15 2 stars
      For a short work, this book takes on quite a bit including how man is the worst thing to happen to the planet, how Jesus was the ultimate trickster, and governments are corrupt. It was not my cup of tea, but if you like stream of consciousness style or take psychedelic drugs, this may be a book you would enjoy. (Also read by SushiCat)

      And with that I think I’ve landed back at home. Thanks so much for a fun summer of reading. I tackled a couple from my TBR pile, a couple of classics and got introduced to a couple new authors or series!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      September 21, 2015
      • Charisma #

        You’ve written a much better review than I did for the Ghost of Chance. But my thoughts are almost exact.

        Like

        September 22, 2015
  24. Becky #

    Becky’s Book Travels

    1. Argentina
    2. Ancient Civilization: A History of God, Karen Armstrong
    3. Lost in Translation (a translated work)
    4. Mexico: A Perfect Red, Amy Butler Greenfield
    5. Bora Bora
    6. Pyramids
    7. Scotland Yard
    8. Ski Resort/Snow Vacation
    9. Vacation Nightmares
    10. Vietnam
    11. Ireland
    12. Sailing the High Seas
    13. Cuba
    14. Road Trip
    15. Island Vacation: My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor
    16. Middle East
    17. Eco-travel
    18. Mountain Vacations
    19. Brazil
    20. Broadway, NYC
    21. Jungle Exploration
    22. Georgia, USA
    23. Weekend Getaway (novella, short story collection, etc.)
    24. Japan
    25. Classic Vacation (think classic literature)
    26. Hiking/Trekking
    27. Volunteer for your holiday
    28. National Park
    29. Turkey
    30. Traveling with Kids

    Liked by 1 person

    June 22, 2015
    • Becky #

      2. Ancient Civilizations: A History of God, Karen Armstrong

      4 stars

      In this (extremely dense) book, Karen Armstrong, a former religious sister, completes a comprehensive and comparative history of the world’s three largest monotheistic religions. I was surprised by how long it took me to get through this book, but it was definitely worthwhile.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 17, 2015
    • Becky #

      15. Island Vacation: My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor

      5 stars and a heart

      I was extremely, extremely impressed by Justice Sotomayor’s memoir of the span from her childhood to the point at which she becomes a judge. Not only is she a spectacular writer, but I was amazed by the poise and candidness with which she tells her story. I chose this book for the “Island Vacation” category because a good part of the memoir focuses on Sotomayor’s family ties to Puerto Rico, including the several trips she makes to the island with her mother.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 28, 2015
    • Becky #

      4. Mexico: A Perfect Red, Amy Butler Greenfield

      3 stars

      A Perfect Red traces the history of the red dye produced by the cochineal, an insect native to Mexico and domesticated there by the Aztecs. This isn’t a book that I’d usually pick up, but it was reasonably interesting, especially in its portrayal of historical events through the eyes of the cochineal dye industry.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 8, 2015
  25. RomansGirl #

    RomansGirl – SECOND HONEYMOON

    Destinations:

    1. Beach Vacation: Once a Hero by Jillian Burns
    2. Futuristic: Rapture in Death by JD Robb
    3. Oktoberfest
    4. Austria
    5. Brazil
    6. New Orleans: Fat Tuesday by Sandra Brown
    7. Traveling with Kids: Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
    8. Italy
    9. Vacation Nightmares
    10. Peru
    11. Loch Ness
    12. Argentina
    13. Into the Amazon
    14. Wine Country
    15. Repeat Visit (author you have read before): The Healer by Dee Henderson (O’Malley Series, Bk 6)
    16. Vacation Hot Spot (book on current best seller list)
    17. Hiking/Trekking: Wild by Cheryl Strayed
    18. First Visit (read debut novel): Girl on the Train
    19. The Weekend Getaway (novella, short story collection, etc): Trigger Warnings by Gaiman
    20. England: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
    21. Train travel: Same Kind Of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
    22. Mexico
    23. India: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
    24. Paris
    25. Israel
    26. Venice, Italy
    27. Sailing the High Seas
    28. Cultural experience:Gone Missing by Linda Castillo
    29. National Park
    30. Zimbabwe
    *Bonus: Tour Group

    Liked by 1 person

    June 25, 2015
    • RomansGirl #

      Destination: Loch Ness
      The Water Horse by Dick King-Smith
      3 Stars

      A family discovers and cares for a mysterious sea monster, a water horse of legends. They teach Crusoe to be careful not to reveal himself to other people and eventually find him a forever home in a larger loch near home.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 26, 2015
      • RomansGirl #

        Destination: India
        Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
        4 Stars

        A woman embarks on a journey to discover herself, God and balance in her life. Her journey takes her to Italy where she learns to indulge, India where she learns peace, and Bali where she learns balance. I very much enjoyed her journey.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 21, 2015
      • RomansGirl #

        Destination: New Orleans
        Fat Tuesday by Sandra Brown
        4 Stars

        The French Quarter and the New Orleans swamp lands mark the backdrop for a rogue cop to kidnap the trophy wife of a sleazy defense attorney. Corruption and desire come to a head on Mardi Gras. I loved this book and found I couldn’t stand to put it down. I will be looking for more from this author.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 23, 2015
      • RomansGirl #

        Destination: Futuristic
        Rapture in Death by JD Robb
        4 Stars

        NY Detective Eve Dallas’ honeymoon is interrupted when one of Roarke’s employees commits suicide. Add a few other unlikely deaths by self-termination and Eve smells murder. Can she catch up with the killer before the killer catches up with her? Loved this one. Great, suspenseful ending.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 28, 2015
    • RomansGirl #

      Destination: Train Travel
      Same Kind Of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
      5 Stars
      Denver hops a train to escape plantation life and poverty in Louisiana. His travels eventually land him in Fort Worth, Texas where his life takes an extraordinary and unlikely turn. This is absolutely my favorite reading in a long, long time. A powerful testimony of friendship, trust, and grace. This story gives a whole new meaning to the words “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

      Liked by 1 person

      July 30, 2015
      • RomansGirl #

        Destination: Traveling With Kids
        Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan – Audio Book Narrated by Jim Gaffigan
        1 Star
        Ugh. I should have read this under vacation nightmares. It was so unfunny and disappointing. I love Jim Gaffigan’s stand-up so I assumed him narrating his own book would have been hysterically funny. A comedian with 5 kids in a 2 bedroom New York apt? Should have been full of LOL moments. Fail.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 3, 2015
      • RomansGirl #

        Destination: Weekend Getaway
        Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
        3 Stars
        A collection of short stories. Some enjoyable. Some boring. All bizarre.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 4, 2015
      • RomansGirl #

        Destination: Hiking/Trekking
        Wild by Cheryl Strayed
        4 Stars

        I very much enjoyed the telling of Cheryl’s journey hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The flow was seamless between her life before and on the PCT. I really felt a part of her journey. I know I would not have picked this book up w/o the prompting of this challenge so for that I’m grateful.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 18, 2015
      • RomansGirl #

        Destination: Cultural Experience
        Gone Missing by Linda Castillo
        4 Stars

        This is the 4th book in the Kate Burkholder series. Kate grew up Amish and after surviving a tragedy that ultimately led her to leave her faith and family she returns to her roots, this time as Chief of police. In Gone Missing Kate attempts to solve several missing children cases all within the Amish community.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 31, 2015
    • RomansGirl #

      Destination: England
      And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
      4 Stars

      Such a fun and clever mystery. Reminded me of the movie Clue, which I’m now positive must have stolen most it’s plot line from this book and then based it off of the board game. It really kept me guessing as to who would die next and who the killer could be or if there was more than one.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 2, 2015
    • RomansGirl #

      Destination: Repeat Visit
      The Healer by Dee Henderson (O’Malley Series, Bk 6)
      3 Stars

      I’ve been reading this series over the last several years. I really enjoy this author but this series is getting tired. The Healer took more than the first half of the story setting up for the tragedy that was at the center of the story. It kept me interested enough to not quit reading but this series has definitely lost steam. There is only one book left which I know I’ll end up reading although I’m in no hurry to get to it.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 8, 2015
    • RomansGirl #

      Destination: First Visit
      The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
      5 Stars and a ❤

      Paula Hawkins debut novel was perfection. My favorite destination thus far. Perfectly paced, revealing nuggets and clues to keep you guessing. The climax and the finale were both disturbing and satisfying.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 15, 2015
      • RomansGirl #

        Destination: Beach Vacation
        Once a Hero by Jillian Burns
        2 Stars

        Army Captain Luke Andrews, MD on R&R in Hawaii meets Kristen Turner, breast cancer survivor pursuing a photography dream. If I actually got to read this book on a beach in Hawaii I may have been able to give it another star.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 15, 2015
  26. Destinations:
    New York:The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger
    Area 51: The Day of the Triffids by Wyndham
    Chile
    Alaska
    Lake Vacation
    On a Budget
    Mexico
    Spiritual Retreat
    Austria: Metamorphosis by Kafka
    Vietnam: The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
    Pyramids
    San Diego Zoo
    First Visit (debut novel)
    Thailand
    Train Travel: Train Journey: The GIrl On The Train, Paula Hawkins
    Australia
    Traveling with Kids
    Paris: Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris
    Award Ceremony (award winning title)
    Turkey
    Alternate World: Nation, Terry Pratchett
    Bora Bora
    China: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
    Scotland Yard
    Forbidden Location (banned book) : Clockwork Orange
    Music Festival
    Greece
    Israel
    National Forest
    Wild West

    Liked by 1 person

    June 30, 2015
    • List of Approved books (to date):
      -Austria: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka cos Kafka died in Austria
      -Train Journey – Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
      -New York : The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger
      -Forbidden Location: Clockwork Orange
      – China : Snow Flower and the secret fan, lisa see
      – Alternate World : Nation, Terry Pratchett

      Liked by 1 person

      July 7, 2015
      • Austria: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

        Unfortunate travelling salesman turns into a bug, loses his job and has an apple thrown at him by his dad. On the plus side, his family live happily ever after.
        I am clearly not intellectual enough to appreciate the subtext of this entertaining story.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 9, 2015
      • Train Journey: The GIrl On The Train, Paula Hawkins

        The book that unveils to the rest of the world that we Brits are completely dysfunctional. Absolutely none of the characters are entirely likeable, the mystery and suspense is top notch. Loved it!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 12, 2015
      • New York : The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger

        Another book suggesting that all Brits are crazy (I’m not in a position to argue with this one). This book was a lot more serious than I remember it being when I read it the first time round in 2006, an equal mix humorous and serious look at the work/life balance in a hectic business.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 19, 2015
      • Forbidden Location: A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess

        I can assure you that this is not deliberate but this is the third novel in my world exploration which, set in Essex, UK: describes in great depth the depravity of Britsh people.
        I found this novel to be highly overrated and, I shudder to say, not a patch on the film.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 23, 2015
    • China: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

      This book is elegant and beautiful, I think it has a different message for every woman at different stages of life. I loved the descriptions of local culture but also the way all of the women related to one another.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 9, 2015
    • Alternate World – Nation, Terry Pratchett

      Terry Pratchett broaches some uncharacteristically profound and delicate subject matter in this book, with the utmost delicacy and wit. I like how he creates a profound bond between a boy and a girl without falling into the easy trap of romance.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 9, 2015
    • Vietnam – The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
      This book just about broke my heart. O’Brien is a true storytelling artist and makes us feeling absolutely everything behind the remote detachment of an infantryman. Will be keeping this on my shelf.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 13, 2015
    • Yes, approved

      Liked by 1 person

      August 13, 2015
    • Paris – Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris
      Exquisitely written, this book gives a greater depth to arguably the most famous literary fiend. It leaves the door wide open to speculation about how he ended up the way he did, evil enough to be portrayed by Anthony Hopkins.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 16, 2015
    • Area 51 – The Day of The Triffids by John Wyndham
      Even though this book is a classic, written in the 1950s and contains an amazing story – it was dryer than a tablespoon of cinnamon. However, the sciencey bit was great in the fact that it was very progressive for its time and modern knowledge can be applied to fill the gaps.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 16, 2015
    • For Approval:

      Chile – The Dancer and the Thief by Antonio Skármeta
      https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1359105.The_Dancer_and_the_Thief

      Liked by 1 person

      August 16, 2015
  27. Destinations:
    Cuba
    Weekend getaway (short story collection, novella)
    World Heritage Site
    New Orleans
    Hiking/Trekking: Wild: a journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
    Japan
    England
    Music Festival
    Brazil
    Argentina
    Volunteer for your holiday
    Hollywood
    Into the Amazon
    Beautiful Gardens
    Budapest
    Historic Pilgrimage
    South Africa
    Trip with the gals (book written by female author)
    Lost in Translation (translated work)
    Cultural Experience (written or focused on a different cultural background)
    New York
    Ski vacation
    Australia
    Scotland Yard
    China
    Spain
    Vietnam
    Alaska
    Staycation (written by/taking place in your hometown/state/country)
    Mexico

    Liked by 1 person

    July 9, 2015
    • For approval please:
      Hiking/trekking: Wild (A Journey from lost to found) by Cheryl Strayed
      Japan: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

      Liked by 1 person

      July 9, 2015
    • Wild: a journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed

      The true story of a woman who walked the Pacific Crest Trail to rid herself of her demons and find her true self. She was either really brave or very crazy, but it’s a very inspiring book and you feel like you’re walking the route with her.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 19, 2015
  28. JoLene R #

    Does anyone want to join me in reading Ghost of Chance which has a setting of Madagascar? This would be the group tour bonus :-D.

    Like

    July 13, 2015
    • Sushicat #

      Hi Jolene – I’ve ordered the book, don’t know how long it will take to reach me. I’ll let you know when it comes and we can check if the timing works out.

      Like

      August 15, 2015
      • JoLene R #

        Awesome — I will get my copy from the library. Any other takers?? It’s a short book.

        Like

        August 21, 2015
      • Charisma #

        OK, I’ll be there with you. Requested it right now from the library. Hoping it will arrive on time.

        Like

        August 26, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        My book is here – is this already approved by Jen?

        Like

        September 2, 2015
      • yes

        Like

        September 2, 2015
      • Sushicat #

        That was a quick read – though I may still be in an alternate reality…

        Like

        September 2, 2015
  29. Maxibob #

    Destination: South Africa – Throne of Jade (2006) by Naomi Novik (read July 29, 2015)
    Destination: World Heritage Site: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
    Destination: Historic Pilgrimage: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
    Destination: Nigeria – Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
    Destination: Ski Vacation
    Destination: Trip to the Countryside: Animal Farm by George Orwell
    Destination: Australia: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
    Destination: Hollywood: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
    Destination: Train travel
    Destination: Into the Amazon
    Destination: Volunteer for your vacation
    Destination: Cambodia: The Stone Goddess by Minfong Ho
    Destination: Area 51: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
    Destination: Futuristic – Time Trapped by Richard Ungar
    Destination: Cuba: Hurricane Dancers by Margarita Engle
    Destination: Sail the High Seas: Empire of Night by Justin Somper
    Destination: Beach Vacation
    Destination: First visit (read a debut novel): Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
    Destination: Alternate world – Wildwood Imperium by Colin Meloy
    Destination: Lake Vacation: The Lake by Ray Bradbury
    Destination: Las Vegas
    Destination: Wild West
    Destination: Spiritual Retreat – Good Omens (The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch) by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    Destination: Scotland Yard: I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan C. Bradley
    Destination: Bermuda Triangle
    Destination: Off the Beaten Track: Pinocchio Vampire Slayer and the Great Puppet Theater by Van Jensen
    Destination: Adventure Travel: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
    Destination: Classic Vacation (think classic literature): The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    Destination: Italy
    Destination: Croatia

    Group read: The Aye-Aye and I: A Rescue Mission in Madagascar by Gerald Durrell

    Liked by 1 person

    July 29, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
      ★★★½

      I loved how the author explained that dragons are used for warfare. Also I think that the author did the right thing by saying the Chinese are the best with dragons, since in real life Chinese believe in dragons the most. It is really captivating. It was also interesting how the author described the views of many characters on slavery in South Africa.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 29, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Time Trapped by Richard Ungar
      ★★★★½
      Destination: Futuristic
      (Read July 11, 2015)

      I love how this novel is so futuristic. I like the idea of traveling through time and space just by tapping your wrist. I also like the mind patches that allow you to silently communicate with any one else who has a mind patch. I loved the kid genius, Dmitri.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Wildwood Imperium by Colin Meloy
      ★★★½
      Destination: Alternate world
      (Read July 14, 2015)

      I like how animals live just like humans in this alternate world. It shows us how intelligent animals can be. I also liked how kids had survived on their own without help from adults. I think it had to happy of an ending, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Destination: Nigeria
      (Read July 30, 2015)

      It inspires me how people with the most unusual characteristics are the most powerful. I love that the author talked of a new kind of magic that I haven’t heard of before. I really think that the book should have a continuation. It’s very cool that it’s based in Nigeria and that only Africans or African Americans are able to be Leopard people.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Good Omens (The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch) by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Destination: Spiritual Retreat
      (Read August 1, 2015)

      I loved how both the demon and the angel worked together to prevent the Apocalypse. This book had extremely good humor. It was hilarious how the two authors described everything in their own way. You could tell when Terry Pratchett begin to right because the humor intensified immediately. I loved this book. It is one of my personal favorites.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 6, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Destination: Area 51
      (Read August 11, 2015)

      This book tells us a lot about how early settlers lived in countries new to them. It speaks of diseases that settlers would catch when they came to new countries. The diseases in the novel were non-existent, but they showed the hardships of a settler’s life. the aliens in this novel were very interesting, especially since they were a lot like humans, and yet they were less technologically advanced than us, contrary to common belief. The disease that the settlers caught was very unique and new since there is no disease that even comes close to making your thoughts heard by all around you. this book is amazing and I recommend it to everyone who likes to read.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 12, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
      ★★★★½
      Destination: Australia
      (Read August 12, 2015)

      The Rangers are mysterious warriors whom no one knows much about. When 15 year old Will becomes apprenticed to the Ranger Halt, he must learn about their shadowy ways. He must endure hardships throughout his journey. As he fights his way through apprenticeship, he must prove that he is worthy of being a Ranger. To do so he saves his friend, tracks down horrible beasts, and now he must save his master.

      (Destination covered as the author is Australian, and the book was first released in Australia.)

      Liked by 1 person

      August 13, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan C. Bradley
      ★★★★½
      Destination: Scotland Yard
      (Read August 13, 2015)

      Flavia is cooking up a plan to catch Father Christmas. While she is planning this, news that the famous actress, Phyllis Wyvern, will be starring in a movie that is being filmed in Buckshaw itself, reaches her ears. As everyone in Bishop’s Lacy comes to watch her performance, they get snowed in. Later on that evening Phyllis gets strangled to death, and it’s up to Flavia to figure out who has done this grisly deed. In a house full of suspects, will she be able to find the culprit in time?

      Liked by 1 person

      August 13, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      The Aye-Aye and I: A Rescue Mission in Madagascar by Gerald Durrell
      ★★★½
      Tour Group Destination: Madagascar
      (Read August 20, 2015)

      This book has really caught my interest. The author is very descriptive in how all the animals looked. It was a new type of book for me, since I had never yet read a book that was in a way a journal written by the author. This book told me of the feeding habits of certain animals, and of how animals are brought back from near extinction. It was interesting how real live had a happy ending, like in most books of fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Hurricane Dancers by Margarita Engle
      ★★★★
      Destination: Cuba
      (Read August 21, 2015)

      This was an unusual type of book for me, since I do not remember reading any books that were somewhat like the script for a play. It was very interesting how in the book the slave, Quebrado, had a fear at first, and then he conquered it. It also showed that things aren’t always as they seem. Quebrado, for example, thought that a hurricane was bad news, but it brought him freedom. I would suggest this book to most people.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
      ★★
      Destination: Hollywood
      (Read August 21, 2015)

      This book itself seemed too simple in my opinion. It didn’t have a big plot, as I was hoping for, or at least, something to gain your attention. The plot was that a schoolmaster and a tough young man were fighting for a lady’s heart. After and unsuccessful attempt, the schoolmaster disappeared.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
      ★★¼
      Destination: Historic Pilgrimage
      (Read August 23, 2015)

      I did not really like how Jon Krakauer wrote this book. He went off course too many times to talk about other adventurers, which made me lose track of the book. I would prefer to have this book completely tied together, through and through. I was expecting more of a novel, instead of a biography. I do not suggest reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 25, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      The Stone Goddess by Minfong Ho
      ★★★★½
      Destination: Cambodia
      (Read August 25, 2015)

      This book tells us of the revolution really well (the Cambodian revolution in the late 1970’s). It depicted how children felt in the rice fields, and how many families wanted to move to Thailand. The author writes some of the book from her experience of working to help feed the children who didn’t get enough food during the Khmer Rouge’s reign. It also properly depicted how children might feel if they moved to the US from Asia.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 25, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
      ★★★★½
      Destination: Classic Vacation (think classic literature)
      (Read August 25, 2015)

      This story was very interesting. It depicts how an unlucky old man gets a change in his luck one day, when he hooks a giant fish. He pursues it for two days and two nights, before the fish finally tires, and gives in. On the way home, the old man battles sharks to keep this precious meat, but in vain. By the time he reaches the shore, the whole fish is eaten.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 25, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Destination: Train Travel
      (Read August 25, 2015)

      The book would fool even the best of detectives who live to this day. Agatha Christie knows how to make you read a book from cover to cover as quickly as possible. The book starts quickly, with a murder taking place, and then she manages to stretch the solution until the end. I was completely absorbed in this book. It is a must read!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 25, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Destination: World Heritage Site
      (Read September 5, 2015)

      As you travel through the many worlds of Mitchell’s imagination, at first you think that it is but a mere collection of unfinished stories. As you progress through the book though, he proves you wrong by connecting stories in the most unusual way. I was really captivated by this book. My eyes were glued to the pages, and my imagination would only show me things from this book. This is a must read for anybody, 12+ years old.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 9, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Animal Farm by George Orwell
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Destination: Trip to the Countryside
      (Read August 27, 2015)

      I loved how this book shows what most revolutions begin and end with. They begin with being frustrated by the present government. They then take it over, and things seem good for a while (everyone gets what they need). After that time, though, some smarter people decide to rule over the ones who don’t understand much. Pretty soon, once again, life is as it was before the revolution, except for the part that they have a new leader. This is really what “Animal Farm” is about.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 22, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Empire of Night by Justin Somper
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Destination: Sail the High Seas
      (Read September 8, 2015)

      The Vampirates live up to their name. They are as ruthless as vampires, and as good of sailors as pirates. Now, a was is brewing. The Pirate Federation must eliminate the Vampirate threat before the Vampirates take over all of their ships. To do so, Connor is sent in as a spy. Meanwhile, his sister, Grace, called the Nocturnals. Will they make it off the Vampirate ship in time, or will they have to fight against the ones who they were spying for?

      Liked by 1 person

      September 22, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Destination: First Visit (read a début novel)
      (Read September 17, 2015)

      This book tells the reader what probably actually happened during World War II, when Stalin invaded Lithuania, and forced Lithuanians to work in labour camps. Many died, and many others fell gravely ill, just barely surviving. Mothers died in the arms of their children, babies died in their mother’s arms, and some children were orphaned, at a very early age, with no family to go to, even when they were in pain. Thankfully most people were kind to those children, but there were those who would discourage everyone trying to make the kids just as miserable as themselves. I loved how this book showed the view of someone inside the labour camp. I also thought that it was really good that the author actually went into one of the labour camps to see what it was like there. That allowed her to describe the life in labour camps more accurately.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 22, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Destination: Adventure Travel
      (Read September 14, 2015)

      This book is really interesting, because the author uses lots of foreshadowing in it. Also, I love how the book shows the protagonist’s view of what happened to him. He feels really confused, which makes the reader feel almost just as confused. I loved the original moment of not knowing what was happening to the protagonist.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 23, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Pinocchio Vampire Slayer and the Great Puppet Theater by Van Jensen
      ★★★★½
      Destination: Off the Beaten Track
      (Read September 16, 2015)

      This book had a very captivating plot. I loved how it was based on a well known book, but it twisted the plot, to make Pinocchio a vampire slayer. This comic book has some of the things based on common belief, such as wooden stake being the only weapon that can destroy a vampire. I would definitely recommend it to everyone and anyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 23, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      The Lake by Ray Bradbury
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Destination: Lake Vacation
      (Read September 22, 2015)

      This short story by Ray Bradbury really captivated me. The end was very interesting, because it was as though the protagonist’s dead friend as coming back every night making half of the sand castle, so that the protagonist can finish it. The ending, in my opinion, was very unexpected because all of a sudden it was as if the main character fell into trance.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 23, 2015
  30. Jen, is there a link to today’s update? I don’t see a link from here or from the facebook page. (Maybe I’m just not seeing it.) Thanks so much!

    Like

    August 30, 2015
    • That is, a link to… I think it’s update #5. Aug. 30th. Thanks!

      Like

      August 30, 2015
      • It should the the top story on the blog. Update #6

        Like

        August 30, 2015
      • And it’s the top story on the Facebook page. From here just go to the home page on blog and click the title.

        Like

        August 30, 2015
      • Ok, I just found it on facebook, after all. Not sure why it didn’t come up when I first looked. Thank you!

        Like

        August 30, 2015
  31. Charisma #

    Destination: Award Ceremony (book that has won an award): Blindness by José Saramago
    Destination: Budapest
    Destination: Camping
    Destination: Middle East
    Destination: Russia: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    Destination: Wild West
    Destination: Repeat Visit (book by author you’ve read already)
    Destination: Zimbabwe
    Destination: Norway
    Destination: Japan
    Destination: Ancient Civilization
    Destination: Vietnam
    Destination: World Heritage Site
    Destination: Traveling with Kids
    Destination: India
    Destination: Las Vegas
    Destination: Foodie’s Paradise (culinary trip)
    Destination: The Bermuda Triangle
    Destination: France
    Destination: Alternate World/Universe
    Destination: California
    Destination: Ski Vacation
    Destination: Volunteer for Your Holiday
    Destination: Chile
    Destination: Alaska
    Destination: South Africa
    Destination: Venice, Italy
    Destination: New Zealand
    Destination: Museum Tour
    Destination: China

    Tour Group Destination: Ghost of Chance by William S. Burroughs

    Liked by 1 person

    September 9, 2015
    • Charisma #

      Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
      ★★★★
      Destination: Russia
      (Read September 2, 2015)

      I have mixed filings about reading Anna Karenina. First off, who doesn’t know the story, or the gist of it, right? The girl, the train, and the suicide. Well, almost all throughout the book I couldn’t wait till I get to read about it. Fortunately for me, there was much more to the story than a girl jumping in front of the train, ending her life for whatever reason. The story is about the Russian society at the time, it’s about girls married to the men they didn’t learn to love. It is about the men, who didn’t learn how to show their love to their wifes, or how to care for them. It is about the city folk vs. the country folk. It is about the acceptance of imperfection of men, and dismissal of anything out of ordinary a woman might want or do.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 22, 2015
    • Charisma #

      Ghost of Chance by William S. Burroughs
      ★★★
      Tour Group: Madagascar
      (Read September 13, 2015)

      I don’t even know what to think about The Ghost of Chance. Very confusing, extremely hard to follow, and very short. I did enjoy some parts, and some descriptions, but I fail to understand the book as a whole. I don’t know if it’s worth anything really as I think I might have missed a hidden message. Overall it is an easy read, if you’re not trying to find a deeper meaning.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 22, 2015
    • Charisma #

      Blindness by José Saramago
      ★★
      Destination: Award Ceremony (book that has won an award)
      Nobel Prize in Literature (1998)
      (Read September 15, 2015)

      Blindness was an interesting book. Picking it I didn’t know what to expect, and the story sounded good enough for me to try it for the challenge. What I didn’t expect was the voice of the writer being a bit ‘too smart’ for my taste. I also didn’t expect the story to turn gross and ugly. The first one third of the book I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the new ‘viral’ blindness, and how people and government were dealing with it. (Most of it I can see happening exactly as described in real life, and because of that it is scary.) Later on, I just didn’t care for the story all that much. I wanted it to end, and be done with it. It is hard to believe that it took me about 3 months to finish it on audio. Overall, I didn’t like the book, the story, and I wouldn’t recommend it.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 22, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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