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Winter Scavenger Hunt

scavenger hunt

Welcome to our winter 2015-2016 challenge! The challenge will run from December 1 through to End of year 2016. The first phase of our challenge is over but there is still time for the more laid back version (to complete items by Dec 31). You can join in at any time and can read as many or as few books as you choose. To play, simply check in frequently and pick items you want to do for the scavenger hunt. Some items will require that you post photo proof. Below you can find the detailed instructions:

This challenge is a little more complicated than our previous challenges. Since you can’t post photo comments on this blog, you will need to occasionally post photos elsewhere and link back to it. This means you will need to update/post in two locations: this page and either the Wikia page, Twitter, or Facebook with your photo evidence. Pick the option that is easiest for you.

How to play:
1. Create a comment thread for yourself on this page where you will keep track of your own score and update your progress. You can simply start a comment title “xx’s Scavenger Hunt tally” and then as you progress through the challenge you can update your own score by replying to your own initial comment. I have added a comment for myself so you can get a sense of what I mean.
2. Check out (and bookmark) our Wikia page. You can use this page to post your photo proof OR if you are on twitter, you can post your photo proof under the hashtag #rrscavengerhunt OR if you prefer Facebook, you can post your evidence on our Facebook page.
3. Daily clues/items will be posted on this page (twitter and the Wikia page).
4. Pick where you want to start, search for the perfect book to fit that item/clue, and start reading. You must read a book for each item to cross that number off your list.
5. When you complete the book: post the book title, corresponding item number, star rating, 1-3 sentence review, and current tally (e.g., x/31 completed) on this page along with a link to any required photo proof that you posted on either our wikipage, Facebook, or twitter.
6. 31 items will be posted with last update December 31st. You will have until December 31, 2016 to complete as many of the items as you wish.
7. Prizes will be announced at the end of the challenge. Prizes will be awarded to the person who reads the most books and to one randomly selected winner. Certain items/clues also contain hidden prizes for the person who picks the best book for that item. So, choose wisely!

WIKIA PAGE: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/The_Readers_Room_Wikia. How does this work? It’s a Wiki page where you can edit and post photos and discussions. If you head to the main page (by clicking on the link) all you need to do is find the corresponding day for your item and click on the link for that day. That will bring you to the item specific page and there you can post a comment with your evidence. The site will let you post photo comments or text comments. 

Are you ready to start your scavenger hunt? Sign up in the comment section by posting a comment for your individual thread.Scavenger Hunt items (click on the links to take you to Wikia page for more details on each item):

Dec 1: Read a book by an author who shares a birthday with you. No photo proof required but let us know who you pick.
Dec 2: A book that is listed at #4 on a list (goodreads, 1001, bestseller, blogger list etc.) You must provide link to your list.
Dec 3: A book by an author who has interacted with you on social media or by mail. More details here. Photo proof required.
Dec 4: A book featuring water (sea, lake, pond, etc.) on the cover. Photo proof of cover required.
Dec 5: A book with a beautiful cover. Photo proof required. More details (that you should read) about this item  here.
Dec 6: A book with a number in the title.
Dec 7: A book by an author from a country we have featured in one of our Around the World posts.
Dec 8: A literary excursion. Read about it here.
Dec 9: A book with symbols or shapes on the cover
Dec 10: Find this symbol on one of our blog posts: 💜. Read a book by that author. Already read them all? Do a search for authors similar to X and read book by that author. Read full instructions here.
Dec 11: A book with a purple cover. Over 50% of the cover must be purple not just splash of color. Photo proof of cover required.
Dec 12: Library excursion. This task requires courage and openness to possibly read outside your comfort zone. Photo proof required. Read what you have to do here.
Dec 13: A book with animals on the cover. Photo Proof required.
Dec 14: A book with a terrible/ugly cover. Photo proof required. Read full instructions here.
Dec 15: A book with exactly 324 pages.  Photo proof required of last page that shows page number.
Dec 16: A book signed by the author. Photo proof of signature page required.
Dec 17: A book that was read by another participant for one of our challenges (this challenge included). Check out the comments section of each challenge in challenge menu to find the books.
Dec 18: A self-published or Indie published book
Dec 19: Little free library excursion. Photo proof required.
Dec 20: An Illustrated book. Photo proof required of an illustrated page. Some restrictions so read instructions here.
Dec 21: A book with no images on the cover. Photo proof required.
Dec 22: A book with main character who either shares your initials or your first name. No photo proof required.
Dec 23: Judge a book by its cover part 3. A funny cover. Photo proof of cover is required.
Dec 24: Support your local indie bookstore. Instructions here. Photo proof required.
Dec 25: Our version of a gift exchange. Read the instructions here. No photo proof required.
Dec 26: A book with fruit on the cover. Photo proof of cover required.
Dec 27: A book that has a map inside. Photo proof required of map page.
Dec 28: A book reviewed on blog that BW and I have given different ratings. No photo proof required. Must add a comment to the post stating with reviewer you agree with!
Dec 29: The sky at night. A book with stars or moon on cover. Photo proof of cover is required.
Dec 30: Art on the cover. Read full instructions here. Photo proof of cover is required.
Dec 31: Book published during one of the challenge months (dec 2015 – March 2016).

477 Comments Post a comment
  1. EXAMPLE:

    Jen’s Scavenger Hunt Thread

    Liked by 1 person

    November 14, 2015
  2. MaryAnn #

    Emily’s Scavenger Hunt items & Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    November 15, 2015
    • Dec. 1, 2015 I share my birthday with Emily Bronte. I hope to read
      Wuthering Heights.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 1, 2015
    • My book will come from this list
      https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/10862.Regency_and_Victorian_Mysteries#188230

      #4 is Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

      Liked by 1 person

      December 2, 2015
      • Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters 4****

        I enjoyed this first book of the Amelia Peabody series.
        I have read this twice, first time several years back. I
        liked it a lot more this time.

        It is a historical fiction as well as a historical mystery.
        It takes place in the later part of the 19th century
        The action takes place in Egypt and revolves around
        archaeology of the Royal tombs area.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 6, 2016
    • The point of this item is to encourage you to reach out to an author but you also can decide to skip the items you don’t want to do

      Like

      December 6, 2015
    • Dec 25th:

      I would like to recommend All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.
      James Herriot was a early 20th century English vet. This book was the first of 4 books that
      he wrote based on his real-life adventures as a “traveling” vet. He was/is one of my very favorite authors because of his gentle way with animals, his storytelling ability, and his warm, personal tone. You can read them out of order, but I didn’t. They were all great books, never a disappointment.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 3, 2016
      • I’m going to move this recommendation to the wikis page so that everyone can see it. That’s where it’ll find all the other recommendations. To find it just click the link on the date on this phe

        Like

        January 3, 2016
      • actually, I saw you posted over there too. Thanks!

        Like

        January 3, 2016
    • Dec. 31

      I have chosen to read An Evil Mind by Chris Carter, which was released Dec 1, 2015.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 3, 2016
    • # 25 An Unnecessary Woman for my Christmas gift 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      January 11, 2016
  3. No worries. We are posting it early because it will take everyone a while to figure it out. This way we have a couple weeks to play around with what works. It would help if the system allowed people to edit their own comments but alas it does not

    Like

    November 16, 2015
  4. Nicole R #

    Nicole R’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    November 17, 2015
  5. Jan’s Scavenger Hunt items and tally

    Liked by 1 person

    November 17, 2015
    • I saw that a couple of people said they’d picked their first book and I wondered how they knew what to choose! Now I see… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      November 18, 2015
    • My book for Day 2 will be Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane and is on this list http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/dec/02/top-10-novels-about-unfaithful-wives-chatterley-tolstoy-karenina

      Liked by 1 person

      December 3, 2015
    • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (Item 1)
      3 stars
      High octane. A story about theories of religion, linguistics and evolution that is plausible, not half baked. Engaging and entertaining and ahead of its time.
      (1/31)

      I’ve posted a picture at http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/December_1:_Item_1

      Liked by 1 person

      December 3, 2015
    • Rain Song by Alice J Wisler (Item 4)
      2 stars
      This was a gentle tale but reasonably engaging. The story was interesting enough for me to read the book to the end, but I was able to skim read large sections of prose that didn’t go anywhere or really add anything without feeling I’d missed anything significant. It reminded me of the gentle romances I used to read in my Great Aunt’s copies of People’s Friend and Women’s Weekly as a child in the 1970s.
      (2/31)

      Cover image posted here http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_4:_Item_4

      Liked by 1 person

      December 7, 2015
    • Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane (item 2)
      5 stars
      A beautiful exploration of the position of women in 19th century Prussian society. The main characters are sympathetically drawn, human, realistic. The story is a sad one, but not without humour and joy as well.
      (3/31)

      #4 on this list http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/dec/02/top-10-novels-about-unfaithful-wives-chatterley-tolstoy-karenina

      Liked by 1 person

      December 12, 2015
    • The Edge of the Sky by Roberto Trotta (item 11)
      3 stars
      The premise of The Edge of the Sky is that complex ideas can be explained using only the 1000 most used words in English. I struggled with some of the more laboured metaphors. Overall I liked the idea behind the book and enjoyed a lot of how the tale was told, but it didn’t always work for me.
      (4/31)

      Proof of the purpleness of the cover is here http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_11:_Item_11

      Like

      December 12, 2015
    • Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha Who Seduced The West by Lesley Downer (item 3)
      4 stars
      This is a really engaging book, full of warmth for its subject. It is also very revealing on Japan’s social history. If the author had included some of the photos she described in such detail, I’d have given it 5 stars!
      (5/31)

      Proof of author interaction here: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_3rd:_Item_3

      Liked by 1 person

      December 17, 2015
    • The Transformation of England: Essays in the economic and social history of England in the eighteenth century by Peter Mathias (item 15)
      4 stars
      I love serendipity – I only chose to read this book because of its page count, and it turned out to have two essays on the relationship between scientific discovery and technological advance, which happens to be what we’re developing as the main narrative for our new galleries at work. I read the author’s First Industrial Nation for my first degree – he writes engagingly and knows his stuff, and despite being 36 years old, this collection of essays still feels fresh and relevant. As well as being handy for work, I also learnt some things about Samuel Johnson that I didn’t expect to discover.
      (6/31)

      Proof of page count here: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_15:_Item_15

      Liked by 1 person

      December 21, 2015
    • I’ve read two very slim volumes for item 21, each one less than 60 pages. It didn’t feel right only reading one, so I’m counting them both as a single entry.

      A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees by Yoshida Kenkō’s (item 21a)
      4 stars
      Although only short, this volume of Yoshida Kenkō’s random jottings of idle thoughts is thought-provoking and entertaining. Some of the stories made me laugh out loud at the simple explanations behind supposedly profound acts or seemingly wise words that caused a sagacious man to wax lyrical on their meaning. The passages that reflect on the transitory nature of life and the need to enjoy it without wasting time on the pursuit of meaningless fame or wealth are beautiful in their poetry.
      (6.5/31)

      The Life of a Stupid Man by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (item 21b)
      3 stars
      Three of the stories from Rashōmon and Seventeen Other Stories. A good cross section of Akutagawa’s style, and a decent introduction to him for those who haven’t read him yet.
      (7/31)

      Proof of their picture less, text based covers here: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_21:_Item_21

      Like

      December 21, 2015
    • The Known and Unknown Sea by Alan Bilton (item 18)
      3.5 stars
      The Known and Unknown Sea was unsettling and made me feel sad, but I’m glad that I read it. It’s the memoir of a man who can only recall events as he experienced them as a child. It is surreal, nightmarish, darkly funny and poignant.
      (8/31)

      It is published by the Cillian Press http://www.cillianpress.co.uk

      Liked by 1 person

      December 23, 2015
    • Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (item 17)
      4 stars
      This was a gripping short story about the mysterious Carmilla who appears in the lives of Laura and her father and becomes a compelling and almost irresistible force. Full of supernatural suspense, Le Fanu reveals the horrible truth slowly through this tale of ancient horror.
      (9/31)

      Tanya read it first for the Tales From The Crypt challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 24, 2015
    • Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (item 14)
      2 stars
      Don’t bother with Herland unless you’re carrying out a study of feminist literature over the past 100 years. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s treatise for a feminist utopia will add nothing to your mental well-being but will rob you of around 90 minutes of your life. The bizarreness of the cover reflects its contents.
      (10/31)

      Evidence of its ugly/bad/bizarre cover here: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_14:_Item_14

      My full review here: http://www.librarything.com/work/5306/reviews/124455264

      Liked by 1 person

      December 26, 2015
      • Tracy S #

        Oh, my… Ab workout done for the day from laughing so hard!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 27, 2015
    • The Milkman in the Night by Andrey Kurkov (item 9)
      4 stars
      Ukraine after the Orange Revolution, where corruption is the default position and selective naivety a way to survive. Three families, a politician and a mysterious group of pharmacists are connected through a bizarre breast milk supply chain and the theft of a case full of drug ampoules that have an unusual effect on a fluffy grey cat. Andrey Kurkov is on fine form in this comedic thriller.
      (11/31)

      The cover is a representation of a cat made up from shapes (triangle, circles, lines, a kidney shape): http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_9:_Item_9

      Liked by 1 person

      December 29, 2015
    • Fatherland by Robert Harris (item 27)
      3.5 stars
      I wasn’t sure at first, Harris seemed too accepting of the Nazi régime carrying on, and it seemed nothing more than a police procedural set in an imagined world where the Third Reich was a superpower. Halfway through things changed for the better, the story came to life and the jeopardy became more believable. Imagine you had become an adult under that régime, had begun to question its purity, and then you discovered its most terrible secret. Harris made good use of historical fact to imagine a different end game well.
      (12/31)

      Photos of maps are here: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_27:_Item_27

      Liked by 1 person

      December 31, 2015
    • Hiroshige: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo by Melanie Trede (item 5)
      5 stars
      This is a stunning book. From the beautiful binding and choice of paper to the accessible and informative commentary for each of the 119 woodblock prints, I was spellbound. As well as learning about the processes involved in Japanese woodblock printing, I’ve learned a lot about Japanese social history in the 19th century.
      (13/31)

      Evidence of how beautiful the book cover is here: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_5th:_Item_5

      Like

      December 31, 2015
    • Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith (item 16)
      3 stars
      The blurb on this seemed promising and I was looking forward to it. Sadly, it was underwhelming. I know it was Michael Marshall Smith’s first novel, so I gave it an extra half star in my rating, but it was a 50-50 read for me. It seemed confused, there were moments Marshall Smith seemed to be losing interest in the story which outweighed the good ideas and the bursts of tension, and the ending was a bit of a virtual shoulder shrug. The supernatural quirky elements are done better in the Discworld novels. The horror is done better by Glen Duncan. If Marshall Smith had stuck with futuristic noir, it might have worked right across the piece.
      (14/31)

      Evidence of the author’s autograph here http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_16:_Item_16

      Liked by 1 person

      January 2, 2016
    • The Family From One End Street by Eve Garnett (item 20)
      5 stars
      I read this book many times as a child, borrowing it repeatedly from the local library. I was happy to re-read it and discover my golden memories were true. The Ruggles family live a happy hectic life, and the stories are a window onto working class lives in the early 20th century based on the things Eve Garnett saw when developing illustrations for a book on children in London.
      (15/31)

      Proof of illustrated nature here http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_20:_Item_20

      Liked by 1 person

      January 3, 2016
    • Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (item 6)
      4 stars
      Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a book that contains lots of things I love: a second hand book shop; a bunch of geeks excited by model making, computer coding and fantasy novels; a mysterious secret society; a quest to break a secret code; the history of printing and typography; and museums. Robin Sloan has created a parallel universe with enough that’s the same as our here and now to make it believable, mixed up with flights of fancy that made me laugh at the same time as I wished they were real. I work in a museum and, as far fetched and unattainable as it is, I wish there was a global database where we all document our collections and can check what’s out there already. Sloan’s naivety made me laugh on that one! I loved the sense of urgency in the quest, and I loved its conclusion. Most of all, I loved the characters. I want Clay Jannon’s life.
      (16/31)

      Liked by 1 person

      January 5, 2016
      • This one fell short for me. Everyone seemed to love it. I liked it but I didn’t love it. Although I may have given it 3.5 stars. I did love the premise though

        Like

        January 5, 2016
      • I know, I remember the slight sinking feeling I had when I read your review, having already bought it on someone else’s recommendation! There was something about its cheeriness that grabbed me. Some of it was preposterous, but entertainingly so!

        Liked by 1 person

        January 5, 2016
      • Well I am glad you liked it! I do agree that it was entertaining.

        Like

        January 5, 2016
      • also as FYI: For winter challenge – please wait until end of day today for your official pick (for item 25). Some people having posted their recommendations and they still have today. Tomorrow is the official start date for when you make your selection. I also posted a note over on the Wikia page for you. thanks!

        Like

        January 6, 2016
      • Sorry! That’s me losing track of my days. I was convinced last night that it was Wednesday and for most of today that it was Thursday. Wishful thinking! Can you delete my comment for me on the Wikia page? I can’t seem to do it, only edit.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 6, 2016
      • I wouldn’t worry about it. I can’t access it from work but I don’t think most people will see it. Chances are that will still be the one you pick so we can just leave it unless you change your mind with a new entry.

        Like

        January 6, 2016
    • Uncle Janice by Matt Burgess (item 22)
      4 stars
      I was expecting a guns’n’glory police procedural set on the mean streets of Queens all wise-cracking action peopled with cops with hearts of gold. Instead I got a portrait of a young woman trying to make sense of her life and was transported to the world of Janice Itwaru. Matt Burgess portrays life in Queens with an affectionate honesty, and describes his characters with a quiet skill. I found the book very revealing about the subtle discrimination that is accepted as matter of fact by everyone in the 115 Narcotics team who is subject to it. It was also an unglamorous portrayal of life as an undercover officer, and riveting as a result. Alongside the grind of her working life, we’re given an insight into Janice’s personal life. I wanted to be her friend, make her a cup of tea, sit her down and work out how we could make things better. I think she needed a friend.
      (17/31)

      I chose to read this book because the main character shares my first name.

      Like

      January 8, 2016
    • Revenge by Yoko Ogawa (item 26)
      3.5 stars
      A collection of short stories from the author of Hotel Iris and The Housekeeper and the Professor. Each story stands on its own, but is also linked to one or more of the others, whether by a place, a person or, in one instance, the pages of the book it appears in. There is an uncomfortable undercurrent to some of the stories, akin to that in Hotel Iris. Ogawa’s skill with language makes each one seem gentle, almost harmless, so that the horror revealed so calmly feels more unsettling. I found the linking of the stories made me wish it was a novel. It would have been more satisfying that way. A three course meal instead of a buffet.
      (18/31)

      Photo proof of fruit on the cover (fruit is a recurring theme in the book): http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_26:_Item_26

      Liked by 1 person

      January 9, 2016
    • How to Make Money in your Spare Time by 637126 [J M R Rice] (item 23)
      2.5 stars
      More of a pamphlet than a book, this is a humorous look at different illegal ways to make money. Its premise is that the 1% and governments use shady dealings to make money, so why shouldn’t the remaining 99%? There are some nice lines and snarky humour, and some of its content will come in handy when reading crime novels. I understand more about money laundering now. Poker is still a mystery to me, though.
      (19/31)

      Evidence of funny cover: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_23:_Item_23

      Like

      January 9, 2016
    • The Silent Cry by Kenzaburo Ōe (item 7)
      5 stars
      This is an incredible book. I completely understand why Kenzaburo Ōe was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1994 and why this book was cited as a standout among his works. It isn’t a cheerful read but it’s definitely worthwhile. I found it claustrophobic at times, stuck in a snow-bound village with protagonists trying to make sense of themselves and their relationships to each other and the past. It made clear to me how much social upheaval the Japanese people experienced in less than 100 years from Meiji Restoration to US occupation and how people struggled to assimilate that upheaval. Shame and defiance are twin themes in the book, something that still rings through Japanese society today.
      (20/31)

      Liked by 1 person

      January 13, 2016
    • After the Funeral by Agatha Christie (item 8)
      3 stars
      This was a good, solid Poirot mystery, made more interesting because it was written at a mansion local to where I live and included a reference to a food supplement that we hold the archive for at the museum I work at. There were plenty of blind alleys and potential suspects. As usual, I pegged the wrong person, but I picked up on the significant clues. It was a little disappointing that Poirot didn’t make an appearance until a quarter of the way through the book and seemed more subdued than usual. I love Poirot as a character. I suppose Christie was writing him as a man whose fame was on the wane and who was technically in retirement. I missed the foil of Captain Hastings, as well. All in all though an entertaining read.
      (21/31)

      Photo proof that I visited Abney Hall, where the book was written and which Enderby Hall stands for in the book, here: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_8:_Item_8

      Liked by 1 person

      January 15, 2016
    • The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna (item 13)
      4 stars
      I want everyone to read this book. It’s a quietly told tale, but it twisted my gut more than once, opening my eyes to the experience of people during and after a war that happened on the periphery of my existence, that I remember being horrified and perplexed by at the time, but that I had tidied away presuming everything was okay now, 25 years down the line. According to this book, it is only okay in the sense that the survivors don’t talk about what happened, they simply get on with life in its current incarnation.
      (22/31)

      Photo proof of animals on the cover here: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_13:_Item_13

      Liked by 1 person

      January 16, 2016
    • The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (item 25)
      4 stars
      I’m so glad Charisma recommended this book for the gift exchange. I loved it! Of course, it’s Hardy, so it isn’t without a dose of tragedy, but the tragedy in this book is of the sufferers’ own making, and somehow it paves the way for some restorative joy. There is tension, there is boredom, there is silliness, there is sorrow. It is a book about life.
      (23/31)

      Like

      January 21, 2016
    • Blue Bamboo: Tales by Dazai Osamu (item 30)
      4 stars
      This collection of short stories was my first encounter with Dazai Osamu. The stories have a dark undercurrent, and a black humour sits across them. I laughed out loud a few times. Dazai has an interesting writing style and a wry turn of phrase, highlighting the ridiculous in a situation. The stories are self-referential, with characters reappearing and meeting each other across different tales, and focus on the frustrations of life in rule-bound Japanese society. While I didn’t enjoy everything in the book, I definitely appreciated the style, and I’ll try out one of his novels as a result.
      (24/31)

      Proof of the work of art ‘Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Under the Moon’ by Hara Zaichū used as the cover illustration on Wikia: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_30:_Item_30

      Like

      January 24, 2016
    • Journey Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino (item 29)
      4 stars
      This almost got 5 stars, I was so impressed by it by the end. In Journey Under the Midnight Sun, Higashino has used a very different style to that in his Detective Galileo series, something unlike anything else I’ve read within the crime genre. It took a while to get going, though. Things start to pick up once past events have been documented and the story becomes current. There is a building sense of menace, which works well. Around the midway point, enough has happened to send up a flag whenever someone new is introduced who might annoy one or other of the central characters. Nothing is spelled out, nothing can be proved, but bad things keep happening. What can’t be proved also can’t be explained – the reader is left with suspicions about who is doing what, but lacking any idea about motive. I liked that about the book very much. Two thirds of the way through, the mystery begins to be resolved. The story takes a very dark turn towards the end, which I found upsetting. By the end of the book, I was completely gripped, and wanting to tell characters to be careful, or to look more closely at what was going on.
      (25/31)

      Cover proof on Wikia: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_29:_Item_29

      Liked by 1 person

      January 30, 2016
    • The Island by Victoria Hislop (item 12)
      3.5 stars
      This was a surprise, chosen at random as it was from my local library. The book is well-researched, and the back history of the Cretan leper colony alongside the history of the German occupation of Greece during the Second World War lifts it above the average beach read. There is plenty of romance and family saga about it, but it had the feel of a more serious book, similar to Louis de Berniere’s books set on Kefalonia. Hislop writes well, and the story flowed beautifully for the most part. There are a couple of passages where the action could move on more quickly and, towards the end, passages where she could have reigned in the speed of her writing and made it more than mere exposition, but over all I was very impressed and will read more of her books.
      (26/31)

      Photo proof on Wikia: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_12:_Item_12

      Like

      January 31, 2016
    • The Blind Owl by Sedagh Hedayat (item 28)
      4 stars
      Bookworm and Jen jointly reviewed this book on 30 October (https://thereadersroom.org/2015/10/30/1001-book-review-the-blind-owl-sadegh-hedayat/).
      After various things that I’d read about it online, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it, but I did. It reminded me of the passages in Crime and Punishment where we experience Raskolnikov’s delirium. The repetition and nightmarish quality also made me think of Kafka. The narrator is unreliable. From the start he tells us that he is an opium addict and an alcoholic. The story he tells is disjointed, jumbled, part hallucination, and it’s never clear whether any of it is true, because we never hear from anyone else. As a testimony of someone who is severely mentally ill, it is compelling. The narrator is imprisoned inside his own mind, and in the story he tells this is represented by the room in which he is quarantined during an illness that seems to start when his adoptive mother dies.
      (27/31)

      I’ve done a full review on LT: http://www.librarything.com/work/94004/reviews/125209203

      You can read who out of Bookworm & Jen I agreed with on the Wiki: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_28:_Item_28

      Liked by 1 person

      February 8, 2016
      • Well I’m glad you liked it even if we disagree 🙂

        Like

        February 8, 2016
      • It’s funny because I loved Crime and Punishment and I also love Kafka.

        Like

        February 8, 2016
      • I wonder if it is a translation thing, Jen. As well as your joint review, I’ve read a whole lot of other articles about and reviews of the book, and I was expecting it to be really nightmarish. I was scared it was going to mess with my mind! The Naveed Noori translation seems quite mild in comparison to what I was expecting, and what other reviewers have described. Not mild at all, of course, but not the visceral, brutal spiral of despair that I thought it was going to be!

        Liked by 1 person

        February 8, 2016
    • The Noise of Time: A Novel by Julian Barnes (item 31)
      4 stars
      With The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes has created a wonderful thing. This is a wry novel, a fictionalised account of Shostakovich’s inner thoughts as he travels through the compromised life of a famous Soviet citizen. It is grounded in fact, but shouldn’t be mistaken for a biography. It is an allegory for life under any kind of regime that requires sacrifice and compromise of anyone who wants to survive it, whether an oppressive political system, an allegedly democratic system that gives power to the wealthiest, or a bureaucratic workplace with a built-in career structure. For all its page count slightness, it is a dense read, one that forced me to read slowly in order to absorb everything it was telling me.
      It was published in the UK on 28 January.
      (28/31)

      Liked by 1 person

      February 13, 2016
      • Wow, and you are almost done!

        Like

        February 13, 2016
      • I know! It has properly engaged with my completer-finisher personality, this challenge, ha ha! I have two tricky ones and the secret book left. I’m starting the secret book today, because the weather hasn’t been favourable for my Little Free Library trip so far, and time has been against me for visiting my local indie bookshop when it is open and I’m not doing something else.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 13, 2016
    • XXX by XXXX (item 10)
      4 stars
      I read a beautiful coming of age novel by the secret author. The author captured how it felt to be a young teen during the decade the novel takes place in. The language used in the book rolls around itself in a way that shows the author’s love of language. Even the mundane is described beautifully. The way the words move against each other takes you to the moment, person, place the author describes very effectively. I really enjoyed it.
      (29/31)

      Liked by 1 person

      February 21, 2016
      • I’m very impressed by the fact that you are almost done! Looking good for the March prize 🙂 — most items completed by end of March!

        Like

        February 21, 2016
      • Ah, I think others will catch me by the end of March!

        Like

        February 21, 2016
      • I think you are very far ahead but we shall see

        Like

        February 21, 2016
    • Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (item 19)
      4 stars
      I love Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing, and Cranford is a beautiful hug of a book. It is warm and loving, but it doesn’t smother with sentimentality.
      (30/31)

      I picked this book up at the Chelford Little Free Library, which is close to Knutsford, the inspiration for Cranford. Photo proof on wikia http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_19:_Item_19

      Liked by 1 person

      March 12, 2016
      • One away and you will win the first prize! I am very impressed!

        Like

        March 12, 2016
      • I just need my life to coincide with the opening hours of our local independent book shop! I’ve loved this challenge.

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • I’m so glad. It was a lot of fun to watch everyone find the books!

        Like

        March 12, 2016
    • The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (item 24)
      4 stars
      I was recommended this book by the owner of one of my local independent bookshops. I’d had enough of the heavy stuff, so I asked her to recommend something light. I gave her a few pointers about what kind of fiction I like, and she came up with Jessie Burton’s debut novel. I don’t know about it being light! There are some serious topics in there. It was definitely a page turner, though. It took me less than 24 hours to devour it.
      (31/31)

      Photo proof: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_24:_Item_24

      Full review: https://thinkaboutreading.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/the-miniaturist/

      Liked by 1 person

      March 27, 2016
      • Charisma #

        CONGRATULATIONS on finishing the challenge! You’re so super fast and so good, I’m really a fan of yours 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        March 30, 2016
      • Oh, thank you Charisma! This challenge really caught my imagination and I’ve read so many things that I probably wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. I’m a fan of you and Maxibob, too.

        Like

        March 30, 2016
      • Charisma #

        Oh, thanks! He’s had a rough time with the challenge: he doesn’t really have access to internet on a regular basis, so I had to do the research and give him options, or just ask him to look in the library, which is not what he likes doing 🙂

        What is really uncommon: I’ve read almost as much as he did. I just have to put all my reviews in place and hopefully finish another book or two in the process.

        Like

        March 30, 2016
      • He’s read some interesting books. I’m definitely going to read Ready Player One, now. I really appreciate the frankness of his reviews, too. Looking forward to catching up on your reviews.

        Like

        March 30, 2016
      • Charisma #

        I absolutely loved Ready Player One. Apparently, this is currently the book read by all ‘self-reading’ people in our family, and this is fantastic. Unfortunately Maxim’s dad didn’t share our enthusiasm about it, but… whatever! 😉 We loved it!

        Liked by 1 person

        April 1, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Congrats on finishing!!! I was just 3 shy, but ran out of steam! I loved that this one had actual things that we had to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 1, 2016
      • I really thought you would beat me! It was so much fun, wasn’t it? I loved seeing everyone else’s reading choices, as well.

        Like

        April 1, 2016
      • Stay tuned. I will be posting an update later today with first prize announcement!

        Like

        April 1, 2016
  6. Chili #

    Chili’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    November 17, 2015
    • Chili #

      Item 1 (1/31) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. The author and I share a birthday, September 6 and a birth place, Mpls MN. This book was not for me. It was a struggle to get through. I wish there had been more father-son interaction and less lecturing on Quality.
      👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      December 7, 2015
      • Chili #

        Item#2 (2/31) American Rust by Phillip Meyer #4 on 1001 book list from blog. My phone won’t let me copy the link. 👍👍👍 This book is set in the dying steel town of Buell. Poe and Isaac get caught up in the murder if a homeless man, Poe goes to jail while Isaac leaves town. I found this book very depressing, it hits a little close to home because the iron ore mines where I live are idling and hundreds of people have been laid off. Will our town die like Buell?

        Liked by 2 people

        December 21, 2015
      • Chili #

        Item 7 (8/31) A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
        👍👍👍👍👍
        This was such an amazing story, I loved it. I was so drawn into it, I swear I could smell the jasmin. It had everything. A love story, religious conflict, caste struggle and tragedy set against the backdrop of political growing pains of a new government. It all fit together perfectly.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 23, 2016
      • I loved it too!

        Like

        January 23, 2016
      • A Suitable Boy has been on my wish list for 23 years! I’m always daunted by its size. I read An Equal Music about 15 years ago, which was okay. I don’t remember much of the story, other than the main guy was from a town near where I grew up and the woman he was obsessed with was deaf, which led to a Beethoven analogy (I think!). I don’t think An Equal Music helped in persuading me to pick up A Suitable Boy. Now that I’ve read War & Peace, though, and realised 1300+ page novels aren’t insurmountable if the story’s good enough, I might give this a crack next year. Especially with Chili’s jasmine-scented recommendation now swaying me!

        Like

        January 23, 2016
      • you should join our 1001 book group (unfortunately at goodreads now that shelfari is shutting down). We read 4 seasonal reads and 1 annual read each year. It helps me get through the longer books. BW and I read Suitable Boy for one of the seasonal reads

        Like

        January 23, 2016
      • Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll take a look. The Winter Challenge has forced me to acknowledge the depth of my TBR and there are 11 from the 1001 list.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 23, 2016
      • I just added a welcome thread in the general group folder. Introduce yourself and take a look around. It’s a fun and active group. We just set up there so still making a few changes.

        Like

        January 23, 2016
    • Chili #

      Item 17 (3/31) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens read by Andrea for the Halloween Challenge.
      👍👍👍👍👍
      I’m ashamed to admit that thus is the first Dickens I’ve read. Boy, have I been missing out. This book was better than any film/tv adaptation I’ve seen. I loved it. I definitely want to read more if his books.

      Liked by 3 people

      December 26, 2015
      • You’re going to have a wonderful time with Dickens. I’m excited for you, Chili!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 26, 2015
    • Chili #

      Item 4 (4/31) The Deep by Nick Cutter
      👍👍
      This was well written for a horror book, but not at all scary. It was just too fantastically to give me the creeps. I live a good ghost story but the plot of this book is so unbelievable it’s almost laughable.
      pic on twitter

      Liked by 1 person

      December 29, 2015
    • Chili #

      Item 15 (5/31) The Depraved by Bryan Smith
      👍
      The title says it all. The only good thing I can say about this book is it has 324 pages. It is a horrible book. Cannibalism, torture, rape, it’s gruesome. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.
      pic on twitter

      Like

      December 29, 2015
      • well that sounds awful

        Like

        December 29, 2015
      • Sounds like a book the 1001 selectors have missed let’s keep it that way!!

        Like

        December 30, 2015
    • Chili #

      Item 27 (6/31) The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
      👍👍👍👍
      This book is day 2 of Kvothe telling his story to the Chronicler. Kvothe leaves the University for a break due to his ongoing bickering with another student. He makes his way to Vintas, and into the Service of the Maer. Much mayhem and adventure ensue. I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of fantasy.
      pic on twitter

      Liked by 1 person

      January 9, 2016
    • Chili #

      Item 20 (7/31) Bleak House by Charles Dickens
      👍👍👍👍👍
      I loved this book! I love Dickens’ cast of eccentric characters. Mr. Skimpole, Grandfather Smallweed, Miss Flite and Mr. Bucket. I love them all. The story at times was sad, funny and happy. Esther as a character was at times a little annoying but overall very likable. I highly recommend this book.
      pic on twitter

      Liked by 2 people

      January 19, 2016
    • Chili #

      Item 9 (9/31) Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
      👍👍👍👍👍
      I loved this book! I found the cryptanalysis fascinating . I’m a total math and science nerd. The story encompasses WWII code breaking to present day hacking. If you have an aversion to math, this book is not for you.

      Liked by 2 people

      February 5, 2016
      • I read Snow Crash for this challenge and really enjoyed that as well. I’m going to check my husband’s book shelves to see whether he has Cryptonomicon. I think he might have. I love code breaking and maths, I’m a total nerd, too. Nice review!

        Like

        February 6, 2016
      • I didn’t love it. I liked it but didn’t love it. I’m glad to see you did though!

        Like

        February 6, 2016
    • Chili #

      Item 25 (10/31) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
      3.5👍
      I chose this book because it falls outside of my reading comfort zone. I really wanted to love it and some aspects of it I did. The 80’s references were awesome and brought back many memories. I thought the story idea was original but too predictable. I enjoyed the book but didn’t love it.

      Like

      February 7, 2016
    • Chili #

      Item 23 (10/31) A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
      👍👍👍👍
      I enjoyed this book a lot. Some parts of this book made laugh out loud, my poor valve. The characters in this book were very eccentric and it was amusing reading of their interactions. I would recommend this book for a good laugh.
      pic on Twitter

      Liked by 2 people

      February 21, 2016
      • When I first met the man who became my husband, he bought me this book. It was definitely a deciding factor!

        Like

        February 22, 2016
    • Chili #

      Item 14 (12/31) Aztec by Gary Jennings
      👍👍👍.5
      This is the story of the Aztecs told by Mixtli. He tell of his adventures of traveling The One World and his view of the history and culture of the Mexica. He tells his version of the Spanish invasion. I found this book very interesting but it is not for those easily offended. There is a lot of violence, human sacrifice, rape, incest and cannibalism.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 28, 2016
  7. Michelle’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    November 17, 2015
    • I’ve got some great choices. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
      July 28th:
      Colin Higgins who wrote Harold and Maude
      Beatrix Potter
      And Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

      Liked by 1 person

      December 1, 2015
      • Who are you going for? I loved Harold & Maude the film and didn’t know it was a book.

        Like

        December 4, 2015
  8. Tanya #

    Tanya’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    November 17, 2015
    • Tanya #

      Item #6 (1/31) A book with a number in the title
      Towards Zero by Agatha Christie
      4 stars
      A successful Agatha Christie with an intriguing murder complete with mis-directions all around. There are many characters whose pasts interconnect which makes it a bit harder to unravel the mystery. I really enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 3, 2016
    • Tanya #

      Item #15 (2/31) A book with exactly 324 pages
      Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
      3 stars
      Georgie has fled dreary Scotland for London. Now she is living a life of hustle and bustle: spying for the Queen, trying to do the basic chores of a maid, and figuring out how to make a living. There’s also the issue of the dead man in her bathtub.I was able to figure out the murderer and it had a few slow spots, but I liked it overall and will continue the series.

      Photo proof posted on Facebook page.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 3, 2016
    • Tanya #

      Item # 5 (2/31) A book with a beautiful cover
      Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
      4 stars

      Five sisters live near the woods where members of the Other Kingdoms can be found, and they are lucky enough to visit this kingdom during the full moon. However a cousin threatens the Other Kingdom and the sisters’ way of life, trying to take over while their father is away. I was very enchanted by this book. There was an element that reminded me of a Grimms Fairy Tale and the full answer to the mystery eluded me although I did manage to pick some of it out. I look forward to the sequel.

      Photo proof on Facebook page.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 12, 2016
      • Tanya #

        This should be 3/31 not 2/31

        Liked by 1 person

        February 12, 2016
    • Tanya #

      Item #4 (4/31) Water on the cover
      Service with a Smile by P.G. Wodehouse
      4 stars

      A story of blackmailing, attempted pig-stealing, and love, this Blandings novel is full of mischief and confusion. Of course, once Uncle Fred comes along, humor gets added into the mix. I heartily enjoyed this book, Wodehouse is excellent for lighthearted reads.

      Photo proof on Facebook page.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 15, 2016
    • Tanya #

      Item #11 (5/31) Book with mostly purple cover
      Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
      3 stars

      The second year of Harry’s schooling at Hogwarts and he finds himself shunned for a “dark” ability, in which the rest of the student body believes him the one attacking students. He, along with Ron and Hermione must find out what’s going on and clear his name. I adore this series, and while I enjoyed this chapter of it, I found it to be my least favorite.

      Photo proof on Facebook page.

      Like

      March 15, 2016
    • Tanya #

      Item #21 (6/31) A book with no images on cover
      Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning
      4 stars

      The fourth book in the Fever series, Mac finds herself in a difficult place. She has to be brought back from the brink of being “Priya” and finding that the Unseelie have taken over Dublin. Not knowing who exactly to trust, Mac stumbles along in her quest to bring some semblance of order to the world. Another successful addition to this series.

      Photo proof on Facebook page.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 15, 2016
    • Tanya #

      Item #3 (7/31) Interaction with an author on social media
      Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
      5 stars

      The battle between Unseelie and those in Dublin trying to stop them is raging on and Mac is at the center. Will good win versus evil and what exactly is the good or the evil? Is Mac the Unseelie King reborn? The thrilling conclusion to the Fever series brings everything together, and I didn’t want to put the book down.

      Photo proof on Facebook page.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 15, 2016
  9. Tracy S. #

    Tracy’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    November 17, 2015
    • Tracy S. #

      I’ll be reading The Jewel Merchant by James Branch Cabell. If I had been born a day earlier, I would be reading Beckett. Dodged a bullet there!

      Liked by 2 people

      December 1, 2015
      • Tracy S. #

        The Jewel Merchant by James Branch Cabell- 3 stars
        This was a one act play about love, set in Florence during the time of Medici. It was cute, and had a great deal of innuendo- about jewels.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 4, 2015
    • Tracy S #

      Thursbitch by Alan Garner (a book with water on the cover)- 3.5 stars
      Going back and forth in time, this is a story of love won, lost, and won again.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 12, 2015
      • I”m going through and reminding everyone – when you post your book reviews, can you start by stating which item you are fulfilling and also include the updated tally for us (e.g., 2/31)? Thanks!

        Like

        December 16, 2015
    • Tracy S #

      For the #7 challenge, I will be reading The Castle by Kafka (Czech Republic).

      Liked by 1 person

      December 12, 2015
      • Tracy S #

        The Castle- Kafka
        Challenge: #7- book by featured author. Book 3/31
        3 stars
        This was a very hard book to follow. It was unfinished, and could have been so much better. I do see the brilliance in Kafka’s writing, and will read more of him.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 17, 2015
    • Tracy S #

      Plotting out the next couple books:
      For challenge# 17: See above. Mrs. Hicks read Effi Briest, and made it sound so good!
      For challenge #6: Salmam Rushdie’s Two Years Eight Months and 28 days
      For challenge#2: Did You Ever Have a Family from Jen’s list of Best Books Released in 2015 from this blog (not sure if a link would work, and thanks, Jen! I’ve been looking for a way to include that one on my challenge list)
      For challenge # 13: Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans- no request for picture. Would you like me to post it?
      And I’ll post the other ones I’m planning on with pics on Facebook page.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 17, 2015
      • Yes to photo proof for 13 -sorry I forgot to post but will correct: extra points for picking a book on my list 😉

        Like

        December 17, 2015
      • Enjoy Effi Briest! I’m still thinking about it – always a sign of a good book for me.
        Your review of The Castle interested me. I read it this year and loved it. My only other encounter with Kafka has been Metamorphosis. I annoy my husband (Kafka is his favourite writer) by insisting that Metamorphosis is a comedy (it’s very funny – poor Gregor), and I found The Castle really funny, too, in that kind of Curb Your Enthusiasm excrutiating way. I think I enjoyed it as well because I work in a museum that has a lumbering organisational structure that sometimes feels as though we’re all trying to reach Klamm. I even liked that its final sentence hangs in the air.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 26, 2015
      • Tracy S #

        I could see the comedy in this- I imagined it as one of those Peter Sellers/ Pink Panther style films in my head as I was reading it. I will need to revisit this one after reading more of his work. Oh, and Metamorphosis was a comedy, albeit a dark one…

        Like

        December 27, 2015
      • Oh yes! Pink Panther is a good comparison. Mr Hicks has everything, I think, and I’m definitely going to be reading more Kafka.

        Like

        December 27, 2015
    • Tracy S #

      Item #11: Purple cover
      Book 4/31
      Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
      5 stars
      Wow. Just wow. If all of his books really are one big story, this was a heck of a way to say “Once upon a time…”

      Liked by 2 people

      December 22, 2015
      • Yay! So glad you liked it! I loved it too

        Like

        December 22, 2015
    • Tracy S #

      Item#15: A book with 324 pages. Book 5/31
      Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
      3.5 stars
      This is a novel of short stories- more specifically, nine retellings of the fairytale Mr. Fox. There is a love triangle between a writer who brutally kills off his fictional heroines, his wife, and his imaginary muse, who manifests herself somehow. It was intriguing, and the writing was vivid and cleverly done, but felt a bit too much like an experiment in writing for me to really love it.
      I will read more by this author- I think she’s very talented.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 27, 2015
      • That sounds great! I’m adding it to my wish list.

        Like

        December 31, 2015
    • Tracy S #

      Challenge#17: a book someone else has read (from Mrs. Hicks’ list in this challenge)
      Book 6/31
      Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane 4.5 stars
      Briefly, Effi is 17 when she marries, and is an easily manipulated girl. So when the ladies man of the town twirls his moustache at her, she can’t resist, and the fallout, years later, is harsh. This is an unforgettable and well written look at late 19th century life, and what happens when pride is injured. I enjoyed it very much.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 3, 2016
      • Isn’t it great? Effi at the start reminded me of my Mum, who was a similarly irreverent giddy kipper by all accounts when she married my Dad at 19 (Dad was a slightly less shocking 8 years older than her and happily they were married for 51 years without any unnecessary duelling, so there the similarity ends!)

        Liked by 1 person

        January 3, 2016
      • Tracy S #

        It certainly has kept me thinking about it. Poor girl was just too young to be married, and pushed to wed her mother’s childhood crush. Such a contrast between the past and present, the changing social mores… Wow. So much to think about!

        Liked by 1 person

        January 3, 2016
      • The whole marrying a man who had courted her mother and was old enough to be her father thing weirded me out quite a lot. Hard to think that such an arrangement could ever be thought okay. And she was acknowledged by her parents to still be a child, and in such a blasé manner. I found them very questionable.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 3, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Challenge #21: a book with no images on the cover
      Book 7/31
      Between the World and Me by Ta Nahisi Coates
      (Photo on Facebook page)
      This is a must read book for so many reasons. It’s a letter from the author to his teenage son in the midst of all the violence against black young men in the USA, discussing the fear that he and his family and friends have felt their entire lives. He leaves the solutions to the myriad of issues up to others, opting to provide his take on the problems. I cannot, in good conscience, give this a star rating, as I feel it is paradigm shifting, and transcends the rating system.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 3, 2016
      • I felt basically the same way about this. I did give it stars (five) but when I tried to review it, I ended up just quoting huge chunks. It’s the one I recommended for the gift exchange, because I just think everyone needs to read it.

        Like

        February 10, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Challenge # 13: A book with animals on the cover
      Book 8/31
      Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans 4 stars
      An orphan and a very crooked widow are placed together post-evacuation in WWII Britain. With Oliver Twist-like canniness, they make a small fortune together, albeit borderline legally, but a much-needed friendship forms from their nefarious partnership. This was an enjoyable read- I liked the characterization and descriptions. It was set during many of the air raids on London, and I don’t think I’ve read a novel set there and then before. A good read!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 9, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Challenge #6: A book with a number in its title
      Book 9/31
      Two Years Eight Months and 28 Nights by Salman Rushdie-5 stars
      I absolutely loved this book! Like the Chinese story box in it, there were so many layers, and stories within stories. Cultural, political, fairytales, this is the master of language and storytelling at his best. In a very small nutshell: bad jinn want to take over Earth, but a good jinni and her descendants are determined to stop them. Insert allegory of your choosing here. Just so good!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 19, 2016
      • Yes!!!!!

        Like

        January 19, 2016
      • Tracy S #

        Did you doubt it, Book Triplet? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        January 19, 2016
      • I get nervous when people read a book I loved but I guess not too surprising 🙂

        Like

        January 19, 2016
    • Tracy S. #

      Challenge #30: A book with art on the cover
      Book 10/31
      Quicksand by Nella Larsen- 4 stars
      Art: Mulatress with Figurine and Dutch Seascape by Archibald Motley
      Most recently at the Duke University Nasher Museum of Art (2014 was the most recent record I could find online)
      Helga Crane has a black father and a Danish mother, and has some trouble determining which side of her heritage she wishes to identify with. Her quest takes her from the American South to Chicago, to New York, to Denmark, and back to the States, all to decide where exactly it is that she belongs.
      This was so well written- Larsen only wrote 2 books, and that’s too bad! My sympathy for this character wavered- at first, I understood her, but as the story went on, she lost some of my respect. Not only is this one woman’s story, it could also be anyone’s, including whole groups of people. I think this book needs a revival right now- it is certainly still relevant!

      Like

      January 26, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Challenge# 22: a book with a main character who shares your name or initials
      Book 11/31
      Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury-4.5 stars
      Character: Tom Spaulding
      Tom and his brother, Doug share POV in this one. This is the story of the summer of 1928 in Green Town, Illinois, told through the eyes of two brothers- one is 12 and one is 10. It’s a summer of discovery, growing up, and still idyllic childhood, although it is peppered with some very adult themes. Some elderly folks pass away, a murderer is loose in the town, and friends move away. But grapes, strawberries, and dandelion flowers are harvested, good food is created, and there is plenty of childhood. I love nostalgic stories, and this reminded me of Wendell Berry’s works. There is also abundant symbolism, as there should be in a coming of age story, and the writing is so simple, yet eloquent. Plus, there’s a shout out to my hometown, Grinnell, IA! Gotta love that!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 4, 2016
      • I have this on my TBR. I bought it after I read Something Wicked This Way Comes for the Hallowe’en challenge. I hope to get to it this year, and your review is pleasing confirmation that it’ll be good!

        Like

        February 4, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Challenge #14: A book with an ugly cover. (See post on FB)
      Book 12/31
      Man’s Fate by Andre Malraux 4 stars
      Shanghai in 1927, during an abortive Communist uprising is the setting for this novel. The characters are some players in the uprising, some trying to stop it, and some playing both sides. All characters are very human, and frequently there is a philosophical break in the action. I really liked this book- much to my surprise. Military style strategy normally bores me to tears, and there was plenty of that in this book, as well as some occasionally off-putting philosophy. But in the end, all of that was just part of a book that truly read like I was watching a movie. Character development, plot, even the special effects in my head all came together. On top of all that, I still find myself waxing philosophical about the statements made in the book. This is a hidden gem in the 1001 list.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 14, 2016
    • Tracy S #

      Challenge #9: A book with a symbol or shape on the cover
      Book 13/31
      Fatelessness by Imre Kertesz- 4 stars
      Symbol: train tracks symbolize the path to the concentration camps, and the future (fate), which is unseeable
      Georg, a 14 year old boy from Budapest, is Jewish through his parents, but not practicing. When he is in the camps, he is rejected by the Jewish prisoners because he doesn’t speak Yiddish, so he feels an outsider everywhere. His alienation, combined with his optimism, makes him an unusual narrator. He is a bit of a Candide, while trying to understand the horrors he sees. His fatelessness is an unknown future, an anxiety the reader feels throughout the book. While Georg’s attitude is unusual, I imagine it may have been shared by many, especially those who had never really had anything bad happen to them before. I expect to be thinking about this one for a long time.

      Like

      February 17, 2016
    • Tracy S. #

      Challenge #2: A book that is #4 on a published list. I chose from one of Jen’s lists from this blog, because I really wanted to read:
      Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg- 4.5 stars
      Book 14/31
      This book starts off as a tragedy: a house fire in the early morning leaves June Reid without a family- on her daughter’s wedding day. She takes off cross country to help deal with her grief. She is not alone in grieving.
      Every chapter in this book is from a different point of view, and as we read, more becomes clear- not only the cause of the fire, but connections between narrators form, and an ersatz family is born.
      I very much enjoyed this book- the characters, their stories and their grief and guilty feelings were very real. I could never imagine, and hope I never have to face what these women and men had to. The settings- from coast to coast- were perfect, and there is a lot of symbolism there, but I don’t want to spoil the book for others. I seem lately to be reading books that aren’t tied up neatly in a bow at the end, and I found a great deal of satisfaction in reading one that was at least tied up in a bow, albeit a heartbroken and sloppy one.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 19, 2016
      • Yay! I’m glad but not surprised that you liked this one. Great book!

        Like

        February 19, 2016
    • Tracy S. #

      Challenge #16: A Book Signed by the Author
      Book 15/31
      Slade House by David Mitchell

      Yup. Author crushing big time right now.
      In traditional Mitchell style, and without giving too much away: there is a haunted house, and there are 5 different people telling their stories in regards to the house and its inhabitants.
      I am always amazed at Mitchell’s ability to portray each character- regardless of age or gender, so adeptly. And the descriptions of the house put me there, and forced me to finish it on a morning off. No way was I going to risk reading at night…

      Liked by 1 person

      February 28, 2016
  10. Andrea’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    November 17, 2015
    • For Item 1 I will be reading “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”, for I share a birthday with Muriel Spark (Febraury 1).
      For item 4 I will be reading ” El pintor maldito” by Peter Harris,
      For item 6 “The Eight” by Katherine Neville
      For item 7 “Half a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Acidly and
      For item 10 a book by that author. (just found the purple heart)

      Liked by 1 person

      December 10, 2015
      • I am looking forward to your rating of miss Brodie. I don’t really like Muriel Sparks’ books but I am in the minority.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 10, 2015
    • For item # 16 “La reina descalza” by Idelfonso Falcones and for item #22, “Nada” by Carmen Laforet, main character is name Andrea.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 25, 2015
    • Tally 1/31
      Item #22
      “Nada” by Carmen Laforet
      4.5 stars

      It is said that is consider a classic in Spain. Great details, simple plot, easy reading. The reader can really get to know the Barcelona after the Spanish Civil War, and yet the themes can be set in any time period. I really enjoy reading it.

      Like

      December 29, 2015
    • Tally 2/31
      Item #4
      “El Pintor Maldito” by Peter Harris
      3.5 stars
      3/1/2016

      Interesting story about a quest to find a manuscript written by Caravaggio, the italian painter. This manuscript is supposed to have information about his death. I think the author should have written a little more about the painter, but I have to accept that I did learn some things about him. The plot keeps the reader interested as the story develops.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 5, 2016
    • Tally 3/31
      Item #1
      The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Sparks
      10/01/2015
      3 stars

      I think I am into the minority like you, Jen. I did not hate it, but not really like it. It’s very well written, the author uses a lot of flash forward and back in time to developed the story, in a way the reader is capable to always follow the lead. I can and will recommend it, but could not say is a must.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 11, 2016
      • I think I also gave it 3 stars. It is well written but I don’t particularly like her books.

        Like

        January 11, 2016
    • This was my first Muriel Spark, I think I will give it a second try with another one, but not in a nearby future.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 12, 2016
    • Tally 4/31
      Item #27
      The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
      01/29/2016
      5 stars.

      It should be very difficult to write a book which is a continuation of a series written by another author and more if the first three books were liked by so many people, and for me David Lagercrantz did a very good job (This is why I gave the 5 stars). He was able to keep up with Stieg Larsson characters and kept the tension along the story, as Larsson did. If you read the first three and became a fan, I recommend to read this one.

      Photo Prook in Wikia
      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_27:_Item_27

      Like

      January 30, 2016
    • Tally 5/31
      Item #13
      Life of Pi by Yann Martel
      02/05/2016
      4 stars

      Pi is an Indian boy who survives a shipwreck while crossing the Pacific Ocean with his family. Most of the book is about his survival in a sailboat with a tiger as a only companion. I have to admit I don’t know anything about fishing and boats, so I got a little lost when the author described both things, but besides this, I loved the story, it’s all about finding oneself, fighting our own monsters and never giving up. Totally recommended.

      Photo proof in wikia. http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_13:_Item_13

      Like

      February 6, 2016
    • Tally 6/31
      Item #5
      The Kill Switch by James Rollins & Grant Blackwood
      02/16/2016
      4 stars

      Tucker was trained by the army as well as Kane (a belgian sheperd); as partners they are hire to take a Russian doctor, away from Russia. As a vet, James Rollins, did a very good job pointing out Kane’s (the dog) points of view. I liked very much, that at the end of the book, the authors give a brief of which things were fiction and which were not. Very interesting.

      Photo proof in wikia. http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_5th:_Item_5?cb=4112

      Liked by 1 person

      February 17, 2016
    • Tally 7/31
      Item #30
      The Painted Kiss by Elizabeth Hickey
      03/05/2016
      3.5 stars

      It´s the story about Emilie Floge, who was the life companion of the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. Emilie was the muse for some of Klimt’s art work, she even was the one who posed for his masterpiece: The Kiss. The book takes the reader in a journey through Vienna during the Arts and Crafts period. And even though, at the end of the book the author admits some of the events, people and feelings where made up, the story is a pretty good one.

      Photo proof in wikia. http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_30:_Item_30?cb=5928

      Liked by 1 person

      March 5, 2016
  11. Kate’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally:

    Liked by 1 person

    November 18, 2015
    • Item #1 (1/31) Read a book by an author that share’s your birthdate
      The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
      ★★★★

      This one was way out of my comfort zone when it comes to the level of violence and gore and the dialogue employed language that I would usually mock, but somehow it all worked. Unpleasant characters, horrible situations, unparalleled corruption all come together in a fictionalized account of the solving of the infamous Black Dahlia case in 1947 Los Angeles. It may give you the heebie-jeebies but you keep reading. Classic Noir.

      Liked by 2 people

      December 11, 2015
      • I read American Tabloid not long ago. It was my first encounter with Ellroy. I felt the same – horrific, but compelling. I need to steel myself to read more of his work, I think!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 12, 2015
    • Item #6: Read a book with a number in the title

      Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
      ★★★★
      Neil Gaiman, in his introduction to this edition, opines that this work was very much a product of the 1950s, cold war, McCarthyism etc… and should be read with that in mind. I was pleasantly(?) surprised to find it still quite relevant especially with the willing self-censoring and dumbing down of society, the deliberate avoidance of hard truths in favor of mindless entertainment. A rather bleak but ultimately thought provoking book.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 17, 2015
    • Item #2 Read a book that is #4 on a list.
      (3/31)
      Shelfari’s books tagged Animals (because I had read all of the first 17 books on the Goodreads books about animals list!)
      http://www.shelfari.com/books/tags/animals

      The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
      ★★★★

      An adorable but misfit mouse, a beautiful and kindly princess, a bereaved king, dastardly rats and a maltreated serving girl come together in an adventure tale in the tradition of the Brothers Grimm. Very bad things happen to defenseless innocent children, evil exists and is out to destroy good out of sheer envy, but in the end we experience the power of forgiveness and a happyish ending despite a little death and betrayal along the way.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 26, 2015
    • Item #7 Read Around the World: Japan
      (4/31)

      1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
      ★★★★★

      The year is 1984 and a young woman is late for an appointment as she sits in a cab stuck in traffic on a gridlocked Tokyo expressway. When she takes the cabbie up on his suggestion that she get out and climb down an emergency staircase to continue her trip on the train she unwittingly enters a parallel universe. A world that she comes to call 1Q84. This book had everything that I’ve come to expect and love from Murakami: cults, cats, classical music, culinary tips. Magical realism at its best.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 31, 2015
    • Item #13 A book with animals on the cover.
      (5/31)

      Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
      ★★★★

      The subtitle is “Short Fictions and Disturbances” and some are certainly more disturbing than others. This is a collection of over twenty stories and poems ranging from classic horror/ghost/monster stories, through silly science fiction to a poem about a medieval saint. I had no idea of Saint Columba’s dark side and I’m sure that I’ll be thoroughly creeped out if I ever have the pleasure of visiting Iona. My favorite was Black Dog the last entry that continues the adventures of a character from American Gods as a rambler who encounters the supernatural and life-threatening danger in the English countryside.

      Liked by 2 people

      January 1, 2016
    • Item #27: A book with a map inside
      (6/31)

      The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
      ★★★★

      The life and career of King David as chronicled by the prophet Nathan. Just like the source material this novel is chock full of genocide, rape, incest, fratricide, etc… Makes for a pretty good story but the “inspirational” aspect is a little beyond me. David comes across as a self-absorbed pychopath, like many successful politicians, leaving the reader rather looking forward to his death and the succession of the more admirable Solomon.

      Like

      January 3, 2016
    • Item #12 Library Excursion
      (7/31)
      The Daring Ladies of Lowell
      by Kate Alcott
      ★★

      Uninspiring fictionalized account of a murder trial that took place in the industrial mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts in 1832. The characters weren’t very interesting or complex and the central romance was far-fetched and improbable. If you want a peek into the hazards of the early industrial revolution and the labor movement in the mills read North and South. As historical fiction the genre was well within my comfort zone but the book was disappointing.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 4, 2016
    • Item #14 (8/31)
      Unseen Academicals
      by Terry Pratchett
      ★★★★★

      Loved it, despite a seriously ugly cover as posted over at the wiki. Full review at:
      http://www.shelfari.com/groups/110465/discussions/534017/Kates-2016-Reading-Log?showall=true#14041335

      Like

      January 5, 2016
  12. Cindy/LibraryCin’s Scavenger Hunting!

    Like

    November 18, 2015
    • Day 7: Author from a country we have featured in one of our Around the World posts. (Canada)

      Completed 1/31

      No Safe House / Linwood Barclay
      4 stars

      This was another fast-paced read from Barclay. It’s been quite a while since I read No Time for Goodbye, but from what I remember, this one’s not quite as good. But that’s just a comparison – this one is still really good. The book does alternate viewpoints (most commonly from Terry’s), and I have to admit (and this is usually the case) that I tend not to find the viewpoint from the “bad guys” as interesting… at least until things start coming together at or toward the end. And this one had multiple “bad guys”. But, as usual, it all came together at the end with a little twist thrown in.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 19, 2015
    • Day 6: Book with a Number in the Title

      Completed 2/31

      The One and Only Ivan / Katherine Applegate
      4.5 stars

      I loved the animals (and a couple of the human characters are fine, too) in this book! It’s told from Ivan’s point of view, which I also loved. It is a YA book, so it’s not terribly graphic with how the animals are or can be treated in captivity. The end isn’t perfect, either, but it’s a big improvement. It’s a quick read – the chapters are very short (gorillas aren’t as “wordy” as humans!) and there are some nice illustrations throughout. It is based on a real gorilla’s story.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 19, 2015
    • Day 1: Shared birthday (Dec. 1 with Jan Brett)

      Completed 3/31

      The Animals’ Santa / Jan Brett
      3 stars

      It’s a cute kid’s picture book with a Christmas/winter theme for this time of year. There are illustrations not only for the main portion of the book, but there are borders, styled like Native American quillwork, which is quite pretty.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 19, 2015
    • Day 4: Water on the cover

      Completed 4/31

      The Island / Clarissa Johal.
      4 stars

      Emma’s grandmother disappeared from her private island 7 years ago. Emma and her father have finally decided to clean up the place to sell it, but her father has had an injury so Emma heads out to the island on her own to do the clean-up. There are rumors that the island is cursed. As Emma soon finds out, there really are weird things going on on that island…

      I really enjoyed this. It pulled me in right away and I wanted to keep reading until I finished. It was short enough (under 200 pages) so that I was able to finish in one day. There are a couple of side stories with Emma’s friend Paisley and with a budding romance, but I enjoyed those, as well. I thought the “secondary” characters were well done.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 30, 2015
    • Day 20: An Illustrated Book

      Completed 5/31

      Farmer Boy / Laura Ingalls Wilder
      4.5 stars

      This is such a great series! I’m not sure I’m saying much different about this book versus the others in the series I’ve read in the past couple of years, but once again, it is so interesting to read all the detail of how things worked at the time, in this case, primarily how things were run on a farm. Because she does explain things in detail. Not only how to do things, but the descriptions (seasons and such) are amazing. Of course, there are also some nice clear illustrations spread throughout the book.

      Like

      January 1, 2016
      • For Farmer Boy, I’ll post my photo proof from my tablet. Currently on my PC…

        Liked by 1 person

        January 1, 2016
    • Day 13: A Book with an Animal on the Cover.
      Completed 6/31

      Land Beast / Kate Wyer

      I hadn’t realized when I ordered this book that it’s written more like poetry. I do appreciate that the proceeds of the book went to charities. In the author’s words (in an interview with her included at the end of the book): “I write really long poems that look like stories.” The pages on the right side are the text (written in a poetic fashion) and on the left side are (very artistic…. almost abstract, in my opinion!) illustrations. I love the story that is trying to be told here and I think it’s important, but really the way it was done is not my “thing”. If I didn’t know what it was supposed to be about when I read it, I’m sure I would have been lost. So, the extra ½ star is more for the idea of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 1, 2016
    • Day 27: Book with a map.
      Completed 7/31

      1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus / Charles C. Mann
      3 stars

      This book is a mix of anthropology, archaeology, history, science… It was interesting, and through the first half I would have rated it 3.5 stars (good). However, half-way through, I was extremely distracted and had trouble focusing throughout the rest of the book, so I’ve given it, overall, 3 stars (ok). Had things been different without the distractions, it may have ended at 3.5 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 20, 2016
      • I’ll have to pop by the facebook page later and add the picture of one of the many maps in 1491.

        Like

        January 20, 2016
    • Day 9: Symbols or shapes on the cover
      Completed 8/31

      A Cup of Friendship / Deborah Rodriguez
      4 stars

      I really enjoyed this. I was disappointed in the ending, but up till then, I really enjoyed it. I listened to the audio and I thought the narrator was really good. She was able to do a variety of both accents and voices. There were many more characters than those mentioned in my summary, and I enjoyed all their stories.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 20, 2016
      • I’ve asked over on the wiki page about how to post the “cover” for the mp3 audio I listened to. 🙂

        Like

        January 20, 2016
      • You can just use an online photo if that is easiest

        Like

        January 20, 2016
      • Thank you! Posted over at facebook.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 21, 2016
    • Day 16 (photo will be posted to f/b later):

      If I Were Not Upon the Sea / Joyce Gleeson-Adamidis. 3.5 stars

      3.5 stars

      Joyce Gleeson was in her 20s when she started working on cruise ships. Later on, she met the man who would later become her husband – he is a cruise ship captain. This is a memoir for both of them.

      It was unfortunate, I thought, that she started out with a chapter talking about how everyone is sleeping around with everyone else – spouses or significant others, be damned! It actually kind of put me off the book right at the start. But, I stuck with it and it got much better. The book alternates between Joyce or her husband narrating each with their own anecdotes (text is bold and italicized for her husband, so it’s easy to tell when the “voice” changes). Having been on a few cruises myself, it is always interesting to see behind the scenes. In the end (despite the start of the book), I did enjoy it.

      Like

      January 24, 2016
      • Forgot to mark that “If I Were Not Upon the Sea” completes 9/31 for the challenge.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 25, 2016
    • Day 25: Our gift exchange
      Completes 10/31

      Flowers for Algernon / Daniel Keyes
      4 stars

      This was really good. It’s heartbreaking – the ups and downs. He said it himself in the book – there are pros and cons to both. For a while I considered rating this slightly higher, but overall, I think this is the best rating for me. However, I suspect this is one that will stick in my head and the rating – at least in my mind – may go up, as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 4, 2016
    • Day 18: Self published

      Completes 11/31

      You Are Never Alone: Our Life on the Donnelly Homestead / J. Robert Salts
      3.5 stars

      I found this interesting. I have read a couple other books about the murders, so it was interesting to read about the possible paranormal happenings that continued over 100 years later. The anecdotes and photos were also interesting, I thought. There were even descriptions of the buildings, and how they were originally built. It was a short, quick read.

      Like

      February 7, 2016
    • Day 21: A book with no images on the cover. (I will take a photo and post to facebook…)

      Completed 12 out of 31

      The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
      3.5 stars

      I liked this book. I was impressed with how positive Mary Anne was. She also had an amazing life, traveling all around the world to help people, particularly refugees. At the time she was diagnosed, she was trying to raise money to build a library in Afghanistan. It was a fairly simple book, in that not a lot happened, but I enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 24, 2016
    • Day 30: A book featuring an art piece that can be found in a museum. (I have a photo and will post to f/b shortly…)

      Completed 13 out of 31.

      The Monuments Men / Robert M. Edsel.
      3.5 stars

      This was interesting. Until the book and movie, I certainly had no idea about this. I appreciated that Edsel had a short paragraph about the main Monuments Men who he focused on near the start of the book, so I could check back, but really, he did a good job of refreshing the readers’ memory when he went back to a particular person, I thought.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 29, 2016
    • Day 17: A book that was read by another participant for one of our challenges
      (Was read during the Summer Reading Challenge.)

      The Pact / Jodi Picoult
      4 stars

      Like with Picoult’s other books, this story is told both in flashbacks and with different viewpoints, so the reader gets some insight into each character. Because of all the different viewpoints, the reader can also see how each character is affected by what is happening and what has happened. The book builds until the end, during the trial when what really happened comes to light. It’s another page-turner where I wanted to know what really happened. As much as I liked it, I’m not sure this one affected me as much as some of her other books. That being said, it was still very good and I did want to keep reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 4, 2016
    • Day 29: The sky at night. A book with stars or moon on cover. (I will post the cover to f/b later tonight.)

      Completed 15/31

      The Light Between Oceans / M.L. Stedman
      4 stars

      This was really good. It’s a big moral dilemma situation. It pulled me in right away. It does go back and forth in time a little bit, but it’s easy to follow. I have to admit, I sure didn’t like Isabel much, and I felt awful for poor little Lucy/Grace, but it’s a very good read.

      Like

      March 12, 2016
    • Day 31: Published in one of the challenge months (May 2016)

      Completed 16/31

      Rodent / Lisa J. Lawrence
      4 stars

      Isabelle is in grade 11. Her mother is an alcoholic, so Isabelle is the one who takes care of her two younger siblings, Evan and Maidie. Normally, she tries to stay invisible at school, but on her first day at a new school, she gets into a fight, which results in her being bullied.

      I thought this was really good. It’s YA, so it moved quickly and was a fast read. I definitely felt badly for Isabelle and hoped things would work out for her.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 25, 2016
      • Day 26: Fruit on the cover
        Completed 17/31

        The Botany of Desire / Michael Pollan
        3.5 stars

        In this book, Michael Pollan looks at four different plants – their history and their impact on society (and society’s impact on them): apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes.

        Up until the last chapter (on potatoes), I was going to rate this at only 3 stars, or “ok”. The potato chapter really bumped up the rating for me, as Pollan was comparing a new Monsanto genetically-engineered potato with the usual potatoes he grows in his farm. By far, I thought this was the most interesting chapter. I did also enjoy the chapter on apples and the tidbits I learned about John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed). I didn’t find the tulips or the marijuana as interesting, but overall, I’m rating this “good” at 3.5 stars.

        Like

        April 28, 2016
      • I’ll have to remember to take a photo of the cover and post it to facebook.. May not happen till tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

        April 28, 2016
  13. Charisma #

    Charisma’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally

    Like

    November 19, 2015
    • Charisma #

      Jen, re: clue #2:

      What kind of list should it be. Can the book be, for example #4 in a series, if we can provide a page where it is #4. (E.g. here: http://www.shelfari.com/series/Hercule-Poirot it would be The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.)

      Like

      December 2, 2015
    • Charisma #

      Hi Jen, could you please take a look at this: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_6:_Item_6? Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 7, 2016
      • Yes, I will allow that

        Like

        January 7, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Hi Jen, I have questions here: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_3rd:_Item_3 Thanks.

      Like

      January 20, 2016
      • Answer is yes to both. You can use any response and you can both use them since there are two

        Like

        January 20, 2016
    • Charisma #

      First of, I must apologize, but some of my reviews are not nearly good enough to describe my experiences with the books. Unfortunately, I had to rush them to be accepted for this challenge. I hope I can relax later on and write something more meaningful 🙂

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      The Last Illusion: A Novel by Porochista Khakpour
      ★★★★★
      Item #1: Born on January 17
      Tally: 1/31
      (Read January 5, 2015)

      I’ve never heard about Porochista before now. I wasn’t sure if I should read her novels, they sounded complex, and I wasn’t sure I was up for it. But she was born on the same exact day as ‘yours truly’, so I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to see if she’s ‘any good’.

      I first started another book of hers, and I was quite fond of it. Unfortunately, the book was a regular hardcover edition, and I wasn’t able to find a free (library or otherwise) eCopy of it. So I had to switch to another book: “The Last Illusion”.

      I found the story quite interesting and really engaging. I believe only the first two parts were harder to read, after that I couldn’t wait to know more of ‘what was going to happen next’.

      The story itself is quite sad, and I would love for it to be more ‘sci-fi’. Alas. There is also quite an interesting twist added to the general story which I was surprised to find there.

      Overall, I loved the experience, and I would like to read more of her.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      If I Stay by Gayle Forman
      ★★★
      Item #2: #4 on https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/26628-the-2009-goo
      Tally: 2/31
      (Read December 14, 2015)

      I did like listening to a story. Although simply written, it covered an extremely important topic. Unfortunately, at times it sounded too perfect, too clean, too simple. Overall, a good novel, and I would definitely suggest it to YA audience.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      MirrorMask by Neil Gaiman
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Item #3: interaction proof @ http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_3rd:_Item_3
      Tally: 3/31
      (Read January 21, 2016)

      Years ago I’ve seen a movie MirrorMask and was blown away by it. It was weird in a good way. Later on I came upon an audio recording of Neil Gaiman reading The Graveyard Book, and couldn’t stop listening. The story, the images, the language, everything seemed perfect. When I found out that that same Neil Gaiman wrote the book MirrorMask, I knew I had to read it. The only thing stopping me was, the book being very short. I was afraid it would disappoint me after watching the movie. But it did not. Neil Gaiman has a talent of telling the story, and each story is new and unique, and interesting. I cannot figure out how was he able to put so much story into such a small volume. I believe anyone would enjoy it or any other story of his. A must read!

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      In Too Deep by Jude Watson
      ★★★
      Item #4: check for cover @ http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_4:_Item_4
      Tally: 4/31
      (Read December 23, 2015)

      The next one in 39 clues series for me. I enjoy reading this particular series of books, and this next one wasn’t an exception. The highlights: they’re bringing more family members in, they also tell a bit more about the parents and their “accident”.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
      ★★★★
      Item #5: check for cover @ http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_5th:_Item_5
      Tally: 5/31
      (Read January-February, 2016)

      When I first saw this book last summer, I was hesitant to read it. I was expecting it to be a difficult read. I was pleasantly surprised by the story and the language. I really liked the book, it had some new interesting ideas put into place there. Even though it didn’t become my favorite (it was too happy end’y for my taste), it is still a great read, and I would read a continuation if one ever shows up in the libraries.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
      ★★★★
      Item #6
      Tally: 6/31
      (Read January-February, 2016)

      It was a nice read about the hard times. The story told was somewhat new to me and I was happy to see how brave the girl was. I also was happy that there was a happy ending, as much as there could be one in such a circumstances.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Call of the Wild by Jack London
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Item #8: check for cover @ http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_8:_Item_8
      Tally: 7/31
      (Read February-March, 2016)

      This was a re-read for me. I LOVE Jack London and was happy to find out that he lived so close by the place we’re currently residing in. It was a surprising re-read for me, as I seemed to forget most of the story. I love animals and I love how London tells his tales.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      XXXXX XXXXX by XXXXX XXXXXXXX
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Item #10: found the heart and now I’m even more in love with this author
      Tally: 8/31
      (Read January 12, 2016)

      Vampires have always been my passion, and I can never pass a book about them, especially if it jumps at me, like this one did. Having read only one book by this author I took a long time to return. Thank you Jen and BW for the opportunity. I loved everything about it: the new spin on vampires, the different way of telling the story, the language, and also the “I’ll be back” at the end. I have to read more of this author books for sure. The sooner, the better!

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Dragon’s Oath by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
      ★★★
      Item #11: check for cover @ http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_11:_Item_11
      Tally: 9/31
      (Read December 26, 2015)

      I’ve read almost all of The House of Night books, but never took my time on novellas. The cover for this one fit the criteria, so I decide to go for it. The novella tells us the story of young Bryan (later knows as Dragon): how he became a vampire, how and when he met Anastasia, and what was his oath about.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
      ★★★★
      Item #12: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_12:_Item_12
      Tally: 10/31
      (Read February-March, 2016)

      I knew Hemingway was one of my favorite authors, but I didn’t know anything about him or his life. This was a really neat way to get to know him, his wife Hadley, and about their life together. I did like a book itself a lot, but I did LOVE the notes better. I would like to spend some time reading more on Hemingway and Hadley, as well as reading more of his works, finding pieces there from his own life.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
      ★★★★
      Item #13: check for cover @ http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_13:_Item_13
      Tally: 11/31
      (Read March 30, 2016)

      I’ve heard from Max about this book, but still wasn’t ready for what came along. I enjoyed it a lot, I liked finding out how a person with Asperger’s syndrome thinks. The most shocking thing for me was that Christopher was 15 years 3 months 2 days old. Not the exactness of it, but the age. I was expecting a 10 year old boy, or something close to that, and wasn’t ready for ‘almost a man’ to be in the situations described. A very well written story!

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      The Princess Bride by William Goldman
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Item #14: cover proof @ http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_14:_Item_14
      Tally: 12/31
      (Read January 12, 2016)

      What an awesome book. Loved the humor, loved the story, loved everything except for the horrible cover. In addition to all of it, I now want to read the original IF one exists, and want my son to read it (this version) as well. I am also looking forward to watching a movie.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Graveminder by Melissa Marr
      ★★★
      Item #15: page count @ http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_15:_Item_15
      Tally: 13/31
      (Read January 3, 2016)

      I had an audio book alongside with the hardcover copy. I did only listen to the book though. I liked the idea and the story, and it was fast paced and engaging. IMHO, the book left a lot of questions unanswered, so I’m interested to read more of the series to see where it all leads.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
      ★★★★★
      Item #17: read by Maxibob for THIS challenge
      Tally: 14/31
      (Read March 30, 2016)

      OMG!!! What a great book for online gamers! Loved the story flow, loved the descriptions, and loved that it was in the future. I was given a book in 2013, I think and it took me 2.5 years to finally read it.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
      ★★★★★
      Item #20: illustrations @ http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_20:_Item_20
      Tally: 15/31
      (Read February 2, 2016)

      I LOVE NEIL GAIMAN! I am yet to find a story I didn’t like. Liked the story, liked the twist, liked the illustrations. My 3yo daughter, Daria, couldn’t stay away either, and was asking a lot of questions following the illustrations. The best of them was: Why the princess doesn’t want to get married? (Or was it that she was scared?)

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Elena Vanishing by by Elena Dunkle, Clare B. Dunkle
      ★★★★★
      Item #22: my name is Elena
      Tally: 16/31
      (Read March, 2016)

      I wasn’t sure if I am ready to read a book about such a serious topic, but I am glad I did. As with other memoir books I like the knowledge I am getting on various topic, the anorexia including. I feel for Elena and her family, and all the other girl out there who struggle with anorexia every single day. I am actually wondering if one of my friends in anorexic, because all the signs are there.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book by Grumpy Cat
      ★★★
      Item #23: cover @ http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_23:_Item_23 (I didn’t know I was reading the same book as Trvl2mtns, so I am not posting another cover.)
      Tally: 17/31
      (Read March 25, 2016)

      I wanted to love it, but I did not. I do get the funny face and all, but it is getting kind of old. I am really glad I didn’t have to buy the book to read it.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Преступление и наказание (Crime and Punishment) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Item #25
      Tally: 18/31
      (Read March 24, 2016)

      Recently I’ve become a sucker for Russian literature: I seem to love anything I read. Very well written story, and I enjoyed listening to it on audio. I was worried it would be too long for me to finish on time, but it wasn’t. The flow of language, and the story itself were quite captivating, and I didn’t want to stop listening to it.

      I do agree that towards the end it became a bit repetitive, too long, but it only lasted for a little bit, and in the end it didn’t alter my rating.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman
      ★★★★
      Item #26: check cover @ http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_26:_Item_26
      Tally: 19/31
      (Read February, 2016)

      This book feels like cheating, but it does have fruit on the cover. This one was the least favorite of Neil Gaiman books, that I’ve read. I guess it’s the topic of God, that I’m not too fond of. Otherwise it was a nice story time for my 3yo girl.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong
      ★★★★
      Item #31: I read the Canadian version: Publisher: Random House Canada (Jan. 12 2016) https://www.amazon.ca/City-Lost-Kelley-Armstrong-ebook/dp/B015VA8OAG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
      Tally: 20/31
      (Read March 23, 2016)

      Usually I love anything Kelley Armstrong writes, but this time I was slightly disappointed. The beginning of the book was great, and I was so happy I got to it as soon as it was published, and then the story started to become predictable and too happy end’y. Don’t get me wrong, there are still quite a few twists and turns there, that I liked, but it wasn’t super great, which I am disappointed in.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey
      ★★★
      Item #29: check for cover @
      Tally: 21/31
      (Read March 31, 2016)

      This is another memoir, about another problem in another girl’s life: the sensitivity to light. ANY light! It was hard for me to imagine living in complete darkness, busying myself with ‘games that can be played in the dark’, asking others for help constantly. (The list goes on.)

      I am in awe with Anna and how she managed to survive her imprisonment. The only problem I had with the book: it was written so well, that if I didn’t know if was a memoir, I would have thought it being a ‘book of fiction’, it had that type of ‘Is it quite believable?’ factor. I also feel the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I was hoping it would be. Something is missing, and I cannot quite put my finger on it. Maybe, I need to think a bit about it. Maybe…

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Charisma #

      To Build a Fire by Jack London
      ★★★★★
      Item #21: Not sure if it will count, but this is a short story and I have a printout of it from one of the websites. It doesn’t have any images on the cover, because there is no cover.
      Tally: 22/31
      (Read March 31, 2016)

      How is it possible, that Jack London, writing such wonderful, lively stories, was so unhappy in real life? What brings this kind of imagination to certain people, and why the rest of us have to be content with reading them? So sad… Cannot think about someone actually freezing to death.

      I actually have a story from my childhood about similar experience. My mother’s boss (I think he was her boss, or maybe just a co-worker?) didn’t have a few fingers on his hand, and I was always curious of how that happened. (We were living then on the far east of Russia, where it is quite cold at times.) So one day I asked my mom about what happened, and she replied that his fingers froze and had to be cut off. Ever since then I was terrified every time my toes were getting cold, that I’ll lose them right there and then. Not the best memories, I tell you!

      Like

      April 1, 2016
  14. Maxibob #

    Maxibob’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally

    Like

    November 19, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
      ★★★
      Item #1: Graham Green’s birthday is October 2
      Tally: 1/31
      (Read December 14, 2015)

      I didn’t really like this book because it was very slow. It didn’t catch my attention in the beginning like most mystery novels do. It dragged out, making me lose the suspense. Also there was too much about religion in the book. One of the things that I did like was that author used the point of view of both the murderer and the detective.

      Liked by 2 people

      December 25, 2015
      • Interesting. I’ve read three Graham Greene books (Travels with My Aunt, Our Man in Havana and The Honorary Consul) and enjoyed them, but have always hung back from Brighton Rock. I suspected it would be hard work!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 26, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      The Raft by S. A. Bodeen
      ★★★★★
      Item #4: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 2/31
      (Read December 16, 2015)

      ***SPOILER ALERT***

      This book had me hooked as soon as I read the first couple of pages. I especially liked how the main character survived. She, knowing nothing of survival at sea, imagined how to survive with no food or water. She thought of the person who saved her, and imagined that he was helping her through tough times. This book catches you with quick action. Anyone who likes action should read it.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 25, 2015
    • Maxibob #

      None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio
      ★★★★★
      Item #21: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 3/31
      (Read December 23, 2015)

      ***SPOILER ALERT***

      I loved how the author made everything look well for the main character, and then her whole world turns upside down. This book is full of interesting information about AIS (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome) and famous female athletes. I would recommend it to anyone 18+.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_21:_Item_21

      Like

      January 7, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
      ★★★★★
      Item #5: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 4/31
      (Read December 31, 2015)

      This book grabs and keeps your attention. I like how both the main character and the reader learn about what is going on. This way you want to keep reading until the mystery is uncovered.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_5th:_Item_5

      Like

      January 7, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Deviant by Helen FitzGerald
      ★★★★½
      Item #: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 6/31
      (Read January 4, 2015)

      ***POSSIBLE SPOILERS***

      This book was really pleasing for the most part. Clichés like a nice person turning our to be ‘a bad guy’ begin to annoy me, but the rest of the story balanced it out. I like how it is mostly realistic, and that the author doesn’t try to make it seem like the main character doesn’t understand that her dad is bad. The part that I didn’t like was that the main character blackmailed someone, which is really cliché.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_11:_Item_11

      Like

      January 31, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Viy by Nikolai Gogol
      ★★★★
      Item #: Read by Charisma for the Tales from the Crypt (Week 1) challenge
      Tally: 8/31
      (Read January 15, 2015)

      This book has a slow beginning, which made me not like it as much as other faster passed books. There are certain ‘outbursts’ of interesting things in the first part of the book, but there were more ‘non-interesting’ parts there. The middle to the end of the book are very captivating.

      Like

      January 31, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
      ★★★★
      Item #: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 5/31
      (Read January 21, 2015)

      This book was pretty good. It wasn’t all very good, but it did have some interesting things. I found that it was really cliché how it had certain people having special powers, even in a world with “magic”. Nonetheless, I still plan to continue reading the series, and I certainly recommend reading The Mortal Instruments series.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_9:_Item_9

      Like

      January 31, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
      ★★★★½
      Item #: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 7/31
      (Read January 29, 2015)

      A nice twist on a classic story. Neil Gaiman knows how to turn a classic into something that teens would enjoy. I also like how the hero in this book is a female, showing that women aren’t always weak. Also it is cool how he twists the ending of the story to make it even more interesting. Definitely a must read for teens.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_3rd:_Item_3

      Like

      January 31, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
      ★★★
      Item #2: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-childrens-books-2011
      Tally: 9/31
      (Read March 7, 2016)

      Greg Heffley is stuck at home this winter because of a big blizzard. Other than the lack of food, everything seems to be fine. That is, until the power goes out. Now, Greg Heffley, his two brothers and their mom have to think together so that they don’t freeze to death. Except that Manny, Greg’s younger brother seems to have disappeared. When it turns out that Manny shut down the power in the east of the house, Greg hopes that he’ll get in trouble, but Manny gets out of it scratch free.

      Like

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      NUM8ERS by by Rachel Ward
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Item #6: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 10/31
      (Read February 17, 2016)

      This was a great book. It was cool that the main hero, Jem, can tell when people will die. I especially enjoyed that Spider’s (Jem’s best best friend) aunt knows that Jem has some special power. The coolest part, in my opinion, was when Jem and Spider were at the London Eye, and then Jem figured out-by the numbers of the people all around her – that she and spider would also die if they didn’t get away. Because of this some people thought that they were terrorists, and they became famous. It was interesting that somehow they survived with only the money that Spider stole from his gang leader. It was weird how sometimes Jem made other peoples numbers come true, by either provoking them, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is a book for people ages 15-21.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_6:_Item_6

      Like

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Life of Pi by Yann Martel
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Item #7: Yann Martel is a Canadian author
      Tally: 11/31
      (Read March 2, 2016)

      This was a book that was hard to believe, but it was still awesome. I am not sure if it was true, because it had the potential to be true. However, I loved it from the beginning to the end. I especially loved the carnivorous island. This is a must read for all teens.

      Like

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      To Build a Fire by Jack London
      ★★★★½
      Item #8: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 12/31
      (Read March 26, 2016)

      This was a pretty good book. I was expecting something slightly more boring than the book turned out to be. I was also very pleased that it was short, because I didn’t like many of Jack London’s long stories. I thought it was great that he explained a couple of things about the man in the story. It also had a good lesson: you should never travel alone.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_8:_Item_8

      Like

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
      ★★★★
      Item #12: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 13/31
      (Read February 7, 2016)

      ***SPOILER ALERT***

      The Haunting of Hill House is one of my favourite classics. I usually don’t like classics, but this one turned out to be a good book. At first, as usually happens in classics, the book was really boring. As soon as all the characters got to Hill House, then it started getting interesting. They learn the bone-chilling history of Hill House. Then, they can’t find their way around the house. Finally, strange things start happening at night. I would love to live in a haunted house, but I wouldn’t be able to sleep for one of two reasons: I’d either be very scared, or I’d be extremely excited. I liked how the author, although she wrote the novel from a third person view, focused only on one character. That led the the reader to realize who the house will “make its own”. I find it interesting how, at the end, the main character becomes insane, and eventually commits suicide. They say that this is what happens at haunted houses.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_12:_Item_12

      Like

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen
      ★★★★½
      Item #13: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 14/31
      (Read February 19, 2016)

      ***POSSIBLE SPOILERS***

      This book had many interesting details. It was a about a teenage criminal. He broke into a store and trashed it, then bragged about it at school. Bad idea! A person in his school, Peter Driscal, tells the police about it. This angers Cole (the main character) and he flies into a rage, beating Peter up. Now, Peter is in therapy for his injuries and Cole must decide between Native American Circle Justice and prison. He chooses Circle Justice and is banished to an uninhabited island in the North for one year. This is meant to help Cole find his good side. Will Cole find it, or will he be his same bad self even after his year of isolation? I think this is a great book because it shows three types of conflict: man vs. nature(when Cole attacks the spirit bear), man vs. himself(when Cole has to find his good side), and man vs. man(when Cole attacks Peter). Also, I found it interesting that the author wrote that it would take a year for the healing to work. This was an amazing book, and I suggest that any teen should read it.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_13:_Item_13

      Like

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Graveminder by Melissa Marr
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Item #8: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 15/31
      (Read January 27, 2016)

      In this book, there is a town, where two people must make sure that the dead go away peacefully, and that they don’t return to the land of the living to wreak havoc. There are a young girl, and a young boy. The girl feels a strong pull towards death, and the boy must protect her, keep her safe and willing to return to the land of the living. This was a well written book, and is definitely a must read.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_15:_Item_15

      Like

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      The Marvels by
      ★★★★★
      Item #20: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 16/31
      (Read January 30, 2016)

      This is a great book and I loved it just as much as I loved Hugo Cabret. I loved how the first part of the story was told only in pictures. And sometimes newspaper articles, and then the second part was mostly text. The ending is very interesting and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who will read this book. This is definitely a must read for anyone 10 years and older.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_20:_Item_20

      Like

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Вредные советы 2 (Vrednye Sovety 2) by Grigoriy Oster
      ★★★★½
      Item #23: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 17/31
      (Read March 28, 2016)

      This is a hilarious book. It tells kids who are reading it to do bad stuff, but in a stupid way. For example, it will tell you to iron dad’s shirt, and if it gets burnt, to make some handkerchiefs out of it. This is a great book for people 7+ years old.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_23:_Item_23

      Liked by 1 person

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Item #25
      Tally: 18/31
      (Read March 26, 2016)

      This was a GREAT book! I was amazed at how well it was written. I knew I would like it, because I love video games and anything related to them, but this surpassed my expectations. I think that I would have loved to have access to the system like OASIS. This is the book for anyone who plays video games most of their free time.

      Like

      March 30, 2016
      • I loved this one as well 🙂 well done with all your reading and your fun reviews they are great

        Liked by 1 person

        March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Zero Tolerance by Claudia Mills
      ★★★★
      Item #26: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 19/31
      (Read March 29, 2016)

      This was a pretty good book. It was about a girl who might get expelled from a really expensive private school for bringing a knife to school. Of course, it was an accident, but the principal doesn’t want to hear about it. The girl gets an in-school suspension for a week. Her dad, a respected lawyer, creates scandal around it, and even gets the media involved. Will the principal back down, or will he hold his ground? This is a perfect book for kids 8-11 years old.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_26:_Item_26

      Like

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Item #29: See the photo on Wiki
      Tally: 20/31
      (Read March 20, 2016)

      ***SPOILER ALERT***

      This is the second book in the Incarceron series. Incarceron is a prison that can think for itself. It was thought that there was no escape from it, even through death. That was before Finn Starseer escaped. Now he must reign over the outside world, while his oath brother, Keiro, is trying to escape. However, the Incarceron has hatched a plan to escape itself. It has built itself a body, and is waiting for one final artefact – Sapphique’s glove. Sapphique was the only other prisoner who had supposedly escaped. However, Keiro is in possession of the glove, and he won’t give it up easily. This would be a great book for anyone who likes fantasy.

      http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_29:_Item_29

      Like

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Mission Hurricane by Jenny Goebel
      ★★★★½
      Item #29: Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (January 26, 2016) http://www.amazon.com/Mission-Hurricane-The-Clues-Doublecross/dp/0545767482
      Tally: 21/31
      (Read March 15, 2016)

      I personally adore the 39 Clues books. They are really good, and they teach about historical events or famous people. This one was about the Hurricane Katrina, the biggest hurricane in history. It was a very interesting read about what happened during and after the hurricane. This would be a great book for anyone liking those kind of things.

      Like

      March 30, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      Posting the name as it will be revealed tomorrow in any case.

      Slade House by David Mitchell
      ★★★★★ and ♥
      Item #10: found the author 😉
      Tally: 22/31
      (Read March 30, 2016)

      This was an amazing book. I loved the unheard-of concept of soul-eating vampires. I found the way the author described it very entrancing. I loved this book, just as any mature reader would.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • Maxibob #

      The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
      ★★★
      Item #22: Main character’s name is Max, even though in this case it’s a girl 😉
      Tally: 23/31
      (Read March 31, 2016)

      This book was really good until the end. The book ended so abruptly that I got really mad at the author. If it weren’t for the horrible ending, though, this book would have been a five star and one of my favourites.

      I absolutely love books with genetically modified people who eventually escape the lab. I’ve read many books like this, and all of them had at least decent endings. I hated this book’s ending. The best way to read this would probably be all of the books in the series together. Other than the ending, this book is great for mature readers of all ages.

      Like

      April 1, 2016
  15. glo #

    Glo’s Scavenger Hunt & Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    November 19, 2015
    • glo #

      1/31 – Share a birthday with Louise Hay – Oct 08th
      The Power is within You – 5 stars
      It is all about affirmations and how we have already created what we are experiencing by our thoughts, therefor change your thoughts and you change your reality. i loved it!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 7, 2015
      • Congrats and nice to start out with a book you loved!

        Like

        December 7, 2015
    • Don’t forget to post your item 25 recommendation by end of day tomorrow 1/6/16. This is the only item that has a “deadline” for one step. You don’t need to read anything (yet). All you need to do is give a book recommendation that you think others will enjoy. This item comes with a hidden prize so if you are going to pick to read/complete any item, this is a good one :). I’m posting this as reminders to everyone who has signed up for the challenge. I couldn’t tell who all posted already (because I there was at least 1 person who didn’t sign in when the posted) so ignore if you already posted your recommendation.

      Please post the recommendation on the Wikia page (link is attached to the date in the list above – dec 25)

      Like

      January 5, 2016
  16. Sushicat #

    Sushicat’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    November 21, 2015
    • Don’t forget to post your item 25 recommendation by end of day tomorrow 1/6/16. This is the only item that has a “deadline” for one step. You don’t need to read anything (yet). All you need to do is give a book recommendation that you think others will enjoy. This item comes with a hidden prize so if you are going to pick to read/complete any item, this is a good one :). I’m posting this as reminders to everyone who has signed up for the challenge. I couldn’t tell who all posted already (because I there was at least 1 person who didn’t sign in when the posted) so ignore if you already posted your recommendation.

      Please post the recommendation on the Wikia page (link is attached to the date in the list above – dec 25)

      Like

      January 5, 2016
  17. Renee’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    November 29, 2015
    • I will be reading: Will This Do? By Auberon Waugh who shares my birthday on November 17

      Liked by 1 person

      December 1, 2015
      • I made a “mistake” when I decided to read a 750 page book on November 27, forgetting that I was starting this challenge in the next 3 days – so, I had a late start but happy, now, to clock in my first read for the challenge.

        Book Review for Will This Do? by Auberon Waugh
        Very funny and entertaining! This is the first autobiography I’ve read in a long time – it reignited my love for the genre. I also was delighted to find reasons to uphold my theory that people who are born on the same day share similar characteristics!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 12, 2015
      • I forgot to mention my star rating for Will This Do? by Aubeorn Waugh: A strong 4 stars!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 12, 2015
    • For #4 on a list: I would like to use the 2002 Canada Reads List: http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads/archives/2002/. The finalist in spot #4 is Margaret Laurence for The Stone Angel.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 2, 2015
    • Book #4 is Alistair MacLeod, The Lost Salt Gift of Blood. It has an image of the ocean on its cover. Photo evidence can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/thereadersroom.org/posts_to_page/

      Liked by 1 person

      December 4, 2015
      • The Lost Salt Gift of Blood by Alistar MacLeod
        3 Stars
        The second story was wonderful and I would have liked to have seen it be the story of the entire collection. The others were well written but lacked the same energy. It has encouraged me to re-consider MacLeod though and try some of his novels. I had read No Great Mischief in University and remember not really liking it, perhaps I should try it again through my more mature eyes and experience.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 13, 2015
    • For day #6: I will be reading Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 6, 2015
      • well, today’s clue will help to keep you going with that trend 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        December 7, 2015
      • I”m going through and reminding everyone – when you post your book reviews, can you start by stating which item you are fulfilling and also include the updated tally for us (e.g., 2/31)? Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 16, 2015
      • 5/31 – Item #6
        Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden

        This was probably the worst book I have ever read. I did not find the writing style engaging or honest. It was horrible trying to get through this book and couldn’t be happier that it is done. Mid-way it seemed to gain a bit of momentum but quickly lost it. I won’t be reading this author again and have no idea why he is so popular. One star…is there a half star or no star option?(I feel horrible for this kind of review but I really honestly found it that bad).

        Like

        December 30, 2015
    • For Item #7: I will keep with the Canadian theme on my board! I am going to go with Barney’s Version by Mordecai Richler. It was a toss up with Michael Onaatje’s The English Patient but discovered he moved to Canada after birth (even though that isn’t the exact parameter it helped weed it out from the contenders) and Carol Shields The Stone Diaries (but because I already have The Stone Angel on my list I dropped that one too). We will have to see if I can keep with this trend, hehe.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 7, 2015
      • LOL! Yes, I was thinking the same thing with today’s clue! My immediate reaction was to choose one from a Canadian author for this one, but I will admit that if I have an author from England who I’ll be reading anyway (first), I might go with them. On the other hand, maybe it’s a good way to get a Canadian author off my tbr… with a book that doesn’t seem to fit other challenges, as well. Hmmmmmm

        Liked by 1 person

        December 7, 2015
      • Cindy, the answer is obvious – Canadian all the way!!! hehe. We may be the only two Canadians in this Scavenger Hunt, we need to represent 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        December 7, 2015
      • Charisma #

        OK, just so you know, I’m a Canadian here too, and Max is as well, so there are 4 of us at least. Unfortunately, I’m leaning towards Russian literature lately, which doesn’t help the “representing Canadian” cause 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        December 7, 2015
      • Yay! I am pleased there are more than me and Cindy representing Canada! I am gearing up to read Anna Karenina after this challenge is done (unless it fits into this challenge and I feel like I have the extra time). So I will be getting in a Russian fix sometime soon myself! Too bad Russia isn’t on the Read Around the World posts, or you could have fit another one in. Maybe you’ll be picking a Canadian author after all 🙂

        Like

        December 8, 2015
      • Charisma #

        I might for sure. I’m having real trouble picking my books 🙂 There are so many good choices for each clue, I cannot decide what’ll fit best, or what I’ll enjoy best 🙂

        I’m almost committed to clue #1 book and it’s only because the gal who wrote it was born exactly on my birthday 🙂 year and all. (I’m wondering what time of the day, but Wikipedia doesn’t tell us that of course :)) Not only that, she’s also an immigrant, which is tripple score for me 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        December 8, 2015
      • I’m pretty sure there are a few other Canadians participating too but we’ll have to wait and see if they post a book.

        Also, as an FYI to Renee and others, every so often I’ll be coming into these threads and deleting/cleaning up the thread. I’ll do this so your personal threads don’t get to long and will be easier for you to track your scores. So if there’s anything you don’t want me to delete just say so. I will NOT delete any comments with book reviews or score updates.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 8, 2015
      • No problem, Jen. Makes sense 🙂
        Charisma – if you want to follow me on Shelfari my profile name there is PageRunner. I am on Cindy’s list if you want to find me that way.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 9, 2015
    • For Day #17 – Read a book someone has already read in one of the challenges. I will be reading The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern which was read by “Kate” in the Spring Challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 17, 2015
    • Hey Jen, I don’t think that you are getting our Wikia messages. I have messages in time 9 and 21 that have been sitting there for 4 or 5 days now. I am in no rush, but some of the others may be – plus someone should let you know the Wikia might not be notifying you or something.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 27, 2015
      • Ok. Thanks will check them out.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 27, 2015
      • Thanks! I answered. I will go through all the items. Not sure why I didn’t get the notifications. Any time it takes me more than half a day to respond just drop me a note here and I’ll check but I will try to be better about checking daily over there

        Liked by 1 person

        December 27, 2015
    • 3/31 – Item #9
      I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Steve Earle

      This book reminded me how much I enjoy wild (“crazy”/”street”/”bad”) popular fiction. I read this book fairly quickly partly because I couldn’t put it down and it wasn’t a heavy read but more so because it gave me that anxious feeling like I was doing something “bad”. It was about a heroin addict who has been a licensed doctor prior to his addiction and was now performing medical surgeries and routine things illegally for “street” people who were also addicts or prostitutes or illegally in the country etc. The visions and religious aspect hanging in the background was a really nice touch for me that made me see the novel as a nice contemporary peace of art. I gave the book five stars!

      Like

      December 27, 2015
    • 4/31 – Item #11
      Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

      This was a great book to read right after “I’ll Never Get out Alive” because it was so different but also one of the genres of books that I also love. It was very poetic and heavy in terms of content and digging for meaning. I missed a lot and will have to go back and read it again sometime (or maybe even more than twice) more slowly to really get the full spectrum of this novel. It is full of good philosophical thought, artistic language/structure, and parallels it deserves multiple reads and time for reflection. I completely understand why this book won so many awards. It reminded me of the book Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen – when poets try to write a novel (you can take the poet out of the poem but you can’t take the poem out of the poet). It gave this five stars!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 27, 2015
    • Oh my goodness! Jen! The first 100 pages of The Goldfinch have me in love with the book! I am so happy that I didn’t let the size deter me from using it for the scavenger hunt challenge. Here’s hoping the next 700 pages are just as good 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      December 28, 2015
    • Don’t forget to post your item 25 recommendation by end of day tomorrow 1/6/16. This is the only item that has a “deadline” for one step. You don’t need to read anything (yet). All you need to do is give a book recommendation that you think others will enjoy. This item comes with a hidden prize so if you are going to pick to read/complete any item, this is a good one :). I’m posting this as reminders to everyone who has signed up for the challenge. I couldn’t tell who all posted already so apologies if you already did.

      Please post the recommendation on the Wikia page (link is attached to the date in the list above – dec 25)

      Like

      January 5, 2016
    • 6/31 – Item 21 – Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
      I wish that I had had more time to read this book more slowly to catch all the wonderful layers! I had to rush through it a bit to get it back to the library before a week of travel. I definitely want to re-read this. It was an artful, crazy, and multi-layered novel that was superbly written. Well earned 5 stars! Photo proof of cover is on the Wikia page.

      Liked by 2 people

      January 16, 2016
      • Diary is my favourite of his works – you’re so right about the layers. I found it very moving. I love Palahniuk’s writing, but sometimes it can be a bit full on. Diary shows some sensitivity, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 16, 2016
  18. Danielle C #

    Dani’s scavenger hunt tally:

    Liked by 1 person

    December 1, 2015
    • Don’t forget to post your item 25 recommendation by end of day tomorrow 1/6/16. This is the only item that has a “deadline” for one step. You don’t need to read anything (yet). All you need to do is give a book recommendation that you think others will enjoy. This item comes with a hidden prize so if you are going to pick to read/complete any item, this is a good one :). I’m posting this as reminders to everyone on here who have signed up for the challenge.

      Please post the recommendation on the Wikia page (link is attached to the date in the list above – dec 25.)

      Like

      January 5, 2016
  19. Katrina’s Scavenger Hunt Items and Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    December 1, 2015
    • Don’t forget to post your item 25 recommendation by end of day tomorrow 1/6/16. This is the only item that has a “deadline” for one step. You don’t need to read anything (yet). All you need to do is give a book recommendation that you think others will enjoy. This item comes with a hidden prize so if you are going to pick to read/complete any item, this is a good one :). I’m posting this as reminders to everyone on here who have signed up for the challenge.

      Please post the recommendation on the Wikia page (link is attached to the date in the list above – dec 25.)

      Like

      January 5, 2016
  20. Rachel #

    Rachel’s scavenger hunt items and tally

    Liked by 1 person

    December 2, 2015
    • Rachel #

      Looks like I’ll be reading Rosamunde Pilcher for the birthday challenge. never read anything by her before.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 2, 2015
      • Rachel #

        Day 1
        Tally 1 of 31

        The Day of the Storm by Rosamunde Pilcher 3 stars

        Rebecca Bayliss has only had her flighty mother for family. Then on the day her mother dies rebecca finds out she has family in Cornwall. Rebecca goes to visit her grandfather, who was a famous painter. She’s attracted to both the mysterious Joss Gardner and her cousin Eliot. This book was written int he 1970’s and I found it to be a bit sexist. How could rebecca possibly want to live by herself in London instead of getting married, especially at the ancient age of 21. I also found it a bit icky that one love interest was her cousin. For the time this was written and the genre of book it’s ok but I never would have read this if I didn’t share a birthday with Ms. Pilcher.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 24, 2015
    • Rachel #

      Day #6 Book with a number in the title
      Tally 2 out of 31

      13 1/2 by Nevada Barr 3 stars

      The book switches between 1971 and 2007. In 1971 eleven year old Dylan Raines is convicted of murdering his whole family except his brother Rich with an axe. Dylan accepts that he committed the crime even though he doesn’t remember doing so. He is dubbed the Butcher Boy and is sent to juvenile detention. In 2007 Polly falls in love with Marshall Marchand an architect who lives in a condo with his brother. There is obviously some connection between the two stories but it is slowly revealed. I liked the book but i predicted the ending about 50 pages into it so not a huge surprise for me. I enjoy her Anna Pigeon books more than this book.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 30, 2015
      • Rachel #

        Day 27 A book with a map

        photo proof on facebook

        Tally 3 out of 31

        I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 4 stars

        Malala is a girl living with her family in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Once the Taliban takes control of the region they eventually start ordering females to not attend school. Supported by her family Malala speaks out regarding the right of girls to an education. Eventually the military removes most of the taliban presence from Malala’s valley and she’s allowed to return to school. As she becomes mroe well known she attracts the talibans attention and eventually they shoot her and two other students on a school bus. Malala is flown to England for treatment and miraculously has survived. I think Malala’s story is important. I just couldn’t give the book five stars because I sometimes felt liek the coauthor, Christina Lamb, was pushing her views too much into Malala’s story.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 24, 2016
    • Don’t forget to post your item 25 recommendation by end of day tomorrow 1/6/16. This is the only item that has a “deadline” for one step. You don’t need to read anything (yet). All you need to do is give a book recommendation that you think others will enjoy. This item comes with a hidden prize so if you are going to pick to read/complete any item, this is a good one :). I’m posting this as reminders to everyone who has signed up for the challenge. I couldn’t tell who all posted already (because I there was at least 1 person who didn’t sign in when the posted) so ignore if you already posted your recommendation.

      Please post the recommendation on the Wikia page (link is attached to the date in the list above – dec 25)

      Like

      January 5, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Day 27 a book with a map
      photo proof on facebook

      tally 3 out of 31

      I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 4 stars

      Malala is a girl living with her family in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Once the Taliban takes control of the region they eventually start ordering females to not attend school. Supported by her family Malala speaks out regarding the right of girls to an education. Eventually the military removes most of the taliban presence from Malala’s valley and she’s allowed to return to school. As she becomes mroe well known she attracts the talibans attention and eventually they shoot her and two other students on a school bus. Malala is flown to England for treatment and miraculously has survived. I think Malala’s story is important. I just couldn’t give the book five stars because I sometimes felt liek the coauthor, Christina Lamb, was pushing her views too much into Malala’s story.

      Like

      January 24, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Day 4 a book with water on the cover

      photo proof on face book

      Tally 4 out of 31

      The River Killings by Merry Jones 3 stars

      Zoe Hayes is on vacation from her job as an art therapist. She is in training for a rowing regatta with her friend Susan. They decide to take a night row on the Schuykill River when they flip their boat and discover 19 dead bodies. Zoe’s boyfriend is a police officer investigating the deaths. Zoe doesn’t do much investigating herself. She mostly keeps getting into dangerous situations and worrying about everything. Really I think by the fourth night in a row that she had to call 911 that the police would begin to be suspicious of her. I’m not in a hurry to read any more books in this series.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 24, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Day 11 A book with a purple cover

      photo proof on facebook

      Tally 5 out of 31

      The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg 4 stars

      This is the fourth book in the Fox and O’Hare series though the first I’ve read. Kate O’Hare is an FBI agent assigned to work with con man Nick Fox. In this book their primary case is taking down a casino owner whose helping criminals launder money. There’s also side trips to Hawaii to bail Kate’s dad out of trouble and a scam on the inventor of the grandparent scam. This book was a lot of fun, definitely not meant to be taken too seriously. There’s a bit of a cliffhanger ending so I’m looking forward to the next book. In the meantime I want to go and read the first three books in the series.

      Like

      February 14, 2016
    • Rachel #

      Day 19 little free library excursion

      photo proof on facebook

      Tally 6 out of 31

      Personal by Lee Child 3 stars

      Jack Reacher is called in to fulfill a debt he owes to someone at the CIA. A sniper has taken a shot at the French president and now the higher ups are worried that the G8 summit will be the snipers next target. One of the suspects for the sniper is John Kott who Reacher put in jail 16 years ago but he’s now paroled and has gone missing. This is the 14th book in the series and I haven’t read any other books in the series. I’m curious if other books give more background on Reacher. Overall a good thriller with an ending I didn’t expect.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 14, 2016
  21. JoLene R #

    JoLene’s (trvl2mtns on wikia) scavenger hunt items & tally

    Liked by 1 person

    December 5, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      Day 1: Item 1

      Who asked you? by Terry McMillan. We share Oct 18th as our birthdays
      Completed 12/6 4 stars
      I haven’t read a Terry McMillan book in years. This was a very enjoyable “listen” which I think added a star :-D. The story centers around BJ, an older black woman living in LA. Two of her three kids have issues, and the one that doesn’t acts white. BJ ends up taking care of her two grandsons. She also has two sisters, each with their own issues and a husband who has Alzheimer. The story unfolds through the viewpoints of all these characters which makes it fun because you see the same events from different points. I greatly enjoyed meeting BJ and her family over the span of 20 or so years.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 5, 2015
      • JoLene R #

        Dec 6: Number in Title
        Book: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
        Completed: 22-Dec-2015 4 stars
        This is a YA fantasy heist novel set in the same world as the Grisha trilogy (starts with Shadow and Bone) — although you can pick this up without reading the first one. The chapters alternate between the 6 main characters that are part of the heist. In story moves forward pretty quickly, but you also get a fair amount of back-story of these teenagers. I thought it was well written and all the main characters were well rounded and interesting. It is the first book of a trilogy so there are a few loose ends — heavy sigh.

        Challenge: 3/31

        Liked by 1 person

        December 22, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      Day 2: 4th on a GoodRead List DC New 52 vs Marvel Now

      Ms Marvel, Vol 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson (Author), Adrian Alphona (Artist)
      Completed: Dec 9 4 stars
      So — I read a fair amount of graphic novels, but this may be the first “super-hero” one that I have read (at least as an adult). I really like the premise of a Muslim teenager being a kick-a– hero. I don’t have the background on Captain Marvel so I think I will check this out.

      What I liked about the first volume is that Kamala seems to have a normal family — overprotective, but normal. A Muslim-American family is not something that I see portrayed often in the books that I read so it was a nice change. Families are families ;-). I also liked that she didn’t understand her powers and had to practice and test herself. I will continue this story and probably check out Captain Marvel as well.

      Challenge Score 2/31

      Liked by 2 people

      December 11, 2015
      • I’ve been keeping up with Ms. Marvel and it’s such, such an excellent comic. I’ve been reading Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel, too, and while Carol Danvers is my favorite (as a character), I think Kamala Kahn’s series is more impressive. If that makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 10, 2016
      • JoLene R #

        I just bought Captain Marvel, Vol 1 — I also picked up Ms Marvel Vol 2 and 3 — it is a very unusual take.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 22, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 13: Animal on the Cover
      Book: Animal Farm by George Orwell
      Completed: 13-Dec-2015 3 stars
      I somehow missed reading this in school which amazes my husband. I knew the basic premise of the story, but I didn’t realize that it was meant to be a scathing indictment of the Russian revolution. It was a very effective satire, but I can’t say that I really loved it. while the set-up of using farm animals taking over a farm was genius, I found that I was not super-engaged. I understand why this is considered a classic, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea.

      Tally: 4/31

      Liked by 2 people

      December 23, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      Day 23: Funny Cover – Grumpy Cat by Grumpy Cat
      Completed: 12/26/15 2.5 stars
      This is obviously meant to be a humorous book about all the ways that this cat stays grumpy. Most were pretty silly but some of the photos really did make me laugh. Of course, I am still a huge fan of the original grumpy cat: Garfield!!!

      Tally: 5/31

      Liked by 1 person

      December 27, 2015
    • JoLene R #

      Can I get a ruling on the Dec 9 – shapes and symbols? Too bad I didn’t wait as it has art on the cover 😀 I’m not sure if we ever got the ruling about if we can backfill with books that we’ve read since Dec 1.

      Like

      December 30, 2015
      • sure. let me take a look. I thought I answered all the outstanding ones. And yes, you can backfill as long as it’s a book you started no earlier than Dec 1

        Like

        December 30, 2015
      • Sorry, didn’t see my reply but pretty sure I had responded. that book is fine

        Like

        December 30, 2015
      • JoLene R #

        Day 9: Symbols or Shapes on cover – The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
        Completed: 12/27/15 4.5 stars
        If someone would have told me that I was going to read and enjoy a book about Jesuits in space, meeting aliens, I would have laughed pretty hard. However, this book is often mentioned as a favorite so I decided to pick it up. Emilio Sandoz is a Jesuit priest and linguist who in 2060 returns to Earth alone, disfigured and psychologically damaged. No one knows what happened to him or the other members of the mission and so the Father General sets about trying to figure out what has happened. The story unfolds through flashbacks as well as interviews with Sandoz.

        This book really covered a lot of ground —- it was a slow start for me because there are a lot of characters to keep track of at the beginning. I was listening to the audio but also had a physical copy which I ended up preferring. Although there are certainly implausible parts, I found the whole mission and research very interesting. While many of the characters were Jesuits, and the book discusses religious topics, it was in no way preachy or dogmatic. I have a feeling that this story will stay with me for a long time to come. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, but it seems that perhaps the sequel will bring the closure to the story.

        Like

        January 1, 2016
      • JoLene R #

        Tally 7/31 — with the Sparrow

        Like

        January 1, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 15: Book with 324 pages – Charming the Shrew
      Completed: 12/31/15 3 stars
      Romance isn’t really my favorite genre, and I actually bought this because I thought it was the author of the Pink Carnation series. As far as the genre goes, this is a solid entry. The story moves fairly quickly and there is a backdrop of intrigue which I liked; however, I still had to roll my eyes at some of the typical tropes (out spoken female, hidden identies and every touch sets of smoldering passions).

      I am linking to the kindle edition on GoodReads for the page numbers as the kindle version didn’t have them. Kindle Edition

      Tally: 6/31

      Like

      January 1, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 11: Book with mostly purple cover: Bitch Planet, Vol 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick
      Completed: 1/12/16 3.5 stars
      I am in a graphic novel book club and this was the January selection. I can honestly say that I would not have picked it up on my own and almost stopped reading after the “first issue”. (Graphic novels are generally a collection of 5-8 issues into one volume). However, I did end up liking where they took the story. Basically in some future world, the christian right has taken over and woman have taken a step back in time and now are expected to live like 1950’s housewives. Non-compliant woman are shipped to another planet, dubbed Bitch Planet. If you like Orange is the New Black, this might be a graphic novel series that would appeal to you.

      Tally: 8/31

      Like

      January 16, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 29: Map inside: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
      Completed: 1/23/16 3 stars
      This book had a really interesting premise — 4 Londons exist in 4 different worlds/planes, each with a varying degree of magic. Rare blood magicians named Antari are able to travel between these worlds. Kell is an Antari, but also he is a smuggler, bringing tokens between the worlds which is strictly forbidden. While the world building was great, and it was fast-paced, I found some aspects of the story a bit repetitive. It also lacked good character development.

      Tally: 9/31

      Like

      January 23, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 17: A book that has been read by a participant during one of our challenges
      Book: What She left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman
      Completed: 1/29/16 4.5 stars
      Complete GR Review

      This was read by Glo-worm in the summer challenge – I posted her review on the Wikia.
      A dual story-line about Izzy, a teenager with a tragic past, and Clara, a woman who was institutionalized in a mental hospital in the 1920’s. Both stories had heart-breaking moments, but the strength of both women shines through. The story was very fast-paced and I read it within 36 hours because you just kept wanting to find out what happened next.

      10/31

      Like

      January 30, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 21: Only words on cover
      Book: After You by Jojo Moyes
      Completed: 1/26/16 3 stars
      Full review on GR
      This is the sequel to Me Before You where we find out what happens to Louisa Clark after the tragic events of the other book. Unfortunately, while I still enjoy Moyes’ writing, I did not feel like Louisa was the same spunky character that I had grown to love in the first book.

      Tally: 11/31

      Like

      January 30, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 5: Beautiful Cover
      Book: Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
      Completed: 1/10/16 4.5 stars
      Full review on GR
      This is the story of two outcasts, a slave and a chinese orphan, who disguise themselves as boys so that they can travel west to find their brother and a family friend (respectively). They encounter numerous adventures and forge a touching friendship. I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to reading more from this author.

      Tally: 14/31 (for the tally in Flora & Ulysses post)

      Like

      January 30, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 26: Fruit on the Cover – First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
      Completed: 2/3/16 3 stars
      Ten years after Garden Spells, the Waverly sisters are both experiencing some restlessness. Bay, Sydney’s daughter is also having some issues. Allen’s formula of family drama in a small southern town with a bit of magical realism thrown in is alive and well and always enjoyable.

      Tally: 15/31

      Liked by 1 person

      February 22, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 17: Read by another participant for a Reader’s Room Challenge
      Book: What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman
      Completed: 1/30/16 4.5 stars
      This is my Feb F2F book club pick, and I can say that I wasn’t really super excited when I read the description. However, once I started, I read this in less than 48 hours. This is a dual story line following a troubled teenager, Izzy with a tragic past. She has just moved in with new foster parents, who happen to work at a museum. Her foster mom is involved in project where they are re-building stories from inmates of the Willard institution (a mental institution) from looking through suitcases found on the site. Izzy has mixed feelings because her mother was also diagnosed with mental illness. The second story is the story of Clara, one of the Willard patients; her suitcase contains photos, letters and journal. I recommend this if you like plot-driven stories —- our bookclub consensus was that it wasn’t the best written work, but an enlightening read about how mental illness was treated.

      Tally: 16/31

      Liked by 1 person

      February 22, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 7: Author from one of the “Around the World” blog posts: England
      Book: A Morbid Taste of Bones by Ellis Peters (Edith Mary Pargeter)
      I’ve had this series on my radar for a while and misread the clue — I read it because it’s set in Wales (one of the featured countries), but it turns out that the author is from England, which was another featured country).
      This is first in a series (of 22 books) about a monk named Brother Cadfael. For the first adventure, Brother Cadfael accompanies several monks from his priory to Wales; Prior Robert wants to raise the stature of their priory by obtaining a relic of a Saint. The monks descend on Gwytherin, a small town in Wales to basically steal the bones of the local saint, Saint Winifred. The locals are not all that happy and one of the more vocal opponents ends up dead in a field under suspicious circumstances. As a welshman, Brother Cadfael was brought along to translate, but he also feels a lot of sympathy for his fellow countryman and wants to see that justice is done, so he decides to investigate.

      Overall, I enjoyed the story and the characters, although at times it was sometimes difficult to keep track of the different monks and welshman —- however, I was also reading this sporadically so that could be the issue. There were some laugh out loud moments as Cadfael tries to use guilt to illicit responses to get to the bottom of the mystery.

      Tally: 17/31

      Liked by 2 people

      February 23, 2016
      • I love the Cadfael books. He’s such a wry man, with an interesting past.

        Like

        February 27, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 29: A book with stars or moon on the cover. Photo proof on wikia.
      Book: The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
      Completed: 2/25/16 4 stars
      This book is the story of Andras Levi, a young jewish hungarian who goes to Paris to stufy architecture. He meets and falls in love with an older woman, also Hungarian, but must go back to Hungary when his student visa needs to be renewed. The story covers the years leading up to WWII and both of their families are impacted by the war. It was well written and highlighted a country that isn’t often covered in typical WWII stories.

      Tally: 18/31

      Liked by 1 person

      March 1, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 24: Support your indie bookstore. (photos posted on wikia)
      Book: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
      Completed: 2/28/16 4.5 stars
      The owner of a local bookstore recommended this book. Molly is a foster kid with a knack for getting in trouble. When she needs to do some community service hours, she ends up working for an elderly woman, Vivian, cleaning up her attic. As they go through the boxes, Vivian tells Molly her history as part of the orphan train program, where orphans from the east coast were shipped to the midwest for adoption. Often times, these orphans were mistreated and basically became indentured servants. It was a touching story highlighting an aspect of history that has been forgotten. I enjoyed both stories and seeing the relationship between the 90 year old woman and 17 year old teenager develop. Definitely a good recommendation for me!

      Tally 19/31

      Liked by 1 person

      March 1, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 22: Read a book with a main character, who has the same initials as you (first and last names) or who shares your first name
      Book: The Second Son by Lee Childs — Jack Reacher series
      Completed: 2/28/16 3 stars
      This is a short novella depicting a couple of days in Jack’s teenage years. His father has just moved the family to Okinawa and Jack and his brother Joe are having the typical adjustments of dealing with bullies, meeting girls and worrying about their new school. It was funny to see Reacher as a teenager, and nice to see the interactions with his brother.

      Tally: 20/31

      Liked by 1 person

      March 1, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      OMG — I just realized that this ended on March 15. For some reason, I thought it was on the 31st. I several other books I could have logged 😦

      Like

      March 26, 2016
      • No, you are right. I have to change the date on the challenge page. End of March is the new date (for first prizes) but more prizes awarded at end of year so you have lots of time

        Like

        March 26, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 12: Library Excursion:
      Book: Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn
      Completed: 3/7/16 4 stars (pictures on wikia)
      NOTE: this is the first book in the series which Jen allowed me to switch to
      This was fun — I decided to try the mystery section because although I don’t read many, I almost always enjoy them. My fav genre is historical fiction and it doesn’t have its own section :-D. This is a series set in the 1923 Britain where an aristocratic girl, Daisy Darymaple decides she wants to be more independent and tries her hand at journalism. Her first assignment is to do a lifestyle piece on Wentwater Court. Unfortunately, while she is there, one of the houseguests is found dead out by the pond so Daisy gets pulled into the investigation. Lucky for her the Scotland Yard investigator is quite dreamy. Seems like a fun series and since I’m all caught up on my fav 20’s cozy mystery series: Her Royal Spyness, I will have fun continuing with this one.

      Tally 21:31

      Like

      March 26, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 14: Ugly book cover
      Book: McSweeney’s Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories by various
      Completed: 3/2/16 2 stars
      I’m not a huge fan of short stories. I’m also not a huge fan of “horror”. Most of these stories are not really horror but just strange. I picked this up because I like many of the authors such as Chabon, Doyle and Atwood. In addition, I had been curious about Mieville, and Mitchell. Mitchell’s story was my favorite, but even that I would only rate 3 stars. Sorry folks — can’t really recommend this.

      Tally: 22/31

      Liked by 1 person

      March 26, 2016
      • JoLene R #

        Actually — I only rated this 1 star.

        Like

        March 26, 2016
      • Can you delete this? Gives away the answer. Wait to post until after March 31

        Like

        March 26, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      OK — I rated the McSweeney’s book 1 star; Thousand Autumns was 3 stars 😉

      Day 16: Signed by an Author
      Book: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
      Completed: 3/13/16 3.5 stars
      3.5 stars

      Etta Spencer is a violinist about to make her debut, when her whole world is rocked. It turns out that her mother, Rose, has been keeping secrets about their family’s heritage. Rose has hidden an important object in the past, and little did Etta know, but her mom has been giving her clues to its location throughout her life. While her mother is being held hostage by a rival family, Etta must race thru time with a fellow traveler, Nicholas, who has his own agenda.

      I do love a good time travel yarn and this one was no exception. Etta is a plucky heroine, but I liked how she was able to piece together the clues that her mother left. Her naiveté about certain situations like the treatment of women lent credibility to the story. However, on the downside, the time travel system got a bit confusing from time to time — granted, I had a pretty bad head cold while reading so perhaps it’s just user error. I also didn’t particularly like the way the romance was written — it was a bit too trope-y for me (curling toes, kisses that take your breath away). Both the main characters were interesting and I do look forward to seeing what happens in the second book.

      Tally: 24/31

      Like

      March 26, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 18: Self-published or Indie Press
      Book: The Bette Davis Club by Jane Lotter
      Completed: 3/13/16 3.5 stars

      This was a fun book — Margo goes to her nieces wedding in CA, but her niece pulls a runaway bride and dashes off to Palm Springs taking some valuables of Margo’s sisters with her. Margo is a bit down on her luck, and her sister offers her a lot of money to retrieve her niece and more importantly the valuables. This leads to a cross country road trip with the jilted fiancee where they encounter dancing lesbians, cranky old ladies and a mobster who wants to kill them.

      Over all, this was an enjoyable read. However, there were some serious downers associated to Margo’s story which led a bit to an uneven feeling while reading. I got this for free with the Amazon Unlimited program so I wasn’t expecting a literary masterpiece. It was what I would call a palate cleanser — a pleasant reading experience with a decent plot and lots of humor sprinkled throughout.

      Tally: 25/31

      Like

      March 26, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 3: Author Interaction
      Book: A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab
      Completed: 3/26/16 5 stars
      Logged photos and interaction on wiki.
      I liked the first book — the concept was great, but the main character was just so-so. However, I loved this 2nd book. It had one of the best opening chapters I’ve read in a long time. The second book is centered around the Essen Tasch, which is like the Magic Olympics in Red London. We are introduced to some new characters and also find out about how the events of book 1 have affected the relationship between the brothers, Rhy and Kell.

      Why did I like this book more? First, I liked the new characters, especially Alucard Emery who is a the captain of the Night Spire. While Kell was still a bit brooding, I actually felt like he had more reason to be a downer. I felt like we have seen Rhy evolve from a playboy to someone that has the poise to become a potential king. And then there’s Lila — one of my new favorite characters — and to quote the book “I am Lila Bard, and I am one of a d—ed kind”. My only complaint is that this one ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger — I really hate that about trilogies.

      Tally: 27/31

      Liked by 1 person

      March 27, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 8: Literary Excursion
      Book: The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore
      Completed: 3/5/16 3 stars
      Dr Caleb Maddox is having a bad week….his girlfriend dumps him, he’s in danger of losing his grant for a pain study and he can’t seem to find a mysterious woman he met in a bar when he was drowning his sorrows. In addition, his best friend Henry, the SF coroner, thinks that there is a serial killer on the loose.

      The good — this is a twisty-turny book that keeps you guessing. The beginning was a bit slow, but the last half of the book was at break-neck speed. There were some very gringe-worthy scenes that I was happy that I wasn’t watching. Unfortunately, there were a few things that I really disliked. The writing seemed a bit awkward…..I think that Moore was going for a noir feel, but he didn’t quite get it right. Also, the book is set in San Francisco, a city that I’m very familiar with. I’m not sure if he was trying to add credibility, but street names and specific places were called out far too often. I almost felt like I was with someone who was name-dropping to impress me. For example, they would call out the streets that he took to get home EVERY time he went home. I think that there was one instance that he mentioned something that was completely wrong. There was also something about lab equipment that wasn’t correct.

      My last two complaints may not even be noticeable to someone else, so I wouldn’t let that stop you from picking this up. I recommend you try a sample to see if the writing style annoys you — you will know quickly. As far as a mystery thriller goes, on those points, I would give it 4 stars.

      Tally: 28/31

      Like

      March 27, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 30: Art on the cover
      Book: The Painted Kiss by Elizabeth Hickey
      Completed: 3/31/16 3 stars
      Art and location posted on wiki
      This is the story of Emilie Flogel, the inspiration for the famous painting called “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt. There has always been a lot of speculation of their relationship. The story is told from the point of view of Flogel with some interludes about some of Klimt’s more famous painting. As a typical artist, Klimt was also known for his bohemian lifestyle.

      I was drawn into this story right away. The setting of turn of the century Vienna and life at the Flogel household was interesting. I didn’t know much about Klimt so the descriptions of his artistic process and the politics of the art world were new. I thought that the story about how their relationship evolved seem plausible; however, about 2/3 of the way through the book, I got a bit tired. While Emilie seems like a very strong woman, she lacked self esteem is certain areas of her life and I think that is one reason why I lost interest. I don’t want to dissuade anyone from reading this because I also might have lost interest because I’ve been a bit under the weather.

      Tally: 29/31

      Like

      April 1, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 25: “Gift Exchange”
      Book: The Tsar of Love and Techno by Antony Marra
      Completed: 2/17/16 4 stars
      I’m not the biggest fan of short stories — in fact I usually avoid them, but since [book:A Constellation of Vital Phenomena|18428067] was one of my favorite books last year and this was one of the TOB selections, I decided to give it a go. The earlier book focused on the war in Chechnya and that region of the world (former USSR) and war was still one of the themes. Each of the stories had its own focus, but there were some repeating characters throughout the book, despite jumps in time and location.

      I enjoyed finding the linkages and seeing stories played out from different perspectives. I would recommend that you read the stories fairly quickly do that you can connect all the dots. I took a couple of longer breaks between stories which didn’t help the continuity. I love Marra’s writing style — his descriptions and turn of phrase are very evocative. I didn’t always like the actual change of POV — some stories were in 1st person, some in 3rd and one was even in the 1st person plural (Greek chorus anyone??) I suppose this is one of the aspects of short story collections that I don’t like. If you liked his first book, you will definitely like this one!

      Tally: 29/31 —- I think that I miscounted somewhere because I have two books left to finish. Unfortunately this week was CRAZY and I’m still a bit under the weather so sadly I wasn’t able to finish them. 😀

      Like

      April 1, 2016
      • Charisma #

        You did great! I wish I could read as fast as you and Mrs Hicks 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        April 1, 2016
    • JoLene R #

      Day 28: A book reviewed on blog that BW and I have given different ratings.
      Book: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Euginedes
      Completed” June 12, 2016 3 stars
      I agree with Bookworm.

      This is the story of Madeline Hannah and the two men that love her. As the three are just gearing up to graduate from Brown (sometime in the 1980’s), each is dealing with the larger questions of what to do with their lives. The story was at times humorous, but also dealt with some serious topics such as mental illness. I thought that the writing was great, but I didn’t really care for any of the characters.

      Tally: 30/31

      Liked by 1 person

      June 12, 2016
  22. Cora #

    Starting a little late, but thought it might be fun to participate.

    Cora’s Scavenger Hunt Thread

    Liked by 1 person

    December 10, 2015
    • Not late at all. Most people have yet to post their first book and you’ll have 3 months! Glad you can join us!

      Like

      December 10, 2015
      • Cora #

        Item #4: completed 12/28/15
        Tally: 2/31

        I read Acorna by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball. The cover is on the Wikia page. I rate it 3 stars. Three miners find a pod carrying an alien baby and decide to raise her. The girl has a horn growing out of her forehead that has special abilities to heal and purify. As the girl grows at a rate much faster than human children, the miners realize that others would like to take the girl, who they named Acorna, off their hands and exploit her powers. The three miners do everything they can to protect Acorna and give her a meaningful life, but even they can’t shield her from all the injustice in the galaxy. This was a fun book with some interesting and enjoyable characters. I liked reading it, but I suspect it will not be one that I remember later.

        Like

        December 28, 2015
    • Cora #

      Item #1: completed 12/15/15
      Tally: 1/31

      I read On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells. Ms. Wells and I share January 29 as our birthday. This was a charming book. I really liked how Wells captured the devastation of the stock market crash to a mid-Western family. Oliver and his father were lovely characters that were easy to root for. The time travel aspects of the book were interesting – more fantasy than science fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 16, 2015
      • Cora #

        I forgot to add my star rating for On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 16, 2015
    • Cora #

      Item #2: Competed 1/4/16
      Tally 3/31

      I read The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. It was #4 on a Buzzfeed list of Best Fantasy Novels of 2015 (the link is in the Wikia page). It is a hard book to summarize without revealing spoilers. Generally speaking it is fantasy dystopia about a world where seismic disaster has caused the end of the world, but soon find out that ends are also beginnings. We follow the story of three women that are part of a society where some have the power to control the planet’s seismic energy. Those with this power are needed to keep the world safe, but also feared and heavily controlled. When one such person finds her toddler son dead by the hand of her husband and her daughter taken away by him, she begins a journey through a dying world intent on finding her daughter. The book was beautiful, brutal, and unique. It is one of the few books I have read where part of the story is told in 2nd person – and it works. I am looking forward to the next book in this fascinating new world.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 4, 2016
      • Cora #

        Forgot to add that I rated The Fifth Season 4-1/2 stars.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 4, 2016
      • Sounds good.

        Like

        January 4, 2016
    • Cora #

      Item #7: completed 1/5/16
      Tally: 4/31

      I chose to read Skellig by David Almond for item 7. He is an English author. I rated Skellig 4 1/2 stars. It is a middle school level book, so please let me know if that is a problem. If so I will read another one for this item. Skellig is about a boy who is dealing with upheaval in his life. His family just moved into a new home, a fixer upper that needs a lot of work, and his newborn sister is having life threatening medical issues. In the middle of this emotional turmoil, he discovers a mysterious being living in his garage. This was a beautiful and inspirational book with characters that all felt interesting, yet real. It deals with some tough issues, but handles them well.

      Like

      January 5, 2016
    • Cora #

      Item #14: completed 1/7/16
      Tally: 5/31

      The worst cover on my shelf was on Seven for a Secret by Elizabeth Bear. I rated it it 3 1/2 stars. This was the second book in the series featuring Vampire, Sebastian, and his court. This book took place about 40 years later. They are in London, which is being occupied by Nazi Germany in this alternative history. It was OK. I didn’t find the story as fleshed out and complete as the first one. It felt like the beginning of a story instead of a complete story like the first one. I will have to read the third novella in the series to see if it is more of a continuation of this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 8, 2016
    • Cora #

      Item #12: completed 2/8/16
      Tally: 6/31

      The Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton:
      This book is the story of two women, one a photojournalist and one a journalist, covering World War II. The women covered the war despite the fact that they could not get permission to do so. They were helped by a British military photographer. The three of them were trying to be among the journalists covering the liberation of Paris. All of the journalists were racing to be able to say they were the first ones there to report. The story is told from the point of view of Jane, the photojournalist as she reminisces about the past fifty years later. I thought the book was OK. I enjoyed learning about what it was like being a woman trying to report on the war. I felt like the format made it hard for me to really get to know the characters. You were seeing things through Jane’s eyes and Livvie, the photojournalist, seemed so hard to get to know that I would have liked to know what she was thinking more. I really liked the quotes from real journalists and photographers at the beginning of each chapter. I wish that it would have included some of the photographs taken as well since so much of the story focuses on photography. Although I wanted more from this story, I did like reading it and it has peaked my interest in the real women in history covering the war. I will probably look up some of the non-fiction works mentioned in the author’s note.

      Liked by 2 people

      February 8, 2016
    • Cora #

      Item #6: completed 2/20/16
      Tally: 7/31

      Three Hearts and Three Lions – Poul Anderson (2 1/2 stars)

      Holger is working with resistance fighters opposing Nazi occupation in Denmark during World War II when he is shot. He awakens,naked, in a strange forest far from the battle. Soon it is evident that he is in a world much different than his own, yet strangely familiar. Here there are witches, dwarves, and maidens that can turn into swans among other magical beings. Holger begins a quest to find his way home, but it will not be easy since the forces of Chaos are marshalling against the forces of Law and the strange new world is also on the brink of war.

      This is a classic fantasy novel that laid the groundwork for works that followed. Holger is on a classic quest and defeats many obstacles along the way. I found the parallels our hero makes between the fantasy world war and World War II were interesting social commentary, but I found that the portrayal of women in the book offsetting and kept me from enjoying the book. It seems that the women, both good and evil, are good for only one thing and they will use that one thing to get what they want and the poor hero can barely resist (because of course all the women in the book want him).

      Like

      February 20, 2016
  23. Nicole D. #

    Nicole D.

    Like

    December 13, 2015
    • Nicole D. #

      I sadly share a birthday with Anne Tyler. Sadly because it made me read this book.

      A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler
      2/5

      This wasn’t on my radar, and it should have stayed that way. Ugh. Top 10 lists? No. Man Booker? No. The $1.00 remainder bin, so you buy it and it sits on your shelf forever never being read? Yes.

      Really, super, unlikeable uninteresting characters are in a family together. That’s it. Oh wait, and there’s a house.

      Item #1

      Challenge 1/31

      Liked by 1 person

      December 13, 2015
      • See idiot like Anne Tyler. I’ve avoided this latest because I have certain stereotypes about her books that they wouldn’t appeal to me. I own it, but haven’t been able to bring myself to read it despite the hype. Your review doesn’t help increase my motivation.

        Like

        December 13, 2015
      • Nicole D. #

        I really promise you are not missing anything

        Liked by 1 person

        December 13, 2015
      • If it helps, I’ve read five of Anne Tyler’s other books and really liked them, but A Spool of Blue Thread fell totally flat for me. I can’t even say why, because it’s not like it’s different from the others—the structure, content, characters are all very . . . well, Anne Tyler. But I would definitely recommend The Accidental Tourist or Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant over this.

        Like

        February 10, 2016
    • Nicole D. #

      It will come as no surprise that I found the purple heart in ONE … Item 10.

      I will be reading a book by a similar author.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 13, 2015
    • Nicole D. #

      2/31

      item 14 – UGLY cover!

      Purity – Jonathan Franzen
      3.5/5
      First ….Ugliest cover ever? Are we talking about this? When I first saw the cover I thought it was the “coming soon” cover, but nope…..
      I liked a lot of this book but on the heels of A Spool of Blue Thread, and while I was also reading Fates and Furies, it may have ultimately influenced me. I listened on audio and at the end there was an author interview, and he said that it was about the battle of the sexes. OK … I can see that. Sort of. There was also talk of there being humor in this book, I did not see that. What I know for sure, is that this was a book with 4 main characters, and sort of like what I read of the Corrections, we got the story from several points of view. That’s never my favorite. It was definitely a character driven novel, unfortunately, few of the characters were lovable, and some of them were downright intolerable. Purity’s mother (deliberately calling her that) was a caricature and beyond annoying.
      There were some interesting subjects raised by the novel which could have been great, but were overshadowed by these exceptionally flawed people and I didn’t like the way it all came together in the end.
      It was a solid 4 for most of the book – it never captured my attention the way Freedom did, and in the end it left me feeling a bit flat. If you aren’t going to be blown away by Franzen, why read him?

      Liked by 1 person

      December 19, 2015
    • Nicole Del Sesto #

      Item 3/31

      #19 Little Library visit

      Holes – Louis Sachar
      3/5

      I have to say they did a good job with the movie of this book, because it was exactly the same. I picked this up for Readers Room Scavenger Hunt challenge thinking there is usually more to the book than the movie. Alas, it was not so. It’s a cute friendship story – but if you’ve seen the movie no reason to read the book.

      Pics posted on Wikia

      Liked by 1 person

      December 23, 2015
    • Nicole D. #

      4/31

      #21 a book with no images on the cover

      Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
      5/5

      This was a re-read for me, and I did audio this time. After all the buzz this book was getting, I went back and read my previous review, and I said that I should do a re-read. Seemed like a good idea.

      Full review here: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/21541/discussions/533052/December-Reviews-of-Books-that-Do-Not-Fit-the-Tag?showall=true#14031787

      Like

      December 28, 2015
    • Nicole D. #

      5/31

      #3 – social media interaction (posted on Wikia)

      Between, Georgia – Joshilyn Jackson
      5/5

      This is a re-read for me. It’s one of them there Southern Feud type books. The year I first read it, it made my favorites. I love Jackson. The characters are fun and interesting, and there was a precocious type child in this one who was really well done. Totally enjoyable. Jackson reads her own book and she’s a great narrator. I definitely recommend her if you are looking for something entertaining.

      Like

      January 5, 2016
    • I finished a book. Don’t die of shock or anything.

      6/31

      #4 a book with water on the cover

      Everyone Brave is Forgiven – Chris Cleave 4/5

      I really adore Chris Cleave, but I skipped his book on the Olympics because the topic just doesn’t interest me (sorry!) I think about his book Incendiary often because of how powerful it was, and I felt like he’d do well with WWII as a topic. And he did. I really liked it.

      The book primarily takes place in London, so it didn’t really break any new ground for me with the slight exception of the topic of racism, which was handled well in the book. I always think of racism against black people as a traditionally American thing, but if this book was any indication it was certainly more global than I realized.

      Part of the book took place on Malta, and that’s certainly quite specific in term of war locale. It was moderately interesting but not an aspect of the war which must be learned about.

      Mostly this was a love story; a story of family, a story of friendship, and of principles. Cleave’s writing was solid as always, and somehow he even managed to weave in some humor. A fast-paced, worthy read.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 24, 2016
    • I finished A Brief History of Seven Killings – Not going to post my review because it will be on the blog at some point.

      This is 7/31

      #6 book with a number in the title

      Like

      February 13, 2016
    • 8/31

      An illustrated book, #20
      Putting the pic on the facebook page

      The First Four Years – Laura Ingalls Wilder
      4/5

      I really loved this series. I’m quite certain I never read this book because it wasn’t published until ’71 after Rose (Laura’s daughter’s) death. Fun fact I didn’t need to know, Rose somehow was involved with Ayn Rand in starting the libertarian movement.

      Those book was found in notebooks in Laura’s stuff after she died, and they published it “as is”. It’s shorter than they rest of the book, but it was lovely story about her first 4 years of marriage and Rose’s birth. I was a nice ending of my time with the Ingalls and Wilders.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 15, 2016
    • 9/31

      #16 A book with an animal on the cover (bird)

      The Nightingale – Kristen Hannah
      5/5

      When I first started reading this book I thought I was going to be disappointed, that I had overdone WWII and I was saturated and probably shouldn’t try to read any more books about it because I can no longer appreciate them.

      I don’t really even know when this book turned for me, but it was SO good. Really well told. I liked that there was a degree of suspense about who’s story was being told. I don’t want to give anything away (at all) but is this based on something true? Did the French resistance participate in the Nightingale type way?

      Parts of this book had me sobbing. Out loud. The woman reminded me of Rose deWit Bukater from Titanic. 🙂 LOL. Her no BS strength. Great book great characters, really well told.

      *need to remember to post the pic later. I need to go to bed.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 23, 2016
  24. Amanda #

    I’m a little late to the party, but this looks like fun. I’m Amanda L. in the 1001 Books and PBT groups on Shelfari for those of you who have seen me there.

    Amanda’s Scavenger Hunt Books and Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    December 19, 2015
    • It too late at all! Welcome

      Like

      December 19, 2015
    • Amanda #

      12/19/15. Tally: Completed 1/31

      Item #16
      They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems by Quraysh Ali Lansana
      4 stars

      I first read this in grad school the semester the author did a poetry reading on campus. I remember his comments about the poems and Tubman’s life were really helpful when it came to reading the collection, and I was surprised by how much I remembered 11 years later. That information really added to my enjoyment of the book. Each poem is written from the point of view of a different person, either Tubman herself or someone who played a part in her life. My favorite was the introductory poem which described the painting on the cover of the book.

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_16:_Item_16

      Liked by 1 person

      December 19, 2015
      • Amanda #

        12/30/15 Tally: Completed 2/31

        Item #21
        American Blood by John Nichols
        3 stars

        This first chapter describes Michael’s time in Vietnam and the atrocities American soldiers committed against Vietnamese citizens during the war. The rest of the novel takes place after Michael returns to the U.S. and has to adjust to “normal” life again. This is not an easy novel to read, and it is certainly not for the faint of heart. The dust jacket calls it pornographic and disturbing, and it is, but it’s also a very powerful commentary on society that is just as relevant today as it was when the book was published in 1987.

        Photo posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_21:_Item_21

        Liked by 1 person

        December 30, 2015
    • Amanda #

      1/4/16 Tally: Completed 3/31

      Item #9
      Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie
      4 stars

      A man is murdered in a room where four other people are playing bridge. Each one has a motive for wanting him dead, and it’s up to Hercule Poirot to figure out which one actually committed the crime. I enjoyed reading this one. Like most of Christie’s mysteries, the solution is not straightforward, which makes her books fun to read to the end.

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_9:_Item_9

      Like

      January 4, 2016
      • Amanda #

        1/7/16 Tally: Completed 4/31

        Item #17
        The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton
        4 stars

        Nick and Susy are both members of the elite upper class society although they are both relatively poor and have to depend on the generosity of their friends to keep up their lifestyles. They decide to marry and agree that they will divorce with no questions asked if either of them ever finds something better. While they are happy being alone together, their relationship starts to crack when they are faced with the morally questionable way they support themselves. I really liked this novel. The questions it raises about the nature of love, marriage, and social norms are very interesting. I thought the ending was a bit weak, but it was satisfying at the same time.

        Read by Lynsey for the Summer Reading Challenge

        Liked by 1 person

        January 7, 2016
    • Amanda #

      1/9/16 Tally: Completed 5/31

      Item #15
      Women in Wodehouse by P.G. Wodehouse
      3 stars

      Although Wodehouse was best known for his male characters, this is a collection of 14 short stories that feature women in some way. As with any collection of stories, some are better than others. My favorites were the ones about Jeeves and Wooster. Overall, these stories were entertaining, but they’re not Wodehouse’s best work.

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_15:_Item_15

      Like

      January 9, 2016
    • Amanda #

      1/10/16 Tally: Completed 6/31

      Item #20
      archy and mehitabel by Don Marquis
      3 stars

      Archy is a cockroach who was a free verse poet in a previous life and who types up his thoughts on the boss’s typewriter when everyone is gone for the night. His best friend is an alley cat named Mehitabel who is always gay. They appeared in Marquis’ newspaper column in the early twentieth century. What I liked most about this book is that Marquis uses Archy to remind us that we should look at the world from perspectives other than our own. Archy gets quite philosophical at times, and my favorite quote from him is “If you get gloomy, just take an hour off and sit and think how much better this world is than hell. Of course it won’t cheer you up much if you expect to go there.”

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_20:_Item_20:_Illustrated_book.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 10, 2016
    • Amanda #

      1/11/16 Tally: Completed 7/31

      Item #4
      A Bridge for Passing by Pearl Buck
      3 stars

      When Pearl Buck’s novel The Big Wave was made into a movie in Japan, she wanted to be on the set to help. She was only in Japan for a few days before her husband, who had been ill for years, passed away. After returning to their home in Pennsylvania for his funeral, she decided to return to Japan so that she would have something to occupy her time and mind. This memoir is her description of the process of making the film, how she mourned for her husband, and how she moved on after his death. Buck certainly led an interesting life. I found the description of how the movie was made to be the most interesting parts of the book. Buck’s reflections on her husband were slow and got a bit tedious after a while, but it’s hard to criticize her for that.

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_4:_Item_4

      Like

      January 11, 2016
    • Amanda #

      1/11/16 Tally: Completed 8/31

      Item #25
      Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
      4 stars

      Franny and Zooey are the youngest members of a family of highly educated and intelligent children. In the first section of the book, Franny is visiting her boyfriend at college for a weekend when her disaffection with the world gets the better of her. She returns to her family’s apartment in New York City and spends a day crying before having a long talk with Zooey about religion, society, and the search for knowledge, among other things. I really liked this book, and I loved Salinger’s sense of humor. Even though Franny and Zooey think they’re unique, I think most people can identify with them and their problems to some extent. I may need to reread this sometime.

      Liked by 3 people

      January 11, 2016
      • Franny and Zooey is my favourite of Salinger’s books about the Glass family. I love the world Salinger created around the Glasses. If you haven’t already read them, Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters is also good, as is A Perfect Day for Bananafish in the Nine Stories anthology.

        Liked by 2 people

        January 12, 2016
    • Amanda #

      1/16/16 Tally: Completed 9/31

      Item #14
      Barabbas by Par Lagerkvist
      4 stars

      This novel is a fictional account of the life of Barabbas, the man who was pardoned instead of Jesus. My cousin recommended it to me and said that it stimulated a lot of discussion about faith in his classes, and he was certainly right about that. I liked this book, but it didn’t blow me away.

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_14:_Item_14

      Like

      January 16, 2016
    • Amanda #

      1/18/16 Tally: Completed 10/31

      Item #23
      Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
      5 stars

      This witty and hilarious series of essays explains the history and current usage of various punctuation marks and laments the decline of proper grammar in contemporary times. Each of the major punctuation marks gets its own section. I genuinely enjoyed this book and can’t wait to get a sheepdog so I can name him Comma in honor of that hard-working punctuation mark that never tires of herding words and phrases into their correct places.

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_23:_Item_23

      Liked by 2 people

      January 18, 2016
      • This is one of my favorite books! Did you know that if you buy the paperback version, there’s a sheet of punctuation stickers in the back?? When I found out, I bought it even though I already own the hardcover. A totally necessary purchase.

        Like

        February 10, 2016
    • Amanda #

      1/18/16 Tally: Completed 11/31

      Item #6
      The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers
      4 stars

      When Lord Peter Wimsey damages his car near an English country town, he spends the night at the local rectory and assists with the bell ringing at the church. A few months later, a body is discovered in the churchyard, and the rector asks Lord Wimsey to help solve the mystery. This is the first time I’ve read Sayers, and even though I was completely lost through all the discussions of bell ringing, I still enjoyed the characters and the mystery.

      Liked by 2 people

      January 18, 2016
    • Amanda #

      1/21/16 Tally: Completed 12/31

      Item #7
      Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Foster (England)
      4 stars

      When Lilia married into the Herriton family, her in-laws never accepted her as a suitable match for a family of their social stature and good breeding. After her husband’s death, the family finds her even more uncontrollable. As the novel opens, everyone is relieved that Lilia is leaving England to travel in Italy for a year. However, her love affair with an Italian ends up causing a bigger scandal than anything else she’s done, and Mrs. Herriton sends her son to Italy to bring Lilia home.

      I really liked this novel. There was a lot going on, and Forster raised a lot of interesting questions about how we view the world around us. I hadn’t read him before, but I’m looking forward to reading more of his work.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 21, 2016
    • Amanda #

      1/27/16 Tally: Completed 13/31

      Item #22
      My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
      5 stars

      The title character shares my initials (AL).

      Asher Lev is raised in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, but instead of studying the Torah, all he wants to do is draw. Asher’s father, a highly respected leader in the community, doesn’t understand his son’s overwhelming desire to waste his time on something useless. Even with his natural talent for art, Asher doesn’t fully understand the creative forces within himself either. This conflict between father and son, tradition and individualism is the focus of the novel.

      I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. A co-worker recently gave me an ornament that says “Lose yourself in a good book,” and I did get lost in this one. I found the descriptions of life in the Hasidic community and the Lev family’s history fascinating. The conflict between Asher and his father was also riveting.

      Like

      January 27, 2016
    • Amanda #

      2/4/16 Tally: Completed 14/31

      Item #13
      Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore
      2 stars

      Samson Hunts Alone grew up on the Crow reservation until he committed a crime and was forced to flee at age 15. Twenty years later, he has the perfect life as a successful insurance salesman. Then love smacks him right in the face while at the same time his spirit animal, the trickster god Coyote, shows up and wreaks havoc.

      Two of Moore’s other books, Lamb and Fool, are on my favorites list, so I was not expecting to dislike this one, but it was uncomfortable to read. None of the characters a likeable, there were a few fleeting jokes but it wasn’t funny overall, and the retelling of the Native American folk tale was not done well. Also, while the book picked up a little in the last third, the ending fell flat.

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_13:_Item_13

      Like

      February 4, 2016
    • Amanda #

      2/4/16 Tally: Completed 15/31

      Item #5
      Palace of Desire by Naguib Mahfouz
      3 stars

      The second novel in the Cairo Trilogy picks up about 5 years after the first leaves off and continues to follow the lives of the Abd al-Jawad family focusing on the second generation. While social progress is a major theme, the different ways father al-Sayyid Ahmad and sons Yasin and Kamal experience love was the thing that really struck me throughout the book. I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue the series after the first book, but now I think that you do need to read all three to really get the point of what Mahfouz was trying to do.

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_5th:_Item_5

      Like

      February 4, 2016
    • Amanda #

      2/13/16 Tally: Completed 16/31

      Item #26
      The Professor of Desire by Philip Roth
      2 stars

      David Kepesh recounts his childhood at the upscale resort his parents ran, his experiences in college, and his relationships with a variety of women. Roth is one those authors who is just not my cup of tea. I acknowledge his contribution to literature; I just don’t enjoy his books. In this novel, Kepesh was just too obsessed with sex for my taste.

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_26:_Item_26

      Like

      February 13, 2016
    • Amanda #

      2/21/16 Tally: Completed 17/31

      Item #27
      The Log From the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck
      3 stars

      In 1940 Steinbeck and his biologist friend Ed Ricketts chartered a boat to take them on a journey from Southern California down the Baja Peninsula and into the Gulf of California (also called the Sea of Cortez). They spend six weeks collecting specimens of marine life in order to write a field manual about the area. The book is written from the journals Ricketts kept during the trip and includes a day-by-day account of their activities, descriptions of the wildlife they encountered, and a relatively in-depth view of Steinbeck’s personal philosophy. The second part of the book consists of an essay Steinbeck wrote about his friend after Ricketts’ death.

      While I love the idea of going out and having this kind of adventure and collecting knowledge for its own sake, I found the journals to be dull. There were some high points, but most of the group’s activities were the same from day to day. However, I really enjoyed Steinbeck’s eulogy of Ricketts. I would have loved to have known those two during their heyday.

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_27:_Item_27

      Liked by 1 person

      February 21, 2016
      • Wow, you’ve read a lot of them so far.

        Like

        February 21, 2016
    • Amanda #

      3/3/16 Tally: Completed 18/31

      Item #10
      Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
      5 stars

      This novel consists of six interrelated stories set in drastically different time periods and locations. Mitchell gives us the first half of each story in chronological order and then gives us the second half in reverse order.

      I really enjoyed this book. It was evident relatively early that it would be very good and it was. I almost want to reread it again immediately to pick up all the clues I missed the first time through. There were a few times when the narrative got a bit more uncomfortable than I would have liked, but my only real complaint is that the ending seemed a bit anticlimactic after the revelations in the middle of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 3, 2016
      • One of my favorite books!

        Like

        March 3, 2016
    • Amanda #

      3/5/16 Tally: Completed 19/31

      Item #30
      Great Painters by Piero Ventura
      3 stars

      This illustrated book gives a brief biography and explanation of the works of many of the major painters from Giotto through Picasso. It was a good introduction to how painting has progressed through the centuries, but I wish it had gone into a little more depth. I also wish that the illustrations had been bigger. Some of the paintings were so small that it was hard to see the details the author talked about.

      Photo evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_30:_Item_30

      Liked by 1 person

      March 5, 2016
  25. I’m terrible at sticking to lists but I will join. Sounds Fun!

    Malvina’s 2016 Scavenger Hunt Tally

    Liked by 1 person

    January 4, 2016
    • Excellent! Most items will hopefully fit with other reading plans. Just make sure you do item 25 step 1 in the next few days- this step doesn’t involve reading anything.

      Like

      January 4, 2016
    • Oh, and if you read any books for the challenge, you can just post your blog review link as evidence!” And that way people can also check out our great blog!

      Like

      January 4, 2016
  26. Lynsey #

    Better late than never!

    Lynsey’s Scavenger Hunt Thread

    Liked by 1 person

    January 5, 2016
    • Yay!

      Like

      January 5, 2016
    • Lynsey #

      Day 25 – Part 1: I recommend The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion for making me laugh and being an excellent break away from literary fiction.

      Like

      January 5, 2016
    • Lynsey #

      1/7/16 Tally: Completed 1/31
      Day 7- The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson – 3 stars
      I chose this book because it is from England and even though I actually read the actual book you discussed, I thought why be redundant. 🙂 I can’t remember a book that started out so promising and then completely lost me. It was so suspenseful in the beginning and then became utterly boring.

      Like

      January 7, 2016
    • Lynsey #

      1/7/16 Tally: Completed 2/31
      Day 19 – Shanghai Girls by Lisa See – 3 stars
      I was happy to find this in my Little Free Library as it’s been on my tbr but it turned out to be just an average 3 star read for me. While there were many interesting historical parts to this book that I enjoyed, I found the story hard lacking in believability and never connected with any of the characters. It was a little too melodramatic for my tastes.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 7, 2016
    • Lynsey #

      01/18/16 Tally: Completed 3/31
      Day 14 – The Real Charlotte by Somerville and Ross – 3.5 stars
      I think everyone probably knows a “Charlotte”. Someone so false, who smiles and says pleasantries while scheming how to get ahead every step of the way. Somerville and Ross do an excellent job depicting this vile character. The Real Charlotte is set in Ireland in the late 1800’s and seems like it’s going to be a fairly typical 19th century novel but turns out different than one would expect. I had an interesting experience reading it as there were parts that I though were really well done and other parts that dragged for me. Overall an entertaining read.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 18, 2016
    • Lynsey #

      1/31/16 Tally: Completed 4/31
      Day 27 – The Martian by Andy Weir – 3.5 stars
      I am probably the only person who isn’t raving about this book. It was a fine, entertaining read but to be honest, i’m not a science person and there is a lot of science in this book. I was expecting the humor to balance it out but most of the humor was pretty canned and I felt like this was written to be made into a movie with a lot of one liners. I gave it 3.5 stars for the sheer genius of the author to even be able to imagine this and create it. It didn’t seem very believable to me but what do I know? Certainly not science.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 31, 2016
    • Lynsey #

      2/4/16 Tally: Completed 5/31

      Day 6 – Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – 3.5 stars
      A dark, heavily satirical look at WWII. I felt a puzzling mixture of both appreciation and utter frustration while reading this book, which I believe was Heller’s intention. I found I could only read a small amount at a time, and had to put it down twice to read other things. There were definitely comedic moments but lying beneath the surface was a very bleak outlook on life. I am glad I read it, finally, but I can’t say I loved it and I will never reread it.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 4, 2016
      • That’s too bad. I loved it and I don’t typically love satire

        Like

        February 4, 2016
    • Lynsey #

      2/6/16 Tally: Completed 6/31

      Day 21 – Aethiopica by Heliodorus – 3 stars

      An ancient Greek romance very similar to Chaereas and Callirhoe. I think I read them too close together. I enjoyed Chaereas and Callirhoe more but it could have been the translation.
      Photo evidence: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_21:_Item_21
      (I may need a ruling on this one Jen. Does having nothing on the front cover count? No images or words?)

      Liked by 1 person

      February 6, 2016
      • Yes, that counts

        Like

        February 6, 2016
      • I also gave it 3 stars

        Like

        February 6, 2016
    • Lynsey #

      2/13/16 Tally: Completed 7/31
      Day 18- On Cedar Hill by Emil Kresl – 4 stars
      Amberjack Publishing, a small indie publishing company out of NY.

      On Cedar Hill is an indie published book by first time author Emil Kresl. It is a collection of stories centered around the people in a well to do fictional neighborhood of Minneapolis. Well, fictional in the sense that the name has been changed but being from Minneapolis I had a pretty good picture of the neighborhood he was describing. I will be honest, the book blurb did not make me want to read this book. “On Cedar Hill will appeal to any reader who has been curious about what may lie behind the mask of propriety of the well-respected, affluent family.”
      This just doesn’t intrigue me at all. I also don’t watch Life styles of the Rich and Famous or The Real housewives of NY. The idea that rich people’s lives aren’t as perfect as their well manicured lawns might suggest is not a new one. Frankly, the writing in the book deserves better. Inside I found interesting characters and a story that had more to offer than just a look at disfunctional families. It is a thought provoking book and written in a way that kept me turning pages to see how it would end. My biggest problem with the book itself is that I wanted more. A problem that I usually have with short stories and why I generally prefer novels. This is not quite the same as all the stories are connected and you do get a satisfying ending but I wanted more depth on some of the characters. I look forward to more by this author.

      Liked by 2 people

      February 13, 2016
    • Lynsey #

      2/17/16 Tally: Completed 8/31
      Day 4 – Purgatory Ridge by William Kent Kreuger – 4 stars
      The photo on the cover is of a cove in Lake Superior

      This is the 3rd book in the Cork O’Connor series by William Kent Kreuger. I enjoyed this read because it is set in a northern town 2 hours from where I live. I feel Kreuger captures the essence of Northern Minnesota perfectly and I enjoy the history on various indian tribes that he includes in his books. This book he really seems to hit his stride and the characters feel better developed to me. There are still times where the dialogue feels a little corny but over all this is a page turning mystery with a background involving issues that are real concerns to the people of Northern Minnesota.

      Photo Evidence posted: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_4:_Item_4

      Liked by 1 person

      February 17, 2016
    • Lynsey #

      3/05/16 Tally: Completed 9/31
      Day 28 – The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh – 3 stars

      I thought for sure that I was going to fall in line with Bookworm, who rated this book 4.5 stars. In fact many people I know loved this book so at the very least I expected it to be a 4 star read. How disappointing to learn that I agree with Jen’s 3 star review on this book. No offense Jen! 🙂 haha I could basically copy Jen’s review as my own. The pace of this book was painfully slow and I developed no connection to the characters. I found I rushed through the last 40 pages of his book because I just wanted to be done. Overall, despite the beautiful writing, I found myself kind of bored.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 5, 2016
      • Sorry. I always root for people to vote on the side of whoever liked it more so I’m sorry it was a 3-star review for you too.

        Like

        March 5, 2016
  27. I found this just in time!

    Gwen’s Scavenger Hunt Thread

    Liked by 1 person

    January 6, 2016
    • Lots of time left but
      Make sure you do number 25 step 1 by today

      Like

      January 6, 2016
    • Never mind saw you already did. Good recommendation!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 6, 2016
    • The Lake, by Banana Yoshimoto (day 4, water on the cover). Four stars.

      For how short this book is, the number of times I was stopped short by a sentence or phrase or paragraph is really unbelievable. I just love the way Japanese works when it’s translated into English, and Yoshimoto is such a promising prospect for me. I liked Kitchen, but it wasn’t anything particularly notable. This book, though, I am going to remember.

      2/31 completed (including the heart symbol, which I’m keeping secret for now).

      Like

      January 21, 2016
      • Just realized I forgot to include the link to my photo proof on Wikia: http://the-readers-room.wikia.com/wiki/Dec_4:_Item_4#comm-600

        Liked by 1 person

        January 26, 2016
      • Ghostwritten, by David Mitchell (heart symbol). Three stars.

        I’ve read four of Mitchell’s books now, and I enjoyed this one, but it’s probably my least favorite so far. Which isn’t fair because I read it while I had the flu, and I couldn’t keep track of the characters and connections that are integral to his style. Will probably have to read again someday for a more accurate assessment.

        2/31

        Like

        April 1, 2016
    • Exegesis, by Astro Teller (item 12, library excursion). Three stars.

      I don’t think this was anything amazing, but it was interesting enough to be worth the two hours it took to read, and it’s certainly something I wouldn’t have found without this challenge! It’s written in the form of emails, so it goes very quickly; it’s a conversation between Alice Lu, a grad student studying artificial research, and Edgar, the program she’s working on.

      Photo proof. 3/31.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 26, 2016
    • The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell (item 26, fruit on the cover). Four stars.

      I read this pretty quickly considering that it’s over 600 pages. It was intriguing and engaging, with surprising elements of contemporary fiction, fantasy, dystopia, and philosophy all in one, and I never wanted to put it down. Also, sort of a side note: the physical book itself is beautiful. It’s really dense and the pages are somehow softer than usual, a little like stonepaper.

      Photo proof. 4/31

      Liked by 1 person

      January 26, 2016
      • It is a beautiful book!

        Like

        January 26, 2016
    • The Essential Ginsberg, by Allen Ginsberg (item 1, writer shares my birthday). Two stars . . . Maybe even one.

      I wanted like this so much more than I did. There were a few really beautiful lines—I loved “who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup,” from Howl—but mostly there was what honestly just sounded like gibberish, too. What does the phrase “new-nippled generations,” for example, even mean? I’m really not a poetry person, and as much as I’d like to be I don’t think I’m a Beat person either.

      5/31

      Liked by 1 person

      January 26, 2016
    • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo (item 7, Read Around the World – Japan). Three and a half stars, maybe four.

      I haven’t done it yet, but this book does make me want to clean out my stuff. Basically every time I was skeptical of something, she responded directly to it and convinced me I should at least try it out. This is a ridiculously in-depth process, but Kondo does a great job of making it seem doable, and the basic philosophy is simple: that you should fill your home only with things that bring you joy.

      6/31

      Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine / Captain Marvel, Vol. 3: Alis Volat Propriis, both by Kelly Sue DeConnick (item 11, book with a purple cover). Four stars.

      I can tell I’m going to love Bitch Planet, but I think I have to wait until I have a few volumes to read at once instead of following along as they come out. She’s too good at creating the horrible misogynist dystopia, and I need less space between the conflict and the resolution.

      Volume three of Captain Marvel was fantastic, and it’s also DeConnick’s last Captain Marvel, which makes me very sad. Carol Danvers is a brilliant character.

      Photo proof. 7/31

      Like

      February 10, 2016
      • The Kondo book terrifies me. My husband bought it and I had to ask him not to read to me from it. I love stuff. It brings me joy.

        Like

        February 27, 2016
      • Haha, I know what you mean. I just want to only have stuff that I’ve chosen on purpose, which is not the case with a lot of junk that’s in my house. I really like a lot of her ideas, and I would like to try them out with the knowledge that my threshold for stuff is higher than hers.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 27, 2016
    • The Interruption of Everything, by Terry McMillan (item 22, main character with same initials). Two stars.

      I liked it until the end, which I found very dissatisfying. I don’t want to give everything away, but Marilyn’s a woman in her forties who is reevaluating her life after her kids have gone off to college–she’s never done anything for herself, everyone takes her for granted, and now her husband’s cheating on her. You know, the usual story. I had high hopes as she spent the whole book realizing she wants different things, but the ending was a major disappointment.

      8/31

      Liked by 1 person

      February 26, 2016
    • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, by David Mitchell (item 20, illustrated book). Four, maybe four and a half stars.

      Loved it; not quite as much as Cloud Atlas, but a little more than The Bone Clocks. I like historical fiction, even when it’s a little painful, as this book is. It’s about Dutch traders in Japan in the late 1700s, which is a strained relationship on top of an already very dangerous enterprise. As always with Mitchell’s books, plot, characters, narrative, and atmosphere are all excellent.

      9/31

      Liked by 1 person

      February 26, 2016
    • Ugh, forgot photo proof again. Here it is.

      Like

      February 26, 2016
    • The Housekeeper and the Professor, by Yoko Ogawa (item 2, book that’s fourth on a list—Yomiuri Prize Winners on Goodreads). Three stars.

      I wasn’t floored or anything, but I liked it and I’m definitely going to read more of her work. The writing is subtle and lovely, lots of beautiful imagery. I was afraid it was going to be a sappy romance and was glad it didn’t turn out that way.

      10/31

      Like

      February 26, 2016
      • Be careful reading more of her work. I loved The Housekeeper and the Professor and followed it up with Hotel Iris, which is very different. Good, but disturbing and not at all what I was expecting.

        Like

        February 27, 2016
      • I figured, based on descriptions I’ve read of her other books. Revenge, in particular. 🙂 I have The Diving Pool on my shelf next, but I’m looking forward to the others, too.

        Like

        February 27, 2016
      • I don’t have The Diving Pool (yet!). I’ll be interested to know what it’s like. I’m sure I read a description for Hotel Iris, but still wasn’t prepared for what happened! Like Jen, I don’t mind dark either, but I like to be prepared rather than mugged by it!

        Liked by 1 person

        February 28, 2016
      • I also loved the Housekeeper and the Professor but have heard her other stuff is very dark. I don’t mind dark but have to be in the right mood for it.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 27, 2016
    • Everything That Rises Must Converge, by Flannery O’Connor (item 21, no images on the cover). Four stars.

      God, I’d forgotten how dark Flannery O’Connor is. I don’t think I’ve read anything of hers since A Good Man is Hard to Find when I was in high school. Her characters are almost universally unlikable (to me, anyway) but they are all so incredibly relatable, which is very unsettling. “A View of the Woods” was especially disturbing.

      Photo proof. 11/31

      Liked by 1 person

      March 4, 2016
      • How did I miss this? I love Flannery O’Connor. I owe a couple of things to REM: my politicisation at age 14 on hearing Fables of the Reconstruction, and an introduction to Flannery O’Connor. Wise Blood is one of my favourite books. 4 or 5 years ago, the Open Culture website shared a link to her reading A Good Man is Hard to Find. I was thrilled to learn that the voice my brain had given her was practically identical to her actual voice.

        One day I will visit Milledgeville, GA.

        Liked by 2 people

        March 23, 2016
      • I remember when they posted that! I don’t know whether I actually listened to it, but I wanted to. I’ll have to do it now. That’s such a great website, by the way, I love Open Culture.

        Like

        March 23, 2016
    • Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline (item 8, literary excursion). Three and a half stars.

      A lot of fun once I got going. I lost patience a few times with what were essentially just lists of geeky references, but once I got a sense for the sections I could skim without missing anything, I breezed through it in a few hours.

      Photo proof of my trip to Austin. 12/31

      Liked by 1 person

      March 5, 2016
    • A Personal Matter, by Kenzaburo Oe (item 14, ugly cover). Five stars.

      This book is my ugly cover submission, and I absolutely loved it, but actually you could say that what’s inside the book is ugly too. The writing itself is beautiful, and it happened several times that I read a sentence and thought to myself, I’m so excited about how much I’m loving this. The story is not beautiful; it’s tragic and painful and twisted. I can’t wait to read more of his books.

      Photo proof. 13/31

      Liked by 1 person

      March 23, 2016
      • I read Silent Cry for this challenge and I loved it. He has such a depth of understanding of human nature, human pain, human suffering. One thing I thought as I was reading Silent Cry: without Oe there might be no Murakami. I’m going to add A Personal Matter to my wish list.

        And that is certainly an ugly cover.

        Liked by 2 people

        March 23, 2016
      • That’s probably true! I have The Changeling at home already, but I’m adding Silent Cry to my list now, too.

        Like

        March 23, 2016
      • I really think he laid a lot of the ground in preparation for Murakami. He’s very Japanese but also very Western, I think. He appreciates the richness of the inner life.

        Like

        March 23, 2016
    • Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan (the sky at night). Three stars.

      I’m going to have to sort out my feelings on this more thoroughly, because I spent most of the book in some degree of irritation, but I think I ended up connecting with it at the same time. It’s about Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson, who are simultaneously incredibly petty and very deep in their love for each other. If nothing else, their relationship is a fascinating subject for a book.

      Photo proof. 14/31

      Like

      March 23, 2016
    • The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner, by Andrea Smith (little free library excursion). Four stars.

      I thought I had already posted them, but I must have deleted the pictures I took when I picked it up from the little free library, so I’m going to have to take more when I go back to drop it off. I wasn’t expecting to like this, because it seemed to be religious/gentle fiction, and those just aren’t my genres. I was very pleasantly surprised. It’s about a group of women who sort of inadvertently start an underground railroad for abandoned babies, told with a lot of depth and several great characters.

      Photo proof pending. 15/31

      Liked by 1 person

      April 1, 2016
    • The Book of the City of Ladies, by Christine de Pizan (art on the cover). Three stars.

      Thought I would like this more than I did—for some reason I was really excited about a book written in 1405, even though I’ve read older ones (maybe it’s because it’s the oldest explicitly feminist text I know of?)—but the idea of the book ended up being much more exciting to me than the content was. Most of the arguments made by Reason, Rectitude, and Justice are in fact the myths about women we’re trying to dispel 600 years later, so it was just a little underwhelming.

      Photo proof. 16/31

      Liked by 1 person

      April 1, 2016
    • Where Am I Now?, by Mara Wilson (item 3, author interaction). Four stars.

      After loving her in my childhood, I rediscovered Mara Wilson a year or two ago and started following her blog. She hadn’t updated in a long time, and when she finally did, it was to announce her new book. I not only really liked the book, I found a surprising amount to relate with – she talks about her experiences filming, of course, but also about mental health struggles throughout her life.

      Photo proof. 17/31

      Liked by 1 person

      December 10, 2016
      • The Vegetarian, by Han Kang (item 5, beautiful cover). Five stars.

        I absolutely loved this book AND its cover. It was so unsettling that I wasn’t even sure what outcome I was hoping for, but it’s been a few months now since I finished and I still think about it often. I can’t wait to read something else by Han Kang.

        Photo proof. 18/31

        Like

        December 10, 2016
      • Number9Dream, by David Mitchell (item 6, number in the title). Four stars.

        I’d already loved Cloud Atlas, but I sort of really discovered David Mitchell thanks to this challenge, and this is the fifth of his books that I’ve now read. I think it’s my next favorite after Cloud Atlas. Parts of it are brutally violent, but it’s as engaging and beautifully written as all of Mitchell’s works are.

        19/31

        Liked by 1 person

        December 10, 2016
      • Such a good book!

        Like

        December 10, 2016
      • Problem Solving 101, by Ken Watanabe (item 9, symbols or shapes on the cover). Two stars, maybe two and a half.

        There are several good ideas in this book, but I somehow have heard them all before. Maybe I attended too many of those “youth leadership” camps as a teenager?

        Photo proof. 20/31

        Liked by 1 person

        December 10, 2016
      • Black Rabbit Hall, by Eve Chase (item 13, animals on the cover). Four stars.

        This book is split between the present and the past, with a different protagonist in each. It was a little frustrating to read because the first storyline, which takes place in the 60s, was absolutely enthralling, but the second storyline (in the present) was very difficult for me to care about – and I was listening on audio, so I couldn’t even just skim until it got back to the good story. I’d still gladly recommend it, but if I ever read it again, I’m sure I will just skip that second storyline entirely.

        Photo proof. 21/31

        Liked by 1 person

        December 10, 2016
      • Rising Sun, by Mike Shorten (item 18, self-published author). Four stars.

        This is actually a book my husband wrote and published himself on Amazon (this is where it’s available). The writing does need editing, but I think the story is fantastically creative and I really enjoy the characters.

        Photo proof. 22/31

        Liked by 1 person

        December 10, 2016
      • Fresh Off the Boat, by Eddie Huang (item 23, funny cover). Three stars.

        I knew nothing about Eddie Huang before reading this, but I’d been dying to see the TV show for a long time, so I was excited about the book by extension. It wasn’t what I expected, but it was surprisingly thoughtful (about race, religion, philosophy) in addition to the interesting facts of Huang’s life. I still want to see the show, though I’ve heard it’s not much like the book.

        Photo proof. 23/31

        Like

        December 10, 2016
      • The Return of the Native, by Thomas Hardy (item 25, gift exchange).Three stars.

        Tess of the d’Urbervilles has always been one of my favorite books, and I’ve been meaning to read more Hardy for probably fifteen years. I liked this, as I suspect I will like all of his books. It has many of the same elements as Tess – his characters face the same types of difficulties – and the language is beautifully descriptive as always.

        24/31

        Liked by 1 person

        December 10, 2016
      • Under the Udala Trees, by Chinelo Okparanta (item 27, map inside). Four stars.

        I’ve had Happiness, Like Water on my list for a long time, but I still haven’t read it. I definitely want to after reading Under the Udala Trees. The protagonist is someone I would love to be friends with, and her story is compelling and poignant.

        Photo proof. 25/31

        Like

        December 10, 2016
    • The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides (item 28, who do you agree with?). Three stars . . . Maybe two.

      I guess I agree with Book Worm, but I think even she liked it more than I did. I hated the first third of it, though I also have to admit that my terrible mood was partly to blame. Then suddenly it got really engaging, so that I burned through the next 200-300 pages, but I finished and now I’m still not sure how I feel. I didn’t care for the triangle, especially because Madeleine – though it’s made clear how intelligent she is, and in many ways she is an empowered female character – sort of ends up being nothing but a catalyst for both Leonard and Mitchell’s personal journeys. She and her parents are so wrapped up in their own privilege that they seem vapid despite being well educated and worldly, and Mitchell is basically a Nice Guy(™). I’ve been meaning to read Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides for years, and I would still very much like to do that, but I don’t think this will be one of my favorites.

      26/31

      Like

      December 11, 2016
      • The Wicked + the Divine, Vol. 3: Commercial Suicide, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (item 31, book published during the challenge – in February 2016). Four stars.

        I’m bummed about McKelvie not drawing these issues because his artwork is most of what makes me love WicDiv so much. But the story is starting to pull together now, and he’ll be back in the next volume. I actually just found volume four at the comic book store and now I’m really excited to read it.

        27/31

        Like

        December 11, 2016
  28. Lynsey #

    1/7/16 Tally: Completed 1/31
    Day 7- The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson – 3 stars
    I chose this book because it is from England and even though I actually read the actual book you discussed, I thought why be redundant. 🙂 I can’t remember a book that started out so promising and then completely lost me. It was so suspenseful in the beginning and then became utterly boring.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 7, 2016
    • Lynsey #

      oops Jen – I meant to keep this with my thread. Are you able to edit it for me and put it in the right place?

      Liked by 1 person

      January 7, 2016
      • Yup. Will move it soon

        Like

        January 7, 2016
      • Lynsey #

        sorry I actually pinned it correctly figuring you could just delete these.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 7, 2016
      • Ok. Will go in and edit. In my phone right now so can’t tell but when I get to a computer, I’ll clean it up for you

        Like

        January 7, 2016

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