seasonsoflove reads in 2013! Chapter 2

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seasonsoflove reads in 2013! Chapter 2

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Editado: Dic 31, 2013, 2:18pm

January 2013
1. Murder on a Hot Tin Roof by Amanda Matetsky
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
3. The Naked Lady Who Stood On Her Head: A Psychiatrist's Stories of His Most Bizarre Cases by Gary Small
4. Dare Me by Megan Abbott
5. Died in the Wool by Ngaio Marsh
6. Superfreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
7. The Child's Book of True Crime by Chloe Hooper
8. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson
9. Detective Piggot's Casebook by Kevin Morgan
10. The Lady and the Panda by Vicki Constantine Croke

February 2013
1. Into the Arms of Madness by Regina Pacelli
2. Capote in Kansas by Kim Powers
3. The Ghost and the Dead Deb by Alice Kimberly
4. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
5. First to Find by Morgan C. Talbot
6. Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
7. Broken Harbor by Tana French
8. Dark Truth by Mariah Stewart
9. Revenge of the Homecoming Queen by Stephanie Hale

March 2013
1. Bones to Pick by Carolyn Haines
2. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
3. Gold Coast Madam by Rose Laws
4. On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle
5. Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
6. Black Dahlia and White Rose by Joyce Carol Oates
7. The Trouble with Magic by Madelyn Alt
8. The Collected Bartleby and James Adventures by Michael Coorlim
9. Deadly Reunion by Elisabeth Crabtree
10. Trail of Blood by Lisa Black
11. The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill
12. The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock

April 2013
1. The Color of Water by James McBride
2. Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon
3. All Booked Up by Terrie Curran
4. Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson
5. Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever by Jack McCallum
6. Night of the Loving Dead by Casey Daniels
7. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris
8. The King's Jar by Susan C. Shea
9. Death by Latte by Linda Gerber
10. Death by Denim by Linda Gerber
11. Hello, Gorgeous by MaryJanice Davidson

May 2013
1. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
2. The Cat Who Sang For the Birds by Lillian Jackson Braun
3. Manhunter: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson
4. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
5. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
6. Cast of Shadows by Kevin Guilfoile
7. The Case of the Curious Bride by Erle Stanley Gardner
8. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
9. Private by Kate Brian

June 2013
1. The Woman Who Wasn't There by Robin Gaby Fisher and Angelo J. Gugliemo Jr.
2. In the Dark of the Night by John Saul
3.. The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
4. The Annals of Unsolved Crime by Edward Jay Epstein
5. Killer Show: The Station Nightclub Fire, America's Deadliest Rock Concert by John Barylick
6. Whodunnit? Murder in Mystery Manor by Anthony E. Zuiker
7. The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter
8. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
9. Manor of Death by Leslie Caine

July 2013
1. Sister by Rosamund Lupton
2. Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
3. The Kill Room by Jeffrey Deaver
4. Halls of Ivy by Roland Nunez
5. Darke Academy: Blood Ties by Gabriella Poole
6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
7. Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender
8. Spying in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
9. Who Killed Mona Lisa? by Carole Bugge
10. The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller
11. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
12. Accomplished in Murder by Dara England
13. Souless Manga: Volume 1 by Gail Carriger
14. Third Degree by Maggie Barbieri

August 2013
1. The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
2. An Appointment With Murder by Jennifer L. Jennings
3. Blood Price by Tanya Huff
4. Ghost Burglar by Jack Burch and James D. King
5. Loose Screw by Rae Davies
6. Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris
7. Whodunnit? Murder in Mystery Manor by Anthony Zuiker
8. Whodunnit? Murder on Mystery Island by Anthony Zuiker

September 2013
1. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
2. The Widows of Braxton County by Jess McConkey
3. Never Buried by Edie Claire
4. True Crime: Real-Life Stories of Abduction, Addiction, Obsession, Murder, Grave-Robbing, and More by Lee Gutkind
5. Zoo by James Patterson
6. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

October 2013
1. Inferno by Dan Brown
2. The Cornerstone by Anne C. Petty
3. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
4. Murder Past Due by Miranda James
5. The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen
6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
7. When Day Breaks by Mary Jane Clark
8. Twelve Red Herrings by Jeffrey Archer
9. A Trial by Jury by D. Graham Burnett

November 2013
1. Chasing Cezanne by Peter Mayle
2. Deeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag
3. Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett
4. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
5. The Silver Needle Murder by Laura Childs

December 2013
1. The Architect by Keith Ablow
2. Music to Murder By by Vernon Hinkle
3. The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley
4. Devil May Care by Elizabeth Peters
5. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
6. Malice Domestic 5 edited by Phyllis A. Whitney
7. Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
8. Blacklands by Belinda Bauer
9. Let Me Off at the Top by Ron Burgundy
10. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
11. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
12. Heaven Preserve Us by Cricket McRae
13. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
14. Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.

Sep 21, 2013, 8:00pm

88. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

One of the best books I've read this year, How the Light Gets In was moving, suspenseful, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and just all around wonderful. The two mysteries running through the book were fascinating, with really amazing twist endings for both, and the resolution of a character-driven storyline (that had deeply broken my heart in the previous book) was exactly what I wanted and needed.

Editado: Sep 21, 2013, 8:36pm

Another great review of Ms Penny's last book. Seems as though she deserves the awards she is picking up. Do you follow her on Facebook or another social media site? She seems like such a nice person.

Congratulations on your new thread! You are reading some great books this year.

Sep 22, 2013, 10:21am

I don't follow her on other social media sites, but I'm planning on doing so-she does seem like a really nice person.

Thanks so much! I've really lucked out with my reading this year.

Sep 22, 2013, 12:13pm

dear heart, don't call it "luck"; call it your very fine, informed, discernment! Good choices.

Sep 30, 2013, 5:20pm

congrats on your 2nd thread! good grief! another Louise Penny fan. between you and the proprietor of Joe's Place, i may have to try one more of hers. i'll just skip all the ones between her 2nd one, which i pearl-ruled, and this. maybe. if a space opens up. the likes of anyone who liked Code name Verity deserves my consideration when it comes to book recommendations.

i know what you mean about lucking into books. i've been insanely lucky this year too. and then i've made a lot of really abysmal choices so it all evens out.

Oct 1, 2013, 8:22pm

#5-Aw, thanks so much!

#6-Thanks! Yeah, my dad got me hooked on Louise Penny's books, and now I can't stop.

89. Inferno by Dan Brown

While this starts out slower than previous Robert Langdon novels, and drags a bit between discoveries, Inferno is still a fun, suspenseful read that ties in literature, history, and architecture in some really interesting ways. It's when Brown ventures into scientific territory that the book verges on the ridiculous, but the story is interesting enough that it kept me reading and engaged.

Oct 5, 2013, 10:46am

90. The Cornerstone by Anne C. Petty (Early Reviewer)

The Cornerstone is an interesting take on the famous Faustus story. A local theater is putting on a production of the play, and the director has a mysterious supernatural connection to the original author. Strange things begin happening, and the protagonist, Claire, tries to figure out what is going on.

The book is pretty well-written, and definitely original, but lost me quite a bit when time travel started occurring. The book started to get really hokey from there, and I had to push through to the end.

Oct 5, 2013, 5:13pm

91. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

An amazing novel that manages to be character study, relationship study, relevant social commentary, and mixed media (Facebook statuses, texts, blogs), Reconstructing Amelia tells the story of a single mother whose daughter has seemingly committed suicide by jumping off the roof of her prestigious private school. But when she gets an anonymous text insisting that her daughter didn't jump, she begins to investigate her daughter's life, learning secrets about her daughter and about herself that lead her to some shocking truths.

Oct 9, 2013, 12:45pm

92. Murder Past Due by Miranda Jones

A good cozy mystery, Murder Past Due 's protagonist is a widowed librarian with a great-sounding cat, whose peaceful routine is disrupted when a famous local author is murdered.

While I was able to call quite a few of the twists, I still really enjoyed the book, and can definitely see myself returning to the series some day.

Oct 14, 2013, 7:43pm

93. The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen

An entry in the Jane Rizzoli series, The Apprentice is a follow-up to one of Gerritsen's previous books, and deals with the fall out from The Surgeon's murderous reign of terror. While the book is definitely suspenseful, and the mystery gripping, the writing sometimes verges on cliched, and the ending felt rushed. I don't think I'll be rushing to read another Rizzoli book, though I could see myself picking one up off my shelf someday. Still, I did find myself caught up in the book, and while it wasn't the best book ever read, it was okay.

Oct 17, 2013, 7:40am

94. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

An amazing true story finally brought to light, this is the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were taken from her body before she died of cancer, and whose cells were then used and sold all over the world for scientific research. Her family was never told of this until they found out on their own, and while their mother's cells were making billions of dollars, they could not afford to go to the doctor for a check up. This is an incredibly powerful, fascinating, and at times heart-breaking look at how much of our body truly belongs to us, and how one culture of cells can change the world.

Oct 17, 2013, 3:11pm

Looks like some diverting reading, Becca. I may have to get to Henrietta Lacks; it does sound awfully good.

Say hi to the furry guy for us.

Oct 17, 2013, 7:40pm

Thanks Dad! Henrietta Lacks is definitely worth the read.

I told Sherlock you guys said hi, and he gave me kisses :)

Oct 17, 2013, 8:35pm

Hi Becca- Congrats on Chapter 2! Sorry, I haven't been by in awhile. I am glad you liked Night Film. I snagged an ARC of that one and hope to get to it next month. I was also a big fan of Henrietta Lacks.

Oct 18, 2013, 12:22pm

Me, too! Big fan of Henrietta Lacks, not the least because the author did so much work to dig this story out, and treated the family with great respect. I want to look at Night Film - I may find myself at a B & N soon, and then if I remember I'll do that.

Give Sherlock a greeting from Greta Garbo and Benny. And a scratch behind an ear from me.

Oct 18, 2013, 9:16pm

#15-Hi Mark! Thanks so much! Totally understand, I've barely had time to be on here either. Night Film was so amazing, I'm so jealous of your ARC! Henrietta Lacks really was a great read.

#16-I totally agree, the author's dedication and kindness added a lot to the book. Night Film is definitely worth reading, as is her first book, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which is one of my favorite books ever.

Aw thanks! He loved the scratch behind the ear, and sends his best to Greta Garbo and Benny, as do I :)

95. When Day Breaks by Mary Jane Clark

This book is pretty much the definition of a good, light, mystery read. The story centers around a top news reporter who is mysteriously murdered, and her former co-workers search for the truth. The pov switches work very well, and the characters were all unique and well-used. The mystery was interesting, and satisfying as well. I definitely plan to read more of Mary Jane Clark's books sooner rather than later.

Oct 18, 2013, 11:43pm

Hi Becca, your Dad told me he passed on my recommendation for The Cleaner by Paul Cleave. I hope you are able to track down a copy. It's set in Christchurch, New Zealand which I found very interesting, for some reason I just don't think New Zealand when I think of Serial Killers. Anyway, remember to snuggle with Sherlock when you read it!

Oct 19, 2013, 10:32am

Thanks so much for recommending it! I've got it on my TBR list and am definitely planning to track down a copy soon. I snuggle with Sherlock almost all the time, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem ;)

Oct 24, 2013, 12:53pm

96. Twelve Red Herrings by Jeffrey Archer

While I was expecting more traditional mysteries with twists due to the time, this was still an entertaining and clever group of short stories, covering everything from a desired necklace to a deceitful client to a nighttime ride of terror, plus a story that has four alternate endings.

Oct 31, 2013, 7:07pm

97. A Trial by Jury by D. Graham Burnett

I originally heard of this book in a condensed version in one of the True Crime anthologies, and was pleased to discover I had already picked the book up previously at a book sale. This was definitely an interesting read, a true account of what it is like to serve on the jury of a murder case. The story itself is really gripping, with the only downside being the author's tendency (particularly towards the end) to verge towards pretension with his storytelling choices.

Nov 1, 2013, 6:23pm

98. Chasing Cezanne by Peter Mayle

This is a book about art forgery, France, food, and a hitman, all while somehow managing to be whimsical and fun. We follow a cast of characters including art dealers, photographers, and magazine editors, whose lives all begin to swirl around a Cezanne that has been stolen (but with its owner's permission). This is a cozy, easy, delightfully slow-moving read.

Nov 5, 2013, 12:17pm

I've always been curious about serving on a jury, but have never made it. Since A Trial by Jury was condensed in a True Crime anthology, I take it it's based on the author's own experience on one?

I bet the food descriptions in Chasing Cezanne are good; I remember he had a big hit with A Year in Provence way back when.

Nov 6, 2013, 2:06pm

It is a true story, Dad, and really interesting.

The food descriptions were amazing!

Nov 6, 2013, 2:44pm

Ah, good, thanks, Becca.

Did you see Charlie Trotter passed away? What a shame.

Question for you: Do you remember The Court of the Stone Children? I read it, and I'm guessing it was with you. It came up over at that fabulous cafe.

Nov 7, 2013, 1:38pm

I did see that Dad, very sad. I count myself very lucky to have gotten to eat at his restaurant once.

I do remember that book-we read it together-it was great!

Nov 7, 2013, 3:41pm

Yay! That's what I thought. Great fun!

Yes, I remember we were very happy for you (and envious) that you were part of Charlie Trotter's Chicago Public School program and got to eat there. Your ma and I finally went in his restaurant's last year before he closed it. What a meal - we loved every minute and morsel of it.

Nov 8, 2013, 5:48pm

That free meal there was amazing! Still one of the best meals I've ever had.

99. Deeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag

A creepy, suspenseful thriller, Deeper Than the Dead centers around a mysterious string of disappearances and murders in a typically sleepy small town. Set in the 1980s, DNA testing is non-existent, fingerprint comparison is rudimentary, and profiling is in its early years and scoffed at by many law enforcement officials. A school teacher gets dragged into the fray when a few of her fifth-grade students stumble upon a dead body, and an FBI profiler joins the local sherrif's department in an attempt to catch the serial killer before another victim falls prey to his machinations.

Editado: Nov 14, 2013, 2:07pm

I always get her mixed up with the Smilla's Sense of Snow author Peter Hoeg. Hard to believe forensics was so primitive in the 1980s. Wait until you read The Yard, when one of our heroes starts bringing forensic ideas to a mystified Scotland Yard in Victorian London.

Shouldn't there be a picture of furry Sherlock here somewhere?

Nov 13, 2013, 6:00pm

I'm really looking forward to reading The Yard :)

Ask and ye shall receive ;)

Nov 13, 2013, 8:21pm

OMG, I want him to crawl up on my lap.

Nov 13, 2013, 8:42pm

He is the sweetest, cuddliest, most loving little guy in the world

Nov 14, 2013, 2:07pm

Ha! What a punim! Give him a hug for us.

Nov 15, 2013, 1:33pm

I always give him lots of hugs-it's hard not to ;)

100. Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett

Despite the murders that seem to happen there, I would definitely want to live in the setting of this book. It is a town comprised almost entirely of specialized bookstores, including Haven't Got a Clue, the bookstore the protagonist owns and runs.

The mystery is intriguing, but a few characters are without redeeming qualities, which takes away a bit from the enjoyment of the story, but it's still a good story nonetheless.

Nov 16, 2013, 3:50pm

Hola Miss B. This is the perfect synopsis for this book. You say everything I felt about it. I was staggered by how Penny pulled it all together-everything and everyone from her previous books. I just thought that this was amazing and I was in agony until the unexpected, unforseen, triumphal ending. It makes me want to read the whole series over again.
Aunt B.

Nov 16, 2013, 3:55pm

As always, I came late to the party. I was responding, in message 35, to something you posted months ago about How The Light Gets In. That's me, always a little slow (but heartfelt).

Nov 22, 2013, 4:49pm

An Aunt B. sighting! Yay! She may be a little slow, but I sure agree with her about How the Light Gets In.

Nov 22, 2013, 5:33pm

Hi Aunt Bambi!! Awesome to hear from you, so glad you liked the review!!!

101. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

"Kevin was a shell game in which all three cups were empty."

This is one of those rare, incredible books, where the subject material is so heartbreaking and difficult, but the book is so incredible that you just keep reading, even as you sometimes want to shy away from it all. Characters make you furious, make you sad, make you scared. You know what's coming, it's laid out for you right in the beginning, but there are things you don't know too, can't possibly know, that are like a sucker punch when you reach the end. The narrator's honesty and uncertainty, blame and shame, deep soul-searching desire and fear of the truth, drive this book to its shattering, powerful conclusion.

Nov 23, 2013, 10:37am

I'm glad this one was as good as you hoped, Becca. Tough subject matter! Is there any way to compare it to Columbine, which I remember you also thought highly of?

Nov 23, 2013, 6:02pm

It was definitely a tough read like Columbine, different and similar in a lot of ways. Both handled the incredibly difficult subject matter very well.

Nov 25, 2013, 12:27pm

102. The Silver Needle Murder by Laura Childs

I love tea, and I love mysteries, so this was the definition of a cozy read for me. A local tea shop is catering a film festival, when one of the premiere directors is murdered on stage. The tea shop owner, Theodosia, gets involved in trying to solve the case, not least because she actually witnessed the hand of the murderer as they disappeared down the dumbwaiter.

The ending comes a bit out of left field, which took away from the enjoyment a bit, but it was still a fun read, and I loved all the tea details.

Nov 25, 2013, 12:43pm

That's one your mom will like, I bet, Becca. I probably should track down a coffee house mystery series some day and give it a try.

Nov 25, 2013, 8:22pm

I actually know of a fun, good coffee house mystery series if you are ever in the mood for it :)

And Mom is the one who passed on the teahouse mystery to me :)

Nov 27, 2013, 12:07pm

Ha! I should have known that your mom passed it on to you. I'm giving her one for the holidays that I suspect you'll end up with, too. Shh! Don't let her know.

I'll think about the coffee shop series, thanks. I just looked at my bookstore wishlist (as opposed to holiday wishlist) on Amazon, and it's sooo lonnngg. I may try to put a dent in it first.

Dic 1, 2013, 9:32pm

Totally understandable :)

103. The Architect by Keith Ablow

What's particularly interesting about this book is you are informed who the killer is, right from the start, on the back of the book actually. And yet that works in the story's favor, as it creates a lot of suspense.

Someone is killing people, leaving them laid out like anatomy subjects, and is doing this because he thinks he is making the lives of other people better. Frank Clevenger, a forensic psychiatrist, is attempting to track the killer down, while dealing with quite a load of personal and family problems.

The end is particularly suspenseful, with a chilling twist towards the very end that came as a big surprise. The book seems to end rather quickly, but it all fits. I plan to pick up more books by this author at some point in the future.

Dic 5, 2013, 3:27pm

104. Music to Murder By by Vernon Hinkle

A fun, unique mystery from the late 70s, Music to Murder By's narrator and protagonist is a librarian highly knowledgable about all things musical, who finds himself drawn into a dramatic murder mystery when two of his closest friends are found dead in his apartment. All the characters are very colorful and different, which just adds to the fun, and the narrator has a great voice that draws you in.

Dic 8, 2013, 6:30pm

105. The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley

A take on the Gothic novel, The Dead of Winter is narrated by a man (Michael) who, as an orphaned boy, spent a terrifying few days at Hawton Mere, invited to stay by the mysterious Sir Stephen. While there, Michael begins to see strange shadows and reflections, and hear strange sounds outside his bedroom door at night.

This book does a great job of creating and keeping suspense, and there are some well-done twists at the end as well. For fans of Gothic novels, this is a nice addition to the genre.

Dic 8, 2013, 6:56pm

Victorian England, Gothic suspense - sounds like a fun one, Becca. Hope you and the furry Artic explorer are staying reasonably warm today.

Dic 10, 2013, 7:36am

It was a fun read! And brrr it is freezing out today! Temperature says one degrees! We did a quick walk this morning, got business done, and hurried back inside.

105. Devil May Care by Elizabeth Peters

While reading the first chapter, I honestly wasn't sure I was going to continue reading the book. The main character's fiance is just so obnoxious (and is meant to be, as you discover when you keep reading). But if you push through past his character, this is a fun and enjoyable book. Every once in a while a main character manages to be a little irritating, but not enough to stop you from finishing the book. The characters redeem themselves and move along a creative and enjoyable story.

The story is that the main character, Ellie, is house sitting, and the house she is watching is giant...and possibly haunted. The local doctor's son becomes involved in helping Ellie, as does a cast of townspeople, until the denouncement.

Dic 10, 2013, 10:49am

I remember those cold mornings from when I lived in Chicago. You have my sympathy. It takes real stamina to walk the dog in that weather, but I know Sherlock is a great friend, so it is worth it.

Your latest read sounds quite fun!

Dic 10, 2013, 12:50pm

Thanks! Yeah, he seems to forget he doesn't like the cold-goes bounding out there super excited-and then practically drags me back in when his business is done ;) He then proceeds to hibernate on the couch in a little ball.

It was a fun read, exactly what I needed at the time.

Dic 14, 2013, 8:47pm

107. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

This book examines how things in our world "tip"-what it takes for something to catch on, to become an epidemic, to really effect the world somehow. Looking at everything from skateboard shoes to suicide epidemics, Gladwell offers a unique and interesting take on how much something seemingly so small can can cause big changes.

Dic 16, 2013, 2:02pm

108. Malice Domestic 5 edited by Phyllis A. Whitney

A fun collection of cozy mystery short stories, the entries in this anthology cover everything from a young man lured to a mysterious mansion, to a supposed case of evil twins, to someone plotting revenge against her malicious caretaker. Some stories are better than others, but all are intriguing and well-written, and work well in the short story format.

Dic 16, 2013, 3:08pm

Good for you for reading that Malcolm Gladwell, Becca. I'm thinking your bro must have read it - as you know, that's the kind of book he gravitates toward. Malice Domestic sounds like it's perfect for this time of year - are you going to recommend it to your mom?

Dic 16, 2013, 5:45pm

I am planning on passing it on to Mom-I think you would enjoy it :)

Dic 17, 2013, 8:36am

Gladwell looks interesting to me, too, but I just have too much in the To Be Read Piles. I must not pick up another book. Really.

Dic 20, 2013, 4:24pm

In happy hopes that 2014 will bring ever greater pleasures to your reading world, Becca:

Celebrate the return of the light with feasts, merriment, and gratitude for all the wonders of this wide green earth.


Dic 20, 2013, 5:58pm

Thank you so much! That is so kind of you :) All the best wishes back to you :)

Dic 21, 2013, 10:54am

109. Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

Another good recommendation from my dad, this was a fun, sweet read, a clever modern take on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The narrator (Julie) finds herself falling for a handsome debonair boy after she and her best friend sneak into a ball at an all-boy's school. But Julie fears that her best friend has also fallen for the same boy, and it takes a comedy of errors to straighten everything out and make a happy ending for all.

Dic 21, 2013, 2:47pm

Yay! I remember that one. I'm glad you had a good time with it. Fun, sweet and clever. Yup.

Dic 22, 2013, 3:29pm

Some holiday season pictures :)

Breakfast with the family-Mom, Dad, brother, Uncle Ed, Aunt Tracy, and cousin M'Kayla

My brother Jesse and Sherlock

Sherlock under the Christmas tree

Sherlock modeling two of my Christmas gifts

Dic 22, 2013, 10:37pm

Happy Holidays Becca! I love the holiday photos. What a lovely dog you have.

Dic 22, 2013, 11:52pm

Seasons greetings, Becca. Your pictures are great and Sherlock looks like he's all ready for Christmas!

Dic 23, 2013, 8:32am

Happy Holidays Linda and Judy! Thanks so much! Sherlock loves Christmas :)

Dic 23, 2013, 6:29pm

two thumbs up.

Dic 24, 2013, 8:56am

Hi Becca,

Dic 24, 2013, 9:26am

Excellent joyful pictures, and happy more of it to you Becca. So glad you are here on 75 books, it definitely makes it a better group to read your take on books. Happy new year to you, too.

Dic 28, 2013, 9:29pm

Thank you all so much! What wonderful messages to come back to from vacation :)
Here is a picture of Sherlock and I at my grandfather's house:

I finished/read a few books over vacation
-Blacklands by Belinda Bauer-a very dark, gripping psychological thriller surrounding a boy's search for the truth about his uncle's death, a truth that leads him to communicate with a serial killer
-Let Me Off at the Top by Ron Burgundy-hilarious faux autobiography "by" the Anchorman himself
-Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh-incredible collection of web comics/mini-essays that made me laugh hysterically, get teary, and convince me that the author must somehow have gotten into my head
-The Turn of the Screw by Henry James-one of the best gothic books out there, a true classic I have read at least four times (both for fun and for classes, and I find something new every time I read it

Dic 28, 2013, 9:54pm

Love that photo!

Great reading - and I know you have two other good ones going. I know, I've got to read Turn of the Screw. I'll try to make this the year.

Dic 29, 2013, 12:53pm

Thanks Dad!

I do have two other good ones going! And you should definitely read Turn of the Screw!

114. Heaven Preserve Us by Cricket McRae

A fun, cozy, genre mystery, Heaven Preserve Us centers around some very crafty women, including the protagonist, Sophie Mae, who runs a homemade soap company. When the director of a local community center dies from botulism poisoning, Sophie Mae doesn't believe it's an accident. With the help of her police officer boyfriend and preserves-making best friend, Sophie Mae sets out to solve the mystery.

Dic 30, 2013, 4:50pm

115. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A re-read of an old favorite, this was so much fun to curl up with this again. Every story is great, all the characters are wonderfully done, and I can't recommend reading Sherlock Holmes enough.

Dic 31, 2013, 2:40pm

116. Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.

A story so amazing it almost doesn't seem possible, Empty Mansions tells the true story of Huguette Clark, the heiress to an enormous copper fortune, who became a recluse in a hospital bed despite her many habitable mansions and immense fortune. Huguette was well-known by almost no one, choosing the company of dolls over most people, and never giving out her phone number. She also gave out inordinate sums of money, in a way that has caused some people to question her sanity, and the motives of those who surrounded her in her final years.

Dic 31, 2013, 2:46pm

Ene 1, 2014, 8:30am

I also read Empty Mansions: and thought it was a fascinating slice of history and life. I heard a bit on the radio about it last night and the law suit was settled with her nurse being able to keep many millions of dollars, however, the lawyer and accountant were not able to get any money. Some of her charity gifts were upheld but her extended family, who she did not know, nor with whom she had any relationships, received a good amount of her estate. I am sure she had some personality difficulties however I don't think the family deserved her money and her employees who stuck with her did.

I enjoy quirky books like this.

Ene 4, 2014, 10:45am

Thanks so much for the update-I've been trying to find out more about how this case is progressing.

Ene 5, 2014, 9:56am

Good morning! I am popping in because Joe said that you both read and watched The Woman in Black.

I read it ages ago, and just watched the move a couple of days ago...and was wondering if it was just me, or if it was VERY far off from the book. And if it was far different, then how? I couldn't quite put a finger on it, due to so many books read in between. I thought you might have a better idea of what was changed? ( because I am too lazy to reread the book, maybe?)

So, I thought I would go ahead and ask.. and also wish you warm and cozy this weekend!


Ene 5, 2014, 1:49pm


It was pretty far off from the book-the ending was totally different was the main thing (I don't want to spoil it in case someone hasn't read the book yet and comes on here) but the ending being different is definitely what sticks out in my memory.

Thanks, I hope you stay warm and cozy too!