Cobscook's Third Time is a Charm

Esto es una continuación del tema Cobscook's First Ever 75 Challenge - Second Verse.

Se habla de75 Books Challenge for 2013

Únase a LibraryThing para publicar.

Cobscook's Third Time is a Charm

Este tema está marcado actualmente como "inactivo"—el último mensaje es de hace más de 90 días. Puedes reactivarlo escribiendo una respuesta.

Editado: Nov 1, 2013, 7:35pm

Fall colors in Washington County, Maine.
Photo by Don Dunbar

Editado: Oct 21, 2013, 7:58pm

2013 Goals

For about 20 years I have been attempting to finish a college bound reading list given to me by a favorite high school teacher. I only get through a few titles on the list a year but I keep plugging away.
Remaining on The List:
Billy Budd - Herman Melville
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer
The Crucible - Arthur Miller
Cry, The Beloved Country - Alan Paton
Cyrano de Bergerac - Edmond Rostand
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
A Death in the Family - James Agee
Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller
For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
Go Tell It On the Mountain - James Baldwin
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
King Lear - William Shakespeare
Look Homeward, Angel - Thomas Wolfe
Macbeth - William Shakespeare
The Naked and the Dead - Norman Mailer
Native Son - Richard Wright
Of Human Bondage -Somerset Maugham
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
The Power and the Glory - Graham Grenne
The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane
The Return of the Native - Thomas Hardy
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare
The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
The Stranger - Albert Camus
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
Walden - Henry David Thoreau
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut

I am also trying to read a biography of each of our American Presidents. I just finished John Quincy Adams and will be moving onto Andrew Jackson next.

Other than that, I will continue to try to reduce the massive TBR mountain.

Editado: Oct 8, 2013, 7:25pm

This is what I've been doing with my time lately...going to my daughter Katie's soccer games.

Oct 8, 2013, 7:28pm

95. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Source: off my shelves

So good. So, so good.

Stephen King can write the hell out of a story. His characters are people you can relate to. There's always a good guy or girl to root for. The endings are always satisfying. Doctor Sleep is old school Stephen King and boy is it fun. My only recommendation is to make sure you read The Shining first. Otherwise, what are you waiting for?!?!

Oct 8, 2013, 8:07pm

Gorgeous picture - both the trees and the daughter. That reading list looks awfully dry....I think it would be really fun to find out if high schools still have reading lists for college bound students. Of course, I don't think such a thing exists anymore. I tried to get middle and high schools to give us their suggested summer reading lists so we could be sure to have them available at the public library. Got no response from any teacher or principle (the schools often don't have librarians any more ----don't get me started.)

Oct 9, 2013, 12:29am

Nice pictures, and I hope you're able to fit some reading in during games.

Oct 9, 2013, 12:31am

Hi, Heidi - happy new thread! I've actually read a disturbing proportion of that list... :)

Oct 9, 2013, 12:58pm

>5 tututhefirst: Thanks Tina! I am partial to both pictures myself! My list of classics at the top is just what's left of the list. It included many more books, but I have been working on them since 1990. I don't think kids get lists like this anymore either. In fact, my son is a sophomore and he has never gotten a reading list for high school. My daughter has to do a lot of reading in her 7th grade class but they are allowed to choose their own books. She is a big fan of what I call adventure fiction, like My Side of the Mountain and Hatchet. I believe my son's high school has a librarian but my daughter's elementary school only has parent volunteers that man the library.

>6 ronincats: Hi Roni! No, I don't get to read at Katie's games. I generally socialize with the other parents. The good news is soccer season is almost over. The bad news is basketball season starts in November, and both kids play that sport!

>7 lyzard: Hi Liz! Thanks for stopping by. I am not surprised you have read so many of the classics on my list. I'll bet you could explain them all to me too. I wish you had time to do a tutored read for each of them!! LOL

Oct 9, 2013, 5:32pm

I wish you had time to do a tutored read for each of them!! only have to ask... :)

Oct 9, 2013, 6:53pm

I am stunned and excited to see that I have read, somehow or other in the course of my life, read ALL of the books on your list. That NEVER happens. And all of them are distinct in my mind, because they are great books and it is a GREAT list!!!!

Oct 9, 2013, 7:28pm

>9 lyzard: If you are serious Liz I will definitely take you up on that. How's your Shakespeare?

>10 sibylline: Sibyx, you DEFINITELY win the prize. That is awesome! I am so impressed. I don't know if I will ever get through the whole list, although I feel like I have made good progress this year.

Oct 12, 2013, 9:25pm

Here's a brief update on what I am reading:

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - about 40% into this YA book....very good so far.

Billy Budd by Herman Melville - 75% through this classic.

Arguably by Christopher Hitchens - just reading one or two essays before bed

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Watching my Red Sox tonight....lets hope they can keep the lid on Detroit!

Oct 12, 2013, 9:34pm

Heidi - Your daughter appears to have the style and grace of a natural midfield playmaker!

Congratulations on your latest thread and its relaxing autumnal hues.

Have a lovely weekend.

Oct 13, 2013, 11:48am

Finally making my way over to your new thread, Heidi. Love the pic at the top.... autumn is one of my favorite times of the year, because of all the wonderful colours the leaves turn!

Oct 13, 2013, 6:48pm

>13 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! My daughter plays all over the field but she likes stopper the best.

>14 lkernagh: Hi Lori! Glad you stopped by. I love the fall too and Maine is particularly lovely this time of year.

Oct 14, 2013, 8:55pm

Wow! That thread topper is gorgeous!! The colors looks like the trees are on fire!

You must be so proud of your soccer diva!!

Your list intimidates me! I'm not going to count how many on that list I *haven't* read. That was a HS reading list though? Maybe I'll "borrow" it since its much less intimidating than the 1001 list!!!

Oct 15, 2013, 7:06pm

Thanks Tina! I guess I need to post my entire list and you are certainly welcome to it! What I have there at the top of my thread is what's left of a list called 'Recommended Reading List for College Bound Students' that I have been reading from since high school. The titles listed in this thread are what I have left to read. It's taken me over 20 years to get this far!

Oct 15, 2013, 7:20pm

96. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowll
Genre: YA
Source: my Kindle

Eleanor is a high school student in hell. She is the new girl, she is chunky, and she has bright red hair. She's just moved back home with her mom and abusive stepfather. Park is the part Korean boy who reluctantly offers her a seat on the bus on her first day. The novel tells the story of their developing relationship/romance in alternating point of view chapters.

I felt this book gave a realistic view of the torment high school kids put each other through. Eleanor was sympathetic but also hard to like as she put up a lot of barriers between herself and Park as she tried to protect herself from the emotional connection. The abusive stepfather angle was difficult to read but also felt true to life. Having the book set in the 80s with lots of pop culture references added a bit of lightness which I enjoyed. If you like YA books I would definitely recommend this one.

Oct 15, 2013, 9:05pm

Found you Heidi. I feel like a heel as I realize how long it's been since I popped in!

Glad to see you enjoyed E&P.

I love pictures on a thread and especially family! Is that co-ed soccer at that age? wow!

Oct 15, 2013, 9:33pm

Tell me, when you go to your daughters soccer games, are you allowed to read? Or are you drawn to the game? I like to think I will be able to read at my kids sporting things, but I guess you cant help but watch what your kids are doing!

I still love your college reading list. It will a great day when you get that list accomplished! A champagne-cork-popper for sure.

Editado: Oct 16, 2013, 7:09am

>19 UnrulySun: Hi Kathy! There is no guilt on LT!!! I don't get around to all the threads as much as I like either. Yes, that is co-ed soccer. My daughter's elementary school has only one soccer team and its for grades 6 - 8, both boys and girls. We live in a very rural area and there would not be enough kids for single sex teams at this age.

>20 LovingLit: Hi Megan! You could read at the games for sure. I don't because I am one of those parents who gets involved and yells encouragement throughout! I actually tried to read a little before her game yesterday afternoon, but I got drawn into conversation with other parents. I do read as I wait in the car to pick her up after practices.

I am getting ready to post the complete reading list I started from as there seems to be some interest in it.

Oct 16, 2013, 7:24am

I was given this list in high school by a favorite teacher and I have been reading from it ever since. The partial list at the top of my thread is what I had left to read from the complete list at the beginning of 2013.

Recommended Reading List for College Bound Students

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
The Bible
Billy Budd by Herman Melville
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
Daisy Miller by Henry James
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
A Death in the Family by James Agee
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Emma by Jane Austen
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
King Lear by William Shakespeare
Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
Native Son by Richard Wright
1984 by George Orwell
The Odyssey by Homer
Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Stranger by Albert Camus
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Oct 16, 2013, 10:12am

Thanks for the list! I count myself educated enough that I am able to say I recognize every one of those. And I actually have a hard time remembering whether I ever read several of them, or whether they were in anthologies we had at school, or whether I saw them as movies!

I will confess that I'm not in the least inclined to go back and pick up any of the ones I didn't get to 50 years ago. Too many good ones out there now!

Oct 16, 2013, 2:39pm

>23 tututhefirst: I don't really blame you Tina. I started this project so long ago and I am just determined to finish! Some of the ones I have read have made me scratch my head and wonder why it is considered "classic". I never did get all the way through Crime and Punishment and I don't plan to ever pick it up again. But on the other hand, I never would have read Cry, the Beloved Country except for this list and that was an amazing book. I think my dedication to completing this list stems from the fact I had a very poor English teacher in 10 - 12 grades and I feel my overall education is lacking because of that.

Oct 16, 2013, 4:51pm

I think I've read 41 of them, and I know I'm not going to read some of them, while others I still plan to get to eventually.

Oct 16, 2013, 4:56pm

97. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
Genre: NonFiction
Source: Library

What can I say about Behind the Beautiful Forevers that hasn't already been said? This is narrative nonfiction at its best....a touching story that reads like fiction. Heartbreaking and all too real, Katherine Boo has documented the lives of the slumdwellers near an airport in Mumbai, India. She shows us how when living in abject poverty, among filth and in sewage, human kindness is unaffordable. Morality is lost along with hope. The poor turn on the poor, instead of banding together to fight for a better life.

Boo says it best herself:
What was unfolding in Mumbai was unfolding elsewhere, too. In the age of global market capitalism, hopes and grievances were narrowly conceived, which blunted a sense of common predicament. Poor people didn't unite; they competed ferociously amongst themselves for gains as slender as they were provisional."

Editado: Oct 21, 2013, 7:58pm

98. Billy Budd by Herman Melville
Genre: Classic
Source: My Kindle

Another read off my classics list.....

Billy Budd is a young, handsome sailor conscripted from a merchant ship into the English Navy in the late 1700s. He is a willing and good natured worker so quickly becomes a favorite amongst the crew of the navy ship. Unfortunately this earns him the enmity of an officer who concocts a scheme to accuse Budd of inciting a mutiny.

This is a short book and I comprehended it, but I don't understand the point of it. This is my major gripe about classics. After I read the book, my main thought was that book is trying to say being a good person is no guarantee that you aren't going to get shafted in life for no apparent reason. If that is the overall message of the book, its utterly depressing!

Oct 21, 2013, 7:56pm

99. Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
Genre: essays
Source: My Kindle

I have a new obsession.....essay collections. In recent weeks I have read a Nick Hornby collection and this book by David Foster Wallace. I am currently reading from Christopher Hitchings Arguably and Best American NonRequired Reading 2011. I just borrowed Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 from the library. I just can't get enough of this kind of stuff right now.

I picked up Wallace's Consider the Lobster because I was interested in reading the titular essay which is about the Maine Lobster Festival. This event takes place every August in Rockland, Maine and I have been many times. I wanted to see what Wallace thought of the whole thing. In a nutshell, he wasn't impressed! But, even though he kind of dismisses the event as a redneck and irritating to his more urbane sensibilities, I found his thoughts about lobsters in general to be interesting.

Some of the other essays in the collection were much better and more interesting in my opinion. My favorite was one he wrote for Rolling Stone after joining the John McCain campaign tour for one week during the 2000 primaries. This was fascinating.

The first essay in the collection was a bit of investigative reporting about the adult film version of the Academy Awards. I was both entertained and repelled by this often hilarious piece.

Another essay that I really enjoyed was "Authority and American Usage". I am not one to really be interested in the minutia of grammar and vocabulary constructs but Wallace engages the reader with sarcastic asides and interesting tidbits of historical information. He adds a lot from his own experience teaching writing at the college level that I found both compelling and uncomfortably honest in its portrayal of how language is used in this country to further class (rich white vs. everyone else) distinctions.

Wallace is a curious combination of pompous ass and snarky pop culture commentator. I will definitely be seeking out more of his nonfiction work. I'm still a bit scared of his fiction so I probably won't pick up Infinite Jest just yet.

Oct 22, 2013, 2:12am

Foster Wallace's essays are, unquestionably, the best part of his work.

Oct 22, 2013, 12:40pm

>29 richardderus: Whoo boy RD you were up late! I figured as much about Wallace as the things I've heard about his fiction don't entice me to pick them up.

Oct 22, 2013, 12:59pm

Nice review of Consider the Lobster, Heidi. I've been thinking I'd make that my first DFW, and you've convinced me.

Oct 22, 2013, 6:10pm

>31 jnwelch: Hi there! I'm happy to have convinced someone to take the plunge on an author they've never tried before! I hope you like it.

Oct 22, 2013, 9:06pm

Hi Heidi. I am not sure if I have visited before. I saw your comment about reading DFW and had to drop by. I am in the middle of A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again and it's very good. This is also my first foray into Wallace and I will now have to look for Consider the Lobster. We are toying with doing a Group Read of Infinite Jest next year, possibly June. Would that be long enough, to build up your courage?

Glad you loved Doctor Sleep. I have that one saved on audio and hope to get to it next month. I was also a big fan of the Boo book!

I love your book selections.

Oct 22, 2013, 9:16pm

Hi, Heidi. It sounds like your reading is coming along at a spanking pace!

Oct 23, 2013, 6:47pm

>33 msf59: Hi Mark! Welcome! I am interested in reading A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again but I'm not sure a year (or ten) is enough time for me to build up the courage to tackle Infinite Jest!!

I have heard that Doctor Sleep is fantastic on audio. I haven't listened to a Stephen King book on audio for about ten years....I think I need to change that very soon.

>34 ronincats: Hiya Roni! I am clicking along nicely this fall but still behind where I want to be overall for the year. Its always a moving target though, in terms of the total number of books I want to read for the year.

Oct 23, 2013, 9:04pm

Heidi- I only have one essay left in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again and it's the title feature, which I heard was fantastic. His essay on David Lynch was incredible.

Will Patton narrates Doctor Sleep. He was one of the narrators on the Son and did a terrific job.

Oct 24, 2013, 2:38pm

Mark, you convinced me! I went to Amazon and A Supposedly Fun Thing was only $1.99!! What's a girl to do? I bought it of course. LOL

The best Stephen King audios I listened to in the past were the ones King narrated himself. Even when I read his stuff now myself, I hear his voice in my head.

Editado: Oct 24, 2013, 9:55pm

Heidi- 2 bucks is a great deal! If you enjoyed, Consider the Lobster, I see no reason why you shouldn't feel the same way about A Supposedly Fun Thing. Enjoy!

Oct 26, 2013, 7:08pm

Hi Mark!

Almost time for game three of the World Series! I'm excited to see if the Sox can pull off a win tonight. We have friends coming over to watch and hang out. I've been baking all day to prepare. I made apple squares and white chocolate chip cranberry cookies. I also made a ton of applesauce.

Not much reading today but I am over halfway through Dangerous to Know by Tasha Alexander which is excellent. I'm still reading my various essay collections as well.

Oct 26, 2013, 7:20pm

Hi Heidi- I have very little interest in the World Series this year but since the Cards are fierce rivals of the Cubs, I'll go with the BoSox!

Oct 27, 2013, 6:11pm

>40 msf59: Red Sox nation will take any help we can get at this point Mark!

So I have had a brutal migraine all day today which has not helped my to do list in any way. However, I was able to finish my audiobook and the Alexander mystery which I was nearly done with. I am all medicated up right now but will attempt some short comment.....please excuse any nonsensical comments!

Oct 27, 2013, 6:15pm

So sorry to hear about the migraine, Heidi. Perhaps it was brought on by the ending to last night's game?

Oct 27, 2013, 6:23pm

100. The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith
Genre: mystery
Source: my audiobook

I love the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency books on audio. The pacing is very excellent and Lisette Lecar does a fantastic job narrating. This this episode of the series Fanwell gets into trouble, Mma Ramotswe's assistant Grace is building a house with her new husband, and the patroness of the local orphan farm needs help. Add to all this, an unexpected visitor from the U.S. drops in. I enjoyed the heck out of it!

101. Dangerous to Know by Tasha Alexander
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: off my shelves

The Lady Emily Hargraves mysteries are set in the late 1800s. This is the fifth in the series, and while it was good, was not my favorite. There were a lot of dislikable characters in this book and Lady Emily was much more emotional than we are used to seeing her. Much of the book deals with madness and how mental illness was handled in this time period.

Oct 27, 2013, 6:25pm

>42 ronincats: Ha! You may be right Roni! Perhaps it will be relieved by a win by my guys tonight. Since I am filled to the gills with my migraine meds, which have a ton of caffeine in them, I will probably still be awake for the end of the game!

Oct 28, 2013, 9:49am

I love that Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, Heidi. There's a new one coming out next week. I haven't tried any on audio, and you're encouraging me to change that. We liked the cable tv series, with Jill Scott and Idris Elba, that unfortunately didn't get renewed.

Oct 28, 2013, 10:16am

>45 jnwelch: Hi Joe! You should DEFINITELY try the Number 1 Ladies Detective series on audio. It is my favorite audio series by far. Its lovely to know the pronunciations of the Botswana names and the pacing of the narration really captures the feel of the novels. We loved the tv show, especially my daughter. I wish they had continued making them.

Oct 28, 2013, 10:18am

Migraineless on this fine autumn Monday, I hope. Have a pain-free week!

Oct 28, 2013, 12:48pm

Hi Richard! I'm feeling somewhat better today, thanks! Headache only about a 4 today which is good under the circumstances.

Oct 28, 2013, 1:01pm

It's fantastic, considering where a migraine can go. I'm sorry it's not a 2 already. May it get there soon!

Oct 28, 2013, 7:36pm

Thanks Richard dear! Feeling even better tonight and hoping it completely gone by the morning.

Oct 29, 2013, 6:51pm

Currently reading:

Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold - at about 65% completed.....gotta love that Miles!

Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011

Arguably by Christopher Hitchens

And I probably will start my Andrew Jackson book tonight.

Oct 30, 2013, 10:25am

There's a big development for Miles in Komarr, Heidi. At 65%, you may already have sense of what it is. Great character, great series!

Oct 30, 2013, 1:34pm

Hey Heidi! Thanks so much for the list!

I'm hugely embarrassed to admit that I've only read 13 on the list! My high school was Christian based and we read portions of books, but very few classics in their entirety. Anyway, I've saved the list and I am going to use it for a bit of a personal challenge over the next year. I refuse to read War and Peace having suffered through Anna Karenina earlier this year and agree with Tina / Tui in #23 that there are so many other good books waiting on me.... But, I am going to make an effort anyway, so thanks for this list! :)

Oct 30, 2013, 1:41pm

>52 jnwelch: I finished Komarr last night Joe. I was anticipating the big development but the ending had me so excited I immediately went to Amazon and one-clicked my way into owning A Civil Campaign. I'm on chapter three already and loving it! All my favorite characters are going to be in this one I can see.

>53 TinaV95: Hi Tina! Glad to be of service with my list! I never did get through Crime and Punishment and I will not be going back to it I can tell you! Life is too short to read books you hate. On the other hand, that list has exposed me to many many books I would not have otherwise picked up and I am a better person for having read them. Give them a try and if they don't speak to you, move on.

Oct 30, 2013, 4:28pm

I'm glad you're enjoying A Civil Campaign, Heidi. It is so different from all the rest - essentially a romantic comedy, right? You won't believe the trouble our friend Miles gets himself into - well, actually, you will, because that's what he's best at, getting into (and eventually out of) trouble.

Oct 30, 2013, 5:50pm

So glad you are LOVING one of my favorite series. Yes, Komarr and A Civil Campaign are two of the most fun! Did you notice the nod Bujold gave to Georgette Heyer both in her dedication and the title of the latter?

Oct 30, 2013, 9:15pm

Yes and yes! I love that A Civil Campaign is a rom com and I did notice the nods to Heyer. This is exactly the kind of book I love!

Oct 30, 2013, 9:42pm

Woohoo! My Red Sox are up 6 to 0!

Oct 31, 2013, 7:59pm

Hey Heidi - how is the Christopher Hitchins? Been thinking about that one....

Oct 31, 2013, 10:52pm

Hello Heidi

What a wonderful opening photo! I love Maine!!! We vacation in Princeton -- Northern Maine, near Canada. Some of our best times were spent there.

Thanks for your comments regarding Doctor Sleep. I need a birthday gift for my son in law who has a December birthday. I usually struggle with what to get him. He loves the books of Stephen King.

My partner recently read the Christopher Hitchens book you mentioned. He liked it a lot.

Nov 1, 2013, 7:09pm

102. Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Kindle

103. A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Kindle

What a wonderful couple of books these are! In Komarr Miles Vorkosigan starts his new career as Lord Auditor on the planet Komarr. We meet all new characters as Miles has to solve a mystery. This story is not so frenetic as we have come to expect in the Vorkosigan series but it still sweeps you along.....and then you get to the end and realize you MUST read the sequel A Civil Campaign IMMEDIATELY!

And A Civil Campaign is hands down the best Vorkosigan book I have read so far. Bujold pays homage to Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and the like in this comedy of manners. It is a romance, a domestic drama, and a comedy all wrapped up in one fantastic book. It has the absolute best dinner party scene of any book I've ever is hysterical. The dinner party from hell is followed up by the most romantic apology letter.....Mr. Darcy move over, Miles is taking your spot!

A Civil Campaign takes place on Barrayar and we get to spend time with all our favorite Barrayar characters. I particularly liked Mark the clone brother's romantic storyline, the butter bug entrepreneurial project, and Miles's parents involvement. There's another fantastic scene where Miles's mother negotiates Mark's love, so great.

I will definitely be re-reading this book in future!

Editado: Nov 1, 2013, 7:15pm

So just in case you haven't heard...the Boston Red Sox won the World Series! Yay! Its a fun time to be a fan.

>59 PrueGallagher: Hi Prue! The Christopher Hitchings is good so far. My only complaint is the book is soooo heavy. I can only read it in certain places and I definitely can't lug it outside my house! Right now I'm in the first section which is all reviews of books about presidents and other historical figures. Its complimenting my presidential reading challenge nicely!

>60 Whisper1: Hi Linda! Princeton, Maine is only about an hour from my house. My daughter's school plays the Princeton Elementary school in sports.

You can't go wrong in buying Doctor Sleep for your son-in-law if he is a King fan. The Hitchings book is great too. I thought of you when I read an essay about Kennedy and his health problems. I need to get to American Adulterer which you sent me soon! I had no idea Kennedy suffered from so many ailments.

Nov 1, 2013, 7:36pm

My daughter with her haul of Halloween candy!

Nov 1, 2013, 7:48pm

Well done Heidi for zipping past 100 books whilst I have been feeling sorry for me and my eyes.

I would like to share some of your daughter's sweeties but my fitness trainer (fresh from his hospital bed) will be here in an hour or two so I had better not.

Have a lovely weekend.

Nov 1, 2013, 9:38pm

Nice promo for the Bujold books, Heidi. Again, so glad you appreciated them fully.

Nov 2, 2013, 7:35am

>64 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! I don't believe I will meet my internal personal goal of 130 this year but you never know.

I would love to share some of Katie's candy with you....and get it OUT of MY house! I will need your personal trainer if it all stays here! LOL

>65 ronincats: I haven't been able to stop thinking about A Civil Campaign since I finished it Roni. I just loved everything about that book!

Nov 2, 2013, 8:23am

Morning Heidi- Your daughter looks quite pleased with herself. I am glad you are considering Booktopia Vermont. It's a nice little town and the Northshire Bookstore is one of a kind.
I hope you have a perfect weekend, filled with glorious reading time.

Nov 2, 2013, 10:21am

Yay for Miles! Great to hear how much you enjoyed Komarr and A Civil Campaign, Heidi. Wasn't that dinner scene unbelievable? You've got me wanting to re-read both - again. What a series.

Nov 2, 2013, 12:24pm

>67 msf59: Mark, my daughter is perpetually pleased with herself! LOL She has no problem with self esteem that's for sure!

Its day one of my husband and son's moose hunting trip. My daughter and I are curled up in living room....she's watching some tv and I am reading with short breaks for LT...its a staycation!

>68 jnwelch: Hi Joe! That dinner scene was the best ever! I love how things always get out of control for Miles...especially when he is trying his hardest to keep everything under control!! Treat yourself to a re-read!

Editado: Nov 3, 2013, 9:42am

104. The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs
Genre: Nonfiction, Essays
Source: Off my shelves

Continuing my new found addiction to essays, I read this book which has been on my shelves for a loooonnnng time. There are nine separate essays which describe Jacobs' experiments in living in nine different ways. All of them are funny and also make you think about American culture and why we do things the way we do. Most, if not all of the essays, were originally published in Esquire magazine.

My favorite essay was "What Would George Washington Do?", in which Jacobs tries to live by Washington's 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. I read Washington by Ron Chernow at the beginning of my Presidential Challenge reading and while exhaustive, it never mention this list that Washington lived by. It really brought the man to life and seeing how Jacobs applied it in modern life was quite enlightening.

"The Rationality Project" was very intriguing. Evidently, humans are prone to making assumptions and are filled with 'cognitive biases'. For example, newspaper headlines report that 15 people were killed in a plane crash and never report that 2,000 people died of heart disease on the same day. Our brain files that away and we end up more frightened of airplane travel than we do of eating Big Macs.

Living with Jacobs must be very irritating for his wife. I can't imagine being married to a guy who is constantly doing wacked out things for the sake of writing stories. We get to understand a little of her point of view in the last essay, "Whipped".

A short book, The Guinea Pig Diaries is a fun and interesting read.

Nov 3, 2013, 9:44am

Ooo! This sounds like something I'll enjoy. I'm putting it on the Xmas Swap list.

Sunday *smooch*

Nov 3, 2013, 10:08am

Aha! I can return a favor. Don't put it on your list Rdear!

Nov 4, 2013, 7:56pm

So my daughter is *almost* finished with soccer and we had the first rec league basketball team meeting least I will get some reading time in during basketball practices.

Currently reading:
The Small House at Allington - Anthony Trollope - 15% complete on Kindle

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 - 80% complete on Kindle

Arguably by Christopher Hitchens - about one quarter of the way done with this behemoth hardcover. I can only read it sitting up in bed with the book propped on a pillow!

The Life of Andrew Jackson by Robert Remini - on chapter 2

Editado: Nov 6, 2013, 11:32am

105. Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 edited by Mary Roach
Genre: nonfiction, essays
Source: Library ebook

While I didn't like every essay in this book, I did enjoy a great majority of them. The topics of some of my favorite stories were:
- the increase in jellyfish populations in the world's oceans
- same sex albatross couples
- the problems caused by space junk
- the horrors of fracking
- the black market for human organs

My absolute favorite was the story about killer whales and what being kept in captivity does to them. This article was spurred by the trainer that was killed by an orca at SeaWorld in 2010. Horrifying (both for the trainer and the orcas) and a true eye-opening read.

I must confess I skipped all of the physics based essays....I just couldn't understand them. I am definitely more inclined to like writing about the natural sciences.

Nov 6, 2013, 1:28pm

Your latest by Mary Roach sounds pretty darn fascinating to me! Same sex albatross couples?? I'd love to send that argument to Congress in favor of marriage equality! ;)

In looking back at your list and my last post, I'm listening to my first ever podcast of Books on the Nightstand where they are talking about lengths of books and discussing how there are only so many books we can read in a lifetime... whether that stops us from reading them, etc. I just thought it was timely seeing how we were discussing that here too!

Nov 6, 2013, 1:50pm

Fracking is indeed a horror. Ignitable drinking water is just *immoral*.

Nov 6, 2013, 3:54pm

Guess what arrived! And it took as long to unwrap as it will to read!

Nov 6, 2013, 7:26pm

>75 TinaV95: Oh another BOTN listener! Yay! That podcast is so good.

I know I will never get through all the books I'd like to read but I'm starting to get worried I will never get through all the books on my physical TBR shelves!! LOL

>76 richardderus: Too right Rdear!

>77 richardderus: Heh! I like to make sure the books arrive in the condition I sent them! I can't believe it made it to you already though...two days using media mail must be a record.

Editado: Nov 6, 2013, 8:01pm

Heidi- Always good to see another BOTNS listener! Go Tina! I listened to that one today too! I do love Mary Roach. My favorite still remains, Packing For Mars.

Nov 7, 2013, 9:11pm

>79 msf59: I haven't listened to the latest episode of BOTN yet. I like to rotate through three or four bookish podcasts while I am exercising. The ones I listen to are
Literary Disco
The Readers
Book Riot

They are all fun in their own ways and I find them better for encouraging me to keep exercising than my audiobooks. I generally do audiobooks while in the car or while doing housework. I'm afraid this makes me sound a little strange but there it is!

Nov 8, 2013, 9:55pm

Those are some great book podcasts. I listened to my first "The Readers" podcast. It was a bit awkward at first, but grew on me.

I usually listen to the book podcasts, while I am casing mail inside, where I am likely to be a bit more distracted and disturbed.

Nov 9, 2013, 8:30am

>81 msf59: Hi Mark! Yes, I agree that podcasts are better for when you are likely to be distracted. I just listened to the most recent BOTN episode and mine cut out as Ann was describing the book she can't wait for us to read. I never got to hear what Michael's book was. Did your copy do that? I am subscribed through iTunes for the podcast.

Nov 10, 2013, 3:00am

OMG so much Halloween loot! Wow, that is some haul that should take her through to Christmas, right!? Oh yea, I forgot that kids can plow through the sweets :)
Is it all gone already?

Nov 10, 2013, 1:45pm

"kids" can plow through the sweets uh huh it's the "kids" mmmm

Nov 10, 2013, 2:53pm

>83 LovingLit: and 84 LOL! There is still lots of candy and junk around from Halloween. I plead the Fifth on how much of it will get eaten by the kids vs. the parents though!

Nov 10, 2013, 5:08pm

Heidi- Do you believe I found the entire Vorkosigan Saga on audio? How cool is that? Are they very long books?

And yes, I did notice the latest BOTNS podcast was cut off, but it seemed like it was just about at the end.

Nov 12, 2013, 3:42pm

>86 msf59: The Vorkosigan books I've listened to on audio have been quite fun. They aren't super long. I think most of the books are around 350 pages. I don't remember how many hours the audios were. I got the ones I listened to from the library.

Editado: Nov 12, 2013, 3:51pm

106. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope
Genre: Fiction, 19th century
Source: Kindle

While I generally enjoyed The Small House at Allington, it is my least favorite of the Barsetshire series thus far. I found the overall tone of the book to be quite joyless in that many, if not most, of the characters were quite unhappy throughout. The book did introduce one of the most awful slimeballs I've encountered in Aldolphus Crosbie. Luckily, he definitely pays (and pays, and pays) for his horrible behavior. I think this book actually reminds me a lot of Dickens' tales in that most of the story is depressed, about depressing people. That is not to say I didn't like the story or find it enjoyable but I did find it more slow-going than previous books in the series.

107. Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Genre: SciFi
Source: Off My Shelves

And now for something completely different......

After seeing the discussion on Roni's thread about the Liaden universe novels, I was compelled to start on a re-read of the books I own in the series. Conflict of Honors is the first story in the Partners in Necessity omnibus. This is Priscilla and Shan's story.

Happy Sigh.......I had forgotten how great these books are!

Nov 12, 2013, 4:17pm

NOT paying attention to this Lululemon universe gubbins. Not. Not.



Nov 12, 2013, 5:34pm

Aha, a fellow essay afficionado!!!!

Do seek out Ann Patchett's new collection, which I think is available now. Have you delved in to some of the older essays? If you haven't, I heartily recommend authors like Hazlitt (On the Pleasures of Hating) and Charles Lamb (Essays of Elia). There are a couple of great anthologies. Also, Virginia Woolf's Common Reader collections of essays are WONDERFUL! If your project is working through the college-bound reading list, mine is going to be reading her complete essays. I began buying these volumes back in the early 1990s, and I think they have now published #5.

That's a very good list, although someone recently said to me that if you haven't read Thomas Wolfe by the age of 25, you shouldn't bother. (I think the people who held this view argued that after that age, you tend to find him sophomoric -- I dunno, I've not read it.) Of your unread books, The Crucible would be a thought-provoking and fast read? I read The Stranger in French back in 10th grade and I suspect I'd get a lot more from it today -- both literal comprehension and philosophically -- if I read it today. And I really do NEED to read some James Joyce.

I can't help wondering what I'd put on thank kind of list? It's actually fairly broad and comprehensive, in terms of "Western" literature, in both space and time. I suspect I'd throw in some Tagore, Things Fall Apart by Achebe, something from Latin America (Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa) and some Chinese and Japanese authors. Great Shakespeare choices, though. And the lovely thing about Shakespeare is that it cries out to be read aloud.

Nov 12, 2013, 6:51pm

>89 richardderus: Oh Richard, you know you want to.....come on.....all the cool kids are reading the Liaden universe books.....

>90 Chatterbox: Hi Suz! Thanks for all the recs on essay collections! I haven't read a one of those. Sadly, I don't I've read anything by Ann Pratchett before. I did a quick Google and read a short essay she wrote called "How to Love a Dog". It was awesome and I definitely want to read more of her. Can you recommend any particular titles? The others sound intriguing to so I will add them to my WL.

Thanks for your comments on my college bound reading list. I agree that if I were to put together a list it would need to have some more modern stuff on it...something written since 1990 would be great! Of course, I was given this list in 1991 and I think my teacher had kept it from the 70's. My original copy was mimeographed!!

The Shakespeare is tough for me. I've only read Romeo and Juliet thus far....and I never read any Shakespeare in school. I am nervous about trying the rest so I keep avoiding them.

Nov 12, 2013, 8:37pm

Tee hee, my work is done! You can't read just one, after all; they are like potato chips in that way. You'll have to go check on Val and Miri after your visit with Priscilla and Shan, and then you won't be able to stop at the cliffhanger at the end of Agent of Change, and so on.

Nov 12, 2013, 10:00pm

*ignores the Greater Eastern Satanic Book Warbler*

Suz, 25 is generous, IMO. If you haven't read Wolfe by college enrollment or at latest 20-21, it's too late.

*ignores Pileated Western Satanic Book Warbler*

Nov 12, 2013, 10:19pm

Am not at all sure about these satanic book warblers of Richard's...

Ann Patchett's new collection is This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, and it's just out -- probably available from the library? It's a wonderful collection. One of the longer essays is available as a Kindle Single, The Getaway Car.

Re the Shakespeare, trying getting an audio recording and reading along. Honestly, the rhythms make so much more sense when it's spoken if you're a neophyte, and even if you're not, that adds so much to the experience. Try Macbeth first -- full of witches, ghosts and murder and revenge. All perennial themes... :-)

Nov 13, 2013, 1:13am

Hey Heidi - love the title of the Ann Patchett essays! And your enjoyment of Trollope makes me remind myself that I must MUST start on The Warden - is that a good place to start?

Nov 13, 2013, 1:29pm

>92 ronincats: I'm already caught up in Val and Miri's adventure....this has got to be at least the third time I've read these books and I still don't want to put them down and get to work!

>93 richardderus: Richard, you and Suz are not making me excited to read the Thomas Wolfe on my list.....I am far past the recommended reading age! LOL (The Liaden books are should really try them!)

>94 Chatterbox: Wonderful suggestion Suz! I am definitely going to try listening to the audio as well as reading along. I think that will really make a difference to me. I will take your suggestion and start with Macbeth.

I did put This is the Story of a Happy Marriage on the WL and will see if my library has it.

>95 PrueGallagher: Hi Prue! The Warden is the place to start, at least that is where I started. Its the first book in the Barsetshire series. You should definitely look up the tutored read thread for The Warden. Our own Lyzard explains all the stuff you need to know about Trollope, the Barsetshire novels, and the time period. It really adds to the enjoyment of the book!

Nov 13, 2013, 4:50pm

Aw, thank you, Heidi! Thank you also for adding your comments to the thread for The Small House At Allington.

Prue, if you are going to start with The Warden I would also suggest accessing the tutored read thread - it's not a difficult novel as such, but it is full of very topical references to 19th century church matters that can leave the modern reader feeling rather lost! Please feel free to add comments or ask more questions if you need to.

Editado: Nov 14, 2013, 5:32pm

I also love books of essays - there are some amazing ones out there. I think it was E.B. White that made me into an essay fiend. Right now I'm reading Atwood's essays on writing. They are reasonable but not stellar.

The only book on that list I haven't read is the Mailer. I feel that I have read something by Mailer, but what????? Probably I won't bother!

Your daughter with her candy made me nostalgic. Our LD (little darling) is 'past all that' although she still adores dressing up and eating candy!

Nov 14, 2013, 9:44pm

I think my real introduction to essays was an anthology of Woolf's that a friend gave me back in college, Women and Writing. Loved it. And then, as I read more, I picked up some broad anthologies, from Montaigne onwards, and just pursued what appealed to me.

It's almost time for me to pick up Framley Parsonage. Oddly, I started reading Trollope at about the same time that I delved into essays. Although Trollope I abandoned after the first two books in each of the main series. I think I started it because in the TV series, Lady Glencora was played by the sister of my elementary school headmistress, who used to give us all free film tickets and come to our school plays -- waaay back in the day.

Nov 16, 2013, 12:07am

Hi, Heidi. Nice to see another lover of essays. My rec would be George Orwell collection. His work in this genre is very intimate and friendly, and he tackles both tough social issues and more light-hearted subjects. Cynthia Ozick has some good ones; Nora Ephron's are quirky and fun.

Nov 16, 2013, 11:30pm

I've actually decided that my 2014 Category Challenge will be devoted to essays -- thanks for the inspiration.

And I'd definitely concur with Orwell & Ozick, though I'm less enamored of Nora Ephron's, especially her later work.

Nov 17, 2013, 11:03am

Thanks for all the great recommendations on essay collections. I happened to go to my library on Thursday and was happy to find This is the Story of a Happy Marriage sitting on the new releases shelf. Of course I had to bring it home with me and have started it this weekend. So far, I am enjoying it very much. I just read her essay on joining the LAPD last night which I thought was excellent.

>97 lyzard: Liz, I have really enjoyed the Trollope books with all your help. I know I would not have gotten so much out of them without your commentary.

>98 sibylline: I will definitely have to check out E.B. White's essays. I loved Charlotte's Web and The Trumpet of the Swan of course.

>99 Chatterbox: Nice personal connection to Trollope. I am definitely interested in seeing some of his work that made it onto the screen.

>100 bohemima: Hi Gail! Its nice to see you out and about! I will have to check out George Orwell, Cynthia Ozick, and Nora Ephron for essays. I did not realize how large the essay genre really is! It makes me excited to think about how many new authors there are out there for me to try.

>101 Chatterbox: I'm glad I could help contribute to your category challenge planning! LOL! So many books, so little time!

Nov 17, 2013, 11:08am

108. Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Genre: Sci Fi
Source: Off my shelves

Agent of Change introduces us to Miri, the mercenary, and Val Con, the first-in scout and soon to be head of Clan Korval. Miri and Val are in danger and on the run throughout the book and we are left with a cliffhanger at the end. Luckily for me, I am reading these in the Partners in Necessity omnibus and can move right along to Carpe Diem!

Also, you meet the Edger and the turtles in Agent of Change...its worth reading the book for the turtles alone!

Nov 17, 2013, 11:50am

Ah, the Liaden love!! *basks in glow*

Nov 18, 2013, 7:56pm

>104 ronincats: And you should bask in the glow of your accomplishments of getting so many of us to read the Liaden books. You are a great advocate!

Nov 18, 2013, 8:18pm

109. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
Genre: Nonfiction, Essays
Source: Library

This is a very enjoyable collection of essays written by Patchett over the course of the last decade or so. A few of the essays cover the reading life, one is about how she became part owner of a bookstore, and most of the rest deal with her personal relationships.

My favorite essay by far was one she wrote about taking care of her grandmother. It was beautiful and touching and so real. When my grandmother became very ill a few years ago, I would spend the night with her and have to help her use the toilet in the night. Your relationship with someone changes dramatically when you have to help them with such a personal thing. I am so thankful I was able to help care for my Grammie before she passed away and Patchett's book put many of my feelings into words in a way that I would never be able to do myself.

This certainly will not be the last book I read by Patchett. All thanks to Suz for pointing me in her direction.

Nov 18, 2013, 8:36pm

I must look for the Patchett!! I'm on to Carpe Diem now in my Liaden travels..... this one is a cliffhanger deluxe. The turtles are fab once more, even if appearances are brief, they are 'crystal' clear.

Nov 22, 2013, 6:18pm

>107 sibylline: I just finished Carpe Diem and you are right about the cliffhanger! luckily I have Plan B here on my shelves! Loved Edger's method of dealing with the Juntavas!

Nov 22, 2013, 6:24pm

110.Carpe Diem by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Genre: SciFi
Source: reread, off my shelves

The adventures of Val Con and Miri continue as they are stranded on a backwater, low tech planet. Shan and Priscilla try to find them with help from the rest of Clan Korval and the awesome turtles. There are a bunch of nasties trying to find our heroes too.

This book made me realize how much I enjoy stories in which characters are dumped into environments, cultures, or situations in which they are "fish out of water". SciFi tends to have this situation a lot but it can be found in other kinds of books too. This plot is so much fun.

Nov 22, 2013, 6:26pm

Currently reading:
Night Film by Marisha Pessl

The Life of Andrew Jackson by Robert Remini

Arguably by Christopher Hitchens

Nov 23, 2013, 12:12am

>106 Cobscook: great review! Turns out you and me aren't the only lovers of essays. I read one of Ann Patchett's essays published as a tiny book, the one about the bookshop. It was lovely.

As it happens, I bought a collection of philosophical essays today...The Reason of Things by AC Grayling. I have high hopes for it!

Nov 23, 2013, 12:31am

Trollope, Sci-Fi and Essayists, Heidi.
Two out of three isn't bad to paraphrase Meatloaf.

I like the first and last by the way and am often left cold by the one in the middle.

Have a lovely weekend.

Nov 23, 2013, 8:58am

We finished Carpe Diem on the same day!!! Onward to Plan B!

Nov 23, 2013, 9:48am

Oh, you're making me want to re-read Partners in Necessity and Plan b, Heidi - and Lucy. What a good time! Love them turtles. And the Liadens aren't too shabby either, are they?

Nov 25, 2013, 12:53pm

>111 LovingLit: Hi Megan! Essays seem to be quite popular with lots of folks at the moment. The Ann Patchett collection is well worth seeking out.

>112 PaulCranswick: Ha! Meatloaf....I was a big fan back in my younger days. I think you just haven't found the right SciFi books Paul. There's lots of great stuff out there.

>113 sibylline: Hi Lucy! I'm trying to get through Night Film before I start Plan B. I was reading it yesterday at home by myself and actually had to put it down because it was creeping me out too badly! And I am a Stephen King fan!!

>114 jnwelch: Joe, you should definitely do a re-read. This time of year things get so crazy and its nice to have a comforting read like the Liaden books to sink into.

Nov 25, 2013, 1:04pm

Hi Heidi- Good review of the Patchett essay collection. I snagged a copy at ALA in June, so I need to book horn it in somewhere. I recently heard her interviewed on the latest NYT Book podcast.
I will be watching your thoughts on Night Film. I plan on starting it soon.

Nov 25, 2013, 2:01pm

Hi Heidi... I'm only a newbie listener to BOTNS...

Mark is to blame. ;) I'm easily influenced by his recommendations and I've been reading the emails for a while, but only in the last few weeks started listening. I like the podcasts much better than just the brief email outline!

Nov 25, 2013, 2:08pm

Good day to you, Madam. I trust that you are well, and comporting yourself with all due gravitas.

Editado: Nov 26, 2013, 6:55pm

>116 msf59: Thanks Mark! I think you will enjoy the Patchett collection. She is not soft and fuzzy in her writing approach but I really connected with her stories. Night Film is great so far. I am about half-way through it and really enjoying it.

>117 TinaV95: I am glad you discovered BOTN, Tina. That Mark is a true trendsetter!!

>118 richardderus: Good day to you sir! I am well, but I won't admit to comporting myself with gravitas!! :P

Nov 28, 2013, 12:40am

Happy Thanksgiving, Heidi!

Nov 28, 2013, 10:02am

>120 ronincats: Same to you Roni!

111. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Genre: Fiction
Source: Library

Maine Readers Choice Award 2014 Long List

I had no idea really what this book was about when I picked it up. I thought it was probably a suspense book and I had heard that it was good....other than that I went in cold.

Night Film is a creepily atmospheric book about a journalist, Scott McGrath, who is swept up in an investigation about a horror film director and the unexpected death of said director's daughter. The story is told in an interesting style, with realistic looking excerpts from newspaper articles, websites, and other supporting documentation from McGrath's investigation.

I don't want to say much for fear of spoilers. I will say that I greatly enjoyed the book. It reminded me a lot of a Stephen King tale, to the point where I had to put the book down twice because I was so creeped out by it. Unfortunately, I did not love the ending. The story got to a certain point and then seemed to lose steam and slowly dribbled to an end. I would have preferred a less "literary" ending.

Regardless, I definitely enjoyed the book and would recommend to anyone who enjoys psychological suspense thrillers or horror movies!

Nov 28, 2013, 10:05am

Happy Thanksgiving, Heidi! I hope this day is full of warm and delightful people making good memories with you.

Nov 28, 2013, 7:34pm

Heidi, I also would like to join in the fun and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Dic 1, 2013, 7:17pm

Thanks for the good wishes Richard and Paul. I have had a busy weekend. I spent two days away Christmas shopping and then have been trying to catch up on household stuff today. No time for reading or LT....boooo!

Dic 3, 2013, 9:28am

Currently Reading:

Calculated in Death by JD Robb - about halfway through and its super fun as always

The Life of Andrew Jackson by Robert Remini - about 75% complete, its a slow read

Arguably by Christopher Hitchens - I am only reading the essays I'm interested in but this is a brick of a book so I'll be at it awhile!

Dic 3, 2013, 12:39pm

I'm getting near caught up on the "in Death" books, Heidi, and just got Promises in Death out of the library. I don't want to catch up, of course, but they're irresistible, aren't they?

Dic 3, 2013, 1:18pm

>126 jnwelch: Yes, I think the in Death books are irresistible. They are comfort reads for me...they never disappoint! I will be very, very sad if I ever get caught up with the series so I try to space them out. I also have all the ones I've read in my personal library so I like to re-read them when I'm sick or feeling particularly stressed out.

Dic 3, 2013, 1:58pm

>125 Cobscook: oooh, I am interested in Arguably by Christopher Hitchens...he (imo) is (was) an intellectual heavyweight. Plus, I happen to agree with his pov on some things.

Dic 3, 2013, 8:20pm


Dic 3, 2013, 10:12pm

Heidi- I am glad you liked Night Film. I just started it. I don't think this would have worked on audio.

Editado: Dic 4, 2013, 5:40pm

>128 LovingLit: Hitchens is definitely an intellectual. Some of his essays are great and some are waaaay over my head. I don't always agree with his point of view but I find his perspective very thought provoking.

>129 richardderus: *smooch* right back at ya!

>130 msf59: Yeah, I don't think Night Film would work in audio. There are too many "value added" materials within the book.

Dic 5, 2013, 10:17am

112. Calculated in Death by JD Robb
Genre: futuristic police procedural
Source: off my shelves

In this installment of the long-running series, detective Eve Dallas must solve a murder that hinges on finances and accounting. I, of course, am a huge fan of these books so I loved the story. One of the things I most enjoy about these books are the small character sketches that come from the periphery of the main storyline. For example, in this book, Eve has to interview the owner of a hardware store. The scene takes place in two or three pages, yet the hardware store owner has a complete personality that totally rings true and made me laugh thinking I've totally met people like him before!

113. Plan B by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Genre: scifi
Source: off my shelves

It's been a treat to re-read the Liaden series. This book in the series has more battle scenes than other episodes. We get to see all our favorite characters and meet one new one who becomes part of our inner circle of Clan Korval.

Dic 5, 2013, 1:18pm

I could have a very happy time simply sitting somewhere reading in Death and Liaden books, Heidi. Makes me smile to read about your enjoyment of them.

Dic 9, 2013, 6:50pm

>133 jnwelch: Hi Joe! Thanks for stopping by. Too bad I've been so absent from my own thread!

I did finish I Dare over the weekend and plan to get back with some comments soon.

Dic 10, 2013, 12:35am

Ah, hope you enjoyed it immensely!

Editado: Dic 10, 2013, 7:04am

Hi, Heidi. I'm in complete agreement with you on the friendly, well-read books being comforters in times of trouble. Some I've read many, many times.

OTOH, it's always nice to discover some new author or work and have it become an instant favorite.

Dic 10, 2013, 12:42pm

>135 ronincats: I did enjoy it immensely Roni! And I have Fledgling waiting in my TBR pile.

>136 bohemima: Its true Gail, sometimes new authors or books become comfort reads immediately. I definitely turn to specific genres when I am stressed/sick. For example, I wouldn't pick up a Literary Fiction title if I were feeling stressed but fantasy or scifi especially with a romantic element always work for me.

Editado: Dic 10, 2013, 12:53pm

114. I Dare by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Genre: SciFi
Source: off my shelves, re-read

I Dare wraps up all the story lines from Shan's story, Val Con's story, and Pat Rin's story. The evil Department of the Interior gets its just desserts and all our romantic storylines are tied up with bows. Just as great on this re-read as its been in the past!

115. The Ocean at the End of the Laneby Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Library

Maine Readers Choice Award 2014 Long List

I have seen many positive reviews of this short fantasy novel and the book definitely lived up to its advance press. A seven year old boy encounters magic and the dark places in humanity after meeting the eleven year old girl who lives at the end of his lane. This book is very dark and creepy. It explores the idea that children experience horrific things when they are young and they don't consciously remember these things as adults. What seems all to real to children can be glossed over, ignored, or not even seen by adults. Who's to say which experience is more real? Do we stop experiencing magic as we grow up or is the magic of childhood simply a figment of a kid's imagination? The Ocean at the End of the Lane is very thought-provoking for a short fantasy novel.

Dic 10, 2013, 8:09pm

Both the LD and the spousal unit love Gaiman, so I ordered this one for xmas for them..... we'll see. I won't be reading it.

I take things much too seriously or something, but I can't read scary/creepy......

Gotta get back to I Dare!!! Been sneaking a few pages here and there all day. Bye!

Dic 10, 2013, 8:12pm

Hi Heidi- Glad you liked the latest Gaiman. Another gem from this year. I still have almost a 150 pages left in Night Film. I really like it but it is taking me forever to read.
Hope the week is going well.

Dic 10, 2013, 8:34pm

>131 Cobscook: I don't think Night Film would work in audio. There are too many "value added" materials within the book.
oooh, tantalizing!

My library has I may soon too.

Dic 11, 2013, 9:54am

Fun to revisit I Dare through your eyes, Heidi, and what a good short review of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I found some of the images in it quite haunting. Hmm, pun unintended.

Editado: Dic 11, 2013, 12:28pm

>139 sibylline: I would say The Ocean at the End of the Lane is too creepy for someone who doesn't like scary books. There is one scene in particular involving a bathtub which was particularly horrifying. BUT its also written with a 7 year old main character and it is a fantasy YMMV.

I found I Dare particularly un-putdownable on this re-read!

>140 msf59: Night Film is a long one for sure. I think it took me over a week to get through which is a long time for me if I am reading one book exclusively. The week is very busy. I am squeezing a few minutes here at lunch to check in with my LT peeps!

>141 LovingLit: Please do check out Night Film! I think you would like it. I also read my library's copy....I like to try books I'm not sure of through the library!

>142 jnwelch: Yes, Joe I agree. There is a very haunting aspect to Ocean. I have found myself thinking about it quite a lot since I finished it. There was a lot there about friendship that was important but the thing that is "haunting" me was the main character's relationship with his father. I keep wondering how the boy and his father got on after the events when he was seven. We don't really find out other than that they weren't close. I think this is the kind of book in which the reader's age and life experience will really affect how they respond to the book. Which is quite a lot for a fantasy book to do!

Editado: Dic 12, 2013, 3:47pm

I've finally made my selections for Mark's 2014 American Authors Challenge. As you can see, I have included substitutions because I want to use this challenge as a chance to get through some more of the titles on my College Bound Reading List.

Willa Cather- January – Death Comes for the Archbishop
Cormac McCarthy- February Substitute: Arthur Miller - The Crucible
William Faulkner- March - The Sound and the Fury
Toni Morrison- April – Substitute: Richard Wright - Native Son
Eudora Welty- May – Substitute: Carson McCullers - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Kurt Vonnegut- June- Substitute: James Agee - A Death in the Family
Mark Twain- July - Life on the Mississippi (recommended by Richard)
Philip Roth- August – Substitute: John Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath
James Baldwin- September - Go Tell It On the Mountain
Edith Wharton- October Substitute: Ernest Hemingway - For Whom the Bell Tolls
John Updike- November Substitute: Arthur Miller - Death of a Salesman
Larry Watson- December – Montana 1948 (recommended by Mark)

Dic 12, 2013, 10:19pm

Heidi- I love your AAC selections. I am so glad you'll be joining us. I'll be joining you on the Cather and the Twain. I love your substitutions of Native Son & Grapes. 2 of my favorite books of all time.
And Montana 1948 is also an excellent choice.

Editado: Dic 13, 2013, 8:57am

>145 msf59: Thanks Mark! This challenge is really going to allow me to power through some of those classics that have been on my list for a long time. I realized in going through the list that I am seriously under-read on classic American authors. I need to work on that!

Dic 16, 2013, 10:52am

Crazy busy weekend even with the 12+ inches of snow which kept us all at home yesterday. I am pleased to report that I have *almost* finished my shopping, my Christmas cards are mailed, and our Christmas tree is up and decorated. Now for the week ahead which features long work hours, three of my daughter's basketball games, two Christmas parties and a candy making night with one of my friends.....I'm looking forward to a few days off AFTER Christmas!

Reading Update:
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer - This is much, much better than I thought it would page 200 now.

Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope - about 10 chapters in and reading on my Kindle

The Life of Andrew Jackson by Robert Remini - am finally down to the last 100 pages or so, I'm really hoping to finish this up before the end of the year.

Arguably by Christopher Hichens

Dic 16, 2013, 11:13am

Hey, Heidi. ("Hey" is Southern for any sort of greeting, from"Hello" to "Good grief, I've missed you".)

I might join in reading the Cather book; it all depends. Your choices for next year look great. I'm trying a No-Planning Plan for 2014. Can't remember the last time I did that.

Oh, I loved Can You Forgive Her this fall. I thought the title had multiple applications within the book. You must let us know what you think.

Dic 17, 2013, 7:54am

>148 bohemima: Hi Gail! I really enjoyed My Antonia by Will Cather so I am looking forward to reading Death Comes for the Archbishop in January. I hope it is as good. The more the merrier when reading and discussing a book but I totally understand your plans for "no planning" in 2014!

My reading of Can You Forgive Her is definitely suffering from the holiday madness and my short attention span at the moment!

Dic 17, 2013, 2:23pm

Trollope really doesn't suit the short-attention-span times, does he? The lushness and sheer detailed created world asks for a steady, concentrated read. Maybe this isn't the time?

Dic 19, 2013, 12:09pm

>150 richardderus: No I don't think this is the time for Trollope unfortunately. I really want to be able to take the time to sink into it and just enjoy all the details. What I've read so far of Can You Forgive Her has been fantastic.

But insomnia is a great tool for getting through some of the books I had laying around half-read that don't require so much concentration! Last night I finished The Interestings and my Andrew Jackson book.

Dic 19, 2013, 12:40pm

Making lemonade from those lemons again, eh what, Heidi?

Dic 19, 2013, 1:25pm

Heidi- I hope you enjoyed the Interestings as much as I did. I've been seeing it pop up on a few Best of the Year lists and glad to see it was not forgotten.

Dic 20, 2013, 8:38am

116. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Genre: Fiction
Source: Library

Maine Readers Choice Award 2014 Long List

Six teenagers meet at an arts summer camp in Massachusetts, form a group calling themselves the Interestings, and become lifelong friends. This novel tells their stories over the course of forty years weaving in moments in history from the 70s to the present day.

The Interestings is a compulsively readable book even though it is not a plot driven book. The characters lives drive the story and there is a lot the reader can relate to in it. From the arrogance of the teen years when you are so sure your talents are going to lead to greatness, to the struggles to find work that pays enough to meet your obligations in your 20s, to starting a family and all that entails, this book took me on a journey. This is not the type of book I would normally pick up....but I kind of loved its gentle pace and the reality of the story. I also liked that while the main characters were flawed, none were truly evil (except Goodman, he was a prick, but he wasn't on stage most of the time!), and there was no shocking twist. These were just some people with good traits and bad traits, dealing with talents, ambitions, and the realities of life.

The only bad part of the whole book was the ending for me. Personally, I hated the ending. It did not end the way I wanted it to and I threw the book down in disgust when I read the last page! However, that is my personal bias and has nothing to do with how well the story is written. I have since re-written the ending in my mind and it now ends the way I want it to! LOL

Editado: Dic 20, 2013, 8:49am

117. The Life of Andrew Jackson by Robert Remini
Genre: Nonfiction
Source: Off my shelves

So Andrew Jackson was not a very nice guy especially in his younger days. He got in a ton of fights, shot some people, stole another man's wife, lost a whole bunch of money on land speculation, and imposed his considerable will on whole groups of people. After winning the battle of New Orleans, and wresting Florida away from the Spanish, he was a national hero and he used this status as leverage to get elected President.

As you can probably tell, I came away from The Life of Andrew Jackson not liking the man very much. He was a bully that believed only his way was the right way. In addition to that, he was responsible for the forceable removal of the Native Americans from the southern part of the US to west of the Mississippi, an unhappy event known as the Trail of Tears.

In spite of the negative reaction I had to Jackson's personality and personal beliefs, I feel he was a decent president overall. The parts of the book dealing with his presidency and the years after his retirement were more interesting and I could see some of the good things Jackson did.

Overall though, I don't feel like I want to read anymore about this president.

Dic 20, 2013, 9:59am

In gratitude for all the wonderful and playful time we've spent in this sandbox called the 75ers, Heidi:

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


Dic 20, 2013, 1:46pm

Thanks Richard dear! I am v v excited that we start heading back toward longer days now. I hate that it gets dark at 4:00PM!

Dic 20, 2013, 1:53pm

I mind short days much much less than I mind summer. But the compromise positions of Spring and Fall are hunky-dory by me!

Dic 21, 2013, 11:29am

No longer or shorter days really here I'm afraid and I do actually miss the waxing and waning a little bit.

Have a lovely weekend, Heidi.

Dic 22, 2013, 9:57am

>158 richardderus:, 159 As nice as it is that the days are getting longer, we still have a long way to go before winter is over. We are in the midst of an ice storm and have about a quarter inch of ice built up on everything now. The storm is expected to continue on into tomorrow and I fully expect to lose power at some point. Luckily for me, I don't need to be anywhere today....hopefully I will get a chance to do some READING! That is, once I have finished wrapping presents, scrubbing floors, and baking. If the power goes out I will have to sit around and read....hmmmmmm...LOL!

Dic 22, 2013, 10:07am

We had our snow last night, Heidi, and fortunately no power outages around here, although lots of places further south did where there was more ice. Hope yours manages to stay on.

Dic 22, 2013, 1:19pm

>161 ronincats: I hope you are enjoying your snow Roni! Luckily we still have power and I have wrapped, baked and cleaned enough to make myself happy. Now I'm going to visit some threads, watch some HGTV, and read. Life is good!

Dic 24, 2013, 5:52am

Heidi, it has been a constant pleasure visiting your thread this year. Have a lovely Christmas. xx

Dic 24, 2013, 5:59am

Heidi, I hope you don't lose power. Ice storms sound scary. You must be relieved to have got all the chores done - happy reading and all the best for Christmas and 2014.

Dic 24, 2013, 9:34am

Have a merry merry tomorrow, Heidi.

Dic 24, 2013, 10:08pm

Heidi.... Wishing you and your family a great Christmas tomorrow!!!

Dic 24, 2013, 11:02pm

The snow is great fun for the 2 weeks we are here, Heidi. Merry Christmas!

Dic 25, 2013, 3:58am

Merry Christmas! And may 2014 bring with it scads of marvellous, compelling and unputdownable books of all kinds!!

Dic 25, 2013, 8:14pm

Thanks for all the holiday wishes everyone! I am pleased to report we finally have power again after losing it at 2:30pm Monday afternoon. It's been a lovely Christmas and I will be back to report on the books I received.

Dic 25, 2013, 10:22pm

Glad you had a nice Christmas, Heidi! Yes, we will wait patiently for your book report.

Dic 26, 2013, 10:16am

I spoke too soon regarding our power. The main power line entering our house came down in the middle of the night, it messed up our power, burned up our fridge and furnace and the power line is still live and lying in the dooryard. We are back on generator power and waiting for the power company to come deal with the issue. I will have intermittent power and internet until this issue is resolved.

I will be back to report on my books!!!

Dic 26, 2013, 10:32am

Oh Heidi, how hideous! I'm so sorry. I hope the issue gets resolved soon.

Maybe just come on over to the 2014 group? Let's leave all this 2013 mishegas behind!

Dic 26, 2013, 10:46am

Heidi, I'm very sorry about the power, and having a live line that close to the house is especially scary. Hope it all gets sorted soon.

Dic 26, 2013, 11:10am

Heidi, I'm sorry to hear about the power problems. There was an item on our news about the ice storm and the power cuts and it looked scary. I hope they can fix you soon.

Dic 26, 2013, 2:54pm

Thanks for the expressions of concern everyone! We are all safe and warm thankfully, but it is crazy around here. Our power company has not yet appeared, but our heating technician is here repairing the furnace. Looks like that part alone is goings to cost around $1000....gulp! Hoping that our insurance company doesn't jerk us around too badly.

As promised, here is a list of the lovelies I received for Xmas:
Martin Van Buren by Ted Widmer
William Henry Harrison by Gail Collins
These are both from my mom, for my Presidential challenge.

Different Seasons by Stephen King
The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter
These are from my niece.

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Montana 1948 by Larry Watson
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
All from my Secret Santa Mamie!

Plus I received Amazon gift cards from my husband and my parents so there will be more great reads coming into my house soon!

Dic 26, 2013, 3:10pm

Heidi, I'm sorry to hear about your electricity woes. We lived through that several years ago when we were still in Indiana and we got hit by a major ice storm. SO scary and no fun to clean up after - we were without power for more than a week. Hoping that things get fixed quickly for you.

Dic 26, 2013, 7:55pm

Yikes on the power issues. My sister & her husband have been without power since late Friday night, but they were able to drive to my parents' place and stay there this week. My brother's in-laws just had their power restored yesterday, I believe. They both live in Toronto, and last I heard there are still tens of thousands without power... unpleasant indeed, and scary. :(

I hope your power gets restored soon!!!

Dic 27, 2013, 2:02pm

Oh phooey, Heidi! I sure hope the insurance company is efficient and your repairs get done quickly.

I popped over to wish you some belated Merry Christmas wishes and to say I'll be following you in the new year (hopefully much more diligently).

Dic 27, 2013, 4:19pm

Update: still no power, but Bangor Hydro has been here and reattached the power line to our house. We are waiting on a call back from our electrician who has to come wire the mast back to the meter. Once that is done, Bangor Hydro will come back and restore power to the house. Then we will see how many appliances and pieces of electronics are not working.

Thanks to all for your kind messages of support. It means a lot to me! Unfortunately, it looks like another big snowstorm headed our way for Sunday into Monday....hopefully, our power will be back on by then!

Dic 27, 2013, 6:41pm

Yikes, I hope it all sorts out all right, Heidi. We saw that another big one is supposedly headed your way. I hope you're having some holiday enjoyment despite the craziness.

And best wishes for a healthy and satisfying 2014!

Dic 27, 2013, 9:36pm

Did I read right..... still no power?! Here is hoping the power gets restored soon and the storm decides to either die out or take a detour!

Dic 27, 2013, 10:03pm

Thank goodness the power line is reattached. Everything else aside, things that threaten life and limb are so very not not not acceptable.

Dic 28, 2013, 7:32am

Ice Storm ~ View in my backyard

Dic 28, 2013, 7:34am

Ice Storm ~ Our power line pulled away from the house and lying in the driveway.

Dic 28, 2013, 7:39am

Joe, Lori, and Richard, thanks for stopping by. I thought I would post some pictures so everyone can see what we are dealing with up here in eastern Maine. Today looks like it will finally get above freezing so we will have some melting. yay!

I have been doing some reading and finally finished two more books.

118. Lexicon by Max Barry
Genre: SciFi/Fiction
Source: Library

Another one off the Maine Readers Choice Award longlist. It was a fun, fast read!

119. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Genre: YA
Source: off my shelves

Thanks to my Secret Santa Mamie for this great book about a young girl with Asperbers who is learning to deal with the death of her beloved older brother. A fantastic read.

Dic 28, 2013, 10:55am

Heidi, at first I thought those were black and white photos. Then I noticed the red tail-light on the pick-up...That looks like a terrible storm. I hope your electrician can get to you soon.

Dic 28, 2013, 11:01am

Heidi, What a wicked storm. I'm sorry to hear about your furnace part costing $1,000. We had a similar situation with our furnace last year and decided to have a new one installed...$9,000 later, we were warm again.

All good wishes for a wonderful holiday and a bright, happy new year.

Dic 28, 2013, 1:35pm

Egads! What a rotten kind of a way to spend any part of a holiday. Sorry sorry sorry, Heidi.

Dic 28, 2013, 7:16pm

WE HAVE POWER!!! I am excited to be sitting here, typing on my laptop, with all the lights on, my washing machine and dryer running, the wood furnace fan pumping heat throughout the house and no generator running! LOL

My husband and I will head to Bangor ahead of the storm to pick up a new refrigerator and some groceries tomorrow. Its been a stressful week but really we were and are lucky it wasn't worse.

Thanks to all! LT friends are the best!!

Ene 1, 2014, 12:45pm

Glad everything is getting to be back to normal!

When you get around to making a thread in the 2014 75 books group (if you're going to), please drop me a note here and I'll come find you!

Ene 1, 2014, 5:50pm

Yay for power!

Ene 1, 2014, 5:55pm

Yay for power! Glad you're back in the lights on, machines working world, Heidi. Happy New Year!

Ene 1, 2014, 6:40pm

Thanks for stopping by Samantha, Kathy and Joe! I am off to set up my new 2014 thread now.

Ene 1, 2014, 7:52pm

Please join me at my 2014 thread found here