lycomayflower acknowledges the paradox of choice in 2019--part 2
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Welcome to part two of my 2019 reading thread! Click here to go to my introduction post or here to return to part one. The picture above is of my beloved golden retriever, Thursday, doing flat dog during a thunderstorm. Bonus lycomayflower arm and book.
This first post contains an on-going list of the books I've read this year, with the most recent reads at the top. Click on the book title to go to the book's post within the thread, where you will find a review. Numbers in parentheses are page counts for each book. Click here to visit my 2018 thread.
Total Pages: 18,660
92.) Elizabeth II: Life of a Monarch (audio)
91.) The Ingenious Language (205)
90.) A Holiday by Gaslight (167)
89.) All Creation Waits (75)
88.) A Christmas Carol (audio)
87.) A Christmas Story (131)
86.) All Kinds of Tied Down (276)
85.) This Moose Belongs to Me
84.) Nobody Hugs a Cactus
83.) Santa's Story
82.) Dog Love Books
81.) There Are No Bears in This Bakery
80.) Briarley (165)
79.) Equal Rites (213)
78.) A Fatal Grace (311)
77.) Bloodlust and Bonnets (203)
76.) One Year Gone (336)
75.) Heels Over Head (466)
74.) Snug Harbor Stories (~100)
73.) Heartstopper vol 1 (~100)
72.) The Turn of the Screw (100)
71.) We Speak in Storms (464)
70.) Lobster Is the Best Medicine
69.) The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes (320)
68.) A Girl Like Her (288)
67.) The Lost City of Z (319)
66.) Gilmore Girls: A Cultural History (192)
65.) TV Goes to Hell (252)
64.) Giant Days vol 9 (~100)
63.) Unicorn Bowling (~100)
62.) Pumpkinheads (211)
61.) With the Fire on High (392)
60.) Tinsel Fish (134)
59.) Every Heart a Doorway (169)
58.) Murmuration (300)
57.) Sailing Alone Around the Room (172)
56.) Small Spaces (216)
55.) Sharp Objects (393)
54.) The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (259)
53.) The Keeper of Lost Things (278)
52.) Ziggy, Stardust & Me (347)
51.) Children of Blood and Bone (525)
50.) His Saint (284)
49.) Once Upon a Haunted Moor (112)
48.) In the Hunt:Unauthorized Essays on Supernatural (275)
47.) Gaudy Night (501)
46.) Arrows of the Queen (206)
45.) Driftwood (200)
44.) Counting by 7s (378)
43.) Phoebe and Her Unicorn in Unicorn Theater (~100)
42.) Unicorn of Many Hats (~100)
41.) Phoebe and Her Unicorn in the Magic Storm (~100)
40.) Unicorn Crossing (~100)
39.) Razzle Dazzle Unicorn (~100)
38.) Ghosts (~150)
37.) Unicorn vs. Goblins (~100)
36.) Giant Days vol 8 (~100)
35.) Unicorn on a Roll (~100)
34.) Band Sinister (240)
33.) Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail
32.) Supernatural: Nevermore (315)
31.) Phoebe and Her Unicorn (~100)
30.) Kidnapped (221)
29.) The Passages of H.M. (454)
28.) Facing West (275)
27.) Ordeal by Innocence (269)
26.) Ship It (375)
25.) Eloise The Ultimate Edition (~100)
24.) Becoming (426)
23.) Meet the Austins (223)
22.) Well-Read Black Girl (239)
21.) To Night Owl From Dogfish (314)
20.) Bunny Day
19.) The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted (293)
18.) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (373)
17.) A Visitor's Guide to Mystic Falls (190)
16.) The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle (235)
15.) The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening (253)
14.) Once Upon a Winter's Eve (153)
13.) The Gardener
12.) Grandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip
11.) Border (375)
10.) Giant Days volume 7 (~100)
9.) I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening) (194)
8.) Can I Come, Too?
7.) Rough Canvas (352)
6.) The Queen's Progress
5.) A Cathedral of Myth and Bone (352)
4.) A Study in Scarlet Women (323)
3.) Aquicorn Cove (94)
2.) Book Love (137)
1.) The Book of Strange New Things (500)
Ten Books by Authors of Color
1.) Book Love, Debbie Tung
2.) A Study in Scarlet Women, Sherry Thomas
3.) Grandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip, Denia Lewis Hester
4.) Well-Read Black Girl, various, edited by Gloria Edim
5.) Becoming, Michelle Obama
6.) Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi
7.) The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Ernest J. Gaines
8.) With the Fire on High, Elizabeth Acevedo
9.) A Girl Like Her, Talia Hibbert
Ten Books by LGBTQIA Authors
1.) Ship It, Britta Lundin
2.) Driftwood, Harper Fox
3.) Once Upon a Haunted Moor, Harper Fox
4.) Ziggy, Stardust & Me, James Brandon
5.) Murmuration, TJ Klune
6.) Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire
7.) Tinsel Fish, Harper Fox
Sailing Alone Around the Room
2.) A short story collection from my shelves
3.) Any nonfiction work about religion from my shelves
4.) A nonfiction work about religion from my shelves not by C.S. Lewis
5.) A nonfiction work about science
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Arrows of the Queen
The Ingenious Language
9.) A graphic novel from my shelves
10.) A middle grade novel from my shelves
11.) A Book of the Month book from my shelves
I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening)
13.) A book from my shelves purchased before 2010
A Fatal Grace
A Study in Scarlet Women
The Passages of H.M.
"From my shelves" essentially means "came into my possession before 2019."
I love your beloved pup "doing flat dog during a thunderstorm". Our daughter's Borkie (Indy is a beagle-Yorkie rescue) retires to the (apparently) safer shower stall during a storm - she used to jump into the tub in our daughter's old apartment.
Mario couldn't possibly care less about thunderstorms, as long as she still gets her required daily amount of snuggling. Tuppence *hates* them, though, and grows more intolerant of them as she gets older.
Lovely picture of Thursday up there. Some dogs don't like thunderstorms, others don't care. The worst dog I had tried to climb on my head during thunderstorms...
>12 scaifea: Thursday didn't used to mind them, but after The Fireworks Incident, she hides from the storms.
>13 FAMeulstee: Ha! If Thursday tried to get on my head, we'd have a problem!
>14 MickyFine: Lol, thanks!
>15 Caroline_McElwee: Getting there!
>16 Familyhistorian: Yeah, Thursday doesn't freak out as such, so much as hide. Better than it could be, for sure!
>17 Berly: Lol, thanks!
A mystery novel set when John Watson is in his old age, Sherlock Holmes has died, and Watson’s son John has become a doctor. They cross paths with Sherlock’s daughter Joanna (who has inherited his smarts and knack for deductive reasoning) and all solve a mystery together. I enjoyed this fairly well as I was going along, but the more I thought about it in the end the more some things irritated me. There were an *awful lot* of children of Doylean characters running around in this story, and some of Joanna’s deductions bugged me in the same ways that Sherlock’s deductions bug me in the original stories (they *could* be true, but at least three or four alternatives always immediately suggest themselves). Worth reading, though I don’t know that I’ll bother with any more, should there be any. I read this with a friend, and our discussion of it was great, so at least it sparked lively conversation.
A collection of short comics all featuring anthropomorphized animals, and most about friendship in some way. This was an absolute delight and consistently surprised and impressed me with how good or touching or funny each of these little pieces was, especially as they all seem so simple. Absolutely recommended.
Two generations back, a tornado tore through the drive-in theater in Mercer, Illinois, and killed some fifty of the town’s teenagers. On the anniversary of the storm, another tornado touches down in the same spot, leaving nothing like the previous twister’s devastation but appearing to resurrect some of those killed by the first storm. These ghosts have arrived to help three present-day teenagers, all of whom echo in some way the struggles the older generation was dealing with themselves. I love the premise of this book, but in execution it just didn’t do that much for me. I liked what Lund was doing a lot more than I liked watching her do it. The characters never really came fully alive for me, and I was expecting the book to be a little spookier and a little less depressing. YMMV.
72.) The Turn of the Screw, Henry James ***1/2
I honestly don't remember much about this now? It was neither as impressive nor as unimpressive as I have heard. Fairly atmospheric, decent ambiguous ending. I'm glad I read it, if only because now I will get it when other books or movies are referencing it.
Very good deep-dive-into-character romance novel about two competitive divers, one a very talented relative newcomer and one very talented long-time Olympic hopeful. Lots of good stuff here about passion, deciding what matters, and coming out. CW for homophobia and accompanying language.
Thanks, everyone! Some of all y'all are comedians, I see.
There hasn't been a ton of reading around here. Am in a little bit of a slump brought on by a TV show hangover that is affecting my ability to stick with books. And then there's been the Christmas dash. But today I'm hoping to review everything I *have* read since last I was here (a month ago!) and then stay on top of it for the rest of the year.
This Supernatural tie-in book, set in the year between the events of seasons five and six, was just dreadful. The characterization was off, the plot was ho-hum, there was a lot of uninteresting backstory told in flashbacks which may or may not have been journal entries (?), and other than a brief section at the beginning, the story really doesn't add anything to our understanding of a pretty important bit of time in the lives of the Winchester brothers.
A graphic novel about a young woman in the early 19th century who has adventures with Lord Byron and a bevy of other folks slaying vampires and whatnot. It's a lot of silliness really, and it's the kind of silliness I'm generally here for, but the whole thing just didn't quite hang together for me.
The second Inspector Gamache book. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and liked it much more than the first. I'm really starting to love Gamache and to think of Three Pines as among one of the fictional places I'd most like to visit. Looking forward to reading more.
**Fulfills challenge #14 on my personal challenge for 2019, the second book in a series I started before 2019
I have to be in *just* the right mood (and I think I have to be reading one of his books in which Pratchett was *right* on top of his game) to enjoy Discworld books, and I wasn't (and I don't think he was) with this one. It was aight. I likely would have quit if I weren't reading it for a discussion.
***For Book Club
81.) There Are No Bears in This Bakery, Julia Sarcone-Roach ****
A cat patrols the bakery to keep pests away. One night there's a bear. The bear and the cat may or may not have a little party before the bear moves on, making the title, indeed, true. Kind of noirish. Very fun.
82.) Dog Loves Books, Louise Yates ****
Dog... loves books. He opens a shop. No one comes. Until someone does. Sweet and lovely and great illustrations.
83.) Santa's Story, Will Hillenbrand ***1/2
Santa can't understand why none of the reindeer are ready to go for Christmas Eve--until he realizes he forgot to read them their traditional Christmas Eve story, which starts the holiday for them. Funny.
84.) Nobody Hugs a Cactus, Carter Goodrich **1/2
Eh? Cactus is grumpy and no one wants to be around him... because he's grumpy. And then he gets lonely because no one wants to be around him... so he changes? I dunno, I just found the rhetoric around feelings and whatnot not great or not nuanced or something here? There's a fine line between learning not to be a little shit (good) and learning to change yourself to suit other people's idea of what you should be (bad), and I just didn't like the way this navigated that line. YYMV.
85.) This Moose Belongs to Me, Oliver Jeffers ****
A boy finds a moose. Adventures ensue. Fun.
>43 lycomayflower: I maintain that the wizard books are the weakest in the series (I'm reading one now and wishing it were a Granny Weatherwax one instead).
TV show hangover? What TV show could possibly have such an effect? Weird.
This is a collection of the short humor pieces that appeared separately and then were collectively the inspiration for the 1983 movie of this name. "Duel in the Snow, Or Red Ryder Nails the Cleveland Street Kid," which is the piece that all the BB gun stuff (and all the specifically Christmassy stuff) comes from, is the best. Some of the others go on a bit--and contain some attitudes that don't go down so smooth now as they might have when they first were written.
This advent book provides a short (about two pages) essay for each day in December about an animal and how they prepare for the long winter in the northern US. Each essay is accompanied by a black and white drawing of the animal in the essay. The book is a lovely meditation on nature, waiting, and preparation.
A Christmas novella following Ned, a wealthy businessman, and Sophie, the daughter of a gentleman in financial straits as they try to buck the etiquette of Victorians times and actually get to know each other before deciding whether to marry. This was nice but never fully sparked for me. It didn't feel rushed, exactly, as I thought the pacing was good, but, ironically, I didn't feel like I got to know the characters well enough to care about them as much as I would have liked to.
Classics professor Marcolongo waxes enthusiastic about ancient Greek as a language, how it works, what's cool about it, how it differs from other languages. Reading this was by turns fascinating and a slog. Some of it went completely over my head (aspect) while some of it made me go "Neat!" (the dual). Some of it was hard to follow for someone not familiar with the Greek alphabet (any discussion of how stems change, for instance--I could follow that about a language that uses our alphabet, because at least I'd some sense of what I'm looking at), and some of it I think was lost in translation (the book was translated from Italian). Oh well. At least I learned a couple of things I didn't know before.
This short audible original biography of Elizabeth II was compelling (I didn't want to stop listening), though it didn't really learn me anything new about the queen. Recommended as an entertaining listen or a brief introduction to the major events in Elizabeth's life.
Pages Read: 18,660
Books Read: 92
LGBTQIA Authors: 7
Top 5 Reads of 2019:
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Phoebe and Her Unicorn
A Fatal Grace
Worst Reads of 2019
The Book of Strange New Things
One Year Gone
I only completed half of my challenge categories for the year and didn't make my goals for number of books read by authors of color or LGBTQIA authors either. *shrug* It wasn't a fantastic reading year, nor was it a great year for trying to devote a lot of energy to focusing on reading goals (we bought a house! we moved! we sold a house! I fell in love with a new TV show that is 227 hours long!) Next year I am scaling back on goals. I'll discuss that further on my 2020 thread.