Laytonwoman3rd's Thirteenth Year: Season Four

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Laytonwoman3rd's Thirteenth Year: Season Four

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Editado: Dic 26, 2019, 4:29pm

Fall...isn't really fall anymore---although it's a while until winter officially hits, the weather today is very white, so I decided it might be time for some new pictures. These are not current, although this one
does fairly well portray the view outside my window right now.

Greetings, from 1953:

Hi! I'm Linda, a retired paralegal living in Northeastern Pennsylvania with my husband flamingrabbit (a retired broadcast engineer), and our sweet kitty, Molly O'Del, who we rescued from The Barn. Our daughter, lycomayflower, hangs around this group as well.

This is my 13th year of keeping track of my reading on LT. I have been a member of the 75 Book Challenge Group for most of that time. If you'd like to explore my reading backwards from here, there are links on my profile page to my earlier threads. Here is my last thread from 2018.

My goal is always to read more of the books I already own, and to acquire fewer books than I remove from the house. As you will see from subsequent posts where I keep track of that kind of thing, I'm rubbish at it. I just like browsing and buying books. Besides, as a board member of the Scranton Public Library (and now VP) I'm duty bound to attend ALL their book sales and bring stuff home, eh? They also have a nifty little independent bookstore/library branch which gets the best donations of used books, like art books, Folio editions, and such. And people keep GIVING me books...what's a woman to do?

I'll use these tickers to keep track of total books read, the number of those that I've had on my own shelves for at least a year at the time I read them, and the number of books I actually move OUT of the house in 2019.

Editado: Ene 1, 2020, 11:44am

In this post I'll keep monthly lists of my completed reads for the rest of 2019. (January through September can be found in No. 3 below)

I use some shorthand to help me keep track of my reading trends: ROOT identifies a book that I have owned for at least a year at the time I read it. CULL means I put the book in my donation box for the library book sale after finishing it, or otherwise gave it away. DNF means I didn't finish the book, for one reason or another, usually explained in the related post. ER means I received the book from LT's Early Reviewer program. GN refers to a graphic novel, GM a graphic memoir (don't expect to see a lot of those!) An *asterisk indicates a library book; LOA means I read a Library of America edition; SF means the book was a Slightly Foxed edition, (NOT science fiction, which I so rarely read); FOLIO, of course, indicates a Folio Society edition. AUDIO and e-Book are self-explanatory, and probably won't appear very often. AAC and BIAC refer to the American and British Isles Author Challenges. (See more on those below). NF indicates a non-fiction read.
Clicking on titles in this post will take you to the message in which I reviewed or commented on that book.


104. Just William by Richmal Crompton
103. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
102. The Dry by Jane Harper ROOT, CULL
101. Vanity Dies Hard by Ruth Rendell ROOT, CULL
100. A Gipsy in the Parlor by Margery Sharp ROOT
99. The Last Giants by Francoise Place
*98. Another Man's Moccasins by Craig Johnson
*97. Kindness Goes Unpunished by Craig Johnson


*96. P is for Peril by Sue Grafton
95. The Quest for the Silver Fleece by W. E. B. DuBois AAC
94. Mighty Justice by Dovey Johnson Roundtree NF, ARC, CULL
*93. Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb
*92. Death Without Company by Craig Johnson
91. Affinity by Sarah Waters CULL


90. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ROOT
89. An Enemy of the People by Arthur Miller, adapted from Henrik Ibsen ROOT, AAC
88. Marley by Jon Clinch
87. Sergeant Billy by Mireille Messier ER
86. The Wych Elm by Tana French ROOT, CULL
85. Unicorn v. Goblins by Dana Simpson
*84. O is for Outlaw by Sue Grafton
83. How to Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery NF
82. Phoebe on a Roll by Dana Simpson
81. Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson AAC
*80. N is for Noose by Sue Grafton
79. All Waiting is Long by Barbara J. Taylor
78. Walkin' the Dog by Walter Mosley ROOT

Editado: Ene 1, 2020, 5:44pm

Here's what I read from January through September of 2019:

77. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko AAC, ROOT
*76. They Called us Enemy by George Takei et al. GM, NF
75. Lobster is the Best Medicine by Liz Climo
74. The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson


*73. Unicorn Bowling by Dana Simpson
72. The Devil Amongst the Lawyers by Sharyn McCrumb ROOT, CULL
71. The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Ernest J. Gaines AAC
70. The Comforts of Home by Susan Hill
69. Conversations with Jay Parini Ed. by Michael Lackey NF
68. The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill ROOT
67. Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night by Barbara J. Taylor ROOT
66. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines AAC
65. The Quiet American by Graham Greene ROOT
64. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee ROOT
63. Marrying Out by Harold Carlton ROOT, SF, NF
62. Past Imperfect by Margaret Maron ROOT


61. American Gospel by Jon Meacham ROOT, AAC, NF
60. Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz NF
59. The Rose Garden by Susan Kearsley
*58. The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
57. Candide by Voltaire ROOT, CULL
56. Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson
55.*Big Sky by Kate Atkinson
54. *M is for Malice by Sue Grafton
53. On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin ROOT
52. *L is for Lawless by Sue Grafton
51. *The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths


50. Well-Read Black Girl NF
49. The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer
48. Imperial Woman by Pearl Buck AAC, ROOT
*47. K is for Killer by Sue Grafton
46. Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood
45. Provence 1970 by Luke Barr ROOT, NF
44. Furious Hours by Casey Cep NF


43. Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood
42. Burning Grass by Cyprian Ekwensi CULL
41. Seaglass Summer by Michelle Houts
40. The Passages of H. M. by Jay Parini AAC, ROOT
*39. J is for Judgment by Sue Grafton
38. They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
37. The Hawk of the Castle by Danna Smith
36. *The Absolutely Essential Heloise by Kay Thompson and Marie Brenner
35. Stories in the End by Jay Eldred and Tom Poole NF
34. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
*33. Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
32. Predator and Prey by Susannah Burhman Deever ER
31. Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell ROOT, CULL
30. Ghost Riders by Sharyn McCrumb ROOT, AAC


29. Bear by Marian Engel
28. I is for Innocent by Sue Grafton CULL
27. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward AAC
26. The Murder Room by P. D. James ROOT
25. Oranges by John McPhee CULL, NF
24. The Mothers by Brit Bennett CULL


23. H is for Homicide by Sue Grafton CULL
22. A Stricken Field by Martha Gellhorn ROOT
21. Sabbaths 2016 by Wendell Berry
20. G is for Gumshoe by Sue Grafton CULL
19. Recruiters by Silas House
18. F is for Fugitive by Sue Grafton CULL
17*. Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
16. The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch ROOT, AAC


15. English Creek by Ivan Doig ROOT
14. Under the Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott AAC, CULL
13. *A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
12. * E is for Evidence by Sue Grafton CULL
11. Mind You, I've Said Nothing!" by Honor Tracy ROOT


10.* From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
9. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan ROOT
8.* The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris BIAC
7.* My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok AAC
6. The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple NF, ROOT
5. D is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton CULL
4. Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith
3.* Nerve by Dick Francis
2. How to See Fairies by Charles van Sandwyk FOLIO
1.* The Chosen by Chaim Potok AAC

Editado: Dic 29, 2019, 8:34pm


The lists for January through June are in an earlier thread.


48. Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz


49. The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Ernest J. Gaines
50. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
51. Mighty Justice by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe
52. Begin Again: Collected Poems by Grace Paley
53. African Myths of Origin
54. All Waiting is Long by Barbara J. Taylor
55. The Women of Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
56. Prairie Fever by Michael Parker
57. Silver Ley by Adrian Bell
58. The Cherry Tree by Adrian Bell


59. Lobster is the Best Medicine by Liz Climo
60. Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser
61. Affinity by Sarah Waters
62. The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham
63. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates


64.-66. The Young Wan, The Chisellers and The Granny by Brendan O'Carroll
67. Sergeant Billy by Mireille Messier
68. Jean Stafford Complete Novels LOA
69. A Journey from Pennsylvania to Onondaga John Bartram
70. Wyoming Valley History Revisited by Sheldon Spear
71. Marley by Jon Clinch
72. The House at Tyneford
73. Hell is Empty by Craig Johnson
74. The Highwayman by Craig Johnson
75. Women with Men by Richard Ford
76. The Living Reed by Pearl S. Buck
77. Albert of Adelaide by Howard Anderson
78. The Rag and Bone Shop by Jeff Rackham
79. Conversations with Jay Parini (September, actually)


80. The Ghost Clause by Howard Norman
81. Snapshot by Garry Disher
82. Chain of Evidence by Garry Disher
83. Life and Deeds of General Sherman by Henry Davenport Northrop


84. The Last Giants by Francoise Place
85. Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
86. The Whirlpool by Jane Urquhart
87. Double Jeopardy by Jean Echenoz
88. The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
89. Death or Ice Cream? by Gareth P. Jones
90. By the Waters of Manhattan by Charles Reznikoff
91. Saint Francis and the Wolf by Jane Langton
92. Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass by Gary Paulsen
93. Crazy Horse: The Lakota Warrior's Life & Legacy by the Edward Clown Family
94. A Doubter's Almanac by Ethan Canin
95. The Overstory by Richard Powers
96. Dreaming Water by Gail Tsukiyama
97. Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell
98. Constance Fenimore Woolson Collected Stories
99. Varina by Charles Frazier
100. The Gulf by Jack E. Davis
101. Summer Half by Angela Thirkell
102. The Demon in the House by Angela Thirkell
103. A History of the Indians of the United States by Angie Debo
104. The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark
105. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Eagen
106. The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman and Beth Dooley
107. A Sight for Sore Eyes by Ruth Rendell
108. Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin
109. A Catalog of Birds by Laura Harrington
110. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
111. The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew

Editado: Ene 1, 2020, 5:44pm


With the walls bulging and the shelves groaning, I need to have a good reason to hang on to a book these days, and I try very hard to remove as many as come into the house. So here I will keep track of those I let fly in 2019. Through the end of June, I managed to move out 34 books, which are listed here on a previous thread. That's not nearly half of my overall goal of 100, and not as many as have come into the house in the same period, so I'll need to concentrate on that for the rest of the year.


35.-36. Two Taste of Home cookbooks donated to library sale.
37. Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill
38. My Dream of You by Nuala O'Faolain
39. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
40. First Time Ever by Peggy Seeger
41. Candide by Voltaire
42. In the Company of Others by Jan Karon
43. Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon
44. Catskill Crafts by Jane Smiley


45. Skinner's Drift by Lisa Fugard
46. The Devil Amongst the Lawyers by Sharyn McCrumb


47. The Devil's Workshop by Jachym Topol
48. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
49. Affinity by Sarah Waters
50. Robert B. Parker's Blind Spot by Reed Farrel Coleman
51. N is for Noose; O is for Outlaw omnibus by Sue Grafton
52. The Witch Elm by Tana French
53.-56. The Mammy, The Chisellers, The Granny, The Young Wan by Brendan O'Carroll
57. Mighty Justice by Dovey Johnson Roundtree


58. Vanity Dies hard by Ruth Rendell
59. The Dry by Jane Harper
60. Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
61. The Dark Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
62. Just William by Richmal Crompton
63. Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

Editado: Dic 16, 2019, 6:10pm


I've long considered myself an "Americanist", with William Faulkner being No.1 on my list of favorite authors. I love regional writing, and am particularly drawn to the literature of the Appalachian South. This year, I am hosting the American Authors Challenge, which has been so ably managed for the last five years by Mark msf59.

Here is the General Discussion Thread for the 2019 AAC.

My own finished reads for this challenge will be noted in this post as we go along.

Here is the schedule of Authors we'll be reading in 2019:
(I'll add links to the individual monthly threads as they are activated.)

January: Chaim Potok Here is His thread.
Finished The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev

February: Louisa May Alcott Here is her AAC thread.
Finished Under the Lilacs

March: Jon Clinch Here is the Clinch thread.
Finished The Thief of Auschwitz Strongly considering a re-read of Finn

April: Jesmyn Ward Here is the discussion thread for Ward. Finished Sing, Unburied, Sing

May: Jay Parini Finished The Passages of H. M.

June: Pearl Buck Finished Imperial Woman

July: Founding Fathers (and Mothers) Currently reading A History of the Supreme Court by Bernard Schwartz Finished American Gospel by Jon Meacham

August: Ernest J. Gaines Finished The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and The Tragedy of Brady Sims

September: Leslie Marmon Silko Finished Ceremony, and re-read it during September as well.

October: DRAMA The Drama thread is here Finished Arthur Miller's Enemy of the People and August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean

November: W. E. B. DuBois Finished The Quest for the Silver Fleece
December: Marilynne Robinson Currently reading Why Are We Here?

BONUS/WILD CARD: Genre Fiction.

I have totally failed at all the other challenges I thought I would participate in this year. If you go back to my last thread, you can see what I managed before throwing in the towel. I won't devote a post to them here.

The next message is yours, friends. Glad to have you along for the reads.

Oct 3, 2019, 12:09pm

Happy new thread, Linda!

I'm so envious of the all the red in your autumnal foliage. Around here it's mostly just yellow and brown, which is pretty but not as gorgeous as all your variety.

Oct 3, 2019, 12:28pm

Loving the toppers Linda.

I found my copy of Ceremony so will get to that in the next month or so.

Oct 3, 2019, 1:14pm

Welcome to October, Linda. And months beyond.

Thanks for the push on Ceremony. I don't know if I've completed it with that shaming you did.

Oct 3, 2019, 1:56pm

Ooh, very pretty toppers! Do you have much fall color up your way yet?

Oct 3, 2019, 3:39pm

>7 MickyFine: Thanks, Mickey. The reds generally come from the soft maples, and they are pretty spectacular in a good year. The bottom photo was the result of an overnight drop of ALL the leaves on our Japanese maple a couple years ago. That is a very unusual sight.

>8 Caroline_McElwee: I'll be very interested in your take on Ceremony, Caroline. It seems to be giving some people more trouble than they find it worth.

>9 weird_O: Ha! The high school teacher in me is NOT dead (I kinda thought I had buried her when I gave up on the idea of pursuing that career in my 20's...)

>10 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. Those are the pick of high points of several years---this year hasn't been much of a show so far.

Oct 3, 2019, 3:50pm

Happy New Thread, Linda!

Lovely autumn photos up there.

Oct 3, 2019, 4:49pm

Happy new thread. Love those toppers. Just starting to turn around here. It's sure chilly enough, though.

Oct 3, 2019, 4:54pm

Happy New Thread, Linda. Love the fall colors. From your last thread, good review of Ceremony. We are sharing similar feelings about it. I have about 50 pages left. Not easy at all, but quite rewarding and I am also thinking of Faulkner and McCarthy.

Oct 3, 2019, 6:53pm

Happy new thread!

Oct 4, 2019, 1:13am

Happy new thread, Linda!

Oct 4, 2019, 9:03am

Happy new thread, Linda!

Oct 4, 2019, 11:37am

>12 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe!

>13 jessibud2: I love the autumn colors, Shelley. But we're just cold, raw and rainy here right now....a few spots of color out and about.

>14 msf59: I'm so glad you're finding it a rewarding read, Mark. After a rocky start, I became a steadfast fan.

>15 drneutron:, >16 Familyhistorian:, >17 kidzdoc: Welcome Jim, Meg and Darryl! Thanks for stopping by.

Oct 4, 2019, 12:00pm

Just catching up, Linda. I really should read more Mosley. Every time you post about one, it prompts me to look for one.

Oct 4, 2019, 3:13pm

Happy new thread, Linda!

Oct 4, 2019, 3:44pm

>19 NanaCC: Read More Mosley! I think I'll make a bumper sticker.

>20 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. Welcome back to Fall!

Oct 4, 2019, 4:35pm

Happy new thread, Linda!

Over here the first leaves are turning their colors, I love this time of year.

Oct 4, 2019, 4:51pm

Walter Mosley's novel John Woman is on Kindlesale today...$2...most interesting book, it seems to me.

Cheers on your Autumnal thread!

Oct 4, 2019, 10:10pm

>22 FAMeulstee: Welcome, Anita. Fall has many charms...the cool nights, for instance.

>23 richardderus: Hmmm...I seem to recall that some Mosley fans were not particularly enthusiastic about that one.

Oct 4, 2019, 10:55pm

Happy new thread, Linda.

I hope to add a few more to my American Author Challenge before the year is out.

Any plans being formulated for 2020?

Oct 6, 2019, 10:06am

Happy new thread, Linda. I love the fall photos.

Oct 6, 2019, 10:41am

>25 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul. I haven't given a lot of thought to 2020 yet, but I think I'll start a discussion thread in a couple weeks. I want to see if there's interest in another round of the AAC. If so, I think I have plenty of suggestions left over from last year to come up with a tentative list.

>26 BLBera: Welcome, Beth.

Editado: Oct 6, 2019, 11:09am

79. All Waiting is Long by Barbara J. Taylor I discovered Barbara J. Taylor on the local author shelf of our library's small book store a while ago, and read her first novel, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night a couple months ago. I loved it for its characters, its style and it setting in my adopted home city of Scranton, PA. Her second novel picks up about 16 years later with the same main character and a whole new set of personal challenges, and it's just as satisfying.

Violet Morgan has risen above the guilt she felt as a child over the death of her older sister, Daisy, partly as a result of taking on much of the responsibility of raising her new baby sister, Lily, in the face of their mother's emotional illness and their father's progressive work-related physical decline. Lily has been no easy charge. Spoiled from birth, and reckless with it, she now finds herself "in the family way" at 16, and being shuttled off to a Philadelphia home for unwed mothers, accompanied by Violet. Ostensibly, the girls are leaving Scranton to spend some time with their newly married aunt in Buffalo, to help her set up housekeeping. This is only the first of many deceptions, most of them equally well-intentioned, that move this story along. Naturally, secrets are found out, misunderstandings go unresolved, coincidences lead to revelations...everything you might expect to find in a good Dickens novel, in a tighter, more page-turning style. Again, the characters are well drawn, local history is incorporated almost seamlessly into the story, and nothing is quite predictable. Some larger historical events play a role here as well, as we learn about some positive medical advances, the unsavory beginnings of the eugenics movement, and internal disputes in labor organizations. Not Great Literature, but darned good reading. And I hope Ms. Taylor has another one incubating

Oct 6, 2019, 1:02pm

80. N is for Noose by Sue Grafton Kinsey is hired by a widow to find out what was stressing out her late husband in the months before he died of a heart attack. Having just finished nursing her sometime lover and bodyguard, Dietz, through a knee operation, Kinsey is grappling with her own sense of independence, so when things turn ugly and she becomes a target of someone who clearly does not want this investigation to continue, she must face some tough decisions....quit and go home? Or push on in spite of her growing fears? Life is never dull or predictable in Kinsey's world.

Oct 8, 2019, 10:20pm

Happy new thread -- with the beautiful fall photos at the top!

Editado: Oct 9, 2019, 12:21am

Happy New-ish thread, Linda.

I reread A is for Alibi a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed it and have been thinking about reading the whole series. I have B is for Burglar on my bedside table. But ... so many books....

Oct 9, 2019, 9:04am

Happy new thread!

Love the fall colors :)

Oct 9, 2019, 3:00pm

>30 tymfos: Thanks, Terri!

>31 EBT1002: I know what you mean Ellen...but these go so fast for me. I can often read one in a day, and they make a great interlude between weightier stuff.

>32 figsfromthistle: Welcome, Figs.

Editado: Oct 9, 2019, 3:57pm

81. Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson I read this play for the AAC Drama month. It turned out to be yet another connection to Ceremony, as there is something of a purifying ritual involved here. Citizen Barlowe, a very troubled young man with a guilty conscience, seeks help from Aunt Ester Tyler, an ancient woman gifted with the wisdom of the ages. She sets him a task, and then takes him on a spiritual journey to the "City of Bones" where he atones for his sin and learns to "be right with himself". I enjoyed reading this play, but have trouble imagining it on the stage. There is little action, and not a lot of dialog. Mainly, various characters deliver longish speeches--Aunt Ester and Solly tell stories, Caesar rants. I think I would have appreciated it better in the form of a short story. Still, powerful voices speaking here.

Editado: Oct 12, 2019, 8:56am

82. Unicorn on Roll by Dana Simpson No. 2 in the Phoebe and Her Unicorn series. Just fun. Marigold Heavenly Nostrils shows how well she can roller-skate in this one, and the girls get invited to a unicorn birthday party...a rare treat for a human.

Oct 12, 2019, 9:03am

83. How to Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery Despite some enthusiastic warbling around here, I have not read Montgomery's Soul of an Octopus, but I will now. This brief and touching "memoir in thirteen animals" shares the author's relationships with several dogs, a pig, a flock of chickens (the Ladies), assorted wilder creatures, and Octavia, the octopus in the New England Aquariaum who inspired the latter book. Each chapter is a vignette of Ms. Montgomery's interaction with one of the animals who affected her emotional life in significant ways. Light reading, lovely illustrations.

Oct 12, 2019, 10:35am

>81 My class is going to read Fences, and I just watched a documentary on Wilson. They talked about all of this plays, which was interesting. I am not familiar with this one. I would like to see it performed.

Oct 12, 2019, 10:43am

Morning, Linda. Happy Saturday. You will be glad to hear that I picked up the DVD of Our Town. I plan on getting to it next week. Love me some Paul Newman.

Oct 12, 2019, 12:39pm

>36 laytonwoman3rd: We stumbled upon a recent episode of PBS Nature, “Making Contact,” about a marine biologist who raises an octopus in his home. It was a fascinating look at the animal’s personality.

Oct 13, 2019, 10:16pm

>28 laytonwoman3rd: I love books that are set in places that I know well, Linda. All Waiting is Long looks like a good one but my library doesn't have any novels by Barbara J Taylor. Does she write non fiction as well, I see a curriculum guide for preschoolers.

Oct 13, 2019, 11:23pm

>40 Familyhistorian: I'm not sure that's the same person, Meg. This author teaches high school.

>39 lauralkeet: I'm going to have to look for that, Laura. Thanks for mentioning it.

>38 msf59: Keep your handkerchief handy, Mark!

>37 BLBera: There is an excellent movie version, Beth. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. The DVD is available on Netflix..

Editado: Oct 15, 2019, 4:10pm

84. O is for Outlaw by Sue Grafton Kinsey deals with new guilt over leaving her first husband 14 years ago; she discovers he may not have been responsible for the death of a man back then as she believed at the time; and now he lies in a coma, the victim of a savage beating himself...she has to know why.

85. Unicorn vs. Goblins by Dana Simpson Some chuckles, but not quite as much fun as the others I've read in this series. Although lots of points for Marigold's "Dance of the Glittering Hindquarters" (what we'd call twerking, but SO much lovelier!).

Just kind of treading water with my reading while lycomayflower is here visiting. More interactive things to do, much of the time!

Oct 15, 2019, 6:32pm

>42 laytonwoman3rd: I’m reading A is for Alibi now, Linda. I’ve decided to start again at the beginning since it has been many many years since I’ve read any of them. I think I got about halfway through them before I stopped. I plan to read one per month.

Editado: Nov 9, 2019, 11:06am

86. The Witch Elm by Tana French Can't remember the last time I tore through 500+ pages at such a rate. This is simply a good old-fashioned suspenseful what-really-happened and who-can-I-trust read, in the mode of Daphne DuMaurier, Mary Stewart, etc. If you like that kind of thing, you should read it. If I say much more, I'll ruin it for you. I will say there are no witches in it, and the principle characters don't elicit much sympathy, but I found them interesting enough that I didn't mind that. (Unlike my daughter, who just didn't care enough to finish the book, even though it was a RL book club pick, and she runs the book club! So fair warning...your mileage may vary.) Incomprehensible to me why the cover and dust jacket spell the title the way I did up there, when every reference in the book to the actual tree in question spells it correctly, as does the touchstone link. Apparently someone thought US audiences wouldn't buy it if it was titled "The Wych Elm"?

Oct 19, 2019, 12:19pm

>44 laytonwoman3rd: I enjoyed that one, too. And I agree about the spelling, what's up with that?

Oct 19, 2019, 1:53pm

>44 laytonwoman3rd: I have been avoiding that one because I thought it was part of the Dublin Murder Squad series and wasn't current on it. I might need to reconsider and bump it up since it appears to be a stand-alone.

Oct 20, 2019, 1:25pm

>44 laytonwoman3rd: I loved that one, Linda. Ms French can spin a great tale.

Oct 21, 2019, 4:38pm

>45 lauralkeet: I think we gnashed our teeth over it when the book came out, didn't we, Laura?

>46 thornton37814: It is definitely a stand-alone, Lori. On the other hand, I think the Dublin Murder Squad books, while definitely interconnected, could each be read alone as well.

>47 NanaCC: Yes, she can. And I hope she keeps it up for a long time.

Editado: Oct 21, 2019, 4:51pm

87. Sergeant Billy The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War by Mireille Messier

The story of "Sergeant Billy", the goat from Saskatchewan who went to war (WWI) as a mascot of the Fifth Canadian Battalion and came home a decorated hero, should be great stuff. I'd love to read a more engaging version of it. I really like the illustrations in this book, and the end papers (a wash of poppy flowers) are particularly lovely and appropriate. But the text is just awkward, the simplicity of the telling at odds with the vocabulary as well as the subject matter. It is described as aimed at readers aged 4 to 8. I feel a 4-year-old would not "get" a lot of it, and an 8-year-old would want more detail. It's awfully hard to bring war experiences down to this age level but a goat in uniform ought to do a better job of it. I couldn't help comparing it unfavorably to Finding Winnie, a similar story beautifully told, and highly recommended for all ages. If the specific 4-8 year olds I know take a look at this one and disagree with me, I will revise my opinion. After all, they know goats pretty well.

Oct 21, 2019, 6:25pm

>48 laytonwoman3rd: I think you’re right Linda!

Editado: Nov 9, 2019, 1:00pm

88. Marley by Jon Clinch List five things you think you know about Ebenezer Scrooge. (Mean as a snake, obsessed with money, dumped by his sweetheart as a young man, lives alone in a big creepy house, gets redeemed by visits from Christmas spirits…) If anything on your list relates to how he met his business partner, Jacob Marley, you’ve been watching too many movies, and owe yourself a re-read of the Dickens original. BUT FIRST---get your hands on a copy of Jon Clinch’s Marley, so you’re ready to learn the truth about Jacob and Ebenezer. I don’t know whether Dickens gave much thought to the relationship between the two tight-fisted covetous old sinners, or the exact nature of their business, beyond usury. (I mean, they had to get the money from somewhere before they could lend it out, right?) He didn’t share it with his readers, if so. And what the heck is with that huge, apparently mostly empty house Scrooge lives in, having inherited it from Marley? Dickens didn’t explain that either, except for a brief reference to wine merchants using the basement for storage. But the fact that he left all that to Jon Clinch’s imagination is a fine gift from the 19th century to the 21st, and it’s one you still have plenty of time to give yourself for Christmas. The characters are much more fully-fleshed than Dickens’ version, both better and worse than we previously knew them to be. Complex, you might say. And this is a darned good story. I re-read A Christmas Carol after finishing Marley, to verify that Clinch didn’t change anything fundamental from the source. I didn’t catch him taking a single liberty, but even if I missed something, and there is any inconsistency, I’d say Dickens got it wrong.

Editado: Oct 29, 2019, 9:51pm

89. Arthur Miller's adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People. For the AAC

Miller took what he suggests was a damned awful translation of the original, and reworked it into decent English, also changing 5 acts into 3, and making the scene changes less pronounced. Miller put his version out there in the midst of the McCarthy madness, when he himself was being denounced. The protagonist, Dr. Stockman, has discovered that the water supply in his hometown is being contaminated by an industry upstream, and despite the fact that he has previously promoted the town's springs as a tonic, he insists that they must be closed down until the water supply system can be modified to keep the poisons out of it. Financial and social pressures from the authorities and his own family nearly bring him down. Today, we'd call him a whistle-blower, and sadly this story is just as topical as it was in the 1950's. Unfortunately, there is little drama in it, as it is miserably clear from the start how this upright, slightly naive man will be treated when he tries to do the right thing.

Oct 31, 2019, 11:03am

Oct 31, 2019, 12:19pm

>53 weird_O: BOO right back atcha.

Oct 31, 2019, 1:29pm

90. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens A re-read, just to remind myself of what we do and do not know about Scrooge and Marley from the original source.

Oct 31, 2019, 1:52pm

>55 laytonwoman3rd: My hubby and I listen to A Christmas Carol every Thanksgiving on our way to and from my daughter’s house. The timing works well for the trip, and sets us up for the transition to the Christmas season.

Oct 31, 2019, 2:36pm

>56 NanaCC: That's a lovely tradition. (We used to listen to Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" in the car going to or from Thanksgiving dinner.)

Editado: Oct 31, 2019, 6:09pm

The November thread for the 2019 AAC is live. Come join us in a discussion of W. E. B. Du Bois's work.

Oct 31, 2019, 10:46pm

>44 laytonwoman3rd: You got me with your review of The Wych Elm, Linda. I've seen it around but have never been tempted to pick it up before.

Editado: Nov 2, 2019, 11:21am

>59 Familyhistorian: Well, I hope you enjoy it when you get to it, Meg. It's a long one, and somewhat unnecessarily so, but I found it pulled me in and kept me interested. My daughter, however, gave up on it. So, fair warning there.

Nov 2, 2019, 8:42am

>57 laytonwoman3rd: I still remember the year I introduced my kids to "Alice's Restaurant"! My son, especially, loved it.

We used to read A Christmas Carol in December. I haven't read it for a few years now, and you are right, I do mix up what is written with what is in the films.

Nov 2, 2019, 10:53am

Hi Linda3rd! Happy Day of the Dead!

Nov 2, 2019, 11:23am

>61 BLBera: Alice is a classic of its time, that's for sure. We quote from it regularly.

>62 richardderus: And the same to you, Sir. I actually may visit a cemetery or two today.

Nov 2, 2019, 11:27am

So I have now Pearl-ruled 2 separate books (years apart) titled The Devil's Workshop, (with nothing else in common, btw) and didn't care much for a book titled The Devil Amongst the Lawyers by one of my favorite authors. I may take that as a sign for the future.

Nov 2, 2019, 1:03pm

>63 laytonwoman3rd: :-)

>64 laytonwoman3rd: That's an encouraging trend! You know,, After.

Nov 4, 2019, 11:29pm

Ooh, I'm glad to hear that The Witch Elm was so good. I still need to read Broken Harbor and The Secret Place -- I know they are part of the series and The Witch Elm is not but I still want to read them first for some reason.

>55 laytonwoman3rd: I read A Christmas Carol aloud every December. P is a patient listener. :-)

Nov 9, 2019, 11:23am

>66 EBT1002: I did enjoy The Witch Elm, Ellen, but I think I prefer her Dublin series, and hope she will return to it.

Editado: Nov 9, 2019, 12:53pm

91. Affinity by Sarah Waters Another Victorian gothic from Waters. This one certainly can't be described as a thriller, as its pace is slow and fairly lacking in drama. I kept waiting to get a hint of what she was up to, and when I thought I had, she finally revealed the twist, and then I felt a little stupid not to have suspected something. The ultimate ending, however, did not surprise me. The first person narrator is Margaret Prior, a troubled young woman who has suffered a mental breakdown ending in a suicide attempt after her father's death. The rest of her family doesn't get her at all, and shows very little interest in trying to. There are hints of a romantic attachment to the woman who eventually married Margaret's brother; her sister Priscilla is totally absorbed in plans for her own wedding and honeymoon trip to Italy, while Mother is only concerned with propriety and appearances. Margaret takes up the role of "Lady Visitor" at the women's wards Millbank Prison, which is as gothic and horrid a hell-hole as you can imagine. The details of life for women convicted of everything from petty theft to murder are grimly fascinating, if you are of a mind to be fascinated by such things. Margaret naturally becomes somewhat unnaturally attached to one woman, who introduces her to the concept of spiritualism (meaning contact with the dead). This can't end well, we know, but Margaret finds her visits with Selina to be bright spots in her dreary life, and she begins to imagine a future...well, that's enough. If you're in the mood to drift along through a couple hundred pages of good writing where nothing much happens, to get to the "aha" moment, this is a decent read. Not up to Waters' best efforts (Tipping the Velvet or Fingersmith), but not many things are.

Nov 9, 2019, 12:10pm

>68 laytonwoman3rd: Hmm, based on title I was certain I read this one during a Waters binge many years back. And I thought, how could I have forgotten everything about this book?! But LT sez I've never read it, don't own it, etc. And LT does. not. lie. Well, I confess I'm not gonna rush out and get it either.

Nov 9, 2019, 12:12pm

>69 lauralkeet: I'd be happy to send it to you if you were eager for it, Laura. It would have been a lot better if I hadn't read a lot of other books, if you know what I mean.

Nov 9, 2019, 1:03pm

>51 laytonwoman3rd: There, I've reviewed Marley now. I really wish Clinch would tell us about the Radleys next.

Editado: Nov 10, 2019, 8:04am

Happy Sunday, Linda. Good review of Marley. Thumb! I am big Jon Clinch fan and I am looking forward to this one. He did a stellar job with Finn.

Nov 10, 2019, 4:14pm

You got me with that Marley. Darn you! :-)

Editado: Nov 11, 2019, 10:47am

>73 weird_O: I feel I've done what I set out to do...

>72 msf59: This one's good, too, Mark. I think you'll enjoy.

Nov 11, 2019, 11:54am

It's always "Veteran's Day" at my house, but I'll just put this here today for flamingrabbit:

Nov 11, 2019, 2:18pm

>75 laytonwoman3rd: Such a lovely picture of you both.

Nov 11, 2019, 2:24pm

>75 laytonwoman3rd: - Love the photo!

Nov 11, 2019, 2:52pm

Lovely photo, Linda.

Nov 11, 2019, 5:29pm

>76 Caroline_McElwee:, >77 katiekrug:, >78 jnwelch: Thanks, friends. It seems like an awfully long time ago...but then again, just like yesterday.

Nov 11, 2019, 5:49pm

>75 laytonwoman3rd: - Very sweet and lovely

Nov 12, 2019, 10:39am

>75 laytonwoman3rd: How wonderful to have that great memory.

Nov 12, 2019, 10:44am

>80 jessibud2:, >81 richardderus: Thanks. One of us is lucky, and the other makes good choices!

Editado: Nov 12, 2019, 1:57pm

That review of Marley brought to my mind a contemporary Christmas classic, Jean Shepherd's A Christmas Story. I believe the movie script was cobbled together from several of Shepherd's stories, but Amazon has a listing for a book cobbled together from episodes and stills from the movie and backstories on features like the Red Ryder 200-Shot BB Gun.

I might order a copy. We'll likely view the flick when our daughter visits for Christmas.

Hard to believe the director's other movie is Porky's, a juvenile lust-flick for teenage boys. And that Peter Billingsley, the youngster who played Ralphie, transformed that role into a career.

Nov 12, 2019, 2:14pm

>83 weird_O: We love that movie. I thought I had read the story it's based on, but the way you describe it, I might be wrong. Jean Shepherd used to write for Playboy, and I confess that's where I first made his acquaintance.

Nov 13, 2019, 8:03pm

It's good to get caught up with you, Linda. Well, you got me with your comments on Marley. I'm a Jon Clinch fan and this one looks like a good one. I'll make it a seasonal read and just might read A Christmas Carol as a companion because it's going to be Christmas before we blink! I refuse to get too excited, though, until the last of Thankgiving's turkey is gone.

>75 laytonwoman3rd: Love the picture! I know exactly what you mean with the 'just like yesterday' comment.

Nov 17, 2019, 12:31pm

Hi, Donna! Good to see you here. Christmas certainly is bearing down on us. There really isn't anything Christmas-y about Marley, though. It isn't in any way a re-telling of A Christmas Carol, but more of a back-story. The two books do go together very well, and I'm glad I read them back to back.

Nov 17, 2019, 12:48pm

92. Death Without Company by Craig Johnson The second Longmire novel, just as engaging and page-turning as the first one. Walt is like a Timex watch---he takes a licking (repeatedly) and keeps on ticking. If the stories weren't so good, and he wasn't so loveable (count how many women either want him or want to mother him), that might suspend disbelief. But it's clear he has Help, not just from his long time friend Henry Standing Bear (who always has his back), but, at least in his own mind, from the legions of spirits who populate the mountains and plains of his piece of Wyoming. This time Longmire's former boss and sometime deputy, one-legged Lucien Connally, insists that there was something peculiar about the death of an elderly Basque woman in the assisted living facility where Lucien also lives. Turns out Lucien has secrets in his past that he's reluctant to share fully, even in aid of a possible murder investigation. Things get more and more complicated, and the weather becomes a character, and more people die, and the reader learns a few things about Basque sheepherders, and Walt takes a step or two toward moving on with his life... And I want the next one, right now.

Nov 17, 2019, 2:49pm

Nov 17, 2019, 4:18pm

>88 RBeffa: Thanks, Ron. We're still pretty cute, when we put our minds to it!

Nov 17, 2019, 4:32pm

93. Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb Two short interwoven (but unconnected) Christmas stories clearly thrown together to create a saleable stocking-stuffer sort of book. Sheriff Arrowood and Deputy LeDonne are compelled to travel into the mountains on Christmas Eve, with a storm approaching, to arrest a man who ran into a VIP's vehicle and took off. What they find is a co-operative old man who says he's willing to go along peacefully, but he's concerned about not having enough firewood cut for his wife to use in his Spencer and Joe accommodate him by taking chainsaw, maul and wedge to some handy logs. Oh, and there's that broken window in the bathroom he was just going to replace, got the new pane of glass, and caulk and everything.... Maybe you have to be a country girl, but it was pretty obvious to me fairly early on how this story was going to come out. Fun getting there, though. In the second tale, Nora Bonesteel is called upon by her new neighbors, summer people who have decided to spend Christmas on the mountain this year, to tell them if the old house they've bought and restored is haunted. It seems that shrimp pink aluminum Christmas tree they brought up from Florida has been mysteriously knocked over while they slept, two nights in a row, and many of the flamingo, alligator and palm tree ornaments haven't survived the experience. With Nora's flashbacks to her memories of the house's former occupants, this one isn't too hard to figure out either. Not McCrumb's best writing, but for a potboiler, it's not bad. You do need to know her characters to appreciate it, though.

Nov 28, 2019, 6:03pm

>90 laytonwoman3rd: Ah, Christmas reading, a great way to get in the mood for the season, Linda. I think the Veterans Day couple are pretty cute, too.

Editado: Nov 30, 2019, 4:20pm

>91 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg.

I'm behind on my posting here, and I owe an ER review, but I've been working to get the Marilyn Robinson thread up, for the last month of the 2019 American Authors Challenge.
And here is where you can find it.

Editado: Dic 1, 2019, 12:45pm

A Lightning Round, just to try to keep up with myself:

94. Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights by Dovey Johnson Roundtree An ER selection; review below, and now on the book page.

95. The Quest for the Silver Fleece by W. E. B. DuBois My choice for the November American Authors Challenge. Again, I'm working on a review.

*96. P is for Peril by Sue Grafton I continue to read through this series for the second time. No significant developments in Kinsey's life in this one; just a lot of poor decisions and false moves as she investigates the disappearance of the medical director of a nursing home. Naturally, she escapes annihilation, and scopes out the truth in the end.

Dic 1, 2019, 12:45pm

94. Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights by Dovey Johnson Roundtree Having finished this remarkable woman's autobiography (originally published in 2009 under the title Justice Older Than the Law, and updated for re-issue in November, 2019), it is incomprehensible to me why the name Dovey Johnson Roundtree does not resound with the same force as Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Mary McCleod Bethune. Her accomplishments and her "firsts" place her right up there in the pantheon, not only of civil rights leaders, but of champions of the rights of women. The back cover blurb on my ARC (thank you LibraryThing Early Reviewer program) refers to her as a trailblazer. That she certainly was, and she wasn't satisfied with just one trail, either. With the support and influence of several equally dedicated and unstoppable women (including her beloved grandmother Rachel Bryant Graham; her English professor at Spelman College, Mae Neptune; and her grandmother's friend Mary McCleod Bethune, Dovey Johnson successfully rose to challenges so seemingly insurmountable that others in her circumstances might not even have seen them, let alone tackled them. She was part of the first “class” of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps where she fought for equal treatment of women in the military and recruited scores of African-American women to service in the WAAC. In 1942, she became the first woman of any race to receive a commission as an officer in the US Army. As a lawyer, she represented people who had few resources and little hope of successfully navigating “the system”; her diligence and determination won an acquittal for a black man accused of murdering a white Washington, DC, socialite in 1965. She took on the ICC, and won a case that eventually resulted in a ban on racial segregation in interstate bus travel. She fought for acceptance as a minister in the AME church, and captured another “first” when she became one of the first women to be granted the rite of ordination. Her life is so full of big moments it is hard to take it all in, and yet in her mind, she simply faced what came her way, and made the decisions that seemed to her right and inevitable. When that resulted in something just short of miraculous, she was usually as surprised as anyone. This book is the result of a dozen years of friendship and collaboration with Roundtree’s co-author, Katie McCabe. It is essential history. Highly recommended.

Dic 1, 2019, 5:19pm

Just have to share this Great Aunt Linda moment from Turkey Day. Miss Veronica finds me slightly amusing, but then she's easily amused.

Dic 1, 2019, 6:01pm

>95 laytonwoman3rd: Not only Great Aunt but also Great. Wishing you a wonderful remainder of the Thanksgiving weekend.

Dic 1, 2019, 6:20pm

>96 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul. We're on the verge of a winter storm...waiting to see if we get dumped on overnight. But we're place to go...we'll just watch out the window.

Dic 1, 2019, 6:43pm

>94 laytonwoman3rd: The sheer number of women (especially) whose amazing lives are forgotten by male-gazing overculture is disheartening. Add in melanin-enhanced skin presentation and the task of remembering becomes horrifically difficult if not actually impossible.

Dic 1, 2019, 6:50pm

Happy Sunday! And hooray for Great Aunt Linda! Miss Veronica is adorable.

Dic 1, 2019, 7:01pm

Great Great Aunt photo, Linda. What a cutie Veronica is. :-)

Dic 1, 2019, 10:28pm

Editado: Dic 4, 2019, 5:00pm

Editado: Dic 4, 2019, 5:38pm

97. Kindness Goes Unpunished by Craig Johnson The third Walt Longmire mystery. In this one, Walt and Henry Standing Bear are off to Philadelphia, where Henry is to give a lecture to accompany an exhibit of early photographs of Native Americans at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Walt is along not only to support his friend, but to visit his daughter, Cady, one of the "finest legal minds" in the city. Well, naturally Walt finds that ain't nuthin' simple in the City of Brotherly love, where "no good deed goes unpunished". He gets roughed up repeatedly, and other bad stuff happens, and Henry is wonderful as always, and we get to meet Victoria Moretti's family (Vic the father, Vic the son, and Vic the holy terror...oh, and her mother too), and threads are left hanging so I had to start right in on the next one...

Dic 5, 2019, 11:18am

Around Thanksgiving every year I get a catalog (JUST the ONE!!!) from David R. Godine Publishing Company, and it's one of the highlights of the season for me. I love supporting a small publishing company, their books are good quality , and I always find a couple gifts as well as some treats for myself. Here's a photo of my haul from this year's catalog. (Oh, did I mention that 3 of them were FREE?)

Dic 6, 2019, 8:16am

Just catching up, Linda. Real life keeps getting in the way. You are quickly moving toward the end of the Grafton novels. My journey will be slow, but I’m going to get to the end eventually. Love your Thanksgiving picture.

Dic 6, 2019, 8:35am

>104 laytonwoman3rd: I *love* the look of Little Old Farm Folk! *wanders off to look up the publishing company*

Dic 6, 2019, 11:02am

>104 laytonwoman3rd: I loved The Whirlpool Linda. Must give it a reread sometime.

Love your blanket/shawl too.

Dic 6, 2019, 12:24pm

>104 laytonwoman3rd: Ooo, the Jean Echenoz made my mouth water.

Happy Friday-but-who-the-heck-cares-I'm-retired!

Dic 6, 2019, 4:49pm

>105 NanaCC: Real life will do that, especially this time of year. It's interesting to read the Grafton novels at a quicker pace...makes it easier to keep the details of Kinsey's life sorted.

>106 scaifea: Isn't that nifty, Amber? It's a board book, in case that's not apparent from the photo. Destined for the littlest grandniece.

>107 Caroline_McElwee: Oh, good to have your endorsement, Caroline. Urquhart has been on my radar, in my effort to read more Canadian authors, but I'm not sure if this was the novel I'd heard about before or not. Maybe it was you who warbled in my vicinity!

>108 richardderus: That was one of the free ones, Richard. (Hope you didn't drool on yerself...)

Dic 8, 2019, 8:31am

Hi Linda! In today's NYTimes Book Review, the inimitable Simon Callow reviews Marley and can't say enough good things about it:


Editado: Dic 8, 2019, 11:48am

>110 lauralkeet: Isn't that a fantastic review, Laura? I'm a little puzzled, though, because I knew Clinch had posted a link to that review on his FB page back in October when the book came out, and if you look at the dateline, it says October 8, 2019. So did they reprint it today? I hope so...the more positive buzz the better.

Dic 8, 2019, 12:53pm

>111 laytonwoman3rd: Oh, that's odd! Yes, it was in today's print edition. I was surprised to see it so "long" after the book's release and didn't notice the dateline when I pulled up the online version. Today's Book Review was a "Holiday Books" edition so I guess it was a good fit.

Editado: Dic 8, 2019, 1:06pm

>112 lauralkeet: Yes, I see Clinch is posting about it again, as are many of his friends/followers. It's a great holiday gift idea, but as I keep insisting, it is NOT a Christmas story. Not a retelling of A Christmas Carol. And not a sequel thereto. A prequel, maybe. I prefer "backstory" myself.

Editado: Dic 9, 2019, 4:11pm

98. Another Man's Moccasins by Craig Johnson Next in the Longmire series for me. I'm having a bit of binge. These books are filling the enormous hole left by Robert B. Parker's departure from this world. It's hard not to see the similar dynamic between Walt and Henry that worked so well with Spenser and Hawk. Although Henry is a more realistic and less threatening companion, he's still a bit mythic. And I do love his spiritual side. This novel takes us back in time to Walt's experiences in Viet Nam, so it's not easy reading. His memories of that time are triggered by the discovery of a dead Vietnamese woman dumped in a ditch in his jurisdiction...parallel stories of the current homicide investigation and the sudden death of a bar girl Walt knew in Tan Sun Nhut move this narrative right along.

Dic 9, 2019, 1:38pm

I loved the Robert Parker mysteries, and I love Craig Johnson's, so I know what you mean. Yeah, Hawk and Henry are both a bit mythic, aren't they. They're all good, but I thought Another Man's Moccasins was one of the better ones.

Dic 9, 2019, 6:17pm

>115 jnwelch: I thought Another Man's Moccasins rose above the genre. as the best genre writers often do.

Dic 9, 2019, 6:33pm

99. The Last Giants by Francoise Place A little gem from David R. Godine Publishing. It's a fable about the quest for the Valley of the Giants and the consequences of finding it. Absolutely lovely watercolor illustrations. The story is reminiscent in parts of The BFG and the narrator, who appears in most of the pictures as a very tiny figure in a top hat, owes a lot to Roald Dahl. This book won several children's book awards, and is on the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up list. But, as flamingrabbit said upon finishing it, it's a good story, but not a "nice" story. You'd want to know your child very well and be sure they're ready for this one before sharing it.

Editado: Dic 14, 2019, 10:48pm

100. The Gipsy in the Parlor by Margery Sharp It's been way too long since I visited with Margery Sharp, and this was just what I needed. A city child sent off to stay with country relatives for the summer---initially for her health, and annually thereafter because it was so convenient for her parents (whom we never meet)---finds her Amazon aunts and silent farmer uncles to be just what she needs, but when the youngest of her uncles picks a bride of a different tribe, the whole household gets thrown a bit off track for a time. Just delightful.

Editado: Dic 16, 2019, 5:33pm

101. Vanity Dies Hard by Ruth Rendell Not one of my favorite Rendells. It was a pretty good read for the first 2/3 or so...then I began to suspect there was less going on than met the eye, especially the eye of the very wealthy, slightly paranoid woman from whose point of view we see things. Alice Whittaker and her brother Hugo are heirs to a substantial fortune rising from a successful business currently run by their uncle. On the very brink of perpetual spinsterhood, Alice has married a handsome man 9 years her junior, who treats her well and shows every sign of being truly in love with her. Perhaps she can't be blamed for wondering if it was really her money and her prospects...but when her more out-going and somewhat man-hungry friend Nesta seems to have disappeared, when Alice herself begins suffering mysterious bouts of violent illness, her suspicions grow wildly and she sees murderous intent not only in Andrew, but in Hugo and possibly even her own doctor. The denouement is a bit of a fizzle.

Dic 19, 2019, 6:34pm

Congrats on reading and surpassing 100 books, Linda. I have read a few Rendells, but don't remember that one. Maybe that's a good thing. I love the Great Aunt Linda picture.

Dic 21, 2019, 4:03pm

>120 Familyhistorian: Thank you, Meg. I don't always manage it, but lately it's been my goal.

Dic 21, 2019, 4:05pm

Soviet Santa says "Happy Yule!" Solstice Greetings to all. Read more here:

Dic 21, 2019, 4:16pm

102. The Dry by Jane Harper This one has been on my shelf for a while. A grand whodunit set in a small Australian village in the midst of a terrible drought that isn't bringing out the best in anyone, but is bringing back old tensions and suspicions in the wake of the ghastly murder of the Hadler family. Aaron Falk comes home for the funeral of his old friend Luke Hadler, Luke's wife and six-year-old son, after an absence of over 20 years. He still has questions about the drowning death of one of their close companions back in their teen years. Was it suicide, as it appeared? Why did Luke insist on giving Aaron an alibi for the day of Ellie Deacon's death, even though it seems there were several people who knew he wasn't telling the truth? Was he protecting Aaron, or himself? Did Luke shoot his wife and little boy, and then kill himself? This makes no more sense to Aaron than accepting that Ellie filled her pockets with stones and jumped into the river, and he cannot let either question rest. This was a good solid read, with just a tad too many misdirections. As a first novel, very impressive, and worthy of a look at the second in the Aaron Falk series.

Dic 21, 2019, 4:17pm

>122 richardderus: Thanks you, Richard! I'll enjoy reading that, I'm sure.

Dic 21, 2019, 4:24pm

>122 richardderus: I do have that on my Kindle Linda, I'll put it on the list for early next year.

Dic 24, 2019, 2:55am

Or in other words, Happy Christmas! And have a great New Year as well.

Dic 24, 2019, 11:28am

Thank you, Rhian!

Dic 24, 2019, 5:59pm

Happy Holidays, Linda!

Dic 24, 2019, 8:41pm

>128 jnwelch: Thank you, Joe. I hope you're enjoying your family time!

Dic 25, 2019, 2:08am

>95 laytonwoman3rd: That is a lovely photo of you and Veronica. What a sweet smile (on both of you).

And now....

from stormy Kauai (flash floods and power outages predicted!).

Dic 25, 2019, 8:28am

Have a great holiday, with the family, Linda. Glad you liked The Dry. I just finished and enjoyed her stand-alone, The Lost Man.

Dic 25, 2019, 8:34am

Have a great holiday, with the family, Linda. I am glad you liked The Dry. I just finished and enjoyed her stand-alone, The Lost Man.

Dic 25, 2019, 10:19am

>130 EBT1002: Thank you, Ellen! I'm sorry the weather is so bad...I never think of Hawaii as stormy! My husband has a cousin who lives on Maui, and other than the occasional tropical storm it seems like a perfect climate. (Of course we've not been lucky enough to actually BE there...)

>131 msf59: Thank you, Mark. Low-key here this year, and that's the way we wanted it. Enjoying a peaceful morning.

Dic 25, 2019, 9:18pm

Thank you for keeping me company in 2019.......onward to 2020.

Dic 25, 2019, 9:42pm

>134 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!

Dic 25, 2019, 9:47pm

103. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote 'Tis the season for re-reading old favorites. This is a good one, about a little boy and his elderly cousin, both of them "poor relations" living on sufferance in a house with other relatives (quite autobiographical), who set out to make 30 whiskey soaked fruitcakes to send all over the country at Christmas---to President and Mrs. Roosevelt, among others. Sweet, but not sticky.

Dic 26, 2019, 8:32am

>136 laytonwoman3rd: *happy sigh*

When I re-read it this year, I walked by Charlie with it in my hand on the way to my rocking chair and he said, "Mommy, do you have your handkerchief?" *snork*

Dic 26, 2019, 9:57am

>137 scaifea: Very wise, Charlie. I tried to read it out loud one year...couldn't get through the end bit.

Dic 26, 2019, 10:30am

>138 laytonwoman3rd: Oh, no, that could never work for me, either.

Dic 26, 2019, 11:59pm

Best wishes this holiday season!! Hope to see more of you in 2020!

Dic 27, 2019, 10:53am

Season's greetings, Linda.

Your daughter was my secret Santa this year, and I am compelled to report her to you. She inherited your knack for picking just the right book gifts. Tip o' the hat, Mother.

Dic 27, 2019, 12:07pm

A very Happy New Year to you, Anita!

Dic 27, 2019, 1:14pm

Hi Linda3rd. That is all.

Dic 27, 2019, 1:48pm

>140 Berly: Thank you, Kim!

>141 weird_O: Yes, I taught her everything she knows. (But not everything I know...not yet.) Thanks.

>142 bohemima: Thanks, Gail.

>143 richardderus: Hmmm....I wonder what you're trying to say there. Hmmmm?

Dic 27, 2019, 4:04pm

For those of you thinking about 2020 (and it's coming, y'know!) I have the January thread for the 2020 AAC up. Charles Frazier will be our first featured author.

Editado: Dic 27, 2019, 8:38pm

>123 laytonwoman3rd: I really liked The Dry and her other books are good too. I had a look at Jane Harper's website but there are no hints on what she is working on now.

Dic 29, 2019, 4:24pm

Happy holidays!

Editado: Dic 30, 2019, 7:00pm

Thanks katiekrug for reminding me again about that end of the year meme. So here's mine:

(Fill in the prompts using titles of books you've read this year)

Describe yourself: Imperial Woman

Describe how you feel: Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night

Describe where you currently live: The Comforts of Home

Your favorite time of day is: Furious Hours

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: English Creek

Your favorite form of transportation: Flying Too High

Your best friend is: The Devil Amongst the Lawyers

You and your friends are: The Mothers

What’s the weather like: Mudbound

You fear: The Enemy of the People

What is the best advice you have to give: Sing, Unburied, Sing

Thought for the day: Lobster is the Best Medicine

How you would like to die: Under the Lilacs

Your soul’s present condition: From a Low and Quiet Sea

What is life for you: A Thread of Grace

Dic 30, 2019, 7:05pm

Dic 30, 2019, 7:23pm

>148 laytonwoman3rd: Your best friend is: The Devil Amongst the Lawyers

I put mine up in both threads.

Dic 31, 2019, 5:35pm

>149 katiekrug: I'm always a bit surprised at how well the titles fit...

>150 richardderus: Especially that one!

Dic 31, 2019, 5:37pm

My fave from up above? "Thought for the day: Lobster is the Best Medicine" Yes!!

Editado: Ene 1, 2020, 11:14am

104. Just William by Richmal Crompton This was on my wishlist because of someone's warbling, and my Secret Santa obliged by sending me a copy. William is an 11-year-old handful with a no-stop imagination and no fear of the consequences (which isn't suprising, because no matter what he gets up to, from destroying a sweet shop to driving a malingering hypochondriac to rise up , there never seem to be any). Someone is always giving him the odd shilling or even half-a-crown, which he immediately spends on licorice and toffee without restraint. He may feel a bit off afterward, but is never deterred from repeating the experience when opportunity and resources permit. Somehow his parents have managed to raise his elder brother and sister to be relatively normal young people, but William is too much for either of them. They literally and figuratively throw up their hands in nearly every chapter. This is terrific stuff to read when you're 11, I imagine. Some of it is just hilarious.

This will be my last read of 2019. I will try to do some sort of round-up of my year's reading tomorrow, before plunging headfirst into 2020.
My new thread for the new year is here.

Dic 31, 2019, 11:20pm

It's been real, Linda. Time to dowse the star. See you next year.

Ene 1, 2020, 5:08pm

My round-up of 2019 reading is on my 2020 thread. (Or will be shortly.)