dudes22 2011 Challenge

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dudes22 2011 Challenge

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Editado: Sep 28, 2012, 6:34pm

I too have already been thinking of my categories for next year. 2010 was my first try at a category challenge and I found that although I'm enjoying it, I sometimes can't decide what genre a book would be considered. In reviewing my TBR pile, I realized that I'd rather read by title. So, I've taken some inspiration from SqueakyChu's TIOLI challenge over in the "75 Group" to decide on my categories for this year and the book's title will determine what category I'll put them in. I did keep a few categories from last year and miscellaneous in case I win an ER book that doesn't fit anywhere else. Once again I'm trying for 5 books in each group and if I make that I'll just keep going.

So I've decided my categories for this year will be:
1. Colors--read 9 out of 6
2. Numbers--read 6 out of 6
3. The Calendar--read 6 out of 6
4. Movies--read 6 out of 6
5. Animals--read 7 out of 6
6. Food--read 7 out of 6
7. One Word Titles-- read 6 out of 6
8. Places--read 6 out of 6
9. Crafts--read 6 out of 6
10. Weather--read 7 out of 6
11. Everything Else-- read 9 out of 6

total: 75

Editado: Dic 9, 2011, 3:52pm

I. Colors
1. Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
2. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
3. Dirty-Water: A Red Sox Mystery By Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
4. The Peach Keeper by Sara Addison Allen
5. A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch
6. One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
7. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
8. Black Maps by Peter Spiegelman
9. Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

Editado: Ago 28, 2011, 9:49am

II. Numbers
1. 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik
2. The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
3. 700 Sundays by Billy Crystal
4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
5. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
6 The Four Seasons by Mary Alice Monroe

Editado: Jul 20, 2011, 4:05pm

III. The Calendar
1. The Wednesday Letters by Jason F Wright
2. Every Sunday by Peter Pezzelli
3. The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith
4. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
5. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
6. Three Junes by Julia Glass

Editado: Jul 26, 2011, 7:29pm

IV. Movies
1. Julie and Julia; 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell
2. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
3. Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
4. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
5. Q & A by Vikas Swarup
6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Editado: Dic 9, 2011, 4:04pm

V. Animals
1. Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman
2. Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
3. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
4. Round Robin by Jennifer Chiaverini
5. A Dog Among Diplomats by J.F. Englert
6. Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die by Jon Katz
7. Guppies for Tea by Marika Cobbold

Editado: Dic 29, 2011, 12:31pm

VI. Food
1. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
2. A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
3. Friendship Bread by Darien Gee
4 Pie Town by Lynne Hinton
5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
7. How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue

Editado: Sep 16, 2011, 6:40pm

VII. One Word Titles
1. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
2. Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
3. Obsession by Jonathan Kellerman
4. Betrayal by John Lescroart
5. Puppet by Joy Fielding
6. Abarat by Clive Barker

Editado: Sep 20, 2011, 7:09pm

VIII. Places
1. That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
2. Stealing Lumby by Gail Fraser
3. Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon
4. Ragtime in Simla by Barbara Cleverly
5. My Life in France by Julia Child
6. 16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber

Editado: Sep 24, 2011, 4:33pm

IX. Crafts
1. The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg
2. The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini
3. The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller
4. A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
5. Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry
6. Casting Off by Nicole R Dickson

Editado: Oct 20, 2011, 3:11pm

X. Weather
1. Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
2. Murder in Foggy Bottom by Margaret Truman
3. In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
4. Storm Winds by Iris Johansen
5. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
6. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
7. Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn by Kris Radish

Editado: Nov 30, 2011, 10:09am

XI. Everything Else
1. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
2. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
3. Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
4. And I Shall Have Some Peace There by Margaret Roach
5. Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
6. The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
7. Moving Target by Elizabeth Lowell
8. Running Scared by Elizabeth Lowell
9. Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood

Ago 13, 2010, 11:22pm

Very inventive. I look forward to watching the categories populate with books over the challenge next year. Great idea!

Ago 14, 2010, 9:11am

Interesting categories. It will be interesting to see how you fill them.

Ago 15, 2010, 7:44pm

I was thinking of doing a colour based category for next year but just using red and blue. Category would have been called Red vs. Blue of course. In the end I'm probably not going to use it as I've provisionally chosen other categories instead.

I am, however, planning to include a weather category so it will be interesting to see what you pick for that one especially.

Ago 15, 2010, 8:13pm

Hey dude, Places? is that new places, old places, places you want to go, places you've been, anyplace?

Ago 17, 2010, 12:28pm

I had a places category this year and more books that could have been read for it, so I thought I'd just continue it next year. Real rather than imaginary places though - at least right now. Lots of time till 1 Jan to decide.

Ago 25, 2010, 1:49pm

Nice broad categories that I will be interested in seeing you fill with books that I will just have to get my hands on!

Sep 2, 2010, 3:19pm

I'll be interested to see what you put in "the calendar" category. Would that be books that have months of the year in the title?

Sep 2, 2010, 4:22pm

days, months, seasons, etc...

Sep 5, 2010, 9:41pm

One of my 11 in 11 categories is "seasonal books" that is, books with seasons. I've listed a whole bunch that I'm considering.

I did days of the week for 1010.

Who knows? Maybe for 12 in 12, I will do months of the year.

Sep 7, 2010, 12:16pm

I'm giving myself a lot of leeway as there are a few different ones I want to read from my TBR pile. I've been debating whether or not to list my possibilites or not.

Ene 3, 2011, 8:44pm

1: 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik
Category: Numbers

This is an ER book from the Nov batch that I got in Dec and decided to make my first book of the year. The author is deeply depressed New Year's Day in 2008 when he takes a walk in the hills over Pasedena and hears a voice tell him that he must be grateful for what he has before he can receive the things he wants. The following day he receives a thank you note from his now ex-girlfriend and decides that he too should write thank you notes to show his gratitude. He decides that he will write one a day for a year. The book follows his progress through the year and the events that occur from the writing of the notes. My full review is over on the book but I will say that I liked it even though it made me feel a little guilty that there might be a few thank you notes that I should write myself.

Editado: Ene 3, 2011, 8:49pm

2: The Wednesday Letters by Jason F Wright
Category: The Calendar

I've been looking forward to reading this book since I bought it and knew it would be one of the first I read this year. It did not disappoint me. Jack Cooper writes a letter to his wife every Wednesday from the day they marry until they die in each others arms 40 years later. The letters are discovered when the 3 children come home for the funeral and family secrets are revealed. I did feel a few of the characters could have been developed a little more, but overall I really enjoyed the book.

Ene 3, 2011, 9:04pm

I thought The Wednesday Letters looked familiar but i had to glance at my library to make sure I was commenting on the same book. Good story!

Editado: Ene 11, 2011, 6:00pm

Book 3: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Category: Food

I didn't realize from the book description I had seen that this was a book of short stories with a continuing character in each story. So I found the first few chapters a little confusing until I realized what was going on. I really liked the way the author wrote and so I enjoyed each story. I occasionally wonder about how people affect other people without ever knowing they do. Overall a good read. I look forward to reading more by this author.

* fixed spelling* but still can't get touchstone to work

Ene 12, 2011, 8:01pm

Book 4: Julie and Julia; 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell
Category: Movie

Courtesy of today's snowstorm, I managed to finish another book. Can't say I cared for the book too much. Probably wouldn't have bothered with the movie if I had read the book first. Well maybe I would have - I love Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci and Julia Child. I found the author annoying to say the least. Extremely whiny, loves to swear, loves to complain about her job. Anyway, the author decides to spend a year making all the recipes in Julia Child's Master the Art of French Cooking, Vol I and write a blog about it as she does. The book chronicles her journey through the year . Might have to watch the movie again.

Ene 14, 2011, 8:18am

I enjoyed the movie much better than the book as well.

Ene 14, 2011, 8:41am

I wish to read at least one Elizabeth Strout this year - been sitting ignored for too long; so I'm pleased to see your positive opinion.
May get the movie for Julie and Julia from reading here and save my reading time. :)
Nice to connect again...

Ene 14, 2011, 4:31pm

>29 Lman: I have a couple more Elizabeth Strout on the shelf and I may try to fit in another later this year if I can find a category to fit one in.

Ene 18, 2011, 8:08pm

Book 5: Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
Category: Colors

Story of Framboise Simon, a 65 year old woman, who lives in the house she lived in during the German Occupation in France. The story moves between her current life and when she was 9 during the Occupation. The author tries to build the suspense of what will happen - "if only she had know...", "of course I didn't know then..." but I became a little annoyed. I wanted to say, "Just get on with it; tell the story already".
How the past affects what is happening to Framboise currently is all intertwined with a journal that her mother left her. Overall, a good book.

Ene 22, 2011, 5:12pm

Book 6:A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
Category: Food

This is a YA story about Mia Winchell, a thirteen-year-old, who has synesthesia, a condition where letters have colors, and so do sounds. She's been hiding this condition since she was made fun of back in third grade. When she has trouble in school, she is forced to reveal her condition.

I thought this was a very good book and plan to pass it on to my 13-year-old granddaughter. I may even read a couple more of her books.

Ene 24, 2011, 5:52pm

Book 7: Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman
Category: Animals

This is a book of short stories written around a house on Cape Cod. Some of the stories relate to each other and some jump many years. I enjoyed the writing, but then again, I like Alice Hoffman books.

Ene 31, 2011, 1:25pm

Book 8: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Category: One Word Titles

YA book about a man who can pull characters out of books when he reads out loud. He and his daughter Meggie get involved with the characters from one of the books.

Book 9: The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Category: Numbers

The first book in the Alexander McCall Smith series about Precious Ramostswe. Precious has decided to take her inheritance from her father and start a investigative detective agency. One of a cozy type mystery series. I quite liek the tone that the author writes in for this series. Have started book 2 which also fits in one of my categories this year.

Feb 3, 2011, 6:30pm

Book 10: Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
Category: Animals

The 2nd book on the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. More about the detective agency Precious Ramostswe runs in Botswana, Africa. More investigations and changes in her life also.

Editado: Feb 7, 2011, 7:43am

Book 11:The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg
Category: Crafts

Not one of the better books by Elizabeth Berg, although I usually like her writing. Laura and her family go home to Minnesota to go to the fair. Her sister tries to tell her that she was abused as a child. Laura has trouble reconciling what her sister is trying to tell her with her memories of her childhood. I didn't find the characters very likeable.

Feb 18, 2011, 7:51pm

Book 12: Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Category: Weather

This book won the Booker Prize for Best Novel in 1975. The book is set in India in the 1920s and tells the story of Olivia, the wife of a British diplomat, who falls under the spell of man Indian prince. The story is told by her step-granddaughter who goes to India 50 years later fascinated by Olivia's descriptions of India in letters she sent back to England. The book is not too long (less than 200 pages) and an interesting look at India during the 1920s.

Editado: Feb 18, 2011, 8:08pm

Book 13: Friendship Bread by Darien Gee
Category: Food

I received this book from ER and enjoyed it quite a bit. I've written my review and am going to try to link it from here:


Not sure if that's exactly right or not.

ETA: Well it seems to work

Feb 20, 2011, 1:41pm

Spending time getting caught up on threads. Blackbird House sounds interesting, so does Heat and Dust and Friendship Bread. I loved the movie Inkheart when I rented it last year so I will probably pick up that series to read sometime in the future as well.

Feb 22, 2011, 7:58pm

Book 14: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Category: Movies

A YA fantasy of science, religion, and adventure. I hear the movie's not that great. It was on last weekend and I taped it, but I'm leaving on vacation the end of the week and might not get to watch it till I get back. I think I'll probably try to get books 2&3 to read also.

Feb 26, 2011, 6:19pm

Book 15: Every Sunday by Peter Pezzelli
Category: Calendar

This is a story about an Italian family from the Federal Hill section of Providence, RI. As Johnny's father lies dying, he asks his son to go see the "other woman" to see how she's doing after he goes. No surprise - he falls for the woman. I can't say I really took to this book. It's supposed to be about a typical Italian family from Providence, Rhode Island and as a Rhode Islander married to an Italian I've seen and heard much of what is in this book. But somehow I thought the author was just pushing to hard to "make" it authentic. Maybe it was too much all at once. But still a pleasant enough read.

Feb 26, 2011, 6:21pm

Well I'm off on vacation tomorrow for a week and looking forward to a week of just sitting in the sun and reading. Should be able to make a good dent in my TBR pile.

Feb 27, 2011, 10:38pm

Have a great vacation. Jealous! :)

Mar 8, 2011, 8:52pm

Well I manged to get 6 books read on vacation - it was wonderful!!

Book 16: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate Dicamillo
Category: Everything Else

I love Ms DiCamillo's books. Children's book about the adventures of a china rabbit. I could really imagine a parent reading this to their child one chapter at a time.

Mar 8, 2011, 8:59pm

Book 17: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
Category: Everything Else

This is the first book in the series about the forensic anthropologist Temperence Brennan that they based the TV series "Bones" on. Except for her name, the TV series is not very similar to the book series.

ok - hubby is bothering me for the laptop, so I'll have to finish this tomorrow.

Editado: Mar 8, 2011, 9:33pm

Well - he decided to go to bed so I can add some more books.

Book 18: Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
Category: Everything Else

I'd seen some reviews about this book and I have to say - it did not disappoint. The story of different families and people at the beginning of the French Occupation. The fact that it was kept by her daughter but not read for 64 years is an amazing fact to me.

ETA: needed to fix spelling

Mar 8, 2011, 9:43pm

Book 19: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Category: Colors

I can't remember where I heard about this book (it's been on the shelf a couple of years now) but it was a wonderful read. Written in the 1860s, it seems many people are still finding this gem judging by the reviews. Wonderful prose - this book would probably been at least 100 pages shorter if written today. Many twists (some seen to be coming, others not) and some surprises along the way.

Editado: Mar 9, 2011, 12:55pm


I read that one and thought it was OK, but I've never seen the TV-series. I should give that a shot.

I want to go on vacation too. :)

Mar 9, 2011, 4:02pm

Book 20: That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
Category: Places

This is about a middle-aged man who spends most of the book remeniscing about his childhood and the summers his parents took him to the Cape (as in Cod). He's trying to figure out how he ended up the way he is and why his marraiage is struggling and how his parents and their relationship affected him. There are a few good scenes in the book but basically I didn't enjoy the book all that much, although I have liked others of his books.

Mar 9, 2011, 4:30pm

Book 21: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Category: Animals

Much has alread been written about this book, the author, etc, so I won't go into detail here. Swedish mystery which I enjoyed very much although I had some troubles with the names. Have to say though that I really don't think I'll see the movie - too squeamish.

Well I'm caught up here - now to catch up on the BOTS thread. I'm at 38% right now but that will slow down - I have 2 baby quilts to finish and summer and gardening is right around the corner. Still I'm hoping to surpass my goal for this year overall.

Mar 9, 2011, 4:41pm


Yeah, the movie has some really gruesome parts, so if that's not your cuppa tea, you should probably skip it.

Editado: Mar 16, 2011, 4:24pm

Book 22: Murder in Foggy Bottom by Margaret Truman
Category: Weather

This is part of Margaret Truman's Capital Murder series. A quick easy mystery which includes murder, homeland terrorism, the FBI the CIA,the Russian Mafia, a piano player and a disgruntled and misunderstood journalist among others - in other words, everthing you could need for a good mystery - lots of plot lines that all come together in the end. I first heard of Margaret Truman when my husband and I visited the Southern White House while in Key West where Pres Truman went for R&R. The author is his daughter and I may read a few more of her mysteries.

Editado: Mayo 27, 2011, 7:23pm

Book 23: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
Category: Colors

I got this as an ER book. Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite authors and this book was a wonderful read. My review is here:


I've been lucky that the ER books I've gotten so far this year have fit easily into one of my categories.

Editado: Mar 20, 2011, 9:35pm

Book 24: Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
Category: One-Word Titles

The story starts 2 years after female serial killer Gretchen Lowell tricks detective Archie Sheridan and captures and tortures him. She is now in prison and Archie lives on pills and memories of what happened to him. Journalist Susan Ward is writing a profile of Archie for her newspaper and becomes involved when another serial killer starts taking teen-age girls prompting the re-conveening of the task force that was trying to find Gretchen 2 years ago. Archie is asked to lead the task force and must pull himself together.

This was a very fast read, capturing and keeping my interest as disturbing as some of the subject matter was. I'll definitely be reading more of this series.

ETA: I really should check for spelling and grammer before I hit "submit"

Mar 26, 2011, 7:46pm

Book 25:The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini
Category: Crafts

This is the first book in a series about quilting and friendship and families. Sarah and her husband Matt have moved to Waterford, PA where Matt has been hired as a landscaper. He is sent to Elm Creek Manor to help the owner prepare the grounds because she is going to sell the house. The owner, Silvia Compson, an accomplished quilter, hires Sarah to help her clean up the inside of the house. She also teaches Sarah how to quilt. Quick read I snuck in because I got bogged down in the ER book that I'm reading. I suppose I should get back to that other book.

Mar 29, 2011, 8:28pm

Book 26:Round Robin by Jennifer Chiaverini
Category: Animals

This is the 2nd book in the Elm Creek Quilt series. The first book set the scene for future books, introducing the owner of the Elm Creek Manor, Sylvia, and some of her history and the history of the Manor. In this book, the author fills in the stories of the other members of the Elm Creek Quilters Group. The story continues 2 years after the close of the first book. The house has become a quilter's retreat with all members of the group helping out. The group decides to make Sylvia a round robin quilt. This type of quilt is constructed by one person making a center and subsequent people adding a border all around the quilt. As each member of the group adds her border, the reader learns each person's story. A cozy read of a book.

Abr 2, 2011, 5:57pm

Book 27:Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
Category: Movies

Think I probably picked this up around the time the movie came out - although I never did see the movie. It's a series of stories/memories that a man tells his son as he lies dying. Some rather tall tales, mystic, maybe true, maybe not. I didn't really take to this book. Couldn't get the connections between the parts of the stories.

Editado: Abr 4, 2011, 2:01pm

Book 28:And I Shall Have Some Peace There by Margaret Roach
Category: Everything Else

This was a book I got through the ER program. I include my review here:
The story And I Shall Have Some Peace There is a memoir of Margaret Roach, who left the corporate world as editorial director of Martha Stewart Living Onmimedia and moved to a vacation home she owned in upstate NY. The book covers the first two years that she lived there and how she struggles to find who she is beyond her corporate identity of mroach @ marthastewart dot com. She has no steady income and spends her time learning about the plants and animals that inhabit her garden. Although not written in a stream of conscience style, it felt to me that that was how she was writing. I found it difficult to follow her train of thought sometimes and even had to reread sentences to find out what she was trying to say. Her self-deprecating humor (or attempts at humor) was just distracting. One of the few things I liked was her explanation of birds and their feather layers and what each layer does for the bird. Although I expected the book to sound frantic at the beginning, the title led me to expect that there would be some peace by the end, yet I thought Ms Roach sounded just as frantic as she wrote the end. Although I greatly admire her courage, I didn’t feel in the end that she had found peace.

Other who have read this book really enjoyed it and I wanted to, but it just didn't work for me. This puts me at 4 out of 5 in my miscellaneous category. I'm going to have to try and be careful of what I'm reading or maybe I'll end up going over in this category.

Abr 4, 2011, 2:19pm

Book 29: In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Category: Weather

I read of this series from many others here on LT, and I must say, it did not disappoint. I can't wait to read more. This is the first book in a mystery series with the main characters of a woman minister - Clare Ferguson - and the chief of police - Russ Van Alstyne. In this first book a baby is left on the parish doorstep and then the baby's mother is found murdered. Clare, who is ex-army, tends to jump first and think second, but this makes for a chemistry that works between her and the chief.

The second book doesn't really fit my categories this year so I may have to wait till next year to continue - rats!

Abr 5, 2011, 7:32pm

Book 30: Storm Winds by Iris Johansen
Category: Weather

I've had this book on my shelf for years. This is the middle book of a trilogy based around the statue of the Wind Dancer. I had read the 3rd book first and then got this intending to read it right away and then it got stuck on a shelf and other books jumped to the front of the line.

Anyway - this is a historical romance set around the French Revolution. Jean Marc Andreas wants the Wind Dancer, a statue of a horse, which was in his family origianlly and is now owned by Marie Antoinette. He meets Juliette de Clement, whose mother is a confidant of Marie Antointette, when she is only 14. Their stories entwine through the book with some other characters and the background of the French Revolution. A bit above the normal bodice-ripper. A decent enough story.

Abr 5, 2011, 10:01pm

I like your review of And I shall find some Peace There. I am also reading it as an ER book. Although I am enjoying it more than some so far, I am finding the attempts to sound 'cool and modern' distracting (e.g. Bam! Followed by some statement about how great she is).

Abr 6, 2011, 12:05pm

Yes - I found the asides to detract from the book overall instead of adding anything of value. And it didn't give me a better understanding of who she was either. It felt rather forced to me, like she went back and added them in after. I really struggled to get through the last 20 pages, I have to say. Thanks for stopping in.

Abr 6, 2011, 12:06pm

Yes - I found the asides to detract from the book overall instead of adding anything of value. And it didn't give me a better understanding of who she was either. It felt rather forced to me, like she went back and added them in after. I really struggled to get through the last 20 pages, I have to say. Thanks for stopping in. I'll probably go back and look at some other reviews a couple of times to see what others thought - I'll watch for yours.

Abr 11, 2011, 2:01pm

Book 31: Stealing Lumby by Gail Fraser
Category: Places

This is the second in the series about the fictional town of Lumby in the Northwest. A little more somber than the first book, but a wonderful read. The story this time revolves around a stolen painting of 2 barns in Lumby. This brings attention and the press to the town. A few sub-plots and still some of the wonderful things that make Lumby a place you'd want to live. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Editado: Abr 18, 2011, 5:32pm

Book 32: The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller
Category: Crafts

Carrington Brouwer comes from Paris to America after her father dies. She lives with her friend Augusta who was a student artist of her father in Paris. Carrington is also a painter and Augusta's father hires her as a painter for carousel horses at a factory he owns. Because the story takes place in the 1890, women working in factories is unheard of. She visits Augusta frequently and is at the house when Augusta's mother discovers that a valuable necklace is missing and Carrington falls under suspicion. Romance and mystery abound.

Abr 18, 2011, 5:31pm

Book 33: The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith
Category: Calendar

This is the first of the Isabel Dalhousie series. Ms Dalhousie is at a concert when a man falls past her from the balcony above and dies. She involves herself in the mystery of whether the man jumped or was pushed. The mystery is somewhat weak and the book spends a lot of time on the ethical and philosphical areas of interest to Ms Dalhousie. Most of the book is her musings about ethical issues. I enjoyed the book even though many of the references were unknown to me - both philosphical references and also many about Edinburgh.

Abr 19, 2011, 3:36pm

Hi, Betty.

I have been falling farther and farther behind on individual threads because of all the activities that have been going on in my life, but I resolved that I will catch up and so I'm reading one thread (at least) a day to try to catch up and you are today's winner!

I have not visited since the end of February and noticed that you went on vacation and got a lot of reading done.

So pardon me for trying to comment on so much at ne time.

Déja Dead - I thought was good start for a series. It actually got me started watching the TV series which is quite different character wise.

Suite Francaise - I think I will have to explore that one when I get to WWII in my history reading. Sounds interesting.

The Woman in White - this one keeps grabbing my attention when others talk about it so I'll probably have to break down and get it from the library or on my Nook to read.

The quilt series I started two years ago, and I really liked it - glad you reminded me that I should get back to it.

I started the Julia Spencer-Fleming series last year and now I'm just trying to find a place to fit them in.

Glad you are enjoying all your reads. I'm going to try to keep from here now.

Abr 20, 2011, 9:01pm

Book 34: Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
Category: Colors

This mystery is built around the 2007 Red Sox team. The book starts when a baby is found in the clubhouse of the Red Sox. Then his mother is found murdered except the police don't know she's the baby's mother. While investigating, the police find that Cuban baseball players are being smuggled into the country to play baseball in the USA. There are lots of references to the Red Sox players, there's a blogger that blogs at the end of each chapter, and a few twists in the plot. A cute all-round easy mystery read, especially good if you follow the Red Sox and their players

Abr 24, 2011, 8:13pm

Book 35: Obsession by Jonathan Kellerman
Category: One Word Titles

Another in the Alex Delaware crime series. Delaware, who is a psychologist, gets a call from a girl who was his client when she was 7. Her mother has just died and claimed on her deathbed that she murdered someone. Delaware agrees to look into it and then a real murder draws him into a strange tangled story that all meshes together at the end.

Abr 27, 2011, 8:38pm

Book 36: A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
Category: Crafts

I guess I'd say this was an OK book. Barnaby Gaitlin comes from an old Baltimore family, but has never quite lived up to expectations. He now works for Rent-A-Back doing odd jobs for old people and rents a room in the basement of a house. The best part of this book was his thoughts on what it means to get old and dependant on others.

Abr 28, 2011, 9:51am

I have been wondering whether or not I will enjoy A Patchwork Planet. I picked up a copy at a booksale before I started reading Anne Tyler's books. After being completely underwhelmed by her book Digging to America earlier this year, I think A Patchwork Planet will stay on the bookshelf until I can find another home for it.

Abr 28, 2011, 11:58am

You could be right. This is the second book of hers that I've tried - the other was Dinner at the Homesick Cafe - and I've been underwhelmed also. I still have a few on my shelves and I can't decide whether to give another one a go or not. Maybe next year.

Mayo 1, 2011, 2:31pm

>70 dudes22:-72 I keep thinking that I should try an Anne Tyler book, but I also keep seeing a lot of lukewarm reviews. Maybe at some point I'll get to one, but they're not at the top of my list.

Mayo 1, 2011, 7:22pm

Book 37: Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon
Category: Places

The is the first book in a companion series to the Mitford series. In this book Father Tim returns to Holly Springs where he grew up. He meets many people that he knew growing up and hears about what they've been doing since he left. A couple of surprises along the way. Another fee-lgood book from Ms Karon

Mayo 1, 2011, 8:45pm

I have book one of the Mitford series on my bookshelves..... don't even remember where I picked it up from. I am always on the look out for feel good books for those 'sick at home' days or days when I don't want to wade into any heavy reading. I will keep Karon in mind the next time I want something light to read.

Mayo 3, 2011, 9:08pm

Book 38: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
Category: Movies

The book which was made into a movie starring Anne Hathaway and Merryl Streep. Girl who wants to be a writer ends up working for the chief editor of a fashion magazine as her #2 assistant. The book follows her trials and tribulations after she accepts the job, hoping to last a year and get a reccomendation from her boss.

Mayo 11, 2011, 8:31pm

Book 39: A Dog Among Diplomats by J. F. Englert
Category: Animals

This is the second in the Bull Moose Dog Run Mystery series. Lots of people don't like books written from the animals point of view, but I find it intersting to see how the author decides what animals think and deduce. Randolph is a Lab who reads, surfs the Net, and can put together the clues to solve mysteries. The story starts with a murder and ends with a cliffhanger. It's tough to write something about the mystery in the book without giving away the ending from book 1. A good cozy mystery - I look forward to book 3.

Well, technically, this means I've finished my first category. But since I only set my goal at 50, I'm thinking I'll probably be upping my goal for this year. So. for now, I'm keeping my options open.

Editado: Mayo 16, 2011, 8:15pm

Book 40: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Category: Food

This is the story of Henry Lee, a Chinese-American in Seattle, who has lost his wife just 6 months earlier. The book moves between 1986 and the 1940s when Henry was a boy. He falls in love with a Japanese-American girl in his school, much against the wishes of his father. Then comes the Japanese internment and Keiko is sent away with her family even though they are second-generation American.

This would be my second category finished, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be increasing my goals.

Mayo 17, 2011, 8:20pm

Book 41: Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
Category: Miscellaneous

I received this book as an ER selection. A continuation of Shanghai Girls, the book tells the story of Pearl and Joy during China's Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s. A more complete review is here: 4.5 stars


Mayo 19, 2011, 8:12pm

Book 42: 700 Sundays by Billy Crystal
Category: Numbers

This has been on my shelf for a few years now. Not sure why I bought it as I don't usually read autobiographies. Small, slim volume of his life when he was young. 700 Sundays refers to the number of Sundays between when he was born and when his father dies when he was 15. What I did find interesting was the number of famous people he had met.

Mayo 27, 2011, 7:31pm

Book 43: Pie Town by Lynne Hinton
Category: Food

I received this as an ER book. It's the story of Pie Town, NM and two strangers, a priest and a girl he picked up hitchhiking, who arrive in Pie Town. The town doesn't get along except for when it comes to Alex, a 10-year old disabled boy, being raised by his grandparents since his mother left when he was still a baby. It's a heart-warming story and Ms Hinton, who is a pastor, has found a subtle way to make the reader think of how we treat each other. I enjoyed it and look forward to the next in this series.

I had to move a book to another category to fit this in. Looking forward to finding some time this weekend to sitting on the deck and reading.

Mayo 30, 2011, 2:34pm

Book 44: Ragtime in Simla by Barbara Cleverly
Category: Places

This is the second in a series set in India in the 1920s. Joe Sandilands, a Scotland Yard inspector, is drawn into another murder mystery this time in Simla where the British go in the heat of the summer. Lots of twists and turns; an easy read.

Mayo 31, 2011, 12:01pm

I just had to change my goal from 55 to 66 books this year because I won a book from the May ER that didn't fit anywhere that I had room. I was probably going to increase it anyway.

Jun 10, 2011, 2:58pm

Book 45: Betrayal by John Lescroart
Category: One-Word Titles

Betrayal is the 12th book in the John Lescroart Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky lawyer/cop series. Unlike the earlier books in this series, the two main characters appear only briefly at the beginning of the book and then disappear for the next 300+ pages before they return to the story. The story told in those 300 pages involves murder, money, overseas government contractors, the military, greed and (of course) a pretty girl. I usually don't have strong feelings for the characters in books, but I really disliked one of the characters in this book (I think he's the villian but others may see it differently). And then there's a twist at the very end of the book that I kind-of wondered about earlier in the book - in other words - you can kind-of figure it's coming. Other supporting characters from previous books make an appearance and the banter is still there. Good book.

Jun 11, 2011, 7:25pm

Book 46: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Category: Calendar

"Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant."

On Dec 30, 2003, after visiting her daughter who was seriously ill in the ICU unit of the hospital, Joan Didion and her husband returned home. She made dinner and they sat down to eat. Her husband collapses and dies of a massive coronary. This book tells of the following year in Joan Didion's life; her daughter's mysterious and serious illness and random thoughts and memories of her life with her husband. I found the book interesting and some of her thoughts very perceptive.

Jun 12, 2011, 11:05am

That's a great quote. I remember that book being very popular when I was a bookseller, but I had no idea what it was about. It sounds great, but after finishing Just Kids which was both tragic and sweet, I think I need to put some space between these two books.

Jun 19, 2011, 6:05pm

Book 47: A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch
Category: Colors

I saw this book mentioned in someone's thread and thought it sounded like a good read. And it was. The first in a mystery series about an amateur sleuth in London in 1865. The book moves along at a leisurely pace, somewhat the way life is depicted in the book.

Charles Lenox is asked by his neighbor and friend Lady Jane to investigate the death of one of her former servants. There are plenty of suspects to look at and none of the procedures that are now commonly used to discover who did it. Fingerprints were just beginning to be used as an identifying means. No phone calls - letters and notes to communicate.

I enjoyed the book and will try the next in the series.

Editado: Jun 22, 2011, 3:24pm

Book 48: Q & A by Vikas Swarup
Category: Movies

Q & A is the book that the movie Slumdog Millionaire is based on. The story of a poor boy from India who wins 1 billion rupees on the show "Who Will Win A Billion". Similar to the American show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?", the contestant is ask a series of questions. When Ram answers them all right, he is arrested and accused of cheating. The movie is a little different from the book, but pretty much the same.

Jun 21, 2011, 11:44pm

A Beautiful Blue Death does sound interesting, and you're right. It's fun to read a story set in a time where the lack of technology complicates things immensely.

Jun 23, 2011, 12:43pm

Book 49: Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Category: Calendar

This book is about a village in England that decided to set themselves apart once the plague reached them in 1666. The author's interview in the back tells how she learned of the village in England that she based her story on. Although fictional, the story is very believable in the actions that people took. I found this sentence in particular struck me:

"Whole houses stood empty; entire families gone from us, and names that had been known here for centuries gone with them."

Jun 23, 2011, 2:20pm

>87 dudes22: I'm enjoying this series by Charles Finch. I've read the first 3 and am looking forward to reading the 4th soon, as it's due to be released in paperback in July. I think the 2nd book is my favorite so far. (I think this series is best read in order; there are some things in the 3rd book that tie back to the earlier ones.)

>90 dudes22: I really must try a Geraldine Brooks book! This one sounds interesting.

Jun 23, 2011, 2:30pm

Geraldine Brooks is a puzzle to me. March was excellent and she was able to create sympathetic characters that were very much a product of their time, while in Year of Wonders it felt like she understood the medieval mind with the "bad guys", but all the main characters were modern people dressed up in old-fashioned garb. Other than that, I remember it as a fun read.

Editado: Jun 24, 2011, 2:10pm

>91 ivyd: I always like to read a series in order. I'm not sure when I'll actually get to the next one though. I have a lot of series going and more in the TBR pile that I haven't started. Maybe next year I'll just read the next book in all the series. :)

>92 RidgewayGirl: I didn't think about it but now that you say that about the characters, yea, that is how they seemed. I also read her People of the Book and enjoyed that and if March isn't in the TBR pile, it's on my wishlist. PS. I saw the Finch book on your wishlist in BM, and will be putting it in one of the boxes I send with the books for BFK later this summer. (I was snooping before the library sale I went to)

ETA: can't spell

Editado: Jun 24, 2011, 2:08pm

Book 50: The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

I got this as an ER book. I loved this book and hope this author continues to write.

My review is here

At least I hope it's there; this is the first time I've tried this kind of a link.

This also means that I've filled up my miscellaneous category again. It was full before I got this book so I had to increase my goal for this year. I should probably only try for ER books that fit my categories for the rest of the year.

Jun 24, 2011, 9:13pm

You are fabulous, you know.

We should organize a group read of some Georgette Heyer book, since we seem to be the only two people left on earth not to have read her. There are plenty of people here to advise us!

Jun 24, 2011, 11:40pm

Make that three. I haven't read any Heyer either. Actually, I'd never even heard of her until earlier this year.

Jun 25, 2011, 6:56am

There's just so much already in my TBR pile (almost 900 now) that I really can't think about adding new authors. Maybe I'll stick a couple of hers in my save-for-later list in Bookmooch so I don't forget about her, but not actually mooch them. Or - read faster. But maybe next year we can think about that.

Jun 25, 2011, 9:35am

I'm saving her for next year's challenge - I've got a historical fiction category planned and I've more or less planned what I want to read for the rest of this year.

Jun 25, 2011, 12:24pm

Ohh Georgette Heyer Group Read next year - count me in!

Editado: Jun 25, 2011, 2:43pm

Strange to be thinking about group reads and next year's categories already.

ETA: you know - I saw a couple of her books at one or the other of a couple of library sales I went to recently, and I almost picked one up. Will have to keep that in mind for the next LS.

Jun 25, 2011, 2:58pm

I've had next year's categories planned since February or March. This is the first I've thought about Group Reads, though. I think I enjoy planning categories and listing possibilities more than actually completing the challenge. I'm not really good with long-term goals.

Editado: Jun 30, 2011, 1:29pm

Saw this over on LauraBrook's thread and thought I'd put in my 2 cents worth:

Favorite childhood book? I would have to say The Boxcar Children. I used to give it to my nieces and nephews when they got old enough to read it and now I give it to great-nieces and –nephews to read.

What are you reading right now? I have a few going right now: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron is my main read, then I have Fahrenheit 451 in my bag for lunchtime at work, and My Life in France by Julia Child on my nook for when I’m on the treadmill.

Bad book habit? Library Sales. They suck me right in.

Do you have an e-reader? I bought a nook this year for our vacation instead of lugging 10-12 books with me. That was a big help. But I have so many actual books in the TBR pile that I’m only using it while I’m on the treadmill right now.

Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once? I usually have 3-4 going at once except when I’m on vacation.

Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? I don’t blog, but I will say I’ve expanded my reading based on comments from others on LT

Least favorite book you read this year (so far)? And I Shall Find Some Peace There by Margaret Roach. (ER read)

Favorite book you’ve read this year? I’ve actually read some very enjoyable books this year, but I’d have to say the ER book I just finished was fabulous: The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I have rather eclectic tastes, I think, although I’m not a big horror/fantasy fan. So not too often, but last year I read the Twilight series which is out of my zone.

What is your reading comfort zone? I’m not sure what to call it. I like a lot of different kinds of mystery: detective, legal, medical, cozy, etc. I also like authors who write stories about people and situations (I’m doing a poor job of explaining this) like Ann Hood, Jodi Picoult, Lisa Genova; whatever you call it (I saw someone call it woman’s fiction in a post somewhere so maybe that’s it.

Can you read on the bus? I don’t usually take the bus, but wish I could as there would be more time to read – no motion sickness for me.

Favorite place to read? I guess on the deck in the summer; lazy afternoons.

What is your policy on book lending? I lend to a couple of people who like to read the same type of stuff that I do. I actually keep a bag read for books for my sister and if I get a new one from Bookmooch or library sale that I think she’ll like, I let her have it first.

Do you ever dog-ear books? I used to but no more.

Do you ever write in the margins of your books? Nope.

What is your favorite language to read in? English is the only language I read in, I regret to say.

What makes you love a book? I think it’s the author’s descriptive skills. If I can see the book almost like a movie in my mind, that makes a good book. Creating interesting character conversations is second.

What will inspire you to recommend a book? Who knows? There are usually one or two books a year that I’ll recommend to anyone whether I know what kind of reader they are or not. (And one or two I’ll trash to anyone who’s willing to listen.)

Favorite genre? Fiction, in general.

Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)? Maybe poetry.

Favorite biography? I don’t read a lot of biography, but this year I did read 700 Sundays by Billy Crystal and enjoyed it.

Have you ever read a self-help book? Not really – only a diet book or two if they count.

Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? I got 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Like by John Kralik as an ER read and thought it was well done.

Favorite reading snack? Cookies would be best, if they’re not too crumbly. Unfortunately they’re usually fattening. Or Kettle corn ( that sweet/salty popcorn).

How often do you agree with critics about a book? Can’t say I pay a lot of attention to critics so I don’t know.

How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? I don’t like to do it because I know that just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean no-one else will. I just try to make sure I say that somehow.

If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose? I have to say that lately GingerbreadMan has made me wish I read Finnish/Danish/Norwegian (whatever he reads in) because he’s been reading some interesting books. But other than that, I’m not familiar enough with what author writes in what language to make an informed choice.

Most intimidating book you’ve ever read? Can’t think of one

Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin? Anna Karenina but I’m not sure why. Probably the length.

Favorite Poet? I’m not a poetry reader although I do have a book of poems by Maya Angelou in the TBR pile.

Favorite fictional character? I’m going to say Jo March from Little Women. Actually I liked all the March girls.

Favorite fictional villain? Lately, I've been liking Gretchen from the Chelsea Cain series as a villian.

Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation? I usually bring a couple of mysteries and maybe one chick-lit and a couple of others that are in the TBR pile.

The longest I’ve gone without reading. Maybe a day if I had a migraine. I usually open a book when I get into bed, even if it’s only for a few paragraphs or 10 minutes.

Name a book that you could/would not finish. –I see a few in my list that I never finished. A Moveable Feast by Hemingway (probably the only person who doesn’t like this) and a book called Gotham Tragic by Kurt Wenzel and One Day as a Tiger: A Novel by Anne Haverty.

What distracts you easily when you’re reading?Not very much - I can tune out almost anything. My dog can be rather insistent when she wants attention.

Favorite film adaptation of a novel? I’m not a big film buff, so I’ll pass on this question.

Most disappointing film adaptation? Same here.

The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time? If I include my Christmas gift spending spree, probably around $250.

How often do you skim a book before reading it? Never

Do you like to keep your books organized? I sure would if I had the space. Once my bookshelf got filled up and I had to keep books in the closet, in bags on the floor of the closet, etc…it kind of got away from me.

Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? I keep very few because I don’t have the room, so they either go out on Bookmooch or off to the library for the sale.

Are there any books you’ve been avoiding? I’ve never read A Million Little Pieces and I still don’t want to.

Name a book that made you angry. Can't think of one.

A book you didn’t expect to like but did? I don’t start books if I don’t think I’ll like it.

A book that you expected to like but didn’t? A Moveable Feast by Hemingway. After hearing Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage read from it in the movie “City of Angels”, I thought it would be great. I found it tedious and boring.

Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading? I really like to read some of the YA/older children books: i.e. Harry Potter, Kate DiCamillo, Philip Pullman.

ETA: Fixed a few spelling errors

Jul 2, 2011, 1:34pm

Loved reading your answers, Betty! I forgot all about The Boxcar Children series, though I know I loved the first book when I read it in grade school. Thanks for reminding me about the series. I've added The Language of Flowers and 700 Sundays to my TBR list at the library, they both sound really good! And, when we read A Moveable Feast at my classics bookclub, 2 of us liked it, 1 loved it, and 2 didn't like it at all - you're in good company there!

Have a good weekend!

Jul 5, 2011, 5:48pm

Book 51: My Life in France by Julia Child
Category: Places

When I saw the movie "Julie and Julia" and heard that the movie was based not only on the book Julie and Julia by also on this book of Julia Child's Life, I knew I had to read it. I love Julia Child and food and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Jul 5, 2011, 6:45pm

Book 52: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Category: Weather

A young boy in Barcelona, Spain finds a book in a library called "The Cemetery of Forgotten Books" in 1945. After staying up all night to read it, he becomes obsessed with the author and tries for years to find out what happened to him. There are over 500 reviews of this book on LT, so I'll just say that this is a suspenseful, interesting book.

Jul 5, 2011, 11:33pm

I loved My Life In France when I read it last year. I tried reading Shadow of the Wind but I just couldn't get into it. I heard so many good things about it both here and from family members, but I just couldn't tolerate it.

Editado: Jul 8, 2011, 2:44pm

Book 53: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Category: Numbers

I had never read this book before. I was not a fan of dystopic books, never really liked George Orwell, or science fiction, so had never picked this from the reading list when I was in school (I'm sure it was there). I came across a thread sometime last year about this book and it peaked my interest. I enjoyed this book and was amazed at how prophetic a book it was for when it was written.

ETA: grammer

Editado: Jul 8, 2011, 2:43pm

>106 DeltaQueen50: - I have to say this is the second time I tried The Shadow of the Wind. The book does not move very fast and all the characters are so intertwined that it can be tough going. I decided to try it again before I tried some of his newer books which were getting raves.

ETA: spelling

Jul 8, 2011, 3:44pm

I gave it two separate tries. My family (mother, sister and brother) all gave it rave reviews. I really wanted to both read it and like it but, it just wasn't a book for me I guess.

Jul 8, 2011, 7:02pm

That can happen - as I frequently mention here - I'm like the only person in the world who doesn't like A Moveable Feast by Hemingway. Just curious - have you tried any of Zafon's other books?

Jul 8, 2011, 10:52pm

No, I have been afraid to. I should however check and see if anyone in the family has any of his other books, then I could try them out and see how it goes. I would hate to lose out on a good author just because of one book.

If I had read Peony In Love first, I probably would never have gotten to the excellent Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. So I should know not to judge an author by only one book!

Jul 8, 2011, 11:30pm

Well, if we all liked exactly the same books, conversations here would be boring. I tried, but could not stand more than 50 pages of Still Life by Louise Penny. And, yet, it is beloved by many people here.

Jul 9, 2011, 8:35pm

>111 DeltaQueen50: So true - I've been enjoying some of the series by Alexander McCall Smith and just tried the first one in the "44 Scotland Street" series and didn't like it at all.

>112 RidgewayGirl: - I have that on my shelf based on what many have said - right now it's kind of far down the pile - like maybe next year. Need to find a category for next year that will let me fit it in.

Jul 9, 2011, 8:48pm

Book 54: 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
Category: Numbers

I've read a few books from other series by Alexander McCall Smith and generally liked them as entertaining quick reads. But I have to say I liked almost none of the characters in this book. Don't think I'll be continuing with this series.

Jul 9, 2011, 11:34pm

I've read none of McCall Smith's books, but I have 44 Scotland Street on deck, so hopefully it's an OK read at least - I won't have any of his other writing to compare with and maybe that's a good thing. :) I've heard it described as a Scottish Tales of the City, but I've yet to figure out if that's supposed to be a compliment or not. LOL!

Jul 9, 2011, 11:36pm


I have started a few books by Alexander McCall Smith, and the first in three of his series and they just didn't click for me. Not everyone loves every book, so I'll leave his for someone else.

Jul 10, 2011, 7:32am

>115 -Eva-: - I looked at some of the reviews of the book and lots of people love it, so hope you do. The reviews actually are tempting me to try book 2 in the series.

>116 cyderry: - This is the 3rd series of his I have tried and I like the "Ladies Detective Agency" the best. They all seem to have less action and more ruminating than most mysteries.

Jul 10, 2011, 7:35am

I tried to read the first in the Africa series years ago, and I didn't care for it.

Jul 20, 2011, 4:11pm

Book 55: Three Junes by Julia Glass
Category: Calendar

I quite enjoyed this book about a Scottish family at 3 different Junes in their family. The family dynamics is interesting and the subject of one son's homosexuality is done with finess and understanding.

Jul 22, 2011, 7:47pm

I've pondered reading something by Alexander McCall Smith, but nothing seemed to really appeal to me.

Jul 26, 2011, 7:52pm

Just catching up after a busy weekend:

Book 56: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Category: Movies

Although the movie isn't being released till next month, I felt this was a good way to fit it into my categories so I could read it this year. And for the first 25-30 pages, I was wondering what all the hoopla was about. Then I began to get into the story more and ended up really liking it. The story is about a deep Southern Mississippi white woman who wants to be a writer and decides to write a book about what it's like to be a black domestic in Mississippi in the early 60s. I have no way to judge how accurate the book is but I did think it was a very interesting, compelling book.

Editado: Jul 26, 2011, 8:03pm

Book 57: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Category: Weather

For those who don't like books written from an animal's point of view, this book is not for you. For the rest, I loved this book. Enzo is near the end of his life and writes about what has happened and what he has learned from his owner who is a race car driver. It's funny and sad and heart-rending and uplifting and very philosophical. I'm thinking of giving it a permanent place on the shelf (and I don't have any room)

Jul 26, 2011, 8:47pm

I'm happy at the casting of The Help. I'm eager to see it. I'm almost hopeful about the casting of One Day, despite Anne Hathaway and despairing of the choice of Tom Cruise to be Jack Reacher.

Jul 28, 2011, 11:11am

I had a hard time getting into The Help early on, too. In fact, I put it down. Reviews like yours make me think I should pick it back up again.

I, too, really enjoyed The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Ago 15, 2011, 7:34pm

Book 58: Puppet by Joy Fielding
Category: One Word Titles

I found the main character of this book annoying to no end. Amanda, a lawyer in Miami, gets a call from her 1st ex-husband telling her that her mother has just shot a man in Toronto and confessed. Eventually she decides to go to Toronto, although she left, in part, to get away from her mother. Despite the twist at the end, which was interesting, the book didn't engage me. Amanda is petulant, impulse driven, and immature - she often sounds like a 13 year-old. Doesn't fit with the successful lawyer persona that she is supposed to be.

Ago 16, 2011, 8:07pm

125 Sounds like a good one to pass on. Thanks for the warning.

Ago 18, 2011, 12:33am

Ditto what Katie said in msg 126. Glad to know that this is one that doesn't go on the TBR mountain!

Ago 18, 2011, 10:49am

She's quite a prolific writer. Not sure if I should try another one or not.

Ago 18, 2011, 12:44pm

Book 59: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Category: Food

This book had/has gotten a lot of hype, but I had never read it because it seemed to be sci-fi/fantasy which I've never really liked to read much. But lots of people told me to try it anyway, and I really enjoyed it. Much the same way I took forever to read Harry Potter and the Twilight series.

There are a lot of reviews already on LT about this book, so I'll give a really quick summary. It takes place in an America far in the future after some big war and the country has been divided in 12 areas and the Capitol. To keep people in line, once a year each district chooses by lottery a boy and a girl between 12 and 18 to participate in a televised show called the Hunger Games in the Capitol. It's a survival type "game" where the last person alive is the winner. It sounds gruesome and some of it was, but the writer keeps the book moving along. I'll be getting the other 2 at some point in time.

Ago 18, 2011, 1:04pm

Book 60: Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die by Jon Katz
Category: Animals

Jon Katz has written a sensible, moving and emotional book about how to let your pets die and the emotions that often accompany their death. Each chapter is only a few pages long and explores the ways pets die and the human reactions. He includes a chapter about how to address a pet's death with children and offers examples from pets he has lost. I found it a thoughtful, well-written book which can help prepare people for the decisions that often need to be made about their pets.

I won this from the ER book lottery

Ago 18, 2011, 11:06pm

I asked for that from the ER books too, but didn't win it. I was afraid it would make me cry a lot! My boy is 9, which is old for an Irish Water Spaniel, so this topic is close to home. Would you recommend it to someone with an old friend? Or is it more something you read for comfort after you've lost your pet.

Editado: Ago 19, 2011, 8:13am

I think it would be an excellent book to read before that time comes. There are many excellent ideas on how to approach the "end-of -life" issue. He highly recommends thinking about things before that time comes and what you are prepared to do, so that you don't have to make an instant decision in the vet's office. My border collie is 9 also, and has a hip problem, so I understand. I read it rather quickly so I could do my review and then lent it to a friend whose sister just lost her dog, but I intend for a more thoughtful reading after I get it back and my husband has a chance to read it. I think it's being published in Sep.

ETA: Just jumped over to your page thinking there might be a picture of your dog. He's a great looking dog!

Ago 19, 2011, 11:02pm

Yup! That's my boy. He's an Irish Water Spaniel. Very naughty, but that's from being Irish. ;) I'll look for it when it comes out. Sniff! But who ever wants to think about losing our 4-footeds.

Ago 28, 2011, 9:56am

Book 61: The Four Seasons by Mary Alice Monroe
Category: Numbers

Jillian, Beatrice, and Rose Season have gathered to bury their 4th sister Merry. This story is about how they try to become close again after years apart and how they resolve family issues long left unfaced.

Sep 8, 2011, 12:19pm

Book 62: One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
Category: Colors

Although a work of fiction (which the author takes great pains to emphasize), this book is based on an actual historical event. In 1854 at a peace conference, a Cheyenne chief requested from the Army a gift of one thousand white women for his young warriors. The idea was that, because the Cheyenne society is matrilineal, the children born of such unions would belong to their mother's "tribe" and thus would be a means of assimilation into the white man's world.

Jim Fergus has taken this event and written a novel as though the American Government had agreed and white women married into the Cheyenne tribe. The book is a fascinating look at what life could have been like in an Indian tribe. I found it very believable and understand why many people apparently believe that this actually happened.

I'll be giving this 5 stars.

Sep 8, 2011, 12:40pm

This sounds interesting, thanks for the review!

Editado: Sep 8, 2011, 3:42pm

@ 135 -- Thanks for the review! I've seen One Thousand White Women many times in bookstores, but I never knew what it was about until now...and it sounds interesting! (ETA spelling issues.)

Sep 16, 2011, 6:54pm

Book 63: Abarat by Clive Barker
Category: One-Word Titles

Abarat by Clive Barker is the 1st book in the Abarat series which has had 3 books written so far. In this YA book, Candy Quakenbush a teenager from Chickentown, Mn leaves school one day after a fight with a teacher and heads out of town on a road that seems to go nowhere. A man with 8 heads appears from the prairie being chased by another creature. The 8-headed man invites Candy to journey with them to the islands of Abarat.

The islands of Abarat are an archipelago where the every island is an hour of the day with one more island at the center. In this book Candy travels between some of the islands and I'm guessing she will be going to others in some of the other books in the series.

Some reviews I've seen talk about the marvelous pictures that Barker has drawn to go with the book, but, alas, I had a MM PB with no pictures. Still, Barker's descriptions were wonderful and I partucularly like the names he came up with for people and the islands.

I look forward to book 2.

Sep 16, 2011, 7:00pm

Book 64: Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry
Category: Crafts

The sub-title to this book is "The True-Life Story of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split". Hence it's inclusion in my Crafts category. This is a quick chick-lit story about how Laurie Perry copes with her divorce and learns to knit in the process. The book was a spin-off from her blog. It also includes a few knitting patterns and pictures of the finished projects.

Sep 17, 2011, 10:05am

Clive Barker can write some brutal horror. I was surprised to see he writes YA too, but I've known that for awhile. Sounds like he's got an absurd sense of humor as well. I'll have to look for Abarat.

Sep 17, 2011, 5:46pm

Abarat is going on my wishlist as well, thanks.

Editado: Sep 18, 2011, 12:49pm

Very interesting review, especially since I thought the pictures were the best part of both Abarat books. :) I should add that I've always been a huge fan of Barker's paintings, so that was part of my attraction to these books in the first place. I should try a non-illustrated version - I'm thinking it's a very different experience.

Editado: Sep 18, 2011, 2:22pm

>142 -Eva-: - I've been thinking I should head to the bookstore and at least look at one with illustrations. I did find the cover very interesting.

Editado: Sep 20, 2011, 7:16pm

Book 65: 16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber
Category: Places

This is the first book in the Debbie Macomber Cedar Cove series. Each book is a different address and I'm wondering if characters from this first book will show up in future books. I'd call it a cozy read, but it's not a mystery. More of a romance, I'd say.

Sep 24, 2011, 5:33pm

Book 66: Casting Off by Nicole R Dickson
Category: Crafts

In this debut novel, Rebecca and her daughter Rowan arrive on a small island off the coast of Ireland where she is doing research for a book about the sweaters that are knit by the women on the island; the history and stories of the stitches. She heard of the island from her college roommate who grew up there. Rebecca has her own troubled past and is using the grant she received to leave the States even if only for a couple of months. Everyone on the island seems to be related to everyone else - by marriage and by birth going back generations. That's where I had the most problem with this book - I had trouble remembering who was related to whom. That said, I thought the book was a wonderful first book. I hope she writes more.

Well - this book completes my 11 in 11 challenge..not that I intend to stop reading for the year. I guess I'll just go up to 11 in some more of the categories that I have without setting a new goal and see how many I end up reading. I won't get to 121 by Dec 12th, but I've already read more than I have in any other year. I'm very tempted to start some of the books I've chosen for next year and join cammykitty over in the 12 in 12, but I think I'll wait until Dec 12th to start. I've still got enough on my shelves to keep me busy.

Sep 24, 2011, 5:56pm

Congrats on finishing the challenge! I hope to finish ahead of schedule so that I can work through my TBR pile and read anything that catches my eye. I will continue to follow your reading if you continue to post here or move over to the 12 in 12.

Sep 24, 2011, 6:10pm

Congratulations! Glad you are sticking around.

Sep 25, 2011, 6:06am

Congrats on completing your challenge!

Sep 25, 2011, 1:35pm

Congratulations on completing your 11 in 11, now you get to enjoy some "free" reading before starting in on the 12 in 12!

Sep 25, 2011, 3:35pm

Thanks to you all for stopping by. I'm thinking of trying to read some hardcovers the rest of the year to try and get some extra space.

Sep 25, 2011, 8:58pm

Congratulations!!!! Woo hoo!!!!

Sep 25, 2011, 10:44pm


Sep 26, 2011, 4:21am

Congrats from me as well

Sep 26, 2011, 8:02am


Sep 26, 2011, 4:29pm

Congrats! & it sounds like you ended on a good book. I'd known about the Irish fisherman knit sweaters being used basically as dog tags/identification. I always thought it was a cool idea, but never knew what to do with it. I'm glad to see an author has figured out what to do with it.

Sep 26, 2011, 7:12pm

Thanks to all for the congrats.

>155 cammykitty: Katie - that was something I hadn't heard of even though I've knit a couple of Irish Fisherman sweaters. It was a very interesting book.

Sep 26, 2011, 7:21pm

try for a 7/11 - just extend your challenge a bit.
It's great when you reach a goal, isn't it?

Sep 26, 2011, 7:43pm

Congratulations, Lori!

Sep 26, 2011, 10:49pm

Great work finishing your challenge, Betty! You've read some great books.

Sep 27, 2011, 10:46am

Katie - I had already increased my goal once from 5 to 6. I'll probably try to fit in books for the categories I already have, but just in case I don't find anything on my shelf I feel like reading (is that possible?) for one of the categories, I'd rather leave it kind of loose and see what happens.

Sep 27, 2011, 4:22pm

Congrats on finishing!!

The book about the Aran sweaters sounds interesting - is it mainly about the main character's life, or are the actual stories she is researching in there as well?

"Everyone on the island seems to be related to everyone else"

LOL! The joy of island living...! :)

Sep 28, 2011, 4:20pm

It's a fiction book so, yes, it's the story of the characters life. But there is a brief description of a stitch (i.e. the cable stitch) and what it looks like at the beginning of each chapter and then how different famililies used a particular pattern so that if their husband/son was lost at sea and washed up on shore, how the pattern identified the person. There's actually a part of the story about a character who lost his 4 sons and how one son was identidied by his sweater pattern. She does talk to the villagers and there are some of those stories in there. I'm guessing she did some extensive research before writing this book.

Sep 28, 2011, 4:59pm

I shall have to go find a copy of it - thanks!!

Sep 28, 2011, 7:12pm

Book 67: Moving Target by Elizabeth Lowell
Category: Everything Else

My girlfriend was cleaning out her book shelves and offered me a bunch of Elizabeth Lowell hardcovers, so I thought I'd give a couple a try to see if I wanted to let them take up space or not.

Moving Target is the 1st book in her Rarities Unlimited series. In this first book Serena inherits some pages from an illuminated manuscript from the 12th century. When she starts to investigate how much they might be worth, she finds out that they are part of a larger manuscript. She turns to Rarities Unlimited for help and is soon involved with one of it's appraisers who had extensive knowledge of manuscripts. There are also others who want nothing more than to steal the pages from her. It's a fast-paced novel and interesting read.

Oct 7, 2011, 7:28pm

Book 68: Running Scared by Elizabeth Lowell
Category: Everything Else

Running Scared is the 2nd book in the Rarities Unlimited series by Elizabeth Lowell. Two of the minor characters from the first book become the focus of the second book. And the rarity in this book is ancient Celtic gold. Shane Tannahill, who owns a Las Vegas casino is planning an exhibit on New year's Eve - a gold exhibit. He is offered a gold piece but it's provenance is questionable and his curator Risa is worried about that. This book is suspenseful and has a few twists and turns.

Oct 9, 2011, 7:20pm

Belated congratulations! Great review just catching up on your thread :)

Oct 20, 2011, 3:10pm

Book 69: Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn by Kris Radish
Category: Weather

Kris Radish writes books about women empowering women. Some would call it chick lit and I suppose it’s that too.

In this book, Meg comes home and hears noises from upstairs when nobody should be home. Instead of leaving or calling the police, she sneaks up the stairs and sees her husband in bed with another woman. Instead of confrontation, she chooses to leave the house. She finds a friend, falls apart and then decides to throw her husband out. For months she wallows in her grief and self-pity ignoring advice from friends and strangers alike as she tries to find strength in herself and her choices. She finally realizes that she wasn’t that happy in her marriage and didn’t have the sort of life she thought she would when she was young.

Kris Radish spends a lot of time in each of her books developing her characters and their back-story so that when they give advice, the reader knows where they are coming from and why they feel the way they do.

As good as it was and as much as I enjoy her writing, I found that around the ¾ point, I wanted her to wrap things up. It seemed that the message was becoming redundant, saying the same thing over and over. Of course, that may have been her point - that we sometimes need to hear the same things over and over before we listen.

I still look forward to reading more of her books.

Oct 30, 2011, 8:23pm

Book 70: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Category: Colors

Pecola Breedlove, an 11-year-old black girl who lives in Ohio in the early 1940s, has always been told that she is "ugly" and prays that she will wake up one day to have blue eyes so that she will be "pretty". Pecola's family lives in a store front under an apartment where prostitutes live. Her mother works as a housekeeper for a white family and shows the child of her employers more attention than she does her own child. Her father is a drunk who physically abuses her mother. Eventually he rapes his daughter. The story is not plot driven, but rather character driven. Toni Morrison spends pages in descriptive detail that enhances this story. Each character's back-story is described in detail. I'll be reading more of her books, for sure.

Book 71: Black Maps by Peter Spiegelman
Category: Colors

First in the John March series. A financial, crime, thriller mystery - John March is a PI who comes from a financial family background and is hired by a lawyer to discover who might be blackmailing his client. In some ways it's a typical crime mystery, some stalking, some guns, some painful confrontations. It's ok for a first novel - I'll at least read the next one.

Nov 2, 2011, 4:10pm

Glad you liked The Bluest Eye. No, not really plot driven at all! It's pretty hard to sumarize.

Nov 7, 2011, 8:19am

I need to read something by Morrison!

Editado: Nov 8, 2011, 3:36pm

I've only read The Bluest Eye so I can't say what else might be good. I have Sula in my TBR pile and may try to get to that before the year ends. Or, if not, fit it into next year somewhere. I definitely want to read more of her.

Nov 14, 2011, 11:36am

My first Toni Morrison book was Beloved, which I read earlier this year and I was mightily impressed. I'm planning to read A Mercy next year, since I already have it, but both The Bluest Eye and Sula sounds good to me, too.

Nov 14, 2011, 5:41pm

Yes Cammykitty and Gingerbreadman were discussing Beloved which pushed me to try one of her books and those were the 2 I had on my shelf. Things are getting so busy as the holidays approach that my reading has been reduced to almost nothing. I was hoping to fit Sula in before the end of year, but it doesn't look hopeful now.

Nov 30, 2011, 10:14am

Book 72: Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood
Category: Everything Else

A slim book which tells the story of Ann Hood's journey through grief after her 5-year-old daughter dies. I think it's powerful because it doesn't try to deal with "the stages of grief" or give any advice. Just one mother's story of what her life was like in the aftermath.

Editado: Nov 30, 2011, 10:16am

Bad reading month for me and Dec doesn't look much better. Lots to do and a couple of ER books coming. Maybe I can finish at least one I've got started. Still a good year for me - the most I've ever read in a year, I think.

Dic 9, 2011, 3:56pm

Book 73: Green Angel by Alice Hoffman
Category: Colors

A YA book about a 15 year old girl who loses her mother, father, and sister in a fire in town on a day when she had to stay at home and was mad and didn't say good-bye when they left. Another review I read said it was in the future, but it read to me like the Middle Ages. A little bit of the mysticism that Alice Hoffman is know for.

Dic 9, 2011, 4:12pm

Book 74: Guppies for Tea by Marika Cobbold
Category: Animals

Amelia's relationship with her boyfriend is ending although she doesn't know it when the book opens. Meanwhile, her grandmother has been placed in a convalescent/nursing home. Her uncle has sold the grandmother's home and moved to Brazil but no one has told the grandmother that she will never go home again. And her mother is obsessed with cleanliness. It's a poignant novel descibing what life is like in a nursing home that it's almost depressing when one considers many people eventually go there. Amelia herself is rather flighty, thinking and planning but not acting upon her plans. Still, she promises her grandmother that she'll be home by Christmas. And sets out to accomplish this even though the house belongs to someone else now.

This is a first novel and I enjoyed the author's writing; I'll probably get some of her other books to read.

Dic 25, 2011, 10:11am

Peace to all my friends here on LT and a good year of reading in 2011.

Dic 26, 2011, 12:29am

Guppies for Tea is a great title. Where do the guppies come into it? Is it sort of tender sad & funny?

Dic 29, 2011, 12:33pm

>179 cammykitty: - Yes it is kind of sad & funny. The title is from a part in the book where one of the residents of the "home" claims that the staff is feeding them guppies form the fishbowl for tea.

Dic 29, 2011, 12:36pm

Book 75: How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue
Category: Food

I got this as an ER book. Here's my review:

Although Julia and Annie grew up in the same house, Julia was the daughter of the house while Annie was the daughter of the nanny/cook in the debut novel How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue. Even though they were close as little girls, a rift develops between them when they reach high school age and Annie attends the same private school as Julia where she feels she doesn’t belong. Then Annie’s mother dies, Annie leaves for college and never goes back.

A decade later, she is working for a small bakery and is hired to provide cupcakes for a party that Julia’s mother is hosting. Julia and Annie run into one another and decide to open a cupcakery together even though there is still tension between them. Some of the old resentments still linger for Annie and Julia has her own secrets she’s hiding. Plus, someone is trying to sabotage the bakery. And there’s some romance, of course.

The story is told in alternating chapters between Julia and Annie. This is one area where I thought the author could have done a better job. Although the chapters told the different stories, the voice of each chapter read almost the same. It read/sounded like the same person telling the story rather than two different individuals. And I would have liked some cupcake recipes to go along with the delicious sounding cupcakes that Annie created.

Dic 29, 2011, 12:39pm

That's probably it for me this year. I have a couple of books I'm reading but I doubt very much that I'll finish them before the 31st. My origianl goal was 55, I raised it to 66, and then finished at 75, so a very good reading year for me. I'm already over in the 12 in 12 and getting anxious to start.

Editado: Dic 29, 2011, 1:02pm

Summary of the best and worst of each category.

In some cases, it was really hard to decide because I liked more than one or even that none of them were really the worst. But I did choose.

Best: One Thousand White Women
Worst: Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery

Best: 365 Thank Yous
Worst: 700 Sundays

The Calendar:
Best: Year of Wonders
Worst: Every Sunday

Best: The Help
Worst: Big Fish

Best: The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo
Worst: Guppies for Tea

Best: The Hunger Games
Worst: Pie Town

One Word Titles:
Best: Heartsick
Worst: Puppet

Best: My Life in France
Worst: That Old Cape Magic

Best: Casting Off
Worst: Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorce and Covered in Cat Hair

Best: The Art of Racing in the Rain
Worst: Heat and Dust

Everything Else:
Best: The Language of Flowers: A Novel
Worst: And I Shall Have Some Peace There

Best of 2011:
Tie: One Thousand White Women
Year of Wonders

Worst of 2011:
And I Shall Have Some Peace There

Dic 29, 2011, 1:03pm

See you all over in 12 in 12!!

Dic 29, 2011, 1:46pm

Well done, especially for exceeding your original goal! Congratulations!

Dic 31, 2011, 2:25pm

Well done for the year! Nice summary.

Dic 31, 2011, 4:43pm

Nice summary!

Ene 1, 2012, 10:04am


great finish! see you in 12 12