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Book a Week in 2012 - Week 49


Robin M
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Good Morning, dolls! Welcome to our new corner of the forum. So happy to see all my book friends who have decided to stick through all the changes. Relax and have a cup of earl grey tea, or coffee if you prefer, while we talk about books. Today is the start of week 49 in our quest to read 52 books in 52 weeks. Welcome to all those who are just joining in and to all who are following our progress. Mr. Linky is all set up on the 52 Books blog to link to your reviews.

 

52 Books Blog - Plans for 2013: Yes, we're talking about 2013 since we only have 4 weeks left in the year. We will be continuing with the Well Educated Mind and Mind Voyages perpetual challenges and possibly the A to Z since I've been hearing some requests for it. New this year will be the Dusty Books (read your own books) and Chunkster challenge (books over 500 pages long). Also Read a Canadian Author challenge and I'm thinking we should choose one book for a readalong. And like this year, there will be mini weekly challenges that pop up here and there such as read a russian book (but we choose different countries), choose a book by the title, the name of a color in the title, compare a book with the movie, etc. I'm personally going to do a Non Fiction Reading Project and read one a month. If you all want to join me in that, we'll add it to the linkbar on the blog and you can choose a specific number or leave it up to chance.

 

Here is the list we've come up with so far for Canadian authors. All the links lead to bios and books

 

Saul Bellows - Humboldt's Gift

Pierre Berton - Klondike

Ernest Buckler - The Mountain and the Valley

Robertson Davies - The Deptford Trilogy or The Salterton Trilogy

Patrick deWitt - Sisters Brothers

William Gibson - inventor of cyberpunk and speculative fiction, dual citizenship (Canadian/US)

W.P. Kinsella - Shoeless Joe (made into the movie Field of Dreams)

Yann Martel - Life of Pi

Rohinton Mistry - A Fine Balance

Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables series

Farley Mowat - Never Cry Wolf by (non-fiction

Alice Munro - tons of short story collections

Michael O’Brien – Island of the World

Michael Ondaatje - The English Patient

Sinclair Ross - As for Me and My House

Carol Shields - The Stone Diaries

Thomas Wharton - Salamander by (historical fantasy, books/printing)

 

 

I've already downloaded Neuromancer by William Gibson's books. :)

 

 

So? What are you reading this week?

 

 

 

 

 

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Oooohhhhh....I want to sit right in that chair and read all day...

Anyhoo...just finished a book I didn't care for at all - My Life, Starring Dara Falcon, by Ann Beattie. I found it a bit tedious and I had to keep flipping back to see if characters had been introduced before because I had no idea what was going on half the time.

 

I just started Truth and Consequences, by Alison Lurie. Not sure I'm going to like this one either. I think I'm in a bit of a slump.

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Well I put aside a Susan Howatch novel to read a seven day-er from the library, Unholy Night by Seth Graham-Smith, the author of Pride, Prejudice and Zombies (which did not quite resonate with me but then I seem to lack interest in zombies) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (which I have not read).

 

Unholy Night is a retelling a familiar tale with great embellishment. I would be tempted to call the story "cute" if there was not so much gore in it. Totally light weight seasonal read with enough entertainment to keep the reader interested. Mary has spunk, Herod is disgusting, and our hero Balthazar is admirable despite his criminal life. I don't think the book would offend too many religious sensibilities--just that of good taste. Must we have so much blood spurting about?

 

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Back to Susan Howatch...

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I finished reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. My first thought after a page or two of this book (which was the first time I started reading it - over a year ago): "Hey, this guy writes just like Vonnegut. Bad @ss!"

This book is hilarious, smart, absurd. Me reading the book: "Ha ha ha. Stop it! Ha ha ha. Oh, shut up!" The hilarity is occasionally suddenly stopped with a passage that is dead serious without making the narrative choppy or seeming to go off track and rant for a while. The story flows despite the momentary step away from humor.

Downsides are it's not really compelling, and there are so many characters. I could have put the book down at any time during the first 1/2 of the book (at least) and thought I had the gist and didn't really care how it ended because for a long time, it didn't seem to be going anywhere. (I imagine this is why it is number one on the Goodreads list of most abandoned books.)

While the story moves generally forward, it keeps looping back and giving you more information about episodes you already know a little about. For a good chunk of the book, I wasn't so sure it was even moving generally forward. The good part of this is lots of, "Oh! That's what was going on there," and, "Oh! Those two things happened at the same time," and, "Oh! He made it seem funny at first, but that was actually really horrible. Oh, God."

After finally coming to the end of this book, I can say it was worth it. The payoff takes a while, but imo - it's there - second to last chapter.

I also read Hiroshima by John Hersey.

From wikipedia:
 

Here is the list we've come up with so far for Canadian authors. All the links lead to bios and books


The Gibson book is one I've been wanting to read, too.

Could we clarify the terms of each challenge? For example: Dusty books challenge - I remember one version being mentioned in which a person would read nothing by "dusty books" until April 1, but other versions were mentioned, too. If one version was picked, I was skimming and missed it. (Sorry.)

Canadian Author challenge - is that "read a book by a Canadian author sometime in 2013" or a certain month or...?

Perhaps I am challenged when it comes to understanding challenges.

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Still working on two books:

 

Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan by Max Alexander

Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser

 

They're kind-of polar opposites as books, lol.

 

Also, I have my book club meeting tonight (where we'll discuss In the Garden of Beasts).

 

--------------------------

My Goodreads Page

Completed the Europa Challenge Cappuccino Level (at least 6 Europa books: #s 4, 9, 10, 11, 14, 19, & 21 on my list).

Completed Robin's Read a Russian Author in April Challenge (#24 & #26 on my list).

Completed Rosie's Local Reading Challenge (#56 on my list).

Completed Banned/Challenged Books Week Challenge (#62 on my list).

 

My rating system:

5 = Love; 4 = Pretty awesome; 3 = Decently good; 2 = Ok; 1 = Don't bother (I shouldn't have any 1s on my list as I would ditch them before finishing)...

 

2012 Books Read:

Books I read January-June 2012

37. Clutter Busting Your Life by Brooks Palmer (3 stars)

38. The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje (5 stars)

39. The Colors of Infamy by Albert Cossery (3 stars)

40. Osa and Martin: For the Love of Adventure by Kelly Enright (3 stars)

 

41. Hexed by Kevin Hearne (4 stars)

42. Soulless by Gail Carriger (3 stars)

43. The Hoarder in You by Dr. Robin Zasio (3 stars)

44. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (2 stars)

45. The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (4 stars)

46. The Nazi Séance by Arthur J. Magida (2 stars)

47. Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballentine & Tee Morris (3 stars)

48. Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi (5 stars)

49. Thud! by Terry Pratchett (3 stars)

50. Wide Open by Nicola Barker (3 stars)

 

51. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (4 stars)

52. The Merciful Women by Federico Andahazi (3 stars)

53. The Vampyre by John William Polidori (3 stars)

54. Living in a Nutshell by Janet Lee (3 stars)

55. Dracula by Bram Stoker (4 stars)

56. Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay (3 stars)

57. Visit Sunny Chernobyl by Andrew Blackwell (4 stars)

58. John Dies at the End by David Wong (4 stars)

59. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (4 stars)

60. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (3 stars)

 

61. To Hellholes and Back: Bribes, Lies, & the Art of Extreme Tourism by Chuck Thompson (3 stars)

62. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology, ed. by Amy Sonnie (3 stars)

63. The Extra Large Medium by Helen Slavin (2 stars)

64. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson (3 stars)

65. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (2 stars)

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Could we clarify the terms of each challenge? For example: Dusty books challenge - I remember one version being mentioned in which a person would read nothing by "dusty books" until April 1, but other versions were mentioned, too. If one version was picked, I was skimming and missed it. (Sorry.)

 

Canadian Author challenge - is that "read a book by a Canadian author sometime in 2013" or a certain month or...?

 

Perhaps I am challenged when it comes to understanding challenges.

 

It's all very flexible, so don't worry too much. I'm still working on the details and will post them all on the blog by the end of the year. If you look now, there are links in the linkbar for each different part of the challenge. Essentially when it comes to the dusty book challenge, you can pick how many you want to read during the year. I will be coming up with some categories with catchy names if folks want to pick 2,4,6,8,10, or 12. Same with the chunkster challenge. Personally I'm going to do a buying ban until the end of April (or at least try) so will only be reading Dusty books. At it has happened a few times this year like with Moby Dick and Ahab's Wife, someone will mention a book they want to read and whose in it with them. Then we pose a readalong. It's all really flexible with no set schedule. I do know Stacia and I will be reading Hopscotch and hopefully a few others may jump in. The Canadian read is the same. We are working on a consensus which book most folks want to do as a readalong. Once I know, then will set a month for it. If you like to plan ahead, I do try to give enough notice so folks can get the book or make the time. Please don't stress out about it. The main thing is to have fun reading and at times I'll push your comfort levels a little bit by having you try new to you authors or genres.

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I am still reading through book #74 Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It was hard to get through at first, but now the book is moving along.

 

In 2012 all I wanted to do was read 52 books, which I did. I didn't participate in any challenges, so I might try some this year, if I am feeling wacky. I am the only big reader I know who doesn't own or buy a lot of books.... :blush5: I am library person. So, maybe I could do a brand spanking new book challenge and BUY all my books this year???? :laugh:

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A nice Canadian author to read is Stephen Leacock. He wrote very humorous stories around the turn of the last century. He's kind of in the P.G. Wodehouse genre only maybe with more Monty Python-esque humor thrown in there. He was at one time a very popular humorist. My 20 year old introduced me to him. He really enjoys his writing. If you google around you can find and read his stuff on line.

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It's all very flexible, so don't worry too much. I'm still working on the details and will post them all on the blog by the end of the year. If you look now, there are links in the linkbar for each different part of the challenge. Essentially when it comes to the dusty book challenge, you can pick how many you want to read during the year. I will be coming up with some categories with catchy names if folks want to pick 2,4,6,8,10, or 12. Same with the chunkster challenge. Personally I'm going to do a buying ban until the end of April (or at least try) so will only be reading Dusty books. At it has happened a few times this year like with Moby Dick and Ahab's Wife, someone will mention a book they want to read and whose in it with them. Then we pose a readalong. It's all really flexible with no set schedule. I do know Stacia and I will be reading Hopscotch and hopefully a few others may jump in. The Canadian read is the same. We are working on a consensus which book most folks want to do as a readalong. Once I know, then will set a month for it. If you like to plan ahead, I do try to give enough notice so folks can get the book or make the time. Please don't stress out about it. The main thing is to have fun reading and at times I'll push your comfort levels a little bit by having you try new to you authors or genres.

 

 

Thanks! Just the summary I needed.

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I finished reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller...

 

Downsides are it's not really compelling, and there are so many characters. I could have put the book down at any time during the first 1/2 of the book (at least) and thought I had the gist and didn't really care how it ended because for a long time, it didn't seem to be going anywhere. (I imagine this is why it is number one on the Goodreads list of most abandoned books.)

 

I started Catch-22 last year while on a trip -- it was to be my airplane book. Thing is, when the flight was over I never picked it back up again, and I recently moved it from the coveted bed side table pile of to be read books up to an out of the way corner where both read and abandoned books gather dust.

 

I love that list of abandoned books! I have started and abandoned several from that list but have read, completed and really enjoyed an equal number of titles. That may be something to report on later -- which books we've abandoned from the list and which we happily finished!

 

I finished The Two Towers this week. The second half of it is such a slog, but I am getting so much more out of the series than I ever have, partly because I'm listening to it while driving so can't fast forward of skip the poetry or the long speeches. I know the books so well from having read them as a teen, and shared them with the kids and doing the Literary Lesson curriculum, and yet there are some sections that feel new and more profound now that I'm an old lady!

 

Like Stacia, I'm reading Bright Lights, No City. It is really fascinating and I've poked around on-line to find interviews with the brothers and happened upon this Tumblr site http://burrobrand.tumblr.com/ with a blog and photos from Ghana.

 

I also just started Terry Pratchett's recent, non-Discworld book, Dodger, which as the name suggests, is a (kind of, sort of, maybe) retelling of Oliver Twist. Charlie Dickens is a character in the book -- not sure what all is going to happen, but so far very enjoyable.

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109. Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream, and 5 Acres in Maine by Lou Ureneck~non-fiction, memoir, building, life. Not sure exactly why I finished this. Pearl S. Buck, when she came to the US to live permanently found a master builder to teach her sons how to build by building a cabin in the mountains of New England. They started at beginning and did everything themselves. Maybe I was thinking of that when I picked up that book. I wish I could give that kind of hands-on learning to my own sons. This book is really a man looking back on his life and examining it from many different angles after a divorce and the death of his mother. He's ageing. He's thinking about history, culture, and ethics. He's connecting with his nephews and looking for a place to rebuild his life. Frankly all these things do make the book seem random at times. Its not easy to cover all of this information. There were a few times I almost returned it to the library, but in the end I pushed through. Sections with him working or hanging out with locals (or his nephews) were my favorites.

 

108. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton~fiction, Edwardian era, WWI, servants, forbidden love. I got this one through paperbackswap because I read The Forgotten Garden and liked it. The story is told by an old woman who worked as a maid in a large English house before and after WWI. She has a special relationship with the sisters who come to the house to visit their grandparents. I spent the first third of the book thinking how much this was like Downton Abbey and the Mitford sisters. I spent the second third of the book being tired of knowing who Grace's father obviously was and the last third wondering what had happened to the feisty Hannah of the first half of the book. Not my favorite Morton book, but it was okay.

 

107. The Woodcutter by Kate Danley~fantasy, fairy tales, retelling. I got this as a cheap ebook over Thanksgiving weekend and read it pretty quickly. It brings together classic fairy tales (plus a character or two from various mythologies) by giving them a new context and centering the journey on the Woodcutter, a minor character in many tales but in this one he takes on kind of a guardian or policeman role between the human and fairy worlds. The chapters are very short and almost always center on a lot of action, so everything moves very quickly. The only downside of this is that sometimes you have no idea what's going on until you catch up with where they are or who's being spoken to, but you always do. Because of this action level and some of the emotion I thought of this as a teen girl book. I enjoyed the twists Danley used to bring all the stories together. I liked the main character and his relationship with the magical buffer zone of the Forest. Danley has obviously read a lot of fairy tales, real ones, and it shows. Did not have the depth or darkness of The Book of Lost Things, but it was a light, fun read.

 

*Top 10

**Best of the Year

106. The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern~magic, circus, competition, romance.*

105.First We Have Coffee by Margaret Jensen~Norwegian immigrants, spiritual life, memoir, coming of age.

104. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart~children's fiction, spies.

103. The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn~memoir, Paris, cooking school.

102. The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman~WWII, memoir, Warsaw.

101. Blue Chicory by Lorine Niedecker~poetry, unfinished, last work.

100. Insurgent by Veronica Roth~youth fiction, adventure, series, future world.

99. I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells~fiction, adventure, sociopath, teen narrator.

98. Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent~memoir, midwives, California, birth stories.

97. Tunnel in the Sky by Robert Heinlein~science fiction, future worlds, survival.

96. The Gypsies by Jan Yoors~'30s, Gypsy/Rom culture.

95. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute~fiction, WWII, Australia, Malaya, romance.

94. Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty~fiction, deep South, family. *

91. True Grit by Charles Portis~western, coming of age, humor/irony. **

85. Doc by Mary Doria Russell~historical fiction, American plains, Doc Holliday.

82. Landscaping with Native Plants of Minnesota by Lynn Steiner~gardening, native plants. *

81. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa~mathematics, friendship, family, baseball.

79. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette ~memoir, biography, southwest

78. The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder~science fiction, alternate history, Richard Burton, steampunk.

68. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall~children's fiction, sisters, adventure. *

61. The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum~non-fiction, forensic science, chemistry, New York, Prohibition. *

59. The Green Mile by Stephen King~supernatural, prison, 1930s. *

51. North by Northanger by Carrie Bebis~Jane Austen, mystery

47. The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi~memoir, Italy, criminal case, serial killer. *

41. Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris~fiction, France, WWII, food. *

28. Divergent by Veronica Roth~youth fiction, dystopian.

23. Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood by Oliver Sacks~non-fiction, memoir, history of chemistry.

18. A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell~fiction, WWII **

11. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson~mystery

7. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman~non-fiction/medical *

2. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton~Fiction

1. The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt~Fiction

 

 

Working on:

Blood Meridian (McCarthy) ~I will finish this, I will. Sometime when I can access a Spanish translator on the computer.

Drinking Coffee, Elsewhere (Packer)~literary short stories

The Little Book (Edwards)~classic rock star time travels to turn of the century Vienna, meets his mentor's mentor

Double Star (Heinlein)~space version of the political double saving the world

The Last Speakers (Harrison)~linguist documents dying languages around the world

Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth (Myers)~Pennsylvania Dutch mystery

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Another slow week for reading - but both of these are from my backlog, bringing me to about 20 books that reflect the Dusty Challenge - a year early!!!

 

I finished:

 

#63 - A Rich Man's Secret, by Ken Roberts. A novel; lots of positive thinking/encouragement embedded within the easy-reading story.

 

Will finish today:

 

#64 - White Birch Abbey: A Characterization of Life at the Abbey, by Brother Kilian Beirne. The author paints word characterizations of some of the Catholic Brothers at this Abbey from the '60's and prior. Anecdotal. Basically enjoyable.

 

Haven't decided yet whether to choose another book from my backlog, or head to the library . . .

 

Robin - I love that picture - so cozy and inviting! I could snuggle in there all day and read and read - and read some more! Add a mug of Earle Grey, back-up books, a nice fire in the fireplace on colder days, or rain pinging on a tin roof in the spring, and I may never emerge! :-)

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I finished Bright Lights, No City last night. I loved it. I'm cheering Burro on. I added a few books to my TBR pile because of this one, including Banker to the Poor by Muhuammed Yunus, which was only $1.99 at the Kindle Store.

 

I started The Year of Learning Dangerously by Quinn Cummings. I'm still listening to the Moby Dick Big Read. Chapter 58 is read by Benedict Cumberbatch and is so well done.

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Speaking of Christmas (since I just spent an hour digging the advent wreath out of the bottom of the junk closet) and Dickens. For your reading pleasure

 

Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol.

 

Now I just need to decide which version of The Christmas Carol I want to watch this year - Jim Carrey's, Patrick Stewart, George C. Scott, Alistair Sims, Albert Finney, Kelsey Grammar (not), The Muppets or Mr. Magoo. Check out this website of the 100 faces of scrooge. Scroll down to the middle of the page.

 

Also check out Robert of Publisher Weekly's thoughts on his top ten Dicken's Books

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Does The Best Christmas Pageant Ever count? We finished that tonight ...

 

One of my favorite Christmas books. I haven't read it since last year so I'm sure it's dusty. Yes! A dusty book challenge eligble book. :)

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Robin, I love that chair. :)

 

I finished:

Now is the Time - 3 Stars - got this bargain-priced at Barnes & Noble over the summer

and

Rebecca - 4 Stars

 

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Now reading a Baha'i book, which I'm really enjoying.

 

MY RATING SYSTEM

5 Stars

Fantastic, couldn't put it down

4 Stars

Really Good

3 Stars

Enjoyable

2 Stars

Just Okay – nothing to write home about

1 Star

Rubbish – waste of my money and time. Few books make it to this level, since I usually give up on them if they’re that bad.

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I have been thinking about next year's challenges. While I will not exclusively read volumes from the dusty stack, I do need to eliminate the logjam collecting next to my bedside. I normally read chunksters on a regular basis, so that is not really a challenge for me.

 

What I think I want to do in 2013 is revisit some old friends...I have not read The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling since college. I loved it then--I wonder what I will think now, particularly of the commentaries that Fielding offers outside of the storyline. I read Tom Jones in a class on the history of the novel. Adam Bede was another assigned book in the class--I enjoyed that one as well.

 

Another of my favorite novels from college days-- a fun book that I read outside of class--was The Magus by John Fowles, a fine writer. Perhaps some of you are familiar with The French Lieutenant's Woman, a book set in the British seaside town of Lyme Regis. It is a 20th century take on the 19th century novel. Both books often make the lists of Best British Novels of the 20th Century.

 

So that is my thought for 2013: Revisiting Old Friends.

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This week...

 

Started Reading:

Stuff Christians Like

 

Still reading:

Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose

 

Completed:

42. Gone Girl

41. Matched

40. Days of Blood and Starlight

39. Daughter of Smoke and Bone

38. The Hole in our Holiness

37. Romeo and Juliet

36. The Night Circus

35. Alone With God

34. What Angel's Fear: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery

33. The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

32. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

31. Frankenstein

30. The Lotus and the Cross

29. Desiring God

28. Blood Feud: The Hatfields and the McCoys

27. Among the Gods

26. The Deadliest Monster

25. Faith of My Fathers

24. A Good American

23. They Say/I Say:The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing

22. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

21. Insurgent

20. Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints

19. The Strength of His Hands

18. The Meaning of Marriage

17. Funny in Farsi

16. The Constantine Codex

15. What the Dog Saw

14. What is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission

13. Gods and Kings

12. A Skeleton in God's Closet

11. My Hands Came Away Red

10. The Omnivore's Dilemma

9. Dead Heat

8. Redeeming Love

7. Family Driven Faith: What it Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God

6. Organized Simplicity

5. Year of Wonders

4. The Holiness of God

3. The Paris Wife

2. The Peach Keeper

1. Relic

 

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I read a wonderfully fascinating book this week-end. Fieldwork by Berlinski. A story of an anthropoolgist who gets so caught up in the culture that she ostracizes herself from the culture she is studying, murders a Christian missionary and ends up killing herself in a foreign jail. Beautiful, compelling writing. And the story -oy vey- lots of nuances. One of the best books of the year. I picked it up because S.King had a recommend on the front cover- shallow but the King called it.

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Jane,

 

I'm very tempted to join you for Tom Jones (movie, too?). Let me know when you're about to start?

 

Eliot and I, however, have nothing to say to each other. We didn't get along in college.

 

 

I picked up the very beautiful illustrated Heritage Press version of Tom Jones at a recent library book sale. What a gem for $1!

 

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Shall we start the New Year with a rogue? It has been years since I have seen the movie too!

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Re: Canadian books--there are so many other great books :drool:, and even some of those authors have books people might prefer to read (eg Carol Shields's Stone Diaries is so sad & heavy, but her Republic of Love is literary but also a romance--not a genre or mainstream romance). :001_smile: I wasn't thinking of us choosing the books for the challenge, but having lists to help people find books if they've not read many Canadian literary works.

 

My mother is really taking her time with her list and is going to look at books she's read over the decades (I didn't tell her why.) It will be a very thoughtful list, and my dad's might hit a different kind of reader. I think that the list given, while it holds good books, is missing some spectacular but older books. If I can't post more than 10 suggestions here is there somewhere we can post lists of books longer than just 10????? I don't keep a blog. I know I've read most of the books on that list that's been given and am not likely to reread them--I'm hoping to read something I've not read before or something I haven't read in a far longer time than most of those. If I can't post more

 

I have to run and also lost my multiquote, but will be back.

 

re: Jane's post--I don't think that all of our books are going to come from just one challenge, are they? I think we can pick and choose and do different ones; at least that's how I have interpreted this.

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I'm totally giving up on my ongoing list. The formatting is just shot and I don't know how to get it back. *sad* Guess I'll try again in 2013 to keep an ongoing list.

 

Finished:

 

The View from Saturday by EL Konigsburg (*****) - Pretty much loved this one. Had everything I liked in a book including great unique characters, good story arc, and a happy ending.

 

How to Tutor Your Own Child by Marina Rueben (***) - a how to manual on afterschooling. No new information but it'd be a great book for someone just getting started.

 

The Tarantula in My Purse by Jean Craighead George (****) - a children's book but DD recommended it. A light autobiography of the unusual pets she's had through the years and of her life. She's a pretty interesting person. I think this would make a fantastic read aloud. If you have a kid that loves unusual animals then this book is a must read for them (and you!).

 

In progress:

 

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George (read aloud)

Eye of the World (Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan

Holmes for the Holidays by various authors

 

So that is my thought for 2013: Revisiting Old Friends.

 

I love love love the idea of a Revisiting Old Friends Challenge.

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Re: Canadian books--there are so many other great books :drool:, and even some of those authors have books people might prefer to read (eg Carol Shields's Stone Diaries is so sad & heavy, but her Republic of Love is literary but also a romance--not a genre or mainstream romance). :001_smile: I wasn't thinking of us choosing the books for the challenge, but having lists to help people find books if they've not read many Canadian literary works.

 

My mother is really taking her time with her list and is going to look at books she's read over the decades (I didn't tell her why.) It will be a very thoughtful list, and my dad's might hit a different kind of reader. I think that the list given, while it holds good books, is missing some spectacular but older books. If I can't post more than 10 suggestions here is there somewhere we can post lists of books longer than just 10????? I don't keep a blog. I know I've read most of the books on that list that's been given and am not likely to reread them--I'm hoping to read something I've not read before or something I haven't read in a far longer time than most of those. If I can't post more

 

I have to run and also lost my multiquote, but will be back.

 

re: Jane's post--I don't think that all of our books are going to come from just one challenge, are they? I think we can pick and choose and do different ones; at least that's how I have interpreted this.

 

 

Well, crud. I had a nice response and hit the wrong key on my keyboard and poof. Sorry for the confusion, Karin. The list of suggested authors and books were just that, suggestions. There are no limits to what you can post about. I am looking forward to hearing about your mom and dad's list of books. This is your challenge as much as anyone elses, it's very individualistic while being a group thing. I just moderate, guide, suggest, steer the ship, and help get you there. I was just trying to narrow down the list of suggestions because I know there are some people who if given too many choices, can't make a choice at all. I was hoping to find one book in there that we could use as a readalong, that's why I was asking for top ten choices. Once everyone has posted their ideas about the canadian authors, I'll add it to the 52 books blog as a page so it can be accessed at any time and everyone doesn't have to search the threads to find it. There is no time limit so don't rush your mom. We aren't starting out with a canadian readalong. So, no worries.

 

Also your reads can came from anywhere and overlap any challenge.

 

Hope this sets your mind at ease. This is supposed to be fun, not stressful. And don't mind me, just keep doing what you are doing.

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How to Tutor Your Own Child by Marina Rueben (***) - a how to manual on afterschooling. No new information but it'd be a great book for someone just getting started.

 

I was really surprised by liking this book! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

 

Thank you for mentioning this book - bought and loading onto the Kindle. Not that I don't already have the backload from H-E-Double-Toothpicks.

 

Speaking of which, I've settled on my challenges for 2013. I'm definitely doing the TBR/Dusty Books challenge, though my books are all Kindle so no dust involved. I have 25 pages (yes, that's pages) of books in my Amazon library that I recently printed, most of them unread. My challenge is to whittle the unread ones down and not buy anymore until April 1st. This while traveling the first 6 weeks of the year and DD is out of school. Gulp!

 

I'd love to do the Canadian challenge - after April 1st. :tongue_smilie: Looking forward to reviewing the lists then and selecting either an old favorite (LM Montgomery) or something new.

 

My other challenge is to read the Ancients. I have a long term project of reading history and literature chronologically. I am still (sigh....) in the Ancients. My TBR plans include these books. I'm still working on the list of books I want to read. I know it includes Herodotus, Thucydides, Gilgamesh, SPA (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle), Marcus Aurelius. Some of these might fit a Chunkster challenge.

 

Last challenge I'm considering for myself is something including DD. We've gotten out of the reading habit of late - I want to get us back into it. I have tons of audiobooks I've collected for her. I'd like to start listening to an audiobook (classics I got for cheap at Audible) with her each evening instead of our very bad habit of TV or iPad. Bad Mommy! Bad Mommy! :thumbdown:

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Score!!!

 

Hey Book-A-Weekers, don't forget to check Dollar Tree's book selections! I practically never find anything there except coloring books, but today they had Cleaving: The Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession by Julie Powell (the follow-up to Julie & Julia), The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith (sequel to Child 44), and -- most awesome of all -- The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian. :party:

 

I love finding awesome books for cheap, and since I am not starting the TBR Challenge until January, I feel no guilt at all about adding to the pile. :D

 

 

Awesome!

 

Hey, don't forget that amazon has started their 12 Days, 12 Deals for books. It runs from 9am to 1pm, PT. Today's deal was Gone Girl for a couple of dollars (but is now sold out).

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I am still reading through book #74 Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It was hard to get through at first, but now the book is moving along. In 2012 all I wanted to do was read 52 books, which I did. I didn't participate in any challenges, so I might try some this year, if I am feeling wacky. I am the only big reader I know who doesn't own or buy a lot of books.... :blush5: I am library person. So, maybe I could do a brand spanking new book challenge and BUY all my books this year???? :laugh:

 

I'm a library person too. Most of the books on my shelf came from Paperback swap. I rarely get a new book.

 

My mom asked me what I'd like for Christmas. I told her some of the books I'd like. She said, "Books? Ugh, that's boring. I'm not buying you books." Not five minutes later she says, "I like to buy people things they really want. So, please tell me what you want." :confused1:

 

I finished This is Why You're Fat. It's okay. Nothing new. Playing with the idea of cutting out sugar now. However, PMS is not the best time to do that. I've already cheated by eating a big spoonful of Nutella.

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I was just poking around at some of the novel challenges out there & found an "Eclectic Reader" one. I think I've mostly done it for this year. Lets see, if I fill in titles for each of the dozen categories...

  1. Translated fiction -- "Broken Glass Park" by Alina Bronsky
  2. Historical mystery -- perhaps "The Coral Thief" by Rebecca Stott would count
  3. Romantic suspense -- ??? (what would be an example of that category???)
  4. Made into a movie -- "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell
  5. New Adult -- "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern
  6. Urban Fantasy -- "The Rook" by Daniel O'Malley
  7. Dystopian -- "Anthem" by Ayn Rand
  8. Memoir -- "Pink Boots and a Machete" by Mireya Mayor
  9. LGBT -- "Revolutionary Voices", ed. by Amy Sonnie
  10. Action Adventure -- maybe "The Sisters Brothers" by Patrick deWitt would count? (It's kind-of a noir western...)
  11. Humour -- "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson (my current read)
  12. Published in 2013 -- ok, not published in 2013, but 2012... "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" by Robin Sloan

 

I don't think the book would offend too many religious sensibilities--just that of good taste. Must we have so much blood spurting about?

 

:laugh:

 

I finished reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.

 

Catch-22 is one of those books that I've never read but have always felt like I should have read it....

 

I am the only big reader I know who doesn't own or buy a lot of books.... :blush5: I am library person. So, maybe I could do a brand spanking new book challenge and BUY all my books this year???? :laugh:
I'm a library person too. Most of the books on my shelf came from Paperback swap. I rarely get a new book.

 

This is like me. Over the past few years, I have gotten rid of many of my own books. I mostly get books from the library or, sometimes, through PBS. Rather than buying books, I just pay for an additional library membership (to the county next to ours which is much bigger & has a much better & varied book selection than my county).

 

Like Stacia, I'm reading Bright Lights, No City. It is really fascinating and I've poked around on-line to find interviews with the brothers and happened upon this Tumblr site http://burrobrand.tumblr.com/ with a blog and photos from Ghana.
I finished Bright Lights, No City last night. I loved it. I'm cheering Burro on.

 

Ok, you both are doing much better than me w/ the book! I, too, am cheering on Burro. However, I'm getting totally bogged down in Alexander's writing style & am starting to find it so tedious that I'm putting the book down a lot & not wanting to pick it back up again. I may end up abandoning it....

 

This week: Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Gilbert) -- sigh. about the third week of this one and I'm really not liking it. It will probably end up being abandoned.

 

I thought that was a fun, light read. Sorry you're not enjoying it.

 

just started Trapped, the newest Iron Druid.

 

A copy of that just arrived at our house (to be part of dd's Christmas gift). I'm sure dh will read it too when she's done w/ it. I still need to read books 3 & 4 before getting around to Trapped....

 

At my book club last night, I think the consensus on "In the Garden of Beasts" was similar to my opinion -- some interesting historical info, but Larson doesn't really write in a compelling way. Our next read is "The Great Gatsby" (which I recently re-read) in anticipation of the film. We'll probably do the film & dinner for our next meeting. After that, "Wolf Hall" will be up. We had planned to do it this time, but the library waitlist is fairly long for it, so we decided to postpone the book until it's more easily available for check-out.

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I'm a library person too. Most of the books on my shelf came from Paperback swap. I rarely get a new book. My mom asked me what I'd like for Christmas. I told her some of the books I'd like. She said, "Books? Ugh, that's boring. I'm not buying you books." Not five minutes later she says, "I like to buy people things they really want. So, please tell me what you want." :confused1: I finished This is Why You're Fat. It's okay. Nothing new. Playing with the idea of cutting out sugar now. However, PMS is not the best time to do that. I've already cheated by eating a big spoonful of Nutella.

 

I had something very similar happen with my sister at my birthday. She wanted to know what I really really really wanted but didn't want to buy myself. I gave her two options - a used copy of a book I loved that I could get from the library but I wanted my own copy and the other was a $20 french press pot. I didn't want to buy one myself but I love to entertain and wanted a way to make coffee for guests. She told me that both of those things were boring and she wanted to get me something I WANTED. Um. Okay. Believe me I WANTED both of those items. I wanted them so much that after I got off the phone with her I ordered them myself because I figured there was no way she was going to get them for me.

 

Instead she got me ...

 

Wait for it ...

 

A pair of sweatpants.

 

Skinny fit.

 

Two sizes two small.

 

I'm a short curvy gal with 20 pounds to lose. Those sweatpants were skin tight. And I want to kick whoever came up with the idea of "skinny fit". And if I was going to wear sweatpants I want them to be loose fitting and comfortable.

 

Sister wants to know why she hasn't seen me in the sweatpants yet.

 

My BFF is threatening to buy me more sweatpants for Christmas because she finds the whole situation hilarious.

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I haven't posted on this thread in weeks, I couldn't keep up with them! :) I have been reading, though. I'm currently reading "Amish White Christmas Pie" by Wanda Brunstetter. This month, I have a few Christmas themed books that I plan to get through. I also have a couple non fiction books going.

 

In total this year, I have read 60 books, and I'm hoping to finish a few more.

 

Some of the challenges for next year look great... love the "Dusty Books" theme. I have a couple dozen unread books here in the house and a handful more that I'd love to re-read.

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I'm currently reading "Amish White Christmas Pie" by Wanda Brunstetter.

 

 

Speaking of Amish type books we are getting my mil a Kindle for her b-day next week. I'd like to load it with some books for her. I know she typically reads Amish/Christian romance books. I don't so I have no idea what to get. Hopefully, I don't get any books she's already read.

 

 

Suggestions?

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Speaking of Amish type books we are getting my mil a Kindle for her b-day next week. I'd like to load it with some books for her. I know she typically reads Amish/Christian romance books. I don't so I have no idea what to get. Hopefully, I don't get any books she's already read.

 

 

Suggestions?

 

 

Anything by Wanda Brunstetter or Beverly Lewis are good, but they're well known and she may have read many of them already!

 

If you search "Amish Christmas" and select for Kindle, it pulls up a list, many of which are free or very inexpensive. If she's already read them, no harm done that way!!

 

I also found another Kindle series that I haven't started yet but it looks good... It's called the Jacob's Daughter series. The first book is here: http://www.amazon.co...daughter series Also inexpensive, and if she doesn't have a Kindle yet, she probably hasn't read these, and they get pretty good ratings.

 

Hope that helps a bit!! :)

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51E%2B9FO1G-L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-66,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg

 

Sourcebooks 3rd day of Christmas special - $2.99 at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

 

 

"IN A TIME OF RASPUTIN'S MAGIC AND ROMANOV MYSTERY, A YOUNG GIRL FINDS HERSELF AT THE HEART OF THE ROYAL FAMILY

She was an orphan, ushered into the royal palace on the prayers of her majestry. Yet, decades later, her time spent in the embrace of the Romanovs haunts her still. Is she responsible for those murderous events that changed everything? If only she can find the heir, maybe she can put together the broken pieces of her own past-maybe she can hold on to the love she found. Bursting to life with the rich and glorious marvels of Imperial Russia, The Last Romanov is a magical tale of second chances and royal blood."

 

 

Looks like an interesting story - checked out the excerpt and ordered it.

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I was just poking around at some of the novel challenges out there & found an "Eclectic Reader" one. I think I've mostly done it for this year. Lets see, if I fill in titles for each of the dozen categories...

  1. Translated fiction -- "Broken Glass Park" by Alina Bronsky

     

  2. Historical mystery -- perhaps "The Coral Thief" by Rebecca Stott would count

     

  3. Romantic suspense -- ??? (what would be an example of that category???)

     

  4. Made into a movie -- "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell

     

  5. New Adult -- "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern

     

  6. Urban Fantasy -- "The Rook" by Daniel O'Malley

     

  7. Dystopian -- "Anthem" by Ayn Rand

     

  8. Memoir -- "Pink Boots and a Machete" by Mireya Mayor

     

  9. LGBT -- "Revolutionary Voices", ed. by Amy Sonnie

     

  10. Action Adventure -- maybe "The Sisters Brothers" by Patrick deWitt would count? (It's kind-of a noir western...)

     

  11. Humour -- "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson (my current read)

     

  12. Published in 2013 -- ok, not published in 2013, but 2012... "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" by Robin Sloan

 

 

 

#3 Romantic suspense - Can't go wrong with Nora Roberts, Lisa Jackson, Debra Webb, Brenda Novak, or Cindy Gerard to name a few.

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Recently completed:

 

#134 The Misanthrope (Molière; play) What an alternately funny and sad play! Later this month, we will see The School for Lies at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, which is based on The Misanthrope.

 

#133 Counterfeit Kids: Why They Can't Think and How to Save Them (Ron Baird; non-fiction)

 

Complete list here.

 

In progress:

 

â–  Moby-Dick (Herman Melville) Fiction. Completed Chapter 13 of 135. As I mentioned, the Misses and I are doing the Moby-Dick Big Read, a chapter a day, so we'll be on this into 2013. We're also enjoying Matt Kish's wonderful art book, Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page.

 

â–  Here Comes Trouble (Michael Moore) Memoir. Listening to this compelling, author-narrated memoir while riding my bike each morning. (The bike is mounted on a trainer in the garage for the winter.)

 

â–  Physics for Future Presidents (Richard A. Muller) Non-fiction. With Miss M-mv(ii).

 

â–  Shine (Lauren Myracle) YA fiction.

 

â–  Quiet (Susan Cain) Non-fiction.

 

â–  The End of Your Life Book Club (Will Schwalbe) Non-fiction.

 

â–  Kill Shakespeare, Vol. 2 (Conor McCreery) Graphic fiction.

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I was just poking around at some of the novel challenges out there & found an "Eclectic Reader" one. I think I've mostly done it for this year. Lets see, if I fill in titles for each of the dozen categories...

  1. Translated fiction -- "Broken Glass Park" by Alina Bronsky

     

  2. Historical mystery -- perhaps "The Coral Thief" by Rebecca Stott would count

     

  3. Romantic suspense -- ??? (what would be an example of that category???)

     

  4. Made into a movie -- "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell

     

  5. New Adult -- "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern

     

  6. Urban Fantasy -- "The Rook" by Daniel O'Malley

     

  7. Dystopian -- "Anthem" by Ayn Rand

     

  8. Memoir -- "Pink Boots and a Machete" by Mireya Mayor

     

  9. LGBT -- "Revolutionary Voices", ed. by Amy Sonnie

     

  10. Action Adventure -- maybe "The Sisters Brothers" by Patrick deWitt would count? (It's kind-of a noir western...)

     

  11. Humour -- "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson (my current read)

     

  12. Published in 2013 -- ok, not published in 2013, but 2012... "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" by Robin Sloan

 

 

 

Love this idea for a challenge, though I think I would have made the categories a bit different. Anyway - here's how well my 2012 books fill it in - and wouldn't Picnic at Hanging Rock count as historical mystery?

 

1. Translated Fiction - Women Without Men

 

2. Historical Mystery - Picnic at Hanging Rock

 

3. Romantic Suspense - Maybe a book from the Parasol Protectorate?

 

4. Made into a Movie - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer

 

5. New Adult - Who Fears Death

 

6. Urban Fantasy - Moon Called

 

7. Dystopian - Brave New World

 

8. Memoir - Thinking About Memoir

 

9. LGBT - Not much here - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and Moon Called had gay or bi characters - that's as close as I can get.

 

10. Action Adventure - Nothing solidly in this category, but there was plenty of action/adventure in some of the fantasies and I read and also the Hunger Games series.

 

11. Humor - The best I have for this one is God, No! by Penn Jillette

 

12. Published in 2012 - Down the Rabbit Hole

 

Off the top of my head, and taking a few from the original list, here's the 12 categories I would have:

 

1. Non Fiction (not memoir)

2. Memoir

3. Crime/Mystery/Noir

4. Fantasy

5. Humor

6. Published in 2012 (or 2013, 14, 15...)

7. Short Stories Collection

8. Banned Book

9. Made into a Movie

10. Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction

11. Poetry or Play

12. Translated Fiction

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