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Book a Week in 2014 - BW 37


Robin M
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Happy Sunday, my lovelies!  Today is the start of week 37 in our quest to read 52 Books. Welcome back to all our readers, 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. The link is below in my signature.

 

52 Books Blog - Banned Books MonthBanned Books Week is September 21 through 27th.  I thought we'd get a head start and declare the rest of the month - Banned Books Month. The most frequently challenged books in the past year due to offensive language, violence, sexually explicit, unsuitable for certain age groups and drugs or alcohol are:  

 

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey 
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith

This year, the banned books committee will highlight graphic novels since Captain Underpants and Smith's Bone series are in the top ten. Many events will be taking place across the nation and also the blogosphere as people take to the internet for a virtual read in of banned books. 
Check out the American Library Associations website for all activities and lists relating to most challenged books, including classics such as The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, Ulysses and All the Kings Men to name a few.  

 

 

History of the Ancient World:  Chapters 46 and 47

 

Continuing Discussion from last week - ideas for readalong for october spooktacular

 

What are you reading this Week?

 

 

 

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Writing, writing, writing and reading, reading, reading.  Just beginning Born in Death by J.D. Robb. James just finished Treasure Island so I need to read it so we can have a intelligent discussion rather than me asking what happened in the chapter and getting very generic answers. 

 

 

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There are some very macabre fairy tales out there that would fit the bill nicely.

I'll put you in charge of that part of our program since you are the most familiar with fairy tales.  We'll add the fairy tale to the readalong for October

 

Robin, Rather a coincidence that you should mention Dean Koontz Frankenstein series. I ran into it yesterday and put the first on hold. It looks good. I used to love Dean Koontz many years ago until one of his books scared me greatly. I didn't read the next. ;( I think I am probably ready to read him again after 20 plus years! :lol:

 

I never got to Jekyll and Hyde last year. I keep seeing a spin off called Hyde http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/daniel-levines-hyde-reanimates-robert-louis-stevensons-infamous-bipolar-doctor/2014/04/06/24fb7fd6-b99f-11e3-899e-bb708e3539dd_story.html would like to read them both back to back.

 

My plans for spooky are becoming rather impossible so am willing to do any read alongs. Pretty sure rereading the Kim Harrison series, the Anita Blakes, and Anne Rice's Vampires can't be done in a month.

It's always difficult when the author puts you in the mind of a psychopath. Makes for some uncomfortable reading, however entertaining the rest of the story may be.  Same as you, 20 years ago wouldn't have been able to deal with it.  Now, from years of reading and upping the ante so to speak, able to handle it.   Especially after Anita Blake series.  Hamilton  did a good job of getting the reader used to things, a bit at a time.  I think if I had read one of the later books first, would have never finished.   I haven't read anything by Rice yet, so maybe should put that on my personal list for the month.

 

Yes!!  This is one of my favorites.  I read it when it came out and probably at least 7 times since then. The second book is out, The Wise Man's Fear, and we are not so patiently waiting for book 3.  I read it three times last year-once audiobook, once to myself, and once aloud to the older kids.  It's great for anyone who likes fantasy, high fantasy, stories within stories, and beautiful prose. This is one I always recommend.  Beware there is some language and sexual stuff-mostly in the second book-if you recommend it to kids.  There is a great discussion group on the books on Goodreads and a private forum that isn't very active.  I'm in two FB groups for them, too.

 

Looks like I'm rejoining. :)  My whole summer was a giant mess, so I wasn't on here much. Right now I'm re-reading The Two Towers and I got sick of Smeagol (again), so I picked up The Forest of Hands and Teeth last night.  Not a good one to read before bed!  I got  just a mite terrified by the dark!

Glad to see you back! Hope things have calmed down a bit and aren't so messy now.

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I'm listening to Concealed in Death as the new In Death book is due out on Tuesday. I've read the next section in The Giver and I'm reading Masie Dobbs. My dad gave me a gift card for a book store so I had two books follow me home from town yesterday. Bill Bryson's At Home and a Swedish book I kroppen min by Kristian Gidlund a young journalist and drummer (in the band Sugarplum Fairy). He passed away from cancer last year, the book is based on his blog that he kept while ill. I am guessing it will be a grueling read, but a good one.

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Things are a little chaotic on my end.  I have read very little of Hild but hope to turn that around this week.

 

Still inching along with Rilke's essays on Rodin.

 

Still behind on HoAW.

 

Very happy to have spent five days with my son who arrived from the UK on Tuesday and left for a job in the Midwest yesterday.

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My husband and I finished listening to Philip K. Dick's Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? last night.  When we see a movie such as The Wall, we tend to refer to it as an Art Film.  We've decided Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is an Art Book!  That said, we are looking forward to watching the Blade Runner movie to see how it compares to the book.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Still chuckling over Mommymilkies having a spooky reading list for kids. I love Halloween, but have a family that just does not "do" spooky anything. (I even had to do Disney's Haunted Mansion ride on my own every time we went.) For my kids, a list of horror/spooky books would be about as horrible as a horror book itself. Lol. (Though they both listened to Neil Gaiman reading The Graveyard Book & enjoyed it.)

 

Finished Yuri Rytkheu's A Dream in Polar Fog. (Angel, I think you wouldn't even want to read the description in the following link.)

http://russellv.com/tag/chukchi/

 

Part cultural millieu, part adventure, Rytkheu's book illuminates the harsh living & spare beauty of the remote Arctic Chukchi people & their environment. I thought it was quite great & really enjoyed learning about the Chukchi way of life.

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Robin, I think you'd enjoy Anne Rice's books. I read both her vampire & witch books about 20 years ago, lol. Maybe I should revisit those someday, esp. the vampire ones.

 

I don't think I've ever read Dean Koontz, but mentally I tend to lump him with Stephen King, thinking he's too scary for me.

 

ETA: Peter Straub is another writer that would fit for October reading. I read his book Koko (& a follow-up book too, I think) many, many years ago. I wanted to read Koko for years because the cover art intrigued me, but I was scared to read it. Finally, I psyched myself up for it & read the whole thing. Lol.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koko_(novel)

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Thought to share this picture of a happy reader at what looks like one of those stalls you see along the Seine, which I love. Just goes to show that books are something you never outgrow :D.

 

b170b5d567256383fb2163d7937532ee.jpg

 

I read:

 

The Community College Career Track - 4 Stars - This book spoke my thoughts exactly on the entire community college system. It had lots of very helpful info and a book that I hope my kids will read. I wish there had been a book like this more than 20 years ago for me. I wish I’d planned my career and studies more wisely.

 

Maya's Notebook - 3 Stars - This was not nearly as much of an enjoyable read as all the other Allende books that I have loved. It dragged on quite a bit, but my main gripe with it was that the protagonist needed to seriously get over the death of her grandfather (her Popo). Yes, I know, it is very, very hard to lose a loved one, but her going on and on about it was just getting to be a bit overly excessive even for sentimental me. I have issues with her making going completely off the deep-end as a result of his death. Yes, I know that many of us do, especially as teenagers, but this really was taking it to a whole other level. 

 

9781118271698.jpg  9780007482870.jpg

 

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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Things are a little chaotic on my end.  I have read very little of Hild but hope to turn that around this week.

 

Still inching along with Rilke's essays on Rodin.

 

Still behind on HoAW.

 

Very happy to have spent five days with my son who arrived from the UK on Tuesday and left for a job in the Midwest yesterday.

 

 

Good luck to your son and his new job. Very exciting times for both him and you. I suspect the girlfriend is missing him greatly.

 

 

I read and finished 'van Oude Mensen en dingen die voorbij gaan' (of Elder people and things that pass} from Louis Couperus.

Couperus is one of the - more difficult to read - authors in Dutch, so I was suprised it reads so much easier to read Ferdinand Huyck (still working on that one}. I was surprised by the book, it reads more like a mysterie novel, other works of him are more complex.  

 

attending coursera's modern american poetry course, starting this weekend.

i hope it will work out.

 I hope you enjoy the Coursera class. My dd especially loves to try the new classes offered there. She is too busy for more things right now but we did look at that one. Please keep us updated.

 

 

Robin, I think you'd enjoy Anne Rice's books. I read both her vampire & witch books about 20 years ago, lol. Maybe I should revisit those someday, esp. the vampire ones.

I don't think I've ever read Dean Koontz, but mentally I tend to lump him with Stephen King, thinking he's too scary for me.

ETA: Peter Straub is another writer that would fit for October reading. I read his book Koko (& a follow-up book too, I think) many, many years ago. I wanted to read Koko for years because the cover art intrigued me, but I was scared to read it. Finally, I psyched myself up for it & read the whole thing. Lol.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koko_(novel)

  

 

There is a new Vampire one coming out this fall entitled Lestat. Apparently Anne Rice is taking the series back to it's origins. Somewhere, after six or so I lost interest. Looking forward to the new one. Already on the list. ;) Thought a reread would be a good idea first.

 

I agree that Robin would like the Vampire series. I have read the witch series also. Parts of it I loved but they also contain one of my most disliked story lines ever... that pregnancy was too creepy for me. So not going there again.

 

I like this short little article from Brain Pickings about Italo Calvino classifying writers as either a fox or a hedgehog.

http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/09/03/hedgehog-fox-italo-calvino-writers/

I think I must tend to heavily lean toward 'fox' writers.

Can I be both? Great article but not sure what I am. I like my series consistent but have no real problems with new styles in other non series books.

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Good luck to your son and his new job. Very exciting times for both him and you. I suspect the girlfriend is missing him greatly.

 

They are both doing contract archaeology work, she in the UK, he in the US.  I think that they both see these jobs and resume building in general as means to an end. Thank you for the good wishes.  He is off on a job that will be physically demanding (60 hour weeks), living in hotel rooms.  It is a good test of whether this sort of thing is really for him or not.

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Now for my update....

 

Very behind in HotAW. Somewhere in the early 30s. Maybe late in the week.

 

I did finish Tears of a Pearl by Tasha Alexander. I took me almost all week to get through it. The third book in my Lady Emily series which I will continue reading but am hoping they improve! Dd liked it quite a bit. ;)

 

Not sur what I am reading yet. Everything in the stack looks good but nothing is calling to me. I will continue to read Midnight......but as it is on my kindle I need to start a hardcopy too, stack reduction!

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I'm reading Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik. I tried starting it last month and couldn't get into it. When I picked it up this time it was just what I wanted. It is non-fiction about the history and science behind some of the most used materials in the modern world. Lots of anecdotes and interesting tidbits make it very readable.

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Apparently I'm in a season of needing fluff.  I tried revisiting Helen Oyeymi's Mr. Fox the other night since it has been sitting on my nightstand, unfinished and forlorn, but I had to put it back down. I'm clearly too distracted for anything that isn't straightforward and linear.  Life induced ADHD.  1/2 the house is out of commission, the other 1/2 is nothing but piles of stuff that had to get moved.  Contractors are stomping in and out all day.  The dog is very confused by the entire process.  Music students and parents can't seem to settle on schedules, and heaven help me, finding a time that 4 string players can gather for a rehearsal takes herculean efforts using 3 forms of communication -- texting, e-mails and land lines.  

 

Fortunately there was a JA Jance mystery on my kindle, Second Watch which features the Seattle detective JP Beaumont.  It was the perfect read last week, and my plan is to load up on more mysteries by her and other favorite authors this week.  

 

 

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They are both doing contract archaeology work, she in the UK, he in the US. I think that they both see these jobs and resume building in general as means to an end. Thank you for the good wishes. He is off on a job that will be physically demanding (60 hour weeks), living in hotel rooms. It is a good test of whether this sort of thing is really for him or not.

Sixty hours a week and living in a hotel room will definately be a test of his devotion. We spent a few days as volunteers on a dig here this summer. Fascinating imo, still waiting for the results summary. But it is hard work!

 

My ds decided Archeology was not for him partway through laying the grid out in a huge field. I admit it was boring.....I know because when he and his friend quit to explore I ended up finishing with dd and another mom. Repetitively measuring each position three ways(triangulation) was well really boring ..... definitely need to love the whole experience enough to do the boring bits. Couldn't let the man leading the project down, ds knew we would do it for him. Grrrrr Ds loves the dirty digging part though......dd is more a measurer then a getting dirty person. Probably not the best fit for either of mine. Suspect I would enjoy it! ;) Definitely enjoying hearing about your son's adventures.

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Sixty hours a week and living in a hotel room will definately be a test of his devotion. We spent a few days as volunteers on a dig here this summer. Fascinating imo, still waiting for the results summary. But it is hard work!

 

My ds decided Archeology was not for him partway through laying the grid out in a huge field. I admit it was boring.....I know because when he and his friend quit to explore I ended up finishing with dd and another mom. Repetitively measuring each position three ways(triangulation) was well really boring ..... definitely need to love the whole experience enough to do the boring bits. Couldn't let the man leading the project down, ds knew we would do it for him. Grrrrr Ds loves the dirty digging part though......dd is more a measurer then a getting dirty person. Probably not the best fit for either of mine. Suspect I would enjoy it! ;) Definitely enjoying hearing about your son's adventures.

 

My son has been doing the above for six day weeks in Britain the last three summers.  Boredom?  Heck not!!  He seems to enjoy the associated paperwork too.

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My husband and I finished listening to Philip K. Dick's Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? last night.  When we see a movie such as The Wall, we tend to refer to it as an Art Film.  We've decided Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is an Art Book!  That said, we are looking forward to watching the Blade Runner movie to see how it compares to the book.

 

Regards,

Kareni

I have that on my list for next spring with my oldest.  We're doing some lit studies based off of this blog post I love (not my blog!).  It will tie in nicely with our modern history studies.  I don't think she's quite ready for The Wall, though I personally love it.  

 

I finished The Forest of Hands and Teeth while waiting for a soccer game today.  I really enjoyed it.  It was kind of dark and depressing for my mood. I expected that from dystopian, but it did affect me more than I thought it would.  I was ready to read the next until I saw iffy reviews about the next ones in the series.  I'm thinking I'll wait until I can get them from the library because I spent my book money on pizza tonight anyway. :p  So I started One Second After.  I'm in a dystopian mood.

 

34. The Forest of Hands and Teeth

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I've been AWOL from this thread for a few weeks, and honestly not reading much. But we're returning to the fall school/kid-activities schedule that actually gives me more time for reading. Drop one kid off at school, wait for half an hour before picking up the other two--read during that half hour. That's how most of my reading happens!

 

And of course reading on the treadmill in the morning. That's the only way I got anything done this summer. I finished Terry Pratchett's A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith. I have I Shall Wear Midnight waiting, but I decided to read Mary Poppins after watching Saving Mr. Banks--almost done with that. It doesn't really grab me as it must have Mr. Disney. We picked it up once at a library book sale and never got around to reading it with the kids. Not sure they'd enjoy it now, though they probably would have a few years ago.

 

Our book club is trying to read Richard Powers' Generosity. We had to cancel August's meeting because no one had read it! Trying again for September. I'm finding it difficult to read. The next book club book is The Shoemaker's Wife which looks a little more enjoyable and I have it from the library, but I'm trying to make myself read Generosity first. Hopelessly behind on HOTAW, but still ahead of where we are in our history studies, so perhaps all is not lost.

 

Middle dd is now in public high school and got her reading list for her English class. I'll be trying to read the ones I haven't read before. In honor of banned books week, I believe the first up will be The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian--number 3 on the list Robin posted. We even had a somewhat local protest last year. After reading the newspaper articles, I remember thinking that it wasn't a book I would ever assign, mostly because I think there are more worthwhile things to read. But perhaps I should read the actual book first before further comments!

 

So, more planned reading than actual reading. Hopefully that balance will tip back again over the next few weeks.

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So I just read a sample of Koontz' Frankenstein: The Prodigal Son and I was totally drawn in. It's a good thing my library has it or I'd be tempted to hit the "buy now" button on my Kindle. Don't know if I'll be able to wait until October for the Spooky Reads Challenge. I've never read the original Frankenstein by Shelley either so maybe that will have to be added to my tbrs.

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Read Neil Gaiman's The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains. It's a long picture book. (The version I had from the library does not have the cd/music to go along w/ it.) It reminded me of an old folktale -- the story itself & the style of storytelling. Would be a good October read for middle grades & up, I think. I personally didn't really care for the style of illustrations, but ymmv. This is one of those stories that would be good around a campfire on a chilly evening.

 

I'm not going to count it toward my books read this year as it's really just a picture book, but I wanted to mention it because I know there are definitely some Neil Gaiman fans on here. Plus, the dedication page starts, "Shortly after I fell in love with the Isle of Skye, I discovered the books of the late Otta F. Swire, books on the legends and history of the Inner and Outer Hebrides. This book started with a sentence in one of her books, and grew around it. . . . " Figured the Isle of Skye mention would also make some of you prick up your ears. ;-)

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Reading Tana French's new book.  I'm so tempted to find a spoiler and find out who did it!  I highly recommend doing Tana's books (we can be on first name basis, right?) on audio book.  Love the accents, and it really makes the characters come to life.

 

I've added a ton of audio and kindle books lately. (Thanks, ladies!) But I know I won't read anything else until I finish The Secret Place.

 

I've mostly finished The Clockwork Scarab, but unless I've missed something, I think I'm going to be unhappy with the conclusion.  I'll get back to it soon to read what I must have missed when I was listening to it.

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I just finished Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs.  This was a compilation of stories and novellas.  Six of the pieces had previously been published, and I enjoyed rereading them.  In addition, there were four new stories as well as a couple of outtakes all of which I enjoyed.  I suspect that this would be most favorably received by those already familiar with Patricia Briggs' works though many of the stories (particularly Alpha and Omega) can stand alone.  I recommend it.

 

"Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger…

A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today†(Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…

Includes the new stories…
“Silverâ€
“Roses in Winterâ€
“Redemptionâ€
“Hollowâ€

…and reader favorites
“Fairy Giftsâ€
“Grayâ€
“Alpha and Omegaâ€
“Seeing Eyeâ€
“The Star of Davidâ€
“In Red, with Pearlsâ€"

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I'm not going to count it toward my books read this year as it's really just a picture book, but I wanted to mention it because I know there are definitely some Neil Gaiman fans on here. Plus, the dedication page starts, "Shortly after I fell in love with the Isle of Skye, I discovered the books of the late Otta F. Swire, books on the legends and history of the Inner and Outer Hebrides. This book started with a sentence in one of her books, and grew around it. . . . " Figured the Isle of Skye mention would also make some of you prick up your ears. ;-)

There is a great deal in Boswell about Johnson's account of their Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, and Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides. Which I have not read, either of them. Every book adds more to the TBR pile.... Anyhow maybe they would go well with the Swire you mention.

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Read Neil Gaiman's The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains. It's a long picture book. (The version I had from the library does not have the cd/music to go along w/ it.) It reminded me of an old folktale -- the story itself & the style of storytelling. Would be a good October read for middle grades & up, I think. I personally didn't really care for the style of illustrations, but ymmv. This is one of those stories that would be good around a campfire on a chilly evening.

 

I'm not going to count it toward my books read this year as it's really just a picture book, but I wanted to mention it because I know there are definitely some Neil Gaiman fans on here. Plus, the dedication page starts, "Shortly after I fell in love with the Isle of Skye, I discovered the books of the late Otta F. Swire, books on the legends and history of the Inner and Outer Hebrides. This book started with a sentence in one of her books, and grew around it. . . . " Figured the Isle of Skye mention would also make some of you prick up your ears. ;-)

I really want this one.  Thanks for the review!  I love all things Gaiman.  

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31. "Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen. My daughter and I saw the play version at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and loved it .  I hadn't read the book and wondered how faithful the play was to the book.  I enjoyed the book, and the play did a marvelous job of conveying the sense of the book.

30. "The Survival Guide for Kids with ADHD" by John F. Taylor. Previewing this before handing it to my DS11 and DD9, who have now both been diagnosed with ADHD. I think they'll both understand it.

29. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families" by Stephen R. Covey
28. "He Delivered Even Me, He Will Deliver Even You" by Misti Stevenson (LDS).
27. "Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith" (LDS).
26. "Pearl of Great Price" (LDS).
25. "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans.
24. "Doctrine & Covenents" (LDS).
23. "The 7-day Christian: How Living Your Beliefs Every Day Can Change the World" by Brad Wilcox (LDS).
22. "Gift of Love" by Kris Mackay (LDS).
21. "In Loving Hands" by Kris Mackay (LDS).
20. "The Outstretched Arms" by Kris Mackay (LDS).
19. "No Greater Love" by Kris Mackay (LDS).
18. "The Book of Mormon" (LDS).
17. "Inferno" by Dan Brown.
16. "The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches" by Alan Bradley.
15. "I Am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!" by Xavier Amador, Ph.D.
14. "How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare" by Ken Ludwig.
13. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
12. "Code Name Verity" by Elizabeth Wein.
11. "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card.
10. "With Healing in His Wings" ed. by Camille Fronk Olson & Thomas A. Wayment (LDS).
9. "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling.
8. "The Good Knight" by Sarah Woodbury.
7. "Speaking From Among the Bones" by Alan Bradley.
6. "The Continuous Conversion" by Brad Wilcox (LDS).
5. "The Continuous Atonement" by Brad Wilcox (LDS).
4. "Finding Hope" by S. Michael Wilcox (LDS).
3. "When Your Prayers Seem Unanswered" by S. Michael Wilcox (LDS).
2. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling. (Read-aloud)
1. "The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to Heal Our Hearts and Homes" by James L. Ferrell (LDS).

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Shawne, I love "Into Thin Air". I think it's my favorite non-fiction book. Did you like it?

 

I had barely started Nick Harkaway's "Tigerman", but it needs to go back to the library, so I will save it for another time.

 

Instead I have started "The Skating Rink" by Roberto Bolaño. I have wanted to read some of his work...

 

Set in the seaside town of Z, on the Costa Brava, north of Barcelona, The Skating Rink oscillates between two poles: a camp ground and a ruined mansion, the Palacio Benvingut. The story, told by three male narrators, revolves around a beautiful figure skating champion, Nuria Martí. When she is suddenly dropped from the Olympic team, a pompous but besotted civil servant secretly builds a skating rink in the ruined Palacio Benvingut, using public funds. But Nuria has affairs, provokes jealousy, and the skating rink becomes a crime scene. A mysterious pair of women, an ex-opera singer and a taciturn girl often armed with a knife, turn up as well.

 

A complex book, The Skating Rink’s short chapters are skillfully broken off with questions to maintain the narrative tension: Who was murdered? Who was the murderer? Will the murderer be caught? All of these questions are answered, and yet The Skating Rink is not fundamentally a crime novel, or not exclusively; it’s also about political corruption, sex, the experience of immigration, and frustrated passion. And it’s an atmospheric chronicle of one summer season in a seaside town, with its vacationers, its drifters, its businessmen, bureaucrats and social workers.

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...but perhaps not more so than I am.  :blush:  (...and I can't even claim that I'm not having enough time to read, there just always seems to be something else I'm wanting to read more at that moment)

 

 

'Fess up then! Confession is good for the soul, so we're told. (I'm only up to chapter 18.) ((And that is after scrambling to read several chapters in the last two days so I'd have some progress to report.))

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Wishing your son well with his Montessori adventures and sending good thoughts your way, Eliana.

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

 

If you could all, please, think positive, happy thoughts for me for tomorrow morning.  My little guy is starting at a local Jewish Montessori school tomorrow morning.  ...not something I thought we would be doing.  ...but it seems to be the right thing for this child, this year.

 

 

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Apparently I'm in a season of needing fluff.  I tried revisiting Helen Oyeymi's Mr. Fox the other night since it has been sitting on my nightstand, unfinished and forlorn, but I had to put it back down. I'm clearly too distracted for anything that isn't straightforward and linear.  Life induced ADHD.  1/2 the house is out of commission, the other 1/2 is nothing but piles of stuff that had to get moved.  Contractors are stomping in and out all day.  The dog is very confused by the entire process.  Music students and parents can't seem to settle on schedules, and heaven help me, finding a time that 4 string players can gather for a rehearsal takes herculean efforts using 3 forms of communication -- texting, e-mails and land lines.  

 

Fortunately there was a JA Jance mystery on my kindle, Second Watch which features the Seattle detective JP Beaumont.  It was the perfect read last week, and my plan is to load up on more mysteries by her and other favorite authors this week.

 

  

JP Beaumont is one of my favourite mystery series. I am doing a very slow reread. Made it through the first two or three so far.

 

I had started listening to Life After Life while I ran, but a running injury has sidelined me.  I'll have to find time to listen to it, I was enjoying it.   I started and I am almost finished Dust.  The series has been fun. Not the best writing, but a good story.

 

 

:grouphup: to the running injury. I enjoyed Dust also. I thought it was a bit of a return to the style of some of the first books in the Scarpetta series.

 

 

So I just read a sample of Koontz' Frankenstein: The Prodigal Son and I was totally drawn in. It's a good thing my library has it or I'd be tempted to hit the "buy now" button on my Kindle. Don't know if I'll be able to wait until October for the Spooky Reads Challenge. I've never read the original Frankenstein by Shelley either so maybe that will have to be added to my tbrs.

 

:lol: I found it in my overdrive account last night and downloaded it. Good emergency reading....the pile grows, and overdrive adds to it with time limits!

 

 

Reading Tana French's new book.  I'm so tempted to find a spoiler and find out who did it!  I highly recommend doing Tana's books (we can be on first name basis, right?) on audio book.  Love the accents, and it really makes the characters come to life.

 

I've added a ton of audio and kindle books lately. (Thanks, ladies!) But I know I won't read anything else until I finish The Secret Place.

 

I've mostly finished The Clockwork Scarab, but unless I've missed something, I think I'm going to be unhappy with the conclusion.  I'll get back to it soon to read what I must have missed when I was listening to it.

 

 

Still waiting on the third Tana French so that I can read the Secret Place eventually. Glad to know that it is really good. Have to say this series is one of this years favourites....

 

 

 

I just finished Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs.  This was a compilation of stories and novellas.  Six of the pieces had previously been published, and I enjoyed rereading them.  In addition, there were four new stories as well as a couple of outtakes all of which I enjoyed.  I suspect that this would be most favorably received by those already familiar with Patricia Briggs' works though many of the stories (particularly Alpha and Omega) can stand alone.  I recommend it.

 

"Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger…

A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today†(Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…

Includes the new stories…

“Silverâ€

“Roses in Winterâ€

“Redemptionâ€

“Hollowâ€

…and reader favorites

“Fairy Giftsâ€

“Grayâ€

“Alpha and Omegaâ€

“Seeing Eyeâ€

“The Star of Davidâ€

“In Red, with Pearlsâ€"

 

Regards,

Kareni

  

And another author I meant to return to for spooky reads. Both series are excellent. Roughly halfway through both.

 

Kareni, do the Mercy Thompson short stories stand alone or are they something that need to be fit in with the books orderwise?

 

 

I'm only half way through City of Bones.  I'm so bored!  I need to find something else to read.

 

If it wouldn't make me lose this whole multiquote masterpiece ;) a blushing character belongs here. I gave up on City of Bones quite a ways in.....I was never going to finish it. Agree with Stacia read Bad Monkey's or something else that you are looking forward to.

 

 

:grouphug:   Thank you, both.

 

It is a great opportunity.  And I just have to keep remembering how hard I prayed for it (and cried for it when it looked as if the financial aid wasn't going to come through adequately).

 

...but I really, really don't want to send him away from me, especially not so young.  (he's 4.5).   ...but each of my kids keeps giving me opportunities to rethink my assumptions and patterns... and not just once, but over and over again!

 

It helps that I know (and love) this organization, and know that they have a gift for cherishing and nurturing each child's individuality.

 

...and that I have only to walk into a Montessori class & I want to spend the day hanging out there.  (I was a Montessori kid and my mother (after we grew up) a Montessori guide)

:grouphug: Eliana, I will be sending positive thoughts and prayers to you and your little boy today.

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Bet I'm more behind than you...

:smilielol5:

 

If you could all, please, think positive, happy thoughts for me for tomorrow morning.  My little guy is starting at a local Jewish Montessori school tomorrow morning.  ...not something I thought we would be doing.  ...but it seems to be the right thing for this child, this year.

 

He is excited, I am scared and sad and hopeful all at once.  I intensely believe that this has the potential to be exactly what he needs right now, but it could fail - despite the best efforts of the wonderful people involved.

 

I finished a number of books that have been looming reproachfully for weeks (or months):

 

A Month in the Country by JL Carr: This is a quiet book, though less rosy-tinted than many of the blurbs led me to expect, and there was an overdone plot point that I kept thinking was coming up next... but, to my enormous relief, it did not.  Jane, have you read this?  It isn't quite as quiet as Pym, but it has some of the same appeal - to me at least.

 

Closely Watched Trains by Bohumil Hrabel: Another Eastern European work... for this one I should have read a few blurbs to clue me in to the pervasive sexual content., most of it, I think, intended to be humorous... but I am not the right audience for it.  Otherwise it was an interesting little book - with a complex time stream and some hard, painful questions under the slapstick.

 

The Siege by Helen Dunmore: A beautiful book... but perhaps a little too beautiful to reach me as deeply as I had hoped.  I think I might need to come back to this again some day.  I think it reminded me too much at times of Woolf's writing, and suffered by comparison, if that makes any sense.

 

 

As the parent of a Montessori kid, I recognize how some kids thrive (soar!) in a Montessori environment.  Sending best wishes to your son and to you today!

 

Thank you for the recommendation of A Month in the Country.  I have seen the film version starring Branagh and Firth.  Adding the book to my library list.

 

It has been decades since I have read Closely Watched Trains.  What intrigued me about your link was that the book was translated by Edith Pargeter, a.k.a. Ellis Peters.  This led me to my own book shelves where I found my aged paperback from the old Penguin Writers from the Other Europe series has the same translator.  It occurs to me that I read this translated book of hers before discovering Brother Cadfael or her Brothers Gwynedd Quartet.  What a productive writer!  (For the record, I would like to note that I pressed sassafras leaves into my copy of Trains--and I kept the bookmark of a store on NYC's westside where I bought the book.)

 

Back to Hrabel:  So many Eastern European novels written after WWII and during the Soviet occupation, are painful.  The comedy, if it exists, is black humor.  I opt out of the horror genre yet I choose to read some of these Eastern/Middle European authors who document the cruelty and the beauty of humanity in a single pen stroke.

 

You remind me that I picked up the Oscar winning video of the Czech film made of Closely Watched Trains at a library sale.  I should probably watch it again while the old VCR still works.

 

The Siege completely captivated me.  There is a sequel, The Betrayal, which I have yet to read although I have listened to the dramatization available on BBC Radio 4. 

 

Although I am not that far along in Hild, I have reached a point where I am not regularly flipping back to the glossary.  I love the descriptions of the birds as well as all of the images of fibers and weaving. That forms such a rich background to the story.

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Read Neil Gaiman's The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains. It's a long picture book. (The version I had from the library does not have the cd/music to go along w/ it.) It reminded me of an old folktale -- the story itself & the style of storytelling. Would be a good October read for middle grades & up, I think. I personally didn't really care for the style of illustrations, but ymmv. This is one of those stories that would be good around a campfire on a chilly evening.

 

I'm not going to count it toward my books read this year as it's really just a picture book, but I wanted to mention it because I know there are definitely some Neil Gaiman fans on here. Plus, the dedication page starts, "Shortly after I fell in love with the Isle of Skye, I discovered the books of the late Otta F. Swire, books on the legends and history of the Inner and Outer Hebrides. This book started with a sentence in one of her books, and grew around it. . . . " Figured the Isle of Skye mention would also make some of you prick up your ears. ;-)

Frustratingly, my library doesn't have this, though I think my youngest would like it and I see they do have Stories: All New Tales in which it was originally published?  If you don't care for the pictures, that would do?

 

 

Latest from the Samuel Johnson twitterfeed:

 

Johnson @Boswell

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

 

2/3 of the way through Life of Johnson! Is it possible it was ever banned somewhere, and so qualifies for Banned Book Week?

:laugh: VC, I hope you actually do Tweet.  Yes, I'm sure it's been banned somewhere, sometime.  Heavens, if Captain Underpants makes the list...

 

 

 

If you could all, please, think positive, happy thoughts for me for tomorrow morning.  My little guy is starting at a local Jewish Montessori school tomorrow morning.  ...not something I thought we would be doing.  ...but it seems to be the right thing for this child, this year.

 

He is excited, I am scared and sad and hopeful all at once.  I intensely believe that this has the potential to be exactly what he needs right now, but it could fail - despite the best efforts of the wonderful people involved.

 

 

Holding you both in the light, dear.  Both my youngers are Montessori kids... they couldn't be more different in terms of both temperament and academic motivation, yet as a method it was able to reach both of them where they were and support their flourishing..

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