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Robin M

Book a Week 2017 - BW40: Spooky and Spectacular October

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Happy Sunday and welcome to week 40 in our 2017 adventurous prime reading year. Greetings to all our readers and those following our progress. Mister Linky is available weekly on 52 Books in 52 Weeks  to share a link to your book reviews.

 

Witches and Vampires and Ghosts - Oh My!

 

 

Welcome to October and our celebration of all things spooky and spectacular!  Are you ready to scare yourself silly and dive into the thrilling and chilling, supernatural and psychological, the dark and the weird, Gothic and horrifically suspenseful reads?

 

There's a bit of something for everyone: 

 

nonfiction ghost storiescontemporaryclassicsGothic,  thrilling,  terrifying science fiction and everything in between.  From the silly to the 'afraid to sleep with the lights' out. I don't know about you, but I tend to shy away from the blood and guts horror, but enjoy the fingernail nibbling, heart palpating, goosebumps all over my body,  psychological thrillers. 


If you haven't read the staples of the genre -  Frankenstein or DraculaDr Jekyll and Mr HydeThe Picture of Dorian Grey, Turn of the Screw or Something Wicked This Way Comes, or the works of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, now is the time. Also be sure check out the Top Ten Contemporary Horror NovelistsFabulously Creepy Reads by 13 Women Writers, and  65 Great YA Horror Reads by Women.  Take a peek at the plethora of choices from the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award Reading list from 2016.


I have a few interesting books on my shelves for this month including Ray Bradbury's From the Dust Returned, new to me author Mindy McGinnis's A Madness So Discreet, Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island as well as  Dean Koontz's The Husband.  


Let's not forget our birthstone of the month. You get to choose between Opal and Tourmaline.  You may choose to spell out the word, reading one book per letter or read a book with the name or the colors of the stone in the title.  Or perhaps find an author whose name is Opal or Tourmaline.   You may decide to find a book set in the time period where the birthstone was discovered or surrounding the myth and lore or set in countries where the gem is currently found. 

 

What spooky books are you reading this month? 

 

 

*****************************************************************

 

War and Peace:  Read Volume Four – Part four

 

Chat about what stood out for you, thoughts on storyline, setting, characters and motives as well as favorite quotes prior to this week’s reading.

 

 

**************************** 

 

What are you reading this week?

 

 

Link to Week 39

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Continuing my reread of In Death series inbetween new books.   Completed A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny, Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire as well as An Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin.  Currently on my plate is Nalini Singh's Archangels Viper with A Madness So Discreet waiting in the wings.  

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A one day only currently free classic for Kindle readers ~

 

Cease Firing by Mary Johnston  

 

"The acclaimed sequel to The Long Roll vividly dramatizes the final years of the Civil War

A Confederate artilleryman from Virginia, Richard Cleave was in Chancellorsville when Stonewall Jackson lost an arm—and eventually his life—to a bullet fired by one of his own men. Now, Cleave is on hand for the long and devastating siege of Vicksburg, a major turning point in the war. When Lee loses his confrontation with Grant at Gettysburg and the Army of Northern Virginia begins its tortuous retreat south, all appears lost for the Confederacy. But there is still fighting and dying in store for the men on the road to Appomattox: The bloody fields of Chickamauga, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania await Cleave and his compatriots in gray.
 
Based in part on actual Civil War memoirs and transcripts, including those of the author’s illustrious cousin, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston, Cease Firing endures as one of the most realistic and moving novels ever written about the War Between the States."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I finished a biography about George Sand by Daphne Schmelzer.

First half was okay, second half became a little boring.

 

I read The eight mountains.

A man leaves the mountain vs. a man stays on the mountain plot.

I didn't foresee the end though.

 

I also read Prayers for the stolen.

Very impressed by the storyline realising it reality for some girls of my daughters age.

 

I started a dutch poetry collection

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Hello everyone.

 

Although I am caught up in W&P, I had thought that I would cover more territory than what was assigned this past week.  But no.  The analysis of war strategies is an another slog for me. 

 

The Cooking Gene is an often gut wrenching (no pun intended) analysis of the history of Southern food through the lens of enslavement.  Shipments of slaves to the New World were timed around harvests.  Slaves destined for the American South may have made a stop first at a sugar cane harvest in the islands, a time when additional labor was needed.  Slaves could not be shipped from Africa without a load of food harvested on that continent to (barely) sustain them during the passage. Hence the arrival of African foods on these shores.

 

Southern food, of course, displays a great deal of geographic variety.  Rice is more common in Charleston or New Orleans; corn (served as grits or cornbread) is the staple elsewhere.  Twitty does a wonderful job of explaining the variations and how both history and geography shaped palates.

 

It was clear that I needed a fun read to balance my life.  "Fun" for me means a murder mystery.  I was delighted to pick up the first Martin Beck Mystery, Roseanna, at the library sale.  This series, written by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo between 1965 and 1975, has been translated from the Swedish, but I have not found them to be readily available. 

 

Jenn, should I send you Roseanna when I am finished?  I know that you too have read some of the Martin Beck books.

 

Perhaps another library mystery has been solved.  For years now, I have had the book Travels with a Tangerine by Tim Mackintosh-Smith on my library list.  Every once in a while, I have looked for it on the shelf and it has been missing despite the catalog claiming that the book was available.  I hadn't bothered mentioning this to a librarian since I usually have no shortage of books in my bag.  I figured that eventually it would surface.

 

I wonder if it has...I purchased the "discarded" library copy at the sale.  Now the library claims that it continues to live on the shelf.  Did this one fall through the cracks?

 

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I love spooky October reading!

 

Right now I'm finishing The Daughter of Time and I love it just as much the second time around. It really shows how history is written by the winners, and that what you think you know about the past may not be what actually happened. After reading the biography of Robert Ingersoll, I've started reading his collected works, found online. I find his writing style very much like Mark Twain's, who is said to have been influenced by Ingersoll. 

 

A little self promotion here: Twenty years ago I researched and wrote a children's biography of Sweyn Forkbeard for SWB's writing contest. I didn't win, but I still had the manuscript hanging around.  So, I decided to self publish. Today and tomorrow, the book is offered free on Amazon Kindle.The link is in my signature, if I did it right.

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This week I finished Ovid's Amores - Peter Green translation - and am halfway through the Ars Amatoria (for Banned Books Week).

 

(Warning: discussion of rape)

 

So there's plenty to talk about with Ovid's erotic poems, but the part that everybody gets stuck on is the apparent exhortation to rape in Book 1 of the Ars Amatoria.

 

It's all right to use force - force of that sort goes down well with

The girls: what in fact they love to yield

They'd often rather have stolen. Rough seduction

Delights them, the audacity of near-rape

Is a compliment - so the girl who could have been forced, yet somehow

Got away unscathed, may feign delight, but in fact

Feels sadly let down. Hilaira and Phoebe, both ravished,

Both fell for their ravishers.

 

 

Ovid being Ovid, he goes on to give a list of raped-but-grateful women of mythology.

 

But it's not as simple as that. Reading the Amores (unlike the Ars Amatoria, a collection of short elegiac love poems) shows one of Ovid's favorite techniques to be building up, especially through legendary examples, a grandiose conception of love and lovers, only to deflate it in the last verses to the prosaic nature of everyday Roman life. Likewise here, Ovid quickly explains that the application of all this to his flesh-and-blood reader lies in the need for the man to take the initiative by begging the woman for her favors, and not hoping she will spontaneously ask him.

Any lover who waits for his girl to make the running

Has too much faith in his own

Irresistible charms. The first approaches, the pleading,

Are the man's concern...

To win her, ask her...

But if you find that your pleading induces

Puffed-up disdain, then ease off.

 

In other words, where Zeus, Achilles, and the ravishers of the Sabines took what they wanted with rough violence, the modern Roman man must work up the courage to say something to the girl, quickly backing off if rejected. This is Ovid's version of witty; and while it certainly is less funny today, it's part of his reliable poetic pattern. Also worth remembering is that Ovid and his readers were of the equites class, and the least actual attempt at sexual violence toward the women of their class (which, Ovid makes clear, are the women he's teaching them to seduce) would have led to immediate social and financial ruin.

 

That lengthy caveat aside, Ovid's erotic poems are fun and worth reading, and Green's translation makes them very accessible. His notes are longer than the collections themselves, but go beyond explanatory notations and are in fact a series of mini-essays on the poems: interesting and readable, not to be skipped. The poetry is unlikely to disturb the most prudish. It wasn't the salacious content that got the Ars Amatoria banned and Ovid banished; it was his scarcely veiled explanations of how to seduce married Roman women - in the face of Augustus' morality laws and Ovid's own disingenuous disclaimer that he was certainly not writing about seducing married women, no no - plus his inability to stop poking at Augustus and his attempts to restore traditional Roman morality. Eventually Augustus, it seems, just got tired of him.

 

Now a quick read of The Magician, and time to pick another book.

Edited by Violet Crown
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I'm almost finished with this coming week's W&P selection, then just the epilogues left. I finished Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go for the Dystopian square. Won't reveal plot, but I did find a familiar Ishiguro quality in this book that reminded me of The Buried Giant and The Remains of the Day in that things aren't seen clearly or remembered clearly but are slowly revealed through the story. I do like his writing style.

 

I have a bunch from the library right now. Just started Mink River for my book club and Dream Hoarders which I've had on hold since it was first mentioned here. Dream Hoarders is calling my attention at the moment, even though it's non-fiction. I'll be working on those two and W&P this week--would be lovely to finish W&P but I'll probably get bogged down in the epilogues for awhile. Then up next will be Gail Carriger's Soulless. Not exactly spooky but it does have vampires. I may read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde this month since I've never read it. And I'll pay attention to the spooky reads everyone else is doing to see if anything sounds good. Happy October everyone!

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Last week I finished Brave New World, The Massacre of Mankind, and The Wild Shore. I abandoned When The English Fall and The Running Man. I started reading 1984, Moving the Palace, Neuromancer, and started listening to Love Among the Chickens.

 

The Wild Shore was my 200th book of the year. It also completed my 10th Bingo row:

 

Written in your younger daughter's birth year – The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield
Curse word in the title – The Life-changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck – Sarah Knight
Icelandic – Gunnloth’s Tale – Svava Jacobsdatter
On a 2016 "Best of" list – Commonwealth – Ann Patchett

Set in your state of birth – The Wild Shore – Kim Stanley Robinson

 

For October spooky reads, I have on hold:

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Sunshine

Death With Interruptions

Heart-Shaped Box

The Passage

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

The Brief History of the Dead

 

For Dystopias, I have coming up:

The Sheep Look Up

Snow Crash

Red Mars

Manifold: TIme

The Last Book in the Universe

Feed

 

And . . . still reading about Lyme disease.  :glare:

 

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I read The Girl You Left Behind - 5 Stars - I didn’t think that I would like this book that much. What a pleasant surprise! My expectations weren’t that high, which always helps, since I’d read “Me Before You†a year or so ago, and thought it was just okay. The story – two stories actually, alternating between 1917 and 2007 – is a beautiful one. I didn’t want to put it down at all and was annoyed anytime that I wasn’t able to read. Those are always good signs!

 

9780718157845.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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The Passage and it's sequels were last years spooky obsession. I love them all thanks to a recommendation from here. Pretty sure it was Erin. :) Good enough that I will probably read or listen to again in the future. The voice on the audio was the best! ;)

 

.

Mum2, can you give me some kind of rating?? Is there lots of R rated language or sex? This sounds like something I would like!

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A little self promotion here: Twenty years ago I researched and wrote a children's biography of Sweyn Forkbeard for SWB's writing contest. I didn't win, but I still had the manuscript hanging around.  So, I decided to self publish. Today and tomorrow, the book is offered free on Amazon Kindle.The link is in my signature, if I did it right.

 

 

Congratulations on self-publishing your book.  I hope it will be a success. 

 

(And somehow it's a little sobering that I recall that particular writing contest being offered.  I guess I've been here a while!)

**

 

A couple of enjoyable posts from Tor.com ~

 

As You Wish: Little-Known Facts About The Princess Bride  by Emily Asher-Perrin

 

Border Crossings: the Art of Mixing Genres  by Katharine Ashe

**

 

Some currently free books for Kindle readers ~

 

The Demon of Histlewick Downs (The Dreamweaver Chronicles Book 1) by Douglas Bornemann

 

"As an apprentice in his father’s shop catering to clients requiring high-end devices suitable for enchantment, young Thoren Theratigan is convinced his life is comfortably mapped. However, when tragedy causes his predictable world to crumble, only one man, a stranger, reaches out to help. When their roles are reversed, Thoren naturally leaps at the chance to return the favor. He will soon discover that choice could cost him everything—including his very soul."

 

ALSO  Risen Gods   by J.F.Penn and J. Thorn

 

"“It doesn’t matter what you believe. The time is here regardless, and they are coming. After so long, the gods are rising again.â€

Ben Henare turned away from the gods of his ancestors to follow his own path, choosing the modern world over myths of demons and monsters.

 

But when New Zealand is shaken by earthquakes and dark powers are released, Ben must fight his way north through ice caves and oceans, battling the evil god Whiro and the creatures of the earth and sky.

 

Lucy Campion is a trainee doctor, a rational scientist with no belief in demons. When her parents are killed and her sister is threatened, Lucy is tasked with carrying an ancient talisman north to where the oceans meet. But both human and supernatural foes stand in her way.

 

As the people they love are threatened and New Zealand begins to crumble, can Ben and Lucy find each other again and save the country from the wrath of the Risen Gods?"

 

ALSO  Even Witches Get the Blues (Wicked in Moonhaven~A Paranormal Cozy Book 1)  by J.D. Winters

 

"Everyone remembers Haley Greco, except for Haley herself.

Haley is a witch with amnesia and she might be the most normal thing in the spooky town of Moonhaven.

She wakes up in a strange motel room, no idea who she is, with just the clothes on her back and, weirdly, the deed to a property in Moonhaven where everybody seems to know her. Back for less than a day she discovers, in no short order, that she has an entire missing family, a town history as a wild child, and a grandmother who seems to want her to prepare to save civilization. Not only that, she's the lead suspect in a murder and Deputy Sheriff Shane McAllister knows more about her than he should. The real murderer is on the move. Can Haley clear her name and regain her memory before it's too late?"

 

AND

 

Corpses Say the Darndest Things  by Doug Lamoreux

 

Center Stage: Magnolia Steele Mystery #1  by Denise Grover Swank

 

 

Treasured Find: Royal…  by Nancy Corrigan
 
 
Cooking Spirits  by Joanne Pence
 
Obadiah: A Ghost's Story  by Robert Spearman
 
When Women Were Warriors  by Catherine M. Wilson
 
Fire in the Hole (The Plundered Chronicles Book 3)  by Alex Westmore

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Hello everyone! 

 

This week I read more of War and Peace - I'm with Pierre during the battle of....Borodino? Pierre has really grown on me as a character and I hope good things happen for him romance-wise later on in our story. 

 

I also read The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer. 3 and a half to 4 stars - I enjoyed it although I do wish GH would give a little more of the aftermath of the story rather than just boom! story's over. 

 

Love all the scary book links, Robin! I, too, am more of a scary-spooky-thriller-things that go bump in the night-sort of reader rather than a blood and gore reader. :)

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Mum2, can you give me some kind of rating?? Is there lots of R rated language or sex? This sounds like something I would like!

Prefacing this with a request for anyone else who has read this to help me out because the trilogy is huge and in my memory it is one huge book. I read\listened back to back and can't separate, the need to continue was definitely there. Also it was a year ago and it's fuzzy with favorite scenes sticking out. Giving Angel an opinion on these is making me very nervous!

 

This book is great post apocalyptic fiction. It's violent in the sense that huge groups get wiped out violently by these vampire creatures called Virals. No romantic Vampires here. The virus kills or changes almost everyone. There are some icky descriptions but I don't think they are overly long, more factual as in this is what happened. I don't remember there being descriptive adult scenes but there must have been scenes because there were couples but the couples generally had much bigger problems. ;). One of the fascinating things for me was these books are essentially about a very small group of characters. Everyone has a story and eventually you learn it.

 

I think you just might like these books. I'll be honest a saying that I am basing my statement partly on the fact you like the Twilight books which I remember as being quite violent in p!aces. These are definitely not a Twilight style romance. But I don't think the levels really exceed those found in Twilight but violence definitely makes them an R.

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I recently finished Alex Beecroft's Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack Book 5). I found it a pleasant read, but there were aspects that strained credulity (for example, the fact that Sam was an ex-businessman, and a computer guru, and a tarot card reader with knowledge of various sigils and hexes). I've enjoyed most of the Porthkennack series books that I've read, but I don't think this is a book I'll be likely to re-read.

 

"After a massive anxiety attack, Sam Atkins left his high-powered job in the City and committed himself to life on the road in a small van. Six months in, he’s running out of savings and coming to the conclusion that he might have to go home to his emotionally abusive family.

Needing time to think, he takes a walk through a copse by the Cornish roadside, only to stumble upon the body of a ritualistically killed sheep. As he’s trying to work out what the symbols around the animal mean, the sheep’s owner, Jennifer, and her nephew, Ruan Gwynn, come upon him.

Ruan is a kind-hearted young man with a large supportive clan, and since he and Sam feel almost instant attraction, he doesn’t want to believe Sam is a sheep-killing cultist. In fact, the moment he lays eyes on Sam’s miserable solitary life, he wants to rescue the man. But as the killings escalate, he and Sam need to stop whoever is actually to blame before they can concentrate on saving each other."

 

 

I also re-read with pleasure Murder in All Honour: A Doyle and Acton Mystery  by Anne Cleeland.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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A few more currently free works for Kindle readers ~

 

This first one is by a noted children's author; the short collection contains horror stories.

 

Grim Tales by Edith Nesbit

Godfrey Morgan by Jules Verne

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Leaves of Grass: The Original 1855 Edition by Walt Whitman

 

Life's Little Ironies by Thomas Hardy

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I am currently enjoying Celine by Peter Heller after previously enjoying The Dog Stars several years ago. This book is totally different and feels like I have discovered a new genre: "old woman as herione lit". Actually I'm sure there are many books that show an older woman turned private investigator but this is my first.  Turns out that it is based on the author's own mother. I'm about 3/4 through and I hope that the ending of this mystery is satisfying. Here is the premise:

 

Working out of her jewel box of an apartment at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, Celine has made a career of tracking down missing persons, and she has a better record at it than the FBI. But when a young woman, Gabriela, asks for her help, a world of mystery and sorrow opens up. Gabriela's father was a photographer who went missing on the border of Montana and Wyoming. He was assumed to have died from a grizzly mauling, but his body was never found. Now, as Celine and her partner head to Yellowstone National Park, investigating a trail gone cold, it becomes clear that they are being followed--that this is a case someone desperately wants to keep closed. Inspired by the life of Heller’s own remarkable mother, a chic and iconoclastic private eye, Celine is a deeply personal novel, a wildly engrossing story of family, privilege, and childhood loss. Combining the exquisite plotting and gorgeous evocation of nature that have become his hallmarks, Peter Heller gives us his finest work to date.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Shawneinfl
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It's hard to believe it's already October. I did plenty of reading in September but haven't posted in three weeks.

 

Book Completed

ðŸ Every Heart a Doorway by McGuire - I enjoyed the world building of this but thought the mystery a little too simplistic, 3 stars

ðŸ My Daylight Monsters by Dalton - An intriguing mystery in a psychiatric ward and prequel to the Mary Hades series, eerily entertaining, 4 stars

ðŸ Shadows of the Past by Rivers - Second book in the Others of Edenton series with adult content, nice romance but the main plot ended rather abruptly, 4 stars

ðŸ Skeleton Key by Horowitz - Another face paced installment in the Alex Rider series, 4 stars

ðŸ Struck by Carlson - An intriguing play on Norse mythology as Phoebe Meadows is suddenly struck by lightning and has her whole world upended, 4 stars

ðŸ Broken Homes by Aaronovitch - Fourth book in a great series, 5 stars

ðŸ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by Rawling - still rereading the series, 5 stars

ðŸ The Leper of Saint Giles by Peters - It's been awhile since I read a Brother Cadfael mystery, delightful and entertaining way to check off the Middle Ages bingo square, 4 stars

ðŸ The Titan's Curse by Riordan - another series I'm rereading, still 5 stars

ðŸ Stolen Chaos by Nicholls - Free from Amazon, so I gave it a shot, 3 stars but not a series I'll continue

ðŸ A Mansion, a Drag Queen, and a New Job (Deanna Oscar Paranormal Mystery) by Dragon - I picked this up solely for the your name in the title bingo square, not as funny as I expected based on the title, but a decent cozy mystery, 3 stars

ðŸ A Cherry Sinister Murder by McGovern and Bruce - a cozy mystery from Amazon Prime library, 3 stars

ðŸ The Chimera Charm by Goodfellow - I still enjoy the antics of the immortal cats in the Hattie Jenkins cozy mystery series, but the author left several unexplained threads in this one that made it feel incomplete to me, 4 stars (just for the cats),

 

Long Term Reads

🃠ESV Bible - have read though Jonah and caught up to my schedule

🃠History of the Ancient World by Bauer - I just haven't had the focus for this one, but I'm still determined to finish it this year

 

I have The Blue Rose to finish for September's gemstone challenge. My plan is to finish up Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and the Rivers of London series this month. I have too many series going simultaneously. I also have the sixth Flavia mystery queued up on audio.

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I happened upon The Book Adventures blog today and thought I'd share a few posts.  These are all several years old.  A few pertain to Halloween, others were just fun.

 

Your Haunted House of Literary Monsters for Halloween

 

Howl with Werewolves (Halloween Special Part 2)

 

Spooks, Spectres and Hauntings in these Ghostly Reads (Halloween Special Part 3)

 

Your Ghostly Reading List

 

Here There Be Dragons!

 

Top 10: Spies & Spying

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Finished three books this week:

 

104. Long Walk to Freedom (audiobook) - very long walk.  Glad I listened to it; it was well narrated.  For the South Africa square. 4 stars.

 

105. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Vol. 1 (audiobook) - These were so fun to listen to, even though I knew all the stories already; I'm not sure that I've read them all before, but probably some and  the rest I'm assuming I've watched some version of (if not multiple versions). For the Sherlock Holmes square - nothing like the original material. :) 5 stars.

 

106. Safekeeping - Centers around an addict from New York City who thinks he can gain redemption by giving a sapphire brooch that had been in his family 700 years to the only woman his dead grandfather ever though worthy of it - even if she had rejected it when she'd been given it the first time.  Most of the action takes place on a kibbutz in Israel where the grandfather had met the woman just after fleeing the Holocaust.  The group on the kibbutz are quite the complex and troubled bunch, but their stories were all interesting.  There's also some back-story on the brooch.  For the Indie Publisher square and also my Sapphire birthstone book. 3.5 stars.

 

Currently reading

 

- The Goblin Emperor (ebook) - I am really enjoying this one so far.  Elves, goblins, steampunk, and political intrigue.

 

- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (audiobook) 

 

- W&P - after getting all caught up last week, I'm behind again. Boo. But last and this week's sections are relatively short, so hopefully I'll be in good shape again by the end of the week.

 

Coming up in October...

 

So I went through and figured out what BigBingo rows needed just one or two more and have prioritized those, spooky reads, and my SciFi book club, which met again after a bit of a summer hiatus and chose two new books that also fit BigBingo squares. (Mars and Dinosaurs) :D  

 

 

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How is it October already!? I finished Catch-22 a couple days ago. I loved it. I'm very glad I read this classic. I did have a hard time keeping track of all the characters at times. 

 

I'm now back to I-Robot

 

For banned book week I read A Light in the Attic  to my little one and middle ds is reading Harry Potter. Oldest is reading Lord of the Rings.

Edited by Mom-ninja.
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Books read last week:

  • A History of Eastern Europe by Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius. History-European. A historical overview of the many countries that make up Eastern Europe. Like I said last week, though I've been an avid reader of history, this course really opened my eyes to how much I focused on the Western European countries. The instructor is unsparing towards the many forces that have partitioned and influenced the Eastern European region. Most surprising, the professor makes the argument that World War I, while a disaster for Western Europe, is viewed differently by Eastern Europeans as the four empires that controlled the region were destroyed. Given the size and scope, it would be impossible to cover the history with any depth so I was left with a desire to learn more. Highly recommended.
  • Moon over Soho (Peter Grant #2) by Ben Aaronovitch. Urban Fantasy. The constable and wizard apprentice discovers London jazz musicians are dying under suspect magical circumstances. Another enjoyable read. I've added the Peter Grant series to my TBR list.
  • An Unlikely Duchess by Mary Balogh. Historical Romance. A wealthy heiress runs away from an impeding betrothal and is rescued by a chivalrous gentleman who hides that he's her intended fiance.
  • Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurtry. Literary fiction. A merry widow drives her many suitors mad. I loved the Aurora's character until midway through. In a foreword, McMurtry says he likes the daughter Emma more, but I couldn't see why. My hometown Bingo read (both setting and author location).
  • Mythical Trickster Figures by William J. Hynes. Mythology. A collection of academic essays discussing the definition of a trickster and the role the archetype plays in various cultural traditions. With the essays totaling only 210 pages, it seems like it would be a quick read, but it took me over a week as I tried to read the essays one day at a time and really absorb what the authors were saying. I don't think I have the anthropological background to understand all the references, but it was an interesting introduction to Yanqui, Greek, Japanese, Catholic, and Yoruba tricksters. The bibliography was 20 pages long so there's plenty to read if I want to learn more.

I'm still working on Ulysses, another book I'm trying to read only one section at a time. I've learned I can't stop reading in the middle of a section or I lose the narrative and must start over. I'm spending a lot of time re-reading sections to make sure I understand what's happening. The Teaching Company's Joyce's Ulysses has been a great help in understanding.

 

I'm reading Pratchett's Going Postal and McGuire's October Day #3, An Artificial Night. Plus, I'm finishing up Beyond Heaving Bosoms, but I'm weary of the snarky humor. In my dusty TBR stack, I'm thinking about reading The Writer's Journey, yet I can't work up any enthusiasm. Has anyone read it? 

 

For scary reads, I have The Elementals by Michael McDowell and The Essential Ellison, a collection of Harlan Ellison's short stories that I've been saving for October. I may pick up another Matt Ruff as I thought his Lovecraft Country was extremely well done. Horror used to be my favorite genre so I'm looking forward to everyone's recommendations.

Edited by ErinE
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In the midst of another book discussion with ds via FB messenger. :001_wub:  He is technically at work at the moment, but is stuck in the office with little to do as it is testing week. Thought I'd catch up here between breaks in the conversation. He enjoyed the Historian, btw, though said parts of it dragged.

 

Last week I read The Dead Will Tell, the 6th Kate Burkholder mystery set in Ohio Amish country. It was the perfect mystery escape, a good story, smart mystery and it moves the characters along. Am happy to see a few mystery recommendations here this week -- still have to go back and actually read the posts so far as I've only had time to skim til now.

 

I'm about 2/3 through The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic. I'm enjoying it, but it could have used some editing to tighten up the story. It doesn't need 500 plus pages to tell the story.  

 

I haven't been inspired to finish my audio book, Blue at the Mizzen, the last of the Master and Commander series. It's ok, but not as engaging as the rest of the series. I'm sure I'll finish this week. I did finish Hidden Figures, which I enjoyed more than many of you. I think it is the rare book that is better after seeing the movie.

 

I've got the Vampire's Violin on Kindle, but am not entirely sure what else to pick up next or download next from audible. There's enough to be done around here that I don't need a page turner to distract me!! 

 

 

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Jenn, should I send you Roseanna when I am finished?  I know that you too have read some of the Martin Beck books.

 

 

 

Oooohhh! That would be lovely!  

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img_3554.jpg?w=640&h=480

 

Last weekend, between Fun Home at Victory Gardens (highly recommended) — and Machinal at the Greenhouse Theatre Center (excellent but now closed), we visited the bookstore pictured above. It’s even cooler in person.

 

Reading notes
To celebrate Banned Books Week, I reread Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, a book I first read thirty years ago; I am happy to report that it holds up. Although I am still behind on the Sonnets, I am keeping up with the rest of the "Shakespeare in a Year" schedule, having finished Antony and Cleopatra over the weekend. The only other book I’ve completed since my last post is You by Caroline Kepnes, which was not quite as graphic as I had feared. In anticipation of seeing Steppenwolf’s The Crucible, I have chosen to read Stacy Schiff’s Witches instead of rereading Miller’s play (which I love and have all but memorized).

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I have managed to put together a huge (50ish) list of potential spooky reads that I actually have access to. Obviously that probably won't happen! :lol: Several are actually on audio so I plan to pick those up somewhat randomly as required. So my immediate plans are:

 

Immortal by Gene Doucette .....Currently reading

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31817191-immortal. I had never heard of this series until it appeared in the new section at overdrive. It is incredibly well done interweaving the past of this unique immortal man with the present. He has always been. Definitely reading the series.

 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.....Currently listening to.

 

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison because I have been planning to read the Hollows every since I read The Turn (prequel) earlier this year. I read domed of these years ago and loved them.https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30264.Dead_Witch_Walking?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Sweet Silver Blues Glen Cookhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/400878.Sweet_Silver_Blues?from_search=true. I love the cover!

 

Never Cross a Vampire Stuart Kaminsky (probably audio)https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19311839-never-cross-a-vampire again the cover

 

The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous tales of Fred the Vampire Accountant https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22081680-the-utterly-uninteresting-and-unadventurous-tales-of-fred-the-vampire-a?ac=1&from_search=true On audio, the title cracks me up. Once upon a time I was an unhappy accountant. This is a series....oh, my!

 

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32148091-the-silent-corner?ac=1&from_search=true I used to love Dean Koontz but his books scared me hugely. Going to try this again as a spooky that is probably my most intense.

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Prefacing this with a request for anyone else who has read this to help me out because the trilogy is huge and in my memory it is one huge book. I read\listened back to back and can't separate, the need to continue was definitely there. Also it was a year ago and it's fuzzy with favorite scenes sticking out. Giving Angel an opinion on these is making me very nervous!

This book is great post apocalyptic fiction. It's violent in the sense that huge groups get wiped out violently by these vampire creatures called Virals. No romantic Vampires here. The virus kills or changes almost everyone. There are some icky descriptions but I don't think they are overly long, more factual as in this is what happened. I don't remember there being descriptive adult scenes but there must have been scenes because there were couples but the couples generally had much bigger problems. ;). One of the fascinating things for me was these books are essentially about a very small group of characters. Everyone has a story and eventually you learn it.

I think you just might like these books. I'll be honest a saying that I am basing my statement partly on the fact you like the Twilight books which I remember as being quite violent in p!aces. These are definitely not a Twilight style romance. But I don't think the levels really exceed those found in Twilight but violence definitely makes them an R.

 

 

Thanks! You are right. The violence in Twilight doesn't bother me as much. I can tune it out usually, especially if it's more fantasy based. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was probably the only book in recent years that I had trouble with but even that mostly just grossed me out with the descriptions. Eww! I just can't tune out heavy language and sex. It's weird how different things bother different people! And I don't need fluffy vampires lol! I just may try this!! Thanks so much 🙂

 

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I started Catch-22 earlier this evening & am really loving it too.

 

 

Re: trickster figures.... Have you read Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi? You might enjoy some of the trickster figures woven throughout it. Mr. Fox is one of my favorite books.

 

Ohhh. I hope you love The Elementals. I think it mostly got lukewarm reviews here on the thread last year except from me (because I loved it). I think he did a marvelous job with modern Southern gothic -- dark humor, creepy happenings, atmospheric locations. If I have time this year, I may re-read it.

I requested Catch 22 yesterday!

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I'm caught up in W&P!

 

Finished both of my eclipse books: American Eclipse and Mask of the Sun. Only a month and a half after the eclipse.  :rolleyes: I've been struggling to get back into a relax-and-read frame of mind in the evenings. 

 

Currently reading Deep Thinking by Garry Kasparov, which I plan to pass along to DS. It's mainly about the history of man-versus-machine chess matches, focusing, of course, on Kasparov's personal experience. DS will love it. I read Winter is Coming earlier this year and find Kasparov much more readable when he's talking chess than when he's talking politics. 

 

I'm not caught up on the thread at all. Hope everyone has been doing well. 

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Yesterday I finished Kaje Harper's Life Lessons and the follow up short piece And to All a Good Night (Life Lessons).  I'd likely describe the first as a romantic suspense; I enjoyed them both.  The first has some adult content; the second (which is currently free) does not.  I hope to read more in this series.

 

"Tony Hart's life has been quiet lately. He has good friends and a rewarding teaching job. Then the murdered body of another teacher falls into the elevator at his feet, and Tony's life gets a little too exciting.

Jared MacLean is a homicide detective, a widowed father, and deeply in the closet. But from the moment he meets Tony's blue eyes in that high school hallway, Mac can't help wanting this man in his life. However Mac isn't the only one with his eyes on Tony. As the murderer tries to cover his tracks, Mac has to work fast or lose Tony, permanently."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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A one day only currently free book for Kindle readers ~

 

Honeymoon For One (Honeymoon Series Book 1)  by Lily Zante

 

Also currently free ~

 

 

The Gift Boxed Set (Books 1, 2 & 3)  by Lily Zante

 

Romilly  also Fortune's Hazard  by Cate Charleston

 

The Foundling  by Wendy Rathbone

 

The Return of the Earl by Sandra Schwab

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Last night (early this morning) I finished Embryo by JA Schneider.  It's a medical thriller and I just couldn't put it down.  I tried!  I really liked it.

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I believe there might be some Mary Stewart fans here.  A number of her books are on sale for either 99 cents or $1.99 for the Kindle version.  Here are the titles  ~ 

Thunder on the Right, The Ivy Tree, Madam, Will You Talk?, This Rough Magic, The Moon-Spinners, Thornyhold, and Wildfire at Midnight.

 

 

Also, one of my favorite historical romances by author Sherry Thomas is on sale for $1.99 ~  Delicious.

 

 

Here's a currently free novella by Sherry Thomas ~ in English,Claiming the Duchess: Fitzhugh Trilogy Book 0.5 (The Fitzhugh Trilogy), and in German, Eine hinreißende Herzogin: Die Fitzhugh Trilogie, Band 0.5 (German Edition).

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Hello, friends new & old (that's "old" in the figurative sense of the word, naturally) ~

 

Just happened by chance upon this discussion. I've not visited WTM for quite some time but it made me smile to recognize a few names. Also served as a reminder that my book reading of late has been rather lackluster. I perused your lists & mentions and felt inspired, so much so that I considered dusting off my copy of Susan's Well-Educated Mind and pretending yet again that I'd make my way through the suggestions. Well, eh, perhaps not, lol. But a book a week isn't too lofty a goal. And I did already complete War and Peace, back when my college boyfriend and I read it simultaneously while apart for the summer.  We wrote letters ~ actually put pen to paper ~ discussing the book. Ah, the lost art of letter writing! 

 

In the spirit of spooky & spectacular October reads, thought I'd suggest Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. I have soft spot for it, as it was among the first English books read by my German mother when she was young. 

Off to reserve a few titles. Nice 'seeing' you!

Edited by Colleen
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Hello, friends new & old (that's "old" in the figurative sense of the word, naturally) ~

 

Just happened by chance upon this discussion. I've not visited WTM for quite some time but it made me smile to recognize a few names. Also served as a reminder that my book reading of late has been rather lackluster. I perused your lists & mentions and felt inspired, so much so that I considered dusting off my copy of Susan's Well-Educated Mind and pretending yet again that I'd make my way through the suggestions. Well, eh, perhaps not, lol. But a book a week isn't too lofty a goal. And I did already complete War and Peace, back when my college boyfriend and I read it simultaneously while apart for the summer.  We wrote letters ~ actually put pen to paper ~ discussing the book. Ah, the lost art of letter writing! 

 

In the spirit of spooky & spectacular October reads, thought I'd suggest Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. I have soft spot for it, as it was among the first English books read by my German mother when she was young. 

Off to reserve a few titles. Nice 'seeing' you!

 

OMGs -- Colleen?!!! Good to "see" you! How are all those boys of yours?

 

Hope you come back to talk books. I happen to have Rebecca in my audible library -- forgot about it when I posted last night, and definitely am planning to listen to it this month.

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I've been listening to Hamilton: the Revolution and while I'm finding it interesting there are some insider references that I don't get - both theater and hip-hop/rap insider references. Also, I'm not familiar with the big names in hip-hop so that also has me a little outside the loop as I listen. Still, I think anyone who like me is a fan of the soundtrack, and who has (unrealistic?) dreams of seeing the show before they die would probably like this. 

 

This would be a good book to look at on paper. The photos are lovely and I like the colonial-style typeface. You can preview it here.

 

I gave up on Sarum for now. That's certainly one advantage with a book that hops through the century's with no consistent characters other than a couple of family names. Easy to put down for a month occasionally!

 

I've started Sarum a few times and dropped it. I think I'm permanently giving it up. 

 

Yesterday I finished Intrusion by Mary McCluskey.  I am still kind of shaken by it.  It's about a couple who lose their 17yo son in a car accident and focuses on the wife's grief.  A woman she grew up with shows up.  She knows what grief is like as she recently lost her husband of 18 years.  The woman inserts herself into the couple's life and seems like she's being so helpful and loving and caring.  The ending is not what I expected in the least.  It was so disturbing.

 

 

Hmm. I put a hold on it at the library and I'll take a look. It sounds a bit Gone Girl-ish?

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Hey, Jenn!  "Homeschool mom emeritus"...haha. Nice! That'd be me as well, since I stopped homeschooling after my divorce & move into town. Only then did I realize that educating my guys was truly a full-time job, a passion & career. Truth be told, I am still, two years later, fairly lost without that job. Blerg. 

 

My baby (Kai) just turned 13 and is a 7th grader. What the dickens? How is that even possible? Rafe is a sophomore and Luke is a senior, doing dual enrollment at the community college. Per has mostly worked since graduating high school last year. He spent last winter as a ski instructor in Switzerland. Wanted to travel around like all good young Europeans and Aussies, but realized even backpacking does require money. He's going to the community college and wishing always that he could exist solely on hunting & fishing ~ which I suppose he could, in a Grizzly Adams sort of fashion. Jan, my oldest, graduated from Washington State University in May. He's also Army Infantry and is currently at Ranger School. 

 

I really have to think hard to remember the days when I had this band gathered around while we read SOTW. Now it's a matter of self-education purely for my own benefit ~ takes a bit more motivation! 

 

I definitely hope to pop in here from time to time. Currently on my nightstand I have:

 

Chernow's Hamilton bio ~ Have intended to read it for ages. (As an aside, am I the only one who really a whole lot did not like the Hamilton soundtrack? I tried. But just...no.)

 

The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945 ~ Per thoughtfully gifted me this on my birthday - my birthday in March of last year. That's how long it's been sitting there. It is a tome. I do not expect to ever actually read it. Fortunately, Per has a short memory and has likely forgotten about it so he'll never ask what I thought of it, lol. 

 

A Raisin in the Sun ~ I read this on a whim one summer during high school. It's on the reading list in Per's cc English class so I thought I'd revisit it. 

 

"The Awakening" & Selected Stories ~ In the mode for some Southern lit.

 

Hidden Figures ~ Rafe gave me this at Mother's Day. Haven't read it yet, but I watched the movie on a flight to Hawaii, does that count?

 

The Best American Sports Writing 2015 ~ I can not tell a lie. These annual sports writing anthologies are my go-to reading. 

 

 

 

 

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Hello, friends new & old (that's "old" in the figurative sense of the word, naturally) ~

 

Just happened by chance upon this discussion. I've not visited WTM for quite some time but it made me smile to recognize a few names. Also served as a reminder that my book reading of late has been rather lackluster. I perused your lists & mentions and felt inspired, so much so that I considered dusting off my copy of Susan's Well-Educated Mind and pretending yet again that I'd make my way through the suggestions. Well, eh, perhaps not, lol. But a book a week isn't too lofty a goal. And I did already complete War and Peace, back when my college boyfriend and I read it simultaneously while apart for the summer.  We wrote letters ~ actually put pen to paper ~ discussing the book. Ah, the lost art of letter writing! 

 

In the spirit of spooky & spectacular October reads, thought I'd suggest Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. I have soft spot for it, as it was among the first English books read by my German mother when she was young. 

Off to reserve a few titles. Nice 'seeing' you!

 

So nice to "see" you Colleen (in the figurative sense, of course). Thanks for the reminder to read Rebecca. It's been on my tbr list for years now and I finally have my own cheap copy from the thrift store.

 

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Hello, friends new & old (that's "old" in the figurative sense of the word, naturally) ~

 

Nice 'seeing' you again, too, Colleen. 

**

 

I enjoyed this Book Riot post which I just stumbled upon ~ 

The Most Important Children’s Book You’ve Never Heard of  by Daisy Johnson

 

"Imagine this.

 

It’s 1940, and you’re a British writer for children. You’re fairly well established. You’ve been doing this for over fifteen years, and you’ve got a good handful of titles under your belt. Your work is popular – you don’t know this yet, what with time travel not having been invented, but in nineteen years you’re even going to have a fan club. 

 

But right now, you’re faced with a choice. Do you acknowledge the seismic horror of the Second World War in your work or do you not? Some of your fellow writers sail into a world full of idealism and Arcadia, and become increasingly defined by this otherworldly romanticism, whilst others take a contrary view and write this brave new world into their stories. Air raids, rationing. Stiff upper lips and patriotic fervour. Rule Britannia. 

 

But you, you brilliant, wonderful thing you, you decide to do things a little differently. ..."

 

 

Has anyone here read the book? (Eliana?)  I haven't, but it sounds good.

 

Regards,

Kareni

 
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Nice 'seeing' you again, too, Colleen.

**

 

I enjoyed this Book Riot post which I just stumbled upon ~ The Most Important Children’s Book You’ve Never Heard of by Daisy Johnson

 

"Imagine this.

 

It’s 1940, and you’re a British writer for children. You’re fairly well established. You’ve been doing this for over fifteen years, and you’ve got a good handful of titles under your belt. Your work is popular – you don’t know this yet, what with time travel not having been invented, but in nineteen years you’re even going to have a fan club.

 

But right now, you’re faced with a choice. Do you acknowledge the seismic horror of the Second World War in your work or do you not? Some of your fellow writers sail into a world full of idealism and Arcadia, and become increasingly defined by this otherworldly romanticism, whilst others take a contrary view and write this brave new world into their stories. Air raids, rationing. Stiff upper lips and patriotic fervour. Rule Britannia.

 

But you, you brilliant, wonderful thing you, you decide to do things a little differently. ..."

 

 

Has anyone here read the book? (Eliana?) I haven't, but it sounds good.

 

Regards,

Kareni

No, I have not read this book but it reminds me of another that recently came on my radar: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr.

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I haven't read much lately. Still listening to Anna Karenina. I did finish Galileo's Middle Finger by Alice Dreger, which was not at all what I thought it was going to be about, but that's what happens when I just grab a book off the library shelf without looking at more than the title. Glad I read it, though.

I saw Catch-22 mentioned and I both read & listened to that earlier this year. I loved it.
 

I am glad (& not surprised) to hear that Kurt Vonnegut holds up.

 

Ds was in search of a new book to read. I handed him Slaughterhouse-Five in honor of Banned Books week.

:wub:

 

 

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Have we talked about this before? It seems like we must have, but I had never clicked on The List before. Now this would be an interesting challenge: A Year of Reading the World

 

Why have I not heard of this before? What an undertaking! As one inspired by lists and goals, this challenge is tempting. Though I'd replace "a year" with "a decade (or three)". 

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I just finished my sixth book by Anne Cleeland, Murder in Shadow (The Doyle and Acton Murder Series Book 6).  My, but the author weaves a complex storyline!  This is a series that must be read in order.

 

To date, all of the books I've read have been borrowed from libraries or internet strangers; today I bought the first two books in the series.  I'll be re-reading these.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Have we talked about this before? It seems like we must have, but I had never clicked on The List before. Now this would be an interesting challenge: A Year of Reading the World

 

I like the idea, but think it wil be a little too much voor 1 year.

I think the biggest challenge will become to actually find those books here.

But I can make a start with it!

 

 

Fun news:

DD has only 3 bingo squares to read :)

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Have we talked about this before? It seems like we must have, but I had never clicked on The List before. Now this would be an interesting challenge: A Year of Reading the World

I don't know if you talked about it in previous years, since I only started here in 2017. But I have spent a lot of time on that site/list. I have thought about it as a long term idea (certainly more than a year!) and my rules for myself would be a bit different. Hmmm thanks to your reminder maybe I will try to synthesize my thoughts.

--

 

ErinE: I finished Radiance. My brain melted! And then I gave it four stars :)

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