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Robin M

Book a Week 2020 - BW4: Wind was on the Withered Heath

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A Dream of Death by Connie Berry  was a book I checked out of Overdrive that if I am honest I expected to abandon.  Cozies set in Scotland seem to be cozy mysteries that irritate me with inaccuracies if I am honest, great police procedurals are set there , Alexander McCall Smith is fabulous but my Scotland 10 x10 did not go as expected last year.  Many abandoned cozy mysteries.  All that aside A Dream of Death is really well done.  The characters are on the whole believable.   There are some red herrings were thrown so “The Who Done It” is not immediately     obvious, and a bit of a romance which is a plus.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43208609-a-dream-of-death  I am looking forward to the next book in the series.  
 

To my new Goodreads friends, if you haven’t already noticed I tend to give my stars rather generously compared to some.  I gave this five stars because it was a very good cozy set in Scotland which I really enjoyed.  I tend to judge based on the books genre and authors intentions thus a fluffy romance that was highly entertaining has the same 5 potential as any other book.  So please don’t  think my giving something a five means any thing other than it’s a good book if you like the genre.

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I think I am going to be reading my current book for the next 100 wks. It's an excellent book, very well written but it's non-fiction and I am trying to truly pay attention to every word. The lost city of Z - highly highly recommend it

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11 hours ago, aggieamy said:

 Flu update. John slept all day yesterday and today he's at least out of bed and wandering around. He feels better but not good.

Kevin feels bad. He's up now but I expect he'll be heading to be before long.

Sophia had me pick her up at school yesterday morning. She doesn't have any of the traditional flu symptoms but she feels icky. I wonder if she's managed to catch a cold when everyone else has the flu? Stranger things have happened. 

I'm okay but paranoid. Every so often I wonder do I have a headache because I'm coming down with the flu or because I'm a hypochondriac? 

When we all had the flu, it was different for each one of us.  Hubby had fever and body aches, slept all day.  James had no energy and diarrhea, and I threw up for two days.  Wasn't fun.  The llatest cold turned into viral bronchitis for James.  I know how you feel. When all around me where sick, I kept analyzing every sniff, cough, and pain I had.  Hope all feel better soon.

Have y'all or @mumto2 had a chance to watch the latest Dr Who?  Major surprises all the way around.    

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Popping in to see if anyone has read Spy Schools by Daniel Golden? I ran across it when looking for another book of the same name. I'm not big on non fiction, but it looks interesting. Anyone?

@aggieamy Hope everyone feels better soon!

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Today only, free for Kindle readers ~

Three Ghost Stories by Charles Dickens

 "A bone-chilling trio of supernatural tales by fiction master Charles Dickens

In “The Haunted House,” a new homeowner discovers he is sharing his bed with the skeleton of the house’s former master. In “The Trial for Murder,” a revengeful ghost haunts a juror serving at his killer’s trial. In “The Signal-Man,” an apparition warns a man of impending disaster.
 
These strange and frightening occurrences unfold in grim and gripping detail in this collection of 3 Victorian ghost stories that puts Charles Dickens’s first-rate storytelling on display."

Regards,

Kareni

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14 hours ago, SereneHome said:

I think I am going to be reading my current book for the next 100 wks. It's an excellent book, very well written but it's non-fiction and I am trying to truly pay attention to every word. The lost city of Z - highly highly recommend it

Since I just finished my fourth book, I took a look and found your rec as a digital download from the library.  So, The Lost City of Z will be my next book!  Hoping I enjoy it as much as you do even though I don't have a 100 weeks to read it, just 2. 🙂

I just finished Night of Miracles and here is the mini-review I put on Goodreads*:

Quote

Although this is Book 2 in the Mason series, I jumped into this one without reading the first and encountered no problems. Night of Miracles is a modern day, relatively clean, slice-of-life narrative. The author pokes into the minds, hopes, and fears of the characters. Although a bit Pollyanna-ish (miracles, after all), I'd place this as an above-average beach read: a pleasant way to spend an afternoon; not too heavy but with some good insights into our humanity.

*If it is not cool to post here AND on Goodreads, just let me know! 

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15 hours ago, SereneHome said:

I think I am going to be reading my current book for the next 100 wks. It's an excellent book, very well written but it's non-fiction and I am trying to truly pay attention to every word. The lost city of Z - highly highly recommend it

Another book added to my TBR list. 🙂  Thanks, SH! 🙂

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I loved Lost City of Z!! It's been a few years since I read it and I'm happy the title still being discovered and enjoyed!

Good grief is it really Thursday afternoon already? I haven't even updated my Goodreads acct for the week...

I spent the first part of the week recuperating physically and catching up on housework and laundry after a marathon music weekend. It was creatively rewarding but physically exhausting. It was a workshop to rehearse then record and and perform a new musical based loosely on Dicken's Christmas story Cricket on the Hearth. And fittingly, I finished listening to David Copperfield on my commute and during dinner breaks. 

It's so funny listening to one of these old classics. Every once in a while I'd find myself thinking, "you know, this is some really great writing" as if no one in the world had ever noticed before. I quite liked David Copperfield,and once again have to plug the audio version with Richard Armitage reading -- more like performing. It was brilliantly done. The villains made my skin crawl -- the Murdstones and Uriah Heep, and the just plain twisted characters like Rosa Dartle. But I simply love Betsey Trotwood, David's aunt, who apparently has a a fan club out there on the internets. I'm a huge fan of her, too, and find it interesting that she appears alongside the two young paragons of Victorian womanhood who marry our hero and his best friend late in the book. I wanted to gag over the fawning representation of them as sweet and angelic, working so hard to make a simple life so perfect -- up before everyone else, doing this and that to create perfect domestic bliss. All in all, though, a very satisfying 30+ hours of listening.

This week I also read the excellent graphic novel memoir, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.  There is a musical theater connection with that as well, as I'm in the midst of a several week run in the pit of the Tony winning show based off the memoir. The artistic director actually bought used copies of the memoir for each of the 6 of us in the pit as opening night gifts -- such a wonderful gesture - a first in all my years of "gigging". The musical is a powerful adaptation of the memoir, but before y'all go out and either read it or take your kids to a production of it, let me give you a heads up. It isn't a happy comedy, but is partly a coming of age story about Alison Bechdel discovering she is gay, but more importantly it the story of her trying to make sense of her family -- her closeted gay dad who commits suicide, and her mother who tried to keep the family glued together for years and years. 

I also read another Tony Hillerman mystery, Dancehall of the Dead. Isn't that a terrific title? It is another solid title, just the second one he published. 

And for a complete change of pace, I'm listening to one of the travel books written by the late drummer from the band Rush, Neil Peart. The book is Roadshow: Landscape with Drums. I really like his writer's voice and look forward to traveling the USA and Europe with him over the next 13 hours

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@JennW in SoCal  Have you read any of the Anne Hillerman’s?  Your musical’s sound like fun!

@Robin M Right now my kids are in the middle of a Stargate marathon so no Dr. Who.

I finished my spelling challenge for January-Banana Yoshimoto

B.........Dragon Bone by Patricia Briggs

A.........Too Lucky to Live by Annie Hogset

N.........No Man’s Land by David Baldacci 

A.........Beating About the Bush by MC Beaton

N.........Applied Electromagnetism by Susannah Nix

A..........Dragon Actually by GA Aiken

 

Y..........Moshi, Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto 

O..........One Second After by William Forstchen

S..........Face Down Accross the Western Sea by Kathy Lynn Emerson

H..........A Highend Finish by Kate Carlisle

I............Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis

M..........The Tamerack Murders by Patrick McManus

O...........One in a Million by Susan Mallery

T............Turning Angel by Greg Iles

O...........Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler Olsen

 

 

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I just finished rereading The 5th Gender: A Tinkered Stars Mystery by G. L. Carriger which I enjoyed once more. The author blurb says, 

'Gail Carriger has multiple NYT bestsellers and over a million books in print in dozens of different languages. She writes comedies of manners mixed with urban fantasy (and sexy queer joy as G. L. Carriger). Her best known books include the Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School series. She was once an archaeologist and is fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea. "

The book description reads,

 "A species that has no word for murder has a murderer aboard their spaceship!

New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Gail Carriger (writing as G.L. Carriger) brings you a light-hearted science fiction mystery featuring an adorable lavender alien and his human crush.

ALIEN

Tristol lives in exile. But he’s built a life for himself aboard a massive space station. He’s even begun to understand the complex nuances of human courting rituals. Detective Hastion is finally flirting back!

MURDER

Except that Tristol’s beloved adopted home is unexpectedly contacted by the galoi – a xenophobic species with five genders, purple skin, and serious attitude. They need the help of a detective because there’s a murderer aboard their spaceship. Murder is so rare, the galoi don’t even have a word for it. Tristol knows this because he is galoi.

ROMANCE

Which means that he and Detective Hastion are on the case… together."

Regards,

Kareni

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Flu updated. We're all sick now and on Tamiflu. Tamiflu is like drinking Unicorn Blood. You're alive but it's a half life filled with nosebleeds, insomnia, and nausea.  

@mumto2 - Stargate! That takes me back to college. I had a friend who watched that with me and we loved it. So much so that circa 2001 I printed a picture of Samantha Carter off the internet on the school printers and took it into stylist and told her I wanted my hair to look just like that. It didn't but I still tried. 

@Robin M - We are still on the 11th Doctor! We started again at the beginning watching at the 9th Doctor with John so give me a year or so!

@Lady Florida. - What are you reading these days?

Edited by aggieamy
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Finished another book. Wow. 

Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham - This book was fantastic but if I'd picked it up as a new writer I would have been overwhelmed. It goes into the nitty gritty of scene structure and is exactly what I needed at this point. Highly recommend. 

Have any of the other writer gals on here read it?

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@aggieamy I hope everyone starts feeling better soon.  The C’s were given anti nausea meds to go with the Tamiflu which helped a whole lot.

 

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2/45

What The Wind Knows - time travel story to 1921 Ireland.  I give it 3.5 stars.  It was a little to history heavy for me, but if you enjoy that aspect you'd probably rate it higher.  I enjoyed the characters and story line.

3/45

The Gifted School - "Smart and juicy, a compulsively readable novel about a previously happy group of friends and parents that is nearly destroyed by their own competitiveness when an exclusive school for gifted children opens in the community".  Another 3 star book, I wanted it to be better then it was.  I couldn't find the friendships believable. 

4/45

One for the Money (#1 in Stephanie Plum series) -  Read this because I was curious with how many  are in the series.  Surely these books must be amazing.  Eeeh.  Wasn't a hard read, but definitely not my type of book.   A little to fluffy.   I also felt like there was some racial stereotypes written several times!    I guess I still don't really get the popularity.  2.75 stars.

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On 1/29/2020 at 9:42 AM, Kareni said:

Today only, free for Kindle readers ~

McTeague: A Story of San Francisco by Frank Norris  

 "A couple’s life and love are destroyed when they win the lottery in this tragic tale of turn-of-the-century San Francisco.
 
McTeague and Trina are in love, and with the modest income from McTeague’s dentistry office, their needs are few. But when Trina wins a small fortune from a lottery ticket, jealousy and distrust begin to unravel their happy home. As tension erupts between McTeague and Trina’s cousin Marcus, Trina’s impulse to save her winnings slowly gives way to a pathological obsession with hoarding money. Betrayed and destitute, the couple embarks on a journey down a path of violence, theft, and murder.
 
Considered transgressive for its brutality and sordid subject matter upon first publication in 1899, McTeague has since served as the basis for the films Greed (1924) by Erich von Stroheim and Slow Burn (2000), starring Minnie Driver and James Spader. Widely acclaimed as Frank Norris’s masterpiece, the novel was hailed as “a literary masterpiece” by the New York Times."

Regards,

Kareni

When I was a kid my mom told me that a certain novel she owned was written by Dr. Norris, her ob/gyn.  Seeing that this man died 4 years before her parents were even born, this was obviously untrue.  I either misunderstood her (maybe this was Dr. Norris' father?) or she was mistaken.  Same first name, and same setting.  Very odd.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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On 1/29/2020 at 9:36 AM, Laurel-in-CA said:

On The Hobbit, maybe some folks would love a visit?

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/22525406?source_impression_id=p3_1580318679_Ne%2BO6kWsty0fJkRw

Sure looks like home. Wish we were closer/close enough to try it.

Drat, I saw Fairfield and was hopeful, but it's not the CA Fairfield.  Otherwise I was totally going to book this for a birthday present for DH.  He would absolutely die of joy.

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Last week I read "Rough Beauty:  40 Seasons of Mountain Living" by Karen Auvinen.

Set mostly in the Rockies, part memoir and part journalistic and tight reflection, this autobiographical book chronicles primarily the author's 10 years of living on her own and developing her writing in several remote mountain cabins in sequence, all near the tiny mountain town of Jamestown, CO.  Occasional and extended flashbacks to her life with her FOO and to a very difficult stint in Milwaukee, pepper and inform the main part of the book.  She seems essentially whole and complete in herself, so much so that concluding the book with a romance, coincident with the town essentially being mudslided/flooded into near oblivion, almost seemed contrived.  Reading the story, I felt like I would enjoy knowing this woman.  She loves many of the same things I do--mountain scenery, wild nature, deep quiet, excellent cooking, avid reading, good long talks.  We would differ about family, in many ways, and church doesn't even seem to be on her radar, but we would have lots to talk about but also be able to sit in the same room and read different books together happily, I think.  I could picture living in a neighboring cabin with my weaving loom, reading and writing and emerging only once a week or so to buy supplies, but having a lively exchange of meals with the author in between those weekly trips to town.  Her characterization of mountain tiny town life and the gradual building of community among very disparate folks because there is no other choice seemed spot on and was charmingly presented.

Having said that, what a harsh environment!  The struggle for everyday life seemed quite extreme.  One complete loss to a chimney fire, and then the final loss to the flooding/mudslides--plus a lot of terrifying levels of snow, ice, and cold without a ton of resources to bring to bear on them and with a obligation to get out to drive to work most days--that's a lot of hardship for just a few years out of a life.  Toward the end of the book I started to remember how I had romanticized the Native Americans who live in my local mountains when I was a kid, but how when I was a grownup I learned that they only lived that high up in the warmer months, and then migrated to lower altitudes for the harsher seasons, which seemed increasingly brilliant the more I read.  I enjoyed this book and am glad that I read it.

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I just finished "The Bear And The Nightingale" by Katherine Arden.

I have almost nothing to say about it.  I don't want to spoil it by talking about it too much.  It's set in Russia hundreds of years ago, and has fairy tale/legend aspects but is quite original.  It is intended to kick off a trilogy, and I can't wait for books 2 and 3.  I loved it.  Read it. 

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19 hours ago, JennW in SoCal said:

I finished listening to David Copperfield on my commute and during dinner breaks.

What timing! I just finished David Copperfield myself. Entering it on my book timeline I saw that I'd last read it in 2015; five years since I taught it to Middle Girl & Teenage Co. as part of a little seminar I ran for a while. It was more fun reading it without thinking about plot arc or Dickens's methods of characterization. My favorite character is still Miss Mowcher, who transmogrifies from pandering Madame, in league with Steerforth, to oppressed but feisty heroine, in the blink of a defamation lawsuit.

One more in the Literary Duress 10x10 category. Soon I need to lay my 2019/2020 list before me and figure out which categories I'm done with and which not. I'm reconsidering the Shame List category: 10 books I don't want to admit I haven't read. Middle Girl suggests I fess up to not having read Emma and get it done.

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5 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

When I was a kid my mom told me that a certain novel she owned was written by Dr. Norris, her ob/gyn.  Seeing that this man died 4 years before her parents were even born, this was obviously untrue.  I either misunderstood her (maybe this was Dr. Norris' father?) or she was mistaken.  Same first name, and same setting.  Very odd.

Frank Norris's (author of The Octopus and McTeague) younger brother, Charles Gilman Norris, was also a novelist, popular in his time but largely forgotten now. Better remembered is C. G. Norris' wife, Kathleen Norris (Frank Norris's sister-in-law), who wrote scads of best-sellers in the first half of the 20th century. Kathleen and C.G.'s son, Frank Norris (named for his literary uncle) was a gynecologist and obstetrician who seems to have been delivering babies in San Francisco in the '60s and '70s. Did he mention to your mom that besides a very literary family, his niece (granddaughter of C.G. and Kathleen) married a Romanov prince?

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Amy -- I did not know that about unicorn blood. Sorry you're all down with Evil Germs and Side Effects. I would bring you chicken tortilla soup but you're very far away.

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I finished The Count of Monte Cristo.  It was an interesting book, and though I had to look up summaries near the beginning of the book to keep up with the plot It is a fairly easy, albeit long, read. The copy I borrowed from the library was on a Playaway device that kept cutting out at important plot points and frustratingly left off the last five minutes of the book.  I was able to read the ending online, but it was just not the same as finishing with the same format I started.  

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17 hours ago, Violet Crown said:

Frank Norris's (author of The Octopus and McTeague) younger brother, Charles Gilman Norris, was also a novelist, popular in his time but largely forgotten now. Better remembered is C. G. Norris' wife, Kathleen Norris (Frank Norris's sister-in-law), who wrote scads of best-sellers in the first half of the 20th century. Kathleen and C.G.'s son, Frank Norris (named for his literary uncle) was a gynecologist and obstetrician who seems to have been delivering babies in San Francisco in the '60s and '70s. Did he mention to your mom that besides a very literary family, his niece (granddaughter of C.G. and Kathleen) married a Romanov prince?

Nope, but that grandson was definitely the guy.  Dr. Norris delivered at least two and maybe all three of my siblings.

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On 1/29/2020 at 6:07 PM, SereneHome said:

I think I am going to be reading my current book for the next 100 wks. It's an excellent book, very well written but it's non-fiction and I am trying to truly pay attention to every word. The lost city of Z - highly highly recommend it

I have Lost City of Z in my stacks.  Keep meaning to read it and never getting around to it. Will move to my breakfast sip reads shelf so I don't forget about it. 

On 1/30/2020 at 8:30 AM, RootAnn said:

Popping in to see if anyone has read Spy Schools by Daniel Golden? I ran across it when looking for another book of the same name. I'm not big on non fiction, but it looks interesting. Anyone?

Haven't read it, but it does look good. One my hubby would totally enjoy. Added it to our wishlist. 

On 1/30/2020 at 9:02 AM, vmsurbat1 said:

Since I just finished my fourth book, I took a look and found your rec as a digital download from the library.  So, The Lost City of Z will be my next book!  Hoping I enjoy it as much as you do even though I don't have a 100 weeks to read it, just 2. 🙂

I just finished Night of Miracles and here is the mini-review I put on Goodreads*:

*If it is not cool to post here AND on Goodreads, just let me know! 

I may join you in reading Lost City of Z once I finish my current nonfiction breakfast read - When Books Went to War. No worries as we we have some readers who don't leave the forum so posting here and Goodreads is cool! 

 

On 1/30/2020 at 7:18 PM, mumto2 said:

@JennW in SoCal  Have you read any of the Anne Hillerman’s?  Your musical’s sound like fun!

@Robin M Right now my kids are in the middle of a Stargate marathon so no Dr. Who.

I finished my spelling challenge for January-Banana Yoshimoto

B.........Dragon Bone by Patricia Briggs

A.........Too Lucky to Live by Annie Hogset

N.........No Man’s Land by David Baldacci 

A.........Beating About the Bush by MC Beaton

N.........Applied Electromagnetism by Susannah Nix

A..........Dragon Actually by GA Aiken

 

Y..........Moshi, Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto 

O..........One Second After by William Forstchen

S..........Face Down Accross the Western Sea by Kathy Lynn Emerson

H..........A Highend Finish by Kate Carlisle

I............Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis

M..........The Tamerack Murders by Patrick McManus

O...........One in a Million by Susan Mallery

T............Turning Angel by Greg Iles

O...........Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler Olsen 

Wow! Awesome job with spelling out Banana's name.    We have the first season of Stargate on dvd.  I loved the show and James is starting to express interest. Enjoy! 

On 1/31/2020 at 11:09 AM, aggieamy said:

Flu updated. We're all sick now and on Tamiflu. Tamiflu is like drinking Unicorn Blood. You're alive but it's a half life filled with nosebleeds, insomnia, and nausea.  

@mumto2 - Stargate! That takes me back to college. I had a friend who watched that with me and we loved it. So much so that circa 2001 I printed a picture of Samantha Carter off the internet on the school printers and took it into stylist and told her I wanted my hair to look just like that. It didn't but I still tried. 

@Robin M - We are still on the 11th Doctor! We started again at the beginning watching at the 9th Doctor with John so give me a year or so!

@Lady Florida. - What are you reading these days?

Unicorn blood, huh~  I guess Tamiflu makes you feel worse before you feel better.  Hope everyone feels better soon.     Love Matt Smith!  Glad you are enjoying watching the series with John.  James got me into watching the show but he liked skipping around. Made me dizzy trying to figure out the chronology.  Once we started watching in order, everything made much more sense.  

On 1/31/2020 at 11:14 AM, aggieamy said:

Finished another book. Wow. 

Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham - This book was fantastic but if I'd picked it up as a new writer I would have been overwhelmed. It goes into the nitty gritty of scene structure and is exactly what I needed at this point. Highly recommend. 

Have any of the other writer gals on here read it?

Not yet! Looks good though. 

On 1/31/2020 at 12:03 PM, Truth said:

2/45

What The Wind Knows - time travel story to 1921 Ireland.  I give it 3.5 stars.  It was a little to history heavy for me, but if you enjoy that aspect you'd probably rate it higher.  I enjoyed the characters and story line.

3/45

The Gifted School - "Smart and juicy, a compulsively readable novel about a previously happy group of friends and parents that is nearly destroyed by their own competitiveness when an exclusive school for gifted children opens in the community".  Another 3 star book, I wanted it to be better then it was.  I couldn't find the friendships believable. 

4/45

One for the Money (#1 in Stephanie Plum series) -  Read this because I was curious with how many  are in the series.  Surely these books must be amazing.  Eeeh.  Wasn't a hard read, but definitely not my type of book.   A little to fluffy.   I also felt like there was some racial stereotypes written several times!    I guess I still don't really get the popularity.  2.75 stars.

Thanks Truth. What the Wind Knows sounds interesting.

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23 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I just finished "The Bear And The Nightingale" by Katherine Arden.

I have almost nothing to say about it.  I don't want to spoil it by talking about it too much.  It's set in Russia hundreds of years ago, and has fairy tale/legend aspects but is quite original.  It is intended to kick off a trilogy, and I can't wait for books 2 and 3.  I loved it.  Read it. 

Rough Beauty sounds good and I have been meaning to read The Bear and the Nightingale.  On my want list. Thanks! 

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18 hours ago, Violet Crown said:

What timing! I just finished David Copperfield myself. Entering it on my book timeline I saw that I'd last read it in 2015; five years since I taught it to Middle Girl & Teenage Co. as part of a little seminar I ran for a while. It was more fun reading it without thinking about plot arc or Dickens's methods of characterization. My favorite character is still Miss Mowcher, who transmogrifies from pandering Madame, in league with Steerforth, to oppressed but feisty heroine, in the blink of a defamation lawsuit.

One more in the Literary Duress 10x10 category. Soon I need to lay my 2019/2020 list before me and figure out which categories I'm done with and which not. I'm reconsidering the Shame List category: 10 books I don't want to admit I haven't read. Middle Girl suggests I fess up to not having read Emma and get it done.

If I can get through Emma, you can to.  Get-er-done, gal!  😘

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On 1/30/2020 at 5:36 PM, JennW in SoCal said:

I loved Lost City of Z!! It's been a few years since I read it and I'm happy the title still being discovered and enjoyed!

Good grief is it really Thursday afternoon already? I haven't even updated my Goodreads acct for the week...

I spent the first part of the week recuperating physically and catching up on housework and laundry after a marathon music weekend. It was creatively rewarding but physically exhausting. It was a workshop to rehearse then record and and perform a new musical based loosely on Dicken's Christmas story Cricket on the Hearth. And fittingly, I finished listening to David Copperfield on my commute and during dinner breaks. 

It's so funny listening to one of these old classics. Every once in a while I'd find myself thinking, "you know, this is some really great writing" as if no one in the world had ever noticed before. I quite liked David Copperfield,and once again have to plug the audio version with Richard Armitage reading -- more like performing. It was brilliantly done. The villains made my skin crawl -- the Murdstones and Uriah Heep, and the just plain twisted characters like Rosa Dartle. But I simply love Betsey Trotwood, David's aunt, who apparently has a a fan club out there on the internets. I'm a huge fan of her, too, and find it interesting that she appears alongside the two young paragons of Victorian womanhood who marry our hero and his best friend late in the book. I wanted to gag over the fawning representation of them as sweet and angelic, working so hard to make a simple life so perfect -- up before everyone else, doing this and that to create perfect domestic bliss. All in all, though, a very satisfying 30+ hours of listening.

This week I also read the excellent graphic novel memoir, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.  There is a musical theater connection with that as well, as I'm in the midst of a several week run in the pit of the Tony winning show based off the memoir. The artistic director actually bought used copies of the memoir for each of the 6 of us in the pit as opening night gifts -- such a wonderful gesture - a first in all my years of "gigging". The musical is a powerful adaptation of the memoir, but before y'all go out and either read it or take your kids to a production of it, let me give you a heads up. It isn't a happy comedy, but is partly a coming of age story about Alison Bechdel discovering she is gay, but more importantly it the story of her trying to make sense of her family -- her closeted gay dad who commits suicide, and her mother who tried to keep the family glued together for years and years. 

I also read another Tony Hillerman mystery, Dancehall of the Dead. Isn't that a terrific title? It is another solid title, just the second one he published. 

And for a complete change of pace, I'm listening to one of the travel books written by the late drummer from the band Rush, Neil Peart. The book is Roadshow: Landscape with Drums. I really like his writer's voice and look forward to traveling the USA and Europe with him over the next 13 hours

Wowzers!  Are we going to get to hear the recording of Cricket on the Hearth., at some point. Will it only be in theater or released to buy?    Sounds like you are having loads of fun with your music.  How neat to be doing the musical for Fun Home.   Thanks for the Neil Peart recommendation. I'll check it out. 

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30 minutes ago, Robin M said:

I have Lost City of Z in my stacks.  Keep meaning to read it and never getting around to it. Will move to my breakfast sip reads shelf so I don't forget about it. 

Good idea. Heaven forbid Lost City of Z should get ... lost.

**

Sending good thoughts, @aggieamy, that you and your family will soon be healthy.

Regards,

Kareni

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On 1/31/2020 at 4:18 PM, mumto2 said:

I finished my spelling challenge for January-Banana Yoshimoto

Seriously well done on reading that spelling challenge!!   (The thought of finding books for some of those letters .......   🙈)

On 1/31/2020 at 6:02 AM, vmsurbat1 said:

If it is not cool to post here AND on Goodreads, just let me know! 

Totally cool to post on both locations: not everyone here frequents GR's  (Appreciate you posting your review of The Book of the Dun Cow. )

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

I completed reading two books this week but am only at the rating stage with them    Nothing to Report: Mary Meadows Bk1  ~ Carola Oman (3)  I liked it enough to want to read it's sequel.  I also listened to this audiobook of this next one back to back after reading it, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society ~ Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows  (ebook/epukapuka) (4+ for the ebook/epukapuka)  and (4- (audiobook  Hard to skip past the swearing – no F-bombs; and, some of the context comes out the way the narrator has interpreted it, not the way I interpreted the author as intending it to be read.)

Listened to a few more Albert Campions by Margery Allingham and will review them here once I've completed the series via audio.  (I'm preferring the abridged editions narrated by Philip Franks more that the unabridged books).

   

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Finished Lighthouse Island (Jiles). I really enjoyed the "world" of the book, the 2 main characters, and the beautiful/poetic language. Strangely, the book suddenly veers away from our 2 protagonists to 5 brand new characters for the last few chapters of the book, and we then see our 2 protagonists right at the very end again through the eyes of the 5 new characters... I don't think that worked for me -- the entire rest of the book is a very close 3rd person to our 2 main characters, and the sudden switch away was... confusing and completely deflated the tension that had been slowly building all through the book until then. So: not a perfect book, but worth a read for the dystopia world and the beautiful writing.

Also this week I knocked out Shades of Milk and Honey (Kowal), #1 in the Glamourist Histories. Very disappointed -- too much light-weight romance novel, not enough fantasy and creative story twists or character development. It's a Jane Austen setting with the fantasy element of "glamour," the magical art of illusion. Once you enjoy the first scene that shows off the clever idea of "glamour" and appreciate it as one of the "arts" that an accomplished young woman of breeding would have, that's pretty much all the book has to offer.

Also finished Something Wicked This Way Comes (Bradbury) for my class this past week. Wow, Bradbury's writing style, the very creative ideas, and the father standing in the gap for his boys. So wonderful to see that the character of an involved parent is crucial to the young teen boys surviving the dark carnival.

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Just popping in to say Thank You to all of you for your posts/reviews/discussions. I've seen this 52BinY challenge for awhile, but this is the first time I've participated. I had a lovely serendipitous moment last night coming across "Cockatrice" in The Lost City of Z, having just recently encountered it in The Book of the Dun Cow (and never before, to my knowledge).  Our world is so wonderfully connected.....

Anyway, I'm super happy to be back in the habit of daily reading and compiling a growing list of WTRs.  

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10 hours ago, vmsurbat1 said:

Just popping in to say Thank You to all of you for your posts/reviews/discussions. I've seen this 52BinY challenge for awhile, but this is the first time I've participated. I had a lovely serendipitous moment last night coming across "Cockatrice" in The Lost City of Z, having just recently encountered it in The Book of the Dun Cow (and never before, to my knowledge).  Our world is so wonderfully connected.....

Anyway, I'm super happy to be back in the habit of daily reading and compiling a growing list of WTRs.  


This is where I get my "want to read" list of books, too! 😄 

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12 hours ago, Lori D. said:

Finished Lighthouse Island (Jiles). I really enjoyed the "world" of the book, the 2 main characters, and the beautiful/poetic language. Strangely, the book suddenly veers away from our 2 protagonists to 5 brand new characters for the last few chapters of the book, and we then see our 2 protagonists right at the very end again through the eyes of the 5 new characters... I don't think that worked for me -- the entire rest of the book is a very close 3rd person to our 2 main characters, and the sudden switch away was... confusing and completely deflated the tension that had been slowly building all through the book until then. So: not a perfect book, but worth a read for the dystopia world and the beautiful writing.

Also this week I knocked out Shades of Milk and Honey (Kowal), #1 in the Glamourist Histories. Very disappointed -- too much light-weight romance novel, not enough fantasy and creative story twists or character development. It's a Jane Austen setting with the fantasy element of "glamour," the magical art of illusion. Once you enjoy the first scene that shows off the clever idea of "glamour" and appreciate it as one of the "arts" that an accomplished young woman of breeding would have, that's pretty much all the book has to offer.

Also finished Something Wicked This Way Comes (Bradbury) for my class this past week. Wow, Bradbury's writing style, the very creative ideas, and the father standing in the gap for his boys. So wonderful to see that the character of an involved parent is crucial to the young teen boys surviving the dark carnival.

Lighthouse Island just was added to my lists.  I think I am going to start tracking Dystopian books in case I need to adjust my categories in 10 x 10’s.  Dystopian fiction seems to be something that I am being drawn towards.

I read Milk and Honey several years ago. I remember planning to read the next in the series but never have actually bothered.

@Robin M All seasons of Stargate are currently on Prime if the urge to watch is there.

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20 hours ago, Robin M said:

my breakfast sip reads shelf

What a great idea! As soon as some space clears in my desk (3 years, I'm guessing) I am going to do this! Nonfiction! With breakfast! A sip at a time! So many good ideas in that one sentence of yours.

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Yes, still reading The lost city of Z but for some reason also started How not to die   I am a few chapters in - his main point so far is that diet can cure / reverse many illnesses. And it has to be plant-based diet. Haven't gone far enough to see if he "bans" all meat and dairy.....bc if he does, he will loose me there. But I do agree with him when he says that unfortunately doctors are not trained in nutrition so they don't usually council their patients on it.

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4 hours ago, SereneHome said:

Yes, still reading The lost city of Z but for some reason also started How not to die   I am a few chapters in - his main point so far is that diet can cure / reverse many illnesses. And it has to be plant-based diet. Haven't gone far enough to see if he "bans" all meat and dairy.....bc if he does, he will loose me there. But I do agree with him when he says that unfortunately doctors are not trained in nutrition so they don't usually council their patients on it.

 

I'm reading The Lost City of Z, too. I have a new-found appreciation and understanding of the need for tropical medicine.  I have no idea how those men survived, and after recovery, often went back for more torture exploration.....

I briefly looked at How Not to Die, mainly because I found his checklist of the Daily Dozen to eat which I like overall.   I'm pretty sure he advocates a vegan diet, so if that is a no-go for you, I can recommend that you look at the Mediterranean Diet way of eating.  An excellent resource for that is Oldways Mediterranean Diet--there are articles, recipes, newsletters, FB group for support.  I've always been partial to that WOE but, after this year's too-much-holiday indulgences, have gone 90% towards it--mainly by participating in the FB support group for inspiration, recommendations, and reminders.  (Husband doesn't like fish, so that is out.)  But the emphasis on Veggies and Fruits as principal components of meals is just what I needed.   I'm down 3 pounds already, all the while enjoying foods we love....including meat, dairy, pasta, and pizza. 🙂

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