Jennifer's 2023 Reading (japaul22)

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Jennifer's 2023 Reading (japaul22)

joulukuu 28, 2022, 1:35 pm

Hi everyone! I'm back for my 13th year in Club Read. I live in Northern Virginia and am a musician in the U.S. Marine Band - I play french horn. I'm also a mom to two boys, ages 13 and 10 this winter. So, I'm busy! But I also find plenty of time to read. I love contemporary fiction and gravitate to women writers. I also read and reread the classics. I also always have a nonfiction book going, usually history or biography.

Looking forward to the reading year ahead!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 18, 4:16 pm

These lists are to help me pick books when I don't have a "next book" in mind. They will also give you an idea of the kinds of books I enjoy. These are all a work in progress. I will remove or add on any whim - they are not "definitive" lists for me!

Contemporary Authors that I follow (i.e. I'll probably read any new novel they put out and am reading any backlog I haven't gotten to yet):
Hilary Mantel
Kate Atkinson
Eleanor Catton
Eowyn Ivey
Tana French
Marilynne Robinson
Hannah Tinti
Barbara Kingsolver
Ann Patchett
Chimamanda Adichie
Margaret Atwood
Madeline Miller
Esther Freud
A.S. Byatt
Siri Hustvedt
Ottessa Moshfegh
Charlotte McConaghy

Series/Mysteries that I follow:
Robert Galbraith, Cormoran Strike mysteries (5/6)
Tana French, (8/8)
Jane Harper, (4/5)
C.J. Sansom, Matthew Shardlake series (6/6)
Ruth Ware (6/7)
Thursday Murder Club (2/3)
The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau (1/2)

Classic authors I love (reading novels I haven't read yet or rereads):
I'm still deciding if I want to track how many works I've read by each author . . .
Jane Austen - complete
the Brontes - complete
Virginia Woolf - complete novels
George Eliot
Trollope - (20 out of 47 novels)
Thomas Mann (3 novels)
Doestoevsky - (2 novels)
Tolstoy (2 novels)
Haldor Laxness (2 novels)
Sigrid Undset (3 novels)
Faulkner (4/17-ish novels)
Scandinavian classics
Willa Cather
Edith Wharton
John Williams (4/4 novels)
Proust - complete
Thomas Hardy
Henry James
Barbara Pym (9/13 novels)

Kindle TBR (because I never remember I have these) 36 books on this list at the beginning of 2023:
*Daughters of the Winter Queen by Nancy Goldstone
Martin Chuzzlewit
Our Mutual Friend
Nicholas Nickleby
Lost Children Archive
The Fire This Time
Sandhamn Murders by Viveca Sten books 1-6
Titan by Ron Chernow
Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar
The Imprisoned Guest by Elisabeth Gitter
How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
Three Lives by Gertrude Stein
Compartment No. 6
The Great Circle
The Books of Jacob
*Drive your plow over the bones of the dead
3 From Amazon world book day:
Mother Dear
*The Easy Life in Kamusari
And Eye for an Eye
She Has Her Mother's Laugh (science book on heredity)
An Experiment in Love by Hilary Mantel
A Woman's Life by Maupassant
Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
Lapovna by Otessa Moshfegh
Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie
Was Heathcliff a Murderer by Jon Sutherland
A Map for the Missing
Baba Dunja’s Last Love
*Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
East Angels by Constance Fenimore Woolson
The Town by Faulkner
The Mansion by Faulkner
Ladie’s Paradise Zola
Brave the Wild River

*recommended to actually read this year by LT friends

Link to my "best book by publication year" list

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 1, 9:05 am

Reading Log

1. Krakatoa by Simon Winchester
2. Fight Night by Miriam Toews
3. The Gilded Page by Mary Wellesley
4. Anne by Constance Fenimore Woolson
5. Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey
6. The Grimkes by Kerri K. Greenidge
7. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
8. The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys

9. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
10. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
11. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (reread)
12. The Land of Green Plums by Herta Muller
13. Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King
14. The Man who Died Twice by Richard Osman
15. Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

16. An Island by Karen Jennings
17. The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen
18. Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton
19. The Lady Queen by Nancy Goldstone
20. The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
21. The Summer Book by Tove Jannson
22. Trespasses by Louise Kennedy
23. Irretrievable by Theodor Fontane
24. American Canopy by Eric Rutkow

25. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
26. Exiles by Jane Harper
27. Will and Testament by Vigdis Hjorth
28. Queen Victoria by Lucy Worsley
29. Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes
30. Love by Hanne Orstavik
31. Angel by Elizabeth Taylor

32. I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai
33. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby van Pelt
34. Pot Luck by Emile Zola
35. The Blue Sky
36. The Nature of Oaks by Doug Tallamy
37. The Giant, O'Brien by Hilary Mantel
38. Persuasion by Jane Austen
39. What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Mullan
40. Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H.
41. A Dream in Polar Fog by Yuri Rytkheu

42. Fugitive Colors by Nancy Bilyeau
43. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
44. Pandora's Jar by Natalie Haynes
45. The Good Wife of Bath of Karen Brooks
46. Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
47. The Hamlet by William Faulkner
48. Know My Name by Chanel Miller
49. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

joulukuu 29, 2022, 1:00 pm

Welcome to Club Read 2023, Jennifer! I look forward to following your reading again this year. I like the idea of making a list of books I want to get to sooner rather than later. Too many times books that I really want to read fall off my radar and get buried in my TBR or wishlist. Ones I enjoyed from your Kindle list are Burnt Shadows (excellent, she is an author I want to revisit soon) and The Easy Life in Kamusari (which I also got on World Book Day).

joulukuu 30, 2022, 9:07 am

Happy new thread, Jennifer. Wish you a great 2023.

joulukuu 31, 2022, 2:48 pm

Happy New Year and happy new thread, Jennifer. I look forward to seeing what you will read in 2023!

tammikuu 1, 7:28 am

Happy New Year, Jennifer. I'm happy to have found your new thread and look forward to seeing what you get up to this year. You've pointed me to some great reads in the past.

tammikuu 1, 7:51 am

Happy new year Jennifer, I always enjoy your reviews, which are very inspiring for me!

And you should absolutely read Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Death on your kindle 😉

tammikuu 1, 11:13 am

Happy new year, Jennifer! I see some good reads in your Kindle TBR: Daughters of the Winter Queen and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine in particular.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 1, 12:08 pm

I believe you mentioned not have a big-book project? There is a year-long read of Clarissa on Litsy, reading each letter on the day it was written (because this year the days of the week line up with the monthly dates!)

Happy New Year!

tammikuu 1, 12:04 pm

Welcome, everyone! I'm grateful for all the tips on which books from my kindle list to prioritize! I find it harder to get excited about kindle books sometimes because of the format - no enticing cover to see - even though I really enjoy reading on the kindle.

>10 ELiz_M: Oh no, you might be hooking me! You're right that I don't have a big book project yet for this year. I've had Clarissa on my shelf for several years now. A group read might be just the thing to get me to read it.

tammikuu 1, 12:14 pm

Happy New Year! Looking forward to following your reading again (more closely than last year, I hope).

tammikuu 1, 12:32 pm

Happy New Year, Jennifer. I look forward to following your reading again this year.

tammikuu 1, 6:38 pm

Happy new year and thread, Jennifer. As always, looking forward to your reading this year.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 3, 6:41 pm

#1 Krakatoa by Simon Winchester

Started off 2023 with a book that has been on my shelf for years and an author that I've never read, despite his popularity and many available books. And I really enjoyed it. As is evidenced by the title, this is a nonfiction work about the explosion of Krakatoa, a volcano between Sumatra and Java. This happened in 1883 and was one of the first major natural disasters that happened when global communication was possible through telegraphs. There were also enough scientific instruments in place to really get a handle on some of the repercussions of the eruption. Krakatoa's explosion was so violent that the entire volcano disappeared under the ocean. The explosion was heard 3000 miles away and the shock waves circled the entire globe 7 times! Almost 40,000 people died.

Winchester goes through what we know about plate tectonics and volcanoes in clear and informative words. He also gives good insight into the Dutch colonization of Java and how the eruption began to change the island and Dutch rule. I was also really interested in what happened to the immediate surroundings of a new volcano springing up near Krakatoa and how life returned to the islands.

The book is not highly technical and it's obviously intended for the curious layperson. It's very readable nonfiction and probably won't satisfy anyone with a lot of expertise in the topic, but for me it hit just the right note. Sort of like watching a history channel hour long documentary but reading it instead.

Original publication date: 2003
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 464 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: hardback library sale book
Publisher: HarperCollins
Why I read this: finally getting to a book that's been on my shelf for years

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 3, 12:13 pm

Happy New Reading Year, Jennifer!

You started out with a great one--I loved every book of Winchester's that I've read (5), and he's especially good on audio when he reads his own books. I usually have the paper book available to check out the photos and graphs, etc.

Besides Krakatoa I particularly enjoyed A Crack in the Edge of the World and The Professor and the Madman.

tammikuu 3, 12:37 pm

>15 japaul22: I really really need to get this off my shelf. Great, enticing review.

tammikuu 3, 4:15 pm

I've had Krakatoa on my shelf for years. Maybe I'll finally get to it this year - your review is great.

tammikuu 3, 7:16 pm

>15 japaul22: I had been eyeing quite a few of his books but never read anything by him. I wonder if his style is close to David McCullough's.

Wonderful review :)

tammikuu 3, 9:56 pm

>15 japaul22: cool first book. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Back in 2002 I read Winchester's The Map That Changed the World and hated it so much I decided never to read him again, even if he was a geologist. I'm kind of amused at how passionate I was about that. Basically, I thought the book was too light and had nothing to offer. Perhaps I should try him again, ( >16 kac522: perhaps on audio).

tammikuu 4, 1:25 am

I also liked Krakatoa when I read it back in the mists of time. I read The Professor and the Madman more recently and didn't enjoy it that much, but I'm in the minority on that.

tammikuu 4, 7:39 am

>20 dchaikin: I don't know, Dan. I actually thought about you while I was reading Krakatoa and thought that you would likely not be impressed with the geologic science presented with your background! It worked for me, but like I said in my review, the book was more like watching an hour long history TV show than a real science book. I'm not sure it would work for you.

>19 AnnieMod: I really like David McCullough too. His John Adams biography was the book that got me into reading historical biographies back in my 20s. I loved it so much. He's similar to Simon Winchester in that they are both very readable, but from what I remember (it's been a while) McCullough gets much more in depth with his topics than this Krakatoa book was.

tammikuu 4, 6:46 pm

Well, instead of doing the many other things I should have done today, I ended up going down a spreadsheet rabbit hole, inspired by Liz's (Eliz_M) project to read a book published in every year from 2025-1920. Of course, I had to customize that to my own reading plans, though, and I decided just to make a spreadsheet where I will track my reading and try to read at least one book from every year - back to which year TBD. At the same time, for years that I've read multiple books, I'm keeping the highest rated/my favorite book on the spreadsheet. So at the end (whenever that my be), I'll have a spreadsheet of my favorite book from every year back as long as I decide to go. I think that sounds fun to have!

tammikuu 4, 6:55 pm

>23 japaul22: Yes! my work here is done, wahaha.

tammikuu 4, 7:16 pm

>24 ELiz_M: Haha - it's so much fun, I don't even care how long I've spent on it today!! Thanks!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 4, 7:58 pm

>23 japaul22: I have a very inelegant thread where I've been keeping track of all years. I started it in 2019:

Your spreadsheet sounds like a much more efficient tracker. If I ever decide to go that route, at least having it recorded here will make it easier to transfer to a spreadsheet.

I'm still trying to figure out why 1934 has more books read than any other year....

tammikuu 4, 11:35 pm

>19 AnnieMod: have read both - and I found them each focusing on the general reader. Not lots of over the top technology stuff but some real interesting writing and history, Think youll enjoy him

tammikuu 4, 11:42 pm

>22 japaul22: I agree with you about Winchester and McColluogh both readable and interesting. The latter does go deeper but have enjoyed both. My fav of the former was the professor and the mad man (also hated that map book, and I love maps!) for the former its the greater journey: Americans in Paris

tammikuu 5, 5:56 am

>23 japaul22: - Just what I need - another sheet in my spreadsheet. Are you starting from 2023 or going back and filling in books from previous years?

>26 kac522: - I took a quick look at yours and it's impressive. Starred it and will go back later to check it out more. later.

tammikuu 5, 7:00 am

>23 japaul22: time well spent, Jennifer! I love a good reading spreadsheet. This sounds like an interesting project, too.

tammikuu 5, 7:36 am

>26 kac522: Oh, that's neat! I love that you've been doing that!

>28 cindydavid4: The talk about David McCullough makes me want to get back to him! I've never read The Greater Journey . . .

>29 dudes22: I decided to go back in my reading and not make it a "going forward from now" project when I decided to track my favorite book from each year. I think I might go all the way back to when I started using LT and tracking my reading (2008). Right now I've only gone back through 2017, which has been easy because I was using my review format where I write down the publication date with each review. I can't remember what year I started that, though.

>30 lauralkeet: I love your spreadsheets, too, Laura! I knew you'd approve. :-)

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 10, 9:16 am

My favorite book (so far) from every publication year. This only includes reading that I've done since joining LT and tracking my reading in 2009. It is copy/paste from a spreadsheet, so it looks a little messy. Publication year, title, author (last name first), star rating. I will continue to update and correct this (publication dates can be tricky!)!

2022 The Colony Magee, Audrey 5
2021 Small Things Like These Keegan, Claire 5
2020 Hamnet O'Farrell, Maggie 5
2019 Ducks, Newburyport Ellman, Lucy 4.5
2018 The Great Believers Makkai, Rebecca 5
2017 Lincoln in the Bardo Saunders, George 5
2016 Homegoing Gyasi, Yaa 5
2015 A God in Ruins Atkinson, Kate 5
2014 Lila Robinson, Marilynne 5
2013 Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin Lepore, Jill 5
2012 The Snow Child Ivey, Eowyn 5
2011 The Warmth of Other Suns Wilkerson, Isabel 5
2010 The New Jim Crow Alexander, Michelle 5
2009 Wolf Hall Mantel, Hilary 5
2008 City of Thieves Benioff, David 5
2007 The Frozen Thames Humphreys, Helen 5
2006 Love and Louis XIV Fraser, Antonia 4.5
2005 The Secret River Grenville, Kate 4.5
2004 The Seas Hunt, Samantha 5
2003 The Namesake Lahiri, Jhumpa 5
2002 The Story of Lucy Gault Trevor, William 5
2001 The Age of Homespun Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher 4.5
2000 The Feast of the Goat Llosa, Mario Vargas 4.5
1999 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Rowling, J.K. 4.5
1998 The Poisonwood Bible Kingsolver, Barbara 5
1997 Paradise Morrison, Toni 5
1996 Alias Grace Atwood, Margaret 5
1995 Morality Play Unsworth, Barry 4.5
1994 Felicia's Journey Trevor, William 4
1993 The Stone Diaries Shields, Carol 4.5
1992 A Place of Greater Safety Mantel, Hilary 5
1991 Marking Time Howard, Elizabeth Jane 4
1990 A Midwife's Tale Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher 5
1989 Nervous Conditions Dangarembga, Tsitsi 4.5
1988 The Greenlanders Smiley, Jane 4.5
1987 Beloved Morrison, Toni 5
1986 An Artist of the Foating World Ishiguro, Kazuo 4
1985 Lonesome Dove McMurty, Larry 4.5
1984 Hotel du Lac Brookner, Anita 4.5
1983 Fools of Fortune Trevor, William 3.5
1982 The Sunne in Splendour Penman, Sharon Kay 5
1981 July's People Gordimor, nadine 4
1980 A Month in the Country Carr, J. L. 4.5
1979 The Greengage Summer Godden, Rumer 4
1978 The Stand King, Stephen 4.5
1977 Song of Solomon Morrison, Toni 5
1975 Corregidora Jones, Gayl 2.5
1974 The Diviners Laurence, Margaret 5
1973 Sula Morrison, Toni 4
1972 The Summer Book Jansson, Tove 5
1971 The Winds of War Wouk, Herman 5
1970 84, Charing Cross Road Hanff, Helene 5
1969 Mary Queen of Scots Fraser, Antonia 4.5
1968 Coming of Age in mississippi Moody, Anne 4
1967 The Parson's Widow Vartio, Marja-Liisa 3.5
1966 Silence Endo, Shusaku 3.5
1965 Stoner Williams, John 5
1964 The Stone Angel Laurence, Margaret 5
1963 The Fire Next Time Baldwin, James 5
1962 We Have Always Lived in the Castle Jackson, Shirley 4.5
1961 No Fond Return of Love Pym, Barbara 4
1960 To Kill a Mockingbird Lee, Harper 5
1959 The Vet's Daughter Comyns, Barbara 4.5
1958 A Glass of Blessings Pym, Barbara 4
1957 The Birds Vesaas, Tarjei 4.5
1956 Tea at Four O'Clock McNeill, Janet 4.5
1955 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne Moore, Brian 5
1954 The Long Ships Bengtsson, Frans G. 4.5
1953 Jane and Prudence Pym, Barbara 4.5
1952 Excellent Women Pym, Barbara 5
1951 Hangsaman Jackson, Shirley 4.5
1950 The Grass is Singing Lessing, Doris 5
1949 The Farm in the Green Mountains Herdan-Zuckerman, Alice 3.5
1948 Ashes and Diamonds Andrzejewski, Jerzy 4.5
1947 A View of the Harbour Taylor, Elizabeth 2.5
1946 To bed with Grand Music Laski, Marghanita 3.5
1945 Brideshead Revisited Waugh, Evelyn 4.5
1943 Iceland's Bell Laxness, Halldor 4
1941 Chess Story Zweig, Stefan 4.5
1940 The Heart is a Lonely Hunter McCullers, Carson 2.5
1939 The Priory Whipple, Dorothy 4
1938 Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day Watson, Winifred 3
1937 Their Eyes Were Watching God Hurston, Zora Neale 5
1936 Gone With the Wind Mitchell, Margaret 5
1935 Lucia's Progress Benson, E.F. 3.5
1934 Independent People Laxness, Halldor 5
1933 Testament of Youth Brittain, Vera 4.5
1932 Journey to the End of the Night Céline, Louis-Ferdinand 4
1931 The Waves Woolf, Virginia 5
1930 As I Lay Dying Faulkner, William 4
1929 The Sound and the Fury Faulkner, William 5
1928 Orlando Woolf, Virginia 4.5
1927 Time Regained Proust, Marcel 5
1926 Alberta and Jacob Sandel, Cora 5
1925 Mrs. Dalloway Woolf, Virginia 4
1924 The Home-Maker Fisher, Dorothy Canfield 5
1923 Revolving Lights Richardson, Dorothy 3
1922 Kristin Lavransdatter Undset, Sigrid 5
1921 Deadlock Richardson, Dorothy 4
1920 The Age of Innocence Wharton, Edith 5
1919 O Pioneers Cather, Willa 4.5
1918 My Antonia Cather, Willa 4
1917 Growth of the Soil Hamsun, Knut 3.5
1916 Backwater Richardson, Dorothy 4
1915 The Good Soldier Ford, Madox Ford 4
1913 Swann's Way Proust, Marcel 5
1912 Death in Venice Mann, Thomas 2
1911 Ethan Frome Wharton, Edith 3.5
1910 Howard's End Forster, E. M. 3.5
1909 Gunnar's Daughter Undset, Sigrid 4.5
1908 A Room with a View Forster, E. M. 4
1907 The Fruit of the Tree Wharton, Edith 3.5
1905 House of Mirth Wharton, Edith 4.5
1903 The Ambassadors James, Henry 4.5
1901 The Making of a Marchioness Burnet, Frances Hodgson 3.5
1900 Buddenbrooks Mann, Thomas 5
1899 Heart of Darkness Conrad, Joseph 2.5
1898 The Turn of the Screw James, Henry 2.5
1897 Misercordia Galdos, Benito Perez 3.5
1896 The Country of the Pointed Firs Jewett, Sarah Orne 3.5
1895 Effi Briest Fontane, Theodor 3.5
1894 The Real Charlotte Somerville and Ross 4
1892 The Yellow Wallpaper Gilmans, Charlotte Perkins 4
1891 The Saga of Gosta Berling Lagerlof, Selma 3.5
1890 La Bête Humaine Zola, Emile 4.5
1889 Eline Vere Couperous, Louis 5
1886 The Mayor of Castorbridge Hardy, Thomas 4
1885 Germinal Zola, Emile 5
1884 La Regenta Alas, Leopoldo 2.5
1883 Treasure Island Stevenson, Robert Louis 3
1881 Portrait of a Lady James, Henry 3
1880 The Duke's Children Trollope, Anthony 5
1878 Anna Karenina Tolstoy, Leo 5
1877 L'assomoir Zola, Emile 4.5
1876 The Prime Minister Trollope, Anthony 4
1875 The Way We Live Now Trollope, Anthony 4.5
1874 Far From the Madding Crowd Hardy, Thomas 4
1873 Phineas Redux Trollope, Anthony 4
1872 Middlemarch Eliot, George 5
1871 The Eustace Diamonds Trollope, Anthony 3
1869 War and Peace Tolstoy, Leo 4.5
1868 Little Women Alcott, Louisa May 4
1867 Therese Raquin Zola, Emile 4
1866 Crime and Punishment Dostoevsky, Fyodor 5
1865 Can You Forgive Her? Trollope, Anthony 5
1864 The Perpetual Curate Oliphant, Margaret 4
1863 Rachel Ray Trollope, Anthony 3.5
1862 Lady Audley's Secret Braddon, Mary Elizabeth 3.5
1861 Silas Marner Eliot, George 4
1860 Framely Parsonage Trollope, Anthony 4.5
1859 A Tale of Two Cities Dickens, Charles 5
1858 Doctor Thorne Trollope, Anthony 5
1857 Barchester Towers Trollope, Anthony 4.5
1856 Madame Bovary Flaubert, Gustave 3.5
1855 The Warden Trollope, Anthony 3.5
1854 North and South Gaskell, Elizabeth 4
1853 Bleak House Dickens, Charles 3.5
1851 Moby Dick Melville, Herman 4.5
1849 Shirley Brontë, Charlotte 2
1848 Vanity Fair Thackery, William Makepeace 5
1847 Jane Eyre Brontë, Charlotte 5
1846 The Devil's Pool Sand, George 2.5
1845 La Reine Margot Dumas, Alexandre 3.5
1844 The Count of Monte Cristo Dumas, Alexandre 4
1843 A Christmas Carol Dickens, Charles 5
1842 Dead Souls Gogol, Nikolai 4
1839 Deerbrook Martineau, Harriet 4
1833 Eugenie Grandet Balzac 2
1831 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Hugo, Victor 3.5
1830 The Red and the Black Stendahl 3.5
1826 Last of the Mohicans Cooper, James Fenimore 2
1818 Northanger Abbey Austen, Jane 4.5
1817 Persuasion Austen, Jane 5
1815 Emma Austen, Jane 5
1814 Mansfield Park Austen, Jane 5
1813 Pride and Prejudice Austen, Jane 5
1811 Sense and Sensibility Austen, Jane 4.5
1800 Castle Rackrent Edgeworth, Maria 2

1796 Camilla Burney, Fanny 2
1794 Lady Susan Austen, Jane 4
1782 Dangerous Liaisons de Laclos, Choderlos 4
1778 Evelina Burney, Fanny 4.5
1766 The Vicar of Wakefield Goldsmith, Oliver 2
1764 The Castle of Otranto Walpole, Horace 2
1759 Candide Voltaire 3
1752 The Female Quixote Lennox, Charlotte 3.5
1722 Moll Flanders Defoe, Daniel 3.5
1615 Don Quixote Book 2 Cervantes 5
1605 Don Quixote Book 1 Cervantes 5

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 5, 8:16 am

>32 japaul22: How lovely to see so much D. Richardson in the 1920s!

When you get to a point of wanting to fill in the gaps, wiki has a page for each year in literature (just replace the year in the url to get to a different one):

tammikuu 5, 8:31 am

>33 ELiz_M: that's a great resource! Thank you!

tammikuu 5, 8:40 am

That’s a lovely list and it tempts me to think about making my own.

tammikuu 5, 9:09 am

>33 ELiz_M: I know! I couldn't decide if I should count the different volumes of Pilgrimage for their publication years. I ran into the same problem with Proust. So I have some thinking to do about my method, but it will be easy to sort out as I decide how I want to handle it.

>35 dchaikin: Dan, your list would have to go back into antiquity . . . :-)

tammikuu 5, 9:18 am

>36 japaul22: That’s funny. I’ve sorta skipped the middle parts - like the 1400’s, or the 1700’s, or the 1800’s, or the 1950’s…

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 5, 11:18 am

>29 dudes22:, >31 japaul22: Thanks--just a rough way to keep track, but it works.
>32 japaul22: I like your idea of picking the best one from each year. I might do that.
>33 ELiz_M: Thanks for those links--they could be useful. Some years are really tough to fill in.
>36 japaul22: I also have trouble deciding how to count short story collections, especially those that contain stories over many years (or centuries). Life's little problems.

tammikuu 5, 2:32 pm

Oh my, what a rabbit hole this is! My problem is that I read a lot of translated literature and LT isn't great at tracking original publication dates. I guess I will have to scan every wikipedia list.

tammikuu 5, 5:29 pm

>39 labfs39: Yes, I never use LT for publication dates. I google or wikipedia or use goodreads. Since I've already done all of that legwork back through 2014, it's not so bad to put this together.

tammikuu 5, 6:26 pm

>32 japaul22: The beauty of lists especially lists of books read or to read

tammikuu 6, 9:23 am

Love the idea of reading a book from every year. When I saw the challenge on Litsy I misread it and thought it was only for 5 years (1920-1925) and thought it was weird that it would take 3 years to do. So much for skimming.
Several years ago I started to do a challenge to read books off my shelf for every year from my year of birth (1950) forward. I did the research on Wiki and have lists of books for each year. Over the next few years, again sticking with books on my shelf, I read and got up through I think books from 1953. I'm kind of interested in getting this going again.

tammikuu 6, 10:46 am

I started my by-the-year spreadsheet, and oh my. I had to give in and allow myself a fiction and nonfiction for some years. Did anyone else find a particular year to be especially fruitful? 2010 was that year for me; it saw the publication of Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War (couldn't choose between these two, so started the fic and nonfic rule, lol), HHhH, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, and more. The 2012 fiction list was crowded too, although I picked the Ratner: In the Shadow of the Banyan, Snow Child, The Round House, The Garden of Evening Mists, and A Man Called Ove.

tammikuu 6, 3:07 pm

>42 arubabookwoman: That sounds like a great way to tailor the challenge to you! I'd love to see that list.

>43 labfs39: Overall, I've done pretty well just picking the book I'm fondest of and not overthinking it. I've also, a couple times, given the edge to a book if the author got edged out of a different year. But I will admit I just "oh no!"'d out loud when I saw Possession by A.S. Byatt and Laura Thatcher Ulrich's brilliant A Midwife's Tale were published the same year. Plus, The Children's Book, which I also loved got knocked out by Wolf Hall.

Book list drama . . .

tammikuu 6, 5:05 pm

>44 japaul22: Book list drama . . . LOL

tammikuu 7, 8:02 am

#2 Fight Night by Miriam Toews

This was the first time I've read a book by Miriam Toews. It seemed like a good time with the movie based on her book Women Talking in the media. Unfortunately, I didn't really like it.

The premise is good. The book begins with three generations of women living together who are obviously in the midst of crisis. As the grandmother and granddaughter talk, it's slowly revealed that an aunt has committed suicide, the father has disappeared, the middle generation mother is pregnant and struggling, and for some reason the granddaughter is not in school though she's of the age to be.

The grandmother has a sarcastic, irreverent sense of humor, which I would normally love. And I did like it at first. She's honest about aging and tries to impart her life experience to her granddaughter, Swiv, with a dose of reality and humor. But it started to wear on me. So many exclamation points in the writing - I didn't like the tone that was coming out in my head as I read.

So I'll admit I skimmed the last 50 pages so I could move on to the next book.

Original publication date: 2021
Author’s nationality: Canadian
Original language: English
Length: 255 pages
Rating: 2 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle purchase
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Why I read this: on my list from an LT review and author's new movie out

tammikuu 7, 8:08 am

One thing I noticed when I went back through all of my LT reading logs back to 2009 was how much my reading has changed! I read a much higher percentage of brand new books now than I used to. Looking through all my old reviews really made me miss all the great classics I used to read. I feel like I've just about exhausted the "best of the best" classics, though. So I'll need to do a little digging to find more classics to read, and I also think I'm open to doing a little more rereading than I've been doing.

Just things to mull over . . .

tammikuu 7, 10:09 am

>46 japaul22: After reading an interview with the actors in the movie based on the book, I decided it just wasn't for me The book is probably the same

tammikuu 7, 1:12 pm

>44 japaul22: I love your book list drama.

I have loved what I've read by Toews, Jennifer. Even though Fight Night didn't work for you, don't give up on her. My favorites have been focused on depression, not cheery reads, but heartfelt. I loved All My Puny Sorrows.

>47 japaul22: Too many books.

tammikuu 7, 2:27 pm

Hi, Jennifer. I’m just dropping by to add my star and too see what your plans are for this year. I’m not surprised to see many of my favorites on your authors and series lists. I’m already behind reading through everyone’s threads, but I’m slowly making my way through.

tammikuu 7, 2:47 pm

>44 japaul22: I will keep Miriam Toews on my list to try again!

>50 NanaCC: Good to see you, Colleen! January is the hardest month to keep up with Club Read!

tammikuu 8, 2:06 am

>32 japaul22: I loooove that list, so many of them I loved too.

>47 japaul22: I noticed the same, I read much more contemporary fiction than I did a few years ago when I was obsessed with the 1001 books list. I want to add more classics this year and read contemporary books that’ll end up being classics 😉

tammikuu 8, 8:24 am

>52 Simone2: I'm sure we've already read a lot of the same classics, so hopefully I can get some ideas for new ones from your reviews. And, yes to "contemporary books that will end up being classics", BUT it's so hard to weed them out in the moment!

tammikuu 8, 1:49 pm

>2 japaul22: Love your lists!

tammikuu 9, 7:57 pm

#3 The Gilded Page: The Secret Lives of Medieval Manuscripts by Mary Wellesley

In the Gilded Page, Wellesley takes the reader on a journey through a selection of medieval manuscripts, enlightening how they were made, what we know about scribes, what we know about authors, and some of the famous manuscripts of the era. It's fascinating - like walking through a museum with an expert telling you what you're looking at. She also talks about preservation (or lack of preservation) and a bit about secular vs sacred texts. There are also sections where she uses a manuscript to try to learn about the life of the author or the scribe or the owner of the manuscript.

I really enjoyed this. There isn't a lot of direction and she doesn't seem to be building a particular case for anything, but I don't think the book needs it. It's simply a glimpse into manuscripts of a long ago era, and is fascinating enough as what it is.

Original publication date: 2021
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 340 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: hardback, Christmas gift to myself
Publisher: Basic Books, imprint of Perseus, subsidiary of Hachette
Why I read this: on my list from an LT review and couldn't wait to read it!

tammikuu 9, 8:03 pm

>55 japaul22: This sounds fascinating.

tammikuu 9, 8:57 pm

yeah, what >56 labfs39: said. Noting.

tammikuu 11, 10:17 am

>55 japaul22: This does sound interesting, Jennifer.

tammikuu 11, 10:33 am

That does sound interesting. Off to nosy at it on Amazon...

tammikuu 11, 11:33 am

Your reading list at >32 japaul22: and enticing review of The Gilded Page have plumped up my TBR. Thanks!

tammikuu 11, 2:02 pm

>60 dianelouise100: warning - do not expect lots of examples of Illumanted Manuscripts here, just a few pages. But I have not yet started the text, so I suspect I will feel the same as everyone here!

tammikuu 12, 2:52 pm

>55 japaul22: Okay, this sounds absolutely fascinating. Adding to my list!

tammikuu 12, 6:08 pm

My sister is an SCA scribe - does illumination and calligraphy (well, did. She's not so much into it now). I want to read The Gilded Page and I'm going to recommend it to her as well.

tammikuu 12, 6:25 pm

Glad to spark so much interested in The Gilded Page. I learned about it here on LT, I think from Cyrel/torontoc, and possibly another thread as well.

>63 jjmcgaffey: That is really neat! I didn't really consider that this still existed!

tammikuu 13, 4:42 am

I do love the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) for the gorgeous stuff they (we) make...

Link to a gallery of scrolls. Lochac is Australia, I don't have any connections there, but it's a good sampling of some amazing stuff.

tammikuu 14, 7:38 am

>65 jjmcgaffey: That was fun to look at!

tammikuu 14, 8:02 am

#4 Anne by Constance Fenimore Woolson (can't find a touchstone for this book!)

Anne is a novel by American author Constance Fenimore Woolson published in 1881. Woolson's works have fallen into obscurity, but I learned about her on a summer vacation to Mackinac Island in northern Michigan. She spent a lot of time on the island, included it in her writings, and has a memorial there. Now she is best known as the niece of James Fenimore Cooper and the good friend of Henry James. I read an excellent biography of Woolson last year, Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist by Anne Boyd Rioux, and wanted to read some of Woolson's novels.

I started with Anne because it was Woolson's first novel and supposed to be her most popular and accessible. I went into it honestly thinking it might be sort of a slog, but I ended up absolutely loving it! When we meet Anne, she is a teenager living on Mackinac Island with a blended family and in near poverty. But she is happy - she loves the island and there is some really excellent nature writing here by Woolson. When Anne's father dies, she becomes engaged to her childhood sweetheart and they both go off into the world to try to make some money. Anne is sponsored by her wealthy and hard-hearted Aunt to attend a finishing school in New York with the idea that this will set her up to teach and that will be the end of her relationship with her aunt. But Anne is a lovely person, and she meets friends in high places and begins developing complicated relationships in this higher society circle.

I was really sad when Anne left the island and worried that losing that setting would make the rest of the book uninteresting, but Woolson sets up a beautiful romance in the middle of the book that includes all the typical drama of the era. There are misunderstandings, hidden feelings, and missed chances between several potential couples. And I was totally enamored. And then the Civil War happens, providing another great background/setting for the action.

I will admit that the last fifth of the book takes a plot turn that is a bit far-fetched, but it is not out of line with many novels of the era.

I'm sad that this book is not in print and isn't more widely read. If I had to compare her writing with someone, I'd say she has the technique and drama of a Charlotte Brontë and the keen observation of Anthony Trollope. I would really like to read more of her books and hope I can find them! Please give her a try if you are a fan of this era of writing!

Original publication date: 1881
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 540 pages
Rating: 5 stars (maybe a bit inflated, but I'd like to bring some attention to the book!)
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle freebie
Publisher: public doman
Why I read this: learned of the author on vacation and wanted to try her novels

tammikuu 14, 9:32 am

>67 japaul22: - I've never heard of this book, nor the author, but I willd efinitely be downloading the Kindle version. Nice review!

tammikuu 14, 9:38 am

I read about Woolson in A Jury of Her Peers and have wanted to read something by her. Great comments.

tammikuu 14, 9:43 am

I love the years project! Though that makes me cranky that LT still doesn't make pub year easily accessible on a book's work page when you're just exploring.

>55 japaul22: Are the illustrations good? I have an e-galley without, I think, images. Which I get—if I were going to review the book I would have written the publisher and requested a later ARC with pictures—but I'd like to read it and see the images as well. I could also actually buy the book...

tammikuu 14, 10:08 am

>70 lisapeet: The illustrations are nice. In the hardback edition it is a center section of glossy pages - I think about 12 pages total. To be honest, I wished the hardcover version had even more color illustrations and that they were dispersed throughout. Considering the topic, I think that would be a nice addition, though I understand it must be very expensive to publish that way.

tammikuu 14, 10:10 am

>68 katiekrug: Good! It's long-ish but reads fast and when you're in the mood for a work from that era, I hope you'll like it!

>69 BLBera: I found that the only book of Woolson's that seems readily available in print is a Collection of short stories. But I think all of her novels were available in kindle versions.

tammikuu 14, 11:46 am

>65 jjmcgaffey: Hee I was in it in college, and I see them all the time at the ren fair here. Thought about getting involed again..

tammikuu 15, 3:34 pm

>67 japaul22: Okay, this sounds fascinating, and it looks like there's a readily available ebook copy I can get. Adding to the list!

tammikuu 17, 2:08 pm

#5 The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey

This is the second book in a mystery series set in 1920s India. The main character is a woman lawyer. She isn't allowed to appear in court, but works for her father's law office behind the scenes and on contracts. In both of the first two books in this series, her gender allows her contact with Indian women living in purdah, which is seclusion from men outside their immediate family.

I liked the first book in the series quite a bit, but this one was less exciting. I did still like the glimpse into Indian culture, British colonialism, and the many layers of society. But the mystery itself was not very interesting and the main character grated on me this time. She was kind of stiff and seemed to make a lot of mistakes which I think were an attempt to make a relatable character, but I found her annoying. Not sure I'll carry on with the series.

Original publication date: 2019
Author’s nationality: American? (born in UK - Indian and German parents, raised in the U.S., currently lives in the U.S.)
Original language: English
Length: 360 pages
Rating: 2 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle library books
Publisher: Soho Crime (not a big 5 imprint!)
Why I read this: liked the first book in the series

tammikuu 17, 3:15 pm

>75 japaul22: I think I'll pass on this one. I did like that very first series she had, though.

tammikuu 23, 7:08 pm

#6 The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family by Kerri K. Greenidge

I feel like I was one of Greenidge's target audiences for this book, and she really got me. I will be totally honest that I ordered this based on the title referencing The Grimkes, assuming it would be a new biography of the famous abolitionist sisters, Angelina and Sarah. And it is, partially. But instead of focusing solely on the sisters, and instead of focusing on their good works as abolitionists who escaped their Southern slave-holding family, Greenidge opens up her readers eyes to a more complete picture of the larger family. She focuses on not just the famous sisters and their children, but also on their brother who abused one of his enslaved women and had three boys with her. Nancy Weston and her sons, Archie, Frank, and John are a focus of the book as the Grimke sister's Black cousins. Greenidge continues on to the next generation as well, exploring the life of Archie's only daughter, nicknamed Nana, who was a famous Black author but who also was told almost nothing of her father's life as an enslaved child. Even though she was only the first generation removed from slavery, she knew almost nothing of the trials of her father or grandmother.

Greenidge does not give anyone a pass in this book. Sarah and Angelina are called out for supporting abolition, but focusing more on the need to redeem the white slaveholder than out of true support of the Black people who were enslaved. And she points out how long it took for them to accept even "the colored elite" (as she terms them) as friends. "The colored elite" were the upper class of Black Americans - some had been freed for a long time or were never enslaved, some came out of slavery with some education and resources, most had lighter skin. "The colored elite" does not get a pass from Greenidge either, as she points out how little empathy most had for the enslaved people who had not had the benefit of any education, family, or resources.

It's a dense book with a lot of names (also a ton of Angelinas, Sarahs, and even Nanas!) so it took really close reading. And it is obviously a disturbing topic. This is one of those books though that I think is necessary reading to show that there is another telling of some famous figures of the era that, while they did a lot of good, do not deserve blind reverence.

Highly recommended when you are in the mood for something both scholarly and passionate.

Original publication date: 2023
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 404 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased hardcover
Publisher: Liverlight Publishing Corporation, division of W.W. Norton & Co (not a big 5, I believe)
Why I read this: interested in the Grimke sisters and ended up getting a lot more

tammikuu 23, 7:40 pm

Great review and very interesting. I don’t know the grimkes, so your review is my introduction. (Also kudos for getting a 2023 publication read in January)

tammikuu 23, 8:09 pm

>78 dchaikin: If you don't know much about the Grimke sisters, I'm not sure I'd start here. Part of the point of the book is dispelling some commonly held ideas about them, so if you don't know those ideas to start I'm not sure how this would come off.

Also, I had to run back and make sure I was correct about that 2023 publication date . . . my hardcover copy says 2023, but goodreads say November of 2022. I'll go with what the book itself says.

tammikuu 24, 3:18 pm

>77 japaul22: - The sister's names are familiar to me and I feel like they were mentioned or part of another book I've read. (Maybe The Underground Railroad?) Not sure I'll be tackling this though.

tammikuu 24, 5:55 pm

The Grimke book sounds fascinating, Jennifer. Noted.

tammikuu 24, 6:14 pm

>80 dudes22: That's possible, it would be the right time period. There was a historical fiction book by Sue Monk Kidd based on their lives that was really popular a decade ago, but I can't remember what it was called. I didn't read it.

I'm not sure how I first heard of them, but they are really interesting people, whether you read about them through this book or somewhere else.

>81 BLBera: I think you'd like it, Beth. Like I said, it's dense and parts are disturbing, obviously, with the topic and time period, but I felt like it was very well done.

tammikuu 24, 9:31 pm

>82 japaul22: - That's the book I'm thinking of - The Invention of Wings.

tammikuu 26, 8:41 pm

>77 japaul22: This sounds interesting. I read The Invention of Wings which is fiction about Sarah Grimke. It was a good enough book, though I couldn't say how accurate it is historically.

tammikuu 30, 10:41 pm

There are a lot of Constance Fenimore Woolson novels on Project Gutenberg ( A lot of the "kindle freebies" (and cheapies) are just repackaged Gutenberg books - which since the Gutenberg books are also free, annoys me. But if you get your books primarily from Amazon, I suppose it's simpler to stay in the same ecosystem.

tammikuu 31, 12:04 pm

>85 jjmcgaffey: Ah, good point! I always forget about project gutenberg. Do you know if it's possible to convert their books to read on kindle? I don't think that used to be possible and I hate reading on a backlit screen.

tammikuu 31, 12:16 pm

#7 Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Demon Copperhead is Kingsolver's retelling of David Copperfield, set in the 1990s in Appalachia as the opioid crisis is beginning to wreak havoc on the region and the country. As such, it's not an easy book to read. Damon (nicknamed Demon) has a traumatic childhood - mother who struggles with addiction and ultimately ODs, incredibly abusive stepfather, poverty and hunger, horrible foster care system, etc. I didn't think I could keep going. However, Demon's voice as narrator is really well done. He's observant and has a sense of humor through the darkness. So I kept reading. About half way through, things lighten up a bit and Demon gets some people on his side. Of course, things take a bad turn again, but the second half, which really focuses on what opioids do to the characters and the region as a whole, felt a little less traumatic to read, after reading about a 10 year old boy being abused for the whole first half of the book.

In the end, I appreciated what Kingsolver did, but I can't say I enjoyed this book. I felt like I was reading it with my hands over my eyes, just peeping through, like watching a scary movie. I also had a few reservations about how she depicted the region of SW Virginia. It seemed a bit heavy on the stereotypes. She admittedly addresses this, having the characters talk about how the outside world views them, but I still was a little uncomfortable with it.

I know a lot of people loved this book, but for me it was just ok.

Original publication date: 2022
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 546 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: library kindle book
Publisher: Harper (imprint of HarperCollins, big 5)
Why I read this: all the buzz and I like some of Kingsolver's books

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 31, 12:21 pm

>86 japaul22: You can now select the epub version of a work on Project Gutenberg and drag and drop it onto Amazon's Send to Kindle page. There's also a Send to Kindle app. It's easy peasy.

ETA: the one trick is that the books show up under documents, not books.

tammikuu 31, 12:22 pm

I'm also calling West with Giraffes a DNF and crossing it off my TBR pile. I bought it when it was on sale after a friend told me she loved it, but it's just not for me. The premise is interesting - a pair of giraffes is sent across the Atlantic and caught in a hurricane (this is the early 1900s) on their way to a California zoo - this is a true story. And the main character is going to take the journey with them and I'm sure "find himself" along the way. Meh. I could tell it would be enjoyable enough but didn't feel worth my time.

tammikuu 31, 12:23 pm

>88 labfs39: Fantastic, thank you!!

tammikuu 31, 3:46 pm

>87 japaul22: well, you got through it anyway. I admire you for reading it despite your reservations.

tammikuu 31, 4:39 pm

>91 lauralkeet: I guess it's a testament to her writing that it seemed so realistic and therefore heartbreaking! I have always had a very hard time reading about addiction, maybe because my dad was a recovering alcoholic my whole life. He quit drinking for good when I was only 2, but I know it was a battle every day.

helmikuu 1, 3:38 pm

#8 The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys

Another lovely, short novel by Humphreys where every word counts. This one takes place during WWII, in a country estate where a group of women has been sent to grow potatoes for the war effort. Up the hill, there is a small regiment of men preparing to depart for the war. Humphreys does a deep dive into her characters, and I really enjoyed it. There are also tons of references to Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, which I'm now ready to reread!

Original publication date: 2002
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 208 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle book
Publisher: W.W. Norton Company
Why I read this: several recent LT reviews prompted me to get to this - it's been sitting on my kindle for quite a while

helmikuu 1, 6:32 pm

I'm another fan of The Lost Garden, as you probably know. It also made me want to re-read To the Lighthouse...

helmikuu 1, 7:01 pm

>93 japaul22: Oh I loved that book! she also has another about the beginnings of photograpy After image and she wrote an excellent set of connected stories in Frozen Thames Havent looked for newer work for a whil, I need todo that

helmikuu 1, 7:19 pm

>94 katiekrug: yes, you and Laura prompted me to finally get to it! Thanks!

>95 cindydavid4: I’ve read (and loved!) The frozen Thames, so I will also look for After image - thanks!

helmikuu 1, 8:40 pm

>93 japaul22: I'm so glad you enjoyed The Lost Garden, Jennifer. Helen Humphreys is wonderful.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 1, 9:34 pm

>96 japaul22: coventry looks interesting

helmikuu 1, 10:38 pm

>87 japaul22: i was very mixed on the one Kingsolver I read. It wasn’t bad, though. Anyway i’m happy to have read your review

>93 japaul22: huh. Interesting!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 2, 2:54 pm

#9 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Somehow I don’t think I’ve ever read this children’s classic, so our recent trip to Disney World prompted me to pick it up. It was actually just as I expected - charming and silly with some jokes for adults and lots of word play. I will continue on with Through the Looking Glass.

Original publication date: 1865
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 117 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: picked up a pretty edition in a book store years ago - I don’t remember where!
Publisher: Canterbury Classics, imprint of Printers Row Publishing Group
Why I read this: inspired by a trip to Disney World

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 2, 12:58 pm

>100 japaul22: cool. I read this for the first time on my 30’s and was charmed.

helmikuu 2, 3:48 pm

>100 japaul22: first read it in college, when my roomate used to quote from it and soon I was memoriing it with her (still a dear friend Im grateful to still know)I of course saw the disney version way back when. Was looking forward to the lastest Live Action movie and was horribly disappointed, we walked out about a quartr thro

Funny thats one kids book that I dont have in early editions. Need to check and see whats out there

helmikuu 2, 8:48 pm

>77 japaul22: The Grimkes
I haven't read this one, but I read Lift Up Thy Voice, pre-LT so over a decade ago. IIRC, I happened upon it in a bookstore shortly after I'd read Slaves in the Family which mentioned them.
>87 japaul22: Demon Copperhead
This was on my agenda already, and I just finished Empire of Pain so it's relevant. Barbara Kingsolver can be too preachy, but tells a good story.
>93 japaul22: The Lost Garden
I came across this on my shelves while reorganizing books recently, and it keeps popping up on threads. Maybe someday I'll get to it.

helmikuu 3, 12:57 pm

>101 dchaikin:, >102 cindydavid4: Glad to hear from some other Alice enjoyers!

>103 qebo: I read Empire of Pain last year and it was a good pairing. Empire of Pain was such an enlightening and disturbing book.
The Lost Garden is an easy book to put off, but it's short, so I'd recommend sneaking it in. It's very good!

helmikuu 3, 12:59 pm

#10 Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Follow up to Adventures in Wonderland. In this one we get some of the famous characters that aren't in the first book - Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Walrus, and the famous chess game.

I enjoyed reading these two books. They are full of humorous characters and are charmingly written.

Original publication date: 1871
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 228 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: picked up a pretty edition in a book store years ago - I don’t remember where!
Publisher: Canterbury Classics, imprint of Printers Row Publishing Group
Why I read this: inspired by a trip to Disney World

helmikuu 3, 6:43 pm

>87 japaul22: So this is my book club's book for this month and I'm less inclined to read it by the day. I'm not a fan of Kingsolver's more recent books and this one seems a little long to read just for participation points.

helmikuu 3, 7:11 pm

>106 RidgewayGirl: I know several people around here whose reading tastes generally align with mine that really loved this book. So I think it’s worth giving it a chance to see, even though it didn’t really work for me. It is long though!

helmikuu 4, 6:59 am

>87 japaul22: - I've heard/read both likes and dislikes for this novel - even a couple that said to go back and read David Copperfield first. Although I usually like her writing, I'm becoming more inclined to give it a pass. I still have her The Lacuna on my TBR and that's a bit of a chunkster too.

helmikuu 4, 7:07 am

>108 dudes22: I really enjoyed The Lacuna. I would consider it the better book.

I wondered about rereading David Copperfield - it's been decades since I read it. Maybe it would have made the book seem a little more clever rather than just depressing?

helmikuu 4, 11:48 am

I find people's reactions to Kingsolver really vary. I tend to like her books, but there are misses. I didn't like The Lacuna or care much for Prodigal Summer. I did love Demon Copperhead and even though it has been years since I read David Copperfield, I didn't feel the need to go back to it. Talk about long...

helmikuu 4, 5:30 pm

>108 dudes22: go back and read David Copperfield first
This was my thought also, though whether before or after I'm not sure.

helmikuu 5, 7:12 am

>108 dudes22:, >111 qebo: I was curious enough to want to know the parallels etc. but not curious enough to stomach the original (I'm generally not a huge Dickens fan). While reading Demon Copperhead I would pause every so often to skim the Wikipedia entry for David Copperfield, making sure to stop before reaching wherever I was in the book. I enjoyed seeing the connections (especially character names), and the way Kingsolver made the story more contemporary.

RebaRelishesReading recently read both works back-to-back so she could probably speak to that experience.

helmikuu 5, 7:16 am

>112 lauralkeet: - That would probably appeal to me more than reading DC again as I'm not a big Dickens fan either.

helmikuu 5, 9:53 am

>87 japaul22: So much to comment on here, but I'll go with the more recent. Demon Copperhead looks like something interesting and a couple of people have mentioned it here recently. I reread David Copperfield last year with the Victorian Tavern, so should try this interpretation soon.
I enjoyed Peter Carey's Jack Maggs on Great Expectations

Also noting Helen Humphreys who writes so well.

helmikuu 5, 11:14 am

>112 lauralkeet: I guess I'm the opposite: I love David Copperfield and I'm curious enough to want to know the parallels, but not curious enough to stomach the modern take on it. Like >92 japaul22:, it's a little too close to home. Dickens is removed enough in time and place to make it easier for me to take.

helmikuu 8, 6:37 am

I am not really a Dickens fan either, except for A Tale of Two Cities, so rereading David Copperfield wasn't going to happen. I read a recap, like Laura did, so I think I at least got the big picture of what Kingsolver was doing.

Ultimately I agree with >115 kac522: that a modern retelling of David Copperfield was just too much for me to stomach!

helmikuu 8, 6:47 am

#11 To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

This was a reread of one of my favorite Virginia Woolf books. I think it's the kind of book that you would find something new in no matter how many times you read it.

This book is filled with the thoughts of the characters, stimulated by their surroundings and interactions. I was struck by how Woolf almost creates a dialogue between the interior thoughts of her characters. It isn't just one point of view, but shifts between the various characters. She does a particularly good job with Mrs. Ramsay and her thoughts about motherhood and her children.

I find reading Woolf to be meditative and calming, though to require intense concentration. I've read all of her novels, but I will continue coming back to them as rereads.

Original publication date: 1927
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 209 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: paperback from a library sale
Publisher: Harvest Book imprint, Harcourt Brace & Company

helmikuu 8, 10:07 am

>117 japaul22: everything in that review is what I wish for in reading.

helmikuu 8, 10:20 am

>118 dchaikin: Have you read Virginia Woolf yet, Dan? She's well worth the time.

helmikuu 8, 11:47 am

Not yet. Well. I read A Room of One’s Own, which i liked. But not her fiction.

helmikuu 8, 12:19 pm

>116 japaul22: I downloaded a free e-version of David Copperfield and it's 900 pages so that's not going to happen any time soon. I've compromised by watching the 1999 mini-series.

helmikuu 8, 12:39 pm

>120 dchaikin: To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway, and The Waves are my favorite Woolf novels.

>121 qebo: Good call on the miniseries!!

helmikuu 8, 12:46 pm

>121 qebo: Young Daniel Radcliffe is so much fun to watch in that series, but Maggie Smith steals the show as Aunt Betsey Trotwood.

helmikuu 9, 2:40 pm

David Copperfield is one of my favorite Dickens. I’ve not seen the mini series mentioned, so I’ll have to look for it.

helmikuu 13, 9:17 am

#12 The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller

In The Land of Green Plums, Herta Muller explores the lives of 4 young adults who have moved to a city in Romania during Ceausescu's reign to try to find work. They the experience tight surveillance and lack of freedom that the dictatorship enforced. There are vivid details about how they try to communicate - code words, putting hairs places to see if they are disturbed, etc. But in spite of the vivid and memorable detail, I felt like I was being kept at arms length the whole book. I'm not sure if this is a translation issue or if the author was unable or unwilling to really delve into the emotions that this sort of life entails. I'm sure, having lived through it herself, it's a painful topic.

Müller is a Nobel Prize winning author, and despite my slight disconnect with the book, I still highly recommend. It has vivid imagery that I won't forget and began to open up my eyes to a historical era that I know little about.

Original publication date: 1993, translation copyright 1996
Author’s nationality: Romanian, emigrated to Germany
Original language: German?
Length: 242 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: paperback from a library sale
Publisher: Picador, Henry Holt and Co.

helmikuu 13, 10:58 am

>125 japaul22: I felt like I was being kept at arms length the whole book

Interesting observation. I read The Appointment by her a couple of months ago, and on reflection, that would apply there too.

helmikuu 13, 11:21 am

>126 SassyLassy: I felt the same way about both Green Plums and Hunger Angel. I think it's safe to say it's not the translation.

helmikuu 13, 11:42 am

>125 japaul22: I would like to give her a try. Great comments, Jennifer.

helmikuu 13, 6:57 pm

>126 SassyLassy: >127 labfs39: Interesting that you both noticed the same thing. Do you think it was just too painful to fully relive that time of her life? Or maybe it was simply a writing style she prefers - less emotion, or at least less description of emotion.

>128 BLBera: I'd say she's definitely worth exploring, Beth.

helmikuu 13, 7:16 pm

>129 japaul22: It's been a while since I read Müller, but my impressions at the time, based in part on a couple of interviews, was that she was rather brusque by nature. Now whether that attitude stems from some internal hurt, I don't know.

helmikuu 14, 9:19 am

>129 japaul22: I had the feeling that it was as we might say in government speak "out of an abundance of caution". I get that feeling with Magda Szabo's writing too. It seems as if there is a fine line about what you can reveal in your dealings with the state, and there will be consequences if you cross it, not necessarily for you (although likely), but for others connected to you as well.

It just occurred to me, but Chinese writers, at least those published in the west, don't seem to be as restrained, and often use humour and satire for criticism.

helmikuu 14, 9:59 am

>130 labfs39: brusque is a good way to describe her writing, as well.

>131 SassyLassy: This makes sense to me and I like the comparison to Magda Szabo. I read her novel The Door and had a similar reaction. It makes sense that when you're used to keeping your thoughts hidden for survival that some of that would come across in your writing as well.

I don't think I've read enough Chinese writers to make a real comparison - I'll have to think about why that is!

helmikuu 14, 10:58 am

Might be a style of how she internalizes and restrains some of her anger. Or a reflection of how her minority German community in Romania did not openly express their emotions, especially after WW2. I was able to connect with The Passport, which is really sad but has strong visuals. But I couldn’t connect with The Hunger Angel, too under-spoken for me.

helmikuu 14, 6:01 pm

>131 SassyLassy: I'm a fan of Szabo. So The Land of Green Plums is on the wishlit.

helmikuu 15, 10:45 am

>125 japaul22: You have made me curious about this book. I wasn't much of a fan of Szabo's The Door myself, but the comments here have made me look at this book in a different light. Interesting comments!

helmikuu 16, 5:58 am

>125 japaul22: I really enjoy The Land of Green Plums, I gave it five stars (my review begins: " is a magnificent book; it's clear why it won the Impac Dublin Award. That said, it will not be every reader's cup of tea and let me tell you why".

I also enjoyed her The Passport.

helmikuu 17, 5:53 pm

I would definitely like to read more of both Müller and Szabo. Thanks for all the comments!

In my quest to read more non-big five published books, I ordered some books from Archipelago books. I have several from their catalog and I love how their books look and feel to read and also that they publish books in translation. I ran into a little glitch on their website when ordering (there was a pop up that looked like I'd ordered enough to get a free book but couldn't add it to the cart) and I just placed the order anyway but added a note about it. They sent me two free books - one for the glitch and one because for one of the books I ordered their whole inventory was damaged. Honestly, I wouldn't have batted an eye at the damage on the book - it was just a little discoloration along the bottom, maybe got wet? They sent a lovely hand written note explaining it all.

Just wanted to pass along such a fantastic book buying experience to all of you book lovers!

I received:
A Dream in Polar Fog by Yuri Rytkheu
Love by Hanne Orstavik
The Pastor by Hanne Orstavik
If You Kept a Record of Sins by Andrea Bajani
and as a bonus
Yann Andrea Steiner by Marguerite Duras
The Storm by Tomás González

helmikuu 17, 9:26 pm

Ok I just added them to my bookseller list. I love the Elsewhere Edition for their kid books! thanks for turning me on to this

helmikuu 17, 10:51 pm

>137 japaul22: I'm a fan of Archipelago Books too. I love the paper they use. In fact I'm reading one right now, The First Wife by Paulina Chiziane. Of the ones you acquired, I have and enjoyed both A Dream in Polar Fog and Love, but my favorite is probably Translation is a Love Affair by Jacques Poulin. Nice to know their customer service is so good.

helmikuu 18, 5:46 am

>137 japaul22: - It's nice to hear of a publisher that actually cares about their patrons. I'll have to skip over there and give them some business.

helmikuu 18, 7:05 am

Add me to the Archipelago fan club. We had a subscription for a while and only stopped because we wanted to catch up on actually reading what we'd received. I don't recall the specifics, but we had some sort of minor problem and their response / remedy went above and beyond, similar to your experience.

helmikuu 18, 7:40 am

>141 lauralkeet: I think their books are challenging enough in topic and unfamiliarity (being mainly translations from cultures I'm not immersed in) that I wouldn't be able to keep up with a subscription. But I will keep an eye on their catalog and place orders every couple years.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 18, 7:53 am

>137 japaul22: I too love Archipelago Books. I first encountered them at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Their table has the best sale prices so one year I spent the day walking around with four volumes of KOK's My Struggle 😳

helmikuu 18, 1:15 pm

I love Archipelago books too. They feel so nice in the hand.

helmikuu 18, 5:35 pm

>142 japaul22: yeah, I think that might be a better strategy Jennifer.

helmikuu 19, 7:53 am

#13 Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King
Devil in the Grove is a nonfiction book that takes place in Florida the 1940s-50s. It follows a case where four young Black men were accused of raping a white woman when she and her boyfriend find themselves in a broken down car along the side of the road. It is absolutely obvious from the very beginning that these Black men had nothing to do with raping her or injuring the couple in any way. In fact only two of the accused were even on the scene at all - they had stopped briefly to see if the couple needed help - but the other two were honestly just the closest Black men at hand to round out the 4 needed to support the woman's accusation. One of the 4 Black men that they try to arrest runs and is killed. The other three will stand trial in Lake County, Florida.

The NAACP gets involved in this case, and Thurgood Marshall as well, so the book includes some detail about Marshall's life. But mainly, the focus is on the trial and the brutal conditions for Black people living in Lake County, Florida. The police brutally coerce confessions from some of the accused men through some of the worst torture you can imagine. The community burns down the family home of one of the accused, Samuel Shepard. They were one of the most successful Black families in the county. During the trial, any evidence that would stand against the prosecution's case is blatantly hidden and not introduced and the local judge supports all of it. Supporting evidence is obviously fabricated. The NAACP defense knows that their only chance is to try for an appeal.

This book also briefly describes other similar trials around the country to show that this is not only happening in Florida. There is a nationwide focus to the book and there are other cases making their way to the Supreme Court concurrently with this case. These parts give a little break to the reader to catch your breath from all the horror happening in Florida.

One of the most evil people (with plenty to choose from in this book) is the Sheriff of Lake County, Willis McCall. There is no way to view this man without complete disgust. I found it unbelievable that he didn't die until 1994 - when I was a sophomore in high school. It's so easy to think about the Jim Crow South as existing in a different era, but that fact connected it to me. These things were happening when my grandparents were adults and my parents were just being born. It's not the distant past. I think books like these make it so obvious why we are still where we are today - with police brutality against Blacks and inequalities in our schools, just to scratch the surface. It's only been 70 years since lynchings were commonplace and there were no rights for Black people in the courts.

Despite this rather long review (for me), I didn't even scratch the surface of what actually happened in this trial or the outcomes for these accused. I think every American should read this book. I think it's vital for us to acknowledge what life was like for Black people in the South in the not so distant past, both because it's part of our history and because it informs what is happening in our country today.

Original publication date: 2012
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 434 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased kindle book
Publisher: Harper
Why I read this: Litsy #roll100 pick plus it's Black History Month, so it felt like fate. It's been on my kindle for a long time - probably someone on LT reviewed it and I purchased.

helmikuu 19, 8:06 am

>146 japaul22: Amazing review, Jennifer.

helmikuu 19, 8:10 am

>147 labfs39: Thanks, Lisa. I hope a lot of people read it if they haven't already. Especially those around my age who didn't directly experience this.

I wanted to add too, that I didn't put this in my review, but it was shocking to me what a hot bed of discrimination and abuse Florida was (and probably still is, relatively). There were more lynchings in Florida between 1880-1930 than in Mississippi or Alabama! I think it has this reputation (though that has changed for me with DeSantis) as a peaceful vacation state - beaches, Disney World, Miami night life, wealthy retirees, etc. I thought it was sort of separate from the Jim Crow South, but I was very wrong.

helmikuu 19, 8:50 am

>148 japaul22: I should read it, but it's not something I look forward to because it is so hateful. I lived on the Florida panhandle for two years and was disabused of any notion of the state as a tolerant or at all progressive place.

helmikuu 19, 9:37 am

>149 labfs39: I understand that. It took me a long time to read this and I had to read lighter things in between because the things that happen are so disturbing and hateful. For me, though, I learned a lot of detail about the courts and the era generally that I knew “in theory” but that hadn’t totally been driven home.

helmikuu 19, 10:16 am

Fabulous review of Devil in the Grove, Jennifer. I'll have to get to it later this year.

That is shocking that Florida had more lynchings than Alabama or Mississippi from 1880-1930! I've never visited the Sunshine State, despite living in Atlanta for nearly a quarter of a century, and I have absolutely no desire to go there, especially since DeSantis is in charge.

I restarted my subscription to Archipelago Books two years ago; I stopped because of the reason that Laura mentioned; I had far more unread Archipelago titles than I could keep up with.

helmikuu 19, 11:10 am

Great comments on Devil in the Grove, Jennifer. I will add it to my list. I'm reading Notes of a Native Son right now, and it's amazing how many things Baldwin mentions are still true today, seventy years after he wrote the essays.

helmikuu 19, 11:34 am

>152 BLBera: I remember feeling that day when I read The Fire Next Time as well. I need to get back to some of Baldwin's work.

helmikuu 19, 11:35 am

>151 kidzdoc: Devil in the Grove is a really hard read, but so important to understand where we are today, so I hope lots of people read it!

I definitely remember finding out about archipelago press from LT, and I'm sure your thread was one of those places!

helmikuu 19, 3:20 pm

>146 japaul22: Excellent review. I'll add it to my wishlist, knowing that it won't be an easy read.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 4:49 pm

>146 japaul22: is this the story behind The Nickel Boys? I know this story and monster sheriff through Isabella Wilkerson. I think it was The Warmth of Other Suns, but it might have been Caste…or both.

So this story, iirc, takes place in Alachua* County, home of Gainesville and the University of Florida. I lived there as a kid for three years and I remember nice people, like unusually nice. I’ve always identified central Florida (not Tampa!) as some of the nicest people anywhere and easiest to talk to. And so I was stunned to discover that history underneath.

Florida now is not the Florida I grew up in, but it was no simpler place then. South Florida was looks and style and division. (Think Miami Vice.) North Florida was the deep south, with religious extremes (that’s where Lisa lived.) Then there was this gentle happy swath that started in Jacksonville extended maybe to St Augustine, turned west towards Orlando, encompassing Disney, snuck a toe down to Sanibel island, then turned north, kept well east of tampa and St Pete, extended a finger in Tallahassee and back to Jacksonville. That was Central Florida, a little middle America devoid of fashion and with toned down southern sympathies. Think Tom Petty or Molly Hatchet’s Green Grass and High Tides Forever, both bands were from there. Anyway it’s all crazy now.

*so I edited for clarity because I had confused the name Alachua County with one I made up in my head, “Appalachia county”. I’m entertained by my the mistake.

helmikuu 19, 4:28 pm

>156 dchaikin: I don't think this was the basis for The Nickel Boys. I didn't read it, but I think it was about an abusive school, and this is adult (mainly) men. Two were even military veterans.

That's interesting that you remember this event from Isabella Wilkerson's books. I've read both of them, but didn't connect this story, though it's certainly a familiar one. I'll go back and read my review to see if I mentioned it. What I remember most from was the migration aspects and the challenges they faced in the Northern cities they moved too. Devil in the Grove focuses more on the courts and police abuse.

Lake County, where this takes place, is just north and west of Orlando. I appreciate your description of the different areas of Florida!

helmikuu 19, 4:33 pm

>157 japaul22: it’s possible I’m mixing stories, or details. But in the Wilkensen book it was a side story, some background for the one character from Florida who became a train conductor. So it probably wouldn’t be mentioned in a regular review.

helmikuu 19, 4:35 pm

>157 japaul22: ah, that's very possible. It certainly would fit with the kind of circumstance Wilkerson would describe as why Black Americans felt it necessary to leave the south. I'm horrible at remembering details, so I'm sure you're remembering correctly.

helmikuu 19, 4:37 pm

Lake county is farther south than Gainesville. And that is in Alachua County, not “Appalachia”, which wouldn’t exist in Florida. Oops. I’m definitely mixing details. Sorry.

helmikuu 19, 4:41 pm

>160 dchaikin: I wondered about Appalachia, thanks for the correction. Sad isnt it how much has changed, but hasn't change. Crazy

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 4:48 pm

>161 cindydavid4: i edited >156 dchaikin: to try to reduce confusion. Sorry 🙂

helmikuu 19, 5:19 pm

>162 dchaikin: hee I was entertained by the mistake too, no need for apology :)

helmikuu 19, 5:42 pm

>156 dchaikin:, >157 japaul22:, >158 dchaikin:, >159 japaul22: Since I happen to have The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste properly organized for the first time in years... Willis McCall / Lake County FL and the Groveland case occupy several pages in The Warmth of Other Suns but wouldn't necessarily stand out amidst so much other awfulness in 550 pages. I read The Warmth of Other Suns a decade ago (yikes!!!) and didn't remember. No mention (at least not in the index) in Caste.

helmikuu 19, 6:01 pm

>164 qebo: wow. Thank you for looking that up!

helmikuu 19, 6:25 pm

>164 qebo: thank you so much! I'm glad to know I didn't forget a huge part of that book (which was a 5 star read for me). And I'm impressed you remembered the connection, Dan! Maybe the Florida setting made it stand out for you.

I don't think I'll ever forget the name Willis McCall after reading Devil in the Grove, though. He will stand out as one of the truly evil people in the world - and I'm not the type of person to think there are very many of those.

helmikuu 19, 9:01 pm

>164 qebo: I remember the name from The Warmth of Other Suns, but I read it in the last year or so. Yeah, an evil, evil man.

helmikuu 20, 9:47 am

Great minds? When I read your comments on Devil in the Grove, I also thought of The Warmth of Other Suns.

helmikuu 20, 11:13 am

And now for something lighter . . .

#14 The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

A mystery series where I enjoyed the second book enough to continue! Yay! Seriously, I have issues with sticking with mystery series, so I'm glad that I found the characters just as charming the second time around. This series has four older people, who live in a nice retirement home together, solving crimes. And they aren't confined to the retirement home setting - they are out there dealing with drug dealers and diamond stealers. I find these books a lot of fun. Completely far-fetched and unrealistic, but that's totally fine. The character development is really good and there are lots of funny lines.

I will continue with this series!

Original publication date: 2021
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 422 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased kindle book
Publisher: Penguin
Why I read this: continuing with the series

helmikuu 20, 12:30 pm

>169 japaul22: I'm so glad this series is working for you! I agree the second book was far-fetched but it was just so much fun. I enjoyed the third one too ... just sayin'.

helmikuu 20, 12:33 pm

>169 japaul22:, >170 lauralkeet: This really is a fun series to read. I think the third was even better than the second. Far fetched…but enjoyable.

helmikuu 20, 12:50 pm

>170 lauralkeet: >171 NanaCC:
I’m sure I’ll read the third sometime this year!

helmikuu 22, 10:22 am

Another Archipelago fan (loved Dream in Polar Fog.
>146 japaul22: When I read Devil in the Grove a few years ago I had a similar reaction to you: Everyone should read this book, and also dismay and disbelief that the Sheriff Willis McCall was still around in the 1990's (and if I recall correctly her remained sheriff or something in law enforcement until the 1970's. Disgusting). I did have a very hard time getting into the book (not just because of the subject matter) and thought it could have been better organized at the beginning.

>156 dchaikin: Dan, not to hijack Jennifer's thread, but what is it about Tampa. I live near there now (and I am definitely not a fan of Tampa or Florida in general), but is ther something I should know about Tampa in particular?

And this has me wondering, is Lake County where all this occurred the county where the infamous "The Villages" is located?

>169 japaul22: Glad you got to read something lighter and more enjoyable!

helmikuu 22, 6:31 pm

>173 arubabookwoman: Oh good, excited about A Dream in Polar Fog! I agree that the first third of Devil in the Grove wasn't written with the tightest construction. The author messed with the timeline a bit and skipped around between what was happening in Groveland and presenting a Thurgood Marshall bio. It was a little disorienting. But, in the end, it was such a compelling story, that I thought it was still an excellent book. I'm not sure why an editor didn't just fix the beginning.

helmikuu 23, 5:11 pm

>129 japaul22: Regarding Herta Müller, I just read a review on Mark/thorold's thread that might interest you. It is here. It's about a book-long interview with Müller, that unfortunately doesn't seem to be available in English. But his review is interesting, and he might be able to shed more light on your question.

helmikuu 24, 11:28 pm

>173 arubabookwoman: on Tampa - I don't really know anything about the area. I had a college roommate from there, but that didn't help me get an impression. Growing up I had an intuitive sense it wasn't like the rest of central Florida. Less identity or whatnot. But I have no idea whether that impression was ever meaningful.

helmikuu 26, 10:08 am

I know a bunch of you use Litsy. I'm trying again this year and have a question. Is there a way to save a particular post? I'm finding it really difficult to find a post that I want to revisit - say the original post for #roll100 picks, or a #clarissa discussion post. Sometimes I'm not ready to comment but want to a few days later (or maybe I haven't check in for a few days and want to see if I missed a post) and even if you search by tag, you have to scroll through dozens and dozens of posts with the same tag before you find the one you want. Is there some workaround for this?

helmikuu 26, 11:00 am

>177 japaul22: there are four icons at the bottom of each Litsy post. The right one, an arrow pointing right, the one we almost never use, brings up a link to that specific post. (I’ve also sometimes thought about commenting with a unique hashtag…but haven’t actually done that)

helmikuu 26, 4:45 pm

>178 dchaikin: Do you just save those links in a note or something similar? I don't see myself doing that . . .

helmikuu 26, 5:41 pm

>179 japaul22: i really haven’t used them. Maybe two or three times. I’ve never bookmarked them or otherwise saved them.

helmikuu 26, 8:27 pm

>that is the define downside to Litsy. For #Clarissa, I search for the user that created the post, as there is usually less to scroll through. But for the post with the schedule, I took a screenshot.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 27, 6:37 am

>181 ELiz_M: Good to know I'm not the only one who has noticed this issue! Screenshot will work in certain circumstances.

I decided to stick more closely with the letter dates (I know they aren't completely consecutive) for Clarissa, so I'll be enough behind the group read that I probably won't chime in much.

helmikuu 27, 6:51 am

Hey, it's my birthday! 45 today . . .

#15 Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

I almost didn't read this after reading enough mixed reviews to think it might not be worth the time, but I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed it. My favorite novels by Atkinson are Life After Life and A God in Ruins, and this new novel is definitely different than those. It doesn't have the innovation present in her earlier works. But what it does have is a great cast of characters that I connected to immediately.

There are A LOT of characters to keep track of in this novel, but I found that Atkinson connects them enough and they all had enough personality to keep my interest and keep them separate in my mind. The novel revolves around Nellie Coker, who runs a network of clubs in 1920s London, and her family. They are in a crisis point, where Nellie has gained enough success to also draw negative attention from both the police and her business competitors. The parallel story is of two girls who run away from home to London to try to make it in show business. You can guess how that goes! A detective, Frobisher, and a family friend of the girls, Gwendolen Kelling, bridge the two stories.

I think that after reading a couple of dark books (I'm looking at you Demon Copperhead!), reading a book that could have stayed really dismal but didn't was very appealing. Even the "bad" characters (except one) have some redeeming qualities or a sense of humor.

I'm not going to widely recommend this, because I do see the faults in it (the plot isn't very tightly constructed and I don't think she really nailed 1920s London). However, I really enjoyed it and I'm glad I read it!

Original publication date: 2022
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 416 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle book from the library
Publisher: Doubleday (acquired first by Knopf, then by Penguin Random House)
Why I read this: enjoy the author

helmikuu 27, 6:56 am

Happy birthday! hope you get many good books!

helmikuu 27, 7:46 am

Happy Birthday!

helmikuu 27, 7:56 am

Happy birthday Jennifer!

helmikuu 27, 8:48 am

>183 japaul22: you’re so young! Happy birthday. Glad you enjoyed the latest (?) Atkinson, even if it’s not perfect.

helmikuu 27, 9:49 am

Happy Birthday, Jennifer!

helmikuu 27, 10:27 am

Happy Birthday, Jennifer. I hope you have big plans for the day. I look forward to the Atkinson. I'll revisit your comments after I read it.

helmikuu 27, 2:23 pm

Thank you Cindy, Katie, Laura, Dan, Lisa, Beth! I'm having a lovely, quiet day with lots of reading. I started An Island, which many of you recommended and I'm loving it so far. I also got a big stack of nyrb and archipelago books from my sister and gift cards from others to buy more books. I will list them all once they all arrive! I haven't bought any books in quite a while - I've been very good about reading from my shelves and the library - so all this book buying feels like a real treat!

helmikuu 27, 2:46 pm

Happy Birthday, Jennifer. How wonderful to have a sister who knows to give you nyrb and Archipelago books!

helmikuu 27, 3:06 pm

>191 RidgewayGirl: to be completely honest, she asked if she could buy me books from “some of the special publishers” I like - and I provided the specifics. But she knows me well enough to know that’s what I’d want most!!

helmikuu 27, 9:42 pm

>190 japaul22: That's lovely, when you get just what you want most. I can't wait to see the list.

helmikuu 28, 2:06 pm

That is a most excellent birthday haul!

helmikuu 28, 2:35 pm

>194 japaul22: Oh, fantastic haul.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 28, 2:38 pm

Wow!nice haul!

helmikuu 28, 11:09 pm

Whew! Caught up. You always read so many interesting books

maaliskuu 1, 6:01 am

>195 katiekrug:, >196 RidgewayGirl:, >197 cindydavid4: I'm really happy with the diversity of books I ended up with!

>198 Nickelini: good to see you here, Joyce!

maaliskuu 1, 6:14 am

#16 An Island by Karen Jennings

An Island is an excellent short novel about an older man, Samuel, living in solitude on a tiny island off the coast of Africa (the exact location is unnamed), minding a lighthouse. One day a body washes up on the shore and he realizes the man is still alive. He pulls him out of the water and the man survives. They don't speak the same language, so there is a lot of confusion throughout the novel. This event seems to spur Samuel to revisit his life on the mainland, where he lived through the end of colonialism and a violent dictatorship, including spending time in prison.

I thought this was an effective book, and I was very drawn to Samuel's life on the island and his back story. I wouldn't say that I found this book particularly memorable, though. For some reason, I couldn't quite get invested in Samuel himself.

Original publication date: 2020
Author’s nationality: South African
Original language: English
Length: 224 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle book from the library
Publisher: Hogarth Press, imprint of Penguin Random House
Why I read this: good reviews on LT, 2021 Booker prize long list

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 1, 9:34 am

>194 japaul22: - Happy Birthday! Lots of interesting looking books there. You've got some great family and friends to get all those books.

ETA: re: #183 - I think I might put this on hold for a while. Yours is not the only review I've seen saying something similar. I too loved the two books you mentioned, so I feel your review is probably how I'd feel too.

maaliskuu 2, 6:12 pm

Belated Happy Birthday, Jennifer! Congratulations on your fabulous book haul.

maaliskuu 4, 3:29 pm

Belated Happy Birthday!

maaliskuu 7, 2:50 pm

>201 dudes22: I think putting Shrines of Gaiety on the backburner is a good idea. Gather some more reviews before you decide to take the plunge. Like I said, I liked it, but I see why others did not.

>202 kidzdoc: >203 avaland: Thanks, Darryl and Lois!

maaliskuu 7, 3:03 pm

#17 The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen

This is the third novel I've read by Elizabeth Bowen, and she is a hit or miss author for me. It took me a while to get into The Heat of the Day. Bowen writes densely. It's easy to miss a big plot point in a long descriptive passage, so you have to read closely.

This book was published in 1948, but takes place in 1942 London. I wondered when she actually wrote the novel. It has an immediacy regarding WWII that is impactful. The main character is Stella, who is in a relationship with a man named Robert. In the opening scenes, a stranger named Harrison approaches her and tells her that Robert is a spy. As the book unfolds, Stella has to decide who to believe and whether or not she even wants to know. The parallel story involves her adult son, Roderick, who is in the Army. He inherits an Irish estate from his father's family, who Stella had divorced early in their marriage. This inheritance brings up the past and secrets are revealed. There are two other side plots - one involving Robert's family and one involving a young woman, Louie, who meets Harrison in the opening scene. I never did understand what Louie's story was meant to add to the book.

Once I got past the opening scenes and got my bearings, the plot carried the book along for me. The setting is also strong. However, sometimes I felt like Bowen was over-writing the material and putting the reader too far removed from the characters. The book is a bit meandering, but in the end I'm glad I read it.

Original publication date: 1948
Author’s nationality: Irish-British (this is how bios seem to describe her most frequently - opinions from my Irish and/or British friends?)
Original language: English
Length: 372 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: paperback - purchase? library sale? can't remember . . .
Publisher: Anchor Books, division of Random House
Why I read this: off the shelf, 1001 books, litsy #roll100

maaliskuu 7, 3:50 pm

>205 japaul22: I enjoyed your review, Jennifer, though I’ve never read Elizabeth Bowen. Do you have a favorite among her novels?

maaliskuu 7, 4:42 pm

>206 dianelouise100: I've read To the North, The Last September, and now The Heat of the Day, and I'd say I liked To the North best.

maaliskuu 7, 5:25 pm

I’ve read 4 Bowens and I struggle with her writing. She seems like an author I’d love but so far I don’t

maaliskuu 7, 6:49 pm

>208 Nickelini: it does sometimes feel like she makes her writing purposefully difficult to grasp onto.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 12, 8:09 am

#18 Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton
I snapped up Catton's new novel as soon is it was released and I have no idea what to think about it. I think I hated it.

Birnam Wood is about a group of idealistic 20-somethings in New Zealand who start a "guerilla gardening co-op" called Birnam Wood. This was my first problem. Gardening? Really? They go around finding unused land and choose to grow crops there instead of reintroducing native plants? Seems significantly behind the times in terms of a "cause". Anyway, this group is led by Mira and Shelley, who are having friend problems. Shelley is thinking about moving on. And then Tony, an early member of the group, reappears and shakes things up. He goes on long philosophical-political rants and no one is authentic enough for him.

In the meantime, Mira finds a tract of land near the national forest of Korowai on the private property of the Darvishes. It seems that they are in the midst of a sale to billionaire Robert Lemoine and she seizes the opportunity of the empty land to start a garden. But getting herself and Birnam Wood mixed up with these people will prove to be a very bad idea.

About two-thirds through the book it turns into a violent thriller. Felt like one of those ultra-male movies that I hate with lots of violence and evil people.

The whole thing was just so strange. Besides the crazy plot, Catton does a deep dive into the inner motivations of all of her characters - annoyingly telling the reader all about what makes them tick instead of showing it through her writing.

And yet . . . this is a very confident book. Catton is all in and doesn't shirk from the story she's decided to tell. And I couldn't put it down - even with a very busy work schedule, I read this in a couple days. So please, I'm hoping some fellow LT-ers will read this and tell me what to think!

Original publication date: 2023
Author’s nationality: New Zealand
Original language: English
Length: 423 pages
Rating: I have no idea. 2 stars? 5 stars?
Format/where I acquired the book: hardback purchase, pre-order
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (division of Macmillan)
Why I read this: like the author

maaliskuu 11, 7:49 am

"Rating: I have no idea. 2 stars? 5 stars?"

This made me laugh. Your comments definitely have me intrigued, but I think I'll wait for now.

maaliskuu 11, 12:09 pm

>210 japaul22: Hmmm interesting. Yesterday I added my name to the library list on the strength of the 11 "rave" reviews cited in LitHub's weekly Bookmarks newsletter. Copies are not in circulation yet and I'm #26. I'll be watching the buzz on the threads while I wait!

maaliskuu 11, 9:17 pm

>210 japaul22: is the author really Australian? I thought she was a New Zealander with strong Canadian ties.

My book club is already talking about reading it for next season. You’ve got me worried

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 12, 8:10 am

>211 katiekrug:, >212 lauralkeet: It will be interesting to hear what other LT-ers think. I would think a lot of people will read it.

>213 Nickelini: Thanks, you're right - New Zealand, not Australia. Apologies!

I'm hoping a lot of people read it - I really still don't know what to think!

maaliskuu 12, 9:11 am

>210 japaul22: Seems significantly behind the times in terms of a "cause".
Hah, yes.

maaliskuu 12, 9:57 am

>210 japaul22: They go around finding unused land and choose to grow crops there instead of reintroducing native plants? Seems significantly behind the times in terms of a "cause".

I haven't read this book, which you make sound really interesting, but I was wondering if perhaps crops was a cause in itself, in the sense of feeding the people. That's a cause.

I may just have to read this!

maaliskuu 12, 10:26 am

>216 SassyLassy: It is definitely presented that way - bringing organic crops "to the people" but in practice we only see the group using the crops themselves. If there had been a stronger plan for getting organic food to people who don't have access to it other places, I might have bought the premise. There is A LOT of time spent on "philosphizing" and "ranting" against the powers that be, so I felt that presenting a more cohesive and well-thought out plan from the group was in order. The group had been established for about 5 years, but what they were doing just didn't make sense to me - logistically or philosophically. From what I've read, using stray corners of land to grow food, even if it's organically grown, works against the goal of trying to create a smaller human footprint where we can and works against leaving space for local wildlife and native plants to thrive.

The book really sets up the idea of small groups fighting for good vs. billionaires concerned only with themselves, so I thought a little more care taken with the group's ideals was warranted.

maaliskuu 12, 10:37 am

>217 japaul22: Or it's possible to kinda do both, food forest style. (I'd be interested in the New Zealand variant.) Agriculture takes A LOT of work though (I say having managed a community garden for a decade where some newbies think they can plant in May and return in August).

maaliskuu 12, 10:41 am

>218 qebo: true. Like I said, I'm really hoping some others read this book this year - I need someone to talk about it with!!

What they were planting was all super familiar to me - everything mentioned was standard U.S. grocery-store fare.

maaliskuu 12, 12:13 pm

#19 The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily by Nancy Goldstone

Despite liking Goldstone's history books in the past, this one just hasn't grabbed me, so I'm going to call it a DNF. I usually like these glimpses into what life might have been like for royal/upper class women in times long ago. This one takes place in the 1300s. But it is feeling too much like a string of disasters and wars and too little of really getting to a characterization of Joanna I. I know it's hard to piece that together 700 years after events, but I'm not getting enough about her life, decisions, or period details to keep me interested.

I did really enjoy other books by Goldstone that I read, so I won't write her off. This particular one just isn't for me. Since I read 204 of the 309 dense pages of text, I am counting it as "read" even though it's a DNF.

Original publication date: 2009
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 365 pages
Rating: DNF
Format/where I acquired the book: paperback from a library sale
Publisher: Walker and Company (Bloomsbury imprint)
Why I read this: like the author

maaliskuu 12, 1:17 pm

Happy belated, Jennifer, and that's a great book haul. I'm also glad to see you liked An Island, since I just picked up a copy based on good reviews here.

Elizabeth Bowen is someone we've talked about reading for our book group. Maybe I'll suggest To the North, though we've been moving away from the English ladies lately (our book group name is the Iris Murdoch Fight Club).

>210 japaul22: Ohhhh Birnam Wood. That one confounded me too. I was totally on board with the story right up until the last five pages? And then I literally said "WTF?" out loud (the words, not the acronym). I think Catton is a great storyteller, and even though I found every character in that book annoying in the extreme, I was still caught up in what would happen to them—possibly because of that, because they were so hubristic and gratingly young. And of course there's that Birnam Wood/Macbeth reference, pulling in a world of misguided ambition and tragedy, so maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised. But I was!

I actually interviewed Catton on an author panel last fall, and she was all about the plot and the uncomfortable Venn diagram of good and evil, which makes sense. But I'm not sure how I would rate that book either (I tend to give everything four stars unless I adore it or loathe it). It was definitely... a reading experience.

maaliskuu 12, 1:45 pm

>221 lisapeet: Yes! A fellow Birnam Wood reader! Sounds like we had a similar reaction in some ways. Yes, the end . . . maybe I shouldn't have been surprised?

Interesting that Catton herself did focus on plot and the overlapping good and evil (though I didn't see a ton of good to be honest). It's definitely a plot-focused book, where I thought The Luminaries was more driven by the form she chose.

Unlike you, though, I really didn't like the beginning. I suspect I'm generally less forgiving of characters I don't like than you are, and I just couldn't stop rolling my eyes at a lot of the interactions between the Birnam Wood members that were so central to the first half of the book. But, I will admit that it was well-written and realistic - I just wasn't into reading about it. If the book had been written by anyone besides Catton, I probably would have set it aside after the first 50 pages.

But, yes, I am obviously still thinking about the book and feel I will be for a long time. The Macbeth reference was on my mind throughout the book as well. It's been a while since I read it though, so I didn't get more than the over-arching thematic references, and of course the violence. Did you find smaller details that referenced Macbeth?

maaliskuu 16, 6:57 am

#20 The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

This is historical fiction set in the 1600s on a remote island in far northern Norway. In the opening scenes, 40 men, virtually all the adult males in the community, are drowned in a sudden storm while fishing. The remaining women draw the attention of the male political leadership. This is a time in Norway's history when Christianity is attempting to wipe out the local customs of the Sami people. As in so many places around the world, women are blamed for natural events and community discord as witches.

I really liked this, even though the story is familiar and has been told (in different regions of the world) many times. Nothing innovative, but a good story and decent characters (though pretty predictable). It was a good diversion. I consider this in the same category as reading a well-written mystery. Entertaining and engaging.

Original publication date: 2020
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 345 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased kindle book
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (owned by Hachette)
Why I read this: sounded like a good story

maaliskuu 19, 6:44 pm

#21 The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

This was a reread of a lovely book. It's a series of vignettes describing the relationship between a 80 year old grandmother and her 6 year old granddaughter. They live on an isolated Finnish island, and the girl's mother has died. I love how their conversations always seem to not only depict their relationship, but also enlighten their individual personalities and worries.

Still loved it on my second reading!

Original publication date: 1972
Author’s nationality: Finnish
Original language: Finnish, Thomas Teal - translator
Length: 186 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased nyrb edition
Publisher: NYRB
Why I read this: reread of a favorite

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 19, 9:46 pm

>224 japaul22: it is lovely. Want to read another one of hers but havent yet.

maaliskuu 19, 7:12 pm

>225 cindydavid4: Tove is a woman. I love the book too.

maaliskuu 19, 7:23 pm

>225 cindydavid4: Yes, Tove Jansson is a woman. I’ve also read Fair Play and The True Deceiver, but I didnt like either quite as much as The Summer Book.

maaliskuu 19, 8:39 pm

Nice review of Birnam Wood, Jennifer; I chuckled at your 2 star/5 star comment! I loved The Luminaries, which Rachael (FlossieT) raved about and insisted that I read, but this book doesn't have the same appeal to me. I'll have to ask Rachael what she thought of it. ( of the things I miss most about not being able to travel to London is the rich book conversations and recommendations I had with her and Fliss (flissp) over dinner in Cambridge.)

I also loved The Summer Book; I should read it again soon.

maaliskuu 19, 9:17 pm

>210 japaul22: I'll revisit your review later -- I'm in the middle of Birnam Wood now.

maaliskuu 19, 9:46 pm

>226 labfs39: duh was looking at the translaters name, sorry!

maaliskuu 19, 9:53 pm

and to make it all better, I just clicked it for my kindle :)

maaliskuu 20, 12:13 pm

>228 kidzdoc: I really can't see you liking Birnam Wood, Darryl, but I'd love to read your review!

>229 RidgewayGirl: oh good! I'm excited to hear what you think!!

>231 cindydavid4: It's such a good book to reread!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 7:23 pm

#22 Trespasses by Louise Kennedy

Wow. This is a beautiful novel. It takes place during the Troubles just outside Belfast, with all the violence and conflict that implies. Cushla Lavery is a young woman teaching in a Catholic school and working in her family's pub. At school, she meets the family of one of her students, Davy. The father is Catholic and mother is Protestant, making them outcasts in their community. And at the pub she meets Michael Agnew, an older man and lawyer who she falls in love with. The two story lines are separate for most of the book, illuminating two sides of Cushla's life and personality, but they come together dramatically at the end.

This book is fully of beautiful, complicated relationships for Cushla - between Cushla and her mother, her lover, her student, her student's family, her brother, her fellow school teacher. It's amazing to me when I list them that the author was able to develop all of these. It's a novel where every interaction is there for a reason.

Highly recommended. One of the best new novels I've read in a while.

Original publication date: 2022
Author’s nationality: grew up near Belfast, lives in Ireland currently
Original language: English
Length: 304 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased hardcover
Publisher: Riverhead books, Penguin imprint
Why I read this: Kay's review caught my attention and then it made the Women's Prize long list

maaliskuu 25, 1:47 am

>233 japaul22: I have heard that this is a favourite among people who read the Women's Prize books

maaliskuu 25, 6:42 am

>233 japaul22: You got me with this one, Jennifer. I just added my name to the library hold list which, fortunately, is not super long.

maaliskuu 25, 7:56 am

>234 Nickelini: >235 lauralkeet: I think you would both like it. It's the details and relationships that really make this book special.

maaliskuu 25, 8:51 am

>233 japaul22: Great review! I added this to my WL at once.

maaliskuu 25, 4:21 pm

>233 japaul22: So glad you like it, too. It's my favorite of the year so far.

I'm sifting through my feelings about Birnam Wood. I think I would have liked it more had I not had such high expectations given the author's previous work.

maaliskuu 25, 4:22 pm

>238 RidgewayGirl: I’ve been stalking your thread, waiting for a Birnam Wood review! Interested to see what you decide to say.

maaliskuu 26, 10:12 am

Great review of Trespasses, Jennifer. Kay also loved it, so I'll read it when it becomes available in my local library.

maaliskuu 26, 10:27 am

>233 japaul22: I was so sure I had that one, but I don't... which means I should, I think. Wishlisted, anyway.

maaliskuu 26, 1:00 pm

Catching up. I too loved the Summer book. I almost bought Winter by Jansson a couple of week's back as I've not read anything else by her. Have you?

Another very positive review of Trespasses - I need to look out for this one.

maaliskuu 26, 7:30 pm

I just started her fair play which is a quiet study of two women who have known each other all their lives. Quite lovely, in the same way summer book was.

maaliskuu 27, 10:30 am

I look forward to Trespasses, Jennifer. I've heard nothing but good things about it. I am waiting patiently? for my turn. Luckily, I do have other things to read.

maaliskuu 27, 12:59 pm

>242 AlisonY: I liked True Deceiver by Jansson, but not quite as much as the lovely Summer Book.

maaliskuu 29, 6:20 pm

>242 AlisonY: I've read Fair Play and True Deceiver by Jansson. I liked both, but neither had the same magic for me as The Summer Book.

maaliskuu 30, 7:08 am

#23 Irretrievable by Theodor Fontane

Irretrievable is the story of a failing marriage, set in the border area between Germany and Denmark. Helmut Holk and Christine Arne have been married for 19 years and have children who are almost grown. They are very different people - Helmut is outgoing and sociable and Christine is reserved and religious. Even so, things have always been good between them. When we join the story, Helmut is feeling restless and the two are growing apart. He goes across the bay to Denmark to spend time in the aging Princess's court where he meets two lovely young women.

This book has a lovely setting. Helmut and Christine live in a beautiful home they built on a cliff overlooking the sea. And Fontane writes beautiful characters and situations with precision and insight. I really enjoyed this book. Recommended for readers who enjoy this era.

This book edged out Gosta Berling's Saga for my favorite book of 1891.

Original publication date: 1891
Author’s nationality: German
Original language: German, translated by Douglas Parmeé
Length: 256 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased nyrb
Publisher: NYRB
Why I read this: off the shelf, #roll100 pick on Litsy

maaliskuu 30, 2:46 pm

>247 japaul22: This book edged out Gosta Berling's Saga for my favorite book of 1891.

Because doesn't everyone have a favorite book of 1891?

maaliskuu 30, 3:24 pm

>248 labfs39:
Haha, I started that spreadsheet of a favorite book from every year, so now I think of all books in these terms :-)

maaliskuu 30, 3:30 pm

>248 labfs39: Ha! hey who knows she might have had a time machine

huhtikuu 1, 1:54 pm

#24 American Canopy by Eric Rutkow
This is a nonfiction book about how the abundance of trees in the U.S. intersected with development of our nation. An interesting topic and one that worked very well for large sections of the book and less well in others. I really enjoyed the first half of this book. Rutkow writes about how valued trees were to European settlers. They were used for housing, fencing, furniture, etc. But also for ship building - especially exciting was the abundance of very tall straight trees that could be used for masts. He talks about trees used for food (apple, orange, chestnut, etc.) He moves into talking about lumber mills and paper mills and the progression of mindset from "the trees are there for us to use in whatever way we need", to conservation, to environmentalism. I also was interested in the section about the American Chestnut and the Elm tree that were decimated by introduced fungi.

As you can see, he casts a wide net and covers a lot of topics. I preferred those that really kept trees as the focus. Some of the chapters were too much about politics. And it was also sad, though not a new idea, to delve in to all the ways we've ruined our forests. The long section on paper mills lost my interest.

Overall, I am glad I read this book, but it wasn't quite as good as I wanted it to be. Or maybe I just wanted a different focus than the author chose. Either way, it's a soft recommendation from me.

Original publication date: 2012
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 416 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: birthday gift
Publisher: Scribner, imprint of Simon and Schuster
Why I read this: off the shelf

huhtikuu 2, 8:39 am

>251 japaul22: Useful review. I have the book but haven't yet read it.

huhtikuu 2, 11:14 am

>251 japaul22: Great review. The book is right up my alley (early colonists and trees!)

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 8, 7:16 am

#25 Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman

Just got back from a quick spring break vacation to the Miami area, and I finally decided to read Eleanor Oliphant. I don't have a ton to say, because probably everyone who wants to read this already has, but if you're like me and this has been lingering on your shelf for years, I recommend reading it. I found it humorous, authentic, charming, and actually a little bit creepy/Shirley Jackson vibe as you wait for Eleanor's past to be revealed.

Original publication date: 2017
Author’s nationality: Scottish
Original language: English
Length: 390 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased for kindle when everyone was reading it
Publisher: Harper Collins
Why I read this: off the shelf/kindle finally and wanted an easy, engaging book for travel

huhtikuu 7, 8:55 pm

I’ve still never read that one. I keep vacillating between thinking it’s not the kind of book I would like and suspecting that I’d like it a lot.

huhtikuu 8, 6:28 am

>254 japaul22: I was surprised how much I enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant. I'd waffled over it for some time and then it became a book group selection which got me to read it. For some reason I didn't review it, but I gave it 4.5 stars and still remember the pleasure of the slow reveal.

huhtikuu 8, 8:36 am

>254 japaul22: - Been meaning to read this one for ages!

huhtikuu 8, 9:14 am

I see I was not the last one to read Eleanor Oliphant! I really do recommend it. It was very enjoyable - despite all the hype. ;-)

huhtikuu 10, 12:03 am

>254 japaul22: I’m another one who was “meh” on it but loved it. Unique book

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 11, 5:14 pm

>243 cindydavid4:, >246 japaul22: My library is addinig Fair play to their collection, so reading it is somewhere in my future. I hope it has some photos of the house they live in on the island.

huhtikuu 11, 6:01 pm

oh good!

huhtikuu 14, 7:34 pm

#26 Exiles by Jane Harper
This is Harper's latest mystery and she goes back to her character of Aaron Falk, who was the main character in The Dry. Her mysteries have been hit or miss for me and this was a miss. I found the mystery predictable and I didn't care much about the characters. Not sure that I'll keep reading her mysteries.

Original publication date: 2022
Author’s nationality: Australian
Original language: English
Length: 356 pages
Rating: 2.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased for kindle
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Why I read this: on vacation and wanted an easy mystery

#27 Will and Testament by Vigdis Hjorth

Now this was a good book. I can't say I liked it, but it definitely made me think. The story centers around four adult siblings and their parents as they argue over the inheritance of two summer cabins. The older two children, Bärd and Bergljot, find out that the younger two, Astrid and Asa, have been given the cabins and they are valued a price much below market value when they are factored into the supposedly evenly split inheritance. But the real issue is that Bergljot was sexually abused by her father between the ages of 5-7 and the father denies it and the mother and younger daughters believe the father.

This is a novel written from Bergljot's point of view as a survivor. It's painful to see all the ways the abuse affected her life and her relationships. But the most interesting character to me is Astrid. Astrid works with a human rights organization and she knows all the right words. She tries to maintain a relationship with Bergljot. She "takes her seriously" but can't pick a side with "no proof". Astrid uses all of the words you're supposed to. She's intelligent, "emotionally aware", rational, and politically correct. But she's also wrong. I found this such a deep exploration of how we treat survivors of abuse. It wasn't a particularly pleasurable novel to read - it's very repetitive and there's not really a great resolution. But I think the themes and the issues it brings up for deeper thought are polarizing and important.

When you're in the mood for a frustrating but intellectual and thoughtful novel, this is the one to pick up.

Original publication date: 2016
Author’s nationality: Norwegian
Original language: Norwegian, tranlated by Charlotte Barslund
Length: 336 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased for kindle
Publisher: Verson fiction
Why I read this: I always keep my eyes open for Scandinavian fiction and I think I found this author on a list somewhere

huhtikuu 15, 6:40 am

>262 japaul22: I feel much the same with Harper. I think the last one I attempted did nothing for me. Disappointing. Perhaps my SIL enjoyed it. I seem to be off crime novels generally these days.

Glad you had a good read after the disappointment. I do love the Nordic countries....

huhtikuu 15, 6:46 am

>262 japaul22: Hmm ... I'm on a very long wait list for Exiles at my library. Historically I've given her books 3.5 stars, with 4 stars for The Survivors. Your review has reduced my sense of urgency to read Exiles, not enough to cancel my hold but enough that I'm unlikely to get antsy and buy a copy. And that's a good thing.

huhtikuu 15, 7:16 am

>264 lauralkeet: Survivors was my favorite of her books so far. Exiles isn't bad, it just was not anything special. Waiting to get it from the library is the route to take!

huhtikuu 15, 7:18 am

>263 avaland: I have gotten a lot of recs for Nordic books/authors from you and Deborah/arubabookwoman over the years. Have you read anything by Vigdis Hjorth? I think I saw she has a book on the International Booker list this year.

huhtikuu 15, 1:13 pm

>262 japaul22: Agree with you about Jane Harper. I've read them all now and there was only one I liked (the non-Aaron Falk about the farming families in the outback, can't remember the title right now). I liked The Survivors better than the Aaron Falk ones, but I had problems with it. I think I may be done with her, though I will probably forget this resolution when the next one comes out.
I think I liked Will and Testament a bit less than you, but I liked it enough that I have her (his?) latest out of the library though I haven't gotten to it yet.

huhtikuu 15, 1:27 pm

>267 arubabookwoman: I think you're remembering Harper's The Lost Man and I agree that was one of the better ones.

Will and Testament was a hard book to like, but I was impressed with the writing (and the translation), the themes, and the structure of the book. Challenging, for sure though. I'd like to read more by her so if you get to her new book I'll be interested in your review.

huhtikuu 15, 3:04 pm

I really liked Will and Testament and will try something else by her.

huhtikuu 17, 6:06 am

>266 japaul22: I have not. As noted I seem to be "off" crime novels after what...40 years?

huhtikuu 17, 7:47 am

>266 japaul22: You're right, Jennifer; Is Mother Dead by Vigdis Hjorth was chosen for this year's International Booker Prize longlist. I bought the Kindle edition of it last month, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

huhtikuu 17, 7:53 am

>271 kidzdoc: thanks for confirming that, Darryl. I would like to read it this year. I've put it on my library wish list.

huhtikuu 17, 5:32 pm

Is Mother Dead is the one I have out from the library now.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 17, 5:35 pm

>273 arubabookwoman: I just finished that one and really liked it. I have a rather contentious relationship with certain family members and found a lot to relate to in the story. I also loved the fluid writing style.

huhtikuu 23, 2:47 pm

>273 arubabookwoman:, >274 Yells: Great, I will keep this one on my list.

huhtikuu 23, 2:53 pm

#28 Queen Victoria: Twenty four Days that Changed her Life by Lucy Worsley

This book was ok. Worsley chooses 24 days from Queen Victoria's life as a way to frame a loose biography. The writing style is fun - a good mix of chatty, inside info and scholarly historical detail. But I think the choppy format didn't really work for me. Also, I just might not be that interested in Victoria.

This was ok, but not one I'll rave about. I did LOVE her book Jane Austen at Home - read that instead!

Original publication date: 2018
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 420 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased hardback
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Macmillan)
Why I read this: Loved her Jane Austen book

huhtikuu 23, 3:28 pm

>276 japaul22: I'm actually in the middle of this one right now. I'm only mildly interested in Victoria, too, so the choppy format (surprisingly!) is working just right for me--moving through her life more quickly is keeping it interesting. I don't think I could make it through a biography of every day and every detail of her life.

I haven't read Worsley's Austen book--I was afraid I would be disappointed (or bored--I've read so much about Austen). I think now I will try it because her writing style is so readable and your recommendation seals the deal!

huhtikuu 23, 4:13 pm

>277 kac522: What a coincidence! I can see liking the snippets of her life rather than a long biography. And I do think you should try Jane Austen at Home. I really enjoyed it.

huhtikuu 23, 4:22 pm

#29 Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes

I really like Natalie Haynes's Greek myth retellings. No one quite lives up to Madeline Miller for me, but hers are still very good. Stone Blind is, of course, about Medusa, but Haynes tells the whole back story, starting with her as a practically human child living with her Gorgon sisters. Athene and Hermes feature prominently in this book, helping Perseus on his quest for a Gorgon head. Haynes does a great job of drawing a lot of stories together into one story line. She writes with a lot of humor and makes the gods relatable while still keeping them apart from the humans they help (or hinder).

I really liked this and I'll keep reading Haynes's books. I find them smart and entertaining, and it's fun to discover the Greek myths, which I mainly know from how they've become a part of pop culture. I'm sure I'm not the best person to comment on how she conforms or departs from the standard tellings, but it's enjoyable to me nonetheless.

Original publication date: 2022
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 373 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased for kindle
Publisher: Harper
Why I read this: enjoy Greek myth retellings

huhtikuu 23, 8:13 pm

#30 Love by Hanne Orstavik

This is one of the archipelago books I got for my birthday. It's a slim, 120 page novella about a young divorced mother and her young son who have recently moved to a new town. It's the night before the boy's 9th birthday and they spend the evening into late night apart, out in the town. The mother, Vibeke, has gone out to the library and then meets an attractive man who she stays out with until late at night. Meanwhile the son, Jon has also gone out and has interactions of his own. It's clear that things are moving towards a dramatic conclusion, but I was hopeful that the conclusion would not be sad. I won't say if I was right or not.

The writing style is really interesting. The prose is sparse and to the point and the book shifts between the mother and the son's POV with no warning - no page breaks or anything. So you have to use context sometimes to realize you've shifted to being with a different character.

I really liked this. I have another of Orstavik's books on my shelf, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Original publication date: 1997
Author’s nationality: Norwegian
Original language: Norwegian, translated by Martin Aitken
Length: 125 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: birthday gift
Publisher: archipelago press
Why I read this: off the shelf

huhtikuu 24, 12:15 am

>279 japaul22: I also enjoy her books and eager to what she does next!

huhtikuu 24, 10:10 am

>280 japaul22: I enjoyed Love as well. Although written simply it was very impactful, I thought. Which of her other books do you have?

huhtikuu 24, 12:31 pm

>282 labfs39: I have The Pastor, another archipelago edition.

huhtikuu 27, 7:29 pm

I didn't get a copy of Love, as it may have been published when I temporarily cancelled my subscription to Archipelago Books, but I do have The Pastor; have you read it, Jennifer?

huhtikuu 27, 9:08 pm

>284 kidzdoc: I haven't read The Pastor yet, but after enjoying Love, I'm really looking forward to it!

huhtikuu 28, 4:38 pm

#31 Angel by Elizabeth Taylor

This book started off strong, with an antagonistic main character, Angel, who is so full of herself you can't help but be amused. After all, she is only fifteen. She has a bad day at school, and takes to her bed, pretending to be sick. She prolongs this by deciding to write a novel - in bed. She's convinced she is a genius, despite the fact she has little life knowledge, no background in reading any books at all, and a horrific vocabulary full of big words she uses incorrectly.

And she gets published. And a certain segment of the population loves her books. And she becomes rich.

And then I got bored. Angel's adult life didn't really interest me at all, so the second half of this novel didn't really work for me. For me, this was one of the less interesting books that NYRB has published.

Original publication date: 1957
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 252 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased nyrb edition
Publisher: nyrb
Why I read this: off the shelf, Litsy #Roll100

toukokuu 2, 7:20 am

#32 I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

I loved this new book by Rebecca Makkai. It is a boarding school mystery, with the 45 year old woman narrator returning to her boarding school and reinvestigating the murder of a girl there in the 1990s, while she was in school. While the mystery is fairly straight ahead, Makkai makes more of it by solidly placing the murder in the 1990s and the investigation in the 2020s.

Makkai is incredible at creating a strong setting. I felt like I was this woman narrator, Bodie, since I'm the exact age that she is. Her retelling of her teenage years in the 1990s, as the last of the Gen Xers before the Millenials took over, is spot on. And then how she works in the modern day, taking how we got here from the 90s into account was astute. She weaves in the #metoo movement without naming it, having Bodie awaken to how what girls accepted as boy behavior that they were expected to put up with in the 1990s set up the current 2020s movement as women more widely begin to say "no more".

Makkai repeats certain phrases/ideas, weaving them into the story, such as the expectation in her teen years that boys deserved to be noticed and watched and idolized by the girls. I certainly remember that. And in Bodie's adult years, being constantly asked by both men and women "who's watching your kids?" as she travels, something I've also experienced as a mother. The answer for myself, as well as Bodie, being "their father" (and why don't you ever ask fathers that?).

This book is a great mix of a readable, engaging mystery and a subtle look at our culture - how we treat women, how the justice system works and doesn't work, and how our recent past has influenced our current times.

Original publication date: 2023
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 438 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased kindle book
Publisher: Viking (division of Penguin)
Why I read this: loved the author's book The Great Believers

toukokuu 2, 7:38 am

>287 japaul22: - Nice review! I really liked the book, too.

toukokuu 2, 7:52 am

>288 katiekrug: I saw a lot of "meh" reviews on goodreads and litsy, but between your positive review and the opinion of one of my friends at work who also really liked it, I decided to get to it sooner rather than later.

I don't understand the reviews that thought it was slow or bogged down in the middle. I found it very readable and engaging. I kind of get the criticism that she touches on a lot of big topics (like abuse and sexism, and especially racism and the criminal justice system) without fully exploring them. But, I thought she did it just right for the story she was telling. Maybe it worked for me because the narrator's life experience was so similar to mine - same age, same race, same socio-economic class - so I didn't need a lot of explanation. I already had the same narrator background so was able to join in thoughts "in progress". I also thought the ending, even though not everything is resolved, to be realistic. So that criticism wasn't a problem for me either.

Anyway . . . I really want to get to Makkai's backlist. I haven't read The Borrower or The Hundred-Year House.

toukokuu 2, 8:31 am

>289 japaul22: I liked both of those books of Makkai's. I Have Some Questions for You is high up on my list—as a boarding school survivor that's one of my favorite genres, and from what I've heard (she was great on the Otherppl podcast) she really plots it up well.

toukokuu 2, 8:47 am

>287 japaul22: the 1990’s aspects appeals. Encouraging to see a couple positive reviews.

toukokuu 2, 10:10 am

>287 japaul22: Oh good, I just got that. Looking forward to it

toukokuu 2, 10:28 am

>289 japaul22: - I agree with all of that. Most people seemed to like the second part better, but I preferred the first.

>290 lisapeet: - I also went to boarding school and unlike a lot of authors, she got lots of small details right, which added to the story for me.

toukokuu 2, 5:24 pm

Great comments on the new Makkai. I was one of those who thought there was too much going on. I'm glad it worked for you.

toukokuu 2, 8:13 pm

>287 japaul22: I have a copy of this and so am skipping your review until I read it. I'm really looking forward to it.

toukokuu 3, 3:24 am

Chiming in late, but I also enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant. It's a perfect holiday book - an easy page-turner.

toukokuu 9, 2:34 pm

#33 Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

An octopus for a narrator? Charming and witty? A "Read with Jenna" pick?

I was nervous about this one. I do not like overly-sentimental stories and this had a lot of potential to go that way. However, I gave it a chance and ended up really loving it. Certainly it is a bit sentimental and charming, but it didn't go overboard and I cared about the characters enough to make it all work.

Including the octopus. Marcellus is in his last months of life at the aquarium where Tova cleans. The two form a friendship, and Marcellus ends up helping her discover the secrets around the disappearance of her son decades earlier, when he was only 18.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but it actually really does work. Give it a try when you're in the mood for something lighter and feel-good that is well-written and just plain pleasant to read.

Original publication date: 2022
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 368 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle library book
Publisher: Ecco (Harper Collins imprint)
Why I read this: recommendation from a friend

toukokuu 9, 2:46 pm

I know what you mean about being nervous about RBC. I was hesitant to try it, but like you, ended up enjoying it. It walked the line of being "precious" for me.

toukokuu 9, 2:54 pm

>298 katiekrug: somehow I don't remember you reading this, but I'm glad to hear it worked for you too.

toukokuu 9, 2:56 pm

It was last year sometime... How *dare* you not remember every book I've read?!?!


toukokuu 9, 3:07 pm

>300 katiekrug: haha, I've had my eye on this one for a while, so I thought I'd remember you reading it, but probably you read it before I'd really heard much about it.

toukokuu 9, 4:27 pm

>297 japaul22: I was given a copy of this book for Christmas and I also loved it. It brightened my day, for sure!

toukokuu 10, 7:09 am

>297 japaul22: I'm so glad to see your thoughts on this, and Katie's comments too. A couple of months ago I got together with some friends I used to work with. One of them was really pushing RBC, as well as another book that I just knew I'd never read (I can't even remember what it was now). I put my name on the hold list since it didn't seem like a book I *needed* to own. The friend has already read a book I suggested and I feel obligated to reciprocate. It's going to be a long wait but on the strength of your recommendation, I'll gut it out.

toukokuu 10, 8:54 am

>297 japaul22: - I had requested this as an audio and got to number 6 and then, all of a sudden, I was number 135 (or something ridiculous like that). So I decided I'd wait a while and took myself off the list. But good to see that I should look into it again.

toukokuu 10, 10:44 am

>302 dianelouise100: I'm glad! It was a lovely book.

>303 lauralkeet: Laura, I do think you'll like it. It was a refreshing book for me that was simply enjoyable to read.

>304 dudes22: Well, I do recommend, so hopefully you'll get back to it at some point!

toukokuu 10, 6:06 pm

>305 japaul22: - It's still on my BB list so I will get to it.

toukokuu 11, 8:32 am

>297 japaul22: I picked that up based on the cover, so I'm glad to hear it worked. Yeah, I think octopus stories can go either way... but I'm kind of a sucker for them.

toukokuu 13, 12:53 pm

#34 Pot Luck by Émile Zola

In Pot Luck, Zola reveals the deceit of the Bourgeois as only Zola can. A young man, Octave, moves into a large boarding house, filled with middle class families and couples. There he finds seemingly respectable, moral, and well-off people, but as he spends more time there, he quickly finds the cracks in the facade. Every couple has one or the other committing adultery, many of the families are in financial difficulties, and none seem to actually live by the morals they profess to believe in and criticize others for not upholding.

There is a lot of symbolism in this book - from females who wear nice looking dresses with dirty, old linens underneath, to the house itself that masks cracks underneath a state of the art facade (and heated staircase). Also, the servants, who throw the trash from their bourgeois employers out the back windows into a courtyard, ruthlessly gossiping about the shortcomings of their employers.

This is a good Zola novel, though it wasn't my favorite. I cared less about the characters than I have in some of his other novels. But, ok Zola is still really, really good.

Original publication date: 1882, translation date 1999
Author’s nationality: French
Original language: French, translator Brian Nelson
Length: 416 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle purchase
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Why I read this: an author I keep coming back to

toukokuu 13, 4:07 pm

#35 The Blue Sky by Galsan Tschinag

Galsan Tschinag is a Mongolian author, actually part of the Tuvan people who live there. This book is a memoir of his childhood and focuses on his relationship with his grandmother and his dog. As his loses these relationships, it also seems that some of the Tuvan people's way of life is also changing and being lost. More and more, outside forces begin to change life for these people.

I liked this, but didn't love it as much as Lisa (labfs39). I like stretching my worldview by reading books like this, but at the same time I often find them hard to connect with. That was the case here. Not having any background in the region or culture, I think I missed some of the significance of the changes that were happening and also was a little lacking in a framework for the cultural knowledge that would have added to my enjoyment.

I still would encourage people to seek this book out, but it wasn't a favorite for me.

Original publication date: 1994
Author’s nationality: Mongolian, Tuvan ethnicity
Original language: German, translated by Katharina Rout
Length: 152 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased paperback
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Why I read this: Lisa's review

toukokuu 13, 6:48 pm

>309 japaul22: Sorry you didn't enjoy this one more, Jennifer! Better luck with your next one.

toukokuu 13, 7:56 pm

>310 labfs39: I do still hope more Club Read members read it - it is so interesting to have literature available from this region.

toukokuu 15, 6:45 am

I got a lot of reading time over Mother's Day, so I have two book reviews to write.

#36 The Nature of Oaks by Doug Tallamy
Tallamy writes books that make you appreciate the native nature around you and want to protect and enhance it. In this book, he focuses on Oak trees. When I saw this book (I think on Lois's thread?) I knew I'd love reading about the 3 white oak trees we have in our back yard. We have a small suburban yard that has two tiers. The upper tier has about a dozen enormous trees, White Oaks, American beeches, and Sweet Gum. Many of our neighbors have taken trees down, and I'm proud of our remaining trees that are beautiful, provide shade and privacy, and now I know support a ton of wildlife.

This book gets a little bogged down in caterpillars, but overall I found it really interesting to read about all the life that is sustained by an oak tree and a little about the life cycle of the tree.

Original publication date: 2021
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 191 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased kindle book
Publisher: Timber Press
Why I read this: love the author's books and ideas

toukokuu 15, 6:57 am

#37 The Giant, O'Brien by Hilary Mantel

Mantel was such a confident writer. I love her books and have read eight (now nine) of her dozen novels. The Giant, O'Brien is historical fiction set in the 1700s about, you guessed it, a giant. Mantel sets up a story between the Giant and John Hunter, a medical scientist who experiments on the living and the dead.

While I appreciated the writing and characters and Mantel's willingness to get sort of dirty and explore the gross in this novel, it wasn't my favorite of hers.

Original publication date: 1998
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 208 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased paperback
Publisher: Picador
Why I read this: reading the author's backlist

toukokuu 15, 8:46 am

Sounds like a great Mother’s Day. Interesting about Mantel’s “explore the gross”. And I intrigued by a good book on oaks.

toukokuu 15, 9:10 am

>312 japaul22: gets a little bogged down in caterpillars
He's an entomologist. I have a stack of caterpillar cards I got from him at some presentation here several years ago, photos from his property. He lives in an adjacent county and is frequently invited to speak locally.

toukokuu 15, 10:32 am

>315 qebo: that explains it! I do love the caterpillar talk, but it won't be for everyone!

toukokuu 16, 4:19 pm

>313 japaul22: Good to know (that it wasn't a favourite Mantel). I need to read a few more by her - I think I've read 5 to date.

toukokuu 16, 4:30 pm

>317 AlisonY: Looking back on what I've read of Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety and the Wolf Hall trilogy are really, by far, the standouts for me. Her shorter, stand alone novels, have been hit or miss, but nothing spectacular in my opinion.

toukokuu 16, 4:34 pm

>318 japaul22: I'm going to add A Place of Greater Safety to my wish list, as I've not got to that one. Thanks!

toukokuu 17, 6:47 am

>318 japaul22: I feel the same way about Mantel's work, Jennifer. I learned a lot from A Place of Greater Safety. Also, having read Wolf Hall first, it was interesting to see her first effort at a long form work of historical fiction.

toukokuu 17, 8:01 am

>320 lauralkeet: I'm glad it's not just me! I count Mantel as one of my favorite authors, but I really haven't liked quite a few of her books! I read A Place of Greater Safety first and I'd never read historical fiction like it - I was blown away. I've been thinking about rereading it, but I'm a little scared it won't live up to my memories of it.

toukokuu 17, 10:48 am

>321 japaul22: that was my first Mantel as well. I knew some of the history of the french revolution but not all the names and the journey to end at the terror. It was one of the more difficult reads for me, but like you I was blown away. A reread might be a good idea for me too

toukokuu 17, 12:34 pm

I read A Place of Greater Safety immediately after reading a biography of Danton and it was so interesting to see where she remained faithful to the history and where she chose to diverge. It's my favorite Mantel, too.

toukokuu 17, 12:51 pm

A Place of Greater Safety is ridiculously expensive on Amazon in the UK. Strange - I would be surprised if it's gone out of print here.

toukokuu 17, 5:44 pm

>324 AlisonY: try, they usually have stores with cheaper price

toukokuu 20, 5:53 pm

I've had A Place of Greater Safety on my shelf for years, and every time I think of it I remember how hot I am to read it... maybe this will be the year.

toukokuu 21, 9:54 am

Just stopping by to let you know that I've set up a thread for Volume 1 of The Snopes Trilogy, The Hamlet group read starting June 1.

toukokuu 21, 9:55 am

>327 arubabookwoman: Thank you! I'll check it out and I'm still planning to read with you all.

toukokuu 23, 6:50 pm

I have been incredibly busy with work and end of the school year activities for my kids. So, I turned again to Jane Austen for a little calm in the storm.

#38 Persuasion by Jane Austen
I do love this one. I think Captain Wentworth is my favorite of the love interests in Austen's novels. This one has a really different feel from the others (though honestly, the more often I reread her six completed novels, the more I find them all incredibly different from each other). Persuasion has a more romantic feel - romantic in terms of the writing style. There is more poetry, more dramatic events, and more internal emotion described. I also noticed how well Austen rekindles the romance between Anne and Wentworth by small looks (or lack of eye contact), small physical interactions, and by what they say to others.

I do wish that she'd developed the relationship between Mrs. Clay and Mr. Elliot (the younger) a bit better. I think if she'd been able to do a bit more revision before she died, she would have.

Original publication date: 1817
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 249 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased hardcover
Publisher: Collector's Library
Why I read this: reread

toukokuu 23, 7:06 pm

#39 What Matters in Jane Austen?: Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved by John Mullan

I really enjoyed this. Mullan takes different topics, techniques, etc. and talks about how Austen used them throughout her novels. I gained a lot of insight into her writing and will notice these as I reread her novels.

Here are some of my favorite topics discussed. In "What do the Characters Call Each Other", there was some great insight into the meaning behind using first names, or last names only, or titles. He also points out what couples call each other. All of these are tied in to how Austen sets up plot points or characterizations. In "Why is the Weather Important", Mullan points out how Austen uses the weather to set a mood and also as a plot device - sometimes bring characters together and sometimes keeping them apart. In "Do we Ever See the Lower Classes" he points out that even when servants aren't named, much of the behavior of the main characters is influenced by their presence, which contemporary readers of Austen would have felt more deeply than modern readers do. "What do characters say when the heroine isn't there?" contrasts the different novels in terms of how present the main heroine is and how that presence or point of view shapes the novel.

I also loved "Which important characters never speak in the novels" and the final two "When Does Jane Austen speak directly to the reader" and "How experimental a novelist is Jane Austen?" which spend some time placing her in comparison to other authors and analyzing the novelty and innovation of her writing technique.

Overall, I really loved this and I could see dipping into again at some point. Only recommended for someone very familiar with Austen's novels, though. Mullan assumes you'll remember all the scenes and characters that he throws into every essay without giving any background.

Original publication date: 2012
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 342 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased paperback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Why I read this: I'll read anything about Jane Austen, my favorite author

toukokuu 23, 7:12 pm

I ❤️ Persuasion. It's my favorite.

toukokuu 23, 7:15 pm

>331 katiekrug: I remember that about you! I always notice people's Austen opinions because she's my favorite. Persuasion is such a good one.

toukokuu 23, 7:21 pm

>330 japaul22: Yep, that's a great book. Mullan's The Artful Dickens: The Tricks and Ploys of the Great Novelist is also eye-opening; but like the Austen book, you need to be familiar with the novels to really appreciate his examples.

toukokuu 23, 8:15 pm

>333 kac522: I’m pretty sure I got the rec from you! I don’t think I know Dickens well enough to appreciate The Artful Dickens. I’ve read about 5 of his novels but they aren’t my favorite.

toukokuu 23, 8:23 pm

>330 japaul22: I own What Matters in Jane Austen but I haven't read it yet. Sounds like I must get to it. And I owe Persuasion a reread. I was supposed to read it for a university class, but then the prof changed at the last minute and the new prof (who was *excellent*) said he thought Persuasion was inferior to other JA novels, so didn't teach it. I read it the following summer and thought, "it's not as bad as all that," but still I think I rushed through and didn't appreciate it. Definitely time to pull out some Jane Austen again

toukokuu 24, 8:36 am

>335 Nickelini: I think Persuasion is one that many people love best because the main characters are very well drawn. But after rereading it several times, it doesn't grab me quite the way some of her others do, and I think it's because - being her last and published posthumously - she didn't quite have it as finished as she would have. It's the side characters that don't quite have the same liveliness as in her other books, and I feel like some of their side stories aren't quite as finished.

That being said, all six of her novels are 5 star reads for me - I've read them all at least 4 times and love each more upon every rereading.

I'd love to hear what you think if you reread it. It is one of the shorter ones, if that helps you get to it sooner!

toukokuu 24, 10:02 am

Wow, that’s a lot of rereading. I’m going to have to get reading so I can be near your level of expertise:-D

toukokuu 24, 10:04 am

>329 japaul22: You inspired me to reread Persuasion, and I started it last night. I find it so soothing to read Austen.

In a side note, I downloaded it from, and what a nice free ebook experience. Standard Ebooks is run by volunteers and the quality of these public domain works is excellent.

toukokuu 24, 12:23 pm

I also love Persuasion; I am probably due for a reread. It has such a nostalgic tone; Anne is older than her other protagonists, and is obviously regretful of her past choice.

toukokuu 24, 12:25 pm

If you like reading about Austen, I loved Fay Weldon's Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen.

toukokuu 24, 12:39 pm

>340 BLBera: Yes, I enjoyed that one, too. Weldon also wrote the screenplay for the 1980 BBC TV Pride & Prejudice that starred Elizabeth Garvie & David Rintoul. That script for me felt very close to the book.

toukokuu 24, 12:55 pm

>337 Nickelini: No expertise, just really love them! I always turn to Austen if I'm stressed or in a reading slump. I've also found I love listening to them as audiobooks.

>338 labfs39: Oh good, I'll be curious to hear what you think this time around!

>339 BLBera: Yes, definitely nostalgic and clearly an older heroine than the other books. I lot of people think Anne is most closely aligned with Austen's own personality.

>340 BLBera:, >341 kac522: that was not on my radar - I've put it on my wish list.

toukokuu 25, 7:06 am

#40 Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H

Hijab Butch Blues is a memoir by a 30-something year old, writing about her gender identity, her life as an immigrant, her Islamic faith, and how it all fits together. In some ways, it's fascinating. Lamya is devout, but questioning. She uses the stories and lessons from the Quran to frame her own questions, doubts, and observations about her life as a non-binary Muslim immigrant to the U.S.

However, somehow I just didn't connect to her story. The author jumps around a lot in her chapters, sometimes as a child in an Arab country, sometimes at various points in her life as a young adult in the U.S. And the jumping around made it hard to see a trajectory of her life and thoughts and growth. I also wasn't sure who her intended audience was. (I'm using she/her because she never specified her pronouns as anything else and did for others in the book) I think her audience, in the end, was herself. And I'm not generally a fan of that sort of highly internalized writing.

This book is getting a lot of positive press. For me, the topic was fascinating and I liked a lot of the message she was trying to get across, but I just didn't think the writing made it very successful.

I hope some others around here read it - I'd love to hear some alternate viewpoints!

Original publication date: 2023
Author’s nationality: ?, born in a Middle Eastern country, emigrated to an Arab country, emigrated to the U.S. - not sure how she would identify nationality
Original language: English
Length: 304 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: library kindle
Publisher: The Dial Press
Why I read this: interested in the topic/buzz

toukokuu 29, 3:00 pm

#41 A Dream in Polar Fog by Yuri Rytkheu

I really enjoyed this novel. It's about an American man who is on a ship in the Arctic, on the coast of far eastern Russian where the Chukchi people live. He has an accident that causes him to lose his hands, and while he is healing, the boat departs without him. He eventually assimilates into the Chukchi culture and this novel is the story of him doing that. As the story progresses, outside influences begin to creep in, and this reintroduction of western culture and people shows just how deeply John has adapted to this new way of living.

I thought this was really well done. Sometimes books that are this foreign in culture and setting are hard for me to connect with, but I think because there was a well-drawn American character experiencing this way of life, I was able to really get what the author was trying to say.

Highly recommended - a great look at a different culture and way of life, and also a good exploration of what matters in life.

Original publication date: 1968
Author’s nationality: Chukchi
Original language: Russian, translated by Ilona Yazhbin Chavasse
Length: 337 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: birthday gift, hardback
Publisher: Archipelago Books
Why I read this: off the shelf

toukokuu 29, 9:55 pm

>344 japaul22: One of the things that I appreciated about this book was the author's inclusion of Chukchi words in the text. Not only did they give nuance as to how the speakers of the language think, but I hoped that it might help preserve the language by making it more visible.

kesäkuu 1, 12:39 pm

We are having lots of change at work and it's been very stressful because I don't really like the direction we are going. But I was able to take 30 minutes out of my day to go to our library booksale, which always improves my mood. I purchased:

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
Love and Summer by William Trevor
Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner
1491 by Charles C. Mann

Also about 6 books for my boys. Happy with the variety!

kesäkuu 1, 12:52 pm

been there done that, well know the feeling. I retired early rather than go along with their changes that were not good for kids, families or teachers. Glad i did, but miss it

kesäkuu 1, 1:03 pm

>346 japaul22: Nice Haul, Jennifer. I hope the work situation improves.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 1, 4:33 pm

>346 japaul22: I read and loved Miss Buncle's Book - several others there are on my TBR list, but that's the only one I've actually read.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 1, 8:23 pm

>349 jjmcgaffey: Yes, Miss Buncle's Book is a fun, light read, and I think it is the best of the series, although the other two are fun, too: 2. Miss Buncle Married and 3. The Two Mrs Abbotts.

kesäkuu 2, 7:23 am

One Thousand White Women is one of my most favorist books.

kesäkuu 17, 7:02 pm

Quite a bit behind on reviews . . .

#42 Fugitive Colors by Nancy Bilyeau

A perfectly fine follow up to a historical mystery, centered around a woman artist who finds a way to make a living by creating painted fabrics, though she'd rather be devoted exclusively to her art. In the first book she falls in love with a chemist who created a formula for a beautiful, stable, blue color. The value of the color made them the center of a ring of French spies, trying to steal the formula. The couple is still dealing with the fall out from that time.

I really liked the first book, but this one didn't add much.

Original publication date: 2022
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 304 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle purchase on sale
Publisher: Lume Books
Why I read this: off the shelf

kesäkuu 17, 7:12 pm

#43 Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was a fun novel - I'd describe it a "beach read". It's about four adult siblings, who throw an annual party that is the place to be seen every summer in Malibu. The novel takes place over the 24 hours of the party, with flashbacks to their parents' disastrous marriage and its affect on all four children.

I was happily sucked along reading this book - very plot driven, and predictable enough to be comfortable but not boring. I'd gladly read more of Taylor Jenkins Reid's books when I want something fun and light. In fact, I checked out Carrie Soto is Back from the library, which is about one of the characters in Malibu Rising, and will probably read it soon.

Original publication date: 2021
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 369 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: paperback at a library sale
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Why I read this: off the shelf, needed something easy

kesäkuu 17, 7:20 pm

#44 Pandora's Jar by Natalie Haynes

In Pandora's Jar, Haynes takes the well-known Greek myths and shows where women, who could easily be central to the story (and in some of the oldest versions of the myths are), are instead pushed to the side. Each chapter focuses on a different woman. I enjoyed the sections on Helen, Clytemnestra, and Medea best. Some of the other chapters, where I had less personal background knowledge of the people referenced, were less interesting to me.

While I really liked parts of this, and love Haynes's humorous style of writing, I did get bored and found some of it to be too repetitive and a bit unfocused.

I think this is one to dip into, maybe just reading a few of the chapters with characters/stories that interest you most.

Original publication date: 2020
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 320 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle library book
Publisher: Picador
Why I read this: LT review, love author's fictional retellings of Greek myths

kesäkuu 17, 7:32 pm

>353 japaul22: - My granddaughter recommended Taylor Jenkins Reed when we visited her last and I got Forever, Interrupted but haven't read it yet. Maybe if her books are "beach reads", I should get to it soon.

kesäkuu 17, 8:07 pm

>354 japaul22: I agree with you about dipping into Pandora's Jar instead of reading it straight through. I started out completely immersed and read several chapters before bogging down. That's when I started dipping, and it really helped. It also made the repetition less obvious.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 17, 8:55 pm

>354 japaul22: I thought the same way you did, then read a thousand ships ,the children of jocasta,and stone blind about Medusa the same characters in Pandora are given a focus in these books that you might want to try

kesäkuu 18, 7:03 am

>355 dudes22: I really liked Malibu Rising and will definitely try more from the author - it was well written for the most part and fun.

>356 lauralkeet: agreed, Laura

>357 cindydavid4: I can’t believe I forgot to add the Medusa section as one of my favorites! I’ll go back and add that to my review later. I’ve read and enjoyed both AThousand Ships and Stone Blind

kesäkuu 18, 9:18 am

Enjoyed the Mantel and Austen conversations. I found Mantel’s Beyond Black very intense and powerful. It’s a novel I think about all the time because she captured suburban emptiness from a moving perspective. It’s not an easy read. I recommend it within that light.

As for Austen, I read Persuasion last year, and I’m a fan. I’ve only read it once, and it’s only the second Austen i’ve read (other was P&P). Is it her only look into mature romance (mature in her time. In ours, add 20 yrs age to each character)? I understand it’s her only late novel. Everything else was mostly written when she was very young. Anyway, i really admire Austen, and the book on her sounds terrific. I just need to read her other novels at least once first.

kesäkuu 18, 9:19 am

I tried to read 'Carrie Soto' a few months ago and found it kind of borning. Even as a tennis fan, I thought there was too much detail about specific matches. I hope you like it better!

kesäkuu 18, 4:29 pm

>359 dchaikin: Yes, Persuasion is the only romance where both parties are older, though there are several where the man is significantly older than the heroine. Persuasion is her latest novel, but they weren't written that far apart, I believe. They were all published between 1811-1818. I think Pride and Prejudice was her first fully completed novel in the late 1790s, though she'd already started work on Sense and Sensibility and maybe Northanger Abbey. She died young, so she only wrote her six "adult" novels in a span of about 20 years. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published posthumously.

kesäkuu 18, 7:33 pm

I looked up some info, and found this. There is a distinct break from 1799 to 1811 where it seems she was rewriting early works. But there are three complete novels written during the last 6 years of her life, and I imagine we could call them all "late".

Jane Austen was born in 1775

Lady Susan - mainly written 1793-1794 - pub posthumously 1871
Sense and Sensibility - mainly written 1795 - pub 1811
Price and Prejudice - mainly written 1796-1797 - pub 1813
Northanger Abbey - written 1798 or 1799 - pub posthumously 1818
Mansfield Park - written 1811-1813 - pub 1814
Emma - written 1814-1815 - pub 1815
Persuasion - written 1816 - pub posthumously 1818
Sanditon started 1817 (unfinished)

Austen passed away in 1817, age 41.

kesäkuu 18, 7:37 pm

imagine sitting on all these wonderful novels, S&S, P&P, Northanger Abbely, Mansfield Park, for almost 20 years each....

kesäkuu 18, 8:19 pm

>363 dchaikin: I always think of Northanger Abbey as being her first novel - it has a youthful, exuberant feel - I didn't realize she'd written it after S&S and P&P.

It is nuts to think of those completed manuscripts sitting there unpublished!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 18, 10:31 pm

>364 japaul22: That's because it's thought that P&P and S&S went through a lot of revising in the years before they were published, whereas NA did not, and so is truly from the early years.

kesäkuu 19, 7:10 am

>365 kac522: Ah, that makes sense!

kesäkuu 22, 8:43 am

#45 The Good Wife of Bath by Karen Brooks

You guessed it - historical fiction that imagines the life of the Wife from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. As you can imagine, Eleanor/Alyson is strong-willed, smart, sexual, and feminist. We hear about her five marriages, her rises and falls through the economic/social ladder, and her relationship with Chaucer.

A LOT happens - friendships, deaths, plagues, violence, love. Some times I was all in, and sometimes I was bored. It's a long book - over 500 pages, and I think it could have easily been trimmed. I also felt it suffered from a problem a lot of historical fiction from long-ago eras has - the mix of modern language and sensibilities with occasional old words/spellings and ideas. I think it's really hard to do historical fiction set in the 1300s in a believable fashion.

Overall, a fun ride, but I'm not sure who I'd recommend it to. I think serious Chaucer readers/scholars would be annoyed and find a lot of fault with this. And I think it was a bit too long and detailed for the more casual reader.

Original publication date: 2021
Author’s nationality: Australian
Original language: English
Length: 560 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle library book
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Why I read this: interested in the topic and I like historical fiction

kesäkuu 22, 12:38 pm

>367 japaul22: it sounds like a tough book to make truly work. Noting. (Because eventually I do plan to get to Chaucer.)

kesäkuu 24, 6:40 pm

#46 Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I thought this was fun. Carrie Soto was the world's best tennis player in the 80s. While in retirement, a new tennis star is threatening her record of 20 grand slam tires. So 37 year old Carrie Soto comes out of retirement to try to win a Grand Slam title.

Soto is a difficult person. Her mother died when she was young and her dad is her coach. Her emotional life is definitely stunted. While she is staging her comeback, she is also exploring new relationships.

I liked the subtle digs at how the media treats women and expectations for women in sports. (Carrie is openly called "the Bitch" by sportscasters) Overall, I thought this book was entertaining and it got me in the mood for Wimbledon.

Original publication date: 2022
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 384 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle library book
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Why I read this: wanted a fun book and this was recommended by a friend

kesäkuu 25, 2:04 pm

Have finally had some time to come over and catch up on your thread (and what a lot to catch up on!) Enjoyed the discussions and your review, which are always well done :-)

kesäkuu 28, 2:54 pm

#47 The Hamlet by William Faulkner

This is the first novel in Faulkner's trilogy centered on the Snopes family. I've read several of Faulkner's novels, some of which would appear on my all-time favorite list, but this one I had a hard time connecting with.

What I liked was, as always, Faulkner's way of writing and the language he uses. He hits a fascinating mix of colloquialism and high literary writing. He also always manages to come up with interesting characters. In this novel, Flem Snopes is the central character. The Snopes family is rising in Yoknapatawpha County, as the families descended from the pre-Civil War aristocracy are declining. Flem Snopes marries his way into some land that is rumored to have a buried Confederate treasure.

What I didn't like, is that there isn't much plot momentum or much of a trajectory towards a conclusion, and this bothered me. I also missed some of the vivid imagery and symbolism that I've found in other Faulkner novels.

Overall, I think Faulkner fans will want to read this, as it fills in a lot of back story that is important to understanding the complete world that Faulkner built, but I wouldn't recommend starting here.

Original publication date: 1940
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 409 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: purchased used paperback
Publisher: Vintage International
Why I read this: Faulkner group read

kesäkuu 28, 4:26 pm

Wonderful review, and spot on, as I see it.

kesäkuu 28, 5:27 pm

Enjoyed your review. This is definitely not plot-driven. I’m not quite done yet, close enough, though, that i’m ok reading your review, and I pretty much agree.

kesäkuu 30, 7:16 am

#48 Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Chanel Miller has written an eloquent and raw and brutally honest account of what it is like to be raped and press charges against the assailant. I won't presume to recount her words - I really think every single person should read this for themselves. I wish I'd read it earlier.

If you don't want to prioritize reading the book, at least read the victim statement that Chanel Miller read in court.

Original publication date: 2019
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 384 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: kindle library book, but I've ordered a paper copy for my shelves and will encourage my sons to read it when they are a little older
Publisher: Viking
Why I read this: important topic

kesäkuu 30, 12:17 pm

>374 japaul22: I thought that was an amazing and powerful book, Jennifer. I'm glad you did too (not that I'm surprised)

heinäkuu 1, 9:04 am

#49 Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Reread number ??? I listened to this on audio read by Rachel Atkins. I think Austen's books work very well on audio, even though I usually don't like reading through an audio format. I started this because I've been cross stitching again and wanted something to listen to.

Original publication date: 1817
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 8 hours 23 minutes
Rating: 5 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: audible
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Why I read this: entertainment

heinäkuu 1, 9:15 am

Look at that - almost half way to a hundred books this year! I haven't done that in a long time. I'm not sure why I've been reading more. It doesn't really feel like I have been, especially since I'm also reading Clarissa by letter date, which takes quite a bit of time.

I won't do anything crazy to get to 100 books, but it is sort of in my mind now.

Starting a new thread for the second half of the year. Thanks for all the interaction so far!

heinäkuu 1, 9:30 am

>374 japaul22: Thank you for sharing the link to the victim statement that Chanel Miller made. I had not read it before, and I'm glad I did. So powerful and articulate.

heinäkuu 1, 7:36 pm

>378 labfs39: I'm glad you read it. I found it very powerful also.
Tämä viestiketju jatkuu täällä: Jennifer's 2023 Reading (japaul22) Part 2.