teelgee tackles 125 in 2009

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teelgee tackles 125 in 2009

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Dez. 12, 2008, 1:28am

I'm ready! I thought about going for 150 but I don't want to stress myself (even though I'm now retired, as of November 1st).

Bearbeitet: Dez. 12, 2008, 3:46am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Dez. 12, 2008, 10:30am

I'm not worthy of the 100 Books Challenge, but I've starred your thread!

Dez. 12, 2008, 10:53am

Me too. I'll watch from a respectful distance.

Dez. 13, 2008, 1:43am

Just feathering my nest.

Dez. 13, 2008, 9:15am

Frogs don't got feathers. Just polishing your lily pad?

Dez. 13, 2008, 12:45pm

Nah, just mixing my metaphors as usual!

Dez. 22, 2008, 4:43pm

I think that I might drop down to 75 this year...will be posting my start up thread later on. Good luck with your goal. No non-race for us this year...there is no way I can do 125. 100 maybe...but not 125. At least not this year.

Dez. 30, 2008, 7:03pm

Nice to see you here, teelgee!

Dez. 30, 2008, 9:25pm

Thanks! Good to be here. *cracks knuckles, stretches arms, circles head/neck* I'll be ready!

Jan. 1, 2009, 12:52pm

125?? Oh, teelgee, I am not worthy! Regardless, I've starred your thread so that I may continue to get some good ideas for books that I will likely not have time to read. Good luck in the new reading year!

Jan. 1, 2009, 7:57pm

I am hanging out in the 75 book thread now, but I have starred your thread and look forward to watching your 125 book adventure! Happy New Year!

Jan. 2, 2009, 5:36am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Jan. 2, 2009, 11:35am

Oh ho, I'd better watch my Ps and Qs then!

Jan. 5, 2009, 6:33pm

Ohmygosh. This is an impressive goal, my dear, but I am sure you will achieve it. I'm starring your thread and will be snatching up lots of ideas for my wishlist, no doubt. I do love the books you read.

Jan. 5, 2009, 11:23pm

Another 'starrer' here, Terri. We are watching you!!!

Jan. 5, 2009, 11:26pm

Looking forward to no 1 Terri.

Jan. 6, 2009, 1:56pm

I'm betting you get to 150!

Bearbeitet: Sept. 3, 2009, 2:06am

01. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey.

whew. Finally finished my first book! It was a terrific read, full of quirky characters and star crossed love. Carey writes beautifully. (4/5)

Jan. 6, 2009, 8:03pm

whew is right...I was starting to get worried. its been 6 whole days in 2009 and no books posted from you. ;-)

Jan. 6, 2009, 10:32pm

The last two books, this one and At Swim, Two Boys were intense reads - dense, language differences. Loved them both but were work to read! I expect to bang out two or three this week though!

Jan. 6, 2009, 10:37pm

I really like Carey's work. But Oscar and Lucinda is one that I haven't read yet. I hope to get to it soon(ish).

Jan. 6, 2009, 11:28pm

What of his have you read Judy? I have the Kelly Gang on my TBR shelf, and started Theft awhile back but had to put it aside - it didn't thrill me, not sure if I'll pick it up again.

Jan. 7, 2009, 12:48am

I have read Jack maggs, Theft and The true History of the Kelly Gang and I liked every one of them, even though they are all completely different in style and theme. I also have 4 others on my shelves and I'm trying to resist taking His Illegal Self out of the library!

Theft is a very Australian book IMO. Although the action moves around the world, the characters give that sense of sending themselves up which is a "natural" Australian trait. I think I can see why it might not appeal to everyone.

Jan. 7, 2009, 6:46am

I'm glad you liked Oscar and Lucinda teelgee. I have starred your thread.

Jan. 7, 2009, 8:18am

I know what you mean about having to work at O&L, teelgee. But it was worth it. I think you'd enjoy True History of the Kelly Gang (I haven't read any of Carey's other books yet, so can't comment on them).

Bearbeitet: Jan. 12, 2009, 4:28am

2. The Road Home by Rose Tremain. (4/5)

Jan. 9, 2009, 4:11pm

Two excellent books to start of the year, Terri. Great choices.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 10, 2009, 9:24am

Good start, teelgee. I also liked Oscar and Lucinda, which I read for a book+movie group. The film is rather nice, too. I loved the language and the characters and that marvelous plot, but seem to remember that the ending of the book seemed rather unresolved -- I felt that Lucinda sort of faded away, as though the book should properly have been called Oscar. Must get some Rose Tremain ... have yet to read her, and hear so much that is good.

Jan. 10, 2009, 11:29am

I have The Road Home on my tbr. Might have to read that one this month.

Jan. 10, 2009, 9:53pm

kambrogi - I felt that way about the ending too - in fact, I'd skimmed the last 50 pages or so since I was meeting with my book group Monday night and my burning question was "What happened to Lucinda???" I since went back and read it thoroughly, and glad I did. I loved the movie, it was many years ago I saw it, but I think it was very different.

Jan. 11, 2009, 9:07am

As I remember, the movie seemed to return to Lucinda and wrap her up a bit better than the book did. And I thought Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett did well at capturing those two marvelous characters.

Jan. 11, 2009, 12:04pm

That's what I'm remembering too kambrogi. I'm going to watch that one again soon.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 3, 2009, 2:08am

3. Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout I almost gave up on this book early on, did not care for the writing style at first, but then got comfortable with it. Main characters are naive, socially inept and isolated - Strout did a fine job of characterization. Everyone in the small town of Shirley Falls, Maine, has a secret. Most are revealed by the end. Only one really likable character of the bunch; others are either pathetic or mean. Somewhat predictable, but not completely, Strout has a few surprises up her sleeve.

Orange January read - an OK book, not great. (3.5/5)

Jan. 12, 2009, 10:56am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 19, 2009, 1:49am

4. A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes

This lovely book catalogs a year's worth of morning photos taken by two women who live 3,191 miles apart (Portland Maine and Portland Oregon). They collaborated on a blog, each taking a photo every morning and posting them side by side. No collaboration on what to photograph, almost all of it the everyday mundane sights - breakfast, cats, laundry - but so artistically done. It's astounding how often the photos of the day complement each other.

Beautiful book - one complaint is, in an effort to be artistic in the book, some of the photos are very small surrounded by lots of white space. I'd rather see the photos.

Their blog is still going - 3191.visualblogging.com - but when I've attempted to look at it, there are problems loading. I'll keep trying! (4/5)

Jan. 12, 2009, 4:10pm

>35 citizenkelly: CK: Yes, I did like it but haven't gathered my thoughts yet. Will post some comments soon. I'm really not ignoring you!

Jan. 12, 2009, 4:12pm

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Jan. 12, 2009, 4:31pm

#37 - Hi teelgee. I had trouble reviewing The Road Home. I really liked it, but I can't explain exactly why. Good luck. :)

Jan. 12, 2009, 11:20pm

A year of mornings sounds like a fun project. =)

Jan. 12, 2009, 11:57pm

Yes, and now they're doing a year of evenings - actually, just completing that. I finally got on the site.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 19, 2009, 2:11am

Bearbeitet: Jan. 21, 2009, 9:44pm

6. Tree Crazy by Tracy Gallup (4.5/5) and
Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor (4/5)

I'm counting these two little books as one; I read them consecutively. They're both charming.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 24, 2009, 1:40am

7. The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews. What a fun romp this is! Told from Hattie's point of view, she is sister to Min - a woman with some mental health challenges - and aunt to Logan, a 15 year old boy, and Thebe, quite a precocious 11 year old. When Min is hospitalized yet again, Hattie takes Thebes and Logan on a road trip to find their father, Cherkis. Of course, there are many challenges along the way. Toews writes the road trip with humor and heart. This book is very funny with undertows of sadness and pain. An excellent read, highly recommended. If you liked Little Miss Sunshine, you'll love this book. (4/5)

Jan. 21, 2009, 10:10pm

Sounds like a fun read.

Jan. 21, 2009, 11:53pm

Yes, it was. Quirky characters (I love a good quirk!), fun interactions, good story.

Jan. 22, 2009, 12:00am

I'm glad you liked it! I saw it on the ER page a month or so ago, and it sounded great. I'm happy to see a good review (loved "Little Miss Sunshine", myself). Adding it to the list...

Jan. 22, 2009, 2:47pm

The Flying Troutmans was one of my favourite books last year. You may want to read Toews last book, A Complicated Kindness, as well.

Jan. 22, 2009, 7:19pm

Thanks, I do plan to read more of her, I loved her style.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 28, 2009, 9:17pm

8. Open House by Elizabeth Berg. I like everything I've read by Berg so far. Her characters are usually going through a crisis and learning and growing from it. The stories are common but so well told and well developed. The only gripe about this book was that Travis, the 11 year old son, seemed older than that in his speech and manner. Recommended. (4/5)

Bearbeitet: Jan. 24, 2009, 8:11am

Open House was the first one I read by Elizabeth Berg - I really like her writing. She made my top 10 last year with The Pull of the Moon. I agree she has some problems with kidspeak - but IMHO that is pretty common among authors. After all, real kidspeak is disjointed, rambling, and often nonsensical!
One reason I can't read Jodi Picoult anymore is because of her precocious characters and they way they talk.
I've got a couple of Berg's tucked away for when the mood is right.

Jan. 25, 2009, 4:33am

Just catching up with your thread Teelgee. You're off to a good start. Useful reviews.

Bearbeitet: Mai 13, 2009, 11:37am

9. The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan. (4/5)

Jan. 28, 2009, 9:36pm

teelgee, I read this one some years ago. I remember liking it very much.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 3, 2009, 2:03pm

10. I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn. I was feeling a little perturbed by this book after 30 or so pages, figuring it might eke out a 3 star rating. Toward the end of the book I really got into the story (something about imagining myself stranded on an island trying to survive --- but no books!!!). Mendelsohn writes poetically. I wouldn't call this historical fiction, more like a "what if" book. (3.5/5)

Bearbeitet: Feb. 7, 2009, 2:08am

11. Testimony by Anita Shreve. The newest novel by Shreve is a bit of a departure from her others I've read. This story is told by multiple points of view in multiple voice styles (third person, first person, second person, police report narrative, among others). That made it feel a little choppy. But the book held my interest all the way through. The main theme - the consequences of actions - is expressed through many lives ruined by a chain of events and adults and teenagers making poor choices, primarily involving alcohol and sex. (3.5/5).

Feb. 3, 2009, 4:07pm


I read I Was Amelia Earhart several years ago and I remember it had the same effect on me. Also, glad to hear you liked The Night Watch. I'm reading Fingersmith right now and loving it. Think I'd like to get to The Night Watch soon.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 10, 2009, 9:22pm

12. Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett. Seven short stories and a novella, mostly historical fiction. I appreciated Barrett's writing and her imagination. The title story/novella, Ship Fever, got a little tiresome with multiple body counts (typhus was the culprit), but I do love a good medical history story. Nothing better to make me appreciate clean medical facilities and sterile techniques! The other stories were rooted in science and nature, both historical and contemporary. (3.5/5)

Bearbeitet: Feb. 7, 2009, 2:30am

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Feb. 7, 2009, 8:27am

Citizenkelly - you must read The Voyage of the Narwhal - I promise that the pages will fly past once you start reading it!

Feb. 7, 2009, 8:28am

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Feb. 7, 2009, 5:01pm

Uh oh, I just heard my TBR shelf groan. It does sound good, w.star.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 9, 2009, 11:23am

Loved Ship fever, especially the way well known scientists and their scientific discoveries were weaved into some great fictional stories! Voyage of the Narwhal, not so much...I mean really not so much!

Feb. 9, 2009, 11:24am

Two more for the TBR pile, thanks!!

Bearbeitet: Sept. 3, 2009, 2:10am

13. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. Wildly funny satire published in the 1930s. The story takes place in Sussex, England sometime in the future (only one reference was made to this that I could find in the book). Gibbons writes amazing descriptions of gloomy places, so over the top it is laugh out loudable. I did get just a touch weary of the story towards the end. Gibbons was a brilliant writer. (3.5/5)

Feb. 11, 2009, 5:27am

>65 teelgee:: love that jacket! Is that Roz Chast..?

Feb. 11, 2009, 11:56am

Did you see that a 10-year-old Sussex Spaniel won Best in Show at Westminster? His name is Stump. Wouldn't he fit right in at the farm?

Feb. 11, 2009, 12:36pm

Flossie, it's not actually the cover I have - the one on my edition is a movie tie-in so I chose a more interesting one. I'm not as fussy about having the exact copy in my LT library!

laytonwoman - that is a CCF dog if ever I saw one! Needs to be muddied up a bit though.

Feb. 11, 2009, 12:51pm

I saw him on TV last night and fell in love.

Feb. 11, 2009, 1:07pm

I find it very heartening that a 70 year old can win a beauty contest.

Feb. 11, 2009, 7:24pm

He's almost as cute as Emma. =)

Bearbeitet: Feb. 16, 2009, 7:23pm

14. The Vigorous Mind: Cross-train Your Brain to Break Through Mental, Emotional, and Professional Boundaries by Ingrid Cummings.

I read this for a book blog tour. Review is on my blog here. (3.5/5)

Feb. 12, 2009, 10:52pm

I'm going to read that book, Teelgee! I think it will inspire/help me to meet my goals of reading a book in German this year. I've been working toward it by occasionally reading a picture book in German on-line, but I haven't been doing even that regularly. Want to also say you've read some really good books! I think I could easily substitute the ones I haven't read yet for some on my challenge lists and be just as happy.

Feb. 13, 2009, 11:22am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Feb. 13, 2009, 11:47am

>65 teelgee: & 74, I remember rushing back out the same day I saw the movie of Cold Comfort Farm to buy the book because as an avid reader I almost always found a book to be better than the movie derived from it and I thought the movie was hilarious! Instead I found the tone in the book to be stilted and pretentious in a way that was funny in the movie but just annoying in the book! If you saw it, what did you two think about the movie compared to the book?

Feb. 13, 2009, 12:11pm

I saw the movie years ago and don't remember much. I think the satire went over my head then and I didn't appreciate it for what it was. I will definitely watch it again now and think I'll have a totally different view.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 19, 2009, 3:50am

15. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. (3.5/5) Comments to follow.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 3, 2009, 2:11am

16. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent. Excellent historical novel about the Salem MA witch hunts in the late 17th century. Superbly written. Highly recommend.

Feb. 19, 2009, 6:17am

I must get to this one someday - glad you liked it!

Feb. 19, 2009, 11:24am

GREAT line up of books, Terri.

From your review, it looks like the Kent book needs a home on my TBR pile as well!!!

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 1, 2009, 3:38am

17. A Mercy by Toni Morrison. Wonderful book, true Morrison style. (4/5)

Bearbeitet: Feb. 23, 2009, 6:07pm

I also recently read A Mercy, Teelgee. I was slightly disappointed with it - truthfully I found it hard to keep track of the voices speaking and I had to back track frequently - I appreciated the wonderful prose style but struggled with the structure. I think it might have been too high-brow for me.

eta touchstone

Feb. 23, 2009, 6:11pm

That's fairly typical of Morrison's style, from what I remember of her other books. That's why I didn't rate it higher. It felt a little jumbled. I loved the ending.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 7, 2009, 4:27am

18. The Book Thief by Martin Zusak. Nearly flawless novel. (5/5)

Mrz. 1, 2009, 4:00am

Wasn't it though!

Mrz. 1, 2009, 6:43am

I am so glad you liked this book. It's one of my favorites of all time.

Mrz. 1, 2009, 8:59am

Yes, it's a wonderful book! Glad you liked it.

Mrz. 1, 2009, 9:51am

The Book Thief is an amazing book!

Mrz. 1, 2009, 10:03am

Glad to hear that you liked The Book Thief one of my favorite books. I look forward to your review.

Mrz. 1, 2009, 12:45pm

Irish, I'm not much into reviews. I don't know why. I don't read them much and I don't feel the need to write them. I may write a few comments, especially if I loved or hated a book. I know, it's a sacrilege here on LT and on the book blogs. I'm coming to terms with it! LOL.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 8, 2009, 4:49am

19. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry. I liked this book a lot - until the ending. I was so irritated when I realized where this was going and kept thinking "no, don't go there, please." But he did. (3.5/5)

Mrz. 7, 2009, 8:35pm

So he lost 1.5 stars for the ending, Terri??

I liked this book a lot - so I think I gave it 4 or 4.5 stars. But then I am a sucker for soppy endings, however improbable.

Mrz. 7, 2009, 8:40pm

I don't think I'd have given it higher than a 4 anyway, so he really only lost 1/2 star. It reminded me of another ending by another Irish author and I won't say what book because it might give away this ending. I pretty much loathed that book but there were many other shortcomings in that one.

I'm willing to give Barry another try.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 7, 2009, 9:12pm

hi teelgee! I just found this. I usually just look at "my groups"

I am participating in the 75 challenge.. I have never done anything like it before.. but it's a fun way to keep track of my reads, which I have also never done before.

All things considered I am almost afraid to read this thread....lol


I am awaiting the arrival of The Book Thief .. glad it's on its way!

Mrz. 8, 2009, 4:48am

Oh you'll love it mckait. Phenomenal book. Thanks for visiting!

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 10, 2009, 2:20am

20. Zig-Zagging: Loving Madly, Losing Badly - How Ziggy Saved My Life by Tom Wilson. Memoir. Read this for a book blog tour. Some interesting insights; mostly nothing new. A bit heavy on the God-Heaven stuff for my tastes. (3/5).

Mrz. 9, 2009, 7:22am

>92 kiwidoc:: I'm a sucker for happy endings too, but I had real issues with the ending of this book. I absolutely loved The Secret Scripture, and thought it had so many interesting things to say about memory, history and truth, that to tie it up so neatly almost undermined everything that had gone before. Almost, but not quite. I think I gave it 4 stars in the end (5 minus 1 for the ending!!).

Mrz. 9, 2009, 4:27pm

>93 teelgee:: In my summary of reading this book, I wrote that I thought the story was worthy of a better ending than Barry saw fit to give it. I too kept hoping he wouldn't "go there". Lost a star from me (4/5). There are few endings I remember finding more disappointing.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 16, 2009, 1:45am

21. The World in Half by Cristina Henriquez. {Touchstone wrong, trying to correct. grrr.} This was an ARC from the publisher. Debut novel about a woman searching for her father in Panama City, Panama. Characters are well drawn, story is very good, dialogue superb. Poignancy throughout. I really enjoyed this book. (4/5)

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 20, 2009, 1:33pm

22. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Wonderful coming of age story set in the early 1900s in Brooklyn. (4/5)

Mrz. 16, 2009, 6:17am

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith was one of my favorite books when I was a young girl. I recently picked up a new copy and plan to read it soon.
I know that I read it 20+ times all of those years ago... I had few books and would often read and reread :)

Bearbeitet: Apr. 9, 2009, 3:02am

23. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Nothing profound here, just a good read that kept me interested and turning the page. (3/5)

Mrz. 20, 2009, 5:04pm

I felt the same about The Thirteenth Tale....
good read.

I have a few books beckoning me for the weekend, not sure which I will pick up first. I am reading one The Bird Woman that is not holding my interest but I am determined to finish it.

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb just arrived, but The Terror is sitting there looking good, as is The Entity : five centuries of secret vatican espionage . We shall see.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 3, 2009, 2:12am

24. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather. As only Cather can write of the prairie. (4/5)

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 28, 2009, 2:35pm

25. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. Fascinating re-creation of the 14th century haggadah known as the Sarajevo Haggadah. Told in several timeframes -- 1996 backwards to 1480 and then up to 2002 -- the story centers on Hanna, a rare book expert who analyzes and restores the sacred text in Sarajevo just after the Bosnian war.

Brooks is a master at historical fiction and I was thoroughly drawn into the period pieces. I wasn't so enamored with the 1996-2002 thread, didn't feel it added much to the story, particularly the mother-daughter relationship. When the story started to go a bit Da Vinci Code-ish, I started to despair, but Brooks rescued the story at the end.

IMO, she should stick with historical fiction. (4/5)

Mrz. 25, 2009, 10:27am

Glad you were able to finish it. Did you end up with a free replacement? (BTW, did you know TickerFactory now has a generic ticker, so you don't have to have "exercise ticker" or "savings ticker" or something even more irrelevant displayed on your image?)

Mrz. 25, 2009, 11:39am

No Linda, I went into Powell's yesterday and bought another copy. I told the woman my sob story and she gave me a 10% discount! That was sweet. Am still going to pursue with B and N and Penguin.

Mrz. 26, 2009, 12:08am

Powells! My heart goes pitter-patter just thinking about all those rooms to explore! I didn't like Brook's last book--mostly because I didn't like the character (L. Alcott's father) so have been on the fence with this one, but it does sound quite different and I do like period pieces as well.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 1, 2009, 12:51pm

26. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This was an advanced reader's copy of a debut novel published last month. It tells the (fictional) story of a couple of Black housekeepers in 1960s Jackson Mississippi. The author, a white woman raised in Jackson, does a phenomenal job of capturing the voices of these women. This is a hefty novel (~450 pages) but I zipped right through it, captivated by the story. Highly recommended. (5/5). Will be on the lookout for more by this astonishing writer.

Mrz. 29, 2009, 12:50pm

I really do need to stay out of your thread, or get a second job.
This one is now on my wishlist.

Mrz. 31, 2009, 2:26pm

But if you get a second job, you'll have no reading time left...

Apr. 1, 2009, 6:32am

sad conundrum

Apr. 1, 2009, 7:02am

conundrum: isn't that ***

Bearbeitet: Apr. 7, 2009, 2:05pm

27. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Wonderful book; the story of Kambili, a 15 year old girl oppressed by her father and his strict interpretation of Catholicism. This novel grew as Kambili grew and changed. It was very simplistic and repetitive at first and then blossomed slowly but surely. By the end, I was mesmerized. Adichie is a great writer; she also wrote the amazing Half of a Yellow Sun, one of my favorites of 2008. Can't wait for her next one! (4/5)

Apr. 1, 2009, 1:14pm

then blossomed slowly but surely. By the end, I was mesmerized. Yes, the same thing happened to me. A wonderful book.

Apr. 1, 2009, 8:43pm

Emerging from lurking status to say that I have not read any of your last reads, but now fully intend to!!! (I also really like the cover of that last one.

As before stated, I gave The Thirteenth Tale a 1/5 rating - contrary to all others I hated it.

Apr. 2, 2009, 3:34am

kiwi, I was just wondering why I gave that one 4/5. It's definitely not the quality of many others I've rated a 4. I'm going to change that!

Apr. 2, 2009, 3:42pm

Hmmm! I already have Half a Yellow Sun; I guess I'm going to have to read that soon. Love the posting of the covers of your books as I frequently will choose a book for its combination of title and cover alone. Of course, I have faith that my favorite book store is not going display poorly written books on their front tables, so I feel pretty safe using this method. :-) I have the same faith in my starred LT posters as well!

Apr. 2, 2009, 5:16pm

114 & 115: ok you two, I'll have to haul this up the pile. I have had it and Half a Yellow Sun sitting there for over a year, both unread.

Apr. 3, 2009, 5:56am

>119 tiffin:: SHOCK!! HORROR!! Tiffin, do not pass GO. Do not collect $200 (Canadian or American). READ ADICHIE!!

Apr. 6, 2009, 4:40pm

A short story collection has just come out in the UK - The Thing Around Your Neck. I wasn't quite as wild about Purple Hibiscus as some, but my mum, who spent a year teaching in Nigeria after she left university, loved it and the second book too.

Apr. 6, 2009, 6:05pm

Thanks, FlossieT! I just noticed that yesterday in someone's catalog. It won't be out here until June, but I'm on it!

Bearbeitet: Apr. 12, 2009, 4:17am

28. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett I loved this book! Unusual, so well written, great characters. This was my first Patchett book, but I'll be adding more of hers to my library. (4/5)

Apr. 7, 2009, 4:03pm

Bel Canto is my favorite Patchett!

Apr. 8, 2009, 6:27am

I have just read Bel Canto too and I thought it was very good.

Apr. 8, 2009, 11:35pm

Every time I think back to reading Bel Canto, I feel like it was all a dream.

Apr. 11, 2009, 9:33pm

That's a good way to describe it, MissTeacher. It had an interesting effect on me, but I haven't sorted it all out yet.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 24, 2009, 12:05pm

29. The Master by Colm Tóibín. Historical fiction/fictional biography of Henry James. Surprisingly compelling. Written in Jamesian style, mostly unfamiliar to me, as I haven't read much James. This is a slow moving (sometimes excruciatingly!), quiet book that makes me curious about reading more James. (4/5).

Apr. 12, 2009, 10:24am

We read Bel Canto for one of my book groups a couple years ago. It was my first and last Patchett. I HATED reading the book. It was dull, slow and just awful.

The odd thing was once the book was done and I had absorbed the whole story, I really liked the story (which was based on the true events), but I hated the process (reading). Only book where I had that reaction.

Apr. 12, 2009, 6:27pm

That's an interesting reaction, Ficus. I didn't know it was a (sort of) true story. I'm anxious to hear more of your thoughts, teelgee, about sorting it all out. I still don't think I've done that yet!

Apr. 12, 2009, 6:37pm

Spoiler alert Part of it was I became very attached to some of the characters and found myself wondering what I would do in a situation like that; that once their basic needs were met and they weren't so fearful, almost everyone was ready to completely change their lives. And they created a near utopian scene for awhile. Watching the relationships develop was fascinating.

I liked that we only got the story from inside the mansion. So the end, which I knew would not be a good one but which I did not see coming, was truly shocking. And painful.

Apr. 12, 2009, 6:39pm

I agree with all my heart, teelgee.

Apr. 12, 2009, 6:41pm

I have just finished reading it and I loved it, too! Thanks for your recommendation. These characters will be with me for a while.

Apr. 12, 2009, 9:05pm

Yes there was the hostage taking of the Japanese embassy in Peru several years before the book came out. There were guests and they became hostages.


I think Patchet changed the story somewhat. Don't really remember that much about the details of the story now. I don't think I cared about the characters, and found them fake.

Apr. 22, 2009, 10:58am

I also did not like Bel Canto. I felt that no one would behave the way they did and they just never felt 'real' to me. I am going to try another Patchett though. I picked up The Magician's Assistant at a thrift store.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 3, 2009, 2:14am

30. East of Eden by John Steinbeck. (4/5). More to follow.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 29, 2009, 10:47am

31. The Spare Room by Helen Garner. Beautiful, brutally honest look at death and dying, friendship. How far would you go to help a terminally ill friend? (4/5)

Apr. 24, 2009, 7:02pm

I've been wanting to read #31. Was it hard to read because of the content?

Apr. 25, 2009, 12:46am

The Spare Room was a wonderful story about the effect of imminent death, not on the dying person, but on the carer. I thought it was brilliant in its seeming simplicity as a story, whereas there were many layers in its pages. It was a book that I read at a time when I could relate to the characters. Perhaps that is why it felt so important to me.

I'm glad you enjoyed it teelgee.

Bearbeitet: Mai 4, 2009, 7:24pm

32. The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi. (4/5)

Bearbeitet: Mai 12, 2009, 1:07am

33. Life and Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee. Strange book about desperate people in a bleak South Africa. I struggled with this book. (3/5).

Mai 9, 2009, 3:28pm

Oh Terri - don't you think Coetzee is just such a sublime writer, though. He was a 5 star read for me - although he is always so unremittingly bleak! I think he writes prose in the category of his own.

Glad you liked The Spare Room - according to the conversation that Citizenkelly posted, it is highly autobiographical although she states that she is not as severe as the protagonist.

I am interested to hear about your Azzopardi read - I have been meaning to read her for such a long time

Mai 10, 2009, 8:18am

I would recommend Disgrace by Coetzee- could not get into Elizabeth Costello.

Bearbeitet: Mai 17, 2009, 8:10pm

34. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich. Fabulous book, one of Erdrich's best. And that's saying a lot! (4.5/5)

Mai 12, 2009, 6:19am

I loved Tracks.. I have The Game of Silence but haven't read it yet...
I just bought this one..


you are my personal LT nemesis... lol... I have bought or wishlisted more books
beause of you than any other single person. Why is that?? Must be your good taste...:P

Mai 12, 2009, 11:42am

Oh, I'm soooooo flattered!!!! I loved Tracks too, though it's been many years since I read it. I was just thinking I'd re-read all of her books some day. (The Game of Silence is a children's book, I haven't read her non-adult books.) I highly highly recommend any of her newer fiction: The Bingo Palace, Four Souls, The Master Butcher's Singing Club...(ka CHING! heh heh) The only one I haven't liked and didn't finish was The Antelope Wife. Truly, no one tells a story like Erdrich.

Mai 12, 2009, 12:04pm

Antelope Wife is the only one I have tried to read, and I also didn't finish. It was a RL book group choice. It scared me away from Erdrich.

Mai 12, 2009, 1:35pm

Oh Ficus, do try more of her books. Antelope Wife was written during a very difficult time in her life and was very different from her other books.

Mai 12, 2009, 5:18pm

Tracks is gorgeous... sad...but so good!

Mai 12, 2009, 5:45pm

"We have received your order, which includes:
Beet Queen,the
Birchbark House, The
Love Medicine
The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse"

from BetterWorldBooks.

Mai 12, 2009, 7:59pm

Niiiiiice! :o)

Mai 12, 2009, 10:22pm

Louise Erdrich is one of my favorite living authors -- and I so agree about The Antelope Wife. I would have to say my favorites are most recent novels, Four Souls, The Painted Drum, and The Plague of Doves. I am going to make a real effort to visit her bookstore while my husband and I are in Minneapolis this summer. I'm hoping to buy an autographed copy of The Red Convertible while there. Have you read that one yet?

Mai 12, 2009, 10:43pm

Good reviews, teelgee. Keeping up with your thread.

Mai 13, 2009, 6:14am

I absolutely love reading your thread teelgee. Good books, good conversation, what more could one want---unless perhaps a cup of tea?
I have found a lot of books I want to read listed here.
Have a great day.

Bearbeitet: Mai 13, 2009, 6:22am

Whats nicer is all of those totaled under 15$
still... must stop buying books.. I have several native american themed books awaiting my attention. These days I am often busy with vine books, and plan to take full advantage of that as long as it lasts. Books are, I find, very patient friends.

She has a bookstore Donna? Interesting...

Mai 13, 2009, 11:15am

>155 mckait:: Yup, it's called Birchbark Books and sounds like a quaint little independent bookstore in Minneapolis. Not exactly a starred destination for my hubby, but he owes me for agreeing to make the 12-hour drive to see a client. Hope it is worth it! I will post on my thread over on the 75 Book Challenge -- DonnaReads -- after my July visit.

Mai 15, 2009, 12:12pm

he owes me for agreeing to make the 12-hour drive to see a client You bet he does. There's no way I'd do that and then NOT get to Louise Erdrich's bookstore. Tell hubby I said so!

Mai 17, 2009, 6:48pm

Very cool Donna, have fun, and I will look for your post :)

Bearbeitet: Mai 20, 2009, 2:53pm

35. The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. This story takes place in Bombay and explores classism, racism, sexism and a lot of other isms. Well done. (4/5)

Mai 17, 2009, 9:13pm

>159 teelgee:: glad you liked that one ... so did I.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 3, 2009, 2:17am

36. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Well, as they say, third time's a charm. I tried two time in years past to read this book and don't think I got past page 30. But this time I got hooked. Dystopian, futuristic, the novel moves back and forth in time telling the story of Snowman and his brilliant pal Crake; the ill effects of humanity on planet Earth, including climate change and genetic engineering. Well done. (4/5)

Mai 20, 2009, 5:53pm

My goodness, I disliked Oryx and Crake, so perhaps I should try again in two years. Her new book is supposed to be similar to this one.

Mai 20, 2009, 9:07pm

Funny how that goes, Terri. I was like that with The Boys in the Trees and ended up being blown away by it. So glad O&C triumphed in the end.

Mckait, what are "vine books"?, prithee?

Bearbeitet: Jul. 23, 2009, 1:04am

37. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. *Note to self: don't have expectations about a book!*

This was touted as a ghost story with a haunted house to rival Shirley Jackson's The Haunting. So of course with a setup like that, I was prepared to have my socks knocked off. It really turns out to be a study in human behavior; much of it bumps along about a burgeoning romance and, frankly, not a lot happens. In that way I was disappointed. But Waters is a tremendous writer and it held my interest - though not as much as her other books, all of which I've read and adored. I would have enjoyed it more if my darn expectations wouldn't have gotten in the way! (3.5/5)

Bearbeitet: Mai 24, 2009, 5:13pm

"not a lot happens" pretty much covers it. I am not surprised to find that you were disappointed, too. I had very high expectations simply based in her previous books. Those characters have depth and heart and I was drawn in by them. This was a lackluster group in my opinion.

There is a link to an interview with Sarah Waters on my challenge thread if you are interested. Her next book is going to be different from those in the past as well.. fingers crossed...I doubt that The Little Stranger will find its way to my "favorites" bookcase for future rereads.

I am sad about that.

Mai 24, 2009, 4:38pm

Yes, but I find with every writer I adore, there's a clunker or two. True of Allende, of Kingsolver, of Erdrich -- so I can forgive her! And really, this book was quite good, it just didn't live up to the hype and the previous edginess.

Mai 24, 2009, 5:12pm

Oh I "forgive" her.. believe me. I have high hopes for the future :)

Mai 24, 2009, 10:51pm

Oh bother it - I just ordered the Waters book on Book Depository!!! Not encouraging to read it is only 3.5 stars worth.

Mai 25, 2009, 6:42am

kiwi.. you might like it more.. have you red her others?

Mai 25, 2009, 10:26am

Yes mckait - I have read them all and liked Fingersmith the best. It seems to be her forte to write gothic fiction.

Mai 25, 2009, 1:23pm

kiwi - it's not that it's a bad book at all, I still enjoyed it tremendously. It did not live up to the excitement and edginess of her others, so just go into it knowing that. It had a very gothic feel to it; I had to keep reminding myself that it was set in the late 40s rather than turn of the century, it had that feel to it.

Bearbeitet: Mai 30, 2009, 12:01am

38. Three Junes by Julia Glass. I liked this book a lot; but was taken aback when, in part three, the story shifted so dramatically from the McLeod family to some new characters, with the McLeods becoming essentially secondary characters. It was more like three connected novellas, which I wasn't expecting. Still, great writing, great character development. (4/5)

Mai 29, 2009, 7:33am

loved Three Junes, wished that it could have been "Ten Junes". I have picked up a couple of her others and not been disappointed in them either. I, like you, was surprised at the "three novella" approach but once I got into each one; it worked. I am glad you enjoyed it.

Bearbeitet: Mai 31, 2009, 1:53pm

39. At Risk by Patricia Cornwell. This was for a book group. I admit, I started this book with an attitude. It's not a genre I care for. I know there are some good books in the detective genre, but this is not one of them. Lazy writing, bad dialogue, no characterization to speak of. The only good thing about it is it's short and I only gave up a couple of hours of my reading time for it. Not recommended, even to those who like detective novels. (1/5)

Mai 30, 2009, 6:08am

Ouch! 1 star is rare for you!

I read a couple of Cornwell's books several years ago and they weren't my thing. Partly because I don't read much detective fiction, partly because they were too descriptive where the crimes were concerned, and -- most importantly -- because the second was too much like the first. I hate formulaic novels and get really annoyed with authors who crank out book after book and they are really all the same thing, just repackaged. Grrrr.

On to something better now, I hope?

Mai 30, 2009, 7:05am

I give you props for finishing it.

I did read Cornwell's non-fiction book about Jack the Ripper. It was very good. But I have stayed away from her fiction books because I am not a fan of detective fiction either.

As Laura said, on to better things! Orange July is just around the corner! =)

Mai 30, 2009, 7:42am

#176 - I too read the book on Jack the Ripper but only tried one of her fiction books - tried one and it turned my stomach. I am a fan of the police procedural and mysteries but I am no fan of gratuitious gore and perversion. I am not saying they are all that way, but it put me off.

Mai 30, 2009, 11:35am

This is the only Cornwell I've read. It felt so slapped together. I know at least one person in my book group loves her books, so I need to be a bit tactful with my comments Monday!

Yes, onto something much better -- Ishiguro's A Pale View of Hills. And yes, mstreme, Orange July, can't wait!!!!!! I already have my books picked out!

Mai 30, 2009, 12:34pm

oooh - I just got a Ishiguro book this morning - Never Let Me Go. Have you read it? The Remains of the Day was my personal top pick of my 2008 reads.

Mai 30, 2009, 1:04pm

Yes dihiba, that was my first Ishiguro book. I liked it a lot, but so far nothing has topped his Remains of the Day. He has a new collection of stories just published - Nocturnes - that is high on my wish list.

Mai 30, 2009, 11:27pm

Finally caught up here! I've got a couple of Ishiguro books sitting waiting but I've got to get some duty books out of the way first (reviews required). I can't believe you have your books picked out for July!

Bearbeitet: Sept. 3, 2009, 2:18am

40. A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro. I love Ishiguro's writing. This was his first published novel, so it's a bit rough. But the skill he's best at shines through: making the unstated so vivid and important. This one left me hanging a bit more than his others, but I still enjoyed reading it. (3.5/5)

Bearbeitet: Jun. 1, 2009, 9:04am

Finally got in here to catch up on your reading. Wow -- such a lot of great and/or interesting books! I agree with almost all your ratings, (only would have rated The Leopard higher) especially such favorites as Bel Canto, A Mercy, Three Junes, Oryx and Crake and The Last Report on the Miracles of Little No Horse. Besides the fact that Beloved is my favorite book and A Mercy is very similar, I think it worked well for me because I had heard Morrison speak about it. She said it is a story of slavery beyond race. Realizing that everyone in the novel is a slave in one way or another was really interesting and enlightening. I love her cyclical style of storytelling, but it is definitely not for everyone.

Now, to go put about ten more books on my wishlist!

Jun. 1, 2009, 6:23pm

Just popping in to see what you have been reading...I left my copy of The Last Report on the Miracles of Little No Horse at home when I went to visit my son, in a fit of paranoia.. I was afraid of losing it or leaving it behind. I was gone a few days, so I will refresh my memory by backing up a page or five, and then carry on.. I am liking it.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 5, 2009, 9:20pm

41. Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff. Short stories. What an amazing collection of stories. Nine stories, all set in vastly different times and places, all with strong women characters dealing with vastly different obstacles and challenges. Groff is an exceptional writer; I'll look for more of her work in the future. (4/5)

Bearbeitet: Jun. 7, 2009, 10:21pm

42. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. This novel reads more like a series of short stories about the characters (and by characters, I mean characters) who populate the village of Cranford ca 1840. Great satire on the manners of those striving to be the elite. Bogged down occasionally by the flowery language, but recommended. (3.5/5)

Jun. 7, 2009, 3:52pm

I don't know if you enjoy television adaptations, teelgee, but I thought the recent BBC version of Cranford (2007) was an absolute joy and I highly recommend it if you haven't already seen it. It blends two other novellas with Cranford to create the story, but I think it is done quite seamlessly and the casting is perfect. The BBC have just released a press statement that they'll be returning to the world of Cranford for a Christmas special this year. A bit early to be excited perhaps, but it's better than counting the shopping days left!

Bearbeitet: Jun. 10, 2009, 1:25pm

43. The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey. Wow. What an amazing book. The story of Jacob - Jake - who has Alzheimer's. This novel is written in a spiral -- circling around events of Jake's life as he remembers them, then circling back with additions or subtractions to the events; echoes, mirrors, parallels.... In the wrong hands this book could have been a mess, but Harvey writes it exquisitely, with great care and skill. Highly recommended. (4.5/5)

Jun. 8, 2009, 1:11pm

Sounds terrific.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 12, 2009, 4:52am

44. The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff. I'm not sure where to even start with this! I had a lot of fun with this book - it's clever, quirky, so many unexpected things happen. Groff is deft at writing contemporary stories of love and loss as well as mysterious stories about monsters and ghosts with a big dose of historical fiction and detective work thrown in. I should have known, after reading her collection of short stories (see message 185, Delicate Edible Birds) how versatile she is in her storytelling, but one wouldn't expect such versatility in a novel to work. It does. (4/5)

Bearbeitet: Jun. 10, 2009, 2:29pm

Great selection of books - I have all your last 5 books waiting for me to read so it is encouraging that you liked them.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 19, 2009, 2:11am

45. Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. Beautifully written book about a family in an isolated farming community in northern Ontario. Coming of age, family relationships and loyalty and what constitutes a life well lived are the main themes. Many wonderful scenes of natural history and the quiet, sometimes harsh landscape of Ontario that echo the storylines. (4/5)

Jun. 12, 2009, 6:21am

Lauren Groff - sounds like she might become another favourite.

Jun. 12, 2009, 7:29am

I put Monsters of Templeton on my wishlist. Looks interesting.

Jun. 12, 2009, 1:13pm

Crow Lake was wonderful - and her other book, I can't think of the title right now, but it has Bridge in it - that's excellent as well.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 12, 2009, 8:12pm

The Other Side of the Bridge

just doing a fly-by.
Hello everyone!~!

Bearbeitet: Jun. 22, 2009, 4:10am

46. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.
From my review:

Like one of the earlier LT reviewers, I wonder why I'd never heard of Wilkie Collins before. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read, complete with mystery, intrigue, betrayal, love, Victorian morals and much humor. His writing is on par with his contemporary, Charles Dickens, and one of my favorite contemporary writers, Sarah Waters, has obviously been inspired by Wilkie Collins' writing.

Collins has peopled his book with some flamboyant, fussy and farcical characters. One of the most flamboyant, Count Fosco, narrates part of the tale and declares, "What a situation! I suggest it to the rising romance writers of England. I offer it, as totally new, to the worn-out dramatists of France."

Another of the most memorable characters, Uncle Frederick Fairlie, laments "It is the grand misfortune of my life that no one will let me alone."

The story is narrated by a number of different people through journal entries, letters, and straight narration as if it were an epic inquest. Collins was probably one of the first to use this technique in English literature. It works very well in this tale. Some of the voices are a bit too similar, but others, such as Fairlie and Fosco, lend a wonderful color to the narration.

I have another Collins book on my shelf - The Moonstone -- and look forward to reading it. I'm also itching to read some Dickens now. Collins has managed to start me on a path from which I may not return for quite awhile! (4/5)

Jun. 19, 2009, 7:04am

I am not surprised that you liked it, I did too!

Terri, have you read Ruby by Mary Summer Rain?

Jun. 19, 2009, 9:02am

teelgee and mckait;
jumping right in here--I found the above Title and author's name interesting and thought perhaps of American Indian descent, so I went searching. There is nothing here on LT about it, but over on Amazon it shows this particular book got 11 5 star reviews and 1 4 star one---out of 12. Not bad. The book sounds really interesting itself.
My question to you is: is this part of a series as she has quite a few listed there or a stand-alone novel? It is already on my TBR listing but I just wanted to know.

Jun. 19, 2009, 9:14am


It is stand alone. I guess I must not have reviewed it.. but I loved it madly and gave it away. I just purchased a replacement copy.

I give it 5 stars!

Bearbeitet: Jun. 24, 2009, 1:37am

47. Something Beyond Greatness by Judy Rodgers and Gayatri Naraine. My review.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 25, 2009, 10:20pm

48. All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki. (4/5) Comments coming soon!

Bearbeitet: Jun. 28, 2009, 6:07am

49. The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg. Not as good as some of Berg's other books, but still a good read. Just when I thought it was getting predictable, it didn't. I like that in a book. (3.5/5)

Jun. 26, 2009, 6:38am

just mooched Crow Lake...sigh

Jun. 26, 2009, 7:07am

Terri, I agree with you regarding Year of Pleasures. Not great. And I'm a big Berg fan. I have The Art of Mending at hand. Wondering if I should curl up with it this weekend...

Jun. 26, 2009, 8:04am

Terri - just checking in to see how you are enjoying retirement. I see you are getting lots of reading done! Nancy

Jun. 26, 2009, 10:26pm

lookit you go!

I read The Moonstone when I was a sprat - it scared the tar out of me. Wonder if it would now?

Jun. 27, 2009, 10:54pm

Hey there teelgee;
Just wanted to pop in and see what you decided to curl up with this week end.
Which one did you decide on? I hope you are enjoying!~!

Jun. 28, 2009, 1:55am

Hiya Belva -- I'm getting close to finishing The English Patient and then think I'll dive into The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. July is full of Orange Prize winners and short and long listed for Orange July -- really looking forward to those reads! What about you?

Bearbeitet: Jun. 28, 2009, 4:19pm

Jun. 28, 2009, 7:19am

50 books! Congratulations!

Jun. 28, 2009, 7:29am

terri.. I look forward to seeing what you think of The Physick Book. Have you read The Hummingbird's Daughter?

Bearbeitet: Jun. 28, 2009, 11:12pm

Bearbeitet: Jul. 3, 2009, 2:59am

52. Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan. This guy is brilliant. I love his work. Graphic short stories. Great stuff. (4/5)

Jun. 28, 2009, 11:28pm

Oh, Shaun Tan is wonderful, isn't he! Mr Bear likes The Lost Thing so I get to read that one over and over and over again. (Lucky me!) It's wonderfully written, just made to say aloud.

Jun. 29, 2009, 12:32am

Yes he's amazing. Have you read The Arrival? No text, just pictures and they convey the story so so so well.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 29, 2009, 12:37am

I Just finished Olive Kitteridge which I loved!~! It was an ARC/ER so I need to get my review written and posted.
Right now I am reading Our Lady of the Forest by David Guterson and can't say I'm crazy about it but need it for my 999 challenge so will finish the 80 or so pages I have left. Everything I have ever read by him I have loved. Snow Falling on Cedars and East of the Mountains; absolutely loved those and the writing was superb.
After I finish this one I am going to grab Love Letters From Cell 92 by Deitrich Bonhoeffer and Maria von Wedemeyer. I am very excited about reading this one. I have been looking at it longingly ever since I brought it home. Dietrich was a theologian and preached a radio sermon (two days after Hitler came to power) condemning the German leader's politics. The transmission was interrupted. In 1935, he was appointed head of an underground seminary at Finkenwalde. The Gestape closed the school two years later, but Dietrich's activities continued.
He had met Maria years before, but when they became reacquainted in 1942 they fell in love and shortly after their engagement in early 1943 Dietrich was arrested.
They never saw each other again outside prison walls. However through their correspondence their relationship grew deeper and deeper.
A lot has been written about Dietrich, the man, theologian and martyr, but none has taken into account the side of the man known by his fiancee. In these letters are hopes, dreams, longings and fears of course and a timeless love story.
So that's where I'm sitting right now.
How did you find The English Patient? I loved the story, but found the book a bit hard going at times. I did keep it and will read it again one day. But I kind of had to work at that one. Not a cozy read.
Good night t/g

Jun. 29, 2009, 12:42am

#216 > Yes, we found The Arrival at the library one week and brought it home with great glee. It's a wonderful book!

Jun. 29, 2009, 6:20am

*wonders about how wookiebender got her (?) name*

Jun. 30, 2009, 12:43am

Ahah, mckait, cast your mind back to an episode of "The Simpsons", when Ralph Wiggum is skipping along singing "I beat the smart kids, I beat the smart kids" with his award-winning diorama of a bunch of mint-in-the-box Star Wars figurines. He trips, falls, is picked up by Lisa & Alison (aka the smart kids) and says "I bent my wookie".

We like Ralph in our house, and it became our "name", if we ever got our act into gear and started up a business (doing what, I dunno, unless it involves quoting The Simpsons back and forth at each other until one of us collapses in giggles - that'd be me; not exactly a strong business plan). But our birthday parties for a few years were "Wookiebender Productions" according to the invitations, and I use it online for more "household-orientated" stuff. Ie, I am planning on cataloguing all the books in our house, not just mine. It's just that 90% of the books in the house are mine and I ran out of cataloguing time halfway through the first big bookshelf, just as I reached his books...

Jun. 30, 2009, 7:22am

re: wookiebender....OIC

I have only seen the Simpson's two or three times.. so I missed that one.
Cool name though, wookies, I am familiar with :)

I think its a lot of fun that you use it a you do :)

I als LOL @ your cataloging story :)

Bearbeitet: Jul. 7, 2009, 2:02am

53. The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt. Fantastic writing and storytelling. Very creative. Historical fiction/fantasy about Nikola Tesla, a scientist and inventor whose contributions to electrical and magnetic discoveries are vastly underrated. Hunt's writing is accessible and fascinating, both historically and creatively. It was a fun book to read. Highly recommend. (4/5)

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize, 2009.

I see a strong resemblance to Sean Penn -- perhaps he'll play Tesla in the movie!

Jul. 3, 2009, 4:23am

Looks interesting! Did you know David Bowie has already played Tesla in the movie "The Prestige"?

Jul. 3, 2009, 7:28am

drat it terri~!!

Bearbeitet: Jul. 11, 2009, 5:41pm

54. The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. (4/5) Comments to follow. Good book.

Jul. 7, 2009, 2:13pm

#223 The Prestige was a wonderfully wierd movie, wasn't it?

Bearbeitet: Jul. 15, 2009, 11:05am

The Colour by Rose Tremain. My third Orange July read. Fabulous book. Will try to comment more later. (4.5/5)

Bearbeitet: Jul. 18, 2009, 4:24pm

56. Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels. A reverie, sometimes dreamy, sometimes nightmarish, with images of the Holocaust, experienced first hand by the first narrator, Jakob. About 3/4 of the way through the book, the narrator changes to Ben, whose parents survived the Holocaust. Two troubled, brilliant men attempting to sort out their lives. At times the book is difficult to follow, but her writing is quite amazing. Not a linear read by any means! I admire this book, but did not love it. (3.5/5)

Bearbeitet: Jul. 21, 2009, 2:33am

57. Old Filth by Jane Gardam. (4/5)

Jul. 18, 2009, 5:10pm

Great reads, Terri. I really want to read the Hunt book, and have it SOMEWHERE in my house - just cannot find it. I have searched through the 'H' section several times!!

I loved Old Filth and The Colour. Do you have many more Orange reads on your list?

Jul. 18, 2009, 6:15pm

Wow, you have an 'H' section?? I'm impressed. My shelves aren't nearly so organized.

yes, I'm doing Orange SL/LL/Prize all month. Just started The Blood of Flowers and hope to get in Caramelo and The Mammoth Cheese and maybe one more, What I Loved?

Jul. 18, 2009, 11:41pm

Jul. 19, 2009, 2:03am

And I loved What I Loved!

Bearbeitet: Jul. 23, 2009, 12:47am

58. From Stone Orchard: A Collection of Memories by Timothy Findley. I've had this book for a year and dip into it every so often, for a meditative reading. Beautiful essays about Findley and his partner, Bill Whitehead, who lived for 3 decades in an old Ontario farmhouse. Stone Orchard became a refuge, a writing retreat, a gathering place for community and friends and family and a sanctuary for (most of) the wildlife that wandered onto the land.

From Stone Orchard made me long for those sublime country moments when the world feels perfect.

Findley was a well known Canadian novelist, essayist, playwright and short fiction writer. He died in 2002.

Highly recommend. (4/5)

Jul. 22, 2009, 3:26pm

Added From Stone Orchard to the wishlist. It looks lovely. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

Jul. 22, 2009, 3:51pm

A friend from Ontario sent it to me, otherwise I probably wouldn't have found it. It is lovely!

Jul. 22, 2009, 4:28pm

I like that parenthetical "most of". So, what wildlife did they dispatch?

Bearbeitet: Jul. 27, 2009, 10:16pm

59. The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani. Wonderful novel of a young Iranian woman in the 17th century who learns to design carpets. The first 1/4 of the book seemed predictable and I feared the rest of it would be, but there were plenty of surprises. Fascinating information about wool dying, carpet design and construction. Well researched. Not fabulous writing, but good story telling. The novel is interspersed with Iranian folk tales that relate to the story. (4/5)

Jul. 23, 2009, 5:36pm

I really enjoyed this book too. I love the rug-making aspect too!

Jul. 23, 2009, 8:32pm

I like your comment that it's not fabulous writing, but good story telling. The story should always be the most important bit of a novel. The Blood of Flowers does sound interesting, I'll keep my eyes open for it.

Jul. 23, 2009, 9:22pm

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Bearbeitet: Jul. 31, 2009, 3:36am

That sounds like an Oliver Sacks title. I'll have to go check it out.

Oh, sad! Now I get it. That's such a classic excuse, I think I would be immediately suspicious if anyone told me that--except that one time i actually did walk into a door and give myself a black eye.

Jul. 31, 2009, 3:57am

I once walked into a door too! It was when Miss Boo was still a baby and having night feeds and I didn't notice the door was half open, so I walked straight into the edge of it. No bruise (although dignity was shattered, not that one has much dignity with 4am feeds and scruffy pajamas). And I did startle my snoozing better half with the sudden outbreak of swearing.

I'd never before thought such a thing was possible! I mean, doors are big and obvious, how could you walk into one?? Sleep deprivation and poor lighting!

Bearbeitet: Jul. 31, 2009, 2:51pm

I know of two people who walked into a glass patio door, not realizing it was closed. I try not to keep my glass that clean, just in case.

Jul. 31, 2009, 7:07pm

There's a good excuse!! :-)

Aug. 1, 2009, 3:14am

Very clever, that, Linda!~! ha ha ha
Dontcha love those raven/crow/blackbird? window cleaner commercials?
Hubby and I both just hoot at each and every one of them.

Bearbeitet: Aug. 11, 2009, 2:15am

63. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. I thought I would love this book; it had all the right ingredients: historical fiction, a story about witchcraft - the Salem trials, healers, "cunning" women - with a bit of mystery thrown in. But it ended up being a cross between Harry Potter, The DaVinci Code and Garden Spells (a book I detested). Howe spent way too much time in the 1991 story of Connie and Sam -- with a most predictable budding romance from the moment Sam rappels from the church ceiling. I prefer my historical fiction to remain in the past.

Howe was inconsistent with the overdone Boston accent; it was clunky, hard to read and didn't ring true.

Plus, I didn't really care for the main character, Connie. None of the characters were fleshed out as much as they could have been; they were all overdone caricatures of academics and hippies.

Howe's afterword was very interesting. She cites Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's work, A Midwife's Tale as an inspiration for parts of this book. I think Howe would do well to follow in Ulrich's footsteps and stick to research and nonfiction. She's a talented writer, but this book just fell flat for me. I had to stretch to give it 3 stars. ETA in fact, am now downgrading to 2.5. (2.5/5)

Aug. 6, 2009, 8:18am

I loved the physical appearance of Dane.. the book itself.
I thought I would like it more than I did ...
I did like it, thought it was an interesting approach...
but ~

Urrea wrote of an ancestor in his Hummingbird's Daughter, and it enthralled me .. became one of my favorite books. I would like to read a similar book about Howe's ancestor.. wonder if she has considered that?

Bearbeitet: Aug. 19, 2009, 11:03pm

64. In Hovering Flight by Joyce Hinnefeld Good read. The writing is a bit sloppy - lots of parenthetical statements and dashes and long drawn out sentences. Needs good editor. I enjoyed this book about birds and mother-daughter relationships.

Bearbeitet: Aug. 31, 2009, 11:48pm

65. The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan. Historical fiction centered around Niagara Falls ca. 1915. I liked this book a lot. My review. (4.5/5)

Aug. 26, 2009, 8:00pm

Hi Terri;
Long time no talky.
What lovely cover art. If the plot line hadn't grabbed me the cover alone certainly would have. And if I didn't already have The Day the Falls Stood Still, same thing there.
How have you been? I see you are moving right along with your challenge and are most likely right where you want to be at this time of year.
I am struggling with my 999 challenge right now and should be reading instead of on here. I have six mapped out to go and 09/09/09 is right around the corner, but I think I can make it. The grands go back to school on Monday so I will just read all day until they come home from school until I get 'er whipped.
Anyhoooo, I wanted to pop over and say hello and see how you were.
Will catch you later girl,
Oh BTW, I hit your profile before popping over and what a precious puppy you have. Liza Jane, a cute name. Our Abby is driving me nuts. She is driving our cats off even after we fenced off a section of the yard for them alone. Labs; never had one before and she is precious but you must keep them busy. I'll tell you, she is no therapy dog, that one.
later babe,

Bearbeitet: Sept. 2, 2009, 9:28pm

66. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. Really amazing book. (4.5/5)

Sept. 1, 2009, 12:12am

Wow, a 4.5 from you for it. That bodes well!

Sept. 1, 2009, 1:48am

Oh, I'm glad you liked Kavalier and Clay! I thought it was excellent as well.

Sept. 1, 2009, 11:14am

It was phenomenal. I hope I can write up some of my thoughts soon!

Bearbeitet: Sept. 9, 2009, 2:56am

67. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Just the book I needed for a healing, quiet meditative couple of weeks. Beautifully written. I gave up on this book when it first came out in 2005. I think it's one you have to be in the right space for. A slowly evolving plot, if you can even call it a plot. Beautiful characters and sense of place and history. (4/5)

Sept. 2, 2009, 9:36pm

I think Gilead is a perfect book for when you're feeling contemplative yourself. I loved it!

Sept. 3, 2009, 12:52am

I am so glad you liked Gilead. I thought it to be wonderful and not at all preachy. I haven't read a Robinson that I didn't love.

Bonnie, I am happy you loved it too.

This will be one of my top 10 of the year, I am sure.

hugs to both of you,

Sept. 3, 2009, 1:27am

Bonnie, Berly, Arubabookwoman,and Teelgee:
I no longer work. I do watch my grandsons but if you make the plans I can arrange for my daughter to make other plans for the boys after school that day if it is on a weekday. If on a week end, we rarely have plans that take us off our place. So I am yours whenever, pretty much. I could hook up with you at the junction of I-5 and Hwy 12 that cuts East to Yakima and just ride on down with you if that would be your pleasure. So those of you with commitments, let's work around your plans.
It would be so awesome to hook up with y'all.
Let's do it!~!

Sept. 6, 2009, 4:10pm

68. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. What a delightful book! Charming narrator Cassandra explores life, love, religion and relationships through her journals. I love this book. (4/5)

Sept. 6, 2009, 9:30pm

Cassandra Mortmain is a delight, isn't she? Glad you enjoyed it!

Sept. 6, 2009, 10:23pm

I hope you got some good reading in on your birthday today, teelgee. I had a belated birthday party at my brother's house. Our birthdays are five days apart, and we usually have a small family party together just as we did when we were kids.

My copy of I Capture the Castle has been languishing on a shelf unread for far too long. It sounds like my kind of book. I consider Gilead one of my Top Ten of Alltime Books. It has such depth that I take something new from it every time I read it. I'm just so amazed at the people who think it is boring.

Sept. 7, 2009, 3:54am

I consider Gilead one of my Top Ten of Alltime Books...I'm just so amazed at the people who think it is boring.

Me too! I'll have to check out I Capture the Castle when I head to the bookstore with my birthday money.

Sept. 7, 2009, 3:05pm

I Capture the Castle is a delight. I especially liked the beautiful stepmother, who contrary to most fairy tales, is so understanding and available to Cassandra.

Sept. 9, 2009, 3:02am

69. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. Very understated writing -- a bit too understated for my taste. It is a wonderful story of Eilis, a young woman who immigrates from a small town in Ireland to Brooklyn in the early 1950s. A refreshing change from the usual male protagonist in immigrant stories. The writing wasn't beautiful, it just plodded along in a very linear fashion from beginning to end. I liked this novel, but don't think it's a great one. (3.5/5)

Sept. 9, 2009, 3:23am

Oh, I thought there was a lot of nuances underlying her story - I guess that's the bit you've called "understated". :) I'd not read Toibin before, and I found it a good read, a nice change from a lot of the other books I've been reading of late.

I was a bit disappointed to see it didn't make the short list for the Man Booker Prize, but there are several on the short list I still want to read...

Sept. 9, 2009, 7:19am

I have heard so much about Tiobin that I had high hopes for Brooklyn, my first of his. I agree with you assessment. Good, but not great. I did surprisingly find myself thinking about the characters a while after I read the book.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 9, 2009, 8:50pm

>263 teelgee: I hear so much about this book now - my English friends of a "certain class" (the farming, land-owning, horse-riding kind) seem to regard it as a staple of their youth but I've never yet read it. It does sound lovely. And how can you beat "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink" as an opening line?

I was underwhelmed by Brooklyn too but have wittered at length about it on my own and many others' threads so I'll leave it at that...

Must be getting time for a new thread..?

Sept. 9, 2009, 9:06pm

Cassandra Mortmain is one of the best narrative voices I've read in a while (apart from Death in The Book Thief). Yes, that kitchen sink opening had me from the get go.

Sept. 9, 2009, 10:15pm

I didn't realize how old I Capture the Castle is. I think it was first published in the 50's. What's made it so popular again? Was it the movie?

Sept. 10, 2009, 3:42am

The movie came out about six years ago. I'm not sure -- just the way of the LT snowball I guess. I heard about it from a few people who'd read it years ago and they promised me I'd love it. They were right!