Just Joey's Book Blog

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2015

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

Just Joey's Book Blog

Aquest tema està marcat com "inactiu"—L'últim missatge és de fa més de 90 dies. Podeu revifar-lo enviant una resposta.

Editat: des. 23, 2015, 11:43am

Welcome to my 2015-thread

December 2015
99. The Remembered Land: Surviving Sea-level Rise after the Last Ice Age (Debates in Archaeology) by Jim Leary (GB, 2015) - 3,5 stars
98. Zin. Lust in je leven door schrijven by Geertje Couwenbergh (NL, 2011) - 1 star
97. De moord op de boekverkoopster by Frank Westerman (NL, 2014) - 3 stars
96. Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan (2012) - 3 stars
95. Schaduwleven (Tell it to the Skies) by Erica James (GB, 2007) - 3 stars

November 2015
94. De Kelten Europa in de ijzertijd by Dale M. Brown - 4 stars)
93. Het hoe, over het schrijven van romans, verhalen en non-fictie by Jan Brokken (NL, 2011) - 4 stars
92. Vele hemels boven de zevende by Griet Op de Beeck (BE, 2013) - 2,5 stars
91. The sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (GB, 2011) - 3,5 stars
90. De wil en de weg by Jan Brokken (NL, 2006) - 4,5 stars
89. Arthur & George by Julian Barnes (GB, 2005) - 3,5 stars
88. Say You're Sorry by Michael Robotham (AU, 2012) - 4 stars
87. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (GB, 2013) - 3 stars
86. Geheime kamers by Jeroen Brouwers (NL, 2000) - 3 stars

October 2015
85. The Children Act by Ian McEwan (GB, 2014) - 4,5 stars
84. Watching You by Michael Robotham (AU, 2013) - 4 stars
83. A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (GB, 2015) - 4 stars
82. Orgelman Felix Nussbaum : een schildersleven by Mark Schaevers (BE, 2014) - 4,5 stars
81. Doodsbruid by Unni Lindell (NO, 2014) - 3 stars
80. Friday on My Mind by Nicci French (GB, 2015)

September 2015
79. Rendez-vous by Esther Verhoef (NL, 2006) - 3,5 stars
78. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel (US, 1980) - 4 stars
77. Een tien met een griffel by Simon de Waal (NL, 2014) - 3,5 stars
76. Verloren grond by Murat Isik (TR, 2012) - 3,5 stars
75. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (US, 2010) - 3 stars
74. Second Life by S. J. Watson (GB, 2015) - 2,5 stars
73. Weekend Terschelling by Els Kerkhoven (NL, 2014) - 2,5 stars

August 2015
72. Moby Dick by Herman Melville (US, 1851) - 3,5 stars
71. The Absentee by Maria Edgeworth (GB, 1812) - 2,5 stars
70. Independent People by Halldor Laxness (IS, 1935) - 3 stars
69. The Darkroom of Damocles by Willem Frederik Hermans (NL, 1958) - 3,5 stars
68. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (IL, 2011) - 4,5 stars
67. Piece of Kate by Emily Lichthart (NL, 2015) - 2 stars
66. De mannentester by Heleen van Royen (NL, 2009) - 1 star
65. The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher (GB, 2014) - 3 stars
64. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (IN, 2009) - 4 stars
63. The Full Monte: A Fulbright Scholar's Humorous and Heart-Warming Experience in Montenegro by Paul Dishman (US, 2013) - 3,5 stars
62. The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (AU, 2014) - 3,5 stars

July 2015
61. In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield (NZ, 1911) - 3 stars
60. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (US, 2014) - 3 stars
59. Zomerhuis met zwembad by Herman Koch (2011) - (NL, 2011) - 3 stars
58. Tussen de anderen by Fieke Gosselaar (NL, 2014) - 2 stars
57. Meester Mitraillette by Jan Vantoortelboom (BE, 2014) - 3,5 stars
56. Heller by Michael Berg (NL, 2014) - 3 stars
55. Op zee by Toine Heijmans (NL, 2011) - 3 stars
54. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (GB, 2012) - 4 stars

June 2015
53. The Melting of Molly by Maria Thompson Daviess (GB, 1912) - 4 stars
52. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers (GB, 1923) - 3,5 stars
51. Het vlindereiland by Corina Bomann (DE, 2013) - 3,5 stars
50. A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey (GB, 1936) - 3 stars
49. The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey (GB, 1929) - 3 stars
48. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey (GB, 1951) - 3,5 stars
47. Het vuur van de herfst by Diana Gabaldon (US, 1997) - 3,5 stars

May 2015
46. Aunt Dimity: Detective by Nancy Atherton (US, 2001) - 3 stars
45. Een man die Ove heet by Fredrik Backman (SE, 2012) - 4,5 stars
44. Life or Death by Michael Robotham (AU, 2014) - 4 stars
43. Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil by Nancy Atherton (US, 2000) - 3,5 stars
42. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (US, 1994) - 3,5 stars

April 2015
41. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (US, 1991) - 3 stars
40. What Are Gardens For?: Visiting, Experiencing and Thinking About Gardens by Rory Stuart - 4 stars
39. Bleak House by Charles Dickens (GB, 1853) - 4,5 stars
38. Aunt Dimity's Christmas by Nancy Atherton (US, 1999) - 3,5 stars
37. De tweede levenshelft. Een werkboek voor veertig en verder by Adriaan Hoogendijk (2013) - 3 stars
36. Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton (US, 1998) - 4 stars
35. Aunt Dimity's Good Deed by Nancy Atherton (US, 1996) - 4 stars
34. Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton (US, 1994) - 4 stars
33. Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton (US, 1992) - 4 stars
32. Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles (GB, 1931) - 4 stars

March 2015
31. Bombproof by Michael Robotham (AU, 2009) - 3,5 stars
30. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (US, 1930) - 3 stars
29. The poisoned chocolates case by Anthony Berkeley (GB, 1929) - 3,5 stars
28. Bordergeheimen uit de tuinkamers van Dina Deferme by Dina Deferme (BE, 2005) - 4,5 stars
27. Droomcombinaties, een schat aan praktische tips van Dina Deferme by Dina Deferme (BE, 2009) - 4,5 stars
26. Verborgen tuinen, een leerrijke reis langs de bloeiende paradijzen van Dina Deferme by Dina Deferme (BE, 2013) - 4,5 stars
25. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (AU, 2012) - 4 stars
24. The Silent Tide by Rachel Hore (GB, 2013) - 3 stars
23. The Leavenworth Case: A Lawyer's Story by Anna Katharine Green (US, 1878) - 4 stars
22. How fiction works by James Wood (2008) - 4 stars

February 2015
21. The Confessions of Arsene Lupin by Maurice Leblanc (FR, 1913) - 3,5 stars
20. The Man In Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart (US, 1909) - 3 stars
19. The Glass of Time by Michael Cox (GB, 2008)- 4,5 stars
18. Des mille et une façons de quitter la Moldavie by Lortchenkov Vladimir - 4 stars
17. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey (GB, 1948) - 3 stars
16. The experiences of Loveday Brooke, lady detective by Catherine Louisa Pirkis (US, 1894)
15. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart (US, 1913) - 4 stars

January 2015
14. Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bentley (GB, 1913) - 3,5 stars
13. Death in Pont-Aven by Jean-Luc Bannalec (D, 2012) - 3,5 stars
12. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe (US, 1841) - 4 stars
11. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford (GB, 1915) - 4 stars
10. The Expats by Chris Pavone (US, 2013) - 3,5 stars
9. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (NZ, 2013) - 3,5 stars
8. SmartReading lees een boek per uur by Peter Plusquin (2012) - 3,5 stars
7. Literaire verbeelding 2 een geschiedenis van de Europese literatuur en cultuur vanaf 1750 by Rita Ghesquière (2006) - 4 stars
6. Literaire verbeelding een geschiedenis van de Europese literatuur en cultuur tot 1750 by Rita Ghesquière (2005) - 4 stars
5. The Legacy by Katherine Webb (GB, 2010) - 3,5 stars
4. The Edge of the World. How the North Sea Made Us Who We are by Michael Pye (GB, 2014) - 2 stars
3. Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer (US, 2011) - 4 stars
2. Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner (US, 2014) - 4 stars
1. The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman (GB, 1971) - 3,5 stars

gen. 2, 2015, 3:24pm

I'm Monica, a 40-something historian living in the Flemish (northern) part of Belgium. I joined LT in 2010 and I had my own thread with the 75'ers ever since. 2014 has been hectic and RL prevented me from reaching my goal of 75 books. But this year, I intend to let quality rule over quantity. I'll try to stay away from challenges, group-reads and readathons etc. since it seems that every time I join something like that, my desire to read rapidly fades away.

Although I'm daunted by all the activity in this group, I think it's still the best choice for my eclectic book-taste.
I focus on world literature, classics, historical fiction and new novels. In between, I like to read detectives and mysteries. I'm not into SF, horror and fantasy.
I also participate (a.o.) in the Reading Globally-group, the Europe Endless Challenge-group and the Reading through Time-group, but have been neglecting my personal challenges over there far too long now. I hope to revive them in 2015 though. Other than that, I think I'll continue to read the way I did before, mixing a variety of books from my global reading challenge, my European challenge, a few classics, a few Flemish and Dutch books, throw in some mysteries and add a bit more non-fiction (history) and suggestions from LT-friends and soulmates to the justjoey-cocktail. I'm the founding mother of the Old Mystery and Detective Club and the Gardens & Books-group, but I'm afraid I've not been the best of mothers to these groups.

My “active” threads:
- Tour through Europe;
- Global Reading-Tour;
- Reading through Time
- 1001 Books to read before you die

My previous threads:
- 2014-thread: part 1 - part 2
- 2013-thread
- 2012-thread
- 2011-thread: part 1 - part 2
- 2010-thread: part 1 - part 2

gen. 2, 2015, 3:51pm

Hi Monica, Happy New Year! I drop to find you easily. I'll be following your reading also in 2015.

gen. 2, 2015, 4:09pm

Welcome back!

gen. 2, 2015, 5:13pm

Hi Monica! Happy New Year! I have you starred so I can follow along with your reading. I'm prepared for a few BBs along the way. I hope 2015 is kinder to you than 2014.

gen. 2, 2015, 10:01pm

Hi Monica. Starred you. I'm trying to be more active this year on LT, and to delurk often. It's been two days, and so far so good.

gen. 3, 2015, 7:23am

Hi, Monica! Happy New Year!

gen. 3, 2015, 2:23pm

Welcome back, Monica and Happy New Year!

gen. 3, 2015, 2:32pm

Thank you for kind words, Barbara, Jim, Carrie, Deborah and Amber. It's good to be back and nice to know that I'm not totally overlooked in this bustling environment.

Today I started and finished my first book of 2015. Is there a better way to start the year than with a bit of cosy, old-fashioned humour?

1. The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman (1971) - 3,5 stars

I read this book in an attempt to continue my tour through Europe which I started way back in 2010 and which I want to finish this year. I'd started some books about Bulgaria in the past, but they all were so grim. So when I came across this book with Mrs. Pollifax in a leading role and Bulgaria as her destination, I didn't hesitate, although it completely goes against my intentions to preferably read a book by a native author. But who cares?
The story is quite simple. Mrs. Pollifax is sent to Bulgaria to deliver eight passports to people who want to leave the country. But by chance, she's a witness to the abduction of a young American and risks everything to rescue him.

This is a somewhat old-fashioned, over the top spy-novel with major inconsistencies but that didn't bother me at all. I immensely enjoyed the company of Mrs. Pollifax and her down to earth ways. I hope this book may set the tone for a year of enjoyable reading.

Next up is a book on Moldova that from the first chapters looks very promising: Des mille et une façons de quitter la Moldavie. It's written by a Moldovan author and recently been translated from Russian to French. I seem to be the first one to read this book here on LT and it has good vibes. I'll keep you posted.

gen. 4, 2015, 12:17am

Hi Monica, and Happy New Year to you!

My girls both adore The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax -- now I am reminded that there are more they might like to read:)

gen. 5, 2015, 2:18pm

Hi, Monica. I haven't been on LT much in the past few months either. RL has thrown some curve balls my way as well. I did go on this morning and try to star 2015 threads.

Mrs. Pollifax is one of my favorite comfort (re)reads. The first is still my favorite.

gen. 6, 2015, 2:30pm

# 10 - Thanks Anne, I would have liked to read Mrs. Pollifax as a teenager too. I think Dorothy Gilman's to be situated somewhere in between Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie and I must admit I've occasionally reread Enid Blyton as an adult, just for the fun of it. Thanks for visiting, btw!

# 11 - Hi Lisa, it's great to see you here. I noticed your recent absence from LT, but I hoped you were busy with your study-program. I hope we'll stay in touch this year!
And yes, I agree, although she suited my Bulgarian challenge perfectly, Mrs. Pollifax is excellent comfort-read. I might catch up on her other books as well now, preferably in order. But hey, I promised myself: no pressure and no commitments!

Editat: gen. 6, 2015, 3:05pm

3. Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer (2011) - 4 stars

2. Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner (2014) - 4 stars

I've always been intrigued by knowledge and memory. I think it's such a waste of energy that one cannot remember everything one has ever learned (well, in some cases, I don't regret it that much). At the end of last year, I decided to take up languages again, just for the fun of it, and start by brushing off the languages I have learned already, with French and Latin as my first choice. But I did not want to enroll in a regular course or an internet-course because in a way I knew too much and yet too little. So I looked around for the best method for me. In my search I came across this intriguing book by Gabriel Wyner: Fluent Forever, which is a combination of existing methods that allow you to learn a language fast and thoroughly. Wyner is a fun writer. He clarifies his methods with a lot of humour and although he does not deny that learning a language requires a lot of hard work, it's also a lot of fun and a door to a new world.

In my search, I also found a book about mnemonics. In this book Joshua Foer tells the story of how he won the American Memory Championships in 2006 almost by accident. During his year of training, he did a lot of research on the subject, met people who were savants (or not), who had no memory or were just putting in the extra effort to remember silly things like three decks of cards in random order or hundreds of figures or objects or facts or faces. The subject interests me a lot and the way Foer tells the story, with a lot of mild humour and youthful energy, made me finish this book in just two sittings.
If you're interested in any of the subjects, Id recommend any of these books. If not, they 're still very much worth the read.

gen. 6, 2015, 6:53pm

Huh. Fluent Forever sounds interesting. I'm wondering what his methods are and also wondering if they work on ancient languages or just modern ones...

gen. 6, 2015, 9:27pm

I read Moonwalking with Einstein last year and really enjoyed it. I might have to check out Fluent Forever now too; it sounds like something I would like.

gen. 7, 2015, 2:44pm

# 14 - Well, it's even more interesting than I probably was able to convey, Amber. If you want, you can check out Gabriel Wyner's website (https://fluent-forever.com/) and check out his methods (https://fluent-forever.com/the-method/#.VK2HKc3d88o) and other cool things. Apparently, he's not a selfish person and he doesn't boast to have invented new methods. On the contrary, he's very clear that he's putting together old methods in a new sort of way.
I think I'd be able to use his methods for ancient languages also. Although in some ways, it might be a bit difficult to use his methods (finding someone to have a conversation with might be the most difficult), but I guess it would work well enough.
Btw, here's GW demonstrating on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3MeH-odfb0

# 15 - Hi Stephanie, if you liked Joshua Foer's book, you'll probaly like Gabriel Wyner's too. The latter mentions Foer's book as a source of inspiration and both share a similar sense of humour.

gen. 8, 2015, 12:38pm

>16 Trifolia: Yes, it's the conversation part - and the fact that you just can't learn dead languages in the same way that you learn modern languages - that makes me suspicious that his methods would work. I'm still pretty interested in reading it, though!

gen. 10, 2015, 4:52am

Hi Monica, I wish you a fabulous weekend.

Editat: gen. 10, 2015, 9:29am

# 17 - Hi Amber, I understand what you mean. If uou do get to it, enjoy!
# 18 - Thank you, Barbara, such a cute picture!

gen. 10, 2015, 9:40am

4. The Edge of the World. How the North Sea Made Us Who We are by Michael Pye (2014) - 2 stars

This non-fiction-book deals with the history of the people living around the North-Sea during the middle ages. It's packed full of anecdotes and covers a wide area and period of time.
I've written an extensive review in Dutch that you can check out here, but the bottom-line is that, although I enjoyed the colourful writing-style of the author, I was hugely annoyed by his lack of historical skills and methods and his contempt for context. He brings together facts to prove a point, but rips it out its context which makes his whole thesis and the whole book all very wobbly. Such a pity, because the concept was great.

gen. 10, 2015, 1:24pm

>20 Trifolia: Oh, dang. That's too bad; the title made me excited, but then I read your comments. Definitely a pity.

gen. 10, 2015, 1:31pm

# 21 - The title made me excited too, Amber, but it really was a huge disappointment. So I'll continue my everlasting search for the well-researched yet readable history-book on the (early) middle ages (yay).

gen. 10, 2015, 1:48pm

Good luck - I hope you find one!

gen. 15, 2015, 3:01pm

Hi Monica! Happy reading!

gen. 17, 2015, 6:50am

Hi Monica, I'm thinking of you and Belgium. I hope it will calm down and nothing worse will happen. I wish you a relaxed weekend.

Editat: gen. 17, 2015, 6:50am

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

març 9, 2015, 12:52am

Hi Monica, checking back in after another LT hiatus. Your reviews are so interesting. With my daughter starting to get to a level in French where conversation is possible, I've been wanting to do more (both on my own and with her). It's hard to make the time, however, with everything else going on. How is your own language study going? I would love to hear which methods work best for you. I finally created a pathetic little thread for the three books I've read this year, but I didn't want LT to drop completely from my life. I came here first, twin-on-another-continent!

P.S. I will skip the Pye book. Lack of historical acumen in a history book is anathema!

març 21, 2015, 6:31am

Hi Monica, I wish you a lovely weekend.

març 22, 2015, 4:25am

Hi Monica! How are you doing? I hope everything is all right.

març 24, 2015, 4:52pm

I can't believe it's been over two months since I posted something here. I'm slowly coming out of my hibernation.
Thank you, Connie, Barbara and Lisa for your patience. It's good to find you here.
I have been reading though and I'll do some backlogging over the next few days.

Editat: març 25, 2015, 4:25pm

5. The Legacy by Katherine Webb (2010) - 3,5 stars

An old country-house, an inheritance and family-secrets, it's my guilty pleasure-book, excellent for cold winter-nights. The story is about two sisters who have inherited the house of their grandmother, but soon discover she hid a couple of shocking family-secrets that still have repercussions in the present. Enjoyable read in its genre.

març 24, 2015, 5:11pm

6. Literaire verbeelding een geschiedenis van de Europese literatuur en cultuur tot 1750 by Rita Ghesquière (2005) - 4 stars
7. Literaire verbeelding 2 een geschiedenis van de Europese literatuur en cultuur vanaf 1750 by Rita Ghesquière (2006) - 4 stars
Two excellent non-fiction books on the history of European literature, focussing mainly on English, German and French literature, putting landmark-books in perspective and a historical frame.

març 24, 2015, 5:15pm

8. SmartReading lees een boek per uur by Peter Plusquin (2012) - 3,5 stars

One of those books that try to convince you it's possible to actually read and understand a book in one hour. I'm not sure it's really my style, because I enjoy savouring a book, not devouring it. But it might work for non-fiction. Does anyone have any experience with smart reading?

març 24, 2015, 5:21pm

9. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (2013) - 3,5 stars

Excellent book, although I was not bowled over by it. It was a bit too artificial for my taste, but on the other hand I was blown away by the intricacy of the story and the characters. Recommended if you're not daunted by huge books.

març 24, 2015, 7:03pm

>31 Trifolia: >34 Trifolia: Both are already on my wishlist, so I dodged BBs! I imagine it will be a while before I get to either of them.

març 25, 2015, 4:12pm

>35 cbl_tn: I can recommend both books to you, Carrie, but imo you need not put them higher on your priority-list.

març 25, 2015, 4:24pm

>31 Trifolia: Monica, I saw that our local library has got an audiobook of this story. I guess I'll fetch it. Another BB for me.
BTW your link goes to another book.

març 25, 2015, 4:24pm

10. The Expats by Chris Pavone (2013) - 3,5 stars

I read this book for my Endless (indeed) European Challenge which I started in 2010. It's set in Luxemburg which is a rare book-setting. I liked this book because it mixed espionage with suspense and the outcome was quite unpredictable. In fact, it switched back and forth quite a bit and it might have continued for another few rounds. It is not the Best Literature I've read but apart from finally filling a gap on my list of countries (leaving me with countries like San Marino, Montenegro and Croatia,...), I spent a very enjoyable few hours with this book. Btw, I just came back from a short trip to Luxemburg. Although I have spent many hiking-holidays in the grand duchy, I'd never been to the city. But the book had made me curious though and it did not fail me.
Recommended if you like a quick, suspenseful read.

març 25, 2015, 4:28pm

> 37 We cross-posted, I guess. I can recommend it to you too, Barbara, since we seem to have similar tastes and I already picked up quite a few good suggestions from your thread which turned out great.
Thanks for noticing the wrong link. I've mended it.

març 25, 2015, 10:33pm

>38 Trifolia: I enjoyed The Expats too, Monica. As you say, a fun, unpredictable read.

I checked my tags and found that I have three Croatian books listed. One is nonfiction, a memoir by a rather sarcastic journalist named Slavenka Drakulić. The book is called How we survived communism and even laughed. It might be a bit dated now, but it was decent, and she has written more recent stuff. The other two are on my wishlist. Baba Yaga laid an egg by Dubravka Ugrešić is part of a Canongate mythology series that's supposed to be quite good. I haven't read it myself, but feel safe recommending it based on TadAD's review. He and I tend to like the same literary fiction (although I also like other things). 1941: The Year That Keeps Returning by Slavko Goldstein is nonfiction and recommended by rebeccanyc. Don't know if any of those pique your interest!

març 27, 2015, 2:53pm

I loved the Katherine Webb book! And indeed it's kind of a guilty pleasure book! But who cares!

març 28, 2015, 6:38am

Hi Monica, I wish you a wonderful weekend.

març 28, 2015, 10:10am

>40 labfs39: Thanks for the suggestions for Croatia, Lisa. I think I'll go for the Baba Yaga-story, since I already read three other myths in this series a few years ago and liked them. Ugresic is currently living in Amsterdam and I may check out some of her other books. She seems to be an interesting writer who writes about issues that interest me.

>41 connie53: Indeed, Connie, who cares. Everybody needs a guilty pleasure now and them, especially if they're harmless.

>42 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara, for the lovely tulips. I love tulips, so when I went to Keukenhof a few years ago, I actually arrived in tulip-walhalla. I find it harder to plant them in my garden, because, although they look beautiful in april, they spoil my border afterwards since it's not good to do away with the foliage too soon. So now, I just buy the occasional bouquet and enjoy the view...

març 28, 2015, 10:41am

>43 Trifolia: Monica, we've tulips in the garden but their heads are still closed. I agree on tulip bunches. I buy weekly a new one.

març 28, 2015, 11:30am

>I'm curious (and have a terrible memory), which other Canongate myth books did you read? Which was your favorite?

març 28, 2015, 11:32am

P.S. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival here in Washington is scheduled for the month of April, but last year it is was late. This year we had such a mild winter that most of the tulips have come and gone. Poor tulip farmers are losing all their tourist dollars.

març 28, 2015, 2:44pm

>44 Ameise1: Indeed, it's still early days for most tulips in the open, but fortunately my weekly bunch look wonderful.

>45 labfs39: I looked it up and found we even started sort of a Canongate-myts-discussion back in 2012 (you can find it here).

I read
- The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Margaret Atwood
- Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson
- The Fire Gospel: The Myth of Prometheus by Michel Faber
and preferred Atwood's book.

I took a look at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival on the internet and think it looks lovely. If I ever get to Washington, I'll try to schedule it in (late) April :-)

Yesterday I saw the first episode of Outlander on television. I thought it was great and was happy to see the series kept quite close to the book. It also reminded me I have to want to continue with the second book. I've already bought the rest of the series, so it'll take me a while before I finish all of them, not to mention those that are yet to be published.

març 28, 2015, 3:05pm

You sure have done some wonderful reading already this year, Monica! The Expats sounds interesting, I might have too look into that one! I live not far from the Skagit Valley - maybe 100 miles or so, across the border into the US, and wow, I had not realized that the tulip festival had been messed up their due to our early spring. In Vancouver we have a Cherry Blossom festival and I think many of our cherry blossoms have come and gone already.

març 30, 2015, 1:44pm

>48 vancouverdeb: Hi Deb, The Expats was an enjoyable read and I think you'd like it too.

març 30, 2015, 1:57pm

11. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford (1915) - 4 stars

Although this book was published 100 years ago, it did not feel dated. Of course the setting was, but I thought the theme felt quite modern. The narrator is one of the main characters in the book and he tells his story in retrospect. He's the husband of a very frail woman who often goes abroad to improve her health. And every year they meet the same couple who become friends. But although things evolve under his very own eyes, the narrator doesn't actually see what happens and even while telling the story, he's not sure. This ingenious play with structure and point of view intrigued me and even convinced me that I'll read this book again (which is something that very rarely happens to me).
It's probably not a book for everyone's taste - it may be too modernist - but I found it very readable, very subtle and highly enjoyable.

març 31, 2015, 11:06pm

Ouch! Book bullet. And I've been trying to be strict about not adding to my TBR...

I'm glad you liked Outlander. The second set of eight episodes begins this weekend for us.

abr. 4, 2015, 4:19am

Hi Monica, I wish you Happy Easter.

abr. 5, 2015, 1:55pm

>51 labfs39:,Sorry about the BB, Lisa, but I think The Good Soldier will work for you.
Although I enjoy the Outlander-series, I think the book is better, but that's generally what I think when books are made into films or series. I guess it has something to do with the imagination of the book and the absolute way of a movie.

>52 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara, we had far too much chocolate to be healthy, but I'm enjoying the extended weekend.

abr. 5, 2015, 4:57pm

Hi Monica! I would be glad to take some of that tempting chocolate out of your way. Belgian, yes? It would be safe with me. ;-)

abr. 6, 2015, 2:00am

12. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe (1841) - 4 stars

This novella has been pointed out as one of the first detective-stories ever written, i.e. a story that includes a detective to solve a murder. With that information in mind, it was an enjoyable read, because, apart from the story itself, it felt like walking on untouched ground. Indeed, it contained all the elements of all the later detective-novels: a detective, a murder, clues, some sort or relationship with the police, a side-kick and a surprising plot, but it was not cliché. A must-read for every detective-novel-addict.

abr. 11, 2015, 6:15am

Hi Monica, I wish you a fabulous weekend.

abr. 20, 2015, 8:38pm

>53 Trifolia: I liked the Outlander books better too. As good a job as Ronald C. Moore is doing, he can't replicate the books, and that's always what I want from producers: to replicate the books exactly AND exactly as I see them in my head! ;-)

maig 16, 2015, 7:51am

Hi Monica, I hope everything is fine at your place. I wish you a lovely weekend.

Editat: jul. 25, 2015, 2:24pm


13. Death in Pont-Aven by Jean-Luc Bannalec (D, 2012) - 3,5 stars

I chose this book because it was set in Brittany, which is one of my favourite holiday-destinations and high on my list of "if I ever have to move to another country"-places. It's a detective-novel, written by a German author. Nothing extraordinary, just straightforward detective-work and an enjoyable, quick read. First in a series which I don't think I'll pursue.

jul. 25, 2015, 1:20pm

14. Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bentley (GB, 1913) - 3,5 stars

I adore old mysteries and detective-novels but somehow I never come round to reading them anymore. A couple of weeks with the flue was an excellent excuse to read some of them. I don't remember what it was all about, but I do remember I quite liked it. But beware, the pace of this kind of books is very different from what we're used to.

Editat: jul. 25, 2015, 2:49pm


15. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart (US, 1913) - 4 stars

Since reading this book, I know that Mary Roberts Rinehart is the perfect author for me to lift my spirits. On the height of my flue (back in February), she made me forget all the aches and let me enjoy a couple of hours of concentrated reading. Rinehart combines humour with detection, which I always find very attractive. But only to be taken in small doses and only if you can relate to the old-fashioned way of writing.

jul. 25, 2015, 1:29pm

16. The experiences of Loveday Brooke, lady detective by Catherine Louisa Pirkis (US, 1894) - 3,5 stars

A set of short stories with Loveday Brooke as the unlikely detective. Enjoyable and not too demanding.

jul. 25, 2015, 1:32pm

17. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey (GB, 1948) - 3 stars

Josephine Tey is one of the leading ladies of the detection novel. Although I like her books, I cannot see why she's more widely acclaimed than others in the genre. I liked this book, but I didn't find it half as interesting as I had hoped it would turn out. High expectations can be deceiving.
Btw, this one was also read when struck down by the flue, which may have influenced my judgement..

Editat: jul. 25, 2015, 1:54pm

18. Des mille et une façons de quitter la Moldavie by Lortchenkov Vladimir - 4 stars

I finally read another book in my European challenge which I've almost finished now. It took me quite a while to find a Moldovan book, but this one by a Moldovan author with a Moldovan theme was excellent. It's about a group of people who try to emigrate to Italy. It's a hilarious book, but also heart-breaking because it shows how desperate people can be to want to emigrate. Unusual, but highly recommended.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:01pm

19. The Glass of Time by Michael Cox (GB, 2008) - 4,5 stars

This is a sequel to The Meaning of Night which I read a few years ago and absolutely loved. I was wary of reading this book too soon because I feared I'd be disappointed, but I definitely was not. This is a historical mystery that kept me reading for hours on end and I finished it with mixed feelings: sad that it was finished but greatly satisfied on the reading-side. This definitely is my kind of guilty-pleasure / leisure-book!

jul. 25, 2015, 2:03pm

20. The Man In Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart (US, 1909) - 3 stars

Another divertimento by Mary Roberts Rinehart, set in a train. A great mix of humour and detection.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:05pm

21. The Confessions of Arsene Lupin by Maurice Leblanc (FR, 1913) - 3,5 stars

An usual set of short stories with Arsene Lupin as the gentle thief. Old-fashioned detection-mystery, but very enjoyable.

Editat: jul. 25, 2015, 2:49pm


22. How fiction works by James Wood (2008) - 4 stars

Excellent non-fiction book with a title that says it all.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:10pm

23. The Leavenworth Case: A Lawyer's Story by Anna Katharine Green (US, 1878) - 4 stars

Believed to be one of the first, if not the first true detection-novel. This book is packed with the usual ingredients that later became the clichés of the genre. Not only interesting for this historical reason, but also an enjoyable, although somewhat dated and long-winded read.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:13pm

24. The Silent Tide by Rachel Hore (GB, 2013) - 3 stars

Another guilt-pleasure-book. Don't ask me what it was about, but it worked for me at the time.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:16pm

25. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (AU, 2012) - 4 stars

I have a soft spot for Kate Morton's books. Although these books tend to be a bit formulaic, it doesn't matter because I read them far apart. And a girl needs her guilty-pleasure book once and awhile (and sometimes in larger doses).

jul. 25, 2015, 2:19pm

26. Verborgen tuinen, een leerrijke reis langs de bloeiende paradijzen van Dina Deferme by Dina Deferme (BE, 2013) - 4,5 stars

27. Droomcombinaties, een schat aan praktische tips van Dina Deferme by Dina Deferme (BE, 2009) - 4,5 stars

28. Bordergeheimen uit de tuinkamers van Dina Deferme by Dina Deferme (BE, 2005) - 4,5 stars

I've redesigned a perennial border in my garden and was inspired by these books by one of Belgium's leading-ladies in garden-design.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:23pm

29. The poisoned chocolates case by Anthony Berkeley (GB, 1929) - 3,5 stars

Excellent yet somewhat dated detective-novel from the Golden Age of Detection. I can't get enough of them. They always do the trick for me.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:27pm

30. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (US, 1930) - 3 stars

I read this hard-boiled detective because of its importance to the genre, but I'm not really a fan. Although I occasionally enjoy suspense and everytthing that comes with it, I prefer cerebrial detective-work.

Editat: jul. 25, 2015, 2:59pm

31. Bombproof by Michael Robotham (AU, 2009) - 3,5 stars

I'm a fan of Michael Robotham's work. I think he's written better books than this one, but even a mediocre book by Robotham is still high above the average. This was not a mediocre book, but a highly enjoyable, captivating read.

Editat: jul. 25, 2015, 2:50pm


32. Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles (GB, 1931) - 4 stars

What a delightful book! Packed with humour, highly original and very well written, this one imo stands out in the mass of Golden Age of Detection-books.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:40pm

33. Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton (US, 1992) - 4 stars

34. Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton (US, 1994) - 4 stars

35. Aunt Dimity's Good Deed by Nancy Atherton (US, 1996) - 4 stars

36. Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton (US, 1998) - 4 stars

38. Aunt Dimity's Christmas by Nancy Atherton (US, 1999) - 3,5 stars

Fluff, funny and formulaic books that have proven their excellence at keeping my mind off things. I had to cope with some pretty bad news at the time, so I was happy that these books worked its magic on me.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:43pm

37. De tweede levenshelft. Een werkboek voor veertig en verder by Adriaan Hoogendijk (2013) - 3 stars

A non-fiction book that focusses on dealing with the second part of your life. Interesting at the beginning, but halfway through (how ironic), it fell apart.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:46pm

39. Bleak House by Charles Dickens (GB, 1853) - 4,5 stars

What can I add to all the rightly deserved superlatives ? Just read it if you have time and even more if you haven't.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:48pm

40. What Are Gardens For?: Visiting, Experiencing and Thinking About Gardens by Rory Stuart - 4 stars

An essay on the essence of gardens. For those who are interested in gardening as an art-form.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:52pm

41. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (US, 1991) - 3 stars

Part 2 of the Outlander-series. It took me a while to get into this book, but after a while I just flew through it and could not put it down. Not as good as the first one, but still worth reading.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:54pm


42. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (US, 1994) - 3,5 stars

Part 3 of the Outlander-series, which I preferred to the second book but not as much as the first one.

jul. 25, 2015, 2:56pm

jul. 25, 2015, 2:59pm

44. Life or Death by Michael Robotham (AU, 2014) - 4 stars

Excellent thriller by one of my favourite authors.

jul. 25, 2015, 3:02pm

45. Een man die Ove heet by Fredrik Backman (SE, 2012) - 4,5 stars

Excellent, heart-warming book about a lonely, recently unemployed widower who tries to commit suicide but is withheld by his neighbours who are not aware of his plans.

jul. 25, 2015, 3:05pm

46. Aunt Dimity: Detective by Nancy Atherton (US, 2001) - 3 stars

Number 7 in the Aunt Dimity-series but it's becoming too formulaic. I may continue the series later, but I've had my fill for now.

Editat: jul. 25, 2015, 3:08pm


47. Het vuur van de herfst by Diana Gabaldon (US, 1997) - 3,5 stars

The fourth book in the Outlander-series. Simply a relaxing read.

jul. 25, 2015, 3:12pm

48. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey (GB, 1951) - 3,5 stars

49. The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey (GB, 1929) - 3 stars

50. A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey (GB, 1936) - 3 stars

A short attack of Tey-fever. Enjoyable reads, but not too impressive.

jul. 25, 2015, 3:14pm

51. Het vlindereiland by Corina Bomann (DE, 2013) - 3,5 stars

Romantic book about a genealogical quest to Sri Lanka. Entertaining yet fluffy.

jul. 25, 2015, 3:16pm

52. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers (GB, ) - 3,5 stars

A classic in its genre and the first in the Lord Peter Wimsey-series.

jul. 25, 2015, 3:19pm

53. The Melting of Molly by Maria Thompson Daviess (GB, 1912) - 4 stars

Surprisingly enjoyable book about a woman who wants to lose weight in order to please her former lover, but that turns out somewhat different than expected. A quick and funny read.

jul. 25, 2015, 9:25pm

Happy to see you posting!

>65 Trifolia: -You enjoyed The Glass of Time! I loved that story. So atmospheric. Of course, I read it before I realized that it was a sequel read. I really do need to get around to reading my copy of The Meaning of Night.

>69 Trifolia: - Oh, that one looks interesting.

>71 Trifolia: - I also have a soft spot for Morton's stories.

>79 Trifolia: - I see that you enjoyed Bleak House more than I did. I started getting frustrated with the story. If it had been shortened by about 250, I probably would have enjoyed it more. But that is just me.

jul. 25, 2015, 9:57pm

Lots of good reading going on here! I enjoy the occasional Mary Roberts Rinehart myself. I'm glad to find someone else who's read The Leavenworth Case! I enjoyed it when I read it several years ago. And you've reminded me that Michael Robotham is on my list of authors I want to read someday...

jul. 26, 2015, 12:56pm

>92 lkernagh: - Thanks for visiting, Lori.
I'm sure you'll love The Meaning of Night. Please let me know if you can recommend similar books.
I can relate to your issues with the length of Bleak House. Sometimes I'm frustrated by these chunksters too, but I tend to cut them up in smaller parts now and read something else in between. It helps to digest them better.

>93 cbl_tn: - Hey Carrie, glad to have found another Mary Roberts Rinehart-fan! I intend to read more of the Golden Age of Detection and before. Who knows what gems are in store for me. Michael Robotham is very different. He's more hard-boiled, but somehow I like his style, because he also uses his brains, which is a prerequisite for me.

I have been absent for a while due to health-issues. Apart from all the excellent recommendations I find here, I also miss the book-talk. I may not be as active as I'd like to in the near future though because I'll have surgery within a couple of days and then have to rest for a while before I'll be able to go to work again. I hope to be able to read a lot while recovering.

jul. 26, 2015, 1:39pm

Sorry to hear about your health woes. I hope that the surgery will resolve the health issues and that there are no complications with the surgery or your recovery. I hope you get in lots of good reading while you're recuperating!

jul. 27, 2015, 6:49am

Sending you good vibes for your surgery, and I'm with Carrie in hoping that you get lots of reading time while you recover!

jul. 27, 2015, 11:27am

It has been a while since I read The Glass of Time but I noticed that LT recommends Louis Bayard's books, The Black Tower and The Pale Blue Eye. I have read both and found them to be fantastic reads, with a darker atmopsheric feel to them. I will let you know if I can recommend anything else after I read The Meaning of Night.

Sorry to read about the health issues. Here is hoping the surgery fixes the health issues and that you have a speedy recovery.

jul. 28, 2015, 3:44pm

> 95, Thanks for your support, Carrie, I've already been thinking of all the books I want to read which I never find the time for otherwise. But somehow, I think I'll stick to the lighter stuff that doesn't require too much effort, at least in the beginning. Surgery has been postponed till they've done a few other tests, but I'm quite confident it will all turn out ok.

> 96 - Thank you too, Amber. I'm especially looking forward to the recovering part, books included!

> 97 - Thanks for the suggestions, Lori. I've read The Black Tower and I loved it, so I'll look into the other one. I don't know if you 've read Jane Harris' books (The Observations and Gillespie and I), but I found them a bit similar and absolutely fantastic. And thanks for your support also.

jul. 29, 2015, 12:37am

I haven't read any of Jane Harris' books. I had heard they were good but I like the fact they you found them similar to The Glass of Time. Something to look forward to!

jul. 31, 2015, 12:39pm

Thinking of you, Monica and sending lots of positive and healing vibes.

ag. 1, 2015, 2:28pm

>99 lkernagh: - Indeed, something to look forward to, Lori. I'm looking forward to her next novel myself.

>100 Ameise1: - Thank you, Barbara. I think Swiss vibes will do me a lot of good, since I'm extra sensitive to them. I spent a couple of days of my most recent vacation in Switzerland, exploring the east. I'd already visited Wallis quite a few times, but never been to these parts. I loved the look and feel of Appenzell and Graubünden and even stumbled upon Heidiland almost by accident (we just had a cup of coffee there). Travelling through Switzerland is sooo comfortable and relaxing as is everything else there. Love it!

Editat: ag. 1, 2015, 2:41pm

54. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (2012) - 4 stars

I was a bit reluctant to read this book, because Lisa (labfs39) whose opinion I share on many books and trust on the ones I haven't read yet, didn't like it very much. But since it was part of a package and I had some time to fill (waiting-rooms in hospitals can be useful), I just gave it a go. It's about a middle-aged man, stuck in life, who decides to visit a long-lost friend who's dying of cancer. Nothing special, if it weren't for the fact that he lives at the other side of Britain and decides to walk. I can understand why Lisa didn't like the book, but I quite liked it. Imo, this book should not be read as a realistic chronicle (far too simplistic to work then) but as a sort of allegory. I thought it was a very enjoyable book, if you're in the right mood. But then, the more I read, the more I realize that apart from well-written and badly written books, there's also a right time and place to read a book. I wonder if you can make algorithms for these?

ag. 1, 2015, 2:44pm

55. Op zee by Toine Heijmans (2011) - 3 stars

Entertaining read about a father who sails from Denmark to the Netherlands with his daughter. It's just a short trip, but when his daughter disappears, he's at his wits end. A quick read with a surprising outcome.

ag. 1, 2015, 2:49pm

56. Heller by Michael Berg - 3 stars

This story is told by the main character, a selfmade man who's a big name in television and is about to become a minister of culture in the Netherlands when his son disappears. A mixture of a thriller and a persiflage of the media in the Netherlands. Liked it, didn't love it.

ag. 1, 2015, 2:55pm

57.Meester Mitraillette by Jan Vantoortelboom (2014) - 3,5 stars

Well-written story about a young teacher who starts his carreer in a small village in the West of Flanders, a forlor part of the country. Despite his good intentions, things go terribly wrong and then, the First World War starts. Although it didn't grab me as much as books in the same niche, it does have its merits because it is sensitive, original and made me think about things like fate, chance, intent, etc. It may be one of those books I'll remember reading.

Editat: ag. 1, 2015, 2:58pm

58. Tussen de anderen by Fieke Gosselaar (NL, 2014) - 2 stars

Collection of short stories about people living on the edge of society. Not very noteworthy.

Editat: ag. 1, 2015, 3:15pm

59. Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch (2011) - 3 stars

Rather disturbing book about a doctor who acts rather drastically when he thinks his wife and daughter are in danger. Interesting premise but a bit too "slapsticky" for my taste .

ETA - Dutch and Flemish readers may notice that I took a subscription on "Elly's Choice" which only costs 35 euro for a year for which you get 10 e-books every month. I'm normally not a huge fan of this sort of subscriptions, but since they offer the kind of books that I would read and I'm quite sure that I'll find at least three books amongst those 120 that I will like, I thought it's a bargain. The new batch came in today and I'm pretty pleased with this month's (and next month's) choice. Good investment :-)

ag. 1, 2015, 3:05pm

60. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (2014) - 3 stars

Feel-good-book about a widower who finds happiness and a new family through his books. Although I liked it, it wasn't the best I've read in its genre. I thought it was both a bit incoherent and predictable. But nevertheless, I enjoyed reading it.

ag. 1, 2015, 3:08pm

61. In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield (1911) - 3 stars

Collection of short stories set in a German pension as (mostly) observed by an English lady. Excellent description, fine humour. Recommended if you like this sort of books.

ag. 1, 2015, 4:30pm

Ha, You are reading Gabaldon! Excellent!

Editat: ag. 5, 2015, 11:02am

Stopping by to say hi , Joey. Sorry to hear of your health issues and I wish you the best with your surgery and recovery. What a wonderful bunch of books you have read so far this year. I enjoyed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry last year when I read it and as you say, it is more of a allegory then a chronicle of events. There is a companion book that follows, The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy by the same author. You would probably enjoy the book, if you have enjoyed the previous book.

I've also read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman and very much enjoyed it.

ag. 5, 2015, 1:43pm

>110 connie53: - Indeed, Connie, I finally succombed to fantasy, but it's baby-steps. Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice is on my list although LibraryThing thinks I probably won't like it. I guess that's because it's way off my other reading, but hey, if I never try, I'll never know. I believe you're a fantasy-specialist, so if you have any recommendations, please let me know. I think/ hope I'll have plenty of time to some reading the next few weeks and months anyway.

>111 vancouverdeb: - Thanks for stopping by, Deb. Surgery nr. 1 is scheduled for next week, the next one's to follow soon afterwards. But I'm becoming more confident that things will turn out ok. Your support means a lot to me.
I hadn't heard of the sequel, but I'll put it on my wish-list. I had a feeling there's more to the story and I'm curious to find out how the author wrote her story.
I'm glad you also enjoyed A Man Called Ove. Such an uplifting book. I thought it was great. I'll try to follow your thread again. It used to be such an inspiration. We do have similar reading-tastes.

ag. 5, 2015, 1:48pm

62. The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (AU, 2014) - 3,5 stars

Wonderful sequel to the first book, The Rosie Project about the autistic professor Don Tillman. Amusing, sometimes hilarious and highly recommended if you like a bit of fun reading.

Editat: ag. 5, 2015, 8:00pm

Ah! Another book I enjoyed The Rosie Effect and The Rosie Project. Great fun reading, I agree! I've been having some health issues too and then with my son's wedding, all of that has added up to some stress in my life. I find when things are " getting to me " a fun , easy read is wonderful! Thus my Ruth Galloway reading jag that you noted on my thread! :) I picked the first one up in the series, just to try it and fortunately for me I really have enjoyed the everyday and also quirky characters, as well as the suspense. Great reads when your concentration is not %100.

I am so glad that you are feeling confident about your surgeries. I'll be thinking of you. Take care, friend! We do have similar reading tastes.

Editat: ag. 18, 2015, 5:24pm

Since I expect to have quite a lot of reading-time in the near future and because I want to streamline my reads, I decided to make a list of the books I plan to read in August. It's a mix of ongoing personal challenges, challenges from different groups and some random reading.
So here goes
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville (top 100 books);
- The Darkroom of Damocles by W.F. Hermans (Dutch & Flemish classics);
* The Full Monte: A Fulbright Scholar's Humorous and Heart-Warming Experience in Montenegro by Paul Dishman (European Endless Challenge: Montenegro);
* Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (favourites from LT-people who visited my thread in 2013; Mamie);
- Independent People by Halldor Laxness (Reading Globally - Quarterly Theme: Nobel Laureates Writing in a Language Other Than English);
- Simon and the Oaks by Marianne Fredriksson (Reading through Time; 1895);
- The Absentee by Maria Edgeworth (Reading through Time; August theme);
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (non-fiction);
- Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (out of my comfort-zone);
- The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher (random reading).

ag. 6, 2015, 5:20pm

I'm gladyou liked this part of Switzerland. Next time you should tell me in advance so we could have a cup of coffee together.

You've done some great reading so far.
Greetings from Paris. I'll return on Saturday back home

ag. 8, 2015, 7:38am

>114 vancouverdeb: = I recognize what you say about the fun, easy read. The Aunt Dimity-series did what Ruth Galloway is doing for you. Thanks for your well-wishes.

>116 Ameise1: - I guess you're on your way back from your wonderful vacation. I've been following and enjoying your travelogue on your thread immensely. I hope you have a safe trip home.
I'll let you know if and when I come back to Switzerland. It's quite expensive to travel there (a huge difference with 5 years ago), but it's definitely worth the expense.

Editat: ag. 8, 2015, 8:19am

Just popping by! You are so organized with your reads! Of your planned August Reads, I have only read Cutting for Stone, which I loved! I hope that you do too! My planned ( subject to change, of course ) reads for August are my current read, Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans - which is a long listed Bailey prize ( formerly the Orange Prize) for 2015. So far I am about 50 pages in and it seems to be quite charming and interesting. I also have a couple of books from the 2015 Booker Prize Longlist at the ready . The Illuminations by Andrew Hagan, and Lila by Marilyyne Robinson. I hope to enjoy them.

ag. 8, 2015, 11:16am

>118 vancouverdeb: - I have Carrie (cbl_tn) to thank for appearing so organized. She's the one who put me on the right track again and so far, it's working. My reading-range is wide enough, so my mind doesn't stray off and I'm really looking forward to those books. Your choice of books looks very good too!

ag. 9, 2015, 4:25pm

>112 Trifolia: Well I love Gabaldon and I think it's a nice way to change from romance to fantasy. And Robin Hobb is one of my favorite writers. I can't wait for her next book. I think it's important that you read them in order. Let me know when you need some new tips!

ag. 10, 2015, 1:09am

>115 Trifolia: Nice list of planned reads, Monica. I hope to get to Independent People toward the end of the month. I loved Cutting for Stone, so I look forward to your comments about it.

ag. 10, 2015, 4:22am

Hej Monica, passing by and even saying hello this time.

I am pleased that you enjoyed Switzerland so much. Appenzell and Heidiland are so pleasant for hiking. My wife has been there, too, two weeks ago, and she is still very much in love with these parts of Switzerland.

ag. 10, 2015, 2:09pm

>120 connie53: - Thanks, Connie. If I'm aware it's a series, I always try to read them in order. It seems Robin Hobb has written plenty of books so far.
>121 kidzdoc: - I've just started on Independent People this morning. I think it's a book that should be read on gloomy winter-nights, but I'm seizing the moment now, even if it's a sunny summer's day. I think it's wonderful so far in every meaning of the word.
>122 paulstalder: - Yes I love Switzerland. I also visited Sankt Gallen and it's library. It was impressive, but I was a bit disappointed because the lady in charge closed the curtains one by one until we could hardly see anything anymore. It became quite impossible to look at the manuscripts that were exhibited. To be honest, I preferred the "look & feel" of the library of Einsiedeln. But I understand they want to preserve World Heritage.
I was surprised to see that Switzerland is not just mountains but all the regions have a specific feel. So far, I've visited Wallis, the region of Vierwaldstättersee, Appenzell, Graubünden and Ticino. Which part of Switzerland would you recommend or is your favourite?

Tomorrow, I'll be off for my first surgery. I won't be able to communicate for a couple of days but I hope to be back sooner rather than later.

ag. 10, 2015, 3:10pm

I pray for you, Monica, and wish all the best for tomorrow's surgery.

ag. 10, 2015, 3:41pm

Joining Paul in wishing you all the best for your surgery.

ag. 10, 2015, 5:53pm

Keep my fingers crossed that everything goes well tomorrow. My thoughts are with you, Monica. xx

ag. 10, 2015, 6:38pm

Thinking of you and wishing you well, Joey! xx Deborah

ag. 11, 2015, 4:57am

I hope and pray that today's surgery goes well, Monica.

I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying Independent People. I didn't bring my copy with me on holiday, so I won't start it until I return to Atlanta at the end of the month.

ag. 11, 2015, 8:10am

Thinking of you today and praying that all goes well with the surgery.

ag. 13, 2015, 8:39am

Thinking of you, Monica and wishing you the very best! xx

ag. 15, 2015, 9:37am

Thank you for your well-wishes, Paul, Lori, Barbara, Deb, Darryl, Carrie and Deb again. It's comforting to know that you're thinking of me.
The surgery went well, but I have to wait for the results which will come in next week. Meanwhile I have to rest. I'm feeling well but very tired. Nothing unexpected though. I have been reading less than expected (although that's improving too). I've been hopping back and forth on my list, but am now completely hooked on Cutting for Stone. I've also finished The Full Monte: A Fulbright Scholar's Humorous and Heart-Warming Experience in Montenegro by Paul Dishman. I'll add my comments when my brain's less foggy.

Editat: ag. 15, 2015, 4:50pm

So happy to see you back, Monica! I'll continue have you in my thoughts and prayers. Waiting for results is never fun. Take it easy and continue to enjoy Cutting for Stone. I so enjoyed that book when I read a few years ago. Bravo to you for reading The Full Monte: . I've not read it, but getting anything read while not feeling up to par is a big accomplishment! xx Deborah

ag. 15, 2015, 5:20pm

I'm glad to hear that the surgery went well! I hope you hear good news from the results.

ag. 15, 2015, 9:45pm

Glad to see that the surgery went well. Looks like you have some good reading lined up. Takes things easy and I have my fingers crossed for good results.

ag. 16, 2015, 1:10pm

I'm also glad to hear that your surgery went well, Monica. I hope that your test results are good ones.

ag. 18, 2015, 1:23pm

Thank you, Deb, Carrie, Lori and Darryl for your kind words. I've returned home today and the results came in. They are quite good. I still need a second surgery but doctors assure me it will resolve all problems. My surgery's scheduled for next week (wednesday) and then I have to rest for a while. If all goes well, it will mean that I'll be fit as a fiddle by October or so. After all those months of tests, waiting, insecurity and anxiety, I feel so relieved and happy that within a mere 10 days, it will all be behind me and all I have to do is rest, which in my case means sleep and read. Not a bad prospect at all!

Meanwhile, I have finished Cutting for Stone (which I'll comment on later) and started on The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher.
Life is pretty good in JustJoey-land right now!

ag. 18, 2015, 2:49pm

I'm so glad the results are good and your wait for news is over! I hope that your recovery goes well without any major setbacks.

ag. 18, 2015, 6:33pm

So delighted that the results are good and you can relax now! I'm so glad that it will all be behind you in 10 days and best wishes for a quick and uneventful recovery! So happy for you, Monica! Glad you enjoyed Cutting for Stone. It is a pretty absorbing book ( or not - I found it to be that way , but you may not have ).

ag. 19, 2015, 2:08pm

Great news, Monica! I'm very happy for you.

I look forward to your comments about Cutting for Stone; I loved that book.

ag. 19, 2015, 2:11pm

Thanks, Carrie and Deb. It's amazing how quickly life can change due to a few numbers on a piece of paper... I hope things get back to normal asap and I can comment on something else than my own health. "Uneventful" is something I'm looking forward to.

ag. 19, 2015, 2:37pm

63. The Full Monte: A Fulbright Scholar's Humorous and Heart-Warming Experience in Montenegro by Paul Dishman - 3,5 stars

I read this book for my European Endless Challenge for Montenegro. It's a non-fiction-book in which marketing-professor and descendant of a Montenegrin grandfather elaborates on the 6-months he stayed in Montenegro as a Fulbright's scholar.
As the title mentions, it's humorous and heart-warming and a sort of mixture of a travelogue, a national and a family-history and a cultural investigation. Apart from Montenegro, there are also excursions to other parts of the Balkan and Greece.
Although I liked his writing-style and his overall sense of humour, I was a bit disappointed at first because at the beginning the author seemed a bit patronizing towards the Montenegrins. He looked down on their behavior, their food, their general ways, but as the story continued, he adapted and gradually came to appreciate the country, with all its beauty and its flaws. The conclusion of the book was downright moving when he realized that his stay in Montenegro had affected him in more ways than he'd expected and had made him a better person.
During his stay, he was accompanied by his wife, who is omnipresent in this book. I would have loved to have read her comments on her journey as well. As the author points out, Montenegro is still a very male-dominated society in which women are regarded as second-rate people, unless they are accompanied by their husband or father. Her point-of-view and experiences as an American woman might have shed a different light on the Montenegrin culture.
All in all, I liked this book. The humour sometimes was a bit too silly, but it gave me a pretty good insight into real life in this small Balkan-state.

ag. 19, 2015, 4:01pm

Glad to hear the good news, Monica. You must be very relieved.

ag. 20, 2015, 3:04am

64. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (2009) - 4 stars

In 2013 I decided to read a favourite book from the library of everyone who visited my thread. I got stuck in RL after two (great) books (from Cushla and Chatterbox), but I want to keep my promise and decided to pick up this challenge again.
I chose this book from Mamie's library (crazymamie). For anyone who has not read it, this is an unusual story, mostly set in and around a hospital in Ethiopia and the US, about twin-brothers born from an Indian mother who dies at child-birth and an English father who runs off after child-birth. The boys are raised by two other doctors of Indian descent.
This story is very rich. It's about family, friendship, compassion, commitment, growing up. It deals with history, reality, poverty, corruption, fear, etc. The story's mostly told by one of the brothers and others parts are told from an introspective point of view by some other main characters, which gives the story a certain warmth.
Although I liked it very much, I won't give it a 4,5 or 5-star-rating. One of the reasons is that I thought it comprised too much medical jargon which gave it an authentic feel but sometimes was a bit too much for me. Not that I have a weak stomach, but I thought it was out of proportion. I also thought the book's a bit too long-winded and far-fetched. I had the feeling that the author had overdone it to impress his readers. Somehow this book reminded me of The Cider House Rules by John Irving. I can't help feeling the author's inspired by Irving and admires his style. Unfortunately, only John Irving can write a John Irving-book.
But all in all, I really enjoyed this book and apart from these personal objections, I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good book with an excellent story and solid characters.

Editat: ag. 21, 2015, 7:14pm

Great review of Cutting For Stone. I read it quite a while ago - maybe 2009-2010 ( ('d have to check the publication date of the book). I really enjoyed it, but I'd agree that yes , at times it was a bit far fetched and bit wordy, but I really enjoyed it!

ag. 22, 2015, 6:12am

Nice review of Cutting for Stone, Monica.

ag. 22, 2015, 10:18am

Happy Weekend, Monica. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

set. 2, 2015, 11:21pm

I am so sorry that I have been absent from LT and your thread this summer. It sounds as though it has been a stressful one, but that things have turned around for you. I wish you the very best, and hope that this second surgery resolves everything.

...Des mille et une façons de quitter la Moldavie sounds good, tempted to add it to my wishlist, despite my vow to cut the list, not add to it. I too loved Bleak House, and preferred the third Outlander book to the second. Isn't the marriage ceremony performed by the drunken priest hilarious? I'm glad you liked Harold Fry more than I. You are right in that my emotional response to a book often depends on my mood. I just read The Rosie Project for my book club and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I must look for the sequel. As for your August reads, I enjoyed Cutting for Stone very much, but disliked Independent People passionately. But they say love and hate are two sides of the same coin, so perhaps at a different time, I would like it??

set. 3, 2015, 4:17am

Stopping by to wish you well and hoping your recovery is coming along nicely! Take care, Monica!

set. 8, 2015, 3:29pm

So glad your surgery went well! Hopefully, you will soon be as good as new.

Interested to see what you think of Darkroom of Damocles when you get to it, as I have it on my TBR shelf.

set. 19, 2015, 7:39am

Happy weekend, Monica.

set. 22, 2015, 4:06am

Well, I'm back home. Surgery went well, recovery's going well too. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and wishes. It's nice to know you're thinking of me.
My reading-pace is still slow, but because I have a lot of time, it doesn't really show. And I hit the 75-books-mark which hasn't happened since 2012. I'll start backlogging my reads from August till now asap.

set. 22, 2015, 9:23am

Great to see you back! Delighted that you are doing so well. Looking forward to your backlog of your reads. Congratulations on hitting 75 books, Monica!

set. 22, 2015, 10:18am

I'm glad to hear that the surgery went well and that your recovery is progressing well. It's good to see you back. And congratulations on hitting the 75 books milestone!

set. 22, 2015, 2:56pm

I'm glad that everything went well. Congrats on reaching 75.

Editat: set. 23, 2015, 5:09am

Thank you, Deb, Carrie and Barbara for visiting.

As promised:
65. The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher (2014) - 3 stars

When a man is found almost dead on the shore of an isolated island, some people believe he's the long lost local who went missing years ago after a boating-accident. Others think he's a mythical man from a local story. Some like him, some don't trust him and his arrival causes discomfort and arguments between the islanders.
Grief, mourning and redemption are the main themes of this book. The style is very poetical and the story's interwoven with mythical elements. The characters are well chosen and put down in a rather credible way.
Although I liked the book, I'm not such a huge fan of myths and old stories and this is what this book is mostly about. That's why I didn't give it a higher rating. But if you're a fan of A.S. Byatt, you'll probably love this book.

set. 23, 2015, 5:26am

Great to hear that the surgery went well and you are back home. Hope you are able to recover well now.

And congratulations on reaching 75 books!!

set. 23, 2015, 8:58am

Wait, you past 75? Sorry I missed it! Congrats!!

set. 25, 2015, 6:34pm

Glad to see the surgery went well and that you are home recovering! Congrats on 75 books read!

set. 27, 2015, 6:31am

Happy Sunday, Monica.

oct. 10, 2015, 4:14pm

Hej Monica, how is it going? I wish you a refreshing weekend.

oct. 11, 2015, 5:30am

Wishing you well! Hope all is going well.

oct. 16, 2015, 5:55pm

I've been awol from LT, but wanted to stop by and check in. Glad to hear your health is on the upswing, and congrats on reading 75+ this year. I just hit 25. An all-time low for me. :-(

nov. 4, 2015, 12:08pm

Thank you all for your kind words and your patience. I can't believe I've been away from LT for so long, but RL is quite busy. I had a few complications after my surgery, nothing too serious but it had me worried for a while. Everything's fine now and I'm working again which takes up a lot of my energy. I still need far more sleep than before my surgery, so the one or two hours I usually spend on reading, I now spend sleeping. However, I feel that my vital juices are starting to flow a bit faster and more easily so I decided to catch up with LT and do some backlogging.
But first let me thank you, Paul, Jim, Lori, Barbara, Deb and Lisa. It was lovely to find your messages here. I'm really looking forward to catch up with you all and find you all in good health and spirits.

nov. 4, 2015, 12:14pm

66. De mannentester by Heleen van Royen (NL, 2009) - 1 star

I've rarely read such rubbish. In this book a woman who specializes in testing future husbands and sons-in-law's fidelity finds herself in an awkward position. But, as I mentioned earlier, I sometimes need to read rubbish to be reminded that good books aren't to be taken for granted...

nov. 4, 2015, 12:16pm

I'm so glad to hear that life is on its way back to normal for you!

nov. 4, 2015, 12:20pm

67. Piece of Kate by Emily Lichthart (NL, 2015) - 2 stars

An extremely far-fetched feel-good book about a young woman who doesn't find work as a teacher and decides to start a internet cake-business. She manages to be successful almost overnight (really!), but soon finds out that her success comes at a price. I found this an excellent read while waiting to be operated and to forget about the discomfort of surgery afterwards. I guess it will make an excellent corny feel-good-movie with a lot of cakes and sugar, etc. which has its merits of course.

nov. 4, 2015, 12:25pm

>165 cbl_tn: - Oops, Carrie, that is quick, we must have cross-posted. You cannot believe how much I look forward to some normalcy in my life right now. LT might be one of those devices that remind me there's life outside a hospital.

nov. 4, 2015, 12:32pm

68. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (IL, 2011) - 4,5 stars

A bit of non-fiction that I started a while ago and finally finished... and what a fine book it was! I didn't know what to expect, but from the very first chapter, the author grabbed my attention and I was not able to quit. Harari tells the story of mankind, from the earliest days of mankind, over prehistoric times, when people started to settle, over different civilizations to our days. He doesn't dwell on historical facts, but branches out on the evolution of mankind and that gave me a few interesting new insights. Very impressive, very much recommended.

Editat: nov. 4, 2015, 12:41pm

69. The Darkroom of Damocles by Willem Frederik Hermans (NL, 1958) - 3,5 stars

This is one of the classics in Duch literature. It was written in the fifties and is very much a book worth reading. The main character is a troubled young man who believes he's playing a heroic role in the resistance during the war, but finds out that at the end of the war, people believe he's a traitor of the worst kind. The main character isn't very sympathetic, but you can understand why he does what he does and why he believes he's doing the right things. But what is he doing really? It's all very enigmatic and weird and as a reader who got all the facts, I still was puzzled long after I finished the book. I think it's been translated and I would highly recommend it.

nov. 7, 2015, 11:08am

Welcome back! Boy, you didn't stay with fluff for long, did you? After my hip replacements, I was a fluff reading sloth for months! As you can probably guess, out of the four books above, The Darkroom of Damocles, was the one to make its way onto my wishlist. Sounds right up my alley. Thanks for intriguing me (and not giving away Everything, like Amazon).

nov. 7, 2015, 11:41am

Great to see you back, Monica! Fluff is a good thing when one needs a comfort or normalcy read! Oh dear - a 1 star and 2 star read! :) Glad to hear that life is gradually getting back to usual. Take it easy, Monica. It takes a long time to recover from surgery. Be kind to yourself.

nov. 8, 2015, 1:50am

>170 labfs39: - Well, yes, out of my most recent reads, The Darkroom of Damocles is the one I'd recommend to you, Lisa. It has a bit of a Hrabal-feel and I'm still not sure what to think of it. About the fluff, well, I had a bit of a relapse now and then as you will notice. But some very good "serious" reads as well!

>171 vancouverdeb: - Thanks for visiting, Deb. Being kind to myself is probably the best advice I can get. And you'll know I'm back to normal when the fluff disappears from my reading-list. I'm still way behind in backlogging as you can see on my up-to-date-list on top of this thread, but I'm getting there... slowly.

nov. 13, 2015, 8:58pm

I have The Darkroom of Damocles on my TBR shelf, just not sure when I'll be able to get to it, though it intrigues.

nov. 21, 2015, 6:36am

Hi Monica, I finally find time to do some weekend greetings. Wishing you a most lovely weekend.

des. 24, 2015, 11:53am

Have a lovely holiday, Monica.

des. 24, 2015, 12:54pm

Stopping by with best wishes for the holiday season, Monica!

des. 31, 2015, 3:28pm