mathgirl40's 2019 BC challenge

ConversesBookCrossing 2019 Reduce MTBR and Other Challenges

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mathgirl40's 2019 BC challenge

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Editat: gen. 8, 2019, 9:39 pm

My goals for 2019 are to read my 10 remaining ABC books from 2017 and 2018 and to read, register and release 30 books from my shelves.

Editat: gen. 2, 2020, 9:25 am

Books acquired in 2019:
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (BC link) - finished
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (BC link) - finished
Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterrra (BC link) - finished
Tumbleweed by Janwillem van de Wetering (BC link) - finished
Insomniac City by Bill Hayes (BC link) - finished
Wolf Moon by Charles de Lint (BC link) - to be read
Death of a Glutton by M. C. Beaton (BC link) - finished
An Imaginary Life by David Malouf (BC link) - finished
Lachlan's War by Michael Cannon (BC link) - finished
Submission by Michel Houellebecq (BC link) - finished
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (BC link) - to be read
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (BC link) - finished
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (BC link) - finished
Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (BC link) - finished
Mortal Causes by Ian Rankin (BC link) - to be read
The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (BC link) - finished
Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (BC link) - to be read

Books acquired in 2018:
Robertson Davies: A Portrait in Mosaic by Val Ross (BC link) - finished
Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris (BC link) - finished
Why Did You Lie? by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (BC link) - finished
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (BC link) - finished
Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold (BC link) - finished
The Bride Wore Black by Cornell Woolrich (BC link) -- finished

Books acquired in 2017:
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh (BC link) -- finished
Well-Schooled in Murder by Elizabeth George (BC link) -- finished
Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George (BC link) -- finished
The Wreckage by Michael Crummey (BC link) -- finished

Editat: des. 24, 2019, 9:14 pm

Books from my shelves to read, register and release:

1. The Adventures of Tintin: Flight 714 to Sydney by Hergé (BC link)
2. The Mine by Antti Tuomainen (BC link)
3. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett (BC link)
4. Murder on Safari by Elspeth Huxley (BC link)
5. The Vegetable Museum by Michelle Mulder (BC link)
6. Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie (BC link)
7. The Cunning Man by Robertson Davies (BC link)
8. The Case is Closed by Patricia Wentworth (BC link)
9. The Rituals of Dinner by Margaret Visser (BC link)
10. Poirot Loses a Client by Agatha Christie (BC link)
11. Police by Jo Nesbo (BC link)
12. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (BC link)
13. Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens (BC link)
14. Cargo of Eagles by Margery Allingham (BC link)
15. Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre (BC link)
16. Death in Disguise by Caroline Graham (BC link)
17. Between Worlds by Kevin Crossley-Holland (BC link)
18. An Overdose of Death by Agatha Christie (BC link)
19 Singing in the Shrouds by Ngaio Marsh (BC link)
20. The Bachman Books by Stephen King (BC link

Editat: gen. 8, 2019, 9:41 pm

I finally have my 2019 challenge set up! My goals are similar to last year's:
- Read the ABC books I own
- Read more books from my shelves so that I can register and release them
- Keep new acquisitions under control!

gen. 10, 2019, 10:10 am

2019 has started off well. I finished Why Did You Lie, a terrific atmospheric thriller by Yrsa Sigurdardottir that was part of my Favourite Book of 2018 Roundabout. I also reread an old Tintin book on my shelves, Flight 714 to Sydney, and sent that to another BCer for a wishlist tag game.

gen. 22, 2019, 10:26 pm

I finished another ABC book, Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris, a novel set in France that alternates between World War II and present time.

gen. 23, 2019, 7:10 am

>6 mathgirl40: - I have that one on my shelf somewhere. Was it any good?

gen. 30, 2019, 9:47 pm

>7 jessibud2: Yes, I liked it very much. The characters were terrific and the plot intricate and interesting. The best part was the food descriptions, though. I understand the author is well-known for that.

feb. 7, 2019, 9:01 pm

I finished a couple more books from my shelves.

The Mine by Antti Tuomainen is a mystery/thriller set around a mining company in Finland and environmental activists protesting their activities. It was dark and suspenseful, typical of Nordic Noir books.

I also finished Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, a story about good vs. evil and a world-ending apocalypse. This one was loads of fun!

feb. 11, 2019, 5:23 pm

>9 mathgirl40: I listened to the audiobook of Good Omens last year and it was hilarious.

feb. 24, 2019, 10:23 pm

>10 gypsysmom: Did Neil Gaiman narrate it? I've listened to several books that he has narrated himself and enjoyed them all. I'm usually wary of books narrated by the authors, as invariably they do a poor job compared to the professionals, but Gaiman is an exception. The other author who surprised me with her fine narration is Lesley Livingstone. I discovered afterward that she was a stage and television actress before becoming a writer.

Since my last update, I finished Elspeth Huxley's Murder on Safari, a Golden Age mystery set in Africa.

feb. 27, 2019, 10:59 pm

>11 mathgirl40: No, this is one that Gaiman didn't narrate. The narrator was Martin Jarvis. I have listened to several of Gaiman's books that he narrated himself and I agree that he does a great job but I think he considers carefully which ones he will narrate and which ones others should. One of his books that had another narrator was Anansi Boys and the narrator (can't remember now who it was) had just the perfect Caribbean accent for the book. I'm sure Gaiman thought it was better to leave that job to someone who could do the correct accent.

feb. 28, 2019, 10:30 pm

>12 gypsysmom: Now that you mention it, I do recall a different narrator for American Gods, which benefited from a narrator with an authentic American accent.

feb. 28, 2019, 10:31 pm

I finished an ABC book, Well-Schooled in Murder by Elizabeth George, which I enjoyed despite some disturbing themes.

Editat: març 22, 2019, 8:32 am

I finished a few more books since my last update.

Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold was an ABC book, an RABCK from JudySlump612. Bujold is one of my favourite authors, but this isn't among my favourites of hers.

I also read and registered a couple more from my shelves: The Vegetable Museum, a children's/YA book I got from Early Reviewers, and Ordeal by Innocence, a classic Agatha Christie mystery.

març 25, 2019, 9:00 pm

>15 mathgirl40: Are you watching the series based on Ordeal by Innocnce that is showing on CBC right now? I suppose having read the book you might feel ambivalent about watching the series but I am enjoying it quite a lot. As you said a classic Agatha Christie.

març 26, 2019, 1:37 pm

>16 gypsysmom: I didn't know CBC was airing this. Thanks for letting me know! I think I can watch the episodes I've missed through CBC Gem. My husband and I are currently watching the Alias Grace miniseries on Netflix, so when we get through that, I'll certainly look for Ordeal by Innocence.

març 26, 2019, 3:32 pm

Are you guys following Canada Reads? It began yesterday:

març 26, 2019, 4:00 pm

>18 jessibud2: There's an LT Group for Fans of Canada Reads. Come on over.

Editat: març 26, 2019, 5:35 pm

Do you have a link? I am not sure how to find it. I looked in the GROUPS tab but don't see it anywhere. More likely, I am just not looking in the right place.

Editat: març 28, 2019, 7:16 pm

>18 jessibud2: >19 gypsysmom: I've been following Canada Reads in a mostly superficial way (just reading the summaries). I've only read one of the books, The Woo Woo, which was our book-club selection at work. Most of my colleagues (like myself) found the book rather horrifying and they asked if my own childhood (given that my parents are also Chinese immigrants) had been like that! My answer was "no". :)

>20 jessibud2: The link to the group is here:

Editat: abr. 30, 2019, 10:35 pm

I forgot to mention in an earlier update that I'd finished a roundabout book Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, a classic Russian sci-fi novel that I enjoyed very much.

Two more roundabout books appeared in April. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler was a reread, and I liked it just as much as I did the first time around.

My next roundabout book turned out to be another classic sci-fi story, The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham and I liked that one as well. Post-apocalyptic sci-fi has a certain appeal for me.

I also finished and registered a couple of books from my own shelves. The Cunning Man by Robertson Davies was the last novel he wrote. It's not as good as some of his others, but I am always happy to read anything by the incomparable Davies.

The second book from my shelves is The Case is Closed by Patricia Wentworth. This Miss Silver mystery from the Golden Age era seems very dated but I liked it all the same.

maig 11, 2019, 5:53 pm

>22 mathgirl40: Always nice to know there are other people who appreciate Robertson Davies. I didn't really discover him until about 10 years before his death and I regret that. I recently picked up The Morningside Years which repeats some of the interviews Gzowski did on that fabulous CBC radio show. To my delight he has transcripts of two interviews with Davies. I was planning on releasing it for the Canada Days release challenge but I don't know if I can bear to let it go.

Editat: juny 12, 2019, 9:11 am

>23 gypsysmom: - I read the Deptford Trilogy and the first 2 of the Cornish Trilogy back in the 80s. Not sure why, but I haven't read any of his other works. I really loved the ones I read. I do also have a few of Gzowski's books on the shelves.

juny 12, 2019, 8:59 am

>23 gypsysmom: I'd read The Morningside Years a couple of years ago. I too had a hard time releasing it, but I did finally do it. There was a jam recipe in it from Elsie Herrle, and I released it at the farm market that she'd co-founded, which her descendants still run. I haven't received a JE but I hope the book is being loved by another reader.

>24 jessibud2: You might enjoy Murther and Walking Spirits and The Cunning Man. They're not Davies's best books but as a Toronto resident, you may appreciate the setting. His love of Toronto really shows in these books.

juny 12, 2019, 9:58 am

Here are the books I finished since my last update:

The Rituals of Dinner by Margaret Visser - This is a fascinating and richly detailed exploration of dining rituals from around the world and throughout history. It covers mundane matters such as where to place the forks and knives as well as more exotic fare (if I may use that word) such as cannibalistic rites.

Police by Jo Nesbo - This 10th installment of the Harry Hole series is another exciting, fast-paced thriller with lots of twists and turns. I'd recommend reading this series in order, as there are continuing storylines.

Poirot Loses a Client by Agatha Christie - This is an excellent example of Christie's Golden Age mysteries. In this one, Poirot fulfills the request of a woman who suspects a threat against her. The problem is that she is already dead by the time he receives her letter.

Submission by Michel Houellebecq - A Favourite of 2017 roundabout book, this is a political drama and satire set in France of the near future. I found it very thought-provoking, especially in today's political climate.

Lachlan's War by Michael Cannon - A Favourite of 2018 roundabout book, this is a historical novel set in WWII Scotland. I wasn't especially fond of the writing style but found the story enjoyable and the characters interesting all the same.

jul. 8, 2019, 10:33 pm

I've finished these books since my last update:

Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens - In this page-turning thriller, a woman discovers that her biological father is a serial killer.

Robertson Davies: A Portrait in Mosaic by Val Ross - This biography was a prize from gypsysmom's Canada Days Release Challenge last year. Davies is one of my favourite authors and I loved the insight into his character that this book provided. It's in an unusual format, as it's mostly made up of quotations from the man himself and those who knew him, with a very small amount of interpretation by the author.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel - This futuristic thriller also has an unusual format, in that it is composed of interviews, like World War Z by Max Brooks. Scientists investigate a giant artifact shaped like a human buried deep in the ground.

The Wreckage by Michael Crummey - This historical novel is set in Newfoundland at the time of World War II. It's a good story with an interesting setting but it's relentlessly bleak.

oct. 11, 2019, 10:14 pm

It's been a long time since my last update, so there are quite a number of BC books to mention here!

First, I've been getting a steady stream of books from the Favourites of 2018 Roundabout:

An Imaginary Life by David Malouf is a fictional account of the Roman poet Ovid's exile. It is a slow-moving, thoughtful story with beautiful writing. Though it's a short book, it took me quite some time to finish. It's definitely not a book to speed through.

Insomniac City by journalist and photographer Bill Hayes is a memoir by the author about his time in New York City and his relationship with Oliver Sacks. The story has many touching moments and the book is filled with wonderful photos of the city's residents taken by Hayes. I'm afraid I've not read anything by Oliver Sacks, but this memoir makes me want to.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson is a thriller that involves an interesting cast of people who devise plots to kill one another. There are a lot of twists and turns in this one, though I found it difficult to feel for any of the characters.

Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra is supposedly based on the true story of the author's involvement with three friends in a murder cover-up. Some have questioned the details of the story. However, whether the events are all true or not, the story is a gripping one, exposing the horrors of the reform school that the boys endured in their youth.

I'd also read a couple of mysteries:

Cargo of Eagles is the final one of the Campion series, and it was finished by Margery Allingham's husband posthumously. It's an entertaining spy story set in a small English village.

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen is the first of the Department Q series set in Copenhagen. I'd read this book just before arriving in Copenhagen, where we spent a few days of our family vacation. I really enjoyed it and will certainly look for the next book in the series.

oct. 12, 2019, 8:39 pm

>28 mathgirl40: "I'm afraid I've not read anything by Oliver Sacks, but this memoir makes me want to." I'm a little astonished that you haven't (yet) read anything by Oliver Sacks. I haven't read everything he wrote but quite a few and each one was interesting and entertaining. My favourite has been Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood but Sacks last book before he died On the Move: A Life covers a lot of his adult years. Musicophilia is also very good. He also wrote an afterward in Howard Engel's The Man Who Forgot How to Read which was interesting.

And now that you have brought Insomniac City to my attention I am interested in reading it too. Sigh! So many books, so little time.

oct. 20, 2019, 7:55 pm

>29 gypsysmom: Yeah, I'm a bit astonished at myself too, especially since the books that Oliver Sacks has written are exactly the sort of non-fiction I love. It truly is a matter of "So many books, so little time". Anyhow, thank you for the recommendations. I will certainly keep them in mind.

nov. 9, 2019, 9:10 pm

Here are the BC books I've read since my last update:

Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre -- This first book in Brookmyre's Parlabane series was OK but a little too gruesome for my tastes. I'd read two books in his Jasmine Sharp series and I liked those much better.

Death in Disguise by Caroline Graham -- This is the third in the Inspector Barnaby series. it was not bad but not as good as the first two and not quite like the much-loved TV series.

Tumbleweed by Janwillem van de Wetering -- I'd read this book, a mystery set in The Netherlands, when I was in Amsterdam on vacation. It felt a bit dated but I liked it and would read more from the series.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson -- One of the Favourite Books of 2018 roundabout selections, this is a thriller that involves an interesting cast of people who devise plots (some successful, some not) to kill one another.

Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George -- I'm very happy I finished this book, as it was one of my oldest ABC books (an RABCK from JudySlump612) as well as one of the biggest books (870 dense pages) on my shelves. This fictional account of Mary Stuart's life was unevenly paced but an interesting and detailed story.

nov. 16, 2019, 8:18 pm

And a few more:

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart -- An RABCK from Brookler, this is the first book in Stewart's classic Merlin trilogy. I'm a fan of Arthurian stories, and this retelling is a terrific story.

Pearls Before Swine by Margery Allingham -- This classic Albert Campion mystery, which starts off with a mysterious corpse found in the bed of Campion's friend, was first published as Coroner's Pidgin in the UK.

Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland by Kevin Crossley-Holland - This is a diverse collection of follktales, retold by Crossley-Holland and enhanced by Frances Castle's illustrations.

nov. 29, 2019, 10:17 pm

Books I've read since the last update:

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey -- This book is part of the Favourite Books of 2018 roundabout. It's about a woman suffering from dementia, recalling the disappearance of her sister decades ago.

The Bride Wore Black by Cornell Woolrich -- I've loved every Cornell Woolrich book I've read, including this one. He's a much underappreciated writer, though a huge number of his stories have been adapted to film, including Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. This book is about a female serial killer bent on avenging her husband's death.

Editat: des. 25, 2019, 11:45 am

Books since my last update:

Singing in the Shrouds by Ngaio Marsh -- A solid Roderick Alleyn mystery that takes place on a cruise ship. The only drawback is that Fox and Troy don't appear in this story, except through Alleyn's correspondence.

An Overdose of Death by Agatha Christie -- This mystery starts with Hercule Poirot visiting his dentist, who dies shortly afterward. This book was also published as The Patriotic Murders and One, Two, Buckle My Shoe.

The Bachman Books by Stephen King -- This volume consists of four novellas written by King under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. These are not really horror books but they are relentlessly bleak. I liked "The Long Walk" best of all of the four.

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh -- The BCer who registered this book gave it 10 stars but the next reader gave it 1 star. Perhaps this isn't surprising given how controversial the book is, because of its subject matter (heroin addicts) and its vulgar language. The second reader sent this to me as an RABCK, as the book was on my wishlist, and I'm really glad she did. It was tough to get past the strong dialect and the obscenities, but I ended up really liking the book myself.

Death of a Glutton -- This is a really fun Hamish Macbeth mystery, in which the suspects are all clients of a high-class dating service.

gen. 2, 2020, 9:26 am

I finished the year with only 4 ABC books to carry into 2020, so I'd call that a success! See you all in the 2020 group!