Betty (dudes22) 2021 Challenge - I'm Reading with a Great Group

Converses2021 Category Challenge

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Betty (dudes22) 2021 Challenge - I'm Reading with a Great Group

Editat: des. 30, 2020, 6:25pm

Welcome to my thread. My name is Betty and I’ve been part of LT since 2008 and doing the category challenge since 2010. I live in Rhode Island which is the smallest state in the US. My husband and I moved to a retirement community about 4 years ago. We’ve made some great friends here and already have a book group that’s getting too large. We’ve been meeting outside but with winter coming on, we’re trying to decide where and how to meet. We met by Zoom a couple of times last year but most of us found that unsatisfying and with such a large group now, it’s probably not a good choice. We’re thinking of out in a garage with some heaters going.

I’ve made a lot of friends over the years here on LT and gotten A LOT of great book recommendations. My book bullets every year are usually more than the books I’ve read, so I’m always behind. I love some of the challenges we do here and have to contain myself not to add more. Some of them have really expanded my reading, especially some of the genre ones that I thought I really wouldn’t like reading (I’m looking at you SFF challenge from 2015).

This year, I’ve based my challenge on animal groups. I remember a discussion on this years ago, and it’s been a thought for a while now. It seems that an English woman named Juliana Berners is the person who named many of the animal groups around the 15th century.

As usual, I really need to work on my TBR pile but I’ve become better at not letting that make me feel too guilty when I want to read newer books. Last year my little sub-challenge was Nobel prize winners. This year I’m going to try and read a few biography/autobiography books. They’re not usually a favorite of mine, but I’ve seen a few lately that have me interested.

I also keep a thread over in the Needlearts Group where I keep track of my quilting adventures if you’d like to visit:

Editat: feb. 23, 9:31am


Editat: març 23, 3:30pm

A Kindle of Kittens – Ebooks

A kindle is a lesser-know way to describe a family of kittens born to one cat. This will be the category for any e-books that I read.

1. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
2. Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich
3. Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson

Editat: abr. 6, 3:34pm

A Parliament of Owls – Non-Fiction

Used because owls are considered wise, this goes back to ancient Greece when a little owl was depicted accompanying the goddess of wisdom Athena. I’ll be using this category for any non-fiction books I read.

1. A Life by Design by Siobhan Broadhurst
2. World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
3. The Dig by John Preston

Editat: des. 30, 2020, 6:23pm

A Murder of Crows – Mysteries

There are a few explanations for this term. One is a folktale that crows will gather to decide the capital fate of another crow. More usual is that crows are an omen of death because they are scavengers around battlefields and cemeteries. I will use this group for my mysteries.


Editat: des. 30, 2020, 6:23pm

A School of Fish – Children/YA

A group of the same species of fish that swim together is known as a school. They appear bigger when in a school which may confuse predators. I’ll use this group to track any children or young adult books I may read.


Editat: abr. 11, 11:57am

A Caravan of Camels – Foreign Authors or Places

The word caravan comes from the Persian word “karwan” which means “a group of desert travelers”. I suppose since camels were used a lot that’s where this phrase comes from. I’ll use this group for books by authors from other countries or books set outside the USA

1. Glass Houses by Louise Penny (Canada - author & novel)
2. The Prime Minister's Secret Agent by Susan Elia MacNeal (Great Britain)
3. The Game by Laurie R. King (India)
4. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (England)
5. Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear (England)

Editat: gen. 25, 6:22pm

An Ambush of Tigers – Book Bullets

It’s easy to understand why a group of tigers is called an ambush. When a group of tigers get together to take down prey, they can be vicious and “ambush” they animal they are stalking. I’ll be using this to track some of the book bullets I’ve been “ambushed” with over the years.

1. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Editat: març 13, 5:01pm

A Tower of Giraffes – Award Winning Books and Nominees

I think this is one of the more obvious group names as a giraffe’s long neck helps him “tower” over other animals. I’ll put award-winning books and nominees in this group – those books which “tower” above the others.

1. Interior Chinatown by Charles Wu (National Book Award 2020)
2. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Booker Prize 2020)
3. Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy (Anthony Awards 2004)
4. Love by Toni Morrison (Nobel Laureate -1993) -

Editat: març 3, 8:07am

A Parade of Elephants – Series Books

Elephants usually travel in a single line rather like a parade. As my series books follow one after another, this is where I’ll put most of my series reading if it doesn’t fit elsewhere.

1. The Courbet Connection by Estelle Ryan

Editat: gen. 28, 10:55am

A Troop of Kangaroos – Book Club Reads

Kangaroos are social animals and live in groups know as troops. I belong to two book clubs and will post my book club reads here.

1. The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony

Editat: nov. 23, 2020, 8:16pm

A Congregation of Plovers – General Fiction

A group of plovers is called a congregation because they sit in pews…no, no that’s not right. I couldn’t find a reason why. I’ll use this group for any general fiction that I can’t find a reason to put in another group.


Editat: abr. 11, 11:58am

Alpha Kit: This year, I’ve decided that I’m going to concentrate on my series reading for this Kit. I’ll be reading the next in each series or starting a new one based on the last letter of the author’s name. There have been a number of series I’ve thought sounded interesting and this will give me a chance to test some of them out.

K. The Game by Laurie R. King
M. The Prime Minister's Secret Agent by Susan Elia MacNeal
P. Glass Houses by Louise Penny
R. The Courbet Connection by Estelle Ryan
T. Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy
U. Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson
W. Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

Editat: abr. 2, 7:49am

Random Cat – I’ve done this since it first made an appearance in 2013 and even hosted a month now and then. It’s one of my favorite as the ideas people come up with are very inventive.

Jan – LOL - Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
Feb – Fruits and Veggies - Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich
Mar – Surprises - World of Wonders by Aimee Nexhukumatathil
Apr – Let's Go to the Library Without Leaving Home
May –
Jun –
Jul –
Aug –
Sep –
Oct –
Nov –
Dec –

Editat: abr. 2, 7:30am

2021 Bingo Card:

1. One-word title
2. By or about a marginalized group - The Courbet Connection by Estelle Ryan
3. Dark or Light in the title Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson
4. Book with a character you’d like to have as a friend - Glass Houses by Louise Penny
5. Arts and Recreation
6. Book with a title that describes you
7. Book you heartily recommend
8. A book about nature or the environment
9. With a classical element in the title
10. Book by two or more authors - Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy
11. Impulse read The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
12. Book with a love story in it
13. Read a Cat/Kit
14. Set in or author from Southern Hemisphere
15. Book that made you laugh
16. Suggested by a person from another generation
17. New-to-you author
18. Set somewhere you’d like to visit - The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
19. Book about history or alternate history - The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
20. Book you share with 20 or less people
21. Book with less than 200 pages - World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
22. Senior citizen as protagonist
23. Book with a building name in title
24. Time word in title or time is the subject
25. Book with or about magic

Editat: abr. 6, 3:35pm

Other Cats and Kits:

I’m not sure how many other books I can fit in so I’ll just keep any books I happen to read for other Cats or Kits here.

Genre Cat:
Jan: Non-Fiction: The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
Feb: Biography: A Life by Design by Siobhan O'Brien
Mar: Adventure: The Dig by John Preston

Geo Kit:
Africa: The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony (South Africa)
Asia: The Game by Laurie R. King (India)
Oceana: A Life by Design by Siobhan O'Brien

Letters From a Nut by Ted L Nancy

Editat: nov. 23, 2020, 8:30pm

oops - one too many

Editat: nov. 23, 2020, 8:31pm

So that’s my plan for reading this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what others read and taking some book bullets along the way.

Welcome to my thread:

nov. 23, 2020, 9:20pm

Welcome to 2021, Betty! I'm looking forward to following along!

nov. 23, 2020, 9:27pm

What a creative idea! Looking forward to following your reading, as usual.

nov. 23, 2020, 11:23pm

I love your categories, Betty, and I am looking forward to following along.

nov. 24, 2020, 6:10am

Such a great idea, Betty! Happy reading!

nov. 24, 2020, 7:24am

Hi, Betty! Very clever categories! I love it.

nov. 24, 2020, 11:54am

>19 NinieB: - >20 japaul22: - >21 DeltaQueen50: - >22 MissWatson: ->23 scaifea:: Thank you all. Even though my categories remain mostly the same, I'm looking forward to getting a start on a new year.

nov. 24, 2020, 12:10pm

Lovely thread. I hope the year provides great friends and great reading.

nov. 24, 2020, 1:14pm

>25 majkia: - Thanks, Jean.

nov. 24, 2020, 1:16pm

What a brilliant set of categories! So very clever!

nov. 24, 2020, 2:37pm

>1 dudes22: I hope you can find a safe way for your book group to continue. Happy reading!

nov. 24, 2020, 6:07pm

>27 Jackie_K: - Thanks, Jackie.

>28 pamelad: - Thanks, Pam. I usually miss the winter meetings because we travel to a warmer climate for a couple of months, but this year we've decided not to go. It will probably depend on how cold it is.

nov. 24, 2020, 7:15pm

Great setup! I like the kangaroos and elephants especially. Hope you have a great year whittling away at those series!

nov. 24, 2020, 7:32pm

Love this - especially the owls and tigers!

nov. 24, 2020, 8:09pm

Love the pictures!

nov. 25, 2020, 12:46am

Wonderful setup! You have matched the categories with reading very well.

nov. 25, 2020, 5:48am

des. 2, 2020, 2:40am

How very creative. Good luck with your 2021 reading!

des. 2, 2020, 4:01am

What a brilliant challenge. I hope you have a great time with it.

des. 2, 2020, 7:09am

>35 Tess_W: - >36 Zozette: - Thank you both. I'm getting excited about starting.

des. 2, 2020, 1:58pm

Love this!

des. 2, 2020, 6:43pm

>38 mysterymax: - Thanks.

des. 3, 2020, 12:44pm

I love your collective noun categories! Looking forward to following your reading again this year.

des. 3, 2020, 2:03pm

>40 christina_reads: - "collective noun" - why couldn't I think of that phrase when I needed it? Must be my "covid fatigue" - I use that excuse a lot.

des. 3, 2020, 4:28pm

>41 dudes22: A perfectly valid excuse, in my opinion!

des. 4, 2020, 1:39pm

Love your theme for the year. Looking forward to seeing how you fill all the categories.

des. 5, 2020, 6:38am

>43 thornton37814: - Good to see you too. I've dropped my star on your thread.

des. 5, 2020, 7:24pm

Great themes & photos! Here's hoping for a good reading year.

des. 5, 2020, 8:35pm

>14 dudes22: I love the photo for random cat, even though I can't help wondering how/why someone would have an empty bookshelf.

des. 6, 2020, 5:22am

>45 markon: - Thanks. We always hope for a good reading year, don't we? What exciting and new authors we'll find? What BBs we'll take?

>46 ELiz_M: - I've been using that photo for my Random Cat for a few years now. But I agree about the empty shelf.

des. 7, 2020, 10:08pm

I've already learned something from your thread, kindle as applied to cats is a new word for me! Best wishes for a great reading year.

des. 8, 2020, 5:27am

>48 clue: - Thanks. I'd never heard that either.

des. 19, 2020, 5:37pm

I love your categories and the illustrations, Betty! Have a good reading year, and I hope you find a safe way to continue your book group.

des. 19, 2020, 7:44pm

>50 Chrischi_HH: - Thanks. We did meet outside in Dec although it was pretty chilly - 34F (1C). We picked a book for Jan and Feb - we'll see if we decide to meet or not.

des. 22, 2020, 11:23am

Lovely thread! I, too, have stopped worrying about my tbr - I'm happy if I read books I've owned for a long time and it's great to save some money by not buying that many books, but I don't feel guilty because I like having a choice all the time. As long as I read I'm fine!

I hope you can find a good option for your reading group next year!

des. 22, 2020, 3:54pm

>52 MissBrangwen: - Thanks for stopping. We had a snowstorm last Thurs (10") so I'm thinking we might be skipping Jan.

des. 28, 2020, 5:35am

I love your theme, Betty - so fun! A kindle of kittens is my favorite.

des. 28, 2020, 6:24am

Thank you for making me feel welcome, Betty. I hope to be able to keep up in two groups this coming year as I have spent almost all my time in the 75 Book Challenge Group previously.

des. 28, 2020, 7:15am

>54 Crazymamie: - Lots of love for that one. Thanks

>55 PaulCranswick: - I do follow one person over there and thought about joining (I usually make it to 75 books), but I don't think I'd be able to keep up. Thanks for coming by.

des. 28, 2020, 7:27am

I saw that Judy had posted this extra meme which made an appearance a couple of years ago. I usually do it for myself, but since Judy opened the door....

How To Throw a Party:

House Guests? D-Day Girls & The Gentleman In Moscow

What would you call the event? After the Funeral

How did they find their way? Blue Highways

How did they know they'd arrived? The Grass is Singing

Any special activities? The Gardner Heist

Did your guests stay over? 61 Hours

Were there servants to help? Lily and the Octopus

Was there turn down service? Aunt Bessie Assumes

How were the guests greeted? The Goldfinch

Was dinner held for late comers? Scones and Bones

And dinner was? Worth Dying For

Afterward? News of the World

des. 28, 2020, 9:23am

>56 dudes22: It has slowed a little over the years - I have twice managed 37 threads over there in a single year and once passed 10,000 posts on my threads in 2017 - the only time on LT that has ever happened as far as I am aware on a personal thread.

This year is already more pedestrian - I am only at 25 threads and about 7,200 posts.

des. 28, 2020, 11:12am

>58 PaulCranswick: - WOW! I only have 2 but I think it's not so much keeping up with mine, but reading everyone else's.

des. 28, 2020, 1:05pm

>57 dudes22: Great meme answers, Betty!

des. 31, 2020, 9:43am

Happy New Year Betty!

gen. 1, 6:13am

To all my fellow reader here on LT:

gen. 1, 10:44am

And keep up with my friends here, Betty. Have a great 2021.

gen. 1, 11:29am

Thanks, Paul. Same to you.

gen. 1, 4:02pm

Happy New Year, Betty! I love your animal categories, and I learned a lot about the various groupings. "An ambush of tigers', how appropriate for your BB category. ;-) Wishing you a wonderful year of reading in 2021.

gen. 1, 4:53pm

>65 lkernagh: - Thanks, Lori. I thought it rather appropriate.

gen. 2, 8:17am

Hi Betty, happy new year! I don't know why it's taken me so long to find your literary hangout. It wasn't even difficult ha ha. I've always felt a bit intimidated by the category challenge, but I'm curious about it and look forward to following your reading.

gen. 2, 11:01am

>67 lauralkeet: - Thanks, Laura. Nice to see you here. Pop by anytime.

Editat: gen. 13, 6:30am

Today is my Thingaversary

I joined LT back in 2008 so I have been here for 13 years now. I’m so glad a friend recommended this site to me. I’ve had some great times and loads of book bullets over the years which have led to new authors and many interesting books.

I took an idea from Judy (DeltaQueen50) last year and spread my Thingaversary purchases out over a few months since mine falls so early in the year. I’ve been very good about not reading any – even though I was tempted. In a normal year, we’d be on our way to Florida right now to spend a couple of months out of the cold and I decided on some of these books to take with me. But we're not going this year. I still might try to get some of these read in a timely manner.

Here’s what I decided on:

One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker
Finding Hollis by Pauline Knaeble Williams
The Sea Glass Sisters by Lisa Wingate
The Last of the Moon Girls by Barbara Davis
Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin
The Devoted by Jonathan Hull
One-Woman Farm by Jenna Woginrich
Autumn by Ali Smith
Circe by Madeline Miller
The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi
A Better Man by Louise Penny
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
The Beet Queenby Louise Erdrich
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

A number of these were book bullets - some from LT and some from friends.

ETA: One of the touchstones doesn't go to the right book (and isn't listed in "others") so I've taken off the brackets. Maybe I'll trying editing it later.

gen. 6, 10:21am

Happy Thingaversary! I hope you enjoy all your shiny new books!

gen. 6, 10:21am

Happy Thingaversary, Betty! Nice haul!! I have read Autumn and Circe and loved both of them. Just looking through the titles, Wrapped in Rain sound good because when I scroll over the touchstone it says, "In this southern gothic novel..." Love me some southern gothic!

gen. 6, 10:24am

>69 dudes22: That looks like a great list. I've read some of them and have some of the others on my list. My Thingaversary is next month and I haven't started a list yet but I like the idea of spreading out the buying. For several years one of my friends and I have taken my wishlist to our used bookstores to see what I could find and have lunch at our tea shop. Not this year unfortunately.

gen. 6, 10:27am

>70 christina_reads: - Thanks, Christina. I'm looking forward to them.

>71 Crazymamie: - Thanks, Mamie - Charles Martin is on of my favorite authors. Try When Crickets Cry - not gothic but a good book. His fiction is considered "Christian fiction" which I know doesn't appeal to some people.

gen. 6, 10:29am

>72 clue: - That sounds like a great idea. There's a huge used book place in Ct that I've only gotten to once, but that's a great way to find books.

gen. 6, 11:14am

>69 dudes22: Happy Thingaversary and may your thingamabooks bring you joy!

Editat: gen. 6, 12:17pm

Congrats on the haul! I loved Circe. My thingaversary was in December and I also picked up the Hawker and the Wingate book.

gen. 6, 1:25pm

Happy Thingaversary and that is a great list!!!

gen. 6, 1:36pm

>69 dudes22: Ahh, here you are! I tried to find you here when I posted my congrats on the Needlework thread this morning. I must have kept overlooking it. I hope you'll enjoy that Thingaversary haul.

gen. 6, 4:58pm

>77 MissBrangwen: - Thanks, Mirjam. Spreading out my purchases gave me time to add new things that appealed to me.

>78 thornton37814: - Hi, Lori. There's a lot going on at the start of the year, so it's easy to miss someone. I've started slotting some of the books in for later this year.

We had our book club meeting this afternoon - outside, 40F, social distance and masks. There were 10 of us which is the limit these days for a group. It was chilly and a little windy. So we talk fast. I haven't quite finished the book and it's due back at the library so I might have to post it later.

gen. 6, 6:25pm

>79 dudes22: My book clubs are all virtual at the moment. One will continue that way because we are scattered all around the country, but the other will one day meet in person again.

gen. 7, 5:16am

Happy Thingaversary! That's a nice haul, enjoy!

gen. 7, 7:16am

>81 MissWatson: - Thanks.

Editat: gen. 8, 2:37am

Congratulations on your 13th Thingaversary, Betty. I was very happy with spreading out my purchases last year and will definitely do that again this year. As our years go on, we are going to be buying quite a list of books!

gen. 8, 5:19am

>83 DeltaQueen50: - It really was a good way to do it and I'll do it again this year. Yes, lots of books in the future.

gen. 8, 9:55am

Happy Thingaversary! I'm another who doesn't buy a heap of books all in one go - I'm trying to get Mt TBR under a bit more control, and buy way more throughout the year than number of years I've been on LT, so it works out well for me. Maybe once Mt TBR is below 50 (hahaha, like that's going to happen) I'll do a bulk buy.

Editat: feb. 4, 2:09pm

Book 1: The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
Category: A Troop of Kangaroos - Book club reads
BINGO Block #1: Place You'd Like to Visit
Genre Cat: January - Non-fiction
Geo Kit: Africa

This was the book for my book club this month and fit in with a bunch of Cats and Kits and the Bingo.

Lawrence Anthony (who was born and raised in S. Africa) bought the Thula Thula Game Reserve in Zululand in the mid 1990s. In 1999, he was asked to accept a herd of wild elephants that were in danger of being destroyed. This book is about his efforts to rehabilitate the elephants to be less aggressive while still allowing them to be wild. I usually enjoy animal stories and I liked this one too. I felt many of his conservation theories and efforts were well-founded and made sense. Although not part of this book, there was a mention at the end of the efforts he made to save the animals from the Baghdad Zoo during the Iraqi War. Anthony died in 2012 but the Thula Thula Reserve still continues.

gen. 10, 8:28am

Congrats! I think LT must set a record for long-term members!

gen. 10, 9:35am

>87 mysterymax: - I only wish I had found it sooner.

gen. 10, 6:16pm

>88 dudes22: Agreed! I've never been good at keeping a list of what I read. I had good intentions but never stuck at it. Now with our challenge I'm forced to enter my reads! Perfecto!

Editat: feb. 4, 2:09pm

Book 2: Glass Houses by Louise Penny
Category: A Caravan of Camels - Foreign authors and places (Canada)
Bingo Block #2: Book has a character you'd like to have as a friend

This was the next book for me in the Inspector Gamache series. For those who follow this series, I don't need to say anything and for those who don't, you need to start with book one. I think I may have enjoyed this book the most of all that I've read. Usually I want to rush right through to see what happens but , this time, I took my time. I still wish I could see Clara's art and eat at the bistro.

gen. 14, 6:44pm

I've decided to abandon Letters From a Nut by Ted L Nancy. I was reading it for the Random Cat for this month - LOL. But I just didn't find it funny and after a few letters, they all follow the same format and begin to feel repetitious.

gen. 20, 3:58pm

Book 3: Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
Category: A Kindle of Kittens - ebooks
January Random - LOL

After I abandoned my first book for the Random Cat this year, I decided to give this a try. It was ok so I'm counting it, but not quite as funny as I had thought it would be. Maybe more like just humorous.

Three men - George, Harris, and J (the author), and J's dog - set out on a two week trip to row up the Thames and back in the late 1800s. The author describes the towns they pass and anything famous that happened in them. Everything that happens to them also brings up memories that J describes in detail. Some of their antics made me smile.

It was ok. I don't read a lot of humor so it's probably hard for me to judge. But I'm counting it since others feel it is humorous.

gen. 21, 6:07pm

>92 dudes22: I gave that one 4 stars in 2012 which would probably translate into 3.5 today.

gen. 21, 7:49pm

>92 dudes22: - That one was a 2 star read for me - just meh. I was expecting it to be really funny and it fell flat overall.

gen. 22, 7:22am

>93 thornton37814: - >94 LittleTaiko: - Glad I'm not alone. I was also thinking (but forgot to put in my post) that maybe I didn't understand some of the references because I'm not English. I even had to look up a few words that weren't familiar to me.

gen. 22, 8:31am

>95 dudes22: I had to look up "bunted" from the last book I read, which seems to mostly be used in baseball.

gen. 22, 5:04pm

>92 dudes22: I loved it, and have read it a couple of times. What makes you laugh is personal, and I'm a fan of classic British comic writing.

gen. 22, 5:09pm

>92 dudes22: I had the same reaction to that one. I felt like I missed something. Funny in parts but not nearly as funny as I expected it to be.

gen. 22, 7:26pm

>97 pamelad: - I think that was probably what I wanted to say - I'm just not that familiar with "classic British comic writing" to appreciate it.

>98 Crazymamie: - See what I said to pamelad.

Editat: feb. 4, 2:10pm

Book 4: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Category: An Ambush of Tigers - Book Bullets
Bingo Block #3: An Impulse Read

This book is the story of a brother and sister who grow up in a house referred to as The Dutch House after the original Dutch family who built it. Their father buys it fully furnished after the original family dies out and brings his family there. Their mother doesn’t like it and eventually she leaves when Danny and Maeve are still young. Maeve takes care of Danny and they depend on each other. Their father seems to not care about them which makes it worse.

The story follows these two through their lives and the bond they have for each other. The house plays a prominent place in the book also. It was really good, but somewhat unsettling too. I can see that this would prompt some interesting discussions in a book club.

Editat: gen. 25, 6:38pm

>100 dudes22: I really like Ann Patchett, and The Dutch House did not disappoint. I'm glad you liked it too.

gen. 25, 6:46pm

>101 lauralkeet: - I've read a couple of hers, Laura. A neighbor just read it, knew I had read Bel Canto last year and offered it to me before it was due at the library.

gen. 27, 11:01am

This is my next read, starting this evening! I'm really looking forward to it, I have seen so many positive reviews.

So far I haven't read any books by Ann Patchett apart from a short story about her buying a bookshop.

gen. 27, 1:53pm

>103 MissBrangwen: - I hope you enjoy it. I'll be looking for your thoughts on your thread.

gen. 30, 11:08am

Book 5: The Prime Minister's Secret Agent by Susan Elia MacNeal
Category: A Caravan of Camels - foreign authors or locations (Great Britain)
January Alpha Kit: "M"

This is #4 in the Maggie Hope series. Still in the middle of WW II. Maggie's friend Sarah asks Maggie to come see her perform in a ballet and afterwards falls mysteriously ill and almost dies. It's just prior to Pearl Harbor and there is a bit about who knew what when and did or did not do anything. It's been a few years since I read the last one so some of the relationships may have gone by me. Couple of twists at the end which will lead into the next book, I'm sure.

gen. 30, 11:47am

I've never heard of that series, but the covers look great and it sounds really interesting! I've noted it down on my wishlist for when I want to try a new series.

gen. 30, 11:49am

>106 MissBrangwen: - I enjoy it. I should read them closer together, though. So many series,...

gen. 30, 11:52am

Yes, it's so hard to keep up with everything!

gen. 31, 8:09am

Hi Betty! I just created a thread for February's group read of Toni Morrison's Paradise.

You commented about this book on my thread and I wasn't sure if you were planning to join in. You would be most welcome. The more the merrier!

feb. 1, 5:23pm

Book 6: Interior Chinatown by Charles Wu
Category: A Tower of Giraffes - Award Winning Books - National Book Award 2020

Having seen a few reviews about this book, I was curious enough to get it from the library. Written in a format similar to a stage-play, author looks at the stereotype of the "Generic Asian Man". I thought this sentence particularly relevant

“…in a way, the most harmless, being that in a sense it is literally just a descriptor. China. Man. And yet in that simplicity, in the breadth of its use, it encapsulates so much. This is what you are. Always will be, to me, to us. Not one of us. This other thing.”

I thought it could be used for lots of immigrant people.

feb. 2, 8:58am

>110 dudes22: That's a very poignant quote. Thanks for sharing!

feb. 2, 4:49pm

>110 dudes22: I agree. The experiences in this novel also resonate for other immigrants. I watched the National Book Award ceremony and Wu's acceptance speech was so heartfelt and delighted.

feb. 9, 3:08pm

Book 7: The Game by Laurie R. King
February Alpha Kit: "K"
Geo Kit: Asia (India)

In this installment of the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, Mary and Sherlock are asked to go to India and try to find Kimball O'Hara who hasn't been heard from in three years. A package with his papers has arrived which leads Holmes brother Mycroft to believe he is still alive. This Kimball is the person who was the inspiration for Kipling's book "KIM" and Holmes had met him over thirty years ago.

I really enjoyed this installment and will now have to arrange to read Kim again sometime this year.

Editat: feb. 11, 8:25pm

>110 dudes22: I just started this one and find the format intriguing. Looking forward to how it plays out.

feb. 12, 5:43am

>114 LittleTaiko: - It was an interesting format although I found it a little confusing sometimes. Hope you like it.

feb. 21, 4:50pm

Book 8: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Category: A Tower of Giraffs - Award Winning/Nominated Books - Booker Prize 2020

There's not much I can say that hasn't been said by others here. Shuggie Bain is a heart-rending, bleak book about a young boy growing up around Glasgow, Scotland with an alcoholic mother that he idolizes. I haven't read the other books that were also nominated for the award, but I can see why it won on the strength of the writing.

feb. 23, 9:40am

Book 9: Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich
Category: A Kindle of Kittens - ebooks
February Random Cat: Fruits and Vegetables

I decided to pickup a quick, light read after Shuggie Bain and this fit the bill. A short story with Janet Evanovich's series main character Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with no skills. In order to get Diesel to give the bounty that Stephanie is trying to collect she needs to do some match making around Valentine's Day.

feb. 27, 9:50am

Book 10: Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy
Category: A Tower of Giraffes - Award Winning Books - Anthony Award 2004
February Alpha Kit - "T"
Bingo Block - 2 or more Authors

This book has a lot of good things going for it. It's a thriller but there's still a bit of humor and romance in it. And lots of interesting characters. I'm anxious to see which characters will continue in book #2.

In book one, a murderer is recreating the murders in a computer game that has been created by a group called Monkeewrench. When the cops start investigating they find that there is no trace of the people in the group past ten years ago. Which, of course, immediately makes them all suspects. What are they hiding from? And then the murder in Minneapolis becomes tied to one in Wisconsin. You know it had to - why else would there be a murder in Wisconsin in the first chapter?

This was a book bullet from a friend in Minneapolis and one of the authors lives in Minnesota, so a local author for her.

feb. 27, 6:20pm

>118 dudes22: I've now read the first two books of the Monkeewrench series and it has become a favorite. With it's great characters and good stories they are fun reads.

feb. 28, 7:57am

>119 DeltaQueen50: - I'm so tempted to read the next book right away. Maybe this summer.

feb. 28, 12:41pm

>118 dudes22: I could have sworn I read that book years ago, but reading your description makes me realize that I probably had it on my library list but eventually gave up on them getting the book. (When an author is new-to-me, I usually try to find a copy of their work at the library first to see if I will like them well enough to literally buy into their series. Now, I mostly wait for ebook sales, but this looks like this one needs to be bumped in my wishlist! 🙂)

feb. 28, 2:00pm

>121 Tanya-dogearedcopy: - Don't feel bad. This was recommended to me in 2019 and I wish I'd gotten to it sooner.

març 3, 8:35am

Book 11: The Courbet Connection by Estelle Ryan
Category: A Parade of Elephants - series books
March Alpha Kit: "R":
Bingo Block: By or About a Marginalized Group

I took a book bullet years ago for this series and it was a great book bullet. The series main character is Dr. Genevieve Lenard, a young woman who has autism and is an expert in face and body reading. She works for an art insurance company tracking forged and stolen art masterpieces. Over the series, other characters have ben added - an art "reclaimer", a "criminal", a member of Interpol, a hacker - who now help.

This book in the series (#5) begins when a young man who also has autism arrives at Genevieve's office with information on forged Courbet masterpieces which are showing up on the dark web. As the investigation into these paintings continues, there is an added story of kidnapped young people and the selling of organ parts.

This book may be the most gruesome and disturbing so far. But I bet the facts in it are probably true. I've also been impressed at the voice the author writes in and the information about autism and how autistic people function that she imparts.

març 3, 10:07am

>123 dudes22: I've had the first in this series on my Kindle for over a year, a new goal is to get to it soon!

març 11, 8:51pm

Hi Betty - I saw you joined us in reading Love, so I thought I would check out your thread. I love your creativity with your categories. How long did it take you to set it up? Anyway, kudos.

You've done some great reading this year. I see you started the Monkeewrench series. It is a good one.

març 12, 7:23am

>125 BLBera: - Hi Beth - Nice of you to stop by. I'm not as creative as some people here. Some years I just list the months. But this one has been in my ideas for a few years. If I have an idea, I end up working on it all year.

I took a book bullet for the Monkeewrench series from a friend from Minnesota that we see when we go to Mexico each year. (But not this one). We spend an afternoon or two talking about what we've read and what was good in the past year. She's given me a few good reads.

març 13, 7:59am

We had an unusually warm day yesterday for this time of year - 60F. I spent a portion of the afternoon outside on the deck reading. And this morning it was back to long-johns, earmuffs, and mittens to walk.

I've gotten myself into a pickle reading-wise. I had a bunch of holds come in at the library and so have 6 books going at the same time. And some of them will not be renewable. I usually juggle 3 but at least they are different enough so I shouldn't get too confused. I'm going to concentrate on getting the smallest ones done first.

març 13, 9:16am

>127 dudes22: Right there with you on the lots of library books that can't be renewed front! I'm having to make strategic use of my parents' library system (for which I still have a card) -- their library seems to not have as many ebook users, so I am sometimes able to get a high-demand title in ebook immediately.

Cold front's swept through here as well! The wind was rattling the trees for most of yesterday evening, at least as long as I was still up.

març 13, 9:19am

>123 dudes22: - This sounds like a series I would enjoy. I love art and characters who are just a bit challenged.

març 13, 10:23am

>128 rabbitprincess: - I probably should have put a freeze on the one I picked up yesterday. I kind of knew I was first on the list once it got published. I can always let my own books wait til I finish the ones for the library.

>129 LittleTaiko: - It really is a good series, Stacy. I took a BB years ago from Terri (tymfos) and it was a good one.

març 14, 4:58pm

Book 12: Love by Toni Morrison
Category: A Tower of Giraffes - Award Winning Books - Nobel Laureate 1993
Bingo Block: One-Word Title

This book is the story of the women in Bill Cosey's life. Cosey was the wealthy owner of Cosey's Resort and Hotel in an unidentified southern town. How each of these women reacted to and loved him and how that affects their relationships with each other is powerfully told by Morrison.

març 18, 2:45pm

>130 dudes22: - Just read the first book in the series and enjoyed it so much!! So happy I saw your post. Now I'm trying to practice some patience before rushing off to buy the next book.

març 18, 3:40pm

>132 LittleTaiko: - I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I'm always so tempted to rush and read then next one too.

març 21, 4:11pm

Book 13: A Life by Design by Siobhan O'Brien
Category: A Parliament of Owls - Non-Fiction
Geo Kit: Oceania - Australia
Genre Cat: February - Biographies and Memoirs

I took a BB from JayneCm last year for this book about the life of Florence Broadhurst a person probably best know for her wallpaper designs in the 60s-70s. If you've seen the design of wallpaper of large peacocks on a pink metallic background you've seen her work. I'm not a big reader of biographies and so I think that was one reason why I didn't get as much from the book as I expected.

març 23, 4:47pm

Book 14: Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson
Category: A Kindle of Kittens - ebooks
March Alpha Kit: "U"
Bingo Block: Dark or Light in the Title

Fear in the Sunlight is the fourth novel in a series where real life mystery writer Josephine Tey is the protagonist. She and her friends have traveled to Portmerion to celebrate her 40th birthday. She is also meeting with Alfred Hitchcock to discuss a film deal for one of her books. Hitchcock is there with another group of film people planning for his next movie.

Of course there’s a murder or two but it’s the interpersonal relationships that make this book interesting. And somewhat confusing. But it kept my interest til the end.

abr. 1, 5:08pm

Book 15: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
Category: A Caravan of Camels - Foreign Authors/Places
Bingo Block: History or Alternate History

Kate Quinn's newest book is once again about three friends during WW II. This time the action takes place at Bletchley Park where men and women work to break the German military codes. Osla is a debutante who has returned from Canada because she wants to help in the war. Fluent in German, she becomes a translator. Mab, who has grown up in the East End wants to make more of herself and also gets hired to work at Bletchley Park. They can see that the daughter of the house where they share lodgings is really smart also and help her get a job there too. How they lived through the war and how they broke the German codes is interesting.

The author does a lot of research and her notes at the end are really interesting. If you liked The Alice Network, you'll like this too.

abr. 2, 7:40am

Book 16: World of Wondersby Aimee Nezhukmatathil
Category: A Parliament of Owls - Non-Fiction
March Random: It's a Surprise!
Bingo Block: Less Than 200 pages

Subtitled "In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments", the author has written a series of essays about some unusual and some not so unusual animals, fish, birds, and plants and related them to various times and places in her life. At first I thought her connections were somewhat tenuous, but as I read further I began to really enjoy these little snippets.

abr. 2, 2:17pm

>137 dudes22: This is already on my wishlist, glad to see you enjoyed it!

abr. 2, 2:32pm

<137 I have this just waiting for me, I think I'll read it next week.

abr. 2, 2:56pm

>138 Jackie_K: - >139 clue: - It could be a fairly quick read. I spaced it out by reading only one or two a day. Hope you both enjoy it.

abr. 2, 9:52pm

>136 dudes22: I may have said this on your thread in another group, but I'm glad you rated that one so highly. It arrived at the library in the last couple weeks. I'll get to it eventually.

abr. 3, 5:02am

>141 thornton37814: - I had put myself on the hold list before it was even published so I think I got it first when the library received it. I looked and now there are quite a few holds.

abr. 3, 8:53am

World of Wonders sounds interesting. I'll look for a copy. I think I read the first Upson and enjoyed it. I must continue with this series.

abr. 3, 9:45am

>143 BLBera: - I found it a little "odd" at the beginning, but I grew to like it a lot. I guess I didn't realize that she was going to relate it to her life when I started reading it.

abr. 6, 3:48pm

Book 17: The Dig by John Preston
Category: A Parliament of Owls - Non-Fiction
March Genre: Action & Adventure

Having watched the movie on Netflix, I decided my husband might like to read this book so I got it from the library. As long as I had it, I decided I might as well read it too.

Just prior to WW II, Mrs. Pretty decides that it's time to see if the mounds of dirt on her land in Suffolk hold any buried treasure. She hires a local man who is known to be familiar with the soil in Suffolk and they begin to dig one up. Once it looks like there might be something there, politics begins to play a role.

Might be a stretch to use this for the March genre, but I am.

abr. 6, 7:47pm

>145 dudes22: We really enjoyed the movie, being huge fans of the lead actors. How do the book and movie compare?

abr. 6, 9:18pm

>146 lauralkeet: - There are a couple of scenes in the movie that aren't in the book (of course). I thought the movie was a little better. I should have said also that the book would have benefitted from a couple of pictures being included.

abr. 7, 7:22am

Thanks for satisfying my curiosity, Betty.

abr. 10, 8:51am

>145 dudes22: This book just arrived (I had ordered it through my local bookshop for my thingaversary) and I'm looking forward to reading it!

abr. 10, 11:24am

>149 MissBrangwen: - I'll look forward to your comments, Mirjam.

abr. 11, 12:13pm

Book 18: Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear
Category: A Caravan of Camels - Foreign Authors/Places
Alpha Kit: "W"

In this installment of the Maisie Dobbs series, Georgina Bassington-Hope, a fellow graduate from Girton College, has come to see Maisie about the death of her brother. She doesn't believe that her brother Nick's death was an accident and wants to hire Maisie to investigate. Her brother was mounting an art exhibition and fell from the scaffolding leading police to announce it as an accident. There are many people to interview and so a sub-plot is introduced also.

Nick was an artist and the exhibit was a much anticipated event as he was going to donate this work to a war museum. I'm always somewhat regretful when the book is about an artist and there's no way to see the imagined works. The descriptions can sometimes be so interesting, one wishes there were actually paintings to view.

abr. 13, 4:16pm

>145 dudes22: I think I'll add the movie to my Netflix watchlist, this sounds interesting. Generally I prefer to read the books, but there is so little time for all of them. Thanks for the review!