Katie Reads... and Reads Some More!

Converses2021 Category Challenge

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

Katie Reads... and Reads Some More!

1katiekrug
Editat: des. 4, 2020, 4:49pm

Hi Everyone -

I'm Katie, an on-again/off-again member of the Category Challenge, definitely back on (or in!) for 2021. I live a few miles outside of New York City, in Northern New Jersey, with my husband (The Wayne), our cat (Leonard), and our rescue lab mutt (Nuala, aka Noodles).

I plan to track 5 "categories" - my reads for the Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge; BingoDOG; nonfiction; various CATs, KITs, and other LT challenges and prompts; and books that I've owned for 10+ years. There may be some overlap in categories, and I'm okay with that. I'll also keep a list of any books I read that don't fit any of the 5 categories above.

Here's to a year of great reading for all of us!

2katiekrug
Editat: abr. 13, 10:05am



Around the Year in 52 Books

1. A book related to “In the Beginning...”
2. A book by an author whose name doesn't contain the letters A, T or Y
3. A book related to the lyrics for the song "My Favorite Things"
4. A book with a monochromatic cover
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley

5. A book by an author on USA Today's list of 100 Black Novelists You Should Read
Love by Toni Morrison
6. A love story
The Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe
7. A book that fits a prompt suggestion that didn't make the final list
8. A book set in a state, province, or country you have never visited
Island of the Lost by Joan Druett

9. A book you associate with a specific season or time of year
10. A book with a female villain or criminal
One By One by Ruth Ware
11. A book to celebrate The Grand Egyptian Museum
12. A book eligible for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation
13. A book written by an author of one of your best reads of 2020
Anywhere For You by Abbie Greaves

14. A book set in a made-up place
15. A book that features siblings as the main characters
Dodgers by Bill Beverly
16. A book with a building in the title
17. A book with a Muslim character or author

18. 3 books related to "Past, Present, Future" - Book 1
Jazz by Toni Morrison
19. 3 books related to "Past, Present, Future" - Book 2
20. 3 books related to "Past, Present, Future" - Book 3
21. A book whose title and author both contain the letter "u"
When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
22. A book posted in one of the ATY Best Book of the Month threads

23. A cross genre novel
Memory in Death by J.D. Robb
24. A book about racism or race relations
Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke
25. A book set on an island
Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
26. A short book (less than 210 pages) by a new-to-you author
Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls

27. A book with a character who can be found in a deck of cards
28. A book connected to ice
29. A book that you consider comfort reading
30. A long book

31. A book by an author whose career spanned more than 21 years
Paradise by Toni Morrison
32. A book whose cover shows more than 2 people
The Weirdies by Michael Buckley
33. A collection of short stories, essays, or poetry
Emperor of the Air by Ethan Canin
34. A book with a travel theme
Siracusa by Delia Ephron
35. A book set in a country on or below the Tropic of Cancer
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

36. A book with six or more words in the title
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
37. A book from the Are You Well Read in World Literature list
38. A book related to a word given by a random word generator
39. A book involving an immigrant
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

40. A book with flowers or greenery on the cover
41. A book by a new-to-you BIPOC author
Passing by Nella Larsen
42. A mystery or thriller
43. A book with elements of magic

44. A book whose title contains a negative
45. A book related to a codeword from the NATO Phonetic Alphabet
46. A winner or nominee from the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards
47. A non-fiction book other than biography, autobiography or memoir
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle
48. A book that might cause someone to react “You read what?!?”

49. A book with an ensemble cast
50. A book published in 2021
51. A book whose title refers to person(s) without giving their name
New Boy by Tracy Chevalier
52. A book related to "the end"

3katiekrug
Editat: abr. 13, 10:05am

BingoDOG



1. Book less than 200 pages - New Boy by Tracy Chevalier
2. Time word in title or time is the subject - The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley
3. Set in or author from the Southern Hemisphere - The Secret River by Kate Grenville
4. Book with or about magic
5. Arts and recreation - Shit, Actually by Lindy West
6. Classical element in title (Western: earth, air, wind, fire, aether/void. Chinese: wood, fire, earth, metal, water) - Emperor of the Air by Ethan Canin
7. Book with the name of a building in the title
8. By or about a marginalized group - Paradise by Toni Morrison
9. Senior citizen as the protagonist - Blessings by Anna Quindlen
10. Suggested by a person from another generation - Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls
11. A book about nature or the environment (includes the sea) - Island of the Lost by Joan Druett
12. A book that made you laugh - Fat Chance by Nick Spalding
13. Book you share with 20 or fewer members on LT - The Weirdies by Michael Buckley
14. Book about history or alternate history
15. Book with a title that describes you
16. Book you heartily recommend - Siracusa by Delia Ephron
17. Author you haven’t read before - 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
18. Impulse read! - One By One by Ruth Ware
19. One-word title - Jazz by Toni Morrison
20. Book with a character you think you'd like to have as a friend - The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
21. Dark or light in title
22. Set somewhere you’d like to visit
23. Book by two or more authors - When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
24. Book with a love story in it - Anywhere For You by Abbie Greaves
25. Read a CAT or KIT - Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle

4katiekrug
Editat: abr. 13, 10:06am



Nonfiction
1. Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle
2. When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
3. The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson
4. Shit, Actually by Lindy West
5. Island of the Lost by Joan Druett
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

5katiekrug
Editat: abr. 13, 10:08am



CATs, KITs, and Other LT Challenges/Prompts

RandomCAT:
April - Read a Book Shared with an LT Friend - Dodgers by Bill Beverly

KITastrophe:
Q1 - Industrial/Technological/Man-Made - Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle
Q2 - Planes/Trains/Boats - Island of the Lost by Joan Druett

Reading Through Time:
January - Shakespeare's Children - New Boy by Tracy Chevalier
February - Fashion - N/A
March - Pirates - Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
April - British Empire - The Secret River by Kate Grenville

Shared Reads:
Jazz by Toni Morrison (with Laura, Ellen, Beth, and Kim)
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (with Mamie)
Paradise by Toni Morrison (with Laura, Beth, Ellen, etc.)
Love by Toni Morrison (with Laura, Beth, Jennifer, etc.)
Passing by Nella Larsen (with Julia)

American Authors Challenge:
January - Writers Related to Other Writers - Siracusa by Delia Ephron
February - Ethan Canin - Emperor of the Air
March - Roxane Gay - Difficult Women

Nonfiction Challenge:
January - Award Nominees/Winners - Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle
February - Minority Lives Matter - When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele and The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson
March - Comfort Reading - Shit, Actually by Lindy West

6katiekrug
Editat: març 25, 9:14pm



10+ Years on the Shelf

1. Waterland by Graham Swift (DNF but now it's off my shelf!)
2. Blessings by Anna Quindlen
3. Paradise by Toni Morrison
4. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
5. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

7katiekrug
Editat: abr. 9, 11:45am



Everything Else
1. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
2. It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
.
.
.
.
.

8katiekrug
Editat: des. 4, 2020, 4:40pm

So that's that. Come on in and make yourself comfy!

9Helenliz
des. 4, 2020, 4:48pm

Welcome in Katie, nice to see you in here!
>:-)

10katiekrug
des. 4, 2020, 4:49pm

>9 Helenliz: - Thanks, Helen!

11rabbitprincess
des. 4, 2020, 8:17pm

Welcome back! Looking forward to seeing how you fill the Around the Year prompts. It looks like a fun challenge!

12spiralsheep
des. 5, 2020, 4:16am

>6 katiekrug: Your 10+ Years on the Shelf is extremely apt, but for some reason it's making me feel guilty.... ;-)

Good luck with your reading in 2021!

13Jackie_K
des. 5, 2020, 6:09am

I'll be keeping an eye on your non-fic category in particular!

14dudes22
des. 5, 2020, 6:44am

Glad to see you! I'm sure most of us have older TBR piles that are languishing and could use some attention.

15katiekrug
des. 5, 2020, 8:35am

>11 rabbitprincess: - Thanks, rp! I did the ATY challenge this year, and it is fun. Next year's has some prompt overlaps with BingoDOG, so I hope I can complete both.

>12 spiralsheep: - I understand about the guilt! I have some books going back to the early 2000s I haven't touched yet. Oops...

>13 Jackie_K: - Thanks, Jackie. Don't expect anything too heavy in there. I'm not as smart as I used to be ;-)

>14 dudes22: - Betty, we'll see how successful I am in giving those books some attention. Best of intentions and all that....

16Jackie_K
des. 5, 2020, 8:44am

>15 katiekrug: Oh I'm with you on that! I might be into non-fic, but it can still be epic comfort reading :)

17scaifea
des. 5, 2020, 8:46am

*waves*

18katiekrug
des. 5, 2020, 8:51am

>16 Jackie_K: - Agreed!

>17 scaifea: - Helllllloooooooo!

19MissWatson
des. 5, 2020, 10:34am

Hi! Love the plain set-up and I'll be avidly watching how you fill the ATY challenge!

20ELiz_M
des. 5, 2020, 11:46am

Sweet, 2021 is definitely going to better with 2x the Katie!

21katiekrug
des. 5, 2020, 12:39pm

>19 MissWatson: - Thanks!

>20 ELiz_M: - Back at ya, Liz!

22hailelib
des. 5, 2020, 7:11pm

Good luck with your challenge!

23katiekrug
des. 6, 2020, 9:26am

>22 hailelib: - Thank you!

24DeltaQueen50
des. 6, 2020, 12:11pm

Seeing your thread here this morning was a lovely way to start the day - I am looking forward to all the good reading that is coming our way next year. I am also wondering how many of your "10+ years on the shelf" are also sitting on mine!

25thornton37814
des. 6, 2020, 5:47pm

Welcome back! Have a great year of reading.

26luvamystery65
des. 6, 2020, 8:34pm

Howdy KAK!

27katiekrug
des. 7, 2020, 10:12am

>24 DeltaQueen50: - Aw, thanks, Judy! I'm excited to be here. I'll still keep a thread over in the 75ers, but I'm hoping to make some new bookish friends, too :)

These are the shelf-languishers that I am hoping to prioritize:

Waterland
The Evening News
A Different Kind of Life (can't find correct touchstone. It's by Catherine Dunne.
You Must Remember This
Horse Heaven
A Painted House
The Poisonwood Bible
The Patron Saint of Liars
Blessings
Meet John Trow
Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Chasing Shakespeares
North and South
No Safe Place
The Bean Trees
The Vanishing Point
Empress Orchid
Baker Towers
The Shadow of the Wind
Transgressions
Leeway Cottage

28katiekrug
des. 7, 2020, 10:12am

>25 thornton37814: - Thanks, Lori!

>26 luvamystery65: - Howdy, Ro!

29DeltaQueen50
des. 7, 2020, 1:36pm

>27 katiekrug: Three from your list - The Poisonwood Bible, Behind the Scenes At the Museum, and Empress Orchid - are long time residents of my shelves. The Poisonwood Bible is definitely in my sights and perhaps you'll give me the push to get the other two read as well.

30Jackie_K
des. 7, 2020, 1:56pm

I loved Behind the Scenes at the Museum. I couldn't finish The Poisonwood Bible, but it was more the wrong book for the time, I think - the writing was great, and I've loved her other books that I've read.

31katiekrug
des. 7, 2020, 2:56pm

>29 DeltaQueen50: - The Poisonwood Bible seems to be one people either love or can't get through. I'm eager to see where I fall!

>30 Jackie_K: - The only Atkinson I've read is the Jackson Brodie series (all but the last) so I'm excited to try something different of hers.

32dudes22
des. 7, 2020, 3:41pm

>31 katiekrug: - Funny, but her Jackson Brodie series is one I just couldn't fall in love with.. I managed 2.5 books before I gave up. But I have liked her stand-alones.

33Helenliz
des. 7, 2020, 3:49pm

>31 katiekrug: Life After Life is a very inventive story, I just felt that she couldn't decide how to finish it, so it just ended. I do want to read more of her work, based on that one.

34katiekrug
des. 7, 2020, 4:15pm

>32 dudes22: - Here's hoping her stand-alones work for me, too!

>33 Helenliz: - I have Life After Life on my Kindle, Helen (but it hasn't been on there for 10+ years!).

35Crazymamie
des. 27, 2020, 5:37pm

So great to see you here, Katie!

36katiekrug
des. 28, 2020, 10:20am

>35 Crazymamie: - Thanks, Mamie!

37Tess_W
des. 28, 2020, 12:15pm

Good luck with your 2021 reading!

38katiekrug
des. 28, 2020, 12:36pm

>37 Tess_W: - Thanks, Tess!

39lkernagh
gen. 1, 12:24pm

Hi Katie, Happy New Year! Having a category to tackle some of your long-term TBRs is a great idea. I have only read two of the books on your list >27 katiekrug:: The Poisonwood Bible and The Shadow of the Wind. Love both.

40katiekrug
gen. 1, 12:56pm

>39 lkernagh: - Nice to see you, Lori! We'll see how that goal goes....

41katiekrug
gen. 1, 12:57pm

I'm starting off the new reading year with a shared read with some LT friends. I'm trying to fill in gaps in my Morrison reading...

42spiralsheep
Editat: gen. 1, 2:58pm

>41 katiekrug: Toni Morrison is one of very few prose authors who stays in my mind so I can quote her work like poetry.

43katiekrug
gen. 1, 4:53pm

>42 spiralsheep: - I'm not that adept, but I do love her writing. I think I have 4 or 5 more of her novels left to read. Do you have a favorite?

44lsh63
gen. 1, 6:27pm

>41 katiekrug: For many years I was intimidated by Toni Morrison, but I picked up Jazz to read last year and enjoyed it. I think I have The Bluest Eye, Home and Paradise on my shelves to read also.

45pammab
gen. 1, 7:13pm

Happy new year and welcome back! I'd love your thoughts on Jazz. I have The Bluest Eye on my shelf and I'd like to get to it this year.

46spiralsheep
gen. 2, 3:53am

>43 katiekrug: Despite often having quirky tastes, in this case I'm with the majority and think Beloved is Toni Morrison's best novel.

"She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order."

Poetry in prose!

And every time I think of it then my lifelong best friend comes to my mind.

47MissBrangwen
gen. 2, 8:13am

>46 spiralsheep: Oh my, that's beautiful! So beautiful!!! I've never read Toni Morrison, although of course she's on my list of writers I absolutely need to read one day, but now I know I really must.

>1 katiekrug: Nice to meet you and Happy New Year! I like the picture you have chosen for (6) 10+ years on the shelf. I fear some of my books will look like that soon if I don't get to them ;-)

48katiekrug
gen. 2, 8:33am

>44 lsh63: - The Bluest Eye is a favorite of mine. I haven't read the other two, but I don't think you can go wrong with Morrison.

>45 pammab: - Thanks for the welcome! I'll be sure to post my thoughts on Jazz when I'm finished.

>46 spiralsheep: - So beautiful. Beloved was my first Morrison, read when I was about 16. I loved it then and want to re-read it, as I am sure I'd get more out of it now.

>47 MissBrangwen: - One of my LT friends in the 75ers group has been reading Morrison's novels in publication order. I am tagging along for shared reads of ones I haven't yet read.

Thank you for the welcome and nice to meet you, too!

49Crazymamie
gen. 2, 8:43am

I have one read one Morrison - Paradise.

>46 spiralsheep: I love this quote!

50katiekrug
gen. 2, 8:51am

>49 Crazymamie: - I haven't read Paradise, Mamie. If you want to read more, my favorites (so far) are Beloved, The Bluest Eye and Sula.

51Crazymamie
gen. 2, 8:58am

Making a note of that - I do want to read more but can never decide where to start, so thanks for that.

52katiekrug
gen. 2, 9:47am

The Bluest Eye was her first novel. It's gut-wrenching but excellent.

53Crazymamie
gen. 2, 9:49am

Not sure I'm up to gut-wrenching at the moment, but I am making a note of it.

54katiekrug
gen. 2, 9:50am

Understandable.

55spiralsheep
gen. 2, 10:10am

>47 MissBrangwen: Toni Morrison has achieved classic status in a remarkably short time.

>48 katiekrug: 16 is an optimal reading age for books that will stay with you for your whole life. :-)

>49 Crazymamie: I read that quote once and had to read it through a second time and I've remembered it ever since.

56katiekrug
gen. 2, 3:41pm

>55 spiralsheep: - Very true. It helped that I had amazing English teachers all 4 years of secondary school.

57katiekrug
gen. 4, 5:43pm



Jazz by Toni Morrison

I’m slightly unsure what to say about this novel. It is not destined to be a favorite of Morrison’s for me, but the writing is so damn good I don’t want to turn people off of it. It’s a fairly straightforward story about a marriage and an affair but told in a non-linear way. I don’t know much about jazz music, but I think it has a lot to do with a central melody and then instrumental and vocal riffs off that center - which perfectly describes the novel. This is Joe and Violet’s story, but then a lot comes off of that – about the city, about their pasts, about their origins, about slavery and the unfulfilled promise of the post-Civil War South and the post-World War I North... It all comes together in a sort of chaotic whole that can be disorienting at times, but then Morrison returns to Joe and Violet, and the reader finds that center again. It is really remarkable as a piece of writing, even if as a story it didn’t fully engage me.

3.75 stars

58katiekrug
gen. 4, 5:46pm

Currently Reading

59DeltaQueen50
gen. 4, 9:56pm

>57 katiekrug: What an excellent review Katie! I've given it a big thumb.

60katiekrug
gen. 5, 8:48am

>59 DeltaQueen50: - Thank you, Judy!

61Tess_W
gen. 5, 10:32pm

>57 katiekrug: I'm a Tony Morrison fan, but have not heard of this book. I'm putting it on my wish list--great review!

62katiekrug
gen. 6, 11:02am

>61 Tess_W: - Jazz was her 6th (I think) novel - published in 1992. It was the first one after Beloved. It's worth reading if you are a fan!

63katiekrug
gen. 8, 3:19pm



One By One by Ruth Ware

This suspense novel started off really well with a fun setting - the French Alps - and an interesting premise - a corporate retreat for a tech start-up. There are two alternating viewpoints - one from a former employee who still holds shares in the company, and the other from the chalet "hostess" who is not a part of the company. As the bodies stack up, the back and forth works to build tension, but at some point it just stops working. Maybe it was too rapid, or maybe by focusing on these two characters' voices, Ware backed herself into a corner. Whatever the case, the last 100 pages or so weren't nearly as interesting as the first 250, and I found myself getting bored, even as the story came to its climax.

3.5 stars

64thornton37814
gen. 9, 1:20pm

>63 katiekrug: Sorry that one fizzled out.

65katiekrug
gen. 12, 8:02am

>64 thornton37814: - Yes, it was disappointing, Lori. Especially given the good premise!

66katiekrug
gen. 15, 9:30am



Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls

A good novella tells a full story in an economy of space. Well-developed characters, a strong story arc, and writing that will immediately pull the reader in. Ingalls has achieved all three in her odd little work about an unhappy woman who falls in love with a sea monster escaped from a research institute. Yeah, I know. But it works! From the first pages, I was completely engaged in the story and eager to see where it would go.

4 stars

67Crazymamie
gen. 15, 9:47am

Well, that was fast! Morning, Katie!

68katiekrug
gen. 15, 9:48am

>67 Crazymamie: - You mean the read? It was only 94 pages, according to my Kindle...

69Crazymamie
gen. 15, 9:52am

Yep - I thought I was posting on your other thread. Heh. I knew it was short but didn't realize it was just 94 pages.

70katiekrug
gen. 15, 9:54am

I think you'll like it (do I remember correctly that you also bought it recently?).

71Crazymamie
gen. 15, 10:22am

Yep.

72DeltaQueen50
gen. 15, 4:26pm

You got me with Mrs. Caliban but when I went to get it for my Kindle I find I have to pre-order it as it won't be available in Canada until August, although there is a french version available now. This isn't a problem as it's not like I need something to read right now!

73katiekrug
gen. 18, 10:45am

>72 DeltaQueen50: - I hope you're still interested in it by the time August rolls around, Judy :)

74katiekrug
gen. 18, 5:18pm



Siracusa by Delia Ephron

The lesson here is to never go on vacation with your ex-lover, his wife, and their daughter. And you're assh*le of a husband. That's my takeaway.

Ephron gives us two couples, four people so well-drawn with faults, weaknesses, quirks, and strengths that you quickly feel like you know them. You may not *want* to, because they are kind of loathsome, but they are very, very real. Each chapter is told in an alternating voice - all 4 adults get to tell the story, or a piece of it (maybe a perception of it?). The central character, though, is Snow, one couple's ten year old daughter, and she has no voice. At least not at first.

We follow these people for a few days in Rome and a few days in Siracusa, and we know almost right from the start that something goes wrong. We're just waiting for the train wreck, anticipating it, hoping and dreading it. The book was, for me, a compulsive read. Multiple narrator/POV books often are, but this one was especially good. I just loved the characterizations and interactions, and I appreciated Ephron's talent in giving each character a very strong and unique voice that made them equally compelling.

4.5 stars

75DeltaQueen50
gen. 18, 11:34pm

73 I think it will be a pleasant surprise. :)

76katiekrug
gen. 19, 4:46pm

77katiekrug
gen. 23, 7:59pm



13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad

In 13 linked stories, we follow Elizabeth (sometimes known as Liz, Beth, or Lizzie) from a young teenager to a divorced woman. Through it all, she battles her weight and dissatisfaction with her own body. Even as she sheds pounds, her psychological issues come into sharper focus and the legacy of parental disapproval, body shaming, and self-hatred is made clear. This was not a fun or easy read, but Awad's writing is sharp.

4 stars

78DeltaQueen50
gen. 23, 11:03pm

>77 katiekrug: I think you got more out of this book than I did. I hated it.

79katiekrug
gen. 24, 1:37pm

>78 DeltaQueen50: - Judy, I'm surprised I liked it to the extent that I did given how much I didn't like the primary character!

80katiekrug
gen. 24, 1:37pm



New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

Part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, New Boy is Tracy Chevalier's reimagining of Othello set on a middle school playground in a suburb of Washington, DC in the 1970s. Tweens aren't a bad stand-in for the petty, vengeful, and easily influenced characters of Shakespeare's play, but I did find some of the actions, motivations, and inner thoughts of them to be unrealistic for the age. That said, the novel is a clever piece of writing with all the principals present - outsider Osei (Othello), pretty and kind Dee (Desdemona), and sly villain Ian (Iago). And it's just as tragic as the original.

3.5 stars

81katiekrug
Editat: gen. 26, 8:15am



Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle

In 1911, a fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City killed 146 people, mostly young immigrant women who were unable to escape the 8th and 9th floors. Some of them jumped from the factory's windows; some jumped down the elevator shaft; some burned a few feet from a door that was likely locked. I'd heard about this disaster and how it led to major labor reforms in the United States, but I knew little of the specifics. Von Drehle has written a solid history, which covers a major strike at the factory in 1909, conditions under which so many Eastern European immigrants came to the US, reform efforts before and after the fire, and the influence of the fire on American politics through the New Deal. Parts of the book are a bit dry, but the background stories of some of the major figures involved and of the victims is interesting, and the description of the fire itself is harrowing.

4 stars

82thornton37814
gen. 26, 8:41am

>81 katiekrug: I enjoyed that one a couple years ago.

83katiekrug
gen. 26, 9:04am

>82 thornton37814: - I thought it was well done, Lori, and I learned a lot.

84katiekrug
gen. 31, 6:56pm



Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Once I realized this was more horror than gothic, I knew it was not going to work for me. I'm not scared or discomfited by horror. I just don't find it very interesting. And this novel took forever to get going, so I was already slightly annoyed. And the writing was weird in parts and took me out of the story.

"Florence drank from her wine, the slim stem carefully lifted and pressed against her lips." Um, why was she pressing the stem to her lips?

The phrase, late in the book, "Church of the Incestuous Mushroom was just so on-point but also ridiculous that I laughed out loud. It would have worked in a review panning the book, but having a character say it just highlighted the nonsense nature of the whole endeavor.

All that said, I did appreciate the unique setting and context, and despite the occasional odd word choice or turn of phrase, Moreno-Garcia obviously has talent. So it wasn't a total loss, but overall, I'm not thrilled that I spent 5 days with it.

Also, mushrooms are gross. I've always thought so, I never eat them, and this book was a total vindication of my position on fungi.

2.75 stars

85katiekrug
feb. 1, 12:33pm

Month in Review: January

Books Read: 8
Mine vs Library: 5 vs 3

Non-US/UK Authors: 2 (Mexico, Canada)
Own Voices: 2
New-to-me Authors: 5

Best of the month: Siracusa by Delia Ephron
Worst of the month: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

DNFs: 2

86DeltaQueen50
feb. 1, 1:19pm

>84 katiekrug: Sounds like a good one to skip.


"Florence drank from her wine, the slim stem carefully lifted and pressed against her lips." Um, why was she pressing the stem to her lips?


LOL! Maybe because she was drinking through her nose?

87katiekrug
feb. 1, 1:43pm

>86 DeltaQueen50: - The book was so weird, you might be right, Judy!

88lsh63
feb. 1, 3:12pm

>84 katiekrug: Well, I'll just move that to the back burner on the Kindle. Now I'm wondering where I heard or read that it was good. It was probably one of those best of the year or favorite book of the year emails I get.

89katiekrug
feb. 1, 3:23pm

>88 lsh63: - It made a lot of those lists, I think, but the reviews from "regular" readers that I've seen have been very mixed.

90rabbitprincess
feb. 1, 5:16pm

>86 DeltaQueen50: Bahahaha!

>84 katiekrug: I am also Team Mushrooms Are Gross! I feel vindicated :)

91katiekrug
feb. 1, 5:48pm

>90 rabbitprincess: - Amber (scaifea) and I decided we needed anti-fungal t-shirts. You obviously need to join our gang!

92Tess_W
Editat: feb. 3, 8:48am

>84 katiekrug: I had this book on my WL, but after several reviews, it's off! But, P.S. I mushrooms and use them weekly in my cooking.

93katiekrug
feb. 3, 10:36am

>92 Tess_W: - Tess, you can have ALL my mushrooms! :)

94Helenliz
feb. 3, 4:21pm

>92 Tess_W: glad someone else does, I was feeling outnumbered there for a moment.

95Jackie_K
feb. 4, 9:25am

I'm on Team Mushroom too!

96katiekrug
feb. 4, 9:39am

>94 Helenliz: and >95 Jackie_K: - I'll leave it to you three to divide up my share of the fungi! :)

97rabbitprincess
feb. 4, 6:33pm

Yes, more mushrooms for the rest of you! ;)

98katiekrug
feb. 5, 4:42pm

99katiekrug
feb. 5, 4:42pm



Blessings by Anna Quindlen

"And here she sat in solitary splendor with a tuna fish sandwich and two olives, as she had done for years and years, happily, or at least contentedly. All broken now, the happiness or contentment or resignation or whatever it was a person felt when the repeated customs of her life had become that life itself."

Lydia Blessing is 80 years old and lives a rigid life. She is disapproving of most things and people and seems to exist on a steady diet of memories and unacknowledged regrets. So it's surprising, not least of all to herself, that when her caretaker finds an abandoned baby girl on his doorstep, she decides to help him take care of her. What follows is a lovely, gentle story of two people doing the wrong thing for the right reasons and learning what it means to connect and grow and finally face those unacknowledged regrets. Blessings is a novel about families - lost ones, found ones, and made ones. Reading it was like slipping into a warm bath - relaxing and comforting and escapist.

4.5 stars

100Tess_W
feb. 6, 12:16am

>99 katiekrug: definitely going on my WL!

101katiekrug
feb. 8, 11:49am

102katiekrug
feb. 9, 11:14am



When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele

“That was the year that I learned that being Black and poor defined me more than being bright and hopeful and ready.”

“There are more people with mental health disorders in prison than in all of the psychiatric hospitals in the United States added up.”

This memoir of one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement is simultaneously moving, heartbreaking, and infuriating. Khan-Cullors has devoted her life to addressing issues of police violence, mass incarceration, inequality, gender roles and expectations, and queer identity. It’s a lot. But when you learn her backstory, about growing up poor and Black in Southern California, you understand her passion for righting so many of the injustices that keep people in a cycle of poverty and violence. It’s not just one thing. Khan-Cullors illuminates the tangle of public policy, biases and prejudices, and structural inequalities that serve to obstruct progress and empowerment. It is a hard read but an important one, and one I encourage all of you to seek out.

4 stars

“In the state of California a human being is killed by a police officer roughly every 72 hours. Sixty-three percent of these people killed by police are Black or Latinx.”

“Living in patriarchy means that the default inclination is to center men and their voices, not women and their work.”

103katiekrug
feb. 9, 4:42pm



Emperor of the Air by Ethan Canin

I have nothing bad to say about this slim collection of short stories. They are well-written and mostly kept my attention. But beyond that, I have little to say. I often don't "get" short stories - I can enjoy them, sure, but I usually feel like I miss the larger point or subtle themes the writer has included. If forced to say what these were "about," I guess I'd go with family, legacy, and understanding oneself within the confines of both.

3.5 stars

104katiekrug
feb. 15, 9:59am



Paradise by Toni Morrison

Paradise begins with a shocking crime and then for 300 pages, Morrison provides the background and context for what happened on page 1. She details life in the small, all-black community of Ruby, Oklahoma and the “convent” outside of town that has become a haven for women in trouble. There is a lot going on in this novel with issues of gender and generational expectations at the fore and race and colorism providing the backdrop. It’s very complex, the language rich and nuanced, and the stories of the convent women and citizens of Ruby compelling.

4.25 stars

I have been having trouble formulating articulate comments on the book, because several disparate threads seem important to me, and I can’t seem to wrangle them into much coherent thought, so I’m just going to lay them out:

- The convent is a haven for the women; the founders of Ruby fled a town called Haven and tried to recreate it. The idea of haven, safety, security is personal; one’s own haven can be seen as a threat to another’s?
- The fertility of the garden at the convent, “early melons,” abundance – like the garden of Eden, Paradise
- Generations/time/progress - the leaders of Ruby reliving/recreating the past, distrustful of new ideas/people; the convent women escaping their pasts and trying to realize a way forward.
- At first, I was frustrated with the number of named characters and trying to keep them straight, but I wonder if there was a point to it. Was Morrison illustrating the tangled relationships in Ruby and making a comment on the insignificance of keeping it all straight, despite the town’s insistence on maintaining a hierarchy of families and individuals and who married who and who is important and not?
- The ending - the murdered women appear to people from their pasts in a kind of benediction, as if they’ve broken free of that past and can forgive? Unlike in Ruby where the past is ever-present?
- A question: What happened to the baby? Connie leaves the baby in the basement room at the end when she goes upstairs and is shot. I don’t think further mention is made of the baby? So it, too, just disappeared, like the women? That was confusing to me.

"Over and over and with the least provocation, they pulled from their stock of stories tales about the old folks, their grands and great-grands; their fathers and mothers. Dangerous confrontations, clever maneuvers. Testimonies to endurance, wit, skill and strength. Tales of luck and courage. But why were there no stories to tell of themselves? About their own lives they shut up. Had nothing to say, pass on. As though past heroism was enough of a future to live by. As though, rather than children, they wanted duplicates."

105katiekrug
Editat: feb. 18, 10:31am



Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke

This is a solid second entry in Locke's Highway 59 series, which follows Black Texas Ranger Darren Matthews as he investigates crime and racism in East Texas. Locke knows well how to plot and pace a mystery - I tore through this one in a couple of days. What I love most about this book - and the previous Bluebird, Bluebird - is how it is so well-grounded in its setting and time. In Heaven, My Home, she leans in hard to the timing - Donald Trump has just been elected President and the racists have become even more emboldened. As Matthews investigates the disappearance of a 9 year old boy, son to a leader of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, he contemplates his role as a Black man in law enforcement and the potential for divided loyalties. Some of the plot of the first in the series is carried over here, so it would be good to read Bluebird, Bluebird first.

4 stars

"... because in an act of blind fury, white voters had just lit a match to the very country they claimed to love - simply because they were being asked to share it."

"The feds want this in front of a grand jury before the change of power in Washington. Before a Trump Justice Department mistakes the Aryan Brotherhood for some sort of honor guard."

"His own read of history told him a black man should have a right to his own fear. Otherwise, he would forever be dying because of someone else's."

106spiralsheep
feb. 18, 10:45am

>105 katiekrug: Those are some excellent pull quotes.

"... because in an act of blind fury, white voters had just lit a match to the very country they claimed to love - simply because they were being asked to share it."

OUCH. I wish I could say there aren't a significant proportion of voters in my own place who'd rather burn everything down than share with Those Other People (whoever is designated Other at the time) but it seems to be a widespread attitude, unfortunately for us all.

107DeltaQueen50
feb. 18, 3:10pm

>105 katiekrug: I just added Bluebird, Bluebird to my collection because of Mark's praise and now I think I have to go ahead and get this second one as well!

108katiekrug
feb. 19, 12:08pm

>106 spiralsheep: - Yes, I don't think this is a uniquely American phenomenon at all, sad to say.

>107 DeltaQueen50: - Excellent, Judy! I hope you like the series.

109katiekrug
feb. 22, 9:08am



The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley

"When you young you think about tomorrow, but when you old you turn your eyes and ears to yesterday."

Ptolemy Grey is an old man, slowly succumbing to dementia, and stubbornly living on his own amid the detritus of his long life. His life changes with the entrance of a young woman who insists on helping him and a doctor who promises to get his memory back. What he does with these gifts is the heart of the novel, and after a bit of a slow start, we get to follow a man reclaiming his life, his memories, and his agency.

Mosley has written a sharp and detailed character study that encourages the reader to ponder issues of aging, grief, memory and redemption. The writing is concise but impactful, spare but rich. Ptolemy is a wonderful character and one that will stay with me.

4.25 stars

110dudes22
feb. 22, 3:56pm

>109 katiekrug: - I may have to take a BB for this.

111katiekrug
feb. 23, 5:10pm

>110 dudes22: - I hope you like it, Betty!

112Tess_W
feb. 24, 5:48am

>109 katiekrug: A BB for me!

113katiekrug
feb. 24, 8:41am

>112 Tess_W: - Great! Happy to spread the love.

114katiekrug
feb. 24, 10:04am



The Weirdies by Michael Buckley

Barnacle, Garlic, and Melancholy Weirdie are triplets who wake up one day in their enormous family mansion to find everyone gone - all the servants, all the house guests, and both their parents. Eventually, they are taken to an orphanage - Our Lady of Perpetual Side-Eye (love it!) - where their different-ness turns off prospective adoptive parents. Luckily, their caseworker, Miss Emily, sees something special in them and adopts them herself.

This is a funny, sweet, totally odd, and endearing tale of what it means to be different and what, actually, is "weird" anyway. I laughed out loud in parts during the short listen (it's only about 90 minutes long), and reveled in Kate Winslet's absolutely wonderful narration. Definitely one I'll listen to again, and if the ending is any indication, I may get to learn more about The Weirdies in another volume.

4.5 stars

115katiekrug
feb. 26, 9:33am



The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson

I knew, of course, the bare facts of the lynching of Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955: a 14-year old black boy from Chicago, visiting relatives in the Delta, supposedly offended a white woman at a store, and a group of men kidnapped him in the middle of the night and killed him, dumping his body in a river. Till's mother insisted on an open casket funeral so the world could see what had been done to her child, and the reality of it helped to galvanize the civil rights movement. To this bare outline, Tyson has added a lot of rich and disturbing detail, including an interview with the white woman - Carolyn Bryant - decades later, an interview in which she admits nothing that Emmett Till did justified his murder.

The strength of this book is in the connections Tyson makes between the Till case, the early fights for voting rights and school desegregation, and the importance of the case for drawing national (and international) attention to the horrors taking place in the South. It's a terrible story, one with wide implications, but it's also a heartbreakingly personal one, and the sections of the book about Emmett's early life and the bravery of his mother, were some of the best parts. I also appreciated the ending, in which Tyson draws a direct line from the Till case to the continued devaluation and destruction of black bodies in the United States today, saying, "We are still killing black youth because we have not yet killed white supremacy." Recent American history is a clear indication of the continued hold white supremacy has in America, despite the lies we tell ourselves about the progress made.

4 stars

(The Blood of Emmett Till is currently available for just $3.99 on Kindle, for those interested in reading it.)

116DeltaQueen50
feb. 26, 11:29am

>115 katiekrug: Thanks for letting us know about the reduced price of The Blood of Emmett Till, Katie, I picked up a copy this morning.

117katiekrug
Editat: feb. 26, 12:13pm

You're welcome, Judy! I'm glad that deal crossed the northern border :)

118Tess_W
feb. 27, 6:24am

>115 katiekrug: I always opened my civil rights unit with the story of Emmett Till. I've read a lot about Till, but not this book--I'm off to pick it up on Kindle; thanks for the tip! I also used the song "The Death of Emmett Till" by Bob Dylan.

119katiekrug
feb. 28, 10:17am

>118 Tess_W: - Oh, that's great! I hope you find the book worthwhile.

120katiekrug
març 1, 12:04pm



The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

I loved this novel. It is full of humor and wisdom and compassion, with likeable and relatable characters. It's about community, made and found, and learning that all we can do is our best for ourselves and others, and to see the connections among all of us. It's deceptively simple, but Kingsolver imbues the story with politics and issues of social justice in a nuanced way that sneaks up on the reader.

I'll be reading the follow-up, Pigs in Heaven, sooner rather than later.

4.5 stars

"I thought I'd had a pretty hard life. But I keep finding out that life can be hard in ways I never knew about."

"{I}n a world as wrong as this one, all we can do is to make things as right as we can."

121DeltaQueen50
març 1, 12:20pm

>120 katiekrug: I loved The Bean Trees as well, Katie. I've also read Pigs in Heaven and enjoyed it but not as much as the first. These were my first two Kingsolver books and I am looking forward to reading more of her.

122thornton37814
març 1, 1:03pm

>120 katiekrug: I enjoyed that one when I read it.

123katiekrug
març 1, 2:08pm

>121 DeltaQueen50: - I've read a few Kingsolvers, Judy, and she hasn't disappointed me yet! I've pulled PiH off the shelf and put it on my Read Soon cart.

>122 thornton37814: - Hi Lori - have you read the sequel? I'm eager to spend more time with Taylor and Turtle...

124lsh63
Editat: març 1, 3:20pm

>115 katiekrug: I'm looking forward to reading this as well. Thank you for letting us know about the Kindle deal also. Sometimes I miss bargains in my daily stalking. I just went through the monthly Kindle deals- such fun!

>120 katiekrug: I usually enjoy Kingsolver, but there was one book that I borrowed from the library and returned unfinished, Unsheltered. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for it at the time.

125katiekrug
març 1, 3:33pm

>124 lsh63: - It's easy to miss deals, Lisa! And I always start my month with a long scroll through all the monthly deals :)

I haven't read Unsheltered yet. It's on my shelf because it sounded right up my alley, but then I saw a lot of mixed reviews and my enthusiasm waned....

126thornton37814
març 2, 1:10pm

>123 katiekrug: No, but I do have a copy of it somewhere in a box.

127katiekrug
març 3, 9:49am

>126 thornton37814: - Ah, well, maybe someday!

128katiekrug
març 6, 10:04am



Love by Toni Morrison

I always seems to struggle a bit at the start of a Morrison novel. She often drops the reader into the heart of the story, introducing elements and characters, without making the connections or providing the context one needs for a coherent picture. But what she is so good at is writing a novel where these pieces are slowly teased out, threads of a story meet up with others, characters develop, connections are illuminated, and the reader finally begins to see and understand the complex web she is weaving as a whole.

Love took a bit longer than usual to show itself to me to the point where I felt like I was "getting" it. But once I did, the book was difficult to put down. At heart, it's about the various forms of love that can shape and distort a life, and about the opposite face of the same coin - the enmity and hatred that can do the same. It's a story of several women who orbit around one man and how they are both drawn to and repulsed by him, and what those conflicting emotions do to them and to their relationship with each other.

It is barely 200 pages in length but Morrison can do more in those pages than most authors do in twice the number.

4 stars

129dudes22
març 6, 3:31pm

>128 katiekrug: - Skipped right over your review, but will return when I've finished it.

130katiekrug
març 15, 9:24am



Memory in Death by J.D. Robb

Another solid entry in the series, which is reliably entertaining for me. This time, part of Eve's past comes back to complicate her life, right at Christmastime. As usual, the secondary characters add a lot to the story, including humor and warmth.

3.5 stars

131katiekrug
Editat: març 15, 9:27am



Fat Chance by Nick Spalding

This was a mostly mildly amusing (occasionally laugh out loud funny) novel about a married couple who participate in a radio competition to lose weight. What I liked about it was the couple themselves - they are funny and down to earth and they love each other at the start, love each other throughout, and end up still loving each other. So there was no relationship angst, misunderstandings, and all that annoying stuff. The send-up of specialty exercise equipment and fad diets was also pretty funny. There is nothing earth-shattering here, but it was a fine way to spend my listening time.

3.5 stars

ETA: I gave it an extra half star because none of the laughs came at the expense of the couple and their weight, which I appreciated.

132katiekrug
març 22, 11:19am



Anywhere For You by Abbie Greaves

I read Greaves' debut novel, The Silent Treatment, last year and really loved it, so when I saw her newest book on offer through LT's Early Reviewers program, I hit the "Request" button pronto.

Anywhere for You is about Mary, who spends every evening outside her local tube station holding a sign that reads "Come Home Jim." Who Jim is, his relationship with Mary, what happened, and what now are all questions that inform the novel. It's an intriguing story and mostly well-written, but some of the characters and their actions were very frustrating to me, and I found some of the narrative boring and repetitious. That said, I was invested enough to keep reading and to keep hoping for a satisfying conclusion, which I sort of got.

3.5 stars

133katiekrug
març 22, 2:41pm



Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

This collection includes 24 short stories, all of which tackle issues of power, trauma, connection, and pain in one way or another, and sometimes in multiple ways. It's not an easy collection to read, and I was glad to pace myself, reading 3 or 4 stories at a time in between other books. There is a lot of brutality, physical and mental abuse, and rape - almost every story could come with a trigger warning of some kind. Gay is a powerful writer, no more so than in "Strange Gods" which is at least semi-autobiographical (having read her memoir, Hunger, I was familiar with the trauma she underwent as a young adult). But her power comes not just from the topics she addresses, but how she can balance them with humor and tenderness. My favorite story was probably "North Country" which is sad and sometimes angry, but also funny and touching.

Gay is one of my favorite writers, and I am glad to have finally tackled some of her fiction.

4 stars

134katiekrug
Editat: març 24, 10:46am



Shit, Actually by Lindy West

If you like movies and snark, then I highly recommend this one (I listened to it on audio, read by the author). West watches/re-watches 23 movies and then summarizes their plots with a lot of asides, snarky comments, pointing out of plot holes, and the like. It was fun to re-visit movies I've seen, but I also enjoyed her take on films mostly unfamiliar to me. Some of my favorites were "Harry Plot Hole" (HP and the Sorcerer's Stone), "Big Boy Freaky Friday" (Face/Off), "Manual for Shitheads" (Reality Bites), and "I'd Prefer a Highway Away from the Danger Zone But Okay" (Top Gun). West rates all the films on a scale of 1-10 copies of the DVD of 'The Fugitive,' which she claims is the only good movie (and which I now want to watch again).

3.5 stars

ETA: She hates 'Love, Actually' (obvs; see book title) but I don't hold that against her. And she actually makes some good points about it...

135spiralsheep
març 24, 12:29pm

>134 katiekrug: I like "Harry Plot Hole" and especially "I'd Prefer a Highway Away from the Danger Zone But Okay". :D

136katiekrug
març 25, 10:30am

>135 spiralsheep: - There were some real gems!

137katiekrug
Editat: març 26, 10:26am



Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

As an avowed Steinbeck fan, I'm embarrassed it took me so long to read this classic. It's a short work about the denizens of Cannery Row in Monterey, California who live on the edges of society but have formed their own community. There is humor and sadness, lovely passages about the natural world, and a sensitive depiction of the human condition when lived on the margins.

4 stars

138MissBrangwen
març 26, 11:51am

>137 katiekrug: I haven't read any Steinbeck so far! But your review makes me curious. So far, I only have Of Mice and Men waiting on my shelf.

139katiekrug
març 26, 12:02pm

>138 MissBrangwen: - I love Of Mice and Men but it's very sad, just FYI.

140katiekrug
març 26, 12:08pm



Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

Meh, this was fine for what it was - an adventure story set in the Caribbean in the 17th century. The manuscript was found on Crichton's computer after his death, and I think had he lived to polish it and flesh it out a bit, it would have been a really fun book. As it was, it seemed very bare bones, with some random plot holes and events that seemed important but were never referred to again... Still, it kept me interested enough to turn the pages...

3 stars

141rabbitprincess
març 26, 8:24pm

>134 katiekrug: I had this out from the library but ran out of time to read it. Also was reluctant to pick up the physical copy because of the ants on the cover. Maybe I'll see if the library has the ebook...

142pammab
març 27, 3:50pm

A nice lot of reading these past few weeks! Really appreciate you sharing it. A lot of the books you've read and comments struck chords with me.

>102 katiekrug: I'm very curious how When They Call You a Terrorist and The Purpose of Power relate. They seem like very different books written by people experiencing very similar events. I appreciated your comments and the reminder to keep an eye out for Khan-Cullors' book.

>104 katiekrug: >128 katiekrug: I'm just about to embark on Sula, which is my first Morrison since I tried Beloved on audiobook almost exactly ten years ago. I mostly remember Beloved leaving me swimming with shadows (like your review of Paradise), so I'm getting a paper copy -- which will hopefully also help with the same "dropped into the thick of it" feeling you mention in your review of Love.

>131 katiekrug: Fat Chance sounds fun! I love reading about people who are happy.

143katiekrug
març 28, 10:02am

>141 rabbitprincess: - I hadn't even noticed the ants until you pointed them out!

>142 pammab: - Hello!

I'm not familiar with The Purpose of Power, but I've looked it up and it sounds interesting. There have been recent stories about some families of black victims of police violence speaking out against Khan-Cullors and others in the BLM movement, so read her book with a grain of salt...

Oh, I LOVED Sula! It is much more accessible, I think, than Beloved or Paradise or Love. I hope you end up liking it.

It's nice sometimes not to have all the angst and drama in a book. Fat Chance fit the bill for me and what I needed at the time...

144rabbitprincess
març 28, 10:36am

>143 katiekrug: I didn't notice them for a while myself, and when I did finally notice them, they were all I could see! But I am weird that way about bugs on the covers of books; part of me hopes they weren't drawn with a magic paintbrush or something else that would make them come to life...

145DeltaQueen50
març 28, 5:26pm

>140 katiekrug: I had much the same thoughts about Pirate Latitudes as you, Katie. Can't help but be sad that he didn't get a chance to finish the book and polish the plot.

146katiekrug
març 29, 12:12pm

>144 rabbitprincess: - Yup - I can't un-see them now either!

>145 DeltaQueen50: - So true, Judy. I think it would have been a lot more fun to read.

147lsh63
març 29, 12:35pm

>133 katiekrug: a definite BB for me. I've been wanting to read her for quite some time and never got around to it.

148katiekrug
març 29, 2:36pm

>147 lsh63: - I've loved everything I've read by her. I hope you do, too!

149katiekrug
març 29, 2:36pm



The Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe

This is my first novel by Shupe and won't be my last. For one thing, I appreciate the time period she focuses on - late 19th century and the Gilded Age. For another, she focuses on New York City, which is a nice change of pace from my usual London-set historical romances. I find Gilded Age New York a fascinating time and place, and Shupe makes good use of the setting - using the division of classes, extreme wealth, evolution of social justice, and other apt details to inform the story. In this one, the first in a series about three sisters, she pits the daughter of an old money family against the tenement-bred son of an abusive drunk who's overcome his circumstances. They clash (of course), find common ground (of course), and fall in love (of course). And, OF COURSE, live happily ever after. It's a romance novel, after all. While there isn't the humor so prevalent in the historical romance I tend to prefer, I think the different era and setting was enough to set this one apart for me. We'll see if it's enough to carry on with the series and to explore more of Shupe's work.

3.5 stars

150katiekrug
abr. 5, 1:43pm



Dodgers by Bill Beverly

I really loved this gritty crime novel about a 15 year old boy caught up in activities that have stolen his innocence but not his humanity. East is charged by his uncle and gang leader to head out from Los Angeles to Wisconsin with a few others to kill a man. It's an interesting twist on the classic road trip/coming of age novel, and despite everything, the reader is rooting for East. My only quibble, and what kept this from being a 5-star read for me, is that East's little brother's speech, thoughts, and actions seemed totally out of character for one so young.

4.5 stars

151DeltaQueen50
abr. 5, 3:03pm

>150 katiekrug: Hooray for some Dodgers praise. Apparently the author is going to put out a sequel, which I have mixed feelings about. I loved the story but not sure if it needs to be continued. Of course, that said, I will definitely be reading it!

152katiekrug
abr. 5, 3:14pm

>151 DeltaQueen50: - I agree that I'm not sure a sequel was necessary, Judy. I'll probably let you read it and tell me if I should give it a whirl!

153katiekrug
Editat: abr. 10, 6:44am



The Secret River by Kate Grenville

This novel, the first in a trilogy, tells part of the tale of Australia's colonization by the British, so it's both uniquely Australian but universal in many ways. Change a few details, and the story of the clash of colonizers with indigenous inhabitants could take place in many parts of the world. Grenville doesn't shy away from brutality, and it can be a tough read. What really impressed me was the complexity of her main character - an English convict sent to Sydney with his family in lieu of hanging, who sees this opportunity as the start of a new life. And it is, but at what - and whose - expense? The reader starts with a lot of sympathy for William Thornhill, and that sympathy remains but is eventually tempered by the reality of what he does to build a good life for himself, his wife, and his children. Grenville handles his characterization and evolution deftly, creating neither a hero nor a total villain.

4 stars

154VivienneR
abr. 9, 2:25pm

>137 katiekrug: I am in the same position with Cannery Row. It's going on the tbr pile immediately.

Just noticed in your opening post that you have a cat named Leonard. I just read a fabulous book Leonard (My Life as a Cat) by Carlie Sorosiak. For middle grades but I enjoyed it enormously.

155MissBrangwen
abr. 9, 6:07pm

>153 katiekrug: I've heard about this one before, but now it's definitely a BB!

156katiekrug
abr. 10, 6:46am

>154 VivienneR: - It's a quick read, so won't impede that TBR pile too much!

I'll have to look for that book. It sounds like something we should have in the house :)

>155 MissBrangwen: - I hope you like it!

157MissWatson
abr. 10, 10:56am

>153 katiekrug: The name William Thornhill strikes me as vaguely familiar, is he a real person? I seem to remember him from Carrion Colony...

158katiekrug
abr. 12, 3:32pm

>157 MissWatson: - I'm not sure if the character was based on a real person or not...

159MissWatson
abr. 13, 2:16am

>158 katiekrug: The book sounds interesting enough on its own.

160katiekrug
abr. 13, 11:13am

>160 katiekrug: - I think so!

161katiekrug
abr. 13, 11:13am



It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn

I am not sure why I remembered not liking this when I first read it. Maybe I was on romance novel overload at the time? Truthfully, very little of the story felt familiar, so it was a fresh (re)reading experience and one I thoroughly enjoyed. There was lots of great banter, lots of Lady Danbury, and Gareth St. Clair is now among my favorite heroes of the series. The central plot was rather silly and full of holes (Why would the grandmother leave clues to the hidden jewels? Why would she hide them in the London townhouse when it's mentioned that she spent most of her time in the country? How could Gareth's "father" not suspect his brother in his cuckolding?) but does one really read a romance novel for the plot beyond the love story? Not really. And Hyacinth and Gareth's story is a fun one.

4 stars

162DeltaQueen50
abr. 13, 1:21pm

>161 katiekrug: Looking forward to getting to that one!

163katiekrug
Ahir, 3:40pm

>162 DeltaQueen50: - Where are you in the series, Judy?

164katiekrug
Editat: Ahir, 3:40pm



Island of the Lost by Joan Druett

I'm a sucker for survival stories, and this is one I knew nothing about. A ship founders just off the Auckland Islands (south of New Zealand) and 5 men make it to shore. How they survived for 20 months makes for good reading, though I could have done with a bit less zoology and botany, but that's probably just me. The men's remarkable ingenuity and perseverance was highlighted even more by the inclusion of the story of another shipwreck not far from them around the same time. The parallel narratives were really well done.

4 stars

165dudes22
Ahir, 7:55pm

>164 katiekrug: - My husband likes boat/ship disaster stories and I usually depend on rabbitprincess to send me a few BBs. I'm going to put this one on the list too. I like to have enough for birthday and Christmas gifts.

166katiekrug
Avui, 12:01pm

>165 dudes22: - It should be right up his alley!

167DeltaQueen50
Avui, 2:50pm

My last Bridgerton read was When He Was Wicked which featured daughter Francesca so it looks like my next read will be the above It's In His Kiss which I was thinking of saving for when Q comes up in the AlphaKit - but that isn't until December and I don't know if I can wait that long for a Bridgerton fix!