March RandomCAT: It's a Surprise!

Converses2021 Category Challenge

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

March RandomCAT: It's a Surprise!

Editat: feb. 15, 8:10pm

Happy March!

This months challenge is about surprises. To fit your book needs to be associated with surprises somehow. Your book could have the word surprise in the title, or it could have been a surprise gift, etc...

Here's the wiki:

feb. 15, 8:58pm

Thanks! I will look at my TBR pile. This is an interesting challenge.

feb. 15, 10:19pm

Fun theme!

I am already planning on reading one of my SantaThing gift books for U in AlphaKIT, so I might include that one.

Uprooted / Naomi Novak

feb. 15, 10:41pm


Now I have to see what I have on the shelves that will match...hmm...

feb. 16, 2:28am

This sounds like fun!

I have Surprise me by Sophie Kinsella as well as mysteries that could well have surprise endings.

feb. 16, 5:38am

I think my best fit is Paradox Bound by Peter Clines since a paradox is by its very nature surprising.

feb. 16, 6:56am

Well, I have a couple in my TBR that could work - either Never Shower in a Thunderstorm: Surprising Facts and Misleading Myths About Our Health and the World We Live In by Anahad O'Connor or The Rhino With Glue-On Shoes: And Other Surprising True Stories of Zoo Vets and Their Patients by Lucy H. Spelman.

I also looked up synonyms for "surprise" and found "wonder" which also gives me World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatahil as a possibility.

feb. 16, 10:19am

This kind of stumped me at first, but then I realized I have the perfect book. Last month, I got an early reviewer book from Librarything. Without it being promised or predicted, though, the press sent a second book along with the first, as a surprise! Thus, I'll be reading Murmur by Will Eaves. We'll see how it goes--this isn't a book I necessarily would have picked out to read for myself, but it sounds interesting...

feb. 16, 10:45am

A friend sent me a book--just out of the blue--back around Christmas. It's a strong candidate for this category. Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber.

Editat: feb. 16, 12:56pm

I think I’ll read The Widow by Fiona Barton. It came unexpectedly in the mail a few years ago as a prize from a contest I had forgotten I had entered.

feb. 16, 1:55pm

I decided to go with the word "gift" as most gifts are surprises and I am going to read The Raven's Gift by Don Reardon.

feb. 16, 4:29pm

I will probably see what this month's subscription book is, as they are always a surprise to me.

feb. 16, 7:06pm

For this challenge I've chosen The Doorbell Rang, by Rex Stout -- it's always a surprise when the doorbell rings! What online shopping treats are at the door today? :D

feb. 16, 9:31pm

I just remembered I also have Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead that would fit nicely here too. I like having choices.

feb. 17, 4:51pm

Mine will probably be a mystery, as they usually have some surprising elements.

feb. 18, 2:58am

I was very surprised this past summer when an LT member in the Virago Group who lives in my city sent me a private message, with an offer of -- what else -- books! She was trimming her collection of Virago Modern Classics editions, and generously offered me as many as I would take off her hands, for free! I took about 20, and I'll choose one for March. Thank you again, Elaine!

feb. 18, 6:42am

I'll read Joe Biden by Evan Osnos, which was a surprise Christmas gift by my in-laws. I wanted to read it this month for GenreCAT (biography), and started it and enjoyed the style of it a lot, but I don't feel like reading too much about politics right now.

feb. 18, 5:44pm

>16 kac522: That's a great surprise!!

feb. 20, 7:33am

I plan to read The Titanic Secret by Clive Cussler for GenreCAT and it might also fit here. It was an impulse buy last autumn simply because of the Titanic cover and because the blurb sounded interesting. When I started reading I realized that it was very different from what I had expected and when I googled the author I saw that the genre was not what I had thought. So yes - that was a surprise!!!
I stopped reading after a few chapters but hope to pick it up next month.

març 2, 10:13pm

I have read An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch. The first of several surprises in the 13th book in the Charles Lennox mystery series is that the "best detective in the world" is not solving a crime in London but in Newport, Rhode Island!

Editat: març 3, 12:18am

Surprise!! I have already received the book I won from the February Early Reviewer group. So I will be reading Leonard (My Life As A Cat) by Carlie Sorosiak

març 3, 11:15am

>1 SilverWolf28: I just read Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and realized an "unknown" might be considered a surprise. What do you think?

març 3, 12:44pm

I finished The Widow by Fiona Barton the thriller that I won in a contest a few years ago. It was such a nice surprise to find out I had won!

març 3, 10:39pm

>1 SilverWolf28: Great idea! I belong to a BookCrossing "roundabout". The 12 participants from around the world pick a book that they had read and loved the previous year. Every month, a participant reads a book and sends it along to the next person on the list. We try to keep the titles a secret so that we get a surprise in the mailbox each month. The last book that arrived was Walking Home by Kelly Winters so that is the book I'll be reading for this challenge.

març 4, 5:38am

I've read my latest book subscription, which always comes as a surprise. It was Piranesi.

març 4, 9:03am

>22 fuzzi: I think that it would work.

març 4, 12:09pm

>26 SilverWolf28: yippee! I've had a hard time finding anything on my shelves to fit this challenge, so that's good news.

Editat: març 4, 4:00pm

>20 clue: I just finished that one! What a surprising ending!

I read Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie and An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch. Both had a surprise at the end, and although I read many novels, both of them stumped me.

març 8, 9:26am

Finished Murmur by Will Eaves. I wanted to love this book, and the language was gorgeous, but it almost felt more like an experiment than a finished novel at times. In some ways, the reading experience was much more like reading poetry vs a novel.

març 8, 1:44pm

I read Face: One Square Foot of Skin by Justine Bateman. This was a surprise in several ways: (1) I was surprised to be told I had won it since I didn't remember requesting any books from the February ER thread; (2) I was surprised at it arrived so soon (Mar. 2nd) since often I need to wait several weeks or longer for ER books; and (3) I was surprised because a book "Based on “older face” experiences" (description in ER write-up) featured such young women -- more in their 20s and 30s than in their 60s or older.

març 8, 9:13pm

I have been struggling to figure out what to read for this. Today, I was on my library's Overdrive page (for something else) and decided to just search the word 'surprise'. Lo and behold, there was H.M.S. Surprise, the 3rd Aubrey book which coincidentally is just where I am at in this series! So I'll be reading that starting sometime later this week :)

març 9, 12:48am

My local library is currently giving out "grab and go" bags where you walk up to the pick-up desk (since our libraries currently only offer limited walk-up hours where you can pick up holds or a grab-and-go), choose from a list of genres, and walk out with a bag of paperbacks. Sort of like blind-date-with-a-book, only you have several to choose from. I just finished one of the fantasy selections from my bag, Heroine's Journey, and I figure that counts as a surprise.

març 9, 3:20am

I have finished Revenger and I have rarely been surprised so much by a sudden twist in the storyline. Saying more would be spoilering.

març 9, 10:42am

I read Hamptons Surprise and gave it 3 stars - a good easy read.

març 12, 1:59pm

I finished Ice Hunt by James Rollins. Lots of surprises in this one, and a really can't put down plot.

març 15, 2:09pm

març 16, 9:21pm

I have finished H.M.S. Surprise, the 3rd book in the Aubrey/Maturin series. It has been too long since I read the previous 2 books but thanks to this CAT, I am once again enjoying this historical fiction adventure series :)

març 17, 10:59am

I just realized that my recent read of Charlotte Armstrong's The Unsuspected would work for this CAT! If something is unsuspected, it's a surprise, right? :) I was also pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it!

març 19, 3:01pm

I finished Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris for this category. It was an OK mystery about a woman who can sense dead bodies and can tell how they were killed. They mystery was fine. I figured out who did it very early on, so I thought it would be a red herring - but it wasn't. It seemed like a pretty typical supernatural/paranormal mystery story. I have had this one on my book shelf for a long time (I read the first one in the series many years ago) so it feels good to get this one off the list.

Editat: març 22, 10:01am

I finished The Titanic Secret by Clive Cussler and Jack du Brul. I dare say it was full of surprises!

- I was surprised by the genre and style because I had expected a more serious thriller and not an Indiana Jones kind of adventure
- After the prologue, I was surprised again because the story was, apart from the prologue and epilogue, a historic thriller taking place in 1911/12 (I had expected that it would go back and forth between 1911/12 and the present)
- There are many plot twists and unexpected events within the story
- The last surprise was that despite the title and the Titanic also being depicted on the cover, the ship does not feature at all in the story apart from two scenes!

març 25, 12:36pm

I had a “shock” book on my TBR pile, and I’m so happy I finally read it!

Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson was absolutely fascinating.

The UN predicts that the world population will peak around 11 billion at the end of the century before declining. The book argues that there is a lower estimate that is more likely, with a peak of 8.5 billion by 2060 followed by a population collapse. The consequences of fewer people on the planet are far-reaching, possibly better for the environment, but causing great societal upheaval. China’s population could be half of what it currently is by 2100, and with a smaller workforce struggling to support an aging society.

The main argument of the book is that everywhere in the world there is a shift from rural to urban. As people move to cities, large families become a liability. Cities offer better education to girls, who then have smaller families later in life. The drop in fertility rate is permanent, and it is already happening on a global scale. The authors offer examples from around the world, making special note of how Canada’s generous immigration policy places it in a good position in the coming century.

A paradigm-changing book for me, already changing how I watch the news!

març 27, 12:19am

I completed my read of The Raven's Gift by Don Reardon and while this 2013 book had some problems, it eerily foreshadowed what we experienced in 2020.

Editat: març 31, 1:39pm

I am reading Tattoo: The Soul Reaper by Kenny Sills. I received my autographed copy today and was surprised to see my name in the book. I was a beta reader and not expect any recognition, but there I am on the publisher's page.

març 27, 3:23am

>43 lowelibrary: That‘s a great surprise!

març 28, 8:05am

I had a surprise when my favourite charity bookstor opened its second branch and I found a book from a mystery series I didn't know about: Wie die Tiere.

març 28, 3:39pm

Uprooted / Naomi Novik
4 stars

Every 10 years, the Dragon comes to the valley to select a 17-year old girl to go with him. She is not seen again for the next 10 years. The people allow this because the Dragon makes sure the evil in the Wood that surrounds them stays at bay. Growing up, Agnieszka (and everyone else) always knew it would be her smart, beautiful best friend, Kasia, who is chosen. Possible spoiler, though it happens in the first couple of chapters: But, it’s not Kasia who is chosen. It’s Agnieszka.

I really enjoyed this. This one has (Baba) Jaga mentioned – she’s not a character, as she is long-dead, but she is mentioned and her effects are felt. Many know that I am not always a fantasy fan (depends on the type of fantasy), but I do like fairy tales. This one had a lot going on – not all at once, but one thing after another. Lots of adventure in this one.

Editat: març 29, 6:23pm

I have just realized I can include The Dig by John Preston. It was certainly a surprise when a burial ship from the 6th centuary was found in 1939 making it one of the most important archeological discoveries of all time.

març 29, 2:21pm

The Traveller and other stories by Stuart Neville
According to Neville's introduction to this collection, the title story, a novella, wraps up the plots of his first two novels, Ghosts of Belfast and Collusion. I haven't read the second novel yet but I don't believe this will spoil it for me. It was a momentous finish making it a good fit for this category. Neville is an outstanding writer.

Editat: març 30, 12:42am

I finished a The Way Things Are by E. M. Delafield, a Virago edition from my surprise batch that I mentioned in >16 kac522:. This book covers many of the same themes in Delafield's later and more famous book The Diary of a Provincial Lady.

The Way Things Are was funny and ironic and explored the feelings of entrapment and lack of purpose that a middle-class married woman with children experienced in the mid-1920s. It was a bit melancholy, and not as successful (for me) as the Provincial Lady series, which I read some years ago. Perhaps if I had read this one first, I would have enjoyed it more; although good, it was not as light and witty as I was expecting from Delafield.

Editat: març 30, 5:24am

I was very much surprised to find Heinrich Heine named as a perfect poet in RL Stevenson's The ebb-tide. I don't think I have ever seen him mentioned in an English book before.


abr. 2, 7:43am

I finished a day late, but World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nexhukumatathil did hold some surprises.