fuzzi's "It's About the Benjamin" Thread

Converses100 Books in 2022 Challenge!

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fuzzi's "It's About the Benjamin" Thread

1fuzzi
gen. 3, 7:07am

I'm going for another 100+ read challenge in 2022.

Ticker is here:



Reviews are spoiler-free, too.

Let's go!

P.S. My main thread is here:

https://www.librarything.com/topic/338001#

2fuzzi
gen. 3, 7:12am


#1 Missing May by Cynthia Rylant

A moving little story about loss, and how people grieve.

ETA: this is also my first Newbery Award winner read for 2022, see my thread here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/316991#

3Tess_W
gen. 3, 12:10pm

Hi, fuzzi. I have liked the Newberry's I've read. That is a great reading list.

4Eyejaybee
gen. 3, 12:45pm

Hi Fuzzi.
Best wishes for another year of great reading.

5fuzzi
gen. 3, 8:06pm

>3 Tess_W: I've liked most of them, had a few "meh" reads, too.

>4 Eyejaybee: appreciated!

6fuzzi
gen. 5, 8:47pm


#2 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

One of the most "fun" reads I've experienced by this author. I never was bored by the story, and it wasn't pretentious as many children's books can be.

I recall Mrs. Hotkowski reading this book to us in second grade, but didn't remember anything about the plot, so it was as good as a new read to me.

7fuzzi
gen. 9, 2:20pm


#3 West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915 by Laura Ingalls Wilder

In 1915, long before her Little House books were written, Laura Ingalls Wilder went to visit her daughter Rose in San Francisco. Her vacation coincided with the massive Pan Pacific International Exposition, of which she wrote in letters sent to her husband. Within her writings we get a glimpse of the time, the place, and the various sights of a thriving city, garnished with her opinions of modern inventions.

I really enjoyed this read.

8fuzzi
gen. 13, 7:31am


#4 Beyond the Great Snow Mountains by Louis L'Amour

This collection of short stories displays the author's range of genre, from a mining murder mystery to a pre-World War II exploit, to a western roundup adventure, and more. My two favorites were the first story about a young woman stranded in a remote South American village controlled by a brutal headman, and the last story about a woman living with a Mongolic tribe who faces a choice that will affect more than just herself. Most of the tales are good to very good, with a couple boxing yarns that I didn't care for.

9fuzzi
gen. 21, 6:55pm


#5 People Who Walk in Darkness by Stuart Kaminsky

Chief Inspector Rostnikov and Inspector Karpo head to Siberia to investigate a diamond smuggling ring, with only nine days to find and detain the leaders. Good read, with enough tension to keep the pages turning past my bedtime.

10fuzzi
gen. 29, 8:46pm


#6 Changeling by Roger Zelazny

Babies switched by a Merlin-type character grow up in separate worlds, but twenty years later are headed for a showdown.

I liked the characters, especially the supporting cast, and the slightly wacky plot.

11fuzzi
feb. 2, 9:01am


#7 King James Bible book of Psalms

A wonderful poetic and inspiring read for anyone, not just religious types.

12fuzzi
feb. 3, 7:50am


#8 Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer

A darker but very satisfying story about an orphan who is suddenly invited by distant family to come to their estate for "a visit". The sinister theme underlying this story is done in a subtle manner. I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

13fuzzi
feb. 5, 6:13am


#9 Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander

Amusing story of a boy whose cat takes him back in time to different places and cultures.

14fuzzi
feb. 13, 9:38am


#10 Bowdrie by Louis L'Amour

I thoroughly enjoyed a reread of this short story collection about a young Texas Ranger. I especially liked how the main character uses his smarts to uncover the truth of each investigation and doesn't just shoot/punch his way through. Recommended.

15fuzzi
feb. 16, 6:59am


#11 King James Bible - Book of Mark

The shortest of the four Gospels, written by a contemporary of Paul's. It's referred to as the book that portrays Jesus as Servant. Many of the well-known or familiar stories are included though not the birth of Jesus.

16fuzzi
feb. 21, 7:02am


#12 The Black Tide by Hammond Innes

A decent read that captivated my attention for the most part, with enough technical details to give the story a ring of authenticity. I felt the ending was rather rushed and weak, and for that I deducted half a star. If you're new to this author I'd not recommend you start reading his work here.

17fuzzi
Editat: feb. 24, 10:17pm


#13 A Life on the Road by Charles Kuralt

I'm more than halfway through this series of memoirs, but am not planning to finish, as I have lost all respect I ever had for this man. It's sobering because Kuralt's "On the Road" segments on television were a fond childhood memory of mine. The writing is good and the vignettes are diverting, but I'm just not interested in learning any more about his life.

18fuzzi
feb. 25, 11:05pm


#14 Cress Watercress by Gregory Maguire - Early Reviewer

A likable story of a rabbit family that moved away from their home after a tragedy. At times I really enjoyed reading about Cress but there were parts of the plot that just felt uneven. Overall it was worth reading.

19fuzzi
feb. 26, 8:11am


#15 Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman (Newbery Honor 1995)

Catherine is a free-spirited knight's daughter in thirteenth century England. At the request of her older brother she keeps a journal for a year, and so the reader gets a view of life during the Middle Ages.

I enjoyed this work, and how the author developed Catherine from a petulant child into a more mature maiden, but still "Birdy".

20fuzzi
feb. 28, 7:30am


#16 ...And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold (Newbery Medal 1954)

Lovely coming-of-age tale told from the perspective of a 12 year old Hispanic boy living in rural New Mexico. I appreciated how the culture was portrayed without getting too detailed, so it didn't slow down the story.

21fuzzi
Editat: feb. 28, 9:58pm


#17 The House of Wings by Betsy Byars

A short work about a young boy, allowed to do as he pleased, who finds himself left in the care of his grandfather, an eccentric who shares his home with a variety of wild fowls. The author portrays children well, creating interesting characters to inhabit her worlds.

22fuzzi
Editat: feb. 28, 9:59pm


#18 King James Bible - Book of Proverbs

Written supposedly by King Solomon, the book of Proverbs is full of useful sayings, many which have become familiar to modern English readers.

23fuzzi
març 4, 9:50pm


#19 Bowdrie's Law by Louis L'Amour

This is volume two of Louis L'Amour's short stories about Chick Bowdrie, Texas Ranger, and it's just as satisfying and entertaining as the first. Above average, and definitely worth reading.

24fuzzi
març 5, 6:57am


#20 King James Bible book of Ecclesiastes

King Solomon looks back upon his life experiences, makes observations of human nature, and ponders why good happens to bad people and vice versa. There are many familiar quotations within this book, including the verses used by The Byrds in their song "Turn Turn Turn".

25fuzzi
març 7, 9:52am


#21 King James Bible book of Song of Solomon

King Solomon writes about God's love, an allegorical book.

26fuzzi
març 8, 8:17am


#22 Chicken Little by Steven Kellogg

The tale is basically the same as the one you probably read as a child, but Foxy Loxy tries to be a Wile Coyote type of predator, and help for the fowl comes in an unexpected manner and from an unusual location. Fun read with marvelous illustrations!

27fuzzi
març 13, 8:00am


#23 These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

I've read and enjoyed other books by this author before, but this one started a lot slower than I'd expected, and I put it down after about 60 pages. When I determined to give it another chance I was rewarded with an interesting and enjoyable story, a cut above most books of the genre, with less melodramatic breast-beating and angst so common with other authors. Definitely recommended.

28fuzzi
Editat: març 15, 7:44am


#24 King James Bible book of Galatians

Galatians is a short book addressed to new believers who are letting others dictate how they should act. Paul takes the Galatians to task for allowing others to influence them. One verse stuck out to me as I read: "...for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain" (2:21b) If being good and keeping all the Commandments earns us a place in Heaven, then Jesus Christ's sacrifice was for nothing. Sobering thought.

29fuzzi
Editat: març 15, 7:44am


#25 King James Bible book of Ephesians

Another short book written by the apostle Paul, addressed to believers. This epistle is more of an encouragement letter, with reminders of how followers of Christ should conduct themselves. Paul also adds words of assurance of God's love and believers' eternal salvation.

30fuzzi
març 15, 7:38am


#26 Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White (Newbery)

Engaging story of two cousins living in rural 1950s West Virginia, both facing loss within their families. I was pleased to see not only good character development, but also an avoidance of stereotypes.

31fuzzi
Editat: març 23, 9:22am


#27 King James Bible book of Philippians

This book is another short epistle aimed at believers in Philippi. Many of the verses will be familiar, such as "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me".

32fuzzi
març 23, 9:22am


#28 The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (Newbery)

Average story of a newly-blended family and the baggage one of the children brings to the mix. Not sure why this was a Newbery honor book, unless the occult practices described throughout was considered edgy for its time and deserving of the award.

33fuzzi
març 23, 9:23am


#29 The Dark Wind by Tony Hillerman

Good story, with enough twists so I wasn't able to guess who really "dun it" until close to the end. I appreciate that this author doesn't give really graphic descriptions, too.

34fuzzi
març 23, 12:32pm


#30 King James Bible book of Joshua

Joshua begins with the death of Moses, and the conquest of the promised land. The battle of Jericho is first, followed by numerous other campaigns. The land is divided by lot and cities of "refuge" are instituted, a progressive concept!

35jbegab
Editat: març 23, 9:55pm

>27 fuzzi: I tried to read These Old Shades, but just couldn't finish it. Darn. Maybe I'll try again later.

36fuzzi
març 23, 10:40pm

>35 jbegab: I recommend you try it again, get past the first 60 pages or so, and it gets interesting!

37fuzzi
març 25, 7:32am


#31 Journey by Patricia MacLachlan

Sweet little story about two children living with their grandparents after their mother abandons them. There's some delightful short descriptive passages that endear me even more to this author.

38fuzzi
març 27, 4:08pm


#32 I'd Know You Anywhere, My Love by Nancy Tillman

Wonderful pictures and prose that would be a delight to read to a child, or grandchild! This one is a keeper for my granddaughters.

#33 You're Here For a Reason by Nancy Tillman

Yet another gorgeously illustrated story by this author, with poetic sentiments on every page that roll off the tongue. Headed for my granddaughters!

39fuzzi
Editat: març 28, 6:55am


#34 King James Bible book of Judges

Judges is a history of the Jewish people from just after Joshua died, and how they kept sliding into apostasy. Samson's tale (including Delilah) is within this book, and one of the greatest females in the Bible, judge and warrior Deborah, has her story told as well. As I read I contemplated that mankind hasn't changed much since then.

40fuzzi
abr. 1, 3:45pm


#35 Stranger Than Fiction: the Biography of Elspeth Bryce-Smith by Joyce Stranger

Biography of a girl who wanted to ride and race horses despite her physical handicap and her family's disapproval. The story was engaging and interesting, all the more because it was based upon her journal entries.

41fuzzi
abr. 3, 9:11pm


#36 King James Bible book of Ruth

The book of Ruth is the story of a faithful daughter-in-law, who refuses to leave her widowed mother-in-law on her own. Ruth is not even a Jew, but from Moab. She is the great grandmother of King David and is part of the lineage of Jesus Christ.

42fuzzi
abr. 7, 11:29am


#37 Dutchman's Flat by Louis L'Amour

A solid selection of short stories in this authorized L'Amour collection. I enjoyed the introductions to each story, which give the reader some background of topics touched upon within. Not every tale is of gunfights or range wars. One I especially liked was about the middle-aged grandfather trying to mine enough gold to save his widowed daughter's ranch, and outwit Apaches at the same time. The Tumbling K is featured in a couple of the stories, as is Kilkenny.

43fuzzi
abr. 8, 10:33pm


#38 King James Bible book of Hosea

God pleads with Israel and Judah to return, but they prefer to sacrifice their children to false gods.

Lots of prophesy in this book.

44fuzzi
abr. 12, 11:27am


#39 The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss - (ROOT)

Memoir by a young Jewish girl of being hidden from the Nazis during World War II. The more I read the more I appreciated this story, and felt it should be required reading by adolescents. Nothing graphic, but violence is mentioned in passing, such as knowing that relatives getting on the trains to work camps will never come back.

45fuzzi
abr. 15, 8:39pm


#40 Nature From Your Back Door by Glenn Dudderar

Delightful collection of columns written to educate the Michigan public about animals found in a suburban environment. I learned a few things as well.

46fuzzi
Editat: abr. 18, 9:53am


#41 King James Bible book of Joel

Joel is told to let the people of Israel and Judah know that they are facing punishment for sacrificing to false gods.
#42 King James Bible book of Amos

More messages for the unfaithful from God as told through his prophet, the shepherd Amos.

There is hope at the end, messages relayed that eventually the Jews will return to God and be blessed.
#43 King James Bible book of Obadiah

Short book of end times prophecy aimed especially at those who have mistreated God's people, the Jews.

47fuzzi
abr. 23, 6:52pm


#44 King James Bible book of Jonah

Jonah rebels when God tells him to preach to the people of Nineveh, heads in the opposite direction on a ship, and winds up being thrown overboard to save the sailors.

You all know about the whale part, but there's more.

When Jonah finally preaches to Nineveh the people repent, and Jonah gets upset. They were not nice people, and Jonah wants God to punish them instead of forgiving them.

I appreciate reading about flawed people that God uses despite their faults.

48fuzzi
abr. 23, 6:54pm


#45 King James Bible book of First Thessalonians

(review coming)

49fuzzi
abr. 28, 8:05am


#46 The Glory Girl by Betsy Byars

I was disappointed in this book by an author I've enjoyed in the past. The characters were two-dimensional, stereotypical, and the plot was ragged. She's better than this.

50fuzzi
maig 1, 6:20am


#47 King James Bible book of Micah

(review coming)

#48 King James Bible book of Nahum

(review coming)

51fuzzi
Editat: maig 7, 8:33am


#49 Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean

Interesting story of a crack team sent behind enemy lines to rescue a high ranking officer. There's plenty of action, plot twists, and other surprises to keep the reader glued to this book...but that's to be expected with this author. Recommended.

52fuzzi
maig 7, 8:35am


#50 King James Bible book of Second Thessalonians

(review coming)

#51 King James Bible book of First Timothy

(review coming)

53fuzzi
maig 8, 3:35pm


#52 Mouse Soup by Arnold Lobel

How did I miss this one?

Cute set of stories told by a mouse in the spirit of 1001 Arabian Nights, but in an "I can read it myself" format. This one is headed for my granddaughters.

54fuzzi
maig 10, 8:38am


#53 King James Bible book of Second Timothy

(review coming)

#54 King James Bible book of Titus

(review coming)

55fuzzi
maig 14, 11:39pm


#55 End of the Drive by Louis L'Amour

An excellent series of short stories that remained in a box for years, undiscovered, until after the author's death. Included are tales that were the basis or inspiration for novels to come such as Fallon, Kiowa Trail, Tucker, Kid Rodelo, The Lonesome Gods, and the superb Last of the Breed...time for a reread of that one! For fans of the Sackett series, there's another installment about Tell included as well. Highly recommended.

56fuzzi
Editat: maig 27, 8:35pm


#56 King James Bible books of First, Second, and Third John (very short)

(review coming)

57fuzzi
Editat: maig 27, 8:35pm


#57 King James Bible book of Jude

(review coming)

58fuzzi
maig 27, 8:34pm


#58 Precursor by CJ Cherryh

Bren Cameron finds himself in a life-threatening situation aboard a derelict space station, trying to negotiate with irrational humans who seem determined to provoke another war with the Atevi. Exciting, mentally stimulating, great characters...typical Cherryh!

I loved the first three books in the Foreigner series but stopped reading them due to real life issues. Twenty three years later I picked up where I left off, and thoroughly enjoyed this installment.

59fuzzi
maig 31, 3:34pm



#59 The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Neighborhood kids get together and start playing at being Egyptian, but things don't go as smoothly as they'd planned.

Okay, I'll admit it, this was cute, but not cutesy. The children act like children. Definitely can be an adult read.

60fuzzi
Editat: juny 11, 7:57am

Never a slog even though it did take more than a week to complete!


#60 Defender by C. J. Cherryh

Bren finds himself, as usual, immersed in political machinations, surrounded by scheming factions, but this time he's aboard the space station. Communications to his allies on the planet are cut off so he's on his own, aside from his two bodyguards and a loyal staff of Atevi. Never boring, occasionally so deep that I would turn the pages back to reread a passage. Good stuff.

61fuzzi
Editat: juny 11, 8:25pm


#61 Papa Loves You, Tiny Blue by Jo Empson

A delightful book about a father penguin and his inquisitive son. The illustrations are simple but perfect. Giving this one to my granddaughters.

62fuzzi
juny 18, 4:01pm



#62 Horse Racing's Holy Grail: The Epic Quest for the Kentucky Derby by Steve Haskin

Steve Haskin is a sports writer, journalist, photographer, and has been covering thoroughbred racing in the US for close to fifty years. He has written biographies for several racing champions, but this book is less biography and more a personal insight into the owners, jockeys, and trainers who have attempted to win the Kentucky Derby.

Whether you're a racing fan (like me) or not, his work is thoughtful and professional, and worth checking out.

63fuzzi
juny 18, 4:18pm



#63 Happy Easter, Corduroy! by Don Freeman and Jody Wheeler

Cute board book about Corduroy Bear and how he prepares for Easter. Young children will probably enjoy the illustrations no matter what time of the year it is read to them.

64fuzzi
juny 24, 9:04pm


#64 Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells

Good entry in the Murderbot series, with more mystery and less action than the other books.

#65 Cotton in My Sack by Lois Lenski

This is the fourth book I've read in Lois Lenski's American Regional series, and I liked it quite a bit. This story takes place in sharecropper areas of Arkansas circa 1947, where poor families scratch a living from growing and picking cotton. The author spent time with the families she writes about, and doesn't glamorize them or judge their lifestyles, but shows them as just "regular folks".

#66 The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

Classic story of an uninvited and unusual guest who shows up to tea very hungry. Illustrations are whimsical, perfect for the text.

#67 Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr

Mog is very forgetful, and causes all sorts of trouble for his family. He worries that no one loves him, but discovers his forgetfulness can be helpful as well. Cute story, love the illustrations.

65fuzzi
jul. 3, 8:20am


#68 The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

Cousin Sophy comes for a visit and the family will never be the same...but in a good way, or bad? Fun read with the usual Heyer character development.

66fuzzi
jul. 5, 8:27am


#69 Long Ride Home by Louis L'Amour

This book consists of a good group of short stories, written by the master of the Western genre, Louis L'Amour. Recommended, and worthy of a re-read. (Review from 2015)

Addendum: I did skip most of one of the stories that I hadn't found appealing the first time I read it, but some of them were a delight.

67fuzzi
Editat: jul. 13, 6:40pm


#70 Alaska is for the Birds! by Susan Ewing and Evon Zerbetz

I'm not generally a big fan of poetry, but I found myself reading each page out loud, and thoroughly enjoying the descriptive bird rhymes. The pictures were striking, too.

Another one for my granddaughters' book shelves!

68fuzzi
jul. 13, 7:12pm


#71 Red, Red, Red by Polly Dunbar

Perfect read for a toddler, about a toddler who has a hard time controlling emotions. My 2 1/2 year old granddaughter loves this book, and insisted I read it to her three times.

69fuzzi
jul. 14, 6:37am


#72 From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

Interactive book that's great for toddlers, with big bright pictures and plenty of opportunities to demonstrate what the animals can do.

70fuzzi
jul. 21, 9:05am


#73 Explorer by CJ Cherryh

Another rollercoaster ride in the Foreigner universe. Bren finds himself in a spaceship, headed towards an unknown situation, surrounded by human vs. atevi political waves, though supported as always by Banichi and Jago, making a felicitous three.

71fuzzi
jul. 25, 3:14pm


#74 The Pride of Chanur by CJ Cherryh (reread, review from 2013 reread)

After a recent reread, I still hold to my opinion of this book: an excellent blend of scifi, technology, politics, and culture, from a different universe...yet the characters remain likeable, and believable, despite non-human appearance. The author and this series is superb!

72fuzzi
jul. 27, 9:07am


#75 A Highland Collie by Albert Payson Terhune

A fairly good story with some unexpected turns and a few plot developments that I saw coming. Worth a read, especially if you like the author's books.

I wish more of the dog's story was included, he's only in a few of the scenes. The original title is The Luck of the Laird which actually makes more sense considering the lack of collie involvement.

73jbegab
Editat: jul. 28, 11:40am

>68 fuzzi: I have this book, The Grand Sophy, on hold at the library. I enjoy some of your reviews and take some suggestions. thank you.

74fuzzi
jul. 28, 12:26pm

>73 jbegab: why, thank you! I try to make my reviews pique an interest in the books I like...or warn readers away from those I don't!

75fuzzi
ag. 3, 10:10am


#76 Chanur's Venture by CJ Cherryh (reread, review from 2013)

I just re-read this book, again, but can't say how many times I've read it before. Upon this umpteenth read I will affirm it's still a good, intense story of aliens and alien worlds, filled with believable characters and intriguing technical details. Recommended!

76fuzzi
ag. 8, 10:47am


#77 The Kif Strike Back by CJ Cherryh (reread, review from 2013)

Intrigue, action, politics, rescues, firefights, plot twists and turns aplenty, what's not to love?

Onward, to book #4...

77fuzzi
Ahir, 6:32am


#78 King James Bible - Book of First Corinthians

78fuzzi
Ahir, 6:32am


#79 Chanur's Homecoming (reread, review from 2015)

I just completed yet another reread of this, and I still love it. The author writes interesting, real characters, and the worlds they inhabit are filled with other alien species, each with their own well-developed culture. There is plenty to keep the reader riveted: action, politics, suspense, and more. Highly recommended, but read the first three books in the series prior, or you will have a hard time following the plot(s)!