VivienneR's 2014 Category Challenge - part 3

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VivienneR's 2014 Category Challenge - part 3

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Modificato: Dic 30, 2014, 1:02 am

Fourteen categories: I'm aiming for at least 7 books in each of the first 12 categories and 12 books in GeographyCAT and MysteryCAT, for a total of 108 books.

In addition, I read 13 books not included in the challenge for a grand total of 148.

Up next:

    Descent by Tim Johnston
    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
    Murder Most Foul

Modificato: Feb 10, 2019, 1:00 am

Category 1. Twists and Turns - Mysteries

1. The Absent One by Jussi Adler Olsen
2. A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie
3. Oscar Wilde and the Death of No Importance by Gyles Brandreth
4. The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri
5. All Shall be Well by Deborah Crombie
6. Still Midnight by Denise Mina
7. Death of a Witch by M. C. Beaton
8. Watchman by Ian Rankin
9. The Anatomist's Apprentice by Tessa Harris
10. The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill RandomCAT October
11. Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
12. Gideon's Night by J. J. Marric

Category 2. Novel Tales - Fiction

1. Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
2. The Matisse Stories by A.S. Byatt
3. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
4. Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
5. Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark
6. Only time will tell by Jeffrey Archer
7. Enigma by Robert Harris - RandomCAT September
8. Comfort and Joy by India Knight

Category 3. The Maple Leaf Forever - Canadian authors

1. Runaway by Alice Munro
2. The Disappeared by Kim Echlin
3. Murder in Montparnasse: a mystery of literary Paris by Howard Engel
4. Tempest Tost by Robertson Davies
5. In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany
6. The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe
7. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Category 4. Blue Eyes - Favourite authors

1. One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
2. Last Friends by Jane Gardam
3. Mrs Ames by E. F. Benson
4. The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence
5. Started early, took my dog by Kate Atkinson
6. Persuasion by Jane Austen
7. Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer

Category 5. HerStory - Women authors

1. A Woman of My Age by Nina Bawden
2. Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple - RandomCAT May
3. Girl with a pearl earring by Tracy Chevalier
4. Mrs Pringle of Fairacre by Miss Read - RandomCAT August
5. Dangerous Women edited by Otto Penzler
6. Death of a Gentle Lady by M. C. Beaton
7. The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
8. One Woman's Arctic by Sheila Burnford

Category 6. Congratulations - Prizewinners or shortlisted

1. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro
2. The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews - RandomCAT March
3. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
4. Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
5. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
6. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
7. My Antonia by Willa Cather

Category 7. Hot off the Press - New releases 2013-2014

1. The Dead in their Vaulted Arches by C. Alan Bradley
2. The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland
3. The Other Story by Tatiana de Rosnay
4. The Norfolk Mystery by Ian Sansom - RandomCAT June
5. The Red Road by Denise Mina
6. An Astronaut's Guide to Life by Chris Hadfield
7. Of All the Gin Joints : stumbling through Hollywood history by Mark Bailey
8. Olive Odyssey by Julie Angus
9. Flirting with French by William Alexander
10. Seven Pleasures by Willard Spiegelman
11. James Garner's Motoring Life by Matt Stone
12. High Crime Area by Joyce Carol Oates

Category 8. Once Upon a Time - Children and Young Adult books

1. Rumplestiltskin retold by Edith H. Tarcov illustrated by Edward Gorey
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - RandomCAT February
3. Green-eyed Monster by Carolyn Keene - RandomCAT February
4. The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
5. Miskeen the Dancing Horse by Judy Andrekson
6. The Peacock Spring by Rumer Godden
7. The Hundred Dollar Special : the antics of a rescue cat by M. Kathryn Bourdon ; illustrated by Sandra Donohue
8. The Cheshire Cheese Cat : A Dickens of a tale by Carmen Agra Deedy
9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - RandomCAT July

Category 9. Tickled Pink - Humour

1. The Haunted Tea Cosy : a Dispirited and Distasteful Diversion for Christmas by Edward Gorey
2. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde
3. Cats in the Belfry by Doreen Tovey
4. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot - RandomCAT April
5. Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
6. Get Real by Donald Westlake
7. Dog on it by Spencer Quinn
8. The Fat Man by Ken Harmon

Category 10. True Colours - Non-fiction

1. Only Fools and Horses by Graham McCann
2. Old songs in a new café by Robert James Waller
3. Knole and the Sackvilles by Vita Sackville-West
4. Outposts : Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire by Simon Winchester
5. Finding George Orwell in Burma by Emma Larkin
6. The Staircase Letters : an extraordinary friendship at the end of life by Arthur Motyer
7. Why Orwell Matters by Christopher Hitchens
8. Lost Classics : Writers on books loved and lost edited by Michael Ondaatje - RandomCAT July
9. Dispatches from the Edge: a memoir of war, disasters and survival by Anderson Cooper - RandomCAT November

Category 11. Fifty Years and Counting - Published before 1964

1. The Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton
2. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey - RandomCAT January
3. Something Fresh by P. G. Wodehouse
4. Love Among the Chickens by P.G. Wodehouse
5. Raffles : The Amateur Cracksman by E.W. Hornung
6. The Agony Column by Earl Derr Biggers
7. Silas Marner by George Eliot

Category 12. Memories - History or historical fiction

1. Kitchener's Last Volunteer : the life of Henry Allingham the oldest surviving veteran of the Great War by Henry Allingham
2. The Perfect Summer : England 1911, just before the storm by Juliet Nicolson
3. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
4. Goodbye to all that by Robert Graves
5. As I walked out one midsummer morning by Laurie Lee
6. Regeneration by Pat Barker
7. Blood, toil, tears and sweat : the dire warning by John Lukacs

Category 13. GeographyCAT

January: Border Songs by Jim Lynch
February: Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
March: Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs
           Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
April: Under a Cruel Star : A Life in Prague 1941-1968 by Heda Margolius Kovaly
May: A Painter's Year in the Forests of Bhutan by A. K. Hellum
June: No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
July: A Discovery of Strangers by Rudy Wiebe
August: Paperboy by Tony Macaulay
September: The Blue Sky by Galsan Tchinag
October: Little Tiny Teeth by Aaron Elkins
November: The Fine Colour of Rust by P. A. O'Reilly
           and A Fortunate Life by A. B. Facey
December: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

Category 14. MysteryCAT

January: The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne
February: Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
March: Montmorency : Thief, Liar, Gentleman? by Eleanor Updale
           The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
April: The Fire Engine that Disappeared by Maj Sjowall
May: Fer de Lance by Rex Stout
June: And Justice there is None by Deborah Crombie
July: Mystery Man by Colin Bateman
       and The Cold, Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty
August: Alms for Oblivion : a Shakespearean Murder Mystery by Philip Gooden
September: Mr Dixon Disappears : a mobile library mystery by Ian Sansom
October: Hidden Moon by James Church
November: The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters
       and Classic Railway Murders
December: As the Pig Turns by M. C. Beaton
      Break a leg, darlings by Marian Babson

and - RandomCAT which will be in one of the 14 categories above.

Set 4, 2014, 11:27 pm

Yay for new thread and I love your thread topper pic! That image makes me think of the Rockies.... ;-)

Set 4, 2014, 11:34 pm

Thanks Lori. The photo was taken last week when we made a short trip to Lake Louise and area. My son was climbing with a friend, the rest of us went sight-seeing.

Now I have to fix my touchstones.

Set 5, 2014, 3:01 am

Just checking in to your new thread, Vivienne. Your topper picture makes me want to head out on a road trip!

Set 5, 2014, 3:31 am

OOh, shiny new thread! What a gorgeous sky in your pic!

Set 5, 2014, 8:20 am

Happy new thread! I have To Love and Be Wise in my "read while I'm visiting the parents" pile. Will be interested to see what you think.

Modificato: Set 5, 2014, 12:10 pm

>5 DeltaQueen50: Love those road trips!

>6 MissWatson: Thanks, surprised at how well a photo through the windshield comes out sometimes!

>7 rabbitprincess: I may have bitten off more than I can chew so it may be a while before I get around to Tey. I have a stack of books from the library to read first! I knew it was a mistake to go to the library two days in a row!

Set 5, 2014, 12:42 pm

Love the picture. Reminds me of road trips when I was a kid, in the back seat with my face in a book. My mom would say, "look at this gorgeous scenery!" And I'd glance out the window and say, "yeah Mum, it looks like this everywhere." Ho hum, we're so lucky to live in BC (and now I'm the one telling my kids to "look at the scenery!")

Set 5, 2014, 1:01 pm

We were driving along, I was listening to music, my husband said "That would make a nice photo". So I held the camera against the windshield. He was right.

Yes, here in BC we get used to being surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Set 5, 2014, 1:06 pm

Now if I could only get my touchstones to show. I wonder if there is a bug. Although they all show in the list at the side of the post, when I choose "other" for incorrect ones, I am only offered Harry Potter titles. And none of the titles/authors actually show as touchstones (blue links).

Set 6, 2014, 12:14 am

Happy new thread!!

>9 Nickelini:
I couldn't have cared less about scenery when I was little and now I'm the one who will pull the car over and just stand and stare in awe at a beautiful view. :)

Set 6, 2014, 6:36 am

>11 VivienneR: I think the touchstones issue is an old long-standing one where LT just doesn't like dealing with so many in one post. They may appear if you edit the post and save it again.

Set 6, 2014, 2:39 pm

>13 AHS-Wolfy: Hmm, I thought so. It was very inconvenient to have them all in one post in my previous thread, but then I made matters worse by carrying it forward to this one. I tried edit/save, no luck. Many thanks for your advice.

Set 7, 2014, 9:02 pm

Category : The Maple Leaf Forever - Canadian authors - 3 of 7 read

Murder in Montparnasse: a mystery of literary Paris by Howard Engel

The crimes that Jack de Paris has been committing, similar to London's Jack the Ripper, form the background of this story set in 1925 Paris among the literary and artistic elite of the day. When Canadian journalist Mike Ward arrived in Paris he met Jason Waddington, the character based on the unnamed but recognizable Hemingway. Wilson and Georgia O'Donnell, based on F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, also feature in the story. Appearing under their real names are lesser characters such as James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Alice Toklas and others. The reader can make a safe assumption that none of these famous names end up as suspects. Naturally, Hemingway's lost suitcase of manuscripts features strongly in the story. Engel portrays an evocative and captivating Paris, just as it might have been. The idea is a bit dated, and although not a brilliant mystery, it is reasonably entertaining.

Set 8, 2014, 12:09 am

And another one in the same category: The Maple Leaf Forever - Canadian authors - 4 of 7 read

Tempest Tost by Robertson Davies

A perfectly entertaining story liberally sprinkled with the gentle humour typical of Davies. Amateur theatre groups appear to be a common target for humour but Davies brings us a very believable group for whom the reader wishes success. But let's not forget the keywords: amateur theatre. The characters, filled with personality, elicit sympathy, pity, scorn or admiration as warranted. Davies has a particular way with words that can accurately pinpoint the meaning with a simple turn of phrase. I can't believe I missed the Salterton Trilogy when I was going through a Robertson Davies phase. I thoroughly enjoyed this, the first in the series, and look forward to the others. And then, on to reading or re-reading everything else. This was his first novel, and I know he gets even better.

Set 8, 2014, 4:10 pm

>16 VivienneR: - definite book bullet with that one. Sounds right up my alley!

Set 8, 2014, 6:33 pm

Oh good! I hope you enjoy it.

Set 11, 2014, 12:49 pm

Finished two yesterday.

Category : Novel Tales - 6 of 7 read

Only time will tell by Jeffrey Archer

This is the first book of three in the Clifton Chronicles. This part of the epic tale follows Harry Clifton from his birth in 1920 to university days. Archer is a great storyteller and the story if filled with lots of twists and turns. Hugely entertaining! It ends with a cliffhanger, which is fine for me because I intend to continue with the series.

This was an audiobook read by Roger Allam, possibly better known as Inspector Thursday, Endeavour's boss (the young Morse). He is the best narrator I've heard. I'd listen to him read a telephone directory. I may decide on the print version for the second in the series because Hallam only did this one. There was also an interesting interview with the author at the end when he said the novel is autobiographical.

Category : GeographyCAT September

The Blue Sky by Galsan Tchinag

The author grew up in Mongolia, later was educated in Germany and chose the German language for his writing. This autobiography, the first in a trilogy, details his life until age eight. It has a touching innocence that is captured in the translation and which pairs well with the child's account of nomadic herders in Mongolia.

Set 11, 2014, 8:21 pm

I borrowed an audiobook of Jeffrey Archer's Paths of Glory simply because Roger Allam narrates it. I love his voice.

Set 12, 2014, 12:44 am

I just got that one too for the same reason! I have the print version on my shelves but I'd rather listen to Allam.

Set 12, 2014, 11:06 pm

I love Roger Allam! I'll have to head over to Audible to see what they have that's read by him.

Modificato: Set 13, 2014, 2:14 am

Hi Eva, I checked Roger Allam's webpage and found this short list of audiobooks that he has done:

Solar by Ian McEwan
Typhoon by Joseph Conrad
Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer
The Merchant of Venice
A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer (a retelling of the Count of Monte Cristo)
and a children's book - Alfie by Shirley Hughes

If I can't get them via the library I will have to cough up some money to buy them. Let me know if you find any at Audible.

Modificato: Set 13, 2014, 4:57 pm

Audible has most of those, along with Cabin Pressure and Typhoon - since I'm not an Archer-fan, the Conrad-book is going on my wishlist.

Modificato: Set 13, 2014, 6:30 pm

Maybe Roger will help me appreciate Conrad! Will have to investigate that.

Also Vivienne, if you're spending money on Audible I heartily recommend Cabin Pressure ;)

Set 13, 2014, 10:16 pm

>24 -Eva-: & >25 rabbitprincess: Thanks for that information and recommendations. I don't have an account at Audible, but I will investigate further. Cabin Pressure sounds like a lot of fun.

Set 15, 2014, 5:44 pm

Category: Twist and Turns - 8 of 7 read (1 past goal)

Watchman by Ian Rankin

One of Rankin's early books, it's not a bad spy novel that is set mostly in London and Belfast during the height of the action there. It is obvious that this is a writer with promise.

Set 18, 2014, 11:43 am

>19 VivienneR: Oh I like Endeavour and Roger Allam in this role. Well I think that I've seen him in other tv shows or movies ? I can't remember in what though ...

The Blue Sky is going on the BB list as Mongolia is not a well-known part of the world to me. It will be one good way to learn more about it.

Set 18, 2014, 1:11 pm

>28 electrice: Galsan Tchinag's book has been in my mind since reading it - the sign of a good book. It's a fairly short read but he packed in a lot of information about the area.

Set 18, 2014, 2:25 pm

>29 VivienneR: Great to know, I've checked and it's available at the library :)

Set 21, 2014, 1:32 pm

Category : Novel Tales (7 of 7 read) & RandomCAT September

Enigma by Robert Harris

Some parts about coding may have gone Swooosh! right over my head, but it didn't matter, I caught the gist of it and it didn't lessen my understanding or enjoyment. Turing has always held a fascination for me and although he didn't actually make an appearance in this story, he got many mentions. I especially liked the way the suspense mounted in the second half. Although I suspected some characters of not being what they claimed to be, I was still caught off-guard. Harris painted a perfect portrait of Great Britain as the war progressed and shortages became more difficult. As well as a captivating story, the details were very interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Set 22, 2014, 10:44 am

>31 VivienneR: There's also a pretty good movie, starring Dougray Scott and Kate Winslet.

Set 22, 2014, 1:07 pm

Hi Christina, I haven't seen the movie yet, but that was precisely the reason I chose the book. The topic for RandomCAT in September was the Toronto International Film Festival.

I'm hoping the movie plays in my small town. If not I'll have to find it elsewhere. It will be interesting to see how it compares with the book.

Set 22, 2014, 3:10 pm

>33 VivienneR: Ha, I should probably have made that connection with the RandomCAT and all. :) The movie "Enigma" came out several years ago, though, so I don't know if it would still be playing in theaters. Could be available from the library or Netflix though.

Set 22, 2014, 3:25 pm

>34 christina_reads: Oops! Should have checked the date. it's not at the library anymore either, so I guess Netflix is my best bet now.

Set 22, 2014, 5:05 pm

Enigma is on Canadian iTunes as well, for rental or purchase.

Set 22, 2014, 8:40 pm

Thanks rabbitprincess, that would be very convenient. I'll do it.

Set 23, 2014, 7:12 pm

Category: Twists and Turns - 7 planned; 9 read

The Anatomist's Apprentice by Tessa Harris

What a melodrama! The American anatomist Silkstone has been hired to investigate Lord Crick's untimely death - although some might wonder why he wasn't bumped off sooner. The story started with some promise but quickly went downhill as it filled with eye-rolling errors of both the factual and literary type. 18th century post mortem and forensic methods are gruesome, but if the reader is willing to put up with a few richly noisome descriptions, there is the reward of a mystery, leaning heavily toward the romantic as all melodramas should.

If I'd been reading the print version this would have been abandoned in pretty short order but Simon Vance's perfect narration of the audiobook kept me with it to the end.

Set 23, 2014, 11:01 pm

>38 VivienneR: - It appears I enjoyed The Anatomist's Apprentice more that you did, but I agree, it does have its romance angle that overshadows other parts of the story. Book two in the series continues the whole romance thing, in a rather unbelievable fashion, just in case you needed a reason to avoid it. ;-)

Modificato: Set 24, 2014, 2:00 am

>39 lkernagh: Lori, I was wondering if you'd notice that our opinions didn't match :) The BB came from your thread too! I just noticed a lot of odd things that didn't add up. Of course, this made me pay even more attention. There were actually a few times when I laughed out loud. I'm not a fan of romance, so thanks for the tip about book two.

I was wondering if there was something I didn't "get" about the book so today I had a look at some reviews here on LT and over at GoodReads. It was strange, the reviewers at LT were a lot more positive than GR. Either the LT readers are kind because the author is a member here, or like me, the GoodReads members are just an unromantic crowd :)

Modificato: Set 27, 2014, 10:56 pm

Category: Blue Eyes - favourite authors - 7 of 7 read

Archer is a recently discovered favourite.

Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer

An excellent, well-researched story about George Mallory. In 1999 Conrad Anker, one of a team in search of Mallory and team member Andrew Irvine, found Mallory's body at an altitude of 26,760 feet. Mallory had taken a photo of his wife Ruth to place on the summit. Because the photo was not on his person when the remains were found, it has been widely assumed, although not proven, that he had successfully reached the summit. This was a fascinating, well-written novel based on fact. A section at the end of the book described what happened to each of the individuals involved. The arrogance and snobbery of some, such as Brigadier General C.G. Bruce, president of the Alpine Club, was as annoying as I suspect Archer intended. This is a page-turner, especially if the reader is interested in climbing.

Set 28, 2014, 8:51 pm

Category: Hot Off the Press - 7 planned, 8 read

Olive Odyssey by Julie Angus

Angus went on a journey accompanied by her husband and infant son to find the origins of the olive tree. As a molecular biologist her goal was to examine the DNA of trees from different locations to discover their history through genetic markers. They purchased a sailboat and travelled around the Mediterranean to accomplish the task - nice work if you can get it. Probably unintended but for this reader the entire book screamed "I just got funding for an extended family holiday in the Mediterranean!"

There is no shortage of interesting information in the book but mostly it is in snippets, often repetitive, lost amid the the scientific story and the personal story. The sailing adventure, the Mediterranean locale, the family involvement did not make the book more engrossing, in fact it detracted from the point; made the story neither fish nor fowl, neither academic nor general interest. After claiming that there is so much fraudulent olive oil around, tests to determine if your extra virgin olive oil is the real deal were inconclusive. Apparently only the taste test is of any use. However, she did include a good section on how to perform a taste test, what to look for, what to avoid. An appendix provides a handful of fairly ordinary recipes using olives or oil that seem like an afterthought. A planned a visit to her father's family in Syria is where the book ended abruptly because of the current violence there.

It should have been an interesting account and yet I found it disappointing.

Set 29, 2014, 3:45 pm

Category : MysteryCAT September

Mr Dixon Disappears : a mobile library mystery by Ian Sansom

Another fun yarn about Israel Armstrong, the Jewish vegetarian librarian transplanted from London to Northern Ireland to run the mobile library. Will the hapless, insecure Israel ever be able to live a normal life in Northern Ireland? I doubt it. This time he is arrested when the department store owner disappears with the contents of the safe. Even Israel's dithering protestations make him appear guilty. Maybe it's my mothering instinct, but I adore him.

Set 29, 2014, 5:04 pm

Category : Memories - 7 of 7 read

Blood, toil, tears and sweat : the dire warning by John Lukacs

This is a short audiobook about Churchill and the effect his early speeches had on a nation at war. In most cases they rallied the people and, after a rough beginning, brought him the eventual support of parliament. It is interesting to hear his opinions in relationship with international events. Much is fairly well-known, but this provides more detail of the narrower topic. Not included here, but mentioned are the excellent speeches he continued to make after his party was voted out of office and after the war.

If any of his speeches are familiar to us it is only through reading them, not hearing them, as few were recorded. The title speech, his first as Prime Minister, was only recorded in Hansard, the parliamentary transcript. This is an interesting look at a specific of history and one of the great orators.

Set 30, 2014, 10:17 pm

Category : Tickled Pink - humour - 5 of 7 read

Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

The appeal of Jeeves and Wooster never declines. Plots vary little, yet fans - myself included - continue to read every book they can lay hands on. I immersed myself in Wodehouse when I was a teenager, then eagerly followed the television series with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. Again, my recent collection is growing by leaps and bounds.

Obviously Wodehouse re-used material in his prolific writings. In one story of this collection, Wooster's friend Bickerstaff (Bicky) had the same idea of starting a chicken farm, using the exact accounting rationale as Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge in Among the Chickens. Evidently Bicky was successful as I seem to recall a story titled Bicky's Chickens.

My favourite line is a description of Honoria Glossop: "She was one of those robust dynamic girls with muscles like a welterweight and a laugh like a squadron of cavalry charging over a tin bridge".

My sentiments for Wodehouse match Wooster's for Jeeves "You never let a chap down".

Ott 2, 2014, 10:48 am

>31 VivienneR: Enigma makes me think of The Bletchley Circle, a British TV show about 4 women who worked together at Bletchley Park during the war and applied decoding methods to catch a serial murderer.

Ott 2, 2014, 10:58 am

>46 electrice: The Bletchley Circle is SO GOOD!

Ott 2, 2014, 11:04 am

>47 PawsforThought: Paws, I haven't watch the second season but I hope that it'll be as good as the first :)

Ott 2, 2014, 11:06 am

>48 electrice: I won't spoilt it for you so won't say too much. There's two double episode arcs (four episodes all in all), one dealing with a possible wrongfully accused murderer and one with smuggling. And there's enigma machines. And a departure. That's all I'll say.

Ott 2, 2014, 11:07 am

I've seen the first season of The Bletchley Circle and hope to see season2. I have Enigma and am eager to read it. Did anyone see the movie? It was quite good, I thought.

Ott 2, 2014, 11:12 am

>49 PawsforThought: Now, you give me enough incentive to put it at the top of the To Be Watched List !

>50 majkia: I've not seen it but there's Kate Winslet and it's been recommended by few people on this thread. It's going on the famous To Be Watched List which is as long as the TBR list :)

Modificato: Ott 2, 2014, 11:16 am

>50 majkia: I haven't seen Engima but I've been meaning to. I mean, there are enigma machines. And Kate Winslet. What more do you need?

ETA: Just checked the cast list on IMDb, and OH MY GOD! There are so many good-looking men in this film! I may not survive watching it.

Ott 2, 2014, 11:18 am

>51 electrice: Mission completed. ;) I'm feeling a bit antsy after finishing (only saw the last episode a couple of days ago) because I don't know what else to watch to fill the hole. I loved having bad-ass women in period clothes solving mysteries and beating the bad guys. And enigma machines! (Can you tell I'm a bit obsessed with the idea?)

Ott 2, 2014, 11:25 am

#52 by PawsforThought> LOL. Just added it to my netflix cue at number one. Talking about it has me all het up about it again. It's been quite a few years since I've seen it. I just might have to buy a copy if I enjoy it as much as I remember I did.

Ott 2, 2014, 11:26 am

>53 PawsforThought: You just sum up what I like in The Bletchley Circle and why I think that I will like Enigma. And last but not least, H. G. Wells in WH13; do I really need to say more ?

Ott 2, 2014, 1:04 pm

>47 PawsforThought: >48 electrice: I loved The Bletchley Circle and thought the second series was even better than the first. PBS broadcast an interview with the actors about the show and I found that fascinating too.

>50 majkia: The movie is at the top of my most wanted list. I think I'm going to have to get a Netflix account just for that movie.

Ott 2, 2014, 3:29 pm

>54 majkia: Oh, if I like it (and I think I will), I'm definitely buying it. I should buy TBC, too.

>55 electrice: YES! Oh, I need to watch more WH13. I have only just started on series 2.

>56 VivienneR: Yes, I really liked the second series. The two-episodes arcs worked really well (not as drawn out). And I really liked Alice, she worked well as a replacement for Susan, even if I love Anna Maxwell Martin and would love to have her back.
I have to check if Enigma is available on Netflix here. It seems like the selection varies quite a bit between countries.

Ott 2, 2014, 4:24 pm

I'm just catching up here so I know it's a bit late but I have to agree with your points on The Anatomist's Apprentice. I read it last year I think (that's how memorable it was) and found it pretty average. I have seen book 2 at the library but avoided it. I think she even has a third one out now, I won't be looking out for that one either.

I liked the sound of the Robert Harris book you read and the Jeffrey Archer one too. I bet my library has both of those. I am going to keep them on my radar as I just brought home 7 books from the library this week that all look good so they will keep me busy for a while.

Ott 2, 2014, 8:18 pm

>57 PawsforThought: I haven't got a Netflix account so far anyway, but I see the movie Enigma is available on iTunes (more expensive than Netflix though).

>58 Roro8: I won't be reading Tessa Harris's next book either. It just wasn't for me. However, both of the Jeffrey Archer books were terrific. My son is now enjoying Paths of Glory which is weird as our reading tastes rarely coincide.

Ott 2, 2014, 8:19 pm

>59 VivienneR: Yeah, especially when I'm not the one paying for the Netflix account! ;)

Ott 2, 2014, 8:52 pm

>60 PawsforThought: Nice! I have to get more creative about what/how I watch. We don't watch much TV anymore, so I'm paying for cable for only a couple of hours a week.

Ott 4, 2014, 2:28 pm

Category: Congratulations - prizewinners 6 read of 7 planned

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

It is heart-wrenching and infuriating that the church should have such control over the lives of those it purports to nurture. I find it hard to rate this book because I have such mixed feelings. Beautiful writing, but the heartache for a life wasted to meet a priest's twisted motivaton is overwhelming. Yes, it's fiction, but I've no doubt that the control was frequently real. As far as the ending is concerned, I saw it coming from a long way off. There was really no other way to wrap it up.

Ott 4, 2014, 3:03 pm

Vivienne - I'm really, really trying to read from my massive TBR pile, but just yesterday, I was walking down the aisle at the library, and The Secret Scripture leapt off the shelf and into my hands. It was the oddest thing. It's been on my wishlist for a while, but it bumped up because I recently read and loved The Vanishing of Esme Lennox and I hear there are similarities.

Funny thing about those leaping books--it happened twice. I also brought home Let the Great World Spin. And my tbr sits . . .

Ott 4, 2014, 8:08 pm

Joyce, I think that's how I got The Secret Scripture too. There must be jumping beans bound between the pages. I've tried very hard this year to reduce the tbr - I even gave some books away - but the shelves remain jam-packed. I do believe I've had enough religious/mental illness angst to last a while, although McCann's book looks good. I'll keep it in mind.

Ott 11, 2014, 7:27 pm

Category : MysteryCAT October

Hidden Moon by James Church MysCAT October

Excellent illustration of the N.K. paranoia where everything is political. Inspector O must decide if he is supposed to investigate or solve the case. Some cases are expected to be investigated and solved if possible, some should look like they are being investigated but are not to be solved. The third category are those cases to be avoided, every stone left unturned, no records, no files. Church's writing style is not much to my liking. I didn't quite get the analogies used, such as the investigation being like bookshelves - not with books, just the shelves. Nor did I see the relevance of the many descriptions of wood: "there's a certain smugness to walnut"; mulberry "a wood with too much of a mind of its own". The depiction of North Korea and methods of investigation (even though I've no way of verifying the details) earned this book three stars.

Ott 13, 2014, 8:02 pm

Category: The Maple Leaf Forever - Canadian authors - 5 read of 7 planned

In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany

The plots are not exactly memorable, but I enjoy reading this series because they are set in the area where I live. Delany portrays the culture and atmosphere of the Kootenay region of British Columbia perfectly. There was even a plug for AC/BC, British Columbia's AC/DC tribute band.

Ott 17, 2014, 3:11 pm

Another one for the Hot Off the Press category:

Flirting with French by William Alexander

Apart from the health issues, Alexander's struggle with learning French is similar to my own - an ongoing, not too successful project. I enjoyed this humourous, entertaining look at the challenges in learning a language as an adult.

Ott 18, 2014, 9:47 pm

Category: The Maple Leaf Forever - 6 read, 7 planned

The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe

Gruesome, bloody, creepy, disturbing, and yet I was transfixed. If real life hadn't got in the way, I would have finished this in one sitting.

Only one spot made me laugh out loud. That was when I came the bit about a weird group who were described two, maybe three times, as being vegan! Yes, we are a weird bunch.

Ott 20, 2014, 2:10 am

Two more for the Hot Off the Press category - 7 planned, 11 read

Seven Pleasures : essays on ordinary happiness by Willard Spiegelman

My husband picked up this charming collection of essays at the library. What a treasure. My favourite essay was Reading almost a parallel of my own reading experience, followed closely by Writing. Spiegelman could have included reading his book as another pleasure.

James Garner's Motoring Life by Matt Stone

An Early Reviewer book that I was delighted to snag, and even happier to read. Although the audience will be mainly car enthusiasts, there is plenty of information that Garner and Rockford fans will enjoy. Stone presents James Garner as the genial gentleman that he was.

This fills the number of books I intended to read, but I went over in some categories so I still have a few to fill.

Ott 20, 2014, 1:25 pm

Category : RandomCAT October & Twists and Turns

The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill

Communist since 1975, Laos, the setting of Cotterill's book, is a country of which I know little but hope to learn more through this series. I loved the beautifully developed characters, especially the kind, tender, considerate Dr Sirl Palboun and his gentle humour. I look forward to reading more of his "cases". This was an interesting mystery with characters, methods and even the crime, so different from the usual fare. Highly recommended.

Thanks to a bookbullet from DeltaQueen50 (and others).

Ott 22, 2014, 11:44 pm

Glad you enjoyed your first visit with Dr. Siri!

Ott 23, 2014, 4:41 am

Congrats on reaching your total books target!!

Ott 23, 2014, 7:11 am

I'm glad to see you liked The Calling. I've enjoyed all three book in the Hazel Micallef series, and I think each subsequent one is better than the previous.

Ott 23, 2014, 1:39 pm

>71 DeltaQueen50: He's a sweetie. I'll continue with the series. Thanks for the BB.

>72 Roro8: Thanks. My categories are a bit uneven, but all will work out.

>73 mathgirl40: Good to hear, I plan on continuing with this series too.

Ott 25, 2014, 6:46 pm

I do love me some Dr. Siri & Co. :)

Ott 26, 2014, 1:08 am

Aha! Another fan.

Ott 28, 2014, 7:34 pm

Category: Fifty Years and Counting - 7 of 7 read

Silas Marner by George Eliot

Set in the early 19th century, Eliot's narrative accurately features the lifestyle, values and traditions of the period. Ethics, religion and the industrial revolution all play a part in this beautiful story. I realize it is not to everyone's taste but I find the old-fashioned language is a delight, describing the actions and feelings of the characters so beautifully.

Ott 30, 2014, 2:22 am

Category: GeographyCAT October 12 planned, 11 read

Little Tiny Teeth by Aaron Elkins

The action takes place on a small cruise ship sailing the Amazon and its tributaries. There is academic strife, drug smuggling and the tiny teeth of piranhas involved. Not an outstanding tale but quite enjoyable.

Nov 2, 2014, 11:38 am

Two for November MysteryCAT:

The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters

This story uses Richard III's legendary history in a variation of the closed-room mystery coupled with an English country house setting. Keeping track of the characters and their corresponding historical roles was quite a job. I listened to an audio version that was spoiled by a narrator that I disliked. I may try the print version sometime, and then again, maybe not.


Classic Railway Murders

As might be expected with the nature of the stories, it is necessary to pay close attention to the timing and sequence of events to appreciate the intricacies of the plots. This was an audiobook narrated by Patrick Malahide whose outstanding reading improved the stories significantly. He captured the characters and all the melodrama to perfection.

Nov 2, 2014, 12:21 pm

Good to know about the audio of Murders of Richard III. I have that title on my TBR but will check it out in print.

Nov 2, 2014, 12:27 pm

The reader was Grace Conlin and while she wasn't the worst I've heard, for me anyway, it didn't help the book. I'm sure the print version would be better.

Nov 2, 2014, 1:17 pm

It's funny how a narrator can make such a big difference for an average book. I've had a few that I would have liked better in print because the narrator did such a poor job. Others are improved by a good narrator.

Nov 2, 2014, 9:50 pm

Yes, Classic Railway Murders are old-fashioned type of stories that can be a bit silly nowadays, but Patrick Malahide did such a wonderful job that they might have been on PBS Masterpiece Mystery.

I just started listening to An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P. D. James and thinking of abandoning it in favour of the print copy that I also own. In this case the reader is not doing James any favours, and for this book I have a feeling she needed them.

Nov 3, 2014, 6:13 pm

>79 VivienneR: I read Murders of Richard III but I don't remember how well I liked or did not like it. It was before I was actively using LT to keep track of reading.

Nov 3, 2014, 6:15 pm

>83 VivienneR: I agree with you about Classic Railway Murders! I really enjoyed the stories when I listened to it.

Nov 4, 2014, 8:30 pm

>84 thornton37814: Thankfully LibraryThing can keep track of our reading and opinions. I've picked up a few books recently that begin to sound familiar after a couple of pages and make me wish I had some record of past reading. I'm not against re-reading books, but hate the waste of time on one that doesn't deserve it.

>85 cbl_tn: I have an e-book version of the same stories but somehow didn't get pulled into it. Malahide did the trick!

Nov 4, 2014, 8:35 pm

My kids used to say to me, "Mom, you already read that book." I would protest loudly and then half-way through think - 'drat, I know what is going to happen, I DID read this already." ... and that was when I was young and supposedly still had a memory.

Nov 4, 2014, 8:42 pm

I am currently reading Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin. Each page, each line, looks familiar but as I can't remember what happens, I keep reading, and so it continues: each page is déjà vu. It's a short read so I will finish it - again?

Nov 5, 2014, 11:08 am

>86 VivienneR: I kept a reading diary for years. I don't know if I kept it or not. If I did, it's in a file or box that I haven't spotted. Perhaps I'll uncover it this winter as I force myself to go through a lot of those stored boxes and downsize. If I locate it, I will probably enter the books read so that I don't repeat them. It won't cover all the way up until I used LibraryThing, but it will help fill gaps.

Nov 5, 2014, 11:32 am

When I was school-aged I sporadically kept a reading diary. How I wish I'd maintained it if only to remind myself of the books I've read. Now and then something sparks a memory and one of them comes to mind opening up a series of memories about where I lived, my friends, other books read at the time.

Nov 5, 2014, 1:30 pm

>90 VivienneR: What we know now!

Nov 5, 2014, 7:41 pm

Category: HerStory - 6 read of 7 planned

Death of a Gentle Lady by M. C. Beaton

The usual Hamish Macbeth in all his glory. I enjoy Macbeth's capers - maybe this one a little less than others I've read. However, he entertains for a few hours.

Nov 7, 2014, 2:30 am

Twists and Turns category: 11 read of 7 planned

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

I went back to this, the first of Rankin's Rebus series, to get some understanding of Rebus's origins and also to get an idea of how Rankin's expertise progressed - progress that took giant steps. The characters were developed well over the series, but his main character, the city of Edinburgh, was his shining jewel. One of the things I like most about Rankin's books is that he incorporates the personality of Edinburgh: its history, good points, flaws and eccentricities. I'm glad I searched out this book that helps explain the Rebus persona and make sense of his anxieties and foibles. Obviously not Rankin's best novel, but still entertaining.

Nov 12, 2014, 12:59 am

Category: Tickled Pink : 6 read of 7 planned

Get Real by Donald Westlake

Dortmunder and the boys are to appear in a reality television program as themselves, pulling off a heist and trying to make sure there isn't a catch. In this audiobook the narrator, William Dufris, did an excellent job of portraying the characters, their personalities and accents. Entertaining and humourous, in fact, laugh-out-loud funny in some places.

Modificato: Nov 13, 2014, 3:23 am

Category: GeographyCAT November: Australia, Oceania: focus Outback

The Fine Colour of Rust by P. A. O'Reilly
Epigraph: The Japanese have a word, sabi, which connotes the simple beauty of worn and imperfect and impermanent things: a weathered fence; an old cracking bough in a tree; a silver bowl mottled with tarnish; the fine color of rust.
Loretta Boskovic has been abandoned by her husband and left in a small dusty Australian town with her two children. Her imaginary life, where she leaves her children at an orphanage and meets Mr Beemer, or Mr Harley, competes with the realism of small town life with kids she loves even though they are not perfect, and good friends, including Norm Stevens, father figure and adopted grandfather to her kids. O'Reilly has not only painted an excellent picture of the small Australian town but created wonderful characters who come alive. The topics that spur Loretta's activism are common enough: single parenting, injustice, political intrigue, told with humour but without turning it into a comedy. I enjoyed this book enormously.

Note: I particularly enjoyed a reference to a topic we've been discussing in this forum recently:

"I'm sure their mother was in a childbirth fog when she named them {her twins} Timothy and Tamsyn. Everyone else calls them the Tim Tams."

Nov 15, 2014, 2:10 am

Category: Congratulations - 7 of 7 read

My Antonia by Willa Cather

What I loved most about this book was Cather's prose, which is crystal clear and beautiful. And although I admire strong women, somehow even the strength and spirit of Antonia did not have the same impact on me as she had on other readers. This was my first book by Cather.

Modificato: Nov 16, 2014, 8:51 pm

Category : GeographyCAT November #2 (12 planned, 13 read)

A second book for this category:

A Fortunate Life by A. B. Facey

This is the autobiography of Western Australian Albert Facey. It is embellished throughout with maps, photos and illlustrations, all of which are fun or relevant in some way. It looks like a doorstop but reading went surprisingly fast, not only because it is so interesting but Facey is a captivating storyteller.

Born in 1894 he was brought up by his grandmother and out of necessity started work at aged eight. One of the most dramatic chapters describes the time he spend on a cattle drive. The events following a stampede caused Facey to become lost in the outback for days, an event that was almost fatal. Fortunately, he was rescued and cared for by Aboriginals.

He survived the atrocity of Gallipoli after suffering wounds that he speaks of matter of factly although they affected him all his life. It was only when I reached this section that I realized the details were familiar, and previously seen on a television production. In fact his life story inspired a television series and at least one book.

In the post-war years he was re-established in Western Australia only to lose everything in the Depression. Facey's life was as tough as a life can be, yet there is not one word of self-pity or complaint. He taught himself to read and write. This book, written in a down-to-earth style is all the more moving because of the plain, simple language. As an example, in only a few sentences he was able to create a vivid picture of the horror of a bayonet charge and of hand-to-hand fighting. It must have been particularly horrifying for this amiable guy who held no grudges against anyone.

A Fortunate Life was published when Albert Facey was 87 years old just months before he died. I have to wonder if he took the title from his unique bit of good fortune when he discovered the woman who would become his wife, Evelyn Mary Gibson through a parcel of socks received in Gallipoli. This national celebrity is, in my opinion, an outstanding person and hero. Thanks to polaris over at the Club Read 2014 group for recommending this excellent book.

Nov 17, 2014, 11:54 am

Category : Hot Off the Press - 7 planned, 12 read

High Crime Area by Joyce Carol Oates

This was my first book by Oates and it's going in the Hot off the Press category although I believe the stories have been published previously in magazines. I'm not a fan of short stories to begin with and in this book I found them just too dark, grim even, for my taste.

Nov 18, 2014, 9:17 pm

Category : The Maple Leaf Forever - Canadian authors 7 planned, 7 read

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Annie, a realtor who was abducted at an open house, describes events to her therapist, so we know up front that at some point she escaped or was rescued. Even with that knowledge this chilling story is filled with non-stop suspense. An excellent read but not for the faint of heart.

Nov 19, 2014, 9:44 am

I recently acquired a copy of Still Missing, which I am looking forward to reading. I understand that the story is based on the real life disappearance of a real estate agent here on the island who has never been found and is presumed dead.

Nov 19, 2014, 12:22 pm

Yes, I remember hearing that the book was inspired by that case. The story comes up now and then in the news and it came to mind often as I read. I hope the real-life realtor's family don't read Still Missing.

Nov 20, 2014, 1:46 pm

Heading towards the finish line!

Category : Tickled Pink - 7 of 7 read

Dog on it by Spencer Quinn

Possibly the most entertaining mystery I've ever read. The story is narrated by a dog, Chet, whose attention span is, well, canine. As he relays the details of a conversation he may drift off into a daydream... Quinn got the dog personality perfect. This is the first in a series that I intend to complete. Highly recommended, especially to dog lovers.

Nov 20, 2014, 2:29 pm

I am happy to find another Chet lover!

Nov 20, 2014, 6:02 pm

>103 mamzel: In my opinion Spencer Quinn showed genius in his portrayal of Chet. I don't have a dog but on every page I was reminded of my friend's dog Raffi. The only difference is that Raffi doesn't mind cats, maybe just a little puzzled by them.

Nov 26, 2014, 1:46 pm

RandomCAT November : True Colours - 9 read of 7 planned

Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper

Unlike most reporters, Cooper doesn't write from a detached position that provides a dry generic account. By blending in his personal story the entire book becomes more interesting and the reader gets to know the writer, his motivation. The result is an engrossing book written from the heart by someone who can empathize with those facing disaster.

Modificato: Nov 28, 2014, 3:27 am

Category : HerStory

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

I really enjoyed this audiobook narrated by the author herself. It was a wonderful mixture of humour, women's WWII aviation history, and of course, Alabama. Lovely.

Nov 28, 2014, 3:39 am

This is how my challenge stands today, November 27. Lots of free reading coming up to finish the year!

1. Twists and Turns - Mysteries - 7 planned, 11 read    Completed
2. Novel Tales - Fiction - 7 planned, 7 read    Completed
3. The Maple Leaf Forever - Canadian - 7 planned, 7 read    Completed
4. Blue Eyes - Favourite authors - 7 planned, 7 read     Completed
5. HerStory - Women authors - 7 planned, 7 read     Completed
6. Congratulations - Prize winners - 7 planned, 7 read     Completed
7. Hot off the Press - 2013-2014 - 7 planned, 12 read     Completed
8. Once Upon a Time - Children's books - 7 planned, 9 read    Completed
9. Tickled Pink - Humour - 7 planned, 7 read     Completed
10. True Colours - Non-fiction - 7 planned, 9 read     Completed
11. Fifty Years and Counting - before 1964 - 7 planned, 7 read     Completed
12. Memories - History or historical fiction - 7 planned, 7 read     Completed
13. GeographyCAT: participated every month for a total of 13 books - December CAT to be read
14. MysteryCAT: participated every month for a total of 14 books - December CAT to be read
RandomCAT: participated every month; books are in categories 1-12 - December CAT to be read

This brings my total to 124 books read, plus 12 that were not included in the challenge

Nov 28, 2014, 3:50 am

That is an impressive result, congratulations. And yay for free reading!

Nov 28, 2014, 3:57 am

Thank you, I guess retirement helps with my reading!

Nov 28, 2014, 2:46 pm

Wow! You've done well Vivienne.

Nov 28, 2014, 2:50 pm

That is an impressive tally!

Nov 28, 2014, 3:23 pm

Your timing is perfect, Vivienne. It's great to have a little free reading time before starting in with the next year's challenge.

Nov 28, 2014, 5:55 pm

Hurray! Enjoy your free reading! :)

Nov 29, 2014, 1:20 pm

Thank you everyone, it's been a lot of fun in this group. Looking forward to next year.

Modificato: Dic 1, 2014, 9:54 pm

Category : MysteryCAT December

As the Pig Turns by M.C. Beaton

Although I have enjoyed them, none of the Agatha Raisin books have been outstanding for me. This was my least favourite, posssibly because it was an audiobook (although narrated well by Penelope Keith) or maybe I'm just over Agatha. I suspect the latter.

Modificato: Set 28, 2017, 3:33 pm

Category : Novel Tales - 8 of 7 read

Comfort and Joy by India Knight

A novel about modern relationships and blended families using the traditional Christmas family get-together as the setting. While Knight can be quite ribald - she does not hesitate to call a spade a spade - some situations are dark, some laugh-out-loud funny, others poignant. As entertaining as this novel is, it's a larger-than-life look at the complexities of family relationships and not for anyone looking for a cosy seasonal story even though it has a few warm fuzzy spots too.

Dic 3, 2014, 12:33 pm

And a second cozy for December's MysteryCAT...

Break a leg, darlings by Marian Babson

Someone is trying to bump off Trixie and Evangeline, a couple of aging actresses. Silly but fun.

Dic 3, 2014, 1:39 pm

I am very happy to see your review of Comfort & Joy as I am planning on reading it this month.

Dic 3, 2014, 6:37 pm

>118 DeltaQueen50: It wasn't perfect, but entertaining and thought-provoking. I'm sure you'll enjoy it, Judy. I'll watch out for your opinion.

Modificato: Dic 6, 2014, 9:52 am

Category : GeographyCAT December

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

Unlike most works that involve political change in a country, Bulawayo sees the upheaval in Zimbabwe through the eyes of children. Yes, a lot has changed in their short lives, but children carry on, persevere, the past is an almost forgotten world and now they are living in a new one. There are no political stories in a child's world, no historical insight. This presents a poignant story where the reader must supply the background, a refreshing and thought-provoking exercise. In the second part of her novel, when Darling moved to live with her aunt in the US, Bulawayo shows an empathy for the immense impact of alien surroundings following immigration, especially as it affects the young, who are again living in and trying to understand yet another world, even further removed from what they have known. It is recognized too that not all change is for the better, something that only those who have moved to a new country may understand. Bulawayo presents Darling's story with a flowing style that is at once uncomplicated yet without reservation.

Dic 6, 2014, 12:10 am

Excellent. Well done. Have fun for the rest of the month.

Dic 6, 2014, 9:48 am

>121 mysterymax: Thank you. Actually I still have RandomCAT for December to finish - One Woman's Arctic by Sheila Burnford that I'm enjoying, and it's a good time of year to be reading it. Then, with the challenge being completely finished I can get on to some Christmas reading. Yay!

Dic 6, 2014, 9:02 pm

Another one for Tickled Pink category:

The Fat Man by Ken Harmon

A hard-boiled mystery that involves every Christmas character and theme you can think of from Rosebud to the Sugar Plum fairy. A tad longer than necessary, but it's a clever story and a lot of fun.

Dic 8, 2014, 4:40 pm

Category : HerStory and December RandomCAT

One Woman's Arctic by Sheila Burnford

I can't believe this excellent book has been on my shelf unread for so long. Burnford's writing style is very pleasant to read while providing information and insight on a wide range of topics. It is somewhat dated in that it was published in 1973, and there have been big changes in the Arctic since then. However, I enjoyed the account of her stay in the "idyllic" community of Pond Inlet in the summers of the early 1970s when she accompanied artist Susan Ross, whose art is depicted on the endpapers. As a snapshot of those halcyon days Burnford's story makes very interesting and enjoyable reading. Highly recommended.

WooHoo! At 130 books (22 past my target) this completes my challenge. I may continue to add books for the rest of this month if they fit.

Dic 8, 2014, 5:36 pm

Yay! Congratulations on finishing your challenge!

Dic 8, 2014, 6:08 pm

Thank you Carrie. If I hadn't gone over in a few categories I could have been finished ages ago.

Dic 8, 2014, 6:19 pm

Woo hoo! Congratulations on finishing!

Dic 8, 2014, 7:34 pm

Congrats on completing your challenge!

Dic 8, 2014, 9:48 pm


Dic 8, 2014, 11:58 pm

Congratulations on finishing!!

Dic 9, 2014, 9:47 am

Thank you everyone! Now I can go over to 2015 and not feel like I'm neglecting anything.

Dic 9, 2014, 10:20 am

Congratulations! See you over at 2015 :)

Dic 9, 2014, 10:24 am

Thanks, looking forward to it Christina.

Dic 9, 2014, 10:45 pm


Dic 10, 2014, 4:37 am

Congrats Vivienne. I look forward to following your reading again in 2015.

Dic 10, 2014, 9:42 am

Thanks Lori and Ro, now I can concentrate on Christmas books - and all the other Christmas activities.

Dic 10, 2014, 9:51 pm

Congratulations on completing your 2014 challenge, Vivienne. I'm looking forward to following your reading again next year.

Dic 11, 2014, 1:36 am

Thanks Judy, I'm looking forward to another challenge year too. See you over there.

Dic 11, 2014, 2:31 pm

Congratulations! Enjoy reading whatever you like for the rest of the year.

Dic 14, 2014, 11:26 pm

Gideon's Night by J. J. Marric

Fast-paced and suspenseful, this is an old style police procedural. The story describes one night of work for Gideon, only touching briefly on the personal lives of the characters. I enjoyed this one. Marric is the pseudonym of John Creasey.

Dic 15, 2014, 5:15 pm

>140 VivienneR: Yay! I really enjoyed Gideon's Day and have Gideon's Night (and seven others in the series) in the TBR pile as well. Glad to hear it was a good one.

Dic 18, 2014, 12:23 pm

A couple of Christmas books:

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
A sentimental feel-good story with a loose Christmas connection.

Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb
A nostalgic enjoyable look at growing up in the sixties. The narrator, Felix Funicello, is Annette Funicello's cousin. His parochial school is preparing for the Christmas concert. Very entertaining.

Dic 19, 2014, 4:07 pm

I enjoyed both those books when I read them at previous Christmas times. Wishin' and Hopin' in particular made me smile as it reminded me of my family and Christmases past.

Dic 19, 2014, 7:46 pm

I enjoyed Wishin' and Hopin' and although I didn't attend parochial school or grow up in North America, the story resonated for me. One connection was the title, taken from a Dusty Springfield song. Back in the sixties my young husband-to-be was hired as a bodyguard for Dusty Springfield when she performed near us. The whole book sort of took me back in time.

Dic 21, 2014, 2:46 pm

That is so cool, Vivienne. I love Dusty Springfield, she had an amazing voice.

Dic 23, 2014, 12:08 pm

Another couple of pre-Christmas books:

A Christmas Secret by Anne Perry was a typical Perry story. I realized I had read it a year or two ago but went ahead with it anyway because it is a short read. It was OK, but I don't think I'll be trying any more.

Thereby Hangs a Tail by Spencer Quinn was wonderful. This is a series I will do my best to complete. I am seriously and deeply in love with Chet (Bernie is a bit of OK too). A full 5 stars because I enjoyed it so much.

Dic 24, 2014, 6:54 pm

I have enjoyed reading your posted reviews over the year, as well as your visits to my threads. Stopping by to wish you a Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2015!

Dic 24, 2014, 7:10 pm

Merry Christmas Vivienne!

Dic 24, 2014, 8:06 pm

Have a wonderful Christmas, Vivienne.

Dic 24, 2014, 9:13 pm

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year!

Dic 24, 2014, 9:22 pm

>147 lkernagh: & >148 cbl_tn: & >149 DeltaQueen50: & >150 rabbitprincess: Thank you all so much for the good wishes. I've enjoyed this year with you all very much and looking forward to reading with you in 2015.

Merry Christmas! All the best in the new year.

Dic 24, 2014, 10:17 pm

I'm finally catching up with your thread! Belated congratulations on finishing your challenge and I look forward to following your 2015 reading.

Dic 25, 2014, 4:09 pm

Merry Christmas Vivienne.

Dic 25, 2014, 4:34 pm

Happy Holidays and congrats on finishing. See you in the 2015 challenge!

Dic 28, 2014, 10:32 pm

>142 VivienneR: I keep meaning to re-read the Fannie Flagg Christmas book because I enjoyed Redbird Christmas so much the first time I read it. Maybe 2015 will be the magic year?

Dic 29, 2014, 2:05 pm

It's a charming story, well worth revisiting.

Dic 29, 2014, 6:48 pm

Another Christmas read. OK, but not an author that will make it to my favourites list.

Mrs Jeffries and the Merry Gentlemen by Emily Brightwell

A Victorian Christmas cosy mystery where the nice, but inept, police inspector is helped along by his household staff who investigate the murder and feed him information.

Modificato: Dic 30, 2014, 1:33 am

Only two days left in 2014 so my November ER win may be my last book of the year and it truly is a winner!

The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier

I can't tell you how happy I was to receive the 30th anniversary edition of The Hockey Sweater, a favourite book and a fabulous animated film. This edition not only contains the story with the superb illustrations by Sheldon Cohen but also describes how it all came to be, and explains just why this book is so revered in Canada. To include a DVD of the film was a much appreciated bonus.

Its importance in Canadian culture is portrayed in the commendations by luminaries from politicians, writers, illustrators, athletes, to journalists. And, in a very Canadian way, from 2001 to 2012, when an illustration and the first few lines of the story were reproduced on the five-dollar bill. Note too that the ubiquitous Eaton's catalogue, now sadly extinct, was not only used as a source of sweaters but when stuffed inside socks became excellent shin protectors.

I always wanted my own copy of this book, and this edition is a real jewel.

Dic 30, 2014, 7:40 am

>158 VivienneR: What a great book to end the year on! This is one of our own family's favourites too. I was delighted when I saw it in the ER list but did not request it, as we have our own copy of the book already. I grew up in Montreal watching Les Canadiens on TV with my father every Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada and now I live near Toronto, in Maple Leafs territory. The rivalry between the teams, as well as the fans, is legendary!

Dic 30, 2014, 12:07 pm

What a fantastic ER win and great review!

Dic 30, 2014, 1:13 pm

>159 mathgirl40: Ken Dryden's segment describes the NHL as it looked in 1946 to Roch Carrier. With only 6 teams: Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York and of course Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, Canadian allegiance was either red or blue. And - something I hadn't realized - to this day all Canadian teams have either red or blue in their colours. What a heritage!

>160 lkernagh: Thanks Lori, I could hardly believe my luck when I won it!

Dic 30, 2014, 1:19 pm

to this day all Canadian teams have either red or blue in their colours. What a heritage!

Except for that period when the Vancouver Canucks were ORANGE (cough cough)

Dic 30, 2014, 1:29 pm

Yes, I thought of that and wondered if the writer was lumping in orange with the reds. I have to admit my knowledge of the Canucks is recent. My team has always been the Edmonton Oilers, where I started my life in Canada.

Dic 30, 2014, 8:16 pm

LOL, a good couching moment for sure! The whole unusual fashion phase the the Vancouver Canucks went through tends to surface in my town whenever they manage to get themselves into the running for the Stanley Cup - which is rather fun, I will admit - and can join all those other rather interesting fashions that were all the rage at some point in time. I don't have a hockey team of choice and have been recently informed by my family that I can no longer cheer for the Hartford Whalers.... well darn! ;-)

Dic 30, 2014, 8:33 pm

A great ending for your year. See you in the new thread next year.

Dic 31, 2014, 3:06 am

Well, I've been through the book again and I can't find the "red or blue to this day" quote. This will need another, more attentive, read through.

>165 mysterymax: I was going to try to get another book in for this year but my reading almost came to a halt over the holidays. See you in 2015.

Dic 31, 2014, 4:37 pm

I had a blast this year. Even though I don't post to everyone, I read most threads and feel like I know so many in this group.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Looking forward to sharing more reading with you in 2015.