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Personal Lists 2011-2013 > Chrissie's Books 2013

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message 1: by Chrissie (last edited Mar 19, 2013 06:31AM) (new)

Chrissie I will here state the books I have chosen to read in 2013. Many of the books I wanted to read in 2012 have yet to be read, partially because I keep adding more books suggested by my great friends here at GR! I DID manage to read 160 books set in 59 different countries.

message 2: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie I just could not finishThe Garden of Evening Mists. Here is why:

Set in Malaysia, but not counted because not completed.

message 3: by Chrissie (last edited Jan 04, 2013 04:10AM) (new)

Chrissie BOOK 1 set in Morocco. 2 stars Completed 3/1 2013
There is a quite a bit to think about in The Sheltering Sky, set in Morocco, but.....
My review:


I have changed my mind a million times about whether I should read A Fine Balance. Audible changed their rules, now selling all books even the very long ones for one credit. So I bought it. What if they change their rules again! I hope it is not too depressing. I am satisfied if there is just a little, teeny bit of hope or some humor or just something to lighten it. So I am off to India now. I love learning about different places and cultures.

message 4: by Barbarac (new)

Barbarac (bcb72) | 191 comments Good luck with A Fine Balance, it'll be interesting to see what you think at the end. I was one of those that loved it, and saw the hope and humor. But I know others don't.

message 5: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Oh, I want to see the hope or humor or kindness. I have already noted Maneck's kindness. Just that may be enough to sustain me. I am so glad you have told me that you didn't see it as completely dark. I have just suffered through two bad books.

message 6: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Barbarac, I AM liking this! There is definitely humor. I felt compelled to start my review:

message 7: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie A Fine Balance
BOOK 2: set in India. Read 8/1 4 stars
I do recommend this book! There is humor mixed in; without it you would sink. You are enveloped in another time and place. The characters become your friends. Yes, they are beggars, maimed, poor and destitute.
My review:


Now I am reading The Map of Lost Memories: A Novel, which is set in Cambodia. I hope to learn a bit about the Khmer Civilization (9th through the 15th Centuries) wrapped in a fun adventure story lead by a strong woman protagonist. What will characterize this book most: culture, feminism or adventure?

message 8: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie BOOK 3 The Map of Lost Memories: A Novel
Read 10/1, 3 stars, set in Cambodia
My review:
A fun action novel, but not terribly much about the Khmer Empire, so not really what I expected.

message 9: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie BOOK 4:Sacred Hunger
Read 14/1, 3 stars, set in Great Britain
My review:


I am going to stay in England and listen to St. Peter's Fair. The problem is the recording is very poor. I hope Audible can solve the problem for me. There seem to be two recordings with different release dates. I guess I got the wrong one. You hear voices in the background!

message 10: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Yesterday, 16/1 I finished St. Peter's Fair and I must highly recommend this! I gave it four stars. It does not count toward this challenge because I already have a book for Great Britain.
My review:
Now, finally, I like cozy, historical mysteries. There are so many more in this series left for me to read. I will be reading The Leper of Saint Giles as soon as I have a chance to download some books into my Ipod! I HAVE to read the two I already have there.

This isn't terrible. I have started Pure set in France. This is one of those books that the atmosphere of the place draws you in immediately. Paris, back in the end of the 1700s. OK, it is stinky, but it is still Paris, and Paris has a charm of its own, doesn't it?! I really am enjoying this.

I am slowly but surely getting through The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. I read a chapter a day. It is impossible to read this without feeling you just might be sick! And you wash your hands incessantly. Maker sure you have a good supply of soap at home when you read this book.

message 11: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie BOOK 5: Pure
Read 18/1, 3 stars, set in France
My review:

message 12: by Chrissie (last edited Jan 20, 2013 06:57AM) (new)

Chrissie Minutes ago I finished The Leper of Saint Giles. I adored it. It was fabulous. What a story!!!!!!! I will write a review and then past it in here. My review: The audiobook narration by Johanna Ward was just p-e-r-f-e-c-t!

I am on a roll. I have to read another by Ellis Peters. It will be The Sanctuary Sparrow. So I am definitely staying in Great Britain.

message 13: by Chrissie (last edited Jan 21, 2013 03:33AM) (new)

Chrissie Judy, I went back and looked at my star ratings. I have everything from one to five, most are threes. That is certainly not bad since I consider a three star book definitely worth reading. How is it going for you? Any must-reads/favorites yet?

message 14: by Louise (new)

Louise | 120 comments I made a huge effort to avoid books that were too depressing on my list, last year I was very very pleased withPostcards From South Africa and Journey by Moonlight. The first one I'm reading this year is a Danish title, and so far I'm enjoying it.

message 15: by Chrissie (last edited Jan 21, 2013 05:27AM) (new)

Chrissie Louise, thanks for the suggestions. The thing is, I don't like short stories. The second one looks interesting and I will read the sample available on Kindle. Does it take place primarily in Italy? I shelf them by setting rather than the author's nationality. Thank you very much.

Judy, well I have read Stegner's The Big Rock Candy Mountain and really it didn't do much for me. Angle of Repose, I also have. That my husband read, and told me every single detail. "Crossing to Safety" sounds rather depressing... No? "The Thorn Birds" I read ages ago and thought it was good. "Dandelion Wine" is another I read ages ago but remember very little of... Same for Balzac. "A Thousand Mornings" does look interesting, but isn't it more of a novella? I am so darn picky!!!! I am terrible, aren't I?! Well, thanks for telling me those you have liked. I appreciate that.

message 16: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Judy, no, not really, b/c isn't it better to read a little bit at a time with poetry, free verse or otherwise? I read and read and read. I am not good at reading more than one book at a time and I like long ones better than short ones. I like to fall into another world and stay there for a long time!

I read a book written by a poet laureate.... what was that? Yes, that you might like. It had a great cover.Here it is: Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps. I even liked this!

message 17: by Louise (new)

Louise | 120 comments Chrissie wrote: "Louise, thanks for the suggestions. The thing is, I don't like short stories. The second one looks interesting and I will read the sample available on Kindle. Does it take place primarily in Italy?..."

Mainly Italy, but also Paris and Austria :-)

message 18: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Frost - he is about the only poet that I can say I LOVE: the stone wall that keeps breaking and the path that splits and you must choose which one to follow. Great stuff.

OK, I have added Oliver's book, since you think I can sit down and read it in one go! And bio oriented pieces I do like! Thanks.

Louise, yep, it starts there in Venice, as I read in the sample. What he does sure does seem crazy, but some of the lines were clearly amusing! Are there characters that you empathize with? Him or her?

message 19: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) Judy and Chrissie, you are both on a roll wih some good books. I've already handed out two this year - Gone Girl and The Song of Achilles.

message 20: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Janice wrote: "Judy and Chrissie, you are both on a roll wih some good books. I've already handed out two this year - Gone Girl and The Song of Achilles."

Janice, my mind is like a yo-yo with those two books. Read them, don't read them, read them, don't read them.... What about for me? You know I have peculiar tastes.....

message 21: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Judy, have you read Plainsong by Kent Haruf. I see that you enjoyed his first book. I feel like maybe I should add Eventide, which is the continuation.

Sorry, I forgot to ask you question about which has been my favorite so far. I only have one five star this year: The Leper of Saint Giles! Amazing since it is a series, a mystery and short! Every rule can be broken if an author has a way with words.

I read the Oliver sample on Kindle and I liked it very, very much. I moved it to a wish-list. It is expensive on Kindle 17USD! But I really, really did like it. You pegged me correctly.

message 22: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) Chrissie, I'm not sure that you would like Gone Girl. It is a mystery and quite twisted. It does keep you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out how it ends. The Song of Achilles is a retelling of the Illiad told through the eyes of Patroclus. To me, this retelling is primarily a love story between the two men and how that love impacts the things they do and brings about Achille's destiny.

message 23: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) Judy, I have also added the first in the series. Maybe we could do a buddy read.

message 24: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Janice wrote: "Chrissie, I'm not sure that you would like Gone Girl.It is a mystery and quite twisted. The Song of Achilles is a retelling is primarily a love story between the two men and how that love impacts the things they do and brings about Achille's destiny."

No, I don't think either will fit me. Neither would be fun reads for me. I have chosen The Song of Troy if I want to learn more about Achilles! Thanks for your help.

message 25: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Judy and Janice, I will tell you what I am worried about your reading the first book of the Cadfael series. It is not anywhere as near as good as either The Leper of Saint Giles or the one I am listening to now, The Sanctuary Sparrow. They are all stand-alones as long as you read 6 and 10 before 20! If you start with 1 you may never continue.

Also, the more you listen to these books the better they get because the characters' personalities get fuller as you know more things about them. You don't forget what has happened in the past. The personalities of the characters are constant in all the books. This makes you love them more and more as you read more and more. I really do not think you should start with book 1. I KNOW that it feels best to read 1 first, but..... I did read one first, but I have a friend who really explained it was not good to judge the series by that book. It took me ages to read another.

The audiobooks may improve the experience, so I higly recommend them. Please read my review b/c one of the audiobooks has a bad recording(St. Peter's Fair). Another one is available. It is important to get the right one.

message 26: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) I have my ears on for Chrissie's response to Judy's questions.

message 27: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie I am no expert. I explain my history with this series in my review of The Leper of Saint Giles. Review: I read 1, then listened to BBC Radio's rendition of 6, followed by 4, then 5 and just finished 7. I have been told that 6 and 10 must be read before 20.

I am going to go back and read 3, because it is available to me AND I have been told it is very good too! My advice is to read a good one first, so you see how good the series is. I cannot recommend ones I have not read. But I have been repeatedly told that they are stand-alones, as long as you read 6 and 10 before 20. I personally think should try and get your hands on 5-Leper. Janice, you could get the audiobook and return it to Audible if you do not like it! You cannot loose anything. Judy, are you in Audible?

message 28: by Chrissie (last edited Jan 25, 2013 04:58AM) (new)

Chrissie Judy and Janice, I gave The Sanctuary Sparrow, another book for Great Britain four stars. Judy, you with your library, are so very lucky! Don't forget that.

My review:


I have begun Speaks the Nightbird, the first of a promising new series set in the Carolinas, historical fiction about witchcraft and murder. I will be reading this with a friend.

ETA: I did not finish this. Terrible book.
My review:

message 29: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) Judy wrote: "I haven't had any need to get on Audible up to this point because I am blessed with the free cds at the library as well as the free downloads from the library.

Do you want to jump in at #5, Janic..."

I've put in a request at my library. Maybe our copies will come in at the same time.

message 30: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie janice and judy, i hope you have fun. you meet nice people and there is a mystery puzzle to solve! i hope you enjoy it so much you continue with the series.

message 31: by Rusalka (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 999 comments Mod
I have been watching this thread intently over the last couple of days as I am personally really interested in the idea of these books.

I just went to my Mum's house for dinner and as I walked past the bookshelf next to the front door there were 8 new books on the shelf. They were all Cadfael omnibuses, the complete series.

I exclaimed about them, saying you all were reading them and enjoying them and I really wanted to read them. Apparently they were my Grandfather's favourite books, and this was his set. Mum decided to keep them as the librarian in her couldn't pass up a complete set, although she has never read them, and apparently he was reading one of them when he passed away.

She and he shared a love of mysteries, and on your recommendation Chrissie, she's going to give them a go.

message 32: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Rusalka, I hope she likes them!!!!!! I am so happy for you. Maybe you can borrow them next? Remember, the first is good, but doesn't incite one to have to read more. Friends did that for me.

It is so special if your Mom can continue share this with her father now after his death. When someone dies it is exactly those shared experiences that have to be remembered.

It is very nice you bothered to tell me. Please let me know how it goes. My fingers are crossed.

message 33: by Rusalka (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 999 comments Mod
I will definitely. And I had to come tell you! It was like I tripped over someone else's treasure trove!

Oh I'll definitely be borrowing them. I'd actually found the the first one independently on Goodreads a couple of days before you started reading them. Then after your reviews and ravings, they quickly went from an interesting book to cemented on my TBR.

While it wasn't my Grandfather who solely got me hooked on mysteries, much more my Mum, it's kind of has a nice little generational feel to it now too. Here's hoping we both enjoy them too ;)

message 34: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie It is special about your sharing this common interest in mysteries!

All i can say is my fingers are crossed b/c GR has taught me that people react very differently to books. At one point I was thinking what is the point of reviews if we all react so differently?!

message 35: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Gone Girl is not for me either. Seeing the different reactions from people is what makes GR so fun for me - it helps me see things past the end of my own nose.

message 36: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) We'd love to have you join us, Rusalka!

message 37: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Maureen, we still make mistakes. I have to quit Speaks the Nightbird. I cannot take it anymore. I gave it a fair try! I warn you all, it is terrible.

message 38: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia (sylviahartstra) The Cadfael mysteries were available in Dutch years ago. I would love to re-read them, but I wonder if the Dutch translation are still available in my library. I remember I read several of them.

message 39: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Sylvia, so you liked them too!
Yeah, maybe a reread is due?!

message 40: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia (sylviahartstra) Chrissie wrote: "Sylvia, so you liked them too!
Yeah, maybe a reread is due?!"

I did. You brought them under my attention again. I remember also the tv series with Derick Jacobi. That was in the same period when the books were sold here. I think I'm going to look for English second hand copies.

message 41: by Rusalka (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 999 comments Mod
Oh I would Judy and Janice. But so many books to read!!

message 42: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie I have begun another book set in France: A Very Long Engagement.

message 43: by Rusalka (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 999 comments Mod

Guilt may win me over. And curiosity. Apparently I now have 32 books at my disposal...

message 44: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Chrissie wrote: "I have begun another book set in France: A Very Long Engagement."

Thank you for this - I want to read more WWI lit.

message 45: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie I can also say here I tried The Bloodletter's Daughter and gave up. The writing did not appeal to me. Furthermore there is debate on how accurate the historical details are.

message 46: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Others may like Speaks the Nightbird, but not me. My review:

Then I tried The Bloodletter's Daughter and after a chapter or two I dumped that too. Let's put it this way, the style of writing was not to my taste. I have seen and loved the French film version of A Very Long Engagement. I was just learning French when I saw this. I feel reading the book will clarify what I didn't understand. I have already begun it, and I am satisfied that this will be a keeper. A second book for France in other words!

message 47: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1949 comments Mod
Chrissie wrote: "I have begun another book set in France: A Very Long Engagement."

Thanks Chrissie - sounds interesting. How's the book so far? It's now on my To Read list.

message 48: by Chrissie (last edited Jan 26, 2013 09:58AM) (new)

Chrissie Lilisa, I am annoyed and have very mixed feelings about "A Very Long Engagement". I adored the movie. The central character, who is looking for her fiancé, has a completely different temperament compared to how she is portrayed in the movie. Very flippant in the book. Is it a poor translation or is it poor narration? I am listening to the audiobook. Also, it is very confusing. Every person goes under at least three different names. The only thing that is excellent is how the book shows the absurdity and horror of war.

message 49: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1949 comments Mod
Chrissie wrote: "Lilisa, I am annoyed and have very mixed feelings about "A Very Long Engagement". I adored the movie. The central character, who is looking for her fiancé, has a completely different temperament co..."

Thanks Chrissie - interesting, hopefully it gets better. I can't do audiobooks as I don't seem to be able to concentrate - I wish I could so I could read more while I'm driving.

message 50: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie I had a hard time understanding the confusing mystery in A Very Long Engagement, even after seeing the movie! I adored the French movie. Perhaps something has gone wrong in the translation and/or the narration of the audiobook. Read it in French if possible. My review explains more: This did not count for France since I have already read a book set there.


I will now start Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. Guess where it is set. I will be reading it for the USA, of course!

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