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2018 Plans > Cheri's reads for 2018

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message 1: by Cheri (last edited Oct 14, 2018 05:41PM) (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments The 2018 List
Books listed have been read for the challenge. 46/52

**Stats in comment 4.**
***Possibilities for each week are in comments 2 and 3.***

✅ 1. A book with the letters A, T & Y in the title - Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini (3 stars)
2. A book from the first 10 books added to your To Be Read list
✅ 3. A book from the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards - Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan (3 stars)
✅ 4. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #1 Earth (in title, cover, content, setting, author...) - Earthly Remains by Donna Leon (4 stars)
✅ 5. A book about or inspired by real events - The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (3 stars)
✅ 6. A book originally written in a language other than English - The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (4 stars)
✅ 7. A gothic novel - Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (5 stars)
✅ 8. An "own voices" book - Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (5 stars)
✅ 9. A book with a body part in the title (heart, bones, teeth, skin, blood, etc) - Upon the Head of the Goat: A Childhood in Hungary 1939-1944 by Aranka Siegal (4 stars)
✅ 10. An author's debut book (their first book to be published) - The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer (4 stars)
✅ 11. A literary fiction - The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (5 stars)
✅ 12. A book set in Africa or South America - Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (4 stars)
✅ 13. A book with a plot centered around a secret (forbidden love, spies, secret societies, etc) - The Lost Book of Moses: The Quest for the World's Oldest Bible--and the Man Who Wrote It by Chanan Tigay (3 stars)
✅ 14. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #2 Fire - Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (3 stars)
15. A book with an unique format/writing structure
✅ 16. A narrative nonfiction - Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt (5 stars)
✅ 17. A book you expect to make you laugh - Priestdaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood (3 stars)
✅ 18. A book with a location in the title - Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (5 stars)
✅ 19. A book nominated for the Edgar Award or by a Grand master author (books & authors) - A Cold Day For Murder by Dana Stabenow (4 stars)
✅ 20. A book rated 5 stars by at least one of your friends - A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (3 stars)
✅ 21. A book written in first person perspective - Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney (4 stars)
✅ 22. A book you have high expectations or hope for - Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (4 stars)
✅ 23. A medical or legal thriller - Bitter Medicine by Sara Paretsky (5 stars)
✅ 24. A book with a map - The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson (5 stars)
✅ 25. A book with an antagonist/villain point of view - Lady Susan by Jane Austen (3 stars)
✅ 26. A book with a text only cover - Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley (4 stars)
✅ 27. A book about surviving a hardship (war, famine, major disasters, serious illness, etc) - Circe by Madeline Miller (5 stars)
✅ 28. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #3 Water - The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera (3 stars)
29. A book with a "Clue" weapon on the cover or title (lead pipe, revolver, rope, candlestick, dagger, wrench)
✅ 30. A short book - Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard (5 stars)
✅ 31. A book set in a country you'd like to visit but have never been to (Russia) - Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing by Anya von Bremzen (3 stars)
✅ 32. An alternate history book - 11/22/63 by Stephen King (5 stars)
✅ 33. A book connected (title, cover, content) to a word "born" in the same year as you ("genetic engineering") - How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution by Lee Alan Dugatkin (5 stars)
✅ 34. A suggestion from the AtY 2018 polls, that didn't win but was polarizing or a close-call (chose a book with fewer than 2018 ratings) - Women Who Become Men: Albanian Sworn Virgins by Antonia Young (5 stars)
✅ 35. A book featuring a murder - City of Veils by Zoë Ferraris (3 stars)
✅ 36. A book published in the last 3 years (2016, 2017, 2018) by an author you haven't read before - The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (3 stars)
✅ 37. A Women's Prize for Fiction winner or nominee - A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka (4 stars)
✅ 38. A science book or a science fiction book - Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky (4 stars)
✅ 39. A book with a form of punctuation in the title - Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited by Elyse Schein (4 stars)
✅ 40. A book from Amazon's 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime list - Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth (4 stars)
41. A book by an author with the same first and last initials
✅ 42. A book that takes place on, in, or underwater - I, Columbus: My Journal, 1492–1493 by Peter & Connie Roop (eds.) (2 stars)
✅ 43. A book with a title that is a whole sentence - Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (5 stars)
✅ 44. A ghost story - Tracks by Louise Erdrich (5 stars)
45. A book that intimidates/ scares you
46. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #4 Air
✅ 47. A book where the main character (or author) is of a different ethnic origin, religion, or sexual identity than your own - The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson
✅ 48. A book related to one of the 7 deadly sins (pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, sloth) - The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore (5 stars)
✅ 49. A book from one of the Goodreads Best Books of the Month lists - The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck (3 stars)
✅ 50. A book with a warm atmosphere (centered on family, friendship, love or summer) - The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (3 stars)
✅ 51. An award-winning short story or short story collection Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat (5 stars)
✅ 52. A book published in 2018 - Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World's Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox (4 stars)


message 2: by Cheri (last edited Oct 14, 2018 05:41PM) (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments Ideas for weeks 1-26


2. A book from the first 10 books added to your To Be Read list
        Let the Great World Spin
15. A book with an unique format/writing structure
        S.
        If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
        Hopscotch
        Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age
        The Mezzanine
        Cloud Atlas
        Ghostwritten
        How to Be Both
        Dept. of Speculation
        Attachments
        The Call
        Pale Fire]


message 3: by Cheri (last edited Aug 26, 2018 09:54PM) (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments Ideas for weeks 27-52

29. A book with a "Clue" weapon on the cover or title (lead pipe, revolver, rope, candlestick, dagger, wrench)
        The Monkey's Wrench
        One More Light: An Anthology for Inspiration about Shabbos Candle Lighting
        The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery
41. A book by an author with the same first and last initials
        Tony Tulathimutte, Susan Sontag, Steve Silberman, Sonia Shah, Stacy Schiff, Ruth Reichel, Melita Maschmann, Mark Monmonier, Lisa Lutz, Katie Kitamura, John H. Johnson, Germaine Greer, Elizabeth Eisenstein, Dominic Dromgoole, Colin Cotterill, Craig Childs, Caleb Carr, Anita Anand, Graham Greene, Ken Kesey, Marissa Meyer, Philip Pullman, Don DeLillo, Herman Hesse, Bill Bryson, Michelle Moran
45. A book that intimidates/ scares you
        Homegoing
        Career of Evil
46. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #4 Air
        Under the Wide and Starry Sky
        Suite Française by Irène NémirovSKY


message 4: by Cheri (last edited Aug 26, 2018 09:55PM) (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 2018 ATY Reading Statistics

Length
Short (<250 pages): 15
Medium (250-500 pages): 28
Long (501-800 pages): 1
Very Long (>800 pages): 1

Author Gender
Female: 30
Male: 14

New to Me or Repeat Author?
New to Me: 30
Repeat: 14

Series or Standalone Book?
Series: 5
Stand alone: 39

Re-read?
Yes: 1

Format
eBook: 38
Hard or paperback: 6
Audiobook: 1

I own: 29
From library: 13
borrowed: 2

Decade Published
2010's: 25
2000's: 7
1990's: 4
1980's: 4
1970's:
1960's: 1
1950's:
1940's:
1930's: 1
1920's:
1910's:
1900's: 1
Pre-1900's: 1

Total books for ATY52 this year:
January - 10
February - 7
March - 5
April - 3
May - 4
June - 7
July - 4
August - 4


message 5: by Katie (new)

Katie | 2369 comments Homegoing is one of my favorites of the past few years. It's excellent! And I hope you enjoy if you end up fitting it into your plan.


message 6: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments Ooh, you've given me a few more ideas for the "same initials" prompt - thank you! You have some great books on your list, I'm getting really excited about next year now!


message 7: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments Jody wrote: "Ooh, you've given me a few more ideas for the "same initials" prompt - thank you! You have some great books on your list, I'm getting really excited about next year now!"

I'm excited for next year, too! There's nothing like a new beginning. :)


message 8: by Angie (new)

Angie | 807 comments You have some really great books here. A lot of variety. I'm very interested in The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery. It sounds fascinating.


message 9: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 50. A book with a warm atmosphere (centered on family, friendship, love or summer)

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (3 stars)

Reading this book is like watching a movie - lots of dramatic entrances and exits, plenty of meaningful looks, and very little privileged insight into what the characters are thinking. It would make a sweet romantic comedy. I enjoyed the how-to-listen to music descriptions and wish I had seen that there's a playlist for the book when I started reading (it's mentioned at the end in the Personal Note).


message 10: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 42. A book that takes place in, on or under water

I, Columbus: My Journal, 1492–1493 by Peter & Connie Roop (eds.) (2 stars)

I've been wanting to read Christopher Columbus' journal ever since I read some disturbing excerpts from it. When I picked this up from the library, I discovered that I had somehow requested an edited version meant to give middle schoolers a taste of reading primary sources. I once taught 9th grade history and loved using primary sources in the classroom, so decided to check this out. I was appalled. No context is given, no explanations are provided, and no thought-provoking questions are asked. Not finding some of the passages I remembered reading elsewhere, I was able to locate the full text of the journal online to see what was missing. Edited out was a passage on how easy it would be to conquer the "Indians." The book does mention captives being taken to bring back to Spain, but does not say that two captives managed to escape even though it records the story that one native asked to join the captives because he was related to them. These edits have bolstered the rosy view of Columbus that school children have long been taught, but it's not acceptable to perpetuate this view in our diverse society. And how is reading this teaching kids to use primary sources?


message 11: by Katie (new)

Katie | 2369 comments That is such a shame.


message 12: by Mely (last edited Jan 06, 2018 10:40AM) (new)

Mely (mneg) | 28 comments Some great books on your list. I'd like to know if you pick up Rebecca, The House of the Spirits, or Kitchens of the Great Midwest. These are on my list too... Maybe we can do a buddy read.


message 13: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments Mely wrote: "Some great books on your list. I'd like to know if you pick up Rebecca, The House of the Spirits, or Kitchens of the Great Midwest. These are on my list ..."

I'd love to! I'm doing the first two for sure (I think for sure ;) ) and probably doing the third. I'll let you know when I'm thinking about one, and you let me know when you're ready, too.


message 14: by Mely (new)

Mely (mneg) | 28 comments Cheri wrote: "Mely wrote: "Some great books on your list. I'd like to know if you pick up Rebecca, The House of the Spirits, or Kitchens of the Great Midwest. These ar..."
Sounds good. I'm reading out of order anyway. Probably won't be ready until March for any of these. My tbr pretty full for jan and feb.


message 15: by Marina H (new)

Marina H | 1315 comments Amazing list with a lot of great possibilities!

I'm glad to see you're reading The House of the Spirits. I've been going on and on about that book since I read it last year but it's a new favourite of mine and definitely one I'm going to read again. I hope you'll enjoy it!

I read The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised. I think it was for a group read, so I didn't have any real expectations but I found it really interesting both the story of how the dictionary was written but also the story of some of the persons who contributed.


message 16: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments Marina H wrote: "Amazing list with a lot of great possibilities!

I'm glad to see you're reading The House of the Spirits. I've been going on and on about that book since I read it last year but it's a ..."


Glad to hear such a great recommendation for House of the Spirits! I'm looking forward to it. I also read the Professor and the Madman, but it was many years and I was ill at the time and don't remember much about it. So this time I'll read it when I can pay more attention!


message 17: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 8. An "own voices" book

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (5 stars)

Take off your shoes and step into Claudia Rankine's. She'll give you a powerful experience of what her life is like Every. Single. Day. The book uses poetry, scripts, photography, and drawings to tell the story, but it is the words, especially when relating the author's own daily encounters, that make the book. I may forget the details, but I will not forget the feeling.


message 18: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 38. A science book or science fiction book

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky (4 stars)

Fascinating info! Not only is Sapolsky a renowned scholar, he's a wonderful story teller. Even his explanations of complicated physiological cascades are easy to follow. The book is about the stress response, in animals and in humans, and the basic take-home lesson is that stress is a double edged sword. This is not a self-help book (do this and feel better), but a book to clarify something that we all experience (stress) and discuss how it affects us, and what the science says might help or harm, maybe, in particular circumstances. The book is worth it for Chapter 17 alone, in which Sapolsky examines the devastating effects of poverty, especially the perception of poverty in the midst of plenty, and its multi-generational biological effects.


message 19: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 31. A book set in a country you'd like to visit but have never been to (Russia)

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing by Anya von Bremzen (3 stars)

Lots of interesting tidbits here, but it seemed unfocused - sometimes history, sometimes personal, sometimes about food. A little more depth in one aspect or another would have helped.


message 20: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 18. A book with a location in the title

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (5 stars)

This is an absorbing historical novel with a plausible mystery and a deep sense of time and place. The story centers around three people who are coming to grips with who they are, who they want to be, and how the world sees them. As the book neared the end, it began to feel contrived and a little far-fetched, like a novel pulling all the threads together to make a point (and of course, that's what it is), but until then I had felt immersed in something that seemed real.


message 21: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 35. A book featuring a murder

City of Veils by Zoë Ferraris (3 stars)

I enjoyed the mystery and the setting very much, but was disappointed in the character development. I no longer understood the continued attraction between Katya and Nayir that was so well done in the previous book (Finding Nouf).


message 22: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 10. An author's debut book (their first book to be published)

The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer (4 stars)

I kept thinking about all the possible worlds we might inhabit while I was reading this warm and engaging novel - an overarching world described by mathematics, an academic community, a family, a midwestern town, and most poignant, the lost world of Eastern European Jews. I wasn't always sure where the book was going, but I enjoyed the characters and the mixture of intellect and emotion.


message 23: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 6. A book originally written in a language other than English.

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (4 stars)

Suspenseful! Well written/translated with an unusual plot. The main detective is a jerk (along the lines of many male detectives in the genre), but otherwise this was quite a good book.


message 24: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 43. A book with a title that is a whole sentence.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (5 stars)

All the great things I heard about this book are true. :) And a bonus - Lin Manuel Miranda read the audio version!


message 25: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 48. A book related to one of the 7 deadly sins (pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, sloth)

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore (5 stars)

Narrative non-fiction at its best, this is the story of the young women and girls (as young as 14) who painted the glowing radium numbers on dials. I became one with them as I got to know their hopes and dreams, and so I, too, felt betrayed as they were lied to and thrown away when the radium made them sick. Sadly, I couldn't help but draw parallels to our present situation, with powerful men telling lies in callous disregard for the lives of others.


message 26: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 12. A book set in Africa or South America

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (4 stars) - set in Nigeria

I read this because I liked Americanah and discovered that I like this even more. Safety and security are not always what they seem, and family never is. What kind of peace do we need to make with our situation just to get through one day after another? I kept wanting to put my arms around young Kambili to protect and comfort her, but how could I have explained the "right" thing for her to do? The last quarter of the book added some distracting elements, but even so, it was a wonderful story that I expect to stay with me for a long time.


message 27: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
I love following your updates Cheri :-)

It has me moving some books up on my mental TBR.


message 28: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments Tracy wrote: "I love following your updates Cheri :-)

It has me moving some books up on my mental TBR."


Oh, thank you, Tracy! What a nice thing to say. I hope I don't steer you wrong!


message 29: by Anna (new)

Anna | 982 comments Cheri wrote: "38. A science book or science fiction book
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky (4 stars)
Fascinating info! Not only is Sapolsky a renowned scholar, he's a wo..."


I just read A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons by Sapolsky and liked it very much, and Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers is on my radar too. I'm glad you liked it, I'll slot it in somewhere in the challenge. I'm reading more non-fiction this year. Currently I'm reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and it's fascinating.


message 30: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments Anna wrote: "Cheri wrote: "38. A science book or science fiction book
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky (4 stars)
Fascinating info! Not only is Sapolsky a renowned schola..."


So glad to hear it - I have been thinking I might read more Sapolsky. I also really liked The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates by Frans de Waal, which you might enjoy, too, since you like the Sapolsky book. And The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a wonderful book!


message 31: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 36. A book published in the last 3 years (2016, 2017, 2018) by an author you haven't read before

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (3 stars)

This book uses the lives of four siblings to explore how knowing the date of your death might affect how you live. It's a provocative question, and the author has some lovely passages about it, especially with regard to the borders of reality - "a space where the impossible becomes possible." I was not convinced, however, that it was the prophecy of their death that motived the characters. There were too many complicating factors (being bipolar, having OCD, being gay in the 1970s) and too many shifting reactions to knowing their fate, or even being sure they believed the prophecy. The family connection was also a confusion, as the siblings generally did not seem close (with one exception), yet the characters kept asserting that as an essential bond.

The book was written in the simple present tense, usually reserved for speaking general truths, and so it often felt artificial and at times pretentious.


message 32: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 16. A narrative non-fiction

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt (5 stars)

I feel like I'm caught on the other side of a time warp, breathing sticky Savannah air. Reading this book was a completely immersive experience into another place, with people more foreign than my countrymen should be, yet more frighteningly like all of us than I care to believe. I think it's time to crawl back to my own world and try to forget what squiggles on the other side.


message 33: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 28. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #3 Water

The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera (3 stars)

Nicely told story of a living past. I think I would have really enjoyed this as a young teenager.


message 34: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 9. A book with a body part in the title (heart, bones, teeth, skin, blood, etc)

Upon the Head of the Goat: A Childhood in Hungary 1939-1944 by Aranka Siegal (4 stars)

This is a heartrending account of one young girl's experience of the Holocaust. Even though the author was a child at the time, and the book received a Newbery Honor, it's not a book for children. I wish there had been a final chapter to say what happened to all the people we got to know in the book, especially to Piri's family.


message 35: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 17. A book you expect to make you laugh

Priestdaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood (3 stars)

Several reviews call this book "hilarious," but it's not. There are some cartoonish characters, a bit of sophomoric humor, and some wry observations that are more clever than insightful, but for the most part the brash attempt at humor detracts from otherwise lovely writing and reflection. Figuring this out took awhile, and I almost quit reading. Eventually, though, I was drawn into Lockwood's writing enough to want to read her poetry. An image from the last chapter: "...my mother is drinking champagne. It rises glittering to the top of her head like a tiara..."


message 36: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 40. A book from Amazon's 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime list

Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth (4 stars)

I really liked this book but couldn't figure out why. Fortunately, Bernard Avishai figured it out for me: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernar...


message 37: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 21. A book written in first person perspective

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney (4 stars)

I really enjoyed this book, especially Lillian's wit and wordplay. Some of the encounters she had on her walk seemed a little contrived, but overall her outing provided a good way to tell her story and I was sorry to leave this formidable, insightful, reflective woman once she returned home.


message 38: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 30. A short book

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard (5 stars)

In these two short lectures on women's public voice and women's power, Mary Beard shines a light on long-held cultural restrictions on women's ability to participate in public discourse and governance. It's chilling to see how much resonance her examples from ancient Greece have in modern times. I hope Beard expands this work and discusses ideas for making change. As she rightly points out, "You cannot easily fit women into a structure that is already coded as male; you have to change the structure."


message 39: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 7. A gothic novel

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (5 stars)

How could I not have read this before?!? Wow. So well done.


message 40: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 20. A book rated 5 stars by at least one of your friends

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (3 stars)

Amor Towles writes witty, sparkling prose, with plenty of delightful piffle. It was my favorite thing about the book, as well as my least favorite thing. Partly there was just too much piffle, and it became annoying. (This is a long book!) But mostly it set a tone for the book that felt wrong for the story. Outside the hotel were revolution, famine, war, and terror, but inside the hotel it seems that you could just put on a happy face and everything would be okay. If only!


message 41: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 13. A book based on a secret

The Lost Book of Moses: The Quest for the World's Oldest Bible--and the Man Who Wrote It by Chanan Tigay (3 stars)

I read this book because I had seen a display of Shapira's collection in the rare book room at UCSF (and with the info I got there, the ending was no surprise). The book is really two stories: the author's search to find the Deuteronomy strips and the story of Shapira himself. Woven in with all of this was fascinating info on how authenticity is established. I enjoyed parts of the book very much, but I found the way it jumped around to be sometimes annoying and occasionally confusing. It also seems that by telling the story as part of the author's own discovery, the earlier portions talking about Shapira and other dealers in ancient manuscripts needed to be reexamined in the light of what the author eventually learned. Tigay tacks on a bit of that at the end, but I think it should have been more integral to the story.


message 42: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 37. A Women's Prize for Fiction winner or nominee

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka (4 stars)

This is a delightful, funny book about serious issues -- family, aging, immigration and deportation. The author adds more depth as the story progresses, sometimes explicitly but often through the history of tractors, which was cleverly included and surprisingly interesting. ("The early makers of the tractor dreamed that swords would be turned into ploughshares, but now the spirit of the century grows dark, and we find that, instead, ploughshares are to be turned into swords.") As the family's dark secrets are gradually uncovered, I found myself thinking of these lines from Kipling:

I have written the tale of our life
For a sheltered people's mirth,
In jesting guise - but ye are wise,
And ye know what the jest is worth.



message 43: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 14. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #2 Fire

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (3 stars)

Several important issues were brought up in this book (conformity, art, motherhood, race and culture), but nothing was explored deeply. I found the writing style to be flat and unexpressive and the characters to be more types than real people. The book had its moments, like when Mia says to Izzy the first time they meet, "What are you going to do about it?" But thoughtful follow through was lacking so it ended up feeling more like a set-up line than an idea whose ramifications were explored.


message 44: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 3. A book from the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan (3 stars)

A little scary at times, but basically interesting mystery. The characters didn't ring true to me, although I appreciated that the author centered his story on a woman.


message 45: by Cheri (last edited May 04, 2018 08:08PM) (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 26. A book with a text only cover

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley (4 stars) Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

Charming story, delightfully written. How much the world (and writing styles!) has changed since this was written in 1907.


message 46: by Tammy (new)

Tammy | 704 comments Cheri wrote: "14. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #2 Fire

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (3 stars)

Several important issues were brought up in this book (conformit..."

I just read this one last week. I agree with your assessment!


message 47: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments Tammy wrote: "I just read this one last week..."

Glad to hear it, Tammy! It's such a popular book that I felt a little curmudgeonly saying I was not a big fan.


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Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 4. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #1 Earth (in title, cover, content, setting, author...)

Earthly Remains by Donna Leon (4 stars)

Never read a Commissario Brunetti mystery for the plot or action, or to savor the triumph of justice. This book, like so many others in the series, is a beautifully written tale of Brunetti's reflections on being a policeman in a corrupt system and on the big questions of life itself. I wish there had been more of Paola and Signorina Elettra in this volume, but I enjoyed Brunetti's first encounter with the bees.


message 49: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 47. A book where the main character (or author) is of a different ethnic origin, religion, or sexual identity than your own

The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson (4 stars)

Wilson, raised an atheist, made a decision to convert to Islam before she met and married her devout Egyptian husband. This book is at its best when Wilson, a journalist, details everyday life in Egypt and discusses her unusual situation of being both a Muslim and an expat American there. Unfortunately, the reasons for her decision to convert are barely touched on. I had hoped for a more thoughtful explanation from this insightful woman.


message 50: by Cheri (last edited Jun 14, 2018 09:59PM) (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 542 comments 19. A book nominated for the Edgar Award or by a Grand master author (books & authors)

A Cold Day For Murder by Dana Stabenow (4 stars)

This was an intriguing mystery, but it was the rural Alaskan setting and the Aleutian female detective that made the book for me.


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