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2018 Reads & Personal Challenges > Laurel's 2018 Reading Choices

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message 1: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Overview:
I've been working on two things this year, and I'm absurdly pleased with the results, so I'm sharing here. One project has been to get all of the books that I have obtained free or purchased for Kindle or Nook (or Kobo or PDFs...) listed on my Goodeads account. The other project has been to create little slips for every book on my TBR (ebooks and print books) - about 2,200+ ! ) so that I can randomly pick a certain number of books to read for 2018. For next year, I want to add all the print books I own to both Goodreads and slips, but that's another story...)

So I divided my 2,200+ slips into 6 categories and put them in ziploc bags: 4 large categories (historical fiction (pre-1900), themes (I've had themes every year, like read 12 books related to Moby Dick, or Pride and Prejudice, or titles with Wife in them, or birds, or music, or whatever...), books in series (more than 3), both new series, and series I want to continue, and Other (20th century fiction, fantasy, sci fi, etc. Then I have 2 smaller categories of nonfiction, and books relating to either Wales or King Arthur. Then I randomly drew slips from each bag, 6 from the 4 large bags, and 3 from the two small bags to make 30 titles.

My first goal is to read at least 12 books out of the 30 for 2018. Another goal is to read the 12 books for my real life book club that I'm in, 12 more will be other book groups' reads (like this group), and then 12 free choice, which may include things I started but didn't finish this year. I say I'm going to read 48 books every year, and I never make it - my average is about 36 - but I still try.

Then add in challenges from different groups, but I think I'll only do them concurrently - that is, the same titles can be used for different challenges. Also, although I call this my 2018 list, I reserve the right to start now!


message 2: by Laurel (last edited Nov 10, 2018 12:26PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Goal #1 - Random Reads
Read 12 books from this list of 30 titles, drawn randomly from selected categories as described in the overview above.

Nonfiction:
READ Nov Britain Begins
Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet
READ Jan The Frozen Thames

Wales and Arthurian:
The Long Walk Home
The Story of the Champions of the Round Table
Flint

Next in Series:
Bertie Plays the Blues (44 Scotland Street #7)
READ Jan Conspirata (Cicero #2)
READ July Virgins (Outlander #0.5)

New Series:
Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga #1)
READ July Publish & Perish (Ben Reese #1)
Death in Bordeaux (Superintendent Lannes #1)

Themes (old and new):
Railsea (Moby Dick)
The Chocolatier's Wife (Wife titles)
The Drago Tree (Tree titles)
Peregrine (Bird titles)
An Exaltation of Larks (Bird titles)
The Seventh Magpie (Bird titles)

Historical Fiction:
The Golden Horn (11th cent. Vikings)
The Summer Queen (12th cent. France)
Queen By Right (15th cent. England)
The Aviary Gate (16th cent. Constantinople)
Searcher in the Dawn: A thrilling blend of murder mystery and historical romance (17th cent. England)
By Honor Bound (18th cent. France)

Other:
Angels and Insects (Victorian)\
Stone's Fall (19th/20th cent.)
The Evening Chorus (WWII)
Freshwater Road (1960s)
Wicked Like a Wildfire (teen fantasy)
READ Jan The Barn: From the Beginning (comic strip collection)


message 3: by Laurel (last edited Nov 10, 2018 12:41PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Goal #2 - Daytimer's Book Club
Read 12

READ Jan: A Man Called Ove
READ Feb: The Language of Flowers
Mar: The Zookeeper's Wife READ 2008 (will reread or substitute an older book club read that I haven't read)
READ Apr: The Paris Wife
READ May: The Nick Adams Stories
READ Jun: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
READ Jul: My Brilliant Friend
READ Aug: The Tiger's Wife
READ Sep: Never Let Me Go
READ Oct: The Handmaid's Tale
READ Nov: The Life We Bury
Dec: Mary Poppins

Older, not yet read:
The Pillars of the Earth
Wolf Hall
READ Apr A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
The Tall Pine Polka


message 4: by Laurel (last edited Aug 27, 2018 01:57PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Goal #3 - other (online) book group reads, buddy reads, etc.
Read 12

Possibilities:
READ 2017 The Witch's Daughter (Reading Loft Oct 2017)
READ Mar Corduroy Mansions (Reading Loft Mar 2018)
READ May Plague Land (to reread) (Reading Loft Sep 2017)
READ July The Outcasts of Time (Reading Loft)
READ Aug The Essex Serpent (Reading Loft Jan 2018)
Behind the Scenes at the Museum (Reading Loft Mar 2017)
Earthly Joys (Reading Loft May 2017)
The Summer Queen (Reading Loft Nov 2017)
A Time To Change (Reading Loft Dec 2017)
Jerusalem (Chunky Books)
Kristin Lavransdatter
King Hereafter (Open Sea)
The Plum Tree
And Ladies of the Club
The Alice Network (BookiesToo Jan 2018)


message 6: by Laurel (last edited Dec 17, 2018 12:30PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments All About Books 2018 Challenge - author's name

M A Man Called Ove
C Conspirata
C A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
A All's Faire in Middle School
L Love Over Scotland
L The Life We Bury
S
M My Brilliant Friend
I Ilsa
T The Tiger's Wife
H Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Besides reading titles that spell out the name, this is my author of choice to reread this year, so I'm going to be rereading the 44 Scotland Street series. Bertie Plays the Blues was next up on my list, so I'd like to get at least that far.
READ Apr 1. 44 Scotland Street
READ Apr 2. Espresso Tales
READ Oct 3. Love Over Scotland
READ 4. The World According to Bertie
5. The Unbearable Lightness of Scones
6. The Importance of Being Seven
7. Bertie Plays the Blues
8. Sunshine on Scotland Street
9. Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers
10. The Revolving Door of Life
11. The Bertie Project
12. A Time of Love and Tartan: A 44 Scotland Street Novel

Will also be starting the Corduroy Mansions series with an online group. Fortunately, there are only 3 in that series, so far...
READ Mar 1. Corduroy Mansions
READ Sep 2. The Dog who Came in from the Cold
3. A Conspiracy of Friends

Would like to continue the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I think I'm only on #4. Don't know if I'll reread or not. Not going to try and read them all this year...
1. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - READ
2. Tears of the Giraffe - READ
3. Morality for Beautiful Girls - READ
--------------------------------------------------------
4. The Kalahari Typing School for Men

Adding another author, to be continued into next year...

M
A
D The Dog who Came in from the Cold
E
L
E
I
N Never Let Me Go
E

L
E
N
G
L
E

Lots of Es and Ls, so we'll see....

Here is "sort of" a chronological list of books featuring the Murrays, the O'Keefes, the Austins, and a few other crossover characters, and maybe a few books that don't have any crossover but I'm including them anyway...

The Other Side of the Sun
READ Ilsa
The Small Rain
And Both Were Young
The Joys of Love
Camilla
A Winter's Love
Love Letters
------------------------------------------
A Wrinkle in Time
A Wind in the Door
Many Waters
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
------------------------------------------
Meet the Austins
The Moon by Night
------------------------------------------
The Arm of the Starfish
Dragons in the Waters
A House Like a Lotus
------------------------------------------
The Young Unicorns
A Ring of Endless Light
Troubling a Star
------------------------------------------
An Acceptable Time
------------------------------------------
Certain Women
A Live Coal in the Sea
A Severed Wasp


message 7: by Laurel (last edited Jul 27, 2018 09:12PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments On the Porch Swing 2018 Challenge

1. Read a book with Widow or Widower
The Widow Makers

2. Read a book with your birthstone or birth month
Miss Garnet's Angel

3. Read a book with a direction
Queen By Right

4. Read a book that is set around a bookstore or library
Library of Souls

5. Read a book with a scent/smell
READ Feb The Language of Flowers

6. Read a book with adjective

Spell STACKS:
S
T
A All's Faire in Middle School
C Caroline: Little House, Revisited
K
S


message 8: by Laurel (last edited Jul 05, 2018 02:32PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Monthly themes at the library, January through June:

Jan 1: COZY Read a cozy mystery. Or a book with a cozy sounding title or something cozy on the cover (a crackling fire? an armchair? )

Jan 2: WINTER/HOLIDAY Pick a book with a winter or holiday theme. Or read a book with winter, snow, ice or something wintery in the title.

Jan 3: CRAFTS Read a book that features a craft (knitting, quilting, yarn shop, etc.)

READ The Frozen Thames (winter)

Feb 1: LOVE / ROMANCE Read a love story or romance. Or read a book with love, romance, roses, or hearts in title or on cover.

Feb 2: JEWELS Read a book with a jewel or jewels in the title or on the cover. (Examples: diamond, amethyst, garnet….)

Feb 3: February is the SHORTEST month. Read a short story or collection of short stories, or read a book with short in the title.

READ Virgins (Bonus points: heart on cover AND short story)

Mar 1: CELTIC holidays -- St. David’s Day (Wales), St. Piran’s Day (Cornwall), and St. Patrick’s Day (Ireland) are all in March! Read something Celtic or with Celtic motifs on the cover, or a book with a green cover.

Mar 2: EASTER is April 1st. Read a book with a rabbit or eggs on the cover or pastel colors on the cover.

Mar 3: March is WOMEN’S HISTORY Month. Read a biography of a woman, or read an historical fiction book with a real woman as a character.

READ Espresso Tales (set in Scotland AND green cover)
READ Caroline: Little House, Revisited (historical fiction about Caroline Ingalls)


Apr 1: RAIN / SHOWERS Read something with Rain or Showers (or similar) in the title. Or read a book with BOOTS or an UMBRELLA on the cover.

Apr 2: SPRING BULBS Read a book with tulips, daffodils, crocuses, etc. on the cover or in the title.

Apr 3: March is National POETRY Month. Read a book of poetry, or something to do with poetry in the title.

The Long Walk Home (boots on cover)

May 1: GARDENS / FLOWERS Read a book about gardens or gardening, or a book with a flower in the title or flowers on the cover.

May 2: BIRDS Spring migration brings lots of birds through Minnesota. Read a book with a bird in the title.

May 3: MOTHER’S DAY Read a book that reminds you of your mother – an author or setting she likes, or a character/author/title that shares your mother’s name, or set in her home state,
or ???

READ The Language of Flowers
Gilead (to reread - reminds me of mother - minister's wife and set in Kansas)

June 1: SOMETHING OLD

June 2: SOMETHING NEW

June 3: SOMETHING BORROWED

June 4: SOMETHING BLUE

READ The Wine of Angels (bonus, bonus, bonus, bonus points: 1. old - on my TBR for a long time, 2. borrowed several times from the library, then purchased 3. new as both ebook and from audible, and 4. it has blue lettering on the cover)


message 9: by Laurel (last edited Sep 27, 2018 04:23PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Monthly themes at the library, July through December:

July 1: PATRIOTIC Read a book with red, white, AND blue on the cover. Read a book set during the Revolutionary War era in America.

July 2: BASTILLE DAY (July 14) Read a book with a person with no head showing on the cover. Read a book set in France.

July 3: Head to the BEACH Read a cover with beaches, sand, or swimming. Read a book with SUMMER in the title.

August 1: DOGS Read a book with a dog on the cover, or read a book with a dog as a major character.

August 2: HEAT (and summer weather) Think hot, summer sun, sunburns… Drought, thunderstorms, fever…

August 3: GRILLING (Hotdogs, anyone?) Backyard cooking, food associated with summertime… or maybe camping, campfires, etc.

READ The Dog who Came in from the Cold

Sept 1: LABOR DAY Read a book with an occupation in the title.

Sept 2: Back to SCHOOL Read a book set in a school, or featuring a teacher or professor. Or read a book with a school on the cover.

Sept 3: BOOKS Read a book that features a bookstore or a library. Or reread a book you had to read in school, or read a book you were supposed to read but didn’t.

A Wrinkle in Time

Oct. 1: FALL is here Read a book with fall or falling in the title. Read a book with leaves on the cover, or with the colors of autumn leaves.

Oct. 2: HAUNTED HOUSES Read a book that features a house. Gothic is good - houses can be haunted by memories or past tragedies, not just ghosts….

Oct 3: GHOSTS Read a book that features a ghost, or scary creature – witches, vampires, zombies…

The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors


message 10: by Laurel (last edited Jan 01, 2018 12:05PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Finally finished The Witch's Daughter (The Witch's Daughter, #1) by Paula Brackston The Witch's Daughter. It was the October book for another online group. So it won't count for 2018, but it'll count as one of my goals (#3) above.

Here's my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 11: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Edited message #5 - besides spelling out the name McCall Smith, I'm making it a goal to reread the 44 Scotland Street (1-6) and then continue with #7. Will also be reading Corduroy Mansions for an online group read in March. May or may not try and reread and continue the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I'm only on #4 in that series...


message 12: by Laurel (last edited Oct 04, 2018 12:09PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Happy New Year!

I'm so eager to get going on those random reads now that 2018 is here. There are several that I think I could knock off in a day, and it's too cold to go anywhere today...

READ The Barn: From the Beginning - a collection of my favorite comic strip by Ralph Hagen.
READ Virgins - a short story in the Outlander series
READ All's Faire in Middle School - a children's graphic novel. Shouldn't take too long!

Need to finish:
Yseult: A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur to finish a 2017 challenge... but it's going to get set aside, for other things today at least...
READ Conspirata and
READ Dictator- audiobook
READ The Wine of Angels - but probably won't happen this month. I've left it sitting too long and should start over. Would like to find it on audio - that's the only guarantee I'll get it read. I do like it and I like the characters - it's just so long....

For book clubs this month:
READ A Man Called Ove
READ The Essex Serpent

To start soon, hopefully:
READ The Frozen Thames - a fairly short little book.
Library of Souls - I've had this checked out from the library forever, so it's another one I'd like to get to sooner rather than later
READ 44 Scotland Street - to kick off my reread of this delightful series

So those are my January plans!
-------------------------------------------
End of month update:
Read 6 books. Excellent! Two more in progress.
Favorite book of the month was A Man Called Ove


message 13: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments First book of 2018 read: The Barn From the Beginning by Ralph Hagen The Barn: From the Beginning

A long time favorite comic strip of mine. Here is my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 14: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Finished All's Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson All's Faire in Middle School

Another quick read to get off my Mount TBR! Here's my review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Wow, 2200 books is a lot! I guess with that amount picking a choice must be almost impossible so your idea of the slips is brilliant.

Good luck with your challenges!


message 16: by Laurel (last edited Jan 09, 2018 04:59PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Three down already! Finished Conspirata (Cicero, #2) by Robert Harris Conspirata 4 stars

Here's my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I've already started listening to Dictator to finish the trilogy.


message 17: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Heather wrote: "Wow, 2200 books is a lot! I guess with that amount picking a choice must be almost impossible so your idea of the slips is brilliant.

Good luck with your challenges!"


Thanks, Heather! I've tried other schemes for picking random reads, but this one has really gotten me motivated. I've already finished two books from the 30 slips I drew. I have them in a gold drawstring bag on my desk. Right now I know which books I want to get read first, but at some point I hope to dip into the bag to see what I'll read next...


message 18: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #4. The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys The Frozen Thames

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

4 stars. A nice meditative little book for cold nights.


message 19: by Laurel (last edited Jan 25, 2018 07:06PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #5. Dictator (Cicero, #3) by Robert Harris Dictator

Leaned at times toward 5 stars, but I left it at a solid 4 for this third book of the trilogy, and a solid 4 for the trilogy as a whole. Thoroughly researched and brilliantly brought to life, it covers the last 15 years of Cicero's life.

I'm not generally a fan of ancient Rome or politics! But I read this because I'm trying to read as many Walter Scott nominees as I can. Conspirata (or Lustrum) was on the shortlist in 2010, and Dictator in 2016 so I can cross those off now.


message 20: by Laurel (last edited Feb 01, 2018 07:55PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #6. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman A Man Called Ove

Definitely 5 stars. This is a great book and my favorite read for January. I probably don't need to say much about it, since I'm probably about the last person to read it, but here's my Goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 21: by Laurel (last edited Oct 04, 2018 12:11PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments February plans:

Currently reading:
READ The Essex Serpent
After that I will get back to:
Yseult: A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur

Just started:
READ The Wine of Angels - I broke down and did a free trial of Audible (which I am continuing). This was one of two free selections I got to pick, and it was not available on audio through the library. I started reading this in 2016, and got about halfway before other things got in the way and I just never seemed to get back to it. It'll finally get finished this month! Yeah!

For bookclub (end of Feb.):
READ The Language of Flowers - audiobook
After that, maybe
READ 44 Scotland Street to start my reread of that series.

After finishing Yseult above, these are on my agenda:
READ Virgins
Miss Garnet's Angel
The Rose of York: Love & War
The Lives of Tudor Women


message 22: by Evelyn (new)

Evelyn | 1410 comments Laurel The Language of Flowers is an excellent book club book, I also read it for my book club and we had one of our best ever discussions on it. Enjoy!


message 23: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimborams) | 260 comments Laurel wrote: "#6. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman A Man Called Ove

Definitely 5 stars. This is a great book and my favorite read for January. I probably don't need to say much about it, si..."


Glad you enjoyed it, Laurel. I thought it was a great read too. Surprisingly, the film version was very good too - great casting and excellent portrayal of the book (subtitled though!).


message 24: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #7. FukuFuku Kitten Tales 1 by Kanata Konami FukuFuku: Kitten Tales 1

I probably shouldn't even count this - it's a children's graphic novel that took me all of 30 minutes to read. I loved the Chi's Sweet World series by this author, so I had to read it. Her cats are so wonderfully portrayed! Didn't quite have the emotional impact that Chi had. I gave it 4 stars which might be a tad generous, just because I love cats. It's certainly a pleasant way to fill a lunch break though!


message 25: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #8. The Wine of Angels (Merrily Watkins, #1) by Phil Rickman The Wine of Angels

FINALLY finished this one after I got it from Audible. 4 stars. I liked it, and already got the next one in the series.

#9. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh The Language of Flowers

This one was all right. I didn't LOVE it. 3 stars.

That finished out my February reads.
Monthly total: 4 books
Favorite was The Wine of Angels.


message 26: by Laurel (last edited Oct 04, 2018 12:12PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Plans for March, which is almost over (ha ha):

Still want to read, and not getting back to them...
READ The Essex Serpent
Yseult: A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur

READ Corduroy Mansions - monthly book for The Reading Loft
Continuing with Alexander McCall Smith and kicking off my reread of the
READ 44 Scotland Street series.

Started The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women: A Social History but had to return it because it had a hold waiting. I placed a hold to get it back...

I've already read the March book for Daytimers (The Zookeeper's Wife) and not planning to reread it, so I've checked out the audiobook for a previous Daytimer's read that I didn't finish then...
READ A Constellation of Vital Phenomena


message 27: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #11. Corduroy Mansions (Corduroy Mansions, #1) by Alexander McCall Smith Corduroy Mansions

Similar in style to the 44 Scotland Street series. Not as keen on the characters (yet), but I will continue the series. Next though, I am currently rereading (audiobook) 44 Scotland Street.


message 28: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #12 and 13. Two more I probably shouldn't count. My interest was piqued by the bunny on the cover (bunnies and owls will get me every time...) and the general topic. I could relate to stuff about being an introvert, but otherwise I'm probably not the audience for these, which are aimed at young adults.

Adulthood Is a Myth (Sarah's Scribbles, #1) by Sarah Andersen Adulthood Is a Myth
Big Mushy Happy Lump (Sarah's Scribbles, #2) by Sarah Andersen Big Mushy Happy Lump
I'm skipping #3 in the series.... for now.


message 29: by Laurel (last edited Jul 04, 2018 10:32AM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Catching up on posting!

#14 44 Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street, #1) by Alexander McCall Smith 44 Scotland Street - McCall Smith reread
#15 A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra A Constellation of Vital Phenomena - old Daytimer's read finally read
#16 Espresso Tales (44 Scotland Street, #2) by Alexander McCall Smith Espresso Tales - McCall Smith reread
#17 Plague Land (Somershill Manor Mystery, #1) by S.D. Sykes Plague Land - reread on audio
#18 The Paris Wife by Paula McLain The Paris Wife - Daytimer's
#19 The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway The Nick Adams Stories - Daytimer's
#20 Hillbilly Elegy A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis - Daytimer's


message 30: by Laurel (last edited Oct 04, 2018 12:14PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments July update and plans:

4 behind on overall goal. 3 behind on Random Reads goal. Remedied that by knocking off
#21 Virgins (Outlander, #0.5) by Diana Gabaldon Virgins
A fun little romp for Outlander fans, but in the overall scheme of things I didn't feel it added any thing of value to the series.

I sorted the remaining Random Reads by length to prioritize some of the shorter ones. I'm itching to draw new slips, but I must read at least the minimim in each sub-category first... So for "New Series" I have requested
READ Publish & Perish from a nearby library system. It will take a week or so to get.
Meanwhile, The Golden Horn is next up for shortest on the list, but I have it on Kindle where I have stopped reading
Yseult: A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur which was leftover from a challenge last year. So that needs to be finished first.

The July Daytimer's book is
READ My Brilliant Friend
I'm currently listening to
READ Caroline: Little House, Revisited in the car, so will start My Brilliant Friend next.
Then, I want to get back to the McCall Smith rereads, and I have
READ Love Over Scotland on CD from the library waiting...

I've started
READ The Outcasts of Time for some online group or other, and it is due back next week at the library with a hold waiting, so it's now or maybe never...

And then I have devised some monthly reading themes for the library and for a quarterly book group that I started there, and there are always titles that I would LIKE to read for that, but I'm not restricting myself to reading them within the designated month, especially since I have several themes each month to give folks some choices. I'm posting those above in my placeholder posts (message 8 and 9). Would like to maybe meet 12 of those, but I know that means some of my other goals may suffer. Oh well, it's all just ways to choose my next book isn't it! Still, I want the Random Reads to have priority, so I can get those books off my TBR mountain!


message 31: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #22 The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer The Outcasts of Time
4 stars - I liked it. A little slow to start, but I liked the social commentary, and the philosophical musings.

#23 Caroline Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller Caroline: Little House, Revisited
4 stars - Not quite what I expected. Follows Laura Ingalls Wilder's book too closely, but lovely writing.

#24 Publish & Perish (Ben Reese, #1) by Sally Wright Publish & Perish
3 stars - liked it better than I thought I would, and have started the 2nd in the series. Trying to knock off some shorter books to get caught up on my goal of 48 for the year! Only 4 behind now...


message 32: by Laurel (last edited Aug 27, 2018 02:01PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Plans for August:
Currently listening to:
READ My Brilliant Friend - not liking this very much, and tempted to DNF since bookclub was today, but I'm over halfway, so will try and stick it out.
Just started:
Pride and Predator - #2 in the Ben Reese series.

Still need to finish and haven't touched all year:
Yseult: A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur
READ The Essex Serpent - will look for this on audio
The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women: A Social History

Next on audio (for bookclub):
READ The Tiger's Wife

Next on my radar:
Library of Souls
Awayland - saw this and fell in love with the cover, so I HAD to check it out. I might buy it, just for the cover!
Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet


message 33: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #25 My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1) by Elena Ferrante My Brilliant Friend
2 stars. I really struggled to finish this. Just not for me.


message 34: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #26 The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill The Tea Dragon Society

How could I not love this, when it combines dragons and tea and keeping old traditions alive and wonderful artwork? 5 stars


message 35: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #27 The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht The Tiger's Wife

4 stars. With its multiple themes, interwoven stories, and magical realism there is much to ponder here.


message 36: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #28 The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry The Essex Serpent

4 stars. Literate and atmospheric, I enjoyed this very much.


message 37: by Laurel (last edited Nov 10, 2018 12:48PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments It's almost September. I did manage three books of my August plans which is quite good actually. I'm still 4 behind my annual total though.

I've gotten distracted from the books I keep trying to finish, namely
Yseult: A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur
READ What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia
The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women: A Social History

I've caught up with bookclub books for the moment. So I am listening to
READ Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
which I've had on hold for quite a while and it came in this week.
Not sure what I will do for bookclub. The group met today, but due to Labor Day weekend I totally spaced it off, and I know 2 or 3 of the women were going miss it because of a funeral. Our book for September was supposed to be When We Were Orphans, but the bookclub in a bag kit has been withdrawn from the library and there are not enough other copies. I've substituted
READ Never Let Me Go, but the audio has a long waiting list. I'd still like to discuss
READ The Tiger's Wife so maybe I will let every one just read whatever book by Ishiguro they would like. In that case, I would read The Buried Giant.

I have Veil of Lies currently downloaded from the library. It was an impulse thing, but now I feel I have to read it before it expires!

And I've gotten distracted today, hashing over Madeleine L'Engle's books after watching the DVD of A Wrinkle in Time, but I'll do a separate post about that....


message 38: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments I've always loved Madeleine L'Engle, and recently watching A Wrinkle in Time I am itching to reread it, and of course the whole Time series. But that gets me into the O'Keefes and the Austins and even some of her other novels because of crossover characters.

So I thought maybe I should just add another author read this year, to be continued into next year. So I'm adding it with the McCall Smith challenge - post # 6 above...


message 39: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #29 Prairie Fires The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

3 stars: Lots of info, but couldn't help feeling it was very biased.

#30 The Wild Iris by Louise Glück The Wild Iris

3 stars: Liked the structure of the book, but not the individual poems.


message 40: by Laurel (last edited Sep 25, 2018 12:39PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #31 The Dog who Came in from the Cold (Corduroy Mansions, #2) by Alexander McCall Smith The Dog who Came in from the Cold

4 stars. Some of the characters in this series are starting to grow on me...


message 41: by Laurel (last edited Dec 17, 2018 12:23PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments October already! I'm falling farther behind on my annual goal. Only read 3 books in September. Not going to rehash all the ones I've started and need to finish. I have foolishly gotten attracted to 3 different group reads all going on NOW:
Middlemarch
Cryptonomicon
The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors
The first two are chunkies and certainly won't be read in a month.

Currently listening to:
READ Love Over Scotland
This is supposed to be a reread for me, but I so far am not recognizing any of the plot. I think I would remember Cyril getting stolen, Bertie being cast as Baron Von Trapp in a school production of The Sound of Music, and Dominica sojourning among pirates in Malaysia, among other things.

Next is:
READ Never Let Me Go
and
READ The Handmaid's Tale
for bookclub.

And what should be a quick read:
READ The Wild Robot
a children's book I checked out because I loved the cover.


message 42: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #32 My Prairie Cookbook Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours by Melissa Gilbert My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours
4 stars - Comfort food with trivia and photos from Little House on the Prairie's Melissa Gilbert.

#33 What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia
3 stars - Some good information, but mostly an angry diatribe against J.D. Vance.

#34 Love Over Scotland (44 Scotland Street, #3) by Alexander McCall Smith Love Over Scotland
4 stars - Thought I was re-reading this, but it was not familiar at all...

#35 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go
3 stars - a contemporary classic, but creepy and unsatisfying

#36 The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale
5 stars - another classic, thought I wouldn't like it, and loved it, even though it feels all too plausible...

#37 The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens The Life We Bury
4 stars - a great debut, lovely writing, but not a great mystery plot...

#38 Britain Begins by Barry W. Cunliffe Britain Begins
4 stars - comprehensive and scholarly


message 43: by Laurel (last edited Dec 17, 2018 12:23PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments November.... I've already finished this month's book club book. Currently listening to
READ Lethal White
which several online groups are reading and I didn't want to risk spoilers. The library waiting list was going to be 6 months so I got it from Audible.

Still want to read the first three I listed for October, but they got set aside when I got Britain Begins. It was an interlibrary loan, so I had to get it read within the alloted time and everything else got set aside. Now, I have to read Oppenheimer and Sykes....
READ The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story
Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland

I've also started
READ Ilsa by Madeleine L'Engle

and still want to read
READ The Wild Robot


message 44: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #39 Lethal White (Cormoran Strike, #4) by Robert Galbraith Lethal White
5 stars - the best one yet

#40 The Origins of the British A Genetic Detective Story by Stephen Oppenheimer The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story
2 stars only because I have a high interest in the topic and managed to read the whole thing. Just read the epilogue.

#41 Ilsa by Madeleine L'Engle Ilsa
4 stars - "a still life of the south in all its inertia and its persistence for the past"

#42 The World According to Bertie (44 Scotland Street, #4) by Alexander McCall Smith The World According to Bertie
5 stars just for the comfort factor - #4 in my reread of this series

#43 The Wild Robot (The Wild Robot, #1) by Peter Brown The Wild Robot
3 stars - mostly because it seemed unfinished and ended only so there could be a sequel.


message 45: by Laurel (last edited Dec 17, 2018 12:21PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Closing in on my goal of 48 books for the year. But only because 9 of them have been children's books and a few more will be children's books.

I "have" to read
The Wild Robot Escapes
and my Daytimer's book group will be reading
Mary Poppins for our December meeting. I'm hoping to get to several of the sequels as well.

I am almost finished listening to
The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, #5 in my reread of the 44 Scotland Street series. I have a long road trip for the Christmas holidays, so I may be able to finish at least one more audiobook by the end of the year.


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