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Determination Lists & Challenges > Samanta's 2018 Determination List

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message 1: by Samanta (last edited Oct 26, 2018 03:59AM) (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Samanta's 2018 Determination List

The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David I. Kertzer - FINISHED 30.07.2018.

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow - FINISHED 07.05.2018.

Povijest grada Zagreba: od prethistorije do 1918. by Ivo Goldstein

Povijest grada Zagreba: 20. i 21. stoljeće by Ivo Goldstein

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

The Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice

Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice

The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice

Merrick by Anne Rice

Blood And Gold by Anne Rice

Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice

Blood Canticle by Anne Rice

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

Zagreb through a thousand years by Ivan Kampuš

My Inventions by Nikola Tesla

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan FINISHED 25.10.2018.

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Biskupski i kaptolski Zagreb by Lelja Dobronić

Los croatas y Croacia en el tiempo y espacio by Anđelko Mijatović

Abeceda kulturnog turizma by Daniela Angelina Jelinčić


message 2: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 01, 2018 12:20PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17005 comments Good job, Samanta !

I have Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind on my list, too. Maybe we can get a group read or Buddy read on this one in a few months.


message 3: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Sure, why not! Let me know if and when you plan to do it and I'll leave it for later. :)


message 4: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9531 comments Nice list. I like the idea of putting many of an author's work onto one list. This works as long as you like the series. Enjoy the books!


message 5: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Thank you, madrano. I did this last year, too, but I put it as a whole series under one link. This year I decided to put each book individually.


message 6: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments I've already started on Washington: A Life.


message 7: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9531 comments I guess i forgot that, Samanta. Now you know the system works.

I hope you like the bio. We have so much material about Washington but it still seems to me that he is a cipher.


message 8: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments madrano wrote: "I guess i forgot that, Samanta. Now you know the system works. "

It's because I feel like, if I put every book individually and manage to read it, I've accomplished more. I guess it's a psychological thing. :D :D


message 9: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments madrano wrote: "I hope you like the bio. We have so much material about Washington but it still seems to me that he is a cipher."

I've only just started, but I like the book. It reads easily and it's very funny in places.


message 10: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9531 comments Funny is unexpected but welcome in a biography.


message 11: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments My favourite part so far:

the author talks about Washington's older brother Lawrence.

"At the same time, Lawrence retained clear affection for Admiral Vernon and, in a burst of Anglophilia, would rename the Little Hunting Creek estate Mount Vernon, hanging the admiral's portrait in an honored place there. Thus the name of a forgotten British admiral would implausibly grace America's secular shrine to the revolt against British rule."


message 12: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9531 comments I had no idea that was how the estate got its name. Neat.


message 13: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments I finally decided to stick with Washington: A Life. I have about 700 pages to go. Wish luck! :)


message 14: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9531 comments I do, indeed, wish you luck, Samanta. I've not read any Ron Chernow books but have his The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance on my "Books To Read" list. It's been there for a long, long time, though. I hope this is easy yet informative for you.


message 15: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments There are a lot of details, minute ones at times, but the writing style makes it very interesting and the author, although you can see he admires Washington, does not shy away from pointing out his flaws.


message 16: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9531 comments For my money, that's the best kind of biography. I can understand an author feeling admiration for his biographical subject but it's important to show the flaws. Otherwise, we only get part of the picture. It's how people handle problems which illustrate the strength of character.


message 17: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Finally taken one book from the list this year:

Washington A Life by Ron Chernow by Ron Chernow Ron Chernow
Rating: A
Review: Absolutely love this book, despite its 1233 pages in my e-reader version. Of course, there were some parts I enjoyed more than the others but, overall, very detailed, writing style 95% very engaging and easy to follow. It is clear that the author admires Washington, but he doesn't shy away from pointing out his flaws, some of them quite big (hint: the issue of slavery). Highly recommended!


message 19: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9531 comments Samanta, two interesting books you've mentioned. A writer's styling can make a book sing or sink it, Chernow is one of those singers. Glad you liked the book. I'll be eager to learn what you think of the Kertzer book. I've eyed that for awhile now.


message 20: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments We shall see. I haven't yet started with the story, but I like that the author mentions the important people involved, the newspapers of the time, etc. He made it as a "cast of characters" section, with short biographies. It's almost like a preparation for a play, which all of that, in the end, was...a political play.


message 21: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9531 comments At least you'll have a good sense of who is who & can reference that info.


message 22: by Samanta (last edited Jul 30, 2018 09:35AM) (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Another book off the list:

The Pope and Mussolini The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David I. Kertzer by David I. Kertzer (no photo)
Rating: B+
Review: This was one of those I've been postponing for ages but finally decided to stick to. I've found out many interesting things I did not know anything about. I was appalled to read some of Mussolini's quotes. He was a true dictator. I didn't particularly like Pope Pius XI. I thought him a tyrant, a bully a spoiled brat and a narrow-minded dictator, something I never would have thought about a man who spent a large part of his life among books, but as he began to develop conscience (although too late), my scorn for him lessened. I have to read more about his successor, Pius XII, but I did not like how he remained impassive while Hitler was doing mass murder.


message 23: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Good job, Samanta !

I have Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind on my list, too. Maybe we can get a group read or Buddy read on this one in a few months."


Did I miss a group/buddy read for this, Alias?


message 24: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments I don't think the group read this book, although it was discussed as one. Maybe i missed it when i was overseas last year, though.

Thanks for review of the book, Samanta. It's on my own list of books but i was afraid i would find it frustrating. The failure of the Popes to address those tyrants was such a loss for humanity. It far too many ways that silence reminds me of today's Republican politicians when they disagree with their president. I'm grateful Pope Francis speaks out in his fashion, at least.

Congratulations on removing another book from you Mt. TBR!


message 25: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17005 comments Samanta wrote: "
Did I miss a group/buddy read for this, Alias?


Nope. There was no discussion of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

I do want to read it as the author already has another book out.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow


message 26: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Madrano wrote: "I don't think the group read this book, although it was discussed as one. Maybe i missed it when i was overseas last year, though.

Thanks for review of the book, Samanta. It's on my own list of b..."


You will find it frustrating, but you should definitely read it.


message 27: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Samanta wrote: "
Did I miss a group/buddy read for this, Alias?


Nope. There was no discussion of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

I do want to read it as the author already..."


Good! I've been so inactive since my work season started, that I do not know what is currently going on on GR.


message 28: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments One good thing about our book boards is that the discussions we have about group-read books are still available in our archives. It's a resource i like to use when i finally read a book read. And i think adding to that message board is still possible, although i'd better ask Alias for certain. It's neat to see how others who were impressed by the book are still willing to share what they remember about it.


message 29: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17005 comments Yes. I keep the book discussion threads open and don't delete them.

Maybe in the Fall we can do another group or Buddy read.


message 30: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Sounds good to me.


message 31: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments I've been neglecting this list :(

The Demon-Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan by Carl Sagan Carl Sagan
Rating: A
Review: A wonderful and very engaging overview of all the pseudo-beliefs people have been having since the beginning of time. Carl Sagan does his best to question those and try to offer scientific solutions without offending anyone. His tone is sometime incredulous and sarcastic, but I do think that, with some topics, you just can't avoid it. This book was definitely written for the general public, those of us who are definitely science dummies, in an effort to make us want to know more about science, and not consider it something unapproachable.


message 32: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9531 comments Sagan had a knack for making science understandable. I'm glad he took the effort, as i learned much from him.

Good luck in resuming your DL reading, Samanta.


message 33: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17005 comments Samanta wrote: "I've been neglecting this list :(

The Demon-Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan by Carl Sagan Carl Sagan
Rating: A
Review: A wonderf..."



He is missed.


message 34: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Soooo, I managed to check off three books from my list. I could have done better. :(


message 35: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17005 comments I think that is fine as you had a long list. Maybe in 2019 limit it to 12 books so it's only one a month.

Thanks for making a DL and sharing with the group !


message 36: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments I have to start preparing for the next work season, so some of the non-fiction books will soon be checked off.


message 37: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments I believe that one year i didn't manage to read a single one of my DL books. It was a matter of poor choices and lack of interest. I keep trying and am happy to see that you are too, Samanta.


message 38: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments I actually like the books I put on my list. But, they are big and require a lot of time and space in my bag which I lacked this year. Some are also work-related so that made them unappealing for some time.


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