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Challenge Home (Spring 2018) > Completed Tasks

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message 1: by Kate S (new)

Kate S | 5184 comments Post your completed tasks here. In order to help us better manage our score keeping: PLEASE ONLY POST ONE BOOK PER MESSAGE.

Please use the add book/author link for the book titles. When claiming combo points, tell how the book qualifies, and provide a link if requested in the task description.

If using an outside source to qualify a book for points or combo, please be sure to post in the appropriate task thread prior to posting in this thread.

Sample RwS Post

10.4 Book Riot

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson

< insert 100+ word review here >

+10 Task
+10 Combo 20.6, 20.9
+10 Oldies
+10 Jumbo
+10 Review
+10 Not-a-Novel

Post Total: 60
Season Total: 540 (assumes mid-season with a previous total of 480)

message 2: by Kate S (last edited Feb 28, 2018 08:41PM) (new)

Kate S | 5184 comments Reading the Decades Sample Post

15.3 Reading the Decades

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

+15 Task (published 53)

Post Total: 15
Season Total: 555 (assumes mid-season with a previous total of 555)

message 3: by Norma (new)

Norma | 835 comments 15.1 - Reading the Decades

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

+15 task (published 1911)

Post total: 15
Season total: 15

message 4: by Valerie (last edited Mar 01, 2018 06:12PM) (new)

Valerie Brown | 1526 comments 20.10 My Comfort Zone

My carry over book - Yay for Elizabeth for picking this task!!

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

Well… what a rollicking adventure! I am now feeling that I can say unequivocally, that I am a big fan of Jules Verne!

Of course, you have to suspend disbelief, but what a joyous ride. The narrator, Axel stands in as the ‘everyman’. He questions, is cynical, misses his betrothed, and swoons (oh, and is somewhat scientific along the way)!

Verne goes into a fair amount of scientific detail, consistent with what you would expect from the time period. I did enjoy this, although some of the geology (which is minor) was a bit of a snoozer. I did think one of the scenes was quite interesting, given the Piltdown Man. Finally, if I am ever to have a ‘fantastic’ adventure I definitely want Hans to be my guide!!

If you are interested in reading a 19th C author who is a little different from the rest – I suggest Verne!! 4*

20 task
10 review
15 oldie
10 combo 10.3, 20.4

Running total: 55

message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather (sarielswish) | 608 comments 15.1 - If i'm understanding the task correctly, this will be for the 2010's

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Task total: 15
Grand total: 15

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 9512 comments 15.1 Reading the Decades

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

+15 Task (26)

Post Total: 15

Season total: 15

message 7: by Megan (new)

Megan (gentlyread) | 334 comments 15.1 Reading the Decades

Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie

+15 Task -- published in '44

Post Total: 15
Season Total: 15

message 8: by Heather (new)

Heather (sarielswish) | 608 comments 20.6 Kiernan

The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Well. I’m really not completely sure what I thought of this book. It was a little difficult to get into at first, but once I did I couldn’t stop reading it. It’s almost… train wreckish. Then again, I’m certain that that was intentional. It’s written as a journal or series of journal entries written by an increasingly mentally unstable woman and it’s…. Hard to parse sometimes. There’s a lot of ‘which parts of this are real and which are in her head?’ The whole story is kind of a take on a legend trip, which is fascinating. I would recommend it for those who like legend trips, urban legends, folklore, and the like.

+20 task
+5 combo (20.5 - the tree itself)
+10 review

Task total: 35
Grand total: 50

message 9: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 3652 comments 10.2 Ravioli
Ties by Domenico Starnone

+10 pts - Task
+10 pts - Combo (10.10, 20.6)

Task Total - 20 pts
Season Total - 20 pts

message 10: by Norma (new)

Norma | 835 comments 10.3 - 3, 4 or 5 of a Series

Quarterback Trap by Dallas Gorham

+10 task (3rd book of series)
+5 Combo (10.5 - rating 12)

Task total: 15
Season total: 30

message 11: by Lagullande (last edited Mar 04, 2018 01:03PM) (new)

Lagullande | 845 comments 20.8 Silent Spring (Ed's Task)

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs

+20 task (autobiography, 1st pub 1861)
+5 Combo (10.9 cultural 148x/historical 117x)
+15 Oldies (1st pub 1861)
+10 Not-a-Novel (autobiography)

One branch of BPL has this shelved as Juv Biog. It has a low lexile of 740, but I am assuming it is grandfathered in as it was claimed with styles in Spring 2011?

Points this post: 50
RwS total: 50
RtD total: -
Season Total: 50

message 12: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Mar 04, 2018 01:28PM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 9512 comments Lagullande wrote: "20.8 Silent Spring (Ed's Task)

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs

One branch of BPL has this shelved as Juv Biog. It has a low lexile of 740, but I am assuming it is grandfathered in as it was claimed with styles in Spring 2011?"

The Lexile level was changed since then (from 700 to 800), and also we didn't start maintaining that information until Spring 2012. However, I just looked at the title at BPL and the only editions that would prevent your claiming it are volumes with more than one title, which wouldn't affect you. I can see no entry that would trigger the Lexile rule, so you're OK with this one.

message 13: by Lagullande (new)

Lagullande | 845 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "...However, I just looked at the title at BPL and the only editions that would prevent your claiming it are volumes with more than one title, which wouldn't affect you. I can see no entry that would trigger the Lexile rule, so you're OK with this one. "

Thanks, Elizabeth. But just to give you one more chance to decline it.....I was looking at this one, which seems to be single title and is filed as Juv Biog at the Cypress Hills branch.

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 9512 comments This entry at the classical catalog is the one I've used for that entry. I do not use the catalog that you are looking at.

message 15: by Lagullande (new)

Lagullande | 845 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "This entry at the classical catalog is the one I've used for that entry. I do not use the catalog that you are looking at."

Ah, great! And sorry for cluttering up the thread - I should have put it in the help thread first.

message 16: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Brown | 1526 comments 15.1 Reading the Decades

Blood And Gold by Anne Rice


15 task

Running total: 70

message 17: by Heather (new)

Heather (sarielswish) | 608 comments 10.8 - North America, Europe, Asia

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson

I really enjoyed this book. I’m a big history buff but sometimes history can get, well, dull. I think the author did an excellent job of giving an overview of how humans cook and eat changed the path of progress in so many ways. Everything from the layout of our kitchens to the shape of our jaws is reliant on how we approach food and everything that has to do with it and this book was a fun exploration of that. I’d definitely recommend this book to those who like history, social anthropology, and pop culture, as well as to those who just like to cook.

+10 task
+10 not a novel
+10 review

Task total: 30
Grand total: 80

message 18: by Kathleen (itpdx) (new)

Kathleen (itpdx) (itpdx) | 1116 comments 10.8 Double Continent
Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII by Chester Nez

Chester Nez’s story has two fascinating parts, the experience of being a Navajo in the 20th century and his wartime service. His descriptions of the land and way of the Navajo on the Checkerboard are sometimes lyrical. The difficult life at boarding schools and the prejudice that he experienced are good reminders of the US’s horrible treatment of Native Americans.

His recounting of how the code was developed by the original code talkers is fascinating. His personal experiences in war gave me a real feel for what US troops experienced in the South Pacific.

His comment that his own children are not fluent in Navajo is sad.

+10 task (North America and Oceania)
+10 review
+10 NAN
Task total: 30

Season total: 30

message 19: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 122 comments 20.6 Dead Souls
Author surname has non-consecutive consonants

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

Non-consecutive Ds and Rs

Every once in a while a story like this comes along, the kind of book that keeps readers searching for that something special. This is a story of ordinary, everyday (no - extraordinary, wonderful) people who will stay with me for a long time. A simple-seeming, easy to read story that flowed effortlessly and enchanted me as it drew me into its world and its people. I read this in one sitting although I didn't want it to end. But when it did, it left me with the warm and fuzzies and the very real problem of what to follow it up with! I loved this book, and I give it five well deserved stars.

+20 Task
+10 Review
+ 5 Combo 10.9 (shelved 50x contemporary, 37x cultural)

Task total: 35
Challenge total: 35

message 20: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 122 comments 10.9 Double Trouble
Shelved 20+ times as historical/contemporary/mystery/cultural

Mata Hari by Michelle Moran

Shelved 247x historical, 31x cultural

+10 Task
+ 5 Combo 10.6 (title is woman's name)

Task total: 15
Challenge total: 50

message 21: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 122 comments 20.9 Jumbo
Any book with 500+ pages

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman

522 pages

+20 Task
+10 Not a Novel (nonfiction)
+ 5 Jumbo (522 pages)

Task total: 35
Challenge total: 85

message 22: by Gabriel (last edited Mar 05, 2018 10:19AM) (new)

Gabriel Soll | 184 comments 20.2 (The Blazing World)

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

** spoiler alert ** So why not 5-stars? (Yes, I am leading with it seems necessary given how much I am aglow about this book and this series.) Overall, I am still stunned at how good this book was...see my review of the first book in the season (The Fifth Season) for more info...but some details on those same points are what might have detracted for this one. Might have? My only reason for equivocating there is that I give the author credit for teeing me up for Book 3, and I fully expect the swing to knock me into outer space.

(I will try to conduct the remainder without spoilers, but if you are overly-sensitive, better to skip the remainder and rest assured that the issues are nits and that I am still VERY positive about this work ad recommend it. It is the 2nd in a trilogy, and yes, falls into that role.) (view spoiler)

As I said, the book falls squarely into the role as a second book in the trilogy. Not AS much 'happens,' yet all of the foundations for #3 get laid, somehow. This isn't to say that there was a lack of activity, certainly not the case...however, compared to book 1, not a lot 'happened.' As I expected, I have already begun book 3 and can't wait to really dig in.

+20 Task (See discussion thread posts 6-9.
+5 Combo (10.7)
+10 Review

Task Total: 35
Season Total: 35

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 9512 comments Gabriel wrote: "20.2 (The Blazing World)

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

Review here: ..."

Gabe, the review needs to be in your post. You can hide spoilers behind GRs custom spoiler tag.

< spoiler > to begin and < / spoiler > (remove spaces for it to be active)

message 24: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel Soll | 184 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Gabriel wrote: "20.2 (The Blazing World)

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

Review here:"

edited to suit your instructions

message 25: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele (klibrary) | 3854 comments 20.2 The Blazing World

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

+20 Task: Feminism 100+ users on the main page

Task Total: 20 (1 book started early)
Season Total: 20

message 26: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele (klibrary) | 3854 comments 20.4 Night Watch

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston

+20 Task
+10 Not a Novel

Task Total: 30
Season Total: 50

message 27: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1825 comments 20.9 Jumbo

Reamde by Neal Stephenson

+20 Task
+15 Combo 10.8 (North America & Asia), 20.4, 20.6 (SS & NN)
+25 Jumbo (1044 pages)

Post Total: 60
Season Total: 60

message 28: by Megan (new)

Megan (gentlyread) | 334 comments 15.2 Reading the Decades

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

+15 Task -- published in '55

Post Total: 15
Season Total: 30

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 9512 comments 15.2 Reading the Decades

Reeds in the Wind by Grazia Deledda

+15 Task (published 13)

Task Total = 15

Season Total = 30

message 30: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1825 comments 15.1 Reading the Decades

The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov

+15 Task (published 25)

Post Total: 15
Season Total: 75

message 31: by Marie (new)

Marie (mariealex) | 324 comments 10.8 Double Continent

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Set for half in Asia (unnamed middle-east country), 1/4 in Europe (Greece and UK) and 1/4 in America (USA)

Exit West is about Nadia and Saheed, living normal lives in an unnamed middle-east country, until war happens. The story follows their lives through the beginning of the war, the decision of leaving their country, and their journey and relationship as being migrants in several parts of the world. The author used a clever way of not describing the actual travelling part of the migrants by describing black doors that are appearing in the world as crisis happens, and that can allow passing from one place to another, leading to massive population flows from the “East” to the “West” (and sometimes in the other directions).

I really loved this book and rated it 5 stars, as the description of their journey is very touching, but also written with a bit of humour, and a bit of love, and a bit of fairy tale, and all along remains optimistic about the world.

+10 Task
+5 Combo (10.9 - 254 contemporary ; 21 cultural)
+10 Review

Task total = 25

Points total = 25

message 32: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 1685 comments 10.5 Green Stone
Gold!: The Fever that Forever Changed Australia by David Hill
51 ratings

Due to the California gold rush, many people were leaving Australia to seek the fortune over the seas. The government then promised a reward for the person who found a payable source of gold, that is lots of lots of gold to attract people to return and/or come to Australia. It doesn’t sound like a good idea to me and of course, there are always controversies involved with this. And in NSW, the man who claimed this reward was embroiled in suits for at least 40 years and ended only by the deaths of all involved (all old men by this stage!).

I should say it’s surprising at what length people will go for gold but it really didn’t. Australian country is harsh and most of those who went looking for gold were not prepared for this climate. Many perished yet at time of salvation, some refused to leave their stakes!

An interesting overview of the gold rush in Australia but only an overview as the book feels a little bit all over the place. It provide bits & pieces of gold rush facts around each of the Australian States & Territories and then the arrival of the Chinese miners and consequences thereafter. The book didn’t particularly engage me but I feel it was a fairly good intro to the subject.

+10 Task
+10 Not-a-Novel (NF)
+10 Review

Post Total: 30
Season Total: 30

message 33: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 1685 comments 20.6 Dead Souls
Differently Normal by Tammy Robinson

What really piqued my interest in this book is the New Zealand author & setting. I’ve not read many of those; I could probably count them on 1 hand. The next factor of interest is the main character’s responsibility as a carer for her autistic sister. She sounds amazingly strong, generous, and loving. I’m not sure if I could be like that…

"Unless someone has someone else who is so dependent on them for everything like my sister is on me, they can’t understand. They might think they do, but they don’t. Everything I do, every single decision I make, has to be weighed up carefully to decide how it will affect my sister. I have to consider things we may encounter that will upset her….There are a million things that will either make sister happy or upset, and only two people in this whole world who know what those things are. It’s a heavy responsibility."

There are 2 perspectives in this novel; Maddy’s & Albert’s. Both of their families are dysfunctional in different ways and whilst Maddy is too busy for love, Albert never thought he’d ever recover from his heartbreak. And then, they met. It was touch & go but they were obviously made for each other. Albert’s dreams of his future takes him far from home whilst Maddy’s commitment to her sister meant she might never leave home. Some sacrifices are needed, a compromise required; will they be able to work this out?

Differently Normal is such a cute heart-warming read. The romance is pretty goofy especially at the beginning and I loved it to bits. I’m pretty embarrassed that I’ve probably snorted a bit on my train commute and kept finding myself grinning at Albert’s & Maddy’s antics. It’s a beautiful romance! Of course, a spanner was then thrown into the works and I am rather upset at this turnaround in the story. I feel that there needs to be a ‘spanner in the works’ but I don’t feel that this is the one; I just feel that the story’s sparkle dimmed and the weave loosened to become a rather frayed ending.

Nevertheless, Differently Normal turns out to be a comfort read; a light humour with a bit of teary mess near the end. It’s perfect for me-time at the end of a very long & hard day as spending time with this adorable couple will definitely loosen you up.

Thanks to Hachette Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review. 

+20 Task
+5 Combo (10.5 - 139 ratings)
+10 Review

Post Total: 35
Season Total: 65

message 34: by Kätlin (last edited Mar 06, 2018 07:16AM) (new)

Kätlin | 170 comments 10.5 Green Stone:

Zennor In Darkness by Helen Dunmore (486 ratings)

This novel, one of lesser known works by the late Helen Dunmore, is set in a beautiful coastal area of Cornwall during WWI. The famous writer D.H. Lawrence and his German wife are among the main characters, although I would argue that the novel isn't really about them. The main themes include coming of age, falling in love, war and what it does to people, family relationships. The hardships of people at wartimes is described - how do you feed your family at times of food shortages? What does it do to parents and siblings to know that their son or brother is being taken from you and sent to almost certain death in a foreign land, but at the same time talking against war is seen as unpatriotic or even a betrayal to your country? How do you deal with them then coming back and being traumatised by experiences that you have no hope of understanding? How do you hope to keep secrets in a small rural community, where everyone knows everyone, and where outsiders are being constantly watched?
I quite enjoyed the book, despite sometimes being slightly annoyed at how a single chapter included the viewpoints and voices of several different characters, and the switches between them were at times difficult to follow.

+10 task
+10 review

Sadly, this book was published 5 months too late to qualify for style points for the age of the book :D

Task total: 20
Grand total: 20

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 9512 comments Post 20 Shannon wrote: "10.9 Double Trouble
Shelved 20+ times as historical/contemporary/mystery/cultural

Mata Hari by Michelle Moran

Shelved 247x historical, 31x cultural

+10 Task
+ 5 C..."

I'm sorry, Shannon. The MPE for this book is Mata Hari's Last Dance, so it doesn't qualify for 10.6 Justine.

message 36: by Anika (last edited Mar 06, 2018 08:48AM) (new)

Anika | 1226 comments 20.4 Night Watch

The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici

It all starts with a literary agent who has received a partial manuscript about a man who, while a student at university, worked for a famous Psychology professor who was found murdered in his home. The agent soon realizes that this is no fiction--it's a true-crime story. He wants to option the book, but in his attempts to acquire the full text finds out the author has died.
The next part of the book is written by a journalist hired by the literary agent to prove the verity of the partial manuscript and, hopefully, find the rest of the manuscript's pages. He uncovers more of the tale, eventually finding his way to the retired police detective who'd worked the case 25 years earlier.
The final section of the book is told from the detective's point of view. He was never satisfied with the person the courts pinned it on and decided to review the case after his meeting with the journalist.

I didn't love the writing, hated a few of the characters (not only for how terrible they were as people, but how flatly they were drawn), wasn't terribly satisfied with the ending, but it was an interesting enough journey to keep me reading. 3 stars.

+20 Task (
+10 Review
+10 Combo (10.7--"E.O."; 20.6 "ChiroviCi")

Task total: 40
Season total: 40

message 37: by Norma (new)

Norma | 835 comments 15.2 - Reading the Decades

The Life and Death of Harriett Frean by May Sinclair

+15 (published 1922)

Task total: 15
Season total: 45

message 38: by Norma (last edited Mar 06, 2018 01:28PM) (new)

Norma | 835 comments 20.6 - Dead Souls

An Accidental Death by Peter Grainger

Non-consecutive Rs

+20 task

Task total: 20
Season total: 65

message 39: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Brown | 1526 comments 15.2 Reading the Decades


The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller

15 task

Running total: 85

message 40: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1825 comments 15.2 Reading the Decades

Despair by Vladimir Nabokov

+15 Task (published 34)

Post Total: 15
Season Total: 90

Jayme(the ghost reader) (jaymeiltheghostreader) | 2074 comments 15.1 Reading the Decades
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

Task +15 (published 1987)
Grand Total: 15

message 42: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1825 comments 20.8 Silent spring

The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht

+20 Task
+10 Not-a-Novel (play)
+5 Oldies (published 1945)

Post Total: 35
Season Total: 125

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 9512 comments Reading the Decades

Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman (published 01)

+15 Task

Task Total = 15

Season total = 45

message 44: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 122 comments 20.6 Dead Souls
Author surname consists of non-consecutive repeating consonants

The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers

Repeating consonants S and S

+20 Task

Task points: 20
Challenge points: 105

message 45: by Deedee (new)

Deedee | 1569 comments Task 10.5 Green Stone
In honor of The Green Stone and The Green Stone read a book with 1000 ratings or fewer.

You Will Never Be The Same (1963) by Cordwainer Smith (Hardcover, 176 pages)
Review: The eight linked stories (3 novelettes and 5 short stories), were all written by Cordwainer Smith. They were originally published 1950-1961 in science fiction magazines, including If, Galaxy, Amazing and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Cordwainer Smith was a psychological-warfare expert and a spy for the U.S. government) named Paul Linebarger. He died at the age of 53 in 1963 from a heart attack. He wrote his stories for fun, in his downtime after work.

This collection of stories is set over 13,000 years in the future. There’s no hard sciences in the story; rather, Cordwainer is more concerned with how humanity might react to changes in technology. He’s focused on interstellar travel by telepathic means. Women are treated better in Cordwainer’s stories than is usually the case in Science Fiction of the 1950s – women are *almost* as smart as men, *more* emotional than men, and *without doubt* worthy of love from the men in their life. This all is communicated while failing the Bechtel test as women are evaluated only in their relation to men. The writing style is more literary than is the usual case in 1950s science fiction stories. Recommended only for fans of science fiction.

+10 Task
+10 Not-a-Novel -- short story collections
+05 Oldies -25 to 75 years old: (1943-1993)
+10 Review

Task Total: 10 + 10 + 05 + 10 = 35

Grand Total: 00 + 35 = 35

message 46: by Deedee (new)

Deedee | 1569 comments Task 20.6 Dead Souls
Read a book by any author whose surname consists of non-consecutive repeating consonants (i.e. any letter other than A, E, I, O, or U).

The Outcasts of Time (2017) by Ian Mortimer
Review: The author, Ian Mortimer,has BA, MA, PhD and DLitt degrees from the University of Exeter and UCL. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and was awarded the Alexander Prize by the Royal Historical Society in 2004. He wrote the Time Traveller’s Guides to English history prior to the publication of this novel.

The novel The Outcasts of Time begins in 1348 at the height of the Black Plague. Our hero, stonemason John of Wrayment, is travelling from one town to another. He performs an act of Christian charity and contracts the Black Plague. An angel (he thinks) tells him that he will have six days to “save his soul”. The catch: each morning will be 99 years in the future from the current day. John’s brother, worldly William, will accompany him. The bulk of the novel walks through the centuries – beginning 1348, followed by 1447 – 1546 – 1645 – 1744 – 1843 – and ending during the Blitz of 1942. Mortimer includes the changes in townlife, and in people’s beliefs, at each stage of the journey. The historical detail is fascinating. The plot – well – the novel could have used more of a plot, but then, a complicated plot would have crowded out the historical details. The ending fit the novel very well. Recommended for those into English History.

+20 Task
+05 Combo (#10.5)
+10 Review

Task Total: 20 + 05 + 10 = 35

Grand Total: 35 + 35 = 70

message 47: by Megan (new)

Megan (gentlyread) | 334 comments 10.9 Double Trouble (Karen Michele's Task)

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

We still have to reckon with what we don't understand, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing, there's a lot to grapple with, a lot that comes to a head before anyone's ready for it: love, damage, death, history. Blood and skin. And stomach acid.

Ward's novel is intensely emotional. Every moment feels crucial and on the brink of crisis, and often these moments are. It's dense but muscular in its imagery. I found it overwhelming at times, and the prose style itself wasn't a natural fit for me as a reader: it's raw and painful and full of ongoing grief, but not without the possibility of some slender grace. (view spoiler) Whether that grace is triumphant or whether it should offer consolation, or whether it can offer any shelter, is yet to be proven, and Ward's novel is not in the business of peddling feel-good.

I've been craving very concentrated family stories recently (I particularly loved A Kind of Freedom), and what I keep coming back to in Sing, Unburied, Sing is Ward's kaleidoscopic treatment of a family, and how this family is knitted from its own connections and disconnections into something inescapable. I'll be thinking about Jojo for a long time to come.

+10 Task -- Contemporary 229, Cultural > African American 132
+10 Review

Post Total: 20
Season Total: 50

Marina (Sonnenbarke) (sonnenbarke) 15.1 Reading the Decades

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë (published 1848)

Assignment at BPL, Lexile 1190

+15 Task

Task Total: 15
Season Total: 15

message 49: by Valerie (last edited Mar 09, 2018 06:37AM) (new)

Valerie Brown | 1526 comments 20.6 Dead Souls

The Mediterranean Millionaire's Reluctant Mistress by Carole Mortimer

I enjoyed this book as a little ‘LITE” palate cleanser. I picked it up at the library sale based on the back jacket description. However, I have to say… that is the worst title ever. She isn’t his mistress or reluctant. Anyhow….

The author has written more than 250 of these(!), so of course it is formulaic. I did enjoy the lively heroine who has a way with snappy comebacks and a backbone. There is quite a long build up to the sex scene, which for my tastes is fine. (I don’t like the romances where they fall into bed just after ‘hello’.) The setting is quite the tonic for the end of winter blues as well. 3*

20 task
10 review
5 combo 10.5

Running total: 120

message 50: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1825 comments 20.8 Silent spring

Why I Write by George Orwell

+20 Task
+10 Not-a-Novel (nonfiction)
+5 Oldies (published 1946)

Post Total: 35
Season Total: 160

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