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Challenge Home (Fall 2018) > Completed Tasks

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message 1: by Kate S (new)

Kate S | 5794 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 Post

10.1 Favorite Lists

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

< insert 100+ word review here >

+10 Task (#1154 on Best Books Ever; claimed in post 511 of summer season)
+10 Combo (10.5 Penguin Edition, 20.10 all vowels in title)
+10 Review
+ 5 Oldies (pub 1993)
+25 Jumbo (1474 pgs)

Task Total: 45
Season Total: 235 (assumes mid-season with a previous total of 190)


message 2: by Kate S (new)

Kate S | 5794 comments Sample AbBY Post

15.2 AbBY
Date Range 1976-1980

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

+15 Task (author born 1977)

Post Total: 15
Season Total: 235 (assumes mid-season, with a previous total of 220).


message 3: by Anika (last edited Sep 01, 2018 10:12AM) (new)

Anika | 1672 comments 20.4 Birdsong

The Storyteller's Secret by Sejal Badani (was 48% complete before the beginning of the season, my one carryover book...thank you, insomnia, for allowing me to finish it in a rush this morning ;-) )

Jaya is a modern-day Indian-American woman, a reporter, a wife, and frustrated would-be-mother--she has suffered three miscarriages. Her intense focus on these losses and the sorrow she allows to consume her have caused a strain on her marriage. At the same time she finds out her husband has been "talking to" someone else and has secured an apartment for himself, her grandfather in India passes away and her mother refuses to return to deal with the arrangements. Jaya uses this as a chance to escape her crumbling life at home. In India, she meets the family servant who worked in her grandparents household and tells her the story of her grandmother whom she never knew. The book jumps back and forth between Jaya's story in the present day and Amisha's story in the '40s. While it is pretty predictable, the writing is beautiful and the descriptions of Indian life are lush.

+20 Task
+10 Review

Task total: 30
Season total: 30


message 4: by Anika (new)

Anika | 1672 comments 15.1 AbBY, Chronological: 1935-1939

Dog Songs by Mary Oliver, 1935

+15 Task

Task total: 15
Season total: 45


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (lit_chick_77) | 262 comments 20.7 A Month in the Country

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Some readers never get tired of the magical-portal stories. I am a sucker for them, though it is so hard to find the right one. Most worlds are decidedly “meh”, some are decidedly not for me, but a few are perfect – I miss them when the books is over. Every Heart a Doorway is for readers like me, always looking for that escape into the right world.

This one almost fit just right. I’ve read this author before and her ideas always hook me, but her style leaves me a little cold. This is no different. The idea is perfect, the actual place… a little thin. Perhaps that’s because it was so short, I did not get to immerse myself in it long enough to start dreaming of the school or other doors. And the mystery is a bit breakneck, there is no time for tension to build or for red herrings. Still, many of the characters were intriguing. One door was especially tantalizing and the second book in the series might let me go through it.

+20 task
+5 combo 10.2
+15 4 awards
+10 review

Task total: 50
Season Total: 50


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 11346 comments 15.1 AbBY
Chronological 1911-1915

Palladian by Elizabeth Taylor (1912)

+15 Task


message 7: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 2141 comments 15.1 AbBY
Date Range 1910-1914

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

+15 Task (author born 1913)

Post Total: 15
Season Total: 15


message 8: by Valerie (last edited Sep 05, 2018 01:51PM) (new)

Valerie Brown | 2173 comments 15.1 Author by Birth Year - Chronological

1935-39

Ringworld by Larry Niven

b. 1938

15 task
____
15

Running total: 15


message 9: by Coralie (last edited Sep 06, 2018 12:04AM) (new)

Coralie | 2141 comments 15.2 AbBY
Date Range 1915-1919 (read chronologically)

The Space Merchants byFrederik Pohl

+20 Task (author born 1919)

Post Total: 20
Season Total: 35


message 10: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 1215 comments 10.3 Real Place

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Marisol is honoring her late grandmother's wish that her ashes be spread in her beloved Cuba when she dies. She travels from Miami to Havana to see the country that her grandmother Elisa left in 1959. It was no longer safe for her grandmother's wealthy family to stay in Cuba when Castro was rising in power.

The book has two timelines, set in 1958-59 and 2017, told from the points of view of Elisa and Marisol. Both women fell for revolutionary men committed to improving Cuba's government so Cuba's turbulent history is a prominent part of the story. Marisol uncovers her grandmother's secrets and has to make some important decisions herself while she is in Havana. There is a wonderful sense of place in the book with great descriptions of Cuba's beautiful coastline and delicious food. But all is not well in present day Cuba--cars are ancient, buildings crumbling, food rationed, and the black market is thriving. Incomes are low unless people work in the tourist industry or have connections to the government.

This is a love story in many ways--love for the country of Cuba, love for their family, and love for the strong men who risked their lives to change Cuba. This is a book that I did not want to put down, especially when I was reading Elisa's historical story.

+10 task
+10 combo 10.5 (Penguin), 20.4 (2 timelines)
+10 review

Task total: 30
Season total: 30


message 11: by Ed (last edited Sep 04, 2018 08:19PM) (new)

Ed Lehman | 2242 comments 20.6 The Stone Carvers

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

As I was reading this novel, I began to realize it had some similarities with a book I recently forced myself to finish: Jamaica Kincaid's See Now Then... a woman writer's evolution though the travails of life...and a marriage in particular. However, Kincaid's work was a screed....tedious, annoying and angry. Lucy Barton is engaging.... there is no anger...but love is expressed openly...for people, situations, experiences, etc. Lucy reminisces about her prolonged stay at a New York City hospital which draws her closer to her mother...but begins the cleavages with her husband..and difficulties with her children. We get a feel for how Lucy got where she is...and still puzzle along with her how that happened...and feel satisfied with how she resolves with the status of things.
I enjoyed this novel...and look forward to reading the sequel. Four stars.


task = 20
combo= 5 (10.5- Penguin)
prizeworthy=5 (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... Book of the Year Winner 2016)
review=10

task total=40
Grand total= 40


message 12: by Ann (new)

Ann (lit_chick_77) | 262 comments 20.6 The Stone Carvers

How to be both by Ali Smith

A few days ago, as I continued my seemingly never-ending read of The Odyssey, I wondered why it was so hard for me to finish. I realized that long-form poetry is difficult for me because it makes me slow down and pay just as much attention to the meter as the words. In small bites I love poetry but when it gets to hundreds of pages, the forced leisurely pace can be frustrating or soporific for me.

As I was reading How to be Both, and hating every tedious second of it, I wondered - is it because it’s more like poetry? Am I not getting into it because it demands too much focus? By the time I finished I decided it’s not me, it’s the book. There were some truly lovely passages in this book, but they were buried under so many fragments of pure style.

I can see why this got so many rave reviews - the whole narrative is like a shattered mirror and apparently many readers enjoy the kaleidoscopic effect. Had there been a bit more... say, punctuation, I might have had more fun with it. But I could rarely find my footing and when I did? Eh. Like I said there were moments, but they were gone so quickly that I never felt that there was a heart to this at all - it was just a game, just form.

+20 task
+15 combo (10.4, 20.4, 10.5 penguin MPE linked above)
+15 awards (4 won)
+10 review

Task total = 60
Season total = 110


message 13: by Heather (last edited Sep 04, 2018 08:44AM) (new)

Heather (sarielswish) | 659 comments 20.5 - Singled Out

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

+20 task
+5 prizeworth (2017 Hugo for Best Novel)
+5 combo (10.2 - #2 in The Broken Earth series)

Task total: 30
Grand total: 30


message 14: by Heather (last edited Sep 04, 2018 08:45AM) (new)

Heather (sarielswish) | 659 comments 10.2 - Next?

The Twelve by Justin Cronin
(book #2 in The Passage series)

+10 task
+5 jumbo (568pgs)
+5 prizeworthy (2012 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror)
+5 combo (20.5 - Amy, Alicia, possibly Sara)

Task total: 25
Grand total: 55


message 15: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 2658 comments 10.5 Pet Day

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Low Lexile - no styles

Salamandra edition: Éramos mentirosos
Salamandra was approved in the task thread.

Task Total: 10
Season Total: 10


message 16: by Norma (new)

Norma | 1168 comments 15.1 - AbBY
Date Range 1926 - 1930

From Doon With Death by Ruth Rendell

+15 (author born 1930)

Task total: 15
Grand total: 15


message 17: by Norma (new)

Norma | 1168 comments 15.2 - AbBY
Date Range 1931 - 1935

Small Vices by Robert B. Parker

+20 (author born 1932)

Task total: 20
Grand total: 35


message 18: by Kathleen (itpdx) (new)

Kathleen (itpdx) (itpdx) | 1297 comments 15.1 AbBY
Date range 1934-1938
Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine K. Albright

+15 Task (author born 1937)

Season total: 15


message 19: by Beth (new)

Beth Robinson (bethrobinson) | 1044 comments 15.1 AbBY

1901-1905
So Bright The Vision by Clifford D. Simak born 1904

Task total: 15
Grand total: 15


message 20: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Sep 05, 2018 11:56AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 11346 comments 20.1 War's End

Peril at End House by Agatha Christie

It's hard to find something new to say about Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot. Surely he is one of the most irritatingly egotistical characters in print. And despite that, I'll keep reading him as long as there are titles left for me to read.

This is one where I clearly remember seeing the TV episode with David Suchet. I can picture the hotel terrace, End House itself, the harbor. Some of the characters were also clear to me, although admittedly not all of them. What was not clear was the ending. I would think I could remember the twist. I'm glad I did not - else why bother reading?

I think this is not one of Christie's better offerings, though I also think there is nothing especially wrong with it. It just isn't quite as taut as others I have read. I'm happy to give it 3-stars for its averageness.

+20 Task (pub'd 1932, contemporary setting)
+15 Combo (10.2, 10.5 Peril at End House Black Dog, 20.8 b/res UK)
+10 Oldie (1932)
+10 Review

Task Total = 55

Season total = 70


message 21: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Brown | 2173 comments 15.2 Author by Birth Year - Chronological

1940 - 1944

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

(b. 1943)

20 task
____
20

Running total: 35


message 22: by Anika (last edited Sep 05, 2018 02:31PM) (new)

Anika | 1672 comments 10.6 Noir

Die a Little by Megan Abbott

I'm not a connoisseur when it comes to noir fiction...in fact, I'm barely a dabbler, so I don't feel like my review is entirely reliable. Much like the narrator of this book, in fact. ENTIRELY unreliable...which made it kind of fun and sometimes a little confusing. In fact, I had to read some reviews of the book to make sure I wasn't missing something there at the end, as it fell a little flat for me.
It's the early '50s and Lora, a teacher, and her brother Bill, an investigator at the DA's office in L.A. live a close, unremarkable life--until Bill gets involved with (and eventually marries) Alice, a beautiful lady with a Hollywood connection and a shady past. Lora is both suspicious of and intrigued by Alice, her "new sister," and we follow them down the rabbit hole of drugs, dark deeds, and (duh-duh-duh) muuuurder!
I like that it was from a woman's point of view (as most noir I'm familiar with are heavy on the men with ladies only playing a sometimes-nasty/sometimes-nice pretty face) and quite like Abbott's writing--I'm reading another one of hers for another task, in fact (and like it quite a bit more, perhaps that's why the ending of this fell flat for me). I give it a 3.5 stars (rounded up to 4, as it was her debut novel).

+10 Task
+10 Review
+5 Combo: 20.5--Lora, the narrator, is single-never married

Task total: 25
Season total: 70


message 23: by Jenifer (new)

Jenifer (jensamaha) | 261 comments 15.1 AbBY
Date Range 1936-1940

Coma by Robin Cook born in 1940

Task Total: 15
Season Total: 15


message 24: by Owlette (last edited Sep 05, 2018 06:57PM) (new)

Owlette | 395 comments 20.5 Singled out

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

What is not to like about a book with talking beavers who are on the side of "good" vs "evil?" I'm one of the few who has not read any Chronicles of Narnia books nor watched the movie (except a short portion during a flight). I enjoyed this story of the magic portal into the kingdom of Narnia, but there are too many other books of interest that I don't want to miss.

Four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy experience kindness and cruelty in this allegorical fantasy story which the author wrote for his goddaughter, Lucy.

Some scenes were intense and vividly written, such as the one where Aslan-the-lion resigns himself to keeping his part of a bargain. Moral lessons and themes here.

Lexile 940

+20 Task (title Witch is single)
+15 Combo 10.2 (series), 10.5 (link to Puffin edition above), 20.8 (born Northern Ireland, resided in England, published 1950)
+5 oldie
+10 Prizeworthy (two awards)
+10 Review

Task Total: 60
Season Total: 60


message 25: by Megan (new)

Megan (gentlyread) | 358 comments 10.2 Next?

Forever's Promise by Farrah Rochon

Warm, rich, and emotional. It's very much a small town romance--you have your typical tropes of a cozy coffee shop, a homecoming, investing oneself in a community and in a family, hometown revitalization--and even though I already read Leslie's book years ago, the tragedy of the Braylon backstory hit me hard again. Shayla's and Leslie's relationship as sisters-in-law and as sharers of grief was just as interesting as Shayla's and Xavier's romance, and it was a believably large component of Shayla's character arc. Loved Shayla as a protagonist, really. I thought Xavier was also a sweetheart, even if he came across as awful in their first interaction. For readers who like it when the hero has no wishy-washiness in his feelings for the heroine, Xavier is your man.

+10 Task -- Bayou Dreams #4
+10 Review

Task Total: 20
Season Total: 20


message 26: by Megan (new)

Megan (gentlyread) | 358 comments 10.5 Pet Day

Free Love and Other Stories by Ali Smith

The title of a different short story collection on my TBR, du Maurier's The Breaking Point, kept coming to mind while I read this collection. Smith's stories in this book often involve a breaking point, not solely as a climactic moment, but sometimes as a starting catalyst, sometimes as a lead-up toward the story's climax, sometimes as the framework for understanding the current moment in a character's life. Smith's characters break free and break up, not simply out of fragility but in a steady and urgent sense of rebirth.

At any rate, this may have been Smith's earliest collection of stories, but her prose here is as clear as ever, especially as emotions swell and (here's the word again) break. My favorites were "College" and "The world with love." I'm excited to read her other short story collections; as much as I enjoyed How to be both, I'm still finding her novels intimidating, and maybe short stories are my way forward.

+10 Task -- Gatopardo ("Leopard") ediciones
+5 Prizeworthy -- Saltire Society Literary Award for Scottish First Book of the Year (1995)
+10 Review

Task Total: 25
Season Total: 45


message 27: by Megan (new)

Megan (gentlyread) | 358 comments 20.7 A Month in the Country

Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki

This is a lovely, quiet book about the overlap of what is in our minds (and hearts) and what is underneath our feet. It's about a block of flats pending demolition, following Taro, one of the last three residents waiting out the length of his lease. His neighbor, artist Nishi, has an obsession with the sky-blue quirky house beside the flats, having learned about it as a teenager from a photo book about it published by its then residents, some minor celebrities. There's not much plot, but we do follow Taro following Nishi's attempts at discovering and marveling in what the house looks like now, decades after the book's publication.

Taro is a passive man: "Avoiding bother was Taro's governing principle. It wasn't that he was a stick-in-the-mud. It was just that, rather than putting himself out in order to get the more pleasing or interesting things he stood to gain, he always opted for the least bothersome option. Bother still seemed to find its way into his life, however." He is, however, capable of being attentive and observant, and Nishi's continued interest in the sky-blue house next door has him becoming more attentive to his neighborhood, to the lost and secret rivers he tracks on his commutes, to the contradictions in his assumptions of people and the revealed reality of their lives.

The novella focuses on houses as well as what eventually is buried in the ground we live on: family pets, the ashes of loved ones, the detritus of our lives. I found the book's pervading interest in how perspectives on our landscape (physical and also emotional) shift to be summed up nicely in one of Taro's memory of his first airplane ride: "When the plane passed over gaps between the clouds, Taro saw the ocean and the land beneath. He saw coast-lines with the same contours that he knew from maps. As his mind made these connections, he had a visceral realization that the world as it existed in his head and the ground that he walked on every day were actually the same place. From that time on, he had been a fan of aeroplanes."

Another way this idea of perspective snagged my interest was the book's interest in people/events that are a generational cohort; for example, Taro's late father, one of his neighbors, the end of WWII, and apparently even Neil Young share a birth year, and this perceptional framework repeats during the book in a way that keeps the reader thinking about memory, age, and what we share. Nearly every paragraph in this book involves how the past and the present comingle, and how we understand that, and Shibasaki pulls that off with interesting and varied sets of narrative tools.

Anyway, I thought this was such a quiet book but a lovely and peaceful one, and though I didn't quite think a late POV shift to a side character in first-person was necessary, I'm still mulling over how that connects to the thematic work of the book in regard to the idea of perspective.

+20 Task -- 160 pages
+5 Prizeworthy -- Akutagawa Prize 芥川龍之介賞 (2014)
+10 Review

Task Total: 35
Season Total: 80


message 28: by Owlette (last edited Sep 05, 2018 08:04PM) (new)

Owlette | 395 comments 20.10 Fall equinox (Elizabeth’s task)

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

This one was surprising. I don't remember why it was on my TBR list. The main subject is clocks, setting and repair, so not much excitement there. The Scholastic Press audiobook had sound effects which really helped the experience, I think, although the print version is said to have great illustrations.

Hugo Cabret is a 12-year-old French orphan who lives alone and independently, sort of; he steals food and supplies to survive. He has secrets: a destroyed museum's automaton is hidden in the apartment, for one. Restoring the automaton to working order is his dream, powered by the hope of a communication from his deceased father through the hand of the automaton.

He spends his days in a Paris train station, setting the clocks. At night he makes hundreds of technical drawings, tinkers with the automaton, and practices magic tricks. Nearly every adult he encounters threatens to have him arrested for theft; he is always on the run, it seems. Eventually, things improve and he meets some helpful humans.

Lots of excitement and suspense; I started and finished the audiobook in one day. It is historical fiction, by the way, based on a real-life French filmmaker. The book's character experiences an improvement in his life, like Hugo. Really liked this one.

Lexile 820
+20 Task
+10 Combo 10.9 (invention), 20.1 (set in 1931)
+5 Jumbo
+15 Prizeworthy (6 awards)
+10 Review

Task Total: 60
Season Total: 120


message 29: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 519 comments 10.5

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Penguin Classics Edition : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

Review:
As an actor, I have a decent amount of training in reading and performing Shakespeare. Even given that I think that this is an extremely accessible play and would be a great starting point for any one who would like to give the Bard a go.
The alternative would be to watch the classic 00's movie She's The Man starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum. Very funny. Lots of excellent quotes. Oh and for those who like Arrested Development, David Cross is in it too.

It begins with a shipwreck. Twins each assume the other has drowned. Viola pretends to be a boy and ends up falling for her master who falls in love with Olivia who falls in love with Viola. Twins reunite, confusion ensues.
Even funnier is if you consider the convention of boys and men playing all women parts back in the 1600s.
The subplot and secondary characters, while charming and comedic, don't add much to the main plot or seem to push the story forward. Maybe Will was trying to up his word count, or had some diva actors to write for.

Overall, fun play. I'd love to do it. Prepping the ring speech in Act 2 as a monologue right now and read it for context.

+10 Task
+10 Review
+ 25 Oldies pub. 1601

Task Total: 45 pts
Grand Total: 45 pts


message 30: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 2205 comments 20.6 The Stone Carvers
Remembering Babylon by David Malouf
Man Booker Prize Nominee (1993)

Review
David Malouf does not disappoint with his lyrical style of exposing the beauty of nature. And in juxtaposition, the ugliness of human nature. But there is hope! They are the little things like new green shoots that need nurturing care but yet sometimes the weight of the world can prove too much. It seems that David Malouf has this ability to draw you in to sympathise with his characters but then we are never really told what happened to them… All lives end; we are told that much of his characters’ lives but in between the ending of the tale and their deaths, it’s up to the readers’ interpretations. This story is told from multiple perspective though one or two dominates however they are told in such seamless progression that you’d rarely find with multiple perspectives novels, this was definitely a reflection of the master writer at work.

+20 Task
+15 Combo (10.3 - Babylon; 10.5 - Remembering Babylon by Turtleback Books; 10.9 - Remembering is 11 letters)
+15 Prizeworthy (New South Wales Premier's Literary Award for Christina Stead Prize for Fiction (1993), Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction (1994), Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book in South East Asia and Pacific (1994), International DUBLIN Literary Award (1996))
+10 Review
+5 Oldies (pub. 1993)

Post Total: 65
Season Total: 65



message 31: by Coralie (last edited Sep 06, 2018 12:04AM) (new)

Coralie | 2141 comments 10.2 Next?

Head On by John Scalzi


+10 Task

Task Total: 10
Season Total: 45


message 32: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 2141 comments 15.3 AbBY
Date Range 1920-1924, read chronologically

Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury

+20 Task (author born 1920)

Post Total: 20
Season Total: 65


message 33: by Rosemary (last edited Sep 06, 2018 01:51AM) (new)

Rosemary | 2658 comments 10.7 Crazy Rich Asians...Or Not!

Cocaine Nights by J.G. Ballard

Charles Prentice goes to the Spanish resort of Estrella Del Mar to see his brother, who has inexplicably confessed to a crime nobody believes he committed—an arson that killed four people. But nothing in Estrella Del Mar is simple, and soon Charles is both repulsed and drawn into the closed society of expatriates where his brother seems to have been happy.

This is like a milder version of Crash—not that what happens is less serious, but it’s not repeated and not described in real time. I didn’t find it horrible in the same way. But it does have something of the same theme, a group of people fascinated by pushing way beyond the boundaries of morality.

It’s slow in a dreamy way that reflects the spell that the place and its inhabitants are casting on Charles, but I found it starting to drag into the second half.

+10 Task
+ 5 Combo (10.5 Flamingo edition Cocaine Nights )
+10 Review

Task Total: 25
Season Total: 35


message 34: by Ed (new)

Ed Lehman | 2242 comments 20.7 A Month in the Country

The Sinners by Yusuf Idris

I only gave this novella 2 stars because I found myself drifting constantly while reading it. I couldn't find any particular faults...in fact this is the type of work I usually enjoy because it brings the reader into a world I hardly knew existed.
Here, the author depicts the world of migrant workers (picking cotton) in the Nile Delta region of Egypt sometime before the 1952 Egyptian Revolution. The discovery of a murdered newborn baby sets off a series of actions and revelations. The author is clearly sympathetic to the plight of the migrants...and the policies concerning land use.
BUT...I just couldn't get engaged.... I suppose it is a matter of style which just didn't click with me this time. I had previously read a collection of short stories by Idris, The Cheapest Nights, and gave it 4 stars... so, I'll probably give another of his works a try.

task = 20
review=10

task total=30
Grand total= 70


message 35: by Ann (new)

Ann (lit_chick_77) | 262 comments 20.9 Arkansas

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
#27 on the list

The audiobook (read by Shelly Frasier), really made this more enjoyable. My reading of the text was too fast and lacked a sighing drawl which really is essential.

**following review spoils the ending**

When I was a freshman in high school, I read this novella. I hated it, I did not get it. It was so boring, blah blah ennui, blah blah broken heart, blah. My all-female class unanimously agreed that Edna was a selfish monster - as children ourselves we could not forgive her actions. We also could not forgive Kate Chopin for rendering suicide SO. BORING. I’m not sure there was ever such agreement in all my years of literature classes.

Now as a married woman with two young boys... OH I GET IT. And I’m happy with my marriage and my choice to have kids. Still, there are times when it feels like I’ve lost myself and I exists only as so-and-so’s mom and that is oppressive.
At 14, I thought Edna killed herself from deep depression, because only mental illness could explain suicide. Now? Edna didn’t commit suicide. She escaped, in the only way she could.
SWIM GIRL, SWIM.

This is truly a classic, but one that you need some life experience to appreciate.


+20 task
+15 Combo (10.5 Bantam The Awakening, 20.7 (195 pages), 10.9)
+10 oldie (1899)
+10 review

Task total = 55
Season total = 165


message 36: by Marie (new)

Marie (mariealex) | 505 comments 10.5 Pet Day

The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

Corgi

+10 task
+5 combo (10.2)

Task total = 15

Points total = 15


message 37: by Marie (new)

Marie (mariealex) | 505 comments 10.9 9, 10, 11

Les Disparus du Clairdelune by Christelle Dabos

+10 task
+5 combo (10.2 - La Passe-Miroir #2)
+5 prizeworthy (Grand prix de l'imaginaire 2016)
+5 jumbo (560 pages)

Task total = 25

Points total = 40


message 38: by Anika (last edited Sep 06, 2018 09:38AM) (new)

Anika | 1672 comments 10.1 Favorite Lists

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

Just finished this one for our book club tomorrow...I don't know if I would have read it quite as quickly had it not been for book club. The stories a mixed bag: short, long, funny, funny-ish, kinda meh. B.J.Novak is a writer/actor, best known for his role on The Office (U.S.) and the humor in the stories was very Officey. Some of the stories even came with discussion questions (example: at the end of a story about Johnny Depp showing off on his motorcycle for a bus of tourists, "Discussion question: Do you think Johnny Depp should have driven his motorcycle off the mountain highway to his death? Why or why not?"), as did the book itself (Discussion questions: Do you think "why not?" is ultimately a better question than "why?" Why or why not?). So, yes, it was very witty...but sometimes it slid into the realm of self-satisfied witty, which can be a little trying. Had I not had a deadline on this one, I think I'd have enjoyed it more if I'd spread it out a bit.
There was one "story" that still makes me laugh (but just the "Ha" kind of laugh....not even "Haha" or "Bwahahahaha", just "Ha".) The title is "If You Love Something" and here is the whole thing:
If you love something, let it go.
If you don't love something, definitely let it go.
Basically, just drop everything, who cares.

+10 Task (from the Listopia https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2..., claimed in post 705 last season)
+10 Review
+5 Combo--10.5 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... Penguin Random House Audio

(P.S.: I just saw some of the guest talent that contributed to the audiobook and I feel like I missed out--that had potential to be a great listen)

Task total: 25
Season total: 95


message 39: by Heather (last edited Sep 07, 2018 04:02PM) (new)

Heather (sarielswish) | 659 comments 20.7 - novella

Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus by Mira Grant

+20 task
+10 combo (10.5 - Newsflesh series, 20.5 - Dr. Abbey is widowed)

Task total: 30
Grand total: 85


message 40: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 2658 comments 10.4 Bookshelves

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

This chunky historical novel covers the building of a cathedral over about 50 years in England in the 12th century, and the intertwined lives of monks, masons, and local nobles in the town around it.

For a 1000-page novel, it was a fast read. Follett is a great storyteller and makes his story addictive. Most of the book is set during the fight for the throne between Stephen and Maud, and we end with Henry II and the famous murder in Canterbury cathedral, so these are violent times. There’s ambition of all kinds, rape, rivalry, treachery and murder, a baby found in the woods, and of course a romance or two.

+10 Task (NBBC)
+10 Combo (10.2, 10.5 Penguin The Pillars of the Earth )
+10 Review
+ 5 Oldies (1989)
+20 Jumbo (973 pages)

Task Total: 55
Season Total: 90


message 41: by Anika (last edited Sep 06, 2018 09:01PM) (new)

Anika | 1672 comments 20.10 Fall Equinox

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

Fifteen is a cursed number for Jenny "Big" Slocumb. She got pregnant when she was 15--after which she was kicked out of her home. Her wild daughter, Liza, got pregnant at 15--then ran away from home with her baby, nowhere to be found. Mosey, Liza's daughter, just turned 15 and their entire world threatens to explode when a huge secret is unearthed--literally: a silver box is dug up in their backyard containing the bones of a baby wrapped in a baby blanket. I love how the story unfolded, I love the characters that she created, and loved the Southern flair with which it was told. It was "important literature" by any means, but a rather enjoyable novel told well.

+20 Task (A grOwn-Up kInd of prEtty)
+10 Combo (20.5--all three of the main characters (grandmother, mother, daughter) were single, never-married (grandma is head of household); 20.9--#180 on the list)
+10 Review

Task total: 40
Season total: 135


message 42: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 2205 comments 20.1 War's End
Rabbit-Proof Fence: The True Story of One of the Greatest Escapes of All Time by Doris Pilkington
Set approx 60% in 1931

Review
Isn’t it just amazing what persistence & resilience can achieve? These girls are so young and yet to have walked so far in the Australian climate and survive; that’s a mindboggling feat! They had a little bit of help with food & direction but the point is they walked over 1,000 miles. I cannot even imagine…

The book begins with a quick history lesson on the English settlement of Australia which led to the existence of these 3 half-caste girls. The silliest reason for their removal from their parents (because they were bullied by the Aboriginal kids?!) combined with the struggle for financing the removed children. Really, it does my head in! Nevertheless, you truly have to admire these girls.

+20 Task
+10 Review

Post Total: 30
Season Total: 95



Elizabeth (Alaska) | 11346 comments Post 11 Ed wrote: "20.6 The Stone Carvers

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

As I was reading this novel, I began to realize it had some similarities with a book I recently fo..."


Ed, this also qualifies for 20.4 Birdsong, with two or more time periods.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 11346 comments Post 30 Tien wrote: "20.6 The Stone Carvers
Remembering Babylon by David Malouf
Man Booker Prize Nominee (1993)

Review
David Malouf does not disappoint with his lyrical style of exposing th..."


I'm sorry, Tien. This doesn't work for Stone Carvers, which is restricted to those published in 2001 and later. Also, Turtleback was disallowed for pet day. Let us know which task you'd prefer this scored for.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 11346 comments Post 39 Heather wrote: "20.7 - novella

Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus by Mira Grant

+20 task
+15 combo (10.5 - Newsflesh series, 10.5 - octopus, 20.5 - Dr. Abbey is widowed)

Task total..."


I'm sorry, Heather. This doesn't work for 10.5 Pet Day, because that task is for the name of an animal as publisher, not a title word.


message 46: by Ann (new)

Ann (lit_chick_77) | 262 comments 20.8 Autumn
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Right. Turns out I hate stream-of-consciousnesses. Perhaps it is my own ADHD brain, but without the anchor point of traditional narrative I get so lost. Luckily, the audiobook provided structure - a pause, an intonation, all of that gave me what I needed to keep the threads straight.

For a while, I was enjoying this as a counterpart to The Awakening - Edna was trapped by her limited options, but Clarissa was delighted. Edna found she just could not make herself fit into the mold of upper-class mother-wife, while that was exactly Clarissa’s wheelhouse.
I found C’s simple, easy happiness pleasant after Edna’s ennui.

And then I got to Septimus, and well. What a character. What a story. What a scathing commentary on the horrible treatment of the mentally ill -
Naked, defenceless, the exhausted, the friendless received the impress of Sir William’s will. He swooped; he devoured. He shut people up. It was this combination of decision and humanity that endeared Sir William so greatly to the relations of his victims.

Going back to Peter and Clarissa and the rest of those idiots was intolerable, and that was before Clarissa’s thoughts on the matter:
She felt glad that he had done it; thrown it away...He made her feel the beauty; made her feel the fun.

DAMN that is some hardcore narcissism. I’m so glad it added some zest to your party, Clarissa.

This is a great book, with a lot of depth. I really really hate the style, but I’m glad I persevered.

+20 task
+20 combo (20.7 194 pages, 10.5 Penguin Mrs. Dalloway, 20.1 published 1925, contemporary setting, 10.4 Next Best shelf)
+10 Oldie
+10 review

Task total = 60
Season total = 225


message 47: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Brown | 2173 comments 10.9 9, 10, 11

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

I’ll start by saying I am going to give this book a 3* (barely).

I picked this up at the most recent library book sale because I have an (inexplicable) attraction to small hardback books with stories set around Christmas. As well, this one was by John Grisham whom I have never read.

It took me about a third of the way through the book to realize this is the book that the movie “Christmas with the Kranks’ was derived from. I don’t think I have seen the movie, but I do recall it was one of those bad genre movies. Potentially, that colored my feelings for the book. Or maybe it’s just that Grisham and I aren’t meant to be. I didn’t particularly like the main characters and I really didn’t like their neighbours. I despise the kind of competitive consumerism that Grisham is trying to skewer. I think he needed to either be funnier, or had an even harder edge moving to satire. There are funny bits and the ending is very Hallmark nice, which is what boosts the book to a rating of 3.

10 task
10 review
10 combo 20.7, 10.5 (Bantam)
_____
30

Running total: 65


message 48: by Anika (last edited Sep 17, 2018 10:16AM) (new)

Anika | 1672 comments 10.10 Group Reads

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I've been in the mood for a scary(-ish) story ever since the mornings here started to get that early autumn crispness to them--feels a little like Halloween is in the air. This more than fit the bill! I listened to it on my morning walk and was jumping any time I saw another person in my peripheral vision, couldn't stop listening to it once I got home. If you're expecting the story to follow the plot of the 2007 Will Smith movie, prepare to be surprised--though it has been roughly 11 years since I've seen it, I don't recall it ending the way the novella did. Matheson knows how to keep a story taut and how to play those tightly-strung emotions to the hilt. (view spoiler) I enjoyed this so much and don't know if I would have picked it up had it not been chosen by another reader (thank you, Rosemary, for a great recommendation!).

+10 Task
+10 Review
+5 Prizeworthy [Tähtivaeltaja Award (2008)]
+10 Combo (10.5--https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... 20.7)
+5 Oldies

Task total: 35
Season total: 175


message 49: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 519 comments 10.6 Noir

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

I haven't read a lot of noir per se. I've done a couple of Hammett and a bit of Lehane and Connolly but the latter two I would have just contemporary mystery. Hammett was great if not a bit convoluted but maybe my brain was scattered upon reading.

The Big Sleep was revelatory for me. Not because the writing or the plot were THAT amazing ( it was great, don't get me wrong) but because it was, to me, everything that noir should be. Maybe it is the first noir book? I don't know. But the first person, bachelor detective, sexy dames, racketeers, casual murders and pouring rain is just what that style IS to me.

I really should have read this book in one or two sittings, it is an appropriate length to do so but I didn't so I sometimes had a hard time remembering exactly who was who and what the relationship was. It is also a mystery where those connections are important not always obvious.

Lots of old fashioned mystery fun if not the cheeriest book to read! Definitely perfect for Fall.

+ 10 Task
+5 Combo 10.2 Next -#1 in Marlowe Series
+5 Combo 10.5 Pet Day - Penguin
+ 10 Review
+10 Oldies - pub 1939

Task Total: 40 pts
Grand Total: 85 pts


message 50: by Norma (new)

Norma | 1168 comments 20.10 - Fall Equinox

Aunt Bessie Questions by Diana Xarissa

+20 task
+10 Combo (10.2, 10.9)

Task total: 30
Grand total: 65


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