2021 Reading Challenge discussion

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message 1: by Lorie (last edited Feb 07, 2019 07:32AM) (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments I can't wait to see what my first book of next year is. Depends on what I can still finish this year. Just 30 pages left of The Last Kingdom and today Libby, my digital library friend, sent me A Gentleman in Moscow. I think these can be gobbled up yet in 2018.

message 2: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments I have finished The Roanoke Girls and made some progress on A Gentleman in Moscow still in 2018. I just may hit 40 books this year.

Clearly have to pick up the pace to finish over 100 in 2019, but that is why it is called a challenge.

message 3: by Lorie (last edited Jan 16, 2019 07:37AM) (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments I am going to use this as a type of "note to self" area. Keep my thoughts organized, talk to myself about how I am actually feeling about a book or books. I have three going right now -- one about language that focuses on child language acquisition. Topic is very interesting with a summary of existing research -- author is a little snarky when discounting works of dissenting researchers The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language, but it is not really a text book and more of a reading book. Still in the early stages, might have to go straight to Noam Chomsky on this topic.
I am reading Fallen by Karin Slaughter Fallen Karin Slaughter. A quick read as usual. I am slowing down right in the middle of the book. It needs to pick up the pace a bit and one or two loose ends should tighten up a bit -- I feel like the story is treading water and Will Trent seems too dim right now to be the lead in a whole series. He seems to be miles behind his boss and partner and other characters in all aspects of the investigation.
A Gentleman in Moscow is still on my current read list. I want to finish Fallen and pick this back up where I left off when my library e-book had to be returned. This book, too, seems to need a shot in the arm. He is stuck in a hotel. He is super-polite and has a lot of lovely memories, but that is all I have absorbed so far.
On reading this post, I have to wonder if it is me (losing interest halfway-ish through).

message 4: by Lorie (last edited Jan 10, 2019 12:18PM) (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments I don't know what it is. . .maybe it is me!! I can zip through the first 40% or so of most books but they all seem to lag a bit for me between 40-ish and 55-ish percent.
There are only a handful of books that I could say whisked me from front to finish with no faltering.
I am stuck in Fallen (Karin Slaughter) and The Gentleman in Moscow. I find the rising action, I love the falling action, but where are the pivotal events when there are so many storylines going on?

message 5: by Lorie (last edited Jan 16, 2019 07:35AM) (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments I have finished Fallen and snuck in a vacation read of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Halfway through my second vacation book called Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut.

Will have to get back to the Gentleman in Moscow, but not feeling it really at this time. Seems like a blizzardy weekend kind of book. I am going to move it from my "Currently Reading" to "Right book, wrong time" shelf.

message 6: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments While looking in my library for my next book, I found a collection of Lis Wiehl Lis Wiehl books that I must have already downloaded to my ibooks. It wasn't even on my list of books to read this year, but there it was. There are four stories in it and that should take me a while.
Do I love books or love buying books -- that is a question I have to ask myself. When I hold a book it is a little bundle of promise and hope and excitement. Sometimes, the insides don't quite measure up but I selected it for a reason and so I still feel it was time well-spent.
Right now I am worried about the pace of 11-12 books a month. I have to remind myself that in the summer I audio-book outdoors in the garden and on long walks. I will likely fall behind the pace early on, but have to remind myself there will be months that I far exceed. Also, when travellling. . .book reading time. Smile.

message 7: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Notes to self, again: I used to be such a literature freak. Like I would purposely NOT read the most popular books (the ones you find at airports and Target as the "bestsellers"). I must say that being a part of goodreads and, more specifically, this challenge group has expanded my book-ish horizons.
I wish I had more time.

message 8: by Lorie (last edited Jan 24, 2019 06:37AM) (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Note to self:
I listened to The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and, while a cool story, I think non-fiction is not my thing. I felt the same way about Seabiscuit: An American Legend and The Wright Brothers.
I am glad all that information is out there and I am glad people document the past, but now I know that I don't want to read about it at book length. Didn't hate them, but . . .you know. I could google Seabiscuit and learn all I need to know. I learned a lot about the Wright Brothers at the Wright-Patterson airforce museum and that is all I need to know.
Next up on audio is Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. I have lived in rural Ohio and I understand what he is saying.

message 9: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Whoa! I already bailed out and deleted the Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, not because of anything wrong with the book but because I read some of the questions and reviews and lost total interest. It seems people wanted to make this book about Trump and were placing judgement on the inhabitants of Appalachia -- the comments and questions about it on goodreads were stupid. If those people liked or read this book, then I don't want to. Picked up A Man Called Ove from my library Libby app. This ought to be a good weekend listen.

message 10: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments well, I am glad I bailed out on Hillbilly Elegy before I was too far into it -- I read to escape political nonsense. Anyway, I picked up A Man Called Ove instead and I LOVE it. I have read many "meh" books in the past 8 - 10 months and a lot of "better than meh" books, but few "unexpected gems" (These are all shelf names of mine). This one is going there -- unexpected gems!

message 11: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments New book started on audio: The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Neil is the narrator...he has a sexy voice -- reminds me of Severus Snape.

message 12: by Lorie (last edited Jan 24, 2019 06:50AM) (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Still listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I am just able to grab snippets here and there. I need to make an appointment with my rower or treadmill and absorb a whole chunk of it. As I said earlier, Neil Gaiman has an amazing reading voice, made better by the fact that he is reading his own material. This audiobook is from the Libby app from the library, but if I can't finish it on time, I will buy it from audiobooks.
Also, I finished Harlan Coben's Home. I am starting to like Harlan more and more. They are well-written, the characters are more developed by a "non-development" than anything else. The mystery could have seemed far-fetched and yet he gave it such a sense of desperation and inner-need on some characters' part that it really seemed plausible. I gave it 3 stars because I had just finished A Man Called Ove and that was so, so good.

message 13: by Lorie (last edited Jan 25, 2019 06:45AM) (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments So far, so good on the The Song of Achilles. One quarter of the way through it and I read all of that just this morning before work. So I think this will go quickly. I am still in love with The Ocean at the End of the Lane, as much the story as with the reading voice. Right now I have it on loan from the library through Libby, but am thinking I will end up getting my own copy from Audible. This would be a good bedtime story for me -- much like David Copperfield as read by Richard Armitage. Yummy.

message 14: by Lorie (last edited Jan 31, 2019 08:28AM) (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Starting on a collection of stories in The George Bernard Shaw Collection. Nice change of pace from my recent book pics -- back in time I go!!! I have read Major Barbara before but it may be better as an audio book.

Also, picked up Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell. So far, so good.

message 15: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Finished Tobacco Road this morning. I had read a lot of reviews that felt it was not a good story, too sad and all that. The story itself is sad -- but as a commentary on the difference between the "haves" and "have-nots" it is brilliant. Jeeter is his own worst enemy and Dude is looking to follow right in his footsteps. Yes, the treatment of Mother Lester is horrid, but in the Lester household it is "every man/woman for his/her self". That is the sad part.
Also, finished both Pygmalion and Mrs. Warren's Profession this weekend on audio while painting and doing other household chores. Makes for light work!

message 16: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Started Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West this morning. Not sure about it yet. If the whole thing is going to be "white man bad", then I am likely not interested. Conquering people and taking things did not begin with white Europeans in the 1800's. Conquest and war goes back to the beginning of time -- cultures get swallowed up and it isn't always pretty.
My own family came to America from Prussia which, as you know, no longer exists. Sometimes you just have to make a new start.

message 17: by Lorie (last edited Feb 06, 2019 01:40PM) (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments I am liking Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West. I think that the story tells itself and that it isn't necessary to point out who is being "bad" here or "good" -- some of Dee's phrasing leans a bit toward the opinion side of things. I am following the story of the Americans and Native Americans which is well-written and rich in details like dates, names, places and geography. These details are not overwhelming the story nor impeding the actual flow of events. Sometimes the details are what lose me in a historical read. This might end up being a 4 or 5 star book for me if it keeps up!

message 18: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Picked up another Bosch book -- The Burning Room. Am currently 75% done with it -- It is an audiobook.

message 19: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments I spent a large portion of my weekend watching junk on YouTube. Have to get my head back in the game.

message 20: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Finished Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West. It was an excellently researched historical book, the story itself is sickening as are many of the characters. As a history, it was written very matter-of-fact and it is hard to "know" any of the characters. It was a good read, of course, and a part of US history that everyone should have to understand. I think I am learning that straight-up historical novels are just not my thing. I do love a good historical fiction, though.

message 21: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Well, it has been a while. I have finished quite a few books since my last post. Most have been good. I bailed out on one John Grisham book, in the meantime. It was called The Whistler. I am not going to say it was a bad book, just not my thing. I wanted to have a taste of this popular author's fare. I will try another one, later in the year.
I went to the actual library yesterday. I use the library app to read or listen on my devices, but yesterday I borrowed actual books. It has been a while.

message 22: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Finished All the Light We Cannot See. I had it as an audiobook but I think this book would be better as a reading book. So I will look for it at the library to read later this year. And, yes, I will count it twice because I think it is that good.

message 23: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments I am on a Bosch-fest this weekend. I am listening to Echo Park and reading The Harry Bosch Novels, Volume 1: The Black Echo / The Black Ice / The Concrete Blonde. Yes, that will count as 4 books when I am able to polish them off.
I finished Tobacco Road a while back and finished God's Little Acre yesterday. I have the three-pack, Three Classic Novels: Tobacco Road, God's Little Acre, and Place Called Estherville, but may be content with the two I have already finished. Erskine Caldwell makes me think. Humans have a lot of animal drive but are supposed to be able to control it.
I will listen to Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle while I do my chores and workout tomorrow.

message 24: by Lorie (last edited Mar 04, 2019 12:44PM) (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Oh my word, Shirley Jackson, you are funny! I am sure I am not supposed to be amused by Merricat's actions in this book, but she is a lovable and weird little psycho/sociopath. Up next for me in Shirley Jackson-land is the The Witchcraft of Salem Village and The Haunting of Hill House , but I will wait a bit until the Blackwoods move out of my brain.

message 25: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments How odd. The year has changed a bit for me. I am knee-deep in library books by Michael Connelly. This is not a line of books I would have ever thought I would like and here I am reading one after the other. I can thank Goodreads for the reviews and recommendations that have had me venture out of my book-reading comfort zone. So excited.

message 26: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments Trying to keep up with both the reading and what I write here. I have finished The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and am not sure how I felt about that one. I did like it and it seems like there was "something" there, but I am just not sure what. I am sad for Miss Brodie because she is caught in an odd time in history and she is desperately trying to preserve her youth and "prime" by living through the young girls.

message 27: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loviel) | 33 comments I scaled back my goal to 120 books this year. I was 4 books ahead of pace for 130, but it was stressing me out to think that I had to allow that much reading time even in summer. I am a weinie.

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