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2019 Reads & Personal Challenges > Laurel's 2019 Reading Choices - The Goals vs. Reality

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message 1: by Laurel (last edited Dec 18, 2018 11:24AM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Overview:
I really liked my Random Reads category from last year where I drew the names of 30 titles from my huge TBR list. The goal was to read 12 of those. I didn't manage that in 2018, BUT if you count sequels, and the fact that I chose to reread a whole series up to the title on the list, I did read 12 titles. My other goal was to either carry over the rest of the titles OR delete them from my TBR page. While I only deleted two titles, I did carry over 12 to this year, so only drew 18 new slips to make 30. And the titles that didn't get carried over or deleted I am calling "leftovers" and listing them as alternates...

The second category will be my Daytimer's book club selections, which is a guaranteed 12 books and the third category will be a catchall list of things that are sitting on my bed table, or recently checked out or recently purchased, or related to the first category titles because they are sequels, or rereads of series, and previous authors of the year. I'm not creating a separate listing for anything new that comes my way, online bookclub reads, etc. Those will just get posted as I read them.

My "author of the year" to read will be Madeleine L'Engle.

And my overall goal this year is increasing to 52, because many of the L'Engle books are children's books, so I hope to be able to manage the 4 extra!


message 2: by Laurel (last edited Mar 01, 2021 11:15AM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Goal #1 - Random Reads from my TBR
Read 12 books from this list of 30 titles, drawn randomly from my extensive TBR shelves... *Starred items are carried over from 2018.

Nonfiction:
READ Owls: Our Most Enchanting Bird
READ 2020 The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria
READ *Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet

Wales and Arthurian:
To Carry The Horn (Book #1, Hounds of Annwn)
The Book of Joby
*Flint

Next in Series:
Bloodline (Wars of the Roses #3)
READ 2020 Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher #3)
Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia #5)

New Series:
*Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga #1)
Wolf Hall
One for Sorrow

Themes (old and new):
*Railsea (Moby Dick)
*The Drago Tree (Tree titles)
READ 2021 *Peregrine (Bird titles)
Blackbird House (Bird titles)
Orfeo (Music and musicians)
A White Wind Blew (Music and musicians)

Historical Fiction:
*The Golden Horn (11th cent. Vikings)
*The Summer Queen (12th cent. France)
*Queen By Right (15th cent. England)
READ Apr *The Aviary Gate (16th cent. Constantinople)
Season of the Raven (12th cent. England)
When Knighthood Was in Flower

Other:
*Stone's Fall (19th/20th cent.)
*The Evening Chorus (WWII)
Letters from Skye (dual timeframe, 1912, 1940)
Waterfall Glen (contemporary Scotland)
Mothering Sunday (20th cent. England)
Neverhome (Civil War - U.S.)

Leftovers (not carried over, but not deleted, mostly because I own them)
*The Long Walk Home
*The Story of the Champions of the Round Table
READ May *Bertie Plays the Blues
*Death in Bordeaux
*The Chocolatier's Wife
*The Seventh Magpie
*By Honor Bound
*Searcher in the Dawn
*Freshwater Road
*Wicked Like a Wildfire


reply | edit | delete | flag *


message 3: by Laurel (last edited Jan 01, 2020 01:23PM) (new)

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

READ Jan: A Gentleman in Moscow
READ Feb: Main Street
READ Mar: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
READ Apr: Little Fires Everywhere
READ May: Pachinko
READ Jun: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
READ Jul: Before We Were Yours
READ Aug: Crazy Rich Asians
READ Sep: The President Is Missing
Read in 2017 Oct: News of the World
READ Nov: Educated
READ Dec: The Map of Salt and Stars

I've already read News of the World, so here are some leftover from previous years:
The Pillars of the Earth
The Tall Pine Polka


message 4: by Laurel (last edited Dec 30, 2019 12:52PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Goal #3 - Catchall, leftovers, and series
Read 12.

Series
The Hounds of Annwn series by Karen Myers, books 2-5
Ravenspur: Rise of the Tudors (Wars of the Roses #4)
Phryne Fisher series - #4
Flavia series - reread before reading #5 ?
Bring Up the Bodies (Wolf Hall #2 - #3 not out yet)
Vorkosigan Saga - next in series after Shards of Honor
John the Eunuch series - books 2-12
The Winter Crown (Eleanor of Aquitaine #2)
The Autumn Throne (Eleanor of Aquitaine #3)
Season of the Fox (Servant of the Crown #2)
Lost Innocents (Servant of the Crown #3)
Pride and Predator (Ben Reese #2)
44 Scotland Street series:
READ The Importance of Being Seven - reread #6
READ Sunshine on Scotland Street #8
A Conspiracy of Friends (Corduroy Mansions #3)
READ Whisker of Evil (Mrs. Murphy #12)
World Without End (Kingsbridge #2)

On the Night Stand(s)
Whiskey Distilled: A Populist Guide to the Water of Life
The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers
...And Ladies of the Club
King Hereafter
The Demon's Brood: A History of the Plantagenet Dynasty
The Sparrow
The Prague Sonata
First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen
Dreadfully Ever After
The Canterbury Papers
Eleanor de Montfort: A Rebel Countess in Medieval England
The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors
Blood & Roses: the Paston Family and the Wars of the Roses
Blood Sisters: The Women Behind The Wars Of The Roses
The Lusitania Murders
The Plum Tree
The Half-Drowned King
The Fountain Overflows
His Dark Lady
Making Marion: Where's Robin Hood When You Need Him?
Murder in A-Major
Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth
A Rather Lovely Inheritance (trilogy)
The Fugitive Wife
Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints
Pride and Prescience: Or, A Truth Universally Acknowledged
The Pendragon Murders
The Ludwig Conspiracy
The River of No Return
Black Rabbit Hall
Ahab's Wife, or The Star-Gazer
Yankee Doodle : the story of a pioneer boy and his dog
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Miss Garnet's Angel

From the library
Library of Souls
A Map of Days
READ The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women: A Social History
Awayland
READ The Garden in Every Sense and Season
READ The Forgotten Creed: Christianity's Original Struggle against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism
READ The Butcher Bird
The Evening Chorus
Dark Winds Rising
The Sparrow Sisters
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two
READ Becoming
READ La's Orchestra Saves the World
READ The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
READ White Birch, Red Hawthorn


message 5: by Laurel (last edited Dec 29, 2019 03:23PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Goal #4 - Author of the Year, Madeleine L'Engle

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

The Other Side of the Sun
READ 2018 Ilsa
The Small Rain
And Both Were Young
The Joys of Love
Camilla
A Winter's Love
Love Letters
------------------------------------------
READ A Wrinkle in Time
READ A Wind in the Door
READ Many Waters
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
------------------------------------------
Meet the Austins
The Moon by Night
------------------------------------------
The Arm of the Starfish
Dragons in the Waters
A House Like a Lotus
------------------------------------------
The Young Unicorns
A Ring of Endless Light
Troubling a Star
------------------------------------------
An Acceptable Time
------------------------------------------
Certain Women
A Live Coal in the Sea
A Severed Wasp


message 6: by Laurel (last edited Dec 30, 2019 12:53PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Goal #5 - A Good Yarn, Reading the Alphabet
A year-long challenge. Will post here books read that fit the challenge...

A is for Animals
The Bear and the Nightingale
READ Slow Horses
READ Dead Lions

A is for Africa

Title beginning with A:
READ The Aviary Gate

B is for Body Parts

B is for Birds This is also my annual theme for A Good Yarn group, and my goal is at least 6 bird titles
The Bear and the Nightingale
READ Owls: Our Most Charming Bird
READ The Aviary Gate
READ The Butcher Bird
READ The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane





Title beginning with B:
READ The Butcher Bird
READ Before We Were Yours
READ Becoming
READ Bertie Plays the Blues

C is for Colors
READ White Birch, Red Hawthorn

C is for Clothing
Courting Mr. Lincoln

Title beginning with C:
Courting Mr. Lincoln
READ CatStronauts: Mission Moon
READ The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

D is for Directions

D is for Dancing

Title beginning with D:
Dark Fire
READ Desperate Hours
READ Drastic Measures
READ Dead Lions

E is for Emotions
READ Earthly Joys

E is for England
READ La's Orchestra Saves the World
READ Earthly Joys

Title beginning with E:
READ Earthly Joys
READ Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
READ Educated

F is for Family
READ Making of the Primitive Baptists
READ Women at Fort Boonesborough, 1775-1784
READ Boone's Lick
READ Millie Cooper's Ride: A True Story from History

F is for Fantasy
READ Mary Poppins
READ Mary Poppins Comes Back

Title beginning with F:
The Fugitive Wife
READ The Forgotten Creed: Christianity's Original Struggle against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism

G is for Groups
READ The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

G is for Great American Read
READ Wuthering Heights

Title beginning with G:
READ A Gentleman in Moscow
READ The Garden in Every Sense and Season

H is for Historical Fiction
READ Boone's Lick

H is for (things that are) High
READ Wuthering Heights
The Tall Pine Polka

Title beginning with H:
READ Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing
READ The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women: A Social History
Hollow Kingdom
Heart of a Samurai

I is for International
READ Virgin Earth (set in England and Virginia)

I is for Ice

Title beginning with I:
READ The Importance of Being Seven

J is for Jungle

J is for Japan
Heart of a Samurai

Title beginning with J:

K is for Key

K is for Kings and Kingdoms
Hollow Kingdom

Title beginning with K:


message 7: by Laurel (last edited Feb 15, 2019 04:58PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #1 Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins, #1) by P.L. Travers Mary Poppins - 3 stars
This was a book club book for Dec. I read these as a child, but it really was the movie that made a bigger impression. Mary Poppins is not exactly a likeable person, and there is no plot to speak of. My intention is to read more of them, and I've started the 2nd one, but it didn't grab me any more as an adult than it did way back when.


message 8: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #2 Millie Cooper's Ride A True Story from History by Marc Simmons Millie Cooper's Ride: A True Story from History - 4 stars
A children's picture book. I saw this mentioned on a genealogy Facebook group, and bought a copy. I am descended from a Millie Cooper (the aunt of this one) and it depicts life at Fort Cooper during the War of 1812, when my ancestors settled there. Looking forward to sharing this with my mom the next time I visit.


message 9: by Laurel (last edited Feb 15, 2019 04:57PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #3 A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles A Gentleman in Moscow - 5 stars
Slow to start and somewhat confusing at first, but by the end I wanted to immediately listen to it again. I won't right now - too many other books waiting - but I might listen to this again some time. Book club book for January.


message 10: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #4 The Wild Robot Escapes (The Wild Robot, #2) by Peter Brown The Wild Robot Escapes - 4 stars
Another children's book, but this is why I set my goal higher for this year. Leftover from last year, the sequel to The Wild Robot. Read them together. They really don't stand alone.


message 11: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #5 Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing by Megan Smolenyak Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing - 3 stars
Not a bad book. I just wanted more from it. The library theme for January was puzzles, and genealogy is about solving puzzles.


message 12: by Laurel (last edited Feb 15, 2019 04:59PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #6 Owls Our Most Charming Bird by Matt Sewell Owls: Our Most Charming Bird - 4 stars
Very cute. Smaller than I expected. But charming, indeed. Watercolor illustrations of 50 owls and brief, witty descriptions. The first of my random reads and probably the shortest.


message 13: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #7 The Forgotten Creed Christianity's Original Struggle against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism by Stephen J. Patterson The Forgotten Creed: Christianity's Original Struggle against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism - 4 stars
Scholarly and excellent historical context on a passage from Galations.


message 14: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #8 Breaking Cat News Cats Reporting on the News that Matters to Cats by Georgia Dunn Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News that Matters to Cats - 4 stars

#9 Lupin Leaps In by Georgia Dunn Lupin Leaps In - 5 stars
One of my favorite comic strips.


message 15: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #10 Main Street by Sinclair Lewis Main Street - 3 stars
Love the writing, and depressingly current. It just got old after awhile.


message 16: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #11 Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine - 4 stars
Feel good chick lit, but completely unrealistic. Not my genre, but I enjoyed it.


message 17: by Laurel (last edited Apr 01, 2019 11:02AM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments Currently reading The Aviary Gate which was a "Random Read" last year, and I retained it for this year's goal. However - at 60 pages in, I am flirting with abandoning it. The reviews on Amazon are lackluster. I'm not liking the dual-timeframe. And it is the first of a trilogy, so if I finish it I will feel as if I need to continue the series.

Reasons to finish it: I need a title that starts with A for for my Reading the Alphabet challenge (was supposed to be February, but I'm behind...) and it fits my "Bird Theme" challenge.

Reasons to not finish it: Well, basically the old adage "So many books, so little time..." I have well over 3,000 titles on my TBR shelf, and the whole point of having the Random Reads challenge is to either read a book or delete it.

So has anyone ever added a goal to actually not finish books? Ha ha ha! But seriously, I might! If I make it a goal, it gives me "permission" in a way, to abandon books that I am not really liking.


message 18: by Laurel (last edited May 04, 2019 08:11PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #12 The Aviary Gate (The Aviary Gate #1) by Katie Hickman The Aviary Gate - 3 stars
I finished this after all, and ended up giving it 3 stars, mainly for the historical detail. I didn't like the dual timeframe. They could have left out the contemporary plot. I couldn't see that it added anything.


message 19: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #13 Becoming by Michelle Obama Becoming - 5 stars
Loved the book, inspiring message, inspiring author.


message 20: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #14 Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng Little Fires Everywhere 3 stars
Maybe it should have been 4 considering I liked it much better than The Aviary Gate. But bottom line - I won't be going out of my way to read more of this author. Read it for book club. Not my usual thing.


message 21: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #15 The Importance of Being Seven (44 Scotland Street, #6) by Alexander McCall Smith The Importance of Being Seven - 5 stars
A reread and a favorite series. Now I have caught up to where I left off. And I have downloaded the audio of Bertie Plays the Blues to start tomorrow.


message 22: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #16 Bertie Plays the Blues (44 Scotland Street, #7) by Alexander McCall Smith Bertie Plays the Blues

#17 Sunshine on Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street, #8) by Alexander McCall Smith Sunshine on Scotland Street

Finished two more in this series, but I think I'll take a break now!


message 23: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #18 Pachinko by Min Jin Lee Pachinko - 4 stars

This was for my May book club, and one of our "Asian" selections for this year. Very interesting to learn more about Korea and Japan. 4 stars because it got a bit long and repetitive, and I just lost interest in the ending.


message 24: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #19 The Butcher Bird (Somershill Manor Mystery, #2) by S.D. Sykes The Butcher Bird - 5 stars

A "leftover" that has been on my TBR for too long. I loved it, but found it very similar plotwise to the first in the series. I've immediately requested the third book, but hope the author will do something different.


message 25: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #20 La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith La's Orchestra Saves the World - 4 stars

Something a little different from Alexander McCall Smith. Short and sweet, not quite a romance, just his usual ordinary people doing ordinary things with a good dose of love and compassion.


message 26: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #21, 22, 23 CatStronauts Mission Moon by Drew Brockington CatStronauts Race to Mars by Drew Brockington CatStronauts Space Station Situation by Drew Brockington

A children's graphic novel series. Great fun. 5 stars. Cats in Space. What more can I say?


message 27: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #24 Desperate Hours (Star Trek Discovery #1) by David Mack Desperate Hours
3 stars. Okay as fan fiction, but the TV show has presented a different history of the relationship between Burnham and Spock. I have the second book, and am reading it, but if it isn't better I probably won't continue.


message 28: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #25 Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate Before We Were Yours
5 stars - Terrific book. Same general vein and style as The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - over the top drama, a bit romancy in style, but based on true events.


message 29: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #26 Making of the Primitive Baptists (Studies in American Popular History and Culture) by James R. Mathis Making of the Primitive Baptists
3 stars - Not really what I was looking for, but I found it somewhat interesting, given that some of my ancestors were Primitive Baptists.


message 30: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #27 Drastic Measures by Dayton Ward Drastic Measures
3 stars - Another okay book, but I don't think I'll read any more of these.


message 31: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #28 Slow Horses (Slough House, #1) by Mick Herron Slow Horses
4 stars, which is great for the first of a series. I really enjoyed this farce/thriller about a bunch of failed Bristish intelligence agents trying to redeem themselves. Not recommended on audio - the constant scene-switching is too hard to follow without at least the visual cue on the page of a small gap in the text.


message 32: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #29 Women at Fort Boonesborough, 1775-1784 by Harry G. Enoch Women at Fort Boonesborough, 1775-1784
5 stars. A snippet of what life might have been like (especially for women) on the Kentucky frontier. Biographies of every known woman (including children and slaves) who were there between 1775 and 1784. Taken from multiple sources, including collected interviews.


message 33: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #30 The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
4 stars. Maybe 4.5.
Well-researched and includes lots of details about tea, the hill tribes and their customs, particularly the Akha from the Yunnan area of China.


message 34: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #31 Boone's Lick by Larry McMurtry Boone's Lick
5 stars. More of a novella, but I thought it was great fun, and Boone's Lick is where some of ancestors first settled in Missouri.


message 35: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #32 Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1) by Kevin Kwan Crazy Rich Asians
3 stars. Not really my thing at all, though I did enjoy the movie version of this book.


message 36: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #33 Whisker of Evil (Mrs. Murphy, #12) by Rita Mae Brown Whisker of Evil
4 stars. Returning to my reread of this series from a couple years ago. Needed something light and familiar to read.


message 37: by Laurel (last edited Sep 18, 2019 01:38PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments I have some catching up to do! Goodreads says I am four books behind in my goal. Well, I have a couple of books I've been "reading" since the beginning of the year, that would give me my G and H titles for my Good Yarn book club:
The Garden in Every Sense and Season
The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women: A Social History

I'm almost done with
The President Is Missing for Daytimer's.

And I'm half through the next Slow Horses series
Dead Lions but I had to return the ebook, and now have to wait for it to become available again...

I have a long car trip coming up, so I hope to listen to
Wuthering Heights which fits both a G and an H category for Goal #5, also
Earthly Joys which fits several categories as well.

So those are my priorities right now!


message 38: by Laurel (last edited Sep 26, 2019 01:21PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments As usual, I find myself getting sidetracked from my good intentions. I had determined to read The Garden... (above) and Hidden Lives and also The Tall Pine Polka for my H is for (things that are) High category. But then I decided I needed to rewatch seasons 4,5, and 6 of Downton Abbey prior to seeing the movie this weekend and all reading has gone out the window. There is also the current political drama unfolding over the last few days and if I'm not watching Downton Abbey, I'm glued to CNN.

I did finish The President is Missing on audio, and have started Wuthering Heights in the car. It has proven to need more attention, so I've restarted the audio once for the first 10 chapters or so, and now I've gotten the book as well to read along side. The structure of the thing required reading the Spark Notes synopsis online to understand who was speaking. I had thought the narrator was Nelly Dean, and so I was terribly confused at the references to it being a man. Now I realize there are two narrators - the tenant Mr. Lockwood as well as the housekeeper! I think I am getting it sorted now. The narrator, Joanne Froggatt is wonderful. Having been born and raised in Yorkshire, she is completely fluent with the dialect. I have ancestors from Yorkshire, so am finding it very evocative of the time and place they lived.

Well, I am going to visit my elderly parents (both 89) next week, so I am hoping to have some reading time around running errands with my mom (dad is in assisted living with Alzheimer's). I have suggested taking her to see the Downton Abbey movie since she loved the TV series, and she thought that was a "thrilling" idea.


message 39: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #34 The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton The President Is Missing
3 stars
It was okay, but it didn't inspire me to read any more James Patterson.

#35 Earthly Joys (Tradescant, #1) by Philippa Gregory Earthly Joys
4 stars
I know she takes liberties with history, but she tells a good story!

#36 Virgin Earth (Tradescant, #2) by Philippa Gregory Virgin Earth
4 stars
Sequel to Earthly Joys.

And now I am 9 books behind schedule on my annual goal. Can she catch up??


message 40: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #37 Educated by Tara Westover Educated
3 stars

Gripping but painful. And definitely an unreliable narrator.


message 41: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #38 Dead Lions (Slough House, #2) by Mick Herron Dead Lions
3 stars
Entertaining but slow and constantly shifting plot threads. Still I like the set up of this series, and just might read more of them.


message 42: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #39 The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
4 stars - Too good to be true, but oh so charming.

#40 The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women A Social History by Elizabeth Norton The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women: A Social History
4 stars - Full of fascinating details.


message 43: by Laurel (last edited Dec 30, 2019 09:25PM) (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments 12 books to go in 25 days. Ha ha, that's a book every two days.

Would LIKE to finish the following:
READ Where the Crawdads Sing
READ The Garden in Every Sense and Season
READ Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet
READ Mary Poppins Comes Back
READ Wuthering Heights
The Tall Pine Polka
The Map of Salt and Stars

Thinking of adding some Madeleine L'Engel:
READ A Wrinkle in Time
READ A Wind in the Door
READ Many Waters
A Swiftly Tilting Planet

Well, that would be 11 books. Maybe I can sneak in
Christmas Bells, or
READ White Birch, Red Hawthorn

Wish me luck!!!!!


message 44: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #41 Mary Poppins Comes Back (Mary Poppins, #2) by P.L. Travers Mary Poppins Comes Back
3 stars - Children love absurdity, and are far more forgiving of Mary Poppins oddities than I am, perhaps!

#42 Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens Where the Crawdads Sing
4 stars - a bit on the implausible side, but what a lovely paean to the marsh and the natural world.


message 45: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments December isn't over yet, but I'm going to go ahead and list my top 10 reads of the year. I don't like to include graphic novels, children's books, or rereads in this list. In no particular order or rank:

1. A Gentleman in Moscow
2. The Butcher Bird
3. Before We Were Yours and/or Where the Crawdads Sing
4. Boone's Lick
5. Pachinko
6. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
7. Earthly Joys and sequel Virgin Earth
8. The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
9. Wuthering Heights - not finished yet, but definitely in the top 10
10. Bertie Plays the Blues

And possibly an honorable mention to
White Birch, Red Hawthorn which I've just started, but I think will be 4 or 5 stars...


message 46: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #43 The Garden in Every Sense and Season by Tovah Martin The Garden in Every Sense and Season

4 stars - A lovely book to be savored slowly over time, as I did.


message 47: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #44 A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L'Engle A Wrinkle in Time

5 stars - This childhood favorite has lost none of its magic!


message 48: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments Laurel wrote: "#44 A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L'Engle A Wrinkle in Time

5 stars - This childhood favorite has lost none of its magic!"


I read this for the first time this year - it is indeed magical!


message 49: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13416 comments Mod
Leslie wrote: "Laurel wrote: "#44 A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L'Engle A Wrinkle in Time

5 stars - This childhood favorite has lost none of its magic!"

I read this for the first time this year..."


You've both made me curious: I'll give it a try next year!!!


message 50: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Bradshaw (llawryf) | 658 comments #45 A Wind in the Door (Time Quintet, #2) by Madeleine L'Engle A Wind in the Door
4 stars - Not quite as memorable as the first book, but I still love everything Ms. L'Engle writes!


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