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Challenge Home (Fall 2019) > Completed Tasks

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message 1: by Kate S (new)

Kate S | 5911 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

20.4 Boomer

Vladimir Nabokov: The Russian Years by Brian Boyd

insert 100+ word review here

+20 Task (born 1952)
+ 5 Combo (20.3)
+10 Not a Novel
+10 Review
+ 5 Oldies (pub'd 1990)
+ 5 Jumbo (619 pgs)

Task total = 55

Task Total: 55
Season Total: 500 (assumes mid-season with a previous total of 445)


message 2: by Kate S (new)

Kate S | 5911 comments Sample PnM2 Post

15.5 PnM2 B1

Dawson's Fall by Roxana Robinson

+20 Task (pub 2019)

Task Total: 20
Season Total: 520 (assumes mid-season with a previous total of 500)


message 3: by Penny (new)

Penny (Literary Hoarders) (pennyliteraryhoarders) | 123 comments 15.1 PnM2 A.1. Canada

The Innocents: A Novel by Michael Crummey

+15 Task (Canada, Newfoundland)

Task Total = 15 pts
Season Total = 15 pts


message 4: by Rebekah (last edited Sep 13, 2019 02:53PM) (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 4185 comments 20.1 Inaugural
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
(2016 winner)

+20 pts -Task
+20 +30 - Combo (10.3, 10.7: 10.10, 20.4 -1962 on GR page, 20.5 - starts in court, childhood flashbacks, more recent adult life flashbacks, 20.8 - Pb = Lead)

Task Total - 50
Season Total - 50

Thanks, Gabriel for selecting this, just added 5 combo points to my score!
And thanks to Anika and Owlette! I got 10 more combo points!


message 5: by Valerie (last edited Sep 02, 2019 06:09PM) (new)

Valerie Brown | 2308 comments 10.4 Replay (1x only)

(for the task: 20.3 A Severed Head)

Wise Children by Emma Rice

This play by Emma Rice is an adaptation of Angela Carter’s novel of the same name. I haven’t read the novel, but I don’t think that hindered my understanding or enjoyment of the play. Despite there being three versions of the main characters, and two of the secondary characters, it felt like a relatively straightforward narrative and a quick read.

This seems like a play that actors would have fun with, and certainly the set designer would have an interesting challenge. This adaptation is current (2018) but in some ways I felt some of the tropes were dated. I would be very interested to hear the opinion of my dramaturge friend. Anyhow, I did enjoy it and would be interested to see this performed. 3.5*

10 task
10 review
10 not a novel
5 combo 20.8 Er 68 Erbium
_____
35

Running total: 35


message 6: by Valerie (last edited Sep 02, 2019 06:09PM) (new)

Valerie Brown | 2308 comments 20.4 Boomer

A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George

(my carry-over book)

This is the first in the Inspector Lynley series. This is also George’s first novel, and it is quite accomplished for a first although there are parts where you can see she is finding her way.

In some ways it is a contemporary classic British mystery, but largely it is a psychological thriller/study. This is it’s strength. George develops her characters by giving us glimpses into their emotional make-up – and, boy are these people interesting! I am very interested in reading more about Inspector Lynley and Sergeant Havers.

I didn’t find the mystery itself to be particularly difficult to unravel. However, the way George unfolded it and the actions of the various characters surrounding it was so interesting that guessing the resolution didn’t really affect my enjoyment. 4*


20 task
10 review
5 oldie
5 combo 10.7
_____
40

Running total: 75


message 7: by Norma (new)

Norma | 1254 comments 10.4 - Replay

Walk On By by L.M. Krier

+10 task (20.6 - Characters)

Task total: 10
Grand total: 10


message 8: by Mary (last edited Sep 02, 2019 03:34PM) (new)

Mary | 690 comments 20.4 Boomer

Negroland by Margo Jefferson

A memoir about growing up in an upper middle class African American family during the 1950s and 1960s. A perspective on the pervasiveness of racism within American culture where socio economic status, education and achievement are less important than skin color.

An interesting perspective on an long standing social problem and injustice with the added perspective of class over laid on the discussion. Margo Jefferson uses her family history, childhood experiences and those of her family and friends to illustrate how racism was and still is embedded in American life,

20 pts. 20.4 Boomer https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margo...
10 pts 10.1 Sub Sandwich
10 pts Not a Novel
10 pts Review

Task Total. 45 pts
Season Total 45 pts


20.4


message 9: by Jayme(the ghost reader) (last edited Sep 02, 2019 03:54PM) (new)

Jayme(the ghost reader) (jaymeiltheghostreader) | 2257 comments 20.4 Boomer
The Valley of Amazementby Amy Tan
Born in 1952

Task +20
Grand Total: 20


message 10: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 2383 comments 15.1 PnM2 F1
The Widows of Broome (Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte #13) by Arthur W. Upfield

+15 Task

Post Total: 15
Season Total: 15



message 11: by Lynn (last edited Sep 02, 2019 07:49PM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 260 comments 15.1 PnM2 F2 Author's Name

The Warlord of Mars (Barsoom #3) by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Task 15 points
Season Total 15 points


message 12: by Ed (last edited Sep 02, 2019 10:08PM) (new)

Ed Lehman | 2336 comments 15.1 PnM2
E3-3. Title consists of a full sentence

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? by Horace McCoy

Task Total= 15
Grand Total=15

Tasks Completed: 1

15.1 (15)


message 13: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 1293 comments 15.1 Pick 'n' Mix

E4 Title has non-generic subtitle.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

Task total: 15
Season total: 15


message 14: by Kathleen (itpdx) (new)

Kathleen (itpdx) (itpdx) | 1339 comments 15.1 PnM2
A5
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
South Africa

+15
Season total: 15


message 15: by Kathleen (itpdx) (new)

Kathleen (itpdx) (itpdx) | 1339 comments 20.6 Monster Redux
Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold

Review:
Penric, a second or third son, is on his way to his betrothal when he inadvertently becomes the host of a demon. Having not paid much attention to his “religious” education, he has no idea how a demon works. Being a curious, friendly and helpful young man, he takes an unorthodox and naive path of getting to know his demon with interesting results.

I listened to the audio book and the reader was average—not quite hitting the various demon voices and accents. And if I was supposed to be picking up information on the religion and history of Penric’s world for future books, it mostly went right by me.

+20 task
+10 combo (10.7, 20.4)
+10 review
Task total: 40
Season total: 55


message 16: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Brown | 2308 comments 20.10 Difficult

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Oh, RwS…. why do you do this to me?? With this book I am now introduced to another series that I must read! Yes, spoiler alert – I really liked this book!

I bought this at the last library book sale because a GR person whose reviews I follow wrote an interesting review of it. Then when this task was posted I saw that it is rated #116 on the Most Difficult Novels list. That gave me pause. When someone says difficult I think it will be like Pynchon.

I did not find this novel difficult at all. However, and this maybe the big however, I am not a reader of King. I don’t recall when I last read one of his novels, probably the late 70s. I don’t read horror. I think because of that I was able to approach the book without preconceived ideas. As well, I have the revised and expanded edition in which King added a (new) introduction. This introduction helped set the scene for my reading enjoyment. King basically explains he was inspired by the film “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, and the Lord of the Rings. If you read the novel with that in mind you realize this is an epic dystopian fantasy quest. So good!! 4*

20 task
10 review
5 oldie
15 combo 10.3, 20.4, 20.7
______
50

Running total: 125


message 17: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 2383 comments 15.2 PnM2 D5
Dead Man's Chest (Phryne Fisher #18) by Kerry Greenwood

+15 Task

Post Total: 15
Season Total: 30



message 18: by Valerie (last edited Sep 04, 2019 03:51AM) (new)

Valerie Brown | 2308 comments 15.1 P'nM 2

B2 (2000)

Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled by Dorothy Gilman

15 task
_____
15

Running total: 140

****takes place in Syria****


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 11719 comments 15.1 PickNMix2
E2 - Title contains a number

1906 by James Dalessandro

+15 Task

(first post of the season)


message 20: by Rebekah (last edited Sep 03, 2019 08:25PM) (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 4185 comments 15.1 PnM2 F2
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman

+15 pts - Task
Season Total - 65


message 21: by Beth (last edited Sep 03, 2019 08:15PM) (new)

Beth Robinson (bethrobinson) | 1099 comments 20.1 Inaugral

The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami

The story of Mustafa/Esteban was immersive, beginning with his reality as a slave entering what would someday be Florida alternating with lovingly told stories of his childhood, so the reader desires it as does the narrator, particularly in contrast to the treatment and environment he faces. The situation both deteriorates and improves as time moves forward. The physical condition is worse and hopes are dashed but a measure of freedom and equality is gained, which he cherishes. I thought it was very interesting that although he is telling this story many years later, he uses more traditional Muslim phrases and storytelling turns in the beginning when all is civilized (even if he is on the wrong end of the stick) and very little once the survivors are part of the life of various tribes, even when that life is bad.

I recommend this novel. Lalami did a great job of turning the conqueror's story sideways with the different point of view and of telling a story with multiple layers to it.

+20 task
+10 combo (10.8, 20.5)
+10 review

Task total: 40
Grand total: 40


message 22: by Deedee (last edited Sep 03, 2019 08:14PM) (new)

Deedee | 1831 comments Task 20.9 Shipwrecked! (Kate S's Task)
Read a book about a shipwreck.

The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor (1970) by Gabriel García Márquez; translated by Randolf Hogan (Paperback, 128 pages) [910]
Review: In 1955, several crew members of a Colombian destroyer were washed overboard and disappeared. They were presumed to be dead. One man, Luis Alejandro Velasco, survived. In 1955, Gabriel García Márquez worked for a newspaper in Bogota, Colombia. He gained Luis’s trust, and wrote a series of articles for the newspaper about Luis’ experience. In 1970, Gabriel García Márquez collected the newspaper pieces, reworked them somewhat, and published the result as The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor. In 1986 Randolph Hogan translated the book into English. This is the book I read. Luis talks about his shipmates (only positive recollections), about how he became the only man on the life raft, about his ten days at sea (Sea Gulls! And Sharks!), and ending with his rescue and recovery. Some of the details in this book I have a hard time believing – prominently, the idea that Luis went 10 days without food, and drank only salty sea water, and still survived. I do believe that this is what Luis told Gabriel García Márquez.

I’m undecided over whether I’d recommend this or not. I think it would be of interest for people who like Gabriel García Márquez; for people who are interested in the nation Colombia; and for being a tale of a real life shipwrecked sailor.

+20 Task
+05 Combo (#10.7 – author vowels A, E, I, U)
+10 Not-a-Novel: non-fiction
+05 Oldies -25 to 75 years old: (1944-1994)
+10 Review
Task Total: 20 + 05 + 10 + 05 + 10 = 50

Grand Total: 00 + 50 = 50


message 23: by Beth (new)

Beth Robinson (bethrobinson) | 1099 comments 15.1

D3 - genre poetry

The Pill vs. the Springhill Mine Disaster by Richard Brautigan

Task total: 15
Grand total: 55


message 24: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 2383 comments 20.4 Boomer
The Harp of Kings (Warrior Bards #1) by Juliet Marillier
Born 1948 - wikipedia

Review
All I knew was that it's a new book by Juliet Marillier. I. Must. Read. It. I didn't really bother finding out what the book was about so you can just imagine my pleasure to find out when I started reading that it's set in the same universe as that of Blackthorn & Grimm's because I really loved that trilogy.

The opening scene was exciting with a fight in the rain and being told from the perspective of Liobhan, it was easy to fall into the story & liking her. When perspective changed (there are 2 others, Brocc & Dau), I wasn't quite sure whether I was keen on the other 2 povs so it became a bit slow because I was reluctant to read these 2 but impatient to get on onto the next Liobhan's chapters. I think you all know this struggle with multiple povs. You find a favourite and tend to stick with them. There are some novels that I just can't get used to multiple povs but this isn't one of them.

Even as I struggle with uncertainties with multiple characters, the tale itself progresses rather quickly and in the end, it was a rather fast read because I found that I could barely put it down. I enjoyed the dynamics between these 3 characters, Liobhan being the centre piece but I love how close the siblings are (Liobhan & Brocc) and the development of Dau's character and therefore, his relationship with Liobhan. 

The Harp of Kings is really a comfort read for me so I've really enjoyed it. Points taken off only because I didn't feel the pull right from the beginning and one particular incident in the novel that I just didn't click with. Otherwise, I love this Otherwordly tale.

I adore these Celtic infused stories by Marillier. I love how she combines my love for historical fantasy and mystery so this was a perfect read for me. If you loved Marillier's recent works, you'll enjoy this read too. This new series, Warrior Bards, promises to be one full of music, many stories, and intriguing mysteries.

My thanks to MacMillan Australia for having me on this tour and  paperback copy of book in exchange of honest review


+20 Task
+5 Combo (10.7 - AIEU)
+10 Review

Post Total: 35
Season Total: 65



message 25: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 1364 comments 20.3 Hotel du Lac

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This delightful book was selected by my bookclub for this month. It's a perfect choice--juicy Hollywood gossip with enough romance and twists to the story to keep everyone engaged and probably enough meat to generate at least a little bit of conversation. I couldn't wait to get back to this book and loved these characters. This isn't high literature, but it sure is fun.

The readers for the audiobook brought each of the voices to life and helped keep straight which part of the story was happening--the journalist doing the interview, the aging movie star Evelyn Hugo, or one of the other characters in Evelyn's life.

Highly recommended.

+20 Task (journalist writing a biography)
+10 Combo (10.7, 20.5)
+10 Review

Task total: 40
Grand total: 40


message 26: by Anika (last edited Sep 04, 2019 11:04AM) (new)

Anika | 1803 comments 20.7 Spec Fic

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Imagine a U.S. that has elected a right-wing isolationist misogynist President, who has his own version of an ultra-Christian Rasputin pouring poison in his ear and into the public discourse. Imagine their cult of personality grows so strong that they are able to institute a horrific program that shackles every female in the U.S. with a "bracelet" that counts the words each woman says and once that number has hit 100, it delivers an electric shock which grows in intensity with every word over that count. Women can no longer work, can't have their own bank account or cell phone, lose their passports and computer access. Even non-verbal communication is curtailed: with cameras everywhere, even a simple wave or blown kiss could bring down the wrath of the authorities.
Just typing this sickens me. To think that the number of words in this review are more than would be allowed in an entire day...argh.
This book had me on edge and anxious the entire time. It did make me think a lot about "voice" and how we choose to give it away when the stakes don't seem high, how much the spoken word actually means in so many small and seemingly insignificant ways.
There were certain aspects of this that annoyed me (view spoiler) but overall, this was a fantastic book in the vein of The Handmaid's Tale.

+20 Task (shelved as "Speculative-Fiction" by 53 readers)
+5 Combo--20.8, CD=cadmium
+10 Review

Task total: 35
Season total: 35


message 27: by Norma (new)

Norma | 1254 comments 20.4 - Boomer

The Woods by Harlan Coben

+20 task (1962)
+10 Combo (10.3, 10.8)

Task total: 30
Grand total: 40


message 28: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1449 comments 20.7 Spec Fic

Time Out of Joint by Philip K. Dick

Ragle Gumm is 46, unmarried, and lives with his sister, brother-in-law, and young nephew.  He is also unemployed, unless you count his "job" consisting of solving a daily newspaper contest called "Where Will The Little Green Man Be Next?"  This sounds like it might be a light comic novel.  But this is Philip K. Dick; matters will eventually turn serious, and nothing is what it appears.  It is hard to say much more about the plot without spoiling it, which unfortunately is what the Goodreads blurb for most of the editions does a grand job of.  Last season I read and enjoyed A Scanner Darkly, and the two books share many of the same themes and plot devices.  Dick does an excellent job of evoking late 1950's America, which makes the contrast between the early and later parts of the book even more jarring.  I really enjoyed it and at first thought it might be a 5-star book, but have settled on 4 stars and the intention of reading more of Dick's books the next time I get in the mood for eerie and bizarre.  

+20 task (shelved 27 times as speculative-fiction)
+10 review
+  5 oldies (1959)

Task total=35
Grand total=35


message 29: by Connie (last edited Sep 04, 2019 04:25PM) (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 1293 comments 15.2 Pick 'n' Mix 2

D1 Time Travel

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

Task total: 15
Season total: 30


message 30: by Ed (new)

Ed Lehman | 2336 comments 10.3 Andre Gide

The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I read this book because the 2019 Pop Sugar challenge had a task to read two books with the same title. I had previously read The Double by José Saramago. I didn't love Saramago's book...but it had a plot. Dostoyevsky's Double is tedious.
At times, I thought maybe it was supposed to be comical...but I never laughed. Maybe it is a philosophical parable... but I never had any deep thoughts provoked. Maybe it is autobiographical and I don't know enough about the author's history to interpret the work fairly.
Also, as I read the work.... I felt that there was something similar to something else I had recently read...and it wasn't Saramago's novel.
Well, after finishing the book this afternoon, I looked for insight on Wikipedia.... and learned that indeed, Dostoyevsky borrowed concepts liberally and even copied entire phrases from Gogol's The Nose...which I read late last year.
In addition, I learned that critics are all over the place on how to interpret the novella.
And Wikipedia also quotes Dostoyevsky himself- "Most decidedly, I did not succeed with that novel; however, its idea was rather lucid, and I have never expressed in my writings anything more serious. Still, as far as form was concerned, I failed utterly."
In a note for Elizabeth (Alaska)... Vladimir Nabokov opined that this was a "perfect work of art." So, take that for what it's all worth. For me, I'm giving two stars generously.

Task=10
Review=10
Oldie=15 (1846)
Task Total= 35
Grand Total=50

Tasks Completed: 2

10.3 (35)
15.1 (15)


message 31: by Beth (last edited Sep 05, 2019 06:21AM) (new)

Beth Robinson (bethrobinson) | 1099 comments 10.6 WWII

Blackout by Connie Willis
#68 on fiction list

The book is about time travel with multiple narrators and thus inherently confusing on some level. It doesn't help that main characters can be using cover names. But each short chapter is titled well (unless info is withheld for tension), straightforward, and well told, so that helps, even with bouncing around in time.

I thought the shifting of tension from concerns about academia and scheduling to concerns about "are we going to live" and "did we actually change history (for the worse)" was emotionally effective and it definitely kept me reading. At the end I am getting annoyed at the denial one of the characters appears to be in, but presumably that will resolve further in the second half of the duology.


+10 task
+10 review
+5 length (610 pages)
+10 combo (20.5, 20.7 79 people)

Task total: 35
Grand total: 90


message 32: by Anika (last edited Sep 05, 2019 04:56PM) (new)

Anika | 1803 comments 10.9 Science!

The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day by James Kakalios

This book takes you through an "average" day (if your idea of average includes a doctor's office visit, a flight, and a hotel stay) and discusses the physics behind everything that you'd encounter: your alarm clock, toaster, traffic, GPS, x-ray technology (in this scenario, "you" have a sore ankle and in need of an x-ray to identify the problem, but also the scanner at the airport falls into this category), airplanes, smartphone/camera, LED tvs....and I'm sure I'm forgetting something.
I never took Physics in High School (we had to choose two of three sciences and I went with Biology and Chemistry) and in university I majored in English Lit so didn't have to worry about encountering Physics there, either. As a result, this book was a bit of a struggle for me. It was fascinating and the ideas behind it mostly made sense, but I know a fair amount of it went right over my head. I tried!
I did quite enjoy the simple breakdown of a traffic jam, how just one person minimally slowing their speed or one person speeding up to close a gap can cause a giant headache for drivers miles behind them.

+10 Task (Dewey Decimal of 530 @BPL)
+10 Review
+10 Not-a-Novel
+5 Combo (10.7)

Task total: 35
Season total: 70


message 33: by Beth (last edited Sep 05, 2019 11:29AM) (new)

Beth Robinson (bethrobinson) | 1099 comments 10.3 Andre Gide

The List by J.A. Konrath

It is billed as a thriller and it definitely had the fast pace/could have been a movie feel of one. The premise was a bit wonky - clones of famous dead people getting killed (with a scientific nod to how cloning doesnt work that way, which I appreciated). The reading was a bit silly in between the thrill scenes - the characters were playing punch buggy! Sure, it also served as relationship development, but still came across as absurd. But the overall plot arc worked well with a variety of twist reveals. A good popcorn read (bloody but not exploitive) that I was glad to have picked up.

P.S. I am shocked that goodreads says the mpe is 608 pages. I read it on kindle and it didnt feel that long. Whooosh. -- Thanks, Elizabeth! Corrected my points below

+10 task
+10 review

Task total: 20
Grand total: 110


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 11719 comments Beth wrote: "P.S. I am shocked that goodreads says the mpe is 608 pages. I read it on kindle and it didnt feel that long. Whooosh."

It isn't. Page count on the MPE corrected to 347.


message 35: by Joanna (last edited Sep 05, 2019 11:15AM) (new)

Joanna (walker) | 1364 comments 15.1 PnM2

C2 - Narrator is one month before his 13th birthday

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Lexile: 860

+15 Task

Task total: 15
Grand total: 55


message 36: by Anika (last edited Sep 05, 2019 04:56PM) (new)

Anika | 1803 comments 15.1 PnM2

C3: first person narration

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

+15 Task

Task total: 15
Season total: 85


message 37: by Mary (new)

Mary | 690 comments 10.7 A E I O U and Sometimes Y

The Epic of Gilgamesh by Anonymous

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a foundational myth that was not included in my literary survey courses. I have to admit my only exposure to it prior to reading it was an old Star Trek episode!

From Mesopotamia, the story echos elements of Greek mythology and Biblical stories. Gilgamesh is a mortal hero with divine or semi-divine parents who together with his friend Enkidu demonstrates through his exploits how man can conquer or control the world around them. In addition, the inevitability of death and Gilgamesh’s struggle against it has similarities with Hercules labor to bring back Cerberus from Hades as well as the story of Persephone. The flood story told closely resembles the story of Noah and the Ark.

This book is an interesting perspective on foundational myths and it is always fascinating how these stories echo similar themes across different cultures.

10 pts 10.7 AEIOU and Sometimes Y
10 pts Not a Novel ( see General Questions thread)
10 pts Review
25 pts Oldies

Task Total. 55 pts
Season Total 100 pts

10.7
20.4


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 11719 comments 15.2 PickNMix2
A3 - Europe

The Engagement by Georges Simenon

+15 Task

Season total = 30


message 39: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 2383 comments 15.3 PnM2
B1 - Pub 2012
Cold Grave (Dr. Anya Crichton #6) by Kathryn Fox

+15 Task

Post Total: 15
Season Total: 80



message 40: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 2274 comments 15.1 PnM2 A5

The Spider King's Daughter by Chibundu Onuzo

+20 Task (set in Nigeria)

Task Total: 15
Season Total: 15


message 41: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 2274 comments 15.2 PnM2 E3

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

+20 Task (title full sentence)

Task Total: 15
Season Total: 30


message 42: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 2274 comments 15.3 PnM2 B2

Silence by Shūsaku Endō

+20 Task (published 1966)

Task Total: 15
Season Total: 45


message 43: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 4185 comments 15.2 C1 Narrator over 60
Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII by Chester Nez
In this memoir, he states he is 88 years old.

+15 pts - Task
Season Total - 80 Pts


message 44: by Rachel C (new)

Rachel C 20.4 Boomer

The Time Travel Diaries by Caroline Lawrence (born 1954, according to Wikipedia)

12-year-old Alex is given a mission: to travel back in time to Roman London, and track down a girl with blue eyes and an ivory knife. He only has two days to do it in, and he quickly realises that it's going to be a challenge just to stay alive. If that wasn’t bad enough, he finds that school bully Dinu has followed him through the portal.

This was a quick, fun read, the first in a new series by one of my favourite childhood authors (who got me interested in Ancient Rome in the first place). It was an interesting look at what it would be like to travel back to the third century, and what life was like then (including some things the movies got wrong). I liked how Alex developed throughout the book, as he and Dinu come to understand each other better, and he comes to appreciate some of the things that we in the modern world take for granted.

+20 Task
+10 Combo (10.7 - 4 vowels; 20.8 - CL: chlorine)
+10 Review

Task total: 40
Season total: 40


message 45: by Kazen (new)

Kazen | 619 comments 15.1 - PnM2 E2 - Title Contains a Number

One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes

+15 task (one in title)

Task total: 15 points
Grand total: 15 points


message 46: by Beth (new)

Beth Robinson (bethrobinson) | 1099 comments 20.6 Monster Redux

The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor's Heroic Search for the World's First Miracle Drug by Thomas Hager

This was an excellent popular science/history book. While the title bills itself as Domagk's story, it is really more a story of what the development of the first antibiotic (drug family, not just singular) meant before it was overshadowed by penicillin. The number of things you could die from was appalling. It was sulfa or sulfa componds that was the first treatment for infection and childbed fever and gangrene and dropped wartime deaths from disease to a tiny fraction of their previous level. It was sulfa that precipitated the idea of doctors being able to cure not just comfort, of our current industrial drug discovery system, of our FDA drug approval laws, and of our discovery of antibiotic resistance.

Hager does a good job telling a series of small stories, moving between researchers (and research groups) and times and concerns, but always returning to Domagk's career as a central point, in part because after being in the army in WWI, he was driven to find a fix for infection. The stories are well placed in historical context, including that of WWII, although the book summary claiming the Nazis discovered sulfa is exaggerating considerably.

+20 task
+10 not a novel
+15 combo (20.4 b1953, 20.5, 20.8 Thorium)
+10 review

Task total: 55
Grand total: 165


message 47: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1449 comments 10.6 WWII

When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning

When America got involved in WWII, it became obvious that something needed to be done about the boredom experienced by troops enduring so many days of waiting to go into combat. Books proved to be the perfect distraction. Initially the books that were provided were obtained by donations from the public. Disadvantages of that effort included the fact that hardback books were too heavy, large, and inflexible to be practical.  Also a lot of unsuitable titles were donated, but even those were either passed on to appropriate audiences or recycled. 

The Nazis had engaged the world not only in military combat, but in a "war of ideas".  Books were believed to be not only desirable distractions and morale builders, but weapons in that "war of ideas." The U.S. government eventually supplied over 120 million Armed Services Editions (ASE's) free to troops in WWII.  Contrast this provision of over 120 million books with the estimate of books destroyed during WWII, which is believed to be in excess of 100 million. That includes those destroyed in Nazi book burnings, air raids, and bombs.

It was interesting to learn about the titles that were most popular . A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was extremely popular, as was Chicken Every Sunday: My Life with Mother's Boarders.  The issue of censorship even came up. Books that opposed American ideals of democracy were banned.  There was even some pressure to ban titles that were judged immoral, or thought to have potential to provoke lascivious behavior.

The author wove the story of these books given to soldiers with an outline of the events of WWII, all the way to the post-war era.  Soldiers came home, and many had acquired a love of reading from their experiences with the beloved ASE's.  Many went on to take advantage of the GI bill, and they proved to be excellent, hard-working, motivated students.

This book is comprehensive and well-researched.  There are a lot of facts and figures but I did not find it dull.  It includes a list of all the titles made available, which was fun to look through.  There are a few interesting black and white photos, and some cool reproductions of old posters from the time.  I learned a lot from this book and am very glad I read it.  
      

+10 task (#40 on non-fiction list)
+15 combo (10.2, 10.7, 10.8)
+10 not-a-novel
+10 review

Task total=45
Grand total=80


message 48: by Ed (new)

Ed Lehman | 2336 comments 10.8 Double O (Ed's Task)- Note set almost entirely in Chad.

The Roots of Heaven by Romain Gary

I had this book set for last season's 50 point task...but left it for last and didn't get to it. The action takes place almost exclusively in Chad...which at the time, in the early 1950's, was still French Equatorial Africa. It was unclear to me, but a small portion of the novel seems to take place in Sudan.
The novel centers around Morel, a former prisoner of the Nazis, who is now in Africa fighting to preserve the elephants which were being slaughtered constantly by trophy hunters, ivory hunters and by the locals for meat. His actions are interpreted as a threat to French hegemony...and people attribute to him the true motive of wishing to incite nationalism amongst the African populace.
But Morel truly only cares about the elephants and other exploited animals. It was news to me that anyone was warning us in the 1950s about the decimation of elephant herds. (Very few elephants remain in equatorial Africa now.) Morel also fights slave traders as well...but this isn't given much attention.
The author apparently admired Joseph Conrad's writing... which I do not. The author, like Morel, also had been a Nazi prisoner... and although the book seems to want us to believe that humankind will eventually evolve into a caring species.... in fact most of the action is very dark and pessimistic. This book is also on Boxall's 1001 Book List... and I'm rating it three stars. The compelling tale could have been told much more succinctly...and sorry, I couldn't keep track of all the characters... I think because the novel never fully engaged me. I found myself having to go back and read chapters I had just read because I had not really absorbed them the first time.

Task=10
Combo=5 (10.7)
Review=10
Oldie=5 (1956)
Task Total= 30
Grand Total=80

Tasks Completed: 3

10.3 (35); 10.8 (30)
15.1 (15)


message 49: by Anika (new)

Anika | 1803 comments 15.2 PnM2

F1 (A-D)

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

+15 Task

Task total: 15
Season total: 100


message 50: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 2783 comments 20.1 Inaugural

Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

I love Rohinton Mistry! His books seem to open up India for me and yet have so much that is common to all human experience.

Here we have an old man suffering from Parkinson's disease and bedridden after a fall, who is shuffled out of his home by the stepchildren who can't face looking after him any more, to be dumped in the cramped two-room flat where his daughter lives with her husband and children, already struggling to make ends meet.

All of the characters seem to leap off the page in the most lifelike way, and I'd have happily read another few hundred pages about them.

+20 Task
+ 5 Combo (20.4 born 1952)
+10 Review
+ 5 Jumbo (500 pages)

Post total: 40
Season Total: 40


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