Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments The pups and I are going for 70 again this year.


message 2: by Ann A (new)

Ann A (readerann) | 775 comments Good luck to you and the doggies!


message 3: by Stefanie (new)

Stefanie (trippie) | 451 comments Good luck!


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 1 -- Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon by Robert Kurson (audiobook) *****

Finished: January 3, 2020

Not my usual type of read. I was worried about things being too technical for me. But this book held my attention and I was never bored. What particularly interested me, and buoyed me a bit, was Kurson's excellent discussion of how dismal and divisive a year 1968 was, and how a successful moon launch was needed to unite people. Kurson mentions many events that, although I remember them, I do not remember them as happening in 1968. In 1968 I was young and optimistic and expected that my generation would get all these bad things straightened out (Boomer!). But, comparing 1968 to 2019, when it seems that the world is really on the Eve of Destruction, I see that things have always been messed up, divisive and chaotic. So, we survived then; maybe we'll survive now. Unfortunately, the USA does not a moon shot scheduled. Anyway, it was poignant return to a time when my life was different.

Pages read:
Hours listened: 12 hours and 20 minutes.


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 2 -- The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris ***

Finished: January 5, 2020

I read this for my art book club. Ummm, art?? Well, there was that snake tattoo.

As much as I try now to avoid WWII and Holocaust stories, because I've read so many, it is a compelling subject. It started out rather slowly, getting to the OMG, I'm at Auschwitz moment. And, the love story was tepid. But I could not help but get involved with the story as the near misses occur. This is based on a real person's story (I guess it is considered fiction), so it is interesting to see how everyone ends up.

Pages read: 262 pages
Hours listened: 12 hours and 20 minutes.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 3 -- This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger (audiobook) ***

Finished: January 23, 2020

Four orphans on the run travel by river during the depression, meeting various people along the way. They learn to go with the flow. Enjoyable, a bit mystical, but for me it was FTS -- Failure to Soar.

Pages read: 262 pages
Hours listened: 12 hours and 20 minutes + 14 hours and 19 minutes = 26 hours and 39 minutes


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 4 -- Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (audiobook) *****

Finished: January 26, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting up again with Olive and her friends and acquaintances. I listened to the audiobook, and, although it was easy-listening for me and I finished it in two days, there was plenty to think about. I have always loved the idea of interconnected short stories, particularly with one character passing through them all. As in the original book, some of the stories focus on Olive and her life, and in other stories Olive plays a supporting role, a minor role, or even just a walk on. It is so true to life. How many times have tangential people affected our lives? And will we ever know if and how we have affected people who are incidental to our own lives? And, also, that we plod along concerned with our own problems while remaining oblivious to the problems of our I also like the aspect that some people love and like Olive, and a lot don't, and the fact that we can recognize that in some situations Olive does amazing things for people, in others she is shown to be a fool, in others we would throw up our hands at her failure to empathize, and then in some places she slow

Pages read: 262 pages
Hours listened: 26 hours and 39 minutes + 12 hours and 14 minutes = 38 hours and 53 minutes.


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 5 -- In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides (audiobook) *****

Finished: January 29, 2020

Wow! This book was fascinating, informative and exciting from beginning to end.

Pages read: 262 pages

Hours listened: 38 hours and 53 minutes + 17 hours and 30 minutes = 56 hours and 23 minutes


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 6 -- The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman *****

Finished: January 31, 2020

I am giving this 5 stars because it kept me laughing throughout.

Pages read: 262 pages + 351 pages = 613 pages
Hours listened: 38 hours and 53 minutes + 17 hours and 30 minutes = 56 hours and 23 minutes


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 7 -- Olive Kitteridge by [author:Elizabeth Pages read: 262 pages


finished February 3, 2020

Second reading 2/3/20. Not as enamored of the book as I was the first time around. I remembered many of the parts that concerned Olive and Henry directly, but had forgotten most about the other people. I found it harder to work these parts into the overall story. I definitely preferred the sequel. I identified more with Olive's experiences with aging than I did ten years ago. I can't imagine why. Decided to leave it at 5 stars rather than reduce it to 4 stars. 5 stars is my initial reaction.

First reading 4/1/10. I really enjoyed this book because of the way it was written. I liked how Olive was sometimes the main character and sometimes a very minor character, and how she was viewed differently by different characters in the book -- how we sometimes liked her, and sometimes hated her. I think we are all like that: we fulfill different roles in different people's lives.

Pages read: 613 pages + 270 pages = 883 pages
Hours listened: 56 hours and 23 minutes


message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout **

Finished February 7. 2020

This book was not a favorite of mine. I found myself liking people who seem to be put forth as being shallow, and disliking people who are put forth as being enlightened. Or, is that what I was supposed to do. Somehow I felt I was being manipulated.

Pages read: 883 pages + 320 pages = 1,203 pages
Hours listened: 56 hours and 23 minutes


message 12: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 9 -- Learning to See by Elise Hooper ****

Finished February 14, 2020

Very interesting story of the working and domestic life of Dorothea Lange, with emphasis on her choices concerning her children, and going from successful society portrait photography to photographing the poor and destitute migrant workers, farmers displaced by the Dust Bowl and interned Japanese Americans during WWII. Read for my Art Book Club, and presenting slightly different topics than we have been discussing. Looking forward to the discussion

Pages read: 1,203 pages + 384 pages = 1,584 pages
Hours listened: 56 hours and 23 minutes


message 13: by Susan (last edited Apr 30, 2020 12:43PM) (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 10 -- This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett (*audiobook) *****

Finished: Feb. 18, 2020

I found this book to be wonderful to listen to. Many different subjects are covered in articles that author Ann Patchett wrote for magazines. Of particular interest to me was how she learned to write, her dog, and, for some reason, her attempt to get in the L.A. police academy in order to write about it. The audiobook was read by the author herself and very well done and easy to listen to. I highly recommend it.

Pages read: 1,584 pages
Hours listened: 56 hours and 23 minutes + 11 hours and 36 minutes = 79 hours and 59 minutes


message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 11 -- The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds by Caroline Van Hemert ***

Finished February 20, 2020

Pretty good book about a young couple taking a journey through Alaska on foot, skis and boats. I like wilderness stories, but i was anxious for them to get home about three-quarters through.

Pages read: 1,584 pages + 320 pages = 1,904 pages
Hours listened: 79 hours and 59 minutes


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No.12 -- The Clergyman's Wife: A Pride & Prejudice Novel by Molly Greeley *****

Finished: february 22, 2020

I've been in a five star mood since the beginning of the year. But, I really enjoyed this quiet little book that carries on the story of Charlotte Lucas Collins, a character from Pride and Prejudice for whom I had much empathy and sympathy. I believe her story is much more the norm than that of the Bennet sisters. The story and personality of Austen's character are not altered, but augmented.

Pages read: 1,904 pages + 280 pages = 2,184 pages
Hours listened: 79 hours and 59 minutes


message 16: by Susan (last edited Apr 30, 2020 01:05PM) (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 13 -- To the Edge of the World Book 1 by Harry Thompson *****

Finished: February 26, 2020

Wonderful!!! I am continuing on with books 2 & 3. Follows the voyages of the Beagle under Captain FitzRoy, his first command of the ship in Tierra del Fuego, and then Charles Darwin's joining the crew for the captain's second trip back to South America.

Pages read: 2,184 pages + 263 pages = 2,447 pages
Hours listened: 79 hours and 59 minutes


message 17: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No.14 -- The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For and Believe by [author:Richard Rohr|7919 ***

Finished February 27, 2020

Putting the Christ in New Age.

Pages read: 2,447 pages + 272 pages = 2,719 pages
Hours listened: 79 hours and 59 minutes


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments I am behind in my reading. I definitely will not make my goal of 70 this year. But, I am also behind in my posting. I will try to catch up.

No. 15 -- The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier

Finished Marcch 1, 2020

I read this a long time ago and liked it, but had to read it again for my Art Book Club. I enjoyed the explanations of tapestry making and the meaning of the unicorn again. But, my God, the characters were cartoonish and unlikeable. Unlikeable doesn't bother me; there are plenty of unlikeable in the world. But the lack of dimension in the characters, I can not overlook. I have long since stopped reading Chevalier's later novels. There are far better novelists around.

Pages read: 2,719 pages + 250 pages = 2,959 pages
Hours listened: 79 hours and 59 minutes


message 19: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 16 - The Little Lame Prince by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik ***

Finished March 11, 2020

This is an old book that my father had as a boy and read to me and my siblings when we were children. I thought I would give it another look. I remembered much of it, but particularly enjoyed the illustrations. Miss Mulock appears to be a monarchist. I tend more toward a meritocracy. Really, does Prince Dolor deserve to be King of Nomansland? He's just a child. But, is our election system any better?

Pages read: 2,959 pages + 142 pages = 3,101 pages
Hours listened: 79 hours and 59 minutes


message 20: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 17 -- Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid ***

Finished March 14, 2020

I listened to the audiobook. I liked it, but had a little trouble keeping the characters straight. I could not tell the voices apart at times. This was my pick for my regular book club, but we never got to discuss it because of . . . .

Pages read: 3,101 pages
Hours listened: 79 hours and 59 minute + 9 hours and 3 minutes = 89 hours and 2 minutes,


message 21: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 18 -- Remember Ben Clayton by Stephen Harrigan *****

Finished: March 19, 2020

Wonderful book. Considering as my pick for Art Book Club later this year.

Pages read: 3,101 pages + 354 pages = 3, 455 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 19 - To the Edge of the World: Book II by Harry Thompson *****

Finished: April 9, 2020

The second in this fantastic series of the voyage of the Beagle. In this book, Darwin joins the crew. The discussions between Darwin and Fitzroy are fascinating.

Pages read: 3, 455 pages + 327 pages = 3,782 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minute


message 23: by Susan (last edited Dec 12, 2020 09:04AM) (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 20- To the Edge of the World: Book III by Harry Thompson *****

Finished: April 11, 2020

The third and final book in this fantastic series of the voyage of the Beagle. Excellent!

Pages read: 3,782 pages + 211 pages - 4,393 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 24: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 21 -- Under A Pole Star by Stef Penney ***

Finished: April 10, 2020

This book was good, but not what I expected, so it threw me off a little bit.

I read this along with other books about people exploring in difficult circumstances during the quarantine for COVID-19. Missing my usual activities and my friends, I wanted to read about people who were suffering and surviving and were worse off than I was, sitting in a comfortable house with my husband and puppies. But this book with the main characters falling in love and having great sex were having a better time than I was. I don't need that right now.

Pages read: 4,393 pages + 608 pages = 5,001 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minute


message 25: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 22 - Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Joan Druett ****

Finished: April 16, 2020

Very interesting. Now, this story is more befitting my present mood.

Pages read: 5,001 pages + 284 pages = 5,285 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minute


message 26: by Susan (last edited Dec 13, 2020 07:49AM) (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 23 - Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips *****

Finished April 17, 2020

Ostensibly a story about two missing sisters in a remote community in Russia, it shows how the disappearance affects different people in the community. Excellent book.

Pages read: 5,285 pages + 312 pages = 5,597 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 27: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 24 -- Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor ****

April 26, 2020

This was basically a time-travel romance, but there was great historical detail of World War I, both in the battlefield experience and the working of military hospitals. Very well written. Added personal point: since I enjoy painting the interiors of abandoned buildings, the descriptions of the abandoned part of the hospital were very interesting to me,

Pages read: 5,597 pages + 496 pages = 6,093 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 28: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No, 25 -- Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda **

Finished May 24, 2020

I enjoyed most of this book, but 3/4 of the way through it, my interest flagged. I think I was reacting to the constant reading I have done during the quarantine. I just was "read out." But the book did present problems for me. I often could not tell who was speaking without going back over the paragraph because there were no "she saids" or "he saids." And the way it was written was not always easy to follow.

I do love the cover, however. My mind first took it in as fishing tackle (?), until it registered that it was a box of pastels. !!!!

Pages read: 6,093 pages + 488 pages = 6,581 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 29: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 26 -- The Murmur of Bees by Sofía Segovia *****

Finished June 3, 2020

I really loved this book. The magical-realism reminded me so much Isabelle Allende and Carlos Garcia Marquez, that I am anxious now to reread or catch up on the books i have not read of those authors.

Pages read: 6,581 pages + 471 pages = 7,052 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 30: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 27 -- Metropolitan Stories by Christine Coulson *

Finished June 5, 2020

Shrug. Not to my liking.

Pages read: 7,052 pages + 256 pages = 7,108 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 31: by Susan (last edited Dec 16, 2020 06:30AM) (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No.28 -- The Brink: Stories by Austin Bunn ****

Finished June 18, 2020

Good short stories of people at the turning point in their lives, some very unusual turning points.

Pages read: 7,108 pages + 240 pages = 7,348 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 29 -- An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew by Annejet van der Zijl *****

Finished June 22, 2020

Entertainingly written, I found this story of a person I had never heard of to be fascinating

Pages read: 7,348 pages + 225 pages = 7,673 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 33: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No.30 -- The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal *****

Finished June 28, 2020

I really enjoyed this book. It kept me interested throughout. It was set in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and explained some of their painting techniques. This would be a very popular book with my Art Book Club, but, too bad, I am picking something else.

Pages read: 7,673 pages + 336 pages = 8,009 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 34: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 31 -- Daughter Of Earth And Water: A Biography Of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley by Noel B. Gerson *****

Enlightening and entertaining biography of Mary Shelley. Kept me constantly interested.

Pages read: 8,009 pages + 222 pages = 8,231 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 35: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No 32 -- The Vagabond by Colette ****

Finished July 7, 2020

Very enjoyable.

Pages read: 8,231 pages + 252 = 8,483 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 36: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 33 -- Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter: A Biography of Princess Louise by Lucinda Hawksley *****

Finished July 15, 2020

Interesting.

Pages read: 8,483 pages + 384 pages = 8,867 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 37: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 34 -- Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland ****

Finished July 17, 2020

A series of interconnected short stories concerning a beautiful painting whose provenance is lost along the way. The stories regress in time, so we eventually learn the mysteries that become entangled with it. I was sure that I had read it before when it first came out, and remembered it as being a slighter (both in length and meaning) book. But it was selected by a member of our Art Reading Group, so I read it again. I remembered that it was several different stories about the same painting, but as for the plot, I did not remember it at all. I enjoyed reading this book, liking, of course, some parts of the story better than others, and so I gave it 4 stars. The discussion is set for two weeks from now.

Pages read: 8,867 pages + 242 pages = 9,109 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes


message 38: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 35 -- The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner ***

Finished July 26, 2020

I enjoyed this, as I do most things that touch on Jane Austen. Quick listen on audiobook.

Pages read: 8,867 pages + 242 pages = 9,109 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes + 9 hours and 55 minutes = 98 hours and 57 minutes


message 39: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 36 -- It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure by Larry Smith **

Finished July 27, 2020

Kind of fun.

Pages read: 9,109 pages + 272 pages = 9,381 pages
Hours listened: 89 hours and 2 minutes + 9 hours and 55 minutes = 98 hours and 57 minutes


message 40: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 37 -- The last German Empress by John Van der Kiste **

Finished July 28, 2020

It is always difficult to read books about royalty and nobility when people names and title often change, but the author does absolutely nothing to help the reader along with this. There are many grammatical, proofreading and typographical errors, together with repetitions and poor writing style. However, for some reason, I had never thought of Kaiser Wilhelm being married and having a family, but, indeed he did. This is the story of Empress Augusta Victoria, the Kaiser's wife. Basically, she was pretty boring and judgmental and closed-minded, and very irritating to her husband, and often in hysterics, but she had her good points and was an excellent mother and, when things got really bad, the mainstay of her husband. She conducted herself with pride and dignity when all was lost. It made me think, however, that all of us have our difficulties, and often are out of our depths, but sometimes we fall and sometimes we rise. She ended up very beloved by her children, husband, and country.

One passage moved me in particular. When the Empress came to join her husband after his abdication, " . . . he looked up to see his wife with whom he was reunited at last, he stood to attention and gave her a military salute. Then with tears in her eyes, she ran over and embraced him, for the first time in public."

All in all, despite it faults, the book was short, and filled in some historical blank spots for me, so it was worth reading.

Pages read: 9,381 pages + 160 pages = 9.541 pages
Hours listened: 98 hours and 57 minutes


message 41: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 38 -- Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman ***

Finished July 29, 2020

A nice little addition to the Dark Materials story.

Pages read: 9.541 pages + 144 pages = 9,685 pages
Hours listened: 98 hours and 57 minutes


message 42: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No, 39 -- Ship Fever: Stories by Andrea Barrett *****
finished August 4, 2020

Wonderful stories about science and history

Pages read: 9,685 pages + 256 pages = 9,941
Hours listened: 98 hours and 57 minutes


message 43: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No, 40 - The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold *****

Finished August 6, 2020

This is a very thought-provoking book; I can see why it is considered a classic. It is also interesting to see the world again from the aspect of the 1970's. If Dan thinks 1956 looks good from the vantage point of 1973, he should see it from 2020.


Pages read: 9,941 pages + 165 pages = 10,106 pages
Hours listened: 98 hours and 57 minutes


message 44: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No 41 -- Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog by John Muir ***

Finished: Aug. 8, 2020

I shouldn't read books about dogs.

Pages read: 10,106 pages + 32 pages = 10,138 pages
Hours listened: 98 hours and 57 minutes


message 45: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments Np. 42 -- Chronicle of a Death Foretold by [author:Gabriel García Márquez| **

Finished: Sept, 18, 2020

Meh.

Pages read: 10,106 pages + 120 pages = 10,226 pages
Hours listened: 98 hours and 57 minutes


message 46: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 43 -- Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye *****

Finished Sept. 26, 2020

This "novel" is a compilation of three barely connected short stories. Someone more knowledgeable than I decided it was a novel, so I will let it go. My rating of 5 stars is solely for the third story about a young woman who is buffeted by fate from one bad situation to another. But, despite what her circumstances are, the young woman never loses her sense of her own worth, and her own identity, and never accepts shame or guilt for conditions she can not control. I will never forget that story, or the heroic character of Khady Demba. No one around her realizes she is a hero, but what a strong spirit exists within her. And what an amazement that the author could detect it.

As for the other two stories, there is a symbolism that my mind will return to, but the characters are not likeable and in some ways puzzling.

The author frequently uses gesture of palms up resting on the thighs for a sign of vulnerability, and the showing of palms as a means of beseeching trust. Her sentences are long and extremely complex

Pages read: 10,226 pages + 293 pages = 10,519 pages
Hours listened: 98 hours and 57 minutes


message 47: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 44 -- Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles ***

Finished August 9, 2020

Okay, but her books are not blowing me away. I will not bother with her any more.

Pages read: 10,519 pages +352 pages = 10,871 pages
Hours listened: 98 hours and 57 minutes


message 48: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 45 -- Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived by Andrew Wilson **

Finished August 20, 2020

OK book. It just didn't float my boat

Pages read: 10,871 pages + 391 pages = 11,262 pages
Hours listened: 98 hours and 57 minutes


message 49: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments No. 46 -- The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel *****

Finished August 30, 2020

I loved Station Eleven, and I was just as ecstatic about this book. Mandel is an excellent writer and never know exactly where she is taking you. Just trust her and she will take you to an amazing place

Pages read: 11,262 pages + 302 pages = 11,564 pages
Hours listened: 98 hours and 57 minutes


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