Congrats! You have completed your goal of reading 200 books for the 2013 Reading Challenge! 200 of 200 (100%)
(Click image to see the Goodreads page).
I finally did it! Finished my 200th book last night, and it was a nail-biting suspense tale that seemed to fly by. The Edge of Normal, by Carla Norton (click title for my review), was a great book to lead me to the final goal line.
In fact, the last few weeks of books have been awesome. Thanks for Amazon Vine review books, and also for my ability to more accurately choose books that I will love.
Some may wonder why I rate most of my reads in the four and five star category. It’s not that I think all books deserve this rating, but that I now can tell (pretty well) what I’ll love. And select those books accordingly.
So what’s next? Should I just rest on my laurels (pun intended!), or keep reading? I vote for more reading…and now that the numbers game is behind me, I think I will savor the final books of the year.
Today I’m reading One Hundred Names, by Cecelia Ahern. It’s been awhile since I read one of her books, but this one promises to totally absorb me today.
Here’s the blurb:
Scandal has derailed Journalist Kitty Logan’s career, a setback that is soon compounded by an even more devastating loss. Constance, the woman who taught Kitty everything she knew, is dying. At her mentor’s bedside, Kitty asks her—what is the one story she always wanted to write?
The answer lies in a single sheet of paper buried in Constance’s office—a list of 100 names—with no notes or explanation. But before Kitty can talk to her friend, it is too late.
Determined to unlock the mystery and rebuild her own shaky confidence, Kitty throws herself into the investigation, using her skills and savvy to track down each of the names on the list and uncover their connection. Meeting these ordinary people and learning their stories, Kitty begins to piece together an unexpected portrait of Constance’s life. . . and starts to understand her own.
I love stories in which the MC goes on some kind of quest, and uncovers secrets. Delicious! What are you reading today…and what will you be doing for the rest of the year?
Good morning! I hope you are enjoying your Friday, planning for the weekend. I’ve got some reading lined up, including the book I started yesterday: Morning Glory. Almost finished and loving it.
Then I got an e-mail about a free download, December 6-10. I don’t often take advantage of the freebies, unless they grab me in a special way, but this one did.
The Girl Pretending to be Rilke, by Barbara Riddle, has the setting and premise that definitely grabbed me.
Blurb: The Girl Pretending to Read Rilke is a coming-of-age novel set in a biology lab in the summer of 1963 in Boston. Both the heroine, 19-year-old Bronwen, and America are suffering growing pains and soon all the standards of the past will be shattered as the Pill and the war in Vietnam change people’s expectations forever. A shocking telegram forces Bronwen to choose between family and the temptations of a dazzling future in science.
“Barbara Riddle has given us a sharp, funny glimpse into a little-explored moment in women’s recent history. The year is 1963, the same year Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique. Brave young women were heading out from college and looking for lives very different from those their mothers had lived. My excitement about The Girl Pretending to Read Rilke stems in part from the fact that I was there- heading for graduate school in science in 1963. I recognize Riddle’s heroine Bronwen for her spirit of adventure as well as her sometimes crippling self-doubts (carefully nourished by the all-too-realistic boyfriend-from-hell). Today’s 20-somethings will recognize her as a woman struggling, like themselves, for personal coherence in a world that still has difficulty seeing us as complete and entire human beings.”
-Barbara Ehrenreich (author, Nickel and Dimed)
I definitely can relate to the times…I, too, was attempting to find my own voice back then. And Betty Friedan’s book struck a real chord with me.
And as the reviewer notes, today’s young women can also relate to the struggle, which is still very much a part of our realities.
Timeless? For women, especially. I also love the cover…it takes me back.
What’s on your agenda for the weekend? Any special books or plans?
Good morning! When I woke up this morning, I had an epiphany! Since I am only three books away from my Goodreads goal of 200 reads…and since none of my review books are overdue or due for awhile…and since I already finished both library books….Well, what? Yes, that was a meandering sentence. But I realized that I could read anything I wanted to read. Yes!
First, though, I posted my review of the library book Invisible, by Carla Buckley (click on over to see!).
Then I did my usual “after review” things, like linking the review on the “read” page at my Curl up and Read blog...and setting up the Currently Reading books on Goodreads. Yes, I’m a bit compulsive.
What will I be reading? I woke up thinking about houseboats…and Seattle. So naturally, I picked Morning Glory, by Sarah Jio.
New York Times bestselling author Sarah Jio imagines life on Boat Street, a floating community on Seattle’s Lake Union—home to people of artistic spirit who for decades protect the dark secret of one startling night in 1959
Fleeing an East Coast life marred by tragedy, Ada Santorini takes up residence on houseboat number seven on Boat Street. She discovers a trunk left behind by Penny Wentworth, a young newlywed who lived on the boat half a century earlier. Ada longs to know her predecessor’s fate, but little suspects that Penny’s mysterious past and her own clouded future are destined to converge.
Doesn’t it sound delicious? And now, as I sip my coffee, I imagine my day unfolding in lovely ways. Totally savoring my read. Next week will be soon enough to get back to the review books and the deadlines. And…I am totally finished with blog tours. Yippee!
Do you ever feel the need to forget your lists and your “must reads”? Do you feel like you are free? If not at Christmas time, when?
In this contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s classic novel of love, money, and sisters, Sense & Sensibility opens upon a scene of disappointment and loss.
After living at Norland Park for years, the Dashwoods are being evicted. By Belle Dashwood’s own half-brother, John, whose demanding wife Fanny wants the house for herself.
Soon Belle and her three daughters, Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret, have moved to Barton Cottage near Exeter, and with no family money, Elinor begins working to support them all.
Fortunately, they are invited to lots of parties and taken under the wing of some of the well-known families. And love affairs ensue. There are some poor matches along the way to happily-ever-after.
There was a lot of emphasis placed on marrying one’s own kind. A snooty ambience seemed prevalent amongst those who took the Dashwoods under their wings. I enjoyed the drama and the witty take on the family life of “poor relatives.” What I didn’t like: the melodrama of teenagers Marianne and Margaret, and I truly only liked Elinor.
In the end, the younger girls grew up a bit, after experiencing some hardships…and they grew on me, as well.
A story for those who love retellings…and for all who adore a bit of romance set in England amongst wealthy society members who love patronizing those beneath them. Four stars.
Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.
Today’s featured book is an ARC from Amazon Vine: What I Had Before I Had You, by Sarah Cornwell.
Intro: The first time I see my sisters, I am fifteen years old. It is June, and the ocean is just warm enough for swimming. I am floating on my back out past the farthest buoy. If I turn my head, I can see the beach, glutted with tourists, rising above and dipping below each wave swell. The world appears and vanishes, is and isn’t, is and isn’t. Sometimes the lifeguard is sitting, and sometimes he is standing up on his white wooden tower, shading his eyes. The closest swimmers are some forty yards off, a few old ladies doing the crawl, their crepe-paper elbows rising and falling. A wave breaks against my face, and I sputter under the water, come up coughing.
Teaser: I cough and bend over, watching the swirling kaleidoscope of floaters inside my eyelids. I don’t want her to see me laugh. I cannot resist saying, “Such clairvoyance,” as I close myself back into the basement stairway without any matches. (p. 87).
Blurb: In What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell, a woman must face the truth about her past in this luminous, evocative literary novel of parents and children, guilt and forgiveness, memory and magical thinking, set in the faded, gritty world of the New Jersey Shore.
Olivia was only fifteen the summer she left her hometown of Ocean Vista. Two decades later, on a visit with her children, her nine-year-old son Daniel, recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, disappears. Olivia’s search for him sparks tender and painful memories of her past—of her fiercely loving and secretive mother, Myla, an erratic and beautiful psychic, and the discovery of heartbreaking secrets that shattered her world.
What do you think? Is it tempting enough to keep reading?
Every year, I go back and forth about how much Christmas decorating I will do…and each year, I bring out fewer things.
Is it because I’m trying to do the “less is more” thing? Or is it really that I hate dragging in those big bins that are packed away in the garage, awaiting their “awakening” on the weekend after Thanksgiving?
The timing remains the same. Always the weekend after Thanksgiving. Sometimes even the very next day.
But I only opened two of the bins today…and maybe I will do more. But I have three miniature Christmas trees, already decorated, in lieu of a big tree. And after my last rearranging of the living room space, including the hearth, I don’t have room for the third tree.
So one of the trees (above) sits on the pub table. And the other (with photos of the grandchildren, along with odds and ends), sits on the dining room table (below).
There are a few things placed around the room…and then a wreath here:
I like this little Gingerbread Boy hanging on a cupboard in the dining area:
That is a sampling of my “downsized Christmas.”
Do you enjoy doing the whole thing every year? Do you dread dragging out the bins? I know that some of you (Patty) listen to Christmas music while you bring out the goodies…and I also like the idea of eggnog.
Cassie Fenton Blake has lived in San Francisco all of her life, and has memories of spending days hanging out in the Fenton Department Store owned by her mother, Diana. Her mother has always wanted her to work in the store, but Cassie’s passion is organic vegetable gardening, and across the Bay, helps Chez Panisse owner Alice Waters in her garden. Cassie believes that her marriage to Aidan Blake, an ethics professor at Berkeley, is everything she needs and that her life is just about perfect.
Best friend Alexis has a husband who travels around the world for months at a time, but enjoys lavishing pricey goodies on his wife. But she finds herself bored and listlessly trying to seek out adventures.
Then an unexpected encounter at the store one day turns Cassie’s life upside down, and starts a landslide of doubts and fears about her husband.
What does Cassie do after confronting her husband? How will a special project initiated by her mother turn into an exciting venture that will change how she views her life? And what new endeavor will Alexis fall into, somewhat serendipitously, and how will it completely recharge her waning energy?
Market Street was a delightful, if slightly predictable story with just enough romance and intriguing adventures to keep me reading. Of course, I was pleased when Cassie dumped Aidan and started making choices that would benefit her and her career. 3.5 stars.