Tess Shops Her Shelves in 2022 Page 1

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Tess Shops Her Shelves in 2022 Page 1

Bewerkt: jan 3, 1:48am

Hi, I'm Tess from Ohio, central US. I retired from full-time teaching in 2020 and now just teach 1 history class per semester for a local university. Since Covid I haven't traveled much at all and have taken up a few new hobbies that I can do from home. I have tackled canning my own food with success. I have also read a lot about being frugal (not cheap) and purposeful (leaving a smaller carbon footprint) in my purchases and actions and it has been a challenge, but my lifestyle is slowly changing. I have 2 sons (age 41 & 42) and 7 grandchildren ranging in ages from 4-22. My mother is aged 88 and still quite mobile and while she lives 90 minutes from me, I see her 3-4 times per month and I take her shopping or to the symphony, etc.

My favorite genres are historical fiction and classics.

This year is going to be a "life" of book reading off my shelves. I have over 500 books to read either tree books, audio books, and/or ebooks. My goal is not to purchase a single book this year! I like all the CATS and KITS and will participate in them ONLY if I have a book that fits from the shelf. I will try not to borrow from the library--because that is not a book off my shelf--but I'm not going to discount that.

I am not setting an total goal this year, but will set some mini-goals within my cats. Books may count in more than one CAT, if the paw fits!

My reading year goes from Dec. 25 to Dec. 25--so I can get right on the new and shiny!

576 books on Mt. TBR as of Dec. 25 2021

My rating system:
1 star--waste of paper and ink
2 stars-Is this literature? -major flaws or mind numbing boring
2 1/2 stars-not so bad I had to stop reading
3 stars-average, neither good nor bad
3 1/2 fun, informative, thought provoking
4 stars-excellent read
4 1/2 exceptionally good, among my favorites
5 stars-in all ways a superior read

Books may count in multiple CATS/KITS if the shoe fits!

February-Country/Pastoral-Reading Thru Time
February RandomKit
April Scaredykit-Serial Killers
July ShakespeareCat Measure for Measure, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice theme: justice
September--AuthorCAT-African Authors
November Mysterykit- Gothic

Bewerkt: jan 8, 6:02am

Bargain cat will be books based in Africa, Australia, or Asia. This will definitely be cheaper, albeit not as fun, than traveling to such places!

1. Women in Black

1. Things Fall Apart

1. Kim Rudyard Kipling
2. Three Tigers One Mountain

I found this challenge posted by fellow LTer Paul Cranswick in the 75 Books Challenge Group and it has some great ideas!

JANUARY - Europe of Asia - Turkish Authors
FEBRUARY - The Holy Land - Israeli & Palestinian Authors
MARCH - The Arab World - Writers from the Arab world
APRIL - Persia - Iranian writers
MAY - The Stans - There are 7 states all in the same region all ending in "Stan"
JUNE - The Indian Sub-Continent - Essentially authors from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
JULY - The Asian Superpower - Chinese Authors
AUGUST - Nippon - Japanese Authors
SEPTEMBER - Kimchi - Korean Authors
OCTOBER - INDO CHINE - Authors from Indo-China
NOVEMBER - The Malay Archipelago - Malaysian, Singaporean and Indonesian Authors
DECEMBER - The Asian Diaspora - Ethnic Asian writers from elsewhere

Bewerkt: nov 24, 2021, 7:15am

Victory Gardens were planted in the US during WWII so that canned foods could be sent to the troops abroad. Uncle Sam would send families the seeds for free.

This cat will be reads about WWII-both fiction and non-fiction.

Bewerkt: jan 17, 9:47am

This cat is for all books that don't fit a CAT but are lying around on my shelves screaming "read me, read me!" I might have a random generator help me for occasional reads!

1. The Curtain Call Caper
2. The Stranger Inside
3. The Lincoln Highway
4. The Greenhouse
5. Richard III

Bewerkt: jan 7, 7:11pm

This CAT is for prize winners
1. Things Fall Apart (Man Booker Prize)

Bewerkt: okt 30, 2021, 12:49pm

This cat is for romances, specifically Georgette Heyer (and others!)

Bewerkt: jan 17, 4:41am

This CAT will be for books written in the 19th century OR set in the 19th century.

1. Mrs. Poe
2. The Hungry Road
3. Little Lord Fauntleroy

Bewerkt: jan 11, 1:46pm


January--King Lear REad


January-Kim (Eastern religions/philosophy) READ


1. West From Home


1. The Woman in Black ( Jan haunted houses)


1. Things Fall Apart (Jan Indigenous Writers)


1. The Curtain Call Caper (Jan #1 in a series)

okt 29, 2021, 4:32pm

Happy frugal reading in 2022!

okt 29, 2021, 4:55pm

What a great idea for a theme! For the last several years I've been primarily reading off my TBR pile too, although I do get a library book or two most months as I really want to support the service. I'm also not strong enough to not buy a single book, so I admire your resolve! I have been trying (doing better this year than ever) to only buy one once I've read two off the shelves, so that does mean that Mt TBR is coming down - I'm now below 400, somewhere in the 380s, which I'm really happy about!

I hope you have a fantastic reading year!

okt 29, 2021, 4:56pm

Very impressed by your goal to refrain from buying any books in 2022! I can't remember the last time I went an entire MONTH without buying a book!

okt 29, 2021, 5:18pm

Terrific theme! Your challenge is an inspiration! I've tried to read only my own books and failed miserably. On the other hand, as a former library trustee I feel obliged to borrow books from the library and I'd miss meeting up with friends if I didn't.

Roll on 2022!

okt 29, 2021, 6:29pm

Good luck with your plans! I've been trying desperately to read only what I own, and have cut down on new books, trying to only buy books in series I'm currently reading. Hope you do better than I manage to!

okt 29, 2021, 7:07pm

Great theme! Good luck with your no-book-buying year!

okt 29, 2021, 7:07pm

It is a great theme; creative signage! I am constitutionally incapable of reading only from my groaning shelves, so I'll be eagerly cheering you on in your goal!

okt 29, 2021, 7:10pm

Good luck with your 2022 reading plans, I will be following along rooting for you!

okt 29, 2021, 7:50pm

Good luck with your 2022 reading and with sticking to the no new books plan.

okt 29, 2021, 8:51pm

You've got a great plan - not sure I could stick to it. Since I'm usually missing books in a series, I've been trying to use the library to fill in instead of buying.

okt 29, 2021, 11:01pm

>10 pamelad: "Diets" are difficult, both physical and literature-wise!

>11 Jackie_K: You have done a great job!

>12 christina_reads: Me neither, hence the "book diet"!

>13 VivienneR: I have tried before, also, and usually failed. But this is the year, I can feel it!

>14 majkia:
>15 rabbitprincess:
>16 NinieB:
>17 DeltaQueen50:
>18 hailelib:
>19 dudes22:
Thank you all!

okt 30, 2021, 4:30am

I wish you well in your efforts, because, to me, that sounds well night impossible! Even if I didn't have a book subscription each month, I have a long library wish list I'm working through. Mind you, I also have a rather large TBR shelf... I'm interested in the approaches to making less impact on the planet. It's a challenge to change a lifestyle, but small changes, a bit at a time is probably the answer.

Good luck with 2022!

okt 30, 2021, 8:17am

>21 Helenliz: I must admit, it does sound nigh impossible to me to--but I'm going to strive. I never thought I could lose 50 pounds--it took me a year, but I did it! Hopefully, this will be easier!

okt 30, 2021, 11:25am

Wonderful theme, Tess, and the best of luck for sticking with the "no book-buying". I can't stop myself from buying books, it's worse than chocolate.

okt 30, 2021, 12:15pm

Wish you luck on your goal of buying no books! That's a toughie!

So far, in 2021 I've only "purchased" 14 books but that didn't keep me from getting 81 books from NetGalley, gifts, and the ER program here.

It's hard being a lectophile, bookworm, bibliophile, bookaholic, abibliophobist, biliolater, bibliophage, book-bosomed, librocubicularist - I can't figure out which term is really the best way to describe me. I must be a hybrid of them all.

okt 30, 2021, 8:27pm

I have been systematically buying back some of the books I weeded out of my library upon moving. I am a confirmed bibliophilic. Just keep feeding my addiction.

nov 8, 2021, 5:20pm

I wish you good luck with your 2022 reads, and with your goal of not buying books! I've made the same resolution but I'm sure you will stick to it better than I did :-D

nov 8, 2021, 8:23pm

>26 mstrust: Maybe! Although, I have done it once before in about 2012-2013.

Bewerkt: nov 11, 2021, 2:12pm

I'll be reading a lot of my own books this year as well as a lot of library books (print, e-, and audio). The goal is really to try to catch up a few series and make progress in others. I also plan to read a lot of non-fiction. I should add that some of the things on my TBR list are first in series. It's either because I started them later, because they are on my Kindle app or print collection, or because they are on my library TBR list. My local public library tends not to hang onto fiction for a long time, so I'm best off trying to catch these while they have them.

nov 11, 2021, 5:38pm

>28 thornton37814: Good luck with your challenge!

nov 24, 2021, 12:31pm

Looks like fun!

nov 26, 2021, 9:09pm

I have to laugh Tess, I've lost almost 50 lbs this year but I just can't face no book buying! Maybe if I bought a bunch of gift cards for myself now...

Best wishes for great 2022 reading year!

nov 29, 2021, 7:35pm

>31 clue: I get that! I was so very stoic when weeding my shelves in preparation for moving, and then once we got moved in, I got right back into the book buying routine. I am incurable, I fear, and have been since childhood. That is a long-time addiction to books! But as my hubby reminds me, could be worse things to be addicted to.

dec 8, 2021, 9:58pm

Hi, Tess! Wanting to follow along with your reading this year. :-)

dec 15, 2021, 11:29pm

Good luck with your 2022 reading

dec 16, 2021, 11:49am

I will be leading a group read of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart in Jan-March in Geeks Who Love the Classics. Please join me! https://www.librarything.com/topic/337543#n7681504

Bewerkt: jan 8, 4:13pm

January hopefuls:

King Lear (Shakespeare Cat) READ
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Indigenous Writers, Geeks who Love the Classics, African Read)
Kim (Reading Through Time-Eastern Religions/Philosophy, Asian Reads) READ
Richard III (Shakespeare Group)

If I can get to them:
West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Randomkit)

The Curtain Call Caper: The Gabby St. Claire Diaries (Volume 1) (Mysterykit) READ

The Woman in Black (Scaredykit-Haunted Houses)

Mrs. Poe (19th century)

Read from Turkish author.

Bewerkt: dec 19, 2021, 8:30am

How I rate my reads:

Fiction--was it slightly plausible (that's why I don't care for SF or Fantasy), was it entertaining, did it move at a fairly brisk pace?

Non-Fiction--can I discern a thesis? Did the author prove his thesis? Was it readable? Were there footnotes/endnotes or a good reference page where I can access more about the "facts"? (Not included in this are my required readings for the history department!)

dec 23, 2021, 6:47pm

Hullo Tess! What a great challenge for 2022, and a great way to help save the planet. I admit to also being a Bookaholic (freely admitting when I went unchaperoned to the bookseller's stall at the Renn Fest last spring) and I admire you for winnowing down your reading based on what is on your shelves.

I'm adding re-reads to my reading challenges this year: I really need to start winnowing down what I remember reading, and decide if it still fits with my life or not. If not, then it's time to de-clutter and move new books into old spaces.

Congrats on working to leave a smaller footprint and look forward to catching up on all your readings!

dec 23, 2021, 10:17pm

Great theme! I admire your challenge to yourself to not buy any books in the coming year - I think I would fail miserably at that, but I will be cheering you on. Also your working on leaving a smaller footprint - our family is working on that, too. Looking forward to following your reading journey.

dec 23, 2021, 10:34pm

Not buy any books for a whole year? I couldn't do it! I do try to weed out as many as I get, but that doesn't always happen either. Good luck!

dec 24, 2021, 8:03am

Read one "early". I requested it last week for my January read in Reading Through Time (eastern religions/philosophies). It said I would get it in 14 days, I got it in 2 days!

1. Kim by Rudyard Kipling I was underwhelmed. I guess I expected more with Kipling's book being on the 1001 list and the Modern Library's Best 100 list. It is the story of a boy and his Lama who are in search of a sacred river (mythical). One reviewer said Kim was a likeable young adult who "outwits" those he comes into contact with. I would word it as a boy who is a con. I find this to be a "cheap" version of Dickens. 305 pages 3 stars (barely) CAT: Reading Through Time/Jan, ASIA (India)

dec 24, 2021, 8:59am

>41 Tess_W: Oh, dear! I have that in the stacks and was hoping to get to it this year. Guess I don't need to hurry. Hoping your next read is better.

dec 24, 2021, 10:25am

>41 Tess_W: - You know - I think I started to read this last year (or the one before) for one of the Cats and quit because I didn't really like it.

Bewerkt: dec 25, 2021, 4:17am

dec 25, 2021, 1:43pm

Merry Christmas, Tess! And everyone else!

dec 26, 2021, 8:50am

2. The Curtain Call Caper (The Gabby St. Claire Diaries #1) by Christy Barritt was a YA mystery centered around the junior high drama department--and there WAS a lot of drama, not necessarily of the acting type! This was a free Kindle d/l from 2015. 217 pages 3 stars CAT: January mystery series/It's Gotta Go!

Bewerkt: dec 28, 2021, 6:50am

3. Women in Black by Madeleine St. John was a short, light-hearted look at 3 women (primarily) living in Sydney in 1959 and working at Goode's in the cocktail and model gown dress departments. I found it to be an amusing and witty slice of life. 224 pages 4 stars CATS: Australia/Author Cat

dec 27, 2021, 6:14pm

4. The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger was a great psychological thriller. This was the story of 3 children who were brutally attacked and tortured and the effects that this had on them. There were many twists and turns that I was not expecting. It was also a multi-layered story. A good read! I will look for more from this author. 321 pages 4 stars CAT: Off the shelf

dec 28, 2021, 4:23pm

>41 Tess_W: I read Kim a few years ago, and enjoyed it. It is dated - its depiction of India and the British role is of its tme. I liked Kim, but I can see how some readers might not.

dec 28, 2021, 4:25pm

>35 Tess_W: I wish I could join in this, but I have already committed to several books in January, and I get fractious when all I have is books I'm "supposed" to be reading. I may drop in to say hello occasionally.

dec 28, 2021, 5:03pm

>41 Tess_W: I thought the most interesting thing about Kim was its historical context of The Great Game, and recommend Peter Hopkirk's The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia, which is non-fiction but reads like fiction because of the fabulous exploits of madly eccentric British spies.

dec 28, 2021, 5:33pm

>51 pamelad: Adding that one to The List - thanks, Pam!

>35 Tess_W: I might join you - I have already read the first two books, but I was going to get to the third one in January. Thanks for posting the link.

dec 28, 2021, 6:06pm

>51 pamelad: Am adding that one to my WL. I must admit, have never heard the term "Great Game" before, even after studying college history for 8 years. But I certainly have now and will be doing more research!

dec 28, 2021, 6:11pm

>50 markon: you are permitted to lurk!

Bewerkt: dec 29, 2021, 9:15am

5. The China Governess by Margery Allingham is my first DNF of "2022." (My reading year is Dec 25 to Dec 25). This was billed as a golden age mystery. Part of the reason might be that I had it on audio and the accents are so heavy that I had a difficult time understanding the voices, even when I turned the speed down to 80%. Had I know that was book # 17 in the series, I would have never gotten it! The book was 306 pages and I'm calling it quits after reading 72 pages. (approximately on audio) I may try it again later.

dec 29, 2021, 8:03am

>55 Tess_W: You're off to a great start. I have several Margery Allingham books on my shelf, I haven't touched them because I can't read the tiny condensed print and the yellowed pages make it more difficult. I've been slowly replacing them on the Kindle when they go on sale. I'm off to see if I have this one.

dec 29, 2021, 8:47am

I plan to read mainly from my shelves this year, too, although my "diet" is not as strict as yours. I‘m allowed to buy books that are part of a series I‘m reading and to buy anything I want in bookshops when I‘m traveling. Apart from that I plan not to buy any books at all!

I wish you good luck with your plans and happy reading!

dec 29, 2021, 9:21am

>57 MissBrangwen: I went to see a Van Gogh exhibit yesterday and almost blew my book diet! The price helped me to put the book back on the shelf as it was $49.99, but I did walk around with it for about 20 minutes!

Bewerkt: dec 30, 2021, 10:23am

6. Three Tigers, One Mountain: A Journey through the Bitter History and Current Conflicts of China, Korea, and Japan by Michael Booth. This was my first non-fiction read of this reading year. There is an ancient Chinese proverb which states, "two tigers can not share the same mountain." In this book, the author has applied this proverb to the history and current situation of the three Asian super powers: China, Japan, and South Korea. (with a smattering of Taiwan and North Korea) There is just a plethora of information in this book; so much information that at times it is overwhelming. This book is part travelogue, part archeology, part political science, part history, part ethnography; even down to the invention and preparation of Ramen. The book seems over-ambitious. I would have preferred perhaps comparing and contrasting only a few subjects and focusing on those. I also got the feeling that the author championed Japan as the "good guys." I would challenge that; i.e., the rape of Nanking. It was not a "bad" book, just overwhelming! I may go back and re-read this at some point. 306 pages 3 stars CAT: Serious Inquiries Only/Books set in/about Asia

dec 30, 2021, 5:07am

>59 Tess_W: Interesting review and well explained!

dec 30, 2021, 9:09am

>59 Tess_W:

It does sound interesting but the kind of book I would read a little at a time.

dec 30, 2021, 9:28am

>60 MissBrangwen: TY

>61 hailelib: That might work! The book is divided into 12 chapters (I think), each chapter being a major city. The author then talks about the history and presence of the Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese in those particular cities.

Bewerkt: dec 30, 2021, 7:12pm

May you have a blessed New Year!

dec 31, 2021, 10:18am

Thank you Tess - and the same to you!

dec 31, 2021, 11:27am

Bewerkt: jan 17, 9:41am

7. Trying to stay up till midnight...I might make it! While "waiting" I finished King Lear. I have read Lear twice before. This time I purchased the No Fear Shakespeare edition. I read it through the first time in the regular vernacular of Shakespeare. I then read it through using the "modern" version and I really liked it. I won't give up the regular versions for anything, but I did get a new understanding of some of the passages I just passed over because I didn't have a clue, especially some references to mythology. I was unable to choose just one theme for this play, but I can narrow it down to two: greed and loyalty. It's very easy to pick out who is who. So glad I read this! 320 pages (160 for each version). 5 stars CAT: ShakespeareCat

Bewerkt: jan 1, 11:35am

>66 Tess_W: I enjoy King Lear and am looking forward to rereading it this month for the ShakespeareCAT.

jan 1, 2:33pm

>66 Tess_W: I love those No Fear Shakespeare editions! We have several of them.

jan 1, 3:24pm

>55 Tess_W: A sad waste of a Golden Age classic. Do your rules allow you to borrow ebooks from the library so you can read it?

Happy New Year!

Bewerkt: jan 1, 6:24pm

>63 Tess_W: And a Happy New Year to you, Tess! Congrats on your successful reading already.

Bewerkt: jan 2, 12:50am

>63 Tess_W: TY!

>69 pamelad: Yes, I can! What a great idea--I will probably do that later in the year.

ETA: I used part of my Amazon Christmas gift card to buy the ebook version, so I can follow along! (rules are meant to be broken!, but then again, I already had the audio. This is more supplemental; yeah, that's what I will go with!) My library did not have a copy of this book. I think it must be out of print because on Amazon a print copy was over $20, but the ebook was only 4.97.

jan 2, 8:05am

>66 Tess_W: - I read A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley last year - a modern retelling of King Lear and liked it quite a bit.

jan 2, 8:27am

>72 dudes22: I put that one on my WL

jan 2, 5:56pm

>47 Tess_W: I'm glad you enjoyed The Women in Black! It was one of my favorite reads of 2021.

Bewerkt: jan 2, 7:18pm

jan 2, 7:51pm

>75 Tess_W:

I like that picture. It gave me a laugh.

jan 2, 7:52pm

>75 Tess_W: That is great.

jan 2, 9:39pm

>75 Tess_W: 100% :-)

jan 2, 10:41pm

>75 Tess_W: Oh, yeah!

jan 2, 10:54pm

I bought this book (before the New Year!), used, from Amazon. It arrived promptly and is in like new condition except for a red dot on the front page. This is a WONDERFUL book! I'm not going to read it through, per say. However, I will read it as background or summary information anytime I read a new Shakespeare play. The pages are clean and glossy, the pictures are fantastic, and the writing, while more lecture style, has a bit of wit! I'm in love!

jan 3, 1:32am

Happy 2022 and good luck with your reading goals. I'm rooting for you to nail that 'no new books' goal!
That's a perpetual goal of mine as well, but working for a bookstore - seeing all the shiny new books, having access to so many ARCs - has always made it really difficult!

jan 3, 1:33am

>81 madhatter22: I could never even attempt it if I worked in a bookstore!

Bewerkt: jan 3, 1:03pm

I've told you all how I'm attempting no new book buying in 2022. I'm even trying not to borrow books from the library--but I will if I need/want to. I'm also doing a no/low-spend January/February. I will only pay the utilities, insurances, and any medical bills I might incur. ("Required spending") Today I inventoried my freezer and the freezer in my fridge. I also have a sizeable pantry. I have more than enough meat and pantry items for 2 months. I'm going to allow myself $10 per week for items such as milk and lettuce. This week I only spent 1.39 on a green pepper! I've spent the day planning the meals for myself and hubby between now and Feb. 1. After Feb 1, I will again inventory my freezers and do the same thing in February.

jan 3, 2:30am

>80 Tess_W: That looks like a neat guide! I think I will borrow it from my library to browse during the ShakespeareCATs.

jan 3, 7:45am

8. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I thought this would be slog, as I find a lot of philosophical books, but I really did enjoy this--it gave meat for lots of thoughts. If I had to pick one favorite, it would be: "You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."

This was billed as a new translation by Gregory Hays. Since I have had no experience with Aurelius or with his writings, I have nothing with which to compare this translation. 256 pages 4 stars CAT: Serious Inquiries only (Non-fiction reads)

jan 3, 8:44am

>80 Tess_W:

My local library actually has a copy which I may borrow at some point.

jan 3, 10:42am

>80 Tess_W: Those Big Ideas Simply Explained books are excellent! I read The Medicine Book in that series and it was so well put together.

jan 3, 10:44am

>80 Tess_W: I have that book, too! I love reading the entries before digging into the play proper :-)

jan 3, 12:06pm

>83 Tess_W: I need to go through my freezer. I usually do it in January, and I'm not sure I did it last year during COVID. I suspect I have a few things I've forgotten and some which need to be tossed.

jan 3, 1:01pm

>83 Tess_W: Wow, I'll be cheering you on! Do let us know how your challenge is going.

jan 3, 2:23pm

>83 Tess_W:

I need to examine my cabinet and freezer as well and plan how to use up stuff that's started to overstay its welcome.

jan 3, 3:31pm

>85 Tess_W: I have this in the stacks, and you are making me think I should get to it this year.

>80 Tess_W: This looks gorgeous. I'll have to see if our library system has it.

Tess, good luck with your no/low-spend January/February.

jan 3, 3:44pm

>85 Tess_W: Have to admit, it looks like I'm skipping the philosophy Reading Through Time month. I don't skip many, but nothing was on my tbr, and nothing really sounded very appealing from what I looked at (which, admittedly, probably wasn't much).

Bewerkt: jan 3, 5:17pm

>85 Tess_W: I read Kim and was underwhelmed. It was the only thing on my TBR. I'm with you, the topic wasn't appealing, but to each his own, etc. etc!

jan 3, 5:54pm

>93 LibraryCin: >94 Tess_W: I thought I was going to end up passing on January RTT as well; but I ended up reading Kim-- mostly because I thought the book I had been reading prior was going to go to Afghanistan setting-wise, but it heads off to Victorian London. I wasn't quite ready to go back to England and decided to give 'Kim' a shot.
At first, I was also underwhelmed (didn't like the parts about the snarky, sly street urchin); but really got into the later parts and by the end, wanted to go back and re-read it! Instead, I've moved on to The Great Game (by Peter Hopkirk) before I return to 19th century Great Britain!

jan 3, 6:59pm

>95 Tanya-dogearedcopy: So glad you liked it! I may give it another go in a couple of years since I have it on Kindle.

jan 3, 9:13pm

>95 Tanya-dogearedcopy: Hmmm, my comment disappeared...

Anyway, just trying to say that I listened to "Kim" sometime in the past couple of years, but was bored.

I'm glad you (eventually) enjoyed it, though!

jan 3, 10:17pm

I like your challenge theme! I'll be keeping an eye on your Bargain category, as I too would love to read more books from those regions.

jan 4, 1:23am

>85 Tess_W: Amazing--my RL book club is reading Meditations this month! We have decided on the Martin Hammond translation, as it seemed easier to find. Because I didn't know anything about it, I picked up the Hays edition, too, (from the library) just to compare translations and read the introduction by Hays. I really enjoyed the groundwork he lays out.

I took a quick look at the translation text, and Hays has a more modern, simpler style, whereas Hammond appears more traditional and slightly more ornate, I guess. I'll read the Hammond, with Hays close by in case something doesn't seem clear. So glad you enjoyed it; I think we'll have a good discussion.

jan 4, 5:13am

Happy new year, Tess.

jan 4, 7:12am

>83 Tess_W: - I like your plans for the beginning of the year. Similar to mine, although I haven't gotten to going thru pantry and freezer yet. Still cleaning up from Christmas. But I might take out some containers of frozen tomatoes today to make a sauce. I find it so hard to keep up with threads at the beginning of the year.

And if I didn't say it before, I really want a chair like the one on the top.

jan 4, 7:26am

>83 Tess_W: Wow, that is quite a plan! Good luck with it.

jan 4, 8:38am

>99 kac522: I look forward to your review! Perhaps next year I will re-read in a different translation.

jan 4, 8:39am

jan 4, 8:40am

>102 MissWatson: January 4 and I'm still sticking to my plan LOL LOL!

jan 4, 11:27am

Went to the immersive Van Gogh experience yesterday with my BFF--it was wonderful! We set through it twice. It was similar to those 3 story tall movie screens that make you feel as if you are right there! If you can go, I highly recommend it. It's in multiple cities throughout the U.S.


jan 4, 1:30pm

>80 Tess_W: I bought this book last year, too, to accompany my Shakespeare reading. I agree, it's wonderful!

>83 Tess_W: That's a great project!!!

Bewerkt: jan 5, 8:12am

9. 101 Hymn Stories by Kenneth Osbeck. This book has been a work in progress since last year. I've loved traditional hymns since I was a child--good thing as my mother was a choir director at church and she still currently plays the organ and piano at age 88. This book contained the history, libretto, and music of 101 selected hymns. I remember singing about 60 or so of the hymns. It was interesting! After I finished reading about the composition of each hymn, I went to Youtube to find the hymn and listen to it. I was able to find most of them. I will be giving this book to my mother for her enjoyment. 288 pages 3.5 stars CAT: Serious Inquiries Only (non-fiction)

jan 5, 8:58am

>108 Tess_W: It's been a long time since I read it, but I loved Osbeck's book.

jan 5, 4:58pm

>108 Tess_W: That sounds interesting--onto the Wishlist.

Some years ago I read a similar book, but focused on Christmas Carols: The Carols of Christmas: A Celebration of the Surprising Stories Behind Your Favorite Holiday Songs by Andrew Gant and it was fascinating.

Bewerkt: jan 6, 12:27pm

10. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. Giving how much I loved A Gentleman From Moscow, I was so looking forward to being enthralled by Towles, again. However, I was a bit disappointed. I found the story implausible, childish and repetitive. The book long "adventure" was very slow and plodding. Three of the four main characters came from a juvenile detention center for "wayward" youth; one incarcerated for manslaughter. I didn't find their escapades amusing, they seemed juvenile. That being said, it was a good "period" piece. (1953) Perhaps if the book wasn't so long and could be condensed it would make for a more enjoyable read, but as it was I found it to be mediocre. I just expected a lot more, especially for 576 pages. 3- stars (for a good 1950's period read) CAT: It's Gotta Go!

jan 6, 1:48pm

>111 Tess_W: Hmm, I too loved A Gentleman in Moscow, but you're convincing me that I don't need to rush out and grab this one.

jan 6, 1:54pm

>111 Tess_W: I just read The Lincoln Highway and loved it, but I haven't read A Gentleman from Moscow yet. I have noticed that reviews of this book are mixed, with many that have read other books by this author being less pleased with it than newcomers to the author.

Bewerkt: jan 6, 5:33pm

>111 Tess_W: >112 christina_reads: >113 DeltaQueen50: I read and adored A Gentleman in Moscow ("book magic"); but when I read the descriptions of his other books, they just don't appeal. And now it seems others who have actually read the other books are disappointed as well. It makes me wonder what was so different: editor? personal life?

jan 6, 5:16pm

This discussion is interesting. I got "A Gentleman in Moscow" via the SantaThing, but I'm not sure if I'll like it or not. I was really bored with Rules of Civility. If people are liking "Gentleman" but not his others, maybe I've got more hope. :-)

Bewerkt: jan 6, 5:56pm

I didn't mind Rules of Civility, but took a real hate on A Gentleman in Moscow, which I thought was a twee, snide, snobbish fairytale, much too long, and full boring descriptions of furniture.

ETA The rest of our book group liked it.

jan 6, 7:16pm

>116 pamelad: On the other hand, I absolutely loved A Gentleman in Moscow and gave it the full five stars.

jan 6, 7:27pm

>80 Tess_W: What a great resource to have when reading Shakespeare!

>83 Tess_W: Congrats on that project. I started to make lists of dinners by the week, and it has really helped winnow down my pantry and freezer. Kudos for list through the end of the month.

>108 Tess_W: Wow! How fascinating. I am sure your mom will love it. Glad to hear she is still playing at 88.

jan 6, 8:09pm

>118 threadnsong: This is a video of my mom playing the organ for a funeral this past summer. Sorry for the poor quality


Bewerkt: jan 7, 7:10pm

11. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Achebe is a Nigerian writer with ancestry in the Igbo tribe. This book is very readable in spite of the numerous African words that I'm sure I couldn't say aloud. I even stumbled over them when reading. Achebe established that the Ibo's are a very stable, patriarchal, and religious society. The main character, Okwonko, is driven by the haunting memory of his father's "un-masculinity." He has to do the opposite to prove that he is successful, and that is his downfall; when tradition begins to fall apart. I was expecting to be more wowed than I was. Even though this story is set in the 19th century, it still had some very common and universal themes. This is book 1 in the trilogy. I probably won't go looking for the other books. This wasn't a bad read. It was educational, predictable, but not fun. 215 pages 3 stars CAT: January Author Cat / Award Winners-Man Booker Prize

jan 7, 5:54pm

Hi Tess! I'm impressed by your plans - not buying books at all! I wish you good luck and happy reading! :)

jan 9, 4:55pm

>121 Chrischi_HH: TY

12. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. I really want to say more than meh, but don't have anything else to say! The only surprising/interesting thing was the last 2 pages. 141 pages 2.5 stars CAT: Scaredykit -Haunted Houses January

Bewerkt: jan 10, 5:35am

13. Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen was a 19th century historical fiction read about the Transcendentalist author Edgar Allen Poe. The book's name is ambiguous; was it referring to the actual Mrs. Poe or the the aspiring writer who wanted to mime Mr. Poe to enable her to get published, Frances Osgood? History alludes to Mrs. Osgood as Poe's lover, but most historians have now rejected that as dates of alleged trysts do not match. I concur. Whatever the situation, Poe was troubled from the death of parents at a young age until his death. A really good read! 353 pages 4 1/2 stars CAT: 19th century

Bewerkt: jan 13, 1:39pm

14. The Hungry Road by Marita Conlon-Mckenna. This novel's setting was the Great Famine in Ireland. It tells the story of 3 families: a physician's family (middle class who survived), a poorer family who all died, and a poor family who was evicted by their landlord but given steamship tickets to America. This was a good story and well written. I especially liked the three perspectives. This book covered the time period of 1847-1854. A Kindle book since 2015. 337 pages 4 stars CAT: 19th Century

Bewerkt: jan 12, 5:58am

15. West From Home by Laura Ingalls Wilder is a series of letters written by Laura to her husband, Manly (Armanzo), while she visited her daughter, Rose, in San Francisco. The descriptions of San Francisco and The Panama–Pacific International Exposition were exquisite. The writing here was much improved over the writing in the Little House books, which were written 9 years later, that it made me wonder if the same person wrote them. After doing some research, many others also have the same question. Either way, they were delightful letters describing a two month time period in 1915. 192 pages 4 stars CAT: January Random Cat/Home/Non-fiction

Bewerkt: jan 11, 10:25am

>123 Tess_W: This has been on my shelf a long time, glad you liked it. I've pulled it off the shelf to see where it might work for a CAT.

jan 11, 11:09am

>126 clue: Perhaps in the female authors CAT? I don't know what has been planned, though.

jan 11, 11:14am

>127 Tess_W: I'll bet I can find a place for it.

jan 12, 9:22am

>125 Tess_W: Maybe I should read my copy!

jan 12, 11:56am

>125 Tess_W: I think I read that back in the 1970s or 1980s. I don't think I ever owned anything but the main books though.

jan 12, 1:22pm

>123 Tess_W: and >124 Tess_W: both go on my wish list! Great covers and interesting books.

jan 12, 6:45pm

16. The Greenhouse by Audur Ava Olafsdottir. This was a "coming of age" story of a 22 year old man who likes to plant tomatoes and roses and has a 7 month old child. I read this because the setting was Iceland, but one would not know it from the story. And in fact, the main character left Iceland midway through and went to an un-named European country which has a monastery. Very repetitive. Quite disappointed. 262 pages 2.5 stars CAT: Gotta Go! (off the shelves)

Bewerkt: jan 14, 7:58am

17. The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist by Randy Balko This is the story, albeit in a roundabout way, of two men wrongfully convicted of the murders of two young girls in Mississippi in the early 1990's. There is a forward by John Grisham, but he is not the author. Several unrelated thoughts about this non-fiction read: 1) the parents of these girls were irresponsible--leaving them for days at a time with others, who were not responsible themselves. In one instance, it was 36 hours before they discovered one of the girls was missing 2) Shoddy, shoddy police and lab work. I would even call it criminal. 3) I do not think that the wrongful convictions were racially based, in this case.

Without a doubt, there is much racial prejudice ingrained within the judicial system, especially in Mississippi. That is what most of this book is about. From reading the jacket blurb I assumed the book was about the murders of the two girls; but in reality, only about 3 chapters were dedicated to that. The remainder of the book was very wide in its scope, even going back to the 1950's lynchings in not only Mississippi, but throughout the South. There were so many cases discussed that I could not keep track of them and sometimes when they switched cases mid-chapter I missed it and was going....huh? I wish the book was more focused on just the two cases of the young girls. I don't think the reader will find too much "new" here except perhaps the specifics of the two girls murdered in 1990 and 1993 and perhaps Emmett Till (if you don't know about him already). 416 pages 3 stars CAT: Serious Inquiries Only

Bewerkt: jan 17, 4:41am

18. Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett This book was just so sweet it was sickening. I can't imagine a child (especially a boy) who would behave and speak that well at age 5-6, not even in my wildest imagination! 114 pages 3- stars CAT: It's Gotta Go!/ 19th century (Reading Through Time)

Bewerkt: jan 17, 12:05pm

19. Richard III by William Shakespeare. I had never read this tragedy before and I really enjoyed it as it was very historical in most respects. My favorite quote from this play is "Everyman's conscience is a thousand swords" (Oxford) as opposed to Richard's, "Conscience is but a word cowards use." Great reading! 369 pages 5 stars (of course!) CAT: It's Gotta Go!

Now I will be going down a rabbit hole in some non-fiction concerning Richard III, Anne, Elizabeth, and the two princes in the tower.

jan 17, 9:54am

What's up for February (notes to myself)
Much Ado About Nothing ShakespeareCAT
The Dry Mysterykit/Reading Through Time
The Cat of Bubastes Randomkit/personal cat-Africa
The Gold Bug AuthorCAT/Scaredykit/Reading Through Time
Holy Land/Palestinian Author/Paul's Asia Read/My own Asia Cat

jan 17, 10:26am

>135 Tess_W: I'll be interested to see what you find at the bottom of the hole!

jan 17, 10:27am

>123 Tess_W: I read this book a few years back and really enjoyed it. Lynn Cullen's descriptions of how New York City (I guess Manhatten) became the city it is today really stuck with me when I visited it in 2019.