May RandomCat - Let's Play Monopoly!

Snak2021 Category Challenge

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May RandomCat - Let's Play Monopoly!

Redigeret: apr 14, 2:22pm

Let’s Play Monopoly!

I hope we all familiar with the board game of Monopoly as May’s RandomCat is based on this classic game. The challenge is:

Read a book that is connected in some way to a term or item we use in the popular game of “Monopoly”. You can take a term and use it literally or expand the term into a theme. Some examples of terms or themes that are common to the game of Monopoly:

dice, community chest, bankruptcy, go to jail, chance, Boardwalk, Park Place (etc.), Railroads, hotels, Go, money, banker, get out of jail free, free parking, luxury tax, colors of sets: purple, green, yellow, red, orange etc., a game theme, game pieces: scottie dog, cat, racing car, iron, thimble, shoe, top hat, etc.), winner/losers, tournament, real estate or acquiring property, etc.

Your connection can be on the cover of a book or in the book, with the plot, setting or characters – be as creative as you want and have fun. I am looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets this challenge.

Please don't forget to add your reads to the Wiki:

apr 14, 1:47am

My reads are based on two of my favorite sets to collect, the Railroads and the Green Set:

- Strangers on a Train (Railroads) by Patricia Highsmith
- Green for Danger (Green Set) by Christianna Brand

apr 14, 2:30am

The first square on the UK Monopoly board is the Old Kent Road and my bookclub's May book is Plainsong by Kent Haruf.

apr 14, 5:43am

What a great challenge! I think I will read Girl on a Train, which I've had on my shelf since 2015.

Redigeret: apr 14, 6:06am

Excellent challenge! In honour of the humble Electric Company on the UK board, I'm going to read The Electricity of Every Living Thing by Katherine May.

apr 14, 6:37am

Excellent idea! I may change my mind, but first thoughts are that I could read Bugatti Queen in honour of the racing car playing piece.

apr 14, 9:51am

This is a really interesting one--thank you, >1 DeltaQueen50:

I've got a couple of options, but I'm thinking I'm going to go with Half-blood Blues (blue). If time permits, I might also try to fit in Jade City--Book 1 in the (Green) Bone Saga--or The Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley (train). I've been meaning to read the Elvis book for a while, but I just haven't been in the mood for nonfiction lately. We'll see, though--maybe this challenge will get me there!

apr 14, 11:08am

This is such a fun theme! My brother and I played a ton of Monopoly together growing up, so it's bringing back all kinds of fond memories. :) I'll have to think about what to read...I'm sure I will have many options!

apr 14, 11:27am

>1 DeltaQueen50: This is an excellent many options and so much fun to think back on those family games that went on for hours or days! This could be a KIT unto itself and last all year!

Off to search my virtual shelves.

apr 14, 11:44am

It will be fun picking a book for this one!

apr 14, 11:50am

After looking at the books I have on hold at the library and my plans for next month, I've decided to take it a little bit literally and read The Quiet Game by Greg Isles.

apr 14, 12:13pm

Oh! I loved playing Monopoly so much when I was a kid. It was probably my second favorite game behind Clue. I'm going the hotel route and will read either The Glass Hotel or Murder at the Dolphin Hotel for this challenge.

apr 14, 12:53pm

It's great to see the variety of books everyone is thinking about reading. When I was young a group of us would start a Monopoly game on the first day of summer vacation and then try to keep it going as long as we could. Usually that wasn't very long - too many great outside activities to get involved in.

Redigeret: apr 15, 9:12am

I'm planning on The Courtyard by Marcia Willet. It's been on my shelf since 2013! I havent read a book by Willet before but reading about her makes me think of Maeve Binchy, an author I used to enjoy. This is based on a character who becomes a landlord for the first time.

apr 14, 1:07pm

>1 DeltaQueen50: what an interesting challenge! I'm not sure yet what I'll read for this month.

apr 14, 1:09pm

>13 DeltaQueen50: My neighborhood friends and I loved to play it but I don't remember our games going very long either. We played a lot of board games. I think I still have that very Monopoly game squirelled away somewhere. It's so old the game pieces were made of metal!

apr 14, 1:29pm

I must admit that I have never ever played monopoly and only have basic knowledge of what it's about. But I will benefit a lot from your introductory post and from what everyone reads for this, and I am determined to find something I can read!

>14 clue: Oh, I love Maeve Binchy so much! I have never heard about Marcia Willet, though, but if her books are similar I might check her out.

apr 14, 2:24pm

>17 MissBrangwen: I hope you find something, Mirjam, if you need any assistence just let me know.

apr 14, 5:06pm

What a great theme! I am currently reading Stettin Station which would be a great choice for this challenge. Let's see what I can find for next month. :)

apr 14, 5:09pm

I've already read it so won't read it again specifically for this challenge, but if anyone's stuck for a title I do recommend Do Not Pass Go by Tim Moore - he visits all the places on the London Monopoly board, and I really enjoyed it.

apr 14, 8:00pm

>20 Jackie_K: That sounds fun!

apr 14, 10:53pm

Fun theme! Will have to peruse the tbr to see what might fit!

apr 15, 7:18am

I found White Water Still Water on my shelves, which might do well as a reference to "Water Works" on the Monopoly board.

apr 15, 8:56am

Great challenge, Judy! My husband and I play Monopoly occasionally - it's still so much fun...

Not sure what I'll read yet, but I certainly won't suffer from lack of choice.

apr 15, 12:04pm

I loved playing Monopoly as a kid. I look forward to finding a book for this challenge.

Redigeret: apr 15, 9:45pm

At the moment, I'm leaning toward (ETA: This has a longer hold list than I'd like, as well)
Orphan Train / Christina Baker Kline (railroads/trains)

But what I'd really like to read (but the holds are long at my library):
The Sun Down Motel / Simone St. James (hotels)

I've put both on hold, but I may come up with something else instead.

apr 15, 10:02pm

At one point Goodreads was on a kick of recommending me The High Cost of Free Parking, by Donald C. Shoup. If I can get this from the library, it would be the perfect choice.

apr 16, 7:58am

I'm going to read a book that I had planned to read this month but won't get to it: Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel.

apr 16, 11:30am

Absolutely marvelous theme! Congrats. Have no idea yet what I'll read.

apr 16, 11:43pm

What a fun theme! And so many options to choose from. Haven't decided yet.

apr 17, 12:19pm

>18 DeltaQueen50: I carefully read through the prompts you listed and I am sure they will work.

Water (works)

are all things that match some of my books!
Thank you for your support!

apr 17, 3:14pm

This is a great theme! Checking things out now!

apr 17, 8:03pm

There are all sorts of Monopolys. GAme of Thrones. Lord of the Rings. Mario!

apr 17, 8:50pm

>31 MissBrangwen: Your list is perfect!

>33 majkia: I thought of that but rather than list them all, I thought I would just leave it up to the readers. :)

apr 18, 12:37am

What a fantastic idea!

Choosng from two at the moment, Summer in Mayfair or The Sixth Victim, but there are so many possibilities!

apr 30, 10:46am

This theme really does offer endless possibilities.

I'm thinking of reading Vein of Iron by Ellen Glasgow, or The Quarantine in the Grand Hotel by Jenő Rejtő, or A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter (set in Indiana).

Redigeret: apr 30, 12:48pm

My next book in the Cat Who series fits this category perfectly. I will be reading The Cat Who Robbed A Bank by Lilian Jackson Braun.

apr 30, 1:57pm

I'm going to read Lehrter Station by David Downing and if I have time, Mrs Queen takes the Train by William Kuhn.

maj 5, 9:23am

I am reading Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller (which I am loving), and I didn't think it would be a match for this challenge, but then I came across this quote:

You will beat me at Monopoly and I will lose my temper and hide the Mayfair card between the sofa cushions.

How fun is that?!

maj 5, 9:39am

I started and finished my read last night:

White Water Still Water by J. Allan Bosworth

An engaging story of an ill-prepared teen who finds himself in the wilderness with no skills to survive except for what he's read in adventure books. It's not a typical survival story and I appreciated the author's balance between a slightly whiny kid and the emerging adult. Nicely done.

maj 5, 11:53am

>40 Crazymamie: That's so cool! What a surprise!

maj 5, 12:33pm

>40 Crazymamie: Monopoly quotes - that is fun!

maj 6, 3:25pm

I just finished The Orphan Thief by Glynis Peters and will count it for this challenge because it is set in Coventry.

This reads like a YA novel, in fact it would make a very good YA story. It is set in Coventry during the blitz of WWII when Coventry was particularly hard-hit. Among the chaos sixteen-year-old Ruby arrived home only to find a crater and all her family perished. Her grandmother's house is in the same state. As a last resort she went to the home of her father's friend and found him dead from a heart attack although the house is standing, providing temporary shelter. Ruby must not only fend for herself but handle the mountain of official correspondence, reporting the dead, applying for a ration book, investigating her circumstances, etc., all while still a child and having no authority. Along the way she rescues and befriends others including a six-year-old boy, inviting them to stay with her as she starts up a business buying and selling second hand goods. Eventually a "spiv" shows up and interrupts Ruby's recovery efforts, while a Canadian photographer provides a romantic element. It might be assumed that the orphan of the title is Ruby, orphaned by war, but instead referred to young orphans recruited to steal. Modesty and clean language adds to the YA impression.

maj 7, 10:30am

I decided on The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay for my Random book.

maj 8, 8:51pm

>36 NinieB: How did I miss you posting here? I am a big fan of Gene Stratton Porter and have read Girl of the Limberlost many times. I visited her homes here in Indiana also. They really help readers get a feel for the stories.

I read Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie, which featured houses on the cover.

maj 8, 10:12pm

>46 LadyoftheLodge: I did end up reading A Girl of the Limberlost! I liked it--so many interesting things happen to Elnora--and what a fighter that girl is!

maj 9, 6:23am

In the German monopoly there is a Theatre Avenue, so I am using Die Inszenierung by Martin Walser, a novel about a theatre producer. It was a very disappointing novel and I am happy to at least be able to use it for a CAT!

maj 9, 6:41am

>48 MissBrangwen: Oh, that's a great idea!

maj 12, 3:26am

I'm using the house option here with The doll's house and other stories by Katherine Mansfield.

maj 14, 3:38am

I have finished The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which I'm using as there is a group of Leicester Square, Coventry Street & Picadilly which are coloured yellow.

maj 14, 5:36pm

I have completed Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith, I chose this book using the Monopoly Railroads as inspiration.

maj 14, 10:25pm

maj 17, 3:32am

Our Monopoly set back in the 1970s didn't have the tokens, just wooden pins painted in different colours. However, an image search told me that one of them is a racing car, and since cars and racing are important in Drei Kameraden, I'm using it for this CAT.

Redigeret: maj 19, 5:08pm


Orphan Train / Christina Baker Kline
4 stars

In 2011, teenaged orphan/foster “child” Molly is in trouble and has to do some community service. Her boyfriend’s mom works for a rich old lady and gets her an interview with the lady to help her sort out her attic as her community service. While helping Vivian, Molly learns more about Vivian’s life as an orphan/foster child – starting in the 1920s – and as she grew up. Vivian started life in Ireland as Niamh (pronounced Neev), and came to New York City with her family. It wasn’t long before she was on her own and was sent on a train heading west with other orphans. This is a train that brought orphans to families who “wanted” them (or wanted free labour), and she was shuffled around a bit more.

I really liked this. I thought Vivian’s story was more interesting than Molly’s, though I did like the friendship that developed between them. I did know about these trains, as I’m sure I’ve read another book on the topic. (Looked it up, similar situation with the British Home Children who were sent to Canada…) My edition of the book has an author’s note, reading guide, etc, which included some photos of some of the real “orphan train” children.

maj 19, 10:13am

Finished Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan last night--a five-star read for me, and one I'd absolutely recommend to anyone.

Full Review:

Until now, with this book, I've never read a book that itself moves and works like a blues song. But that's changed with Half-Blood Blues. Edugyan's gorgeous novel is, in every way, a carefully crafted blues that is also an artfully told story and thoughtful examination of personal identity. In moving between 1939 and 1992--and at the same time between America, Germany, France, and Poland--it reveals the life of a jazz musician whose personal story is irrevocably tied to others' stories and identities as they were lived in 1939, and as they echo over him even fifty years later.

Edugyan's Half-Blood Blues might well display the most artful use of personal voice and dialect I've ever seen in a novel, and the way in which her rhythms and structure evoke a blues is something to behold. Even in the tone of the beginning and ending, this book is experienced like a blues, and it is masterful.

Absolutely, I recommend it.

maj 19, 3:04pm

I've completed The Courtyard a feel good book by Marcia Willett. I read it based on the connection to real estate and property. There is both a scam based on a housing development that will never happen, and the successful building and selling of cottages on manor house property.

maj 19, 3:10pm

I read Lehrter Station by David Downing.

One of the best espionage novels that I have read. John Russell is put into an impossible position of spying for the Americans and the Russians. Downing captures the devastation and chaos in Berlin in November 1945 as the city makes a lurching transition to peacetime. Although I was aware that the currency was worthless, I didn't realize that the new currency was cigarettes.

This was my first of Downing's series and probably not the best place to start but it was the only one available to me right now. However, I can now look forward to reading others. Recommended.

maj 22, 4:36pm

Just finished Monopoly: the world's most famous game and how it got that way by Philip Orbanes.

My son is a big fan of Monopoly (and most board games) and when I told him this month's RandomCATegory, he insisted that I borrow and read this book. I have to admit I didn't read it cover to cover but just browsed for interesting bits. As we all know the game is a reflection of capitalism and real life. One interesting snippet related how in March 1933 when US banks ran out of money and closed their doors workers couldn't cash their pay cheques. Firms like Parker Brothers, who had printing capability, printed scrip and most local businesses honoured the scrip presented to them by Parker employees. Real life imitating a game?

maj 23, 10:40pm

I have completed Green for Danger by Christianna Brand, a vintage mystery that I really enjoyed.

It's great to see all the different books that everyone is reading for this challenge!

maj 24, 10:39pm

Another railroad one!

Ordinary Grace / William Kent Krueger
4 stars

It’s summer, 1961 in small-town Minnesota. Frank is 13-years old; he has an 11-year old younger brother Jake, and an older sister, Ariel (17 or 18). Their father is a minister. At the beginning of the summer, another boy Frank’s age died on or near the train tracks. It’s only a few days later when Frank finds another dead body near the same area. With the “nameless itinerant” (as he is called througout the rest of the book), Frank and Jake see a Native man, but they sense no harm from him, Warren Redbird, so they talk with him a bit. I don’t want to say too much more, but there is a mystery in the book and it kind of is a summer of death. The back of the book says “it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.”

I really liked this. It was slow moving, but I still enjoyed it. The pace did kind of pick up, maybe half way through the book. I was a bit concerned about how it would end, but it turned out as I “hoped” it would.

maj 25, 5:58pm

I read The Crowded Street by Winifred Holtby. Although there are no "streets" (only Avenues and Places) in American Monopoly, there are streets on the British Monopoly board.

maj 26, 7:38am

Another house with La maison du juge by Georges Simenon.

maj 26, 9:28pm

I was so excited for this month's theme, but none of the books I picked up seemed to work...until I remembered this card:

So my pick for this CAT will be The Inheritance by Charles Finch!

maj 26, 10:53pm

>64 christina_reads: I'm glad you found one that fits, Christina!

maj 28, 3:26pm

My pick for this challenge just came in through my library. Antitrust: from the gilded age to the digital age taking on monopoly power The first chapter focuses on the game of Monopoly. Of course, I will not read this by Monday, but I wanted to mention it again as it looks like a good read for non-fiction readers.

maj 29, 12:38pm

I read The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President -- and Why It Failed by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch. This plot was to kill Abraham Lincoln in Baltimore, Maryland, as he traveled on his way to his inauguration. Trains and hotels are important in this story. Lincoln was traveling from his home in Springfield, Illinois, to Washington, D.C., by train, taking a long, circuitous route through upstate New York to be able to see people along the way. (He was relatively unknown when elected.) In the North he was greet by enthusiastic crowds, even in the small towns. However, he also had to go through Maryland, a state with strong Southern sympathies, to get to Washington. Along the way, Lincoln stayed at hotels overnight, and in the cities had to transfer from one train line to another which used different stations. A group in Baltimore followed Lincoln's route very carefully with the plan to kill him as he changed trains in that city. A railroad owner expected Southerners to destroy his railroad lines before reaching Washington, and hired a detective to investigate. The detective was Allan Pinkerton, who brought a number of his detectives, especially as they investigated plots to kill Lincoln. The detectives and the plotters used hotels as their headquarters.

Redigeret: maj 31, 2:17pm

Monopoly was a great idea for a category! I enjoyed reading about the wide range of books that fit under the umbrella. It also reminded me of when my mother had me, a young girl with the chicken pox, play Monopoly with my unknowing brother so as to infect him (he ended up with quite a serious case). Rather happy there is now a chicken pox vaccine for my kids.

Thinking of buying hotels on the low-priced properties on the board and calling myself a slumlord, I read Planet of Slums by Mike Davis, a book about the nightmarish conditions of slums around the world. Impoverishing, environmental sinks of pollution and disease, these are places where societal ties and hospitality break down, dangerous (especially for women). The section dealing with arson in slums gave me nightmares. The multiple problems are global, and the author finds no hope or solutions.

One of the bleakest books I have ever read.

maj 31, 1:44pm

I finished The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks for this month. I picked it because when I play Monopoly, I usually pick the top hat as my piece.

Redigeret: maj 31, 6:24pm

>69 Cora-R: Excellent choice for this challenge! The top hat is one of my favourite pieces too, although I usually end up being the Scottie dog.

maj 31, 8:20pm

COMPLETED Plainsong by Kent Haruf (Old Kent Road)