DeltaQueen's 2021 Challenge - Reading Is Like a Box of Chocolates - Part 4

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DeltaQueen's 2021 Challenge - Reading Is Like a Box of Chocolates - Part 4

maj 6, 10:37pm


Welcome to the fourth thread of my 2021 Category Challenge thread. My name is Judy and I live in the suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I live quietly with my husband and our two grown daughters live fairly close by. Of course, our two grandchildren are the apples of our eyes, a girl, aged fifteen and a boy, aged 21. I have been a member of the Category Challenge for a good number of years and enjoy the preparation and planning that goes into building our categories. I don’t always follow my plans, but they are fun to make. Please feel free to join in on any conversation here, bookish or otherwise. All opinions are respected as long as we are polite and friendly to each other.

I have found that reading is very much like a box of chocolates as you never know what you are going to get, so this year I am taking my cue from Forrest Gump and have decided to match my reading categories to delectable chocolates. I chose to use chocolates from a Canadian chocolatier called Purdys. There is a Purdys in just about every large shopping mall in Canada and Canadians are very familiar with their goodies. For those who don’t know this store, I have put together a Purdys List of Personal Favourites – 15 chocolates to match my 15 categories. Some of these matches may make no sense to anyone, but I had a reason for each choice which I will explain as we go along. I apologize to anyone who is allergic to nuts as many of my favourites do have nuts in them. And while Purdys still define my categories, for this thread I turned to the idea of chocolate for breakfast. If you are craving chocolate what a great starter these breakfasts would be! (Although I am not sure about chocolate covered bacon – but then again, I do love the combination of sweet and salty, so this just might work!)

My reading goals during 2021 are pretty much the same as they have been in previous years:

1. Reduce the number of books on my shelves, kindles and audio account.

2. Read a good number of books from the 1,001 Books to Read Before You Die List.

And this year -

3. Series, series, series – try to gain some control over my series reading.

I am trying not to put too much pressure on myself as I tend to feel obligated to read one book from each category every month, leaving me little room for those fun surprises that come along. So no category targets this year but I usually read over 200 books a year so I expect each category will have a good amount of books added.

Please pull up a comfy chair, grab a book, and help yourself to the breakfast of your choice. Doesn’t matter what time it is – these breakfasts are available 24 hours a day.

Redigeret: maj 6, 10:40pm

2021 Categories

1. Sweet Georgia Browns – Mystery & Police Series: In other places this candy goes by the copyrighted name of Turtles. I could both eat this candy again and again and read mysteries over and over so this is where I place some of my police procedurals and mystery series reading.

2. Cherry Cordials – Vintage Crime: I picture little old ladies (I think of Sylvester and Tweety’s Granny) munching on these while they also devour classic whodunits.

3. Chocolate Creams – Crime/Mysteries: Dark, rich and mysterious these chocolates match perfectly to the rest of my crime reading.

4. Himalayan Pink Salt Caramels – Fantasy: These chocolate covered beauties are one of my favourites and I can easily “fantasize” that I am working my way through a box of them!

5. Almond Crunch – Science Fiction: Filled with a creamy chocolate filling and bits of almonds, these are “out of this world” delicious and hence my match with science fiction.

6. Passionfruit Hearts – Romance: The shape, the flavour, and the name of these chocolates bring on the feeling of romance. So books that deal with love and romance will be placed here.

7. Peanut Butter Daisies – YA & Children’s Literature – These creamy delights are often a child’s first favourite. And like all good things, many of us never grow out of them.

8. Chai Tea Caramels – Global Reading – This chocolate is exotic enough to match with my reads that are set in far-away countries.

9. Hedgehogs – 1,001 Books – The Hedgehog is probably Purdys best known chocolate, a classic in it’s own right and so it matches well with the classics of this list.

10. Vanilla Creams – Non-Fiction – A straight forward, no nonsense chocolate that consists of a vanilla cream centre wrapped in chocolate. Non-fiction will go well with this.

11. White Cameos – Historical Fiction – Although I am not a huge fan of white chocolate, this delicate candy with the cameo picture has old fashioned appeal and would go well with any historical fiction.

12. Chocolate Letters – AlphaKit – I intend to participate in the 2021 AlphaKit and will place my reads here.

13. Purdy’s Gift Box – Since I am reading so many series, having only one category for Mystery or Police Procedural series isn’t going to be enough. I will use this category to randomly pick a series read from one of the many genres that I read from.

14. Sake and Sakura Truffles – These chocolates are a new addition to the Purdy’s lineup and since I have quite a few books that are written by new-to-me authors, this makes a perfect place to track them.

15. Maple Leaf Melties – All Others – In the shape of the Canadian Maple Leaf, these candies are meant to be popped in the mouth and allowed to melt slowly. This will be where I place all my reading that doesn’t fit anywhere else – what’s the connection? I am Canadian plus I love these candies and wanted to use them!

Redigeret: maj 6, 10:41pm

2021 Tickers

Total Books Read:

Total Pages Read:

Books Read from My Shelves:

Redigeret: maj 6, 10:41pm

How I Rate Books:

I am not a professional book critic nor do I consider myself to be an expert on literary standards, my reviews are based on my reaction to the book and the opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings.

2.0 ★: I must have been dragged, kicking and screaming, to finish this one!

2.5 ★: Below Average but I finished the book for one reason or another.

3.0 ★: Average, a solid read that I finished but can't promise to remember

3.5 ★: Above Average, there's room for improvement but I liked this well enough to pick up another book by this author.

4.0 ★: A very good read and I enjoyed my time spent with this story - one I made an emotional attachment to

4.5 ★: An excellent read, a book I will remember and recommend

5.0 ★: Sheer perfection, the right book at the right time for me

I use decimal points to further clarify my thoughts about the book, therefore you will see books rated 3.8 to show it was better than a 3.5 but not quite a 4.0; etc. These small adjustments help me to remember how a book resonated with me

Redigeret: jun 8, 9:28pm

2021 Bingo

1. Nature and Environment: Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell
2. Title Describes You:
3. Contains a Love Story: Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James
4. You Heartily Recommend: Dodgers by Bill Beverly
5. Impulse Read: The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
6. Suggested by Another Generation: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
7. About Time or Time Word in Title:
8. By or About Marginalized Group: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
9. 20 or Fewer LT Members: Missing or Murdered by Robin Forsythe
10. Classical Element in Title: Blood Salt Water by Denise Mina
11. Set Somewhere You'd Like to Visit: An Olive Grove At The Edge of the World by Jared Gulian
12. Dark or Light in Title: A Darker Side by Shirley Wells
13. Read a Cat or Kit: Grave's End by Elaine Mercado
14. New-to-You Author: Long Bright River by Liz Moore
15. Arts & Recreation:
16. Senior Citizen Protagonist: Miss Clare Remembers by Miss Read
17. Type of Building in Title: White Houses by Amy Bloom
18. Less Than 200 Pages: The Gilt-Edged Mystery by E. M. Channon
19. Two or More Authors: The Last Escape by Bobby Adair and T. W. Paperbrook
20. Character You Would be Friends With: While I Live by John Marsden
21. One Word Title: Poppet by Mo Hayder
22. About History or Alternate History: Blue Jacket by Allan Eckert
23. Made You Laugh: The Women in Black by Madeleine St. John
24. Southern Hemisphere: Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks
25. About or Contains Magic: The Mermaid's Madness by Jim C. Hines

Redigeret: jun 20, 2:12pm

Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge

This is a Good Reads Reading Challenge that I am going to do in 2021. I am not going to participate in the Good Reads Groups or follow their weekly guide but simply work the challenge on my own.

1. Related to "In the Beginning": The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg (Beginning a series)
2. Author's Name Has No "A, T or Y": Rabbit, Run by John Updike
3. Related to the lyrics of the song "Favorite Things": The Gown by Jennifer Robson - "Girls in White Dresses"
4. Monochromatic Cover: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
5. Author is on USA Today's List of 100 Black Novelists You Should Read:
6. A Love Story: Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James
7. Fits a Suggestion that Didn't Make the Final List:
8. Set somewhere you have never visited: Massacre At Cawnpore by V. A. Stuart
9. Associated with a specific season or time of year:
10. A female villain or criminal: The Mermaid's Madness by Jim C. Hines
11. Celebrates The Grand Egyptian Museum: Valley of the Kings by Cecelia Holland
12. Written by a woman and translated to English:
13. Written by an author of one of your best reads in 2020:
14. Set in a made up place: Red Country by Joe Abercrombie
15. Siblings as main characters: A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
16. A building in the title: White Houses by Amy Bloom
17. Muslim character or author:
18. Related to the past: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
19. Related to the present: Friday On My Mind by Nicci French
20. Related to the future: In the After by Demitria Lunetta
21. Title and Author contain the letter U: Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud
22. Posted in one of the ATY Best Book of the Month Threads:
23. A Cross Genre Novel: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
24. About Racism or Race Relations:
25. Set on an island: The Monster's Wife by Kate Horsley
26. A Short Book (less than 210 pages): The Gilt-Edged Mystery by E. M. Channon
27. Book has a character that could be found in a deck of cards: Poppet by Mo Hayder
28. Connected to ice:
29. A Comfort Read: Miss Clare Remembers by Miss Read
30. A Long Book:
31. Author's career spanned more than 21 years:
32. Cover shows more than 2 people: Die A Little by Megan Abbott
33. A Collection of Short Stories, Essays or Poetry: The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates
34. A book with a travel theme:
35. Set in a country on or below the Tropic of Cancer:
36. Six or More Words in the Title: An Olive Grove At The Edge of the World by Jared Gulian
37. From the "Are You Well Read in Literature List":
38. Related to a word given to you by a random word generator: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee (Guide)
39. Involves an immigrant:
40. Flowers or Greenery on the cover:
41. A new-to-you BIPOC Author:
42. A Mystery or Thriller: The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo
43. Contains elements of magic:
44. Title Contains a Negative:
45. Related to a codeword from the NATO phoenic alphabet
46. Winner or nominee from the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards: Long Bright River by Liz Moore
47. Non-Fiction book other than a Memoir or a Biography: Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman
48. Might cause someone to say "You Read What!!"
49. Book with an ensemble cast: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
50. Published in 2021: Safe and Sound by Philippa East
51. Title refers to a character without giving their name: The Trader's Sister by Anna Jacobs
52. Related to "The End"

Redigeret: jun 12, 9:56pm

Sweet Georgia Browns Mystery and Police Procedural Series

Books Read

1. The Secret Place (5) by Tana French - 4.1 ★
2. Blood Salt Water (5) by Denise Mina - 4.1 ★
3. Diamond Solitaire (2) by Peter Lovesey - 4.2 ★
4. The Redeemer (6) by Jo Nesbo - 4.2 ★
5. The Ice Princess (1) by Camilla Lackberg - 3.8 ★
6. The Retribution (7) by Val McDermid - 3.8 ★

Redigeret: jun 16, 12:35pm

Cherry Cordials Vintage Crime Novels

Books Read

1. Mystery in the Channel by Freeman Wills Crofts - 3.0 ★
2. The Gilt-Edged Mystery by E. M. Channon - 3.8 ★
3. The Case of the Sulky Girl by Erle Stanley Gardner - 4.0 ★
4. The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr - 2.5 ★
5. Too Many Cooks by Rex Stout - 4.0 ★
6. Missing or Murdered by Robin Forsythe - 3.6 ★
7. Green For Danger by Christianna Brand - 4.5 ★
8. The Saltmarsh Murders by Gladys Mitchell - 3.8 ★

Redigeret: maj 14, 5:26pm

Chocolate Creams More Mysteries and Crime Stories

Books Read

1. Poppet by Mo Hayder - 4.0 ★
2. Friday On My Mind by Nicci French - 3.8 ★
3. Dodgers by Bill Beverly - 5.0 ★
4. Die A Little by Megan Abbott - 4.2 ★
5. Crimes in Southern Indiana by Frank Bill - 3.7 ★
6. Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith - 4.0 ★

Redigeret: jun 8, 9:31pm

Himalayan Pink Salt Caramels Light and Dark Fantasy

Books Read

1. Red Country by Joe Abercrombie - 4.5 ★
2. The Mermaid's Madness by Jim C. Hines - 4.0 ★
3. Among Monsters by Jamie McGuire - 3.8 ★
4. Monster Planet by David Wellington - 2.0 ★
5. Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater - 4.0 ★
6. The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones - 3.6 ★

Redigeret: jun 10, 11:44pm

Almond Crunch Science Fiction

Books Read

1. Network Effect by Martha Wells - 4.5 ★
2. The Raven's Gift by Don Reardon - 3.6 ★
3. A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold - 5.0 ★
4. Death is a Welcome Guest by Louise Welsh - 4.3 ★
5. Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks - 3.0 ★
6. The Ion Raider by Ian Whates - 4.1 ★

Redigeret: jun 17, 4:42pm

Passionfruit Hearts Romance

Books Read

1. Restoring Grace by Katie Fforde - 3.5 ★
2. Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James - 3.7 ★
3. The Trader's Sister by Anna Jacobs - 4.0 ★
4. Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas - 4.0 ★
5. Slightly Married by Mary Balogh - 4.5 ★

Redigeret: jun 24, 12:14pm

Peanut Butter Daisies Children's Lit/YA

Books Read

1. In the After by Demitria Lunetta - 3.7 ★
2. While I Live by John Marsden - 4.0 ★
3. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys - 4.5 ★
4. Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington - 3.3 7#9733;
5. Witch Child by Celia Rees - 3.8 ★
6. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - 4.0 ★
7. When We Were Lost by Kevin Wignall - 3.6 ★

Redigeret: jun 20, 2:15pm

Chai Tea Caramels Books Set Around the World

Books Read

1. Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (Sweden) - 4.2 ★
2. Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree (Spain) by Tariq Ali - 4.0 ★
3. Rashomon by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (Japan) - 4.1 ★
4. The Tea Planter's Wife (Ceylon) by Dinah Jeffries - 4.0 ★
5. The Taliban Cricket Club (Afghanistan) by Timeri Murari - 4.3 ★
6. A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar (China) by Suzanne Joinson - 4.2 ★
7. Valley of the Kings by Cecelia Holland - 3.1 ★

Redigeret: jun 11, 4:43pm

Hedgehogs Books From the 1,001 Books To Read Before You Die List

Books Read

1. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift - 3.5 ★
2. The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas by J. M. Machado de Assis- 3.8 ★
3. Voss by Patrick White - 2.0 ★
4. The Book of Evidence by John Banville - 3.7 ★
5. Foe by J. M. Coetzee - 4.0 ★
6. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson - 3.7 ★
7. Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud - 3.8 ★
8. She by H. Rider Haggard - 3.2 ★
9. Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood - 4.0 ★
10. Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton - 4.5 ★

Redigeret: jun 7, 12:00pm

Vanilla Creams Non-Fiction

Books Read

1. Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell - 4.5 ★
2. Below Stairs by Margaret Powell - 3.8 ★
3. Grave's End by Elaine Mercado - 2.0 ★
4. Bachelor Nation Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure by Amy Kaufman - 2.8 ★
5. Beyond the Trees by Adam Shoalts - 4.3 ★
6. An Olive Grove At the Edge of the World by Jared Gulian - 4.0 ★
7. Columbus in the Americas by William Least Heat-Moon - 3.8 ★

Redigeret: jun 21, 11:12pm

White Chocolate Cameos Historical Fiction/Reading Through Time

Books Read

1. Enter Three Witches by Caroline Cooney - 3.6 ★
2. The Gown by Jennifer Robson - 4.0 ★
3. Pieces of Eight by John Drake - 3.8 ★
4. White Houses by Amy Bloom - 4.0 ★
5. The Beacon At Alexandria by Gillian Bradshaw - 4.5 ★
6. Empire by Devi Yesodharan - 3.5 ★
7. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly - 4.3 ★
8. The Monster's Wife by Kate Horsley - 4.1 ★
9. The Cannons of Lucknow by V.A. Stuart - 4.0 ★

Redigeret: jun 4, 11:39am

Chocolate Letters AlphaKit - 2 Letters Each Month

A. The Last Escape by Bobby Adair & T. W. Piperbrook - 2.5 ★
C. The Whispering Wall by Patricia Carlon - 4.0 ★
D. Fallen Women by Sandra Dallas - 4.0 ★
I. Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim - 4.1 ★
K. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan - 4.0 ★
M. Cop Hater by Ed McBain - 4.3 ★
N. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - 3.4 ★
P. Dreams of the Red Phoenix by Virginia Pye - 2.8 ★
R. Algonquin Sunset by Rick Revelle - 4.2 ★
T. Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner - 4.2 ★
U. Rabbit, Run by John Updike - 3.7 ★
W. Monster Nation by David Wellington - 3.0 ★
X. Irises by Franciso X. Stork - 3.7 ★

Redigeret: maj 8, 4:43pm

Purdy's Gift Box Series Reading From All Genres

Books Read

1. A Darker Side by Shirley Wells - 3.5 ★
2. Massacre At Cawnpore by V.A. Stuart - 4.0 ★
3. Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill - 4.0 ★
4. Crimson Lake by Candice Fox - 4.5 ★

Redigeret: jun 19, 4:13pm

Sake & Sakura Truffles Author I Haven't Read Before

Books Read

1. Border Songs by Jim Lynch - 4.0 ★
2. The Women in Black by Madeleine St. John - 4.0 ★
3. Long Bright River by Liz Moore - 5.0 ★
4. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay - 4.0 ★
5. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell - 4.2 ★
6. Safe and Sound by Philippa East - 4.0 ★

Redigeret: jun 13, 10:22pm

Maple Leaf Melties Book That Don't Fit Elsewhere

Books Read

1. Train Dreams by Denis Johnson - 4.5 ★
2. Miss Clare Remembers by Miss Read - 4.0 ★
3. The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell - 4.2 ★
4. The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates - 4.4 ★
5. Blue Jacket by Allan Eckert - 4.0 ★
6. Descender Vol. 1, Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire
Descender Vol. 2, Moon Machine by Jeff Lemire
Descender Vol. 3, Singularities by Jeff Lemire - 4.3 ★
7. River of Porcupines by G. K. Aalborg - 3.7 ★

Redigeret: maj 6, 10:59pm

2021 Reading Plans

Group Reads and Hosting Duties:

February: Group Read of Voss by Patrick White
March: Hosting - ScaredyKit – Short Stories/Novellas
March: Hosting - HistoryCat - Early Modern History (1500 - 1800)
April: Hosting - SFFFKit – Series
April: Hosting - April Reading Thru Time – The Sun Never Sets
May: Hosting - Random Cat
July: Hosting - GenreCat - Romance

Year long Group Read: Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong

Redigeret: maj 6, 11:00pm


maj 6, 11:06pm

Happy new thread, Judy. It's making me hungry.

maj 6, 11:18pm

>24 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. Unfortunately I can only satisfy your visual appetite!

maj 6, 11:23pm

75. Death is a Welcome Guest by Louise Welsh - 4.3 ★
Category: Almond Crunch
May TIOLI #2: A 3 Letter Sequence is Repeated in the Title and in the Author's Name

Death is a Welcome Guest by Louise Welsh is the second book in her Plague Times trilogy. As the author continues her story of a world wide pandemic that wipes out civilization as we know it, she turns her focus onto an entirely new character, Magnus McFall. The book opens in London where Magnus is an aspiring comedian but he steps into the way of a rapist, and get himself arrested and accused of the act. The disease called “the sweats” is just breaking out. It kills quickly and indiscriminately. Society ceases to exist but before Magnus can do anything, he and fellow inmate, Jeb, must break out of the jail they are locked in.

Magnus and Jeb head out of London and travel north. Magnus longing to return home to the Orkney Islands where he has family and hopes to find a safe haven. They experience a number of incidents on the road and take sanctuary in a country house with a group of survivors. Unfortunately, this just places them in more danger than before. Eventually they break away and Magnus is finally free to follow his heart to the Scottish Islands.

I am totally hooked on this trilogy and I am looking forward to the final episode. Although the first two books have followed two very different characters, by the end of this story the author has started to weave their stories together so I am eager to see what happens next.

maj 6, 11:27pm

Your thread is fattening!

maj 6, 11:39pm

>27 Nickelini: I know - I have entirely too much time on my hands these days to think about food!

maj 7, 3:02am

Happy new thread, Judy. I'll be treating myself to a chocolate croissant later this morning...

maj 7, 8:42am

happy new thread. Fortunately I've had lunch, so while this thread is tempting, but I'm not hungry enough to find the biccy box...

maj 7, 9:36am

Happy new one, Judy!

maj 7, 10:29am

Happy New Thread, Judy. All your challenges seem to be filling in nicely.

maj 7, 12:46pm

Happy new one, Judy!
One of my favorite ways to have chocolate in the morning comes from our local coffee stand. It's a Blackout coffee, which is coffee and Nutella.

maj 7, 1:16pm

>29 MissWatson: Thanks, Birgit. I could go for a chocolate croissant right now!

>30 Helenliz: It was my husband's birthday yesterday so I am tempted by leftover birthday cake. It's not chocolate though, it's lemon.

>31 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie.

>32 dudes22: Thanks Betty, my various challenges are moving along nicely. I'm trying not to rush to finish the Bingo etc. but to make them last longer.

>33 mstrust: That sounds yummy, Jennifer.

maj 7, 2:45pm

Happy new one, Judy!

>26 DeltaQueen50: You are reminding me that I need to get to this trilogy. I picked up the first two books in a Kindle sale last year when you hit me with a BB for the first book.

maj 7, 4:07pm

>23 DeltaQueen50: I think that's a sentiment we can all agree with! Happy new thread!

maj 7, 4:27pm

Happy new thread Judy! Everything looks good here, if I couldn’t have chocolate I would pick lemon as my second choice.

maj 7, 8:00pm

Happy Friday, Judy! Happy New Thread. Have a wonderful weekend.

maj 7, 10:17pm

You've convinced me to give the Welsh trilogy a try, Judy.

maj 8, 4:59am

Happy New Thread!

maj 8, 6:06am

>34 DeltaQueen50: it might not be chocolate, but it is cake. I treated myself to a lemon drizzle cake for my birthday, so I approve the choice. Took us almost a week to eat it. mmm cake.

maj 8, 11:01am

>34 DeltaQueen50: I love to make and eat cake! We used to have a motto where I worked "If we don't have cake, it's not a party, just a meeting!"

maj 8, 12:35pm

>35 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie, I am enjoying the Plague Times trilogy, even with what we are dealing with in RL. She's a very good writer and I've been totally pulled into her story.

>36 Jackie_K: Thanks, Jackie.

>37 lsh63: I am a lover of anything citrus as well, Lisa, and my hubby much prefers lemon over chocolate.

>38 msf59: Hi Mark. I can't believe how quickly the weeks seem to be passing - it seems like we just finished a weekend and here we are having another!

>39 BLBera: I hope you enjoy the trilogy, Beth.

>40 MissBrangwen: Thanks, Mirjam.

>41 Helenliz: We are very partial to cake in this house, and of course, birthday cake is always special!

>42 Tess_W: You reminded me of when I worked in an office a number of years ago and we always celebrated each other's birthday by taking turns bringing in a cake. I picked up some great recipes and still to this day (15 years later) still make some of these cakes.

maj 8, 1:27pm

>26 DeltaQueen50: I really like the second book in this trilogy and have the third sitting on my shelf. I'm eager to get to it.

maj 8, 4:38pm

>44 RidgewayGirl: I am the same, I think I liked the second book even more than the first.

maj 8, 4:46pm

76. Crimson Lake by Candice Fox - 4.5 ★
Category: Purdy's Gift Box
May TIOLI #1: The Letter "X" is in the Title or Author's Name

Wow, not since I first read Belinda Bauer have I felt such excitement in reading a new mystery story. Crimson Lake by Australian author Candice Fox gave me that excitement. This is an author who has delivered a clever plot peopled with strong characters. In this case the main character is accused child molester, Ted Conkaffey. Even with his vows of innocence, he has been tried and convicted by the public, and although he has been released due to not enough evidence, he has not been cleared. His former life as a policeman is gone, his wife has divorced him and kept their child from him. He gets in his car and heads north and end up in Queensland, in the small town of Crimson Lake, near Cairns.

This far north means being closer to the equator and the climate here is hot and muggy. The author takes full advantage of this tropical setting with it’s jungle rain-forest and waters teaming with dangerous crocodiles. Ted hooks up with another of life’s losers, Amanda Pharrell who has already served time for murdering a friend when a teenager. They become partners in a private investigation firm, and their first case is to find out what happened to author Jake Scully, who disappeared a few weeks ago and the only sign of him has been his wedding ring which turned up in the belly of a crocodile.

Crimson Lake offers a lot of bang for the buck with three mysteries to absorb and follow but what really sold this book to me were the two main characters, the dark and introspective Ted contrasted against the fragile, brittle yet quirky Amanda. The story moved quickly and other than a couple of rather overdone characters, this story really worked. With it’s theme of justice gone wrong, trial by media and corruption unchecked, Crimson Lake was a great read.

maj 8, 5:18pm

>46 DeltaQueen50: This sounds good and I'm surprised I haven't heard her name before. Our library has 5 of her titles!

maj 8, 5:31pm

>46 DeltaQueen50: I also liked this one, particularly for the tropical north Queensland setting.

maj 9, 2:10am

>46 DeltaQueen50: This is on my WL, too - a recommendation from pamelad after I read another book by Candice Fox! I have travelled to Cairns a few times and studied there for one semester, so I am looking forward to reading something set in that region.

maj 9, 8:53am

>46 DeltaQueen50: - You had me at the first line (ha, ha)! And 4.5* too. - BB

maj 9, 10:25am

>46 DeltaQueen50: - Sounds good! I'm reading a Belinda Bauer right now... :)

maj 9, 11:38am

maj 9, 1:29pm

Happy North American Mother's Day to all. I had a lovely breakfast cooked for me by my husband and I am looking forward to his barbeque of steaks tonight. I have spoken to one daughter and expect I will hear from the other shortly. We won't be seeing anyone today, keeping our distance as advised but I am letting my family know that eventually I expect to get caught up in hugs!

>47 clue: I hadn't heard of Candice Fox before either and although I didn't make note of it, I expect I heard about her from someone here on LT - perhaps pamelad. She has won the Ned Kelly Award (Australia's crime writing award), but I don't know why she isn't better known here.

>48 pamelad: I loved the setting as most books I have read that are set in Australia are either in one of larger cities or out in the dry, outback areas. It's nice to get to know a different part of the country.

>49 MissBrangwen: Oh, I think you will really enjoy Crimson Lake as the setting is very much part of the story.

>50 dudes22: I love finding new authors that make me want to immediately get everything they have ever written - I've already picked up the next two books that she has written about Crimson Lake.

>51 katiekrug: Belinda Bauer gave me tingles when I first read Blacklands and although I still find that was her best one, I have liked everything else by her that I have read. She really has a knack of drawing her readers in with her sense of place.

>52 Tess_W: Enjoy, Tess! :)

maj 9, 3:47pm

>46 DeltaQueen50: So my library has a copy and I have placed it on hold. Looking forward to this one!

Happy Mother's Day.

maj 9, 8:47pm

>54 RidgewayGirl: I'll look for your thought on it. I hope it hits you like it did me!

maj 10, 1:19am

Happy newish thread, Judy. You got me with Crimson Lake.

maj 10, 3:13am

I need a southern hemisphere book for my bingo card. I see the library has a number of her books, so I'm mentally adding her to the list.

maj 10, 12:16pm

>56 Familyhistorian: & >57 Helenliz: Well, I sure hope everyone loves Crimson Lake as much as I did. I do love finding a new author!

maj 10, 12:25pm

77. Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim - 4.1 ★
Category: Chocolate Letters
May AlphaKit: I
TIOLI #5: Color or Shade of Color in Title

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim is an endearing historical fiction story that takes place in the years before the American Civil War. Set in Virginia, we meet Mattie, a slave woman and the new born Elizabeth, the white child who is placed in Mattie’s care. Mattie is forced to leave her own three month old son in the slave quarters and move to the big house in order to wet nurse and care for Elizabeth. She basically raises Elizabeth and grows to love her, but always yearns for her family, especially her son and his father, who she only gets to see once a week.

Elizabeth, although born to a wealthy slave owing family in Virginia is basically raised by Mattie. She develops a deep love for the black woman that eventually changes the way she views slavery and her own birthright.

While the story focuses on the gentle and loving relationship that Mattie and Elizabeth share and how they both manage to break away from the system that held them, there is no avoiding the abuses and mistreatment that slavery upheld. The two main characters, Mattie and Elizabeth are well developed characters that the reader grows to care about and although this story doesn’t bring anything new to the subject, it is both heartfelt and engaging.

maj 11, 10:20am

>46 DeltaQueen50: Good morning, Judy! Since I have now read all of Belinda Bauer's books including her new one, Exit, I now have another BB lobbed directly in my direction from you! Just requested this from my library! You haven't steered me wrong yet

maj 11, 1:03pm

>60 Dianekeenoy: Hi Diane, I hope you enjoy Candice Fox's books!

Redigeret: maj 11, 1:23pm

78. Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud - 3.8 ★
Category: Hedgehogs
Around the Year in 52 Books: Both Title and Author's Name Contain a "U"
May 1,001 Books Group Read
May TIOLI #10: In Honor of Photography Month

Hideous Kinky is a story that is told by a young English child about the travels her mother took she and her sister on. They go to North Africa and because the narrator is so young, she turns five during the course of the story, she recounts their chaotic life in a matter of fact manner. I couldn’t quite grasp the mother’s thought processes as she repeatedly put her family at risk, but it seemed that she mostly followed her whims and the children were left to cope as best as they could.

The girls run barefoot through the streets, make friends with beggar children, they eat hashish candy, and are given henna hair treatments by their prostitute neighbours. While the narrator seems to find this life normal, it becomes obvious that her sister, Bea, is missing security and stability. The mother takes up with a street entertainer, Bilal, which has the narrator hoping that he will become their father.

Hideous Kinky works wonderfully on some levels but fails in others. While the child’s narrative rings true in her complete lack of insight or comprehension about her bohemian mother and other characters, overall I found it difficult to believe that these were the words of a five year old as they were entirely too richly descriptive and detailed. I was frustrated by not knowing the back story, the hows and whys of how they came to be in Morocco and why the mother acted as she did. However, I will remember this book as a colourful travelogue that at times both charmed and intrigued me.

maj 11, 1:49pm

Oh my, I am having great difficulty with Librarything today. At times what I post isn't showing up, clicking on a link doesn't always take me where I am expecting to go, my Homepage doesn't load until I go away from it and then click back, and sometimes when I search my library it works - at other times I get a message saying "fatal error". I've been having these types of problems for a number of days and yesterday I couldn't get into Librarything at all for awhile. I am assuming that they are working on these problems so I am trying to have patience.

maj 11, 1:53pm

>63 DeltaQueen50: That was happening to me yesterday for a few hours. Guess it's your turn.

maj 11, 1:58pm

>64 RidgewayGirl: Well, I am glad that I am not the only one - but happy that your problems seem to be fixed.

maj 11, 1:59pm

>63 DeltaQueen50: - I was having some issues yesterday, including "fatal error" messages on Talk pages, but it's working fine for me today. Weird.

I hate to say it, but maybe logout and login again?

maj 11, 2:10pm

>66 katiekrug: I did the logout routine, Katie, and it does seem to be working better now. I tell you though, the first time I saw that "fatal error" message, I thought I had lost LT forever! I was beside myself.

maj 11, 3:20pm

>67 DeltaQueen50: - I certainly would have had a panic attack. At least knowing it was happening to someone else is a little bit better and if it happens to me, I won't hyperventilate.

maj 11, 4:19pm

LT's been doing odd things since middle of last week for me. Unable to post, no stars, unable to rearrange Talk. *fingers crossed* It's been OK today.

maj 11, 5:26pm

I love the "fatal error" message. Who died?

Yellow Crocus sounds like one I would love, Judy.

maj 12, 4:49am

In the Bug Collectors group it was said by LT staff that there was a server outage, so that was probably the reason for all these errors!

maj 12, 9:30am

I had fatal errors yesterday too. My mind went immediately to book titles. They got the wrong person??

maj 12, 2:01pm

LT is still giving me a few quirks that I am dealing with, like my Home Page doesn't load until I click away from it and then go back but at least no more "fatal errors".

Big doings here today as both hubby and I have an appointment to have our hearing checked. We both are definitely hearing impaired and will probably both be needing hearing aids. It would be nice to be able to have a conversation with him without the both of us shouting! Hearing loss seems to run in my family as both my Grandad and my mom (his daughter) needed hearing aids.

>68 dudes22: It's strange how dependant I have become on LT. I would be lost without it!

>69 Helenliz: & >71 MissBrangwen: I finally wandered over to the Bug Collectors thread yesterday and I was actually quite relieved to see that these problems are affecting a lot of us - that means they will work to correct them.

>70 BLBera: Yellow Crocus surprised me as I had very low expectations for it. I bought it a number of years ago as a Daily Deal and wasn't expecting it to grab me as it did.

maj 12, 7:44pm

>73 DeltaQueen50: Happy that you are not getting "fatal error" reports anymore. I can imagine your alarm! I've noticed recently that LT is sometimes very slow. When that happens I leave it for a while. But no "fatal errors". :-0

My husband and I both have hearing issues too and I get quite hoarse shouting (and I'm going bonkers having to say everything several times). We both had hearing checked and trial hearing aids but nothing helped. Now that everyone is wearing a mask understanding what they are saying is even more difficult. I hope your problem is easier to fix.

maj 13, 12:20am

>74 VivienneR: We've come home with hearing aids for both of us! We are trying them out for a 2 week period. I can't believe how loud everything is right now! My husband has already turned his way down and I think I will be turning mine down as well. Even drying my hands on a towel is noisy with these things. We go back next week for adjustments and then after two weeks make the decision as to whether to keep them or not.

Th biggest problem was wearing a mask, the hearing aid and then trying to add my reading glasses to the mix!

maj 13, 12:33am

79. An Olive Grove at the Edge of the World by Jared Gulian - 4.0 ★
Category: Vanilla Creams
BingoDog: Set someplace you would like to visit
Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge: Title has six or more words
May TIOLI #5: Color or Shade of Color in Title

A lightly humorous memoir of how two city boys found themselves the owners of an olive grove in rural New Zealand. The author relates all their ups and downs of adjusting to both country life, as well as life in a country that is far from their birthplace of America. With the help and guidance of their new neighbours they slowly learn how to care for their trees, how to raise chickens as well as nurse an obese Kunekune pig. It is obvious that they also have learned to love and appreciate their adoptive country.

I expect many of the stories have been slightly exaggerated in order to maximize the laughter which is fine by me, but I found the author skirted dangerously close to turning his helpful New Zealand neighbours into caricatures. I did enjoy his descriptive writing as he describes the beauty of New Zealand and how they have managed to establish themselves on this small piece of paradise.

Overall An Olive Grove at the Edge of the World is a warm-hearted memoir that covers the first four years of their new life in the country. As one of the skills they have perfected seems to be cooking, the author also includes a number of recipes that sound quite yummy.

maj 13, 12:40am

>75 DeltaQueen50: Th biggest problem was wearing a mask, the hearing aid and then trying to add my reading glasses to the mix!

Yes! it's all exhausting,

I'd hate to hear drying my hands on a towel. I'm rather happy to only hear the highlights.

maj 13, 1:34am

>75 DeltaQueen50: You must need something else to manage. A plate of appetisers and a glass of wine? But then you wouldn't need the mask. A hat?

Good luck with the hearing aids. I hope that with experience you can adjust them to your satisfaction.

maj 13, 9:25am

>76 DeltaQueen50: That one sounds interesting.

maj 13, 1:12pm

>77 Nickelini: I turned my aids down this morning and it's a little better. I am determined to give this a real try but I can see that in the future I probably wouldn't wear them around the house but save them for company and going out.

>78 pamelad: I think nicely styled hair is going to be a thing of the past for me. I have to put the aids on after I do my hair so they get neither wet or are touched by hair spray - but getting them arranged messes up my hair and if I try to comb it again I run the risk of dislodging the aids! We are going to the nursery later on today so I will get practise adding my mask.

>79 thornton37814: It was a nice light read, Lori. New Zealand always sounds like such a beautiful country.

Redigeret: maj 14, 5:32pm

80. Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith - 4.0 ★
Category: Chocolate Creams
May RandomCat: Let's Play Monopoly!
May TIOLI #7: Adapted for Film Within 5 Years of Being Published

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith is story that plays on the extremes of the good and evil that are in every person’s nature as well as being a psychological study on the power of suggestion. When Guy Haines meets Charles Bruno on a train travelling to Texas, they share stories about the one person in each man’s life they would like to be free of. In Guy’s case it is his soon-to-be ex-wife and for Charles it would be his father who he says tries to control him and his finances. Guy dismisses the plan that Charles comes up with for each man to murder the other’s nemesis and goes on his way. Charles meanwhile decides to go ahead with his side of the murders in the hope that Guy, once freed of his ex-wife will want to help him as well.

Thus begins an extreme case of cat and mouse, as first Charles drops hints that he is the one who committed the murder and then starts to pressure Guy into completing his half of the deal. When Guy comes to realize that Charles Bruno is a psychopath, he should have realized that this will never be over, that Bruno will always find a way to worm into his life. While Guy is both repulsed and attracted to Charles, Charles portrays an almost childlike hero-worship of Guy, wanting a part in all aspects of his life.

Strangers on a Train portrays this struggle of wills and also brings into the story a third party, a detective who appears to know exactly what questions to ask, and who to direct those question to. I found the book a little too long as the author included a lot of philosophical musings on the nature of good and evil. I also found Guy Haines rather stiff and boring, but, this author painted a very vivid picture of an alcoholic psychopath with Charles Bruno that kept me riveted to the pages.

maj 14, 7:31pm

>81 DeltaQueen50:
So many booktubers have reviewed this one. It does sound intriguing

maj 14, 8:28pm

>81 DeltaQueen50: I read this one and all the Ripley books years ago, and had almost forgotten how good Patricia Highsmith was. I just bought Deep Water and was tempted by Little Tales of Misogyny because of the title. So topical.

maj 14, 9:26pm

>82 Nickelini: I was surprised that this one isn't on the 1,001 Books List although The Talented Mr. Ripley is on it. I was also surprised that the book is very different from the movie that was based on it.

>83 pamelad: So far I have only read this one and The Talented Mr. Ripley but I certainly won't hesitate to pick up some more by her.

maj 15, 9:21pm

Hello Judy! Taking some time this weekend to catch up on all my friends on LT. Last weekend was DH's birthday, and friends were in town that we haven't seen since the Before Times. Oh, and his fave birthday cake? Strawberry Shortcake.

Hope your Mother's Day wish of hugging your kids comes soon for you, and thank you for some marvelous books and suggestions. The Louise Welch trilogy sounds intriguing. And highly topical!

Have you read John Scalzi's Lock In? It's about the after-effects of a plague and was as much a police procedural as SFF.

maj 16, 1:42pm

Happy newish thread, Judy! Now is always a good time for chocolate!! Have a wonderful Sunday!

maj 16, 1:58pm

>85 threadnsong: Hi Threadnsong and Happy belated Birthday to your DH. Strawberry Shortcake sounds like the perfect cake for this time of year - in fact, I might just consider putting one together for us next weekend. I can hardly wait until we start getting our second shot of the Covid vaccine - my list of what I want to do when it's safe is all about family!

I have read other books by John Scalzi but not Lock In, I will have to add that to my list.

Redigeret: maj 16, 2:01pm

>86 Carmenere: Hi Lynda, you are so right - now o'clock is always the right time for chocolate! I'm looking forward to a long and lazy Sunday. Hubby make breakfast and he will be BBQing dinner tonight so not much for me to do. Although I am going to make a pineapple cream pie.

Redigeret: maj 17, 12:49pm

81. Empire by Devi Yesodharan - 3.5 ★
Category: White Chocolate Cameos
May HistoryCat: Empires & Dynasties
May TIOLI #3: Set in a Country That Stars With A Vowel

Empire by Devi Yesodharan is a novel of historical fiction that is set in the time of the 11th century Chola dynasty of south-east India. The story is told by the two main characters, Aremis and Anantha. Aremis is a young Greek girl who is taken captive after a failed raid. Anantha, who is the powerful Commander of the Empire’s armies, is the man who chose her as one of the captives and had her trained to be solider. Although Aremis becomes a highly skilled warrior she isn’t trusted to lead men into battle as she is both a woman and a foreigner. She is instead placed in the palace guard and soon has the trust of the king, Rajendra, who keeps her by his side as a bodyguard. Under this king, the Chola Empire has stretched to include parts of Cambodia, Thailand, Sumatra and Java and now they are planning on going to war against the Srivijayans.

Aremis and Anantha have a strange relationship, neither friends or enemies, yet they are entwined due to their service to the Empire. When Aremis has to kill a man while on a private mission for Anantha, they both fall from the King’s favor and they are eager to set sail for battle in order to earn back the trust that they have lost.

Unfortunately while Empire is a story of betrayal, love, conspiracy and war and I appreciated the setting and the rich descriptions of life in the Chola Empire, it became obvious that this must be the first book in a planned trilogy. The story became a series of sub-plots none of which were resolved and there was no closure as the book ended very abruptly.

maj 18, 12:21pm

82. The Taliban Cricket Club by Timeri Murari - 4.3 ★
Category: Chai Tea Caramels
May Reading Through Time: Journalists
2021 GeoKit: Asia
May TIOLI #3: Set in a country that starts with a vowel

The Taliban Cricket Club by Timeri Murari is set in Afghanistan during the years that the Taliban was in control of that country. Rukshana is a journalist who cannot work at her craft under this regime as they demand that women never be heard or seen outside of their own home. Women cannot hold jobs or go out on their own without a male guardian. Young, educated and ambitious, Rukshana feels like she has been caged. Her one hope is to get out of Afghanistan but family complications have kept her there far too long and she has attracted the attention of a high-ranking Taliban who has decided to marry her.

At the same time it is announced that the Taliban is going to allow cricket to be played and teams are to be formed to play matches that will determine which team gets to go to Pakistan for training. As her brother and cousins form a team with the hope of winning and escaping to Pakistan, Rukshana is chosen to be their coach. She played the game in college and now, burka discarded, disguised as a man, hiding from the Taliban and working on how to get both herself and her brother out of the country, she also becomes the team coach.

I absolutely loved this book, it combined the all too real horror of living under these terrorist thugs who place no value on life or decency with the feel-good atmosphere of training at cricket and finding a way for the group to leave the country and find a better life. The Taliban Cricket Club left me with a bitter-sweet feeling as I rooted for these characters but, at the same time, I am aware that the Taliban is still very much a part of Afghanistan life.

maj 20, 7:36pm

83. Witch Child by Celia Rees - 3.8 ★
Category: Peanut Butter Daisies
May ScaredyKit: Witches
Reading Through Time Quarterly Challenge: 17th Century
May TIOLI #3: Set in a Country That Starts with a Vowel

Witch Child by Celia Rees is a YA historical fiction novel about Mary Newbury, a foundling child who has been raised by a women who was tortured and hung as a witch. Mary’s real mother is able to spirit her away and put her on a ship to America, but unfortunately she has been placed with a group of highly religious Puritans. Although Mary tries to fit in and follow all the rules, she is different. She enjoys her solo wanderings in the forest and she also befriends an Indian boy who teaches her much about the flora and fauna of this new world. When she is recognized as the ward of a witch, fingers start to point at her, those that are jealous of her spout lies and Mary is put in the position of having to flee to the wilderness for her life.

The author ties Mary’s story into the actual history of the pilgrim settlements near Salem, Massachusetts and the outcome is quite seamless. Mary’s story is told through the pages of her diary and through it the setting comes vividly to life. I felt the book revealed itself as YA when it came to the characters however as they seemed stereotypical with the Puritans being overly stiff and intolerant, while the two Indian characters, although painted in a positive light, felt like cardboard characters in that one was a wise healer, and the other, an obvious romantic interest, had been raised by whites and spoke perfect English.

These quibbles aside, I enjoyed the story and I even can forgive the abrupt ending as I knew in advance that there is a sequel and I already have it sitting on my shelf.

maj 22, 5:04pm

Although I couldn't be there in person, one of my daughters set up a zoom family meeting so I got to see my Mum and wish her a Happy 100th Birthday. I'm not sure if she really understood what was going on, but it was lovely to see her.

maj 22, 6:16pm

>92 DeltaQueen50: Happy birthday to your mum on her 100th. Will the vaccine rollout allow you to visit her soon?

maj 22, 6:46pm

>92 DeltaQueen50: Glad you could at least see her!

maj 22, 7:12pm

<92 I'm pretty worn out with ZOOM but this is such a great way for it to be used! I'm sorry you couldn't go but hopefully it won't be much longer.

maj 22, 9:49pm

>93 pamelad: Our vaccine roll out seems to be taking a long time here in Canada. There were difficulties getting enough of the vaccine so they decided to give as many people as possible the first shot and then start giving the second shots after a 3- 4 month wait. I had my first shot in the first week of April but don't expect to get the second until some time in July. We are actually living under some pretty tight restrictions right now - absolutely no travel unless necessary. Hopefully this will ease as more people get vaccinated. I expect I won't get to go visit my Mum until September or so.

>94 Tess_W: It was great to see her. She was pretty unsure of what was happening, but she did recognize us all.

>95 clue: Some of the family are finding ZOOM pretty tiresome as their jobs seem to consist of one ZOOM meeting after another, but it was nice to finally see everyone after such a long time.

maj 22, 10:06pm

>96 DeltaQueen50:
When I got my vaccine in early May, the doctor who screened me said there's lots more coming in, so he said it'll likely be sooner than 4 months between vaccines. With my friend who has had both, she didn't have to wait that long. Fingers crossed!

maj 22, 10:08pm

84. Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks - 3.0 ★
Category: Almond Crunch
BingoDog: Author From Southern Hemisphere
May TIOLI #5: Color or Shade of Color in Title

Lotus Blue by Australian author, Cat Sparks is a post-apocalyptic story that tells the story of Star, a seventeen year old girl who, with her older sister, medic Nene are part of a group of nomads, travellers that journey along the Sand Road, crossing dangerous desert that is populated by rogue machinery and other strange monsters, remnants from a past time and long forgotten war. While her sister appears to guard a secret about their past, Star longs to break free, to experience a different life and is making plans to run away when their wagon caravan sees an Angel satellite crash to Earth, this, in turn, sets off a series of events that sends Star in a new direction. Meanwhile, an old and powerful entity called a Lotus Blue has awoken in the desert. This was the deadliest of all war machines and appears to have it’s own agenda.

I struggled with this story as I found the many characters, the detailed world building and references to so much technology quite confusing. Rather like a puzzle, each nugget of information needed to be evaluated and placed in a way that would move the story forward. Eventually I was disappointed that the main character, Star, really wasn’t all that important to the story as she seemed to be there more to react to rather than control the events. The author did a stellar job in bringing this futuristic land vividly to life, but unfortunately I simply had to work too hard to make sense of the story.

maj 22, 10:09pm

>97 Nickelini: Oh, I sure hope we get to have our shots sooner! Everything that's crossable is now crossed!

maj 23, 11:51am

Happy 100 to your mom! That's amazing! I hope you get your second shot soon and that you'll be able to go see her.

maj 23, 12:42pm

>75 DeltaQueen50: I imagine earrings will be a thing of the past too. Often I whip out the earring as I take off the mask. With a hearing aid this would be tricky in the extreme.

Glad your hearing aids work so well. At least that gives you options even if you have to listen to the towel working. We tested the hearing aids but they were no help at all. I'm a bit disappointed in the entire process. After a trip to the hearing specialist in Kelowna (about 5 hours away), and an MRI, my hearing is exactly the same (although the MRI showed other things that I can deal with). But no indication about what to try next.

So glad you were able to share your mother's birthday via zoom.

Redigeret: maj 23, 4:01pm

>101 VivienneR: - re:#75 - my husband had me make him masks with straps that go around his head & neck so they wouldn't interfere with his hearing aids (and glasses). Seems a lot of the guys like them and I've been making more for them. Plus they hang on the neck making it easy-on/easy-off.

I've been wondering all month, Judy, if you would get to see your mom but didn't want to ask. Sorry it had to be by zoom. hope you get to see her soon.

maj 23, 4:37pm

Happy birthday to your mum! What a milestone!

maj 23, 5:25pm

>102 dudes22: Great idea! I've seen a few guys wearing that style.

maj 23, 5:51pm

Happy 100th to your mom, Judy. I hope you get to see her sooner than September. Fingers crossed that more vaccine is on the way.

The Taliban Cricket Club sounds good. Off to check to see if my library has a copy.

maj 23, 8:06pm

Happy Sunday, Judy. I hope you are doing fine and enjoying those current reads.

maj 23, 10:25pm

>100 rabbitprincess: Thanks, RP. It was great to see her but at the same time it's made all the more aware of how much face to face time we have missed!

>101 VivienneR: Even though my ears were pierced, I have to admit that I just don't wear earrings any more, actually I suspect my piercings have overgrown. I can see wearing my hearing aids when I watch tv or when I go out but around the house, I kinda enjoy the quiet. It's too bad you didn't have any luck with the hearing aids, it's always good to have options.

>102 dudes22: I can see that a mask that ties at the back would be better with the hearing aids. I may have to look into that as I have a feeling that we will be wearing masks well into the future. I've seen some people who use a bandana or scarf which they wear around their neck and pull up when needed, I thought they were just trying to be cool - but maybe they were protecting their hearing aids!!

>103 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer. She looks pretty good but I could tell that she was pretty confused by the Zoom meeting.

>105 BLBera: I sure hope so, Beth. All I want is to get that second shot and then start to live life a little more normally. My province of B.C. borders Alberta and apparently the police had road checks up going into this holiday weekend and they were turning back people who were travelling for recreation. I can't even start to think about "borders" between provinces - it's just all so futuristic!

>106 msf59: Hi Mark, I've just finished a vintage mystery that I loved (review to follow) and now I am starting a Scandicrime book, The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg, obviously I am in the mood for mystery!

maj 23, 10:36pm

85. Green for Danger by Christianna Brand - 4.5 ★
Category: Cherry Cordials
May RandomCat: Let's Play Monopoly!
May TIOLI #5: Color or Shade of Color in Title

Green for Danger by Christianna Brand was published in 1944 and is a clever murder mystery with the unusual setting of a military hospital during World War II. The author’s descriptions of the air raids were realistic and added a sense of impending danger to the characters who were on duty while the bombs fell. A bombing victim is brought into the hospital but unfortunately he dies on the operating table. His death was unusual enough to have the police brought in to investigate. Inspector Cockrill arrives and goes through the motions of questioning the seven people who had access to the victim, but it isn’t until one of those questioned is killed that he fully suspects murder.

As the author presents her characters and gives us a small glance at their past, I found myself suspicious of each one at different times. Green for Danger is a true puzzler, it moves along at a fairly quick pace and totally drew me into the story. I had read her previous Inspector Cockrill mystery entitled “Heads You Lose”, and I much preferred this book. The Inspector is determined to unveil the guilty one and while the six suspects are very genteel and don’t point fingers at one another, their witty banter kept the pages turning.

Green for Danger is a top-notch mystery and I am glad that I picked it up. I have seen the 1946 British film that was made from the book with Alastair Sim playing the bumbling yet crafty Inspector perfectly. So I heartily recommend both reading the book and watching the film.

maj 24, 8:20am

>108 DeltaQueen50: That was a great choice for the MysteryKIT as well as the Monopoly challenge.

maj 24, 1:41pm

>108 DeltaQueen50: For those interested in Green for Danger (great review, Judy!), it will work for next month's Golden Age MysteryKIT.

maj 24, 4:49pm

>108 DeltaQueen50: This one's been on my TBR list forever -- time to bump it closer to the top!

maj 24, 7:54pm

>109 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori. I was quite obsessive about acquiring the Green Set when I played Monopoly as a child. I suspect that I would pout terribly if I couldn't work out a trade that would allow me to have the Green Set!

>110 NinieB: It would work well for next month's MysteryKit! I am spoiled for choice for the Golden Age Mystery theme and have decided to go with Gladys Mitchell and a Mrs. Bradley mystery.

>111 christina_reads: I think you would enjoy Green for Danger, Christina.

maj 24, 8:12pm

>112 DeltaQueen50: I often owned the green set too. Those rents are rather nice, especially when you put hotels on them!

maj 24, 8:30pm

>113 thornton37814: And three different locations! I was more than willing to forego Boardwalk and Park Place! ;)

Redigeret: maj 26, 5:41pm

86. A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson - 4.2 ★
Category: Chai Tea Caramels
2021 GeoKit: Asia
May TIOLI #11: Story told in dual time-lines

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson is a dual time story with one part of the novel being set in 1923 as we follow the misadventures of three women missionaries. They disrupt the birth of a child on the side of the road, and, when the young mother dies, find themselves under house arrest in the city of Kashgar, which is one of the westernmost cities of China. They are looked upon with great suspicion mostly because they are three unaccompanied, unveiled women. While all three are there as Christian missionaries, it soon becomes clear that Eva, the narrator, cares less about religion than she does about the travelling and exploring of new places, and staying close to her sister. She plans on writing a book, a guide for women on bicycling.

The second part of the narrative takes us to present-day London. Frieda is an academic researcher who has been having an affair with a married man for quite some time. She finds herself involved in the immigrant underground when she befriends Tayeb, a sensitive artist from Yeman who is a homeless illegal immigrant. When Frieda finds that she has inherited the possessions of a woman she didn’t know, she and Tayeb work together to investigate the connection.

Other than the shared themes of love, loss and redemption, it isn’t obvious why or how these two stories are connected. Both narrators are childless women, both apparently love to ride bicycles, although there is very little actual cycling done, and both are embarking on a voyage of self-discovery. Eventually a link is established, but by that time I had already worked out the connection. This is a debut novel and I find myself a fan of this author who supplied exotic locales, descriptive imagery and unusual but relatable characters. A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar was a story about both connections and loneliness and I thought the author did a very job with these concepts.

Redigeret: maj 26, 9:24pm

>115 DeltaQueen50:
That sounds fun and interesting! Where did you learn about this?

maj 26, 10:40pm

>116 Nickelini: Hi Joyce, I am positive that I first heard about this book here on LT, I am not sure who exactly hit me with the book bullet, but with such an intriguing title, how could I not read it!

maj 27, 5:08pm

87. The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg - 3.8 ★
Category: Sweet Georgia Browns
Around the Year in 52 Books: Related to The Beginning
May MysteryKit: European Mysteries
May TIOLI #13: Part of a Series

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg is the first book in a Nordic mystery series as well as being the author’s debut book. While this book is not as well written as some other Nordic mysteries by the likes of Jo Nesbo, Mari Jungstedt or Henning Mankell, the story grabbed my attention and I enjoyed the read. Set in the smaller town of Fjallbacka that was originally a fishing town and has become a tourist town, the main characters are an author who has been specializing in biographies and a police detective.

Erica Falck has returned to her home town due to the death of her parents. She is enjoying the peace and quiet and has been working on her latest biography, when she becomes involved in the discovery of a childhood friend’s body. It is soon made clear that this was a murder and Erica wants to not only get to the bottom of the mystery of what happened to her friend, but also can see a book about this mystery in her future. Police Detective Patrick Hedstrom, is also a childhood friend and he is excited to be able to rekindle their relationship.

Although I thought the police procedures were rather lacklustre, I can see a lot of possibilities for the future of this series. While this particular mystery was rather tidily wrapped up as family secrets were revealed, the author has managed to generate a number of other subplots that I am hopeful she will be exploring in the future. As a debut novel, this one kept my attention and gave me hope that future volumes will be even better.

maj 28, 11:50am

88. She by H. Rider Haggard - 3.2 ★
Category: Hedgehogs
June 1,001 Group Challenge: A Book Someone Else Recently Read
June TIOLI #12: A Book Considered "Trash" by Some

She by H. Rider Haggard is an adventure novel that was originally published in 1887 after being previously serialized in a magazine. This fantasy adventure is the story of Cambridge professor Horace Holly and his ward Leo Vincey and their journey to a lost kingdom in the African interior. While the story is very unbelievable, I enjoyed being reminded of how I felt as a child when I would watch old Tarzan movies on “Jungle Theatre”.

This story about a two thousand year old sorceress, “She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed” and her tribe of cannibals is sheer balderdash but there were touches of misogynistic attitudes, a great deal of racism, and definite colonial attitudes that gives the reader a good look at the mindset of imperialist Victorians in the 1880s. Although the story is dated, it is a fact that this book was a trailblazer of original adventure stories, and is well remembered and at times copied even today.

maj 28, 5:39pm

>119 DeltaQueen50: Brings back fond memories of Rumpole's wife Hilda.

maj 28, 8:00pm

>120 pamelad: LOL - I suspect the title "She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed" has been given to more than a few wives over the last century or so!

maj 29, 12:14pm

89. Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas - 4.0 ★
Category: Passionfruit Hearts
May TIOLI #13: Part of a Series

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas is the first in her historical romance series entitled “Wallflowers” with each book featuring a woman who, for one reason or another, is destined to spend her coming out years sitting on the sidelines. Four of these wallflowers become friends and make a pact to help each other find the husband of their dreams.

Annabelle is a particularly lovely young lady whose family’s financial troubles puts her on the overlooked shelf. At twenty-five, she is finishing her last year as a dowry-less debutante and the sharks are circling in the hopes that she will give up on marriage and agree, instead, to become someone’s mistress. She and her friends make elaborate plans to entice and trap a desirable candidate, but a certain Simon Hunt keeps getting in her way.

I was looking for a light, frothy romance so this book certainly hit the spot and while Annabelle’s story was resolved fairly quickly, the author used this book to introduce the rest of the Wallflowers and has set the stage for more of their adventures.

maj 31, 12:41am

>115 DeltaQueen50: I read A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar a few years ago. It was interesting.

It looks like the interval between our shots has been bumped up to 8 weeks, Judy. I'm expecting to get an email for my second shot within the next week or so. I'm surprised you haven't heard anything yet.

maj 31, 9:11am

>122 DeltaQueen50: - I enjoyed this series when I read it years ago.

maj 31, 10:41pm

>123 Familyhistorian: I am hoping to also hear about getting the second shot in the next few days, Meg. As my husband got his first shot on April 1 and I on April 7th, we are both due.

>124 katiekrug: I will most likely continue on with the series, Katie. It's always good to have something light and frothy in the back pocket! :)

jun 1, 12:05pm

90. The Whispering Wall by Patricia Carlon - 4.0 ★
Category: Chocolate Letters
June AlphaKit: C
June TIOLI #8: At least 2 of the title words begin with the same letter

The Whispering Wall by Australian author, Patricia Carlon was originally published in 1969. This is a clever, claustrophobic mystery where the main character, Sarah Oatland has been paralyzed by a stroke. She lies in her bed, unable to move or speak or even convince her nurse or her greedy niece that she can understand what they are saying. Her niece, Gwenyth, appears to have ideas on how Sarah’s estate should be handled and appears to resent spending money Sarah’s care. She arranges to divide the house into three flats, renting out one to a single woman and her young daughter, Rose, and the other to Murray and Valma Phipps.

Sarah finds herself able to listen in on the downstairs tenants through the wall and hears Murray and Valma plot to lure her step-father to visit and then do away with him. When young Rose lets it slip that Sarah can understand what is being said, and the Phipps discover that she knows of their plans, Sarah hears that not only the step father is going to be murdered, they are planning to do away with her as well.

This is a slow burner of a mystery, the tension and suspense build and the author skilfully shows the frustration and terror that Sarah is going through in not being able to communicate. This is the second Patricia Carlon mystery that I have read and I find her work reminds me somewhat of early Ruth Rendell mysteries. The Whispering Wall was a mystery that I found very hard to put down once I started it.

jun 1, 12:32pm

That sounds really good, BB! Thanks, I've never heard of this author.

Redigeret: jun 1, 4:00pm

>127 mstrust: Patricia Carlon was an Australian crime author whose work was mostly published during the 1960s and 70s. I believe she is out of print so she is very difficult to find, I've managed to get my hands on two, both of which I enjoyed and I continue to check second-hand stores for her.

ETA: I just checked Amazon and I do see that a number of her books are available but they charge quite a bit for them.

Redigeret: jun 1, 4:12pm

>126 DeltaQueen50: I'm also a Patricia Carlon fan. You might like Celia Fremlin, a British writer of psychological suspense. I particularly recommend The Hours Before Dawn.

Just checked and saw that you've read it.

jun 1, 4:20pm

Just stopping by to say hello and try to avoid any book bullets!

I hope you hear about that second shot soon so you can visit your Mom in person.

jun 1, 9:03pm

>126 DeltaQueen50: This sounds good!

jun 1, 9:34pm

I love how you keep churning through the books, Judy. I just finished and enjoyed The Aviator's Wife. Have you read it?

jun 2, 3:16am

>129 pamelad: Oh, I loved The Hours Before Dawn, I gave it 4 stars at the time, but thinking about it now, I think it was pretty much a 5 star read. I still think about it. I have one other Celia Fremlin on shelf, The Trouble Makers but I am saving it for a special occasion.

>130 hailelib: I managed to book our 2nd appointments today. They are booking so many now that I couldn't get into any of the three local clinics but they added some extra time on Sunday, June 20th at the South Surrey Recreation Centre and I got us booked into there. It's about a thirty minute drive so not too far.

>131 rabbitprincess: It was good and I sure wish Patricia Carlon books were more readily available.

>132 msf59: Hi Mark, yes, I have been doing a lot of reading. I keep taking book bullets from people here at LT (including you) and I fear I will never catch up! I have The Aviator's Wife on my Kindle, sounds like another one I need to bump up.

jun 2, 3:19am

I have been nursing a very sore shoulder over the last few days but today I can see that it is starting to get better. Not sure exactly what I did to cause all this pain, but for a couple of days I was lurching around the place with only the use of one arm. I plan to continue to rest it and hopefully it will come back to normal soon.

jun 2, 8:40am

>134 DeltaQueen50: Take good care of yourself, Judy!

jun 2, 9:14am

The Carlon book sounds good, Judy. I will look for her books. I enjoyed The Ice Princess as well and have been meaning to continue with the series. I suspect you will get to it sooner than I do! :)

I hope your shoulder continues to improve.

jun 2, 10:31pm

I was impressed with The Whispering Wall and have managed to find two more of her novels. I like that old fashioned voice (although not old fashioned when she wrote it!)

jun 3, 7:09am

>126 DeltaQueen50: - I checked and our library system has a few of her books including this one so a BB for me. If both you and Kay like it, how can I go wrong?

jun 3, 12:19pm

>135 MissWatson: Thanks, Birgit. It's getting better every day, I need to remember that I can't do repetative tasks for hours at a time anymore. My body is reminding me to be more aware of that.

>136 BLBera: Hi Beth. Just what I need - another series! I did, however, like the setting and the story was interesting so I will definitely be continuing on at some point. Carlon is well worth keeping an eye out for.

>137 RidgewayGirl: I love vintage mysteries from the 20s and 30s, but had overlooked some authors that published a little later, 1940 - 1970. In recent years I have found that I have enjoyed books by Carlon, Margaret York, Catherine Aird and Celia Fremlin. I can see how these authors led the way for authors like Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters whose mysteries I devoured when younger.

>138 dudes22: Betty, I am jealous that your library has some Patricia Carlon. Enjoy reading this author.

jun 3, 12:31pm

91. Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood - 4.0 ★
Category: Hedgehogs
June 1,001 Group Challenge: An Author From Your Own Country
June TIOLI #9: Title is Shorter Than the Author's Name

Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood was originally published in 1988 and is a story in which the main character, artist Elaine Risley looks back upon her childhood and growing up years with intensity and wit. As Elaine returns to Toronto to attend a retrospective of her work, her memories of growing up alongside her friend, Cordelia and her sharp observations about the city are vivid and evocative. We gradually become aware of her bitterness and pain as she delves into the complexity of this relationship, and how friendships can be layered, on one hand this is someone who understands you perfectly while on the other this is a person, who can dish out the emotional torment, and skewer you in your weak spots. There is a line in the book that goes, “ We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat.” I think many women have had the experience of a relationship like this.

Cat’s Eye is a powerful character study that is doled out through glimpses of Elaine’s life through her vividly recounted memories. Atwood captures her subject perfectly, and the story has a feeling of becoming an introspective journey for both the author and the reader. This author has the skill and ability to deliver just the right amount of story, leaving much up to the reader to fill in, making her passages personal and meaningful to all.

Cat’s Eye is a book filled with imagery and reflections on women, their relationships and how they deal with life. For me this was an engaging and worthwhile read and while there are other Atwood books that I personally prefer, Cat’s Eye is memorable.

jun 4, 11:45am

92. Fallen Women by Sandra Dallas - 4.0 ★
Category: Chocolate Letters
June AlphaKit: D
June GenreCat: Historical Fiction
June TIOLI #4: Rolling Challenge Based on Tags

Sandra Dallas is an author that I know I can rely upon to provide a good story, so I was quite excited to read her first historical mystery, Fallen Women. The book is set in Denver, Colorado in 1885 as Beret Osmundsen arrives ready to look into the death of her sister, Lillie. She had been notified about Lillie by a telegram from her aunt and uncle, a prominent judge and candidate for the Senate. But the circumstances surrounding Lillie’s death are horrendous. She had taken up residence in a brothel, and had died in a brutal manner, being stabbed eight times. Beret knows that her sister had a dark side and wasn’t an angel by any means. She also has her private reasons for feeling a little guilty regarding Lillie, as she had thrown her sister out, after finding her in bed with her husband.

Beret works alongside of police detective, Mick McCauley who was at first a reluctant partner but soon learned to appreciate her opinions and observations. Unfortunately Beret didn’t have a lot of finesse or people smarts, she barged into places that she shouldn’t, she wasn’t shy about throwing accusations around and never seemed to think about her personal safety. When other prostitutes were murdered in a similar manner most people thought the perpetrator was a madman. Beret pressed on with her investigation feeling strongly that Lillie was murdered by someone who knew her.

While the resolution that was revealed toward the end of the book was no great surprise I enjoyed the journey. The author introduced a number of less than savoury characters that needed to be eliminated, and gave the reader an interesting look at Denver’s high and low societies. The chemistry between the main characters was intriguing so overall Fallen Women was an entertaining read.

jun 4, 10:21pm

>141 DeltaQueen50: You've hit me with a BB!

jun 5, 9:27pm

>142 Tess_W: I hope you enjoy it, Tess!

jun 5, 9:32pm

93. A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - 4.0 ★
Category: Peanut Butter Daisies
Around the Year in 52 Books: Related to a word given to you by a random word generator - "Guide"
June TIOLI #8: At Least Two Title Words Start With the Same Letter

I just finished The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee and found this to be a fun romp through the 18th century as I read about Henry “Monty” Montague’s Grand Tour. At the age of eighteen, he is sent off to Europe for a year of enlightenment accompanied by his sister, Felicity and his best friend Percy Newton. After enjoying the sights of Paris he is instructed to deliver Felicity to her finishing school, drop Percy off at law school in Holland and then return home ready to settle down and learn about the business of running the family estate and becoming an adult.

In reality, Monty is desperately in love with Percy but afraid to tell him of his feelings. Percy is also hiding a huge secret, and Felicity would rather study medicine than social airs and graces. Monty’s father has been trying to beat the devilishness out of him but the young man continues to go from one escapade to another. Sending these three off to Europe, even with a designated supervisor, is asking for trouble and trouble is exactly what they find. All too soon, the three young people are involved with evil nobles, highway robbers, mad scientists, and pirates as they lurch around Europe in an effort to solve a number of dilemmas.

As both a chronicle of adventures and a rather sweet love story, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue works. Throughout the course of the story it touches upon issues of sexuality, gender, race and abuse without once seeming to preach or interrupting the flow of the story. This book is a YA story that tells it’s readers that even though it can be difficult to be true to one’s own self, it can also be rewarding to drop the camouflage and expose that true self to the world.

jun 5, 10:05pm

>141 DeltaQueen50: This is one of four by Dallas that I've let sit on the TBR much too long. Even though I've never read anything by her I didn't like. Must get to them!

jun 5, 10:22pm

Hi, Judy. Glad you got to "be" with your mom for the birthday. Hugs to both of you.

Redigeret: jun 5, 10:38pm

>144 DeltaQueen50:
That sounds fun! But were there actually girls named Felicity in that era? Hmmmm

jun 5, 11:13pm

>144 DeltaQueen50: I thought both Mackenzi Lee books that I've read were really cute YA trifles -- fast-paced and fun dessert books. I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

jun 6, 9:47am

>147 Nickelini: Yes, I've run across it in family history in the early 1800s.

jun 6, 12:53pm

>145 clue: I am a fan of Sandra Dallas. I think her best works are some of her earlier books like The Diary of Mattie Spencer and Tallgrass but I do always find her books enjoyable.

>146 ronincats: Hi Roni, it was lovely to get to see my Mom in person and now that we have a date for our second shot and the province is starting to open up again, we may be able to plan a trip to the Island in July or August.

>147 Nickelini: Ha! You got me googling the name "Felicity". Apparently the Puritans used it during the 17th century and it grew in popularity from there as >149 clue: informs.

>148 pammab: Yes! I felt pretty much the same about this book, I mostly appreciated that it was a YA book that appreciated that everyone isn't the same and that there is room for everyone at the table.

jun 6, 1:16pm

>150 DeltaQueen50: - I think The Diary of Mattie Spencer is one of my favorite Dallas books too. Although I still have plenty to read. Maybe I can fit one in this year.

jun 6, 2:34pm

>149 clue:, >150 DeltaQueen50:

Now that you mention it, that sounds familiar. A pretty normal name by Puritan standards, actually.

jun 7, 11:54am

>151 dudes22: "Fitting one in" can sometimes be somewhat of a problem - but it also means that we are lucky to have such a wide choice of books to read!

>152 Nickelini: I guess most of the "virtue" names can be traced back to the Puritans.

Redigeret: jun 7, 12:13pm

94. Columbus in the Americas by William Least Heat-Moon - 3.7 ★
Category: Vanilla Creams
June Reading Through Time: Rewritting History
June TIOLI #1: A Liquid is Pictured on the Cover

When I studied the founding of America in school many, many years ago, Columbus was the hero-explorer that we put on a pedestal as the person who discovered North America. Today I wonder why we ever thought that since there was already a thriving population of indigenous people who certainly were here first and had a well developed culture. In the long-run we now see that the first Europeans did more harm than good. I picked up Columbus in the Americas written by William Least Heat Moon in an effort to see what is thought about this man today.

The author opens his book with a claim that he is trying to remain with the facts that are known and that he feels that eventually the popular myths about Columbus will fade. No, he did not discover America, but he did open it, for better and, certainly for the indigenous people, for worse. The original voyage in 1492 was launched with an objective of finding a trade route to China and although he failed at that, this voyage was an incredible feat of sailing as the expedition was plagued by tricky winds that impeded forward progress and his ships soon were in bad shape and needed repairs. By far the most difficult task was keeping the crews spirits up, they were sailing into unknown waters and had no idea of what they were going to find, little realizing they were about to enter a new world, not just of the Americas, but a new world of concepts, commodities, and politics.

The people of these newly discovered lands were considered child-like and Columbus was dedicated to converting these natives to his Catholic faith. In truth, these natives had their own language and religion. They grew crops of corn, tubers, cassava, and peppers. They fished and caught crabs, they spun and wove cotton, made decorative pottery and ornaments of shell and bone. Columbus disregarded their culture and instead, felt that these people should become servants or even slaves. Unfortunately the guilelessness and generosity of the natives aroused brutality and greed among the Europeans and eventually led to genocides that decimated the natives that the newcomers felt were in their way. And of course any sight of gold was enough to trigger the worst attributes of the conquerors.

Eventually other countries sent their own expeditions to various locations and the fate of the indigenous peoples of North America was set. Today we know that Columbus wasn’t the first European to set foot in the new world that honor goes to Leif Erickson. Also Columbus didn’t really come in peace, he came for gold and profit. He and his men left behind violence and disease when they left after that first voyage. He went on to make four more voyages to the New World each time ruthlessly searching for gold.

Our thoughts about Christopher Columbus has undergone a change in recent years. Some feel that statues of Columbus should be removed and the many cities, rivers and other landmarks that carry his name should be changed. Whereas to some he was an intrepid explorer, to others he was a ruthless monster, trading in enslaved people. The story of Columbus has undergone many revisions over the years and it seems that today’s record is actually more balanced between his qualities as an explorer and shame at his crimes against Indigenous peoples. Although I suspect there are better books about Columbus, I do commend William Least Heat Moon for writing a factual and unemotional account of his voyages and showing Columbus very much a product of his time.

jun 7, 4:52pm

>94 Tess_W: Last year I read a good non-fiction about Columbus,
The Last Voyage of Columbus: Being the Epic Tale of the Great Captain's Fourth Expedition, Including Accounts of Mutiny, Shipwreck, and Discovery by Martin Dugard. I liked its balance. He surely was a product of his time. I have also read some parts of his diaries at the University library--they weren't permitted out of the reading room, and from the parts I read he was really concerned about the spiritual welfare of the natives. That being said, they way to convert is not at the end of a sword!

jun 7, 5:06pm

>154 DeltaQueen50: and >155 Tess_W:

Both books sound interesting and I'll consider reading them when in the mood for history.

jun 7, 5:43pm

Hi Judy - I've had Cat's Eye -- and many other Atwoods on my shelves for ages. I keep meaning to have an Atwood year and read some of them.

jun 7, 5:54pm

Hi Judy I’m just stopping by to tell you that I just downloaded Crimson Lake!

jun 8, 11:55am

>155 Tess_W: I tend to forget just how important (and in control) religion was in Columbus' time. The Catholic church had a stranglehold on Europe and Columbus was opening up a whole new land for them to control. It's unfortunate but religion, greed and the Europeans feelings of superiority doomed the Indigenous peoples. I am taking note of the Dugard book as I would like to read more about Columbus at some point.

>156 hailelib: Many people still have very strong feelings about Columbus - both pro and con so he is an interesting figure to read about.

>157 BLBera: Beth, I spent years avoiding Atwood, but now I have four of her books under my belt and I find I quite enjoy her writing.

>158 lsh63: I hope you enjoy Crimson Lake, Lisa - especially since it's the first in a series!

jun 8, 2:37pm

>126 DeltaQueen50: The Whispering Wall is a BB for me. Thanks, Judy!

jun 8, 9:21pm

>160 VivienneR: You are most welcome, Vivienne!

Redigeret: jun 8, 9:41pm

95. The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones - 3.6 ★
Category: Himalayan Pink Salt Caramels
June ScaredyKit: Diverse Perspectives
BingoDog: About or By Marginalized People
June TIOLI #7: Celebrating Morphy's Birthday

I found The Only Good Indians by Steven Graham Jones a strange story of supernatural revenge as four American Indian men find themselves fighting for their lives against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them as payback for how they exterminated an elk herd 10 years ago. Lines were crossed that day when they opened fire upon the elk, killing more than they should have, including one young female who was pregnant. Tribal and cultural rules were also broken as the young men should not have been hunting at that location as this was land designated for use by the tribal elders.

The book opens with the death of one of these young men, Ricky. The official cause of death was that he was beaten to death outside a bar, but from Ricky’s perspective, there were elk there that night. We next read of Lewis who is still haunted by the memory of that day. When he starts to see visions of the female elk, his suspicions and guilt overtakes him. As the entity gains in strength it finally goes after the last two men, Gabe and Cass, who still live on the reservation. They experience the anger of the elk as well.

I never was fully absorbed by this story, and the changing perspectives, including that of the elk, was confusing. Although I felt a certain amount of empathy for the all the characters at one time or another, the sheer weirdness of the story and the level of violence made The Only Good Indians a rather disturbing horror novel.

jun 8, 11:49pm

>162 DeltaQueen50:
Hmm. I'm happy to read your thoughts but not jumping on this one. If I stumble across it, maybe. Thanks for posting about it though because I've seen the title but didn't know anything about it

jun 9, 11:33am

>163 Nickelini: I was curious to read The Only Good Indians as I know this author has won a number of awards for his horror stories. I found it interesting but I didn't love it. I will be giving him another try at some point as I have another of his books on my Kindle.

jun 9, 1:01pm

I've read two of Jones' books, Mapping the Interior and his latest, Night of the Mannequins. Both of them have some vagueness in the characters that kept me from getting too attached because I don't really "know" them. I think this vagueness worked better in MTI, as it was a story about a boy who is possibly haunted.
I'm not sure if the author is intentionally going for this quality in his writing or not.

jun 9, 2:45pm

>162 DeltaQueen50: Glad to read your opinion of The Only Good Indians. I had it on my wishlist but on reading a bit more about it decided it wasn't for me (I don't care much for horror stories in general) so I was happy to see you confirmed my decision. However, it does sound intriguing still.

jun 9, 4:50pm

"I keep taking book bullets from people here at LT (including you) and I fear I will never catch up!" This is the life we have chosen, Judy. Grins...

Sorry, The Only Good Indians fell a bit short for you. It is a dark, twisted book and not for all tastes.

jun 9, 6:24pm

>165 mstrust: Yes, "vagueness in the characters" describes it perfectly. I definitely felt like I was being held off from getting too close to these characters. It will be interesting to see if I feel the same about another of his books. I have Mongrels on my Kindle.

>166 VivienneR: The Only Good Indians get high points for originality, Vivienne. It was an interesting angle, having the people being haunted by the animals that they hunted.

>167 msf59: Yes, it's a hard life we chose - I guess we just have to suffer along. ;)

jun 9, 9:22pm

96. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly - 4.3 ★
Category: White Chocolate Cameos
June TIOLI #5: Flower in Title

Every once in awhile a book comes along touches the emotions of the reader and Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly proved to be one of those for me. This is a quiet yet powerful story that follows three women through the years of World War II and beyond. Socialite Caroline Ferraday spends the war in New York City mostly attending charity lunches and putting together care packages for French orphans. Under her sophisticated surface however, she lives in fear for the love of her life, Paul, a Frenchman who returned to France to try and get his Jewish wife out. She has learned that both have been sent to concentration camps. Kasia Kuzmerick is a young Polish woman who joins an underground youth group when Hitler invades but is arrested, along with her mother and sister, as a political prisoner and sent to Hitler’s concentration camp for women, Ravensbruck. Finally there is Herta Oberheuser, a young German doctor who is a loyal Nazi, she accepts a post to Ravensbruck and at first is appalled at what she is expected to do, but as the book advances, we find Herta participating in death by injection and the horrendous experimental surgeries. Herta excuses herself these atrocities by explaining that these prisoners were going to be killed anyway.

Apparently this novel is a mash-up of two books the author was working on and although I found Caroline’s story the least interesting, it was a needed break from the horror and darkness of the other two stories. I also read that these characters were based on actual women whose lives did converge on Ravensbruck and the experimental operations that were conducted.

I listened to an audio version of the book which was well done with each of the women having a separate and distinct voice. It is never easy to read about the atrocities that were committed or about the death camps but Lilac Girls was a gripping story that was both informative and emotional.

jun 10, 11:51pm

97. The Ion Raider by IanWhates - 4.1 ★
Category: Almond Crunch
June SFFFKit: It's All About the Journey
June TIOLI #12: The Author's First Name Comes Alphabetically Before the Second Name

The Ion Raider by Ian Whates is the second book in his Dark Angels trilogy and although it isn’t a direct continuation from the first book, it’s cliff hanger ending has me hoping that the next book is immediately connected. I let too much time go by between the first book and the second, but the third is now very high on my “need-to-get-to” list.

This was a fast paced adventure that brings together some of the members of the crew that were introduced in book one. They are defending themselves from an unknown yet powerful group that appears to be hunting them down and killing them. As Jen and Lessa join up together, they come to the conclusion that they need to hunt down the remaining Dark Angels in order to fight this menace. They revive their old ship, the Ion Raider, and set off to warn the other Angels. This proves to be difficult as many of the “Angels” aren’t in favor of resuming their previous identities. Meanwhile, Drake, accompanied by his alien companion, Mudball, has taken on an unusual assignment to assess an Elder artifact cache for the large corporate bank where he works as a field operative. This assignment proves to be much more dangerous and life-changing than he could ever have guessed.

The author continues to drop hints about the past deeds of the Dark Angels and how they came to acquire the special skills that each has. This book ends with Drake being transported to the unknown and his previous crew hurtling through space, hopefully to intercept him so that they can turn the tables on the bad guys in the last book. Although I didn’t find this entry quite as exhilarating as the first, I am eager to continue the story and find out what happens next.

jun 11, 10:11am

>169 DeltaQueen50: I still haven't read Lilac Girls but i read the prequel, Lost Roses. If you don't have it on your list you may want to take a look at it. I thought it was very good.

jun 11, 12:26pm

>171 clue: I do have Lost Roses on my Kindle for future reading and I have also added her Sunflower Sisters to my wishlist. I believe these books are all loosely connected and written in much the same style - following three main characters that eventually connect in some way.

jun 11, 4:48pm

98. The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton - 4.5 ★
Category: Hedgehogs
June 1,001 Group Read
June TIOLI #1: Liquid Pictured on the Cover

The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton is set in the 1920s and follows the romantic misadventures of Susie and Nick Lansing. They have been socializing with the wealthy even though each is actually quite poor. Relying on their good looks and clever conversation, they accept the patronage and gifts that are directed their way. Although each had planned on snagging themselves a rich spouse, they fall in love and decide to wed. Susie comes up with a plan whereby they will enjoy their honeymoon year together, accepting help from their rich and generous friends, but at any time if one of them finds a rich partner, they will part and divorce with no consequences.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story-line reminded me of some of the screwball comedies that were made in Hollywood during the 1930s and I couldn’t help but picture Carole Lombard and Cary Grant in the roles of Susie and Nick. Although this could be looked at as a rather cliched love-or-money story, Edith Wharton elevates the book to another level with her beautiful writing and her clever satirical digs at the wealthy. Of course as in all screwball romances, there are misunderstandings, jealousy and troubled consciences that have our young couple losing their trust in one another, separating and perhaps exploring other options. Nick can be a little priggish at times and Susie is a definite schemer, but I grew attached to this couple and wanted to see them work it out.

The Glimpses of the Moon shows the lighter side of Edith Wharton, this romantic romp through the world of 1920s privilege is a book that is not meant to be taken seriously, it is sheer entertainment. It’s romantic settings such as Lake Como, Venice and Paris only add to it’s captivating magic. This book surprised, amused and entertained me.

jun 11, 5:23pm

>173 DeltaQueen50: I read that one a couple years ago and really liked it also! Definitely Wharton's most (or only?) cheerful work, in my experience at least!

jun 11, 8:08pm

>173 DeltaQueen50: Glad you liked that Wharton, I'm going to take it as a BB. I'm divided on Wharton, loved Ethan Fromme, but hated The Age of Innocence

jun 11, 9:24pm

>174 christina_reads: Yes, I was surprised at the light-heartedness of the story but as always her writing just pulled me into the story.

>175 Tess_W: I have loved every Wharton that I have read so far but I haven't gotten to The Age of Innocence yet. I think it's the last major Wharton book that I haven't read. Ethan Fromme is still my favorite, it was a 5 star read for me.

jun 12, 4:21pm

Just catching up on your thread, Judy. Hope you're doing well!

jun 12, 9:51pm

>177 VictoriaPL: Hi Victoria. Yes, everything is going well here. The Covid numbers are going down and it looks like our province will be opening up slowly over the next couple of months.

jun 12, 9:59pm

99. The Retribution by Val McDermid - 3.8 ★
Category: Sweet Georgia Browns
June TIOLI #4: Rolling Challenge Based on Tags

The Retribution by Val McDermid is the 7th book in her police procedural series that features DCI Carol Jordan and Criminal Profiler Tony Hill. In this outing they are up against an old nemesis, Jacko Vance, a serial killer that they put behind bars twelve years ago. Jacko has escaped from prison and is hell bent on revenge against those that he blames for his downfall, with Carol and Tony at the head of the list.

While Carol and her team are working on case of a killer who is murdering prostitutes, they are also having to watch their backs for Jacko not realizing how twisted his revenges are going to be. I always enjoy reading about this duo even though I find Carol a little too full on, but I found I had to overlook a number of implausible details in this one, beginning with Jacko’s escape. I also found it difficult to believe that Jacko would delay leaving the country in order to wreak his revenge.

I have been reading this series for years and will certainly be continuing on as the books are solid, well crafted police procedurals. Also as this book has brought about an enormous change in Tony and Carol’s relationship I need to read on to see what happens next.

jun 13, 10:24pm

100. River of Porcupines by G. K. Aalborg - 3.7 ★
Category: Maple Leaf Melties
June TIOLI #2: Read a Western

River of Porcupines by Canadian author G. K. Aalbourg is a western historical novel set in the early 1800s. The book won the 2019 Spur Award for best historical novel, but I found it a fairly standard story. What I did enjoy was the setting of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Touching on the rivalry between the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North-West Company of fur traders, we follow the adventures of Garth Cameron, a young fur trapper who works for David Thompson of the North-West Company. He is charged with guiding a young metis woman to safety when it becomes apparent that the brutal Hudson Bay trapper, Louis Savard has his eyes on her. The story then swings back and forth with the young woman, Ilona, at times with Garth and at others in Louis Savard’s hands. To keep things exciting, the book also throws in confrontations with both Blackfoot and Cree Indians.

From their base at Rocky Mountain House in Alberta, the story takes us along the Athabasca River and into lands that would someday become Jasper National Park as the men pursue each other in a desperate attempt to claim Ilona. I did enjoy the fact that Ilona did not play the part of the victim, she proved to be resourceful at both survival in the wilderness and in keeping these men from overtaking her life.

jun 15, 2:29am

101. The Monster's Wife by Kate Horsley - 4.1 ★
Category: White Chocolate Cameos
June RandomCat: Everything Old is New Again
Around the Year in 53 Books: Set on an island
June TIOLI #6: Completes a Square of the Seattle Library Bingo Card

This Gothic tale is a sequel to the original Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Set on the island of Hoy in the Orkney Islands, the story is told by Oona, an island girl who meets Dr. Victor Frankenstein when he takes shelter in this remote place. The doctor is running away from his monster in the hope that the creature will leave both him and his family alone.

Both Oona and her best friend May work at the manor house where Frankenstein resides. At first highly suspicious of the strange experiments that the doctor is conducting, Oona eventually decides the doctor is working for the betterment of science. When May disappears, the Island people think that both the doctor and Oona did something to her. Oona fears that May’s boyfriend turned violent or perhaps that the creature, who has made his presence on the island known, has abducted her. As she searches for the truth, she puts herself into jeopardy.

This was an intense, disturbing story. We must discover if Victor Frankenstein is the kindly dedicated scientist that he appears to be, or is he an obsessive genius that only cares about his work. Is the creature who lurks in the background a dangerous murderer or a victim who should have our sympathy? The story slowly draws the reader in and the author’s love and respect for the original Frankenstein novel helps her give us a new perspective on this classic story. By delving into literary history we are given the horror of the original, set in a fresh and unique location.

jun 15, 9:41am

>181 DeltaQueen50: This sounds great! I return to Frankenstein every few years and; thIS looks like it would be a worthy addition to the next round #BB 🙂

jun 15, 9:55am

>181 DeltaQueen50: That does sound interesting.

jun 15, 10:05am

Hi Judy

>173 DeltaQueen50: I've never heard of this Wharton - I must check it out.

>181 DeltaQueen50: This is an interesting cover.

jun 15, 12:16pm

>182 Tanya-dogearedcopy: I thought it was really well done and the author's knowledge and love of the original book was plain to see.

>183 Helenliz: I am always a little wary of books that are meant to be sequels or prequels to the classics, but I had read this author before and knew she was an excellent story-teller and wordsmith.

>184 BLBera: Hi Beth, I had never heard of The Glimpses of the Moon before either, but it is on the 1,001 List and was chosen as a group read this month. I loved it and although different from some of her more well known works, I really enjoyed it. I also loved the cover on The Monster's Wife.

jun 16, 12:38pm

102. The Saltmarsh Murders by Gladys Mitchell - 3.8 ★
Category: Cherry Cordials
June MysteryKit: Golden Age Mysteries
June TIOLI #6: Completes a Square in the Seattle Public Library Bingo Card

The Saltmarsh Murders by Gladys Mitchell is the fourth book in her Mrs. Bradley series of murder mysteries. Originally published in 1932, this book felt more like a spoof on Agatha Christie than a full on mystery what with the odd characters and Mrs. Bradley’s rather off-hand approach to solving the murders. I did find some of the social issues that it raised rather outdated but the story is clever and the memorable characters, including that of Mrs. Bradley, made the book a fun read.

The book is narrated by the curate, Noel Wells, and through him we are privy to a number of village secrets and concerns. The vicar’s wife thinks that her ex-housemaid’s illegitimate baby was fathered by her husband. As the baby has been kept from public view, there are also rumors that the baby was fathered by a negro. When this young mother is strangled, her ex-boyfriend is arrested but most in the village don’t think he did it. Mrs. Bradley and Noel band together to try and figure out both who the father is and who murdered the young woman. Meanwhile another woman goes missing and upon Mrs. Bradley’s advice they find her body in the grave of the first murder victim which then gives them another murder to solve and a missing body to find.

The story takes many twists and turns with plenty of red herrings being thrown about. Mrs. Bradley is a larger than life character who uses psychology to solve her cases. There is no examination of a murder scene or intensive study of the victim, instead we are treated to assorted conjectures and witness statements that are pieced together and used to discover who the murderer is.

jun 16, 1:26pm

>186 DeltaQueen50: After seeing a couple of episodes of the Mrs Bradley series on tv I picked up one of Mitchell's books but was disappointed that it didn't live up to Diana Rigg's presentation of the character. I will probably read more of the books but I'd love to see more of the series.

jun 16, 3:10pm

>187 VivienneR: I haven't seen any of the Diana Rigg's programs - in fact, I have difficulty imagining her in that role. Mrs. Bradley is described as a yellowish, crone-like woman who reminds people of a lizard. She doesn't laugh, she hoots and she is constantly poking and pushing at the people around her. I can see that Diana Riggs could certainly play the crafty side of her.

jun 16, 4:54pm

>186 DeltaQueen50: Mrs Bradley's eldritch screech remains in my memory. I've read a lot of these and quite like them, though Mrs Bradley is certainly over the top.

jun 16, 7:30pm

I have some of the Mrs. Bradley series but I don't think I read more than one or two. (They were brought here by my mother after she finished them.)

Redigeret: jun 17, 2:11am

>188 DeltaQueen50: Diana Rigg was a very glam, sophisticated character in a big car, draped in furs, she may even have waved around a long cigarette holder. I was shocked the first time I read one of the books. :)

jun 17, 11:03am

>186 DeltaQueen50: After checking availability on Overdrive and in the library where I work, I found it for $1.99 on Amazon. Not sure when I'll get to it, but that one sounded too good to pass up.

jun 17, 11:52am

>189 pamelad: I am also intrigued by the Mrs. Bradley mysteries, I have now read the first four and I find they all have a touch of strangeness about them. And, of course, Mrs. Bradley is a very unique character.

>190 hailelib: From the few that I have read, I would think the reader would know pretty quickly if these books are for them. There seems to be an element of parady in all of them.

>191 VivienneR: I imagine that Diana Riggs made the role her own. I will always remember her as the glamorous Mrs. Peel from the 1960s show "The Avengers"!

>192 thornton37814: I hope you like it, Lori.

jun 17, 12:58pm

>193 DeltaQueen50: >i>"I will always remember her as the glamorous Mrs. Peel from the 1960s show "The Avengers"!

Yes, me too!

Redigeret: jun 17, 4:45pm

103. Slightly Married by Mary Balogh - 4.5 ★
Category: Passionfruit Hearts
June TIOLI #6: Completes a Square in the Seattle Public Library Bingo

Slightly Married by Mary Balogh held me total enthralled throughout the read and is a great start to her series about the Bedwyn Family. I found this story about a marriage-of-convenience to be both sweet and touching as wealthy coal miner’s daughter, Eve, and second son and heir to the title of Duke of Bewcastle, Aiden, enter into an arrangement whereby Eve can keep her property and wealth.

Eve has adopted a household of misfits that include a couple of young children. Aiden at first is taken aback at all of these “lame ducks” but eventually he come to admire Eve for her caring and loving nature. Of course they both fall in love with each other, but it takes most of the book before either one is confident enough to declare their love. I was in no hurry for this “happily-ever-after” ending as I was quite simply immersed in all the tiny details of the story.

This was my first Mary Balogh book but certainly won’t be my last. I have already picked up the rest of the Bedwyn family books and look forward to enjoying them at my leisure. Slightly Married moves at a leisurely pace as the two main characters slowly discover love, but the reader is rewarded with a lovely Regency period read.

jun 17, 5:03pm

>195 DeltaQueen50: - That sounds like a good one to add to my list!

jun 17, 5:16pm

Sweet Thursday, Judy. I love the fact that you continue to enjoy your westerns. I should revisit more of it, since westerns were my launching pad into my reading life. So many books, so little time, as the saying goes.

jun 17, 5:35pm

>195 DeltaQueen50: A BB for me, also!

jun 17, 5:41pm

>195 DeltaQueen50: Oh yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed your first Balogh! There are some real gems in the Bedwyn series, so I'll be interested to see your thoughts as you continue.

jun 17, 6:16pm

>195 DeltaQueen50: No ebook available in Au or in the Open Library, and no copy in any local library, unfortunately, or I would have given this a try. Glad you have a whole series to enjoy.

jun 18, 1:12pm

>196 katiekrug: I really liked this one, Katie. It actually came off as quite believable which is something many of the romance books can't quite do.

>197 msf59: I do love my westerns - especially ones that tend to be stark and a little dark. On the downside, a really good western is a rare find.

>198 Tess_W: I think you will enjoy Slightly Married, Tess.

>199 christina_reads: Christina, you are the one who gave me the BB for Slightly Married so thank you for that. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

>200 pamelad: I hate the fact that all continents do not always have access to the same books or even other entertainment. In some ways we are lucky here in Canada as being a member of the British Commonwealth, we get most of the British books, and sharing a border with the U.S. means we have access to American products. But there is always a book or two that we can't get and it drives me crazy!

Redigeret: jun 19, 8:30pm

>195 DeltaQueen50: I don’t read many Regency Romances and am not particularly sentimental, but I picked that one up a couple years ago on the recommendation of christina_reads and, I was actually a bit tear-eyed when they declared their love for each other! 🥲

I really should get the next one in the series, perhaps for GenreCat next month…

jun 19, 12:28pm

>202 Tanya-dogearedcopy: Tanya, I used to devour romance novels when I was younger but I had gotten away from it in more recent times. Then I read a couple of reviews that got me interested in picking some up again and have started reading the odd romance. I quite enjoy them. Christina must have got us both with Slightly Married!

jun 19, 4:18pm

104. Safe and Sound by Philippa East - 4.0 ★
Category: Sake and Sakura Truffles
Around the Year in 52 Books: Published in 2021
June TIOLI #8: At Least Two of the Title Words Begin With the Same Letter

I struggled at first with Safe and Sound by Philippa East, it seemed to take a lot of reading to establish both the story and the characters. By the end of the book, however, I had been absorbed by this psychological thriller and was glued to the pages.

Housing manager Jennifer Arden discovers a deceased tenant where the body has been lying undiscovered for about 10 months. It appears that she died of natural causes, but Jennifer feels tremendous guilt because she failed to do an annual inspection which would have revealed the corpse much earlier. Jennifer becomes obsessed with why this woman, Sarah, who was known to have a lot of friends and a loving family, was not found for months. As she digs into Sarah’s life, a number of discrepancies are revealed. She eventually meets with an ex-boyfriend and a former coworker who help her uncover Sarah’s secrets. Jennifer is also dealing with her own problems. She suffers from excessive anxieties, and can easily lose touch with reality. We learn that there has been an incident in her own life that has led to her paranoia about her son’s health.

I found I had to be patient with the character of Jennifer as I must admit I found her quite annoying at first. She seemed so unstable that I couldn’t totally trust her as a reliable narrator. As the story progressed it was very easy to question Jennifer’s choices and judgments. The author draws her readers along and Safe and Sound becomes an intriguing read about a woman desperately holding on while at the same time trying to uncover the truth.

jun 19, 7:59pm

I used to read Mary Balogh's books and still have a lot of them though it has been a long time since I read one. I do think she was better at storytelling than a lot of the writers who followed Signet's formula for a regency romance. She, like the other good ones, did move on to more involved plots and wrote some good historical novels though the romance was still important.

jun 19, 9:00pm

I'm reading Mary Balogh's Someone to Love, which is currently available in Australia for the Kindle and Kobo for 99 cents so was unavoidable. It's the first in the Westcott series, and I found it when looking unsuccessfully for Slightly Married.

jun 19, 9:07pm

>194 VivienneR: Yes, Mrs. Peel! I was sorry when she left the series. My girlfriends and I all loved that show. I remember how Steed and Peel were standing on a chess board in the opening credits.

jun 20, 7:32am

I never watched the original but I enjoyed the movie with Uma Thurmond as Ms Peel.
Sir Sean really chewed the scenery in that one.

jun 20, 12:46pm

>205 hailelib: I certainly found my first Mary Balogh a step above many of the other "bodice-rippers" that I have read. So far on my re-discovery of historical romances, she and Julia Quinn stand out.

>206 pamelad: Uh-oh another series that I may have to look into!

>207 LadyoftheLodge: I am aging myself here, but I was a young teen when Mrs. Peel came on the Avengers. The chemistry between herself and Steed was incredible, and although he had had previous partners before her and another one after she left the program, Mrs. Peel and Steed became a cult favorite.

>208 VictoriaPL: I could never bring myself to watch the movie since I loved the originals so much. I guess that TV program was developed because James Bond was so popular in the early 60s.

jun 20, 12:48pm

It's Father's Day in North America and I did my wifely duty and made my husband breakfast and served it out on the deck. It's a beautiful day and I think it's going to get quite warm. Daughters are expected to come by later and then hubby and I have our appointments for our 2nd vaccine shots early in the evening.

Hope everyone has a great day!

jun 20, 2:20pm

105. Valley of the Kings by Cecelia Holland - 3.1 ★
Category: Chai Tea Caramels
Around the Year in 52 Books: Celebrating the Grand Egyptian Museum
June GenreCat: Historical Fiction
2021 GeoKit: Africa
June TIOLI #14: Both the Title and the Author's Name Contain Double Letters

I found Valley of the Kings by Cecelia Holland to be a rather odd combination of two stories. Originally published in 1977 under a pseudonym, the novel is divided into two distinct parts. The first part, and in my opinion, the better part, is the story of Howard Carter, the Englishman who discovered King Tut’s tomb in 1922. The second half of the book travels back in time to ancient Egypt under the rule of Tut.

I was fascinated to read about Howard Carter, his relationship with Lord Carnavron, and the devious way he had to circumvent the British bureaucrats and officials in order to dig where he wanted. Many of the archaeologists of that time were much more interested in treasure hunting than in learning the history and culture of ancient Egypt and although Carter was rather stiff and self-righteous, he was definitely not in it for the treasure. When the story abruptly changed and jumped back in time, I was disappointed as I wanted to learn more about Carter and how the tomb was excavated. The second story takes us back in time and is set during King Tut’s reign. I found this overdone and rather silly and in the end I was left wishing the author had simply written about Howard Carter.

Cecelia Holland is the author of many very good historical novels, unfortunately this isn’t one of them.

jun 20, 2:40pm

I'm interested to hear who'd giving shots on a Sunday evening. I didn't realize that was happening in the Lower Mainland. I'm still waiting for my invite for #2, but my husband had his a couple of weeks ago. I hate this stage of waiting where you calculate you're getting close to your turn, but waiting and wondering if you've been missed.

jun 20, 2:51pm

>212 Nickelini: I was surprised to find out that I was able to book on a Sunday - and in the evening. We are going to the South Surrey Recreation Centre, I am scheduled for 7:10 pm and my husband for 7:25pm. These appointments were made through the Fraser Valley Health Authority and I think they were so overloaded with requests that they arranged to have some of their locations open in the evening. I also see that they have just added another "drive-thru" location. I am just so happy to finally be getting that second shot!

jun 20, 3:43pm

>212 Nickelini: It's odd here. Husband was invited for his first jab by the surgery, and then invoted for jab 2 the same way with about 2 days notice. I booked my jabs online and was able to book the second one when I booked the first.

>213 DeltaQueen50: Hope that you both feel OK after jab 2.

jun 20, 6:09pm

Hurray for getting your second shots! I have shot 1 on Wednesday :) I booked both shots at the same time, and shot 2 is currently scheduled for October, so I am hoping that I will be able to move it up a bit.

jun 20, 8:02pm

Congrats on the vaccinations!

jun 20, 9:31pm

Hooray for your second shots, Judy. A nice father's day present.

jun 20, 10:09pm

What a great relief to get that second shot out of the way! I hope your side effects are negligible. In two weeks you will both be invincible.

jun 21, 7:37am

So happy to hear you've gotten your shots. I know how relieved I was after getting my second.

jun 21, 11:56am

Everything went well and neither of us is experiencing any side affects other than a slightly sore arm. We are having a spell of quite warm weather so for the next couple of days we are just going to sit tight under some fans and do as little as possible.

Elder daughter's Father's Day present was a complete steak dinner that sits in the freezer until we are ready for it. Then just a small amount of cooking is required. Along with that comes fresh strawberries and a dip that taste a little like cheesecake. Younger daughter is coming over later on in the week and she's making us a batch of her delicious chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

>214 Helenliz: I've felt that Canada was quite disorganized over both the supply of and distributing of the vaccines but they seem to have fixed their issues and the program seems to be rolling along well.

>215 rabbitprincess: Hopefull you will be able to move that second shot up, RP, as the supplies seem more available at this point. We ended up getting our second shots about 12 weeks after the first. Hooray for getting that first one!

>216 VictoriaPL: We are happy and relieved to finally have the full doses of the vaccine. Timing is good as a lot of things are opening up right now and more is coming during July.

>217 BLBera: Definitely my hubby's best Father's Day present!

>218 RidgewayGirl: We are excited that we both have now had the shots and yes, in a couple of weeks we will truly feel much safer!

>219 dudes22: It's a great feeling isn't it, Betty. I still feel quite concerned about countries that aren't doing as well as we are as I truly believe this is a world-wide concern that we need to fix.

jun 21, 3:43pm

>220 DeltaQueen50:
At least in BC, they've really pulled it together. I made my appt for #2 this morning, and it will have been 8 weeks since shot #1

jun 21, 7:52pm

>221 Nickelini: Oh, good for you, Joyce, 8 weeks is good timing.

jun 21, 7:54pm

I am feeling nice and cool and quite spoiled today as my grandson stopped by with a small air conditioner and set it up for me by my computer. I can't believe the difference. This room is cool and comfortable but the rest of the apartment is stifling. I may just have to sleep in my recliner tonight!

jun 21, 11:18pm

106. The Cannons of Lucknow by V.A. Stuart - 4.0 ★
Category: White Chocolate Cameos
June HistoryCat: Military/War/Revolution
June GenreCat: Historical Fiction
June TIOLI #11: The Title is in the Format of "The XXX of YYY"

The Cannons of Lucknow is a continuation of the Alex Sheridan series about an English Calvary Officer posted in India during the Sepoy Rebellion. This book carries on directly from the previous book which had described the attack and massacre at Cawnpore in which Alex was one of a few survivors, although he lost both his wife and baby.

Alex has recovered from his wounds and is eager to join General Havelock’s small force as they fight their way through to the besieged garrison at Lucknow. Alex is put in charge of a volunteer group of men who, although they know how to ride horses, need to be trained into Calvary. There isn’t a lot of story to this book as the author kept faithfully to the facts known to describe how this force fought their way through to bring relief to the garrison who had been holding off the rebels for three months.

The author has an excellent knowledge of the times that she writes about. She vividly chronicles the events and actions taken by both sides. Her expertise is military history and she has written about the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean war, and the Indian mutiny. She delivers her information in a concise yet easy-to-read style. There is one more book in this series which I will be reading in the near future.

jun 23, 3:21pm

Tomorrow is my 13th Thingaversary and so to celebrate my discovery of such a wonderful site, I have been purchasing books - 13 and 1 extra to grow on. My Thingaversay books are:

: The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline
: The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers
: Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand
: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
: The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
: The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
: The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
: Death in the Family by Tessa Wegert
: Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge
: A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill
: The Trespasser by Tana French
: Dust Off the Bones by Paul Howarth

: When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash (Pre-Ordered for September)

Hopefully, lots of good reading to come from these!

jun 23, 3:40pm

Happy Thingaversary, Judy! Looks like a good pile of books to help you celebrate :)

jun 23, 3:46pm

>226 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. I think pretty much every book that I bought was due to a BB that I picked up here on LT. :)

jun 23, 4:21pm

>225 DeltaQueen50: Happy Thingaversary!

jun 23, 4:49pm

Happy Thingaversary! Enjoy your new books.

jun 23, 4:49pm

>225 DeltaQueen50: Happy Thingaversary! Looks like a good haul :)

jun 23, 4:57pm

Happy Thingaversary! Nothing nicer than a pile of new books.

jun 23, 7:22pm

Happy Thingaversary! Looks like a good pile of reading material.

jun 23, 7:46pm

Happy Thingaversary, Judy. I've taken your idea to heart and am preparing to start my purchases soon for my next Thingaversary in Jan.

jun 23, 9:34pm

>225 DeltaQueen50: Happy Thingaversary! The Trespasser was very good :)

jun 23, 10:45pm

Wishing you at the very least 13 more fun years reading with this great group of readers. I wonder if I'll have read all of my current TBR by then.

jun 24, 2:38am

Thank you >228 spiralsheep:, >229 hailelib:, >230 Jackie_K:, >231 Helenliz:, >232 LadyoftheLodge:, >233 dudes22:, >234 rabbitprincess: & >235 clue: - Finding LibraryThing was like finding a home with a family that is all as book crazy as me - what joy!

Betty, I will look forward to seeing what books you pick for your January Thingaversary.


>235 clue: If you are anything like me, yes, you will have read your current TBR by then - but, you will have just as many, if not more, books on the shelf that you have added. It seems to be a never ending cycle.

jun 24, 6:25am

Happy Thingaversary, Judy, and many returns!

jun 24, 8:10am

Happy Thingaversary and happy reading of your book haul.

jun 24, 11:03am

Happy Thingaversary!

jun 24, 11:45am

Happy Thingaversary! It wouldn't be the same here without you!

jun 24, 12:08pm

Thanks >237 MissWatson:, >238 BLBera:, >239 mstrust: and >240 VictoriaPL:. It's hard to believe that 13 years have gone by since I landed here. I appreciate this site so much, we are a lovely group of people, diverse in our reading tastes but so respectful of one another. My reading has grown and, although I still love my history and my mysteries, I have come to also love many other genres as well.

jun 24, 12:18pm

107. When We Were Lost by Kevin Wignall - 3.6 ★
Category: Peanut Butter Daisies
June TIOLI # 16: Title Starts With Who, What, When, Where, Why or How

When We Were Lost by Kevin Wignall is a YA adventure story about a group of high school students who embark on a field trip to Costa Rica but their plane crashes somewhere in the jungle. The survivors were from a small section at the back of the plane that broke free before the plane crashed. The main character, Tom, is a loner and he decides that the self appointed “leader” of the group is not helping them, but actually hindering their efforts to survive. They realize that the pilot had deliberately flown off course and much further than the original destination. They were stranded in the jungle, somewhere in South America, and had only themselves to rely upon.

The story develops into a typical survival tale with the group having to deal with attacks from predators, heat stroke, insects, snakes, and weather as they trudge through the jungle, following a river that will hopefully lead to civilization. Being a YA story, there wasn’t a lot of character development, or depth to the story, but as tensions rise and the group splinters, the story becomes an exciting action driven narrative.

I love survival stories so this was an enjoyable escape read for me. The setting was unusual enough to hold my attention and the pages were kept turning by the author wisely careening from one crisis to another. This isn’t a book that I would recommend to anyone other than survival junkies like myself but if you are into this type of genre, you would most likely be entertained by this adventure.

jun 24, 1:53pm

Happy Thingaversary, Judy! What a wonderful haul of books! Looking forward to your opinion of The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James, which I have on my wishlist.

jun 24, 2:13pm

Happy Thingaversary!

jun 24, 3:43pm

>243 VivienneR: I had a few Simone St. James on my wishlist, so I figured it was about time I got around to her. This book would fit next month's ScaredyKit but then I would feel guilty about the older book I have already set aside for that.

>244 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay.

jun 24, 5:20pm

My SIL and her husband sent me a Purdy's gift card for my birthday, so naturally I thought of you and your thread! I bought peanut butter fingers, a few bars of chocolate + crispy rice, a classic chocolate bar bundle, and of course a box of hedgehogs :)

jun 24, 5:49pm

>246 rabbitprincess: Yum! With the hot weather we've been having lately, I have had cravings for Purdy's Ice Cream Bars:

But Hedgehogs sure sound inviting as well.

jun 24, 5:57pm

Happy Thingaversary Judy! You picked some good books up there!

jun 24, 10:56pm

>248 lsh63: Thanks, Lisa. And thanks for letting me know about the Paul Howarth book!

jun 24, 11:36pm

I'm off to build a new thread and I am sure there will no surprise at the chocolate treat I am going to highlight in this thread!