2018

Ages 2, 11, and 24 ~ generations of my descendants are also readers
My rating system (and it's all totally subjective)
10 - Loved it!! Couldn't put it down!!
9 - Excellent!
8 - Very Good
7 - Good
6 - Above Average
5 - Average
Anything lower ~ "nah" or Not my cuppa tea
* DNF ~ Did Not Finish
January
January favorite (#1)

1.  To Be Where You Are: A Mitford Novel ~ by Jan Karon, 2017, fiction (North Carolina), 8/10
"What is your hope,' said Paul, 'for any ministry you may undertake?"
"To help people love God so they can learn to love themselves and each other."
"Is that it?"
"Yessir.  Essentially."
Father Brad looked pleased, even paternal.  (p. 231).
2.  The Donkey's Dream ~ by Barbara Helen Berger, 1985, children's, 7/10

3.  Five Fortunes ~ by Beth Gutcheon, 1998, fiction, 7/10
"Carter and Rae, arm in arm in their sweat clothes, were singing 'Sisters ... Sisters ... Never were there such devoted sisters...'  Apart from the fact that Carter was eight inches taller and thirty years younger than Rae, they were quite convincing" (p. 68).
4.  Do One Thing Different: And Other Uncommonly Sensible Solutions to Life's Persistent Problems ~ by Bill O'Hanlon, 1999, psychology, 8/10
Summary of Solution Keys (from p. 198)
1.  Break problem patterns.
2.  Find and use solution patterns.
3.  Acknowledge your feelings and the past without letting them determine your actions in the present and the future.
4.  Shift your attention.
5.  Imagine a future that leads back to solutions in the present.
6.  Change problem stories into solution stories.
7.  Use spirituality to transcend or resolve problems.
8.  Use action talk to solve relationship problems.
9.  Perform a resolution ritual to resolve unfinished issues from the past.
10.  Develop stability and connective rituals to prevent problems and create connections.
February
February favorite (#8)

5.  Lewis Grizzard on Fear of Flying ~ by Lewis Grizzard, illustrated by Mike Lester, 1989, humor, "not my cuppa tea"
"Avoid pouting pilots and mechanics named Bubba" (on the cover).
6.  The Bookshop on the Corner ~ by Jenny Colgan, 2016, fiction (Scotland), 6/10
"And as Nina looked around the little village in the sunshine, she couldn't help but notice something.  Everyone was reading.  People out in their gardens.  An old lady in her wheelchair by the war memorial.  A little girl absentmindedly swinging on the swings, her feet dangling, completely engrossed in What Katy did" (loc. 4145).
7.  News of the World ~ by Paulette Jiles, 2016, fiction (Texas), 7/10
(p. 113)  He felt Johanna tugging at his sleeve.  He looked down.
She held up one of the shotgun shells.
It was loaded with dimes.
He stared at the shell resting on Johanna's outstretched palm.
Then the Captain reached out for it even as another round smashed into the front of the stone in front of him.  He jumped but didn't duck.  He lay back and hefted the shell.  The dimes fit perfectly into the paper tube of a twenty-gauge hull.
Well, I'll be damned.
It was very heavy.  He looked at the cap.  She charged it with the powder charger.  He saw her work the thumb lever that gave out twenty grains at a time:  one, two, three, four, eighty grains of powder.  A heavy load for his old shotgun.  The Captain tossed the shell full of dimes up and down in his hand and smiled.
This is amazing, he said.  He laughed.  Ten years old and a wizard of field expedience.
8.  The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World ~ by Peter Wohlleben, 2015, biology, 9/10
"And what if you cut a tree down?  Is it then dead?  What about the centuries-old stump I introduced you to at the beginning of this book that is still alive today, thanks to its comrades?  Is that a tree?  And, if it isn't, then what is it?  It gets even more complicated when a new trunk grows out of an old stump.  In many woods, this happens all the time" (p. 80).
March
March favorite (#11)

9.  A Reckoning ~ by May Sarton, 1978, fiction (Massachusetts), 8/10
"I'm trying to reckon everything up.  I don't 'do' much anymore, but I think a lot" (loc. 1475).
10.  Letters from Skye ~ by Jessica Brockmole, 2013, fiction (Scotland), 8/10
"I never would've conjured up an image of an entire store filled with nothing but books" (loc. 1252).
11.  The Story of Arthur Truluv ~ by Elizabeth Berg, 2017, fiction (Missouri), 9/10
"Well, this is just fine!" Arthur says.  "I'll get some wood and we'll build a fire that day."
"I'll get a wreath for the door," Maddy says.
Gordon, sitting next to Arthur, meows.  People think cats don't want to join in, but they're wrong.  (p. 198)
12.  Ilsa ~ by Madeleine L'Engle, 1946, fiction, "nah" (depressing and it just ended)
"Oh, let's be honest, Henry," Myra said.  "You sit around and listen to a lot of conversataions that aren't meant for your ears and you know it.  So do I.  Why shouldn't we?  We're both shadows."

"I―I never mean to listen.  I don't do it intentionally.  I―I just forget to go away," I stammered.  (loc. 5884)
13.  We Are All Made of Stars ~ by Rowan Coleman, 2015, fiction (England), 8/10
"Shadow, the very unofficial hospice cat, has emerged out of nowhere again.  Pitch-black with no markings at all, and huge emerald green eyes.  No one knows where he comes from or when he will come.  He just appears when he pleases, knowing that when he does he will be made a huge fuss of by everyone who meets him.  He's large, clearly looked after by someone, someone who probably has no idea of the humanitarian (or feline-tarian?) missions he goes on throughout the day" (p. 19).
14.  Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne ~ by Wilda C. Gafney, 2017, religion, 8/10
"Jezebel is perhaps the most infamous Israelite queen ... In some contexts, her name is synonymous with women who wear makeup, red lipstick, red anything" (p. 240).

"Jezebel is the power of the throne; she is not the power behind the throne.  So when the story of Elijah butchering her prophets makes its way to the palace, the king's immediate response is to tell Jezebel (1 Kgs. 19:1).  Jezebel has not usurped Ahab's authority; he has yielded it to her" (p. 242).

"Remarkably, Jezebel is literate and writes the letters necessary to exercise her will (1 Kgs. 21:9-10). ... No other women in the Scriptures are described as writing" (p. 243).
15.  An American Marriage ~ by Tayari Jones, 2018, fiction (Louisiana, Georgia), 9/10
"Roy," I said, wondering aloud.  "Tell the truth.  Would you have waited on me for five years?"
He twitched that same shrug.  "Celestial," he said, like he was talking to someone very young, "this shit wouldn't have happened to you in the first place" (p. 283).
APRIL

April favorite (#23)
16.  Perfect Little World ~ by Kevin Wilson, 2017, fiction (Tennessee), 8/10
"What are we to each other?"
"Brothers and sisters?" David offered.
"Maybe more like second cousins," Benjamin said.
"I think it's more like the cast of Gilligan's Island," Alyssa said.  "We're these random people who ended up stranded on an island together" (p. 158).
17.  A Soft Place to Land ~ by Susan Rebecca White, 2010, fiction (Georgia, California, New York), 8/10
"Robert didn't go to an office.  Or rather, his office was in their home on Mars Street.  It was the nicest room of the flat, with a gas fireplace and two walls of bookshelves.  The walls were painted a deep red, and whenever Ruthie went in there she felt warmed, as if she were sitting by a fire" (p. 125).
18.  Little Stories for Big People ~ by Sol Gonshack, 1976, vocabulary (65 stories good for ESL students), 7/10
12 ~ Keeping Up with the Joneses
28 ~ The Lemon (a car)
35 ~ The Eager Beaver
61 ~ The Worrywart
63 ~ The Absentminded Professor
19.  No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters ~ by Ursula K. Le Guin, 2017, essays, 8/10
"I got a questionnaire from Harvard for the sixtieth reunion of the graduating class of 1951. ... 'In your spare time, what do you do? (check all that apply).' ... What do retired people have but 'spare' time? ... The question remains:  When all the time you have is spare, is free, what do you make of it? ... What is Harvard thinking of?  I am going to be eighty-one next week.  I have no time to spare" (pp. 3, 6, 7).

"I don't know what it is I've done all my life, this wordworking" (p. 52).

"Why are things as they are?  Must they be as they are?  What might they be like if they were otherwise?" (p. 83).
20.  Alaska's Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glaciers ~ by Nick Jans, photos by Mark Kelley, 2005, travel (Alaska), 9/10
"A notable fact of both Sawyer glaciers is the relative abundance of deep-blue ice ― formed under greater pressure and generally older than the lighter shades.  The blue color also contributes to the spectacular array of free-floating ice of all sizes ― from massive icebergs to low-lying 'growlers' to the minor chunks dubbed 'bergy bits'" (p. 27).
21.  Two by Two ~ by Nicholas Sparks, 2016, fiction (North Carolina), 8/10
"I danced with my daughter.  She swayed and bounced and held my hands, revealing flashes of the young woman she would become, and the innocent girl she still was.  It was, I realized, the first dance I'd ever shared with my daughter" (p. 377).

"On Monday, London's last day of school before winter break, I finally got around to the Christmas list that Vivian had left me. ... Tuesday, December twenty-second, was London's last day of school before the winter break, and that was when I planned to wrap all the gifts" (pp. 438, 440).
22.  Oscar Wilde's Wit and Wisdom: A Book of Quotations ~ by Oscar Wilde, 1998, quotations, 8/10
  • "Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing." ~ The Picture of Dorian Gray (p. 15)
  • "I can resist everything except temptation." ~ Lady Windermere's Fan (p. 32)
  • "I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma.  In the afternoon I put it back again." ~ In Conversation (p. 56)
23.  The Girl on the Train ~ by Paula Hawkins, 2015, fiction (England), 8/10
"I feel like I'm part of this mystery, I'm connected.  I am no longer just a girl on the train, going back and forth without point or purpose" (p. 89).
MAY
May favorite (#34)

24.  Her Last Breath ~ by Linda Castillo, 2013, fiction (Ohio), 10/10
"If this hit-and-run was planned, do you think she might have been a target?  Or do you think this was random?  What?" (p. 159).
25.  The Bookshop Book ~ by Jen Campbell, 2014, travel, 8/10
"One day at the bookshop I got a call from a lady who had spied a collection of nature tales on our online inventory.  She used to have the book when she was younger, she said, but her mother had sold her copy at a jumble sale forty years ago without her permission, and recently she'd been hoping to trGack down a copy to read to her grandchildren.  She'd never forgotten the beautiful colour plates ... She was thrilled to find we had a copy.  I packaged the book up and posted it to her.  The next day she called me back.  I quickly realised she was in tears, and I worried that the book might have got damaged in the mail. ... But it turned out that the book I had posted to her was her book: the actual copy, with the inscription in the front from her great aunt, and one of the corners bumped from where she'd dropped it down the stairs when she was seven.  Forty years ago, some 200 miles away, her mother had sold the book, and somehow we'd come across it and somehow she'd come across us, and there she was, reunited with her very own book.  It's moments like this that make bookselling one of the best jobs in the world" (loc. 1412).
26.  Grover Looks for X ~ by Sarah Albee, illustrated by David Prebenna, 2001, children's board book, 9/10
"X is an extra important letter.  X begins the words xylophone and x-ray.  If you are an excellent explorer such as myself, you can find X at the end of a word like box or in the middle of a word like tuxedo.  TAXI!!!!"
27.  The Time of the Church ~ by Suzanne Richterkessing, illustrated by Susan Morris, 1999, children's picture book, 8/10
"Elder Mouse continued teaching the young mice.  He smiled as he thought to himself that Smidge and Smudge were very bright little mice.  Indeed, indeed!"
28.  Over What Hill? (notes from the pasture) ~ by Effie Leland Wilder, 1996, fiction (South Carolina), 9/10
"Senescence begins
And middle age ends
The day your descendants
Outnumber your friends" (p. 93).
29.  Rebecca's Story: An Ellis Island Adventure ~ by Cynthia Benjamin, illustrated by James Seward, ND, 7/10
"Rebecca was born in another country.  When she was ten years old, her parents decided to leave their homeland.  The soldiers there had killed many people" (p. 3).
30.  Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor ~ by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Raul Colon, 2016, children's picture book, 8/10
"I was a scientist at last.  Pinpointing the soundings helped me slowly understand the shape of the Atlantic's floor..."
31.  The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale ~ by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Randall Wright, 2011, children's chapter book, 7/10
"He was the best of toms.  He was the worst of toms.  Fleet of foot, sleek and solitary, Skilley was a cat among cats" (p. 1).

"It was the best of times, It was the worst of times" (p. 229).
— C. Dickens
32.  Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer ~ by Barbara Ehrenreich, 2018, sociology, 9/10
Another May favorite (#32)
"Once I realized I was old enough to die, I decided that I was also old enough not to incur any more suffering, annoyance, or boredom in the pursuit of a longer life. ... As for medical care:  I will seek help for an urgent problem, but I am no longer interested in looking for problems that remain undetectable to me.  Ideally, the determination of when one is old enough to die should be a personal decision, based on a judgment of the likely benefits, if any, of medical care and — just as important at a certain age — how we choose to spend the time that remains to us" (p. 3).

"Not only do I reject the torment of a medicalized death, but I refuse to accept a medicalized life, and my determination only deepens with age. As the time that remains to me shrinks, each month and day becomes too precious to spend in windowless waiting rooms and under the cold scrutiny of machines.  Being old enough to die is an achievement, not a defeat, and the freedom it brings is worth celebrating" (pp. 12-13).

Quoting physician John M. Mandrola:  "The default should be:  I am well.  The way to stay that way is to keep making good choices — not to have my doctor look for problems" (p. 9).
33.  Counting by 7s ~ by Holly Goldberg Sloan, 2013, YA fiction (California), 9/10
"The woman does all the talking, and Pattie doesn't respond. She doesn't even say 'uh-huh' or 'I understand.'  She is like me.  Silent.  I admire that in a person. The ability to keep your mouth shut is usually a sign of intelligence.  Introspection requires you to think and analyze.  It's hard to do that when you are blabbing away" (pp. 134-135).

"I am a shadow.  I no longer dream in color.  I don't count by 7s.  Because in this new world I don't count" (p. 177).

"Apples grow on apple trees.  And cherries grow on cherry trees.  But we don't say that an acorn grows on an acorn tree.  Things like that are interesting.  At least to some people" (p. 217).
34.  No One Ever Asked ~ by Katie Ganshert, 2018, fiction (Missouri), 9.5/10
"When she volunteered at the youth center, she wasn't an outsider.  She didn't have to function on two different levels like she did at O'Hare, where she wasn't just a new teacher learning the ropes but the black new teacher from South Fork, constantly aware of how she was being perceived.  It was exhausting" (p. 195).

"It wasn't fair.  A mother shouldn't have to feel the desperation that came when her bright child was stuck in a school that offered zero college prep classes.  A school that had over-crowded classrooms and underpaid teachers, many of whom were subs, because subs didn't require health insurance.  A school that might as well be a pipeline to the Missouri prison system, especially for boys without fathers.  Boys like Darius" (p. 53).
JUNE

35.  Shine ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2016, fiction (short story), 10/10
"What if they liked you more than they like me?"
Ruth didn't know what to say.  It was the first time she realized that a person might look like Christina, and live in a fancy home, and dress in designer clothing, and have everything her heart desired, and still go to sleep at night worrying.
Maybe we are more alike than we're different, Ruth thought.
(loc. 392)
36.  Ten Women ~ by Marcela Serrano, 2011, fiction (Chile), 6/10
"Why am I telling you stories about other people?  I'm supposed to be telling you about me.  I think that one person's story is always part of other people's stories" (p. 82).
"What is this exercise we're doing, Natasha? ... Perhaps we take advantage of a select audience to invent ourselves to a certain extent, or to silence what we hate most" (p. 201).
37.  The Theft of the Spirit: A Journey to Spiritual Healing with Native Americans ~ by Carl A. Hammerschlag, 1992, psychology, 9/10
"Without faith in a believable ethic, we suffer. ... Without any cultural or political guides who inspire trust, our perceptions of reality are created by sales professionals. Image has become more important than substance ... If self, technology, and possessions have become our pervasive mythology, how can we reawaken in ourselves a sense of community that can sustain us? We can return to a life of morality through telling and listening to stories, through experiencing genuine awe, through participating in rituals and ceremonies" (p. 25).
38.  Rethinking Immortality ~ by Robert P. Lanza, 1990, science, 6/10
That matter is the mere surface of reality was evident even to Einstein, who, when asked by Ben-Gurion if he believed in God, responded to the effect, "There must be something behind the energy."  That something, it seems, is the human mind" (loc. 66).

"...the content of the mind is the ultimate reality" (loc. 71).

"...the mind transcends the transient existence of things in space and time" (loc, 161).
39.  Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories ~ by Simon Van Booy, 2009, fiction, 7/10
"Children are the closest we have to wisdom, and they become adults the moment that final drop of everything mysterious is strained from them.  I think it happens quietly to every one of us — like crossing a state line when you're asleep" (p. 89).

"Music is only a mystery to people who want it explainend" (p. 22).

"George had lived for several yearswithout a television.  Television made him feel lost and lonely.  George's local post office had recently attached one to the wall — an attempt to calm people confined to wait in massive queues.  George bought his stamps elsewhere and avoided the voice he felt knew absolutely nothing but refused to stop talking" (p. 187).

1 comment:

Sue Jackson said...

Wow, looks like you are having a wonderful reading year so far, Bonnie! I see lots of 7's, 8's, and 9's there!

Hope the rest of the year is just as good. Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. Come by again - this weekend begins my annual Big Books Summer Challenge! Any book 400 or more pages counts as a big book, and you have the whole summer - no pressure and lot of fun.

Sue

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