Thursday, February 29, 2024

Alley Pond Park by Zachary Todd Gordon -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Happy Leap Day! It feels like we are getting an extra Book Beginnings on Fridays this Leap Year. Thank you for joining me. Please share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week. You can also share from a book that caught your fancy, even if you are not reading it right now.

MY BOOK BEGINNING
Jake's secretary called. Her brusque "Twelve o'clock sharp" unnerved me, more command than invitation to lunch in the partner's dining room.
-- From the Prologue to Alley Pond Park by Zachary Todd Gordon.

I wanted to give a two-sentence opening this week because that very fist sentence is too short to provide any sense of the book or even the scene. That second sentence pulls you more into the setting. We know the narrator is an employee, not a customer or client of Jake's. And from her tone, it sounds like there is tension in the workplace. That opening has potential. 

Alley Pond Park is the debut novel from Zachary "Zak" Gordon. Zak turned his hand to fiction writing after retiring from a career in finance and investment. His wife Wendy Gordon is the author of the dystopian adventure, It's Always 9/11, and the domestic thriller, Wrong Highway

Alley Pond Park launches March 26, 2024, and is available for pre-order through Itasca Books.  



YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please add the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below. Please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings if you share on social media.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.



THE FRIDAY 56

The Friday 56 is a natural tie-in with Book Beginnings. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your featured book. If you are reading an ebook or audiobook, find your teaser from the 56% mark.

Freda at Freda's Voice started and hosted The Friday 56 for a long, long time. She is taking a break and Anne at My Head is Full of Books has taken on hosting duties in her absence. Please visit Anne's blog and link to your Friday 56 post.

MY FRIDAY 56

-- from Alley Pond Park:
After he left, I tried to get back to work but couldn't concentrate. I paced about the library, my sanctuary, and dear Mrs. Nichols the librarian, busy at the front desk ensuring everything was as it should be, updating index cards, alphabetizing everything by author and subject, noted my distress, approached me and asked if everything was ok.
FROM THE PUBLISHER'S DESCRIPTION
Seth Matthews was sixteen when his older brother Jonah sped away on his motorcycle and never returned. Seth blames himself, but does he know the whole truth as he sets off on a journey to find Jonah and beg his forgiveness? He yearns to be a good person but his inner demons keep tripping him up. Neither success nor a loving marriage can satisfy the emptiness at his core as he navigates secrets, guilt, and obsessions through two tumultuous decades.





Wednesday, February 28, 2024

A Thank You Windfall -- BOOK HAUL


BOOK HAUL
A Thank You Windfall

A lawyer colleague sent me an Amazon gift card as a thank you for referring a client to him. That was very nice of him! I used it to buy this stack of books I’ve had my eye on. Apparently I was hungry when I ordered, since all but one of these is a food book. 

See any here that catch your eye?

  • Greenfeast: Spring, Summer and Autumn, Winter by Nigel Slater. I've had in mind for a while to find a new vegetarian cookbook (or two). I only have two on my shelves, The Greens Cookbook from the famous vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco, and The Moosewood Cookbook from the famous vegetarian restaurant in Ithaca. Both are classics and I bought both at the restaurants, after eating in them. But I need some new ideas!
  • Elizabeth David’s Christmas, edited by Jill Norman, with a Foreword by Alice Waters. David pulled together a collection of articles she wrote about Christmas cooking and traditions, along with related recipes, planning to publish it all as a book, but died before she completed the project. Her literary executor Jill Norman completed the book after David died in 1992. This edition is edited for American readers. I am currently reading and completely enjoying David’s essay collection, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine. It makes me want to read more of her work, although I plan to save this one until Christmastime. I added it to my stack of Christmas-themed books.
  • The Ha-Ha by Jennifer Dawson (1961) is my only non-food book in this stack. Dawson won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for this autobiographical debut novel. I’m working my way through the list of winners. I haven't been able to find a used copy of this one.  

I almost never buy new books, almost always used. How about you? A stack of spiffy new books is a real treat for me.

It’s my turn to host book club tonight. Which explains why my dining room table is all gussied up, with flowers and everything. The book is Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn, a very funny book by the author of the very serious Patrick Melrose books. Apparently St. Aubyn wrote Lost for Words, a comic satire about literary prizes, after he was passed over for a Booker Prize for one of his Patrick Melrose novels. Lost for Words deservedly won the P.G. Wodehouse Prize for best comic novel.  





Monday, February 26, 2024

New-to-Me Mystery Series -- 10 ON MY TBR

 


10 ON MY TBR
New-to-Me Mystery Series

When it comes to mysteries, do you reach for standalones or do you prefer series?

I love a good mystery series because I like to spend time with the same characters from book to book. But like most mystery readers, I find series easier to start than to finish. I made a big effort over the last couple of years to finish several series before I start any more new ones. I wrapped up: Lee Child’s Jack Reacher (up to when his brother started writing them), Dorothy L. Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey, Louise Penny’s Three Pines (until she writes another), P. D. James’s Adam Dalgleish, Benjamin Black/John Banville's Quirke, and G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown.

There are several other mystery series I'm actively chipping away at, including Elizabeth George's Peter Lynley, Cara Black's Aimรฉe Leduc, Ian Rankin's John Rebus, and Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti. There are probably a dozen or more I've dabbled in or at least started. 

But now that I've finished off so many, I have a little more mental capacity to start at least one more new series. This week I started Mick Herron's Slow Hoses series because I want to read the books before I watch the show.

As further inspiration for me to finish up some more series, I pulled this stack of ten mysteries from my TBR shelves. These are all published by Soho Crime, an imprint of Soho Press. I love collecting these in their original candy-colored editions. 

I plan to tackle all these series at some point. The ones in the picture and listed below are the first books in each series:

๐Ÿ” The Last Kashmiri Rose by Barbara Cleverly, featuring Scotland Yard detective Joe Sandilands, set in 1920s India. There are 13 books in the series and the last was published in 2017, so it looks like that's it.

๐Ÿ” The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby, an “Athenian Mystery” set in ancient Greece. There are seven in the series and, likewise, the last was in 2017.

๐Ÿ” The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill, featuring Dr. Siri Paiboun, set in 1970s Laos. There are 15 in the series, the last in 2020. 

๐Ÿ” Jack of Spies by David Downing, featuring Jack McColl, a WWI-era Scottish car salesman turned British spy. There are four in the series although he has lots of other books. 

๐Ÿ” Slow Horses by Mick Herron, set in the present day and featuring a team of washed-up MI5 spies. There are 13 so far, including five novellas. 

๐Ÿ” Jade Lady Burning by Martin Limรณn, featuring Sergeants George Sueรฑo and Ernie Bascom, set in 1970s South Korea. There are 16 so far, the last in 2021. 

๐Ÿ” The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey, the 1991 debut of a long series featuring Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond. There are 21 books, the last in 2022.

๐Ÿ” Death in the Off-Season by Francine Mathews, set on Nantucket Island in current times, featuring police detective Merry Folger. There are 7 so far, the last in 2023. 

๐Ÿ” The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville, set in contemporary Northern Ireland, featuring several recurring characters. There are six books in the series, the last in 2017.

๐Ÿ” Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong, set in present-day China, featuring Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police. There are 13 books so far, the last in 2023. 

Have you read any of these series? Do any look good to you?

Thursday, February 22, 2024

An Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David -- BOOK BEGINNIGNS

 

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Thank you for joining me for Book Beginnings on Fridays. Please share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week. You can also share from a book that caught your fancy, even if you are not reading it right now.

MY BOOK BEGINNING
In thirty five years of writing about food and cookery I have contributed articles to a very various collection of publications.
-- from An Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David. I admit that opening sentence doesn’t grab me!

I love food writing. My favorites are the classic American food writers, like M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and Ruth Reichl. Elizabeth David is the English version of these favorite authors, but I’ve never read any of her books. I have her famous books, including A Book of Mediterranean Food and French Provincial Cooking, on my TBR shelf. But I’ve never tried any of her books.

I decided to start with this one, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine. It is a collection of her newspaper columns and other articles. I love the cover on my American edition.


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please add the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below. Please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings if you share on social media.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


THE FRIDAY 56

The Friday 56 is a natural tie-in with Book Beginnings. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your featured book. If you are reading an ebook or audiobook, find your teaser from the 56% mark.

Freda at Freda's Voice started and hosted The Friday 56 for a long, long time. She is taking a break and Anne at My Head is Full of Books has taken on hosting duties in her absence. Please visit Anne's blog and link to your Friday 56 post.

MY FRIDAY 56

-- from An Omelette and a Glass of Wine:

All this seems to be typical of the uneasy phase which English cooking is going through. As soon as any dish with a vaguely romantic sounding name (you may well ask why anyone should associate Vichy with romance) becomes known you find it’s got befogged by the solemn mystique which can elevate a routine leak and potato soup into what the heroine of a recent upper-class-larks novel refers to as “my perfected Vichyssoise.”

This is from a November 5, 1961, article in Punch. Elizabeth David wrote during the bad old days of British cooking, when post-war rationing was still in place or cooks were still acting like it was. She writes often, and with scorn, about canned (“tinned”) food, skimpy supplies, and generally bad cooking.




Tuesday, February 20, 2024

2023 European Reading Challenge -- WINNER!

 


2023 EUROPEAN READING CHALLENGE

THIS IS THE WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT POST FOR 2023

TO FIND THE 2023 REVIEWS, GO TO THIS PAGE

TO FIND THE 2023 WRAP UP POSTS, GO TO THIS PAGE

THE 2024 EUROPEAN READING CHALLENGE SIGN UP IS AT THIS PAGE

2023 was the 11th of the European Reading Challenge! The challenge involves reading books set in different European countries or written by authors from different European countries.

My big thanks go to all the participants who joined me for the Grand Tour last year!

JET SETTER GRAND PRIZE WINNER

The 2023 Jet Setter prize goes to Sabine at sabines.literary.world who participated on Instagram. 2023 is the third year in a row that Sabine has won the challenge. But she slowed down a bit last year. In 2021, Sabine visited all 50 European states -- TWICE! In 2022, she hit another grand slam, but only one time around the continent. In 2023, she visited 35 of the 50 European states and reviewed the books she read. Her wrap up post discusses her reading journey. At this rate, she might actually face competition next year!

Honorary Mention (but no prizes) go to the ten other participants who completed the challenge and posted wrap up posts about the countries they visited and the books they read:


My own wrap-up post is here. I read 12 books from different European countries, and four were translations, which is better than the year before. I didn't even try to review the books I read, which is more than I can handle as long as I am running my own law firm.

Congratulations to all the readers who completed the 2023 challenge!

There is still plenty of time to join us in 2024.

JOIN THE 2024 CHALLENGE! SIGN UP HERE!

The gist: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour.

Sign up HERE for the 2024 Challenge.


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

 

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Thank you for joining me for Book Beginnings on Fridays. Please share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week. You can also share from a book that caught your fancy, even if you are not reading it right now.

MY BOOK BEGINNING
An author ought to consider himself, not as a gentleman who gives a private or eleemosynary treat, but rather as one who keeps a public ordinary, at which all persons are welcome for their money.
-- from Tom Jones (aka The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling) by Henry Fielding, Book I -- "Containing as Much of the Birth of the Foundling as is Necessary or Proper to Acquaint the Reader with in the Beginning of this History," Chapter i -- "The introduction to the work, or bill of fare to the feast."

Well, any book that sends me to the dictionary in the first sentence is going to be a doozy! The Cambridge Dictionary defines "eleemosynary" as "relating to or depending on charity (= help given freely to people who are in need, and organizations that provide this help)."  I can't find a definition for "public ordinary," but I did see the term used to describe a "public" school, in the British sense of meaning a school with paid pupils. In my brain, I thought of it as an "ordinary pub," which is wrong but makes sense. 

Despite this odd beginning, Tom Jones is a rollicking good yarn! It was first published in 1749 and I don't read many books written in the 18th Century. It is pretty racy, even raunchy. It's all about the adventures of Tom Jones, an orphan raised by a wealthy quire. Many of these adventures involve sex with most of the women he meets, highwaymen, gypsies, lots of fights, ghost stories -- everything you need for a page-turner. It is also very funny. I'm reading it with my ears and have laughed out loud several times. 

Finally reading Tom Jones makes me want to tackle other classics that have languished on my shelves. This one is on my new Classics Club list


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please add the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below. Please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings if you share on social media.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


THE FRIDAY 56

The Friday 56 is a natural tie-in with Book Beginnings. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your featured book. If you are reading an ebook or audiobook, find your teaser from the 56% mark.

Freda at Freda's Voice started and hosted The Friday 56 for a long, long time. She is taking a break and Anne at My Head is Full of Books has taken on hosting duties in her absence. Please visit Anne's blog and link to your Friday 56 post.

MY FRIDAY 56


-- from Tom Jones:
Jones immediately interposing, a fierce contention arose, which soon proceeded to blows on both sides. And now Mrs. Waters (for we must confess she was in the same bed), being, I suppose, awakened from her sleep, and seeing two men fighting in her bedchamber, began to scream in the most violent manner, crying out murder! robbery! and more frequently rape! which last, some, perhaps, may wonder she should mention, who do not consider that these words of exclamation are used by ladies in a fright, as fa, la, la, ra, da, &c., are in music, only as the vehicles of sound, and without any fixed ideas.
It's not a quick read, but entertaining. I always find it easier to read these dense classics as audiobooks because a good narrator parses all the long sentences for me.


Thursday, February 8, 2024

Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Thank you for joining me for Book Beginnings on Fridays. Please share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week. You can also share from a book that caught your fancy, even if you are not reading it right now.

MY BOOK BEGINNING
Years later, when she had gone and was no longer part of their lives, the thing they remembered about her was her smile.
-- from Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier. This is the latest buddy read for the Du Maurier Deep Dive  group I'm in on Instagram. It is a historical fiction novel about Mary Anne Clarke, a wife, mother, and mistress of the Duke of York in the early 1800s. She was also du Maurier's great-great-great grandmother. I am racing through it. 


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS 

Please add the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below. Please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings if you share on social media. 

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


THE FRIDAY 56

The Friday 56 is a natural tie-in with Book Beginnings. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your featured book. If you are reading an ebook or audiobook, find your teaser from the 56% mark.

Freda at Freda's Voice started and hosted The Friday 56 for a long, long time. She is taking a break and Anne at My Head is Full of Books has taken on hosting duties in her absence. Please visit Anne's blog and link to your Friday 56 post.

MY FRIDAY 56

-- from Mary Anne:
It was the Duke of York and his niece, the Princess Victoria. He had aged lately —he looked a great deal more than sixty-two.

FROM THE PUBLISHER'S DESCRIPTION
An ambitious, stunning, and seductive young woman, Mary Anne finds the single most rewarding way to rise above her miserable cockney world: she will become the mistress to a royal duke. In doing so, she provokes a scandal that rocks Regency England. Mary Anne glitters with sex, scandal, corruption, and the privileged world of high society.

Based on the true story of one of du Maurier's own distant relatives, Mary Anne's love of money and the men who spend it embroil her in risks that threaten her very existence.


Tuesday, February 6, 2024

January 2024 -- MONTHLY WRAP UP

 

MONTHLY WRAP UP

January 2024

I made a strong start to the reading year, finishing 13 books in January, including six TBR 24 in '24 books. I wanted to get a jump on that one and not wait until the end of the year like I did in 2023.

See any here that you’ve read or want to? 

The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh, for a bookstagram read along. This short novel satirizes Hollywood and the American funeral industry. It is dark but very funny. 

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier, as part of a Du Maurier Deep Dive group I'm in, also through Instagram. I loved every melodramatic page. 

Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope, the first book in yet another buddy read, this one a read through of Trollope's Palliser novels. 

Rates of Exchange by Malcolm Bradbury, a TBR 24 in ’24 book about a college professor on a cultural exchange to a Soviet Bloc country in the early 1980s. Definitely a highlight of the month. 

Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz, another TBR 24 in ’24. I loved this book. Hitz examines the joys of intellectual pursuits, how “leisure” differs from “recreation,” and why our regular jobs are not (usually) intellectually fulfilling. 

Rather be the Devil by Ian Rankin, from his John Rebus series that I love but want to wrap up.

Need Blind Ambition by Kevin Myers, a fantastic new campus thriller.

My Almost Cashmere Life by Margie Adams, TBR 24 in ’24 nonfiction. I admit read this memoir about the end of a dysfunctional but long-term marriage because I know the husband. I wanted the inside scoop.

Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription by William F. Buckley, Jr., my favorite title of the month and another TBR 24 in ’24.

Quentins by Maeve Binchy, my feel good TBR 24 in ’24. I love her Aga Sagas. 

Political Woman: The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick by Peter Collier, more TBR 24 in ’24 nonfiction and a fascinating slice of recent history.

๐ŸŽง NOT PICTURED ๐ŸŽง

Beartown by Fredrik Backman. More serious than his other books I’ve read, I thought this was a compassionate and insightful handling of teenage sexual assault and its repercussions in a small community. 

In a House of Lies by Ian Rankin, which leaves only two to go. I want to finish this series before I start any new ones. I have my eye on Mick Heron's Slow Horses series. 

There wasn’t a clunker on that list. I loved them all. Now, on to February. What book are you excited to read this month? 


Thursday, February 1, 2024

Lines of Deception by Steve Anderson -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Please join me every Friday for Book Beginnings! Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you are on Instagram, Twitter, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up. Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

MY BOOK BEGINNING

Max Kaspar learned about his brother, Harry, from the little man who brought him the severed ear.

-- from Lines of Deception by Steve Anderson. Wow! That opening sentence sure captured my attention. How about you?

Lines of Deception is the fourth book in Steve Anderson's Kaspar Brothers series. The series started with The Losing Role, a WWII adventure thriller. This one takes place in 1949, post-war Munich where Max Kaspar now owns a nightclub. I was lucky to get my hands on an early copy. The book launches on March 12 and is available for pre-order, in paper or ebook

It sounds like an exciting historical thriller involving Max going behind the Iron Curtain to rescue his missing brother. I love the setting and the description of the plot and can't wait to read it. 

YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please add the link to your Book Beginnings post in the Linky box below. If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.



THE FRIDAY 56

The Friday 56 is a natural tie-in with Book Beginnings. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your featured book. If you are reading an ebook or audiobook, find your teaser from the 56% mark.

Freda at Freda's Voice started and hosted The Friday 56 for a long, long time. She is taking a break and Anne at My Head if Full of Books has taken on hosting duties in her absence. Please visit Anne's blog and link to your Friday 56 post.

MY FRIDAY 56

From Lines of Deception:
“But please remember one thing: I let people lead me around once, in the war, but I had no choice. I'm not doing that ever again, not even in a cold war.”
FROM THE PUBLISHER'S DESCRIPTION
Former actor Max Kaspar suffered greatly in the Second World War. Now he owns a nightclub in Munich—and occasionally lends a hand to the newly formed CIA. Meanwhile, his brother Harry has ventured beyond the Iron Curtain to rescue an American scientist. When Harry is also taken captive, Max resolves to locate his brother at all costs. The last thing he expects is for Harry to go rogue.

Max’s treacherous quest takes him to Vienna and Prague to Soviet East Germany and Communist Poland. Along the way, dangerous operators from Harry’s past join the pursuit: his former lover Katarina, who’s working for the Israelis, and former Nazi Hartmut Dietz, now an agent of East German intelligence. But can anyone be trusted?


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

2023 Reading Recap


2023 READING RECAP

Before 2024 is too far along, I wanted to do a little recap of my 2023 reading. I read 139 books in 2023, about 30 more than usual. You can find the list of all the books I read last year here. Below are some thoughts on my year of reading. 

FAVORITES

Picking favorite books is like being asked to pick a favorite grandchild! With that in mind, I have five grandkids, so here are five favorites from last year:
OVERVIEW 

I mostly read fiction, but I thought I read more nonfiction in 2023 than I actually did. I have nonfiction books stacked on my floor because I have no room for them on my shelves. So I better make an effort to read more of them!
  • 113 fiction
  • 24 nonfiction
  • two poetry
  • 74 audiobooks
  • 65 book books
GENRES

There's crossover here:
  • 68 literary fiction 
  • 47 classics
  • 46 mysteries
  • 22 historical fiction
  • seven food books
  • seven memoir
  • three campus novels
MORE DETAILS
  • 15 (major) prize winners
  • nine rereads
  • five translations
  • 73 by men
  • 68 by women
PUBLICATION DATES
  • one from pre-1800s
  • nine from the 1800s
  • 26 from 1900-1950
  • 33 from 1950-2000
  • 64 since 2000 (before 2023)
  • six new in 2023
CHALLENGES

I love reading challenges but only did three last year. 
BUDDY READS

I really got into buddy reads on bookstagram for the first time. 
BIGGEST SURPRISE

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff. I highly disliked Fates and Furies so almost skipped, especially when I saw a sea monster. Glad I didn’t!

FAVORITE NEW-TO-ME-AUTHOR

Laurie Colwin. I loved Home Cooking and More Home Cooking and now want to read her fiction.

FAVORITE BY A FAVORITE

Ms. Demeanor by Elinor Lipman. This was a delightful rom com with a lawyer theme.

SERIES FINISHED

I have dozens of mystery series I want to read so made an effort in 2023 to finish series I've already started. I need to make room in my brain before I start any others. 
  • John Banville/Benjamin Black’s Quirke: I read the last two.
  • Colin Bateman’s Mystery Man: I finished the last one.
  • E.F. Benson’s Mapp & Lucia: Not a mystery series. I read the final three.
  • Anthony Horowitz's Hawthorne: I read the fourth one and am caught up until/unless he writes another.
  • Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole: I didn't finish reading all of them, but they got increasingly more gruesome and scary. I read The Snowman last year and it was past the scary limit for me, so I am done with this series.
  • Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club: I read all four.
  • Louise Penny’s Three Pines: I read eight and caught up until she writes a new one.
  • Dorothy L. Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey: I finished the novels a couple of years back and finally read all the short stories.
SERIES CONTINUED
  • Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlow: I read The Long Good-Bye last year and have read several others. I love them but want to wrap up the series.
  • Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot: I only read one last year, The Big Four, and have a long way to go. 
  • Elizabeth George's Lynley/Havers: These are chunksters! I read six in 2023 and have nine to go before I'm caught up. 
  • Susan Howatch's Starbridge: A series about the Church of England in the first half (or so) of the 20th Century. I read the fifth of six, Mystical Paths.
  • Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther: Even though I don't read many WWII stories, I read the third one and plan to continue now that the stories are past the war and into the Cold War.
  • Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti: I am not reading these in order, which is highly unusual for me. I read Aqua Alta last year, my ninth, and there are 23 others in the series so I don't plan to read them all. 
  • Ian Rankin's John Rebus: This is a favorite, but I am ready to move on. I read seven last year and have three to go. 
SERIES BEGUN
That's a wrap! On to 2024! 

What bookish thing are you most looking forward to?




Thursday, January 25, 2024

Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Thank you for joining me on Book Beginnings on Fridays. Please share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week. Feel free to share from a book that captured your fancy, even if you are not reading it right now.

MY BOOK BEGINNING
Midway through the journey of my life, I found myself in the woods of eastern Ontario, living in a remote Catholic religious community called Madonna House.
-- from Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz. I just finished this and loved it. Hitz examines the joys of intellectual pursuits, how “leisure” differs from “recreation,” and why our regular jobs are not (usually) intellectually fulfilling. This was on my TBR 24 in '24 nonfiction stack.


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please add the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below. If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings so we can find each other.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


THE FRIDAY 56

The Friday 56 is a natural tie-in with Book Beginnings. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your featured book. If you are reading an ebook or audiobook, find your teaser from the 56% mark.

Freda at Freda's Voice started and hosted The Friday 56 for a long, long time. She is taking a break and Anne at My Head if Full of Books has taken on hosting duties in her absence. Please visit Anne's blog and link to your Friday 56 post.

MY FRIDAY 56

-- from Lost in Thought:
When we cultivate an inner life, we set aside concerns for social ease or advancement. We forget, if only temporarily, the anxious press of necessities.
What a lovely thought!

FROM THE PUBLISHER'S DESCRIPTION
In an overloaded, superficial, technological world, in which almost everything and everybody is judged by its usefulness, where can we turn for escape, lasting pleasure, contemplation, or connection to others? While many forms of leisure meet these needs, Zena Hitz writes, few experiences are so fulfilling as the inner life, whether that of a bookworm, an amateur astronomer, a birdwatcher, or someone who takes a deep interest in one of countless other subjects. Drawing on inspiring examples, from Socrates and Augustine to Malcolm X and Elena Ferrante, and from films to Hitz's own experiences as someone who walked away from elite university life in search of greater fulfillment, Lost in Thought is a passionate and timely reminder that a rich life is a life rich in thought.







Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Book List: Books Read in 2023

BOOKS READ IN 2023

Every year, usually in January, I post a list of the books I read the prior year. My master list of the books I read on LibraryThing.

Here's the list of the 139 books I read in 2023, in the order I read them. Usually, I read 100 - 110 books in a year. I don't know how I finished 30+ more in 2023.

Notes about my rating system are below the list.

  1. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  2. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (abridged*) 
  3. Mystical Paths by Susan Howatch ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  4. Know Your Style: Mix It, Match It, Love It by Alyson Walsh ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  5. The Big Four by Agatha Christie ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  6. The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  7. Slightly Foxed: String is My Foible, Vol. 76 by Gail Pirkis (Ed.) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  8. Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  9. Playing for the Ashes by Elizabeth George ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  10. A German Requiem by Philip Kerr ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  11. The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  12. Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  13. Waverley by Sir Walter Scott ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  14. The King's General by Daphne du Maurier ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  15. Resurrection Men by Ian Rankin ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  16. The Waste Land & Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  17. The Maid by Nita Prose ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  18. The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  19. Hill House Living: The Art of Creating a Joyful Life by Paula Sutton ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  20. The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  21. The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Grof ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  22. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  23. Oregon Confetti by Lee Oser ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  24. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  25. The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  26. Mrs. Ted Bliss by Stanley Elkin ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  27. Rule Britannia by Daphne du Maurier ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  28. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  29. Even the Dead by Benjamin Black ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  30. The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  31. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  32. Winston Churchill: Painting on the French Riviera by Paul Rafferty ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  33. A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  34. Slightly Foxed, A Date With Iris, Vol. 25 by Gail Pirkis (Ed.) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  35. A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  36. Trailing: A Memoir by Kristin Louise Duncombe ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  37. April in Spain by John Banville ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  38. Five Flights Up: Sex, Love, and Family, from Paris to Lyon by Kristin Louise Duncombe ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  39. The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  40. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  41. Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  42. The Flight of the Falcon by Daphne du Maurier ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  43. The Holy Bible, King James Version ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน (duh)
  44. On Cussing: Bad Words and Creative Cursing by Katherine Dunn ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  45. In the Presence of the Enemy by Elizabeth George ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  46. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  47. Dragons & Pagodas: A Celebration of Chinoiserie by Aldous Bertram ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  48. Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  49. So Big by Edna Ferber ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  50. The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  51. A Cordiall Water: A Garland of Odd and Old Receipts to Assuage the Ills of Man and Beast by M.F.K. Fisher ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  52. Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  53. Glass Houses by Louise Penny ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  54. Fleshmarket Close by Ian Rankin ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  55. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  56. Mapp & Lucia by E. F. Benson ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  57. The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  58. Black Dogs by Ian McEwan ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  59. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  60. Slightly Foxed: Beside the Seaside, Vol. 75 by Gail Perkis (Ed.) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  61. More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  62. Deception on His Mind by Elizabeth George ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  63. Horse by Geraldine Brooks ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  64. Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  65. Lucia's Progress by E. F. Benson ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  66. Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  67. Trouble for Lucia by E. F. Benson ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  68. The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  69. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  70. Ms. Demeanor by Elinor Lipman ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  71. The Grave Gourmet by Alexander Campion ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  72. Assignment in Brittany by Helen MacInnes ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  73. A Simple Country Murder by Blythe Baker ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  74. In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner by Elizabeth George ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  75. Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  76. Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh  ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  77. The Sellout by Paul Beatty ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  78. A Better Man by Louise Penny ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  79. French Ways and Their Meaning by Edith Wharton ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  80. Slightly Foxed: Laughter in the Library, Vol. 77 by Gail Pirkis (Ed.) ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  81. Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  82. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  83. S. by John Updike ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  84. Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  85. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  86. Three Fires by Denise Mina ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  87. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน 
  88. Dusk and Other Stories by James Salter ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  89. The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  90. Prisoner of Brenda: Curses, Nurses, and a Ticket to Bedlam by Colin Bateman ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน 
  91. Snow by John Banville ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  92. Blood From a Stone: A Memoir of How Wine Brought Me Back from the Dead by Adam S. McHugh ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  93. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  94. After Many a Summer Dies the Swan by Aldous Huxley ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  95. All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  96. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  97. The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  98. The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  99. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  100. He Said He Would Be Late by Justine Sullivan ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  101. A Traitor to Memory by Elizabeth George ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  102. Tom Lake by Ann Patchet ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  103. Scandinavian Noir: In Pursuit of a Mystery by Wendy Lesser ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  104. Venice Observed by Mary McCarthy ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  105. Exit Music by Ian Rankin ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  106. Liza of Lambeth by W. Somerset Mugham ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  107. One More Seat at the Rounds Table by Susan Dormady Eisenberg ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  108. Mating by Norman Rush ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  109. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  110. The Chosen by Chaim Potok ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  111. The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  112. The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  113. Hungry Hill by Daphne du Maurier ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  114. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  115. The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  116. The Collected Poems by W. B. Yeats ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  117. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  118. The Long Good-Bye by Raymond Chandler ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  119. The Man with Two Left Feet by P. G. Wodehouse ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  120. Black Mischief by Evelyn Waugh ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  121. Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  122. In Search of a Character: Two African Journals by Graham Greene ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  123. A Place of Hiding by Elizabeth George ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  124. A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  125. The Prince and Betty by P. G. Wodehouse ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  126. Innocent Blood by P. D. James ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  127. Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  128. Yellowface by R. F. Kuang ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  129. The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  130. The Bear Comes Home by Rafi Zabor ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  131. Straight Man by Richard Russo ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  132. Piccadilly Jim by P. G. Wodehouse ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  133. The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  134. Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  135. The Complete Lord Peter Wimsey Stories by Dorothy L. Sayers ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  136. Aqua Alta by Donna Leon ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  137. The Spring by Megan Weiler ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน1/2
  138. The Tuscan Year: Life and Food in an Italian Valley by Elizabeth Romer ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
  139. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน
* I didn't realize that my very old (like 1890) edition of Our Mutual Friend was abridged until I got to the end of it. I loved the story, but thought it was herky jerky and that I had missed big parts. It was herky jerky and I did miss big -- and little -- parts. So I can't rate it now. I plan to read the complete version again and know I will love it.  

MY RATING SYSTEM

I switched to using roses for my rating system, since this is Rose City Reader. My rating system is my own and evolving. Whatever five stars might mean on amazon, goodreads, or Netflix, a five-rose rating probably doesn't mean that here. My system is a mix of how a book subjectively appeals to me, its technical merits, and whether I would recommend it to other people.

๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน Five roses for books I loved, or would recommend to anyone, or I think are worthy of classic "must read" status." Examples would be Lucky Jim (personal favorite), A Gentleman in Moscow (universal recommendation), and Great Expectations (must read).

๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน Four roses for books I really enjoyed and/or would recommend to people who enjoy that type of book. So I give a lot of four roses because I might really like a book, but it didn't knock my socks off. And while I'd recommend it to someone who likes that genre -- mystery, historical fiction, food writing, whatever -- I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who asked me for a "good book."

๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน Three roses for books I was lukewarm on or maybe was glad I read but wouldn't recommend.

๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน Two roses if I didn't like it. Lessons in Chemistry is an example, which proves how subjective my system is because lots of people loved that book. I found it cartoonish and intolerant.

๐ŸŒน One rose if I really didn't like it. I don't know if I've ever rated a book this low. The Magus might be my only example and I read it before I started keeping my lists.

I use half roses if a book falls between categories. I can't explain what that half rose might mean, it's just a feeling.

Here is a link to the star rating system I used for years. I include it because the stars I used in years past meant something different than these roses, so if you look at my lists from past years, the ratings won't mean quite the same thing.


Thursday, January 18, 2024

Book Beginnings on Fridays on Rose City Reader

 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Thanks for joining me for Book Beginnings on Fridays, where participants share the first sentences (or so) of the books they are reading this week. You can also share from a book that caught your eye, even if you are not reading it this week.

The day got away from me, so I have just enough time to put up this week's post. I will have to come back tomorrow to add my own book beginning. In the meantime, please share yours in the Linky box below. If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbegninnings. 

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


THE FRIDAY 56

The Friday 56 is a natural tie-in with Book Beginnings. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your featured book. If you are reading an ebook or audiobook, find your teaser from the 56% mark.

Freda at Freda's Voice started and hosted The Friday 56 for a long, long time. She is taking a break and Anne at My Head if Full of Books has taken on hosting duties in her absence. Please visit Anne's blog and link to your Friday 56 post.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...