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text 2018-12-25 23:51
24 Festive Tasks: Door 22 - New Year's Eve, Tasks 1 and 3 (2019 Book Goals and Book Lottery)
Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Wie Spreu im Wind - Uli Wittmann,Maryse Condé
The Good Women of China - Xinran
The Summer Before the War - Helen Simonson
At The Existentialist Café - Sarah Bakewell
2019 Reading Plans:

I am planning a reprise of my Women Writers project for 2019; with a twist, however: On Goodreads, I used to be a member of the Around the World in 80 Books group (the name is pretty much self-explanatory) -- I'd like to combine that basic idea with my "women writers" selections, with the aim of diversifying my reading regionally / internationally.  While my 2018 Women Writers project was a rousing success in terms of the male / female author ratio (roughly 2:1), it's impossible to miss that I read a lot of books by English and North American authors; so in 2019, I'm going to aim for a wider spread next year, both in terms of authors and book settings.

 

(By the same token, I am also planning to continue my exploration of the world of Golden Age mysteries, so make of that what you will ... there's bound to be some juggling, I suspect.)

 

Book Lottery:

With the above diversification aim in mind, I picked my 5 candidates for the first book I am going to read in 2019:

 

... which were then folded and went into the drawing box, where they were thoroughly shaken up and mixed:

And the winner is:

... which is excellent news, since Xinran's Sky Burial (which I just read today) is truly outstanding; even if The Good Women of China, going by what I've heard, makes for truly heartrending reading at times.

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-11-23 21:42
Reading Anniversaries & First-in-a-Series — August Edition
 
Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on November 23, 2018.

 

 

2018

 

Go here for the books I read in August this year!

 

2017

 

104351

 

A Plague of Angels by Sheri S. Tepper

 

My review

 

 

1000810

 

Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker

 

My review

 

 

2016

 

840178

 

The Unadulterated Cat by Terry Pratchett

 

My review

 

2015

 

20299735

 

Samurai Jack, Vol. 1 by Jim Zub

 

As fun as the cartoon had been!

 

 

2014

 

104344

 

The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper

 

I'm beginning to appreciate Tepper's writing I think. This book started the way most books based on a dichotomous society would start. The women were good for breeding and whoring. The men enlisted in the military and lorded over the women. But the twist at the end took me by surprise! Read my appreciation of her other book here.

 

2013

 

19086439

 

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

While political strife forms the backdrop in this book, our focus is on one family trying to get through all the chaos in one piece. I loved every bit of this book! This was my first book by Adichie and I can't wait to try the others.

 

 

2012

 

33459

 

Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore

 

Irreverent as heck but laugh out loud funny is how I'd describe Moore's humor. In this book, a conman meets The Conman i.e. Coyote, the trickster god. Hilarity ensues!

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text 2018-11-22 18:46
24 Festive Tasks: Door 9 - Thanksgiving, Task 1 (Favorite Books of 2018)
Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Solitary Summer - Elizabeth von Arnim
The Ballad of Frankie Silver - Sharyn McCrumb
Their Lost Daughters - Joy Ellis,Richard Armitage
Harry Potter Box Set: The Complete Collection - J.K. Rowling

2018 was an excellent reading year for me, both in terms of quantity and quality -- yet, among the many great books I newly read this year, these stood out in particular:

 

1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Half of a Yellow Sun -- a multiple-perspective inside view of the Biafra conflict that manages to be brutally honest, insightful, saddening and poetical all at the same time.  Review HERE.

 

2. Elizabeth von Arnim: The Solitary Summer -- in many ways the exact counterpoint to Half of a Yellow Sun: a largely autobiographical ode to reading, and to the peace and quiet of a summer garden ... with more than an occasional sidelight on early 20th century Prussian country life and mores.  Status updates:

3 / 190 pages ~~ 9 / 190 pages ~~ 14 / 190 pages ~~ 22 / 190 pages ~~ 30 / 190 pages ~~ 41 / 190 pages ~~ 46 / 190 pages ~~ 55 / 190 pages ~~ 62 / 190 pages ~~ 65 / 190 pages ~~ 67 / 190 pages ~~ 69 / 190 pages ~~ 83 / 190 pages ~~ 87 / 190 pages ~~ 89 / 190 pages ~~ 93 / 190 pages ~~ 95 / 190 pages ~~ 106 / 190 pages ~~ 110 / 190 pages ~~ 126 / 190 pages ~~ 131 / 190 pages ~~ 133 / 190 pages ~~ 140 / 190 pages ~~ 147 / 190 pages.

(An eminently quotable book, as you can see.)

 

And joint honors for No. 3:

3.a) Sharyn McCrumb: The Ballad of Frankie Silver -- an examination of the death penalty as administered in the Appalachians as only Sharyn McCrumb could have written it, contrasting the historical case of 18-year-old Frankie Silver (the first white woman to be hanged in the area) with a fictional modern counterpart.  Like Half of a Yellow Sun, equal parts brutal, saddening and lyrical.  Review HERE.

 

3.b) Joy Ellis: Their Lost Daughters -- modern crime fiction as it ought to be: very (darkly) atmospheric, but without even an ounce of sentimentality; with compelling characters, an intricate plot, a great, not-yet-overexploited setting and a satisfying conclusion.  Review HERE.

 

Honorable mention goes to my reread of this year -- J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, which I fell in love with all over again ... to the point of splurging on the new hardcover set and the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

 


And lest anybody point out that this is, in sum, vastly more than the "top three" books called for in the task: I'm a Libra -- do you know what an effort it was to even narrow it down this much??  Besides, I'm counting the Harry Potter series as one book, so there ...

 

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text 2018-08-17 15:57
Awsome..
Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This book is the BEST BOOK EVER! It was thrilling and interesting! But they HAD to end it in suspense! The end was the best part! I wont say because I don't want to spoil it for some people. I am always inspired by Chimamanda's books.

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text 2018-08-17 15:52
Deep, serious, yet... funny.
The Thing Around Your Neck - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie never fails to impress. Her books are deep and very interesting. I am currently reading this book and I am already finding it VERY interesting. It is serious, yet funny.  

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