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text 2017-06-02 04:11
May Reading: Epilogue
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight - Darynda Jones
Mycroft Holmes - Anna Waterhouse,Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

21 books this month.  One DNF.  Lots of 4 star reads but nothing in the 4.5 or 5 star range this month.  Very little non-fiction either, as I'm mostly focusing on BookLikes-opoly.

 

Of my 4 star reads the one that stand out in my mind were Eleventh Grave in Moonlight  and Mycroft Holmes.

 

This month I've read 6,262 pages for a total of 31,705 year to date.

 

A pretty good month overall, just not as terrific as they've been so far this year.  Still I'll take this as a 'bad' month any day!

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text 2017-05-01 08:10
April Reading in Review
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
Fast Women - Jennifer Crusie
The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe - Arthur Conan Doyle
Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties - Rachel Cooke
Roger, Sausage and Whippet - Christopher Moore
The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama - Roland Merullo
The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures - Carla D. Hayden,Library of Congress

I had 2 weeks of school holidays and Easter weekend in my favour this month, but unforeseen events put a hitch in my gitalong at the end of April.  Still I had a solid reading month and I'm not complaining at all.

 

28 books  / 7,511 pages read.

 

2 Five-star reads this time, although one of them is a re-read.  Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman  was so good in audio, I went out and bought a print copy for my shelves.  Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie is one of my all-time favourites and it never gets tired.

 

3 out of the 5 4.5 star reads were non-fiction, but one of those, Roger, Sausage and Whippet by Christopher Moore, a glossary of WWI terms, snuck a narrative in that was riveting, if only in its unexpectedness.  Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties by Rachel Cooke was great too, although as I said in my review, I'm not sure some of these women could be called roll models.  The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Carla D. Hayden, Library of Congress is one of those books you either appreciate, or you don't.  Obviously, I did.  

 

The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama by Roland Merullo is the fictional equivalent of The Card Catalog - it's not going to be for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it left me chewing over more than a few things.

 

But by far, the breakout star of my month was The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe by Arthur Conan Doyle, a short ghost story that is believed to be one of the first Doyle wrote but was never published in his lifetime.  The only reason I dinged it 1/2 star is because the introduction is 30 pages longer than the story itself, and spends a lot of those 30 pages excusing the weakness of the story itself, which, by the way, isn't weak at all; it's a ripper of a ghost story.  If you like Doyle or ghosts, or both, you should find this story and read it.  

 

May your May be full of extraordinary reads.  And I don't mean maybe.  (sorry.)

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text 2017-03-31 10:10
March Reading Review
More Baths, Less Talking - Nick Hornby
My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth - Wendy E. Simmons
Silence Fallen - Patricia Briggs
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders - Dylan Thuras,Ella Morton,Joshua Foer
The Phantom Atlas: The Greatest Myths, Lies and Blunders on Maps - Edward Brooke-Hitching

Well, this month was an average killer.  I went on an atlas reading spree this month and it too so much longer than I thought it would.  Then there was the whole grudge match between myself and The Name of the Rose, when it wasn't just the lord for whom a day was like a thousand years.

 

Still I had a good reading month by anyone's standards, with 16 books read and a total of 4879 pages.  Contrarily, I smashed by Fastest Read of 2017, with Etched in Bone, devouring it in one day.

 

3 5-star reads this month:

Silence Fallen - Patricia Briggs 

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders - Dylan Thuras,Ella Morton,Joshua Foer 

My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth - Wendy E. Simmons 

 

2 4.5-star reads:

More Baths, Less Talking - Nick Hornby 

The Phantom Atlas: The Greatest Myths, Lies and Blunders on Maps - Edward Brooke-Hitching 

 

No 1-star reads this month, thankfully.  Lots of non-fiction, although I counter-balanced them with the most fictional stories possible.

 

How was your March reading?

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text 2017-03-02 02:32
February Reading
The Genius of Birds - Jennifer Ackerman
The Persian Pickle Club - Sandra Dallas
A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup
The Big Over Easy - Jasper Fforde
The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms - Amy Stewart
The White Cottage Mystery - Margery Allingham
From the Ground Up: The Story of A First Garden - Amy Stewart
Wild Strawberries - Angela Thirkell
Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores: True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers - Garrison Keillor,Bob Eckstein
Speaking American: How Y'all, Youse , and You Guys Talk: A Visual Guide - Josh Katz

Another great month by the numbers, but in context, there were a lot of short books again this month.  I'm trying to get my TBR pile down quickly by going for the low-hanging fruit.

 

So 27 books read in February, and I've been good about updating my book editions with the correct page numbers, so I know I've read 5,024 pages this month.  Usually that's not a stat I care much about, but knowing it's accurate makes it more interesting (to me).

 

My stats are skewed this month for a variety of reasons: more 4.5 and 5 star ratings because of a few pop-up books that are sheer artistry:

Leonardo da Vinci's Remarkable Machines

Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs

Encyclopedia Prehistorica Megabeasts 

 

A gift book of quotes from a friend who personalised it with notes and cards, making it a personal treasure:

No Two Persons Ever Read the Same Book: Quotes on Books, Reading and Writing

 

And then the great reads this month from a more objective (yet still subjective) point of view:

 

Fiction:

The Persian Pickle Club

The Big Over Easy 

The White Cottage Mystery

Wild Strawberries

 

Non-Fiction: 

From the Ground Up: The Story of A First Garden

Speaking American: How Y'all, Youse , and You Guys Talk: A Visual Guide

Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores

A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie

The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms

The Genius of Birds

 

Another month heavy with non-fiction, and looking at my TBR pile(s) it's a trend that's going to continue; there's a lot more fact waiting on me than there is fiction.

 

The book I liked the least was Double Love, which sort of isn't fair: it's the poster-book for all that is silly teenage angst from a female POV.  It's a silly book, but it is written for a traditionally silly market.  And I loved it when I was a kid.

 

My least favourite this month that was written for my demographic is Better Late Than Never which is what a reader gets when good writers go bad.  At least I got my happy ending.

 

Generally a very happy reading month; hope everyone else had one too!

 

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text 2017-01-30 07:41
January Reading
Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume - Julie Kenner,Jennifer Coburn,Megan McCafferty,Lynda Curnyn,Jennifer O'Connell,Melissa Senate,Diana Peterfreund,Stephanie Lessing,Laura Ruby,Erica Orloff,Stacey Ballis,Kristin Harmel,Shanna Wendson,Elise Juska,Kyra Davis,Beth Kendrick,Berta Platas,Kayla Pe
The Bookshop on the Corner - Jenny Colgan

January is always the best reading month for me for the simple reason that it's summer holidays here Down Under and I'm off work for 4 weeks.  MT's at work for 3 of those weeks, which means 21 blissful days of reading for hours, uninterrupted.  

 

I knocked 33 34 books off my pile this month and because it's the first month of the year, it was easy to see on the challenge page that I'd read 7685 8029 pages.  I got a bug in my ear about that page number thing and went through all the books I read, updating them so I could see an accurate pages read number.  I probably won't do that again, but I am inspired to try and check for accurate page numbers as I finish each book.

 

I had been quietly aiming for a book a day, so I'm super pleased to have slightly exceeded that.  Most of the books weren't at all long, but I was going for maximum number of physical books knocked off the top of Mt. TBR, so I was purposefully going for the low-hanging fruit.

 

I had a lot of very good reads this month but far and away the two that made me the happiest were Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume  and The Bookshop on the Corner.  

 

I had 4 other 5-star reads:

A Certain Age 

Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places 

Leonardo da Vinci 

What A Plant Knows: a field guide to the senses 

 

and 5 4.5-star reads (3 of which were vintage children/YA books):

Around the World in 80 Cliches: Overused Expressions from Across the Globe

Freckle Juice

Then Again, Maybe I Won't

It's Not the End of the World

You're Saying It Wrong: A Pronunciation Guide to the 150 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words--and Their Tangled Histories of Misuse

 

Back to work today, and walked in to find the critical piece of equipment controlling the wi-fi up and died over the break and teachers in a panic, so I'm making up for those 21 days. But it's totally worth it.  :)

 

ETA: Updated books read and page count because I finished my last book quicker than I expected on the 31st.

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