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text 2017-07-05 01:52
June Reading
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life - Helen Czerski

12 books read in June.  Not my highest month, but respectable by any measure.

 

5,332 pages read for a total of 37,037 pages read so far this year.  At the halfway mark of the Reading Challenge I've read 144 books out of the 200 slated for the year.  My second half of the year is always a slower reading time, so I feel like I'm actually right on track.

 

Just the one 4.5 star read this month: Storm in a Teacup by Helen Czerski; the best reading in fiction this month didn't surpass 4 stars, but there were 6 of those which is more than half the remaining books.  So all in all, a good month.

 

4 Stars:

A Morbid Taste for Bones - Ellis Peters  Paws and Effect - Sofie Kelly  The Circular Staircase - Mary Roberts Rinehart  
Nightshade for Warning - Bailey Cattrell  Sweep in Peace - Ilona Andrews  One of Our Thursdays Is Missing - Jasper Fforde  

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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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