Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2021 Calendar of Crime Reading Challenge

Click HERE for Guidelines and Sign-ups.

HOST: Bev @ MY READER'S BLOCK 

DATES: January 1 - December 31, 2021


My favorite genre. And one of my favorite challenges. I'm signing up again for 2021, and hoping to do a better job with reviews next year. I'll be tracking my progress and keeping all my lists and links over on my challenge blog (HERE). 

 

Friday, December 25, 2020

2021 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

Click HERE for Guidelines and Sign-ups.

HOST: Carol @ Carol's Notebook

DATES: January 1 - December 31, 2021

For the Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge you can read any book from the mystery/suspense/thriller/crime genres. And since those are the genres I read more than any others, it's the perfect challenge for me. Somehow I missed out on last year's challenge, but I'm in for 2021. I'll be signing up at the "Amateur Sleuth" level (5-15 books). Not sure exactly what I'll be reading, but during the year I'll be tracking my progress and keeping all my lists on my challenge blog (HERE).


2020 Calendar of Crime Reading Challenge: The Wrap-Up

The Calendar of Crime Reading Challenge -- hosted by Bev Hankins at her MY READER'S BLOCK blog -- is one of the funnest challenges around, if you're a mystery fanatic like I am. Of course, I always hope I'll be able to read much more than I actually do; and in that, 2020 was no exception. But I did manage to read at least one qualifying book per month, even though I didn't get any reviews posted. 

Here's the category check-off sheet, and a list of what I read for each month:

JANUARY:
In the Last Analysis (Kate Fansler #1). Amanda Cross (Category #2: Author's birth month)

FEBRUARY:
A Fragment of Fear. John Bingham (Category #7: Book title has word starting with "F")

MARCH:
The Silent Speaker (Nero Wolfe #11). Rex Stout (Category #3: Primary action takes place during this month)

APRIL:
And Be a Villain (Nero Wolfe #13). Rex Stout (Category #7: Book title has word starting with "A")

MAY:
• Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage (Agatha Raisin #5). M.C. Beaton (Category #7: Book title has word starting with "M")

JUNE:
The Haunted Lady (Hilda Adams/"Miss Pinkerton" Mystery). Mary Roberts Rinehart (Category #3: Primary action takes place during this month)

JULY:
Where There's a Will (Nero Wolfe #8). Rex Stout (Category #3: Primary action takes place during this month)

AUGUST:
A Death Long Overdue (Lighthouse Library Mystery #7). Eva Gates (Category #9: Summer holiday setting - Nags Head NC)

SEPTEMBER:
The Suicide House. Charlie Donlea (Category #7: Book title has word beginning with "S")

OCTOBER:
Still Life (Inspector Gamache #1). Louise Penny (Category #3: Primary action takes place in this month)

NOVEMBER:
Knot of This World (Quilting Mystery #8). Mary Marks (Category #9: Family relationships play major role)

DECEMBER:
Snow (St. John Strafford #1). John Banville (Category #3: Primary action takes place in this month) 


Bev has announced the 2021 edition of the challenge, and you can see the rules and find the sign-up form HERE.


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

2021 European Reading Challenge

Click HERE for guidelines and sign-ups.

HOST: Gilion Dumas @ Rose City Reader

DATES: January 1, 2021 - January 31, 2022

Gilion's annual European Reading Challenge is always one of my favorite challenges, even though I don't always do as well as I'd like. But last year I signed up to read three books, and managed to get them all read. So for the 2021 challenge, I think I'll stick with that number, and sign up as a "Business Traveler" (the Three-Star Level).

The idea of the challenge is to read books by European authors or set in European countries. You can see the list of countries on the announcement page. I don't have any specific books in mind for next year, but I'm hoping to explore a couple of places I've never visited before.

During the year, I'll be tracking my progress and keeping my lists over on my challenge blog (HERE). 

 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Book Beginnings: An Artist of the Floating World

An Artist of the Floating World
by Kazuo Ishiguro

Vintage, 2012; First published 1986


Opening Lines
If on a sunny day you climb the steep path leading up from the little wooden bridge still referred to around here as 'the Bridge of Hesitation', you will not have to walk far before the roof of my house becomes visible between the tops of two gingko trees. Even if it did not occupy such a commanding position on the hill, the house would still stand out from all the others nearby, so that as you come up the path, you may find yourself wondering what sort of wealthy man owns it.


About the Book
In the face of the misery in his homeland, the artist Masuji Ono was unwilling to devote his art solely to the celebration of physical beauty. Instead, he put his work in the service of the imperialist movement that led Japan into World War II. 
Now, as the mature Ono struggles through the aftermath of that war, his memories of his youth and of the “floating world”—the nocturnal world of pleasure, entertainment, and drink—offer him both escape and redemption, even as they punish him for betraying his early promise. Indicted by society for its defeat and reviled for his past aesthetics, he relives the passage through his personal history that makes him both a hero and a coward but, above all, a human being. (Publisher's description)

Initial Thoughts
 
This is a book I've had on my must-read list for many years, and I finally pulled it out and started it last month. I'm enjoying it, but it's taking longer than I expected to finish. Ishiguro's style in this early novel is a bit meandering, very much like that opening paragraph, and tends to wander around and double back on itself. Enjoyable, but now and then I start wishing he'd just focus and get to the point. 


Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.

 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Click HERE for Guidelines and Sign-Ups


The 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge is being hosted by Marg @ The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader. I'm signing up at the "20th Century Reader" level (2 books), and hoping to do a little better than that. During the year, I'll be tracking my progress and keeping my lists on my challenge blog (HERE). 


2021 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge

Click HERE for Guidelines and Sign-Ups

I'm such a reading challenge junkie, if I'm not careful I'd be signing up for every single one that comes along. And, of course, that would be madness. 

But I'm signing up for this one. It's being hosted by Celebrity Readers, and you can click on the link above, for the announcement/sign-up page.

I have dozens of series started, and I'd really like to finish at least a few of them next year. Hoping this challenge will give me the nudge I need.

I'll probably aim for the "C-List" level (complete 1-4 series). Haven't decided exactly which ones to work on, but these are some of the possibilities:

During the year, I'll be tracking my progress and keeping all my lists on my challenge blog (HERE). 

Friday, December 11, 2020

2020 Children's and Teen Choice Book Award Winners Announced

As an enthusiastic reader of children's literature, I'm always interested in the various awards presented every year, and I hadn't heard about these before now. 

The Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards are handed out annually by Every Child a Reader, the charitable arm of the Children's Book Council, and are the only national book awards selected exclusively by young readers.

The awards are divided into four categories, and the seven finalists in each category are chosen by children from different regions of the U.S., with supervision by the International Literacy Association. The voting for the winners was held in classrooms, libraries, bookstores, and online at home, from September 14th to November 15th.

The 2020 awards were given to books published in 2019. Winners and honor books in the four categories are:

• K–Second Grade


 Winner: The Good Egg by Jory John, illus. by Pete Oswald (HarperCollins)

Honor: The Babysitter from Another Planet by Stephen Savage (Holiday House/Porter)

 
• Third–Fourth Grade

Winner: The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illus. by Kadir Nelson (HMH/Versify)

Honor: Mr. Posey’s New Glasses by Ted Kooser, illus. by Daniel Duncan (Candlewick)


• Fifth–Sixth Grade

Winner: Guts by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic/Graphix)


Honor: Pandora’s Legacy by Bones Leopard, illus. by Kelly Matthews and Nichole Matthews (BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!)

 • Teen Choice Book Award

Winner: Mirror, Mirror: A Twisted Tale by Jen Calonita (Disney-Hyperion)

Honor: Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan (Bloomsbury)

(Information from Publisher's Weekly)


These all sound like books I'd like to read...even though I'm several generations past high school age!

 

Book Beginnings: Take a Look at the Five and Ten

 


Take a Look at the Five and Ten
by Connie Willis

Subterranean Press, November 2020


Opening Lines
Everybody has a traumatic Christmas memory, and mine was always Christmas dinner, partly because in my family (a term used very loosely), it's actually a series of dinners — Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, and a New Year's Eve buffet, and if my one-time stepfather Dave had his way, we'd also have St. Lucia's Day and Boxing Day and Twelfth Night dinners, and who knows what else.


About the Book
Ori’s holidays are an endless series of elaborately awful meals cooked by her one-time stepfather Dave’s latest bride. Attended by a loose assemblage of family, Ori particularly dreads Grandma Elving—grandmother of Dave’s fourth wife—and her rhapsodizing about the Christmas she worked at Woolworth’s in the 1950s. And, of course, Ori hates being condescended to by beautiful, popular Sloane and her latest handsome pre-med or pre-law boyfriend. 

But this Christmas is different. Sloane’s latest catch Lassiter is extremely interested in Grandma Elving’s boringly detailed memories of that seasonal job, seeing in them the hallmarks of a TFBM, or traumatic flashbulb memory. With Ori’s assistance, he begins to use the older woman in an experiment—one she eagerly agrees to. As Ori and Lassiter spend more time together, Ori’s feelings for him grow alongside the elusive mystery of Grandma’s past. (Publisher's description)


Initial Thoughts
 
Well, my first thought was: That opening paragraph is just one very long sentence! But intriguing. It does make me want to keep reading.

Of course, it also makes me think about traumatic Christmas memories. Yeah, I guess we've all got 'em. Mine have more to do with Christmas travel. After I moved away from Texas and my family, coming home for Christmas usually meant hours of flying or driving in snowy, icy weather. Or, some years, not being able to get home at all. 

But I've got lots of wonderful Christmas memories, too. So I guess it all balances out. 

It's a little unusual for me to read Christmas-themed books during the holidays. Not by plan, just doesn't usually work out that way. Are you reading anything Christmas-y for the season? I'd love recommendations.


Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.

 

Saturday, December 05, 2020

2020 European Reading Challenge: Wrap-Up Post

Now that December's here, I guess it's time to start wrapping up some reading challenges. I didn't join many challenges in 2020, so there's not all that much wrapping up to do.

First on the list is Rose City Reader's European Reading Challenge: always one of my favorite challenges, though I don't always do a great job with it. For 2020, I joined up at the "Business Traveler" level and committed to read just three books. And I was only half successful -- I did manage to read my three, but didn't get any reviews posted. (Sorry about that. Didn't really post many reviews to the blog this year. Must do a better job in 2021!) Here's what I read (links are to descriptions at GoodReads):

The Circus, by Jonas Karlsson (set in Stockholm, Sweden) 

Murder She Wrote: Gin & Daggers (Murder, She Wrote #1), by "Jessica Fletcher" and Donald Bain (set in UK, mostly London)

Snow (St. John Strafford #1), by John Banville (set in Ireland

Of those three, Snow was my favorite, although I enjoyed them all. I was just a bit disappointed in The Circus, only because I thought it didn't really come up to the quality of Karlsson's earlier two novels, The Room (which I loved) and The Invoice. But that's a high standard, and it was still a fun read. And I can't believe it took me so long to read my first Murder She Wrote mystery, since I loved the TV series so much. I can see a lot more Jessica in my future.

As I said, I do love this challenge -- it helps me discover new authors and read books I might otherwise ignore. Thanks so much to Gilion for doing the hosting. I'll definitely be joining up for 2021, if she keeps it going.

 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Book Beginnings: Head in the Sand


by Damien Boyd
(First published 2013)


Opening Lines
To the casual observer she appeared alive and well, but anyone who knew her would tell you that she had died twelve months ago when her daughter had been taken from her. She was still breathing, still crying and still feeling pain. Apart from that, she did and felt nothing.


About the Book
The discovery of a severed head in a bunker on Burnham and Berrow golf course triggers a frantic race to find a serial killer that brings the seaside town of Burnham-on-Sea to a standstill.

When the connection is made with a series of unsolved murders over thirty years before, Detective Inspector Nick Dixon finds himself chasing ghosts from the past in a race against time that takes him the length and breadth of the country.
  (Description from GoodReads)

Initial Thoughts
 
 I read the first Nick Dixon mystery (As the Crow Flies) when the US edition came out, back in 2015, and really enjoyed it. Not sure why it's taken me so long to get to the second book. So far, it's living up to its description as "a fast-paced thriller" ― which is just what I need right now, to help get me out of these reading doldrums I've fallen into lately.

I do have a little trouble with the Detective Inspector's name, however. Keep wanting to call him Dick Nixon, though he really has absolutely no resemblance to "Tricky Dick."


Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.

 

Friday, November 06, 2020

Book Beginnings: The Queen of the Tambourine


by Jane Gardam
(First published 1991)


Opening Lines
7 February
Dear Joan,

I do hope I know you well enough to say this.
I think you ought to try to forget about your leg.



About the Book
With prose that is vibrant and witty, The Queen of the Tambourine traces the emotional breakdown—and eventual restoration—of Eliza Peabody, a smart and wildly imaginative woman who has become unbearably isolated in her prosperous London neighborhood.

The letters Eliza writes to her neighbor, a woman whom she hardly knows, reveal her self-propelled descent into madness. Eliza must reach the depths of her downward spiral before she can once again find health and serenity.

This story of a woman’s confrontation with the realities of sanity will delight readers who enjoy the works of Anita Brookner, Sybille Bedford, Muriel Spark, and Sylvia Plath.
  (Publisher's back-of-book description)


Initial Thoughts
 
Forget about your leg? Well, all-righty. After that opening, I sort of had to go ahead with this one.

I've been wanting to read something by Jane Gardam for years now. (Well, why don't you just do it ?!?) Queen of the Tambourine won the Whitbread award for best novel of the year in 1991; it's been on my TBR list for many years, and so far I'm loving it. And after a couple of not-so-satisfying reads, that's a very welcome occurrence. 


Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.

 


Sunday, November 01, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

Hey, it's November! Suddenly! I'm not sure what happened to October. Did it really have 31 days this year?

Well, even though the month seemed to zip right by me, I did manage to get a little reading done. Here's what I read....

 
Snow (St John Strafford #1), by John Banville
 

 

 
Dear Mr. Henshaw, by Beverly Cleary

 
by Diane Muldrow

Not sure what I'll be reading this week. I've got an ARC that I need to read this month:

 

So that's a definite possibility. Never read anything by Connie Willis before. And I love discovering new authors, don't you?

Happy reading, everyone! And have a great week!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.


Friday, October 09, 2020

Book Beginnings: Snow


by John Banville
(October 2020)


Opening Lines
WINTER, 1957
I'm a priest, for Christ's sake -- how can this be happening to me?

About the Book
Following the discovery of the corpse of a highly respected parish priest at Ballyglass House — the Co. Wexford family seat of the aristocratic, secretive Osborne family — Detective Inspector St John Strafford is called in from Dublin to investigate.

Strafford faces obstruction from all angles, but carries on determinedly in his pursuit of the murderer. However, as the snow continues to fall over this ever-expanding mystery, the people of Ballyglass are equally determined to keep their secrets
.
  (Description from GoodReads)

Initial Thoughts
 
I was definitely intrigued by that first sentence, and by the book's description. I've been intending to read something by John Banville for years now, so I was happy to get an ARC of this one (yes, I'm a little late getting it read). So far, I'm liking it a lot — Inspector Strafford is really an interesting character, and as yet I don't have any idea "whodunnit." I like that. 

Hope to get it finished up tonight or over the weekend, if all goes well.

Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.

 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Banned Books Week


To kick off this year's Banned Books Week (Sep 27 - Oct 3), the American Library Association has published a list of the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Past Decade

It's an interesting list, with a few of my all-time favorites among the titles (Huck Finn, Lolita, 1984, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Also many titles I've never even heard of and lots I haven't read (and probably won't, at my age). But I'm intrigued, just the same. Here's the list, with the books I have read in bold typeface.

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  2. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  4. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  5. George by Alex Gino
  6. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  7. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  8. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
  9. Internet Girls (series) by Lauren Myracle
  10. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  11. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  12. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  13. I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel
  14. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  15. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  16. Bone (series) by Jeff Smith
  17. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  18. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  19. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
  20. Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg
  21. Alice McKinley (series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  22. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris
  23. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
  24. Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz
  25. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  26. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  27. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
  28. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  29. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  30. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  31. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
  32. It's a Book by Lane Smith
  33. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  34. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
  35. What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
  36. A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer
  37. Bad Kitty (series) by Nick Bruel
  38. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
  39. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
  40. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  41. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by Dav Pilkey
  42. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
  43. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
  44. A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
  45. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  46. Goosebumps (series) by R.L. Stine
  47. In Our Mothers' House by Patricia Polacco
  48. Lush by Natasha Friend
  49. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  50. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  51. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  52. The Holy Bible (well, I've read a lot of it)
  53. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
  54. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  55. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  56. Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily von Ziegesar
  57. House of Night (series) by P.C. Cast
  58. My Mom's Having A Baby by Dori Hillestad Butler
  59. Neonomicon by Alan Moore
  60. The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake
  61. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  62. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  63. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
  64. Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle
  65. Dreaming In Cuban by Cristina Garcia
  66. Fade by Lisa McMann
  67. The Family Book by Todd Parr
  68. Feed by M.T. Anderson
  69. Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
  70. Habibi by Craig Thompson
  71. House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  72. Jacob's New Dress by Sarah Hoffman
  73. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  74. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  75. Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter
  76. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan
  77. Stuck in the Middle by Ariel Schrag
  78. The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
  79. 1984 by George Orwell
  80. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  81. Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
  82. Awakening by Kate Chopin
  83. Burned by Ellen Hopkins
  84. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  85. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  86. Glass by Ellen Hopkins
  87. Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesle´a Newman
  88. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  89. Madeline and the Gypsies by Ludwig Bemelmans
  90. My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis
  91. Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack
  92. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology by Amy Sonnie
  93. Skippyjon Jones (series) by Judith Schachner
  94. So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins
  95. The Color of Earth (series) by Tong-hwa Kim
  96. The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
  97. The Walking Dead (series) by Robert Kirkman
  98. Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
  99. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S Brannen
  100. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Sunday, September 27, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

 
So here we are at the end of another month, and now it's autumn! Not my favorite time of year, but at least it's usually a pretty good reading season for me. This year, though, I seem to be getting off to a slow start — in the last couple of weeks, I've only finished two books:

The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides

and...

 
The Suicide House, by Charlie Donlea

The suicide theme there is just a coincidence, not something I planned. At least, not consciously!

Right now, I'm reading:

 

And this week, I'm also hoping to get back to another book I've got started:

 
The Talented Miss Farwell,
by Emily Gray Tedrowe

After I get those finished up, I need to start on a couple of recent ARCs:

 Snow, by John Banville

 The Lost Village, by Camilla Sten

Definitely enough to keep me occupied as October gets underway! Happy reading, everyone!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.


Friday, September 11, 2020

Book Beginnings: The Virgin Suicides

Is anyone else having problems with this new version of Blogger? I'm having loads of trouble getting this post together, so please excuse any weird glitches. I'm sure I'll work it out eventually, but right now WordPress is looking better and better. 
 

by Jeffrey Eugenides
(First published 1993)


Opening Sentence
On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide — it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese — the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope.

About the Book
... [The Virgin Suicides] is the story of the five Lisbon sisters – beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the entire neighborhood.

The boys that once loved them from afar are now grown men, determined to understand a tragedy that has always defied explanation. For still, the question remains – why did all five of the Lisbon girls take their own lives?

This hypnotic and unforgettable novel treats adolescent love and death with haunting sensitivity and dark humor, and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. (Description from GoodReads)

Initial Thoughts

Well, my first thought when I read that opening sentence was "Wow, that's very disturbing." I still think so. 

I've actually just finished reading this one, and LOVED it. Not sure why it took me so long to find it. I remember that it caused a huge stir when it was first published, but somehow I've managed to miss it until now. I definitely regret that, because it's one of the best books I've read in years.

It was apparently made into a successful motion picture, too —which I also missed out on. I notice it's available from Netflix, so I might have to watch it one of these days. But films made from your favorite novels are generally let-downs, aren't they? So I'll think about that a bit.

Anyway.... Here's another version of the cover — this is from the original hardcover edition.



Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.

Monday, September 07, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



It's been a while since I checked in with a Monday update. And here we are, a whole week into September! I started the summer off with a bit of a reading slump. But in the last couple of months things have picked up and I've actually managed to finish a few books. Here's the list:

(A Lighthouse Library Mystery),
by Eva Gates

Kill Your Darlings (Mallory #3),
by Max Allan Collins

(a Maggie Hope Mystery),
by Susan Elia MacNeal

(a Quilting Mystery),
by Mary Marks 

by Rebecca Stead

Also read a couple of classic children's books:

(Ramona Quimby #1),
by Beverly Cleary

(second book in that series),
by Jerry West

Right now, I've got several books going (as usual). This week I'm hoping to finish up these two:

The Talented Miss Farwell, by Emily Gray Tedrowe

The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides

And after that....who knows? Maybe one of the two or three thousand books on my ever-expanding "TBR" list.

Happy reading, everyone!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.