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2021 Reading Challenge πŸ“š

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    114: Intangibles Inc by Brian Aldiss. Science fiction stories. I can forgive the outdated language and attitudes, but the truth is I found all of these stories immensely dull. 1/5

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      Anyone else get unreasonably excited when they find a book they wanted? Stopped in the city in the religious book store and found a WHOLE SHELF of Spanish books - put me in my happy place as they are like hen's teeth in this area where Spanish is definitely not a robust language group. Now, if I could find Dutch books as well .............
      Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Ian Maclaren (misattributed to Plato)

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      • KnitsWithHorses
        KnitsWithHorses commented
        Editing a comment
        I really admire the way you stick with it reading books in Spanish to improve your language skills. I have wanted to improve my fluency for a long time but I never get some to doing anything about it consistently. Do you use an English version for reference to help you with the parts you don't understand? Or an app?

      • annekepoot
        annekepoot commented
        Editing a comment
        KnitsWithHorses - No app as I don't have a smart phone (yes, I'm a Luddite in spirit), so just a good old Spanish dictionary when it seems necessary for understanding, or hopeful deductions depending on the story's context. Languages have been my love for a long time so it's a hobby that challenges my mind. I liken it to learning to type - at first you hunt and peck for each key until you get so proficient that there is no longer any thinking involved but only automatic muscle memory. I was "that chuffed" as they say in England, when I realized I was reading without translating word-for-word but just reading and understanding without mentally translating into English. My sister, who is visiting for a few days, mentioned to me "you know, they say it helps forestall Alzheimer's if you know more than one language" - not sure if she was insinuating anything!!

      I haven't posted a book read in forever. I've been reading - a lot - but in the process of editing books for others. In fact, one author I've been burning the midnight oil to edit for just got a THREE book contract with a mid-sized publishing house! Woot-woot! Makes me feel good. Hopefully I can get back to reading for fun again soon.

      But here's what I have read:

      30) A Heart's Forever Home - by Lena Nelson Dooley
      A gentle romance with good tension outside the romance, written in classic Lena Nelson Dooley style, with grace and hope throughout. And it's set in Texas. Not her best book, but a nice read when you don't want to deal with anything heavy.


      31) To Save the Republic - by Bred Baier
      I've been fascinated by the Civil War since Jr. High. I've read widely on the subject, and so it's always fun when I stumble across a new book that adds something I haven't read before. I was able to attend Bret Baier's talk at the Reagan Library in late October, so I had a good idea what was in the book, but I still found a few nuggets that intrigued me.

      The first half of the book is about Grant and brings us up through the end of the war. There was one new - and startling - fact I found in there. I won't put a spoiler in here though. Then the end of the book was about Reconstruction and the election of 1876. I didn't know nearly as much about Reconstruction as I did about the war, so I learned quite a bit.

      Probably the most intriguing part of the whole book is the horse-trading that went on during the 1876 election. The claims of massive fraud (some of which proved to be true - some of it couldn't be proven) and the possibility of a second war erupting kept me turning the pages.

      This wasn't dry, dusty history. Baier does a good job of telling the story and keeping the reader engaged. I haven't read his other books, which are more recent history, but I may have to pick them up after reading this one.
      Spinner of Yarns
      Author and Fiber Artist
      Subscribe to my monthly newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/PeggThomas

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        115: Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhang. Chinese historical epic. Didn't really get into it. 2/5

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          Remember by Lisa Genova. This book deals with memory loss. The writer has a PhD in neuroscience, but talks like your neighbour next door. If you were afraid that your memory lapses were the beginnings of Alzheimer's, she puts your mind at ease. Her explanations on the kinds of memory and memory loss are easily understandable, and she has many humourous anecdotes to go with her explanations. If you never read another book on memory, read this one. I finished it in one sitting!

          Stolen Harvest by Vandana Shiva. Wow, if you didn't think Monsanto and ilk were evil and profiteering before, you will after reading this book. From the book cover "In Stolen Harvest, Vandana Shiva charts the impacts of globalized, corporate agriculture on small farmers, the environment, and the quality of food we eat. With chapters on genetically engineered seeds, patents on life, mad cows and sacred cows .... this is an impassioned and inspiring book that will shape the debate about genetic engineering and commercial agriculture for years to come." It was published in 2000 so I'm hoping that some wiser heads prevailed, but I highly doubt it - truly a depressing but eye-opening book. At the same time, I'm glad and sad to have read it.
          Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Ian Maclaren (misattributed to Plato)

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          • KnitsWithHorses
            KnitsWithHorses commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the info on the Remember book. I definitely want to read it. I have had memory issues since I was a child. If it were nowadays they would have diagnosed me with PTSD but nobody ever used that term with me until the therapist I saw in college in the 80s. I got free therapy from an amazing doctor because my mom did her clinicals with him and spoke about my issues to him. He changed my life. Anyway, because of some things that happened over many years when I was little, my brain got a little too good at forgetting things. I learned ways to intentionally make things stick for school and so forth but if I'm not intentional, I forget.... A lot. I fill many notebooks constantly keeping notes of things I want to remember . It was way worse till that therapist in college. On the bright side, other than things I "study," I can often reread books and rewatch movies and it's almost like the first time every time. Lol. I'm very interested in reading that book.
            I have read Shiva's book and seen a few talks by her. She's wonderful. It's such an important subject.

          Power Foods for the Brain by Neal Barnard. Because I read so many medical and health books, it's hard to find something that's new in terms of information. Food, exercise (mental and physical) and sleep is the mantra.

          The World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle. The book title includes "eating for spiritual health and social harmony." (Implications of food choices) I have to admit I skimmed this book - I ordered it because it was recommended by another author, but it felt too much like flower power '60s - while I wholeheartedly agree with most everything the author wrote, it was too lengthy, language was inflammatory and too much "let's make love and not war" - I had to check the date (2005) to make sure it wasn't written in the hippy era. Not my cup of tea although philosophically I'm right there with him.
          Last edited by annekepoot; 11-15-2021, 09:29 AM.
          Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Ian Maclaren (misattributed to Plato)

          Comment


          • annekepoot
            annekepoot commented
            Editing a comment
            Too funny KnitsWithHorses - I haven't listened to the podcast but I'll try and check it out. Along with Dr. Barnard, I'm a fan of Caldwell Esselsteyn, Colin Campbell, Michael Greger (NutritionFacts.org) and others like them. I've been Whole Foods Plant Based (WFPB) for almost two years now and credit that with "curing" me of my diabetes, although doctors don't like to use that word. Test my blood today, however, and you'll find no proof of diabetes. Unfortunately, too late to rid me of the original side effects.

          • KnitsWithHorses
            KnitsWithHorses commented
            Editing a comment
            I went plant based thanks to Campbell, Esselstyn and McDougall ten years ago. Lost 100lbs, proved to my Dr that I didn't need to be in a wheelchair by completing a 5k, got off of all prescription meds, ended decades of debilitating pain, created what my bone doc actually claimed was "practically a miracle, although I can't use the word cured" with several bone and joint issues etc etc etc. But this past couple of years I have lost a lot if ground so now I'm struggling to get back to doing what I know works. I need to get out all those books and reread them for motivation. I haven't gotten Greger's newest book but I have a couple of older ones. I recommend How Not to Die to everyone!

          • annekepoot
            annekepoot commented
            Editing a comment
            KnitsWithHorses - Wow - that sounds wonderful! You should be on one of those "worked for me" testimonials on McDougall website! It's easy to fall off the wagon (just one bag of chips won't hurt) but just get back on again. Most of my challenges are when we have company - somehow I'm not confident enough to go vegan for meals!!

          El Misterio Del Tren Azul by Agatha Christie (Spanish) - Another mystery by the queen of mysteries herself. Enjoyable book, but again, I always feel like Ms. Christie hands out such tiny clues that they are almost always overlooked!
          Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Ian Maclaren (misattributed to Plato)

          Comment


            116: Murder at the Races edited by Peter Haining. A collection of short stories on the theme of horse racing, by authors including Dick Francis and Agatha Christie. Some are very good, some are okay, and none are bad, so worth a read. 3/5

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              The Girl with Seven Names: Escape From North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee - A harrowing true account that I couldn't put down until I finished it. Unbelievable what she went through to make it to South Korea and then aid her mother and brother to escape from this evil regime.
              Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Ian Maclaren (misattributed to Plato)

              Comment


                117: An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro. Historical fiction exploring the culture of Japan before, during, and after WWII. Interesting. 3/5

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                  118: The Light of Day by Eric Ambler. Thriller; as I was reading it I realised it was the source for a movie with Peter Ustinov, Topkapi. 3/5.

                  Comment


                    32 - Lost in Darkness - by Michelle Griep



                    In case the video link doesn't work:
                    I’ve read quite a few of Michelle Griep’s books, and I have to say, this is my 2nd favorite. It’s very different, and I think that’s part of why I liked it so much. It’s not the same-old/same-old that historical romance can sometimes fall into. It’s a little dark, as the cover indicates, but I wouldn’t call it gothic. It just … different and intriguing. How? Maybe how she handles the character of the heroine’s brother? Maybe how the story comes together with elements you don’t see coming? Maybe the diversity of characters? I don’t know! You have to read it and find out for yourself.
                    Spinner of Yarns
                    Author and Fiber Artist
                    Subscribe to my monthly newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/PeggThomas

                    Comment


                    • KnitsWithHorses
                      KnitsWithHorses commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Love the video comment. How fun! This book sounds like it needs to go in my TBR list for sure.

                    • Pegg Thomas
                      Pegg Thomas commented
                      Editing a comment
                      KnitsWithHorses, I'm going to be a lot more video reviews. I found out that Amazon lets you post them on the book's page. How cool is that!

                    33 - Love's Fortress by Jennifer Uhlarik (releases in March 1st, part of the multi-author series of dual-time historicals, Doors to the Past)

                    Love’s Fortress is a dual timeline that blends real history with a sweet romance, a clear faith element, and a contemporary mystery. I’ve read many of Jennifer Uhlarik’s books, always historicals, and was very pleased with how strong her contemporary writing is. Her historical storyline is thoroughly researched and compelling as always. There’s something in this book for everyone!

                    Spinner of Yarns
                    Author and Fiber Artist
                    Subscribe to my monthly newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/PeggThomas

                    Comment


                      34 - Touch of Innocence by Robin Patchen

                      This book won't release until February 15. Getting to read books first is one perk to being an editor. Robin writes romantic suspense, not a genre I generally read, but she's so stinkin' good at it! Her bad guys are creepier than creepy, and this one is no exception. (I tell her that she scares me, being able to write them this well.) This book is #5 in her Coventry Saga. (You really don't need to read them in order, but I would because I'm just that way.) Robin's books are Christian fiction without whapping you over the head with the Bible. Very well written.
                      Spinner of Yarns
                      Author and Fiber Artist
                      Subscribe to my monthly newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/PeggThomas

                      Comment


                        119: Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. First class thriller, but very disturbing. 5/5
                        120: One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie. Classi Poirot mystery. 4/5

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