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Anna Begins

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  1. Hi!! I have missed everyone- I have recently adjusted my schedule and have more time in the mornings and afternoons now, I thought I'd see what is going on on BCF and say Hi. I read a modest amount this year, I just finished the 23rd Jack Reacher book, Past Tense. This month I also read Hunger by Roxane Gay. There is a local book club that meets at the library downtown that I want to join, they are reading Love In The Time of Cholera. I've always wanted to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but it's slow going and I'm only at 8%. They read The Underground Railroad by Colton Whitehead last month, I read that earlier this year and it was a favorite of mine. I couldn't agree with this more! I LOVED The Martian and Andy Weir has some great free short stories on his website that I liked a lot too. But I gave Artemis a shot twice and I abandoned it. My new thinking on abandoning book, is there are just too many other books I'd like to read
  2. Hi! I thought I's see how things are going on BCF, thought of you. How are you?
  3. Just saying Hi I've been curious about Where The Crawdads Sing, I'm glad you liked it. I'll consider it now, thanks How are you? Edited: Saw you read The Great Alone, I enjoyed it as well!
  4. Here are reviews of my May reads, not too great of a month, but still came in at 1,236 pages. And 3 of them were climbing books The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (322 pages) 5/5 This book is so good, the pages fly by. Ending up an outcast by all other slaves on the Georgia plantation, Cora risks her life and that of many others- and others to come- to be free via the US slave escape routes on the Underground Railroad. Excellent read. Pulitzer Prize for 2017, Oprah's Book Club recommendation. K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain by Ed Viesturs (354 pages) 5/5 I am totally obsessed with this mountain, having previously read K2: The Savage Mountain by legendary American mountaineer Charles Houston. K2 is the second highest peak in the World, near the Himalayas, but in an mountain range in Pakistan called Karakoram. With the second highest death rate of the "8000ers" (14 of the highest mountains in the world, all above 26,247 feet above sea level (or 8,000 meters), K2 has only been summited by about 300 people, with 77 fatalities. In this book, the American amazing- fabulous- stunning climber Ed Viesturs tells some of the stories of the summits... and the fatalities. No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs (368 pages) 5/5 I was so taken by Ed Viesturs writing in the book above, I had to read more of his work. He is the only American to face climbed all of the world's 14 8000ers, and the 5th person to do it without supplemental oxygen. This man is amazing to me. I am totally smitten. He has furthered my desire of mountain climbing and I have since joined Instagram and am addicted to climbing videos on YouTube His email address is on his website, I wish I could get the courage Ed Viesturs also was the subject of the most successful IMAX documentary in history, about an Everest expedition that took place during the 1996 tragedy. That tragedy was the subject of Jon Krakauer's book Into Thin Air, which started this all for me. I ended the month with Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer 4/5 Jon Krakauer is an interesting figure in the mountaineering and climbing society. Eiger Dreams is a collection of some of his articles for Outdoor Magazine, a magazine devoted to aspects of climbing. I was introduced to ice climbers who climb frozen waterfalls and to the hip French Alps town of Chamonix. Eiger is a mountain in the Swiss Alps.
  5. I just finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Which was really, just so very good. It's provoked me to read some additional Pulitzer Prize winners (and some finalists), so I posted a TBR list of a selection of them in the beginning of my thread. I am currently reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Oh! And I bought some books to read this month, including Less by Andrew Sean Greer, 2018's Pulitzer winner.
  6. I actually couldn't wait for How To Stop Time. My anger dissipated and I'm glad it did, HTST was really good.
  7. This got posted before my reviews! Hi!
  8. That's sweet, thank you I think you'd like it
  9. I finished The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (435 pages). At one time, I had this story down to one sentence, but now, I'm not so sure. It was a good multi layered story. Almost as good as The Nightingale. I thought a little long and drawn out. Ernt Allbright moves his wife, Cora and his daughter, Leni all over the country at his whim, all the while suffering flash backs of Vietnam. When his flashback nightmares reach a peak, he is notified he inherited a piece of land in Alaska from a fellow soldier. In the bush, Leni and Cori struggle to survive, with the help of locals, in an extreme landscape in extreme winters of straight blackouts/ no sunlight. Ernts violent outbreaks increase as they struggle to be a family. There is one other 14 year old in town. Matthew. This is dramatic read, emotional. I cried. 3.5/5 (for being a bit too long, and then too short at the end)
  10. I just can't get it in one post! grrr... I finished The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah and started Happy Dreams by Jia Pingwa. It's about a life of modern day trash pickers in China.
  11. Nice- it sounds like you're enjoying it
  12. It was another beautiful sunny day in California, 78F/ 25C!
  13. Oh! I just finished Pachinco by Min Jin Lee and started The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. Pachinco was great.
  14. I'm glad you are reading this! I hope you enjoy it. It didn't seem like 800+ pages when I read it.
  15. Here are some brief reviews of a few books I have read this year: 4/5 The Midnight Line by Lee Child This is one of the best Jack Reacher books! Reacher finds a West Point graduation ring in pawn shop while on a bus pit stop in a small dusty town. Fans of Reacher knows he just randomly stops around the country, getting involved in certain... matters Anyway, this particular ring is a tiny size and from a year that would suggest years of tours in Afghanistan or Iraq. Intrigued, Reacher is immediately in trouble- much to the delight of readers! 5/5 How to Stop Time by Matt Haig I LOVED The Humans and when I found out about this book, I was anxious to read it, it was just published in February. I love how Matt Haig always has dogs in his books Tom Hazard is 41 years old- at least, he looks 41 years old. Tom actually is over 400 years old. While working for a secret society of people with the same affliction, he searches for his daughter who also contracted his condition. Haig once again does what he does best- capture humanity and it's nuances. 4/5 Sing, Unburied, Sing by Yesmyn Ward Elements of magical realism in this book I didn't like, but I never like it. Jojo is 13 years old and living dirt poor in the middle of Mississippi. His mother is a mother only when she wants to be. There is also Michaela, Jojo's 2 year old sister who he dotes on, his baby sister loves him above all else. Jojo and the baby live with his mother's parents, mostly raised by her father (Jojo's grandfather). He is a good role model for Jojo and they love each other very much. The time comes for Jojo and Michaela's father to be released from prison and Jojo's absent, meth taking, abusive mother loads up both Jojo and his sister to meet him when released so they can be a family. 5/5 Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo This is a great book and could easily be one of my favorites of the year. Yejide and Akin love each other very much and have a great life in Nigeria. Despite Akin's mother continuing to pressure Yejide for sons, Yejide can't conceive. Then, Akin's mother proposes a second wife for him and he accepts. Then, Yejide becomes pregnant. The setting was different for me, I don't usually read about Africa, I'd like that to change. 3.5/5 Into the Thickening Fog by Andrei Gelasimov This book makes me wish I remembered my 4 years of high school Russian, just so I could read this book in the native language. The plot is loose. Some parts may have been lost in transition. It may have been symbolism for existentialism, I'm not sure. BUT! I liked this book because it took place in modern day Northern Russia. Like, -40F Northern. It is so cold, you must breathe from a scarf over your face. Within minutes, any exposed body part may suffer sever frostbite, possibly leading to death. Fliippov is a playwright in Russia and gets a job offer in France- but first he must tell his partner and childhood friend who lives in the Far North. The cold blurs the lines of reality for Filippov, who drinks his way through life, passing out and not really knowing what is going on. 5/5 Homegoing Yaa Gyasi This is a stunning book, a type I am becoming attached to... I call it an epic family story or generational. Homegoing follows generations of two half sisters in 18th century Ghana- one sister is captured into slavery, the other marries an Englishman. Thanks for reading!
  16. TBR for May Adjustment by Chuck Palahniuk (336) The Senator's Children by Nicolas Montermarano (378) Less by Andrew Sean Greer *2018 PP Winner (272) White Tears by Hari Kunzru (290) The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli (218) Educated by Tara Westover (337) The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (384)
  17. TBR of Pulitzer Prize Winners: 2007: The Road by Cormac McCarthy (324) 2008: The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Who by Junot Diaz 2009: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stroud (280) 2010: Tinkers by Paul Harding (192) 2013: The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson (456) 2014: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (760) TBR Finalists 2015: The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami (336) 2015: Let Me Be Frank With You: A Frank Bascombe Book by Richard Ford (255) 2016: Maud's Line by Margaret Verble (306) 2017: Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett (369) 2018: The Idiot by Elif Batuman (427) 2018: In The Distance by Hernan Diaz (240)
  18. Here's what I've been reading so far: February 4/5 The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher #26) by Lee Child (385) 5/5 Gorilla and The Bird by Zac McDermott (288) 5/5 How to Stop Time by Matt Haig (331) 3/5 I Am I Am I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O'Farrell (304) Total= 1308 pages March 5/5 Night by Elie Wiesel (148) * reread 5/5 Dawn by Elie Wiesel (100) *reread 4/5 Day by Elie Wiesel (130) *reread 4/5 Sing, Unburied Sing by Yesmyn Ward (305) 5/5 Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo (259) 4/5 Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gayle Honeyman (332) 3.5/5 Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro (167) Total= 1441 pages April 3.5/5 Into the Thickening Fog by Andrei Gelasimov (266) 5/5 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (322) 3/5 Eat The Apple by Matt Young (272) 4/5 The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian (345) (4 rating because of stunning end!) 3/5 The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland (274) (3 rating because of the lackluster end!) 3/5 Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (192) 5/5 Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (496) 3.5/5 The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (435) 3/5 An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (306) Total= 2,908 pages May 4/5 The Underground Railroad by Colton Whitehead (306) 5/5 K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain by Ed Viesturs (354) 5/5 No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs (368) 4/5 Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer (208) Total= 1,236
  19. It's so great to be back here! I am/ have been focusing on new books and preferably ones that don't take place in the US. I mostly started this in March. I've finally been reading enough to feel like I could make a thread and keep up Also I am trying not to read so much history. Anyway, Hi
  20. Endurance by US Astronaut Scott Kelly (400 pages) I can't say enough about this book! I found out about this book a few days before it's October 17th release and it didn't't take me long to get to it, nor to finish it. BTW- if you didn't know, astronauts are extremely brave and supremely intelligent (sarcasm). I am in awe of Scott Kelly. His words inspire a lot of heart stopping moments- and they are not particularly dangerous moments (some, I would not be first in line for, however!). In fact, that is yet another reason to admire Kelly- he has no emergencies. He is trained in every variable. It all comes naturally for Kelly, who struggles with the books but not the piloting. Scott Kelly, and his twin astronaut brother Mark, took part in a NASA experiment which took Scott into space for a year. While at the International Space Station, he would compare vitals with his brother on Earth. All to some day, send humans to Mars. This is the story of Scott's year in space aboard the International Space Station and everything it took to get there. This is also not Scott's first venture into space, so you get to experience some of his past space adventures as well. In the run up to the release of this book, I deliberately avoided interviews and reviews- I didn't want any surprises or experiences spoiled. It's a really good book- I did manage to read a cool part of the book in a headline though. While waiting and reading, I've come across everything from a Google news story about astronauts in the Space Station using figet spinners to an actual PBS documentary about the Scott Kelly flight that starts this month. I came away with a deep appreciation of peace, actually. This book contains Scott Kelly's story and his amazing career in space. But I think even he would agree- as seems the message of the book, that all are equal in space, dependent on each other, helping each other in one of man's greatest accomplishments. 5/5 Definitely.
  21. Good one! Brandon Sanderson has The Reckoners trilogy too with Steelheart. The Maze Runner I would suggest also.
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