Two-Thirds Book Challenge Update 7

This is update 7 in the Two-Thirds Book Challenge.

It seems that Helen is the only one who got any books read and/or posted about this month … so, we’ll start with her.


The Big Cat Nap by Rita Mae Brown

I love this series. Through 20 years I feel like I’ve grown up with these characters. They’re effortless and real in a way that feels genuine, even in such a contrived environment as the murder mystery can be. … I hope she never stops this series!

Read her review to find out the topics covered in this book.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson

This was a 5 star book for Helen.

This is a slice of her life across the singular topic of being adopted. That sounds so simple, but no one is better equipped to express the exquisite agony and beauty of this topic from childhood, with her severe, evangelical adopted mother, to the present, meeting her biological mother and family. Nothing about it is simple, nothing is expected.

She refuses to make a simple syrup of her experiences and so takes us all to a place where there is no separation between emotions and thought, where feeling and thinking happen simultaneously and equivalently and the mess that is. It sounds complicated, maybe overly so, and it is. That’s life.

Ragnarok: The End of the Gods by A.S. Byatt

Helen gave some good reasons for not liking this one very much:

There were a numbers of barriers to enjoyment for me reading this book. I was just glad it was so short, otherwise I would have quit.

First, this is the 15th in the Canongate Myths series ( and it was only three stories ago that they covered a Norse myth. I love the Myths series, but not spacing these two stories out more was a big oversight, especially since the other story was so much better. I mean light years, so having them close like this made the superiority of the other story just that much more obvious.

Too much description, a bad transition, and a disjointed essay at the end are the other reasons. Read her review to get the details.

On the Canongate Myth series as a whole she writes:

Prior to this I have only disliked one other book in the Myths series, so I still think they’re batting average is pretty high! But, if I were just getting into the series, I wouldn’t start here. I might even skip it altogether.

Sara and I have both read the opening book in this series, and Sara has read a few more of them. I believe she has generally liked them.

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, a Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss

A.Maz.Ing. This book is not only stunningly gorgeous to look at but beautifully written. Every page, even the filler pages, were a treat to explore. …

Just go read her review. And then, perhaps, read the book. I know I will be doing so.

Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissoff

So even though a “wee bit too hipster homesteader for me in style,” the author’s “genuine and it makes me feel like I might actually be able to make these things. … I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to try to make so many recipes in a cookbook, and that’s all there is to say.”

Interesting review and if you want an introduction to canning, or are looking for good canning recipes, then this might be a book for you.

Everyone else

I apologize if I missed something by the rest of you but I poked the feed reader, your blogs and my diigo tag and didn’t find anything. Perhaps next month.