Friday, September 28, 2007

Banned Books Week

2007 Banned Books Week: Ahoy!
Treasure Your Freedom to Read and Get Hooked on a Banned Book

This is a gentle reminder to both of my loyal readers that Banned Books Week (BBW) starts tomorrow (Sept. 29 – Oct. 6).

Although it is small and insignificant, I did spend a good chunk of time this week creating a spotlight about BBW for the Internet Public Library. Fortunately, my youngest sister took a computer class a few years ago, so I learned basic html skills. You can admire my handiwork here. (As a disclaimer, I did not select the links.)

Now that I’ve patted myself on the back, we can move on. I’ve already written a post on reading banned/challenged books, so I won’t bore you again. In reality, the point of BBW is to promote the freedom to read.

It’s not one of those freedoms we usually think about, but what a privilege. I mean, if we want to, we can read brilliant books or absolute junk.

Speaking of which, here are a few overrated books I freely read. You’ll notice they are fairly old because I have recently exercised my right not to read overrated tripe:
  • The Lovely Bones: It had such a promising start, but what happened at the end? I won’t give the story away (entirely), but did Alice Sebold watch Ghost a few too many times?
  • Cold Mountain: This book is nothing more than a glorified romance novel, and I do not understand the hype for a moment. Charles Frasier conveniently rescues characters dozens of times from the clutches of death just to let them die for melodramatic effect. Give me a break.
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring: The entire time I read this book, I was sure something was going to happen. It never did. Talk about a snore.
  • The Secret Life of Bees: Overall, I enjoyed this book, but sometimes I felt Sue Monk Kidd hitting me over the head with her message of acceptance, tolerance, and diversity. Yes, I get it.
Talk about freedom.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Desert Island

I’ve been asked this classic question in more than one job interview: If you were trapped on a desert island with only one book to read, what book would it be?

That is quite the question. What book would I take?

Worried about my soul’s salvation, I would consider taking a religious text. I mean, imagine what levels of spirituality—what nirvana—I might achieve after years on my desert island.

Or I could take an old favorite to be my companion. I wouldn’t mind sharing my island with Anne Shirley, Elizabeth Bennett, or Hercule Poirot. (Though I’d much prefer Gilbert Blythe, Fitzwilliam Darcy, or . . . Captain Hastings?)

But what answer do I usually give? Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. Not only is the BBC miniseries to die for (Sean Bean is such a dreamy villain), but the book has over a million words. It could take me weeks just to get through it. And since I’d have weeks to spare . . .

Of course, this raises the question (and I expect oodles of answers in the comments section): What book would you take?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Good Housekeeping

I’ve been working on a thrilling project that involves spending time in a basement and riffling through old magazines and journals.

Fortunately, I have plenty of time for my mind to wander, and I’ve been thinking a lot about Good Housekeeping.

Now, stay with me.

I haven’t picked up a Good Housekeeping for several years, but there was a time when the magazine included condensed novels. As a preteen, I would sneak the magazine into my bedroom and devour these stories.

I am positive there was nothing salacious or naughty about any of these excerpts, but reading grown up books from a grown up magazine made me feel—well, grown up.

In fact, there was a large gap in my young adult reading. I read children’s and young adult novels until I was about 12 and again in my 20s. But as a teen, I almost exclusively read adult books.

My mother had a large collection of paperbacks in our basement. I would smuggle these books up to my bedroom to read—as if I was doing something illicit and shameful.

And perhaps I was. During this time, I was first exposed to romance novels. I remember reading several by Janet Louise Roberts (The Dancing Doll, La Casa Dorada, and Ravenswood).

Looking back, I know they contained some seriously adult content (meaning s-e-x) and terribly domineering and unhealthy male-female relationships. At the time, though, I skipped over the naughty bits and enjoyed the “romance.”

I’m sure I was so mature—or at least thought I was—that I could not bear to read anything age appropriate. Fortunately, I don’t think anything I read permanently scared me—or maybe I was and that’s why I’m still single. Curse Good Housekeeping.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Killing's at Badger's Drift

First, I did (finally) find my copy of Caroline Graham’s The Killings at Badger’s Drift on a sorting cart at the library. But I learned my lesson and will never hide a book again.

It is a rather odd moving from a favorite television program to the book that inspired it. For example, I am a great fan of the show’s Sergeant Troy. But Sergeant Troy in the book has red hair (!), is married (!!), and seems to have no qualms about cheating on his wife (!!!).

Other than his character, the television show does a good job of capturing the book’s tone and the essence of Chief Inspector Barnaby.

Despite the faithful interpretation, I was still surprised by how graphic the book is. The content and tone of the book is consistent with many other “cottage mysteries” I’ve read, and the core mystery definitely contains “adult content,” but that’s not what surprised me.

I was more disturbed by how sexually descriptive the book is. I am not entirely a prude, but it’s always a bit odd to run across descriptions of womanly and manly parts in what is, in essence, an Agatha Christie mystery.

I did like the book. It was a fast and enjoyable read, but now I have to decide whether or not to keep reading the series—or just be satisfied with watching it instead.

Monday, September 24, 2007

North and South

I love this book.

The writing is nineteenth century and may not be accessible for all readers, but I find this style soothing and rhythmic. More than anything, though, the book touches the romantic inside me.

A vast majority of the story has little to do with romance. Gaskell focuses much of the text on industrialization, unionization, and the human condition. These topics are not too terribly interesting to me, and I would normally feel impatient with these passages. But I was more than willing to read them in order to learn more about Margaret Hale and John Thornton’s relationship.

Despite writing the book in 1855, Gaskell has a good sense of humor and an almost modern-day sensibility. For example, Edith, Margaret’s cousin, writes a snarky letter about her baby son:

"I think I love him a great deal better than my husband, who is getting stout and grumpy . . . I retract all I said just now . . . Cosmo is quite as great a darling as baby, and not a bit stout, and as ungrumpy as ever husband was" (278).

And John Thornton is the ideal 21st-century male. He is a strong and successful businessman. He has power and authority and raises himself from poverty to start his own manufacturing business.

But Thornton is also incredibly sensitive. He is the consummate gentleman and loves Margaret deeply and passionately; he is considerate to her parents, hand delivering and handpicking fruit for her ailing mother and spending hours with her father. He is stern and serious but also “in touch” with his emotions: at more than one moment, Margaret’s actions bring him to tears.

Can you tell that I am in love with John Thornton? I’ll just have to add him to my list of heroes who put real males to shame.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Although I’ve seen the miniseries twice and knew exactly what was going to happen, I found myself weeping as I read North and South today. How can Margaret be so cold hearted to Mr. Thornton?

Please forgive me for digressing a bit from my usual topic (books) to mention a few other scenes that turn on my waterworks. I find that reading books and watching movies produces my best and most cathartic cries. What can make me cry? Just about anything. Here are my greatest cries ever:

  • Jane Eyre: In both the book and Timothy Dalton movie version, it breaks my heart, and burns my eyes, when Jane leaves Mr. Rochester. I am particularly moved by Mr. Rochester’s pleading. He loves Jane and wants so much for her to stay, and so do I. Mr. Rochester weeps, and I find male tears absolutely contagious (even on paper). If I see a man crying, I immediately join him in sympathy.
  • Sense and Sensibility: The moment Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson) discovers Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant) isn’t married after all, she bursts into tears. Sitting in the movie theater, I cried along with her.
  • The Fulfillment of Mary Gray: I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I watched this made-for TV movie and just sobbed. The story is absolutely scandalous. Mary lives on a farm with her husband. They want to have a child, but a childhood disease left Jonathan sterile. Instead, he suggests his brother impregnate his wife. Oh my! Why this clearly trashy movie made me weep is a mystery.
  • The Professional: First, I have only seen this movie on television, so I was saved from some of the violence and language that may have detracted from a very sweet story about a young girl and a hitman. After finishing the film, I cried uncontrollably. Once again, I have to wonder about my emotional stability.
  • Pocahontas: Almost everyone I know dislikes this Disney movie, but I am somehow heartbroken by the thwarted (and fictionalized) love of Pocahontas and John Smith.

This is perhaps my most embarrassing post ever. But I can now acknowledge a deep need for therapy—and some real-life romance.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Guest Blog--Traveling Sisterhood Again

I just finished Forever in Blue, the fourth in the Traveling Pants series. I enjoyed the book and finished it rapidly, as with the previous three books. Of course, I can't leave it at that. I must make a few critical comments.
  • Why is it suddenly okay to have sex when you're 18? Granted, some of the characters had sex in the previous novels. The difference? The sexual encounters in books one to three exhibited the negative effects of sex--feelings of depression, unwanted pregnancy. This fourth book has some of that too, but overall the book says, "It's okay to have sex, even if it's somewhat casual." What's with that?
  • I was happy to FINALLY read a book where Carmen wasn't an annoying whiner. However, she was still the least interesting character to me, just as she has been in the previous three books. I'd almost prefer to have no Carmen at all as I can't wait to get past her parts of the story.
  • I was disappointed to find a rehash of "The Tibby Story" from the previous novels. Why is it that Tibby goes through the same dilemma every novel? She gets scared, gets depressed, and cuts off everyone she loves. Haven't I read that story before?
So now that I've criticized the novel, I must say that I really did enjoy the read. I guess these teen novels give me a way to live my buried teenage dreams.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Book Manners

I am not exactly a fan of my brother’s ex-wife. But she did teach my nieces to have good “book manners.”

I learned today that I have terrible book manners.

On my lunch break yesterday, I picked up Caroline Graham’s The Killings at Badgers Drift. I am a huge fan of the BBC’s Midsomer Murders series, and I’ve been meaning to read the books for a long time.

When lunch was over, I had several options:

(1) I could return the book to the shelf. But that meant climbing a flight of stairs, and I was feeling lazy.

(2) I could check the book out. But that meant lugging it home and back to work again, and I was feeling really lazy.

(3) I could hide the book. Brilliant.

I honestly thought it was a great idea to mis-shelve the book. That way, it would be ready for me the next day.

Talk about bad book manners.

I started regretting the decision last night. I had a hankering to read the book—but it was all the way back at the library.

I really regretted the decision today. First, I couldn’t exactly remember which shelve I’d put the book on. I looked at all the shelves it could have been. No book.

Then I went upstairs, but the book had not been re-shelved into its proper spot.

So, I went back downstairs and looked again on the shelves I could have placed it. Nothing.

I was not able to read during lunch; and now, since I only crave forbidden fruit, all I want to do is read that very book. This is sore punishment for my bad book manners.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Grand Tour

Naturally, I had to follow up Sorcery and Cecilia with The Grand Tour. This sequel, though, loses much of the sparkle (limited though it was) of the original.

Kate and Cecilia are now on a grand tour of Europe together. Together is the problem. The first book is epistolary, but the two can’t write letters to each other when they are traveling companions.

Wrede and Stevermer try to solve the problem by having Kate write journal entries and Cecilia write a police statement. Yet, because the characters no longer interact in their writing, their relationship loses much of its chemistry.

I am also hyper-aware of Wrede and Stevermer’s writing style in this book. Although each author maintains the voice of one character, I can sense them encroaching on each other’s stories.

There are honestly times when I feel Kate is in love with Cecily’s husband and vice versa. Kate, for example, goes into great detail describing James in her journal. And Cecily and Thomas go off together to save the day—really? during the regency period? They may be cousins and the best of friends, but there are some (unintentionally) creepy undertones in their relationships.

Clearly, I am not delighted by this second book. And even though I put the third installment, The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After, on hold, I never bothered to pick it up from the library.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sorcery and Cecilia

I started Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South this weekend. I have been dying to read this book for months. However, the book is 600 pages and has the tiniest print . . . ever. Although I am enjoying the story, it is going to take me forever to finish the book.

Since I will not be able to write about anything new (unless a miracle happens and I become a speed reader), I will spotlight a few books I read before starting the blog.

Sorcery and Cecilia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

I can’t remember why I picked up this book by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. I must have seen it at the library and been intrigued by its regency-style cover (I have been a closeted regency romance reader in the past).

I found the premise of this book fascinating. It is a regency romance/fantasy. The format is epistolary as two cousins communicate via post. One, Kate, has gone to London for the season. The other, Cecilia, is stuck at home.

Kate meets famous regency characters like Lady Jersey and Prinny. Yet, witches, wizards, and magic also inhabit this world. Magic is completely normal and accepted in society. I find it jarring to juxtapose these fantasy elements with actual historical figures.

Kate and Cecilia are likable characters. I care about them and am particularly interested in their love lives. The plot, though, has several problems. The climatic moments are weak and, well, anticlimactic.

Part of this deficiency is explained, though, by the note at the end of the book (which I wish I had read at the beginning). Wrede and Stevermer alternated writing the book. One would write a letter from Kate and the other would respond in a letter from Cecilia. Neither knew where the other was going. It is not surprising, then, that the plotting seems jerky and unmethodical.

To be honest, I like the book more after finding out this bit of information. Ultimately, I am more interested in and attracted to how they wrote the book than to the book itself.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Kobzar's Children

Kobzar’s Children: A Century of Untold Ukrainian Stories is a collection of stories and memoirs written about and by Ukrainian immigrants to Canada.

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch writes in the book’s preface that she was inspired to compile these stories because of her own experiences in an immigrant family. Growing up, she never had any books to read (in English) written by or about Ukrainians.

Skrypuch has a noble reason for creating her collection. Unfortunately, though, many of the stories and poems have very little literary value (including those written by Skrypuch herself).

For example, Danylo in Skrypuch’s “The Rings” lives through the Stalinist famine in Ukraine. In only twenty pages, his entire family dies, he journeys around the country, and he’s buried alive. Clearly, the pages are plot thick, but there is little room for character development.

However, I did learn something very interesting from this collection. During WWI, Canada placed Ukrainians in internment camps (reminiscent of the United State’s treatment of those with Japanese heritage during WWII). Although I’ve never claimed to be a scholar of Canadian history, this information surprised me.

So much for Canada’s reputation as the nice guys to the north.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Strawberry Fields

I met a Ukrainian girl at work yesterday. Our interaction was absolutely classic.

My boss introduced us and suggested I could practice my language skills with her. She showed no interest in me or the fact I’ve lived in Ukraine or speak Ukrainian.

Instead, she simply said to my boss: “I don’t speak Ukrainian.” The boss was surprised: “What do you mean? How can you not speak Ukrainian?”

“Because I am from a Russian-speaking family and lived in a Russian-speaking part of the country.”

Discussion closed.

Marina is the classic petulant Ukrainian girl. Ahh, how I love Ukraine. But it is because of people like Marina that I just couldn’t love Marina Lewycka’s latest book Strawberry Fields.

I expedited this book before leaving for Paris. I thoroughly enjoyed Lewycka’s A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian and had high expectations for her follow up.

Not surprisingly, the sequel is never as good as the original. (Okay, technically, Strawberry Fields isn’t a sequel but, oddly enough, the father in Short History makes a cameo appearance).

Strawberry Fields follows several migrant workers who pick strawberries on a British farm. Two of the workers are from Ukraine: Irina from Kyiv and Andriy from Donestk.

Lewycka comes from a Ukrainian background, so I am surprised she has these two characters speak to each other in Ukrainian. As Marina reminded me so well yesterday, neither of the characters live in Ukrainian-speaking areas of the country nor would likely have been raised by Ukrainian-speaking families.

But I’m getting nitpicky. The story is interesting and eye opening as the migrant workers move from job to job and consort with shady characters who constantly seek to take advantage of them.

However, Lewycka tries to get too cutesy in her writing. She jumps between the characters, sometimes writing in first person, sometimes in limited third. The point of view is inconsistent, distracting, and unnecessary. And although the reader gets a glimpse into the minds and hearts of some characters—particularly two Chinese girls—they completely disappear from the narrative midway through the book.

Strawberry Fields is a better book than I’m giving it credit for. However, when an author has the potential for better, it’s always a disappointment.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Guest Blog--Thursday Next: First Among Sequels

I was very content to get my hands on the next in the Thursday Next series (thanks to my blogger sister). I enjoyed the read, but I was a bit suprised by a few things. Fforde has been quite consistent to his format since The Eyre Affair, the first in the series. However, I noticed some slight changes in Thursday Next that made me miss the old ways. For one, the book is set in 2002 rather that in the 1980s like the other four books. While Fforde's world was already futuristic in 1984, I felt a bit sad to have jumped ahead almost twenty years. Fforde also changed the chapter headings. The change is very slight, but again I longed for the fimiliar format.

Otherwise, Thursday Next continues with the usual fare that we've come to know in the previous books--journeys into the Bookworld, a little Special Ops work, and warped time.

I found the book overall enjoyable but not necessarily groundbreaking. I long for the brilliance of The Eyre Affair where Spec Ops Agent Thursday Next changes a novel into the beloved story it is today. That element, so dear to book lovers, is missing from Fforde's latest work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Due to illness, Book Rater will not be posting today. Weep among yourselves.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Travel Reads

Traveling is a great time to read, and I spent the weekend moving to France (oh la la). Unfortunately, I suffer from motion sickness (I know, could I be any nerdier?) so only made my way halfway through a new book.

Since I don’t have a new review to post, here are a few favorite books I’ve read while traveling in the past:
  • Shirley: I devoured all the Brontë novels as a teen but somehow never got around to Shirley. I bought a copy of Charlotte’s third novel at a bookstore in Ukraine and realized immediately I should have read it sooner. Although the book explores the industrialization of Britain, which might not be my favorite topic, Caroline Helstone and Robert Moore also experience a sweet romance. And I’m a sucker for romance.
  • A Town Like Alice: I also read this book, one of my mother’s favorites, in Ukraine. I enjoy this Nevil Shute classic, but I almost feel as if it is two books. The first story takes place during a forced march through Malaya and the second in Australia. I much prefer the first story and almost wish Shute had ended Jean Paget and Joe Harman’s story in the Japanese-run camps of Malaya.
  • The Thief Lord: Cornelia Funke’s young adult book has won numerous awards and even been made into a movie, but I do not love it. I read the book while visiting my sister in Oregon, and even the pleasure of vacationing did not temper its blandness. Although the book’s premise is interesting, several orphaned children living together in Italy, the final scenes are so fantastical they ruin the entire book for me.
  • The Witch’s Buttons: Ruth Chew was one of my favorite authors as an elementary school child. I was enchanted with her books about witches living in the everyday, mortal world, so I eagerly reread this book on a trip to Washington. I was sorely disappointed. As an adult reader, I found Ruth Chew far from the marvelous writer I remembered her to be.
  • Persuasion: I read this Jane Austen classic on my first trip to Europe. I was so involved in Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth’s story that I bit the bullet and read on a train from Scandinavia to Germany. The book is worth nausea and a headache. The enduring love the characters share is almost enough to make me believe in—and wish for—romance.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Once Upon a Marigold

Not long ago, I wrote about gifting the book Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris. I finally read it—I really had to, didn’t I?—and it was . . . okay.

Marigold is a fairytale. Princess Marigold, who has the ability to read people’s feelings by touch, is in love with Christian, a commoner. Her mother, however, wants nothing more than to marry Marigold off to a prince—any prince.

This book reminds me of other fairytale adaptations like Ella Enchanted and Just Ella. Although the books take place “long ago and far away,” they contain many modern elements.

Marigold and Christian communicate via “p-mail” (pigeon mail), and they exchange jokes like:

  • How did King Arthur read at night?
    With a knight light? (65)
  • Did you know that if Minnehaha married Santa Claus,
    she would be known as Minnehaha Hoho? (66)

I like the fact that Marigold is an independent thinker. She likes to read and refuses to be married off. She is a fine example for young, female readers.

However, I do find other modern elements jarring. References to nightlights are too anachronistic for my comfort. They pull me away from my fantasy land and into reality.

Overall, though, the book is harmless. The story is nice and sweet. Marigold is an excellent role model, and I wish young men like Christian actually existed. Unfortunately, only in fairytales. . .

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Janet Cox

I’ve been a little harsh lately in my reviews. I sound like a book-snob-know-it-all who doesn’t know how to pleasure read.

This assertion is partially true. I’ve discovered the older (and more educated) I get, the less tolerance I have for poor writing. On the other hand, I’ve read—and enjoyed—more popular fiction than I’m comfortable admitting.

In fact, as I was creating by Goodreads account, I remembered two books with very little literary value that I absolutely love: Summergreen and Valley of Fire by Janet Cox.

I read these two books as a teenager, and they were just what my romantic heart needed.

Summergreen takes place in an early Utah pioneer settlement. (Janet Cox’s books are similar to Janette Oke’s series with Christian, Western pioneers). In the book, Anna—despite opposition—falls desperately in love with her choir director, Mark.

As a confession, I am not exactly the ideal romance reader. Instead of wishing for the heroine to fall in love with the dreamy hero, I always want her to fall in love with the underdog—with the boy who has been pining for her forever. I want that love, that persistence, that loyalty to be rewarded. (This might also be a commentary on my own love life—or lack thereof.)

As such, I have no desire for Anna to fall in love with Mark. She needs to fall in love with Peter who has loved her forever. I will never get over her betrayal.

I am much more satisfied with Valley of Fire. In fact, I only like Summergreen, but I love Valley of Fire. Delores, a spoiled rich girl, moves to southern Utah and meets her match with Jonas. Jonas is tall, dark, and handsome. My total dreamboat.

Like I said, these books are far from classics. But they satisfy the romantic inside me. In fact, I’ve got to rummage through my books to find a copy of Valley of Fire so I can read it one more time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Last Summer (of You and Me)

I finally read a grown-up book. And boy was I disappointed.

I had high hopes for Ann Brashares' The Last Summer (of You and Me). As I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. The books aren’t the greatest I’ve ever read, but they are entertaining. I am interested in the characters, and I care about what happens to them (at least, most of the time).

Brashares should stick to writing young adult novels.

Last Summer is a dud. The story feels terribly clichéd—I swear I’ve read the same thing dozens of times before: love, dishonesty, misunderstandings, death. She apparently went to a writing seminar hosted by Nicholas Sparks.

I knew what was going to happen before I read it, so I felt little interest in the characters. I did not care if they fell in love, and I really did not care if they died (harsh, I know).

Not only is the story a rehash, but it is also a snore. Brashares provides flashbacks and back story that is just plain boring. Perhaps she thinks her attention to detail will add authenticity to the story, will make it more adult, but it is only tedious.

I could forgive the clichés and even the boredom if there were some spark in Brashares’ writing. There is no voice, no character, no life in the narrative. And that’s a crime I cannot forgive.

Perhaps I’m better off reading my juvenile literature after all.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I hate my sister.

Okay, those are strong words.

But my sister introduced me to Goodreads this weekend. A cataloging website is the last thing I need in my life. I mean, I should be preparing to move to the City of Lights—not spending hours playing online.

I started cataloging the books I’ve read several years ago. Actually, I stole the idea from my older sister. She literally created her own card catalog. On 3 x 5 cards, she wrote biographical information and a review for each book she read.

I was impressed by this endeavor and wanted to be just like her. I started my own card catalogue. But unlike my sister, I am lazy. Soon, I just couldn’t make the effort to fill out the cards.

Instead, I started a spreadsheet of the books I read. On the spreadsheet, I listed the title, author, and date (month/year) read.

I love keeping track of books. I feel a certain sense of accomplishment watching my list grow. I can also look back and see trends in my life—the phases when I read many books and few.

For example, I spent a summer scanning slides for work (snore). I read lots of books that year. The semester I took a contemporary literature class in grad school, I read exclusively national award winners. The month I moved to the armpit of America, I read hardly anything—I must have been too depressed by my surroundings.

Imagine my delight, then, when I discovered LibraryThing. I spent hours importing my spreadsheet.

And I did exactly the same thing this weekend on Goodreads.

I am still a LibraryThing advocate, but Goodreads has some nice features. For example, you can list the date you read a book. I wish LibraryThing would add that element (I’ve been including this information in my “tags,” which is completely useless to other readers).

You can also add reviews to Goodreads. I added a few last night and was delighted today when someone I’m not related to actually commented on one of them.

The point is to keep track of what you read, regardless of the method. If only I’d started decades ago, I could remember all the glorious books (and the smut and junk) I’ve read.

Here's a glimpse of my Goodreads page: