Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Voting for your favorites in The Great American Read ends at midnight Pacific Time on Thursday, October 18. Visit HERE to cast your final votes. Remember, you can vote once a day for each book, and sign in using your email address, Facebook, or Twitter.

PBS will announce the winner on October 23.

They've also been running a series of shows to highlight the nominated books. The shows should be available on your local PBS station and I believe you can catch them at this link:

When the voting began in May, I had read 43 of the 100 nominated books. I decided to make 50 books my goal by the time the voting ended. I'm not going to make it, but I'm not upset about it. It was a self-imposed deadline; I still have time to read.

I've voted consistently for my all-time favorite novel

The 44th book I read was

It's great.

The 45th book was 

Love it!

I'm reading two more books at the same time--but I'm also reading three or four other books, too. Can't limit myself when it comes to books.

The books from the list are 

I don't like it as much as The Cider House Rules and
Last Night In Twisted River, but it's still good.


So far I don't like it as much as I thought I would.

I also want to read A Confederacy of Dunces, Heart of Darkness, and The Call of the Wild.

I know this is a long post so feel free to stop reading now. I'm going to add a list of the other books that I've read and what I think of them. 

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

1984 -- read it years ago in school and found it creepily memorable.

A Separate Peace -- a very moving coming of age story.

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn -- a book I have long adored. It's sad and funny and everything that a book should be.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer -- a good book but not a favorite of mine.

And Then There Were None -- memorable because it's frightening but I haven't read it in years.

Anne of Green Gables -- Oh, Anne! I love you so much. We must be kindred spirits.

Atlas Shrugged -- It's been so long since I read it that I barely remember it.

Beloved -- Sooo good.

The Book Thief -- Good but I didn't think it was great.

Catch-22 -- Hilarious and clever.

The Catcher In The Rye -- I don't remember liking this one very much. I preferred some of Salinger's short stories.

Charlotte's Web -- SOME PIG

The Chronicles of Narnia -- I love every single book in the series and I often give these books to young people.

The Color Purple -- So very good and moving.

The DaVinci Code --  Hated it.

Don Quixote -- Read it in high school and I think again in college and didn't like it either time, but I do like the word "quixotic."

Flowers in the Attic -- Weird.

Frankenstein -- Hated it. Absolutely hated it. Maybe I would have liked it better if I'd read it for a class that had a good professor.

The Giver --  Great.

The Godfather -- Smutty, but when I was a teenager I couldn't put it down.

Gone With the Wind -- I appreciate the sadness of this book more than I did when I first read it years ago.

The Grapes of Wrath -- So beautiful.

Great Expectations -- Has one of the best first chapters in a book ever, but overall, don't love it.

Gulliver's Travels -- Read it in high school. Booo-ring.

The Handmaid's Tale -- Margaret Atwood has a rare talent.

Harry Potter (series) -- Love every book and still want my letter admitting me to Hogwarts.

Hatchet (series) -- I'm counting this even though I haven't read every book in the series. The ones I read were good.

Invisible Man -- Very good.

Jane Eyre -- Oh, Jane, how you do suffer. I  long to wander Yorkshire with your creator.

Little Women -- This is a rare case of me liking the movies better than the book. I think the book is long and boring.

Memoirs of a Geisha -- So good.

Moby Dick -- I have a strange fondness for Herman Melville.

One Hundred Years of Solitude -- Excellent.

The Picture of Dorian Gray -- Wonderfully creepy.

Pride and Prejudice -- Although The Great Gatsby is my all-time favorite novel, Jane Austen is my all-time favorite novelist.

Rebecca -- Mrs. Danvers frightens me every time I read this book or see the movie.

The Sun Also Rises -- I'm not fond of Hemingway.

Tales of the City -- I didn't like it, but I have a feeling I didn't really get it.

The Help -- It's an enjoyable book, but as usual, the white person who wants to write is the most important character who makes it possible for the help to have some success, which they have to keep secret. It's called the help, dammit. The help should be the most important characters.

The Joy Luck Club -- Love Amy Tan.

The Lord of the Rings (series) -- Not that crazy about it.

The Lovely Bones -- Beautifully tragic.

The Outsiders -- Barely remember it.

Their Eyes Were Watching God -- The heroine is named Janie and her nickname is Alphabet.

To Kill A Mockingbird -- Who doesn't love it?

Wuthering Heights -- I'm glad we have two Bronte sisters represented.

I'm disappointed that nothing by Laura Ingalls Wilder is on the list. I would add These Happy Golden Years and/or The Long Winter.

Well, either I counted wrong before or I'm counting wrong now, but including the books I've read most recently, I get 49.


  1. I saw this a few weeks ago and was reminded of an elderly neighbor who, when I offered to make her cookies for her birthday and asked her to choose between chocolate chip, peanut butter, ginger and shortbread, she said, "But do I have to? They all sound so good." I felt guilty and made them all.

  2. So many books which are familiar to me. I haven't read the Da Vinci Code, or anything else of Dan Brown's.
    Loved the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and will be interested in what you think of it.
    Snap on Atlas.
    Another book I love (which never makes it to any list) is The Summer Book by Tove Jansen. I reread it almost every year.

    1. I've never heard of The Summer Book. Now I'm curious. I LOVE The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It's a quick read but so deep.

  3. Atlas Shrugged was one of the longest, most boring books I've ever read, and I was all hyped to read it because it's so well-known. It just went on. And on. And on.

    One more book, Janie! You can do it! (Pick the shortest one possible, or stop reading a dozen books all at the same time! . . . Said the person who currently has five on the go . . .)

    1. That's why I read Atlas Shrugged. I bet I can read Heart of Darkness later today. (Put down all the other books, Janie, and concentrate on one.)

  4. There are a lot of books on that list which I've never read. Some of those (such as The Catcher In The Rye) would surprise you.

    1. Maybe some of the books that you have read would surprise me, too.

  5. Keep reading Gone Girl because there's a huge shift and it becomes more interesting.

    I've read a lot of the books you have. We do not agree on some--like I was bored with The Great Gatsby, for example. I was such a tomboy I never read Anne of Green Gables or Little Women or any of the Nancy Drew mysteries. I was busy reading Call of The Wild and Black Beauty--anything with animals in it or anything with science or space facts. I remember reading our set of encyclopedias and the dictionary! I missed all the typical kids books. :)

    1. I read Black Beauty and a lot of other books about horses.

  6. Our opinions mesh on most of those books. (I thought I was the only person in the whole world who didn't like "The DaVinci Code"...) But "A Prayer for Owen Meanie"? LOVED it! Absolutely loved it. "Gone Gone"? Meh.

    (sigh) I didn't see a single Swiderski book on that list... HA!

    1. I knew I wasn't alone regarding The DaVinci Code because my daughter didn't like it. I like Owen Meany, but not as much as some of John Irving's other books. I should have wished for a Swiderski book on the list.

  7. I'm not fussy about Hemingway either. Too much toxic masculinity.

    1. His prose is so spare that it's dull. My imitation of Hemingway: The glass of beer sat on the table. The glass was full. He wondered if he should drink it.

  8. Most of the ones I've read on your list, I've liked pretty well, but oh . . . Heart of Darkness. No. I could not make myself finish it, and I tried. I just felt like the entire book was one long, tedious paragraph. I refuse to give it away, though, in the hopes that someday I'll be inspired to persevere. Out of all in our household, only Number Two Son finished it, and he admits he only did to lord it over the rest of us quitters, haha.

  9. I still vote for A Confederacy of Dunces.
    Heart of Darkness was a required reading in the 12th grade. I do not have fond memories of it and will not add it to my rereading list.

    1. Your previous comment about Dunces is the reason I want to read it.

  10. The All-Of-A-Kind-Children series; probably not on any list but my daughters loved them all.

    1. That sounds familiar, but I can't remember it specifically. I liked The Boxcar Children and The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew.

  11. I loved Call of the Wild and Little Women. My son wanted me to read To Kill a Mockingbird when he was in high school. I tried I really did. But I just couldn't stomach the continuous use of the N word even if it did add realism.

    1. Some of us who read and loved it grew up around the use of that word. I hate it, but I'd heard it many times before. Harper Lee grew up in the South. It would have been common use when she was growing up. Hell, when she wrote the book she still probably heard it all the time. I don't write this as an excuse for something that upset you. I understand why it bothered you. Every time I heard it used when I was a child, I knew it was wrong.

  12. I enjoyed most of the books you liked but you had a few I didn't like. how interesting our tastes are.
    Love Amy Tan read all her books.

    cheers, parsnip and badger

    1. I think I've read all of Amy Tan's books except one. I'm sure I'll get to that one.

  13. You're impressive. I've hardly read any of those. I also loved the Laura Ingall's Wilder series. Never read Moby Dick, but I do have a strange fondness for the title.
    Love ya.

  14. I wondered about Gone Girl. I just got Mitch Albom's new book, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven. I hope it's good. My favorite story is by him: Tuesdays with Morray.

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