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Books! How about a mid-month check on our reading?
Old 01-19-2021, 02:04 PM
  #1

This morning I finished listening to The Leavers by Ko. Excellent, but definitely not lighthearted, contemporary tale of Chinese immigrants. Really made me think about belonging, home, forgiveness, and personal bravery. I recommend it.

On my Kindle I’m reading enjoyable library fluff, Hideaway by Nora Roberts. Rich young actress finding herself. Fun, but definitely not literature.

I just barely started listening to one GreenBunny recommended, Ragged Company by Wagamese. Beautifully written and I’m totally hooked by the characters.

What are you reading now?


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Old 01-19-2021, 02:13 PM
  #2

I just finished Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. Excellent but tough to read. Growing up with an alcoholic mother, I could relate to a lot of it. I do recommend it, but it's not light subject matter. The writing does suck you right in, and it was a very interesting view of life in Glasgow in the 1980s and 1990s.
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Old 01-19-2021, 02:20 PM
  #3

annie, I started listening to Shuggie Bain. I really really tried to like it because it was recommended by a dear friend, but for me it was sooooo depressing. Iím finding it especially hard to read downers during the pandemic. Itís on my phone so I hope to circle back someday.
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Old 01-19-2021, 02:42 PM
  #4

No internet for 5 days = more reading

I read Pachinko, recommended here. Although I think we do need to learn more about this part of History, and it got me thinking and wanting to know more, I found this book very sad.

Another 'heavy' one I just read is The tattooist of Auschwitz. I found it very interesting and not as depressing as Pachinko.

The last one I read is 'This is happiness '. I really enjoyed it and will definitely re-read it. Thank you so much Amiga for recommending it a little while ago
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Old 01-19-2021, 02:47 PM
  #5

I just recently read both Pachinko and the Tattooist of Auschwitz too! I liked them both, though Tattooist was disappointing in that it's based on a true story and is filled with a lot of historical inaccuracy. Good writing, though.

I'm currently reading Writers & Lovers by Lily King, which was recommended here. I absolutely LOVE it! It's my favorite book I've read in the past year. Usually I get books from the library, but this is one I will buy so I can keep it and reread it. Thanks, PT, for recommending it!


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Old 01-19-2021, 02:50 PM
  #6

Two books I enjoyed were When We Were Young & Brave by Hazel Gaynor and The lies That Bind by Emily Griffin. The first title was a riveting historical novel about students and teachers at a missionary boarding school trapped in China when Japan invaded their country. It is told from the point of view of one of the teachers and one student. It is a story of perseverance, dedication, suffering and loss, and ultimately the fight for survival. I loved it.

The Lies That Bind was a romance set against the backdrop of 9-11. It was a bit unbelievable as there were a lot of coincidences that at times seemed contrived, but overall, I did like it and will read others by this author.

Right now I am reading Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlin. It is also told from the viewpoints of two characters—an artist who is commissioned to design a mural and many years later, the young woman who is chosen to restore it. There are elements of mystery in the book, but watching the characters emerge and grow is what I am enjoying most right now.
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Old 01-19-2021, 02:53 PM
  #7

I just finished Don't Look For Me by Wendy Walker. It was suggested by someone on PT, thank you! It was a very tense read, a real thriller. I thought the ending was kind of a mess, but it didn't wreck the experience.

One of my reading challenges is to read a fantasy novel this year. I've started The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. The writing is superb, and there is a lot of rich world building.
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Old 01-19-2021, 02:59 PM
  #8

OMG! I feel like we have a wonderful book group right here! I loved Pachinko and Tattooist of Auschwitz, and Iím the one who recommended Writers & Lovers.

Izzy, forgive how messy this is, Iím too lazy to type it for you. Look how much I loved Writers and Lovers:
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:19 PM
  #9

On Saturday I read 28 Summers by Elin Hildebrand. It’s one of her newer releases. It was a some what lighthearted read (I normally read historical fiction, specifically WWII) but I enjoyed it. I will normally read her books at the pool/beach in the summer.

Before that I read The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue. It’s about a nurse on an ob-gym ward during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.
It has rave reviews but quite honestly I was less than impressed.

I also read The Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly at the very end of December. It is a prequel to her previous book Lilac Girls it is set during WWI. I enjoyed this one!

I have Philippa Gregory’s newest release on my nightstand to read and just pre-ordered Kristin Hannah’s next release.
I prefer paper books though do borrow e-books from the library at times as well.

I loved Tattooist of Auschwitz and have the sequel Cilka’s Journey on my to read list.
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:19 PM
  #10

I just finished reading The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larsen. This was one of the best books I have read. Historical but reads like fiction.

I listened to Atomic Habits by James Clear. It explains how to make habits more automatic and motivate you to develop and be consistent with your habits.

I read Writers & Lovers by Lily King and enjoyed it.

Currently reading The Huntress by Kate Quinn. Historical fiction that ties together the stories of a female Russian bomber pilot, a young photographer, and Nazi hunters. It takes place in the aftermath of WWII. I am a fan of WWII stories so I am really getting into this book.


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Old 01-19-2021, 03:35 PM
  #11

Iím reading Simone St. Jamesís The Haunting of Maddy Clare on my Kindle and Ruth Wareís One by One in a physical book.

One of my friends, also a book fan & my momís neighbor, dropped off about 10 books for me this week. Since Iím on sick leave, Iím reading, cross stitching, and watching documentaries.
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:49 PM
  #12

Most recent..
1. This is Not a Love Story: Judy Brown about an orthodox 7yo that questions her culture (serious, but funny)
2. This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel: About growing up transgender and family dealing with it.
3. The Stranger In My Bed by Karen King
4. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh...excellent about a girl who grew upin the system. Goes from present to her childhood.. so good
5. The Rent Collector by Camron Wright: excellent
6. Unfaithful by Natalie Barelli
7. The Man She Married by Alison James

Reading now: Mexican Gothic for my book club
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:56 PM
  #13

Iím halfway through Better Luck Next Time by Julia Johnson. She wrote Be Frank with Me. It is basically the same story as script from the old movie The Women (one of my top 5 movies), but told from a male employeeís perspective and there is a bit of a mystery to it.

Next up is Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Dalton.

And for trash I continue to read several of Susan Stokerís Navy Seal/Mountain Mercenaries/Ace Security series. Pure romantic, formulaic trash.
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:58 PM
  #14

How could I forget Writers and Lovers??? Loved it too!

I'll look for Cilka's journey. Great recommendations here, thanks!
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Old 01-19-2021, 04:13 PM
  #15

I loved The Language of Flowers. I will definitely read that again someday.
I am finishing The Murder Room by P. D. James. I love her writing.
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Old 01-19-2021, 04:36 PM
  #16

I just read The Book of Lost Names and loved it. I think it was recommended on here. It's by Kristin Harmel.
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Old 01-19-2021, 04:53 PM
  #17

I read The Tattooist of Auschwitz while well done, the sad events of the current day made this a very sad read for me. Just wasnít a good fit. Now Iím in the midst of Ken Follettís Winter of the World, another WWII epic... what was I thinking...
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Old 01-19-2021, 04:54 PM
  #18

I read Language of the Flowers quite a few years ago for a book club I was in, we all really enjoyed it.

Since my mom passed away, I have not been able to read anything heavy. I remember being so affected by the book The Nightingale. I couldnít sleep after reading that one. But lately, I just canít read emotional types of books. I hope I can get back to reading less fluff one day! For now, I read beach type reads.

This month I have read
The Happy Endings Playlist- entertaining enough.

Troubles in Paradise- the third in the series by Elin Hilderbrand. A true beach read, set in St. John. Definitely what I needed in cold, gray January! I did enjoy the final book.

The Lost and Found Bookshop- Iím about 3/4 of the way done and hoping to finish it tonight once my three kids are asleep. One is asleep, two to go lol. This may be my favorite of the three, have to find out the ending
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Old 01-19-2021, 05:07 PM
  #19

I'm mostly through All Adults Here by Emma Straub. It's an easy read but I'm enjoying it, especially the perspective of the different characters.
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Old 01-19-2021, 05:30 PM
  #20

Quote:
I just read The Book of Lost Names and loved it.
I read that a few months ago! It was GREAT, right? I agree Language of the Flowers was wonderful, too.

I read Hillbilly Elegy by Vance which I thought was great. It was a glimpse into a lifestyle that I am very unfamiliar with so I was happy to understand it better.

I read Up From the Projects by Williams. It was good and really showed the progression of civil rights in the country.

I also read In Five Years by Serle. It was different than I thought it would be. I thought it was going to be a light read. I finished and thought, "What did I just read?"
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Old 01-19-2021, 05:53 PM
  #21

I'm reading Anxious People the newest book by Frederik Backman (of A Man Called Ove fame) I've loved some of his and been meh on others but I really like this one. It's got an unusual structure that took some getting used to but I like the way he's weaving the story of all the characters through the book.
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Old 01-19-2021, 06:11 PM
  #22

I just finished The Star-crossed Sisters of Tuscany as well as Miss Bensonís Beetle. Both have strong woman characters and are adventurous. Easy reads.
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Old 01-19-2021, 06:16 PM
  #23

ooh! i just put a couple books on my "to read later" list at the library, thanks!

i won't tell you about the last adult book i read because it was just meh.

i'm currently working on American Dirt--it satisfies the "recommended by a friend" category for this year's reading challenge--and YOU'RE the friend--so many of you said it was good. and it has been! i'm only 1/5 of the way through it. and it's due in 2 days, so i need to get going--it's just been busy with F2F starting back up...
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Old 01-19-2021, 06:27 PM
  #24

I'm listening to Flight Of The Sparrow by Amy Brown. It's an interesting tale.
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Old 01-19-2021, 07:17 PM
  #25

I always have to open my library app before I open these threads - my waitlist is huge!

This weekend I read Godshot - a novel about a young girl that is caught up in a cult, but more about the relationships between women. It was good, but not great.

I also read The Silent Patient this weekend. It was very good with a nice, surprising twist at the end.

The Night Watchman was a great story that follows a few different members of the Chippewa tribe in North Dakota. It's based on the author's grandfather who fought against an "emancipation" bill in the 50s.

I read The Queen's Gambit after watching the Netflix series. The book was good, but the series was much more gripping.

Last read of the month so far was Beach Music. Meh.

I started to read The Pull of the Stars after hearing about it here, but I'm not sure I want to read anything set in a pandemic. I also started If the Creek Don't Rise, but again it started out quite depressing so I don't know...
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Old 01-19-2021, 07:23 PM
  #26

I forgot one!
This Time Next Year, I really enjoyed it so can't believe I forgot it.
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Old 01-19-2021, 07:30 PM
  #27

I read Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout for my book club. I liked the writing, some lovely images and turns of phrases but I still don't much like Olive as a character. I didn't dislike this one as much as I disliked the first one, Olive Kitteridge.

After The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. It's a dual timeline book set in 1692 and 1992. I was caught enough in the story to finish it but the writing wasn't very good.

I'm currently reading American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins which is very intense and I can only read it during the day. For my reading-in-bed book, I'm reading The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen, a fluffy, magical realism book that doesn't take much thought.

I had to take Writers & Lovers back to the library because someone else has it on hold. I would have read it sooner but it came at the same time as Olive Again and that took my attention. I've put it back on hold because what I read of it made me want to give better attention to it.

@amiga13, I'm so glad you're enjoying Ragged Company. It's the best book I read last year.
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Old 01-19-2021, 08:15 PM
  #28

I read This Tender Land by Krueger. It was just OK. The interesting part for me was reading about the the treatment of Native Americans in the 1930ís in Minnesota.

The Book of Lost Names by Harmel. Thanks for this recommendation. I enjoyed it.

The Vanishing Half by Bennett. I enjoyed this one. It really made me think about growing up African American in the 1950ís.
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Old 01-19-2021, 09:26 PM
  #29

The Other Einstein- the story of Albert's wife. It was interesting to see what difficulties she had getting an education.

The Golden Cage- the story of a scorned woman's revenge.

Confessions on the 7:45 - what do you do when a chance encounter unravels a string of lies? This book had lots of twists and turns.

No Time Like the Future- Michael J. Fox's latest. This is the first of his I have read. I did enjoy it.

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Old 01-20-2021, 04:27 AM
  #30

The show inspired me to read the books. I am on book #3, An Offer From a Gentleman. Not my usual reading fare, but entertaining.
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Old 01-20-2021, 05:28 AM
  #31

Since January 1, I have been on a reading spree- trying to substitute reading for being online.(Some have been from recs here- I can't remember which ones though- I read through these reading threads with ipad in hand, placing holds on Cloud library!). Five of the best:

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger During the Depression, 4 orphans escape Native American boarding school in Northern Minnesota and canoe the Mississippi to St. Louis. Part Mark Twain, part The Odyssey - this is my #1 favorite so far this month, maybe because I live in Minnesota.

Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meisner Story of the history of a scarf in 2 time periods: Triangle shirtwaist fire in New York, and the 9/11 period. Excellent.

Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah A wild wolf child is rescued by local police chief, and nurtured by her psychologist sister. Good story.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan Story of how C.S. Lewis met his wife by being penpals. Interesting for fans of C.S. Lewis.

Last Train to London By Meg Waite Clayton During World War 2, A Dutch woman transports Jewish children to the Netherlands and then to London. Excellent. Great companion book for Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel.

Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews Light hearted story of two competing cooking hosts. Fun to zip through.
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Old 01-20-2021, 06:10 AM
  #32

I'd also like to suggest joining the FB group FRIENDS AND FICTION, if you haven't. They offer lots of book recs, and a weekly live panel discussion with a featured author.

It was started and moderated by five women authors (Kristin Harmel, Mary Kay Andrews, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Patti Callihan Henry, Mary Alice Monroe).
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