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Itís January! What are you reading?
Old 01-07-2020, 08:35 AM
  #1

Happy New Year, happy new books!

I finished Grisham’s The Guardians and, like many of you, liked it very much. Good Grisham.

I finished the highly-recommended-by-PTers The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Dugoni. This book confirmed how very different our tastes in reading are. As I began reading, I thought maybe it was young adult. Nope, guess not. It seemed like the author was trying to emulate my #2 favorite, John Irving (particularly Owen Meany and Cider House), and not pulling it off. I thought it was simplistic, predictable, not very well written, and had way too much religion for me. Sorry, fans.

Now I’m reading and loving The Dakota Winters by Barbash, the fictional story of a family and neighbors (John Lennon) who lived in the famous Dakota in 1980. I always like reading about the rich, and it’s beautifully written.

I’m listening to my 3rd-in-a-row legal mystery by Phillip Margolin, Violent Crimes. These are just the listening ticket for me: not too challenging, good story.

What are you reading?


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Old 01-07-2020, 08:56 AM
  #2

My current book is Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra. It's current day take off on Little Women. Having just seen & enjoyed that film, this is a perfect reading choice. I've only read 50 pages so far, so no review yet. But it's promising as an enjoyable, light read.
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:38 AM
  #3

I recently read The Second Sleep by Robert Harris which is a book that is hard to categorize. It starts as a historical novel, but then there's a twist and I don't want to post any spoilers. I enjoyed it very much. Some reviewers did not like the ending, but I did.

I just finished Me by Elton John. I loved it! I have loved Elton John forever and Honky Chateau is one of the first albums I ever owned way back in my youth. I have seen him in concert twice, once back in the early 70s and once in Las Vegas when he did his Red Piano show, and he was fabulous both times. I really enjoyed his honest autobiography and am happy that he is loving being the father to 2 sons. I am definitely going to see Rocketman in the near future.
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:58 AM
  #4

I've read several mysteries by C.J. Box. They're about a game warden named Joe Pickett who lives and works in Wyoming.

I also read The Library Book by Susan Orlean. It was a very interesting non-fiction account of a fire in the Los Angeles central library. It tied a great deal of library history into it as well as explored the mystery of who set the fire--or was it set at all?

Currently, I am reading The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. It's enthralling. I read well over half of it the first day I checked it out. The blurb on it reads as follows: "At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this 'intricate and extraordinary' Hugo Award-winning novel of power, oppression, and revolution."
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Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Old 01-07-2020, 10:07 AM
  #5

This book was a National Book Award Finalist. It is the story of a 4 generation Korean family living in Japan in the 20th century. In the early 1900's Sunja gets pregnant by an older married gentleman. She refuses to be his mistress and instead marries a Korean minister on his way to Japan. Her decision to leave her family sets off a saga that echos throughout generations. I enjoyed this book a great deal. The family was such a strong unit. I did not realize the amount of prejudice there was against Koreans living in Japan.


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Old 01-07-2020, 10:38 AM
  #6

In the past few weeks I've worked my way through a few books (most of which were previously recommended here).

Once We Were Brothers by Ronald Balson
Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts
The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
The Baker's Secret by Stephen Kiemen
The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger

A big thank you to the PTers who recommended them.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:02 AM
  #7

I enjoyed "How to Be a Family", by a journalist who took his family to live in different places around the world. From the book blurb.... they go in search of other places on the map that might offer them the chance to live away from home-but closer together. Over a year the family lands in New Zealand, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, and small-town Kansas. The goal? To get out of their rut of busyness and distractedness and to see how other families live outside the East Coast parenting bubble.

Also read "Hiddensee" by Gregory Maguire (author of Wicked) I enjoy his books and this was no exception. It's the story of Godfather Drosselmeier from the Nutcracker.

"Deal of a Lifetime" by Frederick Backman is a short story (I listened, it was 45 minutes) If you're a fan of "A Man Called Ove" you'll like this one.

Currently reading "The Thirteenth Tale" which has been on my to read list for ages. So far so good.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:48 AM
  #8

I am in the middle of The Silent Patient. So far it is interesting.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:53 AM
  #9

Britt-Marie was Here-enjoyable
The Dutch House-okay
Exit West-very interesting read. It left me thinking about a few topics that were eluded to through symbolism. I found the writing style to be very distracting. Many sentences were long, very long, some over a page long, and did I mention the overuse of commas. I am glad that I read it. I was reluctant at first.
The Story of Arthur Truluv- sweet story- very much like A Man Called Ove.
Have You Seen Luis Velez-another touching story about relationships across the generations. This one left me with some real thoughts about privilege. Thoughts of the movie Crash kept surfacing.

Currently reading the Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell. Not sure about this one yet.

Iím also revisiting The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek for both of my book clubs. I really enjoyed this one, I hope my book clubs do too.

I have finally gotten onto the Libby App. Iím next in line for the Rent Collector.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:42 PM
  #10

Books finished in December:

The Black Moon which is the 5th book in the Poldark series by Winston Graham.

In the Garden of the Beasts by Erik Larson. The story of William Dodd and his family during his time as US Ambassador to Nazi Germany in the early years of Hitler. Excellent book.

Book finished this month:

A Better Man by Louise Penny. I really love her books and the characters.

Next book up is Kristen Hannahís Things We Do for Love which a friend passed along to me.


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Old 01-07-2020, 01:50 PM
  #11

I just finished The East of Eden. Wow, it was so good. I really needed to read a classic and appreciate good writing.
I just started a childrenís book called The One and Only Ivan.My plan is to read a middle elementary book every fourth book this year. I need to be able to give suggestions to my students.
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:10 PM
  #12

Mindhunter by John Douglas. A former FBI agent's experiences with interviewing serial killers to learn more about profiling to catch/prevent murderers. I just finished the Netflix adaptation and loved it. Best show I've seen in a long time, so I had to track down the book it is based on!

Little Women. A re-read for probably the hundredth time since I was 13! I bought a beautiful new hardcover edition with pictures from the movie. Still plan on seeing the movie but will probably wait to rent.
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:33 PM
  #13

starting The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See for our school book club.

I didn't read much over the holiday. I need a regular routine and I was all over the place.

I envy those of you with the self-discipline to read so many books in a month.
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The Only Woman in the Room
Old 01-07-2020, 02:49 PM
  #14

by Marie Benedict. I am also going to read Carnegie 's Maid.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:16 PM
  #15

Right now I'm splitting my reading time between Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino and Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman. I've only finished the first essay in Trick Mirror: "The I in the Internet" but I found it to be very interesting. Fredrik Backman is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers.

In December:
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. It's sort of like The Turn of the Screw meets Smart House.

Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham. I didn't care for this one. I found Bingham's style beyond annoying. In my world, "va va voom" is not a verb and it does not refer to fast and reckless driving. So when he says that his protagonist got in her car to "va-va-voom over to work, or as va-voomy as traffic will allow" it tends to make bad words come out of my mouth. And that's just one example.

The Never Game by Jeffrey Deaver. At his best, Deaver can write a book with such outstanding pacing that you can't put it down. That wasn't the case with this one but I didn't think it was a bad book.

Still Life by Louise Penny. Many thanks to those of you who recommended this series!

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks. I didn't care for it, but I'm not the target reader for this one. If you took out every reference to fashion, make-up and skin care, the book would probably be 50 pages shorter. If you read magazines like Cosmo or Vogue you might really like this book.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman. I don't think you'd have to be an ice hockey fan to appreciate this book, because it's about so much more than ice hockey! If you are a fan, though, you will appreciate how Backman illuminates both what's wonderful and what's awful about ice hockey.
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:11 PM
  #16

I just finished Elegy for Eddie, from the Maisie Dobbs mystery series, by Jacqueline Winspear.
I'm in the middle of Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy.

Love these threads! I'm looking forward to reading Meg & Joe and The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:12 PM
  #17

I had a very slow December where I hardly read anything. I started reading a few books but realized that I was disliking them, wondered why I was continuing and returned them to the library. Aren't libraries wonderful?

What I finished:
The Gown by Jennifer Robson. It's my favourite kind of book--someone now finds an artifact and we have the story of the artifact and the story now. This one is about Queen Elizabeth's wedding dress.

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny. Why have I never read these books? They're terrific. I'm a little in love with Armand Gamache.

Currently Books
Bedside reading: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Lovely writing.

Making dinner reading: Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. Fascinating!

Read aloud with Man: Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky. A little dry but several people have told us it's fascinating. This is our second or third try at it. We'll see how it goes.

Public transit reading: Gone To Soldiers by Marge Piercy. I've been reading this for a long time. It's very good but long and I don't take public transit by myself very often.


PoohBear, The Thirteenth Tale is one of my very favourite books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tori58
So when he says that his protagonist got in her car to "va-va-voom over to work, or as va-voomy as traffic will allow" it tends to make bad words come out of my mouth.
I know EXACTLY what you mean! I have to say though, that what you quoted made me squinch my face and I'm not sure when it will unsquinch.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:00 PM
  #18

The Best Cook in the World - part memoir and part cookbook, this was a very amusing non-fiction book about some good southern cooking.
Skipping Christmas - quick, easy read. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't great.
The House We Grew Up In
Britt-Marie Was Here
Salvage the Bones


I just started Tell the Wolves I'm Home. So far it's okay but not great - we'll see!



I started but did not finish Bringing Down the Duke, Milkman, The Maze at Windermere, and A Nearly Normal Family. Too many good books out there to read something I'm not enjoying!
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:34 PM
  #19

In December I read several fun Christmas books by Debbie Macomber. Just a couple days ago I finished Gone to Soldiers, which someone on PT recommended. Right now I'm re-reading Rebecca.
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:40 PM
  #20

I just finished Chances Are... by Richard Russo. Slow at the beginning, but very good after awhile.
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