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It's July! What's Everyone Reading?
Old 07-02-2020, 08:56 AM
  #1

Trasie and Amiga I hope you don't mind me starting this post. I am planning a library trip and want suggestions!


My books:

The Sun Sister by Lucinda Riley. This is the sixth in a series. The books are about six sisters who are all adopted. The adopted father dies at the beginning of the first book. In each book he has left clues for the sisters to discover their pasts. Each book is about the sister in the present, along with someone from before they were born. I found the history aspect of the book to be very entertaining and informative. I am anxiously awaiting book seven, which is about the "missing" sister.

This is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf. Twenty-five years ago the body of Eve Knox was found in a cave. It was discovered by her best friend (Maggie) and sister. There were a handful of suspects, but no charges were filed. Maggie is now in charge of solving the case. She has secrets to uncover. It kept my interest to the end.

Derrick Storm mysteries by Richard Castle. There is a tie in to the tv show Castle. I am getting ready to read the last one.

Where She Went by Kelly Simmons. Maggie faces a mother's worst nightmare when her college aged daughter goes missing. Emma's dorm room is empty, and her roommates not helpful. Maggie learns more than she wants to about Emma's life. It kept me interested until the end.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all sheíll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what sheís thinkingÖand what sheís hiding. As Jessís paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shieldsí manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.
I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next.



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Old 07-02-2020, 08:59 AM
  #2

Thanks tctrojan! I just realized I hadnít started this thread, came on to take care of it, and here it is!

Learning about our pool, vintage Ď60s sprinkler system (works beautifully), and a host of other things have kept me pretty occupied, but Iím about 75% through the new thriller, The Half Sister by Sandie Jones. Itís based on DNA testing and a girl one day showing up at the door claiming to be related. The book has made me gasp once, and so far I havenít figured the ending out. Itís always a good sign to not figure it out!

(And now Iím going out to vacuum the pool.)

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Old 07-02-2020, 09:07 AM
  #3

I finished 3 books recommended here: American Dirt, Not a Sound, and An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good. Loved the first and last, the 2nd was pretty good.

I just started The Girl Who Drank the Moon and have several others downloaded on my Kindle.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:17 AM
  #4

tctrojan, I was just trasieís sub. Iím glad you started the thread.

The Last Trial by Scott Turow. Legal thrillers are my second-favorite genre, and I loved this one.

Iíve read or listened to a lot of so-so light reading:
Angelís Tip by Alafair Burke (did you know sheís James Lee Burkeís daughter?)
Into the Darkest Corner, Haynes
The Inn, Patterson
Unsolved, Patterson

Iím reading The Magicianís Assistant by Ann Patchett and absolutely loving it. Boy, can she write! I recently read her Dutch House which inspired me to go back and reread her books Iíd read many years ago. Then DDís friend said sheíd loved the even older Magicianís Assistant. The only problem is that itís a library book and I read so slowly because Iím savoring the language.

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Old 07-02-2020, 09:17 AM
  #5

Tinseltown by William Mann
I was listening to a podcast called Hollywoodland about the 1922 murder of William Desmond Taylor, a silent film director and became interested in the silent film era in Hollywood. Tinseltown is about the murder but it's about the birth of the movie industry. It's fascinating.


Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth. This is the third book by the author of Call the Midwife. It's about the end of the need for midwives in the East End of London. She talks about what happened to all the characters in real life.


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Old 07-02-2020, 09:22 AM
  #6

I started reading The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. It was recommended by amiga, and rightly so. It is very well written with a compelling story line.

My non-fiction reading this month is Dr. Neil Barnard's Your Body in Balance.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:26 AM
  #7

I just finished American Dirt (fiction)and Catch and Kill (nonfiction). Both were good.

Next up is either Deacon King King or The Room Where it Happened.

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Old 07-02-2020, 09:27 AM
  #8

Defending Jacob by Landay - great story line with twists and turns.
Valentine A Novel by Wetmore - relevant to today's Texas with racial implications.
The Thirteenth Tale A Novel by Setterfield - a complicated storyline with a curious ending.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:28 AM
  #9

Here are the books I've read recently:

Spells and Scones--5th? 6th? in the Magical Bakery Series (cozy mysteries i recently learned!) about a hedgewitch (witch who uses plants/cooking)--death follows her since she is a type of witch that uses her power to fight bad. a little bit of romance in there too. i call it my "brain candy" reading. fun

American Sherlock: MURDER, FORENSICS, AND THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN CSI--book about a number of cases that Edward Oscar Heinrich worked on in the early 1900's and how he pioneered many CSI techniques. interesting, sad, frustrating

The 5 Second Rule: nonfiction book about how to overcome procrastination. pretty repetitive, lots of TINY testimonials that were sent as tweets and PMs that are hard to read; but a fast read and some good nuggets in there

thanks for the recommends. I put Where She Went and The Half Sister on my list "To Read Later"--like 2021 since i have to get through 42 other books in specific categories for a library challenge first!
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:33 AM
  #10

I just started Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi.

Recent reads include:
Red White and Royal Blue- Our first female President is running for a second term in the 2020 election, and her son falls in love with the grandson of the Queen, Prince Henry. A good amount of political sabotage and suspense, humor, and a little bit of sexual content. Think John Grisham, only gay.

Lips Unsealed: A Memoir- Belinda Carlisle, lead singer of the GoGos, wrote her memoir about 5 years ago. Does a great job of telling the rise of the GoGos, as well as her decline into drug addiction. An overall positive, frank book.

Redhead by the Side of the Road: A novel- Anne Tyler's latest, I think.
From amazon: "Micah Mortimer is a creature of habit. A self-employed tech expert, superintendent of his Baltimore apartment building, cautious to a fault behind the steering wheel, he seems content leading a steady, circumscribed life. But one day his routines are blown apart when his woman friend (he refuses to call anyone in her late thirties a "girlfriend") tells him she's facing eviction, and a teenager shows up at Micah's door claiming to be his son. These surprises, and the ways they throw Micah's meticulously organized life off-kilter, risk changing him forever."



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Old 07-02-2020, 09:38 AM
  #11

Quote:
The Room Where it Happened.
I forgot that I had started reading it when it came out a week or so ago. It is quite a slog with its 570 pages, but also interesting in the revelations.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:51 AM
  #12

I read and enjoyed:
The Library Book by S. Orlean
It is about the library fire in LA. I tend not to read non-fiction but this held my interest. There was so much interesting facts surrounding the library.
The Silent Patient by A. Michaelides
This story held my interest with the mystery around the patient. I think someone here recommended this book.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:53 AM
  #13

I read 4 books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon... The Shadow of the Wind, The Angelís Game, The Prisoner of Heaven, and The Labyrinth of the Spirits. All set in Barcelona and intertwined. I love his style and imagination and am impressed by the translatorís skill. Sadly I read that the author died on the day after I finished the last of these books.

Now Iím traveling vicariously with A Year in the World by Frances Mayes. So far sheís been in Spain, Portugal and Sicily. Iím taking notes of foods to try and books to buy... and Iím very jealous.

I skimmed John Boltonís book on line but wonít buy it.

Next I think Iíll try Ann Patchett.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:58 AM
  #14

I read
The Dutch House By Ann Patchett recommended here and I liked it.

In Five Years By Rebecca Serle. A very light read. Not very likable characters.

Before We Were YoursBy Lisa Wingate. I really liked this book. It is historical fiction based on children who were taken from their parents and given to the Tennessee Children’s’ Home Society to be adopted by the rich. So hard to believe that this stealing of children actually occurred. Very compelling.

Normal People By Sally Rooney. Did not like the story or the characters.

I am currently reading The Splendid and the Vile By Erik Larsen. This is about Winston Churchill. Extremely long book but amazing history. It is nonfiction but reads like a story. It’s hard not to compare some of the actions in 1940 to things we still see in the world today. I Really like it so far, but it is not an easy read.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:30 AM
  #15

I’m currently reading The White Devil’s Daughter. It takes place in San Francisco’s early days in Chinatown. It focuses on a safe house provided by some very brave women for women who were victims of the sex slave trade that was so rampant in the region. I’m enjoying the history of San Francisco and many of the names the streets are named after some the men from the story. ( I wonder if we will be soon changing some of those names)

I read The Vanishing Half, a recently released story of African American twins who runaway and begin new lives. One of the twins ‘passes’ over to live as a white person while the other returns to her southern town with a child in tow. The daughters of both of the girls cross paths. The story deals with white privilege. I enjoyed this story.

I also read Secrets of a Charmed Life. This was about the Blitz of England and the evacuation of children from London. It follows a pair of sisters and their separation. The last section was strange in that the story wasn’t current but rather told through the journals of one of the sisters. Also enjoyable.

I need to get reading! I have to read The Giver of Stars for my next book club selection.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:39 AM
  #16

Just finished "Just Mercy", very powerful book. Then I watched the movie which was also very good but the book goes so much deeper into the stories and systems that the author was dealing with.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:55 AM
  #17

I just finished reading Stamped From the Beginning and am now reading The New Jim Crow. Highly recommend both.
With my mysteries Iím reading some Kate Kingsbury Pennyfoot Hotel books. So predictable that itís like being wrapped in a warm flannel blanket.
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:13 AM
  #18

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

My book club read it, discussed it, then we all watched the Hulu version and discussed that. We have been meeting weekly and for the last 5 meetings, we have discussed this story. If you haven't read/watched it, I recommend it! But read the book first!
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:26 AM
  #19

Ooooohhhh, a lot of good recommendations. Thanks, everyone!

Here is what I have been reading:

Boy Erased It was different than I thought it would be. Can't say I enjoyed it or recommend it. I had to push myself to finish it.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper LOVED it!

Quote:
light reading
Quote:
Into the Darkest Corner
I read this also. I would not call it light reading, though! Amiga obviously reads a lot more heavy stuff than I do! I did like it, if "like" is the right word for psychological thrillers.

Savannah Blues by Andrews, This was my light reading!

I reread The Handmaid's Tale as a precursor to The Testaments, because I had read the former so long ago that I could not remember all the nuances of the story. I remember really wanting a sequel the first time I read THT so I was happy to finally get some wrap up for that.

Now I am reading He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly, It reminds me of Into The Darkest Corner as it has the varying time lines & the topic seems somewhat similar, at least, so far.
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:26 AM
  #20

Mornings with Rosemary by Libby Page

This is a story of how love and friendship between a young reporter and an eighty-six year old swimmer make a difference in their community. This is heart-warming.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:23 PM
  #21

I'm still reading cozy mysteries, specifically by Kate Collins at the moment. They're just so fun and relaxing.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:44 PM
  #22

bGracie, I love my cozy mysteries too! I don't know that I've read a lot of Kate Collins' books...she does flower themed books, right?
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:20 PM
  #23

I am reading Salt Fat Acid Heat. It's all learning how to cook well and the science behind it. I have just started, but really like it!
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:57 PM
  #24

I recently read American Dirt and I'm so glad I did -THANKS to all who recommended it!

I'm finishing up A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay -meh. A good yarn but the only reason I read it was for my book club.

Tomorrow I'll pick up a copy of the most recent Maggie Hope book, The King's Justice. Looking forward to catching up with that series.
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:20 PM
  #25

I read quite a few very good books during the last few weeks, most of them recommended here

Out of the silence: after the crash, by Eduardo Strauch. After the infamous plane crash in the Andes; The author is sharing his feelings and insight rather than telling the story... very interesting

The water dancer by Ta-Nehsi Coates; Another book from the favorite-books-by-state map. Very very good

It's not all downhill from here, by Terry Mc Millan; another McMillan book, no surprises here, but feels good nevertheless


The prayer room, by Shanthi Sekaran was recommended here I think; Great book too

I've started The namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri, thanks to amiga like it a lot so far

I'm reading What a plant knows, by David Chamovitz, in between. Easy read, very interesting non fiction

I've kept the best for the end...Sarah Jane, by James Sallis. Sallis is right at the top of my favorite authors lists, with Tom Robbins... I love love love his books, his style, the atmosphere, the characters. Not for everyone, but soooo good!
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Old 07-02-2020, 03:36 PM
  #26

In June, I read:

The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Woods. It's about the Dionne Quintuplets. It was for my book club where none of us liked it.

The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams. Predictable but fun. I've put a hold on the second in the series.

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny. Book 10 in her series. I love her writing.

Blood Oath by Linda Fairstein. I've read and enjoyed all the other Alexandra Cooper books. This one, though, feels like she phoned it in. I hope the series hasn't run its course.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richards. I think it was recommended here--it's a great book (except I found the ending weak) with some really interesting historical details.

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny. Book 11 in the series.

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen. predicatable chick lit--my guilty pleasure.

I'm currently reading:
Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris. I'm rereading it for my book club. What a great novel! I love her writing.
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Old 07-02-2020, 04:41 PM
  #27

The books I read in June.
Educated by Tara Westover Very Good but I found the family so disturbing.
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler. I really like her books.
Valentine by Elizabeth Whetmore I liked this book.
Searching for Sylvia Lee by Jean Kwak A mystery with family secrets
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan Feel good book

I am currently reading The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
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Old 07-02-2020, 05:29 PM
  #28

Just got brand new books by 2 of my favorite authors that I had preordered:

Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:46 PM
  #29

Quote:
bGracie, I love my cozy mysteries too! I don't know that I've read a lot of Kate Collins' books...she does flower themed books, right?
Yes, she does! The main character is a florist and owns a cute shop.
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:06 PM
  #30

The German House by Annette Hess
They Went West by Monica Hesse
Both are set just after WW2 in Germany and deal with coming to terms with what happened during the war.

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
An adoption story with all the ups and downs laid out.

American Dirt

Firefly Summer by Maeve Binchy
How the return of the son changes, and doesnít change, a small Irish town.
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:06 PM
  #31

Just finished reading The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica. It's a psychological thriller about a couple who move to Maine.
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Here is my reading list:
Old 07-02-2020, 08:33 PM
  #32

My reading list for the summer begins and ends with the Jack Reacher series by
Lee Child. Had only seen the movies before a couple of months ago.

First point -- I'm getting this older series via my local library. Online checkout. So easy. Figured out how to do it during the shutdown, and now will probably never go back inside the library again.

Second point -- The character Reacher has inspired me to simplify. (Okay, Reacher and Thoreau.) Bought a wallet that holds my phone, and then stripped down what I carry in the new wallet to: the previously-mentioned phone, two credit cards, my license, a 20-dollar bill, and the "cut out and taped in" bar code for my Kroger card. Now I'm out the door in seconds, if seconds count.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:14 PM
  #33

Currently:
I just started Defending Jacob yesterday. I'm looking forward to reading it, and want to watch the series after.

I am also reading Hood Feminism, about the women that the feminist movement forgets. It's heavy, so I can't read a lot at a time, but I'm learning which is always good.

And I'm finishing Harry Potter #5. Been rereading and rewatching during the pandemic. It's been fun!

And I'm in the middle of An Echo in the Bone. It's my comfort read when I'm tired and don't want to focus, but still want to read.

Last month I read:
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It's a letter from a black father to his son. Very good.

The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. I really enjoy her writing, and this was a great story.

Love Poems for Married People by John Kenney. Funny and silly and lots of things every married person can relate to.

Fleishman is in Trouble. I didn't care for this one. It wasn't bad enough to not finish, but I didn't really like the characters.

Homegoing by Yaa Giasi. The story of many generations of slaves. While I liked it, it jumped from character to character and I wish it had more depth rather than breadth.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow. This one is hard to pin down in terms of genre, but it was an enjoyable read.

Lolita. I had never read this and don't know why I wanted to. I actually found it quite funny, even though I felt a little guilty like it wasn't supposed to be funny. The prose was just so over the top, while the actual story was revolting.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Wow, just wow. This book blew me away. I did have to get over the fact that the main characters were all wealthy and successful in a kind of ridiculous way. But that luckily wasn't the focus. It is more about relationships and personal insecurities, and I felt it was beautifully written. It is very long, though!
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:29 AM
  #34

I'm currently reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. It is the prequel to The Hunger Games. I am enjoying it.
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Old 07-03-2020, 06:39 AM
  #35

I forgot one I loved:

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin


I thought this was a lovely little book of the transformative power of love and how it leads to redemption.


I'm starting
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes this weekend.

I read The Secret Lives of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and it made me angry. I do not recommend this one.
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Old 07-03-2020, 12:32 PM
  #36

I just started Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer- I just noticed it was on the book choice list for DS's high school summer reading and I always wanted to read it.

Last few books I read were:

The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine. It was good but it had almost the same plot twist as another book I read.

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix. A very hokey horror story that takes place in the 80's. Kind of a Heathers/Mean Girls/The Exorcism all rolled into one. I actually LOVED it!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer. A YA novel about Wonderland's Queen of Hearts before she became a villain.

The Henna Artist
by Alka Joshi. I absolutely LOVED this book! About a woman in 1950's India navigating the social classes.

I read 3 or 4 others in June but didn't rate them very highly on Goodreads so I didn't list those here.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:12 PM
  #37

My book club read Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart. It's based on the story of the first female cop. The writing was too campy for me, but the real story aspect was interesting. At the end the author included the real newspaper articles based on the incidents at the time and explained which parts of the story were fact vs. fiction.

I also read a YA novel (sometimes I like those) called The S Word. It held my attention but wasn't great.

My friend recommended a Margaret Atwood book called The Heart Goes Last. I got many suggestions from last month's book thread here, but the majority of them have long wait times from the library and I'm still waiting, so I was pleased this was available right away. Now I see why. I can't believe my friend liked it so much. I loved The Handmaids Tale and The Testaments, but this one is a miss for me. Silly and mostly uninteresting- I don't know if she's trying to be funny, but it doesn't work for her either way.

I need to start my next book club book, which is The Yellow House by Sarah Brown.

Quote:
I just started Defending Jacob yesterday. I'm looking forward to reading it, and want to watch the series after
I loved that book! I read it years ago and it's really stuck with me. Fascinating stuff to think about.
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