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What are you reading in September?

7 years ago

Bookclub reading this month is "Moonrise" by Cassandra King. Supposed to be like Rebecca...haven't started it yet so I can't comment.

Any interesting reads for you?

Comments (40)

  • 7 years ago

    Finishing a nonfiction selection Voices in the Ocean (author Susan Casey; subject: dolphins), then will continue reading One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd. The nonfiction selection is quite well-written, informative, and balances science with supposition. When I started One Thousand White Women, I thought it was non-fiction; not sure why. Oh, well....

  • 7 years ago

    Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín. Loved the movie and so far I'm loving the book.

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  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just started Euphoria by Lily King. Loosely based on Margaret Mead. Only on page 10, so not sure if its good yet. From the NY Times review:

    In “Euphoria,” the novelist Lily King has taken the known details of that occasion — a 1933 field trip to the Sepik River, in New Guinea, during which Mead and her second husband, Reo Fortune, briefly collaborated with the man who would become her third husband, the English anthropologist Gregory Bateson — and blended them into a story of her own devising. The result is as uncanny as it is transporting

  • 7 years ago

    Book club read: Bunker Hill, by Nathaniel Philbrick. Non-fiction. Good but a bit dry.

  • 7 years ago

    I tried Euphoria a few months ago and didn't get past page 10 or so. It was a time when I needed to be entertained so it's still on my ipad waiting for me to give it another try. I'll be eager to see what you think, Beagles.

    I am currently reading Lab Girl. I am not too far in but enjoying her writing.

  • 7 years ago

    Linelle - I've enjoyed all of the Colm Toibin books I've read.

    Artemis - Bunker Hill has been on my to read list for a long time. Have you finished it? Final assessment?

    I finished The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak today. Wonderful. I thought it would take longer to read so now I find myself without a next read in hand. Sort of. I'm reading Working by Studs Terkel in bits and pieces so I have that. Also have some poetry that I pick up when the mood strikes.

    The book on order from the library is The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. This looks very interesting.

  • 7 years ago

    I just finished Harmony, by Carolyn Parkhurst. I really liked it. About a group of families who help establish a sort of camp for families with children who have special needs. It's fiction, with some interesting twists.

  • 7 years ago

    Just finished Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty, "Aussie frenemies Clementine and Erika must cope after a summer barbecue goes terribly wrong." Interesting how it examines and dissects each character in relationship to the horrible incident at a BBQ.

    Reading Love is Murder a collection of short stories from 30 known authors. So far very good, but I want the stories to be longer!


  • 7 years ago

    Well, clearly not reading much. I did just finish Middlesex for book club. Just went last night and out of 15 or so people, everyone did like it. obviously some more than others. It is a book I might even consider reading again in a while as there really was so much to it. The beginning really was not my cup of tea but once it started moving it was very good read.

    I am not sure what I will read next - I am going to try to give Faulkner another whirl with As I Lay Dying but not sure if it will keep me. I am on hold with lots of books, and hope the next one is Flight Behavior. It was also a book club read that I missed, and people really liked that one as well.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I couldn't get interested in Euphoria. Got through about 25 pages and gave up for now.

    Reading Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer because it is one of the Kindle free books that prime members get and I didn't have to think about finding another book to read since it was right there on the list. It is pretty good so far. It is about a couple who loses their child, so not a cheerful book but it captured my attention right away.

  • 7 years ago

    I enjoyed Euphoria, it definitely was an atmospheric read and the plot I thought was fairly compelling.

    I just finished A Man Called Ove, based on recommendations here. I might put it on my suggestion list for this season't book club reads. I'm definitely recommending The Sympathizer and will read it regardless of whether my book club ladies choose it. Third nominee from me will be The Argonauts which is a very dense but very interesting memoir/philosophical treatise on gender and families written by a woman married to a fluidly gendered artist.

    I also finally gobbled up the 3rd book in Stephen King's Bill Hodges trilogy, End of Watch. Loved it of course although a tiny bit disappointed that in this one he returned to his spooky/supernatural author's themes. I though SK did a bang up job in the first two books without resorting to that but ah well, it was still a page turner.

    Up next on my reading list is 32 Yolks and I'm hoping it will be an enjoyable food-themed experience.

  • 7 years ago

    I just picked two books for kindle reading.

    The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan and English Passengers by Mattew Kneale.

    I'm going to read English Passengers first. It's partly about trying to civilize the aboriginal population in Tasmania while eliminating them and has some historical facts.

    I'm sort of into reading historically based books on real happenings and atrocities committed against man by other countries. There is way too much judgement on Americans from other lands with "bad history" of their own.

  • 7 years ago

    Within minutes of finishing Brooklyn, I watched the movie again. Thanks HBO Now! The book and movie complement one another perfectly. I loved the book, but I think I'm gonna give the edge to the movie. Since the book tells the story in a very straightforward, unembellished way, the movie really fleshes out the characters. Miss Kelly!!! What a piece of work, that one. Also I felt for Jim Farrell as he read her letter. But I wept again at the end, in a good way.

    Now reading Lab Girl. I was on the waiting list for months, so it better be good. So far, so good.

  • 7 years ago

    I just finished two books.

    First, The Girls by Emma Cline. The best new author I can recall reading in several years. Show-stopping prose. E.g., The New York Times review said of the book "a coming of age story ... told in sen­tences at times so finely wrought they could almost be worn as jewelry." The New Yorker review says " Finely intelligent, often superbly written, with flashingly brilliant sentences" and " On every other page, it seems, there is something remarkable—an immaculate phrase, a boldly modifying adverb, a metaphor or simile that makes a sudden, electric connection between its poles." If you like to read because you enjoy fine prose, you will be delighted. OTOH I eagerly await the young (25yo) author's next book, because this one was a little too honest and sad and brutal to be "enjoyed" IYKWIM.

    I also read "It's Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too)"

    by Nora McInerny Purmort. She is a very funny author, but I think the book got higher Goodreads ratings then it deserved because of her appealing persona and sad story. It feels hard to criticize her, too. To me the book was a little too fluffy and giddy and felt like a magazine article. IDK. A lot of people really like it apparently.

    Next on deck is ‘The Sympathizer,’ by Viet Thanh Nguyen. I have not started yet and am not anxious too. It has a really ugly red and yellow cover for one. But I have read all of the 100-odd Pulitzer winners so I have to read the new one each year. It's kind of a good thing because it forces me to read things I might not otherwise pick, and I have never read a dud Pulitzer winning novel; that is I like some and love some but none felt like a waste of time.

  • 7 years ago

    I love to stalk these threads and have picked up several suggestions I doubt I'd have stumbled upon otherwise. I'll definitely be ordering The Girls, now after passing on it earlier.

    But I'm really chiming in to lend a nudge to those on the fence about The Sympathizer. It's the best thing I've read in ages. Nguyen writes beautifully, and while I was flicking away the tears brought on by one paragraph, I'd literally be hooting with laughter over the next.

  • 7 years ago

    Has anyone read Thanks for the Vodka by Harpie? I was thinking of putting it on my list.

  • 7 years ago

    MtnRd, I had a very similar reaction to The Girls. I found it to be difficult to read in terms of the subject matter, but I also thought the author was very talented. I felt almost gritty reading it.


    I checked out The Sympathizer from the library a couple of months ago, but ended up returning it before I got to it. I think I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to get started on it and kept pushing it to the bottom of my pile before it was finally due back. I'll have to give it another try.


    I took a week off from reading as the kids just went back to school and I've been knee deep in planning an event. Waiting on my nightstand for me are Salvage the Bones, The Fisherman and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things.

  • 7 years ago

    I finished Moonrise and think I would've enjoyed it more had I been 14 or had I never read or heard about Rebecca. I was doing too much comparison throughout the book and I found the ending to be so dissatisfying compared to all the various endings I'd imagined. I'd give it at best a 3 out of 5.

  • 7 years ago

    I just finished " Etched in Sand".....very difficult subject matter. I now started " The Girls of Atomic City".

  • 7 years ago

    Oh, id like to read The Girls of Atomic City. Let us know what you think.

  • 7 years ago

    My DH read it recently and really enjoyed it.....very interesting.....untold story.

  • 7 years ago

    I am still working my way through Lab Girl-- not at all a reflection on the book unless it is that I want to spread it over my days. It's a fabulous read --interesting, insightful, tender and.. well, comforting. I can't explain why "comforting" but that is exactly what it has been for me. It is real and personal .. and I can't wait to reach for it each night.

    I do have a background in science-- and some of it is that context is familiar and comfortable. But I wasn't a botanist or a geo-paleo gal and so the science should be foreign to me. But no, she makes the science so very accessible and meaningful in the smallest of contexts that it's a breeze to read. Some science-based books (even fiction) become so full of themselves-- so bloated with the importance of their efforts and outcomes to the world. Not so here. She makes the meaningfulness personal and enlightening... in the way one living thing understanding another living thing.

    She gracefully moves between science and life. Her own life which is as imperfect as any of ours --likely more so. She's bipolar, introverted and quirky-- her lab partner even more odd and living on the fringe. Their worlds are small and yet not. I find them wonderfully endearing.. and their friendship one I revere.

    I don't usually push a recommendation-- hey, our tastes and preferences are all our own. Still. This is a great book and I'd hate to think someone walked past thinking it was a topic that wouldn't hold their interest. I am heading out now to buy a copy for my bff.

  • 7 years ago

    Rereading a beloved New Mexico classic, "Red Sky at Morning". I read it many years ago, before I even moved here and loved it. This time around, I'm recognizing so many places and things. I can't read it at night in bed, though, because I keep waking DH up laughing.

  • 7 years ago

    I'm reading The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante. It's the fourth and last in a series translated from Italian. This last one was nominated for the Man Booker International Prize. It's a complex novel about the relationship between two women who grow up in a rough neighborhood in Naples. It's definitely not a "feel good" book - their friendship is complex and their lives complicated. Because there are so many characters and the story builds on things that happen in the past, each book does not really stand alone. The first book starts at the end of the story when one of the woman goes missing, but then goes back to the beginning of their friendship, so of course, I need to find out how it all ends. Each book is pretty long. When I started the last book had not yet been published so when I started this last one, I kept having to refresh my memory about some of the characters but thankfully, there is a detailed list of characters at the beginning of each book. One interesting thing about the author - she writes under a pseudonym and has concealed her identity since her first book was published over 20 years ago. She is highly acclaimed internationally.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I finished Lab Girl. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I had to keep reminding myself I needed to keep going and finish it. I enjoyed reading about the trials and tribulations Hope and Bill (her lab partner) went through over the years, and especially the amazing plant facts that turn plants into real beings. But it tended to drag in places and I found myself skimming a bit. Had it not had such fantastic reviews, I might have bailed earlier on, but I was hoping for a big payoff.

  • 7 years ago

    Oh Linelle, I am sorry to hear that you didn't love it. As I wrote above, I loved it.. and I was so sorry to reach the end.

    Next up for me is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles --- though a friend is nudging me to read Razor Girl by Hiaasen. I may try to read them both.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    On a recommendation, I read Veil of Lies by Jeri Westerson. A mystery set in Medieval London. It was okay.

    I'm getting close to the end of When I Left Home by Buddy Guy. Very enjoyable read. That man is into his music and has met a lot of interesting characters along the way. I like the blues but am not a fanatic. It was interesting to read about musicians and then look up their work on YouTube. They provided background music for a lot of my reading time. That was great. Although many times the music was so compelling that the book had to be set aside until a track was over.

    The library system finally coughed up The Master and Margarita after two weeks on order. I started it today during lunch. Bizarre right from the get go. Looking forward to getting further into it.

  • 7 years ago

    I finished The Sympathizer. It was very interesting and different and thought-provoking. I am glad I read it. I also enjoyed watching some interviews the author has done.

    Next up, I am reading Out of Africa.

  • 7 years ago

    Funkyart, it's okay. I really did like it, but not enough to recommend it. My friend couldn't put it down; I had a hard time picking it up.

  • 7 years ago

    We read Queen of the South for book club. We all disliked it, although some said it improved in the last third or so. I gave up on it before then. I finished When Breath Becomes Air a few days ago. It was very moving and makes me hope I never need brain surgery, that's for sure. I think it was "oversold" to me so I did not love it at much as I expected I would. I just started H is for Hawk and although I am not far into it, I'm enjoying it. I love books where I learn about something new, in this case hawks and falconry. Next up for book club is Ann Patchett's latest, Commonwealth. It gets great reviews and I am looking forward to it.


    Love these threads.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I finished Louisa-a book about Louisa Adams, John Quincy's wife. It was interesting, I didn't realize alcoholism was rife in the Adams' family. So sad. Life was so hard back then, I don't think I would have survived my three pregnancies. She had at least 12.

    I am now reading SPQR, a history of Ancient Rome in preparation for a trip there. I don't know if I will get through it though, it's boring and feels like I'm back in college reading a textbook.

  • 7 years ago

    Hiassen has a new book? I didn't know, Funky, thanks for mentioning that. I enjoy his books.

    Mtn, I had heard about The Girls of Atomic City but promptly forgot about it. I'm putting it on my list to read. Oak Ridge isn't far from us and we've driven through there several times. Took a tour many years ago. It's quite interesting, almost spooky in some places.

    I just finished My Grandmother Said to Tell you She's Sorry which I enjoyed. A bit different as it was told from a 7-year-old's perspective for the most part. I've started Big Little Lies. I'm behind with Liane Moriarty's books. I didn't care for 'Husband's Secret' so I've been slow to start anything else she writes.

  • 7 years ago

    I used to enjoy Hiaasen's books, but it took me two tries to finally make it through Bad Monkey. It seemed like he was trying too hard to be funny.

    Donna

  • 7 years ago

    Mtn, one of the things I appreciated about the Sympathizer was his treatment (albeit a bit heavy handed) of cultural appropriation. I felt I had more nuanced understanding of the issue when I was through.

    In the last few weeks I've finished The Girls, The Underground Railroad, The Invention of Wings, Heroes of the Frontier, Purity, and Maud's Line (and a few non-fiction titles). I've found things to appreciate in all of them, but in general, they've left me a little flat. Does anyone else feel like most current fiction would benefit greatly from a good editor? I've got The Brothers Karamazov sitting on my night table. If I can face sorting through all the darned the Russian names, I think I'll pick it up next.

  • 7 years ago

    Sounds like most of my 2016-17 book club season has been mentioned--we're reading The Girls of Atomic City, The Sympathizer (my recommendation), Lab Girl which I LOVED, Between the World and Me, A Man Called Ove (I got 2 selected this cycle ;), Being Mortal, On Fire and Damaged.

  • 7 years ago

    nutherokie, I tend to agree with you. I've been under-whelmed by most that I've read. Nothing has really sent me into orbit and maybe that's it. There needs to be some closer attention to editing. I often get started and think it's going to be good, but then it drags or gets boring and I have to slug it out.

  • 7 years ago

    Last night, I started Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley. So far, I'm loving it at 20-something pages in. I'm laughing now, my favorite kind of book, but I'm pretty sure I'll be crying later.


  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I recently finished Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat, a beautifully written but somewhat tragic book about life in Haiti.

    And this morning I finished The Girls. Not sure what to say about this one. The story was ok; I thought the author did a really great job of capturing some of the feelings of growing up as a teenage girl, but the writing vacillated between being pretty good to being pretty awful. She so overused bad simile that it became tiresome and distracting to read. Once in a while she'd land a good one, but more often than not they felt forced and excessive.

    I don't mind books that skip back and forth in time and place, but something about the way it happened in this book left me a little lost sometimes...like, "Who are these people?? Oh, now I remember, this is happening in current time and not the past."

  • 7 years ago

    I'm mid-way through Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes.

    It is an excellent read, so far. It is about a very difficult subject, but is hard to put down. From the NY Times:

    As a successful young professional in the northwest of England, Catherine Bailey has a full life: a job she likes and a cabal of friends with whom she parties hard. When she hooks up with handsome and mysterious Lee she seems to have it all — at least her envious girlfriends think so. “Isn’t he just what we’ve all always wanted?” one of them asks her. “The world doesn’t exist for him outside you.” But instead of every woman’s dream, blond, blue-eyed Lee turns out to be this woman’s nightmare. Manipulative and controlling, he grows more and more violent until he nearly kills her. But the real horror, she explains later, was that “nobody, not even my best friend, believed me.” Lee gets three years in prison and Catherine, now suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, moves to London to start a new life. Haynes uses alternating narratives to burrow into a harrowing story: There’s the 2003 Catherine, meeting Lee, falling in love, then descending into hell; and the 2007 Cathy, struggling to rebuild her life.