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What are we reading in May?

7 years ago

I looked and didn't see that anyone started a May reading thread.

I was a true liker of the previous threads but my reading in April kind of stopped for whatever reason. So truthfully I am not reading anything at the moment. I am sincerely hoping to get back into it big time once again, I miss it but it has just gotten away from me.

Would love to hear what ya'all are reading.

Comments (40)

  • 7 years ago

    My reading has slowed also.. I am a few pages away from completing Razor Girl. It was a good change of pace but overall, I'd say it was ok-- not especially good or great. I think hiassen tried a little too hard to be funny, outrageous and unexpected. I didn't think he was as successful as say, Tom Robbins.

    I am very eager to start A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume next (later today). I also downloaded Crimes Against a Book Club as a very light distraction.

  • 7 years ago

    At the risk of pigeon holing myself I'm reading YA again. It's called The Raven Boys (The Raven cycle #1). It's about ley lines and ghosts and the wrong people dying. In my defense stuff stays with me, and keeps me awake, so I stay away from heftier plots.

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  • 7 years ago

    I just finished Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign, which was a very interesting read which I gather has been optioned for TV. Now I'm going to try The Nix.

  • 7 years ago

    I just finished Me Before You and I read The Dollhouse before that. Enjoyed them both very much. It's been a long time since I read a murder/thriller thing and I've never read James Patterson, so I decided to try one of his Alex Cross books. Too early to tell on that one.

  • 7 years ago

    yeonassky, I read a lot of YA, too. My excuse is that I want to be able to talk to the kids about what they are reading (mine are 10, 13, 15, and 18). The reality is that sometimes I just like some of the YA stories. I have not read the Raven Boys, but one series you may like is Lockwood and Co by Jonathan Stroud. The first book is The Screaming Staircase. Very well done.

    I also love this quote attributed to C.S. Lewis:

    When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

  • 7 years ago

    I am about halfway through Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson. I was in my early teens when "Attica" occurred so only have vague memories. Information about the tragedy is still being withheld from the public but for ten years Ms. Thompson dug into what we haven't known and has written a very compelling account.

  • 7 years ago

    I'm reading The Sympathizer; it's our May book club selection and was my pick. Almost finished and not quite sure how I feel about it yet!


  • 7 years ago

    Started The Nix last night. So far, so good.

  • 7 years ago

    After restarting my Hamilton CD obsession, I'm reading a breezy new little book on the Hamilton-Burr relationship and rivalry. It's just enough historic and personal detail to put the musical in context for me and correct Miranda's artistic liberties. It's well-written but it does seem to have been produced to ride on the show's coattails and even uses some of the same words where others would serve just as well.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I just finished Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. He is such a great writer - A Heartbreaking Tale of Staggering Genius is one of my all time favorite books. So when I saw this on the shelf of the "Staff" recommends shelf at the library, I was excited to read it.

    As I read, I just couldn't figure out if I liked it...nicely written, of course, but there was some tension that I couldn't describe or put my finger on, I was unsure if it was intentional (genius) or just me. It takes place in Saudi Arabia, so I think my unfamiliarity with the culture and current political times added to it for me. Plus I have limited patience for reading about middle aged white guy angst, but I wasn't sure that was it....so I decided to look at some reviews to see if I could figure it out. I found this one from the NY Times and it explained perfectly the tension I was feeling and for some reason that made me relax and simply enjoy the rest of it.
    NYT Hologram for the King

  • 7 years ago

    I'm reading Iberia by James Michener, in advance of a trip to Portugal and Spain. It is typically Michener -- 818 pages. It is a memoir but reads like a novel. So far I am enjoying it, but doubt I will make it to the end for some reason. Our next book club selection is Moonglow by Michael Chabon. I'll take that along on my trip.

  • 7 years ago

    I'm reading Ill Will by Dan Chaon, and I'm loving it. I'm also reading nonfiction: The Radium Girls, about the women who painted radium on the hands of watches that would glow in the dark. The tips of the brushes had to be very fine, so they would wet them with their tongues as they worked! Radium was also used in face creams, to give the face a glow. Really interesting read.

  • 7 years ago

    Bpathome, I loved Zeitoun. Great book.

  • 7 years ago

    I also loved Zeitoun.

  • 7 years ago

    I am reading The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. It's OK. I've long heard of the title, so I thought it was one of the "must read" books. It has lots of characters, but not much going on. My ebook loan expires in three days, and if I don't finish it, I probably won't renew. I don't really care what happens to any of them.

  • 7 years ago

    I finished 'The Dry' a week or so ago. It finished better than it started but I still didn't enjoy it quite as much as some of the raves it received.

    I started 'The Fix' (David Baldacci, Amos Decker FBI series) a few days ago and am nearly finished with it. Need to figure out what to read next.

  • 7 years ago

    Recommend The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova. Couldn't put it down. She also wrote The Historian, which I haven't read yet but will.



  • 7 years ago

    bpathome, I haven't yet but will read Zeitoun on your and beagle's recommendation. I kind of had forgotten about Eggers, so was happy to have him back in my mind again.

    What a great thing to read about your son. Has he continued to write? I hope so!

  • 7 years ago

    Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout, who also wrote My Name is Lucy Barton. Takes place in 1950s New England: "...A minister
    struggles to regain his calling, his family, and his happiness in the
    wake of profound loss. At the same time, the community he has served so
    charismatically must come to terms with its own strengths and
    failings—faith and hypocrisy, loyalty and abandonment—when a dark secret
    is revealed...." One third the way through, it still has not grabbed me, but it's a book club read, so I'll finish it. My non-fiction read is the 2017 edition of the Great Decisions in Foreign Policy. The issues covered are the EU, US trade policy, South China Sea, Saudi Arabia, geopolitics of energy, Latin America, Afghanistan/Pakistan, and nuclear security. Good information/stats and easy to read and digest.

  • 7 years ago

    I have not yet read this, but I will. There was a write-up in our local paper today on Norma Bauerschmidt and her story, and it looks like something that many of us would be interested in.

    Driving Miss Norma

    Synopsis:

    When Miss Norma was diagnosed with uterine cancer, she was advised to undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But instead of confining herself to a hospital bed for what could be her last stay, Miss Norma—newly widowed after nearly seven decades of marriage—rose to her full height of five feet and told the doctor, “I’m ninety years old. I’m hitting the road.”

    And so Miss Norma took off on an unforgettable around-the-country journey in a thirty-six-foot motor home with her retired son Tim, his wife Ramie, and their dog Ringo.

    As this once timid woman says “yes” to living in the face of death, she tries regional foods for the first time, reaches for the clouds in a hot air balloon, and mounts up for a horseback ride. With each passing mile (and one educational visit to a cannabis dispensary), Miss Norma’s health improves and conversations that had once been taboo begin to unfold. Norma, Tim, and Ramie bond in ways they had never done before, and their definitions of home, family, and friendship expand. Stop by stop, state by state, they meet countless people from all walks of life—strangers who become fast friends and welcome them with kindness and open hearts.

    Infused with this irrepressible nonagenarian’s wisdom, courage, and generous spirit, Driving Miss Norma is the charming, infectiously joyous chronicle of their experiences on the road. It portrays a transformative journey of living life on your own terms that shows us it is never too late to begin an adventure, inspire hope, or become a trailblazer.

  • 7 years ago

    Ida: I followed Miss Norma's adventures on her FB page. She was an inspiring person who chose to live fully instead of waiting to die. I hope you enjoy reading about her travels as much as I did.

  • 7 years ago

    Ida, I remember when Miss Norma and her family started her adventure. It seemed like there were some followers for a while and then it was forgotten. I didn't know what happened to her. Will have to read the story. What a great spirit and inspiration! Thank you!

  • 7 years ago

    So Much for That by Lionel Shriver. A novel written in 2010 (so pre-Affordable Care Act stuff) about medical expenses and how they affect three characters. Interesting so far.

    This author also wrote We Need to Talk About Kevin. Excellent, if disturbing, book and movie (the movie was more disturbing than the book). I love her writing style.

  • 7 years ago

    I finished up the Alex Cross book. It was a quick read, grizzly and with a nice twist at the end. Never fall into the category of great literature, but it is a nice bit of escapism.

    I've decided that another prolific author, which I've never read, should be, so I picked up a book by Nora Roberts and another by her pseudonym, JD Robb. I'll see how they go.

    I've also picked a Man Called Ove as I've heard so many mention it.

    I happened to be in the bookstore and saw there is a sequel available to "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats". Not sure if I want to read it or not as the first was so special, not sure how a sequel can match it.

  • 7 years ago

    I'm currently reading a book called The Coyote's Bicycle: The Untold Story of 7,000 Bicycles and the Rise of a Borderland Empire by Kimball Taylor. Apologies for the large text - I can't figure out how to make it smaller. I'm not that far into it but so far, it's pretty interesting. It's a story about abandoned bicycles found along the border used by Mexican smugglers and a rags to riches story of one man involved. A friend recommended it and in light of our current political climate and feelings about illegal immigration, I thought it would be an interesting read.

    Prior to this, I read The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, an historical fiction novel set during WWII in England. I think I saw it on a recommended list somewhere, but I don't really recall. I personally thought it was terrible. It was written by a debut author and I felt bad giving it horrible ratings on Goodreads, but it was really bad. Somehow it has a 4 star rating, though I read some of the lower rated reviews and all were similar to my thoughts.

    In late April I read That Bright Land by Terry Roberts. A mystery/suspense that takes place shortly after the Civil War in the mountains of western NC. I loved it. I think I heard about it on another gardenweb board.


  • 7 years ago

    I am happy to say I am reading again. I just finished ( it's a short book) Reflections in a Golden Eye since someone (a few people) mentioned the Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

    It was so well written but the ending sure threw me. A very good book but now I have to go look it up on goodreads or something to see what it is I read.

    Next up I think is The Rosie Project which was recommended way back on these forums.

  • 7 years ago

    I listened to the Rosie Project on audio and enjoyed it!

  • 7 years ago

    Motherprayer by Barbara Mahany. She wrote beautifully for the Chicago Tribune for many years, and the book is more beautiful writings on being a mother, moments from motherhood, and more. Funny, touching, sweet. My boys are in the same age range as hers, so I relate to so many things she writes.

  • 7 years ago

    We Need to Talk About Kevin- Excellent book. I've added So Much for That to my list now.

    Annie, have you read any Sidney Sheldon? I find his thrillers to be much, much better reads than James Patterson.

    The Rosie Project- I adored this book.


  • 7 years ago

    Thanks, beagles, I read a bunch of Sheldon decades ago. I was just curious about some of these most prolific authors...I believe Nora Roberts has written over 250 books. For murder thrillers, I enjoyed the Kay Scarpetta books much more. I read a few of the Sanford thrillers and found them way too grizzly for me.

    I did read the Rosie Project and it was a cute book.

  • 7 years ago

    4kids - Coyote's Bicycles looks quite interesting. Have added it to my "to read" list.


  • 7 years ago

    I just finished Iron House by John Hart. It was my book club selection
    and I was anxious to read it because I really enjoyed The Last Child by
    him. I also recently read King of Lies, which was a good read, too. But
    this was a total waste of my time...it was billed as a thriller (not my
    fave) and I guess it was, but what a mess. Graphic, gratuitous violence
    and torture, a plot that seemed to include every single cliche'
    possible. Omg. Do not waste your time unless you love that sort of thing.

  • 7 years ago

    I just finished A Man Called Ove. What a sweet story. Really enjoyed it.

  • 7 years ago

    I am in the middle of The Nix. I really like some parts, other parts go on and on and on and on. I put it down for a bit to start something else. Does it get better, worse or stay about the same?

  • 7 years ago

    I am in the middle of Hamilton by Ron Chernow.

  • 6 years ago

    I know it's the end of May, but thought I would update that I read The Rosie Project. Overall I did enjoy it and think it had a lot going for it . For some reason I guess it was all the rave reviews I remembered hearing about it- but I almost stopped reading it a few times. Glad I did stick with it.

    Next up I think I am going to attempt Angle of Repose which was highly recommended. I just got it on kindle from the library to keep me company on vacation. Hope I like it- and if not I do have a bunch of others waiting. I will let you all know what I think of it. 1972 Pulitzer Prize Winner.





  • 6 years ago

    I'm halfway through reading The Notorious RBG...a book about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I'm really enjoying it. I didn't realize she'd cut her teeth on women's issues, and I'd forgotten how far we've come since the 70s. The format and the way it's written has kept it light rather than the ponderous tome books about lawyers, legal issues and SC Justices could take.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I just finished Hillbilly Elegy, which I liked but did not find as deep or insightful as some reviews have made it out to be. I'm now reading A $500 House in Detroit about a young man's restoring of a derelict Detroit house and his reflections on the plight and revival of the city. As a home restorer and also a person who lived for a time in Michigan, I am enjoying this book.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I like historical fiction. I am reading "The French Executioner" by C.C. Humphreys. I am really enjoying it. It is a fictionalized story about the executioner of Anne Boleyn. It is true that Henry VIII, after ordering her beheading, brought to England the best executioner from France. He thought it a great mercy to do this for her. It is also true that Anne had six fingers on one hand. The premise of the book is that she asked the French executioner to cut off her hand and bury it at a sacred crossroads in France. After he cuts off both her head and her hand in one blow, the hand is stolen by an evil archbishop and the French executioner is put in a gibbet. He escapes and the book tells the story of his quest to get the hand back. The hand is believed to have magical powers by the villains, but is held in esteem (like a saint's relic) by the protagonist (the executioner) and his band of followers. It is quite a tale.