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Who's reading what in September?

5 years ago

I'm still working on Lonesome Dove...stopped to read a couple of other books in between that were due. I'm enjoying it, but it's just long and I've been busy.

Comments (87)

  • 5 years ago

    I just bought Sourdough as a gift for a friend who was given some family maintained sourdough starter and became almost instantly overwhelmed by the care and feeding of it. Glad to know it's a good book!

  • 5 years ago

    I just started Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. I got it from the library-hope I can finish it in three weeks. If there are holds on a book, you are not allowed to recheck it and it has lots of holds.

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    Stoneangel-I really enjoyed Lady Macbeth. Loved The Book Thief and we had a good discussion at book club. Several people wondered about the YA classification, which reminded me of our YA discussion a few months ago. I think this book would be wonderful to use in a high school 20th century history class. Quickly read Priscilla Royal's newest (slightly disappointing-forced solution) and a Susanna Gregory mystery. It is an older series and I enjoyed it, and very excitedly went to the library to take out more-and they don't own them! arrgghh! I am a bit down the list for The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny because they bought far fewer copies than they usually would. The library hasn't bought the new Simon Brett yet (budget Woes with a capital W mean NO new books for months now at the branches, and even at the big central library, only a few authors they always buy-like Danielle Steel...and only a few copies instead of the 20 or more) so I got an armful of Miss Read to reread. I need some serenity reading, and she always brings my blood pressure way down. I requested two Rebecca Shaw titles too, after seeing the post above.
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    I just finished Troubled Blood, the newest installment of the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling. It was a terrific story, and I liked this one better than all the previous ones. This book covers a full year in the lives of detective Strike and his partner Robin Ellacott while they tackle a 40 year-old cold case in addition to their usual caseload. Their relationship (which is why I got hooked on these books to begin with) experiences some satisfying growth and development, Robin truly begins to come into her own, and Strike's personal life takes a larger space in the story. I thought that Rowling toned down the triggery/horrifying/ick factor a good bit from the earlier books, though since there's a serial killer involved, there are a handful of truly nauseating descriptions of sexual assault and torture -- as I knew there would be, and so skipped over them when I could. This was a doorstop at 927 pages, but I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. I'm hoping there will be another one.
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  • 5 years ago

    Finished The Trick by Emanuel Bergmann for our book group. I'd rate it 4.5 stars. It was a lovely tale, though the style of jumping back and forth between the past and the present isn't my favorite. I think it'll be good for book group discussion, though I'll miss this month's meet. Next up for the group will be Radium Girls.

  • 5 years ago

    Just started The Good Neighbor about Fred Rogers. Love that man. He went to high school with Arnold Palmer! (One year behind Arnie)

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Gave up on Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It seemed plodding and dull. Watched about 30 minutes of the first episode of You (broadcast on Lifetime and derived from the book of the same title). I won't be watching more or reading the book as I found it trite.

    ETA: If you initially felt the same about Eleanor Oliphant, please comment about why you continued and ended up liking it. I don't like giving up on books, but...so many books, so little time.

  • 5 years ago

    While I do not think You is a book everyone will like, please don't judge it based on the train wreck of a tv series.

  • 5 years ago

    Delilah, I read Eleanor Oliphant in July and just went back to read my post about it. I said that I wasn't very sure of it at first, until I got about one-third of the way through. I know that's a lot to get through if you aren't feeling it for a book. I will often bail out of a book after the first few pages if I don't like how it's going. However, based on the good reviews here, I kept on with it. I feared it would just be a sad, gray story. But it gets better, way better. I found Eleanor difficult to like at first, but all that changed.

  • 5 years ago

    I set aside Timekeepers for the moment. I found myself skipping bits. It's a series of essays, really, so that's okay but I decided I was skipping too much and needed a break.

    Started a sci-fi book. The Feed by Nick Clark Windo. Reading the jacket I thought it was too much based on current things but then thought "That's what a lot of sci-fi is based on." About a third of the way through it, I'm finding it a good read. There is a thread within it though that is "What? Why? Does this make sense?" I'm trusting that it will make sense by the end of the book.

  • 5 years ago

    Funkyart, it certainly was a train wreck! Is the female protagonist portrayed more sympathetically in the book?

  • 5 years ago

    Delilah, I remember having similar thoughts about Eleanor Oliphant but I read it a while ago so just looked up my Goodreads notes after I read it. Here is what I had to say, “About halfway through this book, I was thinking it was just average. Perhaps having read several books in the last year or so with quirky characters, this one was not grabbing me as much and I got a bit bored with the tedious life of Eleanor. But, it was easy enough reading so I kept on going, and am glad I did. The last third of the book brought this one up to a 4 star read for me. While I had already suspected one of the things that was sort of resolved at the end, I liked how in the last third of the book, Eleanor's journey from her downward spiral to finding a way out of her dark days was both heartbreaking and heartwarming.”

  • 5 years ago

    Based on these threads, I had The Seven Rules of Elvira Carr on my reading list. When I typed in the title I wanted, the library system must have pulled up similar titles and I didn’t notice the difference. I ended up checking out The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, a book about an Elizabeth Taylor type movie star.

    In my defense, I wasn’t having much luck at the library that day and I was happy a book was available so I didn’t notice the incorrect title. (Note to self: work on your reading comprehension.)

    As I was reading I thought, this is someone’s book club pick? And two of my GW friends read this and recommend it? Luckily before I wasted too much time on it, I came back here to see what the GW readers said about the book. That’s when I realized my error.

  • 5 years ago

    4kids4us - Any chance I’ll have the same reaction if I just read the last third? You know...like eating dessert for dinner.

  • 5 years ago

    I had to put The Underground Railroad aside, and started Children of Blood and Bone yesterday. Plus, the update to Guidelines and Rules for Judging Roses, but that's ongoing. :-)

  • 5 years ago

    I don't know how you could read the end of the book and enjoy it without knowing the trajectory to get there... .so I am assuming your question was tongue in cheek?

    I am hesitant to encourage you to stick with it-- because not all people respond to a book in the same way. There are books I've loved that others have not-- and visa versa. That said, if you do a search on the title here on this forum, you'll see many of us had a similar reaction. Here's my short review after I finished it:

    "Just finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine -- didn't love it in the beginning--in fact, I almost gave up on it! I am so glad I did not! As the story unfolds, we learn more about Eleanor and her history -- and with each new reveal, we also see her open herself up to the world. While some of the storyline is so very sad and shocking, I'd describe the story as fresh and triumphant. It was a pleasure to read!"

  • 5 years ago

    My question was tongue in cheek ;). I did go back to look at comments on Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Funkyart, and after reading yours, I tried to check it out again, but there are so many in line ahead of me Libby won't let me even put a hold on it.

    I'm on a mission to finish Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (thank you, SueB20) before the end of day tomorrow when Libby will snatch it back. Unlike many other prolific writers, Elizabeth Berg's books never seem formulaic. I'm only 75% through the book, but so far it's 4-5 stars. Character development is really well done. I know EXACTLY what the two main characters look like.

  • 5 years ago

    I am finishing up A Tale of American Martyrs, by Joyce Carol Oates, a fairly hair-raising story told from both sides of the abortion issue. Long, descriptive, and filled with Oates's gift for characterization. Next up is Oates again, We Were The Mulvaneys. I really like her, although Joan Didion remains my favorite American woman writer.

  • 5 years ago

    I put aside our book club book. I didn't like it and I can't even remember the title. I enjoyed Educated immensely. Talk about your dysfunctional family. Wow. It reminded me of The Glass Castle. I'm currently reading The Possible World. I picked it up randomly at the library and I like it. Here's the description from Amazon. "A richly compelling and deeply moving novel that traces the converging lives of a young boy who witnesses a brutal murder, the doctor who tends to him, and an elderly woman guarding her long buried past."

    I'll have to put it aside for our next book club book which is Less. Glad to hear Bestyears enjoyed it.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Dedtired, I'm wondering if I'll bother to read our next book club pick. This year our leader suggested asking for recs from the members' children who are all college/young adult age. The winner (nominated by 2 offspring) was Dune! Sigh, I read it when *I* was in college and I'm leaning toward invoking my personal book club rule: I allow myself to skip one book each year. Usually it's one of those awful women's lit things-. I just can't handle any more unreliable-narrator-sees-something-awful-or-does-she?, or god help me a Lisa See hack job set in a remote culture LOL.

    In this case I don't really have any interest in revisiting a sprawling sci fi empire much less the first in a trilogy. So I think I'll pass on mining any melange from Arrakis again , thankyouverymuch.

    There are a couple of gems on this cycle's list that I've wanted to read but probably wouldn't. Both Americanah and Pachinko get such great reviews! My pick is Old in Art School, chosen because of my own interest in re-invention after one's primary career winds down. We are also reading Rules of Civility which is meh for me, mostly because I so loved A Gentleman in Moscow and am usually disappointed trying to recreate magic by finding another of the author's books and expecting the same transcendent reading experience.

    An offbeat choice is What She Ate although I'm intrigued by the combination of women's history via their food preferences. The woman who went to boarding school in Britain and always suggests obscure English lit got Maurice included which also doesn't grab me but oh well--that's what book club is for. Maybe I"ll be raving about it in a few months.

  • 5 years ago

    running -I met the author of Old in Art School at a book signing in Saranac Lake, NY this summer (she summers there). Really enjoyed her and the book!

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Finished The Feed by Nick Clark Windo. Not the best dystopian novel I've read. In a good one, when the protagonists are threatened (and they always are) you tense a bit and read with eyes wide open. Not with this book. The author did a poor job (and took forever to even try) of explaining how things had gotten to the dystopia point. The ending was pretty darned good though so I gave it 3 stars.

    Finally one of the 2018 Man Booker long list titles I have reserved has arrived. So next up is From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan. Looks like a very interesting tale. And, at under 200 pages, it fits in with my current (odd, I suppose) desire to avoid books over 350 pages long.

  • 5 years ago

    I'm about 2/3 of the way through Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and loving it. It's about two half sisters from the Gold Coast starting in the late 1700s, and following their descendants for 8 generations. It speaks to the impact of slavery. It's a book that takes keen attention and thought. I'm really enjoying it.

  • 5 years ago

    I'm picking and choosing a few off the Great American Read that I've never read...no intention of doing the whole list...some of them just ain't happening!

    But I did just read A Separate Peace and it was very good...I can see why it's a classic. It'd be great for a book group if no one has read it before...but so many are exposed in high school. I'd give it 4 stars.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I finally finished The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. It was fascinating and such a different story, beautifully written. I wish I were more learned about Biblical times and I wish I'd read the Acknowledgements before I started the book as it would have given me more context for the story and setting.

    I was impatient as I read it though because it was filled with things I am not at all interested in nor believe in, but that's just my personal bias. I could see how the history of some religious practices could be fascinating to those who believe or are interested in them. I don't favor learning about rituals or what I consider myth or superstition, so I skipped over a lot of that.

    The oppression of women and misogyny was disturbing - and seeing some similarities to modern times' treatment of women felt a little hopeless to me - how far have we really come in 2000 years? And I found it confusing trying to keep the characters straight - who was telling this part of the story, who was in love with whom, who fathered/birthed which child, etc.

    Despite my biases, I would give this book 4 stars; I learned a great deal and the research that went into it was staggering. And she is a magical story teller!

  • 5 years ago

    Olychick. I have had The Dovekeepers on my TBR pile for a long time and still haven't gotten to it. Thank you for the tip to read the Acknowledgements first!


    I finished two audiobooks in the last couple of weeks. The first one, Elizabeth Street Laurie Fabiano, is a fictionalized story based on the author's grandmother. It tells the story of an Italian immigrant family living in NY's Lower East Side in the early 1900s. My paternal grandparents were Italian immigrants who came to this country in the early part of last century so in that respect, it appealed to me. However, their story was quite different than that of my own family who did not remain in NY after arriving at Ellis Island. I'd give it 3 stars at the most. It was entertaining enough but not exactly one I'd go out of my way to recommend. I also listened to Camino Island by John Grisham. I have not read a Grisham book in at least 10-15 years, and only read a couple of them. It was just ok. Two stars from me on Goodreads.


    I also read The Lido by Libby Page. A little too cutesy and predictable. Only two stars for me.


    Finally, I read Florida by Lauren Groff, author of the acclaimed novel Fates and Furies. Florida is a collection of short stories. Though it is getting a lot of praise, it was not for me. It was very dark, with each story centering around miserable mothers, snacks, storms and way too many metaphors. Her creative talent is apparent, but just not for me. I don't mind dark but story after story...it got old.


    Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley is probably next up. I haven't decided. I want to get lost in my next book but feel I'm in a bit of a rut and not sure Bellewether will be the book to pull me out of it. Anyone reading it? Enjoying it? I've read a couple of her novels but it has been a while.

  • 5 years ago

    I've just picked up "Nora, Nora" by Anne Rivers Siddons at our local book exchange. I'm leaving tomorrow for Dallas and am looking forward to a few lazy days at the resort's pool reading and vegging. I've read a few other of Siddons' books and enjoyed them. It was free, so if not, I'll leave it in the lobby and find something on Kindle that's recommended here.





  • 5 years ago

    jlsch - I really liked Homegoing too.

  • 5 years ago

    I jus finished She Weeps Each Time You're Born by Quan Barry, which I think was recommended here.

    I'm not sure what I think. Parts of it I really enjoyed, especially the history. I find I'm woefully ignorant of Vietnam's history in general. I was in high school in the late sixties, however, so I was very aware of the reaction and info from our (US) perspective. But post war atrocities were off my radar. Other parts were just a little too disjointed for me. I am one who actually enjoys fantasy a lot, and I think someone referred to this as magic realism. But in this instance I don't think it worked particularly well.

    All that said it might be a good bookclub choice if only for a discussion of history of the area.

  • 5 years ago

    Sargeant's Women, four lives behind the canvas.

  • 5 years ago

    I’ve been binge reading Agatha Christie for the last couple of months (fun!), with a break to read Educated, which was a quick, engrossing read, but which I’m still digesting.

  • 5 years ago

    I just finished Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady. It is for book club and although it was quite interesting, at points it was really "work" to stick with it. Still in all, a very enlightening look at the lives of and times. I am torn between 3 and 4 stars.

    I have just started The One in a Million Boy which I know many of you have read and recommended. So far so good...


  • 5 years ago

    I’m reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and the jury’s still out.

  • 5 years ago

    Picked up Bob Woodwards' Fear tonight at Costco. Will be consuming that this week. I need something much better than the David Baldacci dreck I forced myself to finish.

  • 5 years ago

    Yes Bunnyfoot and Olychick--- I am the cheerleader for The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey . Every time I see it mentioned I share how much I adored it.

  • 5 years ago

    I finally listened to A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I can't remember if it is this reading thread where Bill Bryson's book are regularly mentioned or if it was another, but after hearing about it so often, I finally downloaded it last week and listened to it. I really enjoyed it - the bits of humor in the retelling of his travels really made it a worthwhile listen. Funny, but for some reason with this particular audiobook I assumed that the author was also the narrator. I didn't realize until the end when the credits were given that I realized the narrator was someone else. He did a really wonderful job.


    I started Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley prior to the weekend but just haven't been able to make the time to sit and read. I have the best intentions and either get sidetracked with an important task or I fall asleep shortly after I start reading. So I'm less than 20% in. It's okay so far. I didn't realize it was set in the US as the couple of other books I read of hers took place in Scotland or England.


    I need a new audiobook. I have lots of time in the car this week. Any suggestions from anyone who also listens? This weekendI realized another perk to audiobooks - when you sit in the car to avoid the pouring rain while watching your poor kid play a soccer game in bad weather, you can still listen to your book! I had brought a regular book with me to read during warmups, but then realized that I could actually still watch the game and listen to my audiobook at the same time!

  • 5 years ago

    I just finished Little Fires Everywhere and quite enjoyed it, especially the last 1/3 of the book. It wasn't a real page turner, or great literature, but I thought it was well written and I liked her character development, even though I didn't love all the characters. And I thought she presented some pretty interesting moral and ethical situations in a thoughtful way. Lots to think about!

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Just finished From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan. It was on this year's long list for the Man Booker prize but didn't make the short list. I really liked it. It's in four sections. The first three were, separately, about three very different men. ::warning - a little bit of a spoiler ahead:: So the last section will be about how they intersect, right? A few pages into the last section I thought "Oh, no. I'm going to be disappointed?" I wasn't. Simply wonderful.

    I will be on vacation next week so wanted a couple of books to take along. I reserved three yesterday. One had another hold ahead of me so I figured that would be available when I get back. Didn't I get an email today that all three are waiting for me? Plus two other books that have been on my reserved list for close to two months had also arrived. Now I have books galore. Will start with the ones that have wait lists. Less by Andrew Sean Greer and Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. The latter did make the Man Booker prize short list this year.

  • 5 years ago

    Oly, I enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere until the ending and that negated the entire book for me. I didn't really like any of the characters either. But the ending was like, what? That's it?

  • 5 years ago

    I just finished a book that tackles a very difficult subject with great subtlety and grace. Putney is a story about sexual abuse, memory and how people recall and justify and explain what they've done and what's been done to them.

    I thought the author did an amazing job of setting up a scenario that is no doubt all too sadly realistic about how predators groom prey and about the damages that last a lifetime. I highly recommend it, with the caveat that for anyone who has experienced such trauma it may not be reading experience one wants to go through-I dislike the cliche of 'triggers' but this book might fit the description.

  • 5 years ago

    American Marriage

  • 5 years ago

    sistersunnie, that's a really good book.

  • 5 years ago

    Trying this one more time, as it's failed to post the last two times -- thinking it might be the link. If you liked Harold Fry and Queenie, you might also like The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick. I'm nearly finished, and don't want it to end.

  • 5 years ago

    Testing, testing. Houzz forums list said yesterday evening that there had been a comment here 3 minutes earlier but Ida's was the last one that showed up. Nothing since then so this.is.a.test.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I absolutely loved Less! It started a bit slow but it didn’t take long for me to become engaged in the foibles of Arthur Less. The author, Andrew Sean Greer, has a true talent for metaphors and putting emotions into words. No wonder this book won the Pulitzer Prize. My book club just loved it.

  • 5 years ago

    I finished Harold Fry last night. I'm going to say it was just okay and don't think I would recommend it. In fact, during parts, even towards the end, I was almost tempted to bail, but I wanted to find out how it ended.

    Slightly spoilerish: Early on I figured out the part about his son, although not in detail. In a way it hearkened back to Eleanor Oliphant which I thought did a much better job of it.

    The group that accompanied him on part of his journey annoyed me, and it seemed to be the point at which I considered simply not finishing it. By then Harold was really unraveling and I guess it's not my favorite thing to read about in fiction.

  • 5 years ago

    I finished Birds in Fall by Brad Kessler. What a good book for me. It had everything I like. Nice setting, deep characters, good writing, interesting side interests. Begins with a tragedy but isn't a sad book. Learned a lot about bird migration. Fun! Onto The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland. Only a short way in but don't love it so far.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Bunnyfoof, I felt the same way...I kept saying (in my mind) just get on a bus, for heaven's sake! I was really annoyed and impatient about it/him. And at that point I had no interested in reading Queenie. But our book club selected both books and after I read Queenie, I was glad I stuck with Harold.

  • 5 years ago

    Oly, thanks for your post. I was annoyed and impatient with him about so many things. And I hate it when I figure something out early on, à la The Sixth Sense, which to me was SO obvious. At this point I also have no interest in reading Queenie. But I will leave it on my list and maybe I'll come around.

  • 5 years ago

    I just read The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I didn't know it was a YA novel, but sometimes those are a nice respite read! I found it really a really charming, sweet story, with some more meaty aspects regarding immigration, immigrant families, racism, and the different ways people approach/experience love.

  • 5 years ago

    I ended up scrapping The Gum Thief. I don't like doing that but it was self defense. I'm now starting Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. I think this will be fun. Much of my enjoyment of this new reading life (after a months' long drought) is coordinating my bookmark to the cover/theme of the book I'm reading. What a dork I am.