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anniedeighnaugh

What are we reading in May 2019?

5 years ago

I'm still working my way through A Prayer for Owen Meany. I'm enjoying it, but it seems to move very slowly...maybe because it is a long book, or maybe because of the style, I'm reading it slowly, and I haven't devoted a lot of time to reading lately with too many other spring distractions. Not sure, but I'll get there.


Book group this month will be reading The Great Alone. Haven't started it yet.

Comments (63)

  • 5 years ago

    An update on Eagle and Crane which I gave two stars: everyone else in the book group loved it, one person said it was the best book she'd ever read. Thank goodness for differences in taste -- what a boring world this would be without it.

  • 5 years ago

    James Comey’s book A HIGHER LOYALTY. Just started this morning and was captured by the intro where he explains what led him to being a lawyer. Can’t wait to pick it back up.

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  • 5 years ago

    Delilah, I loved A Higher Loyalty.

  • 5 years ago

    Despite going as slowly as I could I finished Eventide by Kent Haruf. So sorry to see that end. I loved it. I'm in no hurry to start something just yet as I'm still dwelling in Holt, Co.

    Annie - how did you like Owen Meany? That is one of my favorites.

  • 5 years ago

    I slogged through WARLIGHT to its end then read some reviews. My review (definitely in the minority) would have read like this one: “This might have been a coming of age novel but it’s not. It might have been a post WWII novel but it’s not. It might have been a family drama of sorts but it’s not. The narration is messy, the plot is pointless and the premise is unbelievable. Warlight meandered about without a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.”


    Then again I would also have agreed with this reviewer: “The one saving grace for me was the prose. Ondaatje's writing struck me as both elegant and effortless. There is no question that this book is well-written, and I found myself pausing at certain sentences, impressed by their construction and insight:
    You return to that earlier time armed with the present, and no matter how dark that world was, you do not leave it unlit. You take your adult self with you. It is not to be a reliving, but a rewitnessing.”

  • 5 years ago

    Bunny, I really love the Shardlake series. There were one or two in the middle (so far) that weren't as interesting as far as the mystery portion went, but still the author's attention to detail is awesome... and then they pick up again. (I have read through #6, and hope to start #7 later this month).

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Currently reading, The Tale Teller, by Anne Hillerman (a continuation of her late father's Navajo mystery series, and according to the reviews, she's hit a good stride compared to some of her less interesting starter books.)

    Started reading Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse, by Timothy P. Carney. Apparently it comes down to developing a sense of community. That part at least makes sense to me.

    Intuition, by Allegra Goodman, is up for my book club discussion on May 29th. Haven't cracked that one yet. It's a novel. I may be dropping this book club by summer's end. Hey, it's now two hours away, and the person now leading it who should know better told a set of newbies that we hardly ever discuss non-fiction - when about a third of the time we had. I can see how she wants to guide future book selections... Which is fine by me, but it's not an honest way to approach that question one of the new folk had.

  • 5 years ago

    I’m just closing in on the end of Crawdads . Liked it, didn’t love it unless there is some amazing twist I. The last 25 pages that I haven’t gotten to yet. My book club read Educated right before this and I see some similarities with the dysfunction, abusive families and the daughter who goes on to make soemthing of herself, even down tot the one supportive brother. After this I will go back to The Night Circus, which I was enjoying thoroughly.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Had to leave off Owen Meany again...too many competing activities this time of year, and I needed to read The Great Alone for book club. I really enjoyed it. I'd give it 4 1/2 stars. I could really relate having been in Alaska and spending time with a homesteader family.

    So it'll be back to Owen Meany now.

  • 5 years ago

    I"m trying my best to slog through Pachinko, our book club pick for this month. Unfortunately I"m not finding it engaging or enjoyable. One of the Amazon reviews mentioned that the writing is serviceable, not creative, and maybe that's what is bothering me. It reads like a very very very long recitation of what happened to whom when and where supported by a factual description of the details of the setting. It's got a plot and it's got some conflict and it's got a timeline. Everything is there, just not very interesting. Sort of a literary equivalent of cafeteria food LOL.

    I did just read the latest Joe Pickett book by CJ Box, Wolf Pack and enjoyed that. I think the author is getting a tad lazy; the last couple of books have been pretty close to formulaic in plot and characterization but it was still an easy read and entertaining.

    Otherwise I'm a bit blocked in my reading. Seems like all my favorite authors/series have new work out now and since I tend to reserve my books way in advance I've got a large collection of my favorites sitting on my shelf and in my Kindle....and unfortunately I'm in the midst of a huge personal upheaval life stage that's got me so overwhelmed I can't settle down to get into a book!

    However I hope to be back in the reading saddle very soon. And starting July 1st watch out book world, I'm coming for you! I will be retired and top on the bucket list is time to read as much, as late, and as often as I want. So there! :)

  • 5 years ago

    I'm reading two books that I'm enjoying immensely right now.

    One is The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, and I would describe it as a beautifully written page turner.


    The other is Hot Milk, by Deborah Levy. This is a quiet story with lots of poetic language hidden amongst the sentences. I'm always drawn to these books.

  • 5 years ago

    It took me a long time to get into The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (future month pick for a book club). It's not a big book and it is well written but I think the subject in the beginning was not drawing me in. I am glad I stuck with it because finally after the first half, and particularly the last segment, I found it to be a page turner.

    Still not sure what I would say about it but it was definitely worthwhile and quite interesting. I think I would give it between 3 and 4 stars.

  • 5 years ago

    Bestyears, thanks for mentioning those two books. Both look good and I've put a hold on them at the library.

  • 5 years ago

    Chugging along through The Feather Thief. It is non-fiction that reads like fiction. It is the story of a precocious young man who had an obsession with tying flies, as in fly fishing. No spoilers, as the first page tells you that he breaks into an old museum and steals suitcases-full of rare (dead) tropical birds to sell to rabid fly tying people. Evidently, the victorians used many, many different feathers in a single lure and he was obsessed with duplicating them. In one night he undid a century of collecting that went back to Darwin.

    That's as far as I am right now.

  • 5 years ago

    Jojoco - that sounds like fun and my Library has it. I'll be picking it up Monday. Thanks!

  • 5 years ago

    Finished A Prayer for Owen Meany. 5 stars +++. It was one of the best books I've read in a long, long time. I got it from the Great American Read and can see why it's on the list. While a discussion at book club would be wonderful as there's so much meat there, I think the length (640 pgs), and the slow pace it seemed to force me to read it...don't know if it was savoring the language or what...would be off putting. However, if you want a book that brings both tears and laughter and makes artful use of foreshadowing, this is it.

  • 5 years ago

    I read for work all day long, so when I read for pleasure (and I always have a book going) I want to be entertained. So I am currently re-reading the Game of Thrones series. I am on the second book, A Clash of Kings. I do not have HBO, so I have not yet seen the GOT series. I figure by the time I am done reading the series, the show will be done, and will eventually be available on different channels/venues. I've always loved books with dragons, and this series has me enthralled.

  • 5 years ago
    I love GOT books and have read all five, mostly before the movies came out. Do understand that the series isn’t complete-we all hope that he’ll get back to finish them now that the show is over but the worry is that he will die without completing... argh!!

    Read two books I’ve just live this last week. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novak-wonderful story with its roots in Eastern European folk tales. I love the strong women in this book.

    Now rereading The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. I love this book so much. Both at set in somewhat fantastical worlds, though Goblin doesn’t have magic-both involve strong young people who are not considers attractive trying to navigate in positions of power that they didn’t expect.
  • 5 years ago

    Annie - I'm so glad you liked Owen Meany. One of my favs too. I'm reading The Feather Thief (Kirk Wallace Johnson) and am loving it. Jojoco - how did this happen upon your radar? Many thanks for the mention!

  • 5 years ago

    Skibby, So many of my answers begin this way… “I was listening to NPR...” Also, my friend’s husband told me he read it and loved it. He is a huge history buff so I bought a copy for my father to enjoy. Dad gave it back me when he finished so that I could read it too.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Just finished reading Educated by Tara Westover. Even leaving aside the controversies of its accuracy, I still enjoyed her analysis of developing a self out of or despite such an intellectually impoverished upbringing. And her take on history.

  • 5 years ago

    After having a hard time reading lately-- I started Little Bee by Chris Cleave. I am not sure where I saw it recommended ( I think it was here maybe a previous month thread?) . Anyway only 20 pages into it but it reads beautifully and has drawn me in.

    Thankfully.

  • 5 years ago

    Started Preet Bharara’s Doing Justice. It‘s a very philosophical, cerebral and almost abstract treatment of the rule of law. I’m an attorney and also a sucker for all things philosophical and cerebral, but I am worried that most people may not find it interesting.


    The principles he talks about are so profound and desperately relevant to the times, and he exemplifies much of what he advocates. For these reasons, I want people to pick up the book and read it, but I feel not many will. Even if one gives it a try, they may not stick with it after a couple of chapters.


    I‘m into the third chapter and will continue. His writing and his approach are such that it takes time and effort both for him and for the reader to get at the essence of the principles he is explaining. and occasionally it reads like a lecture or thesis. (He does say in the preface that he had long planned on writing a manual or guide for the attorneys in the Southern District of NY. That probably explains the academic tone of the book.)


    i find the book fascinating.

  • 5 years ago

    Salonva, I might have recommended Little Bee--it was my first book club nomination and everyone loved it. It's a haunting story isn't it?!

    Speaking of book club, we met this week to discuss Pachinko. The rest of the group loved it, for me it was a meh. This season hasn't been my favorite for our selections which were:

    Dune - prompt was a book nominated by one of our teenage or young adult kids. I did not reread it; once in college was enough for me LOL

    Maurice - busy month at work, had no interest whatsoever so didn't even start this one

    Americanah - absorbing perspective on race in America, distinctive characters. Didn't *like* the protagonist much, but enjoyed the book

    What She Ate - quirky little series of vignettes about a variety of women in different eras, analyzed via what's known about their food or cuisine preferences. Loved this one; I was pretty much the only member who did LOL

    Old in Art School - my pick. Nobody but me liked it but that may be due to the fact I've spent many decades hanging out with college professors, everyone else disliked the authorial voice intensely.

    Rules of Civility - first book before the author created that magical masterpiece A Gentleman in Moscow. I, along with rest of club, felt it was okay but no GIM.

    Pachinko - meh

    Our summer pick is Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start Up, which I've been wanting to read. Hoping our next reading season is a little more challenging/interesting.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    running -I liked Old in Art School too, and when we were in the Adirondacks, I went to a small book talk with the author, who has always summered in that time. IRL, she's warm, funny and very engaging!

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Bestyears, I watched a video of her appearance at a Boston book store and got the exact same impression!

    The other book club members were not impressed by her writing style nor about her opinions on art as an academic discipline, the rigors of being evaluated as an aging student among youth, her background as a very distinguished historian etc. I didn't find it bothersome but as noted, those who don't hang with the tenured faculty mindset seemed to be put off by it LOL

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I have similar taste in literature to April, as I love Russian fiction, but I mostly read non-fiction. Right now I am reading Another Place & Time by Craig Deutsche (when I want to go to sleep) and Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain Chronicles when I want to be more stimulated. The first is about the Carrizo Plain (Anglicized to "Carrisa Plains" in the book) which we visited recently, hoping to see a superbloom, but we arrived a week or two too late. The Marshall South book is about hermit life in what is now Anza Borrego State Park, and is much more poetic, as it contains original writings from Marshal South and poems from his second wife Tanya that were published in Desert Magazine in the mid-20th Century. They are both about the southern California desert, but the Craig Deutsche book is more about farming and the changes it went through during the 20th Century, and the Marshal South book is more about living an alternative lifestyle.

    If you are interested in deserts, both of these books are worth reading, but I especially recommend Marshal South.

    We visit Anza Borrezo much more than the Carrizo Plain, although this is close to San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. San Luis (to me) is a boring college town, but it is very close to Paso Robles, which is very similar to Sonoma.

  • 5 years ago

    I started reading Daisy Jones and the Six last night and WOW!

    It's fantastic-a fictional memoir about a singer and band in the 70s, using the as-told-by style of Behind the Music type productions. The characters are gripping and though of course I wouldn't have personal knowledge, it seems to truly capture what life must have been like for rock super stars of the era. Wonderful summer beach read, IMO and I highly recommend it.

  • 5 years ago

    Oooh, runninginplace, that sounds right up my alley! I'll have to add that to my Goodreads list.


    Remember the discussion we had awhile back about literary fiction? And we were trying to define it? I'm reading a wonderful writing book right now, and I thought the author nailed it:


    "Nearly all the writers I meet -I suspect nearly all the writers reading this book- are trying to write literary fiction, which I would define as any fiction that keeps the reader engaged by depicting complex, believable people with complex, believable problems. That is, the reader does not keep reading primarily because the book includes violence, sex, and terrifying possibilities. But that doesn't mean that literary fiction doesn't include violence, sex and terrifying possibilities." -from The Kite and the String by Alice Mattison

  • 5 years ago

    The next up for book group is The Hate U Give. We'll be seeing the movie before we discuss the book.

    I've just started reading Their Eyes Were Watching God and next up will be The Notebook...both from the great American read list.

  • 5 years ago

    Running, so many of my friends have recommended Daisy Jones and the Six. I put it on hold at the library in several platforms as the wait list was very long for each. It actually came in earlier than I expected but I’m in the middle of trying to finish two other books and my time for reading is severely limited right now. Fortunately I’m going to the beach for Memorial Day and the book isn’t due back until June 1. I can’t wait to start it.

  • 5 years ago

    4kids, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!

    This weekend I'm flying solo at the house we're selling to pack and donate Goodwill stuff, and I cannot WAIT to get home after work and dive back into the book. I stayed up too late last night and finally made myself turn out the light since I had to be up for work.

    I'm eagerly awaiting the next couple of evenings when there's no curfew and I can immerse myself for as long as I care to read, or till I finish the book entirely in one big gulp. My husband may come up Sunday night to a kitchen that's still fully stocked and boxes still waiting at the door for their trip to Goodwill :)

  • 5 years ago

    Thank you Running- I think it was you who suggested Little Bee . I just finished it and really did enjoy the writing so much. As I often find though, some of the story line and the ending didn't quite sit right but it was a good story and it definitely captured me. After giving up on several books, this was a treat.

    I think I would give it 4.5 stars.

    Next I am going to start Beneath a Scarlet Sky . I got it on my kindle and we will be traveling the next few weeks. I know it's a lengthy books so I am all set.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I've had Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start Upon my ipad since it first came out. I really do want to read it but prior to the unraveling of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, I had followed her career and she was a bit of hero to me.

    I am currently reading Daisy Jones and the Six. I am not very far into it but I am enjoying it.

  • 5 years ago

    Ok well now I have noted Daisy Jones and the Feather Thief- neither one have I heard of before this forum so thank you !!

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I just finished Daisy Jones and the Six and wow did I love this book! My sister came by earlier and when I began to recommend it she laughed and said not only had she read and loved it too but that she has tipped off lots of her colleagues—and she is a marketing director for a library system, so that’s a group of literary connoisseurs for sure.


  • 5 years ago

    runninginplace, I will be awaiting your feedback re: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start Up as I was #125 on the library wait list and eagerly snatched it up when my turn arrived. Although the book was lengthy and crammed with facts, I never understood her or her motives.

  • 5 years ago

    I finished Their Eyes Were Watching God and it was ok. Not something I'd ever put on the greatest American read list, but it was there. Next up is The Notebook, also from the GAR list.

  • 5 years ago

    I gave Owen Meany a 30-minute shot today and decided it was not for me, at least not now. I've had a succession of 500-600-page novels lately but this one had smallish print with little white space. Then there were all the caps and very few chapters. It exhausted me just looking at the text. I'm probably missing out, but sometimes you gotta move on to the next book.

  • 5 years ago

    Runninginplace, I loved Daisy Jones and the Six. It was a nice departure from the genres of books I typically read. I must admit, I ended up with library copies of both a kindle version and the audiobook and planned to read the kindle version while at the beach this holiday weekend b/c I had no time to read last week with S19 graduating h.s. However, I had several blocks of time in my car last week and couldn’t resist starting the audiobook. It was fabulous-I think given the interview format of the book, it was perfect for listening to, as each character was narrated by a different person which made it very easy to keep them all straight and really brought their personalities to life. It was like listening to an actual interview.

    Since I finished Daisy Jones in the car on my way down to the beach, I then read The Lost Man, Jane Harper’s latest novel. I think this one is my favorite so far of her novels. It takes place in the Australian outback on a remote cattle ranch and is centered around the mysterious death of one of three brothers. Great character development with an interesting plot.

    I've been in a bit of a reading rut lately and with May always being the busiest month year for my family, I’m really looking forward to summer starting so I can get back into my reading groove.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Bunny, I struggled with the same things on Owen Meany that you mentioned, and then I went to a different library to get a different edition that was easier on the eyes and it helped a lot. But if you can get through it, it is well worth it. It's a story that grows on you as it unfolds.

  • 5 years ago

    The Lost Man is my favorite off hers so far, too. I lived in Australia for a couple of years and love reading books set there-she does an amazing job of painting a picture of this incredibly isolated rural, difficult life for folks in the bush.

  • 5 years ago

    Annie, thanks for the tip. After I have cataract surgery in a couple of weeks I'm hoping my mood will improve. :) Or I could get an eBook and adjust my own typesetting.

  • 5 years ago

    Bunny, it's worth it, if you can get an edition you can read. One of my all-time favorites, ever!

  • 5 years ago

    Oly, we tend to like a lot of the same books, so I will take heed.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Bunny, here’s a cataract story - my Mum’s friend got in my car and said ”this is the blue coat I bought last year...” I think to myself, that coat is not blue. Then she adds”but after my cataract surgery I realized it was a green coat.” We all just laughed. I hope your surgery makes reading, and color differentiation, easier.

    I haven’t read anything lately that was “Wow! I need to recommend this immediately.”, like the highly recommended Gentleman in Moscow or City of Thieves But I have read:

    Virgil Wander by Leif Enger was a pleasant slice of life story. He also wrote Peace Like a River, which I know I enjoyed (but can’t tell you anything about it without looking up details).

    The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware was a waste of time.

    Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny was enjoyable, I LOL’d a few times while also feeling the tension from the mysteries and crimes. I was tiring of that series but found this one worthwhile. She wrote she didn't expect to write any after her husband’s death but then this one presented itself to her. She wrapped up many characters so maybe this is truly the last one. Au revoir, Armand, it’s been a pleasure sharing your world.

    Dear Mr. M by Herman Hoch was a let down. I loved his book The Diner, because it was so different and unexpected. Both books were full of unlikeable characters but Dear just dragged on.

    In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson was, like all his books, an entertaining read.

    I’m in the middle of The Burgess Boys and it’s okay.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I added comments here because crowdo revived a year old book thread to tell us we have to read. I guess I have lost track of not only the month, but the year lol. I deleted and will add to the June 2020

  • 3 years ago

    Bunny - Good luck with your cataract surgery! I hope that yours will go as mine did - by far the easiest procedure out of everything I've had done over the years. When the patch came off, everything was clear, and I only need glasses for reading now. I asked my ophthalmologist how it felt to give people back near-perfect vision and he just grinned. So, enjoy the results!

  • 3 years ago

    this is an old thread revived for ??? I accidentally posted to it as did sable. pls let it die.