What are you reading in June 2020?

masgar14

After reading the second book of Margaret Atwood's trilogy "The Year of the Flood", I take a break with something lighter. "The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle" First novel by Stuart Turton " it is supposed to be a mystery room like the ones by Aghata Christy. Once l watched an interview of an Italian writer, and he said Sartre the French philosopher, used to read a lot of mystery room, because, according to him in this kind of novel the society is well described (l think high society, surely not brick layers or plumbers society.) Reading a few customers review in on line bookshop, I noticed it is a marmite novel. The one who didn't like it, stated there are too many characters and you can't follow them all, the ones who loved it, stated any characters has his reason to be. I'm at page 70, out of 500 and I can't say much, only I like the writing. l read on the blurb, so it isn't spoiler, that Evelyn has been murdered hundreds of times, and each day Aiden Bishop is too late to save her, every time the days begun again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different character, and someone is desperate to stop him ever escaping Blackeath, (the mansion where the story is set). I'm not sure if I will read it out, because I don't appeal to me this fact that every day the main character wake up in a different body., didn't read the blurb because I bought because the title elicited me. I will give it another 100 pages try, and if I am not hooked, I throw it away.

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msmeow

I'm reading 7th Heaven, a Women's Murder Club book by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro.


Donna

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carolyn_ky

I'm reading Invitation to Die, a new detective series by Barbara Cleverly, set in Cambridge after WWI. I have enjoyed her Joe Sandilands books but this one not so much.

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yoyobon_gw

Winter Sea by Joanna Kearsley.

I became disenchanted with The Beekeeper's Apprentice after reading almost 3/4 's of it. Perhaps I'll pick it up again at some point and finish it.

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kathy_t

Yesterday I finished reading The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams. I would probably consider it a beach read, if I ever laid on a beach reading a book, which I have not done in many many years. Set on an island off the New England coast, where the all-year inhabitants mix with the summer people for a few months each year, it has a fairly complex plot. You must pay attention to who sleeps with whom over three generations of families so you will understand that who impregnates whom does indeed matter.

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vee_new

Kathy, I've obviously been on the wrong sort of beach holidays!

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kathy_t

Well Vee, these "summer people" on the island stay all summer long, in their beautiful houses with servants and a country club where they dine and party together. This gives them plenty of time to form summer relationships. The husbands tend to fly away to work and return on weekends to join their families (and their favorite local ladies) on weekends. You know, the kind of people who use the word 'summer' as a verb, not people like you and me.

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yoyobon_gw

LOL.......I'm not sure I'd want to be on one of those holidays ! Too much pressure. I'd have to start in October to get in shape for the beach.

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carolyn_ky

Tee Hee. You all are funny. I was 18 before I ever saw a beach, but it was Waikiki and I got to live there for a year. My souvenir to bring home was wrapped in a pink crib blanket.

I got a call from the library yesterday saying three of my requests (from March) can be picked up at the building tomorrow if I park the car, walk up to the building, and call to say I have arrived. Someone will bring them to me--properly masked and gloved, I assume, though they didn't tell me to wear a mask. I will, though. The books are The Last Passenger by Charles Finch, Sword of Shadows by Jeri Westerson, and Your Turn, Mr. Moto by John P. Marquand (the first of the Mr. Moto books). I'll be so excited to hold a real book again,

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kathy_t

Why Carolyn, what an intriguing beach history you have!

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carolyn_ky

Kathy, me and a lot of other young women. Some months after the war was over, a whole Army division was transferred out of Korea to Schofield Barracks on Oahu, and a whole division of young wives joined them after a year's separation, and a whole hospital of babies appeared nine months later.

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kathy_t

Carolyn, that's a great story!

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annpanagain

Vee, did you recommend the latest version of "Emma"? I have seen several versions but decided to try it and was glad I got the DVD. Bill Nighy is always a joy anyway!

It was beautifully done but I still haven't seen a Harriet Smith as I visualise her! This one was a bit childish IMHO.

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vee_new

Annpan, no, not me! I haven't see it at the flicks and we almost never watch a DVD,

I 'did' Emma for A level English, which was enough to put me off Jane Austen for years. How do English teachers manage to deaden works of literature?

I have seen a version of Emma, where, at the picnic on Box Hill the ladies all sat on bales of straw. My goodness, their agriculture methods were mechanically advanced in the Surrey of the early nineteenth century.

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annpanagain

I only watch movies on DVDs now as I can't sit for long periods in a theatre.

The advantage, apart from taking breaks, is that there are sometimes "behind the scenes" extras and of course the much-needed subtitles!

It is of special interest to me to see how some of the classic scenes are performed, like the Box Hill one. A version I saw had servants carrying tables and chairs up. Far more elegant than our modern day picnic rugs and cool boxes!

This "Emma" laid quite an emphasis on servants waiting hand and foot on their employers. Even putting Mr. Knightly's socks on!

We had to study "Northanger Abbey" for O Level in 1953 and couldn't prefer it to the Gothic novels Austen was satirising. It put me off reading her for many years.

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msmeow

Carolyn, my dad was in the Philippines in WWII and my brother was 18 months old before my dad saw him. :)


I finished the Women's Murder Club book and I'm now reading Cocaine Blues, the first Phryne Fisher story. Several of you here said you've enjoyed these so I thought I'd give it a try.


Donna

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astrokath

I finished an ARC of David Mitchell's Utopia Avenue and enjoyed it very much. It's about a band in London in 1967, and there is much name dropping of musicians of the time like Bowie, Lennon and Pink Floyd. Mitchell has linked all his novels together with people of the same name/ancestors etc and that adds to the fun.

I am listening to a series of novels by Cindy Brandner which are set in the time of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. They are very wordy, and sometimes I listen for a half hour and feel the plot hasn't advanced much, but they are overall enjoyable.

Finally, DH and I are listening to Robert Harris's trilogy about Marcus Tullius Cicero, and we are in the second one, Lustrum. They are very interesting, although it is hard to just hear all the Roman names without seeing them. Written down, you tend to recognise them, even if you don't pronounce them, but just listening they run together a bit.

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sheri_z6

I'm still re-reading the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Nearly through The Book of Life and then onto Time's Convert.

Kath, Utopia Avenue sounds intriguing. I've just added it to my library list. Our town has just reopened the return book drops and will be starting curbside book delivery shortly, so I'm very happy.

Later this month my book group will be reading American Dirt by Janine Cummins, which I'm afraid might be too dark for me right now. We'll see how it goes. Has anyone here read it?

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yoyobon_gw

A friend gifted me with The Overstory by Richard Powers. Is anyone familiar with it ?

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astrokath

Sheri, I read American Dirt. I'd previously read Don Winslow's trilogy about Mexican drug cartels, which is very well written but very dark and violent. American Dirt covered a part of that story, which Winslow touched on, in more depth. I didn't find it too dark, although of course the subject matter is pretty awful.

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carolyn_ky

I have started The Last Passenger by Charles Finch. This is the second book set in the main character's past, which I think is a good thing since in the last few before these the author seemed to have run out of ideas. The setting is 1855 London, and the MC, who is a well-to-do young man, is trying to establish himself as a private investigator, an entirely new field and one looked down upon by some of his "set."

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vee_new

The Full Cupboard of Life one of the many books from the 'Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency' series by Alexander McCall-Smith, was a charming and gentle read. Not a great deal happens but we are given to understand that politeness and good manners are still respected qualities in Botswana. McCall-Smith wears his knowledge lightly and always provides entertaining and quiet stories. Just right for the difficult times many of us are now going through.

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annpanagain

After watching the new "Emma" DVD and being a bit disappointed with the "Off-book" later part (Why the nose-bleed in the love scene?) I decided to reread some parts at the end and finished up starting at the beginning!

I, too, am in the mood for quiet stories. Too much strife in the world and on TV in every news report at present.

My main gripe with the new production was of too much style and not enough of the plot points. Some of the deleted scenes shown at the end of the DVD could have been left in for clarification and the scene of Emma going to see Mr. Martin at his farm to apologise left out!

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masgar14

I'm slowing delving in the novel , "The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Castle". At the start I was a little dubious about the fact that the main character every time he wakes he is in another body of the hosts of the mansion. But now the plot is thicking and is turning more in a thriller than a mystery room. The writing is fluid and you find yourself gently drawn in the story.

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Rosefolly

We spent a couple of days at a nearby seaside town while our house was fumigated for termites. While there I read The Hideaway by Lauren Denton for my book club this month. Not my kind of book and three days later I scarcely remember anything about it. But at the time I found it readable. No idea what I'm going to say about it at our book club Zoom meeting. I'll have to review it again.

I'm currently reading City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. She was the author of Eat, Pray, Love, which irritated me beyond description. This is a shade better, not quite as annoying, but I kinda want to smack the main character sometimes. Rich college dropout gets a job making costumes for a third rate New York theater owned by her aunt back in 1940 and has an imprudent sex life. As my husband would say, "oh, that old genre!" I picked it up to take a break from the escapist fantasy I've been reading since lockdown started, but honestly I prefer the fantasy. At least that escapism sounds like fun. This does not.

When I finish this, I'm headed back to Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. I'd really like to be reading SF&F with a little more depth to it, but my brain just shuts down when I try. Either I'm losing the ability to concentrate or the stress of lockdown, social unrest, and political turmoil is getting to me. Come to think of it, it's probably a miracle I can read at all!


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vee_new

From my TBR pile of 'odds-and-ends' I picked up A Bridge to the Stars by Henning Mankell translated from the Swedish. About a even year old boy living in a small, isolated Northern town with his ex-sailor father and how he plans both for adventure and to find his mother.

Surprisingly it is described as a children's book but maybe Scandinavian kids are very mature as this is certainly not the usual Bobbsey Twins or Famous Five set of adventures.

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vee_new

Rosefolly and everyone, I thought this thread would be bulging with comments about what we have been reading during this strange 'lockdown' period.

I have been carrying on much as before although I cannot use the library or pick up books from my usual 'charity' piles in our bank or almost every shop in our small town.

We try to keep to Govt 'instructions' about social distancing but, unlike some over cautious folk we don't turn-tail and flee of we see someone approach us. We wash our hands frequently, take exercise and eat sensibly, especially as kind neighbours pick up our shopping. We don't gripe about not being able to embrace our loved ones . . . we don't come from 'hugging families'! All stiff-upper-lip here!

We watch with some unease the so-called Peaceful Protests in the US and now happening over here, where violence, in the UK case, unjustified*, is showing its ugly side.

* Adding that, of course, violence should never be justified.

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annpanagain

Vee, I have also been dismayed by the possible spreading of disease by protesters. We have kept it away by careful management and a cautious return, now starting Stage 3 this week. I can understand the purpose of the rallies but at such a time they cannot be regarded as advisable.

It will take a while to find out what damage has been done to the health of the general public.

Regarding reading, I have done less than normal recently! There have been so many extra news conferences and current affairs programs as well as some interesting TV shows to watch and DVDs bought with the stimulous money as well as money saved by getting some free electricity and phone services.

With the libraries closed for a while, the waiting lists are so long that I have been buying items I fancied rather than wait!

I am still struggling through "The Mirror and the Light". I am not that gripped by the story as I was reading the previous books. I read somewhere that Mantle found it hard to write. Sometimes that hesitation by the author comes through in a book.

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msmeow

We are having a very stormy weekend. I finished The 8th Confession by Patterson/Paetro. I stopped about halfway through Cocaine Blues (the first Phryne Fisher story). I found the story line dull and Phryne was a little too precocious (can adults be precocious?) - apologies to those of you who like her!


Donna

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annpanagain

Donna, I read the Phryne Fisher books years ago but might not like them now. Styles in reading change and I have reread books I once enjoyed and then wonder what I saw in them!

I would have said she was a rather promiscuous character but the author Kerry Greenwood explained in an interview that after the Great War morals were a lot looser for both sexes.

The books were toned down for the TV series!

You might like her Corinna Chapman, the baker, series better but not if you are dieting!

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carolyn_ky

I do like the Corinna Chapman books but don' think I will read another Phyrne Fisher.

I am currently reading Sword of Shadows by Jeri Westerson, set in 1396. The Tracker in this episode has been hired to accompany a man to Cornwall to look for King Arthur's sword, Excalibur, at Tintagel. So far, they have encountered one murder and a former paramour of Chrispin's and discovered a gold pendant.

My daughter went to Tintagel during a trip to Cornwall while my sister and I went to St. Ives. She said she was glad we didn't go with her because it was such a tough climb, but it's still interesting to read about it. It took them 12 days to travel there from London. We went from Edinburgh to Penzance by British Rail in less than a day.

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kathy_t

Donna - You're kind of having a hurricane, aren't you?

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sheri_z6

I'm well into Time's Convert and enjoying it. IMO it's not as good as the first three books, but it's a different animal. This book is comprised of three story threads set in both the past and present, and focused on Marcus and Phoebe. Still, I'd had a bumpy start with it when I tried to read it last year, so I'm happy to be immersed in the story now.

Rosefolly, I'm right with you, Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews (and
Deborah Harkness) are just exactly what I want at this point in time. I
can't deal with anything deeper or heavier. Just FYI, Ilona Andrews is currently writing a new book set in the Kate Daniels universe featuring her daughter, Julie. The working title is Ryder and they're posting all the chapters as they write them on their website if you're interested.

Yoyo, I read The Overstory with my book group last year. It's a monumental read, the writing is exquisite and poetic, but the book is over-long and overstuffed -- one set of characters and their story could have been left out completely without changing the book, IMO. Overall, I found it gorgeous and depressing at the same time. But I think it's worth reading if you're in the right headspace.

Kath, I'm glad you didn't find American Dirt too dark, that actually helps me a lot as I get ready to dive in.

I have the newest Nora Roberts, Hideaway, to look forward to after the book group book. I am just terrible, because as soon as I feel like I have to read something for book group, I don't want to read it no matter what it is. Yikes.

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vee_new

Just finished Michael Wright's second book about his time living in rural France

Je t'aime à la Folie Unlike some other authors who were inclined to mock the 'locals' in the regions to which they had moved, MW was glad of their help and support in teaching him about sheep-keeping and growing veggies and repairing his ancient farmhouse. He was able to make friends with members of the tennis club (where he was always beaten) play the organ at the village church and keep his ancient aeroplane at the local flying-club. By the end of the book he had achieved two ambitions . . . to fly a Spitfire and marry the girl of his dreams.

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vee_new

Carolyn, was that a typo that your daughter took 12 days to travel from London to Cornwall? Did you mean a very slow 12 hours? I know our roads are crowded and the trains unreliable but . . . maybe she walked!

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annpanagain

I took it that this was referring to the 1396 journey...

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msmeow

Kathy, we did have some spectacular thunderstorms over the weekend! At least one tornado touched down in Orlando, but we are a bit west. No damage, but lots of rain.

I'm reading Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. Someone on the May thread mentioned it. It's a very odd story, but I'm enjoying it. He could stand to refrain from using the "f" word so much.

Donna

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kathy_t

Donna - I was the one who mentioned Nothing to See Here, and I'm glad to see someone else reading it. I'll be interested to hear your opinion of it. Odd as it is, I liked it a lot and I'm thinking of suggesting it for my book club when we reconvene in September.

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Carolyn Newlen

Vee, no, no! It took us less than a day from Edinburgh to Penzance. It was the characters in the book that took 12 days.

I finished that book last night and am on to The Woman in the Mirror billed as a chilling modern gothic novel by Rebecca James. It is jumping back and forth in time.

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msmeow

Kathy, I finished Nothing to See Here. I enjoyed it, but it was an odd story! About halfway through it seemed it was heading for a somewhat trite ending, where everyone corrects their faults and lives happily ever after, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't end that way.

Donna

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kathy_t

Donna - I too liked the ending of Nothing to See Here.

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Carolyn Newlen

Well, The Woman in the Mirror was a real Gothic! It was back and forth in time between the 1800s, 1940s, and present-day Cornwall and New York City, horror, suicide, murder, asylums, lonely mansions, governesses, strange children, scarred and wounded war veterans, you name it. I thought I was at the end three times before the grand finale, and the second time would have been better.

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Rosefolly

I'm finally out of my reading brain fog, at least for the time being, and have begun to work on reading the Hugo nominees. It's probably not a coincidence that we are also slowly emerging from coronavirus lockdown. Many stores and all crowd events are still closed in our county, but I have been able to go to several shops. We've dropped grocery delivery which was never very satisfactory. Who knew that going to the grocery store could be so rewarding? Maybe in a few weeks we'll even be able to go to the gym or get our hair cut.

Tom and I even re-booked our postponed trip, a river cruise in Portugal. We plan to go late summer next year, in hopes that gives us time to get properly vaccinated. Fingers crossed! We had considered May, but wanted the extra buffer of time for science to do its work.

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kathy_t

Carolyn, your comments about The Woman in the Mirror were most entertaining!

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kathy_t

I recently read Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman. This is the story of a young woman living in New York City whose mother, upon her death, specifically wanted her to take possession of her copy of a 1968 yearbook from the high school where she (the mother) taught and also oversaw production of the year book. This particular issue of the yearbook had been dedicated to her. Over the years, rather oddly, the mother/teacher had attended all of the reunions of the class of '68 and during all those years had written ongoing notes about the students, next to their photos in the yearbook.

Long story short (believe it or not), the daughter did not value her mother's yearbook and disposed of it in the recycling bin of her apartment building, where an eccentric neighbor takes possession of it and decides to make a documentary about the mother/teacher who annotated the yearbook so thoroughly. The daughter quickly learned there are family secrets to protect and spent much of the book trying to regain possession of the yearbook and halt the filmmaker's efforts to research details. It turns into a kind of an I Love Lucy screwball comedy. Pretty silly, but amusing and enjoyable.

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kathy_t

It's most unusual for me to post two reads in a row, but this was a quick one and I've spent more time reading the last few days. I just completed a cozy mystery, The Victim in Victoria Station by Jeanne M. Dams, and I enjoyed it. It's one in a series in which Dorothy Martin solves the mystery. Dorothy is an American ex-pat, older woman married to a retired police commissioner (?) in a pleasant U.K village. I like it enough to read another one soon, and perhaps another ...

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Carolyn Newlen

Kathy, I have read and enjoyed the Dorothy Martin series. I think I liked the very first one best. She had me at moving from Indiana to live in a cozy house in an English cathedral close. And meeting her policeman wasn't bad, either.

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kathy_t

Carolyn - Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the Dorothy Martin series. That will encourage me to pick up more of them at the library. A couple days ago, I did pick up an early book of the series, Trouble in the Town Hall (1996) at my curbside-pickup stop at the library (temporary pandemic situation). But I have a friend who is not computer savvy and is thus still cut off from our library. I showed her the books I'd brought home and offered to share with her. Wouldn't you know it, she selected only one book and it was the Dorothy Martin! What could I say? She's reading it now, I suppose.

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Carolyn Newlen

I'm reading Who Speaks for the Damned by C. S. Harris, the latest in his Sebastian St. Cyr series set in London in the early 1800s. Sebastian is an early crime solver from the upper class who don't think he should be involved in such sordid stuff.

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Carolyn Newlen

Now reading Your Turn, Mr. Moto, the first Mr. Moto book by John P. Marquand. In this time of staying home so much and with the public library still closed, I have been downloading library ebooks and reading one after another like eating popcorn. Today has been so pleasant weatherwise that I've spent most of the afternoon on the patio reading and listening to the birds.

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msmeow

Carolyn, that sounds lovely! Our weather in central FL has been very hot and muggy, though yesterday we had lower humidity and a nice breeze.

I'm reading Dark of the Moon by John Sandford, the first Virgil Flowers book. I've read several of the VF books and enjoyed them, so I thought I'd start from the beginning. :)

Donna

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Carolyn Newlen

I finished that Mr. Moto book, which was the first one, and looked at used book prices because the library doesn't have any others. Look is all I did! My goodness, the prices for the old used paperbacks are astronomical. The one I just finished is a new edition, so maybe they will continue to republish them,

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vee_new

Just read Wicked Autumn by G M Malliet. An American author of whom I was unfamiliar, but the blurb says she was educated at both Oxford and Cambridge(!) universities and as this book is set in England she has done quite a bit of homework on her use of language/setting/characters etc.

It it the first in a series about a C of E clergyman with a previous life in MI5 . . . and although there is precious little sleuthing there is much detail about the characters of a fictional village which seems (to me) rather more like a full-size town. The butcher, the baker, even a candle-maker, restaurants, antique shop, pubs, school, a railway station are all run by either 'hippy', grand, down-to-earth or shady characters.

Our job is to decided 'whodunnit'; not easy as everyone has a motive. Well written and the 'whole' I felt more interesting than the 'outcome'.

Has anyone read anything else by Malliet?

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yoyobon_gw

A Better Man , the last ( so far ) Louise Penny novel in the Three Pines series. I think that LP might want to wrap up this series with the forthcoming novel. After her husband's death to Alzheimer's it feels like she's gone to a slightly darker place with Gamache, who is inspired by her husband. Perhaps she's subconsciously processing her personal loss through her writing .......however, she's dragging the reader along with her.

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annpanagain

Vee, the name is familiar but when I checked the SYKM website I didn't remember any of the plots of her books. Someone here may have recommended her. Are they well written?

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vee_new

annpan, yes the Malliet books are well-written 'though surprisingly for a English edition they use American spelling. I know you enjoy a whodunnit that concentrates on the 'who' and 'why' rather than the scenery or what the characters had to eat . . .lots of cake, sandwiches and even scones spread with peanut butter . . .And Louise Penny gave Malliet a good write-up.

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annpanagain

Ugh! Yuk! I like peanut butter but on bread for a late night snack. Never on scones.

I shall try one book and see how I like the style. I need to broaden my author list.

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yoyobon_gw

Never heard of peanut butter on cake or scones.......pb and jelly sandwiches, yes. Sometimes on sliced banana. Where do these authors get their ideas about such things !?

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Carolyn Newlen

I'm reading The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey. It isn't a mystery and I can't remember who recommended it, but it is a good book. It is a flash back to the Bright Young Things between the world wars, and the fruits of the choice of safety over feelings.

I'm another who found the Maillet and Max Tudor names familiar but don't remember reading any of the books. I'll be interested to know how those of you who try them feel about them.

I like PB&J sandwiches, too, but not peanut butter on scones. And bananas, yoyo? Shades of Elvis.


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lemonhead101

I’ve just finished up a quick read of a 1946 novel called “The Street” by Ann Petry. This was a really good read about a woman and her young son trying so hard to get out of poverty at a time when it was just near impossible due to segregation, lack of options and no support. Just loved it as an excellent solid read.


Also a hat-tip to Black Lives Matter since Petry was the first Black female author to write a novel that sold more than one million copies. It’s still a great read more than 50 years later. Highly recommended.

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Carolyn Newlen

I just finished The Glittering Hour and just loved it. Ms. Grey has written one other book, Letters to the Lost, that I read some time ago and also liked a lot. So satisfying to find a really great book.

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Carolyn Newlen

Today I have read Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante, in the Maggie Hope series by Susan MacNeal. I'm still pretty much staying home and reading and reading and reading. I have some sympathy for the people who are desperate to get out and DO something, but not much. I can be content reading a book a day.

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astrokath

I finished an ARC by Mark Billingham called Cry Baby. I enjoyed it very much - he took his main detective character back 20 years and we get to see him meet the pathologist he now has a strong friendship with.

I also finished listening to Flights of Angels by Cindy Brander, one of her series set in the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and enjoyed that too.

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yoyobon_gw

Finished A Better Man and thought I might read something light and fluffy so I cracked open The Sugar Queen. Unfortunately after a Louise Penny novel this one reads like a simple " How To Write A Story 101". I get spoiled by good writing.

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msmeow

I finished Dark of the Moon and now I’m on #10 in the women’s murder club series.

Bon, I wonder if L Penny is planning to wrap up the Gamache series in the next book. Seems that way, doesn’t it? And I agree the last two or three have been darker than the previous books.

Donna

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vee_new

A few years ago I picked up a copy of Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey but put off reading it until now.

Although hardly a light and happy read it is really a page-turner and Healey, who's first book it was, has got into the troubled and confused mind of the Alzheimer sufferer, Maud, who is convinced that her friend has disappeared.

Interwoven with this is the 'real' story set in just post-War England where Maud's older sister did vanish. I got the feeling that the young Maud's 'mental troubles' began all those years ago and she had since been teetering on the edge of whatever 'normal' is, since then.

Has anyone read it? If not don't be put off by the content I found it very powerful . . . though I do worry that this is something coming to most of us, especially when I can't remember why I have come upstairs or where I put the TV remote!

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astrokath

Vee, I have read that book, but it was a long time ago. I do remember that I thought it was very good.


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kathy_t

I just finished reading When All Is Said by Anne Griffin. The novel covers a single day in the life of an eighty-four-year-old Irishman as he sits in a bar, mostly alone, toasting the people who have been most important in his life. It's a touching internal monologue, an imaginary conversation with his son who lives in America. It feels revealing and honest. At times it seemed to me that his revelations of emotion and tenderness did not fit with his outward tough-guy persona. Then I would remember the author is a woman and I wondered how much of his tender soliloquy was due to that fact. It's a pleasant, though rather sad read. The book has that "hard times" feel much like Frank McCourt's book, Angela's Ashes.

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msmeow

I am reading Murder in the Holy City by Simon Beaufort. Set in Jerusalem in 1100, two knights and three priests have been murdered. The murder weapon is a dagger with a jeweled hilt. A knight named Geoffrey Mappestone has been tasked with solving the mystery of the killings. I think I will like it if I can get more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time to read.

Donna

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Carolyn Newlen

I'm reading The Lincoln Lawyer, the first Mickey Haller book by Michael Connelly and not liking it as much as his other books. So far, Harry Bosch is not in it. Mickey seems to be finding his ethical feet as opposed to making a lot of money, and his client is not what he thought him to be.

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msmeow

Carolyn, that was the first Michael Connelly book I read. I liked it well enough to read more of his books. Now that I've read several I can say I prefer the Bosch stories.

Donna

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Carolyn Newlen

msmeow, I finished The Lincoln Lawyer and liked the ending much better than the beginning. I'm in the process of reading all the Connelly books in order as much as I can and like them a lot.

Today has been unusual for me. I worked in the yard this morning, had a nap, and this afternoon worked on integrating new books alphabetically into the bookshelves which means a lot of shoving around, so all I have read today is the new Southern Living magazine that came in the mail. A day without a book is like . . . well, I can't actually think what it is like. Maybe I will get started on one before bedtime.

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vee_new

Sorting out a pile of old books belonging to my DD I came across a yellowing copy of The Wheel on the School by Meindert de Jong. I realise I must be one of the few people who never read it as a child, but think it was published when I was slightly older than the age-group it was aimed at. Now I'm so old it doesn't matter any more! I thought once the story got going it held my attention and showed something of the life led (how many years ago) by the fishing families in Friesland and I'm sure would have held the attention of 9 -10 year olds. Maybe because de Jong wrote the book after living in the US for some time I found some of the expressions used by the children to be very American "Say Teacher that's a swell idea" . . . I quite expected one of the boys to come out with "gee willikers" Does anyone still use that expression in the US?

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msmeow

Vee, I don't think anyone uses "swell" any more in that context. And I wonder if anyone ever said "gee willikers" or if that was a literary or movie script term.

Donna

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kathy_t

I think you're right, Donna. "Gee willikers" might have been confined to Opie talking to his "Pa" on the Andy Griffith Show.

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yoyobon_gw

The Gown

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Rosefolly

You probably noticed that I'm immersed in reading the Hugo nominees. I have read and selected Best Novel, Best Short Story, and Best Novellette (long short story). I have the Best Novella to read (short novel) yet to read and select. I like reading the YA novel and the New Writer category but I'm not sure I'll get to those this year. I've been running late due to my personal lockdown inertia. In addition the Hugo committee doesn't have set up electronic voting yet so I'm running out of time. (Shocking to a resident of Silicon Valley.) I'll actually need to mail in my ballot and it has to get to New Zealand by July 15th.

One discovery from this exercise is that the SF magazines which I used to read have pretty much faded away to be replaced by digital magazines. About half the shorter fiction nominated came from a magazine called Uncanny. I mention it in case other SF fans out there are interested. I have just signed up to subscribe myself.

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sheri_z6

Yoyo, did you like it? I've had The Gown on my wishlist for quite a while now.

I finished American Dirt for my book group but found it stressful and violent (murders and sexual assaults) so I skimmed about two-thirds of it. I'm an emotional reader, and with the pandemic and protests and toxic politics going on right now I just didn't have the bandwidth required to read something like this. That said, what I did read of it was very well written and the subject matter is certainly timely and important.

I went straight to the lighter books after that, zipping through the newest Nora Roberts, Hideaway, which was very good, and a YA re-telling of Beauty and the Beast by Brigid Kemmerer titled A Curse So Dark and Lonely, which was OK but not riveting. I also read and enjoyed Five French Hens by Judy Leigh (recommended here by Yoyobon maybe?) and topped it off yesterday with the latest from Elizabeth Hunter in her Elemental Legacy series, Dawn Caravan. I adore her books (yes, mainly vampires - you've been warned) and this was a wonderful story and a fun escape.

I shifted some books around earlier this week and realized I need to work on the TBR pile. It has completely overflowed its bookcase and the books need to be either read or culled.

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Rosefolly

And sometimes culling is as satisfying as reading, especially if you aren't going to love the books.

Thanks for the warning on American Dirt. It is firmly on my Do Not Read list. Not my kind of book.

I was going to tell you that I just read Hideaway for my book club, but I was wrong. We read The Hideaway by Lauren Denton. I'm going to have to refresh my memory of it. Our discussion is coming up next week.


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lemonhead101

Vee -I’m one who also read “Elizabeth is Missing”... I loved it. Poignant and thoughtful. Glad you enjoyed it as well.


Just finished up a good read of a NF: “Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights” by Gretchen Sorin (2020). Really interesting to learn more about how private car ownership played such a role in the Civil Rights movement.



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yoyobon_gw

Sheri, I'm just beginning The Gown and like it so far.

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msmeow

I reserved a copy of The Gown. The library says it will be about 8 weeks. :)

I finished Murder in the Holy City today, and I liked it a lot. It was a nice change from my long string of homicide detective stories, even though Sir Geoffrey Mappestone was trying to solve a series of murders.

Donna

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sheri_z6

I just started A Curious Beginning, a Veronica Speedwell Mystery by Deanna Raybourn. Set in 1887 England, with a very modern heroine, it's just wonderfully clever and very funny. The main character is cut from the same cloth as Flavia de Luce and Amelia Peabody, and I can already see I'll need to get the next books in the series. So much for reducing the TBR pile!

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Donna - you're pleased that your book has an 8 week wait time?

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msmeow

Skibby, that’s more of a wry grin! I’ll probably forget I requested it by then. Good thing they send an email when it’s available.

Donna

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Thanks Donna. I hope you enjoy the book.

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Carolyn Newlen

I am reading The Dressmaker's Gift by Fiona Valpy, loaned to me by my daughter because she liked it so much. It is a present day/Paris during the Nazi occupation story of a young English woman whose mother died young and who never knew her grandmother. She discovered that her grandmother had worked in a high-fashion house during the war. She is herself interested in fashion and has obtained a job in that same firm and has met another young woman working there whose grandmother worked with her own. So far, it is a pretty predictable but good story of young love, the resistance, and the dreadful Nazis.

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kathy_t

I just started Anne Tyler's new book, The Redhead at the Side of the Road. It is so pleasant and comfortable to read one her books again. I'm enjoying it very much.

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

I'm not reading many books but rather about books. I recently came into a windfall and so have been making a list of books I'd like to buy. Some non-fiction seemed to catch my eye and here is my list so far: What it's Like to Be a Bird - David Sibley; This is Chance! Jon Mooallem (about the 1964 Alaska earthquake); The White Darkness - David Grann (an explorer book about a man following Shackleton's journey to Antarctica) ; Tales from the Ant World - Edward O. Wilson; How to Sharpen Pencils - David Rees ( a book about sharpening pencils - seriously) Has anyone read these?

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annpanagain

Skibby, how nice to get a windfall! I have been receiving money as a result of the Covid virus! The Govt and others have automatically sent me money and I have had decisions to make about how I spend it. Like you, I have used some to buy books and DVDs to entertain myself as I have had to stay at home.

I felt rather awkward about receiving this money as I have hardly been inconvenienced, apart from missing haircuts and having to bend somehow to trim my toenails! However there are family birthdays coming up so I can be extra generous with cash gifts then!

I hope you enjoy your unusual titles!

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