What are you reading in September 2020?

netla

It's September already and summer is drawing to an end in the northern hemisphere. I have been rereading some of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, and am currently listening to book 2 of the Once and Future King by T.H. White ("The Queen of Air and Darkness") while trying to use some of my yarn collection to make a baby blanket.

What are you reading?

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msmeow

I'm still working on The Law of Similars by Chris Bohjalian. I commented earlier that it was too heavy on foreshadowing and too light on the actual story, but about 1/4 of the way in it started to get really interesting. Now I suspect I know how it will come out, but I may be wrong! And I can't decide if the homeopath is the sympathetic character I think she is or not. :)

Donna

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phyllis__mn

As usual, I have about three going now. Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon, which I'm enjoying; How To Cook a Wolf by MFKl Fisher, also good . Then, for our book club, Small Town Girl, by LaVyrle Spencer. I started the latter with misgivings, as I do not care for that author. I've read a couple of hers and find them just too romancy (?), so I am reading the others for pleasure and hers out of necessity.

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sheri_z6

I just finished the newest Ilona Andrews urban fantasy, Emerald Blaze, from their Hidden Legacy series. This is the second book in Catalina's story, and it was fabulous. If you like urban fantasy/romance, these two writers are unbelievably good. I've read their entire back catalog and I can't say enough good things about them.

After finishing The Underground Railroad (which is a grim and violent book in places, but brilliantly done and I AM glad I read it), my book group collectively decided we need a comfort read for the next time around, and we'll be reading Jane Austen's Persuasion. I am thrilled. I saw a movie version decades ago, but I've never read the book so I'm really looking forward to it.

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Carolyn Newlen

I'm reading the new Jeanne M. Dams book, Death Comes to Durham. Her books are much of a muchness, but as a confirmed Anglophile, I enjoy them.

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msmeow

Sheri, I've never read anything by Jane Austen. Maybe I should. :)

I finished The Law of Similars by Chris Bohjalian. It didn't end the way I suspected it would; in fact, I found the ending to be a bit of a let-down. It kind of just petered out. I did enjoy the story, though. I've read four or five of his books, and the thing I like about them is they are all completely different.

Now I'm reading Heat Lightning by John Sandford. It's the second Virgil Flowers book.

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annpanagain

Sheri, I am just rereading Persuasion. Do you think that Jane wrote something of her own feelings into the character of Anne Elliot?

I have seen a couple of productions for TV but don't have a DVD of either. I usually buy one to view after rereading her books. Comfort reading indeed!

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kathy_t

I finished rereading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. It was every bit as good the second time around. What a wonderful novel!

Yesterday, I visited the library and came home with a bag 'o books. I don't normally do that, but it's become my new habit during the pandemic to bring home multiple possibilities and read 10 or 20 pages of each to decide which will be my next read. Our library has conveniently placed book return bins at locations all around town, so it's easy to quickly rid myself of those that don't make the cut.

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annpanagain

Sheri, I am reading the Pan paperback Persuasion and it has useful notes on the text. One thing it doesn't explain is Anne's dislike of Sunday travelling.

I recall that my grandparents, born in Victorian times, had some reservations on what could be done on Sundays. When I lived with them in my late teens and early twenties, I couldn't sew on Sundays and they were very upset at the picture theatres Sunday evening opening in the 1950s and didn't want me to attend.

My grandmother told me that she had worked for a family of Sunday Observers who didn't allow the cook to make a hot meal, unlike the traditional Sunday Dinner which was a roasted meat meal usually eaten at lunchtime. They made a cold collation for themselves. Of course, the servants didn't object!

These recollections have nothing to do with the book but it might be of interest!

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kathy_t

My dear, sweet father-in-law never mowed his lawn on Sundays. He said it was people's day of rest and they didn't need the sound of a lawn mower disturbing their peace.

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sheri_z6

Annpan, I may look for an annotated copy of Persuasion, that sounds like something I'd like. Right now I have a digital version of the book on my iPad, but I haven't started it yet. Long ago I had a hardcover omnibus of all the Austen novels -- it was like a box of bricks. If you dropped it on your foot, you'd have wound up on crutches, it was that heavy. All these years later I have no idea what became of it and I wish I still had it.

I can remember stores being closed on Sundays when I was a child. I'm sure the Victorians took the 'day of rest' far more seriously than we do today.

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friedag

The Book of Forgotten Authors: 99 Forgotten Authors, Their Forgotten Books, and Their Unforgettable Stories by Christopher Fowler

Fowler writes Bryant & May: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery Series -- I haven't read any of his mysteries but Carolyn probably has because they are set in London. True, Carolyn? :-)

At any rate, Fowler began thinking about all the authors that seem (to him) to have been flushed from the minds of readers. He came up with more than 99, but he whittled his list by asking family, friends, other writers, and readers at various book sites which writers they think have been unjustly -- and even justly -- forgotten. He interspersed his list with short essays with such titles as "Why Are Good Authors Forgotten?" and "Forgotten for Writing Too Little -- and Too Much."

I think it's an amusing look at bygone books and authors. Many of them I had completely forgotten and others I possibly missed hearing about altogether.

However, Mr. Fowler included several authors I have read or I have seen mentioned many times at Reader's Paradise. In case any of you are curious, the following are a few of the ones I think RPers, at least, have NOT deep sixed. What do you all think?

Margery Allingham (e.g. The Tiger in the Smoke was talked about a few months ago here at RP.)

Virginia Andrews (more recogizably known as V.C. Andrews)

Barbara Comyns

Edmund Crispin

Jack Finney

Georgette Heyer -- I don't think so!

Eleanor Hibbert (aka Victoria Holt, Jean Plaidy, Philippa Carr)

Barbara Pym

Keith Waterhouse

T. H. White (above see Netla's header to this thread)

Kathleen Winsor





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vee_new

Frieda, I had to 'look up' Jack Finney and see someone has described his work as "old fashioned stuff from the '60's"

My DD has many Virginia Andrews books which I have never read. I don't remember reading Holt/Plaidy/Carr or Winsor but may have done years ago.

I suppose so many new books are published each year, many of them quantity over quality, there is little room for older authors.

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sheri_z6

Georgette Heyer and Barbara Pym?! Two of my all-time favorite authors -- I hope they are never forgotten. Geez, I must be getting old.

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msmeow

I’ve read Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt, and of course Kathleen Winsor (Forever Amber)! Mostly because I was junior or senior high school age and wasn’t supposed to read it. :)

Donna

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phyllis__mn

Thank you, msmeow........I had been trying to think of the name of the book that was so "racy", but it just would not come out. Oh, I felt quite daring when I bought it!

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Carolyn Newlen

Right, Frieda. I have read all the Bryant & May books and like the as much for the esoteric information about London as for the stories themselves.

I have read several of your "forgotten" authors. I really liked Victoria Holt's early books, but she just kept on and on until they were too much alike and went downhill, as did Phyllis Whitney. Her early books were good, but the last ones were sort of pathetic. I have a copy of Forever Amber, but I don't remember the story.

I once had a list on the top mysteries from 1900 to 1950 and then from 1951 to 1975. I was able to get most of them from the library but not all. I wish I could find the list again in this age of the computer. I know Edmund Crispin was on it.



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vee_new

Carolyn, you probably know that over here Bryant and May is the name of a well known brand of matches!

i have never read anything by Fowler but see he has a memoir out 'Paperboy' which looks interesting.

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Carolyn Newlen

No, I didn't know about the matches. B & M have been known to start fires.

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vee_new

Carolyn, below is an interesting site about the Bryant and May factory. When at school we all learnt about the women match-workers there who contracted phossy jaw from the unhealthy working conditions. In the last few years the area has become 'gentrified' as the old slums are cleared away.

Think Call the Midwife, set in that area.


Bryant and May Factory

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yoyobon_gw

A Murderous Relation - Deanna Raybourn ( 5th Veronica Speedwell mystery)

I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of All The Devils Are Here by Louise Penny....her latest in the Three Pines series. A friend just finished it and gave it raves.

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Marlorena-z8 England-

I would think you would need a keen interest in the subject to want this book but I'm halfway through 'Dead Doubles' by Trevor Barnes and it's riveting... I pre-ordered from Amazon in the summer and it was released a few days ago.. he writes quite well, enough to make me feel I'm either with the Spies or the Security Services watching them...

..meticulously researched including recently declassified files... Mr Barnes studied espionage at University, has been a crime writer and journalist.. so plenty of experience..

..it's about the infamous Portland Spy Ring of 1960, stealing secrets from a naval base in England... those involved included the well known American communists Peter and Helen Kroger..

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msmeow

Thanks, Bon! I didn’t know the new LP was out. Off To the library website to reserve a copy now. :)

Donna

PS...I’m 119th in line for a copy!

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annpanagain

Did someone here mention Lynne Truss's Constable Twitten series? I got the second one from the library and found it quite amusing. The style reminds me of Pamela Branch and Joyce Porter's humorous mysteries. As it is set in Brighton UK in 1957, I can relate as I lived there then. I don't remember the Brighton Belles who give information in several languages but like many residents, I kept away from the beach and other tourist areas at the weekend.

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Carolyn Newlen

I've just finished The Queen's Accomplice by Susan Elia Macneal that continues Maggie's WWII intrigues.

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vee_new

Annpan, I remember travelling on the 'Brighton Belle' the non-stop 'Pullman train' from Victoria station down to Brighton. Rather faded by the mid '50's but still considered rather swish by us kids when my parents took us down for a day at the sea-side.

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annpanagain

Vee, I tried Googling to find Brighton Belles, the helpful ladies mentioned in the book but only got the train! I am not sure if these are fictional characters. The rest of the background is accurate and gave me reminiscent smiles.

I was born in Brighton but my parents moved to another seaside town for my father's work when I was a baby. I went to live there when I was 16 and got a position in the Brighton Boots Library, staying with my maternal grandparents who had retired there. The paternal ones lived in Hove...Actually! (an "in" joke!)

I didn't know how lucky we children were to live by the seaside from 1944. I wanted to remain in the suburban London house where we lived during WW2, knowing the friends I grew up with rather than a busy holiday town among strangers and a new school. By then the seaside was safer than London but I didn't realise that, of course.

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vee_new

Annpan we used to visit friends who had retired to Hove Actually . . . an altogether more select end of town!

to RPer's . . Brighton had developed a rather raffish air and was a place 'gentlemen' took their lady friends, or people seeking a divorce put up at hotels on the understanding that they would be seen in bed with a 'female companion' by the chamber maid who, for half-a-crown would be willing to give evidence at any forthcoming court proceedings.

On the other hand the nearby town of Hove was a far more genteel area so people when asked where they lived often said "Brighton" but immediately corrected it to "Hove actually."

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Carolyn Newlen

Good story about Brighton/Hove. On our month-long trip around the British Isles and Ireland, DH and I spent a night in Brighton sans chambermaids.

I have started The Game by Laurie King. Mary Russell and Sherlock are in India beginning a search for Kipling's Kim.

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netla

I reread Charlie All Night by Jennifer Crusie last night and moved straight on to Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day by Winifred Watson and finished four chapters. Had forgotten a very funny scene in the first and just how overall funny the second one is - and I really needed those laughs. Then I went and checked if any other novels by Watson had been reissued, and was disappointed to discover it has not. I think I'll go and browse the Persephone Books website to see if I can find similar books.

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vee_new

netla, I also enjoyed Miss Pettigrew . . . and after I ordered it from Persephone Books I received their twice yearly magazine (free) for a while which always contained several interesting articles.


Persephone Books


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annpanagain

I loved Miss Pettigrew, both the book and movie. I read somewhere that the author managed to sell the screen rights twice to the same production company!

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kathy_t

Vee - Thank you for the link to Persphone Books. Somehow, I have remained completely ignorant of this publisher (republisher?). Looks very interesting.

My bag o' books from the library has not yielded a keeper yet. Please let me know if you have read or recommend any of these. (I'm giving each one 20-30 pages to catch my attention.)

Leave Only Footprints by Conor Knighton, is a nonfiction description of the author's year spent visiting every U.S. national park. But in the opening chapters, there is much more about Mr. Knighton's reaction to a lost love than about the parks. And so I'm moving on.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker - the first 15 pages look very promising.

The Night Visitors by Carol Goodman begins with an attention-getting situation. I can't tell if it's going to turn creepy or heartwarming.

The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon. This novel from the 1970's about the murder trial of a bewitching international movie star in Athens has certainly grabbed my attention. This might be the one ... or the first one, at least.

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masgar14

During my holidays in
August I started reading “Midnight Children”, by Salman Rushdie. that is the
story of children born on the stroke of the beginning of the year 1948 when
India began the story of its independence. They are 1001 children and they are
all telepathically united with each other,there is some magic-reaslism, and
each of them has one power, it is stronger
or less depending on how close he was born to the stroke of midnight. The
narrator is Saleem Sinai, which is the one born at the stroke of midnight, his
memory is omniscient, that is, he can remember events that took place before
his birth. The book is 645 pages, I arrived at page 150, that is to say at Saleem
birth, in the previous pages he told the
history of his family and other characters, I did not find it heavy, but I
struggled to give shape to all the characters of which he tells, besides I have
just read several books-tomes, and I wanted something more agile. So I dropped
it. Maybe during the Christmas holidays
I will pick it up again

So I started “Expo 58” by Jonathan Coe. The story is about Thomas Foley , an anonymous government employed who is sent to Belgium for a trivial work at the World’s Fair, and he is trapped in something bigger then him. The writing is a bit like Graham Green in what he called his divertissment, like “Instanbul Train” and the plot remind me the ones by Eric Ambler. In Ambler, kind of , spy stories, because rarely there is thrill in them, normal people get involved , in play of money, or power or spies, and the main characther have to deal with the situation in order to find a way out.

Expo 58 by
Jonathan Coe - Spies, girls and an Englishman abroad. Trust no one.

London,
1958: unassuming civil servant Thomas Foley is plucked from his desk job and
sent on a six-month trip to Brussels. His task: to keep an eye on The
Britannia, a brand new pub which will form the heart of the British presence at
Expo 58 - the biggest World's Fair of the century.

As
soon as he arrives, Thomas is equally bewitched by the surreal, gigantic
Atomium, which stands at the heart of this brave new world, and by Anneke, a
lovely Flemish hostess. But Thomas's new-found sense of freedom comes at a
price: two British spies are following him.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Expo-58-Jonathan-Coe/dp/0241966906/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2FBM971OA07Z&dchild=1&keywords=expo+58+jonathan+coe&qid=1599752247&sprefix=expo+58%2Caps%2C180&sr=8-1

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sheri_z6

I'm nearly through Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World by Laura Spinney. Published in 2017, her story of how the world responded (or didn't) reads like a contemporary account of our own pandemic. I guess human nature is still the same and even with our advanced medical knowledge we are no wiser than we were 100 years ago.

I like her writing style. She cycles through what was happening all over the world as the pandemic took place in three waves over 1918-1919. She argues that the flu's impact was greater than that of WWI, and that the body count was much higher than reported at the time. She also focuses on places other than the US and Western Europe. The toll the flu took on India was shocking to me, as well as the possibility that this flu may have originated in the US (the jury is still out on that one). All in all, a fascinating book.

I also started The Great Influenza by John M. Barry, which is a bit drier. I'm not sure I'll finish it.

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Carolyn Newlen

I really enjoyed The Game which got quite exciting before Sherlock and Russell got everything straightened out. They were sent to India by Mycroft to look for Rudyard Kipling's Kim.

After that I read The Day She Died by Catriona MacPherson, and if you don't like creepy, don't read it. You know right away that things won't go well, and I dislike reading with a feeling of dread all the way through, although you have to find out what happened to the poor people. I won't be reading any more by her.

Now I've started March Violets by Phillip Kerr, the first of a Nazi trilogy set in Berlin--speaking of dread--but at least you know the end.

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yoyobon_gw

All The Devils Are Here - Louise Penny

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netla

Vee, that's cool. I love getting newsletters/magazines in the mail - I'm much more likely to read them in physical copies than online. I ordered my copy of Miss Pettigrew... from Amazon, but I have been browsing the Persephone Books website and have found a couple of books I'd like to order.

Annpan, that's quite an accomplishment ;-)

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kathy_t

I just finished reading the new autobiography, The Answer is..., by Alex Trebek. For fans of the TV Game Show (that includes me), it's interesting reading. One of my favorite stories in the book is about Alex meeting Queen Elizabeth during her 1967 tour of Canada. The title of that chapter is "The Answer Is... A Lesson in Humility." (Each chapter title begins with "The Answer Is...").

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annpanagain

Kathy, I am agog! What happened?

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kathy_t

***SPOILER ALERT***
*** ALEX TREBEK AUTOBIOGRAPHY***

DON'T READ THIS IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT READ THE BOOK!

.

.

.

Only because you asked, Annpan...


1967 was Canada's centennial year (which by the way, surprised me - I had to go to Wikipedia for confirmation) so there were a lot of special programs being held. Alex was asked to host a variety show as part of the festivities. At the end of the show, the performers formed a reception line onstage to greet Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, who were in the audience. As host, Alex was the last in line. When the queen got to him, she said, "Good show. Please tell me your name, and where you are from." As Alex answered, he noticed the queen looking over his shoulder. He looked back and saw that Prince Phillip had fallen behind because he was chatting with a troupe of gymnasts (twenty-year-old blond girls in electric-blue leotards, according to Alex). The Queen had to continue chatting with Alex for 4 or 5 minutes while waiting for Philip to catch up.

That evening, Alex says his phone rang off the hook, with excited friends and relatives, who'd seen the encounter on television, commenting on the fact that the queen spent more time with him than anyone else. They wanted to know why and Alex did not admit to the real reason. Instead he said "Well you know, we just got along."

The very next day, Alex was hosting another big centennial event, again with the Queen and Prince Philip in attendance, and again he stood at the end of the performers' reception line. Alex says, "I was thinking, Here comes my new best friend. I wonder what we'll talk about today? I stood a little taller. My chest swelled up. I smiled. And when she got to me, she said, "Good Show. Please tell me your name, and where you are from."

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annpanagain

Kathy, thank you for that!

I enjoy quiz shows but often record them so that I can just get to the questions and zap through the ads and chats with the contestants!

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vee_new

I am still plodding through Mirror and the Light possibly the most dense book I have ever read, but am determined to get to the end.

My 'lighter' bed-time read is The Sun King by Nancy Mitford. This has been languishing and gathering dust since 1969 when I bought it at London Airport before a flight to Canada. Needless to say I read about 6 pages on the 'plane and since then it has sat neglected. Has it been worth the long wait? Possibly not, as the reader is expected to already know so much about French history, the Court of Louis XIV, Versailles and the host of French aristocrats who filled the palace. There are several chapters on the many mistresses of the King and his brood of illegitimate offspring and the goings-on of his brother (referred to by Mitford 'the sodomite') Will I reach the end before total boredom sets in? It's doubtful as the pages are coming adrift from the binding and I'm finding the turgid facts mixed with the gossipy aristocratic style of writing "My dear, did you notice His Majesty raised his hat to that pretty little dairy-maid?" are both dated and heavy-going.

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annpanagain

Vee, same with me and "Mirror". I skipped to the end and it is gathering dust which has to be whisked off fortnightly before the cleaner comes! She gets pained by my dust as she isn't allowed to do that, Agency rules.

Speaking of Agencies, I have borrowed a couple of Bea Abbot mysteries by Veronica Heley and have just started "False Fire". I find her writing style rather jerky and am wondering if the Fire Investigator should be so confrontational dealing with 10 year old girls she suspects of setting it either with indoor fireworks or a timer built from Internet instructions!

I shall persevere, however I might get too exasperated and give up or I might get to enjoy it. There is the intriguing puzzle of why two little girls were targeted by the arsonist...

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yoyobon_gw

Just found my copy of Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin on my TBR shelf......anyone read it?

"Excellent...a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction. This is book club gold " - Publishers Weekly ( starred review)

Blurb : Part love story, part literary mystery, Melanie Benjamin's spellbinding historical novel leads readers on an unforgettable journey down the rabbit hole, to tell the story of a woman whose own life became the stuff of legend.

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msmeow

I just finished The 18th Abduction, one of the Women's Murder Club series by Patterson & Paetro. I did not like this one so I'm glad I'm done with it. I read #19 a while back; if I remember enough I may not re-read all of it. And I see #20 is on the NYT bestseller list, so I guess the saga is continuing!

On the NYT list I also found a new (to me, at least) Scott Turow novel and a new Amos Decker novel by David Baldacci. I checked out both and will probably start the Turow book tonight.

Bon, how is the new Louise Penny book? As of yesterday I've moved up from 119th to 93rd on the waiting list, so I won't be reading it any time soon. :)

Donna

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Carolyn Newlen

My latest was A Fatal Winter, one of the Max Tudor series by G. M. Malliet, and the first one I've read. Max is a very handsome Anglican priest who left MI5 to become one and whose village policeman likes to have him help solve hard cases. It was a delightful read, and I will continue the series. In this one he falls in love with a white witch, so that should be fun.

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Carolyn Newlen

Started Louise Penny's All the Devils Are Here last night and can hardly wait to read more. It's good from the very beginning.

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annpanagain

I have just finished The Murderer's Apprentice by Ann Granger. It is the only Ben Ross mystery in the library and I had forgotten about her books after she stopped the Fran Varady series, which I enjoyed. I shall request the others in this series through the State library system.

I never realised how bad the atmosphere was in Victorian London but I do recall how begrimed my skin was after going there to a theatre musical or play in the 1950s! I needed to steam my face using a bowl of hot water and my head covered in a towel. Then slather with a cold cream! I believe that coal fires have now been abolished and the air is a lot cleaner there.

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vee_new

Annpan, you are right about the air quality in London and other big cities up to the late '50's. John can well remember the terrible winter smogs that used to envelope everything. His grandfather was a train driver out of Waterloo station and the fireman of the engine used to have to get down and place 'explosive devices' on the track which would show up the signals and make their train clear to on-coming traffic. I can remember after a day out in 'Town' ones cuffs and slip-bottoms (does anyone still wear slips/petticoats?) would be grey with grime.

Tiger in the Smoke sums up the feeling of those long winter nights very well.

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annpanagain

I don't know if full slips are worn much but I have seen ads for knee-length half-slips in man-made materials in average sizes.

I had to make a couple of cotton ones for my sister around 2005 as she was an "off the charts" large size and also once for myself as I needed to wear an ankle length style to go under a clingy static material evening dress.

The weather here is appalling, wet and windy and very unlike Spring yet!

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msmeow

Sadly, there seem to be very few slips in the US! And many young ladies who need them.

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Carolyn Newlen

Another indication of my age. My daughter teases me about still wearing half slips under the dresses/skirts I still wear to church on Sundays. One of the stranger sights I've seen was someone wearing a long, sheer skirt under which appeared to be short shorts. Both black, no less.

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merryworld

I am almost finished with Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts. It's historical fiction about Mrs. Frank Baum, Judy Garland and The Wizard of Oz and was a book club book. It's a good story, but for some reason I'm never anxious to pick it up and continue. It's a bit of a slog, more due to my current frame of mind than the book. I have a few other books started, but none of them are completely capturing my attention either. Surprisingly, the one I'm enjoying most is Dreyer's English by Benjamin Dreyer.


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sheri_z6

I just finished Jane Austen's Persuasion for my next book group meeting. I hadn't read this one before and it was a sheer pleasure to just sink into it and be transported. All my book buddies are huge Jane fans, so it should be a love fest when we meet next.

I just received the newest Robert Galbraith, Troubled Blood, and it's a door-stopper at 927 pages. I am eager to read it, but it's also a bit daunting. I still have a couple of library books to finish, The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai about a librarian who is kidnapped by a ten year-old, and Pandemic 1918 by Catharine Arnold, a collection of "eyewitness accounts from the greatest medical holocaust in modern history." For some reason I'm finding books on the 1918 flu fascinating and easy to read. Go figure!

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msmeow

Thanks, Sheri! I just placed a hold on the new Robert Galbraith book. The library says I'm #132. :O With my luck I'll get it and the new Louise Penny at the same time.

I'm slowly working through The Last Trial by Scott Turow. I'm finding it very dry, but I'm interested enough in the story to keep at it.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

I just finished the last ( #5) Veronica Speedwell mystery.......and after a five book foreplay I was looking forward to a big bang ending ( so to speak).

Well, she handled it very discreetly and we were treated to a "lion mating in the wild" sort of analogy. Funny reading, but not what you expected after the five book buildup. Let's just say it wasn't a " sit back with a smile and light up a cigarette ! " moment. lol.

Now back to Gamache in All The Devils Are Here.

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Carolyn Newlen

I have finished The Red Horse, the latest in James R. Benn's Billy Boyle series. We are in the last year of WWII and things are pretty exciting.

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Rosefolly

Not reading anything I'm loving, unfortunately. I just finished volume 3 in the Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff. I was actually pretty much over it -- way too gory -- but I had such a big investment in volumes one and two that I trudged along to the end. I do like resolution. Then I resolutely passed all three books along to a friend who enjoys fantasy at least as much as I do.

Now I'm reading this month's book club selection. Ronan Farrow's Catch and Kill is about his project to track down the Harvey Weinstein story. I had heard Farrow interviewed on public radio and he sounded fascinating. Well, it turns out that he interviews better than he writes, at least by my tastes. I'm just finding the whole book so boring. There is nothing really wrong with his writing style, but there is nothing very exciting about it either. And he had such material to work with!

Time for a re-read of a cozy favorite, then back to the TBR pile. I have over a dozen books in it that I was sure I wanted to read. Surely some of them will turn out to be as engaging as I had hoped. It's just a matter of finding the needles in the haystack.

Speaking of needles, I have taken up knitting again. It's been long enough since my thumb surgery that I feel okay to knit for short periods of time, hurray! I'm sticking to simple stitches.


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vee_new

I have just come to the end of The Mirror and the Light which is also the end of Thomas Cromwell. The three books have been a marathon of a read ('though not one after the other). This one takes a more reflective look at what had gone before his 'imagined' brutal childhood and time in the Netherlands and Italy and his final realisation and acceptance that King Henry's need to get his own way overwhelms every rule of natural law.

There were some wonderfully descriptive passages . . . one about plums and another about the long list of so-called 'relics' collected from the monasteries; everything from the 'True Blood' of Christ to pieces of wood from the manger and material from Mary's gown, plus innumerable bones of saints. You paid your money and could gaze on these items and your troubles/illnesses would be blessed or cured.

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annpanagain

I have just got "The Killings at Kingfisher Hill", a Hercule Poirot spin off by Sophie Hannah, from the local library. I borrowed an old Olivia Goldsmith novel "Bestseller" from our Village library and am glad I never attempted to write a book. Getting a first effort published sounds harder by far than actually creating it!

I shall stick to writing lyrics for my son who has been touring around Western Australia, picking up work. The pandemic is still closing the State border and creating opportunities for local talent. His act of popular songs with a guitar has gone down well! I am so pleased for him as it was disappointing to have to cut his holiday tour around the continent short.

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Carolyn Newlen

I am now reading Purgatory Ridge by William Kent Krueger. It's the third of his series set in Minnesota and featuring Cork O'Connor, off-and-on sheriff, and his wife Jo, attorney, mostly for the Indians on a close-by reservation with all the attendant problems. They are good books, and it's been too long since I've read one of them.

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laceyvail 6A, WV

I've been racing my way through Martin Walker's series that begins with Bruno, Chief of Police, a mystery series set in the Perigord. Not gruesome, great atmosphere, good characters and overall very well done. Great escapes from the news.

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kathy_t

A couple of days ago, I finished reading The Night Visitors by Carol Goodman. It's about an abused woman and her 10-year-old son arriving on a late night bus in a town where they were seeking shelter from a violent man. The woman who was sent to meet their bus and drive them to a shelter decided instead to take them to her own home overnight (against the rules of the battered woman hotline) because of a snowstorm and icy roads. I've been going over it in my mind, trying to decide how I really felt about the book and whether I would recommend it. Basically, I really enjoyed the story, but when the ultimate scene occurred, it seemed way overdone, much too complicated, and the characters did not react realistically in my opinion. Prior to that, the book seemed pretty realistic to me and I liked the subject matter. There was a long denouement after the big scene which kind of brought me around to liking the book again. I'm conflicted!

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rouan

I’m almost finished with re-reading the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner in preparation for the release of her newest (and final) book in the series which is coming out Oct. 6.

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Carolyn Newlen

I just finished Harbinger II by Jonathan Kahn, religious book about warnings to ancient Israel tied to present-day U.S. Not well written but quite interesting.

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vee_new

I'm about a third of the way into The Dutch House by Ann Patchett and so far am finding it an enjoyable read, helped in that the book is a new copy from the library. I so dislike books that are falling to pieces or have torn and discoloured pages!

I have never read anything by AP; can anyone recommend anything else by her please?

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msmeow

I finished The Final Trial by Scott Turow. I enjoyed it very much, though it was a bit long-winded and dry at times.

Now I’ve started Walk the Wire by David Baldacci, the latest Amos Decker story.

Donna

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annpanagain

Our libraries tend to keep nice clean books and regularly sell books that are a few years old, even in good condition. This makes it hard to get early editions of any recently discovered series. I have had to buy them from places that have discarded volumes. I remember borrowing books from London libraries that were almost in pieces, a mindset from WW2, perhaps?

I like to request new publications and be top on the list to savour the fresh glue smell and finger unturned pages for the first time...

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vee_new

annpan, our library, and I imagine many others, covers the books in a plastic wrapper. Obviously this keep the dust jacket clean but before long the plastic becomes discoloured and brittle and unpleasant to the touch. Also many paperbacks printed in the UK are made of very inferior paper and go yellow then brown after only a few years . . . and the library now has many more pb's of novels which don't last long.

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annpanagain

Vee, I used to cover all the new books in the libraries I worked in with pliable plastic sleeving cut to fit from huge rolls. I even bought one roll from the suppliers for my own use. It was very good quality back in the 70s. I still have some books with the plastic still in good shape even after being in store for over a dozen years when I went to the UK in the 90s.

I skipped through The Killings at Kingfisher Hill, the latest "Hercule Poirot" because it was so complicated with multiple characters and rather boring!

I would have liked to take longer as we have the Queen's Birthday as a Monday holiday (lucky woman to have so many!) so the public library is closed tomorrow. I shall have to see if I can find something in my Retirement Village library. Unless there is a donation of a mystery, I shall mainly have a choice of macho for the male residents or a relationship genre novel, the main Social Club purchases selected by our 90+ librarian!

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Carolyn Newlen

Well, Ann, good for the 90+ librarian if she is still interested in romance!

Vee, I haven't read any other Ann Patchett, but I really liked Dutch House. On another forum I read, several people disliked it, one of whom because the narrator was a male, but most liked it a lot. I think it is one of those books you either love or hate.


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kathy_t

Vee - I'm glad to hear you are liking The Dutch House, since I will be reading it for my November book club meeting. I have only read one Ann Patchett book, Commonwealth, and I liked it very much. According to my book journal, I read it in December 2017 and my comments about it start out, "It’s hard to explain why, but I really loved this book. It has a lot to do with how Ann Patchett presents the story." I no longer remember why I said that, but obviously, it's a book I would recommend.

I might add that although I have not read it yet, I've had Ann Patchett's Bel Canto recommended to me by several friends.

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vee_new

Thank you Carolyn and Kathy, I'm about two-thirds of the way through The Dutch House and still enjoying it!

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sheri_z6

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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msmeow

Ooh, Sheri, I can't wait till a copy becomes available! I'm 118th on the list; the library estimates 7 weeks.

I'm about 3/4 through Walk the Wire, the newest Amos Decker story by David Baldacci. I'm enjoying it, though an awful lot of people are dying. There's a lot of murkiness involving CIA (maybe?) and evil plots. I prefer just straight-up murder-solving.

Donna


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yoyobon_gw

Half way through All The Devils Are Here , the 16th Gamache series book by Louise Penny. I LOVE IT !!

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Carolyn Newlen

I just finished Walk the Wire and maybe liked it less that the others of this series. Too many characters and too much hard trouble.

I finished the day's reading with Unexpectedly Eighty by Judith Viorst. If you have read any of these books (written by decade), you will know they are short and pithy, more or less poetry, some touching and some hilarious. This one was delightful with some offerings hitting close enough to home to bring tears and some others outbursts of laughter.

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