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sheri_z6

October Already! What Are You Reading?

sheri_z6
16 days ago

Oddly enough I'm starting October in the middle of How Lucky by Will Leitch, the same book Kathy was reading when she started the September thread. So far I like it, the narrator is a unique character, but I'm not sure where things are headed at this point.


What are you reading in October?



Comments (59)

  • vee_new
    13 days ago

    Just finished Still Alice by Lisa Genova which I noticed had mostly rave reviews at Amazon and seems to have been read by hundreds of thousands of people.

    Alice, a Harvard professor, is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, and her very rapid decline is followed through the book.

    I don't know if the author chose someone from such an able and gifted family to illustrate the brain's sudden decline as opposed to an 'ordinary' person who isn't required to travel the world giving lectures, teach doctoral graduates and be over-interested in the brilliant careers planned for her children.

    As I know little about the condition I wondered how Alice could go from the lofty heights of academia to not recognising her family and needing full-time care but at the same time be able to hold meaningful conversations and run a local self-help group with fellow sufferers.

    Alice's children are shown as caring but the husband, another Harvard professor, although at a loss with and for her, makes a strange decision to up sticks and move to a prestigious job in NYC.

    Many medical terms are used throughout . . . "oligomers of amyloids beta 42 . .. .synaptic plasticity .. . . etc which are difficult for non-medical people to follow and I imagine some of the treatments have improved since the books was written in 2007.


    I would be really interested to know how many of you have read this book and what you thought of it, especially if you have an understanding of Dementia or Alzheimers.


    sheri_z6 thanked vee_new
  • sheri_z6
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    I finished How Lucky and really liked it overall. The narrator is a wheelchair-bound young man afflicted with a debilitating illness who still manages to live independently, have a job, and interact with friends. He can barely speak, but his mind is intact and his narration of the story is sharp (there are some laugh-out-loud lines) and unique. If I'm remembering my classic movies correctly, the story is a bit Rear Window-ish; the main character thinks he sees something happen but then can't do much about it. There is a violent incident within the story that was more than I was comfortable with -- however, the book is a bit of a thriller, so I guess it all fits. It has definitely stayed on my mind since I finished it and I'd say it's worth a read.


    I also read That Sounds Like Fun by Annie F. Downs, which was sort of a memoir / sort of a Christian self-help piece extolling the virtues of falling in love and having hobbies. I thought it was somewhat rambling and didn't really hang together well, so I was skimming toward the end. Just not my cuppa tea.

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  • woodnymph2_gw
    13 days ago

    I'm awaiting the newest Susan Hill mystery to arrive from my library. Meanwhile, with my interest in Russia, I'm trying to read "Shades of Gray" by Ruta Sepetys. It's based upon true events that occurred during WW II in the Baltic nations. It may be easy to overlook these 3 small countries that suffered so much during both Nazi and Soviet oppressions. The protagonist is a young girl who traces her forced travels from a prosperous family in Lithuania to Siberian camps, in search of her imprisoned father. A bit depressing to read, but also inspiring, as she is a budding artist.


    Vee, I should imagine you are greatly enjoying your new proximity to your local village library.

    sheri_z6 thanked woodnymph2_gw
  • vee_new
    13 days ago

    Yes Mary, the nearness of the library is certainly a plus. No need to worry that DH is sitting in the car wondering if he should have purchased a ticket while he waits and no doubt thinking "How long does it take to choose a book?" Plus youngest son, not the brightest of buttons (he has DS) has been persuaded to come in with me and a librarian can help him find a suitable book . . .ie largish print, not too long and not baby-ish!

    And we now live in a town (referred to privately en famille as 'The Golden City') so are becoming very cosmopolitan.

  • martin_z
    13 days ago

    Currently reading Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead for the Booker shortlist. Enjoying it very much - it's a remarkably engrossing read. I'll review it on the Booker site when I've finished it, of course.

    sheri_z6 thanked martin_z
  • kathy_t
    12 days ago

    Sheri - I agree 100% with your review of How Lucky. I did not think of the comparison with Rear Window, but that seems valid to me.

    sheri_z6 thanked kathy_t
  • annpanagain
    12 days ago

    Carolyn, I have read "Untidy Death" and would like to know your opinion when you are finished.

  • Carolyn Newlen
    12 days ago

    Ann, I have finished An Untidy Death and liked it better as it progressed. I had tired of the Carole-Jude books; Brett is an author I read but not one of my favorites.

    Woodnymph, you have helped me again. I didn't know there was a new Simon Serrailler book out. Stopyou'rekillingme is letting me down, making me even more thankful for RP.

  • msmeow
    12 days ago

    Vee, my dear mother in law suffered from Alzheimers for 15-20 years before she died. For a long time, you could tell from her reaction to my hubby (her son) and other family members that they were familiar to her, but she didn’t remember names. Also, she would talk but the words didn’t make sense, and she would get frustrated that we didn’t understand her. For the last few years she couldn’t speak at all. She definitely wouldn’t have been able to run a support group.

    Donna

  • annpanagain
    12 days ago

    Carolyn, I wrote about An Untidy Death last month. I would like Brett to write something more cheerful next time. He writes about the area I grew up in and I can tell it has changed.

    Vee, you mentioned that I can understand your references but after nearly twenty years absence I am losing touch, especially about personalities. The UK quiz shows show my deficiencies! I do read the daily BBC news online though.


    I have started on the five pristine paperback copies of Ann Cleeve's Shetland mysteries that I bought from a Red Cross charity shop. For some reason they have a note on the back that they are not for sale outside the UK. Unlikely to be donated by a tourist now!

    Is a mystery book smuggling ring operating here in Australia? :-)

    sheri_z6 thanked annpanagain
  • vee_new
    12 days ago

    Thanks Donna, my US Aunt developed Alzheimers and the last time she visited us here (UK) we noticed that she had become short-tempered and often rude. eg when DH got up very early to drive her to a bus for the airport she refused to say goodbye/thank you. After some scary moments back home after the police found her driving erratically between states her family put her in a 'facility' for the elderly. She had previously been such an outgoing and fun person.

    Also S-in-L after many Covid 'holdups', has been diagnosed with a watershed infarction (we had to look it up) leading to similar events as found in Alzheimers . . . physical wandering, falls, lack of comprehension, difficulty with conversations. no longer able to read etc.

    If I get like that I hope someone will shoot me . . .

  • vee_new
    12 days ago

    Annpan, the BBC news online is a useful place to catch up but as for 'personalities' I am often baffled as to who these people are. My children tell me they are 'influencers' apparently paid ridiculous sums of money to talk about makeup, clothes, their world-shattering advice on boy/girl friends etc. I would call it advertising; something NOT allowed on the BBC, but they still appear on crummy game shows making vapid remarks . . . but enough . . . I can feel my blood pressure rising . . .

  • annpanagain
    12 days ago

    Vee, take a deep breath! I am quite laid back about influencers. I don't go onto FB etc. or follow anyone like that.

    However, I think if someone can make money in a fairly harmless way then good luck to them! They could be putting quite a lot of work into their presentations. Remember how hard swans paddle while making their progress look easy...

    I have to collect "Finlay Donovan is Killing It" by Elle Cosimano. I read a review on SYKM and choked back laughter. I hope the book is that good. There are so few humorous books about now that are not just crude.

  • Carolyn Newlen
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    I'm reading Road of Bones by James R. Benn, the continuing saga of a relative of General Eisenhower who was a young Irish Boston cop pre-war whose parents got him assigned as an aide to DDE in Washington thinking he would be safe. Twelve or 14 books later he has been dealing with wartime criminals all over Europe. In this one, he has been sent to Russia to find out who murdered an American and a Russian soldier and has been told in no uncertain terms by the Russians that the guilty party had better be an American.

    They are actually quite exciting and good books.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    10 days ago

    I looked up the title of the newest Susan Hill Serailleur mystery: " A Change of Circumstances". It is said to be coming October of this year. I am waiting. Meanwhile, I am thoroughly enjoying "Travels with George: In Search of Washington and his Legacy" by Nathaniel Philbrick. It is written in a lively style, rather comparable to that of Bill Bryson. It is amazing how much I did not know about the "Father of our Country." I really like the style of Philbrick, who also wrote "Mayflower". He makes what could be dry and/or dull history painless and exciting.

  • Carolyn Newlen
    10 days ago

    Woodnymph, the October release date for the Susan Hill book is for the UK. Per Amazon, we won't get it until March 2022. (Bah, humbug.)

  • annpanagain
    10 days ago

    Carolyn, can you get it from the UK Book Depository in October?

  • annpanagain
    10 days ago

    Friedag, I haven't seen this series but I do watch quite a few historical docos. Some of the practical recreations are hilariously wrong! One recipe called for Gunpowder and the presenter said she wouldn't use that. I shouted at the screen "It is a brand of tea, not the explosive kind!"

    An attempt at a Medieval dance by two presenters had the real performers who had tried to teach them almost hiding their rueful smiles...

    All good fun though.

  • vee_new
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    Frieda, I have watched many/most of the series with Ruth Goodman but read none of the books.

    With two men presenters. They are interesting programmes set in anything from Anglo-Saxon huts to Victorian cottages. Of course the men get to do the interesting things . . . woodworking, ploughing, wall building, while Ruth is based 'in the home' cooking, laundry, weaving, growing veg and fruit etc.

    One series showed the building of a real castle in France . . . . as it would have been done in the /1300/1400's. Obviously this is a French project that is taking many years.

    I always feel that at the end of a day's filming the presenters go to a hotel for a much-needed hot bath and a comfortable bed!

    I had always thought coal was used in the areas of England near to ports (hence its early name 'sea coal') way back in Medieval times; but who am I to argue with Ms Goodman?

    Btw peat is still dug in the Shetland isles, where my brother has a house. Each house owns an area of peat-hag (sp?) where it is dug up in the summer and left to dry in blocks for winter fuel. Of course this has largely been replaced by electricity.

    And on the history theme. I have been listening to George III by Andrew Roberts. The chapter on the Boston Tea Party was most enlightening as you in the US seem to regard the King as a tyrant where nothing could be further from the truth and the lead up to the 'Party' involved much shady goings-on between Boston merchants, tea-smugglers from the Netherlands and excise men turning a blind-eye . . . but folk-history has long got in the way of facts.

    sheri_z6 thanked vee_new
  • annpanagain
    10 days ago

    Vee, I am reading Ann Cleeves Shetland series books at present and am learning a lot about the area. I like to study different subjects to keep the little grey cells working!

    I don't think we have peat bogs in Australia, just iron ore and diamonds locally, nothing useful to burn to keep warm in cold weather if the electricity fails!

  • vee_new
    10 days ago

    Annpan, I haven't read the Cleeves books, but heard her on the radio and she says she tries to do her 'homework'. I did watch some of the TV series with lots of dramatic rugged scenery and noticed how the detective spent much time flying between Lerwick and the mainland. We first visited in 1960, a 12 hour ferry crossing from Aberdeen (it still is). The whole area was quite run-down as fishing dwindled . . . but oil revenue hugely improved the lot of the islanders, providing work and many £££'s for local infrastructure.

    My brother tells me oil is on the way out and many young people are under the influence of drugs; it used to be sailors with booze. So sad that 'modern improvements' bring a downside.

    DD and D-in-L just spent some time there with my bro. and were disconcerted to find ALL the shops in Lerwick were shut on a Sunday! What did they expect in the land of the Presbyterian Church!

  • annpanagain
    10 days ago

    We didn't have Sunday trading here until 2012! The joke was that one could buy a beer but not a Bible! I don't think it was for religious reasons but more like family recreation.

    Even late night shopping was contentious and small family owned businesses were against it.

    The only thing that remains of family time from the past is the refusal to change the clocks for Daylight Saving. It has been tried several times and firmly resisted, supposedly forever but the proponents keep trying! Business detests the three hour gap with the Eastern States but I just had my office phone transferred to home and answered anyone from the ES who forgot the time difference in my PJs.

    sheri_z6 thanked annpanagain
  • Carolyn Newlen
    9 days ago

    Ann, thanks for the reminder of Book Depository. I used them when I was reading Cynthia Harrod-Eagles Morland Dynasty series, many books of which were not available here or at least long delayed in reaching us. I've been annoyed ever since her editor made her quit on those books. I just loved them.


    At any rate, yes, I can get the Susan Hill book and they still don't charge any shipping. I will complete the order just as soon as I get up and go get my credit card!


    Frieda, we heated with a Warm Morning coal stove when I was a child. My mother said she thought she had died and gone to heaven when she found that the stove would hold a fire overnight that didn't have to be restarted daily. And it was so much warmer than the wood burning stoves. I was awakened on winter mornings by the sound of the previous day's ashes being grated down into the ashpan. Gosh, I'm old--and still grateful for forced air furnaces and hot and cold running water. It amuses me when younger women complain about doing the laundry.

  • annpanagain
    9 days ago

    Carolyn, you are welcome!

    Re the good old days...My grandmother popped into the library I started work at and said later that I didn't realise I was born! This saying meant that in contrast she recalled her first job as a girl of 13 working as a housemaid.

    She got up at six am and then put in a long day. The mistress thought nothing of loaning her maids to friends who held parties and the poor women got to their beds at almost the time they were expected to get up the next morning.

    Then they were asked by the mistress if they had enjoyed the party!

  • Kath
    9 days ago

    Ann, we do have mallee roots which burn very well :)

    Daylight Saving time is hard in Australia with WA and Queensland not doing it (I do understand why). Every now and again there is talk here in SA of going to EST, but I really hope they don't. It would make much more sense to go an hour behind instead of 30 minutes as that would put us much closer to the correct time for our meridien.

  • annpanagain
    9 days ago

    Ah, yes! Good old mallee roots. My husband used to tell me about using them in the country and would always add "They burn to a fine white ash!"

    I rather liked the Daylight Saving trial when the local children were small as the Dads could have play time with them after work but it was hard getting them to go to sleep in the light.

    My SiL hated it as it meant going to the pre-school swimming practice in the dark though.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    9 days ago

    Carolyn, I would be interested in hearing how you like the newest Susan Hill mystery. I have never used the book depository. I wonder why it is that its forthcoming date in the USA is so far behind the date in the UK.

  • yoyobon_gw
    9 days ago

    Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict.

  • Carolyn Newlen
    8 days ago

    Mary, evidently that is the usual case for UK-published books. I wonder if the reverse is true and they don't get US books as soon as we do. Vee, do you know?

    I started Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn last night. She wrote the Veronica Speedwell books that some of us have enjoyed, and this new one has started off with a bride climbing out the church window and running away. So far, it is quite good.

  • vee_new
    8 days ago

    Carolyn, re publishing dates. I don't know the reason but I think US books come out later over here as do UK books to the US. Probably to do with copyright. I know that many publishing houses have been taken-over in the last few years and are now part of giant corporations based in the Far East and printing is done in Indonesia or somewhere where labour is cheap and plentiful. So much for global warming!

  • friedag
    7 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    Vee, I've noticed recently that even with reprints (such as those of the British Library Crime Classics), there is lag time between the release dates in the UK and those in the U.S. Some of the smaller publishers of vintage works (such as Ramble House) evidently farm-out the actual printing. I have received British books that are/were printed in the U.S. -- in Scottsdale, Arizona; Coppell. Texas; some town in Illinois, etc. On the very last leaf of a book there is a printed notice of where and the date of printing. (The covers are printed by them, as well). I have seen that some books are printed the day after I ordered them! They are often delivered to my address three or four days after that, in spite of the over-the-water route between the U.S. mainland and Hawai'i. I've never been aware that I'm ordering print-on-demand copies, but maybe that is what they are. I have received U.S.-published books that were printed in the UK, and especially -- for a while -- ones printed in Ireland.

    Those books printed in Indonesia -- for example, Barry Cunliffe's on archaeology/history -- that are filled with gorgeous color plates, detailed maps, and intricate formats, are works of art!

    I don't know how all this is coordinated. I am too long out of the loop.

    sheri_z6 thanked friedag
  • Kath
    7 days ago

    Frieda, print on demand has become more and more common in the last few years. Many of our US imports for the shop were POD, and then more and more Australian books were too. Usually there was no problem with these.

  • annpanagain
    7 days ago

    I got a POD of The Saggy Baggy Elephant for a new Great-grandchild's baby shower.

    I wasn't pleased with the finished book. It was poorly put together so that the pages didn't open flat. Too near the date to return with a complaint.

  • annpanagain
    5 days ago

    I enjoyed Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano very much and am happy that there will be a sequel as I was puzzled by the ending which turns out to be a cliff-hanger!

    However I have to wait until next year when this is published!

    In the meanwhile, I continue reading my stack of Ann Cleeve's Shetland mysteries.

  • kathy_t
    5 days ago

    Back to new and different publishing practices for just a moment. Recently our mayor was being interviewed on a local radio program and he mentioned that his sister self-published an e-book-only on Amazon. (I suppose that is Kindle-only.) Amazon pays her NOT for the number of copies downloaded, but for the number of pages actually read (accessed) by customers who download her book. I found that astonishing. That seems to mean that Amazon is peeking at your reading habits when you download books to your kindle.

    sheri_z6 thanked kathy_t
  • friedag
    5 days ago

    Kathy, to my mind that is a very creepy way of doing business!

  • kathy_t
    4 days ago

    Agreed, Frieda.

  • vee_new
    4 days ago

    Nothing seems beyond those making Big Bucks in the world where money is king. We all must notice the ads that appear on our computers after we have 'looked up' a particular item. Everyday Amazon sends us so-called recommendations for "items that may be of interest to you" I often find after I have checked out a title of a book something else by the author appears on the screen, or, even more unnecessary, a title so unsuitable I have to hastily delete it.

    sheri_z6 thanked vee_new
  • annpanagain
    4 days ago

    It does seem impossible to get rid of these intrusive ads. I have an Adblocker which helps but doesn't cancel everything. I also have a DoNotCall on my landline but again some telemarketers are allowed to contact me, such as charities and others slip through the net.


    I am smothered with library books and DVDs today! A load of my requests came in at once. I also spotted a new book I want which is on a waiting list but this was on a One Week Only loan shelf so I grabbed it! I never knew the library did this but it makes sense to have a quick turnover of a very popular title. I have only seen new publications before on these shelves that weren't on waiting lists.

  • yoyobon_gw
    4 days ago

    Death Of An Avid Reader by Frances Brody.......an enjoyable cozy. It is my first Kate Shackleton mystery and I have decided to read more of them. The main character reminds me of Maisie Dobbs in some ways.

  • sheri_z6
    Original Author
    4 days ago

    I'm half way through Nightb*tch by Rachel Yoder. At first glance it's and odd and sometimes disturbing story of a stay-at-home mom of a toddler who thinks she's turning into a dog. But woven into the story is an (IMO) accurate and near-raging commentary on "mommy wars", gender roles, the mental load of parenting/running a household, societal pressure to conform, generations of women's dreams deferred, and ultimately the endless and overwhelming love we have for our children. Really good, but really intense. That said, I find I just can't read it at bedtime, so I'm also reading my very favorite comfort book, Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym. Quite the contrast!

  • Carolyn Newlen
    3 days ago

    Yoyobon, I have read the Frances Brody books. I like them and agree they remind one of Maisie.

    I'm reading two books--The Third Sin, the last of the "Big Marge" books by Aline Templeton, and The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah. I'm afraid of the direction in which the Hannah book is headed, so I'm alternating it with one where I know the ending will be satisfactory.

  • Rosefolly
    3 days ago

    I just finished T. Kingfisher's newest in the Saint of Steel series about a small group of paladins who try to rebuild their lives after their Saint suddenly dies. Paladin's Hope is the third one, just as enjoyable as the first two, the first to feature a gay character. I pretty much like anything T. Kingfisher writes. Fortunately she has another book coming in the spring (not part of the series).

    Now back to The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray, this month's book club selection.

  • msmeow
    3 days ago

    I'm reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I saw it on this month's game thread. I've read a couple other books by Erik Larson and enjoyed them, so thought I'd give this one a try. I'm progressing slowly due to many quotes written in 19th century English, which is very different from 21st century English! I'm interested enough in the story to keep going.

    Donna

  • woodnymph2_gw
    3 days ago

    Donna, I will be interested in hearing how you like the Erik Larson book you mentioned. I have truly enjoyed all his other works.


    I have almost finished "Travels with George" by N. Philbrick , and have been savoring it slowly. It is quite an enjoyable read for us early American history buffs.


  • kathy_t
    3 days ago

    Speaking of Erik Larson, I hear that his first book of fiction was recently released. It's a ghost story titled No One Goes Alone. And curiously, it is only being released as an audio book. Larson is quoted as saying, "Ghost stories, I feel, are best listened to aloud.”


    Here is a New York Times article about this interesting turn of events:

    No One Goes Alone by Erik Larson

    sheri_z6 thanked kathy_t
  • rouan
    2 days ago

    I just downloaded The Family Vault by Charlotte MacLoud that was reccommended on another site I visit. I am also currently re-reading Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner for an online book discussion on another site I also visit.

  • kathy_t
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    Earlier this month, I read The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams. It is about a reading list of eight book titles that someone has planted multiple copies of in various places in West London. The people who find the list are curious about it, and begin reading the books. The novel follows the lives of an elderly recently widowed man and a young woman library worker who become friends because of the list. The man enters the library and asks for a book recommendation. The young library worker does not have the background needed to make suggestions, but she finds a copy of the list at the library and one by one recommends each book on the list. She too reads the books so she can discuss them intelligently with the man when he's finished. Both have adversity in their personal lives that the books help them overcome. It's a charming story for book lovers.

  • Carolyn Newlen
    23 hours ago

    I've just finished The Third Sin and am so sorry to reach the end of the Big Marge books. Fortunately, SYKM gives me a list of Templeton's other books, so I'll be investigating them--all set in Scotland, I believe.