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What are you reading? January 2023 Edition

What are you reading?

As always, it helps to bold the titles, rate the books 1-5 stars, and let us know if you think it would be good for a book group.


Link to December 2022

Comments (152)

  • last year

    I'm reading Hello World by Peter Cawdron. It's a compilation of short stories that all have some kind of "first contact" component: whether alien, virus, or artificial intelligence. I love it but, for a book club, I'd give it 3 stars as it may not be the group's cup of tea and discussion might be difficult as the book contains so many different stories.

  • last year
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    Update: Just finished Hail Mary by Andy Weir. OMG! 5 stars! That was very entertaining. Loved it right off the start...loved the middle....loved the ending! ❤️‍🔥 It's science fiction which sometimes can be so simplified you need to be 12 years old to buy into the story line....but not this one. It was fresh, a plot that didn't involve warring entities...no guns or violence...no sex....and it was captivating.

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  • last year

    I am actually re-reading The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy. I suggested it for a book club next month, and in this book club the person who suggested the book leads the discussion, so I figured I should re-read. I think this is the 3rd time I am reading this book . I don't think I've re-read any other books or none come to mind anyway.

    It's so so good. I know it's a bit different, so I hope they like it. Either way, I do think it's definitely worth reading.

  • last year
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    4 Stars for, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, Gabrielle Zevin. Yes, it's about video games -- and the game creators -- but I see the topic as allegory. It was also a bit unsettling to learn how many people of all ages are passionate about -- pretending to live in --these games. I read it straight through over two days.

    I'm going to try Beartown, as recommended here.

  • last year

    I am dropping in to second 4kids recc. above forThis is Happiness by Niall Williams. I agree it gets 5 stars. I cannot recall the last book I felt that way about. I did not listen to it, but others in my bookclub loved the audiobook and I can see why one would.


    Our book club was over the moon about the prose. All of us had jotted stuff down or highlighted stuff and I had folded over so many pages, all to savor and share the wonderful turns of phrase in this book.


    This novel isn't for those looking for a fast paced plot driven book. Totally agree on this, and one member of our book club found it a bit boring (though still enjoyed it). But it was funny and warm and insightful and conjured up such a sense of place and time. I liked the lack of cynicism or edge. It was refreshing and somehow innocent.

  • last year

    Currently reading Echo Park by Michael Connelly. Old paperback a friend gave me when she was finished with it. I'd give it 4 stars.


    I've also been reading a lot of Lisa Jewell books. Ordered another from Amazon the other day. I need to box up my book so I can take them to Half Price Books and then get some replacements instead of buying new.

  • last year

    I'm reading Desert Star by Michael Connelly.

  • last year

    Bookwoman -- Eek! Brain cramp. Yes, it's all the Tomorrows. My brain must be stuck after my monthly infusion yesterday. I've corrected my post.

    DH and I have read all the Bosch series by Connelley. Desert Star acknowledgements made me wonder if this is the last Bosch.

    We're reading all the Mark Pryor Hugo Marston mysteries. As a reviewer said, "Who wouldn't enjoy visiting Paris with Marston?"

    I have Beartown on my shelf for tomorrow. I see the reviews for the movie based on Backman's bestseller, A Man Called Ove, are not great.

  • last year
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    I liked the original Swedish movie A Man Called Ove.

  • last year

    New Tracy Kidder book Rough Sleepers, Dh and I are both reading it. Very interesting first few chapters although there are a few contradictions in the internal logic of Kidder’s arguments.

  • last year

    I finally finished Fayne by Anne Marie McDonald. I really loved it. I adore AMM's writing style and the story was fascinating and convaluted. We are on vacation now o reading more than usual. I just finished Cool Water by Dianne Warren. It is set in a small town in Saskatchewan anad is all about the characters. A very enjoyable read. Now starting The Unlikely Addventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal which was recommended by a friend.

  • last year

    I’m back in that place many of us found ourselves when the pandemic started. I can’t focus on reading, nothing holds my interest, if I’m reading on my ipad I end up checking on something for clarity (a definition, a map, who-knows-what) and I don’t get back to the book. 😠 Should I ever find my reading mojo again (hmm, what’s the background on that word, when was the first known usage, SQUIRREL!), I have a long list of suggestions thanks to these threads.

  • last year

    if I’m reading on my ipad I end up checking on something for clarity

    hhireno, I hear ya. I read almost exclusively on my iPad, but even when I have a physical book, I tend to get sidetracked by looking things up. If there's a specirfic locale, I want to see what it looks like, etc.

  • last year

    Are Cool Water and Juliet in August the same book? I was getting ready to buy Cool Water and found the reviews are the same. I loved Juliet in August, but don't need two copies!

    hhireno, I understand how you feel. I got back into reading by re-reading a favorite book. That might work for you as well.

  • last year

    The Queen Her Life by Andrew Morton.

  • last year

    Re: checking: same for me right now. I just finished a book about the Mitford sisters and got pulled out repeatedly. (One that really bugged me was a reference to Jewish persons probably being relocated to "a camp" before the Nazi party had advanced to that stage. The rest of the references, no matter how implausible they seemed (one of the sisters stood next to Hitler when he announced the invasion of Austria!) were accurate.)


    I also just read The Second Mrs. Astor, Shana Abe, 4 stars for me, and checked to see if I could find a photo of Kitty, the dog. I could, and it made me so sad. Then I had to see if the Astors were in James Cameron's Titanic. (They were, briefly.) I really enjoyed the pace, the flow of the writing, the characters, though.

  • last year
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    Just finished Lessons in Chemistry. Liked it, didnt love it. Somewhat interesting twist at the end.

    I am just a few pages in to Foster and am getting pulled right in. If I didn’t have other things to do do, Id read the whole thing in an hour.

  • last year

    I read Foster last night and loved it. For such a small book (novella?) it carried such emotional depth and charge. I will hold on to this one to be reread. Lovely.

  • last year

    Seems everyone else but me has read Where the Crawdads Sing,so I finally read it. Really flew through it, enjoying it all the way. 4 stars and good for book group...though everyone has probably already read it.


    Next up is Old Filth which I think was recommended here.

  • last year

    Yes indeed. Jane Gardam's books are treasures. If you enjoy Old Filth, then read the follow-up, The Man in the Wooden Hat. It helps to read them back to back.

  • last year

    @norar_il I'm not sure - and I gave the book away. It is set in a town called Juliet, so perhaps.

  • last year

    The book was published in Canada with the title Cool Water, in the U.S. it is Juliet in August. It's one of my favorite reads of the last few years.

  • last year

    I just finished listening to Amy Snow by Tracy Rees. It is not a new book, published in 2015. I really enjoyed the narration and would give the book a solid 4/5. Historical fiction, victorian England, one of my favorite time periods. I’ll have to look at her other books as she has written quite a few.

  • last year

    Stacey, i absolutely loved Juliet in August. i think someone here recommended it to me.

  • last year

    Perhaps it was my recommendation. Several years ago I discussed the book when I posted Book of the Week.

  • last year

    @jlsch and others who recently mentioned- I read Foster by Claire Keegan sometime around Thanksgiving and found it to be a tender, thought-provoking story. I don't rate many books five stars, but Foster was one of my few five star reads last year. What I just discovered this morning while looking at the list of Oscar nominations, is that it had been made into a movie last year called "The Quiet Girl." I didn't realize Foster was actually published over ten years ago, so I guess with the movie out, the novella became popular last year. I don't recall where I first heard of the book, but I had read a couple of Keegan's other novels, so I guess I assumed this novella was a new release. Anyway, just sharing that the movie version has been nominated for Best International Film in case anyone is interested in watching.


    I am currently making my way through Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. It has been slow going. Not that the writing style is difficult, but the dark nature of the plot makes it hard to want to pick up. I'm only 30% in, but it see,s like it has taken me forever to get to that point, and I have several other nonrenewable books that just came in. I may set this one aside for a bit.

  • last year

    I stumbled into The Hopkins Manuscript, by R.C, Sherriff (of Fortnight in September fame), when I saw a review in the NYT a few weeks ago. It was written just around the time that WW2 was beginning, and it was rediscovered and re-published. It's presented as a diary of a man anticipating that the world was going to end in a cataclysm. That being said, I am finding it charming and even comic in that British understated kind of way. My library didn't have it, and then it popped up out of nowhere on Libby.

  • last year

    4kids, Foster sounds wonderful. Will have to pick that up.

  • last year

    Agree, @Bestyears, I just placed a library hold on it. It's got a pretty long wait time.

  • last year

    @4kids4us where can The Quiet Girl be watched? I've looked on Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, youtube and can't find it. Google said Disney+ but I don't see it there either. Thanks!

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    faftris...great minds. I have The Hopkins Manuscript sitting on my 'to be read' shelf.

    @Olychick, you have to go to a movie theater to see it now. It'll be streaming somewhere eventually. I always use justwatch.com to figure these things out.

  • last year

    Bookwoman...this is getting scary!

  • last year

    Getting ready to re-read Gwendy's Button Box by Chizmar and King. The story involves a gift from a mysterious stranger that has the potential of being simultaneously amazing as well as a huge burden. Thought provoking! 5 stars for a bookclub.

  • last year

    Bookwoman...this is getting scary!

    Clearly we both read the NYT book review. :-)

  • last year

    The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia.

    Lots of characters, but I am liking it. She also wrote Tears of Amber, which I loved.

  • last year

    I just finished Fresh Water for Flowers and am breathless. It’s immense not only in length but in breadth. Like other Valerie Perrin books multiple stories and timelines are woven together. And by the end you understand why all of this is important. Just beautiful, at least if you can be a patient reader.

  • last year

    So I finished The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (third time) and loved it even more. Amazing how much I forgot or didn't register.


    I am starting All the Lonely People , for another book club. It seems pretty good, 10 pages into it so far. I'm a little challenged though because I got it through the library as I usually do- in ebook form but this one does not seem to be kindle friendly. So, I am reading on my chromebook which is fine but certainly not as adaptable as the kindle. I definitely prefer reading on a screen to paper, but I can't do my phone (too too small) and I just totally prefer reading it on my kindle paperwhite.



  • last year

    Finished Foster. i turned the last page expecting more. Then i realized the real message of the story. Kind of heartbreaking but so beautifully written and thought provoking. I recommend it.

  • last year

    @dedtired I read another of her novellas called Small Things Like These and had the exact same reaction! It had a rather abrupt ending that left me wanting more. Her writing is so thought-provoking and by ending in that manner, it definitely has you contemplating the message of her books.


    I set aside Demon Copperhead for now b/c my hold on John Boyne's latest novel All the Broken Places came in to my library. It's a physical book, not Kindle copy, and can't be renewed since it's a new release. It also has a shorter lending period than normal, only 14 days, so I will read it first and get back to Demon Copperhead later.

  • last year

    Just finished All the Broken Places. I hadn't read, and don't want to, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I thought it was a good read. I enjoyed the contemporary story the most.

  • last year

    lisaam, I loved Fresh Water for Flowers, and her Three was good too. Are there other books written by Perrin? I am familiar with only those two. Have others been translated? TIA.

  • last year

    There is one more, but not sure if it has been translated—- i dont see much about it.

    My sister, a former English teacher, recommended Fresh Flowers to me, I tink one reason she liked it is because you could write a paper on each character. I kept imaginig a young Marlin Brando playing Phillipe.

  • last year

    I just finished Desert Star by Michael Connelly. 3 stars. He and Ballard are working cold cases. There were two cases in this book and I can't see any connection between the two, so it was like two cases that on their own weren't enough for an entire book, so they got grouped together.

    Connelly writes well, but there wasn't much excitement here.

    Chisue, I failed to read the Acknowledgements, but it's pretty clear that Bosch won't last forever.

    OT: Feeling a little flat after finishing this book, I watched Elvis. Way better. I loved it.

  • last year

    Just finished Full House by Janet Evanovich. Chick lit palette cleanser. Not as good as her Stephanie Plum series, but it was entertaining enough. 3 stars. Definitely not for book group.

  • last year

    Just started The Winners. 600+ pages, oh my.

  • last year
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    Just finished Dean Koontz newest: The House At The End of The World. I started it after lunch yesterday and finished it in bed at 11:00pm. I can't think of a novel where he's "missed the boat" and this one is no exception. Unique plot, well developed characters, excellent flow right from the beginning. Loved it. 5/5 for a book club.

  • last year

    Maybe I will stop with Beartown. It tells us what becomes of the perp and Maya. I can guess whose gravestone supports the puck, and I don't really want watch him die.

    I'm starting John Boyne's The Echo Chamber -- seems to refer to Facebook.

  • last year

    I finished All the Broken Places by John Boyne. He is one of my favorite authors but this one was a miss for me. It was very readable in that I buzzed through it quickly. Unfortunately I had to suspend disbelief time after time. It also lacked the character development and brilliant storytelling I have loved in his previous novels. It had some interesting themes about grief, complicity, redemption but I did not find them to be adequately addressed.


    I haven't started a new "physical" book yet, but today while on a short road trip, I started listening to The Forever Witness by Edward Humes. It's nonfiction, about how a 30 year old cold case about two young Canadians murdered in Wash State is one of the first (or maybe the first case ever?) solved using DNA/geneology back when 23&Me, etc first came onto the market. It's quite interesting! I didn't want to arrive home as I was engrossed in the story and still only halfway through.

  • last year

    I had never heard of The Echo Chamber, but I am the proud owner of a hold on it now. Thanks. OT, I was at the NYPL exhibit yesterday, and they have switched out some of the offerings. Plus, they have an separate exhibit of their Virginia Woolf collection that has inspired me to get working on her. I have read only To the Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway. Even more interesting, they are planning a special exhibit of all six of their First Folios for the 400th anniversary (1623-2023) come April. Too much excitement. I cannot wait. Do go if you are local.