Houzz Logo Print

What are you reading? May 2024 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 April 2024

Comments (77)

  • last month

    Recently read The Measure by Nikki Erlick. This story opens with everyone over the age of 22 waking up to a small box outside their front door. Inside the box is a piece of string. The length of the string determines how long you will live. Some people want to open the box while others do not want to know their fate. Once you know how long you will live, what life decisions will you make? Will people treat the short stringers differently? Goodreads gave it 4 stars and I agree. Should be an interesting bookclub discussion.

    I also read After Annie by Anna Quindlen. This story is about a young mother of 4 children who dies suddenly. Over the next year, the oldest daughter Ali attempts to care for her younger brothers, as well as her father in hopes of keeping their lives as normal as possible. This transition year is difficult, but offers some hope as the family grieves and grows. It was a sad book, but I enjoy Anna Quindlen’s writing.

  • last month

    I just finished The Last Bus to Wisdom and wow. What a great book. I was kind of savoring it. It was so wonderfully written, so sweet, so touching, and at parts so funny.

    I rate it 5 stars.

    I think the only other book I've read by the author, Ivan Doig, is The Whistling Season which I adored. He had written quite a few, so I intend to read more of his books.

  • Related Discussions

    What are you reading? May 2021 Edition


    Comments (108)
    Since I know this group will appreciate my thrilling literary luck. Project Hail Mary sounds intriguing and I loved The Martian when we read it for book club a few years ago. So based on your recommendations, I just rolled through the 4 options for how I get library books: hard copy and e-versions on both systems I belong to. And I hit the winning literary lottery ticket! One of the systems had the Kindle version waiting to be snatched up. So I did :). I"m supposed to be giving the house a clean this afternoon but that may have to wait...LOL
    ...See More

    What are you reading? June 2022 Edition


    Comments (110)
    I didn't care for this, but DH is liking it: Await Your Reply, Dan Chaon I'm halfway into The Alienist, Caleb Carr (1994), which I came across in a list of historical mystery novels. The search for a serial killer is set against a detailed look at Manhattan in the late 19th Century. The killer is only differently repellent from the 'powers that be' in this rough and tumble period of crime bosses and protection racket cops preying on impoverished immigrants. Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt struggles to allow a pioneer psychiatrist (the 'alienist') as he builds a motivational template to identify the killer of very young boys employed as prostitutes. 4+ Stars.
    ...See More

    What are you reading? December 2023 Edition


    Comments (68)
    I just finished The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger. 4 grateful stars. I've been in the doldrums reading-wise since the spring. I've only finished a couple of books in that time. I've started many, and, like food that has a bad taste or no taste, I put them down, unable to read on. Maybe this book has ended the drought. I have loved many of Krueger's books before this one, and it was just the ticket for me, a good story, great characters, letting the story tell itself without fussing over it. Flawed people who find some redemption along the way.
    ...See More

    What are you reading? February 2024 Edition


    Comments (60)
    Just finished The Winter Soldier. I liked it very much, 4 stars. Thanks to those who mentioned it in the January thread. You guys have the best recommendations. I was hoping for a different ending, but it was a just ending. It's the first Daniel Mason book I've read and love his writing. Straightforward but evocative. I have North Woods on hold. Turns out Mason is my daughter's age and is from Palo Alto.
    ...See More
  • last month

    I love reading about Britain and WWI. I picked up Muse of Fire, by Michael Korda. It's non-fiction and is about some of the English war poets, like Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon. I have been skipping over some of the descriptions of the battles, since my interest is in the lives of the poets. One interesting person is Alan Seeger--not remembered all that much-- but we all know his nephew Pete.

  • last month

    faftris, I'm a big fan of WWI poetry, so will definitely get the Korda book. I assume you've read Pat Barker's trilogy that begins with Regeneration?

    I finished up Birnam Wood and it was a cracking good read. Now I'm halfway through Dennis Lehane's Small Mercies. I've never read any of his books before, but am a huge fan of two films made from his novels: Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone. I'm sure this one will be a movie before too long as well. If you like stories set in working-class South Boston, this is for you. He knows the landscape intimately, and his characters are rezl individuals, very well drawn.

  • last month

    During the first few weeks of broken leg recovery, I couldn't read anything beyond magazine captions. And yet I had some time to kill. I didn't want anything taxing. The perfect solution was Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly. Definitely not taxing, but just the ticket, plenty of courtroom action. 3+ stars.

  • last month

    No, but it's on my hold list as of two minutes ago.

  • last month

    You are in for an extraordinary experience:

  • last month

    Keeping on the Ivan Doig roll, I have started the Bartender's Tale. I'm at about 20% so far, and finding it just beautiful and sweet. A similar narration to Last Bus to Wisdom ( a 12 ish year old boy in Montana Dakota country) but different storyline. I'm really enjoying t. I don't know what other words to use, but the writing i just so distinct and endearing.

  • last month

    Finished One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot and loved it. 4 stars for sure, and I look forward to our discussion in book group.

    Next up is just for fun, Final Jeopardy by Linda Fairstein.

    There are a number of Longmire books I have yet to read and am hoping to find them and squeeze them in soon.

  • last month

    I am reading Last Orders, by Graham Swift. It's about a group of old guys, who are taking the ashes of their friend to be scattered. The narrative switches back and forth, and old resentments and events come to the surface. It's really good. Swift wrote Mothering Sunday.

  • last month

    He also wrote one of my favorite books, Waterland.

  • last month

    They are starting to hate me at the library, Bookwoman, with all of my holds!

  • last month


  • last month

    Has anyone here read "The Women" by Kristen Hannah? I'm about halfway through it, and curious about others' opinions.


  • last month

    I cannot tag you Rusty I have not read The Women, but pretty sure several have on these threads. Maybe it was last month, but anyway I know i was highly praised.

    I just finished The Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig and thought it was so beautifully written and such a great story. This is my 3rd book by him, and I am going to take a short break but will continue to seek out his ther books. This would be a great book club read, a great book to read on your own, as I did,-- just a great book.

    Five out of Five stars .Here is the Goodreads link to Bartender's Tale

  • 28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    Just finished Final Jeopardy by Linda Fairstein...kick off for her series with an ADA working in Manhattan idea which came first...this or Law & Order, but it was good. Not for book group. Looks like it was a made for TV movie in 2001.

    Not sure what's next as I have a couple on hold that just came in..

  • 28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    4 Stars for Absolution, Alice McDermott. I learned a lot about the US presence in Vietnam before it all went sideways. A newlywed US Navy wife accompanies her Navy engineer husband to Saigon, attempting to shore up Diem's Catholic regime. Watch her grow -- from the little lady who runs the water in the sink to hide the sound of urinating -- to surviving a visit to a leper colony in rebel territory. I felt the oppressive heat and humidity and endured with her the restraints and expectations of the era in a place so divided between wealth and squalor.

  • 28 days ago

    DD1 did not like North Woods and she DNF-ed. I thought I raised her better than that. LOL

  • 27 days ago

    One of my best friends didn't like A Gentleman in Moscow and we're just gonna leave it at that.

    Speaking of Gentleman, has anyone seen the 8-episode movie on Showtime? I just binge-watched it, and now am about to reread the book for the third time.

    I really really liked the movie. I was very apprehensive about seeing characters and sets that lived just fine in my own imagination. But Ewan McGregor is so wonderful, omg, gorgeous man. The Count who lived in my imagination couldn't come close. The sets in the Metropol and various characters really helped me flesh out the story. I think it was done very well. There were parts, however, e.g., conversations with Osip, that got a little lost in the abbreviated version. I'm very resistant to using closed captions. The ending was as poignant as the book (well, almost), different though, but lovely.

  • 27 days ago

    Yes, I watched it and loved it. I thought they did a great job of capturing the atmosphere of the book, even if some of the details were different. An excellent adaptation.

  • 27 days ago

    I finally finished Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader. It was published in 1999, but everything in it is still relevant. I thought it was very interesting and very sad. The toll that the slave trade took on the continent is immeasurable.

    I am currently reading The Demon of Unrest...Erik Larson's latest book. It is about the prelude to the Civil War. He is one of my favorite authors, but this one will not be among my favorites. It is interesting, but I have found parts of it to be repetitive and a bit slow. I will need something light after these last two.

  • 25 days ago

    I have never read anything by Pat Conroy ( or seen any of the movies based on the books).

    I decided I was up for a long one, so started Beach Music. I read some, and wasn't sure so I actually started over, and was hooked. I'm only at about 15% now, but I know I'll have this book to keep me company and draw me in over the next week or so. ( 800 pages).

  • 25 days ago

    I fondly remember Conrack which was based on his book The Water is Wide. I've also seen Prince of Tides and The Great Santini, but now that you mention it, I don't think I've actually read one of his books either.

  • 25 days ago

    Conroy's books are wonderful! My favorite is The Great Santini. I was in a Southern Lit mood a few years ago, and read his stuff. In honor of the unofficial start of summer, I have a copy of Kevin Kwan's new book, Lies and Weddings. Let the beach reads begin!

  • 25 days ago

    Not to derail this thread, I'm going to start another one for a specific question I have.

  • 25 days ago

    Another vote for The Great Santini, as well as the terrific film with Robert Duvall and Blythe Danner.

  • 25 days ago

    I'll put in my vote for Conroy's Prince of Tides - unforgettable, but I have not yet read Beach Music, which I've seen listed as a favorite numerous times. I'll be interested in what Salonva thinks of it.

  • 25 days ago

    I just finished The Longmire Defense. I so enjoy those books. Not for book group, but a really good one.

    Next up, The Rainbow and the Rose by Nevil Shute.

  • 24 days ago

    Lies and Weddings is not worth my valuable eyesight! Learn from my mistake.

  • 21 days ago

    I finished The Rainbow and the Rose and it was a sweet read. It had romance and excitement and history. I did figure the final plot twist out ahead of time, but it didn't really detract anything of the story for me. 4 stars, but I doubt for book group...more like a good summer read.

    Next up, Hell and Back, another Longmire book.

  • 21 days ago

    Just finished James by Percival Everett. Its the Huck Finn story told from the perspective of Jim, the slave. Very good and thought provokimg, although the parts about the mistreatment of slaves were hard for me to read.

    Coincidentally I heard Everett interviewed on NPR’s Book Of The Day right after I finished.


    I just started Beautyland which so far is strange but wonderful, about a young girl , born in Northeast Philadelphia ( which is world of its own) , who is aactually an alien sent to observe humans and report back to her people as to whether they should move to Earth. Sounds very strange but it’s so good so far.

  • 21 days ago

    The Women ..Kristin Hannah.

  • 20 days ago

    I needed a break from my mail order brides so I'm reading Ride Me Dirty by Vanessa Vale

  • 20 days ago

    I just finished listening to Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig, Thank you KT readers for the recommendation; it was a winner. To those who have not read it and may be inclined to do so, please consider listening to the book; the narrators were excellent and really brought the characters to life.

  • 20 days ago

    ^^^^ I am so glad you thought so highly of that book. I immediately read another book by Doig- the Bartender's Tale and loved it as well. I have not been able to do the audio books and kind of wish I could although I do love reading.

    I am now almost halfway through Beach Music and am just so happy that I am on a great reading ride

    It's been a bunch of excellent books latley for me,

  • 20 days ago

    I've put asside two books I started a while ago because the latest Stephen King book came from Amazon the other day. It's a bunch of short stories. So far, so good, but I am a Stephen King fan. I'ts You Like it Darker.

  • 20 days ago

    Just started Colm Toibin's Long Island, his sequel to Brooklyn, and I'm already hooked. He writes so beautifully.

  • 20 days ago

    I just finished The Berlin Letters (Katharine Reay) for our book club in June, and am currently on the fourth Thursday Murder Club book, a series by Richard Osman I learned about from this or the previous thread. I’ve also read I Was Anastasia and The Frozen River (Ariel Lawhon) both within the last month or so but at least one of them since I last posted.

    Up next in my queue is Table for Two by Amor Towles and The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker. Although I don’t expect to have any time in Scotland to read I do have a history of reading a single book from cover to cover on transatlantic flights home to keep me from sleeping, so I will likely read one of them unless something seduces me from the Times book section between now and then.

  • 20 days ago

    reading a single book from cover to cover on transatlantic flights home to keep me from sleeping

    For me that would be a sure-fire recipe for falling asleep.

  • 20 days ago

    The Surgeon's Daughter by Audrey Blake. The first half didn't capture my attention but I trudged on against my better judgment and the last half improved greatly. The story of the struggles a woman had trying to break into the medical field in the 19th Century.

  • 19 days ago

    Salonva -

    Beach Music -

    I haven’t thought about that book for quite awhile. It was a gift from a former fiance’ - I broke off the relationship - and never read the book. I don’t know why I didn’t read it - he and I stayed close friends (I wasn’t ready for the relationship - was too soon after I ended a previous serious relationship). I‘m sure it’s still on shelf in one of my closets.

    I have to have surgery 😕- and need some good books (and happened to find this post) - I am going to go find it!

    I also need some ”light” reads for right after surgery - if anyone has some ideas, please let me know. I like a fairly wide variety of genres - but for right after surgery, I‘ll need some suggestions that are ”lighter“ = easy on the brain (I will be taking some pretty strong pain meds for the first 3-4 weeks). Nothing depressing for right after surgery.

    I don’t typically read romance novels (I have read ones that have an interesting plot/setting before).

    The book could be funny - but doesn’t have to be.

    After the first few weeks, I’m open to more complex suggestions.

    I’m not explaining this correctly - I think that I’m so anxious about this surgery that I can’t express myself very well - which is unusual for me (my ”fun” undergrad degree was English literature - my serious one: chemical engineering + I have a juris doctorate). I am so anxious that my doctor has prescribed some anxiety meds for the two weeks prior to surgery - they make me very tired + a little fuzzy.

    I truly appreciate any suggestions that people care to share.

    If this is the wrong place for my request, please let me know - I’ll delete it.



  • 19 days ago
    last modified: 19 days ago

    Dani, I hope your surgery goes well and you are soon on the mend.

    In March I broke my leg and had surgery. For the first 3-4 weeks after, probably due to meds and being in injury recovery mode, I couldn't read anything beyond light magazines. Everyone said, oh, I'll bet you're reading like crazy. Actually no. Finally I picked up the latest Michael Connelly, Resurrection Walk, and it was perfect. Cops, detectives, courtroom drama. Nothing psychologically weird or dysfunctional. Except for crime. :)

    The reading block (and a lot of others) passed in time.

  • 19 days ago

    Dani, best of luck on the surgery.

    Take a look at David Grayson books...Adventures in Friendship, Adventures in Contentment. They are sweet little tales where each chapter is like a new tale, but with the same main character or two. So if you can't concentrate for long, you won't need to. They are total mental vacations.

  • 19 days ago

    Just finished Hell and Back from the Longmire series. Very weird but very good...a la twilight zone stuff but based on American Indian mythology. Of course, I'm biased as I've so enjoyed the entire Longmire series.

  • 19 days ago
    last modified: 19 days ago

    Dani, here's some non-depressing books I've enjoyed. You can check them out on Goodreads to see if any appeal. Good luck with your recovery.

    The Vulnerables

    Sigrid Nunez

    Remarkably Bright Creatures

    Shelby Van Pelt

    Joan Is Okay

    Weike Wang

    The Last Garden in England

    Julia Kelly

    The Other Boleyn Girl

    Phillipa Gregory

    Calypso or

    anything by David Sedaris


    Daisy Goodwin

    This House Is Haunted

    John Boyne

    The Winter Sea

    Susanna Kearsley

    The Forgotten Garden/ The House at Riverton

    Kate Morton

  • 19 days ago

    Dani, would somewhat comic British spy novels appeal to you? If so, Mick Herron's Slough House series is just wonderful. Easy reading, fun plots, and great characters. The first one is Slow Horses. I hope all goes well with your surgery and recovery!

  • 18 days ago

    Wow - thanks for all of the suggestions!

    Bunny - I might be a little over confident in my ability to read right after surgery - I just am not a TV person - and have been trying to figure out some form of entertainment. Appreciate the insight!

    Annie - some short stories for soon after surgery seems like a good idea!

    barncatz - I’ve read some of what you’ve listed - but will head to Goodreads later today!

    Bookwoman - I think that could be entertaining. Plus, with a user name like ”Bookwoman” - I’d be crazy not to check out your suggestion!

    Much thanks to all of you for your wishes of good luck + recommendations! I truly appreciate all of your help!

  • 18 days ago

    Dani -- DH is enjoying the short stories in these:

    John Updike Audio Collection

    Table For Two, Amor Towles


    The Jacqueline Winspear Masie Dobbs mysteries and The White Lady.

    The Thursday Murder Club series by Richard Osman.

    'Listening' might be easier than holding a book or tablet.

    Of course your brain is preoccupied. This sounds like a major event...after which you are going to be FINE!

  • 17 days ago

    Dani, be sure to check out the "happy reads" thread:

  • 16 days ago