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Book a Week 2017 - BW12: March Equinox

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#201 Kareni

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 12:10 AM

I just finished reading the contemporary romance Royally Screwed (The Royally Series Book 1)  by Emma Chase; it was an entertaining read but it's not likely a book I'll re-read.  (Adult content)

 

"Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka “His Royal Hotness,” is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant―hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.
There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately―the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia―Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King... or the man who gets to love Olivia forever."

 

Regards,

Kareni

 


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#202 Lady Florida.

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:44 AM

I finished two books yesterday -

 

-Alexander Hamilton - I started reading this in December but often had to put it down because I needed to read a book club book or library book. 

-The Leper of St. Giles - a Brother Cadfael audio book

 

I set my Goodreads goal to a prime number, but Goodreads has been telling me I'm anywhere from 1 to 5 books ahead of schedule. The prime number was just a fun thing, but if I stay ahead of my goal I keep thinking my new goal should also be a prime number.  :lol:


Edited by Lady Florida., 24 March 2017 - 09:45 AM.

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#203 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:00 AM

I picked up Seven Surrenders from the library yesterday and I'm totally immersed.  :001_wub:

 

I was looking down my TR list to find something light, happy, or funny to put on hold to read next . . . you know what? I don't have much like that on my list.  200 books, and not much of it strikes me as particularly uplifting.  I wonder why that is? I've always liked books that make me think, but it doesn't seem like any of them qualify as light or happy books.


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#204 Ethel Mertz

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:27 AM

I picked up Seven Surrenders from the library yesterday and I'm totally immersed.  :001_wub:

 

I was looking down my TR list to find something light, happy, or funny to put on hold to read next . . . you know what? I don't have much like that on my list.  200 books, and not much of it strikes me as particularly uplifting.  I wonder why that is? I've always liked books that make me think, but it doesn't seem like any of them qualify as light or happy books.

 

Here's a relatively happy and funny book for you: Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society.



#205 mumto2

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:30 AM

Stacia, I just wanted to thank you for the knitted knockers link. I will definitely be sharing it with my friends in my quilting group as most are also knitters. Maybe our group can do something......we recently made almost 200 wiggly bags for child chemo patients. They keep their semi permanent tubes organized basically in a little bag that hangs around the neck.

My mom was given something similar to the kk almost 20 years ago after her first mastectomy and it was the only prosthesis that was comfortable. Over the years she bought a whole lot of others but none were actually used much.
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#206 aggieamy

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 11:37 AM

I picked up Seven Surrenders from the library yesterday and I'm totally immersed.  :001_wub:

 

I was looking down my TR list to find something light, happy, or funny to put on hold to read next . . . you know what? I don't have much like that on my list.  200 books, and not much of it strikes me as particularly uplifting.  I wonder why that is? I've always liked books that make me think, but it doesn't seem like any of them qualify as light or happy books.

 

Have you read any DE Stevenson?  I think you would really enjoy them

 

Celia's House

 

Miss Buncle's Book


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#207 aggieamy

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 11:41 AM

I finished Picture Miss Seeton by Heron Carvic. I think it was supposed to be a spoof/satire of the Miss Marple and little old lady detective mysteries. As a cozy mystery it was three stars. As a satire it was wonderful. There were some parts I had to reread multiple times because they were so funny and clever. Everything Doctor Knight said was laugh out loud funny and unexpected. Highly recommend if you are looking for something fun and fluffy and lighthearted. 

 

Mumto - I think this was a book you recommended!  Thank you.


Edited by aggieamy, 24 March 2017 - 11:41 AM.

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#208 Matryoshka

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 12:08 PM

I picked up Seven Surrenders from the library yesterday and I'm totally immersed.  :001_wub:

 

I was looking down my TR list to find something light, happy, or funny to put on hold to read next . . . you know what? I don't have much like that on my list.  200 books, and not much of it strikes me as particularly uplifting.  I wonder why that is? I've always liked books that make me think, but it doesn't seem like any of them qualify as light or happy books.

 

I don't know why that is, but I totally get it - I think I like many of the same kinds of books you do.  I just finished two books I'd give 5 stars, and neither of them are remotely light or happy.  But they still make me happy to read.  I also like books that make me think.  As I think part of the reason (besides all the awesome inspiration I've been getting from BaW) that I've thrown myself so much into reading is that it is helping me keep from thinking about other stuff that I might get too depressed thinking about.  Hmmm, maybe reading about challenging times helps me think there's hope for this one?  I often find myself invigorated by some of the books with weighty themes.

 

I have read Cranford this year, and that was a bunch of happy with no dark, and I did enjoy that (I've seen all the PBS series, so I also knew what to expect).  I also just put that book someone else here read, Country of the Pointed Firs, on my list, partly because someone's review said it was a bunch of old people knitting and mending nets and reminiscing about the past relayed by a visitor to the town - sounds a lot like Cranford USA. ;)

 

Anyway, I hope you're feeling better soon, and read what invigorates you, whatever that may be. :)  :grouphug:


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#209 Kareni

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 01:36 PM

A one day only classic that is currently free for Kindle readers ~

 

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot  

 

"The classic tale of one young woman’s quest for fulfillment in 1820s England, and the price she would pay for true freedom.
 
Maggie Tulliver’s entire life has been spent in the shadow of Dorlcote Mill on the River Floss with her beloved older brother, Tom. But when their father meets an untimely death, the siblings’ singular bond is strained as Tom is forced to leave his studies and Maggie struggles to find a sense of belonging.
 
Maggie’s sharp intelligence and spirited nature have made her an oddity in the rural hamlet of St. Ogg’s, where such unique qualities are perceived as unbecoming for a woman. Her need for recognition and love eventually drives her to defy her brother, who casts her out of his house to survive on her own. Forced to grieve the losses of both their father and each other, the siblings will have to find it in their hearts to forgive in order to reconcile before tragedy strikes again."

 

Regards,

Kareni


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#210 Kareni

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 03:31 PM

Some bookish posts from The Million that I enjoyed reading ~

 

The Case for Genre Fiction: A Guide to Literary Science Fiction and Fantasy by Ian Simpson  (Read the comments, too, for additional suggestions.)

 

Do you enjoy reading collections of letters?  If so,  Nine Modern Literary Letter Collections for the Curious Reader by Catherine Campbell

 

Better Late Than Never: On Blooming as a Reader by Sonya Chung

 

What the Deuce: The Curse Words of Charles Dickens  by Bryan Kozlowski

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

 

 


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#211 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 03:36 PM

Some bookish posts from The Million that I enjoyed reading ~

 

The Case for Genre Fiction: A Guide to Literary Science Fiction and Fantasy by Ian Simpson  (Read the comments, too, for additional suggestions.)

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

What a great post.  Here's a quote I completely agree with, apropos of the earlier discussion of reading that makes one happy, even if it's not happy reading:

 

"I’ve not read a whole lot of whatever might be defined as literary fiction. I find non-genre fiction a little on the dull side. People — real people — interacting in the real world or some such plot. What’s the point of that? I want to read something that in no way can ever happen to me or anyone I know. I want to explore the imagination of terrific authors. I’ve heard that literary fiction is meant to be demanding. I don’t mind demanding, but I want, as a rule, a stimulating plot and relatable or, at the very least, interesting characters. I suspect My Idea of Fun by Will Self (1993) is the closest I’ve come to enjoying a piece of literary fiction, but I was far from entertained. And so I read genre fiction — mostly science fiction, but anything that falls under the umbrella of speculative fiction."


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#212 Narrow Gate Academy

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 03:42 PM

I decided to take another afternoon off with Christie's Hercules Poirot and finished The Murder of Roger Ackroyd for my 29th book. I'm always both dismayed and delighted when the ending comes as a complete surprise.🙊😸
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#213 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 03:53 PM

I decided to take another afternoon off with Christie's Hercules Poirot and finished The Murder of Roger Ackroyd for my 29th book. I'm always both dismayed and delighted when the ending comes as a complete surprise.🙊😸

 

Love that book! When dd read it for the first time, I lurked in the next room, waiting for her to get to the end . . . I was not disappointed by her reaction!


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#214 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 04:21 PM

I finished A General Theory of Oblivion. Kindly sent to me by Jane, thank  you! This is the kind of book that makes me happy. It's the story of a lonely and reclusive woman who bricks herself up inside her apartment right as the Angolan War of Independence broke out. And, paradoxically, about the people whose lives she touches, and who touch hers. It's an intricate braided tapestry of a story, that spirals and circles and eventually all comes together. Just lovely, and very satisfying.


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#215 Mom-ninja.

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 04:44 PM

Kids and I just finished The Golem's Eye and started the 3rd book. These books are so fun. Plus, I absolutely love the rich vocabulary and descriptive language.

 

Rose, if you like fantasy with magic, jinn, and witty dialogue then you'll like these books. They would count as light and fun.

 

 

I also finished Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen. Another fun book. 


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#216 Jane in NC

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 04:53 PM

I finished A General Theory of Oblivion. Kindly sent to me by Jane, thank  you! This is the kind of book that makes me happy. It's the story of a lonely and reclusive woman who bricks herself up inside her apartment right as the Angolan War of Independence broke out. And, paradoxically, about the people whose lives she touches, and who touch hers. It's an intricate braided tapestry of a story, that spirals and circles and eventually all comes together. Just lovely, and very satisfying.

 

So glad you enjoyed this!  "Satisfying" is precisely the word for Oblivion.  I think that The News of the World is in the same category.

 

Personally I don't necessarily find "happy" books to be satisfying.  Snarky entertainments might satisfy me--E.M. Delafield comes to mind. I despise "cozy" mysteries for the most part but I also avoid the blood soaked ones (or those with horrible crimes involving children).

 

The thing that I need in a book is complexity--not necessarily a crazy, complex plot but depth of character.  Writers who fail to capture depth in relationships, subjecting us to conversational drivel for example, are immediately dismissed no matter how cracking good the plot may be.

 

I think this is something that baffles me when readers dismiss classics because of the depth of character and the lack of quick plot.  Obviously some readers like action.  In the same way, some people like movies with lots of moving cameras and special effects.  Give me Ingmar Bergman anyday.  Maybe it is telling that I despise most movies that bill themselves as comedies--unless they are dark comedies.

 

The point though is that there are books--and movies--for us all.  Sci-fi is not my genre. And that is just fine. I'll read and reread the Classics for some of you and you can cover another genre for me.  Deal?

 

Cheers!


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#217 aggieamy

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 06:35 PM

There is such a great conversation going on right now about books that make us happy. I'm loving it. 

 

It is fascinating to me how we can have such wildly different tastes in books but still find so much overlap.  I do wish we could do a BaW venn diagram to compare all our most loved books. Then by comparison I would love to see the lowest rated books of the group.  

 

I'll use Rose as an example since I knows she's good natured and we share some favorite authors between us.  On goodreads when I compare books between us for an author we both love ... there are wildly different ratings. A lot of the books I loved, she loved. To be expected. A lot of the books she or I love, the other one has marked as abandoned.

 

Has anyone discovered that what makes them happy in a book changes over time? When I was in my teens and twenties I read so many books about the holocaust. Fiction, non-fiction, memoirs. I couldn't get enough of them. Then something happened and ten years later I just can't read any of them. I tried rereading A Hiding Place, which is one of my top ten books, and I couldn't do it. The suffering and pain that was felt by people just gets me in my gut right now. 


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#218 prairiegirl

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 06:42 PM

Thank you all for your kind words. They mean a great deal to me.

I think I may have my reading mojo back. I flew through Lincoln on the Bardo and I loved it!! I was listening to the podcast From the Frontporch yesterday and they were talking about how this book might be helpful to those who are grieving. I think that is why Saunders' words struck deep with me because he was putting words to my grief. I am thankful that I read it rather than listened to it as I think the audio would have been too distracting.

I have now moved on to The a woman in Cabin 10
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#219 Ali in OR

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 06:43 PM

Has anyone discovered that what makes them happy in a book changes over time? When I was in my teens and twenties I read so many books about the holocaust. Fiction, non-fiction, memoirs. I couldn't get enough of them. Then something happened and ten years later I just can't read any of them. I tried rereading A Hiding Place, which is one of my top ten books, and I couldn't do it. The suffering and pain that was felt by people just gets me in my gut right now. 

 

Most of the books that I loved and wanted to share with my girls have been great successes. But one that wasn't a success was Watership Down. I got bored trying to read it aloud, and then we tried it on CD and still got bored. It could be that it just doesn't read aloud so well. I remember loving it as a teen.

 

In other news, it's officially spring break! I feel the relief of students everywhere as I personally had a math final this week and had to take a standardized test on a subject I've not been explicitly taught (student's civil rights) in order to get my sub license. Aced my math final (woohoo!) and passed the other too. Now I'm going to paint my nails and watch some basketball tonight. And maybe I'll have some time to read this week.


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#220 prairiegirl

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 06:54 PM

I picked up Seven Surrenders from the library yesterday and I'm totally immersed. :001_wub:

I was looking down my TR list to find something light, happy, or funny to put on hold to read next . . . you know what? I don't have much like that on my list. 200 books, and not much of it strikes me as particularly uplifting. I wonder why that is? I've always liked books that make me think, but it doesn't seem like any of them qualify as light or happy books.


I think Matryoshko makes a good point, Rose. When I am dealing with depression, light and humorous reads do not help at all. Darker, heavier reads cause me to think things through and that is comforting to me. Lincoln on the Bardo is a dark read but it was such a comfort to me. So maybe heavy reads will help you work through the hard stuff. Maybe.
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#221 Kareni

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 07:03 PM

I enjoy reading posts such as these ~

 

From ModernMrsDarcy.com:

Unputdownable: 17 books I read in 24 hours or less (because they were just that good)

 

Regards,

Kareni


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#222 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 07:31 PM

Great discussion about how we choose books, what works when, in what mood. Very thought-provoking. What I decided to do is look through my TR list and pick . . . the things that appeal to me the most! Which might sound odd, but that's not how I normally pick books. I read a lot of books because I feel I should - either because I want to be informed about some current event or topic, or I want to be exposed or to learn about something I don't know much about, or to inhabit someone else's skin. Or I read things associated with school - pre-reading, planning for next classes, or filling in background knowledge for myself. Or because of a challenge, or a friend sent me a book, or it was highly recommended, or . . . Only a few of the books I read are ones I picked just because I felt like it.
 

So I put a few things on hold for myself, just because I feel like reading them:  One, a dystopian novel; Spaceman of Bohemia and New York 2140, because I just read about them in the NYT book review; You Can't Touch My Hair, because Stacia thought it would make me laugh; The Shadow Land, because I loved The Historian; and Life After Life, because the lecturer in our Writing Great Fiction course described it and it sounded appealing, and Thirteen Reasons Why, because of a post I read last week made it sound intriguing. I've already got Lincoln in the Bardo on hold, since prairiegirls' mention last week.  I'm still pre-reading school stuff, and I have a bunch of political & economic things on hold too, but I am giving myself permission to read some things that just sound appealing to me, no other reason.  And if they don't grab me, I will just as happily drop them. 

 

I do have fun with the compare books function on goodreads sometimes - I'm getting to know who reads the same kind of book I like to, and y'all have saved me several times with your book ratings and reviews! One of the reasons I tend to leave a comment when I abandon a book is so that I'll remember my reason, when it comes up again, but also so that if any of you guys see it, you'll be able to say, "Oh, yeah, that's just Rose, she doesn't like X in a book, but I do."  

 

This community of readers and sharers does really mean a lot to me.  Thanks, y'all.  Or ya'll. Or if you feel really rebellious, yal'l.  ;)  :D


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#223 Stacia

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:32 PM

I know many of you are Bill Bryson fans. I've never actually read one of his books. My ds got his book, The Road to Little Dribbling, at Christmas & has just now gotten around to reading it. He's almost finished now & I asked him about it. He says it's "old people" humor. :lol:  He said there have been a few amusing parts, but in his opinion, most of it is this old guy going around complaining that everything was better in the old days. And while there are a few slightly funny parts, he says it would really not be fun to travel with Bill Bryson because he's such a whiner about things. So, I guess not a resounding success in his eyes. Makes me :laugh: .

 

I finished You Can't Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson. Robinson is a podcast comedian & this is her first book. She's sharp & funny. Robinson talks about light stuff, as well as touching on some heavier topics such as feminism, as well as being an African American woman in the US today. My constructive criticism is that there are too many pop cultural references (tv, movies -- ok by me since I like movies & got most of the references, hashtags, celebrities, etc...), which will make the book feel dated pretty quickly, I think. It shows my age that I don't really like seeing # references in a book, nor do I like reading LOL in a book. Those type of references may work well in a stage or podcast performance, but since this is a book, she's smart enough & funny enough to (re)write some of those sections/references to be more timeless. Still, it made me laugh, it made me think, & was an overall enjoyable book. 

 

29496435.jpg

 

ETA: I loved A General Theory of Oblivion & The Great Gatsby. I'm not sure I can put my finger on what makes a book successful & loved by me. Sometimes it's the story. Sometimes it's the characters. Or the topic. Or the writing itself. Or the uniqueness. Or the humor. But, whichever of those items it is, it has to be done well & hold my interest.


Edited by Stacia, 24 March 2017 - 08:52 PM.

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#224 Stacia

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 11:08 PM

Speaking of books one does or does not love...

 

Tonight, I read Silk by Alessandro Baricco, translated from the Italian by Guido Waldman. It is a beautifully-woven, tiny piece of perfection. Lovely & bittersweet. I think Jane, ErinE, & even VC would like this one. 

 

1197817.jpg

 

From Publishers Weekly:
 

In 1861, after plague has destroyed the silkworms in the Middle East and Africa, French merchant Herve Joncour travels to Japan--a country of which little is known to the French--in search of healthier, better silk. Flouting a Japanese law against exporting silkworms, Joncour leaves his loving wife for what will be the first of many four-month journeys through Europe, Russia and Siberia to Japan, where he befriends a wealthy Japanese trader and falls in love with his beautiful young mistress. With each trip, Joncour's expectations of closer contact with the young woman escalate, as does the danger of his journey. Joncour finally receives a letter from the concubine, which he must take for translation to a Japanese woman living in a neighboring French village The letter encourages Joncour to travel to Japan one last time; what he finds there will change his life forever. Baricco, winner of the Prix Medicis and other awards for his two previous novels, uses the precise, formal language of the 19th-century realists to evoke exotic settings, vivid characters and historical details. Written in 65 spare chapters (some less than a page long, some evolving into verse), Barrico's fairy tale of East and West weaves a fine, tight fabric of recurrent phrases and motifs, a novel as delicate and strong as its subject.

 


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#225 Stacia

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Posted Yesterday, 12:52 AM

From a few days ago...

 

I started, then abandoned, Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay.

 

I started the book thinking it was a book of essays (wondering if the first story was a horrifying tale of part of her childhood), but by the second story realized I was reading a book of short stories. Not really my favorite medium. The first story was very good, but harrowing. The second one ok enough. The third one, another harrowing one. Out of three, she already covered child abduction & rape, along with domestic violence.

Not sure if the title refers to a particular story or the entire set of stories (since I didn't read the whole collection), but if I had endured what women in the first few stories did, I'd sure be a difficult woman. Hell, way more than a difficult woman. Or is it more that the women have difficult lives (to put it mildly)? Difficult doesn't even seem like the right descriptor of the lives in the stories I read.

Too much for me right now. Or probably ever.


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#226 Onceuponatime

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Posted Yesterday, 05:38 AM

This was posted in another online book club I attend: http://twentytwoword...ts-hilarious/6/

The result can be hilarious.

Edited: The article suggests putting "Then the murders began" after the first line of famous books as a humorous exercise. 😄

Edited by Onceuponatime, Yesterday, 05:52 AM.

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#227 Mom-ninja.

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Posted Yesterday, 08:04 AM

Rose, I'm glad you are reading some books because you want to and not because you feel you need to. I am very similar to you. I read very few books because I wanted to. Well, I wanted to read them because I felt I *should* read them. I have no regrets about that, and I still choose books that way. However, after being with this community of book lovers for the past 9 years (right? 9 years since the first thread?), I have expanded my horizon of books and why I read them. I now read a lot more fiction. I used to view fiction as a waste of my time. I wanted all my reading to be about learning. My friends here showed me that fiction is just as educational as non-fiction, and sometimes even more so. I have learned that I am allowed to abandon a book. That was *huge* for me. I have reached out of my reading rut/niche/comfort zone and I'm grateful.

 

So when I suggest you read light, fluffy books then that means light and fluffy for you. We all have a different measure of light and fluffy. My light and fluffy when I need a pick me up is a Jane Austen book. I always reach for her books when I'm feeling lost or down. Many people think it's blasphemy to consider Austen as light and fluffy, but the misunderstand my definition. I do not mean that Austen is not complex or lacks rich language, character development, relationship drama, societal commentary, and so forth. Obviously, her books have all those things. But for me, I like to just allow myself to sit back and enjoy her books for the witty dialogue and rich language.

 

I also reach for non-fiction books when I'm cranky or down. I like the haven it gives me, free from relationship drama and such. I love non-fiction and those books can very much be happy books. 

 

Everyone's "happy" read is different. Although, I imagine that Unbroken is an example of a book that might be best avoided if one is really depressed. But that's me. 


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#228 aggieamy

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Posted Yesterday, 09:33 AM

I know many of you are Bill Bryson fans. I've never actually read one of his books. My ds got his book, The Road to Little Dribbling, at Christmas & has just now gotten around to reading it. He's almost finished now & I asked him about it. He says it's "old people" humor. :lol:  He said there have been a few amusing parts, but in his opinion, most of it is this old guy going around complaining that everything was better in the old days. And while there are a few slightly funny parts, he says it would really not be fun to travel with Bill Bryson because he's such a whiner about things. So, I guess not a resounding success in his eyes. Makes me :laugh: .

 

Your son is very astute. He just did the perfect review of every Bill Bryson book! I do enjoy them but I'm an old person with a deep enjoyment of old people humor. 

 

In every single book he goes off on a rant about something that's worthwhile to talk about but doesn't fit in with the book. There's a chapter on acid rain in his book about walking the Appalachian trail. It was jarring. Basically we're all walking down the trail, having a good time, laughing at his friend, enjoying then scenery, and then he gets real serious and lectures you on the environment. Then we're back to happy walking again ...

 

What?!?!

 

So when I suggest you read light, fluffy books then that means light and fluffy for you. We all have a different measure of light and fluffy. My light and fluffy when I need a pick me up is a Jane Austen book. I always reach for her books when I'm feeling lost or down. Many people think it's blasphemy to consider Austen as light and fluffy, but the misunderstand my definition. I do not mean that Austen is not complex or lacks rich language, character development, relationship drama, societal commentary, and so forth. Obviously, her books have all those things. But for me, I like to just allow myself to sit back and enjoy her books for the witty dialogue and rich language.

 

 

 

I wonder that too. I remember a bit of discussion during Flufferton week last year when we debated if P&P was Flufferton. Doesn't it just make you feel wonderful when you read it? It's one of those books I wish I could go back and read again for the first time.  


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#229 mumto2

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Posted Yesterday, 10:07 AM

I started reading the latest book in The Others series last night, it's wonderful. A few pages in and I felt very much at home, I can't think of a better description.

Rose, I thought of you with this book. I don't think you have tried them. They are good. Not necessarily fluff. Several BaWers have read them although my Goodreads isn't really showing it, I know there are more! I really think you might enjoy these. They aren't necessarily gentle but they are great. They aren't shocking either because my dd has read them from the start which would have made her your dd's age! Dd loves them. She finished the new one within the first 24 hours and has a pretty tough schedule right now! Not much fun reading time.

When under stress I turn to series books. Not necessarily one particular genre, just series. I like being surrounded by the familiar at those times. I try to pick series in which I have several books unread so if I don't want to leave at the end of a book I can just read the next one!

I have a couple of books started on overdrive that disappear in the next couple of days so today's reading plan is to make progress on finishing at least one of those. I appreciate being able to turn my kindle off but it is irritating!

My intended book is The Winter Queen https://www.goodread...he_Winter_Queen. It's a book that has been on my wish list for months and was checked out for the Q. It's a historical police procedural set in Moscow, translated from Russian. It had an unusual opening and I am looking forward to seeing how the detective proceeds. It's the first in a series........
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#230 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted Yesterday, 10:51 AM

I started reading the latest book in The Others series last night, it's wonderful. A few pages in and I felt very much at home, I can't think of a better description.

Rose, I thought of you with this book. I don't think you have tried them. They are good. Not necessarily fluff. Several BaWers have read them although my Goodreads isn't really showing it, I know there are more! I really think you might enjoy these. They aren't necessarily gentle but they are great. They aren't shocking either because my dd has read them from the start which would have made her your dd's age! Dd loves them. She finished the new one within the first 24 hours and has a pretty tough schedule right now! Not much fun reading time.

When under stress I turn to series books. Not necessarily one particular genre, just series. I like being surrounded by the familiar at those times. I try to pick series in which I have several books unread so if I don't want to leave at the end of a book I can just read the next one!

I have a couple of books started on overdrive that disappear in the next couple of days so today's reading plan is to make progress on finishing at least one of those. I appreciate being able to turn my kindle off but it is irritating!

My intended book is The Winter Queen https://www.goodread...he_Winter_Queen. It's a book that has been on my wish list for months and was checked out for the Q. It's a historical police procedural set in Moscow, translated from Russian. It had an unusual opening and I am looking forward to seeing how the detective proceeds. It's the first in a series........

 

Is this the Anne Bishop series? 

 

Rose, I'm glad you are reading some books because you want to and not because you feel you need to. I am very similar to you. I read very few books because I wanted to. Well, I wanted to read them because I felt I *should* read them. I have no regrets about that, and I still choose books that way. However, after being with this community of book lovers for the past 9 years (right? 9 years since the first thread?), I have expanded my horizon of books and why I read them. I now read a lot more fiction. I used to view fiction as a waste of my time. I wanted all my reading to be about learning. My friends here showed me that fiction is just as educational as non-fiction, and sometimes even more so. I have learned that I am allowed to abandon a book. That was *huge* for me. I have reached out of my reading rut/niche/comfort zone and I'm grateful.

 

So when I suggest you read light, fluffy books then that means light and fluffy for you. We all have a different measure of light and fluffy. My light and fluffy when I need a pick me up is a Jane Austen book. I always reach for her books when I'm feeling lost or down. Many people think it's blasphemy to consider Austen as light and fluffy, but the misunderstand my definition. I do not mean that Austen is not complex or lacks rich language, character development, relationship drama, societal commentary, and so forth. Obviously, her books have all those things. But for me, I like to just allow myself to sit back and enjoy her books for the witty dialogue and rich language.

 

I also reach for non-fiction books when I'm cranky or down. I like the haven it gives me, free from relationship drama and such. I love non-fiction and those books can very much be happy books. 

 

Everyone's "happy" read is different. Although, I imagine that Unbroken is an example of a book that might be best avoided if one is really depressed. But that's me. 

 

Yes, non-fiction works well for me, as long as it isn't about the topics that are directly stressing me out . . . so my current listen is I Contain Multitudes, and I'm really enjoying it. I needed a break from reading about the current political situation, as interesting as the books I've read recently have been, it was just getting to be too much.

 

Jane Austen definitely falls into the comfort read category for me, as does Georgette Heyer.

 

It's interesting what can end up being satisfying, though - I was surprised at how satisfying A General Theory of Oblivion ended up being. I think it had to do with the sense of connectedness, that actions and events are not random, that they ripple out and have unexpected & unintended effects. This is one of the things that made Cloud Atlas so satisfying, too.

 

One major thing I look for in a comfort book is escapism, so the world and characters have to be well-built and complex enough to really pull me in and keep me engaged. I was thinking more about the quote I posted earlier, that maybe this is part of why I don't read much contemporary fiction that isn't genre fiction. I want to be taken away, out of my current world, either through speculative fiction, or be taken into the past or a radically different setting, as with historical fiction. I don't so much want to read about the relationships and problems of people in their day-to-day lives in the current reality. Especially if they are too much like me.


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#231 Kareni

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Posted Yesterday, 11:27 AM

I started reading the latest book in The Others series last night, it's wonderful.

 

 

Is this the Anne Bishop series?

 

I'll speak up for mumto2 and say, "Yes, it is."  I'm another who has enjoyed the series which starts with

Written in Red: A Novel of the Others

 

Regards,

Kareni


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#232 Kareni

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Posted Yesterday, 11:30 AM

A one day only classic that is currently free for Kindle readers ~

 

Vathek by William Thomas Beckford

 

"The exotic tale of one man’s unquenchable thirst for power

Vathek, the ninth Caliph of the Abassides, took the throne at a young age. He debates the most knowledgeable scholars of the day, jailing them if they disagree with him. He possesses an evil eye that can kill lesser men with a single look. He is proud, and he is powerful. Still, he wants more—more knowledge, more power, more women. When a hideous merchant from India arrives in his court bearing glowing swords, Vathek sees an opportunity to take everything he’s ever wanted. So begins his journey east in search of ultimate sovereignty.
 
Vathek is a feverish account of debauchery and ambition that has inspired the likes of Lord Byron, H. P. Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith."

 

Regards,

Kareni


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#233 Ethel Mertz

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Posted Yesterday, 11:35 AM

I finished A General Theory of Oblivion. Kindly sent to me by Jane, thank  you! This is the kind of book that makes me happy. It's the story of a lonely and reclusive woman who bricks herself up inside her apartment right as the Angolan War of Independence broke out. And, paradoxically, about the people whose lives she touches, and who touch hers. It's an intricate braided tapestry of a story, that spirals and circles and eventually all comes together. Just lovely, and very satisfying.

 

 

Great discussion about how we choose books, what works when, in what mood. Very thought-provoking. What I decided to do is look through my TR list and pick . . . the things that appeal to me the most! Which might sound odd, but that's not how I normally pick books. I read a lot of books because I feel I should - either because I want to be informed about some current event or topic, or I want to be exposed or to learn about something I don't know much about, or to inhabit someone else's skin. Or I read things associated with school - pre-reading, planning for next classes, or filling in background knowledge for myself. Or because of a challenge, or a friend sent me a book, or it was highly recommended, or . . . Only a few of the books I read are ones I picked just because I felt like it.
 

So I put a few things on hold for myself, just because I feel like reading them:  One, a dystopian novel; Spaceman of Bohemia and New York 2140, because I just read about them in the NYT book review; You Can't Touch My Hair, because Stacia thought it would make me laugh; The Shadow Land, because I loved The Historian; and Life After Life, because the lecturer in our Writing Great Fiction course described it and it sounded appealing, and Thirteen Reasons Why, because of a post I read last week made it sound intriguing. I've already got Lincoln in the Bardo on hold, since prairiegirls' mention last week.  I'm still pre-reading school stuff, and I have a bunch of political & economic things on hold too, but I am giving myself permission to read some things that just sound appealing to me, no other reason.  And if they don't grab me, I will just as happily drop them. 

Rose - you've just added more books to my TBR list! So many books; so little time.

 

From a few days ago...

 

I started, then abandoned, Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay.

 

I started the book thinking it was a book of essays (wondering if the first story was a horrifying tale of part of her childhood), but by the second story realized I was reading a book of short stories. Not really my favorite medium. The first story was very good, but harrowing. The second one ok enough. The third one, another harrowing one. Out of three, she already covered child abduction & rape, along with domestic violence.

Not sure if the title refers to a particular story or the entire set of stories (since I didn't read the whole collection), but if I had endured what women in the first few stories did, I'd sure be a difficult woman. Hell, way more than a difficult woman. Or is it more that the women have difficult lives (to put it mildly)? Difficult doesn't even seem like the right descriptor of the lives in the stories I read.

Too much for me right now. Or probably ever.

Thanks for the warning about Difficult Women! Definitely one I don't want to read.

 

I started reading the latest book in The Others series last night, it's wonderful. A few pages in and I felt very much at home, I can't think of a better description. 

Sandy - I can't find that series on Goodreads. Do you have a link?

 

Regarding the "what makes me happy" sort of book: When the going gets tough, I always think - well, it could be worse. (My morher's legacy to me: "Count Your Blessings" and "Bloom Where You Are Planted.") The books that are making me happy are those that are mounting resistance to a particular injustice - whether fiction or nonfiction. Those books speak to me of hope.



#234 mumto2

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Posted Yesterday, 12:23 PM

I'll speak up for mumto2 and say, "Yes, it is." I'm another who has enjoyed the series which starts with Written in Red: A Novel of the Others

Regards,
Kareni


Ethel, Sorry, I actually had the link ready and forgot to drop it in. I think you might actually like these. A completely different type of book in my opinion than the typical sci fi or paranormal. If you don't like it quickly abandon it! :)

Rose, Before I forget please read the first one before giving it to your dd. I knew my dd wouldn't be bothered but you should probably have a look first with you dd in mind.
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#235 aggieamy

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Posted Yesterday, 12:24 PM

A funny book story only you ladies will appreciate.

 

Bellevue was recommended to me a long time ago and I finally just got it from the library after a long wait. I read the first chapter and loved it. I put it on the kitchen counter so I could sneak a few pages in while I was cooking. I just went to look for it.  Can't find it anywhere. Asked DH if he'd seen it. Yep. And he returned it to the library for me. 

 

:huh:

 

:cursing:

 

:crying:

 

:glare:

 

If I try to get it from the library again I'll be 276 out of 5 copies.  I will be reading it on Kindle now.  

 

 


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#236 Kareni

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Posted Yesterday, 12:50 PM

A funny book story only you ladies will appreciate.

 

Bellevue was recommended to me a long time ago and I finally just got it from the library after a long wait. I read the first chapter and loved it. I put it on the kitchen counter so I could sneak a few pages in while I was cooking. I just went to look for it.  Can't find it anywhere. Asked DH if he'd seen it. Yep. And he returned it to the library for me.

 

What a ... kind ... husband you have!

**

 

Here's a currently free Kindle cozy mystery that might soften the blow ~

 

 

"Murder. Mayhem. A madcap lady vicar.

Reverend Annabelle Dixon is the charming, slightly gauche, very tall, thirty-something vicar of St. Mary’s Church located in the picturesque village of Upton St. Mary in Cornwall, England.

Recently appointed to her rural church position, Annabelle is beloved by her parishioners for dispensing good advice and godly wisdom with humor and charm while zipping her Mini Cooper around the country lanes and attempting to build a relationship with her church cat, Biscuit, who, quite frankly, couldn’t care less.

Trouble arises when Annabelle faithfully welcomes a new resident to her quaint parish. Her visit to the latest newcomer, Sir John Cartwright, is two-fold: to greet him and to dispel rumors of shady doings at the manor. This time, however, instead of tea and cakes, Annabelle is served a heaping plate of murder and a fine helping of handsome Inspector Mike Nicholls!

Filled with laugh-out-loud moments and cake and pastry recipes, this humorous, cozy mystery is an excellent introduction to the Reverend Annabelle Dixon series."

 

The author has two other free books that you can see here.

 

 

Regards,

Kareni


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#237 Ethel Mertz

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Posted Yesterday, 02:29 PM

Ethel, Sorry, I actually had the link ready and forgot to drop it in. I think you might actually like these. A completely different type of book in my opinion than the typical sci fi or paranormal. If you don't like it quickly abandon it! :)

Thanks, Sandy!

 

A funny book story only you ladies will appreciate.

 

Bellevue was recommended to me a long time ago and I finally just got it from the library after a long wait. I read the first chapter and loved it. I put it on the kitchen counter so I could sneak a few pages in while I was cooking. I just went to look for it.  Can't find it anywhere. Asked DH if he'd seen it. Yep. And he returned it to the library for me. 

 

:huh:

 

:cursing:

 

:crying:

 

:glare:

 

If I try to get it from the library again I'll be 276 out of 5 copies.  I will be reading it on Kindle now.  

I've got to put this on my list! My Mom did some of her RN training at Bellevue during WWII. And your husband was so very helpful. I can see that happening in this house too.

 

What a ... kind ... husband you have!

**

 

Here's a currently free Kindle cozy mystery that might soften the blow ~

 

 

"Murder. Mayhem. A madcap lady vicar.

Reverend Annabelle Dixon is the charming, slightly gauche, very tall, thirty-something vicar of St. Mary’s Church located in the picturesque village of Upton St. Mary in Cornwall, England.
 

This is right up my alley! Thanks! 



#238 Butter

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Posted Yesterday, 03:25 PM

This morning I finished reading Edgewood by Karen McQuestion.  It's teen/young adult sci-fi.  Weird lighted rocks fall to the earth and the teens around when it happens end up with superpowers.  There's a group that controls everything hunting the teens with the powers in order to use them for their own purposes.  And then there is a group that are trying to fight against that group.  Two of the characters are homeschooled.  One used to be, but went to public school for the first time as a sophomore (and so could tie together one kid in school, a teacher and lunchlady at the school, and the homeschooled kids).  I really liked it.  In fact, I am about to go buy the Audible version for my husband.  It's the first of four books.  Not sure if there will be more since the fourth was just released in December.


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#239 Jane in NC

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Posted Yesterday, 03:53 PM

As mentioned elsewhere on the thread, I am reading a novel by Ntozake Shange, Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo.  Shange is perhaps best known for her play, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, which won an Obie in '77.  The novel I'm reading was published five years later. 

 

A self described "black feminist", Shange has influenced younger writers.  I found a nice piece on her in The New Yorker, dating back to 2010.

 

Her writing is unconventional.  Recipes are included in the text where they occupy a place in the plot--not an afterthought. 

 

And that has led me to think about other novels that contain recipes. Only two are springing to mind immediately:  Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel and The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester. We may have discussed this previously but can anyone think of other books where the recipes are part of the plot?


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#240 Stacia

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Posted Yesterday, 05:52 PM

Recipes as part of the plot: Cooking with Fernet Branca. Hilarious send-up of foodie/travel books. In this one, food/recipes are used as an offersive weapon. British humor. Jane, if you haven't read this one, you should. And should I also mention it is published by Europa Editions?
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#241 prairiegirl

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Posted Yesterday, 11:11 PM

From a few days ago...

I started, then abandoned, Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay.

I started the book thinking it was a book of essays (wondering if the first story was a horrifying tale of part of her childhood), but by the second story realized I was reading a book of short stories. Not really my favorite medium. The first story was very good, but harrowing. The second one ok enough. The third one, another harrowing one. Out of three, she already covered child abduction & rape, along with domestic violence.

Not sure if the title refers to a particular story or the entire set of stories (since I didn't read the whole collection), but if I had endured what women in the first few stories did, I'd sure be a difficult woman. Hell, way more than a difficult woman. Or is it more that the women have difficult lives (to put it mildly)? Difficult doesn't even seem like the right descriptor of the lives in the stories I read.

Too much for me right now. Or probably ever.


I have this waiting for me at the library. I, too, thought it was an essay collection. I listened to From the Front Porch podcast a few days ago where they discussed this book at length. It was from there that I realized this was a book of short stories. My anticipation of this book waned as I am not a big fan of short stories. I read Gay's An Untsmed State a few years ago. It was a hard book to read but the writing was breath-taking. My experience alone with that book is what is leading me to at least start to read it and see what happens from there.
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