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happysmileylady

Tell me what to read in January

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I don't read enough to be setting a good example for my kids.  Help me become a better example in 2020.  I have a goal to read one book per month. 

When I was younger and had more time, I could read one book in a few days, regardless of size.  With 3 kids, plus an adult child, homeschooling, goals and other things going on......I just don't have time or energy.  I often find that books I am interested in tend to require more focus than I can afford to give them..................so I stop reading.

 

The last book I read that caught me enough to really focus on it enough to finish it in a timely manner was Hillbilly Elegy.  I find I am enjoying non fiction more, and although I enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy, I am not generally into "social movements" too much.  I can enjoy self help stuff like Steven Covey or Dave Ramsey, but there's only so much of that.  Fiction wise, I have typically been drawn to sci fi and fantasy, like Mercedes Lackey or Anne McCaffery, but I haven't found much of that that I am enjoying now.  In particular, Todd ruined Pern lol.

Things I don't like....Orson Scott Card-Hated Ender's game with a passion like 1000 hot suns.  Also hated Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  

So I need one book.  A good book, not a fluffy beach read.  But, also not super incredibly difficult or thought provoking.....I need to ease into this lol.  I have considered Educated, but might change my mind.  If you have a good sci fi/fantasy that is.............GOOD, I am good for that too.  

Help!

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Try The Girl Who Drank the Moon. It's middle grade/YA, but smart and a well written story. It's fantasy, and accessible for the busy mom. Another author you could try is Brandon Mull. Fantasy again, more adventure than relational, but everything I've read by him has been fun and worth the time. Try Fablehaven or The Beyonders. 

I'm a fan of middle grade fiction because it's easier to get into and (if it's well done) it's every bit as enjoyable a story as adult fiction.

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If you like biography/memoir like Hillbilly Elegy:

Elizabeth, the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith

Eric Metaxas' biography of Martin Luther

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

My go-to fantasy series is A Song of Ice and Fire. I also like Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller series that begins with The Name of the Wind. Of course, neither of those is finished yet, so that can be more frustrating than anything -- but the writing in both is excellent.

I just bought my dd the first three books of Pern!

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25 minutes ago, ThatBookwormMom said:

Try The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

I was going to recommend this book! I also really liked her book, The Witch's Boy. 

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I recently read "The Second Sleep" by Robert Harris, and I really enjoyed it.

It was recommended by SWB on her facebook feed, and looked intriguing, which is how I happened to buy it.  It has science fiction AND history aspects, and is decently well written.

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10 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I recently read "The Second Sleep" by Robert Harris, and I really enjoyed it.

It was recommended by SWB on her facebook feed, and looked intriguing, which is how I happened to buy it.  It has science fiction AND history aspects, and is decently well written.

I'm reading this now and enjoying it.

I always recommend Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel, to pretty much everyone.  

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 If you like Science Fiction,  a few of the ladies have fallen for and loved the Linesman series by S.K. Dunstall.   Fantasy wise, try Anne Bishop's Other series or Patricia Briggs Mercedes Thompson series. Try the first book in any of the series and see if you like it. 

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22 minutes ago, Robin M said:

If you like Science Fiction,  a few of the ladies have fallen for and loved the Linesman series by S.K. Dunstall....

You beat me to it, Robin. I was ready to suggest Linesman.

I'll second your other suggestions, too.

Regards,

Kareni

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Since you liked Hillbilly Elegy, which was my favorite book in the year that it was published, I'd like to suggest two more than reminded me of it in some ways and that I thought were very well-written:

Evicted

Janesville

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4 hours ago, PeachyDoodle said:

If you like biography/memoir like Hillbilly Elegy:

Elizabeth, the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith

Eric Metaxas' biography of Martin Luther

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

My go-to fantasy series is A Song of Ice and Fire. I also like Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller series that begins with The Name of the Wind. Of course, neither of those is finished yet, so that can be more frustrating than anything -- but the writing in both is excellent.

I just bought my dd the first three books of Pern!

This is what I was going to recommend -- The Glass Castle.  It will pull you in and leave a lasting impression on you.

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They Great Alone by K Hannah  is perfect for January! It's set in Alaska and it a massive page turner. Have a fluffy read waiting after. It gave me a book hangover I was on the edge of my seat. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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I really enjoyed One Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Family Chaos, Personal Passions, and Saying Yes to Them Both https://amzn.to/2SDlAgR

Pursue your passions, love your family, and say goodbye to guilt—pipe dream or possibility? 

Work and family, individuality and motherhood, the creative life and family life—women are told constantly that they can’t have it all. One Beautiful Dream is the deeply personal, often humorous tale of what happened when one woman dared to believe that you can have it allif you’re willing to reimagine what having it all looks like. 

Jennifer Fulwiler is the last person you might expect to be the mother of six young children. First of all, she’s an introvert only child, self-described workaholic, and former atheist who never intended to have a family. Oh, and Jennifer has a blood-clotting disorder exacerbated by pregnancy that has threatened her life on more than one occasion.

One Beautiful Dream is the story of what happens when one woman embarks on the wild experiment of chasing her dreams with multiple kids in diapers. It’s the tale of learning that opening your life to others means that everything will get noisy and chaotic, but that it is in this mess that you’ll find real joy.

Jennifer’s quest takes her in search of wisdom from a cast of colorful characters, including her Ivy-League-educated husband, her Texan mother-in-law who crushes wasps with her fist while arguing with wrong number calls about politics, and a best friend who’s never afraid to tell it like it is. Through it all, Jennifer moves toward the realization that the life you need is not the life you would have originally chosen for yourself. And maybe, just maybe, it’s better that way.

Hilarious, highly relatable, and brutally honest, Jennifer’s story will spark clarity and comfort to your own tug-of-war between all that is good and beautiful about family life and the incredible sacrifice it entails. Parenthood, personal ambitions, family planning, and faith—it’s complicated. Let this book be your invitation to the unexpected, yet beautiful dream of saying yes to them all, with God’s help.

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Well, I can give you the list of what I'm reading in January: finish Beethoven for a Later Age (quartet playing, by a prof of dd's), All the Light We Cannot See (WWII), Blitzed (drugs in the Third Reich) Jet Girl (first woman to bomb ISIS--friend of dd's) The Fellowship (biography of the Inklings), and Visual History of WWII (Smithsonian)--Christmas books! Oh, and Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube (dog sledding--it's in at the library)

Edited by Margaret in CO

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2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

I have downloaded Elizabeth The Queen, a different SK Dunstall book (the only digital my library had) and A Dance with Dragons.  We will see how it goes.

Here's a list of the books that my(!) SK Dunstall have written. You had me excited for a moment at the prospect of a new book; however, I'm guessing the Elizabeth the Queen book must be by a different Dunstall. Happy reading!

Regards,

Kareni

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A pp mentioned Fablehaven. We did all 5 audiobooks during the time I was making 26 hr round trip trips every 6 weeks. We ended up buying them as well. They are great family friendly books for a wide age range.

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Two fantasy authors I have loved: Andrea Host (Touchstone Series, Medair Duology), and Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone trilogy, Six of Crows duology). My two favorite non-fiction books of 2019 were iGen and Range.

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I don't read much fiction anymore but my BFF gave My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. I read it in 2 days (and I'm a slow reader). I laughed out and cried - both wiping a lone tear and ugly crying, b/c that's how it's written and b/c of personal things that only mean something to me. 

This is by the same author who wrote A Man Called Ove, which I didn't read, but saw the movie (w/ subtitles.) I heard Tom Hanks will star in an American version of Ove. No thank you. And I am not anti-Hanks.

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On 12/26/2019 at 6:18 PM, marbel said:

I always recommend Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel, to pretty much everyone.  

Seconding Station Eleven .

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I highly recommend Bad Blood by John Carryrou. It's about the Elizabeth Holmes/Theranos debacle. Even though it's non-fiction written by a journalist, it reads like a thriller. Radium Girls by Kate Moore is another non-fiction book that was fascinating.

For fiction, Dark Matter and Recursion, both by Blake Crouch, were quick reads that are light sci-fi. I'll also add another vote for Station Eleven.

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I finished two books this week and can recommend both of them!  Fiction:  Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger and non-fiction:  The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller.  The Keller book is short and the fiction book is about 300 pages. That's a good length for me since I tend to get sucked in and ignore my life when I read. 

Thanks to others for suggestions. I plan to refer back to this thread.

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