What are you reading the week of May 29, 2020

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What are you reading the week of May 29, 2020

Editado: Maio 29, 2020, 4:50pm

Sorry, I've just realized that it's Friday, not Saturday, and I don't know how to erase this thread!

Maio 29, 2020, 7:07pm

That's okay -- we'll forgive you!

We're closing in on the end of the month, and I've apparently spent a lot of time with my nose in books -- ten finished and one abandoned, ranging from a re-read of Terry Pratchett's excellent Soul Music to a mercy-read of Nicholas Sparks' Nights in Rodanthe to the abandoned (and disappointing) Terms of Endearment. When McMurtry misses the mark, he misses it bigtime.

Just finished reading (okay, skimming) a 1970s medical memoir called A Surgeon's World, and it was a real struggle. Dated, sexist, and really not very well written at all.

Next up is Roxane Gay's Hunger, which I may or may not finish before Sunday.

How is everybody else's May list shaping up?

Maio 29, 2020, 7:47pm

Ahef1963 I get confused about which day it is now too LOL!

Maio 29, 2020, 9:18pm

This is my first post on LibraryThing, the first day too :) I'm currently reading Pandemic 1918 by Catherine Arnold. Excellent!!

Maio 30, 2020, 1:04am

>1 ahef1963: Ha! I just searched for the thread thinking it was Saturday night, not Friday. Days no longer have meaning.

>4 tamiNeilson: Welcome!

After a bit of a slow start, I’m loving Lily King’s Writers & Lovers.

Maio 30, 2020, 8:13am

Actually, thanks for starting us off! I'm nibbling at several books right now. Kuby Immunology and Goddesses in Context: On Divine Powers, Roles, Relationships and Gender in Mesopotamian Textual and Visual Sources.

The firstis one of those books that became so iconic in the field that it still bears the name of the original author even though he is long gone. Instead of being Immunology by Kuby, it's now Kuby Immunology by a long list of authors. I've just begun reading it, but I find the writing to be fluid and clear. That's a difficult thing to achieve with such a topic. It's a large book, so I'll probably be reading it for several months.

The second book doesn't have a touchstone yet as I'm the first to add it to LT. Goddesses in Context is a study of the changing roles of goddesses over the history of the Mesopotamian region of the ancient Near East. The three and half to four millennia of Near Eastern history documented in clay tablets covers a variety of different cultures with differing attitudes towards women in society. The Sumerians, who lie at the beginning of this historical lineage, were far more open to women than the later Akkadians, Assyrians, Amorites, Kassites...it's a long list. Goddesses in Context looks at how the roles of goddesses in the religion first documented by the Sumerians changed over the millennia as the dominant culture changed.

Maio 30, 2020, 9:09am

>4 tamiNeilson: Welcome
>1 ahef1963: I checked the date mid morning and was surprised it was Friday already.
I send my granddaughter in Texas a weekly letter and had to get busy and get it in the mail.
I have to start a new book today because I have to wait until tomorrow to finish one for a June challenge on LT. I received an ARC yesterday and will probably start it. 500 Miles From You by Jenny Colgan.

Maio 30, 2020, 1:13pm

>4 tamiNeilson: Welcome!

>7 mnleona: I'm supposed to get 500 Miles too! I hope it gets here soon!

I'm reading Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters Volume 2 by Eric Powell. I would rather deal with the fictional monsters than the real monsters right now.

Maio 30, 2020, 1:35pm

West of Eden: An American Place
Jean Stein
3/5 stars
Jean Stein’s book covers five unusual true stories of Los Angeles, particularly focusing on Hollywood by using the interviews of the actual relatives and players of Hollywood that have shaped Los Angeles history for good or for bad. Stein covers the stories of the Dohenys, the Warner Brothers family, real estate heiress Jane Garland, actress Jennifer Jones, and her own family. I am mixed about this book, some of it I raced through and then others parts seemed to drag on forever. I knew that Hollywood was a free for all but never knew, especially in its early history, that everything was up for grabs in terms of morality.
Sad note- I was looking up the author on the internet and discovered that she had committed suicide a couple of years ago.

Maio 30, 2020, 2:11pm

>4 tamiNeilson: Welcome to your new addiction!! :) I read that book, yes it is excellent (my grandmother first child died from that, he was 6 months old.) BTW another interesting pandemic book Polio: An American Story about the race for the vaccine as well as the founding of the March of Dimes and the start of the public fundraisers such as MD telethones

BTW Was Polio a pandemic,or was it mainly happening in the states?

Maio 30, 2020, 2:15pm

>2 LyndaInOregon: Soul Music was one of the my first pratchett reads (along with Small Gods and Good Omens) and at the time one of the few of his books published in the US. Fortunately that quickly changed!

I am currently reading the poppy war for my sci fi book group Given the subject was surprised it was considered fantasy, but as Im reading, I see why, Very good thus far tho given the history its based on, I may be covering my eyes during some parts.

Maio 30, 2020, 4:08pm

Maio 31, 2020, 9:58am

The Simplicity of Cider– Amy E Reichert
Digital audiobook performed by Rachel Dulude

Sanna Lunde has taken over the apple orchard run by her family for five generations in Wisconsin’s Door County. The business is struggling but she has plans to expand despite her brother’s pressure to sell out to a developer. Isaac Banks has basically raised his son Sebastian alone. Trying to bond (and to find the right time to tell Bass about his mother’s death) they take off on an adventure and wind up at the Lunde’s orchard.

Yes, the plot has been done before and includes most of the rom-com tropes. Yes, the heroine’s hard shell will be cracked by the genuine goodness (not to mention tall, dark, handsome charm) of the hero. Yes, she – a confirmed avoider of children – will come to love the precocious Sebastian. Yes, there will be major obstacles to their getting together. But has that ever stopped a couple in a rom-com? Well, Reichert is not about to break that mold.

Despite all the predictability this meet-cute romance ticks all the right boxes for me. It’s set in a place I love (Hubby and I visit Door County a couple of times a year), and I feel right at home with the descriptions of the location, the people, the traditions. I love the food references, even though I’m not a big fan of the fish boil (still, it’s a sight to behold). It’s a fast read, relaxing and completely enjoyable.

Rachel Dulude does a fine job performing the audiobook. She sets a good pace and I like the say she voiced Sanna, Isaac, and Sebastian.

Editado: Maio 31, 2020, 1:13pm

My local indie puts together 'book lover' packages. You complete a survey, they pick the books (price is 50-500 dollars) got mine yesterday. Asked for general lit recent books and told them I needed to be destracted and to laugh. So I have an embarrassment of riches; upright women wanted How to invent everything, The Wangs vs. the world and The Mothers Think that will be my reading for the next week or two..

Started with the Gailey; its YA but very well written, with great characters. Think I know where its going, but thats fine. A little bit of the ordinary is just fine these days

Editado: Maio 31, 2020, 1:50pm

I finished the excellent I finished The Republic: The Fight for Irish Independence, 1918-1923 by Charles Townshend. I read this as a follow up to Townshend's Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion. The two books were recommended to me, along with Tom Barry's Guerilla Days in Ireland, by a bookseller in a great store in Cork City when my wife and I were there on vacation a few years back. I had asked him about the best books to read to learn about the events of those years. You can see my review on the book's work page or on my 50-Book Challenge thread.

I've now started Fever Dream, a short novel by Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin.

Maio 31, 2020, 4:13pm

Okay, winding up the month with Hunger, by Roxane Gay, and an early-review of A Fine Mess by Kim Duke.

"Hunger" was brutal, honest, revelatory, and in places terrifying. Definitely worth reading.

"A Fine Mess", on the other hand ... is.

No, seriously, it's not a "bad" book -- it's just a very superficial collection of Hallmark "encouragement" type aphorisms on dealing with the crap that life dumps on you. Took me all of 30 minutes to read the 88 pages with lots of pretty pictures and artistic white spaces.

Think I'm going to start the Dr. Ruth autobiography All in a Lifetime next.

Jun 1, 2020, 1:51pm

I read The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen in a day. It was light and sweet and made me want to eat cake.

Editado: Jun 1, 2020, 5:42pm

I finished the thought-provoking novel, Frankissstein for a book club meeting this week.

Now to finish reading The Plum In The Golden Vase by Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng.

Editado: Jun 4, 2020, 6:02pm

Starting this OverDrive audiobook ~

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

(Spain, 1950s/Franco dictatorship/two teens/YA tale)

Jun 2, 2020, 11:34am

>8 PaperbackPirate: I am going to give it a 3 1/2 star. It gets emotional and the first of the book sounded like she was talking to my mother so that hit me hard. I am on page 314 of 416 pages. Easy read but if you get emotional start the book in the morning, not at night. I do like the main characters. I wanted to read the book as I have been to London and Loch Ness.
>13 BookConcierge: Love Door County. Beautiful area. I did have the fish boil and since we fished there as a group, we brought home some fish to Minnesota and had our fish boil as a group.

Jun 2, 2020, 11:37am

Finished The Gene: An Intimate History which was a history of the science of heredity and the gene presented in a mostly understandable and engaging manner. From Aristotle to 2014.

Jun 2, 2020, 11:44am

The Kindle edition of Just One Damned Thing After Another, the wonderful, delightful first book in the Chronicles of St Mary's, is only 99¢ TODAY!!

My rating was a solid 4* of five. Go see my review for the why and the wherefore.

Jun 2, 2020, 12:25pm

My first post on the site :-)

I'm reading "A history of the World in 10 and a half Chapters" by Julian Barnes.

I'm quite liking it

Jun 2, 2020, 12:27pm

Really enjoying Just one dammed thing after another right now after finishing the shoemaker's wife by Adriana Trigiani.

Jun 2, 2020, 12:57pm

>20 mnleona: Thanks for the tip! I want to read it because I haven't been to London or Loch Ness. Lol.

Jun 2, 2020, 2:58pm

Just finished listening to the marvelous Amnesty by Aravind Adiga.

Next up for listening is Little Family by Ishmael Beah.

Jun 2, 2020, 5:18pm

>23 Gurdeesh.Kaur.Sethi: welcome Gurdeesh! I love Julian Barnes and liked that as well. When you finish, check out his England,England, its hilarous as well as poignant

Jun 2, 2020, 6:28pm

>25 PaperbackPirate: I finished 500 Miles From You this afternoon. Not sure if I will raise it to a 4 star.

Editado: Jun 2, 2020, 7:29pm

>23 Gurdeesh.Kaur.Sethi: welcome Gurdeesh! I love Julian Barnes and liked that as well. When you finish, check out his England,England, its hilarous as well as poignant

ETA Touchstone is wrong, go to the link for Julian Barnes and look for England Englland

Editado: Jun 3, 2020, 11:58am

How to invent everything Imagine Bill Bryson and Terry Pratchett doing their best to describe what we need to live and oh by the way, making it extremely fun to read

Jun 3, 2020, 2:15am

Thank you for the recommendation. I'll definitely read it
I also discovered Henry Cecil, the clever judge

Jun 3, 2020, 2:20am

Thanks so much. I intend to read the book at least 10 times

Jun 3, 2020, 1:20pm

I raced through Samanta Schweblin's short but powerful novel Fever Dream. You can find my thoughts about the book on my personal CR thread.

Missing baseball as I do, I've begun reading, and enjoying, The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller. Two young sports writers and statistics nerds were given a chance to assemble and run an independent league baseball team in Sonoma, California in 2015, which is actually quite close to me. This book is there account of the experience. It's very entertainingly written, but it is for baseball fans only.

Jun 3, 2020, 5:26pm

Odds Against – Dick Francis
Audiobook performed by Geoffrey Howard

From the book jacket: Steeplechase jockey Sid Halley was forced to retire when a devastating accident crippled his left hand. Now he spends his days working for a detective agency. Recently separated from his wife, he struggled to adjust not only to his new single life out of racing but also to his handicap. On a routine stakeout, he walks straight into a bullet and his life is changed – again. Halley searched for the man who shot him. The trail leads back to the racetracks, and points to a wicked conspiracy. Halley is the only one who can stop it, and the odds are against him….

My reactions:
I’ve read a couple of Dick Francis mysteries, but this is the first in a series, starring Sid Halley. I really liked how Francis gave us Halley’s background and set up potential continuing relationships for future books in the series.

I would classify this plot less as a traditional mystery, and more of a thriller. Halley (and the reader) know pretty quickly who’s behind the nefarious doings at the track, though there’s a bit of a question as to why and how, and not all the accomplices are known immediately. Halley is tenacious, intelligent, a quick-thinker, and a realist. I like the way he thinks.

The plot moves quickly and there’s enough action and intrigue to keep me interested.

Geoffrey Howard does a fine job performing the audiobook. I like his pacing and the way he voices the characters, particularly Sid and his sidekick, Chico. There are several audio editions with different narrators

Jun 3, 2020, 8:54pm

>23 Gurdeesh.Kaur.Sethi: Welcome!

Writers & Lovers and very good!

I've happily escaped now into Michael Connelly's latest, Fair Warning.

Jun 3, 2020, 9:55pm

How is A gentleman in Moscow?

Jun 3, 2020, 10:15pm

Fantastic!!!!!! but YMMV :)

Jun 3, 2020, 11:33pm

Ymmv means?

Jun 4, 2020, 12:32am

your mileage may vary; I loved it but you might have a different opinion. Will be interested to hear your raction

Jun 4, 2020, 1:12am


Editado: Jun 4, 2020, 2:30am

> Welcome Gurdeesh! I also loved A Gentleman In Moscow.

Finally finished reading The Plum In The Golden Vase. A masterful soap opera and social commentary.

Next up for reading is The Jump Artist by Austin Ratner.

Jun 4, 2020, 3:25am

Thanks for the kind welcome everyone.

I own 4000 books in my personal library at home.

How many do you own?

Jun 4, 2020, 5:17am

Reading (Truth with the boots on ) by Henry Cecil
A short hilarious read

Jun 4, 2020, 1:08pm

Blade Runner aka Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Philip K. Dick
3/5 stars
In the future (which is 1992 in the book), Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter tracks down human replicants who are no longer allowed on Earth. However, life on Earth is no bed of roses. People are obsessed with owning real animals because there are so few left. Deckard’s new assignment is to track down 6 androids that have returned to Earth from Mars and kill them. It has been awhile since I have seen the film but the film really strays from the book IMO. However, I thought this was an interesting look at a possible dark future for Earth.

Jun 4, 2020, 1:11pm


Jun 4, 2020, 1:52pm


Jun 4, 2020, 3:26pm

Finished my reread of Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. Still a favorite.

Added Ruin by John Gwynne to my rotation.

Jun 4, 2020, 6:38pm

Starting the mothers this pm, looks like it will be interesting

Jun 5, 2020, 2:17am

Reading, (The mammoth book of one-liners)

Jun 5, 2020, 3:09am

After reading the second book of Margaret Atwood's trilogy "The Year of the Flood", I take a break with something lighter. "The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle" First novel by Stuart Turton " it is supposed to be a mystery room like the ones by Aghata Christy. Once l watched an interview of an Italian writer, and he said Sartre the French philosopher, used to read a lot of mystery room, because, according to him in this kind of novel the society is well described (l think high society, surely not brick layers or plumbers society.) Reading a few customers review in on line bookshop, I noticed it is a marmite novel. The one who didn't like it, stated there are too many characters and you can't follow them all, the ones who loved it, stated any characters has his reason to be. I'm at page 70, out of 500 and I can't say much, only I like the writing. l read on the blurb, so it isn't spoiler, that Evelyn has been murdered hundreds of times, and each day Aiden Bishop is too late to save her, every time the days begun again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different character, and someone is desperate to stop him ever escaping Blackeath, (the mansion where the story is set). I'm not sure if I will read it out, because I don't appeal to me this fact that every day the main character wake up in a different body., didn't read the blurb because I bought because the title elicited me. I will give it another 100 pages try, and if I am not hooked, I throw it away.
Now I'm over 150 pages, and the story is gripping me.

Jun 5, 2020, 4:52am

Who likes PG Wodehouse? I have 8 unread books by him. Just started one. He is hilarious. Also Julia Quinn, she writes historical romance novels.

Jun 5, 2020, 4:53am

Any suggestions for Romcoms? Like Bridget Jones books..

Editado: Jun 5, 2020, 8:10am

I'm slowing delving in the novel , "The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Castle". At the start I was a little dubious about the fact that the main character every time he wakes is in another body of the hosts of the mansion. But now the plot is thicking and is turning more in a thriller than a mystery room. The writing is fluid and you find yourself gently drawn in the story.

Jun 5, 2020, 11:20am

Hemlokgang, I'm loving a gentleman in Moscow. Beautiful language. Is his other book as good?

Editado: Jun 5, 2020, 11:26am

Cindydavid4..I'm loving the Moscow book
Pls Suggest books with superior language

Jun 5, 2020, 1:03pm

>23 Gurdeesh.Kaur.Sethi: I have a hold on this book and am intrigued with your comments. Will keep the hold on the book but will be interested in your thoughts when or if you finish it!

Editado: Jun 5, 2020, 1:07pm

A Gentleman in Moscow was hugely popular when it first came out but I never read it. Will be interested in your review when you finish it.

Jun 5, 2020, 1:57pm

I (finally!) started reading White Trash. The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg, 2016. The beginning of the book is quite fascinating to understand the ideology, and the accompanying language coming from England in the XVIIc to refer to "the poor". The founding myth of the "pilgrims" comes up very clearly too. A long way to go but the writing and editing are very good and a pleasure to read.

Jun 5, 2020, 2:47pm

JulieLill :-)

I have read 5 pages of Moscow novel uptill now and I'm hooked.
The language is superb and what a character Rostov is.
Read it asap

Jun 6, 2020, 12:40am

The new thread is up over here.

Jun 6, 2020, 12:52am

>51 Gurdeesh.Kaur.Sethi: Wodehouse is such a joy to read. He's probably the perfect escape for the present environment. Nothing ever to trouble the soul that's worse than a visit from Aunt Agatha.

Jun 6, 2020, 1:28am

Fredbacon :-)

And who can forget Jeeves and his Worcestershire sauce?

Jun 6, 2020, 2:03am

Guys, you have to read novels by Julia Quinn. You ll laugh out loud several times, even when you are in a crowded metro.