What are you reading the week of June 27, 2020?

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What are you reading the week of June 27, 2020?

Jun 27, 2020, 1:26am

I'm still grinding away on Kuby Immunology which is fascinating and maddeningly complex. Have a good week!

For those who asked me about this book last week, I've added a long message to last week's thread discussing it.

Jun 27, 2020, 11:00am

Reading, The fast metabolism diet by Haylie Pomroy

Jun 27, 2020, 1:34pm

I'm still reading a few articles a day from The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009 edited by Elizabeth Kolbert. My favorites this week have been about the brain, one standout being The Itch by Atul Gawande, where they almost solve someone's scratching obsession with a mirror.

I'm also still reading Blue Rodeo by Jo-Ann Mapson. Set in New Mexico, it has been my sweet escape.

Editado: Jun 27, 2020, 1:49pm

I'm about a quarter of the way through Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist's Fight to Make the Media Look More like America by Dorothy Butler Gilliam. Gilliam was the first Black woman journalist hired by the Washington Post. She came on board there in 1961 after gaining experience at Black urban weekly publications. This book is her memoir of her life and career. I was eager to read this, and bought it at my local bookstore right after seeing her interviewed by Trevor Hoah. I expecting to be fascinated, but unfortunately so far I'm finding the writing oddly disjointed and lacking in detail. I will certainly keep reading, though, because I'm still learning a lot.

Jun 27, 2020, 2:08pm

I am listening to The Shadow King and reading Territory of Light.

Jun 27, 2020, 2:36pm

Your Movie Sucks
Roger Ebert
3.5/5 stars
Ebert reviews some of his most hated films with humor and disdain. I laughed through a majority of the remarks and it made me miss him and his reviews. Not for everyone but if you are a film buff you might enjoy it!

Jun 27, 2020, 3:43pm

Nothing new on the reading front. Arthritis painful today.

Jun 27, 2020, 5:03pm

Finished The Shadow King, an interesting piece of historical fiction.

Next up for listening is Ellie and The Harpmaker by Hazel Prior.

Jun 27, 2020, 6:20pm

Finished Witches Abroad didn't enjoy it as much as the other two but still good. Lords and Ladies comes next and IIRC that was my fav of the group.

Reading Inhilations for a book group and am less than impressed.

Editado: Jun 27, 2020, 8:37pm

>1 fredbacon: Fred, thanks for the info about Kuby Immunology. It wouldn't be my cup of tea, but it's interesting knowing what it's about. I think that a large proportion of the people in this group would love to know about the off-the-beaten-track books you read, and I hope that you will tell us more in the future when reading unusual things. As a point of interest, my now-deceased best friend was the general editor of Grant's Atlas of Anatomy, which is widely used in Canada. I named my son for this remarkable man, who was incredibly talented in multiple fields, and in the 8th edition of the textbook some of the pictures used were of my brother, who was, as a young man, so slender that he was perfect for photos of bone structure.

I haven't read much in a couple of days, but when I was reading, it was The Bone People by Keri Hulme, a New Zealandic writer whose novel won the Booker in 1985. I've wanted to read it for some time, but its size was daunting.

Editado: Jun 27, 2020, 9:25pm

From the library: The Queen of Raiders by Sarah Kozloff
It's #2 installment in the Nine Realms series. This new fantasy series was a rapid release earlier this year so it's nice to have the complete series to enjoy. The story follows a young magically gifted Queen's journey to reclaim her mother's throne after being hidden for her safety.
I've already read A Queen in Hiding, the opening installment.

Here's the complete series list:
#1 A Queen in Hiding
#2 The Queen of Raiders
#3 A Broken Queen
#4 The Cerulean Queen (finale)

Editado: Jun 27, 2020, 9:40pm

Finished reading Territory Of Light, an absolutely lovely novel!

Next up to read is Plexus: Book 2, Rosy Crucifixion by Henry Miller.

Jun 27, 2020, 10:10pm

The Remains of the Day– Kazuo Ishiguro
Audiobook performed by Simon Prebble

A proper English butler, known only by his last name: Stevens, reflects on his life’s work. Stevens has been butler and one of the great houses, Darlington Hall. He has taken great pride in serving Lord Darlington, though now the house has been bought by an American, whose style of life is quite different.

I love the way that Ishiguro reveals Stevens’ character through his musings on his journey to the Western part of England. He has convinced himself that a letter from his former colleague indicates her interest in returning to the estate as housekeeper, and he uses the time spent traveling to remember his past experiences. But as he recalls the glory days of house parties that welcomed the bright and influential people to Darlington Hall, Stevens reveals how he allowed his sense of duty and devotion to being butler in a great house to blind himself to what was really happening – both in the world at large and on a more personal level.

Because Stevens has surrendered himself to his occupational persona. He has adopted the reserved, unobtrusive, dignified ideal butler and set aside any of his own personal thoughts or opinions in favor of the character he has become. His personal relationships – with his father, with Miss Kenton – have suffered as a result. This slow realization is what makes this book so poignant and thought-provoking. The missed chances, and yet … perhaps it’s not too late to still enjoy life, to find a more satisfying path in what remains of the day.

I’ve never seen the movie, but I love both Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, and imagine it’s a wonderful experience.

Simon Prebble does a marvelous job of narrating the audiobook. He has the proper British enunciation that perfectly captures the essence of Stevens’ reserved personality.

Jun 28, 2020, 12:37am

I finally read Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House and loved it.

Now I’m reading Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess Boys and struggling a bit at the start but I think it’s only because I loved The Dutch House so much.

Editado: Jun 28, 2020, 2:55am

Editado: Jun 28, 2020, 6:16am

>14 BookConcierge:, I agree the book was fantastic and you really must see the movie!

I've read a few of his other works, but sort of got turned off to him after reading never let me go His writing is excellent but there is too much that is unknown, and frankly just too hopeless of an ending. Elsethread we are talking about unsettling books, and I'd say this is a good example of one for me.

ETA just read some of the reviews here, and have to say that this one from the Guardian is rather perfect for today

This extraordinary and, in the end, rather frighteningly clever novel isn't about cloning, or being a clone, at all. It's about why we don't explode, why we don't just wake up one day and go sobbing and crying down the street, kicking everything to pieces out of the raw, infuriating, completely personal sense of our lives never having been what they could have been

>15 Copperskye: Loved that book! Im a huge fan of Patchett and this is another example of her gift. and Im like you - once I read a book so well done, it takes me a while to read anything else; just dont want to leave that world

Jun 28, 2020, 11:35am

Just finished The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and much enjoyed it. Will probably lobby to have it as a group read in my F2F club.

Next thing from the TBR stack is a Spenser novel, which is like eating potato chips -- crunchy, salty, greasy, and utterly without nutrition, but who cares? There will be a case to solve (sometimes even the case he was hired to solve), there will be sexy banter with Susan and macho banter with Hawk. There will be some meals described, and some fashion choices, and then to remind you that Spenser is a real he-man, despite the cooking and fashion commentary, somebody will get punched. Or shot. Or both.

What can I say? Sometimes ya gotta have potato chips.

Jun 28, 2020, 11:47am

Finished Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park. YA historical fiction about a Chinese-American girl in the 1880s. Chinese were, of course, another non-white group treated badly in the U.S.
The book is excellent. I like all books by L.S. Park.

Just started Girl with the louding voice by Abi Dare.
Another girl treated badly and struggling to rise above. This time in Nigeria.

Editado: Jun 28, 2020, 9:32pm

Finished Sudden Mischief, a Spenser book by Robert B. Parker.

See Post 18, above.

Potato chips.

That's okay. It was a rainy day today, I've been awake since 3:30 and up since 6, so a day spent munching literary potato chips ain't bad.

Must be time for some science fiction. I see an Alan Dean Foster book near the top of the TBR stack.

Editado: Jun 29, 2020, 8:22am

Has anyone read Nora Roberts yet?

Check out this site:


Editado: Jun 29, 2020, 3:03pm

Finished listeningvto the absolutely wonderful book, Ellie And The Harpmaker.

Next up for listening is Memory Man by David Baldacci.

Jun 29, 2020, 8:12pm

Spent all day in bed finishing the sci-fi fast-paced thriller Recursion by Blake Crouch. Involves memory, time-travel, regrets, etc. Some confusion (as with most time-travel stories). I may have to go back one day. Def entertaining.

Jun 29, 2020, 8:20pm

If you've read one (make that three) Nora Roberts book, you've read them all. She cranks them out like sausages. Many are trilogies, usually about three young women who, one book at a time, find their perfect mate in some exotic locale.

She has a HUGE fan base, so obviously there are a lot of people out there who like her stuff.

Jun 29, 2020, 9:20pm

>11 ahef1963: I've also been watching a classroom lecture series on Virology that is available at YouTube. It was taught in the spring semester of this year by Vincent Racaniello from the Columbia School of Medicine. What is particularly fascinating about this series is that the lectures began in mid January of this year. For the first ten weeks or so, he would start the lectures with a brief synopsis of the CoVID-19 outbreak which was mostly in China at that time. Over the weeks it begins to spread rapidly around the world. It's an interesting historical timeline. He weaves discussions of the coronavirus all throughout the lectures.

Vince Racaniello also hosts a podcast called This Week in Virology. He's been doing it for nearly a decade, so there is a lot of good stuff at his site.

One particularly fascinating episode from early June is Bats and coronaviruses with Peter Daszak. It's a long conversation with a scientist who's been making a career of studying coronaviruses in the bat populations of China.

It's the sort of story that makes you despair about politics and American science. The Trump administration pulled his funding because he was working with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This basically has left America blind to developments in China. He and his research team have lost access to thousands of field samples they collected in and around bat caves in southwestern China. Information that could be crucial to understanding what is going on.

Now I'm going to go finish rewatching season two of Dark on Netflix. Season three dropped this weekend, but the show is so convoluted that you have to watch each season a couple of times to really understand what is going on.

Jun 30, 2020, 1:11am

>24 LyndaInOregon:

thanks for the info..I'm planning to read Isabelle Allende now

Jun 30, 2020, 9:47am

OverDrive Kindle eBook Alexa narrates for me ~

Third to Die by Allison Brennan

(book 1/tale centers around a newly forming Mobile Response Team/police detective/FBI agent/serial killer)

Jun 30, 2020, 12:49pm

Positively Pippa
Sarah Hegger
3/5 stars
Pippa had a makeover show on TV but when her ex and another member on the show sabotaged her job, she goes home to stay with her grandmother and runs into Matt. Matt is the gorgeous hunk who works on her grandmother’s house and Pippa has trouble keeping her distance from him while she tries to re-establish her career. I enjoyed this funny, romantic novel.

Editado: Jun 30, 2020, 1:43pm

started The Women in Blackbecause according to Hillary Mantel, its a book she recommends when someone needs to laugh. Well, Im not really sure whats funny here; typical stuff from 50s (reminds me of Are You Being Served but not that well written) Sily young women that I don't find interesting- Im not that far into it, does it get better? I usually love books like this but finding too much fluffand poor writing. Give me a reason to continue with this one

Just picked up love by Roddy McDonald which Ive been eager to read. hopefully that will make me smile in a few places.

Jun 30, 2020, 5:31pm

I am continuing to make my way through The Invention of the White Race, Volume 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control and should finish by this weekend. Have also been dropping into Deep Rivers by Jose Maria Arguedas and speeding through The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple

Jul 1, 2020, 1:53pm

The Day the World Came To Town – Jim DeFede

Subtitle: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

When terrorists crashed US commercial jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the administration moved quickly to shut down all US air space. Plane had to land – immediately – at the nearest airport. But planes coming from Europe had basically just one option … Gander, Newfoundland. In a matter of hours, the town of 10,000 was host to another 6,596 passengers and crew members.

This is the story of how the residents of Gander, and surrounding towns, worked to accommodate strangers in an unprecedented emergency. DeFede reports the events in a straight-forward and engaging manner. He gives some insight into the way the residents of the town thought, the culture of basic decency and compassion in which their generosity of spirit could flourish, and the leadership provided by elected officials and business leaders. I liked how he related the confusion, anxiety, surprise, relief and joy experiences by the passengers and crew members. Some of these people formed lasting friendships.

It’s an uplifting story, especially now in these unsettled times. Reminding me that there is kindness in this world, that there are people who rise to the occasion and behave selflessly to help others in distress, without thought to remuneration or reward. It restores my faith in humankind.

Jul 1, 2020, 1:55pm

>19 nrmay:
I had the pleasure of seeing Linda Sue Park at my local library giving a presentation when Prairie Lotus first was released. Even more pleased that the community room was completely packed with adults and children eager to see & hear her!

Jul 1, 2020, 3:31pm

>31 BookConcierge: not sure if you are aware, but before this book came out, the entire thing was made into a broadway mucsical, one that got a Tony award for best musical, if it every comes to your town (or when the theatres finally open) you must see it. I am not one for overrly sweet sentimental stories, but I actually cried watching this I was so moved.

btw many of the folk involved have a reunion every year or so

Jul 1, 2020, 3:33pm

I gave up on women in black, and and even Roddy Mcdowells not doing anything for me. Found out that my order of vanishing half is in; hopefully that does the trick to break this reading slump!

Jul 1, 2020, 5:14pm

Just finished Life Form by Alan Dean Foster and enjoyed it. He's put a lot of thought into how an exploratory mission to a "promising" planet might be put together, and come up with a planetary ecology that offers up lots of challenges.

I finished up the month of June with an even dozen reads (and one DNF). Standouts were Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson. The DNF was Willful Child, by Steven Erickson, a lame Star Trek parody that never got off the ground.

Jul 1, 2020, 5:48pm

Enjoying this OverDrive Kindle eBook Alexa reads to me ~

Third to Die by Allison Brennan

(book 1/tale centers around a newly forming Mobile Response Team/police detective/FBI agent/serial killer)

Jul 1, 2020, 6:38pm

>34 cindydavid4: Bingo re Vanishing Half

Jul 2, 2020, 12:51am

Trying very hard to finish Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman it is very long for a Hoffman novel, I have really enjoyed most of her novellas, she always seems to have a touch of magic in most, I hope this one improves for me.

Jul 2, 2020, 11:39am

Just received 5 books by Nora Roberts. I'll be booked for July.

Jul 2, 2020, 1:33pm

I read The Walking Dead, Vol. 7: The Calm Before and The Walking Dead, Vol. 8: Made to Suffer by Robert Kirkman. They're a little different from the tv show in surprising and gruesome ways.

Editado: Jul 2, 2020, 3:28pm

Finished Sword of Destiny by Andrej Sapkowski. Meh. I don't know if the books are badly written or just badly translated.

Added R is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton to my rotation.

Editado: Jul 2, 2020, 4:11pm

I finished Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist's Fight to Make the Media Look More like America by Dorothy Butler Gilliam. I was about to say that the headline across the top of this important book's front cover says it all: "A memoir by the first black woman reporter at the Washington Post. But, really, that bit of copy, while accurate, only tells part of the story. For while Gilliams was, indeed, when hired in 1961, the first black woman reporter at the Post, the role she has played and the work she has done to advance the cause of black representation both in American's newsrooms and on the pages of those publications, goes far beyond the role that the words "first black woman reporter" convey.

Gilliam's career spans the Civil Rights era of the late 50s and 60s through the Black Power movement and all the way through to the present day. She began her career as a typist for the black weekly, the Louisville Defender in the mid-50s but was soon editing and writing stories. In 1957 she was working for the Tri-State Defender when, at the age of 21, she went to Little Rock to cover the tumultuous, violent, hate-filled proceedings of the attempts to integrate the public schools there. She went to work for the The Washington Post, as mentioned, in 1961, and as a Post reporter went to Oxford, Mississippi, to cover the equally violent and ugly events around James Meredith's attempts to become the first black to enroll at the University of Mississippi. She spent several years as a beat reporter in Washington, retired for several years to raise her three daughters and support her husband's growing art career, and then returned to the Post as the editor of the newly expanded and influential Style section that covered a wide range of artistic and cultural issues in the city. And that's the short list of her accomplishments.

There are points at which I thought Gilliam's writing needed more detail and a bit better organization, particularly in the book's first third. But overall, I'll just say that Gilliam is an extremely admirable person, a tough fighter, who is reporting a crucial story.

This is the short version of this review! Check out my threads on Club Read or the 50-Book Challenge groups to read the full-length treatment. :)

After a couple of non-fiction books, I'll be heading back to fiction next via An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

Editado: Jul 3, 2020, 5:48pm

Jul 2, 2020, 10:35pm

Just finished a totally silly and unnecessarily graphic chicklit, By a Thread, by Lucy Score which I fortunately didn't pay anything for. (Got it through my Kindle Unlimited trial.)

Moving on to The First Patient, which hopefully will offer a little more to chew on.

Trying to explore a bit with that Kindle Unlimited trial, which runs three months IIRC, but maybe I need to do more "read a sample" before I download!

Jul 3, 2020, 9:20am

Who is better, Erich Segal or Eckharte tolle?

Jul 4, 2020, 2:12am

The new thread is up over here.