What are you reading the week of July 11, 2020?

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What are you reading the week of July 11, 2020?

Jul 11, 2020, 12:19am

Gah! Had a crazy week. Not much time for reading. My landlord has informed me that I either have to buy the place that I've been renting for the last 24 years, or he's going to raise my rent $900 a month beginning August 1st. He picked a great time to issue an ultimatum. What a crapfest of a week this has been. I don't want to buy this place, but I don't want to move either. I guess that I'm looking for a new place to live. Grrr.

Jul 11, 2020, 8:01am

Remember Me by Penelope Wilcock from The Hawk and the Dove Series
This is the 6th in a nine part series.

Jul 11, 2020, 8:46am

The Rescue
by Nicholas Sparks
(OverDrive audiobook)

Jul 11, 2020, 9:43am

>1 fredbacon: holy shit!!!Why is he doing this? grrr is right

Jul 11, 2020, 11:14am

Oh Fred that is awful. I hope you can find a nice new place.

Jul 11, 2020, 12:31pm

now reading:

night circus its a reread but working well for me right now

dragon republic just started hope its as good as poppy war

Jul 11, 2020, 12:52pm

>1 fredbacon: I'm sorry to hear about your landlord! I hate moving, and it must be extra frustrating when it's not even your own decision really.

I'm reading The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogues by Angela Y. Davis for my book club. It starts (online) in 10 minutes and I read all but the last 3 essays/speeches. It was backordered so I didn't get it until Thursday night. We'll have plenty to talk about as usual.

Jul 11, 2020, 2:10pm

I raced through the fun, new memoir/biography, The Lost Memoir by Lou Gehrig, as edited by Alan D. Gaff. It is half a compilation of syndicated columns that Gehrig wrote for newspapers during the 1927 season and half a biographical essay about Gehrig written by Gaff (about 100 pages each). For baseball history fans only. This was a birthday gift from my darling wife.

I've now started City of Soldiers: A Year of Life, Death, and Survival in Afghanistan by Kate Fearon. The first few pages make me very much looking forward to reading this, although Fearon does tell us that the view out the airplane window on her flight into the country was "literally breathtaking." Whoops! At any rate, Fearon's led a much, much more interesting life than I have, so I don't give myself much credit for spotting that little faux pas.

Jul 11, 2020, 4:15pm

>1 fredbacon: I can't imagine moving after 24 years in one place. Good luck with house/apartment hunting!

Jul 11, 2020, 7:59pm

>1 fredbacon: Ugh!

>10 JulieLill: I was thinking the same thing.

My current read is Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention Of Donald Trump and the Erosion Of America by Sarah Kendzior. Scary stuff.

Jul 11, 2020, 8:24pm

>1 fredbacon: Fred I am a great believer in the old saying, two in fact!! "Everything Happens For A Reason" and "Every Problem Has a Solution".

Jul 11, 2020, 11:02pm

Not far into and enjoying The House Across the Street by Lesley Pearse

Editado: Jul 12, 2020, 3:51am

>fredbacon....Serious bummer!

Just finished listening to the very dark, My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell.

Next up for listening is I Found You by Lisa Jewell.

Jul 12, 2020, 9:05am

Finished The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon and started the second book in the series, The Mime Order.

Jul 12, 2020, 4:41pm

>1 fredbacon: Oh, crap. After moving about every 18 months for as long as I can remember, hubby and I bought the house we are now in 46 years ago. And I have often said that if we ever have to move, I'm buying a box of matches and a gallon of gasoline. Look around. Don't know where you are living, but it may be that ~$900 a month is the going rate.

Currently reading ... well, a few minutes ago, I finished Jeffrey Deaver's The Bone Collector. which is the first of the Lincoln Rhyme series. It's great to see the way Deaver sets up and develops the characters who are going to be the backbone of the series, and lays a great thriller plot on top of it, complete with his trademark twist ending.

About 50 pages in, I realized that I had read this before. I only remembered that one particular scene, though, and enjoyed the rest of it probably as much as if it had been brand-new to me.

Meanwhile ... the enforced stay-at-home of the virus lockdown has really wiped out my TBR stack. I just counted, and I'm down to 62 books in it! It's very nearly time to panic. Not sure what I've got on the Kindle -- probably 30 or 40 titles. Plus, of course, the "permanent library" of stuff I want to read again. But still ... that's the least I've had in my TBR stack for years!

Jul 13, 2020, 9:58am

>1 fredbacon: So sorry to hear this! Good luck to you in finding a great new place.

I finished The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple which was a very good read. Stay away from cults...

I'm continuing with Deep Rivers, by Peruvian author Jose Maria Arguedas, which is a really beautiful story about growing up in a boarding school as an outsider in Peru. Also reading James K. Polk: A Biographical Companion and Knife of Dreams, the 11th book in the Wheel of Time series.

Jul 13, 2020, 2:12pm

>1 fredbacon: Grr indeed! There are few bothers worse than having to move, especially when it's not your decision. The very best of good luck to you.

I am about two-thirds of the way through Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and it is already one of my favourite books. I absolutely love the stories he tells, and he writes with a delightful sense of irony while never veering from his path of letting the wider world know some of the details of apartheid of which we may not have been aware. Brilliant book.

Jul 13, 2020, 4:28pm

>1 fredbacon: Oh, that's awful! Hope he gave you the required minimum notice, at least. Around here it would be at least 30 days. Not that that's much time either. Hope you find a much better place!

Editado: Jul 18, 2020, 3:39pm

Finders Keepers – Stephen King
Digital audiobook performed by Will Patton

Book two in the Bill Hodges trilogy, featuring the former detective, now a PI, and his team of misfits and amateurs.

This time the murder is an old, cold case – John Rothstein, a reclusive J.D. Salinger-type author, who was murdered in his home – and King begins with the event in 1978 that resulted in his death. Then we fast-forward to 2009 and join a young boy whose family is struggling with the aftermath of the mass killing that took place in Mr Mercedes (book one of this series). When Pete Saubers stumbles upon the chest containing Rothstein’s notebooks, along with a significant amount of cash, he decides to use the money to help his family. He doesn’t know that Rothstein’s killer has been in prison, dreaming of his stash. Morris Bellamy didn’t go to prison for Rothstein’s murder, however, and when he’s released on parole, he’s livid to discover his treasure missing. It’s bad enough that the money is gone, but the loss of those notebooks has Bellamy blind with rage … and intent on finding out who took the notebooks.

King is a master crafter of the suspense genre. He keeps the reader turning pages while offering complex characters and motivations. I love Holly – a woman with some significant issues, but who has found a “home” employed as Hodges’ assistant. Hodges is not without his own demons and difficulties, but seems to be recovering from his alcohol-fueled depression, and thriving in this new endeavor. The supporting cast is equally strong, including the young people.

I’ve read reviews that criticized King for using elements of Misery - chiefly a crazed fan of a writer. But despite that very basic tie, I found this book quite different.

Also .. while it doesn't impact the content of the book ... can I just say that I hate the cover art of this series. I don't need all that dripping blood to get the idea this is a mystery/ suspense / thriller / murder plot.

Will Patton is a great narrator and does a fine job with the many characters in this book. I really like the way he voices Holly and Hodges. He even does a passable job of voicing the young girls.

Editado: Jul 13, 2020, 4:49pm

>1 fredbacon: I'm sorry you're getting booted out of your long time place. Ouch! Please let us know when you find a new apartment.

Started: Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay
Her new novel is a companion to The Printed Letter Bookshop.

Finished these new novels from the library:
Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters by Jennifer Chiaverini
The story of Mary Todd Lincoln seen through the eyes of her sisters Elizabeth, Ann, Frances, and Emilie. It complements/companions Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, published in 2013.

Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano
#3 and finale in her American Heiresses trilogy. A wealthy young heiresses is sent by her parents to Chicago and falls in love with an inventor.

At Love's Command by Karen Witemeyer
1st in her new Hanger's Horsemen series. An ex-calvary officer falls in love with a small town lady doctor in late 19th century TX.

Jul 14, 2020, 9:23am

Finished Absolution by Murder by Peter Tremayne. Liked it.

Added Emergency Skin by N. K. Jemisin to my rotation.

Editado: Jul 14, 2020, 12:29pm

Reading blue moon by Lee Child, a Jack Reacher adventure.

Finished the harrowing we are not from here, Jenny Torres Sanchez, about teens from Central America trying to immigrate to the U.S.

Jul 14, 2020, 1:17pm

finished a reread of Night Circus, it had been a while and it was like reading it for the first time. Loved it all over again. Really needed something like that right about now

Jul 15, 2020, 1:58pm

Didn't enjoy I Found You by Lisa Jewell.

Next up for listening is Becoming Duchess Goldblatt by Anonymous.

Editado: Jul 15, 2020, 2:37pm

Well, I had to give up on City of Soldiers: A Year of Life, Death, and Survival in Afghanistan by Kate Fearon. Both the topic and the author led me to believe that the book would be fascinating, but, sadly, I was not finding it so.

Fearon's resume is indeed impressive. From Northern Ireland, Fearon was a founding member of the Northern Ireland Women's coalition and in that capacity one of the driving forces of the Good Friday Agreement that helped quell the Troubles in that country. She'd worked for seven years in Bosnia and Herzegovina, helping to build political parties and working on what became the Dayton Agreement, the Bosnian peace accords. She was in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010 as the Governance Advisor on rule of law issues to the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team. So, given all that, how could this memoir of her time in Helmand not be compelling? Well, the way Fearon managed that was to have a very poor grasp on what readers would be interested in about her time there. She fills up page after page with descriptions of her living conditions inside the diplomatic compound: what her room was like, what she ate, meal by meal, what the weather was like. Also, the logistics of travel, waiting around for military flights to different parts of the country, with constant delays and cancellations, are described in exhaustive detail. Even the conversations she describes with the Afghanis she comes in contact with, both men and women, are mainly to do with how they dress and what they eat. Fearon does pay attention to womens' distressing lot in this world, but not in great enough depth to make me feel like I was learning much I didn't know already. These are the sorts of details that would be quite welcome as context setting information, if that's all they were being used for. But unfortunately, there is so little description of the actual work she was there to perform that it began to feel that the memoir was all husk and no substance. She was in Helmond to try to help the people learn about and develop a representative style of government in order to counter the fundamentalist rule of the Taliban, who had just been driven out of the area. Talk about an uphill battle, a culture clash! But Fearon provides so little detail about the actual work that the reading experience became frustrating, and I found myself simply skimming paragraph after paragraph of food and topography descriptions. I gave up at page 125 of a 300-page book. Maybe the second half is better, but I was out of patience. Fearon needed an editor to tell her to redirect her attention, but evidently at Interlink Books, there was no such person forthcoming. It's too bad, additionally, because on a sentence level, Fearon's writing is just fine.

So now I've taken up the third segment of my 3-part birthday present from my wife. The first two segments were the Lou Gehrig memoir I reported on earlier and the new Bob Dylan CD. The third is Strange Defeat: A Statement of Evidence Written in 1940 by Marc Bloch. Bloch was a French historian and a veteran of the trenches of World War I who returned to active duty upon the declaration of war with Germany in 1939, serving as a logistical officer. Immediately upon the French surrender in June 1940, Bloch sat down to write this scathing description of what he saw as the reasons for the lightning quick French defeat. The work sat in hiding, unpublished of course, during the years of the German occupation, but was published soon after the war. Bloch, in the meantime, became active in the French resistance, and was captured and executed a year before the war's end. Historian Waverly Root, in his The Secret History of the War, the first book I finished this year, speaks to the issue of the causes of the French defeat extensively. Root essentially believed that the French leaders were defeatist and basically fascists, happier with the idea of a German victory than with the continuation of the French Republic. As I had described this with my wife while reading this book, after hearing about the Bloch book thought it would be of interest to me. So far (30 pages in), it is enormously so. Bloch's ideas seem to be more or less along the same lines as Root's, and it will be interesting to read his full treatise on the subject.

Jul 15, 2020, 5:46pm

Finished Enemy Unseen, a quick Star Trek novel, and am about to start on Robert Mitchum: Baby I Just Don't Care.

My upthread panic about the distressingly short TBR stack has been resolved with the addition of nine (count 'em -- NINE) new-to-me books in the last two days. Combination of book swaps, F2F club's new selection, an inter-library loan (the Mitchum biography), and an attack by a pile of used books for sale when I went to pick up the ILL.

I'm now sitting at about 70 titles, which should get me through the next six months, especially when supplemented by new Kindle reads!

Editado: Jul 15, 2020, 7:06pm

A Swiftly Tilting Planet
Madeleine L'Engle
3/5 stars
“When fifteen-year -old Charles Wallace Murry shouts out in desperation an ancient rune meant to ward off the dark, a radiant creature appears. It is Gaudior, Unicorn and time traveler. Charles Wallace and Gaudior must travel into the past on the winds of time to try and find a Might-Have-Been--a moment in the past when the entire course of events leading to the present can be changed, and the future of Earth-this small, swiftly tilting planet - saved.” Synopsis from the back of the book.
This is the third book in the series. This is not my favorite of the three so far. There was quite a lot of characters in it and a plot that was at times hard to keep track of but I will finish reading the last two books in the series. I would like to know what happens to the family and Charles Wallace.

Editado: Jul 18, 2020, 7:16am

The Guest List
by Lucy Foley
(OverDrive audiobook/modern-day Christie tale/
Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick)


Too Much and Never Enough
by Mary Trump
(Kindle eBook)

Jul 16, 2020, 1:19pm

Finished the Kate Greenaway book by Bryan Holme.

Still reading the little French bistro, Nina George

Editado: Jul 16, 2020, 11:58pm

Finished the marvelous Becoming Duchess Goldblatt.

Next up for listening, A Fun Age by Kiley Reid.

Jul 16, 2020, 5:07pm

I’m finally reading The Great Believers and getting totally swept up in the story!

Editado: Jul 17, 2020, 12:00am

Immediate dislike of A Fun Age.

Trying The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai.

Jul 17, 2020, 6:38am

After having read “The Seventh death of Evelyn Hardcastle.” a brilliant mystery room, but t is more than that , is a maze of mirrors and the figure who is reflected always change.
Now I can finish the trilogy by Margaret Atwood. Read “Oryx and Crake” where the Snowman alias Jimmy thinks to be the last human being on earth,and he fougth about at the old times, when he used to live in the compound, where the elite lived. Then “The Great Flood” the novel is contemporanuos with the first, buti t is seen from the peebland, where the humble people lived. Human were toying with genetic a little too much, and something went wrong.
Now I am going to start “Maddaddam” (a new start) can’t say much because I haven’ read not even a line, but I trust Mrs Atwood.


Jul 17, 2020, 7:42am

I finished Virgil Wander which I loved for its many quirky characters, its twists and turns of plot, and generally pleasant ending.

Jul 17, 2020, 11:24am

Good luck. I am sure we all will be rooting for you. You do such a great job here.

Jul 17, 2020, 11:28am

Someone here elsethread mentioned daughter of time, and I realized I had that book on my shelves, seen it many times but thought Id read it. Apparently not, loving this historical mystery about Richard III and once I finish this I'll reread Sunne in Splendor first book by a fav author, and the first time I realized everything Id read about him wasn't true. Reading this book written in 1951 is confirming that realization.

Jul 18, 2020, 5:53am

I'm reading Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.
I really enjoy business and management books. Its my favorite genre.

Jul 18, 2020, 6:57am

Make it hard for him. Dig in your heels.

Jul 18, 2020, 8:30am

The new thread is up over here.