What are you reading the week of September 12, 2020?

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What are you reading the week of September 12, 2020?

Set 12, 2020, 5:23pm

Fair Warning (Jack McEvoy, book 3)
by Michael Connelly
(OverDrive audio)

Set 12, 2020, 8:50pm

I'm about 3/4 through the very detailed and very well written history, Been in the Storm So Long: the Aftermath of Slavery by Leon Litwack. The book, which is almost 600 pages long, provides a close-in look of life in the South during and immediately after the Civil War. The white planter class' insistence on withholding even the most basic rights from ex-slaves was determined and comprehensive. The Federal authority were mostly on the side of the white southerners. It's not a fast reading experience, but it is essential reading. What I knew, or assumed, only in the most general way previously I'm now understanding much more fully. I'm sorry it took me to age 65 to begin to understand the length, breadth and depth of these issues and this history.

Editado: Set 13, 2020, 12:03am

Just finished listening to the absolutely lovely novel, This Tender Land.

Next up for listening is Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell.

Set 13, 2020, 1:41am

I"m about 2/3 of the way through The Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan. So far it's been a powerful use of fiction to examine generational wealth and generational poverty.

Set 13, 2020, 10:07am

Brown Girl Dreaming – Jacqueline Woodson
Digital audio performed by the author.

Jacqueline Woodson is an award-winning author and poet. This memoir of her childhood, growing up in the turbulent 1960s is written entirely in free verse.

In it Woodson explores family dynamics; the differences between “the North” (Brooklyn) and “the South” (South Carolina), between generations, between religious beliefs; and the hopes, ambitions and obstacles to success faced by a young black girl in 1960s America. The language is appropriate and accessible for the target middle-school audience, but eloquent and complex enough to engage and interest adults.

I loved how she related the importance of a teacher who recognized and celebrated her gifts rather than focus on her struggles with learning, and who encouraged her to believe that she WAS a writer. As well as the importance of a family who nurtured and supported her, despite divorce and the upheaval of moving several states away.

The audio version is performed by the author. I cannot imagine anyone else doing a better job of conveying the emotion of her story.

Set 13, 2020, 1:28pm

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Safran Foer
4/5 stars
Oskar Shell, a young man whose father was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11 finds a mysterious key that belonged to his father. He takes on as his mission to find what that key would unlock and finds himself meeting and interacting with people he would never have met and overcoming some of the grief of his father’s death. What a nicely written novel - recommended!

Set 13, 2020, 5:23pm

Set 13, 2020, 5:44pm

I finished listening to The Radium Girls in the wee hours of the morning. What a dreadful tale! I was so angry for so much of the story, hating the radium companies with all my heart.

Would like to read an actual book, have been unable so have turned to audiobooks. I'm going to give The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet a try, and if my attention wanders as usual, I have Eric Idle's memoirs: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life to listen to next.

Set 13, 2020, 7:02pm

Been a busy week. I finished my F2F book club read, The Mountains Sing, which was an interesting look at the fictional life of a North Vietnamese family during the height of the Vietnam war. Definitely a different slant than American readers usually see.

Finished an LTER book, Range of Light, which was going gangbusters for me but lost several points from an abrupt and confusing ending.

Pulled up something that's been on my Kindle forever, Love Handles, which almost-but-not-quite manages to pull out of the chicklit genre when the writer got hung up on the hot-monkey-love sex scenes in the second half.

Will be starting Wallace Stegner's Crossing to Safety later today.

One book I am NOT going to read (this week, or any other) is the F2F club's current selection, The Nickel Boys. I've read the reviews and most definitely don't want this narrative in my head. (Besides, 5 of our last 12 selections have been non-fiction from African-American writers. I don't object to the African-American part, but I DO object to 40% of our books being in one specific area or genre. I wouldn't want to read that many murder mysteries, or angst-ridden YAs set in a dystopian future, or historical novels set in Elizabethan times, or... Well, you get the picture. Just. Not. Going. There.)

Set 15, 2020, 9:39am

Strangers on a Train
Patricia Highsmith
5/5 stars
Two men meet on a train and get to talking about their lives. Charles Bruno then proposes a scheme in which Bruno kills Guy Haines’ wife and Guy kills Charles’ father. Not thinking that Bruno is serious, he leaves the train and later on finds out his ex-wife has been brutally murdered and now Bruno has re-entered his life pressuring him on the deal he feels he made with Guy. Excellent read and compelling to the very end!

Set 15, 2020, 3:11pm

Rickshaw Boy, aka Camel Xiangzi by Lao She. 1936-39 (var.) novel set in 1920s China during the chaos of warlords and Japanese invaders, concerns the life of an unassuming young man whose one desire is to own his own rickshaw but the cost is high. As the story moves through time, fate and incidents beyond his control frustrate Xiangzi's desires to be an independent individual. His simple desire is wrenched from his grasp, his attempt to raise a family is foiled by death, his moral character erodes from constant defeat to make something of his life on his own until a final loss leads to his abandonment of self and striving that leaves him adrift and without ambition, or his customary regard for others.

The novel poses an eternal question of the poor and downtrodden. "What has hard work, diligent service, and obedience to law got me?" The answer is bleak.

Set 16, 2020, 11:32am

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002
David Sedaris
4/5 stars
David Sedaris opens his life to his readers with his diary entries from 1977-2002. The entries relay the often bizarre world of David’s and his thoughts about life, his family, his work and the strange people and events he encounters. This is definitely for Sedaris fans. If you haven’t read any of his other books - you might want to read some of those before you open this book.

Set 16, 2020, 2:31pm

Finished Ballistic by Marko Kloos. Enjoyed it.

Added The Devil You Know by Mike Carey to my rotation.

Set 16, 2020, 4:28pm

Last night I started A Solitary Man by Shira Anthony. I purchased this on my Kindle after reading a review on another LT group. So far, so good.

Set 17, 2020, 11:56am

Finished Winds of Marque by Bennett R. Coles. Technically SF because it takes place in outer space, but far more reminiscent of 18th century sailing/pirate fare. It was OK.

Added Or What You Will by Jo Walton to my rotation.

Set 17, 2020, 7:10pm

The Lost and Found Bookshop
by Susan Wiggs
(OverDrive audio)

Set 17, 2020, 7:47pm

this is how you lose the time warsuspect I'll finish it tonight, its a fast read and kind of a romance of sorts; lots I haven't figured out yet, hopefully I do by the end, but its an enjoyable read

Set 18, 2020, 6:55pm

Finished The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie. Comfort read.

Added Prosper's Demon by K. J. Parker to my reading rotation.

Set 18, 2020, 8:23pm

>18 cindydavid4: OMG this was amazing!!!! How did I not read this already? I seem to be batting 100 lately on top reads, I hesitate to try anything else right now (reminds me a bit of Night Circus, with the brilliant descriptions)

Set 18, 2020, 9:12pm

Haven't read much this summer since I got obsessed by baking bread.
This week I finished two books: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler which was so boring and took over a month to finish (I wish I didn't devote my time) & The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett which was thought-provoking, well-written and I wish had lasted longer than the couple of days it took to finish.
Last night I started reading the novel The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin which is another fast and great read.

Set 18, 2020, 9:34pm

Just finished an Alex Kava thriller, A Necessary Evil, which is part of a series but worked well as a stand-alone. About to start Calls Across the Pacific as an independent review.

Editado: Set 19, 2020, 7:24am

I finished the searing and insightful memoir, Know My Name. It was a raw, honest, and perceptive telling of the impact of rape and the judicial system on a victim.

Editado: Set 19, 2020, 11:44am

>21 framboise: Vanishing Half is among my top ten of the year, amazing book. BTW she has another book called The Mothers Really good writing but didn't like it near as much and though the ending disappointing. However this is her first book, so I can forgive a lot. And its still worth the read. Shes definitely an author to watch and follow

Set 19, 2020, 11:52am

>24 cindydavid4: Yes, I absolutely loved The Vanishing Half & have her debut book on my list. She is doing a zoom book club (I think Oct 1) through NYPL that was my incentive for reading it now. You should check it out.

Set 19, 2020, 11:55am

Set 19, 2020, 11:57am

>24 cindydavid4: Yes, I absolutely loved The Vanishing Half & have her debut book on my list. She is doing a zoom book club (I think Oct 1) through NYPL that was my incentive for reading it now. You should check it out.

Set 19, 2020, 12:13pm

>25 framboise: oh I did not know that! Do you need to be a member of the library (I am not in NY)

Set 19, 2020, 2:05pm

This week's thread is here ~

Set 20, 2020, 7:19pm

>28 cindydavid4: I don't think so. It is a partnership with WNYC.org (public radio). Check it out. You need to register (for free).