What are you reading the week of September 19, 2020?

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What are you reading the week of September 19, 2020?

Editado: Set 20, 2020, 1:02pm

Enjoying very much ~

Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump
by Michael Cohen

(OverDrive Kindle/it reads like a best-selling fiction thriller)

Set 19, 2020, 7:38pm

Enjoying A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Set 19, 2020, 9:38pm

>2 aussieh: oh I loved that book, even better than Kite Runner. Was disappointed with his subsequent book, and then lost track, should check to see what else he has written

BTW,I just noticed that if I hit reply, the number of post along with > pops up in the comment section. Very cool!

Set 20, 2020, 12:11am

Lleydrin by J.B. Mogan. Basically sci-fi conflict on a Jurassic park world. I'm not very far in, but I'm really enjoying it so far.

Set 20, 2020, 4:41am

>2 aussieh: >3 cindydavid4: A Thousand Splendid Suns is my favourite of Hosseini's as well!

I am reading happily The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup. Danish crime fiction, great story, difficult to put down. When I do finish this I'm going to give IQ84 by Haruki Murakami a try.

Next up in audiobooks is Unfollow by Megan Phelps-Roper, which is the story of a young woman born into a family belonging to the Westboro Baptist Church, and tells of her life with them and her disillusionment and departure from the religion/cult/sect, whatever it is.

Set 20, 2020, 10:29am

Finished Prosper's Demon. Odd, but I liked it. Also finished Randomize by Andy Weir. Found it disappointing.

Added The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson and Ark by Veronica Roth to my rotation.

Set 20, 2020, 3:10pm

I finished Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery by Leon F. Litwack. Checking in at 556 pages, Been in the Storm So Long constitutes a commitment of time and energy, but an extremely worthwhile commitment. I was under the impression that the book would provide an overview of the Reconstruction Era, but in fact Litwack stops right as Radical Reconstruction get going. Instead, the book starts with a description of the conditions endured by the prisoners of slavery as the Civil War neared, continues on to describe conditions and events during the war years, and then covers the first few years after Emancipation. Litwack makes detailed use of letters, diaries, newspaper articles and interviews. He lays on example after example after example of each condition and development he describes. At times it seems like perhaps he's still doing that even after the points been effectively made. However, at all times I felt like the effect created with this tactic was an important one. Because it made each element not just something to be told and then to be moved on from, but instead something to consider over and over again until something like knowledge perhaps had seeped in.

Next up for me will be The Hucksters by Frederic Wakeman, a satiric novel first published in 1946 (and a best seller that year) about the world of advertising. Sort of a Mad Men prequel, I guess.

Editado: Set 20, 2020, 4:38pm

I finished reading the fascinating, Learning From The Germans: Race and The Memory of Evil.

Now to finish reading Plexus by Henry Miller.

Editado: Set 20, 2020, 7:02pm

Just finished an independent review of Calls Across the Pacific, which like the other Roy books I've read, is long on "tell" and short on "show". This one is about a Chinese emigrant woman who goes back to China as the Cultural Revolution is collapsing, to collect stories of her peers who lived through the tumultuous times. Roy keeps too much distance between the events and the reader for it ever to become effective.

And, as a break, I also read It's Hard to Look Cool When Your Car's Full of Sheep: Tales from the Back Forty. The title pretty well says it all. If you have 4-H in your background, you'll find some giggles in this collection of rural newspaper columns. If you're a city slicker, much of it won't make sense.

Starting Crossing to Safety tonight.

Set 20, 2020, 7:17pm

Started The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship between American and British English by Lynne Murphy yesterday.

Set 20, 2020, 8:02pm

I'm nearing the end of Maggie O'Farrell's beautiful Hamnet, and reading through tears.

>9 LyndaInOregon: I loved Crossing to Safety. The sheep in the car book sounds interesting!

Set 21, 2020, 1:10am

>11 Copperskye:
I have reserved Hamnet from my local library, Maggie O'Farrell is one of my favorite authors.
I loved The Vanishing Act Of Esme Lennox and another Instructions For A Heatwave

Set 21, 2020, 8:51am

Olive Again – Elizabeth Strout

Strout returns to the character featured in her Pulitzer-Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge. Olive still lives in Cosby, Maine, still has a strained relationship with her son, still is remarkably clueless about how her abrupt manner affects others, and yet…

I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read the first book. Suffice to say that while Olive wasn’t young in book one, this book continues her story into her mid-80s.

The book is character-driven and Strout excels at revealing these characters by their actions and conversations with one another (or with themselves). Like most of us, Olive lives an “ordinary” life – she keeps her house, runs errands, goes to baby showers, converses with people at the grocery store, has her children come visit, finds a new friend in an expected setting, and faces the waning years of her life with as much dignity as she can muster.

I just love Olive, even if I don’t much “like” her. I can’t really say she’s mellowed much as she ages, but there is something so real, so vulnerable, so recognizable in her. I think there’s definitely some of me in her (or some of Olive in me).

Set 21, 2020, 10:36am

>12 aussieh: O'Farrell is fast becoming one of my favorite authors, too. I loved both of those books, as well!

Set 21, 2020, 11:15am

I'm reading My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. I needed something light to read over the weekend, and although the theme is very dark, the tone is comedic at times.

Set 21, 2020, 11:52am

Enduring Love
Ian McEwan
4/5 stars
Joe Rose and his girlfriend are spending time hiking in the countryside when a hot air balloon comes flying across the sky with the passengers struggling to maintain the flight. They run to the balloon to help, along with a passerby, Jed Parry. They try to help but one of the passengers falls to his death and the child is swept away in the balloon but later found. They are upset but leave to resume their lives but unfortunately Jed, the man that helped has now become obsessed with Joe Rose and will do everything he can to intrude in his life, upsetting his relationship with his girlfriend. This is a fascinating look at a stalker's victim and how it affects his life and his relationships.

Set 21, 2020, 12:25pm

>13 BookConcierge: I liked it but I couldn't help but like the first one better. Maybe coz I had some eye rolling moments of the older Olive not getting a clue. Still, nice to see her again and her town and other characters

BTW did you see the tv series with Frances Mcdormand? Excellent!

Set 21, 2020, 12:30pm

>14 Copperskye: Oh I was taken by her since a friend sent me her After You'd Gone, and have loved her books ever since (had some problem with Esme Lennox regarding the time line and what I know of the history of mental institutions, but it was still excellent!)

I have Hamnet and Pull of the Stars on track to read next. Should be a fun week!

Set 21, 2020, 2:48pm

Finished Ark by Veronica Roth. Liked it OK. Also read You Have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles. Not bad, but just rubbed me the wrong way.

Added Summer Frost by Blake Crouch to my rotation.

Editado: Set 21, 2020, 11:40pm

Finished listening to the wonderful novel, Hamnet.

Next up for listening is The Yellow House by Sarah Broom.

Set 22, 2020, 10:14am

I'm reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I had heard so many good things about it.

Set 22, 2020, 11:11am

>1 Molly3028: if only!!!!

Set 22, 2020, 11:40am

>18 cindydavid4: After You'd Gone is one of those books I have on the shelf (since 2014, according to my tag) but haven't read yet. One of these days. Enjoy Hamnet!

Set 22, 2020, 9:34pm

Go See the Principal – Gerry Brooks
Digital audio narrated by Gerry Brooks and Angela Gonzales

Gerry Brooks is an elementary school principal in Lexington, Kentucky. Apparently, he’s also a YouTube celebrity of sorts. I’ve never seen any of his videos, but I might have to look him up. I think – though am not sure – that this book might be a review of some of the topics covered in his YouTube videos.

I don’t have any children. I’m not a teacher. It’s been a long time since I’ve personally been in school of any kind, let alone elementary school. Things are obviously different … and yet.

I do recognize many of the issues with the cafeteria / lunchroom. With juggling all the supplies. With bathroom breaks. With playground issues.

I would probably have found this funnier if it was closer to home and I could relate. As it was, I thought it was more “instructional” than entertaining.

The book includes a glossary of terms, as well as a final chapter, titled “The Answer Key: Teachers Teaching Teachers,” in which advice sent in by teachers on various topics such as “5 tips I wish they had taught me in college” or “5 ways to sustain a strong marriage for educators” is relayed.

Brooks performs the audiobook himself, except for the last chapter, which is read by Angela Gonzales.

Set 22, 2020, 9:49pm

>23 Copperskye: Hamnet is as good as everyone says, just make sure you have at least one box of kleenex handy :) And I think you will really enjoy After youd gone!

Set 22, 2020, 9:50pm

>24 BookConcierge: OMG gerry brooks is wonderful! He his you tube videos have us cracking up, esp with that accent. Realize that most of what he is saying is satire...

Set 23, 2020, 4:25pm

Finished Summer Frost. Rather creepy AI story. Added The Last Conversation by Paul Tremblay into my rotation.

Set 24, 2020, 7:50am

Finished On Earth, We're Briefly Gorgeous, A novel, a poem? Although I probably didn't catch or comprehend all it had to say, it was a collection of spectacular images and quotes about the brief glory of life in a world of pain and suffering.

Set 24, 2020, 9:03am

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Set 24, 2020, 4:43pm

Now rereading The Dutch House for a book group and am reloving it all over again

Editado: Set 25, 2020, 7:43am

Set 25, 2020, 8:03am

An Ant Among Elephants, by Sujatha Gidla. An eye opener.

Set 25, 2020, 3:35pm

Long Road To Mercy – David Baldacci
Digital audiobook performed by Brittany Pressley and Kyf Brewer.

From the book jacket: Atlee Pine is the lone FBI agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona, resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon. So, when one of the Canyon’s mules is found stabbed to death – with its rider missing – Pine is called in to investigate. It soon seems clear that the lost tourist had something more clandestine than sightseeing in mind.

My reactions:
This is a fast-paced mystery / suspense / thriller with a kick-a** female heroine – or two. I really liked Pine, who is physically and mentally strong, intelligent, determined and well able to take care of herself, and others. But I loved her assistant, Carol, who more than rises to the occasion and shows that she’s more than up to the task of besting the bad guys. This is a team to watch!

The title is a reference to a tragic incident in Pine’s history. At age six an intruder broke into their home and using the “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe… rhyme chose between Atlee and her twin sister, Mercy. Mercy was taken and Atlee never saw her again. She haunted by this and there are references to it throughout, but I thought it distracted from the main plot here. I know that there is a second book in the series, in which Atlee Pine goes back to her home state to try to solve the mystery, so perhaps Baldacci is just setting up the background. But I found it a distraction.

Still, the action is fast and furious, and there are multiple twists and turns in the plot to keep the reader (and Atlee) on her toes. I like the possible romantic relationship as well

The audiobook is performed by a team of talented voice artists: Brittany Pressley and Kyf Brewer. They do a great job voicing the many characters. They set a good pace for the action and have clear diction so even when listening at an increased speed I could understand easily.

Editado: Set 26, 2020, 10:20am

Just finished Runaway Man, which was an okay detective novel, but nothing to get excited about.

Starting Pretend I'm Dead, which looks like fun. EDITED 12 HOURS LATER .... Nope. Just nope. This "scathingly funny" (?) novel about a bipolar off-her-meds housecleaner and her affair with a toothless, impotent junkie just isn't my thing. This one goes back to the library immediately.

Next up is Child of My Heart. I have a pretty uneven record with Alice McDermott's work but will give this one a try.