Books on the Nightstand discussion

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What are you reading January 2013

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message 1: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2764 comments Mod
New Year, New month, new thread.

I'm going to finish The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe today.


message 2: by Becky (new)


message 3: by Susanne (new)

Susanne (heysus74) | 97 comments I'm half-way through The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business -- very enlightening. I'm also reading The Scarlet Pimpernel and thinking of starting Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.

The Power of Habit Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit by Corey Olsen


message 4: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina (sabrahb) Coraline and the hobbit will be finished this month.


message 5: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 261 comments Reading The Age of Miracles. Almost done, then on to Booktopia Vermont books and Peace Like a River for my book club.


message 6: by Pam (new)

Pam | 79 comments Just finished Age of Miracles. Got to stop reading apocalyptic YA stuff--I'm getting depressed! On to The Kitchen House which has been on my nightstand for a while.The Kitchen House


message 7: by Julie (new)

Julie M (woolyjooly) | 270 comments Picked up Hell's Bottom, Colorado from my TBR pile - can see why this was a Milkweed Editions fiction prizewinner (2001). Milkweed has AMAZING books - I encourage you all to check out their website and backlist: www.milkweed.org.


message 8: by Callie (new)

Callie (calliekl) | 646 comments Yay for some time off without the specter of unfinished Christmas shopping lurking around ever corner. Since Friday 12/28 I have finished several books- The Devil All the Time, The Fault in Our Stars, Thirteen Reasons Why, Glaciers, and Divergent. Thirteen Reasons Why was my least favorite, and the rest are tied for most favorite.

I have started Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, however with work starting back up and a party to host this weekend, my pace might be somewhat slowed.


message 9: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier

There are different kinds of books. There are the "reads", the ones that whisk you along on an entertaining ride. There are informative non-fiction books. There are books of opinion and personal revelation. There are Great Books, written decades, even centuries ago, but which people still read, because they're original communications about important things. The Great Books will always be discussed.

There's a newer type of book which means to usurp the function of the Great Book: the Book Club Book. A Book Club Book is the adult version of an Afterschool Special. The issues are packaged, presented, and made ready for discussion by upper middle class housewives. There's often even a handy "guide" at the end for middle class housewives too dim to know what the issues are.

Sometimes Book Club Books are also "reads". I'm thinking of "The Help" and "Water for Elephants". This book isn't really a "read". It's just a Book Club Book.

So go ahead and read it. The topics you'll be discussing are motherhood vs. career, communication between married couples and friends, and how to react to a dangerous world where disaster could strike at any minute from any quarter. Or don't read the book and just talk about these things. Unless you've been living in a cave, you've lived enough of life yourself to take part in the discussion.

Too harsh?


message 10: by Marly (new)

Marly | 152 comments LOL. That just made my day Eric. I love your honesty.


message 11: by Eric (last edited Jan 02, 2013 10:14AM) (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
Marly wrote: "LOL. That just made my day Eric. I love your honesty."

Let me amend that. "Book Club Books" aren't always like "Afterschool Specials". Every now and them, one comes along that's like a "Very Special Blossom".


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Susanne wrote: "I'm half-way through The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business -- very enlightening. I'm also reading The Scarlet Pimpernel and thinking of starting Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's T..."

I'm reading The Power of Habit as well and it is amazing.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Eric wrote: "The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier

There are different kinds of books. There are the "reads", the ones that whisk you along on an entertaining ride. There are informative non..."


I agree with you on this one.


message 15: by Priscilla (new)

Priscilla | 3 comments I am reading The Charm Bracelet by Melissa Hill , started in Dec, nice read ;)


message 16: by Helen (new)

Helen Dunn (hmonkeyruns) | 110 comments I'm about to finish Tell the Wolves I'm Home and I think it's a fabulous way to kick off 2013! I hope I enjoy all the books I read this year as much as this one.

I had very mixed-feelings about The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.. I can't disagree with Eric but I rated it higher than one star. I found it a true page-turner but I didn't really like the book at all. Miserable, lonely people aren't really my cup of tea.

Although, now that I'm writing this, I realize that there are plenty of miserable, lonely people in Tell the Wolves I'm Home and I love it. Something to think about.

I'm really curious to see if meeting the author at Booktopia will change my feelings. I had a bit of a turnaround on History of a Pleasure Seeker after meeting Richard Mason.


message 17: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2764 comments Mod
I liked Ann's idea of reading a short story a day for this year and knew that I had some on the bedroom shelf. I figured I'd find Flannery O'Connor or James Thurber (which I did) but sitting vertically on top of other books - sitting perfectly to be picked up and read with minimal manipulation was The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain by Mark Twain .
It's a pristine 20-year old book I picked up in a thrift store that has an embossment on the front cover that it was originally from Mark Twain Home in Hannibal, MO.

The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County is first up.


message 18: by Callie (new)

Callie (calliekl) | 646 comments If anyone is looking for an easy way to read some short stories, I would recommend www.fivechapters.com which I heard about on the Literary Disco podcast. They put up short stories every week, split into 5 chapters that are published Monday-Friday. Some well-known authors are on there (Sue Grafton just last week, for example), but lots more that I haven't heard of. It's a nice way to spend a few minutes every day.


message 19: by Denise (new)

Denise | 66 comments Eric wrote: "The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier

There are different kinds of books. There are the "reads", the ones that whisk you along on an entertaining ride. There are informative non..."


Haven't read the book but I love the review, Eric


message 20: by Denise (new)

Denise | 66 comments have committed to a year of Proust with another group so I have started Swann's Way. Also reading The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt and Ragtime.


message 21: by Tim (new)

Tim Botting | 5 comments I'm reading 'My Friend Leonard' by James Frey. I love his writing style and I was up way too late last night because I couldn't put the book down.


message 22: by Denise (new)

Denise (deniseg53) | 221 comments I just finished The Middlesteins and am now reading Christmas Trees Lit Up the Sky: Growing Up in WW II Germany.


message 24: by Jay (new)

Jay Bullman Started Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen this weekend. Also started Red, White, and Bloodon audio this morning.

I finished Marvel Comics: The Untold Story and being a long time comic nerd loved every minute of it. In that vein I also finished Hero on audio which was a whole lot of fun. Plenty of teen angst mixed with humor.


message 25: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 279 comments I started Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson One of my challenges this year is to read authors that I have never read before. I have never read Bill Bryson, although I've heard good things.

I also started A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel
I bought this after I read Wolf Hall and loved it, but it has remained on my shelf unread. This is another part of my 2013 reading challenge: to read more unread books on my shelves. I am through the first part of the book, and I love it! Why did I wait so long?

I also need to finish two books that I started in 2012: How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown
and
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison


message 26: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) | 494 comments finished The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) by Ayana Mathis (4 stars) & moving on to The Lady in the Tower The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir


message 27: by Amy (new)

Amy | 463 comments Time to start my 2013 reading challenges! I have to average just over 11 books a month to hit my quantity goal - yikes!!

So - reading Dearie: The Remarkable Life a Julia Child that I started on a holiday road trip. Then reading Twelve Tribes of Hattie because my name finally came up on the hold list at the library.

Then on to Ready Player One for my title with the month's number in it challenge, Saturday as my older on my bookshelf challenge, The Sex Ed Chronicles on my TBR challenge, White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf for my random generator challenge, and then I need to find a book published in January 2013 for my new release a month challenge.

Then - Booktopia 1 challenge! Hope to get through The Thief of Auschwitz, The Unfinished Works of Elizabeth D, and The End of Your Life Bookclub this month.

Listening to Seating Arrangements and then next up from Audible is Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

Whew - hope I can get them all in, but probably very overly optimistic.

Dearie The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) by Ayana Mathis

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline Saturday by Ian McEwan The Sex Ed Chronicles by Stuart Nachbar White Bread A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf by Aaron Bobrow-Strain

The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple


message 28: by nancy (new)

nancy (npjacoby) | 261 comments January 2013 reading Malice of Fortune, The 12 Tribes of Hattie and The Starboard Sea.
Next up The Light Between Oceans and, hopefully short stories from Dear
Life.


message 29: by Nan (new)

Nan (vtgoat) | 39 comments I'm reading Dark Placeswhich is a book I got from my Books on the Nightstand Secret Santa! Thanks Nadine!


message 30: by Joanne-in-Canada (new)

Joanne-in-Canada (inkling_jo) | 255 comments I'm just getting into A Clash of Kings. Right now it seems awfully thick!

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2) by George R.R. Martin


message 31: by Dawn (last edited Jan 03, 2013 05:22PM) (new)

Dawn | 187 comments Needed something to draw me in while I'm in the middle of a mentally and physically exhausting work schedule.

Wild From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed is certainly doing the job. :)


message 32: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 187 comments Joanne wrote: "I'm just getting into A Clash of Kings. Right now it seems awfully thick!

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2) by George R.R. Martin"


I know - but you'll fly through it!


message 33: by Jay (new)

Jay Bullman Amy wrote: "Time to start my 2013 reading challenges! I have to average just over 11 books a month to hit my quantity goal - yikes!!

So - reading Dearie: The Remarkable Life a Julia Child that I started on a ..."


I loved Ready Player One and Saturday was the first Ian McEwan that I ever read. It convinced me I needed to read more. Good luck with your challenge!


message 34: by Kathy (new)

Kathy My first 2013 read came courtesy of my BOTNS Secret Santa. (Thanks again, Lyn!) It was The Search for Charlie Chaplin by Kevin Brownlow , and you'll see my review if you scroll down the book page.

Am currently whittling away at two rather dense biographies: Thornton Wilder A Life by Penelope Niven and Dana Andrews Hollywood Enigma by Carl Rollyson and dipping into one of the always-enjoyable collections of Punch comic stories and cartoons, Pick of Punch 1985 by Alan Coren . By the end of the month I hope also to have made it through the oft-recommended-on-BOTNS novel Something Missing by Matthew Dicks, William Dana Orcutt's The Kingdom of Books (1927), Gary Giddins' Warning Shadows: Home Alone with Classic Cinema, the LoA poetry collection American Wits: An Anthology of Light Verse, and--just for fun--Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops.


message 35: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (tootired2sleep) | 24 comments January and February will be dominated by the books I haven't read in the Tournament of Books short list (http://www.themorningnews.org/article...). In January, it'll be The Song of Achilles, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, How Should a Person Be?, and The Fault in Our Stars. I missed so many good books last year because I started PaperbackSwap and have been trying to get through the books I already own.


message 36: by nancy (new)

nancy (npjacoby) | 261 comments Eric wrote: "The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier

There are different kinds of books. There are the "reads", the ones that whisk you along on an entertaining ride. There are informative non..."


Yes!..a little to harsh particularly the antiquated reference to "upper middle class housewives", Eric. I have to think you haven't ever been in a bookclub. If you choose wisely, you spend a couple hours a month with smart "bookish folks" who will enlighten you much the
way our BOTNS dialogue does. I favor bookclubs with leaders who guide us through the depths of great pieces of literature..or even current "middlebrow" fiction. There are men's groups, couples groups and, yes, afternoon groups that are often made up of women. But the choice of your companions and the level of literature is really up to you, the bookclub member.


message 37: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
Oh, I'm in a book club. Composed of men and women. And yes, I'm a little ornery.


message 38: by nancy (new)

nancy (npjacoby) | 261 comments I actually love following your posts...couldn't help myself from the response above. Best....n


message 39: by Renee (new)

Renee Rosen (reneerosen) Eric wrote: "Oh, I'm in a book club. Composed of men and women. And yes, I'm a little ornery."

Eric, I want to be in YOUR bookclub! :)


message 40: by Lizette (last edited Jan 04, 2013 06:29PM) (new)

Lizette | 3 comments trying out Rift this month


message 41: by Alondra (new)

Alondra Miller I started and finished reading The Mysterious Affair At Styles and am currently reading Dust and Decay, which is getting exciting already :)


message 42: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 09, 2013 05:31PM) (new)

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) by Lemony Snicket
The Bad Beginning
(by Lemony Snicket; multi-voiced production starring Tim Curry)

This was an impulse purchase a couple of days ago that somewhat defies my usual listening/audiobook practices in that I have already read and enjoyed the first three Series of Unfortunate Event books and, grittier noir fare is more to my liking. But there it was, in the $5.95 "bin" at iTunes and I thought, "What the heck. I haven't heard the multi-voiced version..." For the uninitiated, the Series of Unfortunate Events is about three children who are orphaned and subsequently remanded into the care of legal guardians. In The Bad Beginning, the children encounter their first and greatest nemesis, Count Olaf, who hopes to gain control of the Beaudelaire fortune. At the beginning of the book and audio, the narrator warns you repeatedly that this is not a HEA tale, and yet I must admit to being somewhat chagrined to realize that the book does not indeed end happily ever after! But hope must spring eternal as, after all, I continue to read more in the series! In the books, the illustrations of Brett Helquist grace the covers and chapter headings. I don't know what the original medium was, but they give a feel of having been rendered in pen-and-ink and are somewhat reminiscent of Edward Gorey's Victorian-like artwork. You don't get the artwork with the audio of course, but the trade off is that you get Tim Curry as the narrator! He has a lovely, smooth, slightly aged British voice that knows how to render the angst and pathos of the story without totally creeping you out. You sense that he is in control of the story and your attention. Harper Audio has cut his narration with some other (uncredited) voices for the multi-voice edition and for the most part everything works. The talent voicing Mr. Poe is wonderfully snuffly and priggish and, with the exception of Mr. Poe's children, the children actually sound like children (as opposed to adults pretending to be children.) Count Olaf is nasty and oily and the children are precocious without being annoying. The only quibble I had was at the beginning of the production when the sound effects were applied a bit heavily and, there was an odd three-stroke monotone key that was applied at least twice during the story. I have no idea what this sound effect was supposed to be or signify so it was a little bit distracting. Still, all in all, well worth the money and, yes, I've already started the second book in the series, The Reptile Room which is a straight narration by Tim Curry.

The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2) by Lemony Snicket
The Reptile Room (by Lemony Snicket; narrated by Tim Curry)


message 43: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Being a Hemingway fan, I enjoyed this a lot. Especially the description of the how the confluence of personalities at the Hemingways' second bullfighting season morphed into what would become The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway .

Hemingway really divides people. There are those who won't read his work because of his personality, or because of what they think his personality is. I really like the Hemingway I find in this book as a person. Compare him to Raymond Carver as portrayed in Raymond Carver A Writer's Life by Carol Sklenicka . I guarantee you, you will prefer Hemingway. I mean, there are those who have an immediate kneejerk reaction against anyone who has committed a marital infidelity. Those people will hate him. But I found him to be an emotionally complex man who threw himself into life. He had to. He had to take his mind off of what he saw and experienced in WWI. He had a bad case of PTSD.


message 44: by Pam (new)

Pam Lauman | 99 comments Jay wrote: "Started Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen this weekend.

My Book Club is reading Born to Run and it is amazing. I feel like I should be outside in the frigid cold and snow running barefoot! I was not excited to read this book but it has been a great surprise.



message 45: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) I just finished Code Name Verity which was a book club read and good historical fiction.

I also have checked out from the library:
Shadow and Bone and Maisie Dobbs, but since I just finished watching season 2 of Game of Thrones -- I really just want to read A Storm of Swords


message 46: by Lara (new)

Lara | 75 comments Just about done with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine, #1) by Ransom Riggs

Although I enjoy most of what I read for work and school, this is the first book I've read in a long time purely for pleasure.


message 47: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (WeeNell) | 1 comments Two thirds of the way through "A Feast for Crows". I'm finding it harder going than the others. Started "Dominion" by CJ Sansom last night. Not sure about it at the moment but I can't put my finger on why(yet).
I'm listening to "Wings of Fire":Charles Todd. Of the three this is the one that I'm enjoying.


message 48: by Jennie (last edited Jan 06, 2013 06:10AM) (new)

Jennie Menke (jenmenke) | 4 comments I'm suffering through The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted A Psychological Thriller by Andrew E. Kaufman . I've found myself highlighting sections and adding disparaging notes. Why not just stop reading? Because I find that I am often unable to stop reading a book once I start, which is almost as stupid as this book. Last night, I found myself reading the other reviews, which are mostly glowing and baffle me beyond words. Here are some lovely snippets to draw you in to this acute psychological thriller:
..."A dead end, and I was dead tired."
..."My thoughts jumped to Jean Kinglsey, a woman as mysterious as the mystery itself. I didn't know much about her, but there was one person who did: her husband Dennis Kingsley."
..."This town had more cold shoulders than a butcher's freezer. I was getting used to that but couldn't afford this one. Think fast, Patrick."


message 49: by Elizabeth☮ (new)

Elizabeth☮ i started The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce . i am half done and i really love the pacing and the characters.


message 50: by Stacie (new)

Stacie | 51 comments Just released today: All Star Future Shocks. All Star Future Shocks by Neil Gaiman

Short Comic Stories by Neil Gaiman and others....Heaven!


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