The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Book Related Banter > What Are You Reading - Part Deux

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10109 comments Mod
Hi Everyone,

So the last What Are You Reading was glitching something serious, and I apologize for that.

Here's a clean new thread by which you can share your current reads, because we are curious creatures who are always on the lookout for the next best book and you, my friend, might just be reading it!


Share away!


message 2: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10109 comments Mod
To kick it off, I am reading League of Somebodies by Samuel Sattin. This book is going to be featured as one of our Author/Reader Discussion novels later this summer.

It's about a father who's been force feeding his son plutonium every single day without his knowing, to turn him into the first ever real live superhero!!


message 3: by Brenda (new)

Brenda (librarymom23) I am reading the e-book Fatal Affair. I needed a little "brain candy" because my life is super busy right now. I just finished reading Home Again. I had not realized it was a re-release. I am enjoying both books.


message 4: by Jane (new)

Jane | 221 comments Started Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid this morning and I'm laughing out loud!


message 5: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 1286 comments I just read an oldie but a good, Mystery Mile by Margery Allingham. Very amusing still after all these years.

Mystery Mile


message 6: by Brad (last edited May 31, 2013 12:35PM) (new)

Brad | 7 comments Just finished Liberalism to get in the mind set for this The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents which I'm currently reading, liberalism had the complete opposite meaning from what it means today haha (in the US atleast) and I'm reading The Camel Club for my fiction fix


message 7: by Book Concierge (last edited Jun 01, 2013 07:06PM) (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) In the Company of Angels A Novel by N.M. Kelby
In the Company of Angels - N. M. Kelby
3***

In a small French village near the border with Belgium, Marie Claire, a young Jewish girl, lives with her grandmother who cultivates hybrid irises and roses. It is World War II and a bomb shatters the world Marie Clare knows. Rescued by a pair of Catholic nuns she is taken across the border to their convent in Tournai, Belgium for safekeeping. This is where the nuns have been hiding Jews who await transport to Switzerland. But the Germans are apparently on to their role in the resistance and have planned a raid on the convent. And then the miracles begin to happen.

This haunting debut novel is full of magical realism and religious mysticism. Told in a series of vignettes with limited connective narrative, the reader feels as if s/he is watching the story unfold as if refracted through a series of prisms. Images are so close and vivid, and yet fuzzy and out of reach, lending to the mystical atmosphere. Excepting the innocent 7-year-old Marie Claire, all the characters are full of regrets and struggling to balance devotion with obligation, love with war, and faith with loss of hope.

I enjoyed this short (164 pg) novel, and I am a fan of magical realism, but I left feeling a little dissatisfied. I think Kelby might have expanded some of the scenes and worked harder to provide some connective narrative to support the story arc. I liked it, but I’m struggling with whether to recommend it, or to whom. Readers with a high tolerance for ambiguity might enjoy it.


message 8: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) Finished The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum last night before bed. It was interesting rereading this so many years later. There were some chapters I remembered, and probably just as many I did not. Am now reading Messenger by Lois Lowry, the third book in hwe "Giver" series.


message 9: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 573 comments "Esther what is child 44 bout sounds interesting? "
@Crystal It is a detective murder mystery set in 1950s USSR.
The description of the USSR and the main character's work as a detective are interesting but shocking and the plot is a real page turner.
I would recommend it but it is definitely not a cozy.


message 10: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Audio book performed by Dylan Baker
5*****

When we first meet Tom Joad he has been walking for miles, newly paroled from prison and is headed to his family’s home. But the family home has been pushed off its foundation by a tractor, and when he catches up to them at Uncle John’s place they are about to pack-up and head for California. This is the Great Depression and there is no living to be made if they stay put. The Joads and their former preacher Jim Casy all set out together towards the promised land.

Steinbeck tells the story of the Great Depression by alternating chapters that focus on the family’s journey across America with chapters that are best described as essays chronicling the changing face of the country and the forces that contributed to those changes. In these essays the very landscape becomes a character, as does the economy. The fear, worry, weariness, despair, and outrage are palpable. Most of the story comes from Tom’s actions and interactions. However, as the novel drew to a close I came to realize that the central figure here is really Ma. Regardless of what happens, always there is Ma, standing firm in her convictions, leading her family.

Dylan Baker does a very good job of narrating the audio version. He has a wide repertoire of voices to use for the large cast of characters, though he was definitely channeling the young Henry Fonda for Tom Joad’s voice.


message 11: by Heather L (last edited Jun 01, 2013 07:42PM) (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) Book Concierge wrote: "The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath
– John Steinbeck
Audio book performed by Dylan Baker
5***** "


That was one of my favorite books read for two different classes in college. The movie is pretty good, too.


message 12: by Antonio (new)

Antonio Paola (antonio_paola) How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

Best book I've read so far this year!


message 13: by Csencsitz (new)

Csencsitz (christinecsencsitz) | 3 comments I just started The Children of Henry VIII. I have been trying to get into more non-fiction, but sometimes I just get too distracted and bored with the writing (I'm working on that...I love history, just not all of the writing!). This non-fiction, though, reads like a novel. I'm loving it and learning so many cool new things about the Tudors. I highly recommend it.


message 14: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Listened to the audio book of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne by John Boyne (audio narrated by Michael Maloney) – 3***
I really wanted to love this book, I had heard so much about it. But I could not get over my impression that the narrator, 9-year-old Bruno, is written as far too young, immature and oblivious. Good premise and a good ending, but it doesn’t quite do it for me.
Link to my full review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 15: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Barnes | 13 comments Just started The Effect of Living Backwards by Heidi Julavits and I am so excited!


message 16: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Finished Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler by Julie Kibler – 3.5***
A road trip gives 89-year-old Isabelle the chance to tell her black hairdresser, Dorrie, the story of her youth, and the great secret she’s kept for decades. I was caught up in the story and thought Kibler did a good job of a tricky device – alternating chapters between two narrators and two different time periods. The ending was poignant if predictable. All told, this is a good debut novel, and a nice summer read.
Link to my full review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 17: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Thibeault (thebookreporter) | 76 comments Just finished the new book by Jaron Lanier called Who Owns the Future? The book focuses on the information economy, and argues that the Internet is creating a system of winners (the major Internet companies), and losers (the ordinary people who freely provide the content and data that is being used by the Internet companies to create mega-profits). In order to preserve a middle-class going forward--as the information economy comes to represent an ever greater proportion of the economy as a whole--Lanier argues we must monetize information, and pay ordinary people for the contributions they make to the Internet. An interesting idea. I've written a full executive summary of the book available here: http://newbooksinbrief.com/2013/06/05...


message 18: by Karen M (last edited Jun 07, 2013 01:24PM) (new)

Karen M | 1955 comments I'm almost done reading Betrayed: Days of the Rogue which will be the last of the lycan books I read for a while but have to say the series was well written and I do love a good dose of pure werewolf fantasy now and then. I just started a non-fiction The Lobster Chronicles: Life On a Very Small Island which is written by Linda Greenlaw who was the female swordboat captain in the book The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea. She left her swordboat behind to return to the little island of Isle au Haut off Deer Isle Maine, where she switched to lobster fishing.


message 19: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) Currently (re)reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne for a GR classics group.


message 20: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Listened to the audio book of There Is No Me Without You One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Her Country's Children by Melissa Fay Greene by Melissa Fay Greene (Book on CD narrated by Julie Fain Lawrence) – 4****
I almost gave up on this because it is slow to get started. Greene, a journalist, spends seemingly countless pages giving the reader a history lesson on Ethiopia and the development of HIV/AIDS. What was really compelling about the book was the story of Haregewoin Teferra, a middle-class Ethiopian woman consumed by grief, who – one child at a time – begins to care for and find permanent homes for some of the millions of AIDS orphans in Ethiopia. At times frustrating, at times heartwarming.
Link to my full review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 21: by SthTx Dawn (new)

SthTx Dawn (dawn99) | 56 comments Just started The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I saw some favorable reviews from TNBBC members and decided to give it a go.


message 22: by Gary (new)

Gary R | 117 comments Just finished Snow Angels (Vaara #1) by James Thompson. Now starting Shadowkiller (Nightwatcher #3) by Wendy Corsi Staub by Wendy Corsi Staub.


message 23: by Komal (new)

Komal (k0k0) | 62 comments Finished The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams by Deepak Chopra The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams by Deepak Chopra . A highly enlightening read.

Started To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee . Been wanting to read this since ages.


message 24: by Scott (new)

Scott | 257 comments I finished Inferno and am currently reading NOS4A2.


message 25: by Paula (new)

Paula I'm reading American Pickers Guide to Picking by Libby Callaway because I love the show.


message 26: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Finished Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz – 3*** (ABRIDGED Audio read by Ari Graynor)
More frantic antics from Izzy Spellman and her family, who run a private detective agency. This time she is obsessed with her new next door neighbor. The audio I picked up from the library was abridged, though there was no indication of that on the cover, or in the introduction. So I would listen while doing chores, then spend that night skim reading the text version to pick up what had been left out. Actually the abridged audio is pretty good and I don’t think the listener misses much.
Link to my full review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 27: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Barnes | 13 comments Just finished The Effect of Living Backwards by Heidi Julavits....not sure how I feel about it yet, so I am going to review it and then let you know haha!

Getting ready to start The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender


message 28: by Sally (new)

Sally Grotta (sally_wiener_grotta) | 34 comments It's been decades since I read "To Kill a Mockingbird." A reader mentioned it to me, and it got me wondering. After all, it had once been a touchstone book for me, but through the years, it had faded in my memory.

I've changed since my first reading of this classic, and, if anything, I finding it richer, more thought-provoking with beautifully developed descriptions.To Kill a Mockingbird


message 29: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Finished reading Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang (a/k/a Ailing Zhang) – 4****
Chang is one of the most well-known and celebrated authors in modern China. Born in 1920 to an aristocratic family in Shanghai she studied literature at the Univ of Hong Kong, and immigrated to the United States in 1952. This is a collection of some of her better-known short stories, all dealing with love – filial, enduring, passionate, unrequited – and longing.
Link to my full review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 30: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Sally wrote: "It's been decades since I read "To Kill a Mockingbird." A reader mentioned it to me, and it got me wondering. After all, it had once been a touchstone book for me, but through the years, it had fad..."

My favorite book of all time. I'll probably re-read it this summer. I always find something new (or at least not previously noticed).


message 31: by Karen M (last edited Jun 14, 2013 12:03PM) (new)

Karen M | 1955 comments I'm almost done with two books, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive and Nothing To Lose. I don't know what I feel like reading next. I keep thinking I want to re-read Make Way for Lucia which is over 1100 pages but such a fun read. I'll have to think about it because I also want to read A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5) by George R.R. Martin which is also over 1000 pages. Maybe I should just forget the 2013 Challenge and read what I want! LOL


message 32: by Claire (new)

Claire (clairebear8) | 514 comments I am reading Her Fearful Symmetry and am really enjoying it. I'm about halfway through.


message 33: by Paula (new)

Paula | 1098 comments Claire wrote: "I am reading Her Fearful Symmetry and am really enjoying it. I'm about halfway through.

I listened to this one on audio Claire and enjoyed it also.



message 34: by Paula (new)

Paula | 1098 comments I'm reading Zero at the Bone by Mary Willis Walker and listening to The Strain (The Strain Trilogy, #1) by Guillermo del Toro


message 35: by Karen M (last edited Jun 15, 2013 01:38PM) (new)

Karen M | 1955 comments I've gone on to two very quick reads:

The 19 Dragons, The 19 Dragons by S.M. Reine & Tales of the City, Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #1) by Armistead Maupin


message 36: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Finished Not Exactly a Love Story by Audrey Couloumbis – 3***
A sweet YA coming-of-age novel about an “anonymous friendship” that develops into the real thing. It’s a bit unrealistic and the adults are stereotypes, but I thought the teens were believable. I like the message: getting to know someone well is more important than physical attraction.
Link to my full review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 37: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Finished reading Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman – 3***
Decent Southern women’s fiction, with an intelligent, independent heroine who must learn to let go of the guilt she carries over her brother’s disappearance. It’s a fast, summer vacation read.
Link to my full review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 38: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) Just started The Nail Knot (Fly Fishing Mysteries) by John Galligan, a local author. Not something I might normally pick up, but it has a local setting and fits two reading challenges.


message 39: by Mike (new)

Mike Zimmerman | 6 comments I am going to be re-reading Covenant with the Vampire this summer. It is what took my vampire addiction to the next level.


message 40: by Karen M (new)

Karen M | 1955 comments Yesterday I started The Early Life and Adventures of Sylvia Scarlett. This was published in 1918 but reads very easily. I'm enjoying it.
The Early Life and Adventures of Sylvia Scarlett by Compton Mackenzie


message 41: by Claire (new)

Claire (clairebear8) | 514 comments Paula wrote: "Claire wrote: "I am reading Her Fearful Symmetry and am really enjoying it. I'm about halfway through.

I listened to this one on audio Claire and enjoyed it also."


I'm glad you liked it, Paula. Those twins sort of creep me out a little and I don't know where the story is going but it is a hard-to-put-down book.


message 42: by Paula (new)

Paula | 1098 comments Claire wrote: "Paula wrote: "Claire wrote: "I am reading Her Fearful Symmetry and am really enjoying it. I'm about halfway through.

I listened to this one on audio Claire and enjoyed it also."

I'm glad you lik...

They are odd, let me know what you think when you finish. : ) I don't want to give anything away.



message 43: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Barnes | 13 comments Just finished The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. Not quite what I expected but still a nice read!

Starting Love, ETC. by Jullian Barnes


message 44: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) Andrew wrote: "Just finished The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. Not quite what I expected but still a nice read!"

I read that one a couple years ago. It was definitely...different! ;)

Finished reading The Nail Knot (Fly Fishing Mysteries) this evening. I admit, I had some difficulty getting into the voice of the narrator at first, but ended up liking the book more than I thought I would. If anyone likes outdoorsy-type mysteries, you might want to give this one a shot.


message 45: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Finished listening to the audio version of Dog on It by Spencer Quinn – 3*** (Audio book narrated by Jim Frangione)
This is a fun mystery narrated by PI Bernie Little’s canine companion, Chet. The two of them make a pretty good team. There’s plenty of action, but not a lot of violence. The audio is very entertaining. While I’m not a dog lover I sure fell in love with Chet. I’ll definitely read more of this series.
Link to my full review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 46: by Gary (new)

Gary R | 117 comments Just starting The Ninth Day (Emma Caldridge, #3) by Jamie Freveletti by jamie Freveletti, #3 in the Emma Caldridge Series. Books 1 and 2 were fantastic


message 47: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Finished the audio version of The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani – 4****
This is an epic historical family drama taking the reader from 1904 in the Italian Alps to just after WW 2 in America. Based on her own grandparents’ story, this is clearly a labor of love for Trigiani. The audio is narrated by Annabella Sciorra and Adriana Trigiani. I was completely caught up in the story, and especially liked Enza – a strong woman with intelligence and grace.
Link to my full review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 48: by Gary (new)

Gary R | 117 comments Gary wrote: "Just starting The Ninth Day (Emma Caldridge, #3) by Jamie Frevelettiby jamie Freveletti, #3 in the Emma Caldridge Series. Books 1 and 2 were fantastic"

I'm about a third of the way thru now and this book is as good if not better than the first two.


message 49: by Nigel (new)

Nigel Bird (nigelbird) My current read is Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd.

My opinion is, so far, that it's typical of the other work of his that I've read in many ways - the overlaying of plots, the candid detail about people's internal workings, very detailed characters, a good pace and interesting bits of facts that show his immense knowledge.

It centres upon a woman who is in conflict with her bosses in a scientific community relating to their observations of chimp behaviour. It's typically unusual and gripping.

Recommended.


message 50: by Karen M (last edited Jun 20, 2013 01:49PM) (new)

Karen M | 1955 comments I'm reading the second books in the Isabel Dalhousie series, Friends, Lovers, Chocolate. Alexander McCall Smith's writing has really grown on me. I've read a number of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books and some of the Scotland Street books and each series just gets better and better.


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