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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > March 2016 - Female Authors

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message 1: by Sarah, Moderator (last edited Mar 01, 2016 12:58AM) (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments If the two chosen group reads don't take your fancy, feel free to read a book of your choice which is by a female author.

Please discuss your book in this thread.

In order to receive a badge you must:
1. have completed the book before or during March 2016
2. discussed it in this thread. Discussion must be more than "I read the book and I liked it". Discussion requires something more substantial and analytical of what you read, for example, thoughts, opinions, impact it had on you, what was your favourite part, was it what you expected it to be like etc. You may also like to review the book and post a link to the review in this thread.
3. Report that you have read AND discussed the book in the reporting thread (including a brief summary of what you thought of the book).

General Rules:
1. Please mark your spoilers with the spoiler tags along with mentioning what stage of the book you are at so other's don't get a nasty shock.


message 2: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments My Name Is Lucy Barton was in the poll but didn't win. However, a buddy read has been set up fir it if people want to join in. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 3: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9282 comments A few of us will be doing a buddy read of The Lake House. We plan to start on March 5th. Here is the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 4: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Sooo many good choices this month with winners and buddy reads!


message 5: by Delitealex (new)

Delitealex | 336 comments I'm planning to read With This Curse by Amanda DeWeesor The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens don't know which yet.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Since I cannot get Church of Marvels from the library in time for the March time frame, I am going to read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell instead. Hoping to watch the movie version on Netflix after I finish the book.


message 7: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9282 comments Tasha wrote: "Sooo many good choices this month with winners and buddy reads!"

Indeed! March should have 45 days...


message 8: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments Turns out I just comoleted a book by a female author Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints by P.J. Brackston aka Paula Brackston.

This book was a couple bucks so I got it. It wasn't that great, but I wasn't really thr target audience. Cozy mystery meets Brothers Grimm. I thought it would be fun. It was fun just not a barrel of monkeys. The usage of fairy tales was clever it was Gretel herself the clothing obsessed over eater of sweets and all her particular fancies I didn't care for. Then there is Hansel the basically dumb drunk. Really it was the portrayal of these two grown up that took away from the book. The reat of it getting to the mystery was pretty good amd some unexpected weirdness. Really. Gonna have some 50 shades of gray action in a fairy tale


message 9: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments I'll orobably give it 3 stars.


message 10: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13171 comments I just looked and 4 out of my last 5 books were by female authors, including all three that I read for the toppler. Just found that interesting. I am planning to read My Name is Lucy Barton for the themed read.


message 11: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments Sandra wrote: "A few of us will be doing a buddy read of The Lake House. We plan to start on March 5th. Here is the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/..."


Thanks Sandra for including this one. I knew there was another book that fit the theme but couldn't think which one.


message 12: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 01, 2016 11:43AM) (new)

Sandra wrote: "Tasha wrote: "Sooo many good choices this month with winners and buddy reads!"

Indeed! March should have 45 days..."


Totally agree. :) Wishing those books weren't so much in demand at my library though.


message 13: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9282 comments Sarah wrote: "Thanks Sandra for including this one. I knew there was another book that fit the theme but couldn't think which one. "

No problem! We are the ones interested in find more buddy readers. :)


message 14: by Ava Catherine (last edited Mar 02, 2016 12:10AM) (new)

Ava Catherine | 4258 comments I read My Name Is Lucy Barton and participated in the buddy read.

This is a tenderly crafted story about an estranged mother/ daughter who try to heal a fractured relationship, while the daughter, Lucy, is hospitalized, recovering from an operation. During the course of Lucy's illness, we discover truths about her poverty-stricken, abusive childhood and the enormous emotional distance between Lucy and her mother. An underlying tone of loneliness permeates the novel since Lucy feels isolated and different due to her background.
Because the book was so engrossing and beautifully written, I read it in one sitting.


message 15: by Carla (new)

Carla | 244 comments I plan on reading the other books nominated this month but just finished Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. I would say it is not to everyone's tastes considering it is about mental illness but she presents her own circumstances in such an honest and hilarious way that found it a quick and enjoyable read. Here is my review
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 16: by Ariane (last edited Mar 04, 2016 03:54AM) (new)

Ariane | 697 comments Since i couldn't read Rebecca last month, I read it this month because it fits as well ;)
I was a bit confused in the beginning because I knew nothing about it and didn't know that the MC was not Rebecca, but the second wife. I absolutely loved it, I gave it 4.5 stars, the suspense comes slowly, but takes you fully into the story. I love Du Maurier's writing. And at the end, I realised I had completely forgotten about the first pages, so I was totally surprised by it.
I didn't see the movie but I will this weekend.
I finished it last night and I am still "caught" by it. I will read the post of last month now, to see what the others thought of this book.


message 17: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments I'm pleased you got to read it in the end Ariane. It's good when a book fits in to two consecutive month themes. :-)


message 18: by Caecilia (new)

Caecilia Saori -- a short question.

I will be reading "The Secret History" with friends of mine, although not discussing it on here (but on instagram).
Does the discussion have to take part within this Group or is it sufficient if I report the book as finished in the March Theme Reporting thread and add one or two paragraphs containing my thoughts on the book?


message 19: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments In order to get a badge, you must follow the instructions in the first post. Further details for what is required to get a badge is in the first post of the March reporting thread. In short, you must discuss the book in this thread then report in the reporting thread.

But haven't you already read My Name is Lucy Barton which you discussed? That fits the theme so all you need do is make some comments in this thread (like Connie has above) and report it in the reporting thread.


message 20: by Caecilia (new)

Caecilia Saori Thank you for the reply - yes, I did. just wanted to know in general :-)


message 21: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments I saw you reported your read but you haven't discussed it in this thread so it be great if you could do that.


message 22: by Sam F (new)

Sam F | 246 comments I forgot to discuss my book in this thread as well - sorry! I read Bossypants by Tina Fey. A great read - both a funny and insightful look at women leading in a male dominated industry. I liked her use of sarcasm throughout and her personal anecdotes as they related to her 'work lessons' or advice. It was a great start to reading a month of women authors - especially given how little credit women also receive in the field of comedy too!


message 23: by Caecilia (last edited Mar 05, 2016 11:13PM) (new)

Caecilia Saori :-) sure.

the book I have read for the monthly theme, was My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout.

Lucy has to stay in hospital due to complications coming up after her appendix removal. Unexpectedly, her mother comes to visit her. Lucy and her mother had not had any contact for decades, neither when Lucy married, nor when either of her two daughters arrived. (view spoiler)
I have enjoyed reading this tiny, but meaningful novel.


message 24: by Jannene (last edited Mar 06, 2016 09:58AM) (new)

Jannene | 2768 comments The book I read for this monthly theme was Now You See Me written by S.J. Bolton (Sharon)

The book really had a low start. It took a while to get used to and appreciate the characters. The story line though was very interesting (a Jack the Ripper copycat) and I was totally caught up in it. Then the characters started to develop and I started liking them. The ending, I didn't see coming. You are torn over right and wrong at the end. Even now, I wonder if the end justified the means.

I felt this was a good series and would definitely read the second one.


message 25: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Burger (tammyburger) | 449 comments I read Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I started it for the February Toppler, but at a whopping 700 pages, it was more than I could conquer in a week. This classic book has been on my TBR list for a long time. It is the story of Tom and other slaves during the time of our history when slavery was at it's peak. I was pleasantly surprised by the Christian emphasis of the book as I was unaware of that focus. How horrible it must have been to never know if you would be sold, ever see your family again, receive lashes for some perceived infraction. I'm glad we have worked on this in our country. Still think we have some work to do.


message 26: by Kerri (new)

Kerri I read Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult which deals with bullying in schools and results in a high school shooting. It was such a tragic story and a little bit personal for me as one of my children was bullied for 6 of his 12 years of schooling. I was always worried about the long term effect the bullying would have on my son and could relate so easily to the feelings of the shooter in this story. Whilst not condoning his actions in any way, I felt such sympathy for him, his family and all affected by his actions.


message 27: by Lanelle (last edited Mar 06, 2016 07:07PM) (new)

Lanelle | 3077 comments I decided to read a book by one of my favorite authors - Georgette Heyer.
The book I read was These Old Shades.

The story is about an English Duke that rescues a young man from an abusive older brother. The setting is Paris, then England for a short time, and then back to Paris and Versailles. The Duke figures out the secret that the boy has been keeping for 5 years, and decides to use that secret for revenge.

Heyer always manages to tell an entertaining tale. I gave it 4 stars.


message 28: by Dominique (new)

Dominique  | 1075 comments I read Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton. The first book in the Lacey Flint series. going back to her car after talking to a victim of rape, a woman is leaning on lacey`s car. The woman has been stabbed and dies in front of Lacey. The woman`s cuts are similar to an old serial killer: Jack the Ripper and the killing is just starting but one problem: the killer knows Lacey by name.

The story was good, the action was lacking in the beginning but picked up pretty quickly. For a detective, Lacey was at times stupid and said adn did things a cop wouldn`t do. By the end youdo understand why she was acting this way and it made the ending enjoyable.
4 stars.


message 29: by Colleen (new)

Colleen (colls) | 114 comments Carla wrote: "I plan on reading the other books nominated this month but just finished Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. I would say it is not to everyone's tas..."

I've heard such wildly different things about this book - seems people love it or hate it. Every time I hear someone talk about it, I ponder whether or not to check it out. Writing a humorous book about mental illness seems like such an odd thing to do, that I almost want to read it for that alone.


message 30: by Lori Z (new)

Lori Z | 1818 comments I read Intervention: A Novel by Terri Blackstock. I've been a fan of hers for a number of years and enjoyed this book as much as her others. She writes Christian fiction and this, like most of her other books was a suspense novel. I don't find her writing too "preachy", her stories are really good and always have a touch of faith, hope and redemption. It was a good read and kept me in suspense throughout the book. In the author's note she tells us of her own daughter's battle with addiction and her life experiences shows through with how well she wrote of the mother's pain in the story.


message 31: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments When I saw the book in your reporting post Lori, I wondered if it were about addiction given the title. I've not clicked through to the synopsis, but what was the character in the book addicted to? People always say to write about what you know and in this case, I guess the author did if her daughter struggled with addiction.


message 32: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13171 comments I read My Name Is Lucy Barton and discussed it in the buddy read thread. It was a book that I really wanted to read and thought I'd love. I even picked up a newly released hardcover from a bookstore and paid full price...yes, I thought I would love it. I didn't love it. I was actually quite bored while reading it and didn't care at all about the characters. It took longer to read than it should have, as it's quite a short book, but I wasn't engaged and didn't look forward to picking it up again. Such a disappointment. I don't think it was a bad book, lots of people love it. It just wasn't for me.


message 33: by Lori Z (new)

Lori Z | 1818 comments Sarah wrote: "When I saw the book in your reporting post Lori, I wondered if it were about addiction given the title. I've not clicked through to the synopsis, but what was the character in the book addicted to?..."

According to the character, she was addicted to everything, but eventually admitted to cocaine, Xanax and painkillers.


message 34: by Carla (new)

Carla | 244 comments Ariane wrote: "Since i couldn't read Rebecca last month, I read it this month because it fits as well ;)
I was a bit confused in the beginning because I knew nothing about it and didn't know that ..."


I did the same thing Ariane. Just finished it and loved it. Great suspense throughout. I will have to watch the movie to compare. Did you watch it yet?


message 35: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 10, 2016 08:26PM) (new)

I finished reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell.

For some aspects of the story, I just couldn't help but draw comparisons to Pride and Prejudice. There was a definite déjà vu type of feeling in the relationship between Margaret Hale and John Thornton.

Although, I appreciated Gaskell touching on the subjects of industrialization, poor working conditions and unions, she never really takes the reader inside the factory itself. (The BBC mini-series does a much better job of that.) Somehow I felt the book was just too long and could have used some editing. Some chapters felt drawn out and boring, but since it orginally was published as a serialized novel, perhaps that was unavoidable.

My favorite aspects of the book were the contrast in surroundings and culture between Helstone, London and Milton-Northern. I also appreciated the friendship that developed between Bessie and Margaret, even though they were of different backgrounds and social classes.


message 36: by Casceil (last edited Mar 11, 2016 08:32AM) (new)

Casceil | 2615 comments I'm reading The Lake House with the buddy read group, but I have fallen a bit behind, so I have decided to report on something else in case Lake House takes me too long. I've just finished reading Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs. It's book nine in a series, and I also reread books 7 and 8 in anticipation of its release, so that the events would be fresh in my mind. Fire Touched was released on March 8, and I finished it around lunch time on March 9, which should give you some clue how voraciously I read it. (I had to work on March 8.) This series is about a character named Mercy Thompson. She is a VW mechanic in the Tri-Cities area of Washington State (around Pasco, Washington). She has the ability to shift into the form of a coyote. I'm putting a comment about her background in as a spoiler, because people who have read only very early books in the series will want to discover it for themselves. It first comes up in Book 5, River Marked. (view spoiler)

I was first attracted to this series partly because I have been to Pasco, Washington. It was a nice little town, and I was very impressed with the Columbia River. I've followed the books long enough that the characters feel like old friends to me now. Occasionally new characters are added, and I was very happy that the newest book gave me a closer look at Joel, who first appeared in Book 8. The whole series is sort of one long, continuing story. The last two or three books have involved themes I didn't much care for, including (view spoiler). I thought those themes had gotten a little tired, and I was delighted that the new book kind of wraps up and clears out those old stagnant themes. Instead we get a new character, and new adventures. I gave the book five stars. As I commented in my review, I am surprised and steadily amused by the creativity this author shows in her work.


message 37: by Sarah, Moderator (last edited Mar 11, 2016 12:18AM) (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments Casceil, could you also put in a spoiler (view spoiler) this hasn't happened n the series yet for me, I've only read books 1 and 2 and she is still (view spoiler)


message 38: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2615 comments Sorry about that, Sarah. It's fixed now. If you are early in the series, I will say that I had mixed feelings about books 2-4, and book 5, River Marked, was where the series really took off for me.


message 39: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments Thanks Casceil. Good to know that the slump is worth it. I have book 3 to read soon hopefully.


message 40: by Ariane (new)

Ariane | 697 comments Carla wrote: "Ariane wrote: "Since i couldn't read Rebecca last month, I read it this month because it fits as well ;)
I was a bit confused in the beginning because I knew nothing about it and di..."


Not yet, but I intend to watch it soon, I would like to compare them too.


message 41: by Joan (new)

Joan I am just starting "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou as an audiobook read by the author. I don't usually listen to audiobooks (I fall asleep like a 5 year-old listening to a bedtime story).


message 42: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9282 comments That's a cute image, Joan. :)


message 43: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18168 comments Joan wrote: "I am just starting "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou as an audiobook read by the author. I don't usually listen to audiobooks (I fall asleep like a 5 year-old listening to a bedtime..."

I like it when an author narrates the audiobook generally as they know the content and add passion to the story, fiction or non fiction. The only one I've not enjoyed was Lord of the Flies. I found his voice not to be very engaging.


message 44: by Kerri (new)

Kerri Joan wrote: "I am just starting "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou as an audiobook read by the author. I don't usually listen to audiobooks (I fall asleep like a 5 year-old listening to a bedtime..."

Good luck Joan, I just listened to that one and I feel awful for saying it, but it was dreadful. Without a doubt the worst audiobook I've listened to. In this case I think it would have been better if the author had gotten someone else to read it. The punctuation was terrible, it ruined the story for me as I found it so distracting.


message 45: by Joan (new)

Joan Kerri, I know what you mean about Angelou's narration. I really enjoyed her reading of The Hallelujah Kitchen but this one...well... I'm trying to imagine it as listening a old granny recount her childhood.


message 46: by Joan (new)

Joan "I stood on the bank of the greendark water,
and my thoughts skidded
like the water spiders,
now this way,
now that,
now the other,
should I go with my father? should I throw myself into the pond?
a poignant description of a bereft 7-year-old in "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings"
Angelou was such a wonderful poet.


message 47: by Cherie (last edited Mar 14, 2016 05:37PM) (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19745 comments I read The Lake House by Kate Morton for this group read. I participated in the buddy read that is currently going on also. This book is divided into multiple time lines and include WWI and WWII stories. I cannot say the dates exactly because they jumped back and forth. I really liked the story of the Edevane family members which included a cold case revolving around the story of a missing child as well as a present day case of child abandonment.

This is the third book by Morton that I have read and have enjoyed them all. I have two others marked to read in my TBR.


message 48: by Heather (new)

Heather Morris | 125 comments I read The Changelings (War of the Fae, #1) by Elle Casey The Changelings by Elle Casey. I absolutely loved the book! I decided to read this book since 1. my local library did not have either of the March group reads and 2. it was free on Kindle and fit the monthly theme.

I really didn't know what I was getting myself into......

The book starts off at a moderate pace, detailing Jayne and Tony's high school life, and picks up to a fast past quickly. Jayne and Tony run away to Miami and their lives turn around the moment they get there. Within a couple of days they (and their new friends) get dashed away to a secret and mysterious forest, having to defending themselves from powers unknown. Their journey through the forrest made me feel a wide range of emotions, fear for them, happiness, and ocassionally downright giddiness.

Jayne's personality really won me over. Warning, she has a potty mouth, but also a heart of gold. There are some parts in the book the literally had me laughing out loud! I liked the book so much that I bought (and read) books 2 and 3 already.

I want to share so much more, but I don't want to give the book away. So I will just say, if you like supernatural/fantasy type YA books, you'll like this book. And the first book was free on Amazon, so really what do you have to lose? - no I am not the author, nor do I have any ties to her, just a fan now!


message 49: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13171 comments Heather - I just went and grabbed a copy for my Kindle. :)


message 50: by Joan (new)

Joan do you remember from your childhood any complete misinterpretations of what was happening and why? In the memoir I am reading the child narrator believes she is shuffled among parents and grandparents because she is ugly and unwanted...she doesn't understand about the Great Financial Depression or divorce.


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