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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > March 2016 - Reporting Thread

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message 1: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments After you have read your chosen book(s) for this month's group theme read, please report in the thread below.

Please state what book you read (and link it), that you discussed it (and where), and briefly summarise what you thought of the book and/or link to your review if you have written one.

Here is an example for how to report your read:
“I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and discussed it in the [Harry Potter/Buddy Read/Other books in theme] thread. I really enjoyed the book. I watched the film first so I already knew the storyline but I was surprised how much I enjoyed the book more as there was more detail involved. Plus I listened to the audio which was narrated by Stephen Fry who is a superb narrator. 4 stars.”

If you read more than one book which fits the theme, please report all your reads in the same post rather than in separate posts.

In order to receive a badge you must:
1. have completed the book(s) before or during March 2016.
2. discussed it in the relevant 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 that thread.
3. Report that you have read AND discussed the book in the reporting thread below, along with a brief summary of what you thought.

message 2: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 6011 comments Read Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints by P.J. Brackston or Paula Brackston as PJ is her pseudonism. Alright for a quick read. Light. Bit corny. Discussed in general monthly read thread

message 3: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19964 comments Way to go, Travis! I have been sick and stayed home from work today and just got around to realizing it is the 1st and you have already read a book. Wow.

message 4: by Carla (last edited Mar 20, 2016 10:37AM) (new)

Carla | 244 comments Read Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. A quick and hilarious read, it does talk about the serious side of mental illness as well. A very eye opening view of the self-doubt that people with anxiety often face (and probably most people to a lesser degree) Here is my review

Also read Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry and discussed it in the monthly challenge thread. Loved the dark qualities of this book as well as the twists and turns between characters. Great writing made me want to keep going. Here is my review

message 5: by Ariane (new)

Ariane | 697 comments I read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and I absolutely loved it. The writing is beautiful, the story is a really good suspense, slow paced but it takes you until the very end.
Discussed it in the general monthly thread but I will now read the thread of last month.

message 6: by Caecilia (new)

Caecilia Saori I finished "My Name Is Lucy Barton" by Elizabeth Strout yesterday night. This is the discussion thread: Buddy Read Thread for My Name Is Lucy Barton

Lucy Barton has a hospital stay that lasts for weeks. Her mother, whom Lucy has not had any contact with for decades, suddenly comes for a visit and stays with her for one week.
The book was a very calming read and contains many tiny, everyday human thoughts .. all woven into this visit by Lucy's mother. Strout sets little accents but always, leaves enough room for the reader to fill in the gaps. -- I have enjoyed this book very much :-)

message 7: by Sam F (new)

Sam F | 246 comments I won't be able to get the group reads in time - the library lines are so long! So I've just finished reading Bossypants by Tina Fey which was a fun read. I had expected it to be much like Yes Please by Amy Poehler given how connected the two seem to be, but it was quite different. While it was auto-biographical in nature, it fit these life anecdotes around 'advice' for being a female boss in a male dominated industry - with a healthy dose of sarcasm and humour throughout. I really enjoyed it as a good way to start the month and celebrate female writers - and comedians!

message 8: by Jannene (new)

Jannene | 2785 comments I read Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton (Sharon).

I have discussed the book here in message 24.

I was intrigued by this book because if the plot being a Jack the Ripper copycat. It was a new author to me and I plan on continuing with the series.

message 9: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Burger (tammyburger) | 453 comments I read Uncle Tom's Cabin by [author:Harriet Beecher Stowe|26242 and reported it in the appropriate thread. This is a great look at slavery in the south and not-so-south in the US. A celebrated classic.

message 10: by Lanelle (last edited Mar 06, 2016 07:06PM) (new)

Lanelle | 3109 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 11: by Kerri (new)

Kerri I read Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult and discussed it in the monthly read thread. It was a good book though hard to read at times, typical Picoult, I gave it 4 stars.

message 12: by Dominique (new)

Dominique  | 1078 comments I read Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton. The beginning was slow but ended up liking it, gave it a 4 stars

message 13: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Dominique (Dom) wrote: "I read Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton. The beginning was slow but ended up liking it, gave it a 4 stars"

Did it pick up the pace or did it grab you in some other way? This book has been on and off my wishlist so many times it's hard to count.

message 14: by Dominique (last edited Mar 07, 2016 05:22AM) (new)

Dominique  | 1078 comments Sarah wrote: "Dominique (Dom) wrote: "I read Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton. The beginning was slow but ended up liking it, gave it a 4 stars"

Did it pick up the pace or did it g..."

it did pick up. You keep wondering about the main character especially the way she acts in some parts of the book but all is answered at the end.

message 15: by Lori Z (new)

Lori Z | 1827 comments I read Intervention: A Novel by Terri Blackstock and discussed it in the appropriate thread. 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.

message 16: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13575 comments I read My Name Is Lucy Barton and discussed it in the buddy read & discussion threads. Unfortunately, I was fairly 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. I wasn't engaged and didn't look forward to picking it up again after putting it down. Such a disappointment, since I really thought I would love this one. I don't think it was a bad book, lots of people love it. It just wasn't for me.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

I read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and discussed it in the Female Author's thread. My overall rating was 3.5 stars, partially due to the fact I couldn't help but compare it to Pride and Prejudice. Currently, I am watching the BBC miniseries, and so far am enjoying it more than the book.

message 18: by Lisa (last edited Mar 12, 2016 11:27AM) (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments I read The Girl in the Photograph and have discussed it in the 'Group Read Discussion' thread. I thought the first half was really good but sadly, the second half fell somewhat flat and I found the ending to be predictable and more than a little anticlimactic. I was hoping for a big twist but sadly, it never came. I did enjoy the writing style though and I thought the main theme that it dealt with was handled really well and for that reason, I gave it 3 stars.

message 19: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48675 comments I finished reading Church of Marvels for the group read and discussed it in the thread set up for its discussion.

I really enjoyed this book. There were some shocking twists to the story and I'm sure I'll be thinking about it for some time to come.

message 20: by Heather (new)

Heather Morris | 125 comments I read The Changelings by Elle Casey for this months group read and discussed in the March 2016 - Female Authors thread.

I enjoyed the book so much, I've read two more books in the series since! Since meaning in the last 3 days. LOL

I really hoped to at least read one of the books selected for March, however, the library closest to me did not have either of them available. :( I would've had to drive a little more than 30 miles to borrow them.

message 21: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19964 comments I read The Lake House by Kate Morton. This is my third book by the author and I have really liked them all. I like her dual time lines, and I always think I like the story in the past more than the one in the present. I was able to figure out a few things that were going on in the story, but overlooked a couple of references. There were several surprises and, for me, a happy ending. It was a long read and maybe the author could have cut down on some of the story lines, but I was carried along. I like Morton's style and am looking forward to reading a couple more of her books.

message 22: by Ava Catherine (last edited Mar 16, 2016 08:45PM) (new)

Ava Catherine | 4258 comments I read Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry and discussed it in the group thread.

I love the setting of this book, both time and place, and the characters are vivid and full of life. I don't like all the characters, but they are easy to visualize as real people, and we need some wicked characters to make the story interesting. The insane asylum is a horrible place, and I cringe to think women could be locked away in these places for minor offenses. (view spoiler)
I love this book and can't believe it is the author's first novel!

message 23: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 2608 comments I read Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

A thought provoking story that still has my mind in a whirl with all the different dilemmas faced by the characters. A fabulous book.

message 24: by Peggy, Moderator (last edited Mar 18, 2016 02:25PM) (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15076 comments I read Church of Marvels and discussed it in the thread. I rated it 4.5 stars and really enjoyed it! It was a unique book, a bit dark and atmospheric, great scene-setting, very hard to put down. I almost couldn't keep up with my own reading in the last third of the book, so eager was I to finish it. I feel like I should read it again right now with all the knowledge you have once you have finished a book.

message 25: by Joan (new)

Joan I finished I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and surprised my self by loving it - 5 stars - I will listen to the entire series this year.
I commented on in the women author thread and my review is here

message 26: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9411 comments I read The Lake House by Kate Morton, and discussed it in the buddy read threat. I gave it 4 stars. I really like Morton's writing style and the way she waves the plot. Buddy reads of her books in this group are always a success, since so many of us like her. That was a plus. I finished ages after everybody else, but it doesn't matter. :)

message 27: by Ollie (new)

Ollie (olliepoppet) | 73 comments Woops; almost forgot to report this month!!! I read Church of Marvels and have really enjoyed the discussion in the relevant thread. This was a really great pick!

message 28: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments What did you like about it Brittany?

message 29: by Tasha (new)

Tasha I accidentally posted my read in the wrond thread! Glad I discovered it, haha.

Here is my original post:

I read The Lake House and discussed it over in the buddy read thead. I started off really enjoying this read, she is a master at setting the scene so fully that I really wanted to go visit the house and gardens. It really felt what I though the 1930s would feel like. I wasn't a fan of how the story progressed however and ended up giving it 3 stars. Ending spoiler that brings it down to a 3 star (view spoiler). I've read all but 1 of Morton's books and I'm not sure I'll be reading the other one. She is good but I'm not a fan of her endings.

I still plan on reading Fiercombe Manor (which is The Girl in the Photograph) as well but I wanted to just get myself on the record for having read a book with this month's theme, although I think every book I read this month so far has been by a woman!

Since then, I did read the group read of Fiercombe Manor and really enjoyed it! I discussed it as well over in the monthly group read thread. I thought it had a really good gothic feel and although a slower paced story a wonderfully well-done read. Even the grounds and the house were so well depicted! I want to visit a manor now but I'll have to satisfy my craving with online. I would put her up near Sarah Waters and Daphne duMaurier.

message 30: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments I read Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts and discussed it in the discussion thread. Ms Roberts is amazingly productive as a writer, though I find I enjoy futuristic murder mystery series she writes as J.D. Robb better.

This book is the second in a trilogy that brings Celtic mythology into the present, along with actual places that sound beautiful to visit.

message 31: by Lori (last edited Mar 28, 2016 06:21PM) (new)

Lori (glitzyrebel) | 433 comments I read Church of Marvels and made several comments in the group read thread. The author created rather unique characters for this story and then cleverly wove their lives together. It's one of those books in which you can imagine the characters living beyond the last page.

message 32: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2622 comments I read Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs and discussed it in the "Female Authors" thread. I gave it five stars, and I'm delighted to see that it is on the hardcover bestsellers list this week. (It is book nine in a series, and not a stand-alone.) I also read The Lake House by Kate Morten, and discussed it in the buddy read thread. I enjoyed it, some parts more than others. I thought the various story strands were woven together very nicely, although the author relied on coincidences a tad too much at times. I'm becoming a fan of Kate Morten, to the point that I have already tracked down and purchased a used copy of The Distant Hours in preparation for an April buddy read.

message 33: by Karen (new)

Karen Rashid | 137 comments I read Church of Marvels Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry for this months group theme read (another GoodReads first). I commented on the March Group Thread for this book.

While I enjoyed it, and was definitely drawn into the mysteries that it presented, it didn't wow me. I would definitely give Leslie Parry another try as she demonstrated great skill in manipulating the various story lines and our perceptions of the characters.

At the same time that I was reading this book, I also read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain The Paris Wife which really impressed and moved me. This book was a happy surprise for me, as I picked it up to learn a little bit about Ernest Hemingway since we were planning to visit one of his homes during our stop in Key West for our March Break cruise. Although, this book does not "count" as I didn't discuss it but I liked it so much I wanted to share.

message 34: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19964 comments Thanks for sharing about The Paris Wife, Joan.
I have wanted to read it for a while. It is nice to know it was a good read.

message 35: by Elsbeth (new)

Elsbeth (elsbethgm) | 1136 comments I read several books by female authors this month. In the 'female authors' thread I discussed:
Honeymoon with Death by Amy Corwin (2-3-2016), a mystery that takes place in Italy in the 19th century. It has lots of colorful characters and it stays a mystery until the end about who murdered the victim. So it was rather good; 4 stars.
I also discussed 2 books I read, who take place in the Netherlands of the 17th century: Tulpen & terpentijn by Nina Siegal, which is about the painting by Rembrandt "Anatomy's Lesson". Really interesting; 5 stars.
And the other one is: Nachtblauw by Simone van der Vlugt, about a woman who paints the famous Delfs Blauw (which is Porcelain from the city of Delfs, painted blue on white). 5 stars for that one as well!

message 36: by Elinaly (last edited Mar 29, 2016 03:46AM) (new)

Elinaly | 113 comments Reporting that I read Boys Without Names by Kashmira Sheth and my thoughts about the book can be found here (if needed I can repeat it also in this post).

I gave it 5 stars and can't really put my finger on it why this story touched my heart so much (maybe also because I have children of the same age as MC...).

message 37: by Kirila (new)

Kirila | 612 comments I read Church of Marvels and discussed it in the monthly thread. Overall I enjoyed the book, but it didn't grab me in a way that I could not put it down. I had a slow reading month, which might have affected my overall impression of the book. Nevertheless I liked the writing style and found the story intriguing. I liked how three seemingly unrelated stories became one. I also liked that all questions were answered and all the details fit together (more or less, there were some inconsistencies discussed in the thread) at the end. The characters were unique and interesting, but I found that their personalities changed a lot from the beginning of the book to the end. I also didn't quite understand some of the decisions they took (envisioning Belle here). Gave it 3 stars at the end. Could have been a 4 if I had read it at a different time.

message 38: by Tejas Janet (new)

Tejas Janet (tejasjanet) | 3513 comments I read Church of Marvels and shared my main impressions, likes and dislikes, in the appropriate thread. I found it difficult going at times. Lots of unsavory scenes that hit me in the gut. As the threads began to come together, the story gained momentum and became more enjoyable to read. After debating over giving 3 or 4 stars, I thought 4 was more accurate in terms of my enjoying the creativity, unusual characters, and overall story. What I liked most about this book was how it turned various assumptions, expectations, and conventions upside down.

I noticed that 5 of 8 books I read in March were by female authors. I'm not sure, but think this ratio is not atypical for me.

message 39: by Tasha☺ (new)

Tasha☺ | 1020 comments I read Key of Knowledge, and discussed it in the thread. This was a re-read for me I have probably read these books 5 times. I actually lent these to a friend and never got them back, I had to buy new copies, so they were new to me in a different form

I give these 5 stars, the author incorporates mythology,fantasy and romance together. She has a way of pulling you into the story. This one is of Dana, a librarian on a quest of a missing key to save the souls of three girls under a spell of an evil sorcerer. The author combines fantasy incorporated into our world which I love. I am a sucker for these types of books

message 40: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19964 comments Tasha☺ wrote: "I read Key of Knowledge, and discussed it in the thread. This was a re-read for me I have probably read these books 5 times. I actually lent these to a friend and never got them back,..."

I have never read Nora Roberts so I added this trilogy to my TBR, Tasha. It sounds interesting. Thanks!

message 41: by Ollie (new)

Ollie (olliepoppet) | 73 comments Sarah wrote: "What did you like about it Brittany?"

This is one of those rare books that's impossible to discuss without spoiling the content for others. I went into a bit more detail over in the discussion thread, but in short: (view spoiler)

message 42: by Fee (last edited Apr 01, 2016 12:13AM) (new)

Fee | 232 comments I read Church of Marvels and discussed it in the thread. I’m very glad that we read the book this month because i would never have picked it up by myself. The beginning was very dark and i felt quite uncomfortable whilst reading it. Especially the first chapters, which took place in the asylum were daunting. But i kept on reading and started to enjoy the atmosphere and the unique and loving characters. Also, i loved, how the different storylines came together to one and how the mystery was resolved slowly bit by bit. There were a lot of surprising twists, which gave the story even more depth. In the end, i gave Church of Marvels five stars. I never expected it to be that good.

message 43: by Debra (last edited Apr 01, 2016 02:24AM) (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 6542 comments I read The Girl in the Photograph. At times I was intrigued, other times bored. It moved slowly at times. I liked the two POVs of the main female characters. Mostly I thought the plot was a bit predictable, but I enjoyed it enough to give it 3 starts.

message 44: by Almeta (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10131 comments I had intended to read Church of Marvels with the group, however through a mix-up it was returned to the library by mistake and the more recent request for it has not been filled. (Well, actually it arrived today, as soon as I got home FROM the library!)

So, I will submit Louise Penny as my selection and discuss A Fatal Grace.

I have discussed this in the original thread.

message 45: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments What did you think about it Almeta? We need a sentence or two in here as well.

message 46: by Almeta (last edited Apr 03, 2016 01:16PM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10131 comments I was impressed with Louise Penny's writing in A Fatal Grace.

I definitely wanted pain to be alleviated for mistreated characters and angry that their talents were being cruelly repressed. My dislike of a perceived villain was palpable. Fell in love with many of the town characters. I gave this mystery 5 stars.

message 47: by Poongothai (new)

Poongothai (poongsa) | 483 comments I read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and discussed it in March 2016 - Female Authors thread.
This was my first book by her. It was a good psychological thriller. All the characters were mentally disturbing like the main character the reporter Camille, her kind mother, and her teenage step sister. No one was stable. It was an emotionally draining book. But the author wrapped all the loose ends. The final twist was too quick. If it was spread out, it would have been better.

message 48: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19964 comments Almeta wrote: "I was impressed with Louise Penny's writing in A Fatal Grace.

I definitely wanted pain to be alleviated for mistreated characters and angry that their talents were be..."

I have her first six books lined up on my book shelf, but no time to read them. Your discussion and spoilers in the other thread really makes me want to badly! Have you read any of The Barbara Holloway series or Kate Wilhelm, in general? I just recently discovered her.

message 49: by Almeta (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10131 comments Cherie wrote: ".....Have you read any of The Barbara Holloway series or Kate Wilhelm, in general? I just recently discovered her. ..."

I have not read any Kate Wilhelm, however the synopsis of the selections I sampled sound as though they are right up my alley. I'm giving a couple a try.

Thanks for the recommendation.

message 50: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19964 comments Almeta wrote: "Thanks for the recommendation..."
:0) No worries...

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