Bailey's/Orange Women's Fiction Group discussion

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Chatterbox > Just finished ... was it any good?

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message 1: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Here's a place to tell us about the other books you read - good or bad, recommend or toss in the bin!


message 2: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
I recently re-read Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier I enjoyed it a great deal and actually liked it more than when I first read it a few years back. Strange how you can change in your response to a book.

Here is my review:https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 3: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Also read Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight not the best read for a parent of teens but still great book!


message 4: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
just finished The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1) by Robert Galbraith I listened to the audio. It was going really well until the big reveal of who did it - and then blah! anyone else read it? I have not read Harry Potter so this is my first book of J K Rowling's.


message 5: by ☮Karen (new)

☮Karen Penny wrote: "just finished The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1) by Robert Galbraith I listened to the audio. It was going really well until the big reveal of who did it - and then blah! anyone else read it? I have not read ..."

I've read only the first Harry Potter book and then this one. I liked it, she has quite an imagination. I remember whodunit, but not WHY.


message 6: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
☮Karen wrote: "Penny wrote: "just finished The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1) by Robert Galbraith I listened to the audio. It was going really well until the big reveal of who did it - and then blah! anyone else read it? I ..."
well - yes........ er........that's the bit that requires a fair amount of suspending your disbelief - did you believe that the murderer would act as s/he ( not to give it away!) did? That was what got me - I just cant believe that a murderer would actually do that!!!!


message 7: by ☮Karen (new)

☮Karen It didn't bother me at all at the time, but now you're making me re-think it! Hah! I enjoyed the rest of it so much, and really liked the characters, that I'd not hesitate to read the next in the series. What the murderer did was at least original.


message 8: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Just finished Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan which is a children's book that I read out loud to my son . This is the second time through for me as my older kids also enjoyed it. It's an excellent account of a previously rich Mexican girl whose family lose their money and migrate to California where they work on a fruit farm. It gives so much detail into the life of an immigrant - or any poor person in the earlier part of the 20th century - but in an engaging and interesting story.


message 9: by Val (new)

Val I have just finished All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr All the Light We Cannot See.
It is mainly set during WWII and follows the stories of a French girl and a German boy, who both end up in Saint Malo during Operation Overlord (Battle of Normandy). It shows how lives and ambitions can be changed by war and is written well, balancing small moments of pleasure in a mostly grim existance.
I found it in the library's list of new acquisitions.


message 10: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
I have never heard of the author Val - I always like finding new authors. Have you read him before? It looks like an interesting read. did you ever read The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally ? that is one of the best books I have read about experience of war (although it is WW1)


message 11: by Val (last edited May 27, 2014 01:51AM) (new)

Val I have not read anything else by him, although I might now. The library also has a collection of short stories:
Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr Memory Wall, which is going on my to-read list.

We have been reading books set during WWI in another group, so I will add that one to the list as well.


message 12: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Recently read Before The Poison by Peter Robinson
here is my review

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


message 13: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments hi there. i am new to the group, so please forgive my questions, as i figure things out here in your space. (and i hope it's okay if i ask here. i didn't know where to post questions?)

must we use the cover images when posting about books?

i moderate a couple of other groups and was made aware that people who use the GR app cannot see images in these instances, and instead just see 'giant blobs'. i had no idea, since i don't use the app, but have avoided using the images ever since learning about this app problem. i felt awful that so many people had been unable to see the books that were begin discussed (and it made them cranky. OMG!! the messages i received. heh!!), so i would like to ensure that i conduct myself properly here. thanks!! :)

(GR is aware of the problem, but apparently the fix is not a priority.)


message 14: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Hi Jennifer
you can use the 'cover' link or just the sentence 'link' I was not aware there was an issue with the app as I don't use it and no one has mentioned it. Seems a shame if someone got cranky with you when its GRs issue. We are happy for you to use either!
Your comment about questions made me think I should post up a section just for questions - might be useful to others.


message 15: by Val (new)

Val I did not know about the issue with the app either. I usually put the cover and the title links anyway, but I will make sure I always put both in future.


message 16: by Jayme (new)

Jayme I didn't know about the GR app problem and just took a look on my kindle fire and sure enough where there should be a cover is a pretty little blue box. I will definitely change how I post until it's addressed by GR. Thanks for the info Jennifer.


message 17: by JenniferD (last edited Jun 21, 2014 05:56AM) (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments okay, thanks so much, everyone!! the app issue was certainly a surprise for me too, so i was glad to be told about the problems by those who use it. i have heard that - perhaps depending on the browser - both the blue box can appear, or 'blobs'. in testing it out myself, i have only ever seen the blue box, so i am not sure what the 'blob's are all about. but yes -- the people can get cranky and send such 'interesting' messages sometimes. wowzers. :)

sorry to derail the thread...i will shift it back to tell you about a book i finished this week: Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips. for the first ⅔ of the novel i was so puled it. phillips style was really lovely, and sensitive to the facts of the real case/people. but the last ⅓ got to be a bit...much, and the characters didn't quite evolve in a satisfying way. (if that makes sense? i felt as though there were holes left in their development.)


message 18: by Ruthie (new)

Ruthie (ruthiea) | 70 comments Jennifer wrote: "hi there. i am new to the group, so please forgive my questions, as i figure things out here in your space. (and i hope it's okay if i ask here. i didn't know where to post questions?)

must we us..."


I am never sure if I am going to get the book cover or just the book title when I "add" the book! Lately, I've been hitting "add book/author" and just getting the book title underlined, which makes it a link.


message 19: by JenniferD (last edited Jun 21, 2014 12:10PM) (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments Ruthie wrote: "I am never sure if I am going to get the book cover or just the book title when I "add" the book!"

hi ruthie! when you open the 'add book/author' box, at the very bottom of the space is the option to choose the 'link', or 'cover' (or 'photo', in case of author). the 'link' option gives the words, and 'cover' (or photo) gives the images. so you can select which you prefer. i have gotten so used to not using the images now though, given the app. problems that i forget about the image option most of the time. the default setting is for the links only, not the images. so if you don't select, it will automatically post that way.


message 20: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments has anyone here read The Optimist's Daughter, by Eudora Welty? this is the book i am reading at the moment...but it's not doing much for me yet.


message 21: by ☮Karen (new)

☮Karen I just finished and gave 5 stars to Rules of Civility. I'm a latecomer to it so I imagine many on here have already read it. I just thought it perfectly depicted 1938 NYC.


message 22: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments ☮Karen wrote: "I just finished and gave 5 stars to Rules of Civility. I'm a latecomer to it so I imagine many on here have already read it. I just thought it perfectly depicted 1938 NYC."

i enjoyed that novel so much, karen! it's such wonderful, escapist fiction, but i had such a sense of place while reading it. i am glad you liked it so much too!


message 23: by ☮Karen (new)

☮Karen It's so great to know so many others liked it as well.

I haven't any knowledge of The Optimist's Daughter other than my best friend gave it one star and gave up on pg. 74. Some reviews make it sound like maybe the second half is better.


message 24: by JenniferD (last edited Jun 22, 2014 04:07AM) (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments thanks, karen! i finished the read last night ('the optimist's daughter') and i do agree that the last part is better than the first...but it all left me feeling really lukewarm, and puzzled over its pulitzer win. (along with feeling the book is a bit of a hot mess - the flow was off, it was clunky, parts didn't make sense...i was really wondering abut the structure and way welty chose to tell the story, then thinking about other ways that may have worked better. aren't i presumptuous? heh!!) i checked other readers' responses once i had finished, and found one of my GR friends also had a rough go of it, and he quit around the same point as your friend.


message 25: by Penny (last edited Jun 23, 2014 11:43AM) (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "☮Karen wrote: "I just finished and gave 5 stars to Rules of Civility. I'm a latecomer to it so I imagine many on here have already read it. I just thought it perfectly depicted 193..."

I think Rules of Civility or as a cover Rules of Civility by Amor Towles has provoked quite a lot of discussion - I thought the writing in it was very deft, definitely an author to watch.


message 26: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Recently finished A Deadly Yarn (A Knitting Mystery, #3) by Maggie Sefton really for some light relief from Alif (I whizz through this little cosy mysteries) I usually don't like too much 'twee-ness' ( not a word probably but you get my meaning!!) but these are gentle and amusing and fill a space late at night when I cant face more literary, dense, or plain weird (Alif) writing!!!


message 27: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Just finished The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins' War, #3) by Philippa Gregory for a bit of light relief and as a buddy read on another group. I liked it but as usual for Philippa Gregory I wanted more - more background, more politics, more intrigue, more motives - just more!!! I end up with so many questions at the end of her books - I suppose that's OK but I normally end up going out and finding other books about the same time in history to get a different viewpoint.


message 28: by Jayme (new)

Jayme Just finished When I Lived in Modern Times. I liked the historical background about the ending of the British rule in Palestine before, Israel was formed, but I had a hard time with our protagonist. She was to complacent for me, but it is worth a read


message 29: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments i recently finished a new novel, The Devil on Her Tongue by Linda Holeman. this was the first book i have read by holeman, but i had heard her historical research and writing were excellent. i was a bit disappointed with this book though, as i found most all of the secondary characters very one-dimensional, and the primary characters not fully realized. there was a lot of potential with the story, and i was quite engaged with it (though inconsistently during the read), but i was kind of let down by the end.

and i think the title is pretty awful. heh!! i had a hard time getting past that, even though its origins are in the story. though i suppose i have to give credit for a novel featuring a strong female protagonist not going with "the [fill in the blank's] daughter", or "the [fill in the blank's] wife" as a title.


message 30: by Penny (last edited Jul 09, 2014 10:27AM) (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "i recently finished a new novel, The Devil on Her Tongue by Linda Holeman. this was the first book i have read by holeman, but i had heard her historical research an..."

sounds good on the blurb Jennifer but maybe not so good as you read it through. If you like history I can recommend Susan Higginbotham's books - they are very well done but readable too. I smiled when I saw your comment about so-and-so's wife/daughter/whatever!! Its true these things seem to come in flurries!!

Jayme - that book won the prize I believe - years ago I read a novel about a journalist who got caught up in the massacres of refugees in Lebanon - based on real events and it was brilliant, really helped understand what all that was about - for the life of me I cant remember the name of the book or the author it was so long ago.


message 31: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
finished a few other books recently
The Healing - my review -

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

and Wives and Daughters
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 32: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
raced through Off the Grid (Monkeewrench, #6) by P.J. Tracy which has a totally different name here in the UK but Goodreads only recognises the US one (grrrr!!!) This is another of the Monkeewrench series and if you like fast paced and quirky police type thrillers this hits the spot!


message 33: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments penny, if you look under the 'other editions' on the 'add book/author function, or under the 'all editions' on the book's page, you will see the other title(s) listed: Two Evils did come up that way.


message 34: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "penny, if you look under the 'other editions' on the 'add book/author function, or under the 'all editions' on the book's page, you will see the other title(s) listed: Two Evils did..."

oh I never knew that - thank you!


message 35: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
just finished Succession by Livi Michael this is a good book if you enjoy historical novels - particularly ones that are not full of romance but intrigue and betrayal!
Here's my review
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 36: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
YAY YAY YAY!!!! my first 5 star book in months

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

here's my review
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 37: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
having moaned my way to the end of The Accidental I thought I better add that I finished The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier and it was my third 5 star read this summer and all of them about or touching on slavery or abolitionists!


message 38: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
I have recently finished the following
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini which was great - 4 stars for me - not quite as good as A Thousand Splendid Suns.
A Bespoke Murder by Edward Marston the first in Marston's Home Front series and I read it in 24 hours. Enjoyable crime book set in WWI.
My Name Is Resolute by Nancy E. Turner This is quite an epic book spanning about 80 years leading up to the War of Independence.

Anyone else managed some different reading over the holidays?
Of course I am still plodding through the CDs of All the Birds Singing -- 2 CDs to go but I have a long journey tomorrow so will hopefully get on with them!


message 39: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Looks interesting Michelle - mixing up of cultures often makes for a good story.


message 40: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
I have just finished Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McInerney which I found light, entertaining and in places funny - making a neat contrast to 'The Undertaking' with its very dark subject matter.
Angela Gillespie married an Australian sheep farmer on the spur of the moment 30m yrs ago when backpacking on holiday. Since then she has lived on the sheep station in rural Australia and every year on December 1st she sends out one of those Christmas newsletters - you know the kind - and she calls it 'Hello from the Gillespies'. One year, after giving it some thought she writes a much more realistic newsletter describing how she really feels about her life, her husband, her adult daughters' choices, her husband's family - and, you guessed it, through no fault of her own this newsletter gets sent out to 100 of her associates. The book then follows what happens. It's light-hearted but keeps going along and is a good diversion from heavier reading!


message 41: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Michelle - have added it to the mountain of to-read books!


message 42: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments i thought that to be a lovely novel too, michelle! i am glad you liked it!


message 43: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments i just finished The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis. ooof! has anyone else in the group read it? while i found the writing quite good, the overall feelings i am left with are despair and hopelessness.


message 44: by Penny (new)

Penny | 680 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "i just finished The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis. ooof! has anyone else in the group read it? while i found the writing quite good, the overall feeling..."

no I havent read this - I definitely need to have some more jolly books though before I do this one - it is already on the TBR list!


message 45: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments Michelle wrote: "I just finished Maggie Shipstead's second novel,
Astonish Me and I am not sure how I feel about this one..."


i am a ballet fan, and former dancer, so this book is one i already own. so sorry to hear it didn't really work for you, michelle. i read misty copeland's memoir Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina on the weekend. i love her, but i was not very taken with the writing in this book, so that was a shame.


message 46: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments Penny wrote: "...I definitely need to have some more jolly books though before I do this one ..."

excellent idea! i would say 'hattie' needs to be bookended by feel-good books. i am still feeling down from that read.


message 47: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments today i finished read Daughters Who Walk This Path, by Yejide Kilanko. i thought it was wonderful, a very impressive debut!!


message 48: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments last night, i finished reading Every Day Is for the Thief, by Teju Cole. i found it really interesting. cole has really blurred the lines, i think, between fiction and nonfiction with this book.


message 49: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments Michelle wrote: "I finished Amy Rowland's debut novel, The Transcriptionist: A Novel. I described it to a friend as a "novel of atmosphere" more than one of complicated plot or intricate character ..."

i really enjoyed this novel, michelle! it was one of my favourites last year. :)


message 50: by JenniferD (last edited Feb 16, 2015 03:10PM) (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 343 comments just finished reading Land of Love and Drowning, a debut novel from Tiphanie Yanique, and found it disappointing. has anyone here read it? it had so much potential, but it was just so inconsistent.


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