You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > June 2016 - Reporting Thread

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message 1: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Please read through the reporting thread carefully to ensure to report correctly to get your badge/s.

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.

If you lead the discussion, please state this in your post.

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.

Please note, there are THREE different badges that can be obtained for group reads. Those reading and discussing one of the two chosen group reads will receive a colourful badge similiar to those for previous group reads. Those reading and discussing any other book in the theme will receive a stamp. The discussion leader for the two chosen group reads will receive a badge stating they led the discussion. Maximum amount of badges you can receive for the group reads is TWO - one for the chosen group read/discussion leader and one for any other book in the theme.

In order to receive a badge you must:
1. have read the book(s) before or during June2016.
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 Lisa (last edited Jun 03, 2016 07:06AM) (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and discussed it in the group read thread. I really liked it. I thought the writing was beautiful, the story strange but affecting and I felt that the author did a good job with most of the fantastical/magical realism elements. However, there were a couple of things that happened in the last few chapters that I wish the author had handled differently and I would have preferred it if the ending had been a bit clearer on what actually happened so for those reasons, I gave it 4 stars.

Edit - I am also the discussion leader for this book.


message 3: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Can you update your post Lisa to include the fact that you are the discussion leader please.


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Sarah wrote: "Can you update your post Lisa to include the fact that you are the discussion leader please."

All done.


message 5: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Thank you Lisa! It means I don't have to rely on my memory or searching elsewhere when it comes to posting badges :-)


message 6: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13586 comments I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and discussed it in the group thread. It was so different than I expected, strange and fascinating. I wasn't sure about it when I first started because the story was so fantastic, but the writing was excellent and I ended up really enjoying it. I gave four stars.


message 7: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48740 comments I read The Rainbow and the Rose for the themed read and discussed it in the thread for books that fit the themed read.

I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I didn't really have high expectations, and sometimes that is a good thing. I thought Nevil Shute's approach was unique. The present day was in the POV of the pilot who was attempting to rescue his friend. Any time he fell asleep, he dreamed of Johnny's past and thus told his story.


message 8: by Liz (last edited Jun 07, 2016 07:12AM) (new)

Liz   (lizvegas) | 504 comments I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender back at the end of 2014, but I discussed it in the monthly thread with the current readers.
I loved this book, and really want to reread it at some point. But so many books, so little time, right.
Here is my original review, haha:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 9: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 6542 comments The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. This was an amazing example of magical realism with great character-development, beautiful prose, and an excellent story. 5 stars for me.


message 10: by Naomi (new)

Naomi (nchigh) | 543 comments I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton . I rated it 4 stars. It was very good and the language and words were well written. I listened to the audiobook which was done very well. The book was whimsical and about how love can either drag you down or lift you up depending on how open you are to seeing and feeling it.
I discussed this book in the thread for it.


message 11: by Lori Z (new)

Lori Z | 1827 comments I read Dream of Orchids for this months theme and discussed it in the appropriate thread.

I enjoyed this book even if it wasn't quite what I expected. I thought it was going to be more of a romance with a mystery, but the romance was mostly nonexistent and I had a hard time buying it, just didn't seem like a lot of chemistry between the characters. It did have a good mystery however, with Gothic elements. I also thought the descriptive quality of the setting was very good, I could picture the coastal setting with ocean breezes and sun beating down. Overall, I gave it 3 stars.


message 12: by Tasha (new)

Tasha I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and discussed over in that thread. I'm not as big a fan as others seem to be. I thought it started out pretty strong but it lost it's luster towards the end. I do admit that I often find that genre a hard one so my personal tastes do reflect on my rating however there have been other books in that genre that I have loved so it's more than that I guess.

I did find the writing to be really strong and it sucked me in quickly but the story itself, and the lack of character depth, left me unsatisfied at the end. I rated it 3 stars.


message 13: by TrudyAn (new)

TrudyAn | 1651 comments Two books for the June group read: I read The Scarlet Pimpernel and discussed it in the applicable group thread. I found this book very entertaining, and gave it a four start rating. Even though it was evident what the outcome would be, Orczy succeeded in building suspense right to the end. I liked the various disguises the Scarlet Pimpernel used so he could go about his mission unnoticed, and almost missed one of them near the end. This is the first classic I've read in awhile that didn't feel like a chore to get through.

As my second book, I read The Lotus Eaters and commented in the "flower in the title" thread (no discussion with others because no one else appears to be reading it). I gave it three stars. Soli succeeded in creating an intense atmosphere experienced by the photojournalists in this war situation. I found it interesting to read about the motivations a person might have to risk personal safety (and the ethical dilemma that can arise) in order to get that great photo shoot.


message 14: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2623 comments I read The Scarlet Pimpernel and discussed it in the group read thread. I give the book four stars. I had trouble getting interested in it in the beginning, when we seemed to be constantly meeting new characters and going new places. In Chapter 7 the narrative settled more on particular characters, and I started getting much more engaged in the story. By a third of the way into the book I was hooked. The Scarlet Pimpernel was a great character. I liked it that he solved his problems with cleverness rather than violence. The discussion added to my appreciation of the book. I was glad that TrudyAn and I finished reading around the same time and could trade reactions about the ending (in spoilers, of course). It is the sort of book you want to be able to talk to someone about.


message 15: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilserv) | 453 comments I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and discussed it in the group read thread. The writing was beautiful, and this was a quick read for me. Ultimately, I gave it four stars.


message 16: by Susan (last edited Jun 12, 2016 05:01PM) (new)

Susan Barlow I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender for this challenge. I loved the book and rated it 5 stars.

This is a fairytale about three generations of the Roux family and their quests to find love. The beautiful prose had me hooked from the first few pages. For me the magic blended well with the realistic elements of the story. Ava is born with wings but is unable to fly. Her mother tries to shield her from the dangers of the world, but fails to do so, ending in a horrible tragedy. The motif of feathers permeates the story.

Fate, and people's inability to change their lives, is a strong theme.

“Because once things turned out, good or bad, there’s nothing you can do about it. It just is. And Henry liked just is.”

This is just one of those serendipitous books that I connected with in spite of my belief that we can nearly always change our lives for the better. And I'm a sucker for a book where the characters have great names.


message 17: by Sarah, Moderator (last edited Jun 12, 2016 06:57AM) (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Emily wrote: "I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and discussed it in the group read thread. The writing was beautiful, and this was a quick read for me. Ultimately, I gave i..."

Susan B wrote: "I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender for this challenge. I loved the book and rated it 5 stars. I have discussed my reasons for this rating in the Discussion thr..."

Emily and Susan B - Please could you also give us a few sentences in this thread about what you thought of the book as per the instructions in message 1. Thanks in advance.


message 18: by Lanelle (new)

Lanelle | 3110 comments I finished reading The Scarlet Pimpernel, and I participated in the discussion thread.

It is such a good story. It certainly has some rather melodramatic, gothic-type moments. Maybe that's what makes it such fun to read. Now I want to watch the movie, the old one with Leslie Howard.


message 19: by Heather (last edited Jun 16, 2016 06:43AM) (new)

Heather Morris | 125 comments I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and discussed it in the discussion thread.

I really enjoyed the book! I did end up only giving it 4 (4.5) stars because of the ending, it ended too quickly for me - almost like the author ran out of time or pages. It reminded me of the tall tales I read as a child and made me smile quite a few times. I will be looking forward to more books from the author.


message 20: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15084 comments I read The Scarlet Pimpernel and discussed it in the thread.

I really enjoyed it and gave it 4 stars. I had some trouble focusing on it especially in the beginning, not due to the story itself but because of some foreign words and more old-fashioned writing than I'm used to. And maybe I just had some trouble focusing in general in the past few days. The story itself I really enjoyed, more than I expected to, I though it was very entertaining.


message 21: by Cherie (last edited Jun 17, 2016 04:41PM) (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19984 comments First I read an alternate selection in The Rainbow and the Rose. It was nice that Janice was also reading it and we could discuss things in the reading thread. I am sure that I must have read this story before, but it had been so many years ago, that I had forgotten the details of the plot. The way the author presented the story line was very unique. There was a present time line with a crashed pilot and the people trying to rescue him and their stories and a past time line that explored the pilot's past life. The story of the pilot's past was done in a dream sequence. The book may be a little dated and is full of acronyms that may be outdated, but it is an endearing story and I enjoyed it a lot.

Second, I read The Scarlet Pimpernel. I started with the text and then listened to an audio version, because both were available to me. This was a classic story that I had wanted to read for a long time but had never made the time or picked up on the occasion to do so until this group read. I think I had tried to start it once but was put off at the beginning because of the way the story is presented at first and all of the French names and people. I was prepared this time, and once the story started rolling on, it was hard to put down. I think the audio book helped, but it was nice to be able to follow along with the text. It was hard to understand the MCs because they seemed so unlikeable at first, but the events of the story quickly changed my opinion, By the end, I am totally willing to seek out the next installment in this 16 book series!

Lastly, I finished The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender just yesterday. Magic realism seems to be a take it or leave it kind of genre for a lot of people. Maybe I am lucky (?) that I can let down the guards of my belief system and to accept things that I do not really believe in to thrash around in my mind. I guess I like strange, but it has to be beautiful and there has to be love too. Ava Lavender had a really strange family. She lived in a periwinkle colored house on top of a hill in Seattle, Washington. I loved it! Note: Susan B. really got it all right in her comments about the book!

I discussed all of these stories in the appropriate threads. Thanks to Lisa and Kirila for being discussion leaders.


message 22: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments I read Amazon Lily and discussed it on the theme read thread. It is a romance story from the 1980s and that had me a bit concerned. However, it held up really well and could have almost been written today. Well, except there are no cell phones or computers and the hero smokes.

The majority of the book takes place in the Amazonian jungle of Brazil. The heroine is representing her church and its interest is supporting a preserve for the Indian tribes. She doesn't know what she's getting into at all. While there is a bit of jungle adventure, it's fairly mild. In addition, the tribal members are described as any people from a foreign culture might be, without judgement or condescension.


message 23: by Susan (new)

Susan Guard | 695 comments I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and discussed it in the discussion thread.

While I found it interesting I didn't find it as riveting as others seem to have found it. I'll jump on the bandwagon and say that it was not at all what I expected either. I will admit to only picking it up for YLTO. I'm not sure if I would have otherwise.

I thought it was well written. The author introduced quite a variety of unique characters, and I liked the different generations of the family with their stories portrayed as part of the overall story.

I'm trying to think about why the book didn't just grab me and maybe I just wanted to know more, to know more about the characters, to go a little deeper into the story and what happened to them all. I feel like the end was a little rushed.


message 24: by Joan (new)

Joan I read The Scarlet Pimpernel; I gave it two stars. My review is here
The author did a fine job of maintaining suspense, but the characters and action just did not engage me. I think I would have enjoyed it more if she had either gone comical (as in The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas ) or explored the moral quandaries faced by the main characters (as in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Instead the book hovered between the two styles.


message 25: by Kirila (last edited Jun 22, 2016 11:31AM) (new)

Kirila | 612 comments I read The Scarlet Pimpernel and discussed it in the thread. It started very slowly for me. Even though the chapters were short, I would only read one per evening and then fall asleep (to be fair I was also very tired). A lot of characters were introduced and it took me some time to figure out who is who. Until then it seemed like a typical classic. Old language, hard to read and hard to follow. But then the story really picked up and pulled me in. It was entertaining and witty. I gave it 4 stars in the end. The writing also seemed to get better or I just got used to it or maybe the story was so enthralling that I didn't notice any more. It was definitely a surprise that I enjoyed it so much for a classic.

Edit: I lead/am still leading the discussion :)


message 26: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Please can you update your post Kirila to include the fact you lead the discussion please. I wouldn't want you to miss out on the special badge :-)


message 27: by Kirila (new)

Kirila | 612 comments Sarah wrote: "Please can you update your post Kirila to include the fact you lead the discussion please. I wouldn't want you to miss out on the special badge :-)"

Oh, nice. I didn't know you get a special badge for this! I wouldn't want to miss on it either :)


message 28: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments It's the same badge but it has "discussion leader" on it :-)


message 29: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 2609 comments I read the The Scarlet Pimpernel and discussed in the group thread.

I went into the book with my doubts, I don't have a great track record with classics. Despite not really liking the writing style (hence my usual problems with classics) the story was great, lots of fun and entertaining.


message 30: by Ava Catherine (last edited Jun 26, 2016 05:24PM) (new)

Ava Catherine | 4258 comments I read The Scarlet Pimpernel and participated in the discussion thread. I love the book and gave it 5 stars.

From the beginning Emmuska Orczy captured my attention as she introduces us to the Scarlet Pimpernel in his daring rescue of the Comtesse de Tourney and her two children from the terror of the guillotine. Through daring deeds, concealed identities, spies, foreshadowing, romance, and an evil foil, the author weaves a
suspenseful, romantic story. This book reminds me of Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier.


message 31: by Amanda (Mandy) (new)

Amanda (Mandy) | 613 comments I read The Scarlet Pimpernel and participating in the group discussion.

The book started off slow and was a little confusing with all the characters. It ended very strongly though and the last few chapters were action-packed. I have meant to read this book since high school and just never got around to it so I was excited when it was chosen as a group read.


message 32: by Sam F (new)

Sam F | 246 comments I read White Oleander by Janet Fitch and discussed it in the discussion thread. I would definitely recommend this book. Well written, insightful, and frequently heartbreaking. I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it as the group reads weren't available from the library in time.


message 33: by Almeta (last edited Jun 30, 2016 10:24PM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10131 comments I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender during the Toppler and used it in the Geocaching year long challenge for
Democratic Republic of Congo:
a. Okapi Wildlife Reserve - Take Home Item – Feather: with a feather on the cover

I discussed the book in the appropriate monthly group read thread. It was quick and an enjoyable story. Well written and quite different...but then that's magical realism for you!☺


message 34: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48740 comments You got good mileage out it, Almeta. :)


message 35: by Lori (new)

Lori (glitzyrebel) | 433 comments I am so glad that I finally read The Scarlet Pimpernel. It took me several attempts to get through the first several chapters, not because the book was not interesting, but rather because I found myself distracted by real life while trying to listen to it the book via audio. Once I got past the first few chapters the book became intriguing and I even found Marguerite to be somewhat likeable before the book ended. I may even read the next book!!! I posted several comments in the discussion thread this month and enjoyed reading everyone's comments as they read. As always, thanks for another great read with YLTO!!!!


message 36: by Tejas Janet (new)

Tejas Janet (tejasjanet) | 3513 comments I read [book:The Scarlet Pimpernel|136116. Loved it. Gave it five stars. Talked about it in Scarlet Pimpernel thread. I liked the language and plot, tho i had to take a zounds or such break at times.

Thought the author understood some stuff about human behavior and psychology. Rated this one five stars. Really wonderful book.


message 37: by Poongothai (new)

Poongothai (poongsa) | 483 comments I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and discussed it in the thread.

I liked the book cover and the descriptive style of writing. The names of most of the characters was unique and the I enjoyed the magical realism in the book


message 38: by Joan (new)

Joan Thanks for the badge and stamp - this is a nice innovation at YLTO.


message 39: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Joan wrote: "Thanks for the badge and stamp - this is a nice innovation at YLTO."

I'm confused now! I haven't done badges for the June reads yet. Did you mean the May ones?! I'll do badges when I get home from my holiday. :-)


message 40: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 887 comments i read The Rose Rent by Ellis Peters and discussed in the group read thread...i enjoyed the book and liked the characters...i especially wanted to read more from the period after reading the name of the rose...and glad to discover a new series...very likeable and low key main character...


message 41: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments I PROMISE to do the badges on Monday. I have a decent internet connection now. Just need some time. Monday it is!


message 42: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48740 comments :)


message 43: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Badges are now posted. Let me know if I've missed anyone.


message 44: by Lanelle (new)

Lanelle | 3110 comments Love the quote on the badge! Thanks, Sarah.


message 45: by Joan (last edited Sep 05, 2016 10:49AM) (new)

Joan Thank you Sarah, that is a very pretty badge and I enjoyed the group read in June. My post 17 days ago was about the May badges. I'm sorry for the confusion, I accidentally put it in the wrong place.


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