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Episode Discussions > Episode 154 - Read-along Suggestions

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message 1: by Robin Bo (new)

Robin Bo (robideg) | 29 comments I'd love to be able to suggest a book here but it's so hard to pick something that both of you haven't read!

What about the following?;
All the Birds in the Sky - Charlie Jane Anders
The Girls - Emma Cline
Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi

Just a few suggestions based on things I am hoping to read this summer!!


message 2: by Julie (new)

Julie (bookchew) | 7 comments I second Robin's suggestion of "The Girls" :)


message 3: by Simon (new)

Simon (savidgereads) | 449 comments Mod
The Girls is very high on my TBR and available in both countries good call. Amazingly, even though I have a copy, Homegoing isn't out until January 2017 here.


message 4: by Robin Bo (new)

Robin Bo (robideg) | 29 comments Oeps. Did not realise that Homegoing wasn't out yet! Only in the States! Don't think it's out here in Australia either.....

Goodreads led me astray!


message 5: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 92 comments I also have The Girls on my TBR.
Perhaps it might be nice to chose an older book that is in paperback and more readily available? I recall the episode when Simon and Thomas gave each other 7 books to read. Something from that list might be interesting.


message 6: by Louise Jane (new)

Louise Jane | 3 comments Another vote for 'The Girls'


message 7: by Holly (new)

Holly (hglightly) | 17 comments I second Melissa's suggestion. Something from the lists you gave each other. That would be fun.


message 8: by Simon (new)

Simon (savidgereads) | 449 comments Mod
Here's some suggestions from Michelle who left them on the website.

Our Souls at Night-Kent Haruf; Homegoing-Yaa Gyasi; In One Person-John Irving; Kitchens of the Great Midwest-J. Ryan Strabel; Saint Maizie-Jami Attenberg; The Mad Woman Upstairs-Catherine Lowell; Association of Small Bombs-Karan Mahajan

The MadWoman Upstairs sounds brilliant.


message 9: by Simon (new)

Simon (savidgereads) | 449 comments Mod
Only problem with lists we gave each other is Thomas and I have read them already and we both want to be new to the book too.

We are going to create a summer reading selection for you all too in a few weeks. A list that won't feel like homework.


message 10: by melodie (new)

melodie b | 9 comments love to know your fav for us to read


message 11: by Mara (new)

Mara (mrlzbth) | 8 comments Ha, I'm tempted to "vote" for Kitchens of the Great Midwest because I need to read it for work and could use a push to start it! (The author's visiting our library in July.) I will say that my coworkers who have read it all love it.

I'd be interested in The Girls or Saint Maizie, too...


message 12: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cindyfried) | 32 comments I'm voting The Girls too. Looks intriguing, that one.


message 13: by Karen (new)

Karen Brown (khbrown) | 19 comments I think that The Girls would make for an interesting discussion. Any interest in Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend?


message 14: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments My suggestion for the summer read (or winter read for those of us down south) is The Illuminations by Andrew O'Hagan.


message 15: by Robin Bo (new)

Robin Bo (robideg) | 29 comments Hi all,

I've been doing further research into "The Girls" and am now concerned that it may not be the best pick for a read along. I also think it may not be something Thomas would like. (Based on what I've heard on some the podcasts!)

Might need to rethink that one. Sorry for my rush suggestion!


message 16: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments Karen, I read My Brilliant Friend last year. It would be an interesting choice for the group read.


message 17: by Julie (new)

Julie (bookchew) | 7 comments I'm still seriously favoring "The Girls" as a suggestion, but would be happy to read "My Brilliant Friend" as well!


message 18: by Mara (new)

Mara (mrlzbth) | 8 comments I got the chance to look at my virtual and physical shelves this morning and will throw a few more possibilities onto the table. (These are all from my TBR list, so I am not personally vouching for any of them, just saying they seem interesting and are relatively short!)

Dodgers by Bill Beverly
Euphoria by Lily King
The Investigation by J.M. (Jung-Myung) Lee

I also discovered a copy of The Madwoman Upstairs in one of my piles...


message 19: by Simon (new)

Simon (savidgereads) | 449 comments Mod
Hello all. Thomas and I had a chat when we recorded earlier and we think we need to change the brief a bit. Partly because I ruined everything by starting The Girls (I have also read Ferrante) as I will be talking about it on the Vintage Books podcast (you should all listen to Alex and Will they are ace) for their summer special. We also think while it's good if it's contemporary it might be nice for it to be in paperback for people's budgets. So paperback suggestions of great books most welcome, under 400 pages and fairly recent.


message 20: by Karen (last edited Jun 19, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Karen Brown (khbrown) | 19 comments All of the following have been recommended on BOTNS.

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (Episode 376) Terrific book. Definitely on my list of books to read again.

The Turner House by Angela Floury (Episode 376) On my TBR list.

Kindred by Octavia Butler (Episode 371) Been meaning to read this author.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 64 comments What if we did a readalong of one book each that Simon and Thomas recommended to one another? That way each of them will also get a chance to read that book, but it won't be as much work for them. Win/win.


message 22: by Robin Bo (new)

Robin Bo (robideg) | 29 comments It's hard to know what is out in all countries. I was totally oblivious to the fact that Australia doesn't have The Girls until end of this month.
Blame it on listening to American/UK based podcasts!

I guess I'll just wait and see what you guys come up with and see if I can find a copy here in Oz!


message 23: by Russell (new)

Russell | 8 comments Hello Gentlemen-

I have two suggestions... The Sympathizer : it won the Pulitzer this year, has a mystery component, and is out in paperback now. Or, though it is a bit older, A Death in the Family--- a family drama about loss that I hear packs a bunch.

I have not read either but would be very interested in reading either with this group.

Russell Gray


message 24: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Russell, I was just looking into The Sympathizer yesterday for the read along. Are you talking about James Agee's A Death in the Family?


message 25: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments We just recorded an episode of The Readers this weekend where Simon indicated he has already read The Girls, so he took that one out of contention. So back to the drawing board for those of you suggesting that one.


message 26: by Simon (new)

Simon (savidgereads) | 449 comments Mod
Ooooh I love the idea of The Sympathizer. I'm quite excited about the possibility of that one.


message 27: by Sue (new)

Sue | 25 comments A Death in the Family has been on my TBR for ages. Would love a kick in the pants to get to it.

Thomas wrote: "Russell, I was just looking into The Sympathizer yesterday for the read along. Are you talking about James Agee's A Death in the Family?"


message 28: by Russell (new)

Russell | 8 comments Thomas wrote: "Russell, I was just looking into The Sympathizer yesterday for the read along. Are you talking about James Agee's A Death in the Family?"

Yes - My friend recommended it and said it was amazing. I bought it and it sits on my TBR. It seems like a book that you and I would certainly like (which means you have likely read it). And I also know how Simon likes a good ol' family drama.


message 29: by Russell (new)

Russell | 8 comments Simon wrote: "Ooooh I love the idea of The Sympathizer. I'm quite excited about the possibility of that one."

One of my very good friends, who never recommends anything to me to read, said I have to read it. That it is that excellent. So, something to keep in mind.


message 30: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 92 comments The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal ,

Invisible by Paul Auster,

Falling to Earth by Kate Southwood,

and Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer,

have all been on my TBR for too long.

Most likely, Simon has already read all of these!


message 31: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments I'm going to throw in:

Euphoria by Lily King
Leaving Atocha Station by Ben Lerner
The Adults by Alison Espach
& Sons by David Gilbert
The Love of My Youth by Mary Gordon
You Don't Have to Live Like This by Benjamin Markovits
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
Buthcher's Crossing by John Williams (of Stoner fame)


message 32: by Holly (new)

Holly (hglightly) | 17 comments Euphoria -- a really good choice.


message 33: by Sue (new)

Sue | 25 comments I've read and really enjoyed 3 of these:

-Leaving the Atocha Station
-The Adults
-Kitchens of the Great Midwest

I didn't know about The Love of My Youth, but I do love Mary Gordon, so I'd be up for that.

I've been resistant to & Sons and Euphoria for no particular reason but I think I'd be happy to have a reason to read either of them. Peer pressure!

Thomas wrote: "I'm going to throw in:

Euphoria by Lily King
Leaving Atocha Station by Ben Lerner
The Adults by Alison Espach
& Sons by David Gilbert
The Love of My Youth by Mary Gordon
You Don't Have to Live Lik..."



message 35: by Simon (new)

Simon (savidgereads) | 449 comments Mod
Ooh I like Amercian Housewife. Those stories are meant to be amazing. I also think Markovitz is a good call Thomas as we a) went there b) both have that book


message 36: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments I'm very keen to read The Sympathiser. Butcher's Crossing would be good, too, and American Housewife sounds great.
So many great suggestions!


message 37: by Carol Ann (last edited Jun 22, 2016 10:15AM) (new)


message 38: by Russell (new)

Russell | 8 comments Butcher's Crossing is amazing!!! It's like a predecessor to Cormac McCarthy!


message 39: by Robin Bo (new)

Robin Bo (robideg) | 29 comments I like the American Housewife suggestion as well!


message 40: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (goodreadscomdawn_irena) | 27 comments Wow! We are going everywhere with this list ! I love the idea of The Sympathizer because it was a Pulitzer and maybe we could start a tradition every year to read along with each years winning Pulitzer , Nobel, or National Book Award ! Just choose one and decide .
But , that really will not always work because someone will have read at least one of those !

I think it will have to be a totally neutral decision . Meaning throwing names in a hat and one person picks one or you choose a book and Thomas chooses a book and we just go along . It will not hurt to read a book twice ! I do it all the time ! I find things in books all of the time that are enlightening to me !

I loved Lauren Groff's Fates and Furies last year , but I could definitely do a read over on that one . It was a beautiful yet complicated read with plot twists and turns and characters that were in depth and many were well developed all the way through . There was symbolism , beautiful prose, meaningful and compassionate themes and humor and just so much more life in that novel . So much was in that novel to discuss about the personalities and relationships between people. Now that is deep and good stuff to talk about to relieve us from our intense everyday news going on around us each day. We can escape from talk of mass killings , crime, politics, sad and sick people we cannot always help. We can go into this world created by Groff's imagination of mythical and exaggerated people that we can examine and talk about in not so serious ways . Although , we could still learn and reach out to each other in our discussions about the emotions that the compassionate characters bring into our line of sight and into our hearts.
Just some ideas ... Dawn


message 41: by Julie (new)

Julie (bookchew) | 7 comments Fates and Furies is high on my TBR so I'm happy to second that vote.


message 42: by Louise Jane (new)

Louise Jane | 3 comments I'm also liking the sound of 'The Sympathiser'


message 43: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 92 comments I also have Euphoria on my TBR, as well as The Sympathizer.
Thomas, I love your suggestion of something else from John Williams. I adored Stoner.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 64 comments I can't help but thinking, wishing, it could be something a little more obscure rather than the books people are likely all already reading. I am probably in the minority!


message 45: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "I can't help but thinking, wishing, it could be something a little more obscure rather than the books people are likely all already reading. I am probably in the minority!"

I second that thought, but have no suggestion of an obscure book that many people would / should want to read.


message 46: by Eric (new)

Eric Anderson (lonesomereader) Go for The Sympathizer! Go for The Sympathizer!
(I really want to read it)

If you want a more obscure suggestion I would put forward Sophie and the Sibyl by Patricia Duncker. It's a novel with George Eliot as a main character that came out last year and it is SO good! It's available in paperback in both the UK and US as well.


message 47: by Sandy (last edited Jun 21, 2016 07:26AM) (new)

Sandy Eric wrote: "Go for The Sympathizer! Go for The Sympathizer!
(I really want to read it)

If you want a more obscure suggestion I would put forward Sophie and the Sibyl by Patricia Duncker. It's a novel with Geo..."


I suppose its not obscure (see my earlier comment) but The Sympathizer was not on my TBR before this thread and it sounds really good. So, to me, it is (was) obscure.

American Housewife is loaded onto my ipod so I'll vote for that one a well.


message 48: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "I can't help but thinking, wishing, it could be something a little more obscure rather than the books people are likely all already reading. I am probably in the minority!"

I would agree with that. Do you have suggestions? We only need to make sure it isn't too obscure to obtain.


message 49: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Russell wrote: "Thomas wrote: "Russell, I was just looking into The Sympathizer yesterday for the read along. Are you talking about James Agee's A Death in the Family?"

Yes - My friend recommended it and said it ..."


I haven't read it, but the prose poem that opens the book was my inspiration for my original blog title (My Porch). And Samuel Barber set it to music.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 64 comments Thomas wrote: "I would agree with that. Do you have suggestions? We only need to make sure it isn't too obscure to obtain.
."

Nope! Haha. I'll look through my to read list shortly. I was hoping someone would think of the perfect title fitting that criteria.


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