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

Group Themed Reads: Discussions > August 2016 - Reporting Thread

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 18222 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 similar 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 August 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 siriusedward (last edited Aug 06, 2016 10:34AM) (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 887 comments I read the book And Then There Were None by agatha christie..and i discussed it on the thread- books that make you was my second book by the author .and i enjoyed the book.t he mystery was well done.though at first there i had my doubts about the killer, i was distracted by her misleading plot. :'(
I think i will try more books by her.the beginning was very good.i loved the letter...there at the end.
It was a 3.5 star read for me.

message 3: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15541 comments I read Just One Day and although it wasn't brilliant, it did the job of making me smile. It was a quick read and I gave it 3 stars. I discussed in the general thread and below is my review:

Reading the blurb reminded me of the movie Before Sunrise, so that was what I was expecting. I was a little disappointed, for one because I expected the book to only cover that one day but that was not even half of it. I got tired of Allyson (and her mom) quickly and wanted to slap them both many times. But, there were also a lot of smiling and happy moments (although a bit too unrealistic sometimes) especially in the last part. Like those romantic comedies stories that will never happen in real life, but make you feel good anyway :) I think I will try Just One Year too, see Willem's side of things.

message 4: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 51452 comments I read Louisiana Longshot and discussed it in the thread set up for its discussion.

This book certainly met the theme. Not only did I smile, I howled in laughter in a couple of spots. There's little substance to this book, just fluff and nonsense. Sometimes a good laugh is all that's needed though. I love the two seniors who stole the show and made the book.

message 5: by Kristie, Moderator (last edited Aug 07, 2016 02:27PM) (new)

Kristie | 14875 comments I finished my read of Odd Hours and as usual, it made me smile. I would probably have given it 3.5✭, but since that's not allowed I rounded up to 4✭ because...well, it's Odd.

This book was a little different for me, as Odd wasn't the strangest person in the book at all. There seemed to be something weird going on in the town, but it wasn't all explained at the end so I was left with several questions that I hope will be answered in the next book.

Also, this one seems to be setting up the series to head in a bit of a darker direction. I've heard the next one is darker, so I hope it doesn't interfere with my enjoyment of the series.

I also discussed this book in the general thread.

message 6: by Jannene (new)

Jannene | 2927 comments I have finished Louisiana Longshot and have discussed it on the thread. I found it a very enjoyable read.

message 7: by TrudyA (new)

TrudyA (trudyan) | 1666 comments For the August group read, I read Louisiana Longshot and contributed to the discussion thread. I couldn't find it locally, but Janice and Casciel kindly pointed me to Amazon, where it was available free as an ebook. Thank you! The description of book initially didn't appeal to me, but as I read the comments on the group thread, it sounded like just the sort of book to fit my current mood. This cosy mystery is full of droll humour and interesting characters. I liked the strength of the female characters - Fortune, Gertie, and Ida Belle in particular, and I always enjoy the goings-on in a small town, where the elderly busybodies know everything about everybody. I think the "stuff, fluff, and nonsense" description sums it up perfectly.

For the theme read, I also read This is Where I Leave You, and commented on the appropriate thread. Except for the adolescent humour peppered throughout the book, and the objectification of women by most of the male characters, I enjoyed this novel. It dealt with issues common to many families (infidelity, divorce, lesbianism, infertility, death of a spouse/parent, past grudges, past loves), and some of the narrative was truly funny. So, two quick and easy reads this month.

message 8: by Joan (new)

Joan TrudyAn, I like your review of Louisiana Longshot

message 9: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 18222 comments Can you tell us why you enjoyed it please Jannene as per the reporting instructions. Thanks.

message 10: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments I read The Garden of Evening Mists and discussed it in the relevant thread. I am also the discussion leader for the book.

This was my first book by Tan Twan Eng and I enjoyed it but not quite as much as I thought I was going to. The writing was beautiful, it really transported you to Malaya in the 1940s and 1950s (it was like being on a mini holiday) and I learnt a fair bit about life during that time period as well. I also found a couple of the characters to be really intriguing. However, some parts dragged a bit for me, I never really warmed to the main character which made me feel a bit detached from the story emotionally and I wasn't the biggest fan of the ending. For these reasons I rated it 3 stars but my actual rating is 3.5.

message 11: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments I read Louisiana Longshot and discussed it in the discussion thread. I had owned this book for a while but never started it. It was a light and funny cozy mystery that had intelligent characters and real surprises. Now I'm interested in reading the next book in the series. I also recommend the audiobook, if you have access.

message 12: by Tasha (new)

Tasha I read Wesley the Owl The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O'Brien Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl. The cover first drew me in as I love owls and this little sweetie made me smile the second I saw him on the cover. I discussed the book over in the August monthly thread. I listened to it on audio and would recommend is as a quick, interesting listen. There were some funny parts as well making me smile throughout the listen/read.

message 13: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments In addition to Louisiana Longshot I read The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant and discussed in on the discussion thread. The book is a collection of short stories that follow each other and are written from the perspective of Fred, who was a socially awkward boy and grew up to have a boring adult life. After being turned into a vampire, he was disappointed that little changed, as he was essentially the same, conflict-avoidant person, albeit with some special abilities and an aversion to sun and silver. I laughed out loud several times during the book, and recommend the audio as the narrator did an excellent job with tone and timing.

message 14: by Sam F (new)

Sam F | 246 comments I just finishedNotes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson and have discussed it in the discussion thread. It did make me smile, but I was hoping for more of a laugh! He's such an entertaining writer that I usually enjoy his travel memoirs. This one was less funny but still interesting.

message 15: by Cherie (last edited Aug 15, 2016 02:27PM) (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20686 comments I read The Garden of Evening Mists and participated in the discussion of the story line.

I was awed by the beauty of the writing but irked initially by the non-English terms. I did look many things up and discovered some beautiful music and discussions of art and gardening that I enjoyed very much. The timeline switches were so smoothly delivered that I was transported to a time and place before I even realized it had happened. The storyline is very unemotionally introduced and off-putting at first, but the beauty of the garden setting and the story of the characters involved was emotionally satisfying for me by the end. The history of the atrocities during wartime, the history of Japanese wood block art, and tattoos were all expertly and deftly woven together in the two time lines. This is a book I would read again in the future and recommend to others.

message 16: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 18222 comments I read This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It and discussed it in the theme thread. I enjoyed the first half more, it was funny and absurd but i found myself wanting the book to be over for most of the last half. The storyline was much better than book 1 and the characters were consistent. I'll probably leave it there for this series. There aren't anymore books published but there are rumours there might be one next year. I'll see how i feel then. I did still give it 4 GR stars, 3.5 my stars :-)

message 17: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 2761 comments I finished Louisiana Longshot and discussed in the appropriate thread.

Went into it not expecting much as it's not a genre I read often but it was a fun, quick read that definitely fit the theme. I smiled a lot, alongside laughing out load a few times.

message 18: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 2499 comments I finished The Garden of Evening Mists and discussed it in that book's thread. Review:

message 19: by Lori Z (new)

Lori Z | 1894 comments I read G'Day to Die and discussed it in the appropriate thread. This is book 5 in the Passport to Peril Mystery Series and each one that I've read, including this one, has made me smile.
From the fun titles to the quirky characters, there's a lot to smile about, plus there's a mystery to solve.
It was a quick, fun read with lots of smiles and I gave it 4 stars.

message 20: by Ollie (new)

Ollie (olliepoppet) | 73 comments I read The Garden of Evening Mists this months, and discussed it in the appropriate thread.

I gave the book 5 stars because it had a profound effect on me; the gripping melancholy of the tone combined with the richly descriptive prose made for a novel that I won't ever forget. I can't say that this is the "best" book I have ever read, and I have enjoyed a few 3 and 4 star stories more than this one. But I am certain that The Garden of Evening Mists will linger in the back of my mind for a very long time, and as such I'm grateful for the chance to read it. I don't think this is one I would have picked up if it weren't this month's pick, and that little bit of serendipity certainly makes me smile, even if the book didn't always!

message 21: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Burger (tammyburger) | 545 comments I read The Garden of Evening Mists and reported it in that discussion. I probably would never have read this book but for the challenge. I found it educational and hauntingly beautiful. I gave it 4 stars, really a 4.5. I'm glad to have read it.

message 22: by Amanda (Mandy) (last edited Aug 28, 2016 04:48PM) (new)

Amanda (Mandy) | 656 comments I read Louisiana Longshot and discussed it in the appropriate thread. I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and its quirky characters. I grew up in an small southern town and it reminds a little of that, but we were not quite that crazy. We did have what we called the "blue-haired ladies" in church who knew everyone's business. My parents still live in the same town and just told me that their dog caused a candidate to lose an election. Apparently, she called the dog catcher on my parents' dog and the bridge club was meeting in the neighborhood. These ladies happen to be very fond of the dog. So they spread the word and the candidate essentially lost. I am not sure if that was the true indicator, but it would be typical of a small town.

I plan to continue the series and was glad to have discovered it through this group.

message 23: by Lanelle (new)

Lanelle | 3360 comments I have read Louisiana Longshot and discussed in the thread for it.

I grew up in a small town, but I don't remember it being gossipy like Sinful was talked about in the book. Thank goodness.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story and I intend on continuing the series.

message 24: by Susan (new)

Susan Guard | 695 comments I chose to read Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter by Diane Kelly. This book is the latest in the Death, Taxes and ... series featuring Tara Holloway. She is an IRS agent living in Dallas tasked with hunting down people who are cheating on their taxes. She is a 5'2" bundle of energy raised in East Texas that works hard at being taken seriously. You can't help but laugh at some of the people she investigates and the situations she gets herself into.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the series, Tara reminds me of Stephanie Plum - just in a very Texas way rather than New Jersey. If you're a Plum fan I think you would enjoy this series also.

message 25: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2680 comments I read, discussed, and led the discussion for Louisiana Longshot. When I nominated the book, I never expected it to rise to the top in the voting. Then I worried about whether it was too light and fluffy to support much discussion. But, from the way the discussion went, I need not have worried. The book seems to have gone over well, and it did make people smile. Someone described it as "stuff, fluff and nonsense," and I think that is the perfect description for the book. This was a reread for me, and I enjoyed it very much the second time through. Even without the element of surprise, it still made me laugh.

message 26: by Almeta (last edited Aug 31, 2016 01:08PM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10490 comments I finished Louisiana Longshot on August 26th and discussed it in the discussion thread.

It was a cute cozy mystery. Some of the plot seemed implausible, but the outlandish characters made it a fun read. I hope to meet more eccentric elderly ladies of the Sinful Ladies Society and to visit again with Fortune.

message 27: by Heather (new)

Heather Morris | 125 comments I read Louisiana Longshot for the group read and discussed in the appropriate thread.

It was a quick and fun read. I can see myself reading more in this series. I found myself laughing out loud multiple times :) I would definitely recommend this book to others!

message 28: by Lori (new)

Lori (glitzyrebel) | 439 comments I read The Garden of Evening Mists. It took me the entire month to read it which is never a good sign. It started off really well. The descriptions of the gardens were amazingly visual--the author did a wonderful job painting with words. However, I did not have the same experience when it came to the characters. There was nothing to love or hate. The characters were extremely bland against the backdrop of the scenery. So to say, I finished the book not really enjoying it but rather in a perfunctory manner. And, I did participate in the discussion thread.

message 29: by Ava Catherine (last edited Aug 31, 2016 07:46PM) (new)

Ava Catherine | 4258 comments I read The Garden of Evening Mists, participated in the discussion thread, and really enjoyed the book. I like Tan Twan Eng's writing style, which is lyrical, elegant, and fluid. Nothing about his style is pretentious, but his language is skillful, precise, and quite beautiful. I was hooked right away.

I also enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot development. I was never really certain what was going to happen next. And the characters are truly interesting. I kept wondering what happened to Yun Ling in the Japanese concentration camp and if she would ever be able to overcome her rage and live a normal life. Aritomo was puzzling from the beginning. I loved the way the novel spooled out. It was a great read for me.

message 30: by Tejas Janet (new)

Tejas Janet (tejasjanet) | 3513 comments Louisiana Longshot really filled the bill for me under "books that make you smile." I read it this month for free on Kindle, and participated in the discussion over in that thread. Thank you, Casceil, for suggesting this book and leading the discussion.

I liked how the elements of the typical cozy mystery were here, but the author some how managed to deliver this in a manner that kept me guessing - and laughing - throughout. Although plausibility is generally a requirement in mysteries for me, in this case I actually enjoyed the story's implausible aspects, and applauded the not-so implausible pluckiness and wit of its quirkier senior-citizen, church-going, bluehair-ladies-who-knit.

message 31: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 6542 comments I almost forgot to report I read Louisiana Longshot. A fun, light read for a change. I really like the Sinful Ladies, and people were right that Fortune resembled Miss Congeniality. Will be continuing with the series. I'm curious to what more hi-jinks the little group can get up to. Back to my more serious books of horror, mysteries, and thrillers.

message 32: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 2761 comments Pssst Sarah - I've finished my September book and need a reporting thread :)

message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 18222 comments All done. Thanks Lynn.

message 34: by Joan (new)

Joan I read Louisiana Longshot and discussed it in the discussion thread.
I really enjoyed it - it was goofy, good-natured and fun to read. I will read more in this series - THANKS CASCEIL for introducing me to it.

message 35: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 18222 comments Badges have been posted. Let me know if I missed you.

message 36: by Heather (new)

Heather Morris | 125 comments Sarah wrote: "Badges have been posted. Let me know if I missed you."

message 37: by Joan (new)

Joan Thanks for the badge "That Made Me Smile" Sarah

message 38: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments Yes, thank you! It made me smile to see it.

message 39: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 14875 comments Sarah wrote: "Badges have been posted. Let me know if I missed you."

Hey, Sarah. I just noticed that I did not get my badge.

message 40: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 18222 comments Sorry about that. I've just added it to your wall.

message 41: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 14875 comments Thank you!

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