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Elizabeth (Alaska) What will you read next? What did you just buy? What do you have on hold at the library? What are you looking forward to in the next months?


Elizabeth (Alaska) I've challenged myself in this group in ways I might not have planned. I'll be more focused on reading books that help me accomplish them. One book I purchased for the Canadian women challenge and that I hope to get to before the end of February is A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence. This book will also fill in a spot on the 20th C challenge, and the Authors Revisited challenge.


message 3: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Brown | 17 comments I'll be interested to hear what you think of that book. I have only read The Stone Angel by Laurence - about 100 years ago in university. All I remember is that I didn't like it; so I've never given Laurence another chance. Of course, I was 18 and tastes change.

Soon (because it's due back at the library) I'll be reading My Brilliant Friend. Then I have A Raisin in the Sun next.


message 4: by Louise, Group Founder (last edited Jan 19, 2017 01:07PM) (new)

Louise | 715 comments Mod
Since starting this group and making a conscious effort to read more women authors (at least 50% of my reading) the way I find myself browsing and buying books has definitely changed.

I'm a big paperback fan (though I do have an ereader) and I do most of my bookshopping in Waterstones which is notorious over here for it's 'buy one get one half price' tables - the trouble always being you find one book you really want and nothing else that really appeals. I find myself now, when I have a first book I know I want, scouring to find a second book that not only looks good but that is also female authored (especially if my first book is by a man). Given my go-to bookshop is the Piccadilly branch and officially (I think) the largest bookshop in Europe, this sometimes means traipsing between different tables over about 5 different floors!

My latest 'bogohp' find is The Optician of Lampedusa by Emma Jane Kirby, a short non-fiction account of the refugee crisis that I would probably never have been aware of otherwise and that I am really looking forward to reading next. The bookseller at the till gushed when she saw what I was buying too, whichI normally take as a good sign too. If I like it (and maybe even if I don't) it's going on family holiday with me next month and being passed on to big sister.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Valerie wrote: "I'll be interested to hear what you think of that book. I have only read The Stone Angel by Laurence - about 100 years ago in university. All I remember is that I didn't like it; so ..."

Ha! That was my first Laurence, too, and I loved it. I recently read her The Diviners, so I now definitely consider myself a fan.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Louise, I envy you your access to such a large bookstore where you can browse to your heart's content and breathe the good odors of print. I live in a small town and we have only one very small bookstore that mostly specializes in Alaskana for the tourist trade. Goodreads has become my browsing source. But not all is lost - this group and others have become a great source of information.


message 7: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Brown | 17 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Louise, I envy you your access to such a large bookstore where you can browse to your heart's content and breathe the good odors of print. I live in a small town and we have only one very small boo..."

That's exactly the boat I'm in as well. Our little library is slim pickings, and the biggest bookstore (in the town over, my town doesn't have a bookstore) is pretty good, but mostly has more popular selections. GR, and the groups I belong to in particular, have been an amazing resource for interesting books 'to read"!


message 8: by Irene (new)

Irene Benito  (irenebj) | 14 comments Hi! I live in Germany, but read in English and Spanish, so I tend to do my browsing also mainly online, and then I bring huge lists with me when I go to the English bookshop or travel to Madrid to see my family. I´ve used the time and little extra money in Christmas to get myself stocked for at least the next six months...
I´m currently finishing The Blue Flower, and my next readings will include The Handmaid's Tale , The Vegetarian and Fever Dream by Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin (in Spanish, Distancia de rescate).


Elizabeth (Alaska) Irene wrote: "Hi! I live in Germany, but read in English and Spanish, so I tend to do my browsing also mainly online, and then I bring huge lists with me when I go to the English bookshop or travel to Madrid to ..."

Oh, those look really good, especially Fever Dream. Be sure to post in the "Finished Reading" thread and tell us about your impressions after you've read it.


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan MacIver (susanmaciver) | 2 comments I've had my eye on Milk and Honey and after reading the reviews on Amazon I'm definitely ordering. Waiting for the paperback to arrive though, I'm a stickler for physical copies of books.

Irene, I also have The Handmaid's Tale as one of my next readings. Especially because I want to read it before watching the Hulu series based on it releasing in April!


message 11: by Irene (new)

Irene Benito  (irenebj) | 14 comments Hi Susan! Exactly the same with me regarding the series! That's why I've voted for it in the poll for the next group reading! It's been on my "to-read" list for a long time and I won't be delaying it any longer. ;)


message 12: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne | 38 comments Valerie wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I live in a small town and we have only one very small bookstore"

Ah! To have one bookstore! We have two used bookstores, but our house has run out of room and so I buy and read on my ereader (thus also supporting authors). It also allows me to go back easily and reread when I want. So many books, so little time!

In addition to the books I'm reading – Moonglow (Chabon) and American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites us (Putnam and Campbell) – my short list includes Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape (Orenstein), Nobody's Girl: A Memoir of Lost Innocence (Amaya), and The Sellout (Beatty). Trying to make it through the books I've already bought before buying more.


message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 1378 comments Mod
I just listened to a great NPR show with my 17-year old daughter. The guest was Negin Farsad and her book is How to Make White People Laugh. How to Make White People Laugh by Negin Farsad . Adding it to my TBR and energized to find a copy immediately..


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy (gemam) | 3 comments In 2018 I only read books by female authors. Hoping to do the same this year and have started to put together a fairly eclectic list to work through. Would welcome comments on these;

The Nightingale - Hannah, Kristin
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Demick, Barbara
Say Goodnight, Gracie - Deaver, Julie Reece
My So-Called Ruined Life - Bishop, Melanie
Salt to the Sea - Sepetys, Ruta
These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 - Turner, Nancy E.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine - Honeyman, Gail
Still Alice - Genova, Lisa
The Song of Achilles - Miller, Madeline
Half of a Yellow Sun - Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
Americanah - Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
The Levant Trilogy - Manning, Olivia
Gone with the Wind - Mitchell, Margaret
Vicious - Schwab, V.E.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Lin, Grace
Gone to Soldiers - Piercy, Marge
All the Bright Places - Niven, Jennifer
The Balkan Trilogy - Manning, Olivia
Interpreter of Maladies - Lahiri, Jhumpa
My Name Is Resolute - Turner, Nancy E.
Unaccustomed Earth - Lahiri, Jhumpa
The Pursuit of Love - Mitford, Nancy
Love in a Cold Climate - Mitford, Nancy
The Ice Master - Niven, Jennifer


message 15: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 1378 comments Mod
@Amy, such a varied and interesting list. I haven’t found a friend interested in tackling the Balkan Trilogy. If you get to it and decide that a buddy read appeals, let me know and we can set up a thread and discuss it as we go.

I’m also planning to read Half a Yellow Sun this year, and look forward to seeing your thoughts on the Sepetys novel.


message 16: by Carol (last edited Jan 20, 2019 01:49PM) (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 1378 comments Mod
In the near-term pile are several personal and several group reads. You’ll note a common thread:

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (February group read in the Women’s Classic Lit group - join us if you’re interested)

Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug (a graphic memoir)

Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden (February group read in the Literary Fiction by People of Color group — join us if you’re interested)

An Unexplained Death: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere by Mikita Brottman

The Emissary by Yōko Tawada

The Great Passage by Shion Miura (February group read in the Japanese Literature group- same invite holds)


message 17: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 562 comments Carol, I've added The Emissary. It looks interesting. Thanks.


message 18: by Liesl (last edited Jan 21, 2019 12:52PM) (new)

Liesl | 382 comments Susan wrote: "I've had my eye on Milk and Honey and after reading the reviews on Amazon I'm definitely ordering. Waiting for the paperback to arrive though, I'm a stickler for physical copies of ..."

My daughter is in Emma Watson's Book Group and they read Milk and Honey last summer. She passed it on to me and we both thought it was dreadful. Given all the people that are raving about it, I feel a bit awful saying that. I've read much better poetry by women.


message 19: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 1378 comments Mod
Liesl wrote: "Susan wrote: "I've had my eye on Milk and Honey and after reading the reviews on Amazon I'm definitely ordering. Waiting for the paperback to arrive though, I'm a stickler for physi..."

It’s quite accessible, and I’m always happy to see folks purchase poetry and support poets. In this instance, I almost wonder if copies are being purchased as gifts rather than for the purchasers to read, its rather amazing that it’s been on the NYT Best Seller list for 143 weeks and her second collection, The Sun and Her Flowers has been on the list for 77 weeks. Giving hope to self-published authors everywhere. Wishing buyers would purchase other poets instead, though, seems like wishing folks would donate the cost of a charitable tourism trip to the charity. The alternative is that they buy no poetry which is an abysmal outcome :)


message 20: by June (last edited Jan 21, 2019 04:27PM) (new)


message 21: by Liesl (new)

Liesl | 382 comments Carol wrote: "Liesl wrote: "Susan wrote: "I've had my eye on Milk and Honey and after reading the reviews on Amazon I'm definitely ordering. Waiting for the paperback to arrive though, I'm a stic..."

I think in this instance that the author is extremely successful at self-promotion. So I feel that the fame she has generated from her menstruation exhibition has created that "celebrity" element that has promoted her poetry and clearly led to it being at the top of the Best Seller list. Ultimately, being on the top of a best seller list makes the work popular but doesn't mean that it is good as the 50 Shades and Twilight series attest.

If it did lead to growing support for poetry in general, it would be wonderful. However, I wonder if it might have the opposite effect.


message 23: by El (last edited Feb 28, 2019 05:56AM) (new)

El | 127 comments Thanks for this list, Carol. I'm working on my graduate degree in creative writing (specifically creative nonfiction, like essays), so I've been reading a lot of them lately. Of this list I have only read the Didion - that's actually not even my favorite Didion (which would be Slouching Towards Bethlehem), but I'm happy if anyone reads her.

I'm planning on reading the Pine and Gleeson books soon. The program studies in Ireland for two weeks in June, and we're working on seeing if we can get Emilie Pine to be one of our speakers. I met Gleeson there last year, and she's going to come back this June to teach a class, so I'll get to work more closely with her.

The other books on this list are things I want to read but haven't had a chance to get to yet. So glad you shared this.


message 24: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 1378 comments Mod
El wrote: "Thanks for this list, Carol. I'm working on my graduate degree in creative writing (specifically creative nonfiction, like essays), so I've been reading a lot of them lately. Of this list I have on..."

E! You're very welcome.

I'm trying not to be desperately jealous of your degree process and 2019 travel and study plans, so I'll focus on - thanks for affirming that I really, really need to start with Didion. I own Play It As It Lays but am a bit fearful that it will be too much of a downer for my pre-bedtime self. I think I should just go ahead and buy Slouching, of which somehow I'm not afraid. And maybe I'll start a thread on where we can share recommendations, impressions and links pertaining to essays, since it's a category of reading I think many of us forget exists, along with short stories, and I suspect we miss out on many great and also influential and thoughtful reads as a result.


message 25: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 210 comments I think it would be great to have a thread on essays. I haven't read all that many essay compilations when I think back. I have Feel Free by Zadie Smith on hold at the library and I am quite eager to read it. I have not read any of the books on the list of 8 essayists so there are some to try soon. I've read Didion but not any essays.


message 26: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 1378 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "I think it would be great to have a thread on essays. I haven't read all that many essay compilations when I think back. I have Feel Free by Zadie Smith on hold at the library and I am quite eager ..."

@laurie, here’s the link to our new essays thread.

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

I would like to read Feel Free, too. Actually, I am embarrassed to admit that I have read none of Zadie Smith’s books and would be glad to read any one of them in 2019.


message 27: by Elizabeth A.G. (new)

Elizabeth A.G. | 2 comments The shortlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction—the UK’s most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honoring women’s fiction—was revealed:

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Milkman by Anna Burns
Ordinary People by Diana Evans
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Circe by Madeline Miller

All look like great anticipated reads for the future - the winner is to be announced June 5. Of these I have only read An American Marriage and did enjoy it


message 28: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 1378 comments Mod
While we're tapping our fingernails on our desks and waiting for the Women's Prize for Fiction announcement, I noticed that as of June 2018, The Paris Review publishes a monthly column, entitled, Feminizing Your Canon, with the purpose of exploring "the lives of underrated and underread female authors."

As it happens, the 13 May, 2019 issue presents the life of Mariam Ba, author of So Long a Letter, the epistolary classic that is our "read around the world" group read this month. See the link below and participate in our discussion if you're intrigued or want to share your thoughts from prior reads of it.

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/c...


message 29: by Laurie (last edited Jun 03, 2019 05:17PM) (new)

Laurie | 210 comments Carol wrote: "While we're tapping our fingernails on our desks and waiting for the Women's Prize for Fiction announcement, I noticed that as of June 2018, The Paris Review publishes a monthly column, entitled, F..."

Awesome! I love articles leading me to new women to read. I know very little about Ba, but I really enjoyed So Long a Letter. I am eager to look at some of the other authors in the columns.


message 30: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 1378 comments Mod
A great article on interlibrary loans:

https://lithub.com/interlibrary-loan-...


message 31: by Story (new)

Story (storyheart) | 440 comments Carol wrote: "A great article on interlibrary loans:

https://lithub.com/interlibrary-loan-..."


Great article, Carol. I love everything about libraries (and am lucky enough to live 200 meters from mine!) and quite often use interlibrary loans.

Also, thanks for sharing the Feminizing the Canon column from the Paris Review. Looking forward to exploring past articles.


message 32: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolbrani) | 1378 comments Mod
Storyheart wrote: "Carol wrote: "A great article on interlibrary loans:

https://lithub.com/interlibrary-loan-..."

Great article, Carol. I love everything about libraries (and am lucky enough to l..."


You're very welcome. I'm still exploring them little by little.


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