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Books > The Book Salon ~~ January 2018

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments


This the thread for general book discussions.

Tell us what you just read, are currently reading or plan to read. Tell us about your favorite author. Have you read some book news? Share it with the group. Anything related to books and reading, we want to hear all about it !
:)


message 2: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 30, 2017 12:41PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments I have been doing a monthly thread for new book releases. I would get the info from Amazon. They have changed and it is not available to me anymore. So instead of a separate thread, I will post about new releases in this thread as I see them. I hope you, too, will post new books that are being published in the following month.

I always found it helpful as I could get on the library request list early.

Thanks !


message 3: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments Here are a few books to help you start off the New Year !

Historical Fiction





The Indigo Girl: A Novel
by Natasha Boyd
Taking charge of her family's plantation, 16-year-old Eliza Lucas decides to pay off her father's debts with a lucrative commodity: indigo dye. However, in 1739 South Carolina, indigo is an experimental crop and dye-making is a mysterious process known only to the estate's enslaved workers, who brought the knowledge with them from Africa. In exchange for their expertise, Eliza teaches her new assistants to read and write, which is against the law. This atmospheric novel draws on letters and archival documents to tell the story of a real-life entrepreneur and the first woman to be inducted into South Carolina's Business Hall of Fame.



Birdcage Walk
by Helen Dunmore
From the safety of 1790s Bristol, England, freethinker and radical pamphleteer Julia Elizabeth Fawkes reacts, first with eagerness and then with dismay, as the promise of the French Revolution gives way to the bloody reality of the Reign of Terror. However, the conflict abroad poses more personal danger to Julia's daughter, Lizzie, whose property developer husband finds his business interests threatened by the prospect of war and descends into obsession and paranoia. Complex characters and Gothic atmosphere add intrigue to this historical domestic drama.



The Revolution of Marina M.
by Janet Fitch
As revolutionary fervor engulfs 1916 St. Petersburg, budding Bolshevik Marina Makarova rejects her bourgeois background and embraces radical politics. The resulting societal upheaval will affect not only Marina but also her family, friends, and lovers. This sweeping saga stars a courageous and passionate heroine who survives a turbulent era of Russian history and may appeal to fans of Simon Sebag-Montefiore's Sashenka.



I, Eliza Hamilton
by Susan Holloway Scott
"Love is not easy with a man chosen by Fate for greatness," declares Elizabeth Schuyler as she proceeds to recount her long (and sometimes tumultuous) relationship with her husband, Alexander Hamilton. From the couple's first meeting to Hamilton's death in a now-infamous duel, this richly detailed novel provides readers with a glimpse into a couple's marriage and a woman's heart. Readers interested in Alexander's perspective of events may enjoy Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman's The Hamilton Affair.


******* Focus on: Midwives


The Last Midwife
by Sandra Dallas
The only midwife in the isolated mining town of Swandyke, Colorado, Gracy Brookens believes with all her heart that delivering babies is her life's purpose. When a wealthy mine owner accuses her of murdering his infant son, Gracy's life and livelihood are threatened. Although Gracy knows that she's innocent, she also realizes that it may not matter -- being a witness to people's private lives makes her dangerous to those with secrets to keep. Like author Sandra Dallas' previous novel, Fallen Women, The Last Midwife employs well-researched details of life in 1880s Colorado to tell the dramatic story of a marginalized woman who confronts a small town's social elite in her pursuit of truth.



Monsoon Summer
by Julia Gregson
After serving as a nurse during World War II, trainee midwife Kit Smallwood marries Anto Thekken, an Oxford-educated Indian physician, and accompanies him to Bombay, where she's accepted a position overseeing a charitable maternity hospital. An already challenging job is made more difficult by the disapproval of both her Anglo-Indian mother and her husband's traditional family. Set in a newly independent India, Monsoon Summer introduces an idealistic young woman navigating both married life and a society in transition.



The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel
by Patricia Harman
During the Great Depression, West Virginia midwife Patience Murphy delivers babies to women who can't afford a doctor. Dogged by her own scandalous history, Patience maintains a solitary lifestyle until she unexpectedly acquires an African-American apprentice, Bitsy, and a colleague, Daniel Hester, a World War I veteran to whom she slowly opens her heart. But when Patience's past eventually catches up with her, it threatens to destroy everything she's worked for. Author Patricia Harman, a certified nurse-midwife, skillfully depicts the profession of midwifery while bringing to life a rural Appalachian community of the 1930s.



The Orphan Mother: A Novel
by Robert Hicks
Born into slavery, Mariah Reddick (first introduced in The Widow of the South) is now a free woman and a successful midwife in Franklin, Tennessee. Occupied with her work and the management of her modest property holdings, she's always steered clear of politics. Then her only child, Theopolis, is killed at a rally, prompting Mariah to seek his killers and bring them to justice. Set during Reconstruction, this novel explores a mother's grief while exposing the racial fault lines in a segregated Southern town.



The Birth House: A Novel
by Ami McKay
In 1917 Nova Scotia, 17-year-old Dora Rare, the first daughter in five generations of her family, becomes an apprentice to elderly midwife Marie Babineau. Together they use herbs and folk remedies to help the women of their isolated community during difficult labors, unwanted pregnancies, and heartbreaking losses. Then a medical doctor arrives in their village promising sterile and painless births in a modern maternity hospital, and Dora and Marie's traditional methods come under scrutiny. This absorbing debut novel was a bestseller in Canada.



The Midwife of Venice: A Novel
by Roberta Rich
With her merchant husband, Isaac, held captive by pirates, midwife Hannah Levi is desperate to earn his ransom. Although a Papal edict forbids Jewish healers from treating Christian patients, Hannah risks her life, first by delivering a countess' baby and then by continuing to provide assistance to the new mother and her sickly infant. For another richly detailed, character-driven historical novel about a 16th-century female Venetian physician who braves misogyny, religious persecution, and political unrest to aid others, check out Regina O'Melveny's The Book of Madness and Cures.


message 4: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 30, 2017 01:33PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments Mystery




The Ghost of Christmas Past
by Rhys Bowen
Historical Mystery.
Molly Murphy Sullivan has had a difficult 1906. Now, just before Christmas, she's struggling with depression in the aftermath of physical and emotional trauma that led to a miscarriage. When the semi-retired private detective's family plans for the holiday suddenly change, she, her police detective husband Daniel, and their two-year-old son end up at a Hudson River mansion. There, they become embroiled in a mystery when a 13-year-old girl appears on Christmas Eve, claiming to be their hosts' long-missing daughter. Readers who enjoy compelling stories featuring strong women will appreciated this 17th series entry.



Heaven's Crooked Finger
by Hank Early
Mystery.
In this gritty debut novel, the 1st in a new series, private detective Earl Marcus returns home to the North Georgia mountains, a place he never wanted to see again. He's there to visit "Granny," a dying black woman who took him in when his father, a fundamentalist Christian pastor fond of snake handling, kicked him out. But his visit unearths secrets and danger, as he learns his estranged brother now pastors his father's old church, hears rumors that his recently deceased dad has risen from the dead, and learns that local teenage girls have been disappearing, only to return with strange tattoos. Fans of John Hart will want to snag this richly described book set in a small southern town.



The Deep Dark Descending
by Allen Eskens
Mystery.
After his wife died four years ago in a hit-and-run accident, Minneapolis police detective Max Rupert was devastated. When he receives evidence that she was murdered, he's stunned. Driven by the need for justice (and maybe vengeance), Rupert tries to find the men responsible (there are at least three) and wrestles with a decision that could change his life forever. Flipping back and forth between the present (where Max and a man fight in a frigid, snowy clearing) and the events of the previous three days, which lead up to that fight, this 4th Max Rupert novel features a suspenseful plot, complex characters, and an evocative setting.



The Shadow District
by Arnaldur Indridason
Police Procedural.
When a 90-year-old man is smothered to death, retired Reykjavik police detective Konrad is asked to look into the case by an old friend on the force. He soon discovers that the death is linked to the murders of two women years ago, during the occupation of Iceland by Allies in World War II, and that some locals claimed the killings were the work of the "hidden people" of Icelandic folk tales. This fascinating 1st in the Reykjavik Wartime series by the bestselling author of the Erlendur Sveinsson mysteries is a good bet for fans of parallel storylines, evocative settings, and well-plotted tales.



Cast Iron
by Peter May
Mystery.
In this stellar final book of six in the Enzo files, 56-year-old Scottish forensic expert Enzo Macleod once again investigates a cold case taken from a book written by his ambitious future son-in-law. In 1989 in western France, a wealthy young woman out for a walk disappeared; in 2003, her skeleton was found nearby. Digging into the woman's past in 2011, Enzo stirs up trouble; someone wants things left alone and might hurt Enzo's family if he doesn't. Readers who enjoy suspenseful, fair-play mysteries will want to pick up Cast Iron.



Dying to Live: A Detective Kubu Mystery
by Michael Stanley
Mystery.
In Botswana, the corpse of an elderly Bushman, whose organs appear to belong to a much younger man, is stolen from the morgue. Assistant Superintendent David “Kubu” Bengu investigates and finds that the stolen body might be connected to a witch doctor and a missing University of Minnesota researcher documenting the oral traditions of the area. If you enjoy the Botswana setting of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency books and don't mind a less cozy feel, check out the engrossing Detective Kubu mysteries, of which this is the 6th entry.


******** Winter's here!

Winter's Child
by Margaret Coel
Mystery.
Arapaho lawyer Vicky Holden witnesses her friend and fellow lawyer Clint Hopkins run down by a truck during a blizzard; while others think it was an accident, Vicky believes it was murder. Since she had just teamed up with Hopkins to help a Native American couple hoping to adopt an abandoned white child they've raised for five years, Vicky works that case and checks into the hit and run. Along with her friend, Jesuit priest Father John, she unravels a disturbing connection between the child, the lawyer's death, a missing Arapaho wanted by the cops, and very old secret. Though this is the 20th and last entry in the John O'Malley and Vicky Holden mysteries, newcomers can easily begin here.


The Ice Princess
by Camilla Läckberg
Scandinavian Crime Fiction.
With this atmospheric U.S. debut, which won France’s Grand Prix de Littérature Policière for Best International Crime Novel, Camilla Läckberg joined a long list of Scandinavian authors to watch. In this leisurely paced tale, biographer Erica Falck returns to her tiny hometown of Fjällbacka after her parents' unexpected deaths...and stumbles across the body of her childhood friend, Alexandra. It's unclear whether Alexandra's death was suicide or murder, but the town seems to be hiding plenty of deadly secrets. Joining Erica in her attempts to find the truth behind Alexandra's death is Detective Patrik Hedström in this 1st in a popular series.



A Fatal Winter
by G.M. Malliet
Cozy Mystery.
A house party at an English mansion? Mystery fans know what's next: murder most foul! In A Fatal Winter, it's just days before Christmas when two suspicious deaths at Chedrow Castle cause Detective Chief Inspector Cotton to ask his friend Max Tudor, a former MI5 agent and current Anglican priest, to help with the investigation. He wants Max to observe the family while providing religious support and helping plan the funerals. During the holiday season, Max also grows closer to Awena Owen (who runs a shop called Goddessspell). This is the 2nd book featuring darling Max, and the "series shines for its wit, well-drawn characters, pitch-perfect dialog, and intricately structured puzzle" (Library Journal).

The Tenderness of Wolves
by Stef Penney
Historical Mystery.
In 19th-century Canada, a local trapper has been viciously killed, his throat cut and his head scalped. A teenage boy who was friends with the dead man is missing, and his footsteps lead away from the cabin into the cold, unforgiving wilderness. The determined mother of the missing teenager sets out from her snow-covered settlement to find him, aided by a half-Indian trader. But they aren't the only ones interested in finding the boy; others are on the move, too. This amazing debut novel -- written by an agoraphobic author who had never been to Canada -- won Britain's prestigious Costa Book of the Year Award in 2006.


message 5: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments Read any of these?

From Amazon

Top 10 Most Read Fiction Books in 2017


1 --The Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood


2--- It
Stephen King


3--- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
J.K. Rowling


4--- A Game of Thrones
George R. R. Martin

5--- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling

6-- Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Mark Sullivan

7-- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling

8-- A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles

9-- Origin
Dan Brown

10-- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling


message 6: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments Read any of these ?
From Amazon

Top 10 Most Read Nonfiction Books in 2017

1- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Mark Manson

2- Hillbilly Elegy
J.D. Vance

3- Sapiens
Yuval Noah Harari

4- Alexander Hamilton
Ron Chernow

5- Born a Crime
Trevor Noah

6- The 5 Second Rule
Mel Robbins

7- How To Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie

8- Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
Al Franken

9- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen R. Covey

10- I Can't Make This Up
Kevin Hart


message 7: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 30, 2017 02:59PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments I read 3 off the non fiction list.

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate - Loved it

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood Loved it

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis -- not a fan

One is on my Challenge list for 2018
I own it.
Sapiens: A Brief History of HumankindSapiens
Yuval Noah Harari

This one I own but I didn't put it on my challenge list. I hope to read it in the coming year
Alexander Hamilton


message 8: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments I only read one off the fiction list. I read it when it first came out years ago.

It


message 9: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 30, 2017 03:13PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments I read this author's book. Trespassing Across America: One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland--Ken Ilgunas

He posted his best reads of 2017. I thought I would share with you.

If you see any year end lists, please share with the rest of us a BNC.

Best Books I read in 2017--by Ken Ilgunas

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
Pride and Prejudice
I'd already read P&P, and I was already thinking that I was done with old English lit., so I opened it up without the intention of reading it (figured I'd just thoughtlessly browse the first few lines), but by the end of the first page, I couldn't stop myself. The mother and father feel so “lived in” and real and precise. Lady Catherine and Collins the clergyman, in their stuffy absurdity, are seriously funny. I must confess that I fell in love with Elizabeth, a shining example of emotional intelligence, good cheer, and uncommon sensibility. We should all strive to be as smart and worldly and kind as Elizabeth Bennett, and I fear Austen would be aghast to see the sorts of ways young people occupy their time nowadays (though Austen might argue that young people could be just as frivolous then, as we see in two of Elizabeth's sisters). Darcy is essentially the male version of Elizabeth, equally smart and just as well-equipped with “understanding,” though he lacks the awareness to manage his ego and bloated sense of pride. The days after I read the book, I was speaking and writing with enhanced clarity and precision, which tells me that I should always have some brilliant English book being read in the background.


The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Blythell (2017)
The Diary of a Bookseller
Like books? Used bookshops? Dry Scottish wit? Blythell uses the diary format better than anyone. Some days are just funny, short entries about running a used bookstore. Other days the prose is enriched with research about the area or the book-selling trade. It makes me wonder whether I could pull off something similar with a travelogue, a style I'd previously been skeptical of.

Here's a job reference Bythell wrote for one of his employees: Sara worked Saturdays at The Book Shop, 17 North Main Street, Wigtown, for three years while she was at the Douglas Ewart High School. When I say “worked”, I use the word in its loosest possible terms. She spent the entire day either standing outside the shop, smoking and snarling at people trying to enter the building, or watching repeats of Hollyoaks on 4OD. Although she was generally punctual, she often arrived either drunk or severely hungover. She was usually rude and aggressive. She rarely did as she was told, and never, in the entire three years of her time here, did anything constructive without having to be told to do so. She invariably left a trail of rubbish behind her, usually consisting of Irn-Bru bottles, crisp packets, chocolate wrappers and cigarette packets. She consistently stole lighters and matches from the business, and was offensive and frequently violent towards me. She was a valued member of staff and I have no hesitation in recommending her.


Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (2011)
Steve Jobs
My expectations were low. The book came out soon after Jobs's death, and I was expecting that this was another biography that was hastily written to make money at an opportune time. This isn't the case at all. It's thorough and exhaustive, yet fun, even exciting, to read. Isaacson has somehow made the technical side of Jobs's life engaging, which is noteworthy given that this isn't a subject I usually have any interest in. Jobs reminds me to be dogged about pursuing dreams, meticulous about perfecting one's craft, and always thinking of the future.


Nutshell by Ian McEwan (2016)
Nutshell
Worth reading if just for the delicious prose. It had a pitch-perfect Lolita-like caustic sense of humor.

Pessimism is too easy, even delicious, the badge and plume of intellectuals everywhere. It absolves the thinking classes of solutions.


Game of Thrones Books 4 & 5 by George R.R. Martin (2005 & 2011)
A Game of Thrones: The First 5 Books
Books 4 and 5 have reputations for being inferior to the first three. They're not inferior. They're just different. The pace is slower and there is less action, but these books still manage to be amazingly addictive. There is wonderful character development and Martin's world is becoming ever more rich in detail. The history and geography of Westeros are getting filled in, and there's a deepening in his world's cosmology. The dialogue and characters and bits of wisdom are as good as ever. The books are not so dynamic as those of Books 1-3, with major beheadings, red weddings, and wildling battles, but I loved these books just as much. Martin’s mind is an international treasure. At the pace he's written these books, there's no way he can finish the series in just two more books...

"If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron half helm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the small folk whose land they’re fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chickens, and from there it’s just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They don’t know where they are or how to get back home and the lord they’re fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad in all steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world."


Out of the Wreckage by George Monbiot (2017)
Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics in the Age of Crisis
I don't know why it's taken me so long to discover George Monbiot. He is a kindred spirit. Not only do we share interests in fringe topics like rewilding and the right to roam, but in this book he speaks to all the things I worry about: runaway consumerism, loss of social capital, our shattered democracy. His diagnoses of our country's ills seem spot-on, and his suggestions are well thought out and practical. He maintains a poised tone, but that doesn't stop him from dreaming big and thinking of the deep future. His style is exceptional. Warm, honest, smart, direct. He can venture headfirst into an idea, but also treat his detractors with respect.


"We are astonishing creatures, blessed with an amazing capacity for kindness and care towards others. But this good nature has been thwarted by a mistaken view of our own humanity. We have been induced by certain politicians, economists and commentators to accept a vicious ideology of extreme competition and individualism that pits us against each other, encourages us to fear and mistrust other, and weakens the social bonds that make our lives worth living."


Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow (2010)
Washington: A Life
This is one of my favorite presidential biographies, which I put in the same tier as Team of Rivals. John Adams said, if Washington “was not the greatest president, he was the best actor of the presidency we have ever had.” This wasn’t an insult, I don’t think, because sometimes that’s in large part what a leader needs to be—an actor. Washington was in fact partisan, fiery, hot-tempered—this we see after his presidency, when he abandons the facade of the cool and nonpartisan leader and begins to actively conspire against the Jefferson- and Madison-led Democratic-Republicans. But for the the length of the Revolutionary War and his presidency, he mustered all the self-discipline he had, swallowed his tongue, and gave the disparate and loosely bound band of colonies — shaken by war, revolution, and tumult — what it most needed: a symbol of stability and republican virtue (except for the whole slavery thing). I think it’s fair to wonder whether the U.S. would have formed without Washington. The war may not have been won. The colonies may never have come together. The fledgling nation may never have taken flight with a lesser first president. He may be one of those few figures whose existence has dramatically altered the course of history.


message 10: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments 40 Overlooked Books from 2017, as Chosen By Booksellers



http://lithub.com/40-overlooked-books...


message 11: by Petra (last edited Dec 30, 2017 03:30PM) (new)

Petra | 1046 comments Alias Reader wrote: "I have been doing a monthly thread for new book releases. I would get the info from Amazon. They have changed and it is not available to me anymore. So instead of a separate thread, I will post abo..."

That's a shame, Alias!
Isn't Amazon also the owners of Goodreads now? If the rumours are true, the Goodreads Giveaways will only be available to US Residents as of January 1st. I'm going to miss entering the Giveaways. I enjoyed browsing them and occasionally winning a book.

I'll remember to post any new releases that I hear of and/or interesting lists I come across.


message 12: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1046 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Read any of these?

From Amazon

Top 10 Most Read Fiction Books in 2017
....


I read The Handmaid's Tale ages ago...probably when it came out or soon afterwards. I've been thinking that it might be time for a reread as I can't remember much about it.
I've also read the Harry Potter series. They are entertaining.


message 13: by Petra (last edited Dec 30, 2017 03:35PM) (new)

Petra | 1046 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Read any of these ?
From Amazon

Top 10 Most Read Nonfiction Books in 2017..."



Thanks to our group reads, I've read Born A Crime.
I've also got Sapiens and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on my "Later" shelf at the library.


message 14: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1046 comments Alias Reader wrote: "I read this author's book. Trespassing Across America: One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland--Ken Ilgunas

He posted his best reads of 2017..."



Any of Jane Austen's books are a delight to read. P&P isn't my favorite but it's a good read with some really good laughs.
I also enjoyed Nutshell a lot.


message 15: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1046 comments Alias Reader wrote: "40 Overlooked Books from 2017, as Chosen By Booksellers



http://lithub.com/40-overlooked-books..."



I haven't read one of those books and only one is on my TBR list (Moving the Palace). I'm going to peruse the rest and see if any are available at the library.


message 16: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1046 comments A few "Top" lists for 2017:

From Digg.com: http://digg.com/2017/top-10-albums-so...

BBC's Best of 2017 list: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/2017...

Indie Publishers Best of 2017 list: https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...


message 17: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1046 comments From the Digg.com list, I've read Lincoln On The Bardo (loved the audio) and have Exit West and Pachinko on my TBR list.

From the BBC list, Pachinko and Lincoln On The Bardo are the overlaps for me.

None of the Indie books are on my radar. I'm going to check those out.


message 18: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments Petra wrote: "A few "Top" lists for 2017:

From Digg.com: http://digg.com/2017/top-10-albums-so...

BBC's Best of 2017 list: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/2017...
..."


Thanks, Petra ! I love reading book lists.


message 19: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2974 comments Wow! Harry Potter's still so popular!


message 20: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11623 comments On one hand i'm sorry to learn about the Amazon list ending; on the other, at least my TBR won't grow quite as quickly! ;-) I will add any recent books i hear about, too.

I read one book from the Digg list--(Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann and one from the BBC list--You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie. As both made my "best list", i feel good about those. Not only have i not read any from the Indie Best list, i am sad to report that i haven't heard of any of them until now.

I haven't read any of the Amazon Most Read Fiction list but two from the Nonfiction list. One, the Trevor Noah autobiography, which i liked and was pleased to have read with this group. The other, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, disappointed me.

I must add that it is interesting how many of the fiction books were oldies, such as It and Handmaiden's Tale. I wonder if they shouldn't create a special list for those which are returning thanks to filmed versions.


message 21: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11623 comments I read about two new books this week, one of which i added to my TBR.

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook: Funeral Food with a Twist written by Perre Coleman Magness sounded good but as i read Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide To Hosting the Perfect Funeral by Gayden Metcalfe not very long ago, i think i'll pass. On the other hand, i must say the addition by Magness of obituaries calls to me, as both i've read are outstanding. So....maybe.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives Easier and Your Own Life More Pleasant by Margareta Magnusson sounds very good. The idea is to rid your possessions of things your survivors really don't need to handle. I felt we did this when we moved in '07 and again in '13 but i can see now, having it all in our storage unit, that there is So Much More i can weed.


message 22: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments Good luck with the decluttering further, deb. It's not an easy task.


message 23: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2974 comments The Late Show The Late Show (Renée Ballard, #1) by Michael Connelly by Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly launches a new series featuring Detective Renee Ballard, who has a great dog Lola. :)

In this story Renee investigates a stolen credit card; a vicious assault on a transgender prostitute; and a multiple homicide in a nightclub. And to fit in with current events, Renee had a fall from grace after accusing a former boss of sexual harassment. (That guy needs to get fired!!!)
Good launch to the series. 3.5 stars

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


message 24: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments Barbara, I really appreciate the time you take to write your reviews. They are really well thought out. Thanks!


message 25: by Craig (new)

Craig Monson | 72 comments A New Year's Day offering (not on the cheery side): The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent The Heretic's Daughter . I seem to have liked it better than some Goodreaders.

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


message 26: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments Craig wrote: "A New Year's Day offering (not on the cheery side):The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen KentThe Heretic's Daughter . I seem to have liked it better than some Goodreaders.

my take: ..."


Good review, Craig.


message 27: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2374 comments I am reading now- Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe. If you are a comics fan, you might get a kick out of this. I am really enjoying this.


message 28: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11623 comments Barbara, you liked the thriller more than i did. However, it is a series i would read further, unlike the other 2. It's the first Connelly series i've liked.

Nice review & comments, Craig. Thanks.


message 29: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2974 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Barbara, I really appreciate the time you take to write your reviews. They are really well thought out. Thanks!"

You're welcome Alias. I appreciate your kind comments. :)


message 30: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2974 comments Craig wrote: "A New Year's Day offering (not on the cheery side):The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen KentThe Heretic's Daughter . I seem to have liked it better than some Goodreaders.

my take: ..."


Are the witch trials a particular interest of yours Craig? They are fascinating for sure.


message 31: by Craig (new)

Craig Monson | 72 comments Barbara wrote: "Craig wrote: "A New Year's Day offering (not on the cheery side):The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen KentThe Heretic's Daughter . I seem to have liked it better than some Goodreade..."

No, Barbara, the witch trials aren't a particular interest. I happen to run across Italian witch trials in my research, however, in connection with uppity nuns and other transgressive women. Some of the women in my current book project on 17th-century Roman "black widows" get labeled witches, for example.


message 32: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11623 comments The "meat" behind the witch accusations are fascinating and what i like to revisit when reading about the trials and prosecutions.

In a continuing effort to share book titles now that our Amazon "fix" has ended, i offer this one, read about in today's USA Today, which we get in our hotel--

I was unaware that Ursula Le Guin had a blog but parts of it sound up my aging alley. Here is a link to last year's compilation, http://www.ursulakleguin.com/Blog2017... . No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters is a collection of posts. This review is where i heard about the book. https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/b... I must add that the third & fourth paragraph had me hooked.


message 33: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2974 comments Macbeth Macbeth by Jo Nesbø by Jo Nesbø

This is Jo Nesbø's updated "Macbeth" - part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series.
In this version, set in a downtrodden European city beset by drug problems, Macbeth is a SWAT officer who murders his way to the office of police department Chief Commissioner. He then wipes out anyone who suspects him of homicide or threatens his power. Pretty true to the original. 3.5 stars

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


message 34: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11623 comments Over the years there have been some remarkable attempts to re-create Shakespeare plays. I stand in awe of those who try.


message 35: by Larry (last edited Jan 03, 2018 04:43PM) (new)

Larry | 445 comments I finished Fredrik Backman's novella And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer yesterday. (Backman is the author of A Man Called Ove) The novella is about a man who is dying and coming to terms with a son and grandson and more. It's beautiful and moving, and I'll go back and read it again soon. I also think that the novella length is just right for this story.


message 36: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2974 comments The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, #12) by Alexander McCall Smith by Alexander McCall Smith

In this addition to the series Ma Makutsi plans her wedding to Phuti Radiphuti while Ma Ramotswe- owner of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency - deals with a case involving maimed cattle. Interesting to see wedding customs in Botswana. 3 stars

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


message 37: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments Larry wrote: "I finished Fredrik Backman's novella And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer yesterday. (Backman is the author of A Man Called Ove) The novella is abou..."

Thanks. I'm adding this to my TBR Notebook.


message 38: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11623 comments That book sounds good, Larry. I see the GR reviews are glowing, too. Your comment about its length is a good point. It probably takes quite an author to realize some stories work best with fewer pages. Thanks.

Barbara, something about Smith's stories have always made me feel that sort of fairy tale sense. Initially, it felt condescending but now i'm not sure. I just bypass his works on Africa.


message 39: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11623 comments Today i read articles about three books.

Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children by Sara Zaske. In line with Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua and Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman, these books have American MOTHERS looking at child rearing from other nations.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn were both favorable reviewed as tight thrillers, for those interested. The article began by asking "Is the Girl trend finally Gone, mentioning Girl on the Train in the next paragraph.


message 40: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2974 comments madrano wrote: "Over the years there have been some remarkable attempts to re-create Shakespeare plays. I stand in awe of those who try."

Me too. I think about how hard the authors have to study the original and then come up with a creative 'update.' And then deal with the inevitable critics. LOL


message 41: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments madrano wrote: "Today i read articles about three books.

Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children by Sara Zaske. In line with [book:Battle ..."


I'm not sure why this topic interests me. I don't have kids. However, I read the Tiger Mom book and enjoyed it.

I see my library has 16 holds on it.


message 42: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments I read The Handmaid's Tale when it first came out. Because of the current interest I've been thinking about a reread but we shall see.
I think it's funny that How to Win Friends and Influence People is on the list.
Yesterday I noticed that PBS and the NYTimes have teamed up to create a book club. It is called Now Read This and you can access it on Facebook. The first book is "Sing Unburied Sing." As I didn't do really well on my Determination List for 2017, my plan for 2018 is to follow along with this book club.


message 43: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1046 comments Barbara wrote: "Macbeth Macbeth by Jo Nesbø by Jo Nesbø

This is Jo Nesbø's updated "Macbeth" - part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series.
In this version, set in a downtro..."


I've only read one of the Hogarth Shakespeare series and because of it am interested in exploring the others. Thanks for this.

The one I read was Hag-Seed, which I thought was excellent.


message 44: by Barbara (last edited Jan 05, 2018 08:07AM) (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2974 comments Petra wrote: "Barbara wrote: "Macbeth Macbeth by Jo Nesbø by Jo Nesbø

The one I read was Hag-Seed, which I thought was excellent.
..."


You're welcome Petra.

My one other Hogarth book was also "Hag-Seed. " I liked it too. :)


message 45: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2974 comments One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories One More Thing Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak by B.J. Novak

This is a book of (mostly) humorous anecdotes and random thoughts by B.J. Novak - who played Ryan Howard on the TV show 'The Office'.....as well as being a writer and producer on the show.

He's a very funny, very intelligent guy. 3.5 stars

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


message 46: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 05, 2018 09:17AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments Bobbie wrote: "I read The Handmaid's Tale when it first came out. Because of the current interest I've been thinking about a reread but we shall see.
I think it's funny that How to Win Friends and Influence Peopl..."


How to Win Friends and Influence People--Dale Carnegie

From time to time Amazon has this book on sale for $1 or $2 for the Kindle. When it does, you usually see it on the best ebook sales list.


message 47: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 05, 2018 09:31AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments Bobbie wrote: Yesterday I noticed that PBS and the NYTimes have teamed up to create a book club. It is called Now Read This and you can access it on Facebook..."

I hope you share your thoughts here.

I joined the WNYC book club. However, they unfortunately select current best sellers. Their first book had over 500 holds. I also am not going to buy a hardcover book. They also just give you a few weeks to get it and read it. So this wont work for me.

I see the PBS/NY Times club also selected a bestseller. I think there are around 40 holds. Which wouldn't be bad if they gave people a heads up and select books for the next 3-6 months in advance.

This not only lets people get the book from the library but also gives them time to rearrange their reading schedule.

Oh well. I do hope people join us in reading BNC's book this month. We haven't done one in a long time.
Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance

It's good to hear from you, Barbara. Long time no hear. Glad to see you are doing well.


message 48: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18823 comments


message 49: by Larry (new)

Larry | 445 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Bobbie wrote: Yesterday I noticed that PBS and the NYTimes have teamed up to create a book club. It is called Now Read This and you can access it on Facebook..."
hope you share your thoughts here.

I joined the WNYC book club. However, they unfortunately select current best sellers. Their first book had over 500 holds. I also am not going to buy a hardcover book. They also just give you a few weeks to get it and read it. So this wont work for me.

I see the PBS/NY Times club also selected a bestseller. I think there are around 40 holds. Which wouldn't be bad if they gave people a heads up and select books for the next 3-6 months in advance. r..."


They seem to have good marketing strategy to get people to buy more books.


message 50: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11623 comments It seems a number of marketing strategies are apparent from posts above. That Kindle puts something up for $1 or 2 & it ends up on the best seller list is effective, too. I am not a fan of this but as long as they keep publishing books which i care to read, i'll benefit once (or twice) removed.

Re. the mothering books. The review mentions that US women seem to be the market for the books. It's a shame because it could well be fodder for future psychiatric treatments. And will that profession know to look overseas for the answers? ;-)

The Novak book sounds appealing, Barbara.


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