Around the World discussion

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2012-2020 Discussions > 2018 - Where in the world have you been? (Book finished and review linked)

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message 1: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1874 comments Mod
Share what book you've read - did you enjoy it or not and why, but no spoilers please! Link to your review if you've written one so we can live vicariously through you or be enticed to add it to our TBR lists that are most likely sagging under the weight of the groaning stack! Hopefully you'll be adding great reads in 2017 as you travel around the world - enjoy!


message 2: by Renae (new)

Renae (romanticparvenu) | 34 comments I've just read a book set in Ancient Syria, The Serpent and the Staff! My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Earlier in the week I traveled to the wilds of Ontario with L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle. My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 3: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1874 comments Mod
Good going Renae - two before the first week of the year ends! Too bad the Syria one was a disappointment for you :-( , good thing you enjoyed the other!


message 4: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1874 comments Mod
I knocked off a couple of short stories on audio - The Bet (Russia) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (U.S.) - both good listens.


message 5: by Carol (last edited Jan 06, 2018 01:47PM) (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 540 comments Mod
I also read a short story. Cat Person (U.S.) by Kristen Roupenian. It was a 5-star read for me, not as much for the plot/story as the writing talent on display.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 1297 comments Mod
I read the buzzy crime novel set in a droughtladen Australia, The Dry by Jane Harper. I read it all in one day, thought it was fantastic! My review with more details (but no spoilers) is here.


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann (ann7258) | 7 comments I've just finished Safe Haven set in the U.S. Meh!


message 8: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1874 comments Mod
Finished Sightseeing - short stories set in Thailand. Really good - 4 stars. Knocked off a bit because of the last story - was a bit long and and not as good as the others. Still a good read though.


message 9: by Beth (new)

Beth (eparks4232) | 311 comments My US read was the first of the Hannibal books: Red Dragon. Here's my lame review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I had a moment of fun with this one. I was traveling alone reading it, and went out for sushi. I had a Red Dragon roll while reading it. Maybe I will do a sushi challenge--read books with sushi names...


message 10: by Beth (new)

Beth (eparks4232) | 311 comments For England, I went classic with Ivanhoe, review is also brief (they will all be--my life is too nuts): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

There is no Ivanhoe sushi, sadly.


message 11: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 540 comments Mod
Beth wrote: "For England, I went classic with Ivanhoe, review is also brief (they will all be--my life is too nuts): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

There is no Ivanhoe sushi, sadly."


I like the theme that's developing here :)


message 12: by Rusalka (last edited Jan 08, 2018 02:12AM) (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 980 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "I like the theme that's developing here :)"

Me too... I think you're onto something there, Beth! As long as we get to eat the sushi too.

Beth wrote: "There is no Ivanhoe sushi, sadly."
That you have found. More research required.


message 13: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 823 comments Mod
Lilisa wrote: "Finished Sightseeing - short stories set in Thailand. Really good - 4 stars. Knocked off a bit because of the last story - was a bit long and and not as good as the others. Still a go..."

That's good to hear - I've had that little volume sitting at the top of my bookshelf for about 7 years. Maybe this is the year?


message 14: by Val (new)

Val Lilisa wrote: "Finished Sightseeing - short stories set in Thailand. Really good - 4 stars. Knocked off a bit because of the last story - was a bit long and and not as good as the others. Still a go..."
I thought that was a very good collection of short stories and gave it five stars. I think I agree with you about the final story though, it would have been better to finish the collection with a flourish.


message 15: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1874 comments Mod
It's a good one to knock off your list, Andrea. @ Val - agree. It was much longer than the others and it didn't wrap up as well as the others. Overall, The author did a great job with the stories and the setting. I felt I was living in Thailand experiencing everyday life.


message 16: by Beth (new)

Beth (eparks4232) | 311 comments Rusalka wrote: "Beth wrote: "There is no Ivanhoe sushi, sadly."
That you have found. More research required.
.."


I will get right on that.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 1297 comments Mod
I finished Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel, translated from the Icelandic, at lunch today. I gave it five stars, even surprising myself (I do not give five stars lightly.) I really enjoyed it, learned a lot about Iceland during WWII and the general Icelandic way of being. My review is here.


message 18: by Beth (new)

Beth (eparks4232) | 311 comments I finished Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro. My review is here. I liked the short stories in this collection, and felt like they gave a good taste of Canada. I'm not sure I'd race out to read more Alice Munro, though.


message 19: by Hesper (new)

Hesper | 33 comments My review for Spirits Abroad. The short stories are all very good, but what makes the book magical is how clearly every part of it conveys a sense of Malaysia. "The House of Aunts" (one of the longer stories) is available online for free, and as a podcast.


message 20: by Val (new)

Val Sounds good Hesper. I'll try the free one first.


message 21: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 540 comments Mod
I finished Seven Dead by long-forgotten. English Golden Age author, J Jefferson Farjeon and enjoyed it immensely. I think I read it in 2 days, which is not typical of me, particularly at the moment. It takes place in the countryside of southern England and in Boulogne, France. Period details abound.

My 4-star review is here:

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


message 22: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1874 comments Mod
Finished Before We Were Yours set in the U.S. The book straddles two timelines - 1939 and current times. About babies/young kids forcibly taken and placed in adopted homes - focuses on one family in particular. Based on true events but fictionalized. Well done - 4 stars.


message 23: by Ann (new)

Ann (ann7258) | 7 comments I've finished The Swimmer.

Here is my review, for what it's worth!
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 24: by Beth (new)

Beth (eparks4232) | 311 comments Just finished Egypt. I read Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz. Here's my super brief review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 25: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 540 comments Mod
I left Australia and Germany, circa 1933, where I had sojourned with Paving the New Road by Sulari Gentill. Not really my cup of tea, but
I suspect I am in the minority. Here's a link to my 3-star review.

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


message 26: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 823 comments Mod
I've been in France and Spain with Two Steps Forward, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It's not Rosie, but if you liked Graeme Simsion's previous novels, then I'm sure you'll enjoy this one too.

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


message 27: by Stephanie (last edited Jan 16, 2018 09:31PM) (new)

Stephanie | 42 comments I have been in India during the 1970's with A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.


message 28: by Beth (last edited Jan 17, 2018 09:33AM) (new)

Beth (eparks4232) | 311 comments I've been in the Caucasus with A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov. Here is my review.


message 29: by Beth (new)

Beth (eparks4232) | 311 comments Stephanie wrote: "I have been in India during the 1970's with A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry."

Did you like it? I have had it sitting on my shelf for years.


message 30: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1874 comments Mod
Beth wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "I have been in India during the 1970's with A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry."

Did you like it? I have had it sitting on my shelf for years."


I hope Stephanie enjoyed it. I read A Fine Balance years ago and it's still one of my all-time favorites. I'd say try it this year :-)


message 31: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 42 comments Beth wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "I have been in India during the 1970's with A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry."

Did you like it? I have had it sitting on my shelf for years."


I have had it on my shelf for years as well and decided that 2018 was the year to tackle it. The characters are ones you will not soon forget. The depiction of the 1970's in India was so vivid - it almost felt like you were there- you could see, smell and taste your surroundings. One thing I must caution is that it is not a happy book as life was very hard for certain castes in India at that time and regular citizens were treated so badly during the declared "Emergency" That said, I loved loved loved the book and Rohinton Mistry's amazing ability to portray this time and the hardships that so many experienced by employing some of the most lovely characters to deliver the message..


message 32: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 823 comments Mod
A Fine Balance - I couldn’t agree more. It’s a treasure. It’s the kind of book that reminds me why I love to read.


message 33: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 42 comments Andrea wrote: "A Fine Balance - I couldn’t agree more. It’s a treasure. It’s the kind of book that reminds me why I love to read."
SO true!


message 34: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 42 comments Andrea wrote: "A Fine Balance - I couldn’t agree more. It’s a treasure. It’s the kind of book that reminds me why I love to read."
Any others you suggest that made you feel similarly?


message 35: by Rusalka (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 980 comments Mod
Oh man... maybe 2018 is the year I finally read it from my shelf too! Not that I'm complaining about good books, just that I have so many that have become "2018 is the year!".


message 36: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1874 comments Mod
Finished Ali and Nino: A Love Story. It was a 3-star read - amazing that it was written in 1937!


message 37: by Hesper (new)

Hesper | 33 comments Finished Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets a couple of days ago, and I loved it (which isn't at all surprising, considering how much I appreciate a well written communism history). My review.


message 38: by Beth (new)

Beth (eparks4232) | 311 comments Rusalka wrote: "Oh man... maybe 2018 is the year I finally read it from my shelf too! Not that I'm complaining about good books, just that I have so many that have become "2018 is the year!"."

Have to figure out how to get it into the Zodiac Challenge....


message 39: by Rusalka (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 980 comments Mod
Beth wrote: "Have to figure out how to get it into the Zodiac Challenge...."

Hehe already on it! White cover.


message 40: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1874 comments Mod
Rusalka wrote: "Beth wrote: "Have to figure out how to get it into the Zodiac Challenge...."

Hehe already on it! White cover."


Hmmm, will meanie approve?


message 41: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 519 comments I have been in the U.S., 19th century Dahomey and France with
Will Do Magic for Small Change. There were parts that I loved, but I found it disappointing.

See my review at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 42: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 519 comments I've just returned from Canada with Glass Houses
and agree with those who think that this is Louise Penny's best book so far.

See my review at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 43: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 823 comments Mod
I'm back from Central Mexico, finishing Olmec Obituary yesterday. I must say it was a little disappointing for me, not least because most of the action took place in Canberra (no offence, Rusalka)! Just 2★ for this one.

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


message 44: by Sara (new)

Sara | 75 comments I am in Philippines with The Last Time I Saw Mother.


message 45: by Rusalka (last edited Jan 23, 2018 03:27AM) (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 980 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "I'm back from Central Mexico, finishing Olmec Obituary yesterday. I must say it was a little disappointing for me, not least because most of the action took place in Canberra (no offence, Rusalka)!"

Lol none taken. You could write some really interesting stuff set in Canberra and the things that get done here, or just the city. But people don't really seem to do it. Canberrans write about exotic places like London (The Rook with some urban fantasy), or 1840s Sydney (The Secret River). Or they do, and it's badly written (The Marmalade Files).

I've been meaning to check out Here Come The Dogs. I'll let you know if it's a good Canberra read.

*Edit - I just read the premise, and your review. I would be bored too.


message 46: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 823 comments Mod
Rusalka wrote: "Andrea wrote: "I'm back from Central Mexico, finishing Olmec Obituary yesterday. I must say it was a little disappointing for me, not least because most of the action took place in ..."

Yes, I’ve got Omar Musa on my TBR too. One of these days.

Re Olmec Obituary, she actually portrayed it as a nice, normal place *big grin*


message 47: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1874 comments Mod
Done with Lucky Boy - topic and storyline were good, writing was ok - could have been shorter - 3 stars.


message 48: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 540 comments Mod
I was in an unidentified South American country (likely Peru) for most of The King is Always Above the People: Stories by Daniel Alarcón. I recommend it highly.

Here's a link to my 5-star review.

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


message 49: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1874 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "I was in an unidentified South American country (likely Peru) for most of The King is Always Above the People: Stories by Daniel Alarcón. I recommend it highly.

Here..."


Sounds interesting and nice review - added!


message 50: by Rusalka (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 980 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "Re Olmec Obituary, she actually portrayed it as a nice, normal place *big grin*"

Hah! We're pretty normal, but not really what you want when you want archaeology, ancient ruins, exotic locations, and mystery. Although my highly ranked Archaeologists at work would be very annoyed at me for suggesting that there isn't fun Arch to be done in Canberra.


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