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

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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > January 2018 - Reporting

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message 1: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 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 story line 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 January 2018.
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 Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19768 comments Hi Sarah - you may want to update the books listed in the group page - they still show the Dec books.


message 3: by Rusalka, Moderator (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 16851 comments Done :)


message 4: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments Thanks Rusalka. I've been having internet problems (caned through my 64gb data allowance over christmas) so I have had to prioritise what i do on GR on my phone which has very little signal. Data gets reset tomorrow. Yah!


message 5: by Rusalka, Moderator (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 16851 comments Too easy.


message 6: by Jeanine (new)

Jeanine For the January 2018 group read, I read both books and participated in both discussion threads.

Into the Water
A disappointing successor to Girl on the Train. Hawkins's intent with all these characters may have been to keep the reader guessing and add varying perspectives, but they only served to jumble, confuse and obfuscate. She set the mood well in the beginning, but the plot turned out to be a lengthy, anticlimactic explanation rather than a page-turning reveal. 2.5 stars.

Little Fires Everywhere
Similar to Ng's debut novel Everything I Never Told You, there is deliberate, steady pacing and a multi-faceted range of characters to create a slow-burn, memorable family drama. However, the plot is completely fresh making this another deep, emotional read that I thoroughly enjoyed proving that ordinary life is not so ordinary, perfection is a matter of perspective, and the personal is amazingly powerful. 4.5 stars.


message 7: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments Welcome to the group Jeanine. In order to qualify for a badge, you need to discuss the book in the discussion thread. I see you have posted in there but you have only said whether you liked it or not and not gone in to any detail. Please expand on your comments and join in discussing with the other people reading the book. Great to see you are jumping straight in though.


message 8: by Jayme (last edited Jan 05, 2018 04:47PM) (new)

Jayme | 2343 comments I read Little Fires Everywhere for the January Book Group read and discussed it in the Little Fires Everywhere book discussion thread (I am planning on discussing it more as more people read the book).
Overall this book held so much promise and I really was captivated in the beginning, but as the plots developed the characters became so stereotypical in their roles of good and evil that the story became very unrealistic and was a chore to finish. I did give it 3 stars because of its potential.


message 9: by Jen (new)

Jen Griffin | 19 comments Hi - I just found this thread today, and was excited as I am about 1/2 through the book. I wanted to write something - but I wasn't sure how to make sure no one could see the spoiler. Is there somewhere that tells me what to put, so you don't see the spoiler unless you want. Thanks so much!!


message 10: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments Jen wrote: "Hi - I just found this thread today, and was excited as I am about 1/2 through the book. I wanted to write something - but I wasn't sure how to make sure no one could see the spoiler. Is there some..."

Kristie has explained how to do the spoilers over in the book discussion thread.


message 11: by Jen (new)

Jen Griffin | 19 comments thanks... I will look again.


message 12: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9289 comments I read Into the Water and discussed it (still discussing it) in its thread.
I rated it 3 stars. I liked the pace of the story, which got me engaged from the very beginning. I liked the short chapters and the many POV in the novel. I found the premise (a river that seems to call the women in the area to come and drown there) very interesting.
Still I didn't feel fascinated for it. It was a good read, but this author still has something I quite can't buy. This discussion is being very animated, though. :)


message 13: by Karen (new)

Karen | 8 comments Hi, This is my first read with this group... I read Little Fires Everywhere. I liked the book a lot as I was reading it--I rated it 5 stars. However, after a few days distance, I'm feeling a little less positive. I enjoyed the development of the characters and the relationships between them, but the story is pretty far fetched. I found myself really disliking Mrs. Richardson throughout the book. I'm sure that it was intentional on the part of the author to emphasize the dichotomy between her and Mia. I was happy that she appeared to have developed some insight into who she was at the end (view spoiler). All in all it was thoroughly enjoyable but I would now probably go with 4.5 stars.


message 14: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2615 comments I read Into the Water and participated in the very lively discussion thread. I had mixed feelings about the book, and waffled between three and a half and four stars. In the end I gave it four, because it was a nicely done, intricate piece of work. Many people commented that there were too many characters to keep straight. I was very grateful that someone told me to take notes before I started reading. I did take notes for the first 100 pages, and found it very helpful. I'm not sure I would have liked the book as much if I had not been reading it with the group. The discussion has been excellent, and I was very interested in other people's "take" on what was happening.


message 15: by Naomi (new)

Naomi (nchigh) | 543 comments I read Little Fires Everywhere and participated in the discussion thread. This was the last book I read for 2017. I thought it was good so far as the character development, no wasted words, and using Shaker Heights (setting) as another character. It seems to be to be a study of class - about poor vs rich or at least not so well-off vs well-off.

I think I rated this 4 stars. Ng writes very well. I haven't read her first book but might some time.


message 16: by Dominique (new)

Dominique  | 1075 comments I read Into the Water, I participated in the discussion. Gave it a 3 stars. Thought it was going to be an interesting book but was a little disappointed. Too many characters, first part was interesting but after it became a bit boring. The ending was good but not enough to get more stars.


message 17: by Lori Z (new)

Lori Z | 1818 comments I read Into the Water and participated in the discussion in the appropriate thread. I enjoyed this book and gave it 4 stars, although I am waffling on that a bit. Its a good mystery and I didn't have a problem with how many characters there are, its just how flawed they all are, so much so that they are unlikable. I think the author tries too hard to have so much conflict that you can't solve the mystery, but its overdone. However, it did keep me reading and speculating so that's a good thing, I guess.


message 18: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Jan 14, 2018 10:30PM) (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47903 comments I read The Alice Network which was on the Globe and Mail bestseller list, and was #2 on Indigo/Chapters (Canadian bookseller). I notice when I search it on Amazon, it is tagged with "Bestseller".

I discussed the book in the thread for themed reads other than the two main selections.

I was torn between the two point of views. I thought Eve was complex, and was the strength behind the book. Charlie was superficial and I'm still unsure what she brought to the story. The romance cheapened the book overall. Yet, I keep going back to Eve's story and ended up giving it 4 stars overall.


message 19: by Debra (last edited Jan 15, 2018 03:43AM) (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 6542 comments I read Into the Water and recently posted a bunch of comments in the appropriate thread, and plan to check in.

There are a lot of threads/characters to keep track of in this book. I had to fiip back quite often to remember where the author had left a character. That is the only reason I gave this one a 4 rating. Otherwise, it was very well done, clever, a great story, and complex characters. I kinda had the ending figured out, but that didn't matter. It would be interesting to reread it again, now that I know how each character ends up.


message 20: by Laura (Lclwags) (new)

Laura (Lclwags) (lclwags) | 504 comments I read Into the Water and discussed it in the thread. I wasn't a big fan of the characters or how the book ended, but it did keep my interest. It also led to a lot of interesting discussion.


message 21: by Jen (last edited Jan 18, 2018 08:48AM) (new)

Jen Griffin | 19 comments I read Little Fires Everywhere and participated in the discussion thread. I gave it 4 stars. I think the title matched the book perfectly, as there were lot's of different saga's going on it the book. This is the second book I've read by Celeste NG and I've enjoyed both of them.


message 22: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments I read Norse Mythology and discussed it in the best sellers discussion thread. It was a good read since I enjoy mythology. However, I found that I am too softhearted to find the stories funny. Often innocent people are hurt or killed and those facts aren't very important. The point is how well the gods reached their original objective, regardless of the damage done along the way. It was great to read details about Ragnarok, though. I've seen it referred to many times, but never had any specific information.


message 23: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 2402 comments Read Before We Were Yours and discussed it in the appropriate thread - liked it - 4 stars. Based on true events and done over two timelines about babies/young kids forcibly taken and then put up for adoption. The tilte of the book is right on. My favorite genre - historical fiction!


message 24: by Margo (new)

Margo | 9590 comments I read and discussed Into the Water.

3 stars - 2 for the story, 4 for the audio.

A very engaging who-done-it with a less than satisfying ending. The story was told from at least 12 pov's and with very short chapters. The constant switching of perspective got a bit annoying and disorienting. All bar one characts were unreliable narrators with may be what saved the book from total disaster.


message 25: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (alynor) | 298 comments I read and discussed Little Fires Everywhere on its thread. This book caused me to stay up very late to finish! I gave it 4 stars and have been recommending it to others.


message 26: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments Sharon wrote: "I read and discussed Little Fires Everywhere on its thread. This book caused me to stay up very late to finish! I gave it 4 stars and have been recommending it to others."

What did you like about it? Please provide a little more detail other than that you liked it. See msg 1 for further info.


message 27: by Silver (new)

Silver | 462 comments I read Into the Water and discussed it in the thread created for the book.

I really enjoyed the book. It was a compelling story with complex characters. I loved the multiple point of view narration and how so much keeps you guessing untill the end. Each chapter is like a puzzle piece revealing another small part of the story. It was one of those books I didn't want to put down.


message 28: by Ananyev (new)

Ananyev | 28 comments I read Little Fires Everywhere for the January Book Group read and discussed it in the Little Fires Everywhere book discussion thread. January is not over yet, so am still monitoring the thread and am hoping to continue exchanging thoughts with the other participants.

I really liked the book as it had uncovered several stories, and it was really easy to go back in forward between all of them and not to get lost. I gave the book 4 stars because there were "hard to believe" stretches. (view spoiler) But I liked the drama and enjoyed 4 perspectives on motherhood / mother-daughter relationships. The book made me think about my own relationships with my mother and my son. I would certainly recommend a book to some who likes fiction and family drama.


message 29: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (alynor) | 298 comments Follow-up reporting. I thought the quality of the prose in Little Fires Everywhere was excellent, and the pacing of the story was what I tend to expect in a thriller or detective story, not a suburban family drama. The low-level suspense kept me engaged till the last page, and I wish there had been one more chapter. My main negative comment is that the adoption story was too contrived. A more believable, and deeper, version of that dilemma was in Lucky Boy.


message 30: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 887 comments So,I read Exit West by Mohsin Hamid and discussed it in the thread for 2017 Bestsellers.
This was a ☆☆☆☆ read for me.I liked the book.Ths second half much more than the first. Both the main characters were relatable, though I loved Saeed more than Nadia.I am glad to have read this finally.The author did write well the different feelings of the immigrants and the native.And the question of nativeness and other such thingz were interesting .Also interesting was the changing relationship of Nadia and Saeed.The effect if the change in the surroundings and the change within.
I would like to read more books by him.


message 31: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments Thanks Sharon :-)


message 32: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments I read and discussed Artemis both in the buddy read thread and the other books in the theme thread. It was a fun space romp with some great characters which I found very hard to put down. It was a quick read. Interesting characters and setting. Looking forward to his next book.


message 33: by Pragya (new)

Pragya  (reviewingshelf) | 3533 comments I read and discussed Into the Water. Too many narrators had my head spinning. I gave it 3 stars. I liked the thrill element that had me turning the pages. But I was not very happy with the overall mystery and its unveiling.


message 34: by AmyCynthia (new)

AmyCynthia (amy011883) | 146 comments I read and posted my thoughts on Little Fires Everywhere in the discussion thread. I was engaged by the book all the way through and really enjoyed it. It was my first five star read in 2018! The overall theme of motherhood was really interesting to me and I thought that characters were really well written with a lot of depth.


message 35: by Almeta (last edited Jan 31, 2018 04:03AM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10085 comments I've finished Into the Water and entered my comments in the discussion thread created for this purpose.

I very much enjoyed this read. (view spoiler) I found that Hawkins could steer my own assumptions in wildly changeable directions. I was happy to be kept off kilter!


message 36: by Poongothai (last edited Jan 31, 2018 04:19AM) (new)

Poongothai (poongsa) | 483 comments I read Seeing Red which was in The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers in September 2017 and reported in the bestseller thread. It was a thriller with some romance in it. The plot was good , the characters were well developed with their own flaws and the pacing was exciting. There are lots of suspects and I guessed the villain only towards the end. A worth read.


message 37: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13183 comments I read Little Fires Everywhere and was the discussion leader in the group read thread.

I thought this was a great character driven story. I found the relationships to be interesting and mostly realistic. The characters were flawed, but not so much that they felt like caricatures. I got a sense that these could be people you might know. The dialogue also flowed well. The situations were also mostly realistic and you could imagine this playing out in real life. This was the first book I read by Celeste Ng and I really enjoyed her writing style and the flow and path of the story.


message 38: by TrudyAn (last edited Jan 31, 2018 03:48PM) (new)

TrudyAn | 1640 comments I read Little Fires Everywhere and commented in the appropriate group thread. I would consider this a YA novel, in both writing style and its themes. I’ve given it three stars, as a YA novel. Character development was good, though all characters were stereotypical. The writer seems to have a good understanding of teen behaviour, and there were enough teens in the novel to cover many of that age group’s typical behaviours. Some of the incidents were unbelievable, and I’m curious as to why the writer chose to do that. The narrator was very good, and it was quick and easy to listen to.

I also read The Alice Network and commented in the group theme thread. This book has been on the Globe and Mail (Canada) bestseller list. Of the two storylines, I much preferred that of Eve, a spy during WWI, which was based in part on fact. The most interesting part of that narrative was learning about the ways in which information was gathered, secreted, and shared, and the inherent dangers of being a female spy. It was hard to out this book down, and I’d like to read further on this subject at some point.


message 39: by Jannene (last edited Jan 31, 2018 05:08PM) (new)

Jannene | 2768 comments I read Into the Water and participated in the group read on the thread. This book had too many characters so it was hard to keep them all together. I didn’t find a character that I connected with which made me rate the book only 2 stars. Truly, it would have been more of a 2.5 or close.


message 40: by Rachelle (last edited Feb 01, 2018 10:45AM) (new)

Rachelle Sarah, I read Little Fires Everywhere and posted discussion in the Little Fires Everywhere thread.

I thought the book portrayed many cultures and ages and challenges in a well planned method. I loved the intertwining of characters and near misses in a few instances. Characters involved in romances/ intimacy surprised me and some of the outcomes were heartbreaking and very emotional. The subject matter, although difficult to discuss in American culture, was well presented by the author and allowed many interpretations and beliefs from the different characters.


message 41: by Tejas Janet (new)

Tejas Janet (tejasjanet) | 3513 comments I read Norse Mythology and discussed it in the best sellers thread. It was a welcome read taking me back to preteens and early teens when i was very drawn to mythology and folklore.

I once found these tales more disturbing, but now find them more entertaining as amusing tales that may or may not be true, wink wink. I think these stories are meant to be enjoyed, not worried over.

My very favorite thing was hearing the author, Neil Gaiman, read these stories aloud.


message 42: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments Badges are done. There were quite a few new walls created this month. Good to see some new faces joining in on the group reads, new members and members that have been here a while but have branched out in to the group reads. If I've missed badging you, let me know.


message 43: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 2402 comments Thanks Sarah - nice badge!


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