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Book Chat > Just finished reading in 2018

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message 1: by Paul (new)

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5462 comments Mod
Another new thread to tell us what you have just finished reading. Did you like it or not? Would you recommend it or have you finally discovered another all-time favourite book.


message 2: by Lorna (new)

Lorna Watson Finished 'Case Histories' by Kate Atkinson at lunchtime today (1/1/2018). It features Jackson Brodie, an ex police inspector turned private eye living in Cambridge and working on resolving three old 'cold' cases. It has apparently been made into a BBC drama but as the book was first published in 2004 I think the TV show must be rather old. Atkinson is a new author to me, and I intend to read more of her work. Several times I stopped reading to appreciate a turn of phrase, analogy or description. She has an acute eye for detail. While I enjoyed the story I did find the plot somewhat 'bitty' at times. Atkinson jumps around on the timeline in a way that can be disconcerting. I have no problem with being taken from the present to the past when it covers years, but jumping from dinner time back to breakfast for no apparent reason took some getting use to. I see there is a large back catalogue which I shall certainly investigate.


message 3: by Nancy (last edited Jan 04, 2018 10:40AM) (new)


message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 45 comments Just finished reading The Wanderers by Meg Howrey.

Overall, I wasn't a fan of the book. It felt like the whole book was the beginning of a book and really not much happened. However, I enjoyed the author's writing just not the book. I'll try out another one of her books at some point and see how it goes.


message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5462 comments Mod
Nancy wrote: "Just finished: The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World

Just finished his book on animals. Not bad, but I preferred this one

Jess wrote: "Just finished reading The Wanderers by Meg Howrey.

Overall, I wasn't a fan of the book. It felt like the whole book was the beginning of a book and really not much..."


I have had this with several books, really loved the writing, but felt it was let down with the plot.


message 7: by Toyah (new)

Toyah (rockabillybibiliophile) | 275 comments I've just stayed up to finish I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou for book group tomorrow... I regret nothing; it was incredible!


message 8: by Corey (new)

Corey Nelson (coreynelson) | 8 comments Minutes ago finished reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. . If I could give 6/5 Stars, I would. This is a thoughtful, fantastic book that everyone should read.


message 9: by Joy (new)

Joy Stephenson (joyfrankie) | 463 comments Lorna wrote: "Finished 'Case Histories' by Kate Atkinson at lunchtime today (1/1/2018). It features Jackson Brodie, an ex police inspector turned private eye living in Cambridge and working on resolving three ol..."

I’m a big fan of Kate Atkinson’s books. My favourite Jackson Brodie is When Will There Be Good News?.


message 10: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Just finished: Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife

Magic Square Challenge (free space)

GR Review



message 11: by Richard (new)

Richard Moss | 84 comments Toyah wrote: "I've just stayed up to finish I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou for book group tomorrow... I regret nothing; it was incredible!"

I recently read that for the first time as well Toyah. Absolutely amazing. A book that deserves its reputation.


message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard Moss | 84 comments It's a cheat as I confess I finished it in 2017, but having just completed the review I can recommend The Lauras by Sara Taylor.

My four star review is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 13: by Joy (new)

Joy Stephenson (joyfrankie) | 463 comments I’m reading Magpie Murders and absolutely loving it -great pace and very intriguing double murder mystery.


message 14: by Toyah (new)

Toyah (rockabillybibiliophile) | 275 comments Definitely well worth reading, I'm looking forward to getting around to reading the rest of them!


message 15: by Lisa (last edited Jan 12, 2018 04:15AM) (new)

Lisa (mrswhams) | 730 comments Mod
I haven't read any of the Jackson Brodie novels yet but really enjoyed Kate Atkinson's Life After Life.

I have recently finished The Power. It isn't perfect but it is a genuinely incredible concept that is executed with real panache. Very visceral and gutsy. It's my choice for my real-life bookclub this month and I'm really looking forward to the discussion, as it certainly has some meaty ideas.


message 16: by Bkwmlee (new)

Bkwmlee | 37 comments Finished Everything Here Is Beautiful, which publishes tomorrow (1/16). Such a beautifully written, emotional read well-deserving of 5 stars! My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 17: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 45 comments Just finished The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan. Really enjoyed this as a young adult read. A fictional read with a large touch of magic - but it still felt very realistic. The author did a great job weaving the story in and out with different characters throughout.


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5462 comments Mod
I finished The Land Beyond: A Thousand Miles on Foot through the Heart of the Middle East a couple of days ago. Really good book of a walk through the West Bank and into Jordan. My review is here


message 19: by Saffron (new)

Saffron (celeste1973) | 136 comments Been on a Jeanette Winterson binge over the last few weeks, her work is amazing, the latest being Written on the Body. Shocking and very sexy but also funny, witty and sad, her stories are sometimes a little odd and have a dream like style but I have enjoyed all I have read. I even got my husband to read The Passion and he had to agree it was good.

I like finding new authors with back catalogues to binge on occasionally.


message 20: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Just finished: Towards Mellbreak

Magic Square Challenge (shortlisted book)

GR Review



message 21: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Just finished: The Left Hand of Darkness

Magic Square Challenge (Science fiction book)

GR Review



message 22: by Joy (new)

Joy Stephenson (joyfrankie) | 463 comments Just finished Flowers for Algernon. Great read - couldn’t put it down. It was written in the sixties but (apart from some terms for learning difficulties) doesn’t feel dated. It is written in the form of reports by the main character who undergoes surgery to correct his very low IQ, which is very cleverly done. I found it moving and compelling.


message 23: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Just finished The American Boy by Andrew Taylor it was very wordy with lots of historical detail which did distract from the story slightly but enjoyable nonetheless.


message 24: by Toyah (new)

Toyah (rockabillybibiliophile) | 275 comments Oh Wendy I've been dying to read that, I discovered it ages ago and have still not got around to it! Maybe this year...


message 25: by Becky (new)

Becky | 161 comments I read The American Boy years ago, I can't remember anything about it other than that I really enjoyed it. It's sitting on my shelf so maybe worth a reread one day.


message 26: by Wendy (new)

Wendy It’s quite a slow read but no less enjoyable for that - will shortly be adding several of the authors other books to my already outrageously long to read list! 😊


message 27: by Lisa (last edited Jan 31, 2018 06:26AM) (new)

Lisa (mrswhams) | 730 comments Mod
Gangsta Granny with my 8yo – I really didn't like it. Thought it was shoddily written in parts, went on and on about pointless pop-culture things that will date the book badly, and it was not especially funny either – a crime for this sort of children's book.

'The new Roald Dahl', which he is obviously desperate to be, he really aint. 1.5 stars.


message 28: by Toyah (new)

Toyah (rockabillybibiliophile) | 275 comments Fanfare at the ready...I've just finished The Luminaries! Still slightly confused but nevertheless it was a good read. I don't mind admitting my apprehension was ill-founded


message 29: by Jazzy (new)

Jazzy Lemon (jazzylemon) | 274 comments Joy wrote: "Just finished Flowers for Algernon. Great read - couldn’t put it down. It was written in the sixties but (apart from some terms for learning difficulties) doesn’t feel dated. It is ..."

I've read that loads of times in my life, when I was a kid i read it and read it right over again, ah back in the days when you could laze about reading at the pool in the summer or in an empty house after doing all your chores.


message 30: by Joy (new)

Joy Stephenson (joyfrankie) | 463 comments Just finished At the Edge of the Orchard which I enjoyed very much, as I have all Tracy Chevalier’s. Set across America in the mid-1800s, it’s a story of pioneers, families, discoveries and survival. I found the characters engaging (not necessarily likeable) and the setting convincing.

Meanwhile I’m 340 pages into Death and Mr. Pickwick and loathe to give up after reading so much, but I keep pushing it to one side. Anyone else read it?


message 31: by Paul (new)


message 32: by Toyah (new)

Toyah (rockabillybibiliophile) | 275 comments Finally fi ished Tales of the Jazz Age by F Scott Fitzgerald. Not my favourite, but a couple of good stories in it. I read this on kindle and now I'm craving a real book!


message 33: by Jazzy (new)

Jazzy Lemon (jazzylemon) | 274 comments I just finished a paperback copy of Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and Arabian Nights, I picked it up on Project Gutenberg. I suppose everyone should read them both. When I bought Cat's Cradle at the Oxfam I had also picked up Cold Harbor by Richard Yates who dedicated his book to Kurt Vonnegut. I read Cold Harbor a few months ago and it was very well written.


message 34: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 45 comments Just finished The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. Enjoyed this book and gave it 3 1/2 stars. Always enjoy a book that is more focused on women during WWII. Will read more by Sarah Waters although from reading the descriptions of her other books they may all be a bit too similar for my liking.


message 35: by Toyah (new)

Toyah (rockabillybibiliophile) | 275 comments Jess, The Night Watch is my absolute favourite of the Sarah Waters I've read. Tipping the Velvet I loved, because I love the setting. The Little Stranger and The Paying Guests were both equally awesome too!


message 36: by Richard (new)

Richard Moss | 84 comments Toyah wrote: "Jess, The Night Watch is my absolute favourite of the Sarah Waters I've read. Tipping the Velvet I loved, because I love the setting. The Little Stranger and The Paying Guests were both equally awe..."

I'm a big fan of Sarah Waters. There may be similarities in her early novels, but they're all worth reading. If you love twists and turns, Fingersmith is a must!


message 37: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 45 comments Good to know that they are just as good :)! I've added a couple more of her books onto my 'to-read' shelf so I'm sure I will get to them at some point. I believe I have added The Little Stranger as well as Affinity so far.


message 38: by Joy (new)

Joy Stephenson (joyfrankie) | 463 comments I’ve finally finished Death and Mr. Pickwick. What I feel is a huge sense of relief that it’s over!
I’ll try to write a review later...


message 39: by Wendy (last edited Feb 14, 2018 04:51AM) (new)

Wendy Not long finished A Farewell to Arms It is the first novel by Hemingway I have read. I really enjoyed it and found it quite a quick read - which I wasn't expecting. I often find that I read novels with quite flowery language and this is the exact opposite, but although it took me a little time to get used to it I found it really very effective. I did find it difficult to warm to the character of Catherine as I found her a little too idealised. That said I will definitely read more by Hemingway.


message 40: by Toyah (new)

Toyah (rockabillybibiliophile) | 275 comments I've finally gotten around to finishing How Much Land Does a Man Need? by Leo Tolstoy. Feeling an urge to read something upbeat next! I will make a dent in my "to-read" list!


message 41: by Joy (new)

Joy Stephenson (joyfrankie) | 463 comments I really enjoyed The Star Witness by Andy Hamilton (of ‘Old Harry’s Game’ on radio 4).


message 43: by Joy (new)

Joy Stephenson (joyfrankie) | 463 comments I missed reading The Humans when it was a group read here, but I spotted it at the library yesterday and have read it in just a day. I loved it and think it’s a book I could reread in the future.


message 44: by Paul (new)

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5462 comments Mod
Quite an enjoyable book Joy. Was a little surprised when Matt Haig followed me on Twitter


message 45: by Joy (new)

Joy Stephenson (joyfrankie) | 463 comments Paul wrote: "Quite an enjoyable book Joy. Was a little surprised when Matt Haig followed me on Twitter"

Just realised that The Dead Fathers Club was by Matt Haig. I read that quite a few years ago and loved it too (essentially Hamlet in a modern setting) so I need to read his others.

Must be your prolific book reviewing that drew an author to you!


message 46: by Paul (new)

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5462 comments Mod
It is possible. My wife has just read How to Stop Time and loved it


message 47: by Toyah (new)

Toyah (rockabillybibiliophile) | 275 comments I've just finished Mort by Terry Pratchett, I'm actually getting into the habit of reviewing books, and I loved this one!


message 48: by Paul (new)

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5462 comments Mod
Mort is a great book.


message 49: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 45 comments Finished reading A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison. It was yet another good read in 2018. It was very fast paced and felt like it was half the length it actually is. I will be reading more of Corban Addison!


message 50: by Toyah (new)

Toyah (rockabillybibiliophile) | 275 comments I've just finished The Missing Girl by Shirley Jackson. A quickie read; one of the £1 Penguin Modern books.


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