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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > April 2018 - Reporting

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message 1: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15093 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 March 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 Jenn (new)

Jenn | 2193 comments I read Never Let Me Go and have joined in the group discussion page for this book. I found the writing style disjointed with regard to the timeline, but that did get better/easier to follow later in the book. It has brought up a lot of moral/ethical issues for me, and I'm sure the discussion thread will get even more lively after the toppler and as more people finish the book.

message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 10, 2018 10:09AM) (new)

I read Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat and discussed it in the April 2018 - Medical Theme topic.

Although the book has a substantial amount of information about patient's and families experiences with Alzheimer's disease, it was the cat on the bookcover which compelled me to borrow this book from the library. Dementia and Alzheimer's is a frightening subject but I feel the author presented the subject well, with a minimum of medical jargon. Much of the story also focuses in a cat named Oscar and his special role in nursing home environment, which was interesting, disconcerting and also comforting.

message 4: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Apr 28, 2018 09:35AM) (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48803 comments I finished Call the Midwife which I read for the medical theme and discussed it in the thread for that purpose.

I enjoyed this book about Jenny Worth's experiences as a midwife in the East End of London in the early 1950's. She did a great job of portraying her experiences, both disturbing and inspirational. I felt like I got to know the nuns, her co-workers, and her patients.

message 5: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13600 comments I read Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus and deserve a very special badge for listening to Dr. Frankenstein describe his misery in detail for 95% of the book. I think the story was ok, but I'm not a fan of classics to begin with, so so much talk of weeping and despair was somewhat depressing. Plus, it seems the whole story could have been prevented if Dr. Frankenstein just took a moment to look at his creation before giving it life. Seems like that would be a reasonable thing to expect the man to do. I discussed the book in the appropriate thread.

message 6: by Claire (last edited Apr 14, 2018 10:31AM) (new)

Claire  | 299 comments I read Frankenstein and did enjoy it. I really didn’t wnt to read it, but felt it was long overdue, so glad I did.
It is an interesting read even after such a long time, especially because of the writing style. I didn’t care too much for the story though.
So while the book is good, it would never land on my to reread list.

message 7: by TrudyAn (new)

TrudyAn | 1653 comments For the April group read, I read Never Let Me Go and posted comments in the applicable thread. This is the third book I have read by Kazuo Ishiguroand he is becoming a favourite writer. The book presents plenty of ethical and moral issues to ponder. (view spoiler)

I found the first person narrative very effective. Elements of the story were slowly revealed (view spoiler) Some of the theories presented on the group thread regarding the meaning of certain incidents caused me to re-examine my own thoughts.

message 8: by Carla (new)

Carla | 244 comments I read Never Let Me Go and posted comments in the related thread. I gave the book 5 stars and would love to read something else by author Kazuo Ishiguro as I really enjoyed the writing style. I loved the first person narrative and found that it helped to make me feel personally involved in the story.
I had no expectations about what the book would be about before I read it and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it as I don't often read this genre of book. (view spoiler)

message 9: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9422 comments I read The Good People and rated it 3 stars. 3.5 actually. The medical theme is present since all the story surrounds a disabled boy and her grandmother, who tried to "cure" him with the help of a witch doctor who uses herbal medicine and follows many beliefs. The writing is beautiful, but the I found the book to long and repetitive.

message 10: by Annerlee (last edited Apr 28, 2018 12:24AM) (new)

Annerlee | 2702 comments I re-read Frankenstein and took part in the discussion.

I gave it 3 stars because it's a classic, influential to this day and so ahead of its time. The actual reading of it was often tedious though. At 60% I was so annoyed with that weepy, melodramatic, self-righteous Frankenstein, I wanted to poke him in the eye. Yes, bad things happened to him, but if he had taken some responsibility at the beginning, or paused to think what he was doing, the monster could have either been avoided or his friend for life.
I also took slight offense that my neighbouring islands (Orkney) were described in such degrading terms - she didn't even get the name right and the islands are actually quite fertile! To add insult to injury, no-one wanted to stay in the company of those 'Scotch' for any length of time and Scotland was described as a barren desert waste. But hey, I'll get over it.
Once the scenes (view spoiler) at the end were underway, the read did pick up for me again. There were some spooky moonlit scenes with the monster and I enjoyed the concept of them racing across the ice. The pursuit had elements of a ghostly legend, At this point I'd switched to audiobook on 1.5 speed which helped. (view spoiler)
I enjoyed the discussion and am happy to have re-read it to confirm my opinion. Still think that Young Frankensteen did a better job with the movie monster. Off to stream 'putting on the ritz' .. I feel the need to rewatch the film for some positive spin!

message 11: by Peggy, Moderator (last edited Apr 28, 2018 04:24AM) (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15093 comments Deidre(Dee) ~ Official Bookworm ~ wrote: "April Group Read: Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Date Read: 18/04/2018
Brief Review:
[spoilers removed]
Link to thread: Frankenstein review
*I briefly di..."

Deidre, could you please also shortly tell us what you thought about the book without spoilers? Just so I (and interested others who haven't read the book yet but might at some point) can read it too :) Thanks!

message 12: by Renee (new)

Renee (elenarenee) | 1633 comments I reread both Frankenstein and Never Let Me Go.

I discussed both in the group read threads. I found the writing in Frakenstein dated

I really enjoyed reading both books at the same time. I found it interesting how our concept of what is horrific has changed with time.

(view spoiler)

I am glad i decided to reread. I got a lot out of both discussions

message 13: by Vicki (new)

Vicki | 1031 comments I read Never Let Me Go. It was my first from this author and I think he deserves all the praise he gets. I didn't like any of the characters in the book but it didn't detract from it at all. The author presented so many themes to ponder and discuss without it ever feeling forced or too much. I gave it 5 stars.

message 14: by Steve (new)

Steve Perkins | 49 comments I read Frankenstein and discussed it in the monthly forum. I've been wanting to read it for years and years, but never had gotten around to it, so this was a great forcing function.

Unfortunately the book never really took off with me. I love horror and gothic novels, but this one had only a very few brief, creepy scenes, and mostly was a psychological portrait of the monster and his creator Dr. Frankenstein. Nothing wrong with that, in theory. But in practice it was way over the top with melodrama and weepy hysteria. Not the good kind, like "I'm about to be attacked by a monster - AHHHH!" hysteria, but more the "I'm seeping into a stew of my overwrought emotions and maudlin introspection. I'm sensitive, you know." kind. It was a long haul for a short book.

But to give it some credit where it is due, the writing is elegant and rich. Shelly has a great command of the language and her descriptions of nature are vivid and compelling. And the story concept itself is intriguing, even if it is written with an emotional angst that fits better within a Twilight novel than it does here. I've got to admit, I've never wanted to grab a character by the shoulders and shake the tar out of them as much as I did with weepy Victor.

message 15: by Susanhlmi (new)

Susanhlmi | 1 comments I read Never let me go, it was very interesting had lots of great insights to how culture can rule individuals. I would love to be part of the discussion

message 16: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15093 comments I read Year of Wonders and discussed in the 'other books' thread.

My first book by Geraldine Brooks, and I'll definitely read more by her. This one never attracted me because of the cover (it gave me the impression that it would be very heavy on religion), but I really enjoyed it. I did skim over the sermons and psalms a bit every now and then, but I also thought the book was very well written and the story intriguing. I especially found it interesting to learn about the way 17th century villagers coped with The Plague and its consequences, shocking as they might be at times.

message 17: by Peggy, Moderator (last edited Apr 29, 2018 06:35AM) (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15093 comments Susanhlmi wrote: "I read Never let me go, it was very interesting had lots of great insights to how culture can rule individuals. I would love to be part of the discussion"

Welcome Susanhlmi! Good to hear you enjoyed Never Let Me Go.

The way our group read work are as follows:
1) Join the discussion thread about the book. Write down your own thoughs (in spoilers if necessary), and respond to posts of other people. The discussion is still ongoing, so feel free to head over there and join the others.
2) After finishing the book and having discussed, you can report in this thread that you discussed the book, and shortly tell us what you thought of it. This should be a little bit more and specific than you did now.
3) You will receive a badge on your personal Wall of Fame :)

message 18: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2623 comments I participated in the discussions for both Never Let Me Go and Frankenstein. I had read both books before, years ago. When I read Never Let Me Go in about 2012, I rather disliked it. Here is a link to a review I wrote then: I continued to think about the book long after I read it. I originally gave it three stars. Now I think I would give it four. It is a very powerful book, and one that forces the reader to think alot.

Then there is Frankenstein. I did not finish reading it this time, and I am beginning to wonder if I finished it the first time, which would have been over 40 years ago. When I was in high school, Percy Shelley was my favorite poet. I was interested in Mary Shelley and the group that got together to tell ghost stories that summer. This month I read about half of the book, and I made comments about Mary Shelley's writing, and what I suspected her description of young Victor may have indicated about her own intellectual development. But about half-way through, I just could not take any more of Victor's whining and wailing. I agree completely with Steve's description of Victor's attitude at Message 15: "'I'm seeping into a stew of my overwrought emotions and maudlin introspection. I'm sensitive, you know.' . . . It was a long haul for a short book."

It struck me as ironic that with a "medical" theme, the two books chosen were both about artificially created people.

message 19: by Eliestal (last edited Apr 29, 2018 01:58PM) (new)

Eliestal | 255 comments This month I read and discussed Never Let Me Go. I also lead the discussion. It was my first book by Kazuo Ishiguro. A lot of important issues are tackle directly or indirectly by this book and it made me think a lot. A think reading this book with a group might be the way way to get the most out of it as people are bound to have different opinion about it.
I also enjoyed the writing style which made me involved from the get go. 5 stars.
I am glad that I was able to lead my first group discussion with this book.

message 20: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (alynor) | 298 comments I read Never Let Me Go and contributed to the discussion. This was my first Ishiguro novel. I've been wanting to read him for years, so I was happy for the opportunity to group read, even though I didn't get to it until everyone else had finished. This novel had great depth and provided fodder for discussion of science and morality. I've already recommended it to my neighborhood book group.

I'm still trying to figure out how Ishiguro managed to create a feeling of menace throughout the novel despite the absence of the usual tropes of a horror or thriller story. I'll be thinking about this novel for some time. I gave it 5 stars, which is unusual for a book that doesn't bring me joy.

message 21: by Almeta (last edited May 01, 2018 03:29AM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10137 comments I finished The Annotated Frankenstein and made comments in the discussion thread. I am still trying to enter all of my notes.

I enjoyed this edition more than my previous reading, specifically because of the annotation. Notes on Mary Shelley's life are interspersed with the narrative, suggesting her reason for certain opinions put forth. Notes referenced other classic works and reported theories which Shelly must have read and been influenced by at the time of her writing. (Such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the theory that the North Pole was a warm lush land.)

message 22: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15093 comments Badges have been posted. Let me know if I missed you.

message 23: by Carla (new)

Carla | 244 comments Peggy wrote: "Badges have been posted. Let me know if I missed you."

Thanks again! Great badge!

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