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Books > The Book Salon--May 2018

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message 1: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments This the thread for general book discussions for May.

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 madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments I am stalled on two books, due to personal matters. One was a result of being on my Determination List but also because it was mentioned in Sonia Shah's Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond. She mentioned how crowded conditions in NYC contributed to the outbreak and inability to contain cholera in the late 19th century. The book i'm reading is the brief, How the Other Half Lives by Jacob A. Riis. It is a classic.

Half Blood Blues is a novel i'm reading by Esi Edugyan, which i read about on one of those lists Alias shared last month. It is mostly about events set before & during WWII in Europe, where a group of jazz musicians are scratching out a living. However, it also has parts about a couple of the men who survived into this century. I like it, now that i have a sense of the wording and cadence.


message 3: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments It is amazing how easily I get behind on my reading intentions. Excuses, excuses.

Anyway -- I am finishing up "The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City." This is about the 1901 World's Fair in Buffalo. I thought it would be more centered around the Assassination of McKinley and the swearing in of Teddy Roosevelt. But it has a lot more.
I put this book ahead of some others because it is borrowed from a friend and I didn't want to be one of "those people" and I trust you know what I mean.

Then I have started "Why? Explaining the Holocaust" by Peter Hayes. This was mentioned in another thread.

So I haven't even begun the book about the Great Lakes which was the April read for the PBS read along.

This month the book is "Education" and I have decided I will pass on that and just try to catch up.

The sun is out and the possibility of being able to get out and sit on my porch and read might make a difference.


message 4: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments Bobbie, you have a full plate there! Right after i read The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson i wanted to know more about other World's Fairs. I read a book, which i think was Fair America: World's Fairs in the United States by Robert W. Rydell but i'm not sure. The bulk of what was written about the Buffalo World's Fair was, indeed, about the assassination, which was a pity. Glad to have this new title.

Enjoy reading in that sunshine!


message 5: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments Deadly Stakes (Ali Reynolds, #8) by J.A. Jance Deadly Stakes by J.A. Jance

In this 8th book in the series, journalist/amateur detective Ali Reynolds investigates two murders. Okay mystery; suitable for a few hours of light entertainment. The book can be read as a standalone. 3 stars

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


message 6: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments Bobbie wrote: "It is amazing how easily I get behind on my reading intentions. Excuses, excuses.

Anyway -- I am finishing up "The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City." This is about the 1901 World's Fair in Buffal..."


That Holocaust book is waiting for me at the library. It should be interesting.


message 7: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments Barbara, your review had me looking up Jance, whose name i've seen for years but haven't read. I just presumed all her mysteries were about the same character but see there are several. Thanks for the prodding to at least see who this writer is.

You mention in the review the tediousness of the pages about online searching. I wonder if it's something young readers might like that just seem like page-fillers to older readers or if you thought it was just one site after another or what?


message 8: by Barbara (last edited May 03, 2018 06:27AM) (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments madrano wrote: "You mention in the review the tediousness of the pages about online searching. I wonder if it's something young readers might like that just seem like page-fillers to older readers or if you thought it was just one site after another or what? "

Madrano, I like Jance's "Sheriff Joanna Brady" series best.

As you mention, the huge dose of data mining does feel like page filler to me. I think it's also a symptom of the writer wanting to use all the hard research they did. Jance's book isn't the only one I've read with this step by step description of data-mining that's overdone (IMO).


message 9: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments The Grave's a Fine and Private Place The Grave's a Fine and Private Place (Flavia de Luce, #9) by Alan Bradley by Alan Bradley

In this 9th book in the series, 12-year-old prodigy Flavia de Luce is on holiday when a dead body is discovered. Flavia - a budding chemist and amateur detective - jumps right in to investigate. Entertaining mystery. 3 stars

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


message 10: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments Barbara, i can understand an author using online research up to a point. When the internet first entered our lives, i liked reading the "how" of computers when mysteries shared that material. Now, though, it seems like most readers would know most of it. A few notes on the process, such as how queries led to another clue, then another, is okay but details? I haven't seen that useful.

I always like reading about this series but for some reason i am still not drawn to reading them. I'm not even sure i understand the whys of that comment but it's true. Maybe just a desire to limit myself to what i already have? Regardless, i enjoyed your review, Barbara.


message 11: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments madrano wrote: "Bobbie, you have a full plate there! Right after i read The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson i wanted t..."

I had read Devil in the White City a few years ago. I was not previously aware of those goings on and it was quite interesting.


message 12: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20385 comments Thanks for starting the thread for me, deb.


message 13: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments madrano wrote: "I always like reading about this series but for some reason i am still not drawn to reading them. I'm not even sure i understand the whys of that comment but it's true. Maybe just a desire to limit myself to what i already have? Regardless, i enjoyed your review, Barbara. ."

Thank you Madrano. (Too many books out there to read them all that's for sure. ) 🙂


message 14: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments You are welcome, Alias. Glad to be able to do it, too.

Barbara, truer words were never written about books!

My great-grandmother attended the White City World's Fair as a child, so we have a couple of souvenirs from it. This is how i knew of its existence. However, i had no idea that it connected to electricity and other fascinating firsts. And, of course, the murders were fully unknown by me until the book.


message 15: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments I edited my review of actor Vincent Price's charming memoir. This would be a good Father's Day gift for dads who love dogs and books. 🙀 ❤

The Book of Joe: About a Dog and His Man The Book of Joe About a Dog and His Man by Vincent Price by Vincent Price

In this memoir, actor Vincent Price talks about animals he's known, especially his beloved dog Joe. Very entertaining and funny. 4 stars

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


message 16: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments How interesting that someone decided to republish this book. I'll admit i wasn't aware of it, knowing Price for his acting and appreciation of art.


message 17: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1117 comments I finally read the simple, heart-rending The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, who writes for both adults and children. The language is easy enough for children to read, but the observations and insights are all too ashamedly adult.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne 5★ https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 18: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments Patty, i saw the movie but the depth you are describing is so much more than was depicted. I'm adding this to my list of books to read. Glad you shared.


message 19: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments Murder at the Puppy Fest Murder at the Puppy Fest (Melanie Travis, #20) by Laurien Berenson by Laurien Berenson

In this 20th book in the series, amateur sleuth Melanie Travis investigates the death of a millionaire philanthropist who dies during the Puppy Fest (doggie competition) being held at his mansion. More dog show than detective work. Can be read as a standalone. 2.5 stars

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


message 20: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments I haven't heard of this series but the premise is different. It's good you shared that it's less mystery than dog show. Thanks.


message 21: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments madrano wrote: "I haven't heard of this series but the premise is different. It's good you shared that it's less mystery than dog show. Thanks."

You're welcome. 🙂


message 22: by Barbara (last edited May 07, 2018 07:30AM) (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments Visitation Street Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda by Ivy Pochoda

When a fifteen year old girl disappears from her Brooklyn neighborhood, there are reverberations through the community. The story is essentially a character study of the people who live there. Well written and engaging. 4 stars

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


message 23: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1117 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "I finally read the simple, heart-rending The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, who writes for both adults and children. Patty, i saw the movie but the depth you are describing is so much more than was depicted. I'm adding this to my list of books to read. Glad you shared.
"

I don't imagine children will pick up some of the subtleties, but I'm sure you'll notice all the small incidents throughout. I'll wait for you review!


message 24: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1117 comments Another WW2 setting, other side of the world. NOT for children!

One of my favourite authors, Aussie Richard Flanagan won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and no wonder. Brutal, tender, unforgettable.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan 5★ Link to my review


message 25: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments Barbara, interesting approach to the story of the missing girl. I've not heard of the author but see she is well-regarded.

Patty, i learned much from your review. Your comments on life and history in Australia helps me appreciate the books even more. This one sounds remarkable.

I feel it's unfortunate the way the US, in particular (although i believe other nations did the same), "hid" the background of many scientists who survived WWII, using them to develop products in their own fields. While some well-read people may have been aware at the time, most folks were willing to ignore it (or keep on the back burner) until much later, sometimes telling the full story only after death.


message 26: by Craig (new)

Craig Monson | 72 comments Barbara wrote: "madrano wrote: "You mention in the review the tediousness of the pages about online searching. I wonder if it's something young readers might like that just seem like page-fillers to older readers ..."
I'm not sure I'd want to read about the tediousness of online searching, but online searching has certainly revolutionized serious research. You may pick through endless screens of TOTALLY useless stuff, but then you just might run across a clue that gets things chugging along like a thermonuclear reaction. In my last 2 books, "smoking guns" turned up in footnotes buried in pages I eventually uncovered online. That sent me off to Italy to track down the original sources.


message 27: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments Craig wrote: In my last 2 books, "smoking guns" turned up in footnotes buried in pages I eventually uncovered online. That sent me off to Italy to track down the original sources. ..."

That's great Craig. I love these online 'gems' also. :):)


message 28: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20385 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Another WW2 setting, other side of the world. NOT for children!

One of my favourite authors, Aussie Richard Flanagan won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for [book:The Narrow Road to the De..."


Really well done review, Patty !


message 29: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments Craig, i suppose that is the intent of those who write about their online research within a mystery/thriller's story. And i have certainly had the same results myself.

In our case, my husband's grandparents were Native American, of two different tribes. We have found online photos of them from the 1920s as they went to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. Eventually we also found an online photo of Grandad in the Oval Office with Harry Truman. I could see these working in a novel.

What i meant in my original comment still stands though. The author may have found all the links fascinating enough to include but unless well explained for the plot or well included in the outcome, eyes glaze over and the main intent fades. Still i revel in seeing the routes to discoveries! Mixed bag, i guess.


message 30: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20385 comments madrano wrote: Eventually we also found an online photo of Grandad in the Oval Office with Harry Truman. .."

Wow !


message 31: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments Iron Gold Iron Gold (Red Rising, #4) by Pierce Brown by Pierce Brown

In this follow-up to the 'Red Rising Trilogy', the rebellion that installed a democracy in the Solar System has been over for 10 years. There are now political problems....and the deposed 'Golds' are scheming to get their power back. Exciting and suspenseful, but I kind of wish the author had let the trilogy alone. 3.5 stars

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


message 32: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments Thorough review, Barbara, as you really introduced the series well. Generally speaking, it's curious to see which authors will leave their trilogies alone. Too often they continue it after a break from writing the series but also too often, it's disappointing.


message 33: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments madrano wrote: "Thorough review, Barbara, as you really introduced the series well. Generally speaking, it's curious to see which authors will leave their trilogies alone. Too often they continue it after a break ..."

I agree Madrano.


message 34: by Craig (new)

Craig Monson | 72 comments madrano wrote: "In our case, my husband's gr..."

Waaay cool! Did they remember Carlisle School fondly? So many did not.
And you're right about nitty gritty research details: FASCINATING to the researcher but a guaranteed antidote to insomnia for everyone else--something academic writers are slow to figure out (me included!)


message 35: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments They didn't share any negative memories with their sons, which would include my father-in-law, so i'm guessing they were not one of the many who didn't like what happened. However, reading some of the reports about their work (not on the Internet), it is clear those students were out to make a good impression upon those for whom they worked. Those report forms, from an intern-like position they held within families, sometimes mentioned that the student performed as well as any white girl, etc.


message 36: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments Blowback Blowback (Vanessa Pierson, #1) by Valerie Plame by Valerie Plame

The author of this book is an 'outed' former CIA agent (in case you recall that big scandal).

The plot is about an intrepid female CIA agent (surprise surprise) whose assets have apparently been exposed....because they're being assassinated. Plenty of action in this thriller. 3 stars

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


message 37: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1117 comments madrano wrote: "Patty, i learned much from your review. Your comments on life and history..."

It's an unfortunate fact of life that it's easier to ignore and accept than it is to deal with something. That's one thing the Israelis have NOT done. They will hunt down Nazi war criminals until their last breath (both theirs and the criminals').


message 38: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1117 comments Alias Reader wrote: "PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Another WW2 setting, other side of the world. NOT for children!

One of my favourite authors, Aussie Richard Flanagan won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for [book:..
Really well done review, Patty ! ."


Thanks, Alias! It really was quite a story, and no wonder it won the Booker.


message 39: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1117 comments My latest read was a debut, a mystery, The Ruin by Irish (now Aussie) author Dervla McTiernan. Cold, wet, mysterious Galway, Ireland. It's Cormac Reilly #1, so more are coming! She's now an Aussie -so I wonder if Reilly will travel down here. :)
The Ruin (Cormac Reilly, #1) by Dervla McTiernan 4★ https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 40: by Alias Reader (last edited May 09, 2018 07:23AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20385 comments I recently finished reading Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and I absolutely loved it. Gave it 5 stars. Which is something I seldom give a fiction book.
I would avoid reading reviews as you will want to avoid spoilers for this novel.

Last night I started
The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
It is the NY Times / PBS April book club selection. I just read a dozen or so pages but so far it is very good. I like the writing style.

Here is the PBS News Hour interview with the author.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/gre...


message 41: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments Barbara, i wasn't aware Plame had embarked on this new career. Good for her! I hope her writing improves, although she may just want to write lighter spy novels, i suppose.

Patty, great idea to include the YouTube link for pronunciation of Irish words. Nice review.

Alias, i've written down the title of the Gail Honeyman novel because you are raving about it. Thanks for the tip. Enjoy the Lakes!


message 42: by Dem (new)


message 43: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments Dem, that is a good review. Reading historic fiction led me to read more history books, as i wanted to know "the truth" and further facts.


message 44: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3036 comments The Thirst The Thirst by Jo Nesbø by Jo Nesbø

In this addition to the 'Harry Hole' series, Harry is after his old nemesis - a vicious serial killer who broke out of prison. Thing is....the killer's now taken up 'vampirism' and is drinking the blood of his victims. Very complicated plot but it's a good mystery. 3.5 stars

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


message 45: by Dem (new)

Dem | 411 comments madrano wrote: "Dem, that is a good review. Reading historic fiction led me to read more history books, as i wanted to know "the truth" and further facts."

Thanks Madrano, I love history books too and love learning about the past.


message 46: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments Jo Nesbo's series is one which intrigues me but i have yet to crack one open. Good review (& comments) about the book & series.


message 47: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1117 comments In her first-ever book, published almost a century ago, Agatha Christie introduced one of the world's best-loved characters, the inimitable M. Hercule Poirot with his very active 'little grey cells'.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is the first of the many classic "it must be one of us" Christie mysteries.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1) by Agatha Christie 4★ https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 48: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13256 comments Patty, my husband recently read this first Christie and was enchanted with Poirot. Since then he's read two more, Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express (and subsequently watched the movies). He feels the way you do, it's old fashioned but a pleasure to visit.


message 49: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1117 comments madrano wrote: "Patty, my husband recently read this first Christie and was enchanted with Poirot. Since then he's read two more, Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express (and..."

Excellent way to put it - a pleasure to visit! And the plots are still very clever, and without DNA and mobile phones and Google, those “little grey cells” are about the only tools available!


message 50: by Ann☕ (new)

Ann☕ (ann_reads) I just finished listening to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and after some deliberation, rated it four stars. For those who enjoy audiobooks, the narration by Cathleen McCarron was amazingly well done and likely added interest to the story.

As stated by Alias in mssg 40, I agree it is best to avoid possible spoilers in reviews. It is important for readers to have the details presented to them, as Eleanor figures things out for herself.

For those who have previously read the book, here is my full review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


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