The Great American Read discussion

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Recommendations > What are you reading? 2018

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message 1: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Jun 07, 2018 08:00PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
What are you reading (or what did you just finish)?

You can list the title(s), or tell us more about it if you like. You can comment on other member's books or offer encouragement. Discuss ANY BOOKS here. They don't have to be on the GAR list.


message 2: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
I'm listening to 1984 in the car, and I'm reading Looking for Alaska in the house.

At first I thought they couldn't be more different (Looking for Alaska is about a kid in boarding school), but then I noticed a few similarities.

At the beginning, we start with a single guy, sort of a loner, who struggles with independence versus fitting in. He feels vulnerable because he knows he can't trust some of the people around them. And then he starts to notice a (curvy) female.


message 3: by Erin (new)

Erin (erin814) | 20 comments I'm reading 1984, but I'm behind schedule. Ugh! Audiobooks haven't worked out for me in the past. I tend to tune them out, unfortunately. I may try again though and to listen to Looking for Alaska.


message 4: by Paula (new)

Paula I'm still reading "A Prayer For Owen Meany" (slowly, because I have two others going at the same time.


message 5: by Erin (new)

Erin (erin814) | 20 comments It felt like it took me an eternity to read A Prayer for Owen Meany, but I loved it.


message 6: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Jun 07, 2018 10:51PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Erin wrote: "I'm reading 1984, but I'm behind schedule. Ugh! Audiobooks haven't worked out for me in the past. I tend to tune them out, unfortunately. I may try again though and to listen to Looking for Alaska."

Some audio book voices are definitely more engaging than others. Audible.com asks customers to rate not just the story, but also the performance. So that might help you decide on the next one to try.

If you already read Owen Meany, you're way ahead of me.

I just ordered a kindle and an audio from the library for Looking for Alaska. The print in the book I have is small, and it's also not as dark as in some other books on my night stand. Maybe old people aren't expected to read YA books.


message 7: by Erin (new)

Erin (erin814) | 20 comments I read A Prayer for Owen Meany a couple of years ago. I may read The Cider House Rules or The World According to Garp instead.


message 8: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Erin wrote: "I read A Prayer for Owen Meany a couple of years ago. I may read The Cider House Rules or The World According to Garp instead."

They are all so different I think. I loved The World According to Garp. (Several of my husband's relatives were extras in the movie, and one played one of the babies.)


message 9: by Parker (new)

Parker | 204 comments NancyJ wrote: "Maybe old people aren't expected to read YA books."

Two of my favourite authors are considered YA authors. So maybe us old folks aren't "supposed" to read YA. Bah! A good book is a good book, no matter who it's written for. I'm finding that YA authors are some of the best ones out there.



message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments I'm reading "The Paris Enigma", a parody of detective novels, and still struggling to finish Maupassant's "Bel Ami"


message 11: by Parker (new)

Parker | 204 comments I just finished Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell. I'm about to start So you Want to Talk about Race.


message 12: by Nyla (last edited Jun 09, 2018 07:48PM) (new)

Nyla (nylap) | 38 comments I am currently reading Less by Andrew Sean Greer, which won the Pulitzer Prize this year.
Less by Andrew Sean Greer

For GAR, I just listened to Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.
Hatchet (Brian's Saga, #1) by Gary Paulsen

Now I am listening to Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
Gilead (Gilead, #1) by Marilynne Robinson


message 13: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Wow, great choices all around!


message 14: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
I finished Looking for Alaska. I don't think I would have read it if the group didn't pick it, but I'm really glad I did. I enjoyed it a lot. I don't normally read YA, but I do love a good coming of age story. This one has a lot more substance than most.

I posted more in the Looking for Alaska spoiler thread.


message 15: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "I finished Looking for Alaska. I don't think I would have read it if the group didn't pick it, but I'm really glad I did. I enjoyed it a lot. I don't normally read YA, but I do love a good coming o..."

I have a friend who reads his work with a friend because, as she says, "We're masochists" (because they're always so tragic)


message 16: by KP (new)

KP | 26 comments I will start Owen meany soon


message 17: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jennyftb) | 3 comments I'm reading Bel Canto by Anne Patchett in the car, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon & The Man Who Loved Books Too Much on Kindle, and The Iceberg Hermit in print. I'm thinking about White Teeth as my first selection from the List & a buddy read of One of Us is Lying with my 15 y/o when I'm ready to begin something new.


message 18: by Tami (new)

Tami Nyla wrote: "I am currently reading Less by Andrew Sean Greer, which won the Pulitzer Prize this year.
Less by Andrew Sean Greer

For GAR, I just listened to Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.
Hatchet (Brian's Saga, #1) by Gary Paulsen..."


Loved listening to Gilead! I just finished it earlier this week!


message 19: by Tami (last edited Jun 15, 2018 12:02PM) (new)

Tami Currently I am reading and listening to Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I like that I have the ability right now to switch between the two, until my Overdrive access runs out on the audiobook... we'll see if I can renew the Overdrive after that, if no one else is waiting for it. I am also reading An American Marriage, which is turning out to be everything everyone has been raving about! It is hard to put down! I also read to each of my kids at bedtime, even though they are 13 and 11. With my son, I am reading The Death Cure (#3 in the Maze Runner Series). With my daughter, we should finish up the Serafina Series tonight when we complete our reading of Serafina and the Splintered Heart.


message 20: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Tami wrote: "Currently I am reading and listening to Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I like that I have the ability right now to switch between the two, until my Overdrive access runs out on the audiobook... we'll ..."

American Marriage is on my short list too.


message 21: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "I'm reading Bel Canto by Anne Patchett in the car, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon & The Man Who Loved Books Too Much on Kindle, and The Iceberg Hermit in print. I'm thinking about White Tee..."

I miss reading with my kids (when they were home) but my grown up son and I will be reading Siren of Titan (Vonnegut).


message 22: by Crumb (new)

Crumb | 6 comments Right now, I just finished Before the Storm (Before the Storm, #1) by Diane Chamberlain Before the Storm by Diane Chamberlain and I really enjoyed it.
Here is my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 23: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie I'm reading A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1) by Deanna Raybourn and listening to The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters but plan to join you in re-reading A tree grows in Brooklyn


message 24: by Connie (new)

Connie I recently finished 1984 and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. I'm listening to The Lying Game and about to start The Poisonwood Bible (really long commute). I'm also slowly making my way through Leonardo dazzle Vinci - Flights of the Mind.


message 25: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments Jennifer wrote: "I'm reading Bel Canto by Anne PaZstchett in the car, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon & The Man Who Loved Books Too Much on Kindle, and The Iceberg Hermit in print. I'm thinking about White Tee..."

"Shadow of the Wind" is one of my favorite books of all time. My niece liked the second one "The Angel's Game" (really a prequel) more. The third one fell into the "3 page chapters a la Dan Brown" and I didn't like it as much. Hoping the fourth one is something I can get to this summer-it's a long one, and that it's good.
His "Marina" would be appropriate to read with a 15 yr old. A sort of combination of Phantom of the Opera and Frankenstein. As always, a love letter to Barcelona.


message 26: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments Connie wrote: "I recently finished 1984 and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. I'm listening to The Lying Game and about to start The Poisonwood Bible (really long commute). I'm also slowly making my way through..."

Poisonwood Bible is also amazing.


message 28: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) I’m reading Americanah. I’m 40% finished and the ebook is due tomorrow so I’m going to try to finish it tonight. It’s very good and I’m so glad it is on the list. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have read it! My next book from the list is Ghost.


message 29: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Pam wrote: "I’m reading Americanah. I’m 40% finished and the ebook is due tomorrow so I’m going to try to finish it tonight. It’s very good and I’m so glad it is on the list. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t hav..."

Good to hear. Americanah is high on my to-read list also.


message 30: by Nyla (last edited Jun 26, 2018 06:35PM) (new)

Nyla (nylap) | 38 comments I am now reading The Handmaid's Tale. I have not seen any of the television adaptation.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood


message 31: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Pam wrote: "I’m reading Americanah. I’m 40% finished and the ebook is due tomorrow so I’m going to try to finish it tonight. It’s very good and I’m so glad it is on the list. Otherwise, I probably ..."

I saw a short (but good) interview with her, done by Trevor Noah.

I'm about 20% done with "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". Had never read it before.


message 32: by Crumb (new)

Crumb | 6 comments Hi all.. Just finished a very important book on addiction. Please take the time to read my review!
Everything is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love and Loss by Stephanie Wittels Wachs
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 33: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) Fortunately, the day my Americanah ebook got pulled back to one library, I was able to borrow it from another library system! I’m 80% done & still enjoying it. I’ve also starting Lonesome Dove in paperback. I’m glad I own a copy because it’s going to take awhile! The library holds for it are insane - 55 for the audiobook! Who knew it would become so popular again?


message 34: by Tammy (new)

Tammy I'm clawing my way through Gravity's Rainbow. I'm pretty sure this book is going to give me an aneurysm. Hoping to finish book one tonight, but twenty more pages might be too much.


message 35: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cathy1015) | 54 comments I'm reading Jane Eyre and sometimes have the audio book on while I'm reading which is fun. The narrator does a great job with voices of all the characters.


message 36: by Catie (new)

Catie Currie I'm reading The Bell Jar for the first time and I'm actually really enjoying it, despite most of my friends telling me for years that it's awful haha!


message 37: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Cathy wrote: "I'm reading Jane Eyre and sometimes have the audio book on while I'm reading which is fun. The narrator does a great job with voices of all the characters."

That sounds great. I do that too sometimes, particularly to get spelling or pronunciation right. There is a character whose name really confused me. I think it was St.John, and I was really surprised to hear how it was pronounced.


message 39: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Catie wrote: "I'm reading The Bell Jar for the first time and I'm actually really enjoying it, despite most of my friends telling me for years that it's awful haha!"

I believe it! Some people intuitively get it, and others just can't (they call her a spoiled brat and other names). We know a lot more about depression today, but there are still people who are convinced that anyone who feels depressed can just "snap out of it" at will. Just like that.

I thought it was great. I'm not in a rush to read it again, but I might see the movie some time.


message 40: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Kirsten wrote: "I've reading I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara and listening to Beartown by [..."

That's a great pairing. If one book brings you down, the other might restore your faith in humanity!


message 41: by Renee (new)

Renee Freeman (reneefreeman) | 12 comments Just started Looking for Alaska and trying to finish The Oracle Year by Charles Soule.


message 42: by Pam (last edited Jul 04, 2018 08:54PM) (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) I finished Ghost. It is a very good mid-grade book. I really enjoyed it! Currently reading Lonesome Dove and Doña Barbara. Both are excellent!


message 43: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Pam wrote: "I finished Ghost (Track#1). It is a very good mid-grade book. I really enjoyed it! Currently reading Lonesome Dove and Dona Barbara. Both are excellent!"

I listened to a little of Ghost and it sounds fun. I might pick it up for a niece or nephew.

I picked up the Lonesome Dove miniseries to watch in case it rains this week while I have visitors. (My brother loves westerns.) But now we're all inside just because it's too too HOT outside!


message 44: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) I'm about half-way into Lullaby. I'm really enjoying it. It's funny but also kinda horror. I just love his writing style.


message 45: by Paula (new)

Paula NancyJ wrote: "Erin wrote: "I'm reading 1984, but I'm behind schedule. Ugh! Audiobooks haven't worked out for me in the past. I tend to tune them out, unfortunately. I may try again though and to listen to Lookin..."

Who you callin' old? hahaha ;>)


message 46: by Paula (new)

Paula Connie wrote: "I recently finished 1984 and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. I'm listening to The Lying Game and about to start The Poisonwood Bible (really long commute). I'm also slowly making my way through..."

I hope you enjoy The Poisonwood Bible. Barbara Kingsolver is another favorite author. The reason for that title is, of course, revealed within the context of the story and it's pretty funny. Her characters are always such interesting people. Her novel, Prodigal Summer is one I picked up for free last summer and it's still on the TBR. Happy Reading.


message 47: by Paula (new)

Paula I am finally reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I'm also reading "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I intend to read the rest of this series before year's end. A goal on my personal challenge.


message 48: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Paula wrote:
Who you callin' old? hahaha ;>)

Oops, excuse me, Paula. :D
I forget that age and visual impairments don't go hand in hand.

I was accusing YA publishers of not caring whether or not old people can read their books because of the small print. (Though really, why should they care?) Now I'm wondering why it's so hard to find classic books in large print editions.



message 49: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments Pam wrote: "I finished Ghost. It is a very good mid-grade book. I really enjoyed it! Currently reading Lonesome Dove and Doña Barbara. Both are excellent!"

Glad to hear Doña Bárbara is getting something out of this! One of three books of its time important to Latin America. There´s more than one mini series that are good, if you don´t mind reading subtitles


message 50: by Linda (new)

Linda  | 915 comments Paula wrote: "Connie wrote: "I recently finished 1984 and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. I'm listening to The Lying Game and about to start The Poisonwood Bible (really long commute). I'm also slowly making..."

I loved that one. A friend ¨recommended¨it when she told me that she kept getting so engrossed in it while riding the subway that she kept missing her stop!
And even though I knew from the first page what the ending would be, I still loved it!


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