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Books > The Book Salon ~~ June

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments

This the thread for general book discussions for June

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 Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments I forgot to start a new monthly thread. Sorry !

message 3: by Alias Reader (last edited Jun 08, 2018 06:43AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments Mystery

------ The Policeman's Daughter
by Trudy Nan Boyce

Starring: Sarah Alt, aka Salt, a white beat cop working The Homes (an inner-city housing project in Atlanta), who disobeys higher-ups to investigate the murder of a drug addict she's known for years.

Series alert: Though this is a prequel to the two earlier Sarah Alt books, newcomers can easily start here.

Who it's for: fans of authentic, compelling urban police procedurals featuring strong female cops, like Rachel Howzell Hall's L.A.-set Detective Elouise Norton novels.

---- Plum Tea Crazy
by Laura Childs

What it's about: In Charleston, S.C., tea shop proprietor Theodosia Browning and her 60-something tea sommelier Drayton Conneley witness a banker's death during a special Gaslights and Galleons parade, and tenacious Theodosia tries to figure out who shot him.

Is it for you? If you like cozy mysteries and teas of all types, you'll want to indulge in this richly detailed 19th Tea Shop mystery. Recipes, tea time tips, and tea resources are included.

---- The Echo Killing: A Mystery
by Christi Daugherty

Introducing: Risk-taking Savannah, Georgia, crime reporter Harper McClain, who as a 12-year-old found her mother murdered.

What happens: When there's a new killing that eerily resembles Harper's mother's death, Harper can't help but look for answers when the police won't, even if that means alienating her secret lover -- who happens to be a cop.

Author buzz: This is the first adult book by Christi Daugherty, a former crime reporter and the author of the young adult Night School series.

----- Murder in an Irish Churchyard: An Irish Village Mystery
by Carlene O'Connor

What it's about: In the small Irish village of Kilbane, the local priest calls freshly minted garda Siobhán O'Sullivan to the church's graveyard: an American tourist researching his genealogy has been murdered in a snowstorm. When her ex is put in charge of the case, Siobhán deals with her romantic feelings while adjusting to life as a cop and keeping track of her five siblings and the local bistro they all run.

Series alert: This is the charming 3rd in a fun series peopled with likable characters that's perfect for those who love the Emerald Isle.

----- A Treacherous Curse: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery
by Deanna Raybourn

What it's about: Unorthodox Veronica Speedwell helps Stoker, a friend and enigmatic scientist, clear his name after his former archaeological partner (who left Stoker for dead and stole his wife) goes missing.

Series alert: Set in 1888, this 3rd Veronica Speedwell novel continues the series' trend of deliciously witty dialogue and intricate plots.

For fans of: clever, adventurous heroines like those found in books by Anne Perry, Tasha Alexander, Kerry Greenwood, and Elizabeth Peters.

----- The Legacy
by Yrsa Sigurdardottir; translated from Icelandic by Victoria Cribb

Introducing: newly promoted (and unhappy about it) Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja, who has her own issues.

What happens: A seven-year-old girl witnesses her mom's murder. Protecting the traumatized child, Huldar and Freyja navigate around each other (they recently had a one-night stand) while trying to discover what the girl knows...and then the killer strikes again.

Who it's for: Fans of complex characters, atmospheric settings, and Nordic police procedurals will like this 1st in a series.

*** If You Like: Laura Lippman
Bestsellling author Laura Lippman is best known for her Tess Monaghan mysteries featuring a Baltimore reporter turned private detective, but she also writes stellar standalones, such as Sunburn, her critically acclaimed, intricately plotted new noir. Lippman's books feature complex characters, clever dialogue, and twists that keep the plot moving. Newcomer? Try Baltimore Blues, which introduces Tess to the world.

----- The Postman Always Rings Twice
by James M. Cain

Starring: the sultry young wife of a rural diner owner and the aimless drifter she falls for...and with whom she conspires to kill her husband.

Did you know? Originally published in 1934, this compelling noir is considered one of the best novels ever written, and two movies based on it have been made: one in 1946 starring Lana Turner and John Garfield, and another in 1981 starring Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson.

Why Laura Lippman fans might like it: James M. Cain's dark, gritty tales inspired Lippman's new novel...and Sunburn's femme fatale is a fan of Cain's work too.

------ Invisible City
by Julia Dahl

Introducing: Rebekah Roberts, a New York Tribune reporter raised from infancy by her dad after her Hasidic mom left them.

What happens: To find the killer of another Hasidic woman, Rebekah digs into the insular world her estranged mother still belongs to.

Award buzz: This 1st in a series won a Macavity and a Shamus Award.

Why Laura Lippman fans might like it: the determined female reporter, the richly described city, and the tight plotting.

----- A is for Alibi: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery
by Sue Grafton

What it's about: Tough California PI Kinsey Millhone (no pets, no plants, no kids, and no current spouse) tries to uncover who really killed Nikki Fife's husband, even though Nikki's already served time for the crime.

Series buzz: This 1st book in Sue Grafton's alphabet series was originally published in 1982. Due to Grafton's recent death, there'll be no "Z" for fans: the last Kinsey book is 2017's Y is for Yesterday.

Why Laura Lippman fans might like it: the crackling dialogue, the strong sense of place, and the appealing, clever heroine.

----- Missing, Presumed: A Novel
by Susie Steiner

Introducing: smart, single (but lonely and looking) DS Manon Bradshaw.

What it's about: Using multiple narrators, this rich mystery and 1st in a series follows the high-profile case of a missing Cambridge graduate student. Meanwhile, Manon also looks into the death of a black teen and tries to help his young brother.

Why Laura Lippman fans might like it: the authentic characters; the interplay of the personal and professional; and the city setting (though Manon is in England instead of the U.S.).

message 4: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3140 comments Greedy Bones Greedy Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #9) by Carolyn Haines by Carolyn Haines

In this addition to the series, private detective Sarah Booth Delaney investigates a mysterious illness in her home town. Sarah Booth's personal ghost, Jitty, is on hand to kibbitz her along. 👻 Good cozy. 3 stars

My review:

message 5: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3684 comments Easy to forget, I imagine, Alias, given all our threads. Good mysteries listed--i'm quite found of James Cain's novels and am sorry I cannot link to his name/works but the iPad app doesn't offer that service.

Barbara, it's always neat to read a review wherein the writer says the ending wasn't predictable. Thanks.

PattyMacDotComma | 1162 comments She’s an itchy-footed Runaway. I enjoyed the title story of Alice Munro’s book of the same name. I’ve included a link to more of her stories online.
Runaway by Alice Munro Link to my review

message 7: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "She’s an itchy-footed Runaway. I enjoyed the title story of Alice Munro’s book of the same name. I’ve included a link to more of her stories online.

I own this book but have not yet read Runaway. I bought it when Jonathan Franzen mentioned that she was one of his favorite authors.

message 8: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3684 comments Munro's short stories are truly gems. Often when i see a title of one by her, the entire story plays again in my mind. That seldom occurs with other short story author's work. I hope you will be able to read more of them.

message 10: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3140 comments Bono The Amazing Story of a Rescue Cat Who Inspired a Community by Helen Brown Bono: The Amazing Story of a Rescue Cat Who Inspired a Community by Helen Brown

Helen Brown is an Australian writer whose adopted cats have helped her (and her family) deal with tragic hardships. In this book, another feline....a New York cat named Bono....helps the author deal with her 'two-thirds life crisis.' Bono is a sweet, healing cat. Good book.
4 stars

My review:

message 11: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments Barbara wrote: "Bono The Amazing Story of a Rescue Cat Who Inspired a Community by Helen Brown Bono: The Amazing Story of a Rescue Cat Who Inspired a Community by Helen Brown..."

Cute pics in your review.

message 12: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments Dem wrote: "Finished From a Low and Quiet SeaFrom a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan by Donal Ryan

My review:"

Love the title. Listening to the audio can so much to a novel.

message 13: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1112 comments I finished a short book, I've Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter by David Chariandy.
I've never read this author before. This letter is beautiful in that David sees his daughter (and presumably his son) as people-in-making. He is enthralled at each of their steps and developments. He's a wonderful father and his love & admiration for his daughter shines through.
This was a very good read.

message 14: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3140 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Cute pics in your review. .."

Thank you Alias. 🙂

message 15: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3684 comments I really like the title of the Ryan book, Dem.

Would you believe i sneezed reading your review, Barbara? I'm allergic to cats but photos? Ahhchoooo!

Petra, that book sounds very nice.

Thanks for sharing, book friends.

message 16: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments Armchair Travel

---Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000-mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, the Last Great...
by Mark Adams

What it's about: Mark Adams, author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu, traveled via road, ferry, foot, and canoe around coastal Alaska, retracing the 1899 Harriman expedition (whose members included naturalist John Muir and photographer Edward Curtis). While doing so, he encountered a much-changed land, fascinating people, and wild animals.

Who it's for: fans of Bill Bryson, as well as anyone who likes personable tour guides and amusing, artful blends of history and travel.

--- The Last Wild Men of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure
by Carl Hoffman

What it's about: Carl Hoffman eloquently describes his travels in Borneo following the paths of two enigmatic outsiders: American Michael Palmieri, a tribal-art dealer who traveled deep into the rainforest, built relationships, and became rich acquiring art for museums and collectors, and Swiss environmentalist Bruno Manser, who lived with the Penan tribe for years, fought logging, and mysteriously disappeared in 2000.

Who it's for: those who relish compelling adventure tales, are fascinated by rainforests, or enjoyed the author's Savage Harvest.

--- Figures in a Landscape: People & Places; Essays, 2001-2016
by Paul Theroux

What it is: a reflective, wide-ranging collection of bestselling writer Paul Theroux's recent pieces about places he's visited (Ecuador, Hawaii, Zimbabwe, Alabama, etc.) as well as essays about interesting people, including celebrities and authors (Oliver Sacks, Robin Williams, Elizabeth Taylor, Joseph Conrad, Henry David Thoreau, and more).

Is it for you? Yes, if you like erudite travel articles mixed with refreshing profiles of a variety of people.

---- Walking the Americas: 1,800 Miles, Eight Countries, and One Incredible Journey...
by Levison Wood

What happens: Intrepid British explorer, photographer, and author Levison Wood takes a 1,800 mile trek from Mexico to Columbia and encounters a variety of people, cultures, and obstacles

Try this next: The author's own Walking the Nile or Walking the Himalayas, or Ed Stafford's Walking the Amazon.

Did you know? Walking the Americas (and a TV documentary) were released in the U.K. last year; the book became a bestseller.

****** Focus on: Sports

---- A Course Called Ireland: A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee
by Tom Coyne

What happens: Irish-American Tom Coyne decided to walk to and then play at all 50 or so golf courses around the coast of Ireland.

Why you should read it: Even with hazards (including blisters, pouring rain, and a large growling dog), Coyne enjoyed the beauty and people (and beer) of the Emerald Isle.

Who it's for: Coyne focuses more on his travels than his games, so even non-golfers can enjoy this book that's "equal parts touching, wry, and hilarious" (The New York Times).

---- Running With the Kenyans: Discovering the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
by Adharanand Finn

What it is: a compelling memoir chronicling British journalist Adharanand Finn's attempt to be the best runner he could be. To that end, he moved with his wife and three young children to Kenya, where he trained with some of the world's best runners and his family adjusted to living where lions roam.

Who it's for: Runners will certainly find much to like here as will anyone intrigued by the rural areas of Kenya.

---- Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
by William Finnegan

What it is: the richly detailed, Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir chronicling journalist William Finnegan's experiences as a lifelong surfer.

What it's about: Finnegan's childhood in Hawaii and California, his adult years surfing around the globe (the U.S., the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa), amazing waves, near-death experiences, and more.

Reviewers say: "a travelogue head-scratchingly rich in obscure, sharply observed destinations" (Wall Street Journal).

---- The Miracle of Castel di Sangro
by Joe McGinniss

What it's about: Soccer-obsessed American reporter Joe McGinniss journeyed to a village in one of Italy's poorest regions in order to spend the 1996 soccer season with the local team -- which had somehow played their way to the country's second highest professional tier. McGinniss gets to know the underdog players and their management, traveling with them and seeing Italy's beauty -- and problems.

Who it's for: readers who want an amusing, eye-opening, soccer-filled travelogue to go with their 2018 World Cup games.

Try this next: For another book that follows a soccer team around Italy, look for Tim Park's A Season with Verona.

message 17: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3140 comments Madrano wrote: "
Would you believe i sneezed reading your review, Barbara? I'm allergic to cats but photos? Ahhchoooo!

That's so funny Madrano. 😁

message 18: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3684 comments A couple of those travel books sound appealing to me. Has anyone read a book wherein the walker/traveler didn't want to talk to the Locals? It could be a boring book but i suspect I'd like to read one if it exists. Not a travel guide, just a first-person book written by a sort of anti-social person--about things seen and thoughts mused.

message 19: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments Madrano wrote: "A couple of those travel books sound appealing to me. Has anyone read a book wherein the walker/traveler didn't want to talk to the Locals? It could be a boring book but i suspect I'd like to read ..."

Paul Theroux from what I understand from my friend who loves his books, he is a bit of a curmudgeon. Maybe you would like his travel books.

message 20: by Alias Reader (last edited Jun 12, 2018 05:15PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments History and Current Events

---- Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
by Roxane Gay (editor)

What it is: a searing collection of new and previously published first-person accounts written by a diverse group of sexual assault survivors.

Featuring: essays written by actors Ally Sheedy and Gabrielle Union and writers Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, and Claire Schwartz.

Further reading: Kate Harding's meticulously researched Asking For It, which offers suggestions for how society can combat sexual violence and rape culture.

---- The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century
by Kirk Wallace Johnson

What it's about: In June 2009, American student Edwin Rist stole 299 rare bird skins from Hertfordshire, England's Natural History Museum, removing their feathers to sell to fly-fishing enthusiasts.

Don't miss: This astonishing true crime caper features an unexpected twist worthy of a courtroom drama.

Reviewers say: "Johnson's flair for telling an engrossing story is, like the beautiful birds he describes, exquisite" (Kirkus Reviews).

---- Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found
by Gilbert King

What it's about: In 1957, mentally impaired teenager Jesse Daniels was falsely accused of raping a prominent woman in Okahumpka, Florida. His commitment to a mental hospital without a trial spawned a 20-year investigation into police corruption, privilege, and racism.

About the author: Gilbert King is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Devil in the Grove, which recounts Thurgood Marshall's 1951 civil rights case about the wrongful accusations of rape leveraged against four black men.

---- See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary
by Lorrie Moore

What it is: a collection of musings -- 66 in total -- written by fiction author Lorrie Moore (Bark: Stories) from 1983-2017 and covering art, culture, and politics.

Topics include: the work of Margaret Atwood and Nora Ephron; the O.J. Simpson verdict; the 1992 presidential debates.

Is it for you? Creative writing instructor Moore's sharp commentary will appeal to aspiring authors.

---- God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State
by Lawrence Wright

What it is: a balanced and insightful exploration of the history, culture, politics, and stereotypes of Texas and its people.

About the author: Longtime Texas resident Lawrence Wright won the Pulitzer Prize for The Looming Tower, a history of pre-9/11 al-Qaeda.

Want a taste? "There's an element of performance involved with being 'Texan.' The boots, the pickup trucks, the guns, the attitude -- they're all part of the stereotype, but they're also a masquerade."

******* Pandemics and Epidemics

----- The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics
by Stephen Coss

What it's about: This sweeping colonial history links the Boston smallpox epidemic of 1721 to the democratization of the press, exploring the impact of these fevers -- medical and political -- on a nascent America.

Why you might like it: Ambitious yet accessible, The Fever of 1721 features anecdotes about famous players in early American history, including a teenage Benjamin Franklin.

---- The Next Pandemic: On the Front Lines Against Humankind's Gravest Dangers
by Ali S. Khan

What it's about: Written with verve by a self-described "disease detective," this enthralling medical history turns an investigative eye toward the causes of infectious disease outbreaks -- whether naturally occurring or engineered as bioterrorism -- and what we can do to prevent their return.

Read it for: a vivid, page-turning narrative palatable to both science enthusiasts and general readers.

----- Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital
by David Oshinsky

What it is: a lively 300-year chronicle of the iconic New York City hospital, from its origins as a pest house for yellow fever and cholera patients to its enduring status as a refuge for the marginalized.

Notable patients: Sylvia Plath, Charlie Parker, Mark David Chapman.

Did you know? Bellevue is the oldest public hospital in the United States and admits over 600,000 patients annually.

----- Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond
by Sonia Shah

What it is: a grim yet absorbing exploration of global pandemics' origins and the modern pathogens that may trigger future outbreaks.

Author alert: Sonia Shah is the author of The Fever, a global history of malaria.

Reviewers say: "Shah is back and in rare form. And this time it's personal" (Booklist).

----- The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics, and the Human Costs of Defeating Disease
by Meredith Wadman

What it's about: The development of the first polio, rubella, and rabies vaccines in the 1960s and '70s paved the way for political scheming, ethical quandaries, and destructive rivalries, as scientists on the forefront of discovery sought to make newer, better vaccines -- often at the expense of their human test subjects.

For fans of: Readers drawn to surveys of medical ethics like Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks will find much to ponder here.

message 21: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments Thrillers and Suspense

----- Our Kind of Cruelty
by Araminta Hall

Featuring: Mike, who changed everything about himself to make his girlfriend Verity happy, and Verity herself, who's marrying someone else.

What it's about: Convinced that Verity's wedding is just part of a twisted game they used to play called The Crave, Mike knows he must stop the wedding at all costs.

Why you might like it: A tangled, twisted tale, this disturbing psychological suspense novel is as much about sexual politics as it is about obsession and manipulation.

----- Paper Ghosts: A Novel of Suspense
by Julia Heaberlin

What it's about: The unnamed narrator of this twisty psychological suspense novel is convinced that Carl Feldman, a photographer now living in an assisted care facility due to dementia, murdered her sister. To find out if she's right, she poses as his daughter to take him on a cross-country drive to all the places where she believes he killed other young women.

Got questions? We do too. Does Carl actually have dementia? Is he physically as weak as he seems? Who, exactly, is manipulating whom?

----- The Perfect Mother
by Aimee Molloy

What happens: Exhausted single mom Winnie leaves her son in the care of another family's nanny while she and the rest of a new-mothers support group hits a trendy Brooklyn bar -- never expecting that her son will disappear.

Read it for: flawed and realistic characters dealing with new parenthood; a nail-biting investigation by the mothers themselves; plenty of devious twists.

Book buzz: The Perfect Mother is already being adapted for the screen by actress Kerry Washington.

----- Our Little Secret
by Roz Nay

What it's about: Back in high school, Angela and HP dated; 15 years later, she's living with him and his wife, Saskia. Right now, though, she's being interrogated by the police, for Saskia is missing.

Why you might like it: With an unreliable narrator and enough tangled emotions to keep fans of Ruth Ware or Paula Hawkins happy, this debut features strong characterizations and enticing plot twists.

Reviewers say: "sneaky-smart [and] charismatic" (Booklist).

********Focus on: Killer First Lines

----- The Prisoner
by Alex Berenson

Killer first line: "The horses knew." From there, the tension builds inexorably -- the Turkish geldings are being prepped to make a dangerous border crossing into Syria, where they'll be used to smuggle out an Islamic State bureaucrat important to the CIA.

Why you might like it: This 11th entry in a fast-paced yet well-researched spy series has stalwart John Wells trying to unearth a CIA mole -- from inside a Bulgarian prison, where he's disguised as an al-Qaida jihadi.

------ Little Black Lies
by Sharon Bolton

Killer first line: "I've been wondering if I have what it takes to kill." Two sentences later, you'll be chilled by where this line of questioning goes.

What it's about: In the Falkland Islands, children have been going missing, and suspicion has fallen on Catrin Quinn, whose two young sons were killed in an accident not long ago.

Why you might like it: With a compelling story line, complex characters, and an unusual, desolate setting, this tale is "mesmerizing" (Publishers Weekly).

----- Orphan X
by Gregg Hurwitz

Killer first line: "After picking up a set of pistol suppressors from a nine-fingered armorer in Las Vegas, Evan Smoak headed for home in his Ford pickup, doing his best not to let the knife wound distract him."

Why you might like it: Doses of humor and plenty of authentic details round out this fast-paced and adrenaline-pumping series debut (followed by The Nowhere Man and Hellbent), which stars a man trained since childhood as an elite assassin (now working pro bono for those in need) -- who has now become the target of someone with similar skills.

----- I See You
by Clare Mackintosh

Killer first line: "The man behind me is standing close enough to moisten the skin on my neck with his breath." If that doesn't make you feel creeped out and claustrophobic, we don't know what will.

What it's about: Told from three viewpoints, this disturbing novel relates the story of a suburban mom who discovers that her face is being used to advertise for a dating website -- and that the previous "models" have been the victims of violent crimes.

Be warned: You'll never look at your familiar routines the same way again.

----- Ring of Fire
by Brad Taylor

Killer first line: "Dexter Worthington didn't set out to murder anyone."

What it's about: In this 11th thriller starring Pike Logan and the covert counter-terrorism taskforce he works with, they're racing against time to stop multiple catastrophic events across the U.S.

Why you might like it: With its ripped-from-the-headlines plot centering on modern terrorism, this fast-paced tale fairly pulses with authenticity -- author Brad Taylor spent more than 20 years in the military.

message 22: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3140 comments The Wanted The Wanted (Elvis Cole, #17; Joe Pike, #6) by Robert Crais by Robert Crais

In this addition to the 'Elvis Cole - Joe Pike' series, the Los Angeles private detectives try to help a trio of over-privileged teenage thieves. The book can be read as a standalone. Good thriller. 3.5 stars

My review:

message 23: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1162 comments Just read The Choke by Aussie author Sofie Laguna, who wins prizes with her work.
The Choke by Sofie Laguna 4.5★

message 24: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3684 comments Patty, that sounds like a book i would love. Thanks for the review and title.

Barbara, I was amused that Goodreads properly numbered the book for both main characters. It must seem a bit awkward but it fits.

Alias, thank you for his name. Oddly, the only book by him i've tries was Mosquito Coast, which i didn't finish. SO, maybe i don't actually want to read about someone like me, afterall.

From the titles shared i can state that I liked the Shah book, PANDEMIC. Sorry for caps but couldn't link.

message 25: by Dru83 (new)

Dru83 | 222 comments I just reread Divergent Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth by Veronica Roth

It was good to refresh my memory about what happens in the books since I've been watching the movies and there are several differences between them. I like that even though it's a sci-fi story, it is set in a well known city and feels very real because of the famous landmarks mentioned in the story.

message 26: by Alias Reader (last edited Jun 13, 2018 03:36PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments Madrano wrote: Alias, thank you for his name. Oddly, the only book by him i've tries was Mosquito Coast, which i didn't finish. SO, maybe i don't actually want to read about someone like me, afterall.

RE: Paul Theroux

Deb, I think his non fiction travel books are very different from his fiction.

I think my friend said his The Great Railway Bazaar is her favorite. Maybe see if you can get it from the library.

He also has a new book out that is a collection. Maybe that would help give you a taste of his nonfiction.

Figures in a Landscape: People and Places
A delectable collection of Theroux’s recent writing on great places, people, and prose

In the spirit of his much-loved Sunrise with Seamonsters and Fresh Air Fiend, Paul Theroux’s latest collection of essays leads the reader through a dazzling array of sights, characters, and experiences, as Theroux applies his signature searching curiosity to a life lived as much in reading as on the road. This writerly tour-de-force features a satisfyingly varied selection of topics that showcase Theroux’s sheer versatility as a writer. Travel essays take us to Ecuador, Zimbabwe, and Hawaii, to name a few. Gems of literary criticism reveal fascinating depth in the work of Henry David Thoreau, Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad, and Hunter Thompson. And in a series of breathtakingly personal profiles, we take a helicopter ride with Elizabeth Taylor, go surfing with Oliver Sacks, eavesdrop on the day-to-day life of a Manhattan dominatrix, and explore New York with Robin Williams.

An extended mediation on the craft of writing binds together this wide-ranging collection, along with Theroux’s constant quest for the authentic in a person or in a place.

message 27: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3140 comments Sacrilege Sacrilege (Giordano Bruno, #3) by S.J. Parris byS.J. Parris

In this third book in the 'Giordano Bruno' series, Bruno tries to track down a killer in Canterbury while he exposes Catholic plots against Queen Elizabeth. The novel can be read as a standalone. Good historical mystery. 3.5 stars

My review:

message 28: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1162 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Madrano wrote: Alias, thank you for his name. Oddly, the only book by him i've tries was Mosquito Coast, which i didn't finish. SO, maybe i don't actually want to read about someone like me, aftera..."

Just watched an Aussie interview program with and about Louis Theroux whom I didn't realise was the son of Paul Theroux. I often wondered, because of the name, of course, but never bothered to check. Now having seen how Louis and his brother grew up, I can imagine what an interesting household it must have been!

message 29: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3684 comments Patty and Alias, thanks for the additional information on PT. I'd forgotten Mosquito Coast was fiction, which is definitely unfair for comparison.

Barbara, as my husband likes reading about those years, i'm going to suggest he tries one of these. For some reason historic mysteries don't seem to be a good experience for me.

Dru, i agree--reading a book, even fic & sci-fi, about a city i know is a pleasure. Enjoy the rereading.

message 30: by Irfken (last edited Jun 15, 2018 02:35PM) (new)

Irfken | 126 comments It's been a magical and powerful reading week, a rarity these days. I've been reading two books that have just swept me up and broken my heart and brought me tears and untold healing, The Silver Music Box by Mina Baites and The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan.

The Silver Music Box is one of the best works of historical fiction I have ever read and is certainly the best and most beautiful work of WWII fiction I have ever had the pleasure of reading. In my opinion it puts mediocre albeit highly buzzed about books like The Nightingale and the plain awful Salt to the Sea to shame. It lacks all the uncomfortable pretension of All the Light We Cannot See and is exactly the kind of book I've been aching to read for over a decade. It follows the trials and tribulations of a Jewish family, their loves and struggles through WWI and WWII. It centers around a beautiful music box a father made for his son and how such a small object can hold so much pain, joy, sorrow and history. It's the story of a family and a people through love, evil and war and the search for family and identity, I have never read a book that captures humanity and emotion so powerfully. I am truly moved to tears and I rarely cry when reading. It's a translated book and a great and important one that I would implore everyone to read especially in today's times.

The second book, The Keeper of Lost Things, is also marvelous. It follows the story of an elderly man who suffered great loss when he was younger, his fiancee passed away on his wedding day and he lost a priceless gift she had given him. Over the years to atone for losing his most precious link to the love of his wife, he collects lost items and tries to reunite them with their owners. He spends his whole life collecting every lost item he comes across in the hope that he can mend a life and spare the heartache that he has lived with. Unfortunately he is unable to and so and passes away. This is where the story begins where he leaves his house and his lost items to his assist/housekeeper and tasks her with returning the objects. It's truly a lovely, magical and heartfelt read.

message 31: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3140 comments The Fast and the Furriest The Fast and the Furriest by Andy Behrens by Andy Behrens

This book, about a boy whose super-lazy dog suddenly becomes interested in agility training, is funny and charming. The book is aimed at kids, but is fun for dog lovers of all ages. Highly recommended. 4 stars. 💕

My review:

message 32: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments Irfken wrote: "It's been a magical and powerful reading week, a rarity these days. I've been reading two books that have just swept me up and broken my heart and brought me tears and untold healing, The Silver Mu..."

Wow ! I will have to check out The Silver Music Box . Just today I saw an advertisement for The Keeper of Lost Things.

It is a truly magical experience when you find that special book that moves you.

message 33: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments Barbara wrote: "The Fast and the Furriest The Fast and the Furriest by Andy Behrens by Andy Behrens

This book, about a boy whose super-lazy dog suddenly becomes interested in ag..."

It sounds like a fun book, Barbara.

message 34: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1162 comments Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by neuroscientist David Eagleman is what I would take to a desert island because I’ll never get tired of enjoying his imagined afterlives, each only a few pages long.

Some are funny, some scary, some philosophical, all entertaining. A FAVOURITE!

Sum Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman 5★

message 35: by Irfken (new)

Irfken | 126 comments I just finished The Silver Music Box by Mina Baites and it's the best book I've read all year. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves reading because it transcends genres. It's a powerful human story about the plight of a people and their resilience in the face of evil and persecution, about the redeeming power of family and identity. A must-read!

message 36: by Irfken (new)

Irfken | 126 comments Has anyone in the group read We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter , We Were the Lucky Ones, by Georgia Hunter? I started the novel but I have mixed feelings. The book is about a family who survive the onslaught of the Nazis but every character is described as gorgeously beautiful, rich, talented and incapable of wrong. The author hammers this in quite a lot and it doesn't feel very realistic. Am I jumping the gun and should I continue? The author does mention that the book is loosely based on her family so is what I'm perceiving in her writing bias?

message 37: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3684 comments Irfken, i've not heard of the Baites novel but I see many other people agree with your opinion of the book. Thanks for drawing our attention to it. As for the other book, that's a poser. Lately i've been putting down more books than finishing them, so don't go by my suggestion....which is to give it a bit more time--after you feel most of the characters have been introduced. What you are describing sounds like the author doesn't quite have those skills needed yet for full portraits of characters.

message 38: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3684 comments Great opening quote in the review, Patty. Makes the book call to me.

Barbara, that fun book is neat to read about in your review.

LostThings sounds wonderful! Gotta try to get that NOW.

Thanks to all who've shared.

message 39: by Irfken (new)

Irfken | 126 comments Madrano wrote: "Irfken, i've not heard of the Baites novel but I see many other people agree with your opinion of the book. Thanks for drawing our attention to it. As for the other book, that's a poser. Lately i'v..."

I gave up on We Were the Lucky Ones. The author's bias, given it's supposedly about her family, was too much for me. The characters are described as paragons of perfection, rich, privileged, smart, beautiful and talented. They can do no wrong.

message 40: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3684 comments You've saved yourself time for a better book. Nice call.

message 41: by Alias Reader (last edited Jun 18, 2018 01:50PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments

---- How to Walk Away
by Katherine Center

What it's about: A devastating injury forces Maggie Jacobsen to reevaluate everything about her life and begin anew, with help from her estranged sister and her gruff physical therapist.

Why you might like it: Full of well-developed characters, How to Walk Away offers quietly inspiring moments (and humor) as Maggie's healing process unfolds along a realistic trajectory.

For fans of: Jojo Moyes' Me Before You.

---- The Ensemble
by Aja Gabel

What it is: the story of four musicians whose many years together illuminate the range of human relationships.

Why you might like it: While the musical motif will draw musicians, the shared pasts of the four very different characters -- and their path from youth to middle age -- will appeal to readers of character-driven fiction.

For fans of: the evolving and close-knit relationships in Alice Adams' Invincible Summer or Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings.

---- Mr. Flood's Last Resort
by Jess Kidd

What it is: Mystery? Gothic fiction? Ghost story? All of the above? You decide!

What it's about: Take one cranky hoarder in a falling-down mansion; add an unflappable, intelligent caretaker haunted (literally) by long-dead saints; mix in two missing girls and some tragic family history, and you've got the makings of an unusual, quirky, dark story full of Irish vernacular, smart humor...and lots of cats.

Why you might like it: Mr. Flood's Last Resort is equal parts oddly charming and deliciously creepy.

---- Sal
by Mick Kitson

Starring: resourceful 13-year-old Sal and her ten-year-old sister, Peppa, who have run away into the Scottish wilderness and plan to survive on their own.

Why you might like it: Having planned for this day for a year, Sal has plenty of survival skills for a girl her age (gleaned from YouTube) -- and some emotional trauma to heal from. Practical and creative, she's a character you'll root for.

Reviewers say: "Startling in its simplicity and immediacy" (Booklist).

---- The Mars Room
by Rachel Kushner

What it's about: After an altercation with a stalker turns fatal, stripper Romy Hall is sent to a women's prison for life. Inside, mind-numbing routine and casual violence is the norm, which Romy narrates with heartbreaking insight.

Reviewers say: A moving and unsettling portrayal of the failures of the American justice system, this novel "deserves to be read with the same level of pathos, love, and humanity with which it clearly was written" (Publishers Weekly).

You might also like: the short story collection The Graybar Hotel, by Curtis Dawkins, which also compassionately depicts life behind bars.

***** Before & After

--- Life After Life
by Kate Atkinson

Starring: Ursula Todd, born on a winter's night in 1910 England -- again and again, as each death brings her back to the same point in time and space. Does Ursula choose her paths in life, or do they choose her?

You might also like: Jo Walton's My Real Children, which also offers a haunting meditation on fate and free will by recounting an ordinary 20th-century British woman's alternate lives. Or try Laura Barnett's The Versions of Us, which considers the consequences of certain choices by sharing three different versions of a couple's lives, told in parallel.

---- After the Crash
by Michel Bussi

What it's about: After a plane crashes in the Swiss Alps, a three-month-old baby is the only survivor. But is she Lyse-Rose de Carville, or Emilie Vitral? When a judge releases her to the impoverished Vitrals, the wealthy de Carvilles refuse to accept it.

Why you might like it: Told both in 1980, when the crash occurred, and 18 years later, as the private investigator hired by the de Carvilles finally determines the girl's identity, this novel by bestselling French writer Michel Bussi offers surprising twists, intrigue...and murder.

---- Before We Sleep
by Jeffrey Lent

What it is: a coming-of-age story and a moving meditation on the effects of war.

What happens: Two parallel storylines unfold, one following Katey, a teenager in the 1960s, as she seeks to illuminate family secrets, and one in the late 1940s, as her father's return from World War II alters their family forever.

Read it for: strong characterization, descriptive writing, and two vividly depicted eras.

---- After You
by Jojo Moyes

What it's about: Eighteen months after the end of Me Before You, Louisa Clark is living in London, still deep in mourning and struggling to move on.

Is it for you? Did you love reading about Lou and her family in Me Before You? If so, you'll enjoy all the family dynamics at play in this sequel, which offers the same humor and well-developed characters that fans have come to love.

Series alert: The 3rd in the series, Still Me, published this past January.

----- Before I Go
by Colleen Oakley

Starring: Daisy Richmond, who the day before her third cancer-free anniversary learns that it's back -- and she has only months to live.

What happens: Though stricken by her diagnosis, Daisy is equally worried about how her husband will handle her death, and sets about finding a new wife for him.

Why you might like it: Though an incredibly emotional read (you'll want to have tissues handy), author Colleen Oakley includes plenty of humor in this tale of the different ways that humans handle grief.

message 42: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3140 comments Uncommon Type: Some Stories Uncommon Type Some Stories by Tom Hanks by Tom Hanks

This collection of short stories by Tom Hanks run the gamut from funny, to touching, to heartrending. Good first book from the famous actor. 3.5 stars

My review:

message 43: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1162 comments What a wonderful, convoluted mystery, and I enjoyed all seven!

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle 5★ by Stuart Turton
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton 5★

message 45: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 21092 comments Barbara wrote: "Uncommon Type: Some Stories Uncommon Type Some Stories by Tom Hanks by Tom Hanks

This collection of short stories by Tom Hanks run the gamut from funny, to..."

Two of my friends read this one. One disliked it so much she couldn't finish it. The other one thought it was quite good.

message 46: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3140 comments Dem wrote: "Finished The Second ChildThe Second Child by Caroline Bond

My review:"

Your link doesn't work Dem (at least not for me).

message 47: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3684 comments Same here, Dem. I couldn't get to your review.

Interesting about the various reactions to the Hanks collection. I wonder if listening to it made the difference?

Fun review, Patty.

Alias, thanks for the list of titles. I see a couple of older ones, which is like seeing an old pal pass by on the street.

message 48: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1162 comments I've meant to read The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories by Carson McCullers for many years and finally did.
The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories by Carson McCullers Link to my review

message 49: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3684 comments I am fond of her writing, too, Patty. The comment about it being one of the older books on your list is neat.

message 50: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3140 comments Bone Deep Bone Deep by Debra Webb by Debra Webb

In this first book in the 'Bone' series, a female lawyer and a male profiler team up to investigate when a man is killed and a toddler is missing. The mystery part of the book is pretty good but the romance.....not so great. 🙄 3 stars

My review:

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