Books on the Nightstand discussion

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What are you reading August 2014

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message 1: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2829 comments Mod
Hey! Anybody that notices that the month has changed may start a new thread. I have had a very frazzling week and only realized the month changed when I was checking up on notices of unread topics that somehow did not make it into my e-mail.

So, now that I know for sure that we all made it to August (!!!!)...

My carry with me wherever I go book is Until I Say Goodbye A Book about Living by Susan Spencer-Wendel Until I Say Goodbye: A Book about Living I just started that 2 or 3 days ago. I'm also still actively working on Ice Bound A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole by Jerri Nielsen Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole.

I am very close to finishing two audios. In my car, I have the abridged version of The Year of Living Biblically One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs (I didn't realize it was abridged when I checked it out of the library, but I have the unabridged version to listen to next). On my iPad is Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan Under the Wide and Starry Sky which has me adding Robert Louis Stevenson books to my reading list.


message 2: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
Min kamp 1 (Min kamp, #1) by Karl Ove Knausgård
In this, the first of Norwegian writer Knausgaard's six-volume series of autobiographical novels, he mostly focuses on his feelings relating to his depressed, alcoholic father. The book begins and concludes with ruminations on death, the final section being where Karl Ove and his brother Yngve prepare for their father's funeral.

On the one hand, this book portrays the most prosaic aspects of life. But...

I was going to give this book three stars, but I settled on four. The more I thought about it, the more I was disturbed by the distance we feel from our own family members,the people we share a home life with from childhood to early adulthood. Karl Ove only sees the broad outlines of what troubles his father. Yngve simply hates their Dad, and is somewhat relieved when he finally self-destructs. Karl Ove feels that he should, by all rights, hate him, but nevertheless feels intense grief at his passing.

But there's a sense that the father is a mystery rather than a villain. A puzzle that was never unlocked. A connection that was missed. What forces worked within him? What disappointments caused his deterioration? Karl Ove will never know. The secret is lost. I guess that's the ultimate horror: if we are never truly known by those close to us, are any of us known? What do we ever understand about one another?

This book leaves one with a something of a Nordic chill. I may continue with this series, but at a pace of no more than one a year.


message 3: by Denise (new)

Denise (deniseg53) | 221 comments Thanks for your review, Eric. I have been wondering if I should start the Ove series. Why are they classified as novels when they are basically autobiographies, though?

I'm reading Elizabeth is Missing. It's moving a bit slow but I like it.


message 4: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
As to why they're "novels", maybe because a lot of the highly detailed "recollections" are embellished. They would have to be. I certainly wouldn't be able to remember the minute details of making a sandwich thirty years ago.


message 5: by Denise (new)

Denise (deniseg53) | 221 comments That's probably it. Ha!


message 6: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenlb) | 51 comments It's a rainy August so far, which at least has meant a lot of reading time :-)

I finally got around to reading Horns by Joe Hill Horns by Joe Hill, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was considerably more funny and less horrific than I was expecting.

And my daughter has been after me to read If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman If I Stay, so I started that last night and actually couldn't put it down. It's not the 'best' book in the world, but it is very sweet. I was expecting a 'life altering' teen love story, but to me at least it was much more about family/friend bonds.

Next up for me is The First Queen of England The Myth of "Bloody Mary" by Linda Porter The First Queen of England: The Myth of "Bloody Mary". Somehow I'd missed it in my Tudor history reading, so I'm looking forward to that.


message 7: by Lynda (new)

Lynda (lyndalc) | 2 comments Just finished Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Getting ready to start The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling).


message 8: by Paula (new)

Paula Freeman | 2 comments I am going to read http://www.amazon.com/Under-Texas-Blu... from a new author this month and http://www.amazon.com/White-Promises-...


message 9: by Emgee (last edited Aug 03, 2014 08:23AM) (new)

Emgee  | 33 comments I finished off Tim Power's The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers The Stress of Her Regard in the wee morning hours of Aug 1st, and am now reading Simon Van Booy's Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy Everything Beautiful Began After.


message 10: by Janet (new)

Janet (justjanet) | 790 comments I'm still listening to Look Homeward, Angel on audio for Asheville. I know I read this in high school but I don't remember any of it. It's proving to be a slog for me so I imagine it was even worse when I was a teenager. Also just started Byrd


message 11: by Pat (new)

Pat | 160 comments just finished We Were Liars by E Lockhart. Loved it. anyone else?We Were Liars


message 12: by Janet (new)

Janet (justjanet) | 790 comments I just won a First Reads copy of The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3) by Lev Grossman As I haven't read the other 2, I guess I'd better get going on those!


message 13: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2829 comments Mod
Janet wrote: "I just won a First Reads copy of The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3) by Lev Grossman As I haven't read the other 2, I guess I'd better get going on those!"

OOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooo!


message 14: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (ryanludman) | 6 comments Janet wrote: "I just won a First Reads copy of The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3) by Lev Grossman As I haven't read the other 2, I guess I'd better get going on those!"

Awesome! Congrats. I can't wait to read The Magician's Land!


message 15: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (ryanludman) | 6 comments I just started American Gods (American Gods, #1) by Neil Gaiman . So far, so good!


message 16: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 23 comments Just read The Moment by Douglas Kennedy-an author I had not read before and really liked it. Now starting Transatlantic-so far so good.


message 17: by Gina (new)

Gina Freyn | 24 comments Janet wrote: "I just won a First Reads copy of The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3) by Lev Grossman As I haven't read the other 2, I guess I'd better get going on those!"

I won it TOO, and haven't read the others. We are in the same boat! Are you planning on reading them? I wasn't sure what to do. Happy reading!


message 18: by Janet (new)

Janet (justjanet) | 790 comments Gina wrote: "Janet wrote: "I just won a First Reads copy of The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3) by Lev Grossman As I haven't read the other 2, I guess I'd better get going on those!"

I won it TOO, and haven't read the o..."


Yes Gina, I downloaded the audio of the first one from my library this afternoon. With any luck, I'll be well along in the series before book #3 arrives. I have won books before and sometimes it takes awhile.


message 19: by Susan (new)

Susan | 2 comments Read "Nerve Damage" by Tom Combs. His first book , was an ER doc.
Now reading "Monster" by R.J. Palacio. Next up
"The Book Of Life" by Deborah Harkness. That should get me through next week.


message 20: by Adore (new)

Adore susan, is monster a new book by rj palacio? i haven't heard of it!


message 21: by Susan (new)

Susan | 2 comments Yes! And it's great so far!


message 22: by Melissa (last edited Aug 04, 2014 07:26AM) (new)

Melissa (thenovelbutterfly) | 101 comments I read The Land of Steady Habits this weekend and it was a strong debut. The characters aren't particularly likable, but the story is well done and living in said "land of steady habits" it confirms some of the myths I write in my head about some of the commuters I see on the train when I go into the City. I just started Everything I Never Told You. It is quite good. I can't wait to go home tonight and get back to reading it. I brought it with me to work today, hoping that I might find a moment or two to read it! Ha!

On my nightstand I have The Fault in Our Stars and Life After Life. I put some books on reserve at my library earlier in July and then last week all the holds became available. So I am going to go on a reading bender!


message 23: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Groves | 138 comments Jen wrote: "It's a rainy August so far, which at least has meant a lot of reading time :-)

I finally got around to reading Horns by Joe HillHorns by Joe Hill, and thoroughly enjoyed it..."


I read Horns last year, the first book by either Joe HIl or his dad, Stephen King, that I've read. I've never been a fan of the "horror" genre but decided to give it a try and found that I really liked this novel. While I still read a wide variety of books in all genres, I'm definitely planning to read more by Hill and King (haven't gotten around to it yet—so many books, so little time).


message 24: by Denise (new)

Denise (deniseg53) | 221 comments Debbie, I've read all of Douglas Kennedy's books. I really liked The Moment, too.

I finished Elizabeth is Missing. It was okay. Now I'm reading Dear Daughter.


message 25: by Karen (new)

Karen | 293 comments I just started Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian


message 26: by Sue (new)

Sue | 415 comments I've been hoarding it for months, and was planning to read it on a recent trip to Mexico, but got stuck in another book, so it will have to wait until the next beach trip at the end of August. I'm looking forward to it and can't wait to dive into the We Were Liars spoiler thread when I finish.

Pat wrote: "just finished We Were Liars by E Lockhart. Loved it. anyone else?We Were Liars"


message 27: by Sue (new)

Sue | 415 comments I loooooved Transatlantic. Colum Mccann's writing is mesmerizing and he is a phenomenal storyteller.

Debbie wrote: "Just read The Moment by Douglas Kennedy-an author I had not read before and really liked it. Now starting Transatlantic-so far so good."


message 28: by Sue (new)

Sue | 415 comments I am half-way through and loving Jennifer Egan's 2001 novel, Look at Me. It was a bit of a slow start, but has now become a page-turner for me.

Egan is a master at so many things. Her writing is exquisite. She can take the most ordinary moment and sculpt into a mesmerizing, stunning image.

Her characters, who always seem to be careening around the edges of sanity, are all fully formed and relatable, no matter how unfamiliar the circumstances of their lives.

She is a polymath and can write expertly - and interestingly - on topics ranging from skateboarding, to the history of glass, to obscure Indian musical instruments to high-fashion modeling, among other things.

Her work is infused with Big Ideas(history, technology, image, culture, etc.) in a way that reminds me of Jonathan Franzen; her language is sharp and darkly comic in a way that reminds me of A.M. Homes.

Running through all of this is the slow and steady weaving together of three narratives that bounce off each other and connect like the blobs in a lava lamp. You know that eventually they will crash together and become one story, but it is mesmerizing to watch them bob along, brushing up against each other, then floating apart again.

Unless it all falls apart at the end, which I doubt, I highly recommend it!


message 29: by Susanne (last edited Aug 05, 2014 07:39AM) (new)

Susanne (heysus74) | 97 comments I'm listening to The Fault in Our Stars & The Book of Life, the latter for book club this month. I'm reading The One - getting my YA fix on.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3) by Deborah Harkness The One (The Selection, #3) by Kiera Cass


message 30: by Pat (new)

Pat | 160 comments where/what is the We Were Liars spoiler thread? I looked for a discusson on Goodreads but this was the only one I saw.


message 31: by Sue (new)

Sue | 415 comments https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Pat wrote: "where/what is the We Were Liars spoiler thread? I looked for a discusson on Goodreads but this was the only one I saw."


message 32: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
I'll spoil it right here if you like.


message 33: by Janet (new)

Janet (justjanet) | 790 comments Eric wrote: "I'll spoil it right here if you like."

Don't do it Eric! lol


message 34: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2829 comments Mod
Janet wrote: "Eric wrote: "I'll spoil it right here if you like."

Don't do it Eric! lol"


Don't tell him, "Don't," Janet. He might do it just to be contrary. I would!


message 35: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
In the end...you come to find out... they wuz all aliens.


message 36: by Sue (new)

Sue | 415 comments Noooooo!!

Eric wrote: "I'll spoil it right here if you like."


message 37: by Louise (last edited Aug 06, 2014 04:21AM) (new)

Louise | 279 comments Denise wrote: "That's probably it. Ha!"

I have all 6 of them but have sadly only read the first. There was a LOT of attention when they came out, Knausgård's father's family protested etc, and that is one of the reasons they're published as novels.

It's art through self-presentation you could say - and at the same time the books contain essays about our modern society.


message 38: by Lil (new)

Lil | 216 comments Help! I know this question has been addressed somewhere else in this group, but it's a book emergency! I have a friend who is traveling back to Sudan on Friday to teach and won't be able to download any books once there. He loves Lee Child, Grisham, but has read them all. That's not my genre and I was hoping for some recs so he can load up before he goes. Thanks in advance!


message 39: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Groves | 138 comments I've finished all the Booktopia Asheville books except The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress. The most recent one I read was Byrd, which I really liked.

Since there's two weeks before the event, I'm reading a couple of other things before proceeding to the last book. Right now it's a historical novel, if World War II is far enough in the past to be called "historical," called Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. It's a sequel or sorts to Code Name Verity and also about young women who were WWII pilots in Britain. I also need to squeeze in Where'd You Go, Bernadette, before the last Asheville book. I recommended it for a book club that had stalled, unable to pick anything to read or set a date. I had read it earlier in the year and thought it would be a good "summer reading" book for the group.

My current audiobook is The Believers by Zoe Heller. I like it much better than the one I just finished, The Infinities by John Banville. I almost gave up on that one but decided to slog through it. In the end it wasn't as bad asI thought it would be initially, but I still didn't care for it that much.


message 40: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2829 comments Mod
Finished listening to Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan Under the Wide and Starry Sky and have replaced it with Landline by Rainbow Rowell Landline


message 41: by Kate (new)

Kate | 269 comments Not sure when I last posted, but I have read a ton this summer. I had surgery on both feet and have been out of work since April so my activity has been curtailed. I am so grateful I am a reader otherwise I would have been crazier than I am. I just finished A Conspiracy of Faith (Department Q, #3) by Jussi Adler-Olsen , A Conspiracy of Faith which is the third in the series. Currently I am reading Parnassus On Wheels by Christopher Morley , Parnassus on Wheels which is a little lighter.


message 42: by Denise (new)

Denise (deniseg53) | 221 comments Lil, has he read Michael Connelly?


message 43: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Working on The Sherlockian


message 44: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2829 comments Mod
I am reading Until I Say Goodbye A Book about Living by Susan Spencer-Wendel by Susan Spencer-Wendel. This is a quote from page 84:

"I have the heart and soul of a hippie. But the taste of a woman from Palm Beach. I love BCBG, high heels, nice jewelry, and good hygiene."

What is BCBG? or what does it mean?

Thanks.


message 45: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2829 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "I am reading Until I Say Goodbye A Book about Living by Susan Spencer-Wendel by Susan Spencer-Wendel. This is a quote from page 84:

"I have the heart and soul of a hippie. But the taste of a woman f..."

Now I know that Facebook is a tad faster than Goodreads. Thanks for the answer Kalen, Chris, and Toni.


message 46: by Julie (new)

Julie M (woolyjooly) | 283 comments Summer reading/vacation reading has been EXCELLENT for me. Finished Vacationland by Sarah Stonich , We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride , and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin . End of July/early August. Now I'm starting Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline , but got sidetracked by a thrift store bargain pb by T.C. Boyle called The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle . Curious about his writing after seeing him interviewed on Charlie Rose awhile back . . .


message 47: by Lil (new)

Lil | 216 comments Not sure, Denise, but I'll put it on his list. Thanks!


message 48: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) | 512 comments Linda wrote: "I am reading Until I Say Goodbye A Book about Living by Susan Spencer-Wendel by Susan Spencer-Wendel. This is a quote from page 84:

"I have the heart and soul of a hippie. But the taste of a woman f..."


clothing brand


message 49: by Carol (new)

Carol (ckubala) | 560 comments Mod
Lil wrote: "Help! I know this question has been addressed somewhere else in this group, but it's a book emergency! I have a friend who is traveling back to Sudan on Friday to teach and won't be able to downl..."
Quick answer without commentary - for Child / Ace Atkins, Vince Flynn, Harlan Coben, Giles Blunt, for Grisham David Baldacci, John Lescroart, William Bernhardt, Rchard North Patterson, Steve Martini

It often helps to know what appeals to the reader so choose readalikes. I don't think your friend could go wrong with any of these.


message 50: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 23 comments Lil wrote: "Help! I know this question has been addressed somewhere else in this group, but it's a book emergency! I have a friend who is traveling back to Sudan on Friday to teach and won't be able to downl..."

Robert Crais, Harlan Coben?


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