Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2018 Weekly Checkins > Week 27: 6/28 - 7/5

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message 1: by Nadine in NY (last edited Jul 05, 2018 03:35AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6939 comments Mod
Wow it's Thursday again!! I've had the last three days off from work, and our Week 26 conversation has been lively and ongoing, so it doesn't feel like a full week has passed. I confess I didn't really feel up to celebrating my country yesterday. Moving on ... Happy 5th of July, everyone!! I hope you are all reading good books.


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Admin stuff:

It's July! Which means our new monthly read is underway for "book set at sea" (yeah, in the heat we've had in the eastern US recently, being at sea sounds pretty good right now), and the book is: The Woman in Cabin 10. Don't fall overboard!

All of our monthly reads have been voted on and selected. If you would like to volunteer to lead the discussion for August (The Night Circus), October (Hallowe'en Party), or December (Circe), just let me or Sara know.

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This week I finished 4 books, three of them for the Around the Year challenge, none of them for this challenge, so I remain 44/50 for Popsugar.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay - I listened to the audiobook, read by the author, and he does a decent job. This was not perfect, but it was more fun than I thought it would be, and I'm interested enough to add the second book in the series to my TBR list. (I'm using this for "book based on a word "born" in your birth year in AtY.)

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck - I like to sprinkle my year with a few classics, they tend to have more "gravitas" than the other books I read, so in that sense I'm glad I read this. But, I didn't really like it. (I'm using this for four elements-earth in AtY.)

When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities - poetry by Chen Chen - I took my time with this book, reading one poem a day, so it took me 1.5 months, and I loved every page of it!!! If you are looking to read some young and current poets, I HIGHLY recommend this!!

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir (book #3 in her "Ember in the Ashes" series) - just finished last night! The last 150 pages were excellent! The rest of the book, not so much. (I'm using this for "Clue weapon on the cover" in AtY.)


Question of the Week

(from Raquel) What book do you think everyone should read?


This is a tough question for me ( so why did you choose it, Nadine??? - because I thought it might lead to some interesting discussions!), because I generally don't think in terms of "must reads." Coincidentally, the end of our week 26 conversation segues nicely into this week's QoTW!

I tossed around various classics that are always referred to, and thus important to read if you want to understand the references. But in the end, I choose The Hate U Give because it's well-written, accessible, emotional, a quick read, and can help explain why the Black Lives Matter movement got started and is still important.


message 2: by Dani (new)

Dani Weyand | 303 comments Good morning from an oppressively hot Columbus. We skipped out on both the 3rd and the 4th’s fireworks displays. I’ll watch it from my tv where there’s AC please and thank you. Looking back I’m surprised to see I only finished two books this week. It feels like I read more but I guess not! I ended up seeing three movies this week so that took up a lot of my evening reading time.

Lady Susan this was the final pick for the goodreads June section of the summer challenge. I was going to do Ella Minnow Pea for the book of letters prompt but I’ve been fighting off heat related migraines and there isn’t an audiobook version of the latter. Lady Susan was short, and funny. A lot different than Austen’s other work but I liked it. Hopefully I’ll get around to Ella Minnow Pea because I always see people talking about it here and it sounds interesting.

The Martian Chronicles this is for the July category of the goodreads challenge. I’m glad I gave Bradbury another go because I enjoyed this book a lot more than anything else I’ve read from him. I liked that it was a collection of stories and a commentary on society, not just sci-fi space talk.

QOTW: I don’t think I could pick one specific title, but I’d say books by people you don’t agree with, or who have different world views than you. I think everyone has a tendency to isolate themselves intellectually and it contributes to a lot of the problems we have as a society.


message 3: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1293 comments The British heatwave continues. Every day this week the forecast has been "there'll be rain tomorrow" and it never comes. I am starting to worry about the farmers. My parents are coming to visit next week so I'm not sure how much time I'll get for reading.

I have been mostly listening to books this week (hard to believe at the beginning of the year I just couldn't do audiobooks). I finished The Hunger which was a bit underwhelming but it ticks off based on a real person. I wanted it to be more atmospheric, considering it is billed as horror.

Currently reading Spinning Silver for a book with alliteration in the title. It's transporting me to a wintery world in all this heat!

I'm currently listening to Scythe which I'm going to use as villain or anti-hero because all the characters are in the business of killing people, even if they are not technically villains in this world. I'm loving the world-building.

31/50 | 58/100

QOTW:

I dislike the idea of "should reads". I always give a recommendation based on the person receiving it not what I personally think are the best books ever, because I know everyone has different tastes.

However for the purpose of this question I will say The Day of the Triffids because I think we all need a reminder now and then about the human species' precariousness at the top of the food chain. It would not take much to leave us completely useless. For anyone who hasn't read it, it's is not the plants that topple us, it's blindness (caused by gawping at a meteor storm without eye protection, we would totally do that), the plants just take advantage.

But now I've just thought of On the Beach which should be required reading for anyone with the power to launch nukes...


message 4: by Stacey (last edited Jul 05, 2018 05:55AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Happy Thursday! :)

Currently at 30/52 for PS challenge!

This week I finished:

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser ⭐️⭐️⭐️ for 28) A Book with Song Lyrics in the title - "I Could Tell" made me think of "If I Could Tell Her" from Dear Evan Hansen

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for 42) A Cyberpunk Book - I used to play MMORPGs (Fiesta, Aion, Black Desert) so I really enjoyed this title & I thought Wil Wheaton did an awesome job of narrating!

The Continuity Girl by Leah McLaren ⭐️ for 20) A Book by a Local Author - This is one I definitely don't recommend, I just finished it because it was better than my other options for this prompt which were all historical non-fiction that I already know about! TBH, it's probably a 1.5 ⭐️ as I didn't like part of it and thought part of it was ok. The character development is very weak and the story is very disjointed and random often leaving the reader confused and then not really giving any explanation. :(

Currently Reading

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling for 36) A Book set in the decade you were born (yay 90s!) - I chose one I knew I'd love after the last disappointment! xD

QOTW
This one is tough but I'm going to say probably The Heart of the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I can't find the OLLLLDDD school edition that I have read on Goodreads which is just called The Five Love Languages, and warning this book is from a Christian perspective and some of the ideas/content are probably straight out of the era it was written too (the author is in his 80s now). Beyond that though, it's an extremely eye opening read for anyone that is looking to improve their relationships, the book is angled towards romantic relationships but the theory can be applied to any relationships.

It talks about how there are 5 different ways that people show/feel love and how we tend to show love in the way(s) that we feel it. It's important to recognize though, that not everyone feels love the same way and delves into how you can show love to the other people in your life if they don't speak the same love language that you do so that ultimately, your relationships will be better.

Edit: The 5 Languages, for anyone who is curious are:

Words of Affirmation/Compliments
Quality Time
Receiving Gifts
Acts of Service
Physical Touch


message 5: by Johanne (last edited Jul 05, 2018 04:24AM) (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Hi all!

Great summer weather. Today is cloudy, but otherwise it´s been warm and sunny for ages. Everything is dry, and that´s extremely unusual in these parts (Denmark).

I´ve been off my main work since monday. We´ve been sorting out our books - there´s not enough shelf space, so we bought new shelves. My husband is a record collector, and also reads, so he´s understanding like that. We´re not finished. We have A LOT OF BOOKS!
Today is a day of updating the family´s budget, figuring out our economy and talking to the bank - some of my least favourite things in the world. I´m also writing two reviews for my second job, and after that I´m off work completely and I´ll be reading anything I choose!
We´re off to the summer house tomorrow morning for 8 days. So looking forward to it.

Didn´t finish anything that works toward the challenge this week, or anything else worth mentioning for that matter.

Continued reading The Blade Itself, that I´ve had on pause for a while. It´s really picked up the pace now (I´m halfway). I´m going to use it for villain/ antihero. Even though they´re not depicted as villains, more or less all the main characters are assassins, barbarians or arrogant selfish bastards, so I think it counts.

Listening to The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle on audiobook. I may try listening to it on the patio in the summer house (or whatever we agreed a wooden terrace surrounding the house was called). Using that for country that fascinates you (Japan).

QOTW:
Okay, so this is where the children´s librarian enters. Everyone should read at least one book in their life that they enjoy immensely, gives them a new perspective on life, and/or is THAT book they needed to understand themselves and the world at the exact right time in their life. I´ll be happy to recommend you something based on that (and a conversation first) ;)


message 6: by Johanne (last edited Jul 05, 2018 04:38AM) (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Stacey wrote: "...
QOTW
This one is tough but I'm going to say probably The Heart of the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I can't find the OLLLLDDD school edition that I have read on Goodreads which is just called The Five Love Languages, and warning this book is from a Christian perspective and some of the ideas are probably straight out of the era it was written too (the author is in his 80s now). ..."


This is curious regarding the conversation about religion and reception/ understanding of what you read. A colleague of mine recommended me this book recently, and she hadn´t noticed the Christian perspective as something noteworthy (she knows I´m somewhere between atheist and agnostic on the believers spectre, so she would have mentioned it.)


message 7: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Stacey wrote: "The 5 Languages, for anyone who is curious are:

Words of Affirmation/Compliments
Quality Time
Receiving Gifts
Acts of Service
Physical Touch"


That's a fantastic choice Stacey! I think we can all learn how to accept and express love better after reading this book. It was an eye opening concept the first time I heard about it, and it has really helped me to recognize when people close to me are showing me love through their own love language (even if it isn't mine). It's been a while since I read it so I don't remember how heavy the Christian perspective is (and being a Christian myself it wouldn't have stood out as much to me), BUT the general concept of the love languages is broader than that and relevant to anyone with a heart and people they love :) Just my opinion :)


message 8: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Sara wrote: "Stacey wrote: "..BUT the general concept of the love languages is broader than that and relevant to anyone with a heart and people they love :) Just my opinion :) ..."

Yes, that´s what my colleague thought and why she recommended it. Maybe I should read it...


message 9: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6939 comments Mod
Johanne wrote: "
Okay, so this is where the children´s librarian enters. Everyone should read at least one book in their life that they enjoy immensely, gives them a new perspective on life, and/or is THAT book they needed to understand themselves and the world at the exact right time in their life. I´ll be happy to recommend you something based on that (and a conversation first) ;) ..."


Okay! what questions should I answer for you to recommend a book to me!?


message 10: by Megan (new)

Megan (mghrt06) | 542 comments Hello everyone. I'm on staycation this week (and its wonderful)! I've been switching between tv and reading!

I finished two books and started a novella today. Hope to finish one more book before staycation is over.

Finished Before I Go to Sleep. I had watched this movie so I knew the twist. It was interesting though and I'd like to rewatch the movie now.

Finished Salt to the Sea. I really enjoyed this. Every time I read historial fiction I'm reminded that I should read MORE historical fiction. I"m using this as set at sea - might be a stretch (view spoiler)

Started Last Breath. This is the prequel to The Good Daughter and I just wanted to read it. So once I finish it won't count for the challenge.

23 regular, 6 advanced, 5 non-challenge.


message 11: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 420 comments Johanne wrote: "QOTW:
Okay, so this is where the children´s librarian enters. Everyone should read at least one book in their life that they enjoy immensely, gives them a new perspective on life, and/or is THAT book they needed to understand themselves and the world at the exact right time in their life. I´ll be happy to recommend you something based on that (and a conversation first) ;) "


I love that answer.

Hello from also very hot Montréal. Today and the past days since last Saturday feels like 44°C. And I heard it's the same everywhere. Can't wait for vacation.

So last week I finished The Other Boleyn Girl for a novel based on a real person. It was good and it made me read on that period of time. And it made me feel that I am glad to be born in a time and a place where women can decide to choose or not to have children.

Still reading Chagrin d'école and will start another one today. Don't know yet which one.

QOTW: I have no idea what to answer. Maybe something like Night because we need to learn from our mistakes and not allow something like that to happen again.


message 12: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Nadine wrote: "Johanne wrote: "
Okay, so this is where the children´s librarian enters. Everyone should read at least one book in their life that they enjoy immensely, gives them a new perspective on life, and/or..."


I may have dug myself a hole there.... I´ve never actually tried this remotely, and I´m better with kids and teens... Let me give it some thought :)


message 13: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Happy Thursday morning everyone! I allowed myself an extra 30 minutes of sleep this morning (kept up too late by the festivities going on at the neighbor's house) and feel much better rested than I did earlier this week.

Books finished:
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I wanted to love this book because it was a favorite childhood movie, but I just didn't :( Used it for a childhood classic I've never read.

Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber. First of all - yes, I read a Christmas book in July! I needed a reminder of cooler whether to get through record breaking heat! Second, the cover is just so pretty that every time I scrolled past it on my library's website it called to me. Third, it works for a book with a weather element in the title. It was a fun little read.

Currently reading:

A Place for Us - Fatima Farheen Mirza - This is a new release, the first from Sarah Jessica Parker's new publishing endeavors. It follows the lives of an Indian-American family as they raise their three kids and see the choices said kids make which may or may not meet with the parents approval. It is not a linear progression of time. The story jumps back and forth from current time to when the children were little or were teenagers. It flows well and I adjust quickly each time the story shifts. The first half of the book was fantastic. It seems to have slowed down, but that may also be me not having enough time to really immerse myself in the story.

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton. I was lucky enough to have a friend share an ARC of the new Kate Morton book with me!! I have started it, but I'm waiting to finish A Place for Us before I really dive in.

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan. This is my current audio. It's an epistolary novel (letters) set in World War II in a small English village where the vicar has disbanded the choir after all the men leave for war. The women decide to take matters into their own hands :)

QOTW

Wow, it's hard to say one book that everyone should read because we are all so different! I like Nadine's choice of The Hate U Give.

I'm going to take a historical spin on that idea and say Night by Elie Wiesel. I think every generation needs a reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust to ground us and keep us from repeating the mistakes of the past. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank would be a similar choice.


message 14: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Fannie wrote: "Maybe something like Night because we need to learn from our mistakes and not allow something like that to happen again."

Yes! I suggested this one as well (your post hadn't shown up yet when I started writing mine). The further removed in time from a major historical mistake the more we forget all the sentiment and choices that led up TO the mistake. We need the stark reminder every once it a while!


message 15: by Anne (new)

Anne Happy Thursday! 44 of 50 down!

Last week’s question of the week was about trying recipes in books. If I tried all the beverage concoctions in Life at the Dakotas, I doubt I’d be able to type this! Let’s just say that there was a lot of gin and sherry flowing at that apartment complex back in the day! I found it interesting that these recipes survived the century plus.

Plus, I had an extra day for reading with Independence Day. My house has to bunker down early for the four legged family member who DOES NOT like fireworks and everyone else in my subdivision does.

Completed:
Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address This was a complete history of the building of the Dakota, an apartment complex on the west side of Central Park, by Edward Clark, the man who created the winning marketing plan for Singer sewing machines. The stories of the residents, the high end living, the ludicrously low rents, and the massive debt incurred by the Clark heirs to keep the Dakota residents in the lifestyles to which they are accustomed. The book was published in 1979, so I’m sure all the ‘oldest living residents’ have passed and the building has been through 40 more years of challenges and modernities. I already read my microhistory, but this would definitely work for someone who still needs it.

22) Alliteration – Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little. As a first novel, I was impressed by the plot, but not by the characterizations. Janie Jenkins, our protagonist, was a celebutante, and although 26 years of age, read more like a teen. It had an annoying YA vibe, but the plot was excellent. Janie spent 10 years in prison for the murder of her mother and when, like OJ, she tries to track down the real killer, she learns more about herself than she expected. Solid read, just a shame the characters are so unlikeable.

Sayonara Slam could have been read for a sports book, but I used it for a baseball summer read. Naomi Hirohara’s protagonist, Mas Arai, a Japanese born, naturalized citizen gardener in LA, is a curmudgeon. The book centers on an exhibition baseball series between Japan and Korea and the murder of a Japanese journalist. I struggled a bit with the dialect, having to sound out some of the replies to figure out the intent.

Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy is a fluffy cozy set in the White House that I’m using for a bit of fluff; they also have a full state dinner menu listed, but a tangent about poisoned chicken wings has me craving them (clearly not with arsenic as an ingredient, though)!

Currently reading:
42) cyberpunk – Ready Player One. While I love the 80s and was a teenager during that awesome decade, I just don’t find that this is my genre or my book. We all know I hate it and I’ll just leave it at that.

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann – a historical adventure through the Amazonian jungle, basically to palette cleanser RP1. It truly is amazing how many parties died when searching for lost civilizations, including as recently as the 1980s! The book gets dry in areas and then **bam** graphic descriptions of killer bugs and starvation.

Just started my #5 – antihero: A Season in Purgatory by Dominick Dunne. If you aren’t familiar with Dunne, he was a well-known journalist, writing for Vanity Fair among others, after his daughter’s murder. He was obsessed with justice, especially when the believed culprit was powerful or moneyed. Purgatory is a fictionalized account of the Martha Moxley murder by Kennedy cousin, Michael Skakel, as told by a fictional best friend of the Skakel character. I still love watching reruns of Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege, and Justice when I see them airing!

QOTW - What book should everyone read?

Well, tastes clearly vary greatly. My go to book for that this year has been Educated: A Memoir. It’s short enough and recent enough that non-readers can still read it and enjoy. For more reading centric folks, I can not rave enough about A Gentleman in Moscow. Once I finish the challenge, I’ll be loading up on more Towles!


message 16: by Stacey (last edited Jul 05, 2018 07:41AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Sara wrote: "The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank"

This is too funny, but that was the other idea I was tossing around when I wrote my post!! I think this stuff has just been on my mind this past week with everything on social media lately about how US immigration is down the tubes and people have been comparing parts of it to concentration camps and then the holocaust survivor that spoke out and said this is NOTHING like concentration camps!

Also last week I was trying to figure out what I wanted to read for the ancestry prompt and I have German ancestry (possibly German/Jewish?) I don't really know as my family was already in Canada during this era and tried to conceal our ancestry as much as possible to avoid persecution so nobody who knew my family really knows and I never got to meet my Grandpa/Great-Grandpa on that side so I never got the chance to ask. I know that my surname used to have a different spelling that ended in "...mann" and I've heard rumours that having 2n's on the end of your last name at one point was a German-Jewish custom, but attempting to confirm that has been difficult!!

Anyways, it's definitely been on my mind lately which is probably why I thought of this too!!

Johanne wrote: "Yes, that´s what my colleague thought and why she recommended it. Maybe I should read it..."

You should definitely read it! It's very eye opening and interesting and the theory is relevant today! It has definitely made my relationships better!

Sara wrote: "BUT the general concept of the love languages is broader than that and relevant to anyone with a heart and people they love :) Just my opinion :)."

I totally agree which is why I think it's something everyone should read! I certainly think it's extremely relevant for everyone regardless of their beliefs! :) In light of the discussion that happened last week I figured it was worth mentioning that it was from a Christian perspective as I know some people would prefer to know that up front!

I read a very old edition of this book that my parents have had on our library shelves since I was a little kid & I read it so long ago that I don't remember all of the content exactly or how heavy the perspective is in the books but I do know that they author Gary Chapman is a Christian author and went to bible school & seminary. He gives examples of couples he counselled in the book and I wouldn't be surprised at all if God/Prayer is included even though I don't directly remember it being there. There definitely won't be any LGBTQ+ references/mentions in the book either.

Also nothing to do directly with Christianity but since the author gives examples from couples he's counselled, and this book was written eons ago (although maybe new editions are different?) there will probably be references where the wife of the scenario is a housewife/stay at home mom who is responsible for almost all the childcare etc. (not to say that's a bad thing or irrelevant today, but I know that some people can be a bit touchy with this kind of content), so I wanted to make sure I also specifically mentioned that this book was written a long time ago!


message 17: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Nadine wrote: "Johanne wrote: "
Okay, so this is where the children´s librarian enters. Everyone should read at least one book in their life that they enjoy immensely, gives them a new perspective on life, and/or..."


Alright here goes: Normally I would ask (and this is with kids and teens) what you had read (if any) recently that you enjoyed? What other things you enjoy in life? I would also make assumptions based on your age and appearance, look for reactions to my questions and suggestions (sometimes if a kid is reluctant to read it can have a variety of reasons: boring mandatory reads, dyslexia etc). I would also ask what you felt like reading: Something with a good plot? realistic/ fantasy? sad/funny?
For now I just had a look at your read books and I will go out on a limb and say: you might enjoy Life A User's Manual. I also think you should try out The Devil's Apprentice when it comes out in English in the fall.


message 18: by Karen (new)

Karen | 127 comments No books finished this week. I'm currently reading Ready Player One and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, and DNFed Cornwell's Blowfly. I think it was too far into the series to be able to jump into well.

QOTW: I second The Hate U Give. This is the first book that came to mind for me. 5 Love Languages is also great.


message 19: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 745 comments Another crazy week of summer library... and it doesn't help that I've been covering another co-worker's duties while they're on vacation. People who think being a librarian just means getting to sit around and read all day are sorely mistaken... XD

Only three books to go in my challenge, at least! Whoo!

Books read this week:

The White Tiger -- for the "book you saw a stranger reading in a public place" prompt. I've actually seen TWO people reading this in public (one at the library and one in a hospital waiting room) so I guess I was supposed to read it? Very revealing look at the corruption and hardships of living in modern-day India, albeit very dark.

The Bread We Eat in Dreams -- not for the challenge. A wonderful story collection by one of my absolute favorite authors, and a nice antidote to "White Tiger."

Spelled -- not for the challenge. Not great, but an entertaining YA fairy-tale mashup with a LOT of elements added from "Wizard of Oz.

Currently Reading:

Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day -- for the "microhistory" prompt
The Story of Awkward -- not for the challenge
And still chipping away at Lovecraft...

QOTW:

Life of Pi, full stop. This is a powerful read with valuable things to say about humanity and our place in the world. I recommend it to almost everybody who comes to the library. For genre reads, I recommend every fantasy fan check out The Last Unicorn, and I think every sci-fi fan needs to read The Martian Chronicles.


message 20: by Johanna (last edited Jul 05, 2018 06:10AM) (new)

Johanna Ellwood (jpellwood) | 234 comments 35/52

Recovering from our Independence Day celebrations!


Completed Prompts

I finished one book this week.

A book set in the decade you were born: I read Go Ask Alice, a journal from a girl who got caught up in drugs. It was interesting to be in her mind and see her struggle with her decisions and how those decisions affected her. I was shocked at the way she was treated by the other users when she tried to get clean! My only complaint is how the book ended. (**spoiler alert**) As she completed her second journal she decided she was not going to continue journaling. Two weeks later, she was dead. At the point she ended things seemed to be going so well for her. I wonder what happened in those two weeks?

On my nightstand:
Almost done with Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything. This was under a librarian pick at the library. It is so funny and unbelievable. I keep laughing and reading parts out loud to my family. I had ordered Hallowe'en Party at the library and it came in, right when I found it was to be the October read! I'll read it now and join in the conversation then. Also have At Home in Mitford for my pick by a local author.

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks

QOTW: I don't think there is ONE book that everyone should read. Read what you enjoy and if it really speaks to you. There is no one book that is going to appeal to everyone.


message 21: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 491 comments Staycation to the max! I’m having fun being at loose ends for a few days and spending time with family. Also, I’m 100% having fun celebrating American independence and the ideals our government was founded on, even if I don’t like where we are right now. In the (Bowdlerized) words of The Oatmeal, “BEER AND BALD EAGLES; HAMBURGERS IN MY FACE! EXPLOSIONS - WOOOOOOOO!”

Dani wrote: "Lady Susan was short, and funny. A lot different than Austen’s other work but I liked it. ..."

I highly recommend the movie adaptation - it captures the spirit really well (though it’s weirdly titled after a different Austen story, Love & Friendship)

For those interested in The 5 Love Languages, I’ve read that the content is pretty easily summarized, and here’s an article that goes through it, including a link to the quiz on the author’s site. I did the quiz and it was helpful - not hugely surprised at my primary language, but seeing the whole list sorted was interesting.

Finished

Thin Air * A book with a weather element in the title * This was OK, but I felt like it paled in comparison with her previous cold-weather-wilderness-horror book, Dark Matter. (Also, that one had the advantage of Jeremy Northam’s amazing narration on the audio book.)

Among the Thorns * A book with an ugly cover * This was great. Speaking of books people should read, this gives a lot of insight into the struggle the Jewish people have faced in Europe, through a very personal story about a loving family trying to get by. I still can’t quite grok that there’s a Grimm’s fairy tale where the hero murders a Jewish man. But this short tale gives a wonderful answer to the original story, with a revenge that may be the most on point I’ve ever read.

Evernight* A book set in a country that fascinates you * After Among the Thorns I tooled around Tor’s short fiction offerings and found this story set in the Wild Cards universe, in the Paris catacombs - couldn’t resist using it for this prompt. The story and characters were great, but the writing style was often confusing to me. Still, worth the short investment if you like mutants/superheroes and creepy settings.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy * A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge * A big thank-you to Mel, who recommended this back in November! I LOVED this! Girl Power + Humor + Lovecraftian/Weird Fiction themes = was this written specifically for me?! <3

Currently Reading

Dark Gods * A book with song lyrics in the title * I went to a lot of trouble to obtain this lauded entry in Lovecraftian fiction annals. I’ve already read one of the stories and remember it having some uncomfortable exoticism/fear around African peoples, but that didn’t prepare me for the straight-up racism of the characters in the first story, “Children of the Kingdom.” Having digested it a bit and read some analyses (including Victor LaValle’s - he loved it), I think this is mostly Klein giving the characters the kind of passive, disclaimable racism that many white people in America carry, in order to contrast their fear of violence and barbarity from people of color with the true source of violence and barbarity in the story.

Klein still does a shitty job of writing the women and giving them a story or even relatable human reactions, so between the two things, I’m trepidatious about the remaining tales, but I’m giving it a try.


QOTW

Johanne wrote: "Everyone should read at least one book in their life that they enjoy immensely, gives them a new perspective on life, and/or is THAT book they needed to understand themselves and the world at the exact right time in their life. "

Well, I think you win the thread!

But for what it’s worth, when I try to think of a book EVERYONE should read, I keep coming back to The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark - literally everyone on the planet could benefit from knowing how human perception and cognition tend to go haywire, and how to protect themselves from developing false beliefs.(Also worthy of mention - the upcoming Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe - it’s supposed to expand on the same ideas and refresh some of the dated material.)


message 22: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6939 comments Mod
Johanne wrote: "Nadine wrote: "Johanne wrote: "
Okay, so this is where the children´s librarian enters. Everyone should read at least one book in their life that they enjoy immensely, gives them a new perspective ..."



Thank you! Haha didn't mean to put you on the spot! I love both of those recommendations, because I've never heard of either book and they both look interesting. And after all these months of weekly short conversations you probably know me well enough that they won't be completely off the mark.


message 23: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1293 comments Unauthorized Cinnamon wrote: "For those interested in The 5 Love Languages, I’ve read that the content is pretty easily summarized, and here’s an article that goes through it, including a link to the quiz on the author’s site. I did the quiz and it was helpful - not hugely surprised at my primary language, but seeing the whole list sorted was interesting."

Thanks for this, I'm not really interested in reading self-help and it being antiquated is even more off-putting, but now I know what people are talking about.

I found Modern Romance quite interesting in how it points out the generational divide in relationships. Once upon a time people settled for "you'll do" whilst now people hold out for "the one". So younger relationships might be more on the same wavelength for these 5 things. I dunno, I just don't feel I need to read that book to better love my partner :) I sometimes suspect he'd like a few less books lying about the place, but he loves me so he has to put up with them.


message 24: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Ellie wrote: "I just don't feel I need to read that book to better love my partner.

It's possible that you and your partner have a lot of similarities in your "love languages" so it's more natural to show and accept love with each other.

Some relationships (this concept covers all relationships, not just romantic ones) can vary WIDELY on how they show love which can lead to conflict (I know this from personal experience). If you are very introspective and tend to think through things like this you'd probably reach similar conclusions on your own, but again there are lots of people that need a little guidance to get them to alter their thinking. It's a good resource for people who can't understand why, for instance, a parent could get frustrated when their child doesn't seem to appreciate hugs and kisses. Maybe that child needs words of affirmation or quality time in order to feel their parents love fully.

There's lots to explore within this concept whether you read the book or not. And as Unauthorized Cinnamon posted, a summary article would give you the structural basics enough to explore more on your own.


message 25: by Ellie (last edited Jul 05, 2018 07:02AM) (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1293 comments Sara wrote: "And as Unauthorized Cinnamon posted, a summary article would give you the structural basics enough to explore more on your own...."

Yes, I did read the summary article which is what I was saying thanks for and I personally thought that was enough for me. I wasn't speaking for anyone other than me if people want to read the book. Like I said in my original post I don't think there should be "should read" books precisely for the reason that people are different.


message 26: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Nadine wrote: "Johanne wrote: "Nadine wrote: "Johanne wrote: "
...Thank you! Haha didn't mean to put you on the spot! I love both of those recommendations, because I've never heard of either book and they both look interesting. And after all these months of weekly short conversations you probably know me well enough that they won't be completely off the mark. ..."


I hope you like them! I deliberately took something I didn´t think you had read - and I looked them up in your "read" books :)


message 27: by El (new)

El | 195 comments 48/50

Finished:
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote for true crime.

The Floating Admiral by The Detection Club. Not for the challenge.

Marvel Adventures: Iron Man #1 and Marvel Avengers Alliance (2016) #1 on my kindle app.

Currently reading:
P.S. I Love You

QOTW:
Everyone has different tastes. But I agree with The Diary of a Young Girl.


message 28: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 793 comments Hi everyone!

I took Tuesday off, and had Wednesday off so my sense of time is all skewed, today feels like a Monday. I didn't have a whole lot of time for reading during my time off, because we were having a party and had guests staying the night.

This week I finished:

Tea from an Empty Cup - cyberpunk book. I read a lot of cyberpunk so went to Pat Cardigan since I'd only read one of her books so far. I didn't like this one as much as the other I read by her. It wasn't bad, but it was a little hard to follow. The ending was a bit abrupt and confusing for me. Still enjoyed it overall though.

I Kill Giants - Counting this for Read Harder's book read in one sitting. It was a nice read, not really what I was expecting. Hopefully I can find the movie on streaming at some point, I'd like to see how that came out.

Snotgirl, Vol. 2: California Screaming - Not for a challenge, but it was a fun read.

Pirates! - listened to audiobook, my book set at sea. I liked it, was a fun adventure about a young woman and her former slave/best friend who escaped the society that didn't allow them to live the lives they wanted by becoming pirates.

Currently reading:

The Book Thief - this will be my book related to my heritage. I'm a euro-mutt, with family from Germany, Sweden, England, Scotland and Ireland. So I don't really feel any strong connection to any particular culture or heritage. I wanted to read this book so I'm counting it, since there is German in my heritage. I really like it, hoping to finish it today or tomorrow at the latest.

7 prompts left! (six once I finish my current book).

QOTW:

I don't know if there's singular books that I think everyone SHOULD read. I try to diversify my reading, but there's a lot of books that everyone raves about that I felt indifferent about. Yet in the same theme, I'd really enjoy another one. So I'd probably say more that people should work on diversifying their reading. Read books from the perspectives of other races and religions, read books about past tragedies, read stuff that makes a person think. Not ALL the time, but try to work it in when possible.


message 29: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments Thursday snuck up on me and I don’t feel like I’ve read enough for a week to have gone by! Granted, we celebrate both canada Day and July 4th, so it’s been a busy week.

The Obelisk Gate - I read the first as an ebook and this one as an audiobook. It was weird shifting formats at first and I almost thought I’d have to abandon the audio and go back to ebook but after a bit I settled into it. I loved this book so much that I’m still craving more of this world. I have the next as a ebook again, but I’m wondering if I should try and get the audio instead. It’s for my face to face book club next week.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Everyone has been talking about this one lately in these updates and I’ve been meaning to read it for years, so I did. It reminded me strongly of 84, Charing Cross Road and it was sweet and charming.

Presently I’m listening to A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership - I’m not sure what I expected from this book exactly, but so far I’ve actually been surprised by several of the details of his life - being held at gunpoint as a child, the death of an infant son.

And I’m about fifty pages into Good Morning, Midnight, which is rather mediocre so far.

QOTW: Such an impossible question! So, I’ll tell you that if you’re visiting South Korea, the one book you should read is Please Look After Mom. It is a wonderful book just in general, but it’s a really valuable book for understanding the older people around you - really driving home how recent and devastating the Korean War was and how long the country struggled after it ended. It helped me better understand some of the people I knew and worked with, because the amazing prosperity today really hides the recentness of it all.


message 30: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Good morning!! After reading everyone's posts so far, I feel lucky to be in cool San Francisco (today's predicted high is 71), but on the downside we have ash from the nearby fires. It breaks my heart.

I finished only one book this week, putting me at 35/50.

Circe - I gave this 5 stars! So glad to see it won for the December group read because there's so much to talk about in this book. There are lots of ways to approach it (family, class, gender) and it's just a good story, too. Those of you who are doing the December group read have something to look forward to! I used it for a prompt on the advanced list, an allegory.

QOTW

Nadine, you're right -- this question has led to some good discussions! I'm with the camp that says Must Read books must be individualized. I think there's some basic knowledge and understanding we all need to function well in the modern world, but I don't know that one book can impart all that to everyone.


message 31: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat | 163 comments I finished 3 books this week! I'm at 44/52

10. A book about death or grief -Some Small Magic by Billy Coffey. I had this prompt filled previously but I replaced it with this because it fits so perfectly. Beautiful book.

20. A book by a local author- The Banditti of the Plains: Or The Cattlemen’s Invasion of Wyoming in 1892 by Asa Shinn Mercer. This was bestowed upon me by a coworker and I figured I'd read it since it's short and it filled the prompt. And this is why I don't read local authors (local meaning all of Wyoming). All the books are about cows and ranches.

28. A book with song lyrics in the titles-The End by Lemony Snicket- Apocalypse Please by Muse kept getting stuck in my head. so, I counted it.

QOTW:
I'm not sure I can pick a specific title either. What is important and earth-shattering for me may not be for anyone else. I agree with a lot of you saying that you need to read things that may be outside your comfort zone, or that help you understand other people's struggles. I also think it's important to read books in which you relate strongly to characters or events.
On this note, Big Little Lies is the answer I would give if forced to name a specific book. I have never seen a more accurate telling of spousal abuse than in this book. The main characters have enough going on that I feel like many people would relate to them, and those that don't may learn something about "battered wives" and rape victims.


message 32: by Tania (new)

Tania | 574 comments I finished 2 books this week, neither one for this challenge:

Bless the Beasts and Children by Glendon Swarthout - a heart wrenching book told from the perspective of children who feel like unwanted outcasts, in the vein of The Outsiders but against a more rural setting

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer - the true story about a man who walked away from his family and society to embrace solitude and the wilderness. I like Krakauer and admire his skill for being very present in his stories and yet never manipulating his reader into his opinion or beliefs.

QOTW: That is such a tricky question - there are so many books. I think everyone should read at least one highly rated book about a situation that is completely the opposite of their own, or a culture completely different from their own. But that doesn't narrow it down at all. If I had to choose one book from all the books I've read, I'd choose Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. Even if you don't recognize the intelligence and creativity behind his writing, everyone should be exposed to nonsense at least once in their lives. Plus Carroll's tales are so embedded in our culture that you have to have read it so that those references make sense.


message 33: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 187 comments Hi All!

Going to do this a little backward today and just answer the QOTW now and then later today I'll do my full update.

First, I love this question! I think I agree with some of the others who said that Must Reads should be individualized but I think that's in order to enjoy the book. I do think that there are Must Reads on the basis of just having the knowledge of the topic not necessarily having an enjoyable time reading the book.

I'm actually going to suggest a book I'm only about 3/4ths of the way through, That's What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) about Working Together. It just came out in January of this year but I think so far it's done a wonderful job of documenting the different challenges that women face in the workplace/business environment that their male counterparts do not. The thing that I think she does differently than other books on this topic is that she has made the topic accessible to men in a way that promotes how they can help to balance the playing field by acknowledging and trying to change their subconscious (and not so subconscious) biases.


message 34: by Lynette (new)

Lynette | 80 comments This week I finished three books towards the challenge.

The Secret of the Old Clock--"a book mentioned in another book"

Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life--"a book by two authors"

You--"a book about a villain or antihero"


message 35: by Elena (last edited Jul 05, 2018 09:59AM) (new)

Elena | 19 comments 23/50

Finished this week
The Ocean at the End of the Lane past goodreads choice award winner.
My Friend Asmodeus author with the same first/last name as you
Apt Pupil about a villain or anti-hero

Currently reading
Different Seasons novella collection
Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family reading the german edition for another challenge
Schindler's List novel about a real person
A Storm of Swords not for any challenge, just for fun re-read


message 36: by Katie (new)

Katie | 6 comments Hi all!

I completed 2 books this week towards the challenge and am happy with my progress so far.

The Kite Runner - "author with a different ethnicity" What an outstanding, beautiful and devastating read! I have no idea why I waited so long to pick up anything from Hosseini *adds authors other works to tbr*

Obsidio - "book with two authors" Great finish to the trilogy! I am waiting for their next book series to be released - hurry up!

Currently reading A Court of Frost and Starlight for "book that was a gift" but its too early for me to have an opinion on it yet.

25\40 (+10nonchallenge)

QOTW - I agree with all the amazing suggestions so far, particularly The Hate U Give and The Diary of a Young Girl. I also think Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone because everyone needs a little magic at some point in their life!


message 37: by Julie (last edited Jul 05, 2018 11:19AM) (new)

Julie | 172 comments Hi everyone!

Had a low key night last night. We have a very anxious dog and a neighborhood filled with people who shoot off their own fireworks from about 8pm - midnight (last year they went until 5am) so we typically stay home with him and watch movies which, honestly, has been fun. He stays calm, we have a family night, so it's a win-win. If we want fireworks we can always go up on our roof and see the one of the city's fireworks shows.

No finishes for me this week. I keep starting things and putting them down to start something else, and so on.

Right now, I'm currently reading:

Neuromancer

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (which I just started, so not sure I'm going to stick with it or not, although it is interesting so far).

Sleeping Beauties

Bruja Born which I've been eagerly awaiting, and JUST became available through my library (a month after its release date).

QOTW: My first thought was, like Nadine and a few others, The Hate U Give. My first words after finishing the book were literally "everyone needs to read this". I think I mentioned in one of my check-ins too that I would love to see it as mandatory reading in high school.

After that, though, I would also love to say everyone should read Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. The only problem is, it's long and dry, and being translated from German doesn't help. However, I'm mentioning it anyway. It has a fantastic way of forcing us to evaluate critical thinking, the difference between fact and opinion, but also delves into what makes a fact a fact, which I find incredibly important. Once upon a time, it was a scientific fact that syphilis was caused by astrological forces, and it wasn't until medical technologies evolved that new facts came to light regarding its origin. This is a fascinating read and reminds us that some facts are only as good as the current technology and evidence we have. As new information is discovered, more evidence is discovered and facts can and do change (look at medicine, for example). I think this is a phenomenal book to put perspective on this.


message 38: by Chandie (new)

Chandie (chandies) | 281 comments I don’t think either of these fit any prompts.

Force of Nature by Jane Harper. Second in the series about an Australian detective. Liked it a lot and will continue reading.

And

The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichart. I enjoyed it but didn’t love it. I picked it up because it was suggested because I love Sarah Addison Allen but I haven’t found one in that vein that I’ve loved yet. I’m open to more recs though.

QOTW:
In my classroom, I’m constantly pushing The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner because I love it and it’s really good. But that’s all I got.


message 39: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 187 comments Hi all! OK, so I'm back to finish my update having answered the QOTW earlier.

I actually didn't check in last week so I'm going to cover 2 weeks in this post. I finished the challenge 2 weeks ago and just kind of stalled out in terms of reading a few days later. I was thinking of trying to complete the ATY challenge and even picked up a few books for it and then when I got home I had absolutely no desire to read anything. That went on for several days. I guess I burnt myself out a little but didn't realize it in my desire to complete the challenge as fast as I could.

I had 3 books from my library which I finished up before my big burnout. I read them basically over a single day so that probably contributed to being over reading for a little while.

I read First Frost which is the sequel to Garden Spells. I'd just finished Garden Spells the previous week and loved how light and low-stress it was and I eagerly started and finished this book in one sitting. I thought it was a great continuation of the original story. If you enjoyed Garden Spells I recommend reading this one.

I also read So You've Been Publicly Shamed which was so very interesting. I loved reading about the unfortunate situations people got into which basically led to mass-shaming via social media. It was such a good reminder that while our initial anger may be justified when you think of the combined effect of everyone's anger it might just add up to be an inhumane response. This book has really made me stop to take a look at my own online/anonymous responses to real-life situations. Actually, this one would be a good 'Must Read' for this weeks QOTW.

Next, I read Caraval which I thought had a fun premise but by the end, I was kind of dismayed by the explanation of how things came about. Part of it just seemed so overly complex that it really put me off the whole tale. I actually only read this because I heard about the plot of the sequel which I was interested in reading and I don't like to read books out of order. Not sure if I'll read the sequel now.

It was at this point that I felt burnt out. My husband was away at a conference so it was prime reading time too...I did binge through 4 seasons of Suits though. :/

So finally after about a week, I started up the audiobook version of My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I found it overall interesting and inspiring but there were a few things I think were poor editing choices by the team who put together the audio. Many portions of the book were simply RBG's actual responses to various court decisions where they had the audio of her presenting her response to the court. Many of these recordings were very poor quality and would have benefited from being reread either by RGB or the narrator in a controlled setting. One section, in particular, sounded like it was recorded from a distance and I couldn't understand what she said for 80% of it. While I adore RGB and think she writes wonderfully (and on such important topics), I don't think she is the most charismatic of public speakers and I think her words actually could have benefitted from being read by the narrator who clearly had a talent for bringing words to life. The recordings of RGB's speeches tended to sound kind of slow and disjointed, she pauses a lot in places which kind of ruined the flow of the sentence. I really admire all the work she has done for equality and this book just made me love her more (despite my dismay at the audio quality).

And lastly, I read That's What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) about Working Together which I wrote about earlier today on my response to the QOTW.


Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments I'm going to go ahead and check in even though I have little reading progress to report this week. I'm not even sure why it was such a bad reading week--either I was busier than I realized, or I'm just spreading my reading time too thin between too many books and not finishing any.

I am taking the day off from chores because I'm just completely drained after being out in the heat for a 4th of July party yesterday. Maybe I'll finish a couple books I'm close to the end of while I'm resting.

Finished Reading:
NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity Finally finished this audiobook! I think I had to check it out three times altogether before I got through it, but I'm really glad I read this one. Despite a few annoying differences in viewpoint with the author, I really love the premise that we need all different kinds of brains in the world.

Currently Reading:
Here's Looking at Euclid: A Surprising Excursion Through the Astonishing World of Math Close to the end of this one finally! My nephew, who loaned me the book ages ago, is having his wedding celebration in a couple of weeks, and I'm thinking about wrapping this up and adding it to the gift table (along with a real gift, of course!) because he would appreciate the ironic humor in that return method...

Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ Reading this for the LGBTQ prompt.

Jane Eyre I'm enjoying a slow re-read of this, which is one of my favorite books of all time. Maybe the fact that I'm slowing down to savor it is one of the reasons I've finished fewer books this week?

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime My new audio book from the library, and I'm just racing through it, especially compared to how long Neurotribes was taking me. I read so many mysteries in my teens, and loved CSI until I learned how much of the science was dubious, so I'm thoroughly enjoying this one despite the rough bits intrinsic in reading about crimes. I think the satisfaction of most of the criminals getting caught helps.

Artemis Listening to this as an audio book with my husband, hopefully for the heist prompt, though, I've seen mixed reports on whether it works for the prompt. (We keep running out of good Netflix shows to watch together recently, so we may start doing more audio books together, at least until new seasons of some of our favorite shows come out.)

QOTW:
Despite this being my suggested question, I don't have a great answer for it. (Really, I just wanted to see how everyone else answered the question--I love the idea of reading through a list like the 1001 books everyone should read list, but also don't want to end up wading through all the books I would hate from a list like that.)

So, here a few possible answers, depending on what kinds of books you like to read:

Classics: North and South (This book--okay, technically the mini-series first--really balanced my understanding of labor unions and strikes for the first time. Plus it's just a good story.)

Middle Grade: Wonder (One of those great books for getting inside the head of someone with a different life experience than most of us have.)

Selp Help/Self Care: Refresh: Embracing a Grace-Paced Life in a World of Endless Demands (Fair warning, this book is very much from a Christian perspective, but I'm including here because it's the best, and almost the only, book I've seen to really balance the idea that we need to take care of ourselves with the fact that we actually also have to accomplish things from day to day. This book is written for the specific kinds of issues women have with that balance, but there's also a companion volume for men: Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture )

Medical Nonfiction: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks So helpful for understanding the legal side of genetic work (in a way that applies to all of us--privacy laws in that arena are still developing), in addition to fascinating information on the medical and science side, if you have an interest in that sort of thing. Warning on this one though--the story of her family is pretty rough, as I recall. I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone under 18 or with sensitivity to abusive situations.


Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Stacey wrote: "This one is tough but I'm going to say probably The Heart of the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman."

I haven't every read the book, but I'm familiar with the concepts, and I agree that it's super helpful for some relationships. My husband's family all took the test recently and it's kind of blowing their minds that 'gifts' is my primary love language, because it's the lowest on the list for most of them, and they're struggling to fully understand how it's really a love language and not just being materialistic. (To be clear, they fully acknowledge that it's not being materialistic, it's just hard for them to wrap their heads around.) It's one of those things that could have easily lurked under the surface as an unrecognized friction for years without the system giving us a framework to talk about it.


Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Kenya wrote: "Life of Pi, full stop. This is a powerful read with valuable things to say about humanity and our place in the world. "

I almost hate to be the person who asks a question like this, but in the interest of giving the book it's own fair shot: Would you say this is still true if I watched the movie and hated it? Is the book significantly different enough that I'd get something more or different out of reading it?


message 43: by Carol (new)

Carol Roote | 116 comments Hello!

Update:
Regular: 32/40
Advanced: 3/10

Finished This Week:
#22. A book with alliteration in the title
Magpie Murders
This was a mystery within a mystery and I really enjoyed it. I had never read anything like it before.

Currently Reading:
Dog Songs
For MMD Challenge


Dog Whisperer
For #37, A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to

QOTW:
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
This is a very eye-opening and well-written book. Whether you live in the United States or not, you should be aware of the abuses that occur in the criminal justice system here.


message 44: by Kenya (last edited Jul 05, 2018 12:14PM) (new)

Kenya Starflight | 745 comments Raquel wrote: "Kenya wrote: "Life of Pi, full stop. This is a powerful read with valuable things to say about humanity and our place in the world. "

I almost hate to be the person who asks a question like this, ..."


Raquel, I can't answer that question as I've never seen the movie (I'm terrified that it will spoil my enjoyment of the book). Perhaps someone who has seen it and also read the book can help you? I do usually find that in almost all cases the book is better than the film (though there are exceptions -- I liked the movie of Holes better than the book and The Last Unicorn is wonderful in both book and movie form).

There are a lot of philosophical discussions in the book itself that I can't see being included in any movie adaptation very well, however, so you'll at least get those out of the book. They're rather fascinating discourses on animals, religion, and other facets of the main character's life.

I will say that when someone asked the author of "Life of Pi" how he felt about the film adaptation, he said something along the lines of "if people hate the movie, I tell them 'oh, you might like the book better.' If people love the movie, I tell them 'oh, you might also like the book.' So either way, I win."


message 45: by Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) (last edited Jul 05, 2018 12:18PM) (new)

Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Julie wrote: "After that, though, I would also love to say everyone should read Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. The only problem is, it's long and dry, and being translated from German doesn't help.... This is a fascinating read and reminds us that some facts are only as good as the current technology and evidence we have."

Ooh, I'm intrigued, but also not sure if I want to inflict a long, dry, translated book on myself. I've noticed this kind of trend in so many microhistories I've read (especially Five Equations That Changed the World), that it baffles me the so many people think scientists' opinions equal absolute fact. Sure, we understand science and the world around us better than we did a century ago, but at the time they understood it better than a century before that. I'm just kind of skeptical that we've suddenly reached the absolute pinnacle of scientific understanding at this point in time, and am intrigued by a book that focuses in on that train of thought.


message 46: by Ali (new)

Ali (aliciaclare) | 153 comments Hi all! I’m on my way to NYC but the bus broke down so we’re currently stranded at a rest stop awaiting a mechanic.

This week I finished 3 books, one of which counted for the challenge.

First was The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. I loved this one! Albertalli is a great voice in YA and I’m on hold at he library for the next book.

Next was Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera, I liked but didn’t love this. I am looking forward to reading more from Rivera though.

Finally was Legend by Marie Lu. I enjoyed this book, and it was fun to read a YA dystopia again. I found it fairly predictable, but I am looking forward to next book in the series. I counted this as my “book involving a heist.” It took me by surprise, but there is a heist that happens early on in the story.

QOTW: I’m definitely in the camp of questioning if there is a book that everyone should read. No one is going to like everything, and frankly it’s just a win if people are reading! However I’ll throw in The Knife I’d Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, solely because I love that book and wish more people would talk about it.

Also, By the Book Pod did a great episode on The 5 Love Languages! I’ve never read the book, it I think the concept of love languages is really interesting and something I’d probably do with my future spouse.


message 47: by Stacey (last edited Jul 05, 2018 12:48PM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Katie wrote: "I have no idea why I waited so long to pick up anything from Hosseini *adds authors other works to tbr*."

I definitely recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns!! I enjoyed it a lot more than I enjoyed the Kite Runner. And the Mountains Echoed is still on my TBR.

Raquel wrote: "Stacey wrote: "This one is tough but I'm going to say probably The Heart of the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman."

I haven't every read the book, but I'm familiar with the concepts, and I agree t..."


I'm glad you got something out of the concept too! I can relate to being around people that don't share your love language; my family is all over the place!

I'm an acts of service person but I also respond to affirmation, my mom is gifts, my dad is quality time, my sister is affirmation and she also responds to acts of service (so we're similar in some ways) and my brother is physical touch. I have no idea how we each managed a different tendancy!


message 48: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Oooh I just read The Knife of Never Letting Go, and I'm like 'what took me so long, why didn't I read it before?!?'. I also really, really, really liked it.


message 49: by Rochelle (new)

Rochelle (r_y_feig) | 9 comments Hello from NJ/NYC area!

Book I finished:
Love and Ruin by Paula McLain (for a novel based on a real person). I've read The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun, both by McLain, and enjoyed them, and Love and Ruin was no different. I didn't know much about Martha Gellhorn before picking up this novel, but I figure a good indication that I liked a piece of historical fiction is if I Google the person or event afterwards, which is exactly what I did in this case.

Currently Reading:
The Outsider by Stephen King. This isn't a challenge book, but at 500+ pages it's taking some time to work my way through. So far, it's intriguing, but I'm afraid that the ending is going to be a disappointment.

QOTW:
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. I think with all the political turmoil and social unrest, this book is incredibly interesting and eye-opening. Hochschild, a self-proclaimed liberal, spends time in the Louisiana bayou to try to understand why their ideals and political beliefs are so different from hers and those around her. I commend Hochschild for getting to know life-long conservatives, for trying to understand their rationale and goals, and for finding common ground.


message 50: by Tara (new)

Tara Nichols (tarajoy90) | 167 comments Currently dealing with a summer cold and exhaustion from a fast and furious overnight trip to cooler weather to watch fireworks, but I'm hopeful (fingers crossed) my kids will let me rest this afternoon. But first - I must post an update!

Finished
The Deal of a Lifetime This is a short novella, and my final Fredrik Backman book. It's a little weird, but still touching and well-written, like all of his works. I have loved all of his books, so I feel sad that I need to now wait at least a year for another one.

The Light of the World (book about death or grief) This is an intensely intimate memoir about losing a husband. Though I found it to be more about the author's relationship with her husband than strictly about grief. The author is a poet, and the prose here does feel very poetic. It's sad and lovely and I enjoyed it.

The Halloween Tree (book about Halloween) I was going to save this book until October, but it looks like I'll be able to finish the challenge before then, so I just went for it. I was dreading this category because I don't like spooky or scary stuff, so I was so surprised to really love this little book! I listened to the audiobook for free on Overdrive. The narrator was fantastic and the story, about a group of friends who travel the world through space and time looking for their lost friend, was really delightful. The boys learn about how our Halloween traditions came to be. I guess it's a little creepy here and there, but it is VERY mild and I didn't find it scary at all. I highly recommend it for the Halloween prompt, especially if you're sensitive like me.

Challenge Progress
42/52 complete (36/42 regular, 6/10 advanced)

Currently Reading
A Place for Us Oh my goodness have I loved this book. I'm almost done, and if the ending is as good as the rest, it might be the best book I've read in the past 5 years or so. I'll keep you posted.

Ready Player One (cyberpunk) I just started this on audiobook, but man I just don't know. I'm only an hour or so in and the dialogue has caused me to roll my eyes at least half a dozen times. I plan to power through because I can't imagine loving any cyberpunk book (it's just really not my genre) and because then at least I'll be able to say I read and finished this insanely popular book. I'm hopeful the story will be so good that the terrible dialogue won't bother me as much.

City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York (book based on my ancestry)

The Cloister Walk (bestseller from graduation year)

QOTW
It's already been mentioned, but without question it's Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. And full disclosure - it's because this is the issue I care most about in the world - capital punishment and unjust sentencing - and because I'm obsessed with justice and mercy, and I want everyone to care and be informed about it. But it's also very well written and compelling.


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