Albany Public Library discussion

note: This topic has been closed to new comments.
39 views
2018 Summer Reading Progarm > SRP 2018 Week 4: Books Set Outside the U.S.

Comments Showing 1-46 of 46 (46 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
Monday, July 16 - Saturday, July 21, 2018

Welcome to Week 4 of APL's Summer Reading Program!

If you have not registered yet for the program, please look back on our discussion titled "2018 Summer Reading Program Information!" to register and get all the information needed!

If you have registered, read on!

This week, we are highlighting books set outside of the United States:

"The more that you read, the more things you will know; the more that you learn, the more places you'll go!" Dr. Seuss

"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are" Mason Cooley

Below you will find some recommendations for books set outside the United States!

Remember to comment if you have finished a book this week, including the title and author. You can also stop into your local APL branch and pick up a BINGO card, if you prefer pen and paper to screen and keyboard!


Smile - Roddy Doyle
Circle of Friends - Maeve Binchy
Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
The Dew Breaker - Edwidge Danticat
Salt to the Sea - Ruta Sepetys
Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan
Girls Burn Brighter - Shobha Rao
Pachinko - Min Jin Lee
The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden
The Surrendered - Chang-rae Lee
Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie
Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende


message 2: by Kristopher (new)

Kristopher Aadahl (hawaiianguy3) | 23 comments I readed Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuck and Cameron Stewart. Mostly fan-serving (and, therefore, self-serving) but some interesting plot developments. I lovedPalahniuck's first books; they got me back into reading as an adolescent/teen. His past eight or do books have been pretty vapid though, including this one. As is he's trying to recapture whatever he originally had... Sorry for the long review; the original Fight Club means a lot to me and this 'sequel' is disappointing.


message 3: by Mirkat (new)

Mirkat | 226 comments By coincidence, I happen to be reading/listening to One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez).


message 4: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (readersbeadvised) | 96 comments Mod
I HIGHLY recommend Salt to the Sea. Ruta Sepetys is one of my all-time favorite authors. Her next book (yet to be published) will also take place outside the United States.

This gives me an excuse to probably finally read Homegoing that everyone talked about and I never picked up!


message 5: by Emily (new)

Emily (slushies) | 16 comments .

I happened to read The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat, The Fireman by Joe Hill, Super Late Bloomer by Julia Kaye, and Sandman #8 World's End by Neil Gaiman.

Much like her other works, Edwidge Danticat focuses on a woman who loses much and still manages to live her life the best way she can. I find her characters to be very compelling.
I like how Joe Hill injects the mystical into the horror genre.
I appreciated how Julia Kaye's journey as shown through her illustrations, was realistic in that there were ebbs and flows, happy and sad days.
It was nice to see lots of different stories being presented in a pub style setting in World's End. I love the art style for the whole Sandman series, it feels so saturated and unique.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan (susande) | 219 comments My husband is always complaining that I like books set in exotic locales. He may be right since I have read many of these. Really liked Half of a Yellow Sun and Homegoing. Finished Crazy Rich Asians earlier this summer. A fun vacation read, if over the top.


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan (susande) | 219 comments Another interesting book is Foreign Gods, Inc.. I heard the author speak at UAlbany, and he was fantastic.


message 8: by Anna (new)

Anna (ambiologist) | 9 comments Hhmm... too bad I just returned a book that fit this category only 1/3 read (for some reason I just couldn't get into "A pillar of fire". I did finish 2 books not set outside the US; the non-fiction book The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear"The panic virus", which was an interesting and depressing look at the history of anti-vaccination folks. Depressing since it just hits home the point that many people will be swayed by anecdotal evidence over data. It is interesting, though, following the chain of events that led to the discredited ideas of a few parents and maybe 2-3 doctors becoming so wide-spread in society. Then I also finished Laura & Emma"Laura and Emma" which I picked up because it was on the new book shelf at the library. It was OK, but I didn't love it. The writing is fine, but I didn't find Laura or Emma compelling, and effectively the book is one long character sketch in a series of short vignettes. I feel like Laura could have developed in some interesting way later in the book, but she just didn't. Oh well.


message 9: by Diana (new)

Diana | 84 comments Isabel Allende and Edwidge Danticat are two of my favorites! I especially love Portrait in Sepia and The Stories of Eva Luna by Allende and Claire of the Sea Light by Danticat.

Currently working my way through I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer (slow going because while it's very interesting, it's also very difficult to read at night, or by myself at home).


message 10: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
I have added all the read books above!

@Emily (slushes) I also read Joe Hill's "The Fireman" and I loved it! I didn't want it to end!


message 11: by Laurie (last edited Jul 19, 2018 05:07AM) (new)

Laurie | 44 comments finished Future Home of the Living God: A Novel - Louise Erdrich this was dystopian in the not to distant future. I wasn't thrilled with the ending, but there was good character development.


message 12: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments also finished Whiskey & Ribbons - Leesa Cross-Smith. if you like JoJo Moyes books, you'd also like this.


message 13: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments I've read some of the titles on the topic list for this week, but not all of them. Grabbed Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi in ebook form to start on while I'm waiting for other holds to come through.


message 14: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Rescigno (foranimals) | 24 comments I decided to read The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks this week. As the book started off with me wanting to read more, I was hoping for a twist in the plot instead of the familiar and well-known ending Sparks usually writes. I am, and always will be a huge fan, but I honestly think because I have been branching out of my comfort zone in reading, I was hoping for something different than the norm. This book, however I know is one of his oldest and he has been taking a leap of not always writing a love story, I guess I just need to find another of his that will hit the mark of what I am looking for. I do have a goal to read all of his books and even with all the ones I've read from him thus far, my favorite still stands-The Guardian.

I am not on the hunt for something else to read!


message 15: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 62 comments So far this week I've finished "Violet Eyes," a cute and realistic retelling of "The Princess and the Pea," and "David Bowie's Black Book." It's a decently comprehensive biography with lots of photos, but it only goes up until 1987.


message 16: by Jaybee (new)

Jaybee | 49 comments I read Snap by Belinda Bauer this week.


message 17: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
I added all the books above. Great job, everyone!

@Jaybee, you have a Level 1 prize to pick up at your convenience!


message 18: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments Finished Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Very enjoyable.


message 19: by Jaybee (new)

Jaybee | 49 comments I just finished Salvage the Bones by Jessmyn Ward. Her writing is masterful.

Laurie, I too enjoyed Homegoing very much.


message 20: by Jaybee (new)

Jaybee | 49 comments I stayed up too late reading The Broken Girls by Simone St. James. It's a creepy one!


message 21: by Emily (new)

Emily Shoop | 15 comments This week I finished "Before we were Yours" by Lisa Wingate. I had actually read this a while ago, but was re-reading for a book club I joined. I was telling a friend of mine...it is JUST as intriguing as the first read! I felt on edge the whole time, even though I technically knew what was going to happen, what history would be learned, etc. Lisa really does a phenomenal job keeping her audience perched and eager for more information to develop the story!


message 22: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Pearson-strain | 6 comments Currently ready “The Cairo Affair”. This is where I like to bring my phone into play. Every time a street or landmark is mentioned, I look it up. Definitely adds to the story.


message 23: by Diana (new)

Diana | 84 comments Just finished I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. I don't read much true crime (this was my 'genre I've never read before' bingo square), but it definitely lived up to the hype.


message 24: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenb_jb_jb) | 10 comments During Week 4 I finished Turn Coat and Changes, both from the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. On a series-reading binge, so not taking the genre suggestions just now.
However - for international books, I have several 5 star historical fiction recommendations:
Sea of Poppies and the rest of the Ibis Trilogy by Amitav Ghosh. Historical fiction from India and the Indian Ocean trade routes just prior to the opium wars. Fascinating plots and characters. The audiobooks were incredible, the narrator produced so many accents from this area and time I knew little about and found myself totally immersed in.
I also highly recommend Kate Atkinson's historical fiction, Behind The Scenes At The Museum: Readers GuideLife After Life, and A God in Ruins, based in England mostly around WWII.
Also from WWII period, another very character-rich story, Stones from the River, takes place in a small town in Germany. Goodreads says I read that one in 2004 - time for a reread!


message 25: by Paul (new)

Paul R | 46 comments During Week 4 I finished two Fortune's Bay series books along with their short stories - Love Letters in Fortune's Bay by Maria Luis and Love Sparkles in Fortune's Bay by Julie Archer. To keep with this week's theme, my outside the U.S. books were a space fiction audio book that I finally finished in the car - Second Contact by Kenneth E. Ingle then I finished Shaded Love (set in Scotland and Ireland) by Cristiane Serruya. I am working on another set in New Zealand, but I have yet to finish it.


message 26: by ED (new)

ED | 13 comments Tedious at first, due to the deliberately fretful voice of the narrator, White Tears, by Hari Kunzru, offers a haunting perspective on what makes our racial voices authentic. What makes music black? What makes it white? What makes a voice white? Or black? Yet, are those very questions rooted in a limited belief system? This tale turns the tables on the reader due to an unreliable narrator who demands that you go beyond what is said and into your own beliefs about race, ghosts, musical voice, and the 13th Amendment .


message 27: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 9 comments This week I read Here and Gone, by Haylen Beck. It was a definite page-turner, edge of your seat thriller. I would definitely recommend it!


message 28: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments Sweet Fuku Fuku #1 - Kanata Konami this is a graphic novel about an older woman and her kitten. Got it in a HumbleBundle book bundle. Jen, Sea of Poppies sounds really interesting, going to put that on my TBR list.


message 29: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (readersbeadvised) | 96 comments Mod
For this week, I've read a handful of books and have started Homegoing to likely finish it this coming week as a book set outside the United States. The only other one would match the theme for this week is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone-- set in England and then at Hogwarts! I'm actually reading the series for the first time.


message 30: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 11 comments This week I read The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll and The High Season by Judy Blundell. Neither were set outside of the US exclusively, though there was some international travel in The Favorite Sister. Both were only OK.


message 31: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 11 comments This week I read The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll and The High Season by Judy Blundell. Neither were set outside of the US exclusively, though there was some international travel in The Favorite Sister. Both were only OK.


message 32: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
All of your books have been added!

Jaybee, Jessica, Meredith, Diana, and Alicia, you all have prizes to pick up the next time you stop in at your local APL branch.


message 33: by Katie (new)

Katie Kurtessis | 10 comments During this time I read How to Walk Away by Katherine Center, The Book by Keith Houston (fascinating how much goes into books- definitely recommend this for those who like history), and The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable.

I've previously read many from this list though and definitely want to read Pachinko soon. Homegoing is one of my favorite books. Girls Burn Brighter was an amazing read as well.


message 34: by Cassandra (last edited Jul 24, 2018 02:31PM) (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
Katie wrote: "During this time I read How to Walk Away by Katherine Center, The Book by Keith Houston (fascinating how much goes into books- definitely recommend this for those who like history), and The Summer ..."

Your books have been added! You can pick up your level 1, 2, and 3 prizes next time you stop at your local APL branch.


message 35: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (readersbeadvised) | 96 comments Mod
While a bunch of the book is set outside the US, it does move to the US too. But boy! What a beautiful book Homegoing is. I HIGHLY recommend it because of the richness of the history... but the writing! Finished it this morning.


message 36: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
Alicia wrote: "While a bunch of the book is set outside the US, it does move to the US too. But boy! What a beautiful book Homegoing is. I HIGHLY recommend it because of the richness of the histor..."

You book has been added!


message 37: by Susan (new)

Susan (susande) | 219 comments Just finished The Missing, which I suppose falls under Week 4's theme since it is set in the UK, but it is a psychological thriller.

Still working on books falling under the other weeks' themes!


message 38: by Valerie (last edited Jul 25, 2018 07:22PM) (new)

Valerie (tetchy) | 16 comments I'm a little late but I just finished reading The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi. The bulk of the story takes place in India and follows the story of Tara and Mukta. I definitely think it is a book worth reading but there are some potentially triggering elements (sexual assault and human trafficking).


message 39: by Rich (new)

Rich Pearson-strain (richpearson-strain) | 43 comments For week four I read “Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World” by Thomas Cahill. This book certainly takes place outside the US, though the New World does beckon to those living in the upheaval of the renaissance, reformation, and the shift of power from the Mediterranean to Northern Europe. If you like the time period, European history or art, this book is user friendly and has some fun and interesting insights. Otherwise, for the uninitiated, I’d recommend Susan Bauer’s “History of the Renaissance World.”


message 40: by Abi (last edited Jul 26, 2018 08:15AM) (new)

Abi (foureyedabi) | 75 comments for week 4, I finished reading "Sunburn" by Laura Lippman. if you liked Gone Girl, it's sort of similar to that but a little less dark, in my opinion? the ending is a real punch to the gut, though!

I also finished "A Gathering of Shadows" by V.E. Schwab, which I guess since it's fantasy, is set outside the US?


message 41: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
Your books have been added.

Susan, Valerie, Rich, and Abi, you all have prizes waiting for you the next time you visit your local APL branch!


message 42: by Mayra (new)

Mayra | 22 comments Finished up Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire which was a reread but my favorite of the series. If Europe/fictional Hogwarts counts for this one then sold!
-Mayra


message 43: by Susan (new)

Susan (susande) | 219 comments Abi wrote: "for week 4, I finished reading "Sunburn" by Laura Lippman. if you liked Gone Girl, it's sort of similar to that but a little less dark, in my opinion? the ending is a real punch to the gut, though!..."
Thanks! Adding this right now. Am always looking for quick mystery/thriller reads to fill the gaps between reading dense non-fiction.


message 44: by Susan (new)

Susan (susande) | 219 comments This book has absolutely nothing to do with any of our themes, but I read Young Jane Young on while traveling this past week. it was so funny - I'm sure my fellow passengers on the plane, bus and train were wondering what was going on as I continually laughed to myself. I only wish we saw more of some of the best characters, such as Jane/Aviva's mother.


message 45: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
Mayra and Susan, your books have been added.

Mayra, you have a prize waiting for you the next time you visit your local APL branch!


message 46: by Mirkat (new)

Mirkat | 226 comments Now that the SRP is over, I've finally finished One Hundred Years of Solitude (it is wrongly classified as "Audio CD"; this was actually a Playaway pre-loaded audiobook). My review is here.

I was stalled/slowed on completing this book for a while--and it was also keeping me from reading/completing any other books. Just wasn't my year to complete many books during SRP. :(


back to top
This topic has been frozen by the moderator. No new comments can be posted.