You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > August 2018 - Reporting

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message 1: by Peggy, Moderator (last edited Aug 02, 2018 08:16AM) (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15075 comments Please read through the reporting thread carefully to ensure to report correctly to get your badge/s.

After you have read your chosen book(s) for this month's group theme read, please report in the thread below.

Please state what book you read (and link it), that you discussed it (and where), and briefly summarise what you thought of the book and/or link to your review if you have written one.

If you lead the discussion, please state this in your post.

Here is an example for how to report your read:

“I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and discussed it in the [Harry Potter/Buddy Read/Other books in theme] thread. I really enjoyed the book. I watched the film first so I already knew the story line but I was surprised how much I enjoyed the book more as there was more detail involved. Plus I listened to the audio which was narrated by Stephen Fry who is a superb narrator. 4 stars.”

If you read more than one book which fits the theme, please report all your reads in the same post rather than in separate posts.

Please note, there are THREE different badges that can be obtained for group reads. Those reading and discussing one of the two chosen group reads will receive a colourful badge similar to those for previous group reads. Those reading and discussing any other book in the theme will receive a stamp. The discussion leader for the two chosen group reads will receive a badge stating they led the discussion. Maximum amount of badges you can receive for the group reads is TWO - one for the chosen group read/discussion leader and one for any other book in the theme.

In order to receive a badge you must:
1. put your Wall of Fame Name at the beginning of your post as follows: WoF Name - Peggy
2. have read the book(s) before or during July 2018.
3. discussed it in the relevant thread. Discussion must be more than "I read the book and I liked it". Discussion requires something more substantial and analytical of what you read, for example, thoughts, opinions, impact it had on you, what was your favourite part, was it what you expected it to be like etc. You may also like to review the book and post a link to the review in that thread.
4. Report that you have read AND discussed the book in the reporting thread below, along with a brief summary of what you thought.


message 2: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48670 comments Just a reminder that starting August 1st, the new WoF Name requirement is in place.

You need to put your Wall of Fame Name at the beginning of your post as follows:

WoF Name - Janice



message 3: by siriusedward (last edited Aug 10, 2018 10:48AM) (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 887 comments WoF Name - SiriusEdward


I read the book The Gabriel Hounds and discussed it in the thread for the book.
Loved the book.
4****
Discovered a new author whose writing I loved.The plot is predictable and the romance thin.It was a lighthearted read with gorgeous descriptions..made you feel the words.It was as if one were in Lebanon's dusty streets and the gloomy ,dusty palace.Loved the MCs too.


message 4: by Tricia (new)

Tricia (triciareadsitall) | 814 comments WoF: I don't have one yet, but if someone could make one for me, Tricia would be fine for my name.

I read The Gabriel Hounds and discussed it in the designated thread.

I really liked this book. It was a little trying at the beginning, as I had a fairly strong dislike for the narrator's character, but I eventually got over it and could enjoy the story. This was the first thing I've read from Mary Stewart, but I feel like I'll probably be reading much more. Her writing is so descriptive that you can picture some of the scenes almost perfectly.


message 5: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48670 comments Tricia wrote: "WoF: I don't have one yet, but if someone could make one for me, Tricia would be fine for my name."

I've added "Tricia" to the WoF list. Peggy will create your wall when she give out the badges.


message 6: by Almeta (last edited Aug 25, 2018 05:06AM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10131 comments WoF Almeta

I finished Beautiful Ruins on 15 Aug and added my comments in the discussion thread.

I have more notes to add. I hope more people join in this read and discussion.

I really enjoyed Jess Walter's writing style, especially when, without warning, he introduced characters/scenes through "quotes" of an external medium such as memoir, a pitch or a play, etc. Very clever, even though the first few seconds could deliver a "What the Hell!" moment!


message 7: by Cherie (last edited Aug 17, 2018 05:38PM) (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19964 comments WoF name = Cherie

I read My Family and Other Animals for the themed selection. The story is set on the island of Corfu, off of the coast of Greece. It is a story of an English family, a mother and her four children, who decide go to Corfu to get away from the dreary English weather. The book is written by the youngest boy, who was eleven years old, at the time. The family and their strange dynamics were a hoot at first, but became a little old and too over the top by the end of the story. It was beautifully written and very funny at times. I plan on reading the other two books in The Corfu Trilogy.
edited 8/17 clr


message 8: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48670 comments Cherie wrote: "I read My Family and Other Animals for the themed selection. The story is set on the island of Corfu, off of the coast of Greece. It is a story of an English family, a mother and her f..."

You're forgetting something... (view spoiler)


message 9: by Cherie (last edited Aug 17, 2018 05:40PM) (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19964 comments Janice wrote: "Cherie wrote: "I read My Family and Other Animals for the themed selection. The story is set on the island of Corfu, off of the coast of Greece. It is a story of an English family, a m..."

Thanks, Janice.
I remembered this morning when I was taking a shower and finally got on line after work. I edited my post.


message 10: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48670 comments Thanks Cherie.


message 11: by Clive (new)

Clive Matthews | 225 comments WoF - Clive

I read Beautiful Ruins and participated in the group read.

Overall I enjoyed the book although this was definitely due to some aspects more than others. I found the Italian sections to be far more interesting than the modern US parts of the story and actually found myself wishing that the book had been based solely around that story. The modern side to the narrative seemed to be too remote from the earlier section and not as enjoyable to me. I appreciate that it probably showed the brash commercialty of Hollywood quite well but given that that world doesn't interest me in real life it also disn't interest me in the book. I didn't sympathise with any of the modern characters and longed to know more of Pasqulae and others from Italy.

Overall the book was well written and the language was beautiful at times. It's a book that I wouldn't have read otherwise so I'm pleased that I found it and would likely recommend it to others.


message 12: by Annerlee (last edited Aug 23, 2018 06:05AM) (new)

Annerlee | 2702 comments (Edit... oops - WOF name is annerlee)

I read The Gabriel Hounds and took part in the discussion thread. I enjoyed both the book (3.5 stars) and everyone's comments. It's amazing how different people spot different aspects of a book and which details of the mystery people picked up on - things I would never have noticed : )

I loved the author's vibrant and colourful descriptions and the sense of place the book gave me. The writing transported me to the Lebanon and it's the setting rather than the mystery or the characters that I will remember.

An excellent choice for the group read this month.


message 13: by Claire (last edited Aug 24, 2018 07:53AM) (new)

Claire  | 299 comments WOF Claire
Thread https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

I have read
Lustrum by Robert Harris Lustrum Robert Harris 466 p. 20 august 2018 5 stars and discussed it here.
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

I enjoyed this book, set in ancient Rome, immensely. It reads like historical fiction, crime and society commentary all at once. I can only recommend it to others.
While I thought an excellent book and rated it five stars, there might be one thing lacking: I feel the author could have done more to evoke the feel of a mediterrenan country. Even after 2000 years the light, the trees and other things should be at least partly the same.


message 14: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 1240 comments WoF name - Amanda (Lily)

I read The Girl Under the Olive Tree and discussed it in this thread. It was set in Greece.

I thought the story idea was good, but the book would have benefited from being about half as long. There were some good twists and turns that I enjoyed, and the wartime feel of the book was realistic. Overall, though, the huge amount of unnecessary detail and the dragging story meant that I gave it 2 stars.


message 15: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 2608 comments WoF name - Lynn

I read Roman Crazy, which is set in Rome and discussed my thoughts in the appropriate thread.

I gave it 3 stars, as I was a little underwhelmed with the story. However the writing about Rome, the lifestyle and the food were amazing. Made me really want to visit Italy again.


message 16: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2622 comments WofF name - Casceil

I read both The Gabriel Hounds and Beautiful Ruins, and I participated in both discussion threads. I really enjoyed Beautiful Ruins, and I give it 5 stars. I particularly liked the way the author wove together the stories of very different people, and the comparisons and contrasts between their lives. (view spoiler) I loved the way the author worked in other stories, like the chapter from Bender's book, the screenplay, Donner, and the chapter from Michael Deane's draft. I enjoyed the depiction of Richard Burton. I'm old enough to remember when the Burton-Taylor romance was a big scandal.

I had read the Gabriel Hounds before, probably 30 years ago. It was fun to revisit Mary Stewart, although I don't think the Gabriel Hounds was one of her better books. The book made for a good discussion.


message 17: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13574 comments WoF name: Kristie

I read Playing with Fire, which is set in Italy. I discussed it in the general thread. I really enjoyed the story. It was the first book I read by Tess Gerritsen and I found it had a lot less fluff than many other books I've read. It was a pretty short book that stayed focused on the story it was telling. I wasn't thrilled with part of the ending because something happened the way I thought it might, but not the way I wanted it to. However, I still gave the story 4 stars.


message 18: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15075 comments Lynn wrote: "WoF name - Lynn

I read Roman Crazy, which is set in Rome and discussed my thoughts in the appropriate thread.

I gave it 3 stars, as I was a little underwhelmed with the story. H..."


Why were you underwhelmed, Lynn?


message 19: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15075 comments Kristie wrote: "WoF name: Kristie

I read Playing with Fire, which is set in Italy. I discussed it in the general thread. I really enjoyed the story. It was the first book I read by [author:Tess Ge..."


Did it have less fluff than other books in this genre, or other books in general? I hate it when books just go on and on and it could have been 50 pages shorter!


message 20: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13574 comments Other books in general, Peggy. But probably even a bit in the genre. She stayed focused on the story with no real deviation to other storylines that have no relevance. There was a current story and a backstory and that was it. The pace was such that as soon as something happened, it moved on to the next thing. I think I’d describe it as the author staying on task.


message 21: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 2423 comments WoF - Lilisa

I read In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams. I enjoyed it - I got a feel for the country, people, food and culture. The author is a British journalist, who moved to Morocco. This is his second book set in Morocco - as an outside he's getting used to navigating everyday life, which is not quite straightforward. There's reasons why things happen - it's the jinns, of course, or you haven't found your own story yet. I liked all the stories - they are parables. It was a bit distracting though when stories would pop up. I think the author could have handled those parts more smoothly. Still I liked it - I gave it 3 stars.


message 22: by Lanelle (new)

Lanelle | 3109 comments WoF Name - Lanelle

I read The Gabriel Hounds. This isn't the first Mary Stewart book I've read. I am quite a fan of hers.

As others have mentioned, the main characters were not too likable, but as the story progressed the plot made up for that. Ms. Stewart has an incredible way with words.

I also led the discussion.


message 23: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15075 comments WoF: Peggy

I read The Thread which is set in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, and I discussed in the appropriate thread.

I was a bit disappointed by this one. I really enjoyed two other books by this author but this one didn't do it for me. I missed a strong connection to the characters and I thought the author tried to cram too many events in a book of less than 400 pages. Most of all I didn't enjoy the writing much. It was often a case of 'telling, not showing', to the point where the book at times felt like a summation of facts and a stuffy history text. I gave it 3 stars, but it's more like 2.5/2.75.


message 24: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 2182 comments I have read The Shadow of the Wind, and have added thoughts to the theme thread. I really loved it! The writing was amazing, and the story was fabulous. The connections/coincidences, the breaking of patterns, and the building of life with new purpose. It's like almost every page had either an ohhhhhhh, or an ahhhhhh. I was getting strange looks waiting for DH in the clinic as I was tearing up while reading the last few chapters.
A five star read that I will definitely be doing again at some point.


message 25: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48670 comments WoF name - Janice

I read The Tuscan Child which is set in Tuscany, Italy.

I was disappointed in the story. The character development wasn't there, nor was the emotional impact of the events portrayed both during WWII and present day. It read more as a cozy mystery, romance, and chick lit, none of which are my favourite genres. I was expecting so much more.


message 26: by Saar The Book owl (last edited Aug 30, 2018 11:33AM) (new)

Saar The Book owl | 1771 comments WoF - Saar.
I've read I'm Not Scared and reported in the thread. The story is set in Italy, in a small village,called Aqua Traverse.
I was dissapointed in the story and gave the book 2 stars. The characters seemed not real and it lacked of depth.


message 27: by Margo (new)

Margo | 9764 comments WoF name: margo

I read The Gabriel Hounds. This read took me back to teenage year when I read every Mary Stewart book our local library had. I always preferred her fantasy works to her mystery writing and I think that will be the case.

I gave this book 3.5 stars. It was in generally well written, the strength was in the vividness of the description of the mediterranean bazaars, spices, colours, jewels, flora and fauna. The story was gothic and as such was written in a doom laden manner! It was obvious that the heroin was not going to be for an easy ride. Our MC was arrogant, feisty and likable. Once the action started the story became predictable.

One thing that a few of found ichy - the main character and love interest were first cousins. Their fathers were twins. That relationship was to close to be genetically sound!

Overall I am really glad I revisitedMary Stewart and I will certainly do so again ASAP, challenges permitting!


message 28: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 2182 comments OMG, sorry I forgot to add my WoF to my report for Shadow of the Wind :( and can’t change it now as I am camping with only my phone :(
Please forgive me . . .
WoF - Jenn


message 29: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15075 comments Jenn wrote: "OMG, sorry I forgot to add my WoF to my report for Shadow of the Wind :( and can’t change it now as I am camping with only my phone :(
Please forgive me . . .
WoF - Jenn"


No worries, you're forgiven ;-) Enjoy your camping trip!


message 30: by TrudyAn (new)

TrudyAn | 1645 comments WoF TrudyAn

I read Beautiful Ruins and commented in the YLTO discussion thread. I enjoyed the writing, especially the humour, which was often quite clever. Significant characters were well drawn. I thought the two story lines were interwoven well, though the current-day story lacked atmosphere in comparison, and wasn’t as fun to read. Normally I don’t like stories-within-a-story, but I thought it worked quite well here. I gave the book three stars; I considered it a good read but not memorable.


message 31: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15075 comments Badges have been posted. No worries if you still need to report, just do so and you'll get your badge.


message 32: by Amanda (Mandy) (new)

Amanda (Mandy) | 612 comments Amanda (Mandy)'s wall

I read the The Tuscan Child. It was set in Italy. I discussed it on the appropriate thread.


message 33: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15075 comments Amanda, can you please elaborate on what you thought? See the 4th rule for reporting in the opening post. Thanks! :)


message 34: by Amanda (Mandy) (new)

Amanda (Mandy) | 612 comments Sorry, I haven’t reported for a while. The book was light and easy read. The character development was.weak and the relationships a little forced. However, the setting and storyline were good. It really made want to go to Italy.


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