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Monthly "Reads" > Jan's July

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message 1: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments I'm making a solid effort to clear some of my print tbr and as so often happens, the books that have been pushed aside are not stellar. So I had a lot of mediocre reads and a couple that didn't even achieve mediocre. Thank goodness I read the Carrie Vaughn books with this group or I might have turned listless and dull about books and quit reading altogether.

Testimony: A Memoir by Robbie Robertson rated 2 of 5. An awful, self-absorbed memoir by a member of The Band. I'm a huge Band fan, but this was so bad it took me 6 months to read it and I can't like Robertson any more

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris 3/5. A discussion of fine points of grammar and punctuation by a New Yorker copy editor. The behind-the-scenes at the magazine were the best part.

Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste 3/5. The story of a fictional family's life during the Ethiopian coup d'etat in the mid 70's. I was interested because I had several Ethiopian friends at the time and this helped me understand the revolution better. But for a book so filled with events, fear, and anguish, it was a strangely slow read.

Linda McCartney. Life in Photographs by Linda McCartney, et al. 3/5. A cheat since there wasn't much reading, but lots of pictures. I like Linda's candid pictures of the pop stars to whom she had rare access, but many of the photos in this book seem like snapshots like those we all take of our homes and families.

Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn 4/5. Post-apocalyptic life among a group of villages along The Coast Road in what was California. This first book in the series introduces characters and the way of life among the survivors while Enid, the MC, investigates a murder. I'm not usually a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction: too much inter-faction fighting, starvation, and suffering, but I did like this one and its sequel. Vaughn is wise to have set her books 100 years after The Fall, so her characters have spent their entire lives in this world and settled into a new social order. They're living, not just surviving, and Vaughn has created interesting characters.

The Wild Dead by Carrie Vaughn 4/5. The second book of the Bannerless series. Enid is investigating another murder in another village (she's a kind of police officer). Another good decision by Vaughn was to make this a mystery series. The mysteries in the two books are relatively slight and simple, but following the investigation gives the books a focus beyond what's missing from this new world. There's a story to follow beyond 'look at what people don't have and can't do.'

Did You Read That Review? A Compilation of Amazon's Funniest Reviews 2/5. The editors frontloaded the book with the truly funniest reviews written on Amazon (and the funniest products), so the book runs out of steam at about the 25% mark and leans more to tedium than humor after that. Still, I've been spending a lot of time in waiting rooms this month and this was the perfect read as I waited: infinitely interruptible and putdownable. I do hope that no one reads this book. Not only is it dull, but Amazon shouldn't get to make money for merely compiling others' wit. And does Amazon really need more money?

The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse by Leann Sweeney 3.5/5. Very light enjoyable read in which it seems that a man is stealing cats, but why? And then he's murdered. The question is: why did I have this on my tbr? I have no earthly idea. Melodie, Susie, have either of you read it? I think the series is called Cats In Trouble. The MC's name is Jillian.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware 3/5. This book started off well with a lot of unknowns and a good setting, then fell off the cliff at about the halfway point (oddly enough just where the real mystery began). As I've said elsewhere on the board today, it reminded me a lot of The Girl on the Train with a lot of disparate characters thrown together and a lot of excessive drinking to explain bad behavior and muddle both the relationships and the mystery.


message 2: by Randi (new)

Randi I felt very similar about In a Dark, Dark Wood. Didn't really thrill me. Glad to see you found the Bannerless series to be good reads - they are both on my list to read eventually. Good month!


message 3: by Melodie (last edited Aug 01, 2018 09:30AM) (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3626 comments I read a fair amount of cozies, but don't tend to read many of the "cat centered" series. I read another series Leann Sweeney wrote several years ago, I believe the series was called the Yellow Rose. They weren't bad. The Cats in Trouble wasn't on my radar, but I think I'll make sure to steer clear of it!

I have Bannerless coming up soon. I really liked Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series.


message 4: by Susie (new)

Susie Fevella (susieinks) | 1639 comments That's funny Jan, I've been doing the same thing this month. Trying to catch up on some of my print series that are "done". I've also found a lot of duds this way :)


message 5: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Melodie wrote: "I read a fair amount of cozies, but don't tend to read many of the "cat centered" series.."

!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 6: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Susie wrote: "That's funny Jan, I've been doing the same thing this month. Trying to catch up on some of my print series that are "done". I've also found a lot of duds this way :)"

It's funny the way that works, isn't it, Susie. You had a couple you DNF, but mine are okay enough that I keep on reading and hoping it'll get better.


message 7: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Randi wrote: "I felt very similar about In a Dark, Dark Wood. "

Thank goodness I'm not the only one, Randi! It's lonely when you don't like the big buzz books.


message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14611 comments Jan O'CatchingUpCat
Isn't it disappointing when a book you've meant to read "forever" is a dud. I've had that happen before; or realizing with the first book in a series you aren't going to continue, but already bought all of the books.
I'm glad we selected Bannerless as a group read last year. Those two Carrie Vaughn books have been great for discussions and rumination.
What a shame about the Robbie Robertson memoir putting you off on him now after reading it.

OMalleycat wrote: "I'm making a solid effort to clear some of my print tbr and as so often happens, the books that have been pushed aside are not stellar. So I had a lot of mediocre reads and a couple that didn't even achieve mediocre..."


message 9: by Karly (new)

Karly | 331 comments Jan - I’m trying to do the same! So many in the tbr pile(s), I’m trying to mix in a lot of older ones with some newer purchases too.


message 10: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Karly wrote: "Jan - I’m trying to do the same! So many in the tbr pile(s), I’m trying to mix in a lot of older ones with some newer purchases too."

United we stand, Karly! Death to the tbr!

(er. . . Or if not death, at least a debilitating illness.)

Jan O'Cat, loves her tbr and would never wish it dead


message 11: by Ceelee (new)

Ceelee | 206 comments Sorry to hear the Robbie Robertson book is a disappointment. I haven't seen the Linda McCartney book will have to look for it. I am a huge Paulie fan! I think I read a book in the Cats in trouble series but I don't think it was that one. There are so many cat mysteries! I read a lot of them.
I will never get my TBR piles down to a manageable level. i do the best i can but get distracted by something new all the time. :)


message 12: by OMalleycat (last edited Aug 25, 2018 04:03PM) (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ceelee wrote: "I haven't seen the Linda McCartney book will have to look for it. I am a huge Paulie fan!"

Ceelee, the Linda McCartney book is a huge coffee table book. Among the essays discussing Linda's work is one by Paul.

Have you watched the James Corden Carpool Karaoke programs with Paul? He was never my favorite Beatle, but in these programs he's so affable and genuine, that I can't help but love him. I've teared up watching both the original version of CK with Paul and the extended version. There just aren't enough Beatles left any more!


message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14611 comments Jan O'Cat - I loved the Paul McCartney carpool karaoke!!! I recorded the extended version but haven't watched it yet. The original airing was right before I was headed for bed, getting ready to turn off the tv and I realized what was coming on and found myself standing right up in front of the tv, grinning from ear to ear dancing and singing and crying as I watched. I watched it several times since when it was mentioned often on Facebook.
* The week of James Corden in London had some terrific guests and shows.
Thinking perhaps the library may have Linda's book.... 😊 Happy that Jan O'Cat is warming to my favorite Beatle!


message 14: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3626 comments OMalleycat wrote: "Ceelee wrote: "I haven't seen the Linda McCartney book will have to look for it. I am a huge Paulie fan!"

Ceelee, the Linda McCartney book is a huge coffee table book. Among the essays discussing ..."


I've never been a McCartney fan, though I do love Maybe I'm Amazed. I've always been a John Lennon girl, even when I was 7 years old! However, I did like the thing with James Corden.


message 15: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14611 comments Melodie: John was my second favorite Beatle. :)


message 16: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14611 comments I just saw the Entertainment Weekly, August 31 edition, with a 1968 Linda McCartney photograph of Aretha Franklin on the cover. It is beautiful. Must borrow this book.


message 17: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8056 comments Ann wrote: "I just saw the Entertainment Weekly, August 31 edition, with a 1968 Linda McCartney photograph of Aretha Franklin on the cover. It is beautiful. Must borrow this book."

I have that on my table waiting to be read. Didn't know the photograph was by Linda McCartney. It's arresting.


message 18: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8056 comments Ann wrote: "Jan O'Cat - I loved the Paul McCartney carpool karaoke!!! I recorded the extended version but haven't watched it yet. The original airing was right before I was headed for bed, getting ready to tur..."

I could watch Carpool Karaoke all day -- what a brilliant idea. I'll have to look for this one, I don't watch James Cardon so I've missed most of them.


message 19: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I could watch Carpool Karaoke all day -- what a brilliant idea. I'll have to look for this one, I don't watch James Cardon so I've missed most of them. "

Oh, you gotta get into Carpool Karaoke, Carol. They're all good, many are utterly delightful, and the Paul McCartney is a cut above any of the others.

Get thee to Youtube. May I recommend Adele, Michelle Obama, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stevie Wonder, Elton John. . .


message 20: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8056 comments Will do. The ones I've seen are indeed delightful.


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