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Archives 2018 > w/o November 30 to December 5, 2018

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message 1: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 3660 comments Mod
It is hard to believe that we are in the last day of November! Soon Christmas will be here for those of us that celebrate the holiday!

For some festive book conversation check out the "pick your own" December monthly reading thread or the Secret Santa thread which is always a lot of fun (thanks to Allison and Natasha for arranging our 3rd year of fun)!

We have one more month to finish up our BINGO cards and Cross Canada Challenges and some of us (me included) may be cutting it close to finish!

What are you reading? What is next?


message 2: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1290 comments This week I finished Legacy (good although personally I would remove the last chapter completely), and started in on Moon of the Crusted Snow which is gripping from the get-go, can`t put down type of book. But of course life gets in the way so I do have to put it down but I am in serious sleep deprivation mode this week.

I am also reading a fabulous collection of "strange stories", Compulsory Games by new-to-me author Robert Aickman. This is another book that I always look forward to returning to, which is rare for a short story collection, but as soon as I finish one story, I'm dying to get to the next one.

And in audio I finished An American Marriage (meh), and All Things Consoled: A Daughter's Memoir (meh) and have just started Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

Happy Reading!


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan | 774 comments Happy Friday!

I finished three books this week and then started too many. It took me five months, but I finally finished The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. It's very good but so depressing - I kept having to put it down and ignore it for a while. I also finished The Friend, which was okay but not for me. I felt like this novel was aimed at other writers. And I finished Hag-Seed to complete bingo! You could feel how much fun Atwood had writing this book - I liked it.

Then I started two books that are both so enjoyable that they are battling too much for my attention: The Library Book and Eyrie. There is an arson case in The Library Book, which I thought would be the interesting bit, but I am really enjoying all the more general library talk. And Eyrie is reminding me how much I like Tim Winton's writing - it's been a while since I read one of his books.

I also started reading Antigone because I promised myself I would after reading Home Fire earlier this year.


message 4: by Rainey (last edited Nov 30, 2018 06:36AM) (new)

Rainey | 695 comments Good Morning Everyone,

I have been quiet of late. Had Hubby's final burial service this month here in BDA and then suffered fallout from MIL (Hubbys Step Mother) who apparently had a problem with the Eulogy I read for my hubby. Needless to say I was blindsided - we had it out and we are no longer speaking - You know the old saying fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Yep - didn't trust my instincts (for the sake of my son - her grandson) and paid for it - left me in a funk. Bouncing back now.

Read Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI for my BDA book-club - it is an amazing book - speaks to the treatment of the US government to its Native American population - horrendous to say the least.

I am now reading/listening to Munich - its the December read for my BDA book club.

Currently also reading/listening to An American Marriage and am reading The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century.


message 5: by Petra (new)

Petra | 723 comments Rainey, I'm so sorry you had to deal with such serious issues at this time....anytime, really, but now is really not the time as you are coping with so much more. I hope the stressful times will now leave you. I wish you peace of spirit. Hugs.


message 6: by Rainey (last edited Nov 30, 2018 06:38AM) (new)

Rainey | 695 comments Petra wrote: "Rainey, I'm so sorry you had to deal with such serious issues at this time....anytime, really, but now is really not the time as you are coping with so much more. I hope the stressful times will no..."

Thank you. My son and I and his new girlfriend will spend Christmas on a Cruise - I am counting down the days and am really looking forward to it.


message 7: by Petra (new)

Petra | 723 comments Good morning! This week has been a busy one. I've stayed late at work twice for meetings and started getting some Christmas cards out that are going to Europe. I'm not sure about our mail service at the moment. I just hope the cards get there in time.

I finished A Circle of Souls this week. It's a light, easy reading book. The premise of the story was interesting enough to keep me reading but the writing could have been tighter, the characters more developed and some specific situations & conversations tightened up and made more realistic. A so-so read.

I'm really enjoying my jogging audio book, The Girls in the Picture. looking at the friendship and careers of Frances Marion and Mary Pickford.

I'm about to finish listening to There There on my commute home today. I'm interested in knowing my own review at this point. :D

I managed to renew Men Explain Things to Me. I'm not entirely enjoying it yet. She has mentioned a few times the number of books she'd written at the time of the incident she's describing. It sounds like "I'm smarter because I wrote X books". However, I want to read what she has to say throughout and I'm continuing on.


@Susan: I also loved Hag-Seed.


message 8: by Gail (new)

Gail Amendt | 172 comments Oh Rainey, I'm sorry you are having family trouble. Bereavement seems to bring out the worst in some people. Hope you guys enjoy your cruise!

I finished Washington Black this week, and was really underwhelmed. To me it seemed to read more YA than adult fiction. It almost felt like the rough draft of something that has potential, but needs a lot more polishing and research. Did anyone else feel that by having her characters hop from place to place, the author managed to avoid writing any detail, and hence avoided having to do any real research? I was particularly irked when she had her characters go to the Arctic at the beginning of shipping season...summer, and it was dark early in the evening. Summer in the Arctic is known for its really long days. Once again I do not agree with the Giller jury. I might be an outlier in this group, but I just didn't think it was very well written.

I am now reading Transcription by Kate Atkinson. She is one of my favorite authors, and after the disappointment of Washington Black I am finding the quality of the writing very refreshing.


message 9: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 3660 comments Mod
@Susan - i started The Library book but sadly had to return it to the library before I got too far into it... everything comes at once and I have had too many commitments in the evenings lately!

@Rainey - hugs to you and your son! You will make new memories on a cruise!

@Susan and @Petra - i enjoyed Hagseed too. I wished that I had read the Tempest first. Did either of you? I just started listening to The Bookshop of Yesterdays which has Tempest references... the bookshop is named Pospero and the main character is Miranda!

It has been a slow reading week for me. i only finished Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany which had some fun facts and added to my TBR pile.

I started an ARC of The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding, The Tent (thank you Secret Santa), Becoming by Michelle Obama and am in the midst of The World According to Garp but am having trouble focusing on just one book!!


Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 1754 comments Oh Rainey, sorry to hear about the family drama. I hope your cruise brings you some peace.

It’s been a very busy week for me. Today was my last day working for my current employer, and I’m leaving on great terms. My position has not yet been filled so I’ve worked almost every night this week trying to clue things up that are pressing. I’m going back to public accounting next week. I’ve been out of it for a couple of years now, but I miss it and I’m glad to be going back to the environment of a CPA firm. The best part is I’ll be working a flex time arrangement with summers off!

Needless to say, I’ve done very little reading this week. Only a few chapters of The Golden State.

In audio, I listened to Born a Crime and just started Little Women today. I’m sure I read Little Women as a kid, but I honestly don’t remember much!


message 11: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 3660 comments Mod
Congrats on your knew position @Allison - your flex arrangement sounds terrific!!

I had read Little Women as a girl and enjoyed revisiting it (also via audio) a couple of years ago.


message 12: by Petra (last edited Nov 30, 2018 04:34PM) (new)

Petra | 723 comments @Susan: no, I haven't read The Tempest but will.
I read The Taming of the Shrew after reading Vinegar Girl and think I'll continue with this as I move through this series. It was an interesting comparison.

@Allison hikes the bookwoods: I remember reading Little Women as a kid but don't remember much (anything, really) about it. I remember more about Little Men, which I loved a lot more. I recommend that book.


message 13: by Mj (new)

Mj @ Rainey - sorry for the family stress. Enjoy your cruise and special time with your son and his new girl friend.

@ Allison hikes the bookwoods - hope you enjoy your new position. Flex time is definitely a big plus. It's great to have a lot of free time in the summer especially with your children off school for the summer as well.

@ Gail - sorry you were underwhelmed with Washington Black. It is disappointing when you hear/read good things about a book and it doesn't live up to its advanced billing. Been there myself. It seems we're all somewhat different and I think timing plays a big role as well. Variety views do keep things interesting however. I thought the writing and research were good in Washington Black and enjoyed the adventure and travel aspect. Thought it was an interesting way to provide a history and analysis slavery, culture and anthropology. Thanks for taking time to share your views. I wish our monthly group read could get off the ground for more book discussion.

@ Susan - if you were mostly interested in library discussion vis a vis the fire in Los Angeles you might me interested in The Incident Report by Martha Baillie, a Canadian author. I have a friend who read it and keeps suggesting it to me but haven't gotten around to it...yet. It's about a Toronto library and the various reports that are written up by staff when "incidents" happen. Not surprising libraries are microcosms of the cities they're situated in and one of the last refuge spots for many whose residences aren't up to par or a place to stop being alone. I'm rambling...but I understand it's a very interesting book.

This week I completed about 2/3rd's of Dear Evelyn by Kathy Page, the 2018 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Award Winner. Am enjoying it. It's a quiet read with excellent writing and lush descriptions. Am only sorry it takes place during and after WW1 as I'm weary with war stories. It's more about long term relationships - a married couple primarily. Reminds me a bit of the topics that Anne Tyler writes about and also how she writes -in a quiet and intelligent way about ordinary peoples lives and their relationships. Kathy Page wasn't on my radar until recently, although she's been nominated for a GG award, Scotiabank Giller awards and the Orange Award before it become the Women's Prize for Fiction. Reading so far, I see why.

Coming up - Just picked up a slew of Christmas books and hope to relax and enjoy them......plus I have one mystery genre book for an in-person book club in 2 weeks - The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh.

Happy December Everyone!!!


message 14: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Penney | 562 comments Oh Rainey I’m sorry to hear that. I am sending love and prayers and wonderful wishes for a lovely cruise for you and your son.


message 15: by ✿✿✿May (last edited Nov 30, 2018 06:51PM) (new)

✿✿✿May  | 775 comments TGIF! One more month and 2018 is almost over!
@Rainey, I'm so sorry to hear about your family drama!
@Allison, congrats on your new adventures! The flex arrangement sounds super awesome!
It seems the verdict on Washington Black has been mixed in our group.

This week I finished In a Dark, Dark Wood in paper and The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life with Steve Jobs in audio. The former started off well and just kind of fell apart at the end. The latter was a memoir that came out shortly after the one written by the daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs Small Fry. Very interesting how the recollection differed between mother and daughter.
Like @Allison, I have Little Women next to read as well! I remembered nothing from reading it years ago. I bought a beautiful penguin cloth bound hardcover and am looking forward to reading it!
Also more than half way through All Things Consoled: A Daughter's Memoir in audio. It is not a comfortable book to read, but I thought it was raw and honest yet beautifully written.
Have a great weekend everyone!


message 16: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Penney | 562 comments @M.J. I put “Dear Evelyn” on my TBR skyscraper yesterday after I saw it on CBC’s recommended winter books list. I’m also really interested in “Moon of the Crusted Snow”.

This week I quietly and slowly read “Pride and Prejudice”. What a comforting, enjoyable, refreshing and satisfying experience. It has been quite a few years since I’ve re-read it in its entirety and it grabbed me again, right from the first page.

Now that I’m done that book I may read “Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Carol” before beginning my annual reading of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”.

I also have a hold on “The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries” after @Alan mentioned it and I’m number one in line so I’m hoping to get it soon.

Beyond that I can make no plans or promises. My reading lately, though still stop and go, seems to be driven entirely by my physical abs emotional state. So “lighter” books may be where I settle. I’m craving distraction.

Happy reading everyone.


message 17: by Alan (new)

Alan | 567 comments Been taking classes all term and beyond burnt out,totally fried.
Started reading The Couple Next Door and while it was fun in an easy read way at first I am very much tiring of it. I really feel like the author is treading her wheels and it’s time to put this baby to rest.
I have a stack of books I culled from my shelves that I’ve chosen to bring to my brother who is ill next month. Really looking forward to getting into them as this current read is really going nowhere.
Have been reading lots of best of the year lists,which is enormous fun because you learn about so many new titles. I think Petra mentioned reading There,There. It was on two lists and it is one of many I had never heard of before. Tomorrow I’m going to spend the whole day reading,Sunday it’s back to finishing school work.


message 18: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1290 comments There, There is one of the best books I’ve read in 2018. You will enjoy it FAR more than The Couple Next Door, lol.


message 19: by Wanda (new)

Wanda | 563 comments I finished Heart Berries: A Memoir this week and am not sure how I feel about it. Was not what I expected.

I have been listening to There There in audio and it is captivating. I like this author's writing style with an intriguing prologue and interlude. Has great characters with their unique struggles and the circumstance that connect them all.

I was in Ottawa for work this past week and went to my favorite book store, Perfect Books and bought a signed copy of Moon of the Crusted Snow and cannot wait to start this. I also bought Split Tooth, which has a beautiful cover and red dipped pages (apparently only for the first edition that I snagged!). I am a geek when it comes to gorgeous or "different" book covers. This is a book that I plan to read in short bits as it has dark, trauma content.


message 20: by Louise (new)

Louise | 1290 comments Wanda you should try Split Tooth in audio. It is read by the author and interspersed with her throat singing. Absolutely amazing.

I am almost done with Moon of the Crusted Snow. It is quite the page turner.

I did not like Heart Berries at all. It seemed to me to be more therapeutic for the author to write and not that interesting for the reader to read.

There There of course is awesome!


message 21: by Emmkay (new)

Emmkay | 299 comments Heartberries wasn’t my thing - I don’t think I rated it, just tried to find what was interesting in it to think about. I too really liked There, There. Happy to see it is on so many ‘best of’ lists.

This week I read Split Tooth. Not in audio, which sounds like an amazing experience. It wasn’t entirely to my taste but was very powerful. I’m now reading Women Talking for an in-person book club.


message 22: by Wanda (new)

Wanda | 563 comments @Louise- thanks for the audio tip for Split Tooth. It
sounds like the full experience. I will check it out!
@Emmkay-I will be interested to know what you think of Women Talking, you and I often have similar tastes in our reading.


message 23: by Rainey (new)

Rainey | 695 comments Thank you everyone for your hugs and prayers. It sucks but at least I know how my mother in law really feels about my son and I and I can move on with no regrets. There were other incidences that I had let slide and this was just the final NO.

"People will show you who they are and how they feel about you. Believe them"


message 24: by Elinor (new)

Elinor | 261 comments This weekend I met a guy at my local Christmas Craft Fair who told me his daughter was an author. It turns out that she is Maia Caron, who wrote Song of Batoche and she grew up right here in Invermere, B.C.! I was floored, since this place only has 3,000 people. I immediately emailed her and we are going to have coffee together when she comes out here next time to visit her parents!! She has lived in Toronto for many years. Will wonders never cease!


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