Trans-Atlantic Bibliophiles discussion

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Kingdom of the Blind > General Discussion

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message 1: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianders1) | 136 comments Mod
Pat has read this, and Emily, Diane, and Anne are reading it now.


message 2: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianders1) | 136 comments Mod
Oh man, I don't even know what to say about this. I wanted to love it, but it just felt like a hot mess to me. I really think poor Gamache should be allowed to retire.


message 3: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments I'm looking forward to hearing from the others in this - I may be the complete out-lyer!!! (Is that a word? :) )


message 4: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments PS, Do you all ever read other things at the same time? If yes, please let me know, I'm looking for a 'book group', mine ended here.


message 5: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianders1) | 136 comments Mod
I read all the time, but never "with" anyone else really. I've never been in a consistent book group before, and this one has been "on hiatus" for quite awhile. I'm more than happy to resurrect it though, if you want to start a new book!


message 6: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments I do too, but don't find many people who really like what I like to the same extent. So, OK, give it a go?!

Have you been reading Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series? There's a new one of those coming out in January. If you haven't read the others (maybe, I vaguely think, Emily has?), then.....

I'll look at your books and see what's there and what could maybe work.


message 7: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments Right, I looked at your To Read list and have a lot of cross-over (I don't often put them on goodreads, they're in my amazon wish list):

The Victory Garden (Rhys Bowen)
Murphy's Law (Rhys Bowen)
Still Waters (Viveca Sten)
The Red Notebook (Antoine Laurain)
Bettyville (George Hodgman)

OR, you can pick something!!!!! P.


message 8: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments Or Becoming (but will there be much conflict in that to discuss?) or Normal People, Sally Rooney; one of the finalists for the Man Booker prize.


message 9: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianders1) | 136 comments Mod
I’d love to do “Becoming!”


message 10: by Patricia (last edited Dec 19, 2018 12:18AM) (new)

Patricia | 80 comments Perfect, I'll pick it up today (yes, I'm one of those people who do their Christmas shopping at the last minute!). Would you like to set a 'read by' date?


message 11: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianders1) | 136 comments Mod
Sure. I borrowed the CDs from the library. Maybe I'll finally finish knitting Maddie's socks! January 31?


message 12: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianders1) | 136 comments Mod
I've also got "Educated" by Tara Westover on CD. Have you read that? That's a big one out here.


message 13: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments I'll get Becoming today or next week. And I was looking through goodreads's list of picks for their employees just now and ordered Educated - how amazing!!! Never heard of it until I was looking at the lists. We can do either - or both. I have big plans to knit, quilt, embroider and lay on the sofa and read - all holiday which for me will last about 10 days or until I get twitchy. Of course it won't happen, but it's nice to dream. I'm taking Katie on grad school interviews in January and figure that I'll have loads of 'me' time (doing what I did for years when they were young, sitting in coffee shops drinking coffee and knitting or something from my list above) - YAY!!! Happy hols!!! Pxx


message 14: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments PS, Do you find it as engaging to listen to 'real' books as to read them? I don't pay as much attention, I think, so I find I need paper books for that. That said, I have been re-reading Louise Penny's books from the beginning (I just gave the first one to the headmaster of the school I read at) and I'm doing that as a combo of paper, kindle and audio.... I want to explore your thoughts about Gamache retiring!!


message 15: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianders1) | 136 comments Mod
Most books I prefer to read, but Travis has had three eye surgeries this year (so far, knock on wood) so I got him some audiobooks to listen to. I figured that especially with Michelle Obama's memoir it would be nice to hear her voice reading it. I read a fair bit on my Kindle, though not if I know there are photographs/illustrations.

I also listened to all the Outlander books because I like the narrator, and they're so long I would never get them read before they're due at the library. I just load everything on my computer and put them on my phone/iPod to listen to.

I have no idea if Gamache is going to retire, but he certainly deserves to. This last book just felt like one too many to me. I believe she's in the middle of writing the next one, so I guess he's not. I'll miss Jean Guy, though.


message 16: by Emily (new)

Emily | 39 comments I just finished it tonight. I've been avoiding this thread, just in case there were spoilers. I... hmm. I didn't love it. I really wanted to, and I liked it, but I didn't love it like I usually do. The part with Amelia seemed disjointed and the girl in red seemed thrown in. I will miss Jean Guy, too. I wonder if he will somehow get pulled back in.

I can listen to Becoming. I don't know much about Educated. I think I'm going to read a Jim Butcher book next. I'm trying to read more on my commute. Pat, where are the grad school interviews? Will you be in the States?

I did see that there is a new Flavia de Luce book out. I'll try to get on the list for that.

Another book near the top of my list is Wool. I can't remember where I first heard of it, but with a title like Wool I was definitely intrigued. I picked up a copy on vacation (I haven't been able to find it at my library) and plan to read it sometime in 2019.


message 17: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments OK, now I can opine again since you're both finished and won't see spoilers. I actually liked the disjointedness; I thought that was the point in the way it was written - the situation(s) WERE disjointed. You know how I said that I read 85 pages, couldn't figure out what on earth was happening and had to read Glass Houses again and then start this one again? I in fact did remember GH; but because Kingdom was so confusing, it didn't make sense. I guess I felt like it was good this way because this is what it would have been like in his (Gamache's) head - seeing parts but not all and in any case, we never know everything in his head anyway. Knowing parts and some aspects and gambling everything, knowing he'd lose what was one of the most important things to him - his job, maybe his son-in-law and certainly having Amelia's life in his hands and what if she went back on drugs for real (it could have gone so so wrong, of course, and he would have to carry that burden too) but also knowing if he didn't take the chance, such awful things were right around a close corner and it'd be terrible.

I agree, the girl in the red coat was weird and a bit HUH??!! But I chalked it up to horror upon horror. And wanting to add something good for Isabelle Lacoste. She avoided the warehouse cross fire / disaster scenario in an earlier book (Bury Your Dead? Or the one before it?) but it caught up with her. So we needed a bit of a happy ending-ish there as we had with Beauvoir.

Personally, I wouldn't totally discount Beauvoir. Yes, maybe he goes off to Paris, was it, to do some management thing, but.... My bet is that the Surete de Quebec has to do an even bigger clean up and Gamache comes back some way somehow (though maybe in Paris, that could be fun!) and Jean Guy comes back too. Or maybe Amelia becomes the new side kick!! One never knows!

And I think someone said she's writing another one? Diane? Is it for sure a Gamache book or is she leaving this series and going to something else? I think because I am not so good at following authors etc like you guys are, I don't see this stuff until it pops up on amazon as one those 'you read that, you might want to read this too' adverts.

Flavia comes out here in the end of January; I'm already on that!
And Jason (my son) told me that Jim Butcher is finally writing another Dresden book; his Caldera or whatever the series is has also been without new books, I think he said - do you read those?
Apparently (according to Jason), JB got a divorce and then met someone new and got remarried and.... As I say, sometimes life takes over. (Jason was looking for new urban fantasy books for me for Christmas; he found two, although I can't say they look hugely promising, but I'll give 'em a go!) He also got me Call the Midwife, which I finished a couple days ago - YIKES. It's set in 1952 East End London (you guys probably already saw the TV series, I didn't and knew very little about it - he read it and knew I'd like it) and what a developing country this was!!! I was born in 1959 and I know obstetrics was a bit creepy in Cincinnati (or so it sounded to me from the stories I heard from my mum) but this was really 19th century sounding stuff. Fascinating, but pretty scary!!!

Anyway, sorry, I'm a bit nattery today! I'll check out Wool again although it looks more scifi than I usually go for (a trilogy by Hugh Howey, right?!). I've got a few next-in-series books on my Wish List (I'm awful with ordering books with one-click, our libraries will never get 99% of what I read and if they do, it'll take months and months - and I can't wait - so I sell lots of jam to buy them!!) which are coming out in the next couple of months. Do either of you ever read Ben Aaronovitch? He had a new one out a couple of weeks ago - another quite confusing twisty book, but really good fun.

I started Becoming and have Educated. I'm looking forward to reading them and hearing what you have to say about them!!!!

PS, Grad school interviews are: Indianapolis, Chicago, Phoenix, Boston, Atlanta. She's still waiting on Oregon somewhere and Denver. I still remember very fondly (as does Jason, in fact, he mentioned it a couple of months ago when I said that I had been looking at your book lists on goodreads!) your touring us around St Louis and the university. Would she had an interview there too; we could go for lunch!!! As it is, it looks like I'll have LOADS of time to knit whilst sitting in the car, something I have much experience with!!!


message 18: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments Sorry, one other series you might like: Mick Herron, Slough House. Really really good!!!


message 19: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianders1) | 136 comments Mod
I love hearing from you. It makes me happy! What is Katie going to grad school for?

Louise Penny wrote this on Facebook yesterday: Third draft of next Gamache book moving forward. It really is a matter of shaping, of pacing at this point. I see sections I left in the second draft, because I wasn't completely sure I should take them out. Generally character development/description and back-story issues. Now, with third draft, it's clearer what is needed and what just drags things down. Though sometimes the exposition is necessary but in the wrong place. Decisions. But fun. Noli timere, my friend.

So definitely a next book. Oh please, not Amelia Choquet as his new partner!

Yeah, the little girl in the red coat was weird. I fully expected her to be a hallucination. Now she can murder Isabelle's kids in their beds. Sorry, not very charitable!


message 20: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 80 comments I love hearing from you too - and I have been laughing ever since I read the end of your last post - no, she won't murder the children in their beds!!!! But I think Lacoste is sidelined and that means with both her and Beauvoir gone, we need some new characters in more prominent positions. AND, there was foreshadowing about Choquet taking over the Surete some day! Shall we place a bet on it - keeps the interest going!!! :)

Ah, of course - Facebook. I always forget about that as a way of learning stuff like the above.... I am very anti-social media. But I am also anti-credit and debit card for paying everything too. Partly because I hate to get a huge credit card bill at the end of the month and partly because I make so much cash from the farmer's markets but mostly because I like the anonymity. Too much of life is available for the unwashed masses to see. Of course, no one wants to see ANYTHING about an old lady (aka, me) but... Know what I mean?

Anyway, grad school: She'll do a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) as opposed to a PhD as she wants to be a clinician not a researcher. She's so so excited and that makes me so happy!

Did I already write about my Toy Bag (I glanced through the above and didn't see it, but of course I skimmed, so if I did, please ignore me!)? When I travel, even for a day (like yesterday, when I went to Staffordshire for 24 hours to see an old college friend and took a HUGE grocery carrier bag (say, 30 litres volume of stuff) with me which included a new knitting project*, 2 books AND my Kindle (don't ask, but if you want to know, I have a lot of books available in case I'm in the mood for something different than what I'm reading at the time) and two games to play with a 13 year old (I only needed one, but it was such fun). On this trip, I'm pulling out a cabled cardi which has been in process for XX years (I just discovered that I think I have 2 sleeves and one side of the front done - who knew?!), a pattern and wool - I got it at the NY Fibre Festival in October - for an entrelac scarf, some sock yarn (just in case), some books and Kindle and audiobooks on my mobile, some hankies to embroider initials on for Gary, some hankies to embroider with something for me and maybe some patch work stuff for my new, to be determined** Double Wedding Ring Quilt which looks like it will take me about 5 years. In theory, I will have enough space to take some clothes and to bring back stuff like trainers, some baking stuff (they have terrible shredded coconut, choc chips etc here) and the like.... Gary just got me a surprise new suitcase when he was in NY last month - my old ones were so grotty that the wheels didn't roll and I was essentially dragging the things through airports by force of nature (and a lot of arm power).

* I went to the NY Fibre Festival with some friends in September and one woman brought a big plastic box of stuff she'd made to show us. In it was a Unicorn Tail scarf and an entrelac scarf, both gorgeous. Now I don't usually get that cold in general and, for me, it isn't that cold here really to need a scarf, but... They were beautiful. So I had her help me find the wool for them. Well, lovely EXCEPT I knit Continental style (on the knit side and 'normal' on the purl which gives a lovely kind of jacquard pattern but does not lead to correct whatever) and THAT means that the Unicorn Tails scarf won't work (I think it's a pattern on ravelry and maybe in my favourites if you are interested) and of course I only read the pattern after I bought the wool. So out came the How To Knit book and I have had to practice knitting the 'correct' way. It's slow, cumbersome and BORING. So, I'm debating on whether to stick with it (as my daughter says, 'you never let us give up on something like that') or toss that pattern and find something else to do with the wool. Drama.

**I have been saving Gary's work shirts - 2 metres of brilliant excellent quality cotton, so why bin them?! - for some years with the idea that I'd make a DWR quilt - by hand. For our ENORMOUS California King sized bed (as someone here said, it's as big as a small row boat). Well, the darned thing won't get made on its own and it's all pieced by hand over paper (English Paper Piecing) so it's the perfect travel thing. BUT, again, where is my brain? His shirts are a lot of white with kinds of things like fine stripes or the like.

www.google.com/search?q=double+weddin...

In theory, fine. BUT, I had planned for the centres of the rings to be white. And the shirts are light. No contrast. So that has been my latest (wait for it, another drama) drama for the 4.30 wake up thinking. And now, just searching on the internet to send you a pic, I found this one: at $90, the WHOLE thing would cost less than the fabric for the centres were I to make this the way I had planned.... And this is 1930s reproduction fabric, which I LOVE. HUGE debate in my mind: Buy the kit and collect it in America when I'm there in a couple of weeks and find something else to do with the shirts.... Aaahhhhh, too many decisions!!! And to think I've just added this to the mix - I literally never saw this before! Thank you, Diane!!!

www.quiltingcompany.com/store/1930s-d...

We will find out what happens with Gamache in.... Hmmm. Third draft, send it to the editor, get it back, send it again, get it back. Marketing and advertising get involved, print date set.... November?

I REALLY am curious if she (and other series authors with a series which is quite interwoven and complicated) have a whole huge plot line panned out and then a rough (very rough) outline of what books come when? Do you know? Goodreads has those 'talk' with the author things and I've always wanted to ask. Do you know what I mean? One can see (because I just re-read the first four books in the series after both you and Emily said Gamache should retire) the seeds of Beauvoir's addiction / implosion in the earlier books. The developing of the father-son relationship between them. Read back to back, I THINK I can see the bigger picture plot structure. Or maybe not - I may be creating something that isn't there in order to feel clever!! Would love your thoughts. But I am not asking you to re-read a bunch of books to look for it!!

Righty ho, it's almost 6PM and it'll be pizza for dinner, so I'd better go start sorting it out. This, BTW, includes finding a book (I just finished a book about a guy who adopted a penguin in Argentina - lovely book - whilst taking a short break from Becoming, although I went back to Becoming this morning) and my glasses and walking two blocks to the pizza place to order the pizzas (I am not amazing on the phone and have trouble (being somewhat deaf) really understanding all but real American accents spoken at loud volume - and the pizza place guy is Turkish and mumbles, which is really hard to understand on the phone - and then sitting whilst they make them, reading my book and having a glass of wine and pretending I'm living in a really cool foreign place :)

Sorry, I should write you proper emails instead of posts on a book reading web site!!!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. 2019 will be great, I just know it (yes, I'm still an optimist!!!).

PS, I'll write you an email, I have questions!!! And only 4400 characters left!


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