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Books > The Book Salon ~~ April 2019

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments


This the thread for general book discussions for April 2019

Tell us what you just read, are currently reading or plan to read. Tell us about your favorite author. Have you read some book news? Share it with the group. Anything related to books and reading, we want to hear all about it !
:)


message 2: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments Sorry I am late putting up the April thread.


message 3: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments History and Current Events


---- Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster
by Adam Higginbotham

What it's about: the catastrophic April 26, 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukraine.

Why you might like it: Suspenseful and sweeping, this vivid account includes recently declassified documents and interviews with survivors.

Try this next: For a moving look at the disaster's ongoing environmental damage, read Kate Brown's Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future.



------ How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States
by Daniel Immerwahr

What it is: a fast-paced, illuminating history exploring the impact of American imperialism on past and present non-mainland U.S. territories including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.

Why it matters: This absorbing work reveals a perspective on American history that is often overlooked.

Did you know? Nearly half of the mainland population is unaware that today's four million territory residents are U.S. citizens.



----- Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland
by Patrick Radden Keefe

What it's about: In December 1972, Belfast widow and mother of 10 Jean McConville was wrongly accused of being an informant for the British Army. Abducted from her home by members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), she was never seen again.

Why you might like it: Blending elements of murder mystery, political history, and true crime, this heartwrenching deep dive into The Troubles offers an unflinching portrait of the conflict's lasting repercussions.



------ An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago
by Alex Kotlowitz

What it is: an intimate and empathetic chronicle of the summer of 2013 in Chicago neighborhoods plagued by violence and neglect.

What's inside: immersive interviews with advocates, bystanders, victims, and perpetrators.

Author alert: Journalist Alex Kotlowitz is the author of There Are No Children Here, which was named by the New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important books of the 20th century.



----- Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation
by Steve Luxenberg

What it's about: the complex, decades-long origins of the landmark United States Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which legally upheld racially segregated "separate but equal" facilities.

Reviewers say: Separate "is likely to become the seminal work on this crucial Supreme Court decision" (Library Journal).

For fans of: Isabel Wilkerson's sweeping Great Migration history The Warmth of Other Suns.


***** Revolutions


---- No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria
by Rania Abouzeid

What it is: a sobering account of the ongoing Syrian Civil War, which has claimed an estimated 500,000 lives since 2011.

What sets it apart: Branded a spy by the Syrian government and banned from entering the country, journalist Rania Abouzeid spent several years clandestinely entering Syria to conduct her reportage.

Book buzz: No Turning Back was a 2018 Booklist Editors' Choice and New York Times Notable Book selection.



------ The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny
by Ian Davidson

What it is: a dramatic, richly detailed history of the French Revolution (1789-1799), which resulted in the overthrow of the French monarchy and the establishment of a democratic republic.

Featuring: helpful maps, graphics, and timelines.

Who it's for: readers familiar with the topic or those looking for a comprehensive overview.



------ The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962-1976
by Frank Dikötter

What it's about: Chairman Mao Zedong's final decade of rule as the founder of the People's Republic of China.

Is it for you? This chilling study of a turbulent era depicts a China beset with violence, famine, and disease.

Series alert: The Cultural Revolution is the 3rd book in the People's Trilogy, following Mao's Great Famine and The Tragedy of Liberation.



----- The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789
by Joseph J. Ellis

What it's about: the influential roles four Founding Fathers played in the political transformations occurring between the end of the American Revolution and the establishment of the federal government.

Starring: George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay.

About the author: Historian Joseph J. Ellis is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation.



------ October: The Story of the Russian Revolution
by China Miéville

What it is: a breathtaking month-by-month account of Russia's two 1917 revolutions, which culminated in the rise of Vladimir Lenin and the creation of the world's first workers' state.

Read it for: award-winning fantasy author China Miéville's (Perdido Street Station) lyrical prose.

Want a taste? “Trench-drenched soldiers the colour of ripped-up earth taking what hours of respite they could, drinking tea from tin mugs.”


message 4: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 06, 2019 07:25PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments Library Recommendations


-----Lost Roses
by Martha Hall Kelly
“The Ferriday family (The Lilac Girls) returns in this story of love, loss, and triumph. The voices of four compelling female characters tell of the devastating effects of the Russian Revolution and World War I. Highly recommended for book clubs and fans of Anthony Doerr, Susan Meissner, and Lauren Belfer.”

Mamie Ney, Auburn Public Library, Auburn, ME

NoveList Read-alike: The Women In the Castle by Jessica Shattuck



------The Girl He Used to Know
by Tracey Garvis Graves
“A college romance with an odd, quiet girl fades when she fails to follow him to New York after graduation as promised. Ten years later, a chance meeting in Chicago reunites them. An interesting story giving insight into the world of a high functioning autistic adult. For readers who enjoyed The Rosie Project.”

Virginia Holsten, Vinton Public Library, Vinton, IA

NoveList Read-alike: Ghosted by Rosie Walsh



------The Invited
by Jennifer McMahon
“Nate and Helen leave their teaching jobs to build their dream home in rural Vermont. Helen begins seeing ghosts, and Nate becomes obsessed with a white doe. An unputdownable thriller about a house with a tragic past. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly and Attica Locke.”

Terri Smith, Cornelia Library, Mt. Airy, GA

NoveList Read-alike: Mansion by Ezekiel Boone



------Little Darlings
by Melanie Golding
“A creepy, beautifully written story about a new mother of twin boys who claims to have seen a strange creature who wants to steal her babies. Doctors and the police are dismissive. Then the unthinkable happens. For fans of modern myths, psychological suspense, and Fiona Barton.”

Amy Verkruissen, Calcasieu Parish Public Library, Lake Charles, LA

NoveList Read-alike: The Other Mother by Carol Goodman



------Miracle Creek
by Angie Kim
“When a medical treatment facility explodes, killing two people, the ensuing murder trial rocks the town while witnesses go to extremes to conceal their darkest secrets. Part family drama, part whodunit, Miracle Creek is a gripping debut. For fans of Celeste Ng and Liane Moriarty.”

Portia Kapraun, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

NoveList Read-alike: Defending Jacob by William Landay



------The Mother-In-Law
by Sally Hepworth
“Lucy hopes to have a good relationship with her husband Ollie’s mother, but Diana makes it difficult. When Diana is found dead of an apparent suicide, Lucy reexamines everything she knows about Diana and the rest of the family. For fans of The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand and The Lake House by Kate Morton.”

Chris Markley, Kingsport Public Library, Kingsport, TN

NoveList Read-alike: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones



-----Normal People
by Sally Rooney
“Follows the complicated relationship between Connell, a popular boy, and Marianne, a lonely and private girl, through their high school years and college. A great book club pick. For fans of Three Junes by Julia Glass and Idaho by Emily Ruskovich.”

Anbolyn Potter, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

NoveList Read-alike: The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride



------Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir
by Ruth Reichl
“Reichl’s captivating story about leaving her job as a New York Times restaurant critic to become Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine. Her writing is as luscious as the food she critiques. For fans of Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and My Life in France by Julia Child.

Katelyn Boyer, Fergus Falls Public Library, Fergus Falls, MN

NoveList Read-alike: My Soul Looks Back by Jessica B. Harris



-------Southern Lady Code: Essays
by Helen Ellis
“A funny, spot-on collection of essays on topics ranging from marriage and manners, three-ways, and how to be a good friend in the middle of a murder trial. For fans of You Play the Girl by Carina Chocano and Thick by Tressie McMillan Cottom.”

Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

NoveList Read-alike: Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley



-------Women Talking
by Miriam Toews
“In a modern-day Mennonite community, eight women surreptitiously gather in a barn to decide their future after learning the truth behind two years of sexual assaults committed by neighbors and family members. Their circuitous, swooping two-day conversation touches on faith, autonomy, duty, anger, and their hopes for their lives and those of their children in this compelling and haunting read. For fans of Lauren Groff.”

Andrea Gough, The Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA

NoveList Read-alike: The Natural Way Of Things by Charlotte Wood


message 5: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2610 comments But Enough About Me But Enough About Me by Burt Reynolds by Burt Reynolds


In this memoir, Burt Reynolds tells lots of interesting stories about his family; friends; career; television shows; movies; romances; dinner theatre; film institute; and more. Burt comes across as a 'man's man' who liked the ladies and had a good life. I enjoyed the book. 3.5 stars

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 6: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 07, 2019 02:06PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments Barbara wrote: "But Enough About Me But Enough About Me by Burt Reynolds by Burt Reynolds


In this memoir, Burt Reynolds tells lots of interesting stories about his family; fri..."


Barbara, just today I was contemplating getting the Kindle version of Sally Fields book In Pieces. It's on sale today for around $5.

One of the reviews complained that she devotes little of the 400 pages to Burt. Which for me is fine as I don't really care to read about celebrity relationships. I did like Burt. What don't really care for celebrity gossip books. I am interested if they have something to say about some aspects of their life that would be instructional or illuminating to me.

I did read your excellent review of the book, Barbara. Also the terrific photos you always include. I have to say I had no idea who her mother was. However, from the photo you included she was stunningly beautiful.

I am not normally into celebrity memoirs. Though this one does seem to cover different territory. I am concerned that quite a few of the reviews and you also alluded to it also, seem to think that she over dramatized the events she covers.

Anyway, for $5, I decided to take a leap and purchased it. There is a wait for it at my library for the Kindle version. And it's never clear if they will ever get a Kindle copy again if their original purchase has run out of loans.

I figure it will be a good subway read as it shouldn't take too much concentration or require me to take notes.


message 7: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9510 comments I can vouch for Joseph J. Ellis's The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789. It was full of new-to-me facts, as well informative about the manner in which the individual states came together as one nation during and after the Revolutionary War. The lines i liked best about our nation were these,“The fact that they[Founders] had been unable to resolve the question of federal versus state sovereignty, or even to face the moral implications of the slavery question, did not mean that they had failed but rather that, in the current political context, those issues were irresolvable. The Constitution had created a framework in which the argument could continue.”

While i'm at it i'll share that his Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation was also a strong-on-info book. Additionally, Ruth Reichl's food autobiographies are fun to read but do so with a full stomach or you'll find yourself searching the kitchen for something you'll never find, food she mentions!

Barbara, i don't suppose Reynolds discussed what posing nude did for his career, did he? I knew very few people were even aware of him prior to that photo. To regret that would be to have ended up with a different career.

A question, did he mention Inger Stevens? She was a beautiful US actress born in Sweden, i think they met when making a tv movie. At the time of her suicide they were supposed to be dating. I just looked her up and she was secretly married, so i wonder.


PattyMacDotComma | 879 comments Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo is terrific! Millions of readers and the Pulitzer Prize people weren’t wrong. Unforgettable characters and a great read!
Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo 5+★ Link to my review


message 9: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 07, 2019 07:36PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo is terrific! Millions of readers and the Pulitzer Prize people weren’t wrong. Unforgettable characters and a great read!
"


Patty the movie with Paul Newman is good, too. There is a follow up book. I haven't read it yet.

I also enjoyed Russo's memoir
Elsewhere
I would suggest the audio for this book. Russo, imo, has a sexy voice. :) ♥ He also apparently has the patience of a saint. His mom has some mental issues and was quite demanding. I don't know how he managed it.


message 10: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2610 comments The Brass Verdict The Brass Verdict (Mickey Haller, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #18) by Michael Connelly by Michael Connelly

In this second book in the 'Mickey Haller' series, the attorney defends a Hollywood mogul.....and Detective Harry Bosch makes an appearance. The book can be read as a standalone. Good story. 4 stars

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 11: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2610 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Barbara wrote: "But Enough About Me But Enough About Me by Burt Reynolds by Burt Reynolds


Anyway, for $5, I decided to take a leap and purchased it. There is a wait for it at my library for the Kindle version. And it's never clear if they will ever get a Kindle copy again if their original purchase has run out of loans. ..."


I think Sally Field's memoir is one of the better ones Alias. It's raw and honest rather than gossipy.


message 12: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9510 comments Patty, i knew Alias read & really liked that Russo novel. Like others, i saw & enjoyed the film but haven't read the book. Your high praise is noticed!

Barbara, i've not read any books featuring either Bosch or Haller. However, i read The Poet, the first in his series about crime reporter Jack McEvoy and liked it very much. Of course the title and connection to poetry helped. ;-) The writing was fast paced, which was welcomed, too.


message 13: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 08, 2019 05:49PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments Barbara wrote: I think Sally Field's memoir is one of the better ones Alias. It's raw and honest rather than gossipy. .."

Thanks ! That is what I am looking for.


message 14: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 08, 2019 06:06PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments Today I had quite an unexpected treat.

One of the books I am currently reading is Spaceman An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino. I'm enjoying it a lot. Mike was one of the astronauts to spacewalk to fix the Hubble telescope.

Today, as I took a lunch break before heading out to do some errands I turned on my laptop to surf the web while I ate. I get a Facebook notice that NASA TV is live. You guessed it! They were doing a spacewalk from the international space station.

Here is the feed if you want to see it.
https://www.space.com/space-station-e...

It is so amazing. Here I am in my kitchen. Using an inexpensive laptop connected by Wifi . My little computer that I use today is more powerful then what they used for the Apollo moon landing in many ways.

A POCKET CALCULATOR HAS MORE COMPUTING POWER THAN THE COMPUTERS WE USED FOR THE MOON MISSION
https://www.zmescience.com/research/t...

https://igotoffer.com/blog/how-powerf...


Anyway, I just caught the part where the two astronauts were returning to the space station. It was truly amazing and the fact that I am reading Spaceman only added to my enjoyment.

Truly amazing times. Though it's kind of sad that I bet this space walk didn't even make the nightly news. :( As Mike Massimino says, if the public isn't excited and engaged, the funding will dry up and the U.S. will no longer lead space exploration.


message 15: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 879 comments Alias Reader wrote: "PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo is terrific! Millions of readers and the Pulitzer Prize people weren’t wrong. Unforgettable characters and a grea..."

Thanks for that info, AR!


message 16: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 879 comments I have finally read the very first Disc World book, The Colour of Magic, by the much-loved, late Terry Pratchett, whose phenomenal output earned him a knighthood. What an absolute romp of a book!
The Colour of Magic (Discworld, #1) by Terry Pratchett Link to my review


message 17: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 879 comments It's over-the-top adrenaline, action, and high-tech when Gregg Hurwitz brings Orphan X, aka the Nowhere Man, Out of the Dark and pits him against US President Jonathan Bennett.
Out of the Dark (Orphan X, #4) by Gregg Hurwitz 4★ Link to my review (which has no cracks about the current administration, tempting though it was)


message 18: by Barbara (last edited Apr 09, 2019 03:25PM) (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2610 comments The Valedictorian of Being Dead The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live by Heather B. Armstrong The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live by Heather B. Armstrong

In this memoir, popular 'mommy blogger' Heather B. Armstrong describes an experimental treatment she underwent to treat her long-term, drug-resistant depression. Very interesting....and possibly groundbreaking if it pans out. 3.5 stars

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 19: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments Barbara wrote: "The Valedictorian of Being Dead The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live by Heather B. Armstrong The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live by [author..."

Good review, Barbara.

I believe Propofol is the drug that Michael Jackson was abusing.


message 20: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2610 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Barbara wrote: "The Valedictorian of Being Dead The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live by Heather B. Armstrong [book:The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live|4053..."


I believe Propofol is the drug that Michael Jackson was abusing.


Thank you Alias. That's correct, Michael Jackson used it. That makes it seem very frightening.


message 21: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9510 comments Patty, that was a great intro to Disc World, about which i knew little. I've long heard his name but was clueless as to what he wrote.

Barbara, i think i saw Armstrong on the nightly news talking about her treatment. What a medical breakthrough this could be if it works for many.

Alias, what a wonderful coincidence for you. Those walks always thrill me but i've only seen a few on tv. I'll have to keep my eyes open on that website. Thanks.

Your point about your laptop is remarkable, isn't it? When we were at McDonald Observatory at Ft. Davis, Texas, last month, the guide made a point of illustrating the movements of the huge telescope & the building which houses it. Then he told us we have more power in our laptops than they used when it was first constructed! I think the entire group uttered "wow!"

I'm happy you shared your day and the wonder it offered you.


message 22: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 278 comments I finished one of the books on my determination list...The Dog Who Saved Me. I really loved this book. I’ve read a few other books by this author and they have all been good so far :)
The ending of this one left me wanting more of the story. I hope the author revisits these characters :)


message 23: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 10, 2019 05:22AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments madrano wrote:Alias, what a wonderful coincidence for you. Those walks always thrill me but i've only seen a few on tv. I'll have to keep my eyes open on that website. Thanks.."

If you are on Facebook, you can follow NASA TV. Click Subscribe and the Bell icon and you will be notified of live events.

I saw this spacewalk on NowThis Future . Which I also saw on Facebook. Click subscribe and the bell icon and you will be notified of live events.


message 24: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9510 comments Great tip, Alias. I didn't realize i could do that via FB.

Stephanie, the story seems ripe for a series, doesn't it? We'll keep our fingers crossed for you.


message 25: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 879 comments Tales From Nature: Bee by Magali Attiogbé is a sweet little picture book for toddlers. Big, simple, cheerful illustrations that show the life-cycle of a bee.
Tales From Nature Bee by Magali Attiogbé Link to my review with pictures


message 26: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 879 comments Just finished a new favourite, Scrublands! Seasoned Aussie journalist and foreign correspondent Chris Hammer excels with his fictional debut about mysterious crimes in a small, HOT country town.
Scrublands by Chris Hammer 5★ Link to my review


message 27: by Stephanie (last edited Apr 11, 2019 09:20AM) (new)

Stephanie | 278 comments Thank you :) I think so too!


message 28: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9510 comments Patty, you made Scrublands sound so good, i had to see if my library has it. Indeed, it does and there is already a waiting list. Your description of the heat reminds me of our 2 1/2 years in Phoenix, Arizona. Our first child was born there & i had a fast education in all the prep work to take her on an outing. Your excerpt about getting into the car alit on burning finger we experienced.


message 30: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments Dem wrote: "Finished The HiddenThe Hidden by Mary Chamberlain

My review: www.goodreads.com/review/show/2762335569"


I'm glad your perseverance paid off and you ended up enjoying the novel.


message 31: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2610 comments Dinner Party Dinner Party by Tracy Bloom by Tracy Bloom

In this satirical - and suspenseful - comedy, a handsome stranger inadvertently wreaks havoc in the lives of three couples. Fun story that will make you cringe and laugh. 3.5 stars

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 32: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9510 comments The Hidden sounds good and what a relief that it paid off for you, Dem. IMO, it's neat when an author writes well enough to compel readers to look up names & places mentioned in the text.

Barbara, sounds funny. I'm glad you shared with us.


message 33: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo is terrific! Millions of readers and the Pulitzer Prize people weren’t wrong. Unforgettable characters and a great read!..."

Patty, I recently read and enjoyed Nobody's Fool as well. I plan on reading the sequel fairly soon.
Your review is wonderful. You really got to know the characters well.


message 34: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments Stephanie wrote: "I finished one of the books on my determination list...The Dog Who Saved Me. I really loved this book. I’ve read a few other books by this author and they have all been good so far ..."

Stephanie, it's great that you are whittling down your determination list. How many books are on it? Is it a yearly goal?


message 35: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments Today I finished reading Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima. It's a beautifully written book. The story is a bit slow but it really picks up in the second half.
There is a lot of Japanese culture and history, as well as traditions, social structure and a sense of duty.
This is part of a tetralogy that I will continue with soon.


message 36: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 879 comments Petra wrote: "PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo is terrific! Millions of readers and the Pulitzer Prize people weren’t wrong. Unforgettable characters and a grea...
Patty, I recently read and enjoyed Nobody's Fool as well. I plan on reading the sequel fairly soon.
Your review is wonderful. You really got to know the characters well. "

Thanks Petra. I'm holding off a while on Everybody's Fool for a while, since I want to enjoy the first book a little longer. I've seen several reviewers say they really liked the second one, but not quite as much as the first, so I might wait a bit.


message 37: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 879 comments madrano wrote: "Patty, you made Scrublands sound so good, i had to see if my library has it. Indeed, it does and there is already a waiting list. Your description of the heat reminds me of our 2 1/2 years in Phoen..."

I hope you enjoy Scrublands when you finally get to it, and I'm glad you're prepared for the heat!


message 38: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 278 comments Petra wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "I finished one of the books on my determination list...The Dog Who Saved Me. I really loved this book. I’ve read a few other books by this author and they have all..."

Thank you, Petra! I have 20 books on my determination list. My yearly goal of books to read though is 35. I’m a little behind on the total number but am happy I’m getting so,e knocked off my list sine they are ones I’ve wanted to read for quite some time :)


message 39: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9510 comments Petra, i've been intending to read at least one of Mishima's books for decades now. Hmmm. His life and death sounded very interesting.


message 40: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2610 comments A Darkness More Than Night A Darkness More Than Night (Harry Bosch, #7; Terry McCaleb, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #9) by Michael Connelly by Michael Connelly

This book features two Michael Connelly characters: FBI profiler Terry McCaleb and LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. Terry is looking into a horrible murder and Bosch is testifying in the murder trial of a Hollywood director. When the cases come together, it's bad news for Harry. Okay mystery. 3 stars

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 42: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 13, 2019 08:46PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments From: www.usatoday.com

Outside Looking In by T. Coraghessan Boyle Outside Looking In~~T. Coraghessan Boyle
T.C. Boyle spins a family drama with 'Outside Looking In'

Just as he did in his last novel about scientists inhabiting Arizona’s Biosphere 2 in the 1990′s (“The Terranauts”), T.C. Boyle’s latest, "Outside Looking In" (Ecco) takes a real-world event — Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary’s LSD experiments in the 1960′s — and imagines some of the people who went along for the trip.

Meet the Loneys: Grad student Fitzhugh, his wife, Joanie, and their son, Corey. Seeking to ingratiate himself in Harvard’s psych department, Fitz convinces Joanie to attend one of Dr. Leary’s “sessions” at his home. Before they know it they’re swallowing a “beginner’s dose” (20 milligrams) of psilocybin, a precursor to LSD. And before they know that, they’re having the best sex of their lives and apologizing to the babysitter for being so late.

The story moves fast from there. From Newton, Massachusetts, to Zihuatanejo, Mexico, and finally to Millbrook, New York, the Loneys immerse themselves in Leary’s communes, altering their minds regularly and testing the limits of what it means to be a family. The historical references may intrigue some readers and thankfully there’s Google for that. But the heart of the story is the Loney family. As their drug dependencies deepen, husband and wife move in opposite directions — Fitz starts being convinced that Leary is on the cutting edge of science, while Joanie appreciates the intimacy LSD creates after 13 years of marriage. Three-hundred pages later, nothing is what it was and Boyle’s writing doesn’t provide much hope for the family’s future.

“Nothing quite fit right, as if the world were a suit of clothes that had shrunk in the dryer and had to be pinched and tugged till it stretched back out again,” writes Boyle after Fitz comes down from a week-long trip sequestered with a teenage girl in a Millbrook cottage.

Boyle doesn’t pass judgment on behaviors that more than half a century later seem downright criminal. Corey takes his first trip — all the kids at the Millbrook estate do — before he’s old enough to even drive, and needless to say middle school looks much less attractive when not high. The irony isn’t hard to identify throughout the novel. Leary famously urged his disciples to “turn on, tune in, drop out,” but the Loneys never manage to truly detach from the social dramas created by commune living.

The novel poses some interesting questions about the nature of belief and the very existence of God, but like the hallucinations they sprout from, the questions dissolve as the drug’s effects dissipate. What Boyle leaves us with, instead, is a cautionary tale. No matter how hard humans try, we can’t escape the messy realities of life in a world where there are rules of behavior and consequences for those who don’t follow them

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/b...


message 43: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments

-----The Houseguest: And Other Stories
by Amparo Dávila

What it is: Perfect for fans of Edgar Allan Poe, this eerie and fantastical collection of 12 short stories is the first of prolific Mexican author Amparo Dávila's works to be translated into English.

Want a taste? "Sometimes I saw hundreds of small eyes fastened to the dripping windowpanes."

Don't miss: the nightmarish "Oscar," in which a family is powerless to stop a tyrannical cellar-dwelling creature from dictating their every move.



---- More Deadly Than the Male: Masterpieces from the Queens of Horror
by Graeme Davis (editor)

What it is: a creepy anthology of women-penned psychological horror stories written between 1830 and 1908, many of them previously lost.

Who it's for: readers who appreciate subtle, bloodless scares and those interested in learning how women writers shaped the horror genre.

Did you know? Louisa May Alcott's 1869 tale "Lost in a Pyramid; or, The Mummy's Curse" was one of the earliest published mummy stories.



---- Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones
by Micah Dean Hicks

The premise: In depressed Swine Hill, the dead outnumber the living, whom they possess to keep the barely functioning town afloat.

What happens: Henry is forced by his ghost to create a race of hybrid pig people that render Swine Hill's workforce obsolete. Now it's up to Henry's sister Jane (herself possessed by a telepathic ghost) to save her family before the townsfolk kill their entire family.

Read it for: a heady mix of weird fiction and allegory.



----- All Roads End Here
by David Moody

Series alert: Set in the world of David Moody's Hater trilogy, All Roads End Here is the gripping 2nd entry in the Final War series, following One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning.

Starring: reluctant hero Matthew Dunne, who's just arrived home after spending three months traveling through violent Hater-occupied lands.

New threats: Matthew's homecoming is far from happy, and he faces constant scrutiny from his fellow refugees. With his survival instincts cranked up to 11, it's only a matter of time before tensions boil over...


======== Writing Wrongs

---- House of Echoes
by Brendan Duffy

What it's about: Plagued by writer's block and seeking a fresh start (and perhaps inspiration for his next novel), author Ben Tierney moves his family to the Crofts, a historic mansion in upstate New York.

Sounds idyllic, right? Alarmed by his son's dalliance with a mysterious woodland presence, his wife's paranoia, and his own discovery of mutilated animals on the grounds, Ben researches the tragic history of the Crofts and discovers chilling connections between past and present.

For fans of: Jennifer McMahon's The Winter People.



----- Misery
by Stephen King

What it is: the terrifying story of romance novelist Paul Sheldon's captivity at the hands of his vengeful "number-one-fan" Annie Wilkes, who demands he bring her favorite character back to life...or else.

Don't miss: revealing meta-commentaries about the triumphs and travails of being a successful author; the Dickensian novel-within-a-novel Paul is forced to write at Annie's behest.

Did you know? In a 2014 Rolling Stone interview, Stephen King said that Annie Wilkes was a metaphor for his drug usage.



----- I Am Providence
by Nick Mamatas

Welcome to...Summer Tentacular, an annual H.P. Lovecraft convention populated by neurotic fans...and a serial killer?!

Starring: horror author Colleen Danzig, who becomes an unwitting Nancy Drew after her roommate Panossian is murdered; Panossian himself, who narrates Colleen's sleuthing with knowing Lovecraftian flair.

What sets it apart: Equal parts humorous and suspenseful, this satirical homage to Lovecraft thoughtfully mines the author's complicated legacy.



----- Mrs. God
by Peter Straub

What it is: an atmospheric and foreboding novella from Bram Stoker Award-winning horror mainstay Peter Straub, which was first published in 1990 as a limited edition.

What happens: English professor William Standish accepts a literary fellowship at the renowned Esswood House, but the manor's sinister secrets threaten his rapidly deteriorating grasp on his sanity.

Reviewers say: "Hardcore Straub fans will applaud the downright creepy revelations at story's end" (Publishers Weekly).


message 44: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 13, 2019 08:56PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments Let's Armchair Travel !



----- A Year in Paris: Season by Season in the City of Light
by John Baxter

What it is: a seasonal look at life in Paris along with a bit of history, by a prolific Australian author who's lived in the City of Light for decades.

Who it's for: those who want an insider's look at what the famed city is like each month of the year.

Reviewers say: "a quirky, affectionate portrait by an unabashed Francophile" (Kirkus Reviews).



----- In Putin's Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia's Eleven Time...
by Nina Khrushcheva and Jeffrey Tayler

What happened: Two writers traveled across Russia, visiting with locals and pondering how Russia's vastness and history has helped shape its national identity and culture.

Did you know? Russian American author Nina Khrushcheva is the great-granddaughter of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

For fans of: Lisa Dickey's Bears in the Streets, David Green's Midnight in Siberia, and other looks at lesser-known parts of Russia by astute travelers.



------ See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy
by Frances Mayes

What it is: an evocative, recipe-complemented travelogue through 13 regions of Italy by the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, who's often joined by her husband and her teenage grandson as she eats sumptuous meals in lovely locales.

Read this next: for more books that detail the good eats and fascinating sights in the off-the-beaten-path parts of Italy, pick up Elizabeth Helman Minchilli's Eating My Way Through Italy (also with recipes) or Matt Goulding's Pasta, Pane, Vino (which includes many color photos).



------ Off the Rails: A Train Trip through Life
by Beppe Severgnini

What it is: a delightful, often wryly humorous journey with Italian journalist Beppe Severgnini (author of Ciao, America!), who shares a collection of travel stories focused on railway trips.

Trips include: his 1986 honeymoon on the Trans-Siberian railway, a trip across the Untied States with his teenage son, a railway journey across Australia, and various travels with a German journalist where they discussed their countries' different mindsets regarding travel.

For fans of: train travelogues like Tom Zoellner's Train, Tim Park's Italian Ways, or Paul Theroux's Ghost Train to the Eastern Star.


********* Literature and Travel


----- Footsteps: From Ferrante's Naples to Hammett's San Francisco, Literary...
by The New York Times

What it is: an appealing anthology of "Footsteps" travel columns from the New York Times, detailing visits to and examinations of classic authors' relationships to favored places.

Chapters include: "San Francisco Noir;" "Finding Alice's 'Wonderland' in Oxford;" "James Baldwin's Paris;" "Alice Munro's Vancouver;" "In Chile, Where Pablo Neruda Lived and Loved."

Who it's for: travel and book lovers who want a short vacation via essay.



----- Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City
by Anna Quindlen

What it's about: Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author Anna Quindlen takes readers on an entertaining tour of London, following in the footsteps of favorite fictional characters and their creators.

Did you know? Quindlen has been an Anglophile since she was a child reading books set in England, but it wasn't until she was in her 40s that she actually visited London in person.

Reviewers say: "Quindlen presents a smart, bookish, wry, and stimulating portrait of the most literary of cities" (Booklist).



----- Schadenfreude, A Love Story: Me, the Germans, and 20 Years of Attempted...
by Rebecca Schuman

What it is: a candid, hilarious debut memoir organized around nine particularly German words.

What it's about: When she was a Jewish teen in 1990s Oregon, Rebecca Schuman fell in love with a boy who liked Kafka -- the teen romance didn't last but she developed a lifelong love of Germany, its language, and its culture, causing her to study abroad and travel there as often as she could.



----- Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World
by Nell Stevens

What happened: After finishing her MFA, British writer Nell Stevens won a fellowship allowing her to go anywhere for several months to write.

So, Paris or Fiji, right? Nope, Bleaker Island, a part of the Falkland Islands, located off the Patagonian coast of South America, that features inhospitable wind, lots of snow, and not many people.

Okay, why? She wanted distraction-free writing -- but discovered that three months of solitude in an isolated place provides its own challenges.


message 45: by Petra (last edited Apr 13, 2019 09:39PM) (new)

Petra | 968 comments madrano wrote: "Petra, i've been intending to read at least one of Mishima's books for decades now. Hmmm. His life and death sounded very interesting."

I read his bio on GR. That's all I know of his life. His death was gruesome.

If Spring Snow is a usual example of his writing, the stories are slow moving but hold a punch and there is tension in the story throughout. The writing is beautiful and poetic. There is some internal introspection added into the mix.
He writes well but be prepared for a story well told but not fast.


message 46: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments I finished The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy this evening. It's a reread for me. I read the series ages and ages ago. I'd forgotten so many details.....it was almost like a new book.

I loved the zaniness and craziness of this story. Marvin the Robot is still my favorite character.

This book held up to a reread.

This may be the first book written to mention an ereader-type of device. The Hitchhiker's Guide is a book contained in a hand-held device where the reader requests information via a touch screen. The information is scrolled across a 4" screen.


message 47: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 879 comments Alias Reader wrote: "We are coming up on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in July. So I decided to stop in B&N since I had some time to kill check out their space books.

Here is a list of the titles I wrote d...

I also saw these two non science books that sounded interesting.

The Library Book--Susan Orlean

Putin's World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest--Angela Stent "


Great list, AR!

I haven't read the Putin book, but I really enjoyed The Library Book a few months ago. Here's my review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 48: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9510 comments Barbara, Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights is one of my favorite paintings due to its bizarre images. They are fascinating and, like Harry, i seem to notice images from it more often than from other art. I suppose because they are so curious.

Alias, i have read the Wolfe book, The Right Stuff, about the original seven astronauts and liked it very much. It's pretty clear he found Chuck Yeager the real star. And, like Patty, i thought Susan Orlean's The Library Book was very good and about more than just books, let me tell ya.

I've only read one Boyles novel, The Tortilla Curtain, and liked it. He's one i keep intending to read but don't. Outside Looking In doesn't call to me for the LSD connection. For some reason literature about that grates, although i have yet to put my finger on why.

I Am Providence by Nick Mamatas calls to me from the Horror List and i rarely read the genre. But how can i afford a mystery and horror??? The travel book which calls to me is Anna Quindlen's Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City, as so many of the classics i've read are partly set there.

Petra, how my family enjoyed Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy! We have family jokes which depend upon remembering the novel. I read the entire series but nothing topped the first. How i wish he had created a book with "pages" from the book!

Also, Petra, thanks for your added note about Mishima's writing style. I cannot recall now (lo! these many years later) if i knew about him prior to his suicide or not. I am certain that his death was what kept him in my mind, though.


message 49: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16996 comments Petra wrote: This may be the first book written to mention an ereader-type of device. The Hitchhiker's Guide is a book contained in a hand-held device where the reader requests information via a touch screen. The information is scrolled across a 4" screen. ."

I've never read Hitchhiker. Though I know it has a cult following.

That's neat how he mentions the small kindle like device.
Fahrenheit 451 has that same thing. I believe they mention people who are watching wall size TV's and are so memorized by their screens the government really doesn't have to do much to control them.

I should re-read it.


“The books are to remind us what asses and fool we are. They're Caeser's praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, "Remember, Caeser, thou art mortal." Most of us can't rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven't time, money or that many friends. The things you're looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451


message 50: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments I'd like to read Fahrenheit 451 again. I read it way back when in my teens and loved it. I remember no details at all.

Hitchhiker has a craziness to it that one either takes to or not. There's really no telling until you give it a try as to whether it will resonate with you. You'll know pretty quickly, though.


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