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Archives 2019 > w/o September 13 to 19, 2019

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message 1: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4240 comments Mod
Good morning readers!

It has been an exciting week with the release The Testaments, anyone reading it her? There is a discussion post in the monthly reads section.

What have you been reading? What’s up next?


Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2038 comments Happy Friday the 13th! I am indeed reading The Testaments and I expect to finish today. I won't say too much except that I'm enjoying it immensely. For a woman nearing 80, Atwood is showing no signs of slowing down.

I finished Lilac Girls earlier in the week, which was just okay for me. I think I could have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read so much WWII fiction in the past few years. I doubt I would have ever picked it up if it hadn't been a book club pick.


message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisafriel) | 234 comments Yes, Happy Friday the 13th! I was supposed to be travelling today, but both appointments have cancelled. Darn, guess I have to stay home and read. LOL!

Actually my brain is feeling a bit like mush. This weeks reading was heavy, but for the most part awesome!

I finally finished The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. I so enjoyed this book. As Petra and May have both previously said, his writing is quirky and interesting. I loved that it really got me thinking. I feel like I am still digesting it five days later.

I also finished listening to Idaho by Emily Ruskovich. I had put this book on hold after learning it had won the 2019 International Dublin Literary award. I was a bit disappointed with it. It was an engaging story, but hard to follow. Maybe it would be better in print. I felt the last part of the book was rushed and left me dissatisfied. There was one aspect of the book I wanted closure on, but I guess just like in real life, there isn't always closure.

I had three Giller longlist books all come up at once for me on the elibrary. I decided to start with Days by Moonlight by André Alexis. It was the shortest of the three and I thought it would be the lightest. It does start out pretty light and again, it is a very engaging story. As someone else had mentioned, it does get philosophical, which I loved. Again - still digesting this one, but it went right on to my favourites list. I totally adored this book.


message 4: by Wanda (new)

Wanda | 598 comments Friday the 13th, lucky day or creepy day? I just finished reading My Sister, the Serial Killer and loved this Nigerian author's wit! I do recommend this one as a quick, fun read.

I have had multiple books arrive from the library and cannot keep up- I had placed a hold on and received many of the Giller longlist books. So far I have started Immigrant City, but have 5 of the rest sitting on my table...including The Testaments- but I haven't finished my re-read of The Handmaid's Tale just yet. I need a reading marathon weekend.

On audio I am listening to Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything which is fairly interesting about human memory. Taking it in bits and pieces, a little boring. Hope all is well with everyone!


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan | 928 comments Happy Friday the 13th?

This week I finished The Only Story for my IRL book club. I didn't care for it, but the book hit a little too close to home and negatively affected my mental health, so I recognize that I can't really judge it fairly. It was a bit polarizing for my book club, so we did have an interesting discussion.

I also read Late Breaking this week. I liked it a lot and am happy that the Giller jury brought it to my attention. I'd love to see it make the short list and look forward to reading more by this author now.

Up next: The Testaments!


message 6: by Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (last edited Sep 13, 2019 09:21AM) (new)

Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2038 comments Susan wrote: "Happy Friday the 13th?"

Sure! Why not!?


message 7: by Petra (new)

Petra | 836 comments Happy Friday!

I finished 4 books this week. As it was looking like a busy one, I got a couple of graphic novels out of the library. I'm glad I did; both were wonderful.

The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed - this is a more encompassing story than I had anticipated. It tells of the history of the West Coast of BC and the first encounters of First Nations and Europeans, mentions forestry practices, the Golden Spruce, myths & legends of the Haida, the Haida, the plight of the tree and more. It was a very interesting read. Highly recommend it.

Will Eisner's New York: Life in the Big City and The Contract With God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue - both very good graphic novels. New York tells of life in a Big City through stories and vignettes, while Contract With God looks at the meaning of Life & Faith in terms of "did God create Man or did Man create God?"

The Word Is Murder - I listened to the audio version of this and really liked it. I found the main character, Hawthorne, quite humorous. I do like this author's writing style.


I've still got a few books on the go:
Light in August, The Histories (it's in the background since I've barely started it) and To the Lighthouse.


message 8: by Petra (new)

Petra | 836 comments @Lisa: I'm glad you enjoyed Wind Up Bird. I highly recommend 1Q84.
As for mulling the book over, I think with Murakami's books one could mull them over forever. LOL.


message 9: by Mj (new)

Mj | 1188 comments I’m in the lucky camp when it comes to number 13. It was a number I chose for various sport uniforms. A bit of Southwestern Ontario trivia - Friday the 13th is a big day for bikers across North America - generally over 100,000 bikers arrive at the small town of Port Dover on Lake Erie to share stories and show off their motorcycles - no matter what month of the year the date occurs. Rain or snow like the posties. Have never been myself - don’t own a bike and also can’t imagine the traffic jams and line-ups. The rain’s been holding off for them today- so they’ve been lucky on this particular Friday the 13th.

This week I finished Love Will Burst into a Thousand Shapes by Jane Eaton Hamilton for a bingo square. It was one of the books I gifted another member (on her wish list) in my first Canadian Content Secret Santa exchange. It’s a well written, hard hitting and impactful collection of poetry.

Am just about finished The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson. Am enjoying it but nearly as much as One Good Dog by the same author that I read a number of years ago.

Will be finalizing A Mind Spread Out on the Ground for another Bingo square. Am really impressed by Alicia Elliott’s writing, intellect, mastery and communication of issues facing people in poverty. Not surprising that Tanya Talaga is mentoring her as an up and coming author.

Have too many book choices ahead (all due back at the library soon.) After finishing The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison for an in-person book club and bingo square - I have a number of long listed Scotiabank Giller nominees and short listed Booker nominees to choose from.

Hope everyone has a great weekend with lots of good reading and quality family/friend time.


message 10: by CynthiaA (new)

CynthiaA (bookthia) | 121 comments I finished Station Eleven this week and liked it a lot.

I'm currently re-reading Our Homesick Songs for IRL bookclub and I love love love this book so much.

I am still working through Frankissstein: A Love Story and its fascinating, but slow going as I frequently have to re-read bits to ensure I'm following it correctly. I am thoroughly intrigued though. Winterston just dropped a big plot-bomb 2/3 way through that I didn't see coming.

I received a cookbook through Goodreads Giveaways -- Let Me Feed You: Everyday Recipes Offering the Comfort of Home by Rosie Daykin. She's Canadian, from BC, but to be honest, I'd never heard of her before. I've made 3 things out of the book already and like it a lot. I'm fairly confident in the kitchen so can easily adapt her ideas to what I have available. I like when that works out. Also, its a really pretty book.

Not sure what I'll choose next. I've a few ARCs I need to finish, I always feel obliged to get to them quickly as the publisher was kind enough to send them to me.


message 11: by Gail (last edited Sep 13, 2019 02:10PM) (new)

Gail Amendt | 174 comments I'm not sure how Friday keeps coming around so fast!!! Since my last check-in I finished The Winter Mantle. It was a bit of a mixed bag...the first half wasn't very engaging, but then it switched to the next generation of characters and got a lot better. I didn't know much about the time of William The Conqueror, so it was certainly worth reading.

I then read Grizzly Heart: Living Without Fear Among the Brown Bears of Kamchatka for my IRL book club. For the most part it was quite interesting, but I did find Charlie Russell to be a bit full of himself. One of our members knew him as he was a cousin of her late husband. She declined to say too much about him, but I got the impression she didn't like him very much.

I am now reading The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, which is light and fun. I love books about book lovers, and this one is filled with references to books I have read.

I am not reading The Testaments, and have no plans to read it at the moment. The waiting list at my library is just too long. I am excited that I am almost at the top of the list for The Innocents and should have it in my hands in a few days!


message 12: by Mj (new)

Mj | 1188 comments @CynthiaA - do you think Station Eleven might work for a book club where most members eyes glaze over when you mention dystopia or sci-fi? Even generating different opinions and lots of discussion is a good thing as is selecting books different from people's usual wheelhouse.

Reviews suggest that it's a fairly positive story for this genre and I've always been impressed that in 2016 it was nominated by libraries in the U.S.A., U.K. and Ireland for the Dublin Literary Award and disappointed that not one Canadian library nominated it.

Read your review of the book. Nice job. Sounds like it might be a good choice for the club, especially since a 10 part t.v. series is currently int the works.

Your thoughts regarding a book club choice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


message 13: by ✿✿✿May (new)

✿✿✿May  | 989 comments Happy Friday the 13th and it's Mid-Autumn Festival in the Lunar calendar which our family celebrates :) Another excuse to eat lots of food!

This week I finished listening to American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century which I enjoyed and The Algebra of Happiness: Finding the Equation for a Life Well Lived which I totally disliked. Finishing up The Clay Girl, which I am in the "meh" camp, despite it being highly recommended. I am sick and tired and angry to read about tragic stories of children growing up being abused and mothers who were drug addicts who kept being with losers.
Next I am starting The Testaments before seeing the author on Monday!
@CynthiaA, I loved Station Eleven too! It was very thought provoking. @Lisa, I might just give The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle a try soon. Glad you liked it!
Have a great weekend everyone!


message 14: by CynthiaA (new)

CynthiaA (bookthia) | 121 comments Mj wrote: "@CynthiaA - do you think Station Eleven might work for a book club where most members eyes glaze over when you mention dystopia or sci-fi? Even generating different opinions and lots of discussion ..."

Hi MJ. I think its the perfect way to introduce people to the genre. It isn't a 'fantastical' novel at all. Everything that happens is believable and possible. And it isn't a depressing novel, although there are depressing things in it. It explores a lot of really juicy themes: the importance of art, what is 'memory' and is 'memory' always beneficial? the importance of human connections; fate and religion. It makes a lot of cultural references, from Star Trek to Shakespeare and that makes it feel current and relevant. The writing is straight-forward, not to "literary", but not fluffy. Litlovers website has some great discussion topics for it (I believe they were provided by the publisher).

I say Go For It!


message 15: by Mj (new)

Mj | 1188 comments Cynthia A - Sounds like a plan. Thanks so much for your input


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