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RMFAO 2020 Genre Challenge > August'20 - Contemporary Fiction

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message 1: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2220 comments Mod
August is here and finally, we have a genre that makes it easy for everyone to participate - Contemporary Fiction. As always, you can join anytime during the entire month and read as many (or as less) books as you can manage, no restrictions whatsoever!

If you are a contemporary fiction reader then we request you to please recommend some awesome books to other members. Others, please feel free to ask for suggestions and recs. Reviews of books are greatly appreciated and we are okay with anyone posting relevant links too.

There are absolutely no limits so you can interpret this genre in its broader sense and include other similar genres and/or subgenres that you feel might have a wee bit of similarity with the main genre. You can also include books that are not particularly centred around the main genre but has its components or elements somewhere in the story.

The main intent of this challenge is to incorporate different kinds of books and genres in our normal reading routine to make the experience more fun and entertaining. Please do not lose yourself in the technicalities as we all know how literary genres can be confusing.
If you have any doubts or questions, then post them below and we'll be happy to answer/discuss them.

Here are the DEFINITION for this month's genre:

Contemporary Fiction Contemporary Fiction is literature with its setting generally after World War II. We're doing Contemporary Fiction, so everything post-WWII is counted except for non-fiction.
So yes, almost everything you read is Contemporary Fiction unless it is Historical Fiction or Non-Fiction.

Here's a quick summary of the levels:

Level 1: Casual Reader: 1 book (easy)
Level 2: Frequent Reader: 2 books (moderate)
Level 3: Bookworm: 3 books (mildly strenuous)
Level 4: Bibliophile: 4 books (strenuous)
Level 5: Bookiopath: 5 books or more (challenging)

Please mention what type of books you'd be reading:

PB: Paperbacks
HB: Hardbacks
EB: E-Books
AB: Audio Books

Please feel free to announce your to-read books along with the level you are targeting for below. Though it is not necessary as you can announce your reads as and when you decide or read them.

PLEASE READ (especially new members):
1. You can read any number of books for the respective genre every month.
2. You can join the challenge at any stage (in any month.)
3. You can drop out of the challenge any time you like.
4. You can select different levels every month.
5. Use this discussion board to share your reads with other members of the group.
6. Please be active and don't hesitate to ask questions or recommend books.
7. You can couple this challenge with any other challenge here (or anywhere else.) We all do it and it makes it all the more fun!

Happy reading!


message 2: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
Thanks for posting this challenge, Heena! Returning to our normal Genre Challenge schedule makes me feel like things are slowly returning to normal. This is a great challenge, since so many types of books have contemporary settings - mysteries, horror, YA, etc. . I will start looking on my library’s online catalog to line up some books to read.


message 3: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I will start looking on my library’s online catalog to line up some books to read."

It's so great that our libraries now have their catalogues online. Not just now with Covid-19, but even before. Makes planning so much easier.


message 4: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2220 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Thanks for posting this challenge, Heena! Returning to our normal Genre Challenge schedule makes me feel like things are slowly returning to normal. This is a great challenge, since so many types o..."

You're welcome, Cheryl. Seeing as the genre is easy, both for finding books as well as for the mind, I thought why not stick to the routine a bit after having a month off :)
I meant to post it earlier but got caught up. It's great that your library has an online catalogue! I'm not a part fo any library as such as I am planning to read the books I already have and a couple of online subscription services I use. Though I do miss being a member of my library!
Happy reading!


message 5: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "Seeing as the genre is easy, both for finding books as well as for the mind, I thought why not stick to the routine a bit after having a month off :)"

Ah, more mysteries!


message 6: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
#1 Hot Mahogany (Stone Barrington, #15) by Stuart Woods
Interesting, although Lance's brother could be a bit of a bore at times with his 'lessons.'


message 7: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
Wow, that was fast, Dagny! One book read already. I’m hoping this will be an easy challenge for most people.


message 8: by Fran (new)

Fran | 628 comments shooting for level 5 in this month's challenge.
1.) The Book of Dust (AB) - Philip Pullman


message 9: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Wow, that was fast, Dagny! One book read already. I’m hoping this will be an easy challenge for most people."

It was an audio, Cheryl. They do go fast for me as I listen while doing other things.


message 10: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
1.) Final Girls by Riley Sager
3 stars. Entertaining thriller that’s kind of based on slasher horror films.


message 11: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2220 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: "Heena wrote: "Seeing as the genre is easy, both for finding books as well as for the mind, I thought why not stick to the routine a bit after having a month off :)"

Ah, more mysteries!"


Yes!!


message 12: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Another mystery!
#2 Baltimore Blues

This is first book in a new series for me. Liked the characters, so will go on to book 2 at some point. Didn't care for the crime in this one though, serial rapist/murderer. At least Lippman didn't follow the perp around for a good portion of the book as so many mystery authors seem to be doing these days.


message 13: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
2.) The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
4 stars. A fun supernatural thriller that's a modern take on the John Silence occult detective stories by Algernon Blackwood. Fans of the Pendergast series by Preston & Child might like this book. My review can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 14: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
3.) The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne
2 stars. A predictable thriller that was a quick read.


message 15: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2220 comments Mod
Finished my first, a mystery-thriller with a pinch of supernatural thrown in, The Other People by C.J. Tudor
It was a good read, the concept was great and the mystery was good, although I didn't much care about the supernatural element or the entire sea motif. Still, it was a good mystery read.


message 16: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "2.) The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
4 stars. A fun supernatural thriller that's a modern take on the John Silence occult detective stories by Algernon Blackwoo..."


Thanks, Cheryl, sounds interesting. I'll have to watch for it.


message 17: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Two to add.

#3 Library book I've been reading over the last several days:
Gone in a Flash
An engrossing read with no murder but on a MIA soldier.

#4 latest audio book:
Bullseye
More adventure, less family - this series has been tending this way recently - I prefer the family stuff, although one of the teenage sons played a part in this one.


message 18: by Cheryl (last edited Aug 08, 2020 07:40PM) (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
4.) The Stranger Game by Peter Gadol
3 stars. An interesting paranoid thriller.

Somehow I've been drawn to reading thrillers this month.


message 19: by Fran (new)

Fran | 628 comments 2.) Black Brother, Black Brother (AB) - Jewell Parker Rhodes
3.) Cat's Eye (AB) - Margaret Atwood


message 20: by 〰️Beth〰️ (new)

〰️Beth〰️ (x1f4a0bethx1f4a0) | 194 comments Wow, normally I am a big contemporary fiction reader but this month has been hard (my dad passed on the first.) Might get one book in. Hopefully something lighthearted.


message 21: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
〰️Beth〰️ wrote: "Wow, normally I am a big contemporary fiction reader but this month has been hard (my dad passed on the first.) Might get one book in. Hopefully something lighthearted."

Beth,

I’m so sorry about your father’s passing. I know from experience how hard that can be. Don’t worry about the reading challenge and take care of yourself right now.


message 22: by Fran (new)

Fran | 628 comments My thoughts and prayers in the coming days and weeks Beth.


message 23: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Sorry to hear about your father, Beth. A hard thing to get through.


message 25: by 〰️Beth〰️ (new)

〰️Beth〰️ (x1f4a0bethx1f4a0) | 194 comments Thank you Cheryl, Fran and Dagny for your kindness. Taking it day by day. Never minded being an only child till now. The last two years have been hard and that was without Covid. Just keep reminding myself I can deal with everything at my own pace without jeopardizing my health too badly. Trying to know my limits so I can get things done before another back surgery.


message 26: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
Another thriller:
5.) Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
3 and a half stars. I think this is the author's best book yet. My review can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 27: by Adelaide (new)

Adelaide Blair | 380 comments 〰️Beth〰️ wrote: "Thank you Cheryl, Fran and Dagny for your kindness. Taking it day by day. Never minded being an only child till now. The last two years have been hard and that was without Covid. Just keep remindin..."

So sorry Beth. Yeah, it's important to just do what you can.


message 28: by Adelaide (new)

Adelaide Blair | 380 comments 1) Inside Job by Connie Willis. 4 stars. Light supernatural-ish novella just hit the spot for me.


message 29: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Adelaide wrote: "1) Inside Job by Connie Willis. 4 stars. Light supernatural-ish novella just hit the spot for me."

Several of her books have caught my eye, but don't think I've ever read one.


message 30: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
#6 another audio book
Someone Like You

Enjoyed her writing and like the characters, but it was a bit preachy for me to want to read more in the series just now.


message 31: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
6.) The Lost Man by Jane Harper
3 star mystery set in the Australian outback. A depressing story.


message 32: by Adelaide (new)

Adelaide Blair | 380 comments Dagny wrote: "Several of her books have caught my eye, but don't think I've ever read one."

I have to be in the right mood for her. Her humor is hit or miss for me, but her straight stuff tends to be pretty good.


message 33: by Adelaide (new)

Adelaide Blair | 380 comments 2) Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey. 4 stars. More mystery-adjacent than an actual mystery, this is by one of my favorite authors.


message 34: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Adelaide wrote: "I have to be in the right mood for her. Her humor is hit or miss for me, but her straight stuff tends to..."

Thanks, Adelaide, re Connie Willis.


message 35: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Adelaide wrote: "2) Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey. 4 stars. More mystery-adjacent than an actual mystery, this is by one of my favorite authors."

The first Tey I ever read was The Daughter of Time and I loved it. Not sure I ever went back and picked up the earlier ones in the series though. Saw the mini-series Brat Farrar years ago - great.


message 36: by Cheryl (last edited Aug 12, 2020 05:07PM) (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
7.) Velocity by Dean Koontz
4 star thriller. This book surprised me, because I usually think of Koontz as the cheesy version of Stephen King. The writing in this book was better than in the few others I've read by Koontz. Maybe I ought to give him another try?

Can ayone recommend some of his better books?


message 37: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "7.) Velocity by Dean Koontz
4 star thriller.... Can ayone recommend some of his better books?"


Cheryl, I really liked Prodigal Son the first in his Frankenstein series. I could be prejudiced though since I love all things Frankenstein. I also liked the 2nd book but the next two didn't do it for me and don't think I even went on to the final book #5.

I also liked the first book in his Odd Thomas series (although not as much as the Frankenstein book) and thought the series had promise. 2nd one, not so much and I never went on with that series either.


message 38: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
Dagny,

Thanks for the info on those Koontz books! Quite a few people have mentioned the Odd Thomas books as being good, so I’ll have to check that out. The Frankenstein series sounds good, too. They’ll be for my next library trip!


message 39: by Fran (new)

Fran | 628 comments Cheryl I really enjoyed the lightness and relaxed pacing of the Odd Thomas series by Koontz. The main character is truly likeable and I enjoyed both the writing as well as the character development in this entire series.


message 40: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
Fran wrote: "Cheryl I really enjoyed the lightness and relaxed pacing of the Odd Thomas series by Koontz. The main character is truly likeable and I enjoyed both the writing as well as the character development..."

Thanks, Fran! Well, it looks like Odd Thomas is my next Dean Koontz book.


message 41: by Adelaide (new)

Adelaide Blair | 380 comments 3) Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon. 3 stars. Everybody seems to like the Brunetti mysteries more than me. I might try one or two more, but so far they have not grabbed me.


message 42: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
8.) Maigret Sets a Trap by Georges Simenon
3 stars


message 43: by Kelly (new)

Kelly | 23 comments I definitely enjoyed the Odd Thomas and the Frankenstein books. so I don't think you'd be unhappy with the first book in either series. I didn't find the rest of the series really great, but they weren't bad, either.


message 44: by Adelaide (new)

Adelaide Blair | 380 comments Dagny wrote: "The first Tey I ever read was The Daughter of Time and I loved it. Not sure I ever went back and picked up the earlier ones in the series though."

I think they are all pretty good.


message 46: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
Two for last week, a library book I finished and an audio book.

#7 Rebecca's Rose A lovely, though predictable, story with lots of banter

#8 Charm City


message 47: by Fran (new)

Fran | 628 comments 4.) The Martian (AB) - Andy Weir
5.) Labyrinth (AB) - Catherine Coulter


message 48: by Adelaide (new)

Adelaide Blair | 380 comments 4) Zeroville by Steve Erickson. 2 stars. Compulsively readable, pointedly misogynistic, with an infuriatingly pretentious ending.


message 49: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 2111 comments Mod
9.) The Power Trip by Jackie Collins
4 stars. Trashy but fun summer reading.


message 50: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3441 comments Mod
#9 - eBook Old Bones

Really liked this one once I got into it.


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