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Reading check ins 2020 > Week 33 Check In

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message 1: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 877 comments Mod
Hi all,

Hope everyone has been hanging in there!

I had book club this week for Lovecraft Country, so that was fun. Still via zoom, so had it on the patio with a nice mead.

This week I finished:

A Blade So Black - can't remember if I posted this as finished last week or not. Finished Thursday so might have! I liked it, though it did end sort of on a cliffhanger so I'll need to keep my eye out for the second.

The Boyfriend Project - popsugar book with a woman in STEM. Romance, but the woman is a computer programmer and it's pretty central to the plot. this finished off my popsugar challenge, woo! I liked it, cute story.

Peace Talks - i liked this ok, but it was clearly a set up book for the real story in the next one. It's kinda a pet peeve of mine, i'd much rather have had a bigger book that contained the whole thing. I know it's coming out later this year, so it's not like there's a year or more in between, but still. I finished and wasn't left with a "I finished a book" sensation, I was left with a "wait, what happens now?" feeling.

Currently reading:

Ninefox Gambit - using for Read Harder debut novel by a lgbtq+ author. it's a bit of a slow start, one of those "throw you into the world and you figure it out" type speculative fiction. I tend to prefer a LITTLE more explanation.

QOTW: What is your reading comfort zone?

For me it's definitely science fiction, fantasy. Those are my go-to, what I read for a break, and what I tend to re-read when the mood takes me. I have been trying to read more outside my comfort zone, but I always come back.

message 2: by Jen (new)

Jen (piratenami) | 220 comments Hanging in there so far! Still working from home. :)

Last week, I finished Queens of Geek, which I loved. This was my Popsugar book with a pink cover. It was a cute little YA story about a trio of friends at a big convention. I really connected to one of the characters and her struggles with social anxiety. A lot of what the author described in her thoughts felt extremely familiar to me.

I'm just starting The Fifth Season this week. I'm not really into it yet, only a few pages in, but looking forward to reading it.

QOTW: Definitely fantasy and science fiction for me. I grew up on those genres, and for a little while in my teen years, I was a bit of a book snob and wouldn't read anything outside those genres.

I've since branched out into reading more in romance, mystery, and contemporary/literary genres, and even a little nonfiction. I especially love genre crossovers when authors mix other genres into a fantasy/sci-fi setting. I always come back to fantasy & sci-fi, though.

message 3: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 270 comments Mod
I'm still working on We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom - with a boost of motivation after hearing the author speak on a virtual panel yesterday - she was PHENOMENAL!!

I also couldn't resist diving into book two of the Broken Earth trilogy The Obelisk Gate, and finished it last night. I am loving the direction the story is headed and have book 3 handy, although there are a few other books I have to get to before I start it!

Continuing The Battle of the Labyrinth with the 4th grader, and also just started reading Land of the Long White Cloud: Maori Myths, Tales and Legends out loud to the family as we continue working our way through world cultures. My kindergartner is especially excited to learn more about Maui :)

QOTW: Fantasy is definitely my comfort zone, with SF close behind. Or nonfiction science. I try to branch out and have been pretty successful, but that's where I always return to when I am not in the mood to stretch myself.

message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Pace (space1138) | 127 comments This week: lots more reading for my program. (expect to see a lot of that statement through spring) But I finally had some good-sized chunks of me-reading time too!

The Fifth Season - Most of my comments are in the discussion posts. In summary, there was stuff about it that I really liked, and stuff that I wasn't crazy about. I'm very glad to have read it, though, as it had been languishing in my TBR pile for entirely too long.

The Last Wish (the first in The Witcher series)- After this being on hold for over 8 months at the library, I was really afraid of being disappointed, knowing that the book series has very mixed reviews from those who like the netflix show. I wound up really loving it though. It's much richer in the story, the detail, the worldbuilding and the "why" of how Geralt's adventures unfold than the show was really able to go into. Book 2 is on order and looks to be a much more reasonable wait this time.

I'm with the rest of you, that fantasy and sci-fi are my go-to. I like non-fiction and have been doing more exploring in the variety my reading lately, which has been great. But so often (especially lately) I just need to read for pure escapism, and anything set squarely in reality is just too close to home to be effective comfort reading.

message 5: by Megan (new)

Megan | 236 comments At last check-in, I believe I was in the middle of Violent Delights: An Alma Jaramillo Mystery as I made my way through the series to get ready for the family book discussion of the series that is now tomorrow. I made it through them all, including PRACTICE TO DECEIVE: An Alma Jaramillo Mystery and The Theft of Joy: An Alma Jaramillo Mystery. Each one got better, and I really enjoyed the last two, especially. I liked that they have a little more edge and basis in reality than the average cozy, and I'm interested to see what happens in the next book when it comes out since there were pretty major changes for the characters in the most recent one.

I'm now on another series for IRL Book Club #1, so we'll see how far I get by that (outdoor and socially distanced) meetup Sunday night. I'm about 2/3 of the way through A Willing Murder, and it is not my jam - the main character is O B S E S S E D with weight/calories, she is somehow an experienced real estate agent at age 23, the "mystery" is so obvious that they might as well have had the villain twirling his mustache while tying a girl to railroad tracks on the cover, and there is a bizarre attempt to make what should be a fairly run of the mill romance into something way more dramatic than it needs to be. I'm not sure I'm going to make it through all three installments, but it's certainly...different.

That leads nicely into the QOTW - my comfort zone is (to me) pretty broad - I'm usually down for SciFi, Fantasy, Mystery, YA, Non-Fiction, some light drama...but it's the discomfort zone that's more of an issue. I do not in any way enjoy traditional romances or books about marriages where the relationship is the main topic. I'm fine with characters being in relationships and even pretty graphic sex if it's necessary for the plot - but I have never, in books, movies, TV shows, or real life, understood the level of interest people have in hearing about other people's relationships with each other. I love my wife, we have a good relationship - but we don't sit and analyze it for hours, let alone anyone else's. So there have been books in all of my book clubs that have been cringey for me - but there are definitely some that I ended up liking because they turned out to be about broader topics and were misleadingly marketed.

message 6: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 163 comments Only finish this week was The Fifth Season, which I have discussed elsewhere.

I'm about 2/3 through The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. It makes a pretty good case for the necessity of regulation (a somewhat disturbing thing to think about in the US right now). There's less of a coherent narrative than I was expecting; I think part of the issue is that, while there is a focus on the titular "one chemist", there were a lot of other people involved in the crusade, and the "poison squad" doesn't even feature that heavily.

QOTW: Yeah, it's definitely mystery. (I may have mentioned my non-serious theory that it's genetic, passed from my grandfather to my cousin, my sister, and me.) Second place goes to popsci.

message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan LoVerso | 297 comments Hello! We are all hanging in there. Our nest is empty again post-pandemic and all the (adult) children seem to be in good places in their lives for now. My recent motto has been that you're only as happy as your least happy child.

This past week I finished listening to The Churn. It was a grim but necessary backstory of Amos from The Expanse. He remains a complex character.

I then started listening to A Very Scalzi Christmas because it happened to be on my phone. Yes, it's August. Funnily enough it was written (or released), according to the prologue, in May 2019. It is short, less than 3 hours, so I'll just finish it. Maybe I'll listen again closer to the season given its length.

I got a quick romance from the library, a repackaged Nora Roberts two-story book. IAnd Then There Was You: Island of Flowers / Less of a Stranger. I used to love NR, now I'm less and less enjoying her work. I needed a mindless romance in my reading now. Our library is limited to what our building has. There's no inter-library loan happening.

QOTW: For the last few years my comfort zone has been non-fiction, particularly science/math oriented. But that has definitely changed over my life. In my teens and 20s it would have been sci-fi and classic mystery (Doyle and Christie). I still enjoy sci-fi but seek it out less. I tend to enjoy reality-based sci-fi more. That's why I'm enjoying The Expanse books and, say, The Martian, because I can see how we could possibly get from now to then.

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