Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

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Reading Discussions > September 2020 Reading Discussion

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message 1: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
Hey everyone! It's September! We are over halfway through 2020, how are you doing with the ATY challenge? What books are you reading this month?


message 2: by Ana A (new)

Ana A (anabana_a) | 494 comments Hello. Even though I didn't finish anything in August, I'm still ahead of my ATY challenge (39/52) because I read more than I expected in the previous months.

This month I hope to finish
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning How to Free Yourself and Your Family From a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: how to free yourself and your family from a lifetime of clutter by Margareta Magnusson

It's like Marie Kondo's book, but kind of funnier.


message 3: by Hannah (last edited Aug 31, 2020 09:05PM) (new)

Hannah Peterson | 465 comments So August was a big slump for me: only finished two books. And the result of this has been to feel kind of uninspired by not just my tentative plan for the rest of the year, but also somehow all books I haven't read yet? I've decided to try to solve this problem by rereading An Absolutely Remarkable Thing as a side read in preparation for the sequel, which I'll get to later in the year. I'm also slowly making my way through The Gene: An Intimate History, which is FASCINATING, but I only want to read in small bites so I don't miss anything. After that, I'll hopefully be ready for something new, and I'll try to tackle Sula, but I might need to go for something light and fluffy instead. I might give The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (not exactly light and fluffy, I guess, but feel-good sci-fi is sounding pretty appealing at the moment) a try, since I just won it in a giveaway this month!

The other difference about this month is that I just moved back to the states after spending a year abroad, which means that I'm back in the company of my own book collection and local library! I spent this last year reading nearly exclusively ebooks from Libby, and having my own books and physical library books available makes everything so much more flexible! I do enjoy how my Libby hold shelf grants me books one by one, meaning that I never have to chose what my next book will be, and how I'm motivated to finish things so I don't have to get back in the hold line, but it'll be nice to have some flexibility and some time to do some leisurely mood reading!


message 4: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1925 comments I'm "on track" now for both ATY and Popsugar but I'd really like to be ahead so I can have December off challenges. I have a bunch of exciting pre-orders due this month though, which I need to try and allocate to prompts: A Deadly Education, Afterland, The Silvered Serpents and Solutions and Other Problems.


message 5: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
Ana A wrote: "Hello. Even though I didn't finish anything in August, I'm still ahead of my ATY challenge (39/52) because I read more than I expected in the previous months.

This month I hope to finish The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter
..."


hahaha omg...... I haven't read the book description, but just the phrase " death cleaning" made me laugh out loud, becuase I feel like that is where I'm at here at home. Some days I look at it and just turn around and go lay in bed and read. I read Marie Kondo, we are in the middle of the clothes process and you can't even sit on my couch right now. I need to just get out the hefty bags and sort through. School starts next week. Also, my girls are 8 and 10 now, and have decided they want to decorate their room however they want, so they took all their toys/books/decorations off the shelves, and threw it all in the living room. It's like a bomb went off in there.

The upside of that is I finished a good 2 hours of Know My Name on audio, and so far it is not disappointing me.

I've also been working on Takedown Twenty, for a book that is 20th on a list/in a series ( whats the actual wording??). Its been a nice break. I haven't read a Stephanie Plum novel since my 20's and they are fluff and funny. I even stopped to watch the movie of the first book. I wish they had made it into a mini series instead.

After that I have The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda, for my first/ last opposites prompt. Then I need to head over to the what should I read next thread and get some help with my stack of library books.

I'm not sure where I am with the challenge, I have quite a few prompts that I have read double on and some that I haven't done at all yet. I need to update my list and add the books to my 2020 shelf so I can get an accurate count.


message 6: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 623 comments My big accomplishment for August is finishing The Count of Monte Cristo, which I've been reading one or 2 chapters at a time since February. It was my 49th completed prompt for ATY, so only 3 more to go.

I am currently reading The Gift of Rain for one of the remaining prompts. I could use a fun recommendation for book set in a global city.


message 7: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2630 comments I'm a little bit ahead on the challenge. Finished 5 books in August. I have 10 books checked out of the library and not sure how that happened!

The books I'm currently reading are: The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich, A Warning by Anonymous, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood. The other ones I hope to read this month are: Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman, Malagash, Dusklands, and possibly The Importance of a Piece of Paper by Jimmy Santiago Baca (maybe). I think I can fit all of these books into remaining prompts. It's starting to get more difficult without planning! Also, my daughter is going to download for me 20 Minutes On The Tube: Who Are You Travelling With? from Kindle Unlimited for a Popsugar prompt (20 in the title).


message 8: by Ana A (new)

Ana A (anabana_a) | 494 comments Tracy wrote: "Ana A wrote: "Hello. Even though I didn't finish anything in August, I'm still ahead of my ATY challenge (39/52) because I read more than I expected in the previous months.

This month I hope to fi..."


LOL yes, "death cleaning" is such a memorable phrase.


message 9: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy | 871 comments I am underway with my pair of opposites: Out of Darkness, Shining Light and Heavy: An American Memoir. After that, The Ice Palace (author whose name I didn’t know how to pronounce), Blackfish City (place name), The Last Place You Look (mystery) and Half of a Yellow Sun (coveted literary prize) will keep me on track so that I can use November to read new releases and vote in the GRC awards. I’ll also finish up my Popsugar challenge with A Map Is Only One Story: Twenty Writers on Immigration, Family, and the Meaning of Home and getting started on those 2020 releases. It’s going to be a big month!


message 10: by Entropia (new)

Entropia | 280 comments Because I was bed-ridden yesterday due to backpain, I managed to finish A Memory Called Empire for mystery prompt. Now I should be choosing something to read for 10 most coveted awards nominees, and it's really hard - I'm excited about most of my options. On the other hand "A book related to one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse" gives me the opposite impression - like "yeah, there are plenty of options, but nothing really stoods out to me as of now".


message 11: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1350 comments With only 4 prompts left I am struggling to pick books for 2 of them.

With " I didn't start the fire." there are a few on my list but just not really inspiring right now. It feels like a negative propmt. It is not, just feels that way.

The classic is bogging me down too. I am listening to Great Expectations, but Pip is so naive that it is slowing me down. The bad living situation he is in is depressing too. Charles Dickens commentary on his society usually is fascinating. It is just too heavy right now.

I have filled the Olympic prompt already but wamt to use a different book for it. One that is a little more inspiring. The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui's Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory is on that short list.

The lesser known book is up in the air right now.

I have 1 1/2 weeks off. I just want to forget about the pandemic until I go back to work on the 14th. With school starting my office is going to be bombarded with calls from concerned parents. They have ever right to be concerned. I am too. I just need a break to regroup before those calls start.

Sorry everyone. I am in the need for something fun and light hearted. The stress is finally getting to me. Ideas for those 2 prompts would be gretly appreciated.


message 12: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 2360 comments Anastasia wrote: "With only 4 prompts left I am struggling to pick books for 2 of them.

With " I didn't start the fire." there are a few on my list but just not really inspiring right now. It feels like a negative..."


Anastasia, I read Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand for "We Didn't Start the Fire." It's more of a coming of age story during the Vietnam war era.

For the classic, you could do a classic from a genre, like an Agatha Christie book or an older fantasy novel.


message 13: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 623 comments Anastasia, I am reading The Gift of Rain for the lesser known prompt. It's one of my last 3 prompts, so I did not want something difficult to get through. The Gift of Rain is not fun and light, but it is lovely so far and reads easily.


message 14: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 623 comments And if anyone has fun, lighthearted recommendations for book set in a global city, I would love those as well.


message 15: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2630 comments Anastasia - For the We Didn’t Start the Fire prompt, I recommend Catch You Later Traitor by Avi. It’s a mid-grade book set during the McCarthy Red Scare era. I really enjoyed it! I haven’t read a book yet by Avi that I didn’t like.


message 16: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 2055 comments Mod
Milena wrote: "And if anyone has fun, lighthearted recommendations for book set in a global city, I would love those as well."

There are plenty of romances set in London, Paris and New York.


message 17: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 623 comments Robin P wrote: "Milena wrote: "And if anyone has fun, lighthearted recommendations for book set in a global city, I would love those as well."

There are plenty of romances set in London, Paris and New York."


True, it's one of the reasons I left this category until the end. Should be easy to fill.


message 18: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Kristick | 703 comments Anastasia wrote: "With only 4 prompts left I am struggling to pick books for 2 of them.

With " I didn't start the fire." there are a few on my list but just not really inspiring right now. It feels like a negative..."


For classic or lesser known, what about The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery? It's not as well known as her Anne of Green Gables books, but is a good book.

Another lesser known book that is light is Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson, originally published in 1934. I used the third book in the trilogy for my lesser known book, but you really need to read the books in order.


message 19: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Kristick | 703 comments If I hadn't already read it, I would have picked Peyton Place by Grace Metalious for the We Didn't Start the Fire prompt. It was incredibly scandalous for the time (1954) and is not just a soap opera. There are some seriously dark elements (suicide, incest, murder), though, so it may not work for someone looking for something light.


message 20: by Chelsey (new)

Chelsey Keathley-Jones (keathleyc) | 234 comments I only have one ATY prompt left, a book set in the southern hemisphere. I had originally planned on reading Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood but just haven't been in the mood so I may find something else and finish this month.

I'm doing a buddy read in another goodreads group of Anna Karenina so that's going to take the majority of September's reading time. I'm also listening to the Twisted Tales series on audio book for some fun easy stories.


message 21: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 2055 comments Mod
Chelsey wrote: "I only have one ATY prompt left, a book set in the southern hemisphere. I had originally planned on reading Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood but just haven't bee..."

That book is funny, educational and inspiring, I recommend it.


message 22: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7787 comments Mod
I'm currently reading the book whose author's name you don't know how to pronounce (Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust), but then I have the "We Didn't Start the Fire" prompt on deck. I think I'm going to read The Secrets We Kept, which was set in Russia and is about the writing of Doctor Zhivago. Many people in their reviews said it was more of a love story than an intriguing spy thriller, which suits me just fine lol.

I haven't tackled the classic either, but I may go with a short book like Mrs. Dalloway.


message 23: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2630 comments I completely changed my plans since last posting! I returned all of my library books but one and checked out some shorter books. I’m reading Cannery Row by John Steinbeck for a classic. I’m taking it slow and really enjoying it! I also checked out The Sadness of Beautiful Things (short story collection) by Simon Van Booy for a name you’re not sure how to pronounce and Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes for an author you’ve read once before. I feel like I want to knock off a few more prompts before reading some of my longer books like The Goldfinch.


message 24: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 2055 comments Mod
Pam wrote: "I completely changed my plans since last posting! I returned all of my library books but one and checked out some shorter books. I’m reading Cannery Row by John Steinbeck for a classic. I’m taking ..."

I read Cannery Row during the spring readathon because it was short. I thought it was delightful, surprisingly funny.


message 25: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (heirloomroses) | 211 comments I've read 32 of 52 books. I really didn't read much for the first half of the year, so I've been racing to finish up. I'm currently reading The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro, and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs but as I'm a slow reader, it is taking me awhile. I normally listen to audiobooks because I'm so slow (176 words a minute).


message 26: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1350 comments @Laurel thank you for the Lucy Maud Montgomery suggestion. I am reading her second book in the Anne series for a classic. I was just so focused on dead English dudes.

I have two books on deck for "We Didn't Start the Fire" One is about authors during the cold war. Fingers crossed it is good.


message 27: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7787 comments Mod
I just finished The Secrets We Kept for the Billy Joel prompt. It was... fine. Not one I'll remember in a few months, but worked perfectly for the prompt and knocked a book off of my unread bookshelf.


message 28: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Peterson | 465 comments Having a very successful beginning of the month so far. I flew through An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor, and The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, all of which I enjoyed. Then I picked up If We Were Villains, which I'm using for the book related to the arts prompt. I really didn't know much about this one - I'll give pretty much anything a try, so I tend to add all sort of books to my TBR, but I don't read mysteries all that often and wouldn't say they're a favorite (except Agatha Christie <3). So I'm super pleased that I'm absolutely loving it! I've had a number of books this year that I was expecting to love and then didn't like or felt meh about, so it's very exciting to come across a book I thought I'd be meh about and it turns out I love!


message 29: by Sherri (new)

Sherri Harris | 919 comments I need to remember to post my monthly reads weekly. I can’t see where I have posted at all for September. I have completed 7 books since 9/4.
Us Against You by Fredrick Backman. 5stars
The Kings Justice (Maggie Hope #9) by Susan Elia MacNeal. 4 stars
The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn. 4 stars
Parental Guidance (Ice Knights #1) by Avery Flynn. 3 stars
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. 3stars
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez. 3 stars
How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez. 3 stars


message 30: by Linda (new)

Linda (linnola) | 384 comments Anastasia wrote: "With only 4 prompts left I am struggling to pick books for 2 of them.

With " I didn't start the fire." there are a few on my list but just not really inspiring right now. It feels like a negative..."


I read Next Year in Havana for this prompt. I really enjoyed the book.


message 31: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7787 comments Mod
Sherri, I'm reading Anxious People by Fredrik Backman right now and it is DELIGHTFUL. Feels more in the vein of Britt-Marie Was Here, less serious than Beartown, but I am so enjoying it.


message 32: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 2055 comments Mod
So far in Sept I have read

The Last Man - 2 stars, only that high because she put in so much effort. This book is terrible - flowery, melodramatic language, characters with no psychology, a rambling plot, and way too long. There is a reason no one reads it, I only stuck with it because it was for a group.

Plan for the Worst- 4 stars - the latest installment of the St. Mary's time travel series. These are great on audio. This one has some revelations about a major character.

Blind Justice - 4 stars- first in a series of historical mysteries set in 1768. I really liked the characters and setting so I'm sure I'll read more of the series.

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous - 3 stars. I needed a prize winner for a prompt and this one was short. The writer is a poet and that shows. Unfortunately, I like more of a meaty, detailed story. This is more impressionistic. So nothing wrong with it and an important POV of a Vietnamese refugee family and a gay young man. But not my thing.

The Christmas Hirelings - can't remember now if I gave 3 or 4 stars. Fun for what it is, which is the 19th century equivalent of a Hallmark Christmas movie, where a curmudgeon is won over by an adorable child. I unearthed this from my audio library because it is another short book I could use for the readathon. A nice escape from our time of crisis.

Black No More - 4 stars - a hidden gem. Written in the Harlem Renaissance, this satire is about a scientist who finds a way to turn Black people white. It makes fun of both races, also of politicians, religious figures, businessmen, etc. Also a short book. I think it was very cheap, like 1.99 on Kindle.


message 33: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 2055 comments Mod
Today I read something that would come under the prompt we are voting on of "You read WHAT!?" It is For Rent-One Pedestal, written in 1917. I am doing a talk on fiction in America in the 50 years before suffrage and how women activists were portrayed. I think this book is only available online. It is a short and fast read. As you can tell from the title, it has a sense of humor. It is told as a series of letters from a young woman named Delight who gets involved in the campaign for suffrage in New York State (which was lost).


message 34: by LindaLH (last edited Sep 21, 2020 12:56PM) (new)

LindaLH | 71 comments September spans weeks 36-40, but I'm reading out of sequence. I moved house in late May and fell behind my plan - for months. Until then I was ahead by a little.

I read The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict for #36 - something I picked up at Goodwill just before the pandemic shutdown - but I read it in July.

I'm currently reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles for #45 "A book by the same author who wrote one of your best reads in 2019 or 2018." It would also work for #40 "A book with a place name in the title."

I'm trying to catch up to my plan with audiobooks. They're slower than reading but I can listen while I do other things. I listened to Stoner🎧 by John Williams for #29 "An underrated book, a hidden gem or a lesser known book." I might have liked the print version better.

My current audiobook is Neverwhere 🎧 by Neil Gaiman for #19 "A fantasy". This is my first Neil Gaiman book, he's also the narrator, and he tells a good story!

The next read I have planned is Room by Emma Donoghue for #1. I had Becoming 🎧 by Michelle Obama on hold for #1 but it came in while I was in the thick of moving and I missed it.

And then I have Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg🎧 downloaded for #31 "A book inspired by a leading news story." It's taking the slot left by Room.


message 35: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7787 comments Mod
I was so hoping the Read-a-Thon would spark something in me but... alas. I did finish three books total, but two of them were almost done when the week started.

Starting Long Bright River today for my IRL book club next week, and I'm really getting into it more than I thought I would.

Also finally got The Heir Affair on audio, so that's a nice little bright spot in my day.


message 36: by Kendra (new)

Kendra | 1040 comments Emily wrote: "I was so hoping the Read-a-Thon would spark something in me but... alas. I did finish three books total, but two of them were almost done when the week started.

Starting [book:Long Bright River|43..."


You did so much work for the read-a-thon, it doesn't surprise me you didn't have time to read for yourself (SORRY). But thankyou again. You made the read-a-thon a lot of fun.


message 37: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1864 comments Emily, I ended up reading Long Bright River in one day. I think, I stayed up until 2 am because I had to finish the book.


message 38: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7787 comments Mod
I've been scrubbing down my house (we just replaced our floors so I need to get the dirt out before we move our furniture back), so I've been listening to my audiobook nonstop.

But I'm still thinking about Long Bright River. It's not often I'm reading two books that I'm really captivated by!


message 39: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
So I finished The Bone Garden last night and I loved it, I was just falling asleep and then I startled awake having the worst sort of random anxiety. Decided to start on my next book until I got sleepy again.

Wilder Girls.... forgot the synopsis of this when I opened it.... A bunch of teen girls quarantined on an island at a baording school by the CDC....oooooops :/

I fell asleep anyways. Made it to page 34. I'm in LOVE with the cover, but it doesn't seem very well written so far.


message 40: by Sherri (new)

Sherri Harris | 919 comments Here are my recent reads.
In The Company of Women by Susan Straight. 5 stars. I loved her style of writing. This is nonfiction. This is a genealogy of the women in her family & her husbands family. She also talks about her life & her daughters. This is an under a radar book. When I talk about it everyone says, never heard of her.
Open Season (Joe Pickett #1) by C.J.Box. 4 stars. I’ve wanted to start this series for awhile but the first book is always on hold. I lucked out & found it in the library. It’s an older book but I will read more in the series.
Currently reading Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory. This is #5 in the Wedding Date Series. I’ve never read any of the others but this seems to stand alone. I like it.


message 41: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1864 comments The worst thing about the read-a-thon is the next week of reading. I have managed to only read 70ish pages and listened to an hour of audio. Anyone else struggling to read this week?


message 42: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7787 comments Mod
I'm the same with pages... I've only read 44 since Monday lol. I've listened to a lot of audio, though, because The Heir Affair came through on Libby and, at 17 hours long, I have to listen to it quickly before my 2 week hold is up.

But I cannot focus on pages in a book to save my life.


message 43: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1428 comments Mod
A couple days ago my audiobook of Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage was coming due and I couldn't renew it because my library's license was expiring. I was so happy when I went on today and saw that it was in fact available for me to borrow. I'm guessing the library system updated their license agreements or whatever. I'm just glad I've got more time to finish it!


message 44: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 2055 comments Mod
Sherri wrote: "Here are my recent reads.
In The Company of Women by Susan Straight. 5 stars. I loved her style of writing. This is nonfiction. This is a genealogy of the women in her family & her husbands family...."


I have heard of her! Years ago my book group read I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots. It was amazing! I don’t know if it would be frowned on today that a white woman wrote the story of a black woman but I believe she has a black husband.


message 45: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 2055 comments Mod
I enjoyed the audio of The War That Saved My Life. It may be intended for middle to upper grades but can be appreciated by adults. The girl heroine is quite mistreated at first, so be aware, but even then she has spunk. She really blossoms when she leaves home but the book doesn’t fall into the trope of children who easily recover from trauma and are just there to make adults happy.


message 46: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 1050 comments Milena wrote: "Robin P wrote: "Milena wrote: "And if anyone has fun, lighthearted recommendations for book set in a global city, I would love those as well."

There are plenty of romances set in London, Paris and..."


Not sure if you are still looking for a global city book but I listened to Last Tang Standing recently and it was a pretty fun lighthearted read. It is set in Singapore.


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