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Reading check ins 2020 > Week 38 Check In

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message 1: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 877 comments Mod
Hi everyone, sorry for the late post!

It's my birthday today! Yesterday my parents took my husband and I to the Marvel exhibit that's in town, figuring that a Thursday would probably have much less of a crowd which seemed to have work. There were maybe 6 other people in the exhibit, and it was big enough to easily keep distance. Also everyone seemed to be masked properly, and they had signs saying "superheros leave their masks on during photos!" so there wasn't a bunch of unmasking at the photo ops. It was a good time, but I totally forgot to post!

This week I finished:

The Dragon Republic - I liked this alright, although I don't usually like war books. It was weirdly captivating though. I'll probably finish the trilogy eventually. This was my read harder doorstopper written by a woman after 1950. It was 800+ pages so I think it qualifies.

This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story - read harder book with a main character that has a disability. The main love interest was hard of hearing. I liked it pretty well, easy read, fast. However thinking back on it, I kind of got retroactively annoyed at the narrator. They got away with a LOT of crappy behavior, without much of a reason beyond...teenager? hormones? anxiety?

Then I went on a big comic binge, including:
Sonata, Vol. 2: The Citadel, Catalyst Prime: Seven Days Vol. 1, Valkyrie: Jane Foster, Vol. 2: At the End of All Things, plus a bunch of single issues that aren't compiled into a trade yet.

Neverwhere finished the audiobook re-read

Currently reading:

Once Broken Faith - continuing the october daye series.

Nocturna - still on hold

QOTW: Can't think of a good one, any ideas?


message 2: by Megan (new)

Megan | 236 comments Happy Birthday! I'm jealous that you got to go to the Marvel exhibit - we had planned to go in March, but obviously that didn't happen...and now I don't know if I really want to travel that far!

At last check-in, I was halfway through The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which I really enjoyed - a few things could have been a bit more fleshed out, but it was a nice change of pace to have a book leave me wanting more instead of wading through endless exposition. :)

After that, my hold for The Fire Next Time FINALLY came through after waiting months to read it for an online alumni book club. It definitely hit different reading it now than it did in school 25+ years ago. I always thought Baldwin was too wordy and academic when I was younger, but lately old interviews have been popping up on TV and people have been talking about his books again, and damn - he has held up better than almost anyone else from that era (the era in which he wrote, not the era in which I was falling asleep on his books in high school :) ) Kinda makes you think about who will hold up that well 50 years from now.

I also finished the audiobook of The Will and the Wilds, which was perfect for the audio format - it's too Ghibliesque to be contained on paper. I've only ever listened to Charlie N. Holmberg books, and I don't think I'll be able to ever switch to reading them normally now that I'm used to getting them that way.

I'm currently reading The Bone Clocks, because I finished Slade House for IRL book club #1 a while back and this one is supposed to be related. I'm only about 10% in, so I don't have a strong opinion yet, but it seems promising.

QOTW: Since I'm sure I'm not the only one jealous of Sheri's visit to the Marvel exhibit, how about this: Have you been to any book-related museums, exhibits, etc.? Back in the before-times, we used to go to museums a lot, so I've been to a bunch - the Sherlock Holmes touring one that came to COSI was my favorite, with lots of interactive stuff and a mystery running through the whole thing to solve.


message 3: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 163 comments Happy birthday Sheri! I'm glad you got to do a Celebratory Thing.

I had said I wasn't sure about the September selection for readabookwithkara.com, Winter Counts, but the hold queue moved very fast, so here we are. I didn't super love this one. It's billed as a thriller, but it didn't really get thrilling until close to the end. I also found it a bit tell-y. Certainly not bad, but I'm not surprised to find it's a debut novel. I'm interested to see the eventual discussion and maybe find out why it was selected.

Sometimes when I am trying to figure out a batch of hold requests, my husband will say, "I think you should read a book aboooouuuut..." Often it will be an animal, and this time he came up with "mollusks". I had read Sy Montgomery's book Birdology, so I got The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness. I started reading it and it was immediately familiar, but I knew I hadn't read the book before; it turns out that the first chapter is basically this article I read nearly a decade ago. The rest of the book was good, but the subtitle is misleading. It isn't really that much about consciousness, and would be better as "Octopuses and Octopus-Lovers I Have Known". The author put The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating in the bibliography as an inspiration, and, yeah, I can see it. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I'd gone in with that expectation.

Finally, I got The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories because Elsa Lanchester's book mentioned the movie based on the titular story, and I thought I'd read it in case I decide to see the film. Highly entertaining, classic Christie twist-at-the-end stuff, good times.

QOTW: Hmm, all I can think of is an exhibit of the art books of Henri Matisse at the local modern art museum. I do like his art, but it was mostly framed pages on the wall and seemed like a regular art gallery experience, not all that bookish. I'm totes jelly of the Sherlock Holmes exhibit!


message 4: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 877 comments Mod
I did see the Sherlock Holmes museum when I was in London, it was way too expensive for what it was though. I think it cost almost 20 pounds to get in and took a half hour at best to see it all. I’d only recommend for HUGE Holmes fans who adore the books specifically.

Also did the Harry Potter studio tour in Levansten while there, but that’s entirely movie based. But the source is a book! (If one I have an uneasy relationship with now, glad I saw the exhibit before I was conflicted)


message 5: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 270 comments Mod
Rebecca, I got that The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness in the FOE Book Flood last year, and I put it down after the first few chapters because I was hoping for something more science-y. I'm more than a little obsessed with cephalopods and I wanted to actually learn about them.

Just one finish for me last week - a mystery, Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. I will definitely look up more books in the series, I really enjoyed it, although the characters' sexual obsessions got old after a while (I'm far from a prude, it was more repetitive than anything else). I've just started The End of All Things, the last book in John Scalzi's Old Man's War series, and my 9-year-old and I just started reading I Shall Wear Midnight together. It's definitely darker than the first three Tiffany Aching books, but I think the kiddo is ready for it.

QOTW: A few years ago there was a temporary show in one of the Harvard libraries that was an exhibition of fictional maps. We ended up organizing a meetup of local FOEs to go see it together! It was very cool - original maps of Narnia, and Middle Earth, and much more.


message 6: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 163 comments Sheri wrote: "I’d only recommend for HUGE Holmes fans who adore the books specifically."
So, me, then. ;) I'll keep that in mind if I ever go to London.


message 7: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 877 comments Mod
You might love it! I don’t mind Holmes, but I’m more familiar with the various media retelling. Didn’t really do it for me, but I could see others who were fans being into it.

Also thanks for the birthday wishes :)


message 8: by Jen (new)

Jen (piratenami) | 220 comments Happy birthday, Sheri! I'm glad you got to do something fun in celebration!

I'm still plugging away at The Fifth Season. It's weird, the first couple of chapters were a struggle for me -- not necessarily because of the book, but because of some work stuff happening simultaneously. But once I hit around chapter 8 or so, I started becoming really engrossed. I'm hoping to finish it this week.

QOTW: I haven't been to any book specific exhibits, but I have been to Seattle's Science Fiction Museum (now part of the Museum of Pop Culture) and at the time they had quite a bit of writer memorabilia when I went (several years ago now).


message 9: by Megan (new)

Megan | 236 comments Wow, I was lucky that the Sherlock Holmes exhibit was included with my COSI membership! I went multiple times because I had out of town company a few times while it was here and it seemed like a good thing to take people to see. I guess I really got my money's worth out of my membership that year if it would have been whatever 20 pounds is in dollars per person each time in London!

And Shel - everyone in my book club also thought the sexual stuff in Case Histories felt kind of forced, too - I also liked it other than that, but haven't gotten around to the rest of the series yet. I first heard about the series from a friend who watched the TV version and didn't know it was a book series, and she said that it is way less clunky in the TV version.


message 10: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 270 comments Mod
Glad I'm not alone! I didn't know it was a TV series - what network?


message 11: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Powell (danielepowell) | 165 comments One finish this week: Artemis Fowl, which I'm using for the Hufflepuff/Hepzibah Smith/set in Ireland prompt. It lived up to my expectations, which weren't great to begin with. Enjoyed the notion of magical creatures using advanced technology.

54/60 for the year, but other library users are slowing my progress. Still waiting on a bunch of holds!

It looks like once the One PHRC challenge is complete, I'll be moving on to complete the ATY challenge, since I already have 46/52 prompts covered.

QOTW: Absolutely stumped. Although I have a bunch of books drawn from exhibits, I can't think of a single case of the reverse! Mind you, visiting the museum feels like it was decades ago when in fact the Banksy exhibit was last summer).


message 12: by Megan (new)

Megan | 236 comments Shel, for some reason I never got the notification of your comment! Case Histories (the TV show) was on PBS (I think Masterpiece Mysteries) a while back - but I actually just saw the other day that it is now available on the Tubi app if you're interested in checking it out.


message 13: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 270 comments Mod
Thanks! :)


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