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Books > The Book Salon ~~ October 2020

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments


This the thread for general book discussions for October 2020.

Tell us what you just read, are currently reading or plan to read. Tell us about your favorite author. Have you read some book news? Share it with the group. Anything related to books and reading, we want to hear all about it !
:)


message 2: by Simon (new)

Simon  | 308 comments For October so far, am continuing on with Ken Follett’s new historical fiction novel “The Evening and the Morning” started late September. After that, on the hunt for my next read as usual :)


message 3: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments I'm currently reading 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

I am finding the book gives much food for thought.

I am reading the eBook and also listening to the audio book on my exercise walk.


message 4: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 30, 2020 04:49PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments Simon wrote: "For October so far, am continuing on with Ken Follett’s new historical fiction novel “The Evening and the Morning” started late September. After that, on the hunt for my next read as usual :)"

I enjoyed the Ken Follett book Night Over Water


message 5: by John (last edited Sep 30, 2020 06:46PM) (new)

John | 1235 comments Starting the month juggling the following titles...

Some Tame Gazelle, Barbara Pym's first novel set in 50s Britain (ebook).

The Mystery of Charles Dickens bio of the writer (audiobook)

Don't Dare a Dame, third in Maggie Sullivan mystery series set in 1940 at Dayton, OH (ebook).


message 6: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments John wrote: "Starting the month juggling the following titles...


The Mystery Of Charles Dickens, bio of the writer (audiobook)"


I remember Simon Callow from the movie A Room With a View. I didn't know he also did audio books. I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts on how he is as a narrator.


message 7: by John (new)

John | 1235 comments Alias Reader wrote: "John wrote: "Starting the month juggling the following titles...


The Mystery Of Charles Dickens, bio of the writer (audiobook)"

I remember Simon Callow from the movie A Room With a View. I didn..."


Linked to the wrong book, which I've now corrected - thanks!

It's this book, not Callow's The Mystery of Charles Dickens.


message 8: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 30, 2020 07:39PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments Well, I am still intrigued by Callow. :)

I'll have to see if he narrates any other books.


message 9: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments Some interesting, as well as entertaining books ahead this month for us, i see. I hope to continue reading Cris Beam's look into the foster care system in To the End of June. While the author primarily cites cases in New York, where she lives, there are stats and stories from other US states, as well. The challenges are enormous & i'm learning some of the history of changes made, as well.

However, it isn't riveting reading, so i have a couple of lightweight books under consideration. It's lovely to be reading in October. :-)


message 10: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1022 comments Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny took me back to Three Pines, the remote, snowy village in Quebec which seems to have more than its share of murderous events! (No wonder I love it.)
Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #14) by Louise Penny 4.5★ Link to my Kingdom of the Blind review


message 11: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments The trolley car dilemma reminds me of games we played when we were younger, except ours were rude. The people on the trolley were the very people in the room with you as the dilemma arises. We must eliminate one. AWFUL!

I am a fan of novels and mysteries with blizzards and this sounds appealing.


message 12: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments madrano wrote: It's lovely to be reading in October. :-)..."

Yes ! Cozy with a cup of hot tea and a light blanket.

Anyone plan on reading any October/Halloween/scary books this month? Maybe I'll fit in a short story if I can find something in an eBook.




message 13: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments


---- All is forgotten, nothing is lost
by Lan Samantha Chang

Two students at a renowned writing school, Roman and Bernard, vie for the admiration of their charismatic and mysterious poet professor and forge a relationship that has lasting repercussions on their art and their lives.



----- Leviathan wakes
by James S. A. Corey

After Captain Jim Holden discovers a derelict, abandoned spaceship, he unearths a secret that threatens to throw the entire solar system into war and a vast conspiracy that could mean the end of the human race.



----- Scooby apocalypse. Vol. 1
by Keith Giffen

"When the world is tossed into chaos, it's up to a group of meddling kids--Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and their dog, Scooby-Doo--to solve the mystery and survive hordes of zombies! But can they save the day and cure everyone or will they become brain-eating zombies? The creatures of the night are among us, and the crew of the Mystery Machine has to fight to survive--because in the apocalyptic badlands of the near-future, the horrors are real!"



----- The Southern book club's guide to slaying vampires
by Grady Hendrix

When her hectic but predictable life is upended by a vicious attack by an elderly local, Patricia unexpectedly bonds with a well-read neighbor who her senile mother-in-law claims to have known herself when she was a girl.



---- Chaos
by Iris Johansen

A CIA agent breaks into a billionaire’s mansion to secure financing for an unsanctioned mission in Africa to rescue schoolgirl hostages, including her sister, from a cold-blooded killer.



----- The relentless Moon
by Mary Robinette Kowal

When political divides, riots and sabotage compromise the Earth’s response to the Meteor strike, Elma departs for a fledgling Mars colony before the challenges of interplanetary pioneer life are further complicated by her husband’s presidential campaign.



----- Agnes at the end of the world
by Kelly McWilliams

Dutifully embracing her faith while tirelessly caring for her younger siblings, including one who needs forbidden insulin to survive, a teen who is unaware that she lives within a strict cult meets an Outsider boy and begins to question what is and is not a sin.



----- Shakespeare for squirrels : a novel
by Christopher Moore

An uproarious hardboiled mystery inspired by Shakespeare’s most-performed play finds The Serpent of Venice’s Pocket of Dog Snogging assuming the duties of a murdered Puck to identify hidden adversaries who have complicated an arranged marriage.



----- Rachel Maddow : A Biography
by Lisa Rogak

"The first biography of the most popular anchor in cable news. Rachel Maddow has beaten the odds in a way that's novel in today's America: she uses her brain. In a world of banal and opinionated soundbites, she regularly crushes Sean Hannity's ratings thanks to her deeply researched reports. And in our highly polarized world, Maddow amiably engages the staunchest conservatives, while never hesitating to expose their light-on-facts defenses. As a result, she's become the top anchor for MSNBC and a belovedrepresentative for all that progressive America holds dear. The news that Maddow was the first publicly-out lesbian to anchor a prime-time TV news show seemed almost anticlimactic to her millions of viewers, who will be surprised and intrigued by little-known details of her life, as written by New York Times bestselling biographer Lisa Rogak. Growing up in a conservative California town - and viewing herself as a perennial outsider - helped spark an early interest in activism. After attending Stanford and Oxford, she opted for a minimum-wage job as a radio DJ in a tiny Massachusetts market while finishing her Ph.D. She planned to pursue a career as an activist, but 9/11 changed all that, so she returned to local radio where she could help listeners by 'explaining stuff.' A stint at Air America raised her national profile, which led to her groundbreaking MSNBC show where she dissects the news of the day with an approach found nowhere else on TV"



----- Camp
by Lev AC Rosen

The author of Jack of Hearts (and other parts) presents a screwball comedy that critiques the culture of toxic masculinity as it is experienced by a 16-year-old youth at an LGBTQ+ summer camp where he reinvents himself to attract a crush’s attention.



----- Mr. Nobody : a novel
by Catherine Steadman

Treating a man found on the beach with no memory of his identity, a neuropsychologist who would hide her own past is confronted by her patient’s mysterious knowledge of her secrets. By the author of Something in the Water.



----- Date me, Bryson Keller
by Kevin Van Whye

Accepting a dare to date a new person every week, a popular teen is unexpectedly asked out by a boy and agrees to a secret five-day relationship that quickly becomes more real than he anticipated.



----- All systems red
by Martha Wells

A hardcover rerelease of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning debut finds a team of scientists and their self-aware droid fending for survival on a distant planet when a neighboring mission goes dark. By the New York Times best-selling author of The Wizard Hunters



----- Superman smashes the Klan : the graphic novel
by Gene Luen Yang

When her family is targeted by the KKK after moving from Chinatown to 1946 Downtown Metropolis, misfit Roberta Lee uses her keen skills of observation to help Superman thwart a string of terrorist attacks.


---- The art of hearing heartbeats : a novel
by Jan-Philipp Sendker

When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be--until they find a love letter he wrote many years before, to a Burmese woman they never heard of.


message 14: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments In another thread we mentioned the novelist Marilynne Robinson

A friend alerted me to the New Yorker article about her.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...


message 15: by Alias Reader (last edited Oct 01, 2020 07:09PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments


----- Funeral for a friend
by Brian Freeman

Jonathan Stride investigates after his best friend confesses on his death bed to covering up a murder that leads to the discovery of a body buried in his yard in the latest addition to the series following Alter Ego.



----- The orphan's guilt : a Joe Gunther novel
by Archer Mayor

When a man’s routine DUI defense reveals evidence of a years-old shaken-baby murder case, Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team peel back layers of history to uncover links to other deaths.



----- The dirty South
by John Connolly

A latest entry in the best-selling series by the author of A Book of Bones traces Charlie Parker’s first case, in which his efforts to bring his wife and child’s killer to justice are stymied by corruption.



---- You Betrayed Me
by Lisa Jackson

Waking up in a small hospital with no memory of what happened, playboy James Cahill gradually recalls that his girlfriend had just discovered his affair before going missing. By the best-selling author of Liar, Liar.



---- The last druid
by Terry Brooks

A conclusion to the Shannara saga is set in the war-torn Four Lands, where a group of heroes organizes to defend the region while one carries world-changing technology to the Skaar homeland and another becomes trapped in a deadly realm.



---- Snow
by John Banville

Investigating the murder of a 1957 County Wexford priest, Detective Inspector St. John Strafford navigates harsh winter weather and the community’s culture of silence to expose an aristocratic family’s dangerous secrets. By the award-winning author of The Seas.



---- The searcher
by Tana French

Looking to start a new life in a small Irish village, former Chicago police officer Cal Hooper comes out of retirement to help find a missing kid and uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat.



---- Troubles in paradise : a novel
by Elin Hilderbrand

As drama unfolds around her and her family after the death of her husband, who was leading a double life, Irene Steele gets some help from a mysterious source and a new beginning in the paradise of St. John after the truth is finally revealed.



---- Magic lessons : The Prequel to Practical Magic
by Alice Hoffman

A prequel to the movie-inspiring novel unveils the origin story of Maria Owens, who after being discovered as an abandoned baby in rural 17th-century Salem is taught in the “Unnamed Arts” before cursing her own family in love.



----- The ministry for the future
by Kim Stanley Robinson

Told entirely through fictional eye-witness accounts of living creatures both past and present, this brilliant novel is one of the most powerful and original books on climate change ever written.



----- An Irish Country Welcome
by Patrick Taylor

In Ballybucklebo, Ireland, young doctor Barry, eagerly awaiting the arrival of his first child, and his fellow physicians, including a fledgling doctor, deals with a range of medical issues while still finding time to share the comforting joys and pleasures of this very special place.



----- Confessions on the 7-45
by Lisa Unger

Befriending a stranger in an accompanying seat when their commuter train stalls, Selena confesses a personal grievance before her life is upended by her nanny’s disappearance and growing fractures in her marriage.



------ The Christmas table
by Donna VanLiere

While preparing for her baby’s arrival, Lauren Mabrey, after purchasing an antique table, finds a stack of recipe cards on which personal notes have been written from a mother to her daughter, bringing about a connection that she never expected.



----- The cold millions : a novel
by Jess Walter

Enduring the corruption of their union employment, two young day laborers are respectively drawn to a feminist activist and a vaudeville singer whose experiences reflect an unjust world on the brink of upheaval.



----- Shakeup
by Stuart Woods

Looking forward to relaxing with his girlfriend after returning from a dangerous coastal adventure, Stone Barrington finds his plans thwarted by the arrival of a grisly crime on his doorstep, along with some suspicious new clients eager for his help.



----- Elsewhere
by Dean R. Koontz

Olive is mistaken to think that starting junior high is the most terrifying thing to happen when the wicked Annabelle McMartin returns, two dangerous forces are unlocked, her best friend moves away and her ally starts to rebel. Original.



----- The Noel letters : from the Noel collection
by Richard Paul Evans

A latest entry in the best-selling series by the award-winning author of The Christmas Box explores themes of faith, love and redemption during an illuminating holiday season.



----- The wonder boy of Whistle Stop : a novel
by Fannie Flagg

Taking a final visit to the ghost town where his mother Ruth’s Whistle Stop Café made its famous fried green tomatoes, Bud Threadgoode discovers new friends and surprises about the community’s women while triggering unexpected changes in his daughters’ lives.



----- House of Correction
by Nicci French

Attempting to solve her own case from the confines of prison, a reclusive murder suspect from an English village uncovers evidence that calls her own sanity into question. By the best-selling authors of the Frieda Klein mysteries. Simultaneous.



----- Marauder
by Clive Cussler

Aboard the Oregon, one of the most advanced spy ships ever built, Juan Cabrillo and his team of expert operatives go up against nemeses as they prepare for yet another dangerous mission



----- Fortune and glory : tantalizing twenty-seven
by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum's struggle to choose between Joe Morelli and Ranger is upended by a search for her grandmother's inheritance that is further complicated by two fortune-hunting enemies from the past. By the best-selling co-author of Troublemaker.



----- The Law of Innocence
by Michael Connelly

Defense attorney Mickey Haller utilizes his legal team's resources from behind bars to organize his own defense when he is framed for murder by an unknown adversary. By the best-selling author of the Harry Bosch series.



----- Piece of My Heart
by Mary Higgins Clark

A high-suspense follow-up to the best-selling You Don't Own Me finds the nuptials of television producer Laurie Moran and investigative host Alex Buckley nightmarishly upended by the sudden disappearance of Alex's 7-year-old nephew.



----- All That Glitters
by Danielle Steel

When her life of privilege is upended by a terrorist attack that ends her parents' lives, a college senior struggles to rebuild on her own terms, learning uplifting and heartbreaking life lessons throughout a series of relationships and opportunities.


message 16: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments Harlan Coben shares 6 books you'll want to cozy up on the couch with this fall

https://www.today.com/shop/harlan-cob...


message 17: by Annette (new)

Annette (annetteshistoricalfiction) | 102 comments Lana's War
Lana's War by Anita Abriel

Paris, 1943. Lana Hartmann loses her husband and unborn child. When asked to join the French Resistance, she accepts the offer. She lost her child, but she’ll help other children to live. She leaves Paris behind and heads to Nice to join forces with a Swiss spy named Guy.

3.5 stars
The setting and premise are interesting. The plot moves swiftly. But the narrative could be more polished. Lana gulps a lot. She is naïve at times. She doesn’t necessarily come across as a strong character.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
Alice I Have Been

What is the price of literary immortality? There is fame, but there is also tragedy and loss of innocence. And that’s what this story explores.

4.5 stars
This author’s writing is one of those that truly stands out, not only for the style of writing, but also for character development, and touching on human emotions. This story is interesting and very well-narrated. And it is a book that I’d recommend.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 18: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments Nice reviews, Annette. Thanks for sharing. The price of literary immortality and fame do come with a cost. Interesting topic.


message 19: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments Alias, what a mix of tempting books to list. Best title must be Christopher Moore's Shakespeare for Squirrels. The premise sounds fun, too. A person could probably learn much about William S's work without ever reading his plays from this one.

The Ministry for the Future has an interesting conceit but i'm just a lazy enough reader not to read the well over 500 page novel. Still, it sounds as though Kim Stanley Robinson has created a thought provoking book, so maybe.

Thanks for the delightful walk through books.


message 20: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments I appreciate the link for the Robinson link, Alias. In addition to everything else, it clarified something i read in a review of her latest, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5... (sorry, i couldn't find a direct link on GR). The article/review said this was the 5th of the series but i only knew of 3 others. The interview cleared that for me.

The Frost apple orchard was a delight. When we visit author's homes i try to imagine them writing pieces i know there. Sometimes guides help by suggesting such a thing, other times visitors are on their own. I'm tickled to know i'm not alone in thinking about that.

And i welcomed seeing a recent photo of her!


message 21: by madrano (last edited Oct 02, 2020 09:49AM) (new)

madrano | 11927 comments Reading the Harlan Coben list was nice. While i appreciate them all, i was pleased he included a children's book by Riel Nason, The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt. The title alone is a joy.

Anyone here planning on reading any of these books?
The Thursday Murder Club--Richard Osman sounds up my alley. And how neat to see a book of poetry by Billy Collins, Whale Day: And Other Poems.

Also, i must mention the delightful October Reading poster you posted. What great color combining!


message 22: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments Annette, what good reviews. Your observations make historical fiction sound appealing. I like reading about spies during WWII but haven't read a fictionalized account. I'm adding this Anita Abriel to my list.

The Melanie Benjamin novel, Alice I Have Been, sounds as though it would be rewarding. I like your comments about Benjamin's writing, it increases the interest for me. Thanks for both titles.


message 24: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1060 comments Alias Reader wrote: "----- Shakespeare for squirrels : a novel
by Christopher Moore."


I'm looking forward to reading this book. I like the character of Pocket. He was in 2 other books by Moore: Fool and The Serpent of Venice.


message 25: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1060 comments Alias Reader wrote: "---- The art of hearing heartbeats : a novel
by Jan-Philipp Sendker.."


I listened to this in audio format. It was so good. It was a touching story.


message 26: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1060 comments I finished listening to the audio version of Death Sentence: The Inside Story of the John List Murders on today's jog.
I enjoyed the telling of this brutal murder of a family. It's well told and interesting while including the details, without being dry or opinionated. It simply lays down the facts and lets the reader decide for themselves.


message 27: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments I'm glad you enjoyed the postings, deb !


message 28: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments Dem wrote: "Finished WildWild by Kristin Hannah by Kristin Hannah

My review: www.goodreads.com/review/show/3566530792"



Sorry this one was a miss for you, Dem. I am one of the few who thought The Nightingale was just okay. I gave it 3 stars. That is a good rating but not above expectations. I know she is very popular, I just think her books are not for me.


message 29: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments I appreciate the honestly of your review, Dem. The way you made the decision sounds as though it would be a fine way for each of us to decide whether or not to continue reading books.


message 30: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments Petra, what a remarkable murder story. And the rationalization! The stories people tell themselves is astonishing.

Thanks for the info about other Moore books. This is the first i recall noting the name, thanks to that title.


message 31: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2937 comments Walk the Wire Walk the Wire (Amos Decker #6) by David Baldacci by David Baldacci

In this 6th book in the 'Amos Decker' series, the detective's investigation of a bizarre murder in North Dakota unveils diabolical wrongdoing. The book works well as a standalone.

Engaging thriller. 3.5 stars

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 33: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1060 comments madrano wrote: "Petra, what a remarkable murder story. And the rationalization! The stories people tell themselves is astonishing.

Thanks for the info about other Moore books. This is the first i recall noting the name, thanks to that title...."


People certainly can rationalize things, Deb. This was the a horrible rationalization.

The Moore books with Pocket are not a series, but loosely connected through the character. Pocket's introduction is in Fool and gives some background. I would recommend starting with that one, if you are considering these.


message 34: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments Barbara, i won't defend Baldacci's book but i will say that we lived in North & South Dakota when the "boom" rocked the western part of ND. The news stories & tales told by social workers were jaw dropping. And it was in a part of the state that was quite sparsely populated, leaving plenty of room for organized & not-as-organized crime to come 'arunnin' as the oil fields grew. Many told us it was like living in the "old West", morals were so lax. Just sounded scary to me.

Still, the school teacher sounds odd but who knows? When opportunity knocks?


message 35: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments Dem, the disconnect you mentioned is surprising. War is awful but what Germany perpetrated was beyond that. For Bartmann to fail to account for that while report Russian atrocities is alarming. As a result, i guess i'm also a tad surprised that it was published. If we weren't living in time when some people have no problems with Nazis, i would probably be less concerned, i hasten to add.


message 36: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments Thanks for the tip, Petra. I don't read many true crime books because they are disturbing. Even in my younger days it seems i limited myself to one a year or so. It's probably another example of my Pollyanna outlook.


message 37: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments National Book Awards Finalists Announced !

There are now five contenders each for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature and young people’s literature.

The winners will be named in November.


https://www.npr.org/2020/10/06/920363...

Fiction
Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind
Lydia Millet, A Children's Bible
Deesha Philyaw, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain
Charles Yu, Interior Chinatown


Nonfiction
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, The Undocumented Americans
Les Payne and Tamara Payne, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X
Claudio Saunt, Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory
Jenn Shapland, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers
Jerald Walker, How to Make a Slave and Other Essays


Poetry
Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, A Treatise on Stars
Tommye Blount, Fantasia for the Man in Blue
Don Mee Choi, DMZ Colony
Anthony Cody, Borderland Apocrypha
Natalie Diaz, Postcolonial Love Poem

Translated literature
Anja Kampmann, High as the Waters Rise, translated from the German by Anne Posten
Jonas Hassen Khemiri, The Family Clause, translated from the Swedish by Alice Menzies
Yu Miri, Tokyo Ueno Station, translated from the Japanese by Morgan Giles
Pilar Quintana, The Bitch, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman
Adania Shibli, Minor Detail, translated from the Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette

Young people's literature
Kacen Callender, King and the Dragonflies
Traci Chee, We Are Not Free
Candice Iloh, Every Body Looking
Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, When Stars Are Scattered
Gavriel Savit, The Way Back


message 38: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments Publishers worry as ebooks fly off libraries' virtual shelves


After the pandemic closed many libraries’ physical branches this spring, checkouts of ebooks are up 52 percent from the same period last year, according to OverDrive, which partners with 50,000 libraries worldwide. Hoopla, another service that connects libraries to publishers, says 439 library systems in the US and Canada have joined since March, boosting its membership by 20 percent.

But the surging popularity of library ebooks also has heightened longstanding tensions between publishers, who fear that digital borrowing eats into their sales, and public librarians, who are trying to serve their communities during a once-in-a-generation crisis.

Source: Wired


message 39: by Annette (new)

Annette (annetteshistoricalfiction) | 102 comments Hamnet
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

This storyline is very interesting. It alternates between two timelines: 1580 - Agnes, better known as Anne Hathaway, who meets a young Latin tutor, William Shakespeare who is not named in this story - they marry and have three children. And between 1596 - Hamnet – their son, who becomes his father’s inspiration for writing a play called Hamlet.

3/5 The prose is certainly of a very talented writer, but I struggled to stay connected with this story. This third-person narration makes it even a more distant read for me. It pushes me away, instead of pulling me into the story.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Under the Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee
Under the Tulip Tree

It is our choice “to be a small pebble on the path to the peaceful existence among people of different races and socioeconomic status.” And that’s what this story explores.

5/5 There is so much wisdom and honesty in this story that I truly hope it sells in record numbers. That’s the kind of book that I hope it reaches masses of people. It’s a perfect timing for such story.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 40: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments As always, i appreciate your assessment of books, Annette. The Michelle Shocklee book particularly calls to me. Thank you for sharing your own writing with us, too.


message 41: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments Lo! and Behold! I've actually read one of the nominees for the National Book Award. I wasn't as enamoured with Charles Yu's Interior Chinatown as the judges but didn't dislike it, either. It was a novel approach to a novel, which is a story of a Chinese family, the writer being an actor. Now that i think about it, i liked the bulk of it, the presentation (often as a script) just took me awhile to like.

ANYway, congratulations on being a finalist to these wordsmiths. What an honor!


message 42: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments I didn't even consider the havoc the virus/quarantine must be having on publishers. Many people i know are reading during confinement but every single one has turned to ebooks. Yikes!

We have gone to the library since it reopened but the numbers are obviously down. It doesn't help, i suspect, that the computers are not all available (social distancing) and they've removed the standing art gallery.


message 43: by John (new)

John | 1235 comments Alias Reader wrote: "National Book Awards Finalists Announced !

There are now five contenders each for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature and young people’s literature.

The winners will be named in N..."


High as the Waters Rise: A Novel sounds interesting, and my library ebook queue isn't too bad so I put in a hold.


message 44: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments Annette wrote:Under the Tulip Tree

It is our choice “to be a small pebble on the path to the peaceful existence among people of different races and socioeconomic status.” And that’s what this story explores.

5/5 There is so much wisdom and honesty in this story that I truly hope it sells in record numbers. That’s the kind of book that I hope it reaches masses of people. It’s a perfect timing for such story., better known as Anne Hathaway, who meets a young Latin tut..."


Thanks for bringing this title to my attention, Annette.


message 45: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments madrano wrote: "Lo! and Behold! I've actually read one of the nominees for the National Book Award..."

:) Sounds like they appreciated the originality of the book.


message 46: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments John wrote:
High as the Waters Rise: A Novel sounds interesting, and my library ebook queue isn't too bad so I put in a hold..."


That does sound interesting.


message 47: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments madrano wrote: "I didn't even consider the havoc the virus/quarantine must be having on publishers. Many people i know are reading during confinement but every single one has turned to ebooks. Yikes!

We have gone..."


In NYC it's only grab and go. You can't browse. No computers. They are only allowing a few people in at one time. And not all the branches are open.


message 48: by John (new)

John | 1235 comments Same here - - held items picked up from a table outside.


message 49: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11927 comments I wonder if our laxness is due to the fact we are in Texas, where as numbers rose the governor allowed inside dining to increase to 75%?

In my branch i was surprised to see that two patrons were sitting at tables, reading. Of course all were masked and they only allow people who live in the city in. Even if you've purchased lending rights to our library, they aren't allowed in at this time.


message 50: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19177 comments

**************** Horror ***********


----- Flyaway
by Kathleen Jennings

What it's about: Years after her father and brothers vanished, Bettina Scott receives a cryptic letter written in one of her brothers' handwriting and sets off to discover what really happened to her family.

Why you might like it: Debut author Kathleen Jennings' haunting Australian Gothic offers descriptive prose, an atmospheric setting, and a folklore-infused mystery.

Reviewers say: "An unforgettable tale, as beautiful as it is thorny" (The New York Times).



----- Night of the Mannequins
by Stephen Graham Jones

Starring: Texas teen and unreliable narrator Sawyer, who crafts a twisted plan to best an unusual adversary.

How it began: "Manny," the department store mannequin Sawyer and his friends posed in a movie theater as a prank, has come to life and is hell-bent on killing off the kids one by one.

Read it for: a fast-paced and darkly humorous homage to slasher films.



----- The Invention of Sound
by Chuck Palahniuk

What it is: a transgressive send-up of Hollywood movie-making; a gruesome exploration of the commodification of violence.

What it's about: When grieving father Foster Gates hears the voice of his presumed-dead daughter in a horror film, he tracks down Mitzi Ives, the Foley artist responsible for the sound. Meanwhile, Mitzi is harboring dark secrets that could destroy Tinseltown's fragile facade.

Is it for you? This nihilistic latest from Fight Club's Chuck Palahniuk is full of twists, unlikeable characters, and insights on the power of art.



------ The Living Dead
by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus

What it is: the final zombie tale from Night of the Living Dead director George A. Romero, completed by Blood Sugar author and lifelong Romero fan Daniel Kraus following Romero's 2017 death.

Why you might like it: This fast-paced epic follows a large and diverse cast of well-drawn characters as they navigate 15 years of a zombie apocalypse.

Don't miss: the winking nods to Romero's films.



------ The Hollow Ones
by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

What it's about: When her partner inexplicably attacks a child during a raid, FBI agent Odessa Hardwicke shoots him dead and watches in horror as a spectral entity leaves his corpse. Enlisting the help of occult detective John Blackwood, Odessa hopes to track down the centuries-old menace responsible for her partner's demise.

Series alert: The Hollow Ones kicks off the Blackwood Tapes series.

For fans of: Algernon Blackwood's occult detective tales; the creepy Lovecraftian horror of T. Kingfisher's The Twisted Ones.



****** Lovecraftian Horror *******

----- Through the Woods
by Emily Carroll

What's inside: A dismembered bride. A monster in human skin. A wolf outside your window.

Why you might like it: Familiar fairy tale themes get a visually arresting new spin in this collection of young adult horror comics inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and the Brothers Grimm. Canadian artist Emily Carroll illustrates each chilling tale with bold colors (emphasis on blood red), careful details, and suspenseful pacing.



------ A Cosmology of Monsters
by Shaun Hamill

What it's about: Noah's family runs a popular haunted house attraction in Texas, and they're all in denial about the cosmic horrors that have plagued them for years.

What sets it apart: the unlikely (and...sexually charged?) friendship that forms between Noah and the wolfish supernatural creature that lurks outside his bedroom window.

Want a taste? "My monster suit always fit better than my regular skin."



----- Maplecroft
by Cherie Priest

Lizzie Borden took an axe... in self-defense against the terrifying Lovecraftian sea monsters who possessed her parents' bodies.

Who it's for: This fast-paced epistolary novel will appeal to readers who enjoy the alternate history/horror mash-ups of Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter series.

Series alert: Maplecroft is the 1st in the Borden Dispatches series; Lizzie's adventures continue in Chapelwood.



------ Lovecraft Country
by Matt Ruff

What it's about: While looking for his missing father in 1954 Massachusetts, Black Army vet Atticus Turner and his friends discover a menacing cult whose leader wants to use Atticus in a horrifying ritual.

Read it for: a thought-provoking homage to H.P. Lovecraft's weird fiction -- and an unflinching condemnation of his racist views.

TV buzz: An adaptation co-produced by Underground creator Misha Green and Get Out director Jordan Peele recently began airing on HBO.


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