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Reading Discussions > October 2020 Reading Discussion

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message 1: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
Hey everyone, We've made it to October! We are three quarters of the way through 2020, how are you doing with the ATY challenge? What books are you reading this month?


message 2: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (last edited Oct 01, 2020 04:19PM) (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
kjhflaksdjfhlsdhflksdjafkhgdsjfkldahskjl

My brain when I realized it was October.

I'm currently listening to East of Eden and not enjoying it much, but it's 25 hours long and I'm already 8 hours invested so I may as well finish it and knock out the classic prompt.

I also read 12 pages The Paris Hours, so I guess that's my print book in progress, even though those 12 pages were read 3 days ago.

October, be gentle.


message 3: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
Emily wrote: "kjhflaksdjfhlsdhflksdjafkhgdsjfkldahskjl

My brain when I realized it was October...."


HHAHAHAHAHA.... that was me at 3:45 pm when I realized it was newsletter day lol.

Emily, I have a little over 6 hours of Know My Name left on audio and it's so so so good. I can only listen when the girls arent home though. Lucky for me I have lots of cleaning and organizing to do this weekend.

I finished The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly last night for the challenge and it was really good. I'm not making much progress on my library stack though. They're kind of just sitting here because I've been wanting to read off my kindle lately. I should probably just return them, and check them out another time if I feel like it.


message 4: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1785 comments I seem to remember East of Eden being the most tedious thing I read at school! I'm really not a fan of Steinbeck.

I am just about on track, I feel if I hadn't slacked off reading in May and June I'd be done by now. There's lots of new releases I want to read so I need to find a way to force them into prompts.

I'm currently listening to The Fated Sky for the Maximillian Hell prompt and reading A Deadly Education for Popsugar.


message 5: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
Oooh Ellie, I want to know how A Deadly Education is! I loved Spinning Silver and my book club is reading Uprooted in November. I was tempted to get this one from Book of the Month Club, but decided against it for this month.

Tracy, Know My Name is my favorite nonfiction of the year. I listened to it back in January and nothing has topped it since.


message 6: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2571 comments I am hoping to finish up the challenge by the end of November. I'm reading 2 books - The Tsar of Love and Techno for the Art prompt and Archangel for the 2 book prompt. I plan to read Dust for the Related to Something you Read last year prompt. I should be able to at least start 1 more book, maybe Far From the Madding Crowd for the 20th book prompt or The Lacuna for one of the award prompts. I started The Lacuna on audio but fell asleep! I'll probably have to read the hardback instead. After that, I will have 3 prompts left! Maximillian Hell is one of my last ones to fill. I'm still waiting for the right book to appear!


message 7: by Traci (new)

Traci (tracibartz) | 1014 comments I checked out physical books from the library yesterday! For the first time since March! We finally were able to place new holds for curbside pick-up last month. 3 or 4 of them will go towards ATY. I have 10 books left for the challenge and am aiming to finish in November unless I get sidetracked by 2020 releases to vote in the Goodreads awards. Though, without access to the physical library, that will happen much less than usual.


message 8: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (last edited Oct 02, 2020 12:18PM) (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
I have read 44 books towards the challenge so far ( out of 72 books total for the year)....... and I have 14 prompts left to go to finish LOL. That math doesn't add up. I doubled up on quite a few prompts, especially during lock down, as I was reading things that fit and then other planned books came available. I just started Still Life by Louise Penny, which is for "A book by a Canadian author". I know there are quite a few people in one of my other groups who LOVE this series, but I'm not really getting into it yet. Wondering if it gets better??


message 9: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 1924 comments Mod
I only have 2 or 3 left to finish the challenge for the 2nd time. I am thinking of making some other kind of challenge from rejected prompts or something else for the last few months. But on the other hand, this is my chance to read longer books like These Truths: A History of the United States, or just anything that strikes my fancy.

I just started listening to Troubled Blood, which is 32 hours and isn't for any particular prompt. I know there are issues about JK Rowling's views but I love the Cormoran Strike series, especially on audio. I usually dislike mysteries with darker themes, serial killers, etc. but the other elements of the books offset that for me. When it became known who the author was, a woman reader said she could tell it wasn't a man because of the way the author wrote about how it felt to get engaged. In this book, there's a discussion about perfume that I don't think a man would create.


message 10: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
I'm really bummed because I planned on using The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell for the Maximillian Hell prompt (it was one of only two books I even considered for the prompt), and when I went to get it from my library, they only have the version on CD (?!?!?) and the fiscal year is ending so I'll have to wait a couple months until they can order new books. Hopefully they get it in by December!


message 11: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (last edited Oct 03, 2020 06:30AM) (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
Emily wrote: "I'm really bummed because I planned on using The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell for the Maximillian Hell prompt (it was one of only two books I even considered for the prompt), and ..."

Emily, Do you have a kindle? I read this book earlier this year, and found it on kindle unlimited, so I was able to get it free through the one month trial. Then I cancelled my subscription. I just took a peek and it's still available if you want to go to those lengths to get it LOL.


message 12: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1785 comments Emily wrote: "Oooh Ellie, I want to know how A Deadly Education is! I loved Spinning Silver and my book club is reading Uprooted in November. I was tempted to get this one from Bo..."

It's different than those two for sure. Not as polished, but I loved the characters and concept. Will definitely be reading the next one.


message 13: by Bryony, Circumnavigation Mod (new)

Bryony (bryony46) | 1081 comments Mod
Robin, I finished Troubled Blood last week and really enjoyed it. The relationship between Strike and Robin is brilliant and for me it makes the books really stand out from other contemporary mystery series. Hope you enjoy it too!


message 14: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Peterson | 461 comments Quiet today! The beginning of September was an excellent reading time for me - I bounced back from my August slump, I read a bunch of great 4 and 5 star books, all was good. The end of September has been a mad dash to finish my thesis in the midst of a time and energy consuming family crisis (all okay now, though!) and my reading time and ability to focus just plummeted. My thesis will be turned in on Monday, though, and I'm desperately looking forward to laying around and reading for a bit before moving on to the next things!

I'm currently making my slow way through A Gentleman in Moscow, which I'm honestly not in love with - disappointing because I really thought I was going to enjoy it, since on paper it has a ton of qualities that I typically love in books. I'm also reading To Hold Up the Sky, which is slow paced but great. I took a break from The Gene: An Intimate History because I just couldn't give it the requisite amount of attention while also focusing so much on my thesis, but I'm looking forward to returning to it maybe later in the month. I'm also going to tackle One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I have out from the library in physical form - I've been missing reading paper books! Besides that, it'll depend what comes through on Libby next, likely Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, which I'm using for transportation on the cover, or Smilla's Sense of Snow, which was on my TBR but I didn't remember putting it there.

I have 20 books left for my challenge, which is quite a bit far behind (the number of side reads I've done this year perfectly corresponds with how many books behind I am - aargh!) but I'm hoping that once I'm done with my degree I'll have a lot more energy for reading, since I won't have so many long, complicated academic books to read!


message 15: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (last edited Oct 03, 2020 11:18AM) (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
Congrats on finishing your thesis, Hannah! I hope you have lots more time for reading now!

Tracy, I don't read on kindle... I may end up just buying the book from Amazon with a gift card I have laying around.


message 16: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1757 comments Tracy wrote: "I have read 44 books towards the challenge so far ( out of 72 books total for the year)....... and I have 14 prompts left to go to finish LOL. That math doesn't add up. I doubled up on quite a few ..."

I read that book for the Canadian author prompt too. Unfortunately, it was just a meh book for me. I thought maybe it was just because mystery is not my favorite genre.


message 17: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (last edited Oct 03, 2020 07:20PM) (new)

Robin P | 1924 comments Mod
Hannah wrote: "Quiet today! The beginning of September was an excellent reading time for me - I bounced back from my August slump, I read a bunch of great 4 and 5 star books, all was good. The end of September ha..."

So impressive you could read this much while working on a thesis and you have some chunksters there! I also wasn't thrilled with A Gentleman in Moscow. Part of the point is that nothing much happens but I found it weird that while war and famine were going on outside, the big concern inside was having the right wine for meals. I also didn't like the too-common trope of the magic child who has no effects from her own trauma and just is there to help everyone else enjoy life. The end is the best part, though, in my opinion so it's worth getting to that.


message 18: by Jette (new)

Jette | 109 comments Hannah wrote: "Quiet today! The beginning of September was an excellent reading time for me - I bounced back from my August slump, I read a bunch of great 4 and 5 star books, all was good. The end of September ha..."

Congrats on finishing your thesis, I don’t know how far along you are in A Gentleman in Moscow, but I had the same reaction at first and it ended up as a favorite read. Hang in there.

As far as my own challenge, I’ve completed 41 books. Last week was Fall Break and I finished 5 books. I was so far behind because I quit reading in March and only restarted in late July. Covid hit me hard emotionally and I’m just now getting back to myself.


message 19: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 1924 comments Mod
I finished my 2nd round of the challenge! I give credit to this group for my reading more than ever this year (though the pandemic might have had something to do with it.)


message 20: by Kendra (new)

Kendra | 1013 comments Congrats Robin!


message 21: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 2340 comments Congratulations, Robin!


message 22: by Pam (last edited Oct 07, 2020 08:50AM) (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2571 comments So, 5 minutes after writing on this thread that the Maximillian Hell prompt was one of my last ones to fill and I was still waiting for the right book to appear, the book appeared in another GR group topic! One of their September group reads was Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy. When I pulled up the audiobook on Hoopla, it has a picture of the solar system! I knew I was on the right track. The tower is an astronomical tower (built during M. Hell's lifetime) and one of the main characters is a budding astronomer.

I'm also listening to The Phantom Tollbooth, a children's book I am not familiar with, for a group read. I'm also considering reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and This House Is Haunted by John Boyne for my Motley Challenge in another group - horror story and ghost story. October seems to be a good time for these two books! This House is Haunted would also count for the ATY challenge - book by a favorite author from the last 2 years.


message 23: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
Another day, another hurricane coming right for my face.

Stocking up on books! Currently reading The Paris Hours (if you can define reading one page a day "currently reading"), and I'll probably finish East of Eden tomorrow or Friday.

I'll probably have to make a pass at the library today or early tomorrow to get a few books for the long weekend without electricity. Thinking of picking up The Library at Mount Char for the lesser known book, Riders for the four horseman book, and maybe Recursion for the book about time. I'm one book behind on my ATY challenge so I'll probably spend all month reading for the challenge and focusing on getting ahead going into November (a notoriously terrible reading month for me every year).


message 24: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
I finished Still Life and actually ended up liking it. Maybe 3.5 stars? I really loved the characters, but I know I won't continue the series.

Moved on to The Night Tiger, last night, and so far it's really good. I read close to 100 pages in one sitting.

Emily, wishing you luck with the hurricane. I can't believe you're getting two big ones in a row. 2020 is just awful, followed by more awful.

Robin congrats on the double round :-)


message 25: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1394 comments Mod
My parents are coming in this weekend so I spent the whole day cleaning and listening to an audiobook. Wish I could say I liked it lol.


message 26: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2687 comments I finished off A Game for All the Family earlier today, and while there were some parts of it that I absolutely loved, I couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed with other aspects of it. Some of the story seemed very farfetched to me, and I didn't love the ending.

Now, I'm listening to the audiobook of Only Child and I'm loving it. It's about a 6-year-old boy who survives a school shooting, but his older brother was killed during it. I've read a few books that deal with school shootings, but never from this perspective.


message 27: by Joan (new)

Joan Barnett | 1611 comments Rachel wrote: "I finished off A Game for All the Family earlier today, and while there were some parts of it that I absolutely loved, I couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed with other aspects ..."

Only Child sounds interesting. I just read Columbine so I'm not sure I want to read Only Child in the near future but I think I'll put that one on my list.


message 28: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (last edited Oct 12, 2020 05:50AM) (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
I'm in such a slump!

I just speed listened to the classic book (East of Eden) and I think it just really slowed me down. I also picked up The Paris Hours for a short historical fiction read but there are four points of view and I keep mixing them up. It's a shame because I love historical fiction and was looking forward to that prompt, but this one just isn't cutting it for me.

After those two are good and done, I'll still be one book behind on ATY.... maybe if I make a plan here, I can focus on finishing them lol. Or I can get recommendations because most of these haven't been read because I don't know what to read for them.

Maximillian Hell - was going to read The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, but it's not available at the library and they aren't sure when they will get it, so... need another option for this one

Theme of Survival - again, no idea what to read... I don't really want an adventure book because *2020 is adventure enough* so... idk

Emotion in the Title - I have a few on my bookshelf that could work

Book by an Australian, Canadian, or New Zealand author - will probably either do The Couple Next Door or Illuminae for this one

Underrated or Lesser Known - I used the lesser known list we created a couple years ago (last year?) and picked The Library at Mount Char for this prompt... it's already checked out from the library so this will probably be my next read

NYT Notable List - all the books I picked for this prompt seem kind of heavy... I'll probably go with either Behold the Dreamers or The Book of Unknown Americans

Book Picked Up on a Whim - I'll probably just go to the library and grab something for this one, depending on my mood

Four Horseman - I picked up Riders from the library last week because it's perfect for this prompt and seems like an easier read, despite the subject matter (maybe it's because it's small lol)

Witches - not sure what to read for this one, which is ridiculous because I really enjoy witchy books... might use Uprooted since my book club is reading it in November

Same Author as Your Best Read - I have a few on the list, including the next in a few different series... this one shouldn't be too difficult

Silhouette on the Cover - just started listening to The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business specifically for this prompt and to clear it off my TBR
The Power of Habit Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Related to Time - this will be Recursion... eventually

Thank you for giving me space to figure myself out lol. Feel free to give me recommendations, please and thank you.


message 29: by Donna (new)

Donna | 137 comments Do you like nonfiction? If so, you might consider a book about endangered species or something similar. Would that fit the "survival" theme?


message 30: by Lizzy (new)

Lizzy | 733 comments Emily wrote: "I'm in such a slump!

I just speed listened to the classic book (East of Eden) and I think it just really slowed me down. I also picked up The Paris Hours for a short hi..."


If you feel like nonfiction at the moment, I loved Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening for the emotion in the title... a really heartfelt book by a woman from Saudi Arabia. This is the book I will list on my end of year summary for... read due to the challenge, and so glad I did.


message 31: by Hannah (last edited Oct 12, 2020 08:08AM) (new)

Hannah Peterson | 461 comments I think survival can be interpreted pretty broadly - like I would count a lot of mystery/thrillers if they were focused on catching a murderer, particularly if the main character was in danger throughout the book. I was also thinking it would be a good opportunity to read a book related to the BLM movement (I see you have Dear Martin on your list - I haven't read it, but based on what I know about it, I would count it) or about the history of slavery (I was thinking about using The Underground Railroad).

For the witches, I read Howl's Moving Castle, which was really charming and delightful and a quick, fun read. I don't know quite enough about your reading preferences to know if it would be to your taste, but if you like YA fantasy, you could give it a try!


message 32: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1331 comments I agree with Hannah, survival does not have to be an adventure book. I was thinking along the same lines like surviving the residential schools in Canada, slavery or being in prison. It could also refer to a natural disaster.


message 33: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (last edited Oct 12, 2020 09:02AM) (new)

Robin P | 1924 comments Mod
I ended up counting Virgil Wander for survival. In the very first scene, the main character survives driving off a road in fog into a lake. The aftermath of that determines the rest of the book. There are several other brushes with death and a theme of the survival of a small town, but overall it is a feel-good story and the audio was wonderful. I had no intention of using it for that purpose before I read it. That kind of unexpected find for a prompt is my favorite!


message 34: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 1924 comments Mod
If anyone wants a quick read for the prompt of a rural or sparsely inhabited place, I just read and enjoyed Jim the Boy about a 10-year old in North Carolina in the Depression. It's very simple and rather old-fashioned even though it's a current writer.


message 35: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 225 comments I read Dear Edward for the book about survival. It was a little slow and repetitive at times, but overall a good read.


message 36: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1785 comments Illuminae is a quick read and you could always use it for survival if you don't use it for Australian author.


message 37: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
Thank you for all of the recommendations, especially for survival! I've read a ton of books that would probably work, I just didn't think of them beforehand. My book club is reading In a Dark, Dark Wood this month, so maybe I'll be able to slot it in there.


message 38: by Ali (new)

Ali | 66 comments I've officially given up on reading ATY in order. I got through up to 38 in order (no purchases either!) I had to swap the book for name you can't pronounce a couple of times, got behind and couldn't seem to get caught up. It was stressing me out so I've decided to finish off the rest in whatever order I want.

I picked up Naked in Death to use for horsemen of the apocalypse and since then have been mindlessly hoovering up more audiobooks from that series....

I'm also very proud that I finished Becoming for word with ing this weekend. I bought the audio book when it came out and have had it sitting with 2 chapters read for the last 2 years - this is clearly why I now have a hard rule that I can't buy books!!


message 39: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
Ali, I support you and congratulate you in giving up reading in order lol. It is not for the faint of heart.


message 40: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1331 comments All done!!! I just finished my last read for ATYB and it was a good book to end on.

Recipe for a Perfect Wife Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

It was so much fun.


message 41: by Robin P, Orbicular Mod (new)

Robin P | 1924 comments Mod
Congrats to everyone who has finished- and to everyone who is making the challenge work for you, whether it’s in order or not!


message 42: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
I am thoroughly enjoying ( LOVING) Red, White & Royal Blue !!!!!! Absolutely adorable! Let's see how long I can stay awake tonight reading. I feel like if I hadn't just started torturing myself with a new job, I would have finished it in one sitting.

I have The Night Tiger on hold for the moment, but I am enjoying that one as well.

Not sure what I'm going to read next. I'll probably finish Matilda this weekend, even though I need to do some deep cleaning/organizing, and have a checklist longer than my arm of things I have to work overtime on for work orientation. The training has been SO intense.


message 43: by Sherri (new)

Sherri Harris | 896 comments Hi All, I can't believe I haven't posted an update since 9/16/2020. I have to develop a better system for posting updates. I have read seven books since then.
Open Season (Joe Pickett #1) by C.J.Box. 4 stars
Party of Two (The Wedding Date #5) by Jasmine Guillory. 3 stars
My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels #1) by Elena Ferrante.
3 stars
The Escape (John Puller #3) by David Baldacci. 4 stars
The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs (The Physick Book #2) by Katherine Howe. 3 stars
Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah 3 stars
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall 5 stars


message 44: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 2571 comments I finished The Phantom Tollbooth audiobook but slept during quite a bit of it so I’m skimming the ebook to find the portions I missed! It makes much more sense now! I’ve started reading Anna Karenina on the Serial Reader App for a group read in a classics GR group. I tried to start War and Peace but gave up almost immediately. I’ve also got Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese checked out.


message 45: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
Oh I really liked Anna Karenina via Serial Reader, although I admit that there were some installments that I skimmed/skipped when Vronsky was droning on about agriculture lol.


message 46: by Traci (new)

Traci (tracibartz) | 1014 comments I'm reading 52 books set in 52 countries. As you might imagine, it's taken a lot of planning. The mystery prompt has been tough since I didn't feel the book I picked fit as mystery and the others I found I had already read books for those countries or needed to read that country for a different prompt. So after lots of scouring, I found one that was supposed to be set in Cameroon....only to find it's mostly set in Equatorial Guinea, which of course I had already read a book for. Now I'm searching again and think I've found a book set in Gabon...here's hoping it actually works. It's amazing to me how difficult it sometimes is to determine setting. (rant over)


message 47: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
That's an amazing challenge, Traci!


message 48: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
I need some help. I've only finished two books this month, and both have been way less than stellar. I'm not enjoying the book I'm reading now but I'm going to push through it.

So which book should I read next? All of these will have to be read eventually, but I'lm looking for one that might be worthy of posting in the Best Books of the Month thread (which, at this point, just means it would earn at least 3 stars from me).

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
Recursion by Blake Crouch
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

Help!


message 49: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1646 comments Of the bunch I've only read the Library at Mt Char, which I found a great read, but I think it's one of those books that divide the waters. So, what are you in the mood for?
What's been lacking in your other recent reads? Sometimes you need to go a totally different route.


message 50: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7503 comments Mod
I think it's mostly been writing styles that has slowed me down. East of Eden and Steinbeck (bleh), The Paris Hours that has short chapters with four different perspectives so it was hard to connect to the characters, and now Riders which is YA and has short, choppy sentences and not a lot of depth.

I guess I'm just looking for characters or a storyline that's really going to draw me in.


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