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Monthly "READS" > August 2010 reads

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JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Please list and describe the books you read during the past month. Links to books are greatly appreciated.


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
The books I read and "reviewed" in August (just three) can be found here

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...


message 3: by Kristen (new)

Kristen  (yogamamareads) Here are my August reads:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...


message 4: by Emma (new)

Emma (merebuilt) I've only read one book in full, this month: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Reading this at the moment:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 5: by Connie (new)

Connie (constants) | 49 comments The Best of Everything - Rona Jaffe. Written in 1958, set in 1952-4, this is the story of 5 young women living in New York and working in a big publishing house. Reading it was like hearing the stories of the women in the background scenes in "Mad Men." There's all kinds of scandalous stuff here - sexual harassment, affairs, abortion, obsession and I loved every juicy detail! This is a book that my mother and her friends were probably reading back in the day, and no doubt hiding from their husbands. What a great read. A+

Life Sentences - Laura Lippman. I've always wanted to read a Laura Lippman book - she is married to David Simon who wrote "The Wire" after all, but maybe this wasn't the one to start with. A young writer returns to her hometown of Baltimore to try to tell the story of a girl she grew up with who was accused of murdering her child. I kept losing track of the characters, past and present and this was one of those books which, when I set it down, it didn't "call" for me to pick it back up. I wanted to like it more than I did. C+

Rich Boy - Sharon Pomerantz. I have yet to read a bad review of this book, but I am about to write one. After much thought, I think the thing I didn't like was that I expected Rich Boy to be a more "substantial" book when it really is something of a "beach read." That's not a bad thing. That's just not what I was expecting, so for that reason I found it disappointing. I thought the characters were predictable. The tightwad mother. The mysterious first love. A gay man living in New York in the early 1980's.......gosh, I wonder what's going to happen to him. I wouldn't recommend that people not read it, just that they don't expect too much from it. B-

Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins. This is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy and it continues the story of Katniss and Peeta who triumphed in the first book but are thrown back into the arena to fight again here. I enjoyed the story and turned the pages eagerly, but I must say this is one violent story. Life continues to be very cheap in the futuristic country of Panem, but I loved the cliff-hanger ending of the book and am looking forward to reading "Mockingjay" - the final book in the series. A-

The Best of Everything
Life Sentences
Rich BoyRich Boy
Catching Fire


message 6: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments >>Life Sentences - Laura Lippman. I've always wanted to read a Laura Lippman book - she is married to David Simon who wrote "The Wire" after all, but maybe this wasn't the one to start with. <<

I've seen quite a few Lippman fans write that Life Sentences was a bit disappointing. I enjoyed it, but I pretty much like everything she has written. You might want to try What the Dead Know. It is my favorite of her standalones so far. Am looking forward to reading her latest I'd Know You Anywhere which I just picked up from the library.


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Lippman did a book signing earlier this month at my beach library. Her parents live in the next town down the coast. She was a big hit, I heard.


message 8: by Reeves (new)

Reeves Honey | 142 comments Subject: Re: New discussions from Readers and Reading
I had gotten Rich Boy from the library and put it down not sure if I would pick it up again.......now know I won't as I am not in the mood for a predictable,long tome!
I had started Days of Grace by Catherine Hall which I got as a bday gift so wanted to finish that. I did and it was very well written but I couldn't help calling the author "Debbie Downer" to myself. Next to The Very thought Of You by Rosie Allen,a book with a very similar plot(child who was evacuated to British upper class life in the country during WW2 witnesses more than she should and looks back sadly as an old,ill woman in present times)it was the most depressing book I read this summer.
I just got Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and I have already LOL a few times by about page 20! A good sign.


message 9: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments x-posted at M/T reading friends

August was so hot here that I just stayed inside with the air cranked and read. My highest book count all year.

Top Reads

The Price of Butcher's Meat by Reginald Hill The Price of Butcher's Meat
Reginald Hill
This series is one of my all time favorites and this entry does not disappoint. The plot is Hill's take on the classic English House Party mystery with inspiration also taken from Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sandition (Two Unfinished Novels by Jane Austen: Sandition & The Watsons). This was a dense, leisurely paced tale with lots of red herrings, false turns, and some of the most interesting characters in crime fiction.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard The Scent of Rain and Lightning
Nancy Pickard
Very satisfying suspense tale set in rural Kansas. The plot was my favorite type, the characters were well drawn, and Pickard's writing style made the entire book compulsively readable.

The Republic of Night by Dominic Martell The Republic of Night
Dominic Martell
Pascual Rose, former terrorist turned CIA informant during the eighties, just wants to live a quiet life in Barcelona but when a team of French operatives turn up and want him to identify a former comrade he is drawn back into the dangerous world of international espionage. The author, who also writes superb books under the name of Sam Reaves, keeps the tension high throughout the many twists and turns of the plot. Lots of suspense, lies, treachery, and even some romance.

Moonlight Downs by Adrian Hyland Moonlight Downs
Adrian Hyland
One of my best reads of the year, a very impressive debut that I could not put down. Loved the Australian Outback setting, thought the characters (especially Emily Tempest the half white, half aboriginal lead) were fully fleshed out and believable, and the author did a great job of relating the many different facets of life in the Outback with both humor and respect while still keeping the plot tight and suspenseful.

Life's Work by Jonathan Valin Life's Work
Jonathan Valin
Great entry in this PI series set in Cincinnati. Harry Stoner is hired by the professional football team in Cincy to find one of their players who has gone AWOL from training camp. Excellent plot with well-rounded, realistic characters.

Good Reads

Death of a Perfect Wife by M.C. Beaton Death of a Perfect Wife
M.C. Beaton
Lochdubh's locals are not sure what to make of the English couple who move in and open up a Bed and Breakfast but the wife soon makes a big impression. A fun, light village mystery. Listened to the audio version read by Davina Porter.

This Time Together Laughter and Reflections by Carol Burnett This Time Together: Laughter and Reflections
Carol Burnett
A feel-good memoir (really a collection of reminiscences and stories) of Burnett's life and career from her first jobs in California, to moving to New York City and landing her first job on Broadway, to her television success. I listened to the audio version read by the author and I think this greatly enhanced the experience. Burnett can still really project her voice and the humor and emotion really came through.

Medium Raw A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook
Anthony Bourdain
More of a collection of essays than a true follow-up to Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, this was an entertaining look at how the author's life and the food industry have changed in the ten years since his publishing success. Bourdain does not pull any punches and does not spare himself but does keep it humorous in an over the top way.

Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3) by Jim Butcher Grave Peril
Jim Butcher
Something has the ghosts of Chicago stirred up and Harry Dresden, the only wizard in the phone book, must find out what is going on. Lots of action (perhaps a bit too much) and I enjoyed meeting some of the new characters that were introduced in this book. The main reason that I continue on with the series though is the voice of James Marsters who does a great job with the narration on the audio version.

Ash & Bone (Frank Elder, #2) by John Harvey Ash & Bone
John Harvey
Called in to consult on a murder investigation, retired former policeman Frank Elder leaves his self-imposed exile in Cornwall to go to London to work on the case. Perfectly acceptable crime novel that is well written but Frank and this series are just not in the same league as the author's previous works featuring Charlie Resnick and the Nottingham police force.


message 10: by Sandi (last edited Sep 01, 2010 07:47PM) (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments August Reads Cont.

Good Reads

Kindness Goes Unpunished (Walt Longmire, #3) by Craig Johnson Kindness Goes Unpunished
Craig Johnson
Sheriff Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear travel to Philadelphia to visit Walt's daughter but when violence erupts they decide to bring some frontier justice to the big city. This book was a bit of a hiccup in a normally great series for me. I really missed the Wyoming setting, was not that impressed with Walt's evolution into an action hero, and did not care for how some of the relationships between the characters were handled. On the plus side, I loved listening to George Guidall's narration on the audio version.

A Private Inquiry by Jessica Mann A Private Inquiry
Jessica Mann
Crisply written tale of psychological suspense set mostly in Cornwall England. Interesting female characters and a clever plot made this well worth reading.

Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell Tomato Red
Daniel Woodrell
Dark, gritty story set in a small Ozark town featuring the kind losers whose lot in life seems preordained no matter what they do. I can see why this book was so highly praised as lyrical, authentic, and the like but for some reason the story and the characters just did not engage me like I thought they would considering that I have really enjoyed the author's previous work.

The Sinner (Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles, #3) by Tess Gerritsen The Sinner
Tess Gerritsen
I listen to this series more for the characters than the plot but in this entry I found the plot very compelling and was pleased that Dr. Isles took center stage. I listened to the audio version read by Anna Fields.

Crossfire by Miyuki Miyabe Crossfire
Miyuki Miyabe
Very readable story of vigilante justice set in Tokyo with a touch of the paranormal. This started off a bit slowly and it took me awhile to really get engaged with the story but by the end I was burning through the pages and thought Miyuki Miyabe did a great job pulling all the plot strands together into a satisfying ending.

Stick by Elmore Leonard Stick
Elmore Leonard
I've usually enjoyed the Leonard books set in Detroit much more than the ones set in Miami but this will rank among my favorites. Part of the reason was the return of Ernest Stickley who first appeared in Swag which is probably my all time favorite book by Elmore Leonard so far. Listened to the audio which was expertly read by the late Frank Muller.

OK Read

Bless Your Heart, Tramp And Other Southern Endearments by Celia Rivenbark Bless Your Heart, Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments
Celia Rivenbark
Collection of humor columns which I found more miss than hit but on the positive side none were longer than three pages. The first section about home life did not really appeal to me at all but I did enjoy the second section about life in "The South" and I now know the difference between "a mess" and a "gracious plenty".


message 11: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments Kristen wrote: "Here are my August reads:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/..."


Great list, Kristen. Lots of books that have not come across my radar.

Birthmarked and Ship Breaker both look very interesting.


message 12: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Sandi wrote: "The Scent of Rain and Lightning
Nancy Pickard
Very satisfying suspense tale set in rural Kansas. The plot was my favorite type, the characters were well drawn, and Pickard's writing style made the entire book compulsively readable..."


Sandi, I am not a fan of mysteries but loved this book. What other books could you suggest that have this type of plot but is not the "normal" mystery type of book?

Thanks


message 13: by DeeAnn (new)

DeeAnn (anndeehi) JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Please list and describe the books you read during the past month. Links to books are greatly appreciated."

Hi JoAnn, can you tell me (us) how to add links please.
Thanks so much!


message 14: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments >>Sandi, I am not a fan of mysteries but loved this book (The Scent of Rain and Lightning). What other books could you suggest that have this type of plot but is not the "normal" mystery type of book?

Thanks <<

Here are some favorites of mine over the years that I think have that little something extra that, like the two most recent books by Nancy Pickard, you might find interesting.

Beyond Recall A Novel by Robert Goddard Beyond Recall: A Novel
Robert Goddard

The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale The Bottoms
Joe R. Lansdale

A Place of Execution by Val McDermid A Place of Execution
Val McDermid

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman What the Dead Know
Laura Lippman
or really any of her stand-alones.

Innocent Blood by P.D. James Innocent Blood
P.D. James

Also just about anything by Minette Walters and Gillian Flynn though they both can be pretty dark.


message 15: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
DeeAnn wrote: "Hi JoAnn, can you tell me (us) how to add links please.
Thanks so much! "


Just above the comment box, there is a link that says "add book/author". Click on that and type in the name of the book you would like to link us to. Click SEARCH.

A new semi-transparent box will open, "overlying" the screen....hopefully with the name of the book you intended to find. Click on the box that says ADD and you will see brackets with a book title and number inside them appear in you comment. When you post the comment, this will turn into a link.

Magic, huh?


message 16: by DeeAnn (new)

DeeAnn (anndeehi) That is magic. Thanks so much!


message 17: by Heather (last edited Sep 04, 2010 11:12AM) (new)

Heather (medtechknitter) Here are my August reads, just not enough hours left in August after all the family visits and work issues to do any serious reading...

False Impression: by Jeffery Archer - I've read several of Archer's books and enjoyed each one. This book takes place all over the world begining with New Youk and the 9/11 tragedy. The plot just doesn't seem very likely considering who the main character is up against. This book is worth the read, but it's not nearly as well written as previous Archer books.

Portrait of an Unknown Woman By Vanora Bennett. This book is for art lovers and fans of historical fiction. The story is told by Meg the adopted daughter of Sir Thomas More during the years More is struggling against Martin Luther's protestant reformation and Henry VIII eventually leaving the Catholic church to obtain a divorce and marry Anne Boleyn. This was the first novel I have read by Bennett and I throughly enjoy it.


message 18: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 54 comments My August reads were

The Mercedes Coffin (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #17) This is part of the Peter Decker/Rina Lazrus series. My rating was aa 3 on a scale of 5. It was an enjoyable read

U is for Undertow This is the most recent Sue Grafton. I gave it a 4. It was one of her better plots and it is always fun to read a book with character you have seen develop over the years

Every Last One I gave this book a 4 rating. I always enjoy Anna Quindlen novels but the last coup the endings have seemed a little to pat. However, it was a quick read and the plot moved quickly.

Empire Falls I gave this book a rating of 5. I think Russo is a wonderful writer. His writing enables the reader to vividly picture the characters and their environs

Meredith


message 19: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments >>Empire FallsI gave this book a rating of 5. I think Russo is a wonderful writer. His writing enables the reader to vividly picture the characters and their environs<<

I agree, I love Richard Russo's books. My favorite is still Nobody's Fool which was the first one I read. The movie was also pretty good.


message 20: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 42 comments I read five books in August:
1. Farro, Rita—Life is Not a Dress Size. Finished 8/3/10. Rating 10; non-fiction. After the author was a guest moderator on the Creative Machine Yahoo message board, I decided to order the book. Although the author has bolder tastes than I do, her attitude and enthusiasm for life and acceptance of oneself are inspiring. The two-point scarf and faux piping ideas are ones I hope to try.
2. Moran, Johanna—The Wives of Henry Oades. Finished 8/13/10. Rating 10; fiction. Read with Book Buddies. After Margaret and her children are kidnapped by the Maori while in New Zealand in the 1890’s and are presumed dead, her husband Henry (he had come to New Zealand with the family from England after accepting an accounting position there) leaves to California hoping to overcome his grief. He eventually remarries. The family is released from the Maori and returns to Henry. Although there is much hurt, the families are trying to work out how they will live when charges are brought claiming bigamy. In spite of all the hurt, the wives are able to form a close friendship.
3. Halpern, Justin—Sh*t My Dad Says. Finished 8/21/10. Rating 9; non-fiction. Profound profanity from the author’s father who does cancer research as a doctor of nuclear medicine in a sort of auto-biographical account of the author and his father.
4. Bostwick, Marie—A Thread So Thin---third book in Cobbled Court series. Finished 8/22/10. Rating 8; fiction. Abigail winds up going to the extreme in planning the wedding for her niece Liza who is engage to marry Garrett, the son of the owner of Cobbled Court Quilt shop.
5. Manteufel, Thomas—Churches in America. Finished 8/26/10. Rating 6; non-fiction. Discussion of churches in America from a Lutheran perspective.


I listened to one audio book:
Skloot, Rebecca—The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks—read by Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin; Finished 8/2/10. Audio; non-fiction; rating 10. Exploration of the immortal cells of cervical cancer victim 31-year-old Henrietta Lacks used for cell research, the impact on her family who didn’t learn about the scientific work the cells contributed to, and the questions of the ethics involved in cell research.


message 21: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) sounds like pretty light reading for August


message 22: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (debatl) | 105 comments Shirley wrote: "I read five books in August:
1. Farro, Rita—Life is Not a Dress Size. Finished 8/3/10. Rating 10; non-fiction. After the author was a guest moderator on the Creative Machine Yahoo message board..."


I didnt realize that there was a 3rd book out. I need to go find it. I loved this series. Thanks for reading it and telling me it was out.


message 23: by Kriverbend (new)

Kriverbend | 78 comments Just above the comment box, there is a link that says "add book/author". Click on that and type in the name..."
Magic, indeed! Thanks for the info, JoAnn.

I just finished this book...I recommend it.

The Glass Room


message 24: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
I think I know someone who might like The Glass Room, Lois. "R"...are you listening?


message 25: by NancyInWI (new)

NancyInWI (nanckopf) | 47 comments Harvesting the HeartI gave this a 3 out of 5 rating. This was the 2nd book Jodi Picoult ever wrote. Engaging writing, it was just that I didn't like the characters very much. The heroine was annoying and I would've liked to have slapped her a couple of times. Her husband was an arrogant snob who I also could've slapped. There were just too many instances where I said "that would never happen"



The Memory Keeper's DaughterI rated this one 3.5 out of 5. Engaging read, but I found it to plod once I got about half-way through.


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