As the Page Turns (the Book Thread)

emason

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4,162
@genevieve I read Andre Aciman’s memoir Out of Egypt twice, enjoying it both times. I was very much looking forward to Call Me by Your Name, but I gave up halfway through. I just couldn’t get into the characters; I’ll be interested to know what you think of Find Me.
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
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26,421
A friend who's been on an insane reading binge this year is reading this now and I added it to me "to-read" list last night. Maybe now I'll take it off :shuffle:
It's not terrible, and parts of it were very compelling. But overall? I dunno. But it's a fast read?
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
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2,704
I missed the November meeting of my book group and when I came back I found the December selection was Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore. It seemed like an unusual choice and I found out no one in the book group could come up with a title and a member of the library staff had recommended it.

I took it out as an ebook and read the first 6 pages, which I loathed and despised. The odds were against my liking the book (definitely not my style in novels), but although I did say to myself (and anyone else who would listen) that life is too short to read a book I loathed and despised, I did feel I should give it a little more than 6 pages.

I was very busy for a few days and figured I'd read as much of it as I could tolerate Monday-Wednesday, because I thought the due date was Thursday. But then I found out that Tuesday was the day it would vanish from my Kindle. So I spent yesterday reading the entire book, taking only 4-5 PM for Nicolle Wallace as a break. It was better than I thought it would be, but to some extent it still felt like homework.

So this morning I check the 10 day forecast and I find it's going to snow Sunday into Monday, which undoubtedly means schools will be closed on Monday and when schools are closed the library is closed and our book group meets in the library Monday, which means it won't, and I am shedding self pity and indignation like criminals shed DNA.

Reincarnation Blues is probably good of type, by the way, although it was a tad self-indulgent and could have used a firmer, more decisive editing job.
 

Susan1

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Just thought this was interesting. I saw a James Patterson commercial for the new Criss Cross. So I went to reserve it. There are 0 of 80 available, because it hasn't hit the library yet. But interesting that there will be 80 copies spread throughout the 10 (?) libraries. That's "books". I don't know about online. I am only 51st in line already. It will be on the 7 day shelf too though. Or I can wait. Depends on what I have on hand when I see it. I'm 36 on the reserve list for 19th Christmas (waiting another month would work out fine).
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
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Just thought this was interesting. I saw a James Patterson commercial for the new Criss Cross. So I went to reserve it. There are 0 of 80 available, because it hasn't hit the library yet. But interesting that there will be 80 copies spread throughout the 10 (?) libraries. That's "books". I don't know about online. I am only 51st in line already. It will be on the 7 day shelf too though. Or I can wait. Depends on what I have on hand when I see it. I'm 36 on the reserve list for 19th Christmas (waiting another month would work out fine).
What libraries frequently do with best selling novels that they need to have a lot of copies of right away but don't want to hold onto once the book is no longer in demand is use the McNaughton leasing system. This is only for print books; ebooks for library use is an evolving situation.

Ingram seems to be competing with McNaughton.
 

snoopy

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I did daisy jones and the six over the long weekend. It took me a few chapters to get into the characters. I overall liked the book but....Amazon is doing a miniseries on it....and I don’t feel the need to spend anymore time with the band. There are supposed to be songs though. I might listen to those.
 
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Erin

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I just finished “The Book of Essie.” It tells the story of a 17 year old daughter of a televangelist, who is star of the family show “Six for Hicks.” When Esther Anne’s momager learns of her youngest child’s pregnancy, she meets with her PR team to determine if there will be a fake marriage, her daughter whisked out of the country for an abortion or attempt to pass the child off as her own miracle baby. It tells an exciting and heartbreaking story of a conservative family that has the perfect life if you’re to believe the glossy magazines and what’s on TV but if you look closely, is there a link between Esther Anne’s untimely pregnancy and the only other Hicks daughter leaving for Northwestern University four years prior and never returning to the family home?

It is hands down one of my favorite books this year! Heartbreaking and gut wrenching at times but all the same, it was hard to put down.
I picked this book up after reading your post and will second the recommendation. Loved this book. I feel like a lot of the reveals weren’t exactly surprises (although there was one minor surprise), but that didn’t bother me. Agreed that I couldn’t put it down.

I also read The Diplomat’s Daughter last week - set mostly during WWII, it’s the story of the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, who ends up in a US internment camp. It also covers the story of the American of German descent she falls in love with at the camp and an Austrian she fell in love with before the war. I thought the writing in this one was a bit clunky and the dialogue a bit cheesy at times, but I did like the story and learned new things about both the internment camps during WWII and some other aspects of the war. If you are only going to read one fictional novel about Japanese internment during WWII, I would pick either The Japanese Lover or Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet over this one, but I would still recommend the book overall.
 
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Jenny

From the Bloc
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20,946
Did anyone read Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware? I guess you could call it modern gothic - classic premise of a nanny who goes to work in a remote manor in Scotland, where inevitably Bad Things Happen. The twist is that it's modern day, and it's a smart house, with nearly everything running off an app or tablet or wall panel.

Not normally my thing but the NY Times review had me intrigued, and after reading the classic Haunting at Hill House awhile back and being somewhat disappointed, I really enjoyed this one. Looking into her other books now.
 

jeffisjeff

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Did anyone read Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware? I guess you could call it modern gothic - classic premise of a nanny who goes to work in a remote manor in Scotland, where inevitably Bad Things Happen.
I read it, thought it was OK. I guess the title is a play on The Turn of the Screw, which I've read a number of times.
 

Jenny

From the Bloc
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20,946
How does Turn of the Screw fit in then? Heard of it, never read it, wondering now if I should - these sorts of books can be perfect for cozy winter reading :)
 

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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I did daisy jones and the six over the long weekend. It took me a few chapters to get into the characters. I overall liked the book but....Amazon is doing a miniseries on it....and I don’t feel the need to spend anymore time with the band. There are supposed to be songs though. I might listen to those.
It would be great if they took the story and improved it - I hated just about everything about the main male protagonist. He was not believable as a charismatic leader or artist. I could get into a series that maintained the overall story while completely revamping that character (and avoiding the treacly reveal at the end that was just....no).

I'm ambivalent about the music though - it could be great, but it's also one of those things that readers' imaginations will come up with the right music for them, and making it official could derail that. Or, they'll just be straight up Fleetwood Mac/Eagles ripoffs :lol:
 

jeffisjeff

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How does Turn of the Screw fit in then? Heard of it, never read it, wondering now if I should - these sorts of books can be perfect for cozy winter reading :)
It is a gothic horror/ghost story about a governess who goes to a remote home to care for two kids (orphans in this case, wards of their uncle, who lives in London, so the governess is alone with the kids and housekeeper) and Bad Things Happen.
 

Prancer

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It would be great if they took the story and improved it - I hated just about everything about the main male protagonist. He was not believable as a charismatic leader or artist. I could get into a series that maintained the overall story while completely revamping that character (and avoiding the treacly reveal at the end that was just....no).
I had more of a problem with Daisy. And yes, that ending was :blah:.

Or, they'll just be straight up Fleetwood Mac/Eagles ripoffs :lol:
My money is on that one.

I'm reading The Hunting Party, which is about a group of friends from college who spend New Year's at a remote Scottish house and Bad Things Happen. Must be a trend, although this one is more Agatha Christie than Henry James.
 

quartz

uncultured pearl clutcher
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13,193
I didn't think any of the characters in Daisy and the Six were all that compelling. Nor was the book itself - I wanted it to be a lot more down and dirty.
Ruth Ware sells like crazy in our store - I read The Death of Mrs. Westaway but didn't really like it enough to want to try any of her other books.

I have fallen far short of my goal to read 50 books this year - I don't think I've even hit 40. :wuzrobbed
 

Erin

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9,331
Did anyone read Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware? I guess you could call it modern gothic - classic premise of a nanny who goes to work in a remote manor in Scotland, where inevitably Bad Things Happen. The twist is that it's modern day, and it's a smart house, with nearly everything running off an app or tablet or wall panel.

Not normally my thing but the NY Times review had me intrigued, and after reading the classic Haunting at Hill House awhile back and being somewhat disappointed, I really enjoyed this one. Looking into her other books now.
It's on my hold list at the library, so I can let you know what I think about it in about seven or eight weeks. :D

Ruth Ware sells like crazy in our store - I read The Death of Mrs. Westaway but didn't really like it enough to want to try any of her other books.

I have fallen far short of my goal to read 50 books this year - I don't think I've even hit 40. :wuzrobbed
I didn't love The Death of Mrs. Westaway but it wasn't bad either. I probably wouldn't read another Ruth Ware book unprompted, but someone recommended Turn of the Key (maybe here?) so I figure I'll give it a shot.

I think I have hit 68 books so far this year, not including rereads or books I didn't finish, which is probably 10-15 more than a normal year for me. But I also took three months off work, which allows for a lot of extra reading time. And next year I will be in a new job that I expect to be busier, so I'm guessing I'll probably be down closer to 40 going forward.
 

her grace

standing with Mariah
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Did anyone read Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware? I guess you could call it modern gothic - classic premise of a nanny who goes to work in a remote manor in Scotland, where inevitably Bad Things Happen. The twist is that it's modern day, and it's a smart house, with nearly everything running off an app or tablet or wall panel.
I read it and liked it okay, but . . .

I guess the title is a play on The Turn of the Screw, which I've read a number of times.
I went in thinking it was a retelling of The Turn of the Screw
and it's not. There's no supernatural or magical realism. At the very least, I was expecting some unexplained phenomena or events. Instead, everything resolves naturally and logically. So the story was fine, but not what I expected.

Ruth Ware sells like crazy in our store - I read The Death of Mrs. Westaway but didn't really like it enough to want to try any of her other books.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway is my favorite Ruth Ware, but I have noticed a trend on Good Reads that if you love that one, you tend to not like the others as much and vice versa. So if you didn't like it, you might still like The Woman in Cabin 10 or some of her others if you ever decide to try her books again.

I finished The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. It's similar to The Night Circus in that the imagery is the main thing while the plot is decidedly secondary. This one didn't work as well for me, though. I didn't find it gripping from the beginning and at points I got very confused about what was supposed to happen in order to fix the problem (how's that for deliberately vague?), and I just felt lost. But it's pretty writing and if you can let yourself be swept along and not worry too much about plot, it's a beautiful journey.
 

ryanj07

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I picked this book up after reading your post and will second the recommendation. Loved this book. I feel like a lot of the reveals weren’t exactly surprises (although there was one minor surprise), but that didn’t bother me. Agreed that I couldn’t put it down.
I’m glad that you enjoyed it!

I’ve read all of Ruth Ware’s books except for The Turn of the Key. My favorites are The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood. I would pass on The Lying Game, as I didn’t enjoy that one at all.
 

puglover

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I just finished "The Girl Before" by Rena Olsen. I believe this is the author's first novel and she is a therapist by profession. I am not sure what I think about the story. It is about human trafficking and jumps back and forth with each chapter either "then" or "now". It got good reviews, at least what I saw, but much of it just seemed very implausible to me and her protagonist, who is described as super intelligent, either being dumb as a post or the most naive person imaginable. On the plus side, it seems a timely topic. She certainly portrays therapy in a positive light and group therapy as an amazing catalyst for good so I wasn't surprised when I read what her main profession is.
 

millyskate

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I've just finished "War Doctor", which is the story of surgeon David Nott.
There was an awful lot to unpack for me in this biography, sometimes a book just speaks to you because of the moment at which you read it.
I think it might interest the likes of @Prancer unless you're squeamish about surgical descriptions, of which there are plenty.
It's the story of a life truly lived on the edge, of brushing with death many times and crossing paths with world leaders.
Some memorable anecdotes about al-Assad and the the Queen in particular.
Interesting insight into a surgeon's mind, which in many ways lives up to all the stereotypes - full of self-belief and at times lacking in perspective about one's own limitations.
For example he appears to be as disastrous a pilot as he is a brilliant surgeon, but that doesn't stop him from flying and putting others at risk
It's interesting to see the writing and mindset evolve to show more vulnerability throughout the book, it's as if he was reliving the described periods when he wrote it. His wife writes the closing chapter and offers some surprisingly challenging thoughts on heroism and romance. It's the right ending to a very dense book.
 
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Prancer

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I'm reading The Hunting Party, which is about a group of friends from college who spend New Year's at a remote Scottish house and Bad Things Happen. Must be a trend, although this one is more Agatha Christie than Henry James.
Finished it. I assume it's a pretty popular book, as the wait list was long enough that I didn't remember requesting it and there were people waiting after me.

Christie-ish elements: Group of people at house party stranded by weather; someone is murdered; multiple people have motive; red herrings abound (although, really, there isn't much doubt that who dunnit was one of the group of friends; I wouldn't even call that a spoiler). I knew whodunnit in the first several pages for the same reason I usually knew whodunnit in Christie in the first several pages, but that would give away the ending.

Non-Christie-ish elements: Postmodernist narrator changes and time shifts; it's now and Emma, it's three days ago and Heather, it's last night and Miranda :blah:. Christie was never good at character development, either, but this entire story revolves around character in more ways than one.

I don't regret reading it, but I don't know that I will go out of my way to read another by the same author, mostly because I was annoyed at the endless dragging out of the identity of the murder victim. The murder is revealed early on, but the identity of the victim is concealed until about two thirds of the way through the book--and then it's not a surprise.

And that is pretty much my take on Ruth Ware after reading The Woman in Cabin 10--I don't regret reading it, but I haven't felt the need to read another.

What I would like to read is a good Christie-eque mystery with a puzzle--all the clues are right there in the text but cleverly concealed among good red herrings. I'm pretty tired of the Big Reveal at the End, where you are suddenly handed a whole new set of information that explains all. Most of the mysteries I've read in the past few years might as well have been annotated with neon flashing signs that say "This is a clue!" and "This is a red herring!"


I think it might interest the likes of @Prancer unless you're squeamish about surgical descriptions, of which there are plenty.
I'm not, so it's on my list. :)
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
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26,421
I read Chernobyl 01:23:40 (PL read a book on Chernobyl? No way!) and it was pretty interesting. It was vanity published, which I didn't realize when I ordered it, but Andrew Leatherbarrow has clearly done his research and he intersperses the story of the disaster with the story of his own visit there. Plus there are only a couple of typos, which is always my worry on these types of books, and he's a decent writer. Check it out if this is an area of interest for you.
 

Susan1

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It was vanity published, which I didn't realize when I ordered it........,Plus there are only a couple of typos, which is always my worry on these types of books,
Only a couple? I just read Slices of Night, a three part novella by Erica Spindler, Alex Kava and J. T. Ellison. The actual text wasn't even 100 pages (with separations by each author and half pages taken up with CHAPTER whatever. There were probably 20 typos, left out words, grammatical errors............I waited a month for that? Disgraceful.
 

Susan1

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I saw a Susan Isaacs book when I was picking up my reserved Janet Evanovich book. It's got a skull and crossbones thing on the spine to signify a mystery/crime/etc. book. I looked her up when I got home. I thought I could add her to my list. But she's only written one other mystery. Oh well.

If anyone is looking for a cozy mystery series, her name came up on this, even though this book is not a "cozy":
Geez. I better stay away from that page.
 

gkelly

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I saw a Susan Isaacs book when I was picking up my reserved Janet Evanovich book. It's got a skull and crossbones thing on the spine to signify a mystery/crime/etc. book. I looked her up when I got home. I thought I could add her to my list. But she's only written one other mystery. Oh well.
Really? I read two of her early books many years ago. I would certainly call Compromising Positions a cozy mystery. I looked up several of her other books on Amazon and many seem to be in a similar vein.

The other book I read, Shining Through, as I recall and am reminded by the Amazon blurb, might be considered more of a cozy spy story.
 

Prancer

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I saw a Susan Isaacs book when I was picking up my reserved Janet Evanovich book. It's got a skull and crossbones thing on the spine to signify a mystery/crime/etc. book. I looked her up when I got home. I thought I could add her to my list. But she's only written one other mystery. Oh well.
She's written two mysteries featuring Judith Singer (Compromising Positions and Long Time, No See), but some of her other books are mysteries--As Husbands Go, Magic Hour, After All These Years, Takes One to Know One, probably some others. Her mysteries (at least the ones I know of) all follow similar lines--upper middle class Jewish wife and mother bored in the New York suburbs stumbles across a murder and becomes obsessed because it's the only interesting thing to think about.

Not all of her books are mysteries, though; my favorite of her books that I have read is Shining Through, which is about an American woman who becomes a spy in Germany during World War II.

I haven't read one of hers in a while, so thanks for reminding me about her :),
 

Susan1

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She's written two mysteries featuring Judith Singer (Compromising Positions and Long Time, No See), but some of her other books are mysteries--As Husbands Go, Magic Hour, After All These Years, Takes One to Know One, probably some others. Her mysteries (at least the ones I know of) all follow similar lines--upper middle class Jewish wife and mother bored in the New York suburbs stumbles across a murder and becomes obsessed because it's the only interesting thing to think about.

Not all of her books are mysteries, though; my favorite of her books that I have read is Shining Through, which is about an American woman who becomes a spy in Germany during World War II.

I haven't read one of hers in a while, so thanks for reminding me about her :),
Really? I read some of those blurbs and they sounded more like Jodi Picoult or Danielle Steel family drama things. Even the covers looked more like romance novels. The one I got, Takes One to Know One, has blood on fence posts. :) It's a full size book. I think of cozy mysteries as being paperbacks. They've even got their own shelves in the library - paperback mysteries. The Cozy Mystery by category page thing says "and other books". It's easier for me to hold full size books. I'll start over with the research later. I'm not into spy books. I have to read the one I got, and my Janet Evanovich book, and the Karin Slaughter standalone I'm in the middle of.

Thanks. (gkelly too)
 
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Erin

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I mentioned the "She Said......" earlier. Just so very disheartening to read of all the people who knew/should have known something was very wrong but money, fame, prestige got in the way.
I read this over the weekend. I agree about how awful it was that so many people did nothing and that the ones who did try to do something only cared about the company’s liability and not the women. The part about the journalistic process to try to get Wienstein was really interesting. The last quarter about Christine Blasey Ford didn’t quite have the same punch.
 

missing

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I just finished reading the John Grisham novel The Firm after watching the movie adapted from it a few days ago.

The movie made better use of the material but the book had a stronger (but seriously flawed) ending.

It was interesting to see what was done to the original story. I have a vague memory of coming up with a solution all my own after reading the book 20 odd years ago, and my ego cheerfully felt that the ending I created (which I no longer remember) was superior to both the book's ending and the movie's, although the movie's was weak enough most anyone could come up with a better one.

It's always interesting to read the hot novel of 20+ years ago and see how it holds up. And Grisham's introduction, where he basically explains that in some ways the movie predates the book is genuinely interesting.
 

Bunny Hop

Queen of the Workaround
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I finally finished Drums of Autumn (fourth Outlander book) which I've literally been reading for months (I did temporarily halt it and read 2 or 3 other books in that time). Much like the last season of the show it had parts that held my interest and parts that were a slog to get through. Also interested in how they changed things for the show, and not necessarily for the better in my opinion. I think I may be losing my tolerance for reading long books.
 

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