As the Page Turns (the Book Thread)

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger (she/her)
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I just returned 10 library books! :cheer2: Today is the first day Seattle Public Library is accepting returns. I got there an hour after opening and was worried that they would have been overwhelmed. The bin was almost too full, but the staffer there said they had other bins and were about to switch out. The bin is outdoors, and he was taping 6 ft marks on the pavement (no line when I arrived). They will accept books only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays until...whenever. Whee!! :rollin:

Only about 30 more books to return...
 

her grace

standing with Mariah
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3,764
I have finally read some of the great books that y'all have mentioned in our book threads.

I read The Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman and it's one of the most interesting I've read by her. It takes place in the mid-1960s in Baltimore. The protagonist is a thirtysomething Jewish woman who leaves her husband and takes up residence in a black neighborhood while pursuing a goal to be a journalist at the evening newspaper (Baltimore Star instead of Baltimore Sun). While she investigates two murders, the story also takes a look at things like women's issues of the day, the Jewish and African-American communities, & suburban sprawl resulting in urban decay. The story moves along from many different perspectives (fellow journalists, policemen, a waitress, a politician's wife, the Lady in the Lake, etc.)
This one was quite good. Complex characters, a vivid setting, perspectives from several members of the supporting cast. It was fascinating to read about a late-30's woman trying to start her career after leaving her husband during such sexist times. Thank you for the recommendation.

Another book I know I read about here first is Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic, and I finally got around to reading it. This is a memoir written by a Serbian woman, whose family left Yugoslavia under threat of impending war while she was a child to live in Australia. Most of the book focuses on her childhood, her thoughts on living in an ex-pat community, following the troubles happening back home, and trying to find a place to fit in. Engaging, sad, and funny. Thank you to the person who recommended it.

I also recently read The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary. This is chick lit, where the two main characters agree to rent a flat where he will work nights, she will work days, and they will never actually be in the flat at the same time. Of course, what you expect to happen, happens. It was nice to read something light and predictable when so much of the world is uncertain and chaotic.
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
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Another book I know I read about here first is Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic, and I finally got around to reading it. This is a memoir written by a Serbian woman, whose family left Yugoslavia under threat of impending war while she was a child to live in Australia. Most of the book focuses on her childhood, her thoughts on living in an ex-pat community, following the troubles happening back home, and trying to find a place to fit in. Engaging, sad, and funny. Thank you to the person who recommended it.
:encore:

I recently read The Psychopath Test (it's non-fiction), and it was actually super engaging, a bit sad and very, very weird. It's also a fast read. It's a writer who takes the course on how to diagnose a psychopath and then goes around and tries to find actual psychopaths. I enjoyed it.
 

Susan1

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:encore:

I recently read The Psychopath Test (it's non-fiction), and it was actually super engaging, a bit sad and very, very weird. It's also a fast read. It's a writer who takes the course on how to diagnose a psychopath and then goes around and tries to find actual psychopaths. I enjoyed it.
Did he happen to go the white house? :respec:
 

CassAgain

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I also recently read The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary. This is chick lit, where the two main characters agree to rent a flat where he will work nights, she will work days, and they will never actually be in the flat at the same time. Of course, what you expect to happen, happens. It was nice to read something light and predictable when so much of the world is uncertain and chaotic.
I read this one earlier in the month. I read a lot of romance/chick lit, and this one was just okay for me. I really liked the two main characters, but parts of the plot and minor characters annoyed me, and I didn't care for the pacing. It ended up being a bit of a slog rather than a fun read.
 

Susan1

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7,375
Miscellaneous while reading -
I hurried over to get milk before it rained (practically all day) yesterday (heck, there was even a tornado warning for the edge of our county, not coming this way) and I sat down to finish the book I had been trying to read for 2 days. I had to get back up and close the storm door window because it started raining hard. The first line of the chapter I started was "It finally started to rain." ha ha

I finished that book last night. I started another one this morning, the latest David Rosenfelt, whose books are always set in Paterson, NJ. This woman who doesn't have anything to do with the story yet moved from there to Dayton, Ohio, where her high school friend moved. And got a job at "the Dayton Walmart" - like Dayton is some little hick town with nothing more than "a" Walmart and a McDonald's. There are no actual Walmarts "in" Dayton. All of the Walmarts are in the 'burbs. Geez. The Moraine Walmart has a zip code of 45439, and anything that starts with 454.. is "technically" a Dayton address (even Centerville, Kettering, West Carrollton, Miami Township), so maybe that's the one he landed on. It's in a kind of yucky area even, not that he would know that.

Anyway, I will be interested to see what other "Dayton" landmarks he writes about concerning this person. There's going to be something happening there (here) because "she didn't notice the man in her backseat". I hope he doesn't make her drive down here to the Dayton Mall. ha ha Which is even farther from Dayton than Moraine is. Who named it that 50 years ago?
 

CassAgain

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I read 20 books in July, and I gave three of them five out of five stars:

1. Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert--I loved this contemporary romance set in London. It was funny and steamy (understatement), and both main characters were wonderful: Dani, a black PhD candidate and teacher and Zafir the culturally Muslim security guard in her building who is an ex-rugby player who loves romance novels. Hibbert does the fake dating and friends to lovers tropes really well.

2. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston is a classic novel set mostly in Florida during the turn of the twentieth century. Janie is the granddaughter of a slave, her Nannie, who raises her and who thinks that Janie's only path to security is marriage to a stable man. Janie internalizes this in some ways but through a very interesting, sometimes difficult life, she finds her own way.

3 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas--I know there was a lot of discussion around this book when it came out a few years ago, and its plot and themes are still relevant. What I loved most about this book, though, is Thomas's voice through her main character, Starr, and the wonderful way she writes Starr's family.
 

Prancer

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1. Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert--I loved this contemporary romance set in London. It was funny and steamy (understatement), and both main characters were wonderful: Dani, a black PhD candidate and teacher and Zafir the culturally Muslim security guard in her building who is an ex-rugby player who loves romance novels. Hibbert does the fake dating and friends to lovers tropes really well.
Did you read the first one--Get a Life, Chloe Brown? There will be another one for the third sister.
 

ryanj07

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809
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston completely lived up to the hype for me. It's a modern royal romance where the U.S. President's son falls in love with a Prince of England. It was fun and I enjoyed the main characters, I would've preferred a dual point of view to get more of Henry's feelings but it didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the book.

The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth was a giant bore. I loved The Family Next Door a few years ago and was excited to pick this one up but it paled in comparison. Lucy has a difficult relationship with her Mother in Law and the story opens with the news that Diana (Lucy's MIL) has committed suicide, only things aren't as straight forward as they initially seem. The story is told in alternating chapters by both Lucy and Diana and goes between the past and present. I didn't find any of the main or supporting characters interesting or likable enough to really connect with the story.
 

Prancer

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I finished He Said/She Said, but it as touch and go there for a while. The reviews are great; lots of people seemed to love this one. I'm not sure why I didn't, except that I really disliked Laura, the main protagonist, and wasn't too fond of Kit, the other narrator, either. I don't think it is one of those books where the main characters are supposed to be unlikable, so other people might like them fine.

Basic plot--When the book begins, Laura and Kit are living in fear under false names. Slowly we learn that as young lovers, Laura and Kit had stumbled across a young woman being raped. After the trial, the victim turned up on their doorstep being needy. Laura befriended her over Kit's objections, but then things took a bad turn (and then some).

Maybe I've just read too many suspense stories told from alternating points of view that are told in different time frames. It seems like half the books I've read lately have been written that way. The twist didn't shock me and neither did the ending. The problem with knowing that a book has a "killer twist" is that you know it's coming and you read with that in mind, looking for clues along the way.

I did learn something about eclipses and the people who are obsessed with them, but this is not information I found particularly interesting. Not for me; might be for someone else.
 

aftershocks

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I don't know whether this was mentioned in May or not:




Wow. Colson Whitehead is an amazing writer. I finally had the opportunity to read The Underground Railroad, and I was very impressed. I found it completely accessible in how it was written, even though the subject matter was so upsetting emotionally. Still, Whitehead's inspirational depiction of a fictional, imaginative and literal underground railroad was meant to symbolize uplift and redemptive possibilities amidst the horrific reality and consequences of American slavery, which continue to haunt America to this day.

I'll be reading The Nickel Boys in a few weeks or so, as part of a discussion group.
 

mjb52

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If you haven't read The Intuitionist, it's Whtehead's very first book (iirc) and really interesting, set in a very slightly magic realist New York about an elevator inspector who uses intuition and her rivalry with the empiricists. I haven't read it in many years so this description is imperfect because my memory is going as I get older but the book is great!
 

aftershocks

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I saw this fascinating series advertised on PBS World Channel. There's so much to human history that has been hidden, twisted, forgotten and deliberately whitewashed:


Scroll down in the link to see the episodes in this series...


On a lighter note and in a scrumptious vein, I saw an episode of Samantha Brown's Places to Love, on PBS World Channel. It was an adventurous look at Miami, traversing great slices of life in that city in a way which made it seem like an enticing destination to explore for reasons beyond the stereotypical. Brown showcased features in this one episode that incuded everything from an indigenous Everglades resident calling an alligator out of the marsh; to vibrant outdoor art murals; to a brief history of the first black police precinct manned by black officers; to Au Bon Gout restaurant (offers a Haitian flair on American classics -- known for it's delicious barbeque); to Little Havana's music scene; to Brad Kilgore's amazing Ember Restaurant (a wood-fired cuisine bistro).

In the Samantha Brown Miami episode, Kilgore demonstrates his famous twist on a lasagna dish that focuses on sideways layering the pasta with herbed cheeses (ricotta & Parmesano Reggiano) in between, and then baking in a wood-fired oven (for a tasty, crispy outer crust). After removing from the oven, Kilgore then adds two different sauces on top (a Gruyere-based fondue, and a mushroom [oyster & cremini] Bolognese). Looks yummy!

Below is an article in Wine Spectator with Brad Kilgore, which features his lasagna recipe! :cheer2: The photo of the lasagna in the article doesn't do justice to how tasty the dish looks in the television episode. For my dietary restrictions, I would forego using shallots and garlic. Instead I would add green parts of scallions to the chives and the chervil (a French version of parsley). I'd probably use regular parsley in lieu of chervil. All the other ingredients are accessible, aside from the white truffle oil, which is a specialty item unlikely to be available in every supermarket:

 

sk8pics

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I’ve been reading more lately. I am currently reading 2 books, The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova and A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber. I heard Konnikova talk about the book on an episode of Freakonomics Radio and thought it sounded fascinating, so I got in line to borrow the ebook from my library. It just became available yesterday. Tells her story of learning to be a professional poker player from one of the greats in the game. Quite interesting.

Wilber’s book gives me a bit of a headache, but philosophy does that. It is still good, but not an easy read necessarily.

I also read Joy Unspeakable, Contemplative Practices of the Black Church, by Barbara Holmes. Quite a fascinating book with a lot of insight into the way spirituality developed in the African American communities during and after slavery. There is also a chapter on Obama and on the similarities and differences between the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and the Black Lives Matter movement.
 

Peaches LaTour

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Our local library is back in business, curb service only. I have missed it so much! The first day they were opened, I requested 5 DVD's & four books.

I just finished, "The Deep", a novel loosely based on the story of Violet Jessop who survived the sinking of both Titanic & Britannic. Very strange book, entertaining in a wierd way. 🙃
 

Susan1

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I don't even bother getting irritated anymore (much), but this one has to be mentioned - in Kevin O'Brien's book, The Betrayed Wife (which I am liking), it's all about Sheila. Everything is Sheila did this, Sheila thought this, Sheila said this......The girl handed Sheila the photograph. The girl dug in her purse for an envelope. She handed the papers to Susan. What? Huh? When did I get there? Where's Sheila? Oh, one paragraph later "Sheila gazed at the parents' names". Man.
:rolleyes:
 

genevieve

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I have lost the last book I was reading (Lincoln in the Bardo). It took me days to notice it's gone (or heavily misplaced), so clearly I wasn't that into it. Am now onto The Book of Speculation, which is more fun, although I'm still having a hard time concentrating. But my sister just mailed me her copy of The Hate U Give, and I'm stoked for that. I read Angie Thomas's 2nd book, On the Come Up, last year and really liked it. It inhabits the same world as THUG, but has completely different characters and only mentions the events of the 1st book in passing a couple of times. If I didn't know anything about the 1st book, I wouldn't have even caught it.
 

PrincessLeppard

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I just finished The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh. It's a YA vampire novel set in New Orleans, which I realize is about as cliche as one can get, but I really liked it. There's a little bit too much "let's play word games with each other" near the beginning, which is a bit precious and annoying, but it moves past that fairly quickly.

I didn't realize there was a sequel when I got to the end, and was ready to burn things to the ground, but I immediately went online to arrange to pick it up today at the bookstore, and it's out of stock at all of them. I'm 88th on the library list and B&N is having shipping delays. I may burn things down after all...
 

genevieve

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I finished The Book of Speculation, which was a really interesting story with some really bad character writing ... sometimes I wonder if a first time author should pitch their book like a script, and a publisher can buy it and have a better writer clean up the problematic points. I can totally see all the ways in which that would go wrong (how many films go from quirky and interesting to bland and overly slick in rewrites, in pursuit of mass appeal? Answer: many), but this book could be so much better than it is, if one of the main supporting characters had been rewritten.

I now have a wealth of books to read. I found Lincoln in the Bardo (fell under the bed), The Hate U Give is waiting, one of my holds is ready at the library for curbside pickup, and I just found out that the GF bought me a book that I can pick up at my favorite local bookstore....but first I'm reading NK Jemisin's latest, The City We Became, because last weekend I discovered by library has started their Peak Picks again and I was able to score it despite being far down on the holds list. :respec: I also have about 10 library books left from pre-stay at home times

It took me a minute to get into TCWB - I was so immersed in Jemisin's last trilogy that I can't help but feel let down that this inhabits a completely different world - but I am now into it. It kind of reminds me a little of Jonathan Lethem's fantastic realism (no idea if that's an actual term) style, plus it takes place in New York City. Hoping to finish this up over the long weekend.
 

puglover

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J.K. Rowlings new book is out tomorrow. It is the new installation in the Corcoran Strike series called "Troubled Blood" and she writes under her pen name Robert Galbraith. Apparently it features a cross dressing serial killer.
 

genevieve

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J.K. Rowlings new book is out tomorrow. It is the new installation in the Corcoran Strike series called "Troubled Blood" and she writes under her pen name Robert Galbraith. Apparently it features a cross dressing serial killer.
Charming. Can't wait to see how her shitty TERFy views fit in with that storyline [/s]
 

MsZem

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J.K. Rowlings new book is out tomorrow. It is the new installation in the Corcoran Strike series called "Troubled Blood" and she writes under her pen name Robert Galbraith. Apparently it features a cross dressing serial killer.
Silence of the Lambs fan fiction, then?
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
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Wyliefan

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Rejoice, for a new Hyperbole and a Half is here -- and a whole new book is coming!

 

pat c

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Charming. Can't wait to see how her shitty TERFy views fit in with that storyline [/s]
Having suffered through the first book and quitting in the second, the reviews are probably spot on - piece of crap. She should have stuck to Harry Potter.
 

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