As the Page Turns (the Book Thread)

oleada

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43,401
Book Lovers: Another Emily Henry romcom about people who live for books--in this case, an editor and an agent. I enjoyed the snarky dialogue and she hasn't yet fallen into the trap of writing the same story with the same characters, but I can see it coming.

Something Wilder: you have to suspend belief rather a lot, but it's all good fun as a pair of exes go off on a treasure hunt. The authors say that they wanted to do something just for fun during the pandemic and were inspired by movies like Romancing the Stone; it shows. One of my favorite bits in the book is that a clue is written in ASCII code and no one can figure it out or read it; my husband had a license plate for many years that was an obscene message in ASCII code and the state license bureau never did catch it.
We have the same summer reading list.
I liked Book Lovers better but they’re both fun sexy fluff, my preferred kind of reading these days.
 

gkelly

Well-Known Member
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16,105
We have the same summer reading list.
I liked Book Lovers better but they’re both fun sexy fluff, my preferred kind of reading these days.

I am also in the middle reading of Book Lovers.

Not usually my preference, but I'm currently trying to read more in this genre.
 

Allskate

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,851
Book Lovers: Another Emily Henry romcom about people who live for books--in this case, an editor and an agent. I enjoyed the snarky dialogue and she hasn't yet fallen into the trap of writing the same story with the same characters, but I can see it coming.
I just read this one, too. This isn't my usual type of book, but I wanted something light. It was billed as not a typical romance novel. I think that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I do think it was smarter and wittier. The dialogue and especially the text messages were my favorite parts. Good, light fun.
 

her grace

Team Guignard/Fabbri
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5,221
Enjoying all the Where the Crawdads Sing hate. :EVILLE:

I read The Paris Apartment, which was better than The Hunting Party or The Guest List. I liked that the setting allowed for interactions with characters outside of the main group (not a closed circle) and there were some good twists and turns.

I've also read a good bit of kiddie lit because that's about all my brain wants to process these days. Good ones:

Kelly Yang's Front Desk series. She pulls no punches when discussing racism and exploitation plus the character's voice is unique and fun. She had me from the first chapter when she describes eating a hamburger at Space Center Houston. Mini-grace also liked the first one,
though it was "unrealistic" in the way things worked out for good.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. Dual timelines set during WWI and the Great Depression in small town Midwest America. Has a classic feel to it with a strong, independent heroine with a lot of heart.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. Eleven-year-old main character and her little sisters are sent to spend the summer with the mom who abandoned them. To me, this one had rather adult themes, yet the author handles it with grace and still gives us a child's eye perspective of dysfunctional relationships.
 

Allskate

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I've also read a good bit of kiddie lit because that's about all my brain wants to process these days. Good ones:

Kelly Yang's Front Desk series. She pulls no punches when discussing racism and exploitation plus the character's voice is unique and fun. She had me from the first chapter when she describes eating a hamburger at Space Center Houston. Mini-grace also liked the first one,
though it was "unrealistic" in the way things worked out for good.
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. Dual timelines set during WWI and the Great Depression in small town Midwest America. Has a classic feel to it with a strong, independent heroine with a lot of heart.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. Eleven-year-old main character and her little sisters are sent to spend the summer with the mom who abandoned them. To me, this one had rather adult themes, yet the author handles it with grace and still gives us a child's eye perspective of dysfunctional relationships.
I haven't read the Front Desk series, but my niece liked it a lot.

I'll have to tell her about Moon Over Manifest. She really likes historical fiction. She (and I) have really liked The War that Saved My Life, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and The Book Thief.

I just bought the latest Charlie Thorne book, and it is not just for my niece but for myself as well. I really like this series. I think of it as being like a Da Vinci Code for tween girls, but adults can enjoy them as well. The lead character is a smart and adventurous girl who solves mysteries that are tied to the past. Previous books in the series were about Einstein and Darwin. This new one is related to Cleopatra.
 

Prancer

Aun Aprendo
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53,304
I just read this one, too. This isn't my usual type of book, but I wanted something light. It was billed as not a typical romance novel. I think that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I do think it was smarter and wittier. The dialogue and especially the text messages were my favorite parts. Good, light fun.
If you liked this one, you'd probably like her others as well, as they are similarly smart and witty. I liked Beach Read quite a bit more than People We Meet on Vacation, but both have their charms.
 

oleada

Well-Known Member
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43,401
If you liked this one, you'd probably like her others as well, as they are similarly smart and witty. I liked Beach Read quite a bit more than People We Meet on Vacation, but both have their charms.
I agree with your Emily Henry book ranking.

For another good beach read, I just wrapped up “It Happened One Summer” and its sequel, “Hook, Line and Sinker” by Tessa Bailey. The first is basically Alexis Rose meets a hot sea captain. Like Schitt’s Creek, it’s delightful. I didn’t love the sequel as much, but it’s still very fun and quick.
 

JoannaLouise

Official Toaster Oven Monitor
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4,709
I just spotted a copy of Where the Crawdads Sing in our office supply of "fun" items (it's a shelf of books, games, puzzles etc. that you can use during downtime in the office, or borrow and take home).

I laughed, wondering if someone put their personal copy there to get rid of it because they hated it so much. :lol:

But I'm still thinking of borrowing it to see what all the fuss is about!
 

MsZem

Non-green cookie monster
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17,708
I just read this one, too. This isn't my usual type of book, but I wanted something light. It was billed as not a typical romance novel. I think that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I do think it was smarter and wittier. The dialogue and especially the text messages were my favorite parts. Good, light fun.
I hate when that's the marketing angle, as if there's something wrong with reading romance.

I have been making good use of my Kindle Unlimited subscription, but now it's hard for me to justify buying books unless I really, really want them.
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
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27,898
I haven't read the Front Desk series, but my niece liked it a lot.

I'll have to tell her about Moon Over Manifest. She really likes historical fiction. She (and I) have really liked The War that Saved My Life, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and The Book Thief.

I just bought the latest Charlie Thorne book, and it is not just for my niece but for myself as well. I really like this series. I think of it as being like a Da Vinci Code for tween girls, but adults can enjoy them as well. The lead character is a smart and adventurous girl who solves mysteries that are tied to the past. Previous books in the series were about Einstein and Darwin. This new one is related to Cleopatra.
Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a bit problematic: lots of factual errors and whatnot. I wish the author had made it a more "generic" genocide instead of it obviously being the Holocaust. I think it would've worked better. All But my Life is a true story, but your niece might like it. The narrator is 16 when WWII starts, and she isn't in any of the large camps; she is in small camps, so it's a different perspective. I had my ninth grade honors students read it this past school year.
 

Allskate

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11,851
Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a bit problematic: lots of factual errors and whatnot. I wish the author had made it a more "generic" genocide instead of it obviously being the Holocaust. I think it would've worked better. All But my Life is a true story, but your niece might like it. The narrator is 16 when WWII starts, and she isn't in any of the large camps; she is in small camps, so it's a different perspective. I had my ninth grade honors students read it this past school year.
Thanks for the recommendation. My niece is interested in some non-fiction. I Am Malala is on her list to read, and her book club is going to read The Diary of Anne Frank.

I'm of a mixed mind about whether my niece is old enough to be reading some of the books she is reading, both because of her maturity level and her ability to understand some of the books. Her mother says that she is allowed to read anything she wants. She read Boy in the Striped Pajamas at 9 or 10. She asked me to read it at the same time so she could talk to me about it. I think she knew it would be an emotionally tough read. I'm glad I read it with her, and we did discuss some of the problems with the book and some of the real history. Despite its flaws, I think it was good that she read it because she knew very little about the Holocaust before reading it and wanted to learn more after reading it. I can understand why you would have preferred for the book to be more generically about genocide, but I think there are some benefits to it being about the Holocaust, especially if kids who read it are taught about the Holocaust and therefore are getting a concrete and real understanding of a specific genocide rather than just reading about something that can be seen as merely hypothetical and fictional.

My niece is an empathetic kid and that may be partly because of what she reads and may be partly why she reads what she does. (We read Words on Fire last year, and I think she sees some similarities with the situation in Ukraine. She is donating some of her allowance to charities helping Ukrainians and spent part of last weekend working on an effort to create a food bank for Ukrainian refugees where she lives.) I don't want to dissuade her from reading these books, but I do like for her to discuss them with adults.

She is 11 now. She wanted to read The Book Thief, so I just read it again to discuss with her. She was able to understand it better than I anticipated and asked some good questions about the book and about the historical facs, but I'm sure she'll get more out of it if she reads it again when she's older.

Her brother just turned 10. I don't think he is emotionally mature enough to be reading some of these books. He finds war interesting, too, but more in the way that he finds video game battles interesting. And I'm not sure he is able yet to understand what propaganda is and what parts of a book are including statements that are meant to be understood by the reader as false and terrible propaganda. (I thought this when we read the first Charlie Thorne book, too, as it deals in part with white supremacy.)
 
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@Allskate I feel like most kids that really like to read end up reading things that might be a bit too mature for them at some point. I certainly did. My niece is also 11 and also reads things I sometimes think are maybe a little much for her. Sometimes, it's off of my bookshelf :shuffle: My mom's tactic was the same as yours. Anything potentially problematic or too mature, she read too so that we could talk about it, if needed. Anything totally off-limits, I just read privately :lol:
 

Allskate

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Anything totally off-limits, I just read privately
:lol: Yep. My niece would read the books anyway. In fact, if my sister told her not to read them, then she definitely would read them. She loves the idea of reading things that are meant for older kids just because they are meant for older kids. I feel more comfortable with her reading older books than I do with her brother because she is a critical reader. (She will even argue the premise underlying a math word problem.) But, I would prefer that an adult discuss them with her. Fortunately, at least for now, she prefers that as well.
 

Prancer

Aun Aprendo
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Meh. Not terrible, but there really isn't much there to work with.
And Remarkably Bright Creatures just landed in my Libby app
It took me a while to get into this one, but after I got a ways in, I loved it, mostly because I loved Marcellus, the remarkably bright octopus. The very end was just a little too sweet, although it was exactly the ending anyone would predict; it was more HEA than a romance novel.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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51,418
Has anyone ever read anything by David Brin? People have recommended his books to me but when I lived in San Diego I met him a few times and the experience was very off-putting. (He worked with my then boyfriend.)
 

Rob

Beach Bum
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15,110
Just finished The Rose Code, by Kate Quinn. Excellent book, which follows 3 (fictional, but based on actual characters) women from different backgrounds who worked at Bletchley Park during the war. It's very well researched, and is one of those hard-to-put-down reads. I've been to Bletchley Park twice, and it's an awesome place to visit for anyone interested in WWll history and/or code breaking. Highly recommended.
I read it, really liked it. My mother worked at Bletchley Park during the war - Hut 3. And then went to Nuremberg as part of a group of evidence experts on the German High Command. I am visiting for my first time in September. She didn't talk about it much and never went back. But this is her talking about it a bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5LOGTU29c8
Nice to hear her voice from time to time; she died in 2016. My father is in it a bit too.


I was off books while I was having my hip issues/replacement. You would think that I would have been able to read a lot, but on pain killers I just couldn't track and retain. So this is my summer list:

The Lost Apothecary
The Maidens
That Summer
Next Year in Havana
Rock, Paper, Scissors

In my queue:
People You Meet On Vacation
Book Lovers
The Lincoln Highway
The Paris Apartment (did not like The Guest List that much, but I will try again!)
The House Across the Lake
The Summer Place
The Henna Artist
The Hotel Nantucket
 
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cygnus

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3,191
I read it, really liked it. My mother worked at Bletchley Park during the war - Hut 3. And then when to Nuremberg as part of a group of evidence experts on the German High Command. I am visiting for my first time in September. She didn't talk about it much and never went back. But this is her talking about it a bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5LOGTU29c8
Nice to hear her voice from time to time; she died in 2016. My father is in it a bit too.
Interesting, thanks for posting that! My brother-in-law's mother worked there during the war- Hut 8. She died this past summer aged 99. She was a wonderful lady, and I would have liked to have asked her more about her experiences, but I never got the chance as she lived on the other side of the country. The one comment she did make was that Alan Turing had rather poor hygiene practices!
 
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As per usual, I'm a couple of years behind the rest of the world and I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo yesterday. I enjoyed it, basically read it straight through which I haven't been motivated to do for awhile. It annoyed me how many irrelevant details were included for the journalist character. I kept reading things about her and saying why in my head. Also, my kingdom for a female character in a book whose weight isn't mentioned. Writing that her nickname was something about a dumpling because she was a chubby kid and that she gained weight after getting married adds nothing to the story. I know I'm extra sensitive to that crap for a bunch of reasons but it really irritates me. Especially because Evelyn Hugo's story was so interesting.
 

Jenny

From the Bloc
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21,641
Also, my kingdom for a female character in a book whose weight isn't mentioned.

The number of times that I've read a book where the female lead was described as less than physically attractive (ie by societal standards, like it or not) whether by weight or height or unruly hair or too many freckles or whatever, but of course she gets the entirely desirable hot male (who also likely has some bonus attributes like being rich), and then you look at the author photo and yup, I see what's going on here.

At the same time I do appreciate the effort to create more real characters. I look at Mary Higgins Clark - an author I started reading as a teen and stuck with throughout her career despite a serious drop in quality over the years - and how her female leads were always described as some variation of slim, with lustrous long hair and green eyes, yawn, plus she dressed them all the same, always the same tan slacks and cashmere sweater you get the idea.

In the end I much prefer it when writers don't even tell us what a character looks like, but rather draws them in other ways.

In related news, another prolific writer of what one might call airport books, Stuart Woods, has died. He's another one who had some very interesting thrillers at the beginning then settled into writing almost exclusively about the same character who seemed to be an idealized version of himself. Gave up on him years ago when he attempted to write about an industry and a place I know very well and it was clear he didn't even attempt the most basic research on the subject. Plus his sex scenes were ridiculous.
 

Prancer

Aun Aprendo
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The number of times that I've read a book where the female lead was described as less than physically attractive (ie by societal standards, like it or not) whether by weight or height or unruly hair or too many freckles or whatever, but of course she gets the entirely desirable hot male (who also likely has some bonus attributes like being rich), and then you look at the author photo and yup, I see what's going on here.
:lol: What amazes me about all those books is that the men who overlook our Jane Average are shallow fools--but Jane Average always spends a lot of time marveling over the face and form of her Adonis.

I just finished Breathless. Publisher's Weekly says: Set in the Himalayas, McCulloch’s promising debut gets off to a slow start with too much exposition, but the pace soon picks up. Budding outdoors writer Cecily Wong has landed a chance to interview famed climber Charles McVeigh, but there’s a big catch. Cecily, a novice climber, must climb the Nepalese peak Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest mountain, one of 14 summits above 26,000 feet, the altitude known as the “death zone.” McVeigh is trying to summit all 14 mountains in a year, without ropes or supplemental oxygen, an unprecedented feat. Cecily’s expedition runs into trouble early on, as two members of her team die under suspicious circumstances, and the challenges of extreme climbing test her own strength and resolve. As Cecily chases a killer story on a killer mountain, she realizes there’s a killer among the mountaineers. The action on Manaslu is gripping and scary, and readers will feel as if they’re breathing the same thin air as the young writer, who’s in over her head well above the clouds. Thriller fans will eagerly await McCulloch’s next.

McCulloch actually climbed Manaslu herself, so the mountaineering details are believable and interesting, but I didn't much care for this one, as I thought the identity of the killer was obvious from early on and there were some continuity errors here and there that bugged me. But it was mostly that I just didn't like the writing much. However, if you are interested in mountain climbing in any way, you will probably find the details here interesting. If I ever had any thoughts about climbing a mountain, which I can't say that I have, this book would have killed that immediately. The main reason the murderer is getting away with murders is that so many people die climbing mountains that no one suspects anything; I think that kind of says it all.
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
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27,898
Until I read Into Thin Air, I always thought climbing Everest would be cool, and at the time, I was dating a guy who was training to climb K2.

Ex is still alive, to the best of my knowledge, but I don't whether he made it to K2 of not.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
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71,445
I have to recommend "Bitch: On the female of the species" by Lucy Cooke. It takes Darwin's sexual selection and turns it upside down. This is an outstanding book and funny as well. To quote a reviewer, " Lucy Cooke blows two centuries of sexist myths right out of biology. Prepare to learn a lot--and laugh out loud. A beautifully written very funny, and deeply important book."

Just the fact she is able to write a book that takes evolutionary doctrine on sex apart with actual data and not conjecture to fit the conventional norm, but is able to do it with wit separates her from every male scientist work on this I've ever read including Darwin and Richard Dawkins. And example of two scientists who spent decades studying pinyon jays looking for the alpha males and completely ignored their own data that showed the social hierarchy was female dominated tells the tale. Her implications for zoology, evolutionary biology and human sociopolitical norms are amazing.
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
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27,898
I just finished Libby Bray's The Diviners, which of course is the first of a series, but at least this one ended the main plot, though clearly some of the subplots will be continued into later books.

It's YA, set in NYC in 1926, and centers around a group of teenagers with "gifts." The main character can touch things and see things about their owner, which she uses to help solve a series of murders.

My only critique is that Bray has her characters use every single slang term from the 20s that she could uncover. No one uses that much slang! (I think I had this critique about another book. EDITORS ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?)
 

Susan1

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Take Your Breath Away - Linwood Barclay. Twisty.

He's Canadian, but the book is set here. He wrote it during the pandemic as after, talking about still having masks in the car and stuff. The main character's wife's mother is in the hospital flipping news channels and complaining about all the lies and conspiracy theories. Smart lady.
 

mattiecat13

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Just finished The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani. It's about the matriarch and three generations of a jewel cutter family. It was extremely slow and not compelling - I did not care what happened to these people. How this book received so many glowing reviews from other authors (some of whom I really like) on the back cover boggles my mind. They must not have read the book.
 

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