As the Page Turns (the Book Thread)

Prancer

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FYI for those of you who borrow ebooks from libraries--expect those wait times to get longer:

 

Prancer

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I’ve heard about this. Sounds like a cool job to me; if there was one around here I’d totally apply.
One of the libraries here is adding a social worker. The main library at my college could definitely use one--it can be pretty exciting there sometimes.

But the comments on the local hire? People think it's all some stupid liberal thing that wastes money and makes no sense at all. I assume that the people who make such comments haven't actually been to the library in a few years.
 

MacMadame

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I think it makes more sense to hire a social worker than to pretend librarians are trained social workers.
 

Prancer

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I think it makes more sense to hire a social worker than to pretend librarians are trained social workers.
I don't think most people have a clue what goes on in a library. I cannot tell you how many people I've talked to who are stunned to find that librarians have to have master's degrees. My son has a certificate of some kind because he tackled a psychotic crackhead at his library branch one day and held him until the police arrived, and people are always :eek: that something like that happened at the library. Aside from the violence of it, that was not unusual.

Of course, a lot of the same people won't go to the main branch of the library because of all the homeless people who are there all day :rolleyes:. But they don't see why the library is responsible for dealing with social problems--as if the library has a choice.
 

Artistic Skaters

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Our metropolitan library started offering a new cultural service this year. You can now check out passes for the art museums, the state historical center, the conservatory and other such places. I believe you can check out a pass with your library card and it's good for four people for several days or a week. I really like this because when I used to take inner city kids on trips when I was in college, they didn't even know they were allowed to go inside the art museums. Then it was free, but today a lot of them would not be able to afford to pay the admission costs.
 

genevieve

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Who has read The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead? I'm familiar with Whitehead and his prolific writing career. He's won many awards, but I don't recall hearing about him winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for The Underground Railroad. I haven't read it yet, but it's on my current reading list.
I love Colson Whitehead. Have you read any of his other books? There is often more than a little magic realism in his stories, which can be challenging when the book centers on real history. But I thought The Underground Railroad was amazing. Looking forward to reading The Nickel Boys, even though I'm sure it will take a year before I get it from the library.
 

aftershocks

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I love Colson Whitehead. Have you read any of his other books? There is often more than a little magic realism in his stories, which can be challenging when the book centers on real history. But I thought The Underground Railroad was amazing. Looking forward to reading The Nickel Boys, even though I'm sure it will take a year before I get it from the library.
I started to read Whitehead's, The Intuitionist years ago, but I never got into it completely. I may not be in the frame for reading magical realism. I was probably just distracted for some reason from settling in to the story. I decided to get back to it another time, but I haven't yet. These days I generally read more nonfiction than fiction. And I also enjoy reading poetry.

Recently, I read Jesmyn Ward's award-winning novel, Sing Unburied Sing. Wow, it's really powerful and beautifully written. Somehow, I found it hard being faced with the hard facts of the story, but at the same time, I was mesmerized by her evocative writing. She's the kind of storyteller where you feel right there, inside the story itself and one with the characters. Ward also wrote the memoir, Men We Reap.

Whitehead is the kind of writer where I say, I must take the time to really try and read his work, but then I don't get around to it. After hearing him talk about writing The Underground Railroad, I am planning to take the plunge. He did say in the talk that I linked how he felt 'magical realism' would not work as well for that book, so he didn't use the technique for that book. It is a difficult tale, so I have to be in a frame of mind for it.


Regarding social workers being employed by libraries, I read about that trend awhile ago, specifically in a San Francisco library. I can understand the necessity with a lot of homeless people frequenting libraries as a place to hang out. I see the situation at my local library, but it hasn't become noticeably rampant to the point where they have yet decided to employ a social worker. They do employ security guards. There are a lot of social services available in this area, in any case. A library security guard once told me that he's aware of some homeless people killing squirrels and rabbits in order to survive on the streets.
 
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dinakt

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Whitehead is the kind of writer where I say, I must take the time to really try and read his work, but then I don't get around to it. After hearing him talk about writing The Underground Railroad, I am planning to take the plunge. He did say in the talk that I linked how he felt 'magical realism' would not work as well for that book, so he didn't use the technique for that book. It is a difficult tale, so I have to be in a frame of mind for it.
It made a strong impression and the images stay with me... Definitely recommend, but as you say, a difficult tale.
 

aftershocks

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It made a strong impression and the images stay with me... Definitely recommend, but as you say, a difficult tale.
That's why I mentioned Sing Unburied Sing, by Jesmyn Ward. It's an equally difficult tale (as are many of Toni Morrison's novels -- only The Bluest Eye have I found easily accessible of Morrison's works -- I do immensely enjoy Morrison's essays, and she was reportedly a brilliant teacher and editor). As I said earlier though, Ward's latest book is also very compelling and mesmerizing. Even though I didn't grow up in the country on a farm, I could identify in a unversal way with the story she was telling, on so many levels. The ending is absolutely brilliant, stunning, redemptive and tearjerking. When Ward writes, the Gods and the angels must be speaking through her heart, soul, mind, and fingertips. :)
 
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Prancer

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Our metropolitan library started offering a new cultural service this year. You can now check out passes for the art museums, the state historical center, the conservatory and other such places. I believe you can check out a pass with your library card and it's good for four people for several days or a week. I really like this because when I used to take inner city kids on trips when I was in college, they didn't even know they were allowed to go inside the art museums. Then it was free, but today a lot of them would not be able to afford to pay the admission costs.
We have that, too, and I think it's marvelous; I just wish they had more passes to go around.
 

millyskate

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I finished My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, and it was indeed the best thing I've read in a long time. Quite amazing in it's analysis of the friendship and feelings, who strike a chord I'm sure with so many readers' personal recollections of teenagehood. And it made true my wish for a contemporary novel written with a linear storyline - no juxtaposition of multiple timelines!
 

genevieve

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I started to read Whitehead's, The Intuitionist years ago, but I never got into it completely. I may not be in the frame for reading magical realism. I was probably just distracted for some reason from settling in to the story. I decided to get back to it another time, but I haven't yet. These days I generally read more nonfiction than fiction. And I also enjoy reading poetry.

Whitehead is the kind of writer where I say, I must take the time to really try and read his work, but then I don't get around to it. After hearing him talk about writing The Underground Railroad, I am planning to take the plunge. He did say in the talk that I linked how he felt 'magical realism' would not work as well for that book, so he didn't use the technique for that book. It is a difficult tale, so I have to be in a frame of mind for it.
That's very interesting he would say that, because the major conceit of The Underground Railroad involves similar magical realism, or at least bending of reality, to The Intuitionist. I think if you found that distracting in The Intuitionist, it could distract here. It's not a straightforward historical novel.

I'm reading The Paris Diversion now, and it keeps referencing what happened in The Ex-Pats, which I read so long ago that I can't remember the details. It's annoying. I always enjoy Chris Pavone's writing, but this makes me realize that his plots just don't stick in my mind.
 

PrincessLeppard

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I'm currently reading two books. The first is Michael Wolff's Siege, about the disaster of Trump's White House. It's a good read and a fast read, but I have no idea how much of it is true. Apparently, KellyAnne Conway hates Trump, as does Sarah Huckabee Sanders and they are over lying for him. But Kelly is still there, of course.

And then, since I went to Ogunquit, Maine, this summer, I had to re-read Stephen King's The Stand. And then my parents came to visit yesterday and coughed all over me. :yikes: :lol:
 

Susan1

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I'm currently reading two books. The first is Michael Wolff's Siege, about the disaster of Trump's White House. It's a good read and a fast read, but I have no idea how much of it is true. Apparently, KellyAnne Conway hates Trump, as does Sarah Huckabee Sanders and they are over lying for him. But Kelly is still there, of course.

And then, since I went to Ogunquit, Maine, this summer, I had to re-read Stephen King's The Stand. And then my parents came to visit yesterday and coughed all over me. :yikes: :lol:
One copy of Siege has been on the 7 day shelf at the library ever since it came out. I've never seen it not there. They have some books spine out and others flat and front out to take up space when others are checked out. One time I turned it face against the wall and the next time I was there it was still face against the wall. :)

I only made it about halfway through The Stand back in the day.
 

skateycat

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And then, since I went to Ogunquit, Maine, this summer, I had to re-read Stephen King's The Stand. And then my parents came to visit yesterday and coughed all over me. :yikes: :lol:
When I was 13 or 14, I started reading The Stand at about 2 in the afternoon. I barely moved all day, and I stopped reading at midnight or so. I could not stop thinking that Randall Flagg was under the bed. So I turned the light back on and read for another 5 or so hours to finish the book.
 

Jenny

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I'm reading The Paris Diversion now, and it keeps referencing what happened in The Ex-Pats, which I read so long ago that I can't remember the details. It's annoying. I always enjoy Chris Pavone's writing, but this makes me realize that his plots just don't stick in my mind.
Agree, but I just went with it rather than trying to figure every detail out. Understandably the author lives and breathes in the world he created, and he knows the characters intimately. I blame editors for not doing more to give the backstory, but at the same time I guess they don't want to give away the plot either.

Just finished Shari Lapena's (The Couple Next Door and two others) latest, Someone We Know and quite enjoyed it. She's good with plot and getting better with each book - thought I had this one figured out, but I was wrong, and that makes me happy :) However, she's not great with characters because at this point she's using pretty much the same cast of stereotypes in all her books, and even within the books as several of the characters in this case were interchangeable.

Hoping others have read it because there are a couple of points I'd like to vent on :) but they require spoiling the entire thing.
 

Susan1

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Just finished Shari Lapena's (The Couple Next Door and two others) latest, Someone We Know and quite enjoyed it. She's good with plot and getting better with each book - thought I had this one figured out, but I was wrong, and that makes me happy :) However, she's not great with characters because at this point she's using pretty much the same cast of stereotypes in all her books, and even within the books as several of the characters in this case were interchangeable.

Hoping others have read it because there are a couple of points I'd like to vent on :) but they require spoiling the entire thing.
I've read The Couple Next Door and A Stranger in the House recently. I haven't gotten to An Unwanted Guest or Someone We Know yet. I kind of save up the new ones while I'm reading other authors' old ones. I'll see if Someone We Know is at one of my libraries or I'll reserve it.
 

genevieve

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I hated The Couple Next Door so, so much :lol: I don't think I could bring myself to read another Shari Lapena book. Creating thin stereotypes instead of characters is the main reason I thought it was terrible.
 

Jenny

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As I said, the plots get better, the characters do not. But sometimes when I'm really busy or stressed out I just want something light enough but that keeps my attention and distracts me, and her last two books in particular were good for that. For me at least :)
 

Wyliefan

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I listened to No One Ever Asked on audio because a friend of a friend wrote it, and because the subject matter -- school integration -- was intriguing. It was really good. The author did a great job of digging deep into the perspectives of the various characters (while humbly acknowledging in her Author's Note that she couldn't hope to understand fully what it was like for the black characters) and unearthing underlying attitudes that people don't always realize they hold.

The biggest critique I had was her handling of
sexual consent while drunk. A female character took on far too much of the blame for a particular incident, and the author didn't do nearly enough to show that it wasn't her fault. I'm pretty sure she was wrong about the laws governing this sort of thing, as well
. But the rest of the book was excellent and thought-provoking.
 

Susan1

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@Susan1 let me know because there was a glaring (to me at least!) editing error and I immediately thought of you :)
Wellllll, I had 2 reserved books to pick up at the library and I was repeating the title over and over in my head in case it was on the 7 day shelf, got to the library and realized I forgot the books I was taking back. I even went back out to the car to see if I put them on the seat. No. Went back in and checked out the reserved books. I reserved it when I got home.:duh:

So, in an old Robert Crais Elvis Cole book - a detective is calling on the radio (approx.)
"six-whiskey-twelve"
"go ahead six-whiskey-twelve"
Then the author writes, the "three is for Hollywood, "whiskey" is for.................
The next line says -
"Come in six-whiskey-twelve".
In order like that. Who on god's green earth sees "six" typed three times in a row and explains it as "three"???????:wall:
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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As I said, the plots get better, the characters do not. But sometimes when I'm really busy or stressed out I just want something light enough but that keeps my attention and distracts me, and her last two books in particular were good for that. For me at least :)
I've read three of her books, including Someone We Know. ITA the characters are really undeveloped. Many of them are unlikable, but all of them seem pretty flat without depth.

I read The Stories You Tell - the latest in the Roxane Weary PI series by Kristen Lepionka. It's the third book in the series and I enjoyed reading all of them.
 

Susan1

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@Susan1 let me know because there was a glaring (to me at least!) editing error and I immediately thought of you :)
Got it already. (It's supposed to rain a lot tomorrow!) All of the branches had bunches of copies that were unavailable when I reserved it. I must have caught it right. I was checking to make sure all of her books were standalone books since I haven't read An Unwanted Guest yet. It didn't get very good reviews. Someone We Know seems to have better ones. On the Amazon page it says that "people bought this with" Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson. So I looked her up. A lot of Atlanta-based type books that look more like relationship books than actual mystery or murder or whatever. Never Have I Ever looks like it might be more suspenseful. Anybody?

On the New Arrivals shelf - Lady in the Lake, A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais (still working on those), The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter (Sara Linton - I finished all of those and the Will Trent books and started on the standalones), Shamed by Linda Castillo (Amish - I haven't caught those up yet either cause the older ones have to be ordered interlibrary) and a James Patterson that looks like a spy thing?? - not the usual summer read.

Forgot one - they were written all over my grocery list so I could put them on my "to read" list - a standalone by Lisa Jackson - Paranoid.
 
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gkelly

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I have recently finished reading Fallout by Sara Paretsky, a relatively recent installment in the V.I. Warshawski series. It's kind of long, pretty much true to type although it takes place in Kansas not Chicago -- if you like the series, you'll probably like this.
 

missing

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Got it already. (It's supposed to rain a lot tomorrow!) All of the branches had bunches of copies that were unavailable when I reserved it. I must have caught it right. I was checking to make sure all of her books were standalone books since I haven't read An Unwanted Guest yet. It didn't get very good reviews. Someone We Know seems to have better ones. On the Amazon page it says that "people bought this with" Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson. So I looked her up. A lot of Atlanta-based type books that look more like relationship books than actual mystery or murder or whatever. Never Have I Ever looks like it might be more suspenseful. Anybody?

On the New Arrivals shelf - Lady in the Lake, A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais (still working on those), The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter (Sara Linton - I finished all of those and the Will Trent books and started on the standalones), Shamed by Linda Castillo (Amish - I haven't caught those up yet either cause the older ones have to be ordered interlibrary) and a James Patterson that looks like a spy thing?? - not the usual summer read.

Forgot one - they were written all over my grocery list so I could put them on my "to read" list - a standalone by Lisa Jackson - Paranoid.
I've read Never Have I Ever and enjoyed it a lot. About a third of the way through I got annoyed that the main character wasn't doing what I would do under the circumstances (not that I'll ever find myself in those circumstances but that doesn't stop me from figuring out what I'd do). I put the book down to go to bed and when I resumed reading the next day I found the main character did enough of what I figured I would do that I forgave the author and kept reading.

I call all those kinds of books (and I read a lot of them) junk food fiction. My expectations always outweigh the reality. But as junk food fiction goes, Never Have I Ever was well done.
 

Susan1

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I've read Never Have I Ever and enjoyed it a lot. About a third of the way through I got annoyed that the main character wasn't doing what I would do under the circumstances (not that I'll ever find myself in those circumstances but that doesn't stop me from figuring out what I'd do). I put the book down to go to bed and when I resumed reading the next day I found the main character did enough of what I figured I would do that I forgave the author and kept reading.

I call all those kinds of books (and I read a lot of them) junk food fiction. My expectations always outweigh the reality. But as junk food fiction goes, Never Have I Ever was well done.
Thanks. It's on my list. I found a page with all her books and that's the only one that says "thriller". The others are "general fiction". Lee Child gave it a good review.

I guess if characters in books did the normal, right thing all the time it would get pretty boring, huh? I'm always thinking "why didn't you just............." and the ever popular "don't go there alone", but they do.

I read The Stories You Tell - the latest in the Roxane Weary PI series by Kristen Lepionka. It's the third book in the series and I enjoyed reading all of them.
I've read the first two. #3 is "on the list".
 

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