Outside of a Dog, a Book is Man's Best Friend (The Book Thread)

Status
Not open for further replies.

ryanj07

Well-Known Member
Messages
754
I recently finished Fatima Farheen Mirza’s “A Place For Us” and it was really great! It spans several decades telling the story of an Indian-American Muslim family. The story begins with a wedding in the near present day where the family is reunited with a brother that’s been estranged for a few years and from there the timeline jumps around to tell the story of just how their relationship became so fractured.

I found it really well done how the author weaved the aftermath of 9/11 into the story, showing how completely innocent Muslims were affected as well. It’s a great read for those who love slow burning family dramas!
 

Prancer

Needs More Sleep
Staff member
Messages
48,479
Even the early ones? The later books (like the last 20 years of his life :shuffle: ) were far simpler and more formulaic, but the early ones are great.
Odds Against is still one of my all-time favorite mysteries. Whip Hand wasn't quite as good, but it ranks up there as well--plus there were all those ballooning tidbits in that one.

I just read The Bedlam Detective. I knew nothing about it before reading it except that it was given several starred reviews. About a quarter of the way through the book, I started thinking that this was kind of historical novel that truly is historical, as in historically accurate, but found the background story hard to believe. Well, live and learn.

In 1845, the British government passed the Lunacy Act, which allowed the government to take control of the money and property of wealthy people deemed mentally unfit. The people who controlled the property of the mentally unfilt were called the Masters of Lunacy. The people who determined whether a person was mentally fit or not were called Visitors in Lunacy. All of them were controlled by the Lunacy Commission. The protagonist in the book is an investigator working for Visitor in Lunacy James Crichton-Browne, who actually WAS a Visitor in Lunacy.

If only we still had user levels.

I didn't especially care for the writing style, but the subject matter was interesting and the story took some unexpected turns. Definitely not a book for people who are looking for a page turner, as there are multiple storylines, many of them not particularly relevant to the mystery. But if you have seen the PBS documentary on Theodore Roosevelt's Amazon expedition, you might find one of the dominant subplots interesting, or at least somewhat familiar.
 

antmanb

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,051
Speaking of trilogies (as it was brought up earlier). A TV series of a Discovery Of Witches has been made that is airing here at the minute and i'm really enjoying it. I remember reading and really enjoying the first book, but when I read the second book I gave up halfway through (which is extremely rare for me, even when I dislike a book I generally stick it out to the end). I can't remember exactly why the second book pissed me off, but one thing I remember getting bored of was the romance aspect of it (I seem to recall getting twilight PTSD flashbacks :lol: ) so I ditched it and never bothered even finding out when the third book came out.

I'm hoping they do the full three series for TV so that I can watch it and see what the outcome of the story is.
 

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
Staff member
Messages
36,092
Odds Against is still one of my all-time favorite mysteries. Whip Hand wasn't quite as good, but it ranks up there as well--plus there were all those ballooning tidbits in that one.
Nerve is a book I can read over and over again. And I agree about Odds Against and Whip Hand.

I just looked at his bibliography, and the books started getting formulaic-but-enjoyable past 1980, and really kind of meh in the mid-'80s. Although 1990's Longshot is another one that I've read and enjoyed several times.
 

puglover

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,731
Repeating myself here but "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens - one of the best books I have read recently!!
 

MacMadame

Cat Lady-in-Training
Messages
29,681
Nerve is a book I can read over and over again. And I agree about Odds Against and Whip Hand.
I used to read them all, in the order they were written, once a year. Haven't done that in ages though and gave away almost all my books when we moved so now I can't do it.
 

hanca

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,961
I'm hoping they do the full three series for TV so that I can watch it and see what the outcome of the story is.
The outcome is ....and lived happily ever after. And if they haven’t died, they are still living there now.
(I may be slightly exaggerating but not much.)
 

puglover

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,731
I got the new John Grisham novel from audible "The Reckoning". I got it as a pre-order and there were no reviews posted prior to my receiving it. I returned the book, first one I have ever chosen to take that option, and now I see the reviews are terrible as well. Just super long, drawn-out, boring, - what happened to you John?
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
Messages
26,294
For my Dystopias in America class, I just read Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. It started off strong and then just got weird at the end. The narrator is a 17-18 year old girl, who winds up in a relationship with a man who is 57. I get that choices are limited in an apocalyptic world, but no. Just....no.

Although props the character for insisting on condom use. So there's that, I guess?
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
29,856
I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with that unless there’s some real power dynamic issues. I haven’t read it so maybe there are unless that was the point of using the setting of an apocalyptic world about how humanity ends up letting go of ideals for survival.

I read Octavia Butler’s Kindred many years ago and it still blows me away and makes me wish more African-American women wrote sci-fi.
 

Erin

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,167
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate is a fictional story inspired by the real Tennessee Children's Home Society, an adoption agency in the early 1900's, that stole children from loving parents to sell to wealthy patrons. The book is told from two perspectives: Rill, who is taken with her siblings to the Children's home during the Great Depression, and Avery, a modern Senator's daughter, who begins uncovering family secrets. Rill's portion of the book is masterful--the author's portrayal of the 12-year-old's voice is believable and convincing.
Avery's portion of the book is okay and has an unnecessary romance ::mitchell:
Well-written and engaging.
I just finished this one and I agree it was well done. I liked Avery's portion better than you did although I agree about your second comment in the spoiler section. I do think there were a few things in the ending that were really rushed and times where the author could have remembered "show, don't tell" but it wouldn't stop me from recommending the book.

I keep wanting to read White Trash from the same post but I always have so many other books out from the library that I haven't been able to get around to it yet. This one always has no waitlist, so I figure it can be anytime.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
Messages
59,303
Speaking of trilogies (as it was brought up earlier). A TV series of a Discovery Of Witches has been made that is airing here at the minute and i'm really enjoying it. I remember reading and really enjoying the first book, but when I read the second book I gave up halfway through (which is extremely rare for me, even when I dislike a book I generally stick it out to the end). I can't remember exactly why the second book pissed me off, but one thing I remember getting bored of was the romance aspect of it (I seem to recall getting twilight PTSD flashbacks :lol: ) so I ditched it and never bothered even finding out when the third book came out.

I'm hoping they do the full three series for TV so that I can watch it and see what the outcome of the story is.
I read all three. I agree, she lost her way a bit in the 2nd, book, but the 3rd was pretty good. There's now a 4th but it's focused on Marcus and Phoebe. Lot's of historical background on the Revolutionary war. The author is a historian and she can't help herself. :lol:

I got a police procedural mystery called Rip Tide by Toby Neal. I didn't realize it was the 9th book in a series until I started reading. Now, I already know the key points in the first 8 books. :lol: They are set in Hawai'i and Rip Tide is about pro surfing which is why I got it. I'll go back and read the first 8 just to fill in the relationship blanks.
 

cygnus

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,898
I'm currently reading Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. Her previous book Uprooted is one of my favourite fantasy novels ever, and this one does not disappoint. It is not a sequel to her previous book, but it has the same vibe- set in a fantasy Eastern Europe, using lots of elements from Russian and Polish and Jewish folklore. Uprooted was loosely based on Beauty and the Beast- this one is very loosely based on Rumplestiltskin, but there are elements of other tales in it too. The multiple narrators works well, I think, although sometimes it takes a few sentences to realize who is speaking. But it kept me up late while I was at Skate Canada- so it's a page turner!
 

puglover

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,731
New Michael Connelly (Harry Bosc) book comes out today or tomorrow called "Dark Sacred Night". Seems to be getting good reviews from the pre-release date crowd. Also, new Lee Child "Jack Reacher" book "Past Tense" due to be released next Monday, November 5th. Dick Hill has retired so Scott Brick is narrating this latest Lee Child book.
 

Susan1

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,392
New Michael Connelly (Harry Bosc) book comes out today or tomorrow called "Dark Sacred Night". Seems to be getting good reviews from the pre-release date crowd. Also, new Lee Child "Jack Reacher" book "Past Tense" due to be released next Monday, November 5th. Dick Hill has retired so Scott Brick is narrating this latest Lee Child book.
I'll put the Michael Connelly on my list to look for. I still have three old Harry ones to get through. Have you read the one with his new detective, Renee Ballard? I think I liked it. I read so much, I forget! ha ha Past Tense is already on there, but I have 4 older ones of those to go too.

I just got Juror #3 by James Patterson that I reserved awhile ago. It's on the 7 day shelves, but I don't have to worry about getting this one back for three weeks. And the new Michel Bennett is on reserve.

I went to the remodeled West Carrollton library last week. It is so much cozier and friendlier than Miamisburg. I used to talk to one of the librarians there and she would come up and talk to me when she was working in Miamisburg during the shut down. She showed me around and even where the alarm that goes off if you try to leave without checking out a book has lights imbedded in it! They were a month late opening because of computer problems and six roof leaks. The day I was there, damp and in the 50's, the heat was not working and they were not allowed to turn the fireplace on yet.

Anyway, they have a "check (checkmark) me out" section of new books that are not 7 day books. They are just not renewable. I got the latest Mary Kubica. I started it about a couple hours ago. I'm really interested to see what happens. Don't tell me! I hope I am not disappointed in the ending.
 

puglover

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,731
From the reviews I read, it sounds like this new Michael Connelly book does include the new detective, Renee Ballard. As Harry is getting a little long in the tooth, perhaps that is the direction any future books will go.
 

NinjaTurtles

Teenage Mutant
Messages
3,556
I read a short NYT article about the printing of 'tiny books'; books that mirror the tactical experience of scrolling and reading on a phone/tablet.

It's oddly jarring to see a landscape printed book. I wonder if I would be annoyed with having to flip the page so often?
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
21,761
It's oddly jarring to see a landscape printed book. I wonder if I would be annoyed with having to flip the page so often?
I would find it very annoying.

The only benefit I can see to such a tiny book is that maybe it could fit into a pocket, or fit easier into a purse than a standard book.

But given that people already have Kindle for convenience, I doubt there will be much of a market for this product.
 

Erin

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,167
I’ve read a lot in the top 10 (6 out of 10) but the percentage I have read seems to go down the further down the list I go. Going through the list quickly, I think it’s 20 I have read on the whole list. I think the only one on the list that I read and really hated was The Catcher and the Rye but it obviously doesn’t surprise me that it’s on the list, but there are others that I thought were only OK.
 

Prancer

Needs More Sleep
Staff member
Messages
48,479
there are others that I thought were only OK.
I just counted and I've read 64 of the top 100. And there are some I am just not going to read, like Left Behind (my husband read it, and I read the first chapter when he had it--wow, people love that book?) and some that I have read that, well, let's just say I won't ever go back to them because I enjoyed the experience so much.

But I was glad to see that Ayn Rand wasn't in first place, as she usually is on these open reader poll kind of things :shuffle:.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
Messages
59,303
I just counted and I've read 64 of the top 100. And there are some I am just not going to read, like Left Behind (my husband read it, and I read the first chapter when he had it--wow, people love that book?) and some that I have read that, well, let's just say I won't ever go back to them because I enjoyed the experience so much.

But I was glad to see that Ayn Rand wasn't in first place, as she usually is on these open reader poll kind of things :shuffle:.
I always wonder who voted for these lists. I think they just make them up
 

Prancer

Needs More Sleep
Staff member
Messages
48,479
I always wonder who voted for these lists. I think they just make them up
Oh, I think this list reflects a true popular vote. Any reading list that includes such a mishmash of classics and trashy crap has got to be real.
 

quartz

uncultured pearl clutcher
Messages
12,710
I think the list is skewed - a true popular vote would show even more trash, chick lit, and pop fiction - and way fewer classics/literature. I don't believe for a second that War and Peace is more beloved than Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts.
 

skatesindreams

Well-Known Member
Messages
29,377
I have read most of the books on the list, (about 90) except for the Left Behind/Hunger Games material.
I agree that much of the list would be described as "Popular Fiction" rather than "Literature".

Time; and public/critical response often determines whether "popular fiction" becomes "literature"!
 

Prancer

Needs More Sleep
Staff member
Messages
48,479
I think the list is skewed - a true popular vote would show even more trash, chick lit, and pop fiction - and way fewer classics/literature. I don't believe for a second that War and Peace is more beloved than Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts.
I am sure that it is skewed, but it's from a PBS series for book lovers as part of the Great American Read. I would expect to see literature with that crowd.
 

quartz

uncultured pearl clutcher
Messages
12,710
Literature readers are sneaky - they may be buying Tolstoy, and listing it in polls, because that is the expectation, but they are also secretly reading Jodi Picoult and Stieg Larrson. :D
 
Last edited:

Susan1

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,392
I think the list is skewed - a true popular vote would show even more trash, chick lit, and pop fiction - and way fewer classics/literature. I don't believe for a second that War and Peace is more beloved than Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts.
I agree. I only saw a couple of the shows, that were each about a different category. I thought it was so strange that Dean Koontz's Watchers made the list. I read that back in the 80's. It hardly seems like something that would be so widely popular. I think it was in the Heroes and Villains category?
And the first Alex Cross book? Out of what, 25 of them? And all the other Patterson series?
Some of them had to be read for school, not for fun, which doesn't necessarily make them popular. I wasted a whole Christmas vacation reading Grapes of Wrath and had to be tested on it orally the next week. Huh? Who? Where? I don't remember. (Just kidding on the answers.) I still remember enough when it comes up on Jeopardy!
 

Spiralgraph

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,864
I've read 36 of those books on the list. Obviously some I read back in high school because they were on my list of required reading. But I've reread many of those again for pleasure. I've never read the left behind series or hunger games and don't intend to. And as for the trashy stuff I've read, well don't ask and I won't tell. :slinkaway
 

Jimena

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,796
Joining this thread way late to recommend Pachinko. What a great book. I finished reading it last week and it's stayed with me for a while.

I don't know if it's mentioned before in the thread (did a search and nothing came up). I'm searching the thread for recommendations! Our next book in our book club is Where the Crawdads Sing. I'm really happy someone here enjoyed it. :)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top