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

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snoopy

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I just finished Nora Roberts “the collector”. It’s been awhile since I’ve read one of her books but I remember always being engaged in her books. I thought this one was a bit dull (with bad dialogue). I don’t think her writing changed but I wonder if entertainment like game of thrones and breaking bad has inured me to more traditional stories that don’t come with that blood rush. That would be a sign of the times. Everything has to be POW to keep our attention.
 

Susan1

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Weird - I was looking at old skating pictures and a big post-it fell out - skating books. I must have looked them up online to find at the library, but I don't know if I ever read them. So,
Ice Crystals by Pamela Browning (Harlequin)
Death Spiral (Murder at the Winter Olympics) by Meredith Phillips
Winners: A Love Story by Donna Ball
Dreams of Gold by Maynard F. Thomson

There are five skating mysteries by Alina Adams that I do remember reading in the mid 2000's.
 

Prancer

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Another article about Dan Mallory and The Woman in the Window, this one with a much stronger plagiarism case: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/books/dan-mallory-plagiarism.html

And while we are on the subject, another plagiarism case that is in the news: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/02/07/jill-abramson-falls/?utm_term=.670b5c7eaed4

And the author's rebuttal: https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2019/02/07/jill-abramson-accused-plagiarism-defends-her-book-fox-news/?utm_term=.ab18bba7fa7e
 

genevieve

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Milkman wasn't the quick read I'd hoped. I was starting to get into it and made it to the magical page 60 - one Goodreads review said the first 60 pages were awesome but then the book devolved into boring. Unfortunately, my 2 weeks were up and because it was a library quick pick, I couldn't renew so I sent it back with the intention to get it again - we'll see if that happens.

Have now started Garden State by Ben Winters and it's enjoyable enough. A blurb on the cover compares it to Fahrenheit 451, which I can see, although so far it doesn't seem quite so dystopian. More quirky than dire.
 

Susan1

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Funny - I was catching up on Lisa Jackson standalones, and read Ominous, then found out that the prequel (same family) sort of story, Sinister, was by Lisa's sister, Nancy Bush. So I reserved Sinister. I wasn't looking at the author's name and got Sinister by Jana Deleon. I looked it up and found out it was the second book by her about a female private investigator, so I reserved the first one, Malevolent. Sheesh.

Nobody I ever would have thought to read, but I read Malevolent today in between doing other stuff and it was really good. An interesting story and a good continuing personal mystery. There are four more books on her list. They aren't really cozy mysteries, but they are pretty quick reads.

p.s. - And I've still got two different books titled Sinister. ha ha
 
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oleada

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It's been reading heavy weekend, which is one of the best things.

I finished The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. I admire the book, the issues it addresses, and the world building. I think it's well written. But I didn't connect with it emotionally; I think it's because I'm not much of a fantasy reader. I may still read the next two in the series at some point.

I also read Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus. Lots of similarities to her first book, One of Us Is Lying, which I preferred - smart, nerdy yet beautiful main character, mystery, school setting. It's the literary equivalent of the first season of a CW tv show I would binge watch the hell out, so I can't complain. Pretty quick read.

Finally, I finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine which I absolutely loved. I don't think quirky characters with poor social skills are my thing; yet Eleanor totally grew on me and it's honest and touching. I highly recommend it.
 

oleada

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Sorry for the double post:

Has anyone read any Caroline Kepnes books - "You" or "Hidden Bodies"? I listened to HB on audible and I am not really sure what I think but it did hold my interest through long hours hanging out at the airport waiting for my many times delayed plan to take off.
I read You but not Hidden Bodies. I liked You but it was so creepy! She definitely has a knack for making such an unlikable character be weirdly likable. It was engrossing but also completely ****ed up.
 

puglover

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Sorry for the double post:



I read You but not Hidden Bodies. I liked You but it was so creepy! She definitely has a knack for making such an unlikable character be weirdly likable. It was engrossing but also completely ****ed up.
The author has an amazing way with words and her main character is just completely crazy and horrible - but I agree somewhat likable. If you would like to really get a sense of the thought process of a psychopath - these books are for you.
 

Habs

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Finally, I finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine which I absolutely loved. I don't think quirky characters with poor social skills are my thing; yet Eleanor totally grew on me and it's honest and touching. I highly recommend it.
That was the best book I read last year. It's one of the best books I think I've ever read! I happily second your recommendation.
 

genevieve

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I treated myself to Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty for my Honolulu to Newark flight last night into this morning.

I always enjoy Liane Moriarty novels and I hardly put it down (not that there were many opportunities to wander around on the plane), but it does have a very distinct plot turn about midway through the book, that while it upped the suspense, took up a lot of space and felt unbelievable to me.

But it certainly made a nine hour plane ride feel shorter.
I just read this book, and agree about the mid-point plot twist. There was an earlier plot point I found unbelievable, but by the end it all seemed like good campy fun. I haven't read any of her other books or seen the show.
 

Erin

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I just read this book, and agree about the mid-point plot twist. There was an earlier plot point I found unbelievable, but by the end it all seemed like good campy fun. I haven't read any of her other books or seen the show.
Good campy fun is a good description for all of her books, even if there is sometimes a more serious theme behind it. I’m on the wait list for this one, but read a few of her older ones in the past few weeks - Three Wishes, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, and The Last Anniversary. They aren’t as strong as some of her more recent books but they are decent fluff when I want a quick read (although I did really hate one of the main characters in Three Wishes and I got annoyed that all of the books had female characters that were desperate to have babies). I would say her best book is What Alice Forgot, although it also has one of those baby crazy female characters.
 
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Susan1

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I can't look back through all these posts to see if anyone read The Woman in the Window...... Geez - I had to stop yesterday because I was getting too nervous. And I had to go out in the garage for air (not a spoiler - she has agoraphobia). And after a couple hours this afternoon. I'm only about halfway done. I want to keep reading, but I don't want to keep going through books so fast. Don't tell me how it ends!

Saturday I was reading Joseph Finder's Judgment that I started on Friday and I didn't even notice that it had gotten dark out. I was hooked on the story, then it got too spy-ish and unbelievable, but I finished it Sunday morning anyway.
 

Prancer

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I can't look back through all these posts to see if anyone read The Woman in the Window......
Um, yes, and then there was some discussion about the book and the author and not all that long ago.

I thought the ending was pretty predictable.
 

aftershocks

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This may have already been discussed in this thread:
Reese Witherspoon has the rights to produce movie version of Delia Owens' Where the Crawdads Sing: https://www.bookbub.com/blog/where-the-crawdads-sing-movie-reese-witherspoon

It was indeed a page-turner of a story, skillfully combining different genres. I was slightly disappointed at some climactic events in the book, but it was beautifully written. What I couldn't figure out was why the instances of bolded words and phrases throughout the text, which didn't appear to signify anything major when cobbled together. :COP:

A Youtube clip from CBS This Morning on Delia Owens. It's rather interesting that she was in part taking from her own amazing life journey, and that this is her first novel, written during her 60s. She recently turned 70. She had an entirely different career studying wildlife (she majored in zoology and animal behavior). Inevitably, some aspects of her academic and experiential knowledge are what she drew upon for the story she wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9KKzX6j9G8
Having grown up in rural Georgia, Owens currently lives in a beautiful setting in the northeast corner of Idaho that's "almost in Canada, with a view of Montana..." That's very far away from the setting of her book, yet it's cool how Owens says that her remote and wild Idaho sanctuary, is finally the place where she can 'hear the crawdads sing.'
 

Susan1

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Um, yes, and then there was some discussion about the book and the author and not all that long ago.

I thought the ending was pretty predictable.
Shhhhhh!!!!! :)

I just saw this book on a "check me out" (different than the 7 day book shelves) shelf after I had already picked up three reserved books. I remembered seeing it on the best seller list for awhile. And it wasn't on my list of books to reserve, so I got it in case I ran out on a rainy day or something. Or got something, like one of the older Michael Koryta books, that I couldn't get interested in after a couple pages. And I did see something about A J Finn lying on his biography or something. I haven't even checked to see if he wrote other books to put on lists of books to look for.

New Harlan Coben book released tomorrow called 'Run Away".
It's the latest Mickey Bolitar. I caught up on all the Myrons and most of the standalones, then read the Mickey ones. They are too "supernatural" for my taste, but I like Harlan Coben's characters. I've had it reserved for awhile, along with about 80 other people.
 
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Susan1

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Um, yes, and then there was some discussion about the book and the author and not all that long ago.

I thought the ending was pretty predictable.
Finished The Woman in the Window yesterday. I liked it.
 

Erin

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Also just read two books by Ben Dolnick back to back. Ghost Notebooks (most recent) first, so then followed with his previous book, The Bottom of Everything. Excellent, excellent writer, one of the best I've ever read. Real eye for those little details that speak volumes, engaging, although the plotlines won't be for everyone.

Before that I read Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. First "adult" (quotations deliberate, because it's mostly about teenagers) novel by a YA writer, so thought I'd mention it as I think many here enjoy YA. Typical dual timeline story based around What Happened That Fateful Summer, including the Deep Dark Family Secret You Can See Coming from Page One. In the end though, a good read, very atmospheric, interesting characters, I'll probably read her next one whenever that happens, good summer read.
I finally have some time for reading, so I've been going through this thread to see what I missed when I was too busy and ended up with two of these three books this week - The Bottom of Everything and Roanoke Girls. I agree that The Bottom of Everything was well-written but I think I'm one of those people the plotlines aren't for - something just didn't click for me. It reminded me a lot of The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Euclinides, with the focus on mental illness and the travel to India so people who liked one will like the other and vice versa. (I hadn't been crazy about The Marriage Plot either.)

I liked Roanoke Girls better, even if it was pretty predictable and things were (mostly) wrapped up in a bow by the end. Agreed that I would read another one by her.

I'm also about a third of the way through Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion by Anne Sommerset...after seeing the movie The Favourite, as usual, I wanted to get the real story behind what was fact and what was fiction and learn more about Queen Anne. Anyway, it's a decent but not great biography. The title is a bit of a misnomer as I'm not sure where the passion comes in. I'd recommend it if anyone else is similarly inspired by the movie to learn more as it was the only biography I could find on Queen Anne, and it does have some interesting sections on British crown succession at the end of the 17th century. But it hasn't captured me the way some other bios have.
 

Jenny

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Glad to get your comments Erin :)

I just started another book by a YA writer now trying her hand at adult books, wonder if anyone is familiar with Cass Green/Caroline Green? So far it's interesting, but at this point it could go either way. And it's yet another of these female writers writing what I guess they are hoping are complex female characters that are at once strong and vulnerable, unapologetic but relatably insecure, presented like they are fabulous but somehow are not. At least so far. I'd sworn off that genre for awhile, but this one was two for one on my last trip to the bookstore so I thought I'd give it a shot.

The books I've enjoyed most in the past year or so have been by men writing about both men and women, but mostly about men, and that take place before cell phones and social media, not sure what that says about me. :lol:
 

emason

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I was in the mood to do some armchair traveling recently, so I read Bitter Lemons of Cyprus by Lawrence Durrell and I really liked it. His use of language is so beautiful and he writes so evocatively of the few years in the 50s when he moved to Cyprus and bought a house there, just as the Cyprus conflict was beginning to ramp up. I recommend it.

Now I am trying to read Swing Time by Zadie Smith. It's for my book club this Monday night and I'm having trouble really getting into the book. The writing is easy but the reading is hard; I'm not sure what the issue is for me. Has anyone here read it and what did you think?
 

Prancer

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I just finished reading Early Decision, a book that was recommended to me by a bot because I was reading a lot of news articles about the college admission scandal. If you have an interest in the college admission process and how it works in these shady times, the book will certainly take you through all the angst and :drama: and slithery dishonesty that are inherent to the process.

Otherwise, it's probably not a book for most people, as most of it is essentially an indictment of the type of parenting that goes into hothouse children, with a slight side story about what it is to go to an Ivy and then fail (relatively) at life. But it was interesting for me and might be for someone like @PrincessLeppard, as it talks a lot about working with teenagers on revising drafts and how to find good writing within yourself. There is a section of the book I am going to use in class because I think it says something true about the downside of the way we English teachers teach writing.
 

Japanfan

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I'm in a book drought!:(

I thought I was set for some time with Philippa Gregory's 'Cousins' War' series. There are quite a few in the series and I've always enjoyed Gregory. But at about 100 pages in I'm not feeling the love. The series seems to be more about events and less about characters, so the story isn't drawing me in.

My other option is 'Oathbringer', book 3 in Brandon Sanderson's epic series 'The Stormlight Archive'. But it turns out to focus on the character I found least interesting in the previous two books.

I guess I'll have to give it a try.
 

Susan1

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I got the new David Rosenfelt book off the 7 day shelf. It's the third Doug Brock book. I can't even remember this character, but I'm sure I liked the first two!
 

hanca

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I recently read a few books that I enjoyed.
Angela Clark - On My Life
Jessica Barry - Freefall
Cara Hunter - No Way Out
 

Jenny

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Thought of you @Susan1 as I was reading the Cass Green novel I mentioned earlier. The main character works for a company known as PCC - they spell out what it stands for, quote the character answering the phone. And then on the next page, the company is named as CPP. Fine, a typo, I was ready to let it go. And then ...

Main character "takes her mobile out into the stairwell for privacy," and phone conversation is described, during which main character is suddenly "sitting forward in her chair."

But I continue, for the sole reason that I want to know The Terrible Thing That Happened to That Woman When She Was a Child and What's with That Creepy Cottage, which these days seems to be the plot of just about every book club novel turned major motion picture currently in print.
 

Susan1

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Thought of you @Susan1 as I was reading the Cass Green novel I mentioned earlier. The main character works for a company known as PCC - they spell out what it stands for, quote the character answering the phone. And then on the next page, the company is named as CPP. Fine, a typo, I was ready to let it go. And then ...

Main character "takes her mobile out into the stairwell for privacy," and phone conversation is described, during which main character is suddenly "sitting forward in her chair."

But I continue, for the sole reason that I want to know The Terrible Thing That Happened to That Woman When She Was a Child and What's with That Creepy Cottage, which these days seems to be the plot of just about every book club novel turned major motion picture currently in print.
Thank you?!!!!
The best one ever was in, I think, a David Rosenfeld book where even he remarked on his website that he said the character "landed on his back on his face" or something like that. Ow! Just finished his latest. I only remember one typo!

Not a book, but on last night's Spring Baking Championship, Clinton Kelly told the bakers they had 2 hours to make the pies, then he told the judges that they had had 90 minutes. Who else would even notice that? I have error radar. "If I had a nickel.....".

Edited to add - oh, yeah, if I never read another kidnapped female kept in a basement or concrete building and chained to a wall and has to figure out how to get herself loose and run through the woods I will be ever so grateful.
 
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puglover

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I am totally with you on the whole female kidnapped basement plot that seems to be a popular dilemma for fiction writers now.
 

Erin

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Yes I’m done with that one and also done with “I married the perfect man and then he turned out to be a controlling asshole” plotline. I read about four of those in a row last year (some also containing kidnapped female in a basement) and it got old.
 
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