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

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hanca

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I think I read only one book (fiction - thriller) about a female that was found in the basement, and it actually turned out that it was a set up and she was one of the bad guys.
 

missing

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I read Little Faith by Nickolas Butler a few days ago and highly recommend it.

There was an unnecessary and disruptive POV change for 3 pages in the middle of the book (I'd love to know if that was the editor's or the author's idea, but someone must have lost the argument) and a grand total of 2 words of dialogue I thought were wrong, but except for those very minor things, I found the book beautifully written and emotionally compelling. I cared deeply about the characters and even the most negatively portrayed major character did at least one thing that was truly good.

I'd previously read The Hearts Of Men and liked some but not all of it. Little Faith covers much less time and fewer characters and I thought was a much better novel.
 

Susan1

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New Harlan Coben book released tomorrow called 'Run Away".
It's on the library 7 day shelf. I already had three reserved books to check out, so I'll just wait till that one shows up as ready and I won't have read it in 7 days.
 

Susan1

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New James Patterson book, not related to or written with Bill Clinton (The President is Missing) - ha ha, but it's funny it's called The First Lady - "one secret can bring down a government when the President's affair to remember becomes a nightmare he wishes he could forget. Sally Grissom is a top secret service agent in charge of the Presidential Protection team..........." I wonder if the president in the book has a variation of the name trump???? how bout President Pmurt. ha ha ha
 

PrincessLeppard

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Last night I finished All Our Wrong Todays, about time travel gone awry. Because I got it from our school library, I assumed it was YA and was thus was surprised when the narrator turned out to be 32. He seemed younger in the beginning because the character is emotionally stunted, and I still feel like the first part of the book would work better if he was a teenager. But the last part wouldn't. So I dunno. Interesting book. I wouldn't buy it, but if the library has it, check it out.
 

Erin

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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 read this one last night and I agree about the mid-book plot twist. It made the last half of the book a lot less enjoyable than the first half of the book. It was a quick read, as all of her books are, but I thought this was one of her weakest efforts. It was a bit disappointing overall.

I've read a lot of books in the past couple of weeks but the only one I remember is Chemistry, which is about an overachieving Chinese-American Ph.D candidate surrounded by other overachieving people who feels as if she can't possibly measure up to anyone or anything (especially her parents' expectations) and maybe doesn't want to be a chemist after all. When her boyfriend proposes and asks her to move to Oberlin with him, she has something of an anxiety-and-indecision-induced breakdown. The author packs a lot into her spare prose--generational angst, humor, science, graduate school psychosis, sexism in the sciences, marriage and baby indecision, and a lot of other things. I'd probably have liked it even more if I were, say, in my 20s, but I still enjoyed it. She has an interesting voice and a real knack for the subtle zinger.
I really struggled with this one - perhaps the prose was too spare or abstract for me, but the style just didn’t work for me.

If you like memoirs (not a genre I usually enjoy, so not sure why I picked this one out at the library), I highly recommend Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic. She's old enough to remember Yugoslavia before it went to shit, but got out right as the war was beginning. She's Serbian, but her family opposed Milosevic from the start, so it's interesting to hear about that, since most of the news I recall painted all the Serbs as evil. I mean, I know that couldn't have been true, but I worked only with Bosnian and Croatian refugees in Germany, so I admit my own perspective was skewed that way. So not only did I enjoy the book (she's an excellent writer), but it forced me to abandon one of my prejudices.
I really enjoyed this one too, especially having just been in Croatia and hearing about the war from someone there who lives through it (although he did not paint all Serbs as evil, it did come across as the Serbs were the bad guys). It was especially interesting to read her perspective during the NATO bombing of Serbia during the Kosovo war and how she no longer wanted to fit in with Australians then, she wanted to hang out with the Yugos, as she called them.
 

Prancer

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I really struggled with this one - perhaps the prose was too spare or abstract for me, but the style just didn’t work for me.
It's very elliptical--so many things are left out or mentioned only in passing that would be central to the storyline in another kind of book.

I liked that because it is, to me, very much about what is going on in the mind of a person who is trying very hard to avoid thinking about the obvious.
 

Habs

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If you haven't read The Huntress by Kate Quinn, do it!
I just picked that one up at Costco on the weekend. I'm really looking forward to it; I loved The Alice Network.

I just finished reading Daisy Jones & The Six and LOVED it.
 

clairecloutier

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@genevieve Thanks for your recommendation of the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. I was thinking about reading it anyway, and your post convinced me. I really enjoyed it! Quite different than anything I've read before, and great characters. Loved the ending.
 

Wyliefan

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Is anyone else reading Lovely War? I had heard it was good -- a glowing review in the Washington Post led me to pick it up -- but I'm astounded by just how good it is. I do a lot of reading, but I haven't read anything so original or surprising or moving in a long time.
 

Erin

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I'm trying to get some fun stuff read before my class starts next week. I just finished The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes. It's YA, and centers around the diary of an East German Anne Frank, for lack of a better description, and two teenagers trying to solve her murder. Lots of interesting sub-plots and the male and female leads DO NOT FALL IN LOVE OMG so refreshing. And there is also an overweight, yet heroic, pug. Highly recommend.
I just read this one (I had a feeling because it was YA that you had recommended it and I was right :lol:) and liked it too. It took me a little while to get into it so I’ll warn anyone else reading it to be patient. Once I got into it, I liked it a lot too.

I had one disappointment, probably just a mild spoiler but better safe than sorry:

I wish that Pepper and Molly had solved the mystery themselves rather than having the last bit handed to Molly. Although that is probably more realistic.

The Woman in the Window--yet another thriller with an unreliable narrator that is something of an homage to Hitchcock and Hitchcockian movies. In this one, a child psychologist has agoraphobia and spies on her neighbors for entertainment. She briefly meets and likes a new neighbor and then later sees the neighbor stagger past the neighbor's living room window, bleeding profusely with a knife or something like a knife protruding from her chest. But when the police arrive, it seems that the woman doesn't exist, there is no sign of murder and no one can corroborate her story, while it is also apparent to all that she drinks, abuses prescription drugs and is the victim of some sort of severe trauma, which slowly emerges as the tale winds on. Overall, I liked this one more than some, as I liked the protagonist more than some. There are two twists--one I didn't see coming and one I thought was clunkily obvious, which made the end pretty meh.
So in spite of the weird profiles of the author, I read this and enjoyed it too. So I have this terrible habit of skipping to the end of books (I can’t handle suspense so I enjoy books better when I know the ending) so I obviously saw all the plot twists coming since I cheated. I am curious for someone who didn’t, which was considered the clunkily obvious and which one you saw coming.
 

Prancer

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So in spite of the weird profiles of the author, I read this and enjoyed it too. So I have this terrible habit of skipping to the end of books (I can’t handle suspense so I enjoy books better when I know the ending) so I obviously saw all the plot twists coming since I cheated. I am curious for someone who didn’t, which was considered the clunkily obvious and which one you saw coming.
I had the who of the whodunnit from pretty much the time the dunnit occurred. I just thought it was really obvious. But I was pretty surprised when I found out why the husband and daughter couldn't visit the main character. The hints that were dropped before that reveal led me in a totally different direction.

How's that for a pretty non-spoilery answer? :p
 

oleada

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I finished Bad Blood by John Carreyrou on the Theranos scandal. Jesus Christ. The gall of these people.
 

Erin

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I finished Bad Blood by John Carreyrou on the Theranos scandal. Jesus Christ. The gall of these people.
That’s on my to read list. I watched the HBO documentary but as with most Alex Gibney documentaries, I found it barely scratched the surface and I was left with more questions than answers. Looking forward to reading to book whenever I get it from the library.

And @Prancer that is crystal clear to me. My curiosity is satisfied. Interestingly, I skipped far enough that the whodunnit was given to me but I managed to figure out the husband and daughter not visiting on my own.
 

puglover

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I read "Bad Blood" as well and thought it was a very well presented but horrifying story of how even in our day and age with so much scientific information, unscrupulous people can thrive. At least - for a time - anyway.
 

MacMadame

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I've read a lot about the Thanos debacle and watched some YouTube videso about it and I still don't know if they knowing set out to commit fraud or if they were certain they could get the whole thing to work and thought "oh, I'll just fudge a bit now to buy time."
 

Tesla

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I finished Bad Blood by John Carreyrou on the Theranos scandal. Jesus Christ. The gall of these people.
I'm listening to the podcast The Drop Out. I'm only into the second episode and find it fascinating. I remember first reading about Theranos when the scandal broke.
I've read a lot about the Thanos debacle and watched some YouTube videso about it and I still don't know if they knowing set out to commit fraud or if they were certain they could get the whole thing to work and thought "oh, I'll just fudge a bit now to buy time."
I know. Shouldn't half the world's population be gone? ;) (It's a great typo. :lol:) But seriously, I wonder the same thing. If given the time, I wonder if the technology really could've worked. I don't know if it's just impatient naivety or outright fraud.
 

MacMadame

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If they had just said "we're going to do 7 tests with a few drops of blood," that would have been revolutionary in and of itself. But, no, they had to promise 250 tests with a few drops of blood!

I get 7-11 vials of blood taken every year during my annual physical and I would have been happy if even a few of them went away.
 

Tesla

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If they had just said "we're going to do 7 tests with a few drops of blood," that would have been revolutionary in and of itself. But, no, they had to promise 250 tests with a few drops of blood!

I get 7-11 vials of blood taken every year during my annual physical and I would have been happy if even a few of them went away.
It's too bad they couldn't do the research properly and (maybe) come up with a product that really did work, even if it wasn't as ambitious.
 

Erin

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So inspired by the old discussion on A Woman of Substance (from two years ago as it turned out...I did mention I went through this thread from the beginning for book ideas), I read it during what turned out to be a 12 hour day of travel yesterday. I would say that it was decent fluff but unlike the title, not a lot of substance. Emma does make a plucky and appealing heroine, with her rags to riches hard working attitude. And of course, poor choices in men to make sure she isn’t too perfect. The pacing is kind of off as the first half moves rather slow and then the last half moves at a breakneck pace and important events you sometimes only find out about in retrospect. It kind of breaks the show-don’t-tell rule of writing but the book is already long enough as it is. While obviously pro-feminism, the book has not aged well in respect to its attitudes towards Down’s syndrome (a character refers to a child as being “retarded”) and homosexuality (which is used for blackmail and is referred to as “sexual deviation”). Anyway, decent entertainment for my travel day but I don’t know if I’ll rush to read the sequels because my to-read list is already about 30 books long.
 
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her grace

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I read Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. It's a loose retelling of Rumplestiltskin and I found it pretty enjoyable. Fantasy is not my usual genre, so it was nice to read something different. This book has tales within tales with multiple narrators and lovely worldbuilding. It also explores anti-semitism in a rather matter-of-fact way--not something I expected to find in a fairy tale. The book is a good combination of serious and fantastical.
 

Zemgirl

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I read Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. It's a loose retelling of Rumplestiltskin and I found it pretty enjoyable. Fantasy is not my usual genre, so it was nice to read something different. This book has tales within tales with multiple narrators and lovely worldbuilding. It also explores anti-semitism in a rather matter-of-fact way--not something I expected to find in a fairy tale. The book is a good combination of serious and fantastical.
I loved Novik's Temeraire books (well, maybe not the one set in Australia). Those are more alt-history with fantasy elements, and I agree that she's very good at combining the serious and the fantastical.
 

ryanj07

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I finally got around to reading “Crazy Rich Asians” and I really enjoyed it! It’s campy and shallow but sometimes that’s what I need. I think the movie did a great job staying pretty close to the storyline from the book.

I also recently read a few others:

“Then She Was Gone” by Lisa Jewell. This was my first time reading this author and I binge read it in a single day! It was excellent. The subject matter (missing daughter, grieving parents, etc.) was extremely disturbing at times but I found the story both shocking and predictable. I definitely want to check out some of her other novels.

“Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng. I enjoyed this much more than her debut. I found that all of the characters had a distinct voice. My only problem was the ambiguous ending... drove me crazy!

“The Light We Lost” by Jill Santopolo. It tells
the story of two Columbia seniors who met on 9/11 and how their lives keep intertwining over more than a decade. It’s a beautiful story but definitely have your box of tissues nearby.
 

genevieve

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I just picked up "On the Come Up" by Angie Thomas. Looks like it was just published. I keep seeing raves for her previous book "The Hate U Give" but never read it.

It's a very quick read - I'm already a third of the way through and I'm a slow reader. It is almost too perfect in terms of ticking fizzy summer read forgettable storytelling boxes. It sort of reads like a treatment for a tv show, but one with depth in unexpected places - think alt-Veronica Mars.

I'm going out of town this weekend and thought this would be nice to read during the trip, but I'll likely finish it by then. I guess I'll just have to take "Anna Karenina", which is the opposite of a quick read :lol:
 

PrincessLeppard

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I'm in the middle of Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution and Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Dude. East German punks were f**king hardcore. Persevering through constant harassment and even given extended jail terms? I will never, ever be that bad ass.
 

cygnus

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I read Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. It's a loose retelling of Rumplestiltskin and I found it pretty enjoyable. Fantasy is not my usual genre, so it was nice to read something different. This book has tales within tales with multiple narrators and lovely worldbuilding. It also explores anti-semitism in a rather matter-of-fact way--not something I expected to find in a fairy tale. The book is a good combination of serious and fantastical.
I loved that book too. You would also like her other book set with a fantasy Eastern European background, if you haven't already read it- Uprooted. I liked it even more than Spinning Silver.
 

Prancer

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I read two books over the weekend on the recommendations of students.

Like Never and Always -- two teenage girls and their brother boyfriends are in a car accident. One of the girls is killed but comes to in her friend's body. She learns that her friend had a lot of secrets. It's YA, but it's got some pretty dark themes for YA. I didn't entirely buy the way the premise unfolded and thought parts of it were :eyeroll:, but it's pretty good for a YA book I wouldn't have read on my own.

Need to Know--CIA counterintelligence analyst Vivian hacks into the computer of Russian intelligence agent who heads a group of sleeper agents in the US. She opens a file about the sleeper agents and finds a photo of her husband. @genevieve might want to read this one this weekend, as it is just the sort of book to read on a travel weekend--a real page turner that moves right along as long as you don't think too much. The ending kind of ruined the book for me, but I can't go into why without spoilers. Apparently there is going to be a movie with Charlize Theron, which sounds right, as the entire time I was reading the book, I thought it was structured more like a movie than a novel.
 

Susan1

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Yeah, me again..........the latest "Castle" book - besides the five typos that I noticed. He had somebody being told to steal something from someone before that person was even given the thing he was supposed to steal (trying not to spoil?). Geez. It made no sense. I have only ever read all the Nikki Heat ones, not the "Storm" ones. Who writes them anyway, Patterson? Connelly?
 
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