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Rick Kitchen

What Are We Currently Reading?

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8 hours ago, partofme said:

I read An Unwanted Guest back in November, it wasn't good, I gave it 2 stars on goodreads.  I agree with the sentiment that the author isn't a good writer, and yet I've read 3 of her books.  I remember  hating The Couple Next Door and for some reason I still gave it 3 stars.  

I read The Couple Next Door when I was in the hospital for a long stretch and for various reasons unable to concentrate on anything or follow anything too complex of literary. Some of those "twists and turns" thrillers can work, so I tried it (luckily I had an e-reader and wifi so I had a lot of books loaded and I could buy or check out more).  It was not good. I finished it and was mad with myself for not bailing. I added An Unwanted Guest to my Kindle library wish list, figuring I might give it a chance, but if you gave it a lower rating, I'll probably skip it. 

Then I picked up Three Graves Full and it was the kind of witty, twisty crime novel that I needed. A fun, easy read, but also well-written. 

I just read and loved Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield. It really snuck up on me. 

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I agree with the sentiment that Armada isn't as good as Ready Player One.

I didn't find The Couple Next Door to be terrible, but it was just something to while away a plane ride. Nothing memorable. (I fly somewhat often and I tend to save thrillers for then, as I can't concentrate on anything too heavy while on a plane and I won't really be disappointed if a thriller turns out to be so-so.)

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Just wrapped up Tolkien's Silmarillion FINALLY, took me like two months. I loved it, but man it's a slow read. 

Decided I need something lighter for a change, so yesterday I started out King's second volume of the Bill Hodges trilogy, Finders Keepers.

Edited by Rosenrot
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I have waaaay too many books going at once (again):

  • Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield.  I'm really enjoying this one.  The Thirteenth Tale is my favorite novel, but I heard her second book was terrible, so I was nervous about this one.
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.  This one (and the entire series!) has been sitting on my kindle for too long!
  • Faith Unraveled by Rachel Held Evans.  I interrupted my reading of the Flavia de Luce novel above for this one once I learned of RHE's death.  
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama.  I started reading this one, but then switched to audio.  It wasn't that the book wasn't working for me, but it is exactly the kind of audiobook that I like.
  • Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver.  Another "I need to read this now that they are dead" book.  It's also my toilet book, so it's a few poems a day sort of thing.
  • Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks.  Since this is a short story collection, it's easy for me to pick this one up now and then.  I started it at Christmas and am still chipping away at it.
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3 minutes ago, HazelEyes4325 said:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.  This one (and the entire series!) has been sitting on my kindle for too long!

Oh, I have loved those. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the direction of the series after the latest book, but Bradley does keep changing things up, so maybe I don't need to be concerned.

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On 5/8/2019 at 3:15 PM, GaT said:

I loved Ready Player One (thought the movie sucked) so I was really excited for Armada and......not so good. I can't even remember the plot

Spoiler

Have you see The Last Starfighter?  It's the exact same plot with 1000% more pop-culture references.

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6 hours ago, starri said:
  Reveal spoiler

Have you see The Last Starfighter?  It's the exact same plot with 1000% more pop-culture references.

I saw it long ago, but vaguely remember it. Still don't remember Armada. LOL

Right after I typed the above sentence, I suddenly remembered part of Armada. You're right, same thing basically.

Edited by GaT
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Just finished "Deception"- "Tales of Intrigue and Lies", one collection of short stories from Roald Dahl. Pretty good, though I'd already read a few of them online. "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar" is a favorite now. Several of the ones in this collection were made into TV episodes of Alfred Hitchcock, The Outer Limits, shows like that.

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Just finished: Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View by Ramin Setoodeh. I haven't watched The View regularly in about a decade (it filled the 11am slot of my all-day tv binges when I was home from school in the summers of the 2000s), but I love a dishy tell-all about a pop culture institution. What I think this book did really well was both give a larger context for all of the show's mile markers and emphasize the impact it has had on television as a whole. Sure, it's fun to read a minute-by-minute account of the infamous Rosie/Elisabeth split screen shouting match, but I also liked time-traveling back to the late '90s and learning what world events helped the show find its footing.

Also just read Next Level Basic: The Definitive Basic Bitch Handbook by Stassi Schroeder. I'm not a Vanderpump Rules watcher but I like a fluffy, positive read every now and then. The book could definitely get repetitive--a lot of Stassi's advice boils down to "be yourself, do what makes you happy/makes you feel best about yourself, life's too short to care what other people think, etc." but there are much worse things to be repetitive about. I grew up during a time where it felt like half of media directed at me was telling me all the things I should hate about myself and what products I needed to purchase to change them, and the other half was shaming me for buying into the stuff sold to me by the first half. If reality stars are going to be the role models for the next generation of women, I'm glad there's at least one encouraging them to be unapologetic about who they are and to not feel like they have to conform to what everybody else is doing to feel happy and validated. I definitely wouldn't recommend this book for young girls, as it does talk a bit about sex, but maybe an emotionally mature high schooler in your life could use this kind of advice.

Next up: The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth.

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Just completed Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson. I enjoyed it much like I did his other book, The Kind Worth Killing. As much as I love a good twist and mystery and trying to solve the crime and figure out the guilty person, I find I still enjoy Swanson's books even though he tells you who the guilty person is. Because what makes the story more fascinating is the why and the how of it all. 

If I had one issue with the book, it's that 

Spoiler

it ends with the suggestion that Kate gets involved with Alan. Listen, yes, Alan did inadvertently save her life and we get his own perspective throughout the book, to prove that he wasn't a homicidal maniac but dude was still creepy. And I'm sorry, I find it hard to buy a woman who experienced two separate traumatic experiences of almost being murdered would choose to date a guy who admittedly creepily watched and obsessed over his neighbor. 

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On 5/9/2019 at 9:01 PM, HazelEyes4325 said:

I have waaaay too many books going at once (again):

  • Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield.  I'm really enjoying this one.  The Thirteenth Tale is my favorite novel, but I heard her second book was terrible, so I was nervous about this one.

I just finished the first chapter of The Thirteenth Tale! We're reading it for my book club

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20 minutes ago, MaggieG said:

I just finished the first chapter of The Thirteenth Tale! We're reading it for my book club

I've read The Thirteenth Tale in every book club I've belonged to (I first "met" it for book club) and it leads to some great conversations.  I hope you enjoy it!

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@helenamonster  Randomly off topic, relating to your post: Somehow I got tangled up in an Ohio tv station's Instagram and saw that a zoo there has named two recently born snow tigers Stassi and Beau. Not sure if I have the animal correct, they are black, grey and white striped. I was all Seriously?? These are the names you pick?  

Also I just added Mother In Law to my holds, (20 week wait??) along with @truthaboutluv two Swanson books, The Kind Worth Killing and Before She Knew Him. I am not opening up your spoiler bar! haha

I am still immersed in the before mentioned 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It is very interesting, and wish I could find time to block off the whole 6 hours to read it at once. I am at the halfway mark and savoring it all.

I also had The Banker's Wife by Cristina Alger downloaded over the weekend after a hold fulfillment.

eta All of the above are new to me authors.

Edited by LucindaWalsh
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I quit reading The Kind Worth Killing about 50 pages in.

Spoiler

The misogyny and description of women's body parts was too much for me.

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8 minutes ago, partofme said:

I quit reading The Kind Worth Killing about 50 pages in.

  Reveal spoiler

The misogyny and description of women's body parts was too much for me.

Fair enough and I will add that you should probably then avoid his other book that I just completed, Her Every Fear. Haven't read his other books so can't comment on those.

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Just finished Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs.  It is the 11th book in the Mercy Thompson series.  So far no series fatigue here.  I enjoyed it immensely.  This one was nice tense with a good formidable foe for our heroes.  And made some real interesting character choices for 2 of the series long term characters.   And started to fill in some blanks nicely for a fairly recent addition to the recurring cast.

Edited by DearEvette
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@partofme Arrrrrggggg!! I am debating opening the spoiler! Can you spoiler bar if it involves creepiness, violent gore, sadness without giving away a plot? Those are some of my deal breakers.

Edited by LucindaWalsh

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8 minutes ago, LucindaWalsh said:

@partofme Arrrrrggggg!! I am debating opening the spoiler! Can you spoiler bar if it involves creepiness, violent gore, sadness without giving away a plot? Those are some of my deal breakers.

Nothing that really gives away the plot just a personal peeve of mine.  

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18 hours ago, helenamonster said:

Just finished: Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View by Ramin Setoodeh

I just finished this as well. I was about half way into it and went to a neighbors for dinner. Wasn’t in a great mood. Upon contemplation later that evening I thought reading about all that fighting, backstabbing and manipulation had made me irritable. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to live through it. 

Agreed that it was an informative and good read. 

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I'm re-reading Poul Anderson's Time Patrol collection of short stories for the umpteenth time.  He was SUCH a good writer, easy to read and his love for history is palpable.

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18 hours ago, DearEvette said:

Just finished Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs.

I'm about halfway through this. I love Mercy and Adam.

I also enjoy her Alpha & Omega series.

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57 minutes ago, AngelKitty said:

I'm about halfway through this. I love Mercy and Adam.

I also enjoy her Alpha & Omega series.

Yeah, I don't remember if you read the Kate Daniels series, but Mercy & Adam remind me a lot of Kate and Curran.  Just these two series always go together in my head, usually because the books always seemed to be released at the same time and the writing, characters, and situations were always uniformly excellent.  And each respective writer does their world build so well.

In this one, I was a little apprehensive about he main antagonists only because they had already wreaked some havoc in the last Charles & Anna book. So I knew they could be troublesome.

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5 hours ago, DearEvette said:

I don't remember if you read the Kate Daniels series

I did, and I fell in love with them. The other shapeshifter story I've read and enjoyed is the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter.

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I really enjoyed Patricia Briggs early fantasy titles which were more what I guess you would call traditional or high fantasy.  My favorites were :

Hurog
1. Dragon Bones (2002)

Most everyone thinks Ward of Hurog is a simple-minded fool—and that’s just fine by him. But few people know that his foolishness is (very convincingly) feigned. And that it’s the only thing that’s saved him from death.
 
When his abusive father dies, Ward becomes the new lord of Hurog...until a nobleman declares that he is too dim-witted to rule. Ward knows he cannot play the fool any longer. To regain his kingdom, he must prove himself worthy—and quickly.

2. Dragon Blood (2002)

Loved this duology.  All the characters are so distinct as is a hallmark of her work and there was quite a bit of humor too. 

Another great duology is :

Raven duology
1. Raven's Shadow (2004)

Seraph is a Raven mage, and among the last of the Travelers who ensure that the city of Colossae is safe from evil. Unwelcome by those who fear magic, the wizard clans have been decimated by the very people they’ve sworn to protect. But Seraph is spared a similar fate by the ex-soldier Tier—and together they build a life where she is no longer burdened by her people’s responsibility.
 
But now Tier is missing—or dead—and Seraph’s reprieve from her duty is over. Using her magic to discover her husband’s fate, Seraph realizes the prison that holds the evil entity known as Stalker is weakening—and only Seraph can fulfill her ancestors’ oath...

2. Raven's Strike (2005)

Loved the sense of family in this one another theme Patricia Briggs does so well.

Unfortunately since Ms Briggs began the Mercy series, which is urban fantasy, that is all she has written.  And while I read the first few,  I'm just not generally a fan of most urban fantasy, with the exception of Michelle Sagara.

I keep thinking maybe she will throw me a bone and write something besides urban fantasy but so far nada.

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I'm on a hot streak right now. I finished The Water Cure and ended up loving it after being a bit iffy at first. I've just finished the 2nd book of the March graphic novel trilogy (John Lewis memoir) and am loving them . I'm halfway through The Luminous Dead and towards the beginning of Trail of Lightning and they're both seeming pretty great so far.

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13 hours ago, Bunty said:

I really enjoyed Patricia Briggs early fantasy titles which were more what I guess you would call traditional or high fantasy.

Yeah, I'm not a fan of high fantasy but I do like the urban fantasies.

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I'm reading Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait by Alison Weir and it's really good so far.  Again she plays with history quite a bit

Anna wasn't a virgin when she married Henry VIII, but hey, even if that might not have been accurate, it's nice to think that the smartest of the queens (i.e. agreeing to the divorce and being grateful just to be rid of him) didn't die a sexless virgin because she was "ugly."

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2 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

I'm reading Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait by Alison Weir and it's really good so far.  Again she plays with history quite a bit

  Hide contents

Anna wasn't a virgin when she married Henry VIII, but hey, even if that might not have been accurate, it's nice to think that the smartest of the queens (i.e. agreeing to the divorce and being grateful just to be rid of him) didn't die a sexless virgin because she was "ugly."

She has always been my favorite of the wives. Smart cookie.

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I just started Full Count by former pitcher David Cone.  Liking it so far.

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19 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

I'm reading Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait by Alison Weir and it's really good so far.  Again she plays with history quite a bit

  Hide contents

Anna wasn't a virgin when she married Henry VIII, but hey, even if that might not have been accurate, it's nice to think that the smartest of the queens (i.e. agreeing to the divorce and being grateful just to be rid of him) didn't die a sexless virgin because she was "ugly."

I'm going to have to look for this one.  Is it written as a novel or a biography?

Spoiler

Not only was she smart to agree to a divorce, she apparently remained a close friend to either Mary or Elizabeth, maybe both.  (I forget.)

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4 hours ago, Haleth said:

I'm going to have to look for this one.  Is it written as a novel or a biography?

  Hide contents

Not only was she smart to agree to a divorce, she apparently remained a close friend to either Mary or Elizabeth, maybe both.  (I forget.)

Novel.

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In the long overdue to be read category, I am finally reading Jane Eyre.  Seems like one of those must-read classics and somehow I never read it in high school.

I've also started Gone With the Wind.  Between a "regular" book, a nightstand book, a history book, a gym book, and an audiobook for the commute, I typically read multiple books at one time.  At over 1000 pages and not getting full attention, I expect this one to take me some time to finish!

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I'm happily making my way through The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Bloody brilliant - I'm just in awe of the Swiss watch plot, so complex and intricate, everything fitting perfectly. I can't wait to find out what happens next, and how it all ends.

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@Black Knight  I posted that I was reading the Evelyn Hardcastle book and have now finished it. I won't discuss any of it until you finish and report back. I am interested to see what you make of it towards the end. Not relating to plot points I will say that I wish I had took the time to read it all at once instead of having to do spurts of reading. It is a very immerse yourself in it type of book. What bothered me was (spoilering some style points, not plot or reveal points but I still wouldn't look at the spoiler until you, the general you of the group, are finished reading).

Spoiler

The author takes you on a time loop journey for all of the book until the end when you learn something else about the bigger picture. Then the whole story just goes kaput for me. It was meant to be one novel, but it read like they joined two ideas for novels and shoveled the second idea into the end to finish the book. It was so darn good and then such a let down with the added (what I call) second idea. If this were to be a series, with the second plot being the thread of the series of mysteries, then it would work I guess. But as a stand alone book it felt a bit forced for an ending and not satisfying at all.

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I love the David Housewright books.     The McKenzie series is great, and so are the Holland Taylor (yes, he's a guy, and it is the same name as the actress) series.    They're set in Minnesota, all are really complex, and I can't wait for the new ones to come out.    Then, Michael Connelly, with the lawyer, and the detective ones with Bosch and Ballard are always good.   

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I'm currently reading They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen which is a mystery/thriller type book about a woman who was committed to a mental institution, so far it's a really good easy read and I'm enjoying it.  

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