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Rick Kitchen

What Are We Currently Reading?

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7 hours ago, DearEvette said:

I've been re-reading a lot lately.

One re-read I just finished was The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey.  It was fun.  It is a bent fairytale retelling.  In this universe the characters know they are being forced to live out different folk tales.  In this book the main character is named Elena and her life is following the 'Ella Cinders' tale.  Only problem is, the nearest prince is only 10 years old. So she can't live out her destiny.  So her fairy godmother takes her on as an apprentice.  It is cute and clever and light with a little romance in the end.!

Huh. That reminds me of Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross. A town full of fairytale characters forced to live out their destiny. I remember liking the book and thought it was very unique. But I guess at least two authors had the same idea.

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Just got this a little while ago at the Wal-Mart in Simpsonville, about former President Theodore Roosevelt, and have just started it...

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I'm reading A Burning by Megha Majundar. It's about a woman that gets accused of being a terrorist because of a post she made on Facebook, and it's perfect for right now.

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I'll soon be starting My Year of Rest and Relaxation, which is not how I've felt while lying on my sofa during the pandemic, but it's still rather apt.

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1 hour ago, dubbel zout said:

I'll soon be starting My Year of Rest and Relaxation, which is not how I've felt while lying on my sofa during the pandemic, but it's still rather apt.

I unexpectedly loved this book.  The heroine is a lot, and many people disliked her for being the dreaded "unlikeable."  But, I was moved by the book.

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Just finished: Something She's Not Telling Us by Darcey Bell. Kind of pointless, and the "big twist" that

Spoiler

Ruth has been lying about everything the whole time doesn't land at all. There are ways to do an unreliable narrator, but this wasn't it. When she's by herself, there should be little "tells" that clue us into her not seeing what's really there. As it stands, the book comes across for the most part like everybody else having understandable suspicions but Ruth just being a victim of circumstance. Maybe this is what Bell meant to do, but it's so anticlimactic that way. It's just like...oh okay, so she was lying. Big shrug.

The reveal that Andrew John is Daisy's father doesn't make much of an impact either.

In general I just didn't get what this book was supposed to be about. I also hate Bell's stream-of-consciousness writing style. Takes all the suspense out of everything.

Next up: A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight

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Yesterday I read The Girl He Used to Know. It was okay, but not great.  I enjoyed it fine while reading it, but it isn’t sitting well with me.  I have two children 

Spoiler

On the spectrum so some of Annika’s behaviors seemed cliche; I am guessing she was written by someone who doesn’t have much first-hand experience with autism.

Just finished The Lending Library today.  Big disappointment.  Everyone in the heroine’s life tells her how flaky, unreliable, horrible she is, and she just takes it and apologizes; I was so frustrated that she never stood up for herself.  Does the author really think her family and friends were right?  Terrible thought.  It was the free amazon prime book I chose, and I want my money back.

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On 6/4/2020 at 11:29 PM, Crs97 said:

Just finished The Lending Library today.  Big disappointment.  Everyone in the heroine’s life tells her how flaky, unreliable, horrible she is, and she just takes it and apologizes; I was so frustrated that she never stood up for herself.  Does the author really think her family and friends were right?  Terrible thought.  It was the free amazon prime book I chose, and I want my money back.

Well crap, that's the book I chose but haven't started it yet! 😆

I've been catching up on reading lately, trying to make my way through all the Kindle First Reads I download each month and then never get around to reading. 

Right now I'm about 50% through The Last Dance by Martin Shoemaker, which was one of the free books within the last few months. I really like it. I don't read a ton of sci fi, but I'm riveted by the space mission stories told via flashback, and am engaged by the characters. I feel like what sci fi I have read (or watched) is predominantly white characters in space so this cast being more diverse and the main character being a woman is a nice change. 

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I started Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson yesterday and ended up staying up late to finish it.  Delightful, fun, quirky, and surprisingly heartfelt.  

Lillian, a scholarship student at a prestigious boarding school, becomes best friends with her wealthy roommate, though their freshman year ends in scandal.  Fifteen years later her friend asks for a favor.  Her Senator husband’s ex wife has died, his 10-year old twins are moving in, and she wants Lillian to become their governess/nanny.  By the way, they spontaneously combust when upset.

Edited by Crs97
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My library is finally open this week for curbside pick up by appointment. First appt I could get was tomorrow at 3:45. Picking up The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel. 

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On 6/4/2020 at 6:29 PM, Ohiopirate02 said:
On 6/4/2020 at 4:51 PM, dubbel zout said:

I'll soon be starting My Year of Rest and Relaxation, which is not how I've felt while lying on my sofa during the pandemic, but it's still rather apt.

I unexpectedly loved this book.  The heroine is a lot, and many people disliked her for being the dreaded "unlikeable."  But, I was moved by the book.

I'm nearly a third of the way through, and I'm loving it. I see the "unlikeable" criticism, but I don't find anything wrong with that. I don't need every book I read to have a "nice" protagonist.

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On 6/11/2020 at 10:01 AM, dubbel zout said:

I'm nearly a third of the way through, and I'm loving it. I see the "unlikeable" criticism, but I don't find anything wrong with that. I don't need every book I read to have a "nice" protagonist.

Oh yeah! One of my favorite heroines, Eve Dallas, homicide cop, from J.D. Robb's (Nora Roberts) In Death Series, is so not likeable. She's cranky, rude, dark, aggravating. She has a dark painful past, one that formed her. BUT. She's loyal. Has integrity, has a vulnerable side that comes out every so often, and stands for the victims. KICKS ASS.

As much as Eve annoys me, I love her. Does that make sense?

ETA: She's not after getting the collar or glory for herself, but what drives her is getting JUSTICE. Even if the victims were horrible people. She finds Murder an Insult.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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I do think an unlikeable protagonist shouldn't be hateful just for the sake of being hateful. There needs to be some awareness by the author and/or other characters that this person is awful for it to be successful for me.

Edited by dubbel zout · Reason: editing garbled my point
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On 6/11/2020 at 7:15 AM, dubbel zout said:

I do think an unlikeable protagonist shouldn't be hateful just for the sake of being hateful. There needs to be some awareness by the author and/or other characters that this person is awful for it to be successful for me.

Or at least what motivates them.

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On 6/11/2020 at 8:10 AM, GHScorpiosRule said:

Oh yeah! One of my favorite heroines, Eve Dallas, homicide cop, from J.D. Robb's (Nora Roberts) In Death Series, is so not likeable. She's cranky, rude, dark, aggravating. She has a dark painful past, one that formed her. BUT. She's loyal. Has integrity, has a vulnerable side that comes out every so often, and stands for the victims. KICKS ASS.

As much as Eve annoys me, I love her. Does that make sense?

Perfect sense! I used to like the In Death books, though I haven't read any in years. I don't dislike them, I didn't rage-quit in disgust or anything, but while Robb/Roberts is very good at what she does, any series with that many books is going to get a little monotonous after a while.

Also, and I know this is a UO, but Roarke's endless perfection wore on my nerves after a while. He's rich and cultured and handsome and brilliant and the best at sex and utterly devoted and has a tragic past and is sexy dangerous not red-flag dangerous and has an Irish accent. He's a wish-fulfillment fantasy, and while there's nothing wrong with that, at some point it gets monotonous, too. Or at least it did for me.

Edited by Melgaypet
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8 hours ago, Haleth said:

Does he have green eyes?

Or are they the bluest blue? Hee.

I finished "My Year of Rest and Relaxation" and really liked it, though I'm amazed the narrator didn't accidentally OD on all the pills/medications she took. Good lord. I take one dose of NyQuil and I'm out like a light. One thing that made me shiver was

 

the book was set in 2000/2001, and there were a few mentions throughout of the World Trade Center. I could barely stand to read the final page, though it didn't change how I feel about the book.

Right before this I read "Camino Island" by John Grisham as a quickie, and I was infuriated by the ending.

 

Basically, the guy everyone was trying to catch knew all along he was in the crosshairs, but he gets off scott-free.

Was anyone else as annoyed as I was?

Next up is "Circe," because I'm a mythology nerd.

Edited by dubbel zout · Reason: belated typo

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I recently finished This is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me) by Marisa Meltzer.  As an activer watcher of the weight, I found it a great read.  It's very reminiscent of Julie and Julia except that Marisa Meltzer is not nearly as annoying as Julie Powell (although I did have problems with her throughout the book--but she does have some genuine growth).

Right now, I'm reading Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman.  I saw the Netflix series and enjoyed it, but I understand that only half of that was based on the book.

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27 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

I recently finished This is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me) by Marisa Meltzer.  As an activer watcher of the weight, I found it a great read.  It's very reminiscent of Julie and Julia except that Marisa Meltzer is not nearly as annoying as Julie Powell (although I did have problems with her throughout the book--but she does have some genuine growth).

Right now, I'm reading Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman.  I saw the Netflix series and enjoyed it, but I understand that only half of that was based on the book.

I read Unorthodox several years ago when it came out...just an fyi, a lot of her book is fictionalized too. (The New York Post had a field day digging stuff up that contradicted a lot of what she described as her family background. And some of her friends as well-- well, former friends, lol, debunked a lot of what she described as her forced marriage.) Her actual upbringing was nowhere near as restricted as she describes, either. Her mom was actually a (non Hasidic) professor at a local college, and she lived with her and her younger sister until at some point she decided she wanted to move in with her grandparents, iirc. 

 

I am currently reading Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham. So far, fairly typical thriller. Keeping my attention, even if I am not on the edge of my seat.

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17 minutes ago, Starleigh said:

I read Unorthodox several years ago when it came out...just an fyi, a lot of her book is fictionalized too. (The New York Post had a field day digging stuff up that contradicted a lot of what she described as her family background. And some of her friends as well-- well, former friends, lol, debunked a lot of what she described as her forced marriage.) Her actual upbringing was nowhere near as restricted as she describes, either. Her mom was actually a (non Hasidic) professor at a local college, and she lived with her and her younger sister until at some point she decided she wanted to move in with her grandparents, iirc. 

 

I have read that there are some omission from her books, although that is actually common in memoirs (the big one is the existence of the younger sister.  It isn't unusual for siblings not appear in someone's memoir, if only for privacy reasons).  However, a lot of the claims about mistruths in her book (which are, in my mind, different from omissions), come from sources whose trustworthiness and motivations I would question.

The fact is, the only person who really knows what is true or not is Feldman.  As for me, I'm just in for an interesting reading experience.

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As I recall it was an interesting read. But, not strictly an autobiographical memoir. There are so many nuances to various religious Jewish groups, that it is hard to know what rings true and what does not, unless you are actually a part of the specific group. So, while I am not a part of the Hasidic world, I've read similar memoirs of people leaving the Orthodox Jewish world and a lot of the details are extremely exaggerated or even made up. Things are stated as religious practices when they actually aren't. There are so many myths and inaccurate portrayals. A lot is done to heighten the drama. 

I actually just looked up the friend who debunked a lot of the book, and I see she has written some reviews of the show as well as the books for CNN as well as other news sites-- her name is Frimet Goldberger, if you are interested in reading some background story.

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On 6/13/2020 at 4:54 PM, Melgaypet said:

Also, and I know this is a UO, but Roarke's endless perfection wore on my nerves after a while. He's rich and cultured and handsome and brilliant and the best at sex and utterly devoted and has a tragic past and is sexy dangerous not red-flag dangerous and has an Irish accent. He's a wish-fulfillment fantasy, and while there's nothing wrong with that, at some point it gets monotonous, too. Or at least it did for me.

On 6/14/2020 at 12:05 PM, dubbel zout said:

Or are they the bluest blue? Hee.

 

 

On 6/14/2020 at 1:00 PM, Melgaypet said:

Bingo!

I don't CARE!!! Roarke had/has his moments when he's just a man, not perfect, has feet of clay. But he and Eve really suit each other. I love when they fight. I love the emotional punch that Nora (face it, for me it's Nora, even though she's writing it as JD) gives me. Especially when they're on opposite sides and I can see both sides. "Divided in Death" is a killer.

"Innocent in Death" you see Roarke's blind spots and him just not.getting.it. Makes for great reading.

Plus, I just love it when he gets his Irish Temper up. Love the words that JD/Nora uses.

I hand wave all the techno stuff, because at the heart of it, it's about relationships, and Nora just excels at that stuff. Oh yeah, and the murders, politics of it all. That too.

Yeah, I 🥰💘Roarke. one of my handles is roarkeaholic. Get it? Get it?

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2 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

I hand wave all the techno stuff, because at the heart of it, it's about relationships, and Nora just excels at that stuff. Oh yeah, and the murders, politics of it all. That too.

You know, she began writing these books in 1995 and some of her future tech has come to pass.  I remember in the first book everyone communicated with their palm sized communicators which were basically face-time.  Video communication was the norm, you had to specifically request voice only.

Also, private home cameras that recorded every coming and going that could be accessed and controlled remotely, so like the Ring doorbell cameras.

But the one thing I'd love hasn't been invented IRL yet is the auto chef.  Man, I'd love one of those.

BTW, I like Roarke too.  He is definitely a wish fulfillment character and yes a little too perfect.  I find myself liking him best though when she lets a little bit of his  Irish street thug come out.  And I remember in one book he went out and bought a big manly grill and burned everything, so they ended up having the auto-chef make dinner.  It was a nice surprise because he is usually so perfect at everything.

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21 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

BTW, I like Roarke too.  He is definitely a wish fulfillment character and yes a little too perfect.  I find myself liking him best though when she lets a little bit of his  Irish street thug come out.  And I remember in one book he went out and bought a big manly grill and burned everything, so they ended up having the auto-chef make dinner.  It was a nice surprise because he is usually so perfect at everything.

THIS! Exhibit A of how Roarke really isn't perfect! Cuz he screws up! I loved him going on an "Irish swearing" streak when the thing blew up. And how Eve kept taking a step back each time something wasn't working.

Yes, I would LOVE to have an auto-chef!

But like I said, I love the moments when he's not perfect and lets out his Dublin Street Rat. The cloak of sophistication is but a thin veneer.

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23 hours ago, Starleigh said:

As I recall it was an interesting read. But, not strictly an autobiographical memoir. There are so many nuances to various religious Jewish groups, that it is hard to know what rings true and what does not, unless you are actually a part of the specific group. So, while I am not a part of the Hasidic world, I've read similar memoirs of people leaving the Orthodox Jewish world and a lot of the details are extremely exaggerated or even made up. Things are stated as religious practices when they actually aren't. There are so many myths and inaccurate portrayals. A lot is done to heighten the drama. 

I actually just looked up the friend who debunked a lot of the book, and I see she has written some reviews of the show as well as the books for CNN as well as other news sites-- her name is Frimet Goldberger, if you are interested in reading some background story.

I'm going to look up Frimet Goldberger...I don't think I've come across anything from her on this.

As for the criticism, I'm skeptical of it in this case for 2 related reasons.  The first is that the Hasidic community, or certain sects therein, have been known to attack anything critical of them in ways that aren't exactly truthful,  I've seen this a few times in unrelated cases, so "the Hasids said..." doesn't hold a lot of weight with me in the she said/they said argument.  Secondly, as soon as someone uses something that doesn't actually exist as an attack, I lose faith in their argument.  In this case, it was claim that Feldman was forced into a marriage when, in fact, that is not what she wrote in the book.  She was happy to get married and never resisted it.  However, I will be interested to see what Goldberger writes--I admit that I give more credence to someone who is willing to put their name to it.

I did, in fact, just finish reading Unorthodox and I was actually underwhelmed by it.  It wasn't so much the differences between the book and the Netflix show (which are many--I wouldn't even say that the show was based on the book), but rather that Feldman fell into an all too common memoir trap where the memoirist is very convinced of their own perfect and superiority.  Feldman makes no bones about the fact that she believes she is the smartest and most beautiful of them all and only she could accomplish being a woman to leave the Satmar community.  It just became annoying, which is too bad because there was much in that book I found interesting.

My next book is Rodham, which should be interesting....

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Tbh, I don't recall all the details that well, I read the book and the follow up critiques when it was first published , which was several years ago, so I don't remember a ton of specific details about her marriage.  But I do recall a book review/rebuttal by Frimet Goldberger which debunked Feldman 's story of a cloistered upbringing and the great lengths she claimed to have to go to, to secretly register in college, I think the two of them registered and attended classes at Sarah Lawrence together and it was far from a secret. And, if I also recall correctly, that was around the time of Feldman's media blitz for her second book, and when a reporter brought that up to her, she got angry but didn't actually refute anything that Goldberger had written. As I said, this was several years ago, so it's kind of hazy in my mind. I feel like I read a lot of this coverage in The Forward (??).  

Anyway, the vast majority of people refuting her story weren't actually Hasidic Jews, it was from people who had left that community as well. If you are interested, one of them wrote a memoir that was pretty good. (And accurate, as far as I can tell. Nobody wrote anything to refute his story, lol.) I think it is called, All Who Go Do Not Return. The author's name is Shulem Deen.

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7 hours ago, DearEvette said:

But the one thing I'd love hasn't been invented IRL yet is the auto chef.  Man, I'd love one of those.

 

7 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Yes, I would LOVE to have an auto-chef!

I would love an auto chef, but I'm still not sure how they work. Occasionally she'll mention something about Summerset loading a certain dish into the auto chef, but they never explain if he actually makes the food & then put it in the auto chef, or if he just loads the raw ingredients & the recipe & the auto chef takes care of everything else. I would really love to know how it works. Also, is a "tube" of soda just another name for a can, or is it really some kind of tube?

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The way I think it works,is, you make sure the auto-chef has all the ingredients necessary for any dish.  I picture it as being like a refrigerator (can be big or a mini or whatever) and has a compartment that presents you with the cooked food. You just need to keep it stocked with food stuffs (say, guanciale, pasta, cream, butter, eggs) and it comes programmed with recipes and then you tell it what you want and it poof gets to making it, it dings you open the door and voila!  Perfectly cooked pasta carbonara!

 

(yeah, I put way too much thought into this.  LOL. Talk about a wish fulfillment )

Edited by DearEvette
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9 hours ago, GaT said:

 

I would love an auto chef, but I'm still not sure how they work. Occasionally she'll mention something about Summerset loading a certain dish into the auto chef, but they never explain if he actually makes the food & then put it in the auto chef, or if he just loads the raw ingredients & the recipe & the auto chef takes care of everything else. I would really love to know how it works. Also, is a "tube" of soda just another name for a can, or is it really some kind of tube?

51 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

The way I think it works,is, you make sure the auto-chef has all the ingredients necessary for any dish.  I picture it as being like a refrigerator (can be big or a mini or whatever) and has a compartment that presents you with the cooked food. You just need to keep it stocked with food stuffs (say, guanciale, pasta, cream, butter, eggs) and it comes programmed with recipes and then you tell it what you want and it poof gets to making it, it dings you open the door and voila!  Perfectly cooked pasta carbonara!

 

(yeah, I put way too much thought into this.  LOL. Talk about a wish fulfillment )

 

What @DearEvette said! Also, Summerset also cooks without the aid of the auto chef, for the rare times when Eve and Roarke actually sit down to eat in the dining room. Or when Roarke hosts cocktail parties.

My problem is picturing how these two manage to eat full meals from the coffee table in their sitting room--usually breakfast and dinner. I just know I need both knife and fork when eating waffles, crepes or pancakes, and need the plate high enough so I'm not bending down into a curl when eating.

Yes, I, too, have put too much thought into this.😅

And now I'm back on a re-read of Ann Stuart, writing under Kristina Douglas' Raziel. Her twist on a few of the Fallen: Raziel, Azazel, in her world, Michael was also a Fallen Angel, which I don't think he was? And the last I think was made up. Either way, while I'm not a fan of first person, Ann has a way of pulling me in. I'm still waiting for the last one, which is supposed to be about Lucifer. In this world, Fallen=Good. Uriel, Metaron=BAD/Evuhl.

And yes, yes, these are ROMANCE novels. And I still read 'em.

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I recently completed Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. *Sigh* I'm ready to accept that I will never get the hype about John Green. Honestly, after being meh on both Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska, I'd resolved to not read any of his books again, accepting that he just wasn't for me. 

But I needed a book to match my Popsugar Reading Challenge category and Turtles All the Way Down was recommended multiple times. It's not that the book was bad. It's just that it was merely just okay. In other words, it was meh. I knew shit wasn't great when I noticed I was 80% into the book and felt pretty much nothing for all the characters. I felt like I was just reading words. 

So it was an easy read but not one I can say I ever felt emotionally and passionately engaged with. And that's been the story of my life regarding all John Green books I've read. And that wouldn't be a big deal, because plenty of books are merely just okay. I mean that's better than just being plain awful. But what baffles me about Green's books though is how lauded they are and so then I'm just left going, "I don't get it. What's all the hype about?'

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59 minutes ago, truthaboutluv said:

I recently completed Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. *Sigh* I'm ready to accept that I will never get the hype about John Green. Honestly, after being meh on both Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska, I'd resolved to not read any of his books again, accepting that he just wasn't for me. 

 

I think I've posted this here before, but my brother (whose daughter was a huge John Green fan when she was in high school) had the perfect summation of him: moments of brilliance amidst a sea of mediocrity.

Personally, I always say your first John Green will be your favorite John Green.  My first was The Fault in Our Stars, which I guess was my favorite only because I liked it better than the others of his that I read, but I wouldn't say that I loved it.  It was just a little too saccharine for me.

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On 5/12/2020 at 9:29 PM, OtterMommy said:

I finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and it was...good.  It wasn't stellar.  One of the reasons why I waited so long to read it is that it was soooo hyped when it came out and I realized it would be very hard for it to live up to it.  Honestly, I probably would have hated it if I had read it then.  Now I found it entertaining enough, but not without its flaws.

I just finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and this was my exact reaction as well.  Based on my goodreads feed, this book was dazzling, life wrecking etc. etc.  So I started reading ready to be wowed.

Now, it was very well written, entertaining and held my interest throughout.  I also loved that it was unabashedly feminist and an apropos read during Pride month.  But it yeah it could not live up to the massive hype.  Still I enjoyed the heck out of it.  And not gonna lie, it reminded me a lot of Nora Robert's Genuine Lies written in 1991 which was a lower brow romantic suspense take on the same plot/theme without the LGBTQ+ element but still just as entertaining.

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I just finished reading Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld.  I haven't read any of her other books (yet), so I can't say how this one measures up, but I devoured this one.  Alternate history is iffy for me, but this one really worked.  My only issues were:

1 - Reading Bill and Hillary sex scenes was...uncomfortable.  I normally have no issue with such scenes, but the fact that these involved two "real" people who have been in the public eye for so long just made it feeling like I was walking in on my parents having sex.

2 - There is an element of the absurd in the last part of the book that, even though I found it entertaining, was way over the top.

Next, I'm going to read Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho.  It's a debut novel that is supposed to Crazy Rich Asians-ish, so I'm hoping it will be a lot of fun.

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I'm currently reading The Other Woman by Sandie Jones and wow, this book is BAD. I'm not even 40% into the story and it feels like it's been going on forever. There is no subtlety in the writing and so the main character just comes across as a complete moron. 

Spoiler

I was hoping for a delicious psychological thriller with this awesomely crazy manipulative mother but instead I get a book with a cartoon villain. The mother's bullshit is so obvious it's just laughable.

And that wouldn't be so bad, if the boyfriend/ultimately fiance was so amazing and utterly clueless, so you could understand why the main character was willing to stick it out with him. Instead, dude has red flags screaming all over the place and is an emotionally abusive shit. Again, no subtlety. 

And continuing on the no subtlety train, the main character is clearly developing feelings for the fiance's brother, which makes no sense to the story seeing as the last thing you'd think she'd want once she gets away from crazy fiance and equally crazy mother is to be with another one of her sons. 

I'm hoping there's some mind-blowing twist to come because so far, this one is rough. I have little to no sympathy for the main character and just want to smack her. 

 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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4 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

Bill and Hillary sex scenes 

No. no, no, no, no, NO.

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12 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

1 - Reading Bill and Hillary sex scenes was...uncomfortable.  I normally have no issue with such scenes, but the fact that these involved two "real" people who have been in the public eye for so long just made it feeling like I was walking in on my parents having sex.

A friend of mine felt EXACTLY the same way, though she also appreciated that it made her look at Hillary as a complete person and not just an idealized image. Still, she could have done without the sex scenes. I gather they are more than just a "the camera pans away" thing?

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57 minutes ago, dubbel zout said:

A friend of mine felt EXACTLY the same way, though she also appreciated that it made her look at Hillary as a complete person and not just an idealized image. Still, she could have done without the sex scenes. I gather they are more than just a "the camera pans away" thing?

No, it’s very much on the page.  It isn’t the most graphic I’ve read (by far) but it still felt like it was far too much, given the circumstances.

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Just finished: A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight. A pretty straightforward murder mystery, that had a lot going on to keep me interested and plenty of quirky side characters/suspects. Overall I enjoyed it. I guessed the murderer correctly pretty early on, but the circumstances were a surprise enough to not make the rest of the book feel like a waste. My only complaint

Spoiler

was how Amanda's delusions were handled. This is the second book I've read in a row where the author didn't know how to write an unreliable narrator. Ok, so she has just totally blocked out killing her father and her father killing Carolyn. Fine. But she just completely hallucinates Carolyn coming over and talking to her on the phone? It's so strange, and I feel like there was a better way to handle it. Maybe make Amanda's thoughts about her childhood really vague and have Lizzie just draw incorrect conclusion from her journals, then reveal later how Lizzie was misled.

I actually could have done without the Amanda chapters entirely. I get they were supposed to build up suspense to the night of the murder and connect some details from the other timeline, but overall I don't think they were necessary and that info could have been delivered some other way.

I also didn't care about Lizzie's

Spoiler

dad not dying and actually being in prison. It felt relatively low stakes compared to all the other secrets people were keeping, and her backstory was full enough.

Next up: The Guest List by Lucy Foley.

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Well I finished The Other Woman. I confess, I started skimming and rushing through pages after the 50% mark and it STILL felt VERY LONG. Uh uh, nope. This one was BAD. My advice to anyone thinking of reading it, "just say no".

Spoiler

Like there aren't even words to begin. Was the fiance turning out to be an abusive psycho supposed to be a twist? When he'd been showing glaring red flags the whole damn book? 

The main character was the most pathetic person I've read in a fictional story in a long time. When girlfriend took this loser back after he was basically fucking someone else at his brother's wedding, with his fiance and baby present, I gave up.

She kept talking about this great love they had and yet that was never present. Who stays in some barely three month relationship, where the mother is a nutjob and awful to you and the guy was again showing signs of being a douchebag. 

And then instead of the loser brother telling said dumb main character that his brother is an abusive dick, he just makes a play for her while she's engaged to his brother. I just, wow. I'd like to get the last few days of my life back. 

 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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@truthaboutluv I felt the same way about The Other Woman. The main character ( I don't even remember her name) was an idiot.

Just finished Home Before Dark by Riley Sager and it was pretty good ghost story with a twist.

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16 minutes ago, MaggieG said:

@truthaboutluv I felt the same way about The Other Woman. The main character ( I don't even remember her name) was an idiot.

True story. At one point, about 70% into the book, someone said the main character's name and I realized at that point that I'd completely forgotten her name. 

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I'm reading The Princess Bride. I was surprised to find that the book is way funnier than the movie and I can hear Peter Faik's voice throughout.

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I ended up DNF-ing Last Tang Standing.  It was blurbed as being reminiscent/inspired by Bridget Jones's Diary and Crazy Rich Asians, but I think a better term would have been knocked off from those two.  

I'm about to start Red Sky over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman.  I've never read any of her books, but this one does sound good and has a 4+ rating on Goodreads.

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Reading Writers and Lovers by Lily King. I’m a writer myself so I am enjoying the parts about writing, but the flowery descriptions of everything is just too much. “He kissed me and said I taste like the moon”. The romance scenes are just over the top.

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21 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I'm reading The Princess Bride. I was surprised to find that the book is way funnier than the movie and I can hear Peter Faik's voice throughout.

100% true! It’s a fantastic book.

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The China Syndrome by Burton Wohl (Corgi U.K./Ireland edition of the novelization of this 1979 Columbia Pictures film that had Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas); also shown is my copy of Indicator/Powerhouse Films' region-free Blu of that film, for good measure (a remarkable, engaging film [at least IMO] that I have seen at least twice); you may notice that a small portion of the back cover of the book is missing (owing to when I took off the sticker that came on the back)...

chinasyndromebook1.jpg

chinasyndromebook2.jpg

chinasyndromebluray1.jpg

chinasyndromebluray2.jpg

Edited by bmasters9 · Reason: Calling attention to cosmetic blemish on back cover of book

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