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5 hours ago, helenamonster said:

Just finished: The Guest List by Lucy Foley, a pretty standard murder mystery with multiple POVs that takes place at a wedding being held on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. The setting was equal parts wonderful and spooky, the characters were all interesting and three-dimensional, and just when I thought I had things figured out, there were some delightful twists. Besides not knowing who the murderer is, you don't even know who's been murdered at the start either, which adds another layer to the intrigue. Definitely recommend if you're looking for a quick, fun read.

 

I have this one sitting on my shelf right now.  I expected it to be a bit heavier, so it is useful to know that it is more on the lighter side.  I'll get to it sooner or later!

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13 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

I have this one sitting on my shelf right now.  I expected it to be a bit heavier, so it is useful to know that it is more on the lighter side.  I'll get to it sooner or later!

Oh don't get me wrong, there's definitely some dark shit (everybody comes to this wedding with serious baggage). I guess it's more light in the sense that it's quick paced, not that long, and gets to the point (without sacrificing character or details). I think some murder mysteries, especially those with multiple POVs, can be a bit of a slog and become too mired in backstory and character relationships. This one generally avoids that, imo. The world of the story and the people in it feel fully realized without slowing down the plot. It just felt really balanced, and went down smooth.

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On 7/15/2020 at 4:39 PM, DearEvette said:

There is a Catherine Coulter book from the 80s that I just... had no words about how horrified I was reading it recently.  a double Yikes!

Which one? I'm just curious because I used to read a lot of her books when I was younger. I wonder what my kid brain used to skip over too.

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I tried to start Ottessa Moshfegh's newest, "Death in Her Hands," but I need a break from her writing style, so instead I picked up "American Spy," by Lauren Wilkinson, and I'm loving it only three chapters in.

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Because I can always depend on Nora Roberts to make me escape yet still believe her characters are real people, I’m going to start her newest, Hideaway.

And when I say real, I mean her characters talk like real people in every day life. Part of this book takes place in Ireland and I ❤️❤️ how she makes it come alive for me. It will be bittersweet because normally I’d be getting the book signed and my picture taken with her at the signing. But due to COVID-19, all signing events have been cancelled for 2020.

And she’s got a new Ireland Trilogy coming soon!🥰🙌

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6 hours ago, Rilla-my-Rilla said:

Which one? I'm just curious because I used to read a lot of her books when I was younger. I wonder what my kid brain used to skip over too.

Aftershocks.  Originally published in 1985.  A contemporary romance novel.  Some high lowlights: (excerpted from my own review)

- Hero thinks heroine is a hooker because she is 23 years old and has money enough to own a nice car and her own home.

- Heroine is 23 years old and a virgin.  According to the hero, only anti-social losers are still virgins at the age of 23. This is not said ironically.

-When they finally get to the point of having sex, the hero offers to wear a condom. The heroine wrinkles her nose in distaste because that would be "crass."

-The heroine is a supposed health nut, but after they break up, in her despair she starts smoking and drinking heavily.  And oh yeah she is pregnant and knows it, but still does this.

-The hero is doctor.  You'd think he'd be appalled she is drinking and smoking while pregnant?  Nope.  He doesn't confront her about that, but he does finally understand her depth of despair over their break-up because she has stopped wearing her sexy lingerie and has opted for plain white bras and panties.

I could go on....

There are a couple of these books from big name authors from the 80s that are similarly cringey.  There is a book called Long Time Coming by Sandra Brown where 19 years ago (we are told in flashback from the start of the book) when the hero was 22 , he hung out for a summer with a 16 year old girl and her 14 y.o. sister (the heroine).  But -- we are assured -- that was ok, because the 16 y.o "didn't look it."   And because she "was easy" he availed himself of her and had sex and disappeared to his fantastic life as an astronaut. She got pregnant and had his kid.

There was so much slut shaming throughout the book of the then 16 year old (now dead) mother of his child.  And a not so subtle madonna/whore reinforcement between her and her sister (the heroine).  Who basically subsumed her own life to take care of the child, lived like a nun and silently pined for a 22 year old man she met when she was 14!!!

Also, back in the day during that summer of pedo, he teased her and called her a 'goody two shoes' because she didn't want to go skinny dipping. Again, Dude she was 14 years old!! what 22 year old man thinks it is ok to skinny dip with a 14 y.o?

FYI, this was a Harlequin romance or Silhouette or something similar. 

So now whenever I do re-read something written 30ish years ago that my pre-teen self loved, I have to prepare myself to be disappointed or outraged.  And if it holds up well still, I am pathetically grateful.  LOL.

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3 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

he does finally understand her depth of despair over their break-up because she has stopped wearing her sexy lingerie and has opted for plain white bras and panties.

LOL.

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I used to be a heavy Sandra Brown reader when I was a teen and I agree her older works don't age well. My least favorite wtf moment was in Exclusive when our intrepid journalist heroine hunts down the reclusive hero for an interview and begins by giving him a blowjob before introducing herself.  Then, she tries to interview him. I  hope Brown's more current suspense titles have better characterization. 

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1 hour ago, DearEvette said:

Aftershocks.  Originally published in 1985.  A contemporary romance novel.  Some high lowlights: (excerpted from my own review)

- Hero thinks heroine is a hooker because she is 23 years old and has money enough to own a nice car and her own home.

- Heroine is 23 years old and a virgin.  According to the hero, only anti-social losers are still virgins at the age of 23. This is not said ironically.

-When they finally get to the point of having sex, the hero offers to wear a condom. The heroine wrinkles her nose in distaste because that would be "crass."

-The heroine is a supposed health nut, but after they break up, in her despair she starts smoking and drinking heavily.  And oh yeah she is pregnant and knows it, but still does this.

-The hero is doctor.  You'd think he'd be appalled she is drinking and smoking while pregnant?  Nope.  He doesn't confront her about that, but he does finally understand her depth of despair over their break-up because she has stopped wearing her sexy lingerie and has opted for plain white bras and panties.

I could go on....

There are a couple of these books from big name authors from the 80s that are similarly cringey.  There is a book called Long Time Coming by Sandra Brown where 19 years ago (we are told in flashback from the start of the book) when the hero was 22 , he hung out for a summer with a 16 year old girl and her 14 y.o. sister (the heroine).  But -- we are assured -- that was ok, because the 16 y.o "didn't look it."   And because she "was easy" he availed himself of her and had sex and disappeared to his fantastic life as an astronaut. She got pregnant and had his kid.

There was so much slut shaming throughout the book of the then 16 year old (now dead) mother of his child.  And a not so subtle madonna/whore reinforcement between her and her sister (the heroine).  Who basically subsumed her own life to take care of the child, lived like a nun and silently pined for a 22 year old man she met when she was 14!!!

Also, back in the day during that summer of pedo, he teased her and called her a 'goody two shoes' because she didn't want to go skinny dipping. Again, Dude she was 14 years old!! what 22 year old man thinks it is ok to skinny dip with a 14 y.o?

FYI, this was a Harlequin romance or Silhouette or something similar. 

So now whenever I do re-read something written 30ish years ago that my pre-teen self loved, I have to prepare myself to be disappointed or outraged.  And if it holds up well still, I am pathetically grateful.  LOL.

Dude!!! I remember Aftershocks and even my teen-self, who had graduated from Harlequin to Silhoutte, and devoured them, 🙄🙄🙄😒😒😒 at that; especially the throw away line that the drinking and smoking was  an “aberration

I also DEVOURED Sandra Brown’s books, which were under Silhoutte and Candle Light Ecstasy or some such. But I’m glad I never read that one!

But none of those compare to Diana Palmer/Susan Kyle’s “romances” We’re taking about 14-18 year age differences where the heroine is 18 or 19 and the supposed hero 34-40. Talk about Whore/Madonna. If the heroine is a virgin (she’s mocked for it), she’s not worth his time, and if she responds to his kisses and caresses, then she’s a whore. Or if they have sex outside of marriage, then she feels like a whore he bought for the night when he drops her off at home. 
 

I admit, at times when I was depressed and couldn’t seem to find joy in anything, as punishment or guilty pleasure, I would pick any of these and read, while raging and cringing all the way. And she still continues to write in this way-Emotional abuse and using excuse that he was hiding his unrequited “love” as protection. Oh! And here the kicker: “Hero” would be impotent with all other women and “heroine” would find kisses with anyone else “repulsive” and “disgusting.”

So give me any Nora/JD Robb, Linda Howard, Anne Stuart, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, thankyouverymuch. I will reread them until the end!

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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49 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

Aftershocks.  Originally published in 1985.  A contemporary romance novel.  Some high lowlights: (excerpted from my own review)

- Hero thinks heroine is a hooker because she is 23 years old and has money enough to own a nice car and her own home.

- Heroine is 23 years old and a virgin.  According to the hero, only anti-social losers are still virgins at the age of 23. This is not said ironically.

-When they finally get to the point of having sex, the hero offers to wear a condom. The heroine wrinkles her nose in distaste because that would be "crass."

-The heroine is a supposed health nut, but after they break up, in her despair she starts smoking and drinking heavily.  And oh yeah she is pregnant and knows it, but still does this.

-The hero is doctor.  You'd think he'd be appalled she is drinking and smoking while pregnant?  Nope.  He doesn't confront her about that, but he does finally understand her depth of despair over their break-up because she has stopped wearing her sexy lingerie and has opted for plain white bras and panties.

I could go on....

There are a couple of these books from big name authors from the 80s that are similarly cringey.  There is a book called Long Time Coming by Sandra Brown where 19 years ago (we are told in flashback from the start of the book) when the hero was 22 , he hung out for a summer with a 16 year old girl and her 14 y.o. sister (the heroine).  But -- we are assured -- that was ok, because the 16 y.o "didn't look it."   And because she "was easy" he availed himself of her and had sex and disappeared to his fantastic life as an astronaut. She got pregnant and had his kid.

There was so much slut shaming throughout the book of the then 16 year old (now dead) mother of his child.  And a not so subtle madonna/whore reinforcement between her and her sister (the heroine).  Who basically subsumed her own life to take care of the child, lived like a nun and silently pined for a 22 year old man she met when she was 14!!!

Also, back in the day during that summer of pedo, he teased her and called her a 'goody two shoes' because she didn't want to go skinny dipping. Again, Dude she was 14 years old!! what 22 year old man thinks it is ok to skinny dip with a 14 y.o?

FYI, this was a Harlequin romance or Silhouette or something similar. 

So now whenever I do re-read something written 30ish years ago that my pre-teen self loved, I have to prepare myself to be disappointed or outraged.  And if it holds up well still, I am pathetically grateful.  LOL.

Whew! That is a lot. Pretty sure I never read that one of hers though. I kept to her historical romances which I'm sure have their own special cringe factors. 

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5 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

I tried to start Ottessa Moshfegh's newest, "Death in Her Hands," but I need a break from her writing style, so instead I picked up "American Spy," by Lauren Wilkinson, and I'm loving it only three chapters in.

I read American Spy awhile ago and it's become one of those books that's really memorable to me and I think about a lot still. I was surprised it has such mixed reviews and didn't get that much attention despite being on the Obama list.

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There are so many awful romance novels from my teenage years.  I no longer know the title or author, but I remember reading one Harlequin-type in which woman leaves husband when he rapes her on their wedding night.  He shows back up and is meant to be the hero.  Somehow the divorce didn’t go through.  They end up back together after he takes her back to the exact place of their wedding night where he convinces her it wasn’t rape; she was just a virgin and was scared by his passion.  It was horrific.

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Per Wiki, it took until 1993 for marital rape to be criminalized in every state in the U.S. I'm not surprised the less enlightened romance writers still wrote unwanted intercourse as something else. Women just want to be sexually dominated, don'tcha know.

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I used to sneak my mom and older sister's Harlequin and related books and read them as a tween/young teen. I can't even imagine how cringe worthy they would be to me now. I know I legit went through my teen years thinking it was the norm for married people (or couples in general, I guess......I don't remember now if it was taboo to not have most couples in these books be married or at least engaged) - no matter the age - to have sex every single day and sometimes multiple times a day. LOLOL.

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I tried Catherine Coulter once after buying a bunch of her books off Ebay I read the first one Warrior's Song and hated it. The rapist ends up a hero! He later goes onto star in another book as a hero. What the hell? It was the first and last book of hers I ever read. Rapists are not heroes. 

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10 minutes ago, andromeda331 said:

Rapists are not heroes. 

It is so sad that that needs to be said, that it isn't just...obvious. And yet...

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8 hours ago, andromeda331 said:

I tried Catherine Coulter once after buying a bunch of her books off Ebay I read the first one Warrior's Song and hated it. The rapist ends up a hero! He later goes onto star in another book as a hero. What the hell? It was the first and last book of hers I ever read. Rapists are not heroes. 

Thank you for stopping me from wasting any money on this author.

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I'm reading The Heir Affair the sequel to The Royal We. It's pretty timely with all the Harry and Meghan stuff...

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I'm in the middle of Devolution by Max Brooks. I wasn't that interested in the book based on the plot (a high-tech ecovillage is cut off after Mount Rainier erupts and is then menaced by Bigfoot), but it's pretty engaging so far. It helps that I'm listening to the audiobook version, which features Judy Greer as the main narrator and Nathan Fillion, Steven Weber, Kate Mulgrew, and Jeff Daniels in smaller roles (plus bonus appearances by Terry Gross and Kai Ryssdal). I've listened to a lot of audiobooks in the past year and have a new appreciation for how a well-produced one can really enhance the experience.

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Finishing Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. It was published in 1940.

It's a classic.  Raymond Chandler.  Phillip Marlowe.  Made into a movie starring Humphrey Bogart (same as The Big Sleep).  How can I not like it.

But the racism and racist terms are disturbing in 2020. I almost stopped reading it after only about 50 pages. I decided to finish it and put into perspective as to the fact of when it was written and the social norms of eighty years ago. 

So I can't either recommend or not because it would depend on the reader's point of view as to Raymond Chandler's importance as a writer.

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1 hour ago, tres bien said:

Finishing Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. It was published in 1940.

It's a classic.  Raymond Chandler.  Phillip Marlowe.  Made into a movie starring Humphrey Bogart (same as The Big Sleep).  How can I not like it.

But the racism and racist terms are disturbing in 2020. I almost stopped reading it after only about 50 pages. I decided to finish it and put into perspective as to the fact of when it was written and the social norms of eighty years ago. 

So I can't either recommend or not because it would depend on the reader's point of view as to Raymond Chandler's importance as a writer.

I read it and that bothered me too. It was the way things were and we can enjoy his writing without condoning his racism. 

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I'm currently reading Adventures of A Vegan Vamp by Cate Lawley. As you can probably guess from the title, it's light read, but I'm enjoying it, & it's the first book in a series which is good.

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The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John Barry -  It covers the 1918 flu epidemic.

It’s been an interesting read so far.  The beginning goes into a brief history of medicine that really showcases how the field of medicine was shockingly low educated.  You could go to a medical school where all you did was listen to lectures for six months, never take any exam, never examine a patient, never use any tools a physician needs, and you could graduate to treat patients. Some states didn’t require doctors to even be certified.  Thank goodness some doctors pushed for better standards and opened better medical schools.  Reading it was eerie in some ways because officials today are making some of the same mistakes as officials from the past.  It also made me appreciate modern technology in medicine and also for communication.  Back then staying home meant being cut off from communication.   Because telephone operators were getting sick phone service was limited to emergency only.  We’re so lucky now that we have to tech to maintain communication even if we can’t see people in person.  

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I finished American Spy and really enjoyed it. I wonder if no Oprah endorsement (either the magazine or her book club) hurt the book? It got rave reviews from a bunch of well-regarded outlets, but there's a group of readers who look to Oprah, Witherspoon, and that ilk to recommend what they should read.

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@DearEvette will appreciate this, and I just felt like sharing or "showing" why I love Nora so much. The scene below is from Homeport and between the hero's two younger siblings; and it never fails to make me 😂

"If you can't behave like a decent human being, I don't want you to speak to any of my friends, ever again."

"All I did was mention that if she had some really basic plastic surgery, she would improve her looks, her self-esteem, and her sex life."

"You're a pig, Patrick."

"Yeah, well, your friend has a nose like a tail fin on a fifty-seven Chevy."

"Not only a pig, but a shallow, superficial asshole on top of it."

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51 minutes ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

@DearEvette will appreciate this, and I just felt like sharing or "showing" why I love Nora so much. The scene below is from Homeport and between the hero's two younger siblings; and it never fails to make me 😂

"If you can't behave like a decent human being, I don't want you to speak to any of my friends, ever again."

"All I did was mention that if she had some really basic plastic surgery, she would improve her looks, her self-esteem, and her sex life."

"You're a pig, Patrick."

"Yeah, well, your friend has a nose like a tail fin on a fifty-seven Chevy."

"Not only a pig, but a shallow, superficial asshole on top of it."

LOL.  That is great.  I have enjoyed how she started to bring in humor in her Eve Dallas series.  I especially like  Eve's reactions to anything remotely country or rural.  She is such an urbanite that even the though of live cows freaks her out. 

Because of working from home since March and all the anxieties surrounding Covid-19 and stuff going on in the world, I have found that my reading has trended toward re-reads and comfort reads.  I have slowly been making my way through NR's backlist as well as some other authors I love. I have done:

Carnal Innocence  - The old money genteel Southern dysfunctional family, the  small town setting, and the demented serial killer is a combo that can't be beat.  Also the audiobook is excellent.

Sweet Revenge  -  the displaced Princess turned cat burglar and her 'to catch a thief' boyfriend who plan the ultimate heist to avenge her mother's tragic death.  Again the audiobook is excellent.  The narrator has a voice like hot buttered butter!

Three Fates - Another good long con/heist novel with a backstory dating back to the Lusitania. I love how the initially prissy almost hypochondriac heroine becomes a total gangsta by the end.

Northern Lights - Cozy mystery/ whodunnit set in a small town in Alaska.  Love the setting and quirky locals.

The Villa - Murder and betrayal and family secrets amongst an old Italian-American wine making family.

Chasing Fire - The one about the wildfire firefighters/smoke jumpers and sabotage, betrayal and murder in the ranks.

There are a bunch more I want to get to that I haven't read in ages, Homeport is one of them.

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37 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

LOL.  That is great.  I have enjoyed how she started to bring in humor in her Eve Dallas series.  I especially like  Eve's reactions to anything remotely country or rural.  She is such an urbanite that even the though of live cows freaks her out. 

Because of working from home since March and all the anxieties surrounding Covid-19 and stuff going on in the world, I have found that my reading has trended toward re-reads and comfort reads.  I have slowly been making my way through NR's backlist as well as some other authors I love. I have done:

Carnal Innocence  - The old money genteel Southern dysfunctional family, the  small town setting, and the demented serial killer is a combo that can't be beat.  Also the audiobook is excellent.

Sweet Revenge  -  the displaced Princess turned cat burglar and her 'to catch a thief' boyfriend who plan the ultimate heist to avenge her mother's tragic death.  Again the audiobook is excellent.  The narrator has a voice like hot buttered butter!

Three Fates - Another good long con/heist novel with a backstory dating back to the Lusitania. I love how the initially prissy almost hypochondriac heroine becomes a total gangsta by the end.

Northern Lights - Cozy mystery/ whodunnit set in a small town in Alaska.  Love the setting and quirky locals.

The Villa - Murder and betrayal and family secrets amongst an old Italian-American wine making family.

Chasing Fire - The one about the wildfire firefighters/smoke jumpers and sabotage, betrayal and murder in the ranks.

There are a bunch more I want to get to that I haven't read in ages, Homeport is one of them.

I KNOW! Because Eve is so dark and cranky. Horses also freak her out! Here are my reactions to your list:

  1. Carnal Innoccence: No matter how many times I read this book, I NEVER figure out who the killer is! And the first time my 20 year old self read it, I was SHOCKED! One of my favorite quotes by that Scrumptious Tucker: "Them bubbles work on a man." When Cy let out some burps after downing Coke!
  2. Sweet Revenge: LOVE THIS. This one made my cry and rage.  And you could tell Nora did her research on this.
  3. Three Fates: I didn't know that the backdrop of this would be the sinking of the Lusitania--and I had just watched a documentary on it right before I bought the book! I 🥰 the Sullivan Brothers.
  4. Northern Lights: I figured out whodunnit almost right away--and I never do that--especially when Nora doesn't give it away!
  5. The Villa: Oh my! That one has soooo many good quotes! And just with Carnal Innocene, the killer was a shocker.
  6. Chasing Fire: Loved this one too. Great Mystery. But I picked up on whodunnit.

And you stated the exact phrase for the reason I'm doing my rereads: comfort reading. Even amidst murder, blackmail and romance. Here are a few others:

True Betrayals, Honest Illusions, Sanctuary, Montana Sky, Hidden Riches, Carolina Moon

Nora's "Agatha Christie is from her Silhouette days: Storm Warning

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I'm currently reading Beartown by Fredrik Backman. I'll say this, it's well written and an easy read. I'm not sure it needs to be as long as it is. I still have a 150 pages to go and can't imagine what else needs to happen so much that necessitates that many pages.  Especially since I know there's a sequel, which I'm pretty sure I won't be reading. 

And here's why. Because as good as the book is and again, don't get me wrong, it is a very well-written book, I have come to the realization that I really really fucking hate jock culture. I hate everything it represents - the toxic masculinity, the misogyny, etc. Just all of it. And I don't want to hear about it anymore in any form. 

I don't want to see and read about this culture that puts male sports over everything and by that token encourages a culture of irresponsible, shitty, toxic as fuck male behavior. I'm over it. I love tennis and I watch basketball here and there but sports culture has always been a giant what-the-fuck-ever for me because of the ugly that comes with it. 

Yes, some will say it teaches sportsmanship and teamwork and hard work in young kids. Sure, that's all great. Until big money and sponsors come into play and then it's simply win at all fucking costs. Getting off my soapbox now. 

Spoiler

And yes I know Kevin is arrested for raping Maya. But again, considering there's a whole 100 pages more of the story to go and we know someone ends up getting murdered, I'm not holding my breath he actually gets convicted, which I guess is somewhat true to life. 

And the truth is I do like some of the characters - Amat, Peter, Kira, Benji, etc. But again, it's just a hard book for me to get through because of the emphasis on the toxic culture of the town around a damn fucking sport. 

 

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14 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

And here's why. Because as good as the book is and again, don't get me wrong, it is a very well-written book, I have come to the realization that I really really fucking hate jock culture. I hate everything it represents - the toxic masculinity, the misogyny, etc. Just all of it. And I don't want to hear about it anymore in any form. 

That's the whole point of the book, the obsession with hockey (although it could be anything) destroyed the community.  It drove people into two camps and exposed the toxic nature of the culture.  I thought Backman was spot on with how the boys were elevated and the men relived their glory days.  (It was football in our town.)  I read this last summer during the Kavanaugh hearings and was struck by the similarities.  There is a sequel, Us Against You, but you probably wouldn't enjoy that one either. 🙂

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I'm reading The File, by Timothy Garton Ash, about an Englishman who decided to look at his Stasi file from his days living in East Berlin. He was there on a student visa as a researcher and was able to move around more freely than most. It's fascinating (and sort of depressing, as so many people were informants [I know, some of them did it unwillingly, but too many didn't]) to read about the discrepancies between the file information and his diaries, recollections, and memories from people who were there with him. A lot of the errors were minor—e.g., the car was dark green, not dark blue—but depending on how that information was used, a mistake like that could have caused major problems and consequences.

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On 7/18/2020 at 10:33 AM, dubbel zout said:

I tried to start Ottessa Moshfegh's newest, "Death in Her Hands," but I need a break from her writing style

Have you given up on Death in Her Hands? This is my first time reading one of her books and I'm struggling with it a bit.

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4 hours ago, Haleth said:

That's the whole point of the book, the obsession with hockey (although it could be anything) destroyed the community.  It drove people into two camps and exposed the toxic nature of the culture.  I thought Backman was spot on with how the boys were elevated and the men relived their glory days.  (It was football in our town.)  I read this last summer during the Kavanaugh hearings and was struck by the similarities.  There is a sequel, Us Against You, but you probably wouldn't enjoy that one either. 🙂

I'm aware, which was my point. That even though it's actually a really well-written book, so that's nothing against the author, it's still a chore for me to get through because this is a narrative I've seen play out far too many times - in real life and in fiction. And I'm over it. My threshold for tolerating it, has reached its maximum. So I'll finish this book because I never like to not finish a book I've started, but I have zero interest in reading the sequel.

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3 hours ago, krankydoodle said:
On 7/18/2020 at 10:33 AM, dubbel zout said:

I tried to start Ottessa Moshfegh's newest, "Death in Her Hands," but I need a break from her writing style

Have you given up on Death in Her Hands? This is my first time reading one of her books and I'm struggling with it a bit.

I haven't given up, but I am taking an extended break. I think she's an author you need to be in the mood for.

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Not sure if this is the right place for this, but since I've been talking about what Nora Roberts I'm reading, I just HAVE to share this. I think I mentioned that all signings for 2020 have been cancelled, which is a bummer for me, but totally understandable. Nora is local for me. Her hubby's store, where she holds her signings is about 45-50 minutes away from me. So I live for those signings I can attend and chat with her, the staff and get my pictures.

Anyhoo. TODAY, her publicist, who twice a month or so, holds Face Book chats, had a surprise for us! THAT'S RIGHT, it was NORA!!

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This is a big deal, because Nora is so private and doesn't do social media at ALL. So I got to "chat" with her and got info on her new trilogy--part of it set in Ireland! WOOHOO!!!! Book One is coming out in November. Along with other stuff.

The Awakening: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 1

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One interesting thing that's been a result of public book tours being cancelled is that a lot of authors have opened up virtual meets and discussions to the public, instead of visiting a few cities across the country, and it's also pretty cool that so many people in different states and even countries are able to participate in the same meet. So, I have to admit it has been a nice opportunity to hear a few of my favorite authors talk in real time and answer questions, etc. I actually am signed up for a zoom event tomorrow evening with one of my favorite historical fiction authors, Lauren Willig. 

Edited by Starleigh
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On 7/21/2020 at 11:14 AM, dubbel zout said:

I finished American Spy and really enjoyed it. I wonder if no Oprah endorsement (either the magazine or her book club) hurt the book? It got rave reviews from a bunch of well-regarded outlets, but there's a group of readers who look to Oprah, Witherspoon, and that ilk to recommend what they should read.

I read that last year and enjoyed it.  I read it for an online book club last summer geared towards more literary fiction, and it was a NPR Now Read This book club selection this year.  Honestly, with the amount of books published every year, some books are going to fall into the cracks and not sell well.  The book also read like a mid-list author book which is what most literary fiction is.  Rare is the author who gets rave reviews across the board while also selling hundreds of thousands of copies.  Well besides the god-awful dreck Sally Rooney produces.  Even then she has a short lifespan until the "first great Generation Z" novel is written.  

 

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So I finished Beartown and still have zero desire to read the sequel. But I just wanted to add to my original comment that now having read the entire book, the character I hate the absolute most is 

Spoiler

David. 

This dude is the most smug, full of shit person in that whole book. How the fuck do you smugly judge another man and act like you're better than because in his eyes, the dude had the audacity to put his daughter's pain over their fucking hockey team and club. Talking about he could have waited a day, he did it to inflict maximum pain on the team and hockey and politics shouldn't mix. Like the fuck?

I've never read such bullshit rationalizing and wanted to reach into a book a punch a fictional character's face in more. David's whole spiel and reasoning for hating Peter was plain bullshit.. And I love how he makes all these stupid rationalizations and yet, Benji, the boy who always had Kevin's back, who loved David his coach almost like a father, refused to defect with the rest of them. Like what did that say about Kevin's supposed innocence.

I'm currently reading Far From the Tree by Robin Benway and I'm enjoying it. Not the most amazing book ever but a nice, touching and enjoyable read. 

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I'm reading We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson. I've read it before but it was a long time ago. So chilling.

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44 minutes ago, peacheslatour said:

I'm reading We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson. I've read it before but it was a long time ago. So chilling.

I love her short stories and think she was a serious genius at writing horror/suspense.  My favorite book of her short stories is, Just An Ordinary Day. It was published not that long ago, maybe 15 years ago? I think the story was that someone uncovered a bunch of stories she had written but never published, in a box that was being stored in a barn in VT. It was passed along to her children and they decided to get the stories edited and published.

But I must admit, I've never been able to read her novels. I don't know why, but I just have trouble following the narration and the plot. I've tried a few. Maybe I should try again.

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5 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I'm reading We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson. I've read it before but it was a long time ago. So chilling.

This is my favourite Shirley Jackson novel! It's a freaking masterpiece. I'm pretty sure I read the last third of it in one sitting, while weeping. Like all her work, there is so much woven in under the surface, and it's almost kaleidoscopic, the way you can look at it from different angles and see different meanings. Damn, now I wanna read it again too!

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27 minutes ago, Slovenly Muse said:

This is my favourite Shirley Jackson novel! It's a freaking masterpiece. I'm pretty sure I read the last third of it in one sitting, while weeping. Like all her work, there is so much woven in under the surface, and it's almost kaleidoscopic, the way you can look at it from different angles and see different meanings. Damn, now I wanna read it again too!

I listened to the audiobook of this back in March right after we went into lockdown.   The line about choosing different library books if they had known that was going to be the last trip hit me differently than when I first read it.

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I am currently reading Take a Hint, Dani Brown which is the second in Talia Hibbert’s Brown Sister Trilogy. The first book I read by her was Get a Life, Chole Brown which I really loved.  I then read her Ravenswood trilogy and have become a big fan.  Her characters are diverse, there’s humor but also emotional elements, the obstacles that get in the couples’ way are grounded in reality and she really shows how her pairings work well as a couple.  

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Just finished: The Last Flight by Julie Clark, about two women who switch tickets at the airport to run away from their respective troubles. I enjoyed it for the most part--it was a quick read and kept me on the edge of my seat. Some parts of the ending felt a little ass pull-y, like

Spoiler

the introduction of Charlotte, a character we'd never heard about before and never actually meet, being the key to proving Rory killed Maggie

but other parts came together really well, and the ending absolutely gutted me.

Next up: The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda.

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I’m reading Golden in Death by JD Robb.  I really enjoy the In Death series.  

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5 hours ago, Luckylyn said:

I’m reading Golden in Death by JD Robb.  I really enjoy the In Death series.  

My copy is supposed to arrive today 🙂

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I'm reading Alex Trebek's book, "The Answer Is..."  It's an enjoyable series of short essays about his life, that make up a narrative.  I really appreciate the photos being scattered throughout the text in relevant places, rather than in two or three big clumps.

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I've been reading Jaine Austen mysteries by Laura Levine. They're kind of like the Stephanie Plum series. They can be goofy and silly, but I just love the humor. 

I've been reading ebooks through my local library. Mainly celebrity books about Joan Rivers, Marlo Thomas, and the Playboy mansion. I'm also reading Mimi Alford's book about her affair as a teen with President Kennedy. Wow, it was amazing what they got away with back then. I like to read more than one ebook at a time. I think I'm getting attention deficit disorder as  I get older. lol

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Just completed The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor. I really enjoyed it, even though I figured out most of the twists. It wasn't perfect but pretty strong for a debut novel. 

Spoiler

I knew almost immediately that Eddie and his creepy ass had taken the girl's head. I knew he couldn't have killed her because I couldn't see how a 12 year old would be able to murder a 17 year old girl all by himself and hack her body like that. Alhough I guess stranger things have happened. But it was clear all his weird dreams and sleepwalking hinted at something he was hiding. And once his klepto tendencies came into play, I figured he took the head. 

I also wonder if his mom knew, based on her strange reaction when he told her Mickey claimed to know who really killed Elise. I wonder if all these years she thought Eddie had something to do with it, on account of his having the girl's damn head. I also figured out the Reverend likely murdered Elise and figured he was faking his paralysis. 

Didn't see Hoppo killing Mickey but Mickey's death, just like his brother's was a complete "who cares".

 

Currently reading Followers by Megan Angelo. It's okay and I'm very interested to see where the story's going but so far, none of the main characters are truly grabbing me. They're all so far pretty blah. I'm hoping that changes as the action moves along. 

Edited by truthaboutluv

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