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I just finished The Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao and loved it. Very sweeping, big-hearted, old-fashioned (but in a good way) romantic fantasy adventure very much in the vein of Robin McKinley and Gail Carson Levine at their best. 

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14 hours ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

I just finished The Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao and loved it. Very sweeping, big-hearted, old-fashioned (but in a good way) romantic fantasy adventure very much in the vein of Robin McKinley and Gail Carson Levine at their best. 

I read that pre-pandemic, and I agree, it was good.

I just got Beauty Mark by Carole Boston Weatherford, a free-verse novel about the life of Marilyn Monoe and I'm enjoying it. Love her or not, the stuff that she went through in her childhood was jaw dropping. No wonder she was so messed up.

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I just finished An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd. It's about three men who end up fighting in Africa during the First World War, and the petty interests they each have - one in regaining his farm, the other two are brothers, one of which married a woman he's not that interested in, while his younger brother definitely is interested in her. Except... it's not really. It doesn't feel like it's about much of anything.

I don't know if I'm missing a lot of subtle detail, but Boyd's writing is really flat and emotionless. The characters have no depth, and everything is so dispassionate and dry. The story never really gets going, then somehow still manages to go out with an anti-climactic whimper. Supposedly it's a "darkly comic satire" but it's not really funny and the satirical elements are few and far between. There are bits about military incompetence and about the class system but not much. It's just... bland.

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I finally took my copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and stuck it in a drawer so it wouldn’t accuse me by catching my eye. I even tried the TV show (Movie?) and couldn’t manage that. 

I love Louise Penny’s writing, but is every police organization everywhere run by corrupt, money-hungry ex-friends of Gamache? If the corruption she writes about were more topical, as in the treatment of PoC by the police, then I might find these stories more interesting. But we get it, all police departments are corrupt and only Gamache notices and can save the day. I also want to get back to Three Pines. I didn’t realize how much I missed Ruth in this book until someone above mentioned it. This really could have been a stand-alone book and not at all part of the series. Except it functioned to get Gamache’s children back to Canada.

 I read the Ashley Weaver Amory Ames mysteries. The latest, Deception at Thorncrest, just made me sigh. Amory is still doing the same things she was doing in book one and we are in book seven. She’s developed a little trust in her husband, which is nice, but 70% of the things that happen in these books could be avoided if Amory would just share the information that she has instead of standing there, watching things unfold and not speaking. For the character to develop, she needs to acknowledge that her inaction exacerbates situations and she needs to work on being better. 

I despise mystery series characters who don’t have some development over time. 

I stopped reading the Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye series by Victoria Laurie because the main character actually regressed into a selfish, self-absorbed, whiny hypocrite. UGH.

Anyway, based on recommendations from here, I checked out the audiobook of Mexican Gothic. 

Edited by BlackberryJam · Reason: Typos
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On 9/21/2020 at 10:30 PM, blackwing said:

Books I have read within the last few months:

Wrath of Poseidon by Clive Cussler.  He died this year.  It was really obvious that all of his co-authors were writing the books even though his name was on them.  I'm assuming that going forward, they will do like Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn and have his name in big bold letters and say "By ________".  I thought this was a fast paced, good Sam and Remi Fargo adventure, full of the usual action and historical intrigue.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley.  I was intrigued by the Agatha Christie-like premise.  A group of college friends take a trip to a hunting lodge for New Year's and get snowed in.  "All of them are friends.  One of them is a killer."  I was disappointed by this book.  It became increasingly more and more predictably ridiculous.  It seems that all of these "psychological thrillers with a woman in jeopardy" more or less follow the same formula.  Peel the onion layer by layer, add in atmospheric suspense, and then find a solution so ridiculous but hope that critics find your writing masterful and brilliant.

Long Range by C.J. Box.  I love this mystery series set in Wyoming featuring the game warden Joe Pickett.  They never get old, he manages to find a unique story in each book, I believe there are almost 20 now.  The part I appreciate most is that unlike in many long-running series, the characters actually age pretty much in real time.  When the series started, Pickett was in his 30s and his kids were elementary school or younger age, now the kids are all in their 20s and moved away from home.

Walk the Wire by David Baldacci.  The latest in the Amos Decker series, featuring an FBI agent who has a condition where he can never forget anything.  The best part of this book was the re-introduction of Will Robie, another of his long-running characters.  I thought he had stopped writing Will Robie books (I'm assuming his publisher told him to move on to new characters) so I was pleasantly surprised when Robie was a significant supporting player in this one.  

The Last Trial by Scott Turow.  The modern inventor of the legal thriller.  He runs circles around that hack John Grisham.  Alejandro Stern, the hero lawyer from "Presumed Innocent", takes on one last case.  There's a lot of legal jargon and the case is complicated and wrought with legal issues, but I found it very gripping.

Just finished this one, and I agree, I think the case here was too complicated.  And you're right, the last few books have involved some kind of conspiracy and intrigue against Gamache.  This one is set in Paris.  While I thought the change of setting would be nice after so many books, I was disappointed at how little Paris played a role in the story.  Sure, the characters travel to some Parisian landmarks, but Paris really didn't add anything to the novel.  Whereas I have always felt like Three Pines was always like another character.  I found myself missing Three Pines a lot when reading this one.  I missed the residents who were almost completely absent from this one except mere mentions in passing.  I found myself missing Ruth a LOT.  I missed the bistro, and Myrna's bookshop, and Clara's studio, and all the familiar locales.  Whenever Penny writes about Three Pines, I actually feel like I am there.  I didn't feel the same way about Paris and this one.

 

The Pillars of the Earth is my all-time favourite book.  So I was especially surprised and delighted to discover that Ken Follett has come out with a prequel called The Evening and the Morning which I am currently reading.  The events occur about 125 years before the events in "Pillars".  It weighs in at over 900 pages and I would definitely call this a tome.  I'm going to savour every page.  I did enjoy A Column of Fire but not as much as the first two books in the series. 

I love the Amos Decker series. It's rare to see a disabled main character. For those who haven't read the books he sustained a head injury while playing football. I'm surprised no one has turned the books into a movie

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I'm reading The Evening and the Morning right now.  About 300 pages in and I am delighted to report that so far no one has been raped.

I'm sure it's coming though.

Actually I take that back.

Spoiler

The slave Blod was raped repeatedly

Edited by Haleth
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12 hours ago, kathyk24 said:

I love the Amos Decker series. It's rare to see a disabled main character. For those who haven't read the books he sustained a head injury while playing football. I'm surprised no one has turned the books into a movie

Interesting, I never thought of his condition as a disability, in fact I had always thought of it as almost like a cool superpower.  I would love to have perfect recall.  

1 hour ago, Haleth said:

I'm reading The Evening and the Morning right now.  About 300 pages in and I am delighted to report that so far no one has been raped.

I'm sure it's coming though.

I'm at about the same place!  I just finished Part I, page 337.  And while nobody has yet been raped up to page 300, there's been some violence and mistreatment.   

 

No doubt Edgar's girlfriend was about to get raped by that Viking he killed.  And Dreng mistreats his slave Blod badly, she is used as a prostitute very often and it was impossible to determine who fathered her baby.  I had been suspecting it was Dreng himself.

Follett has always been very great at creating loathsome characters and giving them their just desserts, so I am hoping there is misfortune in store for

 

Wynstan, Gytha, Dreng and Degbert.[/quote]

Edited by blackwing

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Follett has always been very great at creating loathsome characters and giving them their just desserts,

Spoiler

William Hamleigh and his hideous mother.

 

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In the Amos Decker books he states that he has trouble relating to people since his concussion. That happens in real life as well.

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Finished One by One by Ruth Ware. I like her books, they kind of remind me of old times mysteries which don’t have tons on twists but are well written. Plus I met the author at a book signing and she was so nice and down to earth.

Now I’m reading The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones. I enjoy reading about the Native American lifestyle, but this has a strange writing style that I have to get used to.

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I just finished The Riviera Set, by Mary S. Lovell, about the various owners and visitors to a house on, yes, the Riviera called Chateau de l'Horizon. The book isn't the usual rehash of Fitzgeralds/Murphys/Hemingways—in fact, they're only mentioned in passing—as it's more of a history of the house and society at the time of the owners. A light, gossipy read if you're interested in that sort of thing, which I am. The entertaining was fantastically over the top, as suits people who had more money than they knew what to do with.

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On 9/7/2020 at 2:45 PM, truthaboutluv said:

That's me and Riley Sager. Every one of his books sound right up my alley and I know they have all been bestsellers and he's quickly built a pretty good reputation for himself but I just haven't gotten around to reading even one of the books. They're all still in my Want to Read/TBR list. 

 

On 9/9/2020 at 11:31 AM, MaggieG said:

I recommend him. I've read all of his and they were all pretty good. The only one I didn't really enjoy was The Last Time I Lied. It was a bit meh. I like that his books have a theme of sorts. Final Girls (my favorite of his) has slasher movie theme, Lock Every Door has Rosemary's Baby vibe just because it takes place in a NY building like the Dakota, The Last Time I Lied has a summer camp vibe and his latest one, Home Before Dark has an Amityville Horror vibe. 

So thanks to these posts I read a couple of Riley Sager books! Home Before Dark was wonderfully creepy. I also read The Final Girls; I think I liked Home Before Dark better, but Final Girls was still pretty good. I'm putting the rest of his books on my list to read in a few weeks at Halloween time because they have that perfect atmosphere for that time of year, my fave for curling up with a good book and a cup of tea.

Edited by Minneapple
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I just started The Bittersweet Bride by Vanessa Riley a romance about a widow looking for a marriage of convenience reunited with a former love.

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On 9/25/2020 at 5:58 PM, helenamonster said:

Just finished: One by One by Ruth Ware. I think it's the fourth book of hers that I've read, and definitely my favorite. It's about colleagues from an insufferably hip startup who go on a retreat to the French Alps, get stranded in their chalet by an avalanche, and then start suspiciously dying. It has a lot of similarities to Lucy Foley's The Hunting Party and Shari Lapena's The Unwanted Guest, and there's a lot of great tension between the characters as the stakes keep heightening. There's a little too much ski jargon, especially as I don't ski, and a lot of it is very European-specific terminology so the dictionary function on my Kindle got quite the workout. One of the characters being American felt like a note from the editor, to give other characters a reason to explain to him what he might call things back in the States, as he otherwise uses a lot of British turns of phrase that were not tweaked to fit this. That's kind of my main complaint, but otherwise I really enjoyed it.

I read both of those books and have been eyeing One by One for precisely that reason.  I like the snowed-in, one of us is a killer, genre.  The only other book of hers that I've read is The Woman in Cabin 10  and I really grew to despise the main character.  I distinctly remember being about halfway through and becoming increasingly irritated with her paranoia and stupidity to the point where I was actively hoping for her demise so the story would end.  Hopefully I will find "One by One" is a LOT better!

On 9/28/2020 at 2:47 PM, kathyk24 said:

In the Amos Decker books he states that he has trouble relating to people since his concussion. That happens in real life as well.

True, I guess I just never thought of him as disabled, I just thought that he doesn't deal with people very well.  But he has improved since his introduction.  I think the thing I like best about Amos is that he isn't the typical young, goodlooking hardbody who has been a career Marine and can strip and clean a gun blindfolded in 15 seconds that is often the focus of books of this genre.  In other words, he's the opposite of Will Robie., Ben Coes' Dewey Andreas, and Matthew Betley's Logan West.  He's an overweight, awkward, poorly dressed schlub.  It's refreshing.

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So I listened to Mexican Gothic. I do not recommend the audiobook. I could tell that there should be tension, but the narrator read the whole thing like a grocery list. And it’s slow. So slow.

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37 minutes ago, BlackberryJam said:

So I listened to Mexican Gothic. I do not recommend the audiobook. I could tell that there should be tension, but the narrator read the whole thing like a grocery list. And it’s slow. So slow.

I don't know if a good narrator or cast can make a book, but a bad one can break it. The cast for Brandon Sanderson's Way of Kings was terrible.

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1 hour ago, Anduin said:

I don't know if a good narrator or cast can make a book, but a bad one can break it.

I don't think a good narrator can make drivel listenable but it can make decent stuff better.  I don't think I would have enjoyed reading You (or Hidden Bodies) as much as I enjoyed listening to Santana Fontana narrating the books. 

But boy can a bad narrator kill any interest I have in books.  Part of the problem is that I can't skim forward during the boring parts.  I can speed up the narration but that just sounds odd.

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Just finished reading Jim Butcher's Battle GroundApparently,  it was supposed to be in Peace Talks, but he had to split the story into two books.  The result is . . . good, but not great? I think Butcher was trying to make up for the delay in the series and turned all elements Up To Eleven, so there ARE a lot of cool moments, but when the book is all tension, then the cool moments don't stand out. 

Spoiler

I'm starring to think of Butters as an Author's Pet. Once again, All Would Be Lost until Butters intervenes slightly. I get this is part of the Knight Thing, but he IS really new on the job. 🙄

So of course, I'm looking forward to the next one! 😊

Edited by Vanderboom

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On 10/1/2020 at 12:58 AM, Irlandesa said:

 

But boy can a bad narrator kill any interest I have in books.  Part of the problem is that I can't skim forward during the boring parts.  I can speed up the narration but that just sounds odd.

RIGHT. With Mexican Gothic, there was just no tension in the narrator's voice. The entire 

Spoiler

end scene in the mausoleum/basement was dull. Super dull. And long. How is that even possible?

I used to do a comfort listen to the Hamish MacBeth books. They were great until I got to the ones narrated by Graeme Malcolm. Instead of having the main character, when upset, have the emphasis on end of sentences, had no real heavy emphasis, but would have a definitely fall off at the end. So what should have been, "How dare you insult me WEE LITTLE CAT?" became "how dare you insult me (voice getting weaker) wee little cat." It was out of character and ruined the series for me. 

Edited by BlackberryJam

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I'm reading Hilarie Burton Morgan's memoir called The Rural Diaries. I've only seen her in a few acting gigs and don't know much about her, but it's a nice cozy read so far which is what I need right now.

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On 9/27/2020 at 5:41 PM, BlackberryJam said:

I love Louise Penny’s writing, but is every police organization everywhere run by corrupt, money-hungry ex-friends of Gamache? If the corruption she writes about were more topical, as in the treatment of PoC by the police, then I might find these stories more interesting. But we get it, all police departments are corrupt and only Gamache notices and can save the day. I also want to get back to Three Pines. I didn’t realize how much I missed Ruth in this book until someone above mentioned it. This really could have been a stand-alone book and not at all part of the series. Except it functioned to get Gamache’s children back to Canada.

I agree that she focuses too much on corrupt cops in recent books  And of course, Gamache is the only one to discover it and Gamache is the only one who can ever do anything about it.

One thing that I am tired of reading about in her books is that YouTube of the raid at the warehouse.  Agents swarming the warehouse.  Gamache giving commands.  Agents yelling.  Agents dying.  Beauvoir gets hit.  Then Gamache gets hit and goes down.  Gamache crawls over to Beauvoir.  Tells him he loves him.  "It was leaked to the public, that hateful video, something that was never intended to be seen."  How many times do they have to talk about this raid?  Why does it keep getting brought up?  What does it add to each story to keep mentioning it in every subsequent book?

I was today years old when I learned that many of Ruth Zardo's poems were actually written by Margaret Atwood and used with permission.  So "who hurt you once, so far beyond repair, that you would meet each overture, with curling lip" is not actually Penny's own work.

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I enjoyed Mexican Gothic enough that I got Gods of Jade and Shadow. Friends raved, so hoping it's a good one.  

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I'm reading The Widows of Malabar Hill, by Sujata Massey. It's the first in a mystery series set in 1920s Bombay, with a woman lawyer as protagonist. I'm really enjoying it so far—it's a world I know very little about—but it suffers from putting in a bit too much detail and history. That's something a lot of authors who've done a lot of research do: They dig up so much interesting stuff that they can't not cram it in somewhere. I understand the impetus, but it does bog things down a bit, IMO. Of course, YMMV. I know many readers can't get enough details.

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I just finished Murder in the Piazza by Jen Collins Moore. It was a nice mystery romp set in Rome. 

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1 hour ago, dubbel zout said:

It's the first in a mystery series set in 1920s Bombay, with a woman lawyer as protagonist. I'm really enjoying it so far—it's a world I know very little about—but it suffers from putting in a bit too much detail and history.

That's a good description of it--very detailed.  It has been a while since I read the book but I actually preferred the backstory to the present day mystery.  I haven't ready any more in the series but I might take a gander as maybe the author will have shaken off a bit of the "need to share everything" aspect.

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The second book is The Satapur Moonstone, and her latest in the series, The Bombay Prince, comes out in June 2021.

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On 9/30/2020 at 10:37 PM, BlackberryJam said:

So I listened to Mexican Gothic. I do not recommend the audiobook. I could tell that there should be tension, but the narrator read the whole thing like a grocery list. And it’s slow. So slow.

So I agree.  So far the narrator is fine with dialog but is so flat for the narration.  Reading it is more engrossing than listening.

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On 9/28/2020 at 6:49 AM, Haleth said:

I'm reading The Evening and the Morning right now.  About 300 pages in and I am delighted to report that so far no one has been raped.

I'm sure it's coming though.

Actually I take that back.

  Reveal spoiler

The slave Blod was raped repeatedly

I just finished The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett and am eager to hear other people's opinions about it.  I loved it.  I loved the world he created and as is typical for Follett, his heroes are very much heroic, experience various setbacks along the way, and generally come out on top.  His villains are deliciously evil and you really want to find out if and when they meet their demise.

I remember after I finished reading World Without End, for some reason I felt like e-mailing Follett and asking him some questions and giving him my thoughts.  In particular, I told him that I wish

 

Gwenda had been the one to kill Ralph because of the way he wronged her.

.  He actually wrote back (or he dictated and his assistant wrote back) and told me that he hadn't thought of that but that it would have been more satisfying!

I'm curious if there is supposed to be any connection between the characters in "The Evening and the Morning" and "The Pillars of the Earth".  I distinctly remember that some of the characters in "World Without End" were descendants of the characters in "Pillars".  I can't remember if any of the characters in "A Column of Fire" were also descendants of previous characters.  

Even though it is my favourite book of all time, It has probably been 20 years since I've read "Pillars".  I need to find my copy and read it again.  I think I lent it to my brother at one point.  I'm pretty sure he has never read it and he has moved several times so I hope it hasn't been lost!  If they ever re-issue this series in a leather bound collector's edition, I would instantly buy it.

Definitely want to re-read "Pillars" and see if there were any fun connections he made between the two books.

I doubt it would happen since there are less than 125 years now between "Evening" and "Pillars", but I'd love another prequel set maybe 60 years later so we can see what happens to the direct and not so distant descendants of the "Evening" characters.

Some spoilers ahead:

I'm particularly wondering if Jack Jackson is descended from Edgar and Ragna.  Jack's father was Jacques Cherbourg, and he was known for his distinctive flaming red hair.  Ragna has reddish hair I think, and she is from Cherbourg.  In addition, brown-haired Edgar strips naked to bathe in a river and he is spied upon by a tavern girl who Follett pointedly has observe "your hair's different color down there, it's kind of ginger".  So I assume since we were briefly told that both of them have red hair genes in them, that their union results in their descendants Jacques and Jack down the line.  It seems like this has to be the case.

There don't seem to be any hints that any other Pillars characters are descendants, although I would think there probably are some.  One possibility is that I could easily see is that Wilf's first born nasty son could be the ancestor of the evil William Hamleigh or Bishop Waleran.

The only other connection I really made was that we see how Kingsbridge acquired the skull of St. Adolphus.  It was kind of cool when I remembered it.

I knew from the beginning that Dreng's Ferry was going to get renamed Kingsbridge.  One of the first clues was the map in the front which had it pretty much square in the middle of the map.  Also, why would it keep the name of such an odious man?

At the end of the book, Edgar is clearly constructing the Kingsbridge Cathedral.  But all of "Pillars" was about building it.  Did it take 125 years to build, or did it get destroyed or damaged and a new one is being built in "Pillars"?

Edited by blackwing

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On 10/6/2020 at 1:51 AM, blackwing said:

I'm curious if there is supposed to be any connection between the characters in "The Evening and the Morning" and "The Pillars of the Earth".  I distinctly remember that some of the characters in "World Without End" were descendants of the characters in "Pillars".  I can't remember if any of the characters in "A Column of Fire" were also descendants of previous characters.  

Even though it is my favourite book of all time, It has probably been 20 years since I've read "Pillars".  I need to find my copy and read it again.  I think I lent it to my brother at one point.  I'm pretty sure he has never read it and he has moved several times so I hope it hasn't been lost!  If they ever re-issue this series in a leather bound collector's edition, I would instantly buy it.

Definitely want to re-read "Pillars" and see if there were any fun connections he made between the two books.

 

I'm now about 2/3 done so I don't want to read your spoilers.  I don't think there's any question that the characters in TEatM are ancestors of those in PotE and from the beginning I've assumed Dreng's Ferry was the original village that becomes Kingsbridge.  If nothing else, Follet is consistent with his characters-- the plucky young woman, the ingenious builder, the cerebral dreamer, and , of course, the mustache twirling (and hapless) villains.  No doubt Ragna is the (however many times) great grandmother of Alienna of Shiring.  It wouldn't surprise me if Edgar is an ancestor of Jack from Pillars.

Edited by Haleth
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I’m about to begin the first in the Cormoran Strike series The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). Has anyone read any of these? (The 5th in the series came out a short while ago). I do like a good crime/detective novel. 

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45 minutes ago, Mindthinkr said:

I’m about to begin the first in the Cormoran Strike series The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). Has anyone read any of these? (The 5th in the series came out a short while ago). I do like a good crime/detective novel. 

I read the first one a few years ago.  I remember liking it but I had too many things on my list to read, so I guess I must not have liked it enough to want to rush out and read the next one.  I've been meaning to pick the series up again.

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3 hours ago, Mindthinkr said:

I’m about to begin the first in the Cormoran Strike series The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). Has anyone read any of these? (The 5th in the series came out a short while ago). I do like a good crime/detective novel. 

Yes, I read them and have enjoyed the four I've read.  The main characters are pretty strong.  Some mysteries I've enjoyed more than others.

It's why I shake my first at JK Rowling.

Edited by Irlandesa
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Just started Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari. I loved Sapiens. 

I try to mix my fiction with occasional nonfiction.

I’m also about to start the fifth in the Tricia Fields Josie Gray series about a police chief in west Texas. 

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I'm not interested in reading anything new or depressing or scary*. I want comfort reading. And as stated above, Nora Roberts' many skills is that she provides not only comfort reading, but scary, mystery, and emotional reads.

So I'm digging out my Silhouette MacKade Brothers because aside from his own story, Shane MacKade has the BEST lines that never fails to make me laugh. Not to mention Rafe in his own story. 

Then I'm gonna go re-re-re-read The MacGregors! I can always count on Daniel to make me laugh. Because I SORELY need that.

*In Deaths and Single Titles can be scary!

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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Just finished Naomi Novik's new one, A Deadly Education. It's the start of the Scholomance series and it's a really promising first book for the series. Like many books that are first in a series, it's a lot of worldbuilding and the actual plot takes awhile to get going. But the characters are great, the worldbuilding is intricate and it's a fun concept of a dark, scary magic school.

 

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6 hours ago, Mindthinkr said:

I’m about to begin the first in the Cormoran Strike series The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). Has anyone read any of these? (The 5th in the series came out a short while ago). I do like a good crime/detective novel. 

I like them with a couple of caveats on some of the relationships, but the setting work is good. If you like London and British mysteries like I do. I've read all of them except the latest one. The novels have gotten too long winded and JKR needs a strong editor (and probably some sense).

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I started These Violent Delights by Micah Nemerever. Right from the start, I got a Leopold and Loeb vibe from the two main characters. Then I read an article that they are one of the inspiration for the book.

I'm only a few chapters in but it's intriguing so far.

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1 hour ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Then I'm gonna go re-re-re-read The MacGregors! I can always count on Daniel to make me laugh. Because I SORELY need that.

I hate that she never finished this series. We had Amelia, Adria, and Matthew left to go and then the grandchildren would be done. I assume there was a publisher related reason it stopped but need it finished! 

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1 minute ago, scarynikki12 said:

I hate that she never finished this series. We had Amelia, Adria, and Matthew left to go and then the grandchildren would be done. I assume there was a publisher related reason it stopped but need it finished! 

You, me and everyone else who loved this series!

She stopped publishing for Silhouette right after The Perfect Neighbor, and since they had the rights to the characters, she couldn't finish them after she left. But yes, selfishly, I wish she had waited until she had! I especially wanted Amelia and Matthew, as we met them.

Anal-retentive me NEEDS wants to know who Amelia takes after! I picture her with Justin's hair and Serena's eyes. Or totally like Justin.

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7 minutes ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Anal-retentive me NEEDS wants to know who Amelia takes after! I picture her with Justin's hair and Serena's eyes. Or totally like Justin.

I think she resembles Justin like Mac and Duncan. Nora made such a point about Gwen’s resemblance to Serena that I read between the lines and assumed Amelia doesn’t. Cybil’s brief mention of Adria described her as gorgeous so I assume she looks just like Gennie.

Maybe Silhouette will need some fast cash and sell her the rights so she can finish. 

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6 minutes ago, scarynikki12 said:

Maybe Silhouette will need some fast cash and sell her the rights so she can finish. 

😂

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Oh man, I had to tap out of one of the worst books.  I got to like 30% and said 'I am out.'

It is called The Protector by Elin Peer (it was a freebie audio-book).   It takes place in 2437 or something where there has been a huge shift in both geography and society.  There are no longer any countries and the world population has been decimated to about 1 billion. Women rule a weird utopian society where men are now considered more subserviant and the gender imbalance is extreme. Except for one special country where a group of super men called the N-men live. 

It is a romance novel but I couldn't even pay attention to the romance because the world building was so terrible.  I spent the entirety of what I was reading saying "but...but...but..." and "that not how that works..." and "why?"

I just couldn't take the simplistic world-build and the info-dumpy prose.

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Thanks to book club commitments, I've found myself with too many books going at once.  Every year, I resolve to avoid this and, every year, I find myself in this position at about this time of the year!

Anyway, I did finish The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan yesterday.  It's a delightful little mystery--I would say that it is close to but not quite a cozy mystery.  I'm generally not a fan of cozies, but this one worked for me and I'll definitely be reading on in the series.

Now: What I have going on now:

Mexican Gothic (like everyone else): I've been holding this until it was closer to my book club date (which is later this month).  I just started it yesterday and was immediately sucked in.

I Felt A Funeral, In My Brain by Will Walton.  This is for my postal book club and it is definitely...different.  I'm reading it in small chunks.

Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin.  This is a re-read for me and I'm listening to the audiobook before the discussion in another book club (I told you I was in book club overload).  It's a delightful retelling of Pride and Prejudice and I think I'm liking it even more the second time.

I Have Something to Tell You by Chasten Buttigieg.  This one isn't for a book club, but I started it (as an audiobook) before I got hit with the rest of the book club books.  I'm really enjoying it--it is a personal, not political, memoir and Buttigieg has a great, dry sense of humor.  Also, his childhood is the perfect set up for a sit com.

Middlemarch by George Eliot.  I'm reading this through Serial, so I should be done at some point in February.  This is a book that I have always wanted to read but, for some strange reason, was never assigned to read in school.  When my friend reminded me of Serial, I decided to use it to read this.  I'm only 7% in, but I'm already having some very strong reactions to the characters!

How Lovely the Ruins -This is a collection of poems and quotes "for hard times."  As lofty as that sounds, this is my toilet reading.

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1 hour ago, Athena said:

I like them with a couple of caveats on some of the relationships, but the setting work is good. If you like London and British mysteries like I do. I've read all of them except the latest one. The novels have gotten too long winded and JKR needs a strong editor (and probably some sense).

I think that was probably why I didn't feel like rushing into the next one... I remember thinking it was too long and too drawn out.  Sometimes I just want the book to end at around the seemingly magical number of 300 pages and this one kept going on.

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I'm currently reading Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford. It's his third book and it's not keeping my interest. I don't think I'm going to finish it. 

I really liked his first book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and his second book Songs of Willow Frost,  while not as good, I thought was a good story. 

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The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (Robin Buss translation). It's the greatest revenge novel ever written, in my opinion. Remember in college I wrote essay about this book. To be honestly I used college essay writing help but I got the highest score in the class. I still aply to this writing service from time to time.

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5 minutes ago, johnnyy said:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (Robin Buss translation). It's the greatest revenge novel ever written, in my opinion

Interesting note, back in my college years, I took Prison Literature as a class. Part of the class was supposed to be doing a group read and exchanging letters with prisoners at the Maximum Security several counties over. The prof said he could only get the inmates to read The Count of Monte Cristo. Everything else he’d tried fell flat. Our letter exchange didn’t happen because there were prison riots that semester though. 

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22 hours ago, BlackberryJam said:

Interesting note, back in my college years, I took Prison Literature as a class. Part of the class was supposed to be doing a group read and exchanging letters with prisoners at the Maximum Security several counties over. The prof said he could only get the inmates to read The Count of Monte Cristo. Everything else he’d tried fell flat. Our letter exchange didn’t happen because there were prison riots that semester though. 

Did the book have to be a prison related book, or was the really the only book of any kind he could get them to read?  If I were in prison I'd want to read a book where everybody's outside all the time. Like The Princess Bride.  Or, Lonesome Dove. 

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