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Rick Kitchen

What Are We Currently Reading?

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2 hours ago, Katy M said:

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. 

He'd been teaching the class for years, so I don't know everything he'd tried. However, he did let us read some of the correspondence from prior classes. The Princess Bride was absolutely not what they were looking for. These men were in for rape and murder and were very, very angry. 

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On 10/4/2020 at 3:24 PM, dubbel zout said:

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.

 

On 10/4/2020 at 4:51 PM, dubbel zout said:

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

I loved the breadth and heft of The Widows of Malabar Hill, it made it so much more memorable.  The Satapur Moonstone was a satisfactory second, I'm looking forward to reading The Bombay Prince.  I've loved Sujata Massey's work since her Rei Shimura days.

 

On 10/6/2020 at 7:58 AM, 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. 

The first one was good, the second one The Silkworm was quite good.  Career of Evil was so-so.  I picked up the fourth at the library, it was over 700 pages, I thought to myself, girlfriend needs an editor stat and put it back down.  This was before the more recent controversies.

 

On 10/6/2020 at 4:43 PM, OtterMommy said:

Middlemarch by George Eliot.  I'm reading this through Serial, so I should be done at some point in February.

You won't be sorry, it's my all-time favorite novel (Anna Karenina a close second).  I keep a tattered paperback version on my nightstand.  Whenever I'm in a reading rut I pick it up to be reminded what awesome writing is.

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I just finished the sequel to "One Of Us Is Lying" ("One Of Us Is Next"), and am about to start Carl Hiaasen's newest -- "Squeeze Me".  I picked it up from the library this afternoon.

I really liked "One Of Us Is Next" -- it wasn't as obvious as the first one.  With the first one, I figured it out right from the start, but it was fun finding out how.  With the sequel, it was much harder (I thought) to figure out who was really involved in all the goings on.

I've been a Carl HIaasen fan since I read "Tourist Season" back in the late 80s, so I'm looking forward to diving in.

 

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On 10/9/2020 at 3:49 PM, Browncoat said:

I really liked "One Of Us Is Next" -- it wasn't as obvious as the first one.  With the first one, I figured it out right from the start, but it was fun finding out how.  With the sequel, it was much harder (I thought) to figure out who was really involved in all the goings on.

That's interesting because I had the opposite experience - with regard to the "figuring it out" bit.

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I'm reading Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling), & I'm about 300 pages into this 944 page book. The story is good, but I've seen reviews that say there is too much astrology (there is), and I think there is too much "Strike doesn't know how to buy a present" and both Strike & Robin not knowing what the other one is thinking. There is a lot of stuff that could have been cut out of this never ending book.

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I started The Jackal by JR Ward today.  Overall I enjoy the Black Dagger Brotherhood Universe a lot.   I hope I like this one too.  Some books in the series are more engaging for me than others.
 

Regarding the ending of Mexican Gothic 

Spoiler

Did anyone else think Francis better get a vasectomy and just let the Doyle bloodline die out?   He could adopt.  

 

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I just read 368 page Dear Child by Romy Hausmann in one sitting. Could not put it down. It's dark, and a big swing from the last book I read before it, Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel, which is a romp. It's hard third book and I always enjoy the wit and humor in her books. Will be starting Grand Union, Zadie's Smith's 2019 collection of short stories.  For some strange reason, I haven't been in the mood for short stories, which I normally love, but I'm looking forward to it. 

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I finished The Satapur Moonstone and again, thought there was too much extraneous detail. I don't think the story was quite as well plotted as The Widows of Malabar Hill—most of the major action happened in the last 50 pages or so and felt a bit rushed. And the conceit to get Perveen the case was the same as in the first book—women in purdah. I hope Sujata Massey varies that in later books.

I did like the possible love interest and the potential cultural/societal/class issues that can be raised by him. That's the sort of thing I want to read about.

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I finished Mexican Gothic and it was a solid 4 star read for me.  It was a fun and a page turner, but it was also something you can't think too much about.  I can't say that bothered me (I do watch Evil, after all...).  I did have some trouble with the ending.

Spoiler

I felt Francis living and the supposed happily ever after was a cop out that betrayed the story.  I never really bought the Noemi/Francis attraction and I felt like the story would have been more powerful if Francis had died.

I started Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman today.  I haven't read Practical Magic, nor the other prequel, but my guess is that I will end up reading the books in chronological order.  

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18 hours ago, Darian said:

Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel,

I liked that one, too.  It was a fun read, though for no apparent reason I kept picturing Bridget's house as a lot smaller than it clearly was.

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17 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

I finished Mexican Gothic and it was a solid 4 star read for me.  It was a fun and a page turner, but it was also something you can't think too much about.  I can't say that bothered me (I do watch Evil, after all...).  I did have some trouble with the ending.

  Hide contents

I felt Francis living and the supposed happily ever after was a cop out that betrayed the story.  I never really bought the Noemi/Francis attraction and I felt like the story would have been more powerful if Francis had died.

I started Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman today.  I haven't read Practical Magic, nor the other prequel, but my guess is that I will end up reading the books in chronological order.  

Spoiler

I bought the initial attraction but I didn’t buy a love story.   Francis living does make the ending less powerful than it could have been.  Still it was a compelling read and I would definitely read the author again.

 

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On 10/13/2020 at 2:12 PM, Spartan Girl said:

Finally got The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah from my library, and it was well worth the wait.

I have this on my list. Glad to hear it's worth the wait.

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Because it's nearly Halloween I picked up Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger at the library. I enjoyed Fingersmith and The Paying Guests, Waters wields a mighty pen.

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Finally passed the halfway mark in Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith. I'm starting to really dislike these characters. Still have a ton of book to read.

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4 hours ago, GaT said:

Finally passed the halfway mark in Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith. I'm starting to really dislike these characters. Still have a ton of book to read.

That must be the fifth book. I’m getting ready to start Career of Evil by the same author. I’m disappointed to hear that you are starting to dislike these characters. It’s going to make those long books seem even longer. 

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6 hours ago, Mindthinkr said:

That must be the fifth book. I’m getting ready to start Career of Evil by the same author. I’m disappointed to hear that you are starting to dislike these characters. It’s going to make those long books seem even longer. 

Yes it does. There are just too many plots & too much internal thinking. The basic mystery is interesting, she could have had a great book if someone had just reigned her in.

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1 hour ago, GaT said:

Yes it does. There are just too many plots & too much internal thinking. The basic mystery is interesting, she could have had a great book if someone had just reigned her in.

Thank you for justifying me not picking this up. I'll keep up with the TV series adaptation as it seems to be trying to cut some stuff out of the books.

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6 minutes ago, Athena said:

Thank you for justifying me not picking this up. 

Picking it up is hard at 944 pages, I have trouble holding it to read LOL 

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1 hour ago, Athena said:

Thank you for justifying me not picking this up. I'll keep up with the TV series adaptation as it seems to be trying to cut some stuff out of the books.

TV adaptation? Are you in UK? Where could please I find them? Thank you. 

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10 hours ago, Mindthinkr said:

TV adaptation? Are you in UK? Where could please I find them? Thank you. 

In the US, it's called C.B. Strike for some reason.  I guess maybe because there was another TV show called Strike out around that time?

11 hours ago, GaT said:

Picking it up is hard at 944 pages, I have trouble holding it to read LOL 

The ebook version came to me a few days ago and I had to decide whether or not I'd download it or wait for the hard cover version to come.  I prefer hard cover versions so I postponed the ebook version.  I figure I can read the hard cover version and when I run out of time with that loan, I'll get the ebook version so I can finish the book. 

Maybe I should have gotten the ebook version if I'm going to get carpal tunnel from the printed version.

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I'm reading Asta's Book by Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell's pen name).  I started it right after I ditched Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jaime Ford, which I didn't like.

I didn't know anything about the author,  maybe someone here mentioned her. But this book is so good, very hard to put down.  

I had been reading a lot of crime/mystery and was ready to move on (hence the Jaime Ford  book) but I"m glad I had this on my shelf and I'll definitely read more Barbara Vine.

Since she was a very prolific writer under both her names, I'll probably venture out into more.

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15 hours ago, DearEvette said:

Yeah they are a tv series called Strike.  in the UK they were on BBC One and in the US on Cinemax.  Here is the Wikipedia entry about the tv series:

Thank you. I don’t have Cinemax, a pay for subscription. I’d like to see it, but don’t want another $15 to my cable bill (monthly) for this one series. Then again, would it be worth it if I added it for 3 months to see this series? Wow. I just checked and it’s only $9.99 so I’ve added it, and may cancel when I’m done. I appreciate the information about it. 

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Just read Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam ( very good) and Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell which I wasn’t crazy about. Just started When No One is Watching by Alissa Cole.

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2 hours ago, Madding crowd said:

and Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell which I wasn’t crazy about.

The title sounded intriguing so I looked it up to read the synopsis and OMG I just can't deal with those character names. It made it seem like trying way too hard. 

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I just finished my first Dorothy L. Sayers Peter Wimsy book Clouds of Witness.  The first one was already checked out so I decided to start with this one.  I liked it and I liked Peter.  I have the next on on hold.

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6 hours ago, tres bien said:

I'm reading Asta's Book by Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell's pen name).  I started it right after I ditched Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jaime Ford, which I didn't like.

I didn't know anything about the author,  maybe someone here mentioned her. But this book is so good, very hard to put down.  

I had been reading a lot of crime/mystery and was ready to move on (hence the Jaime Ford  book) but I"m glad I had this on my shelf and I'll definitely read more Barbara Vine.

Since she was a very prolific writer under both her names, I'll probably venture out into more.

I love Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford books, she's a great mystery writer.

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On 10/11/2020 at 11:28 PM, theatremouse said:

That's interesting because I had the opposite experience - with regard to the "figuring it out" bit.

Same. I figured out almost immediately who the guilty person was in One of Us is Next. However, like One of Us is Lying I didn't predict 

Spoiler

the younger brother being involved, similar to how I didn't predict Addie's douchebag/abusive boyfriend being involved in Simon's plan. Like yes, I knew he was an abusive shit, but I thought that part of the first book took it slightly over the top. Similar actually to the little brother being involved in One of Us is Next. 

 

On 10/13/2020 at 4:16 PM, GaT said:

and both Strike & Robin not knowing what the other one is thinking.

Still...really? She's still dragging that shit out? I guess J.K. still hasn't improved in the writing romance department. 

 

On 10/16/2020 at 3:12 AM, GaT said:

Finally passed the halfway mark in Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith. I'm starting to really dislike these characters. 

Luckily I got there by the second book, which is why I bailed out on the series and haven't looked back since. 

Just completed Frankly In Love by David Yoon. I really enjoyed it, particularly the focus on social identity, culture and heritage and what that all means to every different person. And I really liked Frank, which is a big part of whether or not I enjoy a book - i.e. how much I like the main character. 

That said, for a book with love in the title and focused heavily on the main character's love life, I found I didn't really like either love interest that much. 

Spoiler

I found Brit kind of clingy and a little too eager. Now to be fair, I'm an introvert who even in romantic relationships, likes a certain amount of space and freedom. She was just too all in too fast for my liking. Joy was cool but had an undertone of bitchiness and indifference to her that I didn't find too enjoyable. Also, Q's being gay and into Frank was like the most glaring, hit you over the head obvious reveal ever. 

 

Edited by truthaboutluv

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On 10/17/2020 at 8:01 AM, tres bien said:

I'm reading Asta's Book by Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell's pen name).  I started it right after I ditched Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jaime Ford, which I didn't like.

I didn't know anything about the author,  maybe someone here mentioned her. But this book is so good, very hard to put down.  

I had been reading a lot of crime/mystery and was ready to move on (hence the Jaime Ford  book) but I"m glad I had this on my shelf and I'll definitely read more Barbara Vine.

Since she was a very prolific writer under both her names, I'll probably venture out into more.

Ruth Rendell (Barbara Vine) was a wonderful writer. I've read all her books (Rendell and Vine). Loved them all, some more than others. For me her last books weren't as good but overall a great body of work.

Her Vine books are more psychological and are some of my all time favorite books. I envy you getting to read them for the first time.

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I did it! I finally finished Trouble Blood!

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On 10/17/2020 at 9:48 AM, Madding crowd said:

Just read Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam ( very good) and Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell which I wasn’t crazy about. 

Aw. I have Invisible Girl on hold at the e-library and it did sound good. I may still give it a whirl.

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I started The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz.  This is the first of a series he’s been doing.  I liked the Odd Thomas books, so I hope to enjoy this too.  

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I'm reading The Glass House by Beatrice Colin, about 2/3 done and really enjoying it.  It has a Downton Abbey-esque feel to it.  Pre WWI Scotland, Antonia is struggling to hold on to her family's estate when her SIL Cicely (whom she's never heard of) shows up on the doorstep, having traveled from India.  Both women are wary, and both have secrets.  The narrative alternates between the two characters.  It's a short book, only about 250 pages but filled with lovely descriptions of both countries.  I'm anxious to see how this ends.

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On 10/15/2020 at 6:23 PM, sugarbaker design said:

Because it's nearly Halloween I picked up Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger at the library. I enjoyed Fingersmith and The Paying Guests, Waters wields a mighty pen.

I love that book. It's the kind you think about for days, even weeks after you finish it.

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30 minutes ago, peacheslatour said:

I love that book. It's the kind you think about for days, even weeks after you finish it.

I'm only a quarter through the book, and I'm already sucked in.

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On 10/17/2020 at 8:01 AM, tres bien said:

I'm reading Asta's Book by Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell's pen name).  I started it right after I ditched Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jaime Ford, which I didn't like.

I didn't know anything about the author,  maybe someone here mentioned her. But this book is so good, very hard to put down.

One of my all-time favorite novels by one of my all-time favorite writers.  I'm so glad you referred to as Asta's Book, the original UK title, and not the edited US title, Anna's Book.  It just doesn't get much better than Rendell/Vine.  I've read A Dark-Adapted Eye by BV three times now.

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On ‎10‎/‎15‎/‎2020 at 9:23 PM, sugarbaker design said:

Because it's nearly Halloween I picked up Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger at the library. I enjoyed Fingersmith and The Paying Guests, Waters wields a mighty pen.

I thought The Little Stranger was excellent, and very atmospheric.  Perfect for the season.

On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2020 at 8:01 AM, tres bien said:

I'm reading Asta's Book by Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell's pen name).  I started it right after I ditched Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jaime Ford, which I didn't like.

I didn't know anything about the author,  maybe someone here mentioned her. But this book is so good, very hard to put down.  

I had been reading a lot of crime/mystery and was ready to move on (hence the Jaime Ford  book) but I"m glad I had this on my shelf and I'll definitely read more Barbara Vine.

Since she was a very prolific writer under both her names, I'll probably venture out into more.

I prefer Rendell's books under the Barbara Vine pen name.  I read this one with the US title, and loved it.  A Dark-Adapted Eye is also terrific, and I'd seriously recommend The Blood Doctor, too.

 

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I finished Alice Hoffman's Magic Lessons and absolutely loved it.  It is, chronologically, the first of the Practical Magic books and is the first one I've read (I remember seeing the Practical Magic movie when it was released, but remember very little about it).  My plan was to continue reading the books chronologically, but I'm not willing to wait a year or so to see where the 4th one falls, so I'm just going to continue onto Rules of Magic in the near future and hope that the 4th books takes place in the present day.

To keep the Spooky Season going (I started with Mexican Gothic before reading Magic Lessons), I started Simone St. James's The Broken Girls.  I'm only a few chapters in, but it definitely looks like it will fit the bill.

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Just finished: The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell, which is a sort of coming-of-age story about a bunch of teenagers (and their parents) that live in apartment complexes that all back up to a private garden, where most of the action takes place. I remember seeing some reviews saying that the ending felt out of nowhere, but I disagree.

Spoiler

It's obvious from the get-go that Tyler is jealous of Dylan's relationship with Grace, and while I was never suspicious of Catkin or Fern, it makes sense that they would form unhealthy attachments to friends given their upbringing. Put that together with Tyler thinking Leo is her father (and becoming a de-facto fourth sister to the Howes girls), I thought it all came together quite well.

Also! This book had a map outlining the layout of the garden at the very beginning, which I found super helpful! More non-fantasy books should do maps at the front when their setting is important to the plot, especially if it's particularly contained. I struggled through a lot of Megan Miranda's The Last House Guest because I couldn't remember where all the homes were in relation to each other.

Next up: Sticking with Lisa Jewell and getting into her latest one, Invisible Girl.

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I'm still on hold at the library for One by One by Ruth Ware and The Guest List by Lucy Foley.  I've read everything written by Agatha Christie and I'm always on the lookout for books like hers.  I read An Unwanted Guest by Shari LaPena and I remember not being that impressed.  I'm looking for books that are similar to "And Then There Were None" but as I may have mentioned before, I'm generally not a fan of the psychological thriller / woman in jeopardy type book that I think these authors are generally known for.  Any suggestions?

Perchance are there any ATTWN-like mysteries written by male authors with a male protagonist?  I read The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and remember we discussed it here... I see the author has a new book coming out called The Devil and Dark Water but after the weirdness of his first book I'm hesitant to give him another try.

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(I remember seeing the Practical Magic movie when it was released, but remember very little about it)

All I remember is the super cute outfits they wore.

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8 hours ago, blackwing said:

I'm still on hold at the library for One by One by Ruth Ware and The Guest List by Lucy Foley.  I've read everything written by Agatha Christie and I'm always on the lookout for books like hers.  I read An Unwanted Guest by Shari LaPena and I remember not being that impressed.  I'm looking for books that are similar to "And Then There Were None" but as I may have mentioned before, I'm generally not a fan of the psychological thriller / woman in jeopardy type book that I think these authors are generally known for.  Any suggestions?

Perchance are there any ATTWN-like mysteries written by male authors with a male protagonist?  I read The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and remember we discussed it here... I see the author has a new book coming out called The Devil and Dark Water but after the weirdness of his first book I'm hesitant to give him another try.

I really liked The Guest List and thought One by One was okay.   I’ve never liked any of Shari LaPena’s books but keep reading them.  
 

 

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22 hours ago, blackwing said:

I'm looking for books that are similar to "And Then There Were None" but as I may have mentioned before, I'm generally not a fan of the psychological thriller / woman in jeopardy type book that I think these authors are generally known for.  Any suggestions?

I love horror or mystery books set in isolated locations or confined spaces. BookRiot recently had an article suggesting books like And Then There Were None. Of those they list, I thought The Guest List was decent (much better than Foley's earlier effort The Hunting Party anyway), Six Wakes was fun, and An Unwanted Guest was disappointing. Most of the reviews I've seen for They All Fall Down haven't been very positive, but I still want to read it and the others on the list.

I recently started reading In the Dark by Loreth Anne White (free to read if you have Amazon Prime) which also has an ATTWN-like set-up. I haven't been impressed by the writing so far, but I'm only about 20+ pages in.

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I've been re-reading the Ramona series, by Beverly Cleary.  It's the first time I've read these books since I was in grade school, but I'm surprised by how well they hold up.  There are some dated references in there, but the emotions are timeless.  B.C. really knew what it was like to be a kid, especially the youngest kid in the family, which is what I was.  Highly recommend, even if you don't have kids to read them to (I don't).

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6 hours ago, Everina said:

I've been re-reading the Ramona series, by Beverly Cleary.  It's the first time I've read these books since I was in grade school, but I'm surprised by how well they hold up.  There are some dated references in there, but the emotions are timeless.  B.C. really knew what it was like to be a kid, especially the youngest kid in the family, which is what I was.  Highly recommend, even if you don't have kids to read them to (I don't).

I loved the Ramona books as a kid, and didn't realize until much later how old they actually were!

I'm reading one of Patrick Taylor's Irish country Doctor books, but I finally got Gods of Jade and Shadow from interlibrary loan!

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I finished The Haunting of Brynn Wilder by Wendy Webb yesterday, as my free October Kindle First Read. It was ok. Nothing I'd rave about but entertaining enough. Then I saw in the author's afterward that it was kind of a sequel to another book, Daughters of the Lake which sounded really familiar. Sure enough, it was another First Read that I hadn't gotten around to reading so I read it yesterday as well. I liked it more. Both were supposed to be spooky books but weren't really that creepy- which is fine by me because I am a wuss who scares easily! 

I think I might start The Inheritance Games next, or maybe see if I can track down Mexican Gothic since so many here are reading it.

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I'm currently reading Peace Talks by Jim Butcher. After waiting 6 years for this book I am underwhelmed. This is what you write when you have no stories to write. I have the next book, Battle Ground, in my to-be-read pile, but after that, I may be done with this series.

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