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I just finished Shipped, by Angie Hockman.  It's a fun rom-com romp with a serious B-plot, and it mostly takes place on an adventure cruise to Galapagos.  I enjoyed it a lot.

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13 hours ago, Haleth said:

Sorry, I still didn't like it after finishing.  Too "It's a Wonderful Life" for me.  It would make an interesting movie though.

Fair enough!

Spoiler

I liked Nora accepting that life always has problems, and instead of taking the life of one of her multiverse selves - which wasn't fair either to the multiverse selves or to the people who loved them - she should do the hard work of repairing her own life that was 100% hers. In other words, the author was fully aware and intentional about what you said, Nora was lazy and entitled, and her journey was about becoming quite opposite.

 

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I read Who Is Maud Dixon?. This year’s Gone Girl category entry. I hate to comment lest I leave spoilers. 
 

Spoiler

this is likely to have a wildly divided reception. It’s like The Talented Mr Ripley, and no character is redeemable. Entertaining enough for a fast read

Edited by GussieK
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On 2/28/2021 at 6:35 PM, Black Knight said:

If you haven't read it already, I suggest Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country. Undine Spragg is another highly entertaining character in that same mode.

I guess I would highly recommend all of Edith Wharton. 

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On 2/19/2021 at 4:20 PM, Starleigh said:

I like Middlemarch, it's actually one of my favorite novels, and I've read it through 3 or 4 times. That said, it's a very bloated novel and some plot strands (like the local politics) are harder to slog through. The strongest element in all of her books are her characters, and somehow she makes Dorothea sympathetic rather than priggish. And I love Mary--she's a great character.

My favorite Eliot book is Daniel Deronda--it has my favorite opening line of all time, and has such such a great romantic tension between the two main characters. I dislike the ending, but the endings are usually the weakest (or maybe, sappiest) part of her books.

Currently I am about to start a standalone Elly Griffiths book, Stranger Diaries. I gave up on the Ruth Galloway series awhile ago, because the relationship drama was reaching  the annoying point, but I still like her writing, so I hope this one is good.

I loved Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda. Gwendolyn Harleth is a wonderful fictional creation. I also enjoyed the BBC version of DD. 

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1 hour ago, GussieK said:

I guess I would highly recommend all of Edith Wharton. 

Yes! The only one I can't bring myself to reread is Ethan Frome, because it is just too bleak. Though none of her books are exactly what I'd call happily ever afters lol. The one that  comes closest is Glimpses of the Moon, and that's probably why it's one my favorites.

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I just finished one of the most entertaining *and* informative books I have ever read: At Home by Bill Bryson (subtitled "A Short History of Private Life"). Basically it is the story of his house in England which was built in early Victorian times as a parsonage but that is just a springboard for his excellent history of how humans live, with all the permutations and facets that that implies. If you have ever read any of his travel writing, you already know how funny Bryson is; there is a lot of humor in this book and you will learn amazing stuff as well.

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Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March.

If you like historical mysteries, I recommend this one.

Blurb

Quote

In 1892, Bombay is the center of British India. Nearby, Captain Jim Agnihotri lays in Poona military hospital recovering from a skirmish on the wild northern frontier, with little to read but newspapers. The case that catches Jim's attention is being called the crime of the century: Two women fell from the busy university's clock tower in broad daylight. Moved by the widower of one of the victims - his certainty that his wife and sister did not commit suicide - Jim approaches the Framjis and is hired by the Parsee family to investigate what happened that terrible afternoon. But in a land of divided loyalties, asking questions is dangerous. Jim's investigation disturbs the shadows that seem to follow the Framji family and triggers an ominous chain of events. Based on real events, and set against the vibrant backdrop of colonial India, Nev March's lyrical debut Murder in Old Bombay brings this tumultuous historical age to life"--

 

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I finished The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec.  This is not my genre and it is a supremely weird book, but it was a nearly perfect read for me.  The only thing that kept it from being absolutely perfect was incredibly dump and completely on me: in this book, Loki is described as fair-haired and every time that came up it conflicted with my mental image of Tom Hiddleston as Loki (Loki is pretty much the same character here as he is portrayed in the MCU).  So, other than that, it was absolutely amazing.

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17 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

I finished The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec.  This is not my genre and it is a supremely weird book, but it was a nearly perfect read for me.  The only thing that kept it from being absolutely perfect was incredibly dump and completely on me: in this book, Loki is described as fair-haired and every time that came up it conflicted with my mental image of Tom Hiddleston as Loki (Loki is pretty much the same character here as he is portrayed in the MCU).  So, other than that, it was absolutely amazing.

I had that same issue when reading it lol

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So, I finished Stephen King's The Stand.  This was the extended version, over 1,100 pages.  Yes, it is post-apocalyptic...with a population-killing virus with no anti-virus cure.   
I recommend it for Stephen King fans.
Everyone else?  No, not really. 

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1 hour ago, grommit2 said:

So, I finished Stephen King's The Stand.  This was the extended version, over 1,100 pages.  Yes, it is post-apocalyptic...with a population-killing virus with no anti-virus cure.   
I recommend it for Stephen King fans.
Everyone else?  No, not really. 

I agree. he is one of those authors, like James Michner that makes a great build up but once he's established his major themes, doesn't know how to write a compelling ending.

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I think The Stand was the only King I enjoyed.  I do remember being slightly let down at the end, but in retrospect I liked it more than anything else of his that I read.

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Finally reading Cicely Tyson’s Just As I Am and it’s great so far. However, when she recounted a comment she got from a reporter back when Sounder was released — “I had no idea Black families were so close” — my jaw just dropped. I mean, really?! 

Needless to say, Cicely was just as disgusted, but she handled it with class.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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the title of this topic is What Are We Currently Reading and doesn't specify books, so these are from an article that I'm currently reading. OMGWTFBBQ!

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Just finished Good Girl, Bad Blood, Holly Jackson's sequel to A Good Girl's Guide to Murder. I'm pretty sure the sequel actually tops the original which is hard to do. The characters are still great, particularly Pip and Ravi (they make me miss Veronica and Wallace, sniff). There are great twists, and the novel retains the noir atmosphere from the first book. This book is the reason I still love YA novels even though I'm a wee bit too old for them (just kidding, you're never too old to read a good YA or children's book).

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45 minutes ago, Minneapple said:

This book is the reason I still love YA novels even though I'm a wee bit too old for them (just kidding, you're never too old to read a good YA or children's book).

I love YA books. I'll never give them up no matter how old I get. I recently read the One Of Us Is Lying set and enjoyed, so I've added these to my wishlist. Thanks!

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4 hours ago, festivus said:

I still love YA novels even though I'm a wee bit too old for them

I love reading them. I've been reading a lot of true crime books like Ann Rule. Now I'm reading Ticking Clock from someone who worked on 60 minutes. Mike Wallace sexually harassed women. If it had been today, he would've been a Me too.

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House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielwelski. There's a definite cult around this book and I'm writing an essay about it. I found writing tips to write my essay at the highest level. Hope I'll finish this essay in the near future.

Edited by samajo

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I'm reading The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters right now and I've about had it with Dr. Faraday. He has all the imagination and perception of a stalk of celery.

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I just finished the seventh book in Jane Casey's Maeve Kerrigan series (Let the Dead Speak) and I am so glad I started reading this series from the beginning - they just keep getting better and better, and the character development of the principals is outstanding. Number eight is on the way to me, and then there is only one more (sob!) until she writes some more. If you like murder mysteries with a super intelligent, self aware woman detective/police officer, I recommend this series (start from book one!). And thank you so much to whomever originally recommended this author to me - some brilliant person on this very forum!

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2 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I'm reading The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters right now and I've about had it with Dr. Faraday. He has all the imagination and perception of a stalk of celery.

He is an irksome character, but I would stick with it if you can.

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3 minutes ago, proserpina65 said:

He is an irksome character, but I would stick with it if you can.

Oh, I will. It's a great book. He's just such a ninny.

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I’m reading Dear Child by Romy Hausmann and translated from the German. So far it reminds me of the book Room but it supposed to have twists and turns.

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Just now, Madding crowd said:

I’m reading Dear Child by Romy Hausmann and translated from the German. So far it reminds me of the book Room but it supposed to have twists and turns.

Hi Madding Crowd...
Room was a great book with intense scenes.  Left me rooting for the mom and kid to escape and get their lives back. 

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I just started The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. I've only read prologue and I can already tell this book is going to be harrowing. It's also apparently inspired by a true story, which will make it even harder to read.

Edited by Danny Franks
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22 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I'm reading The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters right now and I've about had it with Dr. Faraday. He has all the imagination and perception of a stalk of celery.

 

19 hours ago, proserpina65 said:

He is an irksome character, but I would stick with it if you can.

Yes, Faraday withstanding, it's an excellent book, I just read it in 2020.  It's one of my favorite lockdown reads.

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Just finished: The Dilemma by B.A. Paris. It's an emotional domestic drama, which isn't really my bag, but I thought it was fine for what it was. The only issue I really had was with the tone. The basic premise is that two parents each know a secret about their daughter that they are keeping from each other, but the secrets are very different. They both know they have to tell the other what they know, but keep finding reasons to put it off. Due to the stress this causes, they start reading into every little thing the other person says or does and wonders if they already know, etc. It has a sort of Shakespearean comedy of errors element to it, which I would normally enjoy--except the secrets they both know are very serious, and nothing is played for even the darkest of comedy, it's all very straight. Just kind of an odd choice, and there were certain moments where I didn't know what I was supposed to be feeling about the situation.

 

Next up: Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay.

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Just finished Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart - it's a YA novel, so it's a pretty quick read, but it really made an impact on me.

Basically, it's about a 16-year-old girl, Ava, who lived an ordinary teen life until a year ago, when her house burned down, killing her parents and her cousin-best friend Sara. While Ava was lucky enough to survive, she was burned over 60% of her body, meaning countless surgeries and months in the hospital - before moving in with her aunt and uncle, who lost their only child. 

When the story begins, Ava's aunt, uncle and doctors feel she's recovered enough to try going back to school in person. But of course Ava is hesitant, knowing what a mess her reconstructed face is, and how teenagers aren't exactly known for their compassion and sympathy toward people who are different.

I stumbled upon this quite by accident, but I'm glad I did. It was a solid read for people of any age.

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1 hour ago, helenamonster said:

Just finished: The Dilemma by B.A. Paris. It's an emotional domestic drama, which isn't really my bag, but I thought it was fine for what it was. The only issue I really had was with the tone. The basic premise is that two parents each know a secret about their daughter that they are keeping from each other, but the secrets are very different. They both know they have to tell the other what they know, but keep finding reasons to put it off. Due to the stress this causes, they start reading into every little thing the other person says or does and wonders if they already know, etc. It has a sort of Shakespearean comedy of errors element to it, which I would normally enjoy--except the secrets they both know are very serious, and nothing is played for even the darkest of comedy, it's all very straight. Just kind of an odd choice, and there were certain moments where I didn't know what I was supposed to be feeling about the situation.

 

This was a book that I didn’t finish because I knew how it was going to end and didn’t want to read about that.  Also I was expecting it to be a mystery and it wasn’t really.  

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1 minute ago, partofme said:

This was a book that I didn’t finish because I knew how it was going to end and didn’t want to read about that.  Also I was expecting it to be a mystery and it wasn’t really.  

Yeah I was definitely expecting it to be more twisty, but the actual plot is fairly straightforward. The drama is all in what people aren't telling each other, which is a difficult way to sustain a story.

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Finally had a chance to use my B&N gift card, and I bought The Rose Code, by Kate Quinn, and Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of WWII, by Liza Mundy. The first book is a novel about women at Bletchley Park. I love reading about Bletchley Park and code breaking in general. 

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I just started reading The Phantom Tollbooth:

Quote

When he was in school he longed to be out, and when he was out he longed to be in. On the way he thought about coming home, and coming home he thought about going. Wherever he was he wished he were somewhere else, and when he got there he wondered why he'd bothered. Nothing really interested him--least of all the things that should have.

As he and his unhappy thoughts hurried along (for while he was never anxious to be where he was going, he liked to get there as quickly as possible) it seemed a great wonder that the world, which was so large, could sometimes feel so small and empty.

I haven't related to a character so much since Martha Wells's Murderbot.

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I LOVE The Phantom Tollbooth. I'm so jealous of anyone reading it for the first time, as it's delightful. It's absolute heaven for word nerds.

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1 hour ago, dubbel zout said:

I LOVE The Phantom Tollbooth. I'm so jealous of anyone reading it for the first time, as it's delightful. It's absolute heaven for word nerds.

Same!

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Fire Lover by Joseph Wambaugh (2002).  This was a 2004 episode of Forensic Files called Point of Origin (which I've seen twice).

Reccomend to FF fans and true crime story readers.

Edited by tres bien

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Just finished Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs.  The 6th book in her Alpha and Omega series.  It was excellent.  I really like how the author can have two series (this one and her Mercy Thompson series), that share the same world, lot of character crossover and background and make them very distinct in tone, voice, and pacing from each other. 

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On 3/12/2021 at 12:18 PM, babyhouseman said:

I love reading them. I've been reading a lot of true crime books like Ann Rule. Now I'm reading Ticking Clock from someone who worked on 60 minutes. Mike Wallace sexually harassed women. If it had been today, he would've been a Me too.

Are you me? I've been living off of Ann Rule, and just got done with Ticking Clock. I came here to complain about Mike Wallace, but you already did it for me.

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14 hours ago, estellasmum said:

Are you me? I've been living off of Ann Rule, and just got done with Ticking Clock. I came here to complain about Mike Wallace, but you already did it for me.

He always seemed like such a bloodless character to me. I can't even picture how that would go. Eeeww.

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I'm in the middle of Melody Thomas Scott's memoir. Her childhood was horrifying living with her abusive grandmother. Her grandmother had many psychological issues but this was back in the 60's and 70's so she did not seek help. She didn't trust doctors anyway. And she took her rage out on her poor defenceless grandchild and also watched others abuse her (let's just say Melody was groomed to be in show biz).

It was a difficult read that I sighed in relief when she turned 18 and no longer under the  control of her grandmother.

Edited by Snow Apple
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13 minutes ago, Snow Apple said:

I'm in the middle of Melody Thomas Scott's memoir. Her childhood was horrifying living with her abusive grandmother. She had many psychological issues but this was back in the 60's and 70's so she did not seek help. She didn't trust doctors anyway. And she took her rage out on her poor defenceless grandchild and also watched others abuse her (let's just say Melody was groomed to be in show biz).

It was a difficult read that I sighed in relief when she turned 18 and no longer under the  control of her grandmother.

I had no idea. Then she goes on to marry the insidiously abusive Victor Newman.

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On 3/20/2021 at 12:17 PM, dubbel zout said:

I LOVE The Phantom Tollbooth. I'm so jealous of anyone reading it for the first time, as it's delightful. It's absolute heaven for word nerds.

I have that sitting in my bookcase. I was going to give it to my nephew but never got around to it. Maybe I'll dig it out and read it.

In the meantime, I've been borrowing a lot of e-books from the library, and I'm currently in the middle of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by  Caitlin Doughty. She hosts a YouTube channel called Caitlin Doughty – Ask a Mortician, in which she answers questions about death and the funeral business, and discusses "iconic corpses" in history, murders, accidents, etc. and what happens to those bodies. She's an activist for reforming the mortuary business and reconnecting individuals with death. It's a little morbid but also fascinating. The book is a little hard to read because she doesn't mince words about what happens to bodies after death.

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So The Nickel Boys wasn't as harrowing as I thought - the abuse of the boys is a threat rather than a constant reality. But there's a twist at the end that genuinely took me aback, and gave the novel far more poignant power than I'd thought it had up to that point.

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I'm a few pages from done with The House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune.  It's a charming story about a group of unusual orphans and the case worker sent to check out their situation.  It's very Harry Potteresque in tone and setting.  Cute story.

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9 hours ago, Haleth said:

I'm a few pages from done with The House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune.  It's a charming story about a group of unusual orphans and the case worker sent to check out their situation.  It's very Harry Potteresque in tone and setting.  Cute story.

I'm on the library waiting list for this one. Glad to hear it's as good as I heard.

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So I just got done reading Behind Her Eyes. It's been sitting in my TBR pile for like two years. But after all the buzz around the Netflix adaptation, I decided to finally read it because I'm dorky that way and like to read the book before seeing the film. I'm glad I decided to because I now have zero interest in the adaptation. 

What could have been a really awesome psychological thriller became really, really fucking hokey by the end. I feel like sometimes authors try so hard to accomplish a "shocking twist" that they throw out all reason and sense. And sorry, maybe I'm being a stick in the mud, but I like my twists rooted in some kind of fucking reality. 

Spoiler

Hey, maybe there is some secret world where people are jumping into people' s bodies but in my reality, that shit isn't happening and so this ending was just ridiculous to me.

But the hokey body switching wasn't even my biggest issue with the book. Even if I allowed myself to accept this ridiculous plot line, the main character was so fucking dumb that it just took me out of the whole story. Her actions from jump were ridiculous, like her being mad at the cheating friend who rightly told her to remove herself with a quickness from that mess. And says d friend was right because the dumbass got herself killed. 

But it's HOW she got herself killed that really took me out. Let's see, crazy, manipulative, psychotic woman who has been manipulating you for months, whose husband TELLS you to stay away from her, sends you some suicidal text and rather than just call the police and be done with it, our brilliant heroine decides to try lucid dreaming to go "rescue" said crazy woman. I just...I mean what? I was torn between laughter and eye-rolling. 

 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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11 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

What could have been a really awesome psychological thriller became really, really fucking hokey by the at the end. I feel like sometimes authors try so hard to accomplish a "shocking twist" that they throw out all kind of reason and sense. And sorry, maybe I'm being a stick in the mud, but I like my twists rooted in some kind of fucking reality. 

I agree with your post, but I still somewhat liked the book.  I admired the way Pinborough mixed genres, made unlikable characters compelling, and created a very memorable villain.  I tuned into the show to see how they pulled it off.  I'm always amazed how something that took me 3 sittings to read (approx 3 hours), winds up being a six hour mini-series!

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3 hours ago, sugarbaker design said:

I admired the way Pinborough mixed genres, made unlikable characters compelling, and created a very memorable villain. 

And that was exactly the biggest problem for me. I could have been more forgiving of the dumb, hokey twist if I enjoyed the characters. But I didn’t.

Louise was an annoying dumbass the whole time who I found more annoying than compelling. Adele became almost cartoonish by the middle of the book and David was simply there. 

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I finished The Rose Code, by Kate Quinn, and really enjoyed it. It's an historical novel about three women who worked at Bletchley Park during WWII, a favorite topic of mine in any genre. She based her main characters on real-life women, which made things a bit more interesting.

Next up is Code Girls, by Liza Mundy. This is nonfiction and focuses on American codebreakers. I've already read The Woman Who Smashed Codes, about the brilliant and undersung Elizabeth Friedman, so I'm curious how this is different/overlaps.

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3 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

Next up is Code Girls, by Liza Mundy. This is nonfiction and focuses on American codebreakers. I've already read The Woman Who Smashed Codes, about the brilliant and undersung Elizabeth Friedman,  so I'm curious how this is different/overlaps.

I loved "The Woman Who Smashed the Codes."

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