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Topic: April has arrived and yard-work!

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Subject: April has arrived and yard-work!
Date Posted: 4/1/2016 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,295
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Hi all! Another month is here - wow! already?

I am still plugging along with reading Jane Steele. Reading at a snail's pace these days!

Date Posted: 4/1/2016 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,456
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I've started The Song of Troy by the late, great Colleen McCullough

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 4/2/2016 7:52 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,685
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Last night I finished The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia :: C. W. Gortner

It was well written and the language flowed nicely. I think I have read too many books about the Borgia and watched Borgia on Showtime. Their story is a getting a bit stale for me just like the Tudors.

 

Date Posted: 4/2/2016 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
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I have three books in progress right now but had to put them aside for Jodi Picoult's "The Storyteller" which is my book club's selection for April. I'm enjoying it but it's not without some awkward moments in terms of the character development and plot.

 

Date Posted: 4/3/2016 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2008
Posts: 1,149
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Just received The Errant Hours by Kate Innes. Very excited, but I also have to sort through 20 years worth of stuff as we prep to downsize. Rude to have chores take precedence over a good book! Debbie

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 4/3/2016 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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I just started and finished The Yard (Scotland Yards Murder Squad Bk 1) by Alex Grecian. I loved it. Couldnt put it down. The book takes place in 1889 a year after Jack the Ripper left London petrified. Scotland Yard formed the Murder Squad to deal with all the murders/deaths happening all over the city every day. The story follows two detectives, a constable and a forensic doctor as they work on three cases. The cases keep intertwining but are really unrelated. The doctor is introducing methods such as fingerprinting. He is getting a lot of scepticism/resistance; however, that doesnt stop him from repremanding doctors who still use arcane practices such as cupping and bleeding.  

It was a great read. Very interesting. There were no dull parts. No fluff to fill the pages. Everything was relevant. 

I have the second book in the series and am going to start reading it. 

Date Posted: 4/3/2016 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
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Kat, I love an enthusiastic review for a book that's on my shelf waiting - thanks!

Date Posted: 4/3/2016 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,878
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Just gave my copy of The Yard to a niece who likes to read yesterday and the comments above put two more books on my WL.  I'm finishing some of the four books I've been reading - a historical, a fantasy, a classic and a YA book.  One of these days I'll pick up another HF.  My classic is a slow reader, small, small print and long, long paragraphs so I'm tackling it in small bits.



Last Edited on: 4/3/16 8:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/5/2016 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
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Am I the only one that didn't fall in love with The Yard?  I have the next few books in the series and I'll read them, but I was a little underwhelmed with thefirst book, considering the rave reviews I was reading....

Date Posted: 4/7/2016 7:26 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,878
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Carolyn:  All of us like and dislike different books.  I just read one that one of my favorite PBS friends dislked intensely.  It was four stars for me. Different books for different folks.  That's why reviews are sometimes hard to interpret!



Last Edited on: 4/7/16 7:27 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/7/2016 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
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I really think sometimes when I don't like a book it can be my mood at the time, which is why I am always careful about panning a book too badly on public forums. For example, The Storyteller was a DNF for me. I just couldn't get into it yet everyone in my book group loved it. Was it the book or me wanting to be doing or reading something else? Another reason I think this is sometimes I'll go back and read something that I put down before only to discover that I now love it and see things in it I didn't see before. I guess this is a good reason for me to resolve to choose what I want to read at any given time rather than something I feel I have to read for discussion groups or challenges. Anyone else feel this way?

Date Posted: 4/7/2016 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 747
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I didn't hate The Yard, just felt like it could have been written better.  But I plan on continuing the series, because there were elements I liked about it.  

I just finished A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King (the second book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series) and I loved it, where I didn't particularly care for the first book in the series.  I just bought the rest of the series.  LOL.  Such is life.

BTW, I started the third book in that series, A Letter of Mary.  

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 4/7/2016 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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I think it also has to do with your tastes. I find that a lot of "popular" books that every one else raves about, I have a hard time getting into. There are several exceptions, but for the most part I am leary of reading a hyped up book. I find that my tastes are different and most people dont like the books I enjoy and vice versa. I like very detailed technical books. My sister calls them dry.  If a book has a lot of gramatical errors or poor writting (bad/corny dialog, sex scenes that make no sense or are unnecessary in the story, etc) I tend to not finish. For example, I had a lot of people both on and off of PBS who raved about Discovery of Witches. I tried, I REALLY tried to get into it. But I couldnt stand the main character. I liked the story, and loved the male vampire, but I just couldnt get past the main character. I stopped reading. Then my SIL pushed me about reading the second and third books, so I tried to read it again. I got further this time, but still just couldnt stand the main character's personality. I spent most of my time being irritated and frustratred with her. So I skimmed the rest of the book and told my SIL, no thanks on the other two. 

On the other hand, I liked the Martian; which is very popular right now. It had some parts that I just rolled my eyes at and chocked up to the lack of writing ability of the author (it is his first book and he is an engineer, not a writer by trade). When it came to technical stuff, the book was good. It went down hill in the dialog and personal interactions. But overall the story was entertaining. The DaVinci code series is another. Everyone loved them and hyped them up. I couldnt read the first three. I got half way into the first two before giving up. (I love the movies though). The stories were good, it was the writing style that turned me off. I pushed my way through the fourth in the series because the story was so interesting and often think about going back to try and reread the others. Than I just say, nah, I'll watch the movies, lol.

 



Last Edited on: 4/7/16 9:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/7/2016 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
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I think I am similar, Kat, in that a good story is not enough to carry me through a book - the writing has to be solid (well researched, clever use of language, internally consistent, etc.). I am a sucker for a good turn of phrase. But I do think lately that I let reviews sway me toward or away from a book when I am choosing what to read next. And yes, I think I miss a lot of hidden gems by following the lure of the hyped up books.

 

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 4/8/2016 6:24 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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I am reading To The Last Man by Jeff Shaara. It is about the First World War. Similar style to all his other books. I had started this years ago and got pulled away from it. 



Last Edited on: 4/8/16 6:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/9/2016 7:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,878
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I've begun Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel.  Probably should have reread Wolf Hall first.  Hope this one is as good for me.  I agree with you Donna about being ready to read something else.  Right now everything seems soso so I don't know where my head really is.  Read The Time Keeper and was so disappointed.  Thought that story was really drawn out and could have been written in a couple of pages.  Normally I enjoy Alboms work as a change of pace.  Now I'm beginning to wonder where his head is!



Last Edited on: 4/10/16 9:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/11/2016 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,456
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I've finished Song of Troy by Colleen McCullough; best read of the year so far.  I started the latest Crispin Guest installment by Jeri Westerson, The Silence of Stones.

Date Posted: 4/11/2016 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2008
Posts: 1,149
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Just finished The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley; really good! Not sure what's up next; should be doing downsizing tasks...

Debbie

Date Posted: 4/11/2016 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,295
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Debbie - It's so good to see you popping in here so often! Give me warm fuzzies - things must be going a lot better these days. smiley

Date Posted: 4/13/2016 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 22,858
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I've been adding the few HF titles I have to my reveals in the games.  Sneaky, right?  Finally one got picked!  YAY  I'll be reading The Impersonator (Roaring Twenties, Bk 1) by Mary Miley really soon!  

Date Posted: 4/13/2016 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,295
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I really liked that book Cindy - read the second too! Hope you enjoy them as well. yes

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 4/14/2016 6:23 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,685
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I am reading The Girl in the Photograph :: Kate Riordan

I am enjoying it. Popular format popping between two time periods 1933 and late 1800s. Not as good as Lucinda Riley books but enjoyable.

Date Posted: 4/15/2016 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
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I just finished "Cry to Heaven" by Anne Rice and thought it was often disturbing but wonderful.

Date Posted: 4/15/2016 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,456
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Donna I recall that I had the same reaction when I read that one.

Date Posted: 4/18/2016 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 22,858
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I finished The Impersonator (Roaring Twenties, Bk 1)  Author: Mary Miley  today.  Really did enjoy it!  Now I NEED the second one.......

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