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Topic: Hey! It's October - what is everyone reading?

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Subject: Hey! It's October - what is everyone reading?
Date Posted: 10/1/2015 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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Well, it looks like this thread hasn't been started yet so here goes!

I've been reading some mysteries lately but yesterday I checked this out of the library: The Phantom Killer: Unlocking the Mystery of the Texarkana Serial Murders: The Story of a Town in Terror :: James Presley. It's based on the true story which took place in 1946. I'm just starting it so no comment yet....

Date Posted: 10/1/2015 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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Crossed over into October still struggling through (now skimming a lot) Epitaph. Too much time invested to ditch it but it's definitely not a favorite.

Next up, The Light Between the Oceans for my book club.

Date Posted: 10/1/2015 4:45 PM ET
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Read Friday's Child, by Georgette Heyer, one of her typical regency romances - fun and light-hearted.

Tried Anna Karenina for about 7 or 8 pages - not in the mood for all those Russian names.  Have started Theirs Was the Kingdom by R. F. Delderfield.

Linda



Last Edited on: 10/1/15 4:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/1/2015 7:45 PM ET
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Yeah Donna - I think I mentioned that I had a hard time getting into Epitaph and never got too far. What a shame since Doc was soooo very good!

Date Posted: 10/2/2015 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Finishing The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz.  The writing is well done and, maybe i'm burned out on this series, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the earlier novels.  You can definitely tell that the author is a journalist.  His writing is crisp and clean.  All I can say is pick it up and read it for yourself.  I have to let my thoughts gel before I can comment more.

My next read is historical:  The Wright Brothers by David McCullough and I'm working on a science fiction series, The Southern Reach Trilogy.

Date Posted: 10/2/2015 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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I finished "Daniel" by Henning Mankell.  I only read it because it was set in Sweden, and translated into English (both categories I needed for the challenge!) I found it well-written, odd, and yet compelling.  The story opens with the discovery of a murdered girl in 1878.  We are immediately swept back in time about two years to meet Hans Bengler, a young student who, after passing out during an autopsy and deciding medicine was not his field, settles on the study of insects and travels to southern Africa in the hopes of discovering and naming previously unknown insect species.

While there, he comes across an eight-year-old boy whose parents and entire village had been slaughtered; he is the only survivor.  Hans decides to adopt the boy and take him back to Sweden, with dire consequences.  

Mankill touches on many topics: racism, of course, but also cultural divides, mental illness, and the concept of 'home.'  The novel is short, stark and has some imagery that is both beautiful and disturbing.  In the end, I'm glad I read it.  It's been staying with me.  Can you imagine taking a child who has witnessed a horrific event, and never once thinking about how it must have impacted him?  The perfect storm of time (1878), cultural and linguistic differences, and racial differences blend to create a sad story that, unless one of those trajectories is changed, can have no happy outcome.

Next up: I'm working my way through the Nevada Barr series about park ranger Anna Pigeon, but I only have three more books to finish up one of the bingo cards in our challenge, and I'll probably hunt down books to fit those topics  for my next HF read. smiley

Date Posted: 10/2/2015 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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Vicki, you make "Daniel" sound very enticing.

REK, I read "The Wright Brothers", as I try to read everything by McCullough. His admiration for the brothers is very apparent but it nevertheless seems well deserved. It's amazing to think where we were in aviation just a mere 100 years ago.

Date Posted: 10/3/2015 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
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Donna Thorland's "Mistress Firebrand" was due back at the library(inter-library loan) yesterday.  I'm only half-way finished and I'm NOT giving it back until I'm done.  Well written, plot moves-this is NOT the Revolutionary War that I learned in school.  As with her others, can be read as a stand-alone but there are interconnecting characters.  Next, I've got quite a few choices for HF-Penman, Chadwick, even Angus-yay!

Date Posted: 10/6/2015 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Hi, guys!  Glad to see some of the old regulars here. I thought maybe everyone had jumped ship for Goodreads.  :) 

Let's see - I am currently listening to Epitaph, and I have been for a very long time.  Like I started it last March.  Egads!  I liked it, but then spring turned into summer and I just kind of stopped listening.  Now I'm trying to get back into it, but I really don't even care any more.  I'm glad I'm not the only one.  It's just gone on too long, and it's kind of tedious.  However, I am very close to the end (Wyatt is on his revenge rampage after his brother Morgan was killed), so I guess I'll just stick it out.  I find myself listening without "hearing."  Glad to read I'm not the only one who did not like this book nearly as well as I liked Doc.  Maybe it's the near absence of Kate.  I like Kate.  LOL! Or maybe that the focus in this book is much less on Doc and more on the Earps.  Or maybe there's too much of the politics of the time going on.  Who knows?

I just started listening to Summer of Night by Dan Simmons.  I'm don't mind Simmons. I loved Black Hills and thought The Terror was okay.  I think he has a reputation for verboseness, and I definitely found that The Terror got a bit tedious.  Anyway, one of the groups over at Ravlery (a fiber arts (knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, etc.) website for those not familiar) is doing a "spooky RAL" for October, and this was the book chosen.  Since I have an abudance of Audible credits (and have received threats from Audible that I have reached my limit on the number I can carry), I picked it up and started it last Friday.  So far, I like it.  Simmons moves at a snail's pace and is quite wordy, but it's keeping my interest.

I'm actually reading The Midwife of Hope River, and I am enjoying that a lot too. Just prior to that I read The Siege Winter which is the book Diana Norman had in the works when she died and her daughter finished it.  It was okay.  I was never the big Norman fan so many of you are.  I though the "Mistress of the Art of Death" series was okay.

This year has been weird for me.  I've read a decent amount but none of it has really grabbed me.  I've been kind of "eh" on most of what I've read. Not sure what the problem is. I guess will blame my apathetic-ness on my peri-menopause (which I blame everything on).  LOL!     Hoping the return of winter and "cozy up and read" weather gets me reading more and reading more stuff that I like. 

If anyone has some suggestions, bring them on.  New books, old, doesn't matter.  A few I've read this year have stuck with me All The Light We Cannot See was a favorite, as was Corag



Last Edited on: 10/6/15 10:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/8/2015 3:46 PM ET
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Shelly:  So good to see you again.  I really enjoyed My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman and Frog Music by Emma Donaghue.  Of course, All the Light We Cannot See was a great read as well for both me and DH.  However, I do know what you mean about so many books being "eh".  I'm reading one now that has a plot similar to one I read a few months ago but I'll hang in there to see if it goes a different direction.



Last Edited on: 10/8/15 8:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/8/2015 9:58 PM ET
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The Light Between the Oceans was good! I loved the setting and felt that the moral dilemmas and emotional conflicts dealt with in the book rang true. Not so much historical fiction as a human story set in a time in the past. Does anyone else have thoughts on this one?

I'm halfway through Girl Waits With Gun. Wow! - so far a great read. Based on Constance Kopp, one of the first female deputy sheriffs and her sisters - northern New Jersey, 1914. This book is just delighting me - funny and fresh. I hope the ending does not disappoint.

 

Date Posted: 10/10/2015 2:45 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2009
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I'm with Shelley. I feel like I haven't read an amazing book in awhile. Not even All The Light You Cannot See did it for me. 

Currently I'm in the midst of two books and am finding both just so-so. The first book is My Brilliant Friend, of the Neapolitan Quartet. Has anyone read them? I don't dislike it, but I am not devouring it as I expected based on the rave reviews I've been hearing.  

I am also halfway through The Hangman's Daughter.  I think part of my issue with this one is because I actually thought it would be about the hangman's daughter and instead she is  basically just a flouncy flirty source of angst for the young doctor. I am also having trouble with the writing, but I am not sure if it's just the author's style or a problem with the translation.

Date Posted: 10/10/2015 7:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Donna:  I ordered Girl Waits With Gun from the library.  Sounds like a fun read.  I'm finishing In the Woods by Tana French which has been on my shelf for ages.  Not HF but a mystery about a missing girl, a murdered woman and an old case in which two children disappeared.  My feelings about it wax and wane.  I think it's being a bit too wordy and then I find myself caught up in it again.

Date Posted: 10/10/2015 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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Kate: I think what bothered me about the writing in Hangman's Daughter was that it seemed like a screenplay. (I read later that the author is a screenwriter.) But it's story and characters stuck with me and I have the next book in the series lined up on my Kindle to get to sometime. I haven't read My Brilliant Friend but it's on the list.

REK: I'm almost finished with Girl Waits With Gun and it's holding up pretty well but bogged down a bit about 2/3s of the way through. I just read that the sequel is in the works and that this is probably going to be at least a three book series. The characters appeal to me, so I will be reading on.

Shelley: I understand what you are saying. Even books that I have enjoyed and have given 4 star ratings have fallen short somewhere along the line. Sometimes it's the writing, sometimes the ending disappoints but usually it's that they just seem too long and the story gets bogged down, as I mentioned above. I am about to read All the Light We Cannot See, which I haven't really heard any negatives about. But usually I retreat back to nonfiction for a while.
 

 

 



Last Edited on: 10/10/15 8:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/10/2015 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
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Shelley --- How nice to see you back among us.

Sadly, it seems I have spent most of the year reading chewing gum books. A few that were not:  The "John Shakespeare" series by Rory Clements; Natchez Burning by Greg Iles (not HF); and The Mountains Echoed (felt it only so-so myself); Who Buries the Dead, the latest Sebastian St. Cyr book; Irena Sendler which was quite good,  and then about 99 others that were enjoyable, mostly series, but not just "knock your socks off" sorts of stories.  In my case the choices I made of reading material simply did not include many standout books.  Perhaps once I get this move over and get settled in Tulsa I will feel ready for more meaty books!!!!

Oh forgot to say, I have started Poldark --- first book in the series and am enjoying is a great deal.

Date Posted: 10/10/2015 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Ah, Becky, I felt pretty much as you did about The Mountains Echoed.  Haven't read much by Rory Clements so I'll have to check out the John Shakespeare series.  Do really enjoy the Sebastion St. Cyr books.  Have What Remains of Heaven on my desk when I get caught up on my reading challenges.  And, I'll have to check out Irena Sendler, too.  I've looked at that one in the past and couldn't decide if I wanted to read it or not.

Jeanne:  What did you think of The Phantom Killer: Unlocking the Mystery of the Texarkana Serial Murders: The Story of a Town in Terror :: James Presley?  Curious as I'm trying to put together lists for my next year's challenges.



Last Edited on: 10/10/15 6:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 6
Date Posted: 10/10/2015 2:05 PM ET
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REK - I haven't finished it yet because I had to set it aside to read a swap book. So far it's good - lots of detail regarding the people involved from the victims to law enforcement. I'll see how it goes....and report back.

Date Posted: 10/11/2015 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Well, I finished Into the Woods by Tana French.  When I commented earlier I was ambivalent about it.  I had put it aside to read books to send out so I lost the flow that one needs to really get into the story.  As I finished I realized that French is awesome at characterization.  The murder was solved, too, in a way that one would not guess and I ended with a five star rating which I rarely give for a mystery.  What's wrong with me?  Anyway I liked it enough that I ordered the next book in the series, The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, Bk 2).  Thankfully, it was available on pbs.  So much for early impressions.  Guess that's incentive to read to the very end!

Date Posted: 10/11/2015 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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I enjoy Tana French's books a lot REK. So glad you had a positive outcome reading this one. My reading is going very slowly these days. I'm actually pretty busy and one of the things I've done is to start water aerobics again - and loving it!

Trying to finish up with The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood. This is a very strange book with a complex plot. It didn't grab me much at first but now that I'm down to the last quarter of the book, it's picking up. Then I'll try to finish the Texarkana book....

Then I need to get back to some HF!!!

Date Posted: 10/12/2015 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Hi, guys!  Glad to hear I'm not the only one in kind of a reading funk.  LOL!  Guess that's the way it goes sometimes.

I finished The Midwife of Hope River, and I really liked it.  I started reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which I've read mostly good reviews on.  We'll see.  I think it's going to be one of those you really need to pay attention to while reading. 

Still listening to Summer of Night, which I'm enjoying a lot.

Do you guys find you enjoy a book more or less if you listen to it?  I think I am kind of finding the case.  I think there are books that had I read them, I would've found them dull or lacking in some way, but by listening to them, I enjoyed them a lot.  The Flavia de Luce books, for example.  I'm not a big historical mystery person, and when I read the first book in the series, I was "eh" on it.  I listened to the next 3 books in the series and enjoyed them.  I like them enough that I have the rest of the series (except the most recent one, I think) on Audible already and will definitely listen to them.  Doc is another one. I think had I read it, I would'nt have enjoyed it as much.  I also think that listening, for me, makes a great book even better.  I think I would've loved books like Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire, All The Light We Cannot See, The County of Monte Cristo, etc. if I had read them, but listening to them made them even better.  Make sense?

 

Date Posted: 10/12/2015 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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I'm not a huge listener when it comes to books but I have to say I have enjoyed the Outlander books as audibles much better than reading them. There is a wonderful narrator who does a credible job with the accents. The books are all so long but you can easily pick up on the story where you left off.

I read all of the Flavia books but one, which I listened to and enjoyed very much. I think that is a series I would have enjoyed listening to.

I am reallly savoring the language in All the Light We Cannot See and keep rereading phrases and passages, so I'm not sure the audible  would be better for me.

Date Posted: 10/12/2015 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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I definitely like listening to audio books, Shelley! My issue is that if I play in the swaps, I need an actual book to offer so that slows down my ability to listen to the books I want. The narrators are basically actors - you just don't see them perform! One really terrific narrator is Edoardo Ballerini. 

Date Posted: 10/12/2015 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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I just finished Stormbird by Conn Iggulden, the first in his war of the roses series.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 10/12/2015 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
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I just finished

 
Odd book takes place 1910-1939 NYC. Written in short diary paragraphs. Some interesting parts, but not my style. Maybe 5 out 10.
Alice
Date Posted: 10/12/2015 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Ah, my favorite books to listen to are historicals.  Hubby and I have listened to several as we travel hither and yon.  So you liked listening to Code Name Verity, Shelley?  I tried it and thought yuk!  Maybe I didn't give it enough time.  Instead, I took it right back to the library.  Due to that experience I put it way down on my TBR list. Comments from anyone else?  

By the way, Jeanne, my next Tana French  book has been mailed.  I'm anxious to read it!



Last Edited on: 10/12/15 6:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
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