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Topic: September: What are you reading?

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Subject: September: What are you reading?
Date Posted: 9/1/2011 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Where did summer go?   I am reading a couple of romances.

Date Posted: 9/1/2011 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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Still working on Mary Sutter.  Hoping to finish it up this weekend so I can start on my September Series challenge!

Date Posted: 9/1/2011 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Almost done with PG's new book. Very dire. Then I'm off to do a buddy read at GR of Tides of War by Stella Tillyard.

Date Posted: 9/1/2011 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Finally finished The Three Musketeers. This is a much different book than The Count of Monte Cristo, which I just read and loved. The latter is a much more sober, substantive, serious book. TTM  is really just a light-hearted, entertaining romp, often bordering on farce. The Musketeers (Athos, Portos, and Aramis) and d'Artagnan (who becomes a Musketeer toward the end) are not particularly admirable characters. While they show an unswerving loyalty toward one another ("all for one and one for all"), their cavalier mistreatment of others, which I think was supposed to be comical, irritated me instead. But, if you can get past that, then you'll find that TTM is simply a fun, often thrilling, swashbuckling tale.

Was going to read The Tiger's Wife which I picked up from the library yesterday, but after reading the customer reviews, I think I'll go with The Hellfire Conspiracy, the 4th Barker and Llewelyn, which I also picked up from the library. Can't really go wrong with B and L!

Date Posted: 9/1/2011 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,452
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I've started one of my September mini-challenge books, Nine Men Dancing.  This is another Roger the Chapman mystery by Kate Sedley; really a very good one so far!

Date Posted: 9/1/2011 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Deb, if you read further in this series you'll find that light heartedness changes a lot. And they don't all stay good guys either...

 

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 9/1/2011 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,357
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Good Morning everyone. Happy September. I love the cool crisp nights that start up in September. I am reading a mystery Mama Does Time by Deborah Sharp. It is a fun romp with spunky charcters. I will be switching back to HF after this book. I plan on open a HF swap that will focus on books whose history are non US or nonUK.  I have quite a few that fit this criteria so I need to figure out which countries to go visit.  Too bad I couldn't take a real trip to them:)

Love curling up on a cool night with my afghan and a cup of tea to read.

Date Posted: 9/1/2011 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2008
Posts: 267
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I am reading My Antonia by Willa Cather. It's good so far. Kind of slow, but I'm in the mood for slow. It's still so dad gum hot here right now.

Date Posted: 9/1/2011 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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I've been reading light-hearted Regency romances and some Anne of Green Gables.  But it's Sept now so I'm starting my Around the World in 80 days challenge.  Beginning with Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane.  I picked it up a week or so ago but wasn't ready for it and went back to Regencies.

Date Posted: 9/1/2011 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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And they don't all stay good guys either...

Oy -- I didn't think they were all that good to start with!!

Date Posted: 9/1/2011 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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Finishing up Arabella by Georgette Heyer.   Thanks for recommending this one Linda!   This is the first GH book I've ever read even though I own about 30 of them.  Think I will be reading several more in the near future.

Date Posted: 9/2/2011 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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I'm starting the September mini-challenge by reading the second book in Kate Atkinson's series about ex-cop Jackson Brodie...One Good Turn.  

Date Posted: 9/2/2011 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I did finish Lady of the Rivers. Die-hard PG fans only. Hard to believe she can take Margaret of Anjou and Jacquetta Woodville and make them as uninteresting and boring as limp wet noodles.

Date Posted: 9/2/2011 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,867
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Now reading Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey.  Read One of Ours by Willa Cather and A Minnesota Story of  Moonshine and Murder by Mary DesJarlais, a historical fiction mystery by a first-time author for the mystery challenge.  Completed The Serpent's Tale, Grave Goods, and A Murderous Procession by Ariana Franklin.  Serpent's Tale finished my HF mystery challenge list.  Thanks Christa for the September mini challenge which prompted me to read the rest of the Ariana Franklin mysteries.  

My Grave Goods review will probably find my HF friends wielding the wet noodle to me but here are my thought nevertheless:  I truly enjoy the characters in this series and while the first couple were so interesting as I progressed I found myself classifying succeeding volumes as cozy medieval mysteries. Adelia is a wonderfully independent and intelligent woman. What I find difficult to understand is why she is so emotional. Her relationships with Rowley and the king are tempestuous and almost always fraught with conflict even though she loves Rowley and respects the king. I quite enjoy the conversations with the king even though as one of my gr friends pointed out highly unlikely. The plot of this one finds Adelia ordered to identify the bones of two skeletons found in a coffin in the graveyard at Glastonbury. The locals claim they are the bones of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere and King Henry hopes they are because the rebellious groups he is dealing with are sure King Arthur will ride again and lead them to victory. But Adelia finds more tasks when she is kidnapped by a local group of men, one of whose members is accused of setting fire to Glastonbury. Adding to her woes is the disappearance of her friend, Lady Emma, her son and her knight champion. Can she complete all these tasks?

It isn't often that one finds an author who writes historical fiction so well for children.  When Carol Newman Cronin offered to send a copy of Oliver's Surprise for me and my children to review I was unsure about doing it.  How wrong I was.  Here are my comments for all to see:  What a delightful read from an innovative and fluent author!  Carol Newman Cronin sent a copy of this little tale to review and share with my grandchildren.  I do so gladly.  Cronin is knowledgeable about sailing vessels and the New England area.  Knowing little about the hurricane of 1938 that devastated the area in September ot that year, I found the historical blurb about what happened succinct and to the point.  Oliver's time travel is an appealing way to provide a look into life of that period and how weather affected those who lived on that coast.  Great tale to share with a child or to give to she/he to read for themselves. 

With the death of a beloved younger sister I turned to cozy mysteries to relax.  Just finished three by Alexander McCall Smith:  Morality for Beautiful Girls for the mystery challenge, The Kalahari Typing School for Men, and The Full Cupboard of Life.  It was so very difficult  as she had seven grown children and a husband who loved her dearly all of whom needed so much comforing.  It was sudden and unexpected - a massive heart attack.  All women should study the symptoms of this disease as they are so different from those that men incur.  I need to review them myself in the next few days and I urge anyone who reads this to do so as well.   

While it is not HF, I read Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel, a truly wonderful read about a great man with an ever inquiring mind.  Even after he lost his sight, he continued to seek scientific enlightenment. dialog and exchange with others who shared his expanding interest in the world around him.  If you have any interest at all in science, do read it.  It's inspiring.  

Ah, what a good read:   To Defy a King by Elizabeth Chadwick for the HF reading challenge if I can ever find the lists again.  It takes so many searches to do so.  I always discuss the books in the month's posting in which I read them.  That way I can find them when I want to refer to them.  My comments about To Defy a King:   Traveling the English and French countrysides with King John is perilous at best yet somehow Mahelt's brothers and father, her husband, Hugh, and the king manage to coexist in this dangerous world.  When Mahelt went to the Bigood household to become Hugh's wife, she found she was no longer the cherished firstborn whose every wish seemed to be her father's command.  Spirited, lovely, and determined she eventually establishes peace between her husband's father and herself, growing to love her husband deeply.  Meanwhile, the king murders those who oppose him, takes hostages from families he distrusts including Mahelt's brothers, and covets the wives of his subjects.  Public support gradually erodes until one nobleman after another become disenchanted with his broken promises and philandering.  What will happen to Mahelt and her loved ones in this tempestuous era?  A fine novel written by a most talented and creative author.  Read it and see for yourself.  

Stardust by Neil Gaiman, finished, romantic choice for the fantasy challenge.  Quite good for the YA group.  One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabried Garcia Marquez, a Nobel Prize winning classic, just because I have been wanting to read this one and 30 Great Short Stories by W. Somerset Maugham for the classics reading challenge.  Beloved by Toni Morrison was read for the fantasy reading challenge - a novel about race.  It was excellent.   And, just because it looked interesting I read a book about about Mary Cassatt, an artist I have always wanted to learn more about.

 



Last Edited on: 10/1/11 11:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 38
Date Posted: 9/3/2011 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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I am reading The Women of the Cousin's War by Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin, and Michael Jones.  Wanted to read this one before I continued on with The Red Queen and Lady of the Rivers.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 9/4/2011 7:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,357
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I am reading an excellent historical mystery, The Secret Lion, by C.W. Gortner.  Gortner does an wonderful job in mixing history, interesting characters and a good mystery. This book takes place in 1553, during the reign of Edward the VI, Elizabeth is still a princess at this point. Not too many books set during this time. Good discussion of the plotting to control the young king.

I went to Border's close out and bought what I thought was the sequal The Tudor Secret and come to find out it is the same book just renamed. Grrr I hate when they do that.

Alice



Last Edited on: 9/4/11 7:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/4/2011 7:57 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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I finished One Good Turn....I loved it.  You have to really focus for the first few chapters, as she begins with several separate storylines.  But gradually, you begin to see the connections between them.  She does a great job of interweaving the threads together.  Plus, the humor!  I might have to write a review for the blog on these.  Listen to this:  Martin, a meek, mild-mannered mystery author who writes under the more dashing, sexy name of Alex Blake, is being "haunted" by another man, Bryan.

Bryan was a fortyish loser with an unpublished manuscript and a bitter resentment against every agent in Britain, all of whom had been incapable of recognizing his genius...Bryan had shown him his manuscript, 'the magnum opus' entitled The Last  Bus Driver.  "Well," Martin murmured politely when he returned it to Bryan, "it's certainly different.  And you can write, there's no doubt about that."  And he wasn't lying.  Bryan could write, he could take a pen with turquoise ink in it and make big, loopy joined-up handwriting with verbs scattered randomly throughout sentences--sentences that in every comma and exclamation point screamed crazy.  But Bryan knew where Martin lived and so he wasn't about to antagonize him.

(I left out the letters Bryan wrote back to the agents; I don't think those words are allowed here, but do know that they scared Martin very much!)   Anyway, I think I'll go straight to book 3, When Will There Be Good News?



Last Edited on: 9/4/11 7:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/4/2011 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Vicky -- Well, the good news is that I already own a copy of One Good Turn. The bad news is that now I'll have to re-read the author's first Jackson Brodie book because I read it long ago enough that I have completely forgotten it (of course, I tend to forget books that I've read a month ago). I do agree that the combination of her writing and humor is superb. I read her Behind the Scenes at the Museum years ago and, despite a plot device that annoyed the heck out of me (which, of course, I can't remember now), loved her style.

Finished The Hellfire Conspiracy by Thomas -- always fun hanging out with Barker and Llewelyn. Now reading Aztec.

Date Posted: 9/4/2011 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,217
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Just finished another book for the September mini challenge - Buried Alive by Jack Kerley. This falls into the M/T category and it was another " action packed no holds barred" Carson Ryder addition to the series. This brings me up to date on this series - always a satisfying feeling!

Date Posted: 9/4/2011 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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Deb...I'm glad there's some good news! wink   You wouldn't have to re-read the first book, although it would help explain a few things about Jackson's personal life.  But, if you're like me, it would bug you if you didn't re-read it!

Jeanne, that's such a good feeling!

Date Posted: 9/4/2011 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Almost finished with Irish Lady by Jeanette Baker. A reprint coming out later this year from Sourcebooks. Very much in the Susanna Kearsley style of time slip. This one is set in the late 90's in Northern Ireland and the IRA, with the slip being 16C Ireland and events prior to The Flight of the Earls. Wasn't sure what to read next, but I just saw a rave for Emery Lee's new book and I think that's moving up to the top of the pile.

Date Posted: 9/4/2011 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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Finally finished Mary Sutter. I guess I understand why people raved about it. It was epic. But it is soooo dreary with nothing happy to break up the darkness. Although, maybe that's judgment way things were during the Civil War. We missed a chance to go to Borders last night. We are out of town for the weekend and DS needed a couple of Children's books for her Children's Literature class. So we googled where the nearest B&N was and just went there. When we left, we noticed the giant Border's across the street. Oh well. She only found the kind of book she needed because the girl in B&N was so helpful. I am sure the staff at Borders is not quite so helpful these days. Ready to start my first series challenge book!
Date Posted: 9/4/2011 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I am now firmly ensconced with Emery Lee's Fortune's Son and just loving it. It is a sequel to The Highest Stakes, but I think it will stand alone This one involves one of the *bad* guys of Highest Stakes, but we're seeing him a whole different light. Sort of. I'm guessing Emery had a lot of fun writing this one.

Date Posted: 9/5/2011 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Hummingbird by LaVyrle Spencer 
 

Date Posted: 9/5/2011 8:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Because Year of Wonders and March by Geraldine Brooks were both enjoyable reading, I'm now starting People of the Book.    How nice when a novelist is historian enough to get the 'facts' right, and storyteller enough to imagine  interesting  characters who move plausibly in a historical period.



Last Edited on: 9/5/11 8:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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