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Thread: May Book Thread

  1. #1

    May Book Thread

    Happy May! Let's all hope that more folks visit and post on this thread as Summer Reading Lists need to be compiled!

    The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

    Livesey has taken the classic novel of Jane Eyre and reimagined it in a more contemporary setting. Jane becomes Gemma and the setting is Scotland and Iceland of the 1950’s and 60’s. Written and told in the same precise manner and voice as the original, this is a pleasing read for anyone who likes a sweeping romantic story of plucky heroines and dashing older men.

    The story begins w/ Gemma at 10 and follows through her adventures into her next decade. The orphaned Gemma is plucky, honest and real. She leads a lonely life knowing all the while that great things are in store for her somewhere, sometime in the future. This was a very, very good read.

    I’ve read Jane Eyre two or three times over the years and have always enjoyed it anew each time. It’s been decades since the last reading – but I still found myself constantly finding parallels between the two novels. So many items of business and plot points were so familiar – yet freshly reinvented. The time period here enables the story to retain a lovely, wonderful innocence due to the lack of technology of computers, cell phones and instant gratification.
    "I can read and write if that's what you mean. I'm not thick or anything just don't ask me where the commas go."
    Incendiary by Chris Cleave

  2. #2
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    I read Natural Woman by Carole King. Her autobiography focusing more on her career than personal life. She does write about herself but I felt she was more guarded when talking about herself vs. career. She sure did leave her kids a lot.

    Just finished The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan. It's about survivors of in a lifeboat. The boat sinking happens 2 years after the Titanic. I really enjoyed it. It was a short book and I didn't know where it was going to go next.

    Now that I finished those two books I have nothing up next. I've been using my library more (as opposed to my Kindle) and I have nothing to read! I'll be looking here for recommendations.
    Lori

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    Letting my inner Deb Morgan out.

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    My last two book have been 11/22/63 -By Stephen King, which I thought was AMAZING. So good, and you don't have to be a typical King fan to enjoy it. Also just finished up The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. Kept my interest, I liked it quite a bit but didn't love it. I am now reading the sequel to the Tea Rose, The Winter Rose. I also just downloaded on my Kindle Fifty Shades of Grey, just to see what all the hub-bub is about :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by katygirl View Post
    My last two book have been 11/22/63 -By Stephen King, which I thought was AMAZING. )
    That book was so good. Oh, how I wish I had that book to look forward to. I highly recommend it.
    Lori

    _______________
    Letting my inner Deb Morgan out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loremma View Post
    That book was so good. Oh, how I wish I had that book to look forward to. I highly recommend it.
    Me three! That is the best book i've read in YEARS!!
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

  6. #6
    A couple of sleepless nights led to quickly finishing up -

    A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer

    Archer is a prolific British writer, but I can’t recall reading more than one or two of his previous works. This was a nice, somewhat light and engaging read about the lengths a wrongly imprisoned man will go to in order to seek revenge.

    Marred by a couple unfortunate instances of lack of continuity and several issues of poor editing, it nonetheless kept me reading and enjoying the ride. I’ll probably check out more of his work for pool side reading this summer.
    "I can read and write if that's what you mean. I'm not thick or anything just don't ask me where the commas go."
    Incendiary by Chris Cleave

  7. #7
    I too am looking for summer reading recommendations. I guess the best way to get is to give....


    I have been tearing through books this spring for some reason. There have been a few clinkers (which I won’t mention) , but fortunately a predominance of amazing books have found me.

    I just finished this morning a breath taking young adult book, ....but don’t let that stop you. It is so wonderful, full of humor and quick wit.

    The Fault in Our Stars
    ( from Amazon) -Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

    Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    Yes it is about teenagers with terminal cancer..but, it’s amazing and thoughtful and not depressing.

    Still Alice by Lisa Genova -
    Still Alice revolves around Alice Howland - Harvard professor, gifted researcher and lecturer, wife, and mother. After a few odd events she goes for testing. The diagnosis, and it's a shocker -- she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The readers learn of the progression of Alice's disease through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so they feel what she feels -- a slowly building terror.

    You just wouldn’t think that a book about Alzheimer’s would have you on the edge of your seat – but it did. It's gripping.

    The Witness by Nora Roberts
    I don’t know what rock I have been under never having read this author before. This book caught my eye at the book store and I am glad it did. The book turned out to be a light read that had me speeding through chores so I could get to the book that I couldn’t turn the light out on every night. I went to look at some of her other books though ...and it seems like many of the plots were similar so, it could have been because of the lack of exposure. Dear Lord, this was her 200th book.

    Rainwater by Sandra Brown
    Thank You to the person from here that recommended this book here. It’s beautifully written. Each and every character is developed. The plots and story lines so well architected. I appreciate a well thought out book. Lovely story with a lot of twists and the ending totally surprised me. I still catch myself thinking about this book months after having finished it.

    While I have you.... Are any of you reading books that leave you to wonder if the book ever saw an editor?

  8. #8
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    I can't believe you never read Norah Roberts! She's one of my favorites, and even my DH reads the suspense ones! I like Sandra Brown, too, but her books have been "too expensive" for me to buy in paperback, where I can see how thick they are... maybe I'll buy some for the kindle! I've heard that from others, too, that Witness is really good.

    I haven't read anything really gripping, lately... I've been reading Night Sins, by Tami Hoag - another romantic suspense author, and it's good, but I can still turn off the light pretty easily...

    I have to confess that I'm reading less, because I'm playing Words with Friends all the time...
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

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    Kay and other Nora Roberts fans, can you help me please? Living under my rock, I had never heard of this author. Now I'd like to give her a try but..... is there a book without suspense/mystery or supernatural/ghosts to recommend? One reviewer on Amazon mentioned animal cruelty in "Montana Sky". Yikes! Sorry to be so picky. Grateful for any suggestions
    We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made.
    -M. Acklam

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LakeMartinGal View Post
    I can't believe you never read Norah Roberts!
    I KNOW!!! I am thinking that maybe some of the covers must have lead me to think they were romance novels.

    Thanks for encouraging me to give another a try....I am going to have to go Nora Roberts surfing....

    Quote Originally Posted by swedish cook View Post
    Kay and other Nora Roberts fans, can you help me please? Living under my rock, I had never heard of this author. Now I'd like to give her a try but..... is there a book without suspense/mystery or supernatural/ghosts to recommend?
    The one I read had suspense and romance - no mystery or supernatural. It was easy to dive into, kept me interested and ended nicely.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwhirledpeas View Post
    The one I read had suspense and romance - no mystery or supernatural. It was easy to dive into, kept me interested and ended nicely.
    Thanks! I'm embarrassed to admit I often read the end first, so mysteries are wasted on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverFarm View Post
    You might want to try Alexandra Raife, too. ...romance novels, but they're not bodice-rippers,
    LOL When I had 2 kids in diapers, bodice-rippers were my escape. Thanks for the suggestion.
    We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made.
    -M. Acklam

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    Here is her complete booklist. I didn't know there were so many -- the first several years are romance novels -- the romantic suspense didn't start until ~ 15 years ago, I think. There's a key to the series at the end of the list. Some you can tell by the title are involving supernatural stuff, just look them up on Amazon for more information. Also, the "In Death" series involves a cop from 2054 with an interesting background and a gorgeous husband. I like those, too.

    Born in Fire and Born in Ice were good, as I recall. Also the series of opposites -- Hot Ice, Brazen Virtue, etc.

    Have fun exploring her book list -- it is VERY long!

    Here's a website that gives a brief synopsis of her books. HTH!


    Also, Catherine Coulter is a good author -- she writes FBI mysteries with the same few characters. Always good!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by RiverFarm View Post
    You might want to try Alexandra Raife
    My local library only has 2 of her books and those are in large print - and I find those just too hard to read (at this point). Other counties don't carry her at all - so I've started searching the used book stores/exchanges. I'm deteminded to find her!
    "I can read and write if that's what you mean. I'm not thick or anything just don't ask me where the commas go."
    Incendiary by Chris Cleave

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    I am reading "Pretend that Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson, author of The Bloggesse blog. I had never heard of Jenny before reading a review of her book on Goodreads. The review intrigued me and I did some searching and read this blogpost by her:

    http://thebloggess.com/2011/06/and-t...-your-battles/

    I was laughing out loud - something that I rarely do when reading. So I bought her book - and it has had my stomach hurting from laughing out loud.

    But her writing style may not be for everybody - but I am definitely enjoying it.
    Sherri

    Never look down on a person unless you are offering them a hand up.

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    I am reading Rules of Civility, or rather listening to it. Its really beautiful writing and I'm enjoying it a lot. Thanks to those who recommended it earlier.

    In the DT segment, I just finished The Hunter by John Lescroat, which both DH and I enjoyed. It features undeveloped characters from his earlier novels, but still in the San Francisco setting.

    I also read Charles Frazier's Nightwoods. I did finish it, more or less enjoyed it, but did not like it as much as I recall liking Cold Mountain. Not a strong recommendation.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by wwhirledpeas View Post
    I just finished this morning a breath taking young adult book, ....but don’t let that stop you. It is so wonderful, full of humor and quick wit.

    The Fault in Our Stars
    ( from Amazon) -Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

    Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    Yes it is about teenagers with terminal cancer..but, it’s amazing and thoughtful and not depressing.
    LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book! I rec'd it on this list last month and have given the title to a bunch of people as well. There's a great interview with the author on NPR (where I first heard about it).

    A super fast read that I can't recommend highly enough!

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    Quote Originally Posted by katygirl View Post
    My last two book have been 11/22/63 -By Stephen King, which I thought was AMAZING.
    I have 100 pages to go to finish this book, and I hate to see it end. I'm a HUGE fan of Stephen King. This isn't as "scary" as some of his others, but it was a real page turner for me.

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    FWIW, I'm working on "The Passion of Command" (McCoy) which was recommended to me to prepare for Army Leadership....
    More calm, cool, scathing logic that drives women crazy...

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    Currently reading: Mountains beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder about the work of Paul Farmer in Haiti. My husband does a fair amount of mission work down in Haiti and it is inspiring read although also depressing given the conditions there that have not really changed despite the overwhelming aid that has gone to the country.

    Next up:
    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
    by Laura Hillenbrand. She is the author of Seabiscuit and while I know nothing of the book it came highly recommended to me. I am trying to catch up on reading by getting books off of my library's available e-format, so not many new books are available to read.

    Visit my blog about cooking and a new season of life at http://reconnecting-with-my-kitchen.blogspot.com/

    This is your life, are you who you want to be?
    ~ Switchfoot

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laura View Post
    Next up:
    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
    by Laura Hillenbrand. She is the author of Seabiscuit and while I know nothing of the book it came highly recommended to me. I am trying to catch up on reading by getting books off of my library's available e-format, so not many new books are available to read.
    Unbroken is my Book Club selection for June. I have heard many good things about it and am looking forward to reading it.

    Right now I am almost finished with The Dovekeepers (described in April's book thread) and then I will start Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister which is this month's Book Club read.
    Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.

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    I loved Unbroken, but boy was it hard to read sometimes! The cruelty of humans amazes me.

    I'm reading Stephen King's Wind Through The Keyhole and really liking it. It stars Roland the Gunslinger from the Dark Tower series, but you do not have to have read them to enjoy this book.
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

  22. #22
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    I recently read King's Gunlinger, largely upon the recommendation of it's legendary opening line:
    The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
    So many people cite this as one of their favorites, and for the life of me, I just didn't get it.
    More calm, cool, scathing logic that drives women crazy...

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    Escher, did you read the whole series?

    I also just finished James Patterson's latest Private Games. Totally meh. Boring, predictable. I was very disapoointed.

    I also read Those Who Save Us which was recommended here and I really liked that a lot.
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by katygirl View Post
    I also just downloaded on my Kindle Fifty Shades of Grey, just to see what all the hub-bub is about :-)
    I just skimmed through this book and I just don't get it on any level. I'm not opposed to erotica but this book is wrong on so many levels - poorly written for starters and then the actual fantasy.

    I realize it must be appealing to women but I have never harbored sexual fantasies of being dominated and made a "sexual slave".

    My DVR picked up Dr. Drew last night who had Erica Jong - authoress of Fear of Flying which was a much read female erotic book which captured the zeitgest in much the same way as this trilogy has. Have women's fantasies changed that much - from the zipless "f" to this?

    And Dr. Drew (who I am not normally a fan of) made the interesting point that in essence it is the fantasy of a 12 year old in which the love of a virgin overcomes the pathology of a very sick individual. In his view, women should be running away from this kind of twisted individual instead of thinking they can change him - which he sees as a problem of many women in dysfunctional relationships.

    I realize this is a bit of pop culture - a book that will be forgotten in a year or so but its popularity indicates that it is capturing some kind of shared mindset at the moment.

  25. #25
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    Unbroken - I really found the story super engaging, but I didn't really like her writing style. You can tell she's a journalist and not a novelist. She doesn't develop characters or weave the story in any way. Her style is just to abruptly present a series of facts and things that happened. It took me a long time to get used to. With that said, I coulnd't put it down!

    The Dovekeepers - A huge thank you to who ever recommended that book here last month! I was anxious to read it b/c I've been to Masada. That made it really special for me. A fantastic read. Loved the characters and they way their stories all crossed.

    Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister - Oh, I've really loved all of his books!! So creative. Hope you enjoy!

    I'm wrapping up Dissolution right now. It's set in the UK during the time of King Henry VIII and is a murder mystery centered around a monastery. It's actually really quite good, but murder mysteries aren't my thing so much (reading it b/c a GF gave it to me)

    Anxious to find another good read as soon as I'm done! I'm in a bit of a non-fiction mood. Any good suggestions??

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDMomChef View Post
    I am reading "Pretend that Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson, author of The Bloggesse blog. I had never heard of Jenny before reading a review of her book on Goodreads. The review intrigued me and I did some searching and read this blogpost by her:

    http://thebloggess.com/2011/06/and-t...-your-battles/

    I was laughing out loud - something that I rarely do when reading. So I bought her book - and it has had my stomach hurting from laughing out loud.

    But her writing style may not be for everybody - but I am definitely enjoying it.
    Hands down my favorite blog. I can't wait to read her book!
    Write your hurts in sand, carve your blessings in stone.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by amarante View Post
    I just skimmed through this book and I just don't get it on any level. I'm not opposed to erotica but this book is wrong on so many levels - poorly written for starters and then the actual fantasy.

    I realize it must be appealing to women but I have never harbored sexual fantasies of being dominated and made a "sexual slave".

    My DVR picked up Dr. Drew last night who had Erica Jong - authoress of Fear of Flying which was a much read female erotic book which captured the zeitgest in much the same way as this trilogy has. Have women's fantasies changed that much - from the zipless "f" to this?

    And Dr. Drew (who I am not normally a fan of) made the interesting point that in essence it is the fantasy of a 12 year old in which the love of a virgin overcomes the pathology of a very sick individual. In his view, women should be running away from this kind of twisted individual instead of thinking they can change him - which he sees as a problem of many women in dysfunctional relationships.

    I realize this is a bit of pop culture - a book that will be forgotten in a year or so but its popularity indicates that it is capturing some kind of shared mindset at the moment.
    I'm on book three.

    I completely get your point. The books are really wrong on a lot of levels. While I realize that intellectually, I think, for me, it is just a guilty pleasure. I'm not planning my life around it. For what it's worth, I had no idea what the book was about, just heard it was a popular trilogy and was a "Twilight" for grownups. By the time I realized what it was really about, I was hooked enough in by the characters that I wanted to read more.
    Write your hurts in sand, carve your blessings in stone.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by swedish cook View Post
    Kay and other Nora Roberts fans, can you help me please? Living under my rock, I had never heard of this author. Now I'd like to give her a try but..... is there a book without suspense/mystery or supernatural/ghosts to recommend? One reviewer on Amazon mentioned animal cruelty in "Montana Sky". Yikes! Sorry to be so picky. Grateful for any suggestions
    I'm a huge Nora Roberts fan, and I've reread most of her trilogies over and over. Favorites in order:

    Chesapeake Bay Saga (three brothers as main characters)
    Dream Trilogy (three best friends)
    Key Trilogy (excitement, suspense and romance)
    Born In Trilogy (set in Ireland)
    In the Garden trilogy (three women working together)

    Favorite by far is the Chesapeake Bay saga. It's rare to find women's literature that features men as the main characters. You will fall in love with the guys and laugh out loud as well.
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    Favorite by far is the Chesapeake Bay saga. It's rare to find women's literature that features men as the main characters. You will fall in love with the guys and laugh out loud as well.
    Books that make me laugh - it doesn't get any better Also added to my list: "Pretend that Never Happened". Thanks Jewel, SDMomChef and to Kay for the complete Nora Roberts booklist. Once I finish reading about the Crusades in Lionheart I'll be ripe for some lighter reading. Have fallen head over heels in love with Sharon Kay Penman's books, but I can't help thinking about all the suffering inflicted upon the population in general
    We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made.
    -M. Acklam

  30. #30
    The Coward’s Tale by Vanessa Gebbie

    This is the first novel from Welch short story writer Gebbie. The book is a melancholy yet brilliant collection of individual portraits of some of the inhabitants of a small mining town.

    In a time not defined in the past, young Laddy comes to live w/ his Gran in the town while his parents sort out their marriage. The boy befriends the town beggar/storyteller who entrances all who hear his tales of how certain town folk came to be the way they are. Many are sad or tragic stories that originate w/ the previous generation when the Kindly Light coal mine collapsed, killing many of the colliers. Laddy has a keen sense of observation and gives the beggar a fine audience.

    The beautiful, vibrant writing left me re-reading passages for their breathless imagery. Each character came through clearly and I was left wanting to hear more – much more.

    Slowly, through the telling of the tales, the community becomes tighter and you can see how each life has had an effect on the town as a whole. Even the story teller has a past that spins out and cements the book as a lovely work.
    "I can read and write if that's what you mean. I'm not thick or anything just don't ask me where the commas go."
    Incendiary by Chris Cleave

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