What are you reading the week of November 14, 2020?

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What are you reading the week of November 14, 2020?

nov 14, 2020, 9:00am

A new week is underway!

Bewerkt: nov 15, 2020, 8:00pm

Enjoying the Hallmark Christmas movies and this OverDrive Kindle book ~

Christmas Joy
by Nancy Naigle

nov 14, 2020, 10:46am

>1 Molly3028: Thank you for starting us off!

I'm reading The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes with my sister. Horses and books are always a winning combination!

nov 14, 2020, 1:31pm

I am about halfway through Bushville Wins!: The Wild Saga of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the Screwballs, Sluggers, and Beer Swiggers who Canned the New York Yankees and Changed Baseball by John Klima. The writing style is in places as overwrought as that title, but I'm enjoying the book anyway.

nov 14, 2020, 3:51pm

I finished up The Silk Roads and I've started on The Sicilian Method by Andrea Camilleri.

nov 14, 2020, 5:02pm

Still slowly making my way thru the same two books. Have switched my enjoyment level to re-watching old favorite TV shows.

nov 14, 2020, 6:05pm

This has been such a hard week. My father died on Monday. He lived to the grand old age of 90, but that isn't long enough for the people who loved him. We would have had him go on forever.

I've been burying myself in books to hide from everything. I re-read The Handmaid's Tale to prepare myself for The Testaments, which was a very good book. I'm now reading Anxious People, which is funny and perceptive.

nov 15, 2020, 9:47am

Ahef1963 I am so sorry about your Dad. I hope books can offer some solace during this time.

nov 15, 2020, 10:17am

>7 ahef1963: My condolences on the loss of your father.

nov 15, 2020, 10:19am

Finished DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff. Liked this book in the series a bit better than I liked the first. I've added the last book, TRUEL1F3, to my rotation as well as Knife by Jo Nesbø.

nov 15, 2020, 1:24pm

I finished The Rare Metals War which was a frightening look at the rare metal needs for our digital and green advances; the polluting and energy costs of mining and refining them; the nationalistic commandeering of them particularly by China, and their eminent depletion. Especially now, being a bit numb to impending disasters, it seemed just another way the human race it heading towards disaster.

Bewerkt: nov 15, 2020, 2:48pm

My condolences, ahef!! That's the kind of loss that makes you feel a shift in your universe!

Just finished listening to the stunning non-fiction book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.

Next up for listening is Deacon King Kong by James BcBride.

nov 15, 2020, 2:21pm

>7 ahef1963: Sorry about your father!

Bewerkt: nov 16, 2020, 9:55am

started ~

Death of Riley
by Rhys Bowen
(Molly Murphy cozy mystery, book 2/OverDrive Kindle)

nov 15, 2020, 9:14pm

Thirteen Moons – Charles Frazier
Audiobook performed by Will Patton

Frazier’s sophomore effort returns to the rural Carolina landscape, covering nearly a century from the 1820s to the very beginning of the 20th century. The tale is told by Will Cooper, who as a twelve-year-old orphan was sent into the wilderness as a “bound boy” – beholden to a serve as the lone shopkeeper of a remote Indian Trading Post in exchange for a small stipend. He was sent from his uncle’s home with a horse, a key, an old map, and his father’s knife. He is befriended by Bear, a Cherokee chief, and develops a strong relationship with the father figure.

What a marvelous story, and beautifully told. Will’s life is full of adventure and opportunities, as well as peril and mistakes. At the outset of his journey he begins the habit of keeping journals and it is these documents that help record his extraordinary ordinary life. At a tender age, Will falls head-over-heels in love with the enigmatic Claire, who is the powerful Featherstone’s girl. He develops skills as a trader, negotiator, and entrepreneur. He reads voraciously and becomes a lawyer. He meets, and either befriends or makes enemies of, a variety of famous individuals, including Andrew Jackson and Davey Crockett. He finagles and trades and manages to kluge together quite a large parcel of land. He makes and loses and remakes several fortunes. He seeks the counsel of Bear and also of Granny Squirrel, a medicine woman who is said to be over 200 years old, and whose spells cannot be broken.

Frazier paints this time and place so vividly, I felt transported to that time. I could smell the pines, hear bacon fat sizzling in a pan, feel the chill of a winter morning or the warmth of a welcome fire, taste the delicious stews and French wines. Here are a couple of memorable passages:
I slept on the open ground and watched the enormous sky off and on between brief bouts of sleep. It was a dark night, without any moon at all and utterly cloudless. The air was dry and the stars were sharp points in the dark and there seemed to be a great many more of them than I ever remembered seeing before. And then it came to my attention that it was a night of meteor showers. Spouts and shoots of light, both thin and broad, arced overhead.

The cool damp air smelled of wet growing leaves and rotted dead leaves. A redtail hawk sat in a Fraser fir. It stared my way and shook water out of its feathers. It spread its wings and its tail, and it bowed toward me – or lunged, perhaps. I thought there was recognition in the look it gave me, and I put an arm straight into the air as a salute, for I guessed the hawk to be a representative of the mountains themselves, an ambassador charged with greeting me upon my return.

She had beautiful soft hair the color of a dove’s breast and green eyes and creamy long legs that turned under into unfortunately long narrow feet, but she had a behind with curves to break your heart. At least, they broke mine.

Will Cooper’s America is long gone but vividly brought to mind by Frazier’s skill. On finishing, I find that I want to start over again at the beginning, savoring every word.

Will Patton is fast becoming one of my favorite audiobook narrators. He does a marvelous job with Frazier’s text, bringing the many characters to life.

Bewerkt: nov 15, 2020, 10:02pm

From the library:
Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil and Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie
I've enjoyed watching "Grantchester" on PBS and thought I'd give the novels a go before the next season. The novels and TV show differ especially after 4th season. The novels had a better reason for Sidney for leaving Grantchester than the show.

The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep
In 1861, Maggie is a popular opera singer who's hiding in the countryside after a horrible night in Bath. One day she discovers Oliver Ward, an escapee from Dartmoor Prison. Together they go to clear their names of false accusations.

A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber
The latest and #8 installment in the "Lady Darby Mystery" series.
Kiera and Gage are celebrating the New Year with Kiera's extended family in the Scottish countryside when a body is discovered.

nov 15, 2020, 10:37pm

>15 BookConcierge: Glad you enjoyed 13 Moons. I liked it better than Frazier's more famous novel, Cold Mountain.

nov 16, 2020, 10:56am

Finished On Tyranny which was a crucial book for our present times, reminding us that the collapse of a democracy including ours can happen and that it takes complicity for that to happen. The 20 lessons suggest ways that we, the ordinary persons, can counter that possibility. Not real detailed but easily digested.

nov 16, 2020, 11:37am

>Hello everyone. My name's Annette Austin and I'm a self-published author and an avid reader. Currently, I am reading Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. It took a while for me to get into this book, but I am now. It's uncomfortable reading at times, but I will reserve my judgement until the end.

nov 16, 2020, 3:10pm

Over the weekend I finished up Project Hero by Briar Prescott which was an impulse kindle buy that turned out very well. I really enjoyed the book.

After that I started two other books, Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle and Spook Squad by Jordan Castillo Price. I've had Many Waters many years, but never got around to reading it, or even putting it into my LT catalog which was surprising since I thought my whole library was listed in here. Even more surprising was to discover I also missed listing Spook Squad in my LT catalog, since this one is a re-read for me. They're both there now.

nov 16, 2020, 3:11pm

>7 ahef1963: so very sorry to hear about your father.

nov 16, 2020, 5:17pm

Folio Trollope 'Dr Thorne' and recapping the first book of Folio's Gibbon. Plus Blake's 'Disraeli'...

nov 16, 2020, 9:44pm

>7 ahef1963: So sorry to hear of your loss. It is always so hard to say goodbye, even after a long and loving life.

nov 16, 2020, 9:53pm

Just finished The Night Watchman, and was a bit disappointed in it. It would be a tough climb for any author to create a page-turner about the legal fight to bar legislation that would have terminated the tribal rights of a number of Indian groups. Erdrich's grandfather was intimately involved in this, and it's obvious that she was writing from the heart. She was perhaps attempting to punch things up by adding subplots about the lives of several other members of the Turtle Mountain tribe. This slowed things down even more and made the legal fight almost disappear into the background. The personal stories of her original characters would have been enough to carry a book, and I would really have preferred to spend more time with them.

So, being in the mood for some snark, I just received Roger Ebert's Your Movie Sucks, and may just bail out of my current read to indulge in it.

I'm actually reading Richard Russo's Bridge of Sighs. Russo is also a favorite author, so I'm really torn!

(Yes, I could start one before ending the other, but I do try to be a monogamous reader!)

nov 16, 2020, 9:55pm

>15 BookConcierge: Okay, you talked me into it. I just ordered Thirteen Moons.

nov 17, 2020, 1:13am

>7 ahef1963: Oh, I’m so sorry. Such a terrible loss. I’m glad you’re finding solace in books.

I’m reading Valentine which is terribly sad and amazingly good.

nov 17, 2020, 9:50am

>7 ahef1963: Sending lots of love!

nov 17, 2020, 10:18am

>17 rocketjk: I also think Thirteen Moons better than Cold Mountain, but I really liked them both.

nov 17, 2020, 3:46pm

"The Evening and the Morning" by Ken Follett

nov 17, 2020, 4:39pm

Blindman's Bluff
Faye Kellerman
4/5 stars
A gruesome killing of a billionaire sends LAPD Peter Decker and his crew investigating the family and the people he surrounded around himself. It has been awhile since I read the an installment of the Decker and Lazarus series and I really enjoyed it!

Bewerkt: nov 17, 2020, 6:42pm

Thank you to everyone for your sympathies at the death of my father. He was a remarkable man. If anyone is interested, his obituary is here: (I love obituaries.)


Anxious People by Fredrik Backman was exactly the book I needed to read. It made me cry, which was wonderful as I'd been dry-eyed since my dad's death, and needed something to push me off the cliff of stoicism.

Have just started reading Katherine by Anya Seton, and I plan to listen to Barack Obama's autobiography over the next week.

nov 17, 2020, 6:56pm

>31 ahef1963: He sounds like a remarkable person. So sorry for you loss.

nov 17, 2020, 7:44pm

A Bend In the Stars– Rachel Barenbaum
Digital audiobook performed by Thérèse Plummer and Eduardo Bellarini

From the book jacket: In Russia in the summer of 1914, as war with Germany looms the czar’s army tightens its grip on the local Jewish community, Miri Abramov and her brilliant physicist brother, Vanya, are facing an impossible decision. Since their parents drowned, they’ve been raised by their babushka, who taught them to protect themselves at all costs: to fight, kill if necessary, and always have an escape plan. Now, with Miri on the verge of becoming one of Russia’s only female surgeons, and Vanya close to solving the puzzle of Einstein’s elusive theory of relativity, can they bear to leave the homeland that has given them so much?

My reactions:
This was an ambitious debut, and Barenbaum did a reasonably good job of painting the picture of a country divided by political upheaval and on the brink of war. But I think she bit off more than she could chew. There are so many subplots here … a romance or two, an escape from danger (or three), Vanya’s efforts to test his theory based on the solar eclipse, Miri’s efforts to be recognized as the surgeon she wants to be. They are chased from one end of Russia to another, riding trains and carts and living by their wits (and occasional muscle). They hide in filthy holes, and in “plain sight.” They are separated, reunited and separated again. I ached for some peace for them and for me as a reader.

The audio version is expertly performed by two very talented voice artists: Thérèse Plummer and Eduardo Bellarini. They really brought these characters to life and made me feel I was involved in the intrigue.

nov 17, 2020, 7:47pm

>31 ahef1963: Thank you for sharing your Father's obituary. I lost my father when he was age 90 as well. How lucky we both were to have our Dads for such a long time! May he rest in peace.

nov 18, 2020, 11:43am

Ahef1963 thank you for sharing your Dad’s obituary. He sounded like an amazing man. My Dad will be 90 in January. Every day he is still with us with all his health issues is a blessing. I know when my Dad passes it will truly rock my world. Take care of yourself.

nov 18, 2020, 1:59pm

I finished Bushville Wins!: The Wild Saga of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the Screwballs, Sluggers, and Beer Swiggers who Canned the New York Yankees and Changed Baseball by John Klima, a potentially excellent baseball history that was mostly ruined for me by the author's lazy use of cliche, word-salad adverbial mashups and speculation passed off as fact.

Now it's back to my friend Kim Nalley's suggested list of reading about the history of the Black experience in America and of racial issues throughout the country's history. Next up from that list is Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party by by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin.

nov 18, 2020, 5:14pm

The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead
Audiobook performed by J D Jackson, and the author

In the 1960s Jim Crow South, a young man on his way to college makes a life-changing mistake and winds up in the notoriously draconian Nickel Academy reform school.

Elwood is a marvelous character. Abandoned by his parents, and raised by his grandmother, he’s developed a strong moral compass. He studies hard, has a mentor / champion in one of his teachers, works at local business, and listens to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s speeches for inspiration. He can hold his own against bullies and believes that it is his duty to cry out and try to stop injustice.

But this strength of character goes against everything the leaders of Nickel Academy want in the boys under their control. And they will break Elwood if it’s the last thing they (or he) do.

I was completely engrossed in this story. I loved how the relationships between the boys at Nickel developed, how they helped one another even when they could not understand one another. Turner is a particular friend, despite their different viewpoints and philosophies on how to succeed and “graduate” from Nickel. Turner is a schemer, a cynic, and a realist; he KNOWS “the man” will get him at the first opportunity and is determined to stay out of anything that can get him into trouble. Elwood, on the other hand, believes that doing the right thing (like stopping a fight among other boys, or reporting corruption and mistreatment) will be the ticket to release. Turner cannot believe that Elwood can be so naïve as to think that anything he says will make a difference. Elwood cannot understand how Turner can turn his back on injustice.

The last part of the novel moves forward in time when one of the boys has grown up and is living in New York. But while he has achieved a measure of success, he is still haunted by what happened in his youth. Whitehead’s use of this structure made the pivotal scene all the more impactful. I literally gasped.

J.D. Jackson does a stupendous job narrating the audiobook. He is a skilled voice artist and became Elwood and Turner.

nov 19, 2020, 10:00am

I enjoyed Evie Wyld's The Bass Rock. Now I'm reading Afterlife by Julia Alvarez.

nov 20, 2020, 8:39am

Presumed Innocent – Scott Turow
Book on CD performed by Edward Herrmann

From the book jacket: Rusty Sabich, Kindle County’s longtime chief deputy prosecutor, has been asked to investigate the rape and murder of one of his colleagues. Carolyn Polhemus was strong, sensuous, and magnetic; she was also clearly ambitious and quite possibly unscrupulous. Her murder has been an embarrassment to Rusty’s boss, Raymond Horgan, who is facing a serious challenge in the upcoming election and who looks to Rusty for a fast solution to the case that will help save him politically. What Horgan doesn’t know is that, only a few months before she was murdered, Carolyn Polhemus and Rusty Sabich were lovers.

My reactions
This is book # 1 in the Kindle County Legal Thriller series. It’s a fast-paced story with several twists and turns and lots of political and personal intrigue to keep the reader guessing and turning pages. I don’t go to many movies, but I did see this one, starring Harrison Ford as Rusty. So, I knew where things were headed going into the novel. Still, Turow’s tight writing gave me the sense of suspense and intrigue and impending doom that I expect from a mystery/thriller like this. final reveal is a bit of a stunner.

Edward Hermann did a marvelous job of narrating the audio. He set a good pace and kept the story moving.

nov 20, 2020, 8:43am

>3 PaperbackPirate: Even in the Iliad ;-)

nov 20, 2020, 8:43am

Enjoying ~

The 19th Christmas (Women's Murder Club, #19)
by James Patterson
(OverDrive audio)

nov 20, 2020, 8:52am

I'm confused. Fiction, fiction, fiction. In my permanent library of a couple of thousand books, I have SEVEN works of fiction, four of which I've never read. What's the point of invented families etc when one can actually LEARN things? I currently have Steele's 'Hellenistic Architecture in Asia Minor' and Crawley's 'Great Northern Railway in Focus' alongside me. The latter, if fiction, would be regarded as a 'fine edition' (cloth boards, sewn, not glued etc) - as good as many Folios, but standard treatment for a hardback specialist volume. I've tried to read fiction, but after half a page or so I've thought 'what's the point' and gone straight back to fact and reference works (and poetry - another subject altogether).

nov 20, 2020, 8:53am

Just finished Iron Arm switching on and off between Seventeen Fathoms Deep and Beyond the Beach.

nov 20, 2020, 10:25am

>42 JacobKirckman:
I read all genres -fiction and non-fiction and I like both. Read what you like and don't worry about what others read!

nov 20, 2020, 9:42pm

>42 JacobKirckman: To each their own! I read about 1/3 nonfiction : 2/3 fiction. Hubs reads probably 95% nonfiction. We haven't come to blows over it yet. :-)

I think one can also "learn things" from fiction. Recently read One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow, which is set on a Wyoming homestead shortly after the Civil War. One of the things that struck me (and was used as a prime plot point) was the sheer amount of hard physical labor it took merely to stay alive in that environment. I defy anyone to read John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath and not learn something about the Dustbowl.

Pretty well anything ***well-written*** that is set in a time or place or culture that's unfamiliar to me is going to teach me something.

As for thrillers, rom/coms, romances -- well, everybody deserves a Twinkie now and then!

nov 21, 2020, 10:56am

Hi everyone, the new thread is up over here.