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What are you reading now?

Discussion in 'What are you reading now?' started by Maine Colonial, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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    On this thread, keep us posted on what you're reading––whatever the subject. If you don't want to post a complete review of what you've read, feel free to give us your quick assessment here or in the General mystery discussion thread.

    You are welcome to create your own new thread in this sub-forum, but it will make for a more lively conversation if we can focus most of our posts in this main thread. If the moderators think it's appropriate and will stimulate more conversation, we may move posts to this thread.
     
  2. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    I'm trying to decide if I liked Alice LaPlante's new book, A Circle of Wives. It's about a Stanford plastic surgeon who's found dead of an apparent heart attack in a Palo Alto hotel room. There are some forensic details that make it look like murder, and when the cops find out he's currently married to three women, their suspicions deepen. The book is narrated in turns by four women: each widow and the young Palo Alto detective, Samantha Adams, assigned to investigate.

    Why the mixed thoughts about the book? The dead doc never really came alive for me, and I didn't find myself much intrigued by how the dastardly deed was done; in fact, an experienced crime fiction reader won't be too surprised. What I liked were the character portraits of the three widows, their distinct voices, and the examination of their choices. (Deborah, the wife of 30 years, is a force in local social circles; MJ, the wife of 3 years, is an aging hippie/accountant; Helen, the wife of 6 months, is an LA pediatric oncologist.) And I liked Sam Adams, who's in a perplexing long-term relationship of her own with an overly laid-back grad student.

    Not as much fun as her earlier Turn of Mind.
     
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  3. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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    RtS, I was wondering about that one. Looks like maybe I could give it a miss.

    I just finished an ARC of Robert Glancy's Terms & Conditions, about a contracts lawyer named Frank Shaw, who wakes from a car accident with amnesia, synesthesia and a sneaking suspicion that his life wasn't going along as swimmingly as his wife and older brother would have him think. It's a black comedy that made me squirm with discomfort, laugh, fume and cheer. I'll put up a full review when I get a chance. It's coming out toward the end of April.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. readingomnivore

    readingomnivore Well-Known Member

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    I'm reading another of Lillian Stewart Carl's stand-alones, this one SHADOWS IN SCARLET. It's much like the early Barbara Michaels romantic suspense with a touch of the supernatural. More anon.
     
  5. DATo

    DATo Active Member

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    Currently reading two books for the second time - Three Men In A Boat by Jerome k. Jerome at work, during lunch breaks, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins at home.

    Ignore the Bitter Brew entry in my profile .... I'm too lazy right now to change it *L*
     
  6. readingomnivore

    readingomnivore Well-Known Member

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    I love Three Men in a Boat (and don't forget the dog).
     
  7. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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    OK, I don't read Young Adult fiction and I'm AARP-eligible, but I love Veronica Mars. I just downloaded the audio of the Veronica Mars book that just came out:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. libbyfh

    libbyfh Member

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    AH TREACHERY
    In the middle of SYCAMORE ROW by Grisham and I have to admit, I'm liking it a lot! He's getting seriously funny a la Carl Hiassen, and I don't remember him being that way before. Most of the characters are despicable types, but there are just enough good guys to make it interesting. THE LITIGATORS was similar. For me it's been like discovering a brand new author. Lovely! [​IMG]

    Also in the middle of LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson. I think I get where she's going, but I'm barely half way through, so I might be wrong. But her writing is just so good it probably doesn't matter. [​IMG]

    Now let's see if I can insert book covers. :)
     
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  9. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    I heard Sycamore Row was good, but I didn't know Grisham had it in him to be funny like that, Libby.

    Life After Life is wonderful. I found myself repeatedly re-reading sections to check wording. This book would make a terrific book club discussion.

    Yesterday, I got a text from my library: Mai Jia's Decoded is ready for me to pick up. I'm so excited. Here's what Publishers Weekly says about it:

    "A bestseller in his native China, Mai's first novel translated into English opens with the introduction of the Rong family, as told in Chinese folklore: aboard a ferry in 1873, Rong Zilai leaves China to study dream interpretation in order to save his grandmother from her nightmares. After her tragic passing, Zilai decides on another course. On his return, he finds that his grandmother has willed him her silver, and with this inheritance, he opens Lillie's Academy of Mathematics, the predecessor of N University, around which the remainder of the narrative is based. We follow Zilai as he ages, and are introduced to generations of the Rong family, including Abacus Head, so named for her mathematical genius and her enormous skull; her son Killer Head, named for his even larger skull (which killed his mother during childbirth); and, finally, the protagonist of the novel, Rong Jinzhen, a descendent of Zilai's. As the novel traces Jinzhen's path through N University and the military—where he works as a code breaker, attempting to crack BLACK and PURPLE, the most sophisticated codes invented—the reader is steeped in the history of Chinese intelligence and mathematics. Mai's careful attention to pacing and the folklore-inspired narration make for a fascinating story, neatly interwoven with complex mathematical theory.

    [​IMG]

    While I'm at the library, I need to pick up Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, B&R's Book of the Month selection for April. I read it a long time ago, and finding the book in my house is impossible.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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    We should see if B&R might do Life After Life as Book of the Month sometime. That would be great.

    RtS, that's so classic that you have to go to the library to get a book that you know you have in the house. My wish for you is that someday you have so many bookshelves that even you can put all of your books on them with room to spare. Hey, maybe you should just forget about living in a real house and buy a former Border's store to live in. Or an old library. Now there's an idea.
     
  11. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you, Maine, I also wish that for myself. I've been eyeing the house next door. If B. and I got married, we could gut his house, or mine, fill it with book shelves, and then build a tunnel to the other house, which we'd live in. Unfortunately, our current spouses would put the kibosh on this idea.

    It used to frustrate me no end, when one of my kids would announce, "I have a paper due in my 8 am class tomorrow. I know you own the book, Mom. May I have it now, please?" I measure my life by the number of hours I excavate book boxes in the attic.
     
  12. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    If I had a nickel for every book I don't know where it is, we'd be at least Thousandairs. :) Fortunately, husband is as much a collector as I am, and we've divided rooms with bookshelves. But when we combined our libraries, we had several hundred duplicates. I was organized at one time, I really was! But when his books arrived, organization went out of the window. We are in the talking stage of rearranging, at least by genre.
    If I can't find a book, I hope it's on kindle. :)

    Today is chiropractor day. Need my back cracked. heh
     
  13. quilter Kathy

    quilter Kathy Active Member

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    <but I didn't know Grisham had it in him to be funny like that>

    RtS,
    Grisham has actually written several books that have nothing to do with law and mystery. They are laugh-out-loud funny. I think my favorites are PLAYING FOR PIZZA and SKIPPING CHRISTMAS. A not-so-good movie was made from the latter but the book is very funny.
    Kathy
     
  14. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    Glad to hear I'm not the only one, pontalba. I get vicarious pleasure when Maine mentions reorganizing her drawers and closets. Good luck with your back.

    Wow, live and learn. I checked out Playing for Pizza and it sounds like one of those books that makes you hold the book with one hand and rustle up and eat pasta with the other hand. I try never to read a book set in Italy unless my fridge is stocked. Well, the one exception would be Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson.
     
  15. Forest Girl

    Forest Girl Member

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    I am reading The Seven Healing Chakras. I am finding that what I am learning will be helpful when I attend my Reiki Master Teacher workshop next month.
     
  16. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, RtS. :)

    Started The Big Sleep by Chandler. Haven't read it in decades, so it's practically new. heh (on kindle, as I'm not sure where our hard copies are.....)
     
  17. abecedarian

    abecedarian Well-Known Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Gifted Hands-Benjamin Carson
    Started The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in The Amazon by David Grann. Since I'm not likely to ever go traipsing through the Amazon Basin in search of lost cities or foolhardy but brilliant, lost explorers of historical note, this book seems the best way to get my feet wet without dealing with piranhas, legions of nasty bugs, or mile-long anacondas. I'm about 70 pages in, and so far my eyes haven't glazed over, which is better than the poor souls on British explorer Percy Fawcett's ill fated last mission to find the fabled lost city of Z.
     
  18. Ell

    Ell Well-Known Member

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    Pontalba, have you read Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman? Your post reminded me of one of the chapters entitled "Marrying Libraries" where the author discusses the difficulties she and her spouse had in combining their libraries. Whose duplicate gets thrown out? How to shelve? By author? By subject matter? By time period? At one point, her husband says in exasperation, "You mean you're going to be chronological within each author?" Really funny. Who knew it could be so complicated?

    p.s. Ex Libris is one of my favourite books of all time. I highly recommend it to all bibliophiles. :)

    Back on topic: I'm reading The Honourable School Boy by John Le Carre.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  19. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    You know, I think I read a review/article on this book! Hah, we'll have to buy it, with your glowing recommendation! :D

    We'll feel fortunate to get books into genres. :rolleyes:

    Love LeCarre....haven't read all yet, but they are here waiting. :)
     
  20. libbyfh

    libbyfh Member

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    Speaking of LeCarre, (well metaphorically anyway), I've read two Christopher Reich thrillers, RULES OF BETRAYAL and THE PRINCE OF RISK. He's a pretty good writer, methinks. International issues, nice prose, and characters who seem real. He doesn't delve into the bowels of the intelligence services, though.
     

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