What are you reading the week of August 8, 2020?

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What are you reading the week of August 8, 2020?

1PaperbackPirate
Ago 8, 2020, 1:24pm

I hope you're doing ok, fredbacon!

This week I'm reading The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar. I just started it this morning for my book club.

What are you reading?

2rocketjk
Editado: Ago 8, 2020, 3:04pm

I'm about 2/3 of the way through the very enjoyable Sudden Death, Mexican author Alvaro Enrigue's sly, imaginative novel about 16th/17th Century Italy, Cortes' conquest of the Aztecs, the relationship between art and political power and, of course, the very early versions of the game of tennis.

3ahef1963
Editado: Ago 8, 2020, 5:10pm

I've just read a brief (126 pages) memoir that I want to recommend: Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar by Emily Ruete. It is the memoir of the youngest (36th) child of the last Sultan of Oman and Zanzibar, and is one of the best records of social history that I've had the good fortune to read. So much detail. So informative. Fair warning: there are smatterings of 19th century racism, including the fact that her family owned 8,000 slaves, and written at a time and place where buying a wife was accepted practice.

I just started The Makioka Sisters late last night. I'm enjoying it already, although I've had to make a sticky note of who's who, because I can't seem to keep the Japanese names and family relationships straight.

4JulieLill
Ago 9, 2020, 12:29pm

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz
Erik Larsen
5/5 stars
I love Erik Larson and he does not disappoint in his newest non-fiction book recounting the first year of WWII. The book mainly centers on Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England as he and the country wage war against the Nazi Regimen and as he tries to get help from President Franklin Roosevelt. Larson also recounts the lives of Winston’s family and friends during war time and the British citizens as they deal with food shortages, bombing raids, death and destruction and trying to work amidst the German air raids and bombings. Larson’s books are so interesting, that I can’t wait for his next book.

6Molly3028
Ago 9, 2020, 5:56pm

Dance Away with Me: A Novel
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
(OverDrive audiobook)

7LyndaInOregon
Ago 9, 2020, 7:40pm

Just finished What's Left Untold for an LTER. It's a schmaltzy novel of friendship, secrets, and family ties -- a predictable soap opera with a dubious resolution.

Next up is Thomas McGuane's Nothing But Blue Skies, which -- according to the bacover copy, "is a ruefully funny novel of embattled manhood". I hope so, because I'm just coming off a trifecta of mediocrity, and could use some cheering up.

8rocketjk
Ago 10, 2020, 1:39am

>7 LyndaInOregon: Wow, I haven't read any McGuane in quite some time, but I sure have enjoyed everything by him that I've read. Hope you like Nothing But Blue Skies. That's one I haven't read.

9aussieh
Ago 11, 2020, 3:48am

I have been captured by The Falconer by Elaine Clarke McCarthy

10nrmay
Ago 11, 2020, 11:36am

Just finished the J novel the time of green magic by Hilary McKay, maybe my favorite chidren's author.

Now reading one in the gray man series - dead eye by Mark Greaney. Adventure/thriller

11LyndaInOregon
Ago 11, 2020, 12:58pm

Got sidetracked by the tell-all (okay, tell-some) Trump book, Too Much and Never Enough, but am now embarked on Nothing But Blue Skies. So far, McGuane is kind of reminiscent of Richard Russo -- which is a good thing!

12BookConcierge
Ago 11, 2020, 1:12pm


Something Fresh – P G Wodehouse
Digital audiobook performed by Jonathan Cecil.
3***

Book One in the Blandings Castle series, featuring the elderly Lord Emsworth, his son Hon. Freddie Threepwood, and his trusty secretary, Baxter. The basic plot involves Lord E’s neighbor, the wealth American, Mr Peters, and his prize collection of scarabs. Ashe Marson is a writer of a popular mystery/adventure series, who is in need of inspiration – and funds. Joan Valentine is Marson’s lovely neighbor – a young woman who is struggling to find herself and soon takes a “position’ as lady’s maid to her old school chum, Aline Peters (daughter of Mr Peters, and engaged to Hon. Freddie T.)

Wodehouse excels are writing ridiculously plotted societal comedies that poke fun at the aristocracy and just about everyone else as well. There are unlikely disguises, attempts at hiding identities, and a variety of funny missteps along the way. Of course, true love will win out and everyone will be happy in the end.

I had grown tired of the Jeeves series and stopped reading Wodehouse, but I’m glad I gave the author another try. This was a delightful romp and crime caper/comedy. Just great fun to read … or listen to.

Johnathan Cecil does a fine job performing the audiobook. He has a lot of characters to deal with and is up to the task. I particularly like the way he voices Lord Emsworth, the Hon Freddie, and the blustery Mr Peters.

13LyndaInOregon
Ago 11, 2020, 4:11pm

>12 BookConcierge: I do find that I need to take a break from reading one author, one series, or even one genre, in order to avoid burnout. Glad you were able to enjoy Wodehouse again.

14PaperbackPirate
Ago 11, 2020, 10:54pm

I have too much on my mind to focus on The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock, so I switched to the lighter and more fun Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire by Margot Berwin. Great choice, I'm flying through and looking forward to minutes I can squeeze it into my schedule.

15nrmay
Ago 12, 2020, 10:58am

16rocketjk
Ago 12, 2020, 12:25pm

I finished the wonderful Sudden Death by Mexican author Alvaro Enrique, a whimsical yet sobering (as if any of us need philosophical sobering these days) novel about power, religious and cultural domination and tennis. My full review is up on my 50-Book Challenge thread and on the book's work page. After several enjoyable novels of various kinds, I'm moving back to non-fiction now to read Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War by Tom Wheeler.

17JulieLill
Ago 13, 2020, 9:36am

More Than This
Patrick Ness
5/5 stars
This book centers on Seth. He grew up in England but after his brother died, the family moved to the Pacific Northwest. Between his brother’s death and a personal issue that scandalized him and his family, Seth decides to kill himself. However, after he does try to drown himself, he wakes up and there is no body at home and there is no one in the town he lives in except for Regina and Tomasz who he befriends and the mysterious Driver who keeps trying to chase them down. I read this in a few days because it was so compelling and hard to put down!

18JulieLill
Ago 13, 2020, 9:37am

More Than This
Patrick Ness
5/5 stars
This book centers on Seth. He grew up in England but after his brother died, the family moved to the Pacific Northwest. Between his brother’s death and a personal issue that scandalized him and his family, Seth decides to kill himself. However, after he does try to drown himself, he wakes up and there is no body at home and there is no one in the town he lives in except for Regina and Tomasz who he befriends and the mysterious Driver who keeps trying to chase them down. I read this in a few days because it was so compelling and hard to put down!

19Molly3028
Ago 13, 2020, 10:51am

The First to Lie
by Hank Phillippi Ryan
(OverDrive audiobook)

20seitherin
Editado: Ago 14, 2020, 9:42am

Finished The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction May/June 2019 and started The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction July/August 2019. Also finished Ruin by John Gwynne and added Network Effect by Martha Wells to my rotation.

Finished Thin Air by Lisa Gray. Really enjoyed the book. Added Redemption's Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky to my rotation.

Finished Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes. Sometimes very good. Sometimes a bit draggy. Overall, pretty good. Added LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff to my rotation.

21snash
Ago 14, 2020, 11:50am

I finished Feast Your Eyes: A Novel This story of an extraordinary woman photographer and her daughter is told through the eyes of the daughter, friends, and her journal as a catalog to go with an exhibition of her photos after her death. It provides a good picture of a complicated mother/daughter relationship although at times it felt as though the voice of all the different story tellers were very much the same. In the end I enjoyed the book but there were times when the sense of impending unraveling made it difficult.

22nrmay
Ago 14, 2020, 12:05pm

currently reading dead wake by Larson. Recently read the glass ocean, a historical novel based on the Lusitania; now I'm after the real account!

My audio book is the bookish life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman, but I'm running out of time - it's due today.

23aussieh
Ago 14, 2020, 8:22pm

24perennialreader
Ago 14, 2020, 9:37pm

>23 aussieh: My favorite Kingsolver book!

25nrmay
Ago 15, 2020, 9:38am

>23 aussieh:
I loved this one too!

26JakeLonergan
Ago 15, 2020, 10:00am

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27PaperbackPirate
Ago 15, 2020, 12:12pm

>23 aussieh: >24 perennialreader: >25 nrmay: My favorite Kingsolver too! Enjoy!

28PaperbackPirate
Ago 15, 2020, 4:25pm

New topic for the week posted here.