What are you reading the week of December 26, 2020?

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What are you reading the week of December 26, 2020?

1fredbacon
Dez 25, 2020, 11:38pm

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! I had a busy week so there wasn't as much time for reading as I would have liked. I'm about three quarters of the way through Moscow 1937. I'm hoping to finish it this weekend.

Next week: A whole new year! It's gotta be better than this one. ;-)

2cindydavid4
Dez 26, 2020, 9:50am

About halfway through Addie Leroux and while I like the writing, finding it repetitios as she goes through her very long life. There is another book about a young girl who for some reason is instantly forgettable The Sudden Apperance of Hope. I like the way that characters life was written (granted the latter dealt with this curse for a year or two. The former lived through 400 years) Ill finish it tho I do suspect I know where this leads.

3lamplight
Dez 26, 2020, 9:58am

I just finished listening to the audio book The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I am also reading The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict. I am also reading A Better Man by Louise Penny. I am closing in on 50 books for another discussion, but I know I won't make it. But the shut down, and the need for a hip replacement have increased my reading/listening of late. So you never know.

4PaperbackPirate
Dez 26, 2020, 10:25am

>1 fredbacon: Merry Christmas!

I'm back to reading Noir by Christopher Moore. I'm hoping I can finish it and 2 more before the end of the year to reach 50. Wish me luck!

5johnxlibris
Editado: Dez 26, 2020, 10:25am

I picked up What if? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe yesterday. I don't laugh out loud while reading much, but this one makes me giggle.

6enaid
Dez 26, 2020, 12:25pm

>1 fredbacon: Thanks for starting us off, Fred!

I pushed myself very hard to finish The Splendid and the Vile because there was so little time on my library check out. I managed to finish with 18 hours to spare. It was a good book and I plan to do more reading about the Blitz.

I started Less Dead by Denise Mina. So far, so good; Denise Mina is one of my dependable writers. I've also gotten a copy of Jane Steele but haven't even opened it up yet. I'm not sure how I feel about a serial killer version of Jane Eyre.

Be well, everyone!

7rocketjk
Dez 26, 2020, 12:52pm

I finished another book from my friend Kim Nalley's list of important reading about African-American history and race relations in the US, Women, Race & Class by Angela Davis. My full review is on my own 50-Book Challenge thread.

And now, for something completely different, I'm reading and enjoying Jasper Fforde's latest, Early Riser.

8seitherin
Dez 26, 2020, 1:55pm

Still chugging away on Riot Baby and Ten Arrows of Iron.

9hemlokgang
Dez 26, 2020, 2:55pm

Still reading Flowers of Mold and listening to American Dirt.

10LyndaInOregon
Dez 26, 2020, 3:14pm

>3 lamplight: Good wishes for a quick recovery! That's a major surgery. Been there done that.

11eo206
Dez 26, 2020, 4:02pm

12Shrike58
Dez 26, 2020, 4:14pm

Finished everything I mentioned last week. The main books I'm working on right now are Kearny's Dragoons Out West and Harrow the Ninth; what will be my official last book of 2020 and my official first book of 2021.

13Molly3028
Editado: Dez 26, 2020, 9:26pm

starting this OverDrive audio ~

The Darkest Evening: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope, 9/my first)
by Ann Cleeves

14ahef1963
Dez 26, 2020, 9:50pm

I haven't done much reading this week. Christmas always stresses me out so that my attention is very unfocused, and this being the first Christmas without my dad just added to my anxiety.

I did finish, and mostly enjoyed Gunnar Staalsen's Big Sister (touchstones are not working), but I haven't found anything to read next.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and I wish you all a happy new year!

15hemlokgang
Editado: Dez 26, 2020, 11:33pm

Finished listening to the weekly told story, American Dirt.

Next up for listening is The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais.

16framboise
Dez 28, 2020, 10:33am

Just started my last read of the year: The Queen's Gambit. That was one of my fave shows I watched this year during quarantine. Easy reading (& good) so far.

17msemmag
Dez 28, 2020, 12:06pm

>3 lamplight: I'm listening to The Screwtape Letters this week as well! I'm trying to finish out my 52-in-a-year. Were you listening to the Joss Ackland narration? He really hits the sinister-uncle vibe for the text lol.

I'm reading a bunch of (short) books this week in a desperate attempt to finish out my reading goal this year (I'm so close!! 48/52) The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis, Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen, Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey (a series which I totally recommend- it's heists on the Mississippi with HIPPOS!!), Monstress, Vol. 5: Warchild by Marjorie M. Liu (which is a totally beautiful series, I love the illustrations and story)
I also want to finish The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt...but that ain't gonna happen. I'm less than half-way through and it's 771 pages 😵
Thank goodness I have time off this week- I have a lot of reading ahead of me!

18seitherin
Dez 28, 2020, 3:43pm

Finished Ten Arrows of Iron by Sam Sykes. Liked it just a hair less than the first book, Seven Blades in Black.

Added The Shark by Mary Barton to my rotation.

19Oct326
Dez 28, 2020, 4:30pm

The Symposium, by Plato. I'm reading it for the third time, and still I don't understand it. Maybe I persist in reading works that are too hard for me.

20BookConcierge
Dez 28, 2020, 6:18pm


Song Of the Lion – Anne Hillerman
Digital Audiobook performed by Christina Delaine
3.5***

After her father, Tony Hillerman, died, Anne Hillerman took up the series he had begun and continued it. This is book # 21 in the Leaphorn & Chee mystery series (Book # 5 in Anne’s continuation called The Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito series), set on the Navajo nation in Arizona and New Mexico.

The action begins at a basketball game where team rivalries have brought out a large crowd. Then a car explodes in the high school parking lot, killing a young man. Officer Bernadette Manuelito is on the scene, and soon discovers that the vehicle belonged to a mediator for a dispute over a multimillion-dollar development planned at the Grand Canyon.

I hadn’t read one of the Leaphorn books in quite some time, and I think they are best read in order, just to watch the relationships develop over time. But I certainly didn’t feel lost or disconnected by reading this one out of order. The Tribal Police deal with real, modern-day crime, but are not averse to listening and exploring the traditional wisdom employed by the elders. Both father and daughter authors seamlessly weave these elements of magical realism into the narrative.

Hillerman has inherited her father’s skill at plotting, and at character development. Joe Leaphorn is long retired, though the younger detectives still seek his counsel, which he’s happy to give. Bernie is a strong female lead; intelligent, disciplined, resolute, cautious, respectful of tradition, but embracing modern technology. And she is more than up for the task of going against the bad guy on her own! And I love the relationship between Bernie and Sgt Joe Chee.

I’ll keep reading the series, but I think I’ll go back and pick up where I left off (somewhere around book # 4, I think).

The audio version is wonderfully performed by Christina Delaine. I loved the cadence of her speech, especially when voicing some of the elderly Native American characters.

21ahef1963
Dez 29, 2020, 1:14pm

I read Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks with great pleasure; I only wish that the modern plague of Covid-19 was handled as sensibly as did these unlettered English villagers in the 17th century. The book is based on the actions of the villagers of Eyam who barricaded themselves in their little community, and forbade outsiders to enter in hopes of stopping the illness from spreading further.

Then I read Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange, which was okay, but not great. Certainly it was an easy book to read, and it went by quickly, but I found much of it irritating, and I found it had less wide a scope than I had hoped.

Goodness knows what I'll read next. Possibly My Dark Vanessa, which was delivered yesterday and looks interesting.

22enaid
Dez 29, 2020, 1:36pm

>21 ahef1963: Wasn't Year of Wonders excellent? It's one of my favorites!

23ocgreg34
Dez 29, 2020, 2:23pm

I started The Death of Bernadette Lefthand by Ron Querry a few days ago.

24aussieh
Dez 29, 2020, 8:00pm

I am enjoying Drylands by Thea Astley.

25enaid
Dez 29, 2020, 8:45pm

After I finished The Less Deadwhich was a little grim, I picked up a Miss Marple mystery, Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie. I usually avoid Miss Marple as there is just something I don't like about her but this is quite good. I've been reading a lot of Agatha Christie during this pandemic. I've grown pretty fond of Hercule Poirot. Comfort reading!

26cindydavid4
Dez 29, 2020, 8:54pm

>22 enaid: agreed but wish I could have changed that ending!!!

27cindydavid4
Dez 29, 2020, 8:57pm

Just finished the office of historical connections Loved it all, but the story Things Disappear was very haunting to me, and not sure I'll forgt it any time soon

29cindydavid4
Editado: Dez 30, 2020, 6:18am

>28 lilithcat: hee, I dunno I kinda like my typo...thx! (edit) and somehow missed the chance to pun thanks for correcting my typo!)

30hemlokgang
Editado: Dez 30, 2020, 3:12am

Just finished listening to The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais.

Next up for listening is Plainsong by Kent Haruf.

31seitherin
Dez 30, 2020, 9:47am

32LyndaInOregon
Dez 30, 2020, 12:50pm

I'm just finishing up Wallis: The Novel, by Anne Edwards, which will be my last read of 2020, because next up is Stephen Fry's Mythos, which is pretty hefty.

Edwards' Road to Tara was an excellent and revealing biography of Margaret Mitchell, but for some reason she has chosen to write the Wallis biography as a novel, which leaves the reader wondering which scenes and ideas are based on unsubstantiated but highly probable reports and which are made up whole cloth.

33princessgarnet
Editado: Dez 30, 2020, 1:02pm

Finished Masterpiece: America's 50-Year-Old Love Affair with British Television Drama by Nancy West.
Why and how Masterpiece Theatre has lasted on PBS all these years!

34fabiano1981
Dez 30, 2020, 1:10pm

Pequeno tratado das grandes virtudes, muito interessante, temas que eu não tinha lido a respeito ainda!

35seitherin
Dez 31, 2020, 10:13am

Finished The Shark by Mary Burton. Liked it better than I thought I would.

Added Mansfield Park by Jane Austen to my rotation.

36ahef1963
Editado: Dez 31, 2020, 10:39am

Finished Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte this morning. I found it difficult to get into, but I ended up enjoying it quite a lot. Yes, it was too didactic, but I guessed that going in, so it didn't spoil the pleasure of the book.

I guess that Agnes Grey will be my last book of 2020. I've started Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, but I simply don't have the time to finish it today.

2020 goal - 80 books, read 88, so am pleased with myself!

37BookConcierge
Editado: Dez 31, 2020, 10:08pm


Escape – Caroline Jessop with Laura Palmer
Audiobook read by Ann Marie Lee
3.5*** (rounded up)

From the book jacket: When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn’s heritage; she was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled in small communities along the Arizona-Utah border. Over the next fifteen years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband’s psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives, who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy.

My reactions:
I had heard of the FLDS, and even read a book about this cult (for that’s was the author calls it), but I found her first-hand account fascinating. About each time that I was ready to just shake my head and give up, Jessop reminded me that she had been completely indoctrinated into this way of life and that she truly believed she had no other options. Still, she began to see the flaws in the system.

And once Warren Jeffs began to take over leadership of the group and became increasingly paranoid and erratic in his edicts, Carolyn decided that she simply had to find another way of life. She was fortunate in that she had been able to attend college, and had taught for a time in a public school. She also had a couple of relatives who had left the sect and agreed to help her. Her escape is a harrowing story, worthy of any psychological thriller.

Ann Marie Lee does a fine job of performing the audio version of this memoir. She sets a good pace and really brings the narrative alive.

38PaperbackPirate
Jan 1, 11:14am

I finished The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis yesterday for my book club, and it's going to be on my top ten list for 2020!

I also finished a 9 year reading (as rocketjk calls it, a "between book") of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. I'm really not sure what to say about it.

39cindydavid4
Jan 1, 12:03pm

>38 PaperbackPirate: oh I want to read that book sounds wonderful (will have to see if I still have any of the tango CDs I used way bac when whe I was folk dancing)

Just found out that Camilla Gibb has a new book out The Relatives: a novel. in 2021, Cant find any more info, but I did love her Sweetness in the Bellyand The Beauty of the Humanity Movement Eager to see what this is all about

40jwrudn
Jan 1, 1:32pm

Getting into a good one, Lady Chevy: A Novel by John Woods. An overweight (hence, the name Lady Chevy) high school girl hopes to get a scholarship to college so she can be a veterinarian and escape Ohio Appalachia. But she takes part in an ill-advised sabotage of a hydraulic fracking site at which a man is killed. Gotta find out what happens...

41snash
Jan 1, 2:59pm

I finished my last book of 2020, The Invention of the White Race: Vol 2, bringing my total for the year up to 60. It's less than last year but not too far off. The book was a very thoroughly researched analysis of the origins of racism in the US as an answer to the need for social control of the bonded and slave population. The particular situation in Virginia was contrasted with the Caribbean, South America, and Ireland. The author could have left out the last couple of pages trying to comment on more recent events.

42rocketjk
Jan 1, 3:06pm

I finished Jasper Fforde's delightful dystopian whimsy-fest, Early Riser. I love Fforde and his latest novel doesn't disappoint. I've now started The Conversion of Chaplain Cohen by Herbert Tarr. Written in 1963, the cover of my paperback editions tells us this is "the hilarious adventures of a Jewish chaplain in the United States Air Force."

43fredbacon
Jan 1, 11:21pm

The new thread is up over here.

44LyndaInOregon
Jan 3, 7:17pm

>38 PaperbackPirate: I couldn't get through The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Guess I'm just not entertained (or not entertained any longer) by enthusiastic descriptions of recreational drug use. Loved The Right Stuff. Haven't tried anything else by Tom Wolfe.

45cindydavid4
Jan 3, 10:11pm

I didn't even like it back in the day; Read other things by Wolfe and he is easier to take the farther into his works you go.

46cindydavid4
Jan 16, 9:31pm

Ive lost the thread for this, someone pls give me a link, thanks

48cindydavid4
Jan 17, 10:43am

thanks!!