What are we reading Jan-June 2024

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What are we reading Jan-June 2024

1mdoris
Dez 31, 2023, 7:45 pm

Please add books, comments and ratings if you would like to!

2LynnB
Jan 1, 9:26 am

I've declared 2024 the YOBB (Year of Big Books) as I intend to get through some of the larger tomes that have been on my TBR shelves for a while. So far, I've read 14 of the 731 pages of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.

3rabbitprincess
Jan 1, 11:17 am

>2 LynnB: Great idea, Lynn!

In contrast, I will probably start 2024 with a short book, likely a graphic novel. I'm thinking A Man and His Cat, Vol. 8, by Umi Sakurai (translated by Taylor Engel).

4Cecilturtle
Jan 2, 2:07 pm

I'm halfway through three books,
The Feast of All Saints by Anne Rice, a historical fiction about the free mixed-race French people in the 1840. The style is full of flourishes but it's really interesting.

Men Who Hate Women by Laura Bates, recommended by LynnB. I had actually tried to start an Everyday Sexism initiative at work, based on Bates's initial idea, but it was too controversial. 10 years later this book comes out and it's more relevant than ever. Truly disturbing but Bates does an amazing job of pulling all the strings together.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake, a WWII novel set half in London, half in a sleepy Massachusetts town. The writing is very strong even if the story a bit slow to unfold.

5Cecilturtle
Jan 2, 2:12 pm

>2 LynnB: You can join us here if you need a bit of support!
https://www.librarything.fr/ngroups/24196/2024-BIG-FAT-BOOK-CHALLENGE

6rabbitprincess
Jan 2, 6:10 pm

Loved A Man and His Cat, Vol. 8 and immediately requested Volume 9 from the library. While I wait for it, I've started Les poisons de la couronne, by Maurice Druon.

7LynnB
Jan 3, 7:26 am

>2 LynnB: looks interesting! But I can't post??

8Cecilturtle
Editado: Jan 3, 12:36 pm

>7 LynnB: Are you talking about the BFB group? Did you formally join? I don't think you can post if you haven't joined.

9LynnB
Jan 7, 7:58 pm

I'm a little over half way thru Alexander Hamilton but have had to put it aside for library book deadlines and book club reads. I'm starting Pornography War: The Past, Present, and Future of America's Obscene Obsession by Kelsy Burke

10rabbitprincess
Jan 7, 10:08 pm

Just started a hefty biography of Mal Evans, the Beatles' roadie: Living the Beatles Legend, by Kenneth Womack. It has holds on it at the library, so I might have to read it in two goes (for reasons of time, not for lack of interest).

11rabbitprincess
Jan 8, 5:57 pm

Finished my current bus book, Les Poisons de la couronne, by Maurice Druon. Now I'm changing genres and languages with Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones.

12LynnB
Jan 10, 3:06 pm

13LibraryCin
Editado: Jan 13, 3:30 pm

Oops! In the process of reviewing and posting two books right now. I usually only post my Canadian reads here, but this is the other one!

14LibraryCin
Jan 13, 3:49 pm

Fayne / Ann-Marie MacDonald
3 stars

In the late 19th century, 12-year old Charlotte lives with her father at Fayne (in Scotland or England). Her mother died in childbirth and her brother died when she was young, as well (Charlotte does not remember her brother). Charlotte is extremely smart and her father hires a tutor for her (who is initially perturbed that he was brought to tutor a girl). She wants to attend university.

This did not turn out as I’d expected. It was very long and I’m rating it ok. There were parts I liked (more toward the beginning of the book), but whenever we switched perspectives, I felt like I was starting over (even though after the first couple of times, we were mostly going back and continuing from where the last switch left off), and wasn’t interested for the first bit (of every switch). It took time to get interested again, but just as that happened, we switched again.

So, the other perspective is Charlotte’s mother. I honestly didn’t find this nearly as interesting, overall, as Charlotte herself. Though, after a bit, I was interested (then… switch!). Clarissa (Charlotte’s aunt) was a piece of work, wow! I didn’t like her from the start. The end was a bit weird: Did Charlotte live to about 140 years old!?

15LynnB
Jan 14, 8:47 am

16Cecilturtle
Jan 15, 2:40 pm

I've finished Sans feu ni lieu by Fred Vargas, one of my favourite French detective fiction writers.

I've also picked up the small book Histoires jamais entendues dans un sushi bar au Japon par Masayo Kokonoke, a series of short stories.
It's part of a travelling series called Histoires jamais entendues (insert typical location of a country here); so far there are 5 countries: Japan, Nepal, Ireland, Spain and Brazil. Several other countries are planned, including Canada. The books are written by authors from the country. My daughter and I were so delighted by the idea that we bought all 5 in the series in a floating barge bookstore in Paris - one of the most unique and lovely bookstores I've ever been in. I recommend it: https://www.penichelibrairie.com/

18rabbitprincess
Jan 23, 8:24 pm

I've switched from fantasy to crime with Mystery Man, by Colin Bateman. A friend picked this up for me at a used bookstore in Toronto because it was on my to-read list and the library didn't have it.

19LynnB
Jan 23, 9:38 pm

I'm starting Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson

20Cecilturtle
Jan 28, 6:04 pm

I finished Maximum City Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta who was a Pulitzer Prize finalist around 2005. Well-deserved: his writing and ability to bring the city to life is outstanding.

21LynnB
Jan 29, 6:15 pm

22rabbitprincess
Jan 29, 6:27 pm

Hankering for a re-read, so I pulled an Agatha Christie off the shelves: Easy to Kill (aka Murder Is Easy).

23Cecilturtle
Jan 30, 1:47 pm

I've finished The Feast of All Saints by Anne Rice, a historical novel about Creole society in New Orleans, right after the Louisiana Purchase. Very interesting and, of course with Rice, high in colour and drama.

24Cecilturtle
Editado: Fev 6, 9:53 am

I've started A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George, my first book from this author. My dad loved it, and he doesn't read much, so I'm looking forward to it. It's a 700 page door stop so I'll have time to settle in!

25LynnB
Fev 5, 5:42 pm

I'm re-reading The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver for a book club.

26LynnB
Fev 10, 5:58 pm

I am about to re-read The Way the Crow Flies by one of my favourite authors, Ann-Marie MacDonald for a book club discussion.

27LibraryCin
Fev 12, 10:41 pm

What Strange Paradise / Omar El Akkad
4 stars

Amir is a 9-year old Syrian boy who survives a shipwreck. Everyone else to be seen has washed up on shore, dead. He is on an island, but doesn’t know where he is, nor does he understand the language. When two men see him and point and shout, Amir gets scared and runs. He runs into Vanna, 15-years old and though they are unable to communicate verbally, she hides him.

The story then shifts to “Before”, which brings us up to date on how Amir got where he is. We go back and forth between Amir’s before and “After”. Much of after is told from Vanna’s POV, but occasionally we switch to the POV of a colonial who is dead set on finding Amir, the little boy who ran away.

Given that it’s (primarily) from a 9-year old’s POV, it took a bit to figure out what was going on through much of the story. I am still not sure I understand the ending. But it was a “good” (powerful) story, even so.

28Cecilturtle
Fev 13, 2:19 pm

>27 LibraryCin: I work with El Akkad's mom and got a signed copy (my little boasting moment!). Like you, I didn't so much enjoy it as I found it powerful and though-provoking.

I finished Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman. It was a good story. I enjoyed Dr. Delaware's psychoanalyses but the intrigue was plodding: I definitely was not sitting on the edge of my seat since I figured out the denouement fairly easily.

29LibraryCin
Fev 13, 9:56 pm

>28 Cecilturtle: Oh, that's pretty cool you work with his mom!

30WeeTurtle
Fev 14, 9:25 pm

I planned on reducing my tbr pile but I bought three more books while I was out today so that's not about to happen right away.

I was invited to a book club this year so I'm reading for that. Right now it's Hag-Seed (my pick), Atwood's retelling of The Tempest and after that it's The Silent Patient which I'm not familiar with.

My friend and I are also reading through Tamsin Muir's The Locked Tomb series as it was recommended to him based on a book he's writing. We're both literature nerds so it's fun to read and compare. We've read through Gideon and Harrow, and I'm waiting for Nona the Ninth to arrive at the library. Not my favourite in terms of writing, but the discussions we've been having about what might be going on (especially in Harrow) have been fun. Science Fantasy I've heard it called, genre wise.

And the books I picked up recently are Annihilation (the movie was really neat so reading the book), No Longer Human (I saw a Junji Ito manga based on this but I'm not much of a manga reader), Slaughterhouse Five (because I haven't read it yet) and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman because I wanted another Murakami book.

Oh, and the previous book club book we read was The Personal Librarian. I got an audio copy and really enjoyed it. It's a fictionalized account of the life of Belle da Costa Greene, the librarian for the J. P. Morgan library in New York. I had no idea who she was at the start and found the politics and art scene in New York at the time to be interesting.

31LynnB
Fev 18, 4:10 pm

I'm starting the Canada Reads shortlist with The Future by Catherine Leroux

32Cecilturtle
Fev 19, 10:17 am

I finished Seeing Others by Canadian-American Michèle Lamont with the subtitle: How Recognition Works and How it Can Heal a Divided World.
I was a little disappointed that Lamont didn't draw more on the Canadian model - it's all very US focused. It tries to present various points of view and in doing so, muddles the main message. It's very narrow in scope but with wildly broad approach. In short, I didn't love it, but I agree that it's important to apply a sociology lens to modern problems and not just an economy one.

33librorumamans
Fev 19, 5:10 pm

>30 WeeTurtle:

You have misspelled Tamsyn and therefore have created a dead link to her author page.

34ted74ca
Fev 20, 1:03 pm

As usual, I'm doing very little reading, as I'm just too busy with everything (work, my dog and her sports and a big reno at my house). I did manage to finish
A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman, which I really enjoyed
and Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson, which I liked, but it made me sad again that there will be no more Inspector Banks novels.

35LynnB
Fev 21, 7:07 am

I'm reading Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune for Canada Reads

36LynnB
Fev 21, 11:01 pm

About to start my third Canada Reads books, Shut Up You're Pretty, a collection of short stories by Tea Mutonji.

37LynnB
Fev 23, 2:12 pm

I'm continuing my Canada Reads pentathlon with Bad Cree by Jessica Johns

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