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WHAT ARE YOU READING? - Part 1

Club Read 2019

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1AnnieMod
Edited: Jan 2, 7:08am Top

Welcome to the first "What are you reading?" thread for the year. Pull up a chair closer to the fire (or under the shade on the veranda if you live in a place where it is really not the season for fires) and tell us how your reading year started. And don't forget to come back and update us on your reading - while the individual threads are your own diaries, this thread is the groups's diary.

So happy new year and have a wonderful reading year!

2dchaikin
Jan 1, 8:00pm Top

I started the year reading James Baldwin : a Biography by David Adams Leeming.

3rhian_of_oz
Jan 1, 8:11pm Top

My new year reading started with A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan and Dear Santa edited by Samuel Johnson OAM. We're on holiday at the moment and (unlike most of my friends) I tend to read less than normal as we're busy doing other activities.

4SouthernKiwi
Jan 1, 8:29pm Top

I've carried Becoming over from 2018 and am nearly finished, up next will be A Natural History of Dragons I think.

>3 rhian_of_oz: I'll have to drop by your thread to compare notes on A Natural History :-)

5japaul22
Jan 1, 8:41pm Top

I'm rereading Crime and Punishment in a beautiful Folio Society edition and reading SPQR by Mary Beard.

6thorold
Jan 2, 2:37am Top

On the morning of New Year’s Day I finished listening to Richard Dawkins reading the first part of his memoirs, An appetite for wonder - which he does beautifully. At the moment I’m reading Eric Orsenna’s L'Exposition coloniale.

7rhian_of_oz
Jan 2, 3:29am Top

>4 SouthernKiwi: I look forward to it.

8RidgewayGirl
Jan 2, 11:48am Top

I'm halfway through The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman, which is about a girl who was kidnapped and held for almost two years, and also about Vladimir Nabokov while he was working on Lolita.

I've also just started Warlight by Michael Ondaatje and all I can say about it so far is that the writing is very, very good.

9torontoc
Jan 2, 1:03pm Top

I really liked Warlight
I am reading The Lost A Search for Six of the Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn for the Non-Fiction
Challenge at the 75 Books Read Group. For fiction , I started The Kills by Richard House- i am not sure if I like it yet.

10japaul22
Jan 2, 1:05pm Top

>8 RidgewayGirl: I've been interested in The Real Lolita but read some mixed reviews. I'll be interested to hear what you think.

11arubabookwoman
Jan 2, 3:48pm Top

I am reading The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton and Blood’s a Rover by James Ellroy, the final volume of the amazing Underworld USA Trilogy.

12AlisonY
Jan 2, 4:33pm Top

I'm still in the very early stages of We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates. I've been trying to give the kids a lot of my time in these last few days of school holidays before I go back to work on Friday, so not had much reading time.

13shadrach_anki
Jan 2, 4:48pm Top

I am reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It is the January selection for my IRL book group, and we are meeting to discuss it on the 9th. As a result, I think I will end up reading it more quickly than I might want to.

I had visions of all sorts of reading time over the Christmas holidays, but the reality was less book time and more time spent with family and friends, and cooking. So much cooking.

14AnnieMod
Jan 2, 5:09pm Top

I started Moon of the Crusted Snow last night which is a mix between "a life in a First Nation tribe" novel and an apocalyptic one. So far, it is an interesting read.

15NanaCC
Jan 2, 7:44pm Top

I finished in the Presence of the Enemy by Elizabeth George last night. Tonight I will start A Morbid Taste for Bones (Brother Cadfael Cronicles). It is Book 1 in the series by Ellis Peters.

I’m listening to The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths.

17rhian_of_oz
Jan 3, 9:47am Top

Next on my list is Personal Injuries by Scott Turow which I'm reading as part of the January TBRCat.

18BLBera
Jan 3, 10:27am Top

I'm reading The Bus on Thursday, and I can tell it will be one I want to discuss with people.

19dchaikin
Jan 3, 12:48pm Top

I should add that I’m listening to Becoming. Recommended to those who need a pick-me-up. She reads the audiobook herself.

20MsNick
Edited: Jan 3, 1:22pm Top

My first book of 2019 is My Sister, the Serial Killer. So far, so good!

21MarcusBastos
Jan 3, 4:41pm Top

Just finished listening The Quest for Certainty, by John Dewey. Review in my thread.

22avaland
Jan 3, 4:43pm Top

Blew through Peter Høeg's latest: The Susan Effect, and now I'm about the crack the latest Rebus novel by Ian Rankin.... Also, carrying on with Why We Dream: The Transformative Power of Our Nightly Journey by Alice Robb.

23avaland
Jan 3, 4:45pm Top

Isn't the vary of books this group reads... amazing?!

24ELiz_M
Jan 4, 1:56pm Top

>14 AnnieMod: You read interesting, vaguely sci-fi novels. I think I read Trafalgar by Angélica Gorodischer based on your review and loved it. Please let me (us?) know what you think of this!

25thorold
Jan 4, 2:06pm Top

Finished L'Exposition coloniale, which was fun, but felt a bit less focussed than I was expecting. I've started the Booker winner, Milkman, which was on my TBR shelf, but I've also got a big fresh pile of library books to tempt me...

26baswood
Jan 4, 5:15pm Top

My next book is The Discoverie of Witchcraft by Reginald Scot

27dchaikin
Jan 6, 8:42am Top

I read the really curious Jude yesterday, which means I've finished the Catholic Epistles. One more NT book to read, Revelations.

28dchaikin
Jan 6, 5:23pm Top

And so I've started... Twelfth Night. I'm reading it with a Litsy Group, one act a week.

29mabith
Jan 7, 1:08am Top

I'm bogged down in Peter the Great by Robert K. Massie.

30thorold
Edited: Jan 7, 2:31am Top

Finished Milkman, which is brilliant and stands a good chance of being one of my top books of 2019 (maybe I should just stop now...).

I’ve moved on to Eric Vuillard’s L’Ordre du jour - I somehow seem to have fallen into a groove of books that have won major prizes. Neither this nor the other scarlet thread through my 2019 reading so far, “books by people called Eric”, was planned in any way...

>29 mabith: Bad luck! I never quite saw the point of Massie.

31ELiz_M
Jan 7, 7:44am Top

Just started The Maze at Windermere for book club. The first chapter was meh, but the next got better.

32torontoc
Jan 7, 8:39am Top

Just started Winter by Ali Smith

33avaland
Jan 7, 9:26am Top

>27 dchaikin: Oh, Revelations should be fun.

34benitastrnad
Jan 7, 11:55am Top

I finished reading What There Is To Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell edited by Suzanne Marrs. I started reading this one in October. At first I found it boring, but then I got into the friendship and realized that writing letters is an act of friendship and I ended up really liking this book.

35dchaikin
Jan 7, 1:34pm Top

>33 avaland: reading about it has been - well, a little crazy actually.

36bragan
Jan 8, 6:46pm Top

I started the year off with Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke, the final book in kids' fantasy trilogy (which had a good story but was overlong), and A Man of Shadows by Jeff Noon, an almost eerily apt pick from my SantaThing santa.

I'm now reading David Sedaris's Calypso.

37baswood
Jan 8, 7:09pm Top

A History of God by Karen Armstrong

38lisapeet
Edited: Jan 8, 7:17pm Top

>34 benitastrnad: It’s a sweet book, is it it? I’ve had it on my bedside table forever and dip in and out whenever I need a bit of gentility and rose bush talk. I love correspondence collections—I like to write physical letters myself—and that ease of communication is such a nice model.

My first book of the year was Ways to Hide in Winter, which was about guilt, forgiveness, and compassion, and I’m currently reading The Devoted, which digs deep into themes of faith, fidelity, and searching. Two very thinky books, which I like... though my next just may have to be a potboiler to even things out. We’ll see.

39avaland
Jan 8, 7:18pm Top

Just finished the most recent Rebus novel. Yum. I read it in two days mostly because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to keep track of all the characters and plot points if I left it for long. I also realize I've been aging alongside Rebus....

40BLBera
Jan 9, 9:00am Top

I just finished Winter. I love Ali Smith, and this novel is certainly one of ideas. I liked Autumn a bit more, though.

41thorold
Jan 9, 9:49am Top

Finished a little dip into the pioneering submarine-warfare epic, Beowulf, and got through listening to Zorba the Greek without succumbing to the urge to stretch my arms out and start dancing.

Have now started in on Alles außer irdisch, a well-meant Christmas present from someone who thought I like science-fiction...

>40 BLBera: I’m looking forward to Spring! (Appropriately enough, it’s due out at the end of March.)

42jojoasdwer123
Jan 9, 12:28pm Top

This year for christmas i got a H.P. Lovecraft collection including The Tails of Randolph Carter and the call of cthulhu. While they are rather morbid, they are a great read

43RidgewayGirl
Jan 9, 12:51pm Top

I'm still reading Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. I wasn't expecting to like it much - I didn't find The English Patient to be particularly noteworthy, but this is really good - very atmospheric and sort of cloudy.

I'm also reading A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen, about a guy who moves to Moscow to take care of grandmother, who has Alzheimer's. He has a doctorate in Slavic Studies, but is stuck teaching on-line classes and scrambling to find a decent teaching job. It's just great.

44RaMurray
Jan 9, 1:10pm Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
So sorry to bother you..I was bullied for 4 years, it affected my whole life. I always loved writing and after 32 years I finally gained the courage to write my first Novel- My Dead Blue Caterpillar. Would love for you to read it if you like 🙏

https://www.amazon.com/DEAD-BLUE-CATERPILLAR-R-D-Murray-ebook/dp/B07H73YF4G/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546873653&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=my+dead+blue+caterpillars&dpPl=1&dpID=516Ue-yH6eL&ref=plSrch

45jojoasdwer123
Jan 9, 1:40pm Top

I just read it. and it was amazing. Good for you to do what you love in the face of the worlds cruelties. If only the rest of the world showed the courage you do.

46shadrach_anki
Jan 9, 2:51pm Top

I finished Being Mortal last night and now I am struggling a bit with what to pick up next. I have a whole pile of books I have previously started, but picking the right one for my mood is proving to be tricky. I think I'll go with Whose Body?, which I started back in January of last year, restarted in December, then paused on in order to finish the book group book.

47BLBera
Jan 9, 3:54pm Top

>43 RidgewayGirl: Kay - I also was not a huge fan of The English Patient; I've liked almost all of his other books more than that one. I did like Warlight.

>41 thorold: I am also looking forward to Spring - in every sense of the word.

48NanaCC
Jan 9, 9:16pm Top

I’ve finished listening to The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths. I have started listening to Becoming by Michelle Obama.

49BLBera
Jan 10, 12:26am Top

I just started West.

50lisapeet
Jan 10, 6:06am Top

>49 BLBera: Interested to hear what you think about that one—it's been on my pile for a while.

I finished The Devoted and moved on to Ghost Wall, which is reminding me a bit of Elmet so far.

51avaland
Jan 10, 7:01am Top

>50 lisapeet: I just started Ghost Wall yesterday, only reading the first chapter, though. It had me thinking back to some of Atwood's pieces about her father dragging them off into the woods for his work.

52rhian_of_oz
Jan 10, 9:14am Top

I had a book come in at the library so I started reading Last Seen In Lhasa during my walk there and back.

53benitastrnad
Jan 10, 12:12pm Top

I finished reading Straight On Till Morning: The Biography of Beryl Markham by Mary S. Lovell. This is a straightforward biography with all the facts of this remarkable woman's life. I had read Markham's autobiography West With the Night late last year and found it to be a wonderful book to read, but it left me with questions about Markham's life. For that reason I picked up this biography. It filled in the holes and I am glad I read it.

54MsNick
Jan 10, 1:02pm Top

I'm rereading A Prayer for Owen Meany for my book club. I loved it 20-odd years ago, so I'm wondering if it will hold up for me.

55japaul22
Jan 10, 8:12pm Top

I finished Crime and Punishment so I've started Quicksand by Nella Larsen. I had never heard of her, but I found her on the 1001 books list. She is a mixed race American writer in the 1920s. Her father was a black American and her mother was a Danish immigrant. Quicksand is largely autobiographical.

I'm also getting close to finishing SPQR.

56BLBera
Edited: Jan 10, 9:18pm Top

>50 lisapeet: I really liked it; it's short but very compelling with wonderful characterization. I want to read both Elmet and Ghost Wall:) I'll watch for your comments on the later.

57AlisonY
Jan 11, 4:39am Top

I've finished JCOs We Were the Mulvaneys (enjoyed it - good gripping family saga). I'm now on to the first of a recent New Year book haul - Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood, which is a fictional novel about the wives and mistresses of Ernest Hemingway.

58rachbxl
Jan 11, 7:14am Top

I’m 50 pages into The Sixteen Trees of the Somme by Norwegian writer Lars Mytting, and the premise for a great mystery has just been set up. It just caught my eye in the library yesterday.

59MarcusBastos
Jan 11, 7:31am Top

Just finished reading Mensalão: Diário de um Julgamento, by Joaquim Falcão, portuguese edition. The book is about a corruption’ scandal and its judgement in Brazilian Supreme Court. Review in my thread.

60rhian_of_oz
Jan 11, 8:53am Top

I felt like something different for my end-of-the-work-week read so I started The Lost Letters of William Woolf which I picked up at the library. It was in addition to the book I'd requested but how can you walk out of the library with just one book?

61arubabookwoman
Jan 12, 12:10am Top

I am reading The Seventh Cross by Anna Seghers, a novel set in Nazi Germany just pre-WW II, about the escape of some political prisoners from a concentration camp. It’s very good, and the depiction of the fear that many ordinary Germans lived with under Hitler is fascinating.

62rhian_of_oz
Jan 12, 7:23am Top

I bought some shiny new books today and started The Waiter on the trip home.

63BLBera
Jan 12, 11:44am Top

>61 arubabookwoman: This one sounds good, Deborah.

I just started The Golden State, which seems good so far.

64dchaikin
Jan 12, 2:12pm Top

Finished Revelation today, which means I've finished not only the NT but I've now read through all the basic biblical writings (OT, NT and Apocrypha). I started Jan 1, 2012. Doesn't mean I'm starting any new books yet, however. Have three others going on.

65ELiz_M
Jan 12, 2:47pm Top

>64 dchaikin: What an accomplishment! I wonder if you will feel at a slight loss, once the excitement of being finished is over?

66dchaikin
Jan 12, 2:50pm Top

>65 ELiz_M: Immediate feeling is just the opposite. : ) I really liked taking it off my currently reading post - it’s been there a long time.

67rhian_of_oz
Jan 13, 3:50am Top

I went looking for Manual for the Solution of Military Ciphers based on Katherine's (qebo) recommendation and it was *right there* waiting for me to read it.

68AlisonY
Edited: Jan 13, 5:49pm Top

LOVED Mrs. Hemingway. Reading a short filler at the moment whilst I choose my next fictional read - Back the Basics: The Education You Wish You'd Had by Caroline Taggart.

69LadyoftheLodge
Jan 13, 8:35pm Top

Finished Good-bye, Christopher Robin by Ann Thwaite and Getting Old is a Disaster by Ruth Lakin, very different books from one another, but enjoyed both of them. I am currently reading Wicked Wildlife by Mildred Abbott, from the Cozy Corgi mystery series.

70lisapeet
Jan 13, 8:49pm Top

>51 avaland: Interested to hear what you think of Ghost Wall. It was dark enough that I appreciated its brevity—I'm not sure I would have wanted to live in that world for more than 200 pages—but I thought it was well done and absorbing.

Now I'm reading Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming, which is delightful. I was a big fan of hers already, and have been looking forward to reading this since I saw her talking about it at a conference last summer. Her voice in this is just terrific.

71markon
Edited: Jan 14, 7:04pm Top

I've been hearing good things about Ghost Wall, and have requested Cold Earth, a previous novel by Sarah Moss.

Right now I'm reading Song in a weary throat, Pauli Murray's autobiography, and the latest Wiilliam Kent Krueger, Desolation Mountain.

72japaul22
Jan 14, 8:47pm Top

I've started The Sea House by Esther Freud (thanks for the recommendation Alison!) and Augustus by John Williams. Seems like a good time to read that after recently finishing SPQR. I've only read about 20 pages but can already see so many references I'd miss or be confused about if I hadn't read SPQR first.

73lilisin
Jan 14, 9:49pm Top

I've read two novels so far.

1) Yoko Tawada : The Last Children of Tokyo
2) Philip K. Dick : Ubik

Both good books that kept me turning the page but nothing that'll leave a lasting impression by the end of the year.

74AlisonY
Jan 15, 3:42am Top

I've started on Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd, which seems to be bringing up lots of strange touchstone titles that contain sleeve quotation recommendations rather than the proper title. The actual book is 'Unnatural Causes: The Life and Many Deaths of Britain's Top Forensic Pathologist'.

So far so interesting.

75Dilara86
Edited: Jan 15, 3:58am Top

76thorold
Jan 15, 4:18am Top

In the last few days I've finished two Christmas present books: the Berlin-based, H2G2-ish Alles außer irdisch and Adam Kay's medical memoir This is going to hurt (which reminded me of the first thing I learnt at college: never sit within earshot of the medics at lunchtime). And two short books for the Mediterranean theme-read, Sworn virgin by Elvira Dones (Albania) and Scenes from village life by the late Amos Oz (Israel). I'm going to have to read more Oz...

Now reading another Daniel Kehlmann novel, F, and another Med-thread book, What's Left of the Night by Ersi Sotiropoulos (Greece).

77avaland
Jan 15, 7:08am Top

>70 lisapeet: I'm 3/4 through Ghost Wall and am somewhat speechless about the book. There is something so compelling about it, and something so ...er...current (and not just because it's touted as a feminist story -- perhaps it something about our relationship between the past, the present and the future?) The NYTBR has a full page on it, but I don't want to read that until I've finished the book. I bought the book because I've read two other Sarah Moss novels, and have a fourth in the TBR pile.

Finished Why We Dream and along with finishing up the Sarah Moss mentioned previously, I'm read Ann Turner's thriller set in Antarctica, Out of the Ice.

78lisapeet
Jan 15, 7:25am Top

>77 avaland: Yeah, it's a strange bird, but a very irresistible one. I do think it would have become cumbersome as a longer book, and am glad she made the editorial choices she did.

Michelle Obama's memoir is like the antidote to that, though! Whatever kind of advisement/help she had on this book—and I like to think she did most of the writing herself—was spot on. It's a very smart, insightful comfort read, which I think is no small feat.

79japaul22
Jan 15, 8:40am Top

>77 avaland: Ghost Wall immediately goes on my list. I've been meaning to get to a Sarah Moss book for a while and it hasn't happened. This one sounds excellent.

80RidgewayGirl
Jan 15, 10:26am Top

I've now checked a copy of Ghost Wall out from the library.

I'm almost finished rereading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. It's well worth a second read, and I'm finding that different aspects stand out to me this time. I'm looking forward to my book club discussion tomorrow night.

I'm also reading The Lonely Witness by William Boyle, a crime novel where the main character behaves erratically and seemingly without motivation. Hoping the author pulls it all together in the end.

And I've started Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala, about a young man sent to live in Nigeria when his parents discover his sexual orientation.

81dchaikin
Edited: Jan 15, 1:36pm Top

>78 lisapeet: Just finished Becoming this morning. What will I do without the daily inspiration to combat the daily awful news?

For my next audiobook I’m going to try How to Be Both by Ali Smith. I’ll blame many people here for finally trying this author and Mark (thorold), specifically for this title. It will be my first Ali Smith.

82baswood
Jan 15, 5:26pm Top

I am reading The other side of the sun, Paul capon. Paul Capon was a British science fiction writer and this is the first book in his Antigeos trilogy.

83ELiz_M
Edited: Jan 16, 1:22pm Top

I finished my RL book-club book five minutes before our meeting. Now I have to finish the bewildering Pricksongs and Descants and get underway with the (so far) enticing Pointed Roofs.

84shadrach_anki
Jan 16, 2:22pm Top

I finished both reading Whose Body? and listening to Zero G yesterday, so I have started on Miss Landon and Aubranael (ebook) and Foreigner (audiobook, technically a reread).

And I need to see if the library copies of Remarkable Creatures are available yet; it is the February selection for my IRL book group.

85benitastrnad
Jan 16, 7:09pm Top

I finished volume 2 in the Stormwrack trilogy by A. M. Dellamonica. Daughter of No Nation was my lunch hour read at work and it did make the hour go by fast.

86lisapeet
Jan 16, 9:35pm Top

>81 dchaikin: I knooooow. I'm only about halfway through but really, it's my ray of sunshine for the day. And the good vibe reverberates: yesterday I was squashed on the #1 train downtown with hundreds of my fellow commuters when I noticed that the woman standing next to me was reading the book too. And I nudged her, held up my copy, and did a little "cheers" motion, and she did the same. Tell you what, anything that makes me smile on the subway is a good thing.

87rhian_of_oz
Yesterday, 8:32am Top

I finished the book I was reading on the trip to work, so on the way home I started A Train in Winter which I picked up from the library on Tuesday.

88rachbxl
Yesterday, 8:41am Top

I'm enjoying two library books at the moment, I'll be Right There by Kyung-sook Shin (South Korea) and No soy un monstruo by Carme Chaparro (Spain).

89japaul22
Yesterday, 8:42am Top

>81 dchaikin: and >86 lisapeet:
I'm listening to the audio version of Becoming and also loving it.

90lisapeet
Yesterday, 11:21am Top

>89 japaul22: Who reads it?

91RidgewayGirl
Yesterday, 11:56am Top

>90 lisapeet: Michelle Obama. I've snagged a copy from audible and just in time as my son discovered a new author and all my credits were gone.

92NanaCC
Yesterday, 11:59am Top

>90 lisapeet:, >91 RidgewayGirl: I’m listening to it now, and it is wonderful.

93lisapeet
Edited: Yesterday, 12:11pm Top

>91 RidgewayGirl: Oh, nice. I can hear her voice in my head as I read, and her husband's when she quotes him. I guess that's one good thing about celebrity memoirs.

The same woman reading the book was on my train again this morning, and we actually sat next to each other, smiled at each other, and buried our heads in our respective books.

94dchaikin
Yesterday, 1:51pm Top

All these posts on Becoming. !! It’s like a group mood balm. Lisa - i’m imaging a picture of you guys on tbe subway! Great story.

>87 rhian_of_oz: wishing you strength through ATiW. Tough book I still think about.

95mabith
Yesterday, 2:14pm Top

I'm re-reading Rebels and Traitors by Lindsey Davis, which I'm loving just as much the second time. Also going at Lost Kingdom: The Quest for Empire and the Making of the Russian Nation by Serhii Plokhy.

96BLBera
Yesterday, 8:53pm Top

I'm reading Mothering Sunday for my RL book club.

Group: Club Read 2019

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