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BLBera's Reading in 2020 - Page 2

This is a continuation of the topic BLBera's Reading in 2020 - Page 1.

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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1BLBera
Edited: Feb 6, 10:11pm Top


My name is Beth. I love books – talking about them, writing about them, reading about them. I also love to read with my granddaughter Scout.

I teach English at my local community college, so I am always looking for books I can use in my classes. I like to discover new writers.

I tend not to plan my reading, other than for my book club, which meets once a month.

This year I would like to read more nonfiction and increase my reading in translation.

Welcome to my thread. Lurk or stop and say hello.

2BLBera
Edited: Yesterday, 10:15am Top

Currently Reading

3alcottacre
Feb 6, 6:23pm Top

Happy new thread, Beth!

4quondame
Feb 6, 6:25pm Top

Happy new thread!

5BLBera
Edited: Feb 6, 6:30pm Top

You must read this!

In the Time of the Butterflies is based on the story of Las Marisposas, three sisters who were murdered by Trujillo. Set in the Dominican Republic, Alvarez fictionalizes their lives and struggles. Excellent historical fiction.

6BLBera
Feb 6, 6:27pm Top

7BLBera
Edited: Feb 14, 10:04am Top

Plans for 2020 (always subject to change)
Shared Reads:
✔️January: The Bone Clocks with Ellen and Twin 1
March: Tracks with Twin 1, Ellen, Laura
August: The House of the Spirits - Ellen

Book Club Choices
✔️The Friend
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The French Lieutenant's Woman
Sula
The Overstory
An American Marriage
Midnight's Children
Go, Went, Gone
The Handmaid's Tale
Miss Emily
The Phantom Tollbooth

Public Library Open Book Challenge
A book with a number in the title
A book by a celebrity or someone famous for something other than writing
A book about Russia or by a Russian author
📘 A book of short stories - Grand Union
📘 A book with parallel narrative - The Bone Clocks
A book about a president - real or fictional
An Own Voices novel
📘 A book by Agatha Christie And Then There Were None
A book narrated by a non-human
A book about incarceration
A book about nature/environment
An epistolary novel
A book of mythology or retelling of a myth
📘 A book with more than four words in the title A Long Petal of the Sea

8BLBera
Edited: Feb 9, 1:18pm Top

More Plans for 2020
Reading from my shelves, by the alphabet:
✔️A - Allison Amend - Enchanted Islands
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
✔️M - David Mitchell - The Bone Clocks
N
O
P
Q
R
S
✔️T - Natasha Trethewey - Monument
✔️T - David Treuer - The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

9BLBera
Edited: Yesterday, 10:10am Top

Read in 2020
January
1. Grand Union
2. The Bone Clocks* 💜
3. Cantoras
4. Monument*
5. Enchanted Islands*
6. Tricky Twenty-Two*
7. Will and Testament
8. The Dutch House

January Reading Report
Books read: 8
By women: 7
By men: 1
Novels: 6
Poetry: 1
Short stories: 1
In translation: 1

Library: 5
- Audiobook: 1
- Physical copies: 4
From my shelves: 3
- Physical copies 3
- Gave away: 1

February
9. A Long Petal of the Sea
10. And Then There Were None* REREAD
11. No Fixed Line
12. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee*
13. The Friend* REREAD
14. The Decent Inn of Death
15. Grass

*From my shelves

10msf59
Feb 6, 6:52pm Top

Happy New Thread, Beth. I like your idea of doing a Must Read This post. I need to borrow that. You get any snow, up your way?

11figsfromthistle
Feb 6, 6:54pm Top

Happy new one!

12BLBera
Feb 6, 7:30pm Top

>10 msf59: Thanks Mark. I borrowed that from Katie. I think we're expecting snow tomorrow, more on Sunday.

>11 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita. Thanks.

13mdoris
Feb 6, 7:50pm Top

Happy new thread Beth. >5 BLBera: added to the list!

14alcottacre
Feb 6, 7:58pm Top

>5 BLBera: Dodging that BB. I read it several years ago. Glad to see the book has another fan!

15AnneDC
Feb 6, 8:01pm Top

Happy new thread!

I'm glad you enjoyed In the Time of the Butterflies. I read it at about the same time I read The Feast of the Goat which also is set in Trujillo-era Dominican Republic--it made for a great pairing. I also enjoyed How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents which iwas Alvarez's first novel.

16weird_O
Feb 6, 8:17pm Top

Oh! Tra la la. New thread. Good fun.

17BLBera
Feb 6, 10:05pm Top

>13 mdoris: Thanks Mary.

>14 alcottacre: It is a good one, Stasia.

>15 AnneDC: Hi Anne. Thanks. Time of the Butterflies is also good read with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Feast of the Goat is great as well although I had to skip over some of the torture.

I love Garcia Girls. Did you know Alvarez has a new novel coming out this year? I can't wait.

>16 weird_O: Hi Bill. Thanks.

18EBT1002
Feb 6, 10:23pm Top

Hi Beth. Will and Testament from your last thread looks right up my alley so I'm adding it to the wish list. And I also got selected to receive a copy of Paulette Jiles' new novel! Yay! Perhaps we can read it sort of together when we get our copies?

And okay, I'll look for a copy of In the Time of the Butterflies tomorrow while I'm bookstoring (as Richard called it). I mean, if you say I must read something, I take that seriously! 😀

19drneutron
Feb 6, 10:41pm Top

Happy new thread!

20Familyhistorian
Feb 7, 12:39am Top

Happy new thread, Beth. I sense a colour scheme for your thread toppers. Is that for the winter months?

21Berly
Feb 7, 1:16am Top



Happy new thread!!

22charl08
Feb 7, 2:42am Top

Happy new one, Beth.

I read How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents back in 2016 (where does the time go?!) but need to find a copy of In the time of the butterflies.

23FAMeulstee
Feb 7, 7:30am Top

Happy new thread, Beth.

I will look around for a copy of In the Time of the Butterflies.

24katiekrug
Feb 7, 8:58am Top

Happy new one, Beth!

Your list of current reads is impressive.

I'm glad you're carrying on with the Read This! post. I have the Alvarez on my Kindle. Maybe this will be the year?

Hope you have a great weekend!

25BLBera
Edited: Feb 7, 12:35pm Top

>18 EBT1002: I think you would like Will and Testament, Ellen. I think one needs to be patient because the narrator is so damaged, what one would expect after abuse as a child. And as a psychologist, I think you will appreciate how Hjorth wrote this. I can almost guarantee that you will love In the Time of the Butterflies.

>19 drneutron: Thanks Jim.

>20 Familyhistorian: Yes, it's still winter, Meg. We're expecting a boatload of snow on Sunday, so it will be white again.

>21 Berly: I love it! I used to play that song when I finished projects at work! Only a few people appreciated it. Have great weekend, Twin. I hope you're feeling better.

>22 charl08: Those are my two favorite of Alvarez's novels, Charlotte. I also love her collection of poetry The Woman I Kept to Myself and her essays Something to Declare. I am so excited that she has a new novel coming out this year.

>23 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita. I think you might like it.

>24 katiekrug: Thanks Katie. And I finally finished one! I don't have as many threads as you do, so it's easier to come up with books to recommend.

Have a great weekend. We're expecting a ton of snow tomorrow night into Sunday, so I imagine that I will be shoveling show on Sunday.

26RebaRelishesReading
Feb 7, 12:20pm Top

Happy new thread, Beth. I like your posts of "currently reading" (in big, eye-catching covers) and "you must read this".

27BLBera
Feb 7, 12:27pm Top

Thanks Reba.

28quondame
Feb 7, 12:29pm Top

>25 BLBera: Touchstone nag draws your attention to Something to Declare.

29BLBera
Edited: Feb 7, 12:36pm Top


9. A Long Petal of the Sea begins during the Spanish Civil War and follows Catalan Victor Dalmao through sixty years of his life. As it becomes apparent that the war is lost, Victor and his family head for France. Eventually they end up in Chile.

This is fascinating history, and Allende admits that the characters are based on people she knows, and the historical personages and events are real. That may be part of the problem with the novel. The first 200 pages of this 300-page novel cover five years of Victor's life, while the last 100 pages cover fifty years. After arriving at part III, the characters take a back seat to the historical events. I am interested in the history, but I would have liked more than summaries of the characters in the later third of the novel.

Isabel Allende, who was Salvador Allende's goddaughter (her father was Salvador's sousing), is passionate about the years Salvador was president and the aftermath of life under Pinochet.

So, if this history interests you, pick up this novel -- just don't expect a lot of character development in the last 100 pages. I did like the novel; I learned about events that I didn't know about. For example, I didn't know that many Spanish refugees ended up in Chile. Allende also paints a vivid pictures of Chilean society.

30BLBera
Feb 7, 12:35pm Top

>28 quondame: Fixed it. Thanks.

31BLBera
Feb 7, 1:25pm Top

10. And Then There Were None is a clever puzzle by Christie. I read it as part of my library's challenge. I do think she cheated a little on the reveal, but she did keep me guessing.

32vivians
Feb 7, 2:46pm Top

>5 BLBera: I'm another fan of In The time of The Butterflies. It always gets me that there is so much history I don't know anything about, and the Trujillo regime was one of those eras. I'll definitely add the Allende, thanks.

33streamsong
Feb 7, 3:54pm Top

Hi Beth- Good review of A Long Petal of the Sea. I've read several by Allende, but I know I should read more. And darn it all, the last one I read, Of Love and Shadows, I didn't review and I am struggling to remember the plot.

I do remember The Time of the Butterflies. (not everything escapes my Swiss cheese brain). And as you say, it's nice to learn a bit of history.

34BLBera
Feb 7, 4:00pm Top

>32 vivians: I know, Vivian. I lived in the Dominican Republic - after Trujillo was dead -- but I heard a lot of stories about him.

I think you might like the Allende.

35BLBera
Feb 7, 4:02pm Top

>33 streamsong: Hi Janet - I didn't like some of Allende's more recent ones as well. I have liked her historical novels and those set in Chile the best. I liked this one although the characters in the last third got left behind. The history part was great, though.

36lkernagh
Feb 7, 6:27pm Top

Happy new thread, Beth!

37brenzi
Feb 7, 7:28pm Top

Oh oh oh pairing In the Time of the Butterflies with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.......I can do that. I have both books. Thanks Beth.

Great comments on A Long Petal of the Sea

38BLBera
Feb 7, 7:39pm Top

>36 lkernagh: Thanks Lori.

>37 brenzi: Hi Bonnie - If you haven't read The Feast of the Goat, that would be one to read with them as well -- if you really want to know about Trujillo and the DR. :)

39alcottacre
Feb 7, 7:39pm Top

>29 BLBera: Thanks for the review of A Long Petal of the Sea. I am interested in the history, so I will give it a shot.

40PaulCranswick
Feb 8, 8:42pm Top

Happy new thread, Beth.

>29 BLBera: The Spanish Civil War is also interesting to me too, so Allende's book will be on my list too.

41BLBera
Feb 8, 11:56pm Top

>39 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia. I did enjoy it.

>40 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. Overall, I thought it was a good novel. I had no idea about the connection between the Civil War refugees and Chile.

42EBT1002
Feb 8, 11:56pm Top

>29 BLBera: I wondered about this one. Have you read other works by Allende?
I have only read The House of the Spirits and I read it eons ago, long before I found LT and therefore long before I could appreciate the magical realism of it. I haven't given anything else by her a try but I have occasionally considered a reread of The House of the Spirits; I think it's considered her most iconic novel.

I did pick up a copy of In the Time of Butterflies in Seattle -- the 25th anniversary edition.

Are you getting that predicted snow this weekend?

43EBT1002
Feb 8, 11:57pm Top

>38 BLBera: Oh, and I'm noting that comment about The Feast of the Goat. I have that on the shelves as I bought a lot of Llosa novels when Darryl was warbling about them. I need to get around to reading more of them.

44BLBera
Feb 9, 12:13am Top

I've read quite a few by Allende. House of Spirits is one of my favorites, but I would like to reread it because I also read it eons ago. Island Beneath the Sea was another favorite.

You will love In the Time of the Butterflies - if you are interested in reading novels about Trujillo, that one, The Feast of the Goat and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao are my favorites.

I have quite a few Llosa on my shelves as well. I loved The War of the End of the World and Feast of the Goat.

I think it's supposed to start snowing late tonight and end tomorrow afternoon. It was sunny and dry today.

45Ameise1
Feb 9, 2:59am Top

Congrats on your shiny new thread and happy Sunday, Beth.

46BLBera
Feb 9, 9:56am Top

Thanks Barbara.

47BLBera
Edited: Feb 9, 10:03am Top


11. No Fixed Line is the latest Kate Shugak mystery from Dana Stabenow. One of the things I love about these books is the vivid setting. Stabenow gives us Alaska in all its wonder. In this one, as Kate travels through various out-of-the-way places, she thinks, "Viewing Alaska from the air was a sobering exercise in perspective, capable of making one small insignificant human being feel that much smaller and less significant."

In this one, a plane crashes in an isolated spot in the middle of the blizzard. Two small children survive. Who are they? Why was the plane flying during a blizzard? Kate, and the rest of the community have to figure out the answers. Page turner with a keen sense of Alaskan winter.

48BLBera
Edited: Feb 9, 5:28pm Top


12. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

"This book is meant to tell the story of Indian lives, and Indian histories in such a way as to render those histories and those lives as something much more, much greater and grander, than a catalog of pain."

David Treuer's history of American Indian lives over the past century is a must read for those interested in American history. Treuer has done extensive research -- interviews, census information, historical documents, laws. Through this book, we get an overview of not only the history of how the US government has treated the American Indians, but also of how the Indians have adapted, survived and even thrived. Treuer ends with an overview of some of the activities happening now and looking to the future. By the way, there is a lot more going on than casinos.

I particularly liked that Treuer talks about his own experiences. As he notes in the end: "This book is, obviously, a mélange of history, reportage, and memoir." He also points out that others might have written very different books on the same topic.

Highly recommended.

49charl08
Feb 9, 2:59pm Top

>48 BLBera: I do want to get to this one. Too many books! Maybe the library will help me out when I get back from my trip. Interesting that he mixes his own experience with the history, too.

Might you get a snow day?

50Familyhistorian
Feb 9, 3:32pm Top

I hope you don’t get too much snow, Beth. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

51Storeetllr
Feb 9, 4:33pm Top

Hi, Beth! I've been keeping up with your thread but not posting. Thought I'd change things up today.

I've loved every Allende I've read, especially her early novels (House of the Spirits Portrait in Sepia Ines of My Soul) and Daughter of Fortune), save one. I just couldn't get into Zorro. Kept picturing the character from the 1950s TV show. My brain can get silly sometimes.

52RebaRelishesReading
Feb 9, 5:25pm Top

>48 BLBera: The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is in Mt. TBA -- must get to it soon.

53BLBera
Feb 9, 5:31pm Top

>49 charl08: It is really good, Charlotte. I also loved Rez Life. No snow day. The snow has stopped.

>50 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg - I think we got about eight inches. The upside is that my daughter and son-in-law came to help me clear my driveway, and I got to spend some time with Scout. :)

>51 Storeetllr: Hi Mary. Welcome. Lurk or post. I think I love Allende's early work the most as well. Zorro was OK, not one of the better ones.

>52 RebaRelishesReading: It is a good one, Reba.

54brenzi
Feb 9, 8:19pm Top

>37 brenzi: I read The Feast of the Goat just last year Beth. I had planned to read In the Time of the Butterflies shortly thereafter and well, you know, other books pushed it aside somehow.

>48 BLBera: Did you read the Dee Brown book first?

55vikzen
Feb 9, 9:56pm Top

Hi Beth! Just stopping by to view your thread - hoping to pop in frequently. Hope all is well :)
I have been meaning to read some Alvarez books so I will bump In the Time of Butterflies to the top of my list for this author - also noting that I have Feast of the Goat sitting unread on my bookshelf so I'll pull that down when I'm getting around to it.

56msf59
Feb 9, 10:12pm Top

Happy Sunday, Beth. Good review of Wounded Knee. I have added this one to my audio list. I remember loving Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, many years ago. It also really broke my heart.

57ronincats
Feb 9, 11:31pm Top

Thread #2 is speeding along, Beth! All that snow sounds like good reading weather.

58banjo123
Feb 10, 12:20am Top

Happy new thread! In the Time of the Butterflies is SO good.

59BLBera
Feb 10, 3:34pm Top

>54 brenzi: Bonnie - I read the Dee Brown book years ago. I think Erik read them together, but you really don't need to.

>55 vikzen: Hi Vik! Welcome. If you want a dose of fictionalized Dominican history, those are two good ones.

>56 msf59: Thanks Mark. This one is not such a heart breaker.

>57 ronincats: Yes it is, Roni. I have to pace myself. We got nine inches. I'll go over to your thread and pretend I live in a better climate. :)

>58 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda. I love Alvarez. I can't wait to read her new novel that is coming out this year.

60ChelleBearss
Feb 11, 5:05pm Top

Happy new thead!

61BLBera
Feb 11, 5:19pm Top

Thanks Chelle!

62PaulCranswick
Feb 11, 8:09pm Top

>48 BLBera: Thanks for the excellent review, Beth. I will definitely seek that one out.

63EBT1002
Feb 11, 10:47pm Top

>44 BLBera: The War at the End of the World is the only Llosa that I've read. I also loved it. I want to read more of his work.

I'd also love to do a shared read of The House of the Spirits, maybe this summer? August? Or next year? Or after I retire? (LOL)

>47 BLBera: I adored the Kate Shugak mysteries when I read them long ago (before LT). Mutt is a great character and I agree that the setting is stunning. Is this a recent installment?

>48 BLBera: Adding that one to the wish list!

I received my copy of Simon the Fiddler today! I hope your ARC arrives soon, too.

64BLBera
Feb 12, 11:23pm Top

>62 PaulCranswick: It's a good one, Paul.

>63 EBT1002: Ellen! I need to read more Llosa as well. I have several of his on my shelves. I've penciled in The House of the Spirits for August...

The one I just read is the latest. They are still good. I LOVE the setting. And Mutt is still around.

You will like The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee.

I am anxiously awaiting Simon the Fiddler. When do you think you'll read it?

65EBT1002
Feb 13, 5:34pm Top

>64 BLBera: Not until after you get your copy.

66BLBera
Feb 13, 7:39pm Top

>65 EBT1002: Got it! It was in my mailbox today!

67alcottacre
Feb 13, 7:46pm Top

>47 BLBera: It has been years since I have read any of Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak mysteries. Time to go back to it!

>48 BLBera: That one is already in the BlackHole. Glad to see you highly recommend it, Beth.

68Copperskye
Feb 14, 12:48am Top

I’ve never read Allende, but keeping meaning to. I have a copy of The Japanese Lover on the shelf and also The House of Spirits on my kindle.

69vivians
Feb 14, 11:11am Top

>64 BLBera:, 65 Can't wait to hear what you think about Simon the Fiddler. I loved News of the World but was less excited about The Color of Lightning. I heard Jiles speak at a local library a couple of years ago. She was very unassuming (and frankly a bit boring) but her writing is amazing.

70BLBera
Feb 14, 11:19am Top

>67 alcottacre: It's a great series, Stasia.

>68 Copperskye: I would start with The House of Spirits, Joanne. I haven't liked her later work, such as The Japanese Lover as much.

>69 vivians: Hi Vivian. Would you like my copy of Simon the Fiddler when I have finished? It's yours. I think I have your address, but I'll check with you when I have read it. I hope to get to it in the next week or so.

71BLBera
Feb 14, 11:22am Top

Well, I just lost my post. I suppose if I rewrite this, it will magically reappear, and I'll have two. Oh well.

>67 alcottacre: Hi Stasia - I do love the Kate Shugak series.

>68 Copperskye: Hi Joanne. Start with The House of Spirits. I like her early stuff the best.

>69 vivians: Hi Vivian. Would you like my copy of Simon the Fiddler when I have finished it? It's yours. I think I have your address, but I'll check with you when I have read it. I hope to get to it next week.

72BLBera
Feb 14, 11:23am Top

Hmm. I knew this would happen.

73charl08
Feb 14, 12:22pm Top

>71 BLBera: I usually have to force a page refresh to get the 'new' post to show up. (but I don't know if this is the same thing!)

74Storeetllr
Feb 14, 2:04pm Top

>68 Copperskye: >70 BLBera: I agree with Beth, Joanne.

> 72 Heh. Don't you just love it when LT acts up. My favorite is when the Touchstones don't work.

75vivians
Feb 14, 3:50pm Top

>71 BLBera: Yes, thanks, would love it!!

76Ameise1
Feb 14, 5:21pm Top

>71 BLBera: I enjoyed The House of Spirits. Happy weekend Beth.

77BLBera
Feb 14, 7:05pm Top

>73 charl08: I will try that next time, Charlotte.

>74 Storeetllr: I can live with it, Mary. Half the time I forget to look at the Touchstones!

>75 vivians: Noted, Vivian.

>78 I think I'm going to reread it this year, Barbara. It has been many years. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

78BLBera
Edited: Feb 14, 7:14pm Top


My book club met and discussed The Friend today. There were five of us there. Two of us loved the book, one person liked parts, one did not finish and one did not like it. The two who did not appreciate it didn't like the lack of plot. When we discussed it, the one who did not finish it said that she would go and look at it again.

We loved the descriptions of the students, two of us are teachers, and could appreciate the humor. Strangely enough, there was also discussion that pertains to the current American Dirt discussion. The narrator is remembering a conversation she had with her friend. He was complaining about the lack of esteem for writers: "The privileged shouldn't write about themselves, because that furthers the agenda of the imperialist white patriarchy. But they also shouldn't write about other groups, because that would be cultural appropriation." One of the members had read American Dirt, and she was aware of the discussion surrounding it. Anyway, we discussed the fact that this isn't a new conversation, and it won't end here.

It was a good discussion.

I enjoyed my reread of the book.

79msf59
Feb 14, 8:40pm Top

Happy Friday, Beth. I can't believe I have not got to The Friend yet. What the heck? It sounds like my cuppa. Have a great weekend.

80EBT1002
Feb 15, 5:33pm Top

>78 BLBera: I loved that book.

I suppose we should read Simon the Fiddler sooner rather than later... The first week of March is not good since I don't know how my concentration will be.

81rosalita
Feb 16, 10:46am Top

>78 BLBera: I read that one last year on your recommendation, and I enjoyed it. It sounds like your book club did a great job of discussing — sometimes it's helpful when not everyone likes or dislikes a book, especially if you've got a group of people who can articulate the why of their reaction.

82BLBera
Edited: Feb 16, 2:26pm Top


14. The Decent Inn of Death
While I enjoyed revisiting the characters from previous books in this series, I would have liked more of Madden and less of Angus Sinclair. I thought the book dragged a little in the middle, that there could have been a little less snow.

In this one, John Madden and his wife are vacationing in Venice, so Sinclair is on his own. When visiting friends in a neighboring county, he becomes interested in a suspicious death. He starts to investigate on his own, landing him in the middle of an international manhunt, and snowed in in an isolated house near Oxford. The solution seems apparent early on, or is it?

Fans of the series will enjoy this, but it's not one of the best.

83BLBera
Feb 16, 2:29pm Top

Hi Mark - Have a great weekend.

Ellen, I'm finishing a library book now and then will be ready to start Simon the Fiddler.

>81 rosalita: Hi Julia. I've missed you. The Friend was a good book for discussion. And you're right. Discussions are better when people don't agree. Some in our group are better at articulating their opinions, but overall, it is a good group. And we have some good books chosen for this year.

84paulstalder
Feb 16, 3:56pm Top


wish you a good new week

85charl08
Feb 16, 4:04pm Top

>78 BLBera: Sounds like a good meeting. I am still reading my book club book, the meeting is this week. The author (of The Lido)got a big advance for the book and is young- 24 when she got the deal. I like the swimming bits, and she writes very well, but it's a bit too conventional for my taste. I shall probably get to the meeting and find I am in the minority (given that it has sold very well here).

86BLBera
Feb 16, 4:37pm Top

>84 paulstalder: Thanks!

>85 charl08: It was a good discussion. On person who wasn't there emailed me, and I wish she had been there. She was disturbed by the friend's womanizing and was surprised that the author portrayed him as she did in the #METoo era. I thought that was a really interesting comment and would have provoked more discussion.

87BLBera
Feb 16, 4:42pm Top

Well, Scout and I had a sleepover last night. It was last minute. She was mad at her mom and told her that "Tita gives me anything I want. She makes my dreams come true." I'm still laughing. Anyway, we read a lot. She loves She Made a Monster and Brave Girl.

The one about Mary Shelley talks about how people thought Shelley's mother was terrible because she thought women were equal to men. The other one is about Clara Lemlich who helped to organize the garment workers in 1909. Anyway as we were reading these books, Scout commented, "Yeah, I hear about girls not being good enough in school." We talked about that a little and decided that the boys don't know what they are talking about. So we had fun, read a lot of books, and learned something.

88banjo123
Feb 16, 6:58pm Top

>87 BLBera: such sweet Scout stories!

>78 BLBera: I do like book club meetings when other people's opinions expand my view of a book.

And happy weekend!

89Copperskye
Feb 16, 9:40pm Top

>82 BLBera: Well, that’s too bad. I have the previous book in the series, The Death Of Kings, waiting right here by my chair. I’m looking forward to starting it.

Have a good week, Beth!

90PaulCranswick
Feb 16, 10:10pm Top

>78 BLBera: Cultural appropriation is a bit of a sensitive topic, Beth, but it is also one which is being increasingly used in the attempt to set limits on intellectual freedom and encourages ethnic segregation. References to each others cultures and ethnicities if done with care, proper research and context can be very helpful in promoting cultural empathy.

I guess the important thing is that often there has been a lack of care, research and context in some of the writing.

91Donna828
Feb 16, 10:22pm Top

>63 EBT1002:, >66 BLBera: I have my ER copy of Simon the Fiddler ready and waiting. I'd like to read it with you ladies if you plan on reading it soon.

92BLBera
Yesterday, 9:36am Top

>88 banjo123: Scout rocks, Rhonda. I am so lucky that she lives close by.

>89 Copperskye: Joanne, it wasn't horrible. If you like the series, you will like it. Just not one of the best.

>90 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. It is a sensitive topic. I don't think it's being used to limit intellectual freedom, but rather that we are hearing more voices that have previously been silenced, voices that are demanding to tell their own stories. I agree that everyone has the right to write what they choose, and good research is important. It's an important discussion.

>91 Donna828: I'm ready to start, Donna. Do join us!

93rosalita
Yesterday, 9:38am Top

Good morning, Beth! I saw over on Susan's thread that you are contemplating a read of Wolf Hall at some point. I have also resolved to read it this year, so perhaps we could coordinate?

94BLBera
Yesterday, 10:09am Top

>93 rosalita: Perfect, Julia. When are you thinking you'd like to read it?

95BLBera
Edited: Yesterday, 10:12am Top


15. Grass is a graphic novel that focuses on the experiences of one of the comfort women. The drawings are quite wonderful, and the author uses black and white effectively to portray the experiences of Lee Ok-sun. For example, when she was first raped by Japanese soldiers, they have no faces, just black ovals.

96thornton37814
Yesterday, 10:19am Top

>82 BLBera: A series not on my radar until now. Adding it to my Overdrive lists. Copies are available now, but I've got a bunch of ARCs and need to make progress on those first.

97rosalita
Yesterday, 11:36am Top

>94 BLBera: I'm pretty wide open on timing. I actually have a copy so I'm not dependent on getting it from the library.

98BLBera
Yesterday, 1:55pm Top

>96 thornton37814: It's a good series, Lori, especially the first ones.

>97 rosalita: I also own a copy. How about April or May? School should be winding down by then. Also, I think my book club books for those months are not long ones.

99BLBera
Yesterday, 1:55pm Top

>97 rosalita: Or we could read it in July and discuss it when we meet? Are you thinking a July meet up again this summer?

100rosalita
Today, 5:45am Top

I'd love to have a meet-up in July, Beth! Perhaps we should aim for May or June for reading Wolf Hall, to allow for last-minute interruptions? I have an e-copy but my impression is that it's a bit of a chunkster. :-)

101susanj67
Today, 6:01am Top

Scout commented, "Yeah, I hear about girls not being good enough in school."

Ugh - is she hearing this from the boys in her class? Who are 6? Holy carp - what are their parents teaching them?!! It's depressing. It's lucky she has you to make all her dreams come true :-)

Wolf Hall *is* long, but it's so, so good that it reads up very quickly. I need to finish my current giant fantasy novel and get on with Bring Up The Bodies, or I might be in the terrible position of having book 3 come in for me at the library despite not having reread book 2. It's getting a ton of publicity here - Waterstones keeps emailing with a special signed copy with all the prettiness, and tickets to an author event.

102rosalita
Today, 6:22am Top

>101 susanj67: Thanks for the input, Susan! Sounds like we should be good to read in June for discussion in July, then. I just saw that Kobo has the ebook of Bring Up the Bodies on sale so I'm off to grab that one. As you say, it simply wouldn't do to have Book 3 before Book 2.

103susanj67
Today, 6:46am Top

>102 rosalita: Julia, no, this is a series that definitely has to be read in order :-) And I see there's a free reading guide, called The World of Wolf Hall, so that might be worth taking a look at.

104charl08
Today, 8:33am Top

Beth, I heard Isabel Allende interviewed and thought of you. Really lovely interview with an interviewer who seemed genuinely interested in the work. She talks about writing letters to her mother every day, and how her style has changed over time (as well as the new book).
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p083ccrj (I think you can also get in the BBC's books and authors podcasts).

105msf59
Today, 8:39am Top

Hi, Beth. Just checking in. How is Simon the Fiddler coming along? I have a copy waiting in the wings too.

106RebaRelishesReading
Today, 12:28pm Top

Just checked my Kindle (which I usually only read from when traveling by other than car) and found Wolf Hall sitting there waiting for me. We'll be on a cruise this coming fall so I'll probably read it then

107AMQS
Today, 12:41pm Top

Hi Beth, getting caught up here - you're on fire yourself! I also love your You Must Read This posts, and I have dutifully added In the Time of the Butterflies to my list!

108katiekrug
Today, 12:45pm Top

Hi Beth! I've been lurking... :)

109BLBera
Today, 4:35pm Top

Wow! Visitors!
>100 rosalita:, Wolf Hall works for me. I might start a little sooner. My book group is reading The Overstory in June, and that's a long one as well.

>101 susanj67: Scout does get that message from the little boys. Yes, I exist to make her dreams come true. And it's great that we have some books with powerful girls.

>104 charl08: Thanks Charlotte; I will definitely listen to the interview.

>105 msf59: I am about 50 pages in, and I love Simon. Some great, descriptive writing so far.

>106 RebaRelishesReading: That sounds like a plan, Reba.

>107 AMQS: Thanks Anne. You will love In the Time of the Butterflies.

>108 katiekrug: Lurk away! I hope you are well.

110rosalita
Today, 5:41pm Top

>109 BLBera: Since Susan says it's a pretty fast read for all that it's a chunkster, would you rather wait until the start of July? I am honestly happy to do it whenever -- May, June, July or whatever works.

111brenzi
Today, 7:12pm Top

I'll be REreading Bring Up the Bodies late next week so I should be ready when the new one is released. I got a lot out of my reread of Wolf Hall.

Scout is learning one of the hard truths about boys in school.

112PaulCranswick
Today, 7:47pm Top

These re-reads of Hilary Mantel's first two Thomas Cromwell books are a good idea but Mantel is to be blamed by dawdling so badly in bringing out number three! She had promised it for several years and didn't manage to get it done. It is finally ready and it better be worth the wait!

113rosalita
Today, 8:01pm Top

>112 PaulCranswick: Not a re-read for me. I've never read either of the first two. But now that the end is in sight it seems like a good time to do it.

114PaulCranswick
Today, 8:03pm Top

>113 rosalita: Best strategy of all Julia! Lovely to see you posting by the way. x

115mdoris
Today, 8:21pm Top

Me too, I am 2 Mantel books behind soon to be three. They are in the pile though. Loving the Scout stories.....

116rosalita
Today, 8:29pm Top

>114 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! xo

117BLBera
Today, 10:01pm Top

>110 rosalita: Really, any time works for me, Julia. Shall we play it by ear -- we've got a couple of months yet.

>111 brenzi: Yes, she is, Bonnie. Lucky she has a lot of support -- and good books to show how wrong those boys are.

>112 PaulCranswick: It will be interesting to see what people think of it, Paul. The expectations are certainly high.

>115 mdoris: Well, you could read Wolf Hall with Julia and me...

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