vancouverdeb attempts to read in 2015 thread 5
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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 4 stars
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley 4.5 stars
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively 3.5 stars
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers 4 stars
After The War Is Over by Jennifer Robson 3.3 stars
Washington Square by Henry James 3. 5 stars
The Vanishing Act Of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell 4 stars
A Fine Summer's Day: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd 3.8 stars
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins 4 stars
A Test Of Wills: The First Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd 3.8 stars
Aren't We Sisters by Patricia Ferguson 4.25 stars
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler 4.5 stars
And No Birds Sang by Farley Mowat 4 stars
The Midwife's Daughter by Patricia Ferguson 3.8 stars
The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys 3.7 stars
Leaving Tomorrow by David Bergen 4 stars
El Deafo by Cece Bell 3.3 stars
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert 3.5 stars
The Farm by Tom Rob Smith 4.3 stars
Inside the O'Briens: A Novel by Lisa Genova 4 stars
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah 5 stars *
The Crossing Places: A Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths 3.6 stars
Our Souls at Night: A novel by Kent Haruf 4.5 stars
The Janus Stone: A Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths 4 stars
The House at Sea's End by Elly Griffiths 4 stars
A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths 4 stars
A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths 4 stars
Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans 4.3 stars
The Illuminations by Andrew O'Hagan 4. 3 stars
A Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy 3.3 stars
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear 4 stars
If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie 4 stars
Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear 4 stars
Did You Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg 3.8 stars
Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear 3.8 stars
Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis 4 stars
Daddy Lenin by Guy Vanderhaeghe 4.2 stars
The Rector's Wife by Joanna Trollope 4 stars
Hungry Ghosts by Peggy Blair 3.3 stars
The Mammy by Brendan O'Carroll 4 stars
The Chisellers by Brendan O'Carroll 4 stars
The Granny by Brendan O'Carroll 4 stars
The Suspect by Michael Robotham 3.9 stars
Sky Bridge: A Novel by Laura Pritchett 4 stars
Red Lightning: A Novel by Laura Pritchett 3.6 stars
The Children Act by Ian McEwan 3.4 stars
The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum 4 stars
The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda 4 stars
Restless by William Boyd 4 stars
>7 msf59: Thanks Mark! Truthfully I think the photographer tweaked the colours to have more contrast and took the " grey" off the fishing boats. But is a lovely place to live indeed.
>8 jnwelch: I must agree, Joe, it is lovely corner of Canada that we live in. Except for the rainy , over cast days, it really is the best part of the country.
>9 lit_chick: LOL Nancy!My smart, on trend' little girl! Yes , when Poppy is not walking , running, chewing toys, sleeping in my lap, she is flipping through Vogue Magazine and demanding a bespoke Burberry Coat for those cooler days! LOL. Actually so far we had very few rainy days, so as of lately I'm not going through the " I will bite your hand if you try to put a that pink raincoat over top of me and do it up with the two velcro straps". So Poppy is in her naked fur glory !
>10 rosalita: Julia, the area is truly lovely for walking the dog. Lot of smells and things for Poppy to explore.
>11Thanks you Barbara! It is a lovely place to live, but I've seen the lovely photos of the surroundings in your area and on your travels!
>12 johnsimpson: Thanks John!
>13 charl08: Charlotte, you are quite right! We do get a lot of birds in the area - seagulls, hawks, bald eagles,and the dreaded snow geese. The snow geese have not yet arrived -and perhaps this year we could be so lucky as to not have them arrive all year! The snow geese descend and take over entire fields and are not afraid of people or dogs, and they can destroy a field quite quickly with their droppings. Poppy is interested in the birds, but as she is always on a leash with me, she does not chase them. She is more curious and stands and stares at them. Even with the few cats we run across, I'm not sure that realizes that cats are not dogs and she sits and looks at them, or does a play bow, and wants to play with the cats.
>16 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! It's been nice to back, posting more fully!
>17 thornton37814: Thanks again! Once again, I am sure that the photographer tweaked the contrast or colours a bit! We do get fabulous views on nice winter days like that, but the fishing boats are never that colourful or white! They are grey and dirty for the most part.
Oh, what a beautiful daily walk you have with those mountain peaks in the background and a waterfront....Can I dog-walk? :)
>20 Familyhistorian: You are right, Megan, we do have some beautiful views around here, even with the bit of colour help I think the photographer used!
>21 charl08: Charlotte, I have read the The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker , so I'd be okay :) For my city and surrounds the snow geese mean the destruction of school fields . playing fields and parks. I do love them, but when you have Canadian Geese, Snow Geese , never mind the many other geese and birds , it can get a bit old fast:) We live across the river from a Huge Bird Sanctuary and I think naturally my city and surrounding areas are naturally a bird sanctuary area. I see a lot of birds, mallards, woodheads, plovers, heron, sea gulls , bald eagles, hawks, and while some are beautiful, some get to a pain in the neck or your shoe bottoms :)
>22 ctpress: Yes indeed Carsten I would love to have you walk the dog!! Please come and visit!
We must live in very similar types of areas, Charlotte. I would say that all of Richmond is bird wetland, but we are quite an urban/ suburban area , though we have a lot of park areas and designated agricultural lands.
If we did not have our little dog, I almost think we'd go stay in a motel or something. Really not fun at all.
Oh Lord, good luck with the water repairs. I hope it gets sorted out quickly and at less-than-feared expense and trouble! Ugh.
Poppy just wants to be with you, right?
Yes, it is dreadful about the water situation . No water today as yet. I did get a note saying that the water should be on shortly at 1:30 - so far, no water. So perhaps things have gone more smoothly than expected? At this time I am less worried about the $$$ than the actually getting the water back on. The water is number one for me - for now:)
>35 johnsimpson: Thanks John - and a wonderful weekend to you and yours !
An enjoyable read that I could sink my teeth into. Anna has been a rector's wife for 20 years, and many of them quite happy ones. After 20 years of serving the church as a rector's wife, organizing deanery suppers, delivering parish magazines,decorating the church with flowers, entertaining the parish, Anna's husband , Peter, fails to get the promotion that he had hoped for. Anna has become accustomed to the restrictions and expectations placed on her as a rectors wife. Peter's parish is in a small village church where gossip is a big part of daily life. Because of the gossip in the village, Anna is unable to form a friendship or confide with anyone in the village where she lives. Peter and Anna have three children, and Anna has been concerned about the amount of bullying their youngest child child has endured at the local school. Due to the low pay that Peter receives as a country rector, Anna takes a job as a clerk at the local supermarket to pay for young Flora to attend a private school. Anna's husband, the parish and the village are shocked at the impropriety of a rector's wife working . Meanwhile, Anna is delighted by her new found independence and sense of worth.
No spoilers, but the story is great portrayal of a small English village, the isolation and expectations of being a rector's wife .
" I married the man, not the job" Anna , page 30 .
Did Dave start the book? Hmmmmmmmmm?
Hope you got your water supply back. I'd be tempted to have a bath or something equally water based in celebration....
>39 msf59: Afternoon, Mark. Yes , Dave has read on of the stand along mysteries by Robert Robotham titled Life or Death and he enjoyed it. It is a stand alone. It was a library book, so is back at the library. I got him Suspect. the first in the series, and I think he is enjoying it - and I'm waiting to get my hands on some Australia Crime . At least I think I am. I have no idea why the The Rector's Wife would not appeal to a varied reader like yourself! :)
>40 lit_chick: Nancy, you made me look regarding whether Anthony Trollope is a relation to Joanna Trollope and apparently they are related, but not directly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_Trollope I think I was fortunate to have stumbled upon The Rector's Wife as apparently it her most popular novel . I see she won an award for a Romance Novel , yikes! But this one was not much that way, so I think her books must vary. At any rate, I enjoyed it very much. At this rate I'll be reading Stephen King :)
>41 charl08: Good to know , Charlotte, perhaps I'll look more carefully into her different novels. A change of pace for me an enjoyable one. I do have my water back and indeed, first thing I did was have a bath! Very lovely to have running water !
You do a good job showcasing your nation's writers here Deb.
>45 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. I do my best to do my share of Canadian reading. I think tomorrow the Giller Literary Prize will be given out in Canada. That will be interesting.
It must be Sunday evening. That's always when my "how else might I make a living?" fantasies get activated.
I think actually writing a book would be quite difficult and lonely, so perhaps you draw comfort from that. Enjoy your Sunday evening, Ellen!
>50 msf59: Hey Markie , Markie, you are in for a big treat reading A Man Called Ove. Hey, the Rector's Wife was fine read , worthy of any progressive man, like yourself! ;) Carsten is a progressive man, I hope I won't have to call you" dinosaur Mark!" LOL!
I actually have a bit of a bone to pick with you: You got me hooked on those doggone Ruth Galloway mysteries and now I've read them all and have to wait for more! How dare you read good books and then force me to read them, too?
>53 BLBera: I like Peggy Blair, Beth , but she might not grab everyone. I enjoyed her first novel the most. It was a really interesting look into present day Havana , but by locals rather than tourists. I really enjoyed that aspect, which is still present, but less novel to me now. But they are good books. Still, I have to finish this one to be sure that #3 is not better than #1, The Beggar's Opera.
>52 rosalita: Hi Julia, Deb got me hooked on the Ruth Galloway mysteries too. (Maybe we should find a series that she hasn't read yet and do the same thing to her *diabolical laughter*.)
Tonight the Giller Prize will be announced! I am really hoping it will be Fifteen Dogs, since I've already read that one, but we will see.
* Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr or Hit Man series are both great.
* Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott series
* Deborah Crombie's Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series is good
* Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge series -- this one I know Deborah has read at least one of
* Chris Grabenstein's John Ceepak series
At the risk of getting hit myself with some series bullets, what are some of your favorites, Meg?
>62 lkernagh: Lori, I was quite pleased that Fifteen Dogs won. I had looked hard at the other contenders, and though I had not read them, I think they were a little " edgy' for most people to read. And it is very rare that ( maybe the first time? ) that I have read a Giller Prize Winner before it was announced. I have not even read last years winner, Us Conductors, so yes, it's a good year for me, Can Lit prize wise! :)
>63 mdoris: Thanks Mary! Pure coincidence that I had read the winners, but I am happy that worked out this year!:)
>64 Familyhistorian: Good luck, Meg, I'm a difficult person to find a series for, I have trouble myself! And once I find a series I like - I read through like a madwoman, which I am! :)
>65 rosalita: Good try, Julia. You are correct I have read three of the books by Ian Rutledge, starting with the prequel, A Fine Summer's Day, but as for Lawrence Block, my husband enjoys them, but they don't float my boat. I have a feeling that Margaret Maron, Deborah Crombie and Chris Grabstein aren't my cup of tea... but you never know.
>66 Familyhistorian: Meg As it is, I am reading the third in a series, with my current book, Hungry Ghosts, waiting impatiently for the next in the series by Susan Hill, Karin Fossum, and I'm in the midst of Jaqueline Winspear series and nearly caught up in the Elly Griffiths series . And a couple of days ago , I was at a second hand book store and purchased The Moth Catcher by Anne Cleeves. And Nancy aka Lit Chick hit me with a book bullet, the start of a series, The Light Years.
Could I talk you into Henning Mankell, or the author of the Jar City series, or perhaps Jussi- Adler Olsen, among many others! ;) Oh, and I'm also interested in a new to me Australian Crime series that my husband is reading, Michael Robotham. * Really Evil Laugh*
>65 rosalita: Lovely to see Julia posting.......no-one would kick you out my dear - you are much missed around the threads at my little spot especially.
Like the series talk Deb and I will try not to get started but I will just recommend Carin Gerhardsen whose Hammarby Detectives series shows a heck of a lot of promise. Reacher.....Montalbano......Hole......Gabriel Allon......Lucas Davenport.....Tom Thorne.....Logan MacRae.........Lennox......Bernie Gunther........aaaaaargh!
Have a lovely weekend.
J.D. Robb's In Death series
C.S. Harris St. Cyr series
Charles Finch's Charles Lennox series
Linda Stratmann's Frances Doughty series
Mary Jane Maffini's Camilla MacPhee series - a Canadian series, I know how much she likes CanLit!
Gwendolyn Southin's Margaret Spencer series - even better, this one is set in Vancouver!
>78 PaulCranswick:, What was I thinking, off course I can't be boring being a Yorkshireman and from Wakefield.
> 79 You might have some book bulllets there for me in your list. Perhaps Charles Lynch, and Frances Doughty looks like fun. I'll have to look more closely at the Canadian series! You are right, I am sucker for Can Lit.
>80 johnsimpson: Yes, John ,do keep your newsy , friendly post coming and I'll look forward to reading them.
I finished off Hungry Ghosts by Peggy Blair, a relatively new Canadian mystery writer. This is the third book in her Inspector Ramirez series. I read the two previous books, The Beggar's Opera and The Poisoned Pawn. This story was fairly interesting, but a few too many twists and turns made the plot difficult to follow. . As usual, part of the story took place in Havana. Inspector Ramirez and his side kick, the medical examiner, Hector Apiro , investigate a string of dead prostitutes. In the previous books, the sense of atmosphere and place in Havana really captured me. This time round, less so, perhaps because I have become accustomed to the series. Meanwhile, on a Northern Ontario First Nations Reserve the body of a prostitute has also been found. It is not the first to have been found on the Reserve. Detective Charlie Pike, of the Rideau Police of Ottawa Ontario is tasked with determining if this new body is a stand alone murder, or part of a series of deaths that have happened over time in the area. Charlie Pike flies into the Northern Ontario Indian Reserve , and this time the sense of place and culture of the Reserve were very interesting to me . Are the deaths of the women in Cuba and Canada related? You'll have to read Hungry Ghosts to find out.
Overall, a decent read, but not great. The plot twists were very challenging to follow completely, if one actually could. 3.5 stars.
I've been a bit underwhelmed by the last two scandi crime books I read, so thinking I'll head elsewhere. Maybe Australia, as I read good things about Good Money by J.M.Green (touchstones not working) crime fiction set in Melbourne Australia. And as the first book was only published last month, if it turns into a series, I'm reading in order for once.
I've been underwhelmed with Scandi Crime too, as well and " Canadi - Crime aka Canadian Crime. Best of luck with Green Money by J..M Green. I looked at the review in the Guardian and it sounds interesting. My husband has just finished a new to him bit of Australian Crime fiction , by Robert Robotham, an Australian Crime writer and maybe I'll give that a try after I finished reading my slice of life in Dublin.
>85 lit_chick: Thanks Nancy! If you decide to read the series, definitely start with the The Beggar's Opera by Penny Blair. The book has a lot of interesting quirky character and I think without knowing the the characters from the start, one could be quite lost. I think I was just expecting bit more of a cohesive plot.
Howdy, Tonto! Hope the week is going well.
The only other series in your list I have any familiarity with at all is Finch's Lennox series. It's a bit of a funny story — I had gotten the audiobook version of the first book in the series to listen to on my road trip out to Boulder last year, only to discover when I was already several hours into the trip that the download was corrupted and was missing most of the first disc. It was the strangest experience because it wasn't completely obvious that there was text missing (it didn't skip in the middle of a sentence or anything) and I couldn't look at my iPod to see what was going on because I was driving. I was so disappointed when I realized what had happened. But then I forgot to follow up when I got home to try to read it for real this time, so thanks for the reminder!
The others I've not even heard of but oh, they sound kinda good. Darn you anyway, Meg!
>92 rosalita: Julia, funny story! Well, Meg got me with The Poisonous Seed by Linda Stratman. I've ordered the first in the series - the one I named, but it is out of stock. Might have to get out my Kindle to read it, if it comes to that!
>93 jnwelch: Ah, Joe, you are the one that loves the in Death Series. Hi Joe!
As it is, I am in the midst of reading a series, a trilogy, The Mammy, The Chisellers and The Granny by Brendan O'Carroll. And it turns out there is a fourth book - Young Wan which I have ordered from amazon . :) Lori, lkernagh is responsible for those book bullets!
I''l write a bit about the first two in the series, when I get a chance. All are fabulous reads! I can't put down the series, it seems! Fortuantely each book is about 180 pages or so, so they are fairly quick reads.
See you later, once I am " recovered " from my dentist visit. :)
>96 rosalita: Joe and Julia, the pressures on for a series start! You two are relentless! :)
>98 lit_chick: Nancy, Yes indeed, I'm on the third book in the trilogy that turns out to have a prequel. I just can't put them down. Eventually I make a few comments. I'm at least half way through The Granny and Young Wan arrived yesterday via amazon. Excellent reads!
>99 EBT1002: So it's Naked in Death for you, is it Ellen! :) I got my husband the first in an Australian Crime series that I thought he might like, Suspect Michael Robotham and I think that might be my next series.
>100 mdoris: Yes, Mary and there are four of them in the " series." I've so enjoyed the Brendan O'Carroll series and still have 1 1/2 books to go. They are are fabulous slice of life of the Browne family who live in the the tenements of Dublin. There is tragedy but just as much fun. They are additive!
>103 jnwelch: LOL! Exactly Joe, charmingly persuasive , kind of like me :)
>106 rosalita: LOL Julia! Yes, it's everyone else! ;) By the way, last week when I was walking Poppy, there are " dog friendly " stores and I went into one and tried out a fountain pen and thought of you. I did not purchase it, but I get a couple of Pitt Art pens that are water proof for addressing Christmas Card.
>107 jnwelch: Joe, it would seem that many of us on LT are charmingly persuasive. The book bullets that make their rounds on LT are evidence of that! :-)
The Mammy is the first in a trilogy of an Irish family , living in Dublin in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Agnes Browne is the Mammy of 7 children, aged 14 to 3 years old. They are all part of of very working class family, living in the tenements. At the start of the story, Agnes is very recent widow, at the age of 34. The Mammy is by turns very touching and humorous as we get to know Agnes and her 7 children and those around them. A wonderful Irish tale, which I'd recommend to most anyone. 4 Stars and a big thanks to Lori for the book bullet.
I could not resist reading further into the trilogy and read The Chisellers, also by Brendan O'Carroll. The nickname for kids in working class Dublin is "The Chiseller's " and Agnes has seven of them. Conscientious Mark, the eldest, Francis, twins Simon and Dermot. Dermot is a bit of a rebellious challenge of a son. Next comes Rory, Cathy, the only daughter among st the seven children, and the much younger Trevor, who seems to be a bit slow. The family prepares to be relocated from The Jarro, a working class neighbourhood in Dublin , to a slightly further out inner city re renewal plan . Agnes is a hard worker and fair mom to all of her clan, but even she cannot save some of her more challenging chiselers or teens and children from their own heart breaking choices. A heart breaking but also humourous tale. 4 stars.
And yes I read the third in the trilogy, The Granny by Brendan O'Carroll. I could not gulp the stories down fast enough. With regards to one of the books, a reviewer describes the stories as " like Frank McCourt on prozac." I have read Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt and though there is heartbreak in Brendan O"Carroll wonderful Irish slice of life, it is tempered with humour. Perhaps The Mammy was the most moving of all three of the stories, though I recommend you read them in order to properly understand each book. Agnes becomes a " granny", has a French suitor, her daughter is in a unhappy marriage, a son is in prison and another has found his way to success. A racous , loving , heartbreaking read.
And it turns out there is a prequel, Young Wan, which I will read in a week or two. Each book is about 180 pages, so they are quick and wonderful reads. Highly recommended!
My bad, Lone Ranger, Marky Mark! Sorry about that !
Happy Friday, Deb!
>120 Familyhistorian: I've read the first three Masie Dobbs this year, and I have at one waiting, but I thought I should vary my reading a little bit:) Get cracking on the Jaqueline Winspear's Megan!:-)
>121 johnsimpson: Good afternoon from Very sunny Vancouver , John! A beautiful day, if a little cooler than usual. That is our choice - warmer and rainy or sunny and cooler. I'll take sunny and 6 C / 46 F over 52 F and rain any day!
>122 msf59: Afternoon Mark, how is A Brief History of Seven Killings going? Finished that chunkster already?
>123 jnwelch: Indeed Joe! :)
>124 lkernagh: Yes indeed, Lori, that Brendan O'Carroll books have been a huge hit with me. I have loved them! And yes, I am aware that he has written the other book that you mentioned and I've already got The Young Wan waiting in the wings . Such an excellent writer. I wonder how much of his books are kind of autobiographical?
>125 lit_chick: Love the graphics, Nancy! I think that yes, they would be your cuppa! I loved them!
Denmark is covered in snow and it's quite cold here.
>131 lit_chick: I was rather delighted by my find at the used bookstore too, Nancy. I did not expect to find any thing by Brendan O'Carroll. There are two used book store fairly close to me and I've found that one has a proprietor who is really top of things as far was what she has in stock - and will even stay late, because a customer is searching for a book. She is a big reader herself. What a find!
>132 charl08: Charlotte, it's not that often that I find exactly what I am looking for at a used bookshop, so this was quite a great day! We had clear weather yesterday , but apparently " arctic outflow" weather is on it's way. This might mean some snow , or I might have to dig out my gloves! sighs to self.
>133 ctpress: I've been thinking of you, Carsten! Brrr - sounds cold! I'm not a snow girl! I'll take the rain and the " gloom" :) Yes Carsten, the Irish Trilogy ( turns out to be 4 books ) is wonderful!
Thank goodness there aren't any stores around these parts that sell fountain pens (not that I know of, anyway) or I would be in real trouble! Though the dog-friendly part sounds lovely. Maybe I could distract myself from the pens by petting everyone's pup. :-)
>136 rosalita: Oh yes, I have discovered a store that sells fountain pens, all sorts of fancy pens, as well as teas etc. In the summer it is a big of a tourist mecca, but it is also where I usually walk the dog. It amazes me how many stores in the area are dog friendly. Not all of them of course, and if my dogs was a big 100 lb dog that swung it's tail around, that might be a problem, but at 12. 5 lbs, she doesn't do much damage * knocks on wood*.
I like the sounds of the series so much that I had to get the Suspect by the same author for my husband. And he enjoyed The Suspect. I decided that I would read it too.
Suspect is the first in a series of psychological suspense mysteries featuring psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and DI Ruiz. Joe O' Loughlin has a good career as a clinical psychologist, a lovely wife and a child. However, his world is turned on it's side when he discovers that he has Parkinson's disease. Joe has and has had some challenging patients. When the body of a young woman is found with multiple stab wounds, the police consult with Joe O'Loughlin. As it turns out, the dead woman in question is a former patient of Joe's. DI Ruiz is a hard headed Detective and Joe quickly becomes a suspect in the murder. From there, many other characters are introduced and Joe is caught up in in the young woman's death.
Over all, a very good read, and a suspenseful one. For the most part, very good characterization. At times, the plot got perhaps over convoluted . I could not stop turning the pages towards the end. This is Micheal Robotham's debut novel, and I am eager to read more in the series.
3.9 stars, rounded up to 4 stars.
Love the dog-friendly stores : ).
>142 lit_chick: Well, Nancy, I'm not sure I need to find any more series, but this one worked out in that both Dave and I enjoy the series. We can actually discuss a book together. LOL! And of course we do. " Why did Joe not tell the police?" " Why would he have? I wouldn't have" etc. It is lots of fun :)
>143 rosalita: Julia, yes , the store does sell both. And other bits and bobs, but mainly those two things. Come along any time! The tea is pricey, I have to warn you!
>144 johnsimpson: Come along to Vancouver, John. Only thing is that the shop only sells Fountain Pens and tea - it does not actually serve tea. But down the road is a store that sells second hand books and also serves soup, sandwiches and sweet things, as well as tea and coffee.
Laura Pritchett also wrote Hell's Bottom , which I think more people on LT are familiar with . Have not read that as yet.
Sky Bridge is set in a small, impoverished rural town in Colorado. Libby and Tess are sisters, who live with an angry, alcoholic mom, Kay. Tess, the younger sister, finds herself pregnant just as she is ready to leave highschool. Libby, the elder sister, convinces Tess not to have an abortion and promises to take care of the baby after she is born. The day young Amber is born, birthmother Tess leaves town and Libby is left to raise baby Amber. Libby works part time in a supermarket and helps her mom , Kay , as a farm hand. At the age of 20 or so, Libby finds herself raising the young baby of her sister, while still living with her angry and often abusive mother , Kay.
It's a heartbreaking story of poverty and abuse, yet the author still is able to convey some hope and love .
The story is spare and reminds of the sort of writing that Kent Haruf was able to do so well. This is Laura Pritchett's debut novel and I think she deserves to be more widely read. I know I'll be reading more by Laura Pritchett.
Very promising so far.
>154 charl08: So far, and I am nearly finished, Red Lightning seems to be a good read, Charlotte, thanks!
>155 BLBera: Yes, Beth, I noticed that Joanne aka Coppers and Donna seem to have enjoyed Laura Pritchett. I plan to read more of her books in the future.
>156 lit_chick: I think you would enjoy Sky Bridge, Nancy. It has the same sort of spare prose and tough times happening, but don't get too excited about it, feeling to it as Kent Haruf. Red Lightening has a bit of a different feel to it - so we'll see about that one.
Brrr it is cold here today! Off to walk the dog.
>159 rosalita: Julia, all of those great reviews of Hell's Bottom got to me too, and so finally I read Sky Bridge, which I had in my mind's TBR list :)
>160 EBT1002: I'm looking forward to Hell's Bottom but since I have read both Sky Bridge and Red Lightning by Laura Pritchett I'm going to wait a month or so until I read more by Laura Pritchett, though you never know
I have a few books in mind for December , The Children Act by Ian McEwan, a new book out by a Canadian writer from India, The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda and Karin Fossum has a new book out, The Drowned Boy. But that bit of planning is subject to change.
I really liked The Children's Act, so I hope you get to it.
Enjoy your weekend, Tonto.
>163 charl08: Charlotte, I confess that I was not impressed by Atonement by Ian McEwan as it seems to me that book all hinged around sex. The Children Act seems a lot more promising then Atonement but of course, since Ian McEwan is himself, the first bit of the book is about the unhappy old husband not getting enough sex from his wife. Harumph! But the story does seem to be promising.
Perhaps because Tess is mentally fragile, the story is at times a bit dream like and does not have the same tone as Sky Bridge. That may have been to serve a purpose, but I did not enjoy style of writing as much.
Still, well worth the read as a follow up to Sky Bridge.
3. 7 stars
I NEED to read more McEwan. I have only read 2. Bad Lone Ranger!
>170 lit_chick: Well, you are very kind. I'm not sure that I'm hitting it out of the park, maybe churning it out. I have had a good month, reading , this November. Part of it is that the books I've read this month are mainly relatively short compared to my usual books. The two by Laura Pritchett and the three by Brendan O'Carroll where between 192 pages and 220 pages each. That makes for a pretty quick read , compared to my usual ? 350 - 450 page reads.
I'm glad I'm not an outlier with my lack of Ian McEwan reading. I do think The Children Act seems very promising though.
3. 5 stars. It was okay.
I'm not far into The Drowned Boy but I agree, the cover is kind of cool - looks a bit like where I walk Poppy these rainy overcast days. I'm quite sure I'm going to enjoy it.
Had a good day at the second hand bookstore
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle Booker Prize, thought I'd try something by the author.
I am Hutterite byMary-Ann Kirkby Canadian, looked interesting.
Restless by William Boyd since everyone seems to be reading William Boyd for the BAC.
Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres because it looked interesting.
Poor Cow by Nell Dunn we will see about that one
The Warden by Anthony Trollope because you never know and I know Nancy likes the series.
Wrong Girl by David Hewson because why try to resist what might be a good new mystery series.
And The Poisonous Seed by Linda Stratman arrived from amazon today. It's a new to me Victorian England series.
But really I should be addressing Christmas cards.
We hear howling coyotes here all the time. They live in the park area beside the Coquitlam River which is just across the street from me. The train whistles set off a howling chorus many nights. I wouldn't want to be homeless and living in the river park when that happens!
Wow! Howling coyotes all the time and train whistles! I guess it is all you get used too. Around my area we have raccoon and skunks, though less so in the winter. My husband tells me it is not infrequent that he hears coyotes in the Steveston are along the waterfront at night , when walking the dog. For me , it was a new experience. We have a dog -walker once a week and she tells me that over by the North Arm of the Fraser, by the airport, that right now the area for off leash dogs in full of coyotes, even on the roads, so she and other dog walkers are avoiding the are.
I am loving my current read A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories. This might be a collection that could ring your bells.
A really interesting range of books you've got there. Hope they're good reading after the pain of McEwan.
>182 Ameise1: A lovely picture , Barbara! Thanks for that!Such a nice bright image on a very dark, grey day here.
>183 charl08: Coyotes are common in suburban areas, and even urban areas, because we have a lot of park land and " agricultural reserve land" in the city. They are not so common that I would expect to see one in my neighbourhood, but they are sometimes around less populated areas along the river, or close to the mountains - or close to large field areas. I was actually on my own last night, otherwise I likely would have turned around because my pup might have attracted the coyotes and I don't want and encounter with howling coyotes. Though I was walking on the river front , all around me are 4 story condo building and townhomes, but also a lot of fields etc.
>184 lit_chick: It seems when ever I am in the area of the second hand bookstores -two of them within a block, I have Poppy with me and she is not welcome in second hand book stores. She'd probably bark at everyone in the store and chew up the books. I had to take advantage of my time in the bookstore.
I hope I enjoy some of the books that I purchased too! I always feel pretty easy going about what I purchase at the secondhand bookstore. Not too much money is dropped.
I saw that you have a friend named Jim Flack, (on FB). Funny, I had a favorite Uncle by that name and a favorite cousin that was named after him, (he lives in Oregon). Interesting world...
>186 vancouverdeb: All time favourite Scandi? That is a toughie - probably Henning Mankell because he got me into Scandi in the first place; Adler-Olsen for Denmark; Jo Nesbo for Norway and Arnaldur Indridason for Iceland.
I have read most of the Inspector Sejer books but I haven't got hold of this one yet. You're right, she always delivers.
Have a lovely Sunday.
Ah, The Warden - my first introduction to the world of Barchester and the world of Trollope. A short, but good opening to the series.
>190 msf59: Yes, that friend on facebook is friend of Dave's from High School. I thought the last name "Flack" was kind of different when I met him. Dave ( my husband) doesn't do facebook so I keep in touch with some his old high school friends via facebook. Of course they have all sorts of crazy memories of their youth together. Probably best I did not meet my husband until he was 25. LOL.
>191 PaulCranswick: It is difficult to pick a favourite Scandi Crime writer, Paul, I agree. I think for me, Karin Fossum is a very consistently wonderful writer that always gets into the pysches of the characters. I started with Henning Mankell, and like him too, as well as Arnaldur Indridason. I've not read Jo Nesbo.
>192 ctpress: Great to see you Carsten. I understand when reading goes haywire! I think mine was that way around the wedding of my son. Pick up The Drowned Boy , indeed , a little untidy of you to live the poor child in the water! :) We are fortunate that you are a news guy and not a cop!
I'm wondering if I might come across that Icelandic layer cake in a cafe somewhere to try. I'll look out for it.
>200 Donna828: I big on reading series in order, just got my mom organized with the Flavia de Luce series ( she was going to jump ahead! :) , but the Karin Fossum books don't alway need to be read strictly in order. I just love them. I do enjoy the subtle mysteries and deep psychological probing of the characters. Exactly , Donna! Great explanation for my love of the books!
>201 charl08: Charlotte, I think you would enjoy Karin Fossum, but if you find the death of a child off putting ( I'm okay sort of with it in fiction) perhaps the series is not for you. By no means do all of her books involve the death or disappearance of child, but when I think back, more than a couple do.As for the Vinatarta, do you have an Icelandic Centre, or Scandinavian Centre around about your area? Otherwise I suspect it will be unlikely that you will run across the cake. But you never know. Personally I have only run across it as home baked cooking , but in some provinces in Canada with a large component of Icelanders, you will find Icelandic Festivals that sell vinatarta. They are few and far between, I'm afraid.
>207 msf59: Well, Mark, you are doing a lot of swooning for a man in the 21st century, I must say! Ha! I have read Our Souls at Night as soon as they published it. Like you, I am really keen on Kent Haruf. Teasing me about the Cleaning Women are you? Because my library does have it! Dash it! Well, Sweet Thursday, Mark!
The other main protagonist, Leena, remains in the same small village that Anil left. Leena dreams of a happy marriage similar to what her parents enjoy. In time a marriage is arranged for Leena, and she leaves to live in a distant village with her new husband. The marriage is not at all what Leena had hoped for.
Shilpi Somaya Gowda weaves two story arcs seamlessly. The reader is transported back from India to America many times. I found the story to be a page -turner, such was the suspense at times . At times the story is very disturbing , at other times somewhat humourous. The ending is quite unexpected. In summary, a most enjoyable read and well worth the time. Shilpi Somaya Gowda can tell a wonderful story, as she did in the very popular Secret Daughter. If you enjoyed Secret Daughter, you will also enjoy The Golden Son.
4 stars for The Golden Son
>211 lit_chick: Thanks Nancy. It really was an enjoyable read. I think you will enjoy it.
>212 jnwelch: Thanks Joe . Good to see that you have recovered from the 50 lashes with a book mar :)
>213 johnsimpson: Hi John! Have a good weekend . I hope the rain there has slowed down . Love and hugs to you and Karen.
I will then be able to literally join John in wishing you a wonderful weekend, Deb.
>216 msf59: Oh so sad, only 20 pages left left in Our Souls At Night. It really is lovely story. What next to read, Marky - Mark?
>217 ctpress: Carsten, yes I had a lovely warm side -trip to India :) That is great that Secret Daughter has been translated to Danish . I have read that it was an " international bestseller " and I guess it is true. Glad to hear that that Golden Son will soon be translated to Danish too. I'm quite sure you would enjoy both books.
>220 Ameise1: So beautiful Barbara! Wishing you a happy weekend too!
>221 msf59: Happy Saturday Mark. I suspect I read a bit of Georgette Heyer in my teen / early twenties. Enjoy!
Hope you got out to enjoy the good weather on Friday because Saturday's rain sure made up for it.
>225 Familyhistorian: Yes I suppose it is mainly the surrounding mountains that bring the bears down. Thankfully we are quite far from the mountains, relatively speaking, so at least I don't have to worry about bears. Yes I did get out on Friday. You are right, yesterday was a day of wicked rain and wind .
We got out for birthday dinner in the evening and even that was braving the elements! :)
>226 msf59: Happy Sunday - for you, nearly Monday, Mark. Restless is proving to be a very interesting read! I think I picked the " right " William Boyd at the second hand bookstore! I think you will enjoy it!
>236 msf59: Hi Lone Ranger! Deeply absorbed in Restless by William Boyd and I expect to finished reading it a little later on tonight. It's been a great read!
>237 Familyhistorian: Good for you, Meg, getting caught up on the threads! I can never remember my LT password , so I just use my computer at home to update my threads, but I should really commit to memory so I could do the same. Only trouble is, I am a very slow keyboarder on my phone.
Just finished The Wolf Border, brilliant novel. All very cold and wild (despite being mostly set in England).
>240 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Joe!
>241 charl08: If you can , try reading Someone Knows My Name also known as The Book of Negroes in Canada. I'm not sure which title they will use in the UK. It's a fabulous read! I'll have to look into Wolf Border . I'm not sure what is next reading wise for me... I need to settle on a book.
>242 Familyhistorian: Meg, you are smart to have your phone set up! Maybe I should try that too!
A great spy / espionage novel. The story begins in 1976 Britain. The daughter of Mrs. Sally Gilmartin notices that her mom is becoming more paranoid than usual. Daughter Ruth has always noted that her mother has been different from other moms, eccentric, and living hidden away in a small cottage. Even Ruth's young son, Jochen , notices that his grandma Sally is unusual . Jochen asks his mother " Is Granny your real mother?" Says Ruth " Of course she is, why?" "" I don't know .. She is so strange" answers young Jochen. p3
Ruth becomes concerned that her mother is suffering from " senile dementia." p8
From there, the story of Sally Gilmartin is told via letters to her daughter. In 1939 , Sally Gilmartin was Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian emigrant living in Paris. As WW11 breaks out, Eva is recruited by the British Secret Service. The story goes back in forth in time, from Eva's time as a spy to 1976, when she reveals her real identity to her daughter. Eva aka Sally Martin still has one more assignment to deal with and recruits her daughter Ruth to assist her. The story is essentially Eva's varied and daring life as spy during WW11.
An interesting and well told story. William Boyd has a new fan, though I'm not sure if I will like all of his works, but I am open to reading more by this author.
>249 lit_chick: Thanks Nancy. I do think you'd enjoy Restless and other of William Boyd's works. He was one of the author's for Paul Cranswicks " British Author's Challenge. I'll definitely be looking of for more by this author.
Sorry, the Scott book is a bit of a letdown. I am not familiar with that author.
>251 vancouverdeb: I'll be interested to see how you like A Small Death in the Great Glen. I want it to be wonderful because, well, you know -- Scotland.
Karin Fossum is one of the authors whose works I may feature in my series reading of 2016.
Have a great week and a very happy Christmas, Deb!
>253 EBT1002: Great to see you Ellen. I'm keen to have a look at some more books by William Boyd. When I picked up Restless in the second hand store, they had several other books by William Boyd, so I am eager to get back there and have a look. The problem is that they are open limited hours , and over Christmas, rather less hours than usual
Oh please do try Karin Fossum she is such a fabulous writer of psychological suspense! I sort of like A Small Death in Great Glen , and I'm hoping , even at page 160 , that it will improve. Debut novel and all that. It is improving.