Welcome to Bookish Nostalgia for August 2018. I've kept records of books I read for over 25 years and I enjoy looking back through my reading journals to see what I was reading 5, 10, 15, and 20 years ago. Let's see what I remember about what I was reading in those years:
August 1998 - Engineered For Murder by Aileen Schumacher - Last month I mentioned that a lot of my mystery reading 20 years ago was impacted by books I found while reading and participating in mystery groups and lists on the internet. This book and series is one of those that I heard about and then read. Aileen Schumacher, a professional engineer, born in Texas, wrote the Tory Travers mystery series - 4 books. Engineered For Murder is the first and I remember thinking it was quite different in the profession (structural engineering) of the protagonist. It's also set in El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM, locations that were somewhat familiar to me. I'm pretty sure this author had to stop writing her series because of illness. However, remembering about it makes me want to see if I can find all 4 books. And I may do that.
August 2003 - Bel Canto by Ann Patchett - I'm almost positive that I read at least one book by Ann Patchett before I picked up Bel Canto. I think it was The Magician's Assistant. Both of the books were a bit outside of what I normally read, though Bel Canto does tell of a hostage situation in which a large group of people are held for several months. I do remember that I was very involved in the story. Peopled by opera singers and foreign business individuals and diplomats, the story was compelling. I might have started this with an online book group perhaps. I wasn't in a face-to-face book group at that point. I do know that I consider this one of the better books I've read in my life. But...I don't remember a lot of the details. Another that I ought to reread.
August 2008 - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - Now this book I did read with a face-to-face book group. I remember scheduling it for our afternoon group (everyone loved it) and practically pushing it into the hands of many, many patrons when I worked at the library. I also remember the delight I felt the first time I read it. Such a lovely book and the story of the aunt and niece that co-authored it was a sweet one. I know that it has now been turned into a film, though I've not yet seen it. Have you? I think reading this was the first time I realized many facts about the WWII time period and how the people living in the Channel Islands were affected.
August 2013 - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Another book that I scheduled as a monthly read for a face-to-face book group - this one for our mystery group. Ah - what can I say? Well, it might be the book that we bonded over more than any other - a bonding of dislike. I bet most of the people that read this post will have read Gone Girl - a book that was talked about incessantly for weeks, months, possibly years. And the beginning of the trend to put 'Girl' in book titles that are deemed 'psychological thrillers'. I didn't love it, but I thought it was well written. Some of our members actively hated it. I remember one member talking about how there were no characters that were not despicable. Makes me giggle to remember the tone of her voice. Now, of course, we're kind of used to that whole way of telling a story. But then - not so much. This book still gets brought up as one we all agreed on - we did not like it. Ha!
And so we end this month's Bookish Nostalgia. Hope you'll join me again next month to see what September books I remember from my journals.
I read Bel Canto around that time, too... maybe with an online group. Plot details are fuzzy now, but I've enjoyed all of Ann Patchett's work. Loved the Guernsey book, too. The movie is available on Netflix now!ReplyDelete
I saw notice of the movie on Netflix. Hope to see it soon!Delete
I really liked Bel Canto, but it has been a long time since I read it! When a book stays with me for fifteen years and through hundreds and hundreds of books read since, I should reread it. Loved the Guernsey book which is still one of my very favorites. Didn't like Gone Girl at all, but acknowledged the author's skill even as I disliked her characters. Great nostalgia, Kay!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jenclair! I think our experiences were much the same.Delete
Gone Girl - "I didn't love it, but I thought it was well written." Exactly! Couldn't have said it better myself.ReplyDelete
Yes, that was my feeling, Nancy. I didn't hate it at all. But, I haven't read any of her other books up to now either.Delete
It looks like August was a good month for reads in the past!ReplyDelete
Yes, it does. Of course, it's always kind of funny when I go back through the journals. Sometimes there are themes and sometimes just a mishmash.Delete
Reading this I am kicking myself for not keeping better reading records over the years!ReplyDelete
I have been glad that I did keep records. Wish I had done it even longs. Mine go back to 1993.Delete
Bel Canto is one of my favorite books of Patchett's. I think you're right and that we read it with our online group. It's one I'd love to read again, as I remember that it was beautiful written.ReplyDelete
I just finished re-reading the Guernsey book a week ago and watched the Netflix movie with my mom. I wish I hadn't read the book so close to watching the movie, though. I noticed far too many omissions and changes in the storyline, which made me dislike the movie more than I might have. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't nearly as good as the book.
Gone Girl is one I really enjoyed. Yes, I disliked the characters, but I thought the writing and plot were both very good. Not great literature, but a fun thriller. Did you see the movie? I liked it, too.
My "nostalgia" post today is about The Princess Bridge. Another book-to-movie that I enjoyed.
I'm poking a little fun at you, but 'The Princess Bridge'? Ha! Love, twu-wuv...yes, I haven't made it over to comment our your post. And I'll keep your experience in mind about the Guernsey movie.Delete
I really enjoyed TGL&PPPS and loathed GG. I didn't make it past 25 pages of GG, BUT I enjoyed the movie. Go figure!ReplyDelete
Cathy, sometimes the movie suits better. I've had that happen more than once.Delete
I've read three out of the four you mention (not the first one)--and each was a personal favorite. By the way, Bel Canto is being made into a movie starring Julianne Moore.ReplyDelete
I don't think I knew about the movie of Bel Canto, Catherine. Thanks for mentioning it!Delete
I haven't read Gone Girl but I still blame it for the beginning of the downhill slide of so much contemporary crime fiction, so I hate it anyway! ;) I read and enjoyed the Guernsey Literary... only a couple of years ago, so I was late to the party with that one. But the good thing about book parties is that they go on forever...ReplyDelete
Yes, book parties do go on forever and you were a little late to the Guernsey event. Ha! Gone Girl definitely set the bar for a bunch of the books to come, but it wasn't the only one.Delete
The Guernsey Literary...movie is on Netflix now. One of my friends saw the movie and loved it and promptly ordered the book. On my list now to watch or read.ReplyDelete
You definitely need to read it. You weren't part of the afternoon group, but we read it early on.Delete
I've read all of these but the engineering one, which I've never even heard of. I didn't love GUERNSEY like everyone else seemed to, but I did like it and I will definitely be watching the movie on Netflix.ReplyDelete
I love your Bookish Nostalgia posts!
I do enjoy putting them together, Susan.Delete
I thought Gone Girl was pretty clever, and it definitely did spark a lot of similar books to come out.ReplyDelete
It did encourage a lot of people to try psychological thrillers. And Gillian Flynn is a good writer, in my opinion.Delete
I really enjoy your bookish nostalgia posts. I hope you are able to find those mysteries from Aileen Schumacher. They definitely sound different. Did you hear there's a movie of Bel Canto coming out? I liked the book but barely remember any details.ReplyDelete
I've been to Anne Patchett's bookstore but I haven't actually read any of her books because honestly, they don't really appeal to me. I loved Guernsey but I haven't seen the movie yet. I want to watch it but am a little scared because I loved the book so much! I liked Gone Girl I think because it was so new to me it was a bit shocking. Now I don't think I would be quite so wowed.ReplyDelete
I recently reread The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows and loved reading it again the 2nd time around too.ReplyDelete
I haven't seen the film version yet, but it is on Netflix.