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Saturday, June 8, 2024

A beginning of summer reading update...

Hello and Happy Saturday to all!  Hope this is a good weekend for everyone and includes fun things.  I've been up early and made my bigger grocery shop already and am now washing clothes.  Decided it's a good time to share a bit about what I've been reading lately.  I'm going to try to get back to sharing my 'Waiting For' posts on Wednesdays.  I like to do that so you all know what's coming (if you're interested) and also to remind myself as well.  

OK, my reading has been going well.  I've been making my way through a reread of J.D. Robb's Eve Dallas series on audio for my walks and times alone in the car.  I've read them all before, but I do enjoy visiting with Eve and Roarke.  If you can believe it, #59 in the series will be published in September.  And I still like these.  Go figure!  LOL

I attended my two book groups recently and enjoyed a nice discussion of Circling The Sun by Paula McLain at the 'Afternoon Book Group'.  This is a historical fiction book that tells of Beryl Markham's life and includes other characters from the Out Of Africa movie as well.  We also talked quite a bit about other historical fiction authors and those who had read Kristin Hannah's new book, The Women, shared some of their experiences.  My come-away with that part was that The Women seems to inspire quite varied opinions.  Have you read it?  I have not as yet.

I also got to take part in the June meeting of the 'Mystery Book Group'.  This month has traditionally been the one that we read 'Books that won or were nominated for Mystery Awards in the previous year'.  It's always a fun one because everyone reads different things and then comes and shares what they thought.  Plus, we get a list of the books talked about and that's helpful for summer reading in the mystery realm.

I read Carol Goodman's The Bones of the Story and enjoyed it.  It was nominated for the 'Mary Higgins Clark' Award for this year.  Carol Goodman's books are most often standalones and are usually set in upstate New York or the New England area.  She also uses a school or university setting a lot of the time.  They are almost always a bit spooky and I guess would fall into the new-ish theme of 'dark academia'.

Next month, we will be reading Fiona Barton's book, Local Gone Missing.  I have read it before a while back, but will probably do a reread to refresh my memory.

In other reading, I decided that I might do a bit of 'Summer Reading' before a couple of my favorite mystery series authors have their next book published.  Then I'll be diving into a new 'Lady Sherlock' book (by Sherry Thomas) and also visiting 'Kate Burkholder' (by Linda Castillo).

Since this post is getting quite long, I'll just share the two summer-ish books I've finished and also the one I'm currently reading.  All fall into the rom-com or family life area.

The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren - I've only read one other book by this author (who are actually two friends) and liked it.  This one was fun.

Look On The Bright Side by Kristan Higgins - I read several of this author's books a few years ago and enjoyed them.  This one is sweet and poignant and has a woman who is trying to get past a loss and deal with things as best she can.  She's stronger than she knows though and all is good in the end.

Right now, I'm reading The Best Life Book Club by Sheila Roberts. - I think I've only read one other book by her and it was a Christmas-themed book a long while back.  Anyway, the 'book club' angle caught my eye and the setting is the Pacific Northwest.  So far, so good.  A woman with a young daughter moves to a new town after a divorce and she meets a couple of neighbors and the sister of one of the neighbors.  They all could use a 'refresh' and so start a book club to help them with that.  As I said, I'm liking it so far (19% in).

Think that's about it for now.  What are you reading these days?  Have you picked up any good 'Summer Books' or what else do you recommend?  I always love to hear.  Take care!      

30 comments:

  1. I've been hoping to do some summer reading, but I seem to set aside everything I've tried so far after the first few pages.

    I'm glad you are enjoying your book clubs!

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    1. Deb, I'll admit that I've set aside a few books too. The ones I listed were the ones I was involved enough to finish. Saying that though, I don't force myself to finish anything anymore. Too many book choices for that - right? LOL

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  2. Wow! That's a long series. 59 installments? I tried the first one many, many years ago, but didn't get hooked. I think I'm looking for a shorter series at this point. :)

    The Best Life Book Club sounds intriguing, especially with a PNW setting. There sure do seem to be a lot of books out lately about book clubs or book stores!

    I'm currently reading Family Family by Laurie Frankel. I loved This Is How It Always Is, but was ho-hum with her One Two Three. So far, I'm loving this new release of hers. It deals with adoption and foster families. I've also just started listening to Cormac McCarthy's novel, The Passenger. So far, it's really kind of strange and weird. I'll stick with it since I have a print edition of the sequel.

    Have a good weekend, Kay!

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    1. Les, yes, J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts is quite prolific. I honestly don't know anyone else who has read all those J.D. Robb books, but I like them. They suit me for my exercise time. Good luck with finding a series that will work for you. Yes, I agree - a lot of books about bookstores/book clubs. Seems a popular theme. Kind of like the 'And Then There Were None' theme for so many thrillers. Thanks for coming by!

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  3. Several of these have caught my interest. A sucker for book club books, The Best Live Book Club sounds good and the Carol Goodman appeals to me as well. Always yes on Sherry Thomas and Linda Castillo--both series are favorites!

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    1. I'm always happy to see a new Linda Castillo book each summer. Both Sherry Thomas and Linda Castillo are Texas authors, but I've never gotten to attend an event for either of them. Maybe one day.

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  4. Wow, 59 books in the series! That's amazing. I haven't read any of her J.D. Robb books, but I know they're popular. I've enjoyed the couple of Carol Goodman books I've read. She has a new one coming out called Return to Wyldcliffe Heights which has something to do with Jane Eyre. I can't wait!

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    1. Yes, I've heard about Carol Goodman's new book and am very much looking forward to it. Add me to the 'can't wait' group. The Robb books are good mystery puzzlers, but they are a little spicy. Not everyone likes that. LOL

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  5. I cannot believe the Eve Dallas series is still going strong. Nora Roberts has such a backlist of books! Some of the other titles you mention I haven't heard of so I need to look into those. Carol Goodman is an author I've enjoyed too but it's been quite a while since I read one of her novels. Stay cool this weekend! :)

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    1. Nora Roberts does indeed have a lot of books written. I think she still writes all her own books or it seems like it. She doesn't share author credits with anyone else up to now. I keep wondering how many more will come (and that includes the J.D. Robb books). As Diana said above, Carol Goodman has another one coming in July. It sounds good.

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  6. I enjoyed The Women. Kristan Higgins' recent novels have been hit or miss for me but I plan to take her new one on vacation with me next month. Have a good week!
    Mary @Bookfan

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    1. Mary, I'll be interested in what you think about the new Higgins book. It was quite poignant. Enough to where I'm ready for a 'nice' murder story - ha!

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  7. I loved Circling the Sun. This year on a morning park near Gage's school I saw Paula McLain walking her dog. I didn't say anything because it was early and it seemed intrusive. I kind've wish I had now though! I read the first few of the In Death series and liked them, but not 59 book commitment enough :)

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    1. Stacy - how fun!! Paula McLain has one out that is more of a mystery I think - When The Stars Go Dark. I have it on my shelf, but have not picked it up as yet. Have you read it? Think it was published in 2021. Wonder if she's got something new cooking for soon? And, yes, 59 books is a lot. If I didn't love the characters, I would never read that many. Ha!

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  8. I read The Women and thought it was a well-written and interesting book. I liked that it shows the Vietnam War through the eyes of the women serving as combat nurses; I didn't love the second half of it as much as I did the first. And The Best Life Book Club sounds like a fun read. :D

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    1. Lark, your thoughts on The Women mirror several of the book group I attended that discussed their experience. It didn't put me off reading the book - just thought it was interesting how diverse the opinions were. LOL

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  9. I'm really looking forward to The Paradise Problem, so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it, especially since it's pretty different from what you normally share! I haven't read The Women yet, although I want to get to it soon!

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    1. Angela, yes, The Paradise Problem is a bit different for me, but I did like it. I think I might have liked the other one by the author that I read a while back more - The Unhoneymooners. Good luck with both that one and The Women if you get to read them. :-)

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  10. I'm a big fan of Nora Roberts but haven't read anything under the JD Robb name. I did buy the first few books so I'm hoping to give the series a try soon. The Bones of the Story and The Best Life Book Club both look like books I'd enjoy. Local Gone Missing also looks intriguing. I"m pretty sure I've read something by Fiona Barton and enjoyed it.

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    1. Katherine, I'll be interested in hearing what you think about any of these you might try. :-)

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  11. I'm glad you enjoyed the discussion of Circling the Sun. When I read that, it sent me right off to find Beryl Markham's memoir, West With the Night, which was also good. Reaction do seem to be mixed on The Women. So many loved it and have already said it'll be a favorite of the year. but Hannah seems to be a mixed bag for me. My daughter recently dnf'd it, so I may hold out a little longer.

    My reading pace has slowed and I'm still working away at Horse by Geraldine Brooks and Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Both are excellent, but it seems like forever since I finished anything...

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    1. JoAnn, I looked back and realized that I read West With The Night back in 2000, so it has been a while. I remember liking it a lot and learning a lot. It was a bit funny that one of the younger members of the group didn't know that Beryl Markham and Karin Blixen were real people. Obviously never had watched Out Of Africa - ha! We all learn though. That was partly what prompted the historical author discussion and how many have used the little bits that can be discovered by research to share about actual women - albeit mostly through historical fiction based on fact. I've read 4 books by Hannah, but none since 2012. Those were some of her earlier romantic/family life books. I liked them, but wonder how The Women will go. Many didn't like Four Winds that she wrote. Think that one was set in Texas in the Dust Bowl years and I tried it a bit, but stopped reading it. My grandparents all lived in the Panhandle of Texas during those years and I heard lots of stories.

      You've had a lot going on and more to come. Think your reading will pick up before long. I need to get my mystery book group selection read (or rather read again) and then decide if I'm going to read the July selection for my afternoon book group. On the fence about that one. Thanks for coming by!

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  12. I can't believe the J.D. Robb series is so long! I think I have only listened to the first five. I haven't read The Women yet, but my mom and her book group did. She said it was well liked overall by everyone. The Bones of the Story sounds really good. I hope you continue to enjoy The Best Life Book Club. I have my eye on that one. Sounds like you have been reading a lot of great books as of late!

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    1. I do recommend The Bones of the Story, Wendy. I've enjoyed a few of Carol Goodman's books over the years. Yes, I'm addicted to the J.D. Robb books. Guess I'm not the only one as they sell well. LOL

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  13. The Paradise Problem and Look On The Bright Side sound worth trying, even though they are not my usual type of read. Also The Best Life Book Club. Obviously I can't read all of those, I have too many other books to read. But I will check them out more. The last book I finished was The Lonely Hearts Book Club by Lucy Gilmore, and currently I am reading Tales from the Café by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (time travel stories).

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    1. Tracy, all three of those books are not in my usual reading area, but I do enjoy non-mysteries once in a while. I'm ready for some crime solving at this point though. Ha!

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  14. Looks like a lot of good recommendations! Hoping for things to slow down so I can catch up and read some extras. Thanks for continuing to attend the Mystery Book Club. Your feedback and recommendations are appreciated by everyone.

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    1. Gayle, it is my genuine pleasure to keep attending the Mystery Group. One of my favorite activities of each month. You've done such a good job with leading it and I hope it continues for a long, long time to come.

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  15. I have not read The Women yet ... but I've read & liked Circling the Sun. Beryl Markham is a bit of hero of mine. What did you think of the book?

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    1. Circling The Sun? I liked it OK - well, I kind of skimmed it. Got really close to the discussion date and didn't have time to read it completely. I was glad I went to the discussion though. That was quite interesting.

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!