KeskusteluClub Read 2023

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joulukuu 27, 2022, 9:26 pm

Starting this topic because before I pick what to read next, I often wonder whO on CR has read it.

joulukuu 28, 2022, 10:27 am

Ooh, this could be great fun! What a great thread idea!

joulukuu 28, 2022, 1:09 pm

I will also admit to having scrolled through LT reviews on the book page to see if there are any CR reviews before I commit to a book. I recently did this with The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois. I read the first 50ish pages and wasn't convinced about reading the whole 800 pages. I found Dan's "meh" review of it on the book page and that tipped me to set it aside.

Would have been quicker to check in here! Great idea!

joulukuu 28, 2022, 1:17 pm

>3 japaul22: i saw your review and was thinking whether i captured my reservations enough in my review to share with you, or whether i had buried then too deep in hesitation. 🙂 It’s not a bad book. It’s a book that many readers like, but also one that readers who dislike generally don’t dislike enough to criticize it.

Anyway, I like the idea of this thread a lot, too.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 28, 2022, 1:21 pm

Diane - I’m thinking to try a test case : I’m planning to read The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka - the 2022 Booker Prize winner. I‘m pondering audio (the sample is good).

Has anyone read it? Any thoughts on whether it might be good on audio?

joulukuu 28, 2022, 5:20 pm

>5 dchaikin: Darryl (kidzdoc) has that listed as one of his best books of the year. I'm planning on reading it in January or February.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 28, 2022, 5:52 pm

>3 japaul22:, >4 dchaikin: Umm...I liked The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, a 4½ star read, which nearly made my Best Books of 2022 list.

>5 dchaikin:, >6 RidgewayGirl: Right, Kay. The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida was my second favorite novel the year, behind only The Colony by Audrey Magee.

ETA: >5 dchaikin: I don't read audio books.

joulukuu 28, 2022, 6:17 pm

>7 kidzdoc: Good to know! I will keep Love Songs on my list and not consider it set aside permanently.

joulukuu 28, 2022, 6:42 pm

>8 japaul22: Sounds good, Jennifer!

I see that we both gave The Colony 5 stars.

joulukuu 28, 2022, 7:02 pm

>9 kidzdoc: yes, I absolutely loved The Colony. It was one of my favorite books of the year.

joulukuu 28, 2022, 8:19 pm

>7 kidzdoc: I’m curious if there were parts of Love Songs you liked a lot better than other parts. I was mixed, but I really enjoyed the college chapters. (It helped that Ailey was my age)

joulukuu 28, 2022, 11:05 pm

>11 dchaikin: I'll have to look through my copy of it to remember what parts I liked best, as I read it in early July.

joulukuu 28, 2022, 11:23 pm

>12 kidzdoc: lol. No worries.

tammikuu 2, 12:20 am

Anyone familiar with this book. I bought it in 2021 and have no idea why. Thought maybe some here mentioned it but can’t find a mention of it when I searched.

Radical Prunings: A Novel: A Novel of Officious Advice from the Contessa of Compost by Bonnie Thomas Abbott

tammikuu 2, 7:27 am

>14 dianeham: No, but what a title!

tammikuu 2, 3:45 pm

>15 labfs39: take a look at the cover too.

tammikuu 2, 6:20 pm


tammikuu 3, 10:22 am

>5 dchaikin: well, to answer my own question, so far the audio for The Seven Moons od Maali Almeida is mixed. Reader is excellent. But the extended satire might read more pleasantly in quiet. The voice gets tiring.

tammikuu 3, 10:24 am

>14 dianeham: wonderful cover!

tammikuu 3, 10:26 am

This thread is such a good idea!

>3 japaul22: "I will also admit to having scrolled through LT reviews on the book page to see if there are any CR reviews before I commit to a book." Ha, that is something I do, too!

tammikuu 3, 2:18 pm

>20 MissBrangwen: me too.

>14 dianeham: I am totally stymied over why I bought that book. Maybe I should read it. I have to start adding a field for "why I got this book" or "suggested by." When you can no longer remember why you went in the kitchen, remembering why you bought one of the strangest books ever could be hopeless. I guess it’s possible I read about it somewhere other than LT.

tammikuu 4, 9:41 am

>5 dchaikin: I tried to. Really liked the concept of the afterlife, loved the writing and dark humour, and history of the conflict But I c ouldnt get passed the description of gore and torture and in the end skimmed then read the end. Funny cause I had no problem reading games of thrones* I think tho you will probably have no problem with it.

*TBF this was not a fantasy, this was a very real event I remember seeing on the news which made the descriptions all the more horrifying for me

tammikuu 4, 9:43 am

>20 MissBrangwen: i do the same! But coming here is much more personal plus you can ask questions of the actual poster

tammikuu 21, 11:41 am

>21 dianeham: When I add a book to my wishlist here on LT because of someone’s review, I add the name of the person in the comments field. It helps me with the “why did I add this” question when it’s ages before I ever get to it.

tammikuu 21, 3:46 pm

>24 NanaCC: That's a really good idea.

tammikuu 21, 3:47 pm

>24 NanaCC: >25 lisapeet: And if you don’t want other people to see the note, you can use the Private Comments field.

tammikuu 21, 3:58 pm

>24 NanaCC: I need to do that. Thanks.

tammikuu 22, 10:55 am

I finally got around to watching The Queen's Gambit and thoroughly enjoyed it so now I'm wondering whether it's worth reading The Queen's Gambit. Has anyone read it?

tammikuu 22, 11:01 am

>28 rhian_of_oz: I read the book back in 2013, and I remember enjoying it. Unfortunately, that was before I was keeping my physical book journal, so I don't have any more specific comments/thoughts to make. Well, except for the fact that I picked up a copy a couple years ago because I wanted to reread it (haven't gotten around to that reread yet, though).

Oh, I can say that my father loves the TV series, has watched it several times, and he's also read the book at least twice (once in English, once in Spanish).

tammikuu 22, 11:13 am

>28 rhian_of_oz: I haven't read the book, but I bought it after watching the series (I think possibly the only streaming series I've ever watched all the way through, though that was easy because it was short... also early days of Covid isolation, when we all did strange things). I've heard good things about the book, that it brings the game to life and is detailed but not dry, so at some point when the ebook was on sale I grabbed it. Which... doesn't answer your question in any shape or form, I guess.

tammikuu 22, 12:18 pm

>28 rhian_of_oz: I read it (as a RL book group selection) a few years before the TV series, and although I haven't played chess in 50 years it inspired me to watch two chess movies.

tammikuu 22, 2:50 pm

>28 rhian_of_oz: I read the book after watching the miniseries. I just went back to see what I had said about it. I said that I liked the miniseries a little better than the book, but that was mostly due to the wonderful visuals in the film version. The series followed the book pretty closely. I think it gave more “meat” to a couple of the characters than the book did, as well.

tammikuu 22, 5:31 pm

>28 rhian_of_oz: terrific series. I had read several negative comments about the book. That it just wasn’t very fun. So I’m glad to see the positive comments here

tammikuu 25, 10:39 am

>29 shadrach_anki:, >30 lisapeet:, >31 qebo:, >32 NanaCC:, >33 dchaikin:
Thanks everyone for your responses. I shall add it to the wishlist but I might save it for my mid-year break.

helmikuu 6, 7:32 pm

I'm looking at book that are "available now" on my library kindle wish list and came upon An Island by Karen Jennings. It is probably on that list from someone on LT, and I can't remember who read it or what interested me about it.

Anyone read it and think I should read it soon?

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 6, 7:42 pm

>35 japaul22: Dan read it & rated it highly:

It's also part of the 2023 Tournament of Books and has therefore been making regular appearances on Litsy.

helmikuu 6, 7:47 pm

>36 ELiz_M: thanks! I’ll check out litsy too.

helmikuu 13, 10:17 am

>35 japaul22: I didn't write a review of it but I also enjoyed An Island, Jennifer.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 9:16 pm

Nicole Krauss was mentioned else thread, wonder if anyone has read forest dark?

helmikuu 14, 6:47 am

>38 kidzdoc: Thanks!

helmikuu 14, 8:15 am

>39 cindydavid4: Yes, I have read Forest Dark- I find Nicole Krauss's work interesting to read but her style is somewhat " dense"- that is the only word that I can think of to describe the work.

helmikuu 14, 8:21 am

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

helmikuu 19, 6:11 pm

Is anyone reading Palo Alto? Any good?

helmikuu 24, 11:56 pm

>35 japaul22: Kate Jennings An Island is one of my top ten in the past 20 years.

helmikuu 25, 3:14 am

>43 slimeboy: I didn't know that existed, but now I'm torn on whether I should read it or not. My kids were raised in Palo Alto, and I lived and worked in the Valley for 15 years (but not in Palo Alto, I couldn't afford that!).

helmikuu 25, 8:11 am

>44 kjuliff: Wow! OK, I need to get to this one. Other books caught my eye since I asked about it.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 5, 10:37 am

Hi, looking for some recommendations on another Dickens to read. I absolutely adored Great Expectations - definitely up there as one of my favourite novels - but found Hard Times to lack the same magic (also relentlessly bleak). I can do bleak if I fall in love with the characters along the way, but that didn't happen with Hard Times.

Those who are fans of Dickens, what should I go for next?

maaliskuu 5, 11:01 am

tale of two cities
oliver twist much more than the movie
david copperfield

along with great expectations these are my favs

maaliskuu 5, 1:16 pm

>47 AlisonY: I listened to a bunch of Dickens last year. I don't think you can go wrong with David Copperfield. I has a lot of adventure, endearing characters, and a great sweep of the Victorian scene. For me, Dickens is better heard than read if you get someone who can do the accents right.

maaliskuu 5, 2:03 pm

>48 cindydavid4:, >49 LolaWalser:, >50 nohrt4me2: Thank you all - that's a big help! Our Mutual Friend isn't a title that's as familiar to me, so thanks for the recommendation on that one - I'd probably have overlooked it just for that reason.

maaliskuu 5, 2:21 pm

>51 AlisonY: for fun, watch the film The Personal History of David Copperfield. The plot of copperfield with the life of Dickens, the acting is absolutly incredible as are all the london streets in 19th century.

maaliskuu 5, 3:48 pm

>47 AlisonY: Our Mutual Friend is the last completed novel Dickens wrote, so if you think you may be reading several more, you may want to read it later, if you like reading in chronological order.

Of the earlier ones, I would suggest A Tale of Two Cities which I reread this past year. It's interesting to see Dickens do a historical novel. Oliver Twist would be another.

I definitely agree with you about Great Expectations.

maaliskuu 5, 4:20 pm

This is just my experience, as someone who likes Dickens and has read him from childhood (graduating from all sorts of adaptations to novels in my teens)--I find Copperfield and Twist more YA, and kitschily sentimental (at least as much as Little Dorrit), which may be a turnoff. Dickens' historical fiction is, to me, boring.

Our Mutual Friend is to my mind the most "grown up" Dickens, plus it's generally seen as his best book. So to someone who's not sure whether they want to continue with reading him, I'd say that stands the best chance of capturing them. However, there's no predicting someone else's reactions, so again, just explaining my suggestion.

maaliskuu 5, 4:27 pm

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 5, 4:34 pm

Yes, I’d also go for Our mutual friend or Bleak House — or for pure fun, Pickwick Papers, although that isn’t really a novel.

I enjoyed re-reading Copperfield last year more than I expected, because Dickens is still a fine writer even when he’s serving up sentimental mush and implausible female characters. The same probably applies to Oliver Twist, The old curiosity shop and Little Dorritt (which has some fun stuff about the patent office, but is about a hundred times too long). I didn’t really take to Tale of two cities, but it is one of those books you end up reading anyway just to see whether it’s as bad as it sounds.

Hard times is probably fun if you’ve never been to the north of England or heard anyone from there speaking, but will set your teeth on edge otherwise.

maaliskuu 5, 4:34 pm

>55 SassyLassy:

Heh, having shed a lake of tears reading Dickens... I guess it's fair to say he needed to move some really heavy Victorian lead. This was a world in which children working themselves to the bone, city poor dying in the gutters, kitchen maids working 20 hour days etc. was a normal thing.

maaliskuu 5, 7:42 pm

As a Dickens virgin, other than parts of A Christmas Carol, I'm taking note of this conversation.

maaliskuu 5, 7:50 pm

>58 lisapeet: What Lisa said.

maaliskuu 6, 9:28 am

>57 LolaWalser: I hear you on the "lake of tears". My grandmother started giving me OUP editions of Dickens for my ninth birthday and every birthday and Christmas thereafter until I had them all. She started with ones that might appeal to children, so some of those tears were wept over the likely suspects for Victorian "maudlinhood", but as I reread the novels over the years, they seemed to grow with me, the plots seemed to change as other aspects became of more interest.

The depiction of child labour later got me reading Henry Mayhew and Jacob Riis among others. It seems today that child labour will never go away, if anything it seems to be making a resurgence in some countries (looking south of the border here).

>58 lisapeet: >59 kidzdoc: Try him

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 6, 10:00 am

>60 SassyLassy: It seems today that child labour will never go away, if anything it seems to be making a resurgence in some countries (looking south of the border here).

Yep. There was a feature article about migrant child labor in the United States in The New York Times last week:

Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S.

I've shared this story from my NYT account, so anyone who wants to should be able to read it via this link.

maaliskuu 6, 4:37 pm

Re Dickens and "sentimental mush": I guess that's why I avoided Dickens for a long time.

Since I've gotten old and have been around sickness and death more--cancer and covid have taken four family members in just the last year--I am less cynical about the emotional sensibilities of Victorian lit.

Instead of being inured to human misery, Victorian social reformers like Dickens wanted people to feel how much suffering and death was needless.

maaliskuu 6, 8:58 pm

>47 AlisonY: I loved Bleak House. Other favorites are David Copperfield, Our Mutual Friend, and Great Expectations. Unlike Sassy, I also liked Little Dorrit. The only one I've read that I didn't connect with was The Old Curiosity Shop.
As an aside, my husband received a set of Dickens for his bar mitzvah in 1962. We still had the set until a couple of years ago when I was giving away many of our books in preparation for our cross-country move, I divided the set among our grandchildren.

maaliskuu 7, 3:51 am

Thanks everyone - fantastic and very useful chat on Dickens.

>61 kidzdoc: Darryl this article really shocked me (thanks for sharing). Some of the jobs mentioned are in mainstream big factories. How on earth do labour laws not catch up with the companies? I get that kids could go under the radar in small restaurants and construction, but it shocked me that they seem to be working in plain sight all over the country.

maaliskuu 7, 12:42 pm

>64 AlisonY: That is a shocking and shameful story, Alison; I could hardly believe what I was reading. Hopefully this feature article from one of this country's leading newspapers will focus attention on this problem by public citizens, immigrant rights groups, politicians, and especially President Biden.

maaliskuu 10, 10:19 am

>61 kidzdoc: Thanks for posting the full article. I found out about listening to an interview with the author on CBC radio: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2177903171529

huhtikuu 21, 11:01 am

>63 arubabookwoman: About that set of Dickens, my mother received a very nice letterpress set for her engagement, but she HATED Dickens. Kept them anyway - I have no idea why. I inherited it and read some of them, but they had begun to deteriorate and take up too much room, so I donated them this past year.

heinäkuu 3, 7:27 am

Good nonfiction about the US Supreme Court? Looking for something more historical and philosophical than related to current events, but that could inform how the court worked in different eras and possibly how we got here.

heinäkuu 3, 8:24 am

I've read a few books on the Supreme Court and the Constitutional arguments that have come before it. All touchstones should be correct:

Justice for All; Earl Warren and the Nation He Made by Jim Newton
The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin
The Court Years by William O. Douglas---a terrific historical perspective of his time on the Court.

The Establishment Clause
In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action
May it Please the Court (actual transcripts of oral arguments before the Court)
The Right to Privacy

heinäkuu 3, 11:49 am

>68 japaul22:

Just a thought... this is a roundabout sort of suggestion, but Jill Lepore's These Truths, a general history of the US, touches on the Supreme Court exactly in the sense of "how we got here". The whole book actually paints the context for answering that.

But better options focussed on the SC probably exist!

heinäkuu 3, 12:13 pm

I've heard good things about The Shadow Docket.

heinäkuu 3, 1:29 pm

Supreme Power by Jeff Shesol is an excellent book on FDR and his plan to pack the Court as a response to a series of rulings that challenged his attempts to deal with the economy during and after the Depression. Not about current events, though it certainly has some resonance with the current moment.

heinäkuu 3, 4:19 pm

I have on my Kindle, but not yet read Supreme Inequality by Adam Cohen, an account of the court's last fifty years. In her review on Slate, Dahlia Lithwick said, "Adam Cohen has built, brick by brick, an airtight case against the Supreme Court of the last half century....{The} book is a closing statement in the case against an institution tasked with protecting the vulnerable which has emboldened the rich and powerful instead."
I am currently reading Nine Black Robes by Joan Biskupic, and it is excellent, but is focused on the court since Trump took office. I am about half-way through the book, and I was remarking to my husband this morning that this new Supreme Court is going to damage this country possibly irreversibly over the next 10-15 years, regardless of whether we have great presidents and/or good congresses.
I second the recommendation for These Truths.

heinäkuu 3, 5:24 pm

>74 arubabookwoman: excellent, thank you! Those both sound like just what I’m looking for.

heinäkuu 14, 8:38 pm

Has anyone seen Waiting for the Barbarians {2019 film}?

heinäkuu 14, 8:59 pm

I was just noticing that title on the Classics Challenge : translated classics and thinking of reading it, and wondered about the film as well. I note it has Mark Ryland and Johnny Depp which means some good acting. I saw a few trailers and it does look very good, very intense

btw interesting that Summertime, named on the 2009 longlist, was an early favourite to win Coetzee an unprecedented third Booker Prize. It made the shortlist, but lost to bookmakers' favourite Wolf Hall, by Mantel. Mark Ryland also played in that series

heinäkuu 14, 10:45 pm

>76 dianeham: Yes, some time ago. From what I remember it was an OK adaptation. Of course no film could live up to the novel.