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#1 of 23 Old 05-19-2013, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Any suggestions for great books for summer reading? For mamas and kids. I tend to end up reading a lot of young adult fantasy as that is the genre my kids like and I like to be able to understand what they are talking about. But, I should probably branch out some.  What are you currently reading or plan to this summer? 


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#2 of 23 Old 05-21-2013, 09:18 AM
 
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Downton Abbey fans may like The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. It's an Upstairs/Downstairs story set during the same time period in a English great house. It's been around for a few years, but I'm never very current with my reading, lol. It was fairly entertaining. Not great literature and there were more than a few stumbles (heavy handed foreshadowing, obvious plot developments, no real mysteries or plot twists etc.) but forgiveable in a first time novel. All in all, pretty much what you want in a beach/verandah/hammock read. I just finished listening to the audiobook version. Some of the voices were a little grating, so I'd suggest reading the book rather than the audio version. 

 

I wish I had more suggestions. I feel like I've stalled out on my reading lately. I'll be interested in what others recommend. 

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#3 of 23 Old 05-21-2013, 03:58 PM
 
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I would be interested in what others are reading too! Great post.
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#4 of 23 Old 05-21-2013, 04:22 PM
 
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I agree with Kate Morton as an author, and I'd say anything by Kate Morton would be a great choice. My favorite is The Forgotten Garden but they're all good.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a really fun book.

And Wool by Hugh Howey is a great sci-fi book.
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#5 of 23 Old 05-23-2013, 06:57 AM
 
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I've been thinking about it, and here are a few books that I'm interested in right now: 

 

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - I like Atkinson, but I'm not sure that I'm sold on the premise of this novel. 

 

Paris by Edward Rutherford - I enjoyed some of his previous big, chewy, historical books: Sarum and London. DH and I had planned a trip to Paris this summer but it's been put off because he has a huge project launching in a company he's been with for only a few months. Sigh. Might be salt in the wound to read it right now.

 

The Round House by Louise Erdrich - Her children's books are very good and I've never read her adult stuff. This one has great reviews.  

 

DD, another Downton Abbey fan, just finished The Great Gatsby. She wanted to read it before the movie premiere. (Aside - She and her friend - drama and art majors - dressed up as flappers and they looked marvelous.  Dresses, jewelry, shoes, hair and makeup - it was amazing how well they replicated the look.) So I'm going to read it again since it's been about 30 years.  

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#6 of 23 Old 05-23-2013, 07:14 AM
 
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I'm reading Life After Life right now, and I'm liking it.

On my list of things I'd like to read this summer:

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
The Paris Wife
Life of Pi (Still haven't read that! But I have the e-book.)
11/22/63 (Still haven't read that either!)
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#7 of 23 Old 05-26-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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There is another "Life After Life" out right now, too, but it's a novel about nursing homes and aging, so pretty different premise. It's by Jill McCorkle. I'm considering picking it up, but it hits a little close to home right now and not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

 

I liked "Life After Life" by Kate Atkinson. 

 

I think I'll try for the new Neil Gaiman when it comes out, "The Ocean at the end of the Lane".


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#8 of 23 Old 05-27-2013, 05:22 AM
 
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Good to know that the Atkinson is being enjoyed. I'll put it on hold at the library. I think I'll be about 500th in line, though, so I might not read it this summer, lol! 

 

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I think I'll try for the new Neil Gaiman when it comes out, "The Ocean at the end of the Lane".

 

Oh, I didn't know there is a new Gaiman. Thanks for the tip! 

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#9 of 23 Old 05-27-2013, 01:36 PM
 
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yup. Due out in 3 weeks.


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#10 of 23 Old 05-27-2013, 08:55 PM
 
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 A very sweet, short book entitled, Kinship With All Life is true and I would think kids would love it.  It is about how the author, Allen Boone, makes peace with all nature's creatures and just how much they respond to our intention/attitudes/love.  Nuture Shock is enlightening info for many parents to read.  It throws many or our current beliefs about parenting out the window.  For example, "The Inverse Power of Praise" and how it damages children or how Sesame Street give unexpected bad influences.

We never actually read to our child, upon the advice of Jean Liedloff (author of the Continuum Concept). Instead, I read out loud what ever I was interested in, usually of a metaphysical or mystical nature.  By 6 he would knit until he feel asleep while I read.  Later he read to me his books, or summarized what he was reading.  Zzzz.

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#11 of 23 Old 05-28-2013, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I also didn't know there was a new Neil Gaiman. I like his books! 

 

I've been reading a lot of non-fiction lately. I just started Simplicity Parenting. I like it so far. It's a little plodding at times, but if you'd never heard of these concepts before....you'd need the additional explanations he gives. 


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#12 of 23 Old 05-28-2013, 10:52 PM
 
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I'm trying to read Possession by A. S. Byatt, but it is slow going.  I just read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and I really enjoyed it.  

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#13 of 23 Old 05-29-2013, 08:33 AM
 
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I'm trying to read Possession by A. S. Byatt, but it is slow going.  I just read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and I really enjoyed it.  

 

I confess I skimmed most of the poetry in Possession. I do love the end of that book. It was near perfection. 

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#14 of 23 Old 07-10-2013, 11:12 AM
 
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I think I'll try for the new Neil Gaiman when it comes out, "The Ocean at the end of the Lane".

 

I'm reporting back on this book. I really enjoyed it. It's quite short, less than 200 pages. I found it refreshing and satisfying to have a beautiful story completely told in less than half the length of the doorstoppers that have been foisted on fantasy fans since Harry Potter

 

There is a nostalgic flavour to the book and not just because it's about a man revisiting his childhood home. There were elements reminiscent of familiar myths and stories, including A Wrinkle in Time (oddly enough a book I've never really liked) and the Dark is Rising series, and books by Diana Wynne Jones, as well as others.  

 

I recommend it. 

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#15 of 23 Old 07-10-2013, 03:36 PM
 
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Good to know. I'm looking forward to it if my number ever comes up at the library!


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#16 of 23 Old 07-11-2013, 05:14 AM
 
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Good to know. I'm looking forward to it if my number ever comes up at the library!

 

I hope you'll post after you read it. I'd like to know what you think of it. I've read a few mixed reviews. Personally, I thought it was excellent. 

 

I know what you mean about waiting for a hold at the library. I think I'm about #1000 in line for the Kate Atkinson book. I bought the Gaiman book for DS and that's the only reason I've already read it. 

 

N.B. A thought about The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It's advertised as Gaiman's first novel for adults in years. Content-wise, I think a mature younger reader (teen or even tween) could handle it. There are a few scenes of violence, a suicide and a sexually suggestive hugging/groping between adults. There isn't a lot of detail, though, because it's such a short book. I think, however, that everything Gaiman does in the book cannot be appreciated fully except by an adult. Maybe not even a younger adult. There's a certain pathos and wistfulness and depth for a middle-aged reader. It's definitely a book that should be re-read at about 45 or 50, if the reader is only 25 y.o. or so now. 

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#17 of 23 Old 07-11-2013, 12:43 PM
 
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I will definitely let you know here or on the other monthly book thread.


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#18 of 23 Old 10-29-2013, 06:47 PM
 
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Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - I like Atkinson, but I'm not sure that I'm sold on the premise of this novel. 

 

 

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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I'm reading Life After Life right now, and I'm liking it.
 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post
 

I liked "Life After Life" by Kate Atkinson. 

 

 

Summer is long gone but I'm updating now because the library finally delivered this book to me. I just finished it. I loved it. Despite my trepidation about the premise, I found it was a wonderful exploration of life and death and all the "what ifs" of living. I also loved the celebration of all things English (especially pudding), rich symbolism, clever use of names (lots of virgin saints), prolific literary allusions and references and quotations....  

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#19 of 23 Old 10-29-2013, 07:58 PM
 
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Have you read any of her other non-Jackson Brodie stuff, Olly? She's actually a bit Gaiman-esque at times. I'm reading a short story collection of hers right now, "Not The End Of The World" and it reminds me a lot of Gaiman, with references to gods, etc. I also really liked her "Behind the Scenes at the Museum". It was her first, but is similar in a lot of ways to "Life After Life". I first came to her thru the Jackson Brodie novels and I do like those. Several years ago, I branched out into reading one of her other non-Jackson novels, "Emotionally Weird" and found it pretty weird at the time (wonder what I would think of it now). I don't think it was one of her strongest works, but I really do like the others I mentioned. If you liked "Life After Life" they're worth checking out if you haven't already read them. They're slimmer, but still of a similar tone.

 

I did read the new Neil Gaiman, too. I enjoyed it a lot although I did find it a little bit slight. It's really more of a novella than a novel. Very nicely put together, though. I do think fans of Neil's would enjoy this Kate Atkinson short story collection, "Not The End Of The World."

 

I need to go through sometime and completely update my reads on the other thread, although, is that one still on June?


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#20 of 23 Old 10-30-2013, 10:44 AM
 
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Have you read any of her other non-Jackson Brodie stuff, Olly? She's actually a bit Gaiman-esque at times. 

 

No, I haven't, for some unknown reason. I liked the Jackson Brodie books. I was sad to read that she isn't likely to write any more about him. I may try the short story collection based on your post. I was planning on reading some Alice Munro soon and it might be fun to read a few different short story writers for variety. It's been at least 10 years since I read any Munro and when she won the Nobel I was struggling to remember which collections I'd read and which ones I'd missed. 

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#21 of 23 Old 10-30-2013, 03:41 PM
 
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I thought that "Behind The Scenes At The Museum" was sort of like a bookend to "Life After Life" so you might enjoy that one, too. It's told from an omniscient first person view from the moment of conception.


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#22 of 23 Old 10-31-2013, 06:54 AM
 
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I thought that "Behind The Scenes At The Museum" was sort of like a bookend to "Life After Life" so you might enjoy that one, too. It's told from an omniscient first person view from the moment of conception.

 

Now you have me intrigued, lol! I don't know why I've left it on the library shelf when I've seen it there, since I like Atkinson's work so much. I will have to check it out, thanks!

 

I admire how Atkinson masters any genre she turns to - the Brodie detective mysteries and now science fiction (of a sorts) in Life After Life.  

 

Life After Life isn't exactly traditional science fiction/fantasy but I thought she handled those aspects with great skill. The scenes in the London Blitz were so dystopian. In a way, they were so much more disturbing than any sci fi I've read because I knew it was a fairly accurate depiction of those events. Earlier this summer I read The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. At first I enjoyed it the time travel aspect of that book but eventually I became dissatisfied with the novel as a whole. Atkinson is working in the same neighbourhood, playing with timelines, but she is so much more adept at it. 

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#23 of 23 Old 10-31-2013, 08:28 AM
 
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This says it better than I can:

 

Quote:

Behind the Scenes at the Museum: A Novel 

Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life at the moment of conception, and from there takes us on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of an English girl determined to learn about her family and its secrets.  Kate Atkinson’s first novel is “a multigenerational tale of a spectacularly dysfunctional Yorkshire family and one of the funniest works of fiction to come out of Britain in years” (The New York Times Book Review). 

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