Author Topic: What did you just finish?  (Read 274 times)

Offline AngelicGamer

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Location: Chi-town
    • View Profile
    • Words 'n Books
What did you just finish?
« on: May 26, 2018, 12:48:53 am »
I just finished I'll Be Gone in the Dark for my book group. As I got near the end, I started getting teary eyed because she's not going to see all the good her work did. Well, maybe she will, but she's not here, in person, to see what happened. Also, as I was reading the book, I was nodding along with "wow, she nailed that" because... well, the guy is now arrested and awaiting trial.

What have you finished recently? Did you like it, dislike it, would throw it at a wall, so on? ;D


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Agree Agree x 1 View List

Offline Morrigan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 99
  • Location: Canada
    • View Profile
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 04:57:01 pm »
I just finished Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of The FBI by David Grann, and I really liked the book. I'm on a true crime kick at the moment, and I really liked the history behind everything.
Agree Agree x 1 View List

Offline ginger aka Gellchom

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 132
  • My real name is Biff Picklesby
    • View Profile
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2018, 05:06:12 pm »
The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson.  Slow going (at least for me), but just wonderful.  I had been curious about the origins of human civilization, and this taught me so much more than I'd even hoped.  Brilliant book.

Thanks for the comment on Killers of the Flower Moon.  I'd heard about it and thought it sounded interesting, so now I will put it on my list.

guest121

  • Guest
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2018, 05:22:05 pm »
Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers.

I've read it several times before and liked it. It's a really well-constructed whodunnit, and it introduces a lot of important, likeable characters in the series.

But I've become sensitized to the really offensive stereotypes, attitudes, and slurs that permeate the book. Period fiction is nearly always problematic in one way or another, and you have to just chalk it up to the "bad old days" and be thankful how much has changed.

But this was a *lot.* There are 2 victims, both Jewish. And it's England in the 1920's. It gets bad. Even the characters who are trying to be progressive say some really gross stuff.

Some critics believe Sayers was trying to do social commentary, and some of her letters indicate that she may have had that in mind, to a certain extent.

It didn't stop me finishing it, but the more I thought about it, the ickier it was. It's so disappointing when you look back at something that was really skillfully done, that you once enjoyed, and realize it's actually appalling.
Agree Agree x 1 View List

Offline Redwing

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2018, 09:57:06 am »
Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan.  She is a new author for me and I absolutely devoured that book!  Immediately reserved her other two.  Can't wait!

Offline Winterlight

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 190
    • View Profile
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2018, 09:37:13 pm »
Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers.

I've read it several times before and liked it. It's a really well-constructed whodunnit, and it introduces a lot of important, likeable characters in the series.

But I've become sensitized to the really offensive stereotypes, attitudes, and slurs that permeate the book. Period fiction is nearly always problematic in one way or another, and you have to just chalk it up to the "bad old days" and be thankful how much has changed.

But this was a *lot.* There are 2 victims, both Jewish. And it's England in the 1920's. It gets bad. Even the characters who are trying to be progressive say some really gross stuff.

Some critics believe Sayers was trying to do social commentary, and some of her letters indicate that she may have had that in mind, to a certain extent.

It didn't stop me finishing it, but the more I thought about it, the ickier it was. It's so disappointing when you look back at something that was really skillfully done, that you once enjoyed, and realize it's actually appalling.

Yeah, I was raised Jewish and that book really made me uncomfortable. I don't reread it, though I love the other books.
If wisdomís ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

guest121

  • Guest
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2018, 12:57:13 pm »
Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers.

I've read it several times before and liked it. It's a really well-constructed whodunnit, and it introduces a lot of important, likeable characters in the series.

But I've become sensitized to the really offensive stereotypes, attitudes, and slurs that permeate the book. Period fiction is nearly always problematic in one way or another, and you have to just chalk it up to the "bad old days" and be thankful how much has changed.

But this was a *lot.* There are 2 victims, both Jewish. And it's England in the 1920's. It gets bad. Even the characters who are trying to be progressive say some really gross stuff.

Some critics believe Sayers was trying to do social commentary, and some of her letters indicate that she may have had that in mind, to a certain extent.

It didn't stop me finishing it, but the more I thought about it, the ickier it was. It's so disappointing when you look back at something that was really skillfully done, that you once enjoyed, and realize it's actually appalling.

Yeah, I was raised Jewish and that book really made me uncomfortable. I don't reread it, though I love the other books.

I mean, by today's standards, even "Gentleman's Agreement" is pretty awful. It's  valuable as a historical document, because it addressed the real situation at the time. And it did help change people's thinking. But it doesn't work as entertainment anymore.

Whose Body, otoh, didn't help make anything better.

Offline lowspark

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 177
    • View Profile
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2018, 12:58:07 pm »
Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers.

I've read it several times before and liked it. It's a really well-constructed whodunnit, and it introduces a lot of important, likeable characters in the series.

But I've become sensitized to the really offensive stereotypes, attitudes, and slurs that permeate the book. Period fiction is nearly always problematic in one way or another, and you have to just chalk it up to the "bad old days" and be thankful how much has changed.

But this was a *lot.* There are 2 victims, both Jewish. And it's England in the 1920's. It gets bad. Even the characters who are trying to be progressive say some really gross stuff.

Some critics believe Sayers was trying to do social commentary, and some of her letters indicate that she may have had that in mind, to a certain extent.

It didn't stop me finishing it, but the more I thought about it, the ickier it was. It's so disappointing when you look back at something that was really skillfully done, that you once enjoyed, and realize it's actually appalling.

Yeah, I was raised Jewish and that book really made me uncomfortable. I don't reread it, though I love the other books.

I mean, by today's standards, even "Gentleman's Agreement" is pretty awful. It's  valuable as a historical document, because it addressed the real situation at the time. And it did help change people's thinking. But it doesn't work as entertainment anymore.

Whose Body, otoh, didn't help make anything better.

I'm not sure "Gentleman's Agreement" was ever meant as entertainment, per se. It was meant as a means of conveying a story that would help people understand what it meant to be Jewish in post WWII America. The discrimination depicted in that story was so subtle and sort of beneath the surface, and yet so accepted by society that it needed someone to point it out in a way that people could relate to.

There seems to still be quite a lot of that subtle discrimination that goes on today, so I'm not convinced that Gentleman's Agreement is that out of date, unfortunately.

I imagine that there are plenty of books being written today to raise social consciousness about current injustices, both fiction and nonfiction. I suppose the goal is always to get us to a time where we look back on those books and feel disgusted that such things could go on and no longer feel like reading such stories for recreation.

On the other hand I just finished reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult (which is the reason I opened this thread) which is a fictional story of a Holocaust survivor, her granddaughter, and their relationship with a Nazi war criminal in modern day America (published in 2013).

The bulk of the story focuses on the grandmother's tale of survival and the Nazi's tale of atrocities he committed so although the story is set in contemporary times, it really is more of a story about what happened over 70 years ago.

I was coming here to say that I didn't like the book as I found the fictional depiction of true events to be too contrived and that if one wants to read about a survivor's experiences, there are much better nonfiction books available.
Houston 
Texas 
USA 
Like Like x 1 View List

Offline GloryAndCrumpets

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 296
    • View Profile
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2018, 12:01:10 pm »
Just finished both Jane Austen: The Secret Radical and Killers of the Flower Moon. I definitely recommend both of them- they were both very thoroughly researched and well-written, and I learned quite a bit from each of them, albeit in different ways. I was already pretty well-versed in Jane Austen and her books, but the Secret Radical book gave me a whole new perspective on things and more insight not only into Jane and her books, but also the period in which she was living. Killers, on the other hand, gave me a whole wealth of information about events I knew literally nothing about before I read the book. It was a fascinating (if extremely tragic) story that in many ways read like a classic murder mystery (including the murderer being the last person you'd suspect!). Definitely recommend both of these!

Offline Poesie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 240
  • Location: Australia
    • View Profile
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2018, 01:20:05 pm »
Just finished The Lucky Galah, Tracy Sorensenís debut novel. It focuses on the lives of folks in remote Western Australia around the time of the moon landings (thereís a tracking station there). The narrator is a pet galah (a type of parrot) which gives it an unusual point of view, though it never felt gimmicky. The writing is good and the characters are well observed. There was a lot that resonated with my childhood growing up in the tropics, even if it was a bit later. Not a happy ending, more ambiguous that. Went to a talk by the author last week which was a bonus - interesting talk and the audience questions were good. May go back and reread at some point.

Offline GloryAndCrumpets

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 296
    • View Profile
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2018, 02:02:52 pm »
I just finished The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah. I have mixed feelings about it. It's about a Vietnam veteran who takes his wife and daughter up to live on a homestead in Alaska, and the first half of the book was really good. You saw them struggling to carve out a life in Alaska and survive their first winter, when their supplies had dwindled down to a couple cans of Spam and a wolf killed all their animals. The dad's PTSD from Vietnam was getting worse and he was starting to get a little paranoid/crazy (thanks in part to his friendships with a neighboring survivalist nut) and there was bad blood brewing between him and a prominent, well-to-do neighbor and holy crap, the whole thing was riveting. The tension kept growing and you knew there was going to be an explosion and you were dreading it, but you also wanted it to happen because you just couldn't take the waiting anymore. But then the second half of the book completely unraveled it all, and went from a tense survival story to a kind of Lifetime movie soap opera and the daughter became the most insufferable, idiotic character (I lost count of the number of times she made insanely stupid decisions and I wanted to punch her) and it just turned into kind of a slog to get through to the end. So it started out great but ended up disappointing, which is almost worse than if it had just been bad from start to finish.  :-\

Offline Apis Mellifera

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2018, 11:33:06 am »
Lilac Girls

It's on the longer side (close to 500 pages), but it is amazing.  It's a fictionalized account of true events during WWII connected to Ravensbruck.  I usually do not like multiple narrators, but this works--three narrators, very different women whose voices are easy to distinguish.  All three are presented in first person narrative, again a technique that I normally don't care for.  Yet, the narrative works, and I have been moved by the story that was told. 

Offline AngelicGamer

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Location: Chi-town
    • View Profile
    • Words 'n Books
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 07:52:36 pm »
It's a craft book but I just finished Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes as research for my NaNoWriMo project. I'm writing a romance novel for the first time (eeeepppp) and it was suggested to me by fellow writers. It's a super fast read and so easy to understand. She's got a ton of movie and music references mixed in and it is so relatable. I highly recommend it for writers (and readers too!).


Like Like x 1 View List

Offline Crispycritter

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 97
    • View Profile
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2018, 08:09:49 am »
   
"So you've been publicly shamed a journey through the world of public humiliation"
by Ronson, Jon,

It is a book about shame, and how an offensive joke/picture sent out on twitter or other social media can ruin someone's life.  It also discusses a bit about our past shamings (stockades, public whippings, etc.).  What happens to people after this, etc. 

Interesting book. 

Offline GloryAndCrumpets

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 296
    • View Profile
Re: What did you just finish?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2018, 11:04:39 am »
   
"So you've been publicly shamed a journey through the world of public humiliation"
by Ronson, Jon,

It is a book about shame, and how an offensive joke/picture sent out on twitter or other social media can ruin someone's life.  It also discusses a bit about our past shamings (stockades, public whippings, etc.).  What happens to people after this, etc. 

Interesting book.

Oh, I read that last year! Really interesting book. Jon Ronson has some great TED talks as well, and he also did a fascinating podcast called "The Butterfly Effect" that looked at all the myriad ramifications of the proliferation of free **** on the internet.