Just starting. A favorite author -- but not one I would associate with YA.
For booklikes book club at http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/12/ya-book-club
One of the classic SF/F always been meaning to read.
For booklikes book club at http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/50/virtual-speculation
Between procrastinating the book for my IRL book club, getting hooked on an online farming game, and starting to watch Dr. Who with my husband, I’ve spent a surprising amount of August not reading. I’m especially surprised because I’ve been on vacation for the past week and instead of my usual book a day, I have only finished one book (though I did DNF 2 others).
During August, I finished 3 books in print and 1 audiobook.
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis - J.E. Vance got a lot of press right after the 2016 presidential election, but it took me until now to listen to it as an audiobook. As advertised, Hillbilly Elegy discusses the plight of whites of Appalachia in the story of one family told by the son who "made it" and moved away. Like many personal narratives, I think Hillbilly Elegy would have made a wonderful long-form article, but the full book was a bit thin and repetitive. While Hillbilly Elegy does a good job of personalizing one segment of the white working class and their struggles, I found it long on anecdote and short on rigorous analysis that would have deserved the reviews saying that it explained the appeal of Mr. Trump to these voters who swung the election.
My IRL book club read The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware for August. After procrastinating starting it, I did finish it in time for the book club meeting, due in part to insomnia the night before the meeting. I didn't find the protagonist appealing, but once the story got going, the pages turned. The opinion of the book club was that The Woman in Cabin 10 was the suspenseful/thriller-like story that we were expecting for our previous selection Before the Fall - Noah Hawley.
My husband has been trying to get me to read Tinker - Wen Spencer for over a year. My younger son devoured the series this summer. I brought the opening volume of this urban fantasy-like series based on the premise that an orbital gate transfers a near-future Pittsburgh to the planet of the Elves on vacation with me. Tinker had some rough edges and Mary-sue-like moments, but I was right, it did make a good vacation read. I am curious to see where the series goes, but not quite sure how it might fit into Halloween Bingo (while you could stretch and call elves cryptozoological and there is a murder, at least this first book doesn't fit the suspense/mystery/horror requirement).
I've been intentionally trying to read more books by African-American authors. So after seeing glowing reviews, I started the 2017 National Book Award winner Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn Ward. I can't articulate why, but the book just didn't grab me (The extended episode with the car-sick little girl was the penultimate straw). So, despite feeling that Sing Unburied Sing is something that I should have read, and a book that would be good to be conversant with as part of cultural literacy, I guiltily decided to DNF.
The rest of the family has also devoured Leviathan Wakes - James S.A. Corey this summer. DH is on book 4 of the series and older son is up to book 6. I started Leviathan Wakes late last week. After getting about 50 pages in on August 31st, I decided to throw it back onto the someday/maybe pile and move on to Halloween Bingo selections instead.
Several colleagues and I started an IRL book club at work four months ago. We met at lunchtime on Thursday to discuss Before the Fall. Marketed as a thriller with the hook “On a foggy summer night, eleven people—ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter—depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are the painter Scott Burroughs and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.” The book follows Scott in the days immediately following the crash with flashbacks to the lives of the now-deceased passengers and crew.
Surprisingly, our opinion of the book was unanimous. Pretty much everybody was intrigued by the concept of the book and hated the execution. The general feeling was that Before the Fall wasn’t suspenseful enough for the thriller designation and that the story stopped living up to the promise of the opening sequence as soon as Scott left the hospital.
As one of my colleagues said, this book is awash in red herrings, but rather than them being fat meaty fish that we could believe in, there’s this swarm of pink minnows darting around pallid characters.
While you can’t really say anything about how the book ends, or “whodunit” without spoilers, we were dissatisfied with how the book ended and had some significant questions about the timing of certain things.
As an aside, while the consensus is that we are unlikely to read anything else by Mr. Hawley, we wish that Gil the security guard had survived the crash so that he could be the protagonist of his own book.