corner corner Feb. 5-8: What are we reading now? And, if applicable, where and when is it set?

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Feb. 5-8: What are we reading now? And, if applicable, where and when is it set?

Firebirds ( https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14872127 ), a YA fantasy/SF anthology, includes a variety of times and places, many completely fictional - faerie, medieval Europe, old Japan, and more.

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Firebirds ( https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14872127/ ), a YA fantasy/SF anthology, includes a variety of times and places, many completely fictional - faerie, medieval Europe, old Japan, and more.
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1. The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky NF -- it is non-fiction set in New England from the beginning until Present?? I am only 1/2 through the book

2. Pearl of China by Anchee Min - a novel about the life of Pearl Buck; mostly set in China, but some in America. Time period early 1900's but I am sure that it will move past this time as Pearl is now married and a mother.

ALL YEAR: Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman

Map of Bones by James Rollins -- getting ready to start to listen to this on my phone. May start tonight or tomorrow.
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The Last Word by Ben Mcintyre started out as a column on words and language and all sorts of related musings in The Times - no venue or time period.

The World of Samuel Pepys, edited extracts from the famous diary prepared by Robert and Linnet Latham - so it's taking me to the 17th century, mostly in London.

My next paperback novel will be Circling the Sun by Paula McLain - a map inside the cover shows Kenya in the 1920s, so I guess that's where I'm heading.

My next novel for carrying around on the Kindle will be On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry - reviews I've read suggest the first person narrator writes of leaving Dublin for America at the end of WWI, so it looks like I'll be in Ireland and on the other side of the Atlantic at about the same time as I'll be in Kenya!
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My next paperback novel will be Circling the Sun by Paula McLain - a map inside the cover shows Kenya in the 1920s, so I guess that's where I'm heading.

Finished it. Impressive.
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14886331
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'A Domestic Cook Cook : Containing a Careful Selection of Useful Receipts for the Kitchen' by Malinda Russell,
An Experienced Cook,
Paw Paw, Michigan, 1866 : a facsimile of the first known cookbook by an African American.

Russell was born in Tennessee lived and worked there and Virginia. The book was written in Michigan where she was riding out the Civil War.
By: Russell, Malinda.

Just finished reading through a cookbook (39 pages long) online. I found it this morning in an article from the Smithsonian Institute. Very interesting. I managed to find one or two very simple recipes I could do for the fun of it without the fuss of measurement translation, using big amounts of ingredients, using yeast and waiting for rising and fallings and substitutions. Old Maids and Ginger Snaps. But the bonus for me was the last page with recipes for medicines and personal grooming.

Magic Oil
One ounce laudanum, one ounce chloroform, half ounce oil of sassafras, one ounce oil of hemlock, half ounce Cayenne pepper, one ounce oil cedar, half ounce camphor gum; add two quarts alcohol

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/---/these-were-first-cookbooks-published-black-people-america-180965175/?...


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I'm not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14433855/
So far it's fun and interesting. Hope it stays that way (though it reminds me of the Dexter series a bit).
It is set in Clayton County, somewhere in the US and I guess around 2009, when it was first published.
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http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14900665

Since I joined BC I have read many books and discovered many authors I haven't heard about or I had heard about but somehow had never come across till then. So among other books, I try to obtain and share Greek books in English translation that I like or are my favorite or are interesting or are considered classics here or are contemporary or are in general less well-known internationally than in my own country.

A Tale Without a Name is a great allegory by one of our most honored authors here and one of her books that might have appeal to an international crowd not familiar with the specific circumstances under which this author lived and wrote her books. So I bought it for BC purposes, but of course I had to read it for my self before seen it off : )
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http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14900665

Since I joined BC I have read many books and discovered many authors I haven't heard about or I had heard about but somehow had never come across till then. So among other books, I try to obtain and share Greek books in English translation that I like or are my favorite or are interesting or are considered classics here or are contemporary or are in general less well-known internationally than in my own country.


What a wonderful idea! I really enjoy discovering new books and authors, especially from different countries/cultures.
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And who/what might be very popular on one corner of the world might be completely unheard of on an other corner. I've discovered some interesting books/authors here and I'm always on the look-out for unusual ( for me) books. So why not to offer some in return...? : )
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by William Travis, written in the 1950s, about diving for Green Snails (for their mother-of-pearl shells) in the reefs around every island in the Seychelles. I didn't expect to like it or read it to the end, but in fact it's well written, a fascinating account of the reef fish, sharks, turtles, the differences between all the islands, and the young men he trained to dive. I do feel sorry for all these snails, just happily minding their own business among their families in the reefs, harming no one, finding themselves plucked off, scraped out of their shells and eaten or tossed overboard, and all to make money. I'm now on to the second part which is about shark hunting.
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I'm juggling three books at the moment, mainly because one is a massive dud.

"My Brilliant Friend" by Elena Ferrante (not yet registered) is an upcoming book club read. I cannot get into this book at all. Maybe because it is translated? I find the language clunky, the story disjointed, the characters too abundant and not sufficiently differentiated. And I'm only on page 70. I can read pretty much anything, but I honestly might not make it to the end of this one. It has me in Naples in the 1950s... when I can bring myself to pick it up.

I'm also reading "Darned if You Do" by Monica Ferris (not yet registered), which is a cozy mystery that is part of her Needlecraft Mystery series. It has me in Excelsior, Minnesota circa 2015. At one point I thought I had gotten burned out on cozy mysteries, but I do still enjoy them from time to time when I'm in the right mood.

My pick up / put down book of essays is "The View From Mary's Farm" by Edie Clark ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13670243 ). It's easy to dip in and read a few essays at a time since they are all short and stand on their own. It's taking me to rural New Hampshire from the late 1990s onward.
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I'm juggling three books at the moment, mainly because one is a massive dud.

"My Brilliant Friend" by Elena Ferrante (not yet registered) is an upcoming book club read. I cannot get into this book at all. Maybe because it is translated? I find the language clunky, the story disjointed, the characters too abundant and not sufficiently differentiated. And I'm only on page 70. I can read pretty much anything, but I honestly might not make it to the end of this one. It has me in Naples in the 1950s... when I can bring myself to pick it up.


Are there rules in the book club about reading when you really don't like it? If I were you, I would quit. I try reading a lot of different things and sometimes I try too long/hard to finish a book I don't enjoy at all and then I don't want to read at all anymore for a while. It raises an aversion. But I'm not sure how the others would respond if you'd quit. And maybe the book will become better later on?
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Are there rules in the book club about reading when you really don't like it? If I were you, I would quit.

Yes, I agree! I used to try harder with book group books than those I was just reading for myself but with some real duds I'd quit and explain why! Life's too short and all that . . . . far too many good books out there to waste time with the others . . . .
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I do agree with you! Why read a bad book when you can read a good one, right?
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Are there rules in the book club about reading when you really don't like it? If I were you, I would quit. I try reading a lot of different things and sometimes I try too long/hard to finish a book I don't enjoy at all and then I don't want to read at all anymore for a while. It raises an aversion. But I'm not sure how the others would respond if you'd quit. And maybe the book will become better later on?


I have been organising for a book club for 9 years now, and while each one has a different dynamic, here's my thoughts on finishing the books (either myself or the other members)
We are as much of a social club as a literary one, so I never complain if someone hasn't finished, or even if don't even try. I don't want them to stay home if they haven't finished. They are my friends, I always want to see them! They will be able to join in on many general topics anyway.

However, it is much more fun, for both the reader and the other members if the book is finished. EVEN IF THEY HATED IT. In fact, some of the best meetings have been for terrible books or with mixed reactions. Don't be afraid to say what you didn't like! The first few times this happened to a book I presented it hurt my feelings a bit (the other ladies were probably more blunt back then too!), but now it really annoys me when someone is afraid to say anything, or doesn't come. It's boring.
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You make some very good points! The variety of opinions is quite valuable. And we are as much of a social group as a literary one too. But I still might not finish this particular book... ha!
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I am free to abandon it and still attend the book club. No rules. However, I do normally facilitate the discussion and also write the discussion questions. I might just have to delegate that job this time around. I *have* wondered if the book will become better if I persevere. I might give it a little while longer and then just quit. :)
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Still I don't get. By pure luck I found the second book of the series in English and read it and I wasn't impressed at all. Not completely bad or something, but very long for what it was and the whole saga of the two friends' "friendship" was like watching a bad Italian soap opera or something. I can't imagine reading all three books back to back or been as hooked as many people seem to be. Different folks, different strokes and all that I guess...
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I too am puzzled / mystified. There are a number of rave reviews on Amazon and I just don't get it.
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this specific tetralogy (it's a tetralogy actually, not a trilogy), Time magazine called Ferrante one of the 100 most influential people in 2016 (!) and she is now about to start writing a column on The Guardian. Those four books will soon be adapted in a TV series and in general there is a great hype about the whole thing, even more so because Elena Ferrante in a pseudonymous author and there is a mystery about her true identity...
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In the Book Battle challenge, I am on team France and need to read a book set in France in order to get 20 points for our team.
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Buenos Aires in the 1970s. In a boys' boarding school with a penguin!
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Buenos Aires in the 1970s. In a boys' boarding school with a penguin!

I really enjoyed that! Quirky!
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14387262/
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Set in New York City in 2012. Totally unlike my usual choices of natural history and travelogues.

I picked it out when visiting a little bookstore in a neighboring town with $25 in cash and this was the only thing I could afford that looked readable. (Wow! I didn't realize list price of new hardcovers was close to $30 now.)

Such good writing I barely mind the very shocking (to me) drug and sex scenes. (and it features a terrific cat named Joni Mitchell.)
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I'm in an alternate-reality Victorian-esque Europe. My carrying-around book is Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens ( https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14671864/ ), an anthology - nice variety of tales within the steampunk-vs-aliens theme, with one of the best so far being "Heart of the Empire" by Jason Palmatier. That one features a warship that's effectively a steampunk/clockwork Transformer, and an aging admiral with a steam-powered heart and a lingering love for his Queen. Awesome story!
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I'm struggling. Must finish for 666 Challenge. I like, or at least appreciate most classics but not this one. One problem is that it is guilty of a real pet peeve of mine. The well known, almost universal description of the book is total spin. I mean, if the book is that great, why not say what it actually is? If the truth isn't great, why do people love it? grrrrrrr

Sorry for the venting lol!
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Heh! This is one of those had-to-read-in-school-but-didn't-appreciate books that I rediscovered years later; I found that I liked it much better after I had a couple of decades of life-experience to add to the mix. (One of my release copies here: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/1826450/ )
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I'm struggling. Must finish for 666 Challenge. I like, or at least appreciate most classics but not this one. One problem is that it is guilty of a real pet peeve of mine. The well known, almost universal description of the book is total spin. I mean, if the book is that great, why not say what it actually is? If the truth isn't great, why do people love it? grrrrrrr

Sorry for the venting lol!



Ok, I can see why people like it. The very last chapter finally reveals the message, which is a nice one. However, I still personally did not care for it. Quite annoyed that Father Juniper barely appears yet is the focus of every description of this book. Also, loosely related short stories are not my favorite, nor are Titanic style looming disasters. Ok, moving on to some Historical fiction for the book club.
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It's set in florida during a hurricane in contemporary times.
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Irena's Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo - It takes place in 1940's Warsaw
Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh - She wrote it in the 50's I think on Captiva Island, Florida
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - Current day setting in some town in Australia that I can't remember.
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Looking around the Amazon site after seeing Louise Penny and Ann Cleeves in York last night, I came across this quirky little e-book, a short collection of her thoughts on various subjects. I really don't know what the author's designation means!!! Anyway, I've read and enjoyed it this afternoon, didn't take long!
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...The Blue Jay's Dance ( https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14818675/ ) by Louise Erdrich - non-fiction, a kind of memoir-with-anecdotes, really enjoyable so far. It's set in relatively-modern-day New Hampshire.
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by Steve Duno. But I opened it and when I looked up again I had finished 49 pages. So I guess I'll be reading this book that I didn't buy to read, but only to release for the 2018 Asian Zodiac / Year of the Dog Challenge. It really caught my attention.
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M. Brillat-Savarin was in America for about two years. But, since his interests were mainly gustatory in nature, the wondrous joys of rustic American living weren’t necessarily what made the greatest impressions on him. Here’s what happened to him in October 1794 in Connecticut.

Excerpt:

The next day we left, in spite of the friendliest protests, for even in America I had certain duties to perform. While the horses were being saddled, M. Bulow, having drawn me to one side, spoke in the following profoundly interesting way:

“You see in me, my dear sir, a happy man, if such there be on earth: everything around you and all that you have so far observed is a product of what I own. Theses stockings I wear were knitted by my daughters; my shoes and my clothes come from my own sheep; they help also, with my gardens and barnyards, to furnish me with simple nourishing food; and what makes our government so admirable is that here in Connecticut there are thousands of farmers just as happy as I am, and whose doors, like mine, are never bolted.

“Taxes here are almost nothing; and as long as they are paid we can sleep in peace. Congress does everything in its power to help our newborn industry; agents come from every direction to buy up whatever we have to sell; and I have case on hand for a long time, for I have just sold for twenty-four dollars a barrel the wheat I usually get eight for.

“All this is the result of the liberty which we have fought for and founded on good laws. I am master in my own house, and you will not be astonished to know that we never hear the sound of the drum here, not, except for the fourth of July, the glorious anniversary of our independence, do we ever see soldiers, or uniforms, or bayonets.”

During the whole of our trip homeward I was plunged in profound thought. It may be believed that I was pondering the parting speech of M. Bulow, but I had something quite different on my mind: I was considering how best I should cook my turkey, and I was not without some worries, for I feared that in Hartford I might not find all the ingredients I would need—and I was determined to raise a worthy monument to the spoils of my skill.

End of excerpt.
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I picked this romance/mystery novel to read for Valentine's Day... Plus, I've had it in my 'to be read' pile for years now, so feel like it's time to read it and move it along.

It's a contemporary novel, set in Keene's Harbor, Michigan.
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Received from Over-the-moon, and I am really enjoying it. Title: "The Summer That Never Was". Set in northern England - I think it's Yorkshire.

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