October 2021 book of the month club - 2 year anniversary celebration

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rubysmama

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What book did you read?
The Paris Dressmaker by Kristy Cambron

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This is a standalone historical novel that takes place in Paris during the Nazi occupation of WWII. Set in the fashion and art world, the 2 main characters, both women, risk their lives by seemingly working with the Nazis, when they are in fact working behind the scenes with the French resistance.

Why did you choose it?
I was looking for a long historical read, and the e-book for this one was available at my library.
Plus there was something about the gorgeous pink dress on the cover, which kept catching my eye.

Were you pleased with your choice?
I was pleased with the choice. It wasn’t exactly a fast read, but it wasn’t boring either.

I did find it took a bit of time to get used to each character having their own storyline, which was also broken into 2 parts. So each chapter took place in one of 4 timelines.

One thing I did like, is that despite the timeline this story took place, unlike other WWII novels I’ve read, there was no graphic descriptions of violence. Thinking back, I also don’t think there was much, or any, strong language, which doesn’t typically bother me, but also isn’t necessarily needed to write a good novel. So for anyone who wants to read a PG rated WWII historical novel, I would recommend trying this one.

Since reading about the author, I’ve learned she writes Christian novels, but that wasn’t obvious reading this book. I will probably look into her other books, and possibly read them, however, my to-read list is already 100’s long, so I don’t really need to add to it.

What was the format of the book?
E-book

How did you acquire the book?
Borrowed from library

What did you think of choosing your own book to read this month?
I enjoyed the chance to choose our own book this month, as since I’m not always a fast reader, trying to fit our book club read, and a long historical novel into one month, isn’t always possible. Plus I like the idea of seeing what my fellow book clubbers read when we’re not making the decision for them.

Write a review of the book you read
I’m absolutely terrible writing book reviews, so this is just a few more thoughts on the novel.

Although I’d read a novel about occupied France before, this time the location was Paris. So it was interesting, and saddening, to learn how works of art were stolen from Jewish families, and were either destroyed or sent off to Germany. And it was also insane to read how while the Paris locals were struggling to survive under rations and other hardships caused by the occupation, the Nazi generals and their paramours were living the life of glitz and glamour at the Hotel Ritz.

It was also interesting to learn from the author's notes, that one of the minor characters, Rose Valland, was a real art historian, who helped saved thousands of stolen works of art.
 

Lari

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What book did you read?
The Colo(u)r of Magic, by Sir Terry Pratchett, book 1 of the Discworld series

Why did you choose it?
This is one of those series I'd heard about and knew people who had read it, but never got around to it and kept forgetting about it until now. I like to read things in order, but the internet doesn't suggest starting with this one usually and going with a stronger outing, but I feel like it would be disappointing going back after a better book, so the beginning it was!

Were you pleased with your choice?
Overall

Was it as good as you expected or a disappointment? Because I'd read that Pratchett hadn't completely found his voice yet and it wasn't the best in the series, it was about what I expected. If I'd gone in with higher hopes I might have been disappointed.

Was it a fast read or a challenge to get to the end? It took a bit to get into and started out slow, and I was distracted a lot, but there were some fast and easy parts.

Would you recommend it to other readers? Maybe. It honestly depends.

If part of a series, do you plan to read the next one? Yeah, I think so.

What was the format of the book?
E-book

How did you acquire the book?
Borrowed from library

What did you think of choosing your own book to read this month?

This is the only month I've done so I'm not sure how to compare, but it was nice joining in and actually reading.

Write a review of the book you read
Rincewind is a failed wizard. Twoflower is the first ever tourist to come to town. Wacky hijinks ensue.

I'd probably give this book 3/5 stars. It started out slow, but I really enjoyed the second chapter, and there were definitely some funny moments. I'm looking forward to seeing how the author's voice develops and hoping for more funny scenes in future books

Note: I had some issues where scenes/POV changed and I didn't realize it right away (usually between pages) and got confused. I'm not sure if it's delineated better in a real book and if that was just an ebook feature or not.
 

Lola3791

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What book did you read?
I read Greenwood by Michael Christie. It is a standalone about the Greenwood family. Parts of the book are told through the POVs of different ancestors and decedents of the Greenwood family, from 1908-2038 in Canada. The book unfolds the family's history with trees woven into the background of the story.
Why did you choose it?
It was a book I had been wanting to read for a few months.
Were you pleased with your choice?
Overall, I was pleased with the book. 4/5 stars. It had a slow start but picked up after around 100 pages. I would recommend it to someone who likes family sagas. I don't think I would read any other books from the author.
What was the format of the book?
E-book
How did you acquire the book?
Borrowed from the library
What did you think of choosing your own book to read this month?
I liked that we got to pick our own book to read this month, but I do also like everyone reading the same book. It's nice to discuss and see everyone's thoughts on it.
Write a review of the book you read
Greenwood was a pretty good book, I just had some small issues with it. I felt like I did not get to know the characters as well as I wanted and I had a hard time keeping track of how everyone was related. I think it would be an interesting book to reread.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Sarah Addison Allen too, but her books have an added element of slightly "magical" things (I can't find the right words to explain it right now). It's not outright magic, maybe similar to some of Alice Hofmann's books but a bit more cutesy?
YES! That is it, exactly! The small, everyday magics that are so often overlooked!

SPIT SPIT SPIT! Yesterday, I posted a LONG review of my books, and it is gone, gone, gone. I have to try to, somehow, reconstruct it now. I HABS A SADS!


What book did you read?
"Moonheart" and "Spiritwalk" by Charles de Lint

Why did you choose it?
A favorite (if not THE favorite author, and I'm in the middle of binge-reading ALL of his books, so this worked out very well!

Were you pleased with your choice?
**Was it as good as you expected or a disappointment?
Oh, I knew what I was getting, and dove in with a whole heart!
**Was it a fast read or a challenge to get to the end?
These are not fast reads, however, when you get to the end, they feel fast!
**Would you recommend it to other readers?
Absolutely.
**If part of a series, do you plan to read the next one?
Already read the last two
**If standalone, would you read another book by the author?
Would, have, and will.

What was the format of the book?

"Moonheart" was Trade Paperback (oversized) and "Spiritwalk" was Mass Market Paperback (reguar size)

How did you acquire the book?
Have owned copies of them for YEARS

What did you think of choosing your own book to read this month?
I would love to do this at least annually, maybe bi-annually. I also love reading books that I otherwise might not have selected.

Write a review of the book you read

Both "Moonheart" and Spiritwalk" comprise the "Ottawa" portion of the Ottawa and the Valley series. The books tell the tale of Tamson House, a most unusual place, a place where those who do not fit into "normal" society find that not only do they fit in with the others who are drawn there, but that they fit into the life of the house so very, very well. And Tamson house definitely has a life of its
own! Built a few generations back by the ancestor of its current owner, Tamson house stands on the borders of this world and the Otherworld, a place where dreams are true, and magical creatures, faeries, elves, and manitou abound. It is a place of wonder and joy, and of danger and peril...and it is a place that the denizens of Tamson house will come to know very, very well.

There is no way that I can do justice to either of these books, so I am simply going to quote from them...these are words that fill my soul.

MOONHEART

“Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.”

“Sara Kendell once read somewhere that the tale of the world is like a tree. The tale, she understood, did not so much mean the niggling occurrences of daily life. Rather it encompassed the grand stories that caused some change in the world and were remembered in ensuing years as, if not histories, at least folktales and myths. By such reasoning, Winston Churchill could take his place in British folklore alongside the legendary Robin Hood; Merlin Ambrosius had as much validity as Martin Luther. The scope of their influence might differ, but they were all a part of the same tale.”

“understanding that, for all that they knew so little of each other, there was something deep inside each of them that saw a kindred spirit in the other.”

SPIRITWALK


"In the heart of the house lay a garden.
In the heart of the garden stood a tree.
In the heart of the tree lived an old man who wore the shape of a red-haired boy with cracker-nut eyes that seemed as bright as salmon tails glinting up the water.
His was a riddling wisdom, older by far than the ancient oak that housed his body. The green sap was his blood, and leaves grew in his hair. In the winter, he slept. In the spring, the moon harped a windsong against his antler tines as the oak's boughs stretched its green buds awake. In the summer, the air was thick with the droning of bees and the scent of wildflowers that grew in stormy profusion where the fat brown bole became root.
And in the autumn, when the tree loosed its bounty to the ground below, there were hazelnuts lying in among the acorns.
The secrets of a Green Man."
“Inside us lies every possibility that is available to a sentient being. Every darkness, every light. It is the choices we make that decide who or what we will be.”

“All forests are one... They are all echoes of the first forest that gave birth to Mystery when the world began.”

“There were two forests for every one you entered. There was the one you walked in, the physical echo, and then there was the one that was connected to all the other forests, with no consideration of distance, or time.

The forest primeval, remembered through the collective memory of every tree in the same way that people remembered myth- through the collective subconscious that Jung mapped, the shared mythic resonance that lay buried in every human mind. Legend and myth, all tangled in an alphabet of trees remembered, not always with understanding, but with wonder. With awe.”

“All she knew was that there was more to the world than what could be perceived with the five senses, and that she couldn't accept that Mystery as having its source in some power-hungry god whose church's creeds were based on denial of all secular matters, as though the beauty of this world was not a thing to be cherished for its own sake, but was rather a testing ground for how one would or would not be rewarded in the afterlife.”

IF you can only ever read ONE Charles de Lint, let it be "Spiritwalk."
 
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rubysmama

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Since the post I wrote yesterday when "poof" here it is again. More-or-less. And with some additional thoughts.

There are some other authors that give me the same feeling, like Jane Green, Liane Moriarty and some Sophie Kinsella.
Is the Shopaholic books "some" of the Sophie Kinsella ones you like. They're silly, but I've grown to love the characters, and like that there's several books in the series.

Jane Green is my absolute go to when I'm going through a rough patch.
Just checked and my library has some e-book versions of her books. Which ones are your favourites?

The book is titled Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica. It's a psychological thriller/mystery and luckily my favourite genre.
I have read all her previous books, all stand alone and IMO her best yet. I loved it, a real page turner for me and I couldn't wait to sit down and get stuck in.
Since I also enjoy thrillers, I've put the e-book on hold. I'm #99 on 16 copies, so it'll be a bit of a wait.

harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban , series ,
As I posted yesterday, before "poof", loved that book, particularly the introduction of one of my favorite HP characters, Sirius Black.

Housebroken: Admissions of an Untidy Life by Laurie Notaro.
It is standalone, the author writes humorous books and this is one of them.
It's about her life and how she messes things up, has a disaster of a house, borderling hoarding, and funny mis-steps in life that we all can relate to. At least those of us who aren't Perfect!
Sounds like a fun read.

The other book I read was non-fiction, "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing, about Ernest Shackleton and his journey with 27 other men to Antarctica in 1914 to attempt to cross Antarctica on foot from west to east. Truly harrowing tale of their experience, being stranded for over maybe 18 months and no one knowing where they were. Written from their journals, interviews, etc. Published in 1959.
Brrrr-rrr. :cold: How frightening, that must have been. Especially back in 1914. This is probably a spoiler question, or the answer will be, so spoiler-tag it if need be, but how many of the 28 survived?

What book did you read?
The Colo(u)r of Magic, by Sir Terry Pratchett, book 1 of the Discworld series
[snip]
Write a review of the book you read
Rincewind is a failed wizard. Twoflower is the first ever tourist to come to town. Wacky hijinks ensue.
As wrote yesterday, and I know you saw, Lari Lari , but Harry Potter wizards were fine for me to read, but these ones seem less interesting. However, since there's 41 books, I don't think I'll be adding them to my to-read list anyway. Too many other books to read.

What book did you read?
I read Greenwood by Michael Christie. It is a standalone about the Greenwood family. Parts of the book are told through the POVs of different ancestors and decedents of the Greenwood family, from 1908-2038 in Canada. The book unfolds the family's history with trees woven into the background of the story.
That sounds interesting. And, my library has the e-book. So I'm putting it on my "to read" list.

I would recommend it to someone who likes family sagas.
I love family sagas. And, I think I've mentioned this before, but my all-time favourite family saga series is Daughters of England Series by Philippa Carr by Phillipa Carr. The first book takes place in the 1500's, during Henry VIII's rule. The next book is a generation later and focuses on the daughter from book 1. Each subsequent book tells the story of a daughter from the previous book. This goes on for 19 books, the last book taking place during WWII. There is a 20th book, considered part of the series, but it's a standalone, and no idea why they count it as book 20. :dunno:

The books are long reads, so it does require a commitment to read them all, but they are so good, it's worth it.

SPIT SPIT SPIT! Yesterday, I posted a LONG review of my books, and it is gone, gone, gone. I have to try to, somehow, reconstruct it now. I HABS A SADS!
Sorry that you're SADS. 🤗 But if it helps any, I did read your original post. And even replied to it. You know, before the "poof" happened.

Both "Moonheart" and Spiritwalk" comprise the "Ottawa" portion of the Ottawa and the Valley series.
I had to Google to see if "Ottawa" was, you know, the Canadian capital "Ottawa", and it is. Also see the author is Canadian, which makes it doubly odd that my library doesn't have the series in e-book format.

IF you can only ever read ONE Charles de Lint, let it be "Spiritwalk."
If you can only ever read ONE Charles di Lint, would The Cats of Tanglewood Forest be worth it? That's the only e-book by him my library has right now.

I'm loving reading the book choices this month. Everyone so far seems to have chosen something different and are overall happy with their choice. I will be reading some of those above.
I'm loving reading the book choices too, and will also probably read some of them.

Keep them coming fellow readers.
Yes! Anyone else lurking, who hasn't posted yet, tell us what you read. :read:
 
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rubysmama

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What did you think of choosing your own book to read this month?
This is the only month I've done so I'm not sure how to compare, but it was nice joining in and actually reading.
Oh, meant to add this to my lengthy post. Very happy you were finally able to join in this month. And, of course, happy for all the other participants, both our regulars (you know who you are) and other new participants.

We know every book won't appeal to every reader, and we also know every reader won't always be able to read along with us, but everyone is always more than welcome to join in each month

Next month, we're back to thrillers - November 2021 book of the month club

And teaser for December - it's gonna be a short book club month, with a short read that will be accessible free online, followed by a short discussion period. Details will be revealed in early November. So stay tuned ...

But, for now, we're still in October, so still time to post reviews of the books you read this month. Also feel free to post comments on the books others have read. Not our typical type of discussion, for sure, but still things we can discuss.
 

Lari

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I love family sagas. And, I think I've mentioned this before, but my all-time favourite family saga series is Daughters of England Series by Philippa Carr by Phillipa Carr. The first book takes place in the 1500's, during Henry VIII's rule. The next book is a generation later and focuses on the daughter from book 1. Each subsequent book tells the story of a daughter from the previous book. This goes on for 19 books, the last book taking place during WWII. There is a 20th book, considered part of the series, but it's a standalone, and no idea why they count it as book 20. :dunno:

The books are long reads, so it does require a commitment to read them all, but they are so good, it's worth it.
That series sounds amazing!

I don't know if I'll join the November thriller, but December might be a good fit.
 

pearl99

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This is probably a spoiler question, or the answer will be, so spoiler-tag it if need be, but how many of the 28 survived?

They ALL did!!! I don't know about the health of them after, I'd like to find out. Thanks to Shackleton's leadership and the work and attitude of all, including Shackleton. There are even some pictures in the book.
 

pearl99

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Rincewind is a failed wizard.
I enjoy fantasy, will remember this.

The book unfolds the family's history with trees woven into the background of the story.
And I love trees, and enjoy family stories. Sounds interesting.

There is no way that I can do justice to either of these books, so I am simply going to quote from them...these are words that fill my soul.
I'm going to put these on my reading list!

yes i remember and i replied back saying that i also like sirius black
I remember really liking him too. And Snape and Hagrid.

I enjoyed the chance to choose our own book this month, as since I’m not always a fast reader, trying to fit our book club read, and a long historical novel into one month, isn’t always possible.
I feel the same. I'm in another book club- an in person one- and sometimes I just can't get to the books plus ones that I have on my own list!
 

noani

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Is the Shopaholic books "some" of the Sophie Kinsella ones you like. They're silly, but I've grown to love the characters, and like that there's several books in the series.

Just checked and my library has some e-book versions of her books. Which ones are your favourites?
I like the shopaholic books as a series, some less, some more. It's a bit repetitive and sometimes Becky can be a bit annoying :flail:
They're not my favourites of hers but I do enjoy them. I like some of her other books a lot more :)
My favourites are probably remember me and twenties girl. All her early books as Sophie Kinsella really, and most of what she wrote as Madeleine Wickham too.

As far as Jane Green goes, she has been writing for such a long time. Her books have shifted from 20something year olds and their sometimes hilarious shenanigans and just fun stories to kind of more mature stories.
My favourites would be swapping lives, Jemima j and bookends. Everything she wrote between Jemima and second chance.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 . I don't usually like fantasy type books but your choices appeal to me so I am going to see if my local library has Spiritwalk.
I think you will enjoy it. It is nothing like the "sword and sorcery" stuff that we think of the fantasy genre as being. It's amazingly down to earth, with believable characters living believable lives, but with the "otherworldly" things mixed in, for the most part.

If you can only ever read ONE Charles di Lint, would The Cats of Tanglewood Forest be worth it? That's the only e-book by him my library has right now.
ANYTHING by de Lint is worth reading. I have not read "The Cats of Tanglewood" yet, but I certainly plan to! The book hasn't been available on Thriftbooks, it's on my Wish List.
 

verna davies

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I think you will enjoy it. It is nothing like the "sword and sorcery" stuff that we think of the fantasy genre as being. It's amazingly down to earth, with believable characters living believable lives, but with the "otherworldly" things mixed in, for the most part
Ok you've sold it to me. I will order next time I'm in my library.
 
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