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2023 - Book Challenge - Second thread

(351 Posts)
TerriBull Fri 18-Aug-23 08:55:28

Welcome fellow readers to the new thread. This is a first for our book reading community, spilling over on to a subsequent thread.

Do keep reading and posting.

TerriBull Thu 16-Nov-23 12:10:05

I read The End of Us Sparkefizz, agree, it was a cracking page turner. Olivia Kiernan has written a detective series set in her native Ireland, not bad, but not as good as that stand alone imo.

Sparklefizz Thu 16-Nov-23 17:50:18

TerriBull Yes, sometimes authors can't seem to follow on after a really brilliant book which is disappointing when they've set the bar high and raised our expectations.

Hellogirl1 Thu 16-Nov-23 22:10:55

Finished book 131, The Grand Duchess of Nowhere, by Laurie Graham. It`s set in Imperialist Russia, started off as an amusing light read, but had more depth to it as it went on. OK, but I still prefer a good thriller.

Calendargirl Fri 17-Nov-23 18:59:24

#57. Death Of A Hollow Man by Caroline Graham.

#58. Stop Them Dead by Peter James, the latest Roy Grace novel. Chuffed to get it from the library.

Hellogirl1 Fri 17-Nov-23 21:58:42

Have just read Catch Me When I Fall, by the husband and wife team Nicci French, book 132. Sorry to say it really bored me.

SueDonim Fri 17-Nov-23 23:55:45

It’s been aaaages since I posted because my latest read has taken so long. More than a thousand pages of Dickens’ David Copperfield. It was one of those books I vaguely thought I’d read but my interest was piqued by Demon Copperhead so I started it then realised I hadn’t read it. It’s taken me nearly three weeks but I’ve done it!

Sparkle I’ll make sure I read the Chris Hammer books in the correct order. The financial one does sound a bit dull and dry, I must admit.

Maggiemaybe I enjoyed the book about Agatha Christie and had tickets for Lucy Worsley’s show about it in September. I got a kidney infection on the day and couldn’t attend! I was so cross.

Terribull we’re discussing The Four Winds at my book group next week - I read it a while ago but you’ve precised it perfectly for me, so thank you. grin I’d never heard of the author before that book but she’s been writing for about 30 years. I recently another of hers, The Winter Garden but it was disappointingly unbelievable, she overdid the coincidences and almost all the characters annoyed me.

Sparklefizz Sat 18-Nov-23 08:40:38

SueDonim I know what you mean about Kristin Hannah's The Winter Garden. We read it at my book group and no one thought much of it, including me. The only book of hers that I've thought was good was The Four Winds.

Hellogirl1 Sat 18-Nov-23 22:00:41

I`ve just finished reading book 133, Johannes Radebe`s book, Jojo, Finally Home. Not a lot of depth to it, but I like him, so enjoyed it. I met him on one of our Strictly outings, and he`s lovely. We`re off again in February, so I`m taking the book in the hope of seeing him again and asking him to sign it.

Sparklefizz Sun 19-Nov-23 09:16:50

Book 82 Outback by Patricia Wolf. Another book set in Australia:

Two missing backpackers, one vast outback. DS Lucas Walker is on leave in his hometown of Caloodie taking care of his dying grandmother. He finds himself unofficially on the case when 2 German backpackers vanish from the area.

This is an atmospheric and gripping thriller, and apparently the first of a new crime series. It's nail-bitingly tense and not bedtime reading. I loved it.

Sara1954 Sun 19-Nov-23 22:12:09

I am halfway through The Running Grave, and finding it a bit tedious and drawn out, can anyone tell me the second half is better?
I won’t abandon it, but feel that the last 500 pages could have been halved.

Calendargirl Mon 20-Nov-23 07:15:18


I am halfway through The Running Grave, and finding it a bit tedious and drawn out, can anyone tell me the second half is better?
I won’t abandon it, but feel that the last 500 pages could have been halved.

Oh no, I have to disagree, I didn’t find it tedious at all.

Loads better than ‘The Ink Black Heart’. Now that was tedious, with all the online chat forums. I had to force myself to finish it.

Wouldn’t do if we all agreed about everything though, would it?

Sara1954 Mon 20-Nov-23 07:42:03

I agree The Ink Black Heart was hard to read, but I feel I’ve read half a book and nothing has really happened.
I thought I would find the whole cult experience really interesting, but I don’t, I’m finding it very repetitive.
I will plough on because I am a Strike fan, and I want a happy ending for Strike and Robin, and without saying too much, at least one awful character has been killed off.
I will let you know if it picks up for me

Sparklefizz Mon 20-Nov-23 08:44:33

Sara1954 I'll follow your book review with interest because I still have The Ink Black Heart unfinished on my book shelf (it was a Xmas present last year) and I suspect my son might be giving me The Running Grave this year.

Sara1954 Mon 20-Nov-23 14:53:42

Well I’ve been looking at a few reviews, and it seems I’m on my own here.
Must just be me!

Calendargirl Mon 20-Nov-23 15:58:01

The RG is one of the best Strike novels, IMHO Sparklefizz.

If it’s in your stocking this year, I am sure it will be enjoyed much more than last year’s offering.

Sparklefizz Mon 20-Nov-23 16:49:21

Ooh. Thank you Calendargirl

Hellogirl1 Mon 20-Nov-23 19:02:15

Book 134, Rogue Killer, by Leigh Russell, was greatly enjoyed.

Musicgirl Tue 21-Nov-23 13:34:22

I’ve finally finished #67: Attention All Shipping by Charlie Connelly, which I have thoroughly enjoyed and was worth the slow burn of a read. It was written about twenty years ago and tells of the author’s visits to all the areas of the Shipping Forecast which, as he says, is engraved into the psyche of British public; even the most hardened landlubber among us. It is at turns very funny and also very moving as it tells the tales of the author’s (mis)adventures and the often courageous people who have helped make our shores safer over the centuries.

Calendargirl Tue 21-Nov-23 16:35:11

Have just finished ‘Stop Them Dead’, the latest Roy Grace detective story.

Was looking forward to it, but disappointed, as I was with the previous one, ‘Picture You Dead’.

Somehow, to me, since meeting and marrying Cleo and having a family, Roy has become boring.

The earlier books seemed much better, when he was searching for his missing first wife.

All a bit predictable now.

Hellogirl1 Tue 21-Nov-23 22:06:51

I decided to give Nicci French another chance, The Red Room, book 135, was really quite good.

TerriBull Wed 22-Nov-23 14:31:48

63 Murder Before Evensong - Richard Coles (Audio)

Thumbs up for this debut novel. Set back in time in the not too distant 1980s, Daniel Clement the rector of the piece causes mayhem amongst some of the more difficult ladies of the parish when he announces his intention to install a lav in the church. Into the not so tranquil minutiae of his day to day parish life, comes the murder of the church warden, found dead in the pews having been stabbed in the neck. All very Midsummer Murders/St Mary Mead Miss Marple, dastardly goings on in the shires, done before but with an ecclesiastical slant and laced with humour at times, in spite of the gravity of murder in the midst! Rev Richard Coles narrates his own work, I enjoyed his mellifluous tone which kind of lulled me off to sleep at times, not a criticism, although it did mean that I had to go back and re listen having been asleep and missing out pivotal chunks of the plot. Nevertheless I enjoyed it and would certainly read or listen to his follow up.

64 The Raging Storm - Ann Cleeves

The third instalment of her Matthew Venn series set in North Devon. Local hero and adventurer, Jem Rosco's body is discovered in abandoned dinghy when the local lifeboat is called out during a stormy night. Matthew Venn is on the case as Rosco has been stabbed. Although good police procedural format, I don't enjoy this series as much as either her Shetland or Vera books, maybe it's the damn Barum Brethren who keep cropping up, although I realise that aspect is very much part of Matthew's back story, I just find them somewhat tedious at times, still good though if you enjoy crime.

Sarah 54, reading your comments re: The Running Grave, I did find Robin was holed up with the church/cult for rather a long time, or it seemed like it, maybe it was the descriptions of the food on offer, endless noodles and mushy vegetable slop. Once she was out I thought the pace picked up. I did enjoy the book nevertheless my favourite Strike is still Troubled Blood!

Calendargirl Wed 22-Nov-23 19:14:28

#59. One For Sorrow by Jack Cartwright.

Diggingdoris Thu 23-Nov-23 17:12:17

93-Karin Slaughter-The silent wife. Nice to have a KS book to read again. I think she had a big gap since the last one.
The gruesome discovery of a mutilated girl in the woods sets off the search once again. There had been some similar murders seven years previously and they thought the killer had been jailed, but if he's inside why do these new murders have the same pattern. This story has two timelines, as the previous investigation gets looked at in more detail. Certainly keeps you guessing to the end.

Sparklefizz Thu 23-Nov-23 17:39:33

Just finished #83 Coming to Find You by Jane Corry. It was ok, an easy read but not one of her best.

All about family secrets with some good WW2 intrigues, but I have read several brilliant books recently and this Jane Corry book doesn't stand up to comparison.

Hellogirl1 Thu 23-Nov-23 18:04:00

Book 136, Girl 4, by Will Carver. An unusual style of writing, but a good tale.