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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 Wed 23-Aug-23 09:48:21

46 Murder In The Family - Cara Hunter Only the second book I've read by this author, having not really liked the first one ever published by her. I take it all back this one was really clever. It's a stand alone, and a departure from her usual DI Adam Fawley. The premise, an unsolved murder from 20 or so years ago is being presented in a True Crime series where six experts, a couple of retired police officers, a journalist, lawyer and a crime profiler, for example, are on the case as it unfolds episode by episode. The style of the narrative is a bit similar to that of how Janice Hallett has presented her novels through communications and statements of the various main characters, with an Agatha Christie style slant of elimination in the "then there were none" type of mode. I'm sure this would appeal to crime lovers, a definite page turner, I enjoyed it.

47 Exposure - Helen Dunmore The year is 1960 and the cold war is at it's height. The main character Simon Callington, husband and father is summoned by Giles, his colleague and one time lover to retrieve a briefcase from his home, after he is laid up in hospital following an unexpected accident. He is anxious that this briefcase be returned to The Admiralty where they are employed, Needless to say the briefcase is top secret and shouldn't have been in Giles' possession, in doing the favour Simon is arrested implicated as a spy. Meanwhile, his wife, Lily, formerly Brandt a German Jew who escaped to England as a child in the late 30s has to remove the family from their cosy existence in, London's Muswell Hill to a harsher life in the English countryside. The story is related through the present but also of Simon's previous life as an undergraduate at Cambridge and his entanglement with the older and more sophisticated Giles and Lily's memories of a more affluent life in Berlin which came to an abrupt end when her and her mother flee to England to an altogether a more impoverished existence. Simon and Lily's three children all junior school age can only piece together what they think they understand of their father's sudden disappearance and presence in their lives when he is incarcerated, so reminiscent of the Railway Children, I think possibly Helen Dumore intentionally drew parallels in that detail . I've only ever read "Birdcage Walk" by the author and thought that was really good, very much enjoyed this one too.

SueDonim Fri 25-Aug-23 12:17:14

Ooh, a lovely new thread! Thank you, Terribull.

No 34 Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley. Obviously, a biog of the AG. I must admit I knew little of AG apart from her crime novels and her beautiful house in Devon, but she led a very interesting life.

TerriBull Fri 25-Aug-23 14:00:00

I saw the programme Lucy Worsley did about Agatha Christie SueDonim, almost as fascinating as her books, and inspiration for characters drawn from personal experiences. I didn't know for example there were quite a few Belgian refugees here during the first World War, her interaction with some of those, led to her creation of Hercule Poirot. Her second husband was an archaeologist spending much time in modern day Iraq, inspiration for Murder in Mesopotamia. Loved her books, yes she had an interesting life.

SueDonim Fri 25-Aug-23 16:14:08

Lucy W is doing a tour about her book and dd1 & I are going to one of the events next month, Terribull! I’ll try and remember to report back on here.

TerriBull Fri 25-Aug-23 16:58:20

I hope you enjoy that SueDonim, yes do let us know how it went!

Calendargirl Sat 26-Aug-23 09:36:50

#48. Murder In The Family by Cara Hunter.

Has anyone else read this? I’ve had it on order from the library for a while, was excited to get it, but the format looks a bit like The Ink Black Heart.

Will see how it goes as I get into it.

Calendargirl Sat 26-Aug-23 09:38:30


Have just read TerriBull’s resume of MITF.

Forget my questions about it!

Dollygloss Sat 26-Aug-23 10:51:38

Ian McEwan's Lessons. What a writer! A massive amount of material beautifully managed right to its conclusion. In the background, seen through the eyes of his main character, are the current political issues from the Cuban missile crisis right through to the anxieties of the 'damaged world' of today. I plan to read it again...once I get through my new pile!

mrswoo Sat 26-Aug-23 11:23:53

Dollygloss I've had Lessons on my to- be-read pile for sometime now and have kept put off reading it in favour of something a bit lighter. However, having read your post I am definitely going to read it next! Thankyou.

Diggingdoris Sat 26-Aug-23 16:59:15

65-The Goodbye Man-Jeffrey Deaver. Colter Shaw goes undercover at the Foundation; is this a cult or are the members really helping depressed people? Full of surprises to the end, with survivalist tips along the way.

Sparklefizz Mon 28-Aug-23 08:11:10

Book 66 The Merchant's House by Kate Ellis It was ok, an average crime novel, nothing special, and the first of a long series.

Lovetopaint037 Mon 28-Aug-23 10:55:13

I have read and enjoyed Act of Oblivion and after recommendations for John Irving on here have read A Prayer for Owen Meany and in the middle of The Cider House Rules. The World according to Garp is waiting.Unusual and loving them. Often wondered about the 50 books though. Does an 800 page book count for two books ? Just asking 🤔 as many Iread are lengthy.

TerriBull Mon 28-Aug-23 14:13:29

I think that is open to interpretation Love to Paint, when I read a couple of Robert Gailbraiths which were pretty much 1000 pages that occurred to me too, I suppose books over 600 pages say could be counted as 2.

Sara1954 Mon 28-Aug-23 14:56:31

Another John Irving fan here, and as we’re on the subject of fat books, I’d like to recommend his novel ‘Until I Find You’

Juno56 Mon 28-Aug-23 21:31:39

#48 Afterwards Rosamund Lupton.
A fire at a school during sports day. A mother rushes towards the burning building to find her younger child is 'safe' outside but her daughter who had been working as a first aider was still inside. Mother and daughter are seriously injured and hospitalised. Although unconscious in their hospital beds they are able to leave their bodies and the rest of this unusual whodunit is their observation of family and friends and piecing together what happened. Very moving, sad but ultimately uplifting. Enjoyed is the wrong word but I'm glad I read it and would recommend.

GreyHen2 Mon 28-Aug-23 21:47:34

Just finished Barbara Kingsolver's take on David Copperfield., Demon Copperhead. Set in W Virginia, brilliant expose of poverty, discrimination, frailty and drug abuse. And above all the survival of the human heart. Terrific!

Diggingdoris Tue 29-Aug-23 07:42:18

66-The Poacher's Daughter- Margaret Dickinson. Another visit to early 1900's Lincolnshire, where life is tough for the tenants of the harsh and heartless landowner. But everything changes with WW1. Rosie has always had a dream of becoming lady of he manor but life has a way of bursting her bubble.

Sparklefizz Tue 29-Aug-23 08:05:28

Juno56 Like you, I absolutely loved Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton and it's a book that has stayed with me for over 2 years since I read it. My daughter loved it too.

As you say, "loved" is probably the wrong word, but I found it poignant, moving and profound, and it was one of those books I didn't want to put down. I think I might read it again.

SueDonim Tue 29-Aug-23 12:33:57

35 The Go-Between by LP Hartley. I seem to be reading more of these classics, for some reason.

Juno56 Wed 30-Aug-23 18:26:57

#49 The Convenient Marriage Georgette Heyer.
I have been reading Georgette Heyer's books for over fifty years and return to them often. This is one of her Georgian novels and all the usual components: characters from the nobility, romance, historical accuracy, a lively heroine and a masterful male lead are present and correct.

Calendargirl Thu 31-Aug-23 18:15:38

#49. The Black Tower by PD James.

hollysteers Thu 31-Aug-23 18:28:40

I’m reading The Lost Man by Jane Harper, our bookgroup choice. Not my usual type of book, set in Australia, but I was hooked quite quickly.

Just finished The Scarlett Tree, the second volume of Osbert Sitwell’s memoirs, very good.
Also on the go are
Samuel Pepys, a life by Claire Tomlin
Noel Coward’s Letters
The New Englishwoman’s Garden
Rose MacCauley Letters (in the car)
I’m book mad and have them dotted around the place😁

hollysteers Thu 31-Aug-23 18:30:26

Claire Tomalin.
The Scarlet Tree

TerriBull Thu 31-Aug-23 18:47:36

I read "The Unequalled Self" Claire Tomalin's biography of Samuel Pepys a few years ago hollysteers, I do remember thinking it was very good.

Sparklefizz Thu 31-Aug-23 18:48:24

I’m reading The Lost Man by Jane Harper, our bookgroup choice. Not my usual type of book, set in Australia, but I was hooked quite quickly.

I loved it too hollysteers ... in fact I've read all Jane Harper's books and there hasn't been one I haven't enjoyed.