Whatcha Reading Open Thread

Editor’s Note: Since the Emmys were this past weekend, and only a handful of shows debuted last night, I’m gonna skip Tuesday TV Talk this week and have this as the afternoon post.

We had some brief mentions of books we were reading in How Was Your Weekend, but it’s been a while since we had a dedicated post, so I thought I’d put one up.

Especially since this evening, I’ll be attending a “Secret Book Club” with the group I volunteered with this summer. Instead of a normal books club where you all get together and drink wine and try to get your acquaintences to intelligently discuss a shared book you all read while they just get more and more sloshed and talk about their husbands, in a Secret Book Club, everyone just brings the book they’re readying to a secret location and reads quietly together for an hour. This group is nominally for children, so I’m bringing three books with me, and I’ll chose what to read while I’m there, depending on the vibe.

  • Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
  • A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
  • The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

I would also be interested in dicussing Commonwealth by Ann Patchett with anyone who wants to discuss it, because I finished it last week and adored it.

So what are you turds reading?

About flanny

Flanny was born and raised in a Detroit suburb, but tells people she's from Detroit without clarification because it makes her sound tough. She is not tough. Her favorite member of One Direction is Louis Tomlinson, and her favorite Agatha Christie detectives are Tommy and Tuppence.
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30 Responses to Whatcha Reading Open Thread

  1. catweazle says:

    I recently finished Aziz’s dating book and it was interesting but mostly made me feel grateful that I am not looking for a soulmate through online dating because it seems terrible.

    I also finally read hotspur’s first vampire book and this post reminds me I have to get the second one now! Good job hotspur!

    • I can’t even find an interesting date through online dating. I really need to read that book to put the mess that is modern dating into perspective.

      • catweazle says:

        Yeah I’ve been trying to Tind a bit to get supplemental dates to the Stoner Ron Weasley situation but no dice so far. All I really ask is that I not have to always be the one to initiate the conversation and always be the one to bring up going on a date. The fact that we matched and that I have entered into a conversation with you means I am interested in a date so just ask me out ffs!

        • Man, what is up with the conversation-starting thing. If I match with someone right away, I try to message. Then I’ll notice that dudes I swiped right matched with me but didn’t send anything. It’s not hard! Though maybe say more than “hey.” Sheesh.

        • catweazle says:

          I think I’m just going to add a line to my profile that says “Prove you don’t just swipe right on everybody to improve your batting average by sending me the first message.”

    • hotspur says:

      Gosh, thanks! It is very humbling even to know that you read it.

  2. I have been halfway through A Handmaiden’s Tale for months. At some point I’ll finish it. I like it! I’m just not always in the mood for dystopian fiction.

    Otherwise I am mostly in a Terry Pratchett mood. I will hopefully get Mort soon, hopefully not when I’m gone next week and then the library sends it back to wherever they got it. I like the guards novels, so I’ll probably get more of those.

  3. FRQ says:

    I had read from various sources that most of the post-Disney Marvel Star Wars comics are crap. The one notable exception is a limited series featuring Darth Vader, everyone’s favorite movie villain. I bought the first three volumes a week ago, and finished the first one last night. Definitely recommend it. It really does the Dark Lord justice, showing Vader destroying fools and not giving a fuck about social cues and pleasantries. He is also accompanied a rogue archaeologist and two droids that are essentially evil R2D2 and C3PO, which sound like a gimmick but are pretty amusing. The fourth and final colume comes out in December, so I will take my time enjoying these books.

  4. summerestherson says:

    Oohhh, I am listening to Circling the Sun on audiobook right now! I really like it so far. It’s about Beryl Markham, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. She was also involved in a love triangle with the Out of Africa peeps! I remember listening to a “Stuff You Missed in History Class” episode about her a couple years ago. She’s super fascinating, and the novel so far has done a great job of evoking a sense of time and place.

    I also just read Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente and it was super trippy but totally interesting. It’s described as “deco-punk” (as in art deco.) It’s a mystery set it an alternate history where we discovered space travel in the late 1800s, and all the planets are inhabitable just like the Victorians thought, and movies never moved on from being silent and in B&W. I’m not 100% sure I LOVED everything about it, but it was different and definitely un-boring.

    And finally, I also just finished The Sherlockian by Graham Moore which I enjoyed and it finally made me pick up my Sir Arthur Conan Doyle biography that I’ve had for two years and never read.

    • summerestherson says:

      Close italics, self. You gotta remember that.

    • Commentatrix says:

      I love Beryl Markham!! You HAVE to read her actual memoir, West With the Night. It is excellent and a really fast read.

      • hotspur says:

        I don’t know about Beryl, but her solo flight reminds me there is a cool autobiography called Full Tilt by a woman named Dervla Murphy, about how she bicycled solo from Ireland to Afghanistan in 1965.

      • summerestherson says:

        I was definitely thinking that after I finish this I want to read West With the Night and Out of Africa!

  5. Sota says:

    I am happy for this thread because I could use some new reading material. Here is what I have been reading in recent weeks:
    Ready Player One: Loved it. I would totally recommend this book. My brother wouldn’t stop telling me to read it, and so I finally caved and devoured it in about 2 days.
    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: This was a nice read, although I feel like it just made me miss real Harry Potter kid stories. I also don’t typically read scripts that much, and while I didn’t mind it, I also just wished it was a novel. Storyline didn’t feel particularly ground-breaking, but it was fine. I think there was too much build up to this, and I found myself instead just wishing for a normal HP book.
    Angels and Demons: I was desperate to have a book with me when traveling over the weekend and so I grabbed this from the library at work. I am pretty sure I have read it before, but it was an enjoyable airport read.

  6. martinmegz says:

    I talked about my Thomas Perry and travel memoir kick yesterday. Last night I started reading a book called Tracks, about an Aussie woman who crossed the Outback with camels or something. The book is dated 1980. It’s just bonkers. Insane. The writing style is odd and it feels like a novel but I think it’s a true story? I got one chapter in and had to switch to a different book.

  7. Stuff I’ve recently enjoyed: The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey, The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge (SO GOOD) and the Lady Darby mystery series by Anne Lee Huber. The last is great if you enjoy historical mysteries but get tired of some of their more common cliches.

  8. hotspur says:

    I’m halfway through Long-Form Religious Porn by Laura Lee Bahr, which is very funny. It is about a guy who thinks he’s a vampire, a woman who wants to be a Hollywood director, and a murder. There are detailed descriptions of sex, which I did not expect even though the cover has handcuffs and whips on it. And the title is Porn. Okay, I’m a dummy. But the sex is also comical.

    On my phone via Kindle app, I’m reading Clive Barker’s Books of Blood. I’m not feelin’ the Barker fixation on grossness. Plus his sense of humor is awkward and his sentences are not, what’s the word, great. These stories feel like he had a brilliant idea at 10 pm, sat up writing in a blur until he typed The End at 5 am, then never looked back. There’s something to be said for the reckless, trashy energy, but I keep wishing they were better.

    • I’ve always felt the same way about Barker. I’ve really tried to get into his stuff, because I love horror, but it just doesn’t click with me at all. I don’t know if it’s that he’s been imitated so much since that his whole thing no longer resonates, or if it’s just not my bag.

    • hotspur says:

      Oh! I also started Beware, Beware by our own Steph Cha! Chapter 1 was quite good. I only got knocked off track because I went to the reading where I saw Bahr.

  9. flanny says:

    Quick update. While at the secret book club I read Mrs. Pollifax, but I also read A Fairy Friend by Sue Fliess to a little girl named Mabel. It had some very practical recommendations as to what you should do if you want a fairy friend. Mabel was convinced one of the fairies pictured was a baby (“Baby Beth”) but I think it was just an adult fairy and she didn’t understand perspective.

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