Novel Book Club, 8-11-23

Our book club meets once a month for one hour – one hour only. It’s “novel” because we all read what we want and then tell a bit about it without telling the entire plot. Here is the list of books I made note of last week – some may not have an author or not spelled correctly because this is a group going around the circle and taking turns talking. No time to stop for spelling and/or clarification.

The Echo of Old Books – Barbara Davis

The Nature of the Beast – Louise Penney

Great Reckoning – Louise Penney

Five Star Weekend – Elin Hildebrand

Spies of Shilling Lane – Jennifer Ryan

The Liar – Fern Michaels

Just the Nice Couple – Mary Kubica

Behind Every Lie – Christina McDonald

Cross Her Heart

Defending Jacob – Willam Landry

Lost Girls of Ireland Series – Susan O’Malley

Dear Edward – Ann Napolitano

The Unbreakables

When Crickets Cry – Charles Martin

The Ride of Her Life – Elizabeth Letts

Out of Nowhere – Sandra Brown

Left To Tell

Louisiana Longshot

Kate Martin books

Henrietta Lax

Tattooist of Auschwitz

Saving Max – Donna Martin

The House Is On Fire

It Starts With Us – Colleen Hoover

Lessons From Lucy – Dave Berry

Chillbury Ladies Choir

Readers – please add any book recommendations in the comments.

What am I reading? I’ve been trying to read Hello Beautiful ever since our July meeting when so many raved about it. I’m only on page 200 and I usually only give a book 50 pages before I toss it aside because it’s boring. I’m still trying this one.

39 thoughts on “Novel Book Club, 8-11-23

  1. Brenda

    Thanks for the book suggestions. I will look for some of them at the library. I have seen several of Louise Penney books suggested before, so I will try them first.

    1. Sandy in Indiana

      Hi Brenda……The Armand Gamache series that she writes are wonderful (I am an audiobook listener). If you can, start with her 1st book in the series:
      Still Life
      Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Series, Book 1


  2. Donna

    Anything by Charles Martin is a good read and would make a great movie. Another plus no bad languauge!
    Action packed but basically clean.

  3. Sheila in WI

    Thanks for the list, Mary. Another book I enjoyed was, “Beyond that, the Sea” by Laura Spence-Ash.

  4. Cynthia from SWMN

    I am not a prolific reader but I must tell you about this book The Lie by Elizabeth Rowan Keith. I will say it is a story like no other….I highly recommend it!

  5. Carla J in the mitten

    Jennifer Ryan’s books on your list are both very good along with The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle which is follows The Chilbury Ladies Choir. She also wrote The Kitchen Front. All based in England during WWII. I found about rationing of not just food but also clothing and fabric through the books.

  6. Sheryl Harrison

    The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts was amazing! I couldn’t begin to imagine the journey this lady made across the United States.

    I enjoyed watching The Durells of Corfu on PBS Masterpiece and discovered this was a real family in the 30’s who moved to Corfu. The young boy in the story, Gerald Durrell, grew up the be the writer of many books and was a conservationist and started a foundation for animal welfare. I enjoyed reading My Family and Other Animals. It had a lot of the stories from the TV series.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sheryl – I was the one who introduced The Ride of her Life to the book club and I gave it a 5, the highest rating. I still think about her story.

      1. Sheryl K Harrison

        Ride of Her Life is an amazing story and I hope your readers will read this book. Have you read Elizabeth Letts’ book Eight-Dollar Champion, Snowman, the Horse That Inspired the Nation? It was a good book.

        1. Bonnie McKee

          Sheryl, I read the story about the Eight Dollar Champion and enjoyed it immensely!!!
          Bonnie, in OR

      2. Barbara Moore

        I finished The Ride of Her Life earlier this summer. Amazing and wonderful – words that don’t describe it justly. Annie’s adventures on the road in the 1950’s was a treasure to read. Her love for her animals was so touching and proves once again how much humans and animals are connected. This ought to be read by every one of us!
        Barb in Tucson

  7. Susan in Ohio

    Two great books I have read recently, The Secret life of Sunflowers by Marta Molnar and Nightwork by Nora Roberts.
    Thanks for all the suggestions,

  8. Cathy W

    I’m reading First Ladies by Marie Benedict. It’s about the friendship between Eleanor Rosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune. If you like historical fiction, I highly recommend Marie Benedict’s books.

  9. Vickie Harris

    Jana Deleon. 25 books in the series. Louisiana Longshot Is the 1st & gives the backstory. They are mystery but with a lot of comedy. You will be laughing within 10 pages. I’m on the last 1 now & hope there are more coming.

  10. Diane in Colorado

    Currently reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I think most of the rest of the world read it when it came out in 1998. I tried once before, probably after grad school when I found I could no longer read for pleasure—didn’t seem to remember how. I’m finally getting back to it and decided to try again after I recently read her Demon Copperhead which I very much enjoyed.
    Others I’ve read and enjoyed immensely this year—
    Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult
    My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
    West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge
    Horse by Geraldine Brooks
    American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
    The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
    The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson
    Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
    When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill
    The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Egers
    Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
    Educated by Tara Westover

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – I’ve read all but three on your list. I’m adding them to my want to read list

    2. Sheryl Harrison

      I love your book list because I’ve read several of these books and have Lessons in Chemistry and West With Giraffes on my library wish list.

      I read the Poisonwood Bible and enjoyed the 1st part. If you are currently reading it, I won’t say too much but it got too political and a little radical for my reading preference.

      I really like Boys in the Boat. My son recommended it several times before i read it. It is a good book!

    3. Bonnie McKee

      Diane, I’ve also read many of the books on your list and enjoyed each one! I need to read Mad Honey and American Dirt, but I have two I need to finish first.
      So many books, so little time!

    4. Lisa B

      I agree with your comments about Poisonwood Bible. I tried reading it several times and gave up as it was so slow. Several months later a friend encouraged me to read it so we could discuss it. It became too political and disappointing to me but I did finish it. I saw the author interviewed several times and her vague comments about the “story” didn’t ring true to me. None of the interviewers asked her any hard questions about the story line. A disappointment to me. I tried another book by the author and didn’t finish it.
      I’ve read 3-5 Picolt books and don’t read her works anymore due to outcomes I didn’t like or believe.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Lisa B – I don’t care for J. Picoult books anymore either. And Demon Copperhead was a disappointment.

  11. Dorothy

    Thank you. I printed out your list and added ones from the comments.
    Putting the list in my “library bag”.

  12. Marsha from MI

    Wow! That’s quite a list! I have only read one of them & I’m a prolific reader. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is the one I read and it was very absorbing.

  13. Kathy in western NY

    I went to a 2 floor Barnes and Nobles store yesterday ironically for the first time since last Christmas and just spent time browsing authors & books I hadn’t heard of to see what’s out there in fiction. Fiona Davis is an author I want to check out in our local library to see if I like hers. Sadly a very small shelf of quilting books which probably is the result of closing Martingale. Glad I have a lot of good older quilting books.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – I miss looking forward to the new Martingale releases!!

  14. Marcia Rocheleau

    I’ve suggested The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts to you (probably early this year). Mary, if/when you get a chance to read it, I hope you will comment on it in your blog.
    It’s a true story of a retirement aged woman who, with her dog and her horse, goes on an amazing adventure which was well documented. I think you will love it.

    1. Bonnie McKee

      Marcia, I agree that “The Ride of her Life” is a great read!
      What an adventurous and brave woman to undertake such a journey.
      Bonnie, in Oregon

  15. Bonnie McKee

    There are several books on this list that sound very intriguing!
    I also recommend “West With Giraffes”.
    What a journey those men, and giraffes, undertook!
    I’m currently reading “Green Dolphin Street” published in 1944. A friend loaned the book to me and I love reading old books…something about the smell of the book itself and the yellowed pages takes me back to my childhood.
    I just started reading this and can’t say if I recommend it, yet.
    This afternoon we are celebrating my mother in law’s 94th birthday at my sister in law’s house. I was asked to bring my broccoli salad so I’ll be prepping the ingredients this morning, then I’m off to the local farmers market to buy a bouquet of flowers for the birthday girl.
    Happy Saturday everyone!
    Bonnie, in Oregon

  16. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

    Since I have retired, I am reading a book a day! Not much quilting getting done but I am so hooked. I love suspense novels with a “bit of spice” in them as my daughter says. Ha. I have read all of Julie Garwood’s , Judd Deveraux’s and Lisa Kleypas’s books and am now hooked on Karen Robards. I am enjoyed them so much and it’s nice to have the time to get back to reading again. It’s so nice to be able to read on the porch in the nice weather also.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cheryl – please tell me how you manage to read a book every day.

  17. Sharon F

    Lots of great book recommendations! I’ve read some of them and add my endorsement to Lessons in Chemistry and American Dirt, and the Jennifer Ryan books. I think the Boys in the Boat may be the best book I’ve read, a compelling true story.

    To the list, I’ll add Esme Cahill Fails Spectacularly by Marie Bostwick. It even has a quilting angle to the story.

  18. Gloria Y.

    Miss Julia series of books by Ann (or Anne) Ross are great. I think it’s best to read in order.

  19. Diane, Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

    My husband, the retired Chemistry teacher, bought me Lessons in Chemistry for Mother’s Day. I laughed thinking it was really fir him, but I loved it!!! Do read. I have read some on many of your lists, but am still amazed at how many I haven’t read! I am reading MacBeth by Jo Nesbo. I taught MacBeth for 10 years and loved it. Not too sure about this one. Maybe if I hadn’t taught it! Right now doing more quilting than reading. It POURED on our way home from Cleveland today. Our house—nothing😝.

  20. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    Thank you for the list! Right now I’m reading The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan about the dust bowl time. Very hard to comprehend how desperate those times were. I also recently read Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. What a wonderful read!! Everyone I know that has read it absolutely loves that book. Again, thank you!

  21. Norma

    Yes, I really like Jennifer Ryan.
    The Chillbury Ladies Choir was good. I also liked Kitchen Front and the Wedding Dress Sewing Circle. I enjoyed learning the history of rationing and the resourcefulness of the ladies.

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