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Hi and Welcome to Book Club -
please do leave recommendations about books and authors at any time in this section.

Thank you.
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Beyond excited for the new Jackson Brodie by Kate Atkinson. It’s been a long time coming!

Big Sky
(Jackson Brodie #5)
by Kate Atkinson
4.33 · Rating details · 81 ratings · 34 reviews
Jackson Brodie, ex-military police, ex-Cambridge Constabulary, currently working as a private investigator, makes a highly anticipated return, nine years after the last Brodie, Started Early, Took My Dog.

Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son and an aging Labrador, both at the discretion of his ex- ...more
Haven’t had a single email notification for these new pages of comments? ????‍♀
sdftrace said:
Hi beanscene

Thanks for your posts.

Sorry you've not had the email prompt for this section! Weird. I'll check with Admin ...
thank you
Hi Sandra, got this one so all's well now. I guess I hadn't clicked on the new wasn't "following" - don't think it's happened that way before though?
valmac said:
Hi everyone - I've been MIA for a bit - just caught up with the last few pages of the last section and now here I am again!! All is well this is just a busy time for our condo board - what with new condo legislation, revising our by-laws and orgainizing projects now that the weather has finally smartened up, time just flies by.
Wow I've missed lots of stuff - UK Sally's house sale and purchase, hope it's going OK? Calgary Sally - hope your hubby is doing well and is out of hospital? Sandra - thanks again for all your hard work with the discussion pages etc. In spite of being busy, I,ve managed a couple of books: American War by Omar el Akkad -"In a disturbingly believable near future, the need for sustainable energy has torn the United States apart. The South wants to maintain the use of fossil fuels, even though the government in The North has outlawed them. Now, unmanned drones patrol the skies, and future martyrs walk the markets. For the first time in three hundred years, America is caught up in a civil war. Out of this turmoil comes Sarat Chestnut, a southern girl born into the ongoing conflict. At a displaced persons camp, a mysterious older man takes her under his wing, and while her family tries to survive, Sarat is made into a deadly instrument of war, with consequences for the entire nation." Yep just as disturbing as it sounds not a fun or easy read. Then Black-eyed Susans came in from the library - wow, couldn't put that one down! While I wait excitedly for the new Jackson Brodie (about time!!) to arrive I'm reading the sequel to Beartown by Fredrik Backman 'Us Against You' lots of unread titles on the pile but deck reading time is here again! Good to be back xx
Welcome back! House situation is a nightmare as our purchaser pulled out 3 weeks after we had accepted their offer so unless we get a new buyer fast we are in danger of losing the one we want to buy. It's a very edgy atmosphere around here these days so thank God for knitting and reading......
That said I've had two epic fails - couldn't get on at all with THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS which didn't even get to 100 pages and I gave up on MISS GARNET'S ANGEL too! I did enjoy the Backman though and the Susans! I'm also very much enjoying Tim Pears' West Country trilogy set in rural England in the 1900's. I've read the first and second and awaiting the 3rd which is recently published I think and hasn't reached my library yet.
smasha12 said:
Sorry to hear about the house sale, Sally. What a nightmare. Happened to friends in Cornwall twice!
Oh no! Don't tell me that! It's very unsettling for sure. Didn't know your husband was unwell but good that he's had some positive news at least.
smasha12 said:
Don't let what I said get you down. I think it's time for England to change the way houses are sold. Here when you make an offer, it's subject to conditions like being able to get the mortgage or an inspection. There's also an expiry time on the offer. If you, the vendor, don't respond, the buyer can start again. Once the conditions are fulfilled, that's it. Things go much more smoothly and more quickly. At least in my experience.
I was going to say that I think we have a lousy system here. I've never really done it before as I've lived here all my married life.
valmac said:
So sorry to hear about your house situation - your house buying and selling rules are so weird (to us anyway!) it's no wonder you don't move like we do! I'm a great believer in fate - if a house sale falls through I figure I wasn't meant to live there!! That said, I hope you find a new buyer and that the new house becomes yours 🤞🏻🤞🏻Keep knitting and reading xx
Thanks Val, it's a minefield for sure! I've spent many years telling my son ' if its meant to be, it will be' and now struggling a bit to listen to myself, irritating old bag!

That said we had viewings on Friday and Saturday and 3 lots are coming back for a second look so I'm feeling more positive! And the roses are looking lovely.


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sdftrace said:
The rules here are just beyond belief re property sales and purchasing.
The US property market moves swiftly - one of our family members bought and sold within about 5 weeks or so.
Trusting you will have a buyer within the next day or so Sally. Please keep us posted.
Thanks Sandra. Wonder why we are so out of touch on this property buying situation? It's frustrating for sure and everything moves exceeding slow......
sdftrace said:
Thinking of you. :sm24:
Helensunshine said:
Hi everyone, thanks for all the great recommendations, I have a few reviews of my latest reads, hope they're not too waffling:

The Bombmaker by Stephen Leather, a really gripping story about a woman's past involvement with the IRA and how it caught up with her in her new life years later - fast paced and tense throughout, it made my hands sweat; excellent ending too.

Blood Count by Robert Goddard, i've been a fan of this author in the past but forgot about him with all the Scandinavian Police thrillers that came out, but gave this a try. He's definitely a good storyteller but I felt this one dragged a bit and a good dollop could have been left out without affecting the storyline. Still, glad I read it and would read more of his (maybe).

The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson and The Crying Tree by Nazeem Rakha. I honestly chose both of these books purely because the authors weren't white western women; until it was pointed out to me i'd had no idea that almost all my reads were by white people and I actively wanted to change this. The Pirate's Daughter was told firstly with the mother as narrator followed by her daughter. Such a lovely story of hopes and dreams across three generations, the Grandma seems to be only sporadically in and out of these women's lives but has such a strong influence on each of them, and it's easy to see history repeating in this tale. Errol Flynn didn't come off well as a human being in my mind in this whole story - such damage caused by one person's thoughtless thoughtlessness and carefree abandon. Although the story is set in the 1940's on, a lot of the family values, love, loss, hope and strength of the female characters seem very current.

The Crying Tree - I loved this book, such an absorbing story (reminded me of Judy Picoult's writing), it's quite a shocker of a tale revolving around family and societal rules and ties and how one family (and extended members, friends and neighbours) deal separately with what each feels to be acceptable/unacceptable behaviours. Look forward to reading more by this writer.

13th Tale by Diane Sutterfield - it's all been said already but I enjoyed this so much I rationed myself to only 2 chapters at a time between other reads to make it last! Such an unusual story, loved it.

Last Night In Twisted River by John Irving. I finished this in April but still the characters pop into my head now and then. It's a good, good, long, long read covering a period of 35-40 years of the turbulent lives of a young father and his only son, beginning with two tragic accidents in a north American logging business leading to a cat and mouse chase nightmare of nearly 4 decades. **Spoiler alert **, as a mostly law-abiding citizen I still think they should have shot the cop in the beginning! Some really beautiful, hard as nails and soft as feathers characters populate the whole book.

Woman In The Window by A J Flynn, new writer to me and I nearly always guess the end of psychological thrillers early on; I didn't see this end coming, I felt it was quite scary and could only read big chunks during the daytime. Really enjoyed it and the characters were very well written. My better half almost guessed the ending three quarters through, but, nah, Flynn kept us both to the end. Will definitely read his next book.

Currently reading Origin by Dan Brown and not enjoying it at all - I think its very far-fetched, silly and over-complex at the same time, will finish it in bed tonight and sorry I can't recommend it. I had Inferno in my waiting to be read pile but gave it to a neighbour this morning (he's big Dan Brown fan).

Hope that wasn't too much writing (like an over-excited Labrador puppy with a new shoe to chew!). I so enjoy reading everyone's recommendations and because of this my pile of books is getting quite out of hand????

Best wishes to all, Helen xx
Wow! You've been busy. I'm not a Dan Brown fan so won't be adding that one to my list but will be checking out the others for sure.

I actually have THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW on my library pile at the moment and like you I was entranced by THE 13TH TALE. My library has a copy of the John Irving available so that's gone straight on to my list too. So many books, so little time. I've just finished a delightful little book which caught my eye amongst the library's history shelves
mainly due to the title - BETWEEN HERE AND KNITWEAR. Written by a local author, set across the 60's, 70's, 80's. Linked short stories, very powerful writing and brilliant observation of ordinary lives and absolutely nothing to do with knitting! The title being something the narrator's dad said whilst in the throes of dementia. A powerful read similar to Alan Bennett I'd say but probably not very widely available. Love finding these unexpected little gems.

I'm currently enjoying HIMSELF by Jess Kidd

Thanks for all your exciting recommendations!
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valmac said:
Agreed - have read all his works and he's Canadian I'm proud to say ????????????????!
Another new author to me but no trace of him at our library sadly. Will have to keep my eye out for second hand copies.
valmac said:
Although I have several unread books lying around (OK, piles of unread books!) I decided to reread the Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson before the latest long-awaited episode is released (June 21 in Canada). I must say I'm really enjoying them and I don't usually reread anything!
I was discussing this with my son the other day. Having cleared out loads of books, his and ours, I was pondering on the 'keep pile' and whether I would ever re-read any of them..... I think with certain authors such as Kate Atkinson, McCall Smith, etc., one probably misses a lot the first time round but, like you, I rarely, if ever re-read. My mistake obviously and the keep pile stays with me. Just having my early morning cuppa with 2 so-so books on the bedside table and thinking hey I could be re-reading a Jackson Brodie and I have to say that if I had a copy on my shelf that's what I would now be doing! Unfortunately they were all library copies ????‍♀
valmac said:
I'm just doing the same (different time, obviously!) - morning cuppa, KP and email, I have also kept some books over the years - those I've especially enjoyed, some series etc. I now have the pleasure of sharing some of them with my grandkids who are also voracious readers. When I was working, I did buy lots of books and shared them with my friends and my daughter who has similar tastes to mine (other daughter not so much) so of course she doesn't have those books on her shelves for the kids. I still have lots of my hubby's books too, some of which I won't read but hate to purge when my grandson (nearly 17) might like them. Maybe I'm just looking for excuses not to get rid ???????? LOL!
How's the house thing going, Sally?
I've got rid of a lot that I know were one offs from back in the day when, like you, we bought a lot. Now the ones left are definite keepers. I've also reserved the first 2 Brodies from the library so, thanks to you, that may be the kick start I need to embrace re-reading! I know how much I enjoyed them but can't really remember them apart from loving them, so I really think it will be a special treat to read them again. Not much going forward on house situation so reading and knitting are the only thing keeping me sane! That's my excuse anyway, if I need one! ????????????
Knit in AZ said:
I've been lurking and enjoying reading others' recommendations and thought I might make a couple of recommendations. Right now I'm reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles which was recommended by my neighbor. It's not what I usually read but I'm enjoying it. It covers the time period from 1900 until the 1950 in Russia and the house arrest of the main character. I've also been reading a series by Nicci French which I've really enjoyed. The main character is Freida Klein, a therapist who solves crimes in her quirky way. Thanks to everyone for your recommendations. I love finding new authors to enjoy.
Hello from a sunny south London. I loved that charming Gentleman and missed him a lot after finishing the book! I also very much enjoyed RULES OF CIVILITY by the same author but written before A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW. It doesn't seem so popular but I loved it.

I've discovered so many new authors and read such an eclectic mix of books that I'm sure I would never have discovered but for fellow KP'ers.
Not much is going to get done around here over the next few days - just started THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW - captivated on the first page! Such stylish writing. Why plough through ho hum stuff when you can read books like this?
smasha12 said:
Just back from the library. Picked up the new Jackson Brodie. Think I was on the waiting list even before the book was added to the library stock.

Have to finish Origin first which seems a little slow. Anyone else read it?
Ooh I'm well jel - can hardly wait to get my hands on Jackson again ????
smasha12 said:
Okay, I've now finished Dan Brown's Origin. I still found it slow. It doesn't have the tension or excitement of the Da Vinci Code. I never really became invested in the story. I think I've read all his Robert Langdon ones and I find that they get less interesting as you read them because he has a race against time theme to each of them. That theme was very weak in this one. I do like the way he incorporates a lot of real controversies though.
So now you're on to the new Jackson Brodie? I'm picking up the first 2 from the library today so I can re-read before I get my hands on BIG SKY. I know I really loved them the first time round so hoping they live up to a second read, something I very rarely do!!
smasha12 said:
Yes, started it last night. This one is set in Yorkshire and we're already following at least 2 stories. As I read the earlier ones a few years ago, it's taking a little while for some of Jackson's story to come back to me.
Started early, took my dog was set in Yorkshire too I think - 4th in the Brodie series. I've started Case Histories just and so far don't really remember the story but I'm already loving the writing style.
WendyMargaret said:
Thank you Beanscene for recommending RULES OF CIVILITY. I am loving it and looking forward to A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW in the stack next to my chair.
Glad you're enjoying it - you will then also love the charming gentleman I'm sure!
smasha12 said:
I finished Big Sky by Kate Atkinson and I'd be interested to hear what others think. I don't want to influence anyone! I've started Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield, author of The Thirteenth Tale which I raced through. I'm not sure I've bought into her atmosphere yet.

Too many books piled up. I'm spoiled for choice!
Do I 'detect' a hint of disappointment?? I'm re-reading the first couple in the series and whilst enjoying them and the writing style they are not as brilliant as I'd thought they were. And, I'm ashamed to say, I have no recall of the stories whilst re-reading either ????‍♀
In mitigation though they were published in the early 2000's so it's probably at least 15 years since my original reading........????. I know Val is re-reading too so it will be interesting to hear her take.

Thanks for the reminder about the Setterfield.
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