Monday, January 26, 2015

Where Is Your Bookmark? (01/27/2015)

Did you have a nice weekend? It was very low key in my house. We are in between soccer lessons, and despite the weather being nice, did not even venture to the park. Mouse did play outside with her chalks, making a hopscotch game on the cement and jumping from space to space. We watched Caillou's Holiday movie a couple of times at least. While I want to complain about the fact it's almost February and the Sprout channel is still playing a Christmas movie, I shouldn't throw stones. My Christmas tree is still up. It doesn't have any decorations on it. That should count for something, right? I am thinking now it might need some hearts . . .

I think I am finally settling into my regular exercise routine again. Not being able to do much for several weeks as I recovered from my surgery took a toll on both my body and my motivation.  I have been at it for two weeks now though, and am starting to feel better for it.

I finished the first book in the Coleridge Taylor mystery series, Last Words, by Rich Zahradnik, and plan to have my review ready for you next week. I have just started reading Elizabeth Hall's Miramont's Ghost, a Gothic tale set in the late 1800's about a clairvoyant young woman imprisoned in a castle.  She's only four at the place I left off in the book--such a happy child. I already feel sorry for what is to come.

What are you reading? Is it something you would recommend? 



Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea hosts 
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where  
participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a 
book they are reading or thinking about reading soon.


I jumped at the opportunity to read Miramont's Ghost by Elizabeth Hall when I heard what kind of novel it was. I have enjoyed the mysteries I have read as of late, but it's nice to lose myself in something more atmospheric for the time being. Here is the opening of my current read:
Mantiou Springs, Colorado
She sat at the piano, fingers still poised over the now-silent keys. The notes of the night serenade dissipated in the cool air, ghosts of sound, lingering in the periphery of light and shadow. The sun had set. Shadows crept across the room. But Adrienne stared straight ahead, lost in a trance of remembering. The music had carried her away, to another time and another place, when she was young and in love and the future still sparkled with possibility. 
I was swept up into Adrienne's story right from the first paragraph. The image so clear in my mind. There is a strong sense of foreboding, if you well.  At least for the younger, more carefree girl Adrienne once had been.


Would you continue reading?


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish.

This weeks' Top Ten Tuesday theme is Top Ten Books I'd Love to Read If I Had A Book Club.  I went back and forth about how to approach this topic. Should I share books I wish I had read with a book club, books I did read with a book club (or in a read-a-long) or books I haven't yet read, but think would make great book club picks?  I finally settled on doing some of each:

Books I read along with others in a book group or as a read-a-long: 

1Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber ~ I read this one with an online group and enjoyed the discussion. It brought out nuances in the book I might have missed otherwise.

2. Same for, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, which I read with the same online book group.

3. This past fall, I read Fingersmith by Sarah Waters with Jennifer of Literate Housewife. It's the sort of book I really wanted--needed--to talk about as I read.  I am glad I had that opportunity.

4. Under the Skin by Michel Faber ~ This was the first book I read for a face to face book club and it made for an interesting discussion. I do not think anyone in the group liked the book much, but that, in part, was what made the discussion what it was, I think.

Books I have read that I wish I could read with a book club:

5. One of my favorite books of all time, Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos would make for a great book club pick I think. The characters to the various story threads that run throughout the book . . . Plus, any excuse to read this great book again!

6. Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal ~ I read this book several years ago, but it has stayed with me. When I read it, I felt it would be a great book club pick, and I still feel that way. From the cultural aspects to the dark family secrets, to the mysticism, this is one worthy of discussion.

7. Another book that screamed BOOK CLUB PICK to me was Charlee Fam's The Last Train to Babylon. This novel deals with very serious and relevant of today issues that should be--and need to be--talked about.

Books I think I would enjoy reading with a book club:

8. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier ~ Because it's Daphne du Maurier.

9. The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian ~ This author's books seem like they would all be good book club picks. This is just one of many on my list of books I want to read by him.

10. Any of Haruki Murakami's novels really.  He's an author that sort of intimates me, and so I figure a little hand holding as I read my first book by him might be the way to go.

Have you read any of these books? What books would do you wish you could read with a book club? What were your favorite book club picks if you are in a book club?


© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

56 comments:

  1. You had me at clairvoyant. Yes, I'd read this.

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    1. Suzie - I am anxious to spend more time with Adrienne. The clairvoyant part is what got me too. :-)

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  2. Great list! :-) I really think Rebecca and The Crimson Petal and The White would be great books to explore with a book club! My TTT

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    1. Chrissi - Thank you! I really do need to get around to reading Rebecca. It sounds like something I would really enjoy. And The Crimson Petal and the White as a great discussion book. My online book group still talks about that one!

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  3. Miramont's Ghost sounds very intriguing! I think it's the kind of book I'd like to read too. Can't wait for your review, Wendy.

    I haven't been to any book clubs meetings, but that's because I don't think I can find any here. The books you mentioned sound great too. I know I want to read Fingersmith and that'd be onto my top list for this year. ;-)

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    1. Melody - I hope I like Miramont's Ghost. It sounds interesting and so far it is off to a good start.

      Most of my book clubs are online experiences. I seem to do those much better as they are convenient and easy to work around with my work hours and home responsibilities. Fingersmith is really good. I highly recommend it!

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  4. Great opening to Miramont's Ghost which has only increased my interest in this book. I do like your book club picks, there are just some books that need to be discussed with others!

    http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com

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    1. Cleo - I am looking forward to reading more of Miramont's Ghost! Some books definitely garner more discussion than others.

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  5. I like the writing in the opening paragraph. I'm not really a ghost story person but I'd keep going with this writing.

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    1. Margot - I like it too. It sets the mood nicely, I think. I'm not sure how much of a ghost story this actually is, but I guess I'll find out! :-)

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  6. I do like the opening of Miramont's Ghost. I'd likely keep going.

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    1. Beth - I hope I get to read more today. I'm barely into it yet. Oh, to have more time!

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  7. Lots of great ideas here! Thank you.

    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2015/01/ten-books-id-love-to-read-with-my-book.html

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    1. Deb - Let's face it, I just enjoy talking about books. :-)

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  8. My sister once left her tree up the entire year, and decorated it differently each month. Valentine's, St. Patrick's, Easter, etc.
    Today I'm featuring A Sister To Honor.

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    1. Kim - I think the longest I've left my tree up was February. I don't know if we'll break that record this year. It's partly still up because of my daughter. She goes back and forth about wanting a Christmas themed birthday in March. I'm trying to talk her into her second idea instead. It'd be easier. LOL

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  9. I've been seeing MIRAMONT'S GHOST on the Kindle page at Amazon. I did not realize that it was set in Manitou Springs. Must read it. We were in Manitou Springs this summer on vacation. Had a lovely lunch on the porch of The Cliff House, a beautiful hotel there. Manitou Springs is such a pretty part of the Colorado Springs area - lots of little shops and restored old houses. Very near The Garden of the Gods, which is beautiful.

    OK, my mystery group did REBECCA last fall and it was an interesting discussion. We had several that did not like it at all - found it too much like a romance novel. Me, I was thinking more like Alfred Hitchcock classic. Anyway, I was surprised that it wasn't one of those meetings where we all agreed and then talked about TV and movies. LOL

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    1. Kay - Manitou Springs is beautiful. All of Colorado is, really. We were there several years ago on vacation and had a wonderful time.

      Miramont's Ghost has been likened to Rebecca, which is partly what drew me to it. Even though I haven't read Rebecca. I'm just that sure I will like it. I hope I do.

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  10. There is one house in my neighborhood that still has all its Christmas lights and decorations out! So you don't have to worry about your tree still being up!

    Miramont's Ghost sounds amazing! I don't read too many mysteries though I always want to read them. This one sounds perfect!

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    1. Athira - Haha! We had to take our lights down or risk a fine from our homeowner's association. My daughter's daycare provider keeps hers up all year round--it's too much of a challenge to get them down and up each year from her second story. She only turns them on during the Christmas holidays though, so it's easy to forget they are there.

      I have seen mixed reviews about Miramont's Ghost, but I am hopeful I will like it. :-)

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  11. All these books are new to me but I do love the covers and by the sound of it, they really seem interesting.

    My Top Ten Tuesday!

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    1. Christine - I enjoyed the ones I read very much (except for Under the Skin--but I'm still glad I read it).

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  12. I like the intro you shared and think you should definitely turn your Christmas tree into a Valentine tree!! It would be a fun project for Mouse :)

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    1. JoAnn - I think a Valentine tree would be fun,and you're right--a fun project for Mouse. She'd love it. :-)

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  13. Nice current reads, Wendy. Glad to hear you're feeling better and that you've got good weather. It's a blizzard here that started yesterday and is still going strong. Great reading weather.

    My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/01/first-chapter-first-paragraph-91.html

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    1. Catherine - Thanks, Catherine. We got some rain last night, which was very welcome. Anything to help with the drought. I am thinking of all of you caught in that blizzard. I don't envy you--except maybe the snow days. Given my job though, I'd likely still be working if we were in the middle of a blizzard here.

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  14. Books with ghost in the title do not usually pique my interest. But reading the opening set in Colorado, just might make me want to pick this one up.
    I too, once left my tree up so long that my husband suggested I replace the snowmen with hearts ( it was mostly read/white). I did not, but I did give it thought! "smile"

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    1. Judy - A Valentine tree would be fun. :-)

      The Colorado setting is a draw for me too.

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  15. The excerpt is so melancholy, I felt a thick sadness descend. Yes, dramatic...and then I wanted to know more. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for visiting my blog.

    I noticed Fingersmith on your list...I loved The Paying Guests and have been wanting to read something else by the author.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - I suspect much of the book is that way--melancholy, except perhaps when Adrienne is a very young child with no worries in the world.

      Fingersmith is my first and so far only Sarah Waters book. I am looking forward to reading more by her.

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  16. I've only tried a book club once when a bunch of our English teachers would meet for a drink and book discussion on Friday afternoons once a month. It didn't work out well! Most of the time, only half the group would have even read the book. Most complained about too many essays to grade, something I definitely understood and sympathized with. I've always had more success discussing books with my daughters. :)

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    1. Jenclair - I was in the one face to face club for a few months, but because of a conflict in schedule had to stop going. The majority of my book club experiences are with online groups. It seems to work better for me anyway. At least for convenience sake. :-)

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  17. Miramont's Ghost sounds like my kind of book.

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    1. Yvonne - I am counting down the minutes until my lunch break so I can get in some reading. :-)

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  18. Vert atmospheric Wendy; I would definitely read more -- liked it.

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    1. Diane - I thought so too. :-) I hope I enjoy the book!

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  19. I don't think the intro is for me...I'm not big on the supernatural. I loved the Pillars of the Earth - I think it would be a bit long for a book club pick, but great book! I also really liked The Sandcastle Girls and think that would be a good pick as well. I love Bohjalian.

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    1. Sarah - Pillars of the Earth was so good. I read it in about a week, and so the size wasn't an issue. I imagine for some it might be. I am glad you liked The Sandcastle Girls. I would really like to read that one.

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  20. Hi lady :) I have missed visiting your lovely blog.
    Glad you are feeling better after your surgery, I hope you continue to get stronger.
    Miramont's Ghost sounds good, I would keep reading.
    Nice top ten list, I've had Rebecca on my shelves for a while now but haven't gotten around to it yet.

    On a different note, I'm back to blogging, slowly but surely. https://bookwormnai.wordpress.com/

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    1. Naida - It is so good to see you blogging again! I've missed seeing you around too.

      I hadn't heard of Rebecca before my blogging days, can you believe it? I do want to read it at some point.

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  21. I haven't heard of any of these books or authors besides Haruki MuraKami. The Last Train to Babylon looks like a good one for me. :)

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    1. Kaitlin - If you do read The Last Train to Babylon, I hope you like it!

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  22. I was debating putting Pillars of the Earth on my "want to read with a club" list. It seems like such a huge undertaking to go at alone!

    Glad to hear you're recovering well from your surgery. I just recently got back into exercising after a long spell without, and it's done wonders for my body and brain.

    Also, love the mental image of a Christmas tree covered in Valentine's hearts. I say you should do it. :)

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    1. Shaina - There is so much to talk about in Pillars of the Earth. It really would be a good one for a book club.

      Thank you for the kind words. I agree, exercise really does make a difference when I do it regularly. On the days I struggle, I remind myself of just how good it makes me feel and how much my body needs--and deserves--it.

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  23. I love your intro. I really like the writing and the mood that Elizabeth Hall evokes. I'd keep reading!

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    1. Monica - I like the mood the opening of Miramont's Ghost sets too!

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  24. I keep looking at Miramont's Ghost and wondering whether to try it, are you still enjoying it? I can't decide! I hope you have a lovely week.

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    1. Lindsay - It's still too early to tell with Miramont's Ghost, but so far so good.

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  25. I love your book club picks. Murakami would be wacky fun to unravel with a group. :-)

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    1. Irene - I thought so too! And it might be the excuse I would need to actually read something by him.

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    1. Kelley - I'm a little farther into it now and still really enjoying it. I hope you had a great week too!

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  27. I cannot wait to hear what you think of Miramont's Ghost as that is one I want to read myself. It sounds so good! We had a quiet weekend as well although we did take the kids to Chuck-E-Cheese Friday evening which is always madness. LOL, the kids like it so that is all that matters :)

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    1. Samantha - So far so good--although I feel like I haven't had enough time to read lately. Chuck-E-Cheese is one of Mouse's favorite places to go. We usually go early Sunday when the crowds aren't so bad. :-)

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  28. Oh this is another book that I'd love to add to my TBR list just on that cover alone! haha... Sounds like you've got a good book to read there. And, I'm with you on needing a bit of hand holding with the authors that are a bit more intimidating. It's nice to share those type of novels with a book group!

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    1. Iliana - Yes! I think reading those more intimidating books with others has many advantages.

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