Ashland Books@Noon November 2018 Picks

Created on April 27, 2021, 8:49 am

Last Updated April 27, 2021, 8:49 am

On the first Tuesday of every month, an intrepid group of Ashland readers meets at noon to talk about the best books they've read during the month. These are their stories. [Cue CSI Theme Music]
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Last but not least, our friend Ahna submitted the following remotely: The author born and lived early childhood in Russia, grew up in the U.S. and then returned to 2lst century Russia and sees this remembered land with new eyes: trading off responsibilities to caretake his aging grandmother with this brother; eking out an existence by long distance computer academics (?) and finding a hockey team and location that will ‘allow’ him to become part of the sport. Meanwhile we see Russia as it is today through the eyes of a naive, adventurous, social nerd (truly the good, the bad, the ugly) and then allows (even encourages) himself to get hauled away to prison for becoming involved in a leftist, outspoken political group. He talks; and he talks freely to prison guards and even gets published and then…..well, you’ll just have to read the book. He’s a engaging storyteller who will take you way behind the curtain of what Russia allows tourists to see. * * * you will jostled from complacency with the chapter on how to fix Grandma’ plumbing. It’ a gem.
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Rad was not a fan, even though he typically loves Atkinson's work...so we used the opportunity to talk about the fact that she has a new book out this year, linked below.
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Many in the group HAD loved this title, however. <3
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An example of a "new adult" title that Bill had read and not loved.
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Bonnie had read this as a part of a book group. Based on true events, the Pacific Northwest setting and the true adventure were both great.
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Pat was not a fan. She found the title evocative of a cover of a title she'd loved (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, linked below) and was disappointed that it didn't meet her high expectations. We talked a little bit about the "new adult" genre (featuring twenty-somethings in the lead role) which are sometimes hard to relate to for our group (largely comprised of middle-age and up individuals...tho all are welcome!) First novels (like this one) can sometimes be a mixed bag as well!
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D.O.D.O volume 1
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Kristin mentioned that she was reading and loving a super-weird title. This is that book. Super funny haha...but also funny strange.
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Kristin found this a super readable "ripped from the headlines" title that had a surprisingly strong message about sexual violence that came out at the end.
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Since we'd digressed to movies, Kristin mentioned that Lupita N'yongo was also attached to Trevor Noah's Born a Crime movie. I've linked the audio book here because it's the best way to experience this moving memoir! The link to the IMDb page is listed below as well.
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Kristin mentioned that she had just read and loved this one, especially the ending. Lots of nods from the group, many of whom had already read. We were excited to hear that it had been optioned as a movie...the IMDb link is included below. Lupita N'yongo and David Oyelowo are attached.
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Wendy loved this book so much that after she read the copy she checked out from the library, she purchased her own. This is a very readable book about medical testing and our cultural need to go to excessive lengths to maintain our health.
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This is a documentary about numerous adults living with ASD. Temple Grandin is one of the adults featured.
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Bill read this Temple Grandin memoir and found it fascinating. Living with ASD is not an easy life, but she found ways to leverage her unique abilities and then describe the experience to others.
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Rad has brought numerous Tana French Dublin Murder Squad titles to the group in the past, so we talked briefly about this new Tana French book.
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Both Pat and Bonnie had much love for this newest title by Kingsolver. While they both suggested that this might not be the best entry-point to Kingsolver's work, they found the multiple POV/time periods compelling as well as the representation of actual historical individuals and strong teenaged female characters. Kingsolver does have a political bias, which comes through in this novel. It is unlikely that it will change a conservative's mind nor will it be a comfortable read for one. However, for the right reader, a great read!
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Nina loved this book. She felt that Flynn's background as a journalist led to top notch writing without plot holes. Lots of twists and turns in this one!
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