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November 2018 Books
The Proposal (1)
Leisure Read

This book was really good. While having predictable ending, their road to personal self discovery was interesting and not how I had thought it would go. I enjoyed reading through both view points. It made me that much more interested in the characters. Overall, This book was really good and I really enjoyed reading it.

For Better and WorseHG (5)
Wow I read that fast!

I read this book after 'Nine Perfect Strangers' which was refreshing because this was such a quick read! The whole story kept me intrigued so much so that I couldn't put it down. A lot of the discussions say they are upset the husband was cheating - but it looks like he might get what is coming to him! Crazy ending - I don't care if it is realistic or not.

I thought at first that Natalie was just being a protective mom - but the end made me laugh because it showed she might have turned crazy! I wish the beginning about their relationship was tied in more - since it started with their first date and then just gave the plot of the story.

Thoughts?

For Better and WorseAmy (1)
Okay

I like the concept of the story and where it was going, but it never gave me that WOW factor, like something big to happen. The characters were okay and it's annoying that the husband was cheating. The story fell flat, it was not executed right. It is a real page-turner and captures you into reading. Also, the ending is not realistic.

For Better and WorseBecky (31)
Meh

Great concept, but unlikable characters and unbelievable ending.

Nine Perfect Strangersfuchs7 (4)
It was strange!

As soon as I finished this book I literally said out loud, "That was so weird!" I felt like it started off really slow. While I get there are many characters that needed introducing, it just seemed like nothing exciting happened until towards the end and then it all happened at once and was packed in. I don't really know if I liked it or not -- I'm leaning towards no. I did appreciate though that it was not at all what I was expecting it to be. This was my first LM book and I just wasn't impressed. Frances was a hoot though!

Hana (16)
LM is great at writing characters, but her last two books have felt like she's grasping at straws for what to do with those characters. I had the same response - I enjoyed the people, I like that it was different, but it was so so odd.
elizabeth (8)
Yah, I agree. I think that I enjoyed it more than you did but I feel like some of the characters were kinda unnecessary and without them LM could have delved deeper into the development of the other characters.
MandySimpson (6)
This was definitely not one of LM's best books. I agree with you - it was just weird. I would recommend reading her others, though.... This wasn't a great representation of her.
fuchs7 (4)
I will keep that in mind if there are other's of hers that come up!
HG (5)
I feel like our reviews were pretty similar :) Maybe it should've been 5 strangers instead of 9!
fuchs7 (4)
YES! She probably could have done a lot more with it if it were only 5 characters instead of 9!
Nine Perfect StrangersHG (5)
I'm Not Sure if I Liked It!

I've never read any of this author's books.. so this was my first time with her work. I'm caught between "that was a really fun book" and "did I actually like it"? I liked how different all the characters were and how relate-able each issue they were struggling with was in today's world. They all were so unique, and she described them perfectly. However, in the amount of description, I feel like the story plot kind of got lost.. the end was great, but it was a slow build-up to get there.. I loved Frances and Zoe. I also loved Tony's character and how it ended up "not even being terminal". Masha kind of reminded me of a cult leader.. and when I got that image in my head, I couldn't get it out haha. But I LOVED the summary of every character after the "retreat ended".

Thoughts??

Amanda (14)
I agree, I feel like the first half of the book was a good lesson in not being so quick to judge strangers, since they all slowly learned more about each other. But the summaries at the end confused me - who had the toddler and named him Zach???
HG (5)
I thought that was the grandkid of Frances?? Not really sure.. Lol.
A Ladder to the SkyLBendotti (6)
Eh. Ok.

Having finished The Heart’s Invisible Furies recently, I was excited about this one. And sadly this one just didn’t do it for me. It was beautifully written and the story was interesting, but it was a rather unsatisfying read. Probably intentional as Maurice’s actions are despicable. Even more infuriating is that he gets away with murder, his only downfall was his guilt. Which was a nice end, but not enough to make up previous atrocities.

I was also bothered by a mistake that happens in the book. Edith’s first novel is called “Fear” during part 2, but in part 3 they refer to it as “Fury”. Also, Dash Hardy releases a novel called “The Codicil of Agnès Fontaine”, isn’t that one of Maude Avery’s novel from the Heart’s Invisible Furies? Which is fine, they are different books after all, but later in A Ladder to the Sky, Maurice picks up Like to the Lark by Maude Avery, which establishes her in this universe, thus creating a conflict with the other title.

A Ladder to the SkyConner (3)
Help me out here

So I love the book and I love Boyne. It and he are flippin' fantastic. But I'm super curious about the real- life characters of the book. I'd like to think of myself as semi-cultured, but I have never heard of anyone who shares the same name as those in the book. After reading through the comments though I saw someone mentioned Ackermann and Gore as actual people. Is this true? How much of their life is fictionally/ factually represented in the novel? Are there other characters as well? I'll do some research myself, but I would also love to hear what everyone else thinks about this device.

UnshelteredNancyPhaup (9)
Running behind

I am behind on my readings and just started this one! I would be curious if those of you who finished it found it hard to get to the end or easy? I normally don't go for selections quite this long!

JudyParkey (1)
Answering even though I didn't finish the book just so I can say "this book is awful". I wasn't feeling well when I started it due to physical problems....I felt worse by the time I got to page 39 and realized the book was making me worse.
NancyPhaup (9)
Yeah, I agree. I wanted to finish just to be a completionist but I gave up and skipped to my December book (which I like a lot better). I noticed that this book is actually one of the BOTM options for Book of the Year. I wonder how they choose the selections?
Nine Perfect Strangerscatherinegibson (19)
Fun Read

I had such a good time with this story! It was fun getting to know each character. As I was reading about them at Tranquillium House, I actually started my own detox program!! What an added bonus!

For Better and WorseLillie (1)
Great Read but Mildly Disappointed?

Don't get me wrong -- this book gripped me from the beginning until the very end. However, I wish the husband didn't cheat -- I saw that coming -- and I think the ending was a cop-out. Granted, it's not happily-ever-after, but I don't think it was realistic of the sheriff to give Nat a pass.

akowalczuk (4)
I agree! i felt like both characters were so unlikable - and neither learned anything a year later; it was kind of disappointing.
Becky (31)
I also felt like the author didn't build up enough of an emotional response from the characters to show that they would commit homicide. It all felt a little flat.
MandySimpson (6)
I felt like this book was one giant eye roll. It had a good premise, but just fell flat for me. Nothing about it was realistic, from the pass she got to the one year later and all the sudden she was going to be a vigilante. Very disappointed with this one.
litzwhip (9)
I agree. I really enjoyed the read...until about the last 10 pages. I guess I was a bit surprised because I had pegged this as going one of two ways - they get away with it, or they get caught. So that threw a bit of a wrench in it for me.
Nine Perfect StrangersJayGuebert (2)
Really Enjoyed This Book

I hadn't read one of Liane Moriarty's books prior to this one. I had watched the HBO show Big Little Lies and loved it. I still want to read that book so when Nine Perfect Strangers because an option for BOTM I jumped on it. The cast of characters in this book were awesome. Each one was fleshed out and had a full story to tell. You didn't feel like any of the characters was an after thought. Frances was an amazing protagonist. She was funny and quirky and made me laugh several times. Masha was a great antagonist and you could feel just how mad and full of herself she was. A++++

A Ladder to the SkyHayleyStenger (10)
Favorite

This book was one of my favorites this year. I loved to hate Maurice Swift and thought the change in perspectives was very different in a good way. I am curious about John Boyne now and how much of this comes from his own personal life.

Ltuntkee (13)
I felt the same way! I continued to hate him more and more!
Nine Perfect StrangersJerriLyn (7)
Not her best work

I'm a Liane Moriarty fan but this one just didn't do it for me. The premise seemed fun but the madness was just … not fun. I liked the characters … except for Masha and her actions … I just didn't find the humor in her madness.

ChristineDrumgoole (2)
Agree, not her best work. Disanointed.
WhitneyLittle (2)
I don't know if anything will beat BLL for me, but this was a close second. What I love about LM is how I feel completely comforted reading her books, regardless of how good or bad the plots are (cough, Truly Madly Guilty). I enjoyed the fact that the genre of this book is up for interpretation, and I had a great time getting to know all the characters.
merejoh (1)
This definitely wasn't her best work, but I still found it enjoyable. With her books it's hit or miss, but even the "miss" ones are still fairly good reads.
Diana7 (32)
JerriLyn I have to agree with you,as a fan myself I felt bad for disliking the book so much. It was no fun at all, I was relived when I finished. It really didn’t do it for me.
MaryKateNewell (6)
I agree, this definitely wasn’t Liane Moriarty’s best. That being said, I still enjoyed it a lot. The book had a lot of potential. Masha was pretty insane though. Her character gave me anxiety while reading.
For Better and WorseNessieDuncan (1)
Excellent read

Has anyone else finished this one? I loved it and want to talk about it. Lol. At the end where Nat was hinting about her husband continuing his affair. I think it may not end well for him if he does. I hope she writes a sequel about Nat's next act as a criminal. I cant believe thats shes going to actually do that after her talk with the sheriff. I would loved to read that story too. She better keep her checkbook handy though. Maybe her and the sheriff can work out an arrangement to rid the town of the really bad criminal element. Great book if you haven't read it I highly suggest you do.

VictoriaCadence (2)
I really liked this book. First, it was a super easy read. I finished in two sittings. Second, I like the characters. Although, Will kinda got on my nerves just because I hate how he cheated on Nat. I would like a sequel, but I also don’t think it’s necessary. The best part about the ending is that it leaves you guessing; is will still cheating? Will their son experience PTSD or other survivor traumas? Is Nat seriously going to go kill again? I really loved it.
ChristineDuane (47)
Right? All through the book I thought, shes just protecting her son, shes not actually crazy. Then I closed the book and thought, this lady is a sociopath! I wasnt expecting that actually.
Jaime (14)
I do agree that it did lend itself to set up perfectly for a sequel! I can’t imagine that the author wouldn’t follow up with one. I do have to say I really loved this woman as a character. I’m very appreciative of a strong, self-sufficient woman who uses a lot of sense in a book...even if she is a bit dark.
VictoriaCadence (2)
Oh my gosh, me too. It was similar to Fashion Victim's (September BOTM) main character if you read that one.
A Ladder to the SkyCC (1)
Fascinatingly Psychotic

I rather enjoyed the different narrators throughout the book, it added a bit of mystery until the end. I was hooked by Maurice’s irritatingly persistent self-serving and pathological behavior; just when you think he can do no worse, he does. Seemingly sociopathic, Maurice shows some vulnerability and emotion at the end that make you almost feel sorry. The ending is a bit of a double twist; after everything Maurice still can’t help himself but to stick to his old ways. Boyne really hits on the frightening consequences produced by those with only regard for themselves.

Becky (31)
"Fascinatingly Psychotic" is the perfect description of this book. I agree with your thoughts. I absolutely loved this book!
A Ladder to the SkyJeanneLemlin (1)
Too crass

I liked the first section of the story, but I was disturbed by the second section, entitled "The Swallows Nest." I don't really want to read graphic comments on gay sex and the choices men have. I didn't continue reading and have gotten rid of the book.

kateniestrom (8)
The actions of Maurice are much more disturbing than any sexual description, Jeanne, and I feel sorry that you were unable to finish this insanely intriguing book! Personally, I couldn't put it down and the point of view immediately following "The Swallows Nest" was one of the most riveting sections. I encourage you to open your mind and try again because this is one of the best books I've read this year.
Jaime (14)
I do agree! Worth the read completely. And being disturbed and uncomfortable as a whole did seem to be much of the point.
KateKC (2)
^What she wrote. I *almost* put this book down, not for its gay-ness but for its showoffiness (that's literary fiction for you) and all the name-dropping, which I found annoying until I realized its necessity considering Maurice Swift's unapologetic and narcissistic traits. I was simultaneously repulsed and delighted with that awful human's actions, and that is what kept me turning the pages. Good grief, Boyne can write. I mean, he can WRITE. That said, I have this question: did Boyne have to get approval to fictionalize Vidal Gore and Erich Ackermann in this novel?
booknerd (10)
After reading The Hearts Invisible Furies I knew I would see this one through to the end. I liked, hated then loved that book. I found the sex at times a bit too much. I almost put it down but remembered how I felt after the last book. So I kept on and was rewarded with a book I really liked. I also appreciated the different narrators and enjoyed the chapters with Maurice at the end. While I didn't enjoy reading about all the sex, I understood that it was a big part of Maurice and his power of people.
A Ladder to the SkyAdamHolliman (6)
Relevant

There's a thematic characteristic that I think is relevant to every person's life in some form. I guess you could call it, Betrayal. From either side of this occurrence, it's something that very few can live down or forget for too long a period of time. I think the universality of betrayal, either regarding an idea or a person, is something that needs to be examined in every person's life. As you get older, the examinations come quicker and with more bite.

The Proposalkatie (3)
Cute and fun read

I was invested in the characters early on and I enjoyed their journey in this story. There were some times when I disagreed with the characters' thought processes or decisions, but I still really loved the book. What did you guys think of this one.

UrsulaWheeler (5)
I enjoyed it, but some of the secondary plots were a little slow and not terribly believable. The medical stuff--Jess's pregnancy, Carlos not going to the doctor--didn't engage me much at all. Still, it was a fun read. I LOVED the Wedding Date, so I wonder if this is just a sophomore slump kind of thing; I'll always be eager to read more from Jasmine Guillory, but this one didn't sweep me away the way her first book did.
AdySimmons (2)
This was the first book that I have read by this author and I loved it. I keep hearing that it is disappointing after her first novel though. Now I have to go find The Wedding Date and see for myself. If The Proposal is a slump for this author, then I need to see what else she has written!
AprilH (1)
I didn't like this book. I wanted to so much and it was my first pick for this subscription. For me, the characters lack depth. Their history is laid out more matter of fact than something that draws me in. I'd say Carlos' obsession with his cousin's health was the most believable thing so far and I got really tired of that. Whoever wrote the description gets props because they made it seem way more engaging than it is. I'm glad you liked it Katie. Maybe we'll agree on something next month! <3
MaryKateNewell (6)
I really struggled to get into this story for some reason. I disliked the characters right away. The characters all seemed aloof with little depth. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mindset for this book.
A Ladder to the Sky (2)
Repeated disappointment

The novel was engaging and sometimes a page-turner. Slowed towards the end. The main character’s inability ever to make a choice with higher moral ground was a repeated disappointment. I feel the ending would have been better as a tragic shocker instead of wrapped up in a nice neat bow. Clues to who Theo was instead of the author spelling it out for the reader would have been great. Overall a good read but I wasn’t wowed.

A Ladder to the SkyCB (9)
Really enjoyed this one

This book was interesting and original. I really enjoyed the read. I have read The Heart's Invisible Furies, also really good, which was one of the selections by this author last year. I plan to read some of his other books as well. Glad I made this my choice for November.

Nine Perfect StrangersHana (16)
What do we think?

I love her characters, but this story was so odd. It was better than her last book (which was incredibly frustrating.) I honestly have no clue if I liked it or not. I want to hang out with Frances and Zoe. I just don’t know overall.

(3)
I really enjoyed it! I’m not sure how I’d classify it, comedic suspense perhaps? I didn’t really take it too seriously, I just had fun with it.
Hana (16)
I think that's a great point - it was funnier than most of her books. I think the setting threw me a bit.
HG (5)
I agree. After finishing it I was like "did I like that book"? Masha reminded me of a cult leader.. and once I got that perception in my head, I couldn't get it out. The end was really good - but it seemed rushed since it took so long to get there.. Reading into the characters, I did like how the author gave everyone such a real story with issues that are so current in people's lives today.
catherinegibson (19)
Well stated! I agree.
MarioMolina (3)
I really enjoyed it... call me crazy but made me want to go to a health retreat (except for the part where they are locked up for hours in the cellar). I found myself enjoying every moment of their retreat. But then I got to page 200 and began to wonder at what point does the story pick up? Up to that point, it was just a great description of the retreat- which I enjoyed- but couldn't figure out where the author was going to take the story. I enjoyed each of the characters and how they all maintained a friendship post retreat. My favorite character was Frances.
MAdoor (6)
I loved it. Who cares what genre it is? It's a different approach to contemporary fiction. Frances is hysterical, and we all probably know someone just like her. I felt like this was a more adult book than her previous ones. Mad Masha is a hoot!
Sammyxx (1)
I think it would have been better as a psychological thriller. The title kind of reminded me of And Then There were None by Agatha Christie, so I was kind of hoping that it would be reminiscent of that.
(1)
Perversion of Justice: A Double Murder in Henry County Re-examined Donald E Wilkes Jr UGA Law Professor Charles L. Sargent, a retired Georgia businessman, has written a book that everyone should read and none should forget. It is (amazingly) the first book ever written about one of the most shocking perversions of criminal justice in the history of this state. Book Sales from Sins of Henry County are being use to publicize this story. Your support will give Jerry Banks , Melanie Hartsfield and Marvin King a voice to this clover up.. The GBI turned me down in 2017 in my efforts to clear Jerry Banks and to prove the Dixie Mafia did commit the murders. I have ten times the evidence that they had on Jerry Banks, that shows someone in Henry County hired the Dixie Mafia and the Henry County Sheriff added in arranging the murders. The GBI told me Jerry Banks was guilty. What are they covering up? I have evidence the GBI in 1974 withheld (today DNA) evidence that that would have named one of the murderers which would tie all four men to these murders. Charles Sargent
katie (3)
This was definitely a strange book. I think I would say I definitely liked it, and Frances and Zoe were probably my favorite characters. I enjoyed the bit of friendship that formed between the two of them.
Hana (16)
Agreed! That part was great; all of the characters were interesting. I just didn't know what I was reading. It was less of a domestic thriller and more of a study of madness.