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smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Wed, 4th Apr '07 4:10 PM

WHAT'S THAT YOU'RE READING?

I'm always on the lookout for a good read, and I know there must be a LOT of good stuff on the nightstands of Sploofus Island. What's on yours?

I've just finished a terrific book called "Birdsong" by Sebastian Faulks. It's an incredibly beautiful story that absolutely stunned me with vividly realized accounts of trench warfare in WWI France. The devastating power of "Gallipoli" or "Saving Private Ryan" and a celebration of the persistence of love and the human spirit so beautifully written I read most of it out loud for the pleasure of speaking the words.

I've just started a historical novel about Heloise and Abelard called "Stealing Heaven" by Marion Meade, and 30 pages in it's already hard to put it down.

What's that interesting looking book you've got there?

soldotna
Soldotna  (Level: 27.7 - Posts: 145)
Wed, 4th Apr '07 4:32 PM

I've wandered into a whole different world with Robert R. MacCammon's "Swan Song". I can't seem to put it down. Just finished re-reading Elizabeth Peters entire Amelia Peabody series.

bushyfox
Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2403)
Wed, 4th Apr '07 5:02 PM

"Metamorphosis"......Stages In A Life, by David Suzuki.
He is a totally amazing man, and the book is a really good read.

~Bev

smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Wed, 4th Apr '07 5:03 PM

Checked out "Swan Song" on Amazon--sounds really good; I really enjoy a good post-apocalyptic yarn. I'll keep an eye out for it. Knowing how everyone here loves words and puzzles, I recommend one called "Riddley Walker" by Russell Hoban.

The mystery series sounds good too--great titles! I've just a few weeks ago finished the last of (I think) 16 Inspector Rebus mysteries by Ian Rankin; took me almost 2 years to get hold of all of them in the unAmericanized originals and I was so sorry to turn the last page that I read the first one all over again. They're set in Edinburgh, my favorite city, and John Rebus is one of those fascinatingly flawed heroes I adore. Sure hope there's another one in the pipeline!

Thanks!

joey
Joey  (Level: 28.9 - Posts: 82)
Wed, 4th Apr '07 8:41 PM

Anything by Gary Paulsen

greyghost
Greyghost  (Level: 68.4 - Posts: 640)
Wed, 4th Apr '07 10:06 PM

in process of reading..the power of compassion/the dalai lama/totally awsome

lisap369
Lisap369  (Level: 61.1 - Posts: 992)
Wed, 4th Apr '07 10:08 PM

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III ... I can't put it down ('cept when I'm on Sploofus lol)

smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Wed, 4th Apr '07 11:49 PM

Joey, I read some Paulsen decades ago, should pick him up again. My husband has "Hatchet" somewhere. Maybe I'll give it a go when I find it again. The one I read was set someplace cold; it reminded me of a Louis Lamour book I really enjoyed called "Last of the Breed."

Karen, how lovely that you're reading the Dalai Lama! I have a few collections of his writings and a set of CDs of talks he gave on a US tour several years ago--what an amazing mind. I was incredibly fortunate to have heard him speak on two occasions, each very different and profoundly moving experiences.

Lisa, I loved the film! I've got the book but have been waiting for my memories of the film to fade a bit more. I usually prefer to read the book before seeing a film but it just didn't fall out that way this time.

Bushy, thanks for the recommendation, he sounds well worth checking out! Have you read "In Search of Stones" by M Scott Peck, who wrote the "Road Less Traveled" books? He and his wife traveled Britain studying, drawing and meditating on ancient stone monuments; a very readable and thought-provoking combination of travel and philosophy that I've given as gifts at least a dozen times.

lisap369
Lisap369  (Level: 61.1 - Posts: 992)
Thu, 5th Apr '07 12:32 AM

Smoke.. I also saw the movie first... and I also prefer to read the book before seeing the movie as sometimes the I don't enjoy the book as much if it doesn't fall in line with the movie but, this is one of the few times when the book is sooo much better even after seeing the movie. Read It! You won't regret it

p.s. to rephrase above, 99% of the time the book is much better than the film but, if you see the film first, it can lower your opinion of the book if it doesn't conform to what you've watched BUT in this case, the film did not harm my opinion of the book.. phew ..

larefamiliaris
Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Thu, 5th Apr '07 7:05 AM

Hey Smoke,
Just started "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana" by Umberto Eco ("The Name of the Rose').
It's about a rare book dealer who suffers from amnesia - can't remember anything of his life, past or present, except for every book he's ever read...
It's also about recent (painful) Italian history.
It also has pictures.
So, to recap:
It's a humanistic, philosophical history novel that you can ignore the words of (if it gets all too much) and just look at the pictures.
Something for everyone!

kaufman
Kaufman  (Level: 257.0 - Posts: 3936)
Thu, 5th Apr '07 9:35 AM

It's stereotypically sad, but the book I'm currently plowing through is "Brainiac," by Ken Jennings. A gold mine of trivia, among other things.

smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Thu, 5th Apr '07 10:02 AM

I heard an interview with him about it on Fresh Air and went out and bought it that day, then got short for a Trivia prize and wound up giving it away before I got to read it. Gonna borrow it back eventually.

He's involved in this US/UK/Canada tournament, y'know--he and his foreign counterparts.

phitzy1
Phitzy1  (Level: 66.4 - Posts: 873)
Thu, 5th Apr '07 2:34 PM

With elecetion season fast approaching (?) I'm reading "the Audacity of Hope" by Barak Obama. And he Does write as well as he speaks

bigbird
Bigbird  (Level: 239.6 - Posts: 3302)
Thu, 5th Apr '07 10:55 PM

I've been in the car a lot lately, and have resorted to books on CD. Gets you through a three hour drive. In that case, the voice of the reader makes a big difference.

I've been into autobiographies lately. Barack Obama's 1st book was really good (Dreams From My Father), and so was Jimmy Carter's autobiography.

I really enjoyed Krakatoa by Simon Winchester - all of his books are worth reading.

Alice

smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Fri, 6th Apr '07 3:26 PM

I read an excellent review of Krakatoa and have intended to read it. The event has fascinated me since I was a kid.

Books on CD are fun! I have a few somewhere. Also Shakespeare lectures, poetry, and even a play I was in years ago that a computer guru buddy of mine transferred from tape to CD. I played Kassandra, prophetic princess of Troy! Wish I had one of my performance as Alkibiades, degenerate Athenian general!

I recorded some books for the blind years ago before CDs. It was easy with tape when I could stop and go back if I made a mistake. Dunno if that would be possible recording to CD. I've often wanted to record books I love and want to share with people who don't or won't read, but might listen.

nickdanger
Nickdanger  (Level: 153.8 - Posts: 62)
Fri, 6th Apr '07 5:13 PM

I recorded books for the blind when I was in high school (a long, long time ago... I can still remember...). I got introduced to Rex Stout's mysteries that way.

Today, I'm sure that you would record to an MP3 file (or perhaps some other format) and then edit the file as necessary, then burn the file to CD. I have a feeling that the key need these days is to record textbooks or other highly technical, low volume material - most fiction books are already provided on tape or CD.

Nick

nickdanger
Nickdanger  (Level: 153.8 - Posts: 62)
Fri, 6th Apr '07 5:17 PM

Oh... what I'm reading... I'm a psychology doctoral student so you may find it really boring: Physiology of Behavior by Carlson, The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy by Yalom, Multiway Contingency Tables Analysis by Wickens, and Conjoint Family Therapy by Satir.

bigbird
Bigbird  (Level: 239.6 - Posts: 3302)
Sat, 7th Apr '07 7:31 PM

I'm very fortunate that my local library has a huge books on CD collection. I don't buy any of them; just check them out. Usually about 4 titles at a time, cause I would really be upset if my book finished and I still had 25 miles to go.

Alice

ladyvol
Ladyvol  (Level: 205.4 - Posts: 5490)
Sat, 7th Apr '07 7:54 PM

I just finished reading "Kingdom Come" by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye the authors who wrote the Left Behind Series of books. It is the last book in the series and a fantastic read. I started it yesterday and finished it just a little while ago. The entire series is some of the best reading I've done in quite a while....They are awesome writers. I also like to read Debbie Macomber....Her latest book I read was "Morning Come Softly".
Vickie

valedc4
Valedc4  (Level: 62.0 - Posts: 171)
Sat, 7th Apr '07 10:24 PM

I also read the Left Behind series Vickie, I enjoyed those books. Right now I'm actually reading the Harry Potter series which I didn't think I would ever do. But a few persistent friends finally talked me into it. Begrudgingly I'll admit they were right and I am enjoying them. I also just finished The Innocent Man which is John Grisham's first non-fiction book. Really good story about a mentally ill man basically getting railroaded onto Death Row.

I like this thread I have a few new books I have to look into reading now
Valerie

eesusbejesus
Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3645)
Sun, 8th Apr '07 3:58 AM

I love to read Aztec and The Journeyer by Gary Jennings. The Journeyer is about Marco Polo. Both are a bit racy though. And I can read A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving a thousand times. Some other books I enjoy reading are by Laurie King. She has a series that starts with The Beekeeper's Apprentice and the book focuses on a young woman who later becomes the wife of Sherlock Holmes in his latter years.

smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Sun, 8th Apr '07 10:39 AM

OMG, Lodi! Owen Meany is in my top 5 favorite books of all time! I buy it every time I see it in thrift shops and give it to someone new; it's my mission in life to spread it around as much as I can. I think it's Irving's masterpiece, and I've read them all. It's even more relevant and heartbreaking now, with another war on, don't you think?

I also have Aztec laying right here half-read, number one on my list of stuff I have to get back to. Girl, you'd have a good time in my library! I bet you'd find lots of old friends.

I tried to read the Harry Potter series but it just never caught me up (though I do enjoy the movies); never got into the whole Hobbit thing either, in spite of several tries over several decades. I also tried one of the Left Behind books just to see what all the fuss on the imdb Soapbox was about, thinking I could read it as straight fantasy or science fiction, but the religious aspect is too much a part of it and too far removed for me to relate to it. Could be I was put off by the fervency of some of its more hardcore fans on the Soapbox, too. Can't love 'em all, huh?

I wish I could have a whole 'nother lifetime just to read all the wonderful books I'll never get to. I could probably stand to reread most of what I read in my 20s. I wasn't paying much attention in those days.

smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Tue, 10th Apr '07 1:42 AM

"Stealing Heaven" by Marion Meade was a great read! One of those books where you hate to leave the characters and the time. I'm still under its spell and having a hard time deciding what to follow it with.

So many books, only two eyes!

nancidru
Nancidru  (Level: 10.7 - Posts: 65)
Wed, 11th Apr '07 12:44 AM

I just borrowed a book today that will be reviewed at book club Thursday, "The Tin Box" by Holly Kennedy. I don't think I'll have time to finish, but it's interesting. There's a book that I like that appeals to the trivia/interesting/useless knowledge gene in me called "The Know-It-All" by A.J. Jacobs. It's subtitled, "One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World." It's a sometimes funny account of Jacobs' attempt to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. (His father had tried it, but stopped at Borneo.)

rnmorg
Rnmorg  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 690)
Wed, 11th Apr '07 7:22 AM

Lodi: I got "Raptor" by Gary Jennings a few weeks ago after reading a reference about it on wikipedia. The review said that IT was pretty racy, also! It looks pretty weighty, so it's waiting on the shelf right now!

Alice: I JUST got "Krakatoa" in the mail yesterday (paperbackswap.com--highly recommended for all of you book-devourers out there!) and it is next up in my "To Read" bin.

I just finished "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult. It is an amazing book, but no lighthearted fluffy read. It is about a teenaged boy who goes on a shooting spree in his small town high school after being bullied and tormented nearly all of his school career. It takes the perspective of each side of the whole story and, I have to tell you, it is a very painful read at times. When I was done, I gave it to my daughter to read right away, because it is THAT important of a story. You will never again see those headlines in the same way after reading it.

bigbird
Bigbird  (Level: 239.6 - Posts: 3302)
Wed, 11th Apr '07 8:57 AM

Robin - You will love Krakatoa. The connections made in the book are amazing. And then, start on all of Winchester's other stuff.

rnmorg
Rnmorg  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 690)
Wed, 11th Apr '07 9:48 AM

Alice: I am hoping for the best! I listened to "The Professor and the Madman" on my Ipod. I have to say that, although the story of it is interesting, I might not have ever made it through actually reading the book. Then again, the gravelly voiced older guy (he does a LOT of audiobooks) was doing the reading, so that could have been why it seemed so dry.

smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Thu, 12th Apr '07 5:30 AM

A moment of silence, please. Kurt Vonnegut has died.

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 220.4 - Posts: 1935)
Thu, 12th Apr '07 9:54 AM

Donna
I'm trying to write a book, if I ever finish it maybe you'll do a proof read for me. I haven't a clue if anyone but me would like it or how one goes about getting published, for that matter. Most of the time I just haven't got a clue period.

texlewee
Texlewee  (Level: 34.1 - Posts: 601)
Thu, 12th Apr '07 10:42 AM

I'm just finished Daniel Silva's books with his Israeli assassin Gabriel Allon. Read all six within a month, they were just that good to me. I've been reading Crime and Punishment for going on 3 months, though... I read a chapter or two, go wipe the blood that begins oozing out of my ears, and move on to something lighter for a while. Oh... and I've been reading my wife's Janet Evanovich books.....

bigbird
Bigbird  (Level: 239.6 - Posts: 3302)
Fri, 13th Apr '07 3:14 PM

I forgot to mention that I love most of James Michener's stuff. You have to have a couple of months set aside to read 'em, but I think they are wonderfully done.

My favorite is Centennial. I also especially enjoyed Alaska.

Alice

smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Fri, 13th Apr '07 5:09 PM

My favorite Michener is "The Source," which opened my eyes to history, and the Jews in particular, in a way nothing had ever done before. I knew him very slightly toward the end of his residence in Bucks County when we were distant neighbors; I remember him walking the back roads in good weather, wearing a straw hat and carrying a cane. I used to jog in those days and would sometimes encounter him. He was very courtly, as you'd expect, and would incline his head and bow from the waist when I greeted him. "Ah yes," he said to me with a chuckle the first time I got up the nerve to speak, "I know who you are, too; you're the young lady with the little white sports car; I nearly killed you once."

He must've been in his early 70s then and I think he gave up driving around that time. I always hoped I wasn't the cause. I knew he had several homes, and he wasn't there very often, dunno which of us actually moved away first. We may have exchanged pleasantries half a dozen times over a couple of years and I still regret not taking better advantage of the opportunity to know him, but I was young and VERY intimidated, and conscious of not wanting to "bother" him like a "fan."

rowlanda
Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2856)
Fri, 13th Apr '07 5:57 PM

Hi Smoke,
You said earlier you had been looking for a set of books for a long time. I must tell you about the LOVELY surprise I got yesterday.
About 6 - 10 months ago, I idly went onto the ALIBRIS.com site and ordered a book that was WRITTEN IN 1946 - and definetly out of print. Last night I found an e-mail saying that they HAD AN ORIGINAL COPY OF THE BOOK, HARD COVER AND IN EXCELLENT CONDITION !!!!!! I was SO happy because my family is part of the story in the book.
They also seem to have a number of copies of KRAKATOA which someone here recommended earlier, all at reasonable prices (for hardcover books).
Hope this is useful
Rowlanda

rnmorg
Rnmorg  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 690)
Fri, 13th Apr '07 7:45 PM

Donna: I've always WANTED to love Michener, just like I always WANTED to love Joyce Carol Oates. As a kid, I remember thinking, "What could possibly be wrong with ANY book? They all have words in them!" Well, that was before I tried Michener. And Oates. Oh, and Faulkner, who I just always got the feeling that he was probably some affected a$$ (from the no quotes around dialogue thing!) I chose Michener as my senior thesis project in high school; I figured, those books are HUGE, there must be a ton of material I could use. I had to change to Stephen King in a total panic near the due date after not being able to finish a single book! Now that I'm (only a TINY bit!) older, I should try them again and see if they go down any easier. After all, *I* finished "The Royal Family" by William Vollman. Go ahead, see if YOU can do it. I DARE you! You'll be begging for the sweet, sweet eye bleeding of Dostoevsky before the 3rd chapter!

tiggerdb
Tiggerdb  (Level: 82.2 - Posts: 37)
Fri, 13th Apr '07 10:04 PM

When I'm not reading for school (I'm in a teacher preparation program), I enjoy reading anything by Jane Heller, Carole Nelson Douglas, and Lilian Jackson Braun. The Midnight Louie series by Douglas is a great mystery series as is The Cat Who series by Braun. Other series I enjoy are The Puzzle Lady (Parnell Hall) and Hannah Swenson (Joanne Fluke).
My cat (shown on my profile) especially enjoys books with cats in them. He likes to put his nose between the pages.

sherilynn1962
Sherilynn1962  (Level: 116.2 - Posts: 372)
Fri, 13th Apr '07 11:39 PM

"The Secrets of Harry Bright" -- Joseph Wambaugh

phitzy1
Phitzy1  (Level: 66.4 - Posts: 873)
Sat, 14th Apr '07 12:42 PM

On to "confessions of an economic hitman"

Gives alot of insight into the way our government weasles into other countrys

brunosexy77
Brunosexy77  (Level: 68.3 - Posts: 215)
Sat, 14th Apr '07 6:49 PM

At the moment Im reading a fiction book of Danielle steel 'Toxic Batchelors'. Its a story about three single men, it includes their dating perils, relationships and love.

geophile
Geophile  (Level: 159.4 - Posts: 1521)
Sun, 15th Apr '07 1:03 AM

Thanks for mentioning "Alaska" Bigbird...I had forgotten about that one. Will get it Monday at the library. That will be my reading for awhile. Love Michener, love Alaska.
How did I miss that book?

cypressriver
Cypressriver  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 160)
Mon, 16th Apr '07 12:50 AM

I'm rereading "The Ancestor's Tale" by Richard Dawkins. It's brilliant and so full of information that it bears several readings. (I'm not a fan of most of his other books, although I shouldn't judge "The God Delusion" until I've read it.)

I love anything by Jared Diamond. "Guns, Germs, and Steel" was a book that utterly changed my life, and I told everyone I ran into to read it. Most ignored me. I just finished his earlier book "The Third Chimpanzee," also wonderful. I hope he does an updated version incorporating new research. A brilliant, insightful, and compassionate writer.

I'm rereading Hamlet and paraphrasing parts of it for my daughter. She wanted to know who besides her father I had a really big crush on, and I told her Hamlet, so now I have to tell her all about him. Also Romeo and Juliet, because she's just seen West Side Story and is trying to compare the two (in her nine-year-old way).

I don't read much contemporary fiction, but I really loved "The Time Traveler's Wife." Wow. The author wasn't even a writer, but a professor of paper-making, and the book is so witty and heartrending. Can't think of her name, but I hope she writes something else soon.

I'm rereading Steven Pinker. I enjoy him more when he's on about linguistics and less when he's explaining other brain functions. Trying to understand the feud he had with Stephen Jay Gould--I'm missing something there.

Just finished reading Susan Cooper's "Dark is Rising" series out loud to the family. It's beautifully written but boring to today's youth because they've lost their attention spans and been spoiled by J.K.Rowling and Lloyd Alexander and all the spin-offs. Before that I read Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy, beginning with "The Golden Compass," aloud to my husband. I adore that series, and the retelling of the Adam and Eve story is astonishing and beautiful to me. Pullman has been accused of writing adolescent fantasy so he can be lazy. Still, any book with armored bears and witches and an entire book placed in the Oxford University of a parallel universe has something going for it. Oh and the--daemons I think they're called--the animals that people are born with and live with and experience such pain with a separation of just a few yards--it's very powerful.

Smoke, I doubt you've read this far, but the Harry Potter books are MUCH better than the movies. The first couple are so-so, and silly and comforting for kids. But as they progress, the subplots abound and the relationships do become interesting and humorous. The interactions between Dumbledore and Harry are truncated to the point of nonexistence in the films, and the real story lies in their conversations. Also, the Harry of the movies doesn't capture the Harry of the books. The real Harry is not a pretty boy--he's taller, lankier, tougher and more dangerous. If you think of Rowling as a storyteller and not as a writer, you can enjoy the stories and all the wordplay that gets left out of the movies.

And what can I say? I just read the Hobbit aloud to the family and it's pure poetry. Has to be aloud. When my daughter's a bit older, we'll read the rest of the series.

Also reading Pema Chodron's book "When Things Fall Apart," and anything else I can find that might help explain the food chain, which has been a life-long struggle for me.

As for poetry, William Blake and Weldon Keys right now, opposites and two of my favorites. How can you not love someone who was a poet and artist, who disappeared forever one day in the 1950's, whose car was found at the entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge, and who had talked both of killing himself and of going to a South American country to live under an assumed name? His poems are dark and lyrical.

Great thread. Thanks guys, for all the suggestions--I'll definitely be ordering copies from our library!

aslan
Aslan  (Level: 27.6 - Posts: 356)
Mon, 16th Apr '07 7:42 AM

My favorite Michener is: Chesapeake: A Novel. It really brought the area alive.

Does anyone use half.com to buy books? I get some fantastic bargains there. If you buy more than one book from the same seller, you save on shipping.

zeedee
Zeedee  (Level: 224.7 - Posts: 1088)
Mon, 16th Apr '07 9:26 PM

Yes. I use half.com all the time! It might be my second-favorite website (hmmm.....wonder what my FAVORITE site is.....).
Zeedee

zeedee
Zeedee  (Level: 224.7 - Posts: 1088)
Mon, 16th Apr '07 9:31 PM

Oh, yeah.....I forgot to add that I am reading "The Little Friend" by Donna Tartt.

rnmorg
Rnmorg  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 690)
Tue, 17th Apr '07 12:42 AM

Zee: I have that in my "to be read" pile. Let me know wht you think; I had another of her books, "The Secret History," but couldn't really make it through, so I'm hoping this one is better!

missgeorge
Missgeorge  (Level: 63.0 - Posts: 388)
Tue, 17th Apr '07 5:09 AM

Pick up a copy of The General's Daughter by Nelson DeMille, and you will not be disappointed.

I made the mistake of seeing the movie after reading the book, and I was severely disappointed.

geniuswaitress
Geniuswaitress  (Level: 52.1 - Posts: 381)
Sat, 21st Apr '07 6:26 PM

A copy & paste from my blog with some personal info x-ed out:



Best Books I Read 2006
Category: Writing and Poetry

I keep a list of everything I read in a coffee-and-wine-stained little fabric book. Looking over it yesterday, I thought it might be nice to share the highlights from this past year. In the xxxxx Sister tradition, I'll narrow it down to a beautiful five.

Top Five Books I Read in 2006

1) Time's Arrow by Martin Amis. Okay, any book I read by Master Amis is listable, but I also read Night Train this year and I'm leaving it off. It's great and it gives good noir, but Arrow is a masterwork. I can't even comprehend how he structured this book without losing his mind. Speaking of losing your mind...number two is:

2) Nadja by Andre Breton. I often have difficulty with surrealist novels in a way I don't have with poetry. Perhaps I'm too Aristotlean and have rules for novels that are too rigid. Nadja is exquisite and compelling, though, from line one ("Who am I?") to line last ("Beauty will be convulsive or will not be at all.").

3) The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. A friend of mine simply told me about an interview they heard with Didion about this book and I wept just hearing about it. The subject matter is wrenching, about the year following her husband's (author John gregory Dunne) death. But in Didion's hands it becomes something magical. I had a hard time shaking this one.

4) No Night Is Too Long by Barbara Vine. Anybody reading this that I turned on to Patricia Highsmith needs to understand that Vine (Ruth Rendell) is every bit as good and sometimes better. Claustrophobic. Guilt-ridden.

4) Tie. Loser Goes First by Dan Kennedy, Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman, Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Sara Jane Gilman. So, none of these are great books and they won't change the world, but this year sort of became the year of the self-effacing memoir to me. Klosterman used to be the only good reason to read Spin (now there isn't one, except, perhaps, the subscription hasn't run out). Kennedy can tell you about ANYTHING and it's somehow a story. Gilman is me, and that's the thing. Books like these make you WANT to write yourself. If these goobers can take their own ridiculous lives and somehow make a book out of stringing silly anecdotes together, then hey....


Honorable mentions to Wodehouse's Leave it to Psmith (a worthy rival to Jeeves & W.), Robert Barnard's Political Suicide (good satire of the Brit. polit. system recommended for fans of Yes, Minister), and all of the skrillions of titles I read by Cornell Woolrich and Julian Symons for the noir fans.

If any one of you reads even one of these books, tell me. I know you'll be thanking me. And tell me what you've been reading.

Happy New Year.

phitzy1
Phitzy1  (Level: 66.4 - Posts: 873)
Sat, 21st Apr '07 9:38 PM

Hey all!

Geniuswaitress -

I think that I heard the interveiw that you refered to...either the Diane Rheem Show or Fresh Air with Terri Gross...The Diane Rheem interview I absolutely lost it with...though i have not read the book YET.

I used to read about a book eery two days and I noe have no time to do so...I used to scoff at those who said they were too busy to read...now I know

I will pick up "The Year of Magical Thinking", though and (as of late) plod through it as I have time...

rnmorg
Rnmorg  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 690)
Sun, 22nd Apr '07 5:57 PM

Okay, I just finished "Krakatoa" by Simon Winchester. What an AMAZING book. HIGHLY recommended!

smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Sun, 22nd Apr '07 6:07 PM

Okay, I've bought it on eBay and when it arrives it's lined up behind the one I'm in the middle of now ("Sea of Glory" by Nathaniel Philbrick) and "Brainiac" by Ken Jennings (I promised him ).

smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Sun, 22nd Apr '07 6:09 PM

I see I've really neglected this thread. Be back later.

texlewee
Texlewee  (Level: 34.1 - Posts: 601)
Mon, 23rd Apr '07 12:50 AM

finishing Crime and Punishment. Weeping tears of blood. Great book, but difficult for a guy with a small brainpan like me to read....


the bad news? A Crime and Punishment Quiz will follow...... I want others to suffer with me....

zeedee
Zeedee  (Level: 224.7 - Posts: 1088)
Mon, 23rd Apr '07 9:00 AM

When I posted to this thread before, I was thinking to myself that I have not been reading as much lately as I used to. At the time, I did not even think about how many audio books I have been through.

I listen to more books now than I read. I have a long commute to work, so I always have one book going in the car. I have another book that I play in kitchen while I cook or clean up. I have a third on an MP3 player that I listen to while I walk or work out.

When audio books first came out, I did not use them because they were almost always abridged versions. But now many, many unabridged books in all genres are available.
However, my main objection to audiobooks was the expense. But then I discovered audible.com which made buying audio books more affordable. And NOW my local library has subscribed to Digital Media Catalog services which makes audio book downloads available for a two-week check-out period FREE. Can't beat that. If your library does not offer this service, you might ask them to look into it for you. It's a very nice perk.

It was the talk of "The Year of Magical Thinking" on this thread that made me think about posting about audio books because that is how I experienced Didion's book--in her own voice, as she was the narrator. Right now, I have "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen (from audible.com) on in the kitchen. "The Last King of Scotland" on MP3 (from the library). And "The Mermaid Chair" (a gift from a friend) in the car -- with Sidney Poitier's autobiography next in line.

rnmorg
Rnmorg  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 690)
Mon, 23rd Apr '07 4:25 PM

I am listening to "The Blind Assassin," by Margaret Atwood in the car and "Mayflower," by Nathaniel Philbrick on the Ipod. "The Blind Assassin" was a little slow going at first, but now I'm hooked into it. I really WISH she'd get to the point, though...I am on the 9th (out of 11) cassettes and I'm still not sure where the whole thing is heading. I'm hoping for a big surprise. "Mayflower" has been interesting and informative, but so dry (Narrated by George Guidall, say no more!) that I keep removing it from the player and putting music back on.

I used to get a lot of audiobooks from the library, but I am so bad about returning things that a silent alarm is now activated when I step through the doors soooo, now I get them at paperbackswap.com or audible.

smoke20
Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Mon, 23rd Apr '07 5:56 PM

Too bad about the audio for Mayflower, I adored the book. I don't know the name of the reader but if he's making it boring, he's doing it wrong.

I'd love to get back into recording, on a paying basis would be REAL nice; there's so much available now that the volunteer project I was a part of for a couple of years has dried up and disappeared.

I'm much better at it now than I was before; I read aloud a lot when I have something that's beautifully written, and the dogs have gotten to like being read to. They're so funny! If I even pick up a book they come tumbling over each other to flop at my feet, like children wanting a story. Can't even look something up in the phone book without an instant audience!

bigbird
Bigbird  (Level: 239.6 - Posts: 3302)
Mon, 23rd Apr '07 11:35 PM

Robin - I'm so glad you liked Krakatoa - I felt responsible.

We are leaving for Iceland Wednesday, and I went to the library today to get a bunch of books on CD. Loading them onto my brand new iPod. This way, I can do my cross stitch on the plane while I am entertained by the various books. Love modern technology!

Alice


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