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anna k
I've been reading Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, and really enjoying it. It reminds me of my college dorm days and the insular world that I grew tired of after a while. Lee is a little bit of a bitch, but I like that the protagonist isn't always likeable. The name Cross Sugarman sounds like such a classic fictional name, like Holden Caulfield or Zooey Glass.
Jaymi
Sorry for being MIA for so long, and I owe it to y'all to read back on the thread and get up to date. But I really just want to drop in to see if anyone has heard anything about The Dante Club. My book club chose it for our next read and I haven't heard anything about it. Thumbs up or down? Any tips?

Also, I've gotten into Steinbeck lately, finishing Cannery Row last week and starting on East of Eden this week. I tried reading him in high school and really didn't like it, but now, it's like a tall glass of water on a hot day - just can't get enough!!

I promise that after I get done with getting Girlistic Magazine's new issue ready to go online (it goes up this Saturday!) then I'll dive back into the thread!!
anna k
I'm starting Afterwards by Rachel Seiffert, a novel about a UK couple and their troubled pasts. It's starting out well so far, and I like the writing.

I liked Prep a lot, it was really engaging and well-written.
crinoline
Cannery Row is a wonderful book! The movie isn't bad, either, though not exactly like the book.

I don't know why I never post in here, I average three books a week. Anyway, I just finished Audrey Niffennegger's book, The Time Traveler's Wife. I had been skeptical of it because it was on some book list (maybe Oprah) and when it comes to literature, I can be a snob. However, it was a good book. It is an emotional roller coaster, and is written in an original style. It made me weep for hours, and I would like to warn that if you are sensitive to miscarriage scenes, it may not be for you (sorry if that spoiled anything for anyone). I would recommend it to both casual and voracious readers.

Is anyone in here into Southern Literature? Being from the area, it has always had a special place in my heart. I just finished two Ferrol Sams novels, not my favorite, but a good read nonetheless.

ETA: Sorry! I didn't say anything about the plot of The Time Traveler's Wife . It's a love story, told in a completely different format than we're used to. But it's basically about a true and enduring love. Also time travel (but not how you would normally think of it).
bunnyb
crinoline, you should post more often if you read that much! I'd love to hear more of your thoughts.
I felt the same way going into The Time Traveler's Wife as I too can be a book snob but it was such an engrossing read and I'm excited to read her future novels.

I need to read more Steinbeck; I've only read Of Mice and Men over a decade ago.

I've been devouring books recently:

The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy: beautifully written and poignant but I think it has been over-hyped and did not live up to my expectations. It's about loving who you shouldn't love and the fall-out from that, with the backdrop of political India.

Surfacing, Margaret Atwood: exceptionally well-written. Short but definitely weighty; an early Atwood that I think is very feminist in its outlook (the commentary on motherhood, especially). Good experiment with language. A woman goes to find her missing father and loses/finds herself.

26a, Diana Evans: a Diaspora novel set in London about an Anglo-Nigerian family, primarily the twins Bessie and Georgia. Great observations of growing up; some de ja vu moments in the 80s; interesting stuff about twins and Igbo myth.

Daisy Miller, Henry James: a great little novella with a vivid eponymous heroine.

Trumpet, Jackie Kay: this has been on my to-read list for over 2 years now after maryjo (an old BUSTie) recommended it to me twice. It did not disappoint and I'm passing on the recommendation. Trumpet is about a black, Scottish trumpeter who, upon his death, is discovered to be a woman; a great exploration of transgenderism, race and loss/grief.
I also read one of Kay's volumes of poetry Off Colour afterwards and this was also very good and dealt with racism and disease.

Lost in a Good Book, Jasper Fforde: IMO this follow-up was better than The Eyre Affair and I'm looking forward to reading the rest in the series. Light reading, a gripping plot and multiple allusions to and involving other literary texts - what more could you ask for? Oh, and a strong female protagonist!

The Cutting Room, Louise Welsh: this has its critics amongst my friends but I really enjoyed it. A gritty, literary crime novel with a likable main character, good placed plot and set in my home city ... I didn't find her pretentious or gimmicky although a random Proust allusion bemused me. The one thing that did annoy me, though, was her incorrect time-line; she put a lot of emphasis on the timing of a key event and in the next chapter contradicted the time with another real-life event that occurs two months previously and perhaps this would only be evident to readers in Glasgow, but living in Glasgow herself this was a lazy mistake to make.

I am now reading Sarah Water's The Night Watch.
Jaymi
crinoline - I didn't even know there was a movie version of Cannery Row - where have I been??
I LOVE Time Traveler's Wife. There's a series on TV that is a total rip off of it...I don't think I want to chance watching it.

Bunnyb - love the new photo - so cute!!

I wanted to drop in and let everyone know that Girlistic Magazine's Fall issue is online now. Please stop by and check it out when you have a few minutes. It has book reviews that I wrote up smile.gif It's free and you can read it at: http://www.girlistic.com/magazine.htm

I just picked up a copy of ...And His Lovely Wife after hearing an interview on NPR with author Connie Schultz. She's this wonderfully opinionated feminist who married a US Senator and it's about her adjustments to living a political life....I'm excited to start it. It looks like an easy one-day read. smile.gif

Talk to you all soon!
bunnyb
Thanks jaymi!

Sarah Waters' The Night Watch was a very good read: set in London during the 1940s it is about four disparate people (three girls and a boy) who are connected in different and sometimes surprising and/or fleeting yet momentous ways. The structure is unique and interesting with the action moving backwards from 1947 to 1943 then to the beginning in 1941; it is interesting take on the revelations of the past, with the dramatic irony of knowing their future (and the outcome of the book) from the very beginning. I wasn't blown away as I was when I read Waters' Fingersmith but it is a nice change in historical setting and proof that Waters is a great storyteller no matter the period.

I am now reading Haruki Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and it is an amazingly good read, so far, and hopefully that will be sustained for the 600ish pages of the book.
mavin
Bunnyb- I absolutely hated The Eyre Affair, do you think the sequel is much better? I have been tempted to pick it up solely bc of the female protagonist.

crinoline- I love Southern Lit. I just love reading about the areas and the culture, I think, but I have never even been down there!

I just finished reading Water for Elephants (1 day read sadly) and really, really loved it. I originally got it back a while ago and also picked up Geek Love. I read Geek Love first and that sort of scared me off circus books. But, man, I shouldn't have waited. I just loved the style and flow and story of Water for Elephants so much.

Girlbomb-- I meant to tell you that I picked your book up! Ze Love couldn't understand my squealing in the book section when I found it there hee hee. It is currently on my stack of To Read.

I am also trying to finish The Virgin's Lover. I read 3 or 4 of the author's books (Phillipa Gregory) and really liked those, except for the sex scenes which I am just against in most books anyway. But this book just feels different and I can't care as much. The style is different and I almost feel like someone else wrote it but it has the same author's name on it. I also wonder if it is because it is about Queen Elizabeth and I always really liked her. LIke, I don't want to read some unempowering drivel about her being in love with this married man and not able to make her own decisions.
gradgal
I see that others in here have enjoyed Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. Might I also suggest The Way the Crow Flies by the same author. I devoured this novel in just a few days! I'm really amazed at how MacDonald can capture both how naive and perceptive children can be as she writes about events through their eyes. Happy reading! smile.gif
bunnyb
I enjoyed The Way the Crow Flies too.

mavin, I liked The Eyre Affair but wasn't overly-impressed by it and didn't think it lived up to its hype but Lost in a Good Book had me excited. It's light, enjoyable reading and had more of a plot than the first (I suppose the stage had to be set for the alternate world Fforde had created and that took time and word-count) and I really enjoyed Miss Havisham being in this one. I'm actually annoyed because the rest of the series (excluding the newest one) are packed away in boxes - I recently moved house- and I want to read them!

I've heard good things about Water for Elephants and must pick up a copy when I have a chance. Did you enjoy Geek Love? I LOVE that book!

The Murakami is so good that I want to go out and buy everything else he has written.
faerietails2
I finally read Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates. It was okay, but it wasn't her best work.

I'm into a feminist science fiction kick right now. I read Kindred by Octavia Butler a couple of days ago, and I really liked it a lot. It's about this black woman in 1976 who keeps getting pulled back into the slavery era to save her great-, great-, grandfather everytime he gets into a hairy situation. He's a white plantation owner, but she has to keep saving his life in order to ensure that her family line continues. It's good.

Now I'm reading Doc and Fluff: The Dystopian Tale of a Girl and Her Biker. It's...interesting, to say the least. It's a butch/femme S & M story set in the future. The only other Pat Califia work I'd read before this was non-fiction, and that was fabulous. This book, on the other hand...I don't know if I'll be continuing it. There's a lot of really explicit sex, and the story in general is just...gah! It had a lot of rave reviews, though, which is why I'm trucking through it at least until I get some more plot details. I may just move on to Marge Piercy's Woman of the Edge of Time, though.
mavin
Bunny- maybe I will pick that book up then. If Miss Havisham is in it I have to! Hee hee. I just remember being in high school english, reading about Miss Havisham. The teacher called her eccentric and someone asked what that meant. He said, Vin is eccentric. Um. Wow. Thanks! ;-)

I also enjoyed Geek Love. It really haunted me for a long time. I couldn't put it down but parts were just so gritty it was hard for me to digest at once.

I am currently reading Knocked Up by Rebecca Eckler. My best pal shoved it at me and said it was funny and bc I am preggo I would like it. It is cute so far, but, really. I can't stand stupid people and the author is so stupid. She didn't know where her uterus was or how ovulating related to getting pregnant. She likes to party and is so self-centered, I just wanted to smack her! What kind of woman doesn't know about their body? Makes me sad.
bunnyb
Reminds me of my highschool English teacher saying I was very similar to Emma Woodhouse blink.gif.

I'm a huge fan of Miss Havisham and Fforde does her justice. It's very funny in those parts.
pepper
in the last five days i've devoured wicked, son of a witch and mirror mirror by gregory maguire. whew, i think i like his writing.
what i want to know is what is such a twisted fekker doing writing children's books as well? huh.gif
crazyoldcatlady
been listening to a book on cd (jennifer egan's the keep).

i am just not a book on cd kind of person. i think a lot is getting lost in translation. the guy reading is a tad irksome, the pace too slow, and i feel like i'm missing that vital intimacy between author and reader that keeps a book compelling. that being said, the book itself is not heinous, but i'm having a hard time empathizing with any of the characters, which ficiton writing 101 tells me is essential to a compelling read, that you actually care about the characters and care about what they do next. i think the reviews were a bit overblown, because i detect hints of pretension that are overshadowing what i think is probably good writing.

i say probably because, once again, reading isn't the same.

having said all that, i've got one disc left, and am then considering listening to life of pi on cd. hey, i got a rough commute this month! wink.gif
Jaymi
I LOVE books on CD. I wish I could afford them more often. While I love sitting in a cozy sofa, or out in the garden with my book, there is something to be said about being able to do other stuff while soaking in a good read. smile.gif

anarch
I depend on audiobooks for all my non-academic reading these days. I feel so much more constructive while cooking/cleaning/whatever, if I can learn at the same time. I figure there's plenty to learn, not just from nonfiction (Blink, histories, biographies) but from novels too, about what makes good vs bad writing. Not to mention the entertaniment value - though when there's a great story + a great narrator, like Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring, I tend to forget about doing anything else & just lie on the couch to listen. I'm lucky that the local library stocks tons of audiobooks.

So much depends on the narrator. Life of Pi didn't do much for me but I think it was because I hated the narration. I'll have to go to the actual book and read it. Great narrators bring entire dimensions of books to life, though. Like the guy who did the Harry Potters.

I just finished Dan Simmons's The Terror. Terrific historical, quasi-supernatural arctic adventure based on the last Franklin expedition. Lots of fascinating details about survival up there in the frozen North (some appropriate for fans of the grody gross-out thread, heh).
crazyoldcatlady
so i attempted life of pi on cd today.

i got through eight minutes. EIGHT.

the narrator was killing it. this one i'm going to read the old fashioned way.

on the other hand, i'm really getting into podcasts, but there just aren't enought good ones out there right now, i think, unless ya'll have some suggestions (in fact, i think there used to be a podcast thread somewhere...)
but yeah, i'm in lurrrve with this american life, in like with the skeptics guide to the universe, acquaintanced with npr's this i believe, and although it's not talk, in deep lust with dj tiesto's podcast for running, more than the acutal podrunner podcast, which is like running to a metronome

okay, i'll take this elsewhere now smile.gif
anarch
i got through eight minutes. EIGHT.

Ha! I'm glad I've got company!

I'm really enjoying Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup. Totally not going where my conventional brain expected things to go.
mouse
how funny; i just came in here to ask about audiobook suggestions! i just signed up to audible.com so that i'll have something new to listen to at the gym (i listen to podcasts all day at work and usually use them up) and here you are all already talking about em!

i have to say, as far as podcasts go, i am inordinately in love with "mysterious universe". yes, okay, the whole "vampires from the mooooooooooooon!" etc. premise is hard to swallow but i love hearing about that shit regardless of whether i believe it or not, and the narrator has such a sexy australian accent and it's SO well produced. and NPR is a goldmine of podcasts--check out "wait wait don't tell me" and the sunday puzzle and pop culture and books and movies and health and science and and and...

also, discovery channels podcasts (science candy, etc) and scientific american's, and wnyc's "radio lab" is FANTASTIC. also boingboing often has good interviews.

AND just to chime in, "geek love" is quite possibly my Favorite Book Ever, Period. it's up there for sure.

SOOOOOO......any audible.com members out there? any suggestions? THXGUYS
Jaymi
mouse - I listened to the audio book The Omnivore's Dilemma. Totally changed how I think of food and my food choices!! I loved it!! totally recommend it.
anarch
mouse, I thought the following audiobooks were very well done:

Fiction (thanks all in the this thread for recommending these!) -
Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy
Harry Potter books, as I mentioned earlier
Phillip Pullman trilogy - The Golden Compass, etc.
Sarah Waters, The Night Watch
pretty much anything by Tracy Chevalier (author of Girl with a Pearl Earring)
Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian
Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveller's Wife (come to think of it, the narrator's voice was a bit nasal, so people who mind that kind of thing probably wouldn't like it)
Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (it was a recent recording I think - like within the past 7 years probably)
Jeremy Irons narrating Lolita.

Nonfiction - I find most authors who read their own works are actually terrible narrators, but Alice Sebold's autobiographical Lucky is riveting anyway because of its subject matter (rape, and the ensuing courtroom drama). Denise Chong's The Girl In The Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc, The Photograph, and the Vietnam War was interesting (again, great subject matter) but not riveting, partly I think because of her inexpert narration combined with a little too much detail.

I don't recommend Julia Roberts reading an abridged version of The Nanny Diaries. I thought she was very flat, except when she was doing the little kid, whining.

Jaymi - a terrific companion book to The Omnivore's Dilemma is Peter Singer and Jim Mason, The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter. Very thought-provoking, and they challenge some of the points in The Omnivore's Dilemma. In audio, well-narrated.

Oh yeah, and Charles Clover does the same thing for fish, in The End of the Line: How Overfishing is Changing The World and What We Eat.
crinoline
Audiobooks:
I second the Harry Potters and Golden Compass series, but I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing the rest.
Jeremy Irons reading Lolita sounds fascinating

I loved Neil Gaiman's audiobook Fragile Things: Stories
He is a good narrator, and he talks a bit about his inspirations and the "birth" of each story. The stories (and some poetry) vary in length, but most are short enough that you don't have to leave the middle of a story if you must go do something else. I particularly enjoyed "Sunbird".
faerietails2
i just finished no one belongs here more than you. today and i absolutely positively loved it. miranda july is a great writer.

and wait. *old-man-crush alert* there's an audiobook of my jeremy reading lolita?! (sorry, i know it grosses people out, but i love him. lol) i must get my hands on that pronto!
bunnyb
I'm interested by this Jeremy Irons narrated Lolita too.

faerietails, I read your book blog - good stuff!

I'm nearly finished reading Atwood's Alias Grace - another good read, she never disappoints.

I read Terry Pratchett's newest Making Money at the weekend and it was the usual witty, entertaining, fun.
anarch
Lolita read by Jeremy Irons

I'm halfway through Scott Smith's The Ruins. He's doing the suspense/horror story well enough, but the two female protagonists are so stupid, helpless, self-indulgent, irresponsible, weepy, and generally infantile that I'm not going to bother finishing it. Do male authors who create female characters like this enjoy making them contemptible? What century was Smith born in, anyway?


kittenb
I am so caught up in Tailchaser's Song at the moment. It is a fantasy novel about the folk tales (no pun intended) of cats. It is kind of embarressing b/c I have to sit on the bus reading it and the cover has cats all over it so I look like one of "those women" but I can't put it down. I actually got so involved and upset at one point that I had to check the last few pages of the story to see who survives at the end. I think I am so anxious b/c they are cats who are the main characters and I just can't stand to see them get hurt.

I am such a geek.
bunnyb
They are non fantasy, but other cat books I enjoy (very different from one another) are Soseki Natsumi's I Am a Cat and Lillian Jackson Braun's Cat Who detective novels.

Currently reading A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly, which is light and enjoyable.

Undecided whether to read Jasper Fforde's The Well of Lost Plots next or Sarah Waters' Affinity.
kittenb
I love the title No One Belongs Here More Than You. What is it about?
I started Eat Pray Love and I am really enjoying it. I am with her in India now. The Eat part in Italy was gorgeous.
edie52
I'm reading What is the What, the latest by Dave Eggers. I'm over 100 pages in and I like it so far. The character is extremely sympathetic and the parts set in Sudan are fascinating and rough, though the parts set in contemporary Atlanta interest me more.

I don't know if I'll get through it, though! With 400 pages to go.... to be honest, I tend to quit in the middle of a book of that length, especially when other books are beckoning. Maybe I'll pick up a shorter, funner book on the side. Damn TV, ruining my attention span...
yemaya
Most reading has been academic but finally gotten around to purchasing Guns, Steel, etc by Jared Diamond as well as Collapse and plan to read concurrently. Also picked up Flynn’s What is Intelligence and Gould’s Mismeasure of Man. Finally read Freakonomics but found it vaguely insulting and unforgivably trite. Looking forward to obtaining a copy of Mistakes Were Made by Carol Travis.

Back on the Mythology fairy tale slant with Fairy Tales from Penguin by Hans Christian Andersen and re-reading Edith Head’s Mythology. Borrowed Penelopiad and the Blind Assassin by Atwood.

Recently traveled to Scandinavia by re-reading Gunnar’s Daughter and Kristin Lavransdatter in which the magical spare prose was somewhat soothing.

vesicapisces
QUOTE(kittenb @ Oct 4 2007, 03:52 PM) *
I am so caught up in Tailchaser's Song at the moment. It is a fantasy novel about the folk tales (no pun intended) of cats. It is kind of embarressing b/c I have to sit on the bus reading it and the cover has cats all over it so I look like one of "those women" but I can't put it down. I actually got so involved and upset at one point that I had to check the last few pages of the story to see who survives at the end. I think I am so anxious b/c they are cats who are the main characters and I just can't stand to see them get hurt.

I am such a geek.


I haven't read that one in a long time, kittenb, but I remember I loved it. I remember the part about how cats have several different names - their "milk name" for when they're babies, the name they use in everyday life, the name people call them, and their "secret name" that only they know.

I haven't been as crazy about Tad Williams' later stuff - good writing for the most part, but DAMN, dude, don't ask me to invest in one of those massive epic 3000 page series. I just don't have the stamina any more (says Jillie, who is anxiously awaiting volume 6 [? or is it 5?] of George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice & Fire". That bastard, I swear if he doesn't start writing faster I'm going to hunt him down and torture him like he's torturing me.) dry.gif
vesicapisces
QUOTE(Jaymi @ Sep 9 2007, 04:25 PM) *
I LOVE books on CD. I wish I could afford them more often. While I love sitting in a cozy sofa, or out in the garden with my book, there is something to be said about being able to do other stuff while soaking in a good read. smile.gif


Jaymi - library, library, library! I spent a year doing a 45 minute one-way commute and went thru a bunch of audiobooks - read a bunch of stuff that way that I otherwise never would have, just because we were out in the country and the local library's selection was limited.

That said, I highly recommend the unabridged version of Dick Francis' "Whip Hand", read by Tony Britton (I think he's done a number of Francis' other books, but I haven't listened to them - his rendition of the various British accents is awesome, tho', and adds so much to the experience. You feel like you're actually listening to different people.)
nickclick
am i out of touch for not hearing out this year's literature nobel prize winner, doris lessing? this from NY Times:

Her breakthrough was ''The Golden Notebook,'' in 1962, the Swedish Academy said.

''The burgeoning feminist movement saw it as a pioneering work and it belongs to the handful of books that inform the 20th-century view of the male-female relationship,'' the academy said in its citation announcing the prize.
bunnyb
I started The Golden Notebook but did not finish it.

Yay for another woman winning! In 81 years Lessing is only the THIRD woman to win the nobel prize for literature, along with Toni Morrison and Nadine Gordimer.

Been devouring books over the last week: Jennifer Donnelly's A Gathering Light was a quick, easy and good read; Sarah Water's Affinity was not as good as her other work but still a well-written page turner; Crazy As Chocolate was also light but engaging and entertaining. Now I'm reading Jasper Fforde's The Well of Lost Plots and dipping in and out of The Collected Stories of Colette.
edie52
Wow, bunny, so much reading, I'm jealous! I love weeks like that.

I'm still plodding through What is the What. It's worth finishing, I think. I may begin Harold's End by JT LeRoy today, seems like it'll be a quick one (and it has pictures!).

Did anyone else see the video of Doris Lessing's reaction when she found out she had won the Nobel? I'd provide the link, but I saw it on my roommate's computer and have no idea where to find it. It's really funny. She waves her hand and kind of goes "pfff" and seems really inconvenienced by the whole thing, annoyed actually, and says (about prizes) "I've won 'em all."
bunnyb
here's the video!

I don't think she was annoyed but she was certainly underwhelmed; she said it was nice to have won them all, that this was "the royal flush".
bunnyb
*apologies for the double-post*

It's award season for female writers! Anne Enright won the Man Booker prize for The Gathering even though Ian McEwan and the (male) author of Mr Pip were tipped to win - YAY! Has anyone read the book? I've been wanting to for a while (nothing to do with the Booker, as these things are not always an indication of the best books on the market) and I'm excited because I have a reserved copy ready to collect from library - perfect timing! I have read some short stories by Enright before and thoroughly enjoyed them and looking forward to reading her novel; I have high hopes because she was a protege of Angela Carter, whose writing I admire above everything else.

I am also collecting Mr Pip.

/gushiness.
knorl05
hello my lovely lovelies~

i'm in search of a few good books. i usually read non fiction. but i want to get into fictional writings.

suggestions? please? thank you.
crazyoldcatlady
i'm in MAD love with chuck klosterman and his latest, IV.

now, it's no killing yourself to live, as it's mostly a compilation and annotation of his magazine articles from spin and esquire, but it's still HIGHlarious.
cleanoldguy
bunnyb sez,

"Yay for another woman winning! In 81 years Lessing is only the THIRD woman to win the nobel prize for literature, along with Toni Morrison and Nadine Gordimer."


Amen to the Yay! but actually the Nobel folks have been a little (not much) more aware that women can write too. In addition to Lessing, Morrison, and Gordimer, female winners include:

# 2004 - Elfriede Jelinek
# 1996 - Wislawa Szymborska
# 1966 - Shmuel Agnon, Nelly Sachs (okay, shared with a man)
# 1945 - Gabriela Mistral
# 1938 - Pearl Buck
# 1928 - Sigrid Undset (my fave)
# 1926 - Grazia Deledda
# 1909 - Selma Lagerlöf

and may the Goddesses forgive me if I missed any others.

And bunnyb, finish The Golden Notebook. You'll be glad you did.
bunnyb
Thanks, cleanoldguy. I obviously misunderstood what I read... maybe it was three western women writers, although that seems weird that they made such a deal.
anarch
I just finished the audiobook of Bill Buford's Heat (An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany). It's great. Laugh out loud funny in places.
kari
anarch-I read about half of that book and really liked it. I had to return it to the library, but I'd like to get it again & finish it.

I just finished Water for Elephants. The main character is a man who was the veterinarian for a circus in the early to mid 20th century. I enjoyed reading about the circus animals, performers, and politics.

Now I am reading By George. It's about 2 boys named George, one of which is a ventriloquist's dummy. Part of the book is written from his perspective. Quite different.
chani
Anyone read A Thousand Splendid Suns? I finished it last night in a flurry of tears. It completely stunned me that I realized the heroine was only in her mid20s at the completion of the book. So much happened in the politics of Afghanistan and in her character's life that it seemed she should have been an old woman. It really brought home the incredible complexity of the region as wave after wave of ideologically driven violence tore Laila's world apart. As a Canadian facing the debate over whether to renew our military committment there, it didn't help at all. Sigh.
themeiu
I just finished reading Octavia Butler's The Parable of the Sower. I suppose it would fall into the science fiction category. It takes place about 20-ish years from now (it was written in 1993) when the L.A. area is running out of water. Society is unraveling and communities (i'm talking a cul-de-sack with maybe 15 houses) have to wall themselves off to avoid being overcome by the overwhelming poor, homeless, desperate, and junkies. Millions are traveling north to washington, canada, etc. where there are rumors of there being more water and jobs.
The main character is a girl as she grow up from 15 to 18 and her realization of how strong she needs to become to survive this world. I normally shy away from books with violence in them, but this was a really powerful work. And so scary, mostly because it could be a possible reality.

Before that I had just read "Never Let Me Go" which was but the author of "The Remains of the Day". This was also very good. I picked it up because it sounded interesting and haunting but I didn't realized is was science fiction until about 1/3 of the way through. All most anything I could say about the plot would give it away.... so just read it smile.gif
faerietails2
QUOTE(chani @ Oct 25 2007, 12:25 PM) *
Anyone read A Thousand Splendid Suns?
Oh, I loved that book!

I've been on a non-fic kick this month. At first it was all political writings (LOVED Susan Faludi's new book), and now I'm reading Sperm Counts: Overcome By Man's Most Precious Fluid. It's interesting.

I had tried to read Rick Moody's newest book (Right Livelihoods), but I couldn't get into it. I skipped most of the first novella, thought the second one was dumb and pointless, and stopped there. *sigh*
mouse
the blood of flowers--coming-of-age (sort of) story set in 17th century persia and interspersed with folktales and details about carpetmaking. a good 400 pages but i couldn't put it down. highly recommended!
vesicapisces
Mouse, I just read The Blood of Flowers a couple of weeks ago. I second the recommendation!
girlbomb
QUOTE(themeiu @ Oct 25 2007, 12:56 PM) *
Before that I had just read "Never Let Me Go" which was but the author of "The Remains of the Day". This was also very good. I picked it up because it sounded interesting and haunting but I didn't realized is was science fiction until about 1/3 of the way through. All most anything I could say about the plot would give it away.... so just read it smile.gif


I thought Never Let Me Go was fantastic -- so profound and beautiful.

Right now I'm totally loving Lionel Shriver. The Post-Birthday World, which I think I raved about below, was amazing, and We Need to Talk About Kevin is so great it makes me want to throw the book across the room, because she is setting the bar so goddamn high. Augh! Lionel Shriver! Augh!

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