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bunnyb
I've read that article, syb, it's very good, as was a recent one in last issue of Marie Claire. As yet I haven't read We Need to Talk About Kevin (the story of my life) but intending to soon as I'm sure it will provoke some interesting ideas on Motherhood (proposed thesis topic).
sybarite
Ooh, fina I agree about the ending.

Btw, I need to get back to you re. cottages but the person is out of town. I haven't forgotten!

/cryptic off-topic moment

I meant to say earlier; I loved Harriet the Spy too.
faerietails
bunnyb, you're doing your thesis on motherhood? me too. i'm looking at how motherhood is being framed in the current national immigration debate (i think).

i'll definitely need to check out We Need to Talk About Kevin. sounds interesting.

*sigh* school's starting already, so from here on out it'll probably be school-related books only until winter break. dry.gif
bunnyb
I am indeed smile.gif and my Master's dissertation. You should definitely look at the Shriver articles on the Guardian, "No Children please, we're Selfish" touches upon immigration. Mine's the representation of motherhood in the work of Angela Carter and Marina Carr (I think!)

Harriet the Spy was a great childhood read, what's everybody's favourite? Mine is Charlotte's Web.
vesicapisces
Too many childhood favorites to pick just one, but The Phantom Tollbooth ranks up there, as do Stuart Little and The Chronicles of Narnia.
bunnyb
QUOTE(vesicapisces @ Sep 1 2006, 06:30 PM) *

Too many childhood favorites to pick just one, but The Phantom Tollbooth ranks up there, as do Stuart Little and The Chronicles of Narnia.


I think everyone loves The Chronicles of Narnia wub.gif
ferraro
i sadly have never read the Chronicles of Narnia. its one of those books that i totally feel like i should have and so just kinda nod and smile when it comes up in conversation. i haven't even seen the movie.

i am actually on a kick of reading (adult) books i feel like i should have already read in college? highschool? i dont know when.

right now im reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and i was totally into it until the rape scene??? what the fuck?? how is this being treated as ok?? uh, i'm sorry rapists can't even be the anti-hero in my book let alone the fucking paradigm of objectivism or whatever the hell shes advocating... i don't really want to finish it after this. really, the whole book totally lost me in like two paragraphs. and when the heroine/victim is thinking back to the rape with secret happy thoughts??? fuck no.
roseviolet
David Sedaris is touring! Here's the schedule: http://www.barclayagency.com/sedaris_appearances.html
raisingirl
Okay, yeah, I put aside I'm Not the New Me and haven't picked it up again. The tone was starting to annoy me. It was fun in the beginning, but now it's just annoying now.

I think I just want to read some James Baldwin or Charles Dickens (I LOVE HIM) or any of the other 395* books I already own that I haven't read yet. I'm thinking of putting a moratorium on the library-going and start picking selections from my own personal library. Watch now, this will only last for, like, a month at most.

DAVID SEDARIS! If any of you are on the fence about going to his reading if he's coming through your town, I am sitting here with a big stick and a forceful hand shoving you over the other side of the fence to GO GO GO! His readings are really fabulous and memorable. The sound of an entire theater full of people laughing at his crazy stories is so fucking great. Be sure to empty your bladder beforehand.


*not really
sassygrrl
I just got my david sedaris books back from my ex, and he's coming back to Atlanta!!! I'm so stoked!
falljackets
had a wicked nightmare friday night after reading the crime scene description of in cold blood. i'm talking taste the bile in your belly when you wake up sort of fear (it wasn't about the actual scene, but my parents and i being stalked by intruders in our home. i awoke as they were climbing the stairs and we were cowering behind the bed trying to hide.)

argh.

anyway, it's sort of kept me from wanting to read for the past couple days.

i think my fave childhood book was charlotte's web

crazyoldcatlady
(and here i was on the fence, raisin, about going to the sedaris "show" to which i get premium seating b/c i'm a "member"...)
catsoup
I guess I'm going to have to go find the money to see David Sedaris now that someone is pushing me over the fence. smile.gif
bunnyb
sybarite, after talking about Keith Ridgway I was randomly thinking about Irish fiction (I took a Post-1950s Irish fiction module this year) and I remembered A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle - have you read it? I found it a great read; I haven't read the sequel yet but most of that is set in New York rather than Dublin.

I had to google David Sedaris.
vesicapisces
Sedaris fans, can anyone tell me what the name is of the story where he pisses his father off so badly he goes into hiding in the closet and dyes his hair with shoe polish, only the shoe polish rubs off on his father's suits and ruins them? I heard him read it once on This American Life and laughed my head off, and I wanted to share it with someone else.
princessinabox
Thought I'd join the party...

Vesicapisces, that story is Tue Detective, and it's in Naked.
crazyoldcatlady
i loved holidays on ice by sedaris.

the best story was when he was at the xmas party and someone had taken a shit in the bathroom before him. hee heee!
flyingfrog
I'm going to a book-swap today, and I'm so excited: NEW BOOKS!

My favorite childhood reads were, in no particular order,
-The Wizard of Oz series (there were dozens of those books)
-Anything by L.M. Montgomery (the Anne books, plus all the others)
-Anything by E. Nesbit ("Three Children and It")
-Narnia
-"Harriet the Spy"
-"Charlotte's Web"
-The Anastasia books

Now that I think about it, I wish grownup fiction was as engrossing (and as full of interesting women!) and the books I read when I was a kid.

So lately I've read:
-Michael Cunningham's "Specimen Days" (a three-part novel with similar characters in different time periods; the gimmick bugged me, but the first two parts were excellent stories unto themselves)

-Beth Lisick's essay collection "Everybody into the Pool" - light, funny true tales of a nice good girl who runs off to the San Francisco underground. It was mostly entertaining, and I'd recommend it for reading on your way to work or whatever, but I didn't LOOOOVE it as much as I'd hoped.

-Re-read E.B. White's collection "The Second Tree from the Corner," a perennial favorite. Good ol' E.B.'s been there for me since I was, oh, seven or so. I can't think of too many other authors who have written both childrens' and adults' books that I love.
bunnyb
Anastasia Krupnik, flyingfrog? I loved those.

I adore the Anne books and recently bought the complete dvd box-set! Happy times.

Specimen Days is on my to-read list. I'm thinking of arranging my book shelves into: to read for uni books; to read for pleasure books and books I should read.

other childhood faves:

The Children of Green Knowe
What Katy Did series
Roald Dahl, especially Matilda and The Twits
The Famous Five
The Secret Garden
Heidi
The Sadler's Wells ballet series
sybarite
I generally like Michael Cunningham, although I go back and forth. The Hours, good as it was in places, was premised on a gimmick which I wasn't so keen on. How does Specimen Days compare to his other work?

Bunnyb, I read everything Roddy Doyle wrote in a short-ish space of time and promptly got sick of his schtick, especially given where I live. I'm afraid I stopped at Paddy Clarke Ha Ha so never read A Star Called Henry, although I've heard it's one of his best. I've seen 2 plays he wrote and they sound exactly like his books. Might give Henry a go on your recommendation.
bunnyb
syb, IMO Henry is the best and unlike the others. I do hold a soft spot for The Commitments, though. I supposed Doyle is very much the Irvine Welsh of Ireland, it can become aggravating after a while (I suppose more so if I lived in Edinburgh).

Is the premise of Specimen Days not a link between the three individual stories and Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass? Personally, I loved the premise of The Hours - I enjoy intertextuality and literary allusion.
sybarite
I like intertextuality if I get to write about it. It's too clever for my down time though. I prefer my recreational reading to be undemanding, although it's a slippery slope to Jilly Cooper... smile.gif
curioushair
QUOTE
Beth Lisick's essay collection "Everybody into the Pool" - light, funny true tales of a nice good girl who runs off to the San Francisco underground. It was mostly entertaining, and I'd recommend it for reading on your way to work or whatever, but I didn't LOOOOVE it as much as I'd hoped.


I didn't either. It may be because I've become completely unaccustomed to reading books written by good girls.
flyingfrog
Curious, I think part of the problem was many of the pieces seemed intended for live performance - I might've liked 'em better as a reading or something. And the whole 'and then THIS wacky countercultural situation unfolded' schtick wore thin. And I totally didn't buy the falling-in-love-with-the-baby at the end, and I sort of resented that the baby's dad was so invisible.

As for the Cunningham, Bunnyb, yeah, the thread is Whitman, and each section takes place in a different time (industrial revolution, 21st century, 150 years in the future). The characters in each section have the same names and there are things that refer back and forth; I have to say... it was a gimmick I wasn't too keen on. I liked that it made me think about Whitman's philosophy fairly seriously for the first time since, oh, I don't know when, and I wouldn't say it was overly demanding. But it was clever, more so than I tend to enjoy. Also, the part in the future, with bits of dialogue in made-up future language... nuh-uh. However, the second section was the strongest, both in terms of plot and character, and I tore right through it. Maybe cause it was set in something close to the present day (a few years in the future), so Cunningham didn't have to waste any time establishing historical context/future languages and could just get down to business? Dunno. At the risk of sounding like you have not got yourselves a reader, it was reminiscent of an exceptionally gripping episode of "Law & Order."

eek, there goes my library card. Upon reflection, I think I did like it better than "The Hours," mostly on the strength of that second section and the gorgeous ending of the first section (it's worth reading for that alone). So overall I'm glad I finished it.

I picked up some sweet books at the swap yesterday, including one called "Edison and the Electric Chair: A Story of Light and Death" which looks veddy interesting, Maggie Estep's "Love Dance of the Mechanical Animals," one about a woman who was imprisoned for 16 years for one drug offense because of the Rockefeller laws, a book about the history of the saxophone... omg I love nonfiction.
mouse
i think i've mentioned this here before, but lately i've been reading tons of oliver sacks. nonfiction neurobiological case studies/essays, but the man writes like a novelist and looks at everything from both a scientific and emotional standpoint-----and the people and, for lack of a better word, problems he writes about are fascinating. highly recommended.
vesicapisces
QUOTE(sybarite @ Sep 9 2006, 10:16 AM) *

It's too clever for my down time though. I prefer my recreational reading to be undemanding...


Sybarite!! I love you!!!!

Seriously, real life is hard and depressing enough as it is. Give me escapism, although I really prefer it to be *well written* escapism.
curioushair
I just started Michelle Embree's Manstealing For Fat Girls. I've been on a YA kick as of late; mostly stuff I missed the first time around, or didn't exist the when I was sixteen. Is it me, or were there very few choices ten, twenty years ago? Sweet Valley High, and what? Once you got that adult library card it's "welcome to the big ol' world of dirty books." (Not dirty, exactly, but books with more dropped f-bombs than even the most subversive Judy Blume book.)
sassygrrl
Just got into the Dead Until Dark series. I'm on Living Dead in Dallas, which is book 2. It's the series of books about vampires that Alan Ball is turning into a series. They're really funny, and great escapism.... smile.gif

Also, re-reading Dress Your Family in Cord and Denim by Sedaris again...

smile.gif
duplessix
I just read Gaddis's "Agape, Agape." It was a winding, tumultuous, depressing piece, but had its moments. Right now I'm satisfying my love of YA with Pullman's "The Ruby in the Smoke." It's set in Victorian England and the heroine is a 14 yr old girl... I can't ask for anything better!
Next, might be "Cosmos" or "Beggars in Paradise."
cellijenni
Alright, I am enlisting in the help of the combined book brains of this board.

I have a very good friend that moved 2000 miles away and one of the ways that we communicate is through packages...and they always involve a book that we read, loved, and passed on. She just broke up with her boyfriend of 6 years, and now I want to send her a book that will help her out, cheer her up...you know the drill.

Any suggestions??
mouse
i got "the way the crow flies" out of the library on saturday afternoon and finished it sunday midday, which i think is a testament to how unbelievably great a story it is as the book is over 700 pages long. i cried so hard, too. i want to read her play, if i can find it--i think she may be a bit of a one trick pony as far as themes and such in her work, but christ, what she can do with that trick! my god.
crazyoldcatlady
i bought the hardback of the corrections because it was ridiculously cheap. i've always avoided it b/c it seemed pretentious....

... and i was right.

but i'm going to plow forward, because i am a monogamous reader, and can't read more than one for-fun book at time...
faerietails
I liked The Corrections! A little too much...

I also got the hardback for ridiculously cheap a while back, though I'll admit the main reason I got it was because my affinity for Oprah's book club is one of my deep dark secrets! Once that scandal hit, you could all but guarantee I was going to get it. Same with James Frey, baby! AND...I loved that one, too! ohmy.gif laugh.gif

Besides, how do you think I originally found Anne Marie Macdonald?! *blushes profusely*
bunnyb
Oh jeez, mouse, I will *not* pick up The Way the Crow Flies until after dissertation submitted. I *must* not listen to you this time (until Wednesday at earliest) cos you were so right about Fall on your Knees! I gave the boy's aunt that and The Red Tent to read, the boy's mum (her sis) and I both sang their praises to her.
mouse
don't do it bunny! think of it as a reward. spend all this time writing, and then you can spend all that time reading biggrin.gif

i was given "fall on your knees" by a canadian aunt who is hands-down ALWAYS spot-on at picking out the best books for people. it must be sort of wonderful aunt-intuition. even when i was little she knew exactly what to get; i remember an amazing sort of fantasy-fairytale about two modern-day girls getting tangled up in the fairy world of tara while in ireland...and she gave me weetzie bat.
faerietails
I'm jealous! I wish I had family members who gave me awesome books (or relatives to give awesome books to). No one in my family is a reader. sad.gif
bunnyb
I gave Fall on your Knees to my mum to read too. My aunt and uncle are readers too and we always discuss books (that reminds me that I've to read Life of Pi because they are in dispute over ending and want me to settle it!) and the boy and his family are big readers so we recommend books back and forth. Being a literature student I have a lot of friends to discuss books with too and then there are you "guys" smile.gif. A lot of my to-read-list derive from word-of-mouth and reviews.

mouse, I am definitely going to treat myself with it once the writing over with (which will be very soon)! I am so looking forward to it smile.gif.
crazyoldcatlady
you know, i always eye Life of Pi and White Teeth every time i go to the bookstore, but something's always holding me back, even though i've heard nothing but raves about each...

(i think part of it may have to do with me not liking Zadie Smith because she's young and successful and talented ;-) )
bunnyb
I liked White Teeth but I wasn't blown away. Good read nonetheless, I'm looking forward to reading On Beauty though. Sometimes I'm put off by the publicity surrounding the big reads/prize winners/lauded books of the year and it usually takes me a year or more to read them -once the furore has died down- or not at all.
mamachi
The God of Small Things anyone?
mornington
I liked on beauty - it wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it was damned good. I got white teeth because I liked it, but I haven't started it yet. I'm put off by a lot of the publicity too (exception being the richard and judy picks) but I read a short story of hers in McSweeny's and thought "maybe I should".

ginger_kitty
I just started reading the Dogs of Babel, it is an adorable book.
excusemesenor
I just finished the most recent book by Kim Harrison, A Fistful Of Charms. I love her world of vampires, witches, and fairies, but the stories are somewhat grounded in realism.
mamachi
i'm reading City by Alessandro Barrico. So far its really good. i'm a quarter of the way through and totally frustrated that i can't just sit around and read all day.
I'll ask again if anyone out there has read The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Its truly amazing.
mouse
ok, god of small things is next on my list, mamachi. one of my friends just mentioned that it's possibly the best novel she's ever read.
bunnyb
It's been on my list for a very long time mamachi and really need to get to it. Maybe soon!
I also have Silk and Without Blood by Alessandro Barrico to read.

Looked up Dogs of Babel and it sounds beautiful; also looked up Kim Harrison and I think I'll give her a try but definitely buying one of her books for a friend whose alley I think it will be up, she's really into laurell k. hamilton books and she sounds similar.

eta: mamachi, if you're wanting to try more Indian literature -and you haven't already- then I definitely recommend Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance which is a stunning saga but, be warned, it's devastating.
moose42
Has anyone read anything by Sparkle Hayter? I can never find books by her and I was wondering if they're any good.
vesicapisces
Two recent thrift store/garage sale finds that have been fun reads: The Egyptologist and The Rule of Four. The Egyptologist is the better-written of the two but I liked the story in The Rule of Four better.
mouse
will i start a melee by asking what people's opinions of jt leroy are?
vesicapisces
QUOTE(mouse @ Sep 29 2006, 01:22 PM) *

will i start a melee by asking what people's opinions of jt leroy are?


Heh. Have never read any of his/her writing, but recently read an extensive article about the controversy of who JT Leroy is. Also find it funny that a L&O episode mirrored that whole story. I suppose it's not unheard of for an artist to take liberties with the public's perception of who s/he is, but my question is this: is the writing good enough to stand alone without all the mystery/controversy?
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