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likeanyother
lapis-

Misconceptions by Naomi Wolf is excellent.
go_kayte
I'm in the middle of a really fascinating and very much not dry history of electricity. It's Electric Universe by David Bodanis (see my library thing).

I'm also still in the middle of Pynchon's Against the Day, but I probably will be for a long time.
Amber80
I'm reading The Great Mortality. Very interesting and entertaining read for a book about the plague! Recently finished The Secret Life of Bees and enjoyed that one as well.

I'm also glad to see I'm not alone in my love of Christopher Moore!! I recently finished A Dirty Job, and it was hilarious! biggrin.gif
waves_of_splendour
I just finished Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. It was intense and amazing--I highly recommend it. My friend who's going to start the Neo-Natal nursing program at Columbia gave it to me, and I'm so glad she did. Not to sound sexist, but I am still flabbergasted that a man could write such beautiful and poignant words about the nature of birth.

Right now I'm reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, and I'm loving it. It's steeped in literary allusions and references, which I'm using to build my "To Read Before I Die" list, but more than that, it's awkwardly hilarious. The narrator likens the women that swarm around her single father to June Bugs and their sleek South American gardener to a panther--but in a very literal and witty way. It's hard to describe this book, because it's unlike most anything I've read before.
bunnyb
waves, you have named one book that is on my to read my list and another that definitely has to be added to it!

Reading and enjoying Atwood's The Blind Assassin.
sassygrrl
You Suck by Christopher Moore has some cross-over characters from A Dirty Job in it. Great funny read. He's brillant. biggrin.gif

Rereading Kavaliar and Clay before I tackle Chabon's newest one. Also got Joe Hill's Heart Shaped Box--which is one scary read.
Good chick book--Bitter is the black--Jen Lancester

vesicapisces
QUOTE(sassygrrl @ May 16 2007, 11:26 PM) *
Joe Hill's Heart Shaped Box--which is one scary read.


I think I need to read him. I read an interview/profile in the NYT Magazine a while back and I'm intrigued (what would SK's son come up with as compared to his famous father?)
nickclick
QUOTE(bunnyb @ May 11 2007, 08:03 PM) *
Reading and enjoying Atwood's The Blind Assassin.

let me know how you like it when you've finished. i usually love her work. i'm now reading bodily harm, but a little bored by the story. she always has great characters though.
anna k
I'm reading Into the Wild, looking forward to the movie version coming out in the fall. It's very interesting, a book detailing the last few years of a young male vagabond who wanted to live among nature in the Alaskan wilderness and ended up starving to death. It's a great little book.
crazyoldcatlady
i so bookmooched heartshaped box.

as for his father, i'm struggling though the girl who loved tom gordon. i used to be enraptured by his prose style, but so far the whole book is very remedial.

and blind assassin, margaret please know i loved you since a handmaid's tale, but i can't get past your main character sitting on that goddamn bench.
bunnyb
Wait, Heart Shaped Box is written by Stephen King's son?

I enjoyed The Blind Assassin, nickclick; now I want to read Cat's Eye or Alias Grace, have you read either?

COCL, I've read a couple of things about it being difficult to read because the main characters aren't likable/are difficult to empathise with but I didn't have that difficulty; there was definitely a coldness to the characters though.

eta: I'm now reading Donna Tartt's The Little Friend.
MaybeSparrow
I'm reading "Bless Me, Ultima" right now and I really like it. The main character's struggle with two conflicting religious doctrines and how they play out in his life fascinates me.
WasabiNinja
Waves of Splendor, Thanks for reminding me about the Marisha Pessl book. Been wanting to read it for awhile now. I've heard nothing but good things so far.

I just read two books that I fancied. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Twilight of the Superheroes by Deborah Eisenberg. I especially liked the first one which takes place in a circus during the depression.

Anyone have a good biography to recommend?
crazyoldcatlady
it's been a while, but i really liked sandra day o'connor's Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest, wasabi
waves_of_splendour
QUOTE(WasabiNinja @ May 20 2007, 05:25 PM) *
Waves of Splendor, Thanks for reminding me about the Marisha Pessl book. Been wanting to read it for awhile now. I've heard nothing but good things so far.

I just read two books that I fancied. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Twilight of the Superheroes by Deborah Eisenberg. I especially liked the first one which takes place in a circus during the depression.



wasabi--
No prob, let me know what you think of it if you pick it up. Also, how was Twilight of the Superheroes? The name alone intrigues me.
waves_of_splendour
I reeaally want to read Heart-Shaped Box. I remember reading a snippet about Joe Hill and how he didn't use his father's name intentionally, so he could try to get published on his own merit, which I really respect. I've been reading excerpts of On Writing for a class I'm in, so I'm curious to see if any of Stephen's writing lessons/advice had an effect on Joe's writing.

I just picked up Pretty Little Dirty by Amanda Boyden, and I'm really enjoying it so far. There's an honesty that she presents her main character with--she feels like any one of the girls I grew up with. I definitely recommend!
crazyoldcatlady
omg, i loved on writing.

that is all smile.gif
vesicapisces
Bunny - here's the article I read from the NY Times about Joe Hill.
gogosgirl
I've started taking the bus to work, and it's an hour-long process, so I've been binging on books. latest and greatest:

special topics in calamity physics -- reminiscient of secret history, plus I love well-written high school characters

black swan green -- oh, david mitchell! again, good voice of youth, and v. different from cloud atlas but every bit as laud-worthy

the brief history of the dead -- when people die, they go to a holding area, a city, where they hang around until the last person on earth who remembers them dies. switches back and forth between the city and a woman on a polar expedition gone awry.

the girls -- about 29-year old conjoined twins. can't remember the author, but the story (written from both perspectives) is compelling and affecting

and speaking of affecting, I picked up best american short stories 2004, edited by lorrie moore. on the bus, as I finished the first story, I felt myself tearing up uncontrollably. that sherman alexie is a fine writer.
mouse
i just read "the prize winner of defiance, ohio" and recommend it highly. i didn't love the writing style--tried too hard to be novelly when it should've been just straight-up nonfiction or biography--but the story is fantastic, and it's completely true. it's about a woman who raised ten kids by winning poetry, limerick or other 25-words-or-less contests and it's pretty fascinating. the title character is so awesome, and many of her entries are reprinted in the book and they're SOOOO 40's-50's slogany and hilarious but also have a definite smack of dorothy parker to them. it's a really great book, and i don't usually read nonfiction!
faerietails2
*big sigh of relief* I've been without internet since Friday and it's been TORTURE because I've been wanting to come in this thread since Saturday morning!

I'd pre-ordered A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini's new book. I wasn't supposed to get it until tomorrow, but it arrived Friday afternoon and I was psyched. I loved The Kite Runner, so I immediately began devouring this book for 4 hours, then fell asleep around midnight. I woke up on Saturday morning at 7:30 (which, if you know me, is a miraculous feat since I consider 10 am dawn rolleyes.gif) and didn't stop until I finished the book. It wasn't as devastating as The Kite Runner, but it did stab me in the heart a couple of times. Suffice it to say...I thought it was great! lol
vesicapisces
QUOTE(gogosgirl @ May 25 2007, 06:18 PM) *
the brief history of the dead -- when people die, they go to a holding area, a city, where they hang around until the last person on earth who remembers them dies. switches back and forth between the city and a woman on a polar expedition gone awry.


I was SO fascinated with this book. I try to read stuff I either hear about on NPR (as I think I did this one) or get reviews about from Powells.com, because otherwise it would be a steady diet of genre fiction for me.
vesicapisces
OK, so I finished Heart-Shaped Box last night - *sigh*. I really liked it, and I hated that it was over. I thought JH did a terrific job with the main character - he was a real asshole on a lot of levels, but you understood why. And I loved his dogs.
bunnyb
Donna Tartt's The Little Friend was engrossing, albeit dark.

I'm now reading Anne Tyler's latest Digging to America, which is light but enjoyable.

I'm then going to read Special Topics in Calamity Physics based on the rec below.
MaybeSparrow
OH my gosh, I love "The Little Friend". I read that when my relationship with my boyfriend was pretty much dead, but we were on a trip in Europe and I had to make the best of it. I carried this book with me EVERYWHERE, and it seriously saved my sanity. Everyone spoke the national language (Flemish), and when they would all talk without including me, I would bury myself in that book. Sorry, rambling story, but honestly, great book.

I just finished "Anna Karenina" and now I am starting on "Notes from the Underground". Everyone tells me Dostoevsky is a hundred times better than Tolstoy, and since I love Tolstoy, I have high hopes.

Also, has anyone read "The Human Stain" or "Everyman"? I listened to an NPR interview with Philip Roth and it sparked my interest. If you've read either, let me know how they are.
faerietails2
right now I'm juggling between bitchfest and fiaso: a history of hollywood's iconic flops. both are good reads; i'm particularly loving bitchfest.

catlady, which on writing are you talking about? king's? i've always wanted to read that one.

perhaps i'll read little children next.

ah, it feels soooooooooo good to be done with grad school. i feel like i haven't been able to read for pleasure in years!
bunnyb
maybesparrow, it was very good; now I want to read The Secret Hisotry.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics arrived in the post today; whilst waiting for that (after Digging to America) I've been reading The Book of Chameleons, which is very Gabriel Garcia Marquez like.


WasabiNinja
I really enjoyed Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Love the visual aids and her lyrical style of writing. Two enthusiastically erect thumbs pointing sky high.

I started reading The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trent Lee Stewart and I'm blazing through it because it's so fun. Granted, it is sort of intended for youngsters but that doesn't keep me out of the young adult section of the library. If you have kids to read it with, then that is just a bonus. My daughter caught me starting without her and she called me out. Much deserved.

other recent reads:
Ruby - Francesca Lia Block and Carmen ?, Didn't hate it but didn't love it either
The Society of S - Susan Hubbard, About a sect of vampire working for human rights and ethics. good stuff.
The Full Cupboard of Life- Alexander MacCall Smith, part of the ladies detective agency series which I'm a fan.

I also got the Sandra Day O'Conner bio but it starts off a little slow. I think I'll need to take it to the beach.
girlbomb
Recently read Lionel Shriver's THE POST-BIRTHDAY WORLD, which was so fucking great I couldn't stand it.

It's about a woman in a long-term relationship with a guy, and every year, they take their male friend out for his birthday. One year, the guy's away, so the woman and the friend go out alone, and discover that they're really insanely hot for each other. At one point, they nearly kiss -- and then the book splits into two separate threads. In one thread, they kiss, and she leaves her mate for the friend. In the other thread, they don't kiss, and she stays with her mate. The chapters alternate between the two realities, and you don't know what really happened until the end of the book. It's AMAZING. So well-written, so insightful, and such a great read.

Rave rave rave rave rave rave rave...
crazyoldcatlady
faerie- the on writing was king's. it's been a while since i read it, but i just remember being enamored, partly because he throws in some personal narrative, and partly because i have a hard-on for books about writing.

wasabi- yeah, the sandra day o'connor thing meanders a bit, but i think i was in the right mood for it when i read it because i still devoured it.

gilrb- bookmooching post-birthday world. i've heard great things across the board.
mouse
just finished atwood's "the robber bride" and LOVED it. i'm very hot and cold with her--i LOVED "handmaid's tale", but i didn't even finish "moral disorder" i found it so boring. but "robber bride" was one of those books where i simultaneously couldn't put it down and yet wrestled with myself to stop reading for a while because i knew i was going to be so bummed out when i finally finished it and didn't have it to read anymore.
Flagpole_Sitta
I am currently reading Breakfast of champions by kurt vonegut...i love this book it's hilarious once im done this book im either going to start reading letters from the earth or catch 22... has anyone read any of these three books?
sybarite
Girlbomb, great to hear that Post-Birthday World is so good. I loved We Need to talk About Kevin, although I liked it less on a second reading. I was underwhelmed by her Double Fault though. I do think she gets male/female relationship dynamics very well; she grasps the subtleties and contradictions.

Mouse, I feel I OD'd on Atwood after reading almost all of her earlier books and stories in quick succession. IMO The Handmaid's Tale is still her best. I couldn't get into Oryx and Crake at all...
anna k
I'm re-reading BUST's compilation book and Grrrls: Viva Rock Divas, two of my personal favorites.

I started a travel lit compilation book about Paris, it's a nice escape, though some writers can be snobs about living in Paris.

I read Hollywood, Interrupted, talking about how jerky celebrities are. It seemed too bitter, mean-spirited, and one-sided.

Next is This is Not Chick Lit.
vesicapisces
Mouse, Robber Bride is one of the best Atwood books IMO as well. I read Oryx & Crake and thought it was good, but it's so very different from most of her other work I find it hard to believe it was the same author. I suppose that's a good thing -

I just finished re-reading China Mieville's The Scar, the followup to Perdido Street Station. He is *so* good - I just learned there's a third book out that's set in the same world and I need to dig it up. The first two books can totally be read independently of each other, even though The Scar references the events of PSS, it's only in passing, like explaining that the main character fled her hometown as a result of what happened during the timeframe of PSS, even though she wasn't directly involved. Good stuff if you like gritty urban fantasy.
sybarite
I like a lot of sci-fi but I don't usually get into fantasy. I made an exception for Mieville because he is awesome. Vesica, I hope you like the third book, Iron Council, which rocks IMO.

I also like Mieville's politics: he's a committed marxist but generally doesn't use his books as sounding boards for his ideas. I appreciate his restraint even though I agree with him!
oxfordassassin
I read Perdido Street Station a couple of weeks ago on a recommendation for cyberpunk/steampunk books. I have to admit I plodded through it rather begrudgingly, it seemed a little too dense at spots. When I finally finished it I realized how well thought out and imaginative the world the author created was. I promised myself I'd get through The Scar as well, but I'm taking a break to get into some other genres. I was looking at my LibraryThing author cloud a couple weeks ago and realized almost all of the authors were male. So now I'm finishing up Budayeen Nights by George Alec Effinger and then I have some more woman-centered reading on the list. Black Eyed Susans/Midnight Birds and a couple of analyses of the gospel of Mary Magdalene, to name a few.

edit: I also got Special Topics in Calamity Physics based on a recommendation from this thread, and I'm eager to get started on it.
vesicapisces
OxfordAssassin, I felt I got more out of both books on a second reading. It's almost like you have to immerse yourself in the setting before it starts to make sense, and by the time you get there you're halfway thru the book. By all means, get The Scar, but don't be surprised if you have sort of the same experience. It's dense stuff, multiple interlocking plots, etc.
faerietails2
i'm kinda pissed off at oprah's new book club pick (middlesex). i absolutely loved the book when i read it a few years ago. and i've loved several of her picks in the past (like the corrections and fall on your knees). but when i heard about this latest one i was like, "awwwww...why'd you have to go and put your freaking stamp on middlesex?!" she just...shouldn't touch it. dry.gif

i finally got around to starting the memory keeper's daughter this morning, and i'm about 100 pages in. so far, so good.
bunnyb
Ooh, faerie, jeep us posted on The Memory Keeper's Daughter please? I think I'm going to take that on holiday with me, amongst others.

I'm still disappointed by Middlesex sad.gif - The Virgin Suicides is so much better IMO.

Almost finished reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics then next on the reading list are Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Rachel Cusk's Arlington Park.
ginger_kitty
I haven't gotten around to reading Middlesex, yet but it was on my list. Crap, I don't want to buy it now, I just can't bring myself to purchase books that Oprah reccommends. Years ago when I worked at a bookstore I seriously began to resent the people that rushed in after she mentioned a book or author and demanded whatever she said. I was in merchandising and they actually made me set up a display of Oprah's choice books, so people looking for them could find them easily. I guess it's great that she is getting people to read, but I noticed the people that sought out her books weren't interested in any other books, only books she talked about.


Money is tight, and I haven't been able to buy anything lately. sad.gif I plan to read A Long Way Gone next though.
bettieblank
Right now I am reading (again) A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. I had to read it years ago for a class and I find myself reading it every summer. Plus I am to broke to buy any new books so I keep re-reading my favorites.
anna k
I liked This Is Not Chick Lit, though I hated that one of the writers tacked on Sept. 11th for the end of her story. The rest were great.

I'm in the middle of Paris in Mind, stories about Paris, and really enjoying it. Sometimes I think the writers fall in love too much with the fantasies and romance of Paris, but it's a good book.

Middlesex is a good book, but I don't want to hear what Oprah thinks about it. I like that her book club encourages people to read more, but not when the stamp is printed on the book cover or when the book has been around for a while and is re-popular because of Oprah.
crazyoldcatlady
see, when i think of the people who rush out and buy oprah's books, i often envision them getting a nice new pristine copy, and then letting it sit unread amongst piles of in touch magazine and rachel ray's crapublication
faerietails2
I read an article not too long ago about people rushing out to buy celeb memoirs, but never actually reading them. They'd polled a whole bunch of people in the UK who went out of their way to get Beckham's book, but their main purpose was to have it as a coffee table display, not to actually read it. I have to say, if I were going to try and show off with a book, Beckham really wouldn't be my preferred first choice... huh.gif

I finished The Memory Keeper's Daughter (just barely). That book was torture; I'm really disappointed. I don't know if it's the writer's style or the format of the book, or what. After my initial 100-page foray, I just didn't care about any of the characters anymore. *sigh*

Has anyone read Life of Pi? I bought it last week and might read that one next, but I don't know. Too many choices!
calpurnia

For what it's worth - I loved Life of Pi. Tho a relatively easy read - it was one of those books that, when finished, I just had to go back and re-read passages - I don't like to let go of books I've enjoyed .... smile.gif
kittenmiami
QUOTE(crazyoldcatlady @ Jun 25 2007, 07:40 PM) *
see, when i think of the people who rush out and buy oprah's books, i often envision them getting a nice new pristine copy, and then letting it sit unread amongst piles of in touch magazine and rachel ray's crapublication


"rachel ray's crapublication" ...genius.
.em.
I'm reading the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand right now...It's a really great book- in the story, and philosophy.

After this, I'll probably read Socrates in Love by Kyochi Katayama, and then be in a really manga-y mood...
bunnyb
Read and enjoyed Maupin's Tales of the City so went straight out and bought More Tales of the City.

Now reading Ian McEwan's Atonement.
sukouyant
bunnyb someone just recommended Atonement to me. I'd be interested to know what you think of it.
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