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Author Topic: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)  (Read 506860 times)

Offline Dave Cullen

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What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« on: January 12, 2006, 09:48:12 AM »
I've had a great year. Highlights:

  • The Sheltering Sky
  • As I Lay Dying
  • The Stone Raft
  • Brokeback Mountain (didn't love the rest of the collection)

Hmmmmmm. Forgetting several. Will come back and add more. (And say what I liked about them so much.)


I'm 2/3 through The Year of Magical Thinking. Got it for myself for xmas.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2006, 11:51:58 AM by Dave Cullen »

Offline leopoldo

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2006, 11:40:57 AM »
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell (okay so I read it a year ago but it's bloody brilliant)

On a gay note The Line of Beauty - Allan Hollinghurst (didn't like it as much though)

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2006, 12:46:01 PM »
In no particular order:

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason - Sam Harris  [simply astounding - questions religious belief east and west in an intelligent, readable way]

My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk [currently on trial in Turkey for 'insulting Turkishness' by acknowledging the Armenian Genocide.  'Red' is a murder mystery set amongst book illuminators in the 16th century Ottoman Empire]

OUR FINAL HOUR: A Scientist's warning : How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind's Future in This Century--On Earth and Beyond - Martin J. Rees [referred to this book from 'The End of Faith' it is a fascinating tour of scientific possibility of the end of our world - from asteroid impact to nuclear destruction to rips in the fabric of space/time]

Mondo Desperado - Patrick McCabe [short stories from the 'Breakfast on Pluto' and 'Butcher Boy' author - of particular note is "The Valley of the Flying Jennets" which reads like a hybrid of Poe and H.G. Wells]

The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova [a great detective/vampire story that travels across Europe]

A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East - David Fromkin [ever wonder why Iraq and Jordan have those weird straight borders?  This will tell you this as well as how the Kurds lost their homeland and why occupying Iraq didn't work for the British after WWI]

And I'd add 'Time Travellers Wife' and 'Lovely Bones' as well, although they are not really my style  - I read them because I was nagged into it by a friend who is a fiction reader - both are quite nice.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline Meira

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2006, 07:28:30 PM »
I LOVED Time Travelers Wife!!  Two other friends read it and couldn't deal with the lac kof sequence in the time changes, but it is one of my favorites.  Also,  Kite Runner, The Reader, Resistance, Where or When, and The Bean Trees.

Can anyone recommend another book similar to Time Traveler's Wife?
..your laughter's the wind in my sails....

Offline mary

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2006, 11:52:59 PM »
Can anyone recommend another book similar to Time Traveler's Wife?
Not exactly similar but somehow it reminded me of 'A Trip to the Stars' by Nicolas Christopher - he's a poet who has writen a few novels - all of which I have enjoyed.
never enough time, never enough....

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Offline Dave Cullen

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2006, 09:12:58 PM »
Oh, I also got turned onto Jose Saramago this year.

Portugese author, won the Nobel a few years back.

Kind of like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but giddier, less stodgy.

I read The Stone Raft. (Which refers to the Iberian peninsula, which cracks off and starts to float away from Europe. Very cool.)

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2006, 09:29:51 PM »
Can anyone recommend another book similar to Time Traveler's Wife?
Not exactly similar but somehow it reminded me of 'A Trip to the Stars' by Nicolas Christopher - he's a poet who has writen a few novels - all of which I have enjoyed.

Here are some good sites to check for book recommendations ('reader's advisory' in librarian lingo)

This is the general reader's advisory page for hennepin county:

http://www.hclib.org/pub/books/iyl/

And here's a specific one for 'Time Traveler's Wife':

http://www.hclib.org/pub/books/BookListAction.cfm?list_num=280&iPacSession=1&ISBN=1931561648

And here's another general one from Iowa Library Service:

http://www.ilsa.lib.ia.us/readadvice.htm

I'll get back to  you on 'Time Traveler's Wife' - one of the guys I work with reads a lot more SciFi than I do, and he actually did mention one to me.

One other very interesting historical fiction book that I read (which was, oddly enough, divided into half novel and half non-fiction essays related to the novel) is 'Sun dancing : a vision of medieval Ireland' by Geoffrey Moorhouse - it takes place on Skellig Michael, a monastic community on a rock in the Atlantic Ocean that was inhabited from the 6th century to the 12th.

And you thought cowboys could be repressed....!
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline Meira

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2006, 05:52:39 PM »
Can anyone recommend another book similar to Time Traveler's Wife?
Not exactly similar but somehow it reminded me of 'A Trip to the Stars' by Nicolas Christopher - he's a poet who has writen a few novels - all of which I have enjoyed.

Here are some good sites to check for book recommendations ('reader's advisory' in librarian lingo)


And here's a specific one for 'Time Traveler's Wife':

http://www.hclib.org/pub/books/BookListAction.cfm?list_num=280&iPacSession=1&ISBN=1931561648


I'll get back to  you on 'Time Traveler's Wife' - one of the guys I work with reads a lot more SciFi than I do, and he actually did mention one to me.

One other very interesting historical fiction book that I read (which was, oddly enough, divided into half novel and half non-fiction essays related to the novel) is 'Sun dancing : a vision of medieval Ireland' by Geoffrey Moorhouse - it takes place on Skellig Michael, a monastic community on a rock in the Atlantic Ocean that was inhabited from the 6th century to the 12th.

And you thought cowboys could be repressed....!


Thankyou so much!  The link specific to The Time Traveler's Wife had a few books I've already read and enjoyed and a few others that look very promising! 
..your laughter's the wind in my sails....

Offline Passion

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2006, 06:10:53 PM »
Can anyone recommend another book similar to Time Traveler's Wife?

I am in a bookclub we read Time Traveler's Wife and Confessions of Max Tivoli. We all agreed they were similar!
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2006, 09:13:04 PM »
Can anyone recommend another book similar to Time Traveler's Wife?

I am in a bookclub we read Time Traveler's Wife and Confessions of Max Tivoli. We all agreed they were similar!

That's the book I was trying to think of!  Yes, they are similar, I think so as well.  Here's a description from Amazon:

Out of the womb in 1871, Max Tivoli looked to all the world like a tiny 70-year-old man. But inside the aged body was an infant. Victim of a rare disease, Max grows physically younger as his mind matures. In Andrew Sean Greer's finely crafted novel, The Confessions of Max Tivoli, Max narrates his life story from the vantage point of his late fifties, though his body is that of a 12-year-old boy. He has known since a young age that he is destined to die at 70, and he wears a golden "1941" as a constant reminder of the year he will finally perish in an infant form. His mother, a Carolina belle concerned over her son's troubling appearance, curses Max with "The Rule": "Be what they think you are." Max fails to keep this Rule only a handful of times in his life, but it is the burden of living by it that wounds him and slowly alienates him from the people he loves.

Over Max's narration of the preceding decades of his life, he offers outsider's snapshots of San Francisco and all of America across the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Throughout, Greer uses the literary device of reverse aging to interrogate the evolution of social conventions, the finitude of a human life, and the decay of memory. Max wants love. But his curse destines him to deception. He loses his wife, Alice, changes his name, and remains hidden from his own son to keep his true identity secret. Only his lifelong friend, Hughie, stands by Max and can see the person inside the anachronistic body. Like the best science fiction and myth, the novel uses its central conceit to reveal human prejudice and explode all assumptions of normalcy to profound effect.

Love is a destructive force in The Confessions of Max Tivoli. But Greer recognizes that in the failure of love is also hope. He artfully captures Max's fragile world with a delicacy that never crosses into sentimentality but also avoids the monumental scale of tragedy. As Max says near the end of the novel, "It is a brave and stupid thing, a beautiful thing to waste ones life for love." A journey with Max, while brave and beautiful, is hardly a waste. --Patrick O'Kelley

 
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline Passion

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2006, 01:08:52 PM »
Yep! That is the book!  I had forgotton about it----I think that reading Time Travelers Wife and Confessions of Max Tivoli back to back wasn't a good idea.  It seems like our book club compared them too much.  Let me know what you think!
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Offline Passion

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2006, 11:53:40 PM »
Million Little Pieces is also a great book--not about time-traveling though!  It has gotton a lot of press lately for not being as true as the author led on but it is still really good! 
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2006, 10:45:44 AM »
Million Little Pieces is also a great book--not about time-traveling though!  It has gotton a lot of press lately for not being as true as the author led on but it is still really good! 

Haven't read 'Pieces' yet, though I'm really glad it's getting a lot of press (good/bad - doesn't matter as long as it gets people reading, IMHO).  However, I did read both 'Running with Scissors' and 'Dry' by Augusten Burroughs and can recommend both of them [as slices of a really screwed up urban life - no commonality there with BBM].

And I just have to mention here how happy I am about the Oprah program - she has done a world of good to get people reading.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline Meira

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2006, 07:05:09 PM »
Million Little Pieces is also a great book--not about time-traveling though!  It has gotton a lot of press lately for not being as true as the author led on but it is still really good! 

Haven't read 'Pieces' yet, though I'm really glad it's getting a lot of press (good/bad - doesn't matter as long as it gets people reading, IMHO).  However, I did read both 'Running with Scissors' and 'Dry' by Augusten Burroughs and can recommend both of them [as slices of a really screwed up urban life - no commonality there with BBM].

And I just have to mention here how happy I am about the Oprah program - she has done a world of good to get people reading.
[/quote

Thank you all for so many great recommendations.  Speaking of "A Million Little Pieces" - I read recently that Jake G. was wanted for that lead role.  I don't know if that's a done deal or not.  Anyone else see this?
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Offline Passion

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2006, 07:09:38 PM »
Jake would be great as the lead role in Million Little Pieces!  How exciting!  I would vote for him!
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain