The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Author Topic: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)  (Read 518631 times)

Offline Passion

  • Cant have enough
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2006, 12:36:59 PM »
I thought of another book that is about time traveling---The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews.   About a man that was on top of the world and his life suddenly begins to fall apart.  He travels in time meeting leaders and heroes at crucial moments in their lives.  They teach him some of life's lessons. 
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

Mr. Wrong

  • Guest
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2006, 02:10:47 PM »
A book I recommend is Never Let Me Go by Kazu Ishiguro. He is also the author of The Remains Of The Day.

I have also started to read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and so far so good! :)

Jason

Offline michaelflanagansf

  • Forum Librarian and buckle bunny
  • Team Cullen
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 25020
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2006, 01:17:00 AM »
I really enjoyed both 'Take the Cannoli' and 'Partly Cloudy Patriot' by Sarah Vowell.  'Take the Cannoli' has a wonderful/heartbreaking essay on the trail of tears entitled "What I See When I Look at the Face on the $20 Bill".  And if you listen to the book on tape of 'Partly Cloudy Patriot' you will get to hear passages read by Seth Green and Conan O'Brien.  I also enjoyed 'Fraud' by Vowell's  (and David Sedaris') 'This American Life' cohort David Rakoff.  And of course David Sedaris is quite a bit of fun too  (particularly his earlier works - 'Naked' and 'Barrel Fever').

Will Ferguson is a great essayist as well.  I read 'Beauty Tips from Moosejaw: Travels in search of Canada' (and also read his 'Canadian History for Dummies' which was quite enjoyable as well - I've never read a 'dummies' book, but thought that since I am thinking of moving there I should learn more about Canadian history).  'Moosejaw' has a great essay on Churchill, Manitoba (on Hudson Bay) entitled 'Polar Bear Season'.
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 mary

  • Moderator Emerita
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1542
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2006, 12:15:46 AM »
I really enjoyed both 'Take the Cannoli' and 'Partly Cloudy Patriot' by Sarah Vowell.  'Take the Cannoli' has a wonderful/heartbreaking essay on the trail of tears entitled "What I See When I Look at the Face on the $20 Bill".  And if you listen to the book on tape of 'Partly Cloudy Patriot' you will get to hear passages read by Seth Green and Conan O'Brien.  I also enjoyed 'Fraud' by Vowell's  (and David Sedaris') 'This American Life' cohort David Rakoff.  And of course David Sedaris is quite a bit of fun too  (particularly his earlier works - 'Naked' and 'Barrel Fever').

michaelflanagansf
Oh yes I highly recommend Sarah Vowell as well.  I first encountered her on This American Life on NPR.  I haven't gotten to her most recent book but hope to soon: Assassination Vacation - but I've heard her talk about it an it sound great.  (It was a surprise and delight when I took my son to see The Incredibles to discover that Sarah Vowell had done the voice for one of the characters)

Another author I've enjoyed over the past couple of years and your library search recommended as similar to The Time Travels Wife:
Jasper Fford:
The Eyre Affair
Lost in a Good Book

They are hard to describe; kind of Monty Pythonish but I loved them both
Well of Lost plots and The Big Over Easy I liked but not as well

never enough time, never enough....

Some fictional characters are less fictional than others

Offline Melisande

  • Chief Moderator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 9664
    • LiveJournal
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2006, 12:25:05 AM »
Oh, I love Fforde's Tuesday Next books! Like you, I preferred the first two. They're something special. They're - hm, how do you describe them - literary detective novels set in a world in which characters from books really exist in a sort of other dimension, and people can visit books. Very funny in a dry, British (Welsh, I guess) way.
let be, let be

Offline michaelflanagansf

  • Forum Librarian and buckle bunny
  • Team Cullen
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 25020
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2006, 12:14:48 PM »
Oh, I love Fforde's Tuesday Next books! Like you, I preferred the first two. They're something special. They're - hm, how do you describe them - literary detective novels set in a world in which characters from books really exist in a sort of other dimension, and people can visit books. Very funny in a dry, British (Welsh, I guess) way.

Mary & Melisande - thanks for the Fforde suggestion!  I'll check them out.  Your posts bring up two other suggestions - one a bit wild and one an old favorite.  Patrick McCabe is a very interesting Irish author (mostly, to me, because he is a very modern writer - the troubles and catholicism are in his works but are generally not the focus).  I read 'Breakfast on Pluto' before going to see the movie and would recommend it.  Also, the old favorite is Caleb Carr's book 'The Alienist' - set in turn of the (19th/20th) century New York City with Theodore Roosevelt as a character in the work - and it's about an 'alienist' (pre-psychiatrist) with a very Sherlock Holmes aspect to his character trying to find a serial killer.  Carr's next book after this "Angel of Darkness" is pretty good too - not as great as 'Alienist', however.

Oh, and for brain candy I like to read Sue Grafton (C is for Corpse, etc.)
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

  • Cant have enough
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2006, 01:22:50 PM »
One of my favorite "brain candy" mystery authors is Patricia Cornwell---her first book was Postmortem.  If you like "csi" you would like her books.
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

  • Forum Librarian and buckle bunny
  • Team Cullen
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 25020
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2006, 02:33:07 PM »
One of my favorite "brain candy" mystery authors is Patricia Cornwell---her first book was Postmortem.  If you like "csi" you would like her books.

Passion - I tried Patricia Cornwell and the one thing I didn't like about the book I read was that there was too much 'relationship' stuff happening with Kay Scarpetta - I kept thinking 'who cares, get back to the case....'  So do you have any suggestions for books in her series that don't do that?

With Sue Grafton the thing I really like about Kinsey Millhone is that she is very hard boiled.  She has flings with men, but for the most part they're not too serious and don't get in the way of the plot.

Oh!  And another braincandy favorite is Tony Hillerman.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee [hmmm...maybe they could investigate Jack's death....]
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

  • Cant have enough
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2006, 09:42:40 PM »
I was wondering if anyone has read We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lional Shriver?  Here is a description---heard it was a really good book but have not read it.  I thought Dave might have heard about it!
From Publishers Weekly
A number of fictional attempts have been made to portray what might lead a teenager to kill a number of schoolmates or teachers, Columbine style, but Shriver's is the most triumphantly accomplished by far. A gifted journalist as well as the author of seven novels, she brings to her story a keen understanding of the intricacies of marital and parental relationships as well as a narrative pace that is both compelling and thoughtful. Eva Khatchadourian is a smart, skeptical New Yorker whose impulsive marriage to Franklin, a much more conventional person, bears fruit, to her surprise and confessed disquiet, in baby Kevin. From the start Eva is ambivalent about him, never sure if she really wanted a child, and he is balefully hostile toward her; only good-old-boy Franklin, hoping for the best, manages to overlook his son's faults as he grows older, a largely silent, cynical, often malevolent child. The later birth of a sister who is his opposite in every way, deeply affectionate and fragile, does nothing to help, and Eva always suspects his role in an accident that befalls little Celia. The narrative, which leads with quickening and horrifying inevitability to the moment when Kevin massacres seven of his schoolmates and a teacher at his upstate New York high school, is told as a series of letters from Eva to an apparently estranged Franklin, after Kevin has been put in a prison for juvenile offenders. This seems a gimmicky way to tell the story, but is in fact surprisingly effective in its picture of an affectionate couple who are poles apart, and enables Shriver to pull off a huge and crushing shock far into her tale. It's a harrowing, psychologically astute, sometimes even darkly humorous novel, with a clear-eyed, hard-won ending and a tough-minded sense of the difficult, often painful human enterprise.
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

  • Forum Librarian and buckle bunny
  • Team Cullen
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 25020
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2006, 02:02:34 PM »
Here's one I didn't read 'lately' but it surely fits into the whole economic picture of what was going on in BBM:   'Nickel and Dimed: on (not) getting by in America'.  Very interesting picture of what people on the bleeding edge of the economy go through to survive.
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

  • Cant have enough
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2006, 05:35:33 PM »
Here's one I didn't read 'lately' but it surely fits into the whole economic picture of what was going on in BBM:   'Nickel and Dimed: on (not) getting by in America'.  Very interesting picture of what people on the bleeding edge of the economy go through to survive.

That is a great book!  I think that author may have done another one like it recently---can't remember the topic though.  Very thought provoking!

You asked about Patricia Cornwell----I think I liked Postmortem the best---It is funny because I read her books quickly and then don't remember the exact details about them.  You are right about Sue Grafton----did you read S is for Silence yet??  In it, Kinsey's relationship with her neighbor is briefly mention! This book really stuck to the case.  Have you tried Jan Burke or Sara Paretsky?  I have always stuck to female mystery authors but I have read a few of Tony H.'s books---I live in the Southwest so have to read 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

Offline michaelflanagansf

  • Forum Librarian and buckle bunny
  • Team Cullen
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 25020
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2006, 05:57:45 PM »
Quote
That is a great book!  I think that author may have done another one like it recently---can't remember the topic though.  Very thought provoking!
Quote

I _think_ the book you're talking about is "Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream" - also by Barbara Ehrenreich.  Here's the Amazon page with a good interview with her:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805076069/ref=pd_kar_gw_2/002-9578486-3188864?%5Fencoding=UTF8%2CUTF8&v=glance&n=283155

You know, I've been reading Barbara Ehrenreich for decades now!  She had a book (more of a pamphlet) entitled 'Complaints and Disorders' that we read in one of my women's studies classes in the 70s!  And she was (is?) closely involved with Ms. magazine too.

Quote
You asked about Patricia Cornwell----I think I liked Postmortem the best---It is funny because I read her books quickly and then don't remember the exact details about them.  You are right about Sue Grafton----did you read S is for Silence yet??  In it, Kinsey's relationship with her neighbor is briefly mention! This book really stuck to the case.  Have you tried Jan Burke or Sara Paretsky?  I have always stuck to female mystery authors but I have read a few of Tony H.'s books---I live in the Southwest so have to read him! 
Quote

Thanks for the Patricia Cornwell recommendation - I'll check it out.  I have _not_ read 'S is for Silence' yet, but am eagerly awaiting it (I get on the hold list at the library).  I have not tried Jan Burke or Sara Paretsky (although I've picked up Ms. Paretsky's books and looked at them often) but I'll give them a shot.  As someone who has had a lot of women friends over the years (and doesn't worry about 'masculine', but is no pushover) I've always identified with characters like Kinsey a lot.  ;)

My absolute favorite Tony Hillerman is 'Coyote Waits' because of the mythological implications of coyote as the trickster (you can probably tell from my other posts I'm into mythology big time) and I'm very fond of 'Sacred Clowns' too (because I really like the idea of the clowns acting as the policing mechanism of Hopi culture).

I haven't made it down to your area of the country yet, but plan to go to Chaco Canyon and Canyon de Chelly (hopefully soon)!
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

  • Cant have enough
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4518
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2006, 09:00:58 PM »
Michaelflanagansf--
I LOVE Kinsey!  I want to be her!  I think Sue Grafton is doing such a great job keeping the character in the time period---no cell phones, internet etc!  I went to college in San Luis Obispo so I love that Kinsey travels all over central CA.  With only 7 letters left--I wonder what she'll do next.  Jan Burke's books take place in and around Long Beach, CA---another place I went to college!  I guess I am picking up on my theme here---I like reading books that take place in areas I am familiar with! So, since I grew up in the Bay Area---I like Marcia Muller---another great mystery writer---very similar to Sue Grafton.
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 Melisande

  • Chief Moderator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 9664
    • LiveJournal
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2006, 09:11:05 PM »
Not read lately, but one of my all-time favorites, is The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. A beautiful book. Magical, really. I've read all of her books, and they're good, but this one is the standout.

And for sci fi-y time travel, which I love, my favorite is "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by Connie Willis. It hits a lot of my reading kinks - time travel, Victorian England, literary references, and bulldogs.
let be, let be

Offline mary

  • Moderator Emerita
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1542
Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2006, 09:12:24 PM »
For those of you who like mysteries I highly recommend almost anything by Minette Walters.  I love her style, each book is completely different. In some the mystery is 'what is the mystery'
never enough time, never enough....

Some fictional characters are less fictional than others