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Need a book suggestion

SuB's picture

My turn to propose a book for my book group on Tuesday.  The last two books we've read have been serious to the point of depressing, so I'd really like to lighten things up this time.  I need a book that's funny but not slapstick, ideally something like a cross between authors Christopher Moore, Tom Robbins, and Carl Hiaasen.  Anyone?  Thanks...


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.  Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.   -- Groucho Marx


Edited 7/31/2005 2:38 pm ET by Sue B.


Edited 7/31/2005 2:40 pm ET by Sue B.

Cheers, Sue B.

The older I get, the better I was.

mimi54's picture

I have Carl Hiaasan's Skinny Dip in my pile to read.  Have you tried any of Jodi Picoult's books?  I have recently started reading the Kathy Reichs books and have found them very good (forensic mystery).


mimi 

Gretchen's picture

Kathy Reichs is from Charlotte and her daughter went to school with our DD, before the book phase.  She has really hit it big--there's a Fox series this fall that she is writing. The cute twist is that it is about a forensic anthropologist named _____ (I think Temperance something) who is writing a novel about a character called Kathy Reichs.


And she still teaches at UNCC and is a consulting forensic anthropologist.


Gretchen
Gretchen
mimi54's picture

I just stumbeled upon her books recently and really like them, they are not too lurid in a shock-jock sort of way, just well written, thoughtful books.


Another book to consider is The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell.  Very good read.  Also recommend The Time Travelers Wife, very different with a dark sense of humor.


mimi

debe5t's picture

You forgot her Montreal,Quebec,connection.She splits her time like her character in her novels between Charlotte and Montreal.We have to share,okay? LOL Deb

Gretchen's picture

To be honest, I have not read any of her books.

Gretchen

Gretchen
SuB's picture

Mimi, I hope you'll enjoy Carl Hiaasen, IMO he is hilarious.  Sick Puppy is my favorite.The group read My Daughter's Keeper by J. Picoult before I joined - I haven't read it yet but they said it was very good. 


Reviews for Kathy Reichs' books sound like she's a good possibility. 


The Time Traveler's Wife is one of the best books I've ever read.  Amazing.  Have you read The Dive from Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer?


I think I'm going to suggest The Rule of Four on the chance that no one's read it, it sounds really interesting. 


'Fraid I just can't stomach Laura Landvik, tried to read Jane Austin Book Club but it didn't survive the 100-page rule, nor did the first few pages of Bon Bons.  But Jane Evanovich sounds just right for something lighter.  Lingerie buyer-to-bounty hunter has gotta be good.


Thanks to everyone, I appreciate your input.  Cheers, Sue



Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.  Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.   -- Groucho Marx


Edited 8/1/2005 2:09 am ET by Sue B.

Cheers, Sue B.

The older I get, the better I was.

dixie1's picture

Sick Puppy is my favorite.


Mine, too and I recommended it to two friends who hated it. I thought it was very funny.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

So glad I'm not the only one who hated The Jane Austen Book Club - much as I love Jane Austen! If you like Carl Hiassen (and how could anyone not?) you'll really enjoy Ivanovich - Stephanie Plum is hilarious.  And another thumbs-up for Kathy Reich, and for The Rule of Four.









"All of life's big problems include the words "indictment" or "inoperable." Everything else is small stuff." Alton Brown


http://costofwar.com/


Edited 8/1/2005 11:32 am ET by Shy woodland creature

samchang's picture

I guess I'm in the minority here, but I thought "The Rule of Four" could've been better than it was, given the material. One book that I did toroughly enjoy in that literary vein was Arturo Perez-Reverte's "The Culb Dumas." Witty, unexpected, sinister, and really tough to pull off, techincally speaking.

Marcia's picture

My husband didn't care for The Rule of Four, and since we have similar tastes, I didn't read it. We both loved The Club Dumas, so you aren't alone.

Jean's picture

From reading customer reviews on Amazon, I won't even try it.

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


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shywoodlandcreature's picture

Okay, just read the reviews at Amazon, and The Club Dumas is next on my list of gotta-gets, if not actually gotta-reads.


Right now, I'm working through the Harry Potter oeuvre - reading book 5, Order of the Phoenix. Next on the list is book 4 - Goblet of Fire, then I'll tackle The Half-Blood Prince. I figure I can bypass books 1 - 3, having seen the movies.


On a slightly different tack, has anyone read Will in the World? It's a social history of Shakespeare and his times - very good, engrossing, fascinating stuff - a must-read for anyone who loves Shakespeare.






"All of life's big problems include the words "indictment" or "inoperable." Everything else is small stuff." Alton Brown


http://costofwar.com/

Jean's picture

Not into Harry Potter, enjoyed the first movie though. Right now I'm reading The Kite Runner---excellent, some cultural parts are surprising -- his watching so many American movies, for example.


Has anyone read Collapse?  A big fat book - looks intimidating. My DSIL was reading it while here on vacation.



Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Marcia's picture

I read a review of Collapse and it did sound depressing, which I don't need right now, but nothing makes me happier than to settle in with a big fat enjoyable book with small print. I'm like a child in a candy store.


The Harry Potter books were around with DD so I read them but was not enamored, however I've just finished the latest and much preferred it to the others.

TracyK's picture

DO NOT bypass books 1-3!! The movies left out LOTS of important stuff. Besides, they're so quick and easy to read... I could get through all three of them in one day (and have). :-)

Squirrels are just rats in cuter outfits.
       -- Carrie Bradshaw

CHandGreeson's picture

I completly agree with Tracy, you shouldn't miss 1-3, especially 3, it's VERY different in the book.

And, I suggest you read 6 immediatly after 5, 4 you can miss without missing too much if you have already gotten through 5 without a problem.

The above statement was nearly impossible for me to understand, I hope you get my idea!

shywoodlandcreature's picture

Okay - doesn't take much to convince me. I'll track down HP 1 - 3 and read them next. Hmmm... book 6 first. Intriguing idea. I'm really enjoying Phoenix - have to give Rowling credit for knowing how to make you turn a page! She's much like Stephan King that way.


Someone mentioned Jaspar Fforde - I tried reading The Eyre Affair, and couldn't get past the first 50 pages. I think I just couldn't believe the initial premise, though I love the idea of it.






"All of life's big problems include the words "indictment" or "inoperable." Everything else is small stuff." Alton Brown


http://costofwar.com/

sarahendipity's picture

Check amazon.ca for the boxed set of Harry potter books. They have one set with books 1-3 and another with 1-4. I just ordered all the books because I want to find out what happens!. If you haven't ordered from amazon.ca before, do a google search(amazon.ca coupons) and find a $10 off coupon for new customers.

I'm afraid of meeting God. I'm afraid he'll sneeze and I won't know what to say.

I spilled my GORP on Mt. Baldy.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

Ahhh...Amazon and I are old buddies...I sometimes think I should just turn over my paycheque to them, and let them give me an allowence to buy food.


We've got a brand-new Costco in our neighbourhood, and much as I hate doing it, I've been buying books there - the price is 2/3 to half of Chapters, which is, of course, at least 10 percent cheaper than the independent bookstores can sell for. Sigh...sometimes capitalism sucks!






"All of life's big problems include the words "indictment" or "inoperable." Everything else is small stuff." Alton Brown


http://costofwar.com/

MadMom's picture

At least Costco pays their employees a living wage, contrary to WalMart.  I don't mind shopping there, but I absolutely will not enter a WalMart, and by extension, a "Sam's Club."



Not One More Day!
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End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

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shywoodlandcreature's picture

Yes - one reason why I actually don't mind cruising the aisles at Costco, but wont be caught dead in a WalMart.





"All of life's big problems include the words "indictment" or "inoperable." Everything else is small stuff." Alton Brown


http://costofwar.com/

Theodora's picture

Light, hmmmmmm. But bookclubby. Hmmmm.

Just finished Caramba! A Tale Told in Turns of the Card by Nina Marie Martinez. I just finished it after a run through all of Christopher Moore.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?isbn=0375413758

Here's a chunk or two of the first couple chapters:

http://www.kcrw.com/dialabook/Caramba.htm

"No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch. " ~Leo Dworken

shywoodlandcreature's picture

Theodora, it's so good to see you back! Are you here to stay, or just dropping in?





"All of life's big problems include the words "indictment" or "inoperable." Everything else is small stuff." Alton Brown


http://costofwar.com/

Theodora's picture

Hi, Sandra,

I lurk over here whole lots!

I keep trying The Eyre Affair again and again. My little sister calls this her favorite series, but I am not engaged with it yet. I will give it one more try, then I'm going to go read A Short History of a Small Place, again, instead!

You ever read Dorothy Dunnett's historical novels?

"No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch. " ~Leo Dworken

shywoodlandcreature's picture

oh, I love knowing that I'm not the only person who loves "Short History..."


The Dunnett books - I've tried them a few times, but just haven't been able to crack them.  For historical fiction, I can't recommend "Ulverton" highly enough, but evidently nobody's breaking down doors at Amazon to buy it - it's still out of print - which is a shame, because it's absolutely brilliant.


I may well give the Eyre Affair another try, though truth to tell, there's just so much out there that I haven't read yet, I'm not at all convinced it deserves any more effort.


Welcome back, and I hope you don't just lurk. (though that's welcome, too) Love hearing from you!






"All of life's big problems include the words "indictment" or "inoperable." Everything else is small stuff." Alton Brown


http://costofwar.com/

Theodora's picture

Thank you for the welcome. I do lurk a lot here because I have much, very much to learn.

I just put a hold on a copy of Ulverton at the lib. Sounds good.

T R Pearson has a couple of more recent titles, Polar, and Blue Ridge, that I need to get get my hands on, and see if they match the brilliance of A Short History. The two sequels to Short History were a bit of a comedown, and I rather wish he hadn't written them.

I have read Dunnett's more recent series, the Niccolo novels, about seven times in total. Every February I begin reading from the beginning again and take a few weeks to go through them all. They are indeed very chewy books, hard to crack. They repay, though, because every time I reread them, I see more I hadn't seen before and make more connections. Truly, those books are my alternate reality, and I suffered greatly when the series came to an end. Dunnett was a genius in her ability to weave her fiction so thoroughly into the historical matrix. I haven't yet cracked the series she wrote first, the Lymond chronicles. It's rather comforting to know that I have it to look forward to.

Oh, and if Biscuit is following this thread, is Max still Stopping That Pickle!? What a fine book! What is he reading these days? I am extremely fond of the art work in the Skippyjon Jones books:
http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0525471340/104-8718148-8462340?SubscriptionId=1YKVTGYQE6PAVJ7PQGG2

(Oh, I missed sour cherry season here this year as well. I called in mid-July and they were gone. I found such a WONderful orchard for them last summer, and picked some 30 pounds, and the place had a mechanized pitter! I do still have three four cup bags in the freezer from last year. I am hearing that the late and very wet spring played havoc with Oregon's stone fruits this year.)


Edited 8/2/2005 2:01 am ET by Theodora

SuB's picture

First, apologies to all, Lorna Landvik did NOT write The Jane Austen Book Club, which I hated.  My mistake, Landvik wrote Angry Housewives and Patty June's House of Curl.  Just picked up H. of C. from the library and am looking forward to reading it.  Also got The Rule of Four and J. Evanovich's Ten Big Ones, which elicited a belly laugh from my husband within the first 5 pages-always a good sign.


I thought I was the only person on the planet who loved A Short History of a Small Place and now here are two more.  How cool is that?


Tried listening to The Well of Lost Plots on CD but couldn't get into it.  I just inherited a print copy, however, so I might take another whack at it, sometimes you just have to be in the mood for certain books.  Or I'll start with the first one.


Mimi, ITA with all you said.  Have you read Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin, or Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver?  You might enjoy them.  Both challenging.  Personally, I find nothing wrong with a good bodice ripper, the hard part is finding a good one.


Ira Glass' show is called This American Life.  Check NPR's website for more info, he is truly unique and amazing.  Loved the poultry show.  We discovered David Sedaris (Santaland Diaries is a must-read) and Sarah Vowell (Take the Cannolli) - both sick and twisted authors - on his show.


Sandra, ditto what everyone said about Harry Potter 1-3, don't skip them!  Along a similar vein (I think? didn't finish it) as the J. Fforde books, you might like Cornelia Funke's books Inkheart and The Thief Lord.  Also Terry Pratchett's The Wee Free Men, which is a total scream and not just for youngsters.


Theodora, you are a fellow Christopher Moore afficionado??  I LOVE his books, I died laughing.  And cried at the end of Lamb, his best by far IMO, though being from SF I have a real soft spot for Blooksucking Fiends.  Funny though, like Dixie said about Sick Puppy, not everyone I recommended them to loved them as much as I did.  Go figure.


My, this has turned into a lively thread, so many good suggestions.  Thanks again everyone!



Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.  Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.   -- Groucho Marx


Edited 8/2/2005 2:52 am ET by Sue B.

Cheers, Sue B.

The older I get, the better I was.

mimi54's picture

Sue B:  I have not read those two particular ones, I will add them to my list.  Thanks!


Right now I have five books waiting in the wings, and the new Patricia Cornwell on order for this fall.  Life is good :)


mimi

mimi54's picture

SueB:  For something completly different, try David Sedaris' Me Talk Pretty Some Day.  I laughed until my face hurt!  It is about living in a foreign country and learning a new language.


mimi

Gretchen's picture

And a lot more stuff about his dysfuncional past (and present). That is the book with the description of his meal in NYC where the "towers of food were on the plate like expensive NY real estate".  If you don't remember it, go back and find it.

Gretchen

Gretchen