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CT Book Club

shywoodlandcreature's picture

Seeing as how the Detroit Bailout thread got thoroughly off-topic with discussions of books read and recommended, I thought it might make sense to start a new thread about who's reading what.


I'll start:


Just finished: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle -- recommend.


Currently reading: The Book of Lost Things, and The Dead List, both by John Connolly, and The Gatehouse by Nelson de Mille. Not caring all that much for Connolly's stuff, though he was a delight to hear at the Vancouver Writers Festival. Jury's still out on The Gatehouse, though I think I'm enjoying it more than Peter or Adele did.


Next up: Shadow Country, by Peter Matthiessen, A Most Wanted Man by John Le Carre, and In the Dark, by Mark Billingham.


Waiting for: Three Cups of Tea, and Alphabet Juice by Roy Blount Jr.  


 






“People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.”
J. Danforth Quayle
MadMom's picture

(post #51347, reply #1 of 585)

Have you ordered Three Cups of Tea?  If not, I can send it to you as soon as my friend gives it back.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #51347, reply #4 of 585)

It's next up on my Zooba list. This may be a book I want to keep and lend out to friends, so thanks for offering to send it, but I'll wait -- it's also not like I have a shortage of reading material to plow through.





“People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.”
J. Danforth Quayle

SquarePeg's picture

(post #51347, reply #2 of 585)

I'm reading Sawtelle now. My mom called and said "I had to read it!". she finished it and then read it right over a second time.


After that I've got Barbara Kingsolver's new book on eating local.


Just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. it was as good or better than the Kite Runner.


Edited 11/19/2008 3:17 pm ET by SquarePeg

MadMom's picture

(post #51347, reply #3 of 585)

Barbara Kingsolver's new book was a hard read for me, but it was good info.  Just don't plow into it expecting the normal Kingsolver read, or you'll be very disappointed.  I did think the placement of her husband's comments was very distracting.  At least her elder daughter's comments were at the end of each chapter.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

MadMom's picture

(post #51347, reply #7 of 585)

A friend just gave me two books.  One is Sea Glass by Anita Shreve, and the other is Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman.  Anyone read either of them?  Recommendations?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

suz's picture

(post #51347, reply #11 of 585)

I've read many Anita Shreeve books but not that one.  Just finished Strange Fits of Passion by her and definitely recommend.  Have recently read My Sisters Keeper Jodi Picoult.  Had trouble with Water for Elephants, perhaps I should try again.

BossHog's picture

(post #51347, reply #12 of 585)

Since my divorce I read "The Five Love Languages".

http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/

I had never heard of such a concept before. I wish I'd read it 20 years ago.

I gave my copy to my GF for her to read, and we've talked about it quite a bit.

I also have a niece that's getting married in a couple of weeks, and I ordered a copy for she and her Husband as a wedding present.

I'm not much of a reader. But I'm glad I read that one.

It's better to have loved and lost than to live with a psycho the rest of your life



SquarePeg's picture

(post #51347, reply #18 of 585)

I just finished reading it. It's very insightful (inciteful?) stuff.


Thanks for the recommendation.


i'm going to pass it to my grown kids. they need it! =)

dorcast's picture

(post #51347, reply #16 of 585)

I've read other books by both of them, but not those.

Just ordered a new Anita Shreve book, Testimony, while ordering your recommendation of Esme Lennox (always get that extra book for free shipping).
Some Shreve books I like, some not so much. They seem to have a similar formula, and are
easy reads.

MadMom's picture

(post #51347, reply #19 of 585)

The book jacket blurb on Sea Glass didn't grab me.  Neither of course, did the one on Seventh Heaven, but I started it anyway.  Alice Hoffman seems to be a very good writer, so I think I'll enjoy it.  Glad people have read and enjoyed other Shreve books, though.  It's terrible to get into the habit of reading, then run out of books!


I agree that Three Cups of Tea isn't tremendously well written, but it was such an inspiring story of what one determined person can accomplish.  I keep recommending it.




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
leonap's picture

(post #51347, reply #22 of 585)

It's been a while since I've read Sea Glass but I've loved all of Anita Shreve's books.

slycat's picture

(post #51347, reply #37 of 585)

I ususally love Anita Shreve, but Sea Glass was not my favorite. I like some of her older ones better. I however loved Seventh Heaven and most anything else by Alice Hoffman.


I also just finished Edward Sawtelle and thought is was wonderful. It is the kind of book I would probably read again and I don't do that often.


I read two great books recently. The Lace Reader Brunonia Berry and The Likeness by Tana French, which I thought was better than In the Woods. I would recommend both. I also read The 19th Wife over the summer, which I thought was pretty good, but can't remember the author right now. River Angel by A. Manette Ansay, is a wonderful book as is, Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stien was also good. I like Jody Picoult, but like her older books better than her newer ones. My two favorites are Keeping Faith and Plain Truth.  And of course you can't beat Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich, which are always fun I think!


Novels are like recipes... to many good ones and not enough time.


 


Edited 11/19/2008 6:27 pm ET by slycat

AnnL's picture

(post #51347, reply #38 of 585)

Yes, I like Jodi Picault, also.  I just read Change of Heart and while it was a good read, I realized where she was taking it about 2/3rds of the way through.  I loved My Sisters Keeper, that was great.  I'll have to look for the 2 you mentioned.


Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Debby's picture

(post #51347, reply #57 of 585)

I've read a number of Jodi Picoult books.  I find that I can't read one after the other....need something else in between.  Her books tend to stay with me for some time; my mind has difficulty letting them go as she gets me thinking about controversial issues in a very thorough way.  They remind me of a course that my daughter took in university last year, where they explored modern-day controversial issues and examined where they stood and why.


Debby

TracyK's picture

(post #51347, reply #59 of 585)

I agree -- they remind me of a class I took in college called "Theology, Ethics & Medicine." It was a great class.


"The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos and instead we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back. He'll be the first president in history to look really good making a jump shot. He loves his classy wife and adorable daughters."                          -- Garrison Keilor

Lee's picture

(post #51347, reply #63 of 585)

my mind has difficulty letting them go as she gets me thinking about controversial issues in a very thorough way. 


I'm taking a class in contemporary classics of the American theatre, and I am experiencing the same thing.  So far, all of the plays we have read (most have won Pulizers) delve into the darker places of the human soul and raise issues that are not very pleasant to think about and not easy to let go.  Last night's play was Bash, by Neil LaBute, a positively chilling work that still has me feeling a little stunned.  I can't stop thinking about it.  The next class will cover Death of a Salesman, The Iceman Cometh, and others like them.  Great plays, but not easy to shrug off.  I suppose that's the hallmark of a good book or play. 


I've only read a couple of Picoult's books.  My Sister's Keeper was very moving.      

dorcast's picture

(post #51347, reply #68 of 585)

Have you ever read or seen anything else by Neil LaBute?
I've never seen Bash, but have seen many of his plays and films.
So many misogynist and generally hateful and angry characters. Apparently LaBute is a
happily married father and practicing Mormon.

Lee's picture

(post #51347, reply #69 of 585)

The only other one I've seen was In The Company Of Men, which was anything but enjoyable.  I wasn't thrilled when I saw Bash on the reading list.  Some of the same themes are present in Bash as in the movie.  


The professor told us last night that he was defellowshipped from the Mormon Church after he wrote Bash.  He removed some of the more egregious references to the Church from the play as well as the subtitle, Latter Day Plays, but three of the characters in the play are Mormons, and there are other references.  Based on an interview that the prof read, he had no love for his father and his childhood was anything but happy.  His years in the Church wasn't something he looked back on with warmth; quite the opposite.


Despite the fact that I find his work disturbing, I think he's a brilliant playwright.  He has concentrated on the darkest qualities of the human condition; I'd be interested in seeing what he could do using love as a theme.

dorcast's picture

(post #51347, reply #70 of 585)

Interesting. You'd have to imagine some portion of his life was deeply unhappy.

Although I always leave disturbed, I find I always buy tickets to see his shows.
Fat Pig was great.
The Shape of Things was made into a movie with the same cast I saw on stage. Still full of hate, but with a different angle then you expect from him.

Sounds like you are taking a great course.

Lee's picture

(post #51347, reply #71 of 585)

Although I always leave disturbed, I find I always buy tickets to see his shows.


We talked about that.  Part of his genius is his ability to create characters with whom we can relate, until they do something horrifying, and even then, we can't look away.  Very much modern day Greek tragedies.


I don't know where he lives, probably NY, but he had agreed to come and talk to our group.  Unfortunately, something came up and he couldn't do it, but, as the prof commented, we wouldn't have been able to have such a frank discussion of the play if he had been there.   


Edited 11/20/2008 4:34 pm ET by lee

wonka's picture

(post #51347, reply #98 of 585)

I feel the same way about Jodi Picoult. I read one of her books, think about it alot and then have to read a bunch of other books before I can read another of hers.


I just finished reading The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. I burst into tears when the main character was reunited with her daughter. I just love a book that can draw me in like that and make me feel such strong emotions.

MadMom's picture

(post #51347, reply #100 of 585)

I read one Jodi Picoult book, and that was enough.  The subject was depressing, and I thought her plot was more like a dime store murder mystery.  Didn't care for it at all.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

wonka's picture

(post #51347, reply #101 of 585)

I've read a few of her books, and yes they are depressing, but I enjoyed them. I did try to read Nineteen Minutes and just couldn't finish it. It was just too easy to put down and not pick up again.


 I have heard, and this may just be a rumour, that she doesn't write all of her own books. Don't know if this is true or not, but she does seem to have alot of books.

MadMom's picture

(post #51347, reply #102 of 585)

Nineteen Minutes was the one I plowed through.  My friend who is a retired school teacher found it too depressing to even finish.  While I found the premise depressing, my main complaint was in the shallow characters (single detective falls in love with single female judge) which seemed beneath the premise of the book.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

moxie's picture

(post #51347, reply #104 of 585)

My Sister's Keeper was like that. Lame romance thrown in for no apparent reason.

"I have always relied on the kindness of strangers." - Blanche Dubois

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #51347, reply #105 of 585)

Glad to read this critique. I almost succumbed to buying a couple of Picoult's books yesterday, thinking I was missing something. I will now scratch her name off my list.





"If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies". -Moshe Dayan, military leader and politician (1915-1981)

MadMom's picture

(post #51347, reply #106 of 585)

Might as well; it isn't that you don't have tons of books to read!



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Lee's picture

(post #51347, reply #107 of 585)

I found My Sister's Keeper to be quite moving, but I've never had any desire to read any of her other books.  They all sound too much alike.

Maedl's picture

(post #51347, reply #108 of 585)

I picked up a book at the airport today and read it most of the way home. It's "The Jesuit and the Skull" by Amir D. Aczel. It's a biography (of sorts) of Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest who got on the wrong side of the Vatican for his views on evolution and support of Darwin. He was exiled to China, which put him in the right place at the right time for the discovery of Peking Man, the first real evidence that supported Darwin's theories. It is written for a non-technical audience and in an easily readable style. For anyone with an interest in paleoanthropology or in reconciling religious belief with science, I recommend it.

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com

Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
moxie's picture

(post #51347, reply #110 of 585)

I think it was deeply flawed, but like you say, moving because the premise is such a Sophie's choice.

"I have always relied on the kindness of strangers." - Blanche Dubois