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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

(post #43877, reply #51 of 87)

LOL! 


mimi

AJ12754's picture

(post #43877, reply #57 of 87)

Definitely second your opinion on Wee Free Men -- I loved that book.


But I actually liked the Jane Austen Book Club although it took me a while -- I definitely liked the second half better than the first half.


How about some Laurie Colwin -- I adore her cooking memoir Home Cooking - especially the chapter on the three worst meals of her life.


A friend of mine recommends Three Junes very strongly -- as does Ruth Reichel in her editorial comments in this month's Gourmet.

Cave obdurationem cordis

SuB's picture

(post #43877, reply #61 of 87)

The book we ended up with was No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy.  The pregnant lady in our group got to take my turn and propose a book as she may not be able to host after next month due to her condition.  I enjoyed All the Pretty Horses so I hope this one will be good.


But I'll still need a book(s) to propose for next month, so I'm grateful for everyone's input.  I've got quite the stack on my table now, including The Three Junes, The Rule of Four, The Harmony Silk Factory, The Education of Arnold Hitler, Trawler (n/f account of adventures aboard a North Sea fishing boat), Ten Big Ones, Patty Jane's House of Curl, and Devil in the White City (n/f re: murder at the Chicago World's Fair 1893).  These will keep me off the streets for some time to come, my DH too.


Has anyone read the new John Irving, Until I Find You?  What did you think?


Will check out Laurie Colwin.  Anyone who can write something called Repulsive Dinners: A Memoir has to be worth reading.


Aaaand... sorta off-topic but I have to thank the person who brought up Howl's Moving Castle on another thread some time back.  I read the book and saw the movie, thoroughly enjoyed both.



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


Edited 8/4/2005 3:57 am ET by Sue B.

Cheers, Sue B.

The older I get, the better I was.

AnnL's picture

(post #43877, reply #62 of 87)

Oh, I really liked Three Junes, though I'm not sure how I felt about the ending.  Let me know what you think of it when you're done.

AnnL
Transitions Farm
Gardening, cooking, and riding
in Central Mass.

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

Adele's picture

(post #43877, reply #63 of 87)

Has anyone read the new John Irving, Until I Find You?  What did you think?


I tried, really I did.  This is also the last time I'll try.  


Boring.  Boring.   Boring. 


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

TracyK's picture

(post #43877, reply #64 of 87)

Have you read other John Irving books? I just re-read A Prayer for Owen Meany and was captivated by it all over again. What a great book!

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

RuthWells's picture

(post #43877, reply #65 of 87)

I'm a huge Irving fan.  I'm saving "Until I Find You" for the beach in a week.


Edited to add that "Meany" is my favorite of his novels, hands down bar none.  Fabulous  book.  I find something new in it every time I reread it.


 



Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw


Edited 8/4/2005 9:47 am ET by RUTHWELLS

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

Marcia's picture

(post #43877, reply #66 of 87)

I'm a great fan of Laurie Colwin's novels, and it is gratifying that they're all still in print. Do give her a try.


John Irving is not a favorite, I'm afraid, so I've not read the new one.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #43877, reply #67 of 87)

I used to love John Irving, but somehow fell out of love with him several years ago -- this happens to me generally when I read one too many books by an author, and realize that in fact the books are nearly interchangeable; that there's a distinct and discernible formula at work. I call it the Robertson Davies syndrome.





"...very little has ever been accomplished by complacent people." Billmon


http://costofwar.com/

TracyK's picture

(post #43877, reply #68 of 87)

I think that's why I enjoyed Owen Meany so much, it seems somewhat of a departure from many of his other books.


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

MadMom's picture

(post #43877, reply #69 of 87)

Reminds me of Grisham...he has such a formula "young lawyer works for evil law firm but ends up fighting for truth and morality" - if you've read one, you've read them all.  Of course, I know my opinion bothers him all the way to the bank.



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!

Marcia's picture

(post #43877, reply #70 of 87)

I am familiar with the syndrome although I've not read any of Robertson Davies. Do you recommend any of his books in particular?

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #43877, reply #71 of 87)

I'd probably suggest you start with Fifth Business - it's probably his classic, and it introduces most of the characters and themes Davies deals with in the rest of his novels. He's another writer I loved beyond reason, until one time when I happened to be sick, and so took the opportunity to read and reread everything he wrote from beginning to end - after about 1500 pages, I found I could predict pretty reliably what was going to happen to whom, and what arcane message we were supposed to derive from it, and at that point, I just couldn't abide another word from him!  





"...very little has ever been accomplished by complacent people." Billmon


http://costofwar.com/

Marcia's picture

(post #43877, reply #75 of 87)

I'll give it a try - thanks.

madnoodle's picture

(post #43877, reply #78 of 87)

I used to love John Irving, but somehow fell out of love with him several years ago -- this happens to me generally when I read one too many books by an author, and realize that in fact the books are nearly interchangeable; that there's a distinct and discernible formula at work. I call it the Robertson Davies syndrome.


Yes and yes.  Although if I had to pick, I'd take RD over JI any day.  A couple of weeks ago the National Post published a long interview with Irving about his new book.  I was thoroughly underwhelmed.


Saskatchewan:  hard to spell; easy to draw.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

Jean's picture

(post #43877, reply #79 of 87)

The only John Irving  book I've read is Cider House Rules and I pretty much hated it, on several different levels.

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.
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help to provide free mammograms for women in need
madnoodle's picture

(post #43877, reply #80 of 87)

Try A Prayer for Owen Meany.  I read it years ago and was totally transfixed.  It really is a beautiful book, and as others have said, quite different from his others.

Saskatchewan:  hard to spell; easy to draw.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

Jean's picture

(post #43877, reply #81 of 87)

OK, if you say so. I'll put it on my library list.

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
madnoodle's picture

(post #43877, reply #82 of 87)

OK, if you say so


Now there's the kind of blind obedience I'm looking for from my kids . . .


Saskatchewan:  hard to spell; easy to draw.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

SuB's picture

(post #43877, reply #84 of 87)

I second what Noodle said.  Owen Meany is one of my top five best books I've ever read.  Do give it a whack.


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

Cheers, Sue B.

The older I get, the better I was.

mimi54's picture

(post #43877, reply #72 of 87)

SueB:  Ohhh!  Let me know how you like Devil in the White City!  I have been contemplating it on Amazon.


mimi

RheaS's picture

(post #43877, reply #73 of 87)

I'm a bit late as usual, and I've mostly been reading sci-fi/fantasy and chick lit this summer. However, I thoroughly enjoyed Tucker Malarkey's An Obvious Enchantment. It's not for everyone due to religious mysticism, African setting, and questionable moral values, but I couldn't put this book down.


A fun, light and somewhat formulaic book is Peter Mayle's A Good Year. I picked it up because I recalled the author being mentioned on CT. Is there a better book by him that I should read? This wasn't bad. Sometimes I want to read books where there are few surprises and events unfold as I think they should.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #43877, reply #74 of 87)

Rhea, Peter Mayle is a good, fun read. When you come by on Saturday, you can browse our shelves - I think Peter has everything he's written. You'd probably really like his earlier books on settling down in Provence - very funny, colourful stuff that makes you want to run away to the South of France!





"...very little has ever been accomplished by complacent people." Billmon


http://costofwar.com/

CHandGreeson's picture

(post #43877, reply #77 of 87)

That was me with Howl - I am so glad you liked it. Diana Wynne Jones is an amazing fantasy writer, and I am shocked that I somehow missed her growing up. She's less well-known than JK Rowling, but in a lot of her other books, you can see where Rowling got her influence.

Pomona's picture

(post #43877, reply #83 of 87)

Another Laurie Colwin fan here. Especially like "Happy All the Time" and "Family Happiness."

Read the Jane Austen Book Club -- pleasant, quick read, but thought the synopses of the Austen books were too basic and occasionally wrong.

Just re-read Willa Cather's "Death Comes for the Archbishop." I adore it. The simplicity of the language is wonderful. Incredibly evocative.

AJ12754's picture

(post #43877, reply #85 of 87)

I love Willa Cather's work too -- especially Death Comes for the Archbishop and My Antonia.  I did finally read The Professor's House and I think that, if you have not read that one, it might appeal to you as well -- especially the story within a story which struck me as more similar to Death than her other work.

Cave obdurationem cordis

Gretchen's picture

(post #43877, reply #86 of 87)

We (you) are beginning to talk about "classics" by established and classic authors.  Nothing wrong. That is what Oprah is now doing also.  It deserves a revisiting in case it didn't "take" the first time around.  With me too, lest I forget to confess.

Gretchen

Gretchen
AJ12754's picture

(post #43877, reply #87 of 87)

I think I might have gotten side-tracked onto classics by a book I am reading right now by a woman in her 50s who goes back and reads the books she loved as a young woman in her teens and 20s.  She made me want to go back and do the same thing except that I keep thinking about all the stuff I want to read that I haven't gotten to yet.  Sigh.

Cave obdurationem cordis

NanaC's picture

(post #43877, reply #34 of 87)

Speaking of bargains, our town public library carries many copies of each of the Potter books, and it's free!... Although I will have to wait a while for the latest one... Don't want to take it away from the kids.

Fran

"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well dance!"

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #43877, reply #39 of 87)

The problem with libraries is that they always want their books back a year or two before I'm quite ready to relinquish them. (Though they are useful places for books I don't necessarily want to own!)





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


http://costofwar.com/