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Beth H
11-20-2003, 08:16 AM
I know this isn't a time of year when I usually have time to read, but I'm trying!

I just finished Monica Ali's Brick Lane. This book was short-listed for the Man Booker prize in Great Britain. It is the story of a Bangladeshi woman who goes to London to marry her husband (arranged by her family) and her experiences there. It is a very powerful novel - I was really drawn to the central character.

I also read In the Cut - the movie version is out now with Meg Ryan. I thought this book was terrible - not because it contained graphic violence and sexual scenes - but just because I could have cared less about the characters. I read the book in about an hour, skimming through it. I now have even less interest in seeing the movie.

Little Bit
11-20-2003, 09:20 AM
I've read Stephen King's "Wolves of the Calla" and recommend it to any 'Dark Tower' series fan, but suggest that newcomers to the series give "Gunslinger" and the other volumes in the tale your attention first.

Other than that, I've read a few Agatha Christie Miss Marple mysteries, The Body in the Library, Murder at the Vicarage, What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw, ... . Good 'waiting room' type stories.

In the realm of non-fiction, I've started "Skin Deep: A Mind-Body Program for Healthy Skin" by Ted A. Grossbart and Carl Sherman. Intriguing reading so far.

MusicMom
11-20-2003, 09:27 AM
Originally posted by Beth H
I also read In the Cut - the movie version is out now with Meg Ryan. I thought this book was terrible - not because it contained graphic violence and sexual scenes - but just because I could have cared less about the characters. I read the book in about an hour, skimming through it. I now have even less interest in seeing the movie.

Isn't that awful when you feel like you're wasting your time on a book? I had the same experience last week with Wideacre by Phillippa Gregory. I really enjoyed her The Other Boleyn Girl, but the heroine in Wideacre was so immoral she made Scarlett O'Hara look like a saint (even though they were both after the same thing). I made it through the book halfway, waiting for her to redeem herself, then I gave up and skimmed the last couple of chapters just to see how the story turned out.

Before that, I read The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, a children's book (Harry Potter level). It's about a group of orphans/runaways in Venice who band together to form their own family. I enjoyed it, especially the descriptions of the architecture and canals. Has a little bit of magic to it, too. I'd recommend it for 4-6th graders.

Alethea
11-20-2003, 09:28 AM
I just started Cold Mountain, but since I'm having a hard time putting it down I think I will be through it quickly. I have both The Life of Pi and The Namesake waiting in the wings for Thanksgiving week. I also picked up Bel Canto recently, and would like to re-read To the Lighthouse soon. That should keep me set for a while.

lisas3575
11-20-2003, 09:28 AM
I'm just about done with Birds of America and I can't say I'm sorry to move on. Lorrie Moore is a wonderful writer, but this book is really heavy and depressing and the short story format wasn't working for me.

The DaVinci Code is on my nightstand to start this weekend, and I'm really excited. I'm hoping that it lives up to the hype. I put away Five Quarters of the Orange since both of these books are library ones.

tbb113
11-20-2003, 10:50 AM
I'm reading West of the Jordan. Its about a bunch of women cousins some living in Jordan, some living in Palestine, some living in the US. The chapters alternate between the girls. I don't usually like stories like this, and unfortunatley, this is no exception. Its like to many little short stories instead of one large book....but I'm still going to finish it with the hopes that the stories get more intertwined.

HRJ
11-20-2003, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by lisas3575
I'm just about done with Birds of America and I can't say I'm sorry to move on. Lorrie Moore is a wonderful writer, but this book is really heavy and depressing and the short story format wasn't working for me.



I felt the same way. Lorrie Moore is one of my favorite writers (I adore a little book of hers called "Anagrams" that never seemed to get much attention), but I wasn't able to read "Birds" all the way through.

I do think that the last story in that collection, "People Like That Are the Only People Here" is a masterful piece of writing -- worth getting to even if you skip over some of the other stories. I've gone back and re-read it a few times in the past couple of years.

Otherwise, I apologize for not having much to contribute to this thread -- although I love following the book threads, the kind of stuff I've been reading recently are books like "What to Expect the Toddler Years" and "Attachment in Adoption." Not exactly general-interest stuff.

Helene

sushibones
11-20-2003, 12:41 PM
This thread came at just the right time. I just finished reading The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger which was excellent.

It's about a man who time travels back and forth in his own life. He has no control over when or where he goes, and meets his wife when she is a little girl. When they finally meet IRL she has known him for years, but he doesn't know her because he was older and already married to her when he went back in time. It sounds quite improbable, but the story is consistent within the guidelines the author has set up, and it is less about time travel than about the continuing relationship between the man and his wife. A very different, but enjoyable and poignant book.

Lucinda
11-20-2003, 01:01 PM
I'm still plugging through The Life of Pi -- it's not grabbing me as much as I expected. Then Tues night I stopped by the library and impulsively picked up If I live to be 100 It's a collection of interviews with centenarians. One woman, 103, is my hero. She is married to a man 20 years her junior and quite open about the changes in sexuality after the century mark! Another man still works every day, tutoring law students. Another woman lives alone and every day in the summer rows her boat out to the middle of the lake in front of her cottage and skinnydips! It is so fascinating I am zooming through it. I highly recommend it.

krhm
11-20-2003, 02:36 PM
Maybe it's just all the papers I have to grade, but it seems like I haven't been able to finish any books lately. I couldn't get into Life of Pi. DH bought me The Red Hat Club by Haywood Smith, and although I was interested in the characters and the plot, I put it down one night and never picked it back up.

That said, I did finish When the Finch Rises by Jack Riggs, and I highly recommend it. Beautifully written with a poignant storyline.

krispy spo
11-20-2003, 03:40 PM
I finally gave up on The Life of Pi and sent it back to the library. I just couldn't get into it.

However, I couldn't put down The Da Vinci Code and breezed right through it.

I need to pick up a few more books on hold at the library tomorrow and see what's up next.

AndreaU
11-20-2003, 03:44 PM
I'm behind on my James Patterson... I just finished 1st to Die. Great book but I was SOOOOO bummed by the ending. I guess I'll give 2nd Chance a try, though.

I just started Timbit Nation: A Hitchhiker's Guide to Canada by John Stackhouse. He reminds me a lot of Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods) and his humor. I'm enjoying it so far. Since I've only been as fast west in Canada as Thunder Bay, ON, I'm really excited to see what the rest of the country has to offer!

Tarheel YaYa
11-21-2003, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by sushibones
This thread came at just the right time. I just finished reading The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger which was excellent.

Thanks for the review. This book has been on my list for a while now since I first read about it somewhere..... I might have to get a copy this weekend and dive in.

Sushibones. I love your signature line. So true!!

I just finished Lee Smith's "The Last Girls" for my Southern Authors book club. Overall the book earned mixed reviews from the group.

bmonczka
11-21-2003, 03:22 PM
I finally decided to give up on Le Divorce about 30 pages before the end! I couldn't stand it glaring annoyingly at me from my nightstand anymore!

Currently reading The Patron Saint of Liars which is really quite good. The characters and plot are sort of unbelieable but Hey! it's fiction. The author does a great job in developing the scenes and characters to make the plot more believeable or it least more interesting. It's about a women who finds out she is pregnant and leaves her husband to drive cross-country to a home for unwed mothers to wait out the birth of her baby. I'm hoping to finish it up on the plane next Wednesday to Arizona. Just in case I do, I'm bringing Mother of Pearl which I found in hardcover on the bargain table at Border's for $4.95 (I hope that's not a sign! It was an Oprah choice year's ago and up until Steinbeck I really enjoyed her picks.)

Kayaksoup
11-26-2003, 09:02 AM
I don't often post to this thread, because I just don't read enough anymore, but i managed to spend the last couple days devouring Sarum by Edward Rutherford. It follows the city of Salisbury in England for 6,000 years. I enjoyed the story, but I figure about 200 of the 1032 pages were wasted on useless historical facts that had me skimmimg in frustration.
I wonder if anyway has any reccomendations for books to read next. I like older stuff like Jane Austen, Thackeray etc. And I also love the work of authors like Spider Robinson, William Gibson, Terry Pratchett, etc. Any tips would be appreciated.

stefania4
11-26-2003, 09:05 AM
I just finished The DaVinci Code and loved it! What a page-turner.

Nothing is lined up yet. I may try to get back into the latest Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer. Normally I love her books, but I was having a tough time with this one.

sherri
11-26-2003, 11:00 AM
I just finished Life of Pi and really liked it. I didn't think the story about a boy and a tiger would keep me interested, but I found Pi such an interesting character.
I also finished The Namesake which was a very good book. The conflict between two cultures was interesting.
I am now readingThe Dirty Girl's Social Club[/B,despite the name and I am really liking it thus far. It is about a group of Latino woman that went to college together.
As for the [B]Prodigal Summer I also had a hard time getting into it, but I ended up just loving the book so keep reading, its worth it!!

kima
11-26-2003, 08:46 PM
I just finished Brick Lane and The Namesake .
I am now reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. The writing is wonderful and I am hooked! This is one of those books where you know from the first page it will be a winner. Has anyone read this?

Just checked out Amazon where it is getting rave reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312422156/qid=1069905542/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/002-1594651-3582412

Krystal
11-27-2003, 01:17 AM
I read Middlesex a few weeks ago and loved it! One of the most interesting books I have ever read.

I just finished reading The Wives of Henry the VIII[/B] by Alice Weir. I flew through the 600 pages and was interested most of the way. There were parts where there was just too much information.

stefania4
11-27-2003, 07:24 AM
What is Middlesex about?

Kayaksoup
11-27-2003, 07:52 AM
Book Description
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driverís license...records my first name simply as Cal."

So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.

badunnin
11-27-2003, 07:59 AM
Originally posted by Kayaksoup
Book Description
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driverís license...records my first name simply as Cal."

So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.


Ooooh! I love books set in Detroit!

Lucinda
11-27-2003, 11:13 AM
I finally finished Life of Pi. I have to admit, I ruined the book by skipping ahead to the end to see if it would grab me more. Now I regret it-- that blunted the power of the ending. It got better, but I never really got into the book, even though I thought it would be right up my alley.:rolleyes: