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  • tamgam
    tamgam Member Posts: 83
    edited April 2010
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    was 100 SPLENDID SUNS about Iraqi or Afghani women and their mistreatment?  If it is the one I am thinking of I loved it and read it at warp speed.  My DH was serving in Iraq when I read it and I found the "culture" as it may be to be very interesting.  I requested he bring me home an authentic burqua but cannot imagine wearing full garb everytime I went out of my house. Ihaven't read Kite Runner but I heard it was not as good as the next one.

  • konakat
    konakat Member Posts: 499
    edited April 2010
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    I just finished You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore -- hilarious!!  Interestingly he's going to be in Ottawa Monday for a talk and book signing.  I'm thinking of going -- it's near one of the universities in town -- I wonder if I will be surrounded by college kids...
  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,928
    edited April 2010
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    be worth a try Smile
  • iodine
    iodine Member Posts: 869
    edited April 2010
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    Will add just one laugh out loud book for now:

    Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love

    Enjoy!

    Dotti

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,928
    edited April 2010
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    I love the Sweet Potato Queens; make sure you try their 'Chocolate Stuff' recipe! Unbelievable, it's as yummy as they say!!!!!

  • dreaming
    dreaming Member Posts: 219
    edited April 2010
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    I love to read, also I collect books, and to read more I have a Kindle, my favorite writers are Ling Yutang, Allan Folsom, Edna Buchanon,and many more that I will add in the future.

    The only type of books I do not read are romance,western,science fiction. Great idea, I belong to several book clubs and is great how diferent people have different opinions.

  • Suzybelle
    Suzybelle Member Posts: 102
    edited April 2010
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    Anything by David Sedaris cracks me up, but "When You are Engulfed in Flames" is my fave.  Also love his sister's (Amy Sedaris) book, "I Like You:  Hospitality Under the Influence."  They are brilliant and insane.  :)

    I'm reading an interesting book right now called "Angelology" by Danielle Trussoni.  It's similar to "The DaVinci Code" only it involves a secret race of angel/men.  It's pure fantasy, but lots of fun. 

     My favorite book of all time is "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole.  If you haven't read it, please get it!  It's amazing, particularly if you dig offbeat, quirky eccentrics living in New Orleans. 

  • AnneW
    AnneW Member Posts: 612
    edited April 2010
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    I love to see what others are reading. My "TBR" (to be read) list is a mile long. Y'all aren't helping!

    THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak (I think that's the last name) is THE best book I've read in a long, long time. It's billed as a Young Adult selection, but I think not. The story is told in the unique voice of "death" and follows a young girl during Nazi Germany years. It is powerful, touching, and has a bit of wry humor.

    Anne

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,928
    edited April 2010
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    Anne, I agree; THE BOOK THIEF is amazing!!!!

  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
    edited April 2010
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    Wow, how did I miss this thread?  No matter, I found it!

    Several of my favorite recent reads have already been mentioned but I have to add Nevada Barr.  If you like mysteries and the outdoors you'll probably like her books.  She has a whole Anna Pigeon series, each one set in a national park, with Anna as the park ranger.  I love the sense of place I get from each book, and the stories are generally very well written and sometimes a bit gritty.  Best read in order but not necessary.

    Another really excellent mystery writer is Karin Slaughter... however, her books can be a bit graphic and sometimes downright shocking so if you have a weak stomach or don't like to read about man's inhumanity to man, don't read them.  I would cross her off my list except she writes so well.

    More:

    40 Word for Sorrow, Giles Blunt. Mystery. I loved this book.  The title alone grabbed me but a title alone won't keep me reading.  He writes well with some wonderful turns of phrase, very human and often complex, deep characters, a good story line without being too predictable.  In a conversation with his wife, the main character draws out a description of clinical depression that is probably the clearest, best, and most moving I've ever heard   Has some other books as well.

    I like any of Stephen White's books -- again, mysteries (I really do read things other than mysteries!).  There's a long series of Alan Gregory books; the protagonist, Alan, is a therapist, and the books are more along the lines of psychological thrillers... most are very good although a few of them were mediocre to me.  But hey, every book from an author can't be perfect :) 

    Emily's Ghost, Denise Giardina.  This was a decent read that grew on me the more I thought about it.  I assume it was written in the style of some of the Bronte books, or at least that era, but I confess I haven't read many of them so I don't know for sure.  But if you like that style, you'll probably like the way this book was written.  I'm also assuming that it was written as a mix of fact (although I don't know how much fact was in it, only because I haven't done my own research) and fiction.  Although it wasn't spellbinding I found myself picking it up quickly when I had the chance.  It had some tender, sad moments that literally brought tears to my eyes -- something that doesn't happen often.  Overall, I'd recommend it.

    Thanks for all the wonderful ideas, everyone!!  I'll have more soon, I'm sure!

  • lvtwoqlt
    lvtwoqlt Member Posts: 765
    edited April 2010
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    I love the books by Bode and Brock Thoene. They have several series that are Christian romance/historical themes and many of the families flow from one series to the next. The first series is the three book Shiloh Legacy series that chronicles the lives of several men as they return to the US from WWI and the bigotry that they find.

    There is a fill in book Shiloh Autumn that deals with the after effects of Black Friday stock market crash on the families in Shiloh.

    The second series is the Zion Covenant series (9 books) that follows some families through Europe prior to WWII.

    Another fill in book The Twilight of Courage that answers some threads that were left hanging after the covenant series.

    The third series is Zion Chronicles (5 books) that follows the post WWII British Manditate in Israel and ends with Israel becoming a nation.

    The fourth series is the Zion Legacy (6 books) tells of the struggle of the new nation.

    I really enjoyed these series, even though I read them almost backwards. I looked at the copywright dates and read the chronicles first (written first), then the covenant (written 2nd), shiloh (written third), and then the legacy. They had most of them at the library and I have checked them out several times. they are stories that I love reading.

    I haven't started reading their newest series AD Chronicles. I am still waiting on them at the library.

    Sheila

  • crazy4carrots
    crazy4carrots Member Posts: 624
    edited April 2010
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    I just heard last week that PBS is cancelling Bill Moyers' JournalCry.  I'm currently reading Moyers on Democracy (2008) and I'm so very impressed by the depth of his knowledge of history.  The book is essentially a series of writings and speeches given over the past several years.  An especially poignant speech was one given in 2006 to the USMC - subject - The Meaning of Freedom.

    Any fans of Mr. Moyers will surely enjoy this book!

  • dreaming
    dreaming Member Posts: 219
    edited May 2010
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    Love  Lisa See, I recommend Ling Yutang ,his novels and essays are fantastic, also Gao Xingjian,and oldies like Robert Elegant,and James Clavell

  • WellWater
    WellWater Member Posts: 4,524
    edited May 2010
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    Elizabeth...thank you for this thread.  I now have a list to chose from....whoopee.

    My suggestions:

    "Those Who Save Us"....by Jenna Blum - A professor of German history begins an investigation into the past and uncovers the heartbreaking truth of her mother's life in Germany during WWII.  It is an excellent read, one of those "hard to put down" books.

    "The Romanov Bride", "The Kitchen Boy", "Rasputin's Daughter"....by Robert Alexander - If you have an interest in the story of the last of the Romanov's (Tsar Nicholas & Alexendra) during the Russian revolution, then these books will delight you.  They are fact-based fiction written by someone who has done excellent research.  Each book is narrated by different characters, therefore you get a sense of what transpired told from different points of view.

    Audio Books - when I commuted to work, I listened to a vast array of books (on cd) and still have my favorites.  If you are commuting, taking any road trips or just enjoy being "read to" then I have a few suggestions.  Most books are read by actors/actresses of stage and screen - some are read by the author which is NOT always the best idea except when the author has a true talent.

    Sue Grafton's alphabet series #A is for Alibi, etc) read by Judy Kaye.  This series revolves around Kinsey Milhone, private eye, and is written with a good sense of humor.  Judy Kaye does a wonderful job of narrating these books.

    James Lee Burke's books read by Will Patton.  Murder mysteries which take place in Louisiana - Will Patton's Cajun accent send chills down my spine.  I think I could listen to this man read the phone book. 

    Hosseini who reads his own books The Kite Runner and 1000 Splendid Suns.  Listening to his pronounciation of Afghani proper names with his lilting accent was engrossing and made the books all the more enjoyable.

    MOST FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME - READ, LISTENED TO AND WATCHED MOVIE VERSION:  Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King.

    I look forward to watching the thread grow with recommendations!

  • jelson
    jelson Member Posts: 622
    edited May 2010
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    knowing how frustrating it is to go to the library and find that the new book you want is already checked out, I would like to share some older books, that might not be in such high demand:

    Lorna Landvik - from Minnesota! real people struggling with what life has dealt them, turn out all right in the end. Really good on women supporting each other. All different, not a series 8 books so far.

    Bruce Alexander - an eleven book mystery series about Sir John Fielding the blind Bow Street Magistrate as written by his adopted son and former assistant, Jeremy. You are immersed in the smells and sounds of 18th C London and all of the characters are totally engrossing.  

    Thomas Perry - not the guy who wrote Silence of the Lambs, this one has many novels and a 6 book mystery series about Jane Whitefield, a college educated Native American from upstate NY who specializing in helping people "disappear". She chooses her cases carefully - sometimes the person she is helping has actually done something illegal, but for whatever reason she deems them worthy of helping find a new life. There is a lot of renting cars, crisscrossing the country, near escapes, nasty people following, using multiple credit cards, many different identities. I would get very anxious when reading how in airport bathrooms she changes identities and clothes, throwing away perfectly good new outfits - obviously I don't think I could be successful - on the run - and obviously I really got into the adventures

    Eliot Pattison- has written six books so far about the adventures of a Chinese investigator, Shan, who, in the first book, escapes from a prison camp in Tibet. He was able to survive the camp by becoming a student of the monks who made up the majority of the prisoners. The books describe modern day Tibet which has been under the control of China for the past 50 years. On the run, Shan and the monks get involved in political and religious intrigues - and in the meantime the reader learns about Tibet.  

    Stephanie Baron - Jane Austen mysteries -ten so far-- so alot about Jane Austen - real and imagined and early 19th C England. 

    I am just starting Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - with a blurb on the cover by Christopher Moore!. I figured, why not start at the beginning, with the prequel, not realizing that Dawn of the Dreadfuls is written by Steve Hockensmith, while Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is written by Seth Grahame-Smith. Perhaps I will write a critique for you guys, constrasting the difference approaches taken by the two authors to the task of inserting zombies into the writings of Jane Austen. 

  • tamgam
    tamgam Member Posts: 83
    edited May 2010
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     I throughly enjoyed 1000 SPLENDID SUNS. Read it last year when my DH was deployed to Iraq.  Found the culture so absurd it's hard to believe it is not a fictional culture.  Haven't caught up on all the posts, but I just finished THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL. 

    I really enjoyed it.  Another book of fiction based on historical events.  First of this genre I have read but I really liked it.  I also like Nelson DeMille.  Medal of honor was a good read.  Like THE HELP which many of you recommended.

    Keep the lists coming I am loving exploring new books I may never have read.

  • goodvibesonly
    goodvibesonly Member Posts: 99
    edited May 2010
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    Thanks for having this topic. I love reading about books that other enjoy.  Just started a book club last fall and it is awesome.  We have read many of the books that are posted here. I will be posting and checking this site often.  Thanks!

    Jean

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,928
    edited May 2010
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    Jean, how does your Book Club work? I've been in the same Book Club for 11 years. The hostess makes a wonderful dessert & picks the next book. It has been great fun and gotten me to read tons of books that I would never have even considered. I also liked 'The Other Boleyn Girl", a good read and very historically accurate.

  • tamgam
    tamgam Member Posts: 83
    edited May 2010
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    My DH complains that I read too much.  I am trying to cut back for the sake of my marriage! LOL I can't hold out much longer so I need a really good book that will be worth the tongue lashing that will come soon after I start reading again.  Any suggestions for a "can't put down" book. Like many genres but not fantasy or too sappy love stories.  HELP ladies!

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,928
    edited May 2010
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    The Book Thief is tremendous.
  • LisaSDCA
    LisaSDCA Member Posts: 178
    edited May 2010
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    A Soldier of the Great War is worth the tongue-lashing, it's satisfyingly big.

    Lisa

    In summer 1964, a distinguished-looking gentleman in his seventies dismounts on principle from a streetcar that was to carry him from Rome to a distant village, instead accompanying on foot a boy denied a fare. As they walk, he tells the boy the story of his life. A young aesthete from a privileged Roman family, Alesandro Giuliani found his charmed existence shattered by the coming of World War I. The war led to an onerous tour of duty, inadvertent desertion, near-execution, forced labor, service high in the Italian Alps that took advantage of his (and Helprin's) skill at mountain climbing, capture by the enemy, and return home, dispossessed of most of his friends and family. Along the way, he gains, loses, and eventually rediscovers love. This rousingly good story of survival is all the more remarkable in the telling. The language is rich without cloying, complex yet luminous in Helprin's best style. In a number of thoughtful philosophical passages as engaging as any adventure story, Alesandro struggles to reconcile his appreciation of beauty and his religious faith with the horror around him. That he finally persuades us to believe in a "God without any hope, in a God of splendor and terror" is testimony to the indomitable human spirit. Highly recommended. "Library Journal"
    Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

  • CathyM
    CathyM Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2010
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    Have you read The White Queen?  If so, is it good?  I have it in paperback and wondered if I should start that book or something else  Thanks Smile
  • caltex_catlady
    caltex_catlady Member Posts: 8
    edited May 2010
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    Jelson, I recently listened to the audiobook versions of both of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies books and loved them both.

    Karen

  • msmpatty
    msmpatty Member Posts: 35
    edited May 2010
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    Thanks to those who recommended the The Book Thief.  I'm reading it now.  Love it!   

    Tamgam - I think you are thinking of Nine Parts of Desire...about the treatment of Islamic women. Excellent book!

    Patty

  • Stanzie
    Stanzie Member Posts: 1,611
    edited May 2010
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    Wonderful thread! I was always a slow reader in school and never liked it much. In the last 10 years I now go through books like crazy and am always desperate to find more to read.

    I love the Elizabeth George series but I do agree Killing off Helen was just awful and the book afterwards was painful and tedious to get through but I'm still sticking with it. 

    I too love all the books about Nicholas and Alexandra and that time in Russia so thanks for those recommendations. 

    While recovering from surgery I decided to read Gone with The Wind as I had seen the movie many times but never read the book and loved it. 

    You all have listed so many of my favorites - I agree don't discount young adult books as there are some amazing ones like Neverwhere  Can't think of the author at the moment. 

    I also loved The Kabul Beauty School . 

    Also read Katherine Hepburn's book ME and it was wonderful and very uplifting as she talks about how lucky she is. I also love Steven King, Dan Brown, the books by the author who wrote Wicked.

     Will have to go back and look up names and authors. Thanks so much I'm happy to find out about more books and love that some are older as the wait lists on the library get long. 

  • ginadmc
    ginadmc Member Posts: 183
    edited May 2010
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    So happy I found this thread, am always looking for something good to read!

    ruthbru and konakat - some of my favorites are on your lists! The Book Thief, Pope Joan, The Help, anything by Lisa See etc.

    I'd like to add a few:

    Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay - if you liked Suite Francaise, you'll like this one.

    Moloka'i - Alan Brennert - set in leper colony in Hawaii, 1890's

    The Cotton Queen - Pamela Morsi - mother/daughter relationship

    Life's a Beach - Claire Cook - sister/family relationship, quick, light read

    Blame - Michele Huneven - alcoholic professor accident and recovery

    Thanks for all the good recommendations! Gina

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,928
    edited May 2010
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    Moloka'i is a true story, which makes it even more interesting. Yikes......so many good recommendations that I don't know where to start!!

  • AuroraL
    AuroraL Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2010
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    Another fan of The Book Thief here!  When I first picked it up I thought "oh no, not another WWII novel"  but boy was it tremendous.

     Just finished The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.  It was fabulous, but it takes some work because it's not as easy a read as The Poisonwood Bible or some of her others.  But the end really pays off.

    Currently reading Fathers and Sons by Turgenev.  mmmm, love the russian lit!

  • Neece
    Neece Member Posts: 18
    edited May 2010
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    I too loved Nine Parts of Desire - Aussie author! She was the foreign correspondent in Middle East for many years and through that met and talked with many Muslim women about their lives. A good book because it doesn't slam Islam - just discusses some of the cultural restrictions that have been placed on some Muslim women over the centuries - I found it fascinating.

  • Finewine44
    Finewine44 Member Posts: 2
    edited May 2010
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    Love this thread. If you like murder mysteries check out www.stopyourekillingme.com website. I'm an equal opportunity book lover and now thanks to this thread have another list to take to my library. Am currently reading Jodi Picoult and just finished The Lightening Thief. Happy Reading.