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  • iodine
    iodine Member Posts: 869
    edited June 2010
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    The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love: A Novel by Joan A. Medlicott

    This is a delightful series of ladies of a certain age in a boarding house and miserable.  One inherits a home and they decide to live together.  It's funny, and touching without making the reader sad enough to cry or have bad dreams as some of the other "good" lit. books have done for me. 

    I read for entertainment and escape.  Other than travel books, I have seen enough saddness and pain in the lives of those for whom I've given care, I just don't want any more in my retirement.  The Kite Runner was the last "good lit." book I've read and had nightmares for weeks.  Now Ken Follet's "Pillars of the Earth" was a fine read, as was Grapes of Wrath.  Just cannot cope with the ones that tear out one's heart.

  • redsoxfan
    redsoxfan Member Posts: 63
    edited June 2010
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    Hey, Ladies.  Thanks for a very long list of library requests. 

    Since the dx, I've found I have a lot of time in the middle of the night.  Books have saved me from the abyss of dread and fear. The Book Thief, The Middle Place, Olive Kitteredge are among the best.  Currently into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  My second start and worth it.

    To the list I'd like to add The Liar's Club by Mary Karr.  Touching memoir with the voice of the author and the soul and spirit of the young girl who, with her sister, found ways to survive the crazy family they were born into.  Let me know if you like it.

    In preparation for the radiation starting 6/23, I read Songs from a Lead-Lined Room by Suzanne Strempek Shea.  A quiet reflection on her breast cancer and radiation and some ruminations on life.

    Thanks again. God bless us every one.  

  • WellWater
    WellWater Member Posts: 4,524
    edited June 2010
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    Has anyone read The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry?  I had a coupon but not my book list when I ran into Border's the other day.  I'm leaving on vacation next week and would like a "recommend" before I bring the book along.  Thanks, Trina
  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
    edited June 2010
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    althea, East of Eden is my all-time favorite book!  Love it for many reasons.  I, too, am re-reading Motorcycle Maintenance, and you list a bunch of other books I've loved. 

    Kite Runner has a lot of sadness in it but ultimately is about family and love and has a warm ending -- still, anyone gets bad dreams from books, it might be one to avoid.  I also really liked 1000 Splendid Suns, actually more than Kite Runner, I'm not sure it's bad-dream causing material (but I'm having trouble remembering details) but it is sad at points.

    For some reason most books don't bother me at all, I can take quite a bit of darkness (although I often go for lighter books, too) but movies are another story, maybe because they're more visual.  I just can't take movies that have a lot of gratuitous violence/killing or that are really sad. I'm going to watch "Emma" tonight, I've heard a lot of good things about it.

    Love the Miss Julia books!  Light but well-written and fun.  Thanks for the reminder.  It may be time to re-read them!

    I read Liar's Club and remember I liked it but I can't remember anything else about it!  Hate when that happens.  Good excuse to re-read it (although books usually come back to me in the first sentence or two). I loved most of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls -- I think that's been mentioned before. Another crazy-family memoir.

    Here's a fun link: literature map  You type in the name of an author you like, and it gives you a "map" of authors that are similar. The closer they are together on the map, the greater the chance you'll like them (in theory, anyway!).   I haven't tested it enough to know how accurate it is, but it's fun when you're looking for new books and stumped on how to find them (not that we need that with this thread!).

    Cheryl, I have a problem with Jodi Picoult's books, too, although I haven't pinpointed what...she certainly writes well but there's something about the books I just don't like.

    Haven't read The Lace Reader, sorry! I got curious and looked it up and it's getting really good reviews, if that helps any.  And hey, I see you're in Cedar Lake, I'm in the Lafayette area, nice to see another Hoosier! 

    Happy reading, everyone!

  • AnneW
    AnneW Member Posts: 612
    edited June 2010
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    Althea, I had ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE in my hand just the other day! I am going to find it at our used bookstore--I remember absolutely nothing about it from my reading of it in high school!

    CUTTING FOR STONE by Abraham Verghese blew my socks off. He's a surgeon, and I have read his non-fiction stuff. This is fiction, and stunningly poignant.

    I'm a sucker for memoirs. Loved LIAR'S CLUB and THE GLASS CASTLE. Now reading LEAVING FROM COORAIN by Jill Ker Conway, about growing up on an Australian sheep ranch in the 40s.

    Anne

  • msmpatty
    msmpatty Member Posts: 35
    edited June 2010
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    WellWater - I can recommend The Lace Reader.   It's a good mystery with many interesting characters.

    AnneW - I'll second your opinion of Cutting for Stone.  I loved it!

    Patty

  • WellWater
    WellWater Member Posts: 4,524
    edited June 2010
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    Patty.....thanks for the review.  I'll take it with me next week.  The blurbs on the cover and first couple of pages are always raving reviews but then who'd put a stinko review on it?

    NatureGirl......I'll second your comment on Jodi Picoult, I had a hard time slogging through one novel of hers but had co-workers on the waiting list for it.  Anita Shreve is another hit or miss with me.  Nice to meet you too, fellow Hoosier!

    I listened to Kite Runner read by the author (who, by the way, did a magnificent job of narrating) in my car.  I remember sitting on the expressway in traffic as the end was being read......... blowing my nose with tears streaming down my face.  I could feel someone staring at me and I glanced over at the car next to me; a man was looking at me with such intense pity - how could he know that I was listening to this story, he just saw a "damsel in distress".   It was a little embarrassing.

    And let me say it again..........thanks Elizabeth, I LOVE this thread.

  • dreamwriter
    dreamwriter Member Posts: 678
    edited June 2010
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    I donate my used (new condition) books to the hospital... they lend them out for people on long stays that need something to read.

  • crusader1
    crusader1 Member Posts: 114
    edited June 2010
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    Hi ladies,

    Just found this thread. I have read and enjoyed many of the books you have mentioned her. Konakat..you and I seem to have very similar taste in books.

    I would recommend Sarah's Key..

    Keep this list up.

    Hugs,

    Francine

  • caltex_catlady
    caltex_catlady Member Posts: 8
    edited June 2010
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    About e-book readers: I have a Sony Reader Pocket Edition and really like it. The reason I chose it over the Kindle, etc., is that I can access public library e-books with it. Checkouts and downloads are easy through my library's OverDrive subscription. You get three weeks (like a print book checkout) then it expires--you don't have to remember to "return" the e-book.

    I can also copy over anything in PDF format. For example, when we traveled overseas last fall, I put a copy of my new camera's instruction manual on there in case I needed it. I didn't want to have to lug a paper copy around.

    Karen

  • AnneW
    AnneW Member Posts: 612
    edited June 2010
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    Karen, thanks for the info about the Sony pocket reader. I'll be getting a Sony or a Kindle for Xmas, and I just can't decide yet...Anyone else with pros/cons of either system?

    Anne

  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
    edited June 2010
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    I don't have pros/cons about e-book readers... but I'll confuse things by adding a new one to the mix:  Nook, by Barnes and Noble.  Just saw it today and I liked it.  On sale right now, too.  I have no idea how it compares to the others but I liked the touch screen at the bottom.  I liked the size, too, I don't think the screen was smaller than, say, Kindle, but overall it seemed more compact.  Public library book accessible.  Anyway, something else to look at if you like!

    Edited to add:  I've been looking a little on-line and here's what may be a determining factor for some people:  each brand allows you to download only certain formats of books. I think what this means is that Amazon provides to Kindle, B&N to Nook, etc.  Of course some formats are more universal (PDF's, jpg, mp3, txt, etc.), but for buying popular books, it doesn't sound like you can download from where ever you like. 

    If you look at e-readers in the same price range, otherwise it seems many of the specs are the same or close.

    Feel free to dispute my information; like I said, this is from some fairly quick research. 

    Edited again to add:  if you're like me and get most of your books from the library, check with your library to see how many titles are available... my city library doesn't yet offer ebooks (just audio ebooks) and the county library only offers 467 titles.  Poor selection.  If you mostly buy books, never mind! :)

  • JudyAnnW
    JudyAnnW Member Posts: 9
    edited June 2010
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    Hello -

    This is a great idea.  Since I am a pet sitter by trade, I was thrilled to find a series of books by

    Blaize Clement.  Her first one was "Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter".  Followed by "Duplicity

    Dogged the Dachshund", "Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues" and "Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof."

    They are great mysteries and lots of fun.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,928
    edited June 2010
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    Just for fun, I am rereading the classic Agatha Christie novel, "Ten Little Indians", which now goes under the the politically correct title of "And Then There Were None".

  • MaineCoonKitty
    MaineCoonKitty Member Posts: 9
    edited June 2010
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    I read a lot and also listen to unabridged books on CD during my 1 hr each way daily commute. I love many contemporary authors - Amy Tan, Marian Zimmer Bradley, Ken Follett, Sue Monk Kidd, Khalid Hosseini.  By far, the best novel I've read in the last year is Water for Elephants by Sue Gruen.  The story sucked me in immediately because of the way it was told - by the same narrator and protagonist -  both as an old man in a nursing home reviewing his own life, and as his young self, as the story unfolds.  I cannot remember when a work of contemporary fiction has touched me as much and remained with me for so long.  I highly recommend it.  BTW - it's being turned into a movie and is supposed to be released this Christmas season.  I can't wait!
  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
    edited June 2010
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    I agree, Water for Elephants is excellent -- way at the top of my list!

    JudyAnn, there are a couple of mystery writers that I've enjoyed that use pets a lot in their books (although not pet sitters) -- if I ever remember their names I'll post!

  • tamgam
    tamgam Member Posts: 83
    edited June 2010
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    I too enjoyed Water for Elephants.  Anyone read anything else by the same author?  I tend to find an author I like and read several of their books simultaneously.  I am currently reading Anna Karenina. It is rather long but not bad. I have yet to tackle War and Peace. (maybe never!)

    Need a good beach book now!

  • Jenniferz
    Jenniferz Member Posts: 25
    edited June 2010
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    Hope I'm not intruding, but I thought i'd throw this one out. I just finished "The Servants' Quarters" by Lynn Freed. It's about Jewish family, but mostly concentrates on the young woman, and is set post WWII. It's sort of a "Beauty and the Beasty" type story as the young girl is asked to help with this veteran's "nephew" in the begining, and then it becomes even MORE interesting.



    Anyway, it's a fast read.



    Jennifer

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,928
    edited June 2010
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    You can not intrude; this is for everyone who loves books! Smile Right now I am juggling between two great reads, and my Agatha Christie...will report on the two great reads when I'm done. So many books, so little time!
  • ginadmc
    ginadmc Member Posts: 183
    edited June 2010
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    I really enjoyed Water for Elephants, too! At first, I didn't think I would like it but I had 2 good book recommenders tell me to read it and I'm glad I did. I recently finished "The Girl with no Shadow" by Joanne Harris. It's the sequel to "Chocolat". The writing was beautiful but there were some dark elements and of course, the chocolate. I also recently finished "The Art of Racing in the Rain". It's a great book, especially if you are a dog lover and ever wondered what your dog was thinking.

    I'm now reading "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield. So far, I like it.

    Have a good weekend. Gina

  • Jenniferz
    Jenniferz Member Posts: 25
    edited June 2010
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    Oh, my---I can't think of the author, but if you like dogs, then read "Dog On It!". It's a dog's perspective of his detective-owner and how the dog "helps" him.The narrator is the dog. Hilarious!! If I can find my list, I'll edit in a bit, and let you know the author. This book was a lark!



    Jennifer

  • Fitztwins
    Fitztwins Member Posts: 144
    edited June 2010
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    Just to add, I just finished The Help and loved it!

    I must add The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

    Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are abou...t her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood-the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers-Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah-the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's society

  • MaineCoonKitty
    MaineCoonKitty Member Posts: 9
    edited June 2010
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    I also loved The Red Tent.  Great story and very well written.
  • Sierra
    Sierra Member Posts: 180
    edited June 2010
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    Try:

    The Book of Awesome

    :)) Sierra

  • ebann
    ebann Member Posts: 1,474
    edited June 2010
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    Book of Awesome is by: Neil Pasricha

    Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by: Spencer Quinn

  • NatureGrrl
    NatureGrrl Member Posts: 681
    edited June 2010
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    If anyone is interested, when I was in line a the grocery I noticed the July issue of "O" has a list of "26 books you'll love" -- I've like many (although not all) of her suggestions in the past so I figured it would be $4.50 well spent. I rarely buy magazines but I grabbed that one.  It was the last coipy so I didn't want to check the website first and then go back and buy it. 

    Of course, it's also on her website, which I found out this morning Undecided 

    http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Summer-Reading-List-Summer-Books

    Happy reading!

  • suemed8749
    suemed8749 Member Posts: 210
    edited June 2010
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    Just finished The Passage - very engrossing, although a lot is ripped off from The Stand. If you want to spend some time in a post-Apocalyptic world of a small group of humans battling to survive the vampirelike creatures unleashed by the U.S. Army, I recommend it.

  • grdnslve
    grdnslve Member Posts: 42
    edited June 2010
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    part of my coping mechanism during treatment has been getting lost in austin land....re-reading all her books and watching the movies.  but i noticed on amazon there are several authors who have done sequels to pride and predjudice...and am wondering if anyone out there has read any & what thoughts regarding which are worth reading?

    the only author i could add would be cindy mcormick martinusin.  other favorites have been mentioned already.

  • Jenniferz
    Jenniferz Member Posts: 25
    edited July 2010
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    I finished John Grisham's "the Associate", and it's a very good book if you like Grisham. It sort of left me wanting to know just a liiiiiiiiiiiiiitle bit more, and was left with "but who WAS it, and who did it?". Then, I read "off the Face of the Earth" by Aljean Harmetz. It's about a little boy that runs away, gets kidnapped, and his mother's determination in finding her son and NOT listening to the police. It's really a fast read.



    Happy 4th everyone!!



    Jennifer

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,928
    edited July 2010
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    Here is a good one if you like off beat historical tidbits:

    "Assassination Vacation" by Sarah Vowell

    It's hard to even describe, but the author retraces fascinating and mostly unknown facts about the deaths of presidents Lincoln, Garfield & McKinley. It is profound, poignant and funny too (as I said, hard to describe!).

    One caution, it was published in 2005 and the author is NOT a G.W. Bush fan, so if you are a die hard republican, this will not be the book for you, any other history/satire persons.... check it out!