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Topic: Book Lovers Club

Forum: Life After Breast Cancer —

Managing life after a breast cancer diagnosis, including rediscovering intimacy, coping with fear of recurrence, reconnecting relationships, sharing hobbies and interests, and finding inspiration in daily life.

Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 05:04PM

konakat wrote:

I've been receiving marvelous book suggestions on another thread and it was recommended that I start a Book Lovers thread.  This is not for BC or health books -- this is pure escapism!!!  I've collated the suggestions (with snippets describing the plots) I've received thus far.  Please post your recommendations too!!

Elizabeth's Mantra: When in doubt, eat cake. When you haven't a clue, add ice cream. Elizabeth's Mets: Liver, bones, brain (yuck), and lungs (more yuck). Dx 5/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 13/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 5, 2020 11:42PM magiclight wrote:

Minus: I agree, my reading of books and journals is way down, but have reread several from my library in-between my foray's into comedy specials, puzzle making and closet cleaning.

Ibram Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. As usual Kendri's books are a bit academic, by which I mean literate, but a good read for those interested in American history from a black perspective. Another one of his is How to be an Antiracist. This last one I read non sequentially, for topics that spoke to me.

For lighter reading, I'm waiting for Louise Penny's latest Inspector Gamache book and reading some earlier ones again.

Surgery 4/27/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1 Surgery
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Jun 6, 2020 12:28AM kathindc wrote:

MinusTwo, if you enjoyed Beartown, I highly recommend you read his follow up book to that, Us Against You. I have read all of his books and have enjoyed every single one of them.

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Jun 6, 2020 06:56PM MinusTwo wrote:

Thanks Kathy - I'll look up Us Against You.

And Magic Light - I wish I had the old Louise Penny books. Most of them I borrowed from the library. I finally ordered the first one last month to jump start a collection, but I can never find them in used bookstores. I guess everyone is keeping them on their shelves.

A friend invested in a hardback of American Dirt. He finished last week & brought it down today for me to borrow. That will have to go in front of the Harlan Coben that I'd marked. And speaking of Harlan Coben, I liked The Woods.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Jun 6, 2020 07:58PM magiclight wrote:

Minus: most of my Louise Penny are on my tablet, so easy to access. American dirt was a thought provoking read, difficult at times due to the times. I think there is a Harlan Coben series on TV, but can't remember which one.

Surgery 4/27/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1 Surgery
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Jun 7, 2020 01:17PM ruthbru wrote:

I am still on my Revolutionary War reading kick. At present I am reading Rush by Stephen Fried.
Benjamin Rush was quite an amazing Founding Father. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a civic leader in Philadelphia (he is buried near Benjamin Franklin & I visited their graves last fall when I was in Philadelphia). He was physician, politician, social reformer, humanitarian, educator, and the founder of Dickinson College. He served as Surgeon General of the Continental Army where he urged Washington to inoculate the entire army against smallpox (that act kept the army in the field & probably helped win the Revolution as much as anything). He built the medical system that our military still uses & was the first to suggest the short haircuts (to prevent lice) they still wear. He opposed slavery, advocated free public schools, and sought improved education for women and a more enlightened penal system. The American Psychiatric Association recognizes Rush as the "father of American psychiatry" because he was the first to recognize and treat 'lunacy' (as they called it) as a mental disorder, not a character defect or punishment from the Almighty. Along with all this, he kept almost every letter he ever wrote or received, kept a very gossipy journal about the goings on of the high and mighty, sometimes talked or acted before he thought things through, and had an interesting personal life.
After Rush, I 'have to' read a fiction because my Book Club is back in action after two months apart & a Zoom meeting. Thank Goodness!

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 7, 2020 05:14PM MinusTwo wrote:

Ruth - Benjamin Rush is someone I've never even heard of. Or rather someone who didn't stick in my brain. Sounds interesting.

Just finished American Dirt. I had to refresh my understanding of why all the book tours were cancelled in January. Apparently there was even concern for the author's safety. (See notes in italics below.) I found it an engrossing read. Even if there are some inaccuracies (and remember - this is fiction), it compellingly draws our attention to things we need to know about.

From the back cover - Ann Patchett: "...is both a moral compass and a riveting read." Sandra Cisneros: "...this is the international story of our times." Stephen King: "A perfect balancing act with terror on one side and love on the other. I defy anyone to read the first seven pages and not finish it." John Grisham: "...It is rich with authenticity. It's journey is a testament to the power of fear and hope and belief that there are more good people than bad."

From various news sites - "...Jeanine Cummins spent five years of her life writing this book with the intent to shine a spotlight on tragedies facing immigrants," said Bob Miller, president and publisher of Flatiron Books, in a statement on Wednesday. "We are saddened that a work of fiction that was well-intentioned has led to such vitriolic rancor."

...The book's critics argue that Cummins exploits the suffering of Mexican immigrants and resorts to stereotypes....

...critics have ... questioned whether Cummins was the right person to tell that story...

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Jun 7, 2020 06:27PM ruthbru wrote:

I didn't know about Benjamin Rush either but when we were at Christ Church Burial Ground to pay our respects to Benjamin Franklin, we learned that four other signers of The Declaration of Independence were also there. On Rush's tombstone, among his other accomplishments , it noted that he was the "Father of American Psychiatry", which I found intriguing; so when I came across this book about him, I snapped it up. Here's his tomb.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 8, 2020 10:07AM magiclight wrote:

Minus...I too found American Dirt compelling and hope it leads to other stories told, next time, by people whose lives reflect their stories.

Surgery 4/27/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1 Surgery
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Jun 8, 2020 08:06PM JCSLibrarian wrote:

I also enjoyed the story in American Dirt. There are other works written by Mexican American authors that are just as compelling. I finished reading The Lincoln Conspiracy by Brad Metzler. Interesting account of the first attempt to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. People really hated him and also could not recognize him face to face. I also enjoyed Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles.It is a historical fiction taking place in Texas at the end of the Civil War. Kind of a Cold Mountain knock off, but well written.

I am currently working on a cross stitch project and listening to Race for Profit about the real estate and lending difficulties of African Americans. I know so little about how one hand gives money and the other hand prevents it from being used. Lots of fingers in the pie!

Dx 11/5/2018, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/20/2018 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 3/22/2019 Surgery 7/16/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/12/2019 External
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Jun 17, 2020 06:39PM ruthbru wrote:

Awesome coffee cup!

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 17, 2020 11:22PM voraciousreader wrote:

ruth! Awesome cup! My only fear is, with so many libraries closed and so many people are turning to electronic books...kids will grow up not recognizing bookshelves with beautifully displayed books....

My library just started curbside pickups and are now allowing us to return outstanding books. I just returned The Splendid and the Vile. I felt terrible looking at the book all these months....i soooo wanted to return it so the next patron could get their hands on it and have the pleasure of reading it.


the one thing I hope for once the library reopens is that they will continue their Zoom lectures. Sometimes, I have to jump hurdles and break my back to get to lectures. Watching from other locations via zoom, or watching at a future date a recorded lecture is spoiling me! That said, I pine for those days that my pals and I can attend lectures and then, afterwards, enjoy lunch. VR is not the most social animal...but after so many months of lockdown, getting out and seeing familiar faces, and not on a screen, sounds so refreshing!


stay well dear fellow book lovers

Doctor told me regarding my prognosis that I WASN'T on the Titanic! Hmmm...Really?....Okay! 02/2010 Pure Mucinous Breast Cancer, Oncotype DX 15, Stage 1, Grade 1, 1.8 cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+ 90% /PR+ 70% HER2- (+1)
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Jun 18, 2020 09:14AM JCSLibrarian wrote:

VR - My library is opening for returns and pick up of holds that were on the shelves when they closed. Buildings are not yet open to the public. When ebooks first came out, I thought they were awful. As my cataracts got worse, ebooks became the only way I could read. Now I go back and forth depending on which version is available first. I am lucky enough to live only two blocks from a library branch, so stopping by there is no problem.
I am currently reading Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong. The book deals with her life growing up Asian in California. She is a poet and uses language beautifully to show how racism effects people. The book is powerful.

Dx 11/5/2018, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/20/2018 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 3/22/2019 Surgery 7/16/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/12/2019 External
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Jun 18, 2020 09:31AM magiclight wrote:

Irvin D. Yaloms "The Schopenhauer Cure" is not your usual novel. First, Yalom is an existential psychiatrist in real life. In this book his main character is a therapist diagnosed with a life threatening disease who turns to a patient of his from decades earlier, who is also now a therapist. Both journey together in therapy to explore mortality through the philosopher Schopenhauer's ideas. Definitely a book for when one is feeling introspective.

Surgery 4/27/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1 Surgery
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Jun 19, 2020 01:08AM - edited Jun 19, 2020 01:10AM by voraciousreader

yesterday, I picked up from my library a book that I put on reserve before the lockdown. I was really looking forward to reading it. So, I read it in a day. Meghan Daum's The Problem With Everything. A few years ago, I read one of her other books, Selfish, Shallow and Self Absorbed and still think about it. Doesn't hurt that Geoff Dyer contributed to it as well. So, I dove into reading her new book and just came up for air. All I will say is it is a very timely written book.I think she is brave for recognizing in herself her changing perspective of the culture wars. I am sure that in the months since its publication, she could probably add a dozen new chapters. I wonder if her sentiments on the.topics she wrote about are now stronger. Perhaps I will reach out to her and ask...

Doctor told me regarding my prognosis that I WASN'T on the Titanic! Hmmm...Really?....Okay! 02/2010 Pure Mucinous Breast Cancer, Oncotype DX 15, Stage 1, Grade 1, 1.8 cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+ 90% /PR+ 70% HER2- (+1)
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Jun 28, 2020 10:32AM ruthbru wrote:

I actually have a fiction to recommend, Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. It goes back and forth in time between 1958 Cuba during the revolution, and 2017 when a granddaughter of one of the refugees who fled Cuba during that time returns to scatter her grandmother's ashes in her beloved homeland. It involves two love stories and lots of history. I've always been fascinated by Cuba so enjoyed the book.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 14, 2020 02:07PM MinusTwo wrote:

I think this is the quietest this thread has ever been. Funny - I thought I'd have lots of time to just sit and read while we're hanging around home. I'm reading less than ever in my life. And the last several books were just chick-lit that a friend loaned me (think Barbara Delinsky & Sandra Brown). Not something I normally read. I forged through because I wanted to return them.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Jul 14, 2020 02:28PM magiclight wrote:

If you like character driven novels, then I recommend Abi Dare's The girl with the louding voice. I began this book yesterday and am compelled to follow the 14 year old Adunni's life in Legos. She is to become the 3rd wife of a much older man in a country where women have essentially no rights. The bravely of this young girl as she works to own her truth and humanity with bravery and humor. Adunni's story is told mostly without verbs or pronouns, but after the first chapter my brain adjusted and perhaps filled them in as I so often do when finding faces in physical objects a phenomenon known as pareidolia.

Surgery 4/27/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1 Surgery
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Jul 14, 2020 04:21PM JCSLibrarian wrote:

https://www.hnoc.org/publications/first-draft/lost-friends-ads-reveal-heartbreak-family-separation-during-slavery

I thought I had submitted a book on this thread, but seems I only thought about doing it. The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate was a wonderful read. The author also wrote the book about illegal adoptions in Tennessee, Before We Were Yours. The new title deals with a group of slaves after the Civil War and how they discover a newspaper where other slaves place ads to find lost family members. There is a connected story of a teacher in current times using histories of people from the same community to encourage her students. The newspaper is a real item that was published by the Methodists in 1860-1920’s. Above is a link to more information. While the author’s writing style is a bit sappy, it is fascinating to find out true information about this paper.

I have also been reading numerous nonfiction books on our current problemswith systemic racism. Again, I am learning much that can make you wonder and think about why there are problems of our own making in the world. There is no need of a political discussion on this thread, but it is easy to make assumptions without knowledge. When I was diagnosed, I made it my goal to learn as much as possible about breast cancer so I could be an informed patient. I feel the same about issues facing our society.

I will always do more reading! South Carolina is into our really hot summer and is a Covid-19 hotspot the fun never ends!


Dx 11/5/2018, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/20/2018 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 3/22/2019 Surgery 7/16/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/12/2019 External
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Jul 14, 2020 09:11PM ruthbru wrote:

Here's one I recommend: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is a love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. It's told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth. Once I started, I couldn't put it down.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2020 01:09AM voraciousreader wrote:

raced through Faster by Neal Bascomb. All about car racing in Europe during the early part of the last century through 1938. The Nazis play a significant role in the book. Knew nothing about cars or racing. Now VR knows a little bit about both....


then...it was on to reading about French cuisine...Bill Buford’s Dirt. Great book.

And now....you won’t be hearing from VR for awhile...started Andrew Robert’s 1000 page Churchill book, Walking with Destiny. One hundred pages into the book. Excellent. Learning about his childhood. Much of what I thought I knew was wrong. Roberts is an excellent biographer. He doesn’t take Churchill at his word. He goes in deep and looks at documents to support what Churchill has had to say about himself in his memoirs. Sorry to say...Roberts is more accurate about Churchill’s life than Churchill....Fascinating

Doctor told me regarding my prognosis that I WASN'T on the Titanic! Hmmm...Really?....Okay! 02/2010 Pure Mucinous Breast Cancer, Oncotype DX 15, Stage 1, Grade 1, 1.8 cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+ 90% /PR+ 70% HER2- (+1)
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Jul 15, 2020 12:54PM ruthbru wrote:

Yum, VR, I will have to check that one out!

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 21, 2020 01:59PM pat01 wrote:

I've been reading more lately, just not posting here, a nice mix of fiction mostly with a few non fiction thrown in. Just finished Summer of 69 by Elin Hilderbrand - believe it or not my first book by her. A lovely summer read, with a little love story, a little drama, and a look back on how simple yet complicated life was back in the 60's.

Dx 6/1/2011, DCIS/IDC, Right, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 21, 2020 02:35PM moth wrote:

Hi, I'm new to this thread. I'm binging old cozy mysteries, specifically Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver books. Some are set interwar, some during and after ww2. I like the time period and the glimpses into life, including rationing and shortages as England coped with the situations. Miss Silver is very comforting. The author returns quite frequently to themes of family responsibilities and what we'd call nowadays "toxic" relatives which I also find interesting. Plus ça change....

Feb 2020 - Stage IV, mets to lung, liver, mediastinal lymph. Dx at 50 in Dec 2017; Left, IDC, 1.7 cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, TNBC Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab)
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Jul 21, 2020 04:41PM MinusTwo wrote:

Welcome Moth. I'll be putting Wentworth on my list.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Aug 1, 2020 08:50AM pat01 wrote:

Just finished The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild. What a great book - set in London, a little romance, suspense, intrigue, and history, all about the art world which I know nothing about. I read it over several days, and was so eager to pick it up and see what the characters were up to now. Kind of disappointed when I finished, as I want to still be in their lives! Makes me want to go to an art museum (someday!) and look at paintings with new appreciation.

Dx 6/1/2011, DCIS/IDC, Right, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Aug 2, 2020 09:16AM - edited Aug 2, 2020 02:52PM by magiclight

This Post was deleted by magiclight.
Surgery 4/27/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1 Surgery
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Aug 2, 2020 11:20AM ruthbru wrote:

Since I last checked in, I have a couple of historical fiction (which I didn't like because I know too much about the real people in them), Mary Trump's book (a sad story of an extremely dysfunctional family), and am skimming through The Gown (which I read before and liked) as it is my Book Club's choice for this month.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 2, 2020 08:06PM dancermom wrote:

Our bookclub just read A Plot Against America by Philip Roth. An alternate history where Franklin Roosevelt was not elected to a third term. Instead Charles Lindbergh became president. I found it thought provoking and riveting

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22 hours ago - edited 22 hours ago by magiclight

Just finished Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents by Margaret Kimberly. This books takes away the racial blinders worn to often by many writers of American history. America has a complicated history filled to this day with the vicious treatment of black people. I'm learning, little by little, of a history that has not been taught in school nor written in history books. Reading this along with How to be an Antiracist, gives me pause to think of the blinders I wear.



Surgery 4/27/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1 Surgery

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