September 10th, 2008

Jhumpa Lahiri

I just finished reading The Interpreter of Maladies, and I have to say though I really love her books, I didn't really feel like this collection lived up to the same standards of The Namesake and Unaccustomed Earth.

When I started reading The Namesake, I wasn't very into it, but I made myself keep reading because I was convinced the story had to get better and I had nothing else to do. I was right, it blew me away. I was completely drawn in to the family's relationships and Gogol's struggle to find identity. It was beautiful.

Unaccustomed Earth was even better, in my opinion. I did enjoy that The Namesake was a full-length novel, but the connections made in Unaccustomed Earth made up for the separate stories. Once again, the way Lahiri writes issues of family connections and forging your own identity is amazing. Some people consider her repetitive because most of the characters have similar backgrounds, but I prefer to think of it as thematic. By the end of Unaccustomed Earth I was in tears.

Suffice it to say, I expected her first collection to be more than it was. For some reason, it just completely failed to bring on the pathos, and I was just not motivated to love her characters. I think the closest I got was with "This Blessed House," because I could really feel the Sanjeev's seething frustration with his relationship. Anyway, has anyone read these? Thoughts? Know anything similar?

I'm new and this is my short introduction.

Hi I'm Louie. I wouldn't really call myself a bookworm but I'm always ready for a good read. I'm looking forward to any recommendations I can find so I thought this community is just perfect. To give you a background on the books I gravitate towards here is a (short) list of works I absolutely love:

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
--->Love it. Love everything. Devoured every word. I've never read anything like it.
The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis
--->Amazing work. Just amazing.
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
---> I love this book and I've read it over and over...
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
---> Nothing to add here. (Mr. Darcy I love you)
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
---> I remember crying on its pages when I was younger.
Dracula by Bram Stroker
--->I love this book. OMG I love it. Scared the *bleep* out of me. Hence I never finished it but I've had a few (failed) attempts. It gave me nightmares. I will finish this in the future when I'm done being a wuss.

I also love Neil Gaiman. Well thats it. Thanks!
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G'day! Or night.

HI! I like books made into movies and movies adapted from books. If you do too we should definitely be friends. If not, suggest me stuff! Here are some books I like a lot. If you know any that are similar, or some you just love yourself, tell me! I keep a list.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer
Survivor - Chuck Palahniuk
No One Belongs Here More Than You - Miranda July
Thumbsucker - Walter Kirn

Currently I'm reading:
-the Curious Case of Benjamin Button - The movie comes out this Christmas and has Brad Pitt in it (big deal) but is directed by David Fincher (awesome) and the preview looks reminiscent of Big Fish (even more awesome). And also, I found out that the movie was based on the short story written by who? F. Scott Fitzgerald. AWESOME AWESOME.
-Lord of the Flies - I haven't seen the movie yet, but I am re-subscribing to Netflix soon...
-New Moon - Dammit. I blame it all on Robert Pattinson being in the movie. Still, it wasn't half bad to imagine I was Bella and he was Edward while I read it. The 14 year old inside me lives!

I'll post again when I finish something or other! Or when I find out about a new book to film transition. :]
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    MGMT - Time To Pretend

Not an into post :)

Okay, I have a few things to say. Firstly… is anyone else Mitch Albom obsessed? I can’t get enough of his books. I just find them so inspiring, and a good read. Sure, you could probably finish them in a few hours, but all the more reason to read them over and over again. As far as I have read he isn’t coming out with any more soon. .. or is he?
*** And also, I read ‘Go ask Alice’ recently. I stumbled across it while cleaning my aunt’s stuff out of an attic, and decided to give it a read. I thought it was amazing, and this girl’s story really astounded me. But when I got to the end, I soon began to doubt that it was in fact a true account. I mean, to me it was just ended too conveniently. I tried to find if it was fake, which I hadn’t suspected until’ the end, but couldn’t find a definitive answer. Some sources say it was a real diary, and others say not. I was just wondering if anyone actually knows more about this, as it’s been bugging me since I finished it.
Oh, and for the record… favorite book to date: The Shining.

The Christmas Wish by Richard Siddoway...and a few others.

The Christmas Wish by Richard Siddoway was a random pick off of my library's shelf. Has anyone else read it? The plot was a real good idea and was the only factor that helped me to push on to the end despite Siddoway's mundane writing. I found he repeated himself way too much and severely lacked detail.

It's too bad, really, because like I said, the plot was incredible. He came through on that. It's just unfortunate that he did not display better writing skills to back up his plot and bring it to life the way he should have.

Some other books I've read this month is Crank by Ellen Hopkins, Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz, and The Dark Half by Stephen King. I'm familiar with Hopkins and King and these books did not fail to deliver! Schwarz is a new author to me, though, and I was really impressed with her book, which was her first. It's about a nurse in 1919 who gets overwhelmed, so she goes back to her hometown to live with her sister for awhile. Her sister winds up drowning in the lake and the book is really an account leading up to how it happened. It's very interesting, especially if you like a little bit of history mixed in with your fiction.



I know that some people are frustrated by the many recent intro posts. I'm not one of them - I think it's nice to see so many new faces here - but I'd like to propose a simple alternative that I hope will make everyone happy.

Here is a totally unofficial member survey. Rather than writing your own intro post and clogging the Flists of people who don't want them clogged, why not leave a comment filling out the survey and adding anything else you want us to know? That way, those who are interested in the new members can read the comments and those who are not can simply skip it. Long-time members would also be more than welcome to fill it out, hence the first question. PLEASE FILL IT OUT HERE, don't start your own post. You can also fill it out if you already wrote an introduction. Ready? Here we go!

1) How long have you been a member of bookish?
2) Where do you live? (No need to be specific - country and state or province is plenty.)
3) How old are you?
4) What's your favorite book of all time? Favorite author?
5) Are there any genres that you love or hate?
6) Do you usually get books from a bookstore, from a library, from friends, online, or some other way?
7) Any book recommendations you're looking for or want to give us right now?
8) Do you interact with books in any way other than reading them? (Write, edit, study, make book art?)
9) Is there anyone that encouraged your love of reading when you were younger? How did they do it?
10) How have your reading tastes changed in the past five years?
11) Anything else you want to tell us so we can get to know you better?

Also, I'd like to remind disenchanted veteran members that it is very easy to take the community off of your "read" list for a brief period of time - go under "friends" and then "filter friends page." If the introductions are really bugging you, and this doesn't work, maybe that would be a good thing to try.
  • haydn

(no subject)

I hesitate to post right now, since chances are this will still get buried under scores of intro posts, but I wanted to know what everyone thought of The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray. I wasn't sure I wanted to read it at first, since it was labeled as "young adult" fiction at my local bookstore (and I'm 25), but I'm so glad I did. I'm a sucker for books like this, and I just finished the third novel. It was fantastic. Definitely something anyone of any age can enjoy in my opinion, as long as you don't mind lush Victorian supernatural romance/drama and/or stories about charm-school girls. I generally have very little patience for heroines in books like this, but Gemma never once annoyed me. The web of her relationships was deeply entertaining, and the supernatural theme kept things fast-paced despite how long each book is. What did you think?

And on that note, would anyone happen to know of any books like this series? Now that I've finished it, I'm hungry for more thrilling Victorian-style drama/romance (that isn't Jane Austen, I'm already familiar with her.) Bonus points if it involves girls (or boys) at some sort of private school, the setting in the GDT was really wonderful. I also enjoyed A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson, if that helps. I also wouldn't mind some recs for fiction novels about ballet or the world of professional ballet. Thanks in advance!

Poison Study

Hey, has anybody read Maria V Snyder's Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study. They don't have all the hype and publicity of a lot of other fantasy novels, but i read them over the summer and they are soooooo good! but i haven't found anybody who's read them.

ALSO. Can anybody think of a famous love pair from a book that rhyms with "Jack and Rose" or "Rose and Jack" I know this sound weird, but i'm really drawing a blank

(no subject)

I would like a recommendation of books from the 60's or 70's about hippies.
I would also like a recommendation abou a good book to do with animals. Thanks book lovers:)
  • devi42

Of dragons and small children...

Last fall, my boyfriend (gallantly) took me to see Robert Munsch. Strangely, it seemed that we were the only child-free couple in attendance. “Maybe we should have borrowed a couple of kids,” I whispered as we waited for the show to start.

“What did you expect?” he whispered back.

I shrugged but, in truth, I was a bit puzzled. Until that moment, the fact that I was 29 and ridding high as a kite at the prospect of hearing Robert Munsch read The Paper Bag Princess hadn’t struck me as at all odd.

The lights dimmed and I waited. In truth, we had paid $33 so I could hear just a handful of words.

"Ronald, your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum."
They didn't get married after all.
Prato verde

Byron's Lover

Hello members of the Bookish community. I've just started reading some of Byron's books. And I do recommend to you all.

To be specific I read Don Giovanni, Aroldo, From Heaven and Earth, Debate on the Frame - Work bill in The House of Lords.

The last one is part of a speech he made in "The House of Lords" to fight against the inustrial politics that wanted at that time, to substitute all the workers with machines.

The political ideals are expressed with so emotions I was completely taken in the speech. Does anybody of you know about any other political speech he made? Or another interesting book he wrote apart from the ones up there?

Hello! Any history buffs in the audience?

Good Afternoon everyone!

I'm looking for a good History book and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations. I'm looking for anything from ancient to 19th Century that is well written!! But anything would be great ;-)

I appreciate any titles that you would be willing to recommend!

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    BOCA (Best of Collegic A Capella)
  • bmw_mkd

movies and books?

theres soo many books that i enjoy reading. and most of them are also movies. like fight club, lord of the flies, and romeo and juliet for example. but not too long ago i watched the movie clockwork orange. and now i want to read the book. is the book better then the actual movie?

Style and Substance by Judith Martin

Title: Style and Substance: A Comedy of Manners

Author: Judith Martin

Published: 1986

First off, I don't make any claim to familiarity with the "comedy of manners" genre, so I can't offer any judgment as to whether this is a successful book of the type. The author, Judith Martin, is also the writer of the Miss Manners newspaper column and books, so the word "manners" in the subtitle helps remind the browser that s/he knows the name from somewhere. It was enough to pique my interest, and I borrowed the book from my library.

First person narration of the novel is by Alice Bard, a newly unemployed tv news anchor, drama whore, and bubblehead. The character isn't very bright, and while I suppose this is supposed to be funny it didn't work for me. Bard is all Watson, and there is no Holmes for counterpoint.

Having lost her job (but with a good chunk of money still coming to her under contract), Alice decides she needs a husband, and somehow this requires her to travel to Greece to convince a widowed childhood friend to move to Washington DC. While in Greece Alice learns of an antiquities show being packaged up for touring U.S. museums, and decides to become involved. She also hooks up with a museum curator who turns out to be exceptionally hot in bed, in a hungry-selfish-passion kinda way.

Will Alice find a cosmetics tycoon to sponsor the art tour? Yes. Will Alice play matchmaker to her friend? Yes. Will Alice fall in and out of bed? Yes. Will Alice find a new career as bubbleheaded popular historian? Yes. Is there a subplot around art smuggling? Yes. Will evil be punished and mediocrity triumph? Yes.

Style and Substance is worth reading. It is a quick and easy read, and Martin knows her way around Washington politics and society, as well as the tv and newspaper business, so the background is always fun.

Not a must-read, but a good way to spend a few hours. Grade: B.


The Scar

At the recommendation of a friend of mine, I picked up "The Scar" by China Miéville, she told me she had throughly enjoyed the book while her boyfriend hated it. I have heard both opinions stated by the few others I know who have read it. I am about half way through it now but I wanted to know, for those of you who have read it, if you enjoyed it or not and why.

Gaming books fluff

Does any one here read tabletop roleplaying/card game/wargaming books?

We have a lot of novel readers, but there must be some gamers in the community and I was pondering what their favourite game fluff would be. Are there any games you play or just by the books for just for the fluff alone?

Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones

This is the one and only YA book I've allotted myself for the year. I chose it because this was the book that inspired Neil Gaiman to write American Gods. I'm really glad that Gaiman did more research than Jones.

The story itself was pleasant and childlike; whimsical if you will. The facts were horrid. Any book that bases itself on mythological characters should get the back stories right. Loki is not a fire god. He never was. LOGI was the personification of fire. LOKI was the mischief god who actually a shapeshifter. He never, ever had any connection to fire. Even just a little research would have illuminated that fact.

I won't go on, though I could. Let's just say it was a nice way to spend an hour or so but I really wouldn't recommend it to any kid that likes mythology. They will get laughed at by other mythological aficionados if they repeat any of the information they get in this book. ;P

Xposted on my book journal: book_goddess73
Einstein and Zippy

(no subject)

A comment I posted earlier got me thinking about this and I was wondering what people had to say.

How much do your parents' reading tastes affect your own?

My dad was a slow reader (but very gifted in math science) and didn't read a book all the way through until as a teenager he picked up a copy of Jaws my grandmother had laying around and found himself hooked. I think that is a very easy example of how parents can influence the reading habits of their children. If your bored and have no money or no way to get anywhere you might just pick up the first book you see.

Being in the education world I know how important it is for parents to read their children and sometimes the taste of the parent is filtered through. My MIL was in school and a single mom when my husband was young so his bedtime stories consisted of textbooks and I'm sure that he enjoyed partially because he could say words that other people didn't know;) My dad I think put more of his reading taste into read-alouds than my mom. He read The Hobbitt to my sister and me while my mom read Little Women and The American Girl books with me.

I've had lots of enjoyable conversations with my dad about the books he loves Lord of the Rings, the Vampire Chronicles, the Witching Hour trilogy, just about anything by Issac Asimov, and now The Wheel of Time books. So much that I can hold decent conversations without really having read them and I do intend to read them all, but The Lord of the Rings and Wheel of Time books (too long and not really my thing). I've discovered lots of books and authors that I like through my mom who likes things with more realism and since she doesn't this obsession with keeping books like my dad and husband do I've gotten alot of books from her and my grandma. My husband makes fun of me because I always come back with bags of books.

Sorry for the ramble and I can cut if people think it's too long.

Reccomendations, please?


I am a big fan of young adult supernatural novels. Not really cliche ones, or cheesey vampire books. I'm sick of vampire books, so please don't reccomend them. I like reading about teenage witches. Lois Duncan is a fantastic author, so any that are like hers are great. I've read these by her:

Summer of Fear, Stranger With My Face, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Gallows Hill, The Third Eye, ..and I think that's it.

So, please, rec some to me, if it's not too much trouble. Thank you!
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Noam Chomsky


Anyone here interested in Noam Chomsky? Would love to find a discussion group.


I have bought the Essential Chomsky and am slowly working through them. I would just like to know what other people think. I haven't read anything like this since I was at University so I find it quiet challenging.
If anyone else has this book we could read one of the essays and then discuss. I am also happy to buy any other of his books and read one of those essays to discuss.

Kitty: Angry Calico

Willis, Connie: Passage

Writer: Connie Willis
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 780

The premise: Dr. Joanna Lander researches near-death experiences, only good research is hard to find. She has to fight for the first chance to interview those who've coded, because if she doesn't get there first, colleague/competitor Mr. Mandrake manages to fill their heads with experiences that simply didn't happen. But when Dr. Richard Wright offers her a partnership in his study that mimics the brain at NDE, she can't help but jump at the chance. Only the project doesn't go as well as planned, and it isn't long before Joanna volunteers herself in order to gather legit data that's not tainted by outside expectations. And what she discovers isn't what anyone, least of all herself, expects.

My Rating

Must Have: it's a shame this book never won the Nebula or Hugo it was nominated for. Let me tell you how much I enjoyed this book: I started reading it on a Thursday, didn't read it AT ALL Friday-Sunday, then I returned to it Monday afternoon and COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN UNTIL 2:00 AM!!! Still didn't finish because I was dead on my feet and needed some sleep, and finally finished the book Tuesday afternoon. This isn't a fast read like urban fantasies are a fast read. But it's compelling. And if you avoid the spoilery section of the review, just know that the book almost made me cry. I did tear up, but didn't cry. Still, that's damn good.

What I like about it is the single, relatively simple SF-nal premise in such a realistic world populated with such human, three-dimensional characters. These people aren't special, they're people doing their thing and working really hard for what they believe in. The story that comes out of it is thought-provoking and satisfying, and definitely worth talking about.

The full review, which does contain spoilers, may be found in my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)

REVIEW: Connie Willis's PASSAGE

Happy Reading! :)
hp hoodie [by icon_me]

Welcome to the Community

New Members
Welcome to the community! Due to the growing amount of new members, we ask that instead of posting introduction entries, you instead participate in the New Member Post for introducing yourself to the community.

For the purpose of organizing the community, tags have been created for use. Please attach the appropriate tags to your entries when posting. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding tags, respond to this post.

Note: If you made a post and would like to attach tags to it so others may find it, you're more than welcome to. This is a large community, any and all help is appreciated.

There are rules here. Nothing too taxing or tear-your-hair-out worthy, I promise. Keep all posts book-related, and help keep this a friendly environment. Since this place is about books, it is as well about people's opinions about books. Since no two people are the same, it is not unlikely that not everyone will share the same opinion. Any snide comments (ie: inappropriate language or putting other members down) warrant a swift removal from the community.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to respond with them to this post. Thanks for reading!

House of God, Samuel Shem

Hi everyone!  Today i just finished House of God by Samuel Shem.  I really liked the beginning-middle, but the end was kind of disappointing for me.  (I'm actually a third year medical student, so maybe that's why it seemed so far-fetched to me.)  I was wondering if anyone else had read this novel and what you thought.  Also, has anyone read any of the sequels to this book?  If so, what did you think?  Thanks in advance!!  ~Melanie
tea & books

The Literature Map

This might have been mentioned before, but I believe it certainly bears mentioning again.

The Literature Map creates a "map" of related authors. You simply type in a name and you'll get a kind of scattering of authors that write similar books. Obviously, it's quite fallible and some of the links can be debated, but it's a great place to just get some new names if you're totally stuck in a rut.

I hope people find this tool useful!
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  • devi42

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

"What is it? What's wrong?" I could tell something was up the moment he opened the door.

“Nothing, just... Come on inside.” He leads me downstairs to his room and I sit on the couch, tense and unnerved. Jeremy almost never worries – certainly not about me – and I think it must be something truly horrible for him to be watching me with such care.

He takes a seat across the room and rubs his forehead. “Douglas Adams is dead.”

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