November 13th, 2009

Seeking suggestions for an updated reading list

I was organizing my library when I realized it was severely lacking contemporary works. Most of the books I have were written not less than half a century ago. So when people talk about "more recent" authors, I feel out of the loop.

I've read Bantock, Rushdie, some Murakami, Palahniuk, Foer, and Gaiman.
I prefer realist and modernist works, and my favorite writers are Henry James, William Faulkner and D.H. Lawrence.

Anyway, I'm ready to dive into the world of the new, and I don't have a lot of criteria, just that:

- The book was not published more than 25 years ago
- Less fantasy worlds a la Lord of the Rings
- No vampires

I'd really appreciate it if you would provide a brief intro pertaining to the premise and themes of the book.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions! I was actually planning to buy a laptop, but now, I'm pretty sure I'll end up spending my money on books. Who needs new laptops, anyway? :)
odoul face
  • pblazer

Double Acts

I'm in the mood to read books featuring duos. I'm talking Jeeves and Wooster, Holmes and Watson, Wolfe and Goodwin, Morse and Lewis, etc. Most of the ones I've named are mystery series, but any genre is fine. Any recs out there? Thanks so much for any help!

Where have all the good times gone?

I was going to make my first post here a proper review, but due to a heavy week at work I haven't finished the book I'm on at the moment (the Tomalin biography of Samuel Pepys) and I don't think anyone would appreciate a review that went 'good so far'. I will post properly as soon as i finish it.

In the meantime, I thought I would call on all your super powers of recommendation. I've been reading through the recent requests for genres/specific character-types, and I'm incredibly impressed by the breadth of everyone's reading. I was wondering if this would stretch to a slightly unfashionable book type - comedy. I really enjoy books which make me laugh. Or at least chuckle quietly to myself. The good thing about this is that it transcends other genres. I love period classics such as P.G.Wodehouse or Jerome K Jerome, or the contemporary court stories of John Mortimer, as much as modern fantasy such as Terry Pratchett, Stephen Brust and Jasper Fforde. Can anyone add any authors or titles to this list?
Many thanks in advance.

(no subject)

I've just recently finished reading Stephen King's "The Stand" and Michael Crichton's "Andromeda Strain."

I'm really enjoying the apocalyptic medical genre. Anybody have any other suggestions for similar books?

Thanks. :)

Review: Betrayed by Jamie Leigh Hansen

The book is about a women, Kalyss, who keeps reincarnating to free her true love, Dreux, from his curse of being a statue. Despite a ton of chances and help, Kalyss keeps getting killed RIGHT before she gets the job done.

In this recent reincarnation, her FINAL chance, she has been a victim of an abusive relationship and because of that, it prepared her to finally come through and save the man she was just informed she is supposed to be in love with.

Here is my beef:

These two people meet and spend one night--No, not even a whole night...It was like 4 hours together and for the next THOUSAND years the chick sacrifices life after life, getting brutally murdered in each, to return to him.

I know I am cynical so I'll let the 'love at first sight/fornication' thing pass, but after about the 9th time don't you think you would at least check out eharmony?

And if I were the dude, after spending 1,000 years trapped in stone and coming back to life to your 'soul mate' having too many commitment issues to stop bitching at you for an hour, I would be exasperated to say the least. I get it, he was being supportive and the polar opposite of her abusive ex, but at some point you think he would say fuck it,

and check out eharmony.

Let me end by saying that I enjoyed the concept and the side characters a lot. So much, I wish it had only been about them, but I can't even look forward to future books that feature them because I know I'll be setting myself up for a let down.

Despite that, It wasn't so bad I wont read the next book.

First posty..

I am looking for a particular book, however I forgot the name. That's where you guys come into play. It's about the end of the world and a sickness has spread through the world, but only those who are 12 and over die from it. So there are a bunch of kids trying to figure out how to run the world....and the rest of it goes blank. I can't remember the author or the title, I do remember that it was a book selection for a my junior high school, I didn't go to that class, but it was a book that apparently the teacher was making everyone read it because there was a huge stack of them. If you have any idea please let me know....


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Lily Bard Series.

Shakespeare's Champion (Lily Bard Mysteries, Book 2)
You can find my review for book one here.
Lily Bard's life in the small town of shakespeare seems to get hectic at times. One day, at her normal work out place, Lily goes to open it for her friend. She finds the door unlocked and gets inside only to discover the body of a town member. This has been the third death in the past couple of months so Lily finds herself wondering if it was an accident. While Lily is trying to put the pieces together for this puzzle, little blue papers start turning up around town. The papers are suggesting that the white people want to take back what is theirs. Lily is disgusted and very confused on what is happening to her small town. She cant help but feel suspicous about a new comer in town. He is tall with dark hair and very mysterious. He keeps popping up with the strange events going on too. Although she feels he might not be as innocent as everyone else thinks, she cant help but feel warmth overcome certain areas when she is around him. This makes it really hard for Lily to stay concentrated on what is going on in her town.

I enjoyed this one a lot more than the other. I felt like there were a lot more events going on. I also find myself reading for who Lily is and not so much about the story. Its nice to read about a strong women sometimes.

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For someone still a member of this community (?)

At this point I can't remember how long ago someone recommend/reviewed a book in this community. I was intrigued and ordered the book from an independent bookstore which I like to do when I am feeling financially flush. As with most book loving people it went in the "to be read pile". I finally pulled out of the pile and began to read it.

I just finished it this evening. It was a great read. It was a great read. It was a great read.
So to the lovely person who pointed me in the direction of Open Me by Sunshine O'Donnell thank you very much. I found the story compelling, the historical data beyond interesting and Sunshine's way with a simile and way around the topic matter of the novel fresh and unique.
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    chill mat fan
JK vs Meyer

Just bought 4 new books! Want your opinions...

I just bought four new books!

::Wicked:: by Gregory Maguire

::Pride & Prejudice:: by Jane Austen

::If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince?:: by Melissa Kantor

::Vampire Academy:: by Richelle Mead

I want your PERSONAL opinions on these if you have read them! Please do not come and bash my choices! I am not a particularly picky reader, so I usually just pick-up anything to fit my mood! :) I LOVE this community and all the help it has given me!!!! Now, help me pick which one to read first!!
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A Birthday

Endless Blue

Endless Blue by Wen Spencer

In a space-faring future, where humanity is under attack from mysterious aliens called nefrim, where genetic modified Reds and Blues are slaves of human society -- Captain Mikhail Volkov (who is also the crown prince of Novaya Rus) is summoned for a mission. A ship that had been lost years earlier had reappeared in space -- at least its engine had -- and it was encrusted with coral.

Turk -- Mikhail's foster-brother and Red Commander, a Red himself and so an oddity -- replaces their lost Reds, they prepare the ship for sea (insofar as anything can be done), and they replicate the passage of the ship that was lost. It lands them in a strange world. Where chunks of rock soar through the sky over ocean. Where multitudinous alien races survive -- minotaurs, hauk, and seraphim, among others -- and time does not flow as it does in their universe. Where Turk wrestles with his heritage and his resentment, and Mikhail with his depressive tendencies and his past. Where significant secrets are discovered, which will affect the human race.
[Zelda] Master Sword

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-Five is one of the world's great anti-war books. Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.
(from the publisher)

020 bb $a 9780440180296
100 bb $a Vonnegut, Kurt.
245 b0 $a Slaughterhouse-five, or, The children's crusade: $b a duty dance with death / $c by Kurt Vonnegut.
246 bb $a Slaughterhouse 5
246 b0 $a Children's crusade
260 3b $a New York: $b Dell Publishing, $c December 1991, c1969.
300 bb $a 215p.: $b ill.; $c 17cm.

I feel kind of like a jerk for not loving this book. There was nothing wrong it, and I see why it's endured despite losing some relevance, but I don't think it's going to stand out in my mind in the long run.

The tone was very... American. And I don't quite know what I mean by that. Or maybe it's just that period of writing. When I was reading it, it didn't have the same voice as the 19th century novel or Can Lit. It's a nice change and it kind of made the reading go faster.

I loved the thoughts on predestination and the aliens of Tralfamadore. The aptly named main character, Billy Pilgrim, lives his life according to the premise that there is no free will, sedately moving from one situation to another, passively accepting everything that happens to him. The repeated "So it goes" at every death further emphasizes the feel of helplessness that Pilgrim represents. He finds comfort in knowing that he can't change anything and as he skips through time he has the luxury (curse?) of knowing how things will unfold.

On a larger scale, the Tralfamadorians say that Earth is the only place where people speak of free will. That war will always happen because it has always happened and will always happen and it's just better not to look at it. Pilgrim's fate is tied up with that of the universe. Like how the aliens know how the end of the universe will come about, Pilgrim, too, knows how he will die. Both calmly accept these endings without a thought of trying to change them, thus perpetuating cruelty and war on both their planets.

This was my first Vonnegut novel and would have to say that it was just all right. It didn't blow my mind, but I did enjoy it. I would classify it much more part of the WWII genre - if there is such a thing - than science fiction, however. The scifi allowed for a novel way of exploring the themes, but the focus is primarily on the influence and impact of war. Of the great American classics, I think I have read only The Great Gatsby and Fahrenheit 451 and I feel like there's a large gap in my reading background because of it. It must just come from familiarity, but I have a harder time getting into the classics when they're American instead of English or even Canadian. I think, perhaps, I should start to remedy that.