Remember the written word? It used to convey information. If you like to read and discuss what you have read, this group is for you.
New books - who's reading what?
September 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm #79888
I'm mid-way through the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (and I kind of hope they don't end - I love 'popcorn' books! nice after a long day at work!) so I'm looking at what to read next.
So far I've got my eye on:
The Help (Kathryn Stockett) and of course, the new Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol, for which I am 174th on the waiting list at the trusty Fairfax County Library.
What are you reading this fall?
September 16, 2009 at 7:33 am #79970
Milan Kundera's Slowness, translated from French by Linda Asher. Wonderful short novel. Also reading Journey of an Unseen April, a book of poems by Odysseus Elytis.
October 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm #79968
Has anyone read Margaret Atwood's newest, The Year of the Flood? I'm about 150 pages in and loving it thus far. Up next is likely the newest book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.
I'm three books into the Sookie Stackhouse series (listened to the first two on audiobook during my commute and have the third in paperback at home) and have enjoyed them. Have you read the other series by Charlaine Harris? Both the Aurora Teagarden series and Lily Bard series are decent, quick cozy mysteries.
October 5, 2009 at 3:08 pm #79966
I just picked up "The White Queen" by Phillipa Gregory ("The Other Boelyn Girl" author). I love her writing style (though "The Other Queen" was by far her weakest work) and have devoured over half the book in a few days. Great time period and great book - she really is the master of the Tudor historical novel and is now going back in time to the Plantagenets. The book is about Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Yorkist King Edward IV and mother to the 'princes in the towers' who died mysteriously. It's also got the added element of the legend of Melusina, a goddess whom Elizabeth Woodville's mother claimed to be descended from and a bit of the mystical added. Highly recommended.
I haven't read any other Charlaine Harris books - I'm planning on rereading the Sookie books because I'm in TB withdrawal!
October 5, 2009 at 3:15 pm #79964
I've only watched the first season of TB, but MH and I are addicted. We are anxiously awaiting season two's release through Blockbuster.
October 23, 2009 at 2:06 pm #79962
Erica A MorinParticipant
Not necessarily new but I just finished The Radical Leap by Steve Farber. It is a very easy read regarding what he calls "extreme leadership". It's written in a first person story fashion but that makes it all the more memorable. I had gotten it from the library but I'm actually going to pay money to buy it.
November 4, 2009 at 8:05 pm #79960
Charlaine Harris' A TOUCH OF DEAD, a book of Sookie Stackhouse short stories should be out by now. It collects all those missing pieces from the novels.
November 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm #79958
I'm already on the hold waiting list at the Fairfax County Library! Last I checked I was # 160...
November 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm #79956
A friend of mine was watching it On Demand and then they pulled all the Season 2 episodes before she had a chance to watch the last 3! So she is also anxiously awaiting the DVD release... come on, HBO!
December 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm #79954
I rarely read *new* books because I get most of my books from the library or used-book sources, and VASTLY prefer paperbacks to hardbacks. Starting around December 1 and running through January 6 every year, I read Christmas-related books. Most often, I read mysteries, because there are a lot set during the season. However, this year I went to the CFC used book sale here at the Patent Office and snagged over 20 Christmas romances. I don't know how many of them I can take, though, before I go back to re-reading mysteries!
January 8, 2010 at 2:00 am #79952
Finished up "The People of the Book" - it was ok - not fabulous but good. Now I'm on to Vince Flynn, Steve Berry and hopefully will find "Tuck" by Stephen Lawhead at the bookstore so I can use a gift card. I get most of my books 2nd hand either through Annie's or on-line through bookins.com.
February 17, 2010 at 6:21 pm #79950
I just finished "Googled: The End of the World as We Know It" by Ken Auletta, which was pretty good. I've read just about every book published about Google, and this one used a more critical eye and did a nice job of chronicling its founding, meteoric rise and the battles/struggles it faces on multiple fronts. I enjoyed Auletta's "World War 3.0" about the Microsoft anti-trust case, and "Googled" is written with similar attention to detail as well as big picture implications. Of course, "big picture" continues to change, but Google seems to have learned a number of lessons from Microsoft, and other big companies.
Right now, I'm reading "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
February 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm #79948
I'm reading Gabaldon's An Echo in the Bone right now. It's so great to read and remember the other books and all the characters. And then there's history in it as well. I love her series.
February 19, 2010 at 6:55 pm #79946
Just started reading "Rich, Rare and Red: A Guide to Port" by Ben Howkins. I will be taking a trip to Portugal later this year and he is providing a very good history of Port which is tied very closely to the history of the country.
April 23, 2010 at 8:18 pm #79944
Well, this isn't a new book, but I'd never read it before: "Shirley" by Charlotte Bronte. And C. S. Lewis classic, "Mere Christianity."
July 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm #79942
Enjoyed a book called Imperium on Cicero which is the first book in a series (2006) by Robert Harris. It has a history leading up to Cicero's conflict with Caesar and helps understand some of it.
Some background from Wikipedia
Imperium uses a persepctive from Tiro was born a slave in Cicero's household Cicero refers to Tiro frequently in his letters. His duties included taking dictation, deciphering Cicero's handwriting and managing his table and financial affairs.[Cicero remarks on how useful he is to him in his work and studies. He accompanied Cicero to Ciliciaduring Cicero's governorship there,[
He is believed to have collected and published Cicero's work after his death, and, it seems, was a writer himself: several ancient writers refer to works of Tiro, now lost.
" [he] wrote several books on the usage and theory of the Latin language and on miscellaneous questions of various kinds," and quotes him on the difference between Greek and Latin names for certain stars. Asconius Pedianus, in his commentaries on Cicero's speeches, refers to a biography of Cicero by Tiro in at least four books, and Plutarchrefers to him as a source for two incidents in Cicero's life.
He is credited with inventing the shorthand system of Tironian notes later used by monks among others.
I liked the first that I just finished Conspirata, the 2nd book in the series, with Cicero and Caesar's rivalry front and center.
The second novel was published in October, 2009. It was released early in 2010 in the US under the title of Conspirata.
August 17, 2010 at 4:09 am #79940
I am currently reading two books: American Lion which is about Andrew Jackson's time in the White House, and The Natural. The latter was always one of my favorite baseball movies. I had no idea it came from a book...
Both great reads! I try to read a non-fiction and fiction simultaneously.
November 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm #79938
Just finished listening to the audio version of the Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leadersless Organizations by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom. I would definitely recommend it. It was recommended to me by Andrew WilsonI enjoyed the person that read the audio version as well. It made me think a lot about the recent rise of the Tea Party and where government and business may be going in order to survive.
I like to follow up non-fiction with fiction, so I've got my eye on the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Open to suggestions though for something entertaining. I enjoy horror/thriller and even historial romance.
January 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm #79936
I've read all the Sookie Stackhouse books and enjoyed them all. I really loved The Help, but some of that may be because I have an affinity for the region and time it's set in. Have you read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? Loved the story. Try South of Broad by Pat Conroy.
I'm actually looking for more series-type books like the Stackhouse series, not necessarily the same genre.
February 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm #79934
"The Help" was a great book - I really enjoyed it having spent some of my childhood in the south (I lived in Alabama twice growing up). I also recommend "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks", "Little Bee", "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." I read these in the past year and all were excellent. The book about Henrietta Lacks is shocking because it's a true story and makes one think about the great strides in medical ethics in recent history. The author of "Little Bee" has a distinctive style and voice to his writing. I want to read Chris Cleave's new book, too. The Guernsey story is an old fashioned Bridget Jones type of heartwarming story.
Our work book club is currently reading "The World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker" and we just finished "Wolf Hall." "Wolf Hall" is confusing at times because of the author's use of pronouns and all the Henrys and Thomas characters in that time period -- Henry the VIII.
I also read "Water for Elephants" last week. A little too earthy for my tastes - violence, bodily fluids, etc. -- but, it had a perfect ending. Really liked the last chapter.
February 18, 2011 at 7:00 pm #79932
Currently reading "Living with History/Making Social Change" by Gerda Lerner in celebration of Women's History Month. I hope to contribute to the betterment of our human condition as she has. I've certainly a long way to go and a lot to learn.
February 21, 2011 at 9:29 pm #79930
I'm reading Steve Tally's Almost America, which is episodes of alternate history based on key decisions having been made differently. If the Great Awakening hadn't happened in the 1700s, would colonists have been able to grasp the idea of a society made up of equals? If Booth's plan to assassinate Lincoln's vice president, Andrew Johnson, had succeeded, how would that have affected Reconstruction? This is well researched, and would be interesting to anyone who likes American history and has ever thought, "What if....?"
February 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm #79928
I also read "The People of the Book" recently and agree with your review. It was good and I finished it, but I wasn't great. I think I didn't care about the main character enough to be "obsessed" with reading it. I did care about the widower and his son and was moved that the love of books and the printed page was something that surpassed racial and religious differences. I enjoy books about people who love books in general.
"The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak were much better if you enjoy book lovers novels or novels with references to books and literature.
February 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm #79926
Charlaine Harris also has a mystery series but as I've found with the Stackhouse series, her books have the nutritional value of potato chips. Fun while you're eating (or reading!).
February 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm #79924
I just added "The Immortal Life..." to my list - thanks for the recommendation! I've already got "Little Bee" on there.
I just LOVED "The Help" - read it in 2 days and stayed up until 2 a.m. to finish. I agree with "Water for Elephants" - a bit too violent for me but I can't wait to see the movie with Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson 🙂
February 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm #79922
I also can't wait to see the film version of "Water for Elephants" ~ I loved the trailer and decided I had to read the book first. Usually the book is better and I try to read the novel before seeing the film. Possible exception to that rule was "Snow Falling on the Cedars." I loved both the book and the movie.
I am a big Richard Jenkins fan - he's in so many movies (including "Snow Falling on the Cedars" and is always great. He was recently in "The Visitor" - (a must see), "Dear John", "Stepbrothers", "Eat, Pray, Love" and so many more.
March 7, 2011 at 12:22 am #79920
Currently reading "Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hsieh the founder of Zappos. Some great insight into a terrific business mind.I did a tour of Zappos last year and it is an amazing work place. Many new concepts and people love to work there.
March 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm #79918
Yes it's sad but I'm reading the new Tucker Max book
March 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm #79916
Patricia F. AndersonParticipant
I've been reading a lot of Clive Cussler lately, but they are formulaic enough that I'm starting to get bored. The books I've been raving about recently are the Recursion trilogy by Tony Ballantyne, science fiction author. Essential reading for anyone interested in envisioning the future of emerging technologies and robotics.
March 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm #79914
Agree on Clive Cussler - I think by now he has a whole team of ghost-writers who actually do the writing
March 19, 2011 at 1:18 am #79912
Want to share that I have a "Guest Author" essay, "The Collective Ghosts of Salem," appearing this week (3/18/11) on historical novelist Mitchell James Kaplan's ("By Fire, By Water") website:
"Something terrible happened in Salem Village in 1692 ... but it isn't what you think!"
Suzy Witten (Author of THE AFFLICTED GIRLS A Novel of Salem)
May 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm #79910
Just read Krakauer's Where Men Win Glory, the book about Pat Tillman, the NFL player who gave up everything to go fight in Afghanistan. Highlights of the book include Tillman's diary entries and heartfelt letters to his wife as he was living the hard life and serving his country. As with all of Jon's books, it is very difficult to stop reading.
May 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm #79908
I loved The Help. Read it in 3 days.
Other recent favorites were Nemesis by Philip Roth, a novel about polio in the 40s during the war...he's a fantastic writer.
If you liked any of the Girl with a (Dragon Tattoo, Kicked hornet's nest, etc.) books, check out Henning Mankel, another Swede who writes really interesting stuff. I read the first Kurt Wallender book for my book club, and then grabbed a short novel he wrote called Italian Shoes, which was a wonderful story about loneliness and redemption that I thoroughly enjoyed.
My book club just finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, which we all agreed was great until the end, then disappointing. Now reading the ...Henrietta Lacks book, glad others here like it.
I would love recommendations for a book that really swallows you whole. I read a lot, across all genres, but for some reason lately I feel like I only encounter books that are so alike things I've already read... Maybe not the same topic or even the same genre, but the structure/plot feels like something I've read before.
It has been so long since I've been able to really get lost in a story. I guess The Help was one that was the closest recently...
May 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm #79906
@Gregory: I think you would greatly appreciate reading novels by David Foster Wallace and Kathryn Davis, if you haven't already done so. A few by Wallace (who sadly committed suicide) include Infinite Jest and Oblivion. A few by Davis include The Walking Tour and The Thin Place.
I mentioned him a few weeks ago, but I'll repeat that any book by Jonathon Krakauer is very hard to put down. Happy reading!
June 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm #79904
Cindy L MayParticipant
I agree about Krakauer. He makes even a horribly disturbing topic completely engrossing and accessible.
September 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm #79902
I just finished Frank McEowen's "The Spiral of Memory and Belonging" about celtic ancestral wisdom. Very good book, nice companion to the "Mist Filled Paths". Started re-reading Gail Baudinos "Strands" series - some books just need to be re-read! Also finished S M Stirling's "The High King of Montival", the most recent in a long series. The First - "Dies the Fire' was very good - an interesting sroty about what happens if we lost all technology and were forced back to an agraian based society. The series has gotten too long, why do authors run their books to death!
September 6, 2011 at 1:53 pm #79900
What's the Strands series? Never read them...
September 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm #79898
Gail Baudino wrote a series in the early 90s - Strands of Starlight, Maze of Moonlight, Shroud of Shadow, Strands of Sunlight and Spires of Spirit. The gist of the story is there was a time in the 1300s when Humans and Elves interacted positively with each other. Even when the Church had nearly eradicated the Elves and many honest, well-meaning Humans under the Inquisition, the Elves still helped people. As the story goes on, she intimates that Humans today may also be part Elf sine Elves adn Himans did intermingle and with some effort may be able to reconnect with that lineage. Spires of Spirit sets up the Strands of Starlight book and the second part ends in "current times" with small communities reconnecting with their Elven heritage. Good story, well written - and who knows - it may just be fiction because it sells better. Wouldn't it be interesting if it were really true? What would that mean for Humanity and the world? And that is the power of books/story – take an “impossible” idea, put it out as fiction and get people thinking.
November 23, 2011 at 6:05 pm #79896
I'm reading Kate Atkinson's One Good Turn (2006). Great crime fiction - well written with a lot of twists and turns. I am about halfway through the book and really wanted to stay home to finish it today.
The other book, well, I listening to the other book it is Ron Chernow's, Washington: A Life. I decided to listen to it because it is over 850 pages in one book. I am enjoying the book tremendously. It has put a human face on Washington. Any suggestions for good bios of Martha Washington?
November 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm #79894
I am a huge fan of Martha (Custis?) Washington; have been since I did a report on her in early high school. There's a probable myth about her that she rode her horse into her rather high-end childhood home all the way up the central staircase. She had 'spunk'. I don't recall any of the resources I found on her to be particularly interesting, though. If you come across anything neat, let me know.
I haven't read many biographies, and most have been real drudgery for me to get through - I read a recent one on Warren Buffet that I thought was agony to read...even though the topic is so fascinating. I've shied away from them...maybe I'll try the Washington: A Life.
April 3, 2012 at 1:44 pm #79892
Find Harris very readable; haven't read the ones you mentioned but have read his novel about "Pompeii" and enjoyed it.
April 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm #79890
DEADLOCKED the new Sookie Stackhouse novel is being published May 1.
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