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This is the best book I've read in a long time. It's hauntingly honest. A one sitting book. A kick in the emotional nuts.

 

Mary Roach, author of Spook

"Note to bookstore staff: Do not shelve under Sports. Put this book next to Mary Karr or Dorothy Allison. Put it on the shelf marked: Wrenching, Unflinching, Utterly Compelling Memoir Written in Shining Prose and Jewel-like Detail (That Happens to Include Some Nice Bicycles)."

 

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I've got several books on order that won't be in until early-mid Feb., so I need a good recommendation for a fairly current book. I've got plenty of classics, older books, etc. around the house but want something fairly recent (last few years).

 

I'd prefer fiction as that's what I've been into the last few months. I enjoyed Water for Elephants and The Secret Life of Bees quite a bit.

 

I picked up Philip Roth's Exit Ghost at the library last weekend only to realize it's part four of a series so I canned it. I also picked up Clapton's biography but was pretty bored with it after a day or two.

 

Suggestions...?

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Suggestions...?

It's from 1990-ish but have you ever read The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien? Beyond that all I ever recommend is The Devil in the White City... for someone who works in a library I sure don't read much. Oh! Although! The Savage Detectives has been hotly recommended 'round these parts.

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I've got several books on order that won't be in until early-mid Feb., so I need a good recommendation for a fairly current book. I've got plenty of classics, older books, etc. around the house but want something fairly recent (last few years).

 

I'd prefer fiction as that's what I've been into the last few months. I enjoyed Water for Elephants and The Secret Life of Bees quite a bit.

 

I picked up Philip Roth's Exit Ghost at the library last weekend only to realize it's part four of a series so I canned it. I also picked up Clapton's biography but was pretty bored with it after a day or two.

 

Suggestions...?

 

Three suggestions:

 

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

 

The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz

 

A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

 

(Or, if you have the time, my top choice of all choices - Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace)

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It's from 1990-ish but have you ever read The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien? Beyond that all I ever recommend is The Devil in the White City... for someone who works in a library I sure don't read much. Oh! Although! The Savage Detectives has been hotly recommended 'round these parts.

Have not read the first one mentioned, by O'Brien. I have read The Devil in the White City and hear Larson's newest, Thundestruck is quite good too. It's one I'm thinking about.

 

Will look into the last one mentioned, too. Thanks.

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Three suggestions:

 

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

 

The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz

 

A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

 

(Or, if you have the time, my top choice of all choices - Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace)

I started The Road when it first came outand dropped it after 50-60 pages. I just was not that into it. I realize it's received a lot of praise but it wasn't my bag. I read Hosseini's The Kite Runner and liked it and will eventually read the earlier one.

 

I'll look into the Diaz book. Thanks.

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41AQL3PRvvL._AA240_.jpg

 

Gogo, I remember recommending Godel, Escher, Bach and you said you were having a hard time getting into it. This one is much less convoluted and more linear. Hofstadter says in the intro that he was astonished with how many people missed the point of GEB so he decided to give it another try nearly 30 years later. This one is a lot more fun to read, and the beauty of his ideas really struck me in a way that they didn't in GEB.

I've also just started a book he edited with Daniel Dennett called The Mind's I which is a kind of anthology including writings by Stanislaw Lem, Borges and Richard Dawkins, seperated by "reflections" from Dennett and Hofstadter. While not quite as wonderful as "I Am a Strange Loop", their observations on what is a "self" are both entertaining and enlightening.

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They even excerpt that one in College Lit texts. He's good stuff.

I think that's because the first chapter (same title as the book) was originally a short story or something. I'm convinced that book helped jump-start teaching the Vietnam War in high schools. He's also got If I Die In A Combat Zone, which I think does a nice job of filling in the gaps in TTTC because it's basically a fictionalized memoir. Beyond those, I've never finished one of his books.

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I've been happily immersed in reading ever since I got some books for Christmas. I've finished these three and heartily recommend all of them. Catching Genius tells the story of a family in transition, and is expertly, believably written. Very moving, and as a debut novel, very impressive. It's a beauty. (Don't let the cheesy cover put you off.)

 

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"Nineteen Minutes" refers to the length of time it takes an unhappy student to devastate his school & the surrounding community, when he goes on a Columbine-style rampage. Not for the faint of heart, obviously, but the stories wrapped around his actions, going years back and then into the post-rampage repercussions, make it a fascinating and compelling read.

 

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I wouldn't even know where to begin in describing "The Year of Fog"....the basic plotline is that a woman is the fiancee of a man with a six-yr-old daughter. Walking with the girl one foggy morning on a San Francisco beach, the fiancee is distracted as she takes photos, and looking back minutes later, discovers the little girl has vanished. I liked that the story didn't play out predictably, but took many twists and turns that felt more like the way real life plays out. This book had a wonderful atmosphere to it and I really hated for it to end. Great stuff!

 

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Now I'm reading a collection of Mark Twain essays. Damn he was a clever dude.

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I'm reading "U2 at the End of the World" by Bill Flannigan. The rock bio phase continues.

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The Year of Fog has a cool little surprise within it that you will get a kick out of. :)

 

Read "Catching Genius" too. Ignore the cover blurbs....to me it was barely about the "math prodigy" aspect. It's far more about the complexity of our relationships with the people closest to us. It's beautifully written & realized. :thumbup

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The Year of Fog has a cool little surprise within it that you will get a kick out of. :)

 

Read "Catching Genius" too. Ignore the cover blurbs....to me it was barely about the "math prodigy" aspect. It's far more about the complexity of our relationships with the people closest to us. It's beautifully written & realized. :thumbup

I've got both on hold. Thanks, Donna.

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I'm reading "U2 at the End of the World" by Bill Flannigan. The rock bio phase continues.

 

I'm a big U2 fan, and that's probably my favorite U2 book. I've got an old hardcover copy of it that will be held together with duct tape before too much longer I think. I also really like BP Fallon's book from that era, U2 Faraway, So Close, but I'm not sure if that's back in print.

 

I finished Sarah Gruen's novel Water for Elephants a few days ago. There were parts of it I really liked and parts of it that felt thin to me, especially the blossoming relationship between the narrator and another character. She did an amazing job of bringing the animals to life, but sometimes I found myself wishing she would've brought the people to life that way, too. The minor characters feel better developed at times than the main ones. It was still a good story, though, and very well researched.

 

I started Anderson Cooper's memoir Dispatches from the Edge yesterday and have read about 50 pages. The writing is outstanding so far, and I know it's going to be a book I get through quickly.

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It's from 1990-ish but have you ever read The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien?
I think that's because the first chapter (same title as the book) was originally a short story or something. I'm convinced that book helped jump-start teaching the Vietnam War in high schools. He's also got If I Die In A Combat Zone, which I think does a nice job of filling in the gaps in TTTC because it's basically a fictionalized memoir. Beyond those, I've never finished one of his books.

I love The Things They Carried. He wrote a piece that was in GQ in the mid-80s, I only bought it because it was the comedy issue, and I'm a comedy junkie. I have no idea how that piece ended up in the "comedy issue" of anything, because it was heartbreaking. But on the basis of that, I heard him speak at a symposium at my college on Vietnam, and went on to read absolutely everything he's every written. I haven't liked his recent stuff as much, but The Things They Carried (the GQ thing was an excerpt) and Going After Cacciato are brilliant.

 

 

41AQL3PRvvL._AA240_.jpg

 

Gogo, I remember recommending Godel, Escher, Bach and you said you were having a hard time getting into it. This one is much less convoluted and more linear. Hofstadter says in the intro that he was astonished with how many people missed the point of GEB so he decided to give it another try nearly 30 years later. This one is a lot more fun to read, and the beauty of his ideas really struck me in a way that they didn't in GEB.

Thank you! I've been meaning to take another swipe at GEB, I liked what I read, but so much of it was going over my head, I didn't feel I was doing justice to it at all. Maybe I'll try again with this one, then go back and give GEB another shot.

 

 

Currently: a lightweight froth of all the Jane Austens, while I watch the Masterpiece adaptations.

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