A Book to Share

Thursday, I discovered a book on my bookshelves that I didn’t know I had. I asked Elegant Mother if she had purchased the book. She didn’t know anything about it. It’s possible that I saw it somewhere and picked it up, but I simply can’t remember. It’s a shame really, because “Thief of Words” is a GREAT book!

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More on Books

To save you from having to bounce between links and this entry, I’m posting the books from the two book clubs I mentioned in “Books” yesterday.
These are the six books that Oprah has featured (I think she’s been doing a travelog):
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
Cry the Beloved Country
Anna Karenina
The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
I’ve read “East of Eden,” and “The Good Earth.”
Kathy and Judy who do the 9 to noon show on WGN Radio (WGNradio.com) have featured 16 books and listeners are getting to vote for the books they loved the most. These are the titles:
Like Normal People
The Rich Part of Life
All Over But the Shootin’
The Secret Life of Bees
The Lost Legends of New Jersey
Driving Mr. Albert
The Kite Runner
When the Emperor Was Divine
Wild Nights: Nature Returns to the City
Bel Canto
The Passion of Artemesia
Year of Wonder: A Novel of the Plague
1984
The Devil in the White City
The Giant’s House: A Romance
The Binding Chair: Or, A Visit From the Foot Emancipation Society
The four which are underlined are the four most popular of the 16 books. I’ve read “Bel Canto,” and “1984.”
And these suggestions are from one of my nieces:
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Nifenegger
The Birth of Venus – Sarah Dunant
A Home at the End of the World -Michael Cunningham
The Other Boleyn Girl – Phillipa Gregory
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons – Lorna Landvik
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Farenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress – Dai Sijie
Of Love and Shadows – Isabelle Allende
Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
Of the last group, I’ve read “Farenheit 451,” and I’m familiar with “A Handmaid’s Tale,” which I picked up after I saw the movie.
Any other suggestions??

50 Best…

I had an e-mail from Amazon.com touting several “best” lists of books for 2004. I took a little time to browse through the Editor’s top 50 for the year, and then I looked through the customer’s top 50. Of course, there were books that appeared on both lists. I was surprised to find that I had just two of the books from the lists.
I’ve culled a few of the books from both lists that interest me, to share with you.

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Books, Again

Frequently, when I am working on something like weeding, raking, washing dishes, doing simple paperwork, folding clothes or piecing quilts I listen to books on tape. Our public library has an extensive collection of them, so I can listen to old friends or visit with new books I’ve never met.
Right now, I have Stephen King’s “The Stand.” It’s the unabridged version, and there are about 22 tapes. I have to return it on Monday, so the race is on to see if I can hear the entire book this week!
I’ve read “The Stand” at least twice in the past 25 years. Personally, I think it’s the best book King has ever written, although I have to admit that I stopped reading his work after “Pet Sematary.” He willingly admits that he goes for the most gross as he sets up the books, and his work lost his appeal at that point.
The interesting thing about hearing “The Stand” on tape is that it makes it scarier, if that’s possible. I have always thought that it was better to read a book than to see a movie of the book. When you see a movie, you see someone else’s interpretation of the book, altered by the time and money constraints of the film making. Generally, I’d rather have my own vision of the book playing through my mind.

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Books

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you saw a comment last month about the fact that I was reading “Lucifer’s Hammer,” by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I’d read the book nearly 20 years ago, and wanted to re-read the story.

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What are the chances…?

I’ve told you that I’ve been doing some summer reading. Most of the books are rather lightweight, and all are works of fiction. What totally amazes me is that two consecutive books mention the General Unified Theory (GUT), or the Theory of Everything.
When I was in high school, I missed out on physics and chemistry, so I have relatively little knowledge of those subjects. What little I’ve picked up comes from DH giving me information from “Scientific American” or “Discover” magazine, or watching science programs on TV.
So, I chose a book from the stack, and read Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ “Nobody’s Baby But Mine,” and one of the main characters is a doctor of physics who is working on top quarks, in the hope that she can add to the General Unified Theory.
What astounded me was to find the GUT mentioned at the start of the very next book I chose to read! What are the chances that two “lightweight” books I chose for summer reading would cover such weighty issues? Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons” opens with Robert Langdon being flown to Geneva to visit the CERN facility. As the director of the facility leads him through the residential area, a jogger wearing a t-shirt that proclaims “NO GUT, NO GLORY!” runs by, and they are off on a conversation about the General Unified Theory.
So….will I find it mentioned in the NEXT book, too?

Summer Reading

I have a STACK of books waiting on me. More than I can read in August. I might have to save a few for this Fall, and I’m not complaining.
In the next entry, you’ll see a comment about the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. One of my on-line friends introducted me to these books, and I have gobbled them up! There are ten books at the moment. Each title has a number. The last was “Ten Big Ones.”
Steph is a crazy character. If I had stumbled onto the first book when it first came out, and had to wait for each succesive book to be written, it would have been a terrible trial. My mother has been reading the books, too. As I finish one, I hand it over, and the discussion in the house has been along the lines of….”I wish she’d make up her mind whether it’s going to be Ranger or Morelli!” (having to do with her obsession for two men) or “Don’t tell me….I’d rather read the book!”
Evanovich has created two of the funniest characters I’ve ever read, Grandma Mazur and Sally Sweet. Grandma is a very modern lady who believes that NO one should ever have a closed casket wake (and is willing to go to great lengths to see the dearly departed). She is also likely to be in the midst of a discussion at the beauty parlor about personal firepower. I learned a lot about guns in these books! *G* Sally Sweet is a male musician who also happens to wear dresses, and drive a school bus.
You’ve got to read these. Go to the library, or visit Amazon. Share the books with everyone you know who reads. That’s my summer tip for you.
Other books waiting for me:
“Kiss Me WHile I Sleep,” by Linda Howard
“Angels and Demons,” by Dan Brown
“Digital Fortress,” by Dan Brown
“Crime Schoo,l” by Carol O’Connell
“Heaven, Texas,” by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
“Nobody’s Baby but Mine”, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
and “Sick Puppy,” by Carl Hiaasen.
There are actually a couple of others, but I can’t remember the titles, and I’ll probably read these first. It’s really too bad that I have to WEED! I could spend my days eating bon bons and reading. Now, go read the next post.

Summer Reading

This summer I will have the pleasure of my first trip to Hawaii. One of my nephews is going to be married there, and we will go for the celebration and stay six days.
I’ve been thinking about the eight hour flight, and wanted to take some books with me to pass the time. I also plan to find a quiet corner near the pool, so I know that I will need more than one book.
CopCar, whom you may recognize from Bogie’s blog, has recommended “Alias Grace” by Margaret Atwood. Do you have any other suggestions for me?
I love science fiction. I read mysteries, romance, and regular fiction. I’ve just finished “Empire Falls,” (Russo) “Prey,” (Cricton) “Chasing the Dime,” (Connelly) and “Rose” (Martin Cruz Smith), books given to me by a friend.
What would YOU take to read?

Imperfection

“…since no one is perfect, it follows that all great deeds have been accomplished out of imperfection. Yet they were accomplished, somehow, all the same.”
Said by Cordelia Verkosigan to her son Mark, in “Mirror Dance,” by Lois McMaster Bujold
Just a thought to ponder.