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    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post

    Geek - The Secret History is one of my favorites too! I recommend it to everyone. What did you think of her second book, The Little Friend? I read it, but it didn't affect me in the same way her first novel did. In some ways, it felt self-conscious, if that makes sense. Still well-written, but not as memorable.
    I ran to the bookstore to get a copy of The Little Friend but once I started reading it, I was very disappointed. Yes, it's immaculately written. Yes, the settings and characters are great, and the plot isn't bad either. But it's not The Secret History. Self-conscious is a good way of putting it, Critical; it does feel slightly overworked, stylistically. I can't help thinking that if Donna Tartt didn't take ten years working on each novel, the end result would be better. Having said that, I'm sure I would have liked it much better if I didn't know Donna Tartt had written it.

    But yeah, I second your love for The Secret History. I re-read it on an annual basis (I was fifteen the first time I read it) and keep finding new depths and layers. I know a great portion of it by heart. SUCH a good book, such vivid characters. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I've been in love with every single one of the main characters at one point. Henry remains my number one, though. It's interesting AJane should mention Bret Easton Ellis earlier, because Ellis and Tartt actually went to college together. Hampden College is loosely based on the actual college they went to (I can't for the life of me remember the name, but I know it wasn't Camden, as Ellis will have us believe in Lunar Park), and Tartt wrote most of The Secret History during her years there. I had the great privilege of meeting her and chatting with her upon the release of The Little Friend, and when I told her that I decided to study Latin and the Classics as a direct consequence of reading The Secret History, she laughed and told me that she HATED Latin back at school and spent many hours when she should have been paying attention in class outlining her novel. She's one of the nicest people I've ever met: super-sweet, witty, and polite with heaps of Southern charm. (She's got a very distinct Southern accent.) And she's tiny: I felt like a giant standing next to her!

    Ooooh, I absolutely love The Secret History - I've read my copy to tatters. (Wouldn't it make a fabulous movie, if the right screenwriter and director got ahold if it?)
    It's funny you should say that, because there has been an ongoing discussion online regarding which actors should play the characters for the last ten years or so. Apparently, Alan Pakula had bought the movie rights, but he passed away in a car accident and ever since it's been up in the air. Last I heard, Gwyneth Paltrow's brother Jake had bought the rights. I sincerely hope this means Gwyneth won't play Camilla. She has to realise she's at least ten years too old, right?

    I've always thought of Bunny as a young(er) Philip Seamour Hoffman, and the actor who plays David on Six Feet Under looks exactly like I picture Henry. Initially I thought of Tobey Maguire as the ideal Richard, but even he is getting on the older side now. After all, the characters are supposed to be twenty years old.

    Any other takers?

    Anyway, sorry for digressing; I tend to get excited whenever I talk about this particular novel. I wonder if she's working on yet another one? She's written some great essays - there's one in particular about cheerleading that's absolutely amazing.

    ETA: Bennington. The college they went to is called Bennington. Isn't Camden where The Rules of Attraction takes place?
    Last edited by geek the girl; 02-09-2006 at 05:18 AM.
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    What are you reading/favorite books and authors

    I tried to see if there was a similar thread and couldnt' find one. I Love books and love to talk about them.

    what's everyone reading?

    I just finished a really interesting Triology called the Christ Clone Triology. It's a sci fi quasi religious series. VERY interesting. It's by James BeauSeigneur.


    I love mysteries, thrillers, adventure and some chick lit.

    Currently reading Pawley's Island by Dorothea Benton Frank.

    I love Grisham,
    James Patterson, John Sandford, Jack Higgins, Clive Cussler
    The Shopaholic series
    Jennifer Warner
    Jan Karon
    WEB Griffin
    Robin Cook
    Anne Rivers Siddons

    Other favorites: Under the Tuscan Sun (NOTHING like the movie, this was GOOD especially for those foodies out there) and its sequel: Bella Tuscany.

    Loved Anthony Bourdains books (more food books)

    I also like several of the series of books about chefs/caterers that solve murder mysteries. There are about 3-4 of those out there and they include recipes.

    I also read cookbooks like they were novels. Most recently the Mitford Cookbook by Jan Karon. The Mitford series is my all time favorite and the cookbook makes you want to curl up and read and eat and eat and eat.

    I also like biographies, but haven't read a good one in a while. Open to suggestions.

    So what is everyone else reading these days?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    I couldn't read Sharon Rocha's book either. The last just desperately sad book I read was Arthur Ashe's autobiography. I got to the letter to his daughter and just lost it. The other biography that had me was the book Gilda Radner wrote not long before she died (I think it was called It's Always Something). She kept talking about getting better.
    Have you ever read Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams? That book had me sobbing. Right now I'm playing it safe and reading the latest Jonathan Kellerman in paperback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner View Post
    Have you ever read Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams? That book had me sobbing. Right now I'm playing it safe and reading the latest Jonathan Kellerman in paperback.
    I haven't, but I think my mother has. Honestly, it doesn't take much to make me cry. I'm staying away from the known tearjerkers for now.

    Which Kellerman is it? He's one of the only authors of that genre that I'll buy new. Very few - really only Elizabeth George - I'll buy in hardcover and there are a handful who I'll buy in paperback (including Jonathan and Faye Kellerman). Those thrillers/mysteries just go by too quickly. I start making the calculations in my head of how much the book cost me per page or per hour!

    I just got Life Mask by Emma Donoghue. She wrote Slammerkin, which I really enjoyed. It's probably 600 pages, so I think I'll be holding off until either Spring Break or summer. It's all I can do to crack it open and dive in. It looks fabulous. Here's a little snippet from the listing on Amazon:
    Few sexual liaisons among the gentry went unnoticed in 18th-century beau monde England—the gossip papers of the era make our own tabloid culture look respectful—and though fleeting same-sex affairs were somewhat fashionable, suspected homosexuals were condemned to public humiliation and criminal punishment. Offering a fictionalized account of real-life scandal, Donoghue (Slammerkin) tells the story of three minor historical personages: the actress Eliza Farren, the Earl of Derby and the widowed sculptress Anne Damer. Famously ugly Lord Derby has been pursuing chaste young Eliza for years, hoping to marry her when his estranged, invalid wife dies. In the meantime, Eliza meets Derby's friend Anne and the two strike up a close, platonic friendship. Though she denies them vehemently, rumors of Sapphism haunt Anne Damer and endanger the reputations of everyone around her. Spanning the decade from 1787 to 1797, the novel follows this cast of characters through their complicated romantic and political entanglements. All the while, the French Revolution rages, causing major upheaval among the British nobility. Even as Derby and Anne befriend common folk like Eliza and support the liberal Whig party, hoping to topple mad King George, the mounting wave of European democracy threatens to extinguish their life of indolent leisure. Donoghue, who has written a historical examination of 18th-century British lesbian culture, Passions Between Women, has an extraordinary talent for turning exhaustive research into plausible characters and narratives; she presents a vibrant world seething with repressed feeling and class tensions.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post

    I just got Life Mask by Emma Donoghue. She wrote Slammerkin, which I really enjoyed. It's probably 600 pages, so I think I'll be holding off until either Spring Break or summer. It's all I can do to crack it open and dive in. It looks fabulous. Here's a little snippet from the listing on Amazon:
    Critical, I also enjoyed Slammerkin and have been thinking about reading Life Mask for quite some time now. In fact, I viewed it on Amazon yesterday but decided against purchasing it since I've got too many books lined up on my nightstand at the moment. I'm thinking Spring Break or summer, too. Slammerkin was a wonderful read, and I'm hoping that this will be equally good.

    Since we're talking about authors dealing with historical fiction: have you (or anyone else, for that matter) read anything by Sarah Waters? She writes beautiful, engaging periodic novels with a twist - they all deal with lesbianism in one way or another. Tipping the Velvet was made into an excellent BBC mini series a couple or years ago; her other two novel set in the 1800's are Affinity and Fingersmith. Great, great stuff: think Dickens without the Victorian inhibitions. I'm a sucker for 19th century London and I love unorthodox love stories, so she's become one of my favourite British authors. Her brand new novel Night Watch is a slight departure time-wise, although it's still historical fiction. It takes place during WW2 and has received great reviews in the U.K. Can't wait to read it.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    Which Kellerman is it? He's one of the only authors of that genre that I'll buy new. Very few - really only Elizabeth George - I'll buy in hardcover and there are a handful who I'll buy in paperback (including Jonathan and Faye Kellerman). Those thrillers/mysteries just go by too quickly. I start making the calculations in my head of how much the book cost me per page or per hour!
    Twisted. I love Elizabeth George too. If you are a Jonathan Kellerman fan, I highly recommend Stephen White.


    ETA: For those of you that don't know, Refuge is a very personal story about a dying bird population and the effects of breast cancer on the author's family. It's beautifully written but very, very sad.
    Last edited by Mariner; 02-11-2006 at 12:32 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner View Post
    Twisted. I love Elizabeth George too. If you are a Jonathan Kellerman fan, I highly recommend Stephen White.
    I'm pretty sure I've read Twisted. I've read so many, I lose track! Then they publish an old one with a new cover and I get all confused! I've never heard of Stephen White. I'll have to do some searching at the used bookstore.

    Elizabeth George lives in my hometown, so I usually end up with signed first editions - my mom goes to the book signings at the local Barnes & Noble. Oddly enough, she was married to my high school principal (they're now divorced), which actually made me like him more! I love her books SO much that I often wait until the next book comes out before I read the last one. That way, there's always a new one to read. I know: it's weird and makes no sense.

    Geek - All of the press I've read on Life Mask is very encouraging. I'm dying to start reading, but I just can't risk becoming addicted to it and letting my course reading fall off. I just got Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell in the mail today. Combined with Life Mask, that makes about 1200 pages that I'm dying to dive into!
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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    I just finished The Golden Compass and have started The Subtle Knife sencond in a triad by Philip Pullman. This is technically Young Adult reading but highly recommended. When I borrowed this book a coworker had just read it and so had her college age daughter and so had her high school age niece. Read it! Very cool. Better tha Harry Potter - which I couldn't get through the 1st bbok (I suppose I am unusual )

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    Just finished Twilight by Stephenie Meyer but now I'm on to Pure Sunshine by I dunno who.
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    I'm getting back into one of my favorite habits and am almost finished with O'Hara's Choice by Leon Uris.

    It's pretty good.
    The Pats will be back next year. Watch out.....

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