I just started reading State of the Union by Douglas Kennedy, one of many (some would argue too many) names on my "watch list" - that is, authors I'm constantly keeping track of, logging onto Amazon hoping there will be a new novel out soon. I'll read anything of his: I'm a big fan of his thought-provoking and well-written page turners. Regardless of the subject matter, he somehow keeps me hooked throughout the whole novel, leaving me up turning pages into the wee hours of the night. Try The Big Picture or The Pursuit of Happiness, and you'll know what I'm talking about. His latest effort deals with the political climate and how it affects the American people, from the 1960's up until post-9/11. Here's the blurb from Amazon:
"Hannah Buchan leads an orderly life in a small town in Maine — a schoolteacher, married to a doctor, with two grown up children. However, her past conceals a dark secret. Thirty years ago she had a brief, dangerous fling with Tobias Judson, a high profile student activist, which she had reconciled to that internal, off-limits attic room marked “Ancient History.” But when Tobias suddenly pops up out of nowhere with a book about his radical years, her life goes into free-fall. And before she knows it, Hannah discovers that a long-ago transgression is never really forgotten.
Set amid two wildly contrasting periods of recent American life — the militant 60s and 70s, and the new-found conservatism of today — State of the Union is a remarkable portrait of one woman’s attempts to find her own way in the shifting political currents of her time. But it is also an intriguing portrait of the complexities of a long marriage, the ongoing guilt of parenthood, the perpetual tension between familial responsibility and personal freedom, and the divisive debate between liberal and conservative values that so engulfs the United States today."
I'll get back to you with a review.
I also recently read Life Swap by Jane Green. She's not likely to be awarded the Nobel Prize any time soon, but I enjoy her breezy, fun novels. Perfect for an idle night in.
I am currently reading a series for teens (girls) called "The Mediator". They are written by Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries) and are about a young lady that can see and speak to ghosts. Her "job" is to help them resolve their lives/deaths and move onto the other side. I am currently on Book 4 of 6 and I am really enjoying the series.
The Sword of Attila by Michael Curtis Ford
As suggested by the title it's a novel about Attila the Hun and his war against the Roman Empire. It would seem like a plot from a B-grade Sword and Sandal movie that the Huns and Rome sign a treaty, exchange hostages who grow up learning each other's culture and who finally become generals that face each other in battle. But apparently that really did happen.
Right...I have a question for everyone in this thread. On Saturday I am going to the LA area to house-sit for a couple of weeks and I will have no internet access. Yes - I can hear you all snickering:winkgrin
With that being said I am planning on taking some long and interesting books with me.
I read pretty much anything as I was a lit major in college, but I want to take a variety of books with me. If any of you have suggestions I would be forever greatful.
I'm just beginning Kyle Mills' newest book, "Fade". While I wait until May 30, when Dean Koontz's new book, "The Husband", is released.
I read a great book recently called "Flipped" by Wendelin Van Draanen that was a really appealing little story but a quick read. It's about two kids growing up across the street from each other, and the "flipped" aspect of it is that you hear events in their lives from alternating perspectives.
Try these, JLuvs:
Originally Posted by JLuvs
- The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber. It's an intriguing modern take on the Victorian novel: while written in an old-fashioned writing style, it is very post-modern and playful. If you're at all interested in the dark underbelly of 19th century London - think dark alleys, weary prostitutes, seedy public houses and, just a few miles away, influential men returning to their beautiful homes and loving wives after having paid a visit to the abovementioned seedy places. Best of all? It's 944 pages, so it should take you a while to get through it. It's a fascinating read, though.
- Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates. Epic, captivating, sad, and profound. Oates manages to capture the essence of Marilyn Monroe in a way that no biographer has even come close to doing. It's a looong read, but a rewarding one.
- State of the Union by Douglas Kennedy. I stayed up late last night finishing this. Douglas Kennedy is a genius when it comes to creating stories that will have you frantically turning pages well into the wee hours of the night. This is the story of an ordinary fiftyish woman who suddenly, in the wake of the ultra-conservative climate of post-9/11 America, discovers that a youthly indiscretion in her past has come back to haunt her. It almost reads like a political thriller, although it's really just the story of an ordinary woman's life. It's just under 500 pages and a very quick read.
- Anything by James Ellroy. He writes dark, eerie, captivating - and long! :lol - crime novels typically set in 1950's Los Angeles. If you haven't read anything by him, I'd suggest you start with Black Dahlia or L.A. Confidential. Ooh, and I just saw that you'll be house-sitting in L.A.! How appropriate.
- Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier. A half-forgotten gem that should be labeled a true classic, this is romance and suspense with an overall literary tone. Hitchcock turned it into a great movie back in the early 1940's.
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt. One of my all-time favourite novels that I recommend to everyone. I've been known to buy copies for friends - I'm that eager for people to read it! It can be described as a literary thriller, set on campus of a small Vermont college, and bears some resemblances to Crime and Punishment, theme-wise, although it's very much a unique story.
- The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I couldn't put this down. One of the most beautiful and original love stories I've read in a long time.
- The Tin Drum by GŁnter Grass. One of my favourite novels. Set in Nazi Germany, this is an absolutely intriguing story of a remarkable boy with extraordinary powers. By turns absurd, tragic, and hilarious, this is one of the best novels to have been written in the 20th century.
- Underworld by Don DeLillo. We're talking about reading this for our book club soon, so you could be our guinea pig. :) It is certainly long and probably a bit challenging, but it received rave reviews when it was published and while I haven't read it yet, I intend to when I find the time.
Hmm... what else? I'd suggest you throw an interesting non-fiction book into the mix, and perhaps a hefty classic you never got round to reading in college. Personally, I adore Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence (don't snicker, it's not just about the sex) and Dostoyevsky. What else? You're a Stephen King fan, right? Have you read all his work? If not, he tends to write long and interesting novels, at least up until recently. Ever read Bag of Bones? I loved that one. On second thought: do you spook easily? I know I couldn't read Bag of Bones while house-sitting alone. You're probably braver than me, though.
Have a lovely time house-sitting! We'll miss having you around, of course. :biglove PM me if you need further suggestions.
Thanks so much for this list. I have actually never read a Stephen King book. I know that Drew has books so I will be raiding his bookshelves at home. I can see it now...I am either going to be walking and feeding his dogs, reading books, or wathing movies:teeth
Size 12 is not fat. It's actually quite funny.
I just started The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd, a novel that I know many FORTers have read and enjoyed. I loved her first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, and so far her sophomore effort hasn't disappointed. Sue Monk Kidd's use of language is unique, beautiful and very appealing, the story fascinating - the kind of story that sucks you in right away. The first sentence of the novel illustrates Monk Kidd's gifted plotting and storytelling: "In the middle of my marriage, when I was above all Hugh's wife and Dee's mother, one of those unambiguous women with no desire to disturb the universe, I fell in love with a Benedictine monk." I was hooked immediately and would love to be able to read it in one sitting, except I'm pressed for time right now. :(
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