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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #2361
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotuslander;2160789;
    So Geek, since your such a voracious reader, how about a list of your most favorite books, so I don't have to wander blindly through the bookstore. I often buy books simply because I like the title, and sometimes that works and other times........not so much.
    The reason why I chose to quote you once again, Lotuslander, is so that you - and other FORTers, for that matter - will remember that you actually asked for this. See, "list of your most favourite books"... interesting phrase, not to mention subjective. For a normal person, said list could very well turn out to be a moderately sized one - the kind you can read from beginning to end without getting carpal tunnel syndrome in the process. Me? Not so much. I tried to narrow it down to a vaguely comprehensive list, but every time I made an effort to put my pen down (as it were), I would think to myself "I couldn't possibly exclude this book; remember how much I loved it?". I tend to be very sentimental when it comes to reading.

    Anyway, bottom line is: I ended up opting for a list of all the books I've loved in the last five years or so, hence the epic nature. Sorry about that. The good news? You'll definitely find something you, too, will love on here. Hopefully, you'll enjoy them all, no matter which ones you end up choosing. The vast majority is literary fiction written in the last ten or fifteen years, but there are a few older ones included as well. Titles I've marked are books I feel particularly strongly about. That doesn't mean all the other books aren't amazing, too, because they are. At least I think so. Happy hunting!

    Geek the Girl's favourite books (some of them, at least...)

    The Secret History* by Donna Tartt
    The Magus* by John Fowles
    The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (or anything by Atwood; you can’t go wrong with her)
    The God of Small Things* by Arundhati Roy
    Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
    Moon Palace* and/or Oracle Night* by Paul Auster
    Blonde* and/or Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates (she's one of my favourite writers)
    Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler (anything by Tyler, really. I know you're into Alice Munro and John Irving, so you'll definitely enjoy Anne Tyler.)
    The Big Picture* and/or The Pursuit of Happiness by Douglas Kennedy
    What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt
    What We Talk About When We Talk About Love* by Raymond Carver
    The Tin Drum* by Gnter Grass
    Borderliners* by Peter Hoeg
    The Kiss by Kathryn Harris
    The Way the Crow Flies by Anne Marie McDonald
    One Hundred Years of Solitude* by Gabriel Garca Marquz
    Turtle Moon* by Alice Hoffman (or anything you can find by Hoffman at your local library or book store)
    Bag of Bones* and It* by Stephen King
    Crow Lake* by Mary Lawson
    On Beauty by Zadie Smith
    First Light by Peter Ackroyd
    The Crimson Petal and the White* by Michel Faber
    The Poet by Michael Connelly
    Shutter Island* by Dennis Lehane
    The Woman Warrior: A Memoir of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
    Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
    The American Boy* by Andrew Taylor
    Human Croquet* and/or Case Histories* by Kate Atkinson
    Silk* by Alessandro Baricco
    Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
    Written on the Body* by Jeanette Winterson (again: anything you can find by her is bound to be amazing)
    The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
    Rebecca* by Daphne duMaurier
    Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis
    Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
    Tracks* by Louise Erdrich
    Until the Real Thing Comes Along* by Elizabeth Berg
    The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman
    Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
    The Namesake* by Jhumpa Lahiri
    Einstein's Dreams* by Alan Lightman
    Wintering* by Kate Moses
    The Time Traveler's Wife* by Audrey Niffenegger
    The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
    The Famished Road by Ben Okri
    Prep* by Curtis Sittenfeld
    The Shadow of the Wind* by Carlos Ruisz Zafn
    The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
    The Russian Debutant's Handbook by Gary Schteyngart
    Ghost Story by Peter Straub
    The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons
    Light on Snow by Anita Shreve

    Sorry for the threadjack. So, anyone else want to share a list of their favourite novels? Or should we create a new thread?
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

  2. #2362
    Nevermind Lotuslander's Avatar
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    Geek, thanks for the list, but I might have to enter a monastery for four five years to finish them all. The Secret History seems to be your all time favorite and I've noticed it on AJane's list as well, so I'm going to start on that one. I appreciate the recommendations , it's so hard to meander through a bookstore and try to figure out what to buy. I'm also lucky enough to live near a really good used bookstore in Vancouver ( Pulp Fiction on Main for any of my fellow Lotuslanders, or all you tourists who seem to show up in the summer). I'm also really looking forward to your first novel, and expect a signed copy. Some I've read, Blonde for example, and I don't think a writer ever captured the essence of Marilyn as JCO did, though I fell into a major depression afterwards. Loved the Blind Assassin too, especially the servant girls, I love Atwoods servant girls, Grace being close to my heart. I haven't read The Way the Crow Flies, but I've read the book it's loosely based on, but I loved Fall On Your Knees. The Time Travellers Wife was fun, but I've never re-read it. Just didn't buy the main character, being this Clark Kent librarian at day, and punk pickpocket at night, though I loved the scene of him masturbating with his future self. Oh and Ghost Story is my favorite horror novel of all time. The English Patient is my all time favorite movie, but I've heard that Michael Onjatte ( O.K> I can't spell his name is difficult to read, but I'll give it a try. This Alice Hoffman woman sounds what I need write now, something toasty and warm, and shivery.
    Last edited by Lotuslander; 11-30-2006 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Added more.

  3. #2363
    Nevermind Lotuslander's Avatar
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    O.K Here's a List of My Favorite Books, and I have to admit I'm embarassed by some of them. Especially Gone with The Wind, but I still love it.

    1. Gone With The Wind ( I hated the movie but the relationship between Melanie and Scarlett had me crying like no book has ever done.

    2. Middlesex. Just perfectly paced and plotted, with a great climax, and it's funny too.

    3. Brokeback Mountain. Just a short story, but packs a punch so hard my stomach lurched.

    4. A Prayer for Owen Meany. I love Owen, smart but not worldly.

    5. She's Come Undone. Funny, poignant, and when Delores finally finds the courage to confront her dork boyfriend I was on the edge of the couch cheering her on.

    6. Alias Grace. I was rooting for her all the way, one of those characters I'd like to have known.

    7. Dying Inside. About a man who can read other peoples thoughts but the twist is he's losing his powers. This was during my Science Fiction period.

    8. Ghost Story. Just Bone Chilling.

    9. Pride and Predjudice. Lady Catherine is such a cow, and I also got a kick out of Caroline Bingley.

    10. The Progress of Love. A collection of short stories from Alice Munro. The title story is the best, and one of those stories that has stayed with me.

    11. Dancer from the Dance. Written in the 70's pre Aids crisis and hysterically funny. Warning graphic sex

    12. The Stone Diaries. Great book, but had to up my meds after this one too.

    13. The Vampire Lestat. Anne Rice's best book, but I hate all her current stuff

    14. The Little House on the Prairie books, ultimate comfort reading

    15. Less Than Zero. Just deliciously vacuous

    16. Wicked. I love new takes on old myths.

    17. The Bonfire of The Vanities. So New York in the Eighties. I still can't look at a very thin older woman who's starved and exercised herself to near death ,without thinking X-ray. And those 2nd wives he calls Lemon Tarts.

    18. Cashelmara. I read this book when I was fifteen and was shocked to find a sympathetic, albeit ruthless gay character. One of the books I'm embarrassed to put here but remember it was written in the early to mid-seventies. I read it in grade 7.

    19. Beloved. No book has disturbed me more, or made me feel ashamed of being white.

    20. The Easter Parade. I don't know who wrote it, but it had a profound effect on me. I read it when I was fifteen, and I remember this woman's life unravelling, and at the time I thought that was impossible.



    18.
    Last edited by Lotuslander; 11-30-2006 at 05:03 PM. Reason: typo's,

  4. #2364
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Wow, GREAT list! Many of the books you mention I've read and loved - I can't believe I forgot to include She's Come Undone on my list. I loved Beloved and Middlesex, but since you mentioned both of them in another thread, I decided to skip them. As for the books on your list I haven't read, consider it done. I was happy to see Wicked included on your list. On my trip to London a couple of weeks ago, I came this close to buying it and regretted it on the way home. Now I really need to go out and get it. It seems right up my alley.

    Oh, and Ghost Story is by far the scariest book I've ever read. It even surpasses It, which says a lot. I woke up screaming in the middle of the night several times while I was reading it - actual night terrors, Elm Street style. To this day, I'm not exactly sure what it was that had such an effect on me; I'm a horror junkie and have been known to yawn my way through Hostel, which was gruesome. Maybe is was [spoiler]the shape-shifting thing, the suggestion that there is tangible evil in the world and that said evil never dies, just comes back in new forms. There are similar themes in Millennium and X-Files, and those shows scare the heck out of me.

    Have you read anything else by Straub? I have read and enjoyed his collaborations with Stephen King, so I'm eager to read more of his. I recently picked up Shadowland and will read it as soon as I get out of this "must read toasty and warm stuff" mood. It seems like a terrific read.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

  5. #2365
    Nevermind Lotuslander's Avatar
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    I was going to read that book co-authored by Straub and King, but never got around to it. I'm still mad at King for Pet Semetary, and haven't bought a book of his for years, except for Delores Clairborne. I have heard that Bag of Bones is excellent, but my favorite is The Stand. Scary how close he predicted a sort of Aids epidemic.

  6. #2366
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    Every year I treat myself to some books on Christmas. Some I order on the Internet and some I buy at bookstores. So today I made the first internet book order:
    1."Mn som hatar kvinnor" (Men who hate women) by Stieg Larsson - I've heard nothing but good things about this murder mystery and I'm actually quite excited to read it. This is book one of a three part series with Mikael Blomqvist, financial reporter, and Lisbeth Salander, hacker, as main characters. The author died shortly before the publication of his books, which seems such a shame.
    2."Say When" by Elizabeth Berg - Some comfort reading is a necessity when the days are dark and the nights cold and windy and this author seems to be highly recommended at FORT .
    3. "Friends, Lovers, Chocolate" by Alexander McCall Smith - this is the follow up to "The Sunday Philosophy Club" with Scottish philosopher Isabel Dalhousie as the main character. I enjoyed "The Sunday Philosophy Club" and I hope to like this one too.
    4."Wicked" by Gregory Maguire - I find the premise of the book very intriguing - a retell of "The Wizard of Oz" from the point of view of the Wicked Witch of the West.

    Anyway, I'll probably be adding up to my original order at least one more time, and I'm thinking about hitting the book store in the following days. Thanks so much for interesting book recommendations!

  7. #2367
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    I got a copy of Hannibal Rising on the 5th when it hit the stores, but decided to read the previous three Lecter books over again, then hit the new one. I'm dreading that I'll be disappointed with this last installment...it's in HUGE print (I thought I had the large print version by accident) and the amazon reviews are skewering it. But then they hated Hannibal and I love that book.
    " I look like Nigella Lawson with a $#*!ing hangover."

  8. #2368
    Livin' the life Dinahann's Avatar
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    Let us know what you think of it Texi. I've been hesitating to buy it because I feel like the series is a little played out, but I'd like to know what happens. I don't normally pay too much attention to what the critics say. Since they get paid to render an opinion I always feel like they take themselves a little too seriously.
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  9. #2369
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    I just finished reading the vanishing point for the second time...
    and im halfway through the vampire lestat...
    um...im not really reading anything else..

  10. #2370
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texicana;2170321;
    I got a copy of Hannibal Rising on the 5th when it hit the stores, but decided to read the previous three Lecter books over again, then hit the new one. I'm dreading that I'll be disappointed with this last installment...it's in HUGE print (I thought I had the large print version by accident) and the amazon reviews are skewering it. But then they hated Hannibal and I love that book.
    Oooh, that's right, there's a new Hannibal novel out! Big YUCK on the huge print, though. I hate buying a book online, getting it and thinking you've got the large print edition. What's up with that? Do authors get paid by the page these days?

    In any case, let me know how you like it.

    I'm getting ready for a train journey this afternoon and thought I'd bring along Shadowland by Peter Straub. Ghost Story scared my pants off and although the premises of Shadowland appear to be rather different, I'm in love with the concept of the novel. Evil lurking in dark remote Vermond woods, a magician subplot... Loves it, as Nicole Richie would have it. (Not that Miss Richie is a Peter Straub fan... gosh, I hope not!) Enough with the mushy comfort lit already; I need to get scared! Behold the return of Geek the Goth!

    Right, enough silliness. I'm off to read some contracts. Oh, the intrigue!
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

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