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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #2541
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    I started Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult over the weekend and am enjoying it so far. I like how Picoult consistently delivers easily digestable page-turners that, despite being quick, easy reads still have a deeper message. Note to self: pick up her latest effort (I've got a headache and can't remember any titles right now) as soon as possible. It's out in hardcover now.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

  2. #2542
    Crabby Cancerian remote_goddess's Avatar
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    My favorite by Picoult was My Sister's Keeper. I cried my eyes out several times while reading that book. That was my first experience with her work, and since then I've read almost everything she's written. While they are all good, I haven't been quite as touched by any of them as I was by that one.

    Vanishing Acts was good, and if you like her other work, you'll enjoy it. The last book by Picoult I read was The Tenth Circle, and it had some twists that threw me, but overall, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Have you read it yet, geek the girl?

  3. #2543
    FORT Fogey cricketeen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geek the girl;2308245;
    Note to self: pick up her latest effort (I've got a headache and can't remember any titles right now) as soon as possible. It's out in hardcover now.
    Nineteen Minutes.


    Currently reading The Fig Eater by Jody Shields. It's a heavy, atmospheric, intelligent book - broken down in small "bites" so it's not overwhelming. I almost feel as if I'm reading a dream, if that makes sense. It's mystery fiction with a twist: the victim is based on Sigmund Freud's very real patient "Dora" (who in reality was not murdered).
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti

  4. #2544
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Nineteen Minutes.
    Thank you, cricketeen! Have you read it yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by remote_goddess;2308312;
    My favorite by Picoult was My Sister's Keeper. I cried my eyes out several times while reading that book. That was my first experience with her work, and since then I've read almost everything she's written. While they are all good, I haven't been quite as touched by any of them as I was by that one.

    Vanishing Acts was good, and if you like her other work, you'll enjoy it. The last book by Picoult I read was The Tenth Circle, and it had some twists that threw me, but overall, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Have you read it yet, geek the girl?
    Yep, My Sister's Keeper was a real tearjerker for me, too. It was my first Picoult as well, and it's probably my favourite, along with The Tenth Circle, which I really, really liked, although it's quite different from My Sister's Keeper. Browsing through this thread, I came across my review of it, cover pic and all (I had a pretty uneventful summer...). Here's what I wrote about it last summer:

    "Another winner from the fabulous Ms Picoult, who so brilliantly puts complex ethical dilemmas into a page-turner context. I must admit, this novel shocked the hell out of me. It wasn't too long ago since I was a teenager myself, but some of the descriptions of what today's kids are supposedly up to made me feel like an old prude. The Tenth Circle is the story of the Stone family and deals with date rape, vengeance, and the futility of erasing one's past. Apart from being impossible to put down, it is also a literary experiment of sorts - since Daniel Stone, the father and main character of the story, is a comic book artist, his graphic novel named - yep! - The Tenth Circle is included in the novel. Very cool and innovative."

    So yeah, I've read and enjoyed The Tenth Circle. I've also read Plain Truth, but I have to say I found that one to be a bit of a disappointment; at any rate, it didn't compare with My Sister's Keeper or The Tenth Circle. Now, I haven't finished Vanishing Acts yet, but if the 150+ pages I've read so far is a fair indication, I'd rate it higher than Plain Truth (too many courtroom scenes, not enough characterization) but not up there with the other two Picoult novels I've read so far. Still, I imagine I'll end up reading her entire back catalogue eventually. Where do you suggest I go next, remote goddess? I'll probably start with Nineteen Minutes - I took a sneak peak of the first couple of pages at a book store the other week, and it seems like another winner - but after that, I'm at a loss as to where to go next in Picoult land. I've heard good things about Salem Falls, and I've noticed that paperback copies of The Pact seem to haunt me whenever I enter a book store. If you could give me any pointers, that would be great.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

  5. #2545
    Crabby Cancerian remote_goddess's Avatar
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    I'll go through my reading journal tonight and get a list of the ones I've read and the order I'd recommend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle David;2286491;
    Let me know about Life if Pi. I have the book, but just couldn’t get past the first 5 minutes. Can’t remember why. I’ll give it another try if it’s worth the effort.
    Just finished this last night. I haven't been posting here long enough to know your tastes (give it time...), so I'm having a hard time deciding if I'd recommend it or not. I enjoyed it; it was strange and moving and deep in so many ways I didn't expect, but it was sometimes very hard to keep reading. To me, it was not the sort of book that is a page turner cover-to-cover. It is best in bits and pieces, so that you digest what you read as you go.

    Basically, it is the story, told in a first person retrospective, of Pi's unlikely survival on the Pacific after a ship upon which his family is traveling sinks. The beginning of the story gives a good amount of background information on Pi's childhood and his experiences living in India in the 1970's. We learn of Pi's affinity for religion (three of which he studies and practices ) and his family background with animals and zoo keeping. All of this is important to understand Pi's survival. After the event, and as he finds himself afloat with a very unlikely shipmate, the story takes a turn, in my opinion, in a direction that is both sad, funny, inspiring, and hopeless all at once. At times, it is completely unbelievable, while at others, you feel so strongly that every word is the truth. I found myself interested in the story, but not so much "emotionally invested" in the characters for a good part of the book... And then the ending has a twist that throws the entire thing into a new light, and for me, was the saving grace that changed it from morose to moving.

    So in the end I guess I would say yes, it is worth the effort and I would probably recommend it to just about anyone with a bit of patience to get past the first third of the book. If you do read it, let me know what you think.

  6. #2546
    Teach your children Uncle David's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by remote_goddess;2308701;
    ...but it was sometimes very hard to keep reading. To me, it was not the sort of book that is a page turner cover-to-cover.
    Thanks for the great review RG. It was just the right information to help me make my decision.

    In my youth I had the time, patience and curiosity to tackle the likes of ‘V’ and ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’. Even Dickens’s constant pessimism wasn’t enough to deter me. However, I’m an old man now and I’m more interested in being entertained. Unless I get desperate I’ll probably just hold off on Pi.
    The funniest thing about this particular signature is that by the time you realise it doesn't say anything it's too late to stop reading it.

  7. #2547
    FORT Fogey cricketeen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geek the girl;2308511;
    Thank you, cricketeen! Have you read it yet?
    No, I haven't. Though I like Picoult, her books don't go straight to the top of my book pile. My local paper reviewed Nineteen Minutes yesterday, which is why I was able to pull the title out of my head so easily. The review stated it is typical Picoult - nicely paced, easy to read and a tidy ending.
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti

  8. #2548
    When I'm 64 William13's Avatar
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    Persian Fire by Tom Holland
    It's about the conflict between Persia and Greece

    Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood
    A collection of short stories
    "The sun rose promptly at dawn."
    Tom Clancy in his novel The Teeth of the Tiger

  9. #2549
    waiting for summer owlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by remote_goddess;2308701;


    Just finished this last night. I haven't been posting here long enough to know your tastes (give it time...), so I'm having a hard time deciding if I'd recommend it or not. I enjoyed it; it was strange and moving and deep in so many ways I didn't expect, but it was sometimes very hard to keep reading. To me, it was not the sort of book that is a page turner cover-to-cover. It is best in bits and pieces, so that you digest what you read as you go.
    I had much the same experience with The Life of Pi. I was told I would love it, but by the time I finished it, I had mixed feelings. We actually discussed it in one of my book clubs, and it was only then that I think I developed a real appreciation of the book. I think it's a book that needs to be digested and discussed!

  10. #2550
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by remote_goddess;2308701;
    I'll go through my reading journal tonight and get a list of the ones I've read and the order I'd recommend.
    Aww, remote goddess, you're a star!

    Next in my "to read" pile is a novel I've been looking forward to for almost a decade: The Quiet Girl by Peter Høeg. I'm not sure whether it's out in English yet as I'll be reading the Swedish translation, but if it is, things have been suspiciously quiet. After all, we're talking about one of the biggest literary sensations of the 1990's making a comeback. (Dramatic, much? ) In any case: very, very excited about this. I'm a massive fan of The Borderliners, History of Danish Dreams, and, of course, Miss Smilla's Sense of Snow, and he has been sorely missed during his much-too-long absence in the literary world. Any other fans of Peter Høeg out there?
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

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