The Books Thread

  1. I haven't seen anything like this so I thought I would start one. You can post anything about books, reviews, opinions, recommendations, releases, etc. But PLEASE, PLEASE post a spoiler warning if you even think you might be spilling too much ;)

    I have recently gotten back into reading for pleasure after having to read the three theban plays for a class which I LOVED (dorky i know) and it reminded me how much I used to like reading up until having horrible books shoved down my throat in highschool. Most of what I have been into recently have been translated modern japanese literature, some of them are just as crazy and out there as alot of japanese films.

    Recently read (ill rate them out of 5, 5 being good and im a harsh rater):
    Audrey Hepburns Neck by Alan Brown 3/5
    South of the Boarder, West of the sun by haruki murakami-3/5
    The Togakushi Legend Murders by Yasuo Uchida-3.5/5

    Reading: 69 by Ryu Murakami-Was reviewed by a weekly magazine and it sounded interesting. Im about half way threw the second chapter and it seems pretty good so far.
    Here is the (summed up) description from Metropolis magazine:
    Ryu Murakami's first novel, the Akutagawa Prize-winning Almost transparent blue, featured Japanese heroines sodomized by American GIs, so you'd be forgiven for guessing that the title of his new book refers to a particular sexual position. In reality "69" is the date the novel's hero was a highschool senior in a small city in Kyushu. "Ninteen-sixty-nine," the novel begins, "was the year student uprisings shut down Tokyo University, The beatles put out The white album, Yellow submarine, and Abbey road...and people known as hippies wore their hair long and called for love and prace....the war in vietman continued." 69 is considered as a "roman a clef" and since the author was born in sasebo in 1952 he, like the narrater Kensuke Yazaki, would have been a 17year old highschool senior in a small Kyushu city near an american military base in 1969. In 69 Yazaki is a charismatic figure in a typical prep school who manages the difficult task of uniting various student cliques-The hoodlums, nerds, political activists etc in a plot to barricade the school to protest against the war in vietman, but Yazaki has another motive, to become admited by class beauty of a nearby school. On the night of the event naturally things get out of hand...
    (the rest i feel gives too much info away) When I finish the book ill make another post.

    Want to read: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress- By Heinlein. My friend recommended it, has anyone hear read it...I heard Heinlein is also kind of hit or miss...
  2. I HIGHLY recommend Malcolm Gladwell's book, The Tipping Point. It's very interesting and informative and great for anyone who wants to make a change or impact in something!

    His other book, Blink, was good too but I found it a little boring at certain spots. Still it's a really good book and it definitley made me view and think about certain things differently.

    And of course you have your usual chick lit - anything by Emily Griffin, Sophie Kinsella, etc. All very good and captivating reads!

    And if you're feeling for a classic then I love Pride and Prejudice.. the massive version lol. The one time I managed to get through all of it, it was a great book.
  3. I love and recommend the following books if you like classics:

    To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee
    A lesson before dying by Ernest J. Gaines
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    All quiet on the western front by Erich Maria Remarque
    A separate peace by John Knowles
    Of mice and men by John Steinbeck

    For chick lit I would recommend:

    Shopaholic series by sophie kinsella
    Silent honor by Danielle Steel
    Echoes by Danielle Steel
    Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
    Lil' Mama's rules by Sheneska Jackson
    The sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashera
    The princess diaries by Meg Cabot
    Message in a bottle by Nicholas Sparks

    For General Fiction:

    The women's murder club series by James Patterson
    Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
    Birthright by Nora Roberts
    Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
    A series of Unforunate Eventsy by Lemony Snicket
    Milk in my Coffee by Jerome Dickey
    Cheaters by Jerome Dickey
  4. Yesterday I bought Equus by Peter Shaffer. (The text of the play Daniel Radcliffe was in.)

    I ordered an American copy of Harry Potter, Book 7 (I like the covers of the American versions) and it's taking a while for me to get it because it's first going to my parents house. Once they get it, they'll send it to me. I asked my dad to send it in the most cost effective, fastest way.

    I thought I could break it up and read little bits of the play and I wound up finishing it last night.

    It's really good. It seems to beg the question, "What could drive someone who loves horses so much to do something horrible to them?"
  5. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoulet - or really any of her books.
  6. bell hooks' All About Love: New Visions is brilliant. Absolutely stunning. 13 short chapters look at cultural fallout and flawed ideas of love, stemming from ego, gender stereotypes, domination, control, and aggression.

    At 237 pages it's short enough that you could read it in one sitting, but I found it best to take a couple breaks and think, wax introspective, connect, before moving on. I read it two weeks ago and it is still gripping my thoughts.

    A few others I've recently read are Wei Hui's Shanghai Baby; The Geography of Thought, by Richard Nesbitt; Soseki Natsume's I Am A Cat, and Mariko Tamaki's Fake ID (another favourite).
  7. I loved to kill a mockingbird and of mice and men. I liked the lord the flies too, Mice and men and the lord of the flies both had this odd, creepy, aspect to it.

    Equus sounds like something i need to read!
  8. ...bumping this up to get some new suggestions.

    I just finished Eat, Pray Love by Liz Gilbert and really enjoyed it.

    From Publishers Weekly
    Starred Review. Gilbert (The Last American Man) grafts the structure of romantic fiction upon the inquiries of reporting in this sprawling yet methodical travelogue of soul-searching and self-discovery. Plagued with despair after a nasty divorce, the author, in her early 30s, divides a year equally among three dissimilar countries, exploring her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. First, pleasure: savoring Italy's buffet of delights ”the world's best pizza, free-flowing wine and dashing conversation partners” Gilbert consumes la dolce vita as spiritual succor. "I came to Italy pinched and thin," she writes, but soon fills out in waist and soul. Then, prayer and ascetic rigor: seeking communion with the divine at a sacred ashram in India, Gilbert emulates the ways of yogis in grueling hours of meditation, struggling to still her churning mind. Finally, a balancing act in Bali, where Gilbert tries for equipoise "betwixt and between" realms, studies with a merry medicine man and plunges into a charged love affair. Sustaining a chatty, conspiratorial tone, Gilbert fully engages readers in the year's cultural and emotional tapestry ”conveying rapture with infectious brio, recalling anguish with touching candor" as she details her exotic tableau with history, anecdote and impression

    Now I'm splitting time between two fluffy books: Early Bird since my parents just moved to a community like the one in the book and Bitter is the New Black, which is entertaining
  9. ITA salem falls and the pact are great books, i cried my way through the pact.

    iv just read TOAST by nigel slater, its a story of his childhood and the traumas he went through but is told through short stories about the foods that remind him of certain points in his childhood, i dont think it would appeal to those that dont live in the UK though. arctic role, and other such "delightful" foods.

    i think everyone should read CLOUD ATLAS its the sort of book that totaly changes your outlook on the way we live and on civilisation. its not heavy though, its a really complicated plot but it seems like total fantasy until you reach the end.
  10. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Looks boring on the outside, but is honestly the BEST book I have read in a long time. Truly a contemporary classic. It is so powerful and never boring.
  11. i just finished 'until i find you' by john irving and i highly recommend it. it's long but the writing is beautiful and it just flows, i could have gone on reading and reading about all his wonderful characters.

    books i've read in the past couple of years and that really stand out:

    'what i loved', siri hustvedt. possibly the best contemporary novel i've read in the last 5 years. definitely in the top 3.

    'i married a communist', philip roth

    'never let me go', kazuo ishiguro

    'the wind-up bird chronicle', 'sputnik sweetheart', 'norwegian wood', haruki murakami

    there's more but i have to run!
  12. gwen10 - Im a huge jodi picoult fan! ive read ( i think) all of her stuff! anyone have any suggestions for me? (as in things that are similar to her stuff?)

  13. I agree!! His next book "A Thousand Splendid Suns" was just as wonderful!!
    Here is my list:
    1. Shantaram (Gregory David Roberts, I think)
    2. The Glass Castle (Jeanette Wells)
    3. The Kite Runner
    4. A Thousand Splendid Suns
    5. The Lovely Bones (it has been out for a while...but for those who haven't read it...a great book!!)
  14. I'm about a third of the way through "The Diana Chronicles" by Tina Brown and I can't put it down. A really good book!
  15. Wow, sputnik, I think we've got the same taste. I adore Philip Roth and Haruki Murakami, so I'll definitely have to try Siri Hustvedt. :tup:

    Right now I'm reading a lot of e.e. cummings and Leonard Cohen, as well as bell hooks' Ain't I A Woman and Out, but Natsuo Kirini.