- New York, NY, USA
- member since September 17, 2010
You're welcome! and I'm so very gratified... It's a great pleasure to recommend books to those who can appreciate them, and to find that they identify with them as I did is an even greater pleasure. I'm sure that you're like me, in that you're always searching for the book that makes you "feel" something...I never know what it'll be...could be almost any subject, but it'll stay with me forever. Sometimes I'm so taken that I can't begin another book for awhile because the previous book is still running through my thoughts...Too bad those books are few and far between!
My current book is called "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?", and is an engaging farce written largely in letters and emails, that reminds me of the relationship between comedy and tragedy. So far, so good... and as for the "meanagers" there's a lot of scientific research these days about the brain development of children and teenagers, that demonstrates that they do not think the way adults think...that no matter how grown-up they appear, their brains are not fully developed enough to process information as an adult would - which leads them to some remarkedly poor decision making sometimes. This is of course informative when analyzing teens, but doesn't help to explain the poor choices often made by us adults!
When I first became aware of the K2 disaster, I was in one of my outdoorsman phases and was a regular reader of Outside magazine, for whom Krakauer wrote...I remember being riveted by the initial articles, and the storm of blame that swirled around the entire affair. "Into Thin Air" will forever be a classic of mountaineering and survival. The only other book I've read that comes anywhere near was "Touching the Void" by Joe Simpson. It's a personal tale of survival where two men, days away from anyone, confront a situation in which one must sacrifice the other...it's astounding. I liked "Dare Me", but the whole time I kept thinking, "Are teenage girls really this bad?" Somehow, even after all these years, I still think of y'all being the fairer sex...nicer...sugar and spice, and all that...Passive aggressive doesn't begin to describe them, those girls were vicious!
As for recommendations...some of my recent favorites have been "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter", "Provinces of the Night", and "West of Here"...along with some older favorites like "Lambs of God", "The Lords of Discipline", "The Quiet American", and "The Remains of the Day". Happy reading!!!
Thanks for the mentioning the new Jim Harrison book; I hadn't heard of its release, and I'll definitely want to read it! I'm also curious about the Forgotten Waltz...please give me a report when you get to it. I've been really busy at work and haven't had much time to read, but am slowly slogging through The Game of Thrones. It's outside my normal realm, but is entertaining...
I think you'll love Plainsong, it's a quiet understated book that speaks volumes without spelling everything out... it goes back to the old "actions speak louder than words" adage. And I can't imagine not being taken in by ''Into Thin Air''; after much cajoling, I talked my wife into reading it...she said she had no interest in climbing, she didn't know and didn't really care, she didn't understand the terminology, etc... and then she started reading, and couldn't put it down. She's been a Krakauer fan ever since!
Hello Stacey! I just added Falling Angel to my list because I saw it on yours and Jeannemarie1's shelves, and you both loved it. I didn't realize that it was the basis for Angel Heart though... I saw the movie back when it came out and enjoyed it. I look forward to reading the book. I don't know about recommendations though - you look like you're doing quite well with your own choices (I watch your page on a regular basis)! However... if you haven't read Krakauer's "Into Thin Air", you'd be hard pressed to find anything more riveting. You might also enjoy "Heaven Lake"; the story of a missionary in China, or "Plainsong"; a quiet small town Western story in which nothing much happens, and yet lives change, or "Go With Me"; a northwards gothic in which a group of men decide to help a damsel in distress, or perhaps "West of Here"; a Pacific Northwest epic, split between those who settled the region, and their descendants 100 years later. At least one of those is bound to tickle you fancy... they're all favorites of mine, but completely different. Cheers, Alfred
PS I like the new avatar...
I'm so glad you enjoyed Chesil Beach, though I'm not sure that "enjoyed" is the proper word, it was more of an "ouch" for me - in spite of the fact that I loved it! It's greatness, for me, was in that I truly felt it, and like your quote about doing nothing and the feeling it gave you, the story still resonates with me too. I can ask of nothing more of an author.
Hope you're well,
I'm pleased that you enjoyed City Of Thieves, and am looking forward to reading The Last Good Kiss next - as soon as I finish West of Here, which is proving to be very good indeed... I also saw that you're planing on reading In Praise of the Stepmother! It's one of my favorites, and is somewhat disturbing. I've recently discovered the Reading Stats (under the More button on the Public Overview page), and am going through my old reading diary, and updating my Shelfari info - I think I'm becoming obsessive!
Thanks for the suggestions! I particularly want to read the Crumley novel (I love noir); I have two of his books in my "to be read list", but I think I should get the LGK first. I'm also a Patti Smith fan, so I'll definitely pick that one up as well... and lastly I've considered buying Stoner several times, so I'll be on the lookout for both John Williams books. I too, use Half.com and bay in my book searches, as well as Amazon's new and used books through independent sellers, and bookcloseouts.com - all good sources! I've gotten where I only buy hardbacks, preferably 1st editions, and secondary sellers are my preferred source. Bookcloseouts is best on postage if you're buying several books and you can often find coupons on the net that'll give you $5 off $25 (or something akin), but their website is not quite as user friendly. I usually have a list in hand of 8-24 month old books, that I want (but not bad enough to pay retail), before I tackle bookcloseouts. I've also fallen into collecting signed books whenever possible - we have a local bookstore, Alabama Booksmith, that has a signed 1st edition club where they get the hottest book of the month, signed and mailed to you. Most of them are books that I wanted anyway, and I'd just as soon have the signed one...Some of them have become huge collectors items, and I've considered selling some of them, but so far have been unable to part with any of them. "The Help" in particular - I've heard has gone for as much as $900! It's tempting...
I'll talk to you later,
I saw your review of Under the Skin, and am gratified to see that you enjoyed it! I always worry after making recommendations, as you never quite know someone else's tastes. "UTS" was a unique book that surprised me, and stuck with me long after finishing it. I look forward to hearing some of your recommendations...
Yes! You're absolutely right! Without switching it up, It's so easy to become inured to an author's style, where they inevitably lose some of their magic. In my younger days, I would hit upon a new author, or series, and would eagerly read everything I could get my hands on, and at some point, I always ended up burnt out. Now, I rarely read the same author twice within a year... and it makes a big difference to my enjoyment.
I'm in total agreement with you on Stephen King, and Clive Barker! And it's funny, because though I don't think much of King's writing - on several occasions he's produced some GREAT stories! It kind of reminds me of The Bridges of Madison County and the Divinci Code; neither one could be considered Literature, but when you've got a good enough story, it just doesn't matter!
Thanks so much for the kind words! I do try to mix my reading up with different genres, and periods of history; traveling between literature and trash. And after a "heavy" read, I usually indulge myself with a lighter "mental sorbet" to cleanse the palate - I'm definitely not one to occupy myself solely with "what the flavor-of-the month readers are reading". (though that's not always bad...) I'm a few years behind currently, and am always torn between starting a recent book that I've heard I "must" read, and reading something that I'd previously bought and laid aside for later. It all depends on whether or not that first paragraph grabs me. I pretty much have to be in the right mood for that particular book - kind of like Chinese food - I love it, but sometimes Chinese is not what I'm in the mood for. Books are like that for me... I not interested in reading the same story (or author), all the time.
I looked through your shelf and your favorites, before making my recommendations... so I'm looking forward to your impressions. Hopefully you'll like them! I've already thought of half a dozen more books I should have named, but there's plenty of time for that later.
Hello Stacey, I've also heard that "Mudbound" is good, but haven't gotten around to it... As far as recommendations go, it might depend on what mood you're in, but some of my recent favorites have been "Go With Me", sort of a northwards gothic tale of a damsel in distress, like a noir fairy tale; "City of Thieves", about two young men who're in a life and death quest for eggs in WWII Stalingrad; "Chesil Beach", a so-very English heartbreaker; "Bangkok Tattoo", the sequel to "Bangkok 8", just as good and maybe better; "Under the Skin", a creepy book about a woman who drives through the Scottish Highlands looking for strapping young men - don't read reviews as they may have spoilers! I hope some of these are of interest! Alfred
Welcome to the group based on the book 1001 BOOKS YOU MUST READ BEFORE YOU DIE. There is a general explanation of the group and some answers to FAQ under the discussion thread GROUP GUIDELINES. The past BOTM can be found pinned to the top for 2010 and 2009 if you want to search discussions you can join in anytime.
The books of the month (BOTM) that the group is reading are pinned to the top. September books are;
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS by Jules Verne
SLAUGHTER HOUSE FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
CANDIDE by Voltaire
These are short books so you still have time to get one or more read!
October BOTM are We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, The Once and Future King by TH White and, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
HI Stacey. Is this the site you were telling me about the day we took the school tour? I like it and Emily has already signed up. I'm hoping it will motivate me to read MORE. I am enjoying Never Let Me Go. I picked it up after starting a review of the movie and putting down the review when it warned about a plot spoiler ahead. I'm about a third through. Thanks for reaching out. :-)