Read anything good lately? (II)

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Paichka

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@sweeteeze, I have read Betty Smith's other books and enjoyed them very much. Thank you for reminding me of those. "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" just stands out for me, but the others were quite good as well.

Alice Hoffman is another of my favorite authors, and though her writing style is nothing like Betty Smith's, your description sort of applies to her writing as well. I always say that Alice Hoffman writes about ordinary people to whom extraordinary things happen. Maybe it is just that when she is at her best, she makes the ordinary seem extraordinary. She has written a few clunkers, but for the most part, I love her work.
 

sweeteeze

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@Paichka, I just read "The Ice Queen" by Alice Hoffman, about people struck by lightening. It had such a feel of fantasy to it --- were these people struck by lightening figuratively as well? Aren't we all victims of sudden changes like strike like lightening, are as harmful, and yet...we survive, never again the same people, but at least our vulnerabilities are finally revealed to us?

Betty Smith was a great storyteller, and she intertwined humor and tragedy. Hard to find books like that anymore... Sweet E
 

Paichka

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@sweeteeze, I haven't read "The Ice Queen" but I will. There are, IMO, a lot of her metaphors in her writing. She is probably one of the most uneven writers I have ever read. Some of her books are just ridiculous and others are almost magical. I need to think back on which were my favorites - my brain is too tired tonight to remember the name of the last book I read. :)
 

Poink

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Most of what I read nowadays are simply best sellers with little redeeming social value. Am reading the latest James Lee Burke novel now. The series has definately declined some but wow what a start.

I have at least a couple of copies of everything (or nearly so) that Mark Twain published and when I run into a string of really bad modern writing I pull out most anything by Twain and am comforted.

I read the first half dozen novels in the WHEEL OF TIME series as they were published before wising up. Now that the 14th and final one is out I am thinking about starting that over.

Am learning to read on a Kindle but still a little weird.
 

Paichka

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@Demona - I really enjoyed "The Storyteller." It really is quite different for Picoult and IMO, very, very well done. Thanks for the recommendation.
 

just lookin

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the lord of the rings trilogy is great but a little nerdy. but the best book of all time is catch22. you really should check that one out, i dont see how anyone wouldnt like it
 

Poink

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LOTR was excellent, and Catch-22 is a very good book.

One of my sisters had "Valley of the Dolls" back in the 60s and I remember reading it as a teen boy and thought it was a great novel. Right after that I read "The Electric Koolaid Acid Test". Being young in the deep south in the late 60s they were like travelogue from a distant planet.
 

Haley's Mom

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@Poink I've never heard of The Electric Koolaid Acid Test, but that title caught my attention. Sounds interesting.
 

Poink

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It's something you might want to google some time, and I haven't read it since I was a kid, but it was about Ken Kesey (who wrote "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest") and hippies and LSD and Hells Angels and Rock&Roll and the 60s and it was pretty cool. Don't know how well the writing has held up but it was by Tom Wolfe so probably still readable. It made a pretty big impression on a hick kid from north Florida (which is the same as south Alabama).
 

sweeteeze

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I like my Kindle, but it does seem a bit odd. I think it is that your eyes are used to more movement with a book. It doesn't feel natural, like walking on a treadmill doesn't feel natural like a real walk would. However, I like that it saves space, esp when you travel.

I am reading "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac, who was another nonconformist, and began all that hippie stuff.
 

Paichka

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I think that a Kindle takes a little getting used to initially but after several years of only reading books on my Kindle, it seems perfectly natural to me now. I love it! Easier to hold, easy to page forward or backwards. Some people will never LOVE a Kindle or any E-Reader. My daughter is one of those people - she likes the feel, smell, weight, etc. of a real book.

I like my Kindle, but it does seem a bit odd. I think it is that your eyes are used to more movement with a book. It doesn't feel natural, like walking on a treadmill doesn't feel natural like a real walk would. However, I like that it saves space, esp when you travel.

I am reading "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac, who was another nonconformist, and began all that hippie stuff.
 

Haley's Mom

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I didn't think I would like my kindle either. I also love the smell of books. My boyfriend suprised me with a kindle fire last year for my birthday and at first I thought (to myself) I don't know about this. I absolutely LOVE it. Probably because I like instant gratification. You can't beat FREE and .99 books either.
 

Poink

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Yeah, I haunt the Free Books and Chat threads at Amazon at times and have found some pretty decent books. Also have deleted several when there were multiple typos on the first page. But sometimes there are some good deals. They also sometimes put some really good books on sale for a couple of bucks.

And, if I decide to read the Wheel of Time series, that's about 40 pounds of books I can put on my Kindle. Much easier to carry around.

I still love holding a book, flipping through the pages, all of the sensory input. But right now I have over a hundred full length books waiting to be read-all on a device that weighs less than a pound. I get tired of one, I can switch off to another for a while. Like so much in my life, it's almost magic.
 

Haley's Mom

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Has anyone read Heart Shaped Box? I was thinking of downloading it. It sounds interesting and a little weird so I'm not sure.
 

RobertThomas

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In the middle of reading "Best Kept Secret", part 3 of the Clifton Chronicles by Jeffery Archer. Haven't found a better story teller. "Jackdaws" by Ken Follet was an excellent read as well, reminded me to some extent of "The day of the Jackal"
 

HarryIrene

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Captain Beefheart Biography by Mike Barnes.(I know, I know I'm a Beefheart-Freak anyway) but is an Excellent Biography even if you never heard of him. I recommend this book. Excellent, Great read.

I also Really like Biographies and Auto-Biographies. If the person the people(s) wrote the a book about is an interesting person.
I also like Music books. History of Music, etc, etc,...I have about 2,000 books still in the Midwest that I need to get to RI one day..Also a couple thousand Rare records stored at a friends House.

i smell a road-trip in the future, also a few thousand baseball, Football, Hockey and odd Trading cards. -TONS - (Probably over $10,000 worth!) I could only fit so much in a Honda when I had to leave the Midwest to the Coast. Me and my oldest will take a road-trip this summer. It'll be fun.

Quitting the Nairobi Author is Jim Knipfell. Is aGreat Read too, if you can find it. I'm sure Amazon has it.
 
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DulyNoted

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Lot's of good book mentions here in the last day or so. The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test is a lot better than the title would lead you to believe. It was our first indication of just how good a writer Tom Wolfe would become. (The Right Stuff, Bonfire of the Vanities) The Captain Beefheart biography reminded me of how good a read No One Gets Out of Here Alive was. Jim Morrison was an intense and complex person and the book managed (for me) to convey the essence of JM, which was no easy feat for a biographer.

So I'll "spin" off of the Tom Wolfe book about Ken Kesey and the merry pranksters and mention that Kesey wrote a lesser known book that was a beautiful remarkable story entitled "Sometimes a Great Notion". it was also made into a pretty good movie with Paul newman, Henry Fonda, and Lee Remick.
 

10 years after

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Has anyone read Heart Shaped Box? I was thinking of downloading it. It sounds interesting and a little weird so I'm not sure.

Yes I just finished it. The author, Joe Hill, is Stephen King's son and he writes just like his dad did at his very best. I was going to recommend this book when I saw your post.
 

Molly W

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I'm off on holiday soon so have to assemble a gd reading list....thinking of Marilynne Robinson-anyone read? Just been reading Jon Ronson The Psychopath test which is brilliant.
 
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