Outside of a Dog, a Book is Man's Best Friend (The Book Thread)

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Prancer

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Well, I was 16. It may not hold up for me ;)
I think I have the right one--department store heiress falls for charming, feckless man, her father "buys" the man for her, and she proceeds to spend years pining after her husband while he charmingly cheats on her. And then:

He dies and her granddaughter tells her that she wants a marriage like her grandmother's because the whole family thought it was just too sweet the way their grandfather looked at their grandmother. And Emma is thrilled because it seems that at last, he loved her after all, even though he never said it and now he is dead. OMG, how I hated that ending. All those years and all that heartache and THAT is what she got as her happy ending???

I don't think I ever got over it :drama:.

What's worse are the FREE ones. I debate over should I download that book? What if it's bad? :drama: Then I kick myself because it's effing free! Who cares if it's bad. Just delete the stupid thing. I may have hundreds of books on my Nook I've never read. :shuffle: I'm a book hoarder.
Yes, me, too, and with the free ones, I am always thinking, do I really want this book taking up memory on my Nook?

That mental debate is often worse than the one over the $1.99 books.
 
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MacMadame

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I think I have the right one--department store heiress falls for charming, feckless man, her father "buys" the man for her, and she proceeds to spend years pining after her husband while he charmingly cheats on her. And then:

He dies and her granddaughter tells her that she wants a marriage like her grandmother's because the whole family thought it was just too sweet the way their grandfather looked at their grandmother. And Emma is thrilled because it seems that at last, he loved her after all, even though he never said it and now he was dead. OMG, how I hated that ending. All those years and all that heartache and THAT is what she got as her happy ending???
Feck. I think I read that book. Or one just like it.

Now I'm annoyed all over again.
 

Nomad

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That calls to mind a Catherine Cookson novel I read years and years ago (I think it was The Dwelling Place) in which the heroine is disappointed by the man she loves, continues to carry a torch for him for years, gets raped by the local lordling and has his child, and, in the end, decides she loves the lordling and marries him. It was rather revolting.
 

Prancer

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That calls to mind a Catherine Cookson novel I read years and years ago (I think it was The Dwelling Place) in which the heroine is disappointed by the man she loves, continues to carry a torch for him for years, gets raped by the local lordling and has his child, and, in the end, decides she loves the lordling and marries him. It was rather revolting.
:scream:

That must have been a 70s book--rape followed by true love was a big theme back then. Thank god those days are gone.
 

Nomad

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:scream:

That must have been a 70s book--rape followed by true love was a big theme back then. Thank god those days are gone.
It was. 1971, according to Wikipedia, which sounds right because I was about 8 when I read it and my mother didn't read anything in English until my father first got posted back to the States, which was 1972. My older sister preferred tamer material. Barbara Cartland. We were taking a 5-hour car ride to Arizona and Sister had finished The Penniless Peer and I had finished Jane Eyre. We swapped books. Talk about disappointing. Somehow, "Kiss me, Hetty, kiss me again!" just didn't come close to "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day." Clearly I was a gloomy little fcuk even then.
 

JoannaLouise

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I just finished The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. The title character is a man who keeps being reborn as himself at the same point in history, with all of the memories of his previous lives.

If you like things that are kind of timey-wimey, then I would recommend giving this one a try. (I actually preferred the time-wimey-ness of the first half to the action/intrigue of the second half, although most of the reviews on Goodreads disagree with me. Go figure.)

I also found it to be kind of similar in tone to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, so again, if you liked that one, you might like this one too. :)
 

Zemgirl

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I think I have the right one--department store heiress falls for charming, feckless man, her father "buys" the man for her, and she proceeds to spend years pining after her husband while he charmingly cheats on her. And then:

He dies and her granddaughter tells her that she wants a marriage like her grandmother's because the whole family thought it was just too sweet the way their grandfather looked at their grandmother. And Emma is thrilled because it seems that at last, he loved her after all, even though he never said it and now he is dead. OMG, how I hated that ending. All those years and all that heartache and THAT is what she got as her happy ending???

I don't think I ever got over it :drama:.
That's not A Woman of Substance at all. Emma Harte was poor and built her own empire. And she didn't need anyone to buy her a man.
 

MacMadame

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It's a Barbara Bradford Taylor book of some kind though. The one I read told the stories of several women of multiple generations. And that was the story of the first woman's story.
 

Zemgirl

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It's a Barbara Bradford Taylor book of some kind though. The one I read told the stories of several women of multiple generations. And that was the story of the first woman's story.
Maybe, but that's not the story told in A Woman of Substance, or its first sequel, Hold the Dream. I haven't read any of the others.
 

Oreo

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I read Deceptions years ago, back in high school or college maybe? Couldn't resist the identical-twins-switching-places theme. It was a fun read.
I remember reading that! They also made a two-part TV movie from the book starring Stephanie Powers that was just as fun.
 
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skatesindreams

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That's not A Woman of Substance at all. Emma Harte was poor and built her own empire. And she didn't need anyone to buy her a man.
This!

It sent an important message in 1979.
One of the first novels to depict that a woman could be as determined and successful as a man; whatever her origins.
 

Artistic Skaters

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The Drifters by James Michener is not a glamorous classic, but one of a similar type from the 70s. Not so great telling the story from an older businessman's POV (like his), but even so they traveled to lots of exotic locations (Spain, Marrakesh, Mozambique) I dreamed about & had a VW camper! My friends & I read it when I was fifteen & made up a rock soundtrack to go along with every country the characters visited. I bought a copy of it a couple years ago but so far it's just sitting on my bookshelf. Dare I read it again all these years later without disappointing myself? :)
 
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Erin

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I read Becoming Nicole in one sitting yesterday, and would highly recommend it. It's the story of a family with twin boys, one of whom turns out to be a transgendered girl. It was a really powerful story and helped me understand much better both the science behind transgendered people and what they go through and in this case, Nicole is one of the lucky transgendered people in that she had a rock star of a mom who was super supportive right from the beginning, and lots of support from her brother and eventually her dad. Reaction from the community was mixed...kids were often better about it than adults, although there were fortunately plenty of adults in Nicole's life who were understanding and helpful to try to make up for the ones who weren't (one in particular makes me angry every time I think about it). Anyway, it's an easy, quick read for anyone who wants to get better acquainted with these types of issues.
 

Cachoo

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I am reading short stories that are mysteries published after P.D. James death. Good stuff.
 

oleada

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I've read a few:

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult - I absolutely hated My Sister's Keeper but a good friend loved this one so I read it. It was better than My Sister's Keeper, but I certainly didn't love it. It just felt preachy. My impression is that Jodi Picoult has a certain audience of middle class/upper middle class white women in which case I appreciate the effort? It was a quick read, anyway.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot - I've been meaning to read this for ages but decided to do it before the Oprah movie came out. I liked it a lot. It was fascinating and horrifying and really surprisingly moving. The descriptions of Henrietta Lacks death were horrifying.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - I started watching the HBO show and wanted to read the book. I really liked it. Probably one of the more enjoyable books about murder and domestic violence that I've read. It's fluff, but it's well written fluff. :shuffle:

I don't know what to read next yet. We started a book club at work and our first book is All The Light We Cannot See, but it's only 3 of us, and we're waiting for one to get it from the library. I may read The Husband's Secret or The House Girl which looked interesting and is only $1.99 for a Nookbook.
 

pat c

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It's been a while since I read The House Girl. It was ok.....one of those books that isn't great but it isn't bad either. I am reading The Yukon Grieves for no one. It's ok, great description of the landscape.
 

Japanfan

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Well maybe reading 1984 should be assigned with watching the movie, which might lead to greater understanding and enjoyment of both. Not to mention the possibility of making astute comparisons between Orwell's imaginative concepts and what's going on in the world today.
IMO there are so many better dystopian/fantasy books out there than 1984 that have themes relevant to today and penetrating, compelling stories/characters.

When I was in university in the 70s I took a course in science fantasy/the weird that was only offered because the head of the department was an eccentric and had the liberty of insisting that he teach it.

It was one of best classes I ever took and opened my mind to new worlds that I still enjoy to this day.
 

PrincessLeppard

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I just finished Scythe by Neal Shusterman last night and really enjoyed it. It has a love story that doesn't end the way you think it will (I love the ending) and enough suspense to keep the pages turning. (It was SO HARD not to flip to the end and check to see how it would turn out) Essentially, the we have conquered death, but to keep the world from being overpopulated, a small group of people are selected as scythes, who choose who will die.

I also recently read The End of Fun, which is a more lighthearted version of Feed, if you've ever read that book. The story is good, again with the love story without the fairy tale ending, there's a treasure hunt and the main character is a typically teenage boy without being totally annoying. The book falls apart slightly towards the end, but overall I enjoyed it.
 

rfisher

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I'm so annoyed. I noticed this week on an applicant's transcript, that our local University's English department did a special topics class on Harry Potter. Why did I not know this? Why did they not have these classes when I was either an undergrad or graduate student? I wuzrobbed of acing a class.
 

ryanj07

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I've read a few:

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult - I absolutely hated My Sister's Keeper but a good friend loved this one so I read it. It was better than My Sister's Keeper, but I certainly didn't love it. It just felt preachy. My impression is that Jodi Picoult has a certain audience of middle class/upper middle class white women in which case I appreciate the effort? It was a quick read, anyway.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - I started watching the HBO show and wanted to read the book. I really liked it. Probably one of the more enjoyable books about murder and domestic violence that I've read. It's fluff, but it's well written fluff. :shuffle:

I don't know what to read next yet. We started a book club at work and our first book is All The Light We Cannot See, but it's only 3 of us, and we're waiting for one to get it from the library. I may read The Husband's Secret or The House Girl which looked interesting and is only $1.99 for a Nookbook.
That's funny because two of my coworkers have been raving about Jodi Picoult and encouraging me to try her novels.... they both fall into the demographic you mentioned!

The Husband's Secret is probably my favorite from Moriarty. The Hypnotist's Love Story is another good one!

I recently finished "The Lake House" by Kate Morton and it was amazing! Although it could be a lot to sift through at times, I loved her incredible character development. It felt like you really got a look into the minds of even the supporting characters. There were quite a few surprises that I didn't see coming. It was my first novel of hers to read and I can't wait to start some of her others.
 

Yehudi

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I read Leaving Russia, Maxim Shrayer's memoir of being a refusenik in the Societ Union. I was vaguely acquainted with Dr. Shrayer when I was a student at BC (he was a department head and I had to talk to him from time to time about getting into courses),so I already had a voice in mind when reading it.

It's quite an interesting perspective from the other side of the refugee coin. The Shrayers were middle class, had respected jobs, went to top universities and associated with foreign diplomats and artists, and their move to the US had nowhere near the economic hardships of other immigrants. Yet life in the USSR was still miserable for them and they always had a target on their backs because they were Jewish.
 

Jenny

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I recently finished "The Lake House" by Kate Morton and it was amazing! Although it could be a lot to sift through at times, I loved her incredible character development. It felt like you really got a look into the minds of even the supporting characters. There were quite a few surprises that I didn't see coming. It was my first novel of hers to read and I can't wait to start some of her others.
I enjoyed that one until the end - not happy about how it wrapped up, and it made me annoyed at some of the earlier opportunities to get something going that were never pursued. Several here have also read the book if you scroll back into the previous thread (I think) for other opinions.

Mind you, it resulted in two wonderful things for me. First I re-read Rebecca for the first time in many years and fell in love with it all over again. Also saw a ton of stuff I missed when I first read it (early teens, then again in my 20s), and in countless viewings of the 1941 movie as well as the odd mini-series. I very much look forward to reading it again in another 10 years or so and seeing what else I find :)

Second thing was June. Has anyone read this? Published last year, and yet another employing the device of what-happened-that-fateful-summer-decades-ago-and-how-it-affects-people-in-the-present. Yes, we've all read many of these, good and bad. However, this one was different IMO - mainly because of the characters being so well drawn and engaging in both time periods, some unique literary devices, and a well-structured plot. I also liked that while there was mystery as there always is, the author let us figure various things out sooner than the characters so that we could enjoy their reactions a little better. Plus, paging @Prancer it takes place in Ohio :)

Anyway, I simply loved it so if the rest of you didn't, I don't want to hear about it. :p

Then for a quick read I did the latest Reacher, and honestly thought it was his best one in years. All the elements that Reacher fans love, with less of the ones that annoy, especially when you've read many (or all) of his books.

Also re-reading Agatha Christie in between other books - I have a bunch of the fascimile editions so it's quite nice to actually hold a hardcover book and turn thick pages, and somehow the errors in typography are comforting.

Next up, Amazon has just shipped Bittersweet, the author of June's previous book. Here's hoping!
 

rfisher

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I'm going to have to replace my Nook. Does anybody have one of the Samsung Nook tablets? If you do, can you watch streaming video? I.E. icenetwork? If not, I'm just going with another glowlight since I don't really care about having microsoft word or excel on something I'm using for enjoyment. :yikes:
 

Prancer

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I'm going to have to replace my Nook. Does anybody have one of the Samsung Nook tablets? If you do, can you watch streaming video? I.E. icenetwork? If not, I'm just going with another glowlight since I don't really care about having microsoft word or excel on something I'm using for enjoyment. :yikes:
I just got a Samsung Galaxy Tab E Nook. I have not tried streaming video on it, but I've seen instructions for doing it and I could stream video on my beloved Nook 9.5. I bought an upgrade for it, but it fails too often :wuzrobbed.

Be sure and tell them you already have a Nook and are upgrading, so you get the $50 discount. I think the sale ends this weekend, so you should hurry.
 

rfisher

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I just got a Samsung Galaxy Tab E Nook. I have not tried streaming video on it, but I've seen instructions for doing it and I could stream video on my beloved Nook 9.5. I bought an upgrade for it, but it fails too often :wuzrobbed.

Be sure and tell them you already have a Nook and are upgrading, so you get the $50 discount. I think the sale ends this weekend, so you should hurry.
That's what I was looking at online. There's a code for the $50 discount. My laptop was dropped and the screen is hanging on by a thread. The nook is dying so I figured I'd combine both in one replacement. I don't really need a full laptop...just internet access and the ability to watch icenetwork and surfing away from home. Thanks.
 

PrincessLeppard

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I finished Gemina, which is the second book of the Illuminae Series and it was really. f*cking. good. I liked it even better than the first book, so I am expecting the final book to be amazing.

Lol, no, the third book in the trilogy usually sucks. But I am hopeful!
 

clairecloutier

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Just finished American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, by Colin Woodard. What can I say ... I found this book pretty fascinating. Woodard argues that the U.S. is not really one nation, but 10 separate "nations", or regional cultures, that are held together (tenuously) in the federation framework of the Constitution. (The eleventh nation referenced in the title is influential in Canada, not so much the U.S.)

Woodard argues that the 10 different "nations" or cultures in the U.S. have vied for political power since the 1600s, forming different coalitions to achieve different aims. He feels that most of our politics can be explained or interpreted via the framework of the different cultures. Right now, he sees the U.S. as caught in an epic battle for political control between what he calls the Deep South/Appalachia/Far West sections of the country and the Yankee/Left Coast/New Netherland allied regions. The two sides are diametrically opposed--with neither willing to be subjected to the other's worldview. The author is not sanguine about the future of the U.S. federation.

It's an interesting read ... What makes it fun is you learn some facts you probably didn't know before. An example: It turns out immigration was a major issue in Texas in the 1820s/30s. Texas was at that time held by Mexico; but North American settlers were flowing into Mexico from the U.S. Some Mexicans supported U.S. immigration as a way to grow and expand the population and economy of Texas. Other Mexicans opposed U.S. immigration, because they didn't want the culture of the area to change. How ironic; history repeats itself.
 
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