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Atonement came highly recommended to me too, sukouyant. I finished reading it this morning and it was a good read; I enjoyed parts more than others - the second half dragged a little although picked up in the last 50 pages or so. I liked its commentary on writing and the first half was impeccable. I was not a huge fan of the characters but they redeemed themselves IMO in the last section. I enjoyed McEwan's style and would definitely read more of his work.
I really liked Atonement (I think it's been made into a film) and Enduring Love by McEwan. I find his later works, like these, are much calmer and more thoughtful than his earlier stuff, which is darker, shorter and occasionally simply sick. The Concrete Garden and Comfort of Strangers stand out.

Mind you, I really disliked his latest, Saturday, which touches on 9/11.

I'm re-reading Snow Falling on Cedars at the moment... haven't looked at it for about 7 years so I'm hoping it'll take me somewhat by surprise...
What I really like about Oprah picking Middlesex is that a lot of the people who buy Oprah books would probably never read about transgendered people had Oprah not suggested that they do so. I have several books on my shelf w/an Oprah stamp on them. Her and I seem to have pretty similar tastes. And I liked the ook a lot.
And at least Oprah is using her powers for good (literature) instead of evil (pushing Uggs, Tom Cruise.)
gingerkitty, when I worked at Crate & Barrel, we learned to dread anytime she promoted something that we sold. It was so hard to keep the stuff in stock b/c by the time a show would air about summer products, or whatever, we could have sold out of whatever she was showing.

I feel like I have been doing a lot of "assigned" reading lately. That's what comes from being in two book clubs I guess. I read A People's History of the United States, and then moved on to The Constant Princess. I didn't enjoy TCP as much as I have enjoyed Gregory's other books that I have read, but I thought the second part was more interesting than the first.

I though I was going to move onto something lighter now but I am out of fresh Nora Roberts books. SO instead Ii am reading a "true-crime" syle book. I don't normally read true-crime but my boss passed this on to me and I can't put it down. It is called A Strange Piece of Pardise, written by Terri Jentz (well, it is possible ghost-written. I'm a little confused on that now that I read the Amazon page.) Anyway, it is Jentz's story of being attacked while biking across country. A man ran over her tent and then attacked her and her friend with an axe. So she basically survived a horror movie plot. The idea kind of blows my mind.
the post-birthday world sounds scrumptious – thanks, gb!

speaking of pap for the masses (which middlesex could never become, never fear… I’m getting a kick outta some possible reactions from bible belt, tho … hee) … i’ve been on a *gasp, the horror* dean koontz kick. plowed thru the corner of his eye in less than a week, and it’s pretty massive. really gripping story. the most whacked out, fascinating villain ever.

koontz is a hack, but when he’s on, he’s spot on. waiting for work bud to lend me odd thomas

i liked the memory keeper's daughter. and i didn't. the last quarter dragged for me too.
kitten, that's true. i hadn't thought of that positive aspect of oprah picking middlesex. and honestly, i don't know why i was so annoyed by it. i, too, own a number of "oprah books" and enjoyed them quite a bit.

right now i'm reading the mommy myth: the idealization of motherhood and how it has undermied all women. mind you, i'm a staunch CBC-er, but representations of motherhood by the media have always intrigued me. it's a really good book.
Ooh, faerietails, I have The Mommy Myth! The representations of motherhood in literature interest me and I picked this up for reference to media.

Speaking of representations of motherhood in literature, I've just read Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk. I really enjoyed the first three quarters of this book, even more, and what it had to say about motherhood - nothing new or deep but there were interesting vignettes on motherhood. However, the book lost its way somewhat and the ending disappointed me; also, it annoyed me that all of the women in the book were mothers -there was no view from the other side.

Now I'm reading Life of Pi (thanks faerietails! you reminded me I still had that to read) whilst I wait for Maupin's Further Tales of the City to arrive in post - I am in love with the inhabitants of 28 Barbary Lane!
QUOTE(mandolyn @ Jul 2 2007, 10:17 AM) *
koontz is a hack, but when he’s on, he’s spot on.

Mandi, try Dark Rivers of the Heart. Esp. in these days of illegal wiretapping and other civil rights violations, it's particularly eerie.
I've never really posted in here before, despite the fact that I read quite a bit.

I'm really curious about Middlesex, mainly because I really loved The Virgin Suicides.

I'm reading a really bad book right now. I'm only finishing it because I spent the money on it but really, that's the last time I just pick up whatever "looks good". It's just about dog owners in New York whose lives intersect and it's one of those "he's in love with her but she's in love with a different guy who's dating someone else" books. Ugh.

I'm quite picky about books but isn't everyone?
I'm reading Atonement thanks to bunnyb's thumbs up. The premise kind of sort of reminds me of Angels and Insects so far.
vesicapisces, i will definitely put dark rivers of the heart on my list. thanks!

about 50 pgs to the end of odd thomas. i couldn't put it down this weekend. head over heels in love with every.single.character ... so so fearful of what's going to happen. unsure.gif i don't even want to discuss it with coworker who lent it to me, in case he slips and gives away something vital.

goddammit, i hate mysteries/thrillers, too!
anna k
For fun, I'm reading French Trysts, a novel about an American woman who becomes a courtesan in modern-day Paris. It's very romantic and full of fantasy. I'm also reading The Best American Travel Writing 2006. I need this escape.
Kitten, I agree with you Re: Oprah. As much as I can't stand the woman, I believe she does broaden people's horizons. That's never a bad thing.

Faerie....I just finished The Memory Keeper's Daughter & loved it. Esp the author's writing style. At times I thought it was a bit slow, but then she'd always pick it back up just in time for me.

I am currently re-reading The Corrections.
Okay, so just to jump on the Oprah bandwagon, yeah it's great that she can get people reading but is there anyway to buy Middlesex without the words "Oprah Book Club" plastered over it?
aww I like Oprah, albeit I never watch her show, she's good people. I'm plowing through the-big-pile-off-reads-languishing-beside-my-bed slooooowly. This week is:Winkie, Clifford Chase (about a teddy bear on the lam), Bare: the naked truth about stripping, Elisabeth Eaves, Atonement, and Lyonesse, Jack Vance

QUOTE(candycane_girl @ Jul 11 2007, 09:12 AM) *
Okay, so just to jump on the Oprah bandwagon, yeah it's great that she can get people reading but is there anyway to buy Middlesex without the words "Oprah Book Club" plastered over it?

Bwaha, try for older editions maybe?
Finished Life of Pi and LOVED it.
QUOTE(candycane_girl @ Jul 11 2007, 09:12 AM) *
Okay, so just to jump on the Oprah bandwagon, yeah it's great that she can get people reading but is there anyway to buy Middlesex without the words "Oprah Book Club" plastered over it?

I am actually reading a copy of it I bought on amazon that doesn't mention Oprah anywhere, but even if you had to buy one without it, it is so worth it. I love this book so much.
I read Middlesex a long time ago, because of The Virgin Suicides and thought it was really just a great story. That author is now on my "must buy new books when released" list with Michael Cunningham.

On to a different kind of reading - what other magazines do y'all read regularly? I've become a magazine junkie lately, probably because it's very easy to read on the metro to and from the office, and mags are fast and fun. I am (to my somewhat shame) a regular reader of Cosmo. I still love Rolling Stone (i love that it's embraced being so political now!). Over the past couple of months I've gotten into More Magazine, which usually has a lot of good kind of more thoughtful women's articles than a lot of the standard women's mags. I always feel like I've maybe even learned something from reading it, in addition to skin care tips and that kind of thing. It's pretty good. What about y'all?
Hey diva!

Magazines....I get Domino, Real Simple, Bon Apetit, Food & Wine, & Gourmet. Too many! I am trying out the 3 food ones to see which I like. I'm gonna drop Bon Apetit & Gourmet.

Glamour magazine is my guilty pleasure. It's so fluffy, sometimes it's just what I need. For music mags, I like Mojo & Q but rarely buy them b/c they are expensive.

i'm with ya, diva. i've been in magazine mode lately, prolly cause i can't get into my books lately/short attention span.

i've been digging shape magazine, town & country (to look at all the way expensive purty things), and some local/state mags (usually have info about cool stuff going on/random articles).

the glossy tabloids have been way boring.
Yo, peeps! Since you're all literary creatures I thought I'd drop a line about my new novel, Jasper Out of Nowhere. You can currently check it out at

This is my bebe and agents have told me it's "gorgeous but not marketable." I'm totally trying to prove them wrong and to get it out there!

So... if you have kind words please leave them in the comments section...

I can't thank you enough!


-sonia rolleyes.gif


I finished Elie Weisel's Night in one gulp today. (candycane, i got my copy off of bookmooch, sans oprah label).
Now I just have this pervasive sadness hanging over me all day. So powerful. He is such a gifted writer, if that can be said of such a horrific narrative.
I read his Dawn a while back as well, also intense but addictive.

I'm moving onto Lovely Bones now...
I heard the audiobook of Night and it haunted me forever. It's such a great book.

I'm reading Incendiary by Chris Cleave and it's really really good. It's about this woman trying to move on after her husband and son are killed in a terrorist attack in London. I've been in bed all morning reading it. I'm about halfway through.
QUOTE(bunnyb @ Jul 11 2007, 06:17 PM) *
Finished Life of Pi and LOVED it.

I quite liked Life of Pi too. The ending surprised me, which I didn't expect.
hee hee... some lady left me bad feedback on bookmooch b/c the cover was different than the picture on the site, and there was a small black mark on the bottom.

i left a nasty reply to the effect of the cover doesn't matter, the content is the same, and HELLO, this book was FREE for you!!!

honestly. tongue.gif
I just read Skinny Bitch all in one shot on the commuter train today.

The book is marketed liek some chick lit trash (with matching cover to fit that image) but it has a lot of awesome information in it. The jumping off point is losing weight, but it's really not about that at all, it's about where the food we eat comes from and what's in it. It was like Fast Food Nation but with a women's magazine-tone attitude.

If you're looking for some non-fiction, it's a quick but incredibly informative read. I'm not sure exactly what convinced me to give it a try because if I just randomly saw it in the bookstore, I'd scoff at it because of the way it looks, but I'm glad I gave it a chance.

Also, speaking of magazines as several ladies were, did you know they have a book version of ReadyMade magazine? I love that mag as well as Real Simple.
i just finished incendiary a while ago and it was soooooooooooooooooooo good! they're making it into a movie, and i wonder how that's gonna turn out.

i don't know what's up next on my reading list. i have a lot to choose from.
I just finished Allison McGhee's Shadow Baby on a recommendation from MY MOM of all people (her taste and mine almost never coincide) - it's a slim little novel about an 11 year old girl who lives with her mom in a small town and strikes up a friendship with an old man who lives nearby. My mom said it kept reminding her of me - the little girl has a vivid imagination and reads, reads, reads constantly, and makes up fake books to give book reports on because she's read everything in the town library already. Can't imagine how Mom thought of me when she read it... ohmy.gif laugh.gif
I tried reading The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel Garcia Marquez this morning, but each of those sentences are about a page long and given my current state, it's just not gonna happen any time soon! I'll definitely try again later when I'm in the right frame of mind to buckle down, because I know that once I get into it, I'm not going to stop.

I did however, just finish The Bell Jar in one sitting. It's great. Took me exactly three hours, and now I'm just mulling over my favorite passages. I can't believe that I'd never read it before!
Aw, Corrections.... smile.gif

Re-reading Life of Pi.

Of course next is Harry Potter (duh)...

and then not sure what...
QUOTE(chocohoho @ Jul 16 2007, 02:16 PM) *
I quite liked Life of Pi too. The ending surprised me, which I didn't expect.

Such a great great book! I read it in highschool and couldn't put it down. I agree that it isn't what youi expect and that turns out to be a nice surprise. I read The Little Friend around the same time, this book, is equally incredible

Right now, I am reading Drop City, and its really great. I find myself thinking about the characters when I am not reading, which is a good sign in my book.
Okay, I ended up not reading Life of Pi after all, but after all this lovefest I think I'm gonna have to bust it out!

I'm about 10 pages away from finishing the SCUM Manifesto (such a short little book). It's wack. Second wave radical feminism is wack. I love it, in a "whaaa???" kind of way! smile.gif
I just Bookmooched Norwegian Wood. Is this a good starting point for Murakami's work? I haven't read any of his others.

I guess I should re-read Life of Pi. I remember putting it down and saying, "Damn, that was a great book." But now I'm finding that I don't remember the ending.

I recently finished Devil in the White City and The Preservationist. The first was interesting historically, and the second I thought was a very sweet (and rather feminist) retelling of the old Bible story. Recommended!
this is off topic, but i never did understand the difference between the feminism "waves". maybe because my definition of feminism is too simple ("respect and equal rights")...
Yay! I'm excited to see a thread for reading addicts! As I am one. smile.gif

I kept thinking I should pick up Life of Pi but never did. Now I think I should give it another drive by. Because of a new job I've taken which allows me 8 hours a day of doing pretty much nothing, I've been able to read over 12 books in the last 8 weeks. Reader's heaven? I think so.

My current reads have been:
The Post-Birthday World (Loved it)
Origins (liked it a lot)
The Historian (Loved it - and learned a LOT about history)
Fruit of the Lemon (liked it a lot)
The Life All Around Me (didn't like it - which is a shame because I loved Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman, both also by Kay Gibbons)
The Knitting Circle (Liked it a lot)

I see that Middlesex is a favorite around here. I love that for the first two thirds, and then the last third was so boring that I didn't even finish it. Total bummer.

Oh, and someone mentioned The Bell Jar - that's definitely on every feminist's must-read list and I loved it too. It's one of those stories that just sticks with you long after you've turned the last page.

And in terms of magazines, my favorites are:

Girlistic Magazine - how could I not put my baby first??
Sunset (since I'm a California Girl)
Bust - duh
Mother Jones
and finally, LiP - such a sassy quarterly!
Also, a guilty pleasure when I'm at the checkout stand, Martha Stewart...dun dun duuuuunnnnnn. There's some great stuff in there!!

Anyway, I'm SO excited to get to learn some great new reads from people!!

Oh yeah, and I review books for Girlistic Magazine, so be sure to check out what recommendations I put in there, and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know about books you think should be reviewed. I love finding new and wonderful publications through friends. smile.gif
I'll be starting on Eleanor Rigby-Douglas Coupland and Shopgirl (my mom insisted).
Before that, I finished the last book I cared to read in the Elfriede Jelinek collection. I just couldn't get thru "Lust"..... it was just a bit unsettling, so I never finished it.
"Women As Lovers" is my favorite of her books, however.
"The Piano Teacher" was excellent (film with Isabelle Huppert).
She happened to win a Nobel Prize for Literature in 2000. so not bad, not bad.

I re-read La Vagabonde-by Collette.
Emile L.-M. Duras.

I really wanna read up on Raymond Queneau, as well.

Mags: Found (love love), ReadyMade (book version? GREAT!), Bust (der), Zink (great allround fashion and whatnot), Discovery (some blow-yer-mind science), Architectural Digest, Dwell, and Psychology Today.

I hear ya regarding Middlesex. I just couldn't. I put it down after a few chapters. Virgin Suicides was great, though.
Dewd.. put ShopGirl down in like the first 15 pages. Sorry, mom. But, Eleanor Rigby is turning out okay right now.

been flipping thru Ariel-Plath a bit. And re-reading Delta of Venus for a little sparky spark since my lover is out of town.

Come on... what else you guys reading?

Or is there any great contemporary women writers I've been missing that I should read up on?
I need some new reads.

I'll look into Jaymi's list...

I haven't read any Plath in such a long time sad.gif.

mooniepieluv, I love both Nin and Collette - good choices for re-reading!

jaymi, I wasn't a Middlesex lover either.

Have a mammoth summer reading list and enjoying it lots. Read all of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City series - funny and engaging; just finished Atwood's Surfacing (erudite) and now picked up The God of Small Things.
I've been loving Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume. Not all the essays hit me the same, but some have been so spot on I've reread them over and over. There's one about friendships ending that had me sobbing in the bathtub. After I'm done, I'm going to have to dig out all my Judy Blume books.

Also have Atonement, Devil in the White City, and a few others waiting for me. And in my car it's nonstop David Sedaris.
I read Girlbomb (by our very own girlbomb) a few days ago and I liked it. Actually, I read it in one sitting.

Right now I'm reading Demonology by Rick Moody. It a bunch of short stories and I'm about halfway through. It's been hit-or-miss, and I haven't gotten to the "Demonology" story yet, but I will say that I absolutely love his vocabulary.
Bunny - yay, I'm glad I'm not alone on the not-so-hot sentiments about middlesex

I'd love to read girlbomb - I've seen her myspace profile but haven't picked it up yet.

I'm a nin-enjoyer too. There's so much exploration in her work, so much erotic and emotional possibility. Good stuff.

Right now I'm reading The Working Poor It's a bit old - 2004 - and I've had it for about 2 years but finally picked it up and I'm so glad I did. You just don't think about all the ways poverty is intersected with EVERYTHING else. Amazing info.

Speaking of, one of my all-time favorite books - I mean life altering! - is The Omnivore's Dilemma I 100% think every person should read it. I listened to it on CD when I randomly came across it while looking for a way to blow a Boarders gift card. I'm sooo happy someone misplaced it in the audio book section so that I'd come across it. It's totally altered the way I look at, and consume, food. good stuff.

I've heard of Demonology but can't think of where I saw it.

Another fave, and I'm a little trepidacious but excited that they're making a movie of it, is The Golden Compass. I don't like fantasy, but this one is amazing. I recommend that one too. smile.gif

The God of Small Things interests me just by the title - let us know how it reads! smile.gif
i need new book recommendations! i live in a small town and the library is pretty lacking so i'm going to go on a book-shopping spree soon. so what is everyone recommending right now?

i loved middle-sex. there are parts that kind of drag but it's still one of those books that really have stayed with me.

The God of Small Things is a heartbreaking novel. i loved it so much and was mad that it took me so long to read it. it sat on my shelf for months before i picked it up. I felt the same about LIfe of Pi. both excellent novels that also sparked my interest in indian cooking.

i think i'm going to pick up The Historian next but seriously, i need new book recommendations, por favor
Thanks, faerietails! I get very happy when people read my book. Happy happy happy. Yay. And Jaymi, I hope you'll see fit to check it out, though I must warn you, it is nowhere near as good as The Post-Birthday World. MAN, that was a great read.

Just read the worst-est book, Going to the Crazies, about a rich girl who gets all fucked up and goes to rehab. Boooooooring, poorly paced, and pointless. But I feel bad when I shit on other people's books these days, especially their memoirs, as I know how hard they are to write. So maybe I'll shit on the editing -- who let this thing be published when it was still a first draft? Who didn't say, "You know, I think you need less about rehab, because it's been done to death, and more about the fuckedupedness you experienced post-rehab; also, add some emotional depth to this sucker -- then we'll talk"?
Currently in the reading queue (as in, taken out of the library already and sitting on the coffee table for when I finish Book 5 of the Dark Is Rising sequence, an old friend I haven't re-read for several years): Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott, and Eifelheim by Michael Flynn.
I'll need to pick up The Post-Birthday World although I still haven't got around to reading We Need to Talk About Kevin.

shugga, I'm still reading The God of Small Things but it reminds me of Rohintron Mistry's A Fine Balance and Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children so maybe you should read those. Both are brilliant reads but be warned: A Fine Balance is devastating.

If you haven't already I would also suggest those BUSTie favourites Fall on Your Knees by Ann Marie MacDonald and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.

Personally, I think everyone should try reading Angela Carter's books as they are amazingly good reads and beautifully written. The Bloody Chamber is a good place to start - a collection of short stories that are feminist rewritings of classic fairy tales (I'm re-reading it at the moment).
Great recommendations, Bunnyb. I want to pick up We Need To Talk About Kevin too.

I just finished Fried Green Tomatoes. Such a fun read! One of the few books where the movie is equal to it. And now I'm starting in on Cannery Row.

Girlbomb - absolutely, I'm excited to pick up a copy!

Who has read Mama Day? I read it for a Feminism & Culture course back in college and fell head over heels for it. SUCH a great read!
I finally read Female Chauvinist Pigs and really wish I hadn't. The biggest pig of all was Ariel Levy. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I also read Eeeee Eee Eeee by Tao Lin. It was depressing and strange and funny in a stupid way. I don't even know if I liked it or not, but I can definitely appreciate it.
I read Mama Day in college as well. Wonder what I'd think of it now... *adds it to impossibly long list of books to read*

My all-purpose recommendation du jour comes from one of my friends who kept telling me to read it (and not just because it's been on the NYTimes bestseller list for a while): Eat, Pray, Love. I didn't relate to all the God stuff, but I really enjoyed the book. It touched me a lot, one of those books you happen to read at the right time in your life.
QUOTE(bunnyb @ Aug 7 2007, 04:29 AM) *
I'll need to pick up The Post-Birthday World although I still haven't got around to reading We Need to Talk About Kevin.

shugga, I'm still reading The God of Small Things but it reminds me of Rohintron Mistry's A Fine Balance and Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children so maybe you should read those. Both are brilliant reads but be warned: A Fine Balance is devastating.

If you haven't already I would also suggest those BUSTie favourites Fall on Your Knees by Ann Marie MacDonald and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.

Personally, I think everyone should try reading Angela Carter's books as they are amazingly good reads and beautifully written. The Bloody Chamber is a good place to start - a collection of short stories that are feminist rewritings of classic fairy tales (I'm re-reading it at the moment).

ah thanks bunny b. i alreayd read Fall on Your Knees and The Red Tent but i'll definitely check out A Fine Balance and Midnight's Children.
Sorry I've been AWOL, but my work is being tardo about using the computer for anything that's remotely relaxing or therapeutic....

Anyways, I'm rebelling to let y'all know that I'm thankful for such a thread, as I'm always hunting down new books.

Eleanor Rigby by Coupland just hasn't kept my attention. Everything is just a big flop right now in the new reads dept. dry.gif

I need a happy, inspiring book without being too... well, you know. Some kind of female empowerment embracing change.. yada yada....

The Bloody Chamber sounds rather interesting as I love fairytales. hmm...
oh mooniepieluv, I hope you read and love! I can't recommend it highly enough.

shugga, I hope you like your recs too; they're wonderful reads.

Has anyone read Inside Daisy Clover by Gavin Lambert?

I want to read Armistead Maupin's Maybe the Moon as the protagonist sounds similar to Olympia from Geek Love, and I love that book.

After a long ago recommendation from a BUSTie (maryjo) I am reading Trumpet by Jackie Kay and so far very good.
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