March 13, 2009

books



why suddenly do I feel authors think they have to make me cry to uplift me? and if a book seems "meaningful" why can it not be about some tragedy? today I stood reading the backs of books and a formula was definitely in evidence. are life that are normal and happy .... *shudder* boring?

my brain is starving for something that challenging and interesting, but does not make me weep. one can only read so much trash without feeling dirty and gritty and unsatisfied (much like eating cotton candy). it's all part of the reason I quit reading books on Oprah's list. even if the message was good, I was so depressed after that I couldn't function for the rest of the night.

and I mean really, was Patterson's Sundays at Tiffany even worth the paper it was written upon? and how many sad books can that hack Nicholas Sparks write? (sorry if you're a Sparks fan - but after reading two I feel like I've read them all)

so...got any recommendations.

43 comments:

  1. Yes. Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

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  2. I like Dan Millman, he writes fiction and non fiction, he wrote Peaceful Warrior. You can see his books and description of each on his website.

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  3. everytime I read a new post on ramblins, I learn something new about you as well...

    good morning char..

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  4. I know what you mean by Sparks and other formula writers ... I love Rohinton Mistry's books for compelling stories that take place in India. How about Poisonwood Bible or one of my favourites ... The Birth House by Amy McKay. I love books but I agree that reading junk takes its toll. As do the plethora of self help. What ever happened to books with delicious language, fascinating characters and a really good story!

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  5. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, any book of poetry by Mary Oliver, the funny-bizarre short fiction by Laurie Moore, nothing by me. =)

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  6. one hundred years is one of my favorite books. :) I will look up the others. thanks you all.

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  7. ps - I love Millman - I've read that one too.

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  8. I hear ya girl, if you've read one Nicholas Sparks, you've read them all, funny I just got off the phone with a girlfriend and we were discussing that very topic!

    Anyway, check out this blog, it's a friend of mine and she reviews books, I read a lot of her recommendations and I've never been disappointed!

    http://www.breakingthespine.blogspot.com/

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  9. I read a whole lot, but most of the really good stuff makes me cry. Um, let's see . . . "In the Woods" by Tana French was pretty good, but it's a murder type thing, which isn't quite normal life, but I don't think I cried. Louise Erdrich has a ton of books and they're all well written, and not overly dramatic. "Love Medicine" is the first one. I've been on a brain candy binge myself lately, reading 16 books by Charlaine Harris in the past two weeks. I know, I know. *hangs head* Also, "Edgar Sawtelle" is a depressing Oprah book, but it kicks some serious ass.

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  10. I read the Charlaine Harris books (I had too - it's the name you know) a long time before the series came on....like when the first book was first published. It's entertainment. I will definitely check out the other books.

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  11. I was going to say Life of Pi but Starlene beat me to it. So I second that book, it's my favorite!

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  12. well .. the books i read are a bit random, but you might actually enjoy them

    1. "Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me" (autobiography on Marlon Brando - amazing!)

    2. "A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties" (by Suze Rotolo - if you love bob dylan you'll love this book .. even if you don't love him, it's still really interesting.)

    3. "On the Road" (Kerouac)

    4. "Magical Thinking" (Augusten Burroughs) also "Dry" is excellent!

    5. "First Impressions: What You Don't Know About How Others See You"
    (i learned a lot about myself reading this one!)

    6. "all the wrong people have self-esteem: an inappropriate book for young ladies" (laurie rosenwald)
    (this book is more of an experience than a story - lots of amazing collages!)

    7. also, i would recommend checking out Edward Monkton's stuff.
    he writes short (really short!) stories and illustrates, too!
    it's all very charming and funny .. i think you'd like it.

    let me know if you have any recommendations for me, too
    i would love that :-)

    have a beautiful weekend, friend :-)

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  13. I just finished "Maiden Voyage" by Tania Aebi. It was an assignment for my grandson in college and it sounded like i'd enjoy it. I sure did. Now I'm on to order her follow-up book from Amazon.

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  14. those sounds great - and I've read "On the Road". I'm especially intrigued by the Greenwich Village one as I love Dylan.

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  15. not a big reader...although I read/sang "Five Little Ducks" to 6 preschool classes yesterday!!

    i love your blog Char and I am so glad to visit and smell the flowers!

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  16. murakami murakami murakami and then some more murakami. he'll totally make you think and quite possibly make you at least curious about spending time down a well.

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  17. I read a great/happy/fun memoir a while back called A Girl Named Zippy, by Haven Kimmel. She is not molested, she does not hate her parents, she is not a tragic figure. It is just a very fun, funny and sweet memoir. If you have any tears, they will be from LAUGHTER, and that is a good thing.

    p.s. david sedaris books are usually pretty fun, too. :)

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  18. I agree with the Oprah book club... half-way through those books I wonder 'WHY'!!

    Right now my bathtub reading is Susan Wiggs, 'Just Breathe'. Perfect for a bubble bath and a glass of wine.

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  19. Try something written for young adults. It seems counter-intuitive, but it always works for me

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  20. SHadow of the Wind... my all time FAVORITE!
    I also reading a lot of silly, funny, chick books because MANY times I need an escape and a LAUGH!
    ENJOY your weekend!
    Fifi

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  21. BTW... did not read the book Road to Rodanthe... but if it is like the movie... I am sooooo glad I didn't bother... I WANT happy endings! I think we are ALL looking for happy endings... a little challenge and crying in the middle is fine... but make me SMILE at the end!
    Okkkkkk... that's it.

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  22. I was an English major oh so many years ago. After that, I swore to read only what I wanted... and so I choose books that draw me in, regardless of their "literary worth." I've been reading a fantasy series called "The Sevenwaters Trilogy" by Juliet Marillier. Very well written and character driven, set in medieval Ireland. Also, I love Judith Merkle Riley -- very strong female characters. Also love Janet Evanovitch, even though they are the literary equivalent of potato chips... :)

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  23. This was on my list of things to do....read the books on my list. I have one novel of Jane Austen's to read and I think that is just so that I always have something good to read, eventually. I am going to the library this coming week to see if they have any of the books on my list or suggestions.

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  24. Amen to that sister! And not only that but it seems a lot of well-known celebrities all come from troubled/sad/depressed backgrounds -does that mean in order to be a success or well known, you must come from a difficult past?

    Book recommendations: Infidel by Aayan Hirsi Ali (but it's sad and gritty), or, But Enough About Me by Jancee Dunn (it's funny and light) - there seems to be absolutely no medium between the two genres.

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  25. Just read "The Daily Coyote". Unlike the book about the library cat that I found not that well written (thus didn't finish it, for as Mark Twain said: "Life is too short to finish bad books" or something like that), "The Daily Coyote (Shreve Stockton) IS well written.
    You've probably heard of her - she has a blog all about the coyote, cat and dog she lives with.

    It's a good book. You don't have to cry, learn a lesson, be sad.

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  26. I'm going to get busy going through this list & jotting down ideas!! My recs:

    The Art of Racing in the Rain - AWESOMENESS! It's by Garth Stein

    The Secret Life of Bees

    If you Don't have Big Boobs Put Ribbons in your Pigtails ~ Barbara Corcoran

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  27. ohhhh, some good suggestions. And...have you all seen Akela and the Bee? (or read the book?)
    fantastic

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  28. Well, I have a few suggestions. I don't know if you want funny, light, mystery, or what but my favorite author is Stuart Woods, but let me say that his early books Chiefs(his first), Palindrome, White Cargo, Sante Fe Rules are his best. I loved Chiefs and everybody I recommend loves it although it is from the late 70's. You can always go with the light hearted with the Janet Evanovich "Stephanie Plum" that make me laugh out loud. Or for some more mystery stuff I have found Harlan Coben that my daughter recommended. Just a few ideas. Good Luck.

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  29. Water for Elephants

    The Secret Life of Bees (only a little sad, but the joy overides it)

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  30. I've got nothing for you. we probably have very different taste in books since my last read of breaking dawn. ;)
    hope you find something worth reading soon! oh, and good luck with the job....keeping my fingers crossed.

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  31. julochla beat me to the Murakami suggestion. Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and Kafka on the Shore are my two favourites, but any one is great.

    Chocolat by Joanne Harris is bound to uplift without being depressing.

    And of course, Breakfast at Tiffany's.

    Maybe some Jane Austen if you haven't already too.

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  32. Just to drop by to say I LOVE your new header :-)

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  33. off topic, but i loved your comment that there was a dog grooming place in your old town called DOGGIE STYLE. oh, that is GOOD. i just can't top it -- you win!

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  34. Go to my Goodreads widget on my blog... I'm totally in agreement with you. That's the same reason why I don't see many movies these days either.

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  35. have you already read, "eat pray love".....the best !!!

    also...I read anything by elizabeth berg and jodi piccoult, but I'm not sure they fit the category you're looking for !

    and now one of the best...a year by the sea, by joan anderson {I think}....LOVED IT !!!

    and totally something different, "straight up and dirty" was great !

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  36. Telling it like it it! You go girlie :o)

    I am still reading Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon......I am rather enjoying it, but it has created the most dangerous case of wanderlust within me!!! Not entirely a bad thing :o)

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  37. eat, pray, love

    Beautiful, uplifting and changed my life and not a tear to be seen.

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  38. ...so many...How about Amy Tan or John Irving...I think both writer's books fit what you are looking for. Another of my all time favorites is Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres...the movie was terrible but the book was fantastic

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  39. Eat Pray Love was totally outstanding I agree. I love John Irving and...the recommendation of "year by the sea" may be winner winner chicken dinner. sounds totally like me!!

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  40. book of illusions paul auster.

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  41. Oh ALL of (ok most of) Oprah's books are deep/intense/emotional/abuse related books. I pick and choose the ones I read carefully.

    I didn't read the other 40 comments here but my all time favorite book is
    Eat,Pray,Love...Im sure you've read it but if by slim chance you haven't its fantastic.
    xxoo,
    a.

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  42. Cracking up at your Sparks comments. There are several others I could name, but I'll stop. Oh, I love this question - and all the recommendations. Life of Pi, I agree is wonderful, but pretty gross in a few places. For light-ish, nice reading, I really like Sandra Dallas. I think Chili Queen and Tallgrass are her two best.

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i feel as if each comment was between us as we sat and sipped something warm....i love to hear what you're thinking.