My New Favourite Book Is... : LUSENET : Hedgehog Talk : One Thread

Sweet Liberty: Travels in Irish America by Joseph O'Connor. If you like Bill Bryson, you'll like this. I love travel writing, and Joe's got a great voice, it's my best discovery in ages. What's yours?

-- Kymm (, June 28, 2000


How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton. Hilarious, intelligent and mind-blowing. (The Consolations of Philosophy is another great de Botton book.)

If you're in the UK, my friend India (Knight's) novel is out on July 8 -- My Life on a Plate. I've read an advance copy and can assure you that the rave reviews she's getting are justified. It's great.

-- Jackie Danicki (, June 28, 2000.

I'm about a third of the way through "Hannibal" and it's miserable. Can anyone tell me if it's going to get better? I'm about to toss it out the window and start on my beloved "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe".

-- Amy T. (, June 28, 2000.

Right now I'm rereading "The Lacquer Lady" by F. Tennyson Jesse, an unjustly underrecognized British writer. To some it would seem the granddaddy of historical romance (the novel is a fictional retelling of the real-life events that led to the annexation of Upper Burma in the 1880s), but every time I read it I get more and more out of it. Jesse has written a novel all about self-identity, racial prejudice, imperialist arrogance, the pervasive femininity of the East, etc., and she does it in the most beautifully evocative language. Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore.

Other novels by Jesse: Moonraker, A Pin to See the Peepshow


-- Robert (, June 28, 2000.

"The Lake" Yasunari Kawabata.

It's great.

-- Pale Blue (, June 28, 2000.

I'm re-reading The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, the Newbery Medal winner for 1979. I haven't read it in years and years, and there's so much I've forgotten. There's lots of humor I totally missed when I was a kid. That's what I love about a good children's / young adult book -- you get to read it when you're young, and it's one book. You read it again as an adult, and it's a whole new book. Both great books -- but in totally different ways.(Well, usually. Sometimes I re-read an old favorite and go, "What the fuck was I thinking when I thought this was a halfway decent book?" But then I chalk it up to childhood oblivion and get over it.)

-- dora (, June 28, 2000.

Right now I'm in the middle of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and I'm loving it! I'm sure I'm too old for this series, but it's well written, charming, and fun! I've got the soon-to-be- released fourth book pre-ordered from, and am quickly trying to get through my current read, and the third book (the title of which I've forgotten) before next month! I'd also read anything by Christopher Hilton. He does mostly Formula One driver biographies, but he's got a great writing style, includes lots of interesting anecdotes about the boys, and makes even the most mundane parts of motor racing seem exciting.

-- hez (, June 28, 2000.

I too am having a problem with "Hannibal". It's simply awful. I loved "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Red Dragon", but this one is just sick, violent crap, on par with "American Psycho".

I have a dozen books on my nightstand that I want to start reading, but the truth is all I can think about is the imminent release of the new Harry Potter book. I can't wait!

-- Sarah (, June 28, 2000.

For those struggling through Hannibal: Dump it now and forget you ever started reading it. I hated it. I did finish it, since I hate not to, but it stole too many hours out of my life that I won't have back.

I am awaiting the release of the new Harry Potter book, too. I love the series.

Currently, I am having very little luck with reading material. I'm going to take notes on everyone's current favorite reads and see if I can break the cycle.

-- Laura (, June 28, 2000.

The Sword In The Stone, by T. H. White. It's not exactly a discovery since I've read it umpteen times, but it's still just fabulous. The prose is amazing and the animals likewise. You may not want to go on to the next books, though; it gets very serious and depressing. (Especially if you read, and liked at all, MZB's Mists of Avalon. White makes Morgaine such a grotesque figure I can't bear it.)

-- Jessie (, June 28, 2000.

I'm so glad to realise I'm not the only grown woman waiting breathlessly for the next Harry Potter book. I ordered my copy with early last week.

I'm already dreading finishing it and having a long wait for no. 5.

-- Jackie (, June 28, 2000.

A Border Passage, by Leila Ahmed originally of Cairo and presently (I believe) a women/gender studies professor in the religion (Committee on Religion) program at Harvard. A Border Passage is a thoughtful narrative of her early/young adult years. In this incredible book, she analyzes race, ethnicity, and gender in a way that marries experienced reality with intellectual reasoning. The result is highly readable, often disturbing as she hits the nail on the head, and states the obvious that wasn't obvious until she stated it. I am absolutely fascinated by it, intrigued by her viewpoint on the making of race and ethnicity and the cultural significance of gender and the relevance of orality vs. literacy in cultures, and in particular in the distinctive "women's" culture of circles of women whether in Arab families or in women's colleges --- and I am going to hear her read tonight. I am so pysched!!!

-- Tynan (, June 28, 2000.

I just finished a really excellent book called Pretty in Pink: The Golden Age of Teenage Movies by Jonathan Bernstein. If you saw the E! True Hollywood Story about the Brat Pack, the author was the Scottish guy who popped up every now and then with commentary. Anyway, he groups all (and I do mean all) of the teen movies of the '80s into various categories and describes them in a wonderfully snarky manner. You will get nostalgic for the ones you've seen over and over, and I'm sure it will remind you of some you haven't seen in a while! Anyway, the cover is just awful and makes it look like one of those quickie unauthorized biographies, but it's really a good book!

-- Kim (, June 28, 2000.

I'm currently reading "...And Ladies of the Club" for the third time. It's not my best discovery in ages, but something keeps bringing me back.

After that, I'm starting in on the "Tales of the City" series. I peeked into the first book and ended up reading about 50 pages before going back to my current read, so I think it's fair to say it's a pretty good discovery.

-- Catherine (, June 28, 2000.

I'm currently fascinated by Sophie's World, which is the history of philosophy told through the eyes of a young girl who is enrolled in a sort of "correspondence course" by a stranger.

And of course I'm breathless with anticipation over the new Harry Potter! All you Harry Potter fans--if you're looking for somewhere to talk about the book when it comes up, there's a small list (41 members as of today) for grownups you can join. It's called Leaky Cauldron, and the URL to join is:

Hope to see some of you there!

-- Melissa (, June 28, 2000.

The Isles, by Norman Davies. It's a huge book, panned as pendantic in most of the amazon reviews, but is a tidy overview of the history of the British Isles that doesn't require a great deal of prior knowledge by the reader. And I have a blue million books waiting in the wings - now, a blue million and one, with the addition of Sweet Liberty. I'm waiting with bated breath for the new Harry Potter, too.

-- Catherine Hines (, June 28, 2000.

I just recently finished the Outlander series from Diana Gabaldon for the fourth time in about 8 years. I absolutely adore these books and I'm waiting on pins and needles for the next one. I even had to go to her site to read excerpts from the forthcoming books because I wasn't ready to give up Jamie and Claire.

I've also been very impressed with the Tales of the City anthology. Luckily Bravo has been replaying the miniseries as part of their 'Out of the Closet' promotion.

-- beverly (, June 28, 2000.

I'm reading "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our famlies." It is an excellent (national book award winner) study of the killings in Rwanda in 1994. I don't want to bring everyone's summer down, but if you want to truly understand how things like genocide can happen in the world still, then this is a good place to start. The topic is definitely grisly, but the writing is fantastic and it is all handled with no sensationalism, etc. After this I'm off to tackling some books on SE Asia and Cambodia specifically...can you detect a theme here? I'm teaching a course on American Military History at the end of July and thought it would be good to get a handle on the more recent areas of violence in the world. Not that Cambodia is recent, but it is in the news quite a bit still. Beyond all this death and carnage, I enjoyed "Gone-Away Lake" for the first time a couple of weeks ago after reading about it in Melissa's journal (I think). It was great and perfect for summer. I have to get the sequel soon! After all this other stuff, I think I'm really going to need it! And of course, I'm a Harry Potter fan too, so I can't wait for book 4.


-- Colleen (, June 28, 2000.

I just finished Lucy Crocker 2.0 by Caroline Preston. It's a fun, breezy little book about a Luddite type of woman who designes the world's most popular video game, quite by accident, and the impact that has on her software company president husband, twin geeky boys, and herself. The kind of thing that can be read in an evening, or on a long car ride.

One minor quibble: The author seems only slightly less clueless about cyber-everything than her protagonist. The descriptions of e-mail, programming, and the web are pretty clunky, but luckily, they're not a major component of the book.

-- Patrick (, June 28, 2000.

I'm re-reading Witi Ihimaera's (The New Zealand writing master) The Matriarch. It's even better the second time. It reminds me so much of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude with that magical realism feel and how the past and present interplay. I've got to get my hands on more of his work, preferable the sequel to this one, The Dream Swimmer. Maybe I'll check the library tomorrow.

-- Elan Kesilman (, June 28, 2000.

I recently read 2 books that I very much enjoyed:

Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel (a run around, run on feminist manifesto on women in society and the bad girls we love to talk about)

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (worth it purely for the copyright pages and the introduction. This man's creativity and wit is amazing)

tess Lantern Wasate
-- tesserae (, June 28, 2000.

I'm re-reading The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander after many many years.

It's just as good as I remember it being when I was eleven or so.

-- Beth K. (, June 28, 2000.

My current reading list:

"The Culture of Fear": Barry Glassner Definitely an interesting book and one that I'm immensely enjoying. It debunks a lot of the common mis-conceptions Americans have about crime, drugs, homicidal kids, etc.

"Writing Down The Bones": Natalie Goldberg I love this book, I love everything about this book. The only reason it's taking me so long to read it is that I want to stretch it out for as long as I possibly can. A must-read for any would-be writer.

"Something Wicked This Way Comes": Ray Bradbury I never read much Bradbury when I was younger so I'm play catch up. This book makes my mind quake. It's another one that I'm trying to stretch out.

(Next on the list: "Amsterdam" by Ian McEwan and "Sexing the Cherry" by Jeanette Winterson)

And Harry Potter 4: The Doomspell Tournament will definitely be read before midnight, July 8th for me. I love that guy.


-- Katie. (, June 29, 2000.


Have you read "Dandelion Wine" by Bradbury? It's my hands down favorite. I loved "Something Wicked this way Comes" also, but Dandelion is just beautiful. If you haven't read it, it's perfect for summer!

-- Colleen (, June 29, 2000.

Seeing "Tales of the City" and "More Tales of the City" on Bravo was what compelled me to go out to every used bookstore in town to hunt down as many of the volumes as I could find.

What books have you read because of a movie or tv show? Or is that a whole new topic?

-- Catherine (, June 29, 2000.

I'm currently reading "Fires of Heaven" by Robert Jordan. This is the fifth book in his Wheel of Time series. If you like good fantasy, this is a series you should read.

I've also just finished the second Harry Potter, this series is better than I expected and I'm glad that I've started it.

I'll re-read "Lord of the Rings" and Roger Zelazny's Amber series every couple of years, just because the stories are so good.

In non-fiction, "The New New Thing" is an excellent read about Jim Clark, the founder of Netscape, and how he started the Internet boom with his browser.

-- Roger Bixby (, June 29, 2000.

... and how he started the Internet boom with his browser.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

-- Roger Bixby (, June 29, 2000.

Slowly savoring "The Chess Garden" by Brooks Hansen a story book about a storyteller, Just finished "Pillars Of The Earth" by Ken Follet, very good sort of historical drama, Just starting "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco, history, fantasy, mystery and conspiricy. Who could ask for anyting more. Even more interesting if one reads beforehand "The Gods of Eden" sorry can't remember the authors name but it is a weird sort of new age, ufo's, conspiricy theory, chariots of the gods, secret societies rule the world sort of thing.

-- Daniel (, June 29, 2000.

I have just completed and can recommend 'Frozen Music' by Marika Cobbold. It is a very witty book interleaving the story of two lives that you just know from the start are destined to collide in an interesting fashion.

According to the cover it has been described as 'Pride and Prejudice, Scandanavian style' well it isn't quite that but I really enjoyed it anyway and will be looking out for other books by this author.

-- David (, June 30, 2000.

I'm in the middle of a new biography of British painter Duncan Grant, one of the Bloomsbury Group, and it's absolutely astounding. Duncan and his circle lived very much outside the pale (a homosexual, Duncan's longtime companion was a married woman, Vanessa Bell, who was the sister of Virginia Woolf). Yet he was enormously successful in his lifetime without getting spoiled. He just didn't care about the money, only painting.

Delightfully written, though it can be difficult keeping up with all the names . . .


-- Robert (, July 05, 2000.

The last book I read that I really fell in love with, that I had to force myself to put down every once in a while just to make it last, was _The Golden Globe_ by John Varley. It's got everything: space travel, courtroom drama, dog tricks, secret identities, Shakespeare, organized crime...

It should be out in paperback by now. Varley is sci-fi for people [like me] who generally hate sci-fi. Ironically, he is also sci-fi for people who love sci-fi. The only complaint I have ever had with Varley is that he writes too slowly, putting out a new novel only every four years or so. Drat.

-- Kim Rollins (, July 05, 2000.

You must, you must you must read House of Leaves. It is mind- expanding and ground-breaking, odd and moving and terrifying. Weird and strange and fascinating. Provoking and fulfilling. A really great summer read.

It's about a documentary filmaker who discovers that his house, on the inside, is a full quarter of an inch larger than the outside. It's about an old man who leaves behind an odd, fragmented manuscript that desconstructs the House. It's about the kid who puts the pieces together, while he's losing his own pieces.

It's multilayered, and it's a wild book.

And damn if I don't sound like a bloody bad book reviewer.

but, really and true, you oughta read it. Promise.

Also, I just read Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia, and I just wanted to say that I had forgotten how cool kids books can be. Word.

-- Jen (, July 06, 2000.

Kim, have you read Steel Beach? My favorite of his. I've reread it a thousand times, waiting for him to put out a new one. And now I must go find Golden Globe.. Thanks for the lead...

-- Jen (, July 06, 2000.

Varley is awesome. He takes you places you never thought to go.

I haven't finished "Steel Beach" only because I misplaced the book!

I really loved his trilogy, "Titan", "Wizard", and "Warlock. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm going to go back and re-read those.

-- Roger Bixby (, July 07, 2000.

Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde Powerful idea...

-- Alice (, July 08, 2000.

Roger: third book in the Gaean trilogy is called "Demon", not "Warlock". Just in case you have trouble finding it. (Still reaches me...)

-- Kim Rollins (, July 12, 2000.

i dont know i just want to look at the sites you have

-- joseph fernandez (, November 13, 2000.

'The Shadow of Mordican', the third book in 'The Llandor Trilogy' is beautiful. That's the only way to describe it. The author, Louise Lawrence, mixes modernity with fantasy, and discusses the unstoppable surge of progress, and the inevitable death of magic that comes with it. Amazing. Also, 'Stardust' by Neil Gaiman is the perfect modern-day fairytale- innocent and entertaining. 'Weaveworld' by Clive Barker is also a cool fantasy with a unique plot and characters. And Stephen King's first book, 'Carrie' is a work of pure genius- so simple, desperate, thought-provoking, and heart-wrenching.

-- Grant Leis (, January 15, 2002.

ur book blows big hairy cock

-- Adam Whyte (, February 07, 2002.

u really blow penises

-- tim hahiry (, February 07, 2002.

YA your book sux ass bitch

-- Scott Vanderlar (, February 07, 2002.

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