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Novel Ideas Message Board › Books for the group - 9/5/2010 and on

Books for the group - 9/5/2010 and on

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user 8426704
Euless, TX
Post #: 47
I've read all of the books that Kylene & Mark suggested, and I think I really liked them all. But I LOVED Illusions. So much that I don't think I want to discuss it. That one was important to me at a time in my life when I needed it, and I don't want to hear bad things about it. I mean, maybe everyone would love it, or maybe I wouldn't feel the same if I read it again now. But i'm afraid.

That said, I'd be happy to reread any of them, particularly Slaughterhouse-5 or The Catcher in the Rye, because I don't remember them well enough.
A former member
Post #: 17
I love To Kill A Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby and anything Vonnegut. Vonegut is one of my all-time favorites.
A former member
Post #: 18
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. It's only 208 pages for the page counters. =-)

From Publishers Weekly
Playwright Dunn tries his hand at fiction in this "progressively lipogrammatic epistolary fable," and the result is a novel bursting with creativity, neological mischief and clever manipulation of the English language. The story takes place in the present day on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina, where over a century earlier, the great Nevin Nollop invented a 35-letter panagram (a phrase, sentence or verse containing every letter in the alphabet). As the creator of "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," Nollop was deified for his achievement. The island's inhabitants live an anachronistic existence, with letter-writing remaining the principal form of communication. Life seems almost utopian in its simplicity until letters of the alphabet start falling from the inscription on the statue erected in Nollop's honor, and the island's governing council decrees that as each letter falls, it must be extirpated from both spoken and written language. Forced to choose from a gradually shrinking pool of words, the novel's protagonists a family of islanders seek ways to communicate without employing the forbidden letters. A band of intrepid islanders forms an underground resistance movement; their goal is to create a shorter panagram than Nollop's original, thereby rescinding the council's draconian diktat. The entire novel consists of their letters to each other, and the messages grow progressively quirkier and more inventive as alternative spellings ("yesters" for "yesterday") and word clusters ("yellow sphere" for "sun") come to dominate the language. Dunn obviously relishes the challenge of telling a story with a contracting alphabet. Though frequently choppy and bizarre, the content of the letters can easily be deciphered, a neat trick that elicits smiles. Wordsmiths of every stripe will appreciate this whimsical fable, in which Dunn brilliantly demonstrates his ability to delight and captivate.
user 10476691
Keller, TX
Post #: 19
This may be my favorite book. It's obviously based on the Count of Monte Cristo, but I think it's way better.
A Prisoner of Birth - Jeffrey Archer
From Amazon customer: "Wow! I read THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO as a teen, and it's always been a favorite of mine, so I was delighted to learn that Jeffrey Archer's new novel was a modern version of that well-loved tale. But A PRISONER OF BIRTH is a good deal more than a new spin on Alexandre Dumas--it's a fascinating, edge-of-your-seat thriller that actually makes a few valid points about the world today. From courtroom to prison to freedom with a glamorous new identity and a burning desire for revenge, the young hero of Archer's book is a worthy contemporary counterpart of Edmond Dantes, the "Count" of Monte Cristo. But you don't have to be familiar with the Dumas original to enjoy this terrific story. It's a good, old-fashioned page-turner that succeeds on its own merits. Highly recommended."
Ender's Game- Orson Scott Card
Amazon: "In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. This futuristic tale involves aliens, political discourse on the Internet, sophisticated computer games, and an orbiting battle station. Ender's Game is a must-read book for science fiction lovers, and a key conversion read for their friends who "don't read science fiction."
A former member
Post #: 3
I suggest Sarah's Key by Rosnay Tatiana De - - My mom suggested it to me.
A former member
Post #: 5
The Family Man by Elinor Lipman
user 11328019
Rowlett, TX
Post #: 1
Some suggestions (I didn't cross reference to your prior-read list so sorry if any are repeats):

Star Wars: Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn (just kidding Linda!)

Who Has Seen the Wind by W.O. Mitchell (Huge Canadian author - was highly recommended by my Canadian friends. I read Jake and the Kid and loved it but haven't gotten around to reading this one yet).

East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Favorite book - favorite author - try to read it at least once a year and always manage to find something new).

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (Like Vonnegut and saw some other posts suggesting him. I think this is his first novel and I haven't read it yet - so thought I'd throw it out there).

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Loved Narnia as a child and wanted to read something more grown up. I think the concept of letters from the devil to his nephew is genius. Been on my list for a while but haven't read this one yet either).
A former member
Post #: 171
Julie had recommended this one for the non-group suggestions. I've heard good things from others so it is being added to the suggestions that we'll vote on for the group.

The Help - Kathryn Stockett
user 4712938
Irving, TX
Post #: 11
Janet Evanovitch: One for the Money

It's the first in a series of 16 books about Stephanie Plum. They are short, funny, and have no deep meaning.

From Amazon reviews:
Stephanie Plum is so smart, so honest, and so funny that her narrative charm could drive a documentary on termites. But this tough gal from New Jersey, an unemployed discount lingerie buyer, has a much more interesting story to tell: She has to say that her Miata has been repossessed and that she's so poor at the moment that she just drank her last bottle of beer for breakfast. She has to say that her only chance out of her present rut is her repugnant cousin Vinnie and his bail-bond business. She has to say that she blackmailed Vinnie into giving her a bail-bond recovery job worth $10,000 (for a murder suspect), even though she doesn't own a gun and has never apprehended a person in her life. And she has to say that the guy she has to get, Joe Morelli, is the same creep who charmed away her teenage virginity behind the pastry case in the Trenton bakery where she worked after school.
Susan L
user 7183573
Group Organizer
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 19
For the mystery lovers I would recommend Donna Leon. She's an American woman who has lived in Venice for many years and writes about it with love and what seems like an insider's knowledge. Her books were turned into a German TV series but don't let that scare you (I've seen several episodes). Death at La Fenice (the opera house in Venice) is the first of the series if you, like me, prefer to read them in order; the ninth Brunetti book (of 19), Friends in High Places, won the Crime Writers' Association Silver Dagger in 2000. Foodies will enjoy these too, as Leon describes the meals minutely(Brunetti is always meeting someone for lunch or a drink, and the family's meals are related in enough detail that you could almost make them at home.)

From the Wikipedia article about Donna Leon: The intelligent and capable police commissioner Guido Brunetti confronts crime in and around his home town of Venice. Each case is an opportunity for the author to reveal another aspect of the seamy underside of society. The fact that Brunetti can only go so far in attacking the endemic corruption of the system leaves him deeply cynical, although it does not prevent him from trying again and again. Brunetti finds solace in the company of his wife, Paola, a hereditary contessa born to one of Venice's oldest families, as well as their growing children, Raffi and Chiara. Paola teaches English literature in the public system and, despite her background, is very much to the left, still fueled by the spirit of 1968. The domestic warmth of the Brunetti family contrasts with corruption and cruelty that Brunetti encounters at work. Venice's head of police, Vice-questore Patta, serves as the vain and self-serving buffo, while Sergente Vianello and the all-knowing and well-connected Signorina Elettra, Patta's secretary, assist Brunetti on the ground and through research.

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