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Novel Ideas Message Board › Books for the group

Books for the group

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A former member
Post #: 115
A few people mentioned we might try a different way to pick books. I thought I'd start by having a thread here for everyone to add suggestions. When we have a few and our calendar doesn't have many remaining, I'll put up an online poll and we'll see which ones get sufficient interest from the group.

If you have any books you're interested in us reading please post below. It might be good to include a summary, perhaps by copy-pasting the one from Amazon or another site. If you aren't able to find one just add the book and I'll find a summary for it.
A former member
Post #: 116
Linda provided our first new suggestion:

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Amazon review:
To the list of great American child narrators that includes Huck Finn and Scout Finch, let us now add Reuben "Rube" Land, the asthmatic 11-year-old boy at the center of Leif Enger's remarkable first novel, Peace Like a River. Rube recalls the events of his childhood, in small-town Minnesota circa 1962, in a voice that perfectly captures the poetic, verbal stoicism of the northern Great Plains. "Here's what I saw," Rube warns his readers. "Here's how it went. Make of it what you will." And Rube sees plenty.

In the winter of his 11th year, two schoolyard bullies break into the Lands' house, and Rube's big brother Davy guns them down with a Winchester. Shortly after his arrest, Davy breaks out of jail and goes on the lam. Swede is Rube's younger sister, a precocious writer who crafts rhymed epics of romantic Western outlawry. Shortly after Davy's escape, Rube, Swede, and their father, a widowed school custodian, hit the road too, swerving this way and that across Minnesota and North Dakota, determined to find their lost outlaw Davy. In the end it's not Rube who haunts the reader's imagination, it's his father, torn between love for his outlaw son and the duty to do the right, honest thing. Enger finds something quietly heroic in the bred-in-the-bone Minnesota decency of America's heartland. Peace Like a River opens up a new chapter in Midwestern literature.
A former member
Post #: 3
Madras on Rainy Days Samina Ali

One fo my favorites. Here is the description from Booklist

Ali's first novel is set in the Indian city of Hyderabad, where Layla is days away from her arranged marriage to Sameer, a handsome young engineer. But Layla is harboring a secret: before she left her home in America, she slept with an American man and became pregnant. Layla has been taking pills to abort the baby, but they've caused her to bleed constantly. Her distraught mother takes her to a spiritual healer, but he is unable to help, and the wedding goes forward despite Layla's concerns. On their first night together she confesses to Sameer that she is not a virgin, and a rift forms instantly between the young newlyweds. Layla finds her new in-laws welcoming and overjoyed to have her, and she warms to her husband and longs to consummate their marriage. But Sameer has a secret as well, one that could ruin his marriage to Layla before it has really begun. Religious clashes and civil unrest also factor into this powerful, atmospheric novel of modern-day India. Kristine Huntley
A former member
Post #: 1
Here's another one that I just read that I think the group might like: "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold
It's a little tough in the beginning, but worth it.

When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begin the difficult process of healing. In the hands of a brilliant novelist, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

"A stunning achievement." -The New Yorker

"Deeply affecting. . . . A keenly observed portrait of familial love and how it endures and changes over time." -New York Times

"A triumphant novel. . . . It's a knockout." -Time

"Destined to become a classic in the vein of To Kill a Mockingbird. . . . I loved it." -Anna Quindlen

"A novel that is painfully fine and accomplished." -Los Angeles Times

"The Lovely Bones seems to be saying there are more important things in life on earth than retribution. Like forgiveness, like love." -Chicago Tribune
A former member
Post #: 22
They are making this into a movie that will be released at Christmas. this might be another book we want to read and see the movie as a group. just saying.
A former member
Post #: 3
I read "Lucky" also by Alice Sebold and found that it really made "The Lovely Bones" so much more intense. Have you ever did a book pairing??? Just a random thought. =-)
user 10476691
Keller, TX
Post #: 1

I have two suggestions for us to read.

Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter it's about an orphan with one hand that gets a job with a lumber company and has to live alone in the forest watching out for rival lumber companies looking to steal trees and man eating snakes looking for a meal.

Or Life of Pi by Yann Martel this one about a boy from India who's family has a zoo. The family decides to close the zoo and move to the US. The family accompanies some of the animals on the ship and the ship sinks. Pi ends up on a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a Bengal tiger. This sounds like the plot of a kids movie but it's a brutal survival story and more.
user 7051622
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 6
Since we had such a good discussion of Jane Eyre, maybe we could do one of Jane Austen's. If Pride and Prejudice is too well known, what about Northanger Abbey? It's a send-up of Gothic novels and very fun.

I also really like Rosamunde Pilcher's long novels ... best known for The Shell Seekers, but I also like Winter Solstice, September, and Coming Home.
Barbara K.
user 8861048
Euless, TX
Post #: 1
I've read the life of Pi and I thought it was excellent, I would love to reread it and discuss.
A former member
Post #: 23
i haven't read life of pi. think the group may have read it before i joined a year ago but since we have a lot of members that weren't around then i would like to read this and discuss as a group.
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