Saturday, April 26, 2008

Books once more.

We have had a fantastic rant about the books we loathe...indeed the comments keep coming in over there, which is really fun....

Lets twist it a little now.

Please, as the inimitable GM put it..."There's so much great literature out there just waiting to be discovered!"


I throw down the gauntlet...what are the GREAT new books you're reading...

I don't know if it counts as new, but I ADORE Fugitive certainly is more recent than Jane Eyre and all, but not NEW NEW NEW.....a great book....I love the language, the depth of the prose, the deft handling of a potentially depressing storyline into an uncomfortable, though compelling read...

What else,...I also love some non-fiction....At Day's Close, I just read, and it is a look at nighttime and life after dark in older cultures and how it affected everything from our architecture to our patterns of living, ,moving and marrying.

I also really enjoyed the DaVinci Code (so shoot me!) It was a great story...everyone please remember it is FICTION, m'kay? That is the issue I have with that book, could they all please remember it is FICTION?

Qeu més....what else....

There are some travel writers who are amazing, the astonishing Bruce Chatwin for instance....

Stephen Binker is fantastic. The language instinct and also the Blank Slate.

There are a ton of sailing books I really enjoy reading...the Smeetons are probably the best of the lot, though not as famous as some, there is a biography of them out which is also amazing reading. They were incredibly tough.

I'm going to have to add more is soooo late....

So who do you love?


Terrie said...

I love Nora Roberts. Nora Roberts also writes as J.D. Robb. Love her to. Nora is more romantic trash as my husband calls it and J.D. is murder mysterys with smut mixed in. It's great. My husband also says that there should be a support group for husbands of women who read Nora.

Jocelyn said...

What a conversation. I could type for days... Your recs alone are going to send me to to read up.

I recently read THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS by Richard Russo, and it proved as satisfying a reading experience as I've had in years. His other books have inspired in me a "I can see he's a good writer, but this is kind of guy-ish in feel for me." But BRIDGE OF SIGHS--well, it was simple and straightforward and lovely and smart and everything my brain was needing. I have immense affection for that book.

dawn said...

Like I said in the other post about books, I don't read them much. I did like Silas Marner and read it a couple times. I have started Adam Bede by George Elliot recently but I don't have a lot of time to read especially in the last little while. I tend to read more magazines as I can read an article in a short time and if I never come back to that one, I can recycle. I find I lose my place in book if I can't come back regularly. One book I really like and have an old copy of (which belongs to my sister) is "When Knighthood Was in Flower". I can't remember the authors name, but it contains some diary notes of one of the characters and was set in the time of King Henry V111. I read that again a few years ago and it is an enjoyable book. There are many I have read to the kids that are amazing historical fiction. Too many to list and the hour is late.
You didn't get back to me whether you wanted me to send that Scout book. Anyway, now you got me thinking of what books I really enjoyed reading.

Boo and Trev said...

Ooh what an excellent idea for a post!
Our book group has just read "Notes from an Exhibition" by Patrick Gale which we all loved. About an artist in Corwall who has bipolar disorder. On of the great things is that I had never heard of the author and have discovered that he's written load so that is exciting to anticipate.
The other great success from the Book Group was "Suite francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky. It is a novel about France at the beginning of the German occupation and reflects the lives of ordinary french people. The amazing thing is that the author did not survive the war so her wide sweep of the subject is remarkable. Sounds like your French is good enough to read it in the original.
Finally, I think one of the best books written in the last 10 years is "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" by Mark Haddon. Brilliant.
I could go on and on, must stop!

Beth said...

I could go on and one with this one. Some great (fairly new to me) authors - Irene Nemirovsky, Ann Patchett, Alice Sebold, Douglas Coupland, Marisa de los Santos....

elPadawan said...

I discovered Václav Havel during one of my trips to Czech Republic, with Largo Desolato. I liked it pretty much. I unfortunately read less than before :(

Although all the Discworld novels from Terry Pratchett always leave me rolling on the floor laughing :p.

Michele said...

Some books and authors, in no particular order...

Water for Elephants.
Sue Monk Kidd
Annie Proulx (esp. Bad Dirt)
Test Pattern
Ian Rankin (for a good mystery)
Anne Lamott
A Suitable Boy
He Who Rides a Tiger

Michele said...

Oh, and must say that DaVinci was a guilty pleasure, though Angels and Demons seemed ridiculous as to almost render it unreadable to me.

oreneta said...

Terrie, I will have to try me some Nora Roberts...then Rob and the man can get online and share their sorrows!

Jocelyn, *tongue sticking out of the corner of my mouth* running to Amazon...the bridge of, what was that...yes the bridge of sighs....ahh, thanks...gonna get that one sounds great...I feel that it's a boy book about Guy Vanderhague (how do you spell that?)

good lord, guy vanderhaeghe! No wonder I had trouble!

Dawn, the scout book would be amazing, but maybe wait till I am in Canada this summer if we are talking snail mail, the price to Spain is outrageous, and I might get to Canada before it gets to me...
when you get a chance, I would love to know some of the authors of those books for kids, we've been reading some good ones, but with kids that just suck up the books, and having to shop on Amazon, recommended titles are fantastic. If you could.

Boo and Trev...two more for the list...thanks...the curious incident I also adored, though I found myself a little uncomfortable reading it, sometimes I wasn't sure whether I was laughing with him or at him...

Beth, I KNEW you would come through on this topic...and Irene Nemirovsky (I love cut and paste functions) got a second nod here...picture me opening that second screen for Amazon....

elPadawan, I thought Havel mostly wrote poetry...the book you mention is a novel as well...though honestly maybe I should read the poetry too. Can you imagine trying to translate poetry! Yee gods...

Michele, Sue Monk Kidd...I loved the secret life for bees and never read any more, a great Amazon wish list is looking huge...

I hope the rest of you are getting titles you might like too!

kate said...


I have been following this but not posting, as I haven't had much time for reading actual books lately! If you want recommendations for children's/ young adult literature, check out the blog Lessons From the Tortoise-- s children's lit professor who often writes about and recommneds books for YA audiences.

She wrote about The Twilight series recently that sounds like it's the right demographic...

oreneta said...

Kate, I can see how you haven't been reading is the new baby, and the big brothers..I've been thinking about you lately.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

There is a curious gap in this process. We are all talking about recent books and victorian ones. What happened to the 20th century?

Anyone read Steinbeck, Catch 22 by Heller or "To Kill a Mockingbird" lately?

Another must read is Paris 1919 or the Peacemakers (it had a different title in US and Europe) by Margaret McMillan/ a brilliant bit of history that is easily readable.

Sea Dog

oreneta said...

Hey Sea Dog, can you lend me a copy sometime? Actually I can get it out of the TPL this summer....

And I just remembered Barbara Kingsoliver, who is an amazing writer...

oreneta said...

Dawn sent me a follow up e-mail about the comment above, and with her permission I am posting her recommendations for kids books to:

I have read some GA Henty books to the kids. They can be interesting and sometimes dry, but they are well written. I read a couple from this area. One is "Rescue at Fort Edmonton" by Rita Feutl. We went to Frank's slide last summer and read a book about it but can't seem to find it. The kids might be rereading it. I can't even remember the author's name. Here is a list of some I have read:

The Heroes of Castle Bretten by Margaret S. Comrie
The Spanish Brothers (A tale of the Sixteenth Century) by Deborah Alcock
Coronation of Glory (The Story of Lady Jane Grey) by Deborah Meroff
The Govenor of England (A Novel on Oliver Cromwell) by Marjorie Bowen
All from Inheritance Publications

Jeremy's War 1812 by John Ibbitson
Laura's Choice (The Story of Laura Secord) by Connie Brummel Crook
The Bully Boys by Eric Walters
All about the war of 1812

Lesia's Dream by Laura Langston about Ukrainian people settling in Canada during the first world war.

I read these GA Henty books so far:

With Wolfe in Canada (Canadian History)
The Cat of Bubastes (Egyptian Culture)
Facing Death (England Coal Mine)
The Knight of the White Cross (Siege of Rhodes)

I have read some Scott O'Dell books to them also
The Black Pearl

There were other books I got out of the library and ones I can't seem to find in the massive unorganized shelves I have. I read
Mary Bloody Mary, but I am not sure of the author from the library
Elizabeth but not sure if there was more to the title of the book I read.
I also read most of the Piet Prins books listed in the scout book and a whole lot of others.

Thanks a lot!

laianna said...

La tercera virgen, de Fred Vargas. Si t'agrada la novel·la negra, aquesta t'encantarà. El descobriment de Sant Jordi !

Anonymous said...

Michael Ondaatje - everything! when i read his books i am savouring every word and constantly blown away by his writing - which is not something i usually sit and wonder at as i read. In the Skin of the Lion - total classic - but newest one DIVISADERO- fantastic as well.
AND - a recent read (wow I finally have time to read again sometimes - although dwindling again) - THE BOOK THEIF - don't remember the author as I passed it along but a surprise airport purchase that i LOVED.

Joanne PL

oreneta said...

Lianna, Moltes gr�cies per la teva visita i per la teva recomandaci�!

Lianna has recommended "The Third Virgin" by Fred Vargas. She said that if you like black novels you would like this one( I am not sure what a black novel is, but the Catalans refer to a romantic novel as a pink novel...). Lianna got discovered it at St. Jordi's which was a few days ago, people come out and buy roses and books as gifts. Everyone buys roses and is a publishers DREAM!

Joanne PL...Ondaatje I knew, The Book Theif though....which you can see here: seems to be by Markus name for me!

oreneta said...

I just googled Vargas, I would say a black novel is a thriller, possibly moving into horror....I wonder if Stephen King would count or not...Lianna? Stephan King, l'escrit novel.las negra?

Helen said...

To add a few to the mix
- Dorothy L Sayers
- Margery Allingham
- Judge Dee books by Robert van Gulik if you can find them as they are out of print
- Ursula le Guin even if you are not a SF fan
- Terry Pratchett who I can read and read and read and it is absolutely tragic that he has Alzheimers
- Jonathan Kellerman if you like thrillers
- Donna Leon (you feel you are in Venice)
- Dick francis is one of my guilty pleasures
- Mary Stewart - there are romances and then there are the 4 Merlin books which are fantastic
- Gerald Durrell for kids and adults as you get comedy travel and animals all in one
- British historical novels are good from Philippa Gregory
- I can do a load more SF ones but I'n not sure you're into that

Kids books - good British authors are Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman, Anne Fine, and I can find more if I think about it longer. I agree with Boo about the Curious Incident, though Life of Pi is nearly as good, and Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is wonderful.