Book Recommendations

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  VodouDoll on Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:23 am

Can anyone recommend some fun summer reading? What's this year's Gone Girl?

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  mialoubug on Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:54 pm

VodouDoll wrote:Can anyone recommend some fun summer reading? What's this year's Gone Girl?

I was wondering the same thing. I'm reading her Dark Places now and am halfway through. Shower pending....
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  killershrew on Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:23 pm

I'm reading Reconstructing Amelia and enjoying it quite a bit.
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  MaddyCat on Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:21 pm

If you like Neil Gaiman, I'm hearing amazing things about his new one, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Seems promising.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  naughty zoot on Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:36 am

From my librarian perspective, the closest thing so far may be Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, but really, nothing has even approached how in demand and good Gone Girl was.
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  whatthedeuce on Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:06 pm

naughty zoot wrote:From my librarian perspective, the closest thing so far may be Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, but really, nothing has even approached how in demand and good Gone Girl was.
I've seen Life After Life recommended by a handful of authors in Entertainment Weekly lately, so I'm really excited to get my hands on that book!

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  Muggsy on Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:54 pm

I just finished a random find called The Shadowed Sun by N.K Jemisin and it was really good. It's fantasy I guess but her world building is amazing and the characters managed to be likeable without being perfect. The book is about a city where people can go into each others dreams and heal people or hurt them but it's also got a lot of politics and intrigue. At lot was going over my head in the beginning but it settles in after the first few chapters. So nice when a random book surprises you!


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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  whatthedeuce on Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:35 pm

Anybody know of any great novels centered around sleepaway camps? I always wanted to attend one as a kid, and like boarding school, the idea of having so many formative experiences taking place away from the comfort of one's home environment really grips me. Speaking of boarding school though, I got 150 pages into The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls before realizing nothing was really happening. Too bad since it involved a school in a camp setting during the Depression, which means it should have been a total winner.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  big chicken on Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:51 pm

Are YA books acceptable?

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  Poubelle on Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:37 pm

whatthedeuce wrote:I got 150 pages into The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls before realizing nothing was really happening. Too bad since it involved a school in a camp setting during the Depression, which means it should have been a total winner.
If you'd kept going, there'd be wildly inappropriate sex. That protagonist sure could NOT pick them. Actually, I was really disturbed that
Spoiler:
the book acted like the main problem with her relationship with the headmaster was that he was married and other people would react badly, not that it was completely creepy and wrong. I'm pretty sure the author intended their scenes together to be hot, and had confused "sexy and scandalous" with "abusive and disturbing." Incest AND statutory rape, what a pleasant summer read that was! At least the thing with her cousin seemed based on their isolation. The headmaster probably thought "hey, she already lost her virginity to her cousin, so with her tarnished reputation I can probably get away with it." Also, the thing with her cousin was so blatantly telegraphed I got annoyed with how long it took for the book to tell us that was why she was sent away. Suspense/"mysterious" backstory doesn't work when it's stupid obvious.

I wasn't even sure what the point of it all was, at the end. It definitely was way, way too long.

Basically, my post is an anti-recommendation. Also, the only summer camp books I can think of are also kids/YA. If you want a good one told from the POV of a rodent, Runaway Ralph is really great. Ralph rides a tiny motorcycle, not a horse, though.
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  BreezyK on Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:12 pm

whatthedeuce wrote:Anybody know of any great novels centered around sleepaway camps?
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer came out this year and is about a group of friends that met while attending an arts sleepaway camp. It follows them into their adult lives, mostly in NYC.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  whatthedeuce on Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:15 pm

Oh, YA is definitely welcome, guys! If there's a coming of age aspect to any of your recs as well, all the better! I don't care if the novels are funny or poignant. I just wanna read abouy camps, y'all, so thanks for the recs so far and please keep them coming!

And Poubelle, I had a feeling the story was moving in that direction and then read spoilers on Goodreads to confirm my suspicion after I'd already decided to give up on the book. I was right about the secret that got her sent to the school, too, and while I was curious about how it played out, the protagonist was really irritating and I couldn't muster any sympathy for her. I found her schoolmates far more interesting actually and had a feeling Mary Abbott would largely figure into the story later on, but I didn't see any spoilers about that so maybe I was wrong there.


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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  mialoubug on Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:18 pm

This list is really fun! I can honestly say that I've probably read about 45 percent of the books on here. 40 Trashy Novels You Must Read Before You Die Some I've never heard of at all.
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  Poubelle on Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:26 pm

Like so many supporting characters, Mary Abbott is just kind of... there. But I liked her, too! (I could maybe have handled the protagonist being as blah and unsympathetic as she was, if we got to see more of the other girls, like if she functioned mostly to show the reader around the book's world. And if the book acknowledged she had SERIOUS issues. Which actually could've been written to be understandable, considering what she went through and how she grew up in the middle of nowhere with really only family and her horse to interact with.)

Edit: You know, if I'd encountered Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls on a list of trashy novels and read about how it was full of long descriptions of horseback riding interwoven with wildly wrong sexual relationships, I might have enjoyed it better. As it was, I read it because the Times gave a nice review. WTF, New York Times. Please keep your book reviewers off crack.
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  Carrie Ann on Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:55 pm

whatthedeuce wrote:Anybody know of any great novels centered around sleepaway camps? I always wanted to attend one as a kid, and like boarding school, the idea of having so many formative experiences taking place away from the comfort of one's home environment really grips me.
The dearth of YA/other books about camp made me think seriously about writing a YA series set at camp. My experiences at summer camp were a huge part of my pre-teen and teenage life, and I still think about them all the time. I think it's a special setting--outside of reality just enough to make everything more dramatic and important-seeming--and it's perfect for YA lit. Anyway, I'm interested in these recommendations too!
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  big chicken on Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:38 pm

Una LaMarche's Five Summers came out this summer. I haven't read it but I did read a review somewhere which talked about how it has a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants feel to the book.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  whatthedeuce on Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:47 pm

So nothing happened with Mary Abbott? The author kept alluding to her being separate from the other bunkmates and the protagonist wanting to show her some warmth and knowing it would be the decent thing to make her feel more included, and then nothing? Dumb. I agree with you that if the novel had been categorized differently, I may not have minded what it ended up being.

I would adore a series focused in a camp setting, Carrie Ann, and I envy your experiences. I think Nickelodeon's Salute Your Shorts and Disney's Bug Juice are what made me wanna go so badly. Did you make any lasting friendships at summer camp?

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  big chicken on Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:44 pm

Here's a review of Five Summers with added list of some of Leila Roy's favorite books set in summer camp.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  whatthedeuce on Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:17 pm

You always leave the most helpful links so thanks once more, big chicken!

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  Shadowlass on Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:52 pm

When I was a kid I loved Marilyn Sachs's Laura's Luck, which is about two sisters from the Bronx at camp for the entire summer.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  Carrie Ann on Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:54 pm

big chicken wrote:Here's a review of Five Summers with added list of some of Leila Roy's favorite books set in summer camp.
Ooh, from that link, this series looks excellent. I'm requesting it at the library right now.
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  particle_person on Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:09 pm

Reading Penelope Lively's YA, The Wild Hunt of the Ghost Hounds. Lively is brilliant, at least as good as Susan Cooper, possibly a better prose stylist. The subject matter overlaps with "The Dark Is Rising" also — the wild hunt legend and the antlered rider are involved. I'm about halfway through, and so far a lot of the book is about the relationship between protagonist Lucy (who starts her adventure on a train, like a proper fantasy heroine) and an outcast boy named Kessler, whose father is the local blacksmith. The setting is in Minehead/Exmoor, so there are plenty of atmospheric moors and towering shadowy cliffs with fossils (useful for first dates!). The supernatural business has only been hinted at, but I peeked ahead and it looks like it starts around the half-way point.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  snorf on Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:38 pm

I just read the first two books in the Ken Follett Century Trilogy (Fall of Giants and Winter of the World). Good easy holiday reading, was surprised at how fast I breezed through them as they are quite thick books. The characters follow the same sort of 6 degreesness as Pillars of the Earth and are kindof 2 dimensional, but entertaining anyway. Hanging out for book 3 which isn't due for release until "late 2014". Grrr.

Then for something completly different I'm reading the latest Jack Reacher. Am desperately hoping he hasn't jumped the shark with
Spoiler:
the long lost daughter thing
I'm only halfway through so hoping it's a classic Lee Child plot twist - I still haven't forgiven
Spoiler:
Cussler for the Pitt twins


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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  choubetcha on Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:32 pm

Re:camp books, I read the covers off Camp Girl Meets Boy by Caroline Cooney as a kid (and now, to be honest). There's a sequel, too, where they have a camp reunion called...ha, I had to google it but it is called Camp Reunion. I heard so much about Hail, Hail Camp Timberwood by Ellen Conford that I eventually tracked it down on Paperback Swap but I have to admit I don't really remember what I read. More recently, E.F. Lockhart has one about a drama camp called Dramarama which is interesting. A little pricklier than the others.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post  whatthedeuce on Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:27 pm

I haven't gotten around to trying any of the camp books y'all recommended, but thanks very much for all the great suggestions! Now I'm in search of an excellent Nelson Mandela biography so if you know of one, please do share!

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Re: Book Recommendations

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