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 What book(s) are you reading this month?
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Vonette
Star Contributor

Walla Walla, WA
USA
867 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2004 :  2:56:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've listened to a lot of good books on tape from the library while doing my housework the last few months. Otherwise, I have little time to read though I love books. I am nearing the end of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" now and have enjoyed it greatly. It sounds like it's heavily autobiographical but I haven't had time to research the author so I don't know for sure. It's about a family struggling to overcome poverty in Brooklyn early in the 20th century. That description sounds dull, but the book is not!

Not long ago, I finished Pearl Buck's "The Good Earth" which was also excellent. I followed it up with "Things Fall Apart" on the recommendation of some posters here. I liked that nearly as well, and for some reason it reminded me of "The Good Earth" despite the vast differences in culture. Both focused on a particular family and how they developed in the face of various challenges and both drew clear and interesting pictures of the cultures of their respective countries at the time they were set.

Also based on some posts here, I listened to "The House of Sand and Fog" early in the fall. It was well-written with interesting characters and an unusual storyline. But I felt like I was watching a train wreck. I could see it coming and was powerless to stop it, wanted to turn my eyes away, but somehow had to see the outcome. I can't say I enjoyed the book.
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Bonnie in Burbank
Star Contributor

Burbank, CA
USA
5940 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2004 :  08:02:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just finished "The Crush" by Sandra Brown. Entertaining read.

Bonnie
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Bonnie in Burbank
Star Contributor

Burbank, CA
USA
5940 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2005 :  11:38:17 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just finished "Exclusive" by Sandra Brown. Another good book.

Bonnie
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Bonnie in Burbank
Star Contributor

Burbank, CA
USA
5940 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2005 :  07:45:48 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
"The Birth of Venus" by Sarah Dunant.

This is a novel about Florence in the 1400-1500's. The main character is a young girl who loves art and yearns to be an artist. Trying times as the historical figure of Savonela (think mad priest) tries to turn Florence into "The New Jeruselem". His "Bonfire of the Vanities" is such a terrible destruction of art and books, ect. A very good book.

I read something similar about a famous female artist of that time, but for the life of me I can't think of the title or author. I let someone read it and it hasn't been returned.

Bonnie
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MarieSpree
Star Contributor

NY
USA
511 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2005 :  09:15:21 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Right now I'm reading "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". I'm not terribly impressed. It reminds me a lot of Gatsby even though it's nonfiction.

"Let's shop til we plop!" "You mean shop til we drop?" "Whatever!"
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Bonnie in Burbank
Star Contributor

Burbank, CA
USA
5940 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2005 :  11:38:23 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Tuesday I finished "Babylon Rising" by Tim LaHaye and Greg Dinallo.
This is Tim LaHaye's new series. Very good. Kind of like Indiana Jones meets Billy Graham.

Bonnie
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LisaBGoesShopping
Star Contributor

PA
USA
3092 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2005 :  4:15:07 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Bonnie, what's the premise behind the new series?

By the way, I finally did see the movie Left Behind. Kind of a shame -- it could have been a blockbuster, but it wasn't.
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LauraMarie
Star Contributor

CA
USA
412 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2005 :  4:37:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm so glad I read this thread. A friend of mine, Bob Phillips, recently sent me a copy of a book he co-authored with Tim LaHaye called The Secret on Ararat. I remember reading some of it on his computer when he was writing it and was very pleased to receive a completed copy from him just before Christmas. However, I haven't read any of the Left Behind series and I assumed this was another installment. I was thinking I needed to go back and read the series before reading The Secret on Ararat, but this thread has helped me realize it's actually part of a new series and I've only missed one. I'm looking at the book now and it says that on the cover, but for some reason it didn't register when I first received it. Duh! LOL

Anyway, I am currently reading THE BOOK OF GOD: The Bible as a Novel by Walter Wangerin, Jr. and Fear Itself by Walter Mosley.
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UpstateNYKat
Star Contributor

Rochester, NY
USA
1100 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2005 :  5:40:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
LauraMarie,

Fear Itself is another good one by Mosely. I read it a couple months ago. I have to get Little Scarlet and Six Easy Pieces soon. Fearless is a good series but there is nobody like EZ Rawlins.

Bonnie,
I thought Dreamcatcher was the worst, most dreadful book that Stephen King ever wrote. I rented the movie and watched it when I was about 1/2 way through the book. It was even worse. I still finished the book though.

Katrina
Part time shopper Rochester, NY
Silver Certified #junxlc
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Bonnie in Burbank
Star Contributor

Burbank, CA
USA
5940 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2005 :  6:53:07 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
LisaB, this series is based on Bible prophecies not covered in The Left Behind Series, although it looks like it will be about the end of time eventually.
The first book, I have already started the second book The Secret on Ararat, introduces the new hero and main character, Michael Murphy. He is a field archaeologist and a Biblical scholar.
His first adventure is the hunt for the Brazen Serpent, which is in 3 pieces, in 3 different far-off locations.
I don't want to give anything away, but it's a very fast reading book. I don't quite understand why the co-authors are in such a rush. I also wonder why Tim LaHaye went to a different co-author on only the second book of a new series. After you read it I'll explain my feelings.


Kat, Dreamcatcher was okay, for Stephen King. I never said it was great. Better than some of his, not as good as others. Sorry if I misled you.

Bonnie
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LauraMarie
Star Contributor

CA
USA
412 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2005 :  12:08:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kat, you're right, there's no one like Easy and let's not forget the unforgettable Mouse. I fell for both of them after seeing Devil in a Blue Dress. Maybe it's because I keep picturing Denzel and Don Cheadle, but I just love those two together! Paris and Fearless are another story. I usually read a Rawlin's mystery in a single sitting, but I've been nursing "Fear" for over 2 weeks. It's not the main book I'm reading right now and I only read it when I'm bored, but I can only focus on it for a few pages at a time. Shame, because Mosley's mysteries are my favorites. The story is so-so, but it doesn't draw me in like Easy's would. I think Fearless Jones was better.

Six Easy Pieces was okay, but it wasn't what I'd expected either. I hope Mosley's not losing his touch. I'll have to read Little Scarlet before I can say for sure.

Hated Dreamcatcher too. Didn't read the book, but the movie is on my worst list.
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UpstateNYKat
Star Contributor

Rochester, NY
USA
1100 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2005 :  04:10:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Bonnie,

I don't think that you mislead me at all. Its just a difference of opinion. I'm curious to know which King books you think were worse. The only one that I can think of is the first Dark Tower book. I hated it so much that I never read any of the others.

LauraMarie,

My understanding of Six Easy Pieces is that it is a bunch of unrelated short stories about Rawlins. Is that correct? I also enjoy the character Mouse. I think (don't hold me to this though) that he returns in Little Scarlet. Have you read any of the Tamara Hayle series by Valerie Wilson Wesley? She hasn't written one in a while. I hope Tamara is coming back soon.

Katrina
Part time shopper Rochester, NY
Silver Certified #junxlc
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Bonnie in Burbank
Star Contributor

Burbank, CA
USA
5940 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2005 :  05:10:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kat, the first one I think of is "Tommyknockers". It started out good. I think it was about 1/3 into the book that he started to ramble on and lose the focus. I did like the mini-series.
I'll have to put on my thinking cap to think of others as after that book I think I stopped reading his work.

Bonnie
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LauraMarie
Star Contributor

CA
USA
412 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2005 :  08:11:04 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Kat,

Yes, Six Easy Pieces is a collection of six short mysteries Easy solves. I was a little let down because something major that fans had been waiting for happens in the book, but it didn't pack the punch that it should have. Seems he was rushing through it. Now that it's happened, I hope Little Scarlet will be better and he'll get back to taking his time with the unravelling.

I think I've read all of the Tamara Hayle series and also read Ain't Nobody's Business which I really enjoyed. I've been awaiting Tamara's return too. I thought I had missed one, but went on the website last week and see that I'm not missing one, she just hasn't written one in a while. What's up with that, I wonder?
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UpstateNYKat
Star Contributor

Rochester, NY
USA
1100 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2005 :  09:05:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
LauraMarie,

Now I am really confused. I can't think of anything that fans had been waiting for with the Rawlins series. Now I'm really going to have to get the book. Unfortunately I will have to order it since I can't seem to find it in any bookstore here.

As for Wilson-Wesley, I went to Tamarahayle.com this morning and found that a new one was released in Sept 2004. Its called Dying in the Dark. Have you read that one yet? I'm cheap so I wait for paperback or clearance hard cover but I haven't even seen it in the store that I usually buy books in. I read "Aint no..." and enjoyed it. I also read "Always True To You In My Fashion" which was OK. I think she's better at the mysteries.

One more question. Have you read any of Mosely's sci-fi stuff? I enjoyed the Rawlins, Jones and Fortlow books so much that I gave Blue Light a shot. I didn't even make it half way through. He has another one called Futureland that I have been avoiding since Blue Light was so bad.

Katrina
Part time shopper Rochester, NY
Silver Certified #junxlc
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UpstateNYKat
Star Contributor

Rochester, NY
USA
1100 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2005 :  09:15:12 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Bonnie,

We have another difference of opinion (I don't know about you but I particularly enjoy conversations with people who's opinions differ from mine). I enjoyed the Tommyknockers and felt that it stayed on topic. I think most of the rambling was detailing the changes that the townspeople went through because of the thing that landed there. Don't quote me on that. While I'm typing this I'm trying to remember what the thing even was...

Oh yes, at least I was able to finish Dreamcatcher. I remember enjoying The Talisman as a teenager. When Black House was published I reread it and enjoyed it again. I didn't even make it 1/4 of the way through Black House and it is rare that I start a book and don't finish it. I found it very dull. I'm sure it got better but it didn't hold my interest in the beginning so I didn't get very far.

Katrina
Part time shopper Rochester, NY
Silver Certified #junxlc
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Bonnie in Burbank
Star Contributor

Burbank, CA
USA
5940 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2005 :  09:17:18 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Kat,

I have "Futureland" but I haven't read it yet. Looks good from the description an the jacket. I'll let you know. I've been getting so many books from the library lately, I've put my own books aside.


Bonnie
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LauraMarie
Star Contributor

CA
USA
412 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2005 :  09:38:41 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kat,

I don't remember which book it was in, but don't you remember Mouse being seriously wounded and his wife carrying him off to some unknown place? We were left with a cliffhanger not knowing if he was dead or alive for about 2 years. Mouse was absent in the next book and Easy had to cope with the unknown along with all of us. Well, the answer is in Six Easy Pieces.

I like the Socrates Fortlow books too, but after R.L.'s Dream I haven't attempted any other genre Mosley's written. I'm not really into Science Fiction, so I'd probably have the same reaction to Blue Light and the others. I hated, hated, hated R.L.'s Dream. I typically give a bad book 100 pages before I decide if I'll continue or not. I couldn't make it with R.L.

I must have been on the wrong website for Wesley, because there wasn't any mention of a new mystery. I haven't seen it in bookstores either. I will definitely have to search for a copy this weekend. Have you checked eBay?
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UpstateNYKat
Star Contributor

Rochester, NY
USA
1100 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2005 :  10:52:11 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
LauraMarie,

I see now. I thought that Mouse's return was supposed to be in Little Scarlet. I never read R.L.'s dream. Every time I looked at it in the store something just made me put it down. The weird part is that I didn't even know what it was about. I think I was turned off by the main character being called "Soupspoon". I'm weird like that.

Bonnie,

I'll look forward to your comments on Futureland. I skimmed the editorial review on Amazon and it was very mixed.

In all my chattering I haven't mentioned the book that I am currently reading. Its "The Feng Shui Handbook: How to Create a Healthier Living and Working Environment" by Lam Kam Chuen. I took a one time Feng Shui class a couple years ago and found it very interesting. This book is very difficult to get into though because it first has to go through 60 pages of Chinese culture to explain how Feng Shui came about and it's place in society. I also have the follow up book: "The Personal Feng Shui Manual: How to Develop a Healthy and Harmonious Lifestyle" by the same author. I may have to learn to live with my unhealthy, disharmonious life.

Katrina
Part time shopper Rochester, NY
Silver Certified #junxlc
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Bonnie in Burbank
Star Contributor

Burbank, CA
USA
5940 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2005 :  07:54:50 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Wow, I haven't visited this thread in a while!

Well, I finished "The Secret on Ararat" and I really think I'm going to like this series much better than the Left Behind series. Lot's of action and adventure in addition to the Bible prophecies.

Kat, I went to the library yesterday and found a new 7 day book by James Patterson. "London Bridges", the 10th Alex Cross book. I finished it before going to work last night. It's a fast read and you don't want to put it down. It's like going home and visiting with all the favorite characters. Nana, Jannie, Damon, Rosie the cat, Samson, Jamilla, and baby Alex. It also has a couple of villans from the past...The Wolf and The Weasel. Love these books about Alex Cross.

I'll get back later and update you on the other books I've read in the last month. Time for bed, I just got home from working all night.

Bonnie
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