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Books: What have people been reading recently?

GUEST,Scapin 13 Apr 05 - 02:36 PM
ToulouseCruise 13 Apr 05 - 02:40 PM
Stu 13 Apr 05 - 02:56 PM
Alaska Mike 13 Apr 05 - 03:15 PM
katlaughing 13 Apr 05 - 03:23 PM
ToulouseCruise 13 Apr 05 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Seneschal 13 Apr 05 - 03:29 PM
Rapparee 13 Apr 05 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Allen 13 Apr 05 - 03:33 PM
Liz the Squeak 13 Apr 05 - 04:00 PM
GUEST 13 Apr 05 - 04:01 PM
Liz the Squeak 13 Apr 05 - 04:38 PM
skipy 13 Apr 05 - 04:44 PM
jacqui.c 13 Apr 05 - 04:47 PM
fat B****rd 13 Apr 05 - 04:50 PM
katlaughing 13 Apr 05 - 05:04 PM
Georgiansilver 13 Apr 05 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Allen 13 Apr 05 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Seneschal 13 Apr 05 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Allen 13 Apr 05 - 05:22 PM
Ebbie 13 Apr 05 - 05:26 PM
sixtieschick 13 Apr 05 - 05:35 PM
jacqui.c 13 Apr 05 - 05:54 PM
beardedbruce 13 Apr 05 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Allen 13 Apr 05 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 13 Apr 05 - 06:27 PM
Ebbie 13 Apr 05 - 06:36 PM
sixtieschick 13 Apr 05 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Allen 13 Apr 05 - 06:51 PM
Shanghaiceltic 13 Apr 05 - 07:39 PM
sixtieschick 13 Apr 05 - 08:09 PM
mack/misophist 13 Apr 05 - 10:18 PM
katlaughing 13 Apr 05 - 10:44 PM
GUEST,Scaramouche 14 Apr 05 - 04:09 AM
Emma B 14 Apr 05 - 05:25 AM
Torctgyd 14 Apr 05 - 08:48 AM
Bunnahabhain 14 Apr 05 - 08:57 AM
ToulouseCruise 14 Apr 05 - 08:58 AM
wildlone 14 Apr 05 - 10:00 AM
Paco Rabanne 14 Apr 05 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Scaramouche 14 Apr 05 - 02:43 PM
Gern 14 Apr 05 - 03:52 PM
Bill D 14 Apr 05 - 04:37 PM
Myrtle 14 Apr 05 - 04:39 PM
kendall 14 Apr 05 - 04:56 PM
Liz the Squeak 14 Apr 05 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,Allen 14 Apr 05 - 05:53 PM
Shanghaiceltic 14 Apr 05 - 06:55 PM
ranger1 14 Apr 05 - 07:27 PM
katlaughing 14 Apr 05 - 07:48 PM
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Subject: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Scapin
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 02:36 PM

What have people been reading recently?


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 02:40 PM

I have just completed two books by Pat Conroy.. "Prince of Tides" and "Beach Music"... the second hit me really hard... I picked it at random at a used book sale. One of the stories within it talks about the main character dealing with his mother being diagnosed with cancer -- my mother happens to be going thru the same, and I had just found out a day or so before getting this book that she wasn't expected to make it past a couple weeks (that was a few weeks back, she is doing somewhat better now, btw). Anyways, it is a very moving book that I would recommend.

Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Stu
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 02:56 PM

I'm reading a book on the history of beer in Britain.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 03:15 PM

I'm currently reading book 9 in the "Master & Commander" series by Patrick O'Brian. My first time through the series and I am totally enjoying the experience. I'll probably end up writing some more nautical songs before too long.

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 03:23 PM

{{{{{Hugs for Brian and his mom}}}}}} May you both find peace and strength.

Recent reads include: Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma mystery series.
This is the first one I read, but not the first of the series. In this one she goes to Rome:click

This is some of what he has at the beginning of each book, taken from an interview:

Why did you choose a female protagonist, and a nun in particular?

I chose a female protagonist because this was the most intriguing aspect of the 7th-century Irish system which placed women in a co-equal role to men. A fact that seemed forgotten. And it was inevitable that she had to be a religious for, as Fidelma has explained in the stories, in pre-Christian days all the professionals and intellectuals were part of the Druid caste whereas, in the early days of Christianity, the vast majority of professionals simply became members of the new religious. It is not something Fidelma particularly likes because her first and main love is law – she is a qualified lawyer and law is her life first and foremost and not religion. She did give up life in the Abbey of Kildare for the reasons explained in the title story of Hemlock at Vespers.

What was the position of women in 7th-century Irish society generally and the church in particular? Did women have more rights in 7th-century Ireland than subsequently?

Under the ancient Irish law system, women occupied a unique place. Simply, the Irish laws gave more rights and protection to women than any other western law code at that time or until recent years. Women could, and did, aspire to all offices and professions as co-equal with men. They could be political leaders, command their people in battle as warriors, be physicians, poets, artisans, local magistrates, lawyers and judges.

            Women were protected, under the law, from sexual harassment, against discrimination and against rape. They had the right of divorce on equal terms as their husbands, with equitable separation laws and could demand part of their husband's property as a divorce settlement. They had the right of inheritance of personal property and the right of sickness benefit when ill or hospitalised. They remained the owners of any wealth that they brought into a marriage. Indeed, it was automatic that on divorcing their husband, if he were at fault, they took half of all the joint property accrued during the time of the marriage. The Irish law system was very ancient and sophisticated. While we have fragmentary texts from the early period, the first complete surviving texts do not survive until the 11th century. This law system was finally suppressed following the Tudor Conquest of Ireland at the beginning of the 17th century. During the Penal Years it meant death or transportation to be caught with one of the Irish law books.

            It was thanks to Charles Graves, grandfather of the Nobel literary laureate Robert Graves, that many of the Irish legal texts were finally saved. Charles Graves (1812-1899) was President of the Royal Irish Academy, as well as being Anglican Bishop of Limerick. He was an expert on Ogham, the ancient Irish form of writing, and on Brehon Law. He persuaded the British government to set up a commission to rescue the surviving legal books and texts and to edit and translate them. These were published in six volumes from 1865-1901.


Other books I really enjoy have been the Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis: click.

And, the ancient Japan mystery series by Laura Joh Rowland:click You can look inside this book and read a bit of it. It's not the first in the series, but one I've read and quite good,imo.

Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 03:29 PM

Thanks Kat.... hugs are always welcome!


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Seneschal
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 03:29 PM

That thing about her first love being law and not religion is a bit silly. Too often they were closely entwined.

Anyway I was reading Christ Stopped at Eboli. Carlo Levi wrote about his experiences as a doctor in southern italy of the 1940s, one of the most poverty-stricken places in the world. It's an incredible book, I challenge anyone to read it and not be moved.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 03:32 PM

Terry Jones' "The Murder of Chaucer" and whats-his-name's "Queen Elizabeth's Slave Trader."

Among others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 03:33 PM

The Queen Elizabeth one is non-fiction?


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 04:00 PM

I'm going through the Harry Potter series and Oscar Wilde 'Picture of Dorian Grey'.

I may try 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' after that, once I've finished with all of Les Barkers' volumes!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 04:01 PM

Liz, you really must try Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 04:38 PM

What genre is that then? Never heard the names.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: skipy
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 04:44 PM

Ebay!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: jacqui.c
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 04:47 PM

I'm just reading the Narnia books by C S Lewis. Just starting 'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader".

When I've finished those I've got my eye on the complete works of Rudyard Kipling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: fat B****rd
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 04:50 PM

Alan Plater's Beiderbecke Trilogy and next a book about Custer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 05:04 PM

Seneschal, why silly if that's what he chose, as the author, to make of his character? Have you read the first book in which he says he explains it? I haven't, yet, so I really am just asking.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 05:05 PM

The Chronicles of Narnia are great jacquiC..Not just for children as some think but good adult reading too. Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 05:07 PM

It's fantasy, but set in the Regency. Excellent book with fantastic atmospheric drawings. It's a bit of an alternate history where magical still exists but only in a theoretical form, until Mr Norrell, a reclusive old miser from Yorkshire who buys up all the books, restores it. It's used in the war effort against Napoleon (hilarious bit where he tries, unsuccesfuly, to frighten napoleon by sending him nightmares: a dragoon hiding in his closet) and he takes on a young pupil, the eccentric but charming gentleman Jonathan Strange. The two eccentrics soon become rivals. Good villain and interesting subplot about the mythical Raven King. Verry witty, with psuedo-academic footnotes. Look for Susanah Clarke's official site.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Seneschal
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 05:17 PM

I may change my mind if I can read it, but it sounds way too modern.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 05:22 PM

Best of the series is The Horse and His Boy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 05:26 PM

I always have a number of books scattered around the house, wherever I might land for awhile. I just finished 'Inside the Victorian Home' and 'Secrets and Mysteries,' and I'm still reading 'The Light of Conscience', 'Sun Signs and Soul Mating', 'The Vatican Exposed', 'French Women Don't Get Fat', and 'Doing Easy Time' (by a former prison warden). In addition I read the odd magazine and a couple of newspapers. If all else fails, I read the back of cereal boxes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: sixtieschick
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 05:35 PM

"Mila 18" by Leon Uris. It's a novel about the Warsaw Uprising during WW II. Unbearably sad, but also an inspiring picture of heroism and the will to keep alive a culture and tradition beyond the certain death of the characters. Uris paints such a vivid picture that you feel you are present during each moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: jacqui.c
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 05:54 PM

I liked that book sixtieschick - I've read quite a few of his that I enjoyed.

GUEST,Allen - You could be right - I'll reserve judgement until I've finished the set.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: beardedbruce
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 06:05 PM

last book completed was "The 64 sonnets ( of Keats)". working on some SF and a tech writing textbook, now...


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 06:10 PM

Unless an author is very good at explaining them, modern sensibilities jar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 06:27 PM

I finally got around to D. H. Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover"---and found it quite exceptional and well written. Great ideas and personal relationships within it are explored--as are graphic sexual situations that are very important to the plot line and the emotional appreciation of that plot. It was way ahead of it's time when it was written and banned from the U.S.A. THEN, it was simply accepted for the great work that it is. And now it is banned again and cursed at by... {DELETED BY THE SPIRIT OF COTTEN MATHER AS REINCARNATED IN GEORGE BUSH}.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 06:36 PM

Art, when I was 13 and already an avid reader (see thread) I found Lady Chatterley's Lover in a orchard burn pile. (My family was there picking prunes) I took it home surreptitiously and pondered it mightily. A lot of it I couldn't understand but my general impression was that the gamekeeper's life was an interesting one. I didn't like Lady Chatterley nearly as much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: sixtieschick
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 06:36 PM

Liz the Squeakette, I loved "The Picture of Dorian Gray." Wilde's serious writing is often underestimated--I think his cleverness and wit undermine the recognition of the depth of his soul. That novel is very moralistic and ultimately denigrates sensuality--from a man who was convicted of "gross indecency." Go figure.

M.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 06:51 PM

Actualy it's on the way sensuality denigrates if you lose your soul to it. Besides what he was accused of was homosexual relations, a criminal offence till the 1960s I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 07:39 PM

'The Bounty' by Caroline Alexander. A very well researched book about the famous mutiny. I knew about Bligh's three experiences of mutiny before I read the book, but this one gives a huge amount of detail to the various people who played a part in the mutiny, the events leading up to it and the subsequent courts martial off Spithead. A great read.

'Command of the Sea' by N A M Rodgers, a history of the Royal Navy from 1670-the mid 1800's. He also wrote 'The Wooden World' which was a very detailed book about the Georgian Navy.

Plus for lighter reading still working my way throught the Rebus series of detective novels (set in Edinburgh) by Ian Rankin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: sixtieschick
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 08:09 PM

Guest. Allen: "Gross Indecency" was the milder of two criminal offences involving homosexuality. Queen Victoria introduced it as a lesser, more compassionate crime, incurring two years at hard labor for those convicted. (Only men were arrested for it, the belief being that women never comitted such acts.) The crime of sodomy, still in place at the time Wilde was accused, carried the death penalty.

I agree with you that Wilde was talking about the danger of losing one's soul to sensuality, but he seemed to me to be deeply ambivalent about the world of the senses; part of his own inner struggle, perhaps.

M.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: mack/misophist
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 10:18 PM

The latest was The Hearts of Three by Jack London. Ridiculous, overblown, and absurdly complex. Spielberg would love it. Befor that was Rupert of Hentzau, the sequel to The Prisoner of Zenda. Written for a variety of patriotism I can't understand. Good action novel, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 10:44 PM

Susanna Clark's book info

Thanks, sounds good and the illustrations are great.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Scaramouche
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 04:09 AM

Rupert of Hentzau has some good stuff in it. Funny, I just reread Royal Flash.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Emma B
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 05:25 AM

I've recently returned from China so I'm particularly enjoying reading Peter May's latest Li Yan thriller "The Runner" set in Beijing during Olympic preparations.......don't tell me "who-did-it"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Torctgyd
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 08:48 AM

Have just finished The Bear and the Dragon by Tom Clancy and will start the new Flashman as soon as it arrives!

T


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 08:57 AM

Just finished "Rule Britania", by Daphne du Maurier. The US invades Britian. Very strange. I'd assumed from Jamacia Inn she was a 19C writer...

Bunnhabhain


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 08:58 AM

I too enjoyed Mila 18 by Uris... very powerful...

just read my first Ian Rankin book, "Fleshmarket Close", of the Detective Rebus series... quite good, may look into getting another... I was given the book as a gift, never heard of him before (I am in Eastern Canada) -- is he quite popular over in the UK?


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: wildlone
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 10:00 AM

Just finished Tarbuck on showbiz, a very funny book of showbiz stories.
Books on the go, A l Lloyd, Folk Song in England.
Tom Vernon, Fat Man In Argentina.
Terry Pratchett. Pyramids.
I go to all the charity shops in my area looking for books [Cardiff, Newport and Caerphilly] yesterday I bought seven.
dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 10:06 AM

'Lurchers and Long dogs' by Colonel E.G.Walsh published by Boydell Press. ISBN 0 85115 4026. A book of most excellent fancy if you are interested in hunting with dogs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Scaramouche
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 02:43 PM

She wrote the 'Birds" too. Became very bitter about Hitchcock's version.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Gern
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 03:52 PM

Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose. I guess I missed it when it was trendy. Just finished Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea, which was terrific.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 04:37 PM

Oswald Spengler-"The Decline of the West"
John Barth- "Giles Goat-Boy"
Adam Smith -"The Wealth of Nations"
Douglas Hofstadter -"Gödel, Escher, Bach"
...analyses of Mandelbrot sets in Chaos theory
...and bits of Ayn Rand...




oh, insomnia will send us in strange directions...I can get thru maybe 4 pages of one of those before I'm out!


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Myrtle
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 04:39 PM

'Portrait in Sepia' by Isabelle Allende...wonderful, as all her books are, and I've just this minute finished 'Terra Incognita' by Sarah Wheeler which I really enjoyed and which had some interesting observations on the rather male dominated world of the Antarctic!


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: kendall
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 04:56 PM

Just finished the DaVinci Code, and have now started on Sarum a novel of England.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 05:48 PM

Threadcreep... where do you keep your books? Are they in any particular order or just all over the house?

I have mine in author groups, genre groups, and subject groups... and all the poetry is kept in the bathroom.

I used to be a library assistant... I guess I can't get out of the habit!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 05:53 PM

ALL OVER. Not got much space, that's part of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 06:55 PM

Novels just get piled up, my history, poetry, biogs I keep neatly in order.

Re the Rebus novels, yes they are very popular in the UK and certainly in NZ judging by the complete set of titles in most book shops in Wellington when I visited there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: ranger1
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 07:27 PM

I just got back from a vacation spent mainly catching up on my reading. A couple of the more interesting books were:
- River, Cross My Heart, a novel about an African-American family in Georgetown, MD during the 1920s
- Running With Scissors, about a boy with a mentally ill mother who gives him to her shrink to raise (non-fiction). It was horrifying and hilarious at the same time.

I also read a lot of absolute fluff, because it is relaxing on the airplane.


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Subject: RE: BS: Books
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Apr 05 - 07:48 PM

LtS, it would be interesting to see whether people's stats have changed since this thread: How organised is your home library?!


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