Author Topic: Book Zone  (Read 19521 times)

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Offline Tigerlady105

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Book Zone
« on: September 13, 2011, 10:07:41 PM »
Welcome to our forum Book Zone!  This is a place to share family-friendly books you enjoy; both non-fiction and fiction titles may be included.  We hope this will help members find some interesting new books to read.

When sharing a book, please include some of the following:

1. Title
2.  Author
3.  Non-fiction or fiction
4.  Subject matter/genre
5.  A short annotation about the book
6.  Comments 


We hope you enjoy the Book Zone!
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Offline mew

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 04:44:19 AM »
What a grand new thread.   I'll look forward to seeing others' recommendations.   I've done a lot of reading lately.  For me reading, like watching Mom and Dad Hornby, is pure escapism and while not adverse to gleaning bits and pieces of information from a book, my main goal is no longer my own education but pleasure. 

However, while I generally remember titles, I rarely remember authors, and the books I've enjoyed lately are no longer in my possession, so I can't give the name of authors.  :)   Each of the following were 'period' specific novels that detailed social situations.


"Cutting for Stone" (mentioned on chat a few months ago by our Missy).  Set in Ethiopia, the story follows twin sons born to a nun who died following their 'surprise'  birth at a rudimentary medical clinic supported by donations.  One twin eventually escapes to the US during a time of upheaval to continue his medical education where he eventually meets his physician father who had vanished on the day of the twins' birth. 

"The Help".   Currently a movie detailing the white/black situation in America's South during the '60s where all but the poorest of white households had "day help" who, in many cases, were not even allowed to use the family bathroom.  The story is built around the premise of a young white woman who decides to interview the help and tell their stories in a book, anonymously of course.  While fiction, I've no doubt that the incidents were quite accurate.

"Sarah's Key".   This is set in Europe during the 'round-up' of Jewish families who were sent to concentration camps and begins with the arrest of a family during the night and follows the female child through her life after she managed to escape the camp in which she was interred and her search for a younger brother who was not taken on that night. 

Offline mew

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 04:53:03 AM »
One more...............

"The Art of Racing in the Rain".....  This is also a novel about a period in a family's life as told from the perspective of the family pet who often bemoans the fact that he is unable to "speak".  Very endearing. 

Offline NancyM

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 07:21:40 AM »
mew, I read the first two books you mentioned and highly recommend them both. 

The author of "Cutting for Stone"  is Abraham Verghese  http://www.abrahamverghese.com/books.asp

"The Help" is by Kathryn Stockett http://www.kathrynstockett.com/

I far prefer historical fiction to contemporary fiction, and also have read some intriguing non-fiction over the past year, so I will dig out some titles to contribute.

Offline beans

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 09:15:38 AM »
1. Mind of the Raven
2. Bernd Heinrich
3. Non-fiction
4. Observations and research into the lives of Ravens
5.  Bernd Heinrich is professor emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont.  His studies of the Raven (and other animals) are must-reads for ornithologists, wildlife veterinarians, and wildlife rehabbers who work with corvids.  His research and field studies are meticulous, and at the same time, very entertaining.  He was the first to attach a string to a perch with a piece of food at the end to test a Raven’s ability to figure out how to get the food.  Many of his ideas are used today by those who handle Raven education birds as part of their enrichment training.  

From the back cover:  “Heinrich involves us in his quest to get inside the mind of the raven.  But as animals can only be spied on by getting quite close, Henirch adopts ravens, thereby becoming a “raven father,” as well as observing them in their natural habitat.  He studies their daily routines, and in the process, paints a vivid picture of the ravens’ world.  At the heart of this book are Heinrich’s love and respect for these complex and engaging creatures, and through his keen observation and analysis, we become their intimates, too.”

6.  Both as a layman and volunteer at a rehab hospital caring for birds, I found this book fascinating and hard to put down.  Now I think I understand Ravens, as much as one species can understand another.
Jean, California

Offline basenjimom

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 02:51:21 PM »
Thank you to whoever suggested Dark Star Safari in chat about a year ago.  It was a very good read.  Ty.  I couldn't for the life of me remember who suggested it.  If you're a Michener fan, you'll enjoy this Theroux.

2 of my favorites...Devil in the White City    http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0375725601/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link   non fiction but reads like fast moving fiction/historical fiction/mystery.  And Brotherhood of the Rose [/u]  http://www.amazon.com/Brotherhood-Rose-David-Morrell/dp/0449206610  a GREAT fiction.

Offline mew

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 03:11:42 PM »
I too read Devil...... and really enjoyed it.  A friend who only reads nonfiction recommended it to me several years ago. 

Offline Faerie Gardener

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 06:12:17 PM »
I also enjoyed Devil, and The Art of Racing in the Rain.  I'm intrigued now by the description of "Sarah's Key". It reminds me of my favorite book of all time, "The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Fox. It's a beautiful story set in the International District of Seattle during World War 2 and also addresses the rounding up of Japanese families. It is Historical fiction. I visited the Hotel and had tea in the Tea Room, met the owner, and she showed me the display of artifacts from families who stored them there when the went off to the relocation camps.

A book similar to "The Help" but perhaps more realistic about how  bad race relations became is "The Queen of Palmyra" umm.... need to look up the author. Right now I'm reading Michael Perry, "Truck, A Love Story"  and just finished another of his: "Coop"; both are autobiographical about a smalltown farm boy who wants to continue the self-sufficient lifestyle of his parents. Very funny and poignant set in the current time.
"In all things of Nature there is something of the Marvelous"  -Aristotle

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Offline blackster1

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2011, 06:43:50 PM »
A book that both Mr Blackster and I enjoyed was Walking Home by Lynn Schooler.  It takes place in SE Alaska and is about a journey of one man going through a middle aged crises. 

Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 08:01:36 PM »
1.  The Little Prince

2.  Author - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

3.  Fiction

4.  Beautiful story that has many lessons that touch the heart

5.  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry first published The Little Prince in 1943, only a year before his Lockheed P-38 vanished over the Mediterranean during a reconnaissance mission. More than a half century later, this fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its power. The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a little, well, prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. "In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey," the narrator recalls. "Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper and a pen out of my pocket." And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions.  - Amazon.com Review

6.  One of my all-time favorite books...

  

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Offline gzebear

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2011, 02:24:12 AM »
Flyaway: How a Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings by Suzie Gilbert. Suzie Gilbert lives in the Hudson Valley of New York. A longtime bird enthusiast, she began volunteering at the Hudson Valley Raptor Center in 1990 and wrote the children's book Hawk Hill before opening her home-based bird rehabilitation center, Flyaway, Inc., in 2002. Thoroughly enjoyable read, as I look around my house and imagine where I could fit a few cages ... 

Offline jeavverhey

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2011, 03:46:00 AM »
This is great - love the new thread - now I can pick your brains without pestering anyone :-)

Offline OpieK

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2011, 07:06:19 PM »
Wow what a fun thread.  Here are a couple I've recently read and enjoyed:

Last Night in Twisted River a novel by John Irving

I've read most of his books and find his characters wierd, but fascinating.  You will learn a lot about logging in New Hampshire in the 1950s, and there are recipes from the "cook", plus there are the twists of plot Irving is famous for.  The progagonist is a writer, and he describes how he creates a novel from the end to the beginning.  Fairly long, but a good read.

People of the Book a novel by Geraldine Brooks

A beautifully written tale based on the true history of a 15th century illustrated Jewish book called the "Sarajevo Haggadah."  The protagonist is a manuscript restorer from Australia who becomes involved in solving the mysterious beginnings of the book which survived the Spanish Inquisition, World War II and the Bosnian war.  I actually went back and reread sections of the book to be sure I got all the historical clues in the right order.

Offline prairie

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2011, 07:51:16 PM »
This is a great thread - thank you thank you.  Looking forward to many great recommendations.

1.  This Life Is In Your Hands : One Dream, Sixty Acres, And A Family Undone  a memoir

2.  Melissa Coleman

3.  Non Fiction

4.  Set on a rugged coastal homestead in Maine during the 1970's, This Life Is In Your Hands introduces a superb young writer driven by the need to uncover the truth of a childhood tragedy and connect anew with the beauty and vitality of the back-to-the-land ideal that shaped her early years.

5.  This Life Is In Your Hands is the search to understand a complicated past; a true story, both tragic and redemptive, it tells of the quest to make a good life, the role of fate, and the power of forgiveness.

6. Beautifully written.  I found it hard to put down.

Offline NancyM

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Re: Book Zone
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2011, 07:09:44 AM »
Opie, I read  People of the Book and loved it!  Geraldine Brooks is a very talented writer - I also enjoyed her first novel, called Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague. In that book, she writes about the people in a town that voluntarily isolated itself for a year after an outbreak of the plague in the mid-17th century. You can read additional reviews on Amazon:  reviews of Year of Wonders

Prarie, thanks for that recommendation - I went to check it out on Amazon and learned that the writer's family had purchased their land from Helen and Scott Nearing - have you read their books? I confess that I have not, but have heard a lot about them - they lived a self-sufficient lifestyle for 60 years, starting in the 1930s - they are considered the great-grandparents of the back-to-the-land movement.  Their two non-fiction books (Living the Good Life and Continuing the Good are combined into one volume as   The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing's Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living  (reviews here:  Nearings' book)