a really fabulous fiction book

Old Jan 26th, 2001, 11:34 AM
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I have just read the new Colleen McCullough book, Morgan's Run. It is about the first English convicts taken to New South Wales, and it is really good.
Old Jan 26th, 2001, 12:47 PM
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Hi Gina:

I love "Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtrey and "Cold Sassy Tree" by Olive (can't remember her last name). Both great books. Have fun.
Old Jan 26th, 2001, 07:37 PM
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At Home in Mitford
The Light in the Window
These High, Green Hills
Out to Canaan
A New Song
All are by Jan Karon. You will want to jump in the books, listen to Uncle Billy's jokes, eat orange marmalade cake, take Barnabas for a walk, and move to Mitford!

Read anything by Peter Mayle if you're going to France.

DO READ A Room with a View and go to the Piazza della Signoria and Church of Santa Croce in Florence! Take the road to Fiesole.

Patricia Cornwell forensic mysteries are great for a "can't put it down" on the plane.
Old Jan 26th, 2001, 09:41 PM
celia lynn
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No-one mentioned all all time favorite of mine....Atlas Schrugged....read it 20 something years ago, but I haven't forgotten it. Timeless...
Old Jan 26th, 2001, 09:44 PM
celia lynn
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Sorry about the spelling..it's
Atlas Shrugged....Ayn Rand
Old Jan 27th, 2001, 06:40 AM
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..still my all time faves."green darkness' and "katherine" by anya seton..both out of print and hard to find.. but definately well worth the search.
Old Jan 27th, 2001, 11:03 AM
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What a wonderful thread. I found myself saying "Yes!" constantly not only to books I have read, but ones sitting on my shelves waiting to be read. Susan Howatch's novels--fabulous. Kingsolver--terrific; I only wish she were more prolific. Susan Isaac--fun, especially Compromising Positions. Pat Conroy's books are always a pleasure to read and engrossing. One of my favorite's is Irving's Prayer for Owen Meany, and Widow for One Year is beckoning from my shelf. I'm so glad someone else (MED) loved Russo's Straight Man as much as I did (the scene with the spiral notebook binding in his nose was hilarious). Chabon's Wonder Boys is very similar, but not as good IMHO.So my addition will be David Lodge. His books are witty and have won or been listed for British lit prizes. Many take place in a university setting in Birmingham (I think). They are all great, but my personal favorite so far is Therapy. And if you ever go to Bath, pick up Peter Lovesey's Last Detective. As I was going through the baths, so was his detective (looking for the perp).
Old Jan 27th, 2001, 01:18 PM
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If you go to Tuscany, I would recommend "Summer's Lease" by John Mortimer.
Old Jan 31st, 2001, 03:50 PM
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I'm surprised none of you Americans mentioned your own Anita Shreve. I am good for nothing when I start reading one of hers. The story races along and yet the English is so beautiful. Her best known is probably 'The Pilot's Wife' (although not to be recommended for those who are afraid of flying)Others I have enjoyed are 'Strange Fits of Passion' and 'Fortune's Rocks'
Old Jan 31st, 2001, 05:35 PM
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"Gone to Soldiers" by Marge Piercy is a few years old but a great read. It's set against the backdrop of WWII and how it effects the lives of 5 or 6 men and women. Has action but also a romantic tale.
Old Jan 31st, 2001, 07:02 PM
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I love any book by Maeve Binchy. She writes about Ireland and the people there. she is an excellent writer. Very witty. I can't wait until her next book comes out. Her first book I read was "Circle of Friends" which was made into a movie that was not good. As always, the book was better than the movie. Remember "The Thorn Birds" by Colleen McCollough?
Also, I have read many of LaVeryle Spencers books. Her book "Camden Summer" is an unforgettable book. You will be transported to another place when reading any of her books. Very romantic without being disgusting. Good luck with your reads. I have gotten some great ideas for my trip in March.
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 12:31 PM
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Gina & everyone! what a great list of fabulous reads! Here's my 2 cents:


Enjoy the books, & the trip!!
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 07:55 PM
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Kathy, Sorry I missed your question the first go-around. The book is Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik. I got it for my spouse for Christmas because some of it deals with his favorite restaurant, Balzar, but he hasn't read it yet.

Two other interesting (and fun) books about the French are by Polly Platt: French or Foe and Savoir Flair. Despite the fact that they are non-fiction and anecdotal, you find yourself racing through them. One intriguing theory mentioned in Savoir Flair is that the French don't volunteer information because they think you know it already and to volunteer it implies that you don't, which is insulting. Therefore, you need to ask lots of questions (and sometimes need to know the right question to ask--Catch 22).
Old Feb 2nd, 2001, 04:39 AM
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Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively won the Booker Prize in 1987. I just finished reading it. It is exquisite. It plays with time, is a serious personal look at how time feels to oneself, and has some romance thrown in. I loved it. It's about a very strong woman who does her own thing/makes her own way throughout the 20th century in England. Lively has written other books but this is considered to be her masterpiece. I usually don't like descriptions of scenery, but when she does it for Egypt during Rommel's advances there during WWII, I found her writing perfect.
Also, Green Darkness by Anya Seton, mentioned above, although out of print, is definitely worth searching for. It mixes both medieval time and the present. It's haunting.
Old Mar 26th, 2001, 08:04 PM
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Dear Gina:
It's not thick, but a "must read" (if you've not already read it) is "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier. It's based in Cornwall, England.

Another based-in-England favorite is "Tess of the D'Urbervilles." Even if high school ruined it for you, give it another try.

After reading that, you must read "The Cider House Rules" by John Irving. It's long enough to last the entire flight.

"The Talisman" by Stephen King and Peter Straub is another favorite - also very thick.

Wally Lamb's "I Know This Much is True" is one that I recently read while rocking my infant daughter to sleep (over the course of a month, not in one sitting!). It's thick, feels like real life, and, like "The Cider House Rules," makes you feel like you're emerging from a fog after you're finished.

Hope you read at least one of the above...Margot
Old Mar 26th, 2001, 09:25 PM
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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (wonderful classic)
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (movie is true to novel, but novel has sooooo much more depth!)
Old Mar 26th, 2001, 10:07 PM
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WOW!! Kinda makes you wonder if Fodors should not turn this into a book club!
My favorite "could not put it down" book is "Memoirs of a Geisha." I did not think I would even like it, as I prefer Detective type stuff, but it was fabulous, very touching.
"The Winner" by David Baldacchi is a great suspense novel, about a fixed lottery.
And don't forget"Under the Tuscan Sun."
Have fun!! If all else fails bring your Italian tapes and practice your Italian!!
Old Mar 27th, 2001, 02:21 AM
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For a totally different type of book try the Harry Potter series. They are wonderful!! I really enjoy listening to the tapes while driving. Sometimes I go around the block so I can get some extra listening time in!!

If you think they are just for children, try the first book, by the time you are through with the 4th one, you'll understand the hoopla around the series!
Old Mar 27th, 2001, 05:58 AM
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My favorite thread of all time!! Thrills me to see it re-top as it does. Current book(s) to suggest is "Finbar's Hotel" compiled by Dermot Bolger. Have also purchased "Ladies Night at Finbar's Hotel." Nice touches of Ireland.

Here's the tagline: "Each chapter in the book has been written by a different author, listed alphbetically and not in the order they appear. We leave it to discerning readers to identify them."
Old Mar 28th, 2001, 07:55 PM
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I just had to write and say THANK YOU to the people who suggested Corelli's Mandolin. I just finished reading it this evening, and I laughed and cried my way to the end. It is one of the richest books I have read in ages, a real epic of a novel that is completely satisfying to finish. And though it took me a few tries to get into it, once I did, it was more than worth it. Truly a great book. Read it, everyone!

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