a really fabulous fiction book

Old May 23rd, 2001, 06:44 AM
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I thought this list was terrific, passed it along to many of my friends, and hoped to see it pop up again. May I pass along some favorites that I don't think I saw: Henry Miller's Colossus of Maroussi (Greece), John Barth's The Sot Weed Factor (Eastern Shore of Maryland), Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale (New York City), Bulgakov's Master and Margharita (Russia).
Old May 23rd, 2001, 07:15 AM
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I apologize for duplicate mentions.
Someone mentioned Pat Conroy. They didn't specifically mention his "Beach Music." Large chunks of it take place in Italy.

Anyone travelling to the UK will love Rosamund Pilcher's books. A favorite is "Coming Home."
Old May 23rd, 2001, 08:10 AM
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What a great thread...have picked up tons of ideas for my next book. I also would recommend Corelli's Mandolin, Lonesome Dove, Sophie's Choice, Poisonwood Bible, Love in the Time of Cholera, and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. But to add some books that I don't think I saw on this post-
** Prayer for Owen Meany- John Irving. IMHO, the best of his books. The plot is beyond description- it's about friendship, faith, and fate. Also very funny.
** Gates of the Alamo- Stephen Harrigan. Historical fiction about the Alamo. We know how it will end but I loved the characters in the book and the way the author "humanizes" an American/Mexican legend.
**Straight Man-- Richard Russo. Hilarious book about a college prof going through a mid life crisis.
Old May 23rd, 2001, 11:27 AM
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A second for "Bridget Jones' Diary." Read it on the plane going over last year and it was a great diversion. Other "plane ride" books I've loved (I prefer non-fiction): "Into Thin Air" (read the first few chapters before leaving--they're a bit technical about preparing to ascend Everest) but, boy, once they start the trek you are right there with them!! Also, anything by Bill Bryson. Going to England? Read "Notes From A Small Island." Absolutely hilarious and you won't want it to end! Touring France? "A Year in Provence."
Old Jun 24th, 2001, 05:17 AM
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'The Secret History' by Donna Tartt is a great read (a psychological murder mistery/suspense set in a small town in Vermont). For fantastic art history misteries the author Ian Pears is amazing.
Old Jun 24th, 2001, 09:10 AM
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Looking for suspenseful, can't put it down reading?

The Day After Tomorrow
The Lexus
(I apologize but I can't remember the author)

For WWII history buffs:

Duty: A father, his son and the man who won the war by Bob Greene - excellent!

The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan

Have a great trip!

Old Jun 25th, 2001, 08:08 AM
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I just finished "Bee Season" by Myla Goldberg and really loved it. It's a novel about a girl who wins a spelling bee and how that affects the other members of her family. Sounds strange, but it was excellent. It's out in paperback.
Old Jun 26th, 2001, 06:10 PM
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The following recommendation is not fiction, but just as entertaining (plus, this posting will "top" the thread). Fans of Van Gogh and Impressionism will especially enjoy it, I think.

The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh
Edited by Ronald De Leeuw

A few years ago on a trip to Amsterdam I read another good paperback that covered only Van Gogh's letters to his beloved brother, Theo. This latest ones includes letters to other people also. Both are wonderful for fully appreciating his paintings and his life.
Old Jun 28th, 2001, 01:22 AM
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Wow, this thread is way too long. What is your suggestion for light, and fun reading about London and Paris?
Old Jun 29th, 2001, 12:26 AM
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I am going to Italy in a few days. I would love a copy of your itinerary. Thanks Bob!!

Old Jun 29th, 2001, 04:15 AM
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Currently reading WHITE TEETH by Zadie Smith, which isn't about London per se but takes place there and is absolutely hysterical. It's in paperback now.
Old Jun 29th, 2001, 04:58 AM
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One of the best books I ever read is "A Suitable Boy" by Vikram Seth. It is long--900 pages I think--though written in short little chapters. It's (mainly)about a group of middle class Indian just after India's independence from Britain, and one charcter's search for "a suitable boy" for her daughter. Its scope is broad and historical/political, yet intimate and engaging, and there are some absolutely wonderful characters and relationships. And the writing style is accessible and almost light without being shallow or lightweight.

Old Jul 4th, 2001, 05:22 AM
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Well, can't resist this post any more. I've read a lot of the book listed, and second many of them, here are some I haven't seen listed, which I think are wonderful:

David Balducci (The Fraternity of the Stone, etc.)- great suspense - a little gory
Nelson Demille (my fav was The Charm School which is about Russian, & spies)
Ann Perry - writes mysteries in Victorian England, excellent, fairly quick reads
Elizabeth George - slightly more violent mysteries - british author, really excellent, more dense books
Josephine Tey - older British books, mysteries, read one about the historical mystery of King Richard, who supposedly murdered two young princes, quick reads,
Elizabeth Peters A CLASSIC SERIES - writes light, entertaining mysteries about Amelia Peabody in the 1800 hundreds who travels to Egypt and invites murder & mayhem everywhere she goes. I LOVE her books. The first in the series is "Crocodile on the Sandbank"
The Seville Communion by Arturo Perez Reverte - mystery in Seville, Spain

I recently read a reivew about The Olive Farm, about a young woman who buys an olive farm in France on a whim, sounds good - but it's in hardcover.

I highly second the Diana Gabalon Outlander Series - good thick historical romance/fiction - excellent series. Most important - will keep you engrossed for an entire plane ride.

West with the Night - by Beryl Markham a true story that takes place in Africa - she was in the same social circle as Isak Dinenson, and was a lover of Denis Finch-Hatton, and if you haven't actually read "Out of Africa" you should, it's gorgous reading.

Lady's Maid by Margaret Forester - historical fiction by Elizabeth Barrett Browning's maid

Of course the Marion Zimmer Bradley series (Mists of Avalon) great reads.

That's all I can think of for now! Susan
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 05:38 PM
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To the top for everyone!
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 05:49 PM
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I like almost everything I've read by David Baldacci. Also, "From the Corner of his Eye" by Dean Koontz was a real page turner.
Old Jul 6th, 2001, 09:44 PM
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What a nifty thread.

I agree about "Girl With a Pearl Earring" (Tracey Chevalier) and "Memoirs of a Geisha" (Arthur Golden). The former just enthralled me especially. It's not long, but I hated to see it end.

I just read "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant. It's a fictional rendering of the life of Dinah...the barely mentioned Old Testament daughter of Jacob. It is a beautifully written...not sentimental...picture of women's lives during that time. This was another book where reaching the last page came too swiftly for me.

Old Jul 20th, 2001, 01:33 PM
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To the top.
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 02:17 PM
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Revisiting again.

Another nod for Straight Man, by Richard Russo, an academic farce which is both poignant and hilarious, and made good airplane reading recently.

I don't think anyone's mentioned Margaret Atwood yet--a genious author IMO. I've read just about all her stuff, and favorites are A Handmaid's Tale--a real classic for our time; Cat's Eye--a sometime's heartbreaking coming-of-age story; and Alias Grace--based on a true story about a 19th c. Irish immigrant maid in Canada accused of murdering her employer.

I was looking at Bee Season, but haven't read it yet. Seems Lisa and I enjoy a lot of the same novels!
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 02:34 PM
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Ahab's Wife - excellent reading, couldn't put it down.
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 06:32 PM
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For Deepa - Not fiction but if you like Frances Mayes you will love Extra Virgin by Annie Hawes.

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