a really fabulous fiction book

Old May 1st, 2000, 12:29 PM
  #21  
dan woodlief
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Sorry, the author of Buddebrooks is Thomas Mann.

I found a great site when someone asked a question like this a year or so ago. It is www.galleyslaves.com. You can get lists of books by country.
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 12:36 PM
  #22  
gina
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This is wonderful! Thanks so much! Many of the suggestions are for books I've already read but hopefully other people will benefit. I agree, Birdsong, I Know This Much is True, The Charm School, Angela's Ashes, and Into Thin Air, and Cold Mountain are just fabulous reading. Coincidentally, someone just gave me the suggestion of Corelli's Mandolin so I just bought it. All Maeve Binchy's are good for getting deeply absorbed. Many of you have suggested books I've never heard of so I will check on those via Amazon. I just appreciate this so much. Keep the titles coming!
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 01:07 PM
  #23  
jen
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'Girl with the Pearl Earring' by
Tracy Chevalier and 'Girl in Hyacinth Blue' by Susan Vreeland. - great if you love art and art history - fact and fiction mingled together.

Both of these novels relate to the artist Johannes Vermeer - a Dutch painter who only painted 35-40 pieces over his lifetime. The 2nd book I listed fictitiously traces a painting he did from present day back to when it was painted - wonderful book with each chapter being different depending on the owner of the painting.

Also - anything by Peter Mayle, esp. if you are heading to France! A great flight read.

Have a great trip - thanks for asking this too as I have a long flight to Australia in 3 weeks and will be selecting some of these titles! One I've already picked up, by the way, is 'A Walk in the Woods'. Forget who the author is, but hear wonderful things about it - about hiking the App. Trail.
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 01:12 PM
  #24  
Kay
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I second the suggestion for the wonderful nove, A Soldier in the Great War by Mark Halperin. It is wonderous and very fine, a good companion to where you are going, Gina. I cannot suggest it strongly enough--to all of you!
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 01:26 PM
  #25  
Caitlin
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Gina, I wa so glad to read Beth's recommendation of Corelli's Mandolin, and that you have bought it; this is one of my all-time favorite, "stays-with-you-when-you're-through" books and I have literally insisted that several people read it. Perservere through the history at the beginning, and you will become completely absorbed!

Another one no one has yet mentioned that had a similar effect on me was A Widoe for One Year, by John Irving. I've read many of his books, but this is the only one I literally couldn't put down, and which stayed with me the rest of the day after I finished it. It's very emotionally affeting, in a similar way to I Know This Much Is True, albeit with a different kind of story.

Have a great trip!
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 01:49 PM
  #26  
Sheila
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Just out of interest, is it marketed as "Corelli's Mandolin" in the US? Here it's "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" It is, of course set in Cephalonia, bu hey, who cares?

Three other non German/ French books are Nicholas Evans's "The Loop", Anita Shreve- "The Pilot's Wife" and "Antartica-a novel" by Kim Stanley Robinson. And I just remembered how much I liked "The Shipping News" by Annie Proux, tho' I've never been able to finish anything else she wrote. For classics try Dickens's Tale of two Cities or Victor Hugo "Hunchback of Notre Dame"
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 02:11 PM
  #27  
Caitlin
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Sheila, yeah, it's Corelli's Mandolin in the US and appears to be Captain Corelli's Mandolin everywhere else. BTW, I read somewhere that a movie is being made of it...
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 02:18 PM
  #28  
santachiara
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What a great thread. And so many I agree with. Yes, to Elizabeth George. (I am partial to page-turning mysteries on long flights). Also Ludlum in his earlier years. A year ago, I bought Bridgette's Diary in Heathrow and finished it as we touched down in Houston, and that was with a nap and a movie, too. Peter Mayle is good, I agree, especially if you go to France. Try also some of his "caper" mysteries. If you are going to Italy, read Sixteen Pleasures It gives you insight into the great flood of Florence as well as the science of bookbinding. Go to Amazon.com and search with some key words. A great pageturner, whose title alas is neither in my memory or my bookshelf, has to do with the battle between the Sforzas and the Estes. Do a search, if you are interested, with Italy and history and fiction.

Hey folks, keep 'em coming. I am getting all sorts of ideas.

Karen
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 02:26 PM
  #29  
lisa
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There are so many books that I love, but the one I HAVE to recommend is the one that accompanied me through every mile of my 6-week-long second trip to Europe: The Power of One, by Bryce Courtenay. It's about an English boy growing up in South Africa under apartheid, and it was one of the most transporting reading experiences I've ever had. I bought it almost immediately upon arriving in London, and toted it with me through long train rides throughout eight countries. I can't count the number of times while reading it I would look up from the book, out the train window, unable to believe I wasn't actually in South Africa. There was something profound about travelling to new and wonderful places, and at the same time travelling in my mind to yet another place even more distant. I couldn't put it down, and when I was done, my boyfriend (who was travelling with me) read it cover to cover as well, and sometimes we would even read particularly lovely passages out loud to each other.

I don't have the boyfriend any more, but that beloved and bedraggled paperback is still on my shelf. It meets all your criteria: THICK, FICTION, and CANNOT- PUT-IT-DOWN.
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 02:34 PM
  #30  
cass
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Try Marge Piercy's Gone to Soldiers -- her finest work and too often overlooked. It's historical fiction about the lives of those NOT at the front during WW 2, so it's not about the evil enemy or combat but rather about people's lives in an extraordinary period -- mostly but not exclusively American women.
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 02:51 PM
  #31  
s
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gina,
I'll be the third one to recommend Halprin's "Soldier of the Great War," a great novel with *gripping* scenes. I also recommend Normal Mailer's "Harlot's Ghost" and anything anything anything at all by John LeCarre (LeCarre's stuff may not be long, but it's e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y good stuff, so buy two).
s
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 03:11 PM
  #32  
Maira
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Great recommendations so far!

Going along with Dan, when on travel I favored fiction related to the destination. So, I would recommend 'Stones from the River' by Ursula Hegi, 'Perfume" by Patrick Suskind (somewhat dark, but fascinating), 'The Name of the Rose' by Umberto Eco, and/or 'The Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follett.

For enthralling reading anything by Ellis Peters and Barbara Vine (also writes under Ruth Rendell).

Right now I am reading 'The Poisonwood Bible' by Barbara Kingsolver. Absolutely fascinating, absorbing epic story of a missionary family in the 1960's Congo. Incredibly compelling.
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 03:39 PM
  #33  
Bonnie
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I'm on an Italian jag -- recommend Galileo's Daughter and Ian Pear's art history mysteries -- latest in paperpack is Giatto's Hand.
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 03:52 PM
  #34  
jennifer
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My absolute favorite piece of fiction: One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez ( he also wrote Love in the Time of Cholera).
Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder.

Currently working through "The Italians", essays by Luigi Barzini. I just finished the YaYa Sisterhood, a light read but very funny. Just to let you know, there is a very nice bookstore in Florence, the name of the street escapes me. Across from the Prada boutique, down from Gucci, etc.
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 04:03 PM
  #35  
Wendy
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I have to put this out there (at the risk of revealing my apparent juvenile taste in literature) - the Harry Potter books are an incredibly absorbing read. Each time a new one comes out, I try to arrange my time so that I can read as much as possible (I have a full-time job and a full-time 4 year-old, so it can be challenging . There are three in the series so far, all available in paperback I believe. They would be great for a long plane ride.
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 04:24 PM
  #36  
JCM
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Great idea for a post! Thanks for the question Gina. I've loved reading the suggestions here and plan to look for some of those books myself.

If you like historical fiction, and since you're going to Paris, try Sandra Gulland's trilogy about the life of Josephine Bonaparte. They are written as a series of fictional diary entries from Josephine. The first book begins when she is 14 years old on the island of Martinique, follows her to Paris, through the French Revolution, and ends with her marriage to Napoleon. The second book begins the day after their wedding, relates Napoleon's rise to power, his military campaigns, and finally his overthrow of the revolutionary government. Haven't read the third book yet (don't think it's out yet) but am really looking forward to it. They are not thick books, but they were engrossing for me. The book titles are "The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B." and "Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe."

Another suggestion is "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose, about the 18th century Lewis & Clark expedition. And, although you've probably already read it, my vote for all time favorite historical fiction is still "Gone With the Wind." Now that's a thick one!
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 04:37 PM
  #37  
Caitlin
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I had forgotton about Sophie's World--even though it's in my bookshelf! A nice tour of western philosophy wrapped up in a mystery, and not hard to read at all.
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 04:58 PM
  #38  
KT
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Wendy -- I just wanted you to know that you are not the only juvenile out there. Harry Potter was an absolute godsend on a long flight on a trip that I didn't particularly want to take (family obligation). Completely absorbing and escapist. I was going to mention it as soon as I saw this thread, but I guess I embarass more easily than you do! My latest reading at home, I hasten to add, has been T.C. Smout's (sounds like a Harry Potter character, doesn't he?) A History of the Scottish People, which is a classic of social history, but I find that on a plane I do better with something a bit less, er, academic.
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 05:19 PM
  #39  
Ann
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Gina,

What Fun!!! Boy do you have everyone going. I like to take along several different types of books for various moods...1. Ken Follets' Pillars of the Earth (historical novel set in middle ages focusing on the construction of the cathedral.) 2. EM Forrester..Where Agels Fear to Tread...small book set in Italy..wonderful. 3. The Magus by John Folkes (I think that's his last name.) Really good page turner. I'm so jealous of your fabulous trip. Have fun.
 
Old May 1st, 2000, 05:25 PM
  #40  
Jane
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I dreamed of Africa - a movie has been made, which I have not seen but I loved the book. Barbara Kingslover's books are great. I love this post!
 

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