a really fabulous fiction book

Old May 2nd, 2000, 12:59 PM
  #61  
Rob McPhail
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For me it has to be Dinner With Persephone, by Patricia Storace. Greece old and new - a journal of fantastic contrasts and wonderful insight.

Rob
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 01:39 PM
  #62  
Ann
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After 60 responses, no one has yet admitted to enjoying a good sci-fi/romance while on a long flight (or just won't admit to a guilty pleasure). I discovered the books by Diana Gebaldon and they are total page turners. Premise is a modern woman who time travels back via a stone circle in Scotland to the 1700's. They're very thick (around 1000 pages each) and so far there are four or five volumes. I have a friend who won't even read the latest one until the Next one has been published so she can continue the epic!
Well, since I'm a librarian, and I was given my first copy by another librarian, I guess this all falls under guilty pleasures. Last time I flew cross country, I sat next to another woman reading a Gabaldon book! There's even a website so you can check her out

http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~gatti/ga.../gabaldon.html

With all this reading, you may miss your trip! Enjoy.
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 02:01 PM
  #63  
jo ann
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Great thread -- I too got several great ideas for future reading, and have to say thanks to wendy and others for having the guts to mention one of my first thoughts: the Harry Potter series! I read the first one on a business trip to Miami, and even the turbulence of thunderstorms didn't faze me. (But maybe gina has also already read them too?)
Going for a lighter reading side (so you forget the airplane all around you):
On the historical and European side, some of the ones I have stumbled on and loved and lent out to great enjoyment are the incredible series of well-researched novels on Wales, England, and Normandy by Sharon Kaye Penman. The series begins with "Here be Dragons", with Henry II trying to assert control over the Welsh, and runs through Falls the Shadow, When Christ and his Saints Slept, The Sunne in Splendor, and The Reckoning. Each is probably at least 500 pages, and are enthralling. Begins in 13th century, runs to the 15th. You really have to begin with Here Be Dragons, and you come away with an incredible knowledge of British Isles history (and a love for the name LLewelyn!) I ended up reading them all in sequence (hunting them down when 1/2 way thru its predecessor) but never read about the last 75 pages of the last one: this is but one of my wierd ways ~~ if I can't stand for the book to end, I basically don't let it (only done it a few times, and I'm about to reread them all and finally find closure!)
Another historical set I found is by Diana Gabaldon, and truly I only recommend the first one: The Outlander. British woman just after WWII with unhappy marriage touches standing stones and gets thrown back 200 years. Parts are great fun/sexy trash (you will not notice you're in the air) and mostly its the everyday life and tragedies of Scotland, leading up to the Battle of Culloden.
I also recently read Stephen King's latest, Hearts in Atlantis -- hadn't read him in years, and had forgotten his way with words.
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 02:13 PM
  #64  
Beth Anderson
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I read Pillars of the Earth many years ago and I agree, it is great.

another author not mentioned:

how about Dorothy Parker? she is a STITCH. and since they are mainly short stories, if you do not finish the book (get her anthology) you can always pick up the thread any old where, even days later...
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 02:43 PM
  #65  
kam
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just recently into Ruth Rendell's English psychological thriller/murder mysteries. I have to keep one ear on the the plane's engines, so there are many great books listed here that I couldn't read aloft. The YaYas would be a good read as well as THe Horse Whispers. And, has anyone enjoyed The Rapture of Canaan as much as I did? Maybe we should make this a special area of Fodors--it's a great idea, Gina.
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 03:16 PM
  #66  
Daniel
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Check out The Club Dumas
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 03:18 PM
  #67  
Linda
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Hi Gina,

I would recommend Penmarric by Susan Howatch. I first read it when I was in my late teens and it was one of the best books I have read; fat and engrossing!! Here is part of the description from Amazon.com :
Book Description
Set against the starkly beautiful landscape of Cornwall, PENMARRIC is the totally enthralling saga of a family divided against itself. At the
center of the novel is the great mansion called Penmarric. It is to Penmarric that Mark Castallack, a proud, strange, and sensitive man,
brings his bride Janna--the first act in a tempestuous drama that was to span three generations....

It goes on for years and years; just a great read.

Other than that I would also recommend the Harry Potter books too. That type of story isn't normally my cup of tea, but I am hooked on them big time! Very entertaining!

Linda
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 03:24 PM
  #68  
gina
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I'd like to thank everyone so very much for taking the time to respond. I ran out yesterday and bought The Power of One and Soldier of the Great War. Since I already had Corelli's Mandolin, I thought that should do it for now. I knew you would all come through for me and suggest something different. If the hotel suggestions you all have provided are as good as the book ideas, none of us can go wrong. My personal travelling favorites are Centennial and The Source by Michener, Anna Karenina,The Laws of our Fathers by Scott Turow and Beach Music by ...oh what is his name anyway? Well a big hug to you all.
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 03:27 PM
  #69  
gina
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Hey Wes! I was hoping to hear from you! I picture you having a houseful of books. Any suggestions?
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 03:40 PM
  #70  
lisa
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Gina: Do us a favor and post a report when you get back -- not only on the trip, but also on how you liked the books! I really hope you like The Power of One as much as I did. (Don't ever see the movie though -- isn't it awful when they make a bad movie of one of your favorite books? The movie in my head while I was reading it was SO much better...)

BTW, re: Beach Music -- Pat Conroy, right? I've enjoyed all of his books.

Great thread -- I think I've got my summer reading list now, thanks to everybody here. We need to have another thread just on nonfiction. Currently reading Ordinary Resurrections by Jonathan Kozol (thought-provoking, sad, hopeful) and just finished A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (quirky, funny, sad, inventive, wonderful).

 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 04:25 PM
  #71  
Jane
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You've probably already read it but Memoirs of a Geisha was a favorite of mine. Two long books I recently read and enjoyed: Atlantis Found by Clive Cussler and Lion's Game by Nelson DeMille. Also have you tried Janet Evanovich's series about a woman PI (very funny) and Diane Mott Davidson's detective caterer series. All of these are light - but that's what I like on vacation! By the way, the posters are right about Harry Potter - extremely entertaining.
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 10:04 PM
  #72  
Erin
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Yes, Beach Music by Pat Conroy...I was thinking about that as I was reading the thread, and other people already suggested it but I liked it so much that I want to suggest it too. I checked it out of the library before going to Germany for six months, read the prologue, and promptly bought it because I thought I would love it. And I did.
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 10:56 PM
  #73  
Diane
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I agree with "Pillars of the Earth" and "The Shell Seekers", and add "Tai Pan", even though it's on the other side of the world. Rosalind Laker has written some wonderful historical fiction. My favorites are "To Dance With Kings," about the early days of Versailles, and "The Venetian Mask," about 18th century Venice. One about England is "Playing the Jack," by Mary Brown.

What a wonderful thread. I'm printing it out and will hit the bookstores.
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 10:58 PM
  #74  
jennifer
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Check out the list at randomhouse.com/modernlibrary/100best/. It is two lists in one, a somewhat distinguished board created a list of their top 100 novels 1900-1998. In addition a reader's poll was conducted and that list is included as well. It contains numerous "classics" as well as a number of books "I've always wanted to read" but you sort of forget about actually ever reading. About 2 years ago, I e-mailed my favorite college professors and asked what their favorite fiction works were. I received great and varied responses.

 
Old May 3rd, 2000, 07:11 AM
  #75  
carolyn
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No one has mentioned Anne Perry's two series of mysteries set in Victorian London. I also like Barbara Wood and Barbara Michaels except for her last one.
 
Old May 3rd, 2000, 08:41 AM
  #76  
Lori
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Any (or all) of Ruth Rendell's books will put you in the mood for England for sure. Edward Rutherford's fantastic Sarum and London are great too and will give you a good sense of history as well as a great story (be forewarned they are huge books). I just bought his latest in London last week, "The Forest", it's also a big one!

By anyone going to Ireland (or England too) Maeve Binchley's books are great. She really makes you care what happens to the people she is writing about. She's also done several collections of short stories that are great for plane reading if you don't want to get too involved.

Jeffrey Archer also has a couple of collections of short stories, set in England, that are good for plane reading too.
 
Old May 3rd, 2000, 08:50 AM
  #77  
kay
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Gina, I am so pleased you bought Mark Halperin's lovely novel, A Soldier of the Great War. You may find it a little strange and surreal at first, but give in to it and let it carry you along, to a beautiful, wise, elegiac ending.

A story of how I found this book, by accident, literally. On a trip two years ago to the beaches of S Carolina, I sunburned the tops of my feet (the only part of me not slathered with high SPF). I bought an emergency pair of thong sandals so that I could walk, and in this little shoe store by the shore there were old paperbacks that people were encouraged to pick up in exchange for their own old ones. I needed reading material and found A Soldier in the Great War. Being a fan of historical fiction, especially of WWI, I begged to borrow this book, since I had none of my own on me to donate. The kind proprietor said, go ahead, take it. I now own that old, tattered copy and a brand new sumptuous one, but my heart belongs to the tattered original. I am so glad so many of you fodorites have loved the novel, too. I've never heard anyone else speak of it.
 
Old May 3rd, 2000, 08:58 AM
  #78  
Art
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Great recommendations. If you like Historical novels try "The Dreyfuss Affair". True story about a French Jewish Officer accused of Treason in the early 20th century, and the efforts of Emil Zoila to prove his innocence.
 
Old May 3rd, 2000, 09:00 AM
  #79  
Art
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Elvira, did you used to host late night movies.
 
Old May 3rd, 2000, 09:11 AM
  #80  
TC
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How about "The Kitchen God's Wife" by Amy Tan? I couldn't put it down. Wholeheartedly agree with Harry Potter books, "Beach Music" by Pat Conroy (I never wanted those characters to go away)and both Wally Lamb books. Also loved "The Far Pavilions" by M.M. Kaye, "The Eight" by Katherine Neville and "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley. One of my all-time favorites is "Gone With the Wind". It will keep you busy on any flight.
 

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