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 Post subject: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . . .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:05 pm 
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My goal for this summer is to read one book. (I know, ambitious, right? But I want to set a goal I know I can meet.) Which book should that be?

*suggestions of 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight will be laughed out of the thread.


GO!


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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:20 pm 
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what kind of books do you like?

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:28 pm 
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Do you enjoy short stories? I find short stories to be a good way to ease back into reading after a break. I enjoyed Natasha and other stories by David Bezmozgis.

I'm sure I could come up with lots of novel recommendations but agree it would be good to know what you like in the way of genres, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:32 pm 
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During the school year I read a lot of YA novels because they are quick reads, so if I happen to have a free weekend, I know I can finish a book and not get stressed out about school.

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:04 pm 
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I looked at your Pinterest boards. Have you read Eating Animals yet? It has a lot of information that I had not seen in an accessible format especially about the problem with eating fish. You could always pick up a book about music or a band you like. Our Band Could Be Your Life is fun and each chapter is about a different band so you could skip the chapters you don't like.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a YA novel but it's not a romance or a dystopian novel. I also loved Recovery Road and Almost Perfect. I liked these three YA novels because they are not similar to what makes the best seller lists. If you want something more escapist, try The Name of the Star. It's paranormal but still very witty.

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:27 pm 
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I wish I could read all the Harry Potter* books for the very first time. My dad and I read the books together and it was awesome. They're very readable, although a few of them are gigantic but by then you're so invested in the story you are glad they're that big. *Don't laugh me out of the thread! I read things other than 'kid' books. But kid books sometimes rule.

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:48 pm 
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You could join the PPK's love of Shirley Jackson! I think my favourite was The Bird's Nest.

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:07 pm 
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You could look in the 'what are we reading' thread? That's why I checked out 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle' today.

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:12 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
I Our Band Could Be Your Life is fun and each chapter is about a different band so you could skip the chapters you don't like.

that is a great book. I wish I hadn't sold it when I was trying to make rent!

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:22 pm 
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If you like psychologically creepy, "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" was really good! But yeah, throw out some genres or themes that you like to make it a little easier (and more likely that you'll enjoy what you end up with!)

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:33 pm 
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I just finished grad school last year. I know this feeling! I'm reading "The Flame Alphabet" by Ben Marcus, and it is GREAT (very good if you're into Margaret Atwood type social commentary in a totally addictive narrative!) I also have "The Orange Eats Crepe (Not a PPK sub!)" by Grace Kilanovich (sp???) on my list. Yay reading!

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:46 am 
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The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje is a beautifully written book, it reads almost like poetry, and it's quite short, although a bit melancholic. If you want a longer read, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving is very near the top of my personal Best Books Ever Written list.

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:33 am 
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I love Michael Ondaatje, although I've only read The English Patient of his prose but I've read plenty of his poetry. Whatever he writes, you can count on it being beautifully done.

If I had just one book to read, I'd pick a person I'm interested in reading about and check out a biography on them. I'm thinking about someone of substance, someone who has done stuff, preferably pioneer-like or innovative that you can really dig into, but not, like, Snooki's autobiography or anything like that.

I rarely read fiction but for nostalgic purposes (i.e., stuff I've loved in the past) and I've read a few current acclaimed fiction books recently that I was pretty meh about so I have no new recommends in that realm. Oh, I do still want to read We Have Always Lived in The Castle by Shirley Jackson since I love psychological thrillers and Shirley rules but I haven't read it yet and it's not current or anything (not that you said you wanted current).

For current poetry, I would love to read Warren Heiti's Hydrologos. That's my next poetry book acquisition.

Enjoy whatever you read. There are tons of wonderful, undiscovered books out there. <3

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:25 am 
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I absolutely loved "The night circus", it's a fiction about a circus and magic and love and it's written in the most beautiful style, full of poetry and gorgeous descriptions that make you feel you're in the story from page one.

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:10 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
I love Michael Ondaatje, although I've only read The English Patient of his prose but I've read plenty of his poetry.

I second Ondaatje, but for someone who doesn't read much, his writing might be a tad difficult.

I suggest any novel by Douglas Coupland, but probably something like Generation X or Jpod. His books are very easy to get through, but they are also well written, observant, and humorous in a more or less tongue-in-cheek way. Kurt Vonnegut is also a good place to start: Breakfast of Champions is one of my favourite books ever.


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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:50 pm 
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Water for elephants was really good. I have a friend who always goes back to the Golden Compass and Harry Potter. Im trying to read classic books right now. Just finished the Great Gatsby and now Im working my way through On the Road.

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:18 pm 
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foldered wrote:
Kurt Vonnegut is also a good place to start: Breakfast of Champions is one of my favourite books ever.


I second this. I cry every time I read that book and I'm not the crying type, at all. It's awesome.

I'm a huge book nerd so I have a million recommendations, but it's hard without knowing what you're interested in. In terms of things that are very readable (considering that you don't read often), Bukowski's Ham on Rye is great. I flew through that book and I think it's a great introduction to his stuff. Fante's Ask the Dust is in the same sort of vein and is also great. I also recommended Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins to a few friends after I first read it and they all really loved it.

Boyfriend doesn't read much either, but he bought me a copy of Cormac McCarthy's The Road and finished it before I did. It's a really gripping book, the kind you'll get through in a day or two just because you don't want to put it down. Pretty far from upbeat, though.

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Well gee, I trusted the PPK's taste to give me good suggestions without me actually giving you anything to go off of!

Historically, I've totally gotten into sci-fi or fantasy type books, like Harry Potter, the Hitchhiker's Guide books, and even dystopian stuff like 1984 or Brave New World. I loved Cat's Cradle, but haven't read any Vonnegut since, so that might be one direction to go in.

Lately, (as in, before I stopped reading, ha,) I've been mostly into nonfiction books surrounding the issues of food or veganism, politics, or music. (for those of you who don't know, I'm training to be a music therapist and I play a bazillion instruments, so I'm into stuff like Oliver Sack's Musicophilia or The Mozart effect by Dan something are awesome.) I've been meaning to start reading some Nick Hornby, actually, I heard he writes a lot about music. I have not read Eating Animals, but am definitely interested.


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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:30 pm 
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I love Nick Hornby! I've read all of his books except for his book of essays about music/bands, but it sounds like you might like that. I'd recommend any of his books, really. I think my least favorite was A Long Way Down, but I still thought it was good. About a Boy and How To Be Good are my faves, I think.

If you're into dystopian and sci fi stuff you should check out the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. It's a trilogy and they are super good. I also really like his Leviathan series, which is like WWI alternate history steampunk, i guess?

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:51 pm 
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starrynight87 wrote:
Well gee, I trusted the PPK's taste to give me good suggestions without me actually giving you anything to go off of!

Historically, I've totally gotten into sci-fi or fantasy type books, like Harry Potter, the Hitchhiker's Guide books, and even dystopian stuff like 1984 or Brave New World. I loved Cat's Cradle, but haven't read any Vonnegut since, so that might be one direction to go in.

Lately, (as in, before I stopped reading, ha,) I've been mostly into nonfiction books surrounding the issues of food or veganism, politics, or music. (for those of you who don't know, I'm training to be a music therapist and I play a bazillion instruments, so I'm into stuff like Oliver Sack's Musicophilia or The Mozart effect by Dan something are awesome.) I've been meaning to start reading some Nick Hornby, actually, I heard he writes a lot about music. I have not read Eating Animals, but am definitely interested.


Everyone says it, but it's true- Eating Animals is really great. I love it and recommend it to everyone, mainly because it's not preachy and I find that it reads really conversationally. Jonathan Safran Foer also has one of my favourite writing voices, so that helps.

This one is kind of from left field, but Boyfriend's favourite book of all time is World War Z. I've read it a couple of times and it's actually really good- very entertaining and easily readable, and fits the sci fi/dystopian criteria. They're also making it into a movie, so if you read it now you can be all 'whatever, I knew about it before it was cool'.

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:07 am 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
I love Nick Hornby! I've read all of his books except for his book of essays about music/bands, but it sounds like you might like that. I'd recommend any of his books, really. I think my least favorite was A Long Way Down, but I still thought it was good. About a Boy and How To Be Good are my faves, I think.

Oh wow, I could have written all of that. We're Nick Hornby twinsies!


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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:24 am 
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Speaking of Vonnegut, have you read Slaughterhouse Five? I'm rereading that now and loving it. I'm a big fan of Margaret Atwood's dystopian stuff, especially Handmaid's Tale. It's incredibly readable, and for a book that's almost 20 years old, seems more and more apt every year. Also incredibly readable is Mary Doria Russel's The Sparrow - literary sci-fi, with characters to fall in absolute love with.

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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:29 am 
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Both Breakfast of Champions and Slaughterhouse Five are excellent ideas. I've read all of Nick Hornby's books too - and 31 Songs is my favourite. You should totally give it a try! It could also be great for when you don't have a lot of time to read at one stretch, since it's 31 essays about songs and the author's experiences in connection with those specific songs.


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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:32 am 
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lepelaar wrote:
Speaking of Vonnegut, have you read Slaughterhouse Five? I'm rereading that now and loving it. I'm a big fan of Margaret Atwood's dystopian stuff, especially Handmaid's Tale. It's incredibly readable, and for a book that's almost 20 years old, seems more and more apt every year. Also incredibly readable is Mary Doria Russel's The Sparrow - literary sci-fi, with characters to fall in absolute love with.


I love all of these suggestions! Other Vonnegut books I like are The Sirens of Titan and Cat's Cradle, and I like all of the Margaret Atwood I've read but her other great speculative fiction novel is Oryx and Crake. You could also try Lev Grossman's magician series, which is pretty much a darker/more cynical Harry Potter.

I haven't read Karen Thompson Walker's The Age of Miracles yet (it's supposed to get here tomorrow!), but that's apocalyptic and supposedly pretty great. Here's the NYT review.


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 Post subject: Re: I haven't read a book that isn't for school in years . .
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:08 am 
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sisterlegume wrote:
I wish I could read all the Harry Potter* books for the very first time. My dad and I read the books together and it was awesome. They're very readable, although a few of them are gigantic but by then you're so invested in the story you are glad they're that big. *Don't laugh me out of the thread! I read things other than 'kid' books. But kid books sometimes rule.


I wish I could read them all for the first time again too. I hate when you love something and can't experience it the same way ever again, like Buffy or places you love.

I also second anything Vonnegut - especially Slaughterhouse 5 - and Handmaid's Tale or just anything by Atwood.


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