Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Book Club: Recommendations, Please

This month we are reading Ann Patchett’s Truth and Beauty. What should we read next month? I have a few idea, but am open to suggestions. Whaddaya got?

78 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Lucy June 18, 2012, 3:04 pm

    “Gone Girl.” I just finished it. It’s twisted and brilliant.

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    • chicotia

      Amy June 18, 2012, 4:22 pm

      That is next on my list to read. It came highly recommended!

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  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki June 18, 2012, 3:10 pm

    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury 🙂

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster June 18, 2012, 4:20 pm

      RIP, Ray. 🙁

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki June 18, 2012, 4:24 pm

        That’s why I thought of one of his books. His writing influenced me a lot when I was younger. I’m a huge fan of Fahrenheit 451 (honestly, I could probably act it out since I’ve read it so many times) but I thought that Something Wicked This Way Comes is one fewer people would have already read.

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      • avatar

        rachel June 18, 2012, 4:27 pm

        It’s my favorite of his. I used to (and occasionally still do) read it every fall.

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  • avatar

    londonlin6 June 18, 2012, 3:10 pm

    Wolf Hall or IBM and the Holocaust.

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    • avatar

      Lydia June 19, 2012, 5:33 am

      Yes! Wolf Hall is all sorts of amazing. Plus, it is appropriate for my avatar.

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  • avatar

    cporoski June 18, 2012, 3:16 pm

    Miss Pegrene’s home for pecular children by ransome riggs. A bunch of people have told me to read it.

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    • avatar

      rangerchic June 18, 2012, 3:51 pm

      I just finished this book…It was interesting to say the least. Not the type of book I usually read. It has some unexpected twists and the book wasn’t really what I thought it would be. I would say I liked it overall.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster June 18, 2012, 4:27 pm

      I read that a couple of months ago. I love me some YA fantasy, and read the genre voraciously. I was not impressed. The plot is all over the place- slow start, weird twists, random action. It was supposed to be from the POV of a teenage boy, but it read as if it were being narrated by verbose middle-aged dude. I found the characters and concept to be pretty interesting, but it just fell flat for me. And the ending was infuriating. I put it down thinking, “Nice try, Riggs, but I am SO NOT reading the next installment of this series.”

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      • avatar

        cporoski June 19, 2012, 9:12 am

        I didn’t even know it was YA. It is in this pile of books I have to get through. now I might put it on the bottom of the pile.

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  • Shell

    Shell June 18, 2012, 3:16 pm

    Just finished ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society’ – loved it and haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time!

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary June 18, 2012, 3:33 pm

    I finished Truth & Beauty so I can’t wait to discuss! I love the book club because I’m bad about finding books to read by myself (even though I’m a librarian!), I always go off of recommendations.

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  • avatar

    ChemE June 18, 2012, 3:49 pm

    I just got two to start on, “They Never Die Quietly” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”
    I am only a chapter into the first one, and so far it’s creepy but good. I haven’t started on the second, I am debating whether I should wait until I see the movie or not to read it.

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  • avatar

    Wendy_not_Wendy June 18, 2012, 3:57 pm

    Mireya Mayor’s Pink Boots and a Machete is such a Dear Wendy kind of book… I recommended it once before, but I really think you guys will enjoy reading it/discussing it!

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  • katie

    katie June 18, 2012, 4:00 pm

    i am failing at the book club. i havent read the last two months books. which means i am failing at my new years resolution.. dang it.

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    • avatar

      rachel June 18, 2012, 4:28 pm

      Um. I’m still working on Henrietta Lacks…

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      • katie

        katie June 18, 2012, 4:30 pm

        haha… well you read other stuff, right?

        seriously, reading all these comments makes me feel like an un-educated idiot. it all went downhill after i got cable… sigh. lol

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      • katie

        katie June 18, 2012, 4:37 pm

        seriously!!

        “It’s twisted and brilliant.”
        “it’s beautifully written (it won the Booker prize).”
        “I put it down thinking, “Nice try, Riggs, but I am SO NOT reading the next installment of this series”
        ” I really enjoy her storytelling.”

        can we talk about food or something? i hate feeling dumb… lol

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      • avatar

        rachel June 18, 2012, 4:41 pm

        Food is awesome. Does someone want to tell me what to make for dinner tonight? I seriously have the hardest time planning meals.

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      • katie

        katie June 18, 2012, 4:43 pm

        we usually just do a meat, a veg and a starch. makes it easy. lol

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      • Lili

        Lili June 18, 2012, 4:44 pm

        Its Meatless Monday! Try something vegetarian 🙂

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 18, 2012, 5:11 pm

        Oooo! I love food! I have a great recipe for Meatless Mondays. I eat it in the spring/summer constantly. Click my username for the recipe if you’re interested. 🙂

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      • avatar

        Rachel June 18, 2012, 10:17 pm

        Thanks for the idea Tara! I actually ended up making some simpler black bean tacos.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 19, 2012, 12:17 pm

        That’s the great thing about tacos. You can literally make them any way you want. Sometimes I just saute a bunch of differently colored peppers and throw Trader Joe’s soy chorizo (try it! SO GOOD omnomnom) or jalapeno chicken sausages on top of a tortilla/taco. Sometimes I add sour cream, shredded cheese, beans, avocado slices, and/or salsa. It depends on what’s in my fridge, really.

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      • Lili

        Lili June 19, 2012, 12:24 pm

        How do you cook the soyrizo? I bought it once and it went bad because It intimidated me too much to use it…But your recipe looks really GOOD!

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 19, 2012, 1:13 pm

        Don’t be scared, Lili! Soy is really so simple to make.You don’t even have to heat it up- it can be eaten raw. Though it’s tastier warm, IMO.

        I just wait until my peppers are just about sautéed to my liking, then put the soyrizo in the side of the pan for about 3-5 mins, giving it a couple of stirs with a big spoon to heat it evenly. You can set the peppers aside and then heat up the soyrizo if you prefer. But I like all my flavors in one pan.

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      • Brad

        Brad June 19, 2012, 12:49 am

        A day without meat is a day not worth living.

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      • Roxy_84

        Roxy_84 June 18, 2012, 4:48 pm

        If you’re at all interested, I really like http://www.relishrelish.com. It’s $7/month, and there’s about 12 new recipes every week, and you can choose up to 5. Then pick the number of servings, and it makes everything into a shopping list. You can also mark your favourites and change the suggested sides and stuff. It also note which are Quick, Low Calorie, Kid Friendly, etc.

        Obviously I could browse around for recipes for free, but I never end up doing it so I think it’s a good service!

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      • avatar

        rachel June 18, 2012, 4:40 pm

        Not lately. Stupid grad school. By the time I’m done working, my brain is melted and all I want to read is dumb things on the internet.

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      • katie

        katie June 18, 2012, 4:42 pm

        haha. thats how i get with cable, and lately with wedding shows.. my big fat gypsy wedding? oh yes. lol

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      • Brad

        Brad June 19, 2012, 12:49 am

        That’s exactly how I feel. That and watching stupid stuff on Netflix.

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      • Brad

        Brad June 19, 2012, 12:50 am

        But at least I’m getting good grades!!

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 11:14 am

        I no longer have time for recreational reading. Stupid school.

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  • avatar

    The_Yellow_Dart June 18, 2012, 3:06 pm

    _The Sense of an Ending_ by Julian Barnes!

    It’s short (only 150 pages!), and it’s beautifully written (it won the Booker prize). It was also recently released in paperback.

    (By the way, I have become a Tropper addict ever since _This is Where I Leave You_ – I’ve read _The Book of Joe_ and _Everything Changes_, and I’m saving _How to Talk to a Widower_ for a special occasion.)

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    • Shell

      Shell June 18, 2012, 3:16 pm

      I recently read this! Loved it.

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    • avatar

      painted_lady June 19, 2012, 2:23 am

      Loved Everything Changes! I’m going for How to Talk to a Widower next. Hopefully the library has it because the local bookstore has a cat to whom I am violently allergic. Not all cats, just some. And the one in the fucking bookstore is particularly bad. Figures.

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  • avatar

    ktfran June 18, 2012, 4:14 pm

    I know it’s nonfiction and has been out a while, but I’m finally reading and so far love Game Change. It reads like a freaking soap opera.

    Although . . . politics might be too heated for a book club.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray June 18, 2012, 10:40 pm

      Saw the HBO show. I have a girl crush on Julianne Moore, fyi.

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 19, 2012, 10:55 am

        She’s pretty awesome.

        I think the HBO show focused on McCain/Palin. I’m not to that part of the book yet. I just finished reading up about Clinton/Obama/Edwards during the caucus. So crazy. Literally. Insane.

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  • Kristina

    Kristina June 18, 2012, 4:30 pm

    Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle) – I really enjoy her storytelling.

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    • Roxy_84

      Roxy_84 June 18, 2012, 4:42 pm

      I loved both of those

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    • chicotia

      Amy June 18, 2012, 5:22 pm

      I read both and loved them!

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    • avatar

      SweetPeaG June 19, 2012, 9:02 am

      Also read and enjoyed both of those!

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  • avatar

    christiana June 18, 2012, 4:44 pm

    The Secret History by Donna Tartt is mesmerizing.

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  • theattack

    theattack June 18, 2012, 5:00 pm

    I never know anything about new, popular books. But some older books that would be great:

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.

    I’m not sure how popular the book got when it came out, so it may be old news, but I’ve been dying to read it, and I just bought a copy. It’s about a murder case in Savannah. I’ve heard it’s excitingly Southern, and the characters are supposed to be extremely interesting.

    The Color of Water: A black man’s tribute to his white mother by James McBride

    I loved this book! It’s a book written by a black man who grew up with a Jewish mother. There are two stories : the story of his Jewish mother growing up and what led her to renounce and hide her Jewishness; and the story of her son (the author) and his brothers and sisters growing up in a time where racial identity was extremely important. The book is set in both Harlem and in the old, segregated South. It explores race, poverty, self-identity, personal struggles, religion, and social rejection. It’s an amazing book that I can’t do justice with a description.

    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

    I haven’t read it yet, but it’s one of the next books on my list. Here’s the description from Amazon:
    “In 1959, Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist, takes his four young daughters, his wife, and his mission to the Belgian Congo — a place, he is sure, where he can save needy souls. But the seeds they plant bloom in tragic ways within this complex culture. Set against one of the most dramatic political events of the twentieth century — the Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium and its devastating consequences — here is New York Times-bestselling author Barbara Kingslover’s beautiful, heartbreaking, and unforgettable epic that chronicles the disintegration of family and a nation.”

    The Effects of Light by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

    I read this as a trashy summer read a few years back. It was a decent read. The sort of thing I imagine people like to read in their bikinis, but I could be totally off on that. Here’s the Amazon description:
    “DESCRIPTION: This richly evocative, poignant novel about two sisters, whose lives are forever altered by a series of photos, marks the debut of a remarkable talent. Bound by the loss of their mother and encouraged to “follow their bliss” by their brilliant professor father, young Myla and Pru Wolfe blaze a path through childhood, hungry for all life has to offer. Their precocity and ethereal beauty soon make them the favorite subjects of photographer and family friend Ruth Handel, whose celebrated images of children involve nudity. Suddenly the girls are at the center of a firestorm of controversy, with shattering results. Now, 13 years later, Myla Wolfe is living back east and finally edging toward romance, when she begins receiving mysterious communications that force her to confront her past and reclaim her future.”

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    • Kristina

      Kristina June 18, 2012, 5:11 pm

      I loved Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (I also lived in Savannah, so of course I would love it), but it really is a great summer read.

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 19, 2012, 10:52 am

        Agreed. I loved it too. I didn’t like the movie. But loved the book.

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  • theattack

    theattack June 18, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Also Wendy, you should consider making a profile on LibraryThing.com I am such a LibraryThing dork, but it’s a great way to organize your library. It can generate recommendations based on things you’ve already read, and you can write or read reviews from other people. You can also organize your books by “tags,” and then you can search for more books based on your already-existing tags. In fact, everyone should get a LibraryThing account, and then you should add me as your friend. My username is echosaurus. If anyone’s interested, I’ll help you out with it!

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  • Amybelle

    Amybelle June 18, 2012, 5:25 pm

    Room by Emma Donoghue blew my mind.

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    • avatar

      Lucy June 18, 2012, 5:39 pm

      That’s a great book.

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      The_Yellow_Dart June 18, 2012, 8:10 pm

      I thought it was great – but even more disturbing than _We Need to Talk about Kevin_…

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster June 18, 2012, 4:38 pm

    Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

    It follows the lives of two sisters who flee Shanghai for the U.S. during 1937 Japanese invasion, and how their lives turn out in America. It’s awesome. Lisa See signed my copy a couple of years ago after I heard her speak about how a lot of the book is based off her family’s experiences. I love her. And there’s a sequel that I bought on my Kindle and have yet to read. I’d love a re-read of the first one before I dive into the second one.

    She also wrote Snowflower and the Secret Fan, which is even better IMO. The movie was AWFUL (and very very loosely based on the book to the point where it was basically a different story altogether). The novel is beautifully written. Shanghai Girls is a faster read.

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    • avatar

      painted_lady June 18, 2012, 11:24 pm

      Ooh, definitely enjoyed Shanghai Girls.

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones June 18, 2012, 6:26 pm

    Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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    • avatar

      painted_lady June 18, 2012, 11:27 pm

      SOOOOO WONDERFUL!!! I got it on audiobook for the gym, but there were parts I had to stop listening and switch to a new book until I got back in the car so I wouldn’t be a sobbing mess on the treadmill.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray June 18, 2012, 10:41 pm

    How about next month’s issue of Vanity Fair? Because that’s the most likely “book” I read. But let’s be honest, I’ll only read half of it before the next month’s issue comes out. Why do I suck at reading? I blame my parents and am sticking with that. I can’t even remember the last time they read to me. Those fuckers.

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    • Brad

      Brad June 19, 2012, 12:53 am

      You’re unemployed and complaining about not being able to read?!? I’m glaring at you right now. FEEL MY GLARE THROUGH THE INTERWEBS! *crazyeyes*

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      • avatar

        painted_lady June 19, 2012, 2:19 am

        I am currently unemployed and *should* be reading a REALLY AWESOME BOOK, but I accidentally sent it to the wrong address, so I’m stuck with a bunch of books I already read, a Stephen King (Bag of Bones, I always struggle getting through his horror stuff) and my boyfriend’s nerdy boy books, which are different than nerdy girl books. It’s irritating. I wasted SO MUCH time I should have been working during the school year barreling through all my good stuff, and now that I have crazy free time? All the books ran away.

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      • avatar

        painted_lady June 19, 2012, 2:20 am

        Not unemployed, precisely. Summering.

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      • Brad

        Brad June 19, 2012, 7:20 am

        OK you I can give a pass too then I guess since you at least want to be reading. I’ts moring now and I’m still pretending to glare through the screen at you Addie.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 19, 2012, 8:31 am

        oh my god i’m not allowed to dearwendy after wine. i have got to stop. i’m not remembering these posts.

        during my unemployment i read: 2 books about mormons, the henrietta lacks book (i think that was after i had quit, maybe it was right before), 1/2 of 50 Shades, … what else? 3.5 books in 2 months is pretty shitty.

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      • Brad

        Brad June 19, 2012, 9:48 am

        Alright well … I’ll call off the monkey, this time.

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      • avatar

        painted_lady June 19, 2012, 10:25 am

        DO NOT CALL OFF THAT MONKEY.

        He makes me smile.

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  • avatar

    painted_lady June 18, 2012, 11:29 pm

    Amazon question, folks: I accidentally sent Truth & Beauty to my old address, and now we’re stuck in shipping limbo. It’s my stupid fault, but WHO DO I CALL ABOUT THIS?!?!

    But they’ve got it at the library, which happens to be two blocks away, so I’m going to race through it this week.

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    • Kristina

      Kristina June 18, 2012, 11:40 pm

      Try calling their customer service? I don’t know what it is about their site in particular, but I have accidentally shipped books to my parents and my boyfriend’s apartment like 5 or 6 times. I have to look really carefully now before placing it.

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      • avatar

        painted_lady June 18, 2012, 11:58 pm

        Thanks, Kristina! Good to know it isn’t just me!

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  • Brad

    Brad June 19, 2012, 12:48 am

    A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R R Martin.

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    • Budj

      Budj June 19, 2012, 1:05 am

      I would litter this board with comments and break the web page like the last confession deleted thread……in a good way.

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      • Brad

        Brad June 19, 2012, 7:09 am

        Yeah I’ve finished seasons 1 and 2 of GoT and I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it 10 more months. I’ll probably start reading the books soon. Considering buying a kindle for them.

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      • Roxy_84

        Roxy_84 June 19, 2012, 9:02 am

        Do it. 1. GoT is awesome, especially the books. 2. Kindle changed my life.

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      • Budj

        Budj June 19, 2012, 9:51 am

        3. Nook/Kindle has dictionary’s built-in so when stupid heads like me don’t know what a word means I can look it up and feel smart.

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      • Brad

        Brad June 19, 2012, 9:51 am

        I’m just not sure which kind I’d get. The electronics obsessed geek in me kinda wants the kindle fire, but the practical part of me knows that it would probably be a waste of money. My smartphone already does most of what a tablet can do and the other kinds that aren’t backlit last a lot longer per charge.

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    SweetPeaG June 19, 2012, 9:00 am

    The Girl Giant by Kristen den Hartog… it’s a shorter novel and I am whipping through it rapidly.

    I guess I am always obsessed with reading about people who have unusual circumstances that make it hard for them to “fit in”… for whatever reason. I am not sure what that says about me. But, anyway, it’s just after World War 2. The “girl giant”, is just that… a young girl who won’t stop growing. It is hard for her to make friends and everyday life is really hard. Her parents seem to have fallen out of love, so it also follows them.

    I’m not yet finished (although will be soon) and I already can’t recommend it enough!

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  • avatar

    Emily June 19, 2012, 10:29 am

    The Paris Wife – fascinating historical fiction about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley, and their time being married and ex-pats in Europe.

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  • avatar

    Ravage Maladie June 19, 2012, 12:35 pm

    Arcadia by Lauren Groff (out this spring, I think)
    Shine, shine, shine by Lydia Netzer (coming out July 17)

    Arcadia is about a sensitive boy named Bit growing up in a hippie commune in the early seventies. Something about the way the female author depicts this male character – she has said there is a lot of her young son in Bit – just makes for a haunting read. The style is very associative and tactile and just AMAZING, frankly.

    I’m looking forward to Shinex3, which I discovered through a link on DW (‘How to stay married for 15 years’ is a post by Lydia Netzer)! From how she writes on her blog and listening to the first chapter I just have high hopes for this book.

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