What's the best book you've read so far this year?

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What's the best book you've read so far this year?

Postby Janice on Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:41 pm

Someone recently asked me if I make a list of my favorite books/movies/etc. each year. It seems like an odd thing to do, since most of the people in my life spend more time drinking and ferrying kids off to play-dates to benefit from my musings (not simultaneously, though in retrospect that may make a better story)... but I thought this might be a good forum for it. I'll admit at this point that I have an ulterior motive - my TBR shelf is getting a little bare.

So the year's half done and I know by reading through this whole novels forum that you guys have plowed through enough books to make Al Gore cry. So what are your favorites so far, and why??

I haven't given a whole helluva lot of thought to this yet, but since I started this thread I guess I should go first, huh?

Earlier this year, in one of my many lurkings at the local B&N, I came across Chuck Klosterman's "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs". It's pretty much comprised of essays, musings, and ramblings about everything from how John Cusack ruined his love life to The Sims as a metaphor for existence to how Guy Pearce's character in 'Memento' relates to Taoism.

This guy fucking rocks!! Seriously. If you haven't read his stuff yet, go. Go now - the bookstore should still be open. That is unless you live in some heathen town where they roll up the sidewalks after 9 PM. But really, this guy is a pop culture genius and you should really check him out. Especially you, Dana Jean. This guy is too damn funny to pass up.
*A sobering thought: What if, at this very moment, I AM living up to my full potential?

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Postby KingoftheHill on Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:17 pm

Good question, Janice. I haven't read too many and since HSB was one, it's right up there. I did read my first John Connolly novel and really enjoyed it, PLUS, I'm plowing through the final 3 Dark Tower books by King.

All that to say--I don't know. Likely Heart Shaped Box or the one I'm currently reading, Dark Tower VII.
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Postby Dana_Jean on Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:02 am

I definitely will Janice. I always like to hear about good reads and since coming to this board, Ive gone and purchased many recommends that people have made here, so I will add that one to it. Thanks.

HSB, BLAZE(Richard Bachman), Last Seen Leaving (Kelly Braffet) and Crosscut (Meg Gardiner) have been my favorites so far. I have to admit though, my TBR pile is huge and my Read Pile is painfully and woefully small this year. I've been struggling a bit.
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Postby val04463 on Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:47 am

Don't you love it when you have read so many good books its hard to pick?!

I have to say HSB was the one so far that I keep going back to in my head....And I also love, love, love the wonderful love story "Lisey's Story". I am right at this moment listening to "On Writing"...(Thanks Dana Jean" :wink: )..and it is like a trip back to my childhood. Joe's Dad and I grew up at the same time, under the same circumstances, with the same fears!! Except me and my Mama and Bros ended up on "The County". And like his Mom, mine ended up dying of the "Big C'. So right now I am emerged in that.

You know, sometimes when people post that their favorite Books are SK's and Joe's, I sometimes think "Ass Kisser". but I just realized that the "Cables" that run thru there stories are what drew us to this board and to each other. We all have reading and what we love to read in common...and that , my dear Internet friends, is a bond stronger than Gorilla Glue and Duct Tape put together.

I wonder if all of you readers from "away" "Get" all of the references Mr. King makes in his books? Is it sometimes baffling-our kooky and quirky Maine way?-Or are the expieriences of Joe, Owen,Tabby and Steve universal in their complicated simplicity?
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Postby Janice on Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:18 am

val04463 wrote:You know, sometimes when people post that their favorite Books are SK's and Joe's, I sometimes think "Ass Kisser". but I just realized that the "Cables" that run thru there stories are what drew us to this board and to each other. We all have reading and what we love to read in common...and that , my dear Internet friends, is a bond stronger than Gorilla Glue and Duct Tape put together.

For the most part, I think the ass-kissers post once or twice and are never heard from again. I think all of the opinionated and clever people on this board wouldn't hesitate to let Joe know if he published something that sucked (though some of us might be more diplomatic than others...). I think that all readers are kind of looking for books that they can identify with, in some way - and that Joe's managed to do so well his first time out of the gate makes me pretty damn optimistic about his future endeavors. But just the same, I'm also figuring that we all read more than just Joe's family's books, as evidenced in other threads. I want to know what resonated with you, and why. It's a curiousity of mine - people from different backgrounds and with a variety of life experiences can relate to similar books, and it piques my interest to know what else you read and why you like it.

I wonder if all of you readers from "away" "Get" all of the references Mr. King makes in his books? Is it sometimes baffling-our kooky and quirky Maine way?-Or are the expieriences of Joe, Owen,Tabby and Steve universal in their complicated simplicity?


I don't know much about Maine, aside from the creepy abundance of wolf spiders. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure what references to Maine I'm not 'getting'. I've read books by local authors and there's definitely something to be said for relating to a cultural identity, but I don't think that it's a prerequisite for enjoying an author's work. Not just for Joe or his family, but any author, really. There's this chick writer named Dorothy Allison, and she writes about what it's like growing up dirt poor in the South. I grew up that way, so it's easy to relate and empathize with, but her debut novel was a bestseller and is currently in production to become a movie. So I guess that even when you come from a different background, we all kind of deal with the same themes in life - and a really great writer can transcend those cultural boundaries, giving us things to think about long after we put down the book, and keeping us waiting for the next story.
*A sobering thought: What if, at this very moment, I AM living up to my full potential?

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Postby KingoftheHill on Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:20 am

Reading is a strong bond. I always think King will be in my all-time fave list--he's really the reason I got back into reading after a 10 year hiatus (sp). More specifically, it was The Gunslinger. After that book about 6 years ago, I've wanted to read everything he's written (I had read a half dozen or so of his books when I was younger). And, he's an awesome talespinner.

Now, I just want to read, no matter what it is. Unfortunately, I am a slow reader, so I will never be able to read every book I want to.

And, I really want to visit the Northeast corner of America now. I've been to Maryland once and that's it. I want to see Maine SO bad! 8)

Sorry for rambling! :?
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Postby val04463 on Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:22 am

Yes, I think that is so true. I get or think I get most of the writers I read. I just Downloaded Chuck Klosterman's book on CD so I can listen to it when I get done "On Writing"..I can't wait..I love the description of it,
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Postby justme on Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:26 am

I couldn't pick just one, so here is my list:
HSB - I know this book was about Jude, Georgia, and Florida, but something about his friend Danny haunted me, too.
The Thirteenth Tale- Dianne Setterfield, this book confused me a bit, but I like books where you have to pay attention
Lisey's story and Blaze
The Road, for all it's reality minus fairy tale stuff
Heart of the Country - greg Matthews
I'm currently reading The book of Lost Things and it's shaping up to be a favorite too.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. - From the Old Astronomer to his pupil - Sarah Williams
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Postby Samoa_Girl on Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:15 pm

Besides the obvious HSB, I really enjoyed The Girl Next Door. It got me thinking about who my son hangs out with when he gets to that age.
Sometimes I get the urge to run around naked, but then I drink some Windex and it keeps me from streaking.
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Postby LauraK on Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:37 pm

Heart-Shaped Box (Not butt-kissing- I ReallyReally loved the book! Have recommended it to everyone I know and right now my cousin has one of my signed copies. She'd better take care of it...)

Book of Lost Things- Magical. I loved it and could spot his influences and that made me love it more.

Brother Odd. Cried at the end- I love Oddie, he's one of my favorite characters from any book.

The Ruins. I didn't love it upon finishing it- but it has stayed with me and kept me thinking about it.

The Collector. I just finished it last night- thanks, Joe, for the recommendation. Those last few pages..brrrrr. I could see what was coming but the way he wrote it.....

LK

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Postby justme on Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:46 pm

LauraK wrote:
Brother Odd. Cried at the end- I love Oddie, he's one of my favorite characters from any book.


The Collector. I just finished it last night- thanks, Joe, for the recommendation. Those last few pages..brrrrr. I could see what was coming but the way he wrote it.....


Two more to put in my "to read" pile! They sound really good.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. - From the Old Astronomer to his pupil - Sarah Williams
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Postby Dana_Jean on Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:45 pm

Janice, I picked up chuckie K. today. Looks right up my alley.
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Postby Janice on Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:59 pm

Sweet! Which one??
*A sobering thought: What if, at this very moment, I AM living up to my full potential?

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Postby LauraK on Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:55 pm

justme: be sure you read Odd Thomas and Forever Odd first. :) You probably know this but I just want to make sure n all.......

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Postby Dana_Jean on Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:25 pm

Sex, drugs and Cocoa puffs. I can't wait to read it.
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