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#61 of 222 Old 01-06-2005, 02:05 PM
 
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#3 "Eleanor Rushing" by Patty Friedman.

Well - I needed a book and the library was closed so I found this one at Goodwill. What a surprise. This was a great - really different - book. It starts out with this woman who is at a city council meeting (she goes to all of them even though she is not on the council) and catches the eye of a paster. He is like a shining white knight of truth to her and she falls in love with him and he falls in love with her. She starts following him around and they have this torrid affair - the only problem is, it is all in her mind. The book alternates from present to significant events in her past but the problem is figuring out what is in her mind and what is the truth. Very cool book.

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#62 of 222 Old 01-06-2005, 03:52 PM
 
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#2 Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

From Amazon.com
In the course of the year recorded in Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget confides her hopes, her dreams, and her monstrously fluctuating poundage, not to mention her consumption of 5277 cigarettes and "Fat units 3457 (approx.) (hideous in every way)." In 365 days, she gains 74 pounds. On the other hand, she loses 72! There is also the unspoken New Year's resolution--the quest for the right man. Alas, here Bridget goes severely off course when she has an affair with her charming cad of a boss. But who would be without their e-mail flirtation focused on a short black skirt? The boss even contends that it is so short as to be nonexistent.

At the beginning of Helen Fielding's exceptionally funny second novel, the thirtyish publishing puffette is suffering from postholiday stress syndrome but determined to find Inner Peace and poise. Bridget will, for instance, "get up straight away when wake up in mornings." Now if only she can survive the party her mother has tricked her into--a suburban fest full of "Smug Marrieds" professing concern for her and her fellow "Singletons"--she'll have made a good start. As far as she's concerned, "We wouldn't rush up to them and roar, 'How's your marriage going? Still having sex?'"

This is only the first of many disgraces Bridget will suffer in her year of performance anxiety (at work and at play, though less often in bed) and living through other people's "emotional f***wittage." Her twin-set-wearing suburban mother, for instance, suddenly becomes a chat-show hostess and unrepentant adulteress, while our heroine herself spends half the time overdosing on Chardonnay and feeling like "a tragic freak." Bridget Jones's Diary began as a column in the London Independent and struck a chord with readers of all sexes and sizes. In strokes simultaneously broad and subtle, Helen Fielding reveals the lighter side of despair, self-doubt, and obsession, and also satirizes everything from self-help books (they don't sound half as sensible to Bridget when she's sober) to feng shui, Cosmopolitan-style. She is the Nancy Mitford of the 1990s, and it's impossible not to root for her endearing heroine. On the other hand, one can only hope that Bridget will continue to screw up and tell us all about it for years and books to come. --Kerry Fried


After the "heaviness" of A Handmaid's Tale, I thought I would try something lighter in subject. It is very different from the movie and a nice easy read. It is hard not to picture the movie characters when reading the story though.
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#63 of 222 Old 01-06-2005, 05:43 PM
 
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I finished #1 - The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

from the back:

Quote:
Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood—the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers—Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah—the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's society.
Wonderful and moving. Her writing style is easy and flowing.
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#64 of 222 Old 01-06-2005, 06:23 PM
 
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#3 Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene. Young adult lit. I read it in middle school and re-read it for my book club (we occassionally select y.a. fiction for fun). I was surprised at what I did and didn't remember from reading in so many years ago.
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#65 of 222 Old 01-06-2005, 07:15 PM
 
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I'd classify this as a well-written, fun read. Not too deep, and unusual in that she writes each chapter from the viewpoint of a different one of the six women. But it works.

Here's the synopsis:

Amazon.com
The Dirty Girls Social Club closely resembles Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale: a handful of young women seek real love and job satisfaction. Unlike McMillan, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez has completely thrown out any literary pretensions whatsoever, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Dirty Girls is a fun, easy, ultimately charming read, not least because the girls themselves are so appealing. Six Latina women become fast friends at Boston University and thereafter meet as a group every few months. Now in their late twenties, they're each on the cusp of the life they want. The novel is narrated in turn by each woman. Feisty Lauren has a column at the Boston Globe, but can't help falling for losers; ghetto-elegant Usnavys is trying to find a man to match her own earning power and expensive tastes; uptight Rebecca is a successful magazine publisher and an unsuccessful wife; beautiful TV anchor Elizabeth has a secret; Sara leads a Martha-Stewart-perfect life as a homemaker; and Amber is a hopeful rock musician in L.A.

The novel works because Valdes-Rodriguez has compassion for her characters; each is faulted, but none is culpable. She also has an eye for the telling detail, as when Rebecca tries to befriend her white husband's stuffy family: "His sister took step classes with me and we shopped for clothes together on Newbury Street and went to the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum one afternoon with Au Bon Pain sandwiches in our handbags." Something about those sandwiches makes the whole enterprise seem more poignant. On the down side, Valdes-Rodriguez is so eager to make things work out for her ladies, her writing sometimes beggars belief. Men actually say things like "Swear to me you're happily married, and I'll stop pursuing you." Yes, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez is, in fact, the Latina Terry McMillan. That is, if McMillan were a slighty guiltier pleasure. --Claire Dederer

I have a bunch of books on hold at the library; not sure what #2 is gonna be yet...
-Erin

Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

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#66 of 222 Old 01-06-2005, 07:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ann Marie
#3 Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene. Young adult lit. I read it in middle school and re-read it for my book club (we occassionally select y.a. fiction for fun). I was surprised at what I did and didn't remember from reading in so many years ago.

Wow! Thank you for reminding me of this book. I loved it when I was a teen; I even remember watching the film somewhat obsessively.
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#67 of 222 Old 01-06-2005, 09:17 PM
 
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I thought I remembered seeing a film of this!
Does it star Kristy McNichol or am off my rocker? I think my book club might be interested in a movie night (depending on how tonight's meeting goes).
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#68 of 222 Old 01-06-2005, 09:28 PM
 
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Yes - there is a movie with Kristy McNichol - I remember being pretty well done too.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#69 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 01:15 AM
 
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Just finished my second book: Naked in Baghdad by NPR's Anne Garrels.

What a great book! Anne Garrels is an extraordinary, brilliant journalist. I have learned so much more about the Iraqi war than I did from CNN, MSNBC, or any of the other major news stations. I now know I will turn to NPR when I want just the undistorted facts. WOW! I find myself wanting to know more about the people who helped her and what she is doing now.

Oh, a blurb about the book from NPR:

Quote:
With bombs falling and the constant threat of sniper fire, NPR's senior foreign correspondent Anne Garrels reported each day from Baghdad throughout the recent war in Iraq. One of only 16 American journalists who stayed in the besieged capital, she was at the very center of the storm. Soon after the U.S. military reached the city, Garrels left Baghdad and returned to the United States, where she wrote a book about her experiences. Naked in Baghdad provides readers with a vivid account of the sights, sounds, and smells of the recent war. The book is scheduled for release in September 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
For her work, Anne Garrels received a Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women's Media Foundation.

Btw, I think I overstated my goal of 100 books. I know I can and often do read more than 1 a week, but I also am taking up knitting and trying to exercise every day as well. In addition to reading books, I like to remain current by reading the newspaper and magazines. When I first wrote that I would read 100 books, I then picked up my book and was so distracted. I felt like I was trying to race through the book and frustrated myself. I was reminded of what it's like to be on a diet and suddenly all you can think about is the forbidden foods. I felt like I needed to hurry and finish so I could pick up a second book and I began to enjoy the book less. Once I convinced myself that 1 book a week was good enough, I could relax and get into my book again. Phew! So, here I am and here it is.

Next...

mpeel - LOVED The Red Tent. Would love to read more books like that.

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#70 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 01:22 AM
 
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My goal for the year is 250. So far this week I've read

1. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
2. The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
3. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
4. See How She Dies by Lisa Jackson (currently working on)

I REALLY enjoyed the His Dark Materials series.
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#71 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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loftmama, sorry that this stressed you out in any way. I made my goal 100 last year and I only got to 84, like you I also read other materials, was going to the gym and did crafts. I had to just relax and think, well 84 is better then nothing. I basically set my goal just to keep me motivated.

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all
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#72 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 01:20 PM
 
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I am giving up on book #2- A Midwife's Tale. I am more than half finished, but it is like a chore reading it. I love nonfiction, but this one is just too much. I don't like the way the author interpreted the diary- it is just way too dry and way too boring, which is saying a lot from me. I am a student of anthropology and archaeology, but this is not a good read...and I pretty much NEVER give up on a book- I can only remember doing it once before in my life.

Anyway, my new book #3 is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Here's the Amazon lowdown:

"When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen.

In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death, and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. (It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swingset.)

With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief--her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor--and begin the difficult process of healing.

In the hands of a brilliant new novelist, and through the eyes of her winning young heroine, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful, touching, even funny novel about family, memory, love, heaven, and living."

It is a VERY good book. I enjoyed it quite a lot. So much so that I didn't bother with book #3 really, and I normally read 2 or 3 books at once. This one held my attention.
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#73 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 02:15 PM
 
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Hi fellow bookworms!!

I'm excited to join you. I finished #1 yesterday. American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It was on the NYT besteller's list. It's a thriller, which I usually don't read, but this one is different. It's about Gods, past and present, and how they're managing to survive in the world today. Not the best writing, but a gripping storyline. The main character's name is Shadow, an ex-con who's trying to live his simple life, but a mysterious "Mr. Wednesday" enters his life and takes him on bizarre journeys, assisting the Gods in their battle for survival.

I also received Natalie Angier's Woman: An intimate Geography, which I know I won't read all of, probably dabble in it between other books. It's a collection of essays. She won a pulitzer I think? She's a scientist/biologist/something... can you tell I don't read much scientific stuff?? Anyway, I like her stuff. Most of it's pretty heady, but I can grasp enough. I probably wouldn't have chosen this one, but I'm interested enough.

Count me in as a huge David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs fan. Can't wait to get Dress Your Family in Courderoy and Denim from the library holds. And Burroughs has a new book too, right? I read Dry last month, loved it. And I'm going to request How I paid for College as soon as I get off here. thanks for the suggestion!

So, I'm going for 52 books also. I've never kept track before, but this is going to be fun. Thanks, ladies!!

Megan
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#74 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 02:29 PM
 
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Maggies Mom - if you like The Lovely Bones, you may like Sebold's other book Lucky. It is the true experience of her rape.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#75 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 02:49 PM
 
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Maggie's Mom, I loved A Midwife's Tale! That's the one that looks at the diary of NH midwife in the 1700s (or 1800s), right? It was years ago. And I am one of the few people I know who didn't like The Lovely Bones -- it was just too depressing for me. Interesting to hear what you all like and don't like!

I am loving this group by the way -- it has made me much more motivated to get OFF the computer and back into my books
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#76 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 03:19 PM
 
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Maggie's Mom, I tried to read The Lovely Bones, but couldn't get into it. Since you like it so much, maybe I'll try it again.

Megan, I keep wanting to check out David Sedaris' book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. I would love to know what you think.

I haven't decided which book will be next. I have a few in queue but am currently catching up on my newest UTNE magazine. My last book was so thought-provoking, I think I'll go to a fast, easy read, like Dan Brown's Deception Point.

Otoh, for some reason - start of a new year perhaps? gloomy weather? Iraqi war? - my soul feels like it need some poetic noursishing. Does anyone know of any good poetry books?

Thanks. Keep MDC Reading!

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#77 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 03:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cathe
Maggies Mom - if you like The Lovely Bones, you may like Sebold's other book Lucky. It is the true experience of her rape.
I really enjoyed The Lovely Bones, so I will check to see if the local library has this one.
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#78 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 03:31 PM
 
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Loftmama- Dress your family in Corduroy and Denim was great - as funny and crazy as his others.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#79 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 07:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loftmama
Just finished my second book: Naked in Baghdad by NPR's Anne Garrels.

What a great book!
I loved that book! I also have it on CD and loved listening to her tell the stories, even though I had already read the book I was still enthralled.

I just finished another fluff read, "What An Earl Wants" by Shirley Karr.

from Amazon:
The devilishly attractive Earl of Sinclair is having trouble holding onto servants, what with so many of them pairing up and running off to be wed. Luckily, his able new secretary, J. Quincy, seems scrupulously loyal, and possesses the invaluable ability to flawlessly forge the master's signature. But imagine Sinclair's surprise when he discovers the "J" stands for "Josephine." His cherished employee is, in actuality, a quite delectable lady in disguise!


Jo desperately needs this position, and never actually lied about her gender -- though she didn't expect Sinclair's keen eye to expose the truth so quickly. If the ton finds out, the scandal could be devastating. But Jo believes she can still be of service to the dashing lord.The greatest difficulty, however, will be keeping her mind on business with Sinclair standing so tantalizingly, intoxicatingly close. And what this earl wants, he usually gets!

*****
I have a stack of library books on my table waiting for me as well. I'm getting some good ideas from the books others have been reading so my list is rather long!

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#80 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 07:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loftmama
I think I'll go to a fast, easy read, like Dan Brown's Deception Point.
I picked that one up for 40% off at the bookstore this week, it's in my stack for after the library books are finished.

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#81 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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#4 Beneath a Southern Sky by Deborah Raney

"One family discovers how God can redeem any tragedy.

At first, Daria finds comfort only in the daughter born to her after Nate’s tragic death. As she begins to heal, she also finds a listening ear and a tender heart in her new boss, veterinarian Colson Hunter. Determined to move forward with life, Daria ignores the still small voice calling her to wait and accepts Cole’s marriage proposal. But after the wedding, Daria’s new dream life turns into a nightmare with the arrival of an unbelievable
telegram:“Nathan Camfield found alive. Flying into K.C. Int’l. via Bogota…”

Now two men have the right to her daughter, her life, and her love. Will Daria return to her beloved first
husband, abandoning Cole? Or will she reject Nate and choose the only man her daughter has ever called “Daddy”--a man she has come to cherish with all her heart? "

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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#82 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 08:09 PM
 
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I will be starting Mary Balogh's Irresistible this evening.
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#83 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 09:29 PM
 
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I just finished #2 this afternoon -

Climbing Parnassus, Tracy Lee Simmons.

From Amazon.com:
Quote:
From Booklist
*Starred Review* The old-fashioned term grammar school originally designated a school that taught the classical curriculum of Latin, Greek, and mathematics. Simmons imparts much grammar- school history in this brief for reviving the methodical teaching of the two "dead" languages. He traces classical education from the rhetorician Isocrates through its institutional realization during the Renaissance and its efflorescence in nineteenth-century Britain and America, to its decline as modern democracies extended schooling to all, and teaching lost its commitment to the transmission of culture that is liberal, humanistic education. This history lesson, peppered with endorsements of classical Greek and Latin by great writers, scientists, and statesmen, is keenly interesting, but it is just substantiation for the argument for reviving the grammar school that is the book's raison d'etre. There are two major grounds for learning Greek and Latin, Simmons says, one cultural, one formative. The former is a loser, he thinks, plausibly weakened by the counterargument that translations transmit classical culture as well. The argument that studying the old, hard languages produces habits of mind that facilitate learning other subjects; fosters mutual understanding and appreciation among the students; helps students later to negotiate other complicated systems, such as institutions; and increases personal satisfaction--that is the winner, though Simmons concedes few will support it in these egalitarian times. A book that makes one feel more intelligent for having read it. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
It was really thought-provoking, and I'm already planning to reread it in another few weeks, to better 'absorb' it.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#84 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 09:37 PM
 
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#3 for me: House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus lll

from Amazon:
Three fragile yet determined people become dangerously entangled in a relentlessly escalating crisis. Colonel Behrani, once a wealthy man in Iran, is now a struggling immigrant willing to bet everything he has to restore his family's dignity. Kathy Niccolo is a recovering alcoholic and addict whose house is all she has left, and who refuses to let her hard-won stability slip away from her. Sheriff Lester Burdon, a married man who finds himself falling in love with Kathy, becomes obsessed with helping her fight for justice.

Drawn by their competing desires to the same small house in the California hills--and what it represents to each of them--and doomed by their tragic inability to understand one another, the three converge on an explosive collision course.


I read this book because I had heard such good things about it and the movie, but I thought it was only "okay". It took me SO long to get into it, although I did finally get interested at the end when things started happening a little faster.
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#85 of 222 Old 01-07-2005, 11:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by megangaia
Hi fellow bookworms!!

I'm excited to join you. I finished #1 yesterday. American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
American Gods was good. I enjoyed it. I read it after I read his whole Sandman series. I'm also going to read Coraline with my daughter.


As for the Lovely Bones. I HATED that book. With a passion. I bought it in hardcover because I kept hearing how great it was and at the time the waiting list at the library was forever long. I figured it must be great. What a waste of money.
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#86 of 222 Old 01-08-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LadyBug & BabyBug
I loved that book! I also have it on CD and loved listening to her tell the stories, even though I had already read the book I was still enthralled.
Hey, I didn't think of that. What a great idea! Thanks.

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#87 of 222 Old 01-08-2005, 01:33 PM
 
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#4 Bergdorf Blonds by Plum Sykes

Another great find. This book is so funny, I giggled all the way through it. It is written by a shallow but lovable fashion editor who gives us th inside scoop on the glamorous life of Park Avenue Princesses - women who care only about their next shopping spree, the next party, and the next visit to the beauty salon, and finding a PH (perspective husband). It is really hilarious and fun to read.

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#88 of 222 Old 01-08-2005, 03:50 PM
 
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I stole #3 out of my son's library bag. :
We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History by Philip Hoose

Pretty good first person narratives of children at different times in U.S. history.
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#89 of 222 Old 01-08-2005, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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cathe I read that book a while back, and I loved it! Chick lit at it's best! You should try Best Enemies that was a good one too.

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all
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#90 of 222 Old 01-08-2005, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patchfire
I just finished #2 this afternoon -

Climbing Parnassus, Tracy Lee Simmons.

It was really thought-provoking, and I'm already planning to reread it in another few weeks, to better 'absorb' it.
I was considering this, but afraid it would take me FOREVER to get through it. Is it a ponderous read?
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