October 2008 Book Challenge - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 162 Old 10-01-2008, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ah ... Autumn. Now, if only it would arrive in my neck of the woods. I love Autumn for curling up on a chilly night with a good book. Hopefully crisp, dark Autumn nights will come soon and I can get some quality reading in.

But enough about me ... on to the book challenge:


Just by way of clarification (for comers both new and old), new and improved guidelines for the Book Challenge Thread are as follows:

1) Post the books you read ... or not
2) Post a recommendation ... or not
3) Number your book ... or not
4) Make a goal ... or not
5) Have fun with books (This one, unfortunately, is MANDATORY)



So, with that, avante and a happy reading October to everyone!



January's thread is HERE
February's thread is HERE
March's thread is HERE
April's thread is HERE
May's thread is HERE
June's thread is HERE
July's thread is HERE
August's thread is HERE
September's thread is HERE

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#2 of 162 Old 10-01-2008, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#94 The White Boy Shuffle: Redux
by Paul Beatty

My review of The White Boy Shuffle can be found HERE.

#1 The Time Machine, #2 The Shining (Audio): Redux, #3 Curious George, #4 Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, #5 The Tragedy of Othello, Moor of Venice (Bantam Anthology), #6 A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, #7 "A Study in Emerald", #8 The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead, #9 Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, #10 Quidditch Through the Ages, #11 On the Day You Were Born, #12 The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Bantam Anthology), #13 The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare, #14 Rubyfruit Jungle, #15 John, Paul, George & Ben, #16 The Merchant of Venice (Bantam Anthology): Redux, #17 Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time, #18 Trent's Last Case, #19 Cyrano de Bergerac: A Heroic Comedy in Five Acts, #20 Animal Dads, #21 Faggots, #22 A Day with Wilbur Robinson, #23 And Then There Were None, #24 Eating Between the Lines: The Supermarket Shopper's Guide to the Truth Behind Food Labels, #25 Henry IV, Part One, #26 Zami, A New Spelling of My Name: A Biomythography, #27 Twelfth Night, or What You Will (Bantam Anthology), #28 Murder Must Advertise, #29 Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America, #30 Angels in America, A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, Part One: Millennium Approaches, #31 The Tragedy of Macbeth (Bantam Anthology), #32 Stone of Destiny: The Story of Lady Macbeth, #33 Ian Pollack's Illustrated King Lear #34 Celtic Folklore Cooking, #35 Angels in America, A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, Part Two: Perestroika Revised Edition), #36 The Winter's Tale (Bantam Anthology), #37 Tolkien's Art: A Mythology for England, #38 The Body (Audio), #39 Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (Audio), #40 Four Past Midnight: The Sun Dog (Audio), #41 The Tempest (Bantam Anthology): Redux, #42 World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, #43 Science Verse, #44 Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and Other Stories You’re Sure to Like Because They’re All About Monsters and Some of Them are Also About Food. You Like Food, Don’t You? Well, All Right Then, #45 Case Histories, #46 Time Bandit: Two Brothers, the Bering Sea, and One of the World's Deadliest Jobs, #47 Why Pandas Do Handstands and Other Curious Truths About Animals, #48 Rolling the R's, #49 Spooky ABC, #50 A is for Arches: A Utah Alphabet, #51 Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest, #52 E is for Evergreen: A Washington Alphabet, #53 Beowulf (Longman Anthology), #54-60 The Harry Potter Series (Audio), #60 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Audio), #61 The Gingerbread Girl (Audio), #62 A Whale Hunt: Two Years on the Olympic Peninsula with the Makah and Their Canoe, #63 Heart-Shaped Box (Audio), #64 The Host, #65 Why War is Never a Good Idea, #66 Spicy Hot Colors: Colores Picantes, #67 To Everything There is a Season, #68 Charles Fort: The Man Who Invented the Supernatural, #69 Stick: Great Moments in Art, History, Film, and More..., #70 America: A Patriotic Primer, #71 A is for America: An American Alphabet, #72 Just How Stupid Are We?: The TRUTH About the American Voter, #73 Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years, #74 S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet, #75 The Brief History of the Dead, #76 The Ruins, #77 Marvel 1602, #78 The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square, #79 The Preservationist, #80 Duma Key, #81 Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence, #82 The Wood Are Dark: Restored and Uncut, #83 Wild About Books, #84 Tarzan of the Apes, #85 Breaking Dawn, #86 Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking, and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever, #87 Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, #88 Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters, #89 Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, #90 Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, #91 Middle Passage: Redux, #92 Donald Duk, #93 The Historian (Audio), #94 The White Boy Shuffle: Redux

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#3 of 162 Old 10-01-2008, 09:49 AM
 
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#115 The Game by Laurie R. King

Since we moved, I've been leaving out books left and right. But I thought I'd come and post this one that I'm working on. It's another in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. The one right before this wasn't as enjoyable for me but I'm enjoying this one. Takes place in India, near Afghanistan/Russia. Title character from Rudyard Kipling's Kim is a real person and has been involved in the "Great Game" of border espionage and is now missing.

This makes me think I should read Kim-- true?
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#4 of 162 Old 10-01-2008, 11:25 AM
 
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Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

I hadn't been too excited about reading this one--not sure why--but now I'm glad I did. It was different than what I expected. Briefly, it was about the love affair between the Frank Lloyd Wright and a woman named Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who was a married mother and a feminist. I am not going to go in to much detail about the story since I don't want to give it away, but I enjoyed this book for several reasons. I love historical fiction; I love stories that weave together truth and fiction; and I love stories about women that bend the rules. I finished it last night and this story stayed with me through the night and is still here this morning. I don't want to give away anything else . . . It was haunting on several levels. It is also my book club selection and I trust it will make for an interesting discussion.

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#5 of 162 Old 10-01-2008, 12:40 PM
 
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Signing on.

I have a whole stack of authographed books that I got at the writers' conference. Now that I'm done reading all the conference evaluations, I can get to them . . .

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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#6 of 162 Old 10-01-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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I finished these last month, but am just getting around to posting...

#47: Desperate Passage: The Donner Party's Perilous Journey West, by Ethan Rarick

Fascinating, NOT uplifting (in case you were wondering!), and well written. I admit to rooting on the Donner Party in hopes they would make it over the Sierras. (Well, some of them do.) I knew only the erm, bare-bones story before reading this book.

Sorry about the horrible pun.

#48: groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies, by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

This was a work-assigned book. It was very conversational and had lots of anecdotes about companies that used online social technologies to improve their products and customer service. And it wasn't completely out of date (always a concern when it comes to books about online trends).

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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#7 of 162 Old 10-01-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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Subbing. I have a stack of books to read. Will come back and post after each one.

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#8 of 162 Old 10-01-2008, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#47: Desperate Passage: The Donner Party's Perilous Journey West, by Ethan Rarick

Fascinating, NOT uplifting (in case you were wondering!), and well written. I admit to rooting on the Donner Party in hopes they would make it over the Sierras. (Well, some of them do.) I knew only the erm, bare-bones story before reading this book.

Sorry about the horrible pun.
That sounds fascinating. I'll have to see if one of our local libraries have it. I have a scholarly and clinical fascination with cannibalism.

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#9 of 162 Old 10-01-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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I'd like to join in!

Right now I'm reading A Chosen Faith; it's been on my "to read" list for awhile so I need to get it done.
It's interesting, but I need to CONCENTRATE while I read it which isn't the easiest thing to do in my life right now.
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#10 of 162 Old 10-02-2008, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd like to join in!

Right now I'm reading A Chosen Faith; it's been on my "to read" list for awhile so I need to get it done.
It's interesting, but I need to CONCENTRATE while I read it which isn't the easiest thing to do in my life right now.
Welcome!

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#11 of 162 Old 10-02-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler

I read it because of this thread. Mostly about peak oil and how our world will change once the oil is gone. It was a good book to read after reading Life As We Knew It.
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#12 of 162 Old 10-02-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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"Identical" by Ellen Hopkins

Another edgy YA novel by Hopkins, written in verse like her other books. This was about identical twin sisters--one being sexual abused by her father, the other into sex and drugs. It was good but not as good as her first one "Crank" which was amazing.

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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#13 of 162 Old 10-02-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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#49: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami

I've never read any of Murakami's novels...this book makes me want to pick up one, just to see what it's about. "What I Talk About" is a memoir, sort of. He talks about running (of course), but also about being a novelist. It's a short book, written very simply, but there are some powerful passages in here. Not just for runners.

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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#14 of 162 Old 10-02-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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I'll join! I join intermittently - I think the last time was about a year ago - then I get busy and don't have time to read.

I just finished On Beauty by Zadie Smith. I've been finding it hard to finish books lately, since I've only had time to read in dribs and drabs, but I had a difficult time putting this one down!

It's set largely in a northeast US college town and follows the Belsey family - prof dad and his wife are struggling to put his past infidelity behind them, and their 3 teen to young adult children. The catalyst for the drama is Professor Belsey's academic nemesis - a conservative Black Studies professor - getting a position at Belsey's college and relocating his family there from London, including his ailing wife and attractive daughter.

It was a good story. Lots of character, twists and turns, a bit Dickensian.
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#15 of 162 Old 10-02-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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Oh, and I also recently finished Losing the Dead by Lisa Appiganesi.

She's a writer whose family moved to Canada when she was young, Holocaust survivors. She writes about what it was like growing up with them, how it affected the family's day-to-day life in North America (her mother had grown so good at lying during the Holocaust, she couldn't stop in her new life, and the author was always trying to keep track of the various alternate family stories told to different people), and her own trip back to Poland to seek out her roots. This alternates with the story of her parents' survival of the Holocaust.

It was well-written, engaging and thoughtful.
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#16 of 162 Old 10-03-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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#52 Confessions of a Naughty Mommy: How I Found My Lost Libido by Heidi Raykeil



I was so glad to find a book on this important topic. Very few people actually admit to dealing with this after having a baby, so it's easy to feel like you're messed up in some way. So if for no other reason, I enjoyed this book because it showed me I'm *not* messed up, and I'm not alone. Fluctuations in your libido after having a baby are perfectly natural. Maybe if more people talked about this (women *and* men), we wouldn't be so taken off guard when it happens. We could prepare ourselves mentally and realize it's not the end of the world when it happens.

But this book also happens to be a very entertaining read! The author is pretty funny, and she has a great way of describing what she's going through. There's also a section from her husband at the end for guys to read.

My only criticism is that the book was a little light on practical advice. The author talks a lot about the oodles of research she did for this book, but where is a summary of the good advice she found? Or at least a list of books that she would recommend?

But with that said, I still loved this book!

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#17 of 162 Old 10-03-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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#52 Confessions of a Naughty Mommy: How I Found My Lost Libido by Heidi Raykeil
I really enjoyed this one too!

Can I just say too how I love that lately I have read so many Seattle authors. Not intentionally. It has just worked out that way. It gives me hope that one day I too can write a book and have it published. Really, of the last four or five books I have read, I think most have been from or currently live in the greater Seattle area. (Sorry, to tout so much Seattle. It makes me feel better to do this since the weather gets me so very down. But obviously this is good weather for reading and writing).

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#18 of 162 Old 10-03-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter by Rick Shenkman

The timing of this book seemed most appropriate (especially after last night's VP debate). Overall, Shenkman raises some excellent points. He is not afraid to call it as he sees it: Americans (i.e. The People) are stupid. We make "stupid" choices when it comes to who we have elected and it is--on the whole--our darn own fault. Too often the blame has been placed on media, the politicians, and so on. Shenkman places it rather squarely on us. The main reason this has taken place is because we believe in myths--myths about ourselves and myths about our politicians (i.e the war hero myth). He also forcefully argues that our lack of education about civics and the workings of government and current events are to blame as well. This is a rather obvious point, but it is worthwhile to raise nevertheless. He argues that we need to have difficult discussions and face challenging issues, and instead we have shied and even quickly run from them. 9/11 is one example. Iraq is another. We like to pass the buck instead of being accountable.

Overall, his arguments are well-crafted. He does run into a few contradictions in my opinion however. On the one hand he criticizes the internet and TV as being in part responsible for "dumbing us down," but on the other hand he seems to throw these media sources a bone in last chapter, and says they may be useful in helping to educate Americans. The nuances in his argument are there, but they could be flushed out a bit more; instead, certain aspects of what he is saying seem a little wonky.

The main point of his last chapter is to stress how civics needs to be taught at the high school and college level. While this is an excellent point, his final chapter does not close as strongly as it could. With that said, this is a quick, interesting, and relatively worthwhile read--obviously very relevant for current events.

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#19 of 162 Old 10-03-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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#35 Kingdom Keepers, Ridley Pearson

Quote:
Using cutting-edge technology, five Florida teens have been transformed into Holographic Hosts at Disney World. Their images appear throughout the Magic Kingdom, giving visitors information about the various attractions. It all seems to be going well, until the participants begin having disturbing dreams that start affecting their everyday lives. They sneak in after the park has closed, and Wayne, a retired Imagineer, directs them in their fight against the Dark Side, embodied by Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.
YA book - fun, especially for Disney freaks like me


#1-Garden of Beasts, #2-Passporter Guide to WDW, #3-Skylight Confessions, #4 - The Secret, #5 - The Kite Runner, #6 - Gone, #7 - Hidden Mickeys, #8 - Into Thin Air, #9 - Wolf Point, #10 - Ocean Breezes, #11 - Harmony Guide to Cables and Aran, #12 - East, #13 - Getting Started Knitting Socks, #14 - Keeping Faith, #15 - The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, #16 The Big Nap, #17 - Grave of God's Daughter, #18 - Daddy's Girl, #19 - Behind the Scenes at the Museum, #20 - America, #21 - The Little Friend, #22 - Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, #23 - Candyfreak, #24 - Devil in the White City, #25 A Playdate with Death, #26 - Lunch Lessons, #27 - Hidden, #28 Garden of Eden and other Criminal Delights, #29 The Amber Room, #30 The Keep, #31 March, #32 Triathlons for Women, #33 Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, #34 - Mirror, Mirror, #35 - The Kingdom Keepers
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#20 of 162 Old 10-03-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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I capture the castle by by Dodie Smith

I skipped ahead to see how it all ended if that's any indicator of how interesting I found the book. It wasn't horrendous but I don't see why J.K. Rowling felt the need to get it back into print.

Jen, Mom to DS (8) , DD (5) & Alli
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#21 of 162 Old 10-03-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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Your Vital Child: A Natural Healing Guide For Caring Parents by Mark & Angela Stengler

Didn't read this cover-to-cover, but I have been flipping through it and it seems like an excellent resource. You can look up anything - hiccups, ear infections, acne, night terrors, headaches, bronchitis, etc. - and find natural remedies for each. Gives all kinds of herbal remedies, accupressure points, nutritional supplements, and dietary changes to try.
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#22 of 162 Old 10-04-2008, 12:49 PM
 
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I really enjoyed this one too!

Can I just say too how I love that lately I have read so many Seattle authors. Not intentionally. It has just worked out that way. It gives me hope that one day I too can write a book and have it published. Really, of the last four or five books I have read, I think most have been from or currently live in the greater Seattle area. (Sorry, to tout so much Seattle. It makes me feel better to do this since the weather gets me so very down. But obviously this is good weather for reading and writing).
The keynote speaker at my conference (NY times bestselling author Bob Mayer, aka Robert Dougherty) was from Washington and lives next door to Elizabeth George . . . not in Seattle but still close.

What are you writing?

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#23 of 162 Old 10-04-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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subbing

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#24 of 162 Old 10-05-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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"The Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need" by Pal Pearsall

Found this laying around the house and picked it up. There were a few things I could take away--like in a relationship, work on improving yourself not your spouse . . .

"The Secret of Lost Things" by Sheridan Hay

I love books about people who love books and bookstores so I thought I'd like this. An 18-year-old Tasmanian girl moves to NYC after her mother dies. She gets a job at this huge old book store that sells used and rare books, and gets pulled into the rivalries and schemes of the odd people who work there.

I enjoyed this book--beautiful language, even had to use the dictionary a few times.

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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#25 of 162 Old 10-06-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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#50: Dairy Queen, by Catherine Murdock

YA novel about a teenage girl (DJ) who is almost solely responsible for running the family farm. She also becomes a football trainer for the quarterback of the rival team. Meanwhile she deals with a brother who never speaks, a father who doesn't appear to appreciate her, and a best friend who is acting weird.

I didn't skim....but the writing seemed very un-teenage-girl like in some places and DJ wasn't wholly believable to me. Worth reading for something light, and it did make me LOL a couple of times.

I've reached my goal of 50 books for 2008. I'll probably wind up near the 70 mark, unless I get back into Diana Gabaldon, in which case it might be more like 55.

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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#26 of 162 Old 10-06-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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#2. House by Frank Peretti

Two couples end up at bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere Alabama after their tires are slashed. What seems charming ends up being a facade. They are trapped inside a house that seems to be alive with inbreds for hosts while being hunted by a serial killer. I don't often read horror and I know why -- this book scared me. Very nail biting.

Jen, Mom to DS (8) , DD (5) & Alli
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#27 of 162 Old 10-06-2008, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#2. House by Frank Peretti

Two couples end up at bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere Alabama after their tires are slashed. What seems charming ends up being a facade. They are trapped inside a house that seems to be alive with inbreds for hosts while being hunted by a serial killer. I don't often read horror and I know why -- this book scared me. Very nail biting.
I like Frank Peretti ... I haven't run across this one though. Sounds right up my alley. I'll have to hunt it down.

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#28 of 162 Old 10-06-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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Has anyone read World Made By Hand by James Howard Kuntsler? I love a good post-apocalypse/society deterioration story, but ugh...I don't know if I can get into this one. Someone tell me whether I should finish it or just wash my hands of it. I want to like it, but I just don't...like...anyone in it.

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#29 of 162 Old 10-07-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Keeta View Post
Has anyone read World Made By Hand by James Howard Kuntsler? I love a good post-apocalypse/society deterioration story, but ugh...I don't know if I can get into this one. Someone tell me whether I should finish it or just wash my hands of it. I want to like it, but I just don't...like...anyone in it.
I'm curious to hear the answer to this too! It's on my to-read list...

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#30 of 162 Old 10-07-2008, 05:03 AM
 
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I can't remember what book number this is. I think it's number 15 for the year.

Serving Crazy With Curry by Amulya Malladi is fabulous. It's refreshing, full of humor, and honesty. It's about an Indian American young woman who tries to commit suicide and the unexpected and comic life that comes out of that dark time in her life. I know it sounds depressing but the book is anything but. The author tackles a complex subject with deft. I enjoyed the book.

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