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Summer Reading

770 Views 18 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  AJP
Hey mamas, are you reading any good fiction these days? I have been so busy with school for the past 3 years that the only fiction I've had time for is Harry Potter.
Alas, I have a month to kill before the next installment, so I'm looking for some good fiction to pass the time. My favorite genre is historical fiction, I'm not really into mystery or horror, and I like books with good character development. I read Poisonwood Bible over Christmas and loved it.

So, any recommendations?
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Amy, I am just about to finish Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, and I am just loving it. I'm a sucker for good Southern fiction, especially when it's not trite or patronizing, and this one fits the bill. I'm about to read Kite Runner, too, which was recommended to me by a friend with great taste in books. My husband likes historical fiction, and really liked Cold Mountain and All the King's Men.
I've been on a youth fiction kick - just finished The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman and loved it! My plan is to next check out some of the more recent Newberry winners.
As far as historical fiction goes, I love The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Bradley and D.K Broster's Jacobite trilogy (the Scottish uprising- lots of goodlooking young men in kilts.) And, if you haven't already read it, The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory (her others aren't bad, but not in the same league.)
I've really been enjoying Kate Atkinson - Case Histories is her most recent, and I just devoured it.

I'm reading a lot of Irvine Welsh right now, too...the guy who wrote Trainspotting. Heavy and certainly not "light" summer reading, but I'm enjoying it. It's a challenge.

I've been reading lots of middle eastern and caribbean authors, too.
Oooh, thanks for starting this thread! I love talking books! I don't read anything deep, but I am a big reader!

I am reading a really easy one right now, A Girl Named Zippy- it's an autobiography of a girl growing up in a small town- so far very funny and entertaining! Other good ones I've read: We were the Mulvaneys, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Amy, I also loved the Poisonwood Bible, and some of Barbara Kingsolver's other books- my absolute fave was Prodigal Summer- I couldn't put it down!

And I agree with pp's- Secret Life of Bees was good, and I have heard good things about The Other Boylen Girl and Kite Runner- does anyone care to elaborate on them?

Gosh, I have tons of others on my shelf just begging to be read!

Idea Does anyone want to do a book trade? Mail each other a couple books that we've read and liked? That way we can read some of these good books without buying them all? Just a thought. I love getting books in the mail.
There is a book swap going on RIGHT NOW on the TP-- swaps board
(I started it
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im reading some cheese mystery novels ( the cat who... series) these days as brain candy.. and also ina may's guide to childbirth and spiritual midwifery ( which ive read before, but its soo good..) im not reading as much as i do usually because ive been knitting!
Oh yay! Thanks for the good ideas, y'all! I will definitely look into some of them. I've been curious about The Other Boleyn Girl, Itsybitsy, so I'm glad to hear it's good. I took a course about "women in power" in early modern Europe, so I really like books about that era, and I've read books about Elizabeth I and Anne Boleyn already. Love that royal drama stuff! I also read a fictionalized novel about Cleopatra, and it was really entertaining. I think it was called When We Were Gods.

Flapjack, I read Mists of Avalon last summer! OK, actually I started reading it, and then had to go back to school, so I ended up watching the mini-series to find out how it ended!
: I loved it though. Isn't there another in that series?

A friend of mine is reading The Outlander series so I might be able to borrow the first from her. Any recommendations on that one? What is it even about?

Oh have any of you read The Red Tent? I *loved* it, so if you haven't read it yet, you should definitely pick it up. I also read The Time Traveler's Wife recently, and ate it up. I loved it as well. One I read last year and didn't really like was The Dogs of Babel. There was one subplot that was really stupid, and I didn't like the ending.

Keep 'em coming!!!
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My Name is Asher Lev - by Chaim Potok

Once you get into it, the book is stellar. It's also a nice easy read.
Oh- I read the Chaim Potok books in college and they were really good! We only had to read the first one but I liked them so much I read them all.

Amy- I am really into Outlander right now. For some reason I thought you were the one who liked them and gave everyone the first book at your wedding??? I guess not- who was that? I thought that was a neat idea. Anyway, they are sort of time travel- historical fiction- romance. I'm really not into straight romance or fantasy, so I never wanted to read them, but they got such glowing reviews from a lot of people whose taste I very much trust, so I finally gave in and read them and I am addicted!!!

OMG- The Red Tent- I can't beleive I didn't mention that! My favorite book of all time. It is such an awesome book for any woman to read. As someone who is familiar with and interested in the Biblical account, it was so cool to actually read how it might have happened and what life was like then. I re-read it after my miscarriage and it was so I was part of the cycle of life and was going through what women have gone through since creation. Really incredible.

ozzyemm- thanks for the tip about the TP book swap- I will have to check it out!
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I just got the new Laurell K. Hamilton novel A Stroke Of Midnight. She is the *best* horror fiction author EVER. I am so hooked on her stories.
I have been reading anything and everything Nicholas Sparks (southern romance). Of course I have been also reading any and all pregnancy books I can get my hands on.

A book swap sounds like fun. I'm sure we have enough books between us.
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Not to mention media mail is way cheap for shipping.
I have tons of books at home. We should all post a list of books we have to offer and then we can arrange a swap.
I have a bunch of parenting books, too, that I can pass on - some Dr Sears stuff for example...
A book swap sounds like a fun idea! I don't think I'll be able to participate (anytime soon, anyway) because I'll basically be gone between this Monday and the first week of August (I'll still be online though

I did get a bunch of great parenting books for my birthday too, but I need to throw a little brain junk-food in there along with the serious stuff!

Itsybitsy, I can't remember for sure, but I think that was Flapjack. Well it sounds like a good series; maybe I'll see if I can borrow my friend's book before I leave.
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Sorry sweeping in from december again....just love book talk...

Amy I was going to mention the Time Traveller's Wife for you but since you've read it...then everyone else should read it because I LOVED it!!!

The other book, which I don't really know how to describe, is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime. It is an excellent read...not your run of the mill book for sure!

Thanks for all the other book ideas.
Hi, I'm from the December boards, but Amy and I seem to hang out at each others boards a bit! :LOL Gosh, Amy, I hope that doesn't mean that I'll end up birthing in November and you'll end up in December!!!

Mmm, fabulous books!!!!
I've read and loved so many of them!!!

The one I just got done with was a fast one day read... or a week if you get interrupted a lot. (I just had a lucky day) I'm slightly embarrassed to put it on this list along with The Red Tent and Secret Life of Bees and all the other great books that I've read and loved...

I read, "Bergdorf Blondes". It was pure fluff and I LOVED every minute of it. Funny and such an interesting look at people who must be like Paris Hilton. It really was interesting... like a Fine Literature meets E! pancake... where the fine lit gets a little squished.
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Originally Posted by *Amy*
Oh yay!
Flapjack, I read Mists of Avalon last summer! OK, actually I started reading it, and then had to go back to school, so I ended up watching the mini-series to find out how it ended!
: I loved it though. Isn't there another in that series?
Oh, you should read the whole book. The mini-series left out and altered so much, didn't have the same feeling at all to me. And yes, there are three other books in the series, all prequels (not as good, deep or detailed IMO, but still worth a read). Bradley's historical novel about Cassandra of Troy is also very good, it's called The Firebrand (Trojan war, Greek gods and all that, from the perspective of Paris' twin sister).

If you're into the King Arthur kind of stuff, Persia Wooley's trilogy about Guinevere is quite good, quite different than Bradley's view but I enjoyed it as well.

Tad Williams' The Dragonbone Chair series is very good, in the fantasy genre of "simple-servant-boy-forced-into-impossible-situation-saves-the-world-and-becomes-king," which can be trite but this series is very well done. Williams' Tailchaser's Song is also very good.
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