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posted
Hi, Lets discuss book clubs. What do you have to say about them?

I stayed up very late last night in order to get to the Epilogue chapter in "Thomas Jefferson: The Art Of Power" After I post this I'm going to finish reading it. What an awesome book. I've checked it out and rechecked it out about four times because other activities interrupted my progress on the reading.

That one is not on my book club list to read.
My club is a new one. We lost a wonderful leader who moved to another state. We have a nice group of ladies but they don't volunteer to host often. Only two or three seem to be willing to do that. I'm willing to be a hostess but after outpatient surgery, renovations,and travel taking me away on more than one meeting I'm not making a good start.

Then there's the food issue. It's always tempting to me, even if I do diet.

There's the issue of book choice. Woo Hoo, There is a vast taste in our group which is good and bad. I'll always go with a suggestion over a cold read but if a book is boring...OH Well. One is left wondering why did Susie like that but one does learn more about the person. That's good.

Do you have experiences or observations?
 
Posts: 847 | Registered: Sep 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was invited to join a book club early this year and it has been an eye-opening experience. First, of all, the theme of the club is pretty heady: faith in action and social justice. ,

Some of the books read this year: The Round House by Louise Erdrich, The Unwinding by George Packer, Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.

The club has been strong for nearly 20 years. Attendance varies from 12 - 18. Most of the women are retired/semi-retired -- ranging from clergy to professors and lawyers -- but all are very active in their community as volunteers.

It's a pretty awesome group, I must say. To say I was just a little intimidated at first is an understatement.

In my limited experience, here's why I think this group is so successful: a strong leader. Julie is the founder of the group and is very focused and committed. She has never missed a monthly meeting in all these years; she plans her very busy schedule and travel around 2 - 4 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. Julie calls it her sacred time.

Book selection: twice a year, members nominate and vote for six books. Selections can be fiction or non-fiction, but they must all deal with various aspects of social justice.

Hosting: no one is forced to host, but they are encouraged to do so! With so many active members, virtually everyone gets a chance to host. Refreshments are of the light afternoon tea variety -- fruit and veggies, small pastries, tea or coffee.

I've liked some of the books; others not so much. But, the camaraderie is wonderful. Julie moderates the discussions in a firm but soft-spoken way so that no one person dominates. That's because discussions can get very lively, even heated at times, but civility reigns.

And, honestly, I love seeing everyone's homes. That is the bonus for me!

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Posts: 5373 | Registered: Jul 12, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We tried to have one during the summer at the local library which started so that the library would qualify for a small grant. Noon Book Lover's Club. After the required three meetings, we continued. Then the last two meetings had only 3 people so we quit.

We are meeting this Thursday to see if we can kick start it again. The problem has been that some will not even try to read the book because it's "not my type." One would not read a book because it was back in the day before running water. ???

The last readings were any of Gary Paulsen's books. They are junior high level and the object was to be sure to read books your kids are reading. They were the object of the last two meetings that had only 3 people and we called it quits. Who does not have time to read a junior high level book?
 
Posts: 17430 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I joined a new book club last winter but a death in the leaders family and then summer has put an end to it. We had about three meetings before we stopped and it has not started up again

It forced me to read things I would not have read which is why I joined

I do hope it starts up again

Martha
 
Posts: 6383 | Location: On the prairie of Kansas | Registered: Dec 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I used to belong to book clubs but got annoyed when people did not read the book. then because I went to college so late (48 - 52) and was a history/English major and had to do required reading I then decided just to read what I like. Besides which, although I read the reports on Amazon of books I am interested in, I don't really care what anyone else thinks.


I rarely ever read anything that my friends or sisters read as that is usually popular current fiction. I prefer biographies and history.

Right now I am trying to learn everything I can about Virginia Woolf. Although I read her fiction, I do not care for it, much prefer her letters and am looking forward to reading her diaries. And of course biographical material. BTW did you know that people in history that interest you are often on You Tube? i.e. Virginia and Vita Sackville-West as two examples.
 
Posts: 13130 | Registered: Jun 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I know a few book clubs are in our small town.
Want to explore both my husband and I joining as another social outlet.


"We are all here.....because we are not all there."
 
Posts: 1942 | Location: Hither & Yon | Registered: Sep 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Some of the books read this year: The Round House by Louise Erdrich, The Unwinding by George Packer, Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.

quote:
I've liked some of the books; others not so much. But, the camaraderie is wonderful. Julie moderates the discussions in a firm but soft-spoken way so that no one person dominates. That's because discussions can get very lively, even heated at times, but civility reigns


Hi Achihuahau,

That sounds like an awesome book club.
Which books did you like best?

I agree with you that a strong leader is essential. I don't know how our new leader is going to perform but I won't criticize her since she is taking her valuable time to do it. She doesn't follow up with e-mails to keep everyone on the same page.

I've been in other groups in which the leader didn't know how to quiet domineering personalities. That ruins it for everyone.

I mentioned to the original leader that simple healthy food was a wonderful choice for me. She expressed a similar view.

I like getting to know the women if we can keep it afloat during some rough weather.
Thanks to everyone for your comments.

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Posts: 847 | Registered: Sep 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sometimes its fun just to sit back and watch human behavior.

In a different situation my husband and I have an opportunity to watch a drama queen. I'm in a group in which this woman is in charge, mainly because no one wants to do the work that she's willing to do. I honestly think that she craves attention to an extreme degree. My husband shares that view. When I say that I'm about ready to quit the group because of the queen he says "OH but you'll miss the comedy" I think, "Hmm, life's too valuable to waste it on things that you don't enjoy."

Oops, back to the subject regarding the book club. Right now we spend too much time at the end deciding on a book to read. I would change that. I would get everyone to make suggestions, write them down and compile them into a voting list. I guess. I've never been in charge of a book club.
 
Posts: 847 | Registered: Sep 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My faves were The Round House and D.evil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea. I am intrigued with Team of Rivals, but it is slow going.

I am really into literary fiction (Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Munro, Alice McDermott, Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Annie Proulx, Junot Diaz, Isabel Allende, and others) and I love meaty biographies of historical women. Loved Robert K Massie's bio of Catherine the Great: A Portait and Stacey Schiff's Cleopatra, A Life.

I may have to join -- or start -- some new book clubs!
 
Posts: 5373 | Registered: Jul 12, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Achihuahua,

I too love biographies. I'll go into the library to look at many subjects but I'll find myself walking out with a story of someone's life.

Cleopatra was interesting in the portrayal that The History Channel provided. (I hope I've got the channel correct) They had graphics for how her siblings were killed and for other things.

Back to the book club....
I was thinking of starting a book club but luckily the current one was set up just after that.

It sounds like your club is great.

Which books do you other posters like?

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Posts: 847 | Registered: Sep 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I really love to read but I can't find anyone and I mean ANYONE that is interested in the same topics as I am. My mother literally reads two books a week, maybe more, her nose is always buried in a book. It's kind of funny, when my husband and I go to visit her, usually for the weekend, she'll be in her book. She's so happy to see us... hugs, kisses, you look so good happy you're here, we're going to have so much fun!!!. We go back to the car to get luggage, come back... she's deep in her book, then... she tries to hide she was reading her book! She has 2 ipads and a kindle so she can read many, many books at once... Yes, I know, she only needs one!

I, on the other hand like to read, but I like science and no one, other than my husband and kids, likes to talk about the dissection of the trigeminal nerve without causing facial paralysis?? I mean come on, how can that NOT be interesting ???!!!! So, so far, no book clubs available in my little community for me!
 
Posts: 1025 | Location: Florida | Registered: Aug 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Spanish Revival:
I really love to read but I can't find anyone and I mean ANYONE that is interested in the same topics as I am. My mother literally reads two books a week, maybe more, her nose is always buried in a book. It's kind of funny, when my husband and I go to visit her, usually for the weekend, she'll be in her book. She's so happy to see us... hugs, kisses, you look so good happy you're here, we're going to have so much fun!!!. We go back to the car to get luggage, come back... she's deep in her book, then... she tries to hide she was reading her book! She has 2 ipads and a kindle so she can read many, many books at once... Yes, I know, she only needs one!

I, on the other hand like to read, but I like science and no one, other than my husband and kids, likes to talk about the dissection of the trigeminal nerve without causing facial paralysis?? I mean come on, how can that NOT be interesting ???!!!! So, so far, no book clubs available in my little community for me!


ROTFLOL
 
Posts: 847 | Registered: Sep 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I need to sign off permanently from this site. I'm supposed to be in bed but here I am.

I've got a story about a book club. I went to one at a public place. What a big mistake but they did have a good book list. The lady leading it was incredibly spacy. I 'm sorry. Spacy is Spacy. That's kind if you saw her. The second and last time that I attended it I had to listen to two very dour and unhappy women complain about other folk's actions for the whole meeting. One of them was crazy enough to try to build her ego too. This isn't funny. I need to delete it. Right? Right.

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Posts: 847 | Registered: Sep 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I know how to manage an excellent study group. I haven't done it, mind you, but I know how its done. There are miles and miles between those two, aren't there? LOL

I was in a non deno menational Bi ble study, a very demanding one.
The facilitators were trained on how to keep the monopolizing types from domineering. Thank goodness.

They also had another rule that was very effective. Folks who had not done the homework were asked not to comment. I was grateful for that because I've seen folks who don't have a clue what they are talking about waste a lot of time.

Another good skill was demonstrated. There were a lot of very smart insightful ladies there who added deep thought to the discussion. There were also some ladies who were at the bottom of the class. If they answered a question and it wasn't spot on, they were not corrected. Others were not allowed to correct them either. The facilitator would gently guide the question to several members of the group until she got a full answer.
The woman who created this study was British . She was a missionary in China and was in a prison camp there before coming to America.

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Posts: 847 | Registered: Sep 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Spanish Revival:
I, on the other hand like to read, but I like science and no one, other than my husband and kids, likes to talk about the dissection of the trigeminal nerve without causing facishows onal paralysis?? I mean come on, how can that NOT be interesting ???!!!! So, so far, no book clubs available in my little community for me!/QUOTE]

LOL! I'll be happy to set up an online book club with you on medicine, especially forensics. I love it all. Even graphic reality shows on ER medicine (no, not the drama by the same name)!

Here's a book you might like. It's next on my reading list. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/616617.Medicine

Also, any one of Patricia Cornwall's novels about medical examiner Kay Scarpetta will satisfy your need for some authentically graphic and clinically detailed medical procedures. I am now reading Cornwall's Bone Bed; it's a killer. Smile

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quote:
I like science and no one, other than my husband and kids, likes to talk about the dissection of the trigeminal nerve without causing facial paralysis?? I


I might not want to do the necessary studying to discuss this intelligently but I sure would love to hear a lecture about it!

I too, like to read and watch medical stuff but when it gets to making incisions and such I can't. In working for insurance agencies and needing to send for autopsy reports, that was wonderful for me! I also love real crime and forensics but again, not the really gruesome stuff, more like the ambiguity of certain situations.

BTW my reading in the sitting room (I have different books for different rooms) is a biography (The talented Patricia Highsmith) and the biographer obviously hates her subject. Never read a book quite like this and one wonders why a person would choose such a subject and go to all that work?

Aychihuahua had mentioned belonging to a book club dealing with Social Justice. Last night we watched "Of Mice and Men". . . a very clear (as most of John Steinbecks books are. . . illustration of why it is needed! Heartrending and tragic and wonderful movie with great acting! And then I switched over to watch Boston win the world series! GO RED SOX!
(first time they won in their home field in 94 years!)
 
Posts: 13130 | Registered: Jun 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One of my former Anthropology professors started a body farm years ago that is still used by the university.

I remember an article stating that the type of bugs found in the cadaver indicated the time of death and other proof. Eeeuu!

It is Halloween today.

He writes forensic novels now with a partner.

I get hooked on true crime stories. Help me if they are back to back on a channel that I won't mention.

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quote:
One of my former Anthropology professors started a body farm years ago that is still used by the university.


Leafly, that is kind of what I would like done with my body, but don't think we have them in the North. Just Georgia? Maybe? I think it would be great to lie around outdoors, be useful and have people know where you are!

Unless you are cremated there will be bugs!
 
Posts: 13130 | Registered: Jun 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Quote....
I think it would be great to lie around outdoors, be useful and have people know where you are!

Unless you are cremated there will be bugs!
.....Quote by Lady Of Shallot,

It's a research facility founded by Dr Bill Bass who is the specialist in those matters. They put the bodies out in all sorts of situations, possibly not always dignified, to study decomposition and how it is affected by the elements and other conditions. It is a nationally renown program that they use for forensic study definitely and possibly other related disciplines. Bass has testified in famous trails. I don't know how they get the bodies. It's a little different that donating one's body for science, I believe, but one may donate if she wants to I'm sure. I can't speak accurately for them because it's not a subject that I eagerly peruse in the papers or periodicals.

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The little book club I joined a few years back meets in our homes and different from others, we read whatever book we prefer and share a short report about it. We also share books with one another which is fun to watch occur.
A few of the ladies are quite elderly and it's cute to see what they read!
I'm a slow reader, only allowing a few to perhaps 25 pages a day, so there is no way the library is my resource. Sometimes it takes me a couple months to get through a book.
Most fond of biographies and historical works.
 
Posts: 2858 | Location: Midwest | Registered: Nov 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lurah,

Just getting together with neighbors and friends is tremendous fun. Any excuse to do that is vitastic (my made up word). It's time for me to go to bed! Definitiely!
 
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quote:
The little book club I joined a few years back meets in our homes and different from others, we read whatever book we prefer and share a short report about it


Now this sounds like my kind of book club! Plus think what all the members would learn!
 
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It's a nice mix of what we each like - it's a hoot when sweet little 97 y/o Mrs. S reports on the romance novels. Last month she said she stayed up until 2 AM to finish her book the day of our gathering!
My late dear friend Mrs. M (a published author herself) always was reading the DC based non-fiction as she loved politics; her neighbor Mrs. T brings the real thought provoking works to us like Princess or The Art of Racing in the Rain. Others have their few real favorite authors and are clamouring for recently published releases. Book club has gotten me to 'spread my wings' and at least try some other genre without investing in a purchase if I truly didn't like it.
Only been a few books in my lifetime I chose to not finish! I think A Thousand Acres has been the only book I felt was a pure waste of my time. I'm glad I read Blood Sport.

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Posts: 2858 | Location: Midwest | Registered: Nov 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
It's a nice mix of what we each like - it's a hoot when sweet little 97 y/o Mrs. S reports on the romance novels. Last month she said she stayed up until 2 AM to finish her book the day of our gathering!


I love it!
 
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Leafly, I LOVE the Jefferson Bass books.
 
Posts: 1477 | Location: Mississippi | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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LOL! I'll be happy to set up an online book club with you on medicine, especially forensics. I love it all. Even graphic reality shows on ER medicine (no, not the drama by the same name)!

Here's a book you might like. It's next on my reading list. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/616617.Medicine

Also, any one of Patricia Cornwall's novels about medical examiner Kay Scarpetta will satisfy your need for some authentically graphic and clinically detailed medical procedures. I am now reading Cornwall's Bone Bed; it's a killer. Smile[/QUOTE]

That does look good Aychi, I'll look into it, I've read several of Patricia Cornwell's books, loved them too! Postmortem was the last one I read.
 
Posts: 1025 | Location: Florida | Registered: Aug 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Karen in NE Mississippi:
Leafly, I LOVE the Jefferson Bass books.


Since he's a local person, I'm embarrassed to say that I have not read them but I intend to do that. I'll take your opinion as a good recommendation.

Achihuahau and Spanish, I need to check those Cornwell books out. I always like a recommendation.

Do others here have suggestions, experiences or anything to say?

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Leafly, if you're going to read Patricia Cornwell, make sure to start at the beginning. Same with Jefferson Bass.
 
Posts: 1477 | Location: Mississippi | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Karen in NE Mississippi,

Thank you for the tip. I'll do that.
 
Posts: 847 | Registered: Sep 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I finished "Unbroken". This is a story about Louie Zamperini set during WWII. He went to the Berlin Olympics prior to that. There's a lot of history and suffering in this one but it ends positively. Great Read.
 
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I picked up "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci in an airport because it was cheaper than a Pulitzer Prize winning book that I preferred.

His dialogue seems wordy and repetitive in some chapters but I am hooked by curiosity. At places he over explains some situations. Also early in the book some fisherman pick up a man at sea who escaped slavery. After giving him a float part of the way, they let him out nicely, yes supposedly nicely, to swim the rest of the way to shore. Oh Well, I guess it suited the author's purpose because the guy, unseen, witnessed a murder soon after that. Still, I didn't buy the fisherman dumping him out to swim like that. Oh Well, Did anyone else read that?

I've read a lot of books about writing screenplays so I'm coming from a different angle when I evaluate it. I would edit some things.

Oops, ever heard those silly men with helium in their voices judging the coach on post game radio talk shows after a game is lost. Well I'm not going in that direction so I'll hush.
It would be fun to be as successful as Mr. Baldacci. This is the first book that I've read by him.

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I plan to read The Two Mrs. Grenville's by Dominick Dunne sometime. It might be too many reading carbs but that's what dessert is for. Has anybody read that?

Any more favorites out there?
 
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I have enjoyed the series written by Diana Gabaldon - and everything that Rutherfurd (sic) has ever written. Now, I'm reading Ann Pathchett. I've tried reading clubs - but it never works out well for me. I either don't want to read the selection, or have already read it, or certinaly don't want to wait around to discuss it at a book club. I, too, read lots of different kinds of books at the same time. As a former English teacher, I've read lots of the classics - in the days that I taught, classics were required reading. I still read books from the library, or I buy books at Half Price Books - or Costco - or I receive books as gifts. I dont' have a Kindle or Nook - but I have read books on my laptop - from lists of classics available on-line.


Seaborne
 
Posts: 1229 | Location: Pacific Northwest | Registered: Nov 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Seaborne,

My first choice for books is the library. I also use a second hand bookstore in my town where books can be traded for points rather than cash. I'm a new member at Costco. I'll check that out.

I'm still trying out the book club situation. Its good to get together with neighbors.
 
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Very good Leafly. Also, I love getting books from friends - one of my favorite sources of books - and I love finding out what other people are reading - like we're doing on here.


Seaborne
 
Posts: 1229 | Location: Pacific Northwest | Registered: Nov 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Seaborne:
Very good Leafly. Also, I love getting books from friends - one of my favorite sources of books - and I love finding out what other people are reading - like we're doing on here.


I agree. What are you folks reading? What's the genre?

Seaborne, What is Diana Gabaldon's genre and subject matter?
 
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A year ago or more I read the book written by Bernie Madoff's former daughter in law. I think it was called "THE OTHER SIDE OF NORMAL" I hope I don't have that title confused with another one. She was the wife of the son who committed suicide. It was a sad book involving the dysfunction which erupted after such a horrible event. Who knows what was oozing beneath the surface before the discovery of criminal actions.

At some points in the book I was asking myself, Why did the daughter in law do that? I can't walk a mile in her shoes? Wouldn't want to do that.

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Diana Gabaldon's fiction is historical - Scottish / British / American - and involves Time Travel - and I absolutely never believed that I would ever enjoy reading this style of fiction - but I did - and it was fascinating. This family is followed through a couple of generations and I don't want to give it away - but she studies medicine in modern times - and is a "healer" in Colonial times. The description of the type of herbs / medicines / used is fascinating - but also, with her knowledge of modern medicine, how she searched for and adapts what is available to her for healing which goes way behyond what anyone else knew in those days.


Seaborne
 
Posts: 1229 | Location: Pacific Northwest | Registered: Nov 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Seaborne,

That does sound interesting. Do you have suggestions on the subject of women enduring wagon train travel or other travel out west in pioneer times. I think that non fiction or accurate fictional books for the time period would be interesting. I'll have to check with the librarian.
 
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Leafly I have a book called Westword the women. It is a collection of short stories. I also have one that is diaries and letters from westward bound women but can't lay my hands on that one just now.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by lady of shallot:
Leafly I have a book called Westword the women. It is a collection of short stories. I also have one that is diaries and letters from westward bound women but can't lay my hands on that one just now.


OH, Lady of Shallot,

I've got to read those diaries. They must be enchanting and heart rending too.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Leafly:
I picked up "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci in an airport because it was cheaper than a Pulitzer Prize winning book that I preferred.

His dialogue seems wordy and repetitive in some chapters but I am hooked by curiosity. At places he over explains some situations. Also early in the book some fisherman pick up a man at sea who escaped slavery. After giving him a float part of the way, they let him out nicely, yes supposedly nicely, to swim the rest of the way to shore. Oh Well, I guess it suited the author's purpose because the guy, unseen, witnessed a murder soon after that. Still, I didn't buy the fisherman dumping him out to swim like that. Oh Well, Did anyone else read that?

I've read a lot of books about writing screenplays so I'm coming from a different angle when I evaluate it. I would edit some things.

Oops, ever heard those silly men with helium in their voices judging the coach on post game radio talk shows after a game is lost. Well I'm not going in that direction so I'll hush.
It would be fun to be as successful as Mr. Baldacci. This is the first book that I've read by him.


I've read a lot of Baldacci, some are better than others, but I'm not familiar with the Forgotten.

The reason the guy would swim to shore, depending on the country he is from is because if you come to the US dry they send you back, if you come ashore with wet feet you get to stay. Goes back to the days of the Mariel Boat Lift.

Too many writers today suffer from diarrhea of the word processor. Many good writers would be better if they had a really great editor. There are waayyy too many 500 page books on the book shelves that would be much better if they were 350 - 400 pages.

I listen to a lot of books on CD and some glaring writing style issues jump out at you when you hear certain words used over, and over, and over again! In her early days I liked Patricia Cromwell. Her more recent stuff is horrendous and not worth wasting time on. But her writing is so repetitive. After hearing a few chapters of "he said;", "she said;" repeated many times over you want to scream.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,


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Posts: 3613 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Charming,

Currently I'm viewing Faulkner Pen award books and books on other award book lists. I don't want to waste my time.

It's very difficult for a new author to acquire the status level of being published. If they get a deal and their book doesn't sell well. It's a death knoll for them. It's a shame that the ones who are established get sloppy.
 
Posts: 847 | Registered: Sep 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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