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Topic: Best Gem I've Found

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Subject: Best Gem I've Found
Date Posted: 2/22/2008 4:34 AM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2008
Posts: 2
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Well two actually... The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve - The story begins with the wife finding out that her husband has died in a plane crash, and the mystery pursues from there. Don't want to give too much away, but it involves another woman. This one definitely made me cry at some points, smile at others. It was great. ****A Million Little Pieces by James Frey - By far the best book I've read to date, picked it up for .50 at the thrift store. Back cover reads: "At the age of 23, James Frey woke up on a plane to find his four front teeth knocked out, his nose broken, and a hole through his cheek. He had no idea where the plane was headed nor any recollection of the past two weeks. An alcoholic for ten years and a crack addict for three, he checked into a treatment facility shortly after landing. There he was told he could either stop using or die before he reached age 24. This is Frey's acclaimed account of his six weeks in rehab. My notes: There are a few parts of this book that aren't good for the squeamish, but overall it's amazing to hear the things he went through during those six weeks and his life before and after. This is definitely a must read. It's a long one (430 pages), but it's so good I sailed through it in three days...though it cost me my sleep for a few nights. - Elle Dee
Date Posted: 2/22/2008 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2007
Posts: 923
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The Million Little Pieces is the memoir that was an Oprah pick and then caused the big controversy where the author admitted it wasn't really a memoir because as he put it he "enhanced" the story. I was rather annoyed because I had already read the book and like you was thinking that it was true and then when I found out it was more fiction than fact, it just annoyed me. The book was good but it isn't what it seems to be. If you really liked the book the sequel is My Friend Leonard. I had read that too before I found out the untruth in the books.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 2/23/2008 2:15 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I liked both A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard.  It didn't bother me that part of the books were fictionalized.  The writing style in "A Million...." was a bit irritating and I had to get used to it, but Iiked the story.  I actually liked My Friend Leonard better, of the two.

Date Posted: 2/23/2008 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
Posts: 2,246
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I haven't read The Pilot's Wife and I don't think DW has, either. I'll tell her about your recommendation, thanks!

I was reminded of the kerfuffle over A Million Little Pieces recently when I read a memoir - I think it was Jennifer Finney Boylan's I'm Looking Through You - in which the author had a page-long gracefully-written preface that said, in essense: Look, this is how I remember it, other people may remember things differently, that's human nature, I could be off on some of the details, I wasn't exactly taking notes when I was 9 years old, don't shoot, I'm just the piano player.


Date Posted: 2/24/2008 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 830
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Les, I like the disclaimer you quoted.  That's actually how I perceive all memoirs...most people don't remember the specific conversation, etc. but are as close as possible. 

In MLP's, I kept wondering why I was addicted to the book about addictions.  I didn't care for the writing style or story, but it was fascinating reading.  I like the Intervention show on A&E too.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 2/24/2008 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I have said this before, but I think Intervention should be required viewing for anyone who votes.  It gives you such insight into the power of drugs and addictions, and for me, fostered such compassion.


Date Posted: 2/24/2008 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 21
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I started reading A Million Little Pieces shortly after the revelations about the untruths.  I couldn't finish the book after reading about the painful dental work he supposedly had done without anesthesia.  As a health professional, I thought that was just so irresponsible--the idea that a non-narcotic local anesthetic would be withheld because the patient was undergoing chemical dependency treatment.  I hope this nonsense didn't keep anybody from pursuing treatment.

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 7:43 AM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 530
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I remember when The Pilot's Wife was on the top 10 best seller list.  Some idiot at the newspaper, in writing the blurb, gave away the secret.  I read the book, but it was a complete bomb for me b/c I knew what the catalyst was going to be.  Still makes me mad, lol, b/c it would have been a great read had I not known that.