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Topic: Composing my own "Must Read List" .....Suggestions?!?......

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Subject: Composing my own "Must Read List" .....Suggestions?!?......
Date Posted: 4/29/2011 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
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A friend of mine suggested we both come up with 10-15 books each that we would like to read, combine them in a list and read them together. I absolutely love the idea, but it has been forever since I have been able to drop everything and read :/ Yesterday I received "The Virgin Suicides" from another PBS friend and absolutely loved it. I finished it last night :) Here are a few books that I really enjoyed... Please make some more suggestions for me...


A Tree Grows In Brooklyn - One of the few books I will re-read

Harry Potter :) (of course)

The Lovely Bones

The 5 People You Meet in Heaven

Catcher in the Rye

She's Come Undone

The Other Boleyn Girl (whole series of books)


Thanks in advance for the help :)

Date Posted: 4/30/2011 12:07 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,570
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Poisonwood Bible

The Color Purple

Wrecker (Summer Wood)

I Know This Much Is True

The Earth Abides

The Fifth Sacred Thing

Mariette in Ecstasy

The Left Hand of Darkness

Seven Years in Tibet





Last Edited on: 5/1/11 9:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/1/2011 6:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 260
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March by Geraldine Brooks

Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan

Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama

The Street by Ann Petry

Their Eyes Were Watching God or Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Outlander by Gil Adamson

anything by Isabel Allende

Date Posted: 5/1/2011 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,550
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My criteria:  exemplifies at least one of the directions contemporary fiction is taking/has taken over the last twenty or thirty years. All serious stuff.

White Teeth  ---  Zadie Smith      second only to McCarthy, very young, with speed to burn

Parable of The Sower/Parable of The Talents   ----Octavia Butler    best examples of dystopian fiction set after some world-wide cataclysm

The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse  --- Louise Erdrich     Best Native America writer working

I Know This Much Is True  --- Wally Lamb     ---- of a popular sub-genre where absoloutely all of the characters are totally dysfunctional, this is the worst

Merry Men  --- Carolyn Chute  ---  of another popular sub-genre wherein the characters are a menagerie of grotesques and semi-grotesques, maybe the best

The Border Trilogy  --- Cormac McCarthy    ----  America's best contemporary writer, as he saw the human condition twenty years ago

Good Scent From A Strange Mountain  ---  Robert Olen Butler       About the Vietnamese Boat People, from their point of view

Stalin's Ghost   ---  Martin Cruz Smith        watch him as he transcends the spy/mystery genre and explores the dark side of the psyche a la Conrad.

Margaret George  ---- watch her through Lynley/Havers as she takes the mystery genre as far as it can go and tries to figure out what next

The Universal Baseball Association, Inc. J. Henry Waugh, Prop.  --- Robert Coover    post modern/absurdist fiction about a man whose dream started dreaming him

Date Posted: 5/2/2011 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2007
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The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly


Date Posted: 5/3/2011 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,109
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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss:  It's difficult to tell someone else why you really like a book.  I didn't just like this one, I loved it.  The story is novel, the hero is wonderfully complex and intelligent and the fantasy is so appealing that nearly every chapter is interesting.  Only once did I feel as if the author might have been getting tired and wrote too much about insignificant issues.  This is not true with many other books I have read and my only disappointment was the ending which did leave me hanging so I would go on to the sequel which I will without a doubt in spite of its over 1,000 pages.  Kvothe, the read-haired hero, tells the story in his own way.  At first, this bothered me, that is, until I became caught up in his tale.  If you like fantasy, don't just plan to read this novel, do so as soon as you can.

Mary H. - ,
Subject: Must Read List
Date Posted: 5/3/2011 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2008
Posts: 2
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It's good to make lists.  You have to start someplace and suggestions are great, so here is my contribution.  

Totally agree with Life of Pi, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and everything by Isabelle Allende.  

I want to add a few Classics; East of Eden by John Steinbeck

                                                     Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

                                                     David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

                                                     Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

All of my recommendations are authors that write numerous books, all rich in story, character development and pure enjoyment.


Date Posted: 5/5/2011 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2006
Posts: 236
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Yes, lists are great - well I like other people's lists because I'm always looking for names/titles to add to my lists, which are numerous and endless because they branch like trees to encompass all genres, many authors, areas of interest or heck "I just found this book at the thrift shop and it looked interesting" LOL. 

I have found that when I have finished something I really, really liked, with people I got to know and care about that it's hard to get into a new book, I feel like I've lost friends - so here are a few of the things I've felt that way about.  They may not be great literature, but they were cracking good tales:

The Lions of Al Rassan - Guy Gavriel Kay

Creek Mary's Blood - Dee Brown

Lonesome Dove (yes)- Larry McMurty

The Troy Trilogy - David Gemmell

Dark Tower Series- Stephen King

Harry Potter  - J.K. Rowling

Warriors Series (yes it's YA)-  Erin Hunter

Almost any of Maeve Binchy's early books, the big stories.

Gone with the Wind


and so many more, too many to list or even to remember - age takes it's toll hahaha. 

I'm adding to my to-read lists also, god help me,



Date Posted: 5/13/2011 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,207
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Some friends and I formed a book club based on the same kind of idea, no required reading, but just to gather and talk about what we recently read and, what we felt was “not to be missed”.

These are some contemporary literature ones I would suggest for you based on your list above:

 The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Moloka'I by Alan Brennert

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer - Annie Barrows

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks (I liked this better than “March”)

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Last Edited on: 5/19/11 12:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/18/2011 2:09 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 15
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The Shack is by far the best book i have ever read!