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Topic: Going Retro - Hidden Gems from the past

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Subject: Going Retro - Hidden Gems from the past
Date Posted: 5/24/2013 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
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I would LOVE to hear about some of those older books that are soooo good.  I typically seem to read current publications, and I know I've missed out on some great books.

For example - I just finished reading Paris Trout by Pete Dexter, and it was amazing.  It won the 1988 National Book Award, and deservedly so (in my opinion).

The best thing is that these are usually books that are available here!  

Date Posted: 5/24/2013 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
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My favorites are Cider House Rules by John Irving and Cold Sassy Tree by Olive something and The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy.

So funny you mention Paris Trout,. My parents are not book collectors but I remember seeing that one on a shelf in their room. I'll have to see if they still have it.



Last Edited on: 5/24/13 9:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/24/2013 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 2,148
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A few that I remember:

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

Shining Through by Susan Isaacs

Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

Cape Cod by William Martin

The Cider House Rules by John Irving

Dinner at the Homesick Resteraunt by Anne Tyler

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

That's all I can remember for now, i'll try to remember some more, lol.



Last Edited on: 5/25/13 10:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/24/2013 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
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Yes, The Prince of Tides too! I guess  Cider House Rules and Cold sassy Tree are as good as I remember!

Date Posted: 5/25/2013 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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Yes, I loved SHINING THROUGH, also COMPROMISING POSITIONS by Susan Isaacs.  What ever happened to her......I loved her humor!

Date Posted: 5/25/2013 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 2,148
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I haven't read a Susan Isaacs book in years - i think she has some newer ones- i;ll have to check it out.

 

another oldie but goodie:  The thornbirds by Colleen Mccullough

Date Posted: 5/25/2013 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,546
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Unforgettable are the older books by Alice Walker.  Temple of My Familiar, Possessing the Secret of Joy and Meridian.  Everyone already knows about The Color Purple. 

 

Date Posted: 5/25/2013 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
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Pamela, I totally agree!  Meridian is probably my favorite of the group you mentioned. Another great oldie is Three Came Home by Agnes Newton Keith.

Date Posted: 5/25/2013 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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Three Came Home by Agnes Newton Keith

On my TBR pile.  I will have to get it out....

Date Posted: 5/25/2013 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 5,546
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Rhonda, you must check out the link below.  It's an old thread with a bunch of old-timers and old books that recently made its way back to the front page.  Great memories and awesome books.

Women's fiction from the 50's and 60's.

 

Date Posted: 5/25/2013 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
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What a great thread, thanks Bonnie!

A couple of my favorite "retro" Beach Books----  THE MISTS OF AVALON, THE JOY LUCK CLUB, THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES, PRESUMED INNOCENT and THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR (the first one!)

Date Posted: 5/25/2013 11:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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Some of these I have read and loved (Clan of the Cave Bear!  I've read that soooo many times), Prince of Tides, The Color Purple... and a few others - wonderful books!  I think a lot of these are really timeless.

I'll go check that thread now, Bonnie.  

Date Posted: 5/27/2013 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,546
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If you were a young person in the 70's, I can recommend Anne Lamott's novels:  Hard Laughter, Blue Shoe, All New People and Joe Jones.

Date Posted: 5/27/2013 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 5,546
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Pam, I enjoyed those Lamott books very much.  And especially liked Bird by Bird, both in print and audio, which she read.  It has a lot of the making of those books in it.  Oh, it was a memoir of sorts, and a writing guide. 

Date Posted: 5/28/2013 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
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A Prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving

-RD

Date Posted: 5/28/2013 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
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I've always meant to read John Irving's books.

Another one I've always wanted to read was Updike's Rabbit series.



Last Edited on: 5/28/13 5:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/29/2013 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,546
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Two oldies that I really enjoyed were written by Colleen McCullough, Morgan's Run and The TouchThornbirds is better known, but these two I think are equally interesting about Australia's history.  She writes a good page turner.



Last Edited on: 5/29/13 2:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/29/2013 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2009
Posts: 854
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End of World Books from the 50's:

'Earth Abides' by George Stewart and 'On the Beach' by Nevile Shute   Wonderful books considering they were written in the 40s and 50s.

Marlene Haushofer - Die Wand 'The Wall', one of the best End of the World Survivor books.

 

I agree with Rob D.:   John Irving: A Prayer for Owen Meaney, Hotel New Hampshire and Cider House Rules - great classics

Forgot to add another old beloved classic:  Alan Patou - Cry, the Beloved Country (About South Africa and Apartheid), excellent, excellent, excellent!



Last Edited on: 5/30/13 11:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 5/30/2013 9:38 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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Out of the Movies that were spawned by A Prayer for Owen Meaney, Hotel New Hampshire and Cider House Rules; I think Cider House Rules was the best. Most likely because Irving had a hand in the movie, winning an academy award for Best Adapted Screenplay (Michael Caine-Dr. Larch, won Best Supporting Actor). The next favorite would be Hotel New Hampshire; and by far the WORST was the adaptation of A Prayer for Owen Meaney.  That trainwreck was called "Simon Birch".  Irving had the good sense to distance himself from this stinker.  Irving always doubted the book could be turned into a great movie, so after being pestered to sell the screenrights he specified that the movie could not be a namsake of the book.  "Simon Birch" was released with the disclaimer..."Based on the novel......etc etc etc"

-RD



Last Edited on: 5/30/13 9:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/30/2013 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2009
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Rob,

Not much of a movie person, so the only John Irving movies I have seen were 'The World according to Garp'  and the movie spinoff of 'Widow for A Year' , (movie had a different name, which I can't remember ) and I loved both movies, they were well made.

I think I would have liked very much to see Hotel New Hampshire, I wonder which actors they used in it, since the book characters were so alive in my imagination.

Date Posted: 5/30/2013 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,546
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I hated the movie version of Cider House Rules and The Hotel New Hampshire.  

Simon Birch was about a 2 star nothing of a movie.

But The World According to Garp was better than the book because of John Lithgow and Glen Close. 

Date Posted: 5/30/2013 12:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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@Angelika T.

The Hotel New Hampshire is a 1984 comedy-drama film based on John Irving's 1981 novel of the same name. The film was written and directed by Tony Richardson and stars Jodie Foster, Beau Bridges, Rob Lowe, and Nastassja Kinski. The film also features Wilford Brimley, Amanda Plummer, Matthew Modine, and a young Seth Green in a supporting role.

-RD

Date Posted: 5/30/2013 1:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2009
Posts: 854
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Thanks for the info Rob.  I think Beau Bridges also starred in the movie spin-off for 'Widow for A Year'.  And I still remember Natassja Kinski, she was very popular in Germany (beautiful woman) and Jodie Foster is good as well.  Looks like it is a movie well worth renting some time.

 



Last Edited on: 5/30/13 1:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/30/2013 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2008
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Hawaii and The Drifters...J. Mitchner



Last Edited on: 5/30/13 2:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/30/2013 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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I've recently re-read several Michener books, and some by Pat Conroy. I think those hold up really well; of course Michner is hisorical fiction, and so much of Conroy is kinda, and those always seem to "last": better than more contemporary fiction.

I've also gone back and re-read some early John Sandford and James Lee Burke, crime thrillers from about 25 years ago.  They do seem to hold up OK, but it's funny to read about characters looking for a pay phone, or all the other communication and research issues they had then, that no longer exist mostly becus of computers and other tech.

This makles me think I'll give Garp and Hotel New Hampshire a try on re-reading (I loved them both when new); I was less enthused about his later books.

One who does not hold up, at least for me, is Tom Robbins, who I used to love. Times changed too much!



Last Edited on: 6/27/13 11:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
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