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Topic: Which of these 7 books would you most highly recommend?

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Subject: Which of these 7 books would you most highly recommend?
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 103
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I just recieved my summer reading list for school and was wondering which book I should choose. Or which I should stay away from. I'd probobly be happy with any of them seeing as how I rarely hate a book, but I'd still like to get your opinions. Thanks!

Angels and Demons-Dan Brown ( I read Da Vinci Code, but found it quite predictable really. Is Angels and Demons very similar?)

Water for Elephants-Sara Gruen

A Thousand Splendid Suns -Khaled Hosseini

Nineteen Minutes-Judi Piccoult. ( I read My Sister's Keeper enjoyed it.  How is this one in comparison?)

The Overachievers:The Secret Lives of Driven Kids- Alexandra Robbins

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan-Lisa See

The Glass Castle-Jeanette


Thanks in Advance!


Date Posted: 6/5/2008 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
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I just typed my reccomendations and, then curious, looked at your profile.  What I had typed had disappeared!  I hate when that happens.  But, to satisfy my curiousity, what course is this reading list for?

Now, back to re-doing my answer.

I've read 6 of these books.  For a book about a different subject matter from what most people have read, plus a good story,  I reccommend Water for Elephants.  I've seen very few people who didn't like this book.

If you liked My Sister's Keeper, you will probably like Nineteen Minutes.  That would be my next choice.

It took me mid-way through the book to see much in A Thousand Splendid Suns.  However, most people liked it even better than The Kite Runner.  The different regimes in Afghanistan and how they treated women was terrible and interesting.  However, I thought that The Kite Runner was the better book.

The others, except for the one that I haven't read (The Overachievers), are also all good.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/7/2005
Posts: 449
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I loved Water for Elephants!

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 5,297
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I have only read The Glass Castle and *tried* to read A Thousand Splendid Suns. I wouldn't recommend either one but I do know they both come with very positive reviews. If you do read either of them, make sure you have something light, easy, and funny to read next. The Glass Castle is VERY depressing and frustrating. I was angry that I even finished it because I kept thinking it would get better and it didn't. Good luck and have fun with the list!

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2006
Posts: 20,956
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Of your list, I have only read two.

Water for Elephants was a wonderful book. One of my favorites.

Nineteen Minutes was very very different than My Sister's Keeper. I liked it but not as much as some of Piccoult's other books.

Have fun

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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I loved Water for Elephants - also Nineteen Minutes.   I tried twice to get into A Thousand Splendid Sun, since I love The Kite Runner - but just couldn't read this book.   I have heard that The Glass Castle is good but haven't read it yet.     Ohhhhh and I loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.         I'm not much help huh?  lol

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
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I've only read three of the books on your list, so my advice will be limited - sorry!

Angels and Demons is very similar to The Da Vinci Code; if you found The Da Vinci Code too predictable, you'll probably feel the same way about Angels and Demons, Plus, the two books use a very similar structure.

I didn't like Nineteen Minutes quite as much as My Sister's Keeper (my favorite Picoult book), but it was still very good.

I loved The Glass Castle; I thought the author did a good job of describing her childhood in a balanced way, instead of either vilifying her parents or making excuses for them.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2007
Posts: 8,074
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I have read the first 4 on your list and they are great!!  I liked Angels and Demons much better than DaVinci.

I loved A Thousand Splendid Suns--one of my faves!!!

The other two I also really like!  If I were choosing, I would pick A Thousand Splendid Suns!!  Great book!

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 5,918
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I've read 5 of these...well 4 1/2.

I highly recommend Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  It should keep you absorbed in the story start to finish.

Glass Castle was one of the better memoirs I've read as she wasn't whiney and the story was actually quite good.

A different book and a very good one is the Water for Elephants.

I hated 19 minutes.  We were listening to an unabridged version and found ourselves bored to death.  That woman truly needs a good editor.  Too many words.  (And for the record, I loved My Sister's Keeper and also found myself editting that one as I read.)

A Thousand Splendid Suns...I did audio there, too.  A marvelous reader, but I almost didn't go on after the first disc as it just wasn't holding my interest.  But then suddenly, whoa, a grand read!

So...for what class is this?

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Water for Elephants are the most interesting - WFE is a page-turner.  Don't bother with Angels and Demons.  Its the DaVinci Code in a slightly different place and slightly different supporting cast.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
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I've read most of those books. 

Angels and Demons...hated it!  I found the information about the illuminati fascinating but in the end it was very predictable and he tossed in a love-type story.   Why do authors do that???? 

Water for Elephants...loved it!  It was a very good, quick read for me.

A Thousand Splendid Suns...loved it, loved it, loved it!  If you read and appreciated The Kite Runner, this is a must read.

Nineteen Minutes...never read it and never will!  I'm not a Picoult fan.

The Overachievers....never heard of this one.  :)

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan...loved it!  If you like Amy Tan books you'll like this one, too.

The Glass Castle...LOVED IT!  This is my all-time favorite memoir.  I laughed and cried.  It was a wonderful story.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/17/2007
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I wish my reading lists for school would have looked like this.  I highly recommend Water for Elephants.  I've read it twice and both times fell in love with the story.  It is an unbelievable novel.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
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I'd highly recommend Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  It's a beautiful, insighful story.  I also loved A thousand Splendid Suns.



Date Posted: 6/5/2008 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
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I'll recommend two of the three I've read. "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is excellent (I liked it better than "The Kite Runner which I also enjoyed) and "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" is also really good. The other one that I read on the list is the Dan Brown book. It's a fast and furious read but overall, just sort of eh.
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2007
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DEFINITELY Water for Elephants-it's a great, great book, really interesting and keeps you involved, I loved it.

(PS-I think a movie is being made!)


Date Posted: 6/5/2008 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 1,194
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I've read all of them except The Overachievers:The Secret Lives of Driven Kids and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I enjoyed all of them but if I had to pick one it would be The Glass Castle. Next (in order that I liked them) would be Water for Elephants (excellent book), A Thousand Splendid Suns, Angels and Demons and then Nineteen Minutes.

Nineteen Minutes was good but after reading My Sister's Keeper it was just a little to predictible.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2007
Posts: 681
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Water For Elephants and A Thousand Splendid Suns .....I do not believe that you would be disappointed with either of these great books!

Good Luck and Happy Reading!

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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I'd say read A Thousand Splendid Suns, its incredible.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 103
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"But, to satisfy my curiousity, what course is this reading list for?"

The reading list is for everyone going into my grade regardless of the specific English classes they're taking. Not very exciting. But if anyone wants to know I'm taking a Shakespeare and Mythology class next year as my English requirement. 

Thanks for the recommendations! Keep them coming.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 7:10 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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Your grade?  I'm still curious (probably because I'm a teacher).  Is that 12th grade?

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 8,410
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I've read the first two.  I LOVED Angels & Demons and thought it was much better than The DaVinci Code.  My husband however, thought the opposite.  Water for Elephants was excellent and a great story.  I love books that just pull you in and take you to a completely different place.  I highly recommend them both.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 5,297
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I'm thinking she is too young to be on PBS....

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,241
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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan definitely. I loved that book.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Water for Elephants, I have only read the first chapter but I have yet to hear anyone say they did not like the story or if they didnt enjoy the story they did enjoy how it was written.

Snowflower and the secret fan is another big favorite with my friends.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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From your list I've only read Water for Elephants.  It was not my favorite book, but most of my book club ADORED it (which was nice since it had been my pick!).