Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Discussion Forums - Book Bazaar Book Bazaar

Topic: Highlight a book on your shelf that you think people are missing out on

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
achadamaia avatar
Member of the Month medalPBS Blog Contributor medal
Subject: Highlight a book on your shelf that you think people are missing out on
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 3:30 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,608
Back To Top

We haven't done one of these in awhile.

Tell us about a book on your shelf that you really feel people are overlooking.

Here's mine:

Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Book Description:

Magical, tantalizing, and sensual, The Mistress of Spices is the story of Tilo, a young woman born in another time, in a faraway place, who is trained in the ancient art of spices and ordained as a mistress charged with special powers.��Once fully initiated in a rite of fire, the now immortal Tilo--in the gnarled and arthritic body of an old woman--travels through time to Oakland, California, where she opens a shop from which she administers spices as curatives to her customers. An unexpected romance with a handsome stranger eventually forces her to choose between the supernatural life of an immortal and the vicissitudes of modern life.��Spellbinding and hypnotizing, The Mistress of Spices is a tale of joy and sorrow and one special woman's magical powers.


deanna17240 avatar
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 5:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 594
Back To Top

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian....

With a suspense, lyricism, and moral complexity that recall To Kill a Mockingbird and Presumed Innocent, this compulsively readable novel explores what happens when a woman who has devoted herself to ushering life into the world finds herself charged with responsibility in a patient's tragic death. The time is 1981, and Sibyl Danforth has been a dedicated midwife in the rural community of Reddington, Vermont, for fifteen years. But one treacherous winter night, in a house isolated by icy roads and failed telephone lines, Sibyl takes desperate measures to save a baby's life. She performs an emergency Caesarean section on its mother, who appears to have died in labor. But what if--as Sibyl's assistant later charges--the patient wasn't already dead, and it was Sibyl who inadvertently killed her? As recounted by Sibyl's precocious fourteen-year-old daughter, Connie, the ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt except for the fact that all its participants are acting from the highest motives--and the defendant increasingly appears to be guilty. As Sibyl Danforth faces the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do.

Terabithia avatar
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 6:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2005
Posts: 705
Back To Top

Domina   Barbara Wood

A novel rich in the history of medicine and in romance, about Samantha Hargrave, a woman who dares to dream of becoming one of the first women doctors- and surgeons - in America. Set in London, New York, and San Francisco from the late niineteenth century through the first decades of the twentieth, DOMINA tells the story of a beautiful and courageous woman, born into the slums of London with a special gift for healing, who struggles to enter the all-male profession of medicine. When her ambition meets with hostile rejection in England, Samantha sails to America, where she meets an eccentric doctor who takes her on as an apprentice. And then, at the Astor Ball, she meets the second of the three men who will change her life forever. DOMINA is the saga of one woman's personal and professional triumph, and of medicine's emergence into the twentieth century.




Last Edited on: 11/14/07 6:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
JML avatar
Judith L. (JML) - ,
Standard Member medalPrintable Postage medal
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2005
Posts: 205
Back To Top

Rx For Murder by Renee B. Horowitz

I enjoyed this book for its insight into your big chain pharmacy.  It's not a pleasant profession, maybe that's why fewer people are going into this field.

Book Description:

Harry Stokes is their latest favorite scandal. The elderly gentleman has been coming to Ruthie for male potency hormones ever since his recent marriage to a woman a fraction of his age. But when the old swinger dies abruptly--a victim of lethally misused medicine--his grumbling grown kids point their accusing fingers at the baby-bride. Ruthie, however has her doubts. And a second murder much too close for comfort convinces the inquisitive pharmacist to look for a fatal family secret hidden somewhere in her prescription records. But a little knowledge can be a most dangerous thing--especially when a killer knows you have it. (back cover)

nashvillethecat avatar
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
Back To Top

 I'm Cheating... I am putting in two... one adult and one child :  )

My Sunshine by Catherine Anderson

Book Description:

Five years ago, Laura Townsend's life was nearly destroyed when a head injury impaired her ability to use language and forced her to abandon a brilliant career. Her vivacious spirit intact, she has found a great new job at an animal clinic...

Lita's Notes:

I removed the rest of the description because I felt it give too much of the story away.   I passed this book over in the library several times because it sounded sad.. the injury and mental impairment... but it turned out to be a great book and in no way depressing.  In fact, it was rather inspiring.


A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Book Description:

Rediscover one of the most beloved children's books of all time: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle:

Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course, and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a "tesseract," which, if you didn't know, is a wrinkle in time.

Meg's father had been experimenting with time-travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?

Lita's Notes:

I remember my mom reading this to me in 3rd or 4th grade.  I have since reread it every few years.  The most awesome book!!

Last Edited on: 11/14/07 9:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Page5 avatar
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
Back To Top

For baseball fans (this is a new, still in the plastic audiobook - cassette) - it was a gift and I had already read the book.

Three Nights in August: Stragegy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager by Bizz Bissinger

A Pulitzer Prize-winning author captures baseball"s strategic and emotional essences through a point-blank account of one three-game series viewed through the keen eyes of legendary manager Tony La Russa. Drawing on unprecedented access to a manager and his team, Bissinger brings the same revelatory intimacy to major-league baseball that he did to high school football in his classic besteller, Friday Night Lights. Three Nights in August shows thrillingly that human nature -- not statistics -- can often dictate the outcome of a ballgame. We watch from the dugout as the St. Louis Cardinals battle their archrival Chicago Cubs for first place, and we uncover delicious surprises about the psychology of the clutch, the eccentricities of pitchers, the rise of video, and the complex art of retaliation when a batter is hit by a pitch. Through the lens of these games, Bissinger examines the dramatic changes that have overtaken baseball: from the decline of base stealing to the difficulty of motivating players to the rise of steroid use. More tellingly, he distills from these twenty-seven innings baseball's constants -- its tactical nuances, its emotional pull. During his twenty-six years of managing, La Russa won more games than any other current manager and ranks sixth all-time. He has been named Manager of the Year a record five times and is considered by many to be the shrewdest mind in the game today. For all his intellectual attainments, he"s also an antidote to the number-crunching mentality that has become so modish in baseball. As this book proves, he's built his success on the conviction that ballgames are won not only by the numbers but also by the hearts and minds of those who play.

Last Edited on: 11/14/07 9:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 11:21 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 670
Back To Top

A Good Year by Peter Mayle


What happens when you lose your job and inherit a vineyard?

This book was such a delightful, fun romp.  A quick, easy read.  I loved it!

ashleylynn31 avatar
Standard Member medal
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 1,551
Back To Top

Penelope and Prince Charming by Jennifer Ashley

Description:His blue eyes beguiled. His muscular form could have satisfied any fantasy. He had a delicious foreign accent-and to top it off, he was royalty! What woman would dare refuse the most sought-after lover in Europe? Miss Twice-a-Jilt Penelope Trask, that's who. And, unfortunately for Damien, marrying Penelope was the only way to inherit his kingdom. Good thing this enchantingly infuriating woman didn't seem completely immune to his many charms. The passionate way she returned his kisses told Damien he wasn't the only one head over heels. But wooing was difficult amid assassination attempts, wild magic, and desire so strong it threatened t to overwhelm him every time they touched. Why had no one mentioned the road to happily-ever-after was so difficult?


I really enjoyed this book!!!

tommygirl avatar
Standard Member medalFriend of PBS-Gold medal
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2006
Posts: 2,648
Back To Top

Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw hardback

This is the story of three siblings who travel different paths to attain their "birthright".

I have enjoyed this story since seeing the telemovie when I was younger.  I also have the sequel, "Beggerman, Thief" on my bookshelf.

annakanga avatar
Limited Member medalMember of the Month medal
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
Back To Top

Mine is a light, fluffy chick-lit read that I just loved.  If you are looking for a cute/fun book, this is the one.

Star Craving Mad by Elise Abrams Miller

Description:  Maddy Braverman - thirty and still single - has taught first grade at an exclusive Manhattan private school for the past five years. And although the kids are still adorable, she's so used to the routine she could lead her class via satellite from her Brooklyn apartment. Her only respite from the monotony is her celebrity-filled fantasy life. So when little Lola Magdalena Seabolt, daughter of Hollywood's hottest couple, becomes her newest student, Maddy falls instantly in love with Lola's gorgeous actor father, Nick Seabolt. And when her starstruck fantasies collide with her humdrum real world, she could very possibly go...Star Craving Mad.

Last Edited on: 11/14/07 12:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2007
Posts: 559
Back To Top

Riptide Author: Catherine Coulter  


Book Description: Becca Matlock, a senior speechwriter for the governor of New York, is at the top of her professional game when she receives her first phone call. "Stop sleeping with the governor or I'll kill him." The thing is, she's not sleeping with the governor, but it doesn't stop the phone calls. The police stop believing her after the stalker murders an innocent in New York City to prove a point. Then, when the governor is shot in the neck, Becca takes off for coastal Maine, seeking to hide not only from the stalker but also from the New York police. For sanctuary, she goes to Riptide, home of a college friend -- where she finds herself at even greater risk. Who is stalking her, threatening her, telling her that he's "her boyfriend"? Who is the skeleton that falls out of the basement wall of her rental house after a violent Maine storm? Unexpectedly, a stranger comes into Riptide and he's watching her. Is he a friend or an enemy? FBI special agents Savich and Sherlock arrive to help out an old friend of Savich's father. However, this old friend's relationship to Becca comes as quite a surprise. Is the stalker an old enemy from the past? Or an enemy who is much closer? I hope you enjoy the fifth book of the FBI series. I don't think you'll figure out the puzzle, but have a good go at it and do let me know that I indeed twisted you all up. Good luck, and happy mystery solving. Catherine Coulter

Last Edited on: 11/14/07 12:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 670
Back To Top

Another Good one is The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher.  Been around awhile, but if you've missed it, its a great read! It is on my shelf, along with another by the same author.

achadamaia avatar
Member of the Month medalPBS Blog Contributor medal
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,608
Back To Top

Oh, I agree on Midwives!  I just read it and it's one of the best books I've ever read.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2007
Posts: 185
Back To Top

Hi All,

For me it would have to be- I Capture the Castle Author: Dodie Smith

 I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"-- and the heart of the reader-- in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

justfriends avatar
Friend of PBS-Silver medal
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2007
Posts: 188
Back To Top

Mine would be The Stone Diaries, by Carol Shields, hardcover.  It won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize, and is a charming story of Daisy Goodwill, born into a poor stonecutter's family.  Her mother, Mercy, is the first (and unforgettable!) character we meet, as we learn of Daisy's life through each chapter: Birth (1905), Childhood(1916), Marriage (1927), Love (1936) and so on.

summerlady46 avatar
Friend of PBS-Gold medal
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2007
Posts: 3,129
Back To Top



The Wacky Wedding...a Book of Alphabet Antics

Last Edited on: 11/16/07 9:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Generic Profile avatar
Standard Member medalMember of the Month medalBook Data Correction Group medalTour Guide Leader medalFriend of PBS-Silver medalPrintable Postage medal
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,138
Back To Top

SUGARPLUM DEAD by Carolyn Hart, another great  "Death on Demand" mystery, just in time for Christmas!  (In a nice hardcover version, too.)

Robey avatar
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2007
Posts: 411
Back To Top

Harvest By: Tess Gerritsen

I can't get enough of her books, but this was, by far, the best book I've read in a long time.

Book Description:

Medical resident Dr. Abby Matteo is elated when the elite cardiac transplant team at Boston's Bayside Hospital taps her as a potential recruit. But faced with a tormenting life-and-death decision, Abby helps direct a crash victim's harvested heart to a dying teenager -- instead of the wealthy older woman who was supposed to receive it. The repercussions leave Abby shaken and plagued with self-doubt.

Suddenly, a new heart appears, and the woman's transplant is completed. Then Abby makes a terrible discovery. The donor records have been falsified -- the new heart has not come through the proper channels. Defying the hospital's demands for silence, she begins her own investigation that reveals a murderous, unthinkable conspiracy. Every move Abby makes spawns a vicious backlash...and on a ship anchored in the waters of Boston harbor, the grisly truth lies waiting.

I also have Vanish and The Mephisto Club (HB) Both by Gerritsen in the Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles series

Last Edited on: 11/14/07 11:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
L avatar
L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 11/15/2007 3:19 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
Back To Top

The ONLY book on my shelf, for a reason.  It's my favorite book of all time.  It's not a light read - in fact it's a serious read, but one that I feel everyone should read during their lifetime.  It's a book that changed me in so many ways.  I sent a copy to my Uncle who is a psychology professor at a University in CA, and he called me to tell me he thought "It might just be the best book I ever read".  I pick up copies when I can and list them here because I want to pass this book around.  If you are up for the challenge, you will not be sorry!  This copy is an ex-lib copy in "good used" condition.

Next of Kin: What Chimpanzees Have Taught Me About Who We Are by Roger Fouts

Roger Fouts fulfilled humankind's age-old dream of talking to animals by pioneering communication with chimpanzees through sign language. Now, in Next of Kin, Fouts tells the dramatic story of his odyssey from novice researcher to celebrity scientist and caretaker of a family of chimpanzees, to his impassioned awakening as a crusader for the rights of animals.

At the heart of this captivating book is Fouts's magical thirty-year friendship with Washoe, the chimpanzee he met when she jumped into his arms. We follow Washoe as she grows from a mischievous baby chimp fresh out of the NASA space program into the matriarch of a clan of chimpanzees. Living and conversing with these sensitive creatures has given Fouts a profound appreciation of how much we share with our closest biological relatives, and what they can teach us about ourselves.

This stirring tale of friendship, courage, and compassion will change forever the way we view our biological -- and spiritual -- Next of Kin.

My Review:  This book changed my life. It is undoubtedly one of the best books I have ever read. The story of Washoe and her other chimp friends is endearing and fascinating. It is a story that will make you laugh, cry, get angry, find redemption, hate mindkind, love animals and want to change the world. It is a must-read for anyone who shares their life with animals or loves animals.



Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 11/15/2007 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 670
Back To Top

The Way of  the Bull, A Voyage by Leo Buscaglia, PhD

A stirring story of Leo Buscaglia's travels from Japan and Hong Kong to Cambodia and Calcutta on his personal quest for discovery, searching for the bull—the Chinese symbol of life—in himself and all of us, the bull that must remain untethered and free to explore.

meowysmiles avatar
Friend of PBS-Silver medal
Date Posted: 11/15/2007 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2005
Posts: 232
Back To Top

God's Grace from Ground Zero Author: Jim Cymbala Rating: item_rating("9780310246862","0","0","1");

All of us were affected one way or another by the 911 problem in NY but this is a very good audio book in cassette format which I think reaches out and touches everyone whether you lost a loved one or not we all felt the devastation of Ground Zero.

scrapbooklady avatar
Date Posted: 11/15/2007 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2007
Posts: 4,834
Back To Top

"Silent Witness" by Richard North Patterson

This Patterson suspense packs a wallop. Tony Lord returns to his home town to defend his childhood best friend in a murder case but it is another case that haunts Tony. Where there are points where the story drags and at some point the plot becomes predictable--that isn't what makes Silent Witness such a great read. It's the characters. All parties involve are multi-dimensional and practically leap off the page as living creations


Last Edited on: 11/15/07 5:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
cobscookmom avatar
Date Posted: 11/15/2007 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2007
Posts: 1,235
Back To Top

Black Ice by Anne Stuart

The job was a killer.

Living paycheck to paycheck in Paris, American book translator Chloe Underwood would give anything for some excitement and passion -- even a little danger. So when she's offered a lucrative weekend gig translating at a business conference in a remote chateau, she jumps at the chance to shake things up.

Then by chance Chloe discovers her employers are anything but the entrepreneurs they appear, and suddenly she knows far too much. Her clients are illegal arms dealers, and one of them is ordered to kill her. But instead, Bastien Toussaint drags Chloe away, and the next thing she knows she's on the run with the most terrifying and seductive man she's ever met. What were his motives -- and would she live long enough to find out?

My opinion: This book was very unusual for a romantic suspense, and I've read a lot! It kept me guessing until the very last page and that's not an exaggeration.

Robey avatar
Date Posted: 11/16/2007 12:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2007
Posts: 411
Back To Top

 I also wanted to add.

Tales from the Cottage, stories by the seven dwarfs.

It's a hardback in excllent condition on my Bookshelf, it's one of those that has a blank cover, but on the book itself, has all of the 7 dwarfs, dancing and playing music. Each story is about 7 pages long, some of which is only the bottom portion of the page and has really great, colorful, illustrations.

Some good Christmas stories in there too.

A nap before Christmas

Snow time for fun

Last Edited on: 11/16/07 12:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 11/16/2007 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2007
Posts: 140
Back To Top

For me it's Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwartz. 

"Ruth remembered drowning." The first sentence of this brilliantly understated psychological thriller leaps off the page and captures the reader's imagination. In Schwarz's debut novel, brutal Wisconsin weather and WWI drama color a tale of family rivalry, madness, secrets and obsessive love. By March 1919, Nurse Amanda Starkey has come undone. She convinces herself that her daily exposure to the wounded soldiers in the Milwaukee hospital where she works is the cause of her hallucinations, fainting spells and accidents. Amanda journeys home to the family farm in Nagawaukee, where her sister, Mathilda (Mattie), lives with her three-year-old daughter Ruth, awaiting the return of her war-injured husband, Carl Neumann. Mattie's ebullient welcome convinces Amanda she can mend there. But then Mattie drowns in the lake that surrounds the sisters' island house and, in a rush of confusion and anguish, Amanda assumes care of Ruth. After Carl comes home, Amanda and he manage to work together on the farm and parent Ruth, but their arrangement is strained: Amanda has a breakdown and recuperates at a sanatorium. As time passes, Ruth grows into an odd, guarded child who clings to perplexing memories of the night her mother drowned. Why does Amanda have that little circle of scars on her hand? What is Amanda's connection to Ruth's friend Imogene and why does she fear Imogene's marriage to Clement Owen's son? Schwarz deftly uses first-person narration to heighten the drama. Her prose is spare but bewitching, and she juggles the speakers and time periods with the surety of a seasoned novelist. Rather than attempting a trumped-up suspenseful finale, Schwarz ends her novel gently, underscoring the delicate power of her tale.

I also have copies of The Shell Seekers and Midwives if the others are swooped up. 

L, I snagged your copy of Next of Kin.  I had it on my WL, but didn't include the hardcopy or I would have already gotten it!!

- Tracy


2 for 1 on any books on my (small) bookshelf.  Just PM for the deal. 

Want fewer ads?