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Topic: Water for Elephants

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Subject: Water for Elephants
Date Posted: 2/16/2007 8:54 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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I just finished this thanks to my local library. I thought it ranks up there with one of the best books I have ever read. Anybody else read this and care to share opinions?
Date Posted: 2/16/2007 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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I agree!  I didn't think I would like it at all, but I had heard it was good.  I think I was hooked by page 5 :)  It's such a great book!  I have the hardcover wishlisted because it's definitely a book I want to read again and keep.

Date Posted: 2/16/2007 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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Oh good, it's on my wish list, I'll keep it there.  A few times I've removed a book because of negative feedback.
Date Posted: 2/16/2007 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 830
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Each year I buy a favorite hardback and Water for Elephants was the text I bought in summer 2006.  My other recent hardback fiction 'keepers' have been Kite Runner, Beneath a Marble Sky and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  So, I obviously loved it!!
Date Posted: 2/16/2007 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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I'm bummed that it is a library book and has to be returned. I will have Mom read it first though since I know she'll love it as much as I did.
Date Posted: 2/16/2007 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2006
Posts: 299
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And my WL grows.
Date Posted: 2/16/2007 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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oh yeah.....it's one of my all time favorites.
Date Posted: 2/17/2007 12:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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Jan:  "My other recent hardback fiction 'keepers' have been Kite Runner, Beneath a Marble Sky and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  "

I haven't heard of Beneath a Marble Sky but I'm off to look it up!  Kite Runner and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan along with Water for Elephants are my top 3 favorites from last year!  So it looks like we may have similar tastes :)

Date Posted: 2/17/2007 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 694
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Marcy - I've liked a lot of the same books as you so I've just put this one on my wishlist based on your recommendation!  thanks for mentioning it.


Date Posted: 2/17/2007 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 830
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Rhonda,  Beneath a Marble Sky isn't quite up there with the others, but it's a keeper nonetheless.  Hope you aren't disappointed if you get it and don't like it.  That's the thing about making recommendations...all reading tastes aren't the same, but I hope it's good enough! 

And Marcy, I'll have to look up your reading profile to see what else you've liked.  It's fun to find others with similar reading tastes.  Didn't you just love the pictures in the front and waiting to see who Jacob's wife was?  His perspective from the nursing home also created empathy for geriatric patients.  They've lost their independence, not their self respect. 

Date Posted: 2/17/2007 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2006
Posts: 122
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I finished this book in a weekend.  I LOVED it!

Last Edited on: 2/20/07 7:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/17/2007 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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I thought the pictures added something to the reading that wouldn't have been there otherwise. I liked his perspective from the nursing home, because it enabled us to see how he had "grown" as a man over the years. I also liked that each character that we were introduced to had a role in the story, as opposed to some characters that are added into books without being developed at all. I did alot of comparisons between the people in the circus and the people in the nursing home too. Even when they were minor characters, you could almost always find their counterpart in the past/present. I know it's a good one when I want to discuss it with others. I've only felt that way about a few books in my life!

Last Edited on: 2/17/07 1:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/17/2007 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2006
Posts: 100
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I thoroughly enjoyed that book.  What a wonderful read!
Date Posted: 2/17/2007 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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"Water For Elephants" was just fantastic.  I loved the cover!

  I felt the same way about "Snow Flower..." too.  They are both keepers!!

Date Posted: 2/18/2007 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2006
Posts: 217
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I also really enjoyed this book and found myself to be thinking about it long after I had finished reading.  I fell in love with Rosie the elephant!
Date Posted: 2/20/2007 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 1,947
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Last Edited on: 8/10/10 3:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2007 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2006
Posts: 21,553
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I loved it!
Date Posted: 2/21/2007 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
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I loved it too.  I read it because I wanted to, and then I joined a library book group.  The discussion was scheduled for last Thursday, and I was going to have to miss it because of family commitments, and I was a bit bummed, but then we had a storm and they postponed the meeting, so we will be discussing it tomorrow.  Yay for that!  (I don't often yay for snowstorms...)

I thought the book was fascinating and I was very impressed with her research.  I did a little additional reading on jake leg, because I had never heard of it, and I found an absolutely fascinating (but long) article about it in the New Yorker.

I'll post a link to the article:


Date Posted: 2/21/2007 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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Thanks for sharing the link Majorie. I'd never heard of it either and am off to read that article now.
Date Posted: 2/21/2007 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,506
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It s on my wishlist as well.....one of these days it will appear in my mailbox, I hope!!

Unless I break down and buy it myself!!! 

UPDATE.....I bought the book. I think I'll bump it up so I'll read it sooner.......................

Last Edited on: 5/27/07 11:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2007 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2006
Posts: 2
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I really enjoyed this book. I was drawn in by the cover & my sudden facination with the circus, especially elephants.

It was a quick read for me, I was hooked right away.

In fact, next month, I'm going to my first circu ever that will be under a Big Top, I'm excited and a bit nervous...I hope the animals are well treated!

Date Posted: 2/23/2007 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2007
Posts: 1
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Oh! I loved this book too.  I was doubtful based on the title  ( what a bad assumption) but the book was totally different from those I usually read and have recommended it to all of my friends.  I passed the book on to my step-daughter who is a curator at the Brookfield Zoo.    Recently I've read "My Siser's Keeper", "Doctor's Wife" and am finishing "Memory Keeper's Daughter".  My current favorite author is Jodi Picoult.  I'm taking a break from her right now because of a sameness; social issue and legal trial.    I think the best book I read last year was "Snowflower and the Secret Fan"      Happy reading!!


OH! I didn't pay attention to who wrote Water,etc.  until I finished the book and then I was so surprised that it was a woman. 

Date Posted: 2/23/2007 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2006
Posts: 56
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My book club read Water for Elephants last month and, while everyone loved the book, our discussion was weak.  I don't know what the problem was, but it just wasn't as deep a discussion about characters or social causes as we usually get into.  It was a good book though, so I'm not sure what happened.  I picked Snow Flower and the Secret Fan for this coming month and I'm excited about it.  Lisa See will schedule author interviews if her schedule allows it - we've done this by speaker phone before and it really added to the discussion.  Matthew Pearl who wrote The Dante Club was the author and he was adorable.  Even people who didn't care for his book LOVED him and we talked for over an hour together.  I'll let you all know how the discussion goes for Snow Flower. 

Date Posted: 2/24/2007 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2006
Posts: 33
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I just finished this book & must say I LOVED it! It makes me so happy to find a book that is such a pleasure to read.
Date Posted: 2/25/2007 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2005
Posts: 3
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After I listened to the prologue on audible.com, I was HOOKED. Had to buy it from QPB. I loved it, my mom loved it ... can't bear to part with it. Need another copy to send to my aunt in Arkansas!