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Topic: What "HIDDEN GEMS" are on your Bookshelf?

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SanJoseCa avatar
Subject: What "HIDDEN GEMS" are on your Bookshelf?
Date Posted: 11/19/2007 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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This is our chance to highlight  books that are wonderful "gems" that are just waiting to be ordered!

CAUSE CELEB    By Helen Fielding,  the author of BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY.  A story of a heroine who gets tired of shopping and wants to make the world a better place.  Many funny situations in this Brit chix lit.

THE BEST AWFUL   By Carrie Fisher,  the author of POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE.  The novel is about a woman with an aging starlet mom, a six year old daughter and a gay ex-husband.

LARRY'S PARTY   By  Carol Shields, the author of THE STONE DIARIES.  A man looking for true love.....enough said!

What are your "Hidden Gems?"

Last Edited on: 11/20/07 4:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
AimeeB avatar
Date Posted: 11/20/2007 2:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
Posts: 2,825
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A Cold Day For Murder by Dana Stabenow set in the Alaska bush written by an Alaskan

That is the ony one on my shelf that I would consider "hidden". The others are pretty well known.


ALbookbugg avatar
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Date Posted: 11/20/2007 7:58 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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I'd like to highlight a book that I just read last week and really enjoyed.

The Story of Chicago May Author: Nuala O'Faolain Rating: item_rating("9781594482175","8","0","1"); Book Type: Paperback Publication Date: 2006

Normally, you wouldn't feel such sympathy for someone who was a criminal, but Chicago May grows on you. I left a short review that tells a bit more about the story.

My book has been requested and is no longer on my shelf. It's still a great book that deserves to be spoltlighted so I'm going to leave my post.

Last Edited on: 11/20/07 4:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Generic Profile avatar
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Date Posted: 11/20/2007 8:34 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
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My hidden gem is an Adventure and love story and historical novel Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett


Last Edited on: 3/19/08 3:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 6
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Date Posted: 11/20/2007 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 28
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Bobby Rex's Greatest Hit by Marianne Gingher (ISBN-10: 0807123226.)  This is a Voices of the South book that I really enjoyed.  It is the story of a girl - Pally Thompson - who finds herself the main character in a song by Bobby Rex.  This causes quite the uproar as people want to know if the lyrics are fact based.  A good "small town" story.


yolosr avatar
Date Posted: 11/24/2007 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 732
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For anyone interested in Hawaiian early history I have a book in very good condition, a mass market paperback.

Grapes of Canaan: Hawaii 1820 Author: Albertine Loomis

It is fiction, but based on history as well as the author's ancestors who left diaries of this period.

achadamaia avatar
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Date Posted: 11/24/2007 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
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Here we go...always happy to pump up my books :)

Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.  From the 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.

Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda.  A classic!  This is the first book in Castaneda's series on his experiences in mysticism.

Q: The autobiography of Quincy Jones.  I don't care for biography much, but I enjoyed this.  Quincy Jones' recollections are interspersed with recollections of his friends and family.  The story of a kid growing up in chaos.  The family falls on hard times, his mother sinks into mental illness, and he and his brother are sort of left to fend for themselves.  It's truly an amazing story.

Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan.  Another great story by Amy Tan.

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Date Posted: 11/26/2007 8:13 AM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2007
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Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwartz.  Taken, but still a great read.  Lots of copies in the system.

Great debut.  The film rights have already been optioned!!  Here's what publisher's weekly had to say:

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.

- Tracy

Last Edited on: 1/28/08 8:27 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
leshshel avatar
Date Posted: 11/26/2007 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2007
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i got alot of good stuff but my account is on hold till after the holidays.


cornbreaddelicious avatar
Date Posted: 11/27/2007 1:08 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2007
Posts: 31
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Porno by Irvine Welsh

A misanthopic tale that follows  Trainspotting. Only ten years later the characters are involved in the scamming and scheming of the porn industry. Wildly hilarious and intelligent throughout. I would reccomend this to anyone who watches porn, has a morbid curiosity about porn, or has read Trainspotting, but you don't need to have read it. Not for the faint of heart, which means it's awesome!

Last Edited on: 11/27/07 1:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
jennifer23 avatar
Date Posted: 11/27/2007 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
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I was very plesently supprised by Danger in the shadows when I read it this past weekend.

I also enjoyed In a Princes Bed. I love finding books like these that are so much better then you thought they would be.

Esp when I don't hear people talking about them.

dutrall avatar
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Date Posted: 11/28/2007 11:48 AM ET
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I have two audiobooks on my shelf that I absolutely LOVED listening to.  On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon by Kaye Gibbons is read by Polly Holliday (remember Flo, anyone?).  At first I was mortified at the idea of listening to Flo read this book.  Turns out she is superb!  Sometimes the right narrator really transports you into the world of the story. 

The other one is Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi and read by the author.  Usually, author-read books are a turn off for me because they don't have the right acting skills, and I have to admit, her accent bothered me a bit in the beginning.  But not long after, her voice became the central character to me and I can't imagine anyone else doing it such justice.

Last Edited on: 11/28/07 11:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Catspaw avatar
Date Posted: 11/30/2007 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
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I just posted about 60 old mysteries - some dating from the 70's.  There's a variety of early works from now-popular authors, and some that are really obscure.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 12/7/2007 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
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I have a hardcover of The Lies That Bind.  TAKEN!


Last Edited on: 12/10/07 12:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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Date Posted: 12/7/2007 11:56 AM ET
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West with the Night by Beryl Markham.  This is actually Beryl Markham's autobiography, but it's not just a "I was born here and then I did this and then I did this" type story. It's more of Markham's reflections on her own life while she tells you hallmarks events of her life. Markam was a aviation pioneer in East Africa during the late 20s/early 30s. Before that, she raised and trained race horses on her father's ranch (also in East Africa). The Africa she tells about is certainly no longer in existence, and her experiences are nearly unbelievable. Combined with an out-of-this-world ability to write, this book is a must read for anyone with an interest in Africa or aviation.

In Revere, In Those Days by Roland Merullo.  This book was recommended to me by my father-in-law who actually grew up in Revere, MA. He felt like the story and characters aptly described much of his own childhood. I've always enjoyed my father-in-law's stories about growing up back East, so I though that this would be at least a good book. I was right - but I had no idea how powerful and wonderful this book would really be!   It's your basic "coming of age" story; the main character is a young boy who is orphaned and then raised by his colorful and intensely emotional and loving Italian-American family. What is most striking about the characters (and, I would say, how you really get to the core of all these supporting characters), is how they reach out to love this boy who has lost so much. The beauty is that none of these family members are perfect - they are have so many faults on the side - but collectively, and in their own ways, they come as close to perfectly loving this boy as I have ever read in any story. I think that the author must have experience this kind of intense family love in order to write about it so convincingly.  I cannot recommend this book enough. It truly is a character driven story (I tend to favor these types of books) and the characters are so real. On three separate occasions, I was so touched by the characters and the story that I had to put the book down, take off my glasses and just WEEP. This is a beautiful book and one that I will not forget in a long time.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.  A modern, scholarly take on the Dracula myth. I couldn't put this one down! What made it even more fun for me was the fact that the main characters are professors and graduate students! Yes, academia CAN save the world! The characters were also warm, real people who were easy to relate with, I think this was because a majority of the book is written in letter-format. I'm not a huge fan of Dracula/horror, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a well researched story.

Mamu avatar
Sharon C. (Mamu) - ,
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Date Posted: 12/8/2007 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
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I have an absolutely beautiful hardback "Book of Days" book that I bought as a gift that I never gave.  I don't remember why at this point.  It's one of those books where you write the special days in it...birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  The difference is this one has exquisite photos of aging women, most of them only well-known in their own fields.  It even has a ribbon to mark the days. 

The photographs are amazing and the whole book is truly a celebration.  I'd love for it to have a good home.


Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 12/8/2007 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2007
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I just opened an account with PaperBackSwap and I think this site is great.  Booksharing, what a novel idea.  Here are some books on my shelf-

Chicken Soup for the Gardeners' Soul (also Country Soul, and Christian Soul)-  gifts for christmas maybe?

"Limbo"- copyright 1972- fiction novel that deals with how people not directly involved in wars get affected (spouses).

The Best American Essays 1997- Interesting stuff

Silent Night- by Mary Higgins Clark

and two books that were eventually turned into movies- "Big Fish"  by Daniel Wallace and "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Nasar.


There you are.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 12/10/2007 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
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Actually I consider some  of my free books to really be gems, because they were written by Pope John Paul II (of happy memory).

"Letters of Pope John Paul II to Women"(taken), and "The Dignity and Vocation of Women"

The reason they are free is because I had extra copies and they are too short to be posted, but are actually in perfect like-new condition.!

PM me if you would  like it  and I will send as a gift, no order necessary!


Last Edited on: 1/16/08 5:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
CMoonShell avatar
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Date Posted: 12/12/2007 2:47 AM ET
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No Time to Say Goodbye: Children's Stories of Kuper Island Residential School :: Ann Sam, Rita Morris, Sylvia Olsen  is about the school that Native American children in the Northwest were sent to until surprisingly recently and how it affected their lives.

Moon Women by Pamela Duncan was a nice little multi-generaltional novel that I enjoyed and so did both of my daughters, who are 21 and 23.

Gidget, the original book that inspired both the movie and the old TV show.  It was so fun to read!

These are the three books that I'd most like to have someone else read, because I liked them so much.


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Date Posted: 12/12/2007 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
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Matthew Reilly's books: Ice Station, Area 7, & Scarecrow; (the trilogy of Scarecrow's team); his Contest & Temple, stand alone books, his 7 Deadly Wonders, & his sequel to that will be out in Jan. A lot of folks have never heard of him & do not know what they are missing. Outstanding author & well worth reading even if you do not normally read this type of books. Hs is an Australian author who is an action film writer. His 1st books were hardback only & took up to 3 years or more to be made into paperback. (come on now, $29 for a hardback is very spendy). Thank God, his newer ones they are releasing in paperback right away. Another one is Amazonia by James Rollins. Didn't care as much for his other ones, in fact haven't read a lot of them, but this one is superb.

bridget avatar
Date Posted: 12/13/2007 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2006
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The Naked Madonna, Jan Weise

"The Naked Madonna is a bewitching tale of love and lust, faith and superstition, an intricate mystery set against the vivid background of Renaissance Italy. " My review: This was an intelligent and interesting book. I'm not usually one for books set 500 years ago, but this had interesting themes and didn't bog me down with the details of life in those times. It incorporates themes of love, sexuality and propriety. The characters are flushed out well, despite the relatively short length of the book. I think the author is Norwegian.  Probably the only Norwegian author I've read.
Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 12/16/2007 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/12/2007
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I have a couple of "hidden gems".  One is Home Comfort:Life on Total Loss Farm.  It is about a bunch of hippies who lived on a farm in Vermont.  Each one of them writes about different things, and the illustrations are so cool.  I have to pick it up every once in a while a read a little of it.  It is one of my "keeprs".

Another is Hilary's Island by Elinor Lyon, a very old book that is a children's book, but it is still my favorite book.  I also have a copy of The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery, a hardback, very old, and it's up there in my top 5.


MaryMary avatar
Date Posted: 12/17/2007 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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I have:

Vanish by Tess Gerritsen

Shock by Robin Cook

Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra

All great suspence books.  I highly recommed them for a good read.   :)

desdemona avatar
Date Posted: 12/17/2007 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2007
Posts: 25
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Brick Lane by Monica Ali  - A great story about an immigrant living in England. 

The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen   -  This is one of my favorite books, about a modern day kid that gets sucked into the past and discovers how her relatives survived the concentration camps of the holocaust. 



Bremelo avatar
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Date Posted: 12/18/2007 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2006
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Tracy, I ordered Drowning Ruth from you.

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