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one of the best books I've read in the last 6 months is . . .

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Replies to: one of the best books I've read in the last 6 months is . . .

  • RachachaRachacha Registered User Posts: 1,266 Senior Member
    I normally do not read fiction, but on recommendations here I just finished "Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral" and "One Hundred Years of Solitude". Now I will go back to my favorite genre, autobiographies/memoirs, since I just bought Eric Clapton's....
  • epistrophyepistrophy Registered User Posts: 1,546 Senior Member
    fendrock wrote:

    I also read The Lost. . . .

    It . . . includes long passages of biblical exegesis, plus just plain long sentences.

    An interesting book, but not light or easy reading by any means.

    I agree that Mendelsohn often uses long sentences. (In part this seems to be a stylistic debt to Proust.) That said, I think that these sentences are long for a reason: because he has many different images or ideas that he wants to juxtapose before coming to a full stop with a period. And I found him to be an extremely graceful writer, so his prose never seemed (to me, anyway) swampy.

    As for "long passages of biblical exegesis," at the risk of sounding a bit like Bill Clinton, I guess this depends on what you mean by "long." It is true that stories from the Hebrew Bible (specifically, as I recall, the Torah) are one of the strands that Mendelsohn uses in weaving together his story. But for me these sections worked well and I don't think that any of them are longer than, say, five pages. (And while I don't think that this is necessarily too relevant here, when I say that these sections "worked well" for me, I do so as someone who is not Jewish, nor even much of a believer at all - more on the Buddhist/agnostic part of the spectrum, if anywhere.)

    As for its not being "light" reading - yeah, I agree with that (but then that sort of goes with the territory - the Holocaust, that is).

    As for its not being "easy," well, for me the "easiest" reading is that which yields the greatest pleasure - and I found this book deeply pleasurable.
  • TreetopleafTreetopleaf Registered User Posts: 2,721 Senior Member
    I really enjoyed Wild Trees by Richard Preston, about the undiscovered ecosystem atop the giant redwoods in CA. Now I want to go see them!
  • epistrophyepistrophy Registered User Posts: 1,546 Senior Member
    Since I started this thread with something - a nonfiction book relating to the Holocaust - that another poster found "dense," I'll add one more book that offers a very different sort of reading experience. A book that is, at times, laugh-out-loud funny, and that is one of the best, most brilliant short-story collections that I've ever read: Lorrie Moore's Birds of America. I don't know of anyone whose writing - sentence for sentence - offers more pure pleasure. (Yes, her humor is often dark, but, uh, so is life - right?)
  • micromommicromom Registered User Posts: 201 Junior Member
    Seeing in the Dark by Timothy Ferris

    I can never get over our incredibly magnificent universe. How elegant and....ordered. And I get to be part of it - how cool is that?
  • curiousercuriouser Registered User Posts: 1,361 Senior Member
    I'd also like to second Eat,Pray,Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. As a bit of a skeptic about many things spiritual, I found this book really sparked a curiousity I didn't feel previously.

    However, my favorite part was the "Eat" section, centered in Italy :)
  • dkedke Registered User Posts: 2,689 Senior Member
    I'm spacing here but its the book "One thousand ??" whatever by the author of the Kite Runner. I think about the characters so often....can't get them out of my mind. Middlesex, on the other hand, has been donated to the library. I just couldn't get into it and gave after about 80 pages.I just didn't get it at all.
  • mafoolmafool Registered User Posts: 6,453 Senior Member
    ^^^^^
    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

    I second the recommendation.
  • seiclanseiclan Registered User Posts: 4,182 Senior Member
    I third "A Thousand Splended Suns". It is the best book that I have read since "Water For Elephants". I couldn't put the book down...read it in two afternoons!
  • dkedke Registered User Posts: 2,689 Senior Member
    What's Water for Elephants about, seiclan?
  • seiclanseiclan Registered User Posts: 4,182 Senior Member
    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is (told in flashback) about a man's life with a traveling Circus during the depression. It was well written, well researched and an original story. I highly recommend it...another page-turner!
  • seiclanseiclan Registered User Posts: 4,182 Senior Member
    Also on my short list of books to read before 2008:
    The Short Bus
    Snowflower and the Secret Fan
    Eat, Pray, Love
    Amy Tan's book: Saving Fish from Drowning
    A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
    and The Other Boleyn Sister
  • binxbinx Registered User Posts: 4,318 Senior Member
    My D just told me yesterday that I needed to read Water for Elephants. She read it in her English class and enjoyed it.

    I also enjoyed The Book Thief, and The Thirteenth Tale. It seems I read another book also about death, because my kids asked me why I kept reading books about death. Can't remember what book it was.
  • fendrockfendrock Registered User Posts: 3,045 Senior Member
    epistrophy, The Lost is a very unusual book. Mendelsohn uses (experiments?) with a variety of approaches to tell his story.

    Biblical exegesis is one of them, and I can't think of any other book that uses it in this way.

    I also read A Thousand Suns, and comparing the reading of these two books is like comparing apples to pomegranates.

    I just wanted to give some sense of how I found the book.
  • epistrophyepistrophy Registered User Posts: 1,546 Senior Member
    epistrophy, The Lost is a very unusual book. Mendelsohn uses (experiments?) with a variety of approaches to tell his story.

    I agree - on both counts.
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